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A Lake County man has died after being hit by an SUV while walking across Highway 20 in Nice. The CHP says Timothy Hartnett was wearing dark clothing and was not in a crosswalk when he was hit around 6:20 p.m. Monday night. Hartnett was airlifted to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital where he died. Investigators say the SUV driver, who is from Redwood City, was not using any drugs or alcohol and was going the speed limit when Hartnett crossed in front of him.

Deputies have arrested a Willits man at the request of the US Marshals Service. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office says deputies served a federal warrant for Israel Ramirez, also known as “El Chino,” last Thursday during a traffic stop on Reynolds Highway. The Sheriff’s Office says the warrant is sealed so they can’t tell us what it’s for, but Ramirez was being held in the Mendocino County Jail until the Marshals take him to a federal court to be charged.

Some small fires that popped up Monday along Highway 29 are under investigation. Lake County Fire Chief Willie Sapeta tells Lake County News six small fires were spotted along Hwy 29 between Seigler Canyon Road and Lee Barr Drive starting around 3:45pm Monday. Sapeta said Lake County Fire, Cal Fire, Kelseyville Fire and Northshore Fire all responded and the CHP and Lake County Sheriff’s Office closed off the road for about an hour. Sapeta said the fires ranged in size from an eighth of an acre to half an acre. There is no word yet on any immediate cause – Cal Fire has the investigation.

Mendocino National Forest officials are looking for folks to serve on the Resource Advisory Committees for boards within Mendocino, Lake and other counties. You would serve a four-year term, on a 15-member committee made up of a wide representation of national forest resource interests to help decide on projects that benefit public lands. To apply you’ll need to do a cover letter, interest form and an FBI background check form before being considered. You can get that on the Mendocino National Forest website – from the main page, click “Working Together” on the left side bar, then click Advisory Committees. To apply for Mendocino or Lake County RACs, you’ll be dealing with RAC Coordinator Debbie McIntosh in Upper Lake. Applications must be received by March 15th.

A woman in Ukiah’s been arrested in connection to thousands being stolen from Walmart. Ukiah Police say they got a call to the store Monday for a report that employee Donna Arriaga had taken more than $6,000 from the business since January. After an internal investigation police were handed over evidence of crimes by Arriaga who’s charged with suspicion of embezzlement and grand theft. Cops say she had $4,000 cash in her possession. After further investigation police say she had purchases items with stolen money which they found at a motel where the woman was staying. A man in the motel room was also arrested for having several warrants and drug possession.

Lawmakers may soon approve a health care tax that could bring in as much as $1.27 billion a year and help pay for programs for developmentally disabled Californians for the first time in more than a decade. The tax is bundled with several votes set for this week that could replace a tax in place on health care plans now that bring in about $270 million less per year and will expire in July since it doesn’t match up to administration rules for the Affordable Care Act. Gov. Jerry Brown is pushing the tax proposal which has been endorsed by leading insurance companies and health plans. The Assembly Republican leader says the caucus is carefully considering the proposal.

The President has granted national monument status for almost 1.8 million acres of scenic Southern California desert. It’s been in the works for some time, but last Friday Obama made it official. The move will maintain the fragile ecosystem and natural resources plus allow for recreational opportunities for hikers, campers, hunters and others in perpetuity. The President’s been in Calif. this week for meetings and fundraising. He signed the proclamations last week to establish three regions as national monuments — Mojave Trails, Castle Mountains (both in the Mojave Desert) and Sand to Snow in the Sonoran Desert.

A pretty decent sized earthquake has shaken the eastern range of California’s Sierra Nevada. The 4.8 temblor yesterday afternoon hit some remote communities with no immediate reports of damage or injuries. The U.S. Geological Survey says it hit just after 3 p.m. near Big Pine which is a town along U.S. Route 395. There were also three aftershocks. The Bishop Police Department says they felt the quake and some folks in the office hopped under the desks. Calls came in from all the way out to Fresno in the San Joaquin Valley from folks also feeling the quake.

More money needed if the California High-Speed Rail’s Bullet train is to be built. The Rail’s Authority employees say there could be cost overruns on the first segment of the train. Board members informed by finance officials the project may need another $150 million for the first 29-mile segment near Fresno. That means the contingency costs could be more than a quarter of a billion dollars more than the board already approved for the entire first section. A spokesperson says the numbers are just a warning and not an indication that costs have actually gone up.

A township in southwest Ohio says it’s not going to sue after all related to a man’s holiday "Zombie Nativity" scene. Jasen Dixon’s display with zombies instead of the baby Jesus and others as part of a traditional Christmas Nativity scene. Sycamore Township officials say the man violated rules for improper "accessory use" for the nativity scene in his front yard. He was looking at thousands in fines, but his lawyers say the township was trying to suppress his freedoms. The Township administrator says the scene’s down now so there’s no need to litigate and spend taxpayer dollars.

A regional court in Russia says an Orthodox Church diocese should repay part of an outstanding debt in prayers instead of cash. The ruling last week in Niz-heg-oro-dsky Regional Court. The local Russian Orthodox Church diocese gets to pray for the health of the company who installed a boiler system instead of paying more than $3,200 American dollars it owed for the installation of the system. The court saying the diocese should however pay some money still owed which adds up to $2,525. They’d paid about 6 grand or so already.

A judge in Lake County’s ordered an ill, elderly man who has also recently been found to be innocent of child molestation, to be released. 71 year old Luther Jones will be set free from prison after his accuser, now 30 years old admitted she made the whole thing up when she was 10 years old after her mother talked her into it. The Lake County District Attorney Don Anderson petitioned the court to get Jones released and says they want him out quick. Jones had nine years to go on a 27-year sentence. He was being at the California Health Care Facility in Stockton due to serious illness. The alleged young victim had told police she was molested by another of her mother’s boyfriend’s but said it was Jones because her mom was in a custody fight with him regarding a younger sibling. The DA says he’s investigating the whole thing and may charge the mom and another boyfriend. Jones had alleged the mom made up the molestation because he’d won the custody of their child.

Some crabbers say they’re against a plan by state wildlife officials for a partial opening of the commercial crab season. Fisherman in Bodega Bay said to be concerned as waters at nearby Point Reyes could open soon to commercial crabbing which would bring in a lot of fishing gear to a small area and allow large, northern vessels in and they could potentially clean out the Dungeness stocks. The Press Democrat reports fisherman also concerned the massive harvest so late in the season could get in the way of Dungeness breeding and whale migration. There’s been no crabbing for the last three months because of an algae bloom that tainted some shellfish, including crab, with massive levels of the neurotoxin domoic acid.

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