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An Upper Lake man has died after crashing his SUV into a tree off Hwy 101 north of Valley Drive in Laytonville. The CHP says the driver, whose name has not been released, was heading south on Hwy 101 around 11 a.m. Sunday when, for reasons still under investigation, he suddenly turned into oncoming traffic, drove over the east shoulder, and went down the grass embankment and into the tree. The CHP says he was dead at the scene.

The Willits City Council has agreed to discuss the problem of sudden rent hikes and alleged intimidation of residents at the Wagon Wheel and Valley Oaks mobile home parks. Several residents came to the council meeting last week to describe tactics by the new property owners of the communities that have mostly low-income and elderly renters. The residents said they want something like rent control to fend off sudden increases after they got notice of a $110 a month hike in November which some said could drive them into homelessness. They also allege the new owners have been posting threatening letters on residents’ doors, threatening to take ‘legal action’ for various reasons like overgrown landscaping or having children’s toys out in the yard. The Willits News reports the city has limited ability to intervene because mobile home parks are governed by the state, but the council agreed to have city staff look at the issue and bring it back to the council in January.

A Santa Rosa man and his 6-year-old son have drowned at Goat Rock Beach. Witnesses say around 2pm Sunday they saw the dad and two boys in the water. The Monte Rio Fire Chief told the Press Democrat the father and six year were pulled into the water by the strong current but the other boy got back to the beach. A State Parks lifeguard and six other people pulled the father out of the rough water but he was pronounced dead. Helicopter crews from the Coast Guard, CHP, and Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office searched for the little boy for more than an hour until his body washed up.

At least six people are dead and likely more after a high-speed train from Seattle to Portland derailed this morning on an I-5 overpass near Tacoma, sending train cars dangling over the bridge across the interstate. This was the inaugural run for the train on this new section of track created to allow trains to go 80 mph. Investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board were to set to arrive this evening to begin piecing together what went wrong.

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