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SETBACK FOR IMPROVEMENTS TO BROADBAND (BB) JB 2/11/15

EFFORTS TO IMPROVE BROADBAND CONNECTIVITY IN THE NORTH BAY HAVE SUFFERED A SETBACK RECENTLY.

AFTER THE BROADBAND OUTAGE ON THE COAST LAST YEAR, HUNDREDS OF BROADBAND USERS PARTICIPATED IN A SURVEY SUBMITTED TO THE CALIFORNIA PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION IN AN EFFORT TO HAVE IMPROVEMENTS MADE TO THE SYSTEM. IT HAS BEEN REPORTED THAT SOME OF THE ONLINE FEEDBACK FROM THE SURVEY WAS LOST BY THE CPUC AND NOW THE NORTH BAY NORTH COAST BROADBAND CONSORTIUM IS ENCOURAGING PEOPLE TO SUBMIT THEIR INFORMATION AGAIN. THE NBNCBC IS PLANNING TO REQUEST THAT THE CPUC ADDRESS THE LOST INFORMATION WITH A PRESS RELEASE TO AIDE IN THE COMPLETION OF THE SURVEY.

N.Y. FIRM IN TALKS TO PURCHASE NEWS GROUP (ECN) JB 2/11/15

A NEW YORK PRIVATE EQUITY FIRM IS IN TALKS TO PURCHASE A WEST COAST NEWS CONGLOMERATE THAT OWNS NUMEROUS LOCAL NEWSPAPERS.

CERBERUS CAPITAL MANAGEMENT HAS ENTERED INTO DISCUSSIONS TO ACQUIRE DIGITAL FIRST MEDIA, THE COMPANY THAT OWNS THE UKIAH DAILY JOURNAL, WILLITS NEWS AND THE RECORD BEE AMONG OTHERS. DIGITAL FIRST IS THE THIRD-LARGEST NEWSPAPER GROUP IN THE UNITED STATES, PROVIDING 76 DAILY AND 160 WEEKLY PAPERS IN 15 STATES, AND IS VALUED AT APPROXIMATELY $600 MILLION. CERBERUS CAPITAL MANAGEMENT HOLDS A MAJORITY STAKE IN YP HOLDINGS, AN ONLINE ADVERTISING COMPANY AND YELLOW PAGES PUBLISHER.

WATER COMPANY GETS GRANT FOR LUCERNE WATER (PI) JB 2/11/15

THE CALIFORNIA WATER SERVICE COMPANY HAS RECEIVED A GRANT TO HELP MAINTAIN THE WATER SUPPLY IN LUCERNE.

THE STATE WATER RESOURCES CONTROL BOARD HAS AWARDED THE CALIFORNIA WATER SERVICE COMPANY A GRANT OF $136,000 TO IMPROVE THE SOLE WATER SOURCE FOR THE COMPANYS LUCERNE AREA CUSTOMERS. THE GRANT WILL BE USED TO FUND A TWO-PHASE IMPROVEMENT PROJECT ON CAL WATERS INTAKE PUMP IN CLEAR LAKE. DUE TO THE CURRENT DROUGHT CONDITIONS, THE WATER LEVELS IN THE LAKE WERE GETTING CLOSE TO DROPPING BELOW A LEVEL THAT COULD BE PUMPED EFFECTIVELY BY EXISTING EQUIPMENT. A NEW FLOATING PUMP SYSTEM WILL EVENTUALLY REPLACE THE CURRENT PUMP, ALLOWING FOR FLUCTUATION OF LAKE LEVELS.

NORTH COAST VINEYARDS YIELD RECORD CROP (ECN) JB 2/11/15

THE 2014 GRAPE HARVEST IN THE NORTH COAST HAS SET A NEW RECORD, DESPITE BEING SMALLER THAN THE 2013 HARVEST.

ACCORDING TO PRELIMINARY RECORDS RELEASED TUESDAY, THE GRAPE HARVEST LAST FALL BY GROWERS IN NAPA, SONOMA, MENDOCINO AND LAKE COUNTIES YIELDED A RECORD CROP WORTH $1.45 BILLION. THE NEARLY 530,000 TONS OF GRAPES HARVESTED WERE ALMOST 7 PERCENT LESS THAN PICKED IN 2013, BUT PRICE INCREASES FOR GRAPES IN NAPA AND SONOMA COUNTIES MADE UP FOR THE DIFFERENCE IN THE VALUE OF THE HARVEST. THE 2014 HARVEST MARKS THE THIRD YEAR IN A ROW FOR A RECORD SETTING YIELD IN THE NORTH COAST.

EX-PRISON GUARD FACES CHILD PORN CHARGES (LAW) JB 2/11/15

AN EX-MENDOCINO COUNTY PRISON GUARD IS FACING JAIL TIME ON CHARGES OF CHILD PORNOGRAPHY.

ACCORDING TO THE PRESS DEMOCRAT, 44 YEAR OLD TODD MORROW, A FORMER GUARD AT A MENDOCINO COUNTY PRISON CAMP, IS ACCUSED OF SECRETLY VIDEOTAPING AN UNDERAGE FEMALE RELATIVE WHILE SHE UNDRESSED IN A BATHROOM. HE WAS ARRESTED AFTER THE GIRLS MOTHER DISCOVERED A FLASH DRIVE CONTAINING THE IMAGES IN A POCKET OF HIS UNIFORM. MORROW REACHED A NO CONTEST PLEA DEAL TO CHILD PORNOGRAPHY AND PEEPING TOM CHARGES IN EXCHANGE FOR THE DISMISSAL OF OTHER ALLEGATIONS. HE IS SCHEDULED FOR SENTENCING ON MARCH 30.

CLEARLAKE MAN ARRESTED FOR DRUGS AND LEWD ACTS (LAW) JB 2/11/15

A CLEARLAKE MAN WAS ARRESTED FOR ALLEGEDLY GIVING METHAMPHETAMINE TO TWO TEENAGE GIRLS AND SEXUALLY ASSAULTING ONE OF THEM.

CLEARLAKE POLICE ARRESTED 51 YEAR OLD KURT NORLING AFTER FOLLOWING LEADS INTO ALLEGATIONS THAT HE HAD SUPPLIED TWO GIRLS, AGES 14 AND 15, METH AT HIS HOME. ONE OF THE GIRLS WAS ADMITTED TO THE EMERGENCY ROOM AT ST HELENA HOSPITAL ON FRIDAY, SHOWING SIGNS OF A POSSIBLE SEXUAL ASSAULT, ALLEGEDLY COMMITTED BY NORLING. HE IS CURRENTLY FACING SIX FELONY COUNTS, INCLUDING LEWD ACTS WITH A MINOR, AND REMAINS IN CUSTODY AT THE LAKE COUNTY JAIL.

THOUSANDS STILL WITHOUT POWER ON COAST (PI) JB 2/11/15

THOUSANDS OF NORTH COAST RESIDENTS REMAINED WITHOUT POWER YESTERDAY FOLLOWING THE STORM LAST WEEKEND.

AS PG&E CREWS WORKED TO REPAIR DAMAGE TO POWER LINES SUSTAINED IN THE WEEKEND STORMS, APPROXIMATELY 2,000 CUSTOMERS IN LAKE AND MENDOCINO COUNTIES WERE WITHOUT POWER YESTERDAY. AT THE PEAK OF THE STORM, APPROXIMATELY 15,000 RESIDENTS LOST POWER IN MENDOCINO COUNTY, WITH THE LARGEST OUTAGE REPORTED IN FORT BRAGG WHERE MORE THAN 8,000 PEOPLE LOST POWER AFTER A TRANSMISSION LINE BROKE BETWEEN FORT BRAGG AND WILLITS. THE REMAINING OUTAGES HAVE BEEN REPORTED IN ALBION, FORT BRAGG, ELK AND WILLITS.

BIDS IN TUESDAY FOR NORTH COAST FOREST LAND (EVR) JB 2/11/15

BIDS TO PURCHASE AN EXPANSE OF UNTOUCHED LAND AND COASTLINE ON THE NORTH COAST WERE SUBMITTED ON TUESDAY.

THE PRESS DEMOCRAT REPORTED THAT A COALITION OF CONSERVATION GROUPS WITH VISIONS OF RIVERFRONT PARKLAND, ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY FORESTRY PRACTICES AND WATERSHED PRESERVATION HAVE SUBMITTED A BID ON 30,000 OF REDWOOD TIMBER HOLDINGS. THE EXPANSE OF BLUFF-TOP LAND AND COASTLINE IS AT THE MOUTH OF THE GUALALA RIVER, STRADDLING SONOMA AND MENDOCINO COUNTIES. THE LANDS LOCATION, IF PURCHASED BY THE GROUP, COULD CREATE A CONTIGUOUS BLOCK OF MORE THAN 87,000 ACRES OF PERMANENTLY PROTECTED LAND.

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