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Les Schwab in Willits had to get their front window repaired after a car smashed into the building and knocked down a fire hydrant in front of the store. Police say the driver was headed down Main St. and turned into oncoming traffic, drove into the Napa Auto Parts parking lot, hit the fire hydrant then went head-on into the front of Les Schwab. Witnesses say the hydrant let out a geyser of water until firefighters came out to close it off. That meant the city of Willits warning residents they may experience brown water for a while. A witness tells the Advocate newspaper she saw the driver veer off the road, hunch over and pass out. The driver taken to a hospital. Reports are that he may have had a low blood sugar incident. No other injuries reported.

Fitness equipment is being added to the Haehl Creek Trail thru a grant from Adventist Health. The Fit Trail compliments of Howard Memorial Hospital, will have 20 stations for almost all muscle groups from beginners to the most experienced. It also encourages stretching between the one half and two mile markers. There are instructions at each station so folks on the trail know what they’re doing. The Fit-Trail cost about $9,000 plus shipping and handling

The city of Willits still working on getting signs up along the new Willits bypass area. The city council approved a resolution that Caltrans requires for the installation of the “Downtown Willits” sign that would be installed on the north ramp into town. This is not the same as the signs that include business logos. The City Planner says to erect the six signs and for an encroachment permit, the city has to put up between $10,000 to $12,000. But the planner says they’ll try to save some money by making and installing signs on their own or reusing some already existing sign posts.

A so-called "Letter of Comfort" is being accepted by the city of Fort Bragg so an area around the Mill Pond can be transferred to complete a nature trail. The City Council has agreed to accept the letter from the Department of Toxic Substances Control instead of a “No Further Action Letter” so they can connect the north and south sections of the Coastal Trail with money from Proposition 84. Phase 1 of the trail was done in 2014 and 2015 and Phase II has been delayed. It would connect the north and south but during public comment some concerns were aired. The letter means the city and toxic substances agency agree they’re very sure no further action will be needed. This makes way for the completion of the Coastal Trail. The letter was needed quickly because money to finish the trail will not be available after next year.

A meeting of the Latino Coalition in Fort Bragg regarding immigration concerns for locals. The meeting at Safe Passage last week was delivered mostly in Spanish with quick English translations throughout. Organizers say there have already been several meetings held in English. It was standing room only at the meeting to hear the 3-person panel made up of the Fort Bragg Police Chief, a local immigration lawyer and a local English as a Second Language and citizenship teacher. They say the local police department won’t change its policy of not asking the legal status when dealing with members of the public. The chief says they want everyone to be happy and not to be living in fear if they don’t have papers. He says even if cops come to your door, not to run, that citizens can trust the police. They also gave cautionary tales of not getting your immigration papers from just anyone and to be careful who you trust in that regard.

Congressman Jared Huffman of San Rafael comes out swinging at a meeting on the environment saying they’re prepared to sue the federal government if they try to roll back protections. Huffman at Santa Rosa Junior College’s Petaluma campus last night with a crowd of a couple hundred. He had environmental lawyers with him to speak to the crowd. He spoke about Trump’s pick to head the EPA, saying he’s the wrong person to head the agency, but that he’ll be confirmed anyway because of the GOP controlled Congress. Huffman is the #2 Democrat on the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources. He says he’s prepared to fight in court if need be. He was previously the attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council.

New information shows almost half of Calif. is not in drought anymore. This according to federal scientists who say 49 percent of the state is now drought free. That’s the highest the state’s hit since April 2013. The latest data coming from the U.S. Drought Monitor which is a weekly study by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. The 49 percent number as opposed to a year ago, when only 5% of the state was considered to not be in drought conditions.

A man in Clearlake is accused of trying to set a house on fire with people inside. Police say they got a call to the home earlier this week which was completely in flames. Power lines were also down at the 2 story home. Residents got out in time as the home burned out of control. Firefighters on the scene trying to protect nearby homes, and put the fire out. 4 people inside spoke to police who arrested Anthony Conley, who’s apparently one of the home’s residents. Cops say he willfully and intentionally set the fire knowing others were inside at the time. He faces arson, attempted murder and vandalism charges. He was being held on $800,000 bail.

Only a handful of homes left to cleanup from the Clayton Fire. Lake County’s Department of Health Services has asked for another Proclamation of the Local Health Emergency in order to continue their work removing hazardous toxic waste. So far work’s been finished at more than 40 properties. There are about a ½ dozen to go. The Sheriff and Office Emergency Services Director Brian Martin says the recent rain meant they had to keep the proclamation in effect.

Several high school teachers in Ukiah have shown their support for public education, dressing in red. The Daily Journal reports 16 teachers got together during the school lunch break Wednesday in the Ukiah Skate Park parking lot across from the High School showing unity with other teachers in the U-S. It’s all part of the national “Wear Red for Ed” campaign. That’s a day for teachers in the country to promote education. A high school English teacher told the newspaper many of them are against the new pick for Education Secretary under the Trump administration.

A report’s due next week for city representatives in Ukiah on how much it’s going to cost to finish the holiday ice rink. The City has not yet finished their financial analysis of the work. There were local companies that have donated time, labor and supplies for the foundation of the rink. The costs were previously estimated to be about $20,000 before the volunteers and donations. The city council should get a full accounting by February 1st.

A request has been agreed to by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to release water from Lake Mendocino to meet flood control and dam safety requirements. The Army Corp will allow a small increase of the water supply pool behind Coyote Valley Dam. The water will continue to be released since so much rain fell. The Lake was last measured at 140 percent of water supply capacity. So the Army Corp will be releasing about 12,000 acre-feet from the flood control pool.

A lodge on the outskirts of Yosemite National Park has canceled a booking after receiving complaints about the group that supports President Trump. The group VDARE Foundation was supposed to have a meeting at Tenaya Lodge. VDare says they’re a journalistic enterprise. Their website publishes work about White America, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. The law center out of Alabama tracks hate groups and calls an "extremist" and "white nationalist" website. A couple of articles published against the planned meeting at the end of March by other groups created some controversy, and the lodge began getting complaints. The resort said they had no idea the group’s views, then apologized and said it was a mistake and they don’t endorse the group.

$4 million dollars has been approved by the Ukiah City Council for road improvements near the Redwood Business Park. The City Council previously approved the loan but the city has to put together a new application. The planned Costco would be part of the area where the road improvement work is being done. The city engineer told the council they need just over 2 million for highway interchange work and to install a traffic light, and 1 point 8 million more for improvements to the intersection of Airport Park Boulevard and both Talmage and Commerce roads, along with widening Hastings Avenue near State Street. The city had borrowed the money already from the former redevelopment agency.

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