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There’s been a small, ultralight airplane crash in Ukiah. The Sheriff’s Office says they got a call about the crash by the south boat ramp at Lake Mendocino and when they got there, they immediately found the pilot. They say the 71 year-old man was about 600 yards east of the south boat ramp on exposed land near the decreased lake water level. He had taken off from the Ukiah Municipal Airport, headed to Potter Valley, but about ten minutes after takeoff, the plane began having engine trouble and lost power. The pilot crash landed into the lake and he escaped with only minor injuries. He said no to medical treatment on the scene.  Ukiah Valley Fire Authority, the Sheriff’s Office and the Army Corps of Engineers were all on the scene.

OptumServe’s sites in Lakeport and Lower Lake are opening 5 days a week. They offer free COVID19 vaccines. They say they prefer an appointment for testing and vaccinations, but they will accept walk-ins. The vaccine can be scheduled on the state’s website, https://MyTurn.ca.gov.  They only have the Moderna vaccine at the moment. Also Walmart has begun offering the vaccine in Clearlake. They’re part of the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program, and offering both the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines.

A man from Willits has been formally charged with murdering two men who were reported missing. The DA’s office says they’ve charged Christopher Gamble for killing Ulises Andrade Ayala and Anwar Ayala and for animal abuse for intentionally maiming, mutilating, torturing, or wounding chickens. It comes after deputies first reported a suspicious double missing persons case on a cannabis grow in Willits. The next day two bodies were found where they supposedly vanished. Gamble will be arraigned May 11th.

It looks like all of the paperwork is now in order for the proposed recall of Windsor Mayor Dominic Foppoli. A petition drive’s paperwork was refiled yesterday and accepted by the Town Clerk as valid. The mayor has been accused by several women of sexual assault or harassment. He claims he’s innocent so he’s not resigning. His own brother, who he works with at their family winery, has also called for him to step down there. He’s the first mayor at large who was elected in Windsor and could be the first removed by voters. Those trying to get him recalled have 120 days to gather signatures from 20% of Windsor’s 16,879 registered voters or 3,376 signatures.

A badge pinning ceremony has honored new and old firefighters in Lakeport. The Lakeport Fire Protection District promoted three firefighters to Captain, they are Captain/Paramedic Odell Landers, Captain/Paramedic Jordan Mills and Captain/Paramedic Spencer Johnson. Then new Firefighter/EMT Sean Thomas was pinned, but new Firefighter/Paramedic Derek Reisbeck could not be at the ceremony. The two new firefighters started work last year.

A fire has broken out in Lower Lake and another controlled burn escaped near Scotts Valley. The first in Lower Lake has been dubbed the Sky Fire, it started around lunch time yesterday around the area of Morgan Valley Road and Sloan Ranch Road. The fire was reported around five to seven acres when it was first spotted near a large cannabis business. The Sheriff Brian Martin posted online that it was burning in a mostly rural area and no homes were threatened. Later into the night it was reported at 45 acres and 50 percent contained. The escaped control burn near Scotts Valley was about 2-3 acres.

Residents in Lakeport are being reminded to get ready for wildfire season and clear defensible space around their homes and properties. It could mean saving your home and is needed to slow the spread and keep firefighters defending your property safe. State law requires one hundred feet of defensible space. Visit http://www.ReadyForWildfire.org for more information to prepare for and survive a wildfire.

Calif. lawmakers are looking at putting billions into drought relief. Democrats in the Senate have drafted a $3.4 billion proposal to help with drinking water, save endangered wildlife and replenish parched land. The last drought was about the same amount of money spent, and it was during the recession years of 2012 to 2016. The snowpack this year was historically low, less than half of normal in the Sierra Nevada mountains. Nearly $300 million would be for fish and wildlife and buying back water from farmers to return it to the Sacramento and San Joaquin river delta. Another one billion to pay off unpaid water bill debt because of the pandemic. Other money to truck emergency water in, pay for sensors and gauges to measure snow and rain and money to homeowners to replace grass.

Speaking of the drought, the town of Mendocino, already in a stage three water shortage will look at possibly moving to stage four, which means mandatory 40% water reduction allotments for all users. The Mendocino Community Services District Board is considering the issue at a meeting Monday where they’re expected to raise that drought level. The town has only had a sprinkling of rain this year, 18 inches or so, that’s less than half of average though. The district was in stage 4 last year too because of less than average rainfall. The pandemic and no tourism helped well levels last summer, but they don’t expect the same this year due to the number of vaccinations going up.

A bunch of people have shown up to City Hall in Fort Bragg, rallying for changes planned at Jackson Demonstration State Forest, namely logging. About 150 people were there including representatives from the Coyote Valley Band of Pomo Indians; local conservationists, the Mendocino Trail Stewards and others from Earth First!, they’re reportedly considering a tree-sit in the forest. The groups reportedly looking to change how the State Forest is managed, instead of demonstrating logging techniques, they want more earth friendly ideas put forth, like showing how redwood forests can hold carbon and the added value of health for the local and global environment. They also want planned timber harvests next week to be called off or delayed at the very least.

The US Drought Monitor says the extremely dry conditions continue to spread. The latest drought map puts all of Lake County and all but a small part of Mendocino county in that extreme category. The dry conditions have the town of Mendocino thinking about raising its water shortage alert to level 4. That could mean more restrictions. It’s up for discussion at a meeting of the Mendocino Community Services District Board on Monday.

The Lake County unemployment rate is looking better. According to the state, the march rate was 7.9 percent—down from 8.3 percent in February. The county number is better than California’s overall rate of 8.3 percent. There are still pockets of high unemployment rates within Lake County. In the city of Clearlake, it is at almost 17 percent. Overall, just over 29,000 people had jobs in the county in March. That is a slight increase from February.

The Lake County Risk Reduction Agency is holding a RESCHEDULED virtual meeting about the upcoming fire season next week. That town hall was planned for the 29th, but it will now happen next Thursday, May 6th, at 6 PM. You can take part via Zoom, watch on Lake County PEG TV or on the Lake County
Facebook Page and YouTube Channel.

The Lake Area Planning commission is looking for feedback updating both the Regional Transportation Plan and Active Transportation Plan for the Lake County area. The plan update will cover projected needs in areas like streets, highways, bicycle facilities, and transit over the next 20 years. Due to the pandemic, public comment will be virtual, with an interactive website you can use to add your thoughts. That site is Laeapc.Mysocialpinpoint. com/

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