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Monthly Archives: October 2017

Fire has destroyed a Clear Lake Riviera home. Kelseyville’s Fire Captain tells Lake County News they responded around 4pm Sunday to the home on Takelma Way along with crews from the Lake County Fire Protection District and Cal Fire. He says it took about an hour to contain the fire and a few more hours to mop up the scene. No one was hurt but the house was destroyed and a neighbor’s home somewhat damaged. The cause is under investigation.

There was a positive trend in the employment numbers for Mendocino County from August to September, but the State’s Employment Development Department says it could be the last good one for a while, as the effects of the fires could take hold starting with the October and November reports. Mendocino County’s unemployment rate as a whole went down from 4.8 percent in August to 4 percent in September with the number of people considered unemployed down by more than 250. But an EDD labor market consultant tells the Willits News the fires will definitely have an impact, with Mendocino County losing, among other things, two wineries.

There’s a community meeting Wednesday for the Redwood Valley fire cleanup focused on area stabilization and debris removal. It’s from 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. at the Eagle Peak Middle School Cafeteria. There will be reps from Cal OES, the Army Corps of Engineers, FEMA, CALFIRE, Mendocino County Environmental Health and Mendocino County Planning and Building. They’ll discuss some of the most frequently asked questions about debris removal, the Right of Entry Agreement, erosion control and the overall recovery process. If you can’t get to the meeting it will be streamed live on the Mendocino County Facebook page and YouTube Channel.

It can be campfire time again in the Mendocino National Forest. Higher humidity and lower temperatures have enabled Forest Supervisor Ann Carlson to lift the fire restrictions meaning visitors with a valid California Campfire Permit may, once again, have open campfires, stoves, or barbeques outside of designated campgrounds. The fire permit is free from any Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management or Cal Fire office. You can also get one online at www.preventwildfireca.org. Keep in mind this is just for the Mendocino National Forest – other public lands may still have fire restrictions in place.

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A special hearing’s being held by the Ukiah City Council regarding a possible increase in fees the public pays for Ukiah Police. The Police Chief apparently asked for more time to prepare fee proposals. The Daily Journal reports the Chief’s staff report says they’re asking to raise the fees for fingerprinting and accident report services among other items. For example, the department wants to raise bicycle license fees. Something that costs the department $12, but they only charge $3. The department looking to still take a loss, by charging $10. They also want to raise the rate for carrying a weapon. The current cost of a concealed weapon permit is $25, but the department would rather have it at $100. The public hearing on the proposed rate hikes tomorrow at 6 p.m. in the City Council chambers.

The Board of Supervisors poised to put an urgency ordinance in place in Mendocino County for temporary occupancy trailers and to consider a proposal on price gouging after the Redwood Valley fire. The county’s reportedly working with a company to help local hotels and businesses to register with FEMA for temporary housing for fire victims. The board is also working with a group to help fire victims find contractors for rebuilds or fixes to fire created damage. The matter on allowing temporary housing allows for trailer coaches and to help families whose homes were destroyed or damaged and are uninhabitable due to the fire. The areas would be in the burn area perimeter but residents have to work with a licensed contractor and their temporary housing cannot be in an area that would get in the way of the reconstruction of homes.

The Lake County Board of Supervisors has approved moving, updating and maintaining the Wall of Honor for military members. Right now the wall is on display at the courthouse, but the board has approved moving it instead to the Veterans Service Office. Apparently some family members of the troops went to the county more than a decade ago regarding the wall honoring men and women who had served in war zones overseas. Now the Health Services Director and the county Veterans Service Officer went to the board to revisit the matter. The County Administrative Officer also urging the board to consider the move since the wall had not been maintained in sometime. The board decided there would be a plaque at the courthouse letting visitors know the Wall of Honor had moved.

Congressman Mike Thompson and other lawmakers moving so SBA disaster relief covers more territory. The bi-partisan Small Business Disaster Relief Act supported by lawmakers of both parties so the SBA working with the USDA can help more with grants, business development and technical assistance after a disaster. It encourages small business development centers to be more involved and to help streamline the processing of disaster loan applications, so it moves faster. 200 businesses burned in the October wildfires in Northern Calif. Thompson says the bill he introduced would improve the way the SBA helps businesses impacted by wildfires, hurricanes, and other natural disasters. California Congressman Jared Huffman is also a co-sponsor.

The State Senate Leader says since there’s been several recent sexual harassment claims at the Capitol, an investigation is being done by an independent firm. California Senate Leader Kevin de León made the announcement after a letter by several women who work in the Capitol about sexual harassment after the allegations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein. The letter was published last week by the LA Times and calls out de Leon for not doing more to change the culture in Sacramento. So the Law Offices of Amy Oppenheimer will handle the external investigation of sexual harassment and assault allegations and de Leon says a consulting company will also review the Senate’s policies and practices against harassment, discrimination and retaliation.

Another Fire recovery meeting for those in the City of Clearlake. It was the second Sulphur Fire recovery meeting last week. Fire victims urged to submit their Right-of-Entry (ROE) forms so cleanup of debris could move along. At the meeting were representatives from the city, local law enforcement, FEMA, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plus many other state departments. All were reminding those in attendance about the need for the Right of Entry forms so they could get to work sooner. It allows contractors to enter properties to inspect, test materials and remove and clear any or all wildfire-caused debris, no matter what it is. The forms are available at the Local Assistance Center, which is at the Clearlake Community Center (Senior Center) or at wildfirerecovery.org.

Here’s a first. American wine company, Constellation Brands Inc. says it’s jumping into the cannabis business, by getting 10 percent of a medicinal cannabis provider in Canada. Constellation of course owns many wineries in Northern Calif., like Clos du Bois (clo dew bwah ) in Geyserville, Simi Winery in Healdsburg and Robert Mondavi Winery in Napa. Now they own a $191 million dollar stake in Canopy Growth Corp. from Canada. The company looking to diversify, but has no plans to sell marijuana in the U-S or elsewhere unless it’s legal, “at all government levels.”

Police are still searching for a fourth person wanted for an alleged armed robbery and kidnapping in Brooktrails last week. Mendocino Deputies went to a home on Primrose Drive around at 1am Friday for a report of an armed robbery with three victims at the hands of three men they say forced them at gunpoint into a closet and stole their marijuana. The witnesses described an SUV the men were in and some Willits Police officers found it and tried to stop it but the driver led them on a chase. During the chase, two people bailed out of the SUV and ran off near Bray Road and two more jumped out and ran when the SUV stopped around Creekside Court in Willits. Three were picked up pretty quickly. They are charged with kidnapping, robbery, and being armed while committing a felony plus one of them had a warrant from Indiana that identified him as “Armed and Dangerous.” Meanwhile the fourth suspect, now ID’d as Hugo Mercado from Indianapolis, remains on the run.

The California Highway Patrol is gearing up for another Start Smart driving program for teens. They say the chances of a teen being involved in a crash are significantly lower when high-risk driving behaviors are eliminated and the course is designed for newly licensed teen drivers and their parents, using techniques that capture the attention of both the adults and kids about the consequences of behaviors like distracted driving. Parents are also reminded to have their own good driving behavior in front of their kids. The Clear Lake Area CHP office in Kelseyville conducts local Start Smart classes. The class takes about two hours.

A teenager from Redwood Valley whose younger brother died in the Redwood Fire, has also died. 17 year old Kressa Shepherd was in the hospital with severe burns since October 9th. Her 14 year old brother Kai died the night of the fire after the flames overtook him when he and his family were trying to escape. Their mom and dad are in separate hospitals recovering from burns they got too, and do not know their children both died. Kressa had to have both of her legs amputated and never woke up from a coma. She was a junior at Ukiah High School and is now the 43rd victim of the wildfires in Northern California that started the weekend of October 8th. Mom Sara has burns on 60 percent of her body and is in stable condition at UC Davis and her husband, Jon has burns on 45 percent of his body. He’s at St. Francis Memorial Hospital’s burn unit in San Francisco.

The work on the replacement of the Harbin Creek Bridge in Lake County had to be put on hold because of frogs. This particular frog is said to be designated as potentially threatened under the California Endangered Species Act. As coincidence would have it, one day after the project went out for bid, Foothill Yellow-Legged Frogs were added to the list of potentially threatened species. So they conducted a biological study which is usually done in any construction project, and found 10 adult and juvenile frogs where the temporary Bailey bridge is. So now the work may be delayed as long as one year. Apparently it would have had to be delayed even if the frog was not listed as threatened.

The North Bay North Coast Broadband Consortium is asking folks to document what sort of outage they had when fires broke out earlier this month in at least three of their four consortium counties, Napa, Mendocino, and Sonoma. They’re asking folks to let them know if you lost service, for how long, and if the power outage affected telecommunications. The Consortium says that will help them figure out where there are infrastructure weaknesses and specific provider dependencies. They say they’ve had surveys in the past during outages which they shared with elected representatives, which were also then cited in Government Accountability Office reports and the state’s Public Utility Commission. The survey can be found at the Broadband Alliance Homepage at www.MendocinoBroadband.org of their Facebook page.

A special meeting by the Lake County Board of Supervisors on wildfire recovery. The board meeting as they normally do on a Tuesday, but usually not on the fifth Tuesday of the month. County officials are apparently working on other time-sensitive issues as well. Lake Co News reports the board also considering an agreement between the county and the city of Clearlake for public health and environmental health assistance due to the Sulphur Fire. An agreement was agreed to by the Clearlake City Council last week so that Lake County Environmental Health could manage the debris recovery process. The board is also considering using the Eastlake Landfill for final disposal for debris from the 2017 wildfires that happened outside of Lake County. The board will also consider the reconstruction of certain structures burned in the Sulphur fire. They will also look at temporary housing in the fire area.

Consumer advocates concerned if P,G & E is found responsible for one of the fires that broke out this month, will they pass on higher rates to consumers to pay for power outage work. Calfire and the Calif. Public Utilities Commission are reportedly investigating if the utility’s power lines were to blame for the Tubbs Fire, the most destructive of the wildfires. PG&E has insurance but is said to be considering charging customers for costs not covered by their insurance. The price of damage is estimated in Wine Country alone to be as high as $12 billion when all is said and done. The utility asking that a precedent from 2007 in San Diego County be used, showing a utility is not entirely responsible for the risk of wildfire.

Whatever’s left of the wildfires still smoldering after the Firestorm early this month should be out as the National Weather Service says substantial rain is on the way. The Weather Service out of Sacramento reporting rain and snow in the forecast later this week. The rain expected at the end of the week into the weekend, but could come as soon as Thursday. Northern Calif hasn’t gotten a lot of rain so far this fall, and the winter forecast from Accuweather in California says to expect a mild and drier winter than last season.

Still a bunch of dogs and cats that have not been picked up or claimed after the Sulphur Fire in Lake County. Lake Co News has posted pictures of all the displaced animals and says dogs that are adopted from Lake County Animal Care and Control are either neutered or spayed and have been microchipped. Some also got shots and they will have a county license before they can be adopted. This week they have a Chihuahua, German Shepherd, pit bull and shepherd available. The cats are all being held for 30 days before they are put up for adoption.

A Day of Remembrance of the Northern California Fires by Governor Jerry Brown. On Saturday, flags were to be flown at half-mast to honor those who died in the recent fires. 9 people died in Mendocino County, the ninth last night in the hospital, from injuries in the Redwood Valley Fire. More than 300 homes were destroyed. There are still people missing in Napa and Sonoma counties, the fires across Northern Calif. that started October 8th are now considered the deadliest in California history. The Governor’s statement to proclaim October 28th as a “Day of Remembrance of the Northern California Fires” in the State of California.

The Sulphur Fire has officially been fully contained. The fire got to 2,207 acres and burned 168 structures, two of those were outside the city of Clearlake, but the rest burned in the city, including 136 homes. The fire first reported early Oct. 9th and ended up being managed with the Redwood Fire as the Mendocino Lake Complex. The Redwood fire started a day before, on October 8th. It’s also been fully contained, as of last Thursday. That fire killed nine people, burned more than 36,520 acres and several hundred structures in Potter and Redwood valleys. The two fires were both fully contained ahead of the projected date of November 1st. This Wednesday. Other fires that started in Northern Calif around the same time, the Southern LNU Complex that burned in Napa and Solano counties is also fully contained after burning 51,624 acres, destroying 481 structures and damaging 90 others. The Central LNU Complex in Napa and Sonoma counties is at 98-percent containment. It’s considered the most destructive in state history. 23 people died in the fire which burned 110,720 acres and destroyed 6,957 structures. All of the fires causes are still being investigated.

Google said to be reworking one of its emojis because it didn’t look quite right. The company had been criticized because of where the cheese is on their version of the cheeseburger emoji. The CEO of Google Sundar Pichai tweeted that the company would, quote “drop everything else we are doing and address on Monday 🙂 if folks can agree on the correct way to do this!” So of course, twitter responds with pictures of various cheeseburger emojis with different placement of the cheese. Some even showed the mistakes in other emoji cheeseburgers, like where the lettuce was or how many sesame seeds were on Facebook’s buns.

A police dog in the Fort Bragg police department got his protective vest. Maverick is now one of the 2,600 or so canine officers who’ve received protective vests from Vested Interest, a non-profit organization who provides bullet and stab protective vests and other help for dogs of law enforcement and related agencies in the United States. Dogs actively employed with U.S. law enforcement or related agencies who are certified and at least 20 months of age are eligible for the vests. The group also takes donations, as one protective vest is $950.00. The nonprofit says there’s about 30,000 law enforcement dogs in the United States right now.

A man from Willits has been arrested on drug charges after a car crash in Ukiah. Ukiah Police say Stian Enger Schwindt was headed down East Perkins Street near the South Orchard Avenue intersection speeding, then pulled into oncoming traffic to try to pass another car, but then crashed into a car and pushed an SUV out of its lane. The driver of one of the vehicles was injured and taken to the hospital. Police say Schwindt had drug paraphernalia and suspected meth, plus a suspended license so he was arrested on suspicion of drug and drug paraphernalia possession and driving on a suspended license. His passenger apparently told cops he was actually driving, so he was arrested on suspicion of delaying an officer and possession of drugs in a jail.

The former mayor of Ukiah has died. 78 year old Barry Wood died in Cocoa Beach, FL last month. He was the mayor back in the mid 70’s and was also a Ukiah city councilmember then too. He was also a lawyer who practiced in Ukiah from 1967 until 2000 and headed up the Mendocino County Family Support Unit.

Congressman Jared Huffman apparently writing a letter to FEMA to clarify immigration policies so some victims of the recent wildfires will come out of the darkness for help. Apparently the congressman had heard there were some eligible applicants foregoing federal assistance because they were concerned they might expose family members and others to deportation. Huffman penned a note to the FEMA administrator to confirm the agency’s verification process wouldn’t be used to find the immigration status of neighbors, family members, or household members. And also to get an explanation of what FEMA may be sharing to I.C.E regarding personal identifying information.

A state grant that went to Mendocino County for a new wing at the Mendocino County jail for the mentally ill, is actually not going to go mentally ill prisoners after all. The Sheriff Tom Allman says instead the wing has nothing to do with a need for Measure B to be on the Nov. 7th ballot because those being treated in that proposed wing, would not be criminals. A mental health treatment center would be funded by Measure B, for those who are critically mentally ill and shouldn’t be near the public and also be protected from themselves. Allman says the new jail wing funded by the state grant is necessary as part of the “realignment” program mandated by the state because of empty state prisons and prisoners being thrown back in county jails.

A disaster food assistance program’s been approved for Mendocino and other fire affected counties. The Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act thru the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service approving Disaster CalFresh for Mendocino after all of the wildfires that started Oct. 8th. Families who lived in Sonoma, Napa, Butte, Lake, Mendocino, Nevada or Yuba counties before the disaster and were impacted by the fires may be able to get Disaster CalFresh assistance. That could include the Electronic Benefits Transfer card, so you can go buy groceries or other needed items from authorized retailers. It’s also based on income.

Benefits are as follows, based on household size and a monthly income limit:

•For a single-person household, the monthly income limit is $1,700 to receive a CalFresh allotment of $192.

•For two-person households, the monthly income limit is $2,049 to receive a CalFresh allotment of $352.

•For three-person households, the monthly income limit is $2,397 to receive a CalFresh allotment of $504.

•For four-person households, the monthly income limit is $2,755 to receive a CalFresh allotment of $640.

•For five-person households, the monthly income limit is $3,133 to receive a CalFresh allotment of $760.

•For six-person households, the monthly income limit is $3,510 to receive a CalFresh allotment of $913.

•For seven-person households, the monthly income limit is $3,858 to receive a CalFresh allotment of $1,009.

•For eight-person households, the monthly income limit is $4,207 to receive a CalFresh allotment of $1,53.

Applications will be available at the following locations:

•Local Assistance Center

Mendocino College (Building 6220)

1000 Hensley Creek Road, Ukiah, CA 95482

Mon.-Sun. 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., through Oct. 30

•Employment and Family Assistance Services

737 S. State St.

Ukiah, CA 95482

Mon.-Fri. 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sat. 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

(707)463-7700

•Employment and Family Assistance Services

472 E. Valley St.

Willits, CA 95490

Mon.-Thurs. 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

(707)456-3700

•Employment and Family Assistance Services

764 S. Franklin St.

Fort Bragg, CA 95437

Mon.-Fri. 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

(707)962-1000

HOW TO APPLY ONLINE

Individuals and families may also apply for D-CalFresh online at: http://www.c4yourself.com/

HOW TO APPLY STATEWIDE

Individuals and families displaced by the wildfires may apply online or visit any human or social services agency across the state. Please check local listings for contact information.

The last of the five men connected to a marijuana robbery this summer have been sent to prison. The Mendocino County DA’s office reports on the sentencing of a group they were calling the Jackson 5. Court papers say the men were armed when they drove up to a remote property on Covelo Rd. in July, wearing masks and said they were cops. The property owner thought they were lying and wanted to steal his marijuana crop, but the men fired shots at him so he ran away and called for help. When police arrived the robbers took off, but dumped their truck. Police found guns and stolen property inside. The victim also said the guys had kidnapped him and threatened to shoot him. Three of the men were arrested that day and Jackson, wasn’t arrested until 6 weeks later. He pleaded guilty this week to several crimes and sentenced to 25 years in prison. The others received between 12-14 years behind bars.

The Ukiah Beauty College, a longtime tenant at its current location has been evicted. Apparently there was a dispute with the landlord after confusion over rent payments. The Daily Journal reports the Beauty College’s owner saying they paid the former building owners back rent from two years ago, and the current landlord kicked them out of the building. So now the beauty school’s set up at the Ukiah Fairgrounds in temporary space. They have 52 students currently attending. The owners says they hope to start classes up again next week after taking all their equipment from the old space this week.

A man in Redwood Valley has been arrested after Cal Fire says he shot at them while they were fighting the Redwood Valley Fire. The Sheriff’s Office says their fire truck was parked on John Maxwell Heron’s property October 13th and the firefighters heard him yelling at them from his house, then heard gunshots coming from his location. They called police. The Sheriff’s Office and other law enforcement out patrolling the area went to the man’s house after he complained there were intruders on his property. He also apparently admitted he shot his gun. Officers say they found him outside his house but he resisted arrest. He was arrested for suspicion of discharging a firearm in a grossly negligent manner and resisting an officer, and held on $15,000 bail.

The yearly Harvest Festival put on by the Ukiah United Methodist Church has been canceled due to a benefit for fire survivors. Mendocino Strong Together is scheduled the same night the Harvest Festival was supposed to happen. A church volunteer tells the Daily Journal they decided to cancel their event and encourage everyone instead to go to the Mendocino Strong Together fundraiser instead. They say next spring they hope they can have an auction with appetizers and beverages instead. The newspaper also reports the national relief organization connected to the Methodists had donated a couple thousand dollars in gas and grocery cards the first week after the fire.

The CHP reports one of their officers shot during the shooting spree Monday and hit in his vest is recovering nicely. Lake Co News reports officer Steven Patrick, an 11-year CHP veteran, was hit during a shooting spree where it’s alleged Alan Ashmore of Clearlake Oaks shot his dad and a longtime friend to death, set some fires and shot up a gas station. The officer’s bulletproof vest stopped the bullet from getting him in the stomach. Ashmore made his first appearance in the case Wednesday. Patrick’s commanding officer says his actions that day were heroic. Ashmore faces the death penalty in the case and has been charged with more than 20 crimes including murder and attempted murder.

A shootout’s being investigated in Clearlake after a woman reported her SUV was shot at. Police say they have identified one person of interest, Robert Bradley of Clearlake and they’re searching for others after the Tuesday night shooting at Flyers gas station. Police say when one of their officers got to the station, witnesses said two vehicles just drove off, a brand new white Jeep Cherokee chased by a gray Ford Taurus. They say those inside the jeep were firing at a group of four Hispanic men near the parked Taurus. Bullets hit a nearby Travelodge. Several calls came into police about the gunfire, but they’ve not located anyone witnesses say they saw. A woman called police to say she was in a white Jeep Liberty that was being shot at and came to the station to show them, and she was released and not charged. They say they’re still looking into the case and don’t think anyone was injured.

CAL OES providing a likely timeline for cleaning up home sites from the Mendocino Lake Fire Complex. At a conference call today (Thurs) with reporters, officials confirmed they’ve begin Household Hazardous Material removal with Phase 1 happening as Cal Dept. of Toxic Substance Control workers goes through neighborhoods removing your household HazMat, and then Phase 2 starting when Phase 1 finishes. That will be done by the US Army Corps of Engineers and includes removing ash and other fire debris. The Corps is not charging homeowners for this work and homeowners may accompany them on property. Then they have to test the soil for Asbestos and other contaminants, which could take several days for the results to come back. And they could have to keep removing soil and structures until all chemical levels are back to where they were before the fire. After that they do erosion control, and then allow landowners back on for rebuilding. A spokesman said on average this could all take about 30 days.

A countywide marijuana thief who had been the recent focus of an intensive manhunt has accepted a plea deal to multiple charges with a sentence of 25 years in prison. The Mendocino County District Attorney says Trevor Michael Jackson pleaded guilty to a felony crime spree that included burglarizing a locked building to steal marijuana in March 2016; kidnapping and robbery while armed with an assault weapon while stealing marijuana in July of this year, and vehicle theft while running from cops who had a warrant for those two cases in August. The DA says this will be Jackson’s fourth time in state prison.

A marijuana thief has turned himself in and accepted a plea deal. The Mendocino County District Attorney’s office reports Trevor Jackson, a transient, has pleaded guilty to a felony crime spree in their "take it or leave it" settlement offer. For that he’s admitted several crimes including burglary of a locked structure to steal marijuana in March of 2016; kidnapping and robbery. Jackson will have to serve 85% of the 25 years the Adult Probation dept came up with. This is the fourth time Jackson will be in prison. He’s due back in court next month for his formal sentencing.

Assemblyman Jim Wood’s office is partnering with a group of doctors to give free eye exams to folks in Ukiah. The appointments by VSP Global are first come, first served. The company is also offering special kits for victims of the recent wildfires for possible replacement glasses. The event today 8 AM to 5 PM at the Ukiah Valley Conference Center. Those who are getting the free exams can pick out their glasses too. To be eligible your family income has to be up to 200% of federal poverty. You also cannot have had eyecare over the last year

A man from Clearlake Oaks accused of killing his dad and friend, shooting at others and starting fires has been in court. Alan Ashmore faces more than 20 crimes for his shooting spree Monday. Police say he shot his father to death in front of his home in the Clearlake Keys, shot a longtime friend, then drove to a gas station and had a shootout then, drove to another, then a winery and lit some fires along the way. A cop was also shot, but he had a bulletproof vest on. Some of the charges against him include, two counts of murder, two of attempted murder, assault with a firearm on a peace officer and arson. The fires he reportedly started burned less than two and a half acres. The DA’s office says a special allegation for multiple homicides means he’s eligible for the death penalty or life without the possibility of parole if he is convicted.

A man from Clearlake has died after a solo car crash into a tree. The Lake County Sheriff’s office reports 71 year old Lawrence Kerr crashed on Highway 53 Tuesday north of Anderson Ranch Parkway in Lower Lake. The CHP says Kerr lost control of his car for some reason after a pickup truck entered the highway and drove next to Kerr. Kerr’s vehicle overturned and he was pronounced dead at the scene. Witnesses say Kerr may have been cut off by the pickup before he went off the road, or that it might have been a case of road rage. The CHP is investigating the crash.

The Mendocino Lake Complex of fires should be totally contained today. Cal Fire says they expect to have the Redwood Valley Fire in Mendocino County and the Sulfur fire in Lake County, which were both 99 percent contained last night, fully contained today. This after the Redwood Fire burned more than 36,500 acres and killed eight people and the Sulfur fire burned more than 2,200 acres. The fires in Sonoma, Solano and Napa counties are not far behind. The Nuns fire is at 93 percent, the Pocket fire at 92 percent and the Tubbs fire at 94 percent. The Atlas fire burned in Napa and Solano is 97% contained. Cal Fire says conditions continue to improve. They also report there are still 18 people unaccounted for in Sonoma County and that 23 people died there.

A man from Willits has been arrested after cops find a semi-automatic pistol in his car. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office reports 27 year old Keegan Knight was pulled over last week for a broken headlight and the deputy smelled burnt marijuana and saw drug paraphernalia in plain sight. The cop also found the guy was probably under the influence and searched the car, finding a loaded .40-caliber semi-automatic pistol. The officer also found marijuana and a meth glass pipe, all behind the dashboard. The man also had a record so he was not allowed to own a firearm. Knight’s charged with several crimes including drug possession while armed, possessing a firearm while under the influence of drugs and carrying a loaded firearm in a public place. He was being held on $35,000 bail.

A woman from Laytonville has been arrested for stabbing her husband and threatening to kill him. The Mendocino County sheriff’s dept reports getting a call to the Laytonville Fire Department for a stabbing and finding Melanie Gilmore and her husband had some sort of argument, which ended with Gilmore threatening her husband’s life and stabbing him in the wrist. He got away and was treated at the firehouse then released. The woman was found to be under the influence of a controlled substance and arrested on suspicion of felony domestic violence, assault with a deadly weapon and criminal threats and held on $30,000 bail.

The Mendocino County Sheriff’s office reports a chronological report of how the local fires started earlier this month is being compiled. The Redwood Valley Fire October 8th brought several 911 calls so all of the communications from the fire dept. and other emergency services at the start of the fire are being pulled together to compile one report. Then the report is going to go to state and local experts so they can try to figure out how the fire moved so quickly and look at the conditions under which the fire started, how it swept through neighborhoods and how effective the response was. The Sheriff says the report should be ready sometime next month. 8 people died in the fire and about 300 homes burned.

The Clearlake Oaks man who killed two people and wounded two others Monday could face the death penalty. Alan Ashmore was arrested for the shooting spree that included killing his father and a friend, and wounding a CHP officer and a young woman. The Chief Deputy District Attorney tells Lake County News he is charging Ashmore with two counts of first-degree murder plus a special allegation of committing multiple murders, which will make Ashmore eligible for the death penalty. The DDA says Ashmore will also be charged with the attempted murder of a peace officer, arson, and several more violations.

A case of suspected child abuse reported by a Ukiah school has led to the arrest of a Covelo man. Deputies met with school staffers who reported a 3 year-old girl had been brought to school by her mother with visible bruises on her arm, back and buttocks. Deputies and Child Protective Services workers interviewed several people and learned the night before around 11:00 PM, the girl and her 5-year-old brother were left by their mother in the care of her boyfriend, Cody Lee Williams with Williams and the kids sleeping in a car along Agency Road until the mom came back for them at about 5:00am and took them to school.

The investigation pointed to Williams having hurt the girl. He was booked into the Mendocino County Jail.

The Mendocino Broadband Alliance is doing a survey to track gaps in telecommunications during and after the recent fires. They want you to help them figure how widespread the outages were and what areas lost what services. They say the survey should only take you about 5-10 minutes and is for all resident of Mendocino, Sonoma and Napa Counties. The survey will be open for the month of November and will be on their website www.MendocinoBroadband.org

A man from Redwood Valley man is facing charges for opening fire on a Cal Fire Crew. The Sheriff’s Office says the crew was working on the Redwood Fire and had parked their truck on John Heron’s property on West Road on October 14 at around 12am. The crew heard a man shouting at them from the home and then heard gunshots. Once the shots started they left the property and called police. Heron also called 911 to report there were intruders on his property and he’d shot at them. Officers arrested him for negligent discharge of a firearm and resisting arrest.

Three people have been arrested after stealing a woman’s purse from her car. Investigators say around 1130am on October 5th Shelly Gibson opened the unlocked car, took the purse, and got into an SUV. Deputes later found the SUV with Gibson driving and two passengers, Kyle McCartney and Devin Gibson. Turns out they had tried to use a debit card from the purse at two gas stations and that Devin Gibson took some jewelry from the purse and put it in his backpack. All three were arrested for possession of stolen property and conspiracy with bail at $15,000, but McCartney was on summary probation so his bail was hiked another $5,000.

More info on the double murder in Lake County we told you about. Police say the suspect Alan Ashmore killed his father, 85 year old Douglas Ashmore and his friend, 64 year old Richard Braden. The two men were killed in separate locations Monday on the same street moments apart. Police say it all started at the younger Ashmore’s home in Anchor Village where a 22 year old woman was held at knifepoint by him. They say the woman fought back so she was shot, but got away. Then they say he went looking for her and his dad followed him but dad was shot and killed. Then he went down the street and shot at a couple of houses, one of them was his former employer, and he shot a friend who was parked near Ashmore’s house. Then he went to two gas stations, shot up one, then to a winery, lit some small fires, which were put out and was eventually arrested after being cornered by police. One officer was shot during the whole thing, but he had on a bullet proof vest.

The former director of FEMA is heading up the Rebuild North Bay campaign after the massive wildfire storm in the North Bay. James Lee Witt ran the Federal Emergency Management Agency in the Clinton era. Rebuild North Bay is a nonprofit that was put together to coordinate wildfire recovery. The Press Democrat reports Witt helped with the response to almost 350 disasters in 50 states during his eight year tenure. He’ll help with the rebuilding and recovery and come up with long-term plans for disaster preparedness. The newspaper reports Witt was lauded for transforming FEMA while leading the agency into an effective disaster management agency.

The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Dept. on the lookout for a car thief. The department posted on their Facebook page a picture of 23 year old Eric Brook saying he’s wanted for vehicle theft, assault with a weapon while in the commission of a felony, petty theft and being under the influence. He’s wanted on a no bail warrant for failing to appear in court on the charges. He’s described as being 5 foot 11, 175 pounds with Brown Hair and Green Eyes. The Sheriff’s dept. asks anyone who knows Brook or may know where he is to call the main office.

Disaster CalFresh is handing out one month food cards to those affected by the Sulphur Fire in Clearlake. If you lived or worked in the area of the fire, you could be eligible for the food card thru the Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP). Lake County’s Department of Social Services is taking applications starting today, until next Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Those who are eligible will have lost their home or business, lost income, lost food or had disaster related expenses. There are limits on income to qualify. Proof of identity is also required, along with a short application and in-person interview. If you are qualified, you can get the card the same day you apply.

Local hotels or others providing lodging to fire victims may be able to get help from the federal government. A program from FEMA called Emergency Lodging Assistance could help the facilities provide rooms for folks who are in fire devastated areas. So the County of Mendocino is asking local hotels and lodging providers to enroll in the program to help those displaced by the Redwood Fire. It could mean housing assistance for qualified individuals of 5 to 14 days, which is also possibly adjustable to 30 days. FEMA works with the State, territorial or tribal governments to possibly also extend the time up to six months from the date of the disaster declaration. Hotels and lodging providers who want to participate can enroll on FEMA’s website thru Corporate Lodging Consultants (CLC).

https://ela.corplodging.com/

The hotel support line at 1-866-545-9865 or via email at femahousing.

For individuals who need more information about FEMA’s Transitional Shelter Assistance Program, please go to https://www.fema.gov/transitional-shelter-assistance .

A former Ukiah police officer found guilty of grand theft has now been sent to prison for sex abuse of a child. David John Richard got 16 years in state prison and he has to pay $10,000 to the California Victim Compensation Board fund. The money goes to help pay the bills and expenses of violent crime victims. He also has to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

Two people from Redwood Valley have admitted they stayed back after police told them to leave during the Mendocino Lake Complex Fire, disobeying police. The Mendocino County DA reports Jimmie Glenn Webb, Jr. and Donald Raymond Lasinski were busted while police tried to get people out of the area. Webb was busted for unauthorized entry into an emergency zone, resisting arrest and driving with a suspended license. He got 20 days in county jail for stopping in the mandatory evacuation zone after being warned to leave. The other guy, Lasinski, was caught prowling and police say he resisted arrest. Police say he was a transient seen in a fire zone, carrying an unidentified item and when he was stopped, police say he was acting overly nervous then ran off. He was caught in a disguise soon after and is now sentenced to 20 days in county jail.

Two teens have been arrested in Ukiah with semi automatic handguns. Police say the two were found with guns and ammo at Orchard Park Monday, and say one may have been a gang member. Police say when they arrived they found eight juvenile men looking “extremely nervous”. One, a 16-year-old was known to be an associate of the Sureño Criminal Street Gang. They say he had a concealed semi-automatic handgun with a high capacity magazine and ammunition. After he was arrested, police say they found a 14-year-old girl in a car nearby who had another semi-automatic handgun and more ammunition with her. Charges against the boy included carrying a concealed firearm as an active participant in a criminal street gang and the girl was arrested on suspicion of possessing a loaded firearm. Both taken to juvenile hall.

The Walmart in Clearlake that was considering an expansion for some time, has called it off. Lake Co News reports the store had been in talks for almost ten years with the city and had filled out planning applications, to expand almost 40-thousand square feet. The news site reports the company has now withdrawn its application after a review of business factors. A spokesperson for Walmart tells Lake Co News the recent wildfires since 2015 “were not a factor in this decision.”

Back to business in the Clearlake City Council regarding updated rules for commercial marijuana and dispensaries. There’s also a Sulphur fire recovery meeting before the regular council meeting this Thursday though. That starts at 5, the council meeting at 6 p.m. The council will present certificates of recognition to the Sulphur fire responders too. After the fire meeting the council will consider the second reading of the commercial and dispensary ordinances regarding cannabis sales. The first reading had already been approved.

A light hearted bet between a couple of Governors, one could help the fire ravaged Wine region in Northern Calif. The Texas Gov. Greg Abbott betting Calif. Governor Jerry Brown the Houston Astros will win the World Series over the Los Angeles Dodgers with a wager. Abbott promises to send Brown a six-pack of Houston-brewed beer and Texas barbeque if the Dodgers come out on top and Brown says he will send Abbot “wine from wineries in Sonoma, Napa and Mendocino regions” that were impacted by wildfires if the Astros win. Governor Abbott’s office says he’ll also donate to California wildfire recovery efforts, win or lose, saying the two states “are united by America’s pastime.” Brown adding, he doesn’t expect to have to send any vino to Texas, but hopes “travelers from all over the world – yes, even the Lone Star State – will continue to visit California.”

The Lake County Sherriff has released the timeline of Monday’s shooting spree in Clearlake Oaks, which began with Alan Ashmore having a fight with a woman at his home in Anchor Village. Ashmore reportedly held the woman at knifepoint and then shot her in the foot as she ran away to a neighbor’s house. Ashmore’s father Douglas came out of Ashmore’s home and Ashmore shot and killed him. He fired at the neighbor but missed and then got a 12 gauge semi-automatic shotgun and got into his SUV. He went to a nearby home and opened fire – one woman was hurt when she jumped out a window – and continued driving and firing through other homes, at one point encountering a friend, Richard Braden, sitting in a parked car, and shot and killed him. Ashmore shot at a CHP Officer responding to the call but the officer has non-life threatening injuries and even went to the elementary school to help lock it down. At the Chevron station on Highway 20 and Keys Boulevard Ashmore fired at a vendor who defended himself with his own gun. He then robbed the Power Mart on Highway 20 near Foothill Boulevard and the Sheriff alleges he lit wildfires as he drove up High Valley Road in an apparent attempt to slow down pursuing officers. Firefighters got them quickly knocked down. Ashmore drove to the Brassfield Winery where he flashed the gun at someone there and deputies caught up to him on High Valley Road at Bartlett Springs. They say he had a shotgun, a pistol, and several rounds of ammo. The initial motive is still under investigation.

Lake County is cracking down on price gouging, especially rent spiking, in the wake of the Sulphur Fire. State law says during a declared Local Emergency essential goods, including housing, can’t be raised more than 10% above the average market price before the disaster. But last week the Lake County Supervisors unanimously passed a new ordinance making it illegal to evict an existing tenant in order to rent to someone – such as a fire victim – at a higher price. Violating the Count y Ordinance is a misdemeanor but carries a possible $20,000 fine. That’s on top of the state law, which comes with a $10,000 fine and a year in prison.

Two Ukiah teens have been arrested for having semiautomatic handguns and ammo plus a high capacity magazine. Ukiah Police were called to a report a group fight in Orchard Park Monday afternoon where they found eight people and detained them all. Police recognized one 16-year-old boy as part of the Sureno Street Gang. Then patted him down and found a handgun, high capacity magazine and ammo. A 14-year-old girl was also found with a gun and ammo. One of the guns was reported stolen out of Utah.