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PG&E says it was a private power line that may have started the Tubbs fire in Santa Rosa. The Press Democrat reports the utility saying a preliminary investigation shows the fire may have been caused by electrical equipment owned, installed and maintained by a third party. The third party not named in P,G&E’s court filing. The Tubbs fire is responsible for the death of 21 people. It’s now being called the deadliest fire in state history. More than 4,400 homes in Sonoma County were destroyed. The fire’s cause is still being investigated by the state and more than 100 people are suing P,G&E saying the utility’s poorly maintained power lines were to blame. The utility doesn’t say who the private party is in their filing, just that it was in Napa County near Bennett Lane and Highway 128 north of Calistoga.

The Mendocino County Sheriff is giving an update on the Redwood Valley fire blamed for the death of 9 people. A month after the fire started, the Sheriff Tom Allman gave an update to the community and on some proactive work so residents can be warned ahead of fires in the future. The Sheriff says they’ve documented the response to the fire during the first 12 hours and when they got their first emergency call. The Daily Journal reports the first 12 hours are when most of the people who died in the fire were lost and most of the property burned. It was also the same time other fires started in Sonoma, Napa and Lake counties. The Sheriff says he thinks it would be helpful in the future to have air-raid sirens, using certain herbicides and federally managed emergency cellphone alerts.

The Lake County Board of Supervisors has agreed to call the county an arts destination to bring in more tourism and revenue. The Lake County Arts Council apparently came up with the idea and the board endorsed it. It means there will be more art studios, installations and the county will look for more art-related festivals to be put on. The Arts Council will put together a team who will be in charge of the new campaign which may include working with schools and finding funding sources and working with the community.

Work in the Kelseyville Unified School District funded by a local bond has begun. The school district’s Board of Trustees approving all of the projects to be paid for under the bond. The first part was done in March, a new security fence in front of the Kelseyville Elementary School. A bunch of other projects started over the summer including replacing several portable classrooms and preparing for rebuilds of some, which they say should be done by next spring. There’s also a new Wood/Metal/Auto shop going in next summer or spring. The money also paid for air conditioning in the high school gym locker rooms and main court area.

New housing a topic of discussion by city leaders in Fort Bragg. The Fort Bragg Community Development Committee meeting in early fall on a report of several vacant properties that may be eventually turned into housing. The city council will consider some ideas at their meeting Monday. The Vice Mayor had asked staff for a list of vacant homes and businesses. The council also considering a mandatory registry once a property is empty to keep track of them. A full report and recommendations from the Community Development Committee will be available at Monday’s meeting.

A teenager in Fort Bragg’s been arrested in connection to a car theft. Police say they got tracking information from the 17 year old’s GPS-anklet because he’s on probation. Police say they tracked the kid Sunday afternoon after the stolen vehicle was reported. When they went to the person who called in the stolen car, they found a witness, but a friend of the victim found the car soon after. Police figured out who their suspect was after the witness report and GPS tracker and on Monday they arrested the teen at home. The teen charged with suspicion of vehicle theft and violation of juvenile probation and booked at Mendocino County Juvenile Hall.

More than 17.5 million dollars has been donated for the fire victims in Mendocino, Lake, Sonoma and Napa counties. The fund established by state Sen. Mike McGuire, The Press Democrat, and Redwood Credit Union has had 25,000 donations. All of the administrative costs associated with the North Bay Fire Relief Fund are being covered by the credit union so 100% of the donations go to the victims. The Fund helping students without a home in each of the counties with a $500 gift card to replace clothes and supplies. More than one hundred 20 gift cards were delivered to the Mendocino County Office of Education and more than 15 to Lake County. There will also be $1,000 checks to anyone who lost their home. Anyone looking for assistance should apply through North Coast Opportunities in Mendocino and Lake Counties. You can also contribute thru the credit union and online at: www.redwoodcu.org/northbayfirerelief

The owner of a proposed marijuana dispensary in Ukiah has backed out. The City Planner says the applicant withdrew because of public opposition to the project. The Ukiah Planning Commission was about to have their second hearing on the application for the Dogwood Dispensary at the corner of Low Gap Road and North State Street, when the application was taken back. No vote had been taken on the application yet after several community members complained about the project as it was near schools. The commission got a loud applause at the public hearing this week after announcing the application was withdrawn.

The Mendocino Broadband Alliance is reminding you that if you haven’t done so already, to please take their survey about telecommunications outages during the fires last month. They’ve gotten about 1100 responses, but only 363 from Mendocino County and they need more to get good data on what areas lost coverage. And they also want to hear from you even if you didn’t lose any services. They would especially like to get responses from folks in Boonville, Caspar, Westport, Talmage, Yorkville, Leggett, Piercy, Branscomb, Elk, Dos Rios, Gualala, Hopland, and Little River. You can find it at http://www.mendocinobroadband.org/ or on our website.

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