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A former student of Ukiah High says her picture as a water polo player at the school was used in the college cheating scandal. The Daily Journal reports Shannon Whetzel’s picture was used by a wealthy Napa Valley winery owner to get his daughter into USC, making the college think she was an elite water polo athlete. Court papers and the Daily Journal investigation shows Agustina Huneeus is the daughter of the winery owner Agustin Huneeus. He just pleaded guilty to the cheating scandal. The newspaper reports Agustina’s sister Antonia went to Yale. The paper also says Agustin paid $300,000 to get his other daughter into USC and the man at the head of the cheating scandal helped her with her SAT scores and a fake water polo profile.

A temporary moratorium on industrial hemp being extended in Mendocino County. The Board of Supervisors gave the thumbs up to the extension of cultivation of industrial hemp and cultivating genetically modified organisms in unincorporated areas of the County. They’ll also consider it for the County as a whole at a later date. The ban to last nearly a year, until next Feb. 24th, of 2020. The wording in the ordinance says it’ll be totally prohibited so county staff can further study the issue, talking to other counties to see what they do regarding hemp. The board looking at ways to bolster the cannabis industry, not hinder it.

The man accused of setting the Clayton Fire in Lake County is still being held in Jail. The Record Bee reports more than two and a half years after the fire in Lower Lake, accused arsonist, Damin Pashilk, of Clearlake is still behind bars, pleading not guilty, but not yet at trial. A recent preliminary hearing has him held to answer charges. Now the jail will hold him until April 23rd and maybe longer. The newspaper reports there’s been a lot of movement in the case, but no word when the jury trial will start yet. He’s facing multiple arson charges for several fires besides the Clayton which burned in August of 2016. It burned nearly 4,000 acres and destroyed 300 structures. He’s due back in court April 23rd.

Some Lake County voters being reminded to get their completed voter registration form in to the Registrar of Voters office on or before April 22nd or have it postmarked on the date so they can receive their official ballot for the Lakeport Fire Protection District parcel tax. Those eligible are encouraged to get their paperwork in, but if they don’t they can still cast a provisional ballot by going in to the Lake County Registrar of Voters on Election Day, May 7th. You can also register to vote there, call to have a form sent to you, or register on line. You can also find registration forms around town at most post offices, libraries, City Offices and Chamber of Commerce offices. http://registertovote.ca.gov/.

The Lake County Registrar Of Voters Office also wants those who may have lost their homes in recent fires to use their your pre-fire residence address for the Election. They say they’ll start to process the ballots, starting this coming Monday. The processing of the ballots continues thru Election Day and during the 30 day official canvas. The counting of ballots starts on Election Day in the Registrar of Voters office, but they won’t announce if the parcel tax passes until after polls close at 8:00 p.m. Those who would like to observe are invited to watch the processing and counting.

The monthly meeting of the Mendocino County Homeless Services Continuum of Care is set. Next Monday, April 15th, at 1:30 p.m. there will be an update on Homelessness Definitions, a presentation on Rapid Rehousing, and talks on staffing and appointments. The Continuum of Care program made up of individuals, and agencies with the goal of fighting homelessness in the community. The group helps bring Federal Housing and Urban Development (HUD) money to Mendocino County to help families and individuals experiencing or at risk of homelessness, to find stable housing.

For more information, please contact Dennie Maslak by emailing
maslakd or call (707) 467-5851.

Community members are being encouraged to attend the next Mendocino County Behavioral Health and Recovery Services meeting. It’s happening next Wednesday, April 17th at Lauren’s Café, in Boonville, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. It’s for anyone interested in supporting local behavioral health services.

BHAB meeting agendas are published at: https://www.mendocinocounty.org/BHAB

For more information about the BHAB meetings, please contact Carolyn Peckham, Behavioral Health & Recovery Services Administrative Secretary at (707) 472-2310 or e-mail: bhboard

Permits for those who want to renew their yearly Cannabis Cultivation permit being accepted. The Mendocino County Department of Planning and Building Services accepting applications for the renewals, but not by appointment. There’s a cannabis drop box now, where all of the applications should be dropped off. It’s in the main lobby of the Planning and Building Services Dept on North Bush Street in Ukiah. You may have to first have your updated status and compliance plan to get your renewal, if your permit had restrictions. You won’t be able to renew if you don’t follow the rules carefully.

It’s back to square one between the City of Lakeport and the Board of Supervisors regarding the city’s proposed annexation of the South Main Street corridor. The board got an update this week from the county’s negotiating committee of the annexation of a 123 acre piece of land. Lake Co News reports the latest meeting ran smoother than in the past. The discussion this time on water service and a planned road project. The annexation in the works for at least a quarter century. Parties agreed a date would be set for another meeting before the end of the week to get things moving again.

A man from Guerneville found guilty of a hate crime is going to jail for nearly a year. Vincent O’Sullivan convicted for threatening a gay Starbucks barista. The homeless man lives in Guerneville. He reportedly went into a Starbucks last May and threatened the employee saying he was building pipe bombs to attack the employee, the Safeway and the Starbucks its located in, and a nearby Sheriff’s Office substation. He was also found guilty of stealing a gay pride flag from Guerneville Plaza and went to jail for four months for that. Now he has to serve another nine months in jail, and three years probation after that.

Big Gulp drinkers get a break. The state Assemblymember who brought forth legislation to ban Big Gulps has pulled the legislation. Asm. David Chiu of San Francisco says he’s going to re-activate the bill next year so it’s illegal for retailers to sell or give away those ginormous cups with removable lids. He says there’s been a bunch of talks about the bill and more ways to reduce sugar-sweetened drink consumption. He says instead, they’ll make it a two year effort so there’s constructive dialogue. He says sugar-sweetened beverages are one of the most pressing public health issues of our time and must be addressed, adding it’s a multi-year conversation, he looks forward to having.

A unanimous decision to seek the death penalty against the accused Golden State Killer. 73 year old former Central Calif. Cop Joseph DeAngelo, accused of being the mass murderer. Now DA’s from six different counties where he’s accused of crime sprees met to decide. Four of the counties make him eligible for Capital Punishment, Sacramento, Santa Barbara, Orange, and Ventura. DeAngelo’s charged with 13 counts of murder, and 13 counts of kidnapping for robbery. He probably won’t ever be put to death, due to his age and also the recently signed executive order by Gov. Gavin Newsom to stop executions in California.

A new report shows all sorts of improper activity on the job at various California offices. The report from the Calif. State Auditor shows one Calif. State University police officer found napping on the job, an IT associate took bereavement leave improperly, and three engineers misused as much as 1,000 hours of state time. The report shows 30 employees engaging in all sorts of abuses at multiple state agencies. Some employees taking time off without consent and more. The officer at the CSU campus who napped cost the state more than $16,000. The three engineers at the State Water Resources Control Board came into work whenever they felt like it, took long lunches and left early, costing the state as much as $48,000. The State Auditor with reform suggestions like improved training, monitoring time reporting, and possible changes to union agreements regarding bereavement leave.

Hundreds on the picket line across the state. The University of California’s largest employee union had the daylong strike yesterday. The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 3299 with workers picketing across the state. The second time UC workers have been out of work, picketing in a month. The union represents as many as 24,000 UC service and patient care workers. The union says it’s because of intimidation tactics and interference with union organizing. They’ve also filed a report on the matter with the state Public Employment Relations Board. A University of California spokesperson says it’s just a way to justify another strike. Negotiations for a new deal for the workers has been going on two years. The union wants an 8% increase in pay, UC is giving them 2%. Union leaders also say some jobs are being outsourced.

A man in Florida has been arrested after reportedly sticking a cigarette in a young alligator’s mouth. Lee County Sheriff’s deputies say they got multiple complaints about crimes last month on Fort Myers Beach. They found Phillip Harris with pictures on his phone of himself abusing an alligator. A local newspaper reporting there are videos of the man holding a 2-foot gator by its neck, then tossing it to the ground and pointing a handgun at it. There are now several charges against him including burglary and grand theft.

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