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Monthly Archives: January 2018

Ukiah Police say a boy they were called to help rescue from the roof of his school this (Tuesday) morning had simply refused to come down. Police were called to Orr Creek School on Low Gap Road around 10:30am on a report of a student on the roof. Police also called for help from the Ukiah Valley Fire Authority but then canceled that call when the boy came down with an officer. The school is part of the Mendocino County Office of Education’s Alternative Education Program and is described as a “very small, very specialized, special education school.” No one was hurt.

A former volunteer firefighter is being investigated for vandalism at two fire stations. Hopland Fire officials called Mendocino deputies Sunday morning after some windows had been broken in the firehouse and two emergency vehicles had windows smashed and tires slashed. A firefighter followed the suspect’s car and led deputies to her home where they found a baseball bat with glass on it and other evidence implicating Rachael Seiverston. Detectives also had probable cause to connect her to some January 10th vandalism at the Hopland Cal Fire Station on Highway 101. Fire officials say she had left both stations on good terms several years ago, so investigators are calling the vandalism “acts of revenge with no justified reason”.

The California Department of Public Health is encouraging you to get vaccinated against the flu. State Public Health Officer Dr. Karen Smith says flu activity in California is widespread and already at levels not usually seen until the peak of the season. She says it’s not too late to get a flu shot but don’t wait much longer because it takes about two weeks after the vaccination for the body to fully respond to it. And she says even if you get the flu after you get the shot, it will likely be less severe. Those at highest risk for serious flu-related complications include: pregnant women, kids under 5, people over 65, and those with certain medical conditions like asthma, diabetes and heart disease.

The Covelo Ranger District office is closing down Monday. District Ranger Frank Aebly announced today (Tuesday) that due to limited staffing, the Covelo Ranger District office will close to the public beginning on Monday, January 22, and stay closed until further notice. He says they are working to remedy the situation but until they do, be sure to check for forest information on the national forest websites. You can find forest maps at the website http://www.nationalforestmapstore.com/ and campfire permits at the website at http://www.preventwildfireca.org.

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It’s a no go… the ballot measure to repeal the new gas tax missed the deadline to submit a petition this week. The measure was sponsored by Republican Assemblyman and gubernatorial candidate Travis Allen. But apparently there’s still a ballot measure that’s gathering signatures separately. Allen says he couldn’t get the signatures in time for the deadline because of fights with the state Attorney General regarding the wording of the measure. The gas tax was passed by the legislature last year to help pay for road repairs and other transit projects. Allen was suing the Attorney General’s office saying they wrote a misleading title and summary for his repeal, and a judge ruled in Allen’s favor. But an Appeals Court judge overruled it and the state Supreme Court wouldn’t even hear the case.

A bad flu season has emergency rooms packed to the gills. Some hospitals in the Bay Area report they’re so packed with sick patients they’ve got ambulances lined up outside with most staffers working every day. The flu season happened earlier than normal this year too, so some doctors and nurses have been working overtime or pulling doubles, ending up sick themselves, which is causing staff shortages. At least 42 people younger than 65 have died since the beginning of October due to flu-related illnesses in Calif. One hospital in Mountain View says they’ve been tracking the number of flu patients, and so far they’ve got double what they had last year.

A man from Texas has been arrested in connection to a fire at a hotel in Lakeport. Timothy Cofer of Henderson County, TX was arrested after police and firefighters got a call to the Rodeway Inn & Suites Skylark Shores Resort for a one room fire. Police say they got a call about a disturbance and found heavy smoke coming out of one-story of the multi-unit hotel’s left wing. Firefighters had it contained in five minutes and say there were no injuries and nobody was in the room at the time it ignited. Fire investigators say it was arson after checking out the damaged room. Cofer was being held on $100,000 bail.

Another set of winter storms headed our way. After a pretty dry December, forecasters say it should mostly be wet the next several days. The storms today and tomorrow are supposed to be light, but a third storm is lining up to drop rain Sunday, which they say could bring more of a downpour. The rain overnight into today was supposed to bring up to a half inch, but it will taper off quick with a dry forecast for the afternoon and tomorrow morning. But more rain is expected tomorrow night again overnight into Thursday, then again Sunday.

A new curator has been named for the Mendocino County Museum, but still no director. The Daily Journal reports since Alison Glassley’s unexplained resignation last summer, there’s been some complaints about mismanagement. The county librarian’s been juggling both jobs since Glassley resigned. The paper says one of the museum’s advisory board members sent a note to the Willits City Council last week about there being no manager and a couple of archivists reportedly sent a memo to the county last month regarding, quote, “ongoing mismanagement”.

A farm worker has been killed on the job in Chico. The CHP reports the man was trying to drive a tractor onto a trailer bed Monday and got pinned underneath the tractor, which tipped over and trapped him. The CHP has not released his name. But he’s said to have been in his 50s. He died at the scene, near an orchard off Highway 99. Officers say the man was at the end of the workday. They say another worker ended up moving the truck and trailer so emergency responders could try to save him, but it was too late. They say they’re not sure if the truck had a mechanical issue or if it was going too fast, they’re investigating.

A man in central Germany has been arrested after he supposedly broke into a house, ransacked it, then fell asleep on the sofa. Cops say they think he was high and that’s why he fell asleep, mid-caper. The family in Erfurt came home Sunday to find the guy asleep on their couch, after apparently forcing his way into the house overnight. They say it looked like he’d gathered items to steal, but then curled up on a coach in a yoga room and went to sleep.

The yearly count of the homeless by the Lake County Continuum of Care is scheduled. The point-in-time count of sheltered and unsheltered homeless and families in Lake County will take place Tuesday, January 23rd from 10 AM to 4 PM. The count helps those in need of services and resources and also helps to qualify Lake County for certain funding. The counts will take place at the Youth Center in Clearlake, Methodist Youth Center in Clearlake Oaks, Presbyterian Church in Kelseyville, Veterans Service Office in Lakeport, the Community Church in Lucerne and the Methodist Church Fellowship Hall in Middletown. All of the sites will also offer flu shots, HIV/Hepatitis C testing, dog food and supplies, sandwiches and water. They will ask those there to fill out a confidential survey and they will be offered a first aid kit, solar-powered flashlight/phone charger and other items.

A meeting’s scheduled for the Lakeport Measure Z Advisory Committee. The meeting is tomorrow to talk about the continued oversight of sales tax funds. The meeting starts at 5:30 PM at Lakeport City Hall. As you may recall, Measure Z was a one-cent sales tax approved last year. They’ll look over the midyear budget which the City Council will go over tonight first.

The Dungeness crab season is opening. There was a quick start and stop last November because crabs off the far northern coast, in Mendocino, Humboldt and Del Norte counties were not mature enough. That caused the State Department of Fish and Wildlife to delay the opening of crab season to test more. The crabs are now meaty enough to harvest, so the official start again was yesterday. The agency said the delays this season were unusual, but not unprecedented. No word yet on any of the catch so far.

A group looking to break off from the state and form a second California, which they’re calling New California, had a meeting, reading their own Declaration of Independence. Those wanting to be the 51st state in the union, don’t want to leave the U-S, just California. The founder of the movement, Robert Paul Preston says the state’s been ungovernable for a long time due to high taxes and education. The group says they’re organized with committees and county representatives, but they’re still a year to year and a half away from working with the state legislature.

A woman from Hopland busted in connection to vandalism at the town’s fire station. The Battalion Chief reports Sunday morning an on-duty engineer heard banging and saw the woman with an aluminum bat hitting two vehicles in the parking lot, bashing windows, mirrors and lights, and puncturing tires. There’s apparently video of the whole thing, then showing the woman committing the crime, then take off. 29 year old Rachael Seivertson, a former Hopland volunteer firefighter’s been connected to the vandalism. They say she was also a firefighter with Cal Fire for a couple years. Hopland Fire says they never had issues with her and praised her work from eight years before… Cops also investigating a similar incident at the Hopland Cal Fire station last week. No word if the two incidents are related.

The state’s reversing course, saying those who have fire damage from the devastating October fires, don’t have to file expensive timber harvest plans after all. The plans apparently were required before trees could be removed from burned property. Now a waiver will apply to properties that are 300 feet from damaged or destroyed structures and there at least six months. Apparently the plans would have cost land owners tens of thousands of dollars, before some complaints were filed. Fire victims in Sonoma, Mendocino and Napa counties saying the rules were limiting their ability to build again. Now the waivers are being reviewed by the state’s Office of Administrative Law and could be in place by month’s end.

A proposal to expand the motel at Clearlake Cottages is up for discussion at the next Clearlake Planning Commission meeting. The commission meets at 6 p.m. Tuesday, January 16, at Clearlake City Hall. The agenda includes a study session on the architecture and design for the buildings on Lakeshore Drive, which would include three new two-story cottage buildings within the existing motel development that currently has 16 single-story building units. Lake County News reports the three new buildings would feature newer, more modern architecture than the existing units. The Commission isn’t scheduled to take any action but just to study and review the design concepts for a future project application.

A statewide search is on for an inmate who escaped from a Southern California prison Sunday night. State prison officials say they discovered Michael Garrett missing during a Sunday night count at the medium-security California Institution for Men in Chino. Garrett is white, 33 years old, 5 feet 10, 197 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes. He was serving a four-year sentence for burglary, evading, and vehicle theft. He was scheduled for parole in October 2019.

California’s head of the Office of Emergency Services says the cleanup after the October fires has been the worst in the state’s history. Mark Ghilarducci was at a public forum Saturday on the debris removal process, telling those in the crowd about progress made so far. The meeting at Santa Rosa High School with other local, state and federal agencies working on the recovery and rebuilds. He says it’s the largest debris clearance operation since the 1906 earthquake in San Francisco. So far they’ve cleared 1,800 lots of as much as 1 million tons of debris. The fires in Sonoma, Mendocino, Napa and Lake counties destroyed nearly 6,200 homes and killed more than 40 people. Congressmen Mike Thompson and Jared Huffman hosted the town hall. State Sens. Mike McGuire and Bill Dodd, and state Assemblymembers Jim Wood and Cecilia Aguiar-Curry were also there.

The Mendocino County Superintendent of Schools Warren Galletti is done here at the end of the month, but not leaving the area. Galletti’s last day heading Mendocino Schools is Jan. 31st, then he heads to do the same job in Point Arena, where he lives. He’s been serving as the interim superintendent in Pt. Arena at 16 hours a week since August because of a retirement there, and says he decided to take on the position last month. He has experience in the area where he had taught and served as a coach and principal for 12 years. He says the commute is better too, it’ll take just twenty minutes to go to work, not nearly 2 hours.

State Assemblyman Jim Wood speaking at a local Democratic Club to update his district on the happenings at the state capitol. Wood was at the Inland Mendocino Democratic Club’s meeting last Thursday at the Alley Lounge, saying Ukiah is where his main office is and the heart of the district. He talked about the devastating October wildfires, which he says changed much of what the Legislature has been working on. He also talked about new sexual harassment policies, the Trump Administration’s health care policies, offshore drilling, immigration and the newly legalized recreational marijuana market.

A man has died in Clearlake and police have not released much new on their investigation. As we reported late Friday, a Hispanic man was found with multiple gunshot wounds Thursday afternoon. Clearlake police were trying to locate family before the name was released. The shooting Thursday after 6:30 PM near the 3200 block of 2nd Street. Witnesses reported a dark-colored, newer model Mercedes that had a white-top nearby. Traffic was closed for a few hours after the shooting. Anyone with any information’s asked to call the police department.

The Long-Term Recovery Committee has begun their work after the latest wildfires in Mendocino County along with the Community Foundation of Mendocino County. They’re also reportedly putting together a case management system to help support fire survivors get through long-term recovery. More information is becoming available in the new year. The Committee says they should have more information about their work and timeline for fire survivors in the coming weeks. The Committee reports they’ve raised two million for the Community Foundation’s Disaster Fund for Mendocino County. For more info, visit www.communityfound.org.

The monthly meeting for the Mendocino County Homeless Services Continuum of Care is set. Next Monday at the Mendocino County Health and Human Services Agency Social Services building in Ukiah at 1:30 PM. The program is to get the community involved in trying to end homelessness in Mendocino County. The work is a partnership of citizens and more than 30 agencies throughout the county. They work to bring federal HUD funding to the community and help low income and the homeless with things like emergency sheltering and homelessness prevention. They have monthly meetings and are always open to new members and community agencies with the common goal to help those in need without homes in the community.

A community meeting’s set for the Mendocino County Fire Recovery Team. This Wednesday the meeting to help support victims from the Redwood Complex Fire. The meeting Wednesday to get an update on the debris removal process and there will be information provided on rebuilding and tree and vegetation management. The County Planning and Building Services Dept. will be there to talk about the rebuilding process, including permitting. The Contractors State License Board will also be there with information about hiring a licensed contractor. The meeting at 6:30 p.m. in the Eagle Peak Middle School Cafeteria in Redwood Valley. If you can’t make it, you can watch live online at the Mendocino County YouTube Channel.

A new pilot program from PG&E is available to some in Lake County interested in ways to lower energy use. The program called “Time-of-Use” is available to about 2,700 ratepayers and asks that instead of using energy during peak times, they instead use energy when the demand is low and use alternative resources like solar. It’s the first part of a multi-year, statewide effort in collaboration with the California Public Utilities Commission. They’ve randomly chosen about 150,000 customers from across PG&E’s service area in different climates, with different household size and energy usage. The company will use the data from the diverse customers to plan for the future when they release the Time-of-Use plan either next year or in 2020.

A man in Kelseyville is dead and another injured after an assault over the weekend. The Sheriff Brian Martin tells Lake County News 37-year-old Jeremy Mullings was found dead in the Clear Lake Riviera. The Sheriff says it was a chaotic scene with dispatchers getting a call about two injured parties, one in a house and another in a driveway with head injuries. The news site reports firefighters were there with Sheriff’s deputies. The Sheriff says nothing indicated there had been a murder, but that Mullings was dead when they got there. He also says it seemed the man had some serious, previous health conditions and an autopsy was pending. The other injured man’s name was not released. He was taken to a hospital and released. A woman, April Renee Scobee of Kelseyville was arrested for that man’s assault. She told cops she was Mullings’ wife.

The city of Lakeport still working thru their marijuana business license applications. The City Council will take up the matter at their meeting tomorrow night. They’ll consider the fees to process
commercial marijuana and the permit applications in line with the city’s municipal code. The council will also get an update on the midyear budget.

An ultrarunner is being called out for probably not really being a winner. An ultra marathon as you may know is more than a regular 26 miler. Kelly Agnew, a supposed, avid ultramarathon competitor, apparently lost some of his titles after it came out that he’d been hiding in a Port-a-Potty to win races. He’s been disqualified from Across the Years, an event in Arizona, where he was busted for registering laps, but not really running them. Race organizers called the guy out on Facebook. He supposedly won the 48-hour long race four times. It’s 201.5 miles done in 48-hours. But, someone saw him circle back to a portable bathroom and register a completed lap. He was asked to turn over his racing bib. And a sponsor also dropped him too.

A fire that destroyed the Mendo Leaf Smoke Shop on North State Street this afternoon was apparently started when a vaping device exploded in an employee’s hand. The Ukiah Valley Fire Authority responded around Noon and Ukiah Police closed off State Street for several blocks. Division Chief Kevin Jennings tells the Ukiah Daily Journal when they got there, the office area in front was fully involved and while the fire did not spread to other buildings, they were evacuated due to the heavy smoke. Chief Jennings says there were also several explosions inside due to dozens of butane canisters, which were sold there. There is no current word on the condition of the employee who was burned.

There’s been a fatal shooting in Clearlake. Several people called 911 around 630pm Thursday night to report either hearing the shots or seeing a man down at the intersection of 2nd and Bush. Lake County Fire Protection District personnel responded but pronounced him dead a short time later. Clearlake Police are still piecing together information but they say the victim, a Hispanic man, had numerous gunshot wounds. They do know his name but have not released it publicly. As for a suspect, witnesses described seeing a newer-model, dark-colored Mercedes with a white top at the scene but no one had a look at the shooter.

The deadline for wildfire maps to help utility companies has been extended. The California Public Utilities Commission has unanimously voted to postpone the finalization of the map which looks to set out stricter regulations in high-hazard zones. The map had been outlined before the end of last year and was supposed to be finished up by this weekend, but apparently the commission had not gathered all of the needed feedback. So now the maps should be done by mid-July instead and adoption of it won’t happen until next year. There will be rules set out along with the maps outlining how state utilities have to maintain electrical poles and wires, clear vegetation and have yearly fire-prevention plans in designated zones.

A man from Willits accused of hunting a protected leopard in South Africa as a trophy kill in 2011 then bringing it back to the states, has been indicted by a federal grand jury. The U.S. Attorney’s Office reports Adam Lawrence could get up to 25 years in prison and be fined hundreds of thousands of dollars if he’s found guilty of trophy hunting without required permits, and taking the skin and skull to Mozambique on the down low. A spokesperson for the U-S Attorney’s Office says Lawrence went to South Africa hunted and killed the leopard then lied and said he had hunted and killed the leopard in Mozambique the following year. He’s been indicted on charges of importing wildlife contrary to law and mislabeling wildlife intended for importation.

A man from Mill Valley accused of trying to get past police during the October wildfires to get to his mom’s house is going to trial. A jury in Sonoma County will decide if Evan Neumann will go to jail for the misdemeanor crime, his brother already accepted a plea deal. The two tried to bypass cops guarding the Fountaingrove neighborhood Oct. 17th, which was about five days before the area was opened back up to residents. Brother Mark got three years’ probation and has 180 hours of community service to perform. But his brother says he was never informed he had to leave the burn zone, and then got arrested.

The Lake County Fire Safe Council is coming up with a new Fire Risk Reduction Program so there are less fires and fire damage in the future. The plan could also apparently help to get low-risk fire insurance in the county after three years of major wildfires in the county and Northern California as a whole. The Record Bee reports it comes after some insurance companies began limiting or denying coverage for homeowners. The District 3 Supervisor Jim Steele is working with some insurance stakeholders to come up with ways to reduce fire hazards and bring down insurance costs. A public meeting’s set on the plan today in Upper Lake at 5 PM at the Habematolel Tribal Offices.

A delay in the trial for a man accused of a shooting spree in October. Alan Leroy Ashmore is accused of the murder of his dad and another man, attempted murder and assault on a peace officer for the incident in Clearlake Oaks, then a police chase after. He’s pleaded not guilty to all the charges. Apparently the lawyers on both sides have agreed to a delay until January 30th because of all of the information to go thru in the case.

A man in Clearlake may get a new trial related to a murder in July of 2015. Police arrested Billy Ray Mount and now Mount’s trying to get a new trial after a motion for reconsideration of a further hearing is filed on his behalf. That court appearance is set for January 22nd. The same motion was filed last April though and the judge denied the request and referred it to the probation department. He’s accused of killing Steven Galvin of Clearlake 2 and a half years ago. A jury convicted him and he got 17 years, plus 45 years to life. But his lawyers said all of the evidence in the case was not properly considered.

The Northern Spotted Owl not faring well which could be caused by all the cannabis grows in timberlands on the North Coast. This in a new report by UC Davis which blames rodenticides, which gets into their food supply, of rodents. The owls are already listed as a threatened species under the federal and California’s endangered species acts. Scientists say barn owls that eat infected rodents can die from internal bleeding and starvation. They say it also reduces their offspring’s ability to survive since it can be transferred from mother owls to their eggs. The scientists looked at owls from 2009 to 2016, which showed an increase in the disease along with the conversion of private timberland into cannabis grows.

A report presented to the Fort Bragg City Council on recommendations for marijuana cultivation. The city’s Public Safety Committee prepared the report on policy ideas for cannabis cultivation in Fort Bragg for commercial and personal growing. There was a discussion and the public also had a chance to weigh in on Monday and the council looked to be in favor of allowing personal cultivation of six plants indoors with a permit as well as commercial cultivation indoors in both heavy and light industrial zoning districts in Fort Bragg. Some council members though against the policies saying it could limit the state grants to city could get. Those growing would have to also show proof the odor would be kept to a minimum.

After the California Geological Survey released official maps of fault and seismic zones, it shows one in Napa where the 2014 earthquake happened. The new maps show new zones and revised older ones. There were four fault zone maps released outlining 10 seismic hazard zones. Apparently scientists knew there was a fault where the Napa quake happened, but it wasn’t definitive until now. So if folks want to build in areas of the map, they have to have a seismic safety study, unless it’s a small family home.

A lawmaker accused of sexual misconduct apparently still on the job. Democratic Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia commented after she ran into state Sen. Tony Mendoza at the Capitol that staying on the job could affect how he does his job. He was supposed to be on a month-long paid leave of absence, agreeing to step down during an investigation of a report he had harassed young women working for him, for which he denied wrongdoing. Garcia says many of the women who were brave enough to come forward, are still in the building. A spokesperson for Mendoza says he was at the capitol to meet with lawyers, work on his legislative agenda, and go to an event hosted by an interest group.

Still no deal to end a long-playing lawsuit filed against the City of Ukiah by the Ukiah Valley Sanitation District. The Ukiah City Council held a special closed session this (Thursday) morning and the Mayor asked for another one for Friday. He wants that to be joint meeting of the settlement ad hoc committees of the Sanitation District and the City, for what the Daily Journal quotes the Mayor as being a “last-ditch effort to try to maximize the potential savings of $16 million by refinancing the sewer bonds”. The District filed the suit in 2014 alleging the city violated its participation agreement and owed $30 million in back payments over 40 years. Ending the suit would get the City more favorable terms to refinance the bonds but the deadline to do so is January 17. Both the Sanitation District board and the City Council have had several closed meetings over the past few weeks.

Caltrans is hosting a meeting next week on the proposed State Route 1 Gualala Downtown Enhancement Project. Officials say the current design of downtown has a lot of traffic problems, and the project would not only improve traffic flow and make walking and biking safer, but also improve the visual character with new landscaping and hardscaping. The open house and informational meeting is Tuesday, January 16, from 5:30p.m. to 7:30p.m., at the Gualala Community Center.

Ukiah Resident Lillian Vogel has passed away at the age of 108. Her family tells the Daily Journal she died peacefully at home on December 29. Ms. Vogel was a psychologist who got her undergrad degree in 1933 from USC – a rare thing for a woman back then – and after her son started high school in 1957 went back for her PhD. She moved to Ukiah in 1996 at the age of 87, to be closer to her son and two granddaughters, but still continued her practice for several years. A lifelong musician and supporter of the Arts, she also started the Lillian Vogel Piano Group and published a memoir the year she turned 100. Just last January 2017, she participated in the Women’s March in Ukiah.

Fire debris removal stopped by government contractors after challenges were filed against two federal contracts for work in Sonoma, Napa, Mendocino and Lake counties. The Army Corps of Engineers reports there were some protests to two agreements for the rest of the public fire cleanup programs in Northern California. ECC for the work in Sonoma County and Ceres Environmental Services for the other three counties, suspended their work after a company out of Florida disputed if crews could meet target dates. It comes as the companies were ramping up their final effort to clear all of the debris out from the October fires. The work was supposed to be done by the end of February.

The governor’s announced his new budget and the state’s got one of the biggest budget surpluses its had in years. Governor Brown says the state will be about $6 billion in the black and wants to spend only about $300 million and have the rest held in reserves. The general fund proposal spends about $131.7 billion and $59 billion more in special funds and bonds. The governor warning there could be another recession and a massive drop in revenue would come with that so saving money protects jobs and potential college tuition hikes. Brown’s in his last year in office. He’s done after the election in November. He’s served four terms as governor, but spread apart. He was governor in the 1970s and 1980s and again since 2011.

A pickup truck that had been stolen from a local business has been found. Now Lakeport Police are looking for possible leads about how the Cramer Enterprises truck was taken to begin with. A Nixle alert was sent out to look for the 2015 white Chevrolet 3500 work pickup which cops say they think was taken sometime between 6:30 a.m. Dec. 21st and 7:50 a.m. Dec. 22nd. They also believe the pickup was seen between Dec. 21st and 25th possibly hauling two large gun safes in the Lakeport and Kelseyville area. The truck was found last night in a rural forested area southwest of Lakeport, but they have no clue who took it. The police dept. asking anyone with any possible info on the matter to call, contact them thru Facebook or text Tip Lakeport to 888777 which is anonymous.

Lake County still dealing with illegal dumping. The Record Bee reports there’s still complaints coming in to the county and recently someone finding a dump site off Robin Hill Road outside Lakeport near the Nice-Lucerne Cutoff. There’s also reports of people cutting down trees to take as firewood. The Sheriff’s office has reportedly been notified. But the newspaper reports the District 4 Supervisor Tina Scott saying she didn’t know about this specific instance but realizes it’s a rampant problem all over the county. She says there are also dumped vehicles around the county too.

Changes could be coming to the way low performing state schools get federal money. The U.S. Department of Education reports problems with California’s plan to improve the low performing schools with billions in federal education aid as part of the Every Student Succeeds Act. A letter sent to the state regarding its 100 page funding application. The act approved by Congress in 2015 means every state has to submit a detailed education plan to the federal government. California’s was sent in September, and just got the first official response. The letter criticizes the state’s lack of setting out precise goals to improve schools and how they’d be held accountable for making progress.

Another special meeting’s set for the Ukiah City Council regarding the lawsuit the Sanitation District filed against the city. The closed door session set for this morning with county counsel. As we reported the city council had previously approved, then sent in a settlement agreement for the lawsuit. The Sanitation District also had a closed door session and the City Council had another and fixed some items in the agreement, but the city’s not publicly said if those were specific requests from the district. The city manager tells the Daily Journal discussions are continuing on the matter. Last night the Sanitation District had a regularly scheduled meeting and another closed session about the lawsuit was on the agenda.

Some locals part of the legal cannabis industry have appeared in front of the Board of Supervisors again about a seizure of nearly 1,900 pounds of pot from a Ukiah company permitted to deliver the product. There are also reports of alleged raids at Kai Distribution this week. The vice chairman of development for the California Growers Association at the meeting saying, he thinks it might have been related to a probations search, but he wasn’t sure and requested the board look into the matter, saying it’s a serious issue that could affect many other farmers and that it could affect the regulated market in the future. It comes after another meeting of the board last week where others spoke out about the raid of a distribution truck and citing of some workers, even though they had all the proper paperwork in place.

PG&E says it’s removed more dead and dying trees after the October wildfires that were standing along power lines. State law requires the dead, dying or diseased trees that could come into contact with power lines be removed. Foresters and arborists went thru the burn areas and marked fire-damaged trees, then inspected and will remove the trees. The utility says they expect to fell up to 25,000 hazard trees in fire-impacted areas and should be done with the work early this year. They say they’ll make reasonable efforts to notify property owners, saying the fire-damaged trees are clearly marked and notices are being left at properties. They’re also offering whatever debris from the tree removal to be taken out for free, but customers have to opt-in to the Wildfire Wood Management program by calling PG&E directly.

A man who used to be the attorney general for California is starting a marijuana distribution business. Bill Lockyer, the state Atty. General from 1999 to 2007 had co-founded C4 Distro, out of Newport Beach. The other partner is Eric Spitz who was president and co-owner of the Orange County Register until 2016. The company says they’ll distribute marijuana products in the Los Angeles area to start. They say they’ll pickup manufactured marijuana products, like edibles and tinctures, then deliver them to retailers.

A man with a book by the same name as one critical of President Trump, says his book’s picking up steam again. Randall Hansen’s book, Fire and Fury: The Allied Bombing of Germany, 1942-45 came out in 2008. But the Canadian professor says it’s taken off again with the release of Michael Wolff’s expose by nearly the same name, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, which the president calls a work of fiction. The professor from the Univ. of Toronto says he’s not seen that much interest in his book since it first came out. He says the day the Wolff book came out, his book hit three best seller lists. But obviously, he says people just bought the wrong book.

A search warrant has been served at the home of an elderly Clearlake Oaks couple twice arrested in Nebraska on marijuana related charges. 80-year-old Patrick Jiron and his 70-year-old wife Barbara were arrested December 23rd in a rural area when a traffic stop led to the discovery of 60 pounds of processed marijuana they said was being delivered to the East Coast as family Christmas presents. On Monday, they were arrested in a traffic stop in Lincoln Nebraska with about $18,000 in cash, some raw marijuana and evidence indicating marijuana sales. The Lake County Sheriff’s Office says they used that information to get a warrant for the Jiron’s home on Pueblo Trail where they say they found a 75-plant harvested grow site determined to actually be encroaching on BLM Federal Land. They also found about 152 pounds of loose processed pot and about 8 pounds of packaged processed pot. The Sheriff’s Office says the Jirons posted bail on January 9th in Nebraska and are believed to be traveling back to California.

Mendocino County Behavioral Health and Recovery Services is having a joint Mental Health Services Act and Quality Improvement Committee meeting and they would like you to attend. The purpose is to discuss mental health services in Mendocino County and they want to hear from consumers, family members, and community agencies who are invited to ask questions and share ideas as they look to improve the mental health system of care in the community. The meeting is January 24, from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Anderson Valley Health Center on Airport Road in Boonville.

The CHP says a man killed last week when his pickup truck ended up in a creek near Laytonville was from out of town. William Gilbert of Rhode Island died after somehow losing control on Highway 101 north of the Black Oak Ranch. The truck crossed the highway and rolled down the embankment before landing on its roof in a creek. No other vehicles were involved and Gilbert was the only one in the truck. The CHP is still looking into the cause.

An elderly couple from Lake County already busted once for having a bunch of marijuana they said were Christmas gifts, are arrested again… 80 year old Patrick Jiron and his wife, 70 year old Barbara, arrested on the same road in Nebraska, I-80. But this time the pair were passengers in a truck that had been stopped on suspicion of following another car too close. The arresting officer searched the truck and found a bag with $18,000 cash, a big garbage bag with marijuana residue in it and notes they say looked to be a record of marijuana sales. The driver wasn’t arrested, just given a warning, but the Jirons were out of jail on bond, and were busted again. Cops had previously said when the Jirons were arrested December 19th they told them they didn’t know if was illegal to carry pot across state lines. Apparently their son is a prosecutor in Vermont…

A nonprofit that looks to watch over Redwood trees is offering free passes to nearly 50 state parks monthly. For their 100th anniversary, Save the Redwoods League has passes for 47 redwood state parks they will give out for the second Saturday of every month of this year. The passes for this Saturday are gone, they were offered on Monday via the website, FreeRedwoodsDays.org. They’ve got about 16,000 passes for day-use admission and parking fees for parks across the state including eight in Sonoma County and eleven in Mendocino County. The league says over 30 million people visit redwood parks a year.

A new Senate leader is taking over in Sacramento and makes history. The first female and first lesbian leader for the chamber, Sen. Toni Atkins takes over March 21st. Atkins is a Democrat from San Diego who will be the next president pro tem after Kevin de Leon of Los Angeles was barred because of term limits, instead, he’s running for U.S. Senate. Atkins has to be elected formally by the Senate, but apparently already has the majority party’s unanimous support. She’s been a state lawmaker since 2010, and was an Assembly speaker and health care executive before that.

More flu-related deaths have been reported in the state this year. Now health officials say the flu this year may be more serious than in years past. There’ve been 27 flu-related deaths in the state of those under 65 years old, normally there are only about three or four a year under 65 who die from the illness. The chief of California’s division of communicable disease control says the flu season started a month earlier than normal too. He also says it’s too early to know if the season will then peak earlier too. After those deaths, health officials urging state residents to get their flu vaccinations, saying about 70 percent of those who died didn’t get flu shots.

One lane of the 101 in northern Mendocino County near Leggett had to be closed for several hours after a logging truck overturned. The CHP reports closing the lane for more than four hours yesterday during morning rush hour after the driver came off the highway and hit the concrete railing, then a power pole. The accident on the northbound side of the highway yesterday about 5 AM. The truck, that was hauling logs, turned and spilled the load and blocked the northbound lane. The driver apparently had minor injuries but declined going to the hospital.

Certain visitors are not being allowed into Mendocino Coast District Hospital during flu season because of an increase in flu cases and flu-like symptoms. So no visitors at all under the age of 14, or those with flu-like symptoms, which of course, include fever, cough, a sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches and the chills or nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. They’ll also require anyone going to the hospital with one or more of the symptoms to wear a mask and wash their hands.

The Superintendent of Schools in the Mendocino County School District is resigning. Warren Galletti has run the schools for 3 years. He was elected in November of 2014 and his first term started in January of 2015. So now the Board of Education is looking for his replacement as the Interim County Superintendent starting next month, until the end of the year. Those interested are encouraged to send a letter of interest to the attention of Becky Jeffries to the Board office in Ukiah or to email her before next Wednesday, January 17th.

Mendocino County Board of Education

2240 Old River Road, Ukiah, CA 95482

Email: bjeffries or 707-467-5030

Explain your interest and qualifications, with experience, talents, education and skills.

State Senator Mike McGuire has a meeting on the new Federal Tax Bill. McGuire’s also the Chair of the Senate Governance and Finance Committee. McGuire saying those who are the wealthiest in the country have something to celebrate with the new law, but middle class and low income Californians, not so much, because it will cut health insurance for more than one and a half million in the state, add a trillion to the national debt, take away a deduction for wildfires, unless they’re declared a federal disaster and much more. The meeting today, called, “A Preview of Federal Tax Reform: What it Means for California’s 99%” —after some other bills at 9:30 a.m. at the State Capitol in Room 112. You can also live stream it at www.senate.ca.gov.

A new idea to use drones to carry emergency blood supplies thru Palo Alto if allowed by the federal government as part of an experiment. Stanford Blood Center and drone manufacturer Matternet out of Menlo Park being considered for the plan to use drones to bring blood to Stanford Medical Center during shortages. Apparently the Federal Aviation Administration is looking for trial drone projects and will sponsor five of them across the country thru public partnerships and private drone companies.

In a win for Calif., a District Court Judge in Northern Calif. votes to block the Trump Administration from rolling back protections for Dreamers. The California Attorney General Xavier Becerra along with the attorneys general for Maine, Maryland and Minnesota, along with the University of California, individual Dreamers and others in a massive action get a preliminary injunction regarding an end to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA. Now the Trump Administration is blocked from rescinding the Obama policy… for now. The court saying California’s case was strong because there would be immediate harm and prohibiting the action serves the public interest.

Police on the lookout for a man who didn’t show up to court for an alleged burglary and for having prior strikes against his record. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office Warrant Wednesday Facebook notice for Andrew Martinez of Ukiah who’s WANTED on $165,000 BAIL. He’s described as 28 years old, 5 foot 10, 180 pounds with Brown Hair and Blue Eyes. They’re asking anyone who may know him or have seen him to call the Sheriff’s Dept. His picture is posted on the department’s Facebook page.

A woman who no longer wanted her, what looked to be, used, Christmas tree, hauls it to a Costco for a refund. The unidentified woman who’s face is blocked off in a post to Facebook, seen at the returns counter of a Costco store and apparently gets the refund. A comedian says he saw it on a neighborhood group, so he took the picture and posted it to his own Facebook, then to a photo sharing social media site too, garnering more than 115 thousand likes and scores of comments. The post was removed from the neighborhood group, but as we’ve learned… screenshots live on. You can find it on Bored Panda.