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A bump in pay for those making minimum wage in Calif. Minimum wage workers to get 50 cents more an hour in the New Year. So base earners are getting get $11 at places with 26 or more employees and $10.50 for smaller employers. It could affect about 2.6 million workers, in a gradual increase to $15 an hour by 2023. All part of a law signed in April 2016. Then there will be about five and a half million minimum wage earners, about a third of California’s hourly workers. A Sacramento nonprofit, California Budget & Policy Center, noting though that earnings are not keeping pace with the cost of housing in Calif. The nonprofit says a family of four with two working parents needs about $76,000 a year to get by. But a report by the nonprofit shows minimum wage earners in the 58 counties of California won’t cover a basic family budget.

After the worst year in the state for wildfires, property owners are having a hard time getting new, affordable insurance. The Calif. Dept. of Insurance says some of the major insurance companies are no longer writing new policies or renewing policies in the state’s most fire likely areas. This comes after the Wine Country wildfires in October cost the industry as much as $9 billion. The Insurance Commissioner says the companies are using computer models to look at the potential risk of individual homes, then say there’s too high a risk in some regions. The department says there’s been a huge increase in complaints because folks can’t get covered or if they can, it’s not affordable.

A community memorial service is planned for Lake County’s last Pearl Harbor survivor, Wilbur, or Bill, Slater. Slater died at home on New Year’s Eve in Lakeport. The memorial this Sunday, at noon at the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association’s Memorial Mast in Library Park, in Lakeport. Lake Co News reporting Slater was just 17 years old when he boarded the USS Pennsylvania battleship which was attacked by the Japanese on dry dock at the US Naval base at Pearl Harbor on the infamous day of Dec. 7th, 1941. Slater and his wife Helen lived in Lakeport later on.

There’s a flood advisory in Lake County because of continued rain, which is heavy at times. The advisory was set to end this morning at 9:15. It comes after heavy rain dropped in a 24 hour period. As of 3 AM today, there was 3 and a half inches already in Boggs Mountain, 2 and a half near Lower Lake at Cache Creek, nearly 3 inches in Kelseyville and about 4 and a half inches at Whispering Pines. There should be more rain today, with just a chance tonight, and more on the way tomorrow before clearing out tomorrow night. Some roads had to be closed due to flooding or high waters, so be careful out there!

The Middletown Area Town Hall will take on new leadership in the New Year and hear the “State of the County” and project updates. The meeting this Thursday at 7 PM at the Middletown Community Center. The public is welcome to attend the meeting and weigh in on topics of interest, that may not be on the agenda. The District 1 board supervisor, Moke Simon is delivering the annual “State of the County” to those in attendance. And the Lake County Community Development Director will be on hand for an update on a proposed resort project at the Langtry Farms property. They’ll also cover the Brown Act and a conflict of interest and also a proposed Valley fire memorial.

Two people have been arrested for a robbery and conspiracy after a scam online. 19 year old Austin McClure of Santa Rosa and a 16 year old, also from Santa Rosa, busted after a victim says the pair they tried selling a fake Louis Vuitton purse to with the online app known as, “Let Go”, swiped it. Apparently the victim posted the bag for sale, then there was a negotiation for a lower price, but the value was later noted as only worth $20, not ten times as much, which is what the sale price was in the end. The seller and victim agreed to meet, but apparently when the suspect looked at the bag, they tried pulling it and a tug of war started. The suspect then pulled out a gun and ran off with the bag. Police, using the Let Go app found the suspect, and the 16 year old with the handbag. The two arrested and booked into the Sonoma County Jail and the 16-year-old into Juvenile Hall.

Legislators looking for a way to protect the new recreational marijuana industry after the Attorney General revoked an Obama era policy. So Democratic Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer of Los Angeles has come up with a sanctuary-pot bill. Jones-Sawyer says local law enforcement shouldn’t waste time going after legal state and local pot businesses. So his bill would work like the state’s new sanctuary state law, which shields illegal immigrants from federal immigration agents. This bill would bar local and state law enforcement from helping federal drug agents. He says the bill also has precautions in it to make sure cops do however, close down illegal marijuana operations. This comes after Attorney General Jeff Sessions kicked any marijuana laws to U-S attorneys in federal districts. He also has the power to replace any lawyers who won’t enforce federal marijuana laws with those who will.

A 66 year old marriage and family therapist from Monte Rio’s been arrested for the alleged sexual abuse of a teenager. Cops say Jeffrey Cotton was arrested after a report last October from a 14-year old boy who said he was the victim of lewd acts. He apparently saw Cotton for six months and says the man gave him marijuana and sexually assaulted him. Cotton arrested Monday and booked into Sonoma County Jail on $30,000 bail. The Press Democrat reports his website saying he’s a trainer with the National Foster Parent Association and deals with, quote, “dark and traumatic” issues like “physical, sexual abuse, abandonment, neglect and betrayal.” Cops say they believe there could be other victims.

Six people have been killed in a wrong way crash near Woodland. The CHP reports on the I-5 crash they say was caused by a wrong-way driver after midnight on Sunday. They say a Chevrolet was going south in the northbound lanes of the Interstate with a female driver alone. They say she crashed into a Dodge that had five people inside about 20 miles northwest of Sacramento. The two cars crashed and burned. The female Chevy driver and all of the five in the other car, three women and two men — died at the scene. Cops looking into whether alcohol or drugs were a factor.

Someone trying to get rid of a spider, oops, ignites an entire apartment in flames. The man in an townhome in Redding, uses a torch lighter to kill a Wolf Spider, then the spider wandered, in flames, under a bed and set the bed on fire. Tenants tried to put the fire out, but it spread to a flag collection and some curtains. When firefighters got there, the closet was also on fire. The fire ended up causing around $11,000 in damage now the tenant cannot live in the townhome anymore. Only the spider was injured…

A recall for a state senator is on for June, at the same time as the statewide primary. Republicans trying to oust Josh Newman with the Gov. setting the June 5 election date yesterday. Democrats hoping there’s a higher voter turnout and that Newman isn’t recalled. There are also a couple of special elections, to replace a couple of Democratic Assemblymen from Los Angeles, who resigned, one for health issues, the other, Matt Dababneh resigned after allegations of sexual misconduct. Those special elections are both on April 3rd.


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