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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.

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