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Monthly Archives: November 2018

Now more than 80 people have been counted dead as others are allowed to go home after the town of Paradise is destroyed by the Camp Fire. Two more bodies found in the last day as residents of Little Chico Creek and lower Butte Creek canyons and the Honey Run area get to go home. Some residents in the Butte Creek Canyon and Honey Run Road are still not allowed to come home yet. 81 are confirmed dead and as many as 870 people are missing. The fire has burned 152,250 acres, more than 12,600 homes destroyed and more than 800 other buildings have also been destroyed. Thankfully the fire is now 70 percent contained with rain on the way. Full containment is expected by Nov. 30th, one week from this Friday.

There’s a flash flood watch in parts of Northern Calif. Caltrans announced the warning on their Facebook page. It includes parts of Mendocino and Lake counties affected by wildfires. The warning from today to Friday, over the Thanksgiving Day holiday. They’re warning anyone out driving to be careful while moving through fire areas and to watch for rocks, mud, and other debris. The Mendocino Complex Fire this summer and the Redwood Complex Fire last year could have left vulnerable areas. There will be Caltrans crews out 24/7 cleaning up debris to hopefully make it safer on the roads this holiday. Cooler and wetter weather starts today and continues with heavy rain possible. The National Weather Service is also recommending some in the burn areas make a plan for evacuation with several evacuation routes planned in case of possible mudslides.

A small shed no longer after it burns in a fire in Ukiah. The fire Monday near Old River Road spread to vegetation nearby and burned about a quarter of an acre. Ukiah Valley Fire Authority reports putting the fire down pretty fast, but they’re not sure what caused the fire. One firefighter saying it looked like it started inside the shed, then spread to vegetation and power lines. No injuries were reported.

A search and rescue team is coming from Humboldt County to help search for bodies after the Camp Fire. They’re following other emergency workers from Humboldt County who worked the fire. They came from the Arcata, Briceland, Miranda, Blue Lake and Humboldt Fire departments. Now the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue team is going to Butte County on Thanksgiving with K-9 companions to look for remains.

An armed robbery reported in McKinleyville has Humboldt County deputies out at a gas station. The clerk at the gas station says there were two people wearing masks who came into the station early yesterday, one had a firearm and told the clerk to hand over some cash as the other suspect made off with cigarettes and the two left. Cops say they got about $250 cash and multiple cartons of cigarettes worth more than $500.

For the first time since the Tubbs Fire in Sonoma County last year, staff at two elder care homes admit they abandoned elderly and infirm residents. The Press Democrat reports during settlement talks, Oakmont Senior Living officials admitted staff at Oakmont of Villa Capri and Oakmont of Varenna, both in Fountaingrove and owned by Oakmont Senior Living, could not deal with the fire and were ill prepared, so families of residents had to get them out, and staffers left them as the fast moving fire approached, plus they didn’t warn residents of the emergency before they ditched the facilities. The admission is part of a 17-page agreement finalized Monday with the state Department of Social Services. One of the two facilities was spared, the other remains and will be allowed to stay in business.

The Lake County Sheriff’s office is reporting on possible mudslides with heavy rains falling, saying it’s concerning as the National Weather Service issues a flash flood watch. The National Weather Service issued the warning for Lake, Butte and Shasta counties from today thru Friday morning. Lake County though is not expecting an emergency response will be needed, but Highway 20 could get inundated, which is the main route in and out of the county. Cal Trans says they’ve already done some work along the highway in areas hit by the Mendocino Complex fire, which burned 410,000 acres this past summer. They’re removing fire-damaged trees, fixing culverts and planting new trees to control erosion.

A new report says more resources need to be extended for low income families as part of the 2017 local wildfire recovery in Sonoma County. The Press Democrat has a story on the report released Monday by the Alliance for a Just Recovery, which is part of local labor, environmental and faith groups who want more resources to go to low-income families. The report says the group of residents was hit hardest while less housing became accessible, and what’s already there started to become unaffordable. The fires in Sonoma County last year destroyed about 5,300 homes in the county.

A new tool will help officials in Butte County identify human remains faster. The system can analyze DNA from bone fragments in two hours. The remains matched to genetic material relatives provide to teams working on the Camp Fire burn area. But apparently they need more volunteers to help. Apparently only about 60 people have provided samples at pop-up labs at the Butte County Sheriff’s office in Oroville and at an old Sears building in Chico. That’s where FEMA has set up a disaster relief center. Other methods that have been used usually take several days or even weeks.

A woman from Clearlake has been arrested for animal cruelty case including poor care for several dogs and three horses. An animal control officer was investigating Dawn Thompson after reports 10 dogs and the three horses were not being properly cared for. The report says the dogs looked to be in good health, but didn’t have good access to food and water. The horses looked like they were ill and also lacked access to food and water. A notice of violation was given to Thompson in June and she had a month to correct conditions, but apparently did not. So the officer had the horses removed for treatment and Thompson is charged with felony animal cruelty.

Caltrans officials and those looking for improvements to part of Hwy 20 on the North Shore may be meeting to consider safety issues that came up at town halls. There’s been a disagreement between Caltrans and North Shore residents on how to handle concerns after the town halls, especially focused on shortening the two-way left turn lane which some drivers use to pass slower drivers. A safety concern. So now the Caltrans Chief Traffic Safety Officer sent a letter to get together with concerned parties to discuss investigations and suggested improvements.

A man initially behind in his election to be the next Schools Superintendent in Calif., claims victory. Bay Area Democratic Assemblyman Tony Thurmond has declared victory of only about 2 percentage points. He tweeted that about a week and a half after the, quote “notoriously slow-motion vote count”, that Marshall Tuck, a fellow Democrat and former Los Angeles executive of charter schools and educational nonprofits, had called to concede the race to him. But Tuck has not publicly commented on his loss. There are still more than one million ballots to be counted. This is Tuck’s second loss running for public office, he lost last time to Tom Torlakson, who, like Thurmond, was backed by the teachers’ unions.

Several turkey dinners have been delivered to Clearlake Methodist and Clearlake Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints by the Clearlake Police Officers Association. The Association has been delivering turkey dinners to families for several years. During the year, they meet with families and kids. They also apparently found out the Clearlake Methodist Church and Clearlake Church of Latter Day Saints were donating turkeys to families this year, so they worked with the churches, plus the Association contributed side dishes and desserts. They delivered Thanksgiving dinners to 33 families.

A woman in Pennsylvania arrested for driving her son to the police station in Bethlehem Township on her car hood. Police say Shaurice Jones was trying to take her 12-year-old boy to the dentist but he didn’t want to go and climbed onto the hood of her car, so she drove two miles to the police station with the kid on the hood. The woman arrested, charged with child endangerment and reckless endangerment, but was freed on $1,000 unsecured bail.

With over 80 dead, and more than 700 still missing due to wildfires, the difficult job of finding and identifying remains from the Camp Fire is about to become even more difficult with rains on the way. A flood watch has been issued for Wednesday, which will bring much needed relief for crews fighting wildfires, but the rains could wash away remains of victims yet to be identified, who may have run into open fields or drainage areas fleeing the fire.

Air quality has been a serious issue, so government agencies have been handing out N95 masks with the help of local companies, but are now in need of new supplies after running out. Kelly Moore paint stores are handing out free masks, you can pick one up at the Ukiah store while they last.

A mural funded by a donation to lake County Rural Arts Initiative will be used to raise much needed funds for lake county fire stations after recent fire seasons have strained resources. The Mural, “Only The Brave” shows firefighters battling a fire dragon, an image the artist says shows the courage it takes to fight massive fires like the ones seen recently in the state. A Go-Fund-Me page has been set up to trade prints of the mural for donations. You can see the painting and get more info at

The Ukiah Salvation army needs your help. If you can volunteer for a day to ring bells and gather donations during the holidays, you’ll be helping people right here in the community. Donations collected in Ukiah will stay in the area to help the homeless and working poor. You can volunteer for two hours, 20 hours or more with certain restrictions. Contact the Ukiah Salvation Army for more information.

According to paperwork filed with regulators and recorded radio transmissions, a PG&E power line near Poe Dam had damage reported around 6:15am on November 8th, right before flames were first noticed under the power lines. Another line in Concow was having issues about half an hour later and is suspected of sparking a second blaze. FEMA director Brock Long told President Trump on his visit to the disaster area that this is probably the worst disaster he’s seen in his career.

The Vice President of Academic Affairs and the Vice President of Student Services will not be getting a raise after all. The Mendocino-Lake Community College District Board of Trustees voted the issued down during their board meeting after reviewing salary information from other community colleges.

Increased costs are behind the vote by the Mendocino Lake Community College district board of trustees for backing out of the solar power purchase agreement. The agreement would have seen the construction of a solar energy system for Mendocino College. Unfortunately, the additional costs would have reduced the savings expected when the project was initially given the green light. The company has been given more time to find solutions to the extra costs.

Gas prices are down about 6 cents from last week, but Californian’s are paying the second highest prices in the country behind Hawaii. According to AAA, the state average is $3.63 a gallon. With lower gas prices comes more congestion for drivers to deal with, as some 49 million travelers are expected on the roads between tomorrow and Sunday. The most congested travel will be on Sunday between 1-6 with everyone heading back home at the same time.

The Mendocino County Sheriff’s office is giving thanks for recent donations made by local groups. Rising Stars Music Showcase of Ukiah donated a Garmin GPS, and remote training device for a K-9 on the force and Chadwick Armory of Ukiah donated a buddy bag that will also be used by a k-9 on the force.

The Camp Fire has grown this weekend, but the containment is up to 65 percent. Word that the fire won’t be fully contained though until the end of the month. However rain is expected. The fire burning actively in the Feather River Canyon near Grizzly Creek. 77 people are confirmed dead after a body was found yesterday in Butte Creek Canyon. The Butte County Sheriff’s Office’s Missing Persons Call Center is open for those to call in and either report the names of missing people or report they’re found or no longer in the area. The fire’s blackened 150,000 acres and more than 10,000 homes and nearly 700 other buildings. They’ve also lifted some evacuation orders. Those going home, if it’s still standing, are being told their utilities have probably all been shut off. Anyone trying to get back in will have to show proof they live there.

Assemblyman Jim Wood in Butte County with the ominous task of helping to identify victims of the Camp Fire. The Northcoast Assemblyman is also a forensic dentist who’s previously been called on in other emergencies for the same thing. He tweeted that he was fortunate to be a #forensicdentist who can help identify victims of tragic disasters like the #CampFire to help families with closure. He went on to say he also helped after 9/11 & Hurricane Katrina and would do it again in a minute. He was in Sacramento last Friday where the remains are being shipped to a morgue for identification purposes.

It’s a no, the Mendocino-Lake Community College District board of trustees with a thumbs down for a raise for the Vice President of Academic Affairs and the Vice President of Student Services. The raises would have happened every year. The board asked the college administration for more information on salary comparisons for the executive office with other comparable colleges. They had considered it before, at their last board meeting, at which time the board asked for a delay to get that info. Right now the two Veeps make about $149,000 and if they were to get raises they would have been headed to the $164,000 to $172,000 range.

A timber yard manager in front of the Willits City Council saying the timber yard that opened near Willits High is getting abnormally high water bills. He was asking the city council for a reduction in their water bills now. The Daily Journal reports the timber yard manager oversees other yards in Oroville and Weaverville with access to a river, pond or other water supply where water recirculates to cool logs and that reduces costs, but he doesn’t have that in Willits. Instead he uses a mister system, but his water bill was $9,000. He says the water rates in Willits compared to similar-sized communities were almost twice as high. The city manager says he should speak to the Public Works utilities superintendent for non-potable water options for the timber yard. And the mayor also requested the council get updates on how that turns out.

Paradise Elementary school immediately evacuated the morning of November 8th, when the Camp Fire broke out. 3,800 of more than 4,200 students in the Paradise Unified School District lost their homes in the fire, the deadliest and most destructive in California history. Teachers, school board members have no homes and now probably no job, for a time. The fire burned eight of the nine schools in Paradise, more than 10,300 homes in the town of 27,000 residents. 77 people were killed in the fire that’s burned 150,000 acres. 993 are still missing as of last night. The fire’s 65% contained. Smoke from the fires in Northern and Southern California forced 180 K-12 districts which serve about 1.1 million students to close. The Woolsey Fire in Southern Calif burning in Ventura County and northern Los Angeles County.

A woman in Fort Bragg has been arrested for stealing a bunch of jewelry from her grandma. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Dept. reports Michele Williamson took her 87-year-old grandma from a care facility, drove her home to Little River, where police say she stole about $20,000 in jewelry, but the grandmother needed medical assistance at home and had to go by ambulance to Mendocino Coast District Hospital. Williamson was apparently not allowed to be in the home to begin with, she was picked up elsewhere and arrested, and the jewelry was found there. Williamson is charged with suspicion of grand theft, stealing from an elder as a caretaker and possession of stolen property.

Nearly $5 million dollars in grant funding has been approved by the California Community Colleges Board of Governors for an expansion and for support of Veterans Resource Centers at community colleges throughout the state. The Superintendent-President Arturo Reyes announcing Mendocino College was one of 90 community colleges who got a bit of the money. They have an active Veteran’s Resource Center for veterans and active duty service members to help with academics as they come out of the military into school. Mendocino College reportedly looking for a better space now for their Veterans Resource Center to accommodate more students and have areas for study sessions, intake appointments, and a student lounge.

A warning from the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Dept. about a suspected credit card skimmer at gas stations in Hopland. The Sheriff’s dept. says there was a scanning device inside a gas pump. Police went to meet a County Agriculture Department representative who got a call after a possible identify theft at the gas station. The victim said it happened just after they purchased gas, and their pin was stolen. So a County Agriculture Weights and Measures representative investigated all the gas pumps and found four with scanning devices which have been taken as evidence. They then went to another gas station in Hopland and found 3 more scanners for a total of 7 of them found. Unconfirmed reports that several people were potentially affected. No arrests have been made.

A man in Ukiah’s been arrested for a domestic disturbance after a call last week from a woman who cops say had visible injuries. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Dept says Miguel Leon-Alvarado got into an argument with the woman he was in a relationship with, and another relative. They say he tried to stop his girlfriend from calling police, reached into her car and grabbed her phone. She then got a face injury. It didn’t stop, deputies say all of those there fell to the ground and the woman then hurt her knee too. Leon-Alvarado left the location but was caught later and arrested for domestic violence battery and booked on $15,000.00 bail

A new proclamation expected by the Lake County Board of Supervisors ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday against light pollution. District 3 Supervisor Jim Steele says 90 percent of the population in our country and in Europe can’t see the milky way from where they live so the Dark Skies Proclamation will, quote “set the tone” so there’s a review of the county’s plans for lighting that prevents nighttime brightness. There’s now support from several entities including the Cobb Area Council, Redbud Audubon Society and the Lake County Land Trust. It’s to promote an outline by Lake County to protect dark skies and promote “astro-tourism,” maintain an aspect of locals’ quality of life, and assist bird migration.

A bunch of weapons stolen in Scotts Valley. The Record Bee reports last Thursday morning someone broke into Greg and Kandee Stolesen’s home and took 30-40 firearms. They found their garage door open and some of their collection scattered across the floor. Their gun safes opened with a torch and the safe’s ripped off of Stolensen’s collection of mostly antique guns worth as much as $40,000. The couple apparently just recovering from the River Fire which scorched land all around their home, but spared it. No arrests have been made as of this weekend.

The president was in Northern Calif. to tour the damage left so far by the Camp Fire in Paradise. The president doubling down on his earlier comments blaming forest management. The president dissed firefighters for raking leaves around the fire, saying that should have been done sooner. The president met the Paradise Mayor and saw what was the Skyway Villa Mobile Home and RV Park. The visit just before the Butte County Sheriff announced five more bodies were found Saturday, now a sixth was found after the visit, bringing the total number of dead to 77. PG&E has also filed a second report about an outage the day the fire started, saying they had a power line failure near where the fire started.

Assemblyman Jim Wood in Butte County with the ominous task of helping to identify victims of the Camp Fire. The Northcoast Assemblyman is also a forensic dentist who’s previously been called on in other emergencies for the same thing. He tweeted that he was fortunate to be a #forensicdentist who can help identify victims of tragic disasters like the #CampFire to help families with closure. He went on to say he also helped after 9/11 & Hurricane Katrina and would do it again in a minute. He was in Sacramento last Friday where the remains are being shipped to a morgue for identification purposes.

It’s a no, the Mendocino-Lake Community College District board of trustees with a thumbs down for a raise for the Vice President of Academic Affairs and the Vice President of Student Services. The raises would have happened every year. The board asked the college administration for more information on salary comparisons for the executive office with other comparable colleges. They had considered it before, at their last board meeting, at which time the board asked for a delay to get that info. Right now the two Veeps make about $149,000 and if they were to get raises they would have been headed to the $164,000 to $172,000 range.

A timber yard manager in front of the Willits City Council saying the timber yard that opened near Willits High is causing abnormally high water bills. These residents asking the city council for a reduction in their water bills now. The Daily Journal reports the timber yard manager oversees other yards in Oroville and Weaverville with access to a river, pond or other water supply where water recirculates to cool logs and that reduces costs, but he doesn’t have that in Willits. Instead he uses a mister system, but his water bill was $9,000. He says the water rates in Willtis compared to similar-sized communities were almost twice as high. The city manager says he should speak to the Public Works utilities superintendent for non-potable water options for the timber yard. And the mayor also requested the council get updates on how that turns out.

The Lake County Board of Supervisors to take up a report about the district attorney’s use of resources, including a credit card and a county vehicle. Lake Co News reports the supervisors will also discuss some upcoming appointments needed at the Lakeport Fire Protection District Board. The meeting tomorrow morning , you can catch the stream live on the county website too as they discuss outgoing DA Don Anderson’s internal controls on county credit cards, expenses, reimbursements, mileage and maintenance of county vehicles. Supervisor Rob Brown also wants Anderson to explain his use of “limited county resources” and justify certain trainings as he leaves office at the end of December. Then the supes will consider a resolution for protocols moving forward on the appointment of director to the Lakeport Fire Protection District and a nomination since there’s a vacancy on the current fire board.

Because of the terrible air quality due to the Camp Fire, there’s no classes this week at Woodland Community College campuses. That means all three Woodland Community College campuses, in Yolo, Lake, and Colusa Counties are closed today, tomorrow and Wednesday. Thursday and Friday were already set for closure because of the Thanksgiving holiday. There will be classes Saturday though on the Woodland main campus, as scheduled. They will post any new closures on their website, Facebook page or Twitter.

Campus closure updates will be posted on the college Web site at, Facebook at @WoodlandCommunityCollege, and via Twitter @WCCNewsToday.

The search continues for those missing due to the Camp fire. Officials combing thru the wreckage of Paradise in Butte County. So far 77 people are confirmed dead and another 1,200 are missing. More than 10,000 homes destroyed and 150,000 acres have also burned. Much of the town of Paradise, incinerated. Lake Co News has posted the names of the missing on their site. The Butte County Sheriff’s Dept. and other allied agencies are trying to find the missing. 300 people who were on that list have been removed. Some people who have left the area or even the state, may not even know they’re listed. They want them to call the Sheriff’s Office so their names can be taken off the list.

Staff working the Missing Persons Task Force can be reached at 530-538-6570, 530-538-7544 and 530-538-7671.

[title News 11/16/18

Winds will soon blow smoke out of the area bringing much needed relief from the bad air hanging over the state for the last week. Experts say that by Wednesday, Californians should be breathing easier. For now, those struggling with the bad air are advised follow doctor’s orders, or if possible leave the area until the smoke clears out. Meanwhile, the news on the ground got worse with the latest update. 63 have died in California wildfires, and some 631 people are currently unaccounted for. Ukiah Unified was open today, and say they will keep watching air quality, providing updates as conditions change. Most lake county schools were closed today, and Kelseyville schools expect to stay closed until after thanksgiving break. President Trump has planned a visit with authorities and victims of the Camp Wildfire this weekend. He lands at Beale Air Force Base tomorrow.

Would be volunteer firefighters turned out for Ukiah Valley Fire Authority’s weekly training sessions, just as fires scorched the state and smoke turned skies red. Volunteer firefighters must be over the age of 18, pass a medical exam, and drug test along with a background check and interviews. Volunteers are needed year round. Those interested can get more information at

Ukiah is getting a new Panda Express on Airport Park Boulevard after the planning commission green lighted a permit this week. The new restaurant will have a drive thru and be part of a larger complex that will be home to other businesses.

The 30 day statewide Official Canvas Period continues, as there are still thousands of ballots to be counted. A total of 8152, in fact, including over 6000 vote by mail ballots, over 1200 provisional ballots.

A public meeting will be held at 6pm at the Lake Port City Council Chambers on November 28th, for updates to the city’s Hazard Mitigation Plan. The plan will address fire, drought and flood hazards along with plans to minimize losses during disasters. FEMA will soon require the Hazard Mitigation Plans to grant funds reimbursing losses.

The Mendocino County Juvenile Hall will stay open. The decision comes as the Mendocino County Board of operators met this week to discuss fears about the long term effects of closing the facility and the negative effects of prioritizing budgets over helping local youth.

A study focused on Math and English and skills needed to attend community college shows California’s Latino students making progress, but concludes that colleges and state policymakers can do more to close an achievement gap. The study was commissioned by the Campaign For College Opportunity, and highlights a few areas where reforms would be helpful. Specifically, expanding enrollment at the university of California, more College Prep Classes in high school, and increased state financial aid.

The Gov. Jerry Brown has been out to look at the wildfire damage in Butte County with federal officials. He’s also issued an executive order so it’s quicker for those seeking recovery after the deadliest and most destructive fire plowed thru Butte County. There was a briefing by the Governor yesterday in Chico attended by federal officials, including the U.S. Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke, FEMA Administrator Brock Long and the state’s top fire and emergency management officials. The Governor also spoke to residents dealing with the Camp Fire and visited where Paradise Elementary School once stood. It’s one of more than 10,000 structures that burned in the fire. The executive order means expedited cleanup, the removal of fire debris; extending California’s prohibition on price gouging during emergencies; being able to use suitable fairgrounds and state properties for temporary housing of fire survivors; suspending any planning or zoning requirements and state fees for mobile homes and at mobile home parks to help those without a home. For more info, visit

A man in Del Norte County’s been arrested for an alleged arson. This after reports of a fire 1.5 miles away from HWY 199 on Siskiyou Fork Road. Kym Kemp reporting one deputy and firefighters went to the scene and doused the fire, they found five more fires, two active and a road nearby blocked off to prevent access. There they found a stolen car, from Ashland, Oregon. Evidence was collected and the next morning the stolen car was taken away. Then the next day more fires. A photo of a man who may have been connected to the stolen vehicle turned up and a hitchhiker matching the man’s description was found and arrested a couple days after the initial fires. Michael Lindauer wanted for some warrants and was on probation. He’s booked on several crimes including arson, vehicle theft and the outstanding warrants. He was being held in the Del Norte County jail.

56 people dead in the Camp Fire. The most deadly and destructive in state history. The fire’s acreage climbing, but so is its containment. Cal Fire reports the fire’s burned thru 140,000 acres. Nowhere near the amount charred in the Mendocino Complex, the largest fire ever in Calif. which burned this summer across 4 counties and charred more than 459,000 acres. The Camp Fire’s a week old and has taken down more than 8,600 homes and two hundred businesses. It’s 40% contained. 130 people are still missing and of the bodies that have been found so far, 47 have been positively identified. Rain is in the forecast next week, but right now it’s still dry and warm with low humidity.

Parking meters coming to downtown Ukiah. The City Council voted in favor of the meters. It comes after an ad-hoc committee came up with a plan for the meters in the downtown core. They’ll be located in front of free spaces and there won’t be any more permit-only spaces in the parking lots. The proposal approved last week to improve parking so the city can make some money on spaces located in front of businesses on School Street. The city’s apparently been losing money with some folks using two spaces downtown. The meters will be paid for with borrowed money. They city’s getting a $500,000 draw against future revenues from the parking district. That will pay for not only the new parking meters, but also lights, planters and new garbage and recycling containers.

More work on homelessness in Mendocino County. The Health and Human Services Agency met Tuesday on the matter, discussing the Homeless Mentally Ill Outreach and Treatment Program and the WholePerson Care pilot program. The Daily Journal reports that program will help find limited transitional housing support for those with mental health needs. The County also looking at creating a closer partnership with the Mendocino County Homeless Services Continuum of Care MCHSCoC which does administrative work and works with more than 20 agencies on homelessness in the County. They will come up with a plan of action to tackle homelessness and housing needs in the County, finding funding and programs to help.

Another tax hike proposal for a fire department may hit the next ballot in Lake County. The Lakeport Fire District Board of Directors is considering the hike just after the South Lake County Fire Protection District’s Measure L is behind in votes from the last election. It needed just about a half percent more. But of course it could change in the final tally. The Record Bee reports the Lakeport proposal is said to be a smaller tax though. It’s due to staffing cuts and a loss of revenue. The district is at three full time firefighters and three part timers. So the department is considering the tax hike to stay in the black. Tax rates outside the city haven’t gone up in 3 decades. They’ve not come up with how much of a hike in the tax rate they want.

Now 56 people are declared dead from the Camp Fire. 8 more bodies recovered in Paradise and the number of missing at more than 100. The Butte County Sheriff’s Dept. has identified 47 of the 56 so far. The latest findings were six people inside structures and two others, outside. They were still searching for remains with several cadaver dogs and hundreds of search and rescue personnel. Today the sheriff’s office is going to collect DNA samples from people who think they may have lost someone in the fire. 52,000 residents are still evacuated and more than 1,300 are in shelters. Some roads have reopened between Forest Ranch and Chico. The fire’s burned more acreage though, 138,000 acres now charred. The fire’s 35% contained. 8,756 homes gone. The fire now active east of Paradise Lake and growing near Big Bar Mountain on the east side of the North Fork of the Feather River, southeast of Pulga where it’s believed the fire may have ignited. There’s supposed to be rain next week which should help completely douse the fire, depending how long the rain sticks around.

A woman in labor at the start of the Camp Fire. The Mercury News is reporting Anastasia Skinner was waiting for help almost two hours while traffic jammed up in Paradise. The woman says she called her husband, who was elsewhere with their two sons and they said they final goodbyes, sure she would die waiting with thousands of other cars, as her contractions got stronger. She says she called 911 as her baby wasn’t due for a month more. So then she honked her horn and screamed for help and a man on a bike, a paramedic, a deputy and several strangers running from the fire helped her. The pregnancy, high risk, and supposed to be a cesarean. They helped her out though and rushed the woman to a hospital in Chico.

PG&E is speaking out after firefighter radio transmissions had announced there was a malfunctioning PG&E power line that might have been the cause for the Camp Fire. A woman who owns the town of Pulga said she got an email there might be sparks on lines near her home, which burned down in the fire. But now the utility company says it was actually a notification about upcoming work on a different transmission line in the email to her, not about any malfunctioning line. They were letting folks know they were going to be doing work on a transmission line which was de-energized and not operational when the fire started. A company spokesperson also says there’s been no discussion with any customer about sparks and PG&E infrastructure, and further says it’s a different line than one PG&E identified in its Electric Incident Report on Nov. 8, the day the fire broke out. There were downed power lines with flames under high-tension wires when firefighters arrived at the fire’s origin northeast of Pulga. The California Public Utilities Commission is investigating. PG&E stockholders have been selling off shares and trading stopped for the utility Monday as shares dropped more than 37 percent, but later leveled off.

PG&E’s stock devalued as rumors swirl the energy company could be to blame for the massive Camp Fire. The deadliest and most destructive fire in Calif. history. The utility reported it didn’t have enough insurance coverage if found liable for the fire that has killed 56 people and destroyed more than 8,750 homes. The stock fell by 37% Monday but leveled off at a nearly 20% loss. It fell about 7 bucks to $25.69. The utility reports it’s lost 47 percent of its value since the fire started last Thursday. It says they have 1.4 billion in wildfire liability insurance coverage for the year that ends July 31st of 2019. But apparently damage from this fire alone could add up to more than $15 billion. And a couple dozen residents of Paradise are suing the utility, blaming it for not maintaining its infrastructure and not properly inspecting its power transmission lines.

A man from Clearlake Oaks has died in a fight. Lake Co News reports the Lake County Sheriff’s Office is investigating how 54 year old Brian Smeltzer died after a fight. He was found in a car on Hoover Street in Clearlake Oaks. An autopsy will be conducted later this week.


A man from Lucerne arrested this summer after his roommate was shot has a court date. Michael Finnegan arrested in June for assault with a firearm but he says it was self defense. His lawyer saying there’s new info now on the victim. The two sides entering a stipulation into court records regarding certain evidence in the case. The Lake County Sheriff’s Office had reported they responded to a man being shot by his roommate and when they got there, they found Finnegan outside and the victim with a wound to his chest inside, saying Finnegan shot him. The man was expected to recover, but Finnegan admitted he shot the guy, because he felt like he was being attacked. Finnegan in custody on $175,000 bail with his preliminary hearing set for Wednesday Nov. 28th.

A man in Lake County’s getting mental health treatment after being accused of shooting his daughter to death in Hidden Valley Lake last year. Steven Miller reportedly sent to a Jail Based Competency Treatment Program in Sacramento for restoration of mental competency, basically so he can stand trial and understand the proceedings against him related to the alleged murder of his daughter, Hannah Welch in May of 2017. Back in March a court found enough evidence to try him for murder and evidence too, that he was mentally incompetent. That meant the court proceedings had to be suspended while he got treatment. He’s pleaded not guilty and not guilty by reason of insanity on all counts against him, plus he denied the special allegations.

A new report says Latino students in California are doing better in higher education but colleges and state policymakers need to help more, to close an ethnic achievement gap. The Campaign for College Opportunity, a nonprofit came out with the report after Los Angeles called for reforms including more enrollment at 10 University of California colleges across the state and at 23 California State University campuses so there’s more enrollment of those with Latino heritage and to improve community college programs so more transfers are guaranteed for four-year-schools if students take the right courses, getting high schools to offer more college prep classes and bolstering state college financial aid.

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.