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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.


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