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A public hearing’s being held to get comments on speed limit changes thru Philo. The Mendocino County Board of Supervisors will have a public hearing today regarding the speed limit on Hwy. 128 through Philo after a speed zone survey. Cal Trans says they want to lower and raise speed limits thru the area. They’re looking to raise it from 30-35 mph as part of the California Vehicle Code, and lower it from 55 mph to 45 mph. It was at 30 mph after an accident in 1996. Caltrans would like the public to join the conversation this morning at 9 in the County Administration Center, Room 1010.

The City of Ukiah is being sued regarding Measure Y for street repairs. City officials say the suit by the Howard Jarvis Taxpayer Association will delay collecting taxes for street repairs and work the money from the tax would pay for. The suit alleges Measure Y, passed with a simple majority of 51 percent, but it’s actually a special tax which needs a super majority of 66 percent. But the City Attorney says that’s not so and says the taxpayer association had filed a similar suit against the city in 1998 which the court ruled against. The City Manager says the city had several open and public workshops and meetings on the tax and nobody brought forward concerns that are listed in the lawsuit.

Safety measures being put in place since Clear Lake is higher than its full mark and still continues to rise. Clear Lake went past 7.56 feet Rumsey Friday, it’s flood stage at 9 feet Rumsey. Late last night it hit 8.56 feet Rumsey. It hasn’t been that high since January 1995. The US Geological Survey records show releases from the Cache Creek Dam were also at near-record levels, peaking at nearly 4,600 cubic feet per second on Sunday. The Clearlake Public Works Director told Lake Co News right now there’s no flooding. He says the city’s creeks were at 50 percent of capacity. They still had boat ramps open yesterday with possible closure if the lake hits 9 feet Rumsey. City representatives in Lakeport say workers are clearing debris from drainage areas and keeping their eye on flooded areas. They’ve put a dam in at Library Park, between the lake and the Carnegie Library. The County reports all park boat access points have been closed.

The Governor has called for a state of emergency in Lake, Mendocino and 48 other counties after the heavy storms the last month. There are two emergency proclamations so money can be released to help with flooding and clean up debris after mudslides and damage to roads and highways. The declaration notes storms on December 9th and January 3rd. The January storms are noted as coming from an atmospheric river across California, that brought high winds, precipitation, and flooding, impacting dozens of counties. It also said the severe drought brought conditions that led to flash flooding, erosion, and mud and debris flows.

Lakeport Police are in their new digs. As of Monday the department is located at 2025 S. Main St. after 2 decades on N. Forbes Street. They finished up the move over last weekend, but the lobby is not open to the public yet. They do have regular police administrators there to serve the public. So if you need to go to the department for items like records requests, vehicle releases, permit applications and evidence inquiries, you can, or you can call the department. They say the lobby should open by the end of the month.

A woman in Ukiah killed by a tree falling into her apartment apparently feared the same. The Press Democrat reports Erika Tyler had been afraid this would happen and asked the landlord to take the tree out which had steel cables supporting bigger branches. But the paper reports the landlord saying it would be too expensive to do. She died Saturday morning after the tree crashed into her apartment and crushed her. Her boyfriend was sleeping next to her and got out unharmed, then rescued his 3-year old son. Tyler’s 11 and 17 year old sons were not there when it happened. Tyler’s mom says they were scared of the tree but moved in anyway because housing was limited at the time. She also says they’re planning a wrongful death lawsuit.

A long backup on the 101 north of Laytonville after a drunk driver hit a semi. Police say Gerald Stillwell of Garberville drove his pickup across the center line, hitting the truck driven by Gary Fischer who ended up with major injuries; Stillwell was unharmed. The fuel tanks on the semi were damaged and leaked diesel onto the roadway, closing it down for a couple of hours. Officers say they found Stillwell was drinking before the crash, so they arrested him for DUI.

The lawyers for the man running the so-called Ghost Ship warehouse in Oakland say a fire that killed 36 people started in an adjacent building. The lawyers say their investigation shows Derick Ion Almena is not responsible for the Dec. 2nd fire. But the Alameda County district attorney’s office and the Oakland Fire Department, who are both also investigating, have not come up with the same story. They’ve not released their findings yet and are not commenting. Almena’s lawyers say they looked at power sources and wiring in the Ghost Ship and say the fire started in a closeby building, not inside the warehouse itself. They say since that’s the case Almena should not be held criminally responsible. So far he’s not been charged with a crime.

Rising pension costs mean there may have to be cuts to state funding for education. The president of the CalPERS board says they’ll phase in the rise in contributions to the pension fund since they know it’s gonna be a painful budget hit. Right now districts pay about 13.88 percent of payroll for CalPERS employees, the highest rate in history. The state education budget was already up the last several years with another $2 billion increase set for next year. The Governor’s new budget included the hike but the increases for CalPERS and the California State Teachers’ Retirement System are at more than $723 million.

Some cash found by a U.S. Attorney’s Office in Massachusetts in a box spring. Investigators find $20M in the mattress after they arrested a man from Brazil in a massive money laundering scheme. They say they think it’s linked to TelexFree, a company claiming to provide internet phone service, that was really a $1 billion pyramid scheme. Cops say they aggressively marketed their voice over internet phone service and had their so-called promoters posting ads, but they first had to buy into the company for a price. Cleber Rene Rizerio Rocha was arrested and charged with a count of conspiring to commit money laundering. The company TelexFree reported making more than $1 billion in 2013, with the money coming from those who bought in to be a part of the money making scheme.


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