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Lakeport Police are asking your help finding a missing man. 70-year old Gilbert Navas was reported missing last night after he failed to show up for an appointment Thursday morning. Navas left the city at 10:30 a.m. Thursday to go Sutter Lakeside Hospital but police never arrived. Mr Navas is Hispanic, 5 feet 7 inches tall, 180 pounds, with hazel eyes, gray hair and balding, and a scar above his left eye. Police do not know for sure what he was wearing when he left home but say it may have bene black pants and a red plaid shirt. He was last known to be driving a 2002 Silver Toyota Tacoma pickup, with the California license plate number 03481G1.

There have been some steps forward this week toward deciding on the Ukiah Valley will manage groundwater in preparation for a state mandate to do so by the end of June. As we reported last week some city officials balked at joining in with a larger coalition of agencies in Mendocino and Sonoma Counties on a plan to develop a sustainable groundwater management system. But the Ukiah Daily Journal reports some of those officials say positive progress was made this week in going forward with that Joint Powers Agency which would include the Upper Russian River Water Agency, the Russian River Flood Control and Water Conservation Improvement District, the county of Mendocino, the city of Ukiah, the Mendocino County Resource Conservation District, the Sonoma County Water Agency, and one seat each for “agriculture” and “tribes.” The concern was over how much voice would be given to the Russian River agencies. In response other members of the proposed Joint Powers Agency revised the language to make it clear that those agencies didn’t get more votes than it looked like they would on paper. The Ukiah City Council could bring it up for a vote soon. New state law mandates that some type of Groundwater Sustainability Agency be formed for the Ukiah Valley by June 30.

No word yet on what started a big Thursday afternoon fire at a utility shop in Clearlake. The fire in the 11100 block of Pioneer Drive was reported just after 230pm and then Lake County Fire Protection District firefighters got there it was already fully involved and threatening a home and another outbuilding. The Chief tells Lake County News the shop had inside it a car, several car parts, some reloading equipment and ammunition that started going off as the fire got to it. He says it was difficult to access and there was a limited water supply and some point some power lines fell. The Chief says under all those conditions his crews did a phenomenal of job in keeping the fire from spreading. No one was hurt – there was one person in the house but they got out with along with their four dogs, two cats and two birds.

The Lake County Campus of Woodland Community College is hosting a Native American Empowerment Day next Friday, March 24. American Indian students in grades 7 through 12 and American Indian adults are invited to this free event from 9am to 1pm at the campus in Clearlake. The day will include a traditional blessing and prayer, Keynote speaker Clarence Sharlow giving a motivational address, Robert Geary speaking on local historical and contemporary issues and hands-on workshops on traditional practices and the value of higher education. College staff will be there to help anyone wishing to enroll in classes for high school equivalency or learn more about college. Attendees will get snacks, lunch, and book bags.

There are once again some Coho salmon in the Russian River. After 10 years of study, captive breeding and stream rehabilitation by consortium of local, state, and federal agencies, private landowners, academic institutions, community coalitions and others, a small but steady number has been reappearing in the river in areas of the Sonoma County where they are being tracked. Officials tell the Press Democrat there is a long way to go, though, before the Coho can be upgraded from the federal “endangered” classification – that requires finding more than 10,100 salmon in the watershed for three consecutive years. The most recent count was about 450.

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