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A search conducted into the almost year long disappearance of a Covelo woman. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office along with other agencies did a search and rescue this weekend for Khadijah Britton who vanished last February 7th. Witnesses and family members say her ex boyfriend Negie Fallis, who’s in jail, forced her into a car at gunpoint. Since that time, the Sheriff’s Office and others have been looking for Britton. This time the one-day search was on Round Valley tribal land, and a search of a pond with a blackwater team. But nothing was found. The whole thing yesterday after various tips from the public, but were reportedly more about rumors than anything concrete. The Sheriff’s Office says they’re making some progress, but it’s been frustrating.

The Potter Valley project is no longer for sale. Pacific Gas and Electric has reportedly decided not to relicense and sell the hydroelectric dam after all. The utility company says they’ve sent a letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) with their official Notice of Withdrawal, but the company also said the Federal agency will initiate its so-called Orphan Project process so anyone interested could potentially license the project. The company also says if that’s not successful they assume FERC will order PG&E to surrender and decommission the project altogether.

The Hoopa Valley Tribe prevails in federal court, arguing dam owner PacifiCorp needs to use mandatory requirements to protect the Klamath River. PacifiCorp has to get a license from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, but apparently they haven’t had a valid one since 2006. The tribe claimed PacifiCorp was enabled by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and the states of Oregon and California to use temporary operating licenses without dam modernization. The Fisheries Director for the Hoopa Valley Tribe says it’s a small victory in the larger fight for a healthy Klamath river.

You may see some smoke in the area south of Covelo and beyond, but no worries, it’s Cal Fire with a controlled burn to control vegetation overgrowth. The burn near Round Mountain will probably be visible from Highway 162 starting around 10 this morning. The Vegetation Management Program as weather permits to minimize air quality and other impacts. Cal Fire says the burn, which also may be seen out in Willits, is to reintroduce fire as a natural element of the ecosystem and improve wildlife habitat and reduce overall vegetation to hopefully stop catastrophic wildfires in the future.

Willits City Councilmembers getting a little more green in their pockets. At their meeting last week, council members voting to give themselves, and not the mayor, a $100 increase. They already get a monthly $100 stipend and the mayor gets $200. There’s a $300 limit for a city of Willits size. Fort Bragg and Lakeport pay council members $300 a month, and Ukiah is allowed nearly $500/month. They pay the maximum of $460. The money to offset travel expense like gas, food and parking.

More info on what that private equipment was that caught fire, causing the deadly Tubbs Fire almost a year and a half ago. State fire investigators announced last week a private electrical system was to blame for the fire, not PG&E equipment, which caused the utility’s stocks to spike a bit. But they’re still claiming they’re filing for bankruptcy protection. The 80 page report into the fire says it started at 1128 Bennett Lane in Calistoga where the caretaker says a wooden pole, distributing power had deteriorated because of woodpeckers. They were planning to replace it the following spring. PG&E was found responsible for 17 other fires that broke out in October of 2017 though, and they also are being investigated for the deadly Camp Fire in November of last year. A lawyer representing 400 people in the Tubbs fire zone says it’s not an accurate finding, and calls the findings suspicious, especially the timing around when PG&E announced it would fire for bankruptcy.

The interim Superintendent for Lakeport Unified Schools has put together his list of priorities. The Record Bee reports Patrick Iaccino saying his first priority will be to hire a new Chief Business Officer and there’s only one person he’s considering. Then a new superintendent and wants to use in-house expertise, not an executive firm and wants to put together a hiring committee and have public forums. And he wants to use the Consolidated Application to make sure they’re up to date on state and federal funding possibilities, like potential bonds. Then finally he wants to work on the fizzling enrollment numbers. There were also other items brought up at last week’s meeting like keeping teachers who are qualified with possible incentives. Also housing is still an issue, that could be one incentive. They’re also taking a look at salary and benefits.

The Lake County Board of Supervisors will take on the proposed reorganization of administration in the sheriff’s dept. This is a special meeting, since it’s happening on the 5th Tuesday of the month, which they usually take off, but they skipped last week due to the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday. On the agenda, the Sheriff Brian Martin will ask for a reorganization to help attract and retain staff, and to reorganize to meet demand in other ways.

At least one set of fire victims in Sonoma County say just because a Cal Fire report says PG&E is not responsible for the deadly Tubbs Fire, they’re still going to forge ahead with their lawsuit against the giant utility. The Press Democrat reports even though the report said a private electric pole was to blame for the fire and not PG&E equipment, one couple involved in the suit, Harvell’s is planning to move forward. They lost everything in the fire and filed suit against PG&E related to the Oct. 2017 fire a week after the fire. Apparently the report from Cal Fire is not admissible in court so it won’t affect the outcome of the case.

Some endangered eels in some European rivers are getting “hyperactive” and their survival threatened due to cocaine being flushed into Britain water ways. Research shows cocaine, amphetamines and ecstasy in lakes and rivers, including the Thames (Tems). The drugs pass thru sewage treatment plants and now biologists at the University of Naples Federico II showed European eels in water with a little cocaine in it get hyperactive. It also showed after 50 days of exposure, serious injury, including muscle breakdown and swelling, which didn’t heal after ten days in clear water.

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