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The first confirmed death from West Nile Virus in California this year. The California Department of Public Health Director and State Health Officer confirmed the case, a senior citizen in Nevada County. Dr. Smith says it’s a tragic reminder of how severe the virus can be. The doctor also saying the virus is more widespread this year than in the past. West Nile pops up depending on the climate, the number and types of birds and mosquitoes in an area, and the level of immunity in birds to the virus. The office says it could be the drought is contributing to West Nile virus ramping up by sources of water for birds and mosquitoes as they both seek water. So they’re coming into closer proximity of each other. So far 33 California counties have reported West Nile virus activity this year, four more than the same period last year and more than the five-year average of 22.

Work continues on the bridge project between Middletown and Calistoga even though a crane fell over last week. Lake Co News reports the work is the summer construction phase of the Troutdale Creek bridge replacement project on Highway 29. The work started this month in northwest Napa County. Last Wednesday a large construction crane fell over on the site, there were no injuries. About 11 hours later the crane was uprighted but Cal OSHA is investigating.

A 19 year old accused in the fatal stabbing of 2 people and the attempted murder of 2 others is still in jail. The Mendocino County D-A’s office reports Talon Barton was in court yesterday on 2 counts of murder and 2 of attempted murder, plus false imprisonment. He has been appointed a public defender, but his official arraignment and entry of pleas was continued to Tuesday morning, Aug. 4th. The D-A also asked for no-bail in the case which the judge granted. Barton is accused of the Sunday massacre in Laytonville where 3 teens, 4 adults and Barton were all staying. One teenager, 17 year old Teo Palmieri and his dad Coleman died in the stabbing massacre. 2 other adults, Cindy Norvell, Teo’s mother and her brother Theodore Norvell are recovering. Theodore visiting from Canada with his 15-year-old daughter, who was uninjured. A 14 year old also not injured.

A bill being considered in the state legislature to ban naming schools and roads after well known Confederates has different language now, so it shouldn’t affect Fort Bragg. Democratic Sen. Steve Glazer of Orinda changed some of the bill’s wording so cities or institutions don’t have to remove names associated with Confederate figures like Braxton Bragg, the city’s namesake. The bill introduced so state and local properties would be banned from taking names of elected leaders or senior military officers of the Confederacy. Senator Glazer’s office saying last week the bill came after controversy about whether or not buildings should fly the Confederate flag. And that after the mass murder of 9 black churchgoers during Bible study in Charleston, South Carolina.

Assemblyman Bill Dodd says he’s running to replace a state senator who’s termed out of office. Dodd’s been in the Assembly since last November. He sent an email out Monday saying he wants to replace Lois Wolk when she terms out of office next year. Dodd’s message says the centerpiece of his campaign had been to restore economic security and opportunity for Middle Class Californians. He says he’s supported by Congressman Mike Thompson, Wolk, and Solano County Supervisor Jim Sperling. The 3rd Senate District covers much of Yolo County, all of Napa County, a sliver of Sacramento county, all of Solano County, and part of Contra Costa and Sonoma counties.

The SPCA of Clear Lake which had previously decided to close down is struggling to stay open during its contract period. The board of the agency voted to close down because of the amount of animals being brought to the shelter by the city and because the city wouldn’t pay more to care for the animals. Now the nonprofit says it has to raise money to stay open until October 1st, something they’ve committed to. The agency relies on community contributions and money from its spay, neuter, and vaccination services. They’ve been having adoption events and fundraisers, but are still struggling. They’ve applied for several grants and some fundraisers are already planned. To donate, you can send money via Paypal to (spcaofclearlake) or in person at their offices in Kelseyville.

The Mendocino National Forest at the ready to stomp out and prevent fires started by lightning. The forest service reporting there were several hundred lightning strikes Monday afternoon and evening. They say since Monday there was a fire found on the Grindstone Ranger District on the east side of the Forest and two fires on the Covelo Ranger District on the northwest side of the Forest. They report the fires as small and containment’s in the works on all three. Firefighters say as it gets drier and temperatures heat up, they expect finding more fires. Plus there had been a chance of thunderstorms yesterday afternoon and last night. Mendocino National Forest is currently under fire restrictions.

An appeals court has affirmed the verdict against a man from Redwood Valley accused of using a rifle to kill another man. The Mendocino County D-A’s office reports the 3 judge panel of the California Court of Appeal for the First Appellate District affirmed the jury verdicts from October of 2012 against Billy Norbury who was found guilty of willful, premeditated and deliberate murder (first degree) of Jamal Andrews. They also found he personally used a rifle in the murder. So the DA says Norbury will continuing serving his sentence of 50 years to life.

A man from Fort Bragg has been arrested in connection to the hit and run crash of a bicyclist in Fort Bragg. CHP officers arrested Isabel Gutierrezvillarreal on suspicion of felony hit-and-run causing death and vehicular manslaughter. The victim, JacobHoward was riding on Highway 1 July 12th when a red pickup truck was seen leaving the area. A witness who called for help, described the truck. Howard was found on the side of the road dead. There was debris left on the highway that investigators say showed a truck had front end damage and a broken headlight. The truck was spotted Monday by a cop from the major crimes task force Gutierrezvillarreal was arrested and booked into the Mendocino County Jail.

A woman in Antioch is offering her house as the prize for someone who makes the best dessert. The 1906 Craftsman home is in Jackson owned by Erin Allard. She’s having a dessert contest with the home as the grand prize. It’s a 4 bedroom, 2 bathroom home valued at $390,000. She says she’s going for the competition instead of a regular sale because it can take months to sell a home in rural Jackson. Anyone interested should submit their $100 entry fee and a million-dollar recipe at or look for the same on Facebook.

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