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Monthly Archives: May 2017

Two people have been killed in a car accident on Hwy 101 in Willits. The CHP says for an as-yet-unknown reason an SUV crossed the centerline around 1230am and collided head-on with a pickup truck, and both caught fire. There were six people in the pickup – four adults, an infant and a 7-year-old boy, from Eureka and Fortuna. A Good Samaritan got five of them out but could not reach the driver who was trapped and died in the truck. The SUV driver also died at the scene. The injured were taken to Santa Rosa Memorial and Howard Memorial hospitals. The boy has minor injuries while the others are said to have more serious injuries. The CHP says while the cause of the collision is under investigation, impaired driving may have been a factor.

As more boaters from all over get ready to take over our local waters this weekend several state and local agencies are asking you to help them keep invasive quagga and zebra mussels out of our lakes. These mussels spread from one body of water to another by attaching to watercraft and associated gear. It’s not just a matter of taking a quick look, as the juveniles are microscopic. And they don’t just hang out on the bottom of the boat; they can live in engines, bilges, and buckets. To prevent the spread of these mussels those launching vessels at any body of water are subject to watercraft inspections and are strongly encouraged to clean, drain and dry your boats – both motorized and non-motorized – before and after you go boating, kayaking, or jet skiing. And be ready to for an inspection not just at a lake but also maybe at a state Food and Agriculture Border Stop.

There’s reportedly been a fatal boating accident near Lakeport. The Lake County Sheriff’s Marine Patrol told Lake County News that a single boat with two people on board crashed around 330pm Thursday. Lakeport Fire Protection firefighters found the boat a short time later at the Skylark Motel with two men on board, one of them dead. The survivor said they had hit a tree and the other men fell to the deck and likely hit his head. Few other details have been released. The Sheriff’s Office is investigating.

The Lake County Office of Education has named Cynthia Lenners as the new assistant superintendent, succeeding April Leiferman who has been hired as the new superintendent of the Lakeport Unified School District. District officials said Lenners, who has been in education for more than 35 years, will officially start the new job July 1. For the past two years she has been the Lake County Office of Education’s senior director of school and district support services. She started her career as a science and social studies teacher in Salinas where she also served as an education specialist and later worked as an educational consultant, focusing on school and district accountability and reform.

A guy with a Mohawk has gotten away from a motorcycle chase in Fort Bragg and the Sheriff’s Office wants to find him. The chase started around 415pm Sunday when a deputy saw the red Polaris Slingshot Three-Wheeler speeding along Simpson Lane. They chased him for nearly three miles during which he sometimes swerved into oncoming traffic until he ditched the bike and ran. The motorcycle was confirmed stolen out of Roseville. Investigators don’t yet know the identity of the guy driving it but they say he did have a passenger at some point earlier in the day around Mendocino County. If you know something you’re asked to contact the Sheriff’s Office, and you can stay anonymous.

Lake County is moving right along in getting abandoned vehicles off the streets. The Abandoned Vehicle Abatement Commission says as of May 17, the County had tagged 59 vehicles, towed 10, and impounded 2. The City of Lakeport had tagged 3, towed 2, and had 5 more ready to be tagged and the City of Clearlake has now tagged more than 160, and towed over 35. When a vehicle is tagged, the last registered owner is notified by mail at their last known address and gets ten days to move it until it’s towed. As for motorhomes, the County says it can cost between $4000 and $6000 to remove an abandoned motorhome with all the environmental issues involved and since the AVA program has limited funding, if one person dumps an RV is means several smaller cars will likely just stay on the sides of county roadsides.

Yet another delay in the trial of a man accused of making threats against the Lake County District Attorney’s Office. The Record Bee reports the jury trial of Nine Green, which was scheduled to start October 18 after a series of delays, will been rescheduled again, although the dates for Jury Selection have been set. Green is charged with two counts of Threats to Commit Crime which will result in Death or Great Bodily Injury, Threats to an Elected Public Official, Willful and Malicious Harassment to Another Person and 34 counts of a Violation of Protective Order. The charges stem from a series of incidents, including Green allegedly smearing manure at the DA’s office. Two panels of jurors will be summoned and will be given a questionnaire as to how much they already know about to the case.

Grand Theft and other charges have been levied at two people from Annapolis, CA, who the Sheriff’s Office stole an excavator bucket from a business in Gualala. Robertson Enterprises reported the $1,800.00 equipment has been stolen from their yard around May 15th. Surveillance video allowed deputies to identify Edgar Figueroa-Garcia and Melissa Harbuck as the suspects. On Monday deputies saw a vehicle associated with Figueroa-Garcia on South Highway 1 at Old Stage Road and tried to stop him but he took off, leading to a brief chase until he stopped in the 40000 block of Old Stage Road. Harbuck was also in the car and both were arrested. A search of the vehicle turned up about 9-grams of methamphetamine. Mendocino and Sonoma Deputies later found the stolen excavator bucket in Sonoma County. Figueroa-Garcia is charged with grand theft and evading a peace officer. Harbuck was cited and released for possession of a controlled substance and an outstanding misdemeanor warrant for driving on a suspended license.

The FAA is investigating the death of a skydiver who crashed into a Northern California vineyard Wednesday while wearing a specialized jumpsuit called a wingsuit. Matthew Ciancio crashed while jumping with the Lodi Parachute Center where a spokesman told the Sacramento Bee the wingsuit failed to deploy correctly and Ciancio may have waited too long to deploy his emergency parachute. Wingsuit flying, also known as squirrel suit or birdman suit jumping, is usually done as part of BASE jumping but more extreme athletes who skydive in them can reach speeds of nearly 200 miles an hour. The FAA plans to talk to witnesses and review any available video evidence. This is the fourth death at the Lodi Parachute Center in the past two years.

More than 150 vehicles have been red tagged to be removed in Clearlake. As part of the city’s vehicle abatement project under the Abandoned Vehicle Authority, a partnership of Lakeport, Clearlake and Lake County. It’s part of a law passed by voters to set aside cash to remove stranded vehicles. The money’s been on hold for five years because the legality of Proposition 218, which collected the funds, and was challenged. The state’s been holding nearly 300-thousand dollars which won’t be distributed until the rest of the money being held is released. Clearlake says they’ve got about $35,000 for work thru June 21st.

Lawmakers are considering a proposal to bring energy costs down after massive hikes in pricing over the winter months. Democratic Senator Jerry Hill of San Mateo authored a bill that has unanimously passed the Senate after some complaints from Pacific Gas & Electric customers. The Senator says he was personally contacted by constituents about their high heating bills. Apparently the utility uses a tiered system, charging lower fees for a certain percentage of energy used, then going up from there. But Hill’s bill, if it passes, would mean an average residential customer would be charged the lowest rate for up to 70 percent of their heating energy usage from November to March. The bill now moves to the Assembly.

Congressman Mike Thompson comes out swinging against the new budget proposed by President Trump. Thompson says it’s a "full-throated" attack on the middle class with unprecedented cuts to Social Security, Medicaid and more, which he says goes against what Trump had promised on the campaign trail. Thompson says he strongly opposes cuts that’ll destroy programs important to hardworking men, women, and families. The budget, as it stands, cuts $1.4 trillion from programs like Medicaid, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), federal student loans, and many other needed programs for lower income families.

A home east of Cloverdale’s been gutted by a fire that quickly took off and spread. The home was completely destroyed yesterday and the fire charred about 10 acres too. It took crews about 4 hours to contain it after it spread to the woods near the home because of gusty winds that blew embers across Geysers Road. More than a dozen engine companies and 84 firefighters were on the scene. The damage to the home pegged at about $200,000.

A poem believed to be crying out about racial injustice and conservative politics gets a negative review after Sonoma State University’s weekend graduation ceremony. The Press Democrat reports some parents weren’t happy with the tone of the poem read by a graduating senior saying it’s language was rude. The school president sent out an emailed apology afterwards. Senior Dee Dee Simpson recited her own poem Saturday night in front of the record setting graduating students and their families. The poem calling out police violence against blacks, plus there were negative references to President Trump and Fox News which included curse words.

Congressman Jared Huffman’s trying to get a bill passed to bring high-speed internet through federal public lands. Huffman’s Public Lands Telecommunications Act had a hearing in front of the House Committee on Natural Resources Tuesday. Huffman says if folks in rural areas had better broadband connections then park visitors would then get better interpretive services and improved public safety response. He also says there would be more efficient land management, plus surrounding communities would be able to get faster broadband. The bill would mean a public land management agency such as the National Park Service could work with a private company and nearby rural communities to expand broadband infrastructure and services.

A woman accused of shooting another woman from Caspar has turned herself in. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s office reports Kelley Ann Coan went to the San Joaquin Sheriff’s Office related to the property dispute that ended in the death of Jamie Shipman. Someone had reported shots fired Tuesday morning, then cops were on the lookout for Shipman’s SUV. Coan and her son apparently lived with Shipman and her husband where there was some sort of disagreement. Steve Shipman found his wife’s body and called police who searched their 33 acre property. As we reported Shipman’s SUV with “American Repair Co.” painted across the side had been missing after the shooting.

The Ukiah Valley Sanitation District board of directors gets the greenlight to enter into a contract with a possible interim district manager. The district’s lawyer made the announcement after the meeting last week where board members discussed working with Joe Tait of San Diego. He apparently has experience in strategizing and contacted the district directly. He also apparently wasn’t aware of the dispute between the city and the district that’s been brewing for several months over the Wastewater Treatment Plant. The City Manager in Ukiah told the Daily Journal since they’re in the midst of their negotiation with the district, he can’t go into details about its status.

High water levels and damage from the winter rains means multiple facilities at Lake Mendocino are closed. The South Boat Ramp, the Bushay Campground, lower Kyen Campground “C” loop and the Pomo C, Joe Riley and Oak Grove day use areas are all closed until further notice. There are plenty of areas open though too, the North Boat Ramp, several upper Kyen Campground sites, the dam and day use areas, including Pomo A, Pomo B and the Overlook.

A man from Australia posts a video to Facebook of a ginormous spider carrying a mouse up his refrigerator. The video by Jason Womal has been viewed more than 10 million times showing the Huntsman spider attempting to consume the rodent as it drags it along. The man saying he’s going to adopt the spider now, and he named it Hermie. Apparently this type of spider hunts late at night and can eat medium sized prey like cockroaches, caterpillars and moths. We’ve posted a link to the video on our website and Facebook page…

http://wate.com/2016/10/30/man-captures-terrifying-footage-of-massive-spider-carrying-mouse-up-a-fridge/

What was being called a suspicious death investigation is now being called a murder. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office is searching for Kelley Coan of Caspar in connection with the Tuesday morning shooting death of Jamie Shipman at a property on Caspar Little Lake Road. Detectives say Coan lives on the property along with Shipman and Shipman’s husband and had been in a dispute with them related to the property. An arrest warrant has been issued for Coan for murder. Shipman’s car is also missing and detectives want to find that too. It is a 2009 Chevrolet HHR, wrapped with the logo of the business American Repair Company. It has California license plate #6JWT270.

If Memorial Day Weekend has you checking out the Mendocino National Forest, officials remind you there are still some closures due to winter storm damage repair as well as some snow still in the High Country. You can find road closure information on the forest service website but here are some reminders: if you are heading from Covelo to Willows, State Route 162 (turning into Forest Highway 7) is not passable yet. Also, be alert to logging activity on the M4 Road. And there may be some unknown and therefore unmarked problems like downed trees and rock slides. They say it’s not all bad news though: the M10 Road is open so the Letts Lake and Mill Valley campgrounds are open. And while some campgrounds are still unavailable, dispersed camping is allowed in areas you can get to by car within the rules.

It may be the last planning meeting on the planned Costco in Ukiah. The Planning Commission is having the meeting today to get public comment then consider the revised Environmental Impact Report. The reports been on hold for a couple years after a lawsuit the city ended up mostly winning. The lawsuit was dismissed but the attorney who first filed in 2014 appealed. Then the court decided part of the environmental report needed work and it shouldn’t have even been certified. That was for energy usage. So the Planning Commission will talk about the updated energy section tonight at 6 p.m. in the City Council chambers. The city council won’t take it up again until June 7th. The planning commission is also considering changes to so-called mother in law or granny units at the meeting tonight too.

Part of a ventilation system catches fire so Factory Pipe at the Masonite site had to be evacuated. The owner Ross Liberty says one of their dust collectors caught fire and they tried to extinguish it themselves, but had no luck. They called Ukiah Valley Fire Authority. There was no damage to the building and no injuries were reported.

Storm damage has some of the murals at the Redwood Empire Fairgrounds damaged and covered up so now what to do? The Fair’s’ Building and Grounds Committee are getting public comment today about what to do with the murals at the Fine Arts building. Some of the damage means the murals will have to totally be painted over. They’ve been there since the late 70’s and were last restored in the 1990s. The board of directors looking to hear from community members. The meeting this afternoon at the fairgrounds at 4. Anyone with questions can email them too, info or call (707) 462-3884.

A community garden’s popped up on Highway 29 in Middletown. Giant posts have been put up across from the Calpine building on Central Park Road. The North Coast Opportunities Gardens Project for a community garden to teach families how they can feed themselves and their families by building gardens. The Manager of the project says they’re working with AmeriCorps VISTA so the garden will help low income families and those who’ve been affected by natural disasters. There was massive damage in the town during the 2015 Valley Fire. The property is owned by Calpine who agreed to be part of the project which is next to the Visitor Center. The garden is funded for three years with grant money that will also pay for water usage and art installations. The work to be done to get the garden going in early June.

Three men have been arrested on separate child pornography charges. 35 year old Daniel Wood of Middletown, 44 year old Scott Davis of Clearlake Oaks and 24 year old Jose Mendoza from Upper Lake busted. After lengthy investigations, the Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Unit served several search warrants and say they found tens of thousands of images and video of kiddie porn. Wood was arrested last month for a parole violation, then after a search he was charged with child pornography. After a tip, Davis was arrested a couple weeks later, then Mendoza was nabbed last week on a warrant. The Lake County Sheriff’s office says the arrests were all a result of Cybertips sent to the Major Crimes Unit.

Willits residents along with city officials talking about the just finished rough draft of cannabis regulations. The regulations cover indoor growing, processing, manufacturing, and dispensing of weed for medical use only. An ad-hoc committee was created on the matter. Members saying the rules are welcoming to business and could help create jobs at the same time protecting residents. It prohibits growing, processing, and manufacturing facilities, requires odor-control systems on all businesses, establishes buffer zones between businesses and schools and considers zoning only in industrial areas and dispensaries only in certain commercial zones, mostly south of State Route 20.

Receipts tallied for what it may cost if California to have a universal single-payer health care system. The Senate Appropriations Committee report pegs the cost at $400 billion dollars. Some money from the federal government along with state and local money would hit the $200 billion mark, then residents would have to cover the other $200 billion thru tax hikes. The report looks at the tax coming in from payroll with no cap on wages, it’s calculated at about 15 percent of earned income. The report does say the costs of the new taxes would be offset by lower spending on health care coverage by employers and employees. The Healthy California Act first considered by lawmakers in February and was authored by Democratic Senators Ricardo Lara of Bell Gardens and Toni Atkins of San Diego.

Cops are searching for info on the death of a 60-year-old woman and need help finding her missing station wagon. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office reports finding the woman’s body yesterday mid morning. They also say her blue 2009 Chevrolet HHR which has a gold medallion on the hood. The side has markings of “American Repair Company” with the California license plate number 6JWT270. They also say not to approach the car if you see it and to immediately call the Sheriff’s Office.

A change in the decision regarding the Dollar General store in Middletown. The Board of Supervisors said no to findings of fact for the appeal it said yes to, so now the board has to have a special meeting next week. As we reported the board overturned its own findings last month, voting 3-2 against the appeal from Cross Development of Texas. The company fighting against the decision by the Lake County Planning Commission to deny their design review permit for a major use permit for the Dollar General store proposed on State Highway 29. Lake Co News reports the board, within the required 45 days, changed course and rejected the findings due to the community design criteria.

The state’s working to contain a recent outbreak of norovirus. The California Department of Public Health and local public health departments are ramping up the fight after increased reports of the illness in schools and other buildings. It’s easily spread where people are in close contact. The State Public Health Officer warns it’s very infectious and can spread fast wherever people meet and share food and bathrooms. The agency helping to make sure schools are properly disinfected to contain the virus because it can live on surfaces a while unless they’re properly cleaned.

A missing woman from Sonoma County has been found dead. The Sheriff’s Dept. volunteer search and rescue team has found 54 year old Catherine Huberty of Santa Rosa close to where she was last seen. Police had reported the woman, who has mental health and mobility issues, seen walking uphill on Mark West Springs Road Saturday. Her body was found yesterday afternoon along a steep area of Redwood Hill Road in a ravine. A sheriff’s helicopter was brought in to remove the body which was seen in rugged terrain. Cops say right now it looks as though she had slipped and fallen.

If you’re planning a ride down Highway 1, you’re out of a luck for quite some time. First a bridge failed during heavy rains, but people stuck there were starting to make due, now a massive landslide has buried the highway under about 40-feet of rocks and dirt. It apparently happened last Saturday in an area known as Mud Creek. The California Department of Transportation reports more than 1 million tons of rock and dirt have fallen down the hillside which is so unstable, they haven’t been up to assess how they can fix it. It covers about a quarter mile of Highway 1. They say they’ll have geologists and engineers check it out this week.

In Canada, they’ve come up with a new way to get people to drive slower or be cited… They have dart like guns in Ontario Provincial Police vehicles so they can shoot at speeding cars. The announcement made this week that just like a James Bond gadget enhanced car, cops can now launch projectiles about the size of a soup can from the front of their police vehicles. The dart can stick to a car and a GPS signal is then sent back to their communications centre so they can continue to track the car and avoid high speed chases. The officers have to be specially trained. 3 cop cars now have the technology.

DJ KHALED I'M THE ONE 
JULIA MICHAELS ISSUES 
KYGO IT AIN'T ME 
JAMES ARTHUR SAY YOU WON'T LET GO 
CALVIN HARRIS SLIDE 
CHAINSMOKERS (THE) SOMETHING JUST LIKE THIS 
ZEDD STAY 
CHARLIE PUTH ATTENTION 
IMAGINE DRAGONS BELIEVER 
FLO RIDA CAKE 
ED SHEERAN CASTLE ON THE HILL 
LUIS FONSI & DADDY YANKEE DESPACITO 
LINKIN PARK HEAVY DNCE KISSING STRANGERS 
HALSEY NOW OR NEVER 
DRAKE PASSIONFRUIT 
MARTIN GARRIX SCARED TO BE LONELY 
HARRY STYLES SIGN OF THE TIMES 
JASON DERULO SWALLA 
LADY GAGA THE CURE 
SHAWN MENDES THERE'S NOTHING HOLDING ME BACK 
AJR WEAK 
MACHINE GUN KELLY AT MY BEST 
SAM HUNT BODY LIKE A BACK ROAD 
KATY PERRY BON APPETIT 
RAG'N'BONE MAN HUMAN 
KYLE I SPY 
MILEY CYRUS MALIBU 
CHEAT CODES NO PROMISES 
NIALL HORAN SLOW HANDS 
BRUNO MARS THAT'S WHAT I LIKE 
VAMPS (THE) ALL NIGHT 
HEY VIOLET BREAK MY HEART 
POST MALONE CONGRATULATIONS 
KENDRICK LAMAR HUMBLE 
AXWELL & INGROSSO I LOVE YOU 
PLAY-N-SKILLZ IF I ONCE 
HAILEE STEINFELD MOST GIRLS

The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office is investigating what they are calling a suspicious death in the area Caspar and they are looking for a vehicle in relation to it. It is a blue 2009 Chevrolet HHR with a gold medallion on the hood. The side is marked with "American Repair Company" and has a California license plate of 6JWT270. They say they are looking for the vehicle as part of their ongoing death investigation but have so far not given any other details.

Meanwhile a Fort Bragg woman reported missing last night has been found safe. The Sheriff’s Office had been looking for Amitha Tith who hadn’t been seen since last night after leaving home to walk her dog. But officials said this morning both she and her dog were located and they thank everyone that shared the information.

At least 2500 people with pot-related felony convictions in California have filed requests to have their convictions or sentences reduced since Proposition 64 passed in November. The Associated Press sites the partial state figure reported through March of people with felonies taking advantage of one portion of Prop 64 to try and get them reduced to misdemeanors. Some they interviewed said having a felony lumps them in with violent offenders with trouble getting a job or a loan. The AP says the degree of success in reduction seems to vary from County to County. Mendocino County DA David Eyster says he fights any case not eligible for a reduction, such as those with a major felony in their past, a sex offense, two previous convictions for the same crime and committing an environmental crime while cultivating pot.

Another giant landslide has blocked Highway 1 near Big Sur. Cal Trans says about one-third of a mile of road near the Mud Creek area is buried under a 40-foot layer of rock and dirt. The state had already closed part of Highway 1 nearby to repair some buckled pavement and remove debris from an earlier slide. Cal Trans says they now have to wait for the immediate slide danger to stop before they can figure out how to shore it up and then get it cleared.

The Redwood Valley Grange has its 100th anniversary celebration. There’s been some controversy in recent months after the grange and newly formed offshoot, the Calif. Guild are fighting over their name. On Saturday the grange celebrated, but also filled members in on the latest after the Guild had its Grange charter revoked in 2013. The Daily Journal reporting the two organizations are now in a trademark lawsuit. The Guild is appealing a federal court ruling that the “grange” name is part of the larger National Grange name. There’s also another lawsuit about the grange halls which may mean a change here in Redwood Valley. Over the weekend the whole thing was explained to those in attendance with an update. The group says they’re in the midst of trying to resolve the whole thing. The newspaper reports many new potential members are just waiting until the whole thing settles.

A first place award on local government reporting for the Ukiah Daily Journal. The award from the California Newspaper Publishers Association 2016 Better Newspapers contest which were handed out Saturday. The award for a four part series from last summer related to mental illness and its effects on the city. Justine Frederiksen wrote the stories with pictures by Chris Pugh.

A weekend of preparedness as volunteers from the Mendocino and Napa counties’ Search and Rescue teams were learning new techniques at Lake Mendocino. There were even helicopters in on the action last weekend as they practiced extended search and rescue, or SAR, missions. These practices help in rugged, mountainous areas that are difficult to access for either rescues or even in a fire. The teams learn how to get someone out and onto a helicopter.

Lake County is working to bring numbers up after a scorching report on health and wellness. The county was 56 out of 57 on a recent report by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The Record Bee reports the county’s Wellness Road Map project is to work on bettering health levels and reversing statistical trends. The county’s apparently seen some improvement since the wellness program began 3 years ago, when they were in last place. The county will be having some town halls to get people more involved and get their input.

A new project in Calif. could mean lighter traffic in some areas. The California Transportation Commission has put $328 million aside for 88 transportation projects to lighten traffic, fix old roads and bridges and promote bike riding and walking. There are more than 40 biking and pedestrian projects planned across Calif that are getting almost $36 million from the Active Transportation Program. The Caltrans Director says the plans are to maintain and improve transportation for both economic and quality of life benefits. 234 mil going to so-called “fix-it-first” projects to maintain and preserve highways and their supporting infrastructure.

Some people in Willits find out a registered sex offender is moving to town. The Willits news reports the high-risk sex offender, Jonathan Hoppner moved to Willits from Santa Rosa May 5th. Residents found out after the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office told the Brooktrails and Willits residents he had registered as a sex offender in the area. But the residents were unhappy they didn’t know before the guy moved to town. The address of where he moved is not something cops release, they just released his zip code and city. He’s now one of 34 other registered sex offenders in Willits. The Press Democrat previously reported Hoppner as developmentally disabled and had been in trouble for attacking two parole caseworkers as well as serving time for sexual battery.

Lawmakers looking to add another layer of gun safety on school campuses. The Assembly passed a bill yesterday to adjust another bill passed a couple years ago that its author says has been exploited. The original bill authored by Democratic Assemblyman Kevin McCarty would have allowed guns on campus so domestic violence survivors could protect themselves but now McCarty says it’s expanded to allow cafeteria aids, teachers and yard duty assistants to carry firearms which was never its intent. He says research shows more guns on school grounds makes them less safe. But some Republicans say the new bill will reverse a limited exemption that does make schools safer because abusers would now know domestic violence survivors would not have guns to defend themselves.

Lakeport’s new Measure Z Advisory Committee having its first meeting to decide what roads get money for repairs. The committee meeting tomorrow afternoon at 5:30 p.m. in the city council chambers in Lakeport. The committee put together by the council to oversee the spending from the 1-percent sales tax approved last November. The new members will be introduced at the meeting and they’ll nominate the chair and vice chair. They’re meeting again at the end of July, Oct. next January and April.

The next “Coffee with a Cop” is set with the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office and local CHP. The gathering next Friday, June 2nd from 7 to 9 a.m. at Mountain High Coffee & Books in Hidden Valley Lake. The Sheriff’s dept. says it’s a time where they can visit with community members and chat. There’s no speeches to be made, just getting together for a meet and greet. The annual event where police and locals have an informal, neutral space to talk about community issues, build relationships and of course, drink java. It’s part of a national initiative with the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services and happens in many cities and towns across the country.

A woman still missing from Sonoma County since the weekend. The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office put out the word to be on the lookout for 54-year-old Catherine Huberty. She was last seen walking uphill on a dead end road last Friday, captured by local surveillance video. She’s described as a white woman, 5 feet 6 inches tall, 115 pounds, brown hair and blue eyes. She was last seen wearing a black dress and white shawl, pulling an orange-bristled push-broom. Police say she suffers from mental health issues and is mobility impaired. They’re asking anyone who may have seen her or picked up a hitchhiker to call the sheriff’s office. They say the area where she disappeared is very steep and rugged.

Gonna be a scorcher. Forecasters say the temperatures in the western United States will be even hotter in some places than in the late summer. Meteorologists say a high pressure system will move some of the hottest air they’ve seen since last summer, across the west coast. They also say that could bring record breaking temps from Washington to California. In Portland, Oregon, it could be hotter than 90 F for the first time since August. It’s usually in the low 80’s in August in Portland. It was 100 in Sacramento yesterday. Forecasters also say the sun is angled like it usually is in late July, so there’s a very high UV index and more of a threat of sunburns. A storm is predicted to move in tomorrow which should cool things down.

What was thought to be a fake diamond turned out to be a real one, worth about a half million more than it was originally sold for. The gem bought for ten bucks at a flea market is expected to bring in about 450-thousand at Sotheby’s next month. The buyer apparently didn’t know the ring they bought was worth something because it had dull diamonds, not cut to show their brilliance and clarity. The auction house’s jewelry department says its owner wore it every day, not knowing it was real.

Home sales were up in Lake County in April. The Lake County Association of Realtors says the median sale price in April was higher than in March, and at $235,000 the highest it’s been since November when it was $255,000. And Lake Co News reports the 81 sales reported in April was the highest number of monthly sales since August of 2016 when there were 100 sales recorded. Statewide, the trend was mixed, with the California Association of Realtors reporting overall statewide sales in April were down 2.4 percent from March but the median home price was the highest it’s been since August 2007, at $536,750.

The search continues for a Santa Rosa woman missing since Friday. Police say Catherine Huberty, who walked away from her home Friday afternoon, is a high-functioning schizophrenic who has physical disabilities and typically walks with a cane. The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office says she was last seen on Mark West Springs Road. Her caretaker reported her missing around 8:30pm Saturday but a neighbor’s surveillance system caught her on video walking Friday at 4:45pm and going out of range of the camera where the road gives way to a steep trail leading down to Mark West Creek. Search teams with dogs have been looking since Sunday morning.

Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office K9 “Rex” is getting get some new body armor. Rex will receive a bullet- and stab-protective vest provided by the non-profit Vested Interest in K9s, but locally sponsored by Coburn’s Construction & Cabinetry of Willits. Vested Interest works specifically to help law enforcement agencies get potentially lifesaving body armor for their K9’s; since they began they’ve provided more than 2,400 vests to dogs in all 50 states. The donation from Coburn’s has allowed Rex to get the nearly $2000 vest, which MCSO K9 Unit head Lieutenant Kirk Mason says is the highest level of affordable protection currently offered.

Hospice Services of Lake County wants you to “go take a hike”. Their 3rd annual Hike for Hospice is coming up on Saturday, June 10, at Highland Springs Park. It’s a fundraiser to help Hospice Services afford grief counseling, family bereavement camps and school-based children’s grief groups. Hike for Hospice is very family-oriented with trail options of “mostly gentle” treks of between one and five miles. Each hiker is asked to get pledges in advance and if you get at least $25 in pledges you get a T-shirt. They also encourage team fundraising and have prizes for that. There are several ways to register: you can call pr, or pick up a packet at one of the Hospice Thrift Stores in Lakeport, Clearlake, Middletown.