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Another step closer to getting that Costco built in Ukiah. A judge in Mendocino County has denied a lawsuit saying the Environmental Impact Report was inadequate. The suit filed a year ago on behalf some employees at a local grocery store saying the report for the project should not have been certified. The group calling themselves “Ukiah Citizens for Safety First”. The judge denied the claims made by the group saying the city was working within the law and a decision made to approve the project was supported by substantial evidence.

Mendocino County and the County Deputy Sheriff’s Association have agreed on a new 3 year contract. The contract unanimously affirmed by the Board of Supervisors. The deputies are getting a 6 percent salary reinstatement starting their next full pay period. They’re also getting another 2 percent reinstatement in July and yet another in July of 2016. Employees have to pay for their own retirement contributions. There’s also a side piece of the agreement for the deputies to opt for a one time vacation buyout of up to 80 hours of accrued time-off.

A police dog helped Mendocino County deputies nap an escaped inmate who somehow disappeared from a Caltrans work crew for a couple hours. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office released info on the inmate, Steven Leard Jr.’s escape while assigned to a work crew near Talmage Road and the Highway 101 on-ramp in Ukiah last week. The crew was packing up and Leard was seen running away at Airport Park Boulevard. Deputies, the CHP and Ukiah Police went after him, the 2 hours later he was reported to be hiding in an abandoned van. That’s when the police dog, Doc was sent in. The inmate surrendered. He was in for a probation violation and scheduled for release in December of 2016.

The Lakeport City Council has unanimously approved the proposed zone change so the Lakeport Police Department can relocate. On a second reading the city council unanimously approved the zone change so another meeting on the matter’s been set for next month. The new dept to be on S. Main Street in the old Social Security building. Right now that building’s zoned for major retail use, so it has to be changed to public and civic use. A review of possible environmental effects shows nothing significant.

A woman from Hopland has been arrested for allegedly driving drunk then rear-ending a city of Ukiah vehicle. Police report Margarito Ruiz seemed to be drunk when police got to the scene Monday. They say they got a call from someone who saw a man driving a maroon Honda sedan rear-ending a white, city of Ukiah truck. Cops id’d the driver as a woman. Ruiz arrested and booked into Mendocino County Jail for DUI and having a suspended license.

A man in Ukiah has been arrested for allegedly driving high and speeding past a cop. The Ukiah Police Department reports the officer in the 600 block of South State Street early last Sunday morning when he spotted the speeding Ford Focus so he followed the driver. He caught up to the guy and realized Timothy Toloy seemed high on a controlled substance. He was arrested and booked into the Mendocino County Jail.

A State Senator has crafted a bill to protect California’s coast from offshore oil development in the future received overwhelming support. Mike McGuire’s bill got a vote of support from the Senate Natural Resources Committee on April 28th. The Coastal Protection Act, as it’s called, would close a loophole in the Coastal Sanctuary Act allowing the State Lands Commission to grant new leases for offshore oil and gas development.

Mendocino County has offered to put up a 28 acre pygmy forest in Caspar because of comments regarding the proposed Highway 20 transfer station on forest land. The proposed preserve is surplus property that was going to be going up for sale as a possible residential development. The county says creating the Caspar Pygmy Forest Preserve could offset forest impacts at the proposed Highway 20 transfer station. Under a proposal floated by the Board of Supervisors the parcel would be preserved permanently from development and protected from trespass.

A woman in Florida’s busted for allegedly calling in a fake bomb threat… to get a ride. Police say Patricia Bembow called a U.S. Navy recruiting station asking is she reached "the government", the man who answered said she had so she told him she had a bomb. She then demanded someone come pick her up at the gas station where she was or something was gonna, quote, go down. So the Sheriff’s dept. was called and she got a ride, to jail. She was being held on $5,000 bond.

A man from Nebraska is accused of stealing a riding lawn mower by riding it right off the store parking lot. A sheriff’s deputy found the man on the driving mower about 10 miles from the Walmart store it was taken from last weekend. Gursham Gillett, of Cozad has been arrested and charged with a count each of theft by shoplifting and criminal mischief.

A man in Pennsylvania allegedly used his daughter to get people to buy Girl Scout cookies, but he kept the money and never ordered or delivered the cookies. Police say Cody Wylie took the 9 year old girl door-to-door to collect cookie orders from as many as 100 people but 8 of them filed a criminal complaint. The man collected more than $100 in orders. He’s been booked into jail on charges of theft and receiving stolen property.

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