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The Governor’s Office of Emergency Services is looking into the way residents in Sonoma County were notified of the October fires. The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors asking the state about the way residents were notified and why county emergency services officials didn’t use Amber Alert-style messages for fire warnings Oct. 8th. Massive fires killed 2 dozen in the county and took down more than 5,100 homes. The director of the state Office of Emergency Services says they’re going to undertake an “independent review” of the county’s notification process. The chairwoman of the Board of Supervisors says she herself was notified of the Tubbs Fire by a knock on her door.

Stricter fire regulations being called for by the state so electric companies prioritize certain areas. The new rules by the California Public Utilities Commission includes for vegetation management, utility poles and wire maintenance and says utility companies have to come up with a yearly fire-prevention plan if they’re using overhead lines in fire-prone zones. There will be a map of the areas after being reviewed by Cal Fire and a team of independent experts. The work on the map should start early next year. Many of the October fires in Northern Calif. are still under investigation, but PG&E is being sued by some who blame the utility’s downed power lines for igniting flames.

After the Valley Fire the Candy Cane Run stopped, but the South Lake County Firefighters Association has picked up the holiday event this year again with the help of the Lake County Sheriff’s Office. The first of a trio of runs was December 8th in Middletown. The next is today in Cobb and tomorrow in Hidden Valley Lake, each at 6 PM. Like a mini parade of sorts, Santa and Mrs. Claus arrive on a decorated flat bed utility and fire engines and ambulances join in, blaring Christmas music with firefighters handing out candy canes. They stopped after the Valley Fire because whole communities were no longer there.

A fire weather watch is in place for Lake County and other areas of Northern California because of unseasonably dry conditions. Lake Co News reports the National Weather Service reporting the fire weather watch on starting tonight at 10 p.m. until Sunday morning at 10 a.m. because of potentially critical fire weather conditions. The forecast calls for a dry weather system moving in from the north late today with gusty winds and low humidity. This comes after the Lake County Air Pollution Control office announced no burn days through Dec. 18th and maybe longer.

The Gov. honored a Cal Fire engineer who was killed in a fire in Ventura County. Cal Fire Engineer Cory Iverson of Escondido killed fighting the massive 249,500-acre Thomas fire near Fillmore. The fire started December 4th and has burned almost 1,000 structures. The governor says Iverson’s bravery and years of committed service to the people of California will never be forgotten. He worked for Cal Fire for 8 years. The Governor has called for Capitol flags to be flown at half-staff.

Two public hearings with the Fort Bragg City Council to discuss various new fees and a development of 44 new homes. The housing project proposed but apparently the city attorney wanted the proposal tweaked some before it could be considered by the council. The company proposing the development develops and manages affordable workforce and senior housing. The council agreed to lower the setback to the curb, so there would be less parking spaces at the development. The council also updated various planning and development services and miscellaneous city and improvement district services at their meeting this week.

No more abalone hunting this year. The California Fish and Game Commission has voted to close the 2018 abalone season altogether for the first time ever. The state saying it’s because of low kelp which is what abalone’s mostly feast on along the North Coast. When the Fish and Game Commission met last Friday, they discussed the economic impact of a season closure even after state biologists said the mollusks were mostly underweight and there were dead abalone found in state surveys. Last year there was a shortened season, but apparently that didn’t help with the state’s Abalone Recovery and Management Plan from back in 2005. Right now biologists aren’t exactly sure what happened to the kelp, but say they think it may have to do with a die-off of sea stars in 2013 which led to a rise in red sea urchins, which they say took out the kelp in several areas.

An urgency ordinance has been drafted for commercial cannabis licenses ahead of the January 1st deadline in Lake County. The Board of Supervisors decided to go that route since the county’s regulations are not done yet, so growers can apply for temporary state licensing. The board will take up the ordinance again at their meeting next week. Apparently there are people already applying for licenses. The Lake County Community Director says it’s important to get the language right so it meshes with what the state’s doing. The board was considering banning commercial products altogether, but the state changed some restrictions, so they’re rethinking what to do, thus the temporary licensing.

The city of Ukiah is reportedly trying to get the Sanitation District to drop its lawsuit against the city by lowering shared debt by several million dollars. The Daily Journal reports the city finance director telling the city council they’re eager to go to the board with a plan to write off $10 million of shared debt if the district will drop the lawsuit. The city also wants to refinance $75 million worth of bonds that were issued to pay for the upgrade to the Wastewater Treatment Plant. The lawsuit was filed in 2014 by the district saying the city was violating a participation agreement with the district and owed it nearly $30 million in back payments over forty years.

More than 150 people have shown up to the Ukiah Valley Conference Center for fire victims. The North Bay Fire Relief Fund hosted a holiday celebration for victims with food, holiday gifts and cheer. Santa was there handing out toys to the children in the crowd and a choir performed holiday tunes. The North Bay Fire Relief Fund was started after state Sen. Mike McGuire got together with Brett Martinez of Redwood Credit Union during the October Fires and decided to start the fund again, just like with the Valley Fire in 2015. McGuire says 100 percent benefits fire survivors with the Credit Union covering all administrative and transaction costs. So far the fund has raised nearly $800,000 for Mendocino County fire survivors.

A man in Ireland gets off jury duty, for being in love, for the first time… a judge allowed the 54 year old man who said he couldn’t serve on the jury because he’d be away all weekend to get out of his civic duty. A journalist in the room tweeted the exchange in Dublin court Monday.. the man saying he would be away, but the judge saying they don’t’ serve on weekends, the man saying I’m away till Monday. I’m 54, a bachelor & it’s my 1st time in love. So the judge told him it was fine. The journalist adding, “It was truly an epic moment".

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Mendocino investigators are asking your help in finding a missing man. 64-year-old Marvin Bennie Buckmaster has been missing since he left the Casino in Willits around 3:30 am Wednesday morning and was heading towards Fort Bragg. His vehicle was found along Highway 20. Marvin is white, 5′ 8", weighing 180 lbs. He was last seen wearing blue jeans, a black jacket, a white beanie and possibly a second outer light colored tan coat. You can see his picture on the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office Facebook Page.

Holiday food and cheer have been served up by the North Bay Fire Relief Fund who hosted at Christmas Party Tuesday evening at the Ukiah Valley Conference Center for families who lost their homes in the October wildfires. About 150 people came out as Santa gave away toys to all the kids there with fire fighters from the various counties affected by the fires helping him out. The Ukiah Daily Journal reports the Redwood Credit Union covers all the administrative and transaction costs for the Fund so 100 percent of the donations go to the fire survivors. To date the community has raised nearly $794,000, some of which went to the more than 130 students who lost their homes and were each given $500 for school supplies and clothes.

An arrest has been made in the 37-year-old murder of a Bay Area teenager. 14-year-old Suzanne Bombardier was found dead in the San Joaquin River five days after she disappeared from her home in Antioch in 1980. Police had a suspect, Mitchell Bacom, but no hard physical evidence against him until a cold-case investigator was able get DNA testing done this year on some samples taken from the girl’ s body. The Press Democrat reports Bacom, who is now 63 and is a two-time felon and registered sex offender, was charged with her murder Wednesday. Police suspect he might be linked to other crimes.

The Lake County District Attorney Don Anderson says he’s running to be a Superior Court Judge. DA Don Anderson made the announcement yesterday at his office’s annual Christmas party. Anderson says it was a difficult decision but it’s time to move on and face new challenges. He’s been running the District Attorney’s Office since January of 2011.

After their initial vote on marijuana cultivation, the Ukiah City Council agrees to keep growing only indoors and in only certain areas of a home. The Daily Journal reports the city manager saying you can grow pot but it cannot be in the kitchen, bathrooms or bedrooms, separating it from habitable areas. It also says residents who do grow indoors have to have proper odor filtration and ventilation and don’t dump waste products from growing or processing into city sewers. Instead they want it disposed of like a hazardous waste. The city manager says the rules are like any other building code, requiring a level of honesty. Only six mature plants and 12 immature plants can be grown indoors. The ordinance to be revisited by the council next week, possibly for a final vote.

Willits is working on an amendment to the interim police chief’s agreement so he can serve longer. The police chief Scott Warnock has been on medical leave since last June, so now the City Council is considering extending the interim chief Stephen Willis for services until next June. Willis does have a planned trip for two months from Jan. 2nd to March 2nd, he was only supposed to be working a few months. Staff looking to hire a consultant to fill in for the two months Willis is out. They’re also looking to add a new job title for police corporal so that position can provide lead supervision and direction to police officers on assigned shifts.

A fire in a boiler room at an apartment building in Clearlake. The fire last night around 9 PM at the Olympic Village apartments. The residents were evacuated from the upper floors. About 20 people were taken out while firefighters worked on the fire and within forty minutes the fire was out. Residents were able to go back into their apartments, firefighters were on the scene about two hours in all. There are reported repairs needed, so residents will be without hot water temporarily. No word how the fire ignited.

New guidance from California’s Health Dept. on smartphones. The agency’s director Karen Smith says even though the science on cell phone use is evolving there are some concerns from a public health standpoint. Smith says cell phones emit radio frequency energy, she says children’s brains are still developing in teenage years so parents may want to consider reducing their kids cell phone use and have them turn them off at night. Some of the advice they’re giving now includes, keeping the phone away from the body; reducing cell phone use when the signal is weak; not using them for streaming audio or video, keep it away from your bed at night and not to use products claiming to block a radio frequency energy.

The yearly “Wreaths Across America” to remember late veterans is happening this Saturday in Lake County. Lake Co News reporting the event is at cemeteries where youth organizations and veteran organizations are volunteering for ceremonies all starting at 8:50 a.m. at the Hartley, Kelseyville, Upper Lake, Lower Lake and St. Mary’s cemeteries. It’s open to the public to show veterans and their families their loved ones won’t be forgotten. Some of the local organizations involved include local scouts, CHP Explorers, Lake County Sheriff’s Explorers, the Lake County Military Funeral Honors Team, Patriot Guard Riders, Knights of Columbus and Honor Guard from the Travis Air Force Base. Wreaths will be placed to remember soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines.

New guidelines from the State of California warning of possible links between cell phones and cancer – and advising not to hold a phone up to your head even though it’s admitted there’s no definitive link. But some studies show long-term heavy cell phone use can lead to cancer of the brain, the acoustic nerve and salivary gland, low sperm count, headaches and sleep issues. Elie Marks, with the California Brain Tumor Association, says she hopes people will finally listen, now that the California Department of Public Health is backing up what activists have been saying for years.

Cut 23345 :15 "People need to know that cell phones as they are currently used are not safe, so we need to keep them away from our bodies, not keep them in pockets, not keep them in bras, don’t sleep with them near us at night. Children are especially vulnerable, so this is very helpful."

Tag: The guidelines also recommend that people use a headset or simply text people rather than placing a call. The authors also note that phones put out more RF energy when they are searching for a signal or downloading large files. So they recommend turning your phone off while in a fast-moving car, bus or train, and keeping the phone away from your body while downloading or streaming.

Second Cut: Marks says this document was first prepared seven or eight years ago – and advocates had to sue to get it released.

Cut 24345 :13 "The California Department of Public Health sat on this document from pressure from those above them – political appointees, who are influenced by the telecom industry. This industry infiltrates just about everywhere. "

Tag 1: The guidelines also recommend you take off your headset when it is not in use because it also releases small amounts of RF energy.

Some female legislators are complaining about an associate who they say hugs too long. Democratic Sen. Bob Hertzberg of Los Angeles is apparently a hugger, but some lawmakers and a former legislator say he lingered too long, making them uncomfortable. The Sacramento Bee reports he’s got a reputation for being physically affectionate but three women have told the newspaper his hugs were intimate. Two said they asked him to stop and former Assemblywoman Linda Halderman says she told him she didn’t like hugging, but he grabbed her. The other two current lawmakers spoke to the paper anonymously. The story after two other lawmakers resigned after sexual misconduct complaints about them, Assembly Democrats Raul Bocanegra and Matt Dababneh. For his part, Hertzberg promises to tone it down.

There may be higher PG&E bills because the utility company may have to get new electricity sources to replace three power plants. The power plants are the Metcalf Energy Center in south San Jose, the Northern California Feather River Energy Center and the Yuba City Energy Center. All three now use fossil fuels. The Public Utilities Commission claiming the plants are no longer economical to operate at current electricity prices. So PUC commissioners are taking up the proposal in January. If approved the utility would have to find alternative energy sources, including batteries, for use at the three Calpine-owned plants.

Congressman Mike Thompson has won an award for getting healthcare access to some in rural areas. He’s accepted the Health IT Pioneer Award from the Health IT Now coalition. The award for the congressman’s work in Increasing Telehealth Access in Medicare Act. He says it’s an honor to get the award, saying he’s been working in telehealth since when he served in the Calif. State Senate. He says it’s part of the future of healthcare. The award is handed out annually to federal legislators and regulators who push technologies policies and strategies to address pressing healthcare challenges.

A group memorial’s being held for all animals who died in the October fires in Napa and Sonoma counties. Jameson Animal Rescue Ranch in Napa is hosting the event this Sunday at 2 PM at Silverado Resort & Spa for the animals killed in the fires. The co-founder of the ranch tells the Press Democrat they feel it’s important to honor the animals. If you’re interested in attending, visit jamesonanimalrescueranch.org.

The CHP has confirmed the death of the driver in Tuesday’s accident along Highway 101 in Willits but have not yet released any information on the identity. Investigators say the driver of the pickup truck failed to negotiate a curve while travelling about eight miles north of Willits and went off the road and into a tree. The driver was declared dead at the scene. Passenger Edward Wilson of Concord was able to get out and was taken to Howard Memorial Hospital.

As fire debris cleanup continues, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers now has two ways you can check the status of your property. The Corps has a telephone Information Line staffed from 8 a.m. – 7 p.m., 7 days a week. It is 877-875-7681. And the Corps has launched a website designed to give a quick view of the status of debris removal by parcel in Lake, Mendocino, Napa and Sonoma counties. It is http://www.spk.usace.army.mil/CAwildfire. Click on “Status Map”. The Corps says they’re committed to having the cleanup done in early 2018.

The Middletown Area Town Hall is holding board nominations at their meeting this week. In addition to the second round of nominations for board seats the agenda also includes an update from the Community Development Director on south county projects, a presentation on the Diamond D Ranch, and an update from the South Lake Fire Safe Council. Meetings are open to the community and offer time for public input on items not already included on the agenda. MATH will meet at Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Middletown Community Center.

Mendocino Coast District Hospital has been awarded a $315,000 incentive payment from Partnership HealthPlan of California in recognition of care provided by their team from July 2016 through June 2017. PHC is a non-profit community based health care organization that contracts with the state to administer Medi-Cal benefits. The incentives from the Hospital Quality Improvement Program are separate from the hospital’s usual reimbursements and are based on significant improvements in prevention and screening, chronic disease management, appropriate use of resources, primary care access and operations, patient experience and advanced care planning.

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Ukiah’s the latest city to put together their cannabis-related business recommendations ahead of the New Year. The Daily Journal reports the council visited the recommendations from the Planning Commission, but the council voted unanimously for less strict rules and to even allow some businesses in the downtown area. The discussion continued about whether or not to allow the businesses, including retail outlets into the downtown core. The council has voted unanimously to approve the Planning Commission recommendation but tweaked some of it to allow more businesses in more areas. The ordinance was first introduced last Wednesday with the revised version to be brought back to the council for approval before the end of the year.

Some locals are trying to get Lake County to move faster on the rebuild of Harbin Hot Springs after resort officials complained the county was holding them up. The resort was destroyed in the Valley Fire in 2015. Lake Co News reports the resort’s management sending a letter to the Lake County Supervisor in their district, Moke Simon, saying the Community Development Director and the department as a whole has been difficult to deal with. Months earlier the Middletown Area Merchants Association also sent a letter to the Board of Supervisors to get involved because of the resort’s importance to the economy of South Lake County. The matter was discussed at the board meeting yesterday. The department telling the board the general plan of development didn’t meet code requirements, plus they’re adding hundreds of acres to the resort. The resort is however about three months away from reopening, so the complaints are about issues that have happened already.

Fire recovery and marijuana rules are topics for the Clearlake City Council this week. The meeting tomorrow night will include a closed door session for a performance evaluation of City Manager Greg Folsom. The council will then hear about the Sulphur fire cleanup. The council is also taking another look at their commercial marijuana ordinance ahead of the New Year’s deadline.

We may have a new tax to pay for more road repairs. The legislature reportedly considering the California Road Charge Pilot Program where drivers would get taxed to drive their cars because the gas tax is apparently not bringing in enough money. State Senator Scott Wiener say people are using much less gas because of hybrids, electric and more fuel-efficient cars.

A businessman in Houston who helped Hurricane Harvey victims is now donating to fire victims in California. Jim or "Mattress Mack" McIngvale (MAK’-uhn-vayl) sending mattresses to San Diego for those caring for horses. He’s known to be a horse lover who used to have 30 horses at San Luis Rey Downs. He reportedly sent about 60 mattresses for displaced horse trainers and workers after more than 40 horses died at the training facility. He says he is sending more mattresses this week, saying he especially loves race horses and those who care for the animals. He owns Gallery Furniture and allowed Harvey survivors to stay in his stores when they couldn’t stay in their homes in flooded parts of Houston during the hurricane.

Smoke from the Southern California fires has moved into the Lake County area. The County’s Air Pollution Control Officer told Lake County News they are monitoring the smoke since air conditions could become unhealthy if the smoke drops to the ground. He says we are in “no burn” days now for likely another week due to the smoke as well the dry conditions here and says Cal Fire and local chiefs requested the “no burn” days ago through December 18th.

Two people in the hospital after the head on crash on Hwy 29 at the Nice-Lucerne Cutoff have been identified. The CHP says the driver of a minivan, 73 year old Bonnie Adams was traveling northbound in the southbound lane for about a minute then crashed head-on with a southbound car driven by 20 year old Roen Adams. The two drivers had to be extricated from their vehicles and flown to an out of county hospital. The CHP reported Adams, the minivan driver, was not impaired, but may have been confused about the lanes. She was reported in critical condition yesterday, and the driver of the other car was in fair condition.

A Catholic elementary school in Los Angeles getting a bad rap… after the school hosted the filming of a music video for a rap artist… Apparently the Blessed Sacrament School in Hollywood didn’t inform the Archdiocese of Los Angeles ahead of the Lil Pump music video filming of the song “Gucci Gang”. The video’s garnered more than 240 million views on YouTube. You can see the singer smoking marijuana and carrying bags of pot and giving out alcoholic beverages known as slizzurp. A spokesperson for the Archdiocese says they never approved it nor the content.

A little late on the autopsy, but a hospital in New York has performed a CT scan on a mummy, finding it had cancer. The man’s body was mummified and found in an Egyptian tomb. Crouse Hospital in Syracuse, New York, did the scan to learn more about the body and diagnosed him cancer. Saying they found a tumor on one of his legs. They also say it was kind of rare. The mummy was named Hen and had been examined one other time back in 2006, but since they have new technology, they checked him again.

A Willits woman has been killed in an accident off Highway 20 after her SUV rolled down a hillside and crashed into a tree. The CHP says Nannette Williams was westbound near Irmulco Road when she lost control. Her SUV was found with the roof smashed up against the tree and authorities say she died on impact. They are still looking into why she went off the road.

Two people are in the hospital following Monday’s crash on Hwy 29 at the Nice-Lucerne Cutoff. The CHP says around 530pm the driver of a minivan had been heading northbound in the southbound lane for at least a minute before colliding head-on with a southbound car. Both drivers had to be extricated from the vehicles and flown to Santa Rosa Memorial. Police say the minivan driver was not impaired but may have been confused about the lanes. As of this afternoon the minivan Driver 73-year-old Bonnie Adams was said to be in critical condition and the car driver 20-year-old Roen Adams of Oakland was in fair condition.

Hundreds of people have been visiting San Francisco’s City Hall to pay respects to Mayor Ed Lee who died this morning of an apparent heart attack after collapsing while shopping at a supermarket last night. A doctor who treated Lee says the mayor arrived at San Francisco General Hospital in critical condition by ambulance around 10pm Monday and they performed lifesaving measures until he died just after 1am. She said an autopsy would be done.

Smoke from the Southern California fires has moved into the Lake County air basin. The County’s Air Pollution Control Officer told Lake County News they are monitoring the smoke since air conditions could become unhealthy if the smoke drops to the ground. He says we are in “no burn” days now for likely another week due to the smoke as well the dry conditions here. He said Cal Fire and local chiefs requested the “no burn” days go through December 18.

Watch for continued potential flooding on Highway 128 near its end at the Navarro River Bridge and at Highway 1. The Navarro River outlet to the ocean has developed a sand bar that backs up the river, made worse with the recent King Tides. Cal Trans says usually a major storm event opens it up and then it’s good for another year or so.

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A man from Willits has been arrested on drug and probation violation charges. Police say Daniel Garcia was stopped in Willits and the cop found he was on probation. The deputy said he seemed high so conducted field sobriety tests on him. He arrested him for Recent Use of a Controlled Substance and Violation of Probation with no bail status.

A man in Covelo’s been arrested for an outstanding warrant. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office says they got a call to help a Round Valley Tribal Officer and found Luis Oliver being held for a felony warrant so he was arrested again, for the October charges of violating Post Release Community Supervision. He’s held on no bail.

A man from Klamath Falls, OR has been arrested in Willits on several charges including drug possession. The Sheriff’s Office patrolling the Sherwood Valley Casino parking lot in Willits and find Glenn Jenkins, who was on Post Release Community Supervision (PRCS) in Mendocino County. They searched his car and found knives, drugs, and drug paraphernalia. They say Jenkins also has a suspended license and had phony registration tabs on his car. The probation officer on his case told the deputy to arrest him, so he’s charged with Violation of Post Release Community Supervision, Possession of Controlled Substance, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, False Registration on Vehicle and Driving on Suspended License. He’s held without bail.

It’s lambing season in Hopland. The University of California’s Research and Extension Center in Hopland says they have about 100 lambs about ready to be born. The university says there’s a planned hike out to see where the babies are being born next month, with several babies expected to be on the hills. They have some that will be adopted because their mamas don’t care for them. Or because they have twins or triplets and not enough milk. The next Hike is Saturday, Jan. 13th at 10 a.m. with a meetup at Rod Shippey Hall.

VIDEO of one of their lambs jumping for joy while eating. https://youtu.be/1bnux_ZdADg

A new report shows California making major progress ahead of a possible recession again, even though the state’s fiscal outlook is healthy. The Legislative Analyst Office’s annual report warns about decisions from the federal government or state executive branch that could change the budget with either negative of positive outcomes. The Legislative Analyst Office estimating with no more budget commitments, the state would have just over $19 billion in reserves, almost 8 billion more than a year ago.

A head on crash at the Nice Lucerne cutoff on Hwy 29 sends two people to a hospital with major injuries. The crash yesterday with a black Honda SUV and a blue Honda Accord. The CHP reports the SUV may have been headed north on the highway before hitting the Accord on the southbound lane. They had blocked off two lanes on each side of the highway until late last night.

A cannabis work plan is still being worked out by the Lake County Board of Supervisors but they’re said to be getting close. The stakeholder departments getting direction include the Agriculture Department, Air Quality, Behavioral Health, Child Support Services, Community Development, County Counsel, Environmental Health, Public Health, the Sheriff Office, Water Resources and more. The new rules to include permitting, code enforcement, water use and storm management to consumer health and pest management. There will be a new working group to oversee the info getting to stakeholders in the new year. And the county is expected to host several two-hour cannabis workshops beginning next month, then on the third Thursday of each month.

State Senator Mike McGuire and his counterpart in the Assembly, Jim Wood want a one acre cap on commercial cannabis farms. But there are reportedly already farms with permits to grow on more than an acre. The two lawmakers sending a letter to the Office of Administrative Law asking to include the cap last week. Wood saying if there was no cap it would be against past efforts to limit the amount of cultivation as part of the Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act. He says it undermines the state work to protect smaller growers. The governor’s office not commenting directly on the matter, deferring to the Department of Food and Agriculture.

The latest Habitat for Humanity home has been dedicated in Lake County. This one last week for the Steffan-Alvarez family. At the dedication, the family got their key and a stocked pantry and bathroom plus gifts for the two children all from Grocery Outlet. Another home dedication is happening Saturday for the Callison-Evans family, who lost their home in the Clayton fire.

The Lakeport City Council still working on proposed new marijuana regulations. At their meeting last week, the council was looking at the proposed new rules for legal, commercial marijuana. The Planning Commission worked on the proposed rules over the last month they sent to the council. The Community Development Director says they had to align with state regulations and they have a deadline to meet at the end of the year. There was public comment too with some asking about gardens already in place and others about what storefront’s might look like. Emergency responders like the police chief and fire chief also weighed in.

27 million more trees have died in the state since a year ago. The U.S. Forest Service announced the loss of the, mostly conifers, with the number now at about 129 million on 8.9 million acres because of the drought, wildfires and bark beetles. The service also noting the dead trees are a hazard, mostly the ones in the central and southern Sierra Nevada region. The Forest Service reporting they’ll continue to take out hazard trees and thin overly dense forests. About 860,000 dead trees have already been removed.

A new tool for fire survivors in the North Coast who lost their homes… they can now track the debris removal process after the October wildfires. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and FEMA along with the Environmental Protection Agency have a new website for survivors to view the status of debris removal by parcel in Lake, Mendocino, Napa and Sonoma counties. The site also shows if the Right of Entry Forms were processed, if the home site was processed yet, if final soil sampling has happened and more. So far there’s been more than 437,000 tons of debris removed from the burn zones.

http://www.spk.usace.army.mil/CAwildfire and emails and phone numbers there for more info.

Anyone who has questions can call the USACE debris removal line at 877-875-7681 from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. or email:

– USACESupporttoLake;
– USACESupporttoMendocino;
– USACESupporttoNapa;
– USACESupporttoSonoma.

Highway 20 was closed near Fort Bragg for several hours today after a big rig hauling scrap metal overturned. It happened around 11:15 a.m. about four miles east of Fort Bragg at Wildwood Campground. The California Highway Patrol says the driver has only minor injuries but the metal could take several hours to clear up before they could then upright and move the truck. They estimated around 5:00pm to reopen the highway although at 1:30pm they opened up one lane with a pilot car guiding traffic two-way traffic.

It’s “Shop with a Cop” time again in Lake County. The Lake County Deputy Sheriffs Association and the Bay Area Deputy Sheriffs’ Charitable Foundation have again partnered to provide a special holiday shopping event for less fortunate Lake County kids. The 3rd Annual “Shop with a Cop” is Wednesday, December 13th at the Clearlake Wal-Mart. 70 children will receive $200 each to shop tax-free for warm winter clothes, as well as holiday gifts for their families and other items they need and they team up with a local Peace Officer to help them shop. Among the helpers: Lake County deputies, Clearlake Police, Lakeport Police, and officers from State Parks, Fish and Wildlife, Lake County Probation and the Lake County District Attorney’s Office.

The Ukiah Food Bank is getting ready for a major expansion and renovation. Plans call for making North State Street site a more market-like distribution center, with refrigerated cases that will enable the Food Bank to distribute fresh fruit and vegetables. The Ukiah Daily Journal reports Food Bank recipients will choose food in a shopping style environment that will resemble a neighborhood grocery store. The warehouse area will be expanded by 30 percent which will allow more room for recipients to wait inside instead of out in the cold or heat and will also give more space to conduct more nutrition services. And they are bringing back windows to the front of the building to improve the natural lighting for both customers and volunteers.

There are nearly 200 area firefighters helping to battle the Southern California fires. As we reported last week a Mendocino County Strike went down with an engine each from Ukiah Valley Fire Authority, Hopland Fire, Redwood Coast, South Coast, and Willits with the Strike Team leader Deputy Chief John Tolman from Willits. But the Cal Fire Mendocino Unit has also sent 148 personnel with a Helicopter, Heli-Tender, 4 Engines and 4 Dozers. The largest of the fires, the Thomas Fire, burning in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties, is now at 230,000 acres, making it the fifth largest wildfire in modern California history.

Today is the deadline to register for October Fire Disaster assistance with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and U.S. Small Business Administration. It is the deadline for both Lake and Mendocino Counties. You may be eligible for federal grants that do not have to be repaid to help cover disaster-related expenses like rent, essential home repairs and other needs not covered by insurance. The Disaster Recovery Center in Lake County is now closed and the one is Mendocino County at 1375 State Street is closes for good today at 6pm. You can apply online at DisasterAssistance.gov, by using the FEMA app on a smart phone or by calling 800-621-3362.

The Librarian of the historic Upper Lake Library has retired. Linda Bushta has held the job since 2005, among other projects overseeing the celebrations for the 90th and 100th anniversaries of the Library which opened in October 1916 as the Harriet Lee Hammond Library. Lake County News reports Bushta’s retirement means that the job of branch library coordinator will be opening up soon and will be posted on the County of Lake job opportunities Web site. Bushta’s duties included helping patrons request books, answering reference questions, sorting deliveries of books, taking money for fines, planning displays and introducing patrons to the library’s digital resources.

There’s a lot of road work continuing this week on Hwy 101 affecting Mendocino County:

Route 101: Slide repairs from Comminsky Station Road to the Pieta Creek Bridge will continue. Northbound traffic will be reduced to one lane from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays. Motorists should anticipate minor traffic slowdowns.

Route 101: Emergency wildfire repairs at Ridgewood Ranch Road will continue. One-way traffic control will be in effect 24 hours a day weekdays. Motorists should anticipate 15-minute delays.

Route 101: Emergency work near Hermitage Vista Point will continue. Northbound traffic will be reduced to one lane 24 hours a day. Ten-minute delays.

Route 101: Slide repairs one mile south of Dora Creek Bridge will continue. One-way traffic control will be in effect from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays. Five-minute delays.

Disciplinary action and possible prosecution are on the table for a 13-year-old girl the Lake County Sheriff’s Office says wrote a threat on a school wall Thursday. The Sheriff’s Office says the “vague threat” was discovered written on the wall between Middletown High School and Middletown Middle School. The Sheriff’s Office says with help from students and parents, they found the kid responsible. Based on their investigation, the Sheriff’s Office does not believe there was any further threat but they did have deputies at the schools today. Details of their investigation will be forwarded to the Lake County Probation Department for review and possible prosecution and the school district will look at disciplinary action.

The Lake County District Attorney’s Perjury Intervention Unit has resolved a case in which a mother lied about the safety of her 3-year-old child. In 2015 a Lake County man filed for custody of the child alleging his ex, Shannon Mick, was a victim of domestic violence from her current boyfriend and was exposing the child to a dangerous environment. Mick denied the claims both under oath and in a signed court document. Later trial evidence showed she had gone to a neighbor for help after her boyfriend attacked her and the neighbor, an off duty police officer, testified to that. And a deputy who’d responded that night testified there were other instances of domestic violence at the home. Last week Mick pled no contest to the perjury. She faces up to four years in prison when sentenced next month.

The FBI is offering a reward of up to $20,000 for help in catching the serial bank robber known as the “Khaki Bandit” who has hit several banks Mendocino, Sonoma, and Napa counties over past 4 years. The Press Democrat he is suspected of robbing 14 banks including the Westamerica Bank in Gualala in June. He is white, in his 20s or 30s, and usually wears khaki pants, long-sleeved, zip-front shirts and jackets as well as a hat and black glasses. He typically shows a black pistol as he demands cash from tellers and is considered armed and dangerous.

Survivors of the October fires have just a few days left to register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency for disaster assistance and apply for low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration. The deadline for both Lake and Mendocino Counties is Monday December 11. You may be eligible for federal grants that do not have to be repaid to help cover disaster-related expenses like rent, essential home repairs and other needs not covered by insurance. You can apply in person at a Disaster Recovery Center but note that the Lake County DRC at the Clearlake Senior Center will close for good on Saturday December 9 at 5pm and the Mendocino County DRC at 1375 State Street will close for good on Monday December 11 at 6pm. Applicants can apply also for disaster assistance by going online at DisasterAssistance.gov, by using the FEMA app on a smart phone or by calling 800-621-3362 or (TTY) 800-462-7585. Applicants who use 711 or Video Relay Service can call 800-621-3362. The toll-free numbers are open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week.