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Another fundraiser, three months after the Valley fire. On Saturday residents had a lunch, raffle and shopping spree at the “Christmas in Middletown” event. Many of those at the event first met at the evacuation center in Calistoga. The fire, one of the top 3 worst in Calif. History, burned more than 76,000 acres and destroyed 1,300 homes. The fundraiser over the weekend for more than 300 residents of south Lake County, included a pasta lunch, plus many got gift certificates for local businesses. The yearly event is put on by the Middletown Area Merchants Association, Redwood Credit Union, The Press Democrat and state Sen. Mike McGuire. The relief fund put together by the credit union and newspaper has raised more than $2.2 million and helped pay for the event.

A fire on a power pole caused a widespread power outage for residents in Ukiah. The fire Saturday on East Gobbi Street happened after a switch failed. The Ukiah Electric Utility Director says the equipment, referred to as a “solid blade switch” failed. He says it may have been weather related, but crews were investigating. Almost 2,000 residents in Ukiah lost power on the south and west side of the city, and even some as far out as Low Gap Road and near Grace Hudson Elementary School.

6 mos. of jail time for an ex Lake County Sheriff’s deputy involved in a crash that killed a woman from Clearlake. James Lewis actually received six months in jail for misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence. Lewis busted for the Oct. 2013 on-duty crash where 26-year-old Gabriela Garcia was on her way to work in Kelseyville but was hit by the deputy responding to a home invasion robbery in Lower Lake. He slammed into Rivas after crossing into her lane, hitting her head on and killing her. He also had serious injuries. Lewis was also indicted by a federal grand jury in July of 2014. He reached a plea deal with the D-A, avoiding a trial, getting the 6 mos. And three years formal probation.

Lakeport looks to be getting a new AutoZone auto parts store in the city. The company’s proposing a 7,800 square-foot retail building on one-acre at 301 and 401 Industrial Ave. The planning commission voted unanimously for the tentative parcel map and rezoned property where the auto parts store would go. It’s currently industrial and will become major retail. The commission said no, however, to a variance to allow AutoZone to go over the maximum amount of signage permitted by 85 more square feet.

A woman from Ukiah’s been arrested in Arizona after a traffic stop where local police found more than 380 pounds of marijuana they say has a street value of about $1.3 million. Julienne Waters has been charged with suspicion of transporting marijuana after the traffic stop last week near Holbrook, a tiny town about 90 miles east of Flagstaff. The Navajo County sheriff’s office says a deputy got suspicious after talking to Waters, who they say gave inconsistent information. Waters admitted she had pot in her car after a dog sniffed it out. The Sheriff’s dept. says the amount of pot they got was about 3 times the amount they normally find in drug busts in the area. Waters was being held on $2 million bail at the Navajo County Jail.

A unique Christmas gift to be sure. Steven Rabinowitz one of many at Morbid Anatomy Museum Holiday Flea Market in Brooklyn and picked himself up a Raccoon skull. There were about 12 vendors at the market Sunday, some had pieces of human skulls, there were earrings made from muskrat jaws and one vendor had a display of two-headed taxidermied birds — wearing Santa hats. The museum opened last year. They boast a wide variety of taxidermy classes, lecture series and film screenings.

3 teachers in Detroit became ill after eating pot laced brownies in their school lounge. The Oakland County sheriff’s office reports getting a call last Wednesday to Spring Mills Elementary in Highland Township for a tainted food complaint. Cops say the teachers got sick and one tested positive for marijuana at a hospital. 2 others got sick too but didn’t go to the hospital. The brownies were tested and found to have the active ingredient of cannabis in them. Cops are trying to figure out who brought the brownies to school.

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