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Monthly Archives: January 2016

ALESSIA CARA-HERE

CHAINSMOKERS (THE)-ROSES

DAYA-HIDE AWAY

JUSTIN BIEBER-LOVE YOURSELF

TWENTY ONE PILOTS-STRESSED OUT

WEEKND-IN THE NIGHT

ADELE-WHEN WE WERE YOUNG

CHARLIE PUTH-ONE CALL AWAY

DNCE-CAKE BY THE OCEAN

ELLIE GOULDING-SOMETHING IN THE WAY YOU MOVE

FALL OUT BOY W/DEMI LOVATO-IRRESISTIBLE

FLO RIDA-MY HOUSE

G-EAZY W/BEBE REXHA-ME, MYSELF & I

JASON DERULO-GET UGLY

RACHEL PLATTEN-STAND BY YOU

ROBIN SCHULZ W/FRANCESCO YATES-SUGAR

SELENA GOMEZ-HANDS TO MYSELF

SHAWN MENDES W/CAMILA CABELLO-I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER

TAYLOR SWIFT-OUT OF THE WOODS

TORI KELLY-HOLLOW

TRAVIS SCOTT-ANTIDOTE

BORNS-ELECTRIC LOVE

DAVID GUETTA W/SIA & FETTY WAP-BANG MY HEAD

DIPLO W/SLEEPY TOM-BE RIGHT THERE

JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE-DRINK YOU AWAY

MIKE POSNER-I TOOK A PILL IN IBIZA

POST MALONE-WHITE IVERSON

R. CITY-MAKE UP

AUDIODAMN!-RADAR

DJ SNAKE W/BIPOLAR SUNSHINE-MIDDLE

DRAKE W/FUTURE-JUMPMAN

LUKAS GRAHAM-7 YEARS

PITBULL W/SENSATO & OSMANI GARCIA-EL TAXI

SHAWN HOOK-SOUND OF YOUR HEART

TROYE SIVAN-YOUTH

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Phase one of the Valley Fire debris removal operations in Lake County is done. Cal Recycle reports the Debris Removal Operations Center in Middletown is closing tomorrow at 1 p.m. then Lake County’s Department of Environmental Health becomes the main point of contact for the Valley Fire debris removal operations. Phase 2 should begin in the spring, depending on the weather then CalRecycle crews finish up the complete debris removal at about thirty sites that are not accessible now because of weather-related issues. CalRecycle are going to also look for other sites where owners have not signed up for debris removal and have not begun the cleanup process. For more info, visit www.LakeCountyRecovers.com or at the County of Lake, California Facebook page.

Hazardous weather headed our way. The National Weather Service issuing a hazardous weather statement for the northern California region with storms today thru Monday and possible hazards for parts of the Mendocino Forest and in recently burned areas. The system expected to pour down rain and snow for higher elevations tonight into tomorrow above 6,000 feet. A stronger weather system to come in Sunday afternoon through Monday morning with periods of heavy rain and several inches of rain in the foothills and mountains and several inches of snow possible above 6,000 feet. A warning that there could be flash flooding and heavy mud and debris in recently burned areas.

The State Assembly has unanimously passed a bill removing the March 1st deadline for cities and counties to pass medical marijuana cultivation ordinances or face state pre-emption. The urgency ordinance was introduced right after the new year after about 3 weeks of work on the addendum to the group of bills signed by the governor last year, assigning all sorts of regulations of medical pot. Assembly Member Jim Wood of Healdsburg authored the bill with backing from the League of California Cities, the California Police Chiefs Association, patient advocates, industry and other stakeholders.

A group of wild ponies found running free near Highway 253 have been corralled on Boonville Road. The ponies part of Robinson Creek and have apparently been running around free for 4 decades. There are 6 of them seen grazing on a field near a pumpkin patch which is part of a bigger herd with dozens more. Rumor has it a doctor let a group of ponies free in Mendocino County in the 1970s which ended up in a pack of white ponies often seen roaming thru the hills. An animal control officer with Mendocino County says they received a bunch of calls recently that the animals were seen near the road. Sonoma Action for Equine Rescue is helping to find somewhere for them to go.

The first phase of soil removal in Lakeport after that P,G&E related mineral oil spill two weeks ago is done. The utility reports cleanup crews at the corner of South Main Street and Industrial Avenue for 2.5 weeks after a PG& E contractor tipped over three transformers, spilling 2 dozen gallons of mineral oil. They’ve now excavated the soil which was potentially contaminated. A PG& E spokesman says they’re waiting for test results taken from the soil at the site then they’ll find out if there’s any trace amounts of PCB, a synthetic chemical used in the mineral oils of old transformers. If it’s negative, they’ll be able to leave the area, but if not, they’ll have to excavate even more. The Big Valley Band of Pomo Indians is reported to be concerned about archaeological resources that could be found in the dirt.

Congressman Mike Thompson is endorsing Monica Rosenthal, a community leader in Middletown running for District 1 on the Lake County Board of Supervisors. Thompson says she’s effective and has dedicated service to the people of South Lake County. He says she was there helping residents after the Valley Fire at the Calistoga Fairgrounds during evacuations plus she served as a board member for the Team Lake County volunteer recovery organization. She’s also been endorsed by Supervisor Rob Brown of District 5, former District 1 Supervisor Ed Robey, Six Sigma Ranch and Winery owner Kaj Ahlmann, Beckstoffer Vineyards owner Andy Beckstoffer, former District 1 Planning Commissioner Frieda Camotta and several District 1 business owners.

A ballot measure asking for a parcel tax for Mendocino Coast District Hospital may end up on the general election ballot this year, not the presidential primary in June. The hospital district’s planning committee suggested the move at a meeting last week after presenting plans for the measure to local groups. There was agreement that more time was needed to prepare the measure. The hospital foundations board of governors saying the June timeline is unrealistic. The board’s president saying he thinks the district needs to capitalize on positive fiscal performance of late and quality reviews by regulators after a bankruptcy the last fiscal year.

A man in Clearlake’s been arrested after police find he’s connected to the shooting of another person in the city earlier this week. 57 year old William Mitchell arrested at his home yesterday after cops got a call to shots fired and medical help Wednesday night. Police went to the shooting but couldn’t find a victim, getting another call the victim was at the hospital. 24-year-old Anthony Monize of Clearlake found with an apparent gunshot wound to his torso. Witnesses fingering Mitchell as the shooter after an argument. Mitchell has been booked into Lake County Jail on charges of attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon. Monize listed last night in stable condition.

A design and engineering consultant has been hired by the city of Willits to help design the Willits Main Street Corridor Enhancement Plan. The firm out of San Francisco won the job having had worked in the past on main street planning, complete streets, and green streets. They also had transportation planning and engineering experience along with the consultant group that has experience working in communities like Cloverdale, Sebastopol, Petaluma and Hopland. The plan for main street in Willits will cover the three-mile stretch within City limits and will be developed with community members. April 18th designers and engineers will be in town working with the public on ideas for the future of Main Street. Another project to coincide is the Downtown Streets and Alleys Connectivity Study, which the city reports is also starting in coming weeks. For more info, visit www.willitsmainstreetplan.com.

A man from Ukiah has been arrested for assault with a deadly weapon and domestic violence after cops say he hit a woman in the head with a glass water bong. 19-year-old Kevin Quijada was in the Mendocino County Jail as of Monday. Police say they got a call to a home because a man refused to leave and when they arrived officers say they saw a man now ID’d as Quijada, jump the back fence and run. They chased him and caught him a short time later. Investigators say Quijada had been fighting with his girlfriend and when a friend tried to intervene, he hit the friend with the bong.

Mendocino County has ordered the stoppage of a temporary lumber operation at Hoberg’s Resort and Spa on Cobb Mountain so logs will no longer be brought in and logs on the property can be taken out. The Community Development Director says the lumber staging area went over several provisions and got too big, overwhelming the site which got materials too close to Highway 175, trucks making a mess to nearby roads, and possible threats to the nearby watershed from storm runoff. A PG& E contractor had been using the resort to process trees from the Valley Fire burn areas. They’d been sorted based on quality with some “less desirable” lumber being was sent to China thru the port of Oakland.

Preliminary numbers from the state show the Lake County unemployment rate was up a bit for December 2015. The state’s Employment Development Department releasing numbers last Friday showing Lake County’s unemployment at 7.3 percent last month, up from November’s 7.2. The agency reported almost every industry’s labor force grew except in information, leisure and hospitality and jobs in the category of other, which stayed the same with no change. The only industry down in its labor force was state government by 5.3 percent. Lake County came out at 35 out of 52 county’s with the highest unemployment.

A couple from Northern Calif, one a teenager, have been to court in the abuse death of 2 children and the attempted murder of another, pleading not guilty. 39 year old Tami Huntsman and her 17-year-old boyfriend have been accused of abusing the 6-year-old boy and 3-year-old girl then stuffing their bodies in a plastic bin and taking them to a rented storage unit in Redding. The couple also charged in the abuse and starving of a 9 year old girl, found with broken bones in the back of an SUV in Quincy, California. The kids were all siblings that Huntsman was caring for. They lived with the couple in Salinas. Investigators say they think the 2 found dead, died in Salinas from sustained physical abuse and neglect.

The state Senate’s voted to outlaw compassionate release from prison for anyone found guilty of killing cops. In a 35-1 vote, the measure now moves to the Assembly. The state allows dying inmates to be released if they don’t pose a threat to the public. It’s also meant to save the state money on expensive end-of-life care. A Democratic Senator from Stockton tells CBS TV in Sacramento, the so-called medical parole law was not meant for those who killed police officers. Apparently it’s in place because there had been a time in the 1970s when the state didn’t allow the death sentence or life without parole.

The Gov. Jerry Brown’s announced a new ballot initiative to change how long felons stay in prison and how many juveniles are tried as adults. The measure to give prison officials more authority to grant sentence credits for those behind bars who finish rehabilitation programs. It also would mean non-violent felons could go for parole after finishing base sentences, with no enhancements for gang involvement or firearms possession which could potentially add years to a prison term. It would allow judges, instead of prosecutors, to decide if juveniles should be tried in adult court.

Lowering his standards a tad, a man police have nicknamed the "Bordeaux Bandit" for stealing expensive bottles of wine around the Northeast got prison time in Rhode Island for stealing video game equipment. Scott Deluca, of Cohoes, New York is going to jail for 90 days for larceny, with credit for time served since Jan. 11. The rest of his six-year sentence was suspended. The man accused of taking rare wines from businesses in Connecticut, New Jersey and New York, one even worth $4,800. He’s pleaded no contest for swiping a Nintendo Wii, games, a controller and jewelry. A warrant was issued after he failed to appear in court in June 2014.

A dad in Texas accused of theft after taking his 12-year-old daughter’s cellphone after an inappropriate text, was acquitted in court. A judge in Dallas finds Ronald Jackson not guilty, due to insufficient evidence. Grand Prairie police arrested the man after he took his kids phone and wouldn’t give it back saying he found a text on the phone to be rude. The girl’s mom says she’s actually the owner of the phone and reported the confiscation as theft. Dad had to post $1,500 bail to get out of jail, getting a citation for theft too, which he refused to pay, ending up in court. He won and got to keep the phone.

A new pool’s coming to the Lakeport Unified School District because of the high cost of replacing the Westshore pool. The money to come thru a 2014 voter-approved bond measure. The District Superintendent says they’re not sure where they’ll put the pool yet, the money from the Measure T bond which raised $17 million dollars to pay for new facilities to include a pool and fitness center at the high school; expand the current cafeteria and kitchen facilities; upgrade playgrounds and play structures; improve roads, utilities and grounds; Americans with Disabilities access projects; and total modernization of school facilities. The first round of the bonds have been sold, raising $6 million.

Those in south Lake County who are going to rebuild or repair homes after the Valley fire are invited to an open house. The After the Fire Rebuilding Summit and Open House for home and business owners plus farmers and ranchers. The event next Tuesday from 3 to 7 p.m. at the Twin Pine Casino Event Center in Middletown.

CalRecycle is getting part of almost $143 million from a couple of grants from FEMA for reimbursement related to expenses from the Butte and Valley fires last fall. The money for the CalRecycle Public Assistance program comes from the Robert T. Stafford Act and includes nearly $85M for private property debris removal for the Butte Fire in Calaveras County. The Federal share is $63 million or so. Another $58M in private property debris removal for the Valley Fire in Lake County. The Federal share there, $43M. FEMA pays 75 percent of total costs through this PA program and the state of California is covering the rest which is that $143 million number.

A special meeting’s been called by the Ukiah City Council for ongoing Strategic Planning. This will be the first infrastructure workshop discussing the Electric Utility. They’re covering streets, water and sewer and other departments as discussed last fall. The first workshop was supposed to happen last week but was cancelled. The agenda simply states covering Ukiah’s Electric System and a review of system infrastructure, staffing, and resources. The city council will first have a closed door session with the City Attorney regarding the receivership of the Palace Hotel. The first mediation session on the matter is set for Monday. The special council meeting this afternoon at 4:30 p.m. in the Ukiah Valley Conference Center.

The case continues of area fire departments trying to get a cut of Prop 172 funds. Arguments in court tomorrow from the Mendocino County Acting County Counsel regarding a petition by area fire districts who want to qualify for this year’s election to ask voters if the Board of Supervisors should divvy up the Proposition 172 funding differently. The districts say it’s currently unconstitutional. They’ve filed a petition which has been challenged by the county. Fire districts say yes, they should get their portion of the half-cent sales tax measure especially now, while in a funding crisis for around-the-clock services to county residents. As much as $7 million has been distributed from the Proposition to the county general fund but only $121,000 was supposedly given to cities. If the fire districts get their way, they’d receive a 30 percent share.

There’s been another apparent case of a Ukiah student being approached by someone. Ukiah Police say a 13-year-old girl reported Monday afternoon while walking towards Waugh Lane, headed home, a truck pulled up with two men inside who asked her if she wanted a ride. The girl ignored the men and they drove off. She wasn’t hurt, and went home and called the school resource officer. Police say it was an older white pickup truck with a lumber rack and the men were Hispanic and both wearing baseball type hats and possibly grey or white sweatshirts. No word yet whether police think the incident is related to two others this month.

A legal response is expected this week from the City of Ukiah regarding an appeal to the stop the proposed Costco on Airport Park Boulevard. The appeal filed last summer by a Davis-based attorney who is challenging the environmental impact report. The Ukiah Daily Journal reports the lawyer filed the appeal on behalf of a group called “Ukiah Citizens for Safety First” which originally included four plaintiffs all of whom have since left that group. The paper reports the attorney has declined to say who is in the group, so documents show the lawyer himself is the only person appealing the planned store.

The Ukiah Planning Commission has reportedly approved an update of the city’s Housing Element but is recommending the city look at the low level of available rental housing. The Ukiah Daily Journal reports at their last meeting Commissioner Linda Sanders said she thinks the current rental vacancy rate of 2.6 percent is at critical need. She said she it’s due to the trend of homeowners converting single-family homes into office spaces instead of rentals, which is throwing the housing stock out of balance and the Housing Element has a section that requires watching out for that but doesn’t specify numbers. The paper reports that City Planner suggesting a look at the data on conversions, and trying to define what “critical need” means as it relates to vacancies and then seeing if they need a policy change.

A bi-partisan coalition of state legislators has asked Governor Jerry Brown to declare a fishery disaster due to the impacts of the delayed California crab season. High levels of domoic acid in California crab were deemed unsafe for public consumption in early November and the Department of Fish and Wildlife and Department of Public Health delayed the crab season. State Senator Mike McGuire is Chairman of the Joint Committee on Fisheries and Aquaculture. He says the delayed crab season is unprecedented in duration and magnitude and crabbers are experiencing losses that can’t be recouped. And legislators say it’s especially devastating following the collapse of the fall salmon season due to the drought.

The Pacific Redwood Medical Group, or PRMG has donated several thousand dollars to the Mendocino College Nursing Program and the Mendocino College Foundation’s annual Adopt A Fifth Grader Program. $11,000 to be split up between the two groups, the Adopt a 5th grader program follows a kid picked in kindergarten. They get either $500 when they graduate high school or $1,000 when they enroll in college. The other money for the Mendocino College Nursing Program for graduates top get their Family Nurse Practitioner degree with an accredited institution. PRMG has been around more than 3 decades and consists of physicians, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners.

A big grant for the Ukiah Valley Medical Center for technologically-advanced outpatient surgery care. The Eva Dunnebeck and Beverly Morby Funds of The Community Foundation of Mendocino County donated money to buy a Halogen ENT (ears, nose, and throat) microscope for outpatient surgeries. It’s a major improvement for surgeons so they can work on disorders of the ear and upper airway with the use of the light source in the Halogen microscope.

A packed room to hear from various people with a stake in the new medical marijuana legislation. Several people heard from a tax collector who went over sales tax, tracking and tracing, and banking for growers. The Board of Equalization requires pot growers to have a state-business license. But the sales tax is not required in all cases apparently. Banking services are still not part of the state law. A representative from Assemblyman Bonta’s office spoke too regarding new policies supposed to start March 1st. An engineer with the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board was also at the meeting talking about waste discharge requirements for gardens among other things. Growers have about 3 weeks before they’ve got to notify the water board they’ll enroll in their program. A game warden with the dept. of Fish and Wildlife was also at the meeting talking about illegal grows or as he put it trespass grows.

The City of Ukiah’s Planning Commission has a public hearing planned regarding the city’s updated Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan. The city looking to improve bicycling and walking in the city, a plan put together by Walk & Bike Mendocino with consultants from Santa Rosa and Portland, Or. The plan to be reviewed and could go to the Ukiah City Council and if approved, would then move to the "Mendocino Council of Governments". It would be submitted as part of the regional transportation plan and then move on to Caltrans for possible Active Transportation Program funds. The meeting with the planning commission tonight at 6 p.m. in the City Council chambers.

A man in Ukiah looking to build his own wool mill has apparently reached a fundraising goal to make it a reality. Matthew Gilbert got the minimum amount he needed as of this week to bring his Mendocino Wool and Fiber idea to fruition. The Daily Journal reports the Economic Development Financing Corporation was still trying to get to $350,000. Right now they’re at $262,000. $250,000 was the minimum needed for the first Direct Public Offering guaranteeing investors 2 percent interest over six years. $350,000 was the entire amount Gilbert needed for the business plan to begin. They’ve got until Feb. 9th to get the last $80,000.

2 convicted Mendocino County murderers serving life terms are both set for parole hearings next month. Michael Camou of Napa is set for Feb. 18th at the California State Prison in Vacaville. He’s in prison for the murder of Steven Rhorer of Laytonville in Oct. of 1987. The victim shot 10 times with an assault rifle as he slept in a sleeping bag. Camou went to the property owners home to rob him of marijuana because the guy owed him money. And Jerome Smith of Redwood Valley has a parole hearing at the California State Prison at San Luis Obispo Feb. 24th after killing his brother-in-law Jesus Arteaga with a shotgun in May of 1994. He also robbed his victim of $150 and drove his pickup to a liquor store to pay his bill and buy more booze. Cops at the time had said he planned to kill himself after the shooting, he left suicide notes with the body, but he got so drunk he passed and was arrested.

A meeting for those hoping to rebuild after the Valley Fire happening at the Twin Pine Casino. The meeting Saturday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. being called the “After the Fire Rebuilding Summit”. It’s an open house is for anyone who lost their property or if it was damaged. There will be several agencies at the meeting. They’ll cover how to protect properties in the event of another disaster too. Experts in fire- and flood-resistant techniques, insurance, building, landscaping and forestry representatives will also be at the meeting. There will be discussions on state and local codes and standards; building materials and construction techniques for fire and flood prevention; preservation and restoration of treasures and photos; and proper landscape development and forest maintenance to reduce fire and flood risk.

Insurance money not coming in as expected means a delay in the flood control project in the Hidden Valley Lake area after the Valley Fire. The money to the local Community Services District of more than a half million dollars means the project won’t even start until the middle of next month. The first estimate to come in from the damages was around $600,000, but it’s now gone up to $750,000 which is also contributing to the delay. The Interim GM for the district says they were hoping repairs would have been complete by now but the insurance delay and other problems like getting needed equipment which includes a replacement generator, means repairs would be done around Valentines Day instead.

The new Upper Lake Unified School District Board says yes to hiring a principal/superintendent. Lake Co News reports the board unanimously approved allowing the high school’s Principal/Superintendent Patrick Iaccino to be the interim superintendent of the district. He agreed to the job for six months without extra pay. The news site reports Iaccino has supported the merging of the high school district with the Upper Lake Union Elementary School District. They won’t be separate anymore as of June 30th, it will then be the new Upper Lake Unified School District. The board also discussed a couple of other possible hires.

A second and final reading of a new ordinance in Clearlake tightening the regulations for medical marijuana cultivation. The meeting tomorrow night where the city council will also have a closed door session on a couple of cases of litigation and some property negotiations before the public part of the meeting. The second reading of the ordinance after it was unanimously passed on its first reading Jan. 14th. The new ordinance comes after the formation of an ad hoc committee last fall. The ordinance reviewed at the December meeting of the Planning Commission which recommended the council accept the new rules. There would be a ban on commercial cultivation, a limit of six plants on parcels of any size, a continuation of the current rule prohibiting cultivation on vacant properties, mandatory on-property water source and no growing 100 feet near drainages, creeks or Clear Lake.

A couple of men in Clearlake are on probation and had to pay some money in a poaching case. Lake Co News reports Thuan Van Ngo and Beem Thi Tran found guilty then sentenced for illegally catching and possessing too many crappie on Clear Lake. Fish and Wildlife wardens watching fishing activity at the Holiday Harbor Marina in Nice when they say they witnessed the two catching crappie, put them in buckets, then put those buckets next to a car. Then they say a van pulled up and the buckets were put in the van. The two started to fish again after that. They caught more than the catch and possession limit.

A convent in Chicago looking to get a strip club put out of business even after legal obstacles. The convent, Missionary Sisters of St. Charles Borromeo has been told by a judge to redraft their lawsuit against Club Allure saying it violates prostitution regulations and it’s a nuisance. At the same time, the judge dismissed claims the club violates zoning laws. The court asking the nuns’ lawyers to show specifically some detailed examples of nuisances or lewd behavior.

A book makes it back to a library in western Michigan — 49 years later. The person who borrowed it, a college kid back in 1967 who checked out the book about World War II in Holland. He wrote in a letter saying the book had been stored in a trunk he hadn’t been opened until recently and sent a $100 donation to the library along with the book. He called it a "modest donation" on what could be a "tremendous fine."

A man from Clearlake Oaks has been arrested after police found he had been prowling in an area where there were reported gas thefts. Police also say Timothy Mitcham had stolen items in his possession. He was arrested Saturday early morning after a call from an assisted living facility on Burns Valley Road. An employee said they saw someone under a car with a gas can after several recent reports of gas thefts in the area. No arrests were made in any of the incidents. Police say the car they found, appearing suspicious was in the library parking lot and had several similar gas cans in its rear cargo area. Mitcham was arrested but denied he had siphoned any gas. He’s charged with three misdemeanors including possession of stolen property, driving on a suspended license and prowling.

The Board of Equalization is considering several legislative bills on various topics before coming out with a position. Of those, they’re looking at administration of a tax penalty amnesty for medical cannabis, waiving a requirement for electronic payments for marijuana dispensaries, expanding tax relief for businesses dealing with disasters, and sales and use tax exemptions for certain feminine hygiene products. The Board is also taking up legislative proposals to streamline the tax code to assist taxpayers. Their meeting today at 10am in Sacramento.

A town hall meeting’s set for the Mendocino Board of Supervisors Marijuana Ad Hoc Committee. The meeting Saturday so residents can get a briefing and share their thoughts and recommendations on revisions of the County’s Marijuana Cultivation Ordinance. At the end of last year’s legislative session, lawmakers passed the trio of bills, now known as the all-in-one Medical Marijuana Regulatory Package. It was signed into law by the governor but each municipality has a chance to come up with rules as part of the law for their local jurisdiction. The Marijuana Ad Hoc Committee is reviewing the County’s Marijuana Cultivation Ordinance and then takes it back to the Board with recommended revisions. The forum, this Saturday, February 6th, from 2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. at the Willits Senior Center. For more information, call the Mendocino County Executive Office at (707) 463-4441.

The school boards of the two Upper Lake districts are meeting this week to hammer out details of how they’ll share a principal/superintendent until summer. The special meeting of the Upper Lake Unified School District and the Upper Lake Union High School Board today at 4 p.m. at the high school. Lake County News reports they need an official agreement to allow the principal/superintendent to serve both districts for six months until the end of June and figure out how to pay him and divide his duties. Starting July 1st, the new district will stand alone with all the schools consolidated. At their last meeting the new board agreed to negotiate with current high school principal/superintendent Patrick Iaccino for the 6-month deal.

Classes have begun at the Lake County Campus of Woodland Community College. The school used to be called the Yuba College Clear Lake Campus. Students started back up last Tuesday with school continuing thru May 26th. This semester, students were welcomed with activities including raffle prizes and got info about all campus services. Students got items like USB flash drives, $25 gift cards, supplies, and gift cards for Aromas Café. There are a reported 19 full-time equivalent students.

Homes precariously on a bluff near San Francisco said to be in danger due to high waves from El Niño storms. The San Francisco Chronicle reports two homes had to be evacuated because of crashing waves and major rain storms that whittled away at the cliffs in the area. Several other homes and apartment buildings have been abandoned in past years due to the same. Back in 2003 rains started to shear off chunks of cliffs in Pacifica, about 10 miles south of San Francisco.

Lake County’s Board of Supervisors will look over a new agreement with Konocti Harbor Resort and Spa for transitional housing for Valley fire survivors. The meeting this morning can also be seen online at the Board’s website. Lake Co News reports the Long-Term Recovery Coordinator is bringing the board a second agreement between the resort to help Valley fire survivors with transitional housing. The resort had about 81 rooms being used at one point. The agreement had been funded at the start by the California Disaster Assistance Act but FEMA took over pretty soon after so the Disaster Assistance Act was no longer available so a new contract had to be drafted.

A man in Geyserville had to be pulled out of a hole he fell into trying to save his dog. He was trying to climb down a ladder to get to his dog Saturday after hearing it whimpering down a 12-foot-deep shaft. The Geyserville Fire Chief reported the dog’s owner then got wedged in the narrow shaft himself. It only measured 3 to 4 feet in diameter and probably led to a septic tank. The man, not yet identified was down the hole about 20 minutes before emergency responders got to him. They used a rope and got him out about 10 minutes later. The dog was also hoisted back up and firefighters say it didn’t look to have any injuries. The dog’s owner had some cuts and scrapes but escaped serious injury.

The son’s of a chiropractor in Pittsburgh hated Donald Trump so much, they used his obituary to tell folks not to vote for the Republican presidential candidate, in lieu of sending flowers. Jason Brown says he and his brother decided to add the line to their dad’s obituary after recalling another similar one published in August for a New Jersey woman urging her loved ones not to vote for Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. Brown says his dad didn’t request the line in his obituary, but he and his brother took it upon themselves, seeing it as a light-hearted remembrance thinking it would be "the perfect joke."

Damage estimates from the two major fires over the summer in Northern California responsible for 6 deaths has gone above the $1 billion in insured losses mark. This is just a preliminary estimate by the state’s insurance department. The two fires, the Butte and Valley started days apart last September, burning thru more than 200 square miles. The numbers include $700 million from the Valley Fire in Lake County that killed four people and took down almost 2,000 structures, including 1,300 homes. It’s also noted as the third most destructive wildfire in state history and the fifth-most expensive in insured losses. The Butte fire in Amador and Calaveras counties caused around $300 million in insured losses. 2 people were killed in that fire which destroyed more than 800 buildings. It was the seventh-most destructive wildfire in Calif. Both fires are still under investigation.

ALESSIA CARA-HERE

CHAINSMOKERS (THE)-ROSES

JUSTIN BIEBER-LOVE YOURSELF

SELENA GOMEZ-SAME OLD LOVE

TWENTY ONE PILOTS-STRESSED OUT

WEEKND-IN THE NIGHT

ADELE-WHEN WE WERE YOUNG

CHARLIE PUTH-ONE CALL AWAY

DAYA-HIDE AWAY

DNCE-CAKE BY THE OCEAN

ELLIE GOULDING-SOMETHING IN THE WAY YOU MOVE

FALL OUT BOY W/DEMI LOVATO-IRRESISTIBLE

FLO RIDA-MY HOUSE

JASON DERULO-GET UGLY

ONE DIRECTION-PERFECT

POST MALONE-WHITE IVERSON

ROBIN SCHULZ W/FRANCESCO YATES-SUGAR

SELENA GOMEZ-HANDS TO MYSELF

SHAWN MENDES W/CAMILA CABELLO-I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER

TAYLOR SWIFT-OUT OF THE WOODS

TORI KELLY-HOLLOW

TRAVIS SCOTT-ANTIDOTE

BORNS-ELECTRIC LOVE

CHRIS BROWN-ZERO

DAVID GUETTA W/SIA & FETTY WAP-BANG MY HEAD

DIPLO W/SLEEPY TOM-BE RIGHT THERE

G-EAZY W/BEBE REXHA-ME, MYSELF & I

R. CITY-MAKE UP

RACHEL PLATTEN-STAND BY YOU

DJ SNAKE W/BIPOLAR SUNSHINE-MIDDLE

JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE-DRINK YOU AWAY

MIKE POSNER-I TOOK A PILL IN IBIZA

PITBULL W/SENSATO & OSMANI GARCIA-EL TAXI

SHAWN HOOK-SOUND OF YOUR HEART

TINASHE-PLAYER

TROYE SIVAN-YOUTH

If you want to sign up for health insurance – and get help paying for it – you only have until Sunday to get it done. The healthcare marketplace’s annual open enrollment period closes January 31st and won’t reopen until the fall. If you don’t have insurance, there’s a penalty of about 700-dollars per person at tax time. Peter Lee, executive director of Covered California, says despite massive outreach and marketing efforts, there are still people who haven’t explored their options.

Cut 17345 :10 "People know there is a penalty. But over one-third of those eligible for subsidies that are uninsured do not know subsidies are available. That’s a remarkable gap, given all we’ve done."

Tag: It’s estimated that 11 percent of Californians are uninsured, a figure seven percent lower than before the Affordable Care Act took effect two years ago. That works out to an additional one-point-three million people in the Golden State who now have health insurance.

***

Second Cut: Lee suspects the penalty will motivate some procrastinators – but points out there’s a lot more at stake.

Cut 18345 :10 "The bigger penalty is the risk of going without coverage and showing up at the ER and walking out with a $30,000 bill; or the penalty of having a cancer go undiagnosed."

Tag: To sign up for health insurance through the marketplace, or find a trained navigator who can help you with the signup process, look online at "coveredCA.com."

A very pregnant woman in Kelseyville ended up in the hospital along with the passenger in her car after a drunken head on crash. Lakeport Police responded to the crash over the weekend and found two cars with serious damage. The driver who was hit was a 19 year old, 9 months pregnant and a male passenger who had serious injuries. Police say the suspect who crashed into them was 31 year old Athina Cook who cops say had no injuries but was drunk and arrested. Police found that she was also on probation for a previous drunk driving offense. She had a blood alcohol test at a hospital and then was taken to jail and booked for felony drunk driving causing injury, reckless driving on a highway, driving while on drunk driving court probation, reckless driving causing a specified injury, reckless driving with injury and for being in violation of probation. She was in custody on a NO BAIL hold. Her last drunk driving incident in October 2012 where police say she blew a blood alcohol test of more than twice the legal limit, almost hit a cop and 3 pedestrians.

Lake County District 4 Supervisor Anthony Farrington says he’s not going to run for re-election. This is currently his 4th term and he was the chair of the board last year. Lake Co News reports Farrington saying he’s going to take a break from public life and grow his law practice which has expanded into Mendocino County. He was first elected to office 15 years ago and has worked on such issues as getting the first environmental impact report to allow harvesting and treating lake weeds and filing for surface water rights to Clear Lake. He also was instrumental in trying to get a half-cent sales tax for the lake to get funding to invest in Clear Lake and its watershed, and protect the lake from invasive mussels. He worked on buying the Lucerne Castle and solicited for proposals for colleges to take over the space. He also worked on getting meth making cold meds behind the counter, instead of over the counter plus as Lake Co News reports, so much more.

State Sen. Mike McGuire’s bill to renew a program to allow Lake County teens work experience and on the job training at pear packing plants over the summer got unanimous support in its second committee hearing. The Senate Appropriations Committee all voted yay and now the bill goes to the Senate floor for a vote. The senator says since the Lake County pear crop is important to the economy and it’s part of a long tradition for Lake County residents to work the harvest, he’s excited the legislation was advanced. This would mean a special exemption in state law so that pear packing plants could hire 16 and 17 year olds for up to 10 hours a day during the peak harvest season of four to six weeks in the late summer. School is not in session during this time.

New assessed values for several homes damaged in the summer’s wildfires have been adjusted by the assessor. Nearly 1,000 properties with damage from the Rocky, Jerusalem and Valley fires have corrected property tax bills which were sent out to the mailing address of the property. If they go back to the office as undeliverable, the assessor’s office says they’ll continue to do what they can to find a new mailing address, to resend the bill. Some fire-damaged homes and properties are still being analyzed for tax corrections so they’ve not yet been sent. Anyone who has a home that was damaged or totally destroyed who doesn’t get their corrected bill by Feb. 15th should call the Lake County Assessor’s Office at 707-263-2302.

A man from Fort Bragg had to airlifted to a hospital after being hit by a car on Highway 1. Fort Bragg Police report getting a call to Hwy. 1 at Manzanita Street January 15th and found a 21 year old man lying in the middle of the intersection. Witnesses say they found the man was hit as he crossed the street and the car that hit him, a Honda Accord driven by a 58-year-old Fort Bragg woman. The victim flown to a trauma center. No word if the driver was cited.

Police in Fort Bragg still searching for a generator stolen from an area business earlier this month. Police say it happened Jan. 5th, officers took the report Jan. 9th. They saw surveillance footage of the theft and arrested a man seen on tape, Colin Roach, for suspicion of grand theft. The generator has been described as a 10,000-watt Craftsman which has still not been found. Cops say anyone with it could be charged with felony possession of stolen property.

A woman in Willits has been sent to prison for 5 years for arson. Lacee Ross pleaded no contest and had other charges dropped as part of a deal. She has to spend at least 85 percent of the term in state prison before she’s eligible for parole. Police say they found the motive was revenge after she was told she was being evicted from the apartment above John’s Place bar. Cops say she made several statements to witnesses saying she’d quote “burn the place down” if they tried to evict her. In November of 2014, that’s what she did, barricading herself inside and threatened to shoot emergency responders while waving a gun. Police used a taser on her but the fire had already spread and destroyed the bar, some apartments, a convenience store and a pre-school.

The Ukiah City Council is considering demolishing a home near the Grace Hudson Museum so they can allow some affordable housing in for low-income seniors. A public hearing is set on the matter of three, two-story apartment buildings on a 1.5-acre at 517 S. Main St. But the city has to have the home removed first. It’s currently vacant, but it’s more than 50 years old, so the council has to check in with the public to decide if the home is historically significant. There was a meeting last Wednesday, but they have to have another one because the address on the agenda was listed incorrectly. The hearing on the planned demolition at the council’s next meeting Feb. 3rd.

The Lake County Sheriff Brian Martin and Lake County Fire Protection District Chief Willie Sapeta have received a check from the Rotary Club for the Lake County Office of Emergency Services. The $3,000 set aside for a contract for a Public Alert Warning System. The new system is more modern and works well with the country’s alert and warning infrastructure. Federal, State, territorial, tribal and local authorities can use the new system which uses the Common Alerting Protocol standards. It would help warn residents of serious emergencies using the Emergency Alert System, Wireless Emergency Alerts, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Weather Radio, and other public alerting systems from a single interface.

Since Harbin Hot Springs was decimated by the Valley Fire, residents are finding other local hot springs instead. But hundreds of devotees have emailed, called and visited the resort’s Facebook page since the fire. The spokesperson for the resort says they’ve received calls from all over the word and some have offered to help rebuild. The resort has received donations of more than $200,000, given to employees affected by the fire. But former guests have descended on Orr Hot Springs in Mendocino County and Wilbur Hot Springs in Colusa County. Both hot springs are clothing-optional.

Criminal charges have been tossed in the case of a protester arrested in 2013 for getting in the way of construction of the Willits bypass project. Will Parrish of Ukiah sat on top of a crane’s tower for 11 days. He’s been ordered to pay almost $9,500 in restitution but got two misdemeanor trespass-related charges reduced to infractions. He also finished up 100 hours of community service. The money he paid goes to Caltrans for costs because of delays. Caltrans says the amount is actually much less than what it actually cost them, which was more like $100,000.

State police in Vermont have arrested a drunk driver who they say drove into the gazebo featured in the 1988 Chevy Chase movie "Funny Farm." Police say 71-year-old David Page of Connecticut is charged with DUI after the accident last Friday on the Townshend town common. Cops say Page’s blood-alcohol content was .181 percent — more than twice the legal limit.

A human skull found along with eight containers that may have more have been found at a spiritual shop in Los Angeles. The Los Angeles County sheriff’s dept says they got a call to a business in Compton last week after a woman complained of animal cruelty. They say they went to a business where they found a skull inside a pot. The responding deputy says the coroner’s office collected the skull and eight other pots but says there’s no evidence of a murder and it looked like the skull might have been purchased from a legal source and was being used for a religious ceremony.

One of the protesters occupying the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon reportedly has a murder conviction in Lake County. The Oregonian newspaper reports Neil Sigurd Wampler drove up to the now-21-day-old standoff from his home in San Luis Obiso after seeing an online call for supporters to come protest the federal government over land use issues. Wampler was convicted of second-degree murder for killing his father, Forey Edward Wampler, in Lower Lake in 1977. Police say he hit him in the head with a 16-inch metal rod while he was asleep. Wampler was released from prison in 1981 but a spokesman for the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff told the paper they have previously talked to him about possessing a firearm, which under California law he can’t because of his conviction. When asked by a reporter if he was armed, Wampler reportedly said yes, but wouldn’t say with what.

If you have teenager about to start driving, the Clear Lake Area California Highway Patrol is holding a free “Start Smart” traffic safety class next week. It’s on Wednesday, Jan. 27th from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Clear Lake Area CHP office on Live Oak Drive in Kelseyville. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says the leading cause of death for Americans 15 to 19 is motor vehicle collisions. CHP says “Start Smart” helps newly-licensed teens understand the critical responsibilities of driving and shows how poor choices behind the wheel of a car can affect many lives. “Start Smart” also focuses on responsibilities of parents. Space is limited for this class. For more information or reservations, call the Clear Lake Area CHP office.

Water conservation in Ukiah was at zero. This according to the city’s director of water and sewer who says water production was 26 million gallons, or about 1.5 million a day, the same at this time in 2013. The conservation rate could still come up before the end of the month which has apparently happened before. These numbers were from the mid-month. The State Water Resources Control Board requires 20 percent less water use than in 2013. The director of water and sewer says the cumulative number is more important than monthly numbers, and that number was still measured above 20 percent.

The Mendocino County Board says anyone with a county pension has nothing to worry about. This from the Daily Journal, reporting Supervisors at the joint meeting with the Mendocino County Employers’ Retirement Association. Supervisor John McCowan reassuring county retirees and employees. The meeting to discuss possible remedies to a reported shortage in funds. County staff are supposed to be doing some legal research about why county employees that have as much as 30 years or more in seniority are not contributing to the pension plan and if that can be changed.

A state Assembly Bill to take back the March 1st deadline which is part of last year’s Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act has unanimously passed the Senate Health Committee. The bill regarding the March deadline for municipalities to either allow the state to regulate on their behalf or come up with their own rules regarding medical pot. Assemblyman Jim Wood of Healdsburg authored the bill he says he’s hoping he can get to the Governor for signature by the end of the month. Wood said he’d amend the bill, AB 21, to have language in it that corrects another drafting error in the original group of bills, referred to as the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act.

Newly released records showing 2015 the hottest ever on earth, at least since record-keeping started back in 1880. Scientists reported this past Wednesday as the El Niño started to churn up in the ocean, it was heating the water, bringing serious heat to the fall months of October, November and into December. The report showing almost every month last year broke all-time previous high global average temperatures. The independent analyses by NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Nudists in the O-C are being asked to keep covered up at the Huntington Beach City Gym and Pool. The group in Orange County’s been renting the place for private get-togethers and members play basketball, volleyball and swim — all in the buff. But the Orange County Register (http://bit.ly/1nn9ENw) reports the gatherings ended last September after the City Manager signed a new rule into law banning gymnasium nudity. He says it was just too hard for city employees to get their work done in the presence of naked people. But the naked folk are now asking the city council to change policy, they heard the word Tuesday… and are taking it into consideration.

A man in Alaska accused of burglarizing two businesses couldn’t quite get away as planned after he accidentally locked his keys in his car. So he called a cab company, the driver helped open his car and saw his identification. Surveillance video caught the whole thing and cops got a warrant to arrest Joseph Barria in Fairbanks. He’s suspected of stealing tools, stereo equipment and other property from a laundry and a fitness business. Cops ended up finding $3,500 worth of tools taken from the laundry in the trunk of Barria’s car.

The Mendocino County Sheriff is calling for more help with mental health. Sheriff Tom Allman asking for the public’s help in the form of a vote. The Daily Journal reports Allman says it’s tops on the list for his department in 2016, but also wants to put a measure on November’s general election ballot to get money to tackle the problem by building a new county mental health facility. The measure would be a, a half-cent sales tax increase for up to five years to bring in an estimated $22 million for new infrastructure. The last mental health facility in the county closed in 1999.

Ukiah Police looking for a man who reportedly tried to grab a girl outside her school Tuesday afternoon. The UPD’s School Resource Officer says the 10-year-old Accelerated Achievement Academy student was grabbed by an unidentified man near the corner of Scott and North State. The girl was able to kick the guy in the groin and run home where she told her mom what happened. She described the man as Hispanic, about 18 years old, about 5’2” and 120 pounds, with short black hair and no facial hair. Ukiah Police are working with the School District to investigate and they also plan to step up patrols. This is the second such attack within a week – last Friday a Ukiah High School student reported being grabbed from behind and assaulted around 6:30 a.m. as she waited for the school bus near the corner of South Orchard and Cindee. She was also able to fight the guy off and run away. In that case the only description police could get was a man wearing dark clothing so they can’t say whether it’s the same guy.

The family of a teenager from Cloverdale who was hit and killed by a car during a street race has filed a claim against the city and the CHP for not finding her body and realizing she’d been killed in the incident. 16-year-old Angelica Contreras was part of a big group of teens at the accident scene last June when a racing car lost control and hit her. The family claims officers failed to conduct a thorough investigation and as a result, her body was on the ground unnoticed until the next morning when someone riding a bike came across her. The Press Democrat reports the girl had been thrown about 150 feet from the point of impact and the family claims it was unknown if their daughter died instantly after being hit and suggests if she were still alive she might have been saved had she been found. The City Manager and a CHP spokesman have said that none of the people there that night came forward to say she was missing so officers would not have known to look for her. The paper reports the Cloverdale City Council has rejected the claim, which seeks unspecified damages.

A group of Mendocino County residents who want the county to change its form of government say they’ve have gathered enough signatures to get the idea on the June ballot. The state constitution recognizes two types of counties – general law, which follows state law as performed by elected officials, and is what Mendocino is now; or a charter county which supporters say gives local citizens more power. The Daily Journal reports the group “Charter Project of Mendocino County” has gathered about 4,000 signatures in support of their petition, and has delivered them to the Registrar of Voters. The Registrar requires at least 2,503 valid signatures for a petition to qualify for the ballot, so the group says with 4000 they’ve got plenty to spare cover if some are disqualified.

Ukiah Police are recognizing outstanding service. The department hosted their yearly awards dinner to recognize officers, dispatchers and staffers in serving and protecting citizens of Ukiah. Their Life Saving Award went to four officers and a dispatcher for help reviving a woman who stopped breathing in October. Dispatcher Tammy Ingle and officers Rick Pintane, Josh Cooper, Matt Edwards and Tom Corning won that award. Then Andrew Snyder was Officer of the Year for an officer demonstrating the highest levels of the department’s values of Safety, Professionalism and Community Service. Kelly Denham got Dispatcher of the Year. And Officer Ron Donohue won his award for helping to reduce injury traffic accidents and fatalities with top numbers in DUI arrests.

A sickly and too skinny baby northern fur seal is safe after being found in bushes at a San Francisco Bay Area business park. This is the second time the seal tried escaping across the highway. Police in Hayward say the little guy was dehydrated and malnourished. It was found by someone Wednesday morning. Police say it somehow got out of the water, crossed Interstate 880 and went to the bushes. Police called the Marine Mammal Center for a rescue. They say they’ll feed the seal, then send it back into the wild as soon as possible. The seal known as Pipester is tagged. He’s been in the center before after being rescued in November at Moss Landing Harbor by volunteers.

Strange but true, hundreds of people seen running through the streets in southwestern Spain, chasing a dressed up, beast-like figure, pelting it with turnips. It’s part of the tiny town of Piornal’s ‘Jarramplas’ festival held each Jan 19-20. After the annual tradition, one town volunteer wears a costume of multicolored ribbons and a protective devilish mask with horns then runs thru the streets beating a drum. Local farmers gave 18 tons of turnips for the festival.

More rain on the way, probably thru the end of the month and possible thru the Spring. The National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center says above normal temperatures are also expected for the rest of the month in Northern California. As we reported, the Navarro River reached flood stage Monday, as did the Eel River at Fernbridge. This after heavy Sunday rain which closed several roadways because of major flooding in low lying sections, mostly near creeks and streams which had receded by Monday morning. Humboldt County still had many highways closed or restrictions because of flooding, rock and mud slides. Several roads closed in Mendocino County near the coast but most reopened by Monday night. A climatologist tells the Willits News it’s unlikely one winter of mass rain would eliminate the historic 4 year drought, but it could happen.

A meeting to discuss rubberized asphalt production at Grist Creek Aggregates plus the work has temporarily stopped because of winter weather. There’s a lawsuit about the plant’s compliance with permit conditions by an environmental group, and from the plant owners/operators. The public hearing’s set for next Friday, Jan. 29th at 10 a.m. at the Mendocino County Air Quality Management District (MCAQMD) in Ukiah. Input will be taken on whether the operations should continue until a full environmental review can be completed. The group Friends of Outlet Creek filing a request to stop operations until there’s a full environmental review.

Universal trash collection is being considered by Lake County Department of Public Services and an expansion of the Eastlake Landfill. The ideas to the Board of Supervisors by the Interim Public Services Director Kim Clymire . Clymire telling the board staffers have been considering the location for the trash program to start for Lucerne and Clearlake Oaks so they can make progress on a major amount of illegal dumping in the towns. A pilot program had been planned for Middletown but because the summer fires caused a loss to almost 600 customers, they had to change plans.

No reinstatement for a Lake County sheriff’s sergeant fired after accusations of hitting another officer, insubordination, willful disobedience and dishonesty. Former Lake County sheriff’s Sgt. James Beland now has to also pay the county for legal costs for the appeal. Lake County in San Francisco appeals court after deciding to fire Beland and a lower court ruling that upheld the termination. Beland challenged the firing, saying the conduct happened behind closed doors without notice and the Board of Supervisors should have listened to an independent reviewer who recommended discipline rather than dismissal.

The Lakeport City Council getting a financial update showing things in stable shape. Lake Co News reports the Finance Director reported to the council last night on the quarterly report and year-end financial report for the fiscal year that ended last June 30th. Almost $10.3 million in the bank and another one and a half or so in receivables. The city has an obligation for CalPERS of $6.82M even though the city’s just closed a deal to begin a restructuring of retirement obligations to save about 2 hundred thousand a year. The city council unanimously voted to assign the finance director fiscal reporting requirements that had been the work of the city clerk. They also voted on a zoning change for the proposed Lakeport AutoZone and adopted a mitigated negative declaration after the environmental review. That will be looked at a future meeting.

Looks like there’s nearly 130 million dollars available from federal and state agencies in disaster assistance and grants for survivors, cities and the counties after last summer’s fires. All told the fires in Lake and Calaveras counties burned thru almost 147,000 acres between Sept. 9th and Oct. 30th. Lake Co News reports as of yesterday the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES), FEMA and the SBA approved more than $34 million in federal disaster assistance and FEMA and Cal OES came up with nearly $3.7 million in grants for hazard mitigation projects in the designated counties. There were also nearly $90 million in Public Assistance Grants for approved disaster-related emergency protective measures, debris removal and repair or restoration of public infrastructure.

A woman in Italy with a major problem. She heard on the news there was a sexual assault nearby so she puts on a chastity belt and loses the key. The 60 year old went to a fire station last week so she could get help removing it. She told crews in the northern city of Padua she needed help opening the padlock. They thought it was something else, but then she lifted her sweater and showed them the iron lock.

A fugitive from Montana accused of breaking into a woman’s house in Fort Bragg, stabbing her, is still in jail in Mendocino County. The Sheriff’s Office says Nicholas Merrell was being held on $250,000 bail on suspicion of attempted murder, burglary, and on a warrant issued in Missoula for being a fugitive from justice. Sheriff’s Office Capt. Greg Van Patten tells the Press Democrat the woman was asleep when the guy broke in, but woke up when she heard noise and saw the guy standing in her room with two large, kitchen-style knives – one in each hand. Van Patten says even though he stabbed her several times, she was able to fight him off and run to a neighbor’s for help. Van Patten says the suspect and victim don’t know each other so it looks like a random attack.

Ukiah Police looking to hire a retired captain to help bring in new officers. The Daily Journal reports the police chief saying they’d like to hire former Capt. Trent Taylor to help with recruiting. The chief says he got authorization more than six months ago to fill Taylor’s position with a sworn officer, not another captain, but he hasn’t found anyone. The request to rehire Taylor is going before the city council for a vote tonight. The department has 28 sworn officers, but would like 30. The chief says they’re looking to bring Taylor on PT because of how hard it is to retain and hire new officers and because of unanticipated on-the-job injuries. They want Taylor on for up to 20 hours a week until June 30th.

A small oil spill in Lakeport after a couple of transformers tipped over. PG& E started soil testing, getting some results out of Clear Lake because a small amount of oil flowed to a drain leading to the lake. A spokesperson for the utility says the tests found .05 parts per billion of polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) which is significantly lower than the max allowed by law. The federal government allows .5 parts per billion. The synthetic molecule in mineral oils that have been used for old transformers being used back in the 1970’s and before the being banned by the Toxic Substances Control Act in the 1970s. Land and aquatic containment crews are at the scene testing but haven’t started to clean up the water.

A new report shows almost two times the average amount of driving deaths in Lake County. The report showing 19 people killed in 18 crashes. The California Highway Patrol reports DUIs as a major factor. They say at least eight accidents were known to have been caused by an intoxicated driver. They’re still waiting on reports of 3 more. They also say speed was a factor in at least four crashes. For a normal Lake County year, there are about 12 fatal crashes. The month of June had the most vehicle-related fatalities with five people dead, three on Highway 20. Highways 29 and 175 had two each die in crashes. So far there’s been no fatal crashes this year. But police have been out a lot due to heavy rains.

PG& E winning accolades for its response to the Valley Fire. The Edison Electric Institute (EEI) presented the utility with its Emergency Recovery Award for power restoration during the fire. The president of Edison says the crews of PG& E were truly deserving of the recognition restoring service and supporting the community in difficult conditions. The institute recognizes member companies twice a year for efforts restoring power to customers after service disruptions by severe weather or other natural events. Almost 1,700 PG& E employees and contractors were out during the fire working side by side with the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, County of Lake Office of Emergency Services, CalFire, the U.S. Forest Service and other first responders.

Mendocino County noted as one of more than a dozen counties expanding the state’s amnesty program. The Mendocino County Superior Court and county started a misdemeanor program it’s expected to run with the ticket amnesty program until March 2017. The program started New Year’s Day for people penalized in the past for driving without a license, driving on a suspended license or having a license hold because they didn’t pay fines. They can all get lower fines, if they meet the criteria outlined or enter the driver’s license reinstatement program.

A packed room at the joint meeting of the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors and the County Retirement Board. The county balance sheet showing a net worth of 56 million dollars instead of an 80 million positive last year due to new government accounting standards for reporting pension liabilities. So now the county has to write off 135 million dollars of county retirement assets. Some local accountants familiar with the issue say benefits had been granted without proper disclosure leaving the retirement fund at least 166 million short of its obligations.

Prosecutors looking for more time to choose if they should indeed charge the co-founder of a Kenwood church who claims he’s growing marijuana for sacramental purposes. Saul Garcia had been arrested back in September after 600 plants were found and taken at the property where he runs a chapter of the Oklevueha Native American Church. He was booked on suspicion of cultivation and sale of marijuana. But then when the DA got the case, they started considering how to proceed, so the judge gave 60 days for them to decide if they’d proceed. Garcia also sued the Sheriff’s Office saying the raid was a violation of his civil rights and that the pot was used by the church members for religious purposes so that makes it exempt from seizure.

A man in Lucerne has been taken for evaluation at a hospital after a shooting report that really didn’t happen, but mass response from firefighters and law enforcement. Lake Co News reporting on the incident saying a man, whose name’s not been released, has been taken into custody by Lake County Sheriff’s deputies after he called to say there was a possible shooting of as many as six people. Sheriff’s deputies, the CHP and Lakeport police all responded. There were also several area fire departments responding.

Several projects in the works at the Grace Hudson Museum. The Ukiah City Council to consider a new boardwalk at the museum and roof repairs. Staff reports for tonight’s meeting have the museum repairs and upgrades top on the agenda. The work to include an outdoor classroom, that boardwalk, a concrete pad for the basketry circle and part of the rain water cisterns for more than $350,000. They’ll also consider landscape improvements to include “pathways, lighting, a model stream water feature, fencing, gates, irrigation, installing plants and other specialty garden items.”