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The one remaining person connected to the abduction and murder of a couple in Covelo has been caught. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Dept. reports a fugitive apprehension team from the state Dept. of Corrections and Rehabilitation located, then arrested 24-year-old Round Valley resident Joaquina Joaquin in Richmond. Last week 5 others were arrested in connection to the kidnapping, torture, and murder of Traci Bland and Kyle McCartney. Joaquin was on the run since the others in the so-called Covelo 6 were arrested. Joaquina was previously convicted of felony Assault with a Deadly Weapon in Tulare County.

A gang suppression operation in Mendocino County found and arrested a man wanted on a warrant. The unit along with other officers from the Sheriff’s office, Fort Bragg Police Department, Mendocino County District Attorney’s Office, County Probation, State Parole and Special Investigations Unit (Welfare Fraud Investigators) found Diego Spaggiari was found in Ukiah and arrested and held on $50,000.00 bail. The officers also rounded up Roy Sanchez in Redwood Valley and held him on no bail. While doing a probation search elsewhere police found firearms and other evidence connected to Douglas Whipple and charged him with felon in possession of firearms, felony possession of assault weapon and felon in possession of ammunition. But he’s on the run so they put out a stop & arrest BOLO.

Lake and a dozen other counties were removed from a Pacific Gas and Electric list of counties to have their power shutoff today due to a red flag warning. About 130,000 customers in 15 counties were supposed to be impacted including over 1,220 customers in Lake County, but that was adjusted. On Saturday it was reduced to 16 counties, but still included a handful in Lake County. Then the utility company yesterday pulled that and adjusted to 8,500 customers in five counties – Fresno, Madera, Mariposa, Tuolumne and Tulare because of forecast models showing less strong winds and improved humidity.

The Lake County Board of Supervisors is considering financial help for businesses due to the pandemic and a permanent work policy that come from the times we live in. Also due to the pandemic, the meeting tomorrow morning is on Zoom. Supervisor Bruno Sabatier will ask his fellow board members to extend CARES Act funds to small businesses after the state made $500 million of the stimulus available. The memo to the board also says more money could be coming by way of the federal government too as businesses continue to struggle due to COVID-19 restrictions. Lake is still under the threshold, but could soon join Mendocino County in stricter protocols due to low ICU bed capacity. 

A special meeting’s being held by the Lakeport City Council for appointments to a city commission and two committees. The meeting tonight, continuing tomorrow night too if they need more time for interviews and discussion. The meeting online only with written comments being accepted thru email. Tonight the interviews for three spots on the Lakeport Planning Commission, four on the Economic Development Advisory Committee and three for the Measure Z Advisory Committee.

A decent sized earthquake right inside the Mendocino County border felt across a large swath of land. Lakeport residents felt the temblor which shook yesterday morning just after 7. The quake centered around five miles north northeast of Hopland and 11 miles southeast of Ukiah around 5 miles deep. The US Geological Survey reported shake reports yesterday by almost 1,100 people, about 250 of them in Ukiah and 107 in Lakeport. Elsewhere in Lake, Mendocino and Sonoma counties and the greater Bay Area felt the quake, along with reports from Humboldt County, Modesto, San Jose and Stockton, and parts of the Sacramento Valley. And there were even shake reports as far away as Nevada and Oregon.

A car crash in Clearlake has been reported on Highway 53, killing one person. On Saturday reports before 2 pm of a solo car crash near Olympic Drive. Police arrived and found the PT Cruiser into a tree and had major damage. There was one person there, who was ejected from the car who was believed to be the driver of the car who died at the scene. The victim a man believed to be in his 60s who the CHP says appeared to have drifted off the road and vehicle hit a tree incurring major damage to the car and injuries to him. The car briefly ignited, but was said to be a small fire.

Fire weather conditions across the North Bay had red flag warnings and possible Public Safety Power Shutoffs planned in some areas. A rare fire risk warning for December started at 11 p.m. Sunday to last through 11 a.m. today. Winds in some areas were expected to gust up to 60 mph in the higher elevations. The North Coast didn’t have its power shut off as PG&E had warned over the weekend. The utility revised its plans for deenergizing powerlines, dramatically scaling back from over 100,000 customers to a handful in 5 counties instead.  

A home near Laytonville catches fire and was believed to be a historic site. The report on Kenny Creek Road. Mendo Fever reports Cal Fire and local firefighters went to the former home of Arthur H. ‘Bud’ Harwood, who’s a well-known lumber industry worker. That came over the scanner. The 2500 sq. ft. structure was engulfed when they got there with flames shooting through the roof. Everyone inside the house had gotten out safely and no injuries were reported. Later we learned that the home was not the historic Harwood home as initially reported on the scanner.

A woman and her toddler who reportedly left the scene of a car accident where a man had major injuries have been found safe. The pair in a crash November 30th and found Friday morning near Leggett. The California Highway Patrol reports a witness reported seeing the woman and her 3 year old son walking on the 101 outside Leggett and she appeared to be in distress. She’s identified as Trinity Bray, and her son, as Anthony Florentine-Perez. The two were reported missing and endangered, as it wasn’t clear they weren’t injured in the crash. They were taken to a hospital to be evaluated after being found and believed to be in stable condition. CHP and other law enforcement searched for the two for days using drones, helicopters and infrared and thermal imaging equipment.

A new webpage is being put up by the Lake County Chamber of Commerce to encourage shopping local this holiday season. The chamber says they want member businesses to be promoted with a link to their website for Facebook page.  They plan to promote the page to all of Lake County through their social media channels and digital platforms, including Instagram, Facebook, their website news, and YouTube and say they hope it helps people decide to shop from home or phone local in Lake County.

Please email all your details to: ea@lakecochamber.com including any links and we are excited to promote your business so thank you for participating.

Congressman John Garamendi has introduced new legislation on the floor of the house to invest in local affordable housing. His colleague from Nevada in the Senate has now introduced the HOME Investment Partnership Reauthorization Act. Garamdeni introduced the act on the floor of the House in June, now Senator Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada has followed suit. Garamendi says the HOME Investment Partnership Program is the biggest program both statewide and local for federal block grants to create affordable housing for low-income households. No word if the Senate will vote on the act.

New Stay Home Orders we’ve been talking about for days look to be coming to the North Bay. San Francisco was the first to hit the 15% ICU capacity threshold, then 85% of the state followed suit. Lake County still has about 40% capacity per the Public Health Officer, but not Mendocino County where there’s 26.5% capacity. The Lake County Public Health Office says there are 13 people in the hospital, 11 out of county. In Mendocino County, there are 3 people in the hospital, including 2 in an ICU. The current projections are that Northern California (including Mendocino, Lake, and north) will likely cross the 85% ICU threshold within the next few weeks. 78% of ICU beds are filled in Lake County, and 76% in the Northern California region.

Courts closing due to the latest stay home orders by the Governor. On Saturday the Superior Court in Mendocino County is putting jury trials on hold. The Chief Justice is asking the state for emergency relief to slow the spread of the virus. The new order by the state says a judge in the court can extend the time period in which a jury trial is held by not more than thirty (30) days in cases for which the statutory deadline otherwise would expire on and between December 7th and including January 8th of 2021.

The county’s cannabis cultivation ordinance may get a tweak by the Mendocino Board of Supervisors after the US House of Representatives voted to decriminalize cannabis. The board is considering several cannabis-related issues at their regular board meeting tomorrow. After that the Cannabis Cultivation Ad Hoc Committee is having their meeting online Wednesday. The supervisors will consider classifying growing cannabis as agriculture which changes some regulations and who oversees the program. Apparently many cultivation applicants are still waiting for permits from the state and applications are closed.

No winter shelter has been set up yet in Fort Bragg.  Those who are homeless won’t have access, as of today for a shelter when it gets colder. Mendocino Coast Hospitality Center (MCHC) announced last week they couldn’t find enough staff and were planning to open a week ago. The City Council has a special meeting tonight where they’ll consider a lease for part of the shuttered C.V. Starr Community Center but only for two months. The city is also considering if they should find more money to pay the Hospitality Center to pay employees another $4 or so an hour for “pandemic hazard pay” which would get them to potentially $18-$20/hr for management. That would cost the city about $15,000 all in. 

Two men from Lakeport have been arrested in Redwood Valley for having weapons and ammunition. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office reports deputies on routine patrol Saturday night seeing a car on hwy 20 with a registration violation and stopped the car with three people inside. The driver, Anthony Moron, and a rear passenger identified as Brian Skaggs.  The driver on active probation was let go, but there was a billy club located in the car and it smelled like weed in the car. They found evidence of marijuana for sale and stolen checks. Christopher Skaggs who said he was Brian Skaggs also had magic mushrooms and ammo on him. They say he gave them a fake name too so he was arrested and found to be on active parole. Several charges leveled at him and he went to jail with no bail. The other man, Moron had a billy club so he was also arrested but with zero bail due to the pandemic.

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