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The first occupancy permits are being issued in some areas devastated by the Valley Fire, which destroyed about 1,280 homes. The Press Democrat reports last week a homeowner in Middletown became the first to be issued an occupancy permit so he can move into a new manufactured home on the lot where his house burned down. He moved in over the weekend. The paper reports other homes are going up on burned-out lots where homeowners are rebuilding on Cobb Mountain. Lake County Supervisor Rob Brown tells the paper the first folks to move back in show “a sign of courage and encouragement.”

Maldonado Martial Arts is continuing to partner with Ukiah Police on presenting stranger danger information for kids. They have stepped up the program following some incidents in January in which kids were approached while walking near school. The program covers the buddy system, where to run, what to say, and having a plan. Ukiah Police have been posting the schedule on their Facebook page, with Mr. Maldonado currently scheduled to go to Grace Hudson Feb 5, Nokomis Feb 8, Frank Zeek Feb 10, 
Calpella Feb 16, Yokayo Feb 17 and Oak Manor Feb 19.

The Lake County Supervisors are set to talk about whether to keep in place the emergency proclamations the county’s been under since the Valley Fire. The board meets Tuesday morning and will discuss both the local health emergency and the emergency declaration for wildfire conditions. Lake County News report they will also hear about the completion of the new bridge on Ackley Road at Manning Creek and consider authorizing Public Works to sign off on it. And the agenda includes possibly approving a deal between the county and an engineering service to replace two other bridges: the N. Fork Cache Creek Bridge at Chalk Mountain Road and the Upper Wolf Creek Bridge at Wolf Creek Road.

The Mendocino County animal shelter in Ukiah looks to be staying with the same operations in place. The Daily Journal reports the Board of Supervisors will take up the management of the shelter at their meeting next week. The paper reports the Health and Human Services Agency staff could tell supervisors they don’t have enough information to recommend or approve management or operations changes anytime soon. There’s been a request for operation of the shelter and Petaluma Animal Services Foundation has shown interest. The paper reports the longtime shelter manager who’s currently on leave has hinted there could be some changes coming.

A man from Lake County who killed his cousin has been found to have been insane at the time of the murder. The man, Salvador Flores Guzman of Finley, found guilty by a jury of murdering Manuel Guzman of Kelseyville in Feb. of 2015. The jury found Guzman guilty of assault with a knife and special allegations including inflicting great bodily injury on someone over the age of 70 too. There was a special hearing right after the conviction where Guzman was found to be insane at the time of the murder. He was accused of following his cousin in the parking lot at Konocti Vista Casino then when his cousin left, followed him to a pear orchard and stabbed him multiple times. He admitted he killed the cousin saying they’d had problems for 3 decades. He’ll be sentenced February 26th.

A bill to eliminate the deadline for California’s first medical marijuana law is close to being signed by the governor. The legislature quickly passed the bill introduced right after the new year and sent immediately to Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk. It takes away the March 1st deadline for cities and counties to put together their own medical marijuana cultivation rules so they don’t have to totally allow the state to make up the rules, something some city officials and medical cannabis advocates couldn’t agree to. Assemblyman Jim Wood of Healdsburg authored the bill to give local governments until Jan. 1st of 2018 to regulate medical pot gardens.

Prosecutors in the case of a triple homicide in Forestville say as much as $250,000 in cash stolen from the victims was hidden at a ranch in the Denver-area. This information revealed during opening statements in the trial of Mark Cappello of Central City, Colo. charged with the murder of three people in what cops said was a pot deal gone bad. They say Cappelo, aka as Cowboy shot the trio, his future business partners, during a meeting at a cabin. Each of the victims shot once in the head. Apparently as much as 80 pounds of stolen pot given to two co-defendants by Cappelo before he tried to leave the country. He kept the money himself and hid it at his brother’s Colorado ranch. Cappello hired to drive the drugs from California to the East Coast. The triple murder in February of 2013.

Word that some of the Valley Fire cleanup caused more damage on Cobb Mountain. The Starview Water System was damaged seriously by the fire and lost more than 130 customers and infrastructure but the Lake County Special Districts Administrator says removal of debris and trees caused even more damage to remaining piping, causing more service outages and boil-water advisories to about 14 remaining customers in the network. The administration says it was due to the use of heavy machinery being used to take out the debris by crews hired by CalRecycle who ran over or dug up lines and other items, plus trees felled by contractors of PG& E. Special Districts went ahead and fixed the damaged pipes, but now there’s question about getting reimbursed for the costs.

A couple of state senators say they’re working to help children in California in poverty. A coalition led by Senators Mike McGuire and Holly Mitchell is working with the California Department of Education to help more than 326,000 more kids get free and reduced lunches at school. The kids have been automatically approved for free meals in schools. In Lake County schools provide free to reduced meals for nearly 2,900 students, 680 more. McGuire is the Chair of the Senate Human Services Committee. He worked on this with Mitchell the Chair of the Senate Budget Committee on Health and Human Services working with the California Department of Education, Department of Social Services and Department of Health Care Services.

A town in Maine being sued by a group of cat caretakers over a woman’s wishes her life savings go to care for abandoned cats. Barbara Thorpe died back in 2002 left the majority of her $200,000 estate for food, shelter and veterinary care to the stray cats in Dixfield. A local newspaper reports there’s only been a few thousand given for the care of the cats. The city and five women caring for the town’s strays sued the trustees saying they excessively billed fees to the trust and didn’t carry out Thorpe’s wishes. The trustees’ lawyer "vehemently denies any wrongdoing."

A bunny got stuck on the roof of a home in Northern Ireland after winds from Storm Gertrude threw Bumper the bunny’s hutch up into the air. Firefighters say the hutch was sent flying into the air, tossing the rabbit out onto the roof. The bunny got stuck on the roof after its hutch crashed into the side of the home. Firefighters got little bumper, now renamed Gertrude down.


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