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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.

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