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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.

One Comment

  1. Good information but my comment when are the actual fire victims who lost everything including their house. When do we get started on the actual rebuilding. You know … Wood…nails…windows…sheetrock….toliets…sinks…bathtubs…flooring…2×4’s…roofing materials…??? WHEN I’ve be bugging the Resource Center. No donations have honored this yet. I’m beginning to think all these donations of money’s are improving different things in our county. Such as ….I don’t even want to sound like a complaining B. I.

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