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Monthly Archives: July 2018

Evacuated areas are being patrolled by police and they’ve made several arrests the last two days. Police say Gerald Silva was found by the Napa Auto Parts in Upper Lake early Monday saying he was homeless, they found rubber gloves in his pocket and say he had a felony warrant for burglary. He was arrested for being an Unauthorized Person in an Evacuated Area, Prowling, and the felony warrant. The same day Paul Hannah of Nice was found two times in evacuated areas. First escorted out, then cited the next day on a bike for being an Unauthorized Person in an Evacuation Area and released on a citation. Jacob Milner of Los Alamos was found by the Nice Post Office yesterday saying he was there to help his mom, but he was escorted out of the area. Also yesterday Bradley Bastian of Lakeport was found in a home where he was told he needed to shelter in place or leave, but cops say he got aggressive with them so they arrested him, then released him on citation. William Pimentel of Lucerne was found with bolt cutters, a flashlight, and rope so he was arrested for being an Unauthorized Person in an Evacuation Area, Possession of Burglary Tools, and violation of probation. And finally yesterday Charles Pritchard of Lakeport was warned to leave an evacuated area and wouldn’t so he was given a ticket.

Local air quality from the Ranch and River Fires impacted, but also by the Carr Wildfire in Redding and the Ferguson Wildfire in Mariposa. There’s smoke and haze throughout northern California with degrading air quality and reduced visibility. So inland communities downwind of the fires will be impacted including Redwood Valley, Potter Valley, Calpella, Ukiah, Hopland, Willits, Covelo and in western Lake County, Lakeport and small communities along Highway 20 and the western Clearlake shore. Air monitors show particulate matter concentrations in the ‘Moderate’ range for most of Mendocino County, but some areas could be ‘Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups’. This may go on thru the week due to hot temperatures and windy conditions.

The Mendocino Complex of Fires still burning hot, but firefighters did stop a bit more of forward movement, with 10 percent containment now on the Ranch fire and eight percent for the River fire. The fires grew by 8,000 acres from last night into this morning with nearly 75,000 acres blackened. Cal Fire reports 12,200 structures are threatened by the fires but there were no structures burned overnight. So far seven homes and three outbuildings have burned. There were also no new evacuation orders overnight. The Lake County Board of Supervisors had a meeting on the fires this morning and heard from Cal Fire that they’re priority is to shore up containment lines
along Highway 20 in greater Blue Lakes and for the River fire along Highway 175. In Lake County 19,000 people have been told to evacuate.

The Governor’s Office of Emergency Services has received a Fire Management Assistance Grant from FEMA so federal resources can pour in to Mendocino and Lake counties. The grant for local, state and tribal agencies to recover eligible costs. The State Operations Center and all Cal OES Regional Operations offices have been activated after major fires started burning across the state including the Carr Fire in Shasta County, Ferguson Fire in Mariposa County, the Cranston Fire in Riverside County and the Mendocino Complex burning in Lake and Mendocino counties. The federal grant comes thru the President’s Disaster Relief Fund on cost-share basis, for local, state and tribal agencies so they can apply for 75-percent reimbursement of eligible fire suppression costs.

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The containment on the Mendocino Complex grew a little, but the fire grew a lot. Dry heat with wind whipped the fires, the Ranch and River fires, which together make up the Complex. The fires have blackened more than 68,000 acres, 13,000 more than the last Cal Fire report. There are also new mandatory and advisory evacuation orders. Kelseyville was ordered to leave, and there was an advisory for Soda Bay, Riviera Heights, Buckingham Park, Riviera West, Clear Lake Riviera and parts of Loch Lomond and Cobb because of the River fire. And Lucerne has an advisory evacuation due to the Ranch fire. 10 structures have burned, including seven homes and three outbuildings. There were two other structures damaged and more than 10,000 are threatened.

No law enforcement are helping to get evacuated residents out but they are actively patrolling areas. The Sheriff reported a new evacuation shelter in Coyote Valley Elementary in Hidden Valley Lake.

A special meeting’s been called of the Lakeport City Council for an emergency declaration to be ratified. And the Board of Supervisors is having an emergency meeting this morning at 9 a.m. to ratify Sheriff Martin’s local emergency declaration. There will also be an update on the fires at the meeting. If you cannot make it, you can catch the stream online at the Lake County Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/lakecountycagov/

MANDATORY
Lake County
• Kelseyville and Finley areas, north of the Lake-Sonoma-Mendocino County Line, east of Highland Springs Road, south of the Lake and west of Bottle Rock Road and Clear Lake State Park.

• Western Lake County, west of Lucerne at Bartlett Springs Road and Highway 20, south of the fire, east of the fire, and north of the Lake-Mendocino County line to include the communities of Blue Lakes, Upper Lake, Nice, Lakeport, Witter Springs, Bachelor Valley, Scotts Valley and Saratoga Springs.

Mendocino County
• Potter Valley community; all areas north of Highway 20, east of the fire edge, to the Mendocino-Lake County line, south of Burris Lane to MeWhinney Creek and east of Eastside Potter Valley Road, to include feeder roads utilizing Burris Lane east to the Mendocino-Lake County line.

• Highway 20 area from one mile south of Highway 20, east of Potter Valley Road, south of MeWhinney Creek, and west of Mendocino-Lake County line.

• Pine Avenue area of Potter Valley north of Burris Lane, east of Eastside Potter Valley Road, south of 10511 Eastside Potter Valley Road, and west of the Lake-Mendocino County line.

• Midmountain Road area, north of 10551 Eastside Potter Valley Road, east of Eastside Potter Valley Road, south of 11385 Eastside Potter Valley Road, west of Mendocino-Lake County Line.

• Hopland area north of Highway 175, east of mile marker 5.6 on Highway 175, south of the fire and west of the Mendocino-Lake County line.

ADVISORIES/WARNINGS
Lake County
• Soda Bay, Riviera Heights, Buckingham Park, Riviera West, Clear Lake Riviera, portions of Loch Lomond and Cobb. The advisory includes all residents living north of Lake-Sonoma County Line, east of Bottle Rock Road, south of Clear Lake and west of Soda Bay Road, Red Hills Road, and Highway 175, including the subdivisions of Soda Bay, Riviera Heights, Buckingham Park, Riviera West, and Clear Lake Riviera west of Soda Bay Road.

• Mendocino National Forest within the boundaries of Lake County.

• Lake Pillsbury basin and surrounding areas.

• North of Bartlett Springs Road, east of the Ranch Fire, south of the Lake-Mendocino-Glenn
County line, and west of Lake-Colusa County line.

• Lucerne and Paradise Valley areas, north of Clear Lake, east of the Ranch fire, south of Bartlett Springs Road, west of Paradise Valley Drive.

Mendocino County
• North of 8000 block of River Road to Yokayo Ranch Road.

• South of 8000 Old River Road, east of the Russian River, north of Highway 175, west of mile marker 5.6 on Highway 175.

ROAD CLOSURES
Lake County
• Highway 175, at Highway 29 to westbound traffic
• Elk Mountain Road at Middle Creek Road
• Highway 20, westbound at Highway 29
• Highway 20, westbound at Bartlett Springs Road
• Soda Bay Road at Clark Road
• Highway 29, northbound at Cole Creek
• Bottle Rock Road at Cole Creek Road

Mendocino County
• Highway 175, at Old River Road to eastbound traffic
• Midmountain at Eastside Potter Valley Road
• Mill Creek Road, half a mile east of Old River Road
• Pine Avenue at Eastside Potter Valley Road
• Highway 20 at Potter Valley Road
• Elk Mountain Road south of Pillsbury Road

EVACUATION SHELTERS
Evacuation shelters offer overnight accommodations.

• Mendocino College, Dance Room, 1000 Hensley Creek Road, Ukiah
• Coyote Valley Elementary, 18950 Coyote Valley Road, Hidden Valley Lake
• Lower Lake High School, 9430 Lake St.
• Twin Pine Casino, 22223 Highway 29, Middletown

ANIMAL EVACUATIONS
Lake County

Large livestock can be taken to Cole Creek Equestrian Center, 4985 Steelhead Drive, Kelseyville, telephone 707-279-0915; or to Helen Owens’ A1 Horse Programs, 18585 Guenoc Lane, Hidden Valley Lake, telephone 707-355-0121.

Lake Evacuation and Animal Protection has been activated and is still offering animal evacuation support services. Call Lake County Animal Care and Control Department at 707-263-0278. Phones are answered by staff between 8 a.m. and 11 p.m.

The Animal Care and Control Shelter is not accepting pets at this time.

The SPCA of Clear Lake, 8025 Highway 29, is open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily and is accepting senior pets, or pets with medical issues and/or heat distress.

If you can keep your pets with you, please do so. Pet supplies are delivered to all open evacuation shelters regularly.

Mendocino County
Redwood Riders Arena, 8300 East Road, Redwood Valley is accepting horses.

Mendocino County Animal Care, 298 Plant Road, Ukiah is accepting small animals.

A man from Montara has been arrested for being in a mandatory evacuation zone in Lakeport. Police say
Shawn Morrison was arrested for prowling and unauthorized entry into a closed emergency area. Lakeport Police say he was driving by with no shirt on, looking into windows of homes left empty because of mandatory evacuations. Morrison telling police he was there to pick up items from a relative’s home, but they found he was not from the area and did know about the mandatory evacuations. He was booked into jail on $5,000 bail.

The Mendocino Complex of fires, the Ranch and River are now at nearly 68,500 acres with a total of 10% containment, 5% each. Seven homes and three outbuildings have been destroyed and more than ten thousand are threatened. There are new mandatory evacuations for Kelseyville and Finley, and several advisory notifications were also in effect.

There are free bus rides from Lake Transit near Kelseyville and Finley with an emergency shelter at the Clearlake Senior Center, but there were no overnight accommodations there. There were some mandatory evacuation orders lifted yesterday in Hopland, where the mandatory was lifted to advisory.

One report of a firefighter injury related to a bulldozer, but not a lot more info on that.

Some local shelters are asking for donations of food. The shelters that were reported for overnight stays include Mendocino College, Lower Lake High and Twin Pines Casino in Middletown.

Sutter Lakeside Hospital in Lakeport is still closed after several patients were taken to hospitals not in fire danger areas. The inmates at Lake County Jail were also evacuated and taken to Alameda County, with Lake County Jail staff tending to them. But no visitors were allowed.

The Lake County Air Quality Management District has put out an Unhealthy to Very Unhealthy report regarding current particulate levels in the county. There were also areas that were considered at “Hazardous” levels.

The Lakeport City Council has ratified, what’s become almost routine every summer, a local emergency declaration. At the council meeting yesterday, with only three council members in attendance, they ratified the declaration by City Manager Margaret Silveira for the local emergency in Lakeport.

A man’s been arrested in an evacuation area in Lakeport, while riding a bike. Police say the man couldn’t give a reason for being in the area and that he had burglary tools in his possession. Police also say they’re not tolerating anyone in evacuation areas, stopping anyone and investigating them.

Gas stations and evacuation shelters are reportedly struggling to keep up with demand as 10,000 or more people had been told to leave their homes due to the Mendocino Complex fires. There are reports of as many as 300 evacuees at the Clearlake Oaks Moose Lodge, with many people coming in to get away from the smoke too. They’re looking for more donations of food and water. Gas stations have a lower fuel supply because some deliveries had to be canceled due to road closures and evacuations. But some south of Lakeport and Kelseyville apparently have higher reserves of fuel.

The fires now are the most destructive in Lake County due to acreage lost since 2015.

It’s been a destructive summer for wildfires again in Lake County. Land burned the last ten years or so in eastern and southeastern sections of the county, some residents having to evacuate several times.

New Mandatory Evacuations ordered by the Lake County Sheriff’s office in Kelseyville and Finley due to the River Fire. It’s for areas north of the Sonoma-Lake-Mendocino County Line, east of Highland Springs Road, south of Clear Lake, and west of Bottle Rock Road out north to Clear Lake State Park including the communities of Kelseyville and Finley. There’s also an Evacuation Advisory for the Mendocino National Forest within the boundaries of Lake County, and the Lake Pillsbury Basin and surrounding area
North of Bartlett Springs Road, east of the Ranch Fire, south of the LakeMendocino-Glenn
County Line, and west of Lake-Colusa County Line, The Lucerne and Paradise Valley areas, north of Clear Lake, east of the Ranch Fire, south of Bartlett Springs Road, west of Paradise Valley Drive

The fire in Redding, the Carr Fire’s burned nearly 104,000 acres after burning since last Monday, starting in the area of Highway 299 and Carr Powerhouse Road. The fire’s only 23 percent contained. Six people killed in the fire including two firefighters. The fire’s destroyed more than 800 homes, damaged nearly 170 and threatens another 4,000 or more. The fire is burning in dry fuel, hot heat and windy conditions in steep drainages. The Salvation Army and the Red Cross are asking for volunteers to sign up and need help at shelters with more than 38,000 people evacuated with several more under advisories they may need to leave soon.

The Sheriff’s office has lifted evacuation orders for the community of Hopland, including the Hopland Rancheria (Hopland Band of Pomo Indians) and the order is reduced to a warning south of 8000 Old River Road, east of the Russian River, north of Highway 175, west of mile marker 5.6 on Highway 175; Evacuated areas east of mile marker 5.6 on Highway 175, north of Highway 175, west of the Mendocino-Lake County Line, and south of the fire remain under an Evacuation Order.

The air quality in Mendocino and Lake Counties from the fires is hazy, making it hard to see, the dry hot climate mixed with wind has deteriorated the quality of air. Right now the air monitors show particulate matter concentrations in the ‘Healthy’ to ‘Hazardous’ ranges for different areas of inland Mendocino County. Surrounding wildfires are also active so a warning to expect prolonged smoke impacts to air quality. Protective masks are available at the Ukiah, Willits, and Covelo libraries. The Mendocino County Public Health Officer warns that heavy smoke can pose a danger to everyone. Everyone should stay indoors as much as possible and especially people with heart or lung disease, including
asthma, should consider leaving areas of heavy smoke if possible.

The Lake County Sheriff’s Office has evacuated the Lake County Jail due to the fires. 285 inmates have been moved and are now in Alameda County. Lake County Correctional and Medical Staff were a part of the effort in Alameda County to care for and oversee the inmates from Lake County. It also means there’s no way for visitors to see Lake County inmates in Alameda County.

Here we go again, now two wildfires are getting close to us. They’re blazing on the border of Lake and Mendocino counties and in one day, they doubled in size. Now mandatory evacuation orders for 10,000 people near the flames along Clear Lake. Power also reportedly out for more than 40,000 people. There’s no relief ahead as temperatures are supposed to keep soaring, with low humidity and a chance of windy conditions. The evacuations over the weekend for Lakeport, Upper Lake and Nice. Sheriff Brian Martin telling residents to get their personal belongings and leave. The fires broke out Friday in Mendocino County about 14 miles from each other by Hopland and Potter Valley. Part of Hwy 20 was closed at the county line. The Ranch Fire was moving to Clear Lake. It started outside Ukiah and by last night, it had burned 16,300 acres, tripling its size in one day. The other fire, the River Fire started outside Hopland then headed to Lakeport and burned 14,200 acres. Four homes destroyed by that fire. The two fires were only 5 percent contained last night.

A power outage has been reported for at least 40,000 PG&E customers in the Mendocino-Lake county area after the fire damaged two transmission lines near Upper Lake. PG&E reported they were trying to transfer power to another line in the area, but they had to check its safety before transferring that much power over. There was also another power outage Saturday were about 53,000 people lost power, but they had their power back on by the morning yesterday.

Two young children and their great-grandma reported missing in the Redding Fire, the Carr Fire, have reportedly been found dead. The fire that plowed quickly into the city of Redding killed the 3, a bulldozer operator and another firefighter and now word of a sixth body too. The family members killed were Melody Bledsoe, and her granddaughter’s children, 5 year old James and 4 year old Emily. This fire started Thursday, jumping the Sacramento River then went thru Redding city limits.

A declared State of Emergency for Lake County because of the Mendocino Complex Fires, made up of the River and Ranch Fires. The City of Lakeport, surrounding areas, including some County offices are included in the Mandatory Evacuation. There are County employees who have lost their homes. So all County offices in Lakeport are closed today except those that are responding to the fires. The County Administrative Officer reported she’s displaced from her home and prays all other employees are safe and find shelter.

An advisory evacuation has been announced for Kelseyville, including all homes north of the Lake/Mendocino/Sonoma County lines to the shoreline of Clear Lake. Those on Bottle Rock Road and Clear Lake State Park are included for the River Fire. There’s a shelter at Mountain Vista Middle School in Kelseyville and at the Twin Pine Casino. This is not mandatory but the Sheriff’s Office telling people who can evacuate to consider doing it now in preparation for a possible mandatory evacuation order. A reminder to get all medications, important documents, make plans for pets, and notify family members where you may be going. A warning that when there’s a mandatory evacuation, it’s extremely hectic and traffic conditions can get very congested, so if you leave early, you’re helping yourself and those around you, including first responders to stay safe.

Governor Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency due to the Mendocino Complex of Fires. The Ranch and River fires started Friday in Mendocino County then moved into Lake County in steep terrain, in extreme heat with low humidity and gusty winds. The fires are only 10% contained after consuming more than 30,000 acres together. Each fire was 5 percent contained separately. Together the fires are threatening nearly 4,600 structures. FEMA has authorized the use of federal money to help fight the fires.

A mandatory evacuation for Sutter Lakeside Hospital with 13 patients being moved out Saturday night. The E.R. and obstetrics departments stayed open as the risk was reduced quickly, but medical/surgical units and the intensive care were staying closed this weekend. Also Evergreen Lakeport Healthcare was evacuated Saturday.

Cal Fire reporting they hope to have the Mendocino Complex fully contained a week from today, Aug. 5th.

The Carr fire in Redding exploded in growth over the weekend to nearly 95,370 acres. It’s 17% contained. The fire started a week ago and destroyed 874 structures, is threatening about 5,000 more and damaged 175. Two firefighters and a great grandmother and her two great grand kids have all been killed in the fire. Late last night we learned of another death in the burn area. The Gov. has ordered state flags to be flown at half-staff for the two firefighters.

Tri Counties Bank has a Carr Fire Fund 2018 account. The bank’s put in an initial deposit of $25,000 for fire victims in communities throughout Northern California. They’re asking for others to make donations, they’ve also started a go fund me page, which we’ve posted www.gofundme.com/tcb-2018-carr-fire-fund . The money will go thru the United Way of Northern California and local nonprofit emergency relief agencies for those in immediate need.

Crews expanded the fire line around the Carr Fire burning in Shasta County. But now word of a six person dying in the fire which has blackened nearly 95,370 acres. It’s 17% contained. A victim was found yesterday in the burn area, but no identification has been released or where exactly they were found. Thousands of people are still under mandatory evacuation orders. More than 600 homes have been destroyed and another 5,000 are threatened. The cause of this fire after a car had a mechanical failire. The Shasta County Sheriff’s Office is reporting seven people are missing.

Mandatory evacuations for the City of Lakeport and surrounding areas and advisory notifications for Finley and Big Valley Rancheria to Lakeport’s south. The Ranch and River Fires reportedly started an hour apart on Friday and exploded in growth this weekend. Some businesses stayed open though thru yesterday afternoon under advisory evacuation orders.

Large animals can be taken to Redwood Riders Arena in Redwood Valley. As of last night they had taken in four horses, 2 goats, 2 Jersey cows and some baby chicks. Small animals can go to the Mendocino County Animal Shelter in Ukiah.

A mosquito sample in Lake County has come back positive for West Nile virus. The Lake County Vector Control District reports the insects collected in Lower Lake last week were the first detected with the virus this year. They found it as part of regular trapping and testing of mosquitoes through the county to find areas that may have the highest risk. There are currently 24 counties in the state that have detected West Nile Virus in 2018, reports mostly in mosquitoes. There were however twelve human cases this year so far. About 1 in 150 people get seriously ill from the virus.

There are reports of at least seven people missing the Carr Fire. The fire in Shasta County has blackened nearly 100,000 acres and is only 17% contained. Six people were killed in the fire, including two fire fighters. There had been reports of sixteen people missing, but nine have been found safe.

A dangerous heat wave is headed into the state this week with triple digit heat forecast for the Pacific Northwest with dry humidity and gusty winds. Some areas could get winds of up to 25 mph and the fire behavior could bring its own wind with it. Three firefighters from Marin County had to be treated for burns they received on their ears, hands and faces because of a "sudden blast of heat" from burning vegetation. The trio released from a hospital though. There’s been some reports of looting in abandoned homes in Redding and the local police chief says they’ve made some arrests.

Firefighters from other states have come to California to help. The California Office of Emergency Services reports the state getting help from Arizona, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, South Dakota, Wyoming and Colorado. Some other states are also sending help.

A man in Scotts Valley’s been arrested for being in a fire disaster area. Clearlake police report one of their officers assisting with patrols in the Scott’s Valley area saw a Ford Mustang in an evacuation area. An office stopped the car and spoke with the driver, Gregory Brunner of Lakeport who said he lived in the area and was going to the store, but apparently his driver license had been suspended, so he was arrested for driving on a suspended license and being in a disaster area. Cops also found a loaded handgun with the serial number removed in his car. He was taken to Lake County Jail and booked for Driving on a Suspended License, Unauthorized Person in Evacuation Area, Convicted Felon in Possession of a Firearm and other crimes and held on $25,000 bail.

The situation to our north in Shasta county seems to be going from bad to worse. Another firefighter has died in that spreading wildfire that has already taken upwards of 40,000 acres and led to thousands of evacuations. The so called Carr fire now threatens almost 5,000 homes. The smoke is wafting in all directions –even south into Lake county — but forecasters say it shouldn’t cause and health issues because a westerly wind will blow it out to sea this weekend

A judge has tossed out Sonoma County’s sale of a big tract of land for Santa Rosa’s biggest housing project. A superior court judge has sided with neighbors of the former Sutter Hospital campus who say the county was wrong to exempt the land from an environmental review. The county and the developers say they’ll review the ruling and decide if they want to take it to a higher court. They say the project would help the area deal with a housing shortage made worse by the loss of thousands of homes in last fall’s wildfires.

Watch for some roadwork related delays in Lake County next week on Highway 29. Crews will be doing some pavement work at Cruikshank Road overnights starting Monday between 8:00 PM to 7:00 AM.there could be delays of up to 5 minutes while the work is going on. CalTrans has info on that project and others on its website or at 1-800-gas-road

Crews are on the scene of a brush fire in Mendocino County. That fire on Valley View road and McNab Ranch Road has burned around 8 acres and is 20 percent contained. Cal-Fire says around 100 firefighters were on the scene overnight and that they have stopped the fire’s forward progress. The fire has forced the closure of Valley View and McNab Road in the area.

Some firefighters from Mendocino County are on their way to help with a big blaze in Redding in Shasta County The strike team, which includes crews from the Willits, Redwood Coast and South Coast fire departments has been busy this summer, with assignments to several other large wildfires. They could be gone to this job for up to three weeks. The Shasta county fire has now spread to around 30,000 acres and is just 10 percent contained and evacuations are under way. Smoke from the fire is now drifting south and some causing some hazy conditions in Lake county but a west wind over the weekend should clear the air.

Investigators are looking into the death of a woman whose body was found at the base of a bridge in Albion. Authorities think 50 year old Kathleen Zuelsdorf of Nevada City died several hours before her body was found by a worker Wednesday under the Highway 1 bridge over the Albion River. An autopsy is being done. The Mendocino Sheriff’s office thinks Zuelsdorf was visiting the area alone and her family says she often stayed at a nearby inn

A one time hotel in Lake County is for sale. The Lake County Board of supervisors has voted to sell the Lucerne Hotel—also known as the Lucerne Castle—which has been owned by the county since 2010. Plans to turn it into a multi use facility never happened so now the 75,000 square foot property will be up for sale to the highest bidder.

A one time hotel in Lake County is for sale. The Lake County Board of supervisors has voted to sell the Lucerne Hotel—also known as the Lucerne Castle—which has been owned by the county since 2010. Plans to turn it into a multi use facility never happened so now the 75,000 square foot property will be up for sale to the highest bidder.

A Mendocino county sheriff’s deputy is recovering after he was possibly exposed to a dangerous chemical during a cleanup at an illegal marijuana growing operation. Reports say the deputy became ill after coming in contact with the chemical being used as a pesticide on the illegal plants. The chemical called Metamidofos is banned by the E P A. The sherri’fs office says the incident shows the dangers associated with illegal growing operations and warns anyone who comes in contact with the highly toxic pesticide to see a doctor right away

Ukiah will get a new police chief next week. Current Captain Justin Wyatt will be sworn in at a meeting of the city council. He’ll take over the top spot from Chief Chris Dewey, who retired last month. The new chief has been on the Ukiah force since 1994 and long been considered the front runner to replace Dewey, who had been contemplating retirement for some time. The public is invited an informal ceremony in the city council chambers next Wednesday evening at 5:30, followed by the swearing in at 6:00

A court ruling says workers have to be paid for jobs they do after they have clocked out. The California Supreme Court has ruled in favor of a Starbucks employee who punched out and then told to do other jobs like locking up the store and setting the alarm. The court says even though that off time work added up to a less than 10 minutes, Starbucks still had to pay. Legal experts say the case could lead to other lawsuits.

Taxes on cell phones and landlines could be going up in California under a plan from Governor Jerry Brown. The money would go to upgrade the state’s 9 1 1 system. The new tax would replace current fees with a flat 34 cent charge on all cellphones, landlines and other connections. The governor says it would raise around 175 million dollars at first with up to 400 million dollars more down the road. California’s 9 1 1 system is in need of an upgrade and the governor says the flat line tax is a good way to help pay for a fix.

It was a trip to the amusement park that one woman from Georgia will never forget. The woman went into labor while she was at the Six Flags Hurricane Water park and later delivered a healthy baby boy. The boy and his mom got a gift from the park—free admission to any Six Flags park for the rest of their lives.

A woman in Fort Bragg gets away and a man is arrested after an alleged abduction attempt. Police say they got a call Wednesday to the back entrance of the Mendocino Cookie Company on N. Main Street where the victim says a man tried talking to her while she was on the phone, asking her if she wanted a ride and she said no and turned away, but then he grabbed her and starting pulling her to a van parked closeby. The woman hit the guy who got in the white 1998 Ford E350 panel van and took off. The man was found later near A Frame Coffee House and arrested. The victim positively id’d the guy so he was taken to Mendocino County Jail.

Two people from Clearlake have been arrested on weapons charges after a report to police of someone showing a handgun. Lake Co News reports Julio Zaragoza and Shanti Gallon arrested on Monday after the report that Zaragoza brandished a handgun at someone then left the area in a silver Mazda. As officers headed that way, they saw Zaragoza’s car and stopped him. Gallon was in the car too and the person who said the weapon was waved at them came to the scene and id’d Zaragoza who was then arrested for brandishing a firearm. Gallon also admitted to cops that a loaded 9-millimeter semiautomatic handgun in the car was hers. So she was also arrested for possession of a loaded firearm in public and possession of a concealed firearm.

Those needing an eye exam but can’t afford it are in luck as there’s a free eye clinic coming to Ukiah. This Sunday, July 29 and Monday, July 30, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. for Medi-cal or Medicare eligible residents who have not gotten free eye care before. Assemblyman Jim Wood is partnering with the company VSP Global and some local eye doctors for the clinic. It is by appointment only though. It’s at the Ukiah Valley Conf. Center. 707.463.5770.

The City of Ukiah and Sanitation Distract have reportedly paid nearly $8 million to lawyers in the lawsuit brought on by the Sanitation District. The Daily Journal reports the Sanitation District’s spent close to $5 million on lawyers and the city’s spent about $1.7 million. The money doesn’t account for staff and materials used for the lawsuit or, according to the city’s finance director, more than 2 and half million the city says it lost because it couldn’t refinance a savings bond that was being sold to pay for the upgrade of the Ukiah Valley Wastewater Treatment Plant, the subject of the entire lawsuit.

A man from Hopland who police say was probably drunk rolled his car and got trapped inside. The CHP reports the accident on Feliz Creek Road Tuesday. The Hopland Fire Department responded, finding a Subaru around two miles west of where the 101 hits Hopland. They found the driver trapped in the car which was laying on its side. Firefighters pulled the man out and he was airlifted to a hospital with moderate injuries. The CHP says they believe alcohol was a factor and the driver, Bradley Gant was cited for driving under the influence and released to the hospital to be treated.

More info on the double murder suicide in Whispering Pines. Police have identified the man they say they think killed his wife and toddler daughter. Benjamin Chote apparently told the Lake County Sheriff’s Dept. he believed his son, Jedediah had killed his ex-wife Livienne and 3 year old daughter Hannah before turning the gun on himself. Deputies went to the home Tuesday and found the family dead with gunshot wounds from a shotgun. Police say the couple were married in 2015 around the time their daughter was born, then divorced a year ago, but were trying to reconcile recently. They lost their home in the Valley Fire and moved to Oregon but were living in Middletown most recently. They were visiting Chote’s father in Whispering Pines this week and when dad returned from the store he found the family dead.

The Lake County Board of Supervisors votes yes to allow the sale of the Lucerne Hotel or Castle so it can be used as a school. The board also voting on a proposed Cannabis Business Tax. As far as the hotel, which the county bought in 2010, there were no objections to selling it, so the board voted unanimously to declare the Castle officially up for sale. There have apparently already been bids on the property. Then the board took up the business tax on Cannabis to apply to nurseries, but the language is a little murky and it’s relation to Measure C, cultivation taxation. So the board will continue discussing the matter at future meetings.

A dozen speed limit buoys have been put in on the shoreside of Clear Lake. The Lake County Water Resources Department put the buoys in Tuesday, working with the Redbud Audubon Society to protect the local population of grebes. They’re migratory freshwater diving birds who nest annually on Clear Lake. This is the ninth year of the project. Apparently the birds nested in areas where motorboats hadn’t really been, but this year they are.

Kaiser Permanente has donated one million dollars to a program helping victims of the October wildfires. The money will help pay for counselors and outreach after money from FEMA is gone. The program is called California HOPE. It started in the spring to help those with mental health issues after the Tubbs, Pocket and Nuns fires, which killed 24 people and destroyed more than 7,000 structures in Sonoma County. There were several cases of post-traumatic stress, anxiety and other mental health issues to address so the HOPE program was put together after the major disaster declaration.

Clearlake Oaks is watching for algae blooms in the Lake. The Lake County Water District part of a monitoring program at the water treatment plant watching for raw and treated water that may be contaminated with cyanotoxin issues. They’re using Granular Activated Carbon to protect finished water after recent warnings about cyanobacteria in Richmond Park and Clearlake Oaks in Lake County.

A California DMV data operator apparently getting away with sleeping on the job… literally. An audit released earlier in the week shows four witnesses came forward to complain about the data operator sleeping as much as three hours a day over three years time without any sort of disciplinary action. The Calif. State Auditor’s office says they got reports the DMV employee consistently slept at her desk, misusing as much as 2,200 hours of work time between February 2014 and December 2017, but notes to her file show she may have had some sort of medical condition. The employee is still working for the state too. The audit also showed an addition built on a Cal Fire house without permission, some university employees took too long of breaks over four years.

The fire in Yosemite still raging and the last of campers in the park have cleared out. The Ferguson Fire has burned more than 41,500 acres. Authorities closed the park so crews could proactively fight the fire by back burning and burning brush on roads without traffic getting in their way. The Yosemite Valley is reportedly staying closed until at least Sunday. Part of State Route 41 leading to the park is also closed. The park reports as many as 1,000 campground and hotel bookings are now canceled. The fire has been burning for almost two weeks and is 26% contained. One firefighter was killed July 14th with another half dozen being injured.

A man in Eureka’s on the run after reports of a burglary and attempted rape. Police went to a home yesterday for reports a man came into a woman’s home and assaulted her in her bedroom then ran out a back door after the victim threatened she had a weapon. He’s described as being a white man in his 30’s, about 5’10”, thin build, blond hair, wearing a red sweatshirt with white writing on it and brown cargo pants. Detectives were reaching out to the public to see if anyone had surveillance cameras running nearby. Police say it appeared to be a random incident.

After three search warrants were served in Humboldt County for illegal pot growing, deputies found several thousand plants and more than a thousand pounds of processed marijuana. Nearly 14,300 growing pot plants with two of the warrants and just over 1,000 pounds of processed weed and 96 pounds of shake. There were also water rights violations, diversions and water pollution and hazardous waste violations plus so much more. Police arrested Aaron Lieberman of Bayside for unauthorized cannabis cultivation and processing, streambed alteration and depositing hazardous materials into a waterway. At another property several of the same violations, but no plants were seized by cops.

The East Area Rapist or the Golden State Killer may be to blame for another case in Southern Calif. The Orange County D-A Office says its reopening a case of William Evins found guilty in the murder of Joan Anderson in Fountain Valley in 1979. Apparently a lawyer found there were similar aspects in the case as some other cases tied to the East Area Rapist. Innocence Rights of Orange County says they believe a construction worker was wrongly convicted for the rape and murder even though Evins pleaded guilty to the crime. The group says the evidence against him was flimsy. The Orange County D-A’s office says they want to make sure the conviction was solid even though Evins, who spent more than 25 years in prison for the crime died in 2013 of a heart attack.

A man in Frederick, MD in trouble with police already, in more trouble for bribery. Cops say 25 year old Matthew Rosenberg was detained for looking into parked cars, then when officers approached he told them he worked at Krispy Kreme Doughnuts and would get them some grub. Now he’s charged with attempting to bribe a public employee, which could get him up to 12 years in prison and a fine between $100 to $5,000. Officers followed Rosenberg and others they thought might be looking for items to steal in parked cars.

The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors looking to state government to help October fire survivors who had their homes over-excavated or had similar issues. As many as 240 property owners in Northern California who had the government handle their debris cleanup got letters saying complaints weren’t be resolved through a public program. Some on the board say they may have over-promised the help that could be provided because the Army Corp of Engineers didn’t properly vet contractors. The state Office of Emergency Services has another contractor helping some property owners. But the board wants the state to reach out to others who say they’re not being helped.

More water storage in Calif. if eight proposed projects are approved. It could mean 4.3 million acre-feet is funded after the California Water Commission approves conditional funding on projects like expanding existing reservoirs and beefing up groundwater storage with 21st century surface storage facilities. Those applying have to follow Proposition 1 requirements by Jan. 1st of 2022. The commission chair says after they reviewed the eight projects, they found they would bring the strongest return on investment for the public.

A man in Tokyo found with the help of Instagram after he stole some cacti. Police say the unemployed 45-year-old man, Izuru Kobayashi, stole four cactus plants from a home supply store and a security officer went to stop him, and Kobayashi punched him in the face several times. The guard lost consciousness. Kobayashi found with the help of surveillance footage, the officers went on Instagram finding an account with a name similar to his and saw some of the stolen cacti on his account. So they staked out his neighborhood and arrested him. He admitted it and said he was shoplifting and the guard wouldn’t let him go so he punched him because he likes plants.

A new report shows there needs to be better housing maintenance and more housing as a whole across Mendocino County. This from the Center for Economic Development at Cal State Chico for Mendocino County. The Board of Supervisors voted to accept the survey at their meeting yesterday which worked with numbers from 2015, based on 4,650 housing units. The survey also shows more than half of the units needed to be fixed in some form, about 26 percent needed minor fixes, 27 percent moderate and 1 percent needed major repairs and about .7 percent were dilapidated. The report also showed not many sidewalks, curbs, and paved roads, but finding more rental housing was key in the report due to overcrowding in what’s currently available.

Reports by the Lake County Sheriff’s Dept. of a double murder suicide, including a toddler. Deputies got a call to the Whispering Pines area and found a dead man and woman and 3 year old girl. The three with gunshot wounds with the man’s wounds looking to be self-inflicted, all from a shotgun. Deputies say they were called by a witness who found the bodies. They’ve not been publicly identified yet until family is notified.

A man from Clearlake is charged in a human trafficking case. A judge has ruled Timothy Lee Williams will also be charged with pimping, pandering and abuse of a dependent adult for the crimes from last year. The District Attorney Don Anderson says there are two cases against Williams. One where he’s accused of having four different women work for him, one a 22-year-old developmentally disabled woman, who police say Williams coerced into prostitution and Williams kept all the money the woman made. He was finally busted after an undercover sting with fake John’s who were supposedly going to buy sex at a local motel from that woman. Williams arrested in the motel parking lot.

A dog used to sniff for possible accelerants apparently notified it’s the case at a fire that started in Ukiah and burned a home last week. The Ukiah Valley Fire Dept. says they’re treating the fire in the 1100 block of Oak Street as suspicious. Police are working with fire officials on the fire that started July 18th in the back yard of the home. When firefighters arrived the home was engulfed in flames, the home was a total loss and another nearby was saved. Someone living in the home that burned got out ok, but they lost a dog. Police also apparently had been to the home a few days before for a neighbor dispute because the resident was burning a fire in the back yard.

A lawsuit’s been filed by Humboldt County against a big pharmaceutical company and some distribution companies saying the public was misled about how addicting opioid pain killers can be. Apparently there are several thousand similar cases against as many as 20 pharma companies. The suits looking for payments back to the counties to pay for treatments for those affected by the opioid crisis. The complaint by Humboldt County being handled by a law firm already handling a bunch of similar lawsuits for public agencies in Washington, Idaho and Arizona against pharmaceutical companies for alleged wrongdoing.

A company out of San Diego looking to put up a wind farm in Humboldt County. Humboldt Wind is proposed the farm of up to sixty 590-foot-tall wind turbines near Monument Ridge near Scotia. They would generate enough energy to power 33,000 homes. They also want to pay to put in access roads, collection lines, meteorological towers, an operation building and other lines so PG&E could hook in. There still needs to be environmental impact reports. It would take up to a year and a half to put the wind farm up and would employ as many as 300 people. Once it’s all done, the project could last about 30 years or more.

It’s so hot, the grid operator in the state called for a statewide Flex Alert. That has PG&E telling customers to conserve as the temperatures hit triple digits in a large swath of the company’s service area. As you may know a flex alert is voluntary electricity conservation, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. The alert was for yesterday and today. Temperatures could get to about 110 degrees in the hottest parts of the Central Valley. But even though PG&E is calling for care when it’s this hot, they also say they’re prepared and don’t think there will be any problems meeting the increased demand for power.

A large sail boat apparently lost in Washington state has ended up near Fort Bragg. The Coast Guard finds the 46-foot vessel Sunday after it was sailing solo for more than a month. The boat’s owners had to be rescued off the coast of Grays Harbor a week and a half ago. The Coast Guard found it on routine patrol. They inspected it, then towed it toward the coast in Fort Bragg and the owners have been notified. They had been headed from Hawaii back to Washington when they hit a storm and couldn’t sail anymore. So they radio’d for help and were plucked by a Coast Guard crew out of Astoria, Oregon.

A man in Ukiah’s dead after being found with several stab wounds in his neck after he crashed into a tree. Police say they got a call about the 53 year old man Saturday with cuts to his neck after a convenience store clerk said he bought cigarettes and had blood coming from his throat, leaving stains behind. Cops went to the store to investigate and say someone else called police saying the man drove his pickup into the tree and passed out. He declined medical help from that person. Cops found him unresponsive and performed CPR to no avail. They are investigating the incident, saying they think the stab wounds were self-inflicted.

The Governor wants to loosen rules for some utilities so they’re not financially liable if their equipment fails and causes wildfires. So now Gov. Brown wants lawmakers to weigh in if the state’s so-called inverse condemnation which holds utility companies liable for wildfire damage even if they haven’t been found negligent, should still stand. So Brown’s proposal for fires from 2018 and beyond would allow judges to find if a utility actually “acted reasonably” when their equipment is found to be the “substantial cause of the fire.” The measure to be discussed by a committee during a public hearing at the capitol today.