Skip navigation

Monthly Archives: December 2018

Pacific Gas and Electric Company workers walking neighborhoods inspecting transmission lines. Kym reporting the workers looking at the Bridgeville-Cottonwood electric transmission line that goes through Humboldt and Trinity Counties. They’re looking at more than 600 PG&E transmission poles and the related components and may go into private properties. The safety inspections of towers and poles in high risk fire areas as a precautionary measure. Crews are putting in six day weeks depending on weather. And they’re notifying customers when they need to get onto private property. They have photo id cards on them and wear safety vests. It’s all part of their Community Wildfire Safety Program, which is on top of their routine inspections and maintenance programs. They’re also doing visual inspections on about 50,000 towers and poles across more than 5,500 miles of transmission lines thru next year.

A new rule could be costly for those frequently traveling across the Golden Gate Bridge. The Bridge District board was hearing proposals today to bring the toll rate up because of a $75 million dollar budget gap due to higher labor and material fees and because of the demand on transit. The toll fare options are varied, with one to fill that $75 million dollar void, and another to raise $25 million more. A spokesperson for the Golden Gate Bridge District says the extra money is needed to cover maintenance for the existing service and to invest in future major capital needs.

It’s going to be after the holidays before we see movement on the foreclosure sale of the Palace Hotel. It was supposed to happen this Friday, but apparently there’s been a technical issue. The Daily Journal reports the building’s receiver Mark Adams says the new date for the sale is January 11th instead. Adams has been managing the building’s makeover since the city declared the building a nuisance and got a receivership since the owner, Eladia Laines, had not followed thru on mandated work. The foreclosure sale set because Laines didn’t pay money against the property when she was supposed to. The property is in foreclosure and listed at just over 970-thousand. There’s been no offers so far.

A shelter crisis to be declared by the Ukiah City Council so the city can find more ways to apply for almost $5 million for Mendocino County homeless services. The Daily Journal reports the City Council will consider the matter at their meeting tonight. Mendocino County is getting about 10% of the Homeless Emergency Aid Program (HEAP) grant money from the state for cities, counties, and Continuums of Care to work on homelessness. So the city’s declaring the shelter crisis after the latest Homeless Point in Time Census and Survey Report. The City Council meeting tonight at 6 p.m. in the council chambers at 300 Seminary Ave.

Mendocino Supervisors Dan Hamburg and Georgeanne Croskey honored by the Board as they come to the end of their terms in office. Hamburg wasn’t there as he’s undergoing medical treatment. No more information’s been released about him except that his wife said he appreciated his time on the board for the Fifth District. Croskey was at the meeting and was honored by fellow board members. She was appointed by the Governor to the Third District position last year after Tom Woodhouse resigned for health issues. Croskey announced a year and a half ago that she wouldn’t run again.

A man from Lucerne arrested this past summer for suspicion of shooting his roommate has pleaded no contest. Michael Finnegan is accused of shooting his roommate in the chest with a semiautomatic rifle. At the time deputies say they got to the house and found Finnegan outside and the 51 year old victim with a wound to his chest. He was expected to fully recover. Finnegan said he shot the roommate because he thought he was being hostile to him and threatened to kick him out of their house. He’s still in jail on $175,000 bail. He will be sentenced for Assault with Firearm on Person and Battery with Serious Bodily Injury will be dismissed as part of a plea deal. He’ll be sentenced January 14th.

A man from Chico has been sentenced to several years in prison for vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence. Raymondo Valero Meza was arrested after the incident. He was found guilty in September. The Lake County Probation dept. denied probation for the man who has drug abuse in his background plus he admitted to prior strike, so his deal was doubled from six years to 12, plus he got another five years for the November 2016 accident where a woman was killed and two others had major injuries after the head-on crash on Highway 20 where he was speeding, crossed double yellow lines and hit Erika Kleit of Weed head-on.

The site chosen to bring Camp Fire debris processing is no longer going to be the Diamond Match property which is surrounded by homes. The City Manager released a statement Monday saying they decided against the site at the City Council meeting last week. Apparently the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and other interested parties found the site not suitable, so they’re looking for different spots. There were major complaints by community members and businesses over the Diamond Match property as a place where concrete, metal and burned vehicles from the Camp Fire would be taken. The Butte County Board of Supervisors Chair is also working with the state for a more suitable location that can hold multiple burned out trucks and tons of debris and could be reached by rail.

Ron Howard, the director and actor is making a documentary on the Camp Fire. Howard was in Butte County last weekend taking shots of the damage. He apparently was inspired to make the film after watching the stories on the news. He says he and his company is financing the film themselves and that it was such a strong story, he would come to Paradise himself. His mother in law apparently lived in town 2 decades ago for five years or so and he says he also has relatives in Redding. He says he’s impressed by the community and how people are keeping it together and looking toward the future.

Police in Eureka arrest a man after a month long sex assault investigation. Kym Kemp dot com reporting David Anderson arrested on rape, sodomy, lewd acts with a minor charges as well as several others including human trafficking. He’s being held on a whopping 3 million dollars bail. They’ve not released a whole lot more except to say it’s because they’re trying to keep details of the case under wraps while it’s still being investigated.

A man in Eureka’s arrested after an arson attempt at an apartment building in the city. Police say they got a call to someone running away with open flame, but they didn’t find any smoke or flames when they arrived. They arrested Jeremy Notman though after he seemed high on something and found him in possession of part of a device, which they say can discharge flames. It comes after someone who lives in the building reported smoke in the laundry room. The Fire Department also came out and put out a fire, which appeared to have been smoldering in a wall. Notman held on $75,000 bail for arson.

A new Verizon Wireless telecommunications tower has been approved, by a hair, in North Lakeport. The 3—2 vote yesterday from the Lake County Board of Supervisors, with District 4 Supervisor Tina Scott, who represents that area was in favor of it, saying it will pose minimal impact. She says several of her constituents had previously said they wanted better cell service and internet, so the tower would help. She even said her own house was a dead zone for service. Some who live nearby were arguing against the tower saying it would block their view of the lake, bring down property values, and increase fire risks.

The Ghost Ship, the scene of that massive fire where 36 people died, will be torn down. The building’s landlord has demolition plans in place, but the victims families apparently don’t want the building sold. They’ve filed a civil lawsuit and had already asked a judge to preserve the building so that all evidence could be collected and examined, but that’s all done now. The landlord applied for the demo last August. But the city says the owner and contractors have to reapply because the address was listed incorrectly on their first demolition application.

2 men have been arrested for a fatal hit and run last month in Upper Lake. Phillip Harrison of Potter Valley has been arrested for hit-and-run, vehicular manslaughter, conspiracy and concealing evidence. Kirk Hamilton of Upper Lake was arrested for conspiring to a cover up, making criminal threats, intimidating witnesses and possession of a dirk or dagger. Harrison accused in the death of Jobe Carpenter of Potter Valley Nov. 19th. The victim seen laying on the side of the road. Harrison told cops he saw Carpenter laying there and went to a nearby home for help and the resident came back with him. It was found out later Harrison was actually the driver of an old water truck that hit the victim after losing control. The CHP says Harrison and Hamilton conspired to cover up the crash, destroy evidence and conceal where the crash happened. They’re both in jail.

The CHP set to start its Christmas Maximum Enforcement Period like years past. Beefed up patrols to make sure roads stay safe over the holiday period starting this Friday, continuing thru Xmas. They’re looking at speed limit and possible impaired driving. Additional officers will be on the road. The CHP wishing all a happy and safe holiday season. There were 16 deaths last year during the Christmas Maximum Enforcement Period. And there were 917 arrests for DUI of alcohol or drugs. Statewide, 27 people were killed in collisions.

A cop in Lakeport recovering and being exposed to some sort of substance while doing a car search. Lake Co News reports Officer Andrew Welter got sick Monday after the vehicle stop in front of Power Mart. They say he noticed the man driving, Jeremy Griffin of Kelseyville, looked like he was hiding something as he reached into his center console. And the passenger, Anita Aney was on probation. A search of the car turned up a glass pipe, a loaded Smith and Wesson .45-caliber pistol and a rolled dollar bill with a white crystal type substance believed to be meth. The two arrested and the officer requested help after accidentally sniffing a white substance in a bag, believed to be meth. Narcan was used on him for possible Fentanyl exposure. And he went to the hospital and was later released.

Not a murder after all, that’s the findings of the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Dept. after interviewing an original witness and family members of the man who died. Reports of a man running from a burning van, then a body found inside that van last month in Leggett. Now a forensic odontologist has made a positive identification of the body found in the burned out van. It was the registered owner of the van, 58 year old Edward Kinckney, of Eureka. His family told police he had been showing signs of mental health problems the last few weeks of his life. So after talking to family and the original witness, detectives say a suspect seen running with his leg on fire, was probably Kinckley, who they say may have run back into the van before he died. His cause of death is still being investigated as there are more tests being run. Investigators say the original witness has been cooperating.

Good news at Eagle Peak Middle School. Board members of the Ukiah Unified School District found the school doing well with Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) programming as they become a STEM magnet school. The Daily Journal reports the school district board decided last year to make the change at Eagle Peak to become a STEM magnet school to help focus students for potential future careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The students get to work on projects like in robotics, electronics, computer coding and programming, 3-D art design, and music technology. The school also reporting more students enrolling in the past five years.

A man from Laytonville found guilty of several crimes including burglary and vandalism. The Mendocino County D-A’s office reports a jury came back after deliberations yesterday announcing the guilty verdicts against Frank Cabral, but he was found not guilty of possessing methamphetamine for sale. Instead he was found guilty of a lesser misdemeanor of simple possession. But he’s guilty of burglary in the second degree and vandalism causing $400 or more in damage, both felonies. He will be back in court Thursday. The man also had a previous conviction for murder in the second degree from out of state, if that’s found true in court Thursday, it could mean a doubling of whatever his sentence is.

Several marijuana gardens found in the Shasta-Trinity and Six Rivers National Forest and now the cleanup. Kym Kemp dot com reports on the finding from the Integral Ecology Research Center who say they found more than “6 tons of trash removed and close to 6 miles of irrigation line removed from streams being diverted.” The sites found in watersheds of the Trinity River and Hayfork Creek where protected species live, including the Foothill yellow-legged frog, steelhead trout and chinook and coho salmon. The Center reports the sites impacting critical habitat for the species.

A car with phony license plates in Fortuna ends in the arrest of two people on drug and weapons charges. The Fortuna Police Department reports the license plates found not to be registered to the car they were attached to. The cop further investigated and found an assault rifle, a stolen handgun from the State of Washington and more than eleven ounces of suspected Meth packaged for sale. Those inside, Janet Mallett and Donnell Campbell were arrested on multiple charges including possession of a controlled substance for sales, possession of a high capacity magazine, possession of an assault weapon. Campbell had a warrant out of Mendocino County too. The two held in the Humboldt County Jail.

Those still evacuated from their homes after the Camp Fire broke out, have been allowed back to see the damage. Most homes were totally destroyed in the fire that started November 8th. It killed nearly 90 people, with a handful still unaccounted for. 14,000 homes in Paradise and other communities nearby burned. They’ve all been warned, as have others going back in to town, there are limited services and to use power generators and have enough food, water and fuel for their cars. They’re also warned not to live on destroyed property until it’s declared clear of hazardous waste, ash and debris.

Some archaeologists along with volunteers in Paradise looking for cremains of those previously lost and burned again with homes destroyed in the Camp Fire. The Institute for Canine Forensics and archaeologists from Alta Archaeological Consulting in Paradise. The same group working at the Tubbs Fire burn last year, working in about 50 homes in Santa Rosa. The group will be in Paradise for three days, walking thru sites and bringing in a dog to help. They searched last weekend for the cremated remains of five people who were in urns left behind.

A new sergeant has been sworn in in Lakeport. The Police Chief Brad Rasmussen swore Sgt. Michael Davis into office yesterday at Lakeport City Hall. He was first a deputy with the Lake County Sheriff’s Office before coming to the police dept. He’s being formally introduced to the City Council at their regular meeting tonight at 6.

Two people from Lake County arrested in Sonoma County for multiple burglaries. Lake Co News dot com reporting Ryan Messing and Tabytha Jarvis were arrested after a call from someone in Forestville who came home and interrupted a burglary in her home. Police say the woman parked her car in the driveway and saw another car there, a woman inside it asked her if “Gina” lived there, then took off. The homeowner saw there was a broken front door window and heard some rummaging in the house while she was still in the garage. She ran back to her car and called police. She says she then saw Messing run out of her house to a nearby vineyard. Messing arrested in the vineyard and his girlfriend, Jarvis, was picked up later, then identified by the homeowner as the woman she saw in her driveway. Detectives found stolen firearms, tools, jewelry and miscellaneous items at her home. The two were being held in the Sonoma County Jail on burglary, possession of stolen property, theft of firearms, possession of a stolen vehicle and conspiracy charges.

The latest Statewide Elk Conservation and Management Plan has been released by the Department of Fish and Wildlife. The release after public review on how to maintain healthy elk herds. They’re looking to continue reestablishing elk and continue management practices that have bolstered elk populations in Calif. The agency says it builds on their commitment of a strong foundation for the continued conservation of this iconic species and its future management. The work includes controlling invasive weeds, installing water sources, conducting research and planting food plots.

The family of Scott Peterson, the convicted murderer of his wife Lacey, says there’s new evidence that’ll prove he’s innocent of the murder. Scott Peterson’s sister-in-law, Janey on the Dr. Phil show with the news. She says there’s a mailman who was involved and police even have a timeline to prove it. She says her brother in law shouldn’t be on death row, while there’s so many unanswered questions. She went on to tell Doctor Phil police never followed up with more than a dozen witnesses including a mailman she says is critical to the case. She also claims a former CBS reporter is to blame for Scott being on death row. The Peterson family wants a new trial now.

Some new laws take effect on the road in January. One of them, you cannot buy or lease a car and drive off without temporary license plates. The Gov. actually signed this bill into law in 2016. It means dealers have to put temporary tags on cars, not paper advertisements. And drivers with the temporary tags for different cars, or if they make their own temporary license plate, could face felony charges if they’re caught. The new law also apparently to cut down on the amount of folks trying to get out of paying for parking and tolls.

The State Attorney General is partnering with the city of Oakland to try to stop a developer from bringing coal through a terminal that’s being built on the old Oakland Army Base. Xavier Becerra getting on board as the city of Oakland appeals a federal judge’s ruling last May, saying the city violated its development agreement with Phil Tagami and the Oakland Bulk Oversized Terminal project by not allowing the transport. Then the development company sued the city. The Oakland City Council has also voted to approve the transport ban. Now the Atty. General has filed court papers to support the city’s appeal to prohibit coal saying the city has the right to apply new regulations to protect residents from health risks to the 2013 agreement with Tagami.

A Northern California utility company has fired a contractor after reports surfaced some workers were posing on burned out Camp Fire properties in a mocking fashion. As we reported yesterday, three workers posted photos on social media with captions or comments making fun of victims. So Pacific Gas & Electric cut off their agreement with Bigge Crane and Rigging Co even after the company said it fired those responsible, calling what they did an egregious insult. The posts went viral showing the workers in front of the destroyed homes, pretending to drive a burned out car and jumping through what was left of a trampoline. In one picture, there was a dead cat with a beer bottle in its mouth.

A man busted in Missouri for poaching deer has been ordered by a judge to watch the movie “Bambi” repeatedly as part of his punishment for poaching hundreds of deer. The Springfield News-Leader reports David Berry Jr. has to now watch the film at least once a month while serving one year in jail. Some conservationists say it’s one of the biggest deer poaching cases in state history. The deer killed for their heads, with their bodies left rotting. The man found guilty of illegally taking wildlife. Three relatives paid $51,000 in fines and court costs related to the case too.

A body’s been found after a fire at a home in Laytonville. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Dept. reports the fire this past Saturday just before 8 in the morning. The Laytonville Volunteer Fire Department and Cal Fire went to the home in the 48000 block of Highway 101 and found the structure fully engulfed in flames. The fire put out, but several hours after they went inside and found a body. Now the Sheriff’s Office is investigating along with a Fire Investigator from Cal Fire to determine how the fire started. The Sheriff’s Office says they’ve been in contact with the person’s family and they are getting DNA samples for comparison which could take several months to get back due to heavy caseloads. An autopsy is set for tomorrow.

The Sheriff’s office investigating some mail thefts in Ukiah make a couple of arrests. Deputies went to a home in Redwood valley after a complaint. At the same time the Ukiah Police Department reported on some attempts at fraud at a bank and store in Ukiah. They’ve identified one suspect as Charles Dale Maxfield who’s been arrested in a department store with a stolen checkbook. Another person has also been identified as trying to pass a check from the same checkbook at a bank in Ukiah. But police also found a bunch of stolen mail near a dumpster at a motel where Maxfield had been staying. Madalena Acosta was subsequently arrested with stolen mail in the motel room. They say they also found drugs in the room. The two held in jail on $15,000.00 bail. Cops say they’re looking for two other people who may have been involved.

Warning from state and federal recovery officials to look out for any suspicious activity or possible fraud from scam artists, identity thieves or other criminals trying to prey on fire victims. They same some of the fake offers they’ve recorded include promises of disaster grants, but first needing a cash deposit or advance. Phony housing inspectors, asking for banking information., something they say FEMA workers never do. Phony contractors without licenses, make sure to ask to see the license and don’t rush into hiring someone and get three bids too, then only pay about 10% or $1,000 whichever is less. And bogus pleas for post disaster donations or of course, what we’ve seen in the past, price gouging. To register for disaster assistance call 800-621-3362, TTY 800-462-7585, or at

And further… if you have knowledge of fraud, waste or abuse may call the FEMA Disaster Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721 or report it to the Federal Trade Commission at DHSOIGHotline.

Six locations getting Mobile Disaster Recovery Centers. There are five northern California counties getting the centers. Starting today those who’ve been displaced by the November wildfires and had to relocate and cannot travel to fixed-site Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs) in Butte, Los Angeles and Ventura counties. The centers will be staffed with folks from FEMA’s Individual Assistance and Mitigation teams, the Small Business Administration (SBA) and other state and federal agencies and other nongovernmental service organizations. They’re jointly operated by the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). They’re in Alameda, Contra Costa, Sacramento, Shasta and Tehama counties:

Sacramento County
Citrus Heights Community Center
6237 Fountain Square Dr.
Citrus Heights, CA 95621
Open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Dec. 17, 18, 19 & Dec. 27, 28, 29

Contra Costa County
Public Works
255 Glacier Dr.
Martinez, CA 94553
Open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Dec. 17, 18, 19 & Dec. 27, 28, 29

Tehama County
Red Bluff Fairgrounds
650 Antelope Blvd.
Red Bluff, CA 96080
Open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Dec. 17, 18, 19 & Dec. 27, 28, 29

Alameda County
Sheriff’s Station
4985 Broder Blvd.
Dublin, CA 94568
Open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Dec. 20, 21, 22 & Jan. 3, 4, 5

Sacramento County
Regional Parks
10361 Rockingham Dr.
Sacramento, CA 95827
Open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Dec. 20, 21, 22 & Jan. 3, 4, 5

Shasta County
Shasta/Redding Public Library
1100 Parkview Ave.
Redding, CA 96001
Open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Dec. 20, 21, 22 & Jan. 3, 4, 5

The burn scar from the historic Mendocino Complex Fire is massive, but many didn’t lose their homes. The Press Democrat with a look back on the fire that burned nearly a half million acres this summer. Thousands were told to leave their homes and at evacuation centers to get food and basic shelter accommodations. The River Fire, part of the complex burned just under 49,000 acres for 3.5 weeks. The Ranch Fire was the larger of the two and kept burning for weeks after the River Fire was contained. The newspaper reports Lake County’s had eight major fires the last three years which burned more than half the county’s acreage. Several camp grounds on federal land had to be closed too. Now there’s thousands of dead trees to remove. There’s now concern about the rainy season and erosion control.

Criminal charges may be coming for a wildfire cleanup worker on the Camp Fire who reportedly put pictures up online posing at properties destroyed by the Camp fire and mocking the whole thing. Rob Freestone seen posing in one with a flower pot on his head in front of a burned out home. More with him and a burned cat and a beer bottle while he jumps on a burned-out trampoline with a mocking caption. He and some other workers involved in the pictures last month were fired from the company they were working for, the company calling their behavior an “egregious insult.”

Some flooding in low-lying areas along the Russian River with the estuary closed over the weekend in anticipation of the rains. The flooding expected last night into today. The Sonoma County Water Agency reports a barrier beach formed Friday following big swells on its shoreline. Water levels went up more than a foot in five hours with flooding on docks, at boathouses and the Jenner Visitor Center. They were actively monitoring conditions over the weekend. For more info, visit

Walnut farmers reportedly struggling this year. The Record Bee reports on Seely Orchards, which grows walnuts, pears and wine grapes. They have only one worker in the fields this winter because of a projected loss this year in the value for walnuts. Even though prices for this year’s crop hasn’t been determined yet, it’s expected to be off up to 40 percent from last year’s prices. The final price happens in May. The newspaper reports the price down due to multiple factors, however ongoing trade wars aren’t helping. The California Walnut Commission previously said tariffs on several products including walnuts going to China, Turkey and India could mean a $300 million loss to the California walnut industry.

Major Calif. polluters get some help after an extension is approved on the greenhouse gas cap and trade system. The California Air Resources Board had their meeting last week regarding its implementation of last year’s law to extend the cap-and-trade program through 2030. That’s because lawmakers made promises to certain industries to get the needed votes to pass the extension. So industries can continue to pollute as long as they buy on the carbon-trading market. The board voted to continue the free carbon credits for some companies even though it was time to start reducing.

A new report not great news for PG&E. The Public Utilities Commission says for five years the utility company had committed multiple violations related to the safety of its natural gas pipeline system. Those violations include doctoring records. They further charge PG& didn’t have enough workers to go out and mark natural gas pipelines, that supervisors were pressured to finish work, and that the utility knew reports from outside parties had discrepancies. The violations reportedly between 2012 through 2017, years after the San Bruno explosion. Now an ensuing investigation to see if PG&E actually followed regulations to locate and mark natural gas distribution pipelines and to follow other rules regarding construction on PG&E’s underground pipes. The company already convicted of felonies for the San Bruno explosion that killed 8 people and leveled part of the neighborhood.

Staffing the main topic for the Lake County Sheriff’s Office at the next Board of Supervisors meeting. Supervisors to take up the subject at tomorrow’s regular meeting after the Sheriff Brian Martin requested the talk. The Sheriff asked for less than a half hour on behalf of the Lake County Deputy Sheriff’s Association. Martin says he’ll give a presentation on concerns and potential solutions. There also may be statements from departing staff. This comes after the Association president wrote a letter to the editor of the Record Bee saying staffing needed to be more of a priority at the Sheriff’s Dept.

A large crowd gathers as the Clearlake Police Chief swears in new members of his team. Last week Chief Andrew White swore in four new employees and one was also promoted. The police dept. being reorganized, so now there will be two lieutenants, including the new one, Tim Hobbs. He will oversee support services, including Code Enforcement and Animal Control. Also sworn in were Robert West as a new police officer, Garrett Copas as a Code Enforcement officer, Sabrinna LaCoy as a police dispatcher and Charmaine Weldon as a kennel technician.

A parrot in Britain uses an Alexa like device while his owner’s not around and orders some strawberries, a watermelon and, for some reason, a water boiler. Rocco, the African Grey, got the items from the personal assistant while home alone. But, because the device had a child proof like lock, none of the attempted purchases went through. The parrot, apparently bored home alone has also tried ordering kites and lightbulbs and gets the device to tell him jokes and play his favorite tunes too. His foster mom says he’s very sweet, she’s come home to romantic music playing and that he loves dancing…

As an investigation continues into the cause of the Camp Fire in Butte County, rules could be drafted by the State Public Utilities Commission over what conditions should warrant the shutdown of down power to lines in high wind situations, after a vote yesterday. Technology upgrades along with brush and vegetation management around power lines are also being considered to help prevent future wildfires.

PG&E has asked regulators for an increase in monthly electric and gas bills, which could cost customers an $12.00 a month. The request is not related to recent wildfire liabilities, rather costs over shutting down the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant, and the utility company’s general rate case. PG&E says the company is planning an investment of about $5 billion dollars through 2022, and needs the extra money to help pay for it. The filing did leave open the possibility of future rate increases due to recent wildfires.

A state prison inmate has been acquitted by a Mendocino County Superior Court Jury. 31 year old David Alexander was found not guilty in connection to charges of battery against a correctional officer at the Parlin Forks Conservation Camp after the jury returned from it’s coastal deliberations this week.

Law enforcement in Northern California were kept busy yesterday with bomb threats that were sent to businesses and schools all across the country yesterday. The emails demand bitcoin or a mercenary will be sent to bomb the building under threat. The FBI along with state and local officials were investigating the threats which turned out to be part of a nationwide hoax. Although the threats were not credible, authorities are advising everyone to be extra vigilant, and to report any suspicious activity.

A case of Chickenpox has been diagnosed in an Upper Lake Middle School student, and one more potential case is pending diagnosis. Two students were sent home with symptoms this week, and now Lake County residents are being warned to watch for symptoms in their children. Parents of students at the school are being urged to vaccinate their children if they have not already done so, or if there is an objection to vaccination, children should be kept home for 21 days after the onset of the last identified case. Symptoms include a blistery rash that first shows on the stomach and back before spreading to the face, arms and legs. Children may have a fever or stomach ache in the days before the rash appears. Any questions should be directed to the Public Health Department at 707-263-1090.

Riverside Park Closed yesterday afternoon for construction of the recycled water project. The work will continue until December 21st, and there will be no access to the park during work hours, 7am to 5pm, Monday through Friday. The project will deliver water from the wastewater treatment plant to over 600 acres of agriculture, pasture and turf at three parks and a school. More information about the project can be found at

If your earnings are below 400 percent of the federal poverty level, it’s not too late to get federally subsidized health insurance on the exchanges, but time is running out. The deadline to sign up for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act is tomorrow. Even if you don’t qualify for a subsidy, you can still purchase insurance on the exchanges if you cant get it through an employer. You can shop for plans, and even find free help at

In a press conference this week, Butte County D.A. Mike Ramsey and the US attorney for the Eastern District of California promised to investigate price gouging, false home listings and to root out theft and other schemes. They warned survivors of the Camp Fire to watch for criminals trying to take advantage of them. Possible cases of fraud can be reported to the DA’s office or the National Center for Disaster fraud hotline. According to the California Insurance Commissioner, losses from the Camp, Woolse and Hill fires total $9 billion dollars so far, but will likely be increase as more claims are made in the coming weeks and months.

A Southwest airlines flight from Seattle to Dallas had to be turned around when someone realized they had left a human heart on the plane. The heart was headed for a hospital in Seattle from an earlier flight that left Sacramento. When it was discovered the heart had been forgotten, officials said it was absolutely necessary to get the cargo back ASAP. Once the plane landed with the heart, passengers were told to deplane due to a mechanical issue. Five hours later, the passengers were back on their way to Dallas.

A month after the most destructive wildfires on record in Calif., federal and state agencies have put up almost $180 million in grants and loans for recovery. After President Trump approved a disaster declaration Nov. 12th, FEMA and federal and state partners started support survivors in Butte, Los Angeles and Ventura counties. After the first month, FEMA had already approved nearly 30 million in Housing Assistance grants for home repair or replacements and rental expenses and more than $13 million in Other Needs Assistance grants for repair or replacement of personal property, vehicle repair or replacement, moving expenses and other disaster-related needs. The SBA also approved more than $125 million in low-interest disaster loans for homeowners and businesses.

A man from Yreka plunges his car into the freezing Klamath River in Siskiyou County. Emergency officials say the man survived for several hours trapped in the upside-down car. They say 28-year-old Michael Finn breathed out of a pocket of air in the car until he was rescued about five hours after he car skidded off State Route 96 into the river yesterday. The Siskiyou County Sheriff’s dive team pulled the man out and tow truck pulled his car out of the river. The man was treated for exposure.

A new letter to state regulators says PG&E’s equipment in Pulga and Concow had been damaged before the Camp Fire November 8th. The letter says a tower had bullet holes, a fallen hook and a broken tower arm. Plus the utility company says it was one of their workers who first discovered the fire and called 911. There’s no determination of what caused the fire so far, but investigations continue into PG&E’s Caribou-Palermo electrical transmission line as well as a power pole in the Big Bend circuit, both items are situated in Butte County. There had been two power outages reported the morning of the fire and in between the two outages, the fire was spotted. And the next day the utility company says an employee saw a power pole down with bullets and bullet holes in it. There was also noted damage and failure — including worn-out equipment on one of the lines, a broken C-hook, a flash mark and other problems. Then even later on Nov. 12th more evidence of damage on Concow Road in Butte County where there were several snapped trees, some on top of downed power lines.

An audit for the 2017-2018 budget for Mendocino Coast District Hospital has been approved by its directors. The budget shows a nearly $2.5 million loss though instead of $3.5 million which had been estimated last July, the end of the fiscal year. The hospital’s auditor says breaking even is about controlling expenses and improving the way they charge for procedures and collect revenue, something they’ve already been working on. The hospital lost income at about 4 percent last year, apparently lower than most small hospitals across the country, but the debt load is higher than most. The hospital also has a union issue with some workers, at an impasse on contract talks with the United Food and Commercial Workers.

Reports of a hold up at the Subway in Ukiah. Police get a call to the sandwich joint on Perkins and North Orchard where the cashier reportedly handed over cash after being threatened at gunpoint. They say the suspected thief was shot twice in the back with a private citizen who had a concealed weapons permit, they had been a customer at Subway when the heist happened. Police say the suspect dropped the money, then ran towards the Ross Dress for Less store and collapsed. Not a lot more info released.

Only two hours for a Mendocino County jury to find a man accused of murdering his neighbor, guilty. Court papers say Oscar Carrillo shot and killed Salvador Hernandez in April of 2016. Carillo found guilty by the jury of the premeditated and deliberate murder of his neighbor, plus an enhancement that the defendant personally used a knife to commit the murder. The victim stabbed repeatedly, with eight stab wounds and as many as 67 incised wounds. Carillo faces 25 years to life in prison and another year for the enhancement. He’s due back in court next Thursday for the date setting of his sentencing hearing.

Ukiah Valley Fire Authority, Mendocino County and Cal Fire having a town hall on the “restore and expand” plan. That’s a shaded fuel break at the bottom of the Western Hills in Ukiah. The Daily Journal reports the city’s fire marshal says the meeting is for those living in the area, adding that the trees are lovely in Ukiah but they could also be a source for another fire, like the Camp Fire in Paradise. So to mitigate that, the marshal says they’re working with Cal Fire and others to improve fuel barriers in the hills west of Ukiah. There’s another “shaded fuel break” in the city, created more than a decade ago, which helps protect against a wildfire. They’ll go door to door to folks in the area to get permission for access to property to create the new fuel break. The meeting tonight at 5-30 at City Council chambers.

A major wetlands project in Lake County. The Lake County Land Trust acquiring 200-acres southwest of Lakeport to become protected wetlands on the shores of Clear Lake. The Wright property will be protected with donations from various entities. Tallman Hotel and Blue Wing Saloon owners are reportedly putting up $40,000 as a 50-percent match; challenging others to do the same. $120,000 is the fundraising goal. The shoreline property is south of Lakeport in the Big Valley Wetland area where black-tailed deer, California quail, wild turkey, prairie falcon, otter, bobcat, black bass, catfish, waterfowl, and other habitats are there for Clear Lake hitch and western pond turtle.

Some folks are still combing thru the ruins of their homes in Paradise. Now they’re getting support from survivors from Santa Rosa who were victims of last year’s Tubbs Fire. The Press Democrat reports victims from Santa Rosa drove to Butte County to talk to other wildfire survivors who just lost their homes. The Tubbs fire in October of 2017 destroyed Larkfield, Fountaingrove and Coffey Park. Members of Coffey Strong were in Chico Tuesday talking to grief stricken Camp Fire victims. The newspaper reports about 75 Butte County residents were at a meeting with contractors where the Tubbs survivors met them. The Tubbs fire burned from Calistoga to Santa Rosa, burning almost 5,300 homes, and killed 22 people. It was one of the most destructive in the state, the Camp Fire has now surpassed that with nearly 14,000 homes destroyed and 86 people dead.

The top firefighter for Cal Fire says the state may want to stop building homes in vulnerable areas. The Director for the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection Ken Pimlott is retiring as of tomorrow. He interviewed with the Associated Press saying the government and residents have to act differently to protect lives and property from fires as they continue to threaten large populations. He says it could mean no more subdivisions in forested mountainous areas or dried out canyons. He also says residents should train themselves how to move fast after warnings and be prepared to shelter in place if they can’t run from flames. There’s a lot more too, like fireproof construction in buildings, like how we prepare for earthquakes, hurricanes or tornadoes.

Cops in Windsor on the lookout for whoever used counterfeit cash to buy some stuff at Walmart. Police say a man and woman used $1,000 in fake cash to get gift cards. They went in separately about a half hour apart handing the cashier five $100 bills and bought the cards. Police say the pair used bills that had been identically counterfeited. They have released pictures of the two that were captured by store surveillance cameras while they left the story. Police asking anyone who may have seen anything to call.

Firefighter layoffs and a budget gap end in the Lakeport Fire District Director Bill Whipple stepping down. Whipple says with all that’s been going on, he felt like it was a good time to leave. He also says he’s been with the department more than 30 years and felt it was a good time to retire. He also said he was happy there would be new energy at the district with a new board member, taking his spot. The Fire Chief Doug Hutchison says he’s sorry to see Whipple go, because he’s been a good, steady, calm voice on the board. The City of Lakeport is going to appoint two directors to seats representing the city, and the Lake County Board of Supervisors is appointing three directors in unincorporated areas of the fire district.


A woman in Clearlake has been hit and killed by a car. Clearlake police say the driver was headed south on Highway 53 when he hit Bernadette Patrick Monday night. They say Michael Jefferson was the driver and that there were no crosswalks or sidewalks in the area and that Patrick was hit near Lakeshore Drive and died on the scene. They say they do not believe drugs or alcohol were a factor in the crash and say Jefferson stopped and cooperated with police, but they’re investigating still.

The California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery working with the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services; Butte, Los Angeles, and Ventura counties and several other state and federal agencies working together to clear the debris after the most destructive wildfires in California history. Managed debris removal in Butte, Los Angeles, and Ventura counties by the state to take out household hazardous waste and other fire debris after more than 14,000 properties were destroyed by the Camp, Woolsey, and Hill fires. Phase one started this week and phase two will follow. There were damage assessments done after Thanksgiving. Cal Recycle crews are finishing up in Shasta, Lake and Siskiyou from earlier fires, the Pawnee, Mendocino Complex, Carr and Klamathon Fires.

The name of a man whose body was found in the Eel River in Piercy has been identified. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s office says it was 52 year old Bruce Thompson of Santa Rosa. An autopsy was done on the body found last Wednesday. The Coroner identified the body this week. Thompson had been reported missing from Eureka after he missed a medical appointment. He was reportedly suffering from depression after a serious decline in his health. A missing persons case was then filed with the Santa Rosa Police Department.