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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.

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