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Monthly Archives: December 2015

The Mendocino National Forest has a temporary closure due to a washout. The Forest Service reported closing Forest Service road M5 on the Grindstone Ranger District south of the Stonyford Recreation Area. They closed the road Sunday and it will stay that way until they can make repairs. There is a detour with signs in place too. They report the area is popular because of how close it is to the Off-Highway Vehicle trail system. The forest service concerned about safety for visitors and forest resources due to the severe weather conditions. The recent heavy rains drenched the area and the forest service warns it may not be the only time this happens this winter season.

A man has died after having a heart attack on the Russian River near Forestville just after he caught a fish. The Windsor Fire Dept. reports it happened near Riverfront Park, close to the Dry Creek inlet. He has not been identified yet. Fire dept. says he just caught a steelhead trout and collapsed on the shore. A rescue boat was launched in one direction and Forestville firefighters sent out one too. The man was found with friends trying to resuscitate him.

Thanks to recent rain and snow the water content for the Sierra Nevada snowpack was at 136 percent of normal for the winter’s first manual survey. The chief of the California Cooperative Snow Surveys Program for the Department of Water Resources says it’s a good start. He says after four years of drought, the measuring pole went in, followed by an electronic measurement, that came back with snowpack at 112 percent of normal. The snowpack turns into as much as 30 percent of California’s water supply after it melts into rivers and streams filling reservoirs that remain critically low. Last Jan. 1st, the snowpack was at 45 percent of the historical average and by April 1st, only at 5 percent, a record low.

If you wanna get out and get your party on but have no designated driver, fear not, there are some options. Lake Transit, the public bus service will operate like a Saturday for New Year’s Eve, operating routes throughout the county under normal operations on their Saturday schedule. Route options can go from Ukiah throughout Lake County, to Deer Park and Saint Helena Hospital in Napa. You can also transfer to other bus systems once outside the county. Maria’s Midnight Rides is also operating tonight. That’s a shuttle in Lakeport offering service to the entire county.. There’s also Riley’s Cabs which has an operation in Mendocino County and offers rides thruout. No reservations accepted, it’s first-come, first-serve. They go between Lakeport and the casinos, take cash and credit cards. There’s also Lake County Taxi & Shuttle and Lake County Limousine.

Things are slowing down in Walnut sales. The latest harvest showing a slowdown after years of increased popularity. The Lake County Agricultural Commissioner reported on the crop. The crop was up 22 percent in gross value in 2014 compared to the previous year. And prices peaked at a return of $4,500 per ton in 2014. But apparently this summer, China, one of the world’s largest buyers of walnuts, said it was no longer bringing the nut into the country. And the international demand followed. The first quarter fiscal of 2016’s financial results were released in early December showing international walnut sales down. The report also shows some Lake County growers reported getting about 70 cents per pound, or about $1,400 per ton, from this year’s harvest.

More than 400 kids in Willits had a Merry Xmas with Santa packing up gifts at the old Rexall with firefighters, longtime volunteers and new volunteers. The program brings Xmas to the needy or those who may not have a Christmas otherwise. The Willits Toy Run brought in more than 300 toys and $3,100 in donations from bikers, businesses and others. The money to Christmas trees set up around town for families that had kids’ names and wishes on them. Pick-ups, fire engines and other cars went to the old Rexall Xmas eve and brought the toys to Harrah’s Manor, Creekside Court and other locations. Brooktrails Fire Department also brought packages to their area.

The crop report in for Mendocino County in 2015 showing many local agricultural producers and ranchers had higher market prices even in a drought. The report actually covered production during 2014 as compared to years prior. The report showed gross returns for non-marijuana agriculture was nearly $215,000,000 down 4 percent compared to 2013. The downturn due to light production figures for wine grapes and pears. The highest valued crop, besides marijuana, has been wine grapes followed by timber. Not counting timber, all agricultural production was off 11 percent, but several sectors were up even though there was less production overall. Vegetable production, livestock production, and livestock and poultry products all were up in gross value in 2014 and livestock had “very favorable market prices.”

The first interim budget’s been approved by the Willits Unified School District (WUSD). One of two updates that had been scheduled on the budget was approved Dec. 16th. The director of fiscal services reported to the school trustees the district added $914,000 to its original 2015-2016 budget approved in June. The money will go to new buses, paving projects, textbooks and teacher training. The extra money from a grant and back payments from the state. They also have a new interim principal at one of the district’s elementary schools, just until the end of the school year. Nancy Runberg will run two elementaries and recruitment will start in February for one of the schools.

A pregnant woman in New Jersey delivered her new baby in the cab of a pickup truck while her husband drove to the hospital. Keshia Melchiorre was driving with her hubby to a hospital in Voorhees early Tuesday, but the little girl wasn’t waiting, Portia popped out in the front seat of the pickup. Apparently Portia’s daddy, didn’t even have time to pull over. The baby was due Jan. 23rd. The baby was wrapped up in her mama’s sweat shirt. She weighed just 4 pounds, 12 ounces. Mom says she’d gone thru 10 to 12 hard hours of labor with her other baby. Mom and Portia are said to be in good condition.

A man from Ohio who took video of himself with his phone while he was drinking and driving and posted it on Facebook, found himself under arrest pretty quick. The Franklin County Sheriff’s office reports someone tipped them to the video after it was posted Monday. The man was stopped south of Columbus. The 12-second video shows the man in his car, looking at the camera as music plays in the background. It shows him taking a swig from a partially covered bottle, it also looks like he’s driving with only one finger. 28 year old Dustin Rittgers in court on five misdemeanor charges, including operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs and having an open container in a vehicle.

A woman in upstate New York’s charged with drunk-driving but had charges dismissed with an unusual defense: her body is a brewery. A judge in the Buffalo suburb of Hamurg dismissed charges against the woman after seeing a note from her doctor saying she had something called “auto-brewery syndrome”, a rare condition in which her digestive system converts food into alcohol. In other words she has high levels of yeast in her intestines which fermented high-carbohydrate foods into alcohol. It’s also known as gut fermentation syndrome.

Assemblyman Jim Wood says he’s looking to bring a bill to the legislature in the new year aimed at curbing prescription drug abuse-related deaths. There were about 100 more deaths in 2014 compared to 2013 due to drug overdoses. The CDC says more use of prescription opioid pain relievers and heroin were the biggest contributors to the drug overdose epidemic. Wood’s Assembly Bill 623 was proposed in this past year’s legislative session. It asks doctors to prescribe Abuse-Deterrent Formulations for commonly abused pain pills so they’re almost uncrushable, uncuttable or undissolvable for snorting and injecting. The bill died though, so Wood says he’ll reconsider it in the new session which starts next month.

A fall inspection of the Mendocino County community mental health facility shows some areas that need work. The Sept. inspection was ordered by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services showing a failure to maintain an accurate accounting of the center’s active clientele due to a breakdown in communication; provide documentation of inspection of a fire extinguisher; and practice effective infection control measures. The Ukiah Daily Journal outlines the entire report. It also shows the health center didn’t participate in a Partial Hospitalization Program, the report saying that puts the entire county at risk of not being recertified and a possible loss of receiving federal dollars for patient care if the county chooses to bill Medicare or Medicaid.

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A man from Cobb found guilty of killing a deer illegally on local resort property. Warren Fox has to pay a huge fine now after a law, just passed, takes up the fines for killing trophy animals. Fox busted for illegally hunting on the Hoberg’s Resort property on Cobb Mountain. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife Wardens got a report about Fox hunting deer, illegally baiting them with grain. Wardens went to the area and watched for Fox to return from hunting on his ATV. They found him at his home with a large four-by-four point buck deer on his ATV they say looked to be a “trophy” class deer. They also found an empty bag of grain but Fox denied he was illegally baiting deer saying he found the empty bag of grain. But they found grain on the ground and evidence from the deer in the ATV. There was also a small dead deer nearby. Fox eventually admitted he was illegally baiting and shooting deer. He pleaded no contest at his first court appearance and got three years’ probation, lost his hunting privilege for three years and has to pay a $8,530 fine.

Calif legislators looking to even out a budget gap looking to the gas tax. A new report from the state Senate shows 68 percent of Calif. Roads need help, some of the worst in the country. Report shows the roads in poor or mediocre condition, the 44th worst record in the nation. It also shows fixing the roads, which is so far unfunded, could cost as much as $135 billion over ten years. So lawmakers are taking up the matter in a current special session. They’re looking to fund repairs with billions for the most urgent repairs, possibly with a higher gas tax. The state transportation department, Caltrans, says for each dollar spent on preventive maintenance that could avert as much as $10 in repairs later.

A new report by a national medical marijuana advocacy organization says California cities and counties should regulate the cultivation of medical marijuana instead of banning it outright. The memo and model ordinance from Americans for Safe Access. The group supports patients and advocates against bans on growing and pushes for local licensing and the regulation of medical marijuana businesses. Regulations vary in Lake County. Lakeport, Clearlake and the county have established different limits. The Mendocino County Board of Supervisors’ marijuana ad hoc committee is considering revising regulations in 2016 as the state’s new medical marijuana regulatory package starts Friday.

A new report shows fog in Northern California carries mercury in it. The new research presented at the American Geophysical Union’s fall conference last week. The report showing levels not high enough to hurt humans, but mercury accumulating in wildlife could eventually end up in the food chain, so it could mean bad news for coastal ecosystems. Scientists reported the findings after collecting fog and ocean water from Big Sur to Humboldt County looking at the chemistry of water droplets, plankton and sediments. Mercury poisoning can cause brain and nervous system damage and impair reproductive functions.

A project to move utilities underground along East Perkins Street and take out power poles is being put off because of the fires in Lake County. It was supposed to be done in the first part of next year but now has no estimated date of completion. Companies fixing up utilities in Middletown and around Lake County replacing power poles, so they’re otherwise occupied. Some of the infrastructure like conduits, vaults and pedestals for the transformers has already been installed so next is to install the underground network. After all the new networks are installed, the old infrastructure will be ripped out.

Investigators say a fire that gutted a health clinic in downtown Guerneville was set intentionally. Russian River fire officials say the fire at the Russian River Health Center was the second arson fire of a commercial structure in town in a week. The fires hit five structures since Dec. 17th, including three homes and the two commercial buildings. Officials thought three of them were suspicious right away and then later determined one at a closed inn was also arson. State and federal investigators are working the case. The fire in the clinic started in a utility closet containing recycle bins and medical waste. They say they found no sign of forced entry and they’re checking to see if a door was left unlocked by a cleaning crew.

The Clearlake City Council’s voted in their new leadership for the new year. Lake Co News reports Russ Perdock is the new mayor, he’s been on the council a year. And Gina Fortino Dickson will be vice mayor for a second term. The votes in for the two at the end of the meeting Dec. 10th.
Councilwoman Joyce Overton nominated Perdock for Mayor and the last Mayor Denise Loustalot nominated Fortino Dickson too, saying she’d worked hard to prepare herself for the mayor’s job. But there was then a second for Perdock’s nod, so he got the position. Before now there’d be a hierarchy of who would be next in line as mayor. After a roll call vote, all five council members voted to elect Perdock though.

An elephant seal that tried crossing a highway out of San Pablo Bay has been sedated and was found to be pregnant. She’s a big one, the 900-pounder took a wrong turn, ending up in the area, swimming in circles and getting out of the water to the Highway. She was tranquilized in a field near Highway 121, loaded onto a truck and examined. Veterinarians did blood checks and an ultrasound and found she was expecting. They say December and January are prime months when elephant seals return to breed on the beaches. She’s been taken to Point Reyes National Seashore at Chimney Rock to an established elephant seal colony. She was first spotted Monday trying to cross busy Highway 37.

The four year historic drought is putting as many as 58 million large trees in severe danger. A new scientific study released by the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington, D.C. used high-tech imagery gathered by an airplane flying over California earlier this year. It showed up to 888 million large trees had “measurable losses of canopy water” since the drought began and of those 58 million lost so much water they were determined as “extremely threatening to long-term forest health.” Scientists say the risk is still high even with the massive rain that’s been forecast this winter due to El Niño.

The California Secretary of State is investigating reports that confidential voter information may have been publicly posted online. Alex Padilla says the records were not posted by the California Secretary of State’s office and says he’s working with the state Attorney General Kamala Harris’ office on the matter. CNET reported DataBreaches.net found a massive amount of voter data on a publicly available Web server. It had nearly 200 million registered voters listed, including many in California. It’s no longer publicly accessible now. California law says voter data is private. An almost 18 million plus voter file is available only for political, election, scholarly, journalistic, or governmental purposes.

A woman from Castro Valley has been formally banned from her local park plus she has been ordered no contact with a man she’s accused of throwing coffee at during an anti-Muslim rant. She was in court yesterday on misdemeanor battery and hate crime charges and told her lawyer she was harassed after video of her anti-Muslim comments and coffee throwing incident at Chabot Regional Park in Castro Valley Dec. 6th. It went viral on the Internet as have several other incidents considered to be hate crimes against members of the Muslim community in the Bay Area after the Paris attacks and a shooting rampage by Islamic extremists in San Bernardino.

2 people have been arrested in Clearlake after a traffic stop turned up an assault rifle, metal knuckles and ammunition. Police patrolling the city Monday morning behind a white Chevrolet U-Haul van when the officer saw the vehicle cross the fog line, weave in traffic lanes and continue to change speed. The sheriff’s deputy pulled the truck over. The driver, Amy Jonas said she didn’t have her drivers license and a second deputy came up and found a man in the back of the van, identified as Derek Boudreaux. The deputies opened the cargo doors and saw two loaded AR-15 magazines next to the man and a rifle barrel under his head. The woman then drove off and the officers chased. They caught up to the van after it drove up to 100 miles per hour but stopped in the St. Helena Clearlake Hospital. The two arrested on several charges including being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm, possession of ammunition and evading a peace officer.

Ukiah’s planning on expanding and improving Oak Manor Park’s picnic area. There will be more seating and shade paid for by a grant from the state. The Community Services Supervisor says it took a couple of years to apply for the $142,000 grant from the state’s Prop 1C Housing Related Parks Program. The grant requirements means the money has to be used on sites like Oak Manor Park. The city worked with the Parks, Recreation and Golf Commission to figure out what was most needed at Oak Manor.

A French cop says some picky thieves brought back police armbands they apparently accidentally stole while going after luxury items. The Vienne prosecutor says five masked thieves went to a delivery center in Saint-Quentin-Fallavie and swiped a shipment of Louis Vuitton products and six packages for the national police. The packages had police armbands that were left outside the police station with a note: "An unexpected windfall, luxury clothing targeted without weapons or violence. Happy holidays to all." The thieves — and the Louis Vuitton merchandise — are still missing.

The Valley fire may leave more destruction not yet known… to the environment. There are charred trees, structures and vehicles after the fire blackened more than 76,000 acres and destroyed more than 1,300 homes. Now reports from miles away of concern about winter rains washing sediment, algae-stimulating chemicals and toxic residue into streams from blackened areas to water sources used by fish, agriculture and people miles away in the Bay Area and Central Valley. The Solano Water agency supplies water to farmers and cities, ½ from Lake Berryessa which is fed largely by Putah Creek which drains Cobb Mountain, an area badly damaged by the Valley fire. Plus Lake Berryessa was near the 25,000-acre Jerusalem fire, also in Lake County, and the 8,000-acre Wragg fire near Berryessa. Lake County officials say impacts on Clear Lake would be minimal because few streams feeding the lake were in the most severely affected fire zones.

Police are investigating a hate crime in Fresno after a Sikh man was assaulted. Police say it happened Saturday morning to 68-year-old Amrik Singh Bal. They say he was wearing a turban and waiting for a ride to work when two men approached in a car and started to yell profanities at him. He told police he tried to cross the street but the two backed their car up into him. Then they got out and beat the man before driving away. Police say they yelled at the man, saying "Why are you here?" He ended up with cuts on his nose and hand and a broken collar bone. No arrests have been made.

Clearlake is going to take down a dilapidated building on the old Austin Resort property. Lake Co News reports the city council voted unanimously at its last meeting so city staff would start the work on the demolition of the building on the 4.5-acre property in the 14000 block of Lakeshore Drive, across from Clearlake City Hall. The City Manager says the building is a “blighted eyesore” and says he’s looking to the council to clarify how city staff should move forward with the property it acquired after the dissolution of the Clearlake Redevelopment Agency. The city manager says a previous plan to use the site as a prime anchor location like a destination resort wouldn’t work and instead says it should be a campground or be used for a smaller commercial use.

A couple in Ukiah have been arrested in connection to a burglary at a home Christmas Eve. Police say residents in a home in the 300 block of West Mill Street reported they left their house Christmas Eve around 6 p.m. for a party and when they got home noticed the house had been broken into. They say about $7,000 worth of items was taken, including jewelry and a laptop computer. Police identified the suspect as Justin Blake. Cops went to the Sunrise Inn on Christmas after the victims found Blake there. Police found Tiffany Moody and a number of stolen items, burglary tools, a baton, tear gas, illegal substances and items to manufacture a controlled substance. Moody was arrested on suspicion of possessing stolen property, a baton, tear gas, a controlled substance, drug paraphernalia and burglary tools and booked on $150,000 bail. Blake found later and arrested on suspicion of resisting arrest, possessing stolen property, a controlled substance, drug paraphernalia and burglary tools, as well as manufacturing a controlled substance and conspiracy and also booked into Mendocino County Jail under $150,000 bail.

A fire started at a home in Ukiah after a Christmas gifted hoverboard’s charger sparked. A resident in the 700 block of El Rio Street called the fire in Christmas and firefighters got there in about 10 minutes to find a police officer extinguished the flaming $300 toy. The resident of the home says she was charging the gift and heard it make a strange noise and saw smoke. She took it to her patio and it started a fire, but did no damage to the home. The hoverboard apparently had a faulty battery pack and didn’t meet requirements to be sold in the United States. There’s been reports of a dozen or so incidents like this in the country, in some cases the report says the toy destroyed bedrooms and even homes.

An elephant seal trying to get across a highway has been saved, but snarled up traffic. The seal trying to get across Highway 37 — and away from San Pablo Bay Monday afternoon near Sears Point. CHP reported the huge seal reported in an eastbound lane of the highway near the junction with Highway 121. Drivers were stopping and trying to get the animal back to the ocean to no avail. State Fish and Wildlife wardens went out to the mammal and helped it back to the water. The Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito came out to help the animal which was reported to be swimming in circles.

A new change for grocery shoppers in Sacramento: plastic bags are banned. Starting Friday, shoppers have to bring your own bag or pay for something to carry their items out with. Shoppers need to use reusable bags January 1st at most grocers, large pharmacies and convenience stores. This after the Sacramento city council voted for the ban last Spring to begin in 2016. The state capitol becomes one of 145 cities in the state to stop using plastic bags. Small plastic bags for produce and at the meat counter and for bulk items are still available and at no charge at some stores.

Police in Germany report a man died after trying to blow up a condom machine. The man along with two others tried exploding the machine and one guy, was hit in the head by a flying piece of metal. It happened last Friday in Schoeppingen, near the Dutch border. Police rushed to the scene finding cash and condom packets on the ground. A 29-year-old died after the two other men brought him to a hospital saying he fell down some stairs. They later admitted what happened saying the victim’s injuries were related to the explosion.

A canal delivering water from Northern to Southern California is sinking in places. The canal is going thru major and historic restoration. Four years of drought and the pumping of groundwater’s made the land sink fast all along the Central Valley so it has to be repaired at billions of dollars in expense. More than a foot a year is sinking in some areas with no stopping foreseen. Land subsidence, as it’s called, mostly comes as a result of pumping water from the ground out of aquifers, leaving them drying, so the ground sags. A plan to have all groundwater management plans in effect won’t happen until 2040.

A quarantine’s been expanded in Northern California in an effort to corral the tiny Asian citrus psyllid. The California Department of Food and Agriculture says they’ve added on 101 square miles to the quarantine in southern Stanislaus County and part of Merced County after two of the tiny pests were found in Turlock. It can carry a bacteria that kills citrus trees and reportedly cost Florida’s citrus industry hundreds of millions of dollars. Nine California counties have full quarantines and portions of a dozen more counties. It means there can be no movement of nursery stock and all citrus fruit has to be cleaned of leaves and stems.

A woman in Florida’s arrested for driving thru Wal-Mart, cops say, on methamphetamine and drinking wine and eating sushi and cinnamon rolls. The Citrus County Sheriff’s Office reports a security guard watched as Josseleen Lopez ate more than $32.00 worth of food and wine inside the store. The guard says she ate sushi by the piece, then put the rest back on the shelf. He reported her doing it again with mini muffins and cinnamon rolls and says she powered thru most of a rotisserie chicken too. She told police she was homeless, hungry and on meth. She was arrested on charges of retail petty theft and possession of drug paraphernalia.

The Valley Fire Long-Term Recovery Task Force start up again after the new year. The first one, next Tuesday, a week from today at 6:00 PM at the Twin Pine Casino in Middletown. Plus hours will start up again for the Valley Fire Long-Term Recovery Coordinator at the Gibson Museum in Middletown Monday between 1:00 PM and 3:00 PM. She’ll be there Mondays and Thursdays, check her schedule at our station website or at www.LakeCountyRecovers.com.

Monday January 4, 2016 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM

Monday January 11, 2016 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM

Thursday January 14, 2016 9:30 AM to 12:00 Noon

Thursday January 21, 2016 9:30 AM to 12:00 Noon

Thursday January 28, 2016 9:30 AM to 12:00 Noon

Tens of thousands of minimum-wage workers in California will be making an extra dollar an hour starting on Friday. The Golden State’s minimum wage increases from nine dollars to ten dollars an hour on January first. But labor advocates plan to continue their push for 15-dollars an hour. Sean Wherley with the Service Employees International Union’s United Healthcare Workers West, says ten dollars just doesn’t cut it.

Cut 68345 :13 "At $10 an hour, that’s less than $21,000 a year for a full-time worker. That’s barely enough to cover for yourself, much less if you have children. Particularly in coastal areas, but even throughout rural areas, that’s not enough to get by."

Tag: Two different branches of S-E-I-U are promoting separate ballot measures next November. One would raise the hourly wage to 15-dollars by 2020 and mandate six paid days off for illness. The other would raise the wage by the same amount by 2021.

***

Second Cut: Critics of these measures say they’d raise costs for small businesses and lead them to cut hours or jobs. Wherley counters that workers will have more money to spend, which benefits the economy overall. And he says a statewide measure would level the playing field between cities.

Cut 69345 :14 "This is going to be uniformly applied, so no city can claim that one has an advantage over the other. And this is what is going to lift people into a better existence, one where they can provide for themselves and their families."

Tag: San Francisco and Los Angeles have already passed 15-dollar minimum hourly wages that go into effect in 2018 and 2020, respectively. The national minimum wage is seven-dollars-25-cents an hour.

The fifth fire in Guerneville in the last week has destroyed a home. A fire official says two of the fires are considered suspicious. The fire over the holiday weekend in a vacant home near the east end of the city. When firefighters got there the home was totally engulfed in flames. There were no injuries reported and no cause has been determined. Another fire started Saturday and damaged the Russian River Health Center, putting it out of commission. Fire investigators say the clinic fire was definitely human-caused but they weren’t sure if it was intentional or unintentional. The clinic serves 3,500 people in the Guerneville and lower Russian River area.

A state grant to the Lake County Library to help victims of the summers fires in Lake County. The California State Library says its offering $15,000 in federal Library Services and Technology Act money to the Lake County Library for collection development. County residents affected by the fires have gone to the county’s libraries for rebuilding and to get info on property and personal loss.

A warming center’s opening thanks to a group of local churches for the homeless and needy. Starting after the New Year on January 4th, the warming center opens at the Lakeport Seventh-day Adventist Church on the corner of Hill Road East and Park Way. The hours are 6 p.m. to 7 a.m., Monday through Friday until April 1st. Those staying at the warming center get dinner, breakfast and can take showers. The space will be physically and emotionally safe for all, regardless of race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, gender, gender identity or sexual orientation.

Many new laws take effect next week, starting Jan. 1st though, state law will require most businesses $10 an hour, minimum wage. Konocti Vista Casino started the new wage Christmas week. So those already working at the casino will go up to 10 bucks an hour and the same for new hires. Most businesses in the state have to follow state and federal laws regarding wages, but Indian gaming casinos pretty much follow federal rules because casinos are on federal land.

Congressmembers Jared Huffman of San Rafael and Brad Sherman of Sherman Oaks are part of a letter signed by other members sent to the Internal Revenue Service and the Department of the Treasury looking for clarification for homeowners who get water conservation rebates regarding paying federal taxes on the rebates. Right now the IRS considers water rebates taxable income but the congressmembers say the IRS should reconsider the rebates as a reduction on the purchase price of home improvement.

Emergency laws could be passed by Bay Area cities regarding growing and selling medical marijuana ahead of statewide changes to regulate the medical drug for the first time. The Gov. Jerry Brown had signed three bills into law all as one which is called the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act which starts Friday. The trio of laws to come up with a template for the industry almost 20 years after the drug was legalized as medicine. There will be a new state agency to regulate, suspend, and even take away licenses from dispensaries starting in 2018. The law will also mean the Medical Board of California can investigate doctors recommending the drug too much. It will be a misdemeanor for the doctors who over prescribe for financial interest in a licensed medical marijuana facility and the law allows tighter regulations on marijuana farmers who pollute streams and rivers.

State officials say there are more cases of norovirus, also known as winter vomiting disease. The state Department of Public Health says there’s been 32 confirmed outbreaks of the virus since Oct. 1st that could have affected as many as hundreds of people. They warn it’s highly contagious and can lead to vomiting and diarrhea. You can get it if you’re near an infected person, eat food or drink liquids with the disease or if you touch contaminated surfaces or objects and then touch your mouth.

California cops trying to figure out why a naked man was out in frigid temperatures when he went into a home and stole a purse. Police in Auburn say the boyfriend of the homeowner chased the suspect, Adam Pettibone then Pettibone ran off, got into an SUV and got away, but not before he hit the boyfriend with the SUV. Police found the SUV nearby and arrested Pettibone for suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon and burglary. He was being held on $250,000 bail.

A couple in New Hampshire had second thoughts on their divorce, but the state’s high court didn’t agree. The state’s Supreme Court upheld a lower court ruling saying no to vacating the couple’s divorce after 24 years of marriage. Terrie and Thomas McCarron argued on appeal their divorce decree should be tossed because they made up and were together again, but the justices unanimously said no. a lawyer appointed by the state said allowing the divorce could jeopardize all of the state’s divorces.

ADELE-HELLO

ALESSIA CARA-HERE

JUSTIN BIEBER-SORRY

MEGHAN TRAINOR W/JOHN LEGEND-LIKE I’M GONNA LOSE YOU

SELENA GOMEZ-SAME OLD LOVE

WEEKND-IN THE NIGHT

CHAINSMOKERS (THE)-ROSES

CHARLIE PUTH-ONE CALL AWAY

DAYA-HIDE AWAY

DEMI LOVATO-CONFIDENT

DNCE-CAKE BY THE OCEAN

FALL OUT BOY W/DEMI LOVATO-IRRESISTIBLE

FLO RIDA-MY HOUSE

GWEN STEFANI-USED TO LOVE YOU

HALSEY-NEW AMERICANA

JUSTIN BIEBER-LOVE YOURSELF

ONE DIRECTION-PERFECT

SHAWN MENDES W/CAMILA CABELLO-I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER

TORI KELLY-HOLLOW

TWENTY ONE PILOTS-STRESSED OUT

ADELE-WHEN WE WERE YOUNG

CHRIS BROWN-ZERO

JASON DERULO-GET UGLY

NELLY W/JEREMIH-THE FIX

POST MALONE-WHITE IVERSON

RACHEL PLATTEN-STAND BY YOU

ROBIN SCHULZ W/FRANCESCO YATES-SUGAR

ANDY GRAMMER-GOOD TO BE ALIVE (HALLELUJAH)

BORNS-ELECTRIC LOVE

DIPLO W/SLEEPY TOM-BE RIGHT THERE

JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE-DRINK YOU AWAY

R. CITY-MAKE UP

TINASHE-PLAYER

TRAVIS SCOTT-ANTIDOTE

U.S. Rep. Mike Thompson announced the launch of the second annual Congressional App Challenge for the 5th Congressional District. The nationwide competition invites high school students from all participating congressional districts to compete by creating and exhibiting their software “app,” for mobile, tablet, or computer devices. It is designed to promote innovation and engagement in the STEM education fields. In order to participate in the competition, students must submit their app’s source code online by midnight on January 15, 2016 EST, as well as provide a video demo explaining their app and what they learned through this competition process. More details on submitting a contest entry, the rules of the competition, can be found at http://www.congressionalappchallenge.us.

What do you do with all that wrapping paper and packaging once the gifts have been opened? Mike Sweeney of Mendocino Solid Waste Management is getting the word out that there are local options for recycling and composting holiday debris. Christmas trees can be cut up and put in green yard waste bins, wrapping paper can be recycled, though leave the ribbons and bows out of it. If you’re tossing out old electronics in favor of newer gadgets you can dispose of older items at the transfer station on plant road. Finally after the Christmas feast is done, you can compost your food waste in free compasting containers available by calling Waste management. Sweeny says he love the holidays but doing away with the trash it creates is hard from a solid waste perspective.

The city of Ukiah will again collect bids for two new wells it hopes to build. the Ukiah City Council approved rejecting both bids it received this month. Public Works Director Tim Eriksen told the Ukiah Daily Journal that there were irregularities with both of those bids that made them uncomfortable moving forward. He says they also need to tweak specification for both projects. They’re planning to install a replacement for Well No. 4, the city’s oldest on Lorraine Street, and putting in a new well on Brush Street that will be Well No. 9. Eriksen said staff will likely have new bids to bring forward in February.

The American Red Cross recently announced that it will allocate more than $500,000 to help support Valley Fire recovery efforts. At leas 75 percent of that money will go those that need the most assistance. The rest will pay the salary and operating expenses of a new recovery manager that has yet to be hired. Senior Disaster Program Manager Mike Conroy says they’re looking for community members who have unmet needs like those who lost their house and didn’t have insurance. In addition to financial assistance they’ll also be providing help with building permits and other needs.

Computers and cash were stolen from two homes in Ukiah last week. According to the Ukiah Police Department, a woman in the 100 block of Marlene Street reported that when she left her home, she had $260 on her kitchen counter. When she came home, however, she said the cash was missing, as well as a laptop and an iPad. An officer found that one of her doors appeared to have been pried open. The same day another caller said she returned hope to find her laptop and several other items missing.

A proposed Mendocino County ballot measure aimed at beefing up funding for struggling rural fire districts has yet to be officially named or circulated for signatures but it’s already in a legal battle. The proposal, by officials representing four rural fire districts, would require that county supervisors consider giving the county’s nearly two dozen fire districts a 30 percent share of a half-cent public safety tax approved in 1993. If passed, the measure would reverse a long-standing arrangement in Mendocino County, where supervisors, decided to exclude fire districts from the funding source, which last year generated more than $7 million. The funding currently is divided among the Sheriff Office, District Attorney’s Office, jail and probation department. Acting Mendocino County Counsel Katharine Elliott sued the proponents last week to halt the measure, contending it unlawfully infringes on elected officials’ decision-making authority. The Mendocino County Board of Supervisors did not take part in the decision to sue over the proposed ballot measure, according to Supervisor John McCowen.

Santa Rosa has launched a new program that buys one-way bus and plane tickets for homeless people who want to get back home. Jennielynn Holmes, director of housing and shelter for Catholic Charities, says sometimes getting people home to a more supportive environment is all they need to get off the street. Since the pilot program began in August, Catholic Charities has spent $1,630 to send six people away from Sonoma County, one by airplane and the rest by Greyhound bus. Supporters of the program say it is more cost-effective and humane to help homeless people return home instead of paying to provide them with local housing, health care and myriad other public services.

The Mendocino County Executive Office said Wednesday the county plans to solicit requests for proposals for dispatch services in 2016, but the current contract in place with Cal Fire will continue. Cal Fire’s Emergency Communications Command Center at Howard Forest in Willits is currently contracted by the county to provide fire and EMS dispatch services, a contract that was entered into in 2007 and was extended for three years by the Board of Supervisors in July of this year. The county said per its contract with Cal Fire for dispatch services, it is required to notify the state fire agency one year in advance of a contract termination. With the exception of the cities of Ukiah and Willits, dispatch services are provided countywide and funded by the county’s general fund.

A winter storm watch issued through this afternoon. The national weather service says there could be up to 6 inches of snow possible above 3000 feet and some potential accumulation at 2500 feet.

A Sunday fire at Mendocino Forest Products in Ukiah is said to have started in the transformer room. The Daily Journal reports Firefighters from Ukiah Valley Fire Authority, the Hopland Volunteer Fire Department and the Redwood Valley-Calpella Fire Department all responded around 11am and had it out by Noon. No one was hurt.

A teenage girl has been reported missing in Ukiah. The girl’s mom tells us 17 year old Rachel Ashley disappeared last weekend and has not been seen or heard from since. She was last seen in a red Marilyn Monroe hooded sweater and sweatpants She was also seen shopping and at a nail salon with two other minor girls Saturday mid-day. If anyone has info on her, they’re asked to call the Ukiah Police Dept. She’s further described as a Native American, 5’2", 130 lbs with brn eyes, blk wavy hair and small petite frame. She attends school at So Valley High and works at Ellies Mutt Hutt. Her mom says she left all of her personal belongings at home including her cellphone and house keys.

Timber sale areas are closed in the Jackson Demonstration State Forest (JDSF). Forest officials say it’s normal to close timber sale areas for a period of time after timber operations are done and it’s found to be safe for the public. So starting Monday December 28th the area that was closed for active timber sale operations is opening for hiking, biking and equestrian access but vehicles are prohibited from using the closed roads. Unlicensed motorcycles and ATVs are always prohibited and no cross country travel is allowed. For more info, call (707) 964-5674.

Extra patrols by police as we get to the holidays. The California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) says you should: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over. The CHP and other law enforcement agencies have special operations in play already. They started last weekend and continue until after the New Year. Cops out searching for and arresting alcohol and drug impaired drivers. More than 10,000 were killed in crashes involving an impaired driver in 2013. This is all part of the national Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over enforcement campaign period. So look for increased patrols and checkpoints. If you get caught driving impaired you could face jail time, fines, loss of your driver’s license, towing fees, and other DUI expenses, totaling $10,000 on average.

3 classes have been set by the Lake County Certified Tourism Ambassador Program after the new year. Anyone in the tourism profession can take part in the program which is part of a national network of programs to help folks learn how to work with visitors in Lake County. The Lake County Board of Supervisors has authorized 200 private-sector classes for free and 200 seats for anyone working in Lake County’s government also for free. It’s for folks who work in hospitality, at wineries, hotels, bus and taxi drivers and business owners too. For more info, visit www.ctanetwork.com

A bomb squad had to go out and check out a possible explosive device at a home in Richmond where a man was arrested for threats against Muslim people. The Contra Costa Times reports (http://bayareane.ws/1QULTXq) police getting a tip last Thursday regarding a man saying he was going to hurt local Muslim community members. Detectives found the man might have some sort of bomb and evacuated nearby residents Sunday afternoon. The device was deactivated, no one was injured and the man arrested. His name and age were not released.

A man in Central Calif. Has been arrested for a stabbing of his therapist several times. Police in Fresno say the 55-year-old therapist was stabbed in the neck, upper torso and arms with wounds considered life-threatening. Cops getting a call to the CAP Recovery Center finding the injured therapist but not the suspect. They checked abandoned buildings and found Raymond White and arrested him. He was said to be in a group session and left then went to the victim’s office and stabbed her. He’s to be charged with either assault with a deadly weapon or attempted murder after the investigation.

Almost 8 months after reopening a portion of Hill Road it had to be closed to through traffic again because of a mudslide. The Lake County Department of Public Works reported the road closed between the entrance of Sutter Lakeside Hospital and Lakeshore Boulevard. They have not said when it might open again. Lake Co News reports mud and debris sliding down the hill after heavy rains the last few days, like what happened back a year ago. The road wasn’t cleared that time until the end of April. The news site reports part of the road’s issue’s from the same landslide of nearly three years ago that affected the Lakeside Heights subdivision, sitting above the hill above the road and across from the hospital.

A new pact signed by Lake County and three local Indian tribes to help increase protections for native cultural resources. As we reported a memorandum of agreement the first of its kind, will help to protect land and artifacts around Clearlake and the Clearlake basin. Lake Co News reports it’s actually the sixth agreement of its type in the state. The Board of Supervisors had unanimously approved this agreement Dec. 1st. It states the new “tribal cultural resources” category to include and not limited to – archaeological sites, traditional cultural properties, funerary objects, human remains, and burial and ceremonial sites.

Just like every other year, new laws to be aware of after the new year. In Calif, there’s many new traffic and safety laws starting Jan. 1st. Gov. Jerry Brown signed the bills during this past legislative session. They include hit and run accidents to set off so called yellow alerts if there’s an injury or serious damage. Silver Alerts, like Amber alerts, for the elderly. Electrically motorized boards can only go up to 15 mph and can only be used on roads where the speed limit is 35 mph or less. Similarly, electric bicycles have some new laws to abide by as well. Certain speed limits, age limits and manufacturer rules.

That Maine high school teacher forced to take down her pink Hello Kitty Christmas tree in her classroom gets to keep it. Bangor High School officials told Catherine Gordon to take down the tree as it had no educational component. But the principal said this week the tree actually highlighted the "universal nature of holiday celebration" and said it was appropriate for a school setting. The teacher had posted on Facebook after she was told to take it down saying people are too sensitive and it quote "sucks the joy out of everything."

Wet weather continues after soaking Northern California overnight. The National Weather Service reported more showers expected today and tomorrow. Then another storm blasts thru from the Gulf of Alaska but clearing up in time for Christmas on Friday. Lots of snow was expected in the Sierras with up to a foot in some areas and possibly as much as 2 feet. Temperatures were supposed to stay mild for the week, with highs in the 50s, and overnight lows in the 40s and possibly into the 30s by Christmas morning.

A new report shows many cities in California, some of the most liberal in the country. The findings from pouring over campaign finance reports. Crowdpac, a data service calculated ideological rankings for nearly 5,000 U.S. cities showing the top 100 most liberal cities in the nation for towns with a population of more than 6,000. Lakeport was 887th on the list, Ukiah, 515th. San Francisco, 33rd and Berkeley ranked 7th. Crowdpac in Palo-Alto was founded by two Stanford University professors. They say their ideological scores were based on campaign donations to state and federal candidates since 2002. It rates Bernie Sanders left of Hillary Clinton and Rand Paul farthest right among Republicans.

A couple accused in the murder of a 3 year old girl and a 6 year old boy have been formally charged. The children said to have had severe abuse, had been tortured and neglected then stuffed in a plastic bin at a rented storage facility. Tami Joy Huntsman and her 17-year-old companion charged yesterday after the bodies were found a week ago. Police say the kids probably died Nov. 27th in Salinas. The couple charged with three counts each of torture involving the deprivation of food, shelter and clothing for at least a year.

State regulators are considering more lenient water conservation targets after some communities cut usage by as much as 25 percent during the drought. The State Water Resources Control Board reports inland communities in hot regions and others using new sources, like recycled water and new desalination plants, could be eligible for lowered conservation requirements. They may drop the state’s overall water conservation rate to around the 22 percent mark if all the eligible water agencies apply for adjustments. The Gov. Jerry Brown had ordered residents across the state to cutback by a quarter with each community given an individual target.

A high school teacher in Maine says she’s been forced to remove a small pink Christmas tree she decorated with Hello Kitty from her classroom. Bangor math teacher Catherine Gordon wrote on her Facebook page quote "everything offends everyone all the time" and it quote "just sucks the joy out of everything." Even a state congressmember said the school went too far. The school superintendent says culture, traditions and holidays have to have an educational component and be tied to curriculum.

A former Marine in New York is a serious Star Wars fan, forever changed his name… to Darth Vader. The 43-year-old former Marine happens to also need a bone marrow transplant and is raising money. He changed his name legally a year ago. Eric Welch, his old name, of Canandaigua (kan-un-DAY’-gwuh), says he grew up in foster homes and didn’t have strong family ties to his name and liked the name he chose because the character carries an aura of leadership and toughness.

It’s that time of year, the time to apply for the Ukiah Natural Foods Co-op’s Community Grant awards. Several awards of money to be given to local nonprofits who help to give food and shelter to community members in need and for those offering events, programs and services for health, wellness and nutrition. Grant applications are being accepted that target those areas. You can get an application at the Ukiah Natural Food’s customer service counter or online at www.ukiahcoop.com. The deadline is Feb. 12th with the award checks going out mid-March.

A long serving employee at Hillside Hospital is taking his leave… permanently. The Daily Journal reports David Breece retiring from his first and only job after 42 years. Breece went to school for X-ray technology and nuclear medicine, applying at Hillside just out of school. He was planning a short employment there, but stayed thru retirement. He’s Ukiah Valley Medical Center’s longest serving employee. He says he’ll stay in Ukiah and read, maybe travel and volunteer.

Three Lake County Indian tribes and county officials have signed a local agreement so tribal artifacts and cultural resources can be better protected in the ancient Clear Lake basin. It’s said to be the first ever pact of this kind. It comes after a new law put into place last year, calling for tribes to be consulted on proposed development projects in affected geographic areas before government agencies can put forward any type of environmental review. The agreement one of many collaborative efforts to help further preserve remnants of tribal civilizations around the lake and the surrounding basin. One state archaeologist says the land could have been inhabited for at least 13,000 years.

A man from Redwood Valley’s one of three 1st place winners in a Cal Trans I-5 fix contest. Mark Akin says he saw a poster for the statewide contest at a rest area and decided to enter, one of 600 who did. The contest the brainchild of an Assemblyman from Glendale. The contest to help improve state government. Some of the ideas include, easier merging on highways and making wrong-way ramp access more difficult, movable center dividers and staggered workday hours to reduce commute congestion. Caltrans says Akin’s improved sign concept will help notify drivers early about which lane they should be in for which freeway direction.

A deadline in the state’s new Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act is incorrect. The March 1, 2016 date that asks counties and cities to start local cultivation regulations or allow the state local control was wrong. Assemblyman Jim Wood of Healdsburg sent an open letter to all county and city government officials last week saying the March 1st deadline was included as a drafting error in Assembly Bill 243, which is part of the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act which also has a bill by Sen. Mike McGuire and another by Assemblyman Rob Bonta, both Northern Calif. legislators.

A fire at an apartment building in Fort Bragg has damaged the building, but there were no injuries reported. The Little Lake Fire Dept. and Brooktrails Fire responded to Creekside Village Apartments after a tenant left the stove top on and left. The fire last Tuesday was quickly contained and only damaged that one apartment. Neighbors were out on the street watching the firefighters at work. The apartment’s tenant got a phone call about the fire and quickly returned.

2 fires reported around the same time in Guerneville. Fire officials investigating the fires reported at 4 a.m. yesterday in a vacant commercial building and at a two story home nearby. The commercial building was in the process of being renovated and the fire was considered “suspicious.” The building not seriously damaged, then the other fire believed to be caused in the kitchen area. Neither fire had injuries.

A local garden project established by North Coast Opportunities has received a grant to continue in Lake County. The Gardens Project in Mendocino County helps bring healthy, fresh, local, and just foods thru self reliance, encouraging the cultivation of food as well as leadership skills. Now with the three-year USDA Community Food Project grant the same idea will be brought to neighboring Lake County. Since 2007 the project has created or redeveloped 38 school and community gardens, trained 75 garden leaders plus they have free workshops and other events. The USDA grant could end up helping to build 10 new gardens in low-income neighborhoods plus help develop leadership, advocacy and organizational skills for garden leaders by providing intensive leadership training.

88 million dollars is going to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection from three grants from FEMA for the reimbursement of costs due to the Butte and Valley fires. The money includes more than $49,000,000 for firefighting costs for the Butte Fire, almost $38,000,000 in firefighting costs for the Valley fire and about 1 million for operation of the Valley Fire Support Base Camp in Lake County which provided meals, lodging and other support for first responders. FEMA reimburses 75 percent of total costs and the state has to cover the rest which turns out to be about $117.4 million total cost.

The SBA reports approving more than 20 million dollars in federal disaster loans for businesses and residents after both the Valley and Butte Fires in Lake and Calaveras counties. The agency approved more than $2.5 million for businesses and almost $18 million for residents so both can rebuild and recover from the summer fires. Small, nonfarm businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses that work in aquaculture and the majority of private nonprofits of any size can qualify for loans. They can cover fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that could not be paid because of the disaster.

The residents of a town in Siberia tired of politics as usual have decided to back a cat, for the office of mayor. The city council of Barnaul, a town of 650,000 people are voting on mayor next week out of six candidates, one a Siamese Cat named Barsik. Barsik won in an informal online poll that asked residents to choose. The cat got more than 90 percent of the vote.

Tubes of chapstick on an army base had to be thrown away after officials found the main ingredient of marijuana laced in. Officials at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richards in Anchorage, AK’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office were handing out the lip balm just like other promotional items, but it had hemp seed oil in it and that’s banned under U.S. Army and Air Force regulations. 400 tubes of the goo were tossed, even though there wasn’t

a significant amount of THC in it. They say they were taking the route of utmost caution.

A woman from Lakeport has been arrested for an escapade in her car, her husband says may have been a suicide attempt. Police say they had a call yesterday morning in Ukiah from a man saying his wife told him she was going to kill herself by running her car into another car. The CHP responded finding Dana Lindsey in a 1997 gold Volkswagen convertible and tried stopping her on Hwy 29 but she took off. They say she tried driving her car into other cars twice before successfully hitting one with a man inside who was seriously injured and taken to a hospital. The driver in that car had minor injuries. Police say they think Lindsey was under the influence of methamphetamine and MDMA. She also had minor injuries and was treated then arrested for attempted homicide, assault with a deadly weapon, felony evading a peace officer, felony DUI and more. She was held on $1,000,000 bail.

ADELE-HELLO

ALESSIA CARA-HERE

JUSTIN BIEBER-SORRY

MEGHAN TRAINOR W/JOHN LEGEND-LIKE I’M GONNA LOSE YOU

SELENA GOMEZ-SAME OLD LOVE

WEEKND-IN THE NIGHT

CHAINSMOKERS (THE)-ROSES

CHARLIE PUTH-ONE CALL AWAY

DAYA-HIDE AWAY

DEMI LOVATO-CONFIDENT

DNCE-CAKE BY THE OCEAN

FALL OUT BOY W/DEMI LOVATO-IRRESISTIBLE

GWEN STEFANI-USED TO LOVE YOU

JUSTIN BIEBER-LOVE YOURSELF

ONE DIRECTION-PERFECT

SHAWN MENDES W/CAMILA CABELLO-I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER

TWENTY ONE PILOTS-STRESSED OUT

CHRIS BROWN-ZERO

FLO RIDA-MY HOUSE

HALSEY-NEW AMERICANA

NELLY W/JEREMIH-THE FIX

POST MALONE-WHITE IVERSON

ROBIN SCHULZ W/FRANCESCO YATES-SUGAR

TORI KELLY-HOLLOW

ANDY GRAMMER-GOOD TO BE ALIVE (HALLELUJAH)

BORNS-ELECTRIC LOVE

DAWIN W/SILENTO-DESSERT

DIPLO W/SLEEPY TOM-BE RIGHT THERE

R. CITY-MAKE UP

RACHEL PLATTEN-STAND BY YOU

TINASHE-PLAYER