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A leaky water pipe has caused serious damage to the offices of the SPCA of Lake County. A board member who went to check out the facility Tuesday because she was in the area, found a pipe burst in the main surgery room. Lake Co News reports the board member found water leaking out of the building, running under the front door, thru the parking lot and into the street. There was water on the floor inside, condensation on the walls, and soaking boxes, paperwork, computer equipment and more. The building no longer has full time staff and is used for monthly vaccination clinics and spay and neuter surgeries.

The DMV got slammed the day the state said undocumented residents could get driver’s licenses. It’s been two years since the law took effect, Jan. 1st of 2015 when about 806,000 undocumented residents got driver’s licenses, but now the law may be something looked at by the federal government as the new president takes office. President-elect Donald Trump had campaigned on an illegal immigration crackdown. The law went into effect to ease fears for those living in the U-S illegally, that if they get tested and licensed to drive, they won’t be deported necessarily. Getting a driver’s license allows some residents to get work and put their kids in public school. A new law starting next month automatically registers most licensed California drivers to vote. But the DMV says that doesn’t mean everyone will be able to vote. They also say the President cannot unilaterally repeal either law.

Distracted driving laws take effect next month, and now the CHP is jumping into the fray by starting a campaign to impact teen drivers. The California Highway Patrol teaming up with Impact Teen Drivers, or ITD for the most inexperienced drivers on the road to stay safe. The CHP commissioner says ITD and the CHP share the same goal, to “raise awareness of the dangers of reckless and distracted driving.” So the partnership will have representatives at schools and community events around Calif to educate kids about the risk of distracted driving. Statistics show ten percent of all drivers 15 to 19 involved in deadly crashes were reported to be distracted at the time. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says the age group is the biggest chunk of drivers distracted at the time of a collision.

A hearing’s set regarding what’s to be done about the Palace Hotel in Ukiah. The hearing after the New Year, Jan. 9th comes after the city petitioned the court for a receiver to oversee the work that was supposed to be happening at the old hotel. The building has been empty since the owner took it over in the 1990’s. The city say the owner, Eladia Laines, bought the building at a tax auction with former business partners then bought them out. The city says it’s tried several times to work with Laines but she’s not followed thru on promised renovations, even after mediation with a visiting judge. The Ukiah City Council looking to potentially declare the building a public nuisance because of several code violations. But a vote on that was postponed so Laines could clean the place up. Now the council is considering the same after the mediation ended. A three day trial is set for next month.

A horse has been injured after the trailer it was in overturned near Willits and the truck pulling it went down a steep embankment. The CHP reports the accident happened on the 101 near Willits when a teen driver in a Ford F-250 was towing the horse trailer. The CHP says the driver started to feel the trailer sway and lost control, which jack-knifed the trailer, which became unhitched. The truck went down the embankment and the trailer rolled. One of the horses in the trailer had a large laceration to its face and the driver was uninjured.

A car crash by the Ukiah airport lands two people in the hospital. The Ukiah Valley Fire Authority reports a man driving on S. State Street headed to work yesterday morning fell asleep behind the wheel. They say he swerved, crossed over lanes then hit a power pole in front of the airport driveway and rolled. The car landed on its roof. 4 people inside the car made it out safely before rescuers arrived. But two adults in the car with two kids, had to go to the hospital. The two kids were released to family. Drugs and alcohol are not suspected as factors. Power lines were down after the crash and the road was closed for a time until the pole was up-righted and the power lines repaired.

Fort Bragg police still looking into the death of an elderly woman who’s name they’ve not officially released. Neighbors have id’d the woman as Arlene Potts who died December 14th. Police say she was found in a mummified state and arrested her caregiver, Lori Fiorentino. As we reported Fiorentino was working for the victim as a caretaker. The Adult Protective Services of Mendocino County oversees the department Fiorentino had been working for.

A neighbor tells the Advocate newspaper there were notes on the front door of the house saying not to knock or it would disturb the woman. They say they were concerned after catching a foul odor smell drifting from the home. They reported it to the apartment manager several times and say they also called Adult Protective Services twice. Fort Bragg Police Chief says the apartment was in deplorable condition, “not healthy for someone in need of care.”

The two brothers accused of the stabbing death of a man inside a Target store in the Bay area have been arrested and charged with murder. The San Francisco Chronicle reports ( 22-year-old Frankie and 25-year-old Jesse Archuleta were in court in Oakland on the charges of stabbing Tyrone Griffin on Christmas Eve. Griffin with his 4 year old son in the toy aisle and reportedly asked them to turn down loud and inappropriate music. Then a scuffle and Griffin was stabbed three times in the chest and once in the arm.

A memorial of sorts for a woman missing from Northern Calif. since October. 52-year-old Stacey Smart disappeared without a word. Volunteers had been searching for her with the help of search and rescue. The Trinity County sheriff’s dept. says they’ve found no sign of Smart and have no clue what might have happened to her. Family and friends held a vigil for Smart yesterday.

A good year for wine’s all around along the North Coast, and Champagne and other bubblies did especially well. The Press Democrat reports it got a major boost because of lower-priced Italian Prosecco which the younger crowd is quite fond of. The CEO of Iron Horse Vineyards in Sebastopol tells the paper half of their production is in sparkling wines. They go for $40 to $375 a bottle. The paper says the overall wine market is up 2 percent a year, sparkling wine sales have gone up by more than 12 percent even though it only makes up 6 percent of the entire market. Korbel’s premium sparkling label was a top seller in supermarkets, drugstores, convenience stores and other retailers, with more than $105 million in sales the past year.

Two people in a head on crash had major injuries. The two airlifted to hospitals yesterday in Chico and Redding. Cal Fire reports it happened about 1:30 yesterday afternoon with a couple of sedans north of Laytonville.

A couple of teenage students from UC Santa Barbara being hailed as heroes after jumping into action when they see a pickup truck go off the highway in the Central Valley then submerge in an irrigation canal. KEYT-TV ( says they stopped their car and one dove into the water while the other called 911. It happened Monday while the two 19 year olds were driving to Fresno on State Route 41. One saw it happen in the rear view mirror so they pulled over and ran to the truck going down. 4 people in the truck pulled to safety.

A landlady at a building in Germany smells some suspicious odors and calls police who find a man trying to get gold out of an old cellphone and some computer circuit boards. The landlady in Braubach says she was worried because she hadn’t seen the tenant in a while. When police got there, they saw there was a cache of chemicals, which they first thought was an illegal drug lab. Upon further investigation, they found the guy was using chemicals in an attempt to pull gold from the phone and computer. Apparently he was asking people for advice, including a physicist, who all suggested, he stop trying.

A suspected gang member’s been busted for tagging buildings in Redwood Valley. The Sheriff’s Office says a witness saw Elias Sanchez spray painting buildings and fences on Ellen Lynn Road. Deputies say it was gang-style graffiti with the letters "SUR" and "X3" – known references to the Sureno gang. Deputies found Sanchez with paint on his hands and clothes so he was arrested for felony vandalism and participation in a criminal street gang. Investigators say he caused about $5,000 in damage.

A 4-year-old boy has been seriously hurt in a crash and the CHP says his mother was driving drunk. It happened before Midnight Weds on Highway 101 in Healdsburg. The CHP says the child was not in car seat or wearing a seatbelt when his mom, Melissa Miller of Santa Rosa, lost control near Dry Creek Road and rolled down an embankment into a tree. The little boy was partially ejected from the rear window. He was flown to Benioff Children’s Hospital in Oakland where he was reported in stable condition. Miller was arrested on suspicion of felony DUI, violation of probation and child endangerment.


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