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Property crimes in Lakeport went down last year but there was a slight uptick in violent crime. Lakeport Police Chief Brad Rassmussen outlining those numbers at this week’s meeting of the city council. He says burglaries dropped from 59 in 2018 to 28 last year, while the number of reported larcenies was up slightly. 2019 also saw 3 rapes, 7 robberies, and 78 assaults. Alf those figures were up a bit from the year before. The chief also told the council that 2019 was a busy year for his officers with 17 percent more calls which were handled by a staff that was 17 percent smaller. He says that could be one reason that police response times increased year to year. Council members say the department is doing a good job both preventing crime and answering calls from people who need help.

The council also took up parking at its regular Tuesday meeting. Tickets will now go up between $15 and $25, depending on the violation. The last time those fines went up was 2009.

Lake County voters will have two choices for superior court judge when they vote on March 3rd, but neither will actually have their name on the ballot. The Lake Co News reports that DA Felony Prosecutor Lisa Proffit-O’Brien has turned in enough signatures to qualify as a write-in challenger to incumbent Judge David Markham. Markham had missed the December deadline to have his name printed on the ballot so he will be a write-in candidate too. Interim Registrar of Voters Dianne Fridley says both candidates will have to spend time making sure their supporters know that they’ll need to do more than check a box when they get in the voting booth. Its been a busy week for Fridley and her staff. In addition to reviewing Proffit-O’Brien’s paperwork, Tuesday was the last day for voter registration for the election that is now less than two weeks away. Mail-in voting has already started.

The Ukiah Valley Fire Authority says a fire in a shipping container on Leslie Street was probably started by someone who left a warming or cooking fire unattended. That fire Wednesday morning was quickly put out, but acting battalion chief Justin Buckingham says it shows how dangerous those fires can be if they aren’t carefully watched. He says his department has been on several similar runs in the past few weeks.

Health officials say people in Lake County shouldn’t lose any sleep over the risk of coronavirus. Two patients are being treated for the illness in Napa County but Lake County Health Officer Dr. Gary Pace says he is confident that doctors in Napa are doing their jobs and limiting any contact with those patients, so there is very little chance that anyone else there—or here—will get sick. Dr. Pace says his office is watching the coronavirus outbreak carefully and is in regular contact with state health officials to get the latest information. The two people being held in isolation in Napawere among the American passengers evacuated from a cruise ship off the coast of Japan and taken to Travis Air Force Base earlier.

Coronavirus has grabbed the headlines, but the flu has killed 328 people in California since the season began. The latest figures from the state department of health show deaths from the flu are up 58 percent from this time last year. Doctors say the numbers will continue to rise as more cases are reported. It has been a bad flu season, especially for children because the current strain of the virus is harder for them to fight off. Doctors say people need to remember to use good hand hygiene and stay home if they do sick.

The DMV office in Ukiah will be open this Saturday to make things easier for people who need to replace their current driver’s license with a new federally compliant REAL ID. The state wants people to get those new licenses now, well before the deadline of October 1st. If you don’t have one by then, you won’t be able to get on a plane or enter secure federal buildings or military bases. Applicants have to bring additional ID including one verified proof of identity such as a valid passport or birth certificate, one proof of Social Security number and two proofs of California residency such as a bank statement or utility bill. People whose names have legally changed will have to show proof of that as well. The special Saturday hours in Ukiah are from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM. There is more information about all of this on the website Realid/dmv.ca.gov. By the way, if you want to make sure the license you carry now is compliant, look for a symbol of a bear with a gold star in the upper right-hand corner.

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