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Monthly Archives: June 2018

​[category 94.5 K-Wine News]

Containment on the Pawnee fire continues to grow and the forward movement of the fire has stopped. But there is a red flag warning in place with hotter weather, wind and dry conditions forecast tonight into tomorrow night. The fire is holding at 13,700 acres and is 56 percent contained. Cal Fire reports 658 acres have burned in the Mendocino National Forest. There’s no estimate on when the fire might totally be 100% contained. There are more than 3,000 firefighters on the fire and more crews are being flown into remote regions to help strengthen containment lines. There is just the mandatory evacuation order remain in effect for Walker Ridge and a road closure on Walker Ridge Road at Highway 20.

A man accused in the murder of another man at a marijuana operation in a remote area of Covelo has been found guilty. Joshua Ruoff formerly of New Hampshire convicted for the willful, deliberate and premeditated murder of Timothy Sweeting in May of 2016 with the jury also finding true an enhancement of the sentence because the defendant used a baseball bat in the of the murder. The matter has been sent to the Adult Probation Department for further study before sentencing. The D-A says it could be 26 years to life in state prison for Ruoff who’s due back in court July 20th.

Pets affected by the Pawnee Fire getting some love. Mendo Shelter Pets having a donation drive for animals in Lake County impacted by the latest wildfire. The Daily Journal reports the group organizing says volunteers will be at the Mendocino Barkery in downtown Ukiah tomorrow from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. to collect pet food and accessories for cats and dogs. They say they’d like high-quality, hopefully grain-free, food, and leashes, collars and large crates. Blue Ribbon Pets, a local groomer and boarding facility is also matching monetary donations of $500 or more.

A candidate running in the 5th Supervisors race is in the hospital after a stroke. The Daily Journal reports Chris Skyhawk, a longtime Mendocino County resident is in a hospital in the Bay Area. The Anderson Valley Advertiser apparently spoke to Skyhawk’s wife then published that Skyhawk was getting treatment out of the county and a Facebook post from a local political activist also posted about Skyhawk being treated for a stroke. His runoff challenger, Ted Williams says he’s suspending his campaign until further notice. The two are running for the seat Dan Hamburg is retiring from.

A shellfish yanked from a boat ramp in Lake Mendocino turns out to be an invasive quagga mussel. The state Fish and Wildlife Dept. confirms the find, but says there’s no threat to the waterway thanks to Noah, a dog hired to sniff out such invaders. A spokesperson for the Sonoma County Water Agency, says they’ve been getting tons of praise for the work the dogs from Mussel Dogs having been doing during weekend boat inspections at lakes Sonoma and Mendocino.

The Pawnee Fire has slowed forward progress and is now 50% contained. And the last 200 residents from the Double Eagle Ranch subdivision who were still under mandatory evacuation orders have been allowed to go home. The fire started last Saturday and grew fast in hot, windy, dry conditions. The same weather conditions, however, are expected this weekend with a red flag warning across the North Coast. The fire has burned 13,700 acres with more than 3,200 firefighters on the fire from across the state. 1,300 others who had been sent from their homes got to go back Wednesday. There’s still a closure order for Walker Ridge and Indian Valley Reservoir federal lands so heavy equipment can work in the area. 12 homes burned and 10 other structures. Plus a handful of others had minor damage.

A couple from Kansas is recovering after a motorcycle crash. The CHP reports the couple, Michael Shirk and his passenger Kathleen were on the bike south of Hwy 1 near Leggett Wednesday when they came off the road, went down an embankment and were thrown off the motorcycle. Kathleen had moderate injuries and Michael suffered minor injuries and declined a trip to the hospital.

Two suspected burglars have been arrested after Fort Bragg police find a guy in the back of their pickup truck in a ski mask. Police say they pulled the truck over Wednesday after seeing the truck in an alley early in the morning with the guy in the mask sitting on the truck’s tailgate. They identify the driver and passenger as Jeremy Kenyon and Shane Porter, both of Fort Bragg. The pair arrested on suspicion of possession of a concealed knife and possession and distribution of a controlled substance after methamphetamine, packaging materials, a scale and a bunch of cash were found as well as a punch knife on one of them.

The Romero Institute gets the green light for a lease of the Lucerne Hotel. The Record Bee reports the Board approved the old Castle for use or purchase last December. The newspaper reports there were two proposals received, one for a buy, the other a long term lease. And apparently the Romero Institute’s proposal was for a four-year educational institution — New Paradigm College to offer Bachelor’s degrees in Integrative Global Studies plus there would be an extension program too. The college out of Santa Cruz in partnership with other institutions like the University of San Francisco, Kansas State University, Loyola Marymount and the University of Manitoba.

Mendocino Coast District Hospital trying to save money, will cut down on some part timers. The so-called “registry” personnel cuts will reportedly save the hospital more than one million dollars, improving its billing methods and reimbursements from insurers and cutting back on “specialty services” at the North Coast Family Health Center. All of this from the rough draft of the district’s 2018-19 budget. The document revealed at a meeting this past Tuesday. It showed the hospital lost about 3.5 million last fiscal year, mostly from fees for temporary doctors and nurses and mistakes in how hospital services are billed and charged.

Rent raises and the new managers at a mobile home park in Willits brought to the City Council. The owners of the Willits Mobile Home Park and some park residents at the City Council meeting this week which was packed. The City Council decided not to put a rent stabilization ordinance in place, with the mayor saying she thought long and hard on the idea because of some low income residents. But then said the burden would be passed on to the owners, or the new management company, Boa Vida. Apparently there were other meetings on the matter with no public comment so the Council and an ad hoc committee didn’t many meetings on the matter because of minimal response.

A red flag warning issued by the National Weather Service for Mendocino and surrounding counties. The sheriff’s posted the warning on its Facebook page. It goes from tonight at 11 PM through 11 PM tomorrow. Forecasters say to expect low humidity, dry vegetation and fuels with high temperatures and winds from 10-20 mph. The sheriff says it’s mostly for areas above 2,000 ft. but warns all communities to stay vigilant, use caution and good fire preparedness. The warning due to a combo of strong winds, that low humidity, even in the overnight hours, and high temperatures which can all contribute to extreme fire behavior. They also warn fires that start will likely spread rapidly.

Another wildfire reported… this one in Trinity County. Cal Fire reports the Flat Fire southeast of Douglas City is threatening structures and has burned 150 acres. The fire first reported late yesterday afternoon near Blanchard Flat Road and Reading Creek Road as a large vegetation fire. There are apparently several homes, barns and greenhouses in the area. In a tweet by Cal Fire in the area there were 6 engines and a chopper above the fire. More air support units were reportedly ordered for this morning along with 13 helicopters and four air tankers. The fire is zero percent contained.

[title  PM News 6/28/18]

Some evacuations have been lifted as more slow progress is being reported by crews fighting the Pawnee fire. The Lake county Sheriff says it is OK for people in the Double Eagle Community to return return home., but that repopulation comes with a warning that crews are still active in the area , so anyone driving there is being asked to use extra caution. Officials say cancellation of that evacuation was based on several factors, including potential fire behavior and restoration of infrastructure. The fire information line for residents remains up at 707-967-4207. while the Lake County Wildfire Incidents Facebook page has information as well.

The latest from Cal Fire has the fire 40 percent contained and still affecting 13,700 acres with more than 3,200 personnel assigned to the incident. 22 structures have been destroyed, while another 600 or so are still at risk. Even with word that more of the fire is contained, there is concern for the weekend with a fire weather watch from tomorrow morning , 11:00 AM until Sunday evening t 8:00 PM Highs will be in the 90’s to low 100’s, north wind 10 to 20 mph with gusts to 35 mph and humidity as low as 10 percent.

The Department of Insurance Consumer Services Division is meeting with residents affected by the Pawnee Fire at the Local Assistance Center to answer questions on coverage, offer tips to consumers, and provide information about potential scams seen during and after a disaster. That open meeting with members of the Department Staff is taking place at the Spring Valley Community center until 7:00 and again tomorrow from 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM and Saturday from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM

The United Way is channeling new donations to fire victims, A notice on the web page for the united way of the Wine Country says until further notice, all donations made there will be put into its disaster relief fund. That website is

Fort Bragg police have arrested two men and charged them with burglary, and possession of stolen property, drugs and a dangerous weapon . Police say 37 year old Jeremy Kenyon and 36 year old Shane Porter, both of Fort Bragg were arrested after a traffic stop on South Franklin which turned up some tools that were later identified as having been stolen from a shed in the area—along with meth, packaging material, a scale and cash. Police also say Porter was carrying an illegal punch knife hidden in his belt.

A revised bill in the state Assembly has been approved, but without a provision for folks who were victims of last October’s fires. The Assembly’s Insurance Committee approved the bill drafted by Sen. Bill Dodd so policyholders who lost their homes after the declaration of a disaster area have more flexibility in getting their benefits fulfilled. There had been retroactive benefits put into the bill, but those were taken out in a version revised back in May. That would have meant that insurance companies had to renew policies for at least two years for victims, now carriers can cancel the policy after one year. The new bill covers only those who lose their homes or property in the future.

New rules put in place after last October’s wildfires may be helping firefighters on the Pawnee Fire in Lake County. The Press Democrat reports the chief of Lakeshore Fire says his nearly 2 dozen full time firefighters had help this time around who were ready to work. Cal Fire had prepositioned 195 fire engines and had 100 hand crews at the ready across Northern California in case of a fire last weekend, which there was. The fire broke out Saturday and quickly blew up in dry, windy conditions. There were more firefighters staffed up in the agency’s Sonoma-Lake-Napa Unit, which was hit hard last October by the most destructive wildfires in state history.

Some evacuees have been allowed to go home after being evacuated due to the Pawnee Fire. So far the fire’s burned 13,700 acres and destroyed 22 structures. It’s 30 percent contained. Evacuees in Spring Valley and other areas accessed by New Long Valley and Old Long Valley Road North of Highway 20, got to go home yesterday afternoon. And evacuations were lifted earlier yesterday for areas east of Walker Ridge, North of Highway 20 accessed by Bear Valley Road, Bear Valley and Brim Road, and Leesville and Bear Valley Road. There are still evacuation orders in place in Spring Valley. Check with lake sheriff dot com. Lower Lake High is still the Red Cross shelter, and the Clearlake Oaks Moose Lodge also has a shelter.

A local assistance center for Pawnee fire survivors is opening. The Lake County Department of Social Services along with several local nonprofits, and county and state organizations opening the center today after the first mandatory evacuation orders were lifted. The center will be open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. today and tomorrow and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Spring Valley Community Center. Those who need food, medication and more should visit the center which will be staffed by those from several organizations including the American Red Cross, North Coast Opportunities, Lake County Animal Care and Control, the Social Security Administration, Habitat for Humanity and Hope Animal Response.

Congressman Mike Thompson has visited one of the facilities for minors illegally crossing the border with their parents, then being separated from them. Thompson says he and Congress colleagues Doris Matsui, Jimmy Panetta and Brad Sherman went to a private nonprofit in Virginia since the Trump Administration started enforcing its “zero tolerance” policy.


The Congressman released a video after visiting the facility, with he and the others calling for the children to be reunited with their families immediately.

A man from Clearlake’s busted after a red-tagged building was set on fire earlier this week. 19 year old
Jason Olson Jr. was arrested after Clearlake police got a call to a building on fire Monday. They say the abandoned red-tagged building on Lakeshore Drive was engulfed in flames, so they jumped into action so the fire wouldn’t spread to nearby brush. Then witnesses reported a description of a potential suspect seen leaving the building before the fire started. Then witnesses identified Olson from a photo lineup. He was arrested Tuesday morning and said he accidentally started the fire while doing meth. He’s charged with unlawfully causing a fire with bail set at $15,000.

The Purple Pipe Project has begun in Ukiah. 40,000 feet of pipe. The director of water and sewer for Ukiah tells the Daily Journal it’s probably the largest water project since the dam was built which is being constructed along East Perkins Street. The pipeline being laid under agricultural properties first then city streets. The newspaper reports the pipe being laid south of the Ukiah Valley Wastewater Treatment Plant and should be moving north to the softball fields on River Street. New lined ponds for treated water will also be set up to hold 66 million gallons. The project to reduce, and one day stop sending discharged water from the Wastewater Treatment Plant into the Russian River.

More personnel and equipment sent to the Pawnee Fire in Lake County with both the acreage and the containment growing. The fire now at 13,700 with 30 percent containment. There are now more than 3,000 firefighters on the fire with more than 230 engines. 27 structures affected, including 12 gutted homes, 10 destroyed outbuildings and 3 homes and 2 other outbuildings with minor damage. Firefighters had better conditions yesterday to dig lines around the fire. That also meant lifting evacuation orders in the Spring Valley Lakes subdivision, but they’re still in place for the Double Eagle Ranch and the area of Walker Ridge. Lower Lake High is the Red Cross shelter. Roads still closed: New Long Valley Road at Highway 20, Old Long Valley Road at Highway 20, Walker Ridge at Highway 20 and Mule Skinner Road at Highway 20.

The Ukiah School’s Superintendent has had her employment agreement extended four more years. The Ukiah Unified Board of Education has ratified an addendum for Superintendent Deb Kubin’s contract unanimously. The extension after a satisfactory performance evaluation, apparently the highest mark to be received for an evaluation. She’s been the superintendent for 6 years with 20 years of experience in education, including several years in the Willits Unified School District and she’s been a principal, assistant principal and teacher.

A special meeting’s being held by the Ukiah City Council after an appeal against construction of an apartment complex near the corner of Norton and North Main streets. The 35 unit Main Street Village complex won a permit from the Ukiah Planning Commission at the end of May, but then City Council member Steve Scalmanini and a neighbor near the proposed building filed an appeal. Councilor Scalmanini said at the time he wasn’t totally against it, just that he thought it could be three-stories instead of two and more parking. And the neighbor who also signed the appeal says she was concerned about her property value after the building goes up and that it could block sunshine on her garden and that it could be impacted by chemicals sprayed on their proposed landscaping.

A multi-million dollar road project has been approved for a four lane expressway on Highway 29. The four-lane expressway has money now from federal, state and county resources and construction bids should be starting next year with completion of the $165M project in 2022. The project east of Diener Drive near Lower Lake for a raised highway about a half mile west of the junction with Highway 175, and about four miles south of Kelseyville. There will be a 36-foot median to divide cross traffic. There will be left turn lanes and new frontage roads, two wildlife crossings will also be built underneath the new road. Apparently this project only covers a third of the eight miles.

A man living like a hermit, alone on an island has been told he has to leave. Masafumi Nagasaki lives naked on the Pacific island, but is reported in ill health, so police picked him up. The 82 year old living by himself on the remote island of Sotobanari for almost 30 years to be alone. He told his family he wanted to be killed in a Typhoon on the island, but police got reports he looked weak and sick. He was found by a documentary filmmaker 4 years ago. And probably had the flu, but now is not allowed back to the island where he’s been since 1989 and nicknamed the naked hermit.


The fire off Pawnee Road in Lake County has grown again still, but so has the containment. The Pawnee Fire is now at 13,000 acres with 17% containment. The fire started Saturday afternoon in the Spring Valley Lakes subdivision and has blackened more than 650 acres in the Upper Lake Ranger District. 22 structures have burned, that’s 12 homes and 10 outbuildings, with four other structures damaged. Lake Co News reports there are mandatory evacuations in place still for as many as 1,500 residents and 600 homes in the Spring Valley Lakes and Double Eagle Ranch subdivisions. The news site reports the Red Cross shelter at Lower Lake High had about 26 overnight stays and served more than 50 meals. There are also more evacuees at the Clearlake Oaks Moose Lodge.

There’s now an advisory warning from the Colusa County Sheriff’s Office east of the Walker Ridge area, Wilbur Springs area, Bear Valley and Brim Road. The roads closed in Lake County:
• New Long Valley Road at Highway 20.
• Old Long Valley Road at Highway 20.
• Walker Ridge at Highway 20.
• Mule Skinner Road at Highway 20.

and in Colusa County:
• Bear Valley Road is closed at Highway 20.
• Bear Valley Road is closed at Brim Road.
• Leesville Lodge Road is closed at Brim Road.

The Bureau of Land Management is putting fire restrictions for public lands in place for several areas this week as fire season starts in earnest. The land the BLM manages in their Arcata and Ukiah field offices in Del Norte, Humboldt, Trinity, Mendocino, Lake, Sonoma, Napa, Yolo, Colusa, Glenn and Solano counties. The restrictions which go into effect tomorrow will continue until further notice. The fire management officer for the BLM in Northern Calif. says dry fuels and high temperatures have increased fire danger, so they need to minimize the potential for more fires starting. That means there can be no campfires or barbecues, unless it’s in a developed, posted campground or recreation site. They’ve also put other restrictions in place, no smoking unless in an enclosed building or car, no vehicles with certain engines off established roads or trails. Chain saws have to have spark arresters and can only be used until 1 p.m. daily and of course the safe and sane fireworks rules.

A local interim district manager’s been hired by the Ukiah Valley Sanitation District. This is to replace Joe Tait who resides in San Diego. So now Tait will occasionally consult on a pro-bono basis, and Mark Demeulenaere (Dem-uwl-uh-nair) of Ukiah will take over in the meantime. Demeulenaere was reportedly referred by the Willow Water District and according to the Daily Journal will get $90 an hour, which is $45 less than what Tait was getting. Some of the board members thought Demeulenaere didn’t have the exact qualifications needed, but had a strong finance background and that matters. So they unanimously agreed to bring him on at no more than 40 hours a week.

Another cannabis program manager is out in Mendocino County. The Daily Journal reports Cannabis Program Manager Kelly Overton suddenly resigned last Wednesday, only four months after starting. The position which was created last July has had a couple managers already. They’re supposed to help coordinate cannabis programs and manage cannabis strategies, policies, and programs for the county. The Daily Journal reports Overton was walking from Southern California to Mexico to raise money and awareness for refugees, but that was in a Facebook post and no other word on why he was leaving the job has been made public. The county’s agricultural commissioner also resigned before Overton after the interim agricultural commissioner announced her retirement.

Air quality is taking a hit due to the Pawnee Fire. The Lake County Air Quality Management District and county health department report smoke plumes are visible in Lake County in the overnight hours and most areas have light smoke or haze. There are some patches that might have “moderate” to “unhealthy” air for sensitive individuals. But the latest weather forecasts noted “Good” to “Moderate” conditions returning. They do warn however to be aware that smoke could settle into the area in the overnight hours until the fire is totally out. Right now the air quality is holding in the good range.

The latest gas tax and car registration hikes may be a done deal if voters give it the thumbs down in November. The Secretary of State has confirmed an initiative is making it onto the ballot for a gas tax repeal. It’s said to be a Republican backed initiative to get moderate voters to swing their way and encourage conservatives to get out and vote. Supporters say high gas taxes are one cause of California’s high cost of living. But Democrats and the governor say the tax raises $5 billion a year in revenue, needed to maintain roads and bridges.​

A man from Redwood Valley’s been found guilty of being under the influence of meth. The Mendocino County D-A’s office reports it took a jury less than an hour to find Michael Barnes guilty of the misdemeanor.

And the Sheriff’s office is searching for a man they say is wanted for battery with bodily injury. On their weekly Warrant Wednesday Facebook post, the Mendocino sheriff’s office posted a picture of Eugene Stone of Fort Bragg, who’s wanted on $50,000 bail. The 38 year old is described as 5’10” with brown hair, hazel eyes, weighing 220 pounds. Anyone with information on where Stone may be is encouraged to be in touch with the sheriff’s office.

A reminder about safety as the summer starts from the CHP. Lake Co News has the reminders posted online about summer driving safety. The patrol reminding good planning is the first step to make a trip safer for all, the driver, passengers, and other motorists. They remind that summer driving can be more dangerous because of people who are vacationing and don’t know the roads. They can create more traffic and drive unpredictably. There are also newer drivers out in the summer and there’s often road construction too. Check Lake Co News for your summer check list from the CHP.

Border authorities in Texas ordered by a judge in Calif. to quickly reunite separated families. The judge gave 30 days for some children to be brought back to their parents and 2 weeks for others. If kids are under 5 years old, ICE only has 14 days by order of the District Judge Dana Sabraw in San Diego. She’s an appointee of the last Republican President President George W. Bush. She’s also put a nationwide injunction in place against future family separations, ruling it can only happen if a parent is deemed unfit or doesn’t want to be with the child. And the government also has to give phone contact info for parents for their children within 10 days.

As the Pawnee Fire and others burn across the state, the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America is urging homeowners and renters who’ve been evacuated to listen to the warnings from local government officials, then call, click or text to get a hold of your insurer. They remind it’s time for your “Wildfire Reality Check”, in other words, focus in on the financial implications if you lose your home. This after historic wildfire losses in 2015 and 2017. They remind to make sure you know what’s covered by your insurer and to video your home inventory as a way to document all of your belongings in each room.

A woman in Louisiana’s been arrested after police say she damaged a Chinese restaurant because they supposedly got her order wrong. Police say 20 year old Jasmine Thompson was at China King in Slidell last week and got angry when her food wasn’t made the right way and started to toss utensils and sauces around the restaurant and yelled racial slurs at the staff. She’s a black woman. Police arrested her for criminal damage, disturbing the peace, hit and run and not having insurance. They say she ran into the owners car on purpose.

Lines continue to be cut by firefighters on the Pawnee fire but, the fire’s still only 5% contained in dry windy conditions. The fire started Saturday and quickly blew up and is now reported to have consumed 11,500 acres. The Lake County Board of Supervisors has ratified a local emergency declaration for the fire. And the Governor has declared it a major disaster, making way for the federal government to help reimburse up to 75% of firefighting costs. Mandatory evacuations are in place in the Spring Valley Lakes subdivision and the Double Eagle Ranch nearby. 22 structures have been burned and four others are damaged. 600 others are threatened and Cal Fire reports about 1,500 residents have been evacuated. Some road closures to report too, in Lake County, Old Long Valley Road, New Long Valley Road, Walker Ridge and Mule Skinner Road are all closed at Highway 20. And in Colusa County, Bear Valley Road at Highway 20, Bear Valley Road at Brim Road and Leesville Lodge Road at Brim Road are closed too.

Because of the wet winter, warming temperatures and recent windy weather, we’ve got fire fuels from drying up grass. Cal Fire is warning of increasing fire danger due to all of the dead grass and hotter, drier conditions so that means all burn permits in Mendocino County for outdoor residential burning are banned in the State Responsibility Area. That ban starts this coming Monday just after midnight, at 12:01 A.M. So all residential outdoor burning of landscape debris like branches and leaves will not be allowed. The Chief for Cal Fire says this year’s turning out to be just as volatile as last year. He warns the public not to let their guard down and to continue being involved in preparation efforts for upcoming wildfires. There have already been more than 2700 wildfires in the state since January. For more info about creating Defensible Space and how to be prepared for wildfires, and tips to prevent wildfires, visit


A man from Fort Bragg’s caught by police after reports of a reckless motorcycle rider on the 101 near Redwood Valley. The CHP reports getting multiple 911 calls Saturday about the guy who ended up getting hurt after crashing his bike. Reports of the rider headed north on the 101 near the Calpella exit had officers take chase after the man identified as Daniel Woodward. Officers say he wouldn’t pull over when they motioned him to do so and was weaving in and out of lanes, then across the grass median and onto the southbound side of the highway before he hit a curb and was tossed from the bike. They say he had moderate injuries, and say it did not appear to be alcohol related.

The fire spreading thru the Clearlake Oaks area has grown again, but is now 5% contained. The fire off Pawnee Road and dubbed the Pawnee Fire also on New Long Valley Road northeast of Clearlake Oaks had Spring Valley residents evacuating. The Lake County Sheriff’s Dept. has put out a mandatory evacuation order for all Spring Valley residents. It’s a familiar scenario for folks who lived thru the Valley and Rocky Fires of 2015. The Record Bee reports as many as 3,000 people have been evacuated. There are two evacuation centers, the Moose Lodge and Lower Lake High. Animals can be taken to the Lake County Social Service Center in Lower Lake.

FEMA is releasing federal dollars to help the state fight the Pawnee fire. This comes after the state requested help thru a Fire Management Assistance Declaration. The regional administrator for the agency says the fire qualifies as a “major disaster”. That means the state can get up to 75% of its costs related to firefighting paid for. That can pay for field camps, equipment use, materials, supplies and mobilization, and demobilizations connected to fire fighting. 22 structures have been destroyed by the fire which has blackened 10,500 acres north of Clearlake Oaks.

The fire burning north of Clearlake Oaks, the Pawnee Fire has grown by a couple thousand acres. Late yesterday we reported the fire at about 8,200 acres, but Cal Fire reports it’s grown to 10,500 acres, up more than 2,200 acres from the morning estimate yesterday, and they report 5 percent containment. Cal Fire, the Northshore Fire Protection District and the Lake County Sheriff’s Office, along with Mendocino National Forest staff were working the fire. Cal Fire reports all of Spring Valley Lakes and Double Eagle Ranch subdivisions are under mandatory evacuation orders. The fire reported late yesterday afternoon at Walker Ridge, spreading into an area burned in 2015 by the Rocky Fire. Spot fires also reported in that area with possible evacuations in Bear Valley. Lake Co News reporting the fire may have jumped to 15,000 acres late last night, but we have no confirmation of that.

A consumer alert put out by the California Attorney General’s office for folks in Lake County due to the state of emergency related to the Pawnee Fire. The Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra issued the alert after the Gov. declared a state of emergency because of the fire east of Clearlake Oaks about price gouging. Becerra reminding consumers it’s illegal to raise prices 10% or more during a state of emergency on housing, gas, food, and other essential supplies. Anyone busted for ripping victims off could face a year in prison or county jail and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
You can also of course call your local police or sheriff’s office. 800-952-5225

A man from Ukiah’s been arrested in the Pawnee Fire evacuation area. The Lake County Sheriff’s Office reports Christian Campos arrested Monday in possession of marijuana and a concealed weapon in Spring Valley Lakes. The area under mandatory evacuation since Saturday night after the fire broke out. As they were patrolling the area with the help of other law enforcement agencies, Campos was found in a black Toyota 4Runner with expired license plate tabs. Campos told police he had been working in the area, but didn’t say what he was doing or for who. He agreed to be searched and was found with about 2 pounds of pot and a loaded handgun. He’s been booked in jail on being an unauthorized person in a disaster zone, possession of more than 28.5 grams of cannabis, possession of cannabis for sale, transportation of cannabis for sale, possession of a concealed firearm in vehicle, unlicensed driver.

Shelter, food and housing for some by the American Red Cross due to the Pawnee Fire. The fire’s forced as many as one thousand people in the path of the fire out of their homes, with some reports of as many as 3-thousand out of their homes. The Red Cross is running the shelter at Lower Lake High with cots, blankets, and emergency relief supplies for those who need it. They say they’re also working with government and community partners for relief efforts including the Salvation Army, Catholic Charities, Lake County Social Services and Lake County Animal Care and Control. Donations are encouraged by visiting, calling 800 RED CROSS or texting REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

PG&E is working with local Fire Safe Councils across the state for better safety and preparedness in the case of a fire. The utility putting up $2 million for local Fire Safe Councils to help reduce the threat of wildfires and help keep communities safe. Several counties across the state are benefitting including Butte, Napa and Mendocino Counties. The Vice President of the utility’s Electric Asset Management says after years of drought, extreme heat and 129 million dead trees being the ‘new normal’ in the state, we have to continue adapting to those challenges. The utility also says so far they’ve provided $13 million dollars to local Fire Safe Councils since 2014. That money has funded more than 200 projects in Northern and Central California like fuel reduction, emergency access and wood-chipping programs.

Reports by several people in Mendocino County of a weird object in the sky. The Red Headed Blackbelt news site reporting multiple residents in northern Mendocino saw three glowing orbs of light they say were just sort of "hanging stationary in the sky”. The reports yesterday mid morning into the noon hour. The reports from Red Mountain near Leggett out to Piercy. Mendocino Sports Plus had also posted about it, saying it was something Google was doing to provide through large clear balloons, something they call Project Loon.

A man in a truck in Humboldt County arrested, found only in his under garments. The driver in a red pickup truck on Hwy 36 in the area of a federal road realignment project under construction west of the tiny town of Dinsmore. Red Headed Blackbelt reporting the driver was just in his underwear, drove fast by a flagger, heading into a construction site, then crashed into the back of a water truck, went off the road, and tried running, but he was caught by workers at the job site. The news site reports scanner traffic saying it took as many as eight guys to restrain the man who was taken into custody later by the CHP.

An initiative headed to the ballot in November regarding possible cage free egg-laying hens. The Secretary of State reporting the initiative to set standards for confining calves, pigs and hens can be on the ballot after getting enough support. If it passes, businesses could not sell meat or eggs unless they are raised in cage free settings. And the requirement would start in 2021.

An artist from London who was hanging from her foot gets stuck as part of her performance art. Hilde Krohn Huse hung from the tree for 3.5 hours near Aukra, Norway for a video for an art class… but she was naked and couldn’t get herself down. She says she called for help after the camera went off. She also says she felt ill after seeing the video the first time, but then said it was quite decent after all. Her video was then chosen for the prestigious Bloomberg New Contemporaries exhibition, where more than 3 dozen promising fine arts graduates in the U.K. are showcased.

The fire burning near Clearlake Oaks has slowed some, but is still not contained at all. The Pawnee fire was at 3,000 acres yesterday, then blew up to 7,700 acres and is now at 8,200 acres in rugged terrain. The fire’s taken down 22 structures, and still there are another 600 threatened. Cal Fire reports the fire spotted Saturday evening in the Spring Valley Lakes subdivision, but they’re not sure how it started. It exploded in dry, windy conditions and burned fast, with multiple spot fires reported in the Spring Valley area, which also meant a major evacuation in the area from Spring Valley Lakes and the Double Eagle Ranch subdivision to the east. There’s an evacuation center at Lower Lake High School and animals can be taken to Lake County Social Services in Lower Lake.

A man in Humboldt County’s been arrested after a fire was set at a house with people inside. Redheaded Blackbelt news site reporting the Humboldt County Sheriff’s dept getting a call Saturday night to a man intentionally setting a fire in Myers Flat. Deputies say they found burning objects and learned Michael Merriman, who the residents knew, had asked the residents to hang out, but when they said no, they say he got angry and started threatening them. They say he then barricaded the door to their house, trapping them inside and tried lighting the home on fire. They got out and used a hose on the flames. The Myers Flat Volunteer Fire Department and Cal Fire got to the scene to put the fire out and then Merriman was arrested on arson charges, false imprisonment and threats to commit a crime.

Lesley Lotto
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A fire burning in Clearlake Oaks is out of control and homes evacuated. Cal Fire reports the Pawnee Fire east of Clearlake Oaks doubled in size over the weekends and hundreds of structures are threatened. So far the fire has charred 7,700 acres in the Spring Valley Lakes subdivision after igniting Saturday. The fire was reported at 3,000 acres earlier yesterday. The fire has destroyed 12 structures so far and another 600 are threatened. A mandatory evacuation order was widened by the Lake County Sheriff from Spring Valley Lakes to the Double Eagle Ranch subdivision to the east. Reports say the fire was out of control with dry, windy conditions. Power has been turned off to more than 500 people. The evacuation center is at Lower Lake High School and Animals can be taken to the Social Service Center, also in Lower Lake.

An elderly man from the Northshore has been reported missing by the Lake County Sheriff’s Office. The dept. says 84 year old Donald Couch of Nice has not been seen since Saturday mid morning. They say he left a note at his home saying he was headed to a local thrift store, but then he didn’t come back. The Sheriff’s Dept. reports Couch may suffer from dementia.

The “Children’s Champions” have been announced by the First 5 Lake Commission. The names released for the second quarter of the year, Ana Santana, Healthy Start director at the Lake County Office of Education; Mary Prather, the grants coordinator for Easter Seals Bay Area; Brandy Perry, resource and referral manager for North Coast Opportunities’ Rural Communities Child Care Program; Barbara Green, who’s the children’s service coordinator for Lake County Libraries; and David and Denice Solgat, who are foster and adoptive parents. The “Children’s Champions” are named for folks in the community who the organization says go above and beyond for kids to make sure they’re protected, nurtured, and prioritized.

A Tourism Improvement District has been approved by the Lake County Board of Supervisors. Lake Co News reports the idea to help tourism and help the county become more competitive. The District to help pay for marketing and sales promotions for lodging businesses in the county. Lake Co News reports the move came after a presentation to the Lakeport City Council. It means the district can collect 3 percent at lodging businesses above the already in place 10-percent transient occupancy tax from the same businesses.

A paving project has been approved in Ukiah. The City Council says use for the use of Measure Y money last week. The one million dollars will go to seven streets: Arlington Road between North Bush and Elm streets; Freitas Avenue between South State and South Oak streets; North State Street, north of Low Gap Road to the city limits north of the fairgrounds. The work will mean flashing lights at the crosswalk on Garrett Drive would probably be taken out, with North State Street getting paved south almost to Low Gap Road. The other streets: Oak Manor Court; South Orchard Avenue between East Gobbi and Marlene streets; Yosemite Drive and Washo Drive.

A man from Laytonville has been killed after the ATV he was riding rolled. The California Highway Patrol reports 51-year-old Jeffrey Polson was on a 2010 Arctic Cat ATV in northern Mendocino County last Friday and as he went up a steep embankment, his vehicle turned over and rolled on top of him. He had two passengers with him, who were able to jump off and were unhurt. They apparently tried to help Polson, but when emergency responders got there, they declared he was already dead.

A senior care facility in Santa Rosa that’s been the center of a lawsuit after the October wildfires apparently had no backup generator. The Press Democrat reports dozens of elderly residents who couldn’t move on their own were stuck in the Oakmont Senior Living facility in the Fountaingrove area without electricity. That meant they had to get out of the facility in the dark, with no elevator. The info per a lawyer working for residents of the facility that burned to the ground last October. 17 residents and family members are suing for negligence and abandonment of residents that night.

A reminder in Lakeport no fireworks are allowed. The Lakeport Police Dept. reminding fireworks are banned in the city and a major fire hazard. They also say they’re prepared to punish those who break the law. Safe and Sane Fireworks can be used only from July 1st to the 4th. The police dept. says they get complaints every year about folks using fireworks in areas where they’re not allowed so there will be signs put up on the four major roads out of Lakeport to remind people fireworks are not allowed beyond those areas.

A young mother’s been arrested after being accused of leaving her baby in her car for more than ten hours where he died. Alexandrea Scott of Trinidad is charged with willfully permitting a child to suffer great bodily injury or death. Her 18-month old died in the car after being left in it with the windows rolled up for ten hours. The Sheriff’s Dept. calls it an accident. The baby was brought to the hospital by mom and then left in the car outside the home afterwards. The mom was being held without bail.

New plumbing needed in Redwood Valley after the October wildfire in the area. The upgrades needed due to new fire-safety measures at almost $7 million which means property owners will have to fork over up to $10,000 a home. State Senator Mike McGuire tells the Press Democrat it’s one of the biggest challenges in Mendocino County’s rebuild. The state is putting $2 million dollars into rebuilding the old water system so the Redwood Valley County Water District can put in larger pipes. After the work’s done, residents can rebuild and add fire sprinkler systems which has been mandated by state law for all new homes since 2011.