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A man accused of having child pornography has pleaded no contest. The Mendocino County DA reports Russell Haber of Gualala withdrew a not guilty plea after striking a deal to a single felony of unlawful possession of child pornography. The DA’s office says the agreement basically means the man is pleading guilty. Haber was apparently on supervised probation from another kiddy porn case when he was arrested again in March 2017. After his agreement, his two cases were sent to the Probation Department for sentencing recommendation. He’s due back July 19th to be sentenced. He faces 80 months in state prison and is staying in Sheriff Dept. custody until that time.

A fire burning near Cache Creek Dam has been contained before spreading. The fire seen from the Mount Konocti Lookout, but firefighters first couldn’t find where the pillar of smoke was coming from. Upon further investigation, they found it burning on private property near the Cache Creek Dam. Dispatch reports say the fire had a slow to moderate spread in heavy fuel. Some power lines nearby were de-energized, but no dropped lines were reported. It burned where the 2015 Rocky and 2016 Clayton fires burned. When firefighters contained it, it had burned about 9 acres.

A public meeting’s being held by the Bureau of Land Management Ukiah Field Office to get input on a wind energy project. The town hall two weeks from today, Tuesday, July 9th, for the proposed Walker Ridge Wind Energy Project in Lake and Colusa counties. There’s currently a 30-day public comment period happening which ends July 24th and they’ll accept written public comments at the open-house for the project to include up to 42 wind turbines on about 2,270 acres of BLM-managed public land along Walker Ridge, within the Indian Valley Management Area.

The open house meeting will be held from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Moose Lodge, 15900 State Highway 20, Clearlake Oaks.

A unanimous approval on the new fiscal year budget in Lakeport. The City Council voted to allow a small deficit and looks at finishing some major capital projects. The final budget was presented to the council last week. Lake Co News reports it focuses mostly on public safety, roads, human capital, project execution, cost control and economic development with $12.7 million in revenue and $16.3 million in spending.

A man from Hidden Valley Lake crashes his motorcycle and gets arrested for suspicion of DUI after a crash into a car. Police say 22 year old Josiah Fleenor had major injuries after the Saturday night crash in Hidden Valley Lake. The CHP says he was on a 2019 Kawasaki motorcycle but because of how intoxicated he was, his bike went off the roadway and crashed into a parked car. Cops also say he wasn’t using his safety equipment and that booze was a factor in his crash. He was taken to a hospital and arrested for DUI.

Lake County Sheriff Dept. preparing for fire season updates its language to use in the case of evacuations and sheltering. Apparently the way things were worded was different among various agencies and jurisdictions. The Sheriff’s office says that sometimes meant confusion. So in March the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services put together a panel who’s recommended some standard terms to use in evacuation or shelter in place situations. They include what an evacuation order is, what a warning is, and what shelter in place means too.

A fire reported behind the FoodMaxx in Ukiah on Airport Blvd quickly put out. The bonfire reported twice yesterday. The fire apparently used for cooking, didn’t pose a danger as it wasn’t near foliage and had bare dirt around it. But the Fire Authority says property owners should put up ‘No Trespassing’ signs. The fire after several campers were ordered to leave the area between the airport and the railroad tracks. And inmate crews were working to clear dry grass and vegetation in the area yesterday too.

The Konocti Harbor Resort probably not reopening this summer after all. The date was for June, then it was pushed to fall after a wet winter. But the Managing Director says there were things found during renovation that were unexpected, but says they’re making progress. The have to deal with long term water damage and plumbing and sewage repairs in the restaurant. The managing director says they’ve pulled out old carpeting, remodeled some cabanas and hotel rooms and put in new flooring. They’re looking to open with 100 rooms, a restaurant, a bar and a convenience store.

The Zoning Administrator in Ukiah is considering two projects. One is on South State St. and the other is simply a thumbs up or down for a new canopy for a gas station being renovated on East Gobbi Street. The meeting Thursday to consider a minor use permit for Detail Garage and Window Tinting. It used to be a gas station and repair shop known as Redwood Tree Service, but it’s been vacant for years.

Some zoning ordinance changes are being considered by the Lake County Board of Supervisors regarding cell towers and antennae. This after Verizon wanted to put up a new tower and was requesting a bunch of variances including setting the tower back and what the access requirements should be for an unused tower in downtown Middletown. The Lake County Planning Commission denied a permit for Verizon, who’s appealing. County Counsel says they’re looking to encourage towers go up in nonresidential areas and for several carriers to use a single facility so there’s not a bunch of equipment spread out around the County. The Board’s also considering if they should buy a generator to power the Courthouse should PG&E turn power off in a fire weather event.

A man from Clearlake appears in court after a robbery and assault to be held over for trial. 29 year old Paul Mendez had his preliminary hearing to see if there was enough evidence to hold him over for the trial. He’s pleaded not guilty for battery with serious bodily injury, robbery and assault with a deadly weapon with likely gross bodily injury for a December attack on another man, Nicholas Vining. It looks like the trial will happen sometime in September with the next court date at the end of August. Vining was interviewed in the hospital after the attack telling cops he was attacked by Mendez who was arrested in Clearlake Oaks. He admitted to the attack at the time and was booked into jail. Another suspect was also caught, Charles Drake in jail on $75,000 bail.

The body of an automotive journalist has been found. The Calaveras County Sheriff’s Office reports a body was found last Thursday in the Mokelumne River north of Valley Springs. They say they think it was 44-year-old David Gordon Johnson who was reported missing almost three weeks ago. Police say his girlfriend told them Johnson was headed home after test driving a motorcycle for a couple of days in Calif. and Nevada. Search teams found his clothes, cellphone and a laptop a few feet away from the fast-moving river.

Fort Bragg police have announced their annual Day in the Park. On Saturday, July 13th Fort Bragg Police along with several local community organizations are hosting the event at Bainbridge Park. They say it’s to bring families together for a fun safe event at the same time learning about resources and organizations in the community. It’s free and open to all ages, but focuses on children. There’s also free lunch with entertainment and a talent show.

Organizations who wish to host a booth or activity at the Day in the Park event may contact Sergeant O’Neal at toneal@fortbragg.com.

The East Fire has grown, but is apparently not a danger. Fire crews are patrolling and monitoring activity along Buck Ridge and East Ridge to the Middle Eel River. The Forest reporting repairing camp sites, firelines and helispots, removing berms, dispersing slash, hauling trash and covering cut trees with limbs or slash. They’re advising anyone out hiking to stay away from the area. Cool weather has the fire activity minimal. So far the fire 23 miles northeast of Covelo in Trinity County has burned 410 acres and is 30% contained. No structures have burned and no injuries have been reported.

The DMV is closing for a half day to get ready for the federal Real ID program. The Department of Motor Vehicles is closing Wednesday, July 24th until 1 p.m. As of next year all Americans have to have updated Real ID identification cards to travel without a passport. The Sacramento Bee newspaper reports the DMV has been struggling to launch the program efficiently. The agency asking as many as 3.5 million Californians who already applied for Real ID cards to send in a second proof of address because the initial system didn’t meet federal guidelines.

Calif. lawmakers vote yes for a tax on those who don’t buy state mandated health insurance. If you recall, that’s a main piece of former President Barack Obama’s health care law, the Affordable Care Act. But Republicans cut that part of the law out, but not in Calif. Gov. Gavin Newsom had proposed something similar just after he took office. The US Supreme Court had upheld the mandate in Obamacare, then the penalty was eliminated by Republicans in 2017 to begin this year, part of the tax cuts President Trump signed into law. Now Democrats in Calif. are looking to reinstitute the mandate, no Republican legislators voted for it and one Democrat in the Assembly voted no, Rudy Salas Jr. of Bakersfield.

A man from Hopland has been arrested as part of a human trafficking sting. Clearlake police got a call last Thursday morning to a report of someone being held against their will and there they found a 21-year woman with minor injuries. Cops say the victim saw the suspect’s car as she spoke to them, so they went after it. The men got out and ran, but police found Javier Alvarez of Hopland hiding in a backyard. He was arrested and held on $150,000 bond for first degree robbery plus there were other alleged offenses including human trafficking, assault, extortion and false imprisonment. The second man has been only identified as “Armondo,” but he’s not been caught yet. He’s described as a thin older Hispanic male adult, about 6 feet tall, with salt and pepper gray hair.

The Lake County Planning Commission is starting to update the County General Plan’s “Housing Element” with a town hall. It’s mandated by the state for all local government’s general plans to promote housing development and to meet the housing needs of their residents. The Record Bee reports in its staff report, Lake County Community Development Director and the Principal Planner say besides updates, there are also new state requirements that need to be implemented, mostly in line with affordable housing, and they have to include state assembly bill 2162 requiring “supportive housing” to be a “use by right” anywhere that multifamily and mixed use is allowed.

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