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The Mendocino County CEO has a new/old assistant. The Deputy CEO Darcie Antle has been appointed as the Assistant Chief Executive Officer. She’s been the Deputy since 2017 and also serves at the Disaster Recovery Finance Director and the COVID-19 Vaccine Coordinator. Before working for the county, she was at Adventist Health and the California Medical Group. She’s also has been a professor at both Mendocino College and Mendocino County Office of Education and is a former president of the Rotary Club of South Ukiah. She says she’s looking forward to working even closer with the CEO and the Board of Supervisors on initiatives and priorities that will move the County of Mendocino into the best position for the future.

A former inmate firefighter is now a full-time EMT. The man’s lawyer petitioned the court so he could be an EMT and get his felony removed from his permanent record. A bill was signed at the beginning of the year to allow formerly incarcerated people to clear their records after completing fire camp and getting out of prison. They partner with Cal Fire for non-violent offenders in 44 fire camps throughout the state. This new EMT fought fires in 2019. He was in prison on drug charges.  His lawyer did not release his name publicly. He says he’ll work as an EMT in Calif and was the first in Mendocino County to apply for the program. His record was expunged in April.

Shopping malls across the state could soon be flipped into affordable housing complexes. That’s if a group of legislators gets their way. The housing shortage has lawmakers considering changing some laws so zoning is no longer a barrier to turning malls into housing. The state senate passed a bill last week so developers could put up housing on most commercial sites without changing the zoning. There’s another idea too, to pay local governments to change the zoning so developers can put up affordable housing. Last year a similar bill was considered to override local zoning laws so developers could build small apartment buildings in neighborhoods zoned for single-family homes, but it failed in the state Senate.

A special hearing is being held by the Mendocino Board of Supervisors on the continuing discussion of whether or not to adopt a new Commercial Cannabis ordinance. The hearing tomorrow, bypassing their regular meeting today to discuss and take possible action to introduce and waive the first reading of the ordinance adopting the new way to do business related to commercial cannabis activity land use and add any possible amendments to the ordinance. They’ll also discuss and take possible action to direct county staff to draft tax relief for licensed cultivators on 10,000 square feet and less and increase the tax for larger farms in a revenue neutral way.

Mendocino County Code Enforcement officers out at several commercial cannabis farms found without permits. Those found guilty had to yank their plants. The first in Redwood Valley where officers found 118 plants which were taken out. Then two more in Ukiah, one only had 25 plants, but the second had 265 plants abated. The code enforcement officers also reportedly planned to continue taking action against non-licensed growers. They’re responsible for all Cannabis and General Code Violation complaints in the unincorporated areas of the County.  

Be on the lookout for tree work on West Perkins Street. It’s happening tomorrow between North Spring Street and North Hortense Streets from 8:00 AM to 12:00 PM. That means West Perkins Street will be closed between North Spring Street and North Hortense Street so you’ll have to choose an alternate route during the hours the street is closed. The city says they’re sorry for any inconvenience. 

Even though we’ve been in the midst of a pandemic, students from Kelseyville High School FFA (Future Farmers of America) kept busy. And the school has announced their principal, Mike Jones, was chosen as the 2021 North Coast FFA Region Star Administrator. High schools offering the FFA program have to have a certified and approved agriculture program.  They still participated in 2020 in the Lake County Fair, winning 1st in the Grand Champion Market Steer and Showmanship, Grand Champion for Market Hog and more. Four students got their State FFA degree too.

 Willits police doing a regular traffic stop on a car and found a bunch of meth. The police dept. reports one of their officers stopped a car on Main St. last Friday night and found the driver with about three to four pounds of packaged methamphetamine and another three pounds of processed marijuana. Travis Ninnemann of Arizona was the driver and Julius Gruber of Willits was the passenger. Both were arrested for conspiracy to commit a crime, possession of a controlled substance for sale, transportation of a controlled substance for sale, transportation of meth for sale and transportation of marijuana for sale.

A proposal is being tossed around the Lakeport City Council to potentially allow wild pig hunts on city sewer district property. The meeting tonight will look at allowing the hunts in partnership with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife because there are apparently wild pigs running around on the property. They use the land to dispose of treated wastewater and there are also sprinkler fields they use the water for grass where cattle graze. There’s a lease agreement for the land use already, and now the pigs are also coming over to graze and are apparently destroying the property. So the city contacted the Dept. of Fish and Wildlife and were told they should consider designating the land for controlled hunting purposes. The city council will also discuss having their July 4th celebration this year, after skipping last year due to the pandemic.

PG&E’s having an online town hall on wildfire prevention, publics safety power shutoffs and resources so you can prepare for this wildfire season. Tomorrow at noon, you can hop online and talk to the utility company and hear the latest news.  Company representatives will be on hand to talk about reducing wildfire risks throughout the service territory.

To access the virtual safety town hall or view recordings of past wildfire safety webinars, you can also visit

A shooting is being investigated in Lucerne. It happened Sunday night before 10, bringing deputies and firefighters to a home after reports of a shooting. It took about a half hour to get an air ambulance to get the victim to Sutter Lakeside Hospital because no other choppers were available. The victim was flown to an out of area hospital and was last reported in stable condition. There have been no arrests.

An underage drinking enforcement sting rounded up some folks in the so-called shoulder tap operation in Lakeport. Police along with the state Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control went out May 22nd. A police officer posed as a minor to try to get adults to buy booze for them. Police officers say they approached 28 adults and a man from Cloverdale, Donald Johnson was arrested, then given a citation and allowed to leave. The penalty is a minimum $1,000 fine and 24 hours of community service.

A drought declaration has been passed by the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors so all water suppliers will implement mandates on conservation. Most residents in the county use groundwater, but diversions from the Eel River through the Potter Valley Project and Russian River are super low this year. As we’ve been reporting some of the things you can do to help, let your lawns go brown or replace them with artificial turf or drought tolerant species, water deeply and less often and use mulch to minimize evaporation, use a broom instead of hose to clean driveways and patios, install water-saving showerheads and take shorter showers, turn water off when brushing teeth and washing hands, check faucets, sinks, toilets and showers for leaks and repair promptly if necessary. For more info,  or call the Drought Hotline: (707) 234-6363.

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