Skip navigation

Monthly Archives: August 2016

A lot of forward progress on the Clayton Fire. The fire holding at just under 4,000 acres. Nearly 270 structures destroyed, 175 are homes. 8 Commercial structures and 85 others like sheds or outbuildings. Damage inspection teams are still out surveying the area. That means the number of structures damaged or destroyed may rise. The Evacuation Order for the area accessed by Spruce Grove Road was lifted yesterday afternoon. 316 structures are still threatened.

The Middletown Rancheria Tribal Council is cancelling an event at the Twin Pine Casino & Hotel due to the Clayton Fire. Big Bad Voodoo Daddy was supposed to perform tomorrow night, but evacuees and fire survivors are at the hotel with help from the Red Cross. The Tribe has been closely involved in disaster relief. The Tribal Council Chair for the Middletown Rancheria says it was an easy and heartfelt decision that the community always comes first. The tribe saying they weren’t willing to displace community members to host a concert. Ticketholders can visit for more information on reimbursement.

Mendocino Cannabis Resource(MCR) working with Green Rush Consulting (GRC) has a half day workshop coming up for small cannabis based businesses in Northern California. They say it’s to educate and empower small business owners. So a week from Wednesday, August 31st from 12:00 – 5:00 pm at Little Lake Grange in Willits. They will cover topics like: business plan development, operations, branding and marketing and the state license application process.

The new Ukiah courthouse is on hold. The reasons, financial. A projected shortfall of money for courthouse construction projects. So the Judicial Council of California (JCC) Court Facilities Advisory Committee (CFAC) voted for nearly 2 dozen judicial branch courthouse construction projects, including the new Ukiah Courthouse being grouped in categories to see if any can proceed. They’re noted in 4 categories, "Currently Under Construction", "Acquisitions", "Ongoing Design Work", and "2016/17 Construction Awards". Ukiah is in the acquisition phase, then hold. A new Lakeport courthouse has a recommended restart after budget review.

A man in Fort Bragg has been arrested after police get a call to a campsite where the woman claimed she was kidnapped. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office got a call Monday to the 17900 block of Highway 1. The victim ran from the man and started hitchhiking. A California State Parks Ranger responded and contacted the victim and suspect, later identified as Randall Hagaman. Police say they came to find the victim was not kidnapped, but there was an argument with the suspect who the woman had a restraining order against. He was arrested for the violation of the restraining order and for having a firearm in his vehicle. He was held in the Mendocino County Jail with bail set at $25,000.00

A man recovering from a stabbing during a domestic dispute in Potter Valley. Sheriff’s Deputies told the victim walked to another house. They spoke to the guy who said he had a fight with his wife. They say he was bleeding from what looked like a stab wound to his left shoulder blade area. He says while arguing with his wife, he was stabbed and that she was holding their small child. He was taken to the hospital for treatment. The wife arrested for domestic violence and assault with a deadly weapon. Marin and Mendocino County Child Protective Services responded to care for their young child.

A man in Talmage has been arrested after police get a call about a burglary. Police say they got a hold of a video surveillance of the suspect in action. Jarrett Williams already had an arrest warrant in Mendocino County for burglary and they say he was a suspect in multiple burglaries in the City of Ukiah. Williams was arrested near Finley for the outstanding burglary warrant. Lake County Deputies also arrested him for burglaries in Lake County. Items in his car were linked to many area burglaries. Charges include several counts of residential burglary, commercial burglary, grand theft auto, and possession of stolen property.

Donations being accepted by Redwood Credit Union for those affected by the Clayton Fire. Secure donations can be made online at or any North Bay and San Francisco location. The money goes directly to victims. The credit union also reminding the public they have special loan and financial assistance programs for anyone directly impacted by the fires.

The man from Clearlake accused of starting the Clayton fire has been formally charged. Damin Pashilk has been charged with 15 felony counts of arson, including the Clayton fire and 11 other fires cops say he set since July last year. The Clayton fire is the biggest one. It started last Saturday, and burned 4,000 acres, decimating the Lower Lake area. He has not entered a plea and is held in the Lake County Jail on $5 million bail.

A new gym coming to Ukiah. The Planning Commission says yes to Crossfit Firefly which takes over the space that used to house a nail salon. The staff report put together for last week’s meeting shows the owners are going to put in another floor and 5,750 square feet. They will plant trees, pave the parking lot, install a new building façade, landscaping and sidewalk improvements.

Habitat for Humanity Lake County loses their office in the Clayton Fire but says they’ll be back up and running soon. They need to get a new office space, and contributions. Donations being accepted thru Paypal by visiting or contact Savings Bank of Mendocino at (707) 462-6613.

Beefed up police patrols in the Clayton fire area while residents are evacuated, and there’s been some arrests. The Sheriff Brian Martin declared a local emergency Sunday and asked for backup from regional departments. Saturation patrols started quickly. The same goes for the city of Clearlake. They also asked for more help and local agencies responded to assist. Lakeport Police, the California Highway Patrol, the sheriff’s office, State Parks and Lake County District Attorney’s Office all sent personnel for 24/7 patrols in the part of the Avenues section ordered to evacuate.

The man from Clearlake arrested for several fires and suspected of starting the Clayton fire is being investigated as a serial arsonist. Cal Fire investigating Damon Pashilk saying he intentionally set the Clayton fire, on the edge of a rural road outside Lower Lake off Highway 29. The fire blew up to 1,400 acres after starting Saturday in dry conditions. By Sunday it was double the size and had destroyed about 175 homes and businesses. Police say Pashilk served time in state prison on drug possession and firearms charges and for several other. He also worked on an inmate fire crew in Trinity County. He’s been in and out of jail for years. He’s held in the Lake County Jail on $5 million bail.

The Clayton fire is holding at 4,000 acres, but is now 35% contained. Full containment is expected this Sunday, August 21st. Fire crews got a lot closer to surrounding the fire yesterday and built more control lines. Cal fire still has destroyed structures holding at 175 and another 380 threatened. They say the numbers may change. There was a mandatory evacuation order lifted yesterday for neighborhoods east of State Highway 53 from Polk Avenue, south to Cache Creek. It’s an area referred to as the "Avenues”.

Mandatory evacuations still in place for Clayton Creek Road, all of Morgan Valley Road, North Spruce Grove Road to Jerusalem Grade. The three evacuation centers are still open at Kelseyville High School, the Seventh Day Adventist Church and Twin Pines Casino.

The city of Ukiah has a few new nominations for the Landmark Tree Program. The Gingko in the 300 block of North Spring Street, a Coast Redwood and a Dawn Redwood all nominated by the program’s Tree Advisory Group. The Gingko tree represented as the tallest in Ukiah. The resident of the home where it stands says she hopes status as a Landmark Tree might help protect it after she doesn’t live there anymore. The three trees all about 50 years old.

Names of those killed in a head on crash near Ukiah last weekend have been released. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office reports 84 year old Paul Vicente of Oakland and 25 year old Marketa O’Conner of St. Petersburg, Fla. were killed on Highway 101 Sunday near Nelson Ranch Road. Passengers in the car were pulled and taken to hospitals.

Another fire in Lake County, but more than 70 firefighters rushed to the scene and doused it. The fire west of North Lakeport, quickly grew to 10 acres and destroyed a building and spread to dry grassland. The fire started around 12:40 p.m. yesterday with quick response from firefighters already set up at the Lakeport fairgrounds for the Clayton fire. They say when they arrived flames were destroying what looked to be a travel trailer attached to a small building.

No school for the rest of the week in the Konocti Unified School District. School officials working on a new calendar due to the Clayton fire. At community meetings Monday, the Lake County Superintendent of Schools was there to deliver updates saying the safety of students, teachers and staff were the priority, so schools would stay closed because of how close the fire was burning actively around Lower Lake.

The California Earthquake Authority has new options so the insurance isn’t so costly. The Press Democrat reports the authority’s CEO Glenn Pomeroy in Santa Rosa talking to realtors about policies that can be better suited to individual consumers. He says residents should rethink earthquake insurance. The earthquake authority partners with about 80 percent of the state’s home insurance companies for quake coverage in California. He says nine out of 10 state homeowners don’t have earthquake insurance, as an example the magnitude 6.7 Northridge quake in 1994 caused $20 billion in damage to residential structures and he says scientists predict a 99 percent chance a quake of 6.7 or greater will happen somewhere in California in the next 30 years.

Of all who’ve tried to get onto the Nov. ballot, only incumbent Ukiah City Council members qualified. The Ukiah City Clerk Kristine Lawler says as of last Friday’s 5 p.m. deadline only Council member Doug Crane and Mayor Steve Scalmanini filed the proper paperwork. Another man, Mark Hilliker got the paperwork, but didn’t get enough nominating signatures from city residents.

Multiple Lucky Supermarkets are raising money for the American Red Cross, for fire relief in Lake County. The store in Ukiah on E. Perkins St., shoppers can donate any amount when they checkout. They will then see their donation printed on the receipt, as a record for their tax deductible donation. The fundraising drive continues until further notice.

A county building has flooded so an urgent emergency declaration made over the weekend. The Yokayo Center had as much as 2 inches of standing water flooding the building so there could be longer waits than usual. The eligibility wing of the building where they have interview rooms, was affected. The executive office says about 9,000 square-feet inside the building was flooded, possibly during a remodeling project. Flooring, walls and computer equipment were damaged.

Two people have been killed in a head-on crash near Ukiah. The CHP reports it happened on the 101, on the south side past Nelson Ranch Road. The highway was blocked for a time, and passengers in the cars were pulled out by rescuers.

4,000 acres have been charred by the Clayton Fire in Lower Lake. Cal Fire reports 175 structures have been destroyed and 1,500 more are threatened. Mendocino County has sent resources to help. The Mendocino County Sheriff Tom Allman says they also sent a couple of animal control officers to help with displaced dogs, cats and horses. The sheriff says like in the Valley fire last summer, they’ll help with patrols and arrest looters at evacuated homes if need be. The Mendocino County Animal Shelter is also taking donations for affected Lake County pets which can be dropped off at the Ukiah shelter on Plant Road.

St. Helena Hospital Clear Lake is still evacuated due to the Clayton fire. There is some staff at the hospital to make sure it is secure and ready for patients to come back. But they can’t reopen until getting clearance from the fire department and California Department of Public Health. All Lake County clinics, except Konocti Wellness Center in Lower Lake will be open at 8:00 am this morning to help community members, including Clayton Creek Fire evacuees.

The Lake County Wildfire Relief Fund has been launched again. North Coast Opportunities (NCO) and MendoLake Credit Union re-opened the fund for those being affected by the Clayton Fire. The fire’s burned 175 structures and thousands are under mandatory evacuation orders. The fund accepting monetary donations at all Mendo Lake Credit Union and Savings Bank of Mendocino County branches. Or checks can be mailed to North Coast Opportunities at 413 N. State Street, Ukiah CA 95482. The checks should be made out to NCO/Wildfire Relief, with “Clayton Fire” noted in the memo. You can find out more at our Facebook page or website:

(Also at NCO’s front page: More details about how to apply to the fund will be forthcoming.)

North Coast Opportunity needs volunteers, visit their website at and click the “Volunteer” tab. Folks without internet service can call 707-462-3236. If you want to donate household goods or clothes, they ask that you wait until the needs of fire victims are clearly known.

Power and internet are out besides closed roads and schools, and even one hospital. Since the fire started Saturday, Pacific Gas and Electric Co. had to shut down power for as many as 8,300 customers, then slowly turning the lines back on incrementally as Cal Fire gives the utility the all-clear sign. The power lines were de-energized so fire crews could go into burn areas in a safer manner, because there were probably downed power lines. No damage estimate from PG&E crews as of yesterday.

One major problem for those in the fire zone was a lack of internet connectivity. Residents in Lake County were asking officials to make it a top priority. Mediacom, which services customers in Lake County said the area damaged by the fire hit one of their main fiber optic cables, providing service to Twin Lakes, Hidden Valley, Middletown, Lower Lake, Loch Lomond, Cobb, Kelseyville, Finley and Lakeport. They were hoping to have service restored late last night. For more info on connectivity, customers can call 855-633-6326.

The 3 main shelters are still at:

• Kelseyville High School, 5480 Main St., Kelseyville;

• Seventh Day Adventist Church, 3500 Hill Rd. E., Lakeport; and

• Twin Pine Casino, 22223 Highway 29, Middletown.

Animals can be taken to either the old SPCA facility at 7025 Hwy. 29 in Kelseyville, or the Lake County Animal Shelter, 4945 Helbush Drive in Lakeport. Those with barn animals can go to Owen Ranch in Hidden Valley Lake or the Coal Creek Equestrian Center in Kelseyville.


We still have mandatory evacuations in place for Clayton Creek Road, Morgan Valley Road, North Spruce Grove Road to Jerusalem Grade Road and Highway 53 at the Highway 29 junction north to Highway 20. Homes along Jerusalem Grade Road were under advisory evacuation Monday afternoon.

Road Closures

Clayton Creek Road at Highway 29, all of Morgan Valley Road to the Napa County line and Highway 53 from Highway 29 to Highway 20 — except for evacuations — remain closed to traffic.

Schools closed thru Friday include Burns Valley, East Lake, Lower Lake and Pomo elementary schools, Lower Lake High School, Lewis Center, Blue Heron School, Carlé High School, Highlands Academy, Konocti Education Center and Clearlake Creativity School.

The fire’s gutted one winery in Lower Lake. Terrill Cellars’ Tuscan Village Winery was left in a pile of ash except for part of the front of the building. Other wineries had to close down during evacuations. Six Sigma Ranch and Winery was evacuated Sunday, but allowed to return yesterday. The Press Democrat reports the fire’s missed areas of Lake County’s wine industry. The paper reports there’s about 40 wineries in the county and almost 9,500 acres of vineyards. The wine industry remained mostly intact as they prepare for harvest.

Record heat and the 5 year historic drought bringing more and more fires to Calif. Firefighters had responded to about 3,900 fires as of last Saturday, about 20% more fires and 30% more acreage than the last five years. Cal Fire had put together a fire threat map 10 years ago showing most of Lake County was at high or very high risk of wildfire. Last summer the Rocky, Valley and Jerusalem fires blackened more than 170,000 acres in the county. The fires charring areas that hadn’t burned in 5 decades or more. The Clayton fire chomping thru some terrain that’s not burned since the 1950s. A study by a UC Berkeley professor put out this past May showed Western wildfires are getting bigger and are more frequent and damaging since the 1980s.

A man has been arrested in connection to the Clayton Fire. Cal Fire says they arrested 40 year old Damin Pashilk for 17 counts of arson. Sheriff Brian Martin… SOT

The fire has caused more than $10 million in damage so far and is still just 5% contained. California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection spokesman Daniel Berlant SOT

No injuries have been reported, but Berlant says families have lost pets as the fire swept into Lower Lake this weekend.

The #LakeCountyRising fundraising campaign announced today that it is accepting donations to support survivors of the Clayton Fire. Lake County’s wine industry is once again coming together to support yet another wildfire in Lake County, this time in the small community of Lower Lake.

The Clayton Fire, which started Saturday evening, is estimated to have burned 4,000 acres and destroyed 175 structures, with 5% containment on Mondayafternoon, according to the CAL FIRE incident update.

#LakeCountyRising was established in September 2015 in the wake of the Valley Fire, which burned 76,000 acres, destroyed 1,300 homes and took four lives. Once again, thousands of Lake County residents are displaced from their homes by the wildfires. Many have been separated from pets and loved ones and are waiting to learn the fate of their homes and businesses.

The #LakeCountyRising fund has again mobilized. To donate, visit: To donate by check, send your check made payable to Lake County Wine Alliance, memo “Lake County Rising Fire Relief Fund,” to:

Lake County Wine Alliance
P.O. Box 530
Kelseyville, CA 95451

Donors who have contributed to this fund in the past are encouraged to continue their support by donating again.

The Clayton fire that started over the weekend near Lower Lake has blown up. It started about 5 p.m. Saturday, and blew up to 1,400 acres and was 5-percent contained by Sunday morning. But as of late last night, the fire was at 3,000 acres with 4 homes destroyed. It’s burning in grassy oak woodland, with heavy brush and rugged terrain. Evacuation orders were in effect with several evacuation centers set up. Folks living on all of Morgan Valley Road to Butte Rock Ranch Road in Lower Lake told to leave.

No school in the Konocti Unified School District today. This due to fire activity so, Lower Lake High, Lower Lake Elementary, Carle, Konocti Education Center, Burns Valley, Pomona and East Lake

The Clearlake Highland Senior Center had to be closed as an evacuation center, because of a power outage. Other approved evacuation centers are open: Kelseyville High School – 5480 Main Street, Kelseyville; the Twin Pine Casino – 22223 Hwy 29, Middletown and the Seventh Day Adventist Church – 3500 Hill Road E. Lakeport. Those living in the area commonly referred to as the Chapman Tract, east of Highway 53 in the “Avenues" have been ordered to leave.

The Lake County Sheriff Brian Martin, also the county’s emergency services director – declared a local public emergency due to the disastrous conditions. Highway 53 was closed off to incoming traffic, only those who were evacuating could get thru. The fire on Morgan Valley Road and jumped containment lines. Patients had to be moved out of St. Helena Hospital Clear Lake to Sutter Lakeside hospital. The stretch of Highway 29 near Lower Lake has also been closed off.

Two homeowners working with lawyers after it was discovered their home is where the Valley Fire started. The couple, John and Cindy Pinch, claim they’ve not been able to get access to evidence taken from their property during the investigation into the cause of the fire that charred more than 76,000-acres. 4 people died in the fire and more than 1,300 houses and 27 apartment buildings were destroyed. A report released last week shows the fire started from improperly installed hot tub wiring. The couple rejecting the idea that it started at their house in Cobb.

Some suspicious looking powder has been found at Ukiah High School. The school district says employees showing up for work last Friday morning found piles of white and brown powder at the High School and Frank Zeek and Nokomis elementary schools. They say it may be out of frustration because of the cockroach problem. Ukiah Police and the Ukiah Valley Fire Authority and the Redwood Empire Hazardous Incident Team responded finding nothing dangerous with the substances. They discovered the white powder was baking soda, and the brown substance was instant coffee grounds.

One person from Covelo and 2 people from New Hampshire have been arrested in connection to a pot grow in Covelo. The sheriff’s office says it’s been in touch with the New Hampshire State Police for the murder investigation and found the New Hampshire State Police Narcotics Investigations Unit found marijuana was being shipped to New Hampshire. Deputies took a search warrant to a home and found almost 200 pot plants, processed marijuana and shipping materials. Police say upon further investigation they found a couple bought a home so their son could run a commercial marijuana growing operation. The son and his parents all arrested for cultivation of marijuana, possession of marijuana for sale and for being armed during the commission of a felony.

The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Dept. reports a call about an intoxicated man so he’s been arrested. A concerned family member called about Adam Gabriel Azbill, who was also supposedly threatening his family members. Deputies went to Covelo, finding a man who matched Azbill’s description walking into oncoming traffic. He was caught and arrested, but on his way to jail, he spat on Deputies. He was being held in jail on $15,000.00 bail.

The new skatepark at Kelseyville Community Park is done. It’s been a long time coming, but the 9,000 square foot facility is open to the public. There’s a grand opening celebration planned for Wednesday morning at 9. The park features a quarter pipe return, 4 stair & skate rail combo, flat slate rail and much more. District 5 Supervisor Rob Brown will be at the ceremony Wednesday with special announcements.

2 people from Clearlake have been arrested in connection to a burglary. Police say Michael Adkins and Lorie Duvall were caught on video inside a house. A man called police to say he was watching the two in his house as he called. Police got to the house, and sent a canine officer, Zip inside, but there was nobody there. But after looking at the video, officers located the pair and went door to door looking for them. Adkins and Duvall found with stolen property and in possession of illegal fireworks. They admitted they were involved in the burglary and were arrested on charges of residential burglary, possession of stolen property, conspiracy to commit crime and possession of illegal fireworks and held on $50,000 each.

Vineyard workers in Mendocino County getting ready for the grape harvest season. More rain last winter has meant more grapes for most vineyards in the county compared to previous years. The demand for labor is reported to be higher too, and some vineyards tell the Daily Journal they think they could be short on workers. An average or below average crop yield is expected and some of the harvesting could start a week later than last year’s.

A group of sheep are getting some work… munching on weeds in the Lake Village Estates in Clearlake Oaks. The owner of the Estates says she reached out to a local farmer to see if she could get the sheep on the 20 acres of undeveloped property at the senior living community to munch on weeds. They say they’re taking extra fire protection this year. They also have fire survivors from last summer’s 3 devastating fires, living there.

A pickup truck crashes into a building in Ukiah due to a man having some sort of medical emergency. Ukiah Police report getting a call last Friday night to the Center For Life Choices where they found a white Chevy Silverado with bricks and debris on top of its totally smashed up hood. The building taped off and the city’s building official called in for a damage estimate. The driver taken to the hospital with unknown injuries.




































A formal inspection of the Fort Bragg Police Department after about 15 years. The Advocate reports officers and other staff were in a couple of straight military-like rows in front of the dept. last Friday morning for the ceremony. The newspaper reports everyone was dressed in their formals, with spiffy, shined up accessories. The date of the ceremony held to commemorate the date Fort Bragg was founded in 1889.

Not a lot of algae after all in the Eel River. The Eel River Recovery Project went out to popular swimming spots to see if it was ok for aquatic recreation last week since floating algae was starting to become a nuisance on the lower South Fork Eel River and lower main Eel River plus there were reports of possibly toxic cyanobacteria. Mats of floating algae were seen at Tooby Park at Garberville and in other downstream pools on the South Fork and lower Eel River below Dyerville. There are warnings out to avoid contact with algae. Most of the algae there is green and poses no health risk.

The battle against those Ukiah school district cockroaches continues. Employees of the city along with community volunteers led by our own Mary Chadwick are helping clean the High School campus next Saturday, Aug. 20th, a couple days before school begins. The California Department of Pesticide Regulation is also planning to visit the school plus a pest management expert from the University of California Cooperative Extension is working with the school to help get rid of the pests once and for all. For more info, call the director of Public Works and city engineer at (707) 463-6280.

No detectable signs of toxic blue-green algae in the Russian River. The Press Democrat reports test results released yesterday found no detectable amounts of harmful toxins associated with blue-green algae. Last week, the same sort of tests triggered public health warnings. Sonoma County public health officials still say to be cautious around the water. The county’s deputy public health officer says even though the tests were a relief, conditions in the river are still supportive of blue-green algae so they’re continuing to recommend caution.

Recent research showing how cannabis can help with nausea, but what about in pregnant women… The Press Democrat reports as the date gets near to vote on legalizing marijuana in Calif. there are public health questions to consider like if it can effect developing fetuses like secondhand smoke. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommend pregnant mom’s should stop using and continue not using until they’re done breastfeeding. Research recently published in the journal Psychopharmacology finds even tiny doses in pregnant rats produced offspring who had learning delays, tremors and unusual emotional behavior.

A man walking in the southern Oregon community of Rogue River says he found a porta potty with a bunch of marijuana plants inside. Police put up a picture on social media saying it was the most they had ever confiscated. Marijuana grows are common in the region, but the police chief says they don’t know how this one landed in the toilet. He says a public works employee had just checked the toilet three hours before and it was empty.

A jury has found a Clearlake man guilty of murder for a drive-by shooting death last summer. Billy Mount convicted of second-degree murder for the death of Steven Galvin in July 2015. Lake Co News reports the jury also found Mount guilty of several other charges and special allegations including being a member of a criminal street gang. The DA claimed Mount shot Galvin on behalf of a street gang as Galvin was walking through a neighborhood on 35th Avenue. Mount will be sentenced on Sept. 6. He faces from 25 years to life in prison.

A woman from Geyserville has been arrested for a setting series of brush fires in Sonoma County. Maria Acevedo arrested Tuesday following an arson investigation by Cal Fire and the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office. A spokesman says a nearby property owner claimed to have seen her setting fires along the roadside and stopped her from lighting one just before he called for help. Acevedo reportedly claimed her boyfriend had dropped her off in the area and she was setting fires so someone would come and help her. Cal Fire says she set 13 small fires for a total of two acres burned. Deputies say they found some ammunition in her purse, which she is not allowed to have as a convicted felon; she also had a warrant for a drug-related charge.

Some rattlesnakes seen around the Coyote Valley Dam at Lake Mendocino so there’s warning signs around. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers advising the public to look out. The supervisory park ranger for the Lake says they’ve not independently confirmed sightings, but had some reports and since it’s a high volume foot traffic area, they posted signs and will monitor the area. If no snakes are seen again, they’ll remove the signs.

The golf course in Ukiah is getting new sprinklers. The City Council says yes to using money that was allocated to investigate a new well system and using it to update the sprinkler system instead. The director of the water and sewer facilities for the city says the course has been conserving water by turning the water down but it’s not as efficient as it could be. They’ll be modernizing and automating the sprinkler system. The director says they’ll still be conserving but also will be able to maintain the course. The cost $72,000 which was never used for new wells because it was found the area would not provide enough water.

Nearly a year later, the cause of the Valley Fire in Lake County. Cal Fire reports it was caused by a faulty hookup of a hot tub in the Cobb area. They say the fire which burned thru 76,000 acres did little damage to the home where it started, but ignited dry grass nearby. 4 people died in the fire and four firefighters were also seriously injured. 1,955 structures were destroyed. The fire cost almost $57 million to put out and has been called the third most destructive wildlife in the state’s recorded history. The report will be turned over to the Lake County District Attorney’s Office for review.

A man with a felony warrant out of Washington’s been caught in Lake County. The Sheriff’s Dept. Major Crimes Detectives got info Justin Johnson was in town and was wanted for failure to appear on drug and weapon charges. He had recently been featured on Washington’s Most Wanted list. Detectives found a motorhome he was associated with at the Wal-Mart in Clearlake. He tried to run as deputies approached, but Johnson was caught and arrested for the active out of state warrant and resisting arrest. He was taken to county jail and booked.

A man in Clearlake Oaks has been arrested in connection to a burglary in Lakeport. The Lake County Sheriff’s Major Crimes Detectives served an arrest warrant for the burglary where about $14,000.00 worth of items were stolen. The suspect was identified as David Sander who had moved to town from Alameda County. Police looking for anyone who may have had recent dealings with Sander related to buying or selling property. He was booked into the Lake County Jail for Burglary and Grand Theft and held on $115,000 bail.

Lawmakers about to take action on the overprescribing of psychiatric drugs to foster children. Legislators are working on a deal with doctor groups and Gov. Jerry Brown’s office on several bills to monitor and investigate doctors for dangerous prescribing; require judges get a second opinion for the most dangerous prescribing requests; and require more transparency and better tracking of mental health services for foster kids in every California county. It all comes after a northern calif. News group investigative series published last weekend on drugged kids.

Hidden Valley Lake homeowners finding out their food and beverage amenities budget including the Greenview Restaurant has huge deficits. The operating expenses above what’s coming in with a gap of about $80,000 or more since the start of the year. In June, there was a $19,000 deficit alone. The president of the association says the restaurants inconsistencies in service, quality control and inventory management may be the reason, per online reviews. The board may suggest hiring a consultant to reverse things.

Quick work by firefighters on three fires that broke out quickly, within minutes of each other in Lake County. Smoke spotted Tuesday night near the entrance to Anderson Marsh in Lower Lake and off Seigler Canyon Rd. Firefighters out from several districts to douse the flames. The fires were threatening structures and some homes were evacuated. Lower Lake High School was evacuated too. A couple hours later crews were off to other fires and the two in Lake County were 100% contained.

Temperatures getting hotter in Lake Tahoe. A new report by UC Davis shows the lake’s average surface temperature was the warmest ever recorded last year, showing climate change is changing California’s Sierra Nevada landmark. The report released last week shows the lake’s waters over the past four years were warming by 15 times their historic average. The air temperature was also hotter at the lake. In the winter of 2014-15 there were only 24 days with an average temperature below freezing at the lake, plus just 6 percent of last year’s precipitation fell as snow — both all-time lows.

The Lake County Board of Supervisors says yes to putting a medical marijuana cultivation tax on the Nov. ballot. Some changes to the language for the ballot were made to explain to voters how personal grows would be exempt. If voters say yes, it would mean a either $1 to $3 tax per square foot of grow depending on its type. That could bring in almost $8 million in county revenue. The County Counsel says she calculated that from figures she got from various departments and analysis from other places like Humboldt County.

A suspected drug dealer’s busted by police following a short motorcycle and foot chase thru residential streets in Clearlake. Police say Louis Carlson had 8.5 ounces of methamphetamine, an ounce of heroin and a digital scale. Police say they also found evidence he was dealing with pay and owe sheets including the names of people who he was working with in his car. Police say the guy wouldn’t stop for a traffic stop and led them on a chase for about a mile before crashing his Harley, then running. He’s charged with several marijuana related counts and resisting arrest on July 18th too. He’s charged with several crimes including felony evading, resisting arrest, possession of a controlled substance for sale and transportation of a controlled substance.

The Willits City Council has agreed to a new Code Enforcement Ordinance regarding nuisance abatement and how to appeal a Compliance Order, previously known as a Notice of Nuisance. Next Monday, the new code starts. Any old cases will continue under the current code. There are higher fines, and hearings for those who don’t comply, in front of a group, like a jury, instead of just the city manager. The fines can hit up to $250.

A response has been issued by the Mendocino County District Attorney regarding the grand jury report in May regarding the marijuana restitution program which started 5 years ago. The DA David Eyster started the program to allow felony offenders of state and local marijuana laws to accept a misdemeanor charge and pay fines for the cost of law enforcement to enforce marijuana laws. The DA says he wanted to continue the program, but the jury said there should be a payment program for those who can’t pay up front.

A teenager has been arrested for the assault of a priest and a woman in Ukiah after police say they found satanic graffiti in the facility’s breezeway. Police say the 16-year-old also yelled satanic slurs at the two victims. The teen may face a hate crime charge. He was arrested on suspicion of public intoxication, battery and elder abuse. Police say it happened Sunday night at Saint Mary of the Angels Catholic Church on Oak Street.

A couple of wildfires reported burning in Lower Lake meant evacuation orders for several homes and power lines turned off as they were threatened by flames. The two fires on the outskirts of the town were five miles apart, burning south of Anderson Marsh State Historical Park on the south end of Clear Lake. The bigger one last night, off Kugelman Street near Highway 53, was spreading quickly on private land. There were many homes and businesses in the path of the fire which was moving toward Cache Creek. The other fire near Seigler Canyon Road and Highway 29 also with structures threatened.

A young man at UC Davis with serious injuries and burns after a butane hash oil lab caused an explosion that started a fire in Lakeport. The Lakeport Police Chief Brad Rasmussen says they were lucky only one person was injured and nobody was killed or buildings on fire. Police say they found an illegal lab in an RV park last Friday. Police found and took 20 pounds of marijuana, hash oil, nearly 100 cans of butane and the chief says, other items commonly used to produce the concentrated cannabis product.

A man in Clearlake has been arrested after a chase that at times, was two times higher than the posted speed limit. Police catch James West in a 1998 Volkswagen Jetta with a crudely, homemade gun. Police say they tried pulling the guy over for driving without his headlights on and he sped up, but eventually lost control and crashed into another car, then a tree. He ran off, but was caught and arrested. Police found a loaded homemade zip gun in his car and ammo in his pockets. He was booked on several charges including multiple felony weapons counts, resisting arrest and hit and run.

A man in Willits has been arrested for domestic violence. Police say S. Henry Cisneros had an argument with his girlfriend who says he punched her with a closed fist on her head and face. She says he pushed her into a bathtub, where their infant child was having a bath then forcibly took the woman’s phone as she tried to call police. She says she ran to a business to get help and police found the child alone on a bed uninjured. S-Cisneros was arrested and booked into the Mendocino County jail on multiple charges including child endangerment, domestic battery and removal, destruction, or obstruction of use of wireless communication device with intent of preventing the victim from calling 9-1-1. He was held without bail.

Some environmental groups on the North Coast are suing Cal Fire as they threatened to, for approving a 400-acre logging operation within the floodplain of lower Gualala River. Forest Unlimited and Friends of Gualala River say state forestry officials didn’t follow mandated safeguards or state environmental laws by giving the greenlight to the so-called “Dogwood” project, near the coast along the Sonoma-Mendocino county line. The same group says they may go for an injunction to stop road construction.

P,G & E has been found guilty of violating pipeline safety regulations due to the fatal explosion in San Bruno. The utility also guilty of misleading investigators about how they were going about identifying high-risk pipelines. The jury convicted Pacific Gas & Electric Co. of obstruction and with five out of 11, counts of pipeline safety violations. The explosion in 2010 destroyed 38 homes and killed 8 people. The utility could be fined up to $3 million.

For the first time this fall, all children going to both public or private schools in the state have to be vaccinated. The Personal Belief Exemption is over for students going into kindergarten or seventh grade. State law requires kids have current immunizations or a medical exemption or they will not be admitted into school. There are back to back free immunization clinics for kids in Mendocino County in Ukiah, Willits and Fort Bragg at Mendocino County Public Health. For more info, call (707) 472-2600 or (800) 734-7793.

A homeless man arrested after a burglary in Point Arena. Police say they got a call to the home in the 26000 block of South Highway 1 and found William Wilson inside the home without permission. He was detained and another home on the property was also found to have been broken into. Police say Wilson was connected to the break-ins and thefts at the homes. He was arrested on suspicion of residential burglary and booked into the county jail under $50,000 bail.

An earthquake reported centered near Upper Lake. A 5 point 1 earthquake about 12.5 miles NNE of the town last night just before 8. Folks were reporting feeling a quick jolt in Ukiah, Fort Bragg, Willits and Albion. So far no reports of serious damage or injuries.

A freight train car derailed in northern Iowa apparently slammed into a local tavern called DeRailed. The Police Chief says it happened early yesterday morning while crews moved rail cars and changed connections. He says it looks like the track separated and a grain car tipped into the back of the bar. The chief says he got a call from a patrol officer saying a train car had derailed into Derailed. No injuries were reported.

A restaurant in Fairbanks, AK in trouble for telling patrons it serves reindeer tenderloin, but it’s actually elk. The Pump House busted for the mislabeling of the meat, $50,000. The parent company of the restaurant is paying the fine and donating more than $10,000 to three non-profit food groups and publically apologized. The state Department of Environmental Conservation investigated the restaurant after an employee reported the restaurant didn’t actually serve reindeer while he worked there.

Since the Ukiah Mayor Steve Scalmanini and Council member Doug Crane have expiring terms this year, there could be two seats on the council during November’s election. The Ukiah City Clerk reports three people have turned in the candidate filing paperwork: Crane, Scalmanini and Mark Hilliker. The Daily Journal reports Hilliker ran in 2014 too, and is now a member of the Ukiah Planning Commission.

There could be a new place to get your sweat on in Ukiah very soon. The Planning Commission is considering adding a second story to a vacant building on South State Street to house the gym. Ferdinand Thieriot applied for the Permit for the second floor at 510 S. State Street. He’s looking to put in a Crossfit studio. The building used to be a nail salon, it’s across the street from Bank of America. City staff reports it fits in with the city’s General Plan, plus they say it would improve the vacant, run-down building. 3 letters were turned in to the planning dept. regarding the project, which were all in support.

California’s health insurance exchange, Covered California, has put out its draft of a waiver for Obamacare, but the federal government has to approve the language before undocumented immigrants can start to apply. It would mean health plans on the individual market could be sold to undocumented immigrants, but they couldn’t get any income-based subsidies because those are only for U.S. citizens. This all comes after the Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation allowing undocumented immigrants to buy health insurance plans through Covered California.

A Pokemon Go player finds a dead elderly woman in a field in Lake County who’s now been identified. The Sheriff’s dept says it was 84 year old Ann Mary Billings of Kelseyville, whose cause of death has not been determined. The sheriff’s dept. says there were no obvious signs of trauma to her body. Pokemon Go players have found at least two other bodies in the western U.S., one in a San Diego Park and another in a Wyoming river.

A federal civil rights lawsuit has been filed by the family of a black man killed by cops in Sacramento. Joseph Mann’s family filed suit last Friday citing Mann was showing, quote "overt signs of being in the midst of mental crisis" before he was shot. A bystander caught Mann’s interaction with police the day he was killed, showing him doing karate moves in the middle of a street, and zigzagging while walking. The video shows as the shooting happened, more than 10 gunshots can be heard. The lawsuit argues police should have called in a mental health professional instead of using lethal force against him.

A dad in Ukiah has been arrested for DUI as he went to pick up his kid in a car. Ukiah Police Department report an officer was called to the safe child exchange area in front of city hall July 30th and a woman told them she thought her child’s father was drunk. Police say Jose Hinojosa-Corona was arrested on suspicion of DUI and driving without a license and booked into Mendocino County Jail.

A burglary at a home in Ukiah on East Gobbi St. Police say jewelry and a firearm were reported stolen after the rip-off July 29th. Police say they got a call from a woman who reported her home had been burglarized. She says it happened while she was at work. She says she noticed her furniture had been moved and says there was also a water bottle on her dresser that she didn’t leave there. She says she found her jewelry and a .380 caliber handgun were missing.

A homeless man is accused of breaking a glass door at a downtown Ukiah business. A camera caught the transient in the 200 block of South School Street as the building’s alarm system went off. Police found the broken door and watched surveillance video. An officer recognized the suspect who hit the glass door. The man arrested in the same plaza later that day for vandalism and booked into Mendocino County Jail.

A man who died in a skydiving accident apparently always wanted to try the sport. 18 year old Tyler Turner’s mom says the young man who died with his instructor after falling to their deaths in a California vineyard, was an adventurous spirit, willing to try almost anything. She says jumping out of a plane was on his bucket list. Turner had a mild case of cerebral palsy. Mom drove Turner and a friend to the Parachute Center in Lodi where they met others for their jump. Turner and his instructor died after their shared parachute did not open.

The state of Ohio on the lookout for someone who knows how to grow marijuana, but they cannot partake, since it’s a drug-free workplace. reports ( ) whoever is hired will help write rules for medical marijuana growers, but they’d be held to Ohio’s drug-free workplace policy, which right now says, you can’t use medical marijuana. No word yet on if a pre-employment drug test is required.

The Italian coast guard jumped in to action, rescuing then reviving a kitten that was drowning. Rescuers used massage and mouth-to-mouth. One sailor jumped in to rescue the cat which was seen by a group of kids floating lifeless. A video of the whole thing was released last Friday showing crew members doing mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and massaging the kitten to remove water from its lungs. A few minutes later the kitten is seen weakly meowing. The kitten is reported in good health.

A lot of vandalism is being reported around Fort Bragg. Police say they got a call the weekend of July 8th to local businesses that had windows damaged. There was also a damaged headstone at Rose Memorial Park Cemetery the following week. Apparently rocks from the cemetery were used to break windows at Round Table Pizza and the Rite Aid Store. Then officers linked similar incidents over the next few weeks, culminating with a man busted throwing a rock thru the window of Ten Mile Court House. Days later, vandalism at the Thanksgiving Coffee facility, as we reported. Justin Smith has been arrested on several crimes including connection to the vandalism at various businesses.

Graffiti tagging reported in Fort Bragg. Police called to an alley near Redwood Elementary and found black spray paint covering about thirty feet of a wood fence, then down the street, even more, and in a third location, on the side of a house. Police are asking anyone with information about the vandalisms to call (707) 961-2800 ext. 167

A man in Ukiah’s been arrested after someone called in a domestic dispute. Police called last Thursday to a home and found Jesus Herrera matched the description of a man wanted for a domestic dispute, who they say seemed intoxicated and was walking in the middle of the street. They say he got violent with them and attacked a Deputy, charging at him and pushed him backwards and punched him. The deputy brought out his K-9 partner, but they still couldn’t control the guy so backup had to be called. Herrera was finally arrested and charged with Felony Assault of a Peace Officer and Battery on a Peace Officer.

A lot of rebuild permits have been issued in the Valley Fire burned out areas. The permits are over 100 now. Lake County’s Planning and Building Dept. reports 103 permits issued to residents in the burn zone. The principal planner in the dept. says the applications started surging in May, possibly due to good weather. She says most of the permits were for the Cobb area. They also report stacks of applications for temporary dwellings, temporary electrical, commercial, and more.

Looks like the Governor’s putting together a backup plan in case lawmakers don’t pass legislation to limit greenhouse gas emissions. The Record Bee reports Brown’s put together a fundraising team, the first step to get the environmental initiative on the 2018 ballot. Senate Bill 32 has targets to cut warming of the planet emissions by 2030. The deadline for the Legislature is Aug. 31st. Brown’s office admits it might not make the deadline.

The first death this year from West Nile Virus in Calif. An elderly man in Sacramento County is confirmed to have died from the virus, but no other information has been released. The director of the state Dept. of Public Heath says elderly people are particularly susceptible. She says its activity in the state is going up. The department urging residents to take every possible precaution to protect themselves against mosquito bites.

The driver of a car has died and so has their dog in a single car crash on Highway 253. The accident Saturday morning around 9:15 a.m. A van went over the side of the road, about halfway between Boonville and Ukiah, then came to a stop 200 feet down the cliff. The driver and dog were pronounced dead at the scene. Ukiah Valley Fire Authority, Anderson Valley Fire, California Highway Patrol and Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office were all on the scene.

A couple of propositions on the November ballot may mean the state’s death penalty is taken off the table entirely or things move faster after a ruling. There’s been only 2 cases in Mendocino County where an offender was sentenced to death. One of them, killed himself on San Quentin’s death row. Proposition 62 would totally ban death sentences for first-degree murder convictions. Proposition 66 would reform the appeals process for death row inmates, so those sentenced to death can be appointed an attorney at the time of sentence, rather than waiting years.

A man from Clearlake’s been arrested for possession of a stolen firearm and heroin. Micah Faulkner busted during a traffic stop. The officer pulled him over for having a burned out headlight. Heatherraynne Mellissa Scott of Modesto with him. She had a suspended driver’s license and police found a loaded and stolen .45-caliber Smith and Wesson semi-automatic handgun in the center console and a stun gun and ammo. Both Faulkner and Scott were convicted felons so they were arrested and found to be in possession of almost 4 grams of suspected heroin in Faulkner’s pants pocket. The pair charged with several felonies including being a felon in possession of a firearm, felon in possession of a stun gun and possession of a stolen firearm.

A man on trial for the shooting death of another man in Clearlake awaits his fate. The jury got the case of Billy Mount last Friday, after 6 weeks of trial. He’s accused in the July 2015 fatal shooting of Steven Galvin of Clearlake. Galvin fingered another in his death before the end. He said David Cox, a skinhead living in Clearlake was responsible for the shooting, who had apparently been in trouble with Mount and his friends before.

The city of Philadelphia telling its residents don’t swim in dumpsters. This after a rented trash bin filled with fire hydrant water was turned into a pool. An online news site reported the swim bin happened during a weekend block party. Party organizers say they had first power-washed the dumpster, then lined the bottom and cushioned corners. But city officials said filling it with hydrant water wasn’t Kosher, as that water should instead be stored in the event of a fire, plus it’s unsanitary.

70 snakes have been found at a house in North Texas after a man recently died there. Police say the man’s body was found in his home in Fort Worth, he died from natural causes. They say the snakes were all non-venomous and properly contained. One of the victim’s friend’s says the man had been ill.