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Monthly Archives: December 2017


The Lake County’s sheriff has finalized the findings in the August death of deputy Rob Rumfelt, who was killed after crashing his patrol SUV after responding to domestic violence call in Lakeport. Sheriff Brian Martin told Lake County News that a medical examiner concluded that Deputy Rumfelt suffered sudden cardiac death 30 minutes after a stressful physical encounter trying to subdue suspect Alex Castillo. Although the autopsy found Rumfelt had a broken neck, likely from the crash, Martin said the medical examiner believed the heart attack happened first and led to the crash. As for whether it was accidental or could be considered homicide if the heart attack was the result of the difficult arrest, Martin said he had to settle on a finding of “could not be determined.” The District Attorney announced earlier this month that he’d ultimately decided he wouldn’t charge Castillo with manslaughter because he didn’t believe he could convince a jury beyond a reasonable doubt that Castillo was responsible for Rumfelt’s death. Castillo was however sentenced to the maximum term of four years and eight months in state prison on several counts including making threats, resisting an officer, felony child endangerment and felony inflicting corporal injury.

The Manager of Lake Mendocino Mobile Estates has met with residents who’d been complaining to local government officials about sudden hikes in rent and fees. Robert Ridino, president and CEO of SAR Enterprises, the real estate and Management Company that runs the park, recently announced rent increases of as much 17 percent and that water and sewage payments, which used to be part of the rent, would now be separate and have to be paid by residents. The Ukiah Daily Journal reports more than 60 residents came to the meeting Wednesday night concerned also about a lack of maintenance upkeep to the property. Redino acknowledged he could have announced the rent news better, and also pledged that residents will start seeing maintenance improvements to the common area in the park.

The House of Representatives has passed a supplemental disaster funding package for those affected by recent natural disasters, including the California wildfires. Congressman Mike Thompson says the $81 billion package will be vital supplemental disaster relief that the communities affected by the fires need to get back on their feet by giving state and local communities money for infrastructure, businesses, and housing.

The Mendocino Sheriff is warning about a sudden resurgence within the county of a phone scam with the caller claiming to be from the Sheriff’s Office and saying you have a ticket or warrant that must be immediately paid over the phone. They remind you they do not make calls like this, and you should never give out your personal
information over the phone. If you want to confirm the Sheriff’s Office has contacted you about something, call them directly for verification at (707) 463-4411.

No bail for a wanted felon found camping under the Orr Street Bridge. Ukiah Police went to the bridge Wednesday after getting a call about some people illegally camping there. The officers recognized one of the people as Christine Sharp but the guy she was with gave a name they guessed was fake, and it was. He turned out to be Robert McKissick who had a no-bail felony warrant out of Sacramento for violating his parole and a $500,000 felony warrant out of San Joaquin for robbery. Turns out Sharp also had a misdemeanor warrant issued out of Amador County so they were both taken to jail.

Survivors of the October wildfires may still be able to qualify for disaster assistance even if you get a letter from FEMA or the U.S. Small Business Administration saying you are not eligible. Officials say often it’s a matter of needing to submit more information so FEMA or SBA can continue processing the application. Examples of missing documentation might include an insurance settlement letter, proof of residency or ownership of a damaged property, or simply that the applicant did not sign the required documents. If you got a determination letter of ineligibility you can call the FEMA helpline at 800-621-3362 to find out how to appeal the decision or submit any required documents. You can also go online to

Mendocino Community College and the Mendocino College Foundation have unveiled their new web-based scholarship application process. You can now apply with any computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone and even people who write letters of recommendation for students can use the online process. The scholarship application period for the 2018-2019 academic year runs from January 2 through March 2. If you would like to learn how to apply for scholarships, they are holding workshops at the Ukiah Campus Wednesday, January 31 and Thursday, February 1.


The U-S House of Reps is working on a supplemental disaster-funding package for Californians affected by wildfires. The Speaker of the House announced the $81 billion package to be added to congress’ Continuing Funding Resolution. Congressman Mike Thompson says while he was happy the resolution was being considered, he called it unfortunate that the Republican leadership is “playing political games” and tacking it on to their end-of-the-year spending package instead of having a straight up or down vote. Thompson says he will keep working toward that.

A man accused of domestic violence against his wife in Lake County has been sent to prison for nearly 5 years. The Lake County D-A reports Alex Castillo got 4 years and 8 months in state prison after he pleaded guilty to a count of felony domestic violence with a prior conviction and felony resisting arrest. Court papers say the man hit his wife in the face then left with their toddler and fought with deputies with child in hand. This is the case where after the incident, a deputy drove off and had a heart attack and died. It’s not known if the medical condition was related. Castillo’s lawyer tried to get him off on probation, but the judge went with the max allowed by law.

New guidelines have been approved by the Lakeport City Council for commercial and personal marijuana operations. The city council made minor changes to already discussed rules to govern personal cannabis cultivation. The rules governed medical marijuana already. Now the council unanimously passes the city’s personal cultivation rules with just a brief talk on the matter. No public comments were offered. They also took on commercial marijuana which took a longer portion of the meeting. The ordinance was approved with some changes. It will need a second reading in January, after the new state rules are in play. The changes include retail delivery, no storefronts; no 5-pound limit for retailers, no cap on the amount of retailers, and gets rid of delivery-only retailers from C2 commercial zoning among other tweaks.

A special Clearlake City Council meeting is being held on the urgency ordinance for marijuana growing by Highway 53. Lake Co News reports there was some confusion in the wording of the ordinance so they’ll take up the matter tonight. The meeting after a closed door session at 5:15. The council is deciding on a moratorium on commercial marijuana cultivation businesses west of Highway 53 in the city limits. Confusion about the wording in certain zones of the city inside a building that has no natural light or greenhouse in certain city zones. Some council members saying they read the language to mean there would only be growing allowed in that area. But apparently it was intended to leave that area out of cultivation to encourage retail, resorts and tourism.

A holiday weekend in California, tends to mean more California Highway Patrol officers on the roads. It’s the Christmas Maximum Enforcement Period to make sure the public stays safe on the roads during the holiday. It starts tomorrow night at 6 and rolls thru 11:59 p.m. Xmas evening. Officers looking for signs of impaired drivers, and speeding. They’ll also be available to help motorists on the road who may need it. Last year nearly 800 people were killed in impaired-driving related crashes in December across the country. 23 died in California during the Xmas enforcement period.

A woman and her two dogs have been killed in what firefighters say was an accidental house fire in Nice. Lake Co News reports the Northshore Fire Chief reporting there was no smoke alarm in the singlewide trailer home in the 3300 block of E. Highway 20 Tuesday night. Emergency calls in reporting flames in the home and that someone was inside at the time. Northshore responded and says when they got there, flames were pouring out one of the mobile home’s windows. They got the fire out fast but the woman and her two dogs were found dead. They say it was probably too late by the time they got the call to save them. The damage mainly in the home’s kitchen and living room.

A new mayor and mayor pro tem chosen in Lakeport. The City Council had its final meeting of the year, selecting new leadership for the new year. Mireya Turner is the new mayor, after being the mayor pro tem last year. And councilman Tim Barnes was elected mayor pro tem. The council first took up the new marijuana ordinances, city finance updates and equipment purchases before the election. Councilman George Spurr nominated Turner for mayor and the vote was unanimous. He also then nominated Barnes for mayor pro tem, which was also unanimous.

The Ukiah Valley Sanitation District has decided to offer their General Manager a new contract. The former board wanted Joe Tait out, but now the new board is offering him a new deal since he’s been working with the city on a new Participation Agreement to operate the Wastewater Treatment Plant, something the board’s been suing the city over. The Daily Journal reports new board member Ernie Wipf said he thought Tait should stay on at a recent board meeting. There was some talk about the severance package that had been negotiated for Tait from the last board. But the District’s lawyer says it was not issued yet. The board then talked about a new contract and pay of $95/hr, lodging and a car because his main residence is in San Diego. The board voted unanimously to retain Tait, and will discuss pay again at their next meeting January 20th.

Pacific Gas & Electric Co. will hold off on distributing dividends to shareholders because of potential liability for the October wildfires in Northern California. The utility’s board chair says they’ve decided to hold off for now after distributing more than $920 million last year and another $750 million or so, so far this year. The stock also took a nose dive, with a market value drop off of about $11 billion. The wildfires killed 44 people and caused as much as $9 billion in property damage. Fire investigators have been looking into the one possibility that the fires may have been caused by downed power lines or other electrical equipment. By state law, utility companies can be held financially responsible for damage if it’s proven equipment caused the problem, even if they were following safety rules.

It’s official, the Lake County Board of Supervisors approves the Urgency Ordinance so marijuana growers can apply for permits in the New Year when the recreational use is officially state law. The county’s still working on rules to govern farming, processing and retail sales for legal weed. The ordinance because they have to align with the state and that wasn’t quite ready. It gives the county more time to come up with permanent rules to govern cannabis. So now anyone qualifying for a temporary license through the state have to have a Water Board Permit and have already been approved for the Self Certification process for medical marijuana. So then they get a letter of authorization. The ordinance lasts 45 days and could be extended if warranted.

A Laytonville man has been killed in an accident on Hwy 101 that may have been a case of DUI. The CHP says around 1030pm Tuesday the driver, whose name has not been released, was northbound on Hwy 101 just north of the Covelo turnoff when he lost control on a curve, ran off the road, and hit a tree. He was dead at the scene. His passenger has major injuries and was taken to Howard Memorial in Willits. The CHP says impairment and speed were likely factors.

A supplemental disaster-funding package for Californians affected by wildfires has been introduced in Congress. On Tuesday Speaker of the House Paul Ryan announced the $81 billion package would be added to congress’ Continuing Funding Resolution. Congressman Mike Thompson says while he was happy the resolution is being considered, he called it unfortunate that the Republican leadership is “playing political games” and tacking it on to their end-of-the-year spending package instead of having a straight up or down vote. Thompson says he will keep working toward that.

A man in Mendocino County court found guilty of impropriety connected to abalone hunting. The jury found Quoc Minh Nguyen (winn) of San Jose, guilty of altering an abalone report card, but there was a mistrial on taking too many of the mollusks. Nguyen got a year of informal probation and he cannot fish or hunt during the term. Plus he has to pay about $1,700 and give up his fishing license and abalone card and all of the abalone caught.

Two people accused of starting the Valley Fire are not being charged. The Lake County D-A’s office investigated John Pinch and Parker Mills after reports they may have started the fire. There was a Grand Jury investigation and evidence was presented to the D-A afterward with the jury saying no charges should be filed. They found that Northern California was in the middle of a historic drought and that grass and trees were very dry with high winds the day the fire broke out September 12th, 2015. A hot tub on the property where Pinch and Mills live apparently started the fire. There were electrical problems with the wiring of the hot tub and Cal Fire reports this was the ignition point. But the D-A states they were looking at possible misdemeanors and that prevented going after felonies, but in either case, there didn’t appear to be enough evidence to prove mal-intent. The Valley Fire killed 5 people, burned more than 2,000 structures, including more than 1,300 homes and four firemen were seriously injured.

Cal Fire says they’re working on a year round schedule now because of constant fire danger in the state. The information as the Thomas Fire continues to burn in Southern Calif. Cal Fire expressing their condolences to those affected by the ongoing wildfires and for those who suffered losses in the Northern California fires in October. More than 1.3 million acres burned and over 10,000 structures destroyed across the state this fire season. And since they acknowledge there are changing conditions in the State’s fire season, they’re calling it a year-round fire season. The agency also says fires the last decade are more intense and damaging, calling it the new normal. So with this Cal Fire says they will be more aggressive with fire prevention and forest health measures. Cal Fire will work with public, private and academic organizations for even more prevention in the future.

Lake County has announced their Quagga Sticker program for the New Year. Stickers are required for all resident vessels on Clear Lake and the state Quagga sticker is also required. Resident and non-resident stickers are $20. There are screening stations for residents for those who take out of county trips with their boats too. Decontamination is free of charge. For more info, visit

After two weeks of waiting because of a lack of funds the warming center in Lake County is open. As we reported earlier this week, the Lake Ministerial Association has opened the shelter. The Association reports having just over $11,000 in the bank to run the center which was about​ ​
$1,300 less than needed. They were supposed to have about 25 percent of the total budget in the bank for sufficient services. The center needing $16,000 more to fund the center for the whole winter. The center managers say they’re “flying on faith”. This year they’re also part of the Homeless Management Information System to collect info on those who come to the center, which goes to the federal government about homelessness. If you’re interested in helping you can send donations to the Kelseyville United Methodist Church and write “Warming Center” on the memo line. They also have a go fund me account, .

The discussion continues with the Ukiah City Council on cannabis-related businesses in the city limits. The council was leaning towards the Planning Commission’s recommendations at their last meeting, but an ad-hoc committee was against it, saying it was almost like banning cannabis-related businesses in the city. The Daily Journal reports city staff noting for the meeting today that businesses will technically be allowed downtown, but they have to be located at least 250 feet from a residential area. Apparently the ad hoc committee found possible locations were too restrictive, and, the newspaper reports, thinks the city should come up with policies that regulate and license cannabis activities because if could bring jobs and revenue to the city. The meeting with the council tonight at 6.

A nearly 3 million dollar project has been approved by the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors for the design of a new jail. The correctional facility won’t be open until 2022 and will have 64 beds to be used as a mental health and visitation center. The Sheriff Tom Allman requesting a funding match of more than 4.5 percent with the board approving $60,000 from the county for the new facility. The Sheriff telling the board it’s exciting for the county to have a separate building to care for the mentally ill who were accused or sentenced to a crime. He also says he’s hopeful they can work with mental health partners on rehabilitation for the prisoners. If all goes as planned, there will be about a year and a half of construction with the grand opening in October of 2022.

A man from Oakland seriously injured after a crash near Ukiah on Highway 253. The California Highway Patrol reports the 44-year-old man in a 1989 Mazda driving east at a high rate of speed and didn’t quite make it around a curve near mile marker 15, losing control of the car Monday. They report his car went off the road, down a steep embankment and hit a wire fence, then flipped several times, hitting a redwood tree and stopping after flipping on its roof. The driver was ejected during the crash, landing about 100 feet from the car. Cops say he did not have on his seat​ ​

Confusion about the job of a Willits Community Development Specialist and his work on Cannabis rules leads the city council to redefine the job description. The Willits News reports Specialist Jim Robbins of Ukiah had been helping City Planner Dusty Duley with the Cannabis application process, grant writing, helping to get funds after mass flooding this past winter and more. But one city council member wanted more info on Robbins role looking for grants and submitting grant proposals. Robbins getting nearly $60,000 a year for his work building relations with city staff, others, and helping to get the Cannabis permit program going. Part of his salary funded by grants. Human Resources says he’s doing various things because of limited staff. But apparently others thought he was just helping with grant writing.

The Mendocino County Fire Recovery Team is holding a community meeting Wednesday evening for those impacted by the Redwood Complex Fire. After general updates, the Mendocino County Long Term Recovery Committee will discuss strategies for long-term recovery and highlight resources for fire survivors, including the Disaster Fund managed by the Community Foundation of Mendocino County, crisis counseling by Redwood Community Services and the Mendocino County Fire Survivor Resource Room. There will also be refreshments and North Coast Opportunities Holiday Gift Bags. It’s Wednesday, December 20, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
at the Eagle Peak Middle School Cafeteria in Redwood Valley. If you can’t make it, it will be streamed live on the Mendocino County Facebook page and YouTube Channel. Residents can submit questions in advance at ceo. For more information please contact the Executive Office at (707) 463-4441.

CAL FIRE and The Board of Forestry and Fire Protection say with now over 1.3 million acres burned and over 10,000 structures destroyed this year, they recognize the changing conditions of the fire season into what is now essentially a year-round fire season, with an increase in both the number and intensity of large, damaging wildfires over the last decade. In a statement today they called it the “new normal” of the State’s wildfire environment, which will require the State to continue to engage in more wildfire prevention with looks at all aspects, including fire prevention activities, building codes and land-use planning. CAL FIRE Director and State Forester Ken Pimlott announced a new Statewide Vegetation Treatment Program or “VTP” focused on increasing the pace and scale of fire prevention across the state.

A man thrown from his car on Hwy 253 in Ukiah Monday afternoon is alive and in a hospital in Santa Rosa. The CHP says the man from Oakland was driving eastbound on Hwy 253 at a high rate of speed when he failed to negotiate a curve near mile marker 15 and flew off the road. His car went down the steep embankment, hit a wire fence, flipped over several times and slammed into a redwood tree before coming to rest on it roof. He was not wearing a seatbelt and at some point was thrown out and landed about 100 feet from the vehicle.

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 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 describing tactics by the new property owners at the communities that have mostly low-income and elderly renters. The residents say 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 say could drive them into homelessness. They also allege the new owners have been posting threatening letters on residents’ doors, with threats of ‘legal action’ for various reasons like overgrown landscaping or having children’s toys 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.

Habitat for Humanity helps a disabled local veteran after the Sulphur fire. Lake Co News reports the nonprofit worked with Home Depot Foundation’s Veteran Repair Program and put a 12-foot lift in Army vet Al Plyley’s home in Clearlake Park so he can more easily get in and out. The night of the fire Plyley woke up because an alarm went off on his C-PAP since he lost power at his house. So he had to get out of bed. When he decided to check things out, he found out about the fire on a police scanner and evacuated, using the lift. Then Habitat for Humanity called to make sure he used the lift and got out. He then spent two nights at the Habitat office before finding a hotel. Habitat also made sure his house was intact after the fire.

A cold front’s moving in with rain and mountain snow expected. The National Weather Service in Sacramento says there will be rain today and tomorrow with the heaviest blast expected tomorrow morning. The storm also brings wind with gusts of up to 30 miles per hour in some places. Snow is forecast for higher elevations. Mid to the end of the week should be clear and sunny and should last into the holiday weekend and as of now, Christmas Day too.

The Clearlake City Council gets an update on the Sulphur fire cleanup. The city manager gave the council the update after almost 170 structures burned in the October fire. The US Army Corps of Engineers and the US Environmental Protection Agency are overseeing the public cleanup. The city manager says there were 151 rights-of-entry forms from property owners and eight were private. Five more are being done by the county. The Army Corp reported cleaning 85 sites and that they were waiting for test results to make sure they got all contaminated materials out. There were a total of 15 that were cleared as completed. The EPA also took out asbestos from more than 30 sites and there were still some that needed to be abated. The city manager reports more than 15,300 tons of debris was removed from the Sulphur fire area.

Concerns about possible taint on legal cannabis after the first batch is sold after the New Year. A chemistry professor at U-C Davis who tests marijuana for several states at Steel Hill Labs says any weed sold when recreational sales are officially legal Jan. 1st could have been grown without regulatory controls that have to eventually be in place. So that means there could be pesticides, molds and other contaminants on it. Donald Land says he oversaw the testing of 15 dispensaries in four Southern Calif. counties and 93 percent of them tested positive for pesticides. Next year there will be tight regulations and testing requirements, but there is a six month grace period.

Two marijuana businesses in Northern Calif, the first in the state to get licenses to sell legal marijuana. Both in the Bay Area, Buddy’s Cannabis in San Jose and KindPeoples in Santa Cruz. The owner of Buddy’s says it’s a life’s dream come true after he got the first “microbusiness” license, with the number “0000001”. As we’ve been reporting for more than a year now, possession, personal cultivation and consumption of recreational cannabis is legal as of January 1st for adults after Proposition 64 passed in November 2016. It’s been illegal to buy and sell it until about a week and a half from now. So far the Bureau of Cannabis Control has issued 20 licenses for retailers, distributors, microbusinesses and testing laboratories.

A man accused of shooting a Humboldt County sheriff’s deputy is reported to be a Mexican national in the states illegally. The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office reports Hugo Parral-Aguirre was sent back to Mexico in 2015 but was back. The deputy and Aguirre are in the hospital after a shoot out Sunday morning after a neighbor reported a dispute between two men. The injured deputy went to the scene with a sergeant and a woman ran out to them saying she was being held against her will by the guy and that he tried shooting her boyfriend. She told the officers Parral-Aguirre was armed, so they pulled out their guns and ordered the man to drop his weapon, a 12-gauge shotgun. A female deputy was hit in the left shoulder above her bullet-proof vest and they shot Parral-Aguirre. The D-A will have to come up with charges for the guy who’s in the hospital. All deputies on administrative leave and all injuries said to be non-life threatening.

A resolution approved by the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors means several elected department heads are getting more money. The Supervisors also came up with a mechanism to determine future salary levels for the supervisors so they’re comparable to other counties’ average salaries. The salaries for several department heads and officials like the treasurer and assessor, auditor, Sheriff and District Attorney. Apparently in Mendocino County, elected officials have been making below average salaries compared to Lake, Napa, Humboldt and Sonoma Counties.

Garbage fees on the agenda for the Ukiah City Council. Tomorrow the council will once again take on new garbage rates that’ll reportedly triple some residents’ bills. There was a lengthy discussion on the matter at board meeting earlier this month which included public comment. So the council delayed a vote after residents said it was unfair to some who don’t have a lot of trash. There was discussion too about changing out the containers and to have a flat-rate to cover trash and recycling. Some residents who spoke out wanted a delay in the vote to look at alternatives, maybe per gallon waste fees. The council voted to continue the discussion to tomorrow at their meeting which starts at 6 PM at City Hall.

Police and fire crews in New Zealand rushing to help a man reportedly stuck in a ravine screaming for help. But when they got there they found a goat instead. Apparently someone walking by the area in Arthurs Point in Queenstown called for help after they heard, what they thought, were distress calls from someone who may have been trapped. Cops combing the area eventually found the calls were that of a goat. They say, we take all calls seriously…

It wasn’t a stop for the munchies at a TCBY in North Carolina. But was it a mistake that lead an employee to find a bunch of pot at the frozen yogurt shop in Matthews? Apparently someone left a five gallon bucket in a cardboard box at the shop. Police say $225,000 worth of it. The pot actually shipped to the shop, but nobody knows why or who sent it…

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.

The warming center for the homeless is set to open. The Lake Ministerial Association has announced they’re finally able to open today at the Seventh-day Adventist Church on Park Way in Lakeport. This is the third year for the center which is open Monday through Friday from 6 p.m. to 7:30 a.m. They can fit about 24 people in. Those who want to stay have to check in at the bus stop at the old Natural High School, across from St. Mary’s and go thru intake. Then a Lake Transit bus will take them to the center. There’s a new bus shelter there, so it’s covered for those who waiting to hop on the bus. The warming center will offer hot showers, laundry, computers and wifi, plus hot meals and help looking for work.

At the final meeting of the Lake County Board of Supervisors they’ll consider accepting the urgency ordinance we told you about for commercial marijuana cultivation. The board’s meeting tomorrow where they’ll take up the ordinance ahead of the New Year’s Day deadline. They’re considering allowing temporary and limited registration for some commercial adult use marijuana cultivation with certain conditions during a moratorium period. This was apparently recommended by the planning staff so they can continue to work on the permanent rules to meet the state’s Medical and Adult Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act. The ordinance would first be in effect for 45 days, but it can be extended.

Public hearings in Lakeport set for proposed ordinances for personal and commercial marijuana uses. The council to meet tomorrow afternoon first for a closed door session with labor negotiations, then the regular meeting before the long holiday weekend. Before they get down to serious business, the Lakeport Main Street Association is presenting the winners of the yearly holiday decoration contest. Then the public hearings portion of the meeting on personal marijuana cultivation and commercial uses. They are also choosing their mayor and mayor pro tem for the new year too.

In Clearlake, the city council’s chosen their new mayor and vice mayor for 2018. The vote last Thursday at the city council meeting. Bruno Sabatier will be the new Mayor and Phil Harris the Vice Mayor. Sabatier nominated Harris as the vice mayor and that got unanimous approval. The two start their terms New Year’s Day and go for the entire year. It’s both their first terms on the city council.

Just over two months after some of the most destructive fires in state history hit Northern California in October, the debris removal program has reached a major milestone. After the fires in the region, destroyed 8,900 structures and damaged thousands more, word from the state that debris removal operations teams have moved more than 573,000 tons from the wildfire burn areas, a new record. Of the quarter-million acres burned, massive amounts of debris had to be cleaned up. The State and Federal Consolidated Debris Removal Program is working every day. This is a voluntary program to participate or homeowners can hire private contractors.

Drugs and a gun found at the home of a Lake County probationer have landed him back in jail. On Thursday a Lake County Deputy at a traffic stop for a vehicle code violation in Clearlake Oaks, finding driver David Christensen of Clearlake Oaks on searchable probation related to marijuana sales. Deputies say they didn’t find anything in his truck, but a search of his home turned up 13 ounces of meth worth $37,000, and 14 pounds of marijuana, packaged into one-pound increments with a total value of around $14,000. Deputies say they also found a loaded .38 caliber handgun and high capacity magazine.

FEMA reminds you of the deadline to apply for Disaster Unemployment Assistance from the October fires is today. If you lost work because of the fire and do not qualify for regular state Unemployment Insurance, you might quality for the Disaster Unemployment Assistance in Lake, Mendocino, Napa, Sonoma, and other counties covered under the Federal Disaster Declaration. You can apply for Disaster Unemployment Assistance online at and you can get more info at

Another alternative school for kids in Ukiah. The Ukiah Unified School District is opening the Ukiah High School Middle College Program at the Mendocino College Ukiah campus. They’re first taking in 30 – 10th-graders and say they’ll add another 30 students every year. The programs for students considered to be at risk of not doing well in college. That’s a label that can be considered for someone who’s the first in their family to even go to college. The students who attend can take college courses in high school that are transferable college credits. The school district is starting this new program in a college environment though. This new program to replace a pilot program at the Ukiah Independent Study Academy. The deadline to apply is at the end of next week for the Fall 2018 semester.

Congressman Jared Huffman of San Rafael’s sent a letter to the U-S Interior Secretary to find the nearly $85 million dollars of taxpayer money recently shown in an inspector general report as being misspent. Huffman says the money was supposed to go to some California water districts participating in the “WaterFix” program. The info came out in a report released last week titled “The Bureau of Reclamation Was Not Transparent in Its Participation in the [San Francisco] Bay Delta Conservation Plan.” The letter from Huffman to Secretary Ryan Zinke says the Interior Department approved payments for planning costs for the project but did not disclose it to Congress and the public which is required by law. The letter asks to recover the missing money and asks if there are other similar undisclosed subsidies for any other parties.