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Monthly Archives: March 2018

After the massive Tubbs Fire in Sonoma County this past October, turns out the water delivery system for one burned neighborhood will have to totally be replaced for several million dollars. The Fountaingrove neighborhood has to get a new water system as the one in place now has been contaminated with benzene. The cost to replace, $43 million. The cause of the contamination is currently unknown, but the water is not safe as it has the cancer-causing hydrocarbon that’s in gasoline and plastic. Water engineers, consultants and regulators say it needs to be totally replaced as the water mains are where the contamination lies. The director of Santa Rosa Water says they’ll have to replace water mains, meters on the properties and other equipment like fire hydrants.

A new member’s been chosen for the Clearlake City Council to fill the seat of a member who resigned to apply to be the city’s police chief. It was a unanimous vote for Russell Cremer, a local businessman, who will take over for Russ Perdock, whose term ends in November. The council decided to appoint someone and there were six applicants. Then an ad-hoc committee decided who would be the best choice. Cremer had some letters of support from the Lake County Fire Chief, and Konocti Unified Superintendent and others. He’s also on the city’s cannabis ad hoc committee and the Konocti Unified Measure Y Oversight Committee, and the boards for the Clearlake Rotary, Lake Area Rotary Club Association and the Lower Lake Community Action Group. He’ll be sworn in Tuesday.

Stolen and abandoned shopping carts littering the community may be a thing of the past. The Ukiah City Council says yes to a new version of the ordinance for the misuse of shopping carts. An ad-hoc committee put together the deal to address the problem with a draft ordinance approved by the city council with input from business owners, the community and others. Even the Mendocino County District Attorney said he’d prosecute those who break the new law, saying the problem is a close second complaint to marijuana issues. A consultant hired to tackle homelessness called shopping carts encampments on wheels, which can spread disease and other risks. Plus it’s theft of private property. For those busted, it’s a misdemeanor subject to prison time or fines.

A new poll shows support for strictler gun laws in Calif at 70 percent. The Public Policy Institute of California poll asked likely voters if they’d like stricter gun laws and the numbers were up 15 points. The biggest jump since they started polling the question in 2015. 24% of likely voters said they think the law is fine the way it is and 6 percent said it should be less regulated. The question was whether the sale of guns should be stricter or less strict, or stay the same. The poll by telephone to 1,706 California adult residents on both cell phones and landlines from March 4th to 13th.

The majority of teachers polled say the new science standards are tough to follow because they’re dealing with teacher shortages, flat elementary science education, not enough supplies and other problems. The Public Policy Institute of California survey of 204 school districts in California with the question of progress of the Next Generation Science Standards, which started in 2013, but are only now being introduced. The report author says most districts surveyed were hopeful for the new science standards saying they think it would improve students’ performance in science but there are a lot of challenges too, especially in low-income or low-performing schools with inadequate science labs, not many materials and not enough credentialed science teachers.

Applications being accepted for Operation Recognition in Lake County schools. The office of education says applications are due by the end of April to get qualified veterans or WW2 relocation center internees high school diplomas because they were involved in wartime activities. Veterans need to provide proof of services with their application and discharge papers. Family members can also apply for veterans who have passed away, but those getting the diploma or their family member had to be a Lake County former or current resident.

For an application, please contact LCOE Human Resources at rmahan or 707-262-4151. Applications can also be downloaded from www.lakecoe.org.

Qualified veterans include those who participated in the following conflicts:

· World War II (December 7, 1941 — December 31, 1946)

· The Korean War (June 25, 1950- January 31, 1955)

· The Vietnam War ( February 28, 1961- May 7, 1975)

Ukiah police looking for a burglar they say was seen prowling around a home earlier this week. Cops say an off duty officer saw a man in the 400 block of Luce Avenue Monday afternoon and called it in. That house found later to have been robbed. Cops say while other officers were on the way he saw the suspect in a silver Toyota Camry at the Mendocino County Behavioral Health parking lot. When he left a responding officer saw him and tried stopping him, but he took off. There was a chase and the guy jumped from the car and ran away, with the Camry left running and in gear, hitting a car and fence. They’ve id’d the guy as Chayton Paul West, from both the areas of Sacramento and Laytonville, and he’s still on the run. The man will be charged with burglary, evading an officer, and hit-and-run as cops ask the public for assistance. He also has some warrants out for reckless driving, leaving the scene of an accident, driving unlicensed and burglary. His picture’s posted on the Daily Journal’s website.

An eight year old boy pinned by a car that jumped a curb and hit him, then staffers from Good Life Bakery in Mendocino lift the SUV off the child. The Daily Journal reports the boy, was sitting on the patio at the bakery when the SUV jumped, landing on his leg. The owner of the bakery tells the newspaper his staff basically saved the boy’s life, or at least from further injuries… that from the Mendocino fire chief. The chief says they first got a call about an accident but didn’t know the extent at first, then on the way found out the seriousness. When they got there the boy was sitting on the patio awaiting an ambulance. A witness says the man behind the wheel of the SUV thought his foot was on the brake, not the gas when he went to park. Turns out the 8 year old had a broken ankle with severe bruising, but is otherwise fine. The staff members who helped the boy want to stay anonymous.

Ukiah High is staying open today even though a rumor was circulating there was a threat to the school. The school district posted on Facebook yesterday school would be in session today after an investigation with police found no evidence of specific threats of a possible school shooting. There was some emergency drills at the school yesterday in several classes with info gathered since the Parkland, Florida shooting. The school district asking anyone with specific info on the investigation to let the Ukiah Police Department know immediately.

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It’s free for first time students at Woodland Community College’s main campus or at the Lake County and Colusa County campuses. The so-called “WCC Promise” program set for this fall but students have to take at least 12 units. Those attending have to pick short-term occupational certificates, university transfer prep, or an associate degree. The first timers who go back the following spring get the same free college benefit for that term too. The program to get students to enroll full time and keep going. Student fees for state Community Colleges add up to more than $550 a semester so it’s a savings of more than $1,000 for the two first semesters of the program.

Flood repairs in Lakeport still in the balance after the 2017 winter. The Lakeport City Council gets an update regarding the federal funding it’s trying to get for the flood repair projects. The Public Works Director gave a status update to the council about the projects which Lake Co News reports are mostly around Library Park. The park of course closed several weeks after the 2017 flood event that caused damage to the park. But the Public Works Dept. making some headway getting about $250,000 from FEMA so far and should eventually get as much as $1.5 to $2 million to cover almost all of the repair costs. The park needs seawall and sidewalk repair so there’s still a chain-link fence up to keep the public out, that could stay there thru this summer too.

A Dog License Amnesty Day is being held by the Mendocino County Animal Shelter. This means those without a license can get delinquent fees waived, plus they’re offering rabies shots for what they pay for them, $6. The date is Saturday, April 7th starting at 10:00 am. To take part, you have to prove your dog has a rabies vaccination or get one that day. Those in Mendocino County pay $25.00 for a license for an animal that’s neutered or spayed or $55 if they’re not. They’re also offering microchipping for dogs at $25.00. They’re only accepting cash or checks. For more info call the Animal Shelter.

A local from Ukiah has won the Environmental Hero award for their work in the community. The American Red Cross Real Heroes program picked Ukiah Pacific Outfitters owner Chris Ostrom for his part in the Ukiah PacOut Green Team to help clean up Lake Mendocino. He’ll be part of the Real Heroes Breakfast Friday, April 27th at the Hyatt Vineyard Creek in Santa Rosa. There are 11 categories in the program, and 100 nominees altogether. The Daily Journal reports Ostrom started work at Lake Mendocino after he saw a story about the lake possibly closing to the public and sent a letter to Congressman Jared Huffman with ideas. The two spoke and started a committee to protect the lake which also led Ostrom to start the Ukiah PacOut Green Team who pick up litter and debris there.

A student at Ukiah High’s been arrested after cops say he brought a pellet gun to school then took it out in a classroom. Students told administrators and police say the gun wasn’t fired and nobody was hurt, but it’s a weapon and not allowed at school. The report Tuesday afternoon about the 14 year old boy who was arrested for a probation violation. Apparently they’re not sure why he brought the gun because they couldn’t question him without a lawyer due to his age. There was a rumor though on social media there was a shooting planned at the high school tomorrow. But police say they don’t think this is related. Classes are not being stopped for the rumor, but they will consider it if need be.

A man in Ukiah’s been found dead on the side of Highway 101 in Humboldt County. The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office reports the body found in brush near the 101 by a pedestrian near the Indianola Cutoff on Monday afternoon. They’ve identified the man as 61 year old Jeffery Burk of Ukiah. A Sheriff’s Office spokesperson says they don’t think there was foul play nor do they think he was hit by a car. But that he probably died of natural causes. An autopsy has been set for tomorrow.

The Konocti Harbor Resort has been sold. It’s been closed nearly a decade and was most recently used as shelter for fire victims. Now word the Kelseyville resort has a new owner as of Wednesday. Lake Co News reports a Bay Area group made the purchase and so far have not revealed any info about what they plan to do with the long vacant property. The news site reporting the resort’s potential sale has been a hot topic on social media as of late and had been speculated about since it closed in November 2009.

A suspicious device found in Lower Lake turned out to be nothing. The Lake County Sheriff’s Office reported going to the scene yesterday on Highway 53 and calling the Napa County Bomb Squad out. They had closed that section of highway to traffic too for about three hours, they found what had resembled an improvised explosive, was not actually an explosive. The object reported to the sheriff’s office mid morning yesterday in front of a business where the highway, meets another, highway 29 in Lower Lake.

A man missing from Humboldt County after being suspected of shooting another man six months ago. Someone reported spotting Zachary Harrison at a gas station in the county so deputies, CHP officers and a SWAT team with a police dog responded seeing, Harrison getting gas for a stolen car. He’s accused of killing Robert Holtsclaw in Alderpoint. Cops sent out a reverse 911 call to warn citizens that the man was on the loose, but they never found him again. He was last seen in a dark hoodie and dark pants. They say he also dyed his hair a lighter color. Police telling area residents to be alert and consider Harrison to be armed and dangerous and if they see him to immediately call 911.

Police in Sacramento under fire for shooting an unarmed black man 20 times, who they say they thought had a gun, but that turned out to be a cell phone. Family members, activists and Sacramento officials have been asking questions about the shooting death of 22 year old Stephon Clark, gunned down in his grandparents backyard. Police say he had first been seen breaking car windows and a neighbor’s sliding glass door. He was chased to his grandparent’s house where he was killed and no gun was found.

The Konocti Unified School District has a new electric school bus, one of a kind in the area. The Record Bee posted a picture of the super modern looking vehicle, with a blue bumper in front. It also sounds off a ringtone as it slows to 25 mph, allowing those around to know it’s near. The motor can barely be heard and produces its own electricity to power itself with a compressed hydrogen fuel cell. The eLion as it’s called, is the only zero emission vehicle of its kind. The school district purchased it thru a grant program with the help of Senator Mike McGuire and the California Air Resources Board.

The Lake County Board of Supervisors has their second and final reading of its Commercial Cannabis Cultivation Ordinance so it goes into effect in thirty days. Applications can now be accepted for commercial grows after months of revisions to the ordinance. As we reported last week, there were only a couple of clerical revisions to be made for the second reading to happen, that was for the wording for background checks and there was an update to the cultivation map.

A new poll on the Calif. Governor’s race has the current Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom with a stealthy lead against his closest opponent. The poll of 1,706 California adults between March 4th and March 13th had Democrat Newsom with 28 percent, Republican lawyer John Cox at 14 percent, the former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa at 12 percent, and Republican State Assemblyman Travis Allen with 10 percent. Villaraigosa was closer up the ladder to Newsom in the last poll, at 21 percent in late January.

Oops, these Americans in Italy getting a bad rap after firefighters had to come out and put out a fire, pasta, in a pot, with no water, yikes. An Italian newspaper reports three 20-year-old students in Florence try to boil pasta, but they didn’t boil it all, because they never added water, so it caught fire. They called the local fire department. Comments on the newspaper’s site on the story included, "return to the USA to eat hamburgers & chips from [McDonald’s]”. A local chef has offered to teach the students how to cook, with a four hour lesson at one of his restaurants.


Two men in Potter Valley have been arrested after police find a hash oil lab. Narcotics Cops from the Lake County Sheriff’s Office and the same out of Mendocino County with Major Crimes officers served a search warrant to the home and found two men, Joseph Scorese of Lakeport and Joseph Loren of Willits in the place that cops say was totally renovated to be an industrial Butane Hash Oil extraction lab where they could pump out a high volume of the oil. The two had a ton of paraphernalia to extract the oil and hundreds of pounds of explosive chemicals. Cops took more than 48 pounds of concentrated cannabis worth about $768,000.00, 1150 pounds of marijuana for extraction as well as ledgers showing sales. They found $5700.00 of cash and a 2017 Jeep Rubicon that was taken. The two charged with several crimes including violations of manufacturing a controlled substance using a chemical process and misdemeanor violations of possessing marijuana for sale.

Maybe we are out of the drought woods after all. This latest storm in Calif. already has people evacuating from areas hit by wildfires last fall and early winter. Creek and river levels are being closely watched as rain and snow power thru Northern California. Grass Valley and Nevada City could get most of it with as much as 7.5 inches of rain. The storm came in light yesterday and by tomorrow should be the strongest storm of the year so far. The storm should bring the rainfall totals to 70-80% of average in Northern Calif.

It didn’t last long, another employee leading the Mendocino County Agriculture Department leaves. It’s the second sudden departure in the department in a month. The interim Agricultural Commissioner Diane Curry has been with the county since 2006. She tells the Board of Supervisors she’s leaving, and then was placed on paid leave until this Saturday, the official date of her retirement. This comes after Joe Moreo left, he was only the Ag Commissioner for 5 days before leaving, after being in the same job in Modoc County. The Daily Journal reports District 2 Supervisor John McCowen says he thinks the movement in the position is related to changes in the cannabis cultivation program because the Ag Commissioner job was advertised as being in charge of the program, which is turned out, not to be.

The fired Ukiah Valley Sanitation District Manager is staying on in that capacity after all. But Joe Tait will be on board as a contractor on an “as-needed basis” until they can find a replacement, full-time. The Daily Journal reports the board chair saying she didn’t want to continue paying $135 an hour for a contractor from out of the area, and would rather have a qualified, full time office general manager. There was some back and forth at the latest meeting about keeping Tait on after the last Board fired him as they were at the end of their terms. But ultimately the newer board members decided to keep Tait on for the time being. Tait will have to submit detailed reports of hours worked.

A bomb threat at the Twin Pines Casino & Hotel empties the hotel of staff members and guests. The Lake County Sheriff sent out a note yesterday saying they got a call to the casino yesterday morning after the hotel reported getting a call about an explosive device. About 200 guests and staff were evacuated and a bomb squad was called out and searched the area. They gave it the all clear soon after, finding no device or danger. By 4 PM yesterday, the casino reopened. The Sheriff says they first checked all rooms, outbuildings and trashcans, finding nothing. Later in the day the sheriff’s dept. was trying to figure out who made the phony threat.

Unless there’s a definitive number on what Lake County will make off cannabis cultivation, there’s a deficit for the new industry. That according to the County Administrative Officer Carol Hutchingson. She says there was a meeting with the Community Development Director about projections for the fledgling businesses after numbers were looked at by a Finance Subcommittee. They looked at permits and fees for commercial cannabis growing and associated positions the county needs to fill to help get the businesses up and running. Right now the amount of money thru growing would be about $275,000. The county’s received 41 applications with 25 issued. At the same time the county has to hire at least eight new staff members in different departments at more than a half million dollars, then service and supplies at another $150k. Until they know what the tax revenue will be, that’s a major loss for the county. They’ve got a workshop planned next month to keep the discussions going.

Trash problems in Lucerne bring a standing room only crowd for the Joint Town Hall Council meeting. Reports of garbage on the side of the road, or left in lots. The District 3 Supervisor in Lake, Jim Steele apparently called for the meeting to see what the community wanted to do about moving into mandatory trash collection. The presentation included pictures of trash sites around town and in the woods. Right now trash pickup is optional, but Steele says less than half of residents in his District pay for their trash to be picked up. There was public testimony at the meeting, with folks upset about the trash in their yards and complaints to the county going unchecked. Steele saying he’d help move the area to mandatory trash pickup, and encouraged those at the town hall to stay in touch with him on the matter.

The Sheriff in Lake County’s going to be able to offer incentive bonuses to get more deputies. Sheriff Brian Martin was proposing a $5,000 bonus per hire for as many as 10 new deputies, and the Board of Supervisors voted unanimously in favor of the idea. The incentives start next month, with the extra money coming from the state, not the county’s general fund. The budget for the sheriff’s department covers 66 full-time deputies, but there are only 47, soon to be 46 because one deputy is leaving to be a police officer instead.

A vacant city council seat in Clearlake to be discussed at the council’s meeting this week. The council to also consider a new marijuana business. But first there will be a closed session tomorrow night to discuss several possible lawsuits. Russ Perdock leaving the council leaves the vacancy, since he’s applying to be the next city police chief. Lake Co News reports six people have applied for Perdock’s seat whose term ends in November. An ad hoc committee will review the applications and whoever is appointed could start the middle of April. The council to consider Clearlake Growth Fund No 1, a marijuana business to include manufacturing, distribution and delivery-only dispensary.

A woman who didn’t get the right sandwich at McDonalds in Southern Calif. so upset she jumps behind the counter and attacks an employee. Police in Glendale say the woman got sausage instead of bacon on a breakfast sandwich at the drive-thru, and tossed the bag at the employee, then pulled around, went inside, cut in line, yelled at the employee, even after the manager came to her car at the window to apologize. She got her money back, but continued her tirade and when an employee tried to stop it, she was pushed and hit her head on the french fry station and then the ground. She was checked out and ok, but the woman took off and police are still looking for her.

A Q & A for those who need to learn how to grow cannabis legally in the new recreational market. Less than one percent of cannabis cultivators have a state license to grow at this time. So there’s going to be a series of public workshops for growers this month and next put on by the state. CalCannabis officials will answer questions related to get the application done, the required documents, bond forms, criminal background, how much it costs, local-authorizations needed and how to diagram what you’re doing. In Yolo County, Monday, April 2nd at the West Sacramento Galleria at 1 PM. Mendocino County the workshop is Wednesday, April 4th at the Ukiah Valley Conference Center at 1 PM, in Humboldt, the following day, April 5th, same time at the River Lodge Conference Center and in Trinity County that Friday, April 6th at the local Veterans Memorial Hall.

Those interested in being on the next Mendocino County Grand Jury are invited to turn in an application. The Chair of the Grand Jury Recruitment/Selection Committee made the announcement with more than a month to go. The deadline is Friday, April 27th and those chosen to be sworn in June 2018. There are 19 members chosen who serve for a year to investigate the operations of county, city and district governments; provide civil oversight of local government departments and agencies; and respond to citizen complaints. They put together their own agenda and meeting schedule. A lot of it’s done thru small committees, so there’s a lot of schedule flexibility. You get paid $25/meeting and $10 for the committee meetings. Plus mileage for the work, is covered. To serve as a Grand Juror, the following requirements must be met:

At least 18 years of age, United States citizen, Resident of Mendocino County for at least one year, Sufficiently fluent in written and spoken English, Not currently serving on any other governmental board or commission during the term, Not presently holding a public office, Not personally active in any campaign of a candidate for elective office

Applications and related information are available on the Internet at: www.mendocino.courts.ca.gov/general_info/operations/grandjury.asp. The application may also be obtained in person at the Superior Court, 100 North State Street, Rm. 303, Ukiah or by calling the Grand Jury at (707) 463-4320.

For more information contact:

Kim Weston, Administrative Assistant Superior Court of California, County of Mendocino 100 N. State Street, Room 303 Ukiah, CA 954825 (707) 467-6437

A man from Sacramento’s arrested over the weekend’s found with a gun and burglary tools near a convenience store in Ukiah. Police say the man was seen outside the Prime Market at the corner of West Mill and South Oak streets Sunday and cops thought it looked like he was about to break into the store. Julian J. Salazar IV, found with a concealed and loaded 9mm semi-automatic handgun, plus a meth pipe, those burglary tools, including bolt cutters, metal files, pliers and chisels. He was also found to be a convicted felon, so he was arrested on felon in possession of a handgun, carrying a concealed and loaded firearm in public and possessing both burglary tools and drug paraphernalia and held on $25,000 bail.

A bill’s introduced already for a tax cut on the new marijuana sales tax. It’s a bipartisan bill authored by Republican Assemblyman Tom Lackey of Palmdale and his Democratic counterpart, Rob Bonta of Oakland. The two looking for a cut in the cannabis sales tax rate from 15 percent to 11 percent, and no cultivation taxes, until June 2021. The two say that it’s a way to give the newly regulated market a chance to take hold over black market sources. The bill’s supported by Assemblyman Jim Wood and a few others. Right now, and as part of Prop 64, all cannabis in the legal market in California has a 15 percent excise tax, plus there’s a sales tax between 8 and 10 percent and some cities have their own local tax, from 5 to 15 percent.

There’s been three applications so far for Ukiah’s Housing Trust Fund. City staffers reportedly supporting two of the three to get $1 million in low-cost loans. The Daily Journal reporting DANCO has requested $500,000 to work on the next phase of an apartment complex on E. Gobbi Street, the Summercreek Village. That’s 40 units on about 2 and a quarter acres which has been a vacant lot for about a decade. The paper reports the units would be for low-income housing. The other’s a senior housing development requesting the other $500-thousand, from Rural Communities Housing Development Corporation between Orr Creek and Brush Street, being called Orr Creek Commons. The third permit for low income seniors was lower on the list by staff.

A remembrance at the Veterans Home in Yountville, for the three mental health workers killed a couple Friday’s ago. The service last night to remember the women held hostage, the Pathway Home Executive Director Christine Loeber, Clinical Director Jennifer Gray Golick and Dr. Jennifer Gonzales Shushereba, fom the San Francisco Department of Veterans Affairs Healthcare, who was pregnant. The three worked at the home, where their killer, Albert Wong, had been a patient, for combat-stressed veterans located on the grounds of the veterans home. The three remembered for dedicating their lives to veterans…

A man from Clearlake Oaks has been arrested after cops find him with meth and drug paraphernalia on him. Willie Pardee, Jr. busted Friday with others in a trailer after a search warrant was delivered. Cops say they found 39 grams of meth, just under a half gram of heroin and 425 grams of processed marijuana, plus scales and packaging materials along with chemicals and glassware cops say was indicative of possible meth manufacturing. Pardee Jr., was charged with felony possession for sales of meth, keeping a place to sell controlled substances, manufacturing controlled substances and possessing chemicals used to manufacture methamphetamine and held on $50,000 bail.

Lake County dead last in a new report of the State’s health per county. The yearly County Health Rankings from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation with the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute had Lake last with the poorest health, along with Siskiyou, Plumas, Trinity and Modoc. There were many factors leading the author’s of the study showing good health came with other factors besides physical, like housing, education and jobs. Plus other factors weighing in like race and ethnicity. The healthiest were Marin County, followed by San Mateo County, Santa Clara County, Placer County and Napa County.

The rankings are available at www.countyhealthrankings.org.

A doozy of a storm to hit the state. The first rain of the new spring should give us an atmospheric river with a lot of moisture for Central and Southern California. Northern Calif will get less, but still be hit by some heavy rain, starting today and potentially lasting thru the end of the week. Snow also supposed to be in the higher elevations, with 1 to 2 feet of snow in the mountains of Northern California. Some high winds have also been forecast and highs should be in the 40s and high 50s and lows in the 40’s and maybe 30’s.

Another arrest by the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office for a series of home invasions in Petaluma. The 8th person, 19 year old Jade Lafay Johnson of Winston-Salem, North Carolina was arrested for last Thursday’s home invasions at three homes. Those inside robbed at gunpoint, tied up and one, pistol whipped. Cops say the suspects were looking for marijuana but entered the wrong homes. The eight of the nine caught so far, all from the East Coast, mostly in the Richmond, Va., and Winston-Salem, North Carolina areas.

The Chief Justice of Calif. delivers his state of the judiciary address to the legislature as they prepare for a wave of lawsuits after the October firestorms. Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye says there’s an onslaught of lawsuits headed to the state, plus there’s already a log jam in courts, because of staff cuts during the recession. So far there’s been 45,000 insurance claims related to the fires at as much as 12 billion dollars. There are also disputes that could hit courts about insurance coverage. The new budget by Governor Brown has however, put more money in the courts, including for translators and to allow people to pay traffic tickets online.

A man who scored big in the Calif. Lottery, has pleaded guilty to bank robbery. James Hayes with a couple of aliases, James Killen and Ceasar Killen, was indicted for the holdups in Newhall, Valencia and Santa Barbara counties. Authorities call him the PT Cruiser Bandit or the FBI dubbed him the Seasoned Bandit because of his silver hair. He’s accused of giving the teller a note, threatening violence if they didn’t hand over cash. He agreed to give up his PT Cruiser, supposedly used in some of the robberies as part of a plea deal. He could get 20 years in prison, plus he’ll have to pay some restitution after winning 19 million in the lottery back in 1998 when he was a security guard in Ventura on the graveyard shift.

Autopsies on the three victims of the veterans home shooting in Yountville show they were killed by rifle shots to the head. The report released by the Napa County Sheriff’s Office says too that Dr. Jennifer Gonzales Shushereba’s baby died from a lack of oxygenated blood caused by her mother’s death. A former patient of the Pathway Home, the shooter Albert Wong died from a self-inflicted shot to the head from his shotgun. Wong reported to have gotten his way into a going away party for an employee of the Pathway Home, where he was a patient until a couple weeks before the shooting, and took the three female employees hostage and killed them. The Sheriff’s office says they found no evidence any of the victim’s injuries were caused by anyone other than Wong.

A woman from San Francisco has been arrested for the stabbing of her husband. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s office says it happened Friday while the man slept in their car in Point Arena. Deputies say they got a call early Friday morning to an assault and found the man suffering from stab wounds. They say the couple had stopped to sleep on the coast, and they were told the husband was repeatedly stabbed by a strange man. But Sandra Tsai was arrested for assault with a deadly weapon and inflicting corporal injury on a spouse. The husband got the knife from his wife and they called 9-1-1. Jail records show the woman released Saturday after posting $30,000 bond.

Another donation from the Habematolel Pomo of Upper Lake. This time it’s $1,500 to the Lake County Office of Education for three Lake County schools who have the best attendance during the first ever Attendance Challenge. The leadership of the tribe saying they made the donation to promote and spotlight school attendance. Lake County schools trying to get to 100 percent attendance during the challenge this week… The tribe just donated a big chunk of money – 80-thousand dollars to the North Shore Fire Protection District, a yearly contribution for fire equipment maintenance.

If you’ve got an extra five or so million dollars, you too can own a vineyard. Topel vineyards and winery up for sale in Mendocino County for $5.4 million. The winery in Hopland on 160 acres with another 25 acres of planted vines. The estate with a European style courtyard, tennis court, pool, spa and outdoor kitchen replete with a pizza oven, plus there’s a several outbuildings including a guest house.

Congressman Mike Thompson says he’s got more than 180 members of congress, in both parties, signed on for a gun background check system. Thompson announcing a record 182 members of Congress asking for $75 million in federal funding for its National Instant Criminal Background Check Systems, or NICS. Thompson says it could help keep guns out of the hands of dangerous individuals. Thompson the chair of the Gun Violence Prevention Task Force. He says they’ve made strong progress, but the work to prevent gun violence continues.

Several burned out lots in Sonoma County that sat on a golf course now up for sale. The Press Democrat reports it’s a cul-de-sac in Santa Rosa above the first green of the Fountaingrove golf club. There’s already new grass across from the five lots that were left after the October wildfires. In the same subdivision on another street, there are 16 of 43 home sites on the market. There are a few that have houses still in place there. As many as 300 burned lots have been put on the market since the fires in Sonoma County, or about 6 percent of the 5,200 home sites that burned.

Even after the failure of the emergency spillway at the Oroville Dam, the Trump administration is looking to build an even taller dam, to heighten the Shasta Dam by about two stories. But the state’s against the idea, and it’s against state law for the 602-foot structure built in the early 1940’s to be any taller. It’s amongst the tallest in the world. Word is some senior Republican members in Congress, said to be led by House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy reportedly trying to push an amendment into the latest budget bill, but without hearings or other public scrutiny.

Congressman Jared Huffman has a gun reform town hall with hundreds of teenagers. The summit yesterday on school safety and gun violence protection less than a week after students across the country walked out to protest gun violence and the non-action of congress after the Parkland, Florida massacre. One of the survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas high mass shooting was supposed to attend but had a conflict, so instead a graduate of the same high school spoke over Skype to the kids at Dominican University of California. Huffman told the crowd, the kids from Parkland are “showing us that young people are incredibly persuasive advocates.” They started the Never Again movement for gun reform now. At Huffman’s town hall there were area advocates for gun reform and multiple North Bay kids speaking and asking questions.

A second reading’s expected from the Lake County Board of Supervisors for the updated cannabis cultivation ordinance. The regular meeting tomorrow morning does not show the ordinance on the set agenda, but at last week’s meeting, the board indicated they’d take it up again. The Sheriff’s expected to get the authorization at the meeting though to offer some incentives to get more deputies. He currently has 47 of 66 full time deputies, plus one’s expected to resign soon to move to a local police dept. The sheriff looking to offer hiring bonuses of $5,000 for up to 10 deputy sheriff candidates.

A man in the Lake County Jail accused of human trafficking. The D-A Don Anderson reports on the preliminary hearing for Nicholas Brooks accusing him of prostituting his girlfriend to make money. Court papers say Brooks would take the majority of what was being made and give her a little money, along with drugs. He’s also accused of threatening, coercing, menacing and forcing the girlfriend into prostitution and beating her with a cell phone and flashlight. The D-A says Brooks was in jail but would force the woman to bring him money there. He had about​
$3,500 on the books at the jail in his name. He faces several charges when he’s arraigned April 3rd.

Lake County D-A won the Prosecutor of the Year award. Don Anderson gets the honor from the California Narcotic Officers’ Association for 2017. That’s a 7,000 member law enforcement association make up of peace officers across the State. They’re known as the largest training association in California and present their Prosecutor of the Year award to identify, recognize, and honor prosecutors throughout California committed to law enforcement. Anderson is only the third elected District Attorney to receive the award since the inception of CNOA.

A homeless man’s been arrested after yelling threats at a school. Mendocino deputies get a call last Thursday morning to Mendocino High School to reports of a man in a black raincoat and rain pants walking across the campus yelling death threats and obscenities. Staff at the High School called 911 and gave police a description saying they saw the guy walked across campus, then the sports field, and into a wooded area off campus. Robert Fielden was arrested the following day after deputies and several California State Parks Rangers and a California Fish and Wildlife Warden searched for hours the day before. Fielden’s charged with Criminal Threats and was taken to jail on $20,000.00 bail.

A complaint to the Ukiah Planning Commission that they sometimes take too long making decisions and bringing them to the City Council for consideration. The Daily Journal reports the Commission Chair Mike Whetzel saying at a meeting with the Community Development Director Craig Schlatter, he was given the news. Whetzel had some ideas about speeding things up since there’s new technology to help with that. One commissioner saying when things are not clear they kick the ideas back for more consideration before bringing to the council. Another commissioner saying she was offended there was a complaint. The talk at the commission’s meeting Wednesday about how to use technology and work more closely with the city council’s ad-hoc committee and be in closer contact with the council on projects as they come along.

Two people have been injured after a fire breaks out at the Albion River Inn. The fire early this morning in a cottage on the Mendocino Coast. The Press Democrat reports one person may have had burns and suffered from smoke inhalation. Firefighters show up to the cottage totally engulfed in flames with the two people suffering from smoke inhalation. The victims taken to Mendocino Coast District Hospital as the fire’s investigated.

The Humboldt County Board of Supervisors having a public hearing on the county’s Commercial Cannabis Land Use Ordinance (CCLUO) and Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR). The supervisors to consider some changes to county code to accommodate the new legal recreational market. The current permit application deadline was at the end of 2016, but now the county will allow new applications for commercial cannabis activities, including cultivation. There will be more places where it can be grown, have standards for the smell it can leave behind, and where the gardens can be located. Plus they’re considering a cap on the number of growing permits to be allowed based on watersheds.

Fort Bragg has their new city manager. Tabatha Miller has been sworn in by the Mayor. It happened Monday night at the City Council meeting in ceremony, but Miller was officially sworn in before she started work March 5th. The Advocate reports Miller had visited the area last summer for a few days and decided she liked the area enough to move there and find a job. She says when the opportunity came up, she went for it.

The latest budget for the Fort Bragg Unified School District has been approved unanimously. The Board of Trustees combed through the second interim budget report last week and made some changes to it. The revisions to be sent to the Mendocino County Office of Education, and it could change again after that. Cuts of more than $400,000 next year and about $350,000 the next two years after that. That includes the loss of some positions at Dana Gray Elementary School, cuts to after-school transportation for the KUDOS program and no more broadcasting of meetings by Mendocino TV.

The new agricultural commissioner in Mendocino County has resigned. Reports that Joe Moreo was only on the job five days after finding out it wasn’t quite what he thought it would be. He was the agricultural commissioner in Modoc County and took the job here, but reportedly thought he would be move in charge of the county’s cannabis programs. At the same time, this past Tuesday the county cannabis program director presented the Board of Supervisors an overview of the cannabis program. There’s been 847 applications for cannabis cultivation, 87 permits issued and 25 approved.

The consultant Mendocino County hired to help with homelessness has a town hall gathering. Last night at the Ukiah Valley Conference Center, Robert Marbut, Jr. told the crowd there have to be changes. He says instead of arresting people on the streets, there needs to be the opposite approach, treatment programs. Marbut reportedly speaking to many service providers, police officers and the homeless themselves. He found folks working in the arena get along well, some of his recommendations were already being implemented, and the number of homeless was lower than thought. But he says there has to be an awareness of who’s experiencing homelessness, no duplicate services, better data and more beds for substance abuse and mental health treatment are needed among other ideas.

After the recovery from the five year drought in Calif. we’re back at it. The amount of water in urban areas has gone down for the seventh time in eight months. The State Water Resources Control Board not putting mandatory water conservation into effect, but looking for residents to continue to be conservative with consumption. Urban residents had cut only .8 percent of their water use in January, as opposed to more than 20 percent a year before. But there’s been little rain this year compared to last and more hot days, especially in Southern Calif.

A former Lakeport sports official still held on bail for alleged sexual misconduct. The Lake County Probation Dept. set bail at $155,000 for Bradley Pendleton who’s in jail accused of sexual misconduct with at least one underage girl. He’s accused of rape by force, violence, duress, menace or fear, two counts of lewd act with a defendant 10 years older than the child and two counts of victim being under 18 years. This after an investigation last May after reports about Pendleton between 2010 and 2017 meeting with girls while he was a sports official at local middle and high school basketball games.

A man from Clearlake Oaks accused of murder has been extradited to Pennsylvania. Court papers say Christian Ian Michael Meiler, who was considered a fugitive from justice from PA, gets that order dropped and the court had already dismissed the murder charge against him for insufficient evidence. But Meiler was still in jail because of that warrant in Pennsylvania which he’ll have to answer now.

A man in Middletown accused of having child pornography pleads no contest. The Record Bee reports Lee Buckmaster was charged with possessing obscene material of a minor and possessing over 600 indecent images of minors. The Lake County Probation Department will decide on the sentencing and Buckmaster is set for sentencing April 9th.

The Napa County Sheriff’s Office releasing their report on what happened last week at the Veterans Home in Yountville where a former patient was accused of holding hostages and killing them and himself. The office says Albert Wong of Sacramento, a former resident at the Pathway Home, held three women who worked for the program for hours and killed them. They’re identified as Jennifer Golick of St. Helena, the Pathway Home clinical director; Christine Loeber of Napa, the Pathway Home executive director; and Jennifer Gonzales Shushereba of Napa, a clinical psychologist with the San Francisco Department of Veterans Affairs Healthcare System, who was pregnant. There was not confirmation the day of the incident last Friday it was indeed Wong, now law enforcement is confirming he killed them and himself.

A debris removal company from Florida working to get Coffey Park residents home again after the October firestorm that took down the neighborhood in Santa Rosa. The Press Democrat reports the Coffey Strong neighborhood group announcing work with the Florida company, AshBritt, along with a nonprofit, Rebuild North Bay. The three working to tear down some walls that were wrecked by the fire. Ashbritt donating money towards the cost of the wall. 5-foot-tall walls of concrete and wood damaged by the Tubbs fire. The fire burned down more than 1,200 homes in the Coffey Park neighborhood. 24 people in the county were killed during the October fires and 5,200 homes were in ashes.

A man who didn’t know how to drive an electric car gets into a violent confrontation trying to steal it anyway. Police in Austin, TX say Cory Patrick’s now charged with robbery by assault, a felony for which he could get 20 years in prison. The owner of a Chevy Bolt says the guy tried taking his car at a stop sign, ordering him out of the car, smashing a window, then climbing inside. The driver says he struggled but didn’t want to die, but when Patrick tried driving away, he couldn’t. A witness saw the whole thing and grabbed a machete and ran to help the victim. Patrick got out and was held by the witness until cops got there.