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Donations are being taken for those impacted by the Camp Fire in Butte County. The Mendo Lake Complex Fire Relief organization is helping, accepting donations in Ukiah for some families staying here. Volunteers are also driving donations to Butte County. 11 families have already been helped. Some of the items needed include, tents, warm blankets, thermal undergarments, air mattresses, pet food, pet beds, cleaning supplies and personal hygiene products. MendoLake Complex Fire Relief is on East Road in Redwood Valley, across from the back of the Redwood Valley market.

The latest budget report in Mendocino County has been presented to the Board of Supervisors. The First Quarter Budget Report for the 2018-19 fiscal year so the board agreed to amend the 2018-2019 budget. The latest budget for the period between July 1st through Sept. 30th. But the numbers could change by the middle of next year. The budget looks to spend on things like roads, more broadband service, new housing development, emergency services, and homelessness. The County CEO says they know more has be spent on broadband, but they don’t have the millions of dollars needed in the general fund. The board looking to focus on fiscal responsibility

Two people in Humboldt County apparently spotted great white sharks this week. Video of the shark sightings put on youtube. One of the sightings at Cape Mendocino and the other at the jetty in Humboldt Bay. One of the videos shot by someone out diving with a friend. The other out kayak fishing when the shark, described as the size of a Prius, got close. One marine expert says it’s common for sharks to swim the waters in the North Coast during the fall as they get energy and fatten up for a big migration.

A local group is pooling resources and has started a bulk food buying club. The Local Food Pledge group out of Green Uprising Farm reportedly came up with the idea so folks meet monthly to get their orders. The farm says they have about 70 members and their focus is small-scale bulk-buying, putting together a support network for local farmers and educating folks about the need to eat locally-produced food.

The Camp Fire growing and taking more lives. Now 48 people are reported as deceased and the fire continues to blacken land and destroy buildings. The town of Paradise has been nearly erased with the fire taking out 7,700 homes. There are still people missing, but no exact number. The Sheriff’s office brought in help for search and recovery. Several shelters opened, but quickly filled up, so more were opening. The fire has burned 130,000 acres and is 30% contained. In Southern Calif, two people were killed in Malibu due to the Woolsey Fire. The two fires are under investigation.

Air quality an issue because of the Camp Fire so several Lake County school districts are closed for the rest of the week. Kelseyville, Konocti and Middletown schools are closed and Lakeport Unified is closed today. In Kelseyville and Konocti Unified, they will remain closed until Monday, the 26th, after the Thanksgiving vacation. The Upper Lake Unified School District is staying open as is Lucerne Elementary. But Hance Community School and Clearlake Creativity School are closed today. Smoke from the Camp Fire was hovering in Lake County overnight with the majority of areas experiencing heavy smoke or haze and air quality was “unhealthy” to “very unhealthy”.

Lake County’s got holiday food boxes for people in need. An effort from Lakeport Rotary, NCO Community Action, Lake County Hunger Task Force, Lake Family Resource Center, and the Lake County Record Bee working together to distribute boxes next month before the holidays. The boxes paid for from the Lake County Holiday Fund with funds collected last year during the holiday season and with a grant from the Lake County Wine Alliance. Umpqua Bank branches and WestAmerica Banks will collect money this year for next year’s fund drive. Those who want to register for boxes have to show a photo ID and proof of address. The several hundred who register get their boxes at a prearranged, assigned time.

A new commander has been named at the Clearlake office of the CHP. Lt. Randy England actually took over at the beginning of October after being the commander of the Garberville office the last two years. The last commander in Clearlake retired in August. England worked in San Francisco Area for about a year and a half, then it was off to Ukiah where he handled several positions, before heading to the Mendocino Major Crimes Task Force.

A regularly scheduled town council meeting happened in Paradise days after the town is practically decimated by the Camp Fire. All of the council members have been impacted, losing their homes. The council meeting was focused on rebuilding. Utilities, homes, and businesses were destroyed and there are still people reported as missing. The city will probably need a new sewer system because it was still on septic tanks. The Paradise Unified School District is meeting today to discuss when kids can get back to school. They lost three school buildings in the fire.

Animals filling up shelters in northern California due to the Camp Fire so volunteers are looking for their families. Volunteers from the North Valley Animal Disaster group went thru the tangled and torched homes to look for pets, then posted photos of them online.

Some of the people who lost their homes in Paradise are now suing Pacific Gas & Electric. The suit says they should win money from the utility company because it didn’t maintain its infrastructure and didn’t properly inspect or manage power transmission lines. More than two dozen fire victims filed the suit calling the cause of the fire the result of PG&E’s negligence, carelessness, recklessness, and/or unlawfulness. There’s been no cause determined, but PG&E told state regulators last week there was an issue with a transmission line in the region of the fire just before it broke out last Thursday. And as we reported yesterday, a landowner near where the fire ignited said she got a notification from PG&E saying they had to access her property because utility wires were sparking.

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