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A Willits man killed in a hit-and-run has been identified. 49-year-old Donald Wagner was killed Tuesday morning. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office says he was a transient in the Willits area and CHP officers believe he had been walking in dark clothing while it was still dark at around 430am. The CHP says they think Wagner was hit by a car that stopped momentarily but then kept going. They are asking anyone with information to contact the CHP.

Conduct for both people and dogs under scrutiny in Clearlake city parks. The Clearlake City Council is set to consider ordinances at their meeting tonight to bolster city park rules and possibly ban dogs from parks. The Police Chief says budget issues and state mandates have spread officers thin, leading to a spike in repeat violators of park rules. He says he wants to be able to order known rule-breakers out of city parks and beaches for a period of time depending on the number of violations. Lake County News reports that the City Manager will also bring in the first reading of an ordinance to require dogs to be leashed and owners to pick up after them, but will ask to the council to consider another ordinance banning dogs in city parks altogether.

No bail for a Laytonville man arrested on drug charges. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office says a Fish and Wildlife Warden came across a pickup truck Monday night blocking a part of Sherwood Road in Willits. The Warden says when he spoke to the driver, Timothy Bennet, he smelled marijuana coming from inside the truck. A search of the truck turned up a duffle bag with about seven pounds of bud marijuana. Deputies say Bennet was on felony probation for an unrelated offense and the pot possession was a violation of his probation so he was arrested.

The Cloverdale airport will be closing, if possible, to make room for a resort hotel, equestrian center, and sports park. The Cloverdale City Council voted by a thin margin to start negotiations with Laulima Development and apply to the FAA to close the airport. The Press Democrat reports there was strong disagreement among those who spoke at the Council meeting between those who think the airport is vital and those who think the hotel and sports park will bring jobs and boost the economy. The decision to close the airport is ultimately up to the FAA, though. The paper reports an airport consultant hired by the city says it could take years to close it. The developer has said they will pay the costs of any lawsuits aimed at keeping the airport open.

A settlement’s been reached between the Hidden Valley Lake Association (HVLA) and union golf course workers. It was just days before a court case proceeded then the Laborers’ Local Union 324 dropped charges against the association they had filed with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), an organization responsible for dealing with union/employer disputes. There were almost 30 claims against the association alleging it was violating workers’ rights with unfair labor practices including the refusal to bargain in good faith to threats and harassment, as well as unlawful surveillance and job termination. As part of the agreement the association will have to make back payments for work lost.

FEMA housing is about ready for those who survived the Valley Fire but lost their homes. The first will be those who lived at the Lake Village Estates, a senior-living community in Clearlake Oaks. Rebuilding starting and as part of that 15 manufactured homes of varying sizes will be brought in for refugees of the fire and their caretakers. Nine units have arrived so far. Some may be able to move in this week, after a thorough inspection by California Human Development and FEMA. The fully furnished living spaces will also have a fully functional kitchen, dining table with a couch for a small living area. There’s also a bathroom, telephone and cable hookups. Each has different size bedrooms, closets and beds. They all have National Weather Service radios. FEMA has approved $3.4 million in housing assistance for about 600 homeowners associated with the fires.

A storm is expected to slam the North Bay from Washington and Oregon with high winds, rain, thunderstorms and maybe some snow. The National Weather Service predicted the storm to hit overnight with the heaviest rain this morning. Up to 2 inches expected throughout the North Bay. The storm caused massive flooding in Washington and was expected to dump as much as 12 inches of rain near Eureka and far northern California. Winds could gust up to 10 to 25 mph and even hit up to 50 mph in the hills. One to 3 feet of snow expected in the Sierra Nevada, with the tallest peaks in the North Bay possibly getting dusted.

The city of Ukiah’s hiring a construction firm to build the new crosswalk near the Redwood Empire Fairgrounds. The city council considered the project after the Public Works Director presented the company at last week’s meeting. The new pedestrian friendly crosswalk suggested after a student was hit by a pickup truck last spring. There had been no bids for the work so the city was able to go directly to local contractors and invite them to submit proposals, which they got two of. Gregg Simpson Trucking will be doing the work.

The Lake County Deputy Sheriffs Association and the Bay Area Deputy Sheriffs’ Charitable Foundation is making things brighter for some young victims of the Valley Fire. The partnership giving $12,000 for a special holiday shopping event. The kids get to shop with a first responder next Tuesday morning from 7 to 10 a.m. at the Clearlake Walmart. There are 60 kids who’ve been chosen to participate. They each get $200 to shop tax-free for warm winter clothes, holiday gifts and other needed items on their lists. They get to shop with a local first responder or community volunteer. Members of local law enforcement and members of several fire agencies will take part in the event.

2 police dogs are retiring and 2 new ones will join the Clearlake Police Department in their stead. K9s, Dex and Max are retiring. Dex has been working in Clearlake since 2010 with the help of a public fundraising effort. Max was donated to Clearlake police by another police dept and has been with the community since 2012. The two are retiring because of their age, plus their handlers have been reassigned to other duties. The department is able to keep using police dogs through donations and fundraising efforts. 2 new handlers have been chosen to work with the new dogs. The dogs will be named by local students with the decision on Monday.

State education advocates praising a bill passed by the U.S. Senate in a landslide to replace No Child Left Behind. The bipartisan Every Student Succeeds Act, got a "yes" vote from Senators Boxer and Feinstein, returning much of the decision-making power back to the states. President Obama is expected to sign it right away. Joshua Pechthalt, president of the California Federation of Teachers said for the past 14 years, No Child Left Behind and its successor policy, called Race to the Top, were too fixated on high-stakes testing.

Cut 41345 :15 "School site administrators were putting enormous pressure on teachers to raise test scores. This led to a narrowing of the curriculum, pushing out things like art and music, spending enormous amounts of time doing test prep and testing."

Tag: The new bill gives states a lot more flexibility – rejecting the test-and-punish approach of No Child Left Behind. States can now use their own formulas for evaluating teachers and schools. Districts will no longer be forced to close schools and remove staff if students miss the cut on test scores.

Second Cut: Mary Kusler with the National Education Association says states will be required to evaluate schools on the quality of the program – which will be an incentive to go beyond the bare minimum.

Cut 42345 :15 "Every state will now, for the very first time, have to include at least one measure of student or school support, access to higher-level coursework, school counselors, school librarians, access to arts and music."

Tag 1: States still will be required to test kids on reading and math once a year in grades 3-8 and once in high school. Kids will be tested on science one time each during elementary, middle and high school.


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