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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.

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