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A Clearlake police officer reportedly shot a car the officer says was trying to run him down. The officer on foot patrol around Mint Street and Oregon Avenue looking for stolen vehicles and says he was trying to talk to two people he saw walking into the woods. A spokesman tells Lake Co News the officer was walking on a narrow trail when a previously reported stolen vehicle backed out of the brush and onto the trail in front of him and then hit the gas, accelerating toward him. Fearing for his safety, the officer says he fired at the vehicle while also running to get out of the way. He did not hit the car and the driver got away. Pomo School was placed on a short lockdown while police looked for the driver. The car was found abandoned in a vacant lot. The officer has a shoulder injury and was treated and released from the hospital.

Cattle rustling continues to be a crime of the present, not just of the past. The Mendocino County DA put together an informative video on the ongoing problem which they say, the key to, is prevention, rather than just reaction to the crime. They’ve put together some tips from the Texas & Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association to prevent property theft on ranches including branding cattle and horses and recording that brand; putting your driver’s license number on all saddles, tack and equipment; making a video of all your animals and tack, and keeping an organized proof-of-ownership file to save time in the recovery process. You can see the more information and the video on the Mendocino District Attorney website.

A man from Windsor who pleaded no contest to that armored car robbery a couple years ago will be spending most of the rest of his life behind bars. 25 year old Sergey Gutsu of Antelope was sentenced yesterday to 51-years-to-life in state prison for the attempted murder of a Calistoga police officer. It happened in July of 2016 outside a Chase Bank branch. His co-defendant and friend Ivan Morales of Lake County was found guilty of armed robbery and attempted murder earlier this month and will be sentenced in March. Court papers say it was Morales who shot and wounded the Loomis armored car guard, armed with an AK-47. Then the two took about $30,000 in cash and left the scene in a stolen car.

A fence around a new community garden in Ukiah has been yanked out and stolen. One of the volunteers for the garden on North Oak Street say they lost most of the fence, something that probably happened in the middle of the night. He says about 13, eight-foot-tall poles were taken. Apparently the Vice Mayor of the city sent a picture of the damage to the volunteer who called police. The garden, near the Veterans Administration building has been vandalized before. It was put in to benefit local veterans. North Coast Opportunities is asking the community to keep an eye on the garden while they’re building it. The wood stolen was donated by Mendo Mill and the man hours put into the garden are all volunteer hours. They’re now reaching out to the public to help put the fence up too.

The Gov. Jerry Brown delivering his final state of the state address. The Gov. talked yesterday about the great economic and environmental progress made during his tenure but also warned about threats to the entire country from climate change and nuclear war. This is the 16th state of the state for Brown. He has been Governor for two terms, but not back to back. He led the state in 1975, then again since 2011. Brown called for more focus on the wildfire risk in the state after a historic few months with thousands of homes destroyed and at least 44 people killed. He also spoke about the much criticized Bullet Train project and his water tunnel project. When Brown took office in 2011, the state had a $27 billion budget gap and unemployment was at 12 percent. He touted the state now having a $6 billion surplus.

A California lawmaker on paid leave of absence due to sexual misconduct allegations had that leave extended while investigators continue their work. Democratic Sen. Tony Mendoza of Artesia was supposed to get back to work next week and has largely not stayed away from the Capitol even though some of his colleagues are urging him to stay away during the investigation. Yesterday his suspension was extended another 2 months or until the investigation is done, he’s also had his Capitol access restricted. He’s accused of inappropriate behavior around three young women who worked for him, including offering an underage woman booze.

A woman whose body was found in the Noyo River earlier this week has been identified. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office says it was 46 year old Alexandra Hunter Russell of Fort Bragg, who had been reported missing only seven hours before. Deputies say she lived near the Noyo Harbor and was found near her home. The Sheriff’s Office and divers from the Fort Bragg Fire Department and California State Parks officers helped retrieve her body. They say it looks to be an accidental death, but an autopsy will be done for an official determination.

Chronic absenteeism the topic of a presentation in the Fort Bragg Unified School District. The Advocate reports the schools Superintendent Becky Walker gave the presentation last week saying attendance is how the schools get funding, not on how many students are enrolled. Walker says if a child is absent ten percent or more from the school year, they’re considered “chronically absent”, which is about 18 days or more. The info in the school district shows about 20 percent for overall chronic absenteeism, compared to just under 11 percent in the state as a whole. In elementary schools in the city, they’re at about 25% average for chronically absent kids, middle school at about 17 percent and high school, ten percent.

A settlement is still a possibility in the lawsuit between the city of Ukiah and the Ukiah Valley Sanitation District. The Daily Journal reports the District has agreed to set aside the lawsuit for now so money can be refinanced to upgrade the Wastewater Treatment Plant each agency uses, but the paper reports there’s still a member of the district’s board of directors who says they’re feeling optimistic a settlement can be reached. Andrea Reed, the board’s vice chair says that could be decided in the next week or two. This after a meeting this past Wednesday between the ad-hoc committees who’ve been put together to talk over a potential settlement for the lawsuit filed in 2014 by the district. The district saying the city owes it almost $30 million.

Some state wineries and breweries asking for some red tape relief from state water officials on regulations to test storm water. Wineries and breweries have been required to have samples of stormwater during certain weather events, but some groups are asking the state for relief. The Wine Institute, Calif. Farm Bureau Federation and Calif. Craft Breweries Association sent a letter to the State Water Resources Control Board , the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board and the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board because of wildfire debris runoff. They were looking for a waiver for the runoff survey this winter, saying it wouldn’t be representative of their operation.

PG&E says they’ve pruned or cut down at least 30,000 hazard trees in fire impacted areas of Northern Calif. to reduce wildfire and public safety risk. More than 4,000 were in Mendocino and Lake counties; specifically 4,000 in Mendocino County and 100 in Lake County. The utility is also taking away timber near Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino and Lake Counties and not charging property owners. The company says it’s committed to helping their customers recover from the devastating wildfires last fall. They say they’re about 96 percent of the way thru the work to take down hazard trees near power lines in wildfire-impacted neighborhoods.

A new study to check internet speeds in Lake County by the Lake County Economic Development Corp. The group is asking the public to get involved in the yearly study that could potentially help improve Internet speeds. The California Public Utilities Commission gets the info from your Internet service provider each year, but it’s voluntary. The Lake County broadband map was put together a year ago showing some residents and businesses were still not able to get cable and DSL on phone lines, but the state is still looking for more information. To get involved, if you’re in Lake County, visit www.calspeed.org/signup

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