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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.

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