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Lakeport police now carry some new equipment to use in an emergency and it didn’t cost the department a dime. Lake Co News reports that the department has won an Automated External Defibrillator—or AED—from a company that makes those devices. AEDs shock the heart back to life after someone has a heart attack, and doctors say the units can be lifesavers if used quickly on someone whose heart has stopped. Lakeport police have been training to use the new gear for the last couple of years as portable AEDs have become more common. Now, officers will have one available in a patrol car and chief Brad Rasmussen says he hopes to buy more of them to put in the field and at city facilities where they could be used by any trained bystander. The devices cost between $500 and $2,000. The American Red Cross has more information about AEDs and how you can learn to use one, on its website, redcross.org.

The state says it has wrapped up work on several projects to help reduce the risk of wildfires, including a couple in Mendocino County. One of them is the Ukiah Emergency Fuels Reduction Project, which is meant to reduce wildfire speed and intensity along 700 acres of ridgelines around the city of Ukiah and nearby communities. The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection says the work will protect vulnerable infrastructure and give firefighters a leg up on any fires that start. The other project involved a 15-mile fire break and a 550 acre planned burn in the Willits area. The goal there was to improve roadways and evacuation routes and to create a control line to protect both sides of the Willits Valley. A longer-term project involving almost 12,000 acres in the Willits area is also in the works. The state says 34 of the 35 emergency protection projects identified last year are now done, with the last one due to be finished in the spring.

The Lake County Chamber of Commerce hosting a forum next week for residents to learn more about some of the candidates running for the Lake County Board of Supervisors in the March 3rd primary. The meeting will be on Thursday, February 6th at 6:00 PM in the Board Chambers in Lakeport. The 4 candidates running for supervisor in the 5th district are expected to be there. The deadline to register for the March primary is coming up on February 18th and if you want a mail-in ballot, you’ll have to request one by February 25th.

A new study says the state’s Dungeness crab fishing industry is at risk from rising acid levels in the Pacific. Until now, that threat was thought to be a long way away but now scientists conclude it may be a problem much sooner. Scientists say developing crabs off the coast are already showing signs that their bodies are being damaged by more acidic water, which could mean big trouble ahead. One coastal fisherman tells the Press-Democrat that the finding is discouraging and that he wouldn’t want to be a younger person just starting out in the industry. The Dungeness crab brought in 47 million dollars to the state economy last year—much of that to already struggling fishing communities along the central north coast.

The Lake County Board of Supervisors wants 5 volunteers for the County Board of Appeals. That board does the important work of taking cases that have already been decided if property owners or builders disagree. There is one opening in each of the county’s five districts and applicants must live in the district they want to serve. You can put your name up for consideration at the Lake County Board office in the County Courthouse or by going online to the county website. The appeals panel was established in 1987.

The Superbowl is Sunday, and whether you are pulling for the 49ers or the Chiefs, CHP says your plans should include a designated driver or a safe way home if you’ll be drinking before, during, or after the game. They are also warning party hosts too, who could be liable if someone leaves and gets into a drunk driving crash later. Officers say people who drink and drive put themselves and others at risk and if they’re caught, they will get no sympathy. There will be more patrols out through Sunday looking for impaired drivers as well as drivers who speed or aren’t buckled up. Last year three people died in alcohol-related crashes and another 140 were hurt. 187 people were also cited for DUI.

A group involved in redwood conservation is kicking off the public phase of its 120 million dollar fundraising campaign, with some of that money planned to establish a new redwood park in Sonoma County. Save the Redwoods League has already raised 80 million dollars in private donations for its Centennial Vision for the Redwoods Initiative. One of the goals of the project is to create the first new state Redwoods Park in 40 years in the Richardson Reserve, which has more than 300 big trees—one of them estimated to be more than 1600 years old.

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