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A teacher in Willits says he’s running to be the next 3rd District Supervisor in Mendocino County. John Haschak announced his run saying there’s a need for strong leadership, especially after the fires last month. He says public safety and disaster preparedness are his priority. He’s been a teacher in Willits public schools for nearly 3 decades. Haschak also says he’d like to focus on more job opportunities, protecting the environment and common sense regulations on marijuana. The Daily Journal reports Haschak has some endorsements from locals already.

A judge on the Lake County Superior Court says he’s not running for re-election again. Judge Stephen Hedstrom made the announcement yesterday regarding a possible fourth term run next year. He says he’ll finish his current term which ends in January of 2019. Lake Co News says Hedstrom is not retiring per se’, but that he’s practiced law more than 4 decades and by the time his term is up, he’ll be 70. One term is six years. He told the news site he’s ready for more freedom and it seemed like the right thing to do at this time. He says he made the announcement early enough for other potential candidates to have time to run.

A homeless man in Clearlake is going to trial after leaving his dog to die on the side of Highway 53. James Harley Thomas Miranda is charged with felony animal cruelty and a misdemeanor for being under the influence of a controlled substance. Back in Sept. Miranda’s dog Cocoa was found by someone tied up on the side of the highway dead. A picture of the dog was posted on Facebook and went viral and Miranda was arrested the next day. Miranda in court yesterday saying his dog had been hit by a car, something a necropsy showed may have indeed been the cause of death. Miranda told the court he loved the dog and was sad it had been hit. He said he had no money to take it to the vet so he left the dog and went to his parents house to get a truck to go back to the dog. Miranda was ordered to stand trial on the case and comes back to court after the Thanksgiving holiday.

The U-S flag in Austin Park in Clearlake has been taken down. Several people came out for the flag’s removal including children from the Konocti Unified School District, members of the Park Study Club, city of Clearlake staff, the Lake County Fire Protection District, and the American Legion. It’s an annual lowering of the flag which the city manager says is a tribute to veterans and the flag.

The burn ban in Lake County has been lifted after another firey season. The Lake County Air Quality Management District lifted the ban as of this morning. But there are still permits required for any outdoor burning in the Lake County Air Basin. To get a burn permit you can call your local fire agency or the Lake County Air Quality Management District. The permit required for any burns bigger than 20 acres, multi-day burns, standing vegetation burns, whole tree or vine removals of more than an acre, and other burns which could bring major smoke to the area.

For those looking to serve up some crab this holiday season, you’re in luck. An early start off the Sonoma Coast compared to years past where the season was shortened or entirely canceled. So fresh Dungeness crab could be in local markets by the end of the week, just in time for Thanksgiving. It’s the first official day of commercial crabbing season off Bodega Harbor tomorrow, but the crab pots have mostly been prepared to be put out this morning, the first pots can be pulled just after midnight tonight, technically, first thing tomorrow morning. Last year was a good one for crabbers after 2015 was closed because of algae-related domoic acid tainted crustaceans.

Bids have been accepted in Lake County for Holiday Harbor and the Lucerne Visitor Information Center. The Record Bee reports the properties are now in escrow after only one bid for the visitor center came in at just over $260,000 and the highest of three bids was accepted for Holiday Harbor, at about $760,000. Both of the winning bids by the same person. 4 percent of the purchase price on both properties needs to be put into the escrow account. The two properties had been on the market before, but were not successful. The county apparently hoping the properties are fixed up so they can bring money in thru tax revenue.

A fence in front of the lake in Library Park in Clearlake is not going anywhere… right now. The Record Bee reports the Lakeport Public Works Director saying the fence is up because of work being done thru other governmental entities, and FEMA money needed. The work being done after last winter’s heavy rains and flooding. Apparently most of the work’s been done, but there are other projects they still need to address which went over the local budget, so they’re waiting on FEMA funding. The work includes on the sidewalk next to the lake. Some people who were living on the lake couldn’t live there due to damaged sewer lines and infrastructure which is all repaired now. But some folks still are not allowed back to their homes. The residents in the area of Willow Point have not been able to live in their homes since last February when the evacuations were ordered.

A jury in Alabama awards an Army veteran who broke his hip picking out a watermelon at Walmart $7.5 million. Retired Sgt. Henry Walker at a Walmart in Phinix City and when he went to reach for a watermelon, his foot apparently got stuck in the side of a wooden pallet. He then fell and shattered his hip. His lawyer says it permanently changed his life and that he has to use a walker to get around now. So he sued the big box store saying they had not kept its premises reasonably safe. Footage of other customers also getting their feet stuck in the same pallet were shown to the jury.

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