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A doctor who was practicing in Lakeport and was found guilty of sexual battery on a patient has lost his license to practice. The Medical Board of California has revoked David Duncan House’s license and surgeon’s certificate after a conviction in Orange County last year for sexual battery and sexual exploitation of a patient who he was examining for a skin condition, but groped. There was an automatic revocation of his license after the convictions. He faced four years in prison, but instead got a year of probation, 3 months in jail and 45 days of home confinement. He also has to register as a sex offender. After he was charged, he worked in Lake County, at Adventist Health Clear Lake.

A virtual symposium is being hosted by the Mendocino National Forest to come up with postfire restoration strategies. The symposium is January 26th featuring a host of speakers from across the region. They will present case studies and note lessons learned with national forest land managers who work in national forests in Northern California and at Lassen National Park. It comes after a string of even more threatening and dangerous fires over the last few years including the 2018 Ranch Fire, the 2020 August Complex fire and the 2021 Dixie fire.

The Sheriff’s office has arrested a man from Potter Valley for domestic violence. A call came into the office December 30th with a victim in the lobby of the Ukiah station. They say the woman’s fiancé Richard Page, who she lived with, became physically violent with her during an argument the night before. The woman says Page grabbed her by the throat and choked her and threw her around the inside of their home. She had visible scratches and bruises. Deputies contacted Page, but he wouldn’t come out of their house, so the woman gave them her key, they finally got Page out of a back bedroom and arrested him for domestic violence battery. He was being held in jail on $25,000.00 bail.

Water storage in area reservoirs is climbing after a dumping of winter rain over the holidays. Water in both Lake Sonoma and Mendocino rose exponentially after months of dry, parched weather and conservation. The National Weather Service also reports it’s looking promising for normal rainfall this month into February too.  Lake Mendocino has taken in more water this last couple of weeks, than all of last year and Lake Sonoma has risen to 60% of its water supply capacity. Both lakes were at their lowest levels ever at the start of summer for that time of year.

Several thousand people are still without power in the Sierra Nevada region. Pacific Gas and Electric Co. announced a few thousand had power restored over the weekend, but there were still as many as 25,000 homes and businesses in Northern California’s mountains and foothills without power because of rains last week. Parts of El Dorado, Placer and Nevada counties have not had electricity for about a week. PG&E bigwigs gathered for a news conference on New Year’s eve blaming record-breaking snow. Saying that caused widespread damage to their equipment and created a challenge for crews to get to the repairs. Due to the storm, the Governor declared a state of emergency in 20 counties, including Humboldt, Lake, Napa, Los Angeles and Orange.

In a unanimous ruling, the California Supreme Court said there can be no early release for violent felons, even if a primary offense is considered nonviolent under state law. The new ruling comes as the state was trying to further expand former Gov. Jerry Brown’s initiative to alleviate overcrowding. It was approved by almost  two-thirds of voters in 2016. But the Supremes said corrections officials acted properly when they wrote regulations excluding “nonviolent offenders” early parole consideration if an inmate was currently serving a term for a ‘violent felony.'” That includes prisoners serving for a combo of violent and nonviolent felonies.

The Mendocino County Public Health Officer is putting the hammer down. Starting next month, a COVID-19 vaccine (and Booster if eligible) will be mandatory, or tests twice a week necessary for Emergency Medical Service workers. So Firefighters and staff, Law Enforcement, Temporary Disaster Shelters and Dental Offices and Pharmacy workers. Dr. Coren says omicron’s increasingly spreading, making boosters essential to protect from illness, hospitalization and death. There was an order in place, but this new one adds the booster.

No more late fees at the Mendocino County Public Library. The library now one of many large or small public libraries nationwide who have decided to no longer fine people for turning in their materials late. It comes after a nationwide institutional movement, and recommendations by the American Library Association, to increase free public access to library services. And if you have a fine in place, it’ll be forgiven this New Year, but, one caveat, fees for lost or damaged items stay.  

For more information, please visit http://www.mendolibrary.org or contact the Mendocino County Cultural Services Agency at 234-2873.

Over one million marijuana plants and over 180,000 pounds of processed marijuana have been eradicated by the Bureau of Land Management Rangers and Special Agents with their law enforcement partners. The massive clear out of illegal grow sites in Calif. in 2021 as part of their yearly CAMP Program, the Campaign Against Marijuana Planting. Besides the pot and chemicals, there was ammunition and weapons, trash and water diversions. They also found almost 600 propane tanks and over 67,000 pounds of grow site infrastructure.

Detectives from Sonoma County are searching for a suspected bank robbery in Guerneville. They say Bradley Bennett is the thief who went into a bank on Main Street in Guerneville New Year’s Eve, approaching a teller, handed them a note, demanding money, and signaling they may have had a weapon. The teller handed over cash and the guy got away on a bike. Deputies say it was Bennett, a homeless man described as Caucasian, 5’10” and 225 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes. They’re asking anyone who many know him or may have seen him to call Violent Crime Detectives in the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office.

Gas continues to surge in California with average prices in bigger cities getting close to the dreaded, five-dollar-mark. GasBuddy, a fuel-saving website which predicts pricing says it’s probably because of the pandemic, that prices could hit between $4.95 to $5.25/gallon soon. The website tells the Sacramento Bee newspaper, Americans will most likely see higher prices this year, a sign that the economy is actually recovering from COVID-19.  Right now, a price for a gallon of regular gas in the state capitol, is four dollars and 67 cents, nearly a buck fifty higher than a year ago.

The CHP says they made 510 DUI arrests during this past weekend’s Maximum Enforcement Period.  More than half of the arrests, 263, were on New Year’s Eve alone.  That’s eight-percent higher than New Year’s Eve of 2020.  CHP officers averaged a DUI arrest every six minutes during the 54-hour enforcement period from Friday evening through Sunday night.  They also reported 29 people were killed in crashes during that time period too.

As students get back to in person learning after the pandemic first arose, parents can now petition to get some of their previous grades changed to pass/fail instead of a letter grade. Seniors who were in 10th grade when the pandemic closed schools down may not have enough credits to graduate or, will graduate with fewer credits and requirements than years before. The Governor signed a new bill into law last summer for kids who earned D’s and F’s in the 2020-21 school year to instead get a pass or no pass grade. Students may also take a fifth year of high school too.

A new report says the amount of people moving to Calif. from across the country has gone down by 38% since the beginning of the pandemic. The amount of people living in California leaving though, is up 12%. The nonpartisan California Policy Lab reports the trends show the state has seen a population loss because of domestic migration that had more than doubled since pandemic first surfaced. Declines were the first since 2016. In Sonoma County, the amount of people leaving was up nearly 21%, in Lake County, it was only about 2% and get this, it was negative 5.6% in Mendocino County.

The first meeting of the year for the Clearlake City Council is a busy one. They’ll consider a new cannabis operation, consider a new building project at the city’s senior center and consider a proposal to ban illegal dumping. The meeting is Thursday and will be live on YouTube or on local cable or Zoom. You can also go in person if you want. They will have a public hearing regarding the appeal of the Planning Commission’s green light for a commercial cannabis operation. Staff is telling the city council to deny the appeal. Then the council is taking up the matter of extending the temporary closure of some roads in the city and find a way to reduce illegal dumping. There will also be a discussion for a new warehouse at the Senior Center and appointments to various boards and committees.

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