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Monthly Archives: September 2018

A man accused in a bizarre rape of a woman in Vallejo faces 40 years in prison. Matthew Muller pleaded guilty to federal kidnapping and was accused of kidnapping for ransom, rape and first degree robbery and false imprisonment by violence. He pleaded not guilty to the rest. And represented himself in court Monday in the case which was continued until this afternoon at 130. A preliminary hearing is set for Sept. 25th and Muller was being held on $2.25 million in Solano County Jail. The story went viral when the victim and her boyfriend filed a defamation of character lawsuit against the Vallejo Police Department when police said the kidnapping was a hoax. They later apologized. Police say the victim was driven in the trunk of Muller’s car, held her hostage two days, made ransom demands, then released her by her Huntington Beach home. He was arrested 3 months later after video evidence showed he was with the victim.

A reward’s being offered in connection to an assault in Lakeport. Sheriff’s deputies are searching for two men they say assaulted another man last month. They got a call to Sutter Lakeside Hospital for the assault report Sunday, August 26th where the victim told them he was assaulted at his house in the area of Waldo Lane. The victim says the two men, one dark skinned Hispanic and the other a light skinned Hispanic, came into his home that night, assaulting him, one had a firearm and showed it to the victim, then the pair left with some cash. The victim did not know the men. There’s now a $2000.00 reward for any info leading to the arrest and conviction of the pair.

The old Georgia Pacific lumber mill in Fort Bragg may be getting some action. The owners of the Skunk Train are reportedly interested in buying part of the land. The Press Democrat reports the Mendocino Railway President announced they were in contract to buy 70 acres at the northernmost end of the 419-acre mill site across from the downtown train depot. The Skunk Train partners looking at potentially extending their railroad west to the headlands and north for about a half-mile along the coast. Some other options on the land being discussed include a high-end hotel, a public plaza, housing construction and possibly new production facilities for North Coast Brewing Co. The old mill closed in 2002 due to a downed timber industry. The land had been contaminated and there are protected Native American cultural sites there too.


A man on a bike killed after colliding with a dump truck in Ukiah is from Covelo. The Ukiah Police Department and the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office identify the man as 34 year old Samuel (Xamuel) Lara. He was killed after being hit by the dump truck Friday afternoon at the intersection of Talmage Road and Hastings Frontage Road. The dump truck is owned and operated by Wipf Construction. Apparently the dump truck was cleared by a flagger directing traffic to turn onto Talmage Road when it hit the bicyclist. Officers say they’re not sure who’s at fault but they’re investigating since there were three parties involved including the flagger. The same construction company was involved in a dump truck crash into a bicyclist in 2012 at the intersection of South Orchard Avenue and East Gobbi Street. That bike rider was also killed. There’s a GoFundMe account in Lara’s name:

A high school teacher arrested for alleged misconduct may have to register as a sex offender if he’s found guilty. The Ukiah High teacher, Ben O’Neill was arrested earlier this month after allegations he acted inappropriately with a teen on campus. A spokesperson for the D-A’s office says the teen was a former student of the school and visited O’Neill at the school last September. He says the misconduct involved, hugging in a storage room. It wasn’t reported to police until May of this year when a third party told school district employees who then called police. O’Neill was arrested for a misdemeanor of “annoying or molesting a child under 18.” If convicted he faces a year in jail and a $5,000 fine, plus he could lose his teaching license and have to register as a sex offender. O’Neill’s arraignment’s set for October 4th.

The family of an 8 year old murder victim in Santa Cruz say a state Senate bill that could free some like her murderer by their 25th birthdays is unfair. Madyson Middleton’s murderer A.J. Gonzalez was 15 at the time of Middleton’s death. The Senate bill passed by the Assembly and Senate would mean 14- or 15-year-old juveniles accused of violent crimes, like murder and other serious felonies would not be able to be transferred to adult court. They would instead go thru rehab in the juvenile system where they can be held until they’re 25. Middleton’s murderer apparently pretended he knew nothing and even helped search for her. Her body found in a Santa Cruz apartment trash dumpster in July 2015. His case was sent to adult court in the end. Middleton’s family says its absolutely opposed to this bill and say they’ll do whatever they have to convince Gov. Brown to veto it.

A couple of Kelseyville High seniors are headed to Australia as high achieving seniors. In December Vanessa Gonzalez and Sayra Cachowill will address hundreds of teachers at the AVID Australia Summer Institute at Victoria University in Melbourne. The two recently were named Questbridge finalists. They both have 4.0 GPAs and qualify as migrant education students who used to be English Learner students then were re-designated as fluent English proficient. Neither of the two girls parents finished high school. The girls will be featured at the General Session of the conference for more than 300 Australian teachers and administrators then they’ll be on a student panel and participate in Q & A sessions.

A woman on probation has been arrested in Willits. When pulled over Miranda Mullins apparently told deputies she was wanted on a warrant. She was wanted for being an accessory to a crime in Mendocino County. Cops searched her car and found several methamphetamine pipes. They realized her license plates didn’t match the car she was in and say the woman knew they were the wrong plates. She was arrested for the warrant, displaying fake license plates, possessing drug paraphernalia and violating summary probation. Mullins was booked into the Mendocino County Jail and held on $30,000.00 bail.

A story map explaining the burn area from the Mendocino Complex is released by the BLM. Lake Co News reports the Bureau of Land Management Ukiah Field Office releasing the story map showing how the Department of the Interior’s Interagency Burned Area Emergency Response, BAER team came up with their damage estimates on BLM and trust lands. The news site reports more than 80,000 acres of BLM-managed land burned in the Pawnee, County, River and Ranch fires this year. The interactive maps that came out of the BAER assessment should be available to the public and a meeting for the community is also be scheduled to discuss damaged trail systems, including on the Cow Mountain Recreation Management Area which was seriously damaged by the River fire.

Improving conditions on Clear Lake after testing showed blue green algae. Lake Co News reports county officials saying their follow up tests showed cyanotoxin levels below the “caution” level. The last tests were last Thursday after another test earlier in the month showing blue-green algae at six of 18 sampling sites, those half dozen were below the caution threshold though this week. The Big Valley Band of Pomo Indians and Elem Indian Colony oversee water monitoring. If the levels of bacteria keep going down then all of the warning signs around the lake may be taken down soon.

The Governor’s signed one of State Sen. Mike McGuire’s bills, this one to preserve votes. The new law means election officials have to tell voters who vote by mail their signature doesn’t match what’s on file. Officials will have to do this at least eight days before they certify an election so the voters can verify their signature. The Secretary of State’s Office reports more than 25,000 residents didn’t get their vote counted in the November 2016 General Election because of this. The ballots were tossed due to a mismatching signature. McGuire says the new law means all votes are counted.

A man from Lake County’s been arrested after a violent assault at the Graton Resort and Casino. Lake Co News reports 44 year old Morgan Lewis Jr. was arrested Saturday after reports of a fight at the casino. When deputies got there they found Lewis was arguing with a group of men after their SUV truck door hit his truck. Deputies say Lewis’ girlfriend was pushed to the ground and Lewis got punched in the face. They apparently didn’t want to press charges, so there were no arrests. But then deputies were called back for a second fight, finding Lewis saw one of the people from the fight and shoved the guy who fell and hit his head. He was unresponsive and unconscious and went to a hospital with life-threatening injuries. He’s in the ICU and Lewis was arrested for felony assault causing great bodily injury, and held on a $35,000 bail bond.

A letter’s sent to the Governor by elected officials in five Northern California counties so he will stop approving permits for new oil and gas wells. About 250 elected officials across the state penning the letter for Gov. Brown to “walk his talk” on climate change after he hosted the Global Climate Action Summit last week in San Francisco. The group known as Elected Officials to Protect California challenging the Governor’s record because he had reportedly issued more than 20,000 permits for new wells. Officials from Marin, Napa, Lake and Mendocino counties and others signed on to the letter.

A man at a Chuck E. Cheese in Washington state injured after he brought a gun to the restaurant and accidentally shot himself in the leg. Children ran panicking after hearing the gunshot at the Tacoma location. The restaurant was even evacuated, but nobody else was injured. The 22 year old who shot himself was rushed to a hospital but was expected to be fine. Police say he brought the weapon into the restaurant legally.

A man in Laytonville’s been arrested after a string of burglaries and thefts. Mendocino deputies patrolling downtown and saw a couple of cars in the Boomer’s Bar parking lot and found Ryan Padget on a bike looking into one of the cars, holding a flashlight in one hand and a tool in the other. Deputies say he was using the tool to try to force open the door on a parked car and when they approached he took off with a knife visible. The deputy who spotted him along with his k9 partner went after him, he crashed his bike and ran, but was caught. He was found with multiple tools and and arrested for several crimes including attempted second degree burglary, resist / delay officer and possession of burglary tools. He was held at the Mendocino County Jail in lieu of $10,000.00 bail.

One stubborn edge still burning in the Mendocino Complex. Firefighters still monitoring fire activity and repairing fire lines on the Ranch Fire. There’s still about 30 miles of fire line left to repair. Deer hunting season opened last weekend so part of the forest has been opened for outdoor activities and hunting season continues into next month. But forest visitors are told to use extreme caution near the fire closure due to heavy equipment and firefighting vehicles on area roads. The Ranch and River fires started July 27th with the River Fire contained for more than a month but one edge of the River Fire’s still burning and the fire’s 98 percent contained. The last two percent in extremely steep, rocky terrain and may stay uncontained until the rainy season with two or three-days of rain needed and no hot and dry weather conditions in the long-term weather forecast.

Harbin Hot Springs is testing its siren notification system this week. The evaluation Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. It’s coming out of a sound truck that’ll be driven to several locations along Harbin Springs Road in Middletown. Middletown residents might hear the sirens sounding during the four-hour testing period.

The National Night Out Against Crime for Lakeport’s happening tonight. From 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM in Library Park the event to help bolster and improve police, city and government community partnerships. Local officials along with City of Lakeport Management and Staff, City Council Members, Police Officers and Staff, Lakeport Fire Protection, and others will be at the event. There will be entertainment and snacks, raffles and more. It’s free to attend.

A campaign to prevent crime called “Connecting the Dots to Reduce Crime” will help law enforcement across Northern California to reduce property theft. New technology to be introduced to the public at the event, DNA for Property to deter theft and increase the chance of recovering stolen property. It’s a special tape like product you put on valuables which is swabbed on an item and dries clear. But there are tiny dots that have a personal identification number. You can get the DNA for Property kit and set up an account for free online. The Lakeport Police Department is one of the first agencies in Northern California to have the program. The kickoff tonight at the National Night Out in Library Park in Lakeport. You can also get the kit by visiting and set up their free account, of go the Lakeport Police Department for additional details. (There will be a $5.00 fee for shipping)

More investigation has been promised by Caltrans after a letter to the editor of a local newspaper by the Middletown Area Town Hall Chairman. The chair, also, local writer Gene Paleno penning the letter for action on Highway 20 improvements, the so-called Highway 20 Proposal. Apparently the Caltrans Chief Traffic Safety Officer is promising to look into three of the ideas further. The Record Bee reports the letter back to Paleno said many of the proposed action items were either unfeasible or unnecessary. But the trio of items they’re looking at include installing “pedestrian- activated lights at all six of the crosswalks (Pine St., Acorn St., Foothill Blvd., High Valley Rd., Butler St., and Hoover St.)”, installing a “Crosswalk pedestrian sign at Hammond Avenue and Highway 20,” and the installation of “‘No Parking’ signs at various locations in Clearlake Oaks.”

A man on his bicycle has been hit by a dump truck and died. The Ukiah Police Department reports they got a call to the intersection of Talmage Road and Hastings Frontage Road Friday afternoon to a crash between the bike rider and the dump truck. The bicyclist who died has so far only been identified as a 34-year-old man believed to have been a resident of Mendocino County.

Multiple reports of car vandalism in Willits and a reminder to lock your items away. Willits police say nearly a dozen calls last week about the vandalism and objects taken from vehicles in the areas of North and Maple streets. One car window was broken with about $1,000 in valuables taken from one unlocked car. A neighbor in the area apparently had a private surveillance camera rolling which showed a white F-150 Ford pickup truck nearby at the time of the thefts.

A lease application has been submitted by a group of stakeholders to get the first big offshore windfarm on the West Coast. The Redwood Coast Energy Authority, Principle Power, Aker Solutions, and EDP Renewables have filled out a lease application with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management. If the lease is approved it would give the group site control over 70 square miles of an ocean area where they could put up the project. The 70 miles would be the boundaries for the proposed wind farm which would have 10 to 15 wind turbines that could produce between 100-150 megawatts.

A shopping cart ordinance approved by the Fort Bragg City Council. The council considered the ordinance at their meeting last Monday. It means businesses have to mark each of their carts with a permanent sticker that shows where the cart came from with a phone number to call and an address so the cart can be returned or picked up. It comes in response to a federal law that says it’s illegal to be in possession of a cart away from the business where it originated from.

Willits police getting a new canine officer. The City Council unanimously approved buying a police and register for a narcotics academy and tracking training course for the K9 and its handler. The police department apparently talking to the council for a while about getting a police dog so they’re going to start looking for a German Shepherd dog in Europe. Most of the police dogs come from abroad since the dogs are bred different there and dogs in the U-S can get hip problems. The money for the dog and its training apparently already set aside in the police department budget and thru district attorney restitution funds awarded over the years.

Fort Bragg Police Department hiring due to a lean staff. They’ve got a dozen sworn officers and three vacancies. They’re looking to fill two officers and a sergeant position. One officer transferred to the Sheriff’s Dept. and another got a federal job, plus they have a couple of staffers on medical restriction. One lieutenant position was recently cut so that gave the department more money for other positions. They’ve been advertising the open officer positions across the state and have been interviewing but they’ve not selected anyone so they’re continuing to recruit.

A change for the Mendocino Complex lake county disaster resource center. The center will transition to a Small Business Administration Disaster Loan Outreach Center, effective on Monday. The change means representatives of the SBA will be on hand from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM Monday though Friday to help people with questions about disaster relief loans and applications. FEMA will still have representatives at the location in the tribal center on Main Street in Upper Lake. Registration for FEMA programs will run through October 6th.

People with stories to tell about last year’s fires will have a chance to share them at the Lake County Library later this month. The library and the StoryCenter are joining up to gather resident’s 30 minute reflections about how the fires affected them on September 26th at the Redbud Library on Burns Valley Road in Clearlake. Participants will be interviewed and their stories will be saved for a collection in the California State Libraries You’ll need to sign up—and you can do that by visiting the website

The Lakeport Fire protection district board has approved a new budget that cuts the number of full time and part time, firefighters. The Lake County News reports the budget calls for laying off three full-timers and three part-timers to bring the budget into balance. The cuts come after failed negotiations with the union representing the firefighters. The board had voted last month to put off a final decision on the budget until after the negotiations were done. The firefighters union was scheduled to meet to talk about the issue on Thursday night. The fire protection board decided on several other cost-saving measures at a meeting this week before adopting the nearly 2 point 1 million dollar spending plan. No decision yet on how the layoffs called for will be handled.

Some Lake County offices are closed today—the first of a series of Friday closures aimed at giving county employees a chance to catch up on their work. The county budget has been strained and county officials have decided to limit the public hours to Monday through Thursday, from 8 am. to 5 pm County Administrator, Carol Hutchinson has released a video outlining the cutbacks which she says are needed because business as usual is no longer an option. She says while offices will be closed to the public, workers will be there handling jobs they aren’t able to when the officers are open. There is information about the closures at the website or on the county Facebook page.

The Sonoma Ecology Center is organizing and leading California Coastal Cleanup Day efforts. The annual beach and inland waterway cleanup takes place tomorrow and is the state’s largest volunteer event. Volunteers are invited to help clean up several locations throughout Sonoma Valley, including Sonoma Creek at Maxwell and Larson parks, and Fryer and Nathanson creeks. For more information or to register, visit the Sonoma Ecology Center’s website.

Governor Jerry Brown is calling President Donald Trump in his words a "liar" and a "fool" when it comes to the environment and climate change. Brown made his remarks at his Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco Trump announced last year that he was withdrawing the U.S. from the landmark 2015 Paris climate accord. Meanwhile, a summit spokesman said he is not aware of any federal government officials attending the summit, which ends today.

Two Santa Rosa senior living centers are appealing a state decision to revoke their licenses. The state says Oakmont senior Living was negligent in abandoning nearly 100 residents at the facilities during last October’s fire. Oakmont says two administrators at the Varenna and Villa Capri were the victims of what the company calls regulatory overreach and are requesting a hearing on the penalty. The state says no decision on the appeal or what will happen next has been made.

We are learning more about the arrest of a Ukiah Unified school district teacher last week. The Ukiah Police department says 34-year-old Benjamin O’Neil is accused of having an inappropriate relationship with a 17-year-old who was not a student last September. The allegation reportedly first came to light in may and O’ Neil was arrested on a warrant on September 4th. The school says he has been placed on administrative leave, and that the safety and well being of students remains its primary responsibility. According to the district, O’ Neil is a former firefighter who taught health occupation and emergency preparedness classes.

Willis police are telling residents about a series of car break-ins earlier this week. Nearly a dozen reports of burglaries and vandalism were reported to police in the areas of North and Maple Streets Tuesday evening into the early Wednesday morning. Police say in one instance, the thief or thieves stole more than $1,000 dollars in valuables from an unlocked vehicle and that at least one window was smashed. Police say they are reviewing surveillance video taken around the times of the thefts. They are reminding residents to keep vehicles locked—and asking that people report anything suspicious in their neighborhood.

Interstate Five in is back open after being shut down Thursday because of the Delta Fire. The fire raged through a stretch of unburned area within the containment line, forcing officials to shut down the highway for a few hours. The fire has burned over 59-thousand acres north of Redding since starting over a week ago. Thanks to aggressive firefighting, crews were able to push containment up to 24-percent. The fire is likely to continue to grow over the next few days as it moves through the timber.

A million-dollar-plus house in Oakland is being offered for free to anyone who can literally take it. The deed to the two-bedroom Victorian will be handed over to anyone who’s willing to relocate it at his or her own expense by October 27th. The "Free House, Must Be Moved" sign first appeared on Reddit on Monday. The lot that the property sits on is set to be demolished to make way for a new development. The home that dates back to 1900 sold last year for one-and-a-half-million-dollars

Make sure to use your inside voice wherever you go today because it’s National Quiet Day. The holiday was created to tell people to just stop and enjoy silence. Experts say peace and quiet are good for both mind and body and can lower blood pressure and stress.

The Wine Industry having another banner year. Info from the latest Mendocino County Crop Report presented this week to the Board of Supervisors. The agricultural commissioner at Tuesday’s Board meeting showing the wine industry keeps shining, but the timber industry is still declining. The latest report from 2016 shows the wine industry making 120 million as opposed to what used to be the biggest industry in the county, timber, which made $80 million. Production for wine grapes at about $88 million in 2015 and now $120 million in 2016. All of the county’s agriculture pulled in more than $165,837,000 dollars with fruit and nuts making most of that.

A man has been hurt in a fire that gutted his mobile home in Ukiah. The fire on Wabash Avenue reportedly destroyed the man’s home yesterday afternoon. The Ukiah Valley Fire Authority reports the home in flames when they got there after a neighbor apparently heard an explosion. They reported seeing one side of the trailer home ignite and called 911. Then several neighbors armed with fire extinguishers and hoses tried to help put the fire out. Neighbors say a man lived in the mobile home and he was reported to be outside the home with major injuries when firefighters arrived. The Fire Division chief says the fire was suspicious in nature, saying there were two propane tanks inside that they’re unsure of what they were being used for. There was also another fire yesterday afternoon west of Ukiah, but it was contained fast at an acre and no reports of injuries or damaged structures.

A man from Hopland is recovering after crashing his motorcycle into a tree off Highway 175. The California Highway Patrol reports the 66 year old man was on a 1999 Yamaha motorcycle driving westbound on the Hwy east of Buckman Drive Monday afternoon when he missed a right turn, went off the road and crashed into a big oak tree and came off the bike. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office also at the scene after the crash. They’ve not released the man’s name until his next of kin are notified. One lane of Highway 175 was closed for several hours after the accident.

A meeting with the Interagency Burned Area Emergency Response, or BAER, team after the assessment of federal lands after the Mendocino Complex fire. The meeting hosted by the Bureau of Land Management at the Ukiah Field Office. Lake Co News reports the BLM looking for public input from outdoor enthusiasts and others regarding burned land. The news site reports more than 80,000 acres of BLM-managed public lands are blackened after the Pawnee, County, River and Ranch fires this year. There’s also major damage to trails on the Cow Mountain Recreation Management Area from the River Fire. The BLM has a map on their website now showing the BAER team assessment and impacts from the Mendocino Complex fires on federal lands.

The Snell fire in Napa County is gaining containment and has not grown much more. The fire’s at just under 2,500 acres and now 75% contained. The fire started last Saturday southeast of Middletown by the Berryessa Estates subdivision, which had been evacuated after the fire started. Right now Cal Fire crews are patrolling the fire and mopping up.

A trio of outreach events by SafeRx in Lake County regarding the opioid crisis. Lake Co News reports the company’s also sending representatives to meet with state legislators to gain support. They’re focused on Medically-Assisted Treatments which they say has been proven to reduce OD’s. AmeriCorps has also assigned volunteers to help with the crisis. SafeRx is trying to bring awareness to the epidemic with youth education, with law enforcement, medically-assisted treatments, Naloxone distribution (an overdose reversal medicine), safe prescribing, data collection and analysis, community enrichment, partnerships and outreach. The events are September 15th at Austin Park, Clearlake; Sept. 19th and 20th at the Lake County Fairgrounds and again at the Fairgrounds for an event October 13th. For more info

The former acting chief of the Ukiah Valley Fire Authority is back on the job after an extended leave. Kirk Thomsen reportedly back at work as a captain. He was the interim chief last year after the former chief John Bartlett suddenly retired. But then Thomsen went on leave last December for unknown reasons. The Daily Journal reports the city manager would not comment and wouldn’t confirm or deny if there was an internal investigation going on. The newspaper also reports an employee of the fire department said they were getting a bunch of Public Information Requests, including one asking for several text messages sent and received by Thomsen. In the meantime the department is still searching for a chief. Right now two division chiefs share the fire chief job.

Sonoma County had a dry run of their newly overhauled emergency alert system. Text messages sent out from the county yesterday to thousands of cellphones in five areas via the federal Wireless Emergency Alerts system, which is the same system not used for last October’s wildfires. The Press Democrat reports the test may be the first of its kind on the West Coast. The messages sent to cellphones in Guerneville, Glen Ellen, Kenwood, Healdsburg, Penngrove and Roseland. There were texts and TV and radio tests thru the federal Emergency Alert System. A report shows some spillover on the text messages in the areas they were sent to, received then in Rohnert Park and Petaluma and as far out as Graton and The Sea Ranch. And some in Guerneville never got it at all. Officials say it was still a success because now they’ve identified potential trouble spots.

After a traffic stop in Humboldt County, two people have been arrested with drugs. Deputies say Anthony Pollette of Redway gave them a phony name and when they told him to get out of the car he tried to run away but was quickly captured. He was booked into the Humboldt County Jail on three felonies including battery on an emergency responder, resisting arrest and criminal threats, all warrants. Plus he had a billy club on him and has been charged now with false identification to a peace officer, resisting arrest and possession of a controlled substance. The driver of the car Kayla Austin of Redway, cited and released for possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Daily flyovers by Pacific Gas and Electric Company for possible fires in their service area. There are a couple of new areas of patrol this year too. All part of their work with the U.S. Forest Service, CAL FIRE and local fire companies. The utility company says fires in the state have been growing with size and intensity so they have to adapt and try to help prevent more fires. The patrols have been ongoing since June 1st and go on thru about Halloween. The patrols in Redding, from Humboldt to Lake County, Redding to Auburn in the Northern Sierra, Auburn to Sonora in the Central Sierra, Sonora to Porterville in the Southern Sierra, Vacaville to Solvang near the coast, Redding to Hoopa to MacArthur (in Siskiyou County and northeastern Shasta County) and in Mendocino County.

A complaint’s been filed against the campaign to preserve the state’s recent gas tax hike. The Fair Political Practices Commission got a complaint from the competing campaign saying state employees gave out fliers to get voters to keep the tax increase in place. The workers reportedly private contractors who are employed by the California Transportation Department. Caltrans is investigating but says they think those involved were not Caltrans employees. Proposition 6 could repeal the recent gas tax. Some Republican lawmakers and other groups support Proposition 6, but construction companies and unions representing construction workers are trying to defeat the initiative saying it funds needed road repairs.

A record almond crop this year at nearly 2 and a half billion pounds and walnuts are not far behind. But almonds may sit in the state due to the President’s tariffs. China has a 50 percent tariff on almonds so if almonds are shipped there the Chinese government gets paid more money. The same could happen with walnuts but the California Walnut Commission reports they’re trying to negotiate a way around the issue. The harvest this year has reportedly yielded 10 percent more than last year at 690,000 tons.

A UC Berkeley staffer says donating a kidney to a stranger… no big deal. Katherine Walsh says she liked doing something people don’t normally do that’s desperately needed. She’s a fundraiser for the College of Chemistry and says donating a kidney’s not as bad as it sounds. No word on who she donated to.

There could be penalties or punishment on the way for several San Francisco cops after racist and homophobic text messages were sent. The matter ended up in the California Supreme Court which has said no to the officers appeal, upholding a lower court ruling that the Police dept. can discipline the officers who texted the messages during a 2011-2012 federal corruption investigation. A court had ruled the officers could not be disciplined because the department waited too long, but then another court overturned that in May. So now disciplinary hearings can be held in front of the police commission.

A new study shows an older generation are smoking more weed. The study in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence shows middle age and older adults are partaking quite a bit. The data pulled from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health from 2015 and 2016 of adults in the U-S between 50 and 64 years old. It showed 9 percent used a year before and 3 percent of those over 65 used weed during the time of the study. The survey a couple years before showed 7 percent of middle-aged Americans used marijuana with only 1.4 percent of people over 65.


The new budget’s been adopted by the Lakeport Fire District Board of Directors which cuts three full-time firefighters. The budget talk spurred questions and comments from audience members with ideas also brought forward. Only one of the directors reportedly against the new budget, and one was absent. The directors met first behind closed doors with a labor negotiator from the Firefighter’s Union ending with no deal. The union reportedly offering to accept a 10 percent cut in salaries with four people on staff and the board came back with three people and a 10 percent pay cut. But there was no agreement. No word on which firefighters will be let go.

The BLM, Cal Fire and local fire departments reportedly working with an agricultural engineer on fire prevention ideas. The Record Bee reports Jared Hendricks grew up in the area. He says gone are the days when controlled fires with Cal Fire for free can be done on private land. He says it could start happening again though as more grants will become available for private landowners for fuel reduction projects which can include controlled burns. Some government groups are also reportedly applying for similar grants. Local government, tribal organizations, fire and water districts and nonprofits can get their hands on grant funding. Cal Fire has millions available to do work like removing dead or dying trees.

A nearly one hundred year old state law to ban handgun ads at gun shops is no more. A judge has ruled the state has not shown the ads would prevent suicides or crime. The law from back in 1923 that there would be no handgun ads at gun shops visible from outside the store. State officials were saying they would create more impulsive people to purchase a gun and those types of people were more likely to commit suicides or crime. But the law didn’t forbid ads for other firearms. The judge saying the Government can’t restrict speech persuading adults, who are neither criminals nor suffer from mental illness, from purchasing a legal and constitutionally protected product due to a distrust of a personality trait and decisions that personality trait may lead them to make later down the road.

The latest fire burning in Shasta County, the Delta Fire is almost at 54,000 acres, larger than the River Fire, part of the Mendocino Complex. The Delta Fire started 10 miles north of Redding last weekend. It’s now 15 percent contained. The fire human caused is now burning near Lakehead with erratic behavior and windy conditions. The fire had closed several miles of Interstate 5 between Redding and Mount Shasta, but only one lane is open now for about 17 miles. It was closed for a 45-mile stretch for nearly a week. But flammable vehicles like gas tankers or trucks with lumber aboard are not allowed on the stretch. Some cars and big rigs were abandoned there and burned. There are also still evacuation orders in place throughout areas of Shasta and Trinity counties. Updated evacuation info’s on the Shasta, Siskiyou and Trinity County sheriff’s offices’ Facebook pages.

A private contractor who was headed to a fire in the Tahoe National Forest has been killed in a car crash. The Tahoe National Forest reports Tony Flores of Kent Siller Trucking, a bulldozer operator assigned to the fire died in a crash yesterday on the way to an incident command post at Blue Canyon Airport. Flores had worked for the trucking company for more than 20 years. The fire in the Tahoe National Forest has burned more than 1100 acres. The North Fire is 85 percent contained. The trucking company’s owner told U.S. Forest Service officials Flores had an “outstanding work ethic”