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A disaster loan outreach center has been opened by the Small Business Administration. Last Thursday the office opened to help Clayton Fire survivors as they recover. The fire last month decimated 300 structures and damaged 28 more. Anyone with damaged homes or businesses can apply for physical disaster loans. Those with businesses economically impacted are eligible for economic injury. For more info or to apply, visit SBA.gov or go to the outreach center in the Lower Lake School Museum.

Governor Jerry Brown has signed some of the strictest environmental laws in the country to try to slow climate change. The governor signed the bills so greenhouse gas emission reductions are some of the toughest, plus the state will invest in the poorest communities that are affected by climate change. Greenhouse gas emissions will move to 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030. The other bill to focus pollution reduction on disadvantaged communities and calls for more public oversight of the California Air Resources Board, which regulates emission reductions.

A Memo of Understanding has been signed by the SPCA of Lake County with Lake County Animal Care and Control so the agency can help house animals in times of disaster temporarily. The SPCA will take care of lost or displaced animals, helping Lake Evacuation and Animal Protection in the SPCA facility in Kelseyville. The SPCA was being used as a Spay and Neuter Clinic but has been helping with animals displaced due to the Clayton Fire. The SPCA is still hosting its monthly vaccination clinic the third Sunday of the month from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. in Kelseyville.

A historic gold mine has been added to a list of the country’s worst toxic sites. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says the Argonaut Mine in Jackson was added to the Superfund program’s National Priorities List. That means money from the fed can be used to decontaminate the 65-acre area west of Highway 49. It used to be a popular goldmine from the 1850s to 1942. It processed ore and disposed of tailings, the waste from mines, at the site. There are high levels of arsenic, lead and mercury, and it sits close to homes and a junior high school.

Seven current and former police officers in the San Francisco Bay Area connected to a sexual misconduct scandal involving a teenager are being charged. The Alameda County DA announced she’s been waiting for formal charges to be filed until the teen could come back to Calif. From Florida. She’s jailed there in an assault case. The teenager described herself as a prostitute and admitted she had sex with as many as 30 law enforcement officials in Oakland and other areas of the region. The officers from the Contra Costa sheriff’s Dept., Livermore police dept and the Oakland police dept may all be charged with several crimes, from felonies to misdemeanors.

Highway 101 had to be closed down for a time after a fire started near Laytonville. Cal Fire reports the fire Saturday afternoon around 2:45 p.m. near Woodruff Road. It was dubbed the Ruff Fire. The Ukiah Valley Fire Authority and the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office evacuated homes because structures were being threatened. The fire burned 50 acres and was 80% contained.

The Ukiah City Council is taking up the matter of a group looking to fight Measure AF, the ballot initiative looking to overturn the county’s current regulations regarding medical marijuana. The group against the Mendocino Heritage Act, which they say, if it passes would mean a marijuana free-for-all. Mike Sweeney went in front of the City Council on the matter last Wednesday, saying the act would allow marijuana grows in “all residential zoning districts in the county.” Council member Doug Crane wanted the matter to continue into the council’s next meeting for “Discussion and Possible Action”.

Assemblyman Bill Dodd and Senator Mike McGuire’s bill signed by the Gov. to give tax relief for businesses impacted by natural disasters. The new law to grant the Board of Equalization authority to hold off business tax payments without additional costs or fees. The tax relief law after several major fires in Lake County. Last summer Dodd’s Fourth Assembly District had almost 58 percent of the total acreage extinguished by Cal Fire across the entire state. The new legislation means the Board of Equalization would allow filing extensions on a quarterly basis to those impacted by natural disasters for sales tax, use tax, and other taxes.

A man in Pennsylvania accused of ripping off $300, all in pennies. Police in Taylor, close to Scranton, charged Robert Napolitan with burglary and other charges for stealing 300,000 pennies from Pyne Freight Lines. Cops say he loaded a 1,600-pound drum onto a hand truck and rolled it to his Jeep. He left a trail of pennies in the dust behind him. When cops searched his Jeep they found pennies under his seats and floormats.

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