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WINDSTORM KNOCKS DOWN TREES AND POWER LINES AND CLOSES SCHOOLS (EVR) JH 11/22/13

A VIOLENT WINDSTORM LAST NIGHT CAUSED MAJOR DAMAGE AROUND LAKE AND MENDOCINO COUNTIES.

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE ISSUED A WIND ADVISORY THURSDAY THAT WAS SOON UPDATED TO A HIGH WIND WARNING, AND FOR GOOD REASON. GUSTS UP TO 60 MILES AN HOUR WERE EXPECTED AND KNOCKED DOWN TREES AND POWER POLES IN DOZENS OF LOCATIONS CAUSING TRAFFIC PROBLEMS THIS MORNING. SEVERAL FIRES WERE ALSO STARTED INCLUDING ONE AT THE GEYSERS GEOTHERMAL STEAM FIELDS. TREES FELL ON SEVERAL HOMES AND VEHICLES, AND AT LEAST ONE HOME IN NICE HAD IT ROOF RIPPED OFF BY THE WINDS. THOUSAND OF HOMES AND BUSINESSES WERE LEFT WITHOUT POWER, SOME FOR LONG PERIODS OF TIME. POWER OUTAGES ALSO CAUSED THE CLOSURE OF NUMEROUS SCHOOLS TODAY, INCLUDING THOSE IN POTTER VALLEY AND UPPER LAKE.

UKIAH PLANNING COMMISSION CERTIFIES COSTCO EIR (GOV) JH 11/22/13

THE UKIAH PLANNING COMMISSION RECOMMENDED AT LAST NIGHTS MEETING, THAT THE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT REPORT FOR A NEW COSTCO STORE ON AIRPORT PARK BOULEVARD BE CERTIFIED.

MEMBERS OF THE COMMISSION, AS WELL AS CONCERNED CITIZENS, VOICED THEIR CONCERNS ABOUT WETLANDS ON THE PROPERTY WHERE COSTCO WILL BUILD, WHICH IS BETWEEN KEN FOWLER MOTORS AND THE END OF AIRPORT PARK BOULEVARD. OTHERS RAISED CONCERNS THAT PAYING FOR INFRASTRUCTURE IMPROVEMENTS, LIKE NEW FREEWAY OFF RAMPS AND OTHER TRAFFIC MITIGATION SHOULD NOT FALL ON THE CITY. HOWEVER, ACCORDING TO THE CITY PLANNING DIRECTOR, THOSE IMPROVEMENTS ARE GOING TO HAPPEN WHETHER COSTCO COMES TO UKIAH OR NOT. IT IS NECESSARY FOR THE BUILD-OUT OF THE BUSINESS PARK. IN THE END, THE COMMISSION APPROVED THE REZONING REQUEST AND THE STATEMENT OF OVERRIDING CONDITIONS, WHICH WERE NECESSARY FOR THE EIR TO BE RECOMMENDED FOR CERTIFICATION.

FIRE AT GEYSERS GEOTHERMAL STEAM FIELD (LAW) JH 11/22/13

HIGH WINDS BLOWING OVER A UTILITY ARE BELIEVED TO BE THE CAUSE OF AN EARLY MORNING FIRE THAT STARTED AT THE GEYSERS GEOTHERMAL STEAM FIELD.

THE FIRE WAS FIRST REPORTED AROUND 2 AM THIS MORNING. FIREFIGHTERS ON SCENE REPORTED WINDS IN EXCESS OF 30 MILES PER HOUR THAT WERE PUSHING THE FLAMES NORTH. DOWNED TREES AND POWER LINES MADE IT DIFFICULT FOR FIREFIGHTERS TO ACCESS THE FIRE. FIREFIGHTERS FROM BOTH LAKE AND SONOMA COUNTIES ARE CURRENTLY BATTLING THE BLAZE THAT HAS ALREADY CONSUMED OVER 25 ACRES.

UKIAH WOMAN ARRESTED AFTER HIGH SPEED CHASE (LAW) JH 11/22/13

A UKIAH WOMAN WAS ARRESTED FOR DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE, AS WELL AS DRUG CHARGES AFTER A HIGH SPEED CHASE EARLY THURSDAY MORNING.

UKIAH POLICE NOTICED A VEHICLE NEAR WASHINGTON AVENUE AND SOUTH DORA STREET JUST AFTER MIDNIGHT AS IT FAILED TO STOP COMPLETELY AT THE INTERSECTION AND WAS WEAVING. WHEN POLICE ATTEMPTED TO STOP THE VEHICLE, THE DRIVER, LATER IDENTIFIED AS 29-YEAR-OLD BOBBI LEE MAKI, FLED AT HIGH SPEEDS. THE CHASE HEADED DOWN ORR SPRINGS ROAD AND ONTO LOW GAP ROAD REACHING SPEEDS OF 80 MILES PER HOUR AND LASTED OVER 50 MINUTES BEFORE THE VEHICLE BECAME DISABLED AND STOPPED SEVERAL MILES OUTSIDE OF UKIAH. DURING THE PURSUIT, MAKI WAS SEEN REPEATEDLY THROWING SUSPECTED DRUGS OUT THE WINDOW. ONE POUND OF MARIJUANA, AND SEVERAL GRAMS OF METHAMPHETAMINE WERE FOUND IN HER VEHICLE, AS WELL AS POWDERED METH ALL OVER THE DRIVERS DOOR PANEL AND WINDOW SILL OF THE VEHICLE. MAKI WAS BOOKED INTO MENDOCINO COUNTY JAIL ON MULTIPLE CHARGES.

FORT BRAGG ATTORNEY KILLED IN CAR CRASH (LAW) JH 11/19/13

A FORT BRAGG DEFENSE ATTORNEY DIED IN A SUNDAY AFTERNOON CRASH ON HIGHWAY 20 WHEN HIS VEHICLE ROLLED INTO A CANYON.

57 YEAR OLD THOMAS CROAK WAS HEADED WESTBOUND ON HIGHWAY 20 ABOUT 17 MILES EAST OF FORT BRAGG, WHEN HE ENTERED A CORNER TOO WIDE AND OVERCORRECTED, CROSSING BOTH LANES OF TRAFFIC AND GOING OVER THE EDGE OF THE HIGHWAY. CROAK DIED OF HIS INJURIES, AND HIS PASSENGER, 46-YEAR-OLD BRIAN WAGONER WAS TAKEN THE MENDOCINO COAST DISTRICT HOSPITAL WITH MINOR INJURIES.

TWO REDWOOD VALLEY RESIDENTS ARRESTED FOR THURSDAY MORNING LUCERNE SHOOTING (LAW) JH 11/22/13

TWO REDWOOD VALLEY RESIDENTS WERE ARRESTED THURSDAY MORNING FOR AN ALLEGED SHOOTING IN LUCERNE.

JUST AFTER 12:30 AM, DEPUTIES WERE DISPATCHED ON THE REPORT OF GUNFIRE ON COUNTRY CLUB DRIVE. WHILE ENROUTE DEPUTIES STOPPED A VEHICLE THAT MATCHED THE DESCRIPTION OF THE SUSPECTS VEHICLE, AND DETAINED 35-YEAR-OLD SAMANTHA LEE RILLA AND 36 YEAR OLD STEPHEN ANTHONY THOMAS. DEPUTIES AT THE SCENE REPORTED THAT THE SUSPECTS SHOWED UP AT THE VICTIMS RESIDENCE AND BEGAN ARGUING. AT SOME POINT, THE VICTIM PUNCHED THOMAS IN THE FACE KNOCKING HIM DOWN STAIRS. THOMAS THEN PULLED A HAND GUN AND PISTOL WHIPPED THE VICTIM BEFORE FIRING ONE ROUND AT HIS FEET, HITTING HIS PANTS. THE VICTIMS AND SEVERAL WITNESSES IDENTIFIED RILLA AND THOMAS AS THOSE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE SHOOTING. BOTH RILLA AND THOMAS WERE BOOKED INTO LAKE COUNTY JAIL ON MULTIPLE CHARGES.

SENATE SUBCOMMITTEE HOLDS HEARING ON BERRYESSA SNOW MOUNTAIN CONSERVATION AREA DESIGNATION (GOV) JH 11/22/13

THE US SENATE SUBCOMMITTEE ON PUBLIC LANDS, FORESTS, AND MINING HELD A HEARING WEDNESDAY ON THE PROPOSED BERRYESSA SNOW MOUNTAIN NATIONAL CONSERVATION AREA THAT WOULD PERMANENTLY PROTECT 350,000 ACRES OF PUBLIC LANDS, INCLUDING THOUSANDS OF ACRES IN LAKE COUNTY.

ACCORDING TO SENATOR BARBARA BOXER, THIS BILL WILL PUT THE BERRYESSA SNOW MOUNTAIN REGION ON THE MAP AS A DESTINATION FOR FAMILIES AND RECREATION ENTHUSIASTS, AND IT PERMANENTLY PROTECTS THIS AREA FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS TO ENJOY. THE HEARING PAVES THE WAY FOR A VOTE ON THE LEGISLATION IN THE FULL SENATE ENERGY AND NATURAL RESOURCES COMMITTEE.

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