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Monthly Archives: November 2015

The Lakeport City Council taking up that Verizon cell tower project appeal. The council meets tomorrow night and will also look at ways to reorganize city staff to cover the city clerk’s position. Lake Co News reports one of the key items tomorrow night is that appeal of the Lakeport Planning Commission’s decision this spring for a permit for that Verizon Wireless cell phone tower that was supposed to look like a 72-foot-tall pine tree, also known as a Monopine. Verizon looking to put up the tower because of a black hole in coverage is says happens in Lakeport. There has been an appeal by a local business though, but Verizon got a 90 day continuance to look for a new location. The council is also looking at a plan tomorrow to reorganize some positions in the Administrative Services Department. The meeting at 6 at City Hall.

A missing diver reported in the Point Arena area. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s office says they got a call then the United States Coast Guard (Station Noyo Harbor), state department of Fish and Wildlife, California State Parks, and Fire personnel from the Redwood Coast Volunteer Fire Protection District went to help with the search. They found two men from Vallejo went into the ocean around the Point Arena Lighthouse Saturday looking for abalone. One guy came up and started to look for his friend because it got dark, but could not find him so he called 911. Helicopters, boats, and staff on land searched the area into the night. Then Sunday they returned and found the man had died in the water. He was found about ¼ mile north of the Point Arena Light House at Manchester State Beach. He’s been identified as Eric Stine. There will be an autopsy to determine the cause of death.

Drainage improvement work on an old geothermal waste collection is starting near Middletown. The property on Butts Canyon Rd used to be operated for ten years by Geothermal Inc, collecting waste from plants and sump water, drilling muds and drill cuttings. P, G & E, who started maintaining the 460 acre property in 2003, presented a cleanup plan to the Middletown Area Town Hall in June, so starting today, they’ll get to work and continue thru January with fieldwork to improve water drainage. Lake Co News reports the work includes drilling soil borings around the landfill perimeter, excavating a trench across from the landfill and installing a drainage pipe. PG&E was warning landfill neighbors there would be construction equipment, which includes a drill rig and trucks nearby for the next two months.

The Lower Lake Schoolhouse Museum is having their holiday open house. The free event a week from Friday, Dec. 11th at 5:30p. The event starts with a Christmas tree lighting, music then Santa Claus coming to the party on a fire truck. Pictures with Santa and a candy cane giveaway and carol singing around the player piano at the shindig. The Lower Lake Schoolhouse Museum is located at 16435 Main St.

A theft at the Rotary Club of Clear Lake puts their yearly Xmas dinner in question. Apparently one of the Rotary members who went to their storage unit to get items out for the dinner found the lock was changed so they used bolt cutters to get in and found the unit had been burglarized. Stolen items included 26 large fryers, three large watering troughs, loads of restaurant supplies, table cloths and napkins, plus decorations used for the Burns Valley School for the Christmas dinner. The Xmas dinner was planned for December 12th and those organizing say they’re scrambling to replace items lost in the theft.

A vacant home in the middle of the woods near Cazadero has been gutted by fire. The Timber Cove Fire District says heavy rains helped prevent a full on wildfire. The home was totally engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived Saturday. They had the fire under control in a half hour. The home surrounded by trees but damp conditions helped contain the fire to the home. The owner of the home was on vacation, a pickup truck and some carpenters tools near the home were saved. The cause of the fire is probably not going to be known due to the destruction.

Some organizations that normally take contributions in the case of disaster haven’t been getting that much for Valley Fire victims, even though the county has been inundated with monetary and material donations. Hospice Services of Lake County says they’ve seen a 65 percent drop in cash donations since the massive fire. The Record Bee reports the Highlands Senior Center has also seen a drop in donations, theirs 60%, which would normally go toward meal donations. The newspaper reports after the fire Hospice did get a lot of food and clothing donations. They also get grants but Hospice tells the paper the funds won’t cover losses across the board. Over at the Senior Center, meal donations will continue thru spring, so the center tells the newspaper they should catch back up then.

More than 1,400 dollars raised for a nonprofit for Thanksgiving. Country Air Properties partnered with First American Title raised the money at a booth at the Kelseyville Pear Festival for Gobble, a nonprofit organization. A realtor at Country Air came up with Gobble for needy families at Thanksgiving. The group put together care packages that included an entire Turkey and all of the fixings. The group delivered the bags to Kelseyville schools as well as a couple of locations in Lakeport for 40 families. The group is also apparently planning to buy Christmas presents for kids this holiday season.

Air quality regulators are demanding a recall of 16,000 VW’s in California plus Audi and Porsche diesels because of the emissions problems with the cars. The notice comes from the California Air Resources Board after state and federal regulators went public with the problems with Volkswagen Group automakers software that were cheating emissions tests on more diesels than first thought. A state air resources board spokesperson says the engines were built by Audi and distributed to Porsche and VW.

Marijuana growing regulations are being re-evaluated by the City of Ukiah. The city manager tells the Daily Journal there will be ongoing talks and some potential actions by the City Council. The marijuana ad-hoc committee is reportedly reviewing the regulations and coming up with possible moves for the city council to consider. This after a resident urged the city council to go over its medical marijuana regulations after new regulations were signed into law in October requiring the state to oversee the entire industry. This all starts in the new year, but local municipalities have until March 1st for regulations for local control. If they don’t come up with local rules, the state will regulate for them.

A consultant is being hired by the Ukiah Unified School District to look into possibly opening a magnet school. The school district board of trustees is reportedly hiring a consultant to consider the school possibly at the Redwood Valley campus. There will be a feasibility study followed by an action plan. The contractor is being paid $75/hr, with no more than $25,000 a year for the work. The Daily Journal reports the community had previously shown enthusiasm for reopening the school.

A suspected burglar has died, getting stuck in a chimney of a home he was trying to break into. The Fresno County Sheriff’s dept. says a homeowner in the town of Huron heard someone yelling after they lit a fire in their fireplace so they called police. The homeowner then tried to put out the fire but the chimney was plugged by the would be thief and their home filled with smoke. Firefighters had to use jackhammers to break open the brick chimney, but sadly the man had died.

Police in San Francisco reaching out to the public for help finding whoever chained up spiked baseball bats to poles throughout the city. Police say officers got reports of wooden or metal bats on poles and on parking meters in the city Thanksgiving morning. They say there were more than 2 dozen bats that had spikes in them. The spikes made the bats a prohibited or deadly weapon, which is a felony.

A young woman says she was raped and after some investigating, police in Fort Bragg say they’ve got a suspect. The victim says it happened early last Sunday and others saw and intervened on her behalf. Police say they found enough probable cause and served a search warrant at a local motel and found evidence. Police arrested a man Tuesday, whose name they’ve not released. His DNA was collected and he was interviewed then held in the Mendocino County Jail in Ukiah.

A stolen pick-up truck’s rammed the gate of a business in Ukiah with stolen vehicles. Police say the suspected thief rammed into Garton Tractor on Talmage Road last weekend and stole a 2014 Dodge Ram 3500 pick-up truck and a 1981 car hauler trailer then loaded the trailer with two brand new Kubota UTVs. They say the thief blasted thru the businesses gate sometime last Saturday or Sunday with a loss of as much as $80,000 to the business. Police say there were reports the pick-up truck and trailer were near Potter Valley so officers found the truck and the trailer in two separate locations. The UTV’s had still not been found before the holiday. They’re described as side-by-sides, one orange and one camouflage.

Xmas trees with the wishes of children from Willits have been delivered to local stores at the start of the holiday season. The Willits Kids Christmas Tree Program for low income families is in its 27th year. Last year alone the program served 187 families and 445 children. The giving trees have cards with wishes on them with the kids xmas wishes. Anyone interested in adopting a family or volunteering, still has time. Call 459-5827 or 490-8872. Cash donations are tax deductible.

The toy run is happening again in Willits’ It’s the 23rd-annual Willits Toy Run Sunday when bikers stroll down Main Street then end with a party for the community. The public is invited with a donation of one unwrapped toy. There will be live music, a BBQ and a no host bar. Toys go to the Christmas Tree program, and money from a raffle goes to families affected by the Valley Fire.

Another building planned for the Mendocino jail property for mentally ill inmates and serious offenders looks to be on hold. The state apparently didn’t approve of the Sheriff’s Office’s plans along with a $20 million bill to cover it. The Board of State Community Corrections has already announced 15 counties the state’s dishing out money to for jail construction and improvements but Mendocino County didn’t make the short list. More than 30 counties applied for the funding under a Senate Bill, the Adult Local Criminal Justice Facility Financing legislation, featuring proposals worth $1.2 billion. The governor came up with a budget allocation for jails to expand treatment, programming and a re-entry program for mentally ill inmates. The funding expected to cut 310 general population jail beds statewide and add nearly 200 medical and mental health beds.

A Community Development Block Grant Program project in Fort Bragg brought out the public for a hearing at city hall. The meeting Monday so the Special Projects Manager could gather ideas to come up with a preliminary list of proposed projects to bring to the City Council at its December meeting. There can be no applications or finalizing of the document until the program releases the Notice of Funding Opportunities document. The document originally set for a January 1 release but its apparently running behind schedule and will be more like the end of the month instead. Some ideas tossed around at the meeting including a theatrical group interested in taking part of the building as a community center.

THE CHP says they’ve arrested a man in San Francisco for climbing onto a freeway sign and stripping naked. The San Francisco Chronicle reports ( the man atop the sign near an Interstate 80 on-ramp Tuesday afternoon. Cops say they didn’t get any reports or calls about the incident, they just happened to be in the area. Officers talked the guy into getting dressed and coming down. They say he wasn’t suicidal or under the influence of drugs.

A $10,000 donation has been made to the Kelseyville Food Pantry and the Lake County Hunger Task Force by Sutter Health and Sutter Lakeside Hospital. The donation part of a larger one of more than a quarter million dollars to 27 food banks across Northern California, Oregon and Hawaii. The donations have been rolling in over the last seven years at more than $1.5 million dollars. The Chief Admin. Officer for the hospital says it’s a long time tradition and that they’re proud to partner with places like the Kelseyville Food Pantry and the Hunger Task Force to help families in need over the holidays.

It looks like more families have traveled this holiday season because of a stronger economy and lower gas prices. AAA reports more Californians on the road for the holiday weekend than since Thanksgiving of 2009. They expected roads this weekend to be packed and the Bay Area was supposed to have the worst congestion in the country. That according to INRIX, a traffic group out of Seattle reported the findings saying more than 5.5 million Californians will go at least 50 miles to spend time with friends and family. Airport travel was expected to be crowded too, with 5 to 8 percent more travel than last year expected at San Francisco, San Jose and Oakland international airports.

Congressman Mike Thompson has sent a letter with 114 of his colleagues calling for the Obama administration to act to reduce gun violence. Thompson is the Chair of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force. The letter urging Obama to close the background check loophole through executive action. And Democratic Senator Chris Murphy has read a letter signed by 24 senators with the same request of the president, for executive action to close the background check loophole. Members of Congress are asking for elimination of ambiguity about the term: "engaged in the business" associated with federally licensed firearms dealers. Right now only licensed gun dealers are required to perform background checks on all gun sales and only those "engaged in the business" of dealing guns have to get a license from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

Cal Fire looking to beef up forces, accepting applications for seasonal firefighter and defensible space inspectors. The seasonal positions can be up to nine months of the year for any of the more than 350 Cal Fire facilities including fire stations, air bases and state forests. Cal Fire hires about 2,300 seasonal firefighters and forestry aides every year.

A new report from the Fed. Dept. of Housing and Urban Dev. says California needs to do a much better job of caring for the homeless. The yearly report written around one night in January, showing almost two-thirds are sleeping outside with no shelter, that’s 21 percent of the country’s homeless population, or almost 116-thousand people, all in Calif. Jennifer Friedenbach with the Coalition on Homelessness in San Francisco says Sacramento has paid zero attention to the problem.

Cut 20345 :15 "We have very little investment by the state in this issue. They fund a very tiny amount of money toward emergency shelter. Our primary funding for housing, at least in San Francisco, was through redevelopment, which was eliminated."

Tag: Across the country, the number experiencing chronic homelessness declined by 31 percent, or almost 23,000 people, between 2010 and 2015. Friedenbach says it’s due to a big federal push after the recession to find housing for homeless families with children.

Second Cut: She says the state is being shortsighted by leaving the problem up to cash-strapped cities and counties.

Cut 21345 :14 "We’re spending much more money keeping people homeless because, of course, the health-care costs have skyrocketed. Human beings are not meant to live outdoors. Their health deteriorates, and so we incur large amounts of money in our health-care system that would be much cheaper just to house people."

Tag 1: The study also found that the lion’s share of California’s homeless are in Los Angeles County – which has more than three times the homeless population of the Bay Area.

Bottle Rock Power LLC is no longer locally owned. The company that had started a geothermal drilling project near Middletown was purchased by Baseload Clean Energy Partners of Seattle, a division of AltaRock Energy. Bottle Rock was built by the state Department of Water Resources and opened in 1985. But it closed just 5 years later and stayed closed until 2007. It’s all part of the complex of geothermal plants in The Geysers. Lake Co News reports Baseload reported the purchase along with all associated leases from Riverstone Holdings and U.S. Renewables Group. The company says it’s going to upgrade the facilities for energy storage. Its CEO says the plant is extremely valuable to them because of access to the Northern California energy markets and future expansion potential of the geothermal resource.

A man from Washington state who promoted an extreme sports event in Lake County has been killed in a plane crash in Florida. Lake Co News reports 61 year old Rob Stimmel and his 45-year-old wife Maria were killed in the crash near Orlando, Fla. Last Friday. The news site reports the couple had only been married for days and were on their way back from their honeymoon when they crashed. He was known around Lake County for BoardStock, extreme sports on land and on Clear Lake for several years. The FAA reports the crash happened November 20th, five miles from Orlando with Stimmel piloting a single-engine Beechcraft. The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash.

A man in Nice has been arrested for an assault. The Lake County Sheriff’s office reports getting a call Sunday morning and finding a man on the front porch of a home when they arrived. They say there was a victim, bleeding profusely, who’d been stabbed multiple times. Deputies say the victim told them James Ledesma stabbed him because he told Ledesma he thought he was a thief which angered him. He says Ledesma came to his house and they had a fight when he was stabbed. Apparently there was a surveillance system at the home which recorded the incident seeing exactly what happened. Deputies say it appeared Ledesma had a knife as the men argued, the victim kicked Ledesma who stabbed the victim. Ledesma was arrested for attempted murder and booked into the Lake County jail.

CAL FIRE’s Mendocino Unit says its transitioned to the winter burning season. This as the weather’s cooled and there’s less of a threat of wildland fires. CAL FIRE is not require burning permits until probably May but warns to remember burning must comply with Mendocino County air quality regulations. For more information you can go to the web site at And CAL FIRE reminds you that cooler temperatures and rainfall alone do not prevent fires from escaping control and landowners are responsible for safely burning outdoors and maintaining control at all times.

A short film showing the cultural and historic significance of Anderson Marsh and nearby areas has won the 2015 Governor’s Historic Preservation Award. The film, “A Walk through Time: the Story of Anderson Marsh” made by California State Parks, the Koi Nation of Northern California, the Advanced Laboratory of Visual Anthropology at California State University, Chico, archaeologists and others. The area is Indian land, the ancestral territory of the Koi Nation of Northern California, a Southeastern Pomo tribe thought to have lived in the area as long as 14,000 years ago. The film one of nearly a dozen that won an award this year.

The name of an abalone diver who died on the Mendocino Coast has been released. The Mendocino County Coroner’s Office says Victor Segundo De Leon of San Francisco died Sunday while diving for abalone off a Gualala beach. The coroner says he died of a medical emergency while diving with a friend off Cooks Beach. His friend found him floating face down and alive but unresponsive. The friend called for help, pulling his friend onto shore. He was given CPR on the beach but it was too late.

No more prayer invocations at Eureka City Council meetings. Beginning next year, the ordinance means agendas will be the same, without the prayer invocation. The decision earlier this week passed the council unanimously. This comes after a three years running lawsuit by a lawyer challenging the constitutionality of the council’s practice of prayer invocations during meetings. The city attorney says it was just about quote, “ease of administration” when setting agendas saying the current agenda process has two readings before the council and a 30-day wait before it can take effect.

Registration for Federal Emergency Management Agency disaster money is over. The Valley Fire Long Term Recovery Task Force said they had larger than expected project estimates. Monday was the last day for applications. Last week at the task force meeting, the county Auditor-Controller estimated the amount for county projects was up $12.6 million. That’s because of tree removal with estimates that had been close to 12 million, jumping to $24.4 million. The county has to cover at least $1.7 million. The federal government is covering 75 percent of the costs from the fire that meet FEMA standards, leaving the state liable for 18.75 percent and the county at 6.25 percent.

A free turkey dinner in Middletown at the Twin Pine Casino & Hotel. The hotel working with the Moose Lodge 458 of Santa Rosa providing a Thanksgiving meal for those in need and for victims of the Valley Fire. The Community Thanksgiving Dinner from 2 to 6 p.m. tomorrow featuring the traditional meal and deserts. The Moose Lodge 458 is sponsoring the event. They got donations, organized volunteers, and will cook all the food. Twin Pine Casino and Middletown Rancheria of Pomo Indians also gathered donations and volunteers and secured the facility. And in Willits, it’s the 26th Willits Community Thanksgiving. Their’s from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Harrah Senior Center. Everyone is invited and there is no charge to anyone.

The Blood Centers of the Pacific working with Lake, Sonoma and Mendocino county fire departments for a giant blood drive. It’s the 10th Annual Bucket Brigade Blood Drive Challenge December 7th until January 30th. The last nine years had brought almost 9,000 people out for the challenge who’ve donated thousands of pints of blood. They say last year, they got nearly 600 people to donate more than 500 pints of blood for patients in Northern California hospitals. Geyserville Fire Protection District won first place with 61 people attending, Windsor Fire Protection District was a close second with 56 total attendees. They say this year, they hope to get a combined total of 10,000 participants.

The Mendocino-Lake Community College District is refinancing part of approved Measure W bonds saying it’ll save taxpayers $36 million. The Community College Board approving the move so the District administration is going for lower interest rates to refinance bonds from 6.46 percent to 4.72 percent.

The city of Ukiah says yes to mediation as an alternative to receivership for the Palace Hotel. But the city attorney says that can only happen if both sides agree to certain stipulations. Lawyers for the city spoke to lawyers for the owner of the hotel last week, agreeing verbally on mediation. No more work will be done on the building though. The lawyers speaking to the retired judge assigned the case about possible mediation, agreeing to draft paperwork which has been sent to Eladia Laines, the hotel owner. The city attorney says he has no formal response yet. But once it’s signed by everyone, the judge will get it. The judge had urged all parties to consider mediation instead of receivership.

One of the People Mover cars from the ride at Disneyland has been sold at a Los Angeles auction, fetching nearly a half million dollars. The elevated tram ride took visitors for a slow tour thru Tomorrowland from 1967 until 1995. The car sold for $471,500. The auction last weekend had hundreds of items from Disneyland including the marquee sign for the Golden Horseshoe Revue, which got nearly $50,000, and an original poster for the Rocket to the Moon attraction, which got $28,175. Bids came from around the world.

A diver’s reportedly died at the southern Mendocino Coast. The Sheriff’s office says emergency crews were called out to Cooks Beach just north of Gualala around 1pm Sunday. Officials say the man is from out of the area. Two other people were also reported to be in distress but were pulled from the water. The Sheriff’s Office has not released any other details.

The annual Lake County Burn Ban for 2015 has been lifted. Do remember burn permits are required for all outdoor burning in the Lake County air basin though. You can get them through your local fire department, or the Lake County Air Quality Management District. A Smoke Management Plan is required for all burns more than 20 acres in size, multi-day burns, standing vegetation, whole tree or vine removals more than one acre. Residential burn permits require a one-acre or larger lot, and must be at least 100 feet from all neighbors, and at least 30 feet from any structures.

Marymount California University is hosting a forum next week on the summer’s fires, restoration and recovery plus preparations for expected El Niño rains. The Forum is set for next Thursday, December 3rd from 6:30 to 7:45 p.m. at the Lakeside campus in Lucerne. Folks from Cal Fire, the University of California Cooperative Extension’s forest and wildlands ecology advisor for Mendocino and Lake counties; and a representative of the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service in Lake County will all be there. For more information you can contact the university at 888-991-LAKE.

The next meeting of the Broadband Alliance of Mendocino County is January 8th. There is no December meeting. At their November meeting the Alliance got a presentation from Comcast on their Internet Essentials program which offers low-cost internet access to eligible families with children in the Ukiah, Willits, and Fort Bragg school districts that are within the Comcast service area. The program has been in effect for 4 years and offers low-cost internet service within their service area to all students and their families enrolled in schools with a 50% or higher number of students eligible for the free and reduced lunch program. Comcast is looking at expanding the program but meanwhile asked the Alliance to help spread the word to those already eligible but who may not know about it.

The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office says they’ve caught a man in Ukiah who may be connected to the murder of his parents. The man, Nathan Wilson of Sebastopol is accused of killing David and Adrienne Wilson Monday. Police say they got a call yesterday morning to the double homicide by a man saying he thought his nephew was the culprit. The man told police the couple was on the floor of their home in a pool of blood and says his nephew was also seen covered in blood, but he wasn’t there. A CHP helicopter went looking for the missing man, but didn’t immediately capture him. He was found late yesterday afternoon. Police say they found the couple with multiple sharp object wounds and a possible weapon was found in the house.

Not much change in the October real estate market in Lake County, even after several massive wildfires this summer. Lake Co News reports sales activity was actually above normal in part of the south county. The Lake County Association of Realtors says the median sales price for a single family residence in October was almost exactly what it was a month before, just off $250. October’s median was $211,250 and September’s, $211,500. It was 30% higher than a year before when the median price of a home in Lake County was $162,500.

More than $17 million dollars has been approved for a tree mitigation project in Lake County. The hired contractor has identified about 26,000 trees that need approval to be felled or their limbs cleared. The price per tree is different depending on its diameter with the average cost about $150. It goes up if there’s a tree and/or stump on private property, on County land, it’s about $200 for a tree 24 to 47.99 inches in diameter. That doubles if it’s considered a hazard on someone else’s lot.

Tempers flaring at the Hidden Valley Lake Campground. The Record Bee reports with only a couple weeks left before Valley Fire survivors and others at the campground have to clear out, things are getting bleaker at the campsite. The paper reports some of the complaints received by camp residents are fighting, loud music and partying late at night with heavy drinking and homeless residents who find themselves that way for reasons besides being displaced by September’s fire. Other residents complain about a lack of security and organization and some blame two men at the campground who are not there due to the Valley Fire. The deadline to leave is Dec. 7th but the newspaper reports, many residents said they have nowhere to go.

Homeless people in Garberville, a small town with less than 1,000 people living there. But apparently a new residency, "Hippie Hill where a tent city popped up on a hill just outside of town. The Press Democrat reports there’s a grassroots movement to get the transients and drug addicts off the street. Others say they’re vandalizing and stealing from homes and businesses, partake in hard drugs in public, pee in the street and generally harass tourists who don’t want to be there anymore. The Humboldt County Sherriff’s Dept. reports there’s been something of a community revolt. Willits also has something of a problem, but the newspaper reports, it’s not as bad as Garberville. But Willits has an annual migration of people looking for marijuana industry work, which the city’s mayor says is bad for the community, and could be deterring an effort to attract doctors to its new hospital.

The Mendocino Redwood Company won its recertification for using sustainable forestry methods even though there had been a movement against due to the company’s hack and squirt work. A group of rural Mendocino County residents trying to get the Rainforest Alliance not to label the timber company “sustainable” but the certifying agency didn’t pay much attention to concerns. The Rainforest Alliance saying it interviewed multiple people with years of fire suppression experience saying dead and dying tan oak doesn’t really impact fire hazard. Environmentalists were against the re-certification saying the company plans to continue poisoning trees for 2 or 3 more decades to come.

The mac and cheese student is back in the news. The kid at the University of Connecticut who went on a drunken, obscenity-laced tirade about the jalapeno-bacon macaroni and cheese.. well, he’s applied for probation. Luke Gatti asking for accelerated rehabilitation for charges of misdemeanor breach of peace and criminal trespassing. The ex freshman arrested in Oct. for losing it in the Student Union, ranting and shoving a university food service supervisor for not selling him macaroni and cheese. The whole thing caught on video.

Belgium police asking residents to stop commenting on the recent surge in activity to root out potential terrorists because they say it could tip off suspects. So soon after, the hashtag #BrusselsLockdown went viral, but folks instead started to tweet tons of pictures of their cats in all kinds of situations — holding their paws up like they were captured, posing as police snipers with automatic weapons, and ignoring police warnings to stay away from windows. Police even got into it, posting a picture of a dish overflowing with dry cat food "For the cats that came to our aid last evening. Serve yourself! #BrusselsLockdown"

Three people suspected in a double murder in Lakeport have agreed to plea deals with the District Attorney’s Office. Conrad Velez of Lakeport faces 50 years to life in prison, his son Dakota Velez of Kelseyville will be on formal probation and Dahnna Burrows, Conrad’s girlfriend at the time of the 2014 murders has served required time for the sentence she’ll likely get next month. The trio arrested for the murder of William Busch of Lakeport and Edward Morgan of Kelseyville who were both stabbed multiple times and possibly bludgeoned too. Prosecutors say Conrad was responsible for killing Bush and Morgan and that he’ll get two 25-years-to-life sentences. He’ll have to serve 50 years before starting the life sentence.

Lake County Sheriff’s office is searching for owners of stolen property found after a long investigation into three men, two have been arrested, the other on the run. The Sheriff’s Office says there had been reports of multiple suspects involved in thefts, burglaries and drug sales. They connected a few individuals to the crimes so they started investigating Lonnie Scott of Kelseyville; Michael Shaffer of Upper Lake; and Jose Rodriguez Jr. of Kelseyville. Scott was arrested after a chase in Kelseyville, where they say he was found with several pounds of pot, stolen property and a gun. Shaffer was arrested a week later in Kelseyville with a stolen car, stolen property and methamphetamine and released and has not been found when searching again. Rodriguez was arrested and linked to several crimes.

AmeriCorps is helping volunteers in Lake County in receiving, sorting and redistributing donations for victims of the Valley Fire. The AmeriCorps team of 13 members ages 18 to 24 from all over the country, getting to Lake County from Nov. 7th to Dec. 18th for post fire relief. The team requested by Lake County after the Valley Fire which destroyed almost 2,000 structures, including more than 1,300 homes. The community liaison for Lake County is working with the volunteers as of yesterday. Work Right Circle Valley Fire Relief Distribution Center in Lakeport is still accepting donations. They say the need winter coats, boots, kitchen appliances and furniture. For more info on Americorp .

An arrest has been made during a sweep by the Contractors State License Board (CSLB) and police to make sure no unlicensed contractors were working in Lake County after the Valley Fire. The sweep last Thursday was a usual occurrence for the agency after a disaster where homes and/or businesses might be destroyed or damaged. Investigators went looking for people working without a contractor license and/or workers’ compensation insurance. Matthew George arrested as part of the sweep for contracting without a license in a disaster area. There was evidence found in his possession showing he had 10 pending contracts from Valley Fire victims worth a total of $100,000.

The Lake County Sheriff’s Office is asking residents of the county to make sure they’re registered to be notified in the event of a disaster. The Sheriff’s Office uses the CityWatch Emergency Notification System to be in contact with community members. You can find out about an emergency thru a phone call, email and text. They also use the white pages to make calls, so if your number is not listed in the telephone book, or you want to be notified by cell phone or email, you need to go to the Sheriff’s Office web site to update your contact information. They’re also asking residents to spread the word, mentioning the system to family, friends and neighbors. You can find more info online about CityWatch and the Nixle system at or call 707-262-4200.

If you didn’t get to make it to the latest Valley Fire Long Term Recovery Task Force meeting, you can access the minutes online. Last Tuesday’s meeting was at the Black Rock Golf Course in Cobb. There’s no task force meeting tomorrow due to the Thanksgiving Day holiday. The meetings will begin again December 1st at 6:00 PM, this time at the Twin Pine Casino Event Center in Middletown. If you have no internet access, you can get the minutes mailed to you. Call (707) 263-2580. And if you do have access and would like to learn more, visit or the Lake County OES’s social media sites: Twitter: @LakeCountyOES and Facebook: LakeCountyOES.

A work party to finish up a temporary shelter. The Mendocino County AIDS/Viral Hepatitis Network is working with other agencies and community members to set up the emergency temporary shelter. The most fragile people will get first priority. A street medicine program will also be open at the shelter. Those who go to the shelter will be assessed for possible illness, both physical and mental. The shelter’s organizers say it’s to support those who don’t get regular care. There are men’s and women’s sides, laundry facilities and showers.

A missing 5-year-old girl from Willits has been located safe. Raina Rinka was found Friday night almost six hours after she apparently disappeared near her aunt’s house east of Brooktrails. A firefighting chopper out of Willits’ Howard Forest Station found the girl’s tracks in steep terrain along with Cal Fire foot crews about ¾’s of a mile from her aunt’s home. The girl was walked out of a remote wooded area where the chopper could land. The helicopter took the girl to Sherwood Elementary School where she met sheriff’s deputies, fire personnel and search and rescue volunteers. They say she had minor abrasions and injuries because she wasn’t wearing shoes but she was otherwise fine. The Sheriff’s office has apparently been involved in finding the girl 2 other times.

Fire officials looking into a fire that damaged a home in Clearlake Oaks. The fire first reported early Friday morning. Firefighters arrived to find heavy fire coming from the rear of the two-story home, reported to be wood-framed. Northshore Fire and Cal Fire on the scene and had the fire out in about a half hour. The home had major fire and smoke damage. The cause is under investigation and was considered suspicious. Officials say the home is a summer residence in the owner’s family for many years, but vacant at the time.

A special joint meeting of the Clearlake City Council and Clearlake Planning Commission to discuss the preliminary master plan for Highlands Park. The meeting last week with a presentation of potential cost. The final master plan supposed to be done mid, next month. A landscape planner is working on the plan which has had much public input already too. The public mentioned some high priorities like establishment of a chamber of commerce/visitor center, oak woodland areas, community activity and special events zones; pedestrian pathways, boardwalk and beach access, and fishing and viewing areas. For more info, visit

The winner of Zimbabwe’s "Mister Ugly" contest caused something of an upset with rioting after the announcement. The winner 42-year-old Mison Sere, with several missing front teeth and a penchant for grotesque facial expressions. He won over the long time title holder William Masvinu whose held the title since 2012. He and his supporters mobbed the judges after the announcement saying the winner was just too handsome and that his ugliness wasn’t natural since it was based on missing teeth. The loser saying he was naturally ugly, calling the win, cheating. There were 3 dozen entries this year, a record.

Some condo owners in Florida are upset with their homeowners association after they were asked to submit samples of their dog’s DNA so they could fine owners not picking up after their pets. Harbor Landing residents say they got a letter about the new rule, some calling it an invasion of privacy. The News Herald reported pet owners have to pay for their own DNA test, a registration fee and any possible cleanup fees. Condo officials have said it’s voluntary though and say the measure is only meant to help keep the property clean.


































Three transients accused of robbing and killing two people in the Bay Area last month, including a former Middletown yoga instructor, have pleaded not guilty. KNTV reports that all three entered pleas Thursday. Prosecutors say Morrison Lampley was the shooter in the deaths of a Canadian backpacker in Golden Gate Park and then Steven Carter on a Marin hiking trail two days later. Prosecutors have also charged his companions Lila Alligood and Sean Angold with murder, accusing them of participating in the robberies and killings.

The idea of getting residents to vote on whether the old Coast Hotel in Fort Bragg should be a hospitality center for the homeless made it to the ballot. After a second and this time, successful, petition drive, the measure will be on a ballot for voters to decide. If passed it would amend the municipal code so a social service organization is banned within the Central Business District, unless the organization was established at its current location before January 1st. The Fort Bragg City Council, previously unanimously voted the measure down. They called for a special election after the petition drive gathered the required 15 percent of registered voters. It hits the Presidential Primary Election ballot, next June.

Just one dog left to be adopted 4 weeks after Valley Fire adoptions began. Lake Co News reports 49 of 50 animals not reclaimed had been adopted. That included 27 cats, nine dogs, eight goats, three horses and two chickens. The animals held for weeks. None euthanized. On the first day, 20 of the animals were adopted, then a week later, 8 goats went on the first day. The last cats went Tuesday. The last dog standing, a male pit bull mix with a short gray and white coat said to be about 3 years old. He was found behind the Store 24 gas station on the north end of Middletown. And is said to get on well with other dogs and recommended for a family with children older than age 12.

An informal ribbon cutting marks the official opening of the south parkland at Noyo Headlands Park. It’s happening Tuesday, December 1st at 12:30 at the south parking lot of the Coastal Trail. The property sale agreed to after many closed session meetings. A little more than eight acres of property is being deeded to the city of Fort Bragg. The city will exchange property for the parkland. No money was exchanged in the deal.

A mobile laundromat is complete in Santa Rosa by those who want to move it to or near Middletown to help Valley fire victims for free. The brains behind the business, says they found a need in the fire zone of Lake County, so he wants to put an eight-washer, eight-dryer laundromat in a 38-foot truck trailer in town to help fire survivors.

The next phase of the Lakeport Downtown Improvement plan has been presented to the City Council. The driveway to a city thrift store will be saved. The Community Development Director and contract city engineer gave a status update to the city council for the almost $2.6 million project. Its boundaries run along North Main Street, between First and Fourth streets. The plan to save the thrift shop came from the Senior Center.

The state budget may have a surplus for the first time since the recession. The Press Democrat reports the budget’s stable and reports the state’s better prepared for another recession if need be, as opposed to the way it’s been for several decades. If there are no additional expenditures from legislators, California would finish the fiscal year with an $11.5 billion surplus. The report also cautions lawmakers against spending money freely as some Democrats had proposed.

Lakeport Unified School District is going to dip into Measure T bond money for infrastructure updates. The bond measure voted in in the November 2014 election, awarding $17 million to the school district for improvements to benefit students. At a special meeting to present the district’s Master Plan, several projects were presented by an Architecture group. Bond projects are for areas that need improvement, like ADA compliance, pool complex and tennis court rehabilitation, electrical systems, water/sewer/storm drains and FEMA designated flood areas.

Kids in the Kelseyville Unified School District are getting Google Chromebooks and so are the teachers. Students in every grade will have access to a new Chromebook by next month. Several students and teachers already use the new Chromebooks in class. The schools Superintendent says they’re already making a difference and tells the Record Bee, it’s exciting to see students using them in class. The school district has also launched a new Facebook page and digital newsletters.

Mendocino Coast District Hospital reaching out to the public for help as it struggles to emerge from bankruptcy. The hospital serves about 23,000 coastal residents. The hospital reports its finances have improved and it could even be in the black this year, breaking even. But officials say they’ll still need help, possibly thru a parcel tax. The CEO says the hospital’s one of very few without a parcel tax. The hospital was $1.5 million in debt last year. The hospital is asking for an annual parcel tax in the $125 to $195 range which will show up on either the June or November ballot to raise as much as $2 million a year.

The Mendocino County Board of Supervisors says yes to rezoning a block of land on Lover’s Lane owned by the Pinoleville tribe. The board previously discussed the topic, delaying a decision until a response from the Millview County Water District, which was waiting for the state to say how many new water hookups could be made available. The hookup moratorium was lifted by the State Water Resources Control Board, so nearly 300 new hookups will be allowed. Some residents were at the county supervisors meeting to try to convince supervisors not to approve the rezone request because of concerns about increased traffic, water usage and in case the property were to be used to grow marijuana, based on a past tribal project.

Some Ukiah residents may get to start using their green waste bins for food by Thanksgiving. The Public Works Director reported to the Ukiah City Council Wednesday on the pending food waste program. He says it looks like C&S Waste Solutions is about ready to implement the program after improvements which should be done by the of the week. So residents can start to add compost products into their waste bins, like food scraps, meat, paper products like pizza boxes, paper plates, paper towels and coffee filters.

A turkey from California is the one being saved by the President for the Thanksgiving holiday. The bird, named Tom One will fly to Washington DC from San Francisco for the ceremony with the President Barack Obama ahead of the holiday. After that Tom one goes to live on a farm in Virginia. Tom was one of about a dozen birds considered for the pardon at a Foster Farms ranch in Modesto.

A man from Utah accused of calling a bomb threat into a hospital has been arrested. Police say Michael Morlang did it because he was upset he couldn’t be at his child’s birth. Morlang was indicted Wednesday and faces up to 10 years if convicted. There was an evacuation and lockdown at the hospital last month in the tiny city of Richfield. His wife and father in law say he was also upset that his wife was getting her tubes tied. He’s apparently in jail in Idaho for another crime.

A Ukiah man has been charged with molesting an 11-year-old girl. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office says the girl’s family reported that they learned that their daughter had possibly been molested by 72-year-old Doran Lincoln. Investigators allege Lincoln, a close family friend of the victim, had molested her several times over the last two months. He’s charged with committing lewd and lascivious acts on a child under 14 by means of fear or force, and was being held on $250,000 bail.

Several drug charges have been filed against a Covelo woman who led Mendocino County deputies on a car chase. The Sheriff’s Office says deputies pulled Monique Peters over for some lighting and registration violations. She gave them a fake name but when she realized they knew that, she took off. She ended up driving home at speeds of at times more than 90 miles per hour. They say when she got to her house she ran inside and then out the back door where she was caught. Investigators say the woman had a backpack full of drugs and drug gear. At last check she was being held with no bail.

State and Lake County money has been released for property owners impacted by the Valley Fire. Now they’re being urged to fill out a Right of Entry (ROE) form before Dec. 1st. The removal of debris in order to protect watersheds and prevent environmental damage. Money can be funneled to property owners for debris removal with specialized contractors and CalRecycle engineers. Property owners need to fill out the paperwork though, then the clearing, cleaning and testing of property will cost nothing. Anyone not following the way the county is processing properties could receive an abatement notice from the county and will then have 30 days to complete the forms or hire a private contractor. For more information, visit

Lake County’s having a hard time managing donations that’s come in from across the county to help Valley Fire victims. County officials say they’ve received about 500,000 pounds of clothing and thousands of pounds of other stuff. The problems are many, a lack of distribution centers, staffing and the Conservation Corp was supposed to help sort stuff, but that might cost too much so Americorp, which is free may take over. Another distribution center is also being added.

The Grist Creek Asphalt Plant in Willits has been found in violation of several air emission regulations. The California Air Resources Board released a report last week saying the plant also had unpermitted equipment at the site and they couldn’t figure out who exactly owns the plant. The plant’s been fined more than $173,000 in penalties for permit and emissions violations while in production which began about 6 weeks ago. Notices of violation for several state and federal laws against the state Public Health and Safety code. The plant deemed a public nuisance for impacts on surrounding parcels and continued operation of equipment not included in the original permits. There are also lawsuits filed against the plant.

Calif. Congressman Jared Huffman had a meeting to discuss broadband in Mendocino County. The meeting in Willits after the recent outage that left much of the North Coast without 911, cellphones or internet. There’s been 4 outages in the last year and a half. The one in September, caused by a fiber optic cable cut by vandals; another that lasted 44-hours on the coast in August 2014 after a truck hit a line on the Comptche-Ukiah Road; and others in Covelo and Laytonville. Representatives of AT&T, county supervisors Tom Woodhouse and Dan Hamburg, the Broadband Alliance of Mendocino County (BAMC), FEMA and other stakeholders were at last Thursday’s meeting. No decisions were made. It was clear to those in attendance though that there were widespread problems. They all shared common concerns and brainstormed possible solutions.

The Mendocino County Library Director says he’s resigning. Wally Clark announced his resignation last Friday about a year after starting. He’s now one of 6 who’ve left the job in 13 years. Clark will leave permanently at the end of the month for an out-of-state job. The Board of Supervisors have not taken up the matter yet due to the short notice. The County CEO says the Executive Office will work on finding an interim replacement for now and may conduct a national search later.

A new study by researchers at UC Davis shows pigeons can detect cancer at about the same rate as humans. The research shows pigeons could see cancerous cells in tissue samples. The college and the University of Iowa worked on the research showing pigeons in a box several different slides for which they tapped with their beak on the correct image. Researchers rewarded them with food and say their accuracy was about the same as when human doctors looked at the images.

Not the typical contraband but a lot of it, just the same. LAX authorities say they confiscated carefully wrapped tamales in corn husks in the luggage of a traveler. Border agents found 450 pork tamales individually packaged in plastic bags. U.S. Customs and Border Protection says foreign meat can bring in disease and generally be unhealthy. They say the person traveling from Mexico lied when asked if there was any meat. The tamales were destroyed and the traveler fined a $1,000 civil penalty for commercial activity with the intent to distribute.

A woman in Massachusetts has won a one million dollar lottery game, a second time, at the same place she bought her first scratcher. Constance Carpenito, of Stoneham won $1 million on a scratch ticket in the $10,000,000 Diamond Millionaire instant game. She also won the same in 1996. Both tickets from the same Stop & Shop supermarket on Main Street in her hometown. She also apparently won a $20,000 winning ticket at the same store.

A man with a criminal record in Detroit applies for a job and is arrested. John Wesley Rose had gone into a local Sheriff’s office to apply for a job even though he was a wanted man. Rose wanted for rape, sodomy and sexual abuse of a 14-year-old girl, but he wanted to be the new custody officer at the Wayne County Sheriff’s Department. When it came time for the background check, boom! it flagged Rose’s outstanding warrants, and he was asked for a ‘second interview’ and immediately arrested. Oops.

The fate of the Palace Hotel is still up in the air. A teleconference was held Monday between the Judge and the attorneys for the City of Ukiah and the building owner Eladia Laines. At issue is whether the building should be taken from Laines and put into receivership after years of wrangling over the building’s condition, which the city calls a nuisance. The judge says they should all consider mediation and had set Monday’s phone conference to discuss that, but nothing was decided. The Ukiah Daily Journal reports another teleconference was set for later this week. The judge also suggested since work’s been done to improve the building in the years since their legal complaint started, the City might want to amend their expectations if they want to prove the building really is a nuisance.

The US Postal Inspection Service is still investigating a break-in at the Upper Lake Post Office. Lake County News reports police looking into the burglary in Sept. at the building on Main Street when burglars damaged the building and took mail from post office boxes. Breaking into a post office carries a penalty of up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Anyone with information is asked to call the US Postal Inspection Service. And if anyone with a PO box there notices unusual transactions on their credit card or bank statements, they should call. There is a $10,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction.

The deadline fast approaching for wildfire survivors in Lake County to register for grants for housing or other needs from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and to apply for disaster recovery loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration. Next Monday, Nov. 23rd’s the deadline and also the last day to visit the Disaster Recovery Centers. There are two in Lake County: one in Clearlake at 14860 Olympic Drive and the other in Middletown at 21256 Washington Street. After Monday the Clearlake site will close and the Middletown site will transition to an SBA Disaster Loan Outreach Center. You can also register for FEMA assistance online at the website or by calling 800-621-3362

A woman who police say led them on a chase is behind bars. Ukiah Police say Sharren Flora was driving a stolen car when an officer stopped her for a traffic violation on Airport Park Boulevard. While the officer was running the plate and ultimately learning the car was stolen, the woman’s passenger Dwayne Mackenzie got out and then Flora drove off. Mackenzie was arrested on suspicion of being in possession of a controlled substance and drug paraphernalia. Flora headed south on Highway 101, going at speeds of more than 100 mph at times before being stopped near Cloverdale by a CHP spike strip. Police say she had be tased to take her into custody. She’s charged with suspicion of vehicle theft, reckless evading, possession of stolen property and driving on a suspended license.

The state’s looking for public comment on nine companion plans that are part of the State Wildlife Action Plan. The Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has the public review period running from this week into Jan. 15th, 2016. The agency’s also having a public meeting to present plans and answer questions Nov. 30th, 2015, from 1 to 3 p.m. in the Natural Resources Building auditorium in Sacramento. The companion plans about the specific over-arching issues which could have a major impact on the state’s fish and wildlife resources.

Rainy weather and generally cooler temperatures across the region mean a lowered threat of wildfires so Cal Fire’s Sonoma-Lake-Napa Unit is preparing for winter and winding down.

The agency says their transition started Monday in Colusa, Lake, Napa, Solano, Sonoma and Yolo counties after a busy summer. Open burning can resume in the Sonoma-Lake-Napa Unit too and in the State Responsibility Area lands governed by the unit. Cal Fire is reminding folks in the area to stay mindful that it takes just one spark to start a wildland fire.

The Mendocino College Foundation has announced the Sean Leland State Farm and Carol Millsap State Farm are sponsoring businesses for the first time for their Adopt A Fifth-Grader program on the Mendocino Coast. The inaugural year of the program to help motivate students while they’re young to continue on to higher education by providing a financial incentive. They’re offering a $1,000 scholarship to Mendocino College upon graduation from high school. Donors get to name a specific elementary school in the Mendocino-Lake Community College District, for their award. For more information about the Mendocino College Foundation, go to

A man in Redwood Valley has been arrested in a domestic violence incident. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office was called Saturday to a home after an incident the night before. Police say Bonnie Akin told them her husband, Kurt and her were struggling over a cell phone at which time her husband physically restrained and physically assaulted her and vice versa. Police say the woman had extensive bruising on her arms. The husband was arrested for felony domestic violence battery and booked into the Mendocino County Jail to be held in lieu of $25,000.00 bail. Bonnie was cited and released for misdemeanor domestic violence battery.

The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office reporting on an Identity Theft related scam throughout the county. The sheriff’s dept says a few days ago there was an automated recording with unlisted or 001 listed in caller ID. They say the recording said it was Savings Bank of Mendocino County and the person’s "MasterCard" has been blocked. Then they’re told to give up their pin number and social security number, to get the card reactivated. The Sheriff’s dept. says to be aware of the fraudulent automated calls and if you get one, do not provide the requested information.

A domestic violence incident landed a woman in the hospital. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Deputies got a call to a local hospital where a woman had reported domestic violence incident. They say the woman was visiting Todd Ramos at his home earlier that day when they got into an argument which escalated. The woman told police Ramos grabbed her and threw her across the room causing her to fall and hurt her shoulder, chest area and a knee. Deputies say they saw a visible injury to one of her knee’s consistent with a physical assault. They found Ramos and arrested him for felony domestic violence battery.

An arrest after a community alert in Lakeport for an armed robbery/burglary suspect. Police had been searching for the man after several leads regarding an empty house having property stolen. Cops identified Jose Manual Rodriguez of Kelseyville as their suspect. They say he took an old black, beat up Honda sedan to the vacant home and loaded it up. The stolen car spotted and stopped, but took off at a high rate of speed and rammed a police car before eventually crashing into a utility pole. Rodriguez arrested on several charges including possession of methamphetamine, an outstanding warrant and resisting an officer with force or violence.

City leaders in Ukiah to consider how the city can educate and keep local primary care doctors. The Daily Journal reports Ukiah Valley Medical Center is coming up with a residential training program they’ll present to the city council at their meeting tonight. The program to be affiliated with UC Davis. They say its goal is to improve service and try to retain about 50 percent of graduates for service within the region. The report also says there’s an expectation of a significant shortage of primary care physicians by 2020. A former city council member and part of the planning group for this program, Mary Anne Landis, is expected to make a presentation to the council. Meeting tonight at 6 p.m. in the City Council chambers at 300 Seminary Ave.

Possible wrong info about some of the inspections of restaurants in Mendocino County. The Daily Journal reports the restaurant inspection web site was not up-to-date and had inaccurate info that might be damaging to local restaurants. That from one of the restaurants challenging its latest county inspection. The newspaper reported on the latest findings last week, but one restaurant owner of the China Diner in Ukiah, who got a health code violation, says it wasn’t disclosed to him during a recent inspection. It’s one of five other food establishments named in last Friday’s Ukiah Daily Journal article. The paper says they got the info from the county’s website and a link, “Food Facilities Inspections Results”.

Emergency declarations continued in Lake County related to wildfires earlier this year and the drought. Lake Co News reports the county Health Officer Dr. Karen Tait went to the board again for another two-week extension of the local health emergency declared after the Valley fire in September. The county Environmental Health Director Ray Ruminski also talked to the board yesterday about cleanup efforts. He says of more than 1,200 sites registering for right of entry for cleanup, 307 parcels have been cleared of debris. 50 teams are assigned for cleanup. And he says 56 sites registered for cleanup due to the Rocky and Jerusalem fires. The County Administrative Officer Matt Perry also asked the board for a continued drought emergency declaration.

A lawsuit’s been filed by an animal rights group because an amusement park in Baton Rouge is allowing a chimpanzee named Candy to smoke cigarettes and have soft drinks instead of water. The group trying to help Candy get out of the park where they say she’s isolated in an inadequate cage. The Animal Legal Defense Fund says she should be sent instead to a sanctuary. The suit says allowing Candy to smoke, violates the endangered species act. The suit the first since a federal rule requiring captive chimps the same protection as wild chimps. City animal control officials have cited the park in the past for not providing water for Candy.

Police in New Jersey arrested a man for throwing sandwiches. The Fairfax Police in Virginia say Jonathan Magnes of Morristown was drunk and threw the sandwich at another man at a pizza restaurant then drove away. Police say the victim was uninjured and followed Magnes before officers got there, and pulled the guy over. Magnes is charged with assault and battery, driving under the influence of alcohol and refusal of a blood and breath test.

The Lake County Board of Supervisors is searching for a new county administrative officer. The current officer Matt Perry is planning to retire next April so he can be with his family more and pursue other interests. Lake County News reports supervisors will discuss the schedule Perry has laid out to find a successor at their meeting this morning. Recruitment starts this week and runs through January 5th with interviews at the end of January and a decision by early February. Perry says that will let him take the county through the mid-year budget review, the beginning of the next budget, and the next steps in fire recovery. After he retires, Perry will have been with the county for 28 years.

A grapevine virus found and formally recognized by Italian researchers in 2012 has been found in Napa. The grapevine Pinot Gris virus (GPGV) has been linked to disease in Pinot Gris/Grigio in Italy since 2003. Virus testing done on 96 randomly chosen grapevine samples the lab already had for testing for grapevine red blotch-associated virus. The lab doing the testing says seven vines were positive for GPGV including reds and whites, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Chardonnay from three separate vineyards in Napa Valley. The detection apparently doesn’t mean the disease will materialize, or will even happen in the future.

State Sen. Mike McGuire and Assemblyman Jim Wood, chair and vice chair of the Joint Committee on Fisheries and Aquaculture are having a public forum on the crab-fishing industry after emergency closures because of a toxic algal bloom. The town hall in Santa Rosa, December 3rd for fishery experts, affected businesses and decision-makers to go over ocean conditions, health issues, economic factors and the future of the $60 million commercial North Coast crab industry. This after a delay set for the sport crab season, followed by a delay in the commercial season. The meeting from 3-6 p.m. at the Steele Lane Community Center in Santa Rosa 2 weeks from this Thurs.

A new ordinance adopted unanimously in Fort Bragg for the city’s municipal code. The “Social Host Ordinance” now a law so police officers can arrest or cite property owners, renters, leasees, or others responsible or knowing there’s alcohol drinking by minors on the property or premises. Those found responsible will have to pay back any costs and fees for public safety response. They could get $300 penalty for the first time, then $500 for a second offense, within 12 months of the first, and $750 for each additional violation after that.

The Boggs Mountain Demonstration State Forest is staying closed into next year because of damage from the Valley Fire. Friends of Boggs Mountain have released a map showing the amount of damage. So reforestation efforts are not even starting until late fall of 2016. Friends of Boggs Mountain is still keeping up trail maintenance behind Cobb Elementary, still part of the forest but open and mostly untouched by the fire.

A man in Aptos (App-TOS, like Toast) says Safeway was underfilling tuna cans so he’s suing. Ehder Soto accuses Safeway of ripping off consumers in their store brand canned tuna. He’s going for a class action suit saying recent government testing showed cans of tuna he bought regularly at his local Safeway were not the full 5 ounces of tuna advertised on the label. Court papers say the guy wouldn’t have bought the Safeway Chunk Light Tuna in Water had he known the cans were underfilled and underweight. His suit claims the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration found 106 of 108 Safeway tuna cans tested had about 2.29 ounces of tuna which is 19.4 percent lower than the federally mandated minimum to fill 2.84 ounces.

A mall in New Jersey has taken away the fee of $35 to $50 for a photo or video package of their kids in order to enter the Santa exhibit. Many parents apparently upset since the attraction was free last year, some saying it pushed away low-income families and was the opposite of what the spirit of the holiday was all about. The mall reported it would lift the fee for Adventure to Santa because it wanted to keep things festive in the spirit of the holiday season.

Pennsylvania State police have arrested a woman for two DUI crashes the same day. Troopers from Somerset arrested Michele Leonard for drunk crashing her car around 5 p.m. Saturday. But she was released. Then police say she offered a stranger, $3 for a ride back to her crashed car, got back in and drove again. Police say she lost control again, sideswiping a parked car in Somerset Township about an hour after her first crash.