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A man on parole, who’s a known gang member’s arrested in Lakeport for having a gun.  Police arrest 25 year old Christian Estrella last night after a couple cops on routine patrol saw the guy who they knew was on active state parole and a gang member. They approached and searched his car, finding a loaded 9 millimeter pistol in the center console of his car. The man was then placed under arrest on several charges including being a prohibited person in possession of a firearm, having a concealed firearm in a vehicle, possession of a firearm by persons with prior weapons charge and a parole hold.  He was being held without bail due to his long history of gang crimes, weapon charges, assault and robbery.

A final contract’s been awarded by the Ukiah City Council to complete the final stretch of the Rail Trail. The last phase to lengthen the pavement area and a bridge crossing over Orrs Creek. The lowest bid at just under 1.4 million to a new construction company. The lighting on the path has been an issue for a couple district supervisors. The project’s covered by some grants.

Money being granted for emergency preparedness in Lake and Mendocino counties. North Coast Opportunities granting the two counties with more than half a million dollars each for their Emergency Preparedness in Communities program, or EPIC, for culturally and linguistically competent emergency preparedness trainings, assistance or solutions. The grants from $1,000 to $25,000 will be distributed by each county with applications available this fall. All groups, nonprofits or not, can apply for the grants. The NCO Executive Director says she hopes to see various ideas for disaster preparedness and education to help vulnerable populations at risk from a disaster.

A man from McKinleyville arrested back in 2016 after a fatal DUI crash has been sent to prison. The crash in December of 2016 killed a 16 year old girl who was walking along Central Ave in McKinleyville. James Merrick pleaded guilty to a count of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated last month. There was also a special allegation of fleeing the scene. When his blood alcohol level was measured, it came back at more than twice the legal limit. He was also on probation for a previous DUI conviction from 2015 at the time he crashed into the teen. He got fifteen years as part of a plea agreement with no credit for the five years he already served.

A bill previously veto’d by former Gov. Jerry Brown to start middle and high school times later is being brought back to life by its author, Senator Anthony Portantino of the San Fernando Valley. Portanino has agreed to some amendments to his bill, so middle schools start at 8 a.m. and high school start at 8:30 a.m. so individual school districts have more bus schedule flexibility. Rural districts would be exempt due to bus schedule challenges. And the start times would not include “zero periods” or optional courses offered before a regular school day starts. The bill passed the Senate in May and the Assembly Education Committee in July and headed to the Assembly Appropriations Committee yesterday for discussion.

A man in Clearlake charged with several crimes including possessing a gun, robbery and vandalism has pleaded not guilty. Shawn Fox also charged with resisting arrest, violating probation and drug charges after his arrest in April. Police say they contacted Fox while doing a civil standby, keeping the peace during an incident where they saw a gun handle sticking out of Fox’s pant pocket and since he’s a convicted felon, he wasn’t supposed to have a gun. He was arrested, but reportedly resisted and tried to reach for the gun but he was stopped and booked in jail for being a felon in possession of a concealed firearm and ammunition, and felony resistance of a peace officer.

A man caught in the middle of a burglary in Lakeport has been arrested. Police say 22 year old Damon Monthei was busted during a burglary in progress at the former Natural High School building. A witness calling police to say they saw a man break into the building, then leave the scene in a white Ford F-150 pickup truck. The responding officer heard banging noises, found an open door and saw a man there set something down. That was found to be a crowbar, and there was a second one in his pants pocket. He admitted to police he took some items from the building. He was charged with vandalism and first degree burglary, with bail set at $50,000.

A doctor from Santa Rosa has been arrested after five of his patients died from opioid or narcotics abuse. The California Attorney General Xavier Becerra reported the arrest and arraignment of Dr. Thomas Keller who he says overprescribed dangerous levels of drugs to the patients for pain relief. The drugs included Vicodin, oxycodone, OxyContin, Percocet and morphine. Becerra says it was at levels outside accepted medical practice. He now faces several charges including second-degree murder and elder abuse for the five patients deaths. Becerra says the opioid epidemic is destroying communities so his office will continue to prosecute fairly and diligently anyone whose alleged to have abused the state healthcare system and over-prescribe drugs at the expense of their patients.

The Moose Fire’s at 225 acres and holding, but another fire breaks out in Colusa County. Firefighters at the ready, corralling the Moose Fire at 75% containment now. No word on how the fire on Moose and McNab Ranch Roads near Hopland started. No more structures are said to be in danger. We have reports that a couple more firefighters were injured though, so that makes 3. They are all minor injuries. In Colusa County, the Spring fire was contained. That fire started northeast of Wilbur Springs and burned 20 acres, it was surrounded yesterday, the same day it started, no damage to any structures. That one started by a lawnmower blade hitting a rock.

The judge in PG&E’s bankruptcy case responding to arguments in the case says compensation for fire victims will be determined by the public’s confidence. The judge saying it’ll be a key factor in his decision if he’ll allow a civil trial to determine the company’s liabilities for the 2017 Tubbs fire. The statements after lawyers for victims asked for a jury trial against the utility company. Cal Fire had said the Tubbs Fire was caused by private power equipment, but the victims want to move forward with a case against PG&E. That would slow the process of ending PG&E’s bankruptcy case. A civil trial could also help determine if the utility company should compensate victims for the fire compared to those of other fires where PG&E was determined to be at fault.

An initiative to lower the voting age to 17 in Calif. jumps another hurdle. A key legislative committee gave the green light to the idea which could go to voters to decide. The Assembly Amendments 4 and 8 proposing allowing 17 year olds to vote. Number 4 allows 17 year olds the right to vote in a primary or special election if they’ll be 18 by the general and Assembly Amendment 8 to allow a 17-year-old the right for all elections. Right now a 16-year-old can register to vote. 22 other states and the District of Columbia allows a 17-year-old to vote in a primary if they are 18 before a general election. There was something similar proposed here in 2017, but it died.

The Election Review Committee in the Fort Bragg City Council says they’re ready to hear from the public on various proposals which they hope to report back to the council by the end of the year. The committee formed after the threat of a lawsuit by a local lawyer who said the city’s elections system went against Hispanic voters by keeping them as a permanent minority which goes against the Voting Rights Act. The Advocate newspaper reports the committee looked at district voting, ranked choice and other alternative election methods.


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