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A Mendocino County Correctional sergeant that tased a handcuffed, mental-ill inmate back in 2017 has been demoted. According to witnesses, the man was not a threat at the time, and the tasing caused him to stop breathing. The Ukiah daily journal reports that documents show that sergeant Zohar Zaied cut a deal with the Sheriff’s Office to accept a demotion to correctional deputy. The victim, Travis Benevich, who went into cardiac arrest due to the tasing, received a settlement of 180-thousand dollars from the county in order not to sue.

Over 130 folks participated in the “First Day Hike” on New Year’s Day in the Anderson Marsh State Historic Park. Every New Year’s Day state parks in all 50 states host First Day Hikes to get people to come out to visit the parks and to get some exercise. Park officials say that for the third straight year, the Anderson Marsh Hike has had the largest attendance of hikers across the state.

If you are a smoker and are sincerely looking to kick the habit, the Adventist Health Ukiah Valley is offering a free six-week stop smoking course. Classes will be held on Tuesday nights from 6:30 until 8 pm from January 14th through February 18th. The program will cover topics like identifying smoking triggers, recognizing symptoms of withdrawal and recovery, understanding tobacco addition, how to develop healthy coping mechanisms, and how to maintain a lifestyle change and prevent relapsing. According to the CDC, 70% of current smokers want to quit, and more than half of them tried last year. Kicking the habit is difficult; it could take eight to ten serious attempts before you are successful. The class is open to all ages, and there is no requirement that you have to quit smoking while taking the course. The class is free, but you need to call to register at 463-7391.

Two were injured after crashing a stolen SUV while fleeing police on Monday night. CHP says that they received a tip about a stolen SUV headed out of Covelo. State troopers located the vehicle headed westbound on SR 162, approaching the 101. Troopers tried to pull them over but, but the driver sped up and even ran the stop sign at the 101. Shortly after, the SUV lost control flipped and hit the guardrail, then coming to rest upside down. The driver Ursula Fallis had to be extricated from the vehicle and airlifted to the hospital. The passenger Daniel Batten was found near the crash scene; he was hospitalized with moderate injuries.

The Lakeport City Council started its first meeting of the year approving the assistant city manager classification 5-0. The funding for this for half a year is $85-thousand, and it was already earmarked in this year’s budget. The proposed salary for the assistant city manager would be between $84-hundred and 10-thousand two hundred and ninety dollars a month. The next step in the process is to make the job a permanent position and appoint someone to fill it. According to Lake County News, the only candidate actively pursuing the assistant city manager position is Community Development Director Kevin Ingram, who has pretty much been doing the job now for a while. The other item they touched on was revising the old master pay schedule and replacing it with a new one; this was approved unanimously.

The City of Clearlake announced the passing of a former city clerk Sharon Goode on New Year’s Day. Mayor Russell Cremer spoke about Sharon and said that she was one of the founding pillars of our city government and a valuable staff member who served the city for twenty-four years, the city sends its condolences to her family during this difficult time.

Cal Fire has put the burning of vegetation above the Ukiah Valley on hold due to the ground, and debris is still too wet. Officials announced earlier this week that the controlled burn on the east side of the Ukiah Valley, the third part of a joint project with Cal Fire, the city of Ukiah and Mendocino County, called the Fuels Reduction Project. Officials say until the weather dries out, the project is on hold.

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