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The identities of two girls whose bodies were found in Mendocino County 37 years ago have been released but police say there are still no suspects and they’re no closer to knowing how they died. The Sheriff Tom Allman says the girls were 15-year-old Kerry Ann Graham and 14-year-old Francine Trimble – two friends from Forestville, who’d headed off to the Coddingtown Mall in Santa Rosa in December 1978 and were never seen again. Their skeletal remains were found about 6 months later by two tourists in a rural area off Highway 20 outside Willits. Allman tells the Daily Journal the case is as active now as it has ever been and he hopes the publicity will help someone remember something about the day the girls went missing – especially how or if they ever got to the Mall.

Lake Mendocino’s water level is going to be higher than usually allowed in the winter, at least for a while. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says they’re letting the water level rise to almost 6,000 acre-feet above the normal winter limit in an effort to keep the level up for later in the year when its warmer. The Sonoma County Water Agency’s principal engineer tells the Press Democrat it could make a difference in the amount of water available for releases into the Russian River later in the year when fish are migrating. A Corps spokesman says the allowance is an extension of a variance granted to local water agencies last year to help conserve water. That variance expires in March, and at that point they will likely go back to normal water level management of the lake.

County Supervisors trying to decide if they should say yes to the Special Districts applying to the state for money to pay for the design of sewer projects in Middletown and Anderson Springs. The Special Districts Administrator Mark Dellinger sending a memo to the Lake County supes saying how the need is greater since the Valley Fire. They have to consider sewer development projects because of overtaxed systems and current building codes. Dellinger says many homes in the Anderson Springs area can’t be rebuilt under the current building and set back codes without a sewer system. Nearly 200 homes were lost in that area alone. Homeowners could rebuild on the creek, but they’d have to conform to current state environmental regulations banning septic systems that close to a watershed. So the county has to approve going for a $500,000 grant from the State Water Resources Control Board. The BOS meeting tomorrow morning at 9 a.m.

A group of wild ponies running seriously close to a highway near Ukiah have been brought to a horse sanctuary in Hollister. Sonoma Action for Equine Rescue or SAFER says six ponies were taken from the property on Boonville Road last week, put onto a trailer Monday morning by Valley View Ranch Horse Rescue out of King City and trailered to Hollister, to the Freedom Reins sanctuary. SAFER says the whole thing was quick and the operation went smoothly. The white ponies are all stallions which will be castrated after being quarantined first. They’ll then be released onto the 7,000-acre ranch where they can continuing living a wild life. The ponies had been found grazing in a pumpkin patch last week, part of a larger group known as the “Ponies of Robinson Creek" who’ve apparently been running free for at least 40 years.

The Governor’s got a plan to keep non violent felons out of prison. Brown says his tough-on-crime law from 40 years ago’s been a bust mostly because of quote “unintended consequences”. He wants voters to answer the call with a ballot initiative for November regarding the thousands of state prisoners who’ve already finished their basic sentence and passed a public safety screening so they could become eligible for parole. Also those who go thru rehab programs in prison could earn credits. As we’ve reported it would also mean judges instead of prosecutors would decide if juveniles as young as 14 should be tried as adults. It’s expected he’ll use $24 million in leftover campaign money to fund a petition drive to get the needed 585,407 valid signatures.

The state is using less water because of the drought, but not the 25 percent conservation mandate set by the Gov. For the 3rd month in a row, residents were at the 18% mark. But the State Water Resources Control Board says the state looks like it will beat its long-term conservation goal. The state’s met a combined 25.5 percent conservation rate since the Governor first issued the mandate in June which calls for savings from 2013 use rates. State water managers waiting for the April 1st snowpack report from the Sierra Nevadas which at that time of year is at its deepest before melting and feeding rivers and streams. That will tell if drought conditions are easing up. This week the snowpack water content was 130 percent of its historical average for this time of year.

A proposed housing development outside Windsor on the Lytton Rancheria got contentious at a town hall hosted by a couple Sonoma County supervisors. The Press Democrat reports the meeting called to answer questions from residents and to put together a citizen’s advisory committee to work with the tribe. County officials saying they have an agreement from the tribe they wouldn’t build a casino on the land. Supervisor James Gore represents Windsor and the north county said they were there to share information and be fair observers saying the land would probably go into trust for the tribe, creating a reservation. The Lytton tribe looking to build 147 homes and a retreat for tribal members on 124 acres as part of an agreement with the federal government. The county has agreed to up to 360 homes, a hotel and winery as long as they don’t build a casino for 22 years along with several other concessions.

Lawmakers in Washington DC trying to discourage crime, saying they’ll pay residents to abstain. The D.C. Council has unanimously voted yes on a bill to include paying residents a stipend so they won’t commit crimes. Apparently it’s modeled on a similar program in Richmond, California which has helped that city bring crime rates down. The bill in DC would name up to 200 people a year considered at risk of committing or becoming victims of violent crime. They would participate in behavioral therapy and other programs and if they stay out of trouble, they would be paid.

A jury summons has gone out to hundreds of residents in southeastern Mississippi which incorrectly told them to call a sex hotline. As many as 350 jury summons with the wrong phone number have been sent to Jackson County’s potential jurors. As soon as they went out, the circuit court started to get calls or people came by in person to report the problem. The county’s drafted an apology letter to be sent out to those who got the wrong info on their summons. The county clerk says he’s not sure if the county will be liable for costs associated with any potential jurors billed for using the hotline.

The Ukiah Fire Marshall wants the winter homeless shelter on Mazzoni Street to close for safety concerns. The shelter looking for an extension, but Kevin Jennings, the Ukiah Valley Fire Authority Division Chief and the city’s Fire Marshal says he’s not going to approve it, because the building needs major improvements. He outlined his problems with the shelter staying open to April in a report to the City Council. He says at first it was supposed to only be used during the coldest times of year, but says there’s no sprinkler system and a change of occupancy brings “significant” violations of the California Fire Code. Those running the shelter want it to stay open due to the amount of rain predicted in the spring. The city council will further consider the matter at their meeting tonight, but it looks like, per the agenda, the extension will be denied.

Northern California legislators asking for answers about telecommunication outages and needs in rural Calif. State Sen. Mike McGuire and Assemblymember Jim Wood, both of Healdsburg, looking to hear from AT&T regarding recent fiber outages, one of which last September, shut down much of the North Coast telecommunication and network systems, with rural residents completely without service. The two lawmakers and the chairs of the County Boards of Supervisors in Sonoma, Mendocino, Lake and Humboldt counties are formally asking for accountability from AT&T in the North Coast. There were four major outages this past year. Lake Co News reports a lack of communication from AT&T meant residents, local county and city officials and public safety officers didn’t know when they’d be back online.

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