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A man from Clearlake gets jail time for having American Indian artifacts cops say were stolen from local archaeological sites. The Lake County DA Don Anderson says Brian Smith pleaded guilty to unlawfully possessing ancient American Indian artifacts exposed in Clearlake due to the drought. The Sheriff’s office arrested Smith in August of 2015 after reports he made have given an inappropriate letter to a teenage girl. Police found he had artifacts including Indian bone fragments, arrowheads, clay pottery bowls and obsidian. They also say he was under the influence of drugs during his arrest. He reached a plea deal with the DA’s office last month for unlawfully possessing ancient American Indian artifacts. He got 109 days in county jail, probation and he may need to pay restitution to the local American Indian community. The DA says his office is following up to make sure all of the artifacts are returned to the tribe they belong to.

An informational meeting is set for the community to hear about work to clean up after all of the flooding. There were four neighborhoods on Clear Lake’s shoreline that had to evacuate last week. The same residents are still under the mandatory evacuation order. The meeting today at 5 p.m. in the Lakeport City Council chambers. Representatives from the city say the meeting is open to the public and those in flooded areas. There will also be a translator there for Spanish speakers.

A temporary cell tower’s been set up for emergency workers in Lakeport. The “cell on wheels” put up by Verizon at the evacuation center set up at the Seventh Day Adventist Church to improve cell service for emergency workers and nearly 100 evacuees staying there. The Lakeport Emergency Operations Center got enhanced wireless data connectivity so they could more easily communicate with emergency workers and city officials. Verizon also put up a wireless hotspot and Internet-connected laptops at the evacuation center so kids could get their homework done.

Cloverdale is looking to shoulder their way into the green rush as marijuana is legalized. The Press Democrat reports the city, in Sonoma County, not part of the so-called “Emerald Triangle”, but pretty close to it. The triangle includes Mendocino, Humboldt and Trinity counties where much of the state’s marijuana is grown. Cloverdale’s already set a tax for commercial marijuana businesses and the paper reports is about to decide where pot businesses can be located. The city’s also deciding on regulations for personal pot gardens. The paper says the city is being cautious at the same time. The Mayor saying he doesn’t want the city to be the marijuana capital of Sonoma County.

Studies of Oak Trees in Hopland to be a community activity. The Hopland Research and Extension Center is asking for “citizen scientists” to help study the life cycles of oak trees that will end up in regional and nationwide databases for researchers to use to help restore the trees. The study is part of a series in state under the California Phenology Project which is a nonprofit studying the seasonal life cycles of multiple species across California. The study’s main investigator says this method of study is new to them.

The state Senate leader says he’s taking full responsibility after a senator was told to leave the chamber last week. The Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon says the Rules Committee is investigating after Sen. Janet Nguyen (Winn) was taken off the floor last Thursday because she wouldn’t stop a speech that was critical of former Sen. Tom Hayden’s activism against the Vietnam War. De Leon says all senators have a right to speak on behalf of their constituents. But Nguyen says Democrats were mischaracterizing the incident and she hopes other senators never have to go thru the trauma of being removed from the Senate floor. The Senate Minority Leader Jean Fuller has also called for a public investigation of the incident and an apology. Democrats say she was removed for violating Senate rules.

Gun owners’ rights advocates can go ahead and publish home addresses and contact info for any state lawmakers who voted for firearms restrictions. A federal judge ruled lawmakers were too stringent in protecting the privacy of public figures. The Judge in Fresno put a preliminary injunction in place yesterday to block a state law allowing public officials demand their private information be taken off the internet if they’re afraid for their safety or for their families. The judge saying the law was just too broad and violated free speech saying publishing the info was a form of political protest. A blogger calling themselves “The Real Write Winger” put up info on 40 state lawmakers after Governor Jerry Brown signed some gun control bills into law in July 2016.

A new study says humans are responsible for five out of six wildfires in the U.S. the last twenty years which has meant a much longer wildfire season. The study presented to the National Academy of Sciences yesterday shows wildfire season now starts earlier in the East and lasts longer in the West. Scientists poured over fire data from 1992 to 2012 and found 84 percent of all the wildfires in the country were human caused. The study also showed though that only 44 percent of total acres burned were human caused. That was either accidental fire starts or fires started by arsonists. The fires have drawn out the length of the wildfire season from 46 days to 154 days.

Gas prices about to go way up in California. Gasbuddy.com reports since OPEC nations are cutting oil production and California has a more expensive blend for the spring and summer, prices will go up from now until Memorial Day. That usually happens anyway, but starting April 1st, the new blend of gasoline begins with prices set to go up as much as 50 to 80 cents by peak of the year. The average retail price for petro in Sacramento has already gone up almost 4 cents the last week. The California State Automobile Association and the California Energy Commission analysts say yep, prices are going up, but they don’t necessarily agree they will get to 80 cents more by Memorial Day, saying it’s hard to predict.

PG&E says as part of their restructuring prices will go up. This first bit about 2.1 percent higher prices for electricity for residential customers as of yesterday. That’s the second time in a couple months the utility has raised prices. They went up on New Year’s Day too. And electricity shot up last August by 12 percent in some regions. A spokesperson for P, G & E says they’re trying to align the cost of service to the service that is being provided.

Lakeport mail service is being held for any Lakeport area properties inaccessible due to the flood conditions. The Lakeport Post Office is at 1151 Eleventh Street. They’re open 9 am to 4:30 pm, Monday-Friday. Call 263-5837 for more information.

For trash service in Lakeport, Lakeport Disposal requests residential customers bring their trash and recycling toters to the nearest high ground/dry area on their regular pick-up date where Lakeport Disposal will pick up. If that’s not an option due to the high water, residential customers may use their green yard waste container for regular trash until the flood water recedes and regular service can be restored. Customers in flooded areas will not be charged extra for using their green yard waste containers for regular trash. Call Lakeport Disposal at 263-6080 if you have questions or need assistance.

What started as a traffic stop became a foot chase through Ukiah ending in the arrest of a felon from Florida. Around 11pm Friday Ukiah officers stopped an SUV on East Perkins for a traffic violation. The driver stopped the car but ran and the officers chased and him radioed for backup. The driver climbed a nearby tall cyclone fence and led the officers on a chase for several blocks but they caught him behind Black Oak Coffee. He gave a fake name while being arrest for resisting. But his fingerprints turned up his record and ID’d him as Kevin James Padilla with two felony warrants in two Florida counties – one for assault and one for parole violation.

A Clearlake man’s been sentenced to 109 days in jail plus probation for unlawful possession of Native American artifacts. Brian Gene Smith pleaded guilty last week; He’d been arrested in August 2015 for possessing Indian bone fragments, arrowheads, clay pottery bowls and other artifacts. The Judge sentenced him to felony probation and 109 days in the county jail plus other terms of probation that include possible restitution to the Native American community. An effort is now underway to return the seized artifacts. The DA says there is a multi-million dollar black market industry in the US involving archaeological artifacts and they work closely with law enforcement and the Native American community to help preserve culture and heritage.

Verizon has installed a temporary ‘Cell On Wheels’ to improve wireless communications for emergency workers and residents in Lakeport during the flood emergency. Lakeport Police say in addition, last week the Verizon Crisis Response Team outfitted the Lakeport EOC with enhanced wireless connectivity allowing for better coordination among emergency workers and City officials. A portable wireless hotspot and internet connected laptops were also provided at the 7th Day Adventist Church evacuation center to give students some help getting school work done and well help evacuees stay connected with family.

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