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The WestAmerica Bank Upper Lake branch is closing this week after all, despite a petition drive earlier this year to save it. There’s a sign on the door that says the branch will close permanently at 6 p.m. tomorrow and says the Upper Lake branch’s accounts and loans will automatically be transferred to the Lakeport branch on Main Street. Last December, WestAmerica reported low transactional volume to the California Department of Business Oversight for the Upper Lake Branch. A spokesman for Department tells Lake Co News there will not be another banking institution coming into the building.

Fort Bragg has tossed the paper plate rule. The Fort Bragg City Council voted to rescind their drought-motivated mandate to force restaurants to use paper plates and plastic flatware to save water. The Press Democrat reports restaurants will instead be encouraged to use compostable dinnerware. Strict phase 3 emergency water rules were adopted Sept. 30th when flows in the Noyo River, which provides about 30 percent of the city’s water, fell so low that salt was moving upriver from the ocean at peak high tides.

Three transients suspected in the murder of a former Middletown yoga teacher as well as a Canadian hiker in the San Francisco area have made their first court appearance. Morrison Lampley, Sean Angold, and Lila Alligood did not enter pleas Wednesday morning in Marin County Superior Court. The Press Democrat reports police think Lampley was the triggerman in the shooting deaths of both Steven Carter on a hiking trail in Marin County and Audrey Carey in Golden Gate Park. They were all ordered to return to court on October 26th. All three could be sentenced to death if convicted, although the Marin District Attorney has yet to decide whether he will pursue the death penalty.

The Mendocino and Lake County probation departments have decided to combine resources for dealing with juvenile offenders in an effort to save money. The Mendocino County Board of Supervisors has signed-off on the two-year deal which means the Lake County Juvenile Hall will close and send its juvenile detainees to Mendocino County’s facility. Lake County will still book its own juveniles, cover their medical expenses, and transport them to Mendocino County. Video equipment has also been installed at the Mendocino County Juvenile Hall to allow for remote visitation for family.

The Lake County Office of Emergency Services says they can no longer take material donations for Valley Fire survivors. They say they’ve reached capacity for personal and household items, and can no longer accept them. They say financial donations can be made to several organizations with financial accounts to give to those in need, some of those, the Mendo-Lake Credit Union for North Coast Opportunities, at branches in Clearlake, Lakeport and Ukiah, Redwood Credit Union in Santa Rosa, the Lakeport Rotary Club and The Lake County Winegrape Commission.

A new report says someone in the United States will die in a car crash involving booze every hour. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the yearly cost for alcohol-related crashes is more than $59 billion. The CHP in Ukiah says over one year they had 254 crashes with 359 people injured and nine killed. The CHP is looking to bring awareness to the issue during their upcoming traffic safety campaign, focusing on DUI of alcohol or cell phones. The Ukiah Area CHP got a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for the program.

Two men convicted of trespassing on private timber land in Branscomb so they could grow thousands of pot plants have been sent to jail. Clemente Flores and Refugio Hernandez both from Healdsburg got 16 months in jail, but they were also ordered last week to pay restitution for area damage. The men held accountable for $30,000 in environmental damage caused to the landowner for clean-up costs.

An urgency ordinance passed by the Lake County Board of Supervisors says if you’ve lost your home and it’s property is 40,000 square-feet or more, you can move back onto your land. This after the Valley fire to allow temporary structures, like RV’s and FEMA manufactured homes. The Lake County Community Development Department Director says this is to help those with a lot of destruction to outbuildings, large areas of trees, fences, corrals and other livestock-related items. It’s not that simple though, a letter of intent has to be filed with the county that you’re rebuilding within a year and that only RVs and FEMA trailers are permitted — tiny homes and on-site construction of temporary housing are not allowed at this time.

FEMA has completed more than 2,000 inspections of homes due to the Valley and Butte fire zones. The agency says it’s finished 2,310 inspections which covers 95 percent of registrations over the disaster areas. FEMA has also approved $7.49 million in funds for fire recovery. The money comes from grants for disaster victims to repair or replace homes. It also covers temporary housing and personal needs.

A jury has returned a guilty verdict against a man in Ukiah accused of drug possession. The Mendocino County DA’s office reports 21 year old Dariel Zapanta was found guilty of meth possession, a misdemeanor. He’ll be sentenced in a couple of weeks. He was caught by the Coyote Valley Tribal Police Department.

New cost estimates on the Valley Fire say it caused more than $1.5 billion in losses, the costliest wildfire since 2007 and at the top of the list of the state’s most destructive fires ever. Insured losses will probably be more than $925 million. 1,958 structures destroyed in the fire last month, including 1,280 homes, 27 multi-family structures, 66 commercial properties and 585 other minor structures. Several cars and personal property besides homes were lost or damaged in the fire too. Damage to infrastructure and government property will be as much as $575 million.

A customer of Subway had a little too much protein in his sandwich. Matt Jones tells KGW TV he was at a Subway in Lincoln City, Oregon when he found a dead mouse in a sandwich. The director of Lincoln County Health and Human Services says they quickly sent a health inspector to the restaurant who said the rodent was probably in a bag of spinach and the restaurant was otherwise clean.

A mom in Portland has to spend up to a month in jail after putting drugs in feminine products for her daughter in jail. The Oregonian reports Elizabeth Sparkman pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply contraband, delivery of meth and delivery of oxycodone. She placed the drugs inside tampons placed in a care package with make-up, hair ties, tweezers and cash. Her daughter got time tacked on for the scam.

A woman in Alaska has been arrested for going into a Subway sandwich shop, got naked and went on a violent rampage. Police say she trashed the restaurant, breaking furniture, knocked over computers, ripped the ceiling down, sprayed a fire extinguisher all over then locked herself in the bathroom, and trashed that too. No one was injured. Police say they think the woman was on the drug spice, a synthetic weed.


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