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A volunteer group in Willits that looks after the Eel River watershed is looking for money so they can study green algae infecting the river. The Eel River Recovery Project needs $5,000 which they’re trying to get thru the website It’s like kickstarter, but this site is apparently transparent when it comes to accountability. The group working with the Cal. Berkeley and the University of California Santa Cruz using info from 2013-2016 on toxic cyanobacteria found in the river. Each has certain impacts on human health. One of them blamed for the death of some dogs in 2009 in Humboldt County. The group says analysis of some forms of the algae can help protect residents. So far the group has raised only 12 percent of their $5,000 goal. They have 2 weeks left in their fundraising time frame.

Police in Willits on the lookout for whoever tried robbing a bank. A clerk at Tri Counties Bank gave a description of a possible suspect from last Thursday’s heist attempt. Police got a call that afternoon to the robbery. Police have stayed pretty mum on the matter. The bank just said they had to close early and asked the press to call their main public information officer in Chico. Pictures of the suspect were released thru social media on Saturday. The bank clerk described the guy as in his late 20s, 5 foot 11, 200 pounds with a beard, in black hoodie.

A group looking to put up a tiny house community in Ukiah for the homeless was apparently eyeing the property being used for the emergency winter shelter. The chief financial officer for Redwood Community Services appeared in front of the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors a few weeks back saying the property valued at more than $1 million dollars on S. State St. is about the only option after a lengthy search. The group would use a $1 million dollar Community Development Block Grant they got last January for the Housing First Village, or as it used to be known, the “Tiny Houses Village,” but apparently there are new state codes and regulations bringing the costs up tremendously. The houses have to start being built soon or the grant funds will expire.

A man from Eureka’s been arrested after a chase with police on Highway 101 south of Willits. The California Highway Patrol reports getting a call about a possible drunk driver on the 101 south of Hwy. 20 in a Toyota Tacoma pickup. A CHP officer saw the truck Monday driving south and tried to stop it but the driver didn’t yield and the officer says they made “obscene hand gestures” at them. A spike strip was thrown down and the suspect stopped. Jesus Garcia Jr. has been arrested on suspicion of failure to yield or comply with officers. He was booked into Mendocino County Jail.

A new study shows teens view marijuana differently in areas where it’s legal to smoke. The study co-authored by Dr. Magdalena Cerda, associate professor in emergency medicine at UC Davis and professor Deborah Hasin of Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health published in the JAMA Pediatrics publication. It compares teenagers attitudes to weed before and after it being legalized. In Calif, where it’s now legal, the study showed teens were much less aware of the potential harmful effects of weed, surmising then that many were more likely to smoke. The two professors surveyed more than 250,000 students in 8th, 10th and 12th grade in 45 states. The views compared to students the same age in Washington and Colorado, where weed has been legal since 2012.

An Uber driver supposedly helped a young girl get away from what might have been a sex trafficking ring. The driver called police after hearing a suspicious conversation, which police say was the young girl, her pimp and another person on their way to a job. The driver says they started to discuss their plans in the car, and he heard specific details about how the young girl should conduct herself. Police say the 16-year-old was dressed provocatively and sitting in the front seat. He says they told the teen how to talk to the customer, how to take the money and to make sure they had no weapons. He dropped the trio off and called police who showed up and arrested three people.

New laws taking effect in Calif. with tougher restrictions for distracted drivers. Beginning this Sunday, drivers are no longer allowed to have a cellphone in their hands for any reason. Even to use a phone’s apps, for such things as playing music. Assemblyman Bill Quirk of Hayward, who drafted the bill, which the governor signed into law, says the law should make it easier for cops to stop and cite drivers for illegal phone use. He says it closed a major loophole in Calif’s hands-free cellphone laws which only banned talking and texting, but not any other use of a phone, which could include shooting videos or visiting Social Media sites. The new law allows some cellphone usage, but only hands free. So phones have to be mounted on the dashboard or windshield.

Two decent sized earthquakes near Lake Tahoe could be felt across two states. No reports of damage or injuries after the 5.7 quakes early this morning. The U.S. Geological Surveys say the two were both centered in a remote area of Nevada by the California line and around 70 miles southeast of Lake Tahoe. They hit just after midnight last night about four minutes apart. There were several aftershocks too. The USGS says the temblors were felt in Carson City, Nevada, and all the way out to Yosemite National Park and Mammoth Lakes in California, each about 60 miles from the epicenter.

If you are interested in the idea of a public bank for the Northern California cannabis industry, there’ll be presentation on a proposal for how such a bank would work. Organizers from the Public Banking Institute say it would comply with state banking regulations through the Adult Use of Marijuana Act and their research includes the legal foundation to protect your capital and deposits in the public bank from federal seizure. The presentation is Thursday, January 12th, from 12pm-2pm at the Synergy Yoga Center at 340 Main St. in Point Arena. Admission is Free. For more information, go to the website

The Lake County Grand Jury has made their annual report public with recommendations for county improvements, plus they’ve noted local officials’ responses to the recommendations too. The grand jury report was out in July with a 90 day window for officials to respond, if they chose to. Then the report went public, but some offices were required by state law to respond. The grand jury has now put it all out in the form of a chart so the public could see for themselves all of the recommendations and responses together in one place. You can see it on the Lake County website under the grand jury section. The report covers more than a dozen investigations generating 48 specific recommendations for improving county operations including disaster preparedness, pension plans, the DA’s Victim-Witness Division, zoning ordinances, nuisance abatement and others.

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