Attempted Kidnap 0311/14 wje
Clearlake police are looking for a man suspected of attempting to kidnap a pedestrian Sunday morning. A female told police she was walking near Crawford and Cypress avenues when a man in a newer, full-sized black pickup truck pulled alongside her. Police did not divulge the female’s identity or age. She said the man asked for money, then got out of the truck and tried to pull her inside the vehicle. she pulled free and ran to a residence for help.
The man was described as white, heavy set, clean shaven and with gray hair. He is between 5-feet 5-inches and 5-feet 7-inches tall and was wearing a blue shirt. The truck had a chrome grill and silver rims.
Diseased Meat 031114 wje
A top food safety official suggested Friday to North Bay ranchers that the “deception” by operators at a Petaluma slaughterhouse will take a long time to unravel and could make it impossible to remove the ranchers’ high-end meats from a massive recall.The investigation of diseased and unsound animals at Rancho Feeding Corporation involves more than cows with eye cancer, as previously reported, the official from the U.S. Department of Agriculture was quoted as saying. He also reportedly said the Rancho recall involves 44,000 establishments around the nation, a figure far higher than can be confirmed from the USDA’s website.
Fishman 031114 wje
A Eureka man was arrested in Ukiah Wednesday after being spotted carrying a large stuffed fish. A UPD officer stopped a man walking in the 1000 block of North State Street shortly after midnight last week while carrying a six-foot-tall, stuffed fish. Thirty- one year old Colt C. Lyon, of Eureka, reportedly on parole in Humboldt County and had left the county without permission. He was arrested on suspicion of violating his parole. No word on his relationship with the fish.
Frost Danger 031114 wje
Recent rainstorms have Sonoma County grape growers feeling more optimistic about being able to protect their crops from killer frost as full-blown bud break appears imminent. Here in Mendocino County, however, growers are still being warned that they probably won’t have any water for frost protection this season because of low reservoir levels and flow in the Russian River.
101 Widening 031114 wje
The Sonoma County Transportation Authority on Monday approved $4.5 million to buy land to widen Highway 101 to six lanes through Petaluma, but it will be at least three years, and perhaps longer, before there is a remedy to the bottleneck that has plagued commuters for years. One of the two remaining four-lane sections of Highway 101 in Sonoma County from Windsor south to the Marin County line now is nearly ready for construction, though transportation officials have not secured the $90 million needed to widen the highway from just north of Corona Road to the Petaluma River.
Huffman Water Bill 031114 wje
In a move designed to preserve water in Lake Mendocino and other reservoirs especially during droughts, North Coast Rep. Jared Huffman has introduced legislation to update rules governing the release of water during the winter rainy season. The legislation, introduced this week, would make it easier for local agencies to seek reductions in winter water releases from reservoirs operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Critics say the Corps follows outdated rules that were responsible for unnecessary water releases from Lake Mendocino last winter. The releases, designed to minimize the threat of flooding, have exacerbated this year’s water shortage. Local water officials estimate the reservoir would contain an additional 24,000 acre-feet of water — had the Corps based its January 2013 releases on long-range weather forecasts instead of a chart created in the 1950s.
Lake Drought Emergency 031114
Lake County on Tuesday joined a growing number of counties, cities and water agencies that have declared drought emergencies. A Lake County groundwater study has indicated that some area wells are producing sufficient water for their users but others are being depleted by the drought. County supervisors also voted to implement stringent, phase 3 emergency water conservation measures for three small, water-short districts. The ordinance is directed at those that have failed to make any efforts to conserve water and are jeopardizing the entire water system with excessive water use. The new conservation measures include tiered rates that penalize people who use lots of water. They also include fines for people who continue to use more than their fair share.
Ponzi Dude 031114 wje
A former Petaluma real estate agent charged with bilking dozens of investors in one of Sonoma County’s largest Ponzi schemes will be sentenced to a maximum 20 years in prison if he admits the charges before trial. Seveny-three year old Aldo Baccala, is accused of swindling $20 million from 55 people who made loans for various projects including East Coast nursing homes, a Northern California mushroom farm and a Nevada car wash. Prosecutors alleged Baccala used the money for other purposes and took new loans to pay back earlier investors. He was arrested in 2012 after he could no longer keep the scam afloat. He faces up to 160 years in prison if convicted at his March 28 trial of 135 counts of grand theft, securities fraud and elder financial abuse.
Running Car Reported Stolen 031114 wje
A Nevada man was arrested last week for allegedly stealing a car that was running unattended near the owner’s house. A UPD officer was at the scene on Irvington Drive about 8:20 a, February 27. The owner saw a man get into the car and drive away.While the officer was taking the report, it was learned that a Mendocino County Sheriff’s Deputy had stopped the driver, identified as 27 year old William F. McKnight, of Elko, Nev. he had reportedly come to Ukiah with two other people suspected of a burglary in the Lucky’s parking lot, but had become separated from them. He said he “wandered the streets for several hours” before finding the vehicle running and took it, intending to drive back to Elko. McKnight was arrested on suspicion of vehicle theft and on an Elko warrant for violating his probation.
Water Law Suits 031114
North Coast grape growers are having to make decisions about how much water to use for frost protection, but already are facing a threat of being sued by environmental groups over potential harm to fish habitats. Three Sonoma County organizations, including one with a long history of filing lawsuits, sent letters to hundreds of growers and vineyard managers in Sonoma and Mendocino counties outlining concerns about water draw-downs harming federally protected salmon and steelhead. One , the Sebastopol-based River Watch has a controversial history of suing companies, cities, sanitation districts and individuals for environmental reasons. But many growers, who feel pressured by historic drought conditions to save their crops while also protecting the environment, took exception to the letters, which were mailed earlier this month. Several members of the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors denounced the letters this week
Water Cut 0311/14 wje
Ukiah Valley residents, businesses and farmers will be required to cut their dependence on Lake Mendocino water by half beginning next month. The Russian River Flood Control and Water Conservation Improvement District board of directors unanimously adopted the 50 percent mandatory cutbacks in an effort to maintain as much water as they can in drought-plagued Lake Mendocino. As of Monday afternoon, the lake was about 41.7 percent of capacity. The district also voted to entirely cut off Redwood Valley, which is only allowed to purchase surplus water. Redwood Valley is expected to be able to purchase water from Sonoma County, which owns a majority of the rights to Lake Mendocino water. The Russian River district also hopes to save another 800 acre feet of water that the city of Ukiah has a contract to purchase. The city has other water sources and normally needs district water only for irrigation purposes.
Willits Pot Bust 031114 wje
An alert deputy sheriff netted twenty one pounds of high grade bud from two out of towners yesterday afternoon. Adrien Soto Mayor of Yucaipa and John Thies of San Jacinto were stopped on South Main in Willits. A parole search revealed a duffle bag of pot in the trunk of their rental car. Both were charged with sale and transportation. Thies on fifty thousand dollars bail and Soto Mayor on parole hold.