The Mendocino Grand Jury has released their report on the Family and Children’s Services Agency saying the agency is in deep trouble. The report says the agency is caring, understaffed and is one of the lowest scoring agencies of its type in the state. The agency, FCS is supposed to serve at risk kids, those who are at risk of being abused or neglected. The Grand Jury mostly blames understaffing for the problems at FCS. The understaffing blamed on non-competitive compensation, too much work, poor management and low morale. The report says higher-ups at the agency know the problems but are not addressing them. Another challenge is that child abuse seems to be increasing exponentially.
A large swath of Willits lost power over the weekend after someone crashed into a power pole. Police say the man from Eureka was driving on Hwy 101 Saturday near Lumberjacks then randomly hit the power pole. Police say the pole broke at its base with power lines falling to the street. The CHP blocked the intersection due to the live wires and an officer didn’t let anyone get near the lines. Caltrans had to divert traffic on both sides of the highway. The driver had to be airlifted out of county for treatment. Area businesses totally closed since they were without power for several hours.
The groundbreaking ceremony for a new Mendocino County Historical Society archival building. The Ukiah Planning Commission has approved the 3,500-square-foot, fire-safe, temperature-controlled building where research will take place, new volunteers will be trained and many county documents, books, maps, photographs, negatives and more will eventually be stored. The several hundred thousand dollar project to start after a yearlong fundraising effort. The headquarters for the Mendocino County Historical Society is currently located at 603 W. Perkins St.
A man from Redwood Valley’s been arrested for the rape of a woman who police say was attacked repeatedly. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office has arrested Chadley Gott – Simmons after a woman in the hospital claimed Gott Simmons forced himself on her. Gott-Simmons arrested early Friday morning and booked into Mendocino County Jail on $100,000 bail on suspicion of rape by force, oral copulation by force and false imprisonment.
A wildfire’s been put out that started in a remote area of timberland outside Laytonville. Firefighters say a volunteer firefighter doing ranch work nearby noticed smoke and went to the scene and called for help. Ground crews took nearly an hour to get there near Iron Peak. Cal Fire air tankers hovered above and lower temps and rising humidity helped things along. Water from a pond also helped crews. The fire charred about 1-1/2 acres close to a marijuana growing farm.
Two men in Mendocino County have been arrested for DUI after a head on crash with major injuries for both of them. The CHP reports the men going in opposite directions on Highway 128 just east of Philo when Stephen Hunter of Ukiah crossed into the oncoming lane and crashed into Colter Millehrer of Corvallis, Oregon. The two men had to be cut free of their cars. The two to the hospital after being arrested.
A festival for newly enlarged sanctuaries for residents of the Sonoma and Mendocino coasts. The June 28th festival is set for the Gualala Arts Center to celebrate the expansion of the Cordell Bank and Gulf of the Farallones sanctuaries. Those attending the free event will learn about several ways to be involved, citizen science programs, marine education initiatives and vessel-based research. Those attending will learn about area shipwrecks and enjoy, live music and food. The event the last Sunday of the month from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the Gualala Arts Center.
More bear sightings in Lake County. Lake Co News reports sightings in Kelseyville, Lucerne and Upper Lake. The news site reports bears seen in yards and running down streets in Upper Lake. One person said they shot a bear in April because they were afraid it would hurt other animals and kids. One resident though called local officials for help and posted pics online, warning neighbors. Two bear sightings in Nice the last month too. State officials reminding folks who run into bears to act responsibly. They also add to be bear safe, store food and garbage so you don’t attract them.
It’s unanimous, Clearlake has a new city manager. The City Council approving Greg Folsom’s contract to start work June 15th. He’s currently finishing up in Riverside, then he’ll move to the area, taking over for retiring City Manager Joan Phillipe. Folsom got a three-year contract at $110,000 a year. Folsom at the last city council meeting and introduced himself to the public.
A settlement’s been approved by the Lake County Board of Supervisors for the family of a woman killed in a crash involving a Lake County Sheriff’s deputy. The board agreed to a $600,000 settlement with Gloria Garcia Gamino and Jose Daniel Rivas Cruz, parents of Gabriela Rivas Garcia killed in October of 2013 after she was hit by an SUV driven by Deputy Scott Lewis on Highway 29. Apparently the deputy was responding to a report of a home invasion robbery and car chase when he hit the girl head on.
Police in Spain say they arrested 3 people and found more than 440 pounds of cocaine in a shipment of pineapples. The containers were sent from Central America and had carefully hollowed-out pineapples inside with cocaine inside covered by a protective coating of yellow wax to help disguise it. But two of the men busted for the drugs in the fruit after it was stopped in the Belgian port of Antwerp.
A man from Florida got a tad upset with a woman who he says took his regular bingo seat. Police say 82 year old Fred Smith was arrested for criminal mischief for using an ice pick to slash the tires of a van that belonged to 88-year-old Ethel Brit. Police say he was upset when he saw Britt sitting in his favorite seat. Surveillance video caught the guy who was booked into jail on $500 bail for criminal mischief.
A pig from Michigan got out of his pen and terrorized a community. Police say the animal charged a woman in Detroit but it got distracted and police picked it up. The animal got excited and apparently let loose in the back seat of the patrol car police say, using it as a bathroom. The pig was later returned to its owner.