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Mendocino County marijuana garden raids net 17 people
Wednesday, September 29, 2010 at 7:51 a.m.

Mendocino County authorities arrested 17 people Tuesday in a joint investigation of multiple illicit marijuana gardens in the Round Valley. The day-long raids netted 3,480 pot plants, 122 pounds of processed marijuana, six firearms and about $32,000 in cash in four areas. Aerial patrols spotted the gardens during earlier flights.Sheriff’s spokesman Kurt Smallcomb called it the new gold rush, except instead of the gold rush it’s the green rush.
At two locations on Zenia Road in north Covelo, agents destroyed 223 pot plants and seized 105 pounds of processed marijuana, two rifles, a handgun and $31,000 in cash. They arrested seven individuals on suspicion of marijuana cultivation and sales:
At two locations on Tabor Lane, agents destroyed 152 pot plants, seized about 10 pounds of processed marijuana, a rifle, two handguns and arrested four people on suspicion of marijuana cultivation: and sales.

Wyoming man douses himself in paint to avoid Taser

CHEYENNE, Wyo. – A Cheyenne man who doused himself with white latex paint in hopes of avoiding a police Taser was hit with the stun gun anyway. The Taser chase happened Sept. 16, when Cheyenne police went to Brian Mattert’s house on a domestic violence call. The Wyoming Tribune Eagle reports that when police arrived, Mattert thought they’d use a Taser on him, so he hastily covered himself in paint and told officers that if they shot him with the stun gun, he’d die. Officers told him the paint wouldn’t affect the Taser’s capability. According to police, Mattert scuffled with officers and was hit with a Taser twice before officers handcuffed him. He faces several criminal charges. Police say the officers’ uniforms had to be cleaned.

Cable car bell-ringing contest hits sour note
SAN FRANCISCO — Cable car gripmen and conductors didn’t chime in during Muni’s bell-ringing contest. The cable car operators say the union told them to boycott Tuesday’s event, although Transportation Workers Union Local 250-A secretary-treasurer Walter Scott III denies the union had anything to do with it. The union has been fighting the city over cuts in overtime pay and an $80 a month fee for drivers to park their cars in city bus yards, among other things. Muni chief Nathaniel Ford says they found out Monday night that car cable operators would not participate. But Muni decided to hold the event anyway with three competitors who work for local media companies.
The contest usually includes two bell-ringing battles: one among media representatives and the other among the Muni workers.

County to cover retirees’ healthcare increase

Health insurance premiums will go up $88 in January for county retirees too young to qualify for Medicare, and the county will cover the per-employee, monthly increase until the retiree health care reserve is gone in March 2012. The Board of Supervisors made it so in a 4-1 vote Tuesday, with 2nd District Supervisor John McCowen dissenting. With that increase, County HR Director Teresia Haase said the county is expected to deplete the reserve at a rate of about $1,800 less monthly than projected in April.

Bear feeding defendant arraigned

The woman accused of feeding bears at her Laytonville home was arraigned Tuesday on a misdemeanor charge of feeding big game mammals. Lynne Gravier appeared in Fort Bragg’s Ten-Mile Branch of the Mendocino County Superior Court to hear the charge against her, and to request time to get an attorney, according to prosecutor Tim Stoen would likely seek a sentence of two years of summary probation instead of jail time, if she pleads no-contest. Game wardens served a search warrant on her property Sept. 24 and seized more than 500 pounds of grain she was feeding the bears. Her defenders said Gravier was only caring for animals that had been displaced by poachers and illegal marijuana growers. This is the second wildlife feeding complaint filed against Gravier in five years. Fish and game says Feeding large game animals is illegal and could lead to aggressive behavior

Hearing rescheduled in Hopland arson case

A preliminary hearing for the man accused of setting fire to the Hopland home he shared with his wife in an allegedly attempted murder-suicide has been rescheduled. Steven Phillip Chiriboga,is due back in court in October. . Chiriboga allegedly bailed out of the county jail around 4 a.m. Sept. 6 and went to his Mountain House Road home to wait for his wife, then allegedly set fire to it around 4 p.m. when she returned. He faces multiple charges. He is held at the Mendocino County Jail under $1.3 million bail.

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