Skip navigation

Monthly Archives: November 2017

A serial thief using fake credit cards has been caught in Ukiah. On Monday Ukiah Police were alerted to a credit card fraud in progress at Friedman Brothers on Airport Park Blvd. UPD detectives got in the cashier line behind the suspect, now known to be Jason Ress, and after a brief foot chase took him into custody. Ress was found in possession of a meth pipe, a fake California ID and about 15 fraudulent credit cards with that fake name. Friedman Brothers says Ress had previously made several fraudulent transactions at their various locations in Sonoma, Petaluma, Santa Rosa, and Ukiah for thousands of dollars. Detectives then contacted his wife, Diana Ress, at a nearby hotel where they were registered under the fake name. Turns out he’d recently been arrested in Scotts Valley with 400 fraudulent credit cards and a machine to make them. Detectives found one those machines here as well, along with more meth and some stolen items. Jason Ress remains in custody on $95,000. Diana Ress is currently not in custody but police say charges are pending.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers continues to make steady progress on the Consolidated Debris Removal Program following the October wildfires. The program is a two-phase process – Phase I is the removal of Household Hazardous Waste which, for Lake and Mendocino Counties, is being done by the California Department of Toxic Substance Control. Phase II is the removal of debris from structures destroyed by the fire, and is being managed by the Corps for FEMA. The Corps says they’ve so far cleared more than 288,055 tons of debris from 880 properties in Mendocino, Lake, Sonoma and Napa counties. Property owners with questions can contact the Debris Removal Information Line at 877-875-7681.

Advertisements

A lot of interest in the Lucerne Hotel since Loyola Marymount University left. The Record Bee reports the Castle, as it’s known, has had interest from more than a dozen entities. The County Administrator’s Office says they’ve had several calls with ideas for the Castle including turning it into a community center, a soup kitchen or for marijuana-related activities. The county bought the Castle in 2010 as part of the county’s redevelopment agency. Half of the property was upgraded at a substantial cost to the county, and half remains untouched since the purchase. Loyola Marymount College was leasing part of the building but pulled out. The county’s now decided to go with a Request for Proposals and says then they will advertise for bids.

A new report shows low numbers of ninth graders expect to graduate from college in Calif. The Public Policy Institute of California report shows 30% of respondents would get a Bachelors Degree due to many factors. The report, “Improving College Pathways in Calif.” looked at 24 school districts. It showed student’s not taking the right prep courses and schools putting them in remedial classes. Plus the state has lax high-school graduation requirements. The report says there will be a shortage of educated workers by 2030, maybe as high as one million less educated workers. The report authors say students headed to college, then stall out, they say it applies to kids who are struggling as well as high-achievers.

A woman in Ukiah who police say was assaulted by her husband had major injuries to her face. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office reports getting a call last Friday morning to the 100 block of Laws Avenue for a domestic violence incident. They say the victim told them her husband, Robert Garcia shoved her to the ground, choked and punched her in the face which left her with major injuries. Garcia’s arrested on suspicion of felony domestic violence battery and since cops found out he had some outstanding warrants, he was held without bail.

An airplane cruising the skies of Ukiah is dropping seeds to burned land in Redwood Valley. The Daily Journal reports there are already some spots of green shoots where the plane has dropped the seeds. Apparently it’s a private pilot who heard thru his mother, whose a local, that property owners wanted help with reseeding after the fires early last month. He’s charging $10 an acre for the reseeding. If you see a plane in the valley today, it’s the same pilot dropping seeds. He says he expects to seed about 2,500 acres in all.

The CHP reporting on the holiday weekend arrests in Ukiah. Several alcohol-related arrests reported by the CHP from November 17th to the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, which is more than last year. Officers making about 10 DUI arrests last week, but they say that’s an unofficial number that could go up. In Ukiah the CHP reported 19 car crashes between Nov. 17 and Nov. 26th and they say there were more people killed and arrested during the enforcement period than a year ago. 91 people died in crashes in Calif. during the same period, nearly double the 58 killed last year. There were also more DUI arrests statewide, 1,057 alcohol-related arrests as opposed to the 902 in 2016.

The Broadband Alliance looking for more input on their telecommunications outage internet survey. The Alliance says they’ve received 475 responses from 25 of the 28 zip codes they want response from. Anyone in the three-county area of Napa, Mendocino and Sonoma can answer about whether or not they were without telecommunications during the Northern Calif. wildfires in October. The survey has 41 questions and takes about ten minutes to get thru. The Alliance looking to document outages to share with the Board of Supervisors, the Office of Emergency Services, the sheriff, and other elected officials, along with the California Public Utilities Commission.

The link to the survey can be found at www.surveymonkey.com/r/firestorm2017

A text has reportedly been sent to students at Humboldt State University about a possible sexual battery on campus. The alert last night about 10:35 p.m. telling students and staffers about the attack by the Science A building, apparently in the middle of the school. They also described the suspect as being more than 6 feet tall, around 25-30 years old, and wearing a brown hoodie and pajama bottoms.

No power to a couple thousand PG&E customers in the Humboldt area. As many as 2,000 losing their electricity yesterday afternoon. First about 400 people were in the dark, then another 1500 customers were intentionally de-energized while the utility investigated. They expected to have the power back on for the 1,500 they intentionally turned off last night, and the rest soon after.

Another death related to the October fires in Santa Rosa. The Press Democrat reports 41 year old Michel Azarian died from severe burns he got running from his home in Mark West Springs during the Tubbs Fire. That brings the total number of dead to 44 from last month’s devastating wildfires across Northern Calif. Coroner officials in Sonoma County and Sacramento County confirmed Azarian’s death at UC Davis Medical Center. He’s the 24th person to die in Sonoma County. He had been found the morning of October 9th by a neighbor who heard him crying for help in a heavily forested area.

The people who run many of California’s counties are speaking out against the tax bill about to go up for a vote in the U-S Senate. They say they’re worried it will cut important deductions and force them to cut services or raise taxes or fees to compensate. They’re meeting in Sacramento today for the 123rd annual conference of the California State Association of Counties. Sonoma County Supervisor David Rabbitt says the recent wildfires devastated his area, so the last thing people need is to pay more taxes.

Cut 14345 :10 "For my county, where we just lost 5,100 homes, people are struggling to rebuild their lives, let alone their homes. They’re going to be paying higher taxes on top of that."

Tag: The Senate bill proposes to eliminate the state and local tax deduction, which allows people who itemize to deduct what they pay in state and local taxes from their federal returns. Economists say people are more likely to accept state and local taxes if they can deduct them, and could rebel against them if they cannot.

***

Second Cut: Rabbitt says eliminating the so-called SALT deduction could cause a cash crunch for counties, which are required to provide certain services regardless of how much revenue they’re collecting. Plus, he says eliminating the deduction amounts to double taxation.

Cut 15345 :11 "People are already paying taxes, and then their taxes get taxed. And unfortunately, it looks like it’s really aimed primarily at California – but at those states that perhaps didn’t endorse the current administration."

Tag 1: County execs say they’re also opposed to changes that affect the types of bonds cities and counties use to pay for infrastructure projects such as airports, hospitals and affordable housing.

A man police say stole a $300,000 Ferrari from a car dealer in Orange County has been caught after he asked for money to buy gas at a Mobil Station in Santa Ana. The car left at the Ferrari and Maserati of Newport Beach service center in Costa Mesa. Eadweard York’s girlfriend owned the vehicle. He told KTLA TV they took the car for servicing and when they went to pick it up, it wasn’t there and they were told it had been stolen the day before. It was found two weeks later at the gas station and it was damaged. The thief was approached at the gas station after he asked money from random people for gas and didn’t seem to know how to put gas in the car. Israel Perez Rangel has pleaded not guilty to felony charges of vehicle theft and grand theft auto and vandalism.

There’s been another death connected to October fires, this one in Sonoma County. Officials say Michel Azarian of Santa Rosa, died Sunday at UC Davis Medical Center from extensive burns received during the Tubbs fire. His death makes the 24th in Sonoma County and the 22nd attributable to the Tubbs fire. Officials say the flames trapped the 41-year-old Keysight Technologies employee outside his home.

Seven California counties are getting more federal money to help recover from the October fires. FEMA says an amendment to the President’s original major disaster declaration expands FEMA’s Public Assistance program for Lake, Mendocino, Napa, Sonoma and other counties. This is not the individual homeowner or business help, but rather it’s for governments and agencies to helpwith things like debris removal, emergency protective measures, and overtime for first responders. It also allows reimbursement for work on roads, bridges and public buildings, including fire stations, schools, public utilities, and parks and recreational facilities. Public assistance is a cost-sharing plan, though – FEMA pays about 75 percent of the costs.

Mendocino Coast District Hospital and North Coast Family Health Center have won the Gold Award for their PRIME Project called “Cancer Screening and Follow Up.” They competed against 48 District Hospitals throughout California and ended up winning first place for the PRIME program in which public health care systems and hospitals focus on specific quality improvement projects to get overall better patient outcomes. And they say federal and state funding depends on meeting certain targets and continuing to improve. North Coast Family Health Center says recent achievements that got them the honor include breast cancer screening rates increasing by 44% and cervical cancer screening rates improving by 67%.

The annual “Christmas in Middletown” sponsored by Middletown Area Merchants Association is set for Saturday, Dec. 9, from 4 to 8 p.m. Several nonprofit organizations will set up booths with goodies, crafts, and gift-wrapping services on the streets and at the high school cafeteria, all to raise money for their missions. Storefronts are decked out with business-sponsored Christmas trees that are decorated by local school kids and will be donated to local families in need through Spirit of the Season. Santa Claus is set to arrive at 5:15 p.m. at Middletown Park on an old-fashioned fire truck and he and Mrs. Claus will give stuffed animals to kids, courtesy of Hospice Services. There are also chances to win some prizes donated by area businesses.
Find out more at www.middletownareamerchants.com.

A fire in Ukiah in a vacant home in the middle of being remodeled. The Ukiah Valley Fire Authority responded to North Dora street after a neighbor saw the fire when they awoke for work early yesterday. Firefighters say it looks like it started on the top level of the home and that it looked suspicious. The front door was unlocked, and the phone number firefighters had for the owner was disconnected. Very little damage to the home. Cal Fire, the Ukiah Police and the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office all on the scene too.

A woman from Fort Bragg is recovering after being attacked on Thanksgiving by a house guest. Fort Bragg Police say they got a call last Wednesday around noon from the woman who reported having been attacked and having a hard time breathing. She identified her attacker as Joseph Wooden of Fort Bragg, who she said was staying at her home because he was homeless. The victim says she was arguing with the guy and tried to get him to leave but he shoved her into a door and wall. He was found by officers later in the day and arrested on suspicion of felony battery and felony elder abuse and booked into Mendocino County Jail under $65,000 bail.

A man in Fort Bragg’s been arrested in connection to the stabbing of another man on Thanksgiving. Fort Bragg police report getting a call last Thursday evening for a stabbing and found Reynaldo Rosado sitting in his parked car. He says another guy, he knew as Jorge knifed him, hitting him in his hands and arms, then ran away. Cops found a weapon near the car and the victim was taken to the hospital. They say they went to a home of a family member of the suspect and found blood there, but a police dog did not alert to the guy. But later, police found him after a post to social media. Leonardo or “Jorge” Naal-Aviles was brought in by someone who knows him and arrested on suspicion of attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon and aggravated mayhem and held on $250,000 bail.

A gas main is being replaced on Elm Street. So the stretch between Low Gap Road and Magnolia Street is being closed to traffic today until next Tuesday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the work week. There will be alternate routes set up on Mondays through Fridays until the work is done. Any questions can be directed to PG&E.

The 25th annual Toy Ride went off without a hitch, except for some wet roads. The Willits Wild Bunch (WWB) and Willits Rotary had the yearly ride on Sunday to raise money and collect toys for the Willits Children’s Christmas Program. As in years past, a procession of motorcycles behind Little Lake Fire engines left the Evergreen Shopping Center and cruised to the Little Lake Grange. They had less of a turnout of riders, but still a bunch of people were out cheering the riders on. At the end of the route there was a bar thanks to the Willits Lions Club, a raffle and auctions. The money goes to children who otherwise wouldn’t have a Christmas.

PG&E claiming they may be “adversely affected” after the October fires across Northern Calif. The utility filed losses with the Securities and Exchange Commission Monday saying they’ve lost between $170 to $200 million for service restoration and repairs to their equipment and another $70 to $80 million for capital expenditures. They also apparently said in the filing, they’re aware there may be financial difficulties ahead depending on how much responsibility the fires were to the company. 43 people were killed and another 185 were injured in the October 8th and 9th fires. 245,000 acres in Northern Calif. were blackened by the fires.

A nearly seven million dollar project has been approved by the Lake County Board of Supervisors for a new sewer system in Anderson Springs. The board approved the contract for the work after the 2015 Valley Fire. Apparently the nearly 200 homes lost in the fire cannot be rebuilt without a modernized sewer system. The bid was a little higher than what was estimated but still within the approved amount to pay for the system by the State Water Resource Control Board. The construction will be in two phases, and three different funding agencies will help pay for the system.

San Francisco’s come up with the rules for the legal sale of recreational marijuana when it becomes legal in January. The San Francisco Board of Supervisors approve pretty much the same as the state rules, including the 600-foot space between stores and schools. Recreational sales are legal in California starting in the New Year but some cities and counties are still working on their regulations which can line up with the state or come up with their own rules. Some of the larger cities, including Los Angeles still have no regulations set for the January 1st start. San Francisco also won’t be set for sales to start New Year’s Day, but could be the first week if the mayor signs the new rules quick.

Parents at a school in Woodland complaining about potentially toxic carpet in classrooms. Several parents reportedly complained after the carpet was put in at Beamer Elementary, that their children became ill. The complaints over the summer saying the smell of chemicals was so strong, some of their kids are still ill. The school district says they’ve dealt with the issue, but some of the parents saying it’s not enough. Some of the symptoms made public by the parents to local media, nausea and headaches. Parents say they want the carpet tested or taken out.

State lawmakers start their work on sexual harassment. A legislative panel met yesterday to look into potential misconduct at the capitol. One lawmaker embroiled in scandal has already stepped down. But the panel was set to meet anyway, a once in every ten year re-do on rules for the legislature. Five women testified in front of the committee about harassment they’ve experienced or witnessed. The claims against staff and lawmakers, some women saying they were too afraid to lose their jobs if they spoke up. Democratic Assemblyman Raul Bocangera resigned Monday after allegations he kissed or groped several women without their consent. Another Democrat, Sen. Tony Mendoza is also facing misconduct allegations. There have been eight sexual harassment investigations over the last six years.

After the cement dried on the new spillway at the Oroville Dam, cracks were seen. But state officials say they’re fine. Federal regulators asking the Calif. Department of Water Resources to explain hairline cracks on the new flood-control chute. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is also asking what should be done to fix the cracks. But Calif. officials said the cracks were anticipated because of the new design and are not expected to affect the integrity of the new concrete slabs. But some experts say cracking in high-strength reinforced concrete structures is not expected because it can mean corrosion which was ultimately the problem back in February when the original structure failed, sending almost 200-thousand people from their homes.

It’s been a year since a teenager in Arizona got a random text from someone saying are you coming for Thanksgiving. The person on the other end saying they were Jamal Hinton’s grandma. But he didn’t know the number so he asked for a picture. It was Wanda Dench, she’s white, he’s not. He answered you’re not my grandma, but she invited him to Thanksgiving anyway. And he went. The story went viral. This year, Dench invited Hinton again… and he went. Hinton says she is like a grandma to him, they’ve kept in touch the last year. He says they connected and their friendship developed.

A family who lost their cat in the Tubbs fire in Sonoma County gets a surprise… Thomas the cat ran from his teenage owner’s arms as they ran from the flames October 9th. The Stockham family went back to their home which was all ash three days later. They found the body of a burned cat. They even had a funeral for Thomas… But they got an email from a microchip company saying someone had Thomas. They say they thought it was a scam, but sure enough, they found the cat last Friday near their burned out home. The man who found the cat apparently spent his spare time catching feral cats. The cat was presumed dead for nearly a month and a half.

A Leggett man’s been killed after a large oak tree fell on the trailer where he was sleeping. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office says Mark Weatherly was sleeping alongside his girlfriend in the travel trailer on Drive Thru Tree Road when the black oak came down around 5am and crushed the trailer, pinning Weatherly in place. The girlfriend was hurt but was able to get out of the trailer and get help from Weatherly’s stepfather who is a timber faller. He started cutting away the tree and firefighters also responded but Weatherly was pronounced dead.

An early morning fire has damaged a Ukiah home that was being remodeled. No one was hurt in the fire that started around 4am on North Dora Street. The Ukiah Valley Fire Authority says a neighbor getting up for work around 4 a.m. saw smoke coming from the home and called the fire department. No one was home and no one was seen running from the house but fire officials say the front door was unlocked so while the cause of the fire is still undetermined it does appear suspicious. A UVFA spokesman says the fire did not do significant damage and the house can fairly easily be habitable again.

An attempted murder suspect has been caught in Fort Bragg. The victim says he was sitting in his car on Madrone Street Thursday evening when he was approached by a man he knew only as “Jorge” who he says stabbed him several times in the arms and hands and then ran. The investigation led police to an address on Wall Street where they saw blood, indicating the suspect had probably been hurt too, but he wasn’t there and a police dog was unable to track him. By Friday morning they had figured out his real name – Leonardo “Jorge” Naal-Aviles – and after posting his picture on social media he was found and arrested. Fort Bragg Police thank everyone who responded to the social media post.

The U.S. Small Business Administration says they have approved more than $50 million in federal disaster loans for California businesses and residents to rebuild from the October fires. The deadline to apply for these low interest loans is December 11 and the process is started by applying first with the Federal Emergency Management Agency. You can do that online at www.disasterassistance.gov or you can come in and get one-on-one help at a Disaster Recovery Center. The Lake County DRC is at the Clearlake Senior Community Center on Bowers Avenue and the Mendocino County DRC is at the former Rue 21 Location on State Street in Ukiah.

A state Assemblyman accused of several sexual misconduct allegations has resigned. Democrat Raul Bocanegra of Los Angeles had said before he wouldn’t run again and would leave after the next legislative session, then yesterday he changed his tune and said he was out now after considering the situation over the long holiday weekend with family, friends and supporters. Several women say he was inappropriate with them, kissing or groping them without their consent. His office released a statement yesterday saying he’s innocent, but also admitted he’s not perfect.

Christmas tree prices are up this year. The Record Bee reports there’s a shortage in the usual places some Christmas tree retailers get their stock. Apparently the shortage started during the recession, but now hurricanes and heat waves affected the harvest too. The recession meant less families bought trees, so farmers planted less. Trees are grown in all 50 states, but in Oregon, they produce the most. There was a short supply in Oregon this year too though so California and others on the West Coast who sell Christmas trees had to reach out further across the country to get their supply, so they have to raise prices to match the work they’re doing to get the trees.

The Lakeport City Council has begun their work on proposed new rules for commercial marijuana growing and selling. A new ordinance to regulate marijuana and provide permits was presented to the council by the Community Development Director. As we reported there are going to be public hearings next month on the new rules. After a working group was put together to update rules, they recommended limiting retail sales of pot for delivery only. The ideas after a lot of community outreach, a city council and planning commission meeting on the proposed rules, and meetings in October and early November by the planning commission. There are also recommended changes to the city code. Nothing approved until after public comments and the December 19th public hearing. The Council is having a special meeting Monday night on the proposed changes to the city code at 6 PM.

Some confusion over the passage earlier this month of Measure B to pay for a mental health clinic and the recent vote by the Board of Supervisors to allow the Department of Planning and Building Services send in an application to the state for a nearly 5 million dollar grant for a similar project. The project already started by Redwood Community Services in Ukiah. The Daily Journal reports some residents questioning if the two projects are related. The paper reports the Board Chair John McCowen says the grant funding would complement Measure B tax funding, saying if the county gets the grant then the Measure B money could be used for other needed facilities and says there’s no conflict because there are several mental health facilities and needs and says Measure B had flexible language, allowing the county to decide what facilities could be constructed.

Small Business Saturday a close second to Black Friday in Ukiah and Willits. The Daily Journal reports retailers in Ukiah and Willits saying they had a lot of foot traffic and sales after Black Friday. The paper reports the executive director of the Ukiah Main Street program saying many of the merchants they were in touch with said it was one of the best Black Fridays they’ve had in years and said they also did well on Saturday as part of the national Small Business Saturday event. Some concern in Willits because of the downturn in business when the Willits Bypass was being built, but apparently local businesses said there were more customers out compared to last year, but there were a little less folks out on Black Friday than Small Business Saturday.

The new rule book governing California’s cannabis industry has been released. State regulators put out the 276 pages last week with rules including no marijuana businesses within 600 feet of schools, stores have to close by 10 p.m., and they need 24-hour video surveillance. The new rules go into effect January 1st when California starts allowing recreational weed sales to start. Changes in some of the rules that were being considered, like there’s no longer the one acre per person cultivation limit. The California Department of Food and Agriculture’s rules were released on Thanksgiving.

Some areas of the north coast, including Mendocino, have a delayed start to the commercial Dungeness crab season. The Director of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife released a statement saying the crab weren’t meaty enough in Districts 6, 7, 8 and 9, which is in Mendocino, Humboldt and Del Norte counties. The hold for about 2 weeks. So instead the season starts Dec. 16th to make sure the crab bulk up some more before they’re harvested. It’s to follow testing guidelines put together by the Tri-State Dungeness Crab Committee and overseen by the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission.

Quite a surprise for surgeons in India treating a man for suspected food poisoning. Maksud Khan had stomach pain so docs did an endoscopy on him, finding 263 coins and 100 nails in his stomach. They also apparently found dozens of razor blades, shards of glass, stones, and a 6-inch piece of rusted iron shackle. He was taken to surgery immediately to have the 15-lbs. of foreign objects removed. The doctors say they think Khan suffers from mental health problems, saying no sane person would do something like that. Relatives say he had been depressed lately and may have gotten addicted to eating metal objects.

A man the Mendocino DA calls a persistent and violent thief has been sentenced to 25 years in prison on three separate matters. The DA’s Office says Trevor Michael Jackson, who used to live in Redwood Valley, was convicted of kidnapping, robbery and use of an assault weapon for a marijuana robbery in Covelo in July, a vehicle theft in August, and another marijuana-related burglary in March 2016 near Ukiah. The DA says because of the violent nature of the kidnapping and robbery convictions, Jackson will have to serve at least 21 of the 25 years.

A Lucerne man’s been arrested for allegedly shooting a friend on Thanksgiving night at the Sandy Beach Trailer Park. The Sheriff’s Office says Jose Casillas had been at the victim’s home on First Avenue earlier in the evening and was drunk as he was showing people a handgun. At one point Casillas got into an argument with the victim and was asked to leave. The victim later went to Casillas’ home where they again argued and this time Casillas allegedly shot the victim in the leg although the wound is not life threatening. Casillas arrested for Assault with a Firearm and Felon in Possession of a Firearm and was being held on $50,000 bail.

A Fort Bragg man faces several charges after being found with a short-barreled rifle while police were investigating a domestic violence call. Mendocino Deputies were called out Friday night for a domestic incident they say started as an argument but escalated to John Biasotti head-butting a woman in the face. The woman has minor injuries. Deputies arrested Biasotti for Felony Domestic Violence Battery but a search turned up a short-barreled rifle, which is a felony to possess in California.

You can’t see them yet, but coming this spring, if you enjoy the nearly 1000 daffodils planted on Gas Hill in Kelseyville thank the Big Valley 4H. On Saturday 4-H members along with their family and friends – planted 970 daffodil bulbs on Gas Hill as a community service project. The daffodils were bought with donations. The club says conditions were perfect for planting and it all went well. Now, they are just waiting for spring to see how they turn out.

3 men in Laytonville have been arrested after an armed robbery in a random woman’s home. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office reports getting a call last Monday to the home. The victim at the home says someone knocked on her door and pointed a gun at her face, demanding cash and drugs. She told them she had neither so they pistol whipped her. The woman apparently has a medical marijuana recommendation and had a few plants but they were harvested. Willits Police and Cal-Fire ended up catching the three men after reports of reckless driving. D’wan Porter-Walker, James Richardson and Johnny Walker III all arrested and the victim ID’s them as the suspects. They’re charged for multiple crimes including Kidnapping for ransom or to commit Robbery, Assault with a deadly weapon firearm and Burglary.

More changes to the city of Ukiah’s pot growing rules. The City Council is reportedly making changes to comply with state law. The Asst. City Attorney was at the council meeting earlier this month explaining the changes are to reduce the number of plants that will be allowed to be grown for personal use indoors, to half what’s currently allowed, six mature plants and 12 immature plants. The Daily Journal reports after Prop. 64 was passed six plants for non medical use were allowed. The new rules will outline exactly that.

A fire has destroyed an outbuilding behind the old Water Trough on South State Street. The Ukiah Valley Fire Authority reports getting a call last Friday around 3-30 in the morning to the 1500 block of South State Street and found the outbuilding engulfed in flames. They say there was nobody inside at the time but there was evidence there may have been some transients living in the area. Someone nearby had reported hearing noises, possibly fireworks. Firefighters let the building burn after its roof collapsed as they tried to stop the fire from spreading. They say a bus stop and car were nearby. They stopped forward movement and no injuries were reported. They say there was no electricity or gas going to the building and that means it must have been human caused.

Lake County’s health officer is retiring. So the Board of Supervisors will have a going away ceremony of sorts at their regular meeting along with a discussion on the Lucerne Hotel and possibly forming a tourism improvement district. Lake Co News reports the board is presenting Dr. Karen Tait with a proclamation to honor her for her many years of outstanding service as the health officer of Lake County. The board has to also consider the continuation of the local health emergency for the October Sulphur fire, and hear an update on fire recovery. Then the board will take up the status of the Lucerne Hotel, which was being used by the Marymount California University, but they abruptly left. They’ll then consider an agreement for the county and Civitas to form a Lake County Tourism Improvement District which generally means collecting lodging tax dollars to be used to promote local tourism.

Holiday box registration happening to care for the less fortunate this holiday season. The Lake County Holiday Fund is putting together holiday food boxes to those in need. Signups to help, start today at the Lake Family Resource Center in Kelseyville for residents in Finley, Glenhaven, Kelseyville, Lakeport, Lucerne, Nice and Upper Lake. And for residents of Clearlake, Clearlake Oaks, Clearlake Park, Lower Lake and Spring Valley at NCO Community Action in Clearlake. For the full schedule check our Facebook page or Lake Co News dot com. You have to show up in person with a photo I-D and proof of physical residence. The boxes will go out before the holidays next month. Donations are also being accepted at any branch of WestAmerica or Umpqua Banks.

The wine harvest is done early after a hot summer that followed a lot of rain. Napa, Sonoma and Mendocino counties hit by fires, but apparently most of the vineyards weren’t that affected. They grow about 12 percent of California’s winegrapes. 90 percent of the Napa and Sonoma harvest and 85 percent in Mendocino had been harvested before the big October fires broke out. The President and CEO of the Wine Institute says the vintage should be excellent and says this year will be remembered as a harvest of the heart. Fruit hung longer on the vine due to cooler weather starting in mid-Sept.

The second of two inmates who escaped a courthouse in Northern Calif. Has been caught. The Santa Clara County sheriff’s office reports U.S. marshals arrested John Bivins in San Leandro southeast of San Francisco. He and Tramel McClough took off Nov. 6th, somehow getting away from deputies who were escorting them in court in the Silicon Valley. The ran out an emergency exit and into to a waiting car outside. The two were being held without bail for a robbery at a Verizon store. Their getaway car found ditched at a Walmart where McClough was caught, but Bivins took the car and took off. No word exactly where deputies found him.

A freshman Assemblymember who was elect last year is heading up the legislature’s sexual harassment investigation. Former movie producer Laura Friedman of Glendale has been named the chairwoman of a subcommittee put together to evaluate the Legislature’s anti-harassment policies and recommend how to strengthen them. She was assigned the job well before there were any public allegations of harassment at the capitol. It comes as several dozen politicians, Hollywood executives and actors, and media personalities were outed for alleged sexual misconduct. The Assembly Rules Subcommittee on Harassment, Discrimination, and Retaliation Prevention and Response was coincidentally going to check the chamber’s policies, a once in a decade update already…

The Calif. Supreme Court is poised to rule on a dispute between a labor union and one of the country’s biggest fruit farms. The decision is expected today on whether or not the state can order unions and farming companies to use binding contracts, or if the practice is unconstitutional. Labor activists calling mandatory mediation and conciliation key to allowing farm workers to improve labor conditions but the other side says it’s government overreach depriving farm employers and workers a say in pay and other terms of employment.

A man in Northern California’s been arrested after a five car crash ended in four people dying and the injury of six others. The CHP reports arresting Fred Lowe of Sacramento over the holiday weekend for felony vehicular manslaughter, felony hit-and-run and felony DUI. They say the man left the scene of the crash on I-80 in the East Bay. He was spotted in his blue Mercedes soon after and arrested by Contra Costa County Sheriff’s deputies. The crash Saturday night caused another car to flip and crash into three other cars on the opposite side of the highway. The first car hit was a Nissan, all four of its passengers were killed and the driver was hospitalized. Lowe was held at the Martinez Detention Facility on $1.15 million bail.

A couple from Arkansas who was so broke they had to eat every day at an Olive Garden is naming their first born after the restaurant. Justin and Jordan Garton, of Fort Smith, say they bought never ending pasta passes after getting married. $100 will get you unlimited pasta and soft drinks. So they ate there every day for about a month and a half. Then when they got pregnant, the Garton’s decided to name their baby Olivia. They say instead of Olive, which would have been too obvious. But her middle name is Michelle, so her initials are O.M.G.

Ahead of the first anniversary of the massive Ghost Ship fire in Oakland some new body cam footage has been released showing cops threatening to close down the place almost two years before the fire. The footage from January 31st 2015, the Bay Area News Group got a hold of this week after a public records request. The footage shows Oakland police threatening to close the Ghost Ship or report those running the warehouse because of a string of thefts, tenant disputes involving weapons and out of control parties. The footage also shows from Jan. to March of 2015 cops trying to deal with the manager of the space, Derrick Almena who’s now charged with fellow tenant Max Harris of 36 counts of involuntary manslaughter.

The draft Elk conservation plan’s been released. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife put out their Statewide Elk Conservation and Management Plan so the public can review and comment. The agency’s Chief says it’s an important milestone for staff and says public feedback is a major part of the effort so the state can collaborate with anyone interested in the management of elk in Calif. It covers the geography and habitat for Roosevelt, Rocky Mountain and tule elk in California.

The Lake County Administrative Office is putting a lease agreement together with County Counsel so the Fire Chiefs’ Association gets to use the Red Net Radio frequency for a year. This is until the association switches over to its new system. Lake Co News reports the North Shore Fire Chief says it’ll help maintain safety during the changeover. It will apparently mean the county will keep its licensing since there won’t be a gap in use of the Red Net Radio system. They won’t be using Central Dispatch during the transition, instead they’ll access Cal Fire Dispatch. There are five different Fire Districts in Lake County using several different frequencies thru Red Net.

After allowances for carbon emissions permit sell out at record prices for the second time, the state is getting back hundreds of millions of dollars from the auction. Auction results show the state will collect $860 million after lawmakers renewed the cap and trade program. It’s the second straight quarter of the auction which helps to pay for environmental, transportation and other projects like high-speed rail and clean-vehicle subsidies, paid for by polluters releasing greenhouse gases. The cap and trade program is currently licensed thru 2030. California has also set 2030 as its goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent below their 1990 levels.

The Xmas parade and tree lighting ceremony’s set in Clearlake. Two weeks from this Saturday, Dec. 9th with the theme “the 12 days of Christmas.” The parade starts at 6 p.m. at Redbud Park and goes to Austin Park. There the Clearlake Christmas tree is lit up. The event’s free and there will be treats like Hot Cocoa and glow sticks for the kids. Lakeshore Drive is closed during the parade. If you’re interested in being a part of the parade, contact the Clear Lake Chamber of Commerce at 707-994-3600 or clccontact

Turkey dinners have been delivered to the less fortunate in Clearlake. The Clearlake Police Officers Association had members out on Wednesday to deliver Thanksgiving dinners to those in need. They’ve been doing this for years. They say during the year, police officers meet so many families going through hard times. So thru their contact and with the help of other organizations, that’s how the families are chosen. This year they say they sent a special thank you to the Clearlake Safeway for donating and helping support the annual Clearlake Police Officers Association Thanksgiving Program.

There’s a delay for the lawsuit the Ukiah Valley Sanitation District has filed against the city of Ukiah so the city can prepare for a possible trial. The Daily Journal reports the city atty saying after their case management meeting, the case was continued from March to June, but they’re still having settlement discussions. The District says the city owes it nearly $30 million. The city says since the lawsuit was filed in 2014 they’ve tried several times to negotiate out of court, to no avail. The court’s also set a mandatory settlement conference to happen before Jan. 5th, and an update to the court is set for Jan. 8th. At the same time, there are three new members on the Ukiah Valley Sanitation District board after the general election earlier this month, who the newspaper reports have all shown a desire to work more cooperatively with the city and settle outside of court.

The E-P-A is starting to get asbestos out of fire burned homes. Those in fire affected areas will start seeing several government agencies working to remove debris and hazardous materials from burned properties as part of a multi-agency response to the October fires. Environmental Protection Agency teams already started their work, developing a plan to start next week with the actual removal which can take several hours or days. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from Sacramento is doing the general debris clean up for anyone who’s turned in their Right of Entry forms. They do not touch asbestos. Once again, we’ve posted on our Facebook and Website the new Army Corp Debris Removal Information Line: (877) 875-7681 and the hours they’re open are 8:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. daily. You can also email for help at USACESupportToMendocino

After reports of a fight at the Lakeport Kmart, cops have arrested a store employee who also attacked an officer. Police say they got a call to the store Tuesday night and an employee outside the store complained another employee assaulted a customer. They say 18 year old Travis Salminen of Kelseyville was still in the store walking around without a shirt on. Officers approached but say he wouldn’t comply with them and ran, so they took chase thru the parking lot and finally caught up, but he then punched one of them several times while holding his cell phone in the same hand. Police say he also bit the officer, but was finally subdued with a taser. Salminen taken to jail for Battery on a Peace Officer, Resisting an Executive Officer by force, Obstructing/Resisting Arrest and Assault and Battery. The officer was treated at a hospital and released.