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Former Mendocino County Sheriff Tom Allman getting back to work. The retired sheriff-coroner is now a resident deputy for the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Lost Coast. Monday is Allman’s first day on the job. Apparently there’s been an opening to serve the residents of Shelter Cove, Whitethorn and Mattole Valley communities. Allman apparently visited the same area as a kid and knows it well. The Humboldt County Sheriff says he’s been speaking to Allman since he retired and he’s going to be a great addition to the team.  Allman says the most rewarding time in his career was as a resident deputy in Laytonville. He says being a good peacekeeper doesn’t just mean tickets and arrests, he says he wants to help improve the quality of life for the community and take an education-first approach.

Some of the fire restrictions in place for several months have been lifted by the Bureau of Land Management. Restrictions on public lands managed by the Ukiah Field Office in Colusa, Glenn, Lake, Marin, Mendocino, Napa, Solano, Sonoma and Yolo counties are off after 5 months. So those visiting public lands can light campfires once again. They’re also allowing recreational target shooting again. Those who visit are also encouraged to check weather conditions to make sure there’s no red flag warning or fire weather watch and to be cautious and practice good fire safety to help prevent wildfires when recreating on public lands.

A couple of mobile home parks threatened by fires in Fort Bragg. We told you about one of the fires earlier this week, near Ocean Lake Adult Mobile Home Park. But a fire at a different park off Highway 20 has killed a man. 69 year old Cameron Michael “Mickey” Gray was killed after a fire started at Leisure Time. The fire at Ocean Lake Park Tuesday was mostly put out by bystanders with garden hoses, then firefighters arrived to finish the job. It burned nine acres. Six hours later the fire at Leisure Time where firefighters found Gray’s trailer engulfed in flames. Neighbors helped the man get out, but apparently he was seriously injured. Folks with garden hoses tried to get the fire out, but had to wait for firefighters to do the job.

You may see some smoke in the air as Cal Fire is burning about 150 acres west of Ukiah. The burn also west of the 101 and south of Hwy 253 as part of the Vegetation Management Program (VMP) project, weather permitting. The agency says the burn Monday and Tuesday is to reintroduce fire as a natural element of the ecosystem and to improve wildlife habitat with islands of unburned fuel so there’s shelter for small mammals. It’s also to reduce the amount of vegetation in the area so there are not catastrophic wildfires in the future. They’ll be watching closely over the burn and if there’s any indication the weather’s becoming unsafe, they’ll cancel.

A man from Ukiah charged with shooting a firearm at a car is going to prison. Alexis Fabian Navarette also admitted he was part of the Sureno criminal street gang so there was a sentencing enhancement. He got sentenced to ten years for the November 2019 inciodent where shots were fired out of a car on Helen Avenue and Observatory Avenue. He was arrested then and another case followed where he was fingered as the culprit for driving under the influence causing bodily injury a month later.  Navarette will be formally sentenced to a decade behind bars next month.

A woman from Fort Bragg asking for the public’s help after someone stole his travel trailer with his beloved dog inside. Rushell Piver says sometime on Monday or Tuesday his trailer was taken off her property on Highway 20 in Fort Bragg and Dino was taken. Apparently Dino was her mom’s chihuahua, and her mother’s has passed away. The dog’s described as white and gray with markings on his head and a big white patch on his chest, and gray markings along his back. She describes him as having nervous temperament. The trailer is described as 25 feet long with white and blue stripes.  She says if it’s returned, there will be no questions asked.

Police in Lakeport with some tips for a safe holiday season.  They remind about so-called porch pirates, who steal packages off porches. Also, car and home burglaries are prevalent this time of year, as are telephone/Internet scams. So make sure your packages are delivered to an address where there are normally people around, lock cars and your home, and let police know you’re going on vacation, for vacation checks. You can sign up for that online. And be careful with phone and internet messages where folks solicit donations and payments. Also be careful of possible distracted or impaired drivers, and don’t drink and drive.

Food giveaways are planned by various groups in Lake County to help those less fortunate during the holidays. There’s a cooperative getting together which includes the Lakeport Rotary, NCO Community Action, Lake County Hunger Task Force and Bruno’s Shop Smart. The money was collected last year and is being used for this year’s holiday food giveaway. They’re also collecting donations at any Umpqua Bank for next year. Those who want to register to receive holiday food can visit the Lake Family Resource Center in Lakeport between the hours of 9 and 3 starting Monday.

Work continues on the massive scar left behind by the August Complex Fire. The Mendocino, Shasta-Trinity and Six Rivers National Forests continue to work together closely. They have coordinated suppression actions, suppression repair activities, burned area emergency response assessments and implementation. The fires in the Complex started August 16th and 17th and burned 1,032,648 acres before being finally being contained nearly 3 months later, on November 11th. Now they continue to work with specialists from heritage, fuels, geology, wildlife, timber, public affairs, planning and other resources to find possible hazards to public safety and infrastructure and areas in need of restoration, rehabilitation or long-term maintenance treatments.

The Redwood Empire Food Bank has a new food distribution site in Ukiah. The food bank out of Santa Rosa now has space at the Ukiah Unified School District warehouse parking lot near Grace Hudson Elementary School. The first Thursday of every month they will be giving out food to those in need from 1:30 to 3 p.m. 400 people came to the first one this month. The next distribution is next Thursday, then each first Thursday of the month after that. The Redwood Empire Food Bank is the biggest hunger-relief organization on the north coast from Sonoma County to the Oregon border feeding families and seniors in Sonoma, Mendocino, Humboldt, Del Norte and Lake counties since 1987.

A man from Lakeport accused of possessing drugs and arson is going to prison. Baraquiel Simon Ruiz found guilty of being under the influence of a controlled substance at the time of the arson and for having a history of  substance abuse. The court sent him to prison for four years, but he has 116 days credit for time served. He also has to pay over $700 in fines for the September incident in Upper Lake. A witness reported seeing him light a fire. Police reported to the scene and found him nearby. The fire burned about a 10 X 10 foot grassy area.

Two people in Covelo have been arrested after a burglary at a local feed & hardware store. The Mendocino County Sheriff Office reports getting a call to M&M Feed & Supply where employees said there was forced entry into the building, plus somebody, somehow, had disabled their alarm system. Some of the stolen items included a couple of high powered hunting rifles, and five small caliber rifles, and ammunition. Then Wednesday, the day after it happened, another call to the same place for another burglary. They saw a pickup truck this time as they pulled up and chased. The people inside got out and ran, and Bo, the police dog nabbed the driver, Eduardo Sifuentes Gonzalez, he was found with some of the stolen items. Wendy Sue Joaquin was arrested at home with some of the items too. The two are charged with multiple crimes, Joaquin held on $100,000 bail for having a criminal history and Sifuentes Gonzalez $15,000.00 bail. 

2 people in Covelo have been arrested after deputies spotted a travel trailer in an open field. They found David Joaquin and Rebecca Rodriguez there. Rodriguez was on formal Mendocino County probation so the two were searched and found with drug paraphernalia.  Joaquin also had a large dagger knife in violation of his parole terms.  They say he also appeared to be under the influence of a controlled substance.  The two were arrested for violating probation and parole, possession of drug paraphernalia and Joaquin for being under the influence of illicit drugs and booked into jail on no bail.

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