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Ukiah Senior Center Executive Director Diana Clarke hash been cleared of charges she conspired with a former coworker to access confidential emails from a local health clinic. The Attorney General had filed felony counts of conspiracy to commit computer access fraud, eavesdropping or recording confidential communication and, taking, copying or making use of data from emails of the Consolidated Tribal Health Project in Redwood Valley. Clarke, who was formerly the human resources director, and Peter Fennell, the information technology director, were fired from the health care provider in October 2014. The felony complaint said Clarke and Fennell accessed and read confidential emails of 12 employees of the Health Project, using two Gmail accounts created by Fennell, who then allegedly gave the account passwords to Clarke. Based on testimony, the only thing that linked Clarke to the investigation was an exchange of text messages with Fennell during the time frame of the alleged crimes. While the charges against Clarke were dismissed, the case against Fennell will proceed.

A western Pennsylvania man has pleaded guilty to robbing a bank with a fake bomb made out of phone wires, duct tape and a sex toy. Aaron Stein pleaded guilty on Thursday to charges including robbery, aggravated assault and making bomb threats in the June crime. An attorney for the 36-year-old Pittsburgh man says he discovered that $9,000 he’d invested to cover his approaching honeymoon was gone. The attorney says desperation drove him to don an Iron Man mask and take a fake bomb to threaten tellers and rob a bank in Crafton bank, just west of Pittsburgh.

Caltrans crews have made quick work of guardrail repairs on the East Gobbi Street bridge over Highway 101, but another project on Highway 20 is taking longer than expected. The East Gobbi Street overpass project was completed this week. Cal Trans says the Hwy. 20 a paving project is an emergency repair because the asphalt was failing. Rocks were getting kicked up between Road A and the East Fork of the Russian River just east of Ukiah and north of Lake Mendocino. But Cal Trans says when the contractor began grinding off the top layer of asphalt, the issue was revealed to be more extensive than originally thought, requiring more work than was laid out in the contract. Paving should resume next week and with it, the five minute traffic delays will be back. Cal Trans estimating the project will last into April.

The crab fishing industry may be getting millions of dollars in disaster assistance under bills being introduced by Northern California lawmakers. Jackie Speier, who represents the Peninsula and parts of San Francisco in the U.S. House of Representatives, and Jared Huffman, who represents a massive district that stretches from the North Bay to the Oregon border, will introduce their disaster legislation today. Their "Crab Emergency Disaster Assistance Act" would provide more than 138-million-dollars in assistance to Dungeness and rock crab fishermen hurt by the closure of the commercial crab season. Senator Barbara Boxer will introduce a companion bill in the Senate.

Bird poop was the likely cause of a December shutdown at a nuclear power plant outside New York City. The reactor safely shut down for three days starting Dec. 14 following an electrical disturbance. An outside expert is analyzing whether what’s technically called bird "streaming" was the culprit.In a report to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission last month, the reactor shutdown was apparently from bird excrement that caused an electric arc between wires on a feeder line at a transmission tower. Plant managers told the NRC they were revising preventive maintenance for additional inspection and cleaning and installing bird guards on transmission towers.

El Nino is returning with a vengeance as a round of wet weather moves into the region. Forecasters say steady rain can be expected through today and tomorrow, with the rain turning especially heavy tomorrow night. The National Weather Service says some areas in the foothills could see up to five inches of rain through tomorrow night, while the higher elevations in the Sierra could several feet of snow. The wet weather is expected to continue into next week. Ukiah water and sewer preparing for up to a half foot of rain over the next ten days. A higher amount could mean the Army Corps of Engineers will release water from Lake Mendocino which is already above flood stage.

Mendocino County Sheriff’s Department have arrested a convicted felon on charges of having firearms and live ammo. Deputies served a search warrant at a residence on Highway 162 in Covelo Monday. At the residence, Deputies contacted Johnny Goforth, who was a convicted felon and was prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition. Goforth was booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was to be held in lieu of $25,000.00 bail.

A Hidden Valley Lake woman is facing charges she fraudulently obtained tens of thousands of dollars in welfare benefits while she was working for the county of Lake. April Melissa Wilson, 38, was taken into custody on Tuesday morning and booked for felony grand theft. She has made bail continuing
Wilson is charged with 21 counts involving grand theft, welfare fraud, perjury, and making false claims to a public board or officer. The crimes occurred between January 2011 and November 2015. Prosecutors say during that time, Wilson obtained $33,000 in welfare benefits to which she was not entitled to. Lake County Human Resources Wilson is a former county employee.

An Upper Lake man has been arrested for robbery, theft and other charges after he allegedly threatened a Northshore couple and took boats and tools from their home. Cory Lynn Bush, was taken into custody. While the deputies were responding to the call yesterday, the homeowner told dispatch the suspect was inside the house attacking her husband. When deputies arrived the suspect was gone and the homeowner says he got away in the family’s boat and also took a kayak and some power tools. Later, deputies say Bush was located with the boat and stolen property in a canal behind Sears in Lakeport. Bush is currently on probation out of Mendocino County for grand theft.

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