The teen in Laytonville who killed his friend and his friend’s dad has been in court pleading guilty. 19 yr. old Talen Barton admitted murdering Teo Palmieri and his dad Coleman on July 19th. The two murders in the first degree. He also admitted the attempted murders of Cindy and Theodore Norvell and for falsely imprisoning two teenage girls. There was a special allegation he used a knife in the crimes and that he inflicted great bodily injury on Cindy and Theodore Norvell. The D-A not going for the Death Penalty. The case referred to the Adult Probation Department for a social study and report, which is required by law. He’s due back in court October 6th at which time he should get 71 years to life in state prison. He won’t be eligible for parole until he is at least 89 years old.
A new wildfire’s been reported in Upper Lake. The Lake County Sheriff’s office reports the fire burning out of control last night in the White Rock Canyon Road area. The Sheriff’s Dept. and CalFire had ordered Mandatory Evacuations for all residents on White Rock Canyon Road. But several hours later lifted the evacuation orders. They were still holding a road closure in place though on Elk Mountain Road at Rancheria Road, it’s only open to residents. Anyone living near White Rock Canyon Road was also under an Advisory Evacuation and told to be ready to evacuate.
It’s the start of Clearlake’s new master plan for the development of Highlands Park. City staff preparing the plan after meeting with representatives of Foothill Associates. The City Manager says the process could take up to six months and will first need the approval of the planning commission. It would then move to the city council, but not before the public gets a chance to put in their 2 cents. An open house on the plan’s been tentatively set for October.
CHP beefing up patrols for the Labor Day weekend looking for drunk or impaired drivers, plus they’ll help motorists in need. The Maximum Enforcement Period starts Friday night at 6:00 and goes thru Monday just before midnight. All available officers will be on the job. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows it’s helpful to have high-visibility enforcement and says that can help bring down the number of drunk driving deaths by as much as 20 percent.
Emergency proclamations continue in Lake County due to the drought and wildfire conditions. The board of supervisors has also okay’d an agreement for a veterans treatment court. The County Administrative Officer bringing up the extension of the emergency declaration for the drought first made in March 2014. It’s been continuing each month ever since as drought conditions continue and even though the Rocky and Jerusalem fires, the largest in the county are fully contained. The supervisors also approved a resolution to designate county departments to act as agents for the California Disaster Assistance Act funding the county was able to secure because of the two fires. As far as the veterans treatment court, supervisors have continued the term of the agreement for 2 years with Lake County Superior Court committing to pay the county $176,000 under the agreement.
A hearing to decide if the city of Ukiah can hire a receiver to get to work rehabbing the old Palace Hotel is not happening Friday after all. The City Attorney David Rapport says the owner and her lawyers filed to move the hearing outside Mendocino County. The city’s agreed to have, at least an out of county judge decide the money but successfully fought the hearing itself moving out of county. There’s no new hearing date set so far, but when it happens the judge will decide if the city can hire a receiver instead of waiting for the delinquent owner to move forward with work on the building. It’s mostly sat without any activity for 25 years.
A new 200 room Hotel is coming to the Graton Resort & Casino. The resort made the announcement earlier about the add on of the hotel and a convention center, owners hoping the expansion will turn the resort into a travel destination, not just casino entertainment. The rooms will be anywhere from 500 square feet to 2,600 square foot suites for high rollers. The Graton Rancheria Tribal Chairman says tourists who visit wine country can do it all at the resort, play, gamble, eat and tour. The $175 million hotel project to provide jobs for as many as 1,000 union members during construction and will create 150 permanent jobs after its grand opening in the fall of 2016.
The Mendocino County Third District Supervisor says he got a letter from his 1st Distr. colleague that was critical of the other for talking to county employees. The Willits News reports Tom Woodhouse saying he got the letter from Carre Brown. Brown is the board chair so he has a special responsibility to preside over all board meetings. The paper also reports county code doesn’t say supervisors are prohibited from speaking to or asking questions of county employees. But apparently there’s a special provision that does authorize all county officers and department heads to contact Board members directly, without interference from the County CEOs office. Woodhouse tells the newspaper he feels uncomfortable talking about the letter, but thinks it’d be difficult to say no to county employees who come to him regarding problems they see in the county.
A man in Maine’s been arrested for supposedly faking there was a Sasquatch on public property. Police in Kennebunk say there was graffiti featuring Bigfoot around town so they’ve charged Freeman Hatch with criminal mischief and possession of drugs. He’s due in court in November. The Police Chief says the tagging defaced public and private property and cost “time and money to repair or replace.”