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CalTrans is proposing some changes to Highway 20 in Lake County. Officials say better signs, lighting, and other improvements between Upper Lake an Clearlake Oaks will prevent crashes and pedestrian deaths. Among the proposals–in Upper Lake, reducing the speed limit to 35 and improving lighting around the intersection of Government Street– and in Clearlake Oaks, installing flashing red lights on the east side of town and putting up more pedestrian activated lights at several busy crosswalks. County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jim Steele and others requested the plan which covers the part of Highway 20 most used by Lake County drivers and pedestrians.

P G & E says it expects to be on the hook for up to 15 billion dollars in damages from last fall’s wildfires. The utility told investors today that it will probably be held responsible for the fires which CalFire blames on poorly maintained P G & E equipment. The company believes the outcome of dozens of lawsuits will affect its bottom line and is taking a 2.5 billion dollar write off, just in case. C E O Geisha Williams says P G & E is committed to rebuilding and working with the state to prevent future tragedies.

Artists who lost everything in last fall’s Redwood Complex fire are getting some help from other artists. The Arts Council of Mendocino County has provided almost $6,000 in grants to those whose supplies were ruined last October. Although the grant money has run out, the council is still taking applications in case more funds become available. The council, along with the Community Foundation of Mendocino County, is also planning a fund raising performance based on the experiences of those who went though the fires. That performance will take place in September.

Worries in that a serial arsonist may be behind some recent suspicious grass fires in Santa Rosa. Crews responded to 13 fires in just two hours on Saturday night, and with the hot and dry conditions expected over the next few days, residents are on edge. Investigators say the fires in Southwest Santa Rosa and along the Santa Rosa Creek trail were all started with a butane lighter, likely by somebody biking along the trail. There is a $2,500 reward out for anyone with information leading to a conviction.

The Mendocino County Board of Supervisors has signed off on the County Lodging Business District’s annual report but not on all of its recommendations. One suggestion would explore the idea of cannabis tourism but there is concern that could put the county in legal jeopardy. One possibile way around that concern would be to create a separate non-county entity to promote the idea of a cannabis destination. According to the most recent figures in the report, visitors spent around 176 million dollars in Mendocino County in 2016, which supported more than 6,100 jobs and brought in significant tax revenue

A man charged in connection with a cold case murder from 2004 in Sonoma County has entered a not guilty plea. 39 year old Shaun Gallon of Forestville is accused of killing 22 year old Lindsay Cutchall and her fiancée Jason Allen as they lay in sleeping bags on Fish Head Beach in Jenner. That murder case was open for almost 13 years until Gallon was arrested last March. Prosecutors are still deciding if they will seek the death penalty. Gallon is due back for a preliminary hearing in December.

Mail-in ballots in California could soon come with prepaid postage. The State senate has passed bill that would require return postage for all ballots which is the rule in some counties but not others. Supporters say voting should be free for everyone, no matter where they live or vote. The assembly will have to agree to some changes made after it passed the bill before it goes to Governor’s desk. The postage cost would fall on counties, but they could get some help from the state under the plan.

The death of a shark that washed ashore down the coast near Santa Cruz has taken an unusual turn. Officials say they have now started a criminal investigation after a necropsy showed no obvious natural causes, but did apparently show something that got the interest of law enforcement. The shark was found beached last weekend at a seaside resort in Aptos. At first, investigators thought perhaps the shark was attacked by sea lion or had a bacterial infection. So far investigators are not saying just what they believe is suspicious about the death.

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