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One person has been killed and four others hurt in an early morning head-on crash on North State Street that started a fire at Thurston Auto Plaza.The California Highway Patrol says the man was northbound on North State, north of Hensley Creek Road, around 130am, when for unknown reasons he veered into oncoming traffic and slammed into a southbound SUV then continued on to crash into a power pole and then into the Thurston Auto Plaza parking lot where it hit a Jeep which burst into flames. He was dead at the scene. Injured in the SUV were the driver, who is a man from Cottonwood, and his three passengers: a woman from Redwood Valley and man from Ukiah who both have major injuries and another man from Ukiah with more moderate injuries.

Emergency Managers are warning about the threat of spring flooding with this weekend’s expected snow and its ensuing melt. Cal OES says the heaviest precipitation will occur be today and Saturday, with snow levels in the sierras initially around 6,000 feet before dropping to between 2,500-3,000 by Sunday. The combination of a wet winter and eventual sustained warm weather elevates the possibility of spring snowmelt flooding in various areas throughout Northern California. And snowmelt volume could force higher than normal releases from large reservoirs, impacting lower-elevated areas throughout the spring and into early summer, even as we are still recovering from the devastating winter floods. Four separate Major Disaster Declarations have been approved by President Trump California from the winter flooding.

The group Friends of the Lake County Library is asking for donations of books for their May 6th book sale. Books should be in good condition and, except for classics, be recently published. Cookbooks are especially welcome, as are self-help, and how-to books. Alas, encyclopedias and magazines are not needed. Be sure to expressly state that the books are for the "Friends Sale" when you bring them to your local branch which you can do at the circulation desks at the Upper Lake, Lakeport, or Redbud branches. Proceeds from the sale will help to buy new books.

Willits has a new Chief of Police. Scott Warnock has been serving as Interim Chief since the retirement of former Chief Gerry Gonzalez in December. At a special meeting this week, the City Council approved a 5-year contract for Warnock, which will be ratified at the Council’s regular meeting next week, on April 22nd. Warnock’s professional background spans more than 30 years in law enforcement and criminal justice, working the last nine years as a part-time investigator with the Willits Police Department, after retiring from the Department of Alcohol Beverage Control. Prior to that, he worked for the Mendocino County District Attorney’s Office, the Mendocino County Public Defender’s Office, Novato Police Department, and the San Diego Police Department. He and his wife have lived in Willits for more than 25 years. The City plans to host an open house on Thursday, April 27th, for the community to meet and welcome him.


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