The repair contract has been awarded for the repairs at the Oroville Dam, two months after nearly 190 thousand people had to be evacuated from the area. The Sacramento Bee reports government officials and water policy experts are unsure who will end up covering what was supposed to cost a quarter of a million dollars but what may end up being closer to $1 billion. The federal government agreed to pay up to $274 million for the emergency repairs between February, when it happened, and next month. The lake supplies water to millions of people in California. The repair costs, water experts tell the newspaper, could eventually trickle down to customers.
The Lakeport Sprint Boat Grand Prix is on. The Board of Supervisors and the Promoters of the inaugural race have agreed to a 9 million dollar insurance plan for the race. The promoters had previously said they had the standard level of insurance, 5 million dollars, but the county attorney wanted 10 million. Jack Long of Clearlake Motor Sport Enter LLC says while they were negotiating says an insurance company could cover up to 9 million….
Long says it was a positive meeting with the supervisors who ended up voting unanimously for the race to go on as planned. It’s happening in Lakeport June 3rd to 4th.
Highway 101 north of Leggett had to be closed down again after another major landslide. The closure at the same spot where it opened a day before. Visit our Facebook page for a video of the slide coming down as cars wait to pass and firefighters run from the scene. Caltrans also has pictures up on their Facebook page, but no status update as to when the 2 lane Highway may reopen. The highway’s been under construction and down to one lane, then was closed April 16th entirely due to a massive slide and reopened Monday.
Residents and volunteers have come out for Earth Day in Willits to scrub the community garden after this year’s storms. The garden on Lenore Ave., behind the Sheriff’s office is across from the Recreation Grove Park. The Willits News reports several gardeners, staff members from North Coast Opportunities along with workers from the California Conservation Corps worked on the garden where there are enough for 50 plots, to get it prepared for spring and summer. You can rent a plot and plant what you want for a low yearly membership fee. Since there was so much rain this year, the garden had a lot of weeds and overgrowth which has been cleared out. For more info, donate or rent a space, visit http://www.gardensproject.org or their Facebook page.
The new police chief in Willits had a town hall to talk to the community about future plans, his outlook and goals for the department. Chief Scott Warnock says he’s always supported community oriented policing and says another thing he wants to see locally is continued recruitment and retention of qualified officers. He says he was planning to retire from the Willits Police force last year after being a part-time investigator for almost ten years. He was full time in San Diego for nearly 4 decades. But he became the interim chief after the last one, who’s the current mayor asked him to stay after he was elected to the city council. He was the interim chief just four months before taking over.
A driver in the Calif. Mille Classic has been killed after crashing into a tree on State Route 128 near Ukiah. The California Highway Patrol reports the driver, who’s not been identified, was driving a 1939 Jaguar headed east yesterday afternoon when they went off the road, onto the shoulder and crashed into the tree. They say the driver was partially ejected and died there. They also say they were not wearing a seatbelt. The passenger was taken to a hospital with major injuries. Both are said to be from Honolulu. The CHP says it was cloudy and misty at the time, and do not believe drugs or alcohol were factors. The Mille is a take off the open road race in Italy that spans a Thousand Miles, called the Mille Miglia. In Calif, it also runs one thousand miles from San Francisco through scenic backroads, including Highway 1 on the Northern California coast.
New lighting and solar panels coming to the city Clearlake. After Aircon Energy looked at all of the city’s equipment and lighting and checked for efficiency cost cutting measures. There’s some equipment that’s 20 years old and uses a ton of energy and could potentially breakdown. So City officials say they’re considering an update for City Hall and the police station, the community center, senior center and city parks. The whole thing will cost about $800,000 with more than half to be solar panels. The city projects it will save several thousand dollars a year in energy costs when all is said and done.
The four governing districts in Ukiah that oversee basin groundwater say yes to the joint powers agreement, AKA, the JPA, so there will now be a Ukiah Valley Groundwater Sustainability Agency. There are directors for each of the four districts, the Upper Russian River Water Agency, the Russian River Flood Control District, the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors and the City of Ukiah, for their own board. All of the districts will oversee the local control of their ground water as part of the state’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act of 2014. The board can acquire property, contract services, apply for grants and invest money. Plus they can have their own executive director and staff. There will be a budget within 90 days of the JPA’s first meeting.
A new bill introduced by Northern Calif. State Senator Mike McGuire to stop allowing pharmaceutical companies to give incentives and gifts to medical professionals. McGuire says the practice has meant medical professionals then tend to prescribe expensive and/or over-priced prescription drugs for patients. Reports say in Calif. most doctors do put their patients needs first, but there’s evidence out there showing there’s a correlation between gifts and incentives from pharmaceutical companies to prescribing patterns of brand name drugs. McGuire says his bill will protect patients from overpriced prescriptions. So if it passes, SB 790 would put patient care and drug affordability before corporate profits with major restrictions on drug manufacturers from gift and incentive giving. The bill to be heard in the Senate Health Committee today.
Kinda like Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, but not a whole family singing, just a flying car over Clear Lake. A small aircraft that looked like a drone and jet ski hybrid with one pilot aboard cruised about 15 feet above the lake, near the shoreline. The flight reportedly lasted about 5 minutes. The New York Times reports the single pilot craft was powered by eight batteries, attached to one of the propellers, giving it enough power for lift off. They’re calling it the Kitty Hawk Flyer. There are no wheels, but it does have pontoons. The paper reports the FAA approved the craft as ultralight aircraft. The company, a startup backed by Google founder Larry Page. The flying vehicle should be for sale by the end of the year.
An update’s come out from the City of Clearlake on the No Trespassing and No Camping enforcement. The Fire Chief, the Acting Police Chief had a meeting for city staff, their officers and county Public Health staff and volunteers saying there needs to be stricter enforcement of notices to vacate and issued citations. There were apparently needles, fluids and other abandoned items found during a cleanup last Friday near the old Ray’s Food Place and several people were arrested. Eight crudely put together homeless camps were cleared as well as some personal property which was carefully documented. The city will allow those who lost their property in the enforcement to pick it up from City Hall within 30 days or forfeit it. They say the removed four 30-yard dumpsters of garbage by the end of the day on Saturday and found more than 100 shopping carts and returned them to their rightful owners.
A surge in heroin overdoses reported by the Sonoma County’s Sheriff’s Office. The dept. warning the public after five deaths in Santa Rosa the last week and a half. They’ve not come up with the final cause of death, but they say they think it’s overdoses of heroin and they’re concerned about the drug currently circulating in the city, saying it’s very volatile and potentially toxic.
The former caregiver of a woman found mummified in her apartment in Fort Bragg has pleaded no contest to elder abuse. Lori Fiorentino could get time behind bars or parole for the neglect of 66 year old Arlene Potts. As part of the agreement with prosecutors she may receive the maximum of four years in prison when she’s sentenced May 11th or parole instead. A settlement agreement has been filed in Mendocino County Superior Court in the case. Potts was found decaying on a couch wearing only 5 layers of diapers when Fort Bragg Police went to the woman’s home last December for a welfare check. Police say the couch was obscured, hidden by a bunch of shopping carts and other junk where she may have been up to six months. Another tenant in her senior apartment complex reported a constant odor in the hallway outside Pott’s door, saying it smelled something like a dead whale on a beach. Fiorentino worked for the woman, thought to be schizophrenic after she denied hospital treatment.
Another PR nightmare for United Airlines. This time it comes after a giant bunny died in the cargo area. The rabbit’s breeder taking it to a celebrity client who had purchased the 3 foot bunny, Simon. Simon said to be on his way from London to Chicago when the 10 month old was found dead. He was expected to grow into what would be considered the world’s largest rabbit, something his dad accomplished back in 2010. The breeder says the rabbit was "fit as a fiddle", having just visited a vet hours before. United still recovering from a passenger being dragged off a flight by security, then days later an engine burnout and scary landing for customers coming home from Costa Rica. The airline says they’re looking into what happened to Simon.
A Mercedes crashed into a fire hydrant on Park Boulevard in Ukiah on Monday, causing a flood, the Ukiah Police Department reported.
Officers sent to the 400 block of Park Boulevard about a hit-and-run collision saw an abandoned white 2001 Mercedes coupe that struck a fire hydrant, causing road damage and flooding in a nearby house. The crash, which broke the water main connected to the hydrant, had also caused major damage to the car. The City of Ukiah Public Works department responded and shut the water off.
The UPD is investigating the collision. Anyone with information is asked to contact the UPD at (707) 463-6262.