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LAKE MENDOCINO MURDERER DENIED PAROLE (LAW) JB 11/7/14

THE MAN RESPONSIBLE FOR THE 1993 MURDER OF A REDWOOD VALLEY WATER DISTRICT EMPLOYEE WAS DENIED PAROLE AT A HEARING ON WEDNESDAY.

43 YEAR OLD TROY HARDEN WAS DENIED HIS REQUEST FOR RELEASE FOLLOWING A PAROLE HEARING AT PELICAN BAY STATE PRISON IN CRESCENT CITY. HARDEN WAS CONVICTED IN 1993 OF MURDERING REDWOOD VALLEY WATER DISTRICT EMPLOYEE LARRY STEPHENSON AT LAKE MENDOCINO AND IS CURRENTLY SERVING THE MAXIMUM SENTENCE ALLOWED OF 26 YEARS TO LIFE IN PRISON. HARDEN WILL BE ELIGIBLE FOR ANOTHER PAROLE RECONSIDERATION IN 2021.

TENTATIVE RULING UPHELD IN TRESPASS GROW CASE (LAW) JB 11/7/14

THE TENTATIVE RULING IN THE COVELO TRESPASS MARIJUANA GROW LAWSUIT HAS BEEN UPHELD.

THE $242,000 RULING AGAINST DEFENDANT ROSS MATEJCEK HAS BEEN UPHELD IN MENDOCINO COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT AFTER MATEJCEK ARGUED THAT THE AWARD WAS EXCESSIVE. MATEJCEK WAS FOUND TO HAVE TRESPASSED ON A COVELO FAMILYS PROPERTY BY TAKING LAND, WATER, AND REMOVING 225 TREES TO GROW HIS MARIJUANA. IN ADDITION TO THE MONETARY AWARD, MATEJCEK WAS FURTHER ORDERED TO REMOVE THE ROADWAY HE INSTALLED AND TO REFRAIN FROM TRESPASSING ON THE FAMILYS PROPERTY EXCEPT TO DO THE WORK ORDERED BY THE COURT.

MEMORIAL SERVICE FOR KAYLA CHESSER (LAW/PI) JB 11/7/14

A MEMORIAL SERVICE HAS BEEN SCHEDULED FOR THE YOUNG WILLITS WOMAN WHO DIED UNDER SUSPICIOUS CIRCUMSTANCES.

THE DEATH OF 25-YEAR-OLD KAYLA CHESSER IN BEING INVESTIGATED AS A HOMICIDE ALTHOUGH SHERIFFS OFFICIALS HAVE DIVULGED NO DETAILS ABOUT THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF HER DEATH. CHESSER WAS WELL KNOWN AND POPULAR IN THE COMMUNITY. SHE TAUGHT DANCE AT A WILLITS DANCE STUDIO, HAD STUDIED AT MENDOCINO COLLEGE AND PERFORMED IN A LOCAL BELLY DANCING TROUPE. A VIEWING IS SCHEDULED TODAY FROM 4-8PM AT THE ANKER-LUCIER MORTUARY IN WILLITS AND A SERVICE IS SCHEDULED FOR 1 PM SATURDAY AT THE AGAPE BIBLE CHURCH ON LENORE STREET.

COUNTY STILL COUNTING BALLOTS FROM ELECTION (GOV) JB 11/7/14

THE BALLOTS FROM THE LATEST GENERAL ELECTION ARE STILL BEING TABULATED BY COUNTY OFFICIALS.

THOUSANDS OF BALLOTS ARE YET TO BE COUNTED BEFORE THE RESULTS OF THE NOVEMBER 4 ELECTION ARE DECLARED FINAL. THE MENDOCINO COUNTY RECORDERS OFFICE HAS 13,072 VOTE-BY-MAIL BALLOTS YET TO PROCESS AND 452 PROVISIONAL BALLOTS TO REVIEW AND PROCESS AS PART OF THE OFFICIAL CANVASS. OF THE OUTSTANDING BALLOTS YET TO COUNT, 2,139 OF THEM ARE IN THE CITY OF UKIAH. BY STATE LAW, THE COUNTY HAS 28 DAYS TO COMPLETE THE CANVASS. THE STATEMENT OF VOTE, WHICH LISTS RESULTS BY PRECINCT, WILL BE AVAILABLE AT THAT TIME.

WATER BOARD TO REGULATE POT GROW POLLUTION (GOV/EVR) JB 11/7/14

A NEW WATER BOARD PROGRAM IS SET TO REGULATE POLLUTION CAUSED FROM GROWING MARIJUANA.

THE UKIAH DAILY JOURNAL REPORTED THAT THE NORTH COAST REGIONAL WATER QUALITY CONTROL BOARD, BASED IN SANTA ROSA, HAS ANNOUNCED A NEW CANNABIS CULTIVATION REGULATORY PROGRAM TO ADDRESS THE ISSUE OF WATER QUALITY, AND POLLUTION, CAUSED BY MARIJUANA GROWING IN CREEKS ACROSS THE NORTH COAST. THE PROGRAM WILL BE THE FIRST OF ITS KIND IN THE STATE, AND A BIG STEP IN BRINGING SOME KIND OF ENVIRONMENTAL OVERSIGHT TO THE LARGELY ILLEGAL AND ALMOST TOTALLY UNREGULATED MARIJUANA CULTIVATION INDUSTRY. THE PROGRAM IS DEVELOPING A PERMITTING PROCESS THAT SEEKS TO BRING GROWERS INTO A FRAMEWORK FOR REGULATING THEIR WASTE AND RUN-OFF.

MEN SENTENCED IN ABALONE POACHING CASE (LAW) JB 11/7/14

JAIL, FINES, AND LIFETIME FISHING BANS HAVE BEEN WON BY THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY IN A SERIES OF ABALONE POACHING CASES.

THE LAST OF 18 ABALONE POACHERS ARRESTED IN A 2013 BLACK MARKET STING ORCHESTRATED BY LOCAL AND STATE AGENCIES HAS BEEN CONVICTED IN MENDOCINO COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT, CAPPING OFF A YEAR-LONG PROSECUTION EFFORT IN MENDOCINO AND SACRAMENTO COUNTIES. SO FAR NEARLY $140.000 IN FINES AND 11 LIFETIME FISHING BANS HAVE BEEN IMPOSED ON CONVICTED POACHERS WHO HAVE BEEN SENTENCED. ONE OF THE POACHERS IS ALSO FACING A 32 MONTH SENTENCE IN STATE PRISON FOR HIS ROLE IN THE BLACK MARKET POACHING OPERATION, AS WELL AS A $15,000 FINE AND A LIFETIME BAN AGAINST ABALONE FISHING.

UKIAH ENDORSES BAN ON STYROFOAM CONTAINERS (GOV) JB 11/7/14

LIKE THE CITY OF FORT BRAGG AND THE COUNTY OF MENDOCINO, UKIAH IS PLANNING TO BAN POLYSTYRENE FOOD CONTAINERS BEGINNING IN MARCH.

AT A MEETING WEDNESDAY NIGHT, THE UKIAH CITY COUNCIL GAVE UNANIMOUS TENTATIVE APPROVAL FOR THE BAN, WITH FINAL APPROVAL SCHEDULED FOR DECEMBER. WILLITS WOULD BE THE ONLY AREA LEFT IN THE COUNTY WITHOUT A BAN ON THE POLYSTYRENE TAKEOUT FOOD CONTAINERS. PLASTIC MANUFACTURES STATE THAT POLYSTYRENE IS SAFE FOR USE AS FOOD SERVICE CONTAINERS, BUT IT IS NOT A BIODEGRADABLE SUBSTANCE AN IT CAN STAY IN THE ENVIRONMENT FOR HUNDREDS OF YEARS.

UKIAH FOOD BANK GETS $16,000 WINDFALL (ECN/PI) JB 11/7/14

AS THE RESULT OF A LAWSUIT AGAINST THE COUNTRYS LARGEST FOOD DISTRIBUTOR, THE UKIAH FOOD BANK HAS BEEN AWARDED A WINDFALL OF OVER $16,000.

SYSCO CORPORATION AND ITS CALIFORNIA OPERATING COMPANIES WERE FOUND TO BE ILLEGALLY HOLDING PERISHABLE FOOD IN UNREGISTERED AND/OR UNREFRIGERATED STORAGE SHEDS AND WERE ORDERED TO PAY A $20 MILLION RESTITUTION AWARD. AS PART OF THE AWARD, $1 MILLION WAS SPECIFICALLY SET ASIDE FOR OVER 40 FOOD BANKS ACROSS CALIFORNIA. THE UKIAH FOOD BANK HAS BEEN ABLE TO STOCK UP WITH CASES OF STAPLE FOODS FOR THOSE IN NEED AND HAVE ALSO DONATED TO THE LAKE COUNTY FOOD PANTRY, WHO WAS NOT A RECIPIENT OF THE SETTLEMENT.

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