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A new agreement’s been reached by the Lake County Board of Supervisors and the Lake County Deputy Sheriff’s Association. The Association without a contract since January, but the new contract apparently doesn’t have a pay raise or an increase in healthcare benefits. The Association says the Sheriff’s Office is also facing a critical staffing crisis. The Association says the public isn’t really aware of the magnitude of the problem even though the Sheriff and Undersheriff have frequently voiced the problem. There’s a 30% vacancy rate currently. The Association warning citizens will have to wait for a response and sometimes they may not get a response at all. They add that it’s hard to recruit new deputies if healthcare benefits aren’t great. Right now out of pocket for a family is at more than $1,400 with other law enforcement agencies paying more and with better healthcare contributions. The Association calling on the County Supervisors to make staffing issues at the Sheriff’s Office a priority.

Due to dangerous fire weather conditions, with high winds expected in Northern California and Bay Area counties, the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services has been strategically placing critical fire response resources including strike teams of fire engines, firefighters, water tenders and emergency dispatchers in designated impacted areas. This means there’s staff early this evening into tomorrow in Napa County, Marin County, Sonoma County, Contra Costa, Alameda and the Lake County Operational areas. They will all stay in place until the fire weather conditions have improved, and more staff could be added if needed. The National Weather Service has forecasted low relative humidity and winds that could hit up to 50 miles an hour or higher in isolated areas so there might be Red Flag weather conditions across parts of the North Bay Hills in Northern California well into tomorrow night.

A man in Willits has been arrested in connection to a breaking and entering and rape. A woman called police in January to say Marcus Caldwell had broken into her house and forced himself on her, raping her, then running away. Caldwell had been known to the victim before. Cops say Caldwell also cut electricity to the woman’s home before he went inside, but he denied ever being there. He volunteered a DNA sample though, which he said would clear him. Then last week, the results came in showing a match to Caldwell. The Mendocino County District Attorney’s Office issued a warrant for his arrest and he was charged with one count of forcible rape and held in the Mendocino County jail on $500,000 bail. He also has a no-contact restraining order against him prohibiting any contact with the victim.

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