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The flood warning continues in some areas but is cancelled on some California rivers… Van Duzen River Near Bridgeville in Humboldt County is safe again, but the flood warning continues for the Navarro River At Navarro affecting Mendocino County, Eel River At Fernbridge in Humboldt County …The flood warning continues for the RUSSIAN RIVER near Hopland affecting Mendocino County. Forecasters say rain has begun to taper off quickly across Northwest California so more water won’t clog up drainage basins but many of the main-stem rivers are slower to respond to the rain and could be on the rise through early today. There’s more rain expected tomorrow which could cause some rivers to rise again.

A man from Lakeport has been arrested after a deputy patrolling the Clearlake Oaks area spotted him in a stolen car. The deputy approached Matthew Labrash of Lakeport and a man at a house nearby, Fred Pearl who said it was his car. Pearl told the deputy he bought the car, but he didn’t have the proper paperwork to prove it. The car was actually registered to a rental company in Southern California. Labrash, the driver of the stolen car was found with a methamphetamine pipe and pot so police searched the car. Inside the trunk deputies found four separate bags of processed marijuana and a gallon bag with processed marijuana inside the car. There was also several pounds inside a child booster seat and paraphernalia. Labrash arrested for possession of marijuana for sale, transportation of marijuana, possession of concentrated cannabis, possession of controlled substance paraphernalia and possession of a controlled substance. And the other guy, Pearl was arrested for possession of a stolen vehicle and for committing a felony while out on bail.

The next Valley Fire Long-Term Recovery Task Force is coming up. Tomorrow night the meeting at 6 at Black Rock Golf Course in Cobb. As we’ve been reporting since the devastating summer of 2015 fire, the task force meets monthly with local, state, federal, tribal and non-profit agencies partnering on recovery. The Lake County Department of Public Works is expected to make a presentation tomorrow on the Hazardous Tree Removal program. The county is removing trees that were threatening county roads, on private property, for free for the owner. The property owner does have to sign a Right of Entry (ROE) in order to participate in the CalRecycle Debris Removal program. For more information and click on the “Trees” button.

A “Rebuilding Summit & Open House” is set for those affected by the Valley Fire. The event to be in 2 weeks, Tuesday, February 2nd from 3:00 PM and 7:00 PM at Twin Pine Casino Event Center. There will be government agencies on hand giving out info and answering questions for those looking to rebuild. The Lake County Recovery Coordinator made the announcement about the open house at the last long term recovery task force meeting. The main focus at the forum is hazard mitigation and building stronger and safer houses for the future. The Lake County Chamber of Commerce is hosting and it’s free to get in. There will be a task force meeting after the open house so that a survey can be completed by Valley Fire survivor homeowners and renters


Police in Fort Bragg have arrested a man for stealing a generator just after the new year. Police say they were called to the business January 5th and saw surveillance footage, identifying Colin Roach as the suspect. So they issued a BOLO (be on the lookout) alert and last week he was arrested by the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office for Grand Theft. Deputies say the 10,000 watt Craftsman generator has not been found. Police say anyone who has it could be charged with Possession of Stolen Property, a felony. They’re asking anyone who may know where it is to call or if it’s in your property to immediately return it.

A joint meeting of Mendocino County’s board of supervisors and employees retirement board’s happening to discuss the employee pension system. The Daily Journal reports the meeting in the morning tomorrow where a presentation will be made of the June 30, 2015 actuarial valuation report done by an outside consulting firm. On the agenda, possible revocation of a resolution about excess earnings and the newspaper reports possible consideration by both boards to reduce long-term county pension costs. The meeting tomorrow at 2 p.m. at the Ukiah Valley Conference Center in downtown Ukiah. Before the meeting the Retirement Board has its regular meeting at 8:30 a.m. The consultant who presented the report in December, and which has been accepted by the Retirement Board shows and estimated unfunded pension debt at almost $182 million. The newspaper reports the county’s debts may be higher than earnings after new regulations by the Governmental Accounting Standards Board.

A man from Montana’s been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder in Fort Bragg. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office reports Nicholas Merrell of Missoula, MT broke into a home and a assaulted a woman living there. They say he was armed with two large kitchen knives but the woman was able to get away from the guy who she says chased her until she got to a neighbors house. The neighbor confronted the man and shielded the woman and Merrell took off. The woman had multiple stab wounds. She says she was asleep and heard the intruder. She’s been taken to a hospital and was in stable condition. Merrell arrested on suspicion of attempted murder, burglary and being a fugitive from justice. He’d been a prisoner in Montana for criminal mischief but was conditionally released in 2014, but as of Saturday, he was a fugitive on Montana’s most wanted list.

The Lake County Board of Supervisors once again hears updates on rebuilding after the Valley Fire. This week’s meeting on code enforcement issues and the possibility of a south county permitting office to help with rebuilding. The meeting tomorrow morning at 9. The Community Development Director and staff are providing an update on a temporary building plan review and permit fee deferral for those without insurance. Plus they’ll also talk about the status of the Middletown permit office. The Interim Public Services Director is also set for a presentation on the that agency’s Solid Waste Division and issues around universal collection, debris cleanup from the wildfires, an import contract and fire debris revenue.

A new report showing Mendocino County has been borrowing against the county’s employees futures by paying out more in pensions than what’s coming in. The Anderson Valley Advertiser reports the 2008 financial meltdown may have started the whole ball rolling, leaving more of an impact than routine pension plan adjustments could withstand. After the market crash the value of the county investment portfolio was way off and didn’t recover until mid 2012. But still the county claimed almost $55 million in deferred income. The paper reports the county’s pension plan noted a continual rise in the county’s investment portfolio but in reality there’s $428 million in the portfolio not $610 million which means only 70 percent of its pension liabilities are covered.


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