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Monthly Archives: December 2018

Shots fired have deputies out in Laytonville. A man says he and another person were working at a house when they were confronted by someone, Robert Williams, who they say he thought they were trespassing on someone else’s property. They told him they were not and say he threatened them, then he hit a gate with his truck and they were afraid so they left after seeing he had a rifle. One guy ran off and said he heard a gunshot. The other drove away. Williams was later caught with a 22 caliber pistol and arrested, he was also on probation and that’s prohibited. A third person had also complained a day before about a man in a truck with a  rifle after his car was broken into and that he has assaulted that man. The three men id’d Williams in a line up. He’s charged with various crimes and held on $125,000.00 bail.

2 men and a woman in Ukiah seen running down a street by deputies. Deputies see they’re wearing gloves, have their faces covered and are also wearing black hoodies. Deputies say they wouldn’t listen to commands, but one of them was quickly caught. Cops say the man, Alejandro Guadarrama had a meth pipe sticking out of his pocket, and they found a baggie of meth and car keys. He was on parole and arrested for violating that with drug possession and other crimes. The other two were caught eventually, one had a loaded semi automatic handgun with scratched off serial numbers, and meth and heroin. Plus paraphernalia in his car for sales of drugs. No word if the woman was caught.

A man in Ukiah’s busted as deputies on routine patrol find a stolen car and check the license plates and stop the truck. They say it appeared the driver wanted to hop and run, Mark Beardslee, took off, he was a passenger, and a woman, Laura Adams also ran. Beardslee was gesturing he had a weapon so he was tazed. But he ran anyway to some bushes and was finally caught. He’s charged with a bunch of crimes, but was taken to a hospital for the tazing. He was held on more than 25,000 bail. The woman was held on a bench warrant for $7,500.00 bail. And the stolen Dodge Ram taken back to its owner. Apparently the truck stolen as the owner left it to allow it to warm up.

The Lake County Board of Supervisors has its last regular meeting and talked vacation rentals. They’re also considering short-term housing and un-hosted units, and re-consider next month. This after a workshop with the board with the Community Development Director. She says the AirBNB type rentals aren’t regulated in the county, and there are up to 300 units, but they’re not sure if they’re all vacation units or beds and breakfasts. So now there’s discussion about how other towns permit these sorts of rentals, saying they mostly have special zoning permits and a maximum occupancy and some even have a limit on daytime visitors. They also have noise ordinances and trash management guidelines.

A reminder from Cal Fire to be careful burning items this winter, especially on windy days, like we’re expecting today. Residents in Sonoma, Lake, Napa, Colusa, Yolo and Solano counties should see smoke here and there on burn days. They remind safe residential pile burning of forest residue is a good way to reduce fire hazards. But you need a permit. And you have to follow guidelines and regulations from your local air quality management districts. Only dry vegetation, no trash, not on windy days, piles have to be a certain size and height and you are allowed to add on as it burns. Plus don’t forget to clear a 10-foot line down to bare soil around your piles, have a shovel and a water source nearby.

For more information, visit the Cal Fire Web site at

Garton Tractor gets a no on their request for a permit for more space to service local agricultural equipment. The Daily Journal reports two members of the City Council gave the permit application a thumbs down vote because it would have been too close to the airport. The company was trying to get a permit for a 7,500-square-foot building with five service bays. The Planning Commission said yes last year, but there was one hold out, Council member Doug Crane filed an appeal, but then the company reduced the size of their project. Then it was found the airport didn’t have an updated map either. An overrule of the vote failed after 2 Council members voted no.

Some roofs in Mendocino county need replacing so the county has a roof report on high priority buildings in process. County staff putting the report together with some roofs getting priority over others. Some in the Administration Center, the Mendocino County Main Jail, and the Emergency Operations Center and Jail Programs buildings were noted as high priority 1, the highest level. So now the planning begins to get the building’s new tops. The Main Jail building and the Emergency Operations Center building will get theirs first and the Board Of Supervisors will consider a future agenda item to place money aside for the Administration Center.

It’s been almost a year since marijuana started to be sold in retail outlets in Calif, but Mendocino County is moving slower. The Daily Journal reports the Board of Supervisors recently heard an update from the Mendocino County Cannabis Cultivation program and on compliance efforts. So far the county has received nearly 1,200 applications, but issued only a fraction of that, 200 permits. They’ve also only denied 21 applications and have 454 applications pending. The County says responses are piled up at the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. Some applicants just lacked all the required paperwork too.

A man from Lakeport arrested for attempted murder back in court after first pleading not guilty last summer. Leonso Rangel has admitted he shot the man he thought was having a relationship with his girlfriend. When he was first arrested, it was another story. The arrest after a report of shots fired, the victim saying he was walking on the sidewalk and was shot in the back. The victim identified Rangel as his shooter, saying it had to do with his girlfriend. Rangel saying he didn’t mean to hit the victim, but he was charged anyway with several crimes, including attempted murder, assault with a firearm and felon in possession of a firearm. He was being held in jail on one million dollars. He has a preliminary hearing in February.

PG&E increasing their bills. It’s not that much, but a raise it is, with a buck more for most customers every month. It’s for gas only, and there’s an offset, since the electricity portion of the bill is going down. The utility company says there’s a slight change due to the implementation of recent regulatory decisions. Customers who get a combined gas and electricity bill will see a $1.08 a month increase. But it would have been $2.64 more a month for gas. But there’s a decline in electric bills of $1.56 a month. The utility company is being scrutinized by the state currently having to do with the explosion in San Bruno and the October 2017 wildfires, and now possibly the Camp Fire too.

A new rule for the New Year, hospitals have to list prices online for items and services, as part of new Medicare rules. The rules take effect tomorrow for more transparency in health care, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The agency says they want more transparency in health care costs and they’re trying to help empower patients. Hospitals that don’t comply won’t actually be punished, because there’s no enforcement of the new rules yet, according to the agency’s website.

A kidnapping scam in Kelseyville. The CHP’s Clearlake office says a man came in the day after Christmas to their Kelseyville office to report a kidnapping, but after they investigated they found the man was scammed. He told them someone called and said his girlfriend was kidnapped for ransom, but cops say they quickly found his girlfriend was fine and there was a scam going around, but it’s not a new one. They remind the public of this and other phone scams. This one targeting Lake County residents of a bogus virtual kidnapping, that a family member’s being held captive. They even have someone screaming in the background. There’s another one where the person’s been in an accident and in the hospital and they have to pay the damages.

PG&E may be facing murder charges for reckless operation of power equipment. The Attorney General Xavier Becerra’s office says it’s more of a warning there may be criminal charges, but that would come from local county district attorneys, not the state. The Sacramento Bee reports prosecutors would also have to find an actual mental state for the utility to see if they can bring charges from murder to misdemeanor negligence. This opinion was sent to a judge who’s overseeing the criminal case against the utility for the natural gas pipeline explosion that killed eight people in San Bruno in 2010. The company has a deadline today to file a response. Cal Fire also found PG&E probably broke the law for 12 wildfires in October of 2017. We still haven’t heard about the Tubbs fire though. And now we have the Camp Fire, which may or may have not been caused by PG&E equipment.

A wind advisory for the holiday… The National Weather Service says it’ll be a windy one today with the possibility of gusts of up to 40 miles an hour which they warn can cause hazardous driving conditions for small cars or high profile vehicles. Winds of up to 50 mph in south Lake County are also forecasted. The forecast also calls for the 50’s during the day and 30’s overnight. Showers possible next weekend.

Two members of the Ukiah City Council have voted against issuing Garton Tractor a permit for more space to service farm equipment. The extra space is needed due to the volume of work, and waits of up to ten weeks. The Daily Journal reports that it was concerns over close proximity to the Ukiah Municipal Airport that motivated the members to vote the request down. Council member Doug Crane had concerns about weather or not the FAA and the Mendocino County Airport Land Use Commission had seen the plan.

Roof replacement for high priority buildings is now a priority for the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors after it’s meeting earlier this month. Specifically, the roofs on the Administration Center, Mendocino County Jail, Emergency Operations Center and Jail Programs buildings. Planning is underway for the Main Jail building and the Emergency Operations Center Building at estimated costs of $865,000 and $700,000 respectively.

A warning to Lake County residents about a scam reported to the California Highway Patrol’s Kelseyville office on Wednesday. A man came in reporting that his girlfriend had been kidnapped for ransom. CHP investigated, finding the woman safe and sound. The scam, which involves a phone call saying a family member is being held captive is not new, but it is popping up again locally. The FBI says indicators that a call is a scam are area codes 787, 939 and 856, or Puerto Rico. Callers make an attempt to keep you on the phone and prevent you from calling or finding the alleged victim.

A reminder by Ukiah Police to never leave your car running and unattended after a 2003 Honda accord stolen as it warmed up outside a home on Ford Street on Wednesday. The car was found by police in a Wall Mart parking lot on Airport BLVD less than an hour later. Two suspects were found near the car going through it’s contents and were booked into the Mendocino county jail.

Looking for easier access to research, the University of California is challenging what they see as an outdated subscription model now that their contract with the largest journal publisher is about to expire. UC is threatening to drop all subscriptions with Reed Elsevier, meaning that if the there is no agreement reached, over 20,000 faculty and over 250,000 students will lose wide access to new research. The hope is that other large facilities will do the same thing, lowering the cost of access to the research and forcing a more open system of sharing information.

Since 2011, Governor Jerry Brown has pardoned 1332 inmates, far more than previous governors. The governor added 143 to the tally this week, a total 273 for the year. He also ordered evidence in a 1983 murder case that sent Keith Cooper to death row after the murder of four people in Chino Hills to be reviewed.

Willits Police got several calls reporting a possible drunk driver on Saturday, one caller saying the driver had just swerved off the roadway. A Willits police officer who was on a different DUI call left and went to investigate the reports on Sherwood Road. When he arrived, he tried getting the woman in the car to get out, but she put the car in gear, knocked the officer down and dragged him 30 feet under the vehicle. Mendocino County Sheriffs deputies were able to get the officer out from underneath the car and he was transported to Howard Memorial Hospital. He suffered only minor injuries, and was released on Sunday. The woman was arrested for DUI.

New gun laws go into effect in California with the start of the new year on Tuesday. The laws prevent anyone younger than 21 from buying rifles or shotguns unless they are military, law enforcement or licensed hunters. Anyone with a misdemeanor domestic violence conviction will also be banned from owning a firearm. A law going into effect in July requires background checks for ammunition purchases. One that takes effect in January of 2020 says that anyone who has been hospitalized for mental health issues more than once in a year will also be banned from owning guns.

A report out yesterday concluded that a bank established for the cannabis industry would put state funds and workers at risk, possibly tanking an effort to establish a public bank for marijuana companies in California. The issue according to experts, is that since marijuana is still illegal under federal law, most banks wont open accounts for businesses in the sector.

Habitat for Humanity of Sonoma County is hoping to open a no wast factory to manufacture walls and floors for prefabricated homes. They hope to obtain a warehouse in Central Santa Rose for the project, with the goal of building out 600 new homes in Sonoma County over the next eight years where over 5300 homes were destroyed in recent fires.

A man in Covelo’s been arrested after being caught inside a home stealing items. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Dept. says they got a call to a home after the resident found someone in a bedroom taking personal items. Deputies say S-Nathan Morales was seen with jewelry and a chainsaw. The resident heard loud noises in his sister’s room, went to the room and confronted Morales. There was a physical altercation and the suspect took off. Deputies looked around and didn’t see Morales, but Round Valley Tribal Police Officers picked the guy up. Deputies then placed him under arrest for burglary, robbery, violation of probation and an outstanding misdemeanor arrest warrant. He was being held today without bail.

Officials in Sonoma County reaching out to the public for help because of the housing crisis. They’re asking community members to help find vacant or underutilized properties for possible rezoning so landowners can build future projects. The Press Democrat reports it’s a way to work with residents to find housing solutions after the fires that burned more than 5,300 homes in the County. The county’s planning and building department says the problem requires extreme actions. The department says they want to work with property owners to find solutions. They’re even taking applications online for sites in unincorporated areas with water and sewer access where there could be affordable housing, workforce housing or higher-density housing.

A man in Calistoga arrested for DUI ends up in the hospital and gets arrested, then dies. CHP reports they found the empty and smashed up 1991 Acura TL he had been driving on State Route 128 after the car went off the road and hit a tree and power pole. The driver was not there. CHP says the 26-year-old must have called a friend to pick him up and take him to St. Helena Hospital. Then officers go to the hospital and arrest him on suspicion of DUI. He was taken by air ambulance to UC Davis Medical Center, but died of his injuries. They’ve not released his name because his family had not yet been notified.

New rules for deer tag holders. If you want to tag a deer, you’ve got to submit a harvest report for any 2018 tag by the end of Jan. All tag holders have to turn in their report even if they didn’t go out and hunt or if they did, but were not successful. Those with a tag who don’t report their harvest will be charged a penalty of about $22 when they go to buy their 2019 deer-tag drawing application or deer tag. To report your harvest online, please visit For more information, please visit or call (916) 928-5805.

Cops on the lookout for someone who shot a bike rider near the Oregon border. Police say a man was riding his bike across Hwy 96 in Orleans. They say a white passenger van pulled up behind the bicyclist and shot them in the leg, made a u turn and headed south on the Highway. The victim went to the hospital and was treated for what appeared to be a bird shot, ammo commonly used in shotguns. His injuries were said to be non-life threatening.

Good cops on Christmas Eve… Some members of the Clearlake Police Officers Association went with Santa to deliver toys to families in Clearlake. They’ve been at it for more than 15 years. All year long members of the Association meeting with families and kids in tough times, and thru those contacts, they pick families for visits with Santa. Then Christmas Eve, Santa and officers deliver toys to the kids. This year there were twenty children. The Clearlake Police Officers Association says the program’s successful because of community support.

A bunch of new traffic laws start in the new year. Now kids under 18 have to wear helmets on a bike, scooter, skateboard or skates. For those who don’t comply, they’ll get a “fix-it” ticket and a $25 fine, but the fine will be waived for a child that goes to a bike safety course. If they don’t, the parent or guardian will have to pay the fine. They’re calling them correctable citations, not criminal. Another ticket or fine having to do with bicyclists who get into accidents, they will be cited if they leave, just like a hit and run in a car.

A young man from Ukiah busted for DUI Christmas Eve, cops say he hit a power pole, splitting it in 3 pieces and injuring his passenger. The CHP reports the accident on Talmage Road early Christmas eve, his sedan crashing through a fence, shearing off a power pole, then the car came to a stop on its side. The driver, 20 year old Guillermo Mendoza-Gonzalez was arrested for DUI causing injury. Ukiah Valley Fire Authority also responded, reported a 24 year old woman, the passenger, was trapped, but had only minor injuries when they extracted her. PG&E reports more than 1,700 customers lost power after the crash in Ukiah and Boonville for about 90 minutes.

Residents in McKinleyville saying no to a Dollar General Store. The store’s already being built across the street from the local high school, but some community members aren’t thrilled with the idea, especially the fact the store’s applying for a liquor license. The Municipal Advisory Committee reports some residents have been complaining about it because of its proximity to the high school and booze. Others say it just doesn’t fit the aesthetics of the community. We’re heard this before in Lake County when the planning commission and Board of Supervisors said no the store in Kelseyville.

In one of his final official acts, Gov. Jerry Brown has ordered new DNA tests for a man in prison for a mass murder. Kevin Cooper’s lawyers say he was framed for a 1983 hatchet and knife murder of 4 people. A tan T-shirt and orange towel that were found then by the scene of the crime, plus the hatchet handle and sheath will also be tested. The man was found guilty in 1985 for the massacre of Doug and Peggy Ryen, their 10-year-old daughter and 11-year-old neighbor. Cooper’s already had DNA testing done, something prosecutors say shows he’s guilty. But Cooper and his lawyer say the evidence was planted. The Governor has appointed a retired judge to oversee the case. The case drawing national attention with Sen. Kamala Harris, state Treasurer John Chiang and even reality star Kim Kardashian calling on the Brown to order new DNA tests.

No reports yet on how many jobs have been lost due to the Camp Fire. Just last week the state unemployment numbers were released which actually showed job growth in the state along with some job losses, but nothing out of the ordinary for this time of year. Cuts in agriculture, construction and manufacturing jobs were expected in Butte County. The Employment Development Department reports November unemployment for Butte County at 4.3 percent, up a tick from the 4.2 percent in October, with 4,600 residents actively looking for work. Next month might give us a better overall picture.

A young man from Oroville has pleaded guilty to murder and faces 15 years to life in prison. Court papers say 19 year old Juan Ortega Morales III pleaded guilty last month for the August 2017 beating death of 62-year-old Howard Brimm, also of Oroville. Morales was about to go to trial, but changed his plea, for a deal with the Butte County DA, instead pleading guilty to second-degree murder. Cops say when Morales was 17 years old, in July of 2017, he followed Brimm, beat him, stomped on his head. He died later. He addressed the court last month saying he felt bad and his heart hurt every day since the incident. When he was interviewed after though, he said Brimm called him a name and he felt disrespected by him. A witness didn’t corroborate that. Morales remains in jail without bail.

A man’s been arrested after reports a white GMC Denali was stolen in a robbery in Southern Humboldt County. Deputies reported the man, identified as Franklin Molina also had several firearms, $30,000 in cash and marijuana, all taken in the robbery. Police found and chased the Denali and used Onstar in the SUV to disable it from moving. Then there was a standoff with Molina, with demands given in English and Spanish. The CHP helping deputies as Molina was not listening to commands. A crisis negotiator was brought in and spoke in Spanish to Molina who they say threatened to kill them. They say he also sprayed something inside the car and appeared to be holding a weapon. So a SWAT team came in and shot him, but he ran away. Then a police dog went after him and took him down. He was taken to the hospital, then cleared for jail and charged with several crimes and held on $250,000.

A man from Fort Bragg’s been arrested after deputies went to serve an arrest warrant. Luis Pineda on probation and on pretrial release for a pending felony weapons case. He was arrested without incident. But while there deputies saw a couple of emaciated dogs. They had not eaten or had water for a lengthy amount of time, so the dogs were taken and fed and given water. Then taken to Animal Care for further treatment and care. He’s charged with cruelty to animals, violation of probation, commit felony while on pre-trial release for pending felony and for the misdemeanor arrest warrant.

A man has been arrested in Fort Bragg with drugs and drug sales paraphernalia on him. Deputies on patrol say they saw Daniel Sanchez who was a passenger in a car and knew he was on parole and had run from them in the past. He had a warrant out for his arrest, but they lost sight of the vehicle. Then soon after they saw the car in a motel parking lot and arrested him. When searching the car, they say there was a good amount of suspected methamphetamine and other items indicative of drug sales. They took him to jail and held him without bail.

A woman in Fort Bragg’s been arrested after a call she was disturbing people at a home. Deputies say when they got there they found Amica Wetzler walking away with something concealed under her arm. They found her with a large fixed blade knife and arrested her for possession of a concealed dirk or dagger, without incident. But they found, while holding her, she was on pre-trial release for a pending felony burglary case. So she’s charged additionally with committing a felony while on pre-trial release for a pending felony matter. She was being held in Mendocino County Jail on $25,000.

A vote’s been delayed by the Ukiah City Council about whether there should be a declaration of a shelter crisis so certain projects can qualify for the Homeless Emergency Aid Program (HEAP) grant funding being allocated by the State of California. This was considered at the last City Council meeting since the county is getting almost $5 million dollars in grant money for homelessness. City staff was reportedly trying to find shovel ready projects to use the money for related to money allocated for Continuum of Care projects, as outlined for these specific grants. A couple of members of the public urging the council to declare a shelter crisis, but the council tabled the discussion until after the New Year.

The so-called Purple Pipe Project in Ukiah gets an infusion of money. The Daily Journal reports the City Council has approved $700,000 to move utility lines underground. The staff report says it’ll help with future needs of undergrounding currently overhead facilities, and to cut possible disruptions to the street after new roadwork was done.

A North Coast Assemblyman has traveled to the border to bring toiletries and other items to migrants. Marc Levine of San Rafael brought four boxes of dental hygiene kits requested by some of the shelters’ nonprofit operators. He said he was doing fact finding visits to both sides of the border at San Diego, paying for the trips with his own money. The San Diego-based nonprofit Border Angels operates one of the Tijuana shelters, and says it’s a humanitarian crisis. Levine was there to serve Christmas lunch to about 100 men, women and children.

The state’s gone up on a list of the healthiest states in the country. We are now 12th in the 29th annual “America’s Health Rankings” report. The report did find however, that obesity had hit a record high in the country and say it has affected more than 30 percent of adults for the first time in their reporting. And in California, the obesity rate was 23 percent. The report shows there were more people ranked as obese with lower education. Obesity was lower among college grads than those without a college degree. It showed the national suicide rate 16 percent higher than it was in 2012. And that drug deaths were up by 25 percent across the nation. Child poverty rates were down across the country. The healthiest state Hawaii and Louisiana the least healthy.

A new report shows charitable donations have set a record but along with that goes hundreds of millions lost to fraudulent causes. The fraud cases in 2018 hit a new high with people saying they were scammed out of money supposedly to help the military or veterans. But it had a positive spin as regulators in every state joined the Federal Trade Commission for Operation Donate With Honor. The FTC and the California Attorney General’s Office reminding how to be sure your donations are going to real causes… check with the Better Business Bureau and other noted sources like Charity Navigator, CharityWatch or GuideStar. They say if there’s no registration for the charity on those sites or if there’s no obvious notation of federal tax-exempt status or financial information, it’s a red flag.

A woman who lost a diamond ring which was a family heirloom from the Great Depression in the Camp Fire, retrieves it. Heather Thornewood reportedly found the ring in the her home’s ruins. The fire burned her home and she thought, the ring her great-great-grandfather gave to her great grandmother, who was around 16-20 during at the time. She says she’s not even sure what the ring’s worth, to her it’s invaluable. She got the ring from her grandma when she turned 16. She has moved since the fire, from Paradise, where they were for seven years, to Yuba City. The ring apparently survived intact, which a little bit of blackening.

The Gov. Jerry Brown has pardoned more than 140 people, including Oroville’s mayor-elect, Chuck Reynolds. The pardons on Xmas Eve, a tradition for the Governor who leaves office next month. For his last eight years in office he’s pardoned nearly totaling 1,200 people and had 152 commutations, including one man guilty of a 1995 Glenn County murder. So he’s now eligible for parole. And has been an exemplary inmate. Others included someone in prison for meth manufacturing, served time and is now a drug counselor who lost her home in the Camp Fire.

A teenage drug dealer busted and pictured being carried down the street in his underwear by police. The photo shows a burly looking cop in the United Kingdom carrying Rhys Williams, over his shoulder, because he said he had sore feet. The cop laughing. The kid arrested for being in an organized crime gang running drugs. He got more than two years in jail with nine other people in North Wales who had heroin and cocaine. The total sentence for their crew almost 32 years. One of the dealers apparently showed up at the police station with thousands of pounds of heroin and crack cocaine, leading to the sting over four weeks.

A woman who was wanted in court last week in connection to a gun related case, has turned herself in. Antonia Bautista-Dalson, pleaded guilty after being arrested over the summer for being an accomplice to Negie Fallis. She showed up in court in October, but not last Monday for sentencing. Round Valley Tribal Police say she called them Friday and agreed to meet them at the Covelo substation of the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office. Her crime connected to an investigation into the disappearance of Khadijah Britton in February. Britton’s family says she was last seen with Fallis who had her at gunpoint. The Mendocino Voice also reports Fallis had was previously arrested for allegedly beating Britton with a hammer.

Three projects in the works for restoration of wetlands. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife awarded more than 4 million dollars for the agency’s 2017 Wetlands Restoration for Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Reduction Program Proposal Solicitation Notice. The money for projects that help reduce GHG in wetlands and watersheds and benefitting other areas like enhancing fish and wildlife habitat, protecting and improving water quality and quantity, and helping California adapt to climate change. One of the projects a meadow habitat for the South Yuba River Citizens League. The next for the Elkhorn Slough Foundation for work on one of the largest estuaries in California. And finally for the Sierra Fund in the Red Clover Valley.

Another unfortunate delay for the Dungeness crab season. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife reports this is about two weeks worth of waiting due once again to higher levels of domoic acid. So now we’re looking at a Jan. 15th start. The quality tests are done for the Tri-State Coastal Dungeness Commercial Fishery. They were supposed to happen this week, but apparently there were rough ocean conditions so ships couldn’t safely deploy and retrieve crab traps. They have to test crabs for meatiness, to make sure they’re ready to be harvested. The delays are only in Mendocino, Humboldt and Del Norte counties.

A scam out of the Lake County Jail. The FBI’s investigating the illegal use of the jail’s inmate phone system to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars. The Lake County Board of Supervisors got wind of the crimes the D-A says add up to about $300,000 or more. Also on their agenda the supervisors mulling a report by the D-A after Supervisor Rob Brown accused him of improper spending, something D-A Don Anderson says was just a personal attack by Brown. And Brown motioned for a restriction on Anderson’s spending, but it wasn’t seconded. Anderson to be out of office soon anyway. In Anderson’s report he blames for the vendetta because he launched the investigation into the jail phone crimes saying it involved friends of Brown’s. Anderson claims a minimum of 30 inmates were making free calls and illegally skirting fees. It’s a confusing case of he said she said, you can pick it up at the Record Bee’s website…

Since the Ukiah Zoning Administrator approved two permits for a marijuana dispensary on Airport Park Boulevard they could open as soon as next month. The Daily Journal reports co-owner of Cannavine, Michael Taylor, says they have to file with the state of California for some minor changes to its building which a building inspector needs to then check out. Then he says they could open in January. They first had a permit for medical marijuana in September of 2017, and even back then they applied for a permit to sell recreational weed. They got their medical marijuana permit renewed and now have their recreational permit too. There’s a third permit as well at the meeting last week for Kidovation Zone, a kid play place with computers, karaoke, party and birthday areas.

A paramedic who helped a pregnant woman escape the Camp Fire now has a namesake. Mickey Huber helping people evacuate in Paradise November 8th got to Anastasia Skinner whose baby wasn’t due for a month and started having contractions due to smoke inhalation. She got herself and her dogs to a gas station, honking and screaming for help. Police and some women brought her blankets and pillows. Huber, two miles away at the time, got there and helped her along even though a helicopter was coming. Huber arranged for a caravan for her with cop cars and an ambulance. She got to the hospital and her labor was stopped. She had little Mickey, a girl, December 12th. The woman’s home burned down in the Camp Fire.

State Senator Mike McGuire is the new assistant majority leader of the Senate. The North Coast legislator got the newly created leadership job for the new year which was created by the Senate President Pro Tem. Sen. Bill Dodd, also of the North Coast, has been reappointed as chair of the governmental organization committee. McGuire is also still the vice chair of the Democratic caucus and chairman of the Senate’s governance and finance committee. McGuire was interviewed over the weekend saying representing the needs of small communities and rural counties is extremely important in a legislature made up of mostly urban members.

Pacific Gas & Electric Co. may have to be split up or go thru other major changes after the recent wildfires and some gas explosions. The State Public Utilities Commission considers breaking up the giant utility’s natural gas and electric distribution and transmission divisions; replacing part or all of its board of directors and corporate management and several other moves including making PG&E a public utility instead. No final decisions have been made and the commission is taking public comments through Jan. 30th with the President of the regulatory body saying they have to be careful and practical. PG&E responding its open to solutions to make it safer for customers.

One of Governor Jerry Brown’s senior advisors is headed to the state Supreme Court. Josh Groban was nominated by Brown and has now been confirmed by a judicial commission. Groban has to still be sworn in before sitting on the seven-member court which will be next month. This is the Governor’s 4th appointment to the court, Groban has no experience as a judge, like the Governor’s three other picks. He’s a Harvard Law School graduate though. He replaces Justice Kathryn Mickle Werdegar who was appointed by Republican Governor Pete Wilson. She announced her retirement last year.

A home in Clearlake has been destroyed in a fire. Lake Co News reports the fire last night in the 2900 block of 10th Street around 7 p.m. The Lake County Fire Chief says the home was in flames when they arrived and it was knocked down in about a half hour. But they were there a couple hours to mop up the mess left behind. The home was a newer modular home and an investigation into how it started has begun. There was also another fire earlier yesterday in the 16000 block of 33rd Avenue with smoke billowing out of the roof of that home. One room was damaged.

A special meeting’s being held by the Lake County Board of Supervisors this holiday week regarding local emergencies. The meeting is Friday, instead of tomorrow. It’s a short agenda which includes continuing proclamations of local emergencies for the Mendocino Complex, Pawnee fire, Sulphur fire, Clayton fire and the atmospheric river storm.

The helicopter flights that have been continuing as part of a geotechnical project at the Albion River Bridge are done. The Caltrans project to evaluate geology at the base of the bridge. The choppers were bringing equipment in for drilling on the steep bluffs around Albion Cove. Some residents had the voiced concern about the project due to safety and environmental issues, one helicopter caught on video in windy weather by a passerby. The Coastal Commission North Coast district manager says they got no complaints regarding the flights and there were no weather-related matters in written reports to the Coastal Commission.

Governor Brown has a new home in the New Year. He’s apparently headed to Colusa County, west of the town of Williams, on property his family’s had since the 19th century. His granddad ran the Mountain House Inn there along a stagecoach route where the Governor built his new house. The Inn burned down several years ago. The new home runs totally on solar electricity, and they have 2,500 acres, they’re calling it Mountain House III.

California Gov. elect Gavin Newsom says he’s giving up control of his wine and hotel business. That’s not all, he also says he’ll issue an executive orders so that no state agencies can even do any business with the company so there are no conflicts of interest. The PlumpJack Group has four hotels; four Napa Valley wineries; several bars and restaurants; a couple of wine and liquor stores in San Francisco; and an online liquor store too. He says he’s going to transfer title and control to a blind trust managed by Shyla Hendrickson, a family friend and lawyer. He’s going to be sworn in Monday, January 7th. He also says he’s going to release his tax returns every year to reporters, but not the general public.

Lesley Lotto
P lesley
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A woman wanted in court in connection to the disappearance of a woman in February now has a felony bench warrant out for her arrest. Antonia Bautista-Dalson of Covelo due in court Monday, but she never showed. Now police are on the lookout for her as she was supposed to be sentenced as an accomplice for possession of a firearm by a felon, that felon, Negie Fallis of Covelo. The pair admitted guilt after Fallis was arrested for an incident involving missing woman Khadijah Britton, Fallis’ former girlfriend. He got four years in prison . Bautista-Dalson was released on bail after she was arrested in August, showed up in court in October, but not for her sentencing. Britton disappeared after her family says she was first held at gunpoint by Fallis. Baustita-Dalson admitted she was an accomplice, helping Fallis hide guns.

A Xmas dinner is being offered by the Plowshares Peace and Justice Center in Ukiah. The dinner is actually lunchtime today from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at 1346 S. State St. The volunteer organization is offering the meal to community members including honey glazed ham, mashed potatoes, green beans and bacon, salad and rolls. There’s also dessert. They’re partnering at Plowshares with Elks Lodge to bring Ms. Claus and Santa’s elves, to hand out books to kids there. The gifts provided after the Adventist Health toy drive, so kids will also receive gifts as part of the program today.

The Lake County Board of Supervisors considering higher contributions to the Sheriff’s dept. health plan. This after the Lake County Deputy Sheriff’s Association asked for it saying they’re understaffed and that’s partly because of how expensive it is to get healthcare. The Sheriff’s office is down 52 people, mostly patrol positions are needed. They’re only 37 percent filled. There are also only four of eight sergeant positions filled and 11 of 32 deputy positions are filled. There are also openings in the correctional department. The Sheriff says they have to first fill the correctional positions over patrol positions. Some board members say they’re limited with what they can do, but understand the problem, and will try to find solutions.

The State Assembly considering allowing marijuana businesses to be able to take the same tax deductions as other businesses. The businesses are limited because of federal law. Legal cannabis businesses can’t take any deductions before paying taxes, so they pay higher rates than other legal business in California. In a past session, lawmakers had passed a similar bill, but Gov. Brown veto’d it saying it would cost too much to the state’s general fund. The bill was then reintroduced this session since there will be a new governor pretty soon.

A bunch of registered sex offenders and other high risk offenders arrested as part of a sweep in Clearlake. Police detectives and parole officers arrested more than a dozen people, some were taken to jail. This after a search warrant at one home where there was an ongoing investigation and several baggies of processed marijuana, chemicals and materials associated with the illegal cultivation and sales of marijuana.

An ex Lake County teacher previously arrested in identity theft cases involving his adult children has been sent to prison for grand theft from a Lake County couple. George Tanner McQueen of Sacramento got three years for grand theft and a two-year bail enhancement. The grand theft at the time he was also involved in the identity theft case with his son and daughter. He got time for that crime in Placer and Sacramento counties last year. He’s a former Yuba College dean and a former employee of the Lake County Office of Education. For the latest case a couple in Lake County went to McQueen for tax services, finding out he transferred $103,000 from their accounts to use as his own. He claimed it was a glitch, but never returned their money. He reached a plea deal and will return to court for a restitution hearing in February.

The Soda Creek Station on the Upper Lake Ranger District of the Mendocino National Forest has solar panels. It’s all part of the Assisting Federal Facilities with Energy Conservation Technologies, or AFFECT, Off-Grid Renewable Energy Project. The work done last week as one of five pilot projects in the same region. The systems to be installed where stations primary power comes from generators. There will be monthly info collected on the energy used and analyzed for the next ten years to see if more systems should be installed across the Forest Service.

State Sen. Bill Dodd says it’s time for new executive leadership at Pacific Gas and Electric Co. The request after a report by the California Public Utilities Commission on falsifying documents for underground gas pipelines, like one that exploded and killed 8 people in San Bruno in 2010. The utility company is also facing possible major fines and is already being sued for last year’s fires, now there are more fires this year to contend with. Dodd says the utility giant demonstrated a pattern of poor management and illegal conduct that’s shattered lives across California, saying there needed to be systematic change.

Fort Bragg short police officers, with three vacant positions. The Advocate newspaper reports there’s also a vacant community service officer position, and reports two officers are out on extended medical leave. And two others taking part in the Family Medical Leave Act. The city’s Public Safety Committee met earlier this week to discuss the matter and possible applicants after some recent recruitment. The City Manager says they’ve been actively looking to fill the positions since July. They’re also considering temporarily using some deputies from the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office which the Sheriff has agreed to do on a short-term basis.

A young man in Florida’s been cited after workers at a McDonald’s say he tried paying with a bag of weed. Port St. Lucie police say the man got a hard no when he offered to trade the pot for the food, but after Anthony Gallagher drove away, he came back and did it again. He was arrested the following day on marijuana possession and driving under the influence charges.