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After a man in Redwood Valley led police on a chase on his motorcycle, then took off running, deputies began an hours long search and told residents to shelter in place. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office reported a pistol was found in a bag the suspect had left behind on someone’s property, and that he muttered something about not wanting to go back to prison as he ran away from deputies and two police dogs. A drone also joined the search last night and a Nixle alert went out to those in the area of West Road in Redwood Valley from Zahadoom Way to Rancheria Road east to the river. Deputies were looking everywhere for the man they say had a criminal background in Lake County. As of late last night the man still had not been found.

Seizure like symptoms in the Mendocino County Jail led corrections officers to administer NARCAN to at least three inmates. Two started to look like they were recovering another had seizures. Emergency medical staff, jail medical and correctional staff then stabilized her and continued to care for the other two until they could be taken to a hospital. Then a fourth told officers she also took the same substance, which turned out to be Fentanyl.  An investigation revealed someone brought the Fentanyl into the facility in a body cavity. They’re now trying to figure out who did it.

The state may fully reopen by the middle of June. The Governor announced a change to the tier structure too, so Mendocino County can enter the less restrictive Orange Tier. The Public Health Officer, Dr. Andy Coren reported the changes take effect today. That means bars without food can reopen outdoors with safety protocols in place, same for Breweries, Wineries and Distilleries, but they get to add indoors with 25% capacity. Restaurants can increase their indoor dining capacity. Cardrooms, churches and indoor pools too. Movie theaters can have more people, same with other family entertainment. Some activities that reopen require masks and social distancing, others require proof of being vaccinated. Check the state’s website for all of the new reopenings or modifications.

After a closed door special meeting of the Ukiah City Council, members decided the recent use-of-force incident by police against a mentally ill man should be independently investigated. Video caught officers beating and kicking the man identified as Gerardo Magdaleno last Thursday afternoon.  The police chief said there would be an independent investigation, now the city council says they’ve reached out to the City Attorney’s office to hire an outside, independent investigator too. They also noted the incident shows there are gaps in mental health and addiction resources. They say there should be solutions so police engagement can be avoided when possible. That relates to the passage of Measure B to improve mental health programs and facilities in the county. The council ended their statement by saying they’re committed to transparency during the investigation.

A man in Willits has been arrested after a homeowner says a neighbor called to say nobody should be living on his property and someone was trespassing there. The Sheriff’s Dept. sent out a deputy who says they found Russell Harmon had apparently moved onto the property without the owner’s knowledge or permission. A records check on Harmon showed he had two felony warrants and one misdemeanor warrant so he was arrested and held on $32,500.00 bail

A man in Willits has been arrested for vandalism and then was found with metal knuckles on him. A deputy saw a man parked and contacted Devin Nielson who got out of the car, they detained him and found there was a misdemeanor no-cite warrant for his arrest from last year in Mendocino County and found he was on misdemeanor probation so he was searched. The Deputy found a used glass pipe commonly used to smoke meth in his front pants pocket, a baggie with about a gram of a white substance and a container with another 5 grams of a crystalline substance, which looked to be meth. He was arrested and also was found to have metal knuckles. He’s held on $16,000.00 bail.

A man from Willits has been arrested after a traffic stop showed he had 6 warrants for his arrest. Deputies say Jeffrey French gave them a fake name, but they knew who he was from previous contact. They ran a records check and found the warrants so he was arrested, then booked into jail on no bail.

The Governor has announced a new tier system in the Blueprint to Reopen the Economy and with that the state is poised to fully reopen June 15th. That depends on vaccinating those over 16 first, and hospitalizations. It also won’t be like before times. There will still be mandatory mask wearing, social distancing in some places, and if you want to take part in certain activities, proof you’ve been vaccinated. The Governor said yesterday there’s an abundance of vaccine doses coming to Calif through this month and next so businesses can reopen or increase capacity for the first time in a year. The Governor did say though that restrictions could be back if COVID19 variations cause another surge.

Sonoma County, like Mendocino, has received approval to move to the Orange Tier. It comes as enough people in the lower income communities have received their vaccinations, 4 million. State health officials moved several counties to the Orange Tier after that, including Sonoma, Mendocino and Napa. Lake and neighboring Glenn, Tehama and Shasta counties stay in the Red Tier. Each Tuesday the state releases numbers for each county. And yesterday the Governor announced changing up the metrics since those 4 million in poorer neighborhoods had been vaccinated. So now bars can reopen outdoors with modifications and capacity limits increase for many other businesses and others closed for a year can reopen, some including indoor entertainment centers. The Gov. announced there would be no more colored tier system by the middle of June when the entire state reopens with “commonsense” risk reduction protocols in place.

The Sonoma County District Attorney has filed a lawsuit against PG&E related to the 2019 Kincade fire. An investigation found it was the utility company’s equipment that started the fire which sparked over 77,750 acres, destroyed 174 homes and caused the biggest evacuation in county history. 200,000 residents had to leave their homes. The complaint after the DA’s office investigators worked with Cal Fire and independent experts to pinpoint the cause of the fire. PG&E admitted their transmission line caused the fire. Now the company’s officially been charged with five felonies and 28 misdemeanors.

It’s looking more and more like drought conditions. The latest snowpack measurements in California were below normal again. Last Thursday the Department of Water Resources had their 4th snow survey of the season at the Phillips Station snow course recording 49.5 inches of snow depth and a snow water equivalent of 21 inches. That’s 83 percent of average for that location. The state director for water resources says there’s no doubt the state is in a critically dry year. In Northern and Central Calif. it’s a tad different because of the amount of snow, instead of rain. But the Mendocino National Forest also had below normal levels, 46% at Anthony Peak on the Covelo Ranger District. But it’s better than the 32 percent density recorded a month earlier. The snowpack in the Northern and Central Sierra was at 70 percent of average, but rainfall below 50 percent of average.

At the regular meeting for the Ukiah City Council they’re looking at a new traffic signal for the intersection of East Gobbi and Waugh Lane. There is other business too, but the first order on the agenda is the traffic signal and vehicle detection camera to lighten traffic. The city has accessed money for the work through the Mendocino Council of Governments. The city got over $700,000 for the project and the lowest bid is about half that. The city’s also trying to put in a signal at East Gobbi and South Main streets due to congestion too.  The council’s also expected to look at applications already received for two vacancies on the Ukiah Planning Commission.

A man and woman in Ukiah have been arrested after a routine traffic stop led to drug charges. Wednesday a patrol officer from the Sheriff’s office saw a red car turn into a driveway.  The driver James Hill and the front passenger apparently gave a phony name to the deputy. The passenger gave a family members name, but was identified soon after as Leticia Contreras. Hill was found to be on probation so a search ensued and heroin was found in the car along with a straw. He was cited for possession of a controlled substance narcotic and possession of drug paraphernalia. And
Contreras was arrested for felony false impersonation of another. She also had a felony warrant. So she was held on no bail. 

A man from Ukiah’s been arrested after reports someone was knocking loudly on someone’s door while holding a machete. Deputies got a call to the 1300 block of North State Street yesterday and found Carlos Magana who they recognized from previous contacts. They say he peacefully removed a large knife from his pants, and seemed high on something and was uncooperative with field sobriety tests.  He was checked for other weapons and deputies found a type of glass pipe, consistent with methamphetamine usage, a can of pepper spray and since he’s a previous felon he cannot possess pepper spray. He was arrested for felony unlawful possession tear gas weapon, felony carry concealed dirk or dagger and possession of drug paraphernalia. While at jail he was found to have meth in a shoe, so he was further charged with possession controlled substance. He was released with a promise to appear in court, due to the pandemic.

The Lake County the Board of Supervisors and the Sheriff voicing concern at the latest Board meeting about a new bill in the Legislature to repeal eligibility requirements for candidates running for the office of sheriff. Supervisors agreed to pulled the item from the agenda to discuss further, then agreed they’d send a letter directly to the bill’s author, State Sen. Scott Wiener regarding his Sheriff Democracy and Diversity Act. Weiner says he drafted it to allow any registered voter to run for sheriff. That had been the only eligibility requirement back from 1850 until 1989. Now those interested need to have certificates to qualify but Wiener says that whittles those eligible down to a “tiny pool”. He also says sheriff’s have worked with ICE to help get people deported, have not enforced COVID safety protocols and failed to be responsive to demands for police and jail reform, plus about 90% of the state’s sheriffs are white men.

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