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No word still on how much it’s going to cost to repair the Konocti fire lookout tower. The tower taken out of service after a safety inspection in October. Then there were some estimates of between $10,000 and $50,000 to fix it, but apparently it could be even more. The Record Bee reports the regional director for the Forest Fire Lookout Association says they may need a new tower entirely. The tower was erected in 1957. Apparently the 50-plus foot tower’s cab is in disrepair. It was closed for about 12 years, then reopened in 2015 after the Valley Fire. Cal Fire owns the tower but is not planning to repair it. The newspaper reports volunteers are trying to raise funds to have the tower back in service by next fire season.

One man is dead and two people have been injured in a head on crash near Clearlake Oaks. The Lake County Sheriff’s Office reports Kenneth Kub Xiong (Shone) of Stockton was killed in the crash on Highway 20 near Walker Ridge Road Saturday afternoon. The CHP reports Xiong was driving at an unsafe speed when Nina Watanabe of Elk Grove was driving in the opposite lane and Xiong lost control crossed the double yellow lines and into Watanabe. All lanes of the highway were blocked for some time. Watanabe and her passenger both had major injuries and Xiong was killed. All of them had on seatbelts. Drugs and alcohol are not suspected as factors in the crash.

A man in Fort Bragg has been arrested for contributing to the delinquency of a minor… a second time. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Dept says they got a call to check on a young female and found that girl in the front passenger seat of a car being driven by Thomas Jordan Jacobs who had a restraining order against him. They say he wouldn’t stop and turned off Highway 1 and sped up, going faster than 100 MPH, so they stopped the chase. Later a car reported down an embankment found to be Jacobs car. Two female teens found in the car, uninjured. Jacobs was arrested for contempt of court since he was on pre-trial release for a different contributing to the delinquency of a minor case. He was held on $35,000.00 bail.

California’s trying to get more primary care doctors in the state so students are being offered full-ride scholarships to medical schools if they’ll stay on. Plus doctors are being offered loan repayment programs to serve low-income residents or work in underserved areas. This is because there’s a shortage of doctors expected over the next decade in Calif. There’s an expected shortage of about 4,000 doctors by 2030. It’s already an issue in rural and inner cities. This past summer the state reportedly offered more than 250 doctors loan repayment plans if they served at least 30% of Medi-Cal patients.

Money’s being raised by the Mendocino Coast Children’s Fund for sleeping bags for kids in the winter. As of yesterday, they had raised more than $4,200 of their $5,200 goal. The sleeping bags for kids so they don’t get sick in the winter and need medicine and miss school. The Winter Warmth Sleeping Bag Project hands out as many as 245 sleeping bags to kids from the fundraiser. Local cops get involved too, giving the children the sleeping bags and helping them choose winter jackets.

The California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) test results have been released by the state.  They’re noted in four categories, Standards Not Met, Standards Nearly Met, Standards Met and Standards Exceeded. It’s for third to eighth and eleventh graders. In Lake County, Kelseyville Schools were up in English and at Konocti schools, they were up in English and math from a year ago. Lakeport was down in English and math, the superintendent says it was a tumultuous year with a lack of focus. And in Lucerne they were up in English and math. Middletown schools had slight gains and the same for Upper Lake in English, but they were off in math.

The state attorney general is suing the Neptune Society saying it kept about $100 million dollars instead of keeping it for folks who signed up for prepaid cremation service plans. So some customers didn’t get full refunds when canceling contracts. The lawsuit also claims others, who may want a refund, wouldn’t be able to get their money at all.  The lawsuit also claims the company said it was using its own crematoriums but actually they contracted out the business and accelerated payments when customers died.


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