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It’s still not officially time up, but the Mendocino County Clerk says she’s still not quite done with the election results. The Daily Journal reports Sue Ranochak saying she was hoping yesterday to have the final results posted, but a check this morning has the results from the day after the election as the last posted on the website. The newspaper reports last Saturday was when renewed vote counting started, the first since election night when about 6,000 votes cast from the polls were counted. There were also about 6,000 mail-in votes counted by machines, but a total of more than 37,000 ballots were submitted in the Nov. 8 election. The clerk’s office has a full 28 days to complete the vote count.

A meeting on harvesting abalone after the harvest numbers fall dramatically. Divers, business owners and state wildlife officials are meeting Saturday to brainstorm after changes came to restrictions on harvesting the marine snails which are something of a delicacy along the North Coast. It’s also a money maker for local businesses, at dive shops, hotels and campgrounds. The number of abalone have been on a downward slide due to environmental changes since the last population survey three years ago. That’s meant a limit on harvesting because the healthy minimum limit was no longer being met. The Fish and Wildlife Commission’s Abalone Advisory Committee is hosting Saturday’s meeting at the CV Starr Center in Fort Bragg from noon to 4 p.m.

Ukiah Police say they’ve seen more gang graffiti on local buildings recently. Police say the first noticed the surge of tagging mid November that were related to the “Norteno” gang. That’s when for 3 days police saw graffiti on buildings and walls. They had no suspects for the tagging. A week later they found work from the competing “Sureno” gang in several locations for several days in a row. Police say they took reports on all of the incidents, but have no suspects named so far.

Congressman Mike Thompson has announced his Small Business Healthcare Relief Act has passed the House. Thompson says its tacked on to a bigger bill known as the 21st Century Cures Act which contained several healthcare provisions. Thompson’s, to allow small businesses to continue offering Health Reimbursement Arrangements, aka HRAs. The accounts allow employees to dip in for insurance premiums, or to pay for certain health expenses. It also means small employers who are not obligated to offer health insurance can still provide a way for employees to buy quality, affordable health insurance they can afford. This bill changes rules within the Treasury Department that had limited HRAs for small businesses. The 21st Century Cures Act now heads to the Senate for consideration and passage.

Congressman John Garamendi still working to make sure veteran National Guard members don’t have to pay back bonuses and incentives they were ordered to a couple months ago. Garamendi’s a sponsor of the Fiscal Year 2017 National Defense Authorization Act to protect almost 10,000 current and former California National Guardsmen from the Department of Defense trying to get back the bonuses and incentives they got for enlisting or reenlisting during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Both chambers of Congress have to approve the Act before it goes to the President for signature. It says Guardsmember’s debts would be waived and any money they’ve paid back already goes back to them unless the Defense Dept. can prove they fraudulently took an incentive they were not eligible for.

New info on one of the suspects believed to have been involved in the murder of a marijuana grower near Laytonville. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office is reporting 26 year old Amanda Wiest of Virginia had been named as a suspect in the murder of Jeffrey Settler of Contra Costa who was found dead at the marijuana grow Nov. 11th. Now the sheriff’s office says detectives interviewed Wiest and think she was actually kidnapped with her 4 year old child during the incident. Two of the other suspects are in jail, Zachary Wuester of New Jersey, who’s been charged with murder and robbery. And Gary “Giggles” Fitzgerald of Virginia, who’s also booked on suspicion of murder. Five others are still on the run.

Talk about freeway emergencies from the Regional Transportation Agency. The Mendocino Council of Governments meets as the agency and the County Service Authority for Freeway Emergencies Monday in Ukiah to discuss transit needs for the Fiscal Year 2017 and 18. They will consider a staff report on social services transportation recommendations from last month and will accept an audit that appoints interim committee members and the direction of its Board calendar. The board will get updates on the recently completely Willits Bypass, Active Transportation Program awards and some proposed funding for the Calif. Energy Commission for ChargePoint and installation of electric vehicle charging stations.

A technician working for Cirque du Soleil "Luzia" is dead after he was hit in the head by an aerial lift. Cirque du Soleil released a statement that the dead man, Olivier Rochette, of Quebec, Canada is also the son of the one the circus creators. He died Tuesday night in San Francisco. The San Francisco Police Department Traffic Collision Investigation Unit and the Calif. workplace safety regulator, Cal/OSHA, are investigating. Tuesday and Wednesday night shows for Cirque were canceled.

A woman who created a fake Facebook profile of her ex-boyfriend so she could frame him for stalking her, got sent to jail. Stephani Lawson of Las Vegas tossed in jail after she pleaded guilty for setting Tyler Parkervest of Irvine, up. She pleaded guilty to perjury and false imprisonment. Parkervest was arrested four times last year after the pair broke up. He had been charged with stalking, kidnapping, battery and making threats. Lawson had filed eight bogus police reports saying her ex threatened to kill her and her daughter on Facebook. She also claimed he had held her in his car at knifepoint. Prosecutors found she had actually made everything up, sending the threats to herself.

Movement begins to start California’s legal marijuana industry. State tax collectors are beginning their work with analysts estimating as much as $1 billion a year in revenue from production and selling legal cannabis. Marijuana doesn’t actually become legal thru its marketplace until 2018. No way to actually know, but word is there could be as many as 25,000 cultivators that will register and start paying taxes. The State Board of Equalization has approved a request of funds to start to add staff, gradually, as they need to beef up the ranks to start managing taxes from the legal sale and cultivation of marijuana after the passage in November of Proposition 64.

The Lake Area Rotary Club Association has donated nearly $36,000 to help reforest areas destroyed by wildfires. Lake County News reports the donation was presented Nov. 18 to the Lake County Resource Conservation District and means the district gets 100,000 conifer seedlings that have been grown by the El Dorado Resource Conservation District specifically for reforestation from the wildfires of 2015. The seedlings should begin arriving in January or February and will be distributed to private landowners in the burned areas. Thousands will also go to replant part of Trailside Park near Middletown. Others helping the Conservation District with reforestation are the Lake County Winegrape Commission, the Lake County Winery Association, the Lake County Wine Alliance, Walnut Creek Fireplace, and Coyote Ridge Farms.

Some vegetarians are up in arms in England after the main bank starts printing the new 5-pound note using tallow. The Bank of England’s new plastic note said to be stronger, cleaner and safer, but with the use of a substance that comes from animal fat. Both vegans and vegetarians want new bank notes after finding the news ones, in circulation for only a couple months, have the animal fat derivative contained in them. There’s even an online petition against the notes which is picking up steam. It says the use of tallow is “unacceptable to millions of vegans, vegetarians, Hindus, Sikhs, Jains and others in the U.K.”

A couple of three year olds in Thailand are married, so they ward off bad luck. The brother and sister, three year old twins, said to be ”soulmates in a past life” were married in a traditional ceremony in Ang Thong province. Their parents say they believe the tots were lovers in a previous life who were separated by a terrible tragedy, then reincarnated together as twins. They say that proves they have to get married to show ”angels” their love. They say they had to get married or one of them would die. The bride wore a traditional Thai wedding dress, the groom was in white with gold pants and a green sash. But even though they had a formal ceremony, the toddlers are not married by law.


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