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You may see some smoke visible as Cal Fire starts burning slash piles. To keep catastrophic fires at bay, Cal Fire is burning debris piles and other vegetation this month. The burning starts in the morning around 10 and continues thru 5 pm daily. This is the third in a series for the Ukiah Fuels Reduction Project, a joint effort by Cal Fire, the city of Ukiah and Mendocino County. They started the project last winter. This phase is for controlled burning of fuel, with piles of vegetation, and broadcast burning of larger areas to strategically reduce fuel loads. As we reported it’s part of a larger plan by the Governor to reduce fuels and improve forest health across the state.

Willits Unified Schools may be getting a facelift. After the School District’s board of trustees approved an election to authorize $17 million in bonds to pay for the work over nine years. The money raised will help fix old classrooms and school facilities; fix roofs, plumbing, heating/ cooling and electric systems; and upgrade, acquire, construct and equip classrooms, labs and facilities. The schools superintendent supporting the vote telling the board it’s been about ten years since the last time they tried for repairs. The bonds would be sold every two or three years in increments of about $4 million.

A man from Southern California has been arrested for having guns. It was during a routine traffic stop that a deputy noticed an empty gun holster in the front seat of the car, and the driver’s belt. The deputy found a fully loaded handgun with the driver Luis Parra of Santa Clarita. He told the deputy he was headed to work, guarding marijuana grows, but did not have supporting documentation, a concealed weapon permit or other items to prove what he was saying. Plus his driver’s license was suspended and there was no required interlock device after a DUI conviction. He was then arrested on several charges including suspicion of illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition, carrying a loaded firearm in a public place and violating probation.

Lake County excluded from the Two-Basin Partnership regarding the future of the Potter Valley Project. The Record Bee reports PG&E deciding to give up the sale of the project as they claimed bankruptcy almost a year ago. As you may know the Potter Valley Project diverts water from the Eel River to the Russian River thru the Scott Dam, forming Lake Pillsbury and thru the Cape Horn Dam, forming Lake Van Arsdale in Mendocino County. The diverted water and electricity formed from the project have left some residents in limbo. A coalition of Humboldt County, Sonoma Water, the Mendocino Inland Water and Power Commission, environmental nonprofit California Trout and the Round Valley Indian Tribes approved for a feasibility study.  Lake County tried to get in and was denied because no more members were being added for “expediency” reasons.

A settlement agreement has been reached by PG&E Corp with claimants who sued after the 2017 Northern California Wildfires and 2018 Camp fire. The agreement reached Friday night said to be worth about $13.5 billion. Lake Co News reports the settlement will reportedly resolve all claims from the fires, including the 2017 Tubbs fire, a 2015 Butte fire and 2016 Ghost Ship fire in Oakland, but PG&E is apparently not admitting any fault for either the Tubbs fire or Ghost Ship fire. It’s still not a done deal yet. The bankruptcy court has to give it a thumbs up. The CEO of the utility company says it’s been their primary goal to get wildfire victims fairly compensated. It’s one of several settlements with PG&E for wildfires. Another for $1 billion for cities, counties and other public entities and one for $11 billion agreement with insurance companies and other entities for the 2017 and 2018 wildfires. PG&E looking to finalize all of the settlements so they can emerge out of bankruptcy by next June.

A cancellation announced for the Upper Lake Holiday Light Parade. The Northshore Business Association announced the parade was cancelled because of severe weather. An email went out on the cancellation too, but it wasn’t clear if the entire event was canceled or not. Besides the parade, there’s music, caroling, a visit by Santa, and a tree lighting ceremony.

A high school music teacher in Kelseyville has been arrested for inappropriate behavior with a female student. Cory Cunningham, a teacher at Kelseyville High, was arrested Friday night. The school district says it’s also investigating internally, but they haven’t said anymore about the case. The Sheriff’s Dept. reported arresting a teacher for possibly having an inappropriate relationship with a 17-year-old female student. He apparently admitted the relationship. He was charged with sending lewd material to a minor, genital penetration by a foreign object, annoying or molesting a child, willful cruelty to a child, and destroying or concealing evidence. He was booked into jail on $75,000 and his arraignment’s set for tomorrow. He’s also on administrative leave from the school. He’s also reportedly married to the niece of the school district Superintendent.

PG&E is reportedly flying a special helicopter over distribution lines in the Brooktrails community to clean up trees near transmission lines. The helicopter saw, a chopper carrying circular saws trims tops and sides of trees near high voltage transmission and distribution lines. They reportedly do the work in remote areas to prevent power outages and increase public safety. The work today on Buckeye Road and tomorrow on Ridge Road, both days between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. The utility company says it’s all part of their enhanced vegetation management program to remove or prune about 1.4 million trees a year.

A man from Ukiah’s been arrested after a traffic stop when he gave a phony name and the arresting officer knew other guy. The Sheriff’s office reports Armando Alvarez was pulled over last Wednesday for a vehicle code violation. Four people in the car, the driver giving a fake name, but since the deputies knew that person they became suspicious. They also saw the driver was wearing body armor and while trying to arrest the driver, he took off running. There was a short foot chase and Alvarez was arrested and charged with several crimes including resisting or threatening officer, falsely impersonates another, probation revoked and driving with a suspended or revoked license. He was held on $15,000.00 bail.

A man from Ukiah’s been arrested after making threats and waving a knife around. Police say John Sullivan told them he was a federal agent so Deputies pat searched him and found three knives on him, so he was detained. A woman at the home says he was her estranged husband and sent her several text messages which made her fear for her safety. There were also two boys in the home with her, a 7 and 10 year old. They also said there were text messages sent. Security videos apparently corroborated allegations, so Sullivan was arrested and held on $20,000.00 bail.

A woman in Ukiah’s been arrested after an argument between her and a man in Redwood Valley. Deputies say when they arrived they spoke to a couple and found Kelsey Pierce was dating the adult male at the house, but lost his phone there. When they went looking for the phone, they got into a fight and Pierce hit the man who had visible facial injuries. Plus his car was reportedly damaged too. Pierce was arrested for domestic violence battery and held on $25,000.00 bail.

A man from Bakersfield busted in Ukiah for driving erratically. Eric Guyton telling a deputy he was driving home from Oregon, and the deputy saw some marijuana in plain sight and found the guy had a suspended driver’s license. During a pat search, Guyton was found with an orange flare gun and three live 12 gauge flare rounds. He was found to be on probation and not allowed to possess firearms or ammunition. So he was arrested for felon possess firearm and felon possess ammunition. He also had a bunch of credit cards and id’s on him that were not his, so more charges could be coming. For now he’s held on $25,000.00 bail.

Crazy weather Thanksgiving-week thanks to the “bomb cyclone”. It brought a 75 foot wave to Cape Mendocino. The Press Democrat reports the wave on November 26th, a couple days before the holiday, there were also smaller, giant waves, one at about 37 feet and yet another of 43. The waves because of the weather event also known as a Bombogenesis when a cold air mass crashes into a warm air mass with a low pressure system. The lower the atmospheric pressure, the more intense the storm. Parts of I-5 were closed, you may recall if you wanted to travel that week. There were winds recorded in Oregon of up to 106 mph that afternoon and in Crescent City of almost 70 mph.

The Lake County Board of Supervisors considering how to restructure the Registrar of Voters Office after losing another manager there. Lake Co News reports on tomorrow’s board agenda, an untimed item about the options being looked at for leadership and structuring the Registrar of Voters Office after Registrar Catherine McMullen resigned after only about five months on the job. The news site reports the board’s looking at keeping the elections office as a standalone department or maybe merging it with another department. Right now the Auditor-Controller/County Clerk Cathy Saderlund is the interim registrar. There will also be closed door session interviews for new registrar of voters candidates, including some who can possibly take over as the interim registrar too.

Valley fever’s not going away… Lake Co News reporting the state Department of Public Health working with local health departments to remind the public and health care providers the disease usually peaks in the fall. There’s been a steady climb in California cases since 2014. More than 7,500 reported Valley fever cases in 2018 and numbers not confirmed yet for this year, but they’re still up there. The news site reports as of mid-November, more than 7,000 likely cases had been recorded. You can become exposed by breathing in dirt or dust where the disease is common. The illness spreads by breathing spores of a fungus growing in certain regions of the state. It can infect lungs and cause respiratory issues like a cough, chest pain and fatigue and can come with fever.

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