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It may cost more for a number of activities in Ukiah. The Ukiah City Council is considering updating the schedule of fees for recreation and facilities. At the meeting tonight, the city council will hear from staff to also raise rates for the conference center. Right now to rent the red rooms there, it’s $1,500 a day, they want to raise that by $250, and the evening and weekend rate of $2,500 to instead be $3,000. Apparently they’ve not raised the rates for the red rooms for nearly a decade with few improvements to the building, so the money could go for capital improvements. They’re also suggesting increases for the other rooms too, nonprofits would get lower fees. The meeting tonight at 6 in City Council chambers.

A new report shows tourism is one industry doing well in Mendocino County. The report by the county’s Lodging Business Improvement District for the fiscal year 2014 shows the county made more than $4 million in transient occupancy taxes or hotel and lodging business, that’s just from unincorporated areas. The report says the county’s aggressive promotion kept people coming back, contributing to a full recovery of the tourism industry after the recession. The report also suggesting even more money should go into promotions so they can keep up with the successful growth the county’s enjoyed. The report says the BID Advisory Board found County-wide tourism promotion was underfunded compared to surrounding counties and competing markets.

Mendocino County working with the Coyote Valley Band of Pomo Indians on a possible new casino and housing project on its reservation in Redwood Valley. The Daily Journal reports the tribe would move their current casino to a new development and add single-family housing units in the spot where the casino is now. The Tribal Chairman Michael Hunter went to the capitol this week to try to get more money from the federal government and says there will be low-income housing included in the development. The new casino would be about the same as the current one, except they want to add a couple dozen more games. The restaurant would also add on so it has 125 seats, 75 more that now. The tribe and county have been working on the deal for months, a sticking point is the transient occupancy tax.

An eighth grade math teacher has won teacher of the year in the Middletown Unified School District. Ami Barker moves on to the Calif. Teacher of the Year competition as the representative for Lake County. Every year a teacher is chosen by school districts in Lake County to represent the county after they’re interviewed by community leaders. They are chosen based on state and national requirements, such as professional development activities, a commitment to the improvement of the educational system, personal attribute and creativity. Other teachers who were acknowledged as outstanding District Teachers of the Year were Tammi Mendonca of the Kelseyville Unified School District; Joel Sombs of Upper Lake; Curtis Reichert in the Lakeport School District; and Rick Easter of the Konocti Unified School District.

Approval by the Lakeport City Council for a new groundwater sustainability agency for part of the Scotts Valley groundwater basin. The council heard from community members, then voted unanimously for public hearing June 2nd. Lake Co News reports the Community Development Director says the city council had told staff back in January at a meeting to start working on making the groundwater sustainability agency a reality in alignment with all of the requirements of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act passed by Calif. lawmakers back in 2014. The agency will be responsible for the study of conditions and a plan to manage groundwater extractions by monitoring, regulating and to come up with fines for enforcement. The Scotts Valley Basin is considered a medium-priority basin. So there has to be an agency put together before June 30th with their groundwater sustainability plan in place by Jan. 31st of 2022.

An abundance of mosquitoes already being reported in Lake County. The Lake County Vector Control District says they’re already getting a bunch of calls after all the rain this winter. The weather has also meant they haven’t been able to treat some areas. There is standing water in some areas still after all of the rain. Clear Lake is more full than usual this year with water in low lying areas which scientists say is great habitat for the record number of mosquitoes. The Record Bee reports the State Public Health Officer saying when the rains stop and temperatures rise each year, there’s increased mosquito activity. Vector control says they’ve also received multiple calls about Rice Flies, which look a lot like a mosquito.

A man from Lakeport accused of killing his dog with a machete is going to a mental health facility. The Record Bee reports the court ruled William Gatlyn was declared mentally unfit to stand trial at his court hearing in December. He is on a waiting list to go to a program in San Bernardino for Jail-Based Competency Treatment. No word on how soon he’ll be admitted.

A man accused in the drunk driving death of a passenger in his truck is being tried in the case. The judge finding there was enough evidence against Jeremy Isom to be tried for vehicular manslaughter. He pleaded not guilty in November to the manslaughter, and for driving while intoxicated during the October 2016 accident where he rolled his truck on Morgan Valley Road in Lower Lake. Two other passengers in his truck had minor injuries, the third died. There is still evidence coming from the CHP, but the case was supposed to start today.

More than $13 million dollars in premium overcharges have been sent to nearly a quarter million people in Calif. by State Farm insurance. The state Insurance Commissioner says the company’s finally complying with the office’s order after they lost twice in court. The refunds include interest and come after an order by the Commissioner’s office for the insurance giant to reduce its homeowners’ and renters’ rates by seven percent back in Dec. of 2016 after they were found to be excessively high. But State Farm sued instead and lost. About 250,000 California consumers found to have been overcharged from about last December to the middle of February.

Part of the Masonite property in Ukiah has been sold. According to the Friends of Liberty they sold part of the property to Rhys Vineyards. As we’ve previously reported Ross Liberty, of Friends of Liberty, expanded his Factory Pipe business on the Masonite site. Now the company announces the vineyard bought part of the Mendocino County property which Liberty says will raise the image and awareness of Mendocino County as a premier wine growing region. He says Rhys Vineyards will also provide good living wage jobs with good benefits

An extension’s been announced for the emergency commercial rock crab fishery closure. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife extended the closure which was supposed to expire yesterday. It comes after State health agencies found the rock crabs north of Pigeon Point out to the Oregon border contained unhealthy levels of domoic acid. The Director then closed the fishery for commercial fishing, but kept the recreational fishery open with a warning not to eat them. The agency is monitoring the domoic acid levels in the rock crabs and other species that were not affected by the closure.

The Mendocino County DA’s office announces the search for a man they say had drugs and a weapon. On their Facebook Page, the DA’s office says for this "Warrant Wednesday" they’re looking for Carlos Ogawa for POSSESSION OF CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE WHILE ARMED and POSSESION OF A FIREARM. There’s a picture of Ogawa on the Facebook page with a description of the man as 30 years old, 5′ 6", 180 lbs with Black Hair and Brown eyes. They want him on a no bail hold.

The State Attorney General’s office apparently got another six and a half million dollars from the state to fight the Trump Administration. The Atty. General Xavier Becerra speaking with reporters Monday at a Sacramento Press Club event. He’s also apparently opened an office in Washington, D.C., to closely follow the Trump administration so the state can quickly react to the White House and even use civil rights attorneys for immigration issues, including threats to withhold funding from so-called “sanctuary cities.” The Governor Jerry Brown approving the extra money last week. Becerra’s request for the money said they want to fill 19 more deputy attorney general positions and says they’ve already spent more than 13,000 hours of legal time responding to Trump administration from Jan. 20th to May 8th.

The state legislature looking at ways to get tougher on some forms of edible cannabis. A law that just passed the state Assembly would ban marijuana laced candies which are used for chronic pain treatment. But they are also enticing to kids, so some lawmakers want them off the market. Assemblyman Rudy Salas wants the edibles not to look like candy. He says the candies hidden in pill bottles don’t do enough, adding when Proposition 64 passed it was for adult use so he wants to keep it just for adult use. There’s been more reports by doctors of kids in the ER from marijuana poisoning. The edibles bill is headed to the senate for a vote.

A man in Austin, TX suing a woman he dated for texting while they were at a movie. Brandon Vezmar suing his date in Small Claims court for $17.31, the price of her movie ticket for the 3D viewing of “Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2”. The man says he met the 35 year old woman online and took her to the movie May 6thg. He says it was about 15 mins into the movie when his date started her texting frenzy. He said it’s one of his pet peeves. He also says he asked her to stop or go outside, which she did, then never came back. Apparently she drove, so he was out of a ride home too. He says he texted her to pay him back but she refused.


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