Skip navigation

Monthly Archives: July 2019

There are worries that future water supplies may be in jeopardy for half a million people in Mendocino County and other areas of Northern California following PG&E’s decision to shelve plans to relicense the Potter Valley Project. The decision has groups concerned because if it is not re-licensed, it could be de-commissioned. The Mendocino County Farm Bureau is hosting an informational meeting at the Ukiah Valley Conference Center on Wednesday, July 24th from 6-8pm to educate the public on the issue. Registration and more information can be found at www.mendofb.org/potter-valley-project-licensing.

The Washington Post has released a database of prescription pill distribution across the country and it shows that about 70 million pills were sent to Humboldt County during a seven-year period. That’s about 76 oxycodone and hydrocodone pills for every person in the county, each year. Humboldt County tied as the eighth-highest among all 58 counties in the state according to the Daily Journal, which says the Northern part of the state saw more opioids than the rest of California. Humboldt County has one of the highest overdose rates in the state and has joined a lawsuit against opioid manufacturers and distributors.

Advertisements

An oversight committee needs to be staffed, and the Ukiah City Council is now accepting applications for the committee that will oversee the spending of Measure P funds for public safety. Applications can be found at www.cityofukiah.com/city-boards-commissions-committees/ and are due by 5 pm Friday, July 26th. Be prepared to answer questions about why you want to serve on the Committee, how your skills, experience, expertise, and perspectives will be beneficial to the work of the Measure P Oversight Committee, and what public safety experience you have.

As large areas of trees across California have died off over the last few years, PG&E approached the Mendocino County Cooperative Aerial Fire Patrol about flights over Mendocino County, with an eye towards spotting trouble in areas with high wildfire potential and a lot of PG&E infrastructure. The Daily Journal reports that the utility is now paying for about a third of the yearly budget for the cooperative, which has flights every day from the middle of June through mid-October, replacing manned lookout towers across the county. The flights allow a pilot to quickly survey any wildfires spotted from the air to find out how big they are, and what structures may potentially lie in the fire’s path.

The CDC and Mendocino County Public Health are warning about illness from contact with animals at exhibits ahead of fair season. In a release yesterday, the organizations said that interaction with animals at fairs, petting zoos, education farms, aquariums, schools, and other places may be fun and educational, but comes with some risk because the animals can sometimes carry E. Coli, Salmonella and other germs that can make people sick. Some recommended safety steps include washing hands with soap and water or using an alcohol-based sanitizer immediately after contact, keeping food away from the animals, supervising children and leaving pacifiers cups and toys outside of exhibits.

The Ukiah Valley Fire Authority says a discarded cigarette may have been what started a fire at an apartment complex on Sunday afternoon. Fire crews responded to the Willow Terrace Apartments at around 5:18 pm to find the fire right next to the building but said that since the walls were covered in Cement Fiber Board, the structure was not damaged. They did recommend the removal of wood chips used in landscaping on the complex because they could potentially fuel any fire that breaks out on the property.

The State Employment Development Department said today that California’s unemployment rate held steady at 4.2% last month. 46,200 nonfarm payroll jobs were added in June, the second-largest increase all year. The construction industry saw the biggest gains with 11,900 jobs added, but 9 of 11 major industry sectors saw growth.

The Mendocino County Board of Supervisor’s Cannabis ordinance recommendations have been updated. Supervisors of the Cannabis Economic Development Ad Hoc Committee gave the thumbs up to recommendations that will help local cannabis businesses, including the promotion of cannabis tourism through branding and marketing, updating temporary use regulations to streamline permitting, and planning and building services to allow scaling up to larger than 10,000 feet of cultivation. The Daily Journal reports that the committee will hold more meetings in the future to come up with more suggestions.

More than 4 dozen unsafe items found by PG&E in Sonoma County on its power lines. The Press Democrat reports the utility company found safety issues, including burned or rotten power poles, damaged conductors and overgrown vegetation during a systemwide inspection they took on last December. There were also 1,200 safety issues on equipment. The new CEO of PG&E says it’s “unacceptable” and that the safety of its customers and communities should be the driving factor in their approach to maintaining their electric system. PG&E is the largest utility company in the country, serving nearly 5.5 million customers in Northern and Central California.

The Relay for Life in Mendocino County is set for the weekend. The yearly event for the American Cancer Society happening again at Recreation Grove Park in Willits. It’s happening this Saturday at 10 a.m. overnight into Sunday. Money raised to help fight cancer and the event also celebrates cancer survivors. The theme this year is ‘Relay Around the World’. They expect more than a dozen teams who will decorate booths to represent a city, country, or culture from around the world. It’s free to enter and games, prizes, crafts, raffles and more, are open to the public.

The CHP on the lookout for whoever scrawled a large message by the bridge into Big Sur on Highway 1. The Highway Patrol says the vandalism, painted in yellow paint just north of the bridge said “OVERTOURISM IS KILLING BIG SUR”. They’re asking community members to step up if they know anything about the crime, saying that sort of thing cannot be tolerated, and that they’ll go after anyone caught for felony vandalism in the case. A Caltrans spokesman says they took the paint off. It comes about a week and a half after a large yellow sign hung from the bridge July 6th with the same “OVERTOURISM IS KILLING BIG SUR” message.

Large swamp rodents invading Delta waterways. The state’s trying to eradicate the 15-pound rodents with hunting dogs and birth control for the pests which they say can destroy crops and wetlands. The state Department of Fish and Wildlife got $10 million to try to get rid of the nutria, or coypu, which somehow got to Calif. from South America. They spent some time in Louisiana before this. That state reports losing hundreds of thousands of acres of wetlands. Gov. Gavin Newsom’s new budget also included nearly $2 million for the CDFW’s nutria program. Since starting the campaign to rid the Delta of the pest, reports are that more than 600 are dead.

Moving forward with a buy for a property in Redwood Valley for the new mental health training facility and Sheriff’s substation. The Board of Supervisors voted to pay up to $278,000 out of Measure B funds and another $150,000 from Asset Forfeiture Funds for the purchase after the Mental Health Treatment Act Citizen’s Oversight Committee officially recommended the site. There would be weekly mental health trainings and exercises at the property which includes a stage, a couple of ADA-compliant bathrooms, and an 800-square-foot home, all at a cost of about $369,000. The Sheriff’s office will pick up 30% of the bill. The Mendocino County CEO says they’re currently negotiating the purchase and a final purchase agreement could be forthcoming.

A consultant is being hired in Lakeport to bring in more development. The City Council approving a proposal from the Retail Coach. The company out of Mississippi specializes in retail recruitment and development to bring in more business. The cost to start is $30,000, and another $3,000 in travel. The City Manager says the city had a surplus so the money is there. It was part of the Lakeport Economic Development Advisory Committee’s strategic plan for business recruitment and retention. The city looking to potentially bring in hotels and or retail businesses.

The man who’s accused of starting the Clayton Fire and more than 15 others is pleading no contest to a handful. Damin Pashilk arrested in August of 2016 has reportedly agreed to plead no contest to four fires that year, they include the Clayton Fire which burned 4,000 acres and destroyed 300 structures, and the Canyon Fire which burned 15 and burned a home. He was in court last week on the arson charges and received a stipulated sentence of 15 years and four months. He’ll be formally sentenced September 23rd.

A man in Clearlake has been arrested for the rape of two kids under 13. The Record Bee reports 69 year old Bert Besio was arrested earlier this week at his home after an investigation into the molestation of the two children on multiple occasions. Cops say the man told at least one of the victims he was a former cop, which was not true. He’s charged with rape of a child under 14, committing a lewd or lascivious act with force or menace upon a child under 14 and aggravated sexual assault of a child under 14 and held on $300,000 bail in the Lake County jail.

The Sacramento Mayor says every homeless person in the state should have shelter. Mayor Darrell Steinberg proposing shelters be provided for all homeless people on the streets of California. It follows a program in New York, which is spending as much as $1.5 billion a year for shelter for 75,000 people. But California reportedly has up to 90,000 people living on the streets. The plan says once there are enough shelters, those still living on the street would be cited or fined. Homeless advocates say it’s not enough and there should be more affordable housing.

The cause of many of the massive wildfires the last 50 years across Calif. caused by climate change. This from a new study in the journal Earth’s Future. Wildfires increasing in size eightfold and the yearly burn area has ballooned to almost 500%.  The study says the human-caused warming, especially in forests of the Sierra Nevada and North Coast are probably going to keep happening. The study’s main author from the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University says Californians should be prepared for more wildfire activity, along with risks to property and health. They noted the massive fires of 2017 and 2018 with extreme wildfire activity and a massive loss of life and property, noting the Tubbs Fire in Sonoma County, The Mendocino Complex Fire last year and of course, the Camp Fire.

A new study regarding the 12 oldest state prisons shows some in major disrepair. The state commissioned study says some of the prison’s date all the way back to the mid-1800s and need major renovations and repairs if they’re going to keep being used. They reportedly hold up to a third of the state’s inmate population. The study conducted by consultants released this week showing almost all of these aging lockups were beyond their “useful life.” Those include San Quentin, which was built in 1852, and Folsom, built in 1880. The nearly 5.5 million dollar Kitchell CEM report released as the state was already working to fix old prison roofs. Some of the prison’s have even stopped using their dining or housing areas. The estimated cost to fix just one of the more recently built prisons, from 1955, has been estimated to cost more than $763 million.

Police in Clearlake releasing more information regarding that officer-involved shooting after a reported stabbing Monday. Lake Co News reports preliminary findings that police got a call to a home for reports a family member was trying to kill people with a knife. Cops headed there finding a woman and two children outside who guided them in, where one officer heard someone yelling and went to a back room of the house. The officer forced his way into a room where two people were fighting, one stabbing the other. The officer shot at the stabber who wouldn’t stop so he fired his gun twice. The man dropped the knife and he and the victim were flown to a hospital for treatment. The officer who shot went to a hospital for blood exposure but was released. The District Attorney’s Office was notified and is investigating. The officer who shot the suspect is on administrative leave. Officers were wearing body cams at the time and those videos will soon be released.

A man in Nice has been arrested for shooting a gun and yelling at neighbors. The Lake County Sheriff’s Dept reports getting a call to Grant Smith’s home and heard gunshots as they arrived. They ordered him to get out of the house, but he threatened to kill deputies. He came out shining a spotlight at deputies and said he had a gun and would kill everyone if they didn’t leave. But they couldn’t see a gun, then he went back inside and wouldn’t come out. A SWAT team was called and he still refused to come out no matter what they did, they went in eventually with a search warrant and arrested him. They found several empty .22 caliber shell casings and a .22 caliber revolver. He was taken to jail and booked on Resisting/Threatening Officers and Negligent Discharge of a Firearm with bail set at $15,000.

 

The Ukiah City Council trying to curb homeless camps to take a vote on a city camping ordinance. The Daily Journal reports it comes after a giant encampment was removed off Airport Road this year. As many as 50 people were camping at the site between the airport and the railroad tracks, living in tents and other shelter-like homes and cars. The Ukiah Police Chief told councilmembers last month about evicting the campers because it was a public health and safety risk due to increased crime and fire danger and pollution of a nearby water body. Now the City Council will vote on an “Urgency Ordinance” that nobody can be cited for violating the Camping Ordinance unless they were previously told about available shelter with space there and they refuse. It also says where people cannot camp and the hours. The meeting tonight at 6 at City Hall.

4 day weeks at schools in Leggett to continue. The only two schools in the tiny town are 90 miles apart, Whale Gulch School and Leggett Valley School. Because of that distance and how rural the town is, there are only four days of classes for kids from kindergarten to 12th grade with about 120 students in all. But the state was trying to expand the district to five days due to federal funding needs. And the Leggett school district was reportedly about to be fined $27,000 too. The principal of the schools says they worked with State Senator Mike McGuire to correct the issue and a bill was passed so the school could permanently operate four days a week.

Another earthquake hits Calif., but this one was in Northern Calif. After the two major earthquakes of 6.4 and 7.1 in Ridgecrest over the July 4th holiday weekend, a 4.3 hit the San Francisco Bay Area yesterday. It hit about 1:11 p.m. around 7.5 miles beneath the earth’s surface with an epicenter in the East Bay, about 7.5 miles east of Blackhawk and 17 miles southeast of Concord. Some folks in the East Bay reported feeling it and even out to Santa Clara too. There was also a 3.5 aftershock about 20 minutes later.

A continued lawsuit about marijuana delivery in California. The case in Santa Cruz County. A cannabis company suing the county saying it’s violating state law not allowing them to deliver to out of county retailers in some unincorporated areas. The suit filed by the East of Eden Cannabis Co. after it says the county threatened a possible criminal investigation and threats to revoke its license if they continued delivering to unincorporated areas. The Monterey County based company is asking to be allowed to resume deliveries and declare the county rules “void and unenforceable.”

A logging truck driver is recovering after a crash near Upper Lake. The one car crash on a private road outside the Middle Creek Campground, close to the edge of a private road. Firefighters went to the scene, finding the truck on its roof and the driver trapped. Lake Co News reports a heavy rescue rig was sent to the incident with several fire units, Cal Fire and the CHP also responding. An air ambulance was flown in, took the driver to an out of county trauma center. No word on his condition, but they say he was conscious when he was removed from his rig.

A veteran cop in Lakeport honored by the City Council as he leaves for a job in Sonoma County. The Mayor Tim Barnes presenting a proclamation to Jason Ferguson for his 21 years with the force. He leaves Friday to be the new police chief in Cloverdale.
Apparently Ferguson was one of the first cops in the city who was paid at the same time they went thru the academy. While employed there, he received 25 written commendations for his performance.

Unanimous support for a contract to work on the Lampson Field Airport runway. The Board of Supervisors all voted yes yesterday for the asphalt slurry seal project to a Utah company, Maxwell Asphalt Inc. of Salt Lake City. They’ll get just over one million dollars, with 90% of that money coming from the Federal Aviation Administration’s Airport Improvement Program funds, another 5 percent from Caltrans and the rest thru a local contribution. There will be minor repairs to the pavement that’s there, and new stripes and markings. The company doing the work was the only one to bid on the project.

The final update for the 2018 California Water Plan has been released by the Department of Water Resources. Every five years there’s an update to the plan as mandated by the Calif. Water Code. It includes the latest technology and science and an overall strategic plan for water to be managed across the state. After a five year drought, loads of floods across the state, verified sea level rise, and historic wildfires, there’s been much to include since the last Water Plan Update in 2013. The Director of the Department says it’s a new climate reality to respond to. And with that there are about 19 new priorities including improved watershed management; stronger infrastructure resiliency; restoring ecosystem functions; and working for under-represented communities and addressing regulatory challenges.

A man in Lakeport charged with killing his dad and trying to kill his mom in court for a doctor’s report hearing. Steven Michael Fredericks lawyer had previously said he doubted he was mentally competent to stand trial. A couple of doctors have examined Fredericks and one turned in their report last month, but the other doc’s report didn’t come in because he’s no longer taking patients in Lake County. The lawyers agreed to hear only from one doctor and waive a jury trial. The report in evidence now finding Fredericks indeed incompetent to stand trial and that he wouldn’t be able to understand the criminal proceedings or assist counsel in a rational manner. The proceedings against him are therefore suspended until he can be restored to mental competency.

A noose has been found hanging at Stanford University. An investigation has begun to find the source of the noose found last weekend hanging off a bush near a residence for summer students. The school says they’re investigating it for now as a “suspicious circumstance,” but may change it to a hate crime, if additional evidence warrants that. There are high schoolers and counselors, including many minorities, at the residence for a summer program, with some telling NBC Bay Area they felt threatened and scared.

A man and woman in McKinleyville arrested after reports of an armed robbery. A woman told deputies she was supposed to get a ride from Travis Mann and Sherry Jo Bennett to do some errands in Arcata but when they got back to McKinleyville, Mann stopped the vehicle, got out of the car, pulled out a gun and removed the woman from the car, taking her purse and leaving. Deputies found the car later, which was reported stolen from Washington state. A female matching Bennett’s description was seen nearby and they later found the man in a home. They found a weapon believed to be involved in the armed robbery, stolen property and car keys for the stolen car. The pair booked in jail on various charges including robbery and possession of stolen property.

A man from Reno’s denied getting off death row for the 2008 rape and murder of a college student from Mendocino. A unanimous rejection to James Biela’s motion to get a new hearing regarding his appeal they denied in April looking for a new penalty phase for his trial connected to the attack on 19 year old Brianna Denison and for the sexual assault of two others near the University of Nevada, Reno campus. His lawyers say his public defenders in the case should have objected to improper evidence regarding a history of domestic violence and animal abuse. The justices agreed with that but said it wouldn’t even have mattered without the evidence, saying the penalty would have been the same.

A reporter for the Advocate and Mendocino Beacon newspapers has died. The newspapers report 34 year old Kelci Parks of Fort Bragg died unexpectedly last Friday morning. Police say there’s nothing to indicate there was any foul play and they’ve got an autopsy planned for this week to find out what caused her death. Blood Analysis and Toxicology reports could take 4-6 weeks to complete. She reportedly died at the home she shared with her 12 year old son. The Oklahoma native was an award winning photographer, journalist and barrel racer. A memorial is planned for Kelci this Saturday at 2 p.m., at the Russian Gulch State Park recreation hall. The Advocate is accepting any condolences for her son RJ and their family.

The family of a man missing more than a month, finally recovered from Lake Mendocino earlier this week, is thanking rescuers and others who helped in the search. Vincent Soto’s family released a statement after the 40 year old and his 62 year old father went fishing and both died. It’s believed dad had a heart attack or stroke, his body found soon after they went out on the water. Vincent was missing more than a month with search and rescue teams looking with overhead help, underwater help, dogs and water cameras and underwater robots. The lake was even lowered some to see if the body could be spotted as Soto’s family kept vigil on the dock since the accident. His cousin, Theresa Rodriguez released the statement for the family thanking the sheriff’s dept., all allied agencies who helped and private companies who spent weeks searching for the younger Soto.

 

A domestic violence incident in Ukiah leads to the arrest of a man. Cops say they got a call July 6th to a fight outside a home and found a woman and child at the home alone and were told Oscar Sanchez was there but left. The woman says she was dating Sanchez and while at a wedding earlier that night in Hopland they were drinking, then went home and got into a physical altercation. The child was still in their car and when the woman tried taking the keys from the car, she says Sanchez pushed her, and when she took the child out of the car, he pushed her. He was arrested after cops found he was on probation. He’s charged with domestic violence and violation of probation and held on $20,000.00 bail. At the jail, it was found he also had cocaine on him, so another charge of possessing a controlled substance was added.

A routine stop by cops in Ukiah leads to a drug arrest. Sheriff’s deputies on patrol July 3rd find a couple in a parked car, Antonio Delossantos-Rojas and Monica Maldonado and saw ammo out in the open, a glass methamphetamine pipe and a small plastic ziplock bag. When deputies did a records search, they found Delossantos-Rojas was prohibited from owning or possessing firearms or ammunition. They searched further and found a shotgun, semiautomatic handgun, drug paraphernalia, meth, and more ammo. Then more weapons hidden in a different area, a wooden stick with metal on one end, metal balls, knives and crowbars. Plus one handgun was reported stolen.  There was also stolen credit cards, and ID. The woman in the car cited for meth use, and Delossantos-Rojas was arrested on numerous charges including possessing drugs while armed with a firearm, possessing drugs, ammo and dangerous weapons and held on $35,000.00 bail

A man in Ukiah’s been arrested for having a bunch of meth on him packaged for sale. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Dept. reports a deputy saw Michael Lockett in the 1000 block of Airport Park Boulevard and recognized him and found him to be on searchable probation. The deputy found several plastic baggies with meth in them and more evidence of drug sales and paraphernalia. He’s arrested for possession for sale of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, and violation of probation and booked on $82,500.00 bail.

A man in Fort Bragg has been arrested after reports of a domestic violence incident. Police say they got a call last Saturday morning to the 31000 block of Highway 20 finding a woman there who says she was dating Andrew Riffle. The pair in a tent at the location and Riffle got up to go to work and tried putting his shoes on, but the woman wouldn’t let him leave, grabbing one of his shoes, then they started fighting over a shoe. She says that’s when things got heavy, and Riffle put her in a “headlock” and dragged her from the tent. They say there were visible injuries on the woman’s neck.  Riffle was arrested for felony domestic violence battery and held on $25,000.00 bail

A man in Gualala for having a gun. Deputies got a call last Friday to reports of a 17 year old boy found people he didn’t know outside his home on South Highway 1. They found Raymundo Moreles at the edge of the driveway at the teen’s home. Cops say Moreles saw the Deputy walking towards him and took out a loaded gun and threw it on the ground. He apparently thought the teen stole money from him. The teen says Moreles threatened him. Moreles was found to have more than an ounce of marijuana and ammo in his car, so he was arrested for making criminal threats, having a loaded gun in a public place and possessing more than an ounce of weed and held on $20,000.00 bail.

Another domestic violence arrest. This one last Saturday morning. The Sheriff’s Office got a call to a home in Ukiah where a woman says she had been in a fight the night before, after her ex-boyfriend came into her house and choked her until she could barely breathe. Ryan McIntyre was arrested after the woman complained about pain in her back. He’s charged with felony domestic violence battery and held on $25,000.00 bail.

A couple in Covelo have been arrested after a gun shot’s fired from a car in the 76000 block of Highway 162. Deputies report while driving to the scene they got a report of an assault and an ambulance had to be called. When they arrived they found Colter Reynolds and his girlfriend, Jessica Durazo where hitting someone with a bat, Antonio Tickner who they say had several traumatic injuries to his upper body. He was treated at the scene. The couple both had warrants for their arrest and were found to be on probation. Plus Reynolds was out of jail on bail at the time and Durazo was on felony probation for unrelated assault with a deadly weapon case. The pair arrested on various charges with Durazo held without bail and Reynold’s held on $55,000.00 bail.

The man who killed a couple on a beach in Jenner 15 year’s ago is going to prison for the rest of his life. Shaun Gallon confessed to shooting Lindsay Cutshall and Jason Allen on the beach. The two visiting the area from Ohio ahead of their impending wedding. Lindsay’s mom brought her wedding dress to the sentencing. Gallon got three consecutive life terms without parole and another 94 years in state prison for those murders, the 2017 murder of his brother, and another attempted murder in Monte Rio in 2004. Gallon’s background included several other arrests over the years and was known to kill animals, not just for hunting. His lawyer said he had a history of mostly untreated mental illness.

An officer involved shooting in Clearlake after police investigate a stabbing. One person was taken to an out of county hospital and another to Adventist Health Clear Lake. Lake Co News reports the police officer involved was also taken to a hospital for precautionary measures but released. There’s not a lot of other information on the incident, but the news site reports dispatchers sent medical aid to the scene Monday night where they found a gunshot victim and someone else with a stab wound.

The body of a man who went missing more than a month ago while fishing with his dad on Lake Mendocino has finally been found. Someone apparently spotted Vincent Soto’s body Monday. Family members have been holding vigil at the Lake since he disappeared, and his father’s body was found. Dad either had a heart attack or stroke. Their boat found empty. Searches were ongoing since that day to look for Vincent after Carlos was pulled from the Lake. A call came in yesterday to the Sheriff’s Office for a body floating near the Coyote Valley Dam control tower. His family was waiting for him and said a prayer over his body. An autopsy was set for today.

A small wildfire threatening homes in the Clear Lake Riviera put out with no damage reported. The fire Sunday afternoon in about a 30-foot by 30-foot area of brush. The fire spread to about 100 by 100 feet near homes. Cal Fire reports there were several homes threatened. They say quick work by residents, calling 911 and firefighters nearby in Kelseyville and Cal Fire Kelsey Cobb helped. It was a perfect day for the fire to spread, hot, dry and windy. Rumors were circulating it might have been fireworks related, but so far it’s noted as accidental and whoever started it was fully cooperating. It started in a lot where weeds were just cut nearby, but not that lot.

Congressman Mike Thompson visiting a border detention facility taking notes, touring the place and sending pictures to the press. He’s also coming up with recommendations to improve the situation. There were about 20 Democrats in Brownsville, Texas, last Saturday. Thompson told Lake Co News it wasn’t his first trip to a detention center, but this one was a “real mess” adding, “nobody… would be anywhere at all interested in spending a minute, let alone a day, in those areas.” He said it was large and over capacity, and has never seen another detention facility that full. He went on to describe the conditions as very poor, with 25 to 30 people in a closed cell with an exposed toilet, and they couldn’t all lie down. He also says criminals on death row are treated better in some cases.

The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office has their annual sweep of illegal marijuana sites in process. This whole week, the Sheriff’s Office working with the state Department of Food and Agriculture, Department of Fish and Wildlife, State Water Resource Board, Cal Fire and the National Guard are serving search warrants on public/private lands to look for illegal cannabis cultivation sites. They’re looking for sites without permits or believed to be illegally diverting water or otherwise harming the environment in the greater Eel River area of Northern Mendocino County.

A woman rescued after being injured hiking. A chopper, ambulance and a couple firefighters responded Sunday afternoon to Low Gap Park for the hiker who fell hiking to the “U” on the mountain above the park. The Record Bee reports the 43 year old in a steep section of private property not part of the park’s trail system. The woman reportedly injured her ankle and was airlifted out from the Ukiah Dog Park then got into an ambulance that took her to Adventist Health Ukiah Valley.

Reps from P G& E at the Mendo County Supervisor’s meeting to talk about their intended power shut offs in fire weather and their Community Wildfire Safety Program that was started after the fires of 2017 and 18. Part of the program is vegetation management, including clearing debris around power lines, eradicating hanging limbs and branches above lines, and removing dead and dying trees. The utility company is also doing more inspections of their transmission and distribution poles and towers, visual checks, aerial drone inspections, and installing more equipment. They said again the power shut offs could go as long as five days at a time and could impact as many as 5 million customers, with Mendocino County probably part of that since the county’s noted in a California Public Utilities Commission map as being at an elevated or extreme risk for wildfire.

The so-called Natural High property in Lakeport is being considered as part of a proposal for a new park. Money from Prop 68 to be used for a multi-use park with Lakeport identified as a “critically underserved community” from city staff to get grant money. The city applying for some of the available $255 million to possibly build an amphitheater, a multiple use lawn, concessions area, bathrooms, basketball court, shelter with tables, barbecues, a boat ramp and maybe even a boathouse. The Natural High property owned by the local school district and since residents voted to get a new pool with a bond measure in 2014, the money could go towards this. The money gathered, not enough for a pool after all.

Congressman Jared Huffman trying to get a bill passed to protect and restore wilderness areas and have new recreational trails across the North Coast. Most of the land is in Trinity County with a more than 700,000-acre area where he also looks for work to help stop future wildfires. It would also bring nearly 300 miles of trails, something he says is important to the outdoor economy of the North Coast. Huffman’s bill could help attract tourism to Trinity County and help find new lodging to Redwood National Park, which he says could potentially have the same allure as Yellowstone or Yosemite. Huffman says he’s been collecting public comment for years.

A list of the places in Lake County that will be open or closed during Pacific Gas & Electric power shutoff’s has been made public. It’s on the county’s website and was put together by a group of businesses and residents. There are more than 100 businesses with grocery, gas stations, medical, educational, retail, municipal and utilities, banks and hospitals and government entities too. Not many gas stations can function, but many say they’ll do their best, Adventist Health in Clearlake will be open, the Lake County Superior Court in Clearlake will close, many grocery stores will stay open, but banks won’t, that includes teller machines. You can get all the info at lakecountyca.gov.

The Governor has appointed a Humboldt County Supervisor to take a vacant seat on the California Coastal Commission. 3rd District Supervisor Mike Wilson has been appointed and says he’s grateful to Gov. Newsom’s office and will take the position seriously, protecting and promoting coastal resources. He’s got a master’s degree in environmental systems engineering and has had a career in the field. He takes over for former 5th District Supervisor Ryan Sundberg.

Two fires in Clearlake over the weekend are out. Lake Co News reports local and state firefighters on the scene of the fires, one damaged a home, the other was behind a couple businesses, but didn’t damage them. The first was Saturday morning in a three story building, saving about 50 to 75 percent of the home which was uninhabitable after the fire. No cause has been determined yet. A few hours later a fire broke out behind a McDonald’s restaurant so the parking lot had to be closed down along with the Tractor Supply Co. It burned about two acres. Some roads were closed down in the fight on both fires. No injuries were reported on either.

A protest in Lakeport on a hot day. Last Friday, folks protested the conditions at the U.S. Mexico border. Folks in front of historical city hall, carrying signs about Detention Camps. The nonprofit Lights for Liberty says they were protesting at at least 750 events across the county regarding immigrants being held at the border, especially children. The nonprofit says they’re asking politicians and the Trump administration to stop the practice right away. The protest in the heat of the day, only because no permits are needed during the day.

Work could start soon on the makeover at Lampson Field Airport. The Board of Supervisors poised to vote on the work on the runway at their meeting tomorrow after the bidding process ended. A company out of Salt Lake City with the lowest bid, a little more than $1 million. The money made possible thru the federal airport improvement program. Maxwell Asphalt’s had a bid at $1,000 below the project’s estimate by engineers. If they get the greenlight, the work could start by the end of the summer. There would be crack repairs, a slurry seal to preserve pavement on the runway and taxiway, and new pavement stripes and markings.

Several areas of the Mendocino National Forest have reopened after work done on the Ranch Fire scar. There’s still a lot of restoration work ahead, but the Forest Supervisor says they’ve reopened a lot of the fire closure area to summer visitors. Adding there are still signs up warning folks which areas to stay away from and that could continue for several years. The supervisor says the order goes for another year, but they’re constantly evaluating conditions and reducing hazards in the fire area.”

A couple from Lower Lake’s been arrested on multiple drug charges after a traffic stop.
Leighann Painchaud and David Row pulled over in Lower Lake and the deputy recognized the woman and knew she was on probation. A probation search was conducted at the woman’s house after she said she lived nearby with Row. They found about 50 grams of meth, a bag of psilocybin mushrooms, ecstasy, a tab of acid, and paraphernalia. They also found a bunch of weed, a butane honey oil lab and plants in the backyard. The two arrested on multiple charges including manufacturing a controlled substance, possession of controlled substance for sale and cultivation of marijuana and are due back for arraignments in September.

A couple of off duty firefighters from California and a physician’s assistant from Iowa saved someone who appeared to be drowning on Lake Tahoe. The Washoe County, Nevada sheriff says the three “Good Samaritans” and some deputies found the man submerged in the water unconscious. The sheriff says one of them administered CPR to the San Francisco Bay Area man, calling them heroes a week after the incident, saying they happened to be the right people, “with the right skills, in the right place, at the right time.”

A man and woman on the run in Alderpoint after deputies see a suspicious car parked on the Eel River bar. Humboldt County deputies see the man, possibly stripping parts from the vehicle. Deputies went over to investigate and saw another car close by with a woman inside. They approached the man and woman finding the first car had been reported stolen from Fortuna. Suddenly, they say, the man grabbed a glass bottle and the pair ran away into a heavily wooded area and couldn’t be found. Cops found four loaded firearms, two had been reported stolen, plus there was prescription meds, meth, drug paraphernalia and more than 400 rounds of ammunition.

A man police say disappeared while trying to save a child who fell into the Yuba River has been identified. Police say it was Alexander Alvarez of Citrus Heights who was with his daughter near Twin Bridges Saturday and a swift current tossed them both into the water, them swiftly took them downriver. A park ranger with a good Samaritan rescued the girl, but the man kept moving downstream. The Nevada County Sheriff’s & Rescue along with fire personnel and state parks personnel were looking for the man Saturday until dark with no luck. They returned again yesterday, and still were unable to find him.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New air quality guidelines for Mendocino County after the State released new rules at schools that have to deal with wildfire smoke. The Mendocino County Office of Education partnering with the County Public Health Office and County Air Pollution Control for the update in the County, so school kids are safe. It’s based on recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and were developed in collaboration with local school district superintendents. It includes a possible cancellation of classes, school closures would have to be reported to families through pre-established channels and the Office of Education would also have to alert the public, and schools have to use protocols based on visibility. And there could be air filtration systems in schools from the Public Health Dept.

The July 4th holiday weekend arrests and accident numbers are coming in. As we reported 46 year old Aaron Kules was killed on Highway 1, hit by a pickup truck in Fort Bragg. Police report snarled traffic and a lot of people crowding the Mendocino Coast. There were three four car crashes in the same area of the highway, with one other injury. The Advocate newspaper reports there weren’t any fireworks or event-related arrests, and police calls were down. But the fire dept. reports they had a lot of calls, from the highway, none fireworks-related though.

After a request for an Autozone to be built in Fort Bragg, the City Council’s looking at possibly banning certain chain businesses. The Advocate newspaper reports at a recent council meeting there were complaints about the new auto parts store to be built on the west side of Highway 1 just south of the Noyo Bridge because the store was accused of illegal dumping in the past. Many council members agreed with one community member asking for rules to be in place for the council to say no to chain businesses in the future. The city manager telling council members to first talk with the city attorney.

There may be a location for a Mental Health Treatment Center in Mendocino County. The Mental Health Treatment Act Citizen’s Oversight Committee is recommending a property in Redwood Valley for a new Regional Behavioral Health Training Facility and Mendocino County sheriff sub-station. The committee visited the 2,350-square-foot property which is for sale for $369,000. The idea for trainings and to prepare first responders and more. The Sheriff says there could be weekly mental health trainings there. The purchase would come from Measure B funds and the Sheriff’s Office. Apparently there are many others looking to purchase the property and the Board of Supervisors already took up the matter in a closed door session Tuesday.

The Gov. now officially designating the town of Paradise and other areas of Butte County as “rural” so more money could come in to the area from the Federal Government. The certification could mean millions in grants, loans and other aid from the US Department of Agriculture. including a new sewer system in Paradise. This comes after a massive loss of population after the Camp Fire. A recent survey showed there were just over 2,000 residents, but before the deadly fire, there were 27,000.

A woman from Paradise who gave birth on the day of the Camp Fire then had to be evacuated immediately after will be the subject of a new feature film. Heather Roebuck’s dramatic story posted on Facebook about her time in the Feather River Hospital and evacuation moments after a planned C-Section. The movie, tentatively called, “Paradise” to be produced by an Academy Award-nominated and Emmy Award-winning filmmaker. The story will be based on Roebuck and her fiance’s story and the emergency workers who assisted Roebuck during her harrowing story.

Lawmakers sending a bill to the governor that should stabilize utility companies after the fires of 2017 and 18. The Assembly overwhelmingly passed the bill which could also help resolve some damage claims against the biggest utility company in the country, PG&E, in its bankruptcy proceedings. The Gov. Gavin Newsom said he would sign the bill this morning. The bill includes language so PG&E is held accountable for the 2017 and 2018 fire victims after the utility filed for bankruptcy in January. The fires killed more than 130 people over one year and most have been blamed on PG&E equipment.

A young woman from Ukiah, a college student at Dartmouth in New Hampshire is suing that state regarding new state voting rules. The Press Democrat reports Maggie Flaherty was too young to vote in the 2016 presidential election, but wanted to vote as soon as she got to New Hampshire, but she found there was a new law after state Republicans required college students to have in-state driver’s licenses and vehicle registrations. So she and another student with the American Civil Liberties Union are suing that state. The Gov. of New Hampshire says it levels the playing field, but the new Democratic majority repealed the law. The Gov. says he’ll veto that and the ACLU is calling it the equivalent of a poll tax.

A team at U.C. Berkeley looking at wildfire evacuations in Lake County with a report recommending more sharing between government agencies during disaster evacuations. The report, titled “Current State of the Sharing Economy and Evacuations: Lessons from California” takes a look at how the public sees ridesharing and homesharing and their possible impacts during wildfire events. They looked at events such as the Mendocino Complex Fire of 2018. The findings say there’s not always enough resources for evacuations and shelter for all citizens. The report added a proposal for a sharing economy, with private companies and/or private citizens who could help with transportation and sheltering resources.

A new law in place so offices of auditor-controller and treasurer-tax collector become one. The Gov. signed the bill yesterday from Assemblywoman Cecilia Aguiar-Curry and Sen. Mike McGuire. The bill passed last month. Aguiar-Curry’s office says the bill provides more efficiency and collaboration and cuts county costs. There are apparently five other counties who do this already, Mendocino, Santa Cruz, Sonoma, Trinity and Tulare. The Lake County Board of Supervisors’ also approved sending a letter to the governor to ask him for his support to cut down on county costs.

More deaths on the highway in the state over the Independence Day long holiday weekend. The update from the CHP regarding the July 4th holiday says there were 20 fatal crashes this year compared to 11 last year from Wednesday, July 3rd to Sunday, July 7th. 21 people died in the 20 accidents and more than 1,200 people were arrested for DUI’s, compared to 389 in 2018. Lake County did not report any fatal crashes during the maximum enforcement period, but the CHP’s Clearlake office reported 14 crashes and five DUI arrests.

Thousands of healthcare workers are rejecting a new contract offer from Kaiser Permanente. The National Union of Healthcare Workers says their 4,000 members have rejected the hospital giant’s offer because it doesn’t deal with long wait times for patients seeking mental health treatment in Calif. The union says their bargaining teams recommended voting against the offer while the hospital says it’s not going to wait on the union as it advances mental health care. Apparently they’ve agreed to hire 300 therapists, invest $700 million in mental health facilities, more than $50 million to retain employees and another $30 million in tuition assistance for current employees. The union says part of the offer came after the hospital realized the union would reject its latest offer.

Some of the victims of the wildfires of the last couple of years getting some relief after Governor Newsom signs a bill to create a multibillion dollar fund for victims. The fund will have as much as $21 billion which customers will pay half of and the utility companies in the state will pay the other half. The utility companies will not be able to dip into the fund to pay any claims until they’ve put at least $5 billion into safety improvements. The Governor responding to critics who say the bill was passed too quickly, saying lawmakers will return in August and deal with other wildfire related prevention measures.

3 men arrested after a home invasion style robbery in Ukiah. One person calling the sheriff’s office saying six white men, some with masks on, wearing uniforms that said “Security”, came to their house, one person was hit by a firearm. Then those in the house were restrained at the remote location. Soon after the rip off two suspects took off. One of them in one of the victim’s cars. As officers responded they passed them on Orr Springs Road and took off after them. One of the men stopped and jumped out, running across the 101. The second vehicle was stopped, and the two men detained. They’re identified as Azuriah Paul and Shane Waier. Evidence from the robbery was found on them. Deputies patrolling the area arrested one other man, Nathan Kurtz. All of the suspects charged with several serious crimes including Robbery, Kidnapping, Armed in Commission of Felony and False Imprisonment.

A man from Lake County gets more than three decades behind bars for drug dealing and employing minors to help. Ryan Balletto got 372 months in prison for conspiracy to manufacture, possess with intent to distribute, and distribute marijuana; possessing firearms and employing a minor to violate drug laws. The man pleaded guilty in December to working to sell weed back in 2013 after growing hundreds of plants with others then coercing a 15 year old girl to work on the pot farm. She was reportedly coerced into it and abused, holding her in a small metal box, electrically shocking her and raping her. He admitted he had multiple guns including assault rifles too. He was indicted back in 2013 and has been in jail since then. His co-defendant, Stephen Pearmain, also pleaded guilty to drug violations and got 150 months. The female victim rescued.

A flyer being circulated in Eureka looking to recruit youngsters to a white supremacy group. Kym Kemp dot com reporting police got a tip about the propaganda and assigned a detective to investigate to make sure there were no threats to anyone’s safety in the community and find the source of the hate propaganda. They’re also working with the FBI and a Terrorism Liaison Officer on the matter. The police chief saying “racism, hate and violence by the group… has no place in the community and will not be tolerated.” They’re asking anyone with info to call police.

The body of a missing boater from Laytonville has still not been found with the help of an underground robot, but there’s a lead. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office out at Lake Mendocino yesterday looking for Vincent Soto after his dad Carlos was found dead there a month ago. Dad apparently died of either a heart attack or stroke, but his 40 year old son has not been seen since. Someone on the lake saw their empty boat and called for help. Family, friends and volunteers assisting in the search ever since. One family member has been holding vigil at the spot too. The Sheriff’s office presuming the son is also dead. Searchers say they saw something that might be a body, but they could not confirm, saying it also could be a log. The Sheriff’s office working with a deep water dive team to see if it’s indeed a body over the next several days.

PG&E, now being accused of not fixing old power lines that could have been a wildfire threat, knowing they needed replacing or repairs. The Wall Street Journal reports the utility company told the US Forest Service in 2017 and 18, there were 49 older steel towers on a transmission line that had to be replaced and 57 more that had to have their hardware and aluminum lines replaced. The newspaper got the info from a Freedom of Information Act request. The paper reported previously PG&E also put off safety work on the line, known as the Caribou-Palermo line, for five years. The same line that started the Camp Fire. At the same time yesterday another victim of the fire was positively identified as 67-year-old Shirley Haley of Paradise.

The body of a man found in a crushed jeep may be connected to the July 4th 6.4 earthquake in Ridgecrest. The 56 year old man’s body found Tuesday pinned under a jeep in the Nevada town of Pahrump. It’s about 150 miles from the epicenter. Police say they think the man, who had been seen the day before at a gas station alive, was working on the jeep when it fell of its jacks as the earthquake rumbled thru. There have been no other deaths or any serious injuries reported in connection to that temblor or the 7.1 that hit the next night. The President declared an emergency in California after the quakes at the request of Governor Newsom so federal aid could pour in.

Reports of shots fired in Fort Bragg at an apartment complex, but the shooter’s on the run. Cops get a call Tuesday night from several people about shootings, and were told to be on the lookout for someone in a black hoodie, seen running from the area. Officers couldn’t find anyone right away, but say at least two rounds hit the building, but there were no injuries. They found evidence at the scene and it’s been taken to a lap. More shots fired later in the night, same thing, no suspects. More evidence recovered there. Cops investigating it as a gang related crime and say there was property damage and they’re still looking for whoever’s responsible… reminding they have a zero tolerance position on gang activity and will beef up patrols in the area.

A new coast commander has been hired by the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office. The officer in charge is Lt. Andrew Porter or Ukiah, who succeeds the now retired Lt. Greg Stefani. Porter, a Ukiah native, started in the sheriff’s dept. back in 1995, left for a bit, then came back in 2008. He’s been a detective and in the department’s investigations division the last six years. He became a lieutenant last year, in preparation to take over the coast substation, managing 10 deputies on the coast from Gualala to Westport.

Two proposals have been released by Mendocino Coast Hospital for the public to see about a lease option to buy the hospital. The interim Chief Executive Officer Wayne Allen released the proposals that came in from Adventist Health and Advanced American Medical Group from last month. They were supposed to be private, but apparently a local newspaper published some of the details of the proposals as an ad hoc committee was examining them. So soon after the full details were released, which are now widely available online. Allen says they’ll still follow the plan of the committee’s review, then discussions about the proposals, with the committee then reporting back to the Board of Directors. Each of the proposals are for a lease with an option to buy the hospital down the road. 

The nonprofit that bought the Lucerne Hotel is in and ready to do business. New Paradigm College is working to get funding and build their curriculum. The Record Bee reports former Lake County Supervisor Denise Rushing, along with long time county resident, William Stranger are the co-founders of the college. The news site reports they’re looking to start an accredited four-year, “trans-disciplinary” college deeply connected to the community that offers alternative agriculture practices, wildfire resiliency, fine arts, environmental studies and other subjects. They’re starting a speaker series next week and are beginning classes on permaculture and climate change soon. Also the last week of the month, they’re opening their “Hub,” the news site framing it as an entrepreneurism-focused meeting and workspace.

A man accused of killing two people nearly two years ago in Clearlake Oaks and pleaded not guilty, by reason of insanity may finally be set for trial. Alan Leroy Ashmore with a list of charges against him including murder, attempted murder, burglary and assault, his trial was set for January, but was continued repeatedly. He was recently in court and a doctors evaluation was entered into documentation last year, now it looks as though his court proceedings will start Tuesday. He’s charged in the death of his father Douglas and another man, Richard Braden and the attempted murders of CHP Officer Steven Patrick, Harold Noell, and Mauro Lopez. The jury trial currently set to start next month.

A man from Potter Valley accused in a fatal hit and run moving thru the court system with his preliminary hearing around the corner. Kirk Hamilton in custody since the accident last November, facing charges of dissuading a witness by force or threat, felon in possession of firearm, threaten to commit a crime and more for which he’s pleaded not guilty. Hamilton charged with hit and run with death, vehicular manslaughter without gross negligence, destroying evidence and providing false information to an officer. He told officers he noticed someone lying on the side of the road, went to a house and called for help, went back to the scene took the victim in his truck to a convenience store and called for help there too. But police say Harrison was driving a water truck with two men waiting for a delivery, one was hit and Harrison covered the whole thing up.

Several reports in Lake County of a phone scam. The Sheriff’s Office reports getting a call from folks saying someone called saying they’re from the Sheriff’s Office and the person answering had outstanding arrest warrants. The office says the caller requests personal info from the victim and says they need to pay money with wire instructions or to pay with a prepaid visa cards. The Sheriff’s office says they never call for money and are not connected to these calls. They also urge anyone who may have received a call to not respond, don’t give any personal info, like your name, date of birth, address, Social Security card, bank information or credit card information. They also say they’re investigating this as fraud.

An ordinance in Sonoma County to help bring down the risk of wildfires not being followed by several properties. The Press Democrat reports some county supervisors are angered by it, saying residents have to step up and protect their own properties. Apparently only half of the properties inspected so far were found to be complying with new rules calling on homeowners to have firebreaks around their homes. The  Sonoma County Fire Marshal informing the board of supervisors at their latest meeting, and some supervisors said they were concerned, one saying you can’t be a victim, if you don’t clear your property. It’s been a month since the new defensible space rule started to help lower the fire risk in the county and allow firefighters to get thru neighborhoods more efficiently.

Officials in Windsor give the thumbs up after five years for a multimillion dollar, eco-friendly apartment complex. The Press Democrat reports 360 apartments will be put up over two years and there will be solar panels powering all electric, including heat pumps for water and cooling and appliances across 20 acres. There will also be several electric vehicle charging stations and no natural gas anywhere in the complex. The $100 million housing project is being touted as zero-net energy. The complex will also be walking distance from the Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit station.

The name of a man from Fort Bragg killed by a car over the July 4th holiday weekend has been released. The Mendocino County Coroner’s Office says it was 46 year old Aaron Kules who was hit by a pickup truck early Sunday morning as he crossed Highway 1 morning near Ocean Drive, south of Fort Bragg. The CHP reports the driver was a 49-year-old man, also from Fort Bragg, who was not hurt. They’re still investigating the cause of the crash.

The master tenant of the Ghostship in Oakland, the site of that deadly fire in 2016 says the city inspected the building before the fire and never said it could be a fire hazard. The Press Democrat reporting on Derick Almena’s 2nd day of testimony yesterday. He, along with Max Harris, face 36 counts of involuntary manslaughter. Prosecutors claim Almena allowed the warehouse to be filled with furniture, art and other highly flammable materials making it extremely difficult for party attendees to escape the fire. His lawyer asked Almena several times about fire, police and city officials who came into the building, yet never said it was dangerous.

Possible closure for a family holding vigil at Lake Mendocino waiting for the recovery of the body of a family member. Sonoma Water officials say they’ll reduce the water that’s released from Lake Mendocino to the Russian River to aid in the search for Vincent Soto who disappeared in the Lake last month after an accident with his dad. His father, Carlos’ body was recovered immediately, and the coroner says he either died of a heart attack or stroke. The release so the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office can use an underwater robot to search for Vincent. They’ll mostly look near the Coyote Valley Dam where he was last seen with his dad. The two went fishing north of Ukiah June 11th.

Town Hall meetings set for traffic work on Highway 20 in a handful of communities along the Northshore of Lake County. Lake Co News reports there will be an interactive map set up for residents to look at and an opportunity to voice any concerns. The town halls with the Lake Area Planning Council and a consultant from Sacramento regarding a Highway 20 project and another, the 11th Street corridor in Lakeport. The first meetings happened in May. The news site reports conditions are being analyzed in the areas noted and possible projects will be bike, pedestrian and transit-friendly options while at the same time improve the aesthetics and livability of the unincorporated towns.

There’s now going to be a faster bidding process in Lake County for backup generators at county facilities ahead of PG&E launching their public safety power shutoffs. County staff trying to get a waiver of the bidding process to buy as much as $470,000 in generators for six county departments. The board of supervisors instead has a two week bidding process except for one generator already approved for the sheriff’s office’s Hunter repeater site due to previous wildfire damage. The County Administrative Officer says there was a discussion of department heads where it became clear it was worth the expense to buy the generators or they’d lose business and working hours.

The Gov. Gavin Newsom says the White House said yes to the request for a Presidential Emergency Declaration for Direct Federal Assistance after the twin earthquakes near Ridgecrest. Newsom put out a public statement saying the state’s “grateful for President Trump’s approval” of the request and for the continued efforts of local, state and federal emergency responders to protect communities across the region. As in previous emergencies, such as fires and floods, the emergency declaration helps to pay for emergency services and possible destruction. The Gov. had declared a state of emergency in Kern and San Bernardino counties.

Another state Senate committee to take a vote on a rent cap bill some say is controversial. The proposed law to cover the millions of homes in the state currently without rent control. The Assembly Bill would ban rent increases in some areas of more than 10 percent a year and would not allow landlords to evict tenants for no reason. Landlord interest groups are against the bill which could change things for up to 4.6 million homes throughout the state. For those already living with rent control, it would protect them in other ways. Rental units 10 years old or older would be covered by the bill if it passes. The Senate Judiciary voted to move the bill forward. It next goes to the Senate Appropriations Committee.

A bill passed by lawmakers would make it harder for police to use deadly force in Calif. It means that cops could only fire a weapon “when necessary in defense of human life.” The Gov. has signaled he’ll sign the Assembly Bill which comes after an unarmed black man, Stephon Clark, was killed in his grandparents backyard. Supporters hailed the bill’s passage in the Senate, but were worried about a possible weakening in the bill’s language as it moves thru the legislature.  Those against the bill say officers face danger on the job daily and were worried about officers hesitating and being shot first.

The State Assembly has passed a bill authored by Sen. Mike McGuire requiring anyone who runs for president and wants to appear on the Calif. ballot to release their tax returns. The Presidential Tax Transparency and Accountability Act requires the release of tax returns for anyone running for governor as well. Five years of tax returns have to be sent to the Secretary of State within 98 days of an election, then redacted versions of the returns would be posted for the public on the secretary of state’s website within five days of getting them. McGuire and his co-author Sen. Scott Wiener calling out Pres. Trump specifically for not releasing his tax returns after 40-years of other presidential candidates doing so.

There will be a Climate Action Advisory Committee after the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors gave it the green light. The committee will make recommendations to the board on policy ideas and put together a Sustainability and Climate Action Program, outlining the climate goals for the county. The discussions about the possible committee formation have been ongoing, but the public had something to say about it, so there were some changes in the language and direction of the committee first. The one outlier, Supervisor Carre Brown voted against the resolution, because she said there weren’t enough details and the structure and protocol of the committee might create problems in the future.

A cleanup mandate for the owner of a gas station on East Gobbi who went to the City of Ukiah for a new canopy. The Daily Journal reports the Community Development Director told the owner of Express Mart he needed to upgrade the landscaping and change the color of paint so it matches other development in the area, telling the owner, it needed to be more aesthetically pleasing because it’s in one of the city’s gateway corridors. Apparently there had been multiple complaints over the years about the business. There’s also graffiti there and a deteriorating roof.

Family has been still waiting to find a man missing on Lake Mendocino for a month. Carlos and Vincent Soto went fishing June 11th. Carlos’ body was found after the men’s boat overturned. The son, Vincent has not been found. A family member says the boat was working fine when the men took off, but apparently Carlos had a heart attack or stroke with no water found in his lungs, indicating he drowned. There’s also no sign of foul play on the lake. The family has had one member at the south boat ramp since that day in case Vince’s body surfaces. In the meantime, they’re waiting for underground camera equipment to be approved to see if his body is trapped under something.

The body of an Army sergeant killed in action in Korea more than 60 years ago has been returned to Arcata. Army Sgt. Elden Justus died when he was 23 years old. He first entered the service out of high school, enlisting in 1945 and went to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, for basic training. Five years later he was listed as missing in action, then in 1953, the status was changed to “killed in action, body not recovered”. His remains were positively identified in April of this year. His son and daughter are going to a ceremony in Sacramento and will return his remains to the family with services at the Elks Lodge this Thursday.

After a military style helicopter was seen around Humboldt County, the Sheriff’s Office confirmed the National Guard is helping them abate a bunch of marijuana plants. A spokesperson for the Sheriff’s Office has confirmed the chopper is doing fly overs thru the summer. This comes after several law enforcement agencies were working with the Trinity County Sheriff’s Office trying to find illegal marijuana gardens in Hayfork. They pulled more than 12,500 plants, found 801 pounds of processed marijuana, 15 firearms and almost $436,000 cash. Now PG&E is flying over the area too, checking power lines in Humboldt and Lake Counties, today and tomorrow in the Garberville and Fortuna areas and on Thursday in Kelseyville, Lower Lake, Hidden Valley

Clearlake City Council members are considering paying for a Taser for the police dept. The police chief is asking for a five year agreement for the Taser and a certification plan for 24 full time officers which will cost about $18,000/year. The chief also wants to ability to add more users and waive the competitive bidding process. The agreement will include virtual reality, scenario-based training for officers to learn how to better deal with mentally ill subjects. The council is also considering chip sealing roads at Thursday’s meeting, at a cost of more than $1.1 Million Dollars.

A deadly poultry disease in Southern Calif that led to the cancelation of the poultry show at the Lake County Fair is reportedly slowing. State officials report the more than one year long outbreak of Newcastle disease had no new detections. The disease first found in May of 2018 so 1.2 million birds were euthanized. 1.1 million of them were in commercial operations, almost 450 of those operations were infected. One case where a backyard chicken in Redwood City had it, the closest to us. But there was concern it could reach Lake County, so the Junior Livestock Committee canceled the Fair’s poultry show.

Lake County Transit Authority working with Lake Links is starting a Medi Links service to Santa Rosa. Some folks don’t have cars, but need to see a doc in Santa Rosa, so the service will start on Tuesdays with two trips, one early in the day, then the return in the early afternoon, the second trip, later in the morning, returning later in the afternoon. They say there will also be a later ride for anyone who has a longer appointment. They will also stop at several medical facilities in Santa Rosa as requested. They will start in Lakeport, then to Lucerne, along the Northshore, thru Lower Lake and Middletown then to Santa Rosa, and there’s a quick stop in Calistoga.

An elderly man from Glen Ellen found safe after he was reported missing over the holiday weekend. The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office reports 75-year-old Bill Hoeffer was spending the weekend at a rented home in Monte Rio with friends, when they decided to float the Russian River in tubes starting at Johnson’s Beach in Guerneville until dark. But apparently he was separated from the group who hiked in the dark to the Northwood Golf Course. They called the Sheriff’s office after 10 p.m. for help. Search and rescue teams could not find the man. He was seen clinging to a tree the next morning on the opposite side of the river from where his friends got out. They say he was uninjured, and in good spirits but cold and disoriented. He was taken to a local hospital with hypothermic symptoms.

A man from Calpella uninjured after his semitruck overturned on Highway 20. The truck loaded with lumber dumped into the Clear Lake along with diesel fuel. The California Highway Patrol responded to Highway 20, east of Hillside Lane, near Clearlake Oaks and found the driver had been going eastbound around 35 miles an hour, then veered onto the shoulder and rolled, landing on his roof, but the load of timber and about 50 gallons of diesel spilled on the side of the Lake and into it. The CHP says it doesn’t suspect there were drugs or alcohol involved in the crash.

Nearly 2 dozen governors joining with Calif. saying climate-damaging tailpipe emissions mean they need to keep their emission standards in place. It comes after the Trump Administration wants to relax the regulations saying more and more people want big trucks and SUV’s and the regulations are making cars more expensive. But the Governors, almost all Democrats, are pledging to stick to the Obama Administration’s goals to tighten mileage standards which can help to reduce climate-changing carbon emissions. If the Trump Administration moves forward anyway, it could mean years of legal challenges.

Lawmakers have approved a proposal to stabilize electric utilities and put safety at the forefront after years of devastating wildfires in Calif. State Senator Bill Dodd one of the co-authors of the bill saying it’s not a utility bailout, it’s a ratepayer bailout. The proposal creates a wildfire fund which utilities can use to help with wildfire damages if they follow certain safety rules. Utilities and ratepayers would put money into the fund and utilities would have to invest in wildfire mitigation efforts. The bill heads to the Assembly next.

The founder of the Ghostship has taken the stand in the murder trial against him and his co-defendant. Max Harris already testified, now Derick Almena, the master tenant of the Oakland warehouse that burned in a fire, killing 36 people, has taken the stand. Almena’s accused of converting the space illegally into an artist colony, the warehouse filled with so much stuff, that prosecutors say that’s why it burned so hot and fast. But no cause was ever found for why the fire started to begin with. Harris and Almena have pleaded not guilty. There had been a plea deal for the two with victim’s families, but the judge thought it was too lenient on the men and that Almena failed to show remorse.