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NORTH PASS FIRE UPDATE 1 JH 09/04/12

THE NORTH PASS FIRE, BURNING FOR MORE THAN TWO WEEKS NOW, DESTROYED SEVERAL MORE HOMES AND BURNED THOUSANDS OF ACRES OVER THE HOLIDAY WEEKEND.

THE FIRE HAS CONSUMED MORE THAN 42,000 ACRES AND IS 60% CONTAINED AS OF LAST NIGHT. A TOTAL OF SEVEN RESIDENCES AND 9 OUTBUILDINGS HAVE BEEN DESTROYED, AND A HAND FULL OF RESIDENCES STILL REMAINS THREATENED. 9 INJURIES HAVE BEEN REPORTED SO FAR. ACCORDING TO OFFICIALS, A FIREFIGHTING HELICOPTER WAS ALSO DAMAGED OVER THE WEEKEND. THE HELICOPTER, WORKING IN HEAVY SMOKE, HIT A TREE DURING A WATER DROP AND DAMAGED ONE OF ITS ROTOR BLADES. NO ONE WAS INJURED, AND THE HELICOPTER IS REPAIRABLE. EVACUATIONS HAVE BEEN LIFTED FOR THE MAJORITY OF THE BAUER RANCH SUBDIVISION, HOWEVER, EVACUATIONS REMAIN IN PLACE FOR AREAS NEAR INDIAN DICK ROAD AND MENDOCINO PASS ROAD. FOR MORE INFORMATION OF THE EVACUATION ORDERS, PLEASE VISIT MENDOCINO SHERIFF DOT COM.

FIREFIGHTER THREATENED WHILE WORKING NORTH PASS FIRE JH 09/04/12

A FIREFIGHTER WORKING THE NORTH PASS FIRE WAS THREATENED WITH A GUN NEAR A MARIJUANA GARDEN.

THE CAL FIRE FIREFIGHTER WAS ON A VACANT LOT OF LAND IN THE BLANDS COVE AREA, WHICH IS ALSO PART OF THE MANDATORY EVACUATION AREA. THE FIREFIGHTER WAS INVOLVED IN SUPPRESSION DUTIES AND DOCUMENTING FIRE DAMAGE, WHEN HE CAME UPON A MARIJUANA GARDEN. HE IGNORED IT AND CONTINUED WITH HIS WORK. A VEHICLE THEN APPROACHED, AND 21 YEAR OLD VEDA BENNETT-SWANK TOLD THE FIREFIGHTER TO LEAVE. THEN LOOKED DOWN AT AN OBJECT BETWEEN HIS LEGS. THE FIREFIGHTER THEN LOOKED, AND SAW A SHOTGUN POINTED DIRECTLY AT HIM, AND FEARING FOR HIS LIFE, LEFT THE AREA IMMEDIATELY. DEPUTIES RETURNED AND LOCATED VEDA BENNET-SWANK WHO ADMITTED TO THE CHARGES AND WAS ARRESTED.

STANDOFF ON NORTON STREET JH 09/04/12

A UKIAH MAN WAS ARRESTED AFTER A SHORT STAND OFF WITH POLICE AND SWAT.

UKIAH POLICE WERE SUMMONED TO NORTON STREET SUNDAY NIGHT OVER COMPLAINTS THAT A NEIGHBOR WOMAN WAS YELLING AT HER HUSBAND. WHEN POLICE ARRIVED, 52 YEAR OLD MARK WILLIAMS WAS ALLEGEDLY INSIDE HIS HOME WITH A FIREARM AND REFUSING TO COME OUT. AFTER ABOUT 30 MINUTES, WILLIAMS WAS TAKEN INTO CUSTODY AND CHARGED WITH SUSPICION OF BRANDISHING A FIREARM AND MAKING THREATS, AND BOOKED INTO MENDOCINO COUNTY JAIL.

TRAFFIC STOP LEADS TO DRUG BUST AND FLEEING SUSPECT JH 09/04/12

MENDOCINO COUNTY SHERIFFS DEPUTIES CONDUCTED A TRAFFIC VIOLATION STOP THAT LED TO METHAMPHETAMINE AND A FLEEING SUSPECT.

WHEN DEPUTIES PULLED THE TRUCK OVER ON BRANSCOMB ROAD, THE DRIVER, LATER IDENTIFIED AS CHRIS RICE, FLED ON FOOT. THE PASSENGER, 47 YEAR OLD RHONDA PHILLIPS STAYED IN THE VEHICLE. A SEARCH OF THE TRUCK TURNED UP CRYSTAL METH, DIGITAL SCALES, PACKAGING MATERIALS AND MORE. PHILLIPS WAS ARRESTED, AND RICE IS STILL WANTED BY THE SHERIFFS DEPARTMENT.

TRAFFIC STOP LEADS TO POT BUST JH 09/04/12

A TRAFFIC STOP ON HIGHWAY 101 NEAR LAYTONVILLE, LEADS TO A MARIJUANA BUST.

MENDOCINO COUNTY SHERIFFS DEPUTIES PULLED OVER A VEHICLE FOR A TRAFFIC VIOLATION. THEY FOUND THAT THE DRIVER, 22 YEAR OLD KYLE GUNDRUM HAD A SUSPENDED DRIVERS LICENSE AND THERE WAS A STRONG ODOR OF MARIJUANA COMING FROM THE VEHICLE. GUNDRUM ADMITTED TO HAVING LESS THAN AN OUNCE ON HIM, HOWEVER A SEARCH REVEALED THREE 1 POUND BRICKS OF POT AND $9000 IN CASH. GUDRUM WAS ARRESTED AND BOOKED INTO MENDOCINO COUNTY JAIL.

DOUG LOSAK PLEADS NO CONTEST JH 09/04/12

DOUG LOSAK, WHO STEPPED DOWN AS ACTING LEGAL COUNCIL FOR THE COUNTY OF MENDOCINO, PLEADED NO CONTEST TO HAVING A CONCEALED GUN AND MARIJUANA IN HIS CAR WHEN STOPPED LAST MONTH.

ACCORDING TO THE DAS OFFICE, THE GUN CHARGE CARRIES A POSSIBLE PENALTY OF UP TO A YEAR IN JAIL AND/OR A FINE OF UP TO $1,000 DOLLARS. THE MARIJUANA CHARGE CARRIES A BASE PENALTY OF $100, WHICH INCREASES TO $178.50 WITH PENALTY ASSESSMENTS.

HOTEL SCAM JH 09/04/12

THE FORT BRAGG POLICE WERE NOTIFIED ABOUT A POSSIBLE SCAM OCCURRING AT LOCAL HOTELS IN OUR AREA.

ACCORDING TO AUTHORITIES, AN UNIDENTIFIED PERSON WILL CALL A GUEST IN A HOTEL ROOM, POSING AS THE FRONT DESK STAFF FOR THE HOTEL. THE CALL IS USUALLY MADE LATE AT NIGHT TO THROW OFF THE GUEST. THE CALLER THEN REQUESTS CREDIT CARD INFORMATION, STATING THERE WAS A PROBLEM WITH PAYMENT FOR THE ROOM. IF THIS HAPPENS TO YOU, IT IS A SCAM. HOTELS AND GUESTS ARE URGED TO NOT PROVIDE ANY INFORMATION OVER THE PHONE. ALWAYS GO TO THE FRONT DESK OR OFFICE AND DEAL WITH PAYMENT ISSUES IN PERSON.

IF ANYONE BELIEVES THEY MIGHT HAVE PROVIDED INFORMATION TO THE SUSPECTED CALLER, YOU ARE URGED TO CALL THE BANK THAT HOLDS THE CARD, THEN THE FORT BRAGG POLICE DEPARTMENT AT 707-964-0200.

LAKE COUNTY DA HANDS OUT FUNDS TO NON PROFITS JH 09/04/12

THE LAKE COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY DISTRIBUTED FUNDS TO LOCAL COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS.

DA DON ANDERSON IMPLEMENTED AN ALTERNATIVE COMMUNITY SERVICE PROGRAM LAST YEAR THAT ALLOWS PEOPLE CONVICTED IN CERTAIN CASES TO CONVERT COMMUNITY SERVICE HOURS INTO CASH, WHICH IS THEN USED TO BENEFIT LOCAL GROUPS. SUNDAY AT THE LAKE COUNTY FAIR, DA ANDERSON WAS ABLE TO DISTRIBUTE OVER $14 THOUSAND DOLLARS FROM THIS FUND TO LOCAL GROUPS INCLUDING FIRE DEPARTMENTS, A RAPE CRISIS CENTER, FUTURE FARMERS OF AMERICA AND MORE. SINCE THE PROGRAM STARTED LAST YEAR, IT HAS RAISED MORE THAN $70,000 DOLLARS.

BOATS FOUND MUSSEL FREE AT LAKE MENDOCINO JH 09/04/12

POPEYE THE MUSSEL SNIFFING DOG HAD A BUSY WEEKEND AT LAKE MENDOCINO.

THE CHOCOLATE LAB PUT HIS NOSE RIGHT TO WORK, TAKING ABOUT 30 SECONDS TO SNIFF AROUND EACH BOAT FOR QUAGGA OR ZEBRA MUSSELS, IN AN EFFORT TO KEEP THE INVASIVE SPECIES OUT OF LAKE MENDOCINO AND OTHER LOCAL WATERWAYS. THE WEEKEND EFFORT TO EDUCATE BOATERS ABOUT THE INVASIVE SPECIES ALSO GAVE A SAMPLE OF THE MANDATORY INSPECTION PROGRAM THAT MAY BE IN PLACE BY NEXT SUMMER. FORTUNATELY, NO MUSSELS WERE FOUND THIS WEEKEND AT LAKE MENDOCINO.

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