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Two new fire engines coming to Ukiah. The fleet maintenance supervisor for the city says they’re waiting for special gear, but that the engines should be ready to roll within a week or so. The two engines reportedly cost the city more than $1.1 million after they were authorized last year. The Daily Journal reports the new engines are Type 1, or “structural fire engines”. They are designed for response in rural areas, capable of navigating tighter spaces. The engines will have the city’s logo and match the color scheme of the rest of the fleet.

AmeriCorp helping rebuild homes after last year’s Redwood Complex Fire. Hundreds of homes were lost in that fire so residents have been in temporary or rented homes. The new homes are for those who wouldn’t be able to afford to buy. So for the last month the AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps Green 3 team has been in the burn area building a house with about 10 people. The home’s almost done. They’re partnering with Hope Crisis Response Network (Hope City) and North Coast Opportunities (NCO) for the rebuilds. They are reportedly planning on building up to 20 homes in Redwood Valley, part of a larger plan to rebuild in Potter Valley too. Some folks staying in mobile homes at the Redwood Valley Church since they fire.

State Sen. Mike McGuire working with his Democratic colleague Sen. Scott Wiener of San Francisco on a new version of a tax transparency bill. Governor Brown previously veto’d a similar bill to require presidential candidates to publicly release five years of tax returns so they can make it on to a California state ballot. McGuire says voters deserve full disclosure. He tied President Trump not releasing his to ignoring his own intelligence agencies and the recent murder of a journalist in Turkey. The bill passed last year, but Brown, at the time said he worried about individual states trying to regulate presidential elections. Apparently the new bill only has minor changes in it and an added urgency clause.

A new leader for Mendocino County’s Cannabis Program. The Building Inspector Sean Connell is taking over the job. The Agricultural Commissioner told the Board of Supervisors about the hire at their meeting yesterday, saying Connell will take over Dec. 31st. Connell also addressed the board with excitement. The job’s been open for six months after the last manager left in June, only four months after accepting it. The position was created a year and a half ago. There has been some controversy with the position and with the Ag Commissioner job, which also has a new person in it since spring time.

Not a lot of love for a proposed ordinance in Lake County for anyone who violates a fire safety code. Supervisors also considered a hazardous vegetation abatement ordinance. The County Counsel Anita Grant described it to the supervisors saying it’s similar in tone to other county ordinances dealing with hazardous vegetation abatement. The new one means parcel owners without a structure on them will have to abate fire hazards so there’s 100 feet of defensible space from any structure on an adjacent property. This will go to public comment before any movement on it. But some in the public who’ve heard about language in the ordinance are speaking out about it, questioning it’s legal validity. They also decry fines attached to it or having to abate a neighbor’s property. And some supervisors vary on their thoughts, like hurry it up and get it passed, or make sure there’s an appeal process in place.

A change of venue is being considered in the trial of a man accused of murder in Chico. A change of venue expert testified in Steven Crittenden’s trial yesterday since Crittenden’s been accused in the past of murder. His lawyers saying he wouldn’t get a fair trial locally. The prosecutors filing for the trial to be held in Butte County . Crittenden confessed to murdering a couple in 1987. And apparently about half the folks being interviewed by this expert did have a recall of the case saying he was “probably guilty” or “definitely guilty” with even more saying he was “definitely guilty.” Crittenden was found guilty of the murders when he was a Chico State University student. But the convictions tossed for racism by the prosecutor. Crittenden is black. But he’s been in custody on death row ever since.

It could be a long time before there’s an abalone hunting season again. California fish and game commissioners are deciding today if the closure should be extended two more years. The closure approved a year ago could be extended to April 2021 due to a decline in the fishery and no signs it’s going to rebound. The environmental program manager for the agency says it’s not positive news, adding they’ve seen starving abalone and fresh empty shells. There may be no abalone hunting on the Sonoma and Mendocino coasts like years past. Commercial fishing has been banned since 1997 but there’s been a recreational fishery for red abalone.

Firefighters called in Germany outside Berlin after a liquid chocolate overload. Firefighters in the town of Werl had to help mop up the mess which overflowed and poured out onto a street. The street where the chocolate explosion happened had to be closed down and firefighters shoveled about 108 square feet of the mush. A special cleaning company came out after and took care of the mess. The fire department with a statement saying, it was heartbreaking, but they didn’t think there would be a chocolate-less Christmas in Werl.

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