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A man in Colorado had an odd way of defending himself in court.  Charles Abbott brought a stuffed owl into the courtroom in Aspen as counsel.  He’s accused of violating a protection order connected to his former roommate.  He was accused of assaulting the roommate at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting.  At trial, he told the judge the owl named “Soloman” would be his legal counsel until a public defender was assigned.

The Boy Scouts of America says no to a squirt gun fight.  A Boy Scout blogger writes on their blog as a reminder to fellow scouts that a water gun ban remains in place.  So no firing squirt or water balloons larger than a ping pong ball will be allowed as summer approaches.

One of the wealthiest men in the world has lost a ton of money as shares in his solar panel company took a nose dive.  The chairman of Hanergy (HNGSF) lost $15 billion in about an hour after shares in his company spiraled down 47% in Hong Kong trading.  Trading of the company shares was stopped because of supposed inside information to be released.  That’s still not happened, but the shares are still not moving.

Pension issues have taken up a large part of the meeting of the Little Lake Fire Protection District Board of Directors.  The board had to decided whether it wanted to make a onetime payment of nearly 200-thousand dollars to cover pensions which is a state requirement.  The board backing the Ukiah Valley Authority Fire Chief who said all Mendocino County fire departments should demand more Proposition 172 tax funds. The chief sending a letter to the various fire districts in the county to form a committee so they can all support each other. Prop 172 passed in 1992 to help cover public safety costs with a half-cent sales tax.  Meanwhile, the Little Lake Dept will have their pensions covered after the board voted yay to cover the 192-thousand dollar expenditure.

Fort Bragg may soon have some new food options.  Changes are being considered to mobile food vending regulations.  The Community Development Committee is considering new easier rules for food trucks, something first brought up in January.   Right now the mobile vending policy doesn’t make it easy for food trucks.  There’s a ½ hour time limit per location so the committee is considering several changes, one would lengthen time limit to five hours.  Another idea to limit carts for only food and flower sales.  Another discussion is set for next week.

The Mendocino Coast District hospital is mulling having a doctor on staff at all times.  Since the start of the year, the hospitalist program has been operated with one doctor out of Healdsburg.  He schedules several doctors for daytime hours and for a tele-medicine robot with a audio/video link at night.  Now the hospital’s board  is considering a company out of Nevada that contracts with small, mostly rural hospitals to provide hospitalist services.  That would mean a doc on staff 24-7.  The hospital’s administration will take up the matter next week.

A group of students in Fort Bragg working to help improve community health by way of a statewide program.  With the help of the Fort Bragg High School’s nutrition teacher, the kids are involved in CX3, through the California Department of Public Health.  CX3 means “communities of excellence in nutrition, physical activity, and obesity prevention.”  They had a presentation in front of the City Council after being insured by a similar group in Shasta County.  So now Harvest market is involved, having healthier options at their check stands.

A little rockin and rollin in Napa.  A 4.1 earthquake hit the area last night, the biggest, the fire dept. reports since that huge quake last August when the 6 pointer hit. So far no reports of damage, but emergency dispatchers got several calls from concerned residents.  The earthquake centered about 6 miles east-northeast of Yountville with the epicenter more than 5 miles under the surface.  The U-S Geological Survey reports the earthquake being felt more than 60 miles away in Sacramento and as far away as San Jose, which is 125 miles to the south.

Mental health contractors in Mendocino County are interested in potentially using the old Frank R. Howard Memorial Hospital in Willits as a mental health center.  Ortner Management Group and Redwood Quality Management Co. are interested with the hospital building becomes available.  This the subject of a meeting of the Mendocino County Mental Health Advisory Board meeting Wednesday in Covelo.  The County CEO says she and the Health and Human Services Agency Director have been talking with the groups about possible use of the hospital for inpatient mental health services.

A teenager from Boonville has been identified as the person killed in a car crash near Philo earlier this week.  The CHP reports 18 year old Ernesto Contreras left work Wednesday afternoon and for unknown reasons, came off Highway 128 and crashed into a tree.  They say he was pulled from the car from people who saw the crash and stopped.  When medical personnel got to the crash site, they pronounced him dead at the scene.  The crash was described as being near Gowan’s Oak Tree.  Investigators say it does not appear that alcohol was a factor.

It’s getting closer to reality for the city of Ukiah to have a way to send food waste to composting instead of landfills.  The City Council has directed staff to look into a couple of options presented by its garbage hauler for composting the material.  Ukiah Waste Solutions showed the council 3 options Wednesday including hanging on to kitchen scraps and soiled paper and putting it in their green waste bins.  The materials to be taken, not to the landfill, but instead to Cold Creek Compost in Potter Valley.  But proper permits are needed too.  Another option is to take the items to the Ukiah Valley Transfer Station first, then to compost.  Either way could mean more money to residents.  No word on when the city council may take a final vote on the idea.

A teenager in Clearlake has an idea to stop graffiti in town, a graffiti wall.  The Clearlake Planning Commission considered the teens idea at their meeting.  The city manager introduced the idea to the commission as a way to reduce vandalism and tagging.  The planning commission sits jointly as the Clearlake Parks and Recreation Committee.  Apparently all this after the 17 year old Oscar Frias contacted city councilman Bruno Sabatier.  The teen was not able to be at Tuesday’s meeting, but a video presentation was shown on his behalf.


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