CALIFORNIA California libraries are using a high-tech telecommunications tool to resurrect some of the most colorful characters of the state's tumultuous Gold Rush era. The historical figures include Yee Fung Cheung, an herb doctor from China who cared for sick miners; John Sutter, who owned the mill where gold was first discovered; and Dame Shirley, who wrote first-hand accounts of life in the rough-and-tumble gold camps. CCH is producing seven videoconferences between March and October 1999, which will bring History Alive! performances into 21 public, K-12, and community college libraries around the state. The videoconferences complement a series of on-site programs in 30 public libraries.

NEW MEXICO The La Cieneguilla petroglyphs may date to about A.D. 800 and are the largest collection of bird images in northern New Mexico. Preserving La Cieneguilla petroglyphs could cost as much as $5.8 million. Protecting the Glorieta battlefield in the Pecos National Historic Park could cost as much as $1.8 million.

UTAH In a statement frequently sent out to curious parties, the Smithsonian Institution says its archaeologists see no direct connection between the archaeology of the New World and the Book of Mormon. Once the bones were uncovered, state officials ordered the Brigham Young University archaeologist overseeing the construction to perform an examination of the remains. Plans to rebury some of the remains while keeping the skulls for further study ended Thursday when the office of Utah Governor Michael O. Leavitt intervened. He ordered all the remains be turned over to the relatives for reburial. Kevin Jones called the decision a political move that surprised him. After they were discovered, the remains were taken to Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, and the skulls were later transported to University of Utah in Salt Lake City for further study. The skulls had to be reassembled and bore the evidence of grisly wounds. Baker explained the remains were not handled in an unusual manner and that he operated with expedience and care. He said there were attempts to balance the needs of the families and the need to gather data about the massacre. "There is some perception that we were getting our jollies by doing this and it's not true," he said. "I was overshadowed by the tremendous tragedy that brought these people to my lab," Baker said. "These people were murdered, and I understand that."

CYBERIA Sunlight pokes through the pine logs and mussel-shell mortar of the 19th-century Jacob Wolf House, a rough-cut gem of Arkansas history and the oldest building in the state. The wooden structure has escaped destruction by fire and the good intentions of amateur restorers who patched the original mortar with cement and attached modern porches to the building's facade. This week, Gov. Mike Huckabee announced that the Wolf House would receive a $500,000 state grant, enough money to begin restoring the house and grounds. The city's historic preservation ordinances passed in 1990 set strict guidelines on the process of demolishing a property in a designated Architectural Review District. Because the home is outside an Architectural Review District, city officials don't have to follow the guidelines. Howard Solomon is appealing a Jacksonville Historic Preservation Commission vote that allows the city recreation department to move a 1939 home on park property a few hundred feet to make way for a $221,000 museum. Solomon said he wanted the council's Urban Affairs and Planning committee to use a little-known and apparently never-used subpoena ability to ensure the people who helped him unsuccessfully lobby against a museum at the park appear when the committee hears his appeal. A major new presentation of artifacts and exhibits telling of the traditional and contemporary life of Native Americans of the Columbia River Plateau opens Saturday at the High Desert Museum. Bittner still sees Site Summit near Arctic Valley with Cold War eyes. Now, as the state's historic-preservation officer,she has joined a group of history buffs who want to turn the abandoned and dilapidated Nike site into a Cold War museum, education center and tourist attraction. "I'd like my kids to go up there on a field trip, to understand our history and the history of the military in Alaska," Bittner said. A team sponsored by Eastman Kodak and Xerox is using high-tech cameras and computers to reveal passages in the ancient Dead Sea Scrolls that scholars thought had been destroyed centuries ago. And a Ferndale firm, Record Recall, is helping some of Detroit's oldest churches transfer fragile records of baptisms, marriages and deaths onto CD-ROMs that church members, historians and genealogists can search in a snap. When you see the stuff that's emerging, it just blows your mind," said archaeologist and imaging expert Robert Johnson, who heads the Xerox-Eastman Kodak team.