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About 330 residents in the Valley fire area could get new emergency alert radios thanks to a grant from State Farm. State Farm Insurance Agent Nanette Dutcher presented a check for $10,000 to the Lake County Sheriff at last week’s Board of Supervisors’ meeting. The Sheriff has said the fire moved so quickly it took down phone lines so folks couldn’t get landline phone alerts from the sheriff, but the emergency radio messages would still have worked. Lake County News reports the county plans to buy the NOAA approved models which get more than 60 types of weather hazards and emergency alerts plus the Office of Emergency Services alerts that will go out through the Integrated Public Alert Warning System, or IPAWS, for which the Lake Area Rotary Club Association gave $3,000 to get up and running.

State legislators have approved a health plan tax package designed to bring in more matching federal money, and help pay for programs for services for the developmentally disabled and others. The Sacramento Bee reports the final deal extends a tax on all managed care organizations but includes tax offsets designed to keep any costs from being passed on to consumers. It also includes help for people with autism and other developmental disabilities and it wipes out a budget debt owed by skilled nursing facilities. The bill passed both houses overwhelmingly. Once the governor signs it, state officials then have to “sell” it to the Obama administration to see if it makes California eligible for federal matching money.

A family of five in Clearlake has survived being pulled into the ocean by a sneaker wave in Sonoma County. Amanda Viola was with her 7 year old daughter as well as another adult and two kids at Goat Rock state beach last Friday afternoon. The Press Democrat reports they were told the sea was rough and had not gone in but were standing on shore watching the waves when suddenly what she described as a “great wave” came up and knocked them all down, pulling the 7 year old out onto the breakers. Viola went in after her, and a state beach lifeguard went after both them and pulled them further out into calmer waters, until they could be lifted out by a Sonoma County sheriff’s helicopter crew.

A man from Minnesota has been ordered to hand over his marijuana farm in Ukiah after he was found guilty of dealing. The United States Attorney’s Office in Minnesota sentenced Alexander Heying last month to 11 years in prison after he was convicted in November of 2014 for conspiracy to distribute several tons of marijuana and conspiracy to commit money laundering. Heying’s also ordered to surrender his farm where he was growing the drug. He also had to give up a home in Minnetonka, Minn., a truck and two guns. Acacia Ruiz of Ukiah was arrested and received time served. Peter Heying, also of Minnetonka, Minn. got three years in prison.

A banner year for Redwood Credit Union with total assets up 14 percent to more than 2.5 billion dollars. The largest credit union in Sonoma County reported membership grew almost 6 percent last year too, to more than 255,000. The net income at $48.3 million and total assets at $2.8B. Redwood’s president and chief executive officer says they’ve been getting a lot of positive feedback from members. The Credit Union to open a new branch in Mill Valley later this year and plans to relocate the Mendocino branch to a new location with more space nearby. The Credit Union also donated and gathered money for victims of last summer’s Lake County fires.

A suspicious package wrapped to look like a gift blasted apart by the Sheriff’s bomb squad in Windsor. It was just a box of chocolates, but someone had reported they saw the package in a concrete planter box near the town library, lifted it up and said it was heavy. The Windsor Police Chief says it was wrapped like a Christmas present with a bow on it. But to be cautious, they evacuated folks from the area then the Sonoma County sheriff’s bomb squad went out with protective gear on and took an x-ray of the box finding it was unlikely the box was dangerous, but blasted it with water to break it apart, finding the chocolates.

2 men in So Cal ran from police in a stolen taco truck, sideswiping a school bus with kids inside. They crashed into lights at an intersection and hit a propane truck but nobody was seriously hurt. San Bernardino police say the men kept driving but were spotted soon after and shots were fired at them. The men caught then taken to a hospital as a precaution. Other buses were brought to the area to take the kids to school.

A woman from Connecticut out for her 50th birthday busted for robbing her own limo driver. Police in Willimantic say Melanie Roberts fought with her driver about how much she owed, then took his keys and ran home and got a loaded 9mm pistol. Police say she was threatening the driver and took out a GPS device and a clipboard with money. He called 911, and the woman was arrested at the scene. Roberts charged with larceny and carrying a firearm under the influence.

A bald eagle named America found in a field last month with a broken right wing. The bird nicknamed by animal rescue workers, was found Feb. 23rd. The owners of a nonprofit rescue group in Rochester, WA say America is a female, but they’re not sure how old she is. She was X-rayed and doctors found her break was healing but had a bunch of calcium deposits around it. She has a splint and with time, could possibly fly again. For more info, or to help care for America, visit

A tentative agreement’s been reached by Mendocino County and the nonprofit environmental group California River Watch after alleged violations of the Clean Water Act at the Caspar Waste Transfer Station. The Daily Journal reports the county has to come up with 70% of a $25,000 reimbursement for what it cost the group in investigative and attorney fees and costs. The city of Fort Bragg has to pay the rest of the 25-grand. The county and city and Solid Waste of Willits also have to fully implement, update and keep its Storm Water Pollution Plan Best Management Practices current. The parties also have to turn in all monitoring reports that have not been made available to the River Watch group and allow a site visit for the group by one year of the agreement effective date.

Vandalism becoming a problem in the city of Clearlake. Officials report that means the places that are being vandalized have to be closed to be cleaned up. Places like city-owned parks. The City Manager Greg Folsom says the last time it happened at Redbud Park, where toilets were torn off the hinges in the park’s restroom. Folsom told the city council last week there were immediate nighttime closures for all park restrooms at 4 p.m. daily. The city says vandals have hit the same park again with toilet pipes broken. The city has about $10,000 in the budget to maintain parks, and Folsom says they’ve spent half already, using up $150 to $300 a week in repairs.

The public’s invited to help with the next state transportation plan. Caltrans looking for public input for California Transportation Plan 2040 (CTP 2040) which sets the future of transportation in the state, for mobility and meeting greenhouse gas emission reduction goals. The Caltrans Director tells Lake Co News the public can play a major role in the state’s long term transportation system. The plan helps support Governor Brown’s goal of reducing emissions 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050. You can review and comment on the plan via . Comments are accepted thru the end of the month.

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