Work continues to find homes for those living in a campground in Hidden Valley Lake since the Valley fire took their homes. A formal deal between the County and the Hidden Valley Lake Association for free camping spaces for fire survivors ended last week but officials say they won’t kick those there to the curb. It’s unclear how many people are staying at the campground but some peg the number at about 80. The Lake County Deputy Social Services Director says most of the folks have registered for help from FEMA and that’s in the works, but some have not registered and a few did not qualify for help, for various reasons. Her staff has been working on housing for them and she thanks the Campground and the Konocti Harbor Resort and Spa in Kelseyville for stepping up.
Three people from Antioch have been arrested on drug and weapons charges following a Tuesday bust in Willits that started over some stolen mail. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office says the three were arrested after deputies were called to investigate the theft of mail from a roadside box on Ridgewood. That led them to a car, from which deputies say they smelled a strong odor of pot. A search then allegedly turned up heroin, meth, marijuana, a gun, mail taken from some local mailboxes, and tools used to pry open locks and doors.
Three transients accused of robbing and killing two people in the Bay area including a former Middletown yoga teacher have had a brief court appearance. The three appeared yesterday and were ordered to return to Nov. 19th to enter pleas to first-degree murder and other charges. They are charged with shooting and killing Canadian hiker Audrey Carey in Golden Gate Park on October 3rd and Middletown’s Steve Carter 2 days later, on a Marin hiking trail. They were captured October 7th, but officials tell the Press Democrat the case has moved slowly because it took time to appoint defense attorneys qualified to handle death penalty cases.
A man from Clearlake who police say held two women hostage at gunpoint has been shot and wounded by police. Police say Brenden Fanucchi was shot during a confrontation after they got a call to their nonemergency line from an anonymous man who claimed he heard a female yelling for someone to “put the gun down”. Police went to the home and found a man with a gun holding the two women inside a garage. He wouldn’t let one of the women go and threatened to kill her. Officers were pleading with Fanucchi for some time to let the hostage leave, then police felt there was an imminent threat to the woman’s life so they went inside and shots were fired. He was taken to the hospital and one officer had a minor injury not related to gunshots. The Sheriff’s dept. is investigating.
An 18 year old man recovering after a stabbing on the soccer field of an elementary school in Ukiah. The Mendocino County Sheriff Dept went to Ukiah Valley Medical Center where the man had multiple stab wounds to the back. He says he was on the soccer field at Grace Hudson Elementary School when two Hispanic men approached and harassed him about the color of his t-shirt. He says they asked repeatedly if he was a gang member which he says he is not. They stabbed and beat him and took off.
A new committee in the state legislature for broadband in rural areas has met for the first time. The Select Committee on the Digital Divide in Rural California is chaired by Healdsburg Assemblyman Jim Wood. Wood says the committee put together to quote “shine a spotlight on the lack of digital infrastructure in rural California.” This after last month when much of the North Coast had a major broadband outage of almost 18 hours. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office says they have no leads in who cut the line. And internet was out after a truck accident last August, cut a fiber optic line on Comptche-Ukiah Road with broadband services lost that time more than 45 hours, including 911 services for some.
Looking good for final completion of the Cole Creek Bridge Replacement Project on Soda Bay Road. The Lake County Director of Public Works says it’s been frustrating but it looks like it’ll all be done in late November. There were apparently issues with steel support piling so that caused a major delay. That meant the piling for the bridge was not at the proper load rating so the work had to stop while an engineer was brought in for geotechnical work and to design an alternative with different material for the piling before work could continue.
A few people still busted for looting in the Valley Fire have pleaded no contest or are waiting to go to court in December. One person had their case totally dismissed. Insufficient evidence. Another man accused of trespassing, Royce Sterling Moore, entered a no contest plea for entering a closed disaster area in exchange for dismissing another count of possession of burglary tools. 3 men from the Bay Area still awaiting their court cases. They were all in either camouflage or black clothing, found by a police officer conducting enforcement stops.
The Fort Bragg City Council has decided to allow the county to verify signatures on a petition to put a measure on the ballot proposing a ban on new social services in the Central Business District. The resolution, apparently a formality, as staff informed the council they didn’t have a choice. The Concerned Citizens of Fort Bragg trying to block the Hospitality Center from using the Old Coast Hotel Building as a mental health and homeless services facility.
A parcel tax being considered for Mendocino Coast District Hospital. The board members of the hospital have voted to start working on the possibility of the parcel tax for the district on the June 2016 ballot. The board has not taken a position formally but apparently supports the planning committee’s recommendation for outreach efforts to begin to test the popularity of the parcel tax among local voters and survey people’s opinions about local healthcare needs.
A workshop in the multi-purpose room at Dana Gray Elementary about poor conditions of the Fort Bragg school district’s playing fields. Consultants from a Santa Clara landscape architecture firm specializing in sports planning and design, came armed with pictures of existing conditions and draft drawings of potential improvements for each field. The fields that need work include Dana Gray Elementary, the high school stadium and varsity baseball field, the middle school fields, the Redwood Elementary field and the old oval field next to the C.V. Starr Center.
A man in Portland, Oregon’s arrested for breaking into a neighbor’s house and stealing undies. The Oregonian reports Daniel Kowatch admitted he thought about breaking into the home several times to see if he could get away with it, he did and he didn’t. Those in the home chased him out and called police. Police say they found a couple pairs of women’s underwear in his jacket along with feminine hygiene products and a large bowie knife. He was arrested for burglary and criminal mischief charges.
A dad in Dallas carving pumpkins with his 7-year-old daughter takes matters and that tool into his own hands, stabbing a man he says broke into his house. Police say the suspect stole a car, crashed it, then ran to the man’s neighborhood to try and escape police. Brian Hackney says that’s when the guy ran into his home and started rifling through his wife’s purse so with knife in hand he confronted the guy and a neighbor called 911.