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A Ukiah woman says she’s been victimized in a phone scam targeting the elderly. Police say the 85 year old got a call two weeks ago from a man claiming to be a lawyer for her grandson who lives in another state, claiming the grandson was in jail and needed bail money. He knew the grandsons’ name so the victim believed him and decided to send the money, a total of $5800 that the caller asked to be sent in $100 bills, and placed them inside a magazine in a 9×12 envelope and send via a shipping company. A few days later she had contact with family that indicated the grandson had never been in jail and it was all a scam. Ukiah Police are investigating.

Two house fires are under investigation in Lake County. Reporter Claire Beverly has more…

One happened around 230am Weds morning at Clearlake home where the Lake County Fire Protection District Battalion Chief tells Lake Co News it started in an outbuilding and was spreading into a nearby doublewide with an elderly woman trapped inside. Firefighters saved the woman but there was damage to her home and the outbuildings. The cause is under investigation and the Chief says it’s considered suspicious, as there was a suspicious fire on the same property about month ago. Then around noon Weds there was a fire at Westwind Mobile Park, which ended up burning about a quarter-acre of vegetation, and did some moderate damage to two mobile homes. No one was hurt. The Chief tells the news site that is was caused by a maintenance person burning some weeds that then caught some trees on fire.

The Lakeport City Council has unanimously approved an agreement with a consultant to prepare the Lakeport Lakefront Revitalization Plan. Lake Co News reports the company Design Workshop Inc. of Stateline, Nevada, one of two firms that submitted proposals to the city to create the plan with the goal of increasing the economic viability for the shoreline and its relationship with the downtown business area. The project area is the shoreline from C Street to Clearlake Avenue and the plan will focus on both long-term and short-term goals. The process of creating the plan will include public outreach and comment.

New plans being drafted to help Mendocino County homeless after the closure of the emergency winter shelter in Ukiah. The Daily Journal reports State Sen. Mike McGuire spreading the word about the No Place Like Home initiative. The initiative will take money from various sources to provide housing, rental subsidies, and mental health and addiction treatments to the homeless or those most at risk of losing their homes. McGuire met last week in Ukiah with regional directors, representatives of some local agencies, county supervisors and law enforcement to discuss how to shelter the homeless.

The Rancheria Chairman and Lake County Supervisor Candidate Jose “Moke” Simon III is one of two people who received the Wendell Chino Humanitarian Award. The award given during the National Indian Gaming Association’s conference in Phoenix, Arizona. The award for leadership during challenging times. The announcement by the Indian Gaming Association Chair at the dinner saying even though there was enormous devastation, chairman Simon provided courage, leadership and strength to bring the community together. Simon worked tirelessly for the community during the Valley Fire. About 4,700 gaming professionals and 326 exhibiting companies were at the gathering saluting progress, tribal sovereignty, education and industry celebration.

A couple of homes have been taken down in Clearlake that were a blight to their neighborhoods. City staff done with the abatement last week on the 14-thousand block of Emory Ave. and 14000 block of Palmer Ave.. Both homes were said to be public nuisances and health and safety hazards to the surrounding community. The Clearlake Police Department, Lake County Fire Protection District and City of Clearlake Code Enforcement have been responding to complaints over the last two years for violations that included trespassers and illegal occupants to fires started inside structures. The homes were declared unsafe but trespassers ignored postings and entered the properties, unkempt by owners, for years.

An appreciation dinner’s being held for all Lake County employees, past and present to celebrate 25 years of food drive participation. It started in 1990 when former Lake County employee Phil Smoley brought donuts to every department at the county courthouse in Lakeport and asked for donations for food pantries. The various county departments started to compete with each other and that brought the most per capita in donations. 25 years and as many as 115,000 cans later county employees invited tonight to the celebration after 5 p.m. at TNT on the Lake in Lakeport.

Fort Bragg is considering Electronic Personal Assisted Mobility Devices on the Coastal Trail and in the city itself. The City Council taking up the matter at its meeting last week on the two-wheeled, self-balancing vehicles users stand up on. They move when the operator leans forward and backward. In order to stop, the rider stands straight up. A local entrepreneur has applied for and received a business license for guided tours with tour participants on the devices. The council heard her business plan which has identified the Coastal Trail as one of the locations for tours, but motorized vehicles are not permitted on the Coastal Trail. City staff is speaking with the Coastal Conservancy on the matter and reviewing the deed the city acquired for the Coastal Trail site and any restrictions the deed contains.

The Mendocino Coast District Hospital Board is still deciding if the hospital should be turned into a private, non-profit corporation. The hospital’s CEO, Bob Edwards and its CFO Wade Sturgeon brought the idea to the board last week. The hospital would still be overseen but not directly run by an elected board. A healthcare lawyer explained how the process would work. Residents would have to vote on the idea and it would have to be discussed in depth at five board meetings. There would also be 88-day period after a yes-vote in an election before a non-profit corporation would be formed.

A man in Ukiah got nine years behind bars after he pleaded guilty to recklessly evading Sonoma County sheriff’s deputies during a high-speed chase, and for being in possession of methamphetamine for sale. The Sonoma County District Attorney’s Office told the court Gilbert Benavidez also admitted he had two old convictions for possessing meth for sale so he was sent to prison for the December incident on the 101 near Canyon Road. Police say as they approached he took off at speeds of more than 90 mph. They saw him throw things from the car before finally stopping. Three, one-pound bags of methamphetamine and $10,000 in cash were found on the road. There was also $23,000 and two pounds of processed pot found in his car after he stopped.

(didn’t use) Automatic External Defibrillators are now in all Ukiah police vehicles. The device is about the size of a child’s lunch box and is kept in a special compartment marked First Aid. Pads in the case are removed and put on a patient, then the device does almost everything else. It figures if the patient needs a shock, and how much of one. The devices given to the dept. by Coastal Valleys Emergency Medical Service Agency along with Med-Star/Ukiah Ambulance as part of a new program called Save Lives Mendocino.

A man looking to propose to his girlfriend scaled 600-foot Morro Rock on California’s Central Coast then had to be rescued. Michael Banks climbed the rock Thursday morning to propose while his girlfriend watched on FaceTime video. She said yes, but he got stuck. A helicopter crew came in and pulled him to safety. They say he took a different trail down, then the one he first walked up and it was a lot steeper.

A man in the San Francisco Bay has been charged with burglary but first needed to have surgery to get the ring he swiped and swallowed out of his belly. The San Jose Mercury News newspaper reports (http://bayareane.ws/1qu8eSL) the man chased by police, Joel Steffensen of Martinez crashed his car into a fence and was caught. Walnut Creek police say a hospital X-ray showed the ring lodged in his esophagus. The resident where the burglary took place said it was their gold wedding band. He’s charged with burglary, evasion of police officers and resisting arrest.

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