Skip navigation

Monthly Archives: August 2018

An infusion of cash for the first ever day camp for kids impacted by last October’s wildfires. Camp Noah for kids in Mendocino County in first- through sixth grade with more than 35 volunteers and several groups putting in time, food and money. The camp also made possible after a Lutheran organization paid the camp costs. The camp earlier this month as the Mendocino Complex Fire was burning. The Daily Journal reports when organizers were first planning the camp, they weren’t sure if they could pull it off due to a lack of money, but Lutheran Social Services of Northern California put up the $20,000 camp fee. Camp Noah is in more than 2 dozen other states and in Puerto Rico to help kids learn resiliency after a natural disaster.

A bill sponsored by State Senator Mike McGuire so Cal Fire can investigate illegal marijuana growers who pollute water, threaten wildlife and damage the environment moving forward to the Governor. The bill to stop the practice of clearing forest land to grow illegal weed. It gives Cal Fire up to three years to investigate “rogue growers”. McGuire saying it protects California’s pristine forestland from clear cutting for cannabis conversions which ruins watersheds and pollutes drinking water supplies and kills wildlife. McGuire’s office says it’s gotten worse from 2015 to 2017, with between 30 and 99 recorded instances.

A lawsuit’s been filed by the City of Eureka against the biggest prescription opioid manufacturers in the country. Red Headed Blackbelt news site reporting the city also suing three primary wholesale distributors of the drugs too alleging the parties violated California’s Unfair Competition Law and federal racketeering statute (“RICO”), adding too that their conduct constituted a public nuisance, negligence, and unjust enrichment under California law. The news site reports Humboldt County was the second highest place for overdoses in California. Out of 1,925 people who od’d on opioids in the state, 33 were in Humboldt County alone.

2 men in Lower Lake have been arrested on drug and weapons charges. Narcotics detectives from the Lake County Sheriff’s Dept served a search warrant at the home, and went in thru a locked gate, finding two Hispanic men, Carlos Cabadazazueta of Ukiah and Guillermo Cabadadelaherran of Lower Lake, one of them armed with a 20 gauge shot gun and the other with a .40 caliber handgun. Cops say after multiple commands to put their guns down, they finally did and the property was searched. There was a 16 year old boy found hiding in bushes with more than $4,700 cash. Detectives found marijuana plants growing and more in three hoop style green houses for a total of 858 marijuana plants, plus they found almost $5,500. The two arrested on several charges including Keeping a Place to Sell Controlled Substance, Armed While Committing a Felony and Employing Person Under 21 to Sell Marijuana. The teen was also turned over to juvenile probation for processing.

Advertisements

[title News 8/31/18

Today Overdose Awareness Day and with that the Mendocino County Health & Human Services Agency is asking everyone to wear silver. The agency reminds us that thousands of people die annually from drug OD’s. The event happening across the world every August 31st to raise awareness about overdose and to reduce the stigma of drug-related deaths, at the same time acknowledging the grief felt by families and friends. Silver is a symbol of awareness of overdose and its effects and sends a message that all life is valuable and the stigmatization of people who use drugs should stop.

The City of Willits is having their Coastal Cleanup Day. From 9 AM – noon Saturday, September 15th. Those interested should meet at the City Hall Parking lot to help clean creeks to prevent trash from getting into the Eel River. The City says they were the first Inland Chapter of California Coastal Cleanup. And there are more than 1000 inland chapters of the California Coastal cleanup now.

Drug Take Back AND Pool Party in Willits.. Next Saturday, Sept. 8th from noon to 5 PM at the city’s Community Pool on Main Street. A reminder from the city that last year Mendocino County had the 4th highest rate of opioid overdoses in Calif. ? YOU can help save our children and youth from the opioid epidemic. Start by joining us on Saturday, September 8th from Noon – 5:00 p.m. where you can bring in unused, unwanted or expired prescription meds

New info has been released about the family who died after driving off a cliff in Mendocino County. CNN is reporting the Hart family’s home in Washington state was searched right after the family disappeared and it showed almost no sign six kids lived there. The children ages 12 to 19 either disappeared or died in March when their SUV went over a 100 foot cliff. Investigators say Jennifer Hart was drunk and drove her wife and kids over the cliff. Documents have now been released by the Clark County Sheriff’s Office saying their Washington State home was extremely clean and organized and looked, sterile. A detective noting also, that there was little showing the kids had access to toys or items of entertainment except for a few board games. Jennifer and her wife Sarah and three of the children were found dead after the crash. Another child’s body was found days later and the bodies of two of their children are still missing.

A woman’s body has been found, which police say may be a missing woman from Kelseyville. Lake Co News reports a Ford Crown Victoria owned by Sharon Foley, and a body were found earlier this week in a remote, forested area in Sierra County. The info from the Sierra County Sheriff’s Office. The Lake County Sheriff’s Office got a reports she had disappeared in July. She also vanished in early May but was found. Reports that Foley also had suffered from depression, was bipolar and off her meds and couldn’t walk on her own, but could drive. Lake County Sheriff’s office says they were told by the Sierra County Sheriff’s Office the body was believed to be Foley’s. They say she’s not been positively identified but there was evidence at the scene.

Some areas of Clear Lake testing positive for blue-green algae so now there’s warnings for several areas of the lake. Lake Co News reports the samplings taken August 15th and 21st, with results back this week showing 12 out of 21 sampled sites had microcystin. The areas include: the center of the Oaks Arm, Clearlake Oaks shoreline, Elem shoreline and Cache Creek at Highway 53, garnering cautious levels. The news site reports the readings this week were lower than before, but there have to be two consecutive improved readings before the alert level can change.

A reminder this Labor Day weekend to watch out for invasive quagga and zebra mussels. The two are invasive locally, native in Europe and Asia and can multiply fast, get themselves stuck on watercraft and infrastructure, change the local water quality and naturally growing aquatic food and more. They catch themselves onto boats, equipment or anything entering water and infest it. It’s hard to see them sometimes as they can get stuck in engines or other equipment. There are local inspection and folks are strongly encouraged to clean, drain and dry watercraft.

A Strategic Fire Plan is in place by Cal Fire. It’s a way to be proactive against new wildfires. The Chair of Cal Fire says it’s a way to break the cycle of large and damaging wildfires in Calif. He says the plan is to help prevent wildfires, while taking into consideration drought and tree mortality. The new plan was a joint effort between the Cal Fire, stakeholders and public input. It focuses on what can be done before a fire even starts and also considers ways to bring down the cost of firefighting, property loss, at the same time increase firefighter safety, and contribute to forest health.
The 2018 Strategic Fire Plan is available on the board of forestry and fire protection website at http://www.bof.fire.ca.gov/.

I-5 may be a nightmare this holiday weekend for those traveling north from Southern Calif. There’s emergency roadwork after a massive pothole damaged some cars Thursday morning. The pothole shut down traffic altogether on the northbound 5 for 5 hours. Caltrans then closed it last night until this morning. And will do the same tonight, with one area shut down thru Tuesday morning at 4 a.m. There will only be access to two lanes during the repairs. They’re trying to divert travelers instead to use Highway 50 west, and I-80 east as alternate routes.

Net Neutrality safe in Calif. Lawmakers approved a statewide effort so internet companies cannot dictate speeds for certain sites or what people have access to online. The vote yesterday in the Assembly 58-17, sending it overwhelmingly back to the Senate for a final sign off before the legislative session ends, and sending it to the governor for signature. The vote after months of lobbying by internet providers who said it would mean more expensive internet. Some had said they’d still uphold net neutrality after the FCC tossed it. Then said it was unrealistic because rules would differ now across the country and there should be a single approach.

A woman from Canada and her ten year old daughter who went missing on their way to Northern Calif to camp, have been found. Audrey Rodrigue apparently had been texting with her boyfriend Sunday, then stopped conversing with him, so he reported her missing. The San Mateo County Sheriff’s office tweeted yesterday though that the mom and daughter were found in good health & simply enjoying their California camping trip. No word exactly where they were, but word is they had reservations at a Six Rivers National Forest campground, about 340 miles north of San Francisco, but apparently they never arrived at a hotel where they first had reservations in Pescadero, south of San Francisco.

More closed sessions for the Ukiah City Council and the Ukiah Valley Sanitation District regarding the lawsuit against the city by the district. The Daily Journal reports the council meeting today at 1 in council chambers is noted as closed and regarding the lawsuit. There have been multiple meetings this month. The newspaper reports the city manager saying “settlement and litigation remain active at this time.” There’s also a meeting for the District next Tuesday night at 6, noting they’re meeting with legal counsel regarding “existing litigation”. The District filing suit saying the city owes it as much as $30 million in payments related to the participation agreement the agencies signed for the joint operation of the Ukiah Valley Wastewater Treatment Plant.

A bill circulating at the Capitol would require any public university in the state to offer abortion medication at campus health centers. There’s no school in the University of California or California State University system currently offering any abortion services. Now that the Assembly has approved the measure, it heads to the Senate for a final sign-off. Apparently some private donors are paying startup costs to get equipment for schools which includes ultrasound machines, staff training and a 24-hour hotline for students to ask questions and get emergency referrals. The system would have to be in place by 2022. The medications that instigate abortion is given in a clinic situation, then the patient gets a drug to take at home later. Those who support it say it’s difficult and costly for off campus abortions and those against it say the vote’s a tragedy.

Alternative office hours have been approved by the Lake County Board of Supervisors to save money. The new hours for county offices located in and around the Lake County Courthouse will be Monday thru Thursday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and holidays are closed. That would include the main Administration office, the Assessor-Recorder, Auditor Controller, the Board of Supervisors, Community Development Dept., the County Counsel, Elections office, Information Technology, Public Works and Treasurer-Tax Collector. The ones outside the courthouse are the Department of Public Service, District Attorney’s Office, Special Districts, Lake County Air Quality Management and Child Supportive Services. The change due to average 20 percent staff vacancy rate, low morale and repeated disasters like wildfires.

[title News 8/30/18

A carjacking reported in Redwood Valley where the owner of a car says they were ambushed. The Mendocino County sheriff’s office reports finding Jarvais Primus who told them the suspect pointed a gun at him and took his rental car, and there was a bunch of cash inside. Deputies also say Primus was involved in processing marijuana oil. He told them he owned a business that legally sells Vape pens and marijuana oil in California and Georgia. Deputies say they think it might have been a friend of his, and suspected John Bellotti Jr., the husband of a mutual friend. The stolen car was spotted soon after and deputies and a Fish & Wildlife officer went after it beyond Willits. But the car was abandoned. Later though Bellotti surrendered at the Sheriff’s Office Ukiah station and was booked on suspicion of carjacking, robbery, and evading a peace officer/reckless driving and was held on $75,000 bail.

A fire that started after a car drove off Eastside Calpella Road has been quickly put out. The Redwood Valley-Calpella Fire Department reports getting a call Tuesday to a car down an embankment. And when they got there, there was a fire under a black SUV. Firefighters were able to slow forward movement so it didn’t explode into a larger fire. It charred about a quarter acre. PG&E also responded to cut off power to a line that was knocked down after the SUV went down the embankment. Cops say the driver of the SUV was a 13-year-old boy who had three passengers onboard, two teen-age girls and a small child. Charges against the teen driver are pending. One of the girls was apparently injured too.

The Lakeport Fire Protection District Board of Directors has put off a vote on their 2018-2019 budget proposal. They’ve got a budget gap of about $160,000, which means they’ll likely have to a cut a firefighter position, but they may avoid severance of two other positions if they use some reserve funds. The Record Bee reports the Fire Chief saying they have to make serious cuts and that the proposed budget contained bandaids to close the budget hole, but there were no long term solutions. Adding a fire tax hike was advisable. But that can’t go to voters until the June 2019 election.

A bill that would mean there would now be statewide alerts to warn folks about wildfires, floods, earthquakes and other emergencies to be signed by the Gov. Both houses of the Legislature have unanimously supported the bill drafted by multiple North Coast lawmakers, including Sens. Mike McGuire and Bill Dodd and Assemblymembers Cecilia Aguiar- Curry and Jim Wood. It comes after the October firestorm. McGuire saying there needed to be a universal emergency alert system in all 58 counties. So now the Office of Emergency Services has to create emergency alert guidelines, working with government groups, cellphone providers and other stakeholders, by July 1st.

Drama at the state Capitol as a bill that could mean PG&E wouldn’t have to pay for any damage the utility couldn’t afford from the October Firestorm heads to a final decision. The decision tomorrow ahead of the end of the latest legislative session. The bill has been going back and forth all month, looking like it was totally dead, then being revived in the 11th hour. The bill hangs in the balance as state investigators already found the utility’s equipment was responsible for starting 16 major wildfires last year. A lawyer in Santa Rosa representing thousands of fire survivors who are suing PG&E says the bill does nothing for fire victims. Others say the utility is in jeopardy of survival.

A woman sleeping in a cardboard box being swept clean with heavy equipment has been killed. Police say Shannon Bigley was killed Aug. 1st where she was sleeping on a grassy field along the highway in Modesto. The CHP is investigating the death, police calling it an accident and expressed sympathy to Bigley’s family. The woman said to be from Oregon, but her last known address was in Stockton. She was living in the homeless camp recently. The union that cleared the camp has filed a grievance to stop homeless camp cleanups by Caltrans maintenance workers, something they’ve previously said they lacked training for.

The Mendocino Complex Fire’s on target to hit the 100% containment mark by Sept. 1st. Cal Fire is no longer managing the fire, instead, the US Forest Service is now in command but says the USDA is managing the fire with a California Interagency Incident Management Team. The fires, the Ranch and River broke out the same day, Friday, July 27th, nearly 5 weeks ago. The fires blew up to be the largest in the history of the state, but the River Fire’s forward progress stopped weeks ago and was 100% contained. Then the Ranch Fire became the largest ever in the state, burning 410,182 acres and is now 93 percent contained. The River fire burned 48,920 acres. The fires together are 93% contained. There’s been 3 firefighter injuries and one firefighter death.

The Mendocino County Sheriff’s dept. on the lookout for an elderly man they say failed to register as a sex offender. 75 year old David Otis Perrine was featured yesterday on the Sheriff’s Warrant Wednesday Facebook post. Perinne from Calpella’s described as 5′ 8″, 160 lbs with Brown Hair and Blue eyes. They’re asking anyone who may have seen him to call the Sheriff’s Office at (707) 463-4086.

A man from Kentucky arrested after getting cops to take him to the hospital, faking a heart attack… so he could go to the hospital cafeteria. Kenneth Couch a suspect for a stolen gun, but police say he was at the hospital after having a heart attack at a nearby business. The ambulance went to the business to take him to Baptist Health Corbin hospital. Emergency workers say when they got there, Couch jumped out and casually walked to the cafeteria. Then the Knox County Sheriff’s Office got there and arrested him for burglary and falsely reporting an incident. He also had a warrant for his arrest elsewhere for writing phony checks.

Cal Fire says they are on track for full containment of the Mendocino Complex fire by the weekend. The Ranch Fire is now 93-percent contained after burning over 410-thousand acres. It will go down as the the biggest wildfire ever in California.

FEMA will be meeting with people effected by the fires today in Lake County. That meeting is set for 11:00 Am at the Lucerne Harbor Park on East Highway 20 in Lucerne. Meanwhile, the state says its disaster recovery center will continue to operate Mondays though Saturdays from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM, but will be discontinuing its Sunday hours. That center is located at 9460 Main Street in Upper Lake.

The U.S. Forest Service will hold a meeting this week to discuss an assessment of the effects of the Ranch fire on private, state and federal lands. The Burned Area Emergency Response team has completed its initial look at the south part of the fire area and will share the findings at a meeting Thursday at 6:00 PM at the North Shore Events center on Highway 20 in Nice. The survey looked at how the fire has effected watersheds, and how that could in turn impact future flooding, mud flows and rock slides. After the presentation, assessment team members will take questions from the public.

Governor Brown has signed a new law that requires insurance companies to tell homeowners policy holders how much their property would cost to replace. The measure was introduced after many homeowners found they were under insured after they filed claims resulting from last year’s wildfires. Now, the state says insurance companies must report the replacement coverage on insured properties every two years. Insurers argued that the burden of checking limits should fall on policy holders themselves, but lawmakers decided insurance company have an obligation to let their customers know just what would be covered in a catastrophe.

Terroristic threatening charges for a Clear Lake High School student accused of saying he was going to bring a gun to school. The 14 year old was arrested this week on those charges that came after he was overheard making the threat to another student. No weapon was found, but the Lakeport PD says other evidence was seized and that the boy was turned over to juvenile justice authorities. The teen’s name isn’t being released because of his age. Officials say they take all threats of school violence very seriously and are asking anyone who heard about a potential threat to contact law enforcement right away.

The Mendocino District Attorney’s office has wrapped up its investigation into an officer involved shooting last February that left a woman dead. The reports concludes that officers were justified in firing on 48 year old Dawn Center after she carjacked a vehicle from a Ukiah dealership, led police on a dangerous, high speed chase, and threatened to shoot police and kill herself. Center died from gunshot wounds. The lengthy report concludes that officers acted reasonably under the circumstances and that, based on her actions, Center in effect committed what the report calls “suicide by cop”. The D A says the case is now closed and that no further action will be taken.

CHP in Lake County and elsewhere says there will be zero tolerance for drunk and impaired driving this Labor Day weekend. Cops say it will be all hands on deck from Friday evening though Monday night as they aim to keep highways safe. CHP commissioner Warren Stanley says impaired driving remains one of the most serious problems on California highways in spite of increased enforcement and education about how dangerous it is. CHP says it stopped around 11,000 people during the stepped up maximum enforcement period over Labor Day last year.

A bill signed by Governor Brown is set to make California the first state to completely eliminate bail. The bill gives the judicial council board authority to replace the bail system with a still to be determined flight risk-assessment system. Based on the council’s framework, most suspects accused of nonviolent felonies will be released within 12 hours of booking, and those charged with serious crimes like violent felonies will be held in jail before trial. The new law is set to go into effect in October 2019.

A Ukiah Hospital is planning a ceremony to mark the opening of a new emergency department, ICU and helipad next week. Adventist Health says the new state of the art additions will mean better care for patients at the facility on Hospital Drive. The new ER is four times the size of the original, while the expanded ICU features several new patient rooms equipped with the latest technology. The grand opening is set for September 6th at 4:30 with the ribbon cutting ceremony around 5:15.

No reports of damage or injuries in a magnitude 4 point 4 earthquake in Southern California. The quake was centered in the San Gabriel Valley, about 25 miles east of Los Angeles and some buildings in downtown LA shook for several seconds around 7:30 Tuesday evening. A second, smaller quake was felt a few minutes later.

Safeway is announcing a federal recall of beef products is affecting Northern California and six other states. The company pulled some Cargill Meat Solutions products possibly contaminated with E. coli from Safeway, Vons, Albertsons and Pak N Save stores. The recalled products were sold between August 20th and 23rd and have "Sell Thru" dates from August 21st through August 25th. There is information on the Safeway website.

Oreo cookies are rolling out some unusual new flavors in China. Hot chicken wing and wasabi flavored Oreos will hit store shelves soon in Asian markets. Instead of the traditional white creme filling, the hot wing features the bright orange shade of buffalo sauce. The wasabi boasts a light green filling. No word on plans to roll out the hot cookies stateside.

SELENA GOMEZ – BACK TO YOU
POST MALONE – BETTER NOW
CARDI B, BAD BUNNY & J BALVIN – I LIKE IT
DRAKE – IN MY FEELINGS
KHALID & NORMANI – LOVE LIES
5 SECONDS OF SUMMER – YOUNGBLOOD
BRYCE VINE – DREW BERRYMORE
ARIANA GRANDE – GOD IS A WOMAN
MADISON BEER – HOME WITH YOU
BEBE REXHA – I’M A MESS
TIESTO & DZEKO – JACKIE CHAN
NF – LIE
JUICE WRLD – LUCID DREAMS
DJ KHALED – NO BRAINER
KYGO – REMIND ME TO FORGET
CHAINSMOKERS – SIDE EFFECTS
CHARLIE PUTH – THE WAY I AM
SABRINA CARPENTER – ALMOST LOVE
BAZZI – BEAUTIFUL
ELLA MAI – BOO’D UP
LOVELY THE BAND – BROKEN
BENNY BLANCO, HALSEY & KHALID – EASTSIDE
ZEDD & ELLEY DUHE – HAPPY NOW
IMAGINE DRAGONS – NATURAL
JONAS BLUE – RISE
ANNE-MARIE – 2002
LOGIC & RYAN TEDDER – ONE DAY
CALVIN HARRIS & SAM SMITH – PROMISES
CLEAN BANDIT – SOLO
TYGA – TASTE

The Mendocino complex fire is still at 93 percent contained, with crews continuing to make progress on suppression and mop up. Cal Fire says the fire size remains at just over 410,00 acres and that it is still hoping for 100 percent containment by Saturday. Smoke conditions are expected to improve through this afternoon with a generally favorable trend through the rest of the week. The U.S. Forest Service says the northern half of the Mendocino National Forest remains open and can be accessed via Forest Highway 7. Officials also say the forest areas around Plaskett Meadows and Hammerhorn Lake are open for recreation activities.

A man from Humboldt County has been accused of stealing two cars in Mendocino County, crashing into another, breaking into a home, and using stolen credit cards to buy fast food. Police say the first car was stolen from a home on Gardens Avenue in Ukiah early Monday and was later rammed into another car not far away. Then on Tuesday morning police say the same suspect, identified as 32-year-old Nathaniel Cady, broke into a home on Banker Boulevard, rummaged through the house while the residents slept, grabbed some credit cards and a set of keys and drove off in that stolen car. Police say Cady then used the stolen cards to buy food at a Taco Bell and later at a Burger King, where he was arrested. He is being held on $75,000 bail.

Police in Fort Bragg have arrested a man after reports of a domestic assault. Fort Bragg Police report states when police arrived early Sunday they found Silvestre Rivera Nieto unconscious on the ground after being thrown to the ground.  A female victim was was found to be bleeding from several knife wounds. The female victim told police she and Rivera Nieto , had been out drinking and while they were walking home, he suddenly pulled out a knife and attacked her, unprovoked slashing her several times, in her face and hands.  They got into a further altercation on the ground. Once she was able to escape, she ran home where she told her father about the attack.  Rivera Nieto tried to continue his attack on the victim and her father threw him to the ground where he hit his head. Rivera Nieto received medical attention for his injury and was subsequently arrested.

Police and firefighters in Fort Bragg were called to a brush fire in a field across from the hospital.  And when they arrived, they found a small brushy grassy fire was ablaze along the western end of the field near the end of South Street. Once fire personnel arrived they quickly got on the fire which was being whipped up by wind. Officers went to a senior living complex across from the fire and began evacuating residents. Fort Bragg Fire Department Volunteers and CalFire firefighters put the fire out, containing it to the grassland. The tenants were allowed to go return home once the smoke lessened. The fire charred about 3 acres of grassland, and some small trees and bushes. There wasn’t a lot of major damage or loss of property.

A firefighter from Utah working the Mendocino Complex Fire has adopted a dog he found in the wilderness in Northern Calif. Patrick Cullen of the same department where one of his fellow firefighters lost his life, didn’t forget the exhausted, thirsty German Shepherd he saw earlier this month. He had to leave the dog but apparently found him again at the Mendocino County Animal Shelter and found that it could be adopted because nobody had claimed it. Cullen has named the dog Mendo, after the Mendocino Complex fires. The Press democrat reports Cullen saying the dog’s a bright spot in an otherwise sad story after the death of Battalion Chief Matthew Burchett. Burchett died in the Mendo Complex Fire on Aug. 13th after a tree hit him during a retardant drop operation.

Congressman Mike Thompson in town at two public forums talking about fire preparedness, money for firefighting and recovery in Lake County. He spoke yesterday in the Board of Supervisors Chambers talking about fires, but then veered into immigration and a lack of housing. Several local officials were at the meeting too. The congressman talked about a lack of housing, compounded by massive wildfires and the cost of new construction. He also touched on how the new tariff’s by the Trump Administration further complicates things. Thompson said he wanted a community meeting with the Insurance Commissioner and says insurance companies are looking to minimize their risk. He also talked about wildfire prevention and recovery and how neighbors can help each other in a fire emergency.

A new nonprofit along with Lakeport Police are creating a police dog program for the department. The Lakeport Police Chief made the announcement to the city council last week saying it’s been a goal of his for some time to have another police K9. Their last police dog retired more than 9 years ago. So the new nonprofit “Friends of Lakeport PD”, put together by David Brown, the owner of Susie Q’s Donuts will help start the new police dog program and help them with other equipment needs and programs. 3 police officers have reportedly come forward to work with a police dog once they get one.

The Cache fire’s had minimal growth. Lake co News reports the fire’s charred 120 acres and is now 70% contained. The fire started along an area south of Highway 20 and east of New Long Valley Road near the Cache Creek Recreation Area this weekend. No injuries reported or damage to structures.

West Nile Virus reportedly found in Lake County in a sentinel chicken. Lake Co News reports the bird tested in an Upper Lake flock. The news site reports it comes after four mosquito samples tested positive for the virus in Lake County earlier this month. They were from Middletown and Upper Lake. The Lake County Vector Control district says it’s typical to have biting mosquitoes this time of year and to be vigilant against them with standing water and using insect repellant. The agency goes on to say when chickens test positive, that means conditions are ripe for humans too. There’s been more than 30 cases of West Nile virus in California residents this year.

Governor Brown set to sign a piece of legislation on illegal forest conversions authored by State Sen. Mike McGuire. The legislation to protect forestland in the state from illegal clearing to grow marijuana. That can ruin critical watersheds and pollute drinking water and kill wildlife. Illegal conversions reportedly up more than 200 percent since the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act passed in 2015. McGuire’s office reports thousands of acres of California forestland were illegally converted. The bill also outlines stiffer sentences for those who break the law.

The Mendocino Complex jumped up in containment to 90 percent overall. The fire had grown several thousand acres, thanks to backfiring operations this past weekend. The complex, the Ranch and River fires have charred about 459,100 acres, 8,000 more acres than the day before. The Ranch fire at nearly 410,200 acres with 90-percent containment as of last night. The River fire holding at under 49,000 acres and 100% contained since early this month. The fires on track for full containment by Labor Day weekend. As we reported yesterday, improved conditions meant the lifting of Mandatory Evacuation Orders in Glenn County and an advisory evacuation lifted for Elk Creek.

The Humboldt marten has been submitted to be on the endangered species list in Calif. The California Fish and Game Commission has voted unanimously for the tiny animal that’s similar to a weasel. The listing means it’ll be protected and cannot be killed except for special conditions. Environmental groups supporting the move as there are only a couple hundred martens left in Calif. And there aren’t that many more across the country, another 200 or so in Oregon. There could also be a federal decision in coming months on listing the marten as endangered. The tiny creatures weigh about 3 pounds and are found living in dense old-growth forests along the North Coast.

Brooktrails residents being told to conserve water. The Daily Journal reports water for the township comes from two reservoirs, Lake Emily and Lake Ada Rose, which each fill with annual rainfall. But apparently there’s concern about this year’s rainfall, thinking ahead with conservation now, in case there’s another year of late rain. Letters going out to water customers so they consider voluntarily conserving consumption. Apparently some in the town who got the letter found they had leaks in their homes and their water usage has since gone down. Some using as much as a million gallons of water a month. The township board looking for a 20% conservation in the amount of water used by residents.

A man from Sonoma Valley accused of killing his wife says he did it because she was so abusive. Steven Rothschild on trial for the beating and strangulation death of his wife Juanita in their home last August. He testified his wife had been criticizing him all night after an outing with friends and ranted at him for hours. He said he exploded. He admitted in a call to 911 that he might have killed Juanita who was found dead on the couple’s living room couch. His lawyer says Juanita had been abusing Steven for years and he reacted with violence. But the prosecution says Steven was an alpha male who didn’t even try to save his wife. Painting him as the aggressor instead.

A wine tour van driver has been arrested for DUI as he took visitors from out of state to wineries in Healdsburg. Eugene Cremen of Napa had eight people on board his van which was reportedly registered to Napa Valley Wine Country Tours. The CHP reports after stops in Dry Creek Valley, he was passed out, slumped at the wheel. The passengers could barely wake him, and when they did rouse him, he drove on. They called 911 complaining he was weaving in and out of traffic. He stopped near Healdsburg and was arrested. CHP also found he had a previous DUI on his record. The passengers grabbed a ride sharing service to leave the area.

The back and forth continues. The legislature tabling once again, a plan to have ratepayers absorb some of the cost utility companies could be on the hook for after wildfires that broke out last October. Now a legislative committee working on the plan puts it instead off on a proposed commission who have until next year to find a solution. The Press Democrat reports there was a 72 page proposed wildfire response bill which had a plan in it for PG&E and other utilities to be allowed to sell state-authorized bonds to pay for part of the damages after last October’s wildfires. That would have meant ratepayers would have to finance the bond debt out of their utility bills.

The State Office of Emergency Services not too happy with the way the federal government has been involved in cleanup after the October Firestorm. The director of the agency, Mark Ghilarducci, reportedly sent a letter to the Army Corps of Engineers outlining the deficiencies caused by federal contractors. That includes over scraping of properties, damage to driveways and sidewalks, damaged wells and septic tanks and some leftover contaminated ash and fire debris in several areas. The Army Corp managed the $1.3 billion government-sponsored cleanup program to take out more than 2 million tons of debris in Sonoma, Napa, Mendocino and Lake counties. It was supposedly done in June, but apparently several hundred survivors complained about the way their properties were cleared.

The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office warning they’re on the lookout for a man considered to be armed and dangerous. A Nixle Alert went out saying the department was quote, “working an incident with an outstanding armed and dangerous suspect John Joseph Bellotti, Jr age 37…” They describe the man as 5’10”, 230 pounds, and with an unknown clothing description. They say he was last seen in the 10900 block of Dos Rios Road between Covelo and Laytonville. And warn not to approach him if he’s seen and immediately call 911.

Cops in Paraguay say thieves have gotten a hold of some rifles and replaced them with replicas. An inspection was ordered after the real rifles were found on the black market where they can bring in as much as $10,000 American. Some believed to now be in Argentina and others in Brazil. Pictures of the fake rifles made it on to social media calling it the most “embarrassing scandal” in the history of the country’s police force. A search of the armory after the real rifles turned up on the black market uncovered the phony ones. No arrests so far.

[title PM News 8/27/18

Glenn County has lifted the Mandatory Evacuation Orders for all areas east of the Mendocino National Forest boundary due to the Mendocino Complex fires. Elk Creek is also no longer under an Advisory Evacuation but there’s still a Mandatory Evacuation Order and a Forest Closure for the Mendocino National Forest in south-western Glenn County. For more information you can call the Glenn County Sheriff’s Office, visit the county website or visit the Sheriff’s Facebook or twitter pages.

Reports of trespassers at a marijuana grow have the Humboldt County Sheriff’s office out to a residents in Myers Flat. Deputies say when they arrived, they found the front gate to the property had been damaged. They then found 13 people tied up inside the home. They told deputies there had been 5-6 people wearing masks with guns still at the property and they were stealing weed. More officers came to the scene but they didn’t find anyone there. They made no arrests and were reaching out to the public for help if they knew anything. They did collect some evidence when they were there.

A man from Leggett has been arrested for growing marijuana illegally since he had a past conviction as a sex offender. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office Marijuana Enforcement Team somehow got wind that Charles Maniaci was growing weed which he cannot do even though it’s now legal in Calif. But his past conviction requiring him to register as a sex offender means he cannot grow more that 6 marijuana plants. But they say there were two parcels with one home, several outbuildings and many travel trailers there. Six people were found there, but only Maniaci was arrested. Cops say they pulled nearly 1360 growing marijuana plants and about 150 pounds of harvested weed in various stages of being processed. There was also another 21 pounds of packaged bud marijuana. Maniaci was arrested and held on $750,000 bail.

Community members are invited to the grand opening of the new Emergency Department Intensive Care Unit and rooftop helipad at Adventist Health Ukiah Valley. The hospital says after thousands of hours of planning, four years of construction, and a challenging regulatory approval process, they’re finally ready to share their state of the art upgrades. The nearly 15-thousand foot ER is four times the size of the current one with 19 private treatment rooms, including mini-operating rooms. The new ICU has eight critical care rooms with state-of-the-art technology and everything is ready to use. The September 6th celebration at 4:30 with a ribbon cutting ceremony, tours of the new facility and snacks and music.