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Shots fired reported by a gas station on Main St. in Willits. But complaints are pouring into police officials saying it took several calls and as much as two hours for officers to get to the scene last Friday morning. Mendo Voice reports the gas station owner complained that officers should have been there sooner. The police chief admitted there was a communication breakdown and acknowledged officers “should have gotten there sooner.” The shooting by AM/PM Friday morning where a handful of people in different groups had a verbal altercation which ended in shots fired. Nobody was injured. Officers arrived around 8 am. The chief says he felt the incident was downplayed by the reporting caller, and they felt it wasn’t urgent.

Tis the season… Adventist Health Ukiah Valley has a free ice skating event for the holidays. The Community Ice Skating Day is this Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Ukiah on Ice is at Alex Thomas Plaza and includes a DJ, refreshments, face painting for the kids and the Blue Zones team will be on hand too. Other local organizations will be on hand with live entertainment, free dance lessons and more. Adventist Health is inviting all to come out for a fun day to kick-off the holiday season. 

At the same time the state considers banning gas-powered vehicles and oil drilling, a pipeline that was supposed to be replaced may be reconsidered. The pipeline ruptured a couple months ago near Huntington Beach releasing as much as 25,000 gallons of crude. Plains All American Pipeline is expected to consider replacing that pipeline. A spokesperson for the company says they had safely transported 90 billion gallons throughout North America last year and they’re committed to designing, constructing and maintaining lines in a safe, reliable manner. There’s also a class action lawsuit against the pipeline after the rupture.

PG&E says they’re looking at ways to use Artificial Intelligence (AI) to spot wildfires. The utility company’s Wildfire Safety Operations Center is testing AI and machine-learning capabilities in its high-definition camera network across the state, working with ALERTWildfire. There are almost 140 HD cameras across High Fire-Threat Districts in Central and Northern Calif. 46 of those have the new technology. The company reports one of its cameras on Howell Mountain in Placer County saw smoke a minute before fire dispatch got a call and was soon the River Fire.

It’s pretty ironic. Over the Thanksgiving holiday week, there were over 60 calls for power outages around the Ukiah area… it turned out to be wild Turkeys that flew into power lines. The calls over the last week in the Deerwood Drive area. PG&E says the power outages were short and caused by “turkey activity”. Apparently there were between 60-70 turkeys roosting or living in the area. The first outage was reported on Thanksgiving morning. PG&E says a Turkey flew into a line and died. The customer lost power for an hour.

The North Coast Commercial Crab Season is set to open. It’s been years since it opened on December 1st due to high acid levels in the crabs, migrating whales and pricing. One area along the coast seems to always open on time, in mid-November because they don’t have the same quality testing, but this year whale migration delayed it. Demand is reportedly high this year so fishermen negotiated a higher price of $2.00 a pound more from last year. 

The California Attorney General says it was a good move for the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to uphold the state’s ban on Large Capacity Magazines (LCMs). Atty. General Rob Bonta appealed a lower court ruling and won with the Ninth Circuit voting in favor 7-4 to reaffirm the state’s ban. Bonta called it a victory for public safety in the state, saying gun violence is an epidemic. This type of magazine can hold over 10 rounds of ammo. It’s been against the law in Calif. to manufacture, import, keep or offer for sale, give, or lend LCMs since 2000.

A law firm in Sacramento is asking for the public’s help to identify any loved ones or others they know of who have been buried in the Russian River Cemetery District where there are several unmarked graves. The graves are at the Historic Redwood Valley Cemetery in Mendocino County which are part of a land dispute between the cemetery and a vineyard owner close by. The lawsuit filed by the vineyard owner is looking to get the remains of people buried at least 100 years ago moved out of part of the cemetery the vineyard owner says is on his land.

The City of Fort Bragg is just saying no to rehabbing the Mendocino Railway. The city council has agreed to send a letter to the U.S. Department of Transportation asking the agency to say no to Mendocino Railway’s application for a 31 million dollar Railroad Rehabilitation & Improvement Financing loan to fix the collapsed tunnel between Fort Bragg and Willits. The city says it’s a stunt so Mendocino Railway can develop land in Fort Bragg. It comes after word the company wants to develop Mill Site land for tourists.

There’s a new Health Services director in Lake County. The Board of Supervisors has voted for Jonathan Portney who has a master’s degree in Public Health, to be the new director after the last one resigned instead of possibly being fired. After the appointment the board also gave kudos to County Administrative Officer Carol Huchingson who’s been the interim Health Services Director for two months.
Portney will officially start Jan. 10th. At the same time the county’s looking for a permanent Public Health Officer as Dr. Gary Pace quit in April. He and a couple others having been filling in as interim officers.

Santa is seeing visitors this year in person at the Pear Tree Center in Ukiah again. Santa will be there this Saturday at noon and see kids for pictures each weekend until the 19th of December. The Pear Tree Center is partnering with Toys for Tots this year asking for visitors to bring in a new unwrapped gift for kids who otherwise would not get any presents for the holidays. There will be horse drawn carriage rides in the JC Penney parking lot too.

No word so far how the state plans to handle the latest COVID19 “variant of concern”. After the president made public remarks on the omicron strain, the governor didn’t comment. He did tweet Saturday reminding residents to get vaccinated and boosted, if they’re eligible. But some local jurisdictions and school districts were taking matters into their own hands as they already had vaccine mandates in place. Some school districts with staff shortages are even paying teachers or other staff to get vaccinated.

The Salvation Army in Lake County continues to raise money with Virtual Red Kettles. The virtual or online fundraisers are in addition to the traditional, in person bell ringers with the IRL red kettles. The nonprofit is looking to raise enough money to help the neediest during the pandemic. The Virtual Red Kettles first happened last Christmas. They say they’re hopeful folks will continue to give to help keep families stay sheltered this holiday season.

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