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18 people arrested in Clearlake as the police department conducts a city-wide operation. The police chief at the latest city council meeting saying the operation that led to the arrest of one of two people suspected in the murder of a man at an RV resort also led to several drug arrests. The Lake County Probation Department and Clearlake animal control and code enforcement officers with the sweep arresting eight people for felonies and 10 more on suspected misdemeanors. There wereweapons and meth and drug paraphernalia and several code enforcement and animal control cases. The police chief says they intend to conduct more of these sweeps monthly, if they have the proper staffing. Murder suspect Miguel Becerra was arrested during the sweep and held on $1 million bond in connection to the death of Steven Stone.

After a recent Mendocino County Grand Jury report on the Ukiah Valley Sanitation District, the board of directors didn’t take it up at a special meeting. The Daily Journal reports the board also continued discussions and plans on some of the things the report specifically recommended changing. The board chair says she needed to read the report a few times over before discussing it. The report released a couple weeks ago titled “Change and Transparency Needed” saying the City of Ukiah and the District are considering rate increases but have to say if it’s to cover the $9 million in combined legal and administrative fees and nearly $5 million in payments the city made to the district after a settlement. The report also says there’s other work to be done at the Wastewater Treatment facility that could raise rates more.

Lawmakers in Sacto continue working on legislation to protect renters from no-fault evictions. The legislation failed in the Assembly to require landlords to give an approved reason before they can evict a tenant. It didn’t have enough votes to move forward, but it’s getting another look. The bill being added to another bill with a rent cap. Landlord groups against the legislation saying there are tens of thousands of empty housing units that are empty because of these sorts of eviction policies. But the rent cap bill is being amended to include these kinds of eviction protections.

Operation Dry Water is on. The Lake County Sheriff’s Office Marine Patrol Unit with its campaign July 5th to 7th. There will be Marine Patrol Deputies on the water looking for impaired boat operators this holiday weekend. It’s a national awareness and enforcement campaign to try to curb the amount of alcohol — and drug- related accidents and fatalities coordinated by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA), along with the U.S. Coast Guard, local, state and federal law enforcement agencies. Cops across the country will be on high alert on the water this July 4th weekend as they’ve done every year for the last decade.

The East Fire outside Covelo in the Yolla Bolly Wilderness is still burning but there’s been no forward progress. The fire’s burned 410 acres and is 45% contained. Firefighters working in the No Name drainage focusing on monitoring the fire, repairing containment lines. They’re using pack mules along with Conservation Corp members so they won’t need to use helicopters in the wilderness. It’s still smoldering in the No Name drainage. It may stay at 45% containment because of it’s location in steep, rugged and inaccessible terrain.

An environmental impact report has to be conducted before Caltrans can work on Highway 101 through Richardson Grove State Park. A judge ruled last week on the matter. Caltrans has apparently been working on the project for a decade. A nonprofit fighting the work without an environmental statement says they won a battle to get the environmental review and says the “ancient redwoods of Richardson Grove State Park are now protected from bad science and bulldozers.” The court order looking for info on potential impact on redwoods, noise and more truck traffic and roadside impact to the redwoods. This follows another ruling by a different court that said Caltrans violated the California Environmental Quality Act because there was no public comment period after new information was added to the environmental impact statement by an arborist.

More meetings on the public power safety shutoffs by PG&E in Clearlake. The City Council discussing the matter at their meeting last week with the city manager playing a video from the utility company regarding the planned power shutoffs. The shutoffs, as we’ve been reporting, will happen for up to five days in severe fire weather conditions after Pacific Gas and Electric’s equipment was blamed for multiple wildfires in October of 2017, and the Camp Fire last December. Some of the recommendations buying a generator if possible, staying with someone else who has power, making sure you have cash on hand because most businesses won’t have credit card processing capabilities – and to keeping your cars fueled up.

The Monte Rio Fire Chief says a fire that burned 3 homes in Guerneville was caused by cooking oil left unattended on a kitchen stove. The fire last Saturday night destroyed the home the fire started in and damaged two others. The Fire Chief Steve Baxman says a resident was using peanut oil and went outside briefly, apparently forgetting the stove was on after taking the food out of the oil, which exploded after it got overheated. One of the residents says when he stepped out to give the food to his husband and came back in the kitchen was in flames. That quickly spread. There were no injuries, but the home is a total loss.

A woman from Clearlake Oaks has been arrested after a high speed chase. Cops say Jessica Tominia ripped off a red Blazer SUV from outside a Quik Mart in Ukiah. They say she first assaulted the owner last Sunday morning. She was seen on the northbound 101 near Perkins Street. Police say they tried to stop her, but she wouldn’t pull over and drove at speeds of over 80 mph. The CHP joined the chase on Highway 20. The driver ended up stopping and officers went after her at gunpoint and arrested her. Tominia’s held on suspicion of car theft and felony reckless evading.

Renovation work continues at the Soper Reese Theatre in Lakeport.  The wall outside is being repaired and upgraded, new wall moulding applied and stucco over the top, then new paint. The theater is also eventually upgrading restrooms to meet Americans with Disabilities Act-compliance. For that they’ve launched a fundraising campaign.  Fundraising for the restrooms continues and donations can be made at www.soperreesetheatre.com or by calling 707-263-0577.

Fire restrictions have been implemented in Ukiah by the Bureau of Land Management across several public lands in various counties. The Ukiah Field Office started the fire restrictions yesterday on land in Colusa, Glenn, Lake, Marin, Mendocino, Napa, Solano, Sonoma and Yolo counties, due to wildfire danger. This comes after the National Interagency Fire Center said it was probable there would be an above normal fire season featuring large wildfires after an extremely wet winter. They also warn the public to be extremely careful outdoors, to carry a shovel and water with them at all times, and check weather forecasts and fire danger ratings before leaving home.

California campfire permit available free at all BLM, Forest Service and Cal Fire offices or at www.preventwildfireca.org/Permits .

One less spark means one less wildland fire. Learn more about preventing a wildland fire at http://www.readyforwildfire.org/ .

A listing of fire restrictions throughout BLM California is available at https://go.usa.gov/xmUEG .

For specific questions, please call the Ukiah Field Office at 707-468-4000.

A woman in Covelo’s been arrested after a fire starts suspected to be arson. Mendocino County Sheriff’s Deputies get a call last night to the fire and respond with Cal-Fire and Covelo Fire and find someone who witnesses how the fire started. Deputies say the witness identified Laurie Hayes of Covelo as the person who lit an object on fire and threw it over a wooden fence then within seconds large flames were seen coming from the yard. About an acre of tall grass burned, but so did 4 abandoned vehicles, an empty travel trailer and a 50 foot area of wood fence line. Hayes was found nearby and arrested after being found to be on probation. After a more detailed investigation, she was charged with Arson and Violation of Probation and held on $30,000 bail.

Talk at the latest Broadband Alliance meeting about no connectivity in some rural areas impacting agriculture in Mendocino County and preparing for the PG&E public power shutoffs. Some rural areas including Potter Valley in an internet “Black hole” according to the last alliance meeting and it’s worse the further north you get. Some areas reported to have such slow speeds, they might as well be dial ups. Another topic the commission created on wildfire readiness by Governor Brown releasing recommendations. And they discussed work to improve local preparedness for power shutdown events and possible grant money for County Offices of Emergency Management. Legislation by Assemblyman Jim Wood is also stalled which would mean any damage in a natural disaster on a telecommunications network would be repaired quickly, but Wood says he’ll still continue advocating for needed improvements to rural broadband.

 

 

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