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More than $200 million dollars has been earmarked for several highway projects in the state including two in Lake County. The California Transportation Commission has put the money aside for more than 2 dozen fix-it-first highway projects and $42 million more for 43 transit, bike and pedestrian projects. Some of the money for the transit bike and pedestrian projects comes from the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017 which includes 5.7 million for two Lake County projects. One million for improved traffic and data transmission on several areas of the county including on Bottlerock Rd and Highway 29. Another 4.5 mil for a traffic management system to improve traffic monitoring and data transmission, also on several roads and Highways 29, 101 and 175

An impression on a teen by a cop breeds the new Sheriff in Mendocino County. The Press Democrat reports the new Sheriff in town Matthew Kendall has worked in the Sheriff’s Dept. for 30-years, mostly all under Sheriff Tom Allman. This after first meeting him with illegally purchased beer when he was a teen. Allman a deputy at the time made Kendall and his buddies dump their beers, then let them go. Years later, Kendall worked as a patrol deputy under Allman. And ten years after, Allman supervised Kendall when he became a patrol sergeant. Then the paper reports, when former Undersheriff Randy Johnson retired, Kendall took his place. Allman announced he was retiring as of this coming Sunday and Kendall would be the best fit. The Board of Supervisors agreed. He takes over on Monday.

A white Christmas is possible for some parts of Mendocino County. A very light dusting  of snow is expected tomorrow morning. Early this morning was supposed to be the chilliest of the week, with temperatures dropping into the 20’s. Parts of Willits, Potter Valley, Leggett and Covelo were forecasted for lows in the 20s last night and higher elevations could get snow tomorrow, but only about an inch to an inch and a half. Forecasters say they don’t expect that to affect traffic though. Light rain of just about a quarter inch was expected in lower elevations tomorrow morning.

A busy few days for the Ukiah Valley Fire Authority. Car crashes galore and some fires too last Sunday, all over a 12-hour period. The Daily Journal reports the Fire Chief saying the first call Sunday evening was a tree falling on a car. The Chief says a large redwood tree had fallen on the road, thankfully not on top of the car. Four people were in the car when it happened. Then they got a call to a possible fire, which turned out to be a hot electrical outlet. And overnight a car fire was reported, but when they arrived the fire was already put out. That one caused by a laptop’s battery. Then on an icy road, a head on crash was reported. One person ending up in the hospital.

As with most new year’s, comes a slew of new laws. Look out for new road safety laws to come down on distracted drivers’ using their cell phones. There are some other new laws in place too including revised standards for the use of deadly force by police officers, wording changed from reasonably necessary to objectively. And with that comes new training for cops. A new wildlife salvaging law takes effect. Allowing for a driver to reach out to law enforcement for a permit to salvage roadkill to eat.

The Willits Unified School Board has authorized issuing $17 million in general obligation bonds to repair old schools. That means first voters will decide if the bonds are something they agree with. It’ll be on the March 2020 Presidential Primary ballot. The money would go to improve student safety and security, fix deteriorating roofs, plumbing, heating/cooling, and electrical systems, pave parking lots, repair school facilities, modernize classrooms, science labs, and other facilities, buy a pool cover so the pool can be used year-round and update athletic facilities. If approved property owners would pay $40 per $100,000 of assessed value a year.

The Mendocino College Theatre Arts students set to travel with the fall 2019 production. The Jody Gehrman play “Wild Fire” is headed to the Region VII Conference of the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival in February. The play was first produced about climate change. It was part of the “Phoenix Project”, where other artists also came together to create projects about human-caused climate change. Three plays in all were picked for the festival, out of more than 30 entries. College theatre students and teachers from northwestern states, including Hawaii, California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Colorado, Idaho, and Montana go to the Kennedy Center hosted festival in Washington DC.

A new report shows massive issues with PG&E’s four “public safety power shutoffs” the Associated Press got a hold of documentation they say connects last year’s rolling blackouts with this year’s intentional blackouts. The news service got a hold of interviews and documents through public records requests which AP says show repeated failures and promises that never happened which compromised public safety. The documentation reportedly shows the utility company promised state regulators one thing, and didn’t follow thru, which undermined trust more after fires in 2017 and 18. The company’s notifications of outages were haphazard at times, sometimes power was already off and telecommunications companies, water providers and emergency managers didn’t always get the early word they needed. And the calls weren’t easy to hear, with off sound quality. PG&E for their part have promised to do better.

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