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Two young men in Boonville have been arrested on a laundry list of criminal charges including attempted murder. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Dept reports getting a call to a shooting two weeks ago, meeting with the CHP at the scene after someone reported a silver Ford Mustang followed them and passed by a shot at them, just missing their head. The two men found nearby, and officers say they knew they were part of a criminal street gang, finding them with a loaded pistol.  They’re charged with several crimes including attempted murder, being a gang member with a loaded firearm, conspiracy and violation of probation. 18 year old Alfredo Asher Knight and 19 year old Marshall Leland Stillday both held on two separate bails of more than $300,000.

A mental health fair is being held for veterans. Redwood Community Services and the Ukiah VA Clinic teaming up for tomorrow’s Veteran and Family Wellness Fair at Todd Grove Park. The event is free and starts at 10 a.m. There will be more than 2 dozen vendors at the park offering services including Project Sanctuary, Hillside Health Center, the VA Clinic and Adventist Health. They’re encouraging vets to visit all of the vendors. They also have nurses from the VA on hand doing blood pressure checks and there will be staff from the VA helping those who need it to register for care.

Illegal encampments the target of Clearlake Police. Cops clearing out some homeless people living in makeshift housing and handed out several tickets. Patrol officers and others with Code Enforcement and representatives from Lake County Child Welfare Services, Adult Services, Social Services, Employment Services and Mental Health were out this week after notice was given a week ago to encampment occupants to leave. Those who stayed were offered counseling, but 34 people got citations for illegal camping and more. They pulled an old motorhome from the area behind Tractor Supply and the Cache Creek Apartments too.

Another earthquake hits Ridgecrest. This one not as big, but still sizable. The 5.0 hit the same area where a massive 7.1 temblor hit last month followed by thousands of aftershocks. The U.S. Geological Survey reported it hit yesterday about 1:49 p.m., centered almost 20 miles north of Ridgecrest. The 7.1 happened July 5th after a 6.4 foreshock the day before. There was some damage to the Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake and the nearby neighborhoods of Trona and Ridgecrest.

Evacuations of hundreds of homes after a fast moving wildfire explodes in size. The fire outside Redding in Shasta County started yesterday, threatening thousands of homes. Cal Fire reports the fire yesterday quickly charred more than 600 acres or about a square mile driven by wind in dry grass, brush and oak trees. They reported there were at least 2,000 structures threatened, but that was an unofficial number just after the fire broke out. There were about 4,000 people at Shasta College where a shelter was quickly opened. The temperature was also hotter than 100 degrees and is expected to continue for the next few days.

A preliminary report on the small plane crash at the Oroville Airport labeled an accident. The FAA releasing their findings after the plane crashed and burned Wednesday with ten people aboard, including the two pilots. It also started a grass fire close by. The eight passengers and two pilots were rescued and firefighters attacked the fire and made sure there was no fuel leakage.

Several volunteers hit the Grindstone Ranger District to help cleanup some of the leftover debris from last summer’s Ranch Fire. The fire at the time, the largest that ever burned in Calif. history, blackening more than 410,000 acres in Mendocino, Lake, Colusa and Glenn counties. 32 volunteers cleared 40 miles of trail, put in new barriers in the Mill Valley Campground and took the old burned barriers and rebar out. They also installed 30 signs and trail markers over 196 hours. The fire had burned the whole off-highway vehicle trail system, culverts and bridges and impacted campgrounds, day use areas, trailheads and signage.

A fire breaks out at the Clearlake kennel. The fire early this morning. Lake Co News reports the call to firefighters around 2:45 a.m. finding a mobile home fully engulfed in flames and the fire was spreading to brush and the nearby kennel building, where animals were trapped. The Lake County Fire Chief reportedly reaching out for help with the animals and called Pacific Gas and Electric due to fallen power lines. The news site reports engines and water tenders were sent because of some sort of water supply issue. Firefighters were rescuing animals from the burning kennels. The fire was contained a couple hours after firefighters got there, no word on any animals so far.

Democratic presidential candidate, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont says he’s got a way to fight climate change while visiting Chico. Sanders says Paradise was a wakeup call for the whole country about the dangers of a warming planet, calling it a major crisis. Sanders toured a burned-out mobile home park in Paradise with victims of last year’s deadly fire. He says his climate change plan would be for ten years, calling it a “nationwide mobilization centered on equity and humanity”. He also says it would create 20 million new jobs due to the use of renewable energy.

The California Attorney General has announced working with a dozen 12 telecommunications companies to finally ban robocalls. The Department of Justice reports all 50 states and the District of Columbia working with AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, T-Mobile, Comcast, U.S. Cellular, Bandwidth, CenturyLink, Charter, Consolidated, Frontier, and Windstream. Atty. General Becerra reports they will have free call blocking and labeling to stop the robocalls before they start, no illegal spoofing of phone numbers, watching network traffic to monitor patterns and investigate suspicious calls and calling patterns, plus a whole lot more.

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The fire outside Redding holding at 600 acres with double the containment reported earlier. Fire crews holding the lines overnight with the Mountain Fire at 40% containment. The fire is apparently burning in the same area where last summer’s Carr Fire burned. The fire started yesterday mid morning in Bella Vista spreading fast in hot, dry conditions thru dense, brushy terrain. The fire reportedly doubled its size in less than an hour, threatening 1,100 homes and burning one. Almost 4,000 residents have been evacuated. Shasta College was also evacuated and an emergency shelter that was being held there was moved to a local church in Redding. Pacific Gas & Electric as promised cut power. More than 1,200 customers lost power after Cal Fire requested the public power safety shutoff.

A fire burns structures at the Clearlake Kennel. Lake Co News reports the fire started overnight near 3 AM. Firefighters got to the scene finding a mobile home totally in flames and the fire spreading to wildland and the nearby kennel building, where animals were trapped. The Lake County Fire Chief had put out a call for help with the animals from the city of Clearlake or the county of Lake and to Pacific Gas and Electric to tend to fallen power lines. The fire nearly contained less than an hour after firefighters got there and out an hour and a half later. They were mopping up by 5 AM. No word on any reports of animals being injured… or worse.

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A man from Lakeport charged with the stabbing death of his father and the attempted murder of his mom and more in court for a review hearing and sent to a state hospital for mental health treatment. 50 year old Steven Michael Fredericks set to be admitted in two weeks, possibly into Atascadero State Hospital in San Luis Obispo County.  It comes after his lawyer said he didn’t think Fredericks was competent to stand trial, so the court appointed doctors to evaluate him. The report was filed with the court in June and received into evidence and the jury trial was waived. The court found Fredericks to indeed be incompetent to stand trial so the criminal proceedings against him are suspended until he can be restored to mental competency. His dad was killed last March.

The Mountain Fire outside Redding has destroyed three homes and four outbuildings. The fire in the footprint of the Carr Fire last year, has burned 600 acres. The fire’s 40% contained and holding, but windy weather had been forecast for the area this afternoon. Two firefighters have also been treated for minor injuries after the fire started yesterday. 1,100 homes were threatened and 3,900 people evacuated. 200 of those homes are still under mandatory evacuation orders.

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10 people in a plane crash at the Oroville Airport. The small plane crashed at the end of the runway as it tried taking off then burst into flames and ignited nearby grass. The crash yesterday morning with eight passengers and two pilots. Firefighters hustled everyone out of the plane and attacked the flames. The grass fire put out fast, and no injuries of those aboard have been reported. The plane was saturated with water. The CHP on scene, closed part of Highway 162 close by in case there was a fuel spill.  The FAA, as standard procedure, will investigate.

The Lake County Chamber of Commerce getting ahead of next year, paying for the annual fireworks show in Library Park in Lakeport. The CEO of the Chamber presented a check of just over $5,600 to the Lakeport Mayor Tim Barnes for the yearly fireworks show. The Chamber’s cash also made possible with the help of Bruno’s Shop Smart. The Mayor commenting that the fireworks this year were amazing. The City Manager also added that the Lakeport Main Street Association also kicked in $1,000 for the fireworks show.

Lake County looks to be joining a consortium interested in buying the Potter Valley Project from PG&E. The Record Bee reports the Board of Supervisors approved a revised resolution this week to join the group after PG&E decided to abandon the water diversion and electric power project. The project includes the Scott Dam which forms Lake Pillsbury. Lake County leaders want the Scott Dam to stay in place which could dry up Lake Pillsbury. The consortium sending a notice of intent to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for a feasibility study to see if the group can relicense the project. Some members in Lake County also want to focus more on habitat restoration.

Teachers in Calif. working for charter schools don’t necessarily need a background check and other requirements like public schools do, but that could change under a bill currently in the state Senate. The state Dept. of Education says there are more than 1,100 teachers at charter schools without any sort of credential or permit, including a Certificate of Clearance which teachers get after being fingerprinted and go thru a background check. Assembly Bill 1505 would mean stricter guidelines at charter schools, but it also defines core classes. If the bill passes, it wouldn’t go into effect until next year for new teachers at charter schools.

A man looking to take a picture with his brother’s duplicate dog tags, loses the tags, but a good Samaritan jumps in. The Record Bee reports Michael Essex had his photo arrangement laid out to memorialize his brother killed in action 7 years ago to that day August 16th. The picture was to include Clear Lake and Mt. Konocti in the background, but a fishing pole apparently jostled the tags into the lake. Then someone saw his post on Facebook and the owners of Bullfrog Underwater Services offered their help, jumped into the lake and plucked the tags back out.

Anyone who wants a fire extinguisher can get one for free. The Lake County Wine Alliance giving away 500 extinguishers to residents of Lake County. Lake Co News reports Ukiah Oxygen has donated 350 ABC chemical and 150 2.5 gallon stainless steel water-filled extinguishers at a discount, then the Wine Alliance paid for that. There was an event Saturday where several community members got a fire extinguisher. The Kelseyville Fire Protection District is distributing the rest thru today. They will also show those who take them, how to handle the extinguishers.

Unemployment stays the same in Calif, tying a record low in July. Lake Co News reports the jobless rate in Lake County was slightly up though. The California Employment Development Department’s data shows the state tied a record low at 4.1 percent last month, the same as first set in July until December of 2018. In Lake County the rate went up to 5.1 percent from 4.9 percent in June, still below last year’s 5.2 percent. Nearly 3.3 million jobs have been added in the state since February 2010. Lake County was 35th in the state for July, Mendocino at a very low 4 percent, Napa even lower at 3 percent, tied with Sonoma County.

A bit of a scare in Willits as a gas main break leads to an evacuation of residents. It happened mid-morning yesterday when a construction crew near Pine and Spruce streets hit a gas main. Police sent an alert right away saying there was a one block radius evacuation, but then they quickly sent another alert, extending it to two blocks. They warned the public to steer clear of the area as PG&E made their way to the scene to shut off the gas. Around an hour later, there was an official statement put out by police on their Facebook page to alert community members. A local elementary school was not evacuated, but they were told to “shelter in place”. Soon after the original leak, about 2 hours later, PG&E turned off the gas and the situation ended, those evacuated allowed to return home.

Several spot fires break out in Windsor and the 101 has to be closed down during rush hour traffic. The CHP says there were seven small vegetation fires all breaking out around 5:30 p.m. on the southbound side of the highway and a car crash nearby really snarled traffic. It was also on a day the National Weather Service said there would be critical fire conditions because of hot, dry, windy weather. The car crash was a big rig that crashed into a car, something firefighters say may have been caused by the fires. Two minor injuries were reported, but nobody had to go to the hospital.  One large fire threatened a local business which had to close down. The fires were out soon after they started.

Another employee agreement is reached by the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors. This time with the Mendocino County Public Attorneys’ Association. Just a few days ago we noted another group of county employees signed a three year deal. The board voted unanimously to approve the agreement with attorneys covering July 1st through June 30th of 2022. This agreement for a 3 percent Cost of Living Adjustment and a wage market adjustment of almost 11 percent. It means in the second and third year of the contract, the lawyers will get 3 percent Cost Of Living Adjustment and a market adjustment of about 8 percent.  Same arguments made by the Public Attorneys’ Association as the County Employees, being under valued compared to nearby communities.

Info released by the Drug Enforcement Agency and Centers for Disease Control shows almost 40 million doses of opioids prescribed to folks in Mendocino County over a 6 year period. The Washington Post published the release of the information last month, and that was published by other publications too, including the Advocate-News and Mendocino Beacon. Mendocino had a rate of 63 pills per person a year, but Lake County was at 97. Humboldt County at 76 pills per person a year and Sonoma County was 39. In Mendocino County, 38 people reportedly died from opioid overdoses between 2006-2012

Those who survived the Redwood Complex Fire part of the massive October 2017 firestorm, may be able to receive more aid. The long-term fire recovery team in Mendocino County, Mendocino-ROC, for Rebuilding our Community looking for survivors of the fire as we get closer to the two year anniversary, to get some of their remaining grants and more. They’ve already distributed more than $3.5 million dollars to residents in Mendocino County including immediate relief after the fires and long term needs, like new homes for victims of the Redwood Complex and Mendocino Complex fires from last year. The deadline to apply is October 31st 

To find out what grants you may be eligible for, please call or text 621-8817 to make an appointment or visit the Redwood Resource Room at the Ukiah Valley Conference Center during drop-in hours Monday-Thursday 10am-2pm. You can also email mendorecovery@gmail.com

Some Camp Fire survivors using repurposed wood burned in the fire for new homes. Burned pine trees being used by residents with the help of a local, portable community sawmill run by a nonprofit, From the Ground Up Farms, Inc. The community of Concow hit hard by the fire last year. Several families reportedly lining up to use the sawmill to rebuild before winter. They also say they want to utilize felled trees which were killed by the fire or are dying now.  About 1,000 people lived in Concow before the deadly fire. And eight out of the 86 who died were in Concow.

A couple of new members appointed to the Ukiah Unified School District Board of Trustees after those who were in the seats moved out of the area. Zoey Fernandez appointed for Trustee Area Central, and José Díaz for Trustee Area North. José’s also on the UUSD District Advisory Committee. He says he wanted to be involved to support teachers and school staff who he says are the strength of the district. Fernandez is a Program Specialist for Mendocino County helping after the 2017 Redwood Complex Fire and she volunteers at one of her kids schools in Ukiah Unified. The two openings were announced in June and those who were interested in the spots were invited to interview.

 

An agreement reached for another three years between the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors and county union workers. Mendocino County SEIU Local 1021 agreeing to the new deal which the Daily Journal reports includes higher pay and health benefits. The two sides had been negotiating after the union held informational pickets last month on their lunch breaks. They were trying to get notice about their pay compared to those in comparable counties across the state. The Board of Supervisors had a negotiating team work with the union. The pay for union workers is now reportedly closer to other counties of comparable size. The board though says they’ve set aside money for the contract the first year but have to figure out how to pay for the second and third years.

A couple of cars and a cow collide in Mendocino County. The Ukiah Valley Fire Authority on the scene Monday night after the accident about five miles south of Talmage on Old River Road. A Honda Pilot hit the cow, then plowed into a Toyota pickup truck. There were no injuries reported.

Hundreds of thousands of state money reportedly misspent by a state agricultural association. The state auditor’s office reports staff members from one of the state’s 54 district agricultural associations were guilty of “gross mismanagement” of the district. The actual association has not been named, they generally oversee local fairs and exhibitions to show off California’s agricultural resources and products. Another state department charged with overseeing the ag. association didn’t find the violations for years. The CEO of the association and the maintenance supervisor reportedly let workers drink booze on the job and drive state-owned vehicles for personal use and use credit cards without receipts.

State regulators taking a look after residents in California are complaining they’re losing their homeowner’s insurance in fire prone areas. More than 340,000 rural homeowners have lost their insurance over four years. The Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara’s staff released the numbers this week showing non-renewals were up 6 percent over last year. Especially the areas affected by the 2015 and 2017 fires, those homeowners lost their insurance, 10 percent more than last year. One of the worst areas was in Nevada County, where they had a 38 percent jump from the year before. The numbers don’t include last year’s Camp Fire because some of the policies have not expired yet.

A new law in Calif. so folks have backup batteries for their garage door openers. It comes after some of the October 2017 fires and the Camp Fire last year.  Back in the 1990s, there was a rule where garage door openers had to have sensors. Now we take it further with a Senate Bill requiring all newly installed openers have battery backups for power.

The California’s teacher pension fund getting into politics, looking to join a lawsuit to change Facebook’s corporate governance practices. The California State Teachers’ Retirement System looking to join the lawsuit against Facebook’s leadership along with the Fireman’s Retirement System of St. Louis and retail investor Karen Sbriglio after it was revealed the political consulting company Cambridge Analytica got ahold of folks personal information without their knowledge, then used it for political purposes. The pension fund says they think weak corporate governance practices were partly to blame for the scandal that hurt Facebook’s stock price.

The governor recently calling on all citizens to be prepared in the case of an emergency. And so the state Assembly takes it a step further after 30 federally declared disasters in 2017 and 17 more in 2018. This year we’ve had a mild fire season so far, but still 51,000 acres have burned. There’s also been several earthquakes this year, including a couple of doozies leading to a state of emergency in Kern and San Bernardino counties. Assembly Bill 651 calling for air ambulances to be at the ready and for patients not to be charged for medical transport in the case of a state of emergency.

The Mendocino County Sheriff’s office on the lookout for a woman they say failed to appear in court for vandalism. In their weekly Warrant Wednesday post, the agency says they’re looking for 30 year old Amber Deanne King on a $10,000 warrant. She’s described as being 5′ 06″, 160 lbs. with brown hair and hazel eyes. She was last seen they say in Fort Bragg. Sheriff’s office asking anyone who may know where King is to call the department.

The new Chairman of the Hoopa Tribe in Humboldt County is sworn in and fires the police chief and a sergeant. Chairman Byron Nelson Jr. reportedly signing letters to fire the  Police Chief Dana Norton and Sergeant Michael Hass, a former Humboldt County Sheriff’s deputy hired in June. Norton had only been the police chief a short time, reportedly fired last week on the final day of his 18 month probationary period. Norton reportedly in trouble last month for insubordination. Norton telling a local newspaper he thinks he was fired because of corrupt political promises. An interim police chief was hired in the meantime.

Less students getting vaccinated in Butte County. The State Dept. of Public Health reporting on the numbers at both public and charter schools which show they are below recommended rates. The agency looks for a rate of 95% or higher in immunized students. And state law looks for public school kids to be vaccinated against 10 major communicable diseases unless they have an exemption. The rate went down as Butte County had the highest rate of measles in the state last year.  The schools apparently can’t stop students who don’t get their shots to enroll, but the Dept. of Public Health makes the numbers public at their website shotsforschools.org

After cops go after a stolen car near Hopland, a chase… Ukiah Police say they got a call from a woman who says her home was burglarized and her car stolen. Police saw the vehicle on the 101 and chased, but the driver took off past Hopland. They say one of the passengers in the car pulled the emergency brake as the car was in motion, so they spun out near the Green Bridge over the Russian River. The Daily Journal reports 2 women surrendered and two men took off into dense brush. The men have not been found, but the women were released after police find they were not involved in the burglary or car theft. They’re asking anyone who may know anything to call police.

Slow fire season so far. Cal Fire says the acreage burned this year is down 90% when you look at the average of the last five years. There have been 38 square miles of fires this year, down from an average of about 416 square miles in the same period the past five years. At this time last year, the Mendocino Complex fire was burning. And more than 970 square miles burned. Fires this year are down 15%. It only covers fires not on federal land, but the report also notes, typically the worst fires in Calif. have been in autumn.

The Ghost Ship trial is still going. The jury has had the case a few weeks with no determination on guilt for the two men accused in the deaths of 36 people at a party at the Oakland warehouse 2 ½  years ago. The judge has also dismissed three jurors and told the newly formed jury to start all over with alternates. The three month trial of Derick Almena and Max Harris now also includes a gag order for the lawyers on both sides, so they don’t speak to reporters.  The fire broke out in the warehouse, turned artist space that prosecutors say was packed with musical instruments, furniture and flammable debris with only two exits and no smoke detectors, fire alarms or sprinklers. Almena and Harris each face as much as 39 years in prison if convicted.

An apartment house is being proposed next to the homeless shelter on South State Street. The Daily Journal reports Redwood Community Services is looking to put up 30 single-occupancy apartments. The community development director told the Ukiah Planning Commission at their last meeting they’ve had several applications including two for housing. One of those for transitional, supportive housing across from the shelter, and another for eight single-family homes on West Gobbi Street. The director says they’ve also had some applications to put in Cannabis manufacturing and cultivation and retail outlets in the area.

Cannabis business is booming in Humboldt County. Manufacturing is a big business in Eureka and Arcata. The director of community development in Arcata says the cannabis industry is bringing jobs to the area. There are more than 30 marijuana businesses up and running in the city. In Eureka there are 60, with more than half in manufacturing and distribution. In Eureka too, there’s been between 300 and 600 jobs added in the city in the cannabis industry alone.  The city’s also both say the cannabis businesses are taking over and fixing old, dilapidated parts of the cities.

The “1,000 Hands to Protect Lake County Homes” project a success. Lake Co News reports Supervisor Rob Brown’s idea came to fruition last Saturday morning, the same weekend the Moose Fire that had burned nearby was declared 100% contained. The work to clear brush and debris along a six-mile stretch of Soda Bay Road from the Clear Lake Riviera to Soda Bay. Brown says he organized the event to protect the Soda Bay corridor against roadside fires. Brown was campaigning to get 500 volunteers, and ended up with 300. He says they got everything done he wanted to and finished early.

A suspected DUI driver on the run in Redding leads cops on a high speed chase. Police and the Shasta County sheriff’s dept chasing the driver and one passenger after they hit speeds of up to 100 mph before stopping because they hit spike strips. The driver id’d as Paul Cruz of Redding hit the strips after leading a chase for 35 miles. The car reported stolen the end of July in Redding. Cruz and his passenger Felicia Gensaw arrested early yesterday morning. Cruz on probation for drug crimes faces DUI, violation of probation and possession of a stolen vehicle charges. His passenger, Gensaw, for suspicion of possession of stolen property and of a substance which is believed to be methamphetamine.

Lake County needs a new CEO for the Fair. The current CEO, Courtny Conkle has accepted a job as manager of the Wyoming State Fair after nearly two years in Lake County. She will oversee the fair that runs Labor Day weekend, then start her new job in Wyoming Sept. 23rd. Apparently she grew up in the industry with her family working at fairs her whole life. Her dad owns Conkle’s Concessions. She’s worked here locally, at the Sonoma County Fair in Santa Rosa and the Sonoma-Marin Fair in Petaluma. She says her new position in Wyoming is a governor-appointed position. If you’re interested in taking over the Lake County Fair next year, applications are available on the fair Web site or at the office on Martin St. For more information, call the fair office at 707-263-6181.

Kelseyville’s school board is considering what to do with the old Kelsey Creek Schoolhouse at their next meeting. The Board of Trustees is taking up the matter at the meeting tonight, reviewing a couple of proposals for the schoolhouse. The old building would have to be donated to a nonprofit after an agreement by the board in April. In May they approved a request for proposals for nonprofits with a 60 day proposal submission period. That ended July 31st. Lake Co News reports the two proposals they received came from the Lake County Historical Society and the Lucerne Area Revitalization Association. One of the proposals to move the old building and the other to keep it where it is, renovate it and use it for events.

A vote coming on a proposed tobacco use prohibition ordinance in Clearlake. The proposal adds on to the places where smoking would be prohibited in the city. Right now there’s no smoking in any park, playground or recreation center. The new law would also add no puffing near bus stops, ATMs, at public events, near public buildings and several other businesses including bars and restaurants. There are penalties proposed for owners of businesses who don’t abide. There would also be no ashtrays allowed at the locations. And signs would have to go up saying there’s a smoking ban in place. It includes marijuana smoking, vaping and cigarettes. The meeting tonight at 6, then if approved, the ordinance would be put up for a final vote by the council on Sep. 12th.

An Emergency Room from Adventist Health may be coming to Paradise. But it’s up to the state Legislature. There’s a bill in the Assembly now that would allow the Feather River Hospital to have free-standing emergency rooms. It comes after the Camp Fire which closed down the hospital because of damage. It was the only acute care hospital and the largest employer in Paradise. Other communities also counted on the hospital for care with many residents covered by Medicare or Medicaid with limited access to transportation. Right now it’s not authorized anywhere in Calif. to have free standing Emergency Rooms. The Feather River Health Center is opened again, but there are limited services there because it’s just a clinic, so the closest emergency room is in Chico. The bill has passed several committees and gets a 3rd reading today by the Assembly.

More than a billion dollars allocated by the state Transportation Commission for more than 130 highway projects across the state. 133 State Highway Operation and Protection Program, or SHOPP, projects. The Caltrans director says they’ve been making progress to strengthen the transportation system in the state after Senate Bill 1 passed in 2017, the Road Repair and Accountability Act. The money being used on a backlog of projects, 880 lane miles, 30 bridges, 474 congestion reducing devices, and the repair of 83 culverts to prevent flooding on highways. It includes the 101 in Mendocino County and also Route 1 in Mendocino County.

The Governor has signed a controversial police deadly use of force bill into law after the shooting of an unarmed black man in Sacramento last year. Governor Newsom was surrounded by a number of lawmakers, family members of those who had a relative die in a police shooting and supporters of the legislation as he signed the bill yesterday. The Assembly Bill calls for cops to try first with words instead of weapons to de-escalate a situation. The new law won’t go into effect until next January 1st and states, police can only use deadly force if “necessary in defense of human life.” Right now cops are allowed to shoot if they find it “reasonable.” The new law also says prosecutors should consider police officers’ actions leading to the shooting as they decide if deadly force was justified.

A woman in Willits has been arrested for trespassing. Mendocino deputies sent to a suspicious female in a parked SUV, but when they arrived, they didn’t see her. Then later they were summoned to the same property again, this time the woman, reported to be lying face down in a field. When they arrived, they found her, back in the driver’s seat of the SUV and identified her as Jennifer Risch who they say drove off as they got there. They followed and tried stopping her, but she kept going even when they flipped on their siren and emergency lights, near where pedestrians were walking and says she drove into the oncoming traffic lane. She went off the road and hit a utility pole, splitting it in half, got out and then they say she looked like she was doing yoga. They finally got her and took her to a hospital. And after being medically cleared she was booked on $35,000.00 bail.

A woman in Redwood Valley’s been arrested after reports of a domestic violence incident. Deputies say when they got there, they found a 58 year old man who said he was in a relationship with Terressa Depree on and off for approximately four years, but on that day, they got into an argument over ownership of a can of coffee.  During that time, she started pushing him around, trying to toss him down a flight of stairs, and bit him.  She was arrested for Felony Domestic Violence Battery and held on $25,000.00 bail.

Not looking good for Yokayo Bowling Center. The owner says they’re closing for good September 14th, even if there’s a last minute reprieve like they got last year. Mike Schultz tells the Daily Journal he can’t do a month to month lease anymore because he makes most money off of bowling leagues which don’t operate month to month, saying they’d have to go until at least May of next year. He goes on to say he got notice he has to vacate the premises by the end of Sept. He says he even offered to buy the building, but he was turned down.

Hemp’s a growing industry in Lake County. The Board of Supervisors to consider an agreement for the county to be paid by the State to register hemp growers and for that, enforce hemp regulations. A memo to the board by the county agricultural commissioner says the agreement with the Dept. of Food and Agriculture means $2,000 back to the county for the registrations. So far there are 33 hemp registrants in the county. The Ag. office will also get money back to train staff, for public outreach and enforcement against growers who don’t follow the rules, related equipment, vehicle and bookkeeping costs.

A shortage of doctors in Calif. The state facing a shortage, specifically, of primary care physicians, especially in rural areas and low-income inner city areas. A new study by Healthforce Center at UC San Francisco says the shortage could impact millions of people within ten years. Apparently adding to that is a third of the doctors in Calif are over 55 and may retire soon. Some studies show Calif. may need to find up to 10,000 primary care clinicians, which includes nurse practitioners and physician assistants.

Lake County Board of Supervisors taking up the Potter Valley Project at their next meeting. The Board to decide if they should be involved in the group purchasing the project from PG&E. The group to look into the water supply and species concerns in the Eel River and the Upper Russian River. The others in the consortium, the Sonoma County Water Agency, the Mendocino Inland Water and Power Commission, California Trout, Inc., and Humboldt County. The entities already entered a project planning agreement and Lake County had previously agreed to be part of it.

A major street paving project considered in Lakeport. The City Council will decide who to award the project to. The Public Works Director reportedly going to ask the council to award the South Main Street Pavement Rehabilitation Project to their lowest bidder for about 356,000. They would repair about 815 feet of South Main Street, including traffic control, cold planing, full-depth reclamation cement, paving and pavement markings. The council will first meet to discuss some litigation tomorrow night before the regular meeting.

An opening has been announced on the Mendocino-Lake Community College District Board of Trustees. Trustee Area No. 7 which includes Kelseyville and the surrounding areas in southwest Lake County is vacant. The board oversees the performance of the Mendocino-Lake Community College District. If you’re interested, you must be at least 18 years old, live in the District and be a registered voter. You can get more info at www.mendocino.edu applications have to be in by August 29th.

A missing hiker from Northern Calif missing in the Trinity Alps has been found dead. EMT Daniel Komins found yesterday morning. The Trinity County Sheriff’s Office reports a helicopter spotted his backpack off a trail near Mirror Lake. His body found nearby.  They say at first look it seems he may have fallen in the steep and rocky terrain. He was missing since August 14th when his girlfriend reported he had not come home. He was described as an experienced hiker who went out alone on a five day trip  about 75 miles northwest of Redding.

Calif. named as one of more than a dozen states with 120 cases of lung disease or injury they say could be linked to vaping. A CNN survey of state health departments finds 15 confirmed cases in Wisconsin, the state with the most cases… and another 15 they’re investigating. Illinois has 10 confirmed and 12 more cases being investigated and California has 19 being investigated. In New York, their State Department of Health says they’re “actively investigating” 11 cases. Indiana and New Jersey both reported nine cases. A total of 42 states and Washington, DC answered CNN for the survey.

The Moose Fire has been 100% contained officially. Cal Fire out with a statement yesterday they’ve totally surrounded the fire near Hopland after 225 acres burned. Three firefighters had minor injuries, but no structures were damaged or destroyed.  The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Another person who died in the Camp Fire has been identified. The Butte County Sheriff’s office reported 68 year old Judith Sipher of Paradise was positively identified which brings the number of those who’ve been positively id’d to 81. The remains of three people found after the deadliest fire in Calif. history were tentatively identified but have not yet been publicly released by the sheriff’s office. Two of the 86 victims are still not known. The fire last November destroyed the town of Paradise, burning almost 15,000 homes in Paradise and nearby towns.

A man from Trinity County has been reported missing after moving out of his permanent residence. Deputies on the lookout for 73 year old William Elliot who has not been seen or heard from since August 5th. He was officially reported missing on the 11th. He apparently no longer has a permanent address in the county and is believed to have moved several months ago to Lewiston. Deputies say he had been kicked out of his house and told others he was planning to live in his car with his cat. They have not reported any foul play.

A man from Marysville has been arrested in connection to the stabbing death of his mother. Police say Otoniel Carranza turned himself in Friday afternoon saying he attacked his 37 year old mom in their apartment. They went to the home, finding the woman with multiple stab wounds. She was pronounced dead at the scene. No word on a motive. The State Department of Justice is helping detectives work the case. The man reportedly booked into the Yuba County Jail on suspicion of murder and held on $1 million bail.

A man reportedly fishing with friends on Lake Shasta has drowned. The incident near Packers Bay over the weekend. The Shasta County Sheriff’s Office reports the man went into the water to cool off after he and some friends ran out of gas on their fishing boat. Three other men with the man, who’s name has not been released. They were apparently floating on the boat after running out of gas, none had on life jackets. The friends say they saw him struggling to swim and tried to help and threw a life jacket and ropes for him, but he went under. They called 911 and several local law enforcement agencies came out with divers who couldn’t find him.

A high school teacher in Ukiah who was accused of misconduct for hugging a former student in a closet on school grounds is back at work after his case is closed. The Mendocino County District Attorney’s Office reports teacher Benjamin O’Neill pleaded “no contest” to a misdemeanor for hugging a 17-year-old girl in a storage room. He was arrested the year after it happened when someone else reported it to police. O’Neill had been charged with “annoying a child under… 18” and was put on administrative leave, then in June pleaded no contest to misdemeanor battery instead. He got three years probation and 50 hours of community service and has to have counseling. He also had his teaching credential reinstated.

Some improvements coming to Lake Mendocino courtesy of the Army Corps of Engineers. The Corp working on the south side of the lake for erosion improvements at the Joe Riley Day Use Area this weekend. They’ve already completed some road grading and will put down some base-rock before winter rains. The National Guard is helping with the work which is supposed to be done this weekend. The road they’re all working on has not been used by the Corp in the winter wet season because of erosion and washout which should no longer be an issue.

A parent at Lakeport schools wants three board members tossed so he’s circulating a petition to make it happen. The Record Bee reports Joe Szupello served Jennifer Hanson, Carly Alvord and Dan Buffalo with notice at their meeting this week after he was able to get the 10 required signatures to get the ball rolling. The trio have a week to respond. Two thirds of Lakeport’s voters will have to sign the petition for it to move to a recall. The petition stating they’re looking to “restore accountability, transparency and trust” putting students above, “self-serving board members.” On another note the Natural High building looks to be noted as surplus property and school enrollment was up by about ten students.

A lifelong resident of Kelseyville says she’s running for the Board of Supervisors, District 5 seat. Lily Woll announced her candidacy Monday night. The district serves Kelseyville, Riviera, Buckingham, Cobb and Loch Lomond and has been Rob Brown’s for almost two decades, but he says he won’t run again. Woll has a degree in Spanish and International Studies, served in the Peace Corps and worked for the Lake County Department of Social Services as a bilingual eligibility worker and a family advocate for Lake County Tribal Health. She also has a couple of Masters Degrees, in Spanish and in Education.

It’s back to work for striking teachers in Forestville. The teachers return today after agreeing to a new three year contract last night after a four day strike. Teachers at Forestville School & Academy started the strike the first day of school. Kids were also kept out of school as a show of solidarity. The school posted on their Facebook page that a deal was reached. It came after only 140 of 310 enrolled students showed up for the first day of classes and some parents were also on the picket line. The new deal includes 5% pay raises the first two years, increased health insurance premium contributions and a 3% raise the third year, which had been the sticking point.

The Lake County Grand Jury says the Lake Evacuation & Animal Protection service needs more money, more telephones and better online presence. The Record Bee reports on the new report on the program that organizes moving animals during emergencies, then caring for them after emergency evacuations in Lake County. It’s activated by the Sheriff as he sees fit. But the grand jury states there are not enough phone lines to handle the amount of calls they get during an active evacuation. The report also urging pet owners to be more prepared in a disaster. The jury also recommending a Facebook page for animal owners to coordinate transports and to be part of the planning of PG&E power shutoffs.

Those impacted by wildfires caused by PG&E equipment can start applying for urgent help. As we reported earlier this week, there’s $125 million dollars for survivors of the 2017 and 2018 fires, including the Camp Fire and Tubbs Fire. There are applications available now for households to get up to $5,000 ea. All you have to do is visit their website to start the process or make a phone call.  It’s not part of the utility company’s bankruptcy, but if you do get money this way, it will be subtracted from future claims in the bankruptcy case. The deadline to submit a claim for emergency funds is Nov. 15th.

A man from Nice has been arrested and misses his arraignment because he’s in the hospital. Police say Grant Donald Smith was taken to UC Davis Hospital after he was charged with negligent discharge of a firearm and resisting an executive officer. It comes after the man was seen yelling at his neighbors and shooting a gun. Clearlake Police and California Highway Patrol officers say they heard gunshots coming from the guy’s house and ordered him outside then he told them to come get him and threatened to kill everyone. A SWAT team diffused the situation, arrested him and held him for $500,000 bail with an active bench warrant.

An EMT officer out hiking in the Canyon Creek area of Trinity County is reported missing. Kym Kemp reporting Daniel Komins of Blue Lake hasn’t been heard from since last Sunday. He was apparently out at Upper Canyon Creek Lake and was supposed to be back this past Wednesday. His girlfriend says he went camping at Lower Lake then was at Thompson Peak with three other hikers. The girlfriend got a message from Komins gps device with his coordinates later that day, from Upper Lake.  She says he was supposed to go next to Sapphire Lake, but she never heard back and reported him missing. His car was found by deputies at the trailhead and a team went out searching. A chopper joined the search yesterday.

Multiple fires start in Shasta County being called the Cottage Fire. Cal Fire in Shasta reports one fire broke out after lunch time yesterday east of Anderson and southeast of Redding and evacuations were ordered an hour later. It’s quickly noted as a complex of fires on twitter with the Cal Fire area division tweeting two 30 acre fires and one five acre fire with structures threatened. Then later they reported one of those blew up to 50 acres and two others merged into one 60 acre fire. There were also road closures announced for residents, but hours later the roads open and the evacuations are lifted. The fire is now reported at 133 acres and 30% contained. The Moose Fire in Mendocino County has had no forward movement in several days, sitting at 225 acres and now 85% contained.

A bill making its way thru the legislature calls on school districts in the state to update records showing student names with their genders. They say it’s to help transgender graduates or grads identifying as having no gender. Assemblyman David Chiu of San Francisco authored the bill which he says it can negatively impact transgender and nonbinary Californians as they apply for jobs or school. Right now state law protects transgender students but the Assemblyman says some schools have been reluctant to issue new diplomas to grads who transitioned or came out as transgender or nonbinary after they left school. The bill so far passed the Senate and Assembly, but Republican lawmakers withheld their votes.

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A ballot measure meant to raise property taxes on certain businesses next year is no longer feasible as written. The sponsors of the 2020 measure to raise taxes on factories, stores, warehouses, office buildings and other commercial real estate decided not to proceed as it was written and has a new draft instead. The improvement to help small businesses. For years unions and others have been trying to repeal or revise Proposition 13 which was voted in in 1978. The “Schools and Communities First” measure would keep certain provisions of Proposition 13’s tax limits for agricultural and residential properties, but require commercial properties to be upgraded for tax purposes. Those against the initiative say it’s the first step in repealing Proposition 13’s limits on all property.

The price of land in Calif with single family homes up, but Calif. was behind a couple of other states. A new report from the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard showed Nevada and Colorado were on top of California in land values per acre. The report looking at the state of the country’s housing market as a whole showing there were more new households every year between 2012 and 017, but construction was weak, so the price was still too much for too many. Land prices were up 158 percent in Nevada, 96 percent in Colorado, and 88 percent in California.

 

 

 

 

A man on parole, who’s a known gang member’s arrested in Lakeport for having a gun.  Police arrest 25 year old Christian Estrella last night after a couple cops on routine patrol saw the guy who they knew was on active state parole and a gang member. They approached and searched his car, finding a loaded 9 millimeter pistol in the center console of his car. The man was then placed under arrest on several charges including being a prohibited person in possession of a firearm, having a concealed firearm in a vehicle, possession of a firearm by persons with prior weapons charge and a parole hold.  He was being held without bail due to his long history of gang crimes, weapon charges, assault and robbery.

A final contract’s been awarded by the Ukiah City Council to complete the final stretch of the Rail Trail. The last phase to lengthen the pavement area and a bridge crossing over Orrs Creek. The lowest bid at just under 1.4 million to a new construction company. The lighting on the path has been an issue for a couple district supervisors. The project’s covered by some grants.

Money being granted for emergency preparedness in Lake and Mendocino counties. North Coast Opportunities granting the two counties with more than half a million dollars each for their Emergency Preparedness in Communities program, or EPIC, for culturally and linguistically competent emergency preparedness trainings, assistance or solutions. The grants from $1,000 to $25,000 will be distributed by each county with applications available this fall. All groups, nonprofits or not, can apply for the grants. The NCO Executive Director says she hopes to see various ideas for disaster preparedness and education to help vulnerable populations at risk from a disaster.

A man from McKinleyville arrested back in 2016 after a fatal DUI crash has been sent to prison. The crash in December of 2016 killed a 16 year old girl who was walking along Central Ave in McKinleyville. James Merrick pleaded guilty to a count of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated last month. There was also a special allegation of fleeing the scene. When his blood alcohol level was measured, it came back at more than twice the legal limit. He was also on probation for a previous DUI conviction from 2015 at the time he crashed into the teen. He got fifteen years as part of a plea agreement with no credit for the five years he already served.

A bill previously veto’d by former Gov. Jerry Brown to start middle and high school times later is being brought back to life by its author, Senator Anthony Portantino of the San Fernando Valley. Portanino has agreed to some amendments to his bill, so middle schools start at 8 a.m. and high school start at 8:30 a.m. so individual school districts have more bus schedule flexibility. Rural districts would be exempt due to bus schedule challenges. And the start times would not include “zero periods” or optional courses offered before a regular school day starts. The bill passed the Senate in May and the Assembly Education Committee in July and headed to the Assembly Appropriations Committee yesterday for discussion.

A man in Clearlake charged with several crimes including possessing a gun, robbery and vandalism has pleaded not guilty. Shawn Fox also charged with resisting arrest, violating probation and drug charges after his arrest in April. Police say they contacted Fox while doing a civil standby, keeping the peace during an incident where they saw a gun handle sticking out of Fox’s pant pocket and since he’s a convicted felon, he wasn’t supposed to have a gun. He was arrested, but reportedly resisted and tried to reach for the gun but he was stopped and booked in jail for being a felon in possession of a concealed firearm and ammunition, and felony resistance of a peace officer.

A man caught in the middle of a burglary in Lakeport has been arrested. Police say 22 year old Damon Monthei was busted during a burglary in progress at the former Natural High School building. A witness calling police to say they saw a man break into the building, then leave the scene in a white Ford F-150 pickup truck. The responding officer heard banging noises, found an open door and saw a man there set something down. That was found to be a crowbar, and there was a second one in his pants pocket. He admitted to police he took some items from the building. He was charged with vandalism and first degree burglary, with bail set at $50,000.

A doctor from Santa Rosa has been arrested after five of his patients died from opioid or narcotics abuse. The California Attorney General Xavier Becerra reported the arrest and arraignment of Dr. Thomas Keller who he says overprescribed dangerous levels of drugs to the patients for pain relief. The drugs included Vicodin, oxycodone, OxyContin, Percocet and morphine. Becerra says it was at levels outside accepted medical practice. He now faces several charges including second-degree murder and elder abuse for the five patients deaths. Becerra says the opioid epidemic is destroying communities so his office will continue to prosecute fairly and diligently anyone whose alleged to have abused the state healthcare system and over-prescribe drugs at the expense of their patients.

The Moose Fire’s at 225 acres and holding, but another fire breaks out in Colusa County. Firefighters at the ready, corralling the Moose Fire at 75% containment now. No word on how the fire on Moose and McNab Ranch Roads near Hopland started. No more structures are said to be in danger. We have reports that a couple more firefighters were injured though, so that makes 3. They are all minor injuries. In Colusa County, the Spring fire was contained. That fire started northeast of Wilbur Springs and burned 20 acres, it was surrounded yesterday, the same day it started, no damage to any structures. That one started by a lawnmower blade hitting a rock.

The judge in PG&E’s bankruptcy case responding to arguments in the case says compensation for fire victims will be determined by the public’s confidence. The judge saying it’ll be a key factor in his decision if he’ll allow a civil trial to determine the company’s liabilities for the 2017 Tubbs fire. The statements after lawyers for victims asked for a jury trial against the utility company. Cal Fire had said the Tubbs Fire was caused by private power equipment, but the victims want to move forward with a case against PG&E. That would slow the process of ending PG&E’s bankruptcy case. A civil trial could also help determine if the utility company should compensate victims for the fire compared to those of other fires where PG&E was determined to be at fault.

An initiative to lower the voting age to 17 in Calif. jumps another hurdle. A key legislative committee gave the green light to the idea which could go to voters to decide. The Assembly Amendments 4 and 8 proposing allowing 17 year olds to vote. Number 4 allows 17 year olds the right to vote in a primary or special election if they’ll be 18 by the general and Assembly Amendment 8 to allow a 17-year-old the right for all elections. Right now a 16-year-old can register to vote. 22 other states and the District of Columbia allows a 17-year-old to vote in a primary if they are 18 before a general election. There was something similar proposed here in 2017, but it died.

The Election Review Committee in the Fort Bragg City Council says they’re ready to hear from the public on various proposals which they hope to report back to the council by the end of the year. The committee formed after the threat of a lawsuit by a local lawyer who said the city’s elections system went against Hispanic voters by keeping them as a permanent minority which goes against the Voting Rights Act. The Advocate newspaper reports the committee looked at district voting, ranked choice and other alternative election methods.

 

A Utah Firefighter remembered a year after coming to Northern Calif. to fight the Mendocino Complex Fire. Volunteer firefighters have erected a memorial cross above the Eel River in honor of Matthew Burchett with his name and picture on it at the Elk Mountain Road overlook. The 42‑year‑old veteran firefighter was killed on the giant Ranch Fire last year. Several people came out to honor him as the cross was put in the ground Tuesday, the one year anniversary of Burchett’s death. Burchett came to California as the Ranch and River fires burned last July. The bigger fire, the Ranch fire burned 410,000 acres and continued for several weeks on the north shore of Clear Lake. The River fire burned 50,000 acres on the lake’s west shore.

A well known wine executive in Sonoma County who also recently resigned as its president is accused of water quality violations. Hugh Reimers of Foley Wines’ vineyard in Santa Rosa is accused by the North Coast Regional Water Quality Board of violating local water rules, the Calif. Water Code and the federal Clean Water Act. His vineyard management company, Krasilsa Pacific Farms accused of not applying for the proper permits to operate a vineyard in the first place. The notice of violations filed in June against Reimers, the manager of Krasilsa. His resignation is apparently unrelated to the findings. His company faces penalties though from just cleaning up the property to fines.

A state audit finding $1.5 billion in reserves in the Cal State system is not the case. This according to the chancellor of the country’s biggest four-year public university system. The Press Democrat reports California State University Chancellor Timothy White speaking in front of a panel of lawmakers Monday says the so-called discretionary reserves is actually so students can get advances on financial aid, pay for construction projects across their 23 schools and so there’s a little extra in case there’s another recession. This comes after the California State Auditor told lawmakers school officials could use the money how they wanted, without restrictions.

The 1,000 Hands to Protect Lake County Homes brush clearing project is on. The project long planned before the Golf fire broke out in the corridor this past week. The event planned for this Saturday, Aug. 17th organized by Supervisor Rob Brown who says they knew it was an important event before, but now he says it’s critical. He tells Lake Co News clearing the roadside vegetation is an opportunity to take action for an area that’s still vulnerable. He says there are 12,000 county residents near the high risk fire area. They’re looking for 500 volunteers this Saturday from 6 to 10 a.m. at six worksites in the Soda Bay corridor.
All participants must sign a volunteer services agreement prior to starting work. It can be found at http://www.lakecountyca.gov/1000HandsAgreement/ and returned, by email, to Rob.Brown@lakecountyca.gov or your crew leader the day of the event.

State Sen. Mike McGuire has new legislation so utility companies who want to turn power off need to provide early notification to certain agencies. McGuire introducing a Senate Bill he says is common sense. He says his bill will require police, fire, sheriff departments, health care facilities and telecommunication providers get prior notification of de-energizing to allow residents to know in a timely fashion. The power shutoffs as a last result so there isn’t a fire in red flag or other fire weather events. He says there’s no requirement that the notifications go out to first responders, health care facilities, and telecommunication services. He says last October PG&E had a power shutdown in Lake County with inadequate notification by the utility company, a problem for residents on oxygen and need electricity to survive.

The Moose Fire staying at the latest acreage count of 225 acres. The fire started Monday late afternoon off Moose Rd and Bus McGall Rd. between Ukiah and Hopland. One firefighter had minor injuries, but no structures have burned or been damaged. Evacuation orders were reduced to warnings and the fire’s 35% contained. The fire burning in steep mountains, deep ravines, rock outcroppings and higher temperatures. There’s no date prediction for full containment. Another fire, in Sonoma County, is 100% contained. The Timm Fire started yesterday afternoon and burned 81 acres.

A major subdivision in Ukiah planned a decade ago, back in the mix. The Daily Journal reports a developer out of Chico bought almost 50 acres in the 3000 block of South State Street at auction in June. The area was slated to become the Garden’s Gate subdivision but was stagnant for years. The developer’s reportedly paying off $400,000 in property taxes and other debts and is looking to build 170-180 single family homes called Bella Vista Estates. Their audience is working professionals. The same company is putting up apartments at the corner of North Main and Norton streets, called Main Street Village. And they’re eyeing another project, homes in the north end of Ukiah on Lovers Lane.

A small fire near the Ukiah Airport is out. The Ukiah Valley Fire Authority says they think the fire yesterday morning may have been sparked by a lawnmower. The fire chief says the fire burned an acre-and-a half of dry grass and says there are witnesses to what happened. A couple of FAA employees at the airport that morning saying they saw somebody mowing where the fire started. Some firefighters reportedly diverted from the Moose Fire. And nearby a crash at the Moose Fire site on the 101 near McNab Ranch Road. The driver had only minor injuries.

An elderly man missing, last seen in Mendocino County. Teresa Abraham searching for her missing dad, John Baker, driving to the Piercy area from Southern Calif. She says her father liked to take long rides, but at the beginning of the month when he drove to Seattle and back, he vanished. She says she thinks he was planning to visit the redwoods. The 81 year old used his credit card at a gas station in Piercy last week, and she spoke to him, when he said he was headed home thru the trees, then back to Hwy 5, but she’s not heard from him since and there’s been no activity on his credit card. She did say her father has Alzheimer’s, but his doctor cleared him earlier this year to renew his driver’s license.

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The Moose Fire staying at the latest acreage count of 225 acres but is nearly half way contained. The fire that started Monday off Moose Rd and Bus McGall Rd. between Ukiah and Hopland is 45% contained. There was one firefighter injury, but that was minor. No structures have burned or are damaged. Evacuation orders were reduced to warnings yesterday, with a reminder for residents to be at the ready if needed. The fire reportedly burning in steep terrain. It was very hot for firefighters today too, reaching above 100 degrees. No word on when the fire may fully be contained, but we’ll bring you more info as we get it.

A resolution regarding the Potter Valley Project says Lake County is against the removal of Scott Dam. The Record Bee reports the Board of Supervisors amended their June resolution because of Lake Pillsbury. The newspaper writes it’s to allow the county to be involved in a regional group put together with the idea they’d take over control of the Potter Valley Project from the current owner, PG& E. Humboldt County, the Mendocino Inland Water and Power Commission, Sonoma Water, Friends of the Eel River, Round Valley Indian Tribes, California Trout, and others form the group who are paying for a study to see if they can reasonably take over control of the Potter Valley Project.

The legislature finishing up their month long recess, headed back to the capitol next week with some major bills to tackle before the end of the session. There are only two months left in the legislative session and one of the bills on the table to regulate phony medical vaccine exemptions. Senator Richard Pan’s bill passed the Assembly Health Committee in June. It happens at the same time the country’s seeing a comeback of the measles virus. Pan says we need better oversight of medical exemptions to protect children. But those against say it shouldn’t be up to the legislature to make medical decisions. The bill heads to the Senate Appropriations Committee next.

The Lake County Grand Jury says raising taxes to fund local fire districts is more of a bandaid, then a cure. The Record Bee reports continued financial troubles need more than just more taxes slapped on. Three of six fire districts have passed tax measures since 2017, but the jury says that’s not going to solve budget gaps since there are other issues that need long term solutions. So far the Lake County Fire Protection District, South Lake County and Lakeport fire districts all passed parcel tax hikes and Northshore had a tax hike proposal fail last year, but is trying again this November. The jury says un-repaid ambulance services, unpredictable pension liabilities, suppression of major wildfires, and replacing old equipment are all add ons that won’t be fixed with a tax hike. Instead they recommend some of the districts add more fees to ambulance bills, change some of the makeup of management, and develop a new tax structure.

A grand marshal has been named for this year’s Lake County Fair. Dr. Brian Grey, a long time fair supporter will take the mantle. Qualifications include exceptional leadership skills, longtime involvement with the fair and a life of service to the community. The CEO for the fair says the doctor is the epidemy of what they look for in a Grand Marshal, and that he’s an outstanding member of the community with a long history with the fairgrounds, especially supporting the kids at the Junior Livestock Auction. Grey will lead the opening night parade August 29th with the Fair Board and will cut the ribbon, officially kicking off the 2019 Fair.

A fire has caused evacuations in some neighborhoods between Ukiah and Hopland. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s office reports the fire started last night around 6 along Moose Road near Bus McGall Road and blew up to 85 acres pretty quick. Residents on both streets and Valley View Drive were ordered to leave their homes. The Press Democrat reports a column of smoke could be seen as far out as Windsor. Cooler temperatures and calm wind helped firefighters after earlier 20 mph winds were reported. The fire is burning in a remote area on Moose Road. The Hopland Fire Chief said crews were making good progress. The fire’s 25% contained. No word how it started. Cal Fire, Mendocino County fire agencies, the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office and Pacific Gas & Electric were on the scene.

An update on PG&E’s planned power shutoffs from the Mendocino County CEO who says the long term outages could be a strain on the county. The county looking for a way to stay open with critical county services and keep the public continually informed. They’re coming up with plans for several departments such as juvenile hall, the jail, child welfare, and adult protective series. There are ongoing preparedness meetings happening too with various agencies, including the Sheriff’s Dept., Auditors office, Health and Human Services, and Office of Emergency Services. The county will keep their website constantly updated, utilize social media to get the word out on power shutoffs and send emergency notices. They will also have a list of places to get food along with open gas stations on their website. And temporary power generators will be put into the Ukiah Administration Building and other generators will be rented for other buildings. For more info: https://prepareforpowerdown.com and http://www.ready.gov

A Highway 101 project between Eureka and Arcata has been given conditional support by members of the state Coastal Commission. The $70 million dollar, years long project to help with traffic hazards in the safety corridor. The commission however wants Caltrans to start planning for a sea level rise across the highway and wants yearly reports on progress with a full report to be submitted by 2023. They’re also requiring Caltrans to do more than just add sediment to ocean banks or build a wall. Once the project is finally done, there will be an underpass, a new signal, closed off medians and longer acceleration and deceleration lanes where vehicles merge onto the highway.

A strike by public school teachers in Forestville three days ahead of when kids come back for the new school year. Apparently they cannot reach a new contract agreement after 11th hour negotiations for pay and health care contributions. Some staffers say they just want a half-percent raise during the third year of their proposed three-year contract for about $6,000 from the Forestville Union School District. The district reportedly saying no, they’ve done all they can. Right now they’re at a 5% raises for two years and the union wants 3% for the third, but the School District says they can’t do more than 2.5%.

The PG&E bankruptcy case may include an offshoot case regarding the Tubbs fire. This comes after Cal Fire claimed the deadly October 2017 fire was caused by private power equipment, not PG&E’s. But apparently there are several victims of the fire who don’t believe that and want to contest Cal Fire’s findings saying state investigators didn’t see or possibly ignored some key evidence they say shows there was a blown fuse on one of the utility’s power poles that dropped hot metal on dry grass below. Lawsuits regarding that were stopped in January after the utility company filed for bankruptcy. The survivors are going to ask the bankruptcy judge tomorrow to allow them to go after the utility company for liability related to the Tubbs fire.

Thousands of Kaiser Permanente union workers have voted to strike. The Service Employees International Union workers voted to picket in October, potentially affecting as many as 1,600 Kaiser workers in Sonoma County. The union represents almost 40,000 workers in Calif. The union says it’s because of staffing shortages and low wages. The hospital giant says the union’s just trying to gain leverage in current labor negotiations as their contract ends in October. A spokesperson for Kaiser says they’ve offered “solid wage increases” and their average salary is “already higher than market averages.”

The states of California and Massachusetts say they’re going to fight the Trump administration’s recent changes to the Endangered Species Act. This comes after an announcement by the federal government about how it’ll enforce endangered species protections. The state attorneys general fighting at the same time several conservation groups had said they will also go to court. The Trump administration announced changes to blanket protections for animals deemed threatened related to the cost of protecting that species. Conservation groups say that disregards impacts from climate change.

The Moose Fire outside Hopland has grown overnight. Early this morning we were reporting the fire was 85 acres and 25% contained. It’s now 225 acres with the same containment. There are ten homes threatened and several homes between Ukiah and Hopland have been evacuated, west of Highway 101. Fire officials say it’s burning in a rugged, hard to reach area mostly in brush and oak woodlands. The fire started yesterday afternoon, just after 5. One firefighter had a minor injury, but no other injuries have been reported and no structures have burned. Officials said earlier they were planning an air attack this morning with five tankers and two helicopters.

Those impacted by the wildfires in October 2017 and 2018 are able to file for assistance and other needs with PG&E finally. The Press Democrat reports the utility company has a link on their website under their wildfire assistance program. A judge in their bankruptcy case approved a $105 million fund for victims of the Atlas, Camp, Nuns and Tubbs fires. You have until November 15th to apply. Lawyers also say victims can join the bankruptcy lawsuit against PG&E, that deadline is October 21st.

Four areas have been reported to be infected with cyanobacteria in Clearlake. The higher levels found during routine water testing by the Big Valley Band of Pomo Indians and Elem Indian Colony who test the water regularly. Lake Co News reports the results from last week show concerning levels of cyanotoxins, which come with blue-green algae. But when readings hit 20 micrograms per liter, it means it’s danger level. In Lily Cove, Austin Park Beach, Sulphur Bank Mine and Cache Creek Shady Acres were all at higher than normal levels. And at Redbud Park, there was a higher level that actually went down last week. A reminder to those using boats or recreating on the lake not to have direct contact with waters containing cyanobacteria in Lake County.

A special meeting called by the Lakeport City Council regarding the annexation of an area of South Main Street. The council will also discuss forming a new underground utility district. The meeting tonight looking at authorizing the Lake Local Area Formation Commission, 136 acres along South Main for the South Lakeport Annexation project. There are 50 land parcels there, said to be a very high end commercial corridor in the unincorporated county. The annexation’s been disputed for several years but is in the city’s so called Sphere of Influence. And also up for discussion the city council’s looking at forming an underground utility district along 11th Street and North Main Street.

 

 

A couple of mosquito samples in Lake County have tested positive for West Nile virus. The samples collected near Lower Lake last week was the first detection this year in Lake County. The Vector Control District reminds folks to cover up with clothes and insect repellent during the times when the bugs are active. They also remind to dump any standing water, so you don’t attract the pests. There’s been West Nile virus activity  in 22 California counties this year mostly from mosquitoes. And there have been ten human cases of people getting sick from the virus this year. Many people don’t even know they have it, only one in five develop symptoms. And most people do recover completely. About 1 in 150 get sicker, with severe illness.

The Golf fire in Lake County is 100-percent contained. It started last Thursday off Soda Bay Road at Golf Drive in the Black Forest where several homes were evacuated and others were put on notice they might have to leave. About twenty acres burned in the fire and there was no damage to any homes and one minor injury was reported. There were also street closures for about a day. Both the evacuations and road closures were lifted Friday. The fire was found to have been caused by an improperly discarded cigarette.

The communities near where the Golf Fire started had previously been noted as being in high fire danger with the potential to threaten human life and property if there was a fire. Plus Soda Bay Road is the only main way out. Supervisor Rob Brown had been proposing a vegetation abatement program for a while, which was adopted recently in the Rivieras. The Sheriff and Cal Fire say mild weather and high humidity with a bit of rain was in their favor. The Sheriff reported response to the fire was swift and the evacuations went well using text and phone notifications. They also went door-to-door telling people to leave. The area was supposed to have brush clearing this coming weekend as part of Supervisor Brown’s 1,000 Hands to Protect Lake County Homes program.

Some evacuation planning and education meetings are set by Cal Fire. Sherwood Firewise having the “Ready, Set, Go” CAL FIRE programs. The three meetings will feature exercises attendees can learn for home evacuation. There will also be a guided convoy out Sherwood Road north to Highway 101. And Third District Supervisor John Haschak will be in attendance, talking about emergency access routes and public safety improvements. Each of the three meetings will be at the Brooktrails Community Center and may feature different info. The first was last Thursday with a focus on being ‘READY’. The next meeting is a week from Thursday, Aug. 22 featuring, being ‘SET’ and the final meeting next Saturday, Aug. 24th with the theme, ‘GO’.

For more information, visit sherwoodfirewise.org or email info@sherwoodfirewise.org

A new groundwater management agency is being considered in Lake County. The Board of Supervisors, sitting as the directors of the watershed protection district considering the move for the Big Valley basin for local and sustainable management of the groundwater basin. There had been a plan drafted before for the area, but the California Department of Water Resources rejected it. Lake County one of six in the state with its alternative groundwater plan rejected last month. The county has 90 days to correct the plan.

The Lake County Board of Supervisors looking at a new committee to support the work by the Army Corps of Engineers for the Middle Creek Flood Damage Reduction and Ecosystem Restoration Project. The Record Bee reports the project in Upper Lake worked on since the 1990’s to restore wetlands near Scotts and Middle Creek so there’s a better filter for sediment and nutrients in Clear Lake. A couple of district supervisors working with Congressman John Garamendi and others to get approval from the committee that oversees the Corps of Engineers’ budgets.

The Clearlake City Council has approved building a new animal shelter. This comes after the police chief went to the council last week with a proposal to get the current animal shelter in an old hangar at the Public Works Corp. yard moved. The Animal Coalition of Lake County apparently working to find other options for the shelter has also put up $10,000 for the new space. The police chief says there’s not enough space in the current location, which was not meant to be an animal shelter in the first place. There was also an ad hoc committee created last year to help find a new location. But the best option they say now is to add on to where they are, because it would be the least costly.

A man in Redwood Valley’s been arrested after he was in a car that didn’t stop when an officer tried pulling him over. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Dept. reports they were trying to help a Ukiah Police officer and someone hopped out the passenger side while the car was in motion. The person who jumped out was identified as Russell Taylor who the deputy found had two felony warrants for his arrest for robbery, assault with a deadly weapon, domestic violence, burglary, resisting arrest, and multiple other charges. The deputy along with his K-9 partner went after the guy, warning him to stop, but he would not. Taylor arrested with the help of the police dog for resisting arrest and the warrants and held on $295,000.00 bail.

A man in McKinleyville has been arrested in connection to the stabbing death of another man. The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office reports getting a call about a disturbance early last Saturday morning. They say a stabbing victim was on the ground and unresponsive. Deputies had apparently been to the house in the past due to repeated calls for service and were familiar with people involved in this incident. They say they found the stabbing victim unresponsive and started CPR and the man was taken to the hospital and was pronounced dead. Cops say Brian Leiteritz has been charged with murder and booked into the Humboldt County Jail.