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Monthly Archives: September 2017

An arrest has been made in last night’s fatal shooting in Clearlake Oaks. Brian Hultman found shot in the chest around 10pm after Lake County Deputies were called to a report of shots fired near Highway 20 and Oakgrove Avenue. Hultman was taken to Adventist Health in Clearlake where he died. Witnesses helped detectives track down suspect Christian Meiler who was booked for Murder and Possession of Firearm by Convicted Felon. He remains in custody on $1,000,000 bail. Detectives think there may be other witnesses that haven’t come forward and they urge anyone with information to contact the Lake County Sheriff’s Office: Detective Richard Kreutzer at 707-262-4233 or richard.kreutzer.

No one hurt after Lake County Deputies who stopped a car to talk to a guy with an outstanding warrant found an explosive device in the car. Around 1:15pm Thursday deputies pulled the vehicle over on Quarterhorse Lane to talk to the passenger Thomas Knight of Lower Lake who had a warrant for his arrest. While searching the vehicle they found a device with a black rubber casing, wrapped in duct tape and with a long fuse coming from the top. They called in the Napa County Sheriff’s Bomb Squad and they detonated it. Knight booked on the warrant and for Possession of a Destructive Device with bail set at $15,000.

The first medical marijuana dispensary has been approved by the Ukiah Planning Commission. Ukiah Holistics is the first to fill out an application as soon as the city said the businesses would be allowed. Laila Ekmekjian is the owner of the proposed store which would be at 1230 Airport Park Boulevard, near Sears. The plans are for the store to be open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. with a large lobby so there’s no loitering outside. The commission questioned the applicant about payroll and banking since cannabis use is still a federal crime. And apparently there are some credit unions now doing business with marijuana dispensaries. The city will get excise taxes only since medical marijuana does not have a sales tax.

Not great test scores for students in Calif. this time around. The latest scores released Wednesday showing only about 49 percent of students are proficient in English and a dismal 37 percent are proficient in math. The numbers really aren’t that much better than a year before. The tests were last year for kids in third through eighth grades and 11th grade. Only about 31 percent of students in Lake County scored at Level 3 or 4 overall. And in reading, more than 42% were below standard. A little over 50 percent failed math. But the State Board of Education President says the test scores are just one way of seeing how students are doing, saying there’s also graduation rates, suspension, enrollment in college-prep and advanced-placement classes to look at as well.

The Deputy Sheriff’s Association and Mendocino County have agreed on a new contract giving deputies a salary bump. The Sheriff says the contract is a good deal, telling the Board of Supervisors they’ve nearly recovered all the jobs that were vacant a few years ago, hiring one new deputy this month and two more next month. He says all open positions should be filled by next July. The new two year deal features a 3 percent raise and a one-time $2,000 payment for each year. They’re also getting longevity pay, so someone in the department for 10, 15 and 20 years of employment, gets 2% more and those on special assignment and others in Covelo or a coastal area get another 5%.

Cops are searching for a man from Point Arena who they say stole a bunch of money and property from an auto business. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Dept. reports getting a call from J.R.’s Home and Auto Center in Gualala that they suspected Joshua Hayward of stealing money and property for the six months he was working there. The business says all told, it’s worth more than $10,000 gone. Deputies went with a search warrant to a home in Point Arena where they found several stolen items and ammunition, but they didn’t find Hayward there. He’s now wanted on a felony warrant on suspicion of embezzlement, second-degree burglary and ammunition possession by a prohibited person. His bail set at $50,000.

The two men charged in the death of 36 people at the Ghost Ship in Oakland have entered pleas in court. There’s been several delays in the case, but earlier this week, Derick Almena and Max Harris pleaded not guilty on all counts. They’re now due back at Alameda Superior Court Nov. 7th for a pre-trial conference. Court papers say the men violated municipal laws in Oakland, creating a dangerous environment at the warehouse where a fire started December 2nd, and said their reckless actions led to the fire. Almena was the master tenant and had a bunch of other tenants who were artists and musicians. He moved to Upper Lake after the fire. Harris was a tenant there who supposedly helped Almena collect rent and was the doorman the night of the fire. The two had their bails reduced from more than one million, down to $750,000 but they’re still in jail.

After the approval of a Community Development Block Grant, Lake County’s considering taking more than $5 million dollars from what’s left of recovery money and spend it on infrastructure projects and programs. The county got money for the Anderson Springs Sewer Project and spent $2 million so far. There’s other projects the county’s considering like Cobb Mountain Water District improvements, including Rainbow Bridge and Anderson Springs road landslide repairs. The County Administrative Officer says they have to make sure they can use the money for the other projects so the deadline for the Housing and Community Development approval is now next August.

A man is dead and mystery surrounds the cause and possible motive. Police got a call about shots fired in Clearlake Oaks last night and went to the scene and found 31 year old Brian Hultman on a small frontage road off Highway 20 and Oakgrove Avenue. Lake Co News reports the man was taken to Adventist Health Clear Lake where he was pronounced dead. CHP officers and deputies were at the shooting scene early this morning but have no clear motive yet for the shooting or who may be responsible. The news site reports detectives noticed a dark-colored Ford Explorer nearby, with its driver side door open, but so far they hadn’t linked it to the death.

Lake County Deputies got rid of a possible explosive device from Lower Lake. The Sheriff’s Office reports the device was found yesterday during a traffic stop so the Napa County Bomb Squad was called out and destroyed the device where it was. No injuries or damage was reported.

A man in Fort Bragg has been found dead on a sidewalk. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s office reports finding Samuel Gibney, who they say they think was a transient from Fort Bragg last Saturday night. The man’s body was taken for an autopsy and blood-alcohol/toxicology tests too. The results of that won’t be out for about a month and a half. Someone apparently found the man and called police.

It’s now okay to drink and paddle in Canada. The federal government had restricted drinking on a canoe, kayak or raft. But apparently they’ve changed their mind. This comes while the government decides new rules ahead of the legalization of marijuana. Even if you’re on the water drinking, there are still other infractions that can come to paddlers, like being intoxicated in public. Apparently police in Ontario patrol the waterways throughout the summer, like the case back in 2011 where a canoeist was supposedly drinking and paddling and had their driver’s license suspended for 90 days, and another who was charged for driving a pedal boat while under the influence.

The CHP says there were five people inside an SUV in which a Kelseyville teenager led cops on a chase on Highway 101 Wednesday. The stolen SUV ran out of gas after the driver got off at Dutcher Creek Road and turned onto Lytton Springs Road. In addition to the 17-year-old driver there were two 18-year-old men also from Kelseyville, and two girls from Santa Rosa – ages 17 and 14. They were all detained although one of the girls had to go to a hospital for treatment of her diabetes. The SUV was reported stolen out of Lake County on Tuesday. The driver jailed on suspicion vehicle theft, possession of stolen property and felony evasion. He is also unlicensed.

A worker at Jr.’s Home and Auto Center has a warrant out for his arrest for allegedly embezzling from the business. In August the owner began to suspect Joshua Hayward was embezzling money and taking property in the time he’d worked there since February. Mendocino County deputies began investigating and determined more than $10,000 had been stolen from the business. On Wednesday deputies served a search warrant at his home in Point Arena. He wasn’t there, but inside they found several items of reported stolen property as well as some ammunition, which Hayward is prohibited from possessing. Hayward is wanted on a felony arrest warrant. Anyone with information on where he may be is urged to contact the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office TIP Line at 707-234-2100.

Lakeport’s working to become more green. The city’s reportedly working with a company for conservation ideas like solar panels, using more LED lighting instead of florescent and other energy-saving items. There are four main buildings in the city they want to do the work in, City Hall, the Police Department, Carnegie Library and the Corporation Yard. The city’s also considering work at the Wastewater Treatment Plant, City Water Wells and for the streetlights on Park Street. The company OpTerra would potentially work with the city on the nearly 4 million dollar project that would be paid for with a 30 year installment plan. Then the city could save about half of what its currently paying for electricity. The same company’s apparently worked with or is currently working with 20 other cities for similar projects.

Lakeport’s park committee needs some volunteers. There’s some projects happening at the Westside Community Park that need some muscle. One is to put several dozen commemorative bricks into the ground at the Memorial Grove. The bricks for purchase for local residents to memorialize someone. There are also trees that have already been placed to also commemorate someone. They need help putting a sign up to mark the Memorial Grove. They have some contractors donating time, but they still need more help. A priority is the paving of the Jane Barnes Field’s parking lot, putting in a curb, gutter, and sidewalk too. They’re trying to grant funding for all of this.

Three new/old members of the Mendocino County Board of Retirement in office again, as the trio ran unopposed. Current Vice Chairwoman Kathryn Cavness, board secretary Tim Knudsen and alternate member Richard Shoemaker are all in their positions until November of 2020. The retirement board administrator says they’re very happy with all three continuing. The administrator noting some of the work facilitated by the trio like getting a favorable determination from the IRS and getting work done on a strategic plan so they can maintain 100 percent success delivering retirement benefits on time and getting up to 100 percent funding by 2040.

Quick work of a fire by the Ukiah Valley Fire Authority. A grass fire near the airport yesterday after a man in an RV on Norgard Lane running a generator set off the fire in tall, dry grass. The fire chief says the guy was there when they got there and was very apologetic, but police on scene said they had seen the man there before and asked him to leave. The fire burned less than one acre. The chief saying it’s an important reminder that it’s still fire season with dry vegetation that can easily be set on fire.

After a year of negotiating and some walking off the job, court interpreters get a new contract with salary increases. The agreement for Northern Calif. translators after Mendocino County’s only translator, Tim Baird protested with other union members. The contract has a big salary bump of 21 percent over three years, but the starting rate stays the same. Depending on how long a translator has worked, determines their raise. The contract also stipulates that the interpreters can negotiate wage increases again about halfway into the current contract term, in 2019. The union says the deal is an important step even though it ignored an increase in pay due to increased pension costs.

The owner of the doomed Ghost Ship, the Oakland warehouse that caught fire killing 36 people, will not be charged. And Chor Ng is getting more than $3 million in insurance money. Apparently 3 point one million dollars to Ng for the warehouse and other nearby properties after the loss from the fire. She’s also apparently already received more than a half million to cover lawyer fees and incidentals. The claims after the fire cover several properties Ng owns in the area. The insurance document revealed by a Bay Area news agency says the insurer estimates it will have to pay the landlord more than 2 million in property damage. She has to pay for security though at the now burned down warehouse to preserve potential evidence in the case. The two men who rented from her are being charged with involuntary manslaughter for the fire last year during a party.

A long meeting of the Lakeport Planning Commission as they consider proposed cannabis regulations in city limits. Lake Co News reports the meeting went almost 3.5 hours to review a set of rules that a working group came up with. The city’s getting regulations in place before the end of the year to align with the state in relation to Proposition 64 and a recently passed package of bills by the legislature. There’s already a personal use ordinance in Lakeport, so there will be revisions to that. And as far as commercial goes, the staff’s been working on zoning classifications for commercial, industrial and heavy commercial. The working group wants to ban outdoor grows, nursery growing only indoors, limiting where it can be grown altogether and they’ve tweaked the permitting process for it all. The police department will have to review any new business and there will be no storefronts allowed.

A healthy month for real estate in Lake County. Lake Co News reports the Lake County Association of Realtors reported stronger sales in August with almost 100 homes sold, up more than 28 percent from the July total. 95 homes were sold in August, down from 100 last August. The median price was off 5.35 percent from July at $239,00 compared to $252,500 the month before. The news site reports statewide sales in August were at more than 425,000 homes sold, up 1.5 percent from July and 1.3 percent from August of 2016.

California will no longer be an afterthought in presidential primaries. The legislature has voted to move the primary election date from June to March. The governor signed the bill into law yesterday. So presidential and state primaries will change from June to early March in 2019. So the next presidential primary is now March 3, 2020. It will come right after the first four states Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina. The move after California’s last presidential primary came at the end when the two candidates were already their parties, presumptive nominees. Back in 2008 Calif. moved the primary to February 5th. But there was nearly 2 dozen other states that did the same. Supporters of the new law say it will boost turnout, but those against say it means long general election campaigns. Another bill the governor’s considering is to require presidential candidates to release their tax returns so they can be on California’s ballot. Brown has until Oct. 15 to sign or veto that bill.

A standoff that shut down a Bay Area freeway during morning rush hour has ended with a homicide suspect dead. It started around 830am when Fairfield Police tried to take the man into custody but ended up chasing his SUV, with Richmond Police and the CHP joining in on I-80. When the chase reached the merge of I-80 and I-580 in Emeryville, the suspect got out of his SUV. Officers negotiated with him for an extended period of time but when he started firing at them, they returned fire, killing him. The freeway was closed for more than two hours with traffic snaked around the Bay Area for miles in several directions.

A grass fire near the Ukiah Municipal Airport has been knocked down. The Ukiah Valley Fire Authority says around 1230pm a man camping in his RV on Norgard Lane was running a generator outside the RV and the exhaust set the grass on fire. UVFA Division Chief Kevin Jennings told the Ukiah Daily Journal two engines and a water tender responded along with a Cal Fire engine and they had the fire out before it got too much bigger than an acre. Chief Jennings says it’s a good reminder that dry vegetation can easily catch fire. He also said police had earlier asked the man to move away from area.

The fourth annual Veterans “Stand Down” and Resource Fair is underway at the Lake County Fairgrounds. They will be there until 4pm today again Thursday from 9am to 4pm. Veterans can get access to on-site medical services, enrollment in health care and supplemental nutrition programs, and resources relating to jobs and education. The Dept of Veterans Affairs will be on site as well as other federal, state, county and community organizations offering programs and avenues of assistance. And military surplus items will be offered to homeless veterans. You can also get free transportation to the event if you present a veterans ID or your DD214. Catch the bus at your local bus stop. Free lunch also will be served to all attendees.

It could be the final reading of the new medical cannabis ordinance at the Willits City Council meeting. The council approved a study and declaration there would be no major impacts from the ordinance at their meeting two weeks ago. And there was one tweak to the ordinance so any medical cannabis could not be seen in public right of ways or on private property. The meeting is tonight and there are other items on the city’s agenda, spending about 82-thousand a year on a new police officer, getting a new dispatch center supervisor and an interim police chief too.

A woman from Ukiah’s been arrested on suspicion of driving a stolen car in Covelo. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Dept. reports 25 year old Mindy Pratt was stopped on Highway 162 Saturday afternoon. The deputy found the car had been reported stolen by the CHP. The woman was arrested on felony possession of a stolen car and booked into jail on $15,000 bail. The car was turned over to the CHP for vehicle recovery.

More changes coming to Ukiah’s proposed marijuana ordinance. The Planning Commission is considering allowing six plants to be grown for recreational use indoors, or if they’re outdoors, inside a greenhouse. The greenhouse so they can be locked and people won’t get ripped off. The Daily Journal reports the amendment is to align with new state laws after Proposition 64 passed. Apparently if a city does not allow outdoor gardens, they will forfeit potential grant money for local public safety needs. The planning commission meets tonight. They’ll also consider the first application the city’s received for a medical marijuana dispensary since they were approved in the city limits again.

It’s been a long and winding road, but crews are now set to break ground on the Ukiah Costco. The big box store first approved in 2014 but then a lawsuit was filed and it kept delaying things until it was cleared up and part of the Environmental Impact Report was revised. The Daily Journal reports the deputy city manager saying a Costco store in Santa Rosa is one of the highest grossing in the country, and some of that is because folks from Lake and Mendocino counties also shop out there. So Ukiah should now get a piece of the action when the store opens with more than 120 new jobs. The store’s expected to open next spring.

A man from Ukiah has been arrested for indecent exposure near a kids play area. Ukiah Police say the man was seen in a car by another man near Psara’s Outrageous Playland fondling himself while there where young girls visible inside the business. Police say the witness approached the guy, then called police as the suspect drove away, but the witness got his license plate number and gave them a description of his car. He was found nearby and after cops questioned the guy, they arrested him on suspicion of being under the influence of a controlled substance and indecent exposure.

We’re about to find out where all the Measure V money is going as the Clearlake City Council gathers this week. The council to get a presentation on the road projects being paid for with the proceeds of the one-cent sales tax. They’ll also hear about a possible new ordinance to take care of vacant properties and have public hearings on nuisance abatements. The proposed ordinance because of abandoned or empty homes the newspaper reports are degrading the area. The new ordinance would set out how owners need to deal with vacant property and give them deadlines in which they have to take care of it. There will also be a quick closed session before the regular meeting tonight on ongoing litigation.

A man is wanted in Mendocino County for several crimes so he’s featured on the Sheriff’s Facebook page with his picture too. The Sheriff’s Dept. has their Warrant Wednesday post with 39 year old Leslie Burgess featured there. He’s wanted for assault with a deadly weapon, several drug charges and having an assault weapon in the commission of a felony. He’s wanted on $130,000 bail. He’s described as 6′ 1", 180 lbs, with Blond hair and blue eyes. The dept. is asking anyone who may know the man or may have possibly seen him to call their office.

A free seasonal flu shot clinic is being offered this weekend. The Mendocino County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) Public Health is having the vaccine drive-up clinic Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. for anyone 19 years of age or older. They’re especially encouraging those without insurance to attend. It’s in the parking lot of the Public Health building on Dora Street in Ukiah. The shots are free but they’re asking for a $15 donation. They will not turn anyone away who cannot donate funds. For more information, (point to website and Facebook >>>>>) contact HHSA Public Health at 707-472-2600.

A man in Fort Bragg’s been arrested for a burglary after cops say he busted into someone’s cargo container and stole some tools. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Dept reports getting a call to the 30000 block of Highway 20 Sunday and found someone had broken into the victim’s cargo container and took items estimated to be worth about $10,000.00. They say much of the stolen property was found behind a bush near the cargo container. They arrested Jacob Halloway after finding he had some evidence connected to the crime. He was charged with several crimes and held on $15,000.00 bail

The name of a second man killed near an illegal marijuana grow near Forestville has been released. Thomas Miller was the man we reported was taken to the hospital Saturday night after being found shot with another man, who was dead on the scene. Miller died at the hospital after being taken off life support. Police reported his friend, Theros “T” Fountaine, also of Santa Rosa was pronounced dead at the scene of the Friday night shooting. The two men found after a jogger in the area heard gunshots and screams and saw at least one person fall to the ground. No arrests have been made.

The Willits City Council could adopt the final draft of a medical cannabis ordinance this week. The Council meeting Wednesday includes a discussion and possible vote on the ordinance. The Willits News reports at their last meeting September 13, they approved the initial study for it, and made some amendments designed to reduce visibility of growing plants from public areas as well as some related to permitting, cultivation regulations, and enforcement. The study passed that day 3-1 and the City Manager tells the paper it looks like it will pass on Wednesday. At the same meeting the Willits City Council is scheduled to discuss adding a police officer position and dissolving a vacant community service officer position.

A stolen car has been recovered after a woman was stopped for speeding in it. Mindy Pratt pulled over for speeding Saturday afternoon on Highway 162 in Covelo and as the Mendocino Deputy who stopped her was talking with her he learned the vehicle had been reported stolen by Ukiah CHP. Pratt arrested for Felony Possession of a Stolen Vehicle as well as a probation violation and was being held on $20,000. No word yet on whether she actually stole the vehicle, and if not, why she was driving it.

Burglary charges have been filed against a Fort Bragg man for allegedly stealing around $10,000 worth of tools from a cargo container. The theft reported Sunday afternoon at a container in the 30000 block of Highway 20. Deputies say someone broke into the container and took tools and equipment, most of which was found hidden in some brush nearby. The investigation pointed to Jacob Halloway as the suspect; he was being held on $15,000 bail.

A Monday night fire that blocked Highway 29 near Hofaker Lane in Lower Lake was actually two fires that grew together as they moved uphill. The fire reported around 1030pm Monday brought out firefighters from Cal Fire, Lake County Fire, Kelseyville Fire and Northshore Fire’s Clearlake Oaks station. Lake County news reports its forward progress was stopped within an hour and it was contained at three acres but several resources stayed on scene for a few more hours and the CHP had to divert traffic onto Spruce Grove Road until morning.

A possible mishandling of funds being looked into by the Mendocino County Executive office. The money may have been improperly co-mingled between the county museum nonprofit and the County. The County Executive Officer Carmel Angelo says they need to look at the operations of the museum and priorities after the County Museum Director announced her retirement a few weeks ago. The County Librarian has been managing the museum in the meantime and the county’s looking at the accounting practices at the museum and the relationship between the museum’s nonprofit and the County. The nonprofit was started to bring in more money for the museum. Now contracts with museum consultants are on hold while the process continues.

The City of Lakeport’s Planning Commission is considering regulations for commercial marijuana operations. The meeting last week after a working group of city staff was created to put the rules in place before the end of the year. This comes after the passage last year of Proposition 64 and a package of bills passed by the legislature in June. The group has come up with personal and commercial rules for marijuana in Lakeport including no outdoor growing, allowing commercial cannabis only in commercial and industrial zoning districts; having the city’s police department review and approve any operations plan before a development permit can be issued; figuring out how to control potential odors and allow only delivery of retail sales, no storefronts will be allowed.

Lake County’s Board of Supervisors is presenting awards to county workers for their service. The board will also consider the second reading of a new outdoor marijuana cultivation ordinance at their meeting this morning at the courthouse. The untimed item on the agenda to read the ordinance to amend Lake County Code so that outdoor marijuana gardens are allowed on Rural Lands. They’ve also included wording to create a certification of compliance process for cannabis cultivation.

Even though the bill looks dead on arrival, Congressman John Garamendi is having a town hall on the latest try at repealing and replacing Obamacare. Garamendi is hosting two tele-town halls today at 10 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. The congressman’s office is expected to make the callout to thousands of his constituents in District 3. If you can’t call in, you can visit his Facebook page for a live stream and you can ask questions there. His office says the Cassidy-Graham health bill is more harmful than any health bill considered this year. There will be health care experts on both calls answering questions from constituents and talking about the potential impacts on the Third District.

A high honor for a local school administrator. Anderson Valley High School Principal Jim Snyder has been chosen as one of three finalists for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST). The program established by Congress in 1983, which authorizes the President to recognize up to 108 teachers a year for their excellence in teaching K-12 mathematics and science. The award is the highest honor the U-S government gives to teachers for these subjects at the K-12 level. Anderson Valley Superintendent Michelle Hutchins wrote a letter of recommendation to support Synder, saying he’s an amazing teacher. She says her only hesitation making him the principal was it took him from the classroom. Snyder is being presented with the PAEMST certificate and a monetary gift at a state mathematics conference later this year.

The leader of a group who marched in Charlottesville, VA last month where a woman was killed, says they’re headed to Berkeley. The alt-right group Patriot Prayer had canceled a rally at San Francisco’s Crissy Field last month but in an online video yesterday, the leader said they’d rally and march in Berkeley this afternoon even after many Free Speech event cancelations. The leader posted a Facebook video yesterday saying there’s evil in Berkeley and it will be taken care of. He called for the rally a day after a planned speech by right wing activist, Milo Yiannopoulos had a speech canceled but showed up anyway but left after about 20 minutes.

With the return of cooler weather and reduced wildfire danger, the Bureau of Land Management has rescinded fire restrictions on public lands managed by the Ukiah and Arcata field offices including Mendocino, Lake, Napa, Sonoma, and several other nearby counties. The BLM also lifting restrictions on target shooting that have been in effect since midsummer on Ukiah Office public lands. You still need to get a campfire permit though. You can get those at the BLM Ukiah Field Office on State Street. And the BLM’s fire management officer says, you still should not have fires on windy days, and you should always fully extinguish a fire before you leave a campsite.

A Calif. nonprofit is looking for new labels on coffee saying it could cause cancer. The Council for Education and Research on Toxics is suing so coffee manufacturers, distributors and retailers will label their beans with warnings about a cancer-causing chemical acrylamide, which is a carcinogen sometimes found in cooked foods like French fries, but is also apparently a natural byproduct of the coffee roasting process. But the coffee industry says it exists at harmless levels. The lawyer for the nonprofit says the chemical in the coffee is what makes it addicting, and according to the 1986 Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act, private citizens, advocacy groups and lawyers can sue on behalf of the state and win money.

Several AT&T workers have protested because of upcoming layoffs in rural communities. The protestors on the side of Highway 53 last Friday after the announced layoffs of technicians. As many as 70 or 80 premise technicians are being laid off in rural communities, including Lake, Ukiah, and Fort Bragg, which could in turn help the utility to lower costs by as much as $4 million a year. The company says it’s because they added people in the areas where there was an increase in customer demand for products and services but they see less need in other areas. 321 employees across California will lose their jobs before the end of the year.

Some football players may have to fear for their jobs after a tiny animal runs for a touchdown. A squirrel sent the crowd into a frenzy at the Kent State University and University of Louisville game on Saturday. The rodent delayed the game as it ran down the field, into the end zone. The announcers even got in on the action, calling it like it was a play. The squirrel ran pretty far, then suddenly plopped down on the field for a quick rest. The whole thing caught on video and went viral on twitter.

Mendocino County officials are reportedly taking a look at the finances of the County museum’s nonprofit Mendocino Museum Community Partners. The Ukiah Daily Journal reports since the museum director retired, County officials have been helping to keep the museum going and at the same time looking at the books. County CEO Carmel Angelo says they are looking into the accounting practices as well as the relationship between the nonprofit and the County and some apparent intermingling of the money. Angelo says once they’ve gone over it all, they will report their findings to the Board of Supervisors and then decide the next steps. She says, though, the museum is not in any danger of closing down and the County librarian is overseeing the museum.

With the return of cooler weather and reduced wildfire danger, the Bureau of Land Management has rescinded fire restrictions on public lands managed by the Ukiah and Arcata field offices including Mendocino, Lake, Napa, Sonoma, and several other nearby counties. The BLM also lifting restrictions on target shooting that have been in effect since midsummer on Ukiah Office public lands. You still need to get a campfire permit though. You can get those at the BLM Ukiah Field Office on State Street. And, the BLM’s fire management officer says, you still should not have fires on windy days, and you should always fully extinguish a fire before you leave a campsite.

4 teenagers have been arrested for a burglary in Boonville. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s office says they got a call Thursday about a burglary in progress at a vacation rental. Police say a cleaning person pulled up to the house and found there was a white Ford Mustang at the home and four Hispanic males. The cleaning person called the homeowner who called cops, saying they gave nobody permission to be inside the home. Deputies say the four, which included 3 – 17 year olds, who they’ve not named because of their age, and 19 year old Juan Rebolla Medina were rifling thru drawers and cabinets in the home and opening storage sheds. Cops say they also helped themselves to food, water and booze in the house and it looked like they were living there. All four were arrested for burglary and conspiracy and Rebolla-Medina had metal knuckles attached to a folding knife, so he was also charged with possession of a prohibited weapon.

Downtown Willits has a fun fall event planned. Family fun at the 11th Annual Harvest Moon Hometown Celebration in downtown Willits Friday, October 13th. The event sponsored by the Local First Program of the Willits Chamber of Commerce features live music, food, and local vendors and restaurants. There’s also prizes and a scavenger hunt. If you are interested in being a vendor contact the Willits Chamber of Commerce at 707-459-7910.

The new Lakeport Revitalization Plan has been approved. The plan sets out rules to follow when projects near the shore are proposed. There are also benchmarks for the city like improving parking and circulation, extending and enhancing the promenade, hotel development for more visitors to the lake and more coordination between projects in the downtown area and lakefront. Areas noted include the promenade, resort enhancement zones, event space revitalization zones, special commercial development zones, Library Park, Willow Point and the Main Street Business District.

An inmate’s been killed and multiple others are recovering from stab wounds after a riot at a prison near San Luis Obispo. The riot yesterday involving more than 160 inmates at the California Men’s Colony. The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation says 25 year old Matthew Cook was killed and nine others had to leave the prison for outside treatment for stab wounds. Cook was serving a 13 year sentence for burglary. No word on what could have motivated the rioting in the male-only prison. There are about 3,800 minimum and medium security inmates at the facility on the central coast, about 200 miles northwest of Los Angeles.

Two men are dead after a shooting at a pot garden in Forestville. The Sonoma County Sheriff’s office reports 46 year old Theros Frountaine was killed Friday night and another was wounded. But the second man, whose name they’ve not released, died in the hospital this weekend. Both were found shot in a field around 6:40 p.m. Friday. Frountaine died there, but the other man was flown to a hospital and had been on life support. Police say they have not arrested anyone. A jogger reported hearing gunshots and screams so police beefed up patrols and started a ground and aerial search in a rural area east of town. Cops say they found the marijuana garden nearby and say it looks like it was a factor in the shooting.

The Lake County Fire Protection District has gifted the Clearlake Police Department with equipment to help investigate critical incidents. Lake Co News reports the acting Clearlake Police Chief Tim Celli saying they got a surplus ambulance they’ll use as a police incident command vehicle, something they can use for crime scene investigation or any scene or incident where they need to form a unified command or have bulk equipment, something investigation staffers had wanted for a while. The chief says it can help them be more efficient and save time and says it came after command staff contacted the fire department to find a vehicle. And the timing was right as the fire department was at a point where it could surplus the ambulance.

There’s still summer weather even though the calendar says it’s fall. With that the National Weather Service has issued a fire weather watch for part of Northern California including Lake County because of predicted windy weather. The watch went into effect Saturday afternoon and continues thru 5-AM tomorrow morning. The watch is to alert folks about critical fire weather conditions, such as gusty winds, warming and drying conditions. High winds were expected over the Sacramento Valley and southern Lake County. The Weather Service warning offshore winds and the dry air could create critical fire weather conditions. The low daytime humidity is contributing to the fire weather. Light winds in Lakeport, but faster moving winds in the south.

The Mendocino County Board of Supervisors decides they’re not going to totally ban vacation rentals after all. There was a 45 day ban in effect for air b-n-b type rentals put in place August 1st, but the supervisors said they hadn’t noticed an immediate threat, which is needed for the urgency ordinance. Supervisor Dan Hamburg saying it feels like unnecessary government control. Hamburg, Carre Brown and Georgeanne Croskey all voted the measure down. The board further found those who have vacation rentals went thru the process, but some didn’t get the proper permits because the Planning and Building Department had told many, they only needed a business license.

A mobile eye clinic’s coming to Ukiah with free checkups and glasses for those on Medical or Medicare. Assemblyman Jim Wood working with eye care provider VSP Global for the clinic which is being held the last Thursday and Friday of October. It will be outside the Ukiah Valley Conference Center, and is by appointment only. Apparently vision care was mentioned as part of a protest outside the Assemblyman’s office in support of Single-Payer Healthcare, a bill being considered, but that didn’t pass the Assembly this last session. Patients at the free clinic will get prescription glasses the same day as their exam. To schedule an appointment, call (707) 463-5770.

After a random attack, a man from New Mexico is charged with a crime for slapping someone and stealing their green chili cheeseburger at a restaurant. Santa Fe police say 25-year-old Anthony Frazier is charged for wandering up to another man at Shake Foundation, asking him to dance, then slapping him across the face. The victim says, that’s when Frazier swiped his burger and took off. He’s now charged with robbery after being identified by the victim as the burger thief.

The thief of colored pencils finally busted after a high speed chase. Court papers say 19 year old Kerstie Arnold was busted after a Dollar General store employee in Cozad, Nebraska reported seeing the young woman steel the pencils and walk out. But the driver of the vehicle she was in wouldn’t stop. She was arrested after the high speed chase, that ended with the driver hitting a spike strip and driving on the vehicle’s metal rims for an hour. The driver, Michael Cinocco is now charged with operating a motor vehicle to avoid arrest, which is a felony; and first offense driving under the influence of drugs. And the pencil stealer, Arnold, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor shoplifting and has to pay $50 restitution.