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FORMER LAKE COUNTY ATHLETE KILLED IN PLANE CRASH JKB 11/21/11

  • A FORMER OUTSTANDING ATHLETE AT KELSEYVILLE HIGH SCHOOL DIED IN A PLANE CRASH IN ARKANSAS ON FRIDAY.

36 YEAR OLD MIRANDA SERNA PLAYED BASKETBALL DURING HER SOPHOMORE YEAR AND HELPED LEAD THE TEAM TO THE NORTH COAST SECTION DIVISION IV SEMIFINALS IN 1991. SHE WENT ONTO PLAY AT OKLAHOMA STATE UNIVERSITY AND EVENTUALLY BECAME HEAD COACH KURT BUDKES ASSISTANT. SERNA, BUDKE, 82 YEAR OLD PILOT AND FORMER OKALAHOMA STATE SENATOR OLIN BRANSTETTER AND HIS WIFE PAULA DIED WHEN THE PLANE CRASHED INTO THE WINONA WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT AREA NEAR PERRYVILLE ARKANSAS WHILE ON A RECRUITING TRIP.

SUSPICIOUS SHOOTING IN WILLITS JKB 11/21/11

  • MENDOCINO COUNTY AUTHORITIES ARE INVESTIGATING A SUSPICIOUS SHOOTING THAT OCCURRED IN THE BROOKTRIALS AREA OF WILLITS EARLY FRIDAY MORNING.

DEPUTIES WERE CALLED TO THE HOME OF THE 45 YEAR OLD MALE VICTIM AT AROUND 3 AM. THE VICTIM HAD SHOTGUN INJURIES TO HIS LEGS THAT HE CLAIMED WERE ACCIDENTAL, BUT DID NOT GIVE FURTHER DETAILS. POLICE RECEIVED A CALL FROM ANOTHER PARTY AT AROUND 7 AM STATING THAT THE SHOOTING AS NOT AN ACCIDENT. THE INCIDENT IS NOW BEING INVESTIGATED AS A CRIMINAL ACT. THE VICTIM WAS REPORTED TO BE IN STABLE CONDITION.

FATAL ACCIDENT JKB 11/21/11

  • A LAKE COUNTY MAN WAS KILLED WHEN HIS PICK UP TRUCK RAN OFF PETRIFIED FOREST ROAD NEAR CALISTOGA LAST WEEK.

FARM WORKERS FOUND THE WRECKAGE LATE WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON. ACCORDING TO THE CHP, THE DRIVER, MICHAEL TORSO WAS NOT WEARING A SEATBELT AND WAS EJECTED AS HIS TRUCK OVERTURNED DOWN A STEEP EMBANKMENT AND LANDED ON TOP OF HIM. THE VEHICLE WAS NOT VISIBLE FROM THE ROAD AND IT IS UNCLEAR HOW LONG IT HAD BEEN THERE BEFORE BEING DISCOVERED.

SHOOTING VICTIM IDD, SEARCH FOR 2ND SUSPECT CONTINUES JKB 11/21/11

  • THE SEARCH IS CONTINUING FOR A SECOND SUSPECT INVOLVED IN A MARIJUANA RELATED HOME INVASION ROBBERY IN COVELO THAT LEFT HIS ACCOMPLICE DEAD EARLY THURSDAY MORNING.

22 YEAR OLD PABLO NUNEZ OF MEXICO DIED OF A SINGLE GUNSHOT WOUND TO THE CHEST AFTER BEING SHOT BY THE HOME OWNER, 22 YEAR OLD JOSEPH LONG. THE SECOND SUSPECT FLED IN A WHITE CHEVY COLBOLT TYPE SEDAN AND HAS NOT YET BEEN IDENTIFIED. INVESTIGATORS SAY THEY BELIEVE THE PAIR WERE ATTEMPTING TO STEAL SOME OF THE 100 POUNDS OF PROCESSED MARIJUANA FOUND IN AN AROUND THE HOME. ANYONE WITH INFORMATION ABOUT THIS INCIDENT IS ASKED TO CONTACT THE MENDOCINO COUNTY SHERIFFS DEPARTMENT. CALLERS MAY REMAIN ANONYMOUS.

MARIJUANA BUST JKB 11/21/11

  • LAKE COUNTY AUTHORITIES SEIZED CLOSE TO 350 POUNDS OF PROCESSED MARIJUANA, MORE THAN 6 POUNDS OF HASHISH, 32 MATURE MARIJUANA PLANTS, AND ARRESTED 3 PEOPLE WHILE SERVING A SEARCH WARRANT ON A HOME AND STORAGE UNIT ON THURSDAY.

THE HOME WAS LOCATED IN LAKEPORT, WHILE THE STORAGE UNIT WAS AT A FACILITY IN NICE. 59 YEAR OLD MICHAEL KELLY OF LAKEPORT, 39 YEAR OLD FELIX MEDINA OF COSTA MESA, AND 24 YEAR OLD NEMER SALAS-MARTINEZ OF WHITTIER WERE ARRESTED IN CONNECTION WITH THE OPERATION.

LOST HIKER FOUND JKB 11/21/11

  • A 22 YEAR OLD UPPER LAKE MAN WHO GOT LOST WHILE HIKING IN THE ELK MOUNTAIN CANYON AREA WAS RESCUED BY HELICOPTER AFTER SPENDING THE NIGHT IN THE WILDERNESS.

SEARCH AND RESCUE CREWS SEARCHED THROUGHOUT THE NIGHT AND LOCATED THE MAN JUST BEFORE 7 AM. THE SONOMA COUNTY SHERIFFS DEPARTMENT HELICOPTER HENRY 1 WAS CALLED IN TO FLY THE WAYWARD HIKER OUT TO WAITING MEDICAL PERSONNEL. HIS NAME AND CONDITION HAVE NOT BEEN RELEASED.

SPEAR FISHERMEN INJURED JKB 11/14/11

  • A SPEAR FISHERMAN WAS IMPALED BY HIS OWN SPEAR WHILE FISHING ON THE SONOMA COUNTY COAST ON SATURDAY AFTER A LARGE WAVE SLAMMED HIM INTO A GROUP OF ROCKS.

45 YEAR OLD JAVIER PUENTES OF SAN FRANCISCO SUFFERED A DEEP PUNCTURE WOUND TO HIS LEG DURING THE INCIDENT THAT OCCURRED AT AROUND 2:20 PM. EMERGENCY CREWS CLIMBED DOWN A 75 FOOT CLIFF TO REACH HIM AND A HELICOPTER WAS USED RETRIEVE HIM FROM THE BOTTOM OF THE CLIFF. HE WAS TAKEN TO SANTA ROSA MEMORIAL HOSPITAL WHERE HE WAS TREATED AND LATER RELEASED ON SUNDAY.

TASK FORCE COMMANDER NISHIYAMA TO RETIRE JKB 11/14/11

  • MENDOCINO COUNTY MAJOR CRIMES TASK FORCE COMMANDER BOB NISHIYAMA HAS ANNOUNCED THAT HE PLANS TO RETIRE AT THE END OF THIS MONTH.

NISHIYAMA HAS SPENT 38 YEARS IN LAW ENFORCEMENT, AND THE LAST 13 OF THOSE SERVING AS THE MAJOR CRIMES TASK FORCE COMMANDER.

FORMER SHERIFF FILES TORT AGAINST LAKE COUNTY JKB 11/14/11

  • A FORMER LAKE COUNTY SHERIFFS DEPUTY WHO CLAIMS HE WAS UNFAIRLY TERMINATED THREE YEARS AGO HAS FILED A TORT CLAIM AGAINST THE COUNTY SEEKING $3.7 MILLION DOLLARS IN DAMAGES.

JAMES BELAND CLAIMS HE WAS FIRED IN DECEMBER OF 2008 IN RETALIATION FOR STATEMENTS HE MADE IN THE CASE OF A FATAL BOATING COLLISION BETWEEN OFF DUTY LAKE COUNTY SHERIFFS DEPUTY CHIEF RUSSELL PURDOCK AND BISMARCK DINIUS IN APRIL OF 2006. AT THE TIME BELAND STATED THAT HE WAS ORDERED NOT TO ADMINISTER A BREATHALYZER TEST TO PURDOCK, A CLAIM THAT THE SHERIFFS DEPARTMENT LATER DENIED. DINIUS WAS PROSECUTED BUT ACQUITTED OF THE CHARGES IN THE CRASH THAT KILLED 51 YEAR OLD LYNN THORNTON OF WILLOWS, AND PRUDOCK WAS NEVER CHARGED. A HEARING OFFICER THAT WAS AGREED UPON BY BOTH BELAND AND THE COUNTY SUGGESTED THAT BELAND BE REINSTATED TO HIS JOB FOR BEING TERMINATED WITHOUT CAUSE. THE LAKE COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS VOTED NOT TO. THE COUNTY NOW HAS 45 DAYS TO TAKE ACTION ON THE CLAIM. IF REJECTED, BELAND WILL THEN HAVE 6 MONTHS TO FILE A LAWSUIT AGAINST THE COUNTY.

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