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Fines and more possible for PG& E still after the massive fires of October 2017. The State Public Utilities Commission has reportedly started an investigation into whether or not there should be fines and penalties imposed against the giant utility for the fires. The utility company is already a convicted felon for the San Bruno explosion nearly a decade ago, where eight people were killed. For that PG&E was fined $1.6 billion in 2015 and a year later was found guilty for crimes committed related to the explosion.

Lake County, Lakeport and Clearlake preparing for PG&E power shutoffs during fire weather conditions. The Record Bee reports the Lake County Board of Supervisors gave the greenlight to the Public Services Director to buy a backup generator to power the courthouse. Other county facilities are all set already with generators. City Hall in Lakeport is prepared for as long as five days, but there’s no air conditioning. Water and sewer services said to be ok for a shutoff but they’re looking at buying another generator for the water plant. Clearlake has a generator at City Hall where the police dept. is also located, but the city’s reportedly looking for a gasoline storage system if there’s a shutoff.  So far there are no plans for an emergency shelter, but PG&E plans to provide two facilities in the county for residents to charge phones and other electronics.

Lake County’s unemployment rate has hit the lowest level in almost 30 years. Lake Co News reports Lake County at a 4.2-percent jobless rate in May, which was the lowest since 1990. The news site reports the last three-decade low was 4.5 percent last May and September. The overall jobless rate in May was down one tenth and the same as one year ago. The national unemployment rate was 3.6 percent, staying the same as a month before and lower than the 3.8 percent this time last year. Lake County was 34th in the state with Mendocino hitting 3.2 percent and 20th in the state. Napa very low at just 2.3 percent and 5th lowest in the state, tied with Sonoma County.

Big honors for a local elementary school student. Fourth grader Sawyer Shucart from Lakeport Elementary got first place at the state level and in the Pacific Region. It’s now headed to the National level for competition. The National Garden Clubs and the National Forest Service bring the contest every year for first thru fifth graders to show their understanding of fire prevention and environmental conservation principles by drawing Smokey Bear or Woodsy Owl, but this year it was only Smokey, for his 75th birthday. Sawyer being honored at the California State Fair in July.

A presentation is being held by PG&E for their Community Wildfire Safety Program and Public Safety Power Shutoff. There will be representatives from Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) at next Tuesday’s Mendocino County Board of Supervisors meeting.  The utility company sending representatives to explain the whole Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) program for extreme weather conditions. The presentation for the public July 9th at 1:30. If you can’t be there, you can find a live stream on the Mendocino County YouTube Channel.

A young man in Covelo taken to the hospital with gunshot wounds. Kym Kemp dot com reporting the 22 year old had two gunshot wounds and was being taken to meet an air ambulance at Round Valley Airport. The report over the scanner early today that the man was shot once in the chest and another in his arm. The report said the chest wound may have been affecting one of his lungs. More info as soon as we know it.

One person had to be rescued at Van Damme State Beach while out kayaking. It happened last Sunday afternoon after reports of a missing kayaker near the caves, south of the park. More than a dozen firefighters went to the scene with a couple of jet skis. A friend of the missing man said he was out paddling then disappeared. A plane used to spot fires was out and saw the victim and reported back to command he was paddling south of Van Damme toward a small beach. Lifeguards found the man and helped him onto a rescue sled and took him back to Van Damme where there was an ambulance waiting. He says his kayak overturned and he couldn’t get it to turn back over so he paddled to a small cove.

A fire contained in Willits. The fire reported by Blackhawk Dr. and Williams Ranch Rd. yesterday, south of Willits and west of the 101. Several firefighting agencies were on the scene.

A woman accused in the death of her one day old baby had her arraignment rescheduled due to mental health concerns. 24 year old Yareli Diaz was charged last week with the murder of her newborn Mia last year. Police say she gave birth at home in the bathroom, wrapped the baby up and left it in her car all day. It wasn’t until a friend talked her into bringing the child to the hospital, that she was pronounced dead. Doctors said the baby would have been a healthy full term newborn. The woman apparently trying to hide the pregnancy from her parents. In court Diaz’ lawyer said she was being held under safety watch in jail and that a psychologist had not evaluated her yet. She was being held on $500,000 bail.

A group of residents who all survived the October 2017 firestorm in one decimated neighborhood have come together for a reunion. Some of the rebuilt Fountaingrove homes the site, almost 2 years after the Tubbs fire burned their community in Santa Rosa. The Press Democrat reports about 30 people got together at Rincon Ridge Park then they toured three finished homes where residents had just recently moved back. Nearly 1,600 homes were lost in the upscale Fountaingrove and Hidden Valley neighborhoods and only 10 percent of the fire survivors are back in those neighborhoods. 35 percent more are under construction. Several people were underinsured. Word is it could take up to a decade for all of the homes to be occupied again.

Three homes in downtown Guerneville have been destroyed by a fire over the weekend. The fire broke out Saturday night about 10:45 p.m. at one of the homes. Two families were inside at the time the fire started, but nobody was injured. The Monte Rio Fire Chief says there were two men cooking at the time of the fire, but they don’t know what caused it. The home that started it all was in the middle of the three, in the same complex. The chief says the fire spread quickly. Firefighters came from the Russian River, Monte Rio and Forestville departments with Cal Fire. The fire contained in 2 hours with favorable weather conditions and no wind.

A proposed law regarding wildfires would also mean a new safety board is exempt from certain government transparency laws. The Press Democrat reports the Wildfire Safety Advisory Board would work with the California Public Utilities Commission setting guidelines utility companies have to follow to try to prevent wildfires. But the new board’s ideas could be shielded from the public. The newspaper reports the board would have public meetings but it wouldn’t have to follow all of the state’s laws on open meetings. The Governor says the bill is just a draft and state lawyers probably have a reason for how the board’s communications are structured.

A local agriculturalist has died. Veteran agriculturist Charlie Barra reportedly died at his home in Ukiah after a life devoted to developing and promoting wine grapes in Mendocino County. He’s credited with being a mentor and having influenced many other growers and wine producers in the region and was an important innovator, showing how overhead sprinklers can prevent frost damage.   Starting at an early age from an immigrant family Barra built his successful Redwood Valley Vineyards and later Barra of Mendocino winery.  Along the way he was a County Supervisor, an inventor, also president of Sauveraine and invested in various wine enterprises.   He was 92 years old.

A man in Covelo has been arrested after a report of vandalism at the Yuki Trails Human Services Program. Deputies got a call to the area after staff said they heard glass breaking and saw Steven Luna Jr. throw a large rock through one of the windows of the building. They say he seemed drunk and wouldn’t cooperate then ran off. Cops saw a drunk Luna walking on the streets of Covelo and arrested him for felony vandalism and booked him into the Mendocino County Jail and held him on $15,000.00 bail.

 

 

 

 

 

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