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Monthly Archives: June 2016

A man and woman have been arrested in Fort Bragg on suspicion of burglarizing the Brooktrails Lodge. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Dept. reports someone busted into the lodge and took multiple electronic items, consumables, and valuables. Witnesses say Ryan Ivey and Nicole Champion were staying at the Lodge before the burglary so deputies served a search warrant for their rented room and found multiple stolen items in their room. They arrested the two for Burglary and Possession of Stolen Property and booked them into the Mendocino County Jail where they were both held on $50,000 bail.

Those against the Dollar General store in Redwood Valley still in the same position as a judge ruled against a local business owner who doesn’t want the store nearby. Redwood Valley Market owners Alex and Anthony Chehada had their second amended petition for their lawsuit ruled on. The judge first ruled against them for problems with their petition, then their amended petition also tossed by the same judge. In a recent amendment they say they’ve been denied procedural and substantive due process so another hearing’s set for July 22. They say they’ve been misled by the county which tried to hide infor from them saying a Notice of Exemption would not be filed but the county did file it after all. They had appealed with the county then went to court.

The Willits Teachers Association and the Willits Unified School District have come to an agreement on a new contract which has been sent to the Mendocino County Office of Education for consideration. This comes after the board’s special session Wednesday to take the contract into consideration. The director of fiscal services told the two sides some of the wording in the contract needed fixing so they did that this week and sent it to the office of education. The office to review raises. The acting co-Superintendent says the county’s got a week and a half to decide then return it to the board. The school district starts its fiscal year today.

The homeless camp in Ukiah’s finally been cleared out. The encampment in the Manor Estates mobile home park under a pedestrian overpass on Highway 101 north of Gobbi Street. Apparently homeless folk were cutting holes in fences under the overpass to get into the area at about the edge of the mobile home park and the highway. Board Supervisor John McCowen says they were cutting down bushes and putting branches along the fence so they couldn’t be seen. One resident telling the Daily Journal she called police several times as they were literally under her window. Since fire season started the branches were all cleared out as a precaution and Caltrans removed the camp too. The agency closed down Gobbi Street on-ramps to Hwy. 101 to do the work.

A fire known as the Vineyard fire that started near Talmage apparently started by a lawnmower. Fire crews in the vineyard yesterday on Old River Road, south of Talmage to put the fire out. The Ukiah Valley Fire Authority used a “back pump” to stomp out hot spots. It’s said to be the third vineyard fire in five days.

Cal Fire firefighters to be out raising money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association with their “Fill-the-Boot” fundraiser in Fort Bragg. They’ll be on foot at the intersection of Main Street and Laurel Street Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. trying to get some help for the MDA in fighting muscle disease. The money goes to the research of neuromuscular diseases, for the clinic at UC Davis, summer camp and community education. The association doesn’t get state funding or anything from local governments.

State park officials have announced they’ve opened the Pomo Canyon Campground near Jenner for overnight camping. The secluded redwood retreat on the Sonoma Coast had been closed for four years but reopened this Wednesday. Be careful driving in though as the road to get there needs some work. The campground had been closed indefinitely in 2012, due to the recession. It’s one of a couple state run first come, first serve, walk in campgrounds in the area. It’s across the Russian River from Jenner on the south bank of the river. It’s also a launch point for the ridge to Shell Beach. It’s $25 for overnight with no more than eight people allowed on a single site. No dogs are allowed.

Four police staffers from Ukiah have been commended for helping a stranded disabled man. Police say they got a report last week about a man in a wheelchair asking for an officer at the corner of Freitas Avenue and South Oak Street. Officers Josh Cooper, Anthony DeLapo and Ron Donohue responded to the man they found stuck in the middle of the road with a dead wheelchair battery. The man was a Vietnam veteran with his legs missing from the knees down. He was in the area for treatment at the VA. He somehow became stranded with no money or phone. The officers called the VA and got the man a shuttle for the next day. They also found him a battery charger and the three and a dispatcher all donated money to him for a hotel room. The officers and the dispatcher received a letter of commendation from the UPD.

A man wanted by police in New Mexico’s been caught in Mendocino County and now faces extradition and possibly new charges. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office got a call from the Santa Fe County Department of Corrections about a fugitive believed to be in Leggett. There was a no bail warrant out for Grady Knox on suspicion he failed to comply with the conditions of his release under an electronic monitoring program. He had past charges of domestic assault and using a telephone to terrify, intimidate, threaten or harass. He was found and arrested Wednesday night in Leggett and booked at the Mendocino County Jail on no-bail. He will be extradited back to Santa Fe County N.M., to face charges.

The final results for the June 7th primary election are in with not many changes. The Mendocino County Assessor-Clerk-Recorder’s Office reports the race for Department 5 Superior Court judge taken by Keith Faulder with only a 154-vote margin over Patrick Pekin. Mendocino County 1st District Supervisor Carre Brown keeps her seat, handily winning over Montana James Podva with 75 percent of the vote. Measure V, which declares trees killed on purpose and left to stand for 3 months or more are a nuisance, passed. And Measure W to make the county a charter, failed.

A man in New York is being searched for after police say he stuck a bag of feces down a woman’s pants while she walked in Manhattan. Police say it happened Monday night on East 74th Street near First Avenue. They say the man grabbed the woman from her waist from behind then slipped the bag down her pants, grabbed her butt and tossed a pair of gloves before running away. The whole thing caught on surveillance video.

Police in Germany say a driver got into an accident after losing control on a slimy snail trail. Several snails sliming across a highway, then the car flipped and wrecked, but the driver was not hurt. They say it happened about 220 miles west of Berlin.

A man in Mendocino’s been arrested for a report of Vandalism and other crimes. Police say they arrested James Herriot from Albion after getting a call yesterday morning to Dick’s Place for the vandalism complaint. They say when they got there they found out Herriot wasn’t allowed in the place anymore for unwanted behavior. An employee asking him to leave and says Herriot threatened him, then broke a bottle, a window and swung the broken bottle at the employee. Herriot found to be on Parole and Probation and sent to jail.

A reminder by local law enforcement ahead of the Fourth of July holiday weekend that the personal use of fireworks in Mendocino County is illegal and could mean tickets and potential felony charges. A spokesperson with Cal Fire says they’re beefing up patrols and even “Safe and Sane” fireworks, like sparklers or bottle rockets, will be confiscated. They remind folks using dangerous fireworks they will for sure be cited and possibly arrested on felony charges.

Gas prices changing ahead of the holiday weekend, but not the way you might think. The State Board of Equalization says the excise tax on gas will drop by 2.2 cents, but consumers probably won’t notice. It’s a yearly adjustment to keep the revenue stream steady according to a petroleum analyst for GasBuddy. Prices were pretty steady in the state the last couple of months between $2.77 to $2.90 a gallon and could be going down again soon.

Congressman Jared Huffman has introduced an update to a bill that could help bolster the Ukiah Valley’s water supply. Huffman says even when there’s extreme drought, many reservoirs are still being operated out of old manuals. He says local water agencies looking to work with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, should be able to bring their systems into the twenty-first century. The bill Huffman’s introduced is a revised version of the Reservoir Operations Improvement Act. It allows local entities to request the Army Corps review a reservoir’s water operations manual.

A decision on the appeal by Verizon on their proposed tower in Kelseyville has been tabled for now by the Lake County Board of Supervisors. The Record Bee newspaper reports a continuance because Supervisor Rob Brown, who’s district covers the area, was absent at Tuesday’s meeting. The public and Verizon’s representatives gave their input before it was announced the item would have to wait for a vote.

A new report shows a massive amount of untapped water in California. The Stanford study showing the state’s groundwater supply as much as three times greater than what had been previously estimated. The authors of the study calling it a quote “water windfall”. Robert Jackson, the co-author of the study, says there’s way more fresh water and usable water than expected. The report’s been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. It shows aquifers in Calif. hold as much as 2,700 cubic kilometers of fresh groundwater under the Central Valley. Authors say that’s almost triple previous estimates.

The Gov. Jerry Brown and some lawmakers have come to an agreement on major reforms for the state’s problem plagued Public Utilities Commission. The legislature has not approved the plan yet, but if so it would mean the attorney general would have authority to enforce limitations on private communications between PUC personnel and executives of the utility. It comes after an email scandal showed multiple improper contacts. It also requires more transparency to the public and participation in the commission’s proceedings.

Several pieces of legislation are being considered by the Senate Public Safety Committee after the Stanford student’s light punishment for sexual assault. The Assembly Bill 2888 could close a loophole in current law which allowed student Brock Turner to become eligible for probation because the victim was unconscious during the attack. Another bill being considered would broaden the definition of rape so forced penetration of any body part with any foreign object is included. Turner got just six months in county jail plus three years of probation for the rape.

A man from Nice has been arrested during a routine traffic stop after cops realized he might be responsible for a hit-and-run crash that seriously injured a girl in Lucerne. Andrew Gravlee busted after the stop of a car he was the passenger in. The woman driver busted for DUI and drug crimes. Gravlee was in court on the hit and run case, and is due back next week. Witnesses say they thought it was him behind the wheel of a pickup that hit another car Sunday afternoon and the girl on the side of Highway 20. The girl was flown to the Children’s hospital in Oakland with 2 broken legs and major injuries.

The wildfire by the Indian Valley Reservoir, dubbed the Reservoir Fire has been fully surrounded. Cal Fire reports the 215-acre fire was 100% contained Tuesday night. The fire started Sunday night seven miles outside of Leesville, between the Indian Valley Reservoir and Hough Springs, along Bartlett Springs Road. Apparently the fire spotted by volunteers at the Mount Konocti fire lookout tower, but no cause has been given so far. No damage to any structures was reported.

A cat at an animal shelter in Florida said to be to blame for a flood. The Florida Humane Society in Pompano Beach says one of their cats turned a faucet on, that was left running for 17 hours. Flooding ensued, causing water to run out the shelter’s back door. They now need $5,000 to repair floors, cabinets and other damage. The suspected feline a 6 month old that’s been known to play in the shelter’s sinks. It was recently adopted and the new owners told, it was, quote, “intelligent enough to turn on water faucets.”

A fire chief in Pennsylvania says some loud chickens helped when a man was stuck inside his burning home. The Creekside Fire Chief says David Wells was able to escape from the house Wednesday morning after the cackling chickens woke up his son. The son lives across the street then ran to his dad’s house and woke him. The chief says the chickens made “good smoke detectors.” The fire in rural Washington Township, about 50 miles northeast of Pittsburgh. The fire caused by an electrical problem.

A man’s body’s been found in Kelseyville. Police in Clearlake say they got a report that a man had fallen into the Lake Sunday and not come back up, next to the docks at Clearlake State Park Marina. The man identified as Caldwell Joseph Pitre of Palo Alto. Witnesses say they saw him pull into the dock area at the marina at dusk. They say they saw him leaning over the side of the boat, tying the boat up when he fell in. They say he came up a couple times, calling for help. Folks went to help, but say he disappeared and they couldn’t see him. A Dive Team went to the scene and sonar was used but he was not found until the next morning. An autopsy was set to determine the cause of death.

Mendocino county’s adult mental health services are about to moved into oversight by Redwood Quality Management. Last week the Mendocino Board of Supervisors said yes to major contracts for services but was also trying to determine if the county was ready with appropriate staffing and organization for the full transition. Updated reports were delivered to the board by the Health and Human Services’ mental health director regarding the transition. Some supervisors concerned about finding qualified, committed people to work in client care. The Sheriff was also at the meeting as a reminder during public comment about his ballot initiative for a county-wide sales tax to fund mental health facilities.

A man in Willits has been arrested on drug charges. Police say they did a routine traffic stop and found Buck Leggett in possession of both heroin and meth after first smelling marijuana during the stop. Leggett’s also on active parole and on bail. He’s now charged for possession for sale, violation of parole and committing an offense while on bail. Leggett was taken to jail and held with no bail.

A driver in Willits is expected to be charged after crashing his car last week and injuring himself and five kids. Michael Cruce was driving a Jeep Patriot that rolled several times after losing control. He went onto the dirt shoulder, then down an embankment before stopping on the Jeep’s roof in a creek bed. One of the kids with him, 13 year old Stevan Beers had to be taken to UC Davis due to major injuries. 12 year old Shandra Silva and 13 year old Paris Yadon went to Oakland Children’s Hospital with major injuries too. Two other kids went to local hospitals with moderate injuries, 14 year old Taylor Carter and 13 year old Alyssa Bacon. Driver Cruce with serious injuries and went to Santa Rosa Hospital.

Another successful eradication effort by Clearlake police, part of a series of operations that started 2 months ago. Officers found almost 1,500 plants and arrested two people Weds. They say they went to a home and found several large half dome/hoop style structures used for illegal pot growing. Cops also found a couple sheds and indoor growing rooms. They found 360 plants in one, and 576 in the other. There was also a large fenced in area with several more structures, one had another 557 plants. Jose Montes-Saavedra and Juan Saavedra were arrested on suspicion of cultivation, possession of marijuana for sale and conspiracy to commit a crime.

It’s a no go, a judge tossing a plan to restore the Delta’s environment and boot water supplies. A judge in Sacramento ruled the state management plan for the Sacramento San Joaquin River Delta was invalid due to needed fixes. The exec. Director of the Delta Stewardship Council says the Delta’s still in crisis and it’s not a good time to set aside the state’s only comprehensive management plan. She says her agency will most likely appeal. The judge said the plan was too vague and lacking key elements and measurable targets that are required by the Delta Reform Act in 2009.

Safe and Sane Fireworks are on sale in the incorporated area of Lakeport. If you’re interested in buying some, the city’s encouraging their use Friday through Sunday 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Independence Day, Monday, 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. They’re to be used on any street as long as they don’t violate discharged or projected upon or over or onto another’s property without his/her permission or within 10 feet of any residence, dwelling or other structure where people live. They can also be set off during the Fourth of July celebration at Library Park on 4th St.

City leaders in Fort Bragg and the police dept. reminding citizens that fireworks are illegal in that city. Police asking for the public’s voluntary compliance for public safety. Those found in violation of local or state laws can be cited or arrested. They could be fined, face jail time or both. There’s a professionally controlled fireworks show on July 2nd.

The replacement work of the sewer main on North State Street near Low Gap Road is nearly done. The Public Works Director says they found another problem under the asphalt there that has to be fixed though, the storm drain has failed in one area and has to be replaced. It’s up to the city council now if they want to fork over the money for the work which is said to be between $300,000 and $400,000. The project would also include new paving and other work. He says all of it can be paid for with the gas tax fund, not the general fund.

Containment now at 75% for the Reservoir fire near the Indian Valley Reservoir. It started Sunday seven miles southwest of Leesville. So far 215 acres have burned and there’s no cause for the fire yet. Cal Fire has had more than 350 personnel committed to the fire as of yesterday with a couple dozen engines, 14 hand crews, seven bulldozers, two water tenders and two helicopters. No injuries reported or property destroyed.

The third wildfire in less than 20 hours burned more than 200 acres in Lake County. There were no buildings burned in any of the three fires in east Lake County and the trio are all being investigated for cause. The fire yesterday northwest of Indian Valley Reservoir, off Highway 20. Cal Fire reported it burning thru grass and oak groves, woodland and brush but not near any communities. As of last night it was about a third contained and more than 350 firefighters were on the scene. A fire Sunday on the edge of Yolo and Lake counties near Cache Creek in Rumsey Canyon was contained yesterday morning at 277 acres. And a fire in the Geysers region in Sonoma County Sunday night near the Lake County border in the geothermal fields was stopped at 14 acres.

Five acres blackened in a fire along Lovers Lane in Ukiah. Ukiah Valley Fire Authority reports the fire Sunday burned vineyards after flames got away from an outdoor cooking stove and quickly spread to nearby vegetation. Fire officials say there were no structures threatened immediately but there were some residents told to evacuate as a precaution. The land that burned was mostly abandoned vines where it’s mostly known now as a dog-walking spot. One unoccupied “outbuilding” was burned.

A man ends up in the hospital telling police he got into an argument with his brother in Laytonville. MCSO deputies say they got a call to the Frank Howard Memorial Hospital in Willits Sunday where the victim reported his brother, Travis Manion picked up a piece of broken glass and threatened the victim, saying he was going to stab and kill him. He says he fought off his brother and was injured on one hand and to his face. Manion was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon and making criminal threats and booked into Mendocino County Jail under $30,000 bail.

A man from Covelo’s arrested for threats he was going to burn down a woman’s home. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office reports getting a call to the altercation last Friday. The woman in the home says the man was vandalizing her residence and threatened to burn it down. She says she was afraid so she left the home. Police say she showed them threatening text messages from the suspect, id’d as Robert Campos. He was in the home’s backyard and arrested on suspicion of making criminal threats and booked into Mendocino County jail under $22,000 bail.

A man from Potter Valley has been sent to jail for the sexual assault of a woman and the burning of her son during a camping trip along the Eel River. Police say Robert Smith and the victims were camping near Potter Valley Friday when he raped the woman and burned her son with a hot metal tube. Police also say they’re not sure what the relationship was between the suspect and the victims. They say the woman called them the next day. The boy had a second-degree burn after he was assaulted with the metal tube, lit by their campfire. Smith was held in the Mendocino County jail on $50,000 bail.

Police on the lookout for the driver of a U-Haul pickup they say was involved in a crash Sunday afternoon in Lucerne that took off, but injured a child. The California Highway Patrol reports a resident of San Jose was the juvenile who was injured. They say the girl was injured in a chain-reaction crash with a second car while she was on the side of the Highway 20 east of 16th Avenue. Police say the driver of the pickup didn’t make it around a curve and turned into another car, ending up on the shoulder of the road. They apparently ditched the U-Haul. The girl had major injuries, including both of her legs being broken and lacerations. She was flown to a hospital in Oakland for treatment.

Someone observing the rally turned violent brawl at the state Capitol says police knew there could be problems and didn’t separate the two groups there before the fight started. More than 100 officers were brought in to patrol the grounds Sunday where 10 people were injured. An observer with the National Lawyers Guild says the California Highway Patrol and Sacramento city police didn’t act first and were slow to protect the victims and were slow to call for medical help too. Members of the Traditionalist Worker Party had a confrontation with other groups Sunday. A CHP spokesperson says police had no obligation to make sure the group’s members were safely at the rally.

A 40 year old Twinkie, still going strong. The treat has been kept in a glass box at a private school in Maine since 1976 when a teacher was talking to his high school chemistry class on food additives and shelf life. Students bought the snack and even though the teacher has since retired, it lives on in the office of George Stevens Academy’s Dean of Students. The dean tells ABC News she wasn’t sure who would get the Twinkie when she retires, joking that the Smithsonian hasn’t called yet.

The dad of a businessman in Salt Lake City who placed an ad in an Idaho newspaper seeking women interested in marrying his son got several inquiries. Arthur Brooks was planning to meet the potential candidates at the Coeur d’Alene resort, but his son Baron Brooks says the managers there asked the dad not to do the interviews there after they were barraged with media requests. So the son says about a dozen women from across the country responded to the $900 ad in the Coeur d’Alene Press. The younger Brooks says dad wants a grandchild to carry on the family name.

2 and a quarter million dollars in state assistance for the South Lake County Fire Protection District for operations. State Sen. Mike McGuire says the money’s for the 2016-17 fiscal year after the Valley Fire costs. The money covers about what the yearly budget is so it should last until next July. McGuire says a $500,00 grant for environmental and engineering design work has also been set aside for the Anderson Springs sewer project. McGuire spoke at Valley fire town hall at the Middletown High School Gym on Thursday.

More in monthly gas bills expected for PG& E customers. The utility announced double-digit increases after state regulators approved upgrades for the utility’s aging pipeline system after the San Bruno explosion. It means though that monthly bills for natural gas will get an 11.6 percent increase from where the monthly rate was back in January 2015. The rate increases announced at last week’s state Public Utilities Commission meeting. They’re set to take effect Aug. 1st.

A man from Ft. Bragg man has been arrested for shooting at, tying up and raping his wife. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office reports getting a call from a woman who says her estranged husband violently attacked her. She says Patrick Slaughter moved away to Sacramento but he made arrangements to come back and get some of his personal items, then attacked her, pointing a gun her way, threatening to kill her. She says another night he jumped out of some bushes, grabbed her from behind then hit her over the head with something, dragged her inside, tied her up and attacked her. He’s charged with suspicion of attempted murder, penetration with a foreign object, forced oral copulation, kidnapping, domestic battery and being armed in the commission of a felony and held under $250,000 bail.

A new judicial integrity unit set up in Lake County. The Lake County District Attorney (DA) Don Anderson says many times when people are in court they lie. Anderson says to fight that, they’ve put together a team of a deputy district attorney and investigators to go after cases in the court system. Anderson says it shows up in various cases, criminal, civil or family law. He says the court and county residents should be able to rely on a person who’s testifying under oath, telling the truth. He says if not, there should be serious ramifications, which could be a prison sentence of two to four years. They’re looking for citizen and lawyer referrals of people perjuring themselves.

Escrow’s gone thru on the old Fjords building near Raley’s, and the buyer’s sure to make many happy… It’s In-N-Out Burger that’s coming to town. The realtor was prohibited from saying who the new owners were until escrow closed. The building had been vacant for years. The realtor who sold it says In N Out was the best fit for price and a business that could be a success there. They’ll first get a demolition permit from Mendocino County then move quickly with the rebuild.

A man from Boonville’s been arrested on drug charges after police say he threw up on a stranger’s porch. The Ukiah Police Department reports a resident called in last weekend to say an unknown man was on their porch vomiting. Police arrested the man who they recognized from being on probation for prior drug offenses. They say he was sweaty and confused. They booked him into the Mendocino County Jail.

A man from Ukiah’s been arrested after police say he went into a stranger’s home and sat down in their living room. Police say a drunk man went into the house a couple weeks ago and when he was confronted by the resident, he took off. Officers went to the area and found the guy who they say was “extremely intoxicated”. He was arrested on suspicion of being drunk in public and booked into Mendocino County Jail.

A man from Ukiah’s been arrested after a woman says he poured paint on her head. Police get a call to a domestic assault, apparently the paint was poured over his girlfriend’s head Saturday. When they got to the home they found a woman covered in gray paint. The victim says they had an argument and then the boyfriend dumped the paint on her. Police say the man also had methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia in his possession. He’s charged with domestic battery and possession of both drug paraphernalia and a controlled substance.

Officials checking for mussels on vessels that enter both Lake Sonoma and Lake Mendocino. The two hit hard by the 5 year drought. Officials say they’re wetter than in years past after the winter and spring but now the next threat, quagga and zebra mussels which are invading fresh water bodies across the West. The mollusks got to the states from Eastern Europe and hang on to boats, docks and are damaging, sometimes wrecking entire aquatic ecosystems. State Sen. Mike McGuire says besides the drought, it’s the most serious problem in the region, saying the two Lakes are “prime targets for infestation”. Now a $600,000 program will help staff the lakes looking for hangers on.

A bunch of town halls or open forums being held by Ukiah Valley Medical Center. The panels to help the community easily provide feedback on the hospital and affiliated clinics. The next scheduled topic on hospital billing. It’s an open forum where community members can give feedback so staff is better equipped to help patients and refine and improve the billing process. The events first sessions are July 5th and 6th from 5-30 — 6-30 in the main conference Room of the hospital. For more info, call 707.463.7616.







































More than 13,000 marijuana plants found and one person arrested connected to the service of a search warrant in the case. The Lake County Sheriff’s Narcotics Unit did a routine overflight in April and found a major pot garden on the South Fork of Scotts Creek, a remote area west of Lakeport. They served a search warrant this past Monday morning with BLM Rangers and found a man there wearing camouflage. He was arrested and the grow site mowed down. There were also two tents with food inside, marijuana being irrigated using a gravity feed drip irrigation system, diverting water from a spring. 13,060 marijuana plants in four separate plots found and pulled. Jose Armando Gutierrez – Mardueno of Brentwood arrested for the cultivation of marijuana, possession of marijuana for sale and resisting arrest.

A man from Santa Rosa ID’d as the victim of a fatal motorcycle crash Wednesday afternoon in Ukiah. The man, whose name has not been released, was driving the bike west on Highway 20 with a woman on the back when he crossed the double yellow lines on a curve and collided with a tractor trailer coming the other way. The motorcycle driver tried to avoid a crash by swerving to the right and hitting the brakes but the bike still hit the truck. Both the driver and passenger were taken to hospitals where the driver later died and passenger has major injuries. The truck driver wasn’t hurt.

A record high for Lake County crop values with the county’s wine grape and pear crops reportedly hitting more than $101 million in 2015. Reporter Claire Beverly…

Lake County Ag Commissioner Steve Hajik tells the Press Democrat it’s the first time ever going over $100 million for the county, with the gross value of the grape crop at $63 million, a 7 percent increase over 2014, and the pears at $26 million, a 21 percent increase. And he says for the first time in many years, there are enough pears that most pear growers have contracts with canneries. On the flip side, walnuts did not do as well. Their gross value was down 25 percent to $5.4 million and the price per ton down 19 percent.

Hoberg’s Resort has gotten approval for a deferred payment plan to clean up their property, which was destroyed in the Valley Fire. Reporter CB with the story…

On Thursday the Lake County Board of Supervisors voted yes on a request from Hoberg’s for the payment plan for dump fees, although it will not be an interest-free deferment. Lake County News reports the disposal cost is estimated at around $250,000 and the resort wants a six-month grace period before they start to pay then four years to get it paid. Part of the delay was that Hoberg’s had a post-fire sawmill plan for the property that was squashed by the county after too many logs were stored there, and more recently they’ve had to test several samples of the debris there to make sure it is safe to put in the Eastlake Landfill or whether it had to be taken to another landfill.

CAL FIRE’s suspending burn permits in 14 counties including Lake and Mendocino. They say despite the winter and spring rains, drought conditions are increasing fire danger in the area so they’re suspending burn permits starting Monday, June 27th. It bans all outdoor burning except for campfires within organized campgrounds or on private property with landowner permission. Campfires may be permitted if they’re maintained so as to prevent spreading to the wildland. You can get a campfire permit at a CAL FIRE station or online at

The President Barack Obama coming to Calif. and the North Coast where he’s meeting Facebook’s billionaire CEO Mark Zuckerberg and is raising money for campaigns of Democratic candidates. Obama speaking today at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit, a conference for aspiring entrepreneurs at Stanford. According to the Obama administration there will be entrepreneurs from more than 140 countries there. The Deputy National Security Advisor says promoting entrepreneurship helps support collaboration around the world and says the more our country helps emerging economies, the more they become markets for American goods. Obama’s panel with Zuckerberg airs on Facebook Live.

An outbreak of toxic blue-green algae in the Russian River last summer’s got officials checking the river consistently for the goo. The Press Democrat reports multiple local agencies putting together a coordinated effort to monitor conditions in the river and follow specific guidelines about how to respond if there’s an algae outbreak. The Sonoma County Health Officer Karen Milman says this year they’re being proactive. That means the continuous tracking of water temperature, oxygen levels, pH, river flows and other information being watched so scientists will know if conditions are favorable to blue-green algae blooms. Then they’d start serious testing of water at public beaches and utilize other measures too to detect trouble.

The recently approved Lakeport budget includes bucks for the police department, but it means street improvement projects have to be put on hold. The Record Bee reports the budget was unanimously passed by the city council Tuesday. It sets aside more than $2 million to the police department so a 12th officer can be paid for along with a school resource officer. The money the Finance director says should also help with recruitment and retention. There’s been flat growth in the city so almost a 1/2 million dollars will be cut from roads. Money just for emergencies, critical road repair and supporting utility infrastructure in the city’s right of ways.

A Lake County Deputy District Attorney asked and got more time in a murder case but the suspect’s lawyer opposed. The Record Bee reports the Deputy DA Sharon Lerman asked for the delay as Billy Ray Mount’s lawyer Anakalia Sullivan said her client should get a speedy trial. Mount accused in the murder of Steven Galvin in July of last year. His lawyer previously informed there would be a 3 week continuance but said since it was the second filing of the case it should move along quicker. But the DDA said they had to find new witnesses and there’s DNA evidence that’s not been available for discovery. The judge said yes to the continuance and said it was within the defendant’s rights to a speedy trial. The trial is supposed to begin next Wednesday. Mount’s in jail on $1.5 million bail.

Congressman Mike Thompson’s Small Business Healthcare Relief Act has passed the House. The bill, Thompson says will help small business owners, workers and their families. It passed out of the House Committee on Ways and Means first, last week. It would allow small employers to continue offering Health Reimbursement Arrangements, or HRAs, to employees so they can get affordable health insurance. Right now Treasury Department guidance with Obamacare gives limited HRA’s to small businesses.

A small fire reported in front of a shopping center in Ukiah. A man waiting for a bus by the Orchard Plaza Center says he heard a popping sound and saw a bush on fire near him. As firefighters headed that way, an employee of the Redwood Credit Union ran there with a fire extinguisher then Ukiah Police got to the scene to direct traffic out of the area and Cal Fire and the Ukiah Valley Fire Authority went to work on the small fire. They had the fire out fast but stayed and checked for hot spots. The cause, so far, “undetermined.”

A new interim school superintendent’s been appointed in the Fort Bragg Unified School District. Last week the Board of Trustees appointed Rebecca Walker, the former principal at the high school, as interim chief after the resignation of Superintendent Chuck Bush earlier this month. The board will start a full search for the position next year with Walker’s contract not expiring until June 30th, 2017.

The Fort Bragg City Council’s read a revised version of the Environmental Impact Report for the proposed Central Coast transfer station on Highway 20. The facility, if approved will replace the county’s Caspar transfer station and the Pudding Creek Road transfer station. It also means there would have to be a land swap to add 12.5 acres of forest from Russian Gulch State Park to forest land in exchange for 17 acres near Highway 20. Some of the public comment on the deal is that forest land could be logged and the land near the Highway includes pygmy forest that would be cleared. There’s also concern the new station is near and upstream of the City of Fort Bragg’s new reservoir now under construction.

A couple recently married in Fort Collins, CO had a harrowing experience during picture taking… the groom bit by a rattlesnake. Johnny and Laura Benson went thru their ceremony but before the reception, the couple went to a local reservoir for a photo shoot and between shots, the rattlesnake bite. The groom looked down at his ankle and sure enough, bite marks. The couple took off to the hospital after a park ranger saw them and helped. They made it back to their party in an hour and some ingenious guest found time to buy fake snakes which every danced with and the bride tossed one, instead of a garter.

Intro: A pilot program starting today between six Bay Area hospitals may provide a blueprint for a better way to treat patients visiting multiple emergency rooms on a regular basis. The software could potentially save the state millions by reducing duplicate tests and procedures, especially for those with chronic conditions related to homelessness, drug abuse or psychiatric issues. Four hospitals in the East Bay run by Sutter Health are newly linked – through a system known as Pre-manage E-D – with two public hospitals in the Alameda Health System. Arthur Sorrell is an E-R doctor with Sutter.

Cut 76345 :13 "And now, I can receive a report that shows me their visit histories from those other places. It really allows us to very quickly drill down to what may be the essential issues for this patient."

Tag: The “virtual safety net” would tell doctors whom to call, for example, if a patient is already part of a particular clinic, homeless shelter or social-service agency.


Second Cut: Jim Hickman, C-E-O of Better Health East Bay, the philanthropic arm of Sutter Health, says the system is already bearing fruit.

Cut 77345 :10 "We’re seeing already real-time collaboration around patients that we didn’t even know we share. Case managers are working, now online, to really keep patients on track with their care plans."

Tag: Supporters hope that more hospital systems across the state will join in. The program is already in widespread use in Washington State – which reported savings to the state of 33-million dollars in its first year – and in Oregon.

The public’s deciding on possible improvements to the downtown area of Willits. Last week input from the public after a presentation at City Hall on the “streets and alleys connectivity study.” The City Planner Dusty Duley and a consulting team on “shovel ready” projects spoke with residents offering ideas on the changes they’d like to see in the northern end of downtown. There were several topics at the meeting last Thursday, increase pedestrian and bicycle safety, traffic calming and circulation, visibility, landscape beautification, signage, and public spaces in conjunction with changes planned for the Main Street project. The main three topics though improving movement of people, bicycles, and cars once the bypass and Main Street changes are complete.

Residents in Willits had a vigil to remember those killed in the Orlando nightclub massacre. The vigil last week with about 50 people at Recreation Grove Park to support the LGBTQ community. The Willits News reports several people spoke at the vigil Sunday and songs were shared too.

Pacific Gas and Electric Co.’s Community Pipeline Safety Initiative will include some work in Ukiah. The $3 billion dollar project will help first responders find ways to get to underground gas transmission lines in case of an emergency or natural disaster. The utility found several transmission lines were blocked or crowded by bushes, sheds or trees, so workers wouldn’t be able to access pipes if they had to. So the project includes PG&E replacing trees at risk of blocking pipe access then doing any related re-landscaping. There are more than 20 such trees on public property in Ukiah.

A prison inmate found up for parole from Mendocino County may be out soon. Others to go before the parole board this summer. Earlier this month the state Department of Corrections Board of Parole said Steven Craig Crump was suitable for parole. Robert James McNutt, formerly of Laytonville was also paroled. He was serving 23 years-to-life at Solano State Prison for second-degree murder. The two got what’s called parole suitability which doesn’t necessarily mean parole will be approved. There’s now an administrative review period of up to 120 days.

A man from Boonville’s been arrested after being found with copper wire. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office reports arresting Monte Rose after reports of a copper wire theft at the I&E Lath Mill in Philo. Cops say Rose was seen at the closed mill over the last several weeks. Deputies say he also brought several hundred pounds of copper wire to a metal recycling facility in Ukiah and exchanged it for cash. Deputies got a call when the guy tried selling more wire to the business. He was searched and found with stolen scraps of copper wire, a concealed revolver and ammunition. They say he seemed high and found him to be under the influence of drugs. He’s also a convicted felon prohibited from having firearms or ammunition. Rose charged with grand theft, being an ex-felon in possession of a firearm, carrying a concealed firearm in a vehicle and being under the influence of a controlled substance.

A protest of environmentalists for the use of herbicides on tan oaks on forest land owned by the Mendocino Redwood Company in Comptche. The activists against the practice of hack and squirt. Residents tell the Press Democrat two of them locked themselves to a logging gate and as many as 20 protested yesterday. Hack and Squirt on the primary ballot. The initiative declaring the practice a nuisance, leaving standing trees for more than 90 days. 60 percent of voters seem to have supported Measure V.

A lawsuit’s been settled between Mendocino County and a local wildlife group over the just passed medical marijuana regulations. The Mendocino County Blacktail Association saying the Board of Supervisors put thru its medical marijuana urgency ordinance before an environmental review which is required under the California Environmental Quality Act. The board approved an agreement yesterday during a closed session with the county agreeing now not to accept permit applications under the urgency ordinance. The urgency ordinance to be enforced by the county though until a permanent ordinance is established in the future. No new applications will be accepted after 5pm today.

A bunch of beer ripped off in Atlanta. A brewery in the city reporting almost 3,300 cases of beer disappeared after a couple of its refrigerated trailers were stolen. SweetWater Brewing Co. reports the trailers were loaded for a morning pickup and were taken. Altogether the two trailers had more than 3,200 cases of the company’s Summer Variety Pack, about 78,500 bottles of beer gone. Some of the stolen beer was found later in the day yesterday at a warehouse. The company says they’re not sure it would still be up to their standards, so whatever they found, they would destroy.

A man in Vermont, busted for DUI… on a lawnmower. Police say the man riding the lawnmower stopped Monday after a report he was driving down the main road of the town. Claude Spaulding screened for driving under the influence of drugs. He has to show up in court after results come back from the state forensic lab.

Police releasing a sketch of a man a teenage girl says tried to abduct her as she walked home from a friend’s house in Ukiah. Police in Ukiah say the 14 year old girl told them she was walking along North Oak Street, near Low Gap Road June 3rd around 8:30 p.m. and a man stopped asking if she needed a ride. She says she said no, but he got out of his car and tried snatching her. He took off soon after. He’s described as Hispanic, between 25 and 35 years old, average build with a groomed beard in an older, rusty brown-colored Jeep Cherokee. It’s the fourth such reporting about a stranger trying to grab a girl in Ukiah since last November.

A program in the state to provide access to healthy food for low income families at farmers’ markets awaiting new funding from the Governor. The Governor to decide whether or not to provide $5 million for the California Nutrition Incentives Act. That program allows for discounts to fresh fruits and veggies at farmers’ markets for low-income shoppers. If the Gov. signs the bill it’ll also use federal matching funds from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive program.

The pilot of a small plane is dead after crashing onto commuter train tracks in the San Francisco Bay Area. Train service stopped for a time — says the Bay Area Rapid Transit spokeswoman. She says the Cessna aircraft came down near their transfer tracks in Hayward, that’s east of San Francisco, and that started a fire Sunday afternoon, just hours before Game 7 of the NBA Finals in Oakland causing a traffic nightmare. BART service had to be stopped at three stations on nearly 9-miles of track on the Fremont line.

The Dalai Lama brings his peaceful message of compassion and unifying humanity to Sacramento. He even spoke about gun control and education and environmental matters while visiting the state capitol yesterday. The Dalai Lama spoke to the Assembly and it was standing room only. Lawmakers making a prayer with their hands up to their chest as the Dalai Lama passed. His holiness urged for more compassion and understanding along with religious harmony in his presentation. He also said protecting the environment was "very, very necessary".

The first day of summer brought extreme heat to many parts of Calif. and across the Southwest. It was 118 in Phoenix Sunday and the National Weather Service reported 17 daily heat records broken in Southern Calif., most more than 100 degrees. In Thermal, about 25 miles outside Palm Springs was 119 degrees, Burbank 109, breaking the old mark of 104. In Palm Springs today, it hit 123. Two hikers were found dead over the weekend, they were on different trails near Tucson.

A man’s been arrested in Willits after police say he was waving a firearm and held up another man. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s office gets a call Sunday to the home where the victim says S-James "Barry" Harte pulled a gun on him. The victim says S-Harte complained to him that someone else was trespassing on his property where they’re growing marijuana. So for some reason he pointed a gun at him and ordered him to the ground, then cut down his 88 marijuana plants. S-Harte also told the victim if he didn’t leave the property he’d burn his house down. Then he left, the victim uninjured. S-Harte was arrested and booked into the Mendocino County Jail for Assault with a deadly weapon, False imprisonment and criminal threats. He was being held on $40,000 bail.

A surplus vehicle and equipment auction’s being held by the US Forest Service. The auction today and tomorrow online from the property in Sonora. They’ll hold an inspection period both days from 9am – 2pm, bidders have to register at the auction website at The auction registration and payment info’s listed on the web site. The internet sale closes tomorrow. For more info, call 209-532-3671 x 250.

After more than three years of postponements, the trial has begun for a Kelseyville man accused of murder during a gas station robbery in January 2013. Jonathan Mota’s charged with killing Forrest Seagrave during a robbery at Mt. Konocti Gas & Mart. The Record Bee reports the trial, which is being held at the federal courthouse in San Francisco, began June 7th and was expected to last at least four weeks. The trial was originally set for November 2013, but it’s been postponed four times for various reasons including that Mota, who faces several felonies, was representing himself and told the judge he needed more time.

District 3 Supervisor Jim Steele is hosting a special town hall in Lucerne to talk about proposed amendments to Lake County’s medical marijuana cultivation rules. Community members are invited to the town hall, next Wednesday, June 29th, at 6pm at the Northshore Community Center which used to be the Lucerne Alpine Senior Center. Lake Co News reports Steele wants to discuss changes proposed by the county’s Medical Marijuana Ad Hoc Committee to 2014’s Measure N including possibly adding permits and taxes. The Board of Supervisors talked the changes over a couple weeks ago and they’ve referred it to the Lake County Planning Commission for their review. The paper reports Sheriff Brian Martin will be a featured speaker at the June 29 Lucerne town hall and will address the committee’s recommendations.

A commuter in Massachusetts sends his late train fare and an apology letter from about a decade ago. The Boston Globe reports ( Matthew Andrewes hand-delivered the apology letter with $300 cash, to the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority a couple weeks ago. He says that’s the amount he thought he probably owed for evading fares in his 20’s, he’s now 31. The letter says, “I am so sorry. Please accept this money as compensation.” He says he’s a Christian man and said the guilt was weighing on him and he was praying about what to do. The transportation authority says it’s not the first time that’s happened, but probably the largest reimbursement it’s received.

Police in Maine shot and killed a cow that was headed to a slaughterhouse, but got away then ran into traffic. Police get a call yesterday morning about 10 to a heifer going to Mechanic Falls which kicked open its trailer door and made a run for it in Auburn. The Sun Journal ( ) reports the cow finally took a break at a gas and welding supply company. Cops say they had a hard time putting the cow down due to flammable gases on the site. The truck driver says it was too hard to calm the animal so it had to be killed before it hurt someone.

Members of the Middletown Area Town Hall are deciding if there should be any changes to bylaws regarding board membership. The discussion a couple weeks ago about whether members should represent districts, it was again on the agenda last week. When MATH first started a decade ago, that’s how members were chosen from Butts Canyon Road to the county line and a district from the county line south to the Rancheria. Each had one member, then 3 from Middletown, one from Cobb and one from Hidden Valley Lake. But it all changed because they couldn’t always get a quorum of regular attendees. No decision was made as a group in Cobb is forming so MATH members wanted to wait until that was further ahead.

The Middletown Area Town Hall or Math has been talking about the Dollar General store proposed at 20900 Highway 29. The planning commission said no to the idea, the company appealed and the Board of Supervisors reset the meeting for next month. The development company out of Texas says it will make needed changes to appease the neighborhood, but apparently community members have yet to see the changes. SO the developer’s been invited to the next MATH meeting July 10th to discuss updates.

The Lakeport Police Dept is all staffed up as new hires are settled. The police chief announced the full staffing after years of officers retiring or leaving for more money elsewhere. Recruiting was successful with the newest officer, Joseph Medici, sworn in last Monday morning at Lakeport City Hall. He’s from Orange County, and graduated from the Fullerton College Police Academy in May 2014. Victor Rico also joined the Lakeport Police force recently. He was at the Sheriff’s office in the county and was introduced to the City Council back in May. So the Police Department has a staff of 12 officers that are covered in this fiscal year’s budget. There are also 2 new trainees, Dale Hoskins and Andrew Welter, both going to the police academy in Windsor and due to graduate in August.

A black bear spotted at an Alexander Valley vineyard. The bear seen last Thursday at the intersection of Highway 128 and Chalk Hill Road. Vineyard workers called the sighting in to 911 bringing out the CHP and California Fish and Wildlife. The bear had already headed back to the woods before they got there. They decided not to use a trap to try to nab the bear, because they say it didn’t seem like a threat.

A large group turning out in Ukiah for a vigil to honor the dead and injured in the Orlando, FL nightclub shooting. About 100 people at the memorial Saturday night at Alex Thomas Plaza. An organization known as the Billy’s which helps gather gay men and allies at retreat centers for support organized the vigil. The president of the Billy’s, Paul Mueller, says they have a need to bring people together at times like these. After 911, the group gathered 2,000 people for a similar event. The Raging Grannies also at the event Saturday, leading the group in song.

A panel of the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors meeting to discuss a possible medical marijuana tax on the ballot in November. The Board’s General Government Standing Committee is meeting today and is supposed to cover possible recommendations to the full board which has set a July 12th deadline for their decision. A business management consulting company has presented taxation plans that include a levied tax, taxing square-foot cultivation, and a warning of excessive tax possibly scaring cultivators into the black market. The Executive Office is supposed to continue their research on the idea and will bring their findings back to the board.

The Mendocino College Superintendent/President Arturo Reyes not only got a new contract, he also got a raise. The contract now goes all the way thru June 30, 2020 and he gets a 5 percent hike in salary every year of the new contract starting with the 2017-18 fiscal year. The college announced the extended contract Thursday. The new salary keeps him in line with other Community College single districts in the state with an average of $228,000 annually.

Two men from Maryland have been arrested after sheriff’s deputies say they came upon marijuana and cash during a traffic stop. Mendocino County Deputies stopped the car near Lake Mendocino Drive and Highway 101 for driving too fast on the freeway. 26 year old Carlos Samuel Larios of Hyatt, Md. and 24 year old David Mena Monroy of Hyattsville, Md. were busted after deputies reported smelling pot coming from their car as they approached. They say they found a little marijuana, and about $27,000 in cash. The two busted on suspicion of marijuana possession intended for sale and possession of over $25,000 in drug proceeds.

A woman from Ukiah’s been arrested in connection to the ripoff of a package that had expensive medical equipment inside. The package delivered to someone’s home. A resident told police they saw the woman take it, telling cops she heard her dog barking and saw a woman walking a bike down a ramp in front of her home and carrying the package off her porch. They say it had a feeding tube pump worth about $1,100 she needed for a family member, so she caught a picture of the suspect as she left. Police identified her as Wana Matthias who was on probation already for theft. So she was arrested on suspicion of grand theft and for violating her probation and booked into Mendocino County Jail.

Lab tests showed high levels of a mineral that means a new well planned in Ukiah had to be shut down. The well at the corner of Brush Street and North Orchard Avenue showed unacceptably high levels of manganese. The levels too high for drinking water, so now work on a second well is on hold while staff figures out how much it’ll cost to treat the water so it can be made safe to drink. The options to be brought to the City Council.

The Mendocino County grand jury says management having unlimited access to employee emails has led to abuses plus it creates an unnecessary liability. The latest grand jury report released Friday on the subject of Policy 22, the Information Technology of the county which was adopted back in 2003. It says that the county will have unlimited access to info and data. The manager of IT has a so-called “Unlimited Mailbox” with “super-user” access. But the grand jury says that’s the only broad access. But that super user access is unrestricted. The grand jury says IT management had come up with a new Policy 22 in 2010 that was never taken into consideration by the Board of Supervisors. But the Grand Jury says that matters not as there were no real policies or procedures on managing employee email.

The third police chief in nine days has left Oakland. This after allegations several officers had sex with a teenage prostitute and exchanged racist text messages. The Mayor Libby Schaaf says the latest acting Police Chief Paul Figueroa lasted only two days before leaving. But she says it had nothing to do with the scandals, but says the department has a toxic, macho culture that she will root out. The department’s being investigated for the sex scandal and a separate investigation into racists texts. One officer has already been placed on leave. An interim police chief was removed last week after the mayor said she lost confidence in his ability to lead the department. She appointed him after the chief resigned earlier this month. She says she won’t appoint another chief just yet.

Legislators have approved a new budget with counties getting $270 million more to build jails. Some say the money should instead be used on rehabbing prisoners. $2.2 billion in all has gone to build jails since 2007. The Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposal for a quarter-billion dollars more this year was turned down by Assembly and Senate budget committees and the Legislative Analyst’s Office. The state budget got the thumbs up from both chambers with the Gov. expected to sign it into law.

California voters get to decide if they want to do away with the country’s biggest death row population. The secretary of state’s office says a repeal measure has qualified for the November ballot. It was announced Friday as a competing initiative would speed up executions. That idea expected to be certified for the ballot soon. The repeal means those with death sentences would instead get life sentences with no chance of parole.

An actual roll of the dice in Oregon decided which candidate in a tied race won a seat in the state Legislature. A Republican rolled a six, beating the Democratic challenger, who rolled three. So Dan Mason makes the Republicans a majority. The die roll because the two won exactly 41 write-in votes each from Independents because they had no candidates to choose from during the May 17th primary election.

photo Lesley Lotto
Remote News Service
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