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Monthly Archives: March 2022

Protestors are back in Guerneville after taking a few weeks off. They’re against gay people. At least their signs say they are. The so-called “Pizza Box Brigade” joined yesterday too as counter protestors with signs painted on the back of pizza boxes against the anti-gay demonstrators in what is known as a queer-friendly town. Some yelling to stop the hate. The counter-protesting group has been handing out empty pizza boxes for anyone to use for signs against the anti-gay religious group who have been having the same sort of protests elsewhere in the state, including at UC Berkeley and in Sebastopol and San Francisco.

A man involved in a murder in Mendocino County a quarter century ago has been arrested in connection to the disappearance and murder of a young woman from Nevada. 18 year old Naomi Irion disappeared from a Walmart parking lot 2 weeks ago. Local surveillance footage caught a man in a hoodie and mask approach her, get into her car, take the steering wheel and take her away. The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office identified Troy Driver as her abductor. Irion’s body was found in a remote area of Churchill County Tuesday. Driver spent time in prison for the 1997 murder of 19-year-old Paul Rodriguez in Willits. He faces kidnapping charges in Irion’s case so far.

The man arrested earlier this week after a stabbing death in a bank parking lot had his bail set. Leslie Adelman was in court but did not enter a plea in the death Sunday morning by Wells Fargo in Ukiah. His bail was set at $550,000. An argument over stolen property was reported to be the reason for the altercation between the two homeless men. Adelman was also appointed a public defender and ordered to be in court in 2 weeks to enter his plea in the case. James Anderegg is the man who was killed last weekend. He was taken to Adventist Health with severe abdominal injuries and was pronounced dead at the hospital.

A home has been destroyed by a fire in Redwood Valley. The Chief of the Redwood Valley-Calpella Fire Department says the large, single-family, residential home was completely involved when they got there with smoke and flames. Both floors of the home were engulfed in flames, and they’re not sure yet how it started. Mendo Fever reports firefighters surrounded the home to protect nearby vegetation so the fire didn’t spread in dry fuels. Deputies also reported to the scene because firefighters say the homeowner was not cooperating with them. But they just helped them find a place to stay.

The work to annex part of an area outside Lakeport along S. Main St. has been tabled. That’s because the Lake Local Agency Formation Commission found local objections to the annexation warranted a protest process. The Commission voted unanimously for a protest hearing on the proposed annexation of 137 acres and 50 parcels south of the city limits. The CEO of the Commission told Lake Co News the process should take another month, but they had no firm start date either. The news site reports the area is the most lucrative commercial corridor in the unincorporated county which has long been the talk of annexation. All looked to be in order to continue until the Commission’s meeting a couple of weeks ago.

The state is working to be proactive against wildfire. The Governor’s Wildfire and Forest Resilience Task Force has put together a Strategic Plan to Expand the Use of Beneficial Fire for fuel thinning. State officials say beneficial fire or smart burning of brush and fuels can help prevent the ignition of fires and their spread. Leading fire experts and managers put together the plan for 400,000 acres/year by 2025, and one million acres a year eventually. The state had put aside about $1.5 billion in wildfire resilience last year. Some of the ideas in the plan to have an online fire permitting system, establish a Prescribed Fire Claims Fund, help Indian Tribes and cultural fire practitioners with their cultural burning practices and grow, train and diversify the state’s prescribed fire workforce.

More volunteers are needed in Ukiah to help build the Upper City View Trail. The one mile extension will link to Low Gap Park. There are work parties over the next couple of weekends being hosted by the Ukiah Valley Trail Group. The new addition will be on land owned by the city of Ukiah. A crew from the California Conservation Corps began the work Monday, but won’t be able to help over the next two weeks, and they wanted it all done for the spring. There are four work parties in all, the first two are this Saturday, April 2nd and Sunday the 3rd at 9am.

As the weather gets warmer and warmer, and they didn’t seem to truly hibernate anyway, officials in Lake Tahoe say to be on the lookout for bears. After the Caldor Fire last year and folks had to evacuate, the animals started to wander around areas where people used to live. They went through garbage pails and broke into some homes too, causing garage door damage, breaking car windows and smashing up vehicles. Wildlife officers say the bears are now more comfortable going into areas with more people.

California is considering a program where they’d give farmers money so they don’t plant so that more water could flow in rivers and streams to protect habitat. The state’s planning on spending almost $3 billion dollars to allow 35,000 acres of rice fields to be bare. The Calif. Rice Commission says that’s around 6% of the regular yearly crop. That could mean as much as 824,000 acre feet more of water to flow through the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. 325,000 gallons of water is the normal supply for two average households for one year. The money would come from the state and the federal government along with water agencies.

Another scathing report from the Acting State Auditor… this time the hospice care industry. Acting Auditor Michael Tilden’s report says the state’s had weak oversight of the industry, allowing for massive fraud and abuse which has cost Calif. and the federal Medicare program millions of dollars at the same time putting extremely vulnerable patients in danger. Tilden’s audit found over more than a decade a 400% increase in hospice providers, but there was only a 40% increase in need. Many of them are for profit. The report showed many patients were discharged and should have never been admitted.

Anderson Marsh State Historic Park is holding their monthly “Second Saturday” Guided Nature Walk. Next Saturday, April 9th a volunteer docent will guide those in attendance, starting at 8:30 a.m. They will travail the Cache Creek Nature Trail, the Marsh Trail and the Ridge Trail. The hike mostly on even ground, is about 3 miles at a leisurely pace and will last from 90 minutes to 2 hours in length. They say to grab some binoculars so you can possibly spot wildlife on your journey.

Anderson Marsh State Historic Park is located on Hwy 53, between Lower Lake and Clearlake. For more information about the guided walk, email or call (707) 995-2658.

The Lake County DA Susan Krones is running again. Krones is endorsed by two retired judges in the county, Robert L. Crone Jr. and Arthur H. Mann. Her message is “experience in criminal law and prosecution is the foundation for effective leadership.” She says she was also endorsed by Congressman Mike Thompson. She also spent some time in the U.S. Army as an attorney and has practiced criminal law including specialized training in prosecuting child sexual assault, domestic violence and elder abuse.

A controlled burn is planned in the Mendocino National Forest on under 100 acres. The targeted control burn for undergrowth west of Lake Pillsbury and north of the Eel River this week. If the conditions are good for the burn, they’re looking at today and Friday for the work with crews on site the whole time and into next week. They say rangers will reintroduce low-intensity fire which can help thin hazardous fuels, restore forest ecosystems and improve safety of local communities. They remind to stay away from the burn area. Smoke could impact nearby roads, so you’re warned to slow down, use your headlights and be cautious of fire trucks and support vehicles.

Local art at the Grace Hudson will feature a pop-up show for Adele Pruitt’s paintings. From Friday, for nearly three weeks, the artist’s work will be on display from personal collections of Ukiah residents, showing off Pruitt’s range of technique. Besides her oil paintings, there will be work from her early career with watercolor and starch. The opening is on during the April First Friday Art Walk and the Adele F. Pruitt Memorial which is April 10th at the museum.

Preparations are being made for all who wish to attend. Please RSVP and direct questions to Katarzyna Rolzinski: 707-468-9003 /

California law enforcement groups are spending money on the primary and general elections for 2022 with over $1 million on campaigns for the state Legislature and statewide offices. The latest CalMatters analysis of giving shows just under $1.2 million, the amount the groups gave in 2020. They’re donating big money to the state attorney general’s race, mostly to oust the current Atty. General, giving to Sacramento District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert. The Republican looking to oust Attorney General Rob Bonta. Other contributions include the reelection of the state treasurer and several Assembly and Senate races.

The Coyote Band of Pomo Indians have held a protest at the state Capitol to speak out on climate change. Last Friday, March 25th. the “Global School Strike for Climate” was held on the West Steps at the Capitol building. It was co-hosted by the Tribal Chair and the Mendocino County Youth for Climate. It was set to coincide with the international Global School Strike for Climate the same day to not only address global warming, but restoring Native American Land Rights. There were 200 people in attendance including folks from the Sierra Club, the California Native Plant Society, Sacred Lands Native Hands, and others.

Another hat in the ring for the open Middletown Unified School Board seat in June. The special election has attracted Bryan Pullman who is so far only running against school volunteer Charise Reynolds. The special election after a petition to remove a member placed in the seat last year when nearly a dozen candidates were interviewed for two open seats including Pullman and Reynolds. One of the appointed members was challenged by a petition, so now they’re holding the special election. Until then, the seat is unfilled. Pullman has been at many board meetings as of late, and has been critical of COVID-19 mandates, including mask wearing.

The Governor has ordered water suppliers to strengthen their drought response but is not calling for more conservation or rationing from residents. Even though some water experts say that should happen, the Governor is leaving the conservation up to water companies and major water wholesalers. It should not be an issue for agricultural water providers or smaller water systems. He did give suppliers an idea to think about: banning irrigation of decorative lawns at businesses and other institutions. The reservoir storage in the state is at 2/3rd’s what it should be. Along the North Coast and in Central Calif and California deserts, it’s bone dry.

A bill to expand the COVID vaccine mandate in California is being put on hold. As the pandemic numbers wane, Democratic Assemblywoman Buffy Wicks announced she was holding Assembly Bill 1993, which would have required all state workers to be vaccinated by the end of the year. Wicks said the recent drop in COVID cases means there can be more conversations about the bill and the concerns raised by opponents.

The Mendocino County Skunk Train is hosting a fundraiser for Ukraine. The “Train for Ukraine” event this Saturday, April 2nd. There will be two train runs with 100% of the proceeds going to the International Committee of the Red Cross. The routes from both Fort Bragg and Willits, and refreshments will be available. Those riding will get assorted Ukrainian candy and specialty alcoholic Ukrainian beverages are available for those over 21. Riders can get off the train in certain turnaround spots for a half hour or so to relax or play games.

Tickets are $75 for ages 13 and up, $30 for ages 2-12 and $10 for children under age 2. Tickets can be purchased at

The winter snowpack is really not much. Another year of historically dry weather, and less than 50% snowpack. Record breaking early spring weather melted much of the snowpack which measured at 46% of normal for this time of year. The chief of hydrology for the Calif. Dept. of Water Resources says “the snow has been roasting in the dry and sunny conditions”. The snowpack was measured in the Feather, Tuolumne and San Joaquin watersheds last Friday. There were mostly sunny skies that day, with summer like weather in some mountainous areas. There is a late season storm coming this weekend though, but that may just be a couple inches of snow for the Sierra Nevada.

Adventist Health Ukiah Valley is welcoming seven new doctors aboard their Family Medicine Residency Program. Starting in June the residents will be counted as the fourth class to continue their medical training at Adventist Health Ukiah Valley. The Director of the Family Medicine Residency Program says they are joining a “robust, rural medicine focused program”. The program started in 2019 to offer new physicians hands-on experience across multiple areas. During their three-year program, they complete rotations in family medicine, obstetrics, intensive care, and other specialties, including sports medicine, plus pediatrics through a partnership with UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento. They will also work with a first in the country program for homelessness and addiction.

The man recently arrested in connection to the stabbing death of another man in a bank parking lot had quite the rap sheet. 69-year-old Leslie Adelman, a homeless man from Ukiah is charged for murder for the Sunday morning stabbing outside Wells Fargo on South State Street. Apparently, locals knew Adelman for his various arrests and confrontations. He was previously a paraprofessional in the Ukiah Unified School District. Several online news sites have a list of his arrests over the last five years. Ten arrests for things like having a switchblade in a car, to arson of an inhabited structure and trespassing. Ukiah police say when they pulled up to the bank parking lot last weekend, they saw a man fall to the ground and Adelman walk away with a knife. His arraignment is set for tomorrow.

A nine-year-old boy is lucky to be alive after he got a little too close to the ocean along the coast by the Point Cabrillo Lighthouse. Mom with her twin boys telling them not to get too close to the water’s edge, then one of them, Robert Rademaker was caught by a wave and dragged into the sea. But thankfully he grabbed onto a rock and was rescued. The family was visiting friends in Fort Bragg Saturday and decided to visit the lighthouse.

A fire hydrant hit by a car in Willits let its contents loose. Willits Police Department and Willits Utility workers were on the scene last night as water spewed into the area. There was one way traffic for a time while personnel closed off the water, which was less than a half hour later.

Roof Repairs are being completed at Van Damme State Park. The Spring Ranch barn needed some work, so the park service had a warning there would be lights and fans in the overnight hours at the park. They were put in place so bats would not go near the construction work.

After a 911 call to Home Depot, a local man was arrested for trying to take off with a drill. Ukiah police say they responded to the store and found Victor Lucas was trying to leave the store without paying for the drill and when employees tried to stop the guy he threatened them with a knife. Police say he made it out of the store, but another employee followed him and he continued to threaten with a knife, got into a car and took off. The drill was worth about $150. The man was caught the next day after employees looked at booking log photos and surveillance footage. Lucas was arrested for Robbery and held on $15,000.00 bail.

The governor’s office and five Indigenous California tribes are fighting about whether or not they can renew their gambling compacts with the state. If the deals are not extended some of the casinos would have to close gaming until they can get to some agreement with the state. The Robinson Rancheria in Nice Chairman says if they have to close again, like they did during the first days of the pandemic, it could be devastating. The whole thing has to do with a lawsuit that could have impacted over 60 tribal nations who did a deal with then Gov. Gray Davis in 1999. The contracts were supposed to be renewed in December of 2020, but there’s an extension until June 30th. Some tribes are not affected though as their compacts were extended already.

The second transgender judge in the state has been appointed by the Governor. 58-year-old Andi Mudryk was the chief deputy director at the Department of Rehabilitation, and will now serve on the Sacramento County Superior Court bench. The appointment after Alameda Superior Court Judge Victoria Kolakowski was elected as the first openly transgender judge in 2010. Kolakowski tweeted she was glad to “finally have a trans colleague on the bench in California.” Newsom was also set to swear in the first Latina to the Calif. Supreme Court yesterday, Justice Patricia Guerrero.

Free at home COVID tests are going to 7 million students and school employees in Calif. The state sent the tests, two in a kit to help try to slow the spread of the virus after spring break. 14.3 million tests are on the way or have already been delivered. The state has a new approach to the pandemic, instead referring to it as an endemic, like season colds and flu, and trying to spread the word to prevent spread, and react swiftly if there are outbreaks. The Governor put out a statement that the state’s focused on keeping schools open and students safe, with the SMARTER Plan, which is an acronym for shots, masks, awareness, readiness, and testing. 

Congressman Mike Thompson has announced Lake County’s Woman of the Year. The well-known local businesswoman, Jennifer Strong was named by Thompson. Thompson picks inspiring women each year from his district to showcase their contributions and efforts over the last year. Strong founded Rotary Fire Relief which raised over $1 million for Valley fire survivors after the 2015 fire. She is also the owner of Strong Financial Network.

A woman has been killed after being involved in a three-car crash on Highway 20. The CHP reports the 49 year was the passenger in a Mini Cooper that was in the crash near Lake Mendocino in Mendocino County Monday night around 5:30 in rainy weather. Witnesses and CHP dash cam footage shows the driver of the Mini was headed east on the highway as a pickup truck was headed west, then a third vehicle, an SUV was behind the truck. The mini drove through standing water, lost traction and spun into the pickup which also spun out and hit the SUV. People driving by stopped to help get the people in the mini, out. But the passenger was not responsive and died at the scene. The CHP says they don’t think drugs or alcohol were factors.  Two others were also injured in the crash.

As of the last update from the Mendocino County Public Health Office, COVID cases and hospitalizations are way down. There is one case of the new omicron variant, as we told you yesterday, which has been confirmed. As of last Friday, during the public report from the agency, they said only two people were in the hospital. One of them did end up in an ICU bed. There were five cases reported too, way down from the start of the month. This was also the first public update in a few weeks, as the last two were postponed.

The public got to get a peek at the new solar PV systems and various other upgrades at the Konocti Unified School District in Lower Lake. Last Friday, the public was invited along with school board members and the Superintendent Becky Salato as she turned the district’s new solar-powered electrical system on. She says the district has been mulling solar electricity for some time, but it just finally made economic sense, noting PG&E rates going up. Not only did they have new solar arrays, but also, protective solar netting and power resiliency through backup power systems.

One man is dead and another in jail for murder after an altercation in a bank parking lot in Ukiah. Police say they got a call to the Wells Fargo bank on S. State Street this weekend for an argument between a couple people, one with a knife. Police found a guy with stab wounds on the ground when they arrived. Police says Leslie Adelman was seen leaving the area holding a knife. They say he tried to resist arrest, but they were able to get him. The victim died in the ER at Ukiah Valley Medical Center. Police say the two are both transients in the area.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers needs Volunteer Campground hosts at Lake Mendocino. They need people to work at Bushay Campground operating the host booth, monitoring the campground and assisting visitors. It would be about 32 hours of work in exchange for full hookups (sewer, water, electricity).

Apply online:
For more information please contact:
Ranger Parker

After a HAZMAT spill on Highway 101 outside Laytonville, the highway had to be closed down for a few hours. The Highway was reopened to one way traffic with traffic crews in the area to guide traffic around the mess. About five hours after the incident, the highway totally reopened. The CHP reported closing the highway Saturday night in both directions north of Laytonville after a single car crash that involved an overturned semi.

A man has been arrested in Fort Bragg after a woman is found with visible injuries on her body. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Dept reports getting a call for a welfare check to a home and seeing the woman with injuries they say were consistent with a physical assault. The woman was apparently in a relationship with her alleged assailant, John William Bills, who was found there. Deputies also found a semi-automatic rifle which he is not allowed to have due to a previous felony conviction out of Washington State. He also had a Protective Order so he was not allowed to be around the woman to begin with. He’s charged with Possession of Firearm by Convicted Felon, Felony Domestic Violence Battery and Violation of Domestic Violence Protective Order. He was being held on $25,000 bail.

There’s a positive case of the new Omicron Subvariant BA.2 in Mendocino County. The Public Health Office reported the first strain of Omicron is still the most common form of the virus in the state of Calif., but now BA.2 is also rapidly increasing across the state. The first case of the new strain was detected earlier this month and even those vaccinated are at risk. But the office says it doesn’t seem to be driving more cases, hospitalizations, or deaths so far. They do say however there is a potential for severe disease for the vulnerable and unvaccinated.

A seminar on how to rescue injured people who may have been trapped in the Ukiah Wastewater Treatment Plant has taken place. Employees at the plant trained all last week with a company from Hopland called Rescue Solutions. Firefighters and Public Works employees learned to use rescue gear. The organizer, a local firefighter for the Hopland Fire Protection District said the majority of deaths in confined-space rescues are of “would-be rescuers” because people try to rush in and help, but they’re not trained and become trapped too. Those at the training included Ukiah firefighters and city water crews.

The state auditor’s office says the state needs to do more ahead of the record-breaking drought potentially causing another dangerous wildfire season. The report from the Interim Auditor to lawmakers says the new Office of Energy Infrastructure Safety approved of the way utility companies planned to prevent wildfires, but the plans were “seriously deficient.” The letter included the plan by the largest utility company in the state, Pacific Gas & Electric, who was responsible for various wildfires over the years. The 91 page report said power companies may be working to get their equipment more fire-resistant, the state has not done enough to be sure the companies prioritize upgrades, especially where they’re needed, in high fire-risk areas.

Only the second woman in history, is now the interim chancellor for the CSU system. Jolene Koester has been chosen by the Calif. State University Board of Trustees to run the 23-campus system. The 74 year old is the former president of CSU Northridge where she led from 2000 to 2011. She will replace Joseph Castro who resigned after reports surfaced that he had mishandled sexual harassment complaints against Fresno State’s vice president of student affairs when Castro was the president there. Koester told CalMatters the primary focus of her work will be to renew and establish trust. She will fill the spot until they find a permanent chancellor at a yearly salary of $625,000.

A man who a couple hired to do contracting work at their Willits home has to pay tens of thousands for faulty work at their home. Daniel Hildebrand admitted he worked at the home without a state contractor’s license for work in 2018. The Mendocino County District Attorney’s office reports Hildenbrand who was also a sometime actor was charged with unlawfully contracting without a required state contractor’s license, unlawfully advertising as a contractor without the license, unlawfully charging an excessive down payment for contracting work, and unlawfully failing to carry workers compensation insurance. He has to pay $75,000 for the shoddy work.

Another extension could be granted for rent relief under a bill during the heat of the pandemic. The Governor and some Democratic leaders are supporting a proposal to extend eviction protections until the end of June. Those who think they’re eligible should apply to the state for an extension of the state’s COVID rent relief program. The protections were supposed to expire April 1st a day after the March 31st deadline. The new proposal would keep the deadline in place. Last week the state sent money to over 200,000 households. After advocates to extend the program warned of an “eviction tsunami”, a spokesperson for the Governor said he strongly supported an extension.

Intro: A bill to extend some eviction protections for another 3 months, is set to be heard in the State Assembly today. The move comes as time is running out for people to apply to the Emergency Rental Assistance Program, which stops accepting applications Thursday. Housing lawyer Tina Rosales with the Western Center on Law and Poverty says people who lost their income as a result of the pandemic should apply now on

 :09  "The program will pay 100 percent of back rent and rent going forward for a total of 18 months. Landlords and tenants both can apply."

Tag: The eviction protections are designed to stave off a wave of homelessness because approximately 366-thousand people are waiting for their applications to be processed. According to the state “Housing is Key” website, the program has paid out more than 2-point-4 billion dollars so far; an average of 11-thousand dollars per household.

Second Cut: Rosales says many people whose primary language is not English have had a tough time filing a case, but the kinks are mostly worked out now.

 :09  "There were technical glitches and problems with the application, So Spanish- and Chinese-speaking tenants were unable to apply for the program. And now they only have a few days to apply."

Tag: People can apply regardless of their immigration status. The application requires proof of income and proof that the household income does not exceed 80 percent of the median for that area.

That convoy of truckers we heard about in Canada is being duplicated in America and they’re headed to Calif. First the American version of truck drivers against COVID restrictions went to Washington, D.C. Organizers say the People’s Convoy is coming to Calif. to protest protocols that look to control the outbreak of the deadly virus.  The truckers were in DC earlier this month planning to create traffic congestion on the Capital Beltway. They were on the Hagerstown Speedway over the last three weeks with big rigs, cars and campers protesting whatever is left of COVID mandates and they also want a repeal of the pandemic state of emergency.

More info on the case of a couple of men who were in a fight, and one was knifed to death. Ukiah police say they got a call Sunday morning that someone was waving a knife around in the Wells Fargo parking lot on S. State Street. A dispatcher heard yelling in the background as officers got there. They say they saw Leslie Adelman with a knife, walk away from the victim who was down. They say they witnessed the victim fall to the ground and that Adelman would not comply with them. Medics came to the scene, but the victim died at a hospital. Adelman also had moderate injuries and was taken to the hospital, treated and released. He and the victim had been fighting cops say over previous thefts of Adelman’s property. Adelman is booked on murder charges.

A large homeless camp in Lakeport is gone. Lake Co News reports the Lakeport Police Department and Public Works staff have removed the site, near the Safeway on some city-owned property known as the Ninth Street extension. Police say the camp was a concern because of safety, sanitary conditions, and fire danger risks. Occupants have been offered help by county homeless outreach organizations. Officials say they have safeguarded personal property that belonged to the people camped there and are working to make sure no similar unauthorized sites pop up elsewhere in the county.

The California Attorney General’s Office is now reviewing sexual assault allegations against former Windsor Mayor Dominic Foppoli. The Press-Democrat reports Sonoma County deputies have finished their investigation and turned their files over for a possible decision on charges. Detectives aren’t saying what, if any, charges they think might be warranted. Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Sgt. Juan Valencia says he doesn’t know how long the prosecutors will take to review the case and how they would announce their findings. The investigation into allegations by 13 women that Foppoli sexually abused them has been going on for just shy of a year now. Foppoli resigned after the outcry over the allegations, first reported by the San Francisco Chronicle early last April. He has since denied doing anything wrong and said earlier this month he expects he will be cleared by what he calls an incredibly thorough sheriff’s office investigation. No matter the outcome of the investigation, the lawyer for one of the accusers says a civil suit is likely.

There’s a new face on the Middletown Unified School Board. District parent and educator Chris Ochs was sworn in on Thursday night. He fills the seat left vacant when former board member Misha Grothe resigned last month. It has been a turbulent time in the Middletown district, with three other resignations in the last four months and four superintendents in the past two and a half years. There has also been a division over the district’s Covid-19 mask policy. The board interviewed two other candidates before selecting Ochs. Members who voted for him say they were impressed by his background as the director of facilities, maintenance, and operations for Calistoga Joint Unified School District. Among other responsibilities there, he has handled a 47 million-dollar master plan and written several grant proposals for the district.

A group of Native Americans is trying to set things straight in Kelseyville. The group wants the name changed as it’s a reminder of a pioneer Andrew Kelsey who committed crimes against indigenous Pomo and Wappo people in the mid-1800s. So since the town’s main street has a view of Mt. Konocti, the group would like to call the town Konocti instead. It’s not the first time it’s been attempted either. But Citizens for Healing in Lake County have been drafting an initiative for the name change they hope to get on the ballot in a future election, but not this year.

The Red Bearded Burglar is going to prison for a long time. William Evers who burglarized at least one home in the town of Elk three times, has been sent to prison for 25 years to life. The Press Democrat reports one of his victims says he left holes in the walls at her home and took personal items, but now that Evers has been sent to prison, she feels safer. Evers was finally arrested last November in Albion after being a fugitive for nearly a year. There were a few run ins with locals before he was finally caught. Evers has also been ordered to pay restitution to his victims, of around $2,500. He pleaded guilty to his crimes, including assault on a police officer. He was also charged with 15 counts of burglary.

Two apartments have been gutted by a fire in Willits. Little Lake Fire reports they got a call yesterday morning about a fire on the first and second floor of a building, encroaching upon the attic. There was also a tenant trapped on a balcony, but firefighters rescued her. She did have burns on her hands from touching hot railings, but apparently said no to medical help. The fire chief says the flames never made it to the attic, and it all started after a stove-top accident. The person who reported the fire said they were cooking and a flame suddenly flared up. They tried using a blanket and it didn’t work. Those who lived in the 2 apartments were being helped by the Red Cross.

A pretty good-sized Mountain Lion has been spotted by a family in Fort Bragg. A woman reported their home, which has a porch camera, recorded the large animal on her property near Otis R. Johnson Park. Apparently, there is a creek nearby which may attract the animals. The animal sighting was going to be reported to wildlife officials today.

After a double stabbing in Guerneville, Deputies found the suspect dead. After detectives investigated the incident from earlier week, more details have emerged. Mendo Fever reports a woman called for help from a home, and a car had crashed into the same home. Inside the home, Deputies found a man down with at least one stab wound, who was excessively bleeding. The man died at a hospital. Later Deputies got a call to another stabbing victim who got a ride to the hospital. They identified the suspect later and found his truck, and he was dead inside. They say they believe he acted alone. But they have not released info on a possible motive.

Due to the extreme drought, and no rain in sight, the Sonoma County Water Agency (Sonoma Water) started inflating a rubber dam near Forestville. It’s part of the drinking water supply process which usually happens in spring or early summer as demand increases. Since there wasn’t really any rainfall in January and February, water demands are up earlier than usual. About 600,000 residents in parts of Sonoma and Marin counties get their drinking water from the river. When the dam is fully inflated, which takes a few days, there’s a small pool of water in it which Sonoma Water then takes for filtering ponds which also help recharge the groundwater.

Ukiah Police have identified a woman who was found dead in her apartment earlier this week. 55 year old Deborah Garner-Flicker was reportedly killed inside her home and 38 year old Drew Price has been arrested in connection to her death. He has had a history of mental health hospitalizations and was in jail being held without bail. Medics were called to Garner-Flicker’s apartment, where the manager said Price was there earlier. It had first been reported as a possible overdose, but police found Garner-Flicker with obvious signs of trauma to her face and signs of a struggle. The victim and suspect had known each other. Police say Price was also served with a restraining order the same day for a family member and that he may have burned his parents rental property down after he was told to move.

The Governor says he has a plan to dull the pain of gas prices at the moment. Governor Newsom announced an $11 billion package to give money back to Californians because of high gas prices. He says his proposal will also protect residents from volatile gas prices, and advances clean transportation, with three months of free public transportation, fast-tracking electric vehicle incentives and charging stations, and new funding for local biking and walking projects. It could mean as much as $9 billion in tax refunds for Californians with drivers of gas driven vehicles getting $400 direct payments per vehicle but capped at two vehicles. The rest addresses climate change.

A former police officer in Ukiah has been ordered to sit for a jury trial in May for alleged sex crimes. Sgt. Kevin Murray is accused of several felonies, including rape, burglary, filing false evidence in an investigation, possession of methamphetamine and an AR-15, which is illegal in the state. It should take about three days to choose the jury after they start May 16th. And the trial could last several weeks, unless Murray agrees to a deal. The charges stem from two women accusing him of sexual assault. They will reportedly appear as witnesses at trial. There’s also a civil suit against Murray, that was filed last August.

The state is seeing tinder-dry weather with multiple temperature records made this week. Too hot for early spring, according to the National Weather Service. Some of the records broken Tuesday and yesterday were from about a century ago, when it was last that hot. It was near 90 in parts of Sonoma County, in Ventura County, more inland than near the ocean, it was 88. More north, in Redwood City it was 85, same for Oakland. And Ukiah had its hottest day yet, 90 degrees, the last time it was that hot on that day, was in 1926, when it was 91. Making matters worse, the statewide snowpack yesterday was only 52% of normal.

If you own a car and you’re struggling to pay for gas, your luck could be about to change. There’s been a lot of talk about rebates, or some sort of stimulus to pay for the skyrocketing fuel costs. Yesterday the Governor announced a plan to send $400 per car, to a registered California car owner. You’re out of luck if you own an electric vehicle or don’t use gas. Many businesses who own fleets of vehicles will not get the cash. The Governor estimates the rebates would add up to around $9 billion. At last check, a gallon of regular gas was still hovering near the $6 mark. About $2 more than this time last year, and the highest in the USA. Newsom’s plan has to get the green light from lawmakers.

A BOLO alert has been put out by the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office for a man suspected of murder in Guerneville. Mendo Fever reports hearing on the police scanner that Drake Meyer, a white male adult, was wanted. And that he might be driving a 2003 dark gray Ford F150 with a camper shell. He’s described as 6 foot 4, 180 pounds, last seen in a dark hoodie. Cops say he could be armed with a knife. The bulletin after a call to an assault last night. Two victims were found, one took themselves to a hospital, the other died.

After a call to a home on East Gobbi St. for a possible overdose, it turned out to be a homicide. That’s the word from Ukiah police after the call Tuesday. Paramedics reported to police that it sounded like a suspicious death, so officers also reported to the scene. The apartment manager helped police and medics enter, there they found a 55-year-old woman down in the bathroom, dead. Officers say there appeared to have been a struggle and the victim had apparent trauma to her face and other evidence she was murdered. Police say evidence led them to Drew Price, who the apartment staff knew was in the apartment that morning, and knew him from previous contacts. He was arrested nearby a few hours later and booked on murder charges and held without bail.

Lake and Mendocino counties included in an emergency declaration with more than a dozen other counties due to fall storm damage. The Governor proclaimed the state of emergency for the October storms which tore up roads and other infrastructure. This will free up funds to repair damage and direct Caltrans to ask for federal assistance. The atmospheric river dumped rain across Northern Calif and took down trees and power lines. Some other surrounding counties included, Butte, Contra Costa, Glenn, Humboldt, Napa, Sonoma and Trinity.

Nearly $5 million dollars is going to the Mendocino City Community Sewer District to help build a new emergency storage water tank. The District applied for a grant in December and was reportedly awarded a $4.9 Urban and Multi-benefit Drought Relief Program grant from the Department of Water Resources (DWR). The money will go to plan what’s needed to construct the 500 gallon water tank for drought times and fire suppression. They’re looking at building on Mendocino Unified School District (MUSD) property near Little Lake Road where there are already two school district owned tanks that hold 115,000 gallons. The county also got grant funding for drought relief. Money will go to various cities and water districts, and the Redwood Valley Little River Band of Pomo Indians.

A trio of job fairs are being held by Adventist Health for clinical and non-clinical positions. The announcement that they’re on the hunt for mission-minded people to work at Adventist Health Mendocino Coast in Fort Bragg, Adventist Health Howard Memorial Hospital in Willits, and Adventist Health Ukiah Valley in Ukiah. The job fairs are today from 12-5 at Adventist Health Mendocino Coast, Wednesday, April 6, also from 12:00—5:00 p.m. at Adventist Health Howard Memorial and finally on Thursday, April 21st from 12:00—5:00 p.m. at Ukiah Valley Conference Center. Speaking of Adventist Health, the three campuses were lit up in Yellow and Blue yesterday in support of Ukraine.

For more information on job opportunities, please contact Jolee White (707-963-6588, or visit

A new plaque is gracing the Masonic Lodge building in downtown Ukiah. The Greater Ukiah Business and Tourism Alliance’s Main Street Program presented the last part of the Historical Building recipient award. For Gerald W. Collier, who was a Mason at the age of 29, and became a master by 34. The plaque in his name. His daughter says the lodge was a major part of his life. A plaque was up in his honor but excluded the date of the original award. Now that has been fixed in his honor. He passed away in April of 2015.

We could soon be done with pandemic money. The state is offering one last chance to apply for COVID rent relief. The last day, next Thursday, a week from today, March 31st. Then starting on April 1st, landlords can start evicting people who have not or cannot pay their rent if the city or county they reside in has no rent relief program in place. Some are urging the Governor and the Legislature to extend the program, citing an upcoming “eviction tsunami”. The program will continue on though as the state is reportedly still wading through applications. The state has already paid nearly $2.5 billion to applicants.

As we pass the 12th anniversary of the Affordable Care Act, Covered Calif. is reminding those who have no healthcare coverage may still be eligible. Right now there is a special enrollment period. Nearly 2 million people signed up for coverage on the anniversary, and the state still says there are record low uninsured rates in the state. The exchange has covered more than 5 million Californians since it first started in 2014. And others have enrolled in the expanded Medicaid plan through Medi-Cal in Calif. As of 2020, the state was seeing a record low uninsured rate of just 6 percent.

A new report says the state has not used state-owned surplus to help with the affordable housing problem. A new audit recommends state agencies hire more people so that they can speed up the process of figuring out which parcels can be developed. The state auditor’s office says there’s a 2019 executive order by the Governor prioritizing using state-owned land to build more affordable housing. And the agency’s interim auditor says quickly creating affordable housing is crucial since there are nearly 1.5 million low-income renters who have no access to affordable homes. So he sent a letter to the Governor with that message.

A new Supreme Court justice has been confirmed in Calif. A historic moment in the state as the appeals court judge from San Diego, who is the daughter of Mexican immigrants was confirmed.
Justice Patricia Guerrero was approved unanimously. She will be the first Latina to serve on the high court. Her appointment after Associate Justice Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar resigned last year. Guerrero is a native of the Imperial Valley and has been a prosecutor, law firm partner, Superior Court judge and most recently served on the 4th District Court of Appeal. She will be sworn in by the Governor, then take her seat. About her historic appointment, Guerrero said, “this is a story of the American Dream” and believing that with hard work, perseverance and opportunities, anything is possible.

State Senator and Senate Majority Leader Mike McGuire has pushed legislation through to divest all state money from Russia and any Russian-state entities due to the attack on Ukraine. It passed the first Senate Committee it hit yesterday with bipartisan support. It means that any public pensions in California – including the two largest in the country, STRS and PERS, divest from Russian and Belarusian assets and companies. The bill was unanimously passed in the Senate Labor, Public Employment and Retirement Committee. McGuire says the state stands with Ukraine and that “we’ll do everything in our power to usher in debilitating economic consequences on Russia for this horrific and bloody war.”

Ukiah police have responded to an apartment building after a medical aid call turned into a suspicious death call. Police say they got a call yesterday around 1:30 in the afternoon for a medical call and that paramedics thought it seemed to be suspicious in nature. They have not released any names, of the victim or possible suspects. Paramedics reportedly performed CPR to no avail. The incident in the 200 block of East Gobbi Street had the area cordoned off for a time.

State Senator Bill Dodd has announced he’s advanced his bill to help the traffic snarl-ups on Highway 37 be protected by potential flooding. The area has reportedly been predicted to eventually end up in water, so Dodd’s bill would create a toll to pay for infrastructure improvements to this section of highway. Money from the federal infrastructure bill recently passed could also go to fix the area. Dodd says the area is predicted to be under water within 20 years. And that mixed with congestion and seasonal flooding, would make it worse. The area is a 21 mile stretch of Hwy 37 from Interstate 80 to Highway 101. The bill passed with bipartisan support.

A fire burned in Hopland after a piece of equipment sparked grass. CAL FIRE and Hopland Fire on the scene. The Chief of Hopland Fire told Mendo Fever it burned very well and quickly grew to two acres. There was a chopper overhead so they could watch the spread. Fire officials say it burned like it was July. And the county’s vegetation is probably a month or two ahead of schedule as far as fire seasons go. And the news site also reported the National Weather Service said the “extreme drought” has created a higher risk of fast-spreading wildfires.

There may soon be only 5 Trustees on the Ukiah Unified School Board instead of 7. The District is working with the California Voting Rights Act, considering maps to redraw the district after the recent US Census. The elections will be Trustee instead of At Large. They will hold the second of four meetings planned on the matter tomorrow at 5:00 pm. and cover Trustee-Area elections and possible new maps at all of the hearings with public input. As part of the conversations, they are considering moving from 7 members to 5. All of the Trustees have reportedly run unopposed in most elections over the last decade.

A resident of Willits hopped a plane to Ukraine, bringing much needed supplies. The Willits News reports David Caspino went to the war zone two weeks ago, and with him, he brought several large boxes filled with humanitarian aid which the newspaper reports included diapers, wipes, formula and 500 bottles of medication. Caspino was part of the Little Angels Project organization, serving as a combat medic, but says when his time with the organization ended, he still wanted to help, so he extended his stay until this week.

The sentencing has finally happened for a man from Upper Lake convicted in the bludgeoning death of his former partner, and mother of his children. In 2017, Willy Tujays Timmons took a rock to Vanessa Niko, killing her. Yesterday he was sentenced to 16 years to life in state prison. It comes after some delays. He was convicted back in November, for second degree murder, torture, inflicting injury resulting in a traumatic condition and aggravated mayhem, and special allegations of use of a deadly weapon and personally inflicting bodily injury. Niko was a mother to six children, three of them, fathered by Timmons. The two were estranged at the time of her death.

There’s a process in place for how Lake County will fill the recently vacated Administrative Officer position. Carol Huchingson announced her retirement last week. Her last day will be April 29th. The Board of Supervisors has approved advertising for the position. The HR department had asked the Supervisors for permission to begin open recruitment by this Friday, and allowing for the position to stay open until the job is filled. The idea to recruit for 2-3 weeks, then interview the first round of applicants around the time Huchingson leaves office. The HR dept. also wants the flexibility to hire an employment firm, if need be. In the meantime, they will look for an interim replacement, if possible so they can train with Huchingson while she’s still on the job.

A woman from Clearlake Oaks accused of arson and found to be incompetent to stand trial is finally going to a State Hospital. Tori Brannon was supposed to move to the hospital earlier this year, after the matter was continued from last summer. She was reportedly seen in an area where a fire was actively burning in Clearlake Oaks a day after she was seen yelling at neighbors saying she didn’t need to say she was sorry for the fire. She also had previously threatened to burn the area. She was arrested nearby and seen trying to get rid of gasoline, pouring it out on the ground, then trying to soak it up with a blanket, with a lighter in hand. She was held on $500,000 bail and was thought to have caused over $600,000 in damage.

Mendocino College Lake Center had its first event since the pandemic started. Last Thursday the Lake Center had almost 200 kids from Kelseyville High, Clear Lake, and Upper Lake High Schools. It was set up to help students look for new educational and career opportunities with Mendocino College. Organizers thanked administrators at Mendocino College Lake Center for making the event a reality, along with many other local organizations. The students toured the college campus and had some snacks together. They’re having their North County Center College Day next Thursday, March 31st.

The new omicron variant of coronavirus is expected to surge in Calif. as cases spike across the globe. The strain right now, known as BA.2, has not spawned severe illness or hospitalizations, but it’s early still. The World Health Organization says there’s been a week-over-week increase in global coronavirus cases since the end of January. The places really seeing the spike are Africa, Asia and Europe. Health officials say they’re prepared for cases in the states, and here in Calif., this spring. Preliminary info suggests the new strain is 30% to 60% more contagious than the original omicron, which exploded across the state this winter. So far BA.2 was mostly seen in the Northeast, with 40% of coronavirus cases; and on the West Coast, it was at about 25% of cases.

There’s been more overdoses in Round Valley than last year. Mendofever reports over the last two weeks there were five overdoses of victims under 26 years old, and since the start of the year 17 OD’s where Narcan had to be used. But no deaths. The Mendocino County Sheriff told the news site the rise in overdoses could be attributed to fentanyl which is a low cost ingredient drug dealers are using to cut their materials with. The Sheriff says the most vulnerable are habitual opioid users and since drug use and possession have been decriminalized, there haven’t been any new policies or institutions to help addicts. Round Valley Indian Health Center says they’re trying to help residents and educate them about the risk of taking he drugs.

A man who Deputies say was acting in an aggressive manner has been arrested. The man reportedly driving under the influence with two minors, 10 and 13 years old, in the car with him. Kym Kemp reports the man was acting out against the kids while driving. Someone passing by called dispatch to report hearing the man saying he was going to kill the children’s mother. He was driving on SR 1 at the time last night. Cops put out a Be on the Lookout report for him before 7pm. The CHP picked the guy up eventually after chasing him for a minute.

After a single car crash reported on State Route 1, a Ukiah CHP officer reported to the scene. They found a motorcycle down. After apparently driving too fast around a curve, the crash happened into a metal guardrail, killing the driver. Their name has not been released. The CHP has not released many more details about the incident.

A management group who were in charge of mental healthcare services for Mendocino County is being audited. The Board of Supervisors have reportedly subpoenaed people and paperwork connected to the Ortner Management Group who used to provide services to the county from 2013 to 2016. The county’s Acting CEO Darcie Antle says next Monday those subpoenaed will appear on Zoom for a special meeting. The company was also the subject of a Grand Jury report which said the county improperly awarded the contract to the group, and there had been a conflict of interest, but nothing illegal happened. The jury however recommended the county update its ethics policies because the company was working as a consultant for the county, and the county’s mental health director had a business relationship with the company, giving them inside info.

Four Willits City Council members are up for re-election. And the top four vote getters will win the seats. Councilwoman Marcia Rafanan wasn’t elected to her seat, she was appointed for two years. And the three others are finishing their four years on the job, they’re Jessica Morsell-Haye, Lindy Peters and Tess Albin-Smith. But so far, they haven’t said if they’re running officially, their deadline is August 12th. There could also be newbie council members in Ukiah, Willits and Point Arena. Two councilmembers in Pt. Arena left the job last year, one seat was appointed a new member, and the other seat was filled in an unopposed special election, and a third is also up for re-election too. Two councilmembers in Willits are up for re-election and two in Ukiah as well.

An online townhall is planned with the Mendocino County District 3 supervisor ahead of the official wildfire season. Supervisor John Haschak is moderating a panel for the Willits Economic Localization forum. As locals get ready for the hotter months of the year, the panel will weigh in on what folks can do to prepare for an emergency and evacuate, if needed. The meeting is next Thursday, March 31st at 6:30 p.m. on Zoom. The info:


What are public agencies doing to prepare?
How can YOU be prepared?
Moderated by Supervisor John Haschak

Intro: A hearing is set for today in Sacramento – for a bill that would make Medi-Cal accessible to more people. Low-income older adults and people with disabilities who make just over the Medi-Cal limit have to pay 60 percent of their monthly income as a share of cost, minus a set amount for living expenses. That so-called “maintenance level” is set at just 600 dollars a month. Attorney Tiffany Huyenh-Cho with the nonprofit Justice in Aging says Assembly Bill 19-hundred raises the maintenance level to 138% of the federal poverty level, which works out to about 14-hundred dollars a month.

:10 “It would free up income to pay for food, rent and other expenses because the maintenance need level won’t be set at such a low number, at $600 a month for a single person.”

Tag: So far there is no registered opposition to the bill. The high cost of living in the Golden State makes it nearly impossible to cover basic necessities on 600 dollars a month. 91-thousand Californians participate in the share-of-cost program, excluding people in long-term care. 57-thousand are older adults and persons with disabilities. Today’s hearing before the Assembly Committee on Health will be live-streamed starting at 1:30 p-m.

Second Cut: Huyenh-Cho says at the current maintenance level, many people can’t afford to use the share-of-cost program.

:17 “It forces people to forgo medical care because that share of cost is so high, or folks are forced to move into a skilled nursing facility because they can’t afford the wraparound services that Medi-Cal may cover that allow a person to live in their home.”

Tag: Advocates say health equity is a big concern because a disproportionate percentage of patients on the share-of-cost program are people of color on fixed incomes.

Intro: A coalition of 70 health and community groups called Care4All California released its 2022 package of 16 bills and budget requests on Monday, aiming to make health care more affordable and accessible. The most well-known is Assembly Bill 4, which would extend Medi-Cal to all income-eligible adults regardless of immigration status. Anthony Wright with HealthAccess California says, taken together, the package would give health care to an additional 700-thousand people and benefit millions more.

:10 “The package would represent the biggest expansion of coverage since the Affordable Care Act and would be the most far-reaching in terms of providing cost relief to millions of Californians. “

Tag: Senate Bill 944 and AB 1878 would eliminate deductibles on Silver plans on the Covered California exchange. A-B 1995 would eliminate premiums on Medi-Cal. And S-B 644 would require the state to reach out to people who apply for unemployment assistance, to see if they need help finding health-care coverage.

Second Cut: State Senator Scott Wiener is sponsoring S-B 858, which would raise the fines for insurance companies that unlawfully deny or delay medically necessary services.

:08 “And so we’re increasing that $2,500-per-violation fine to $25,000 so that it actually means something.”

Third Cut: State Assemblymember Blanca Rubio is sponsoring AB 2402, which would extend continuous coverage to children on Medi-Cal for the first five years of life.

:06 “Right now, we have about 90,000 children ages 0 to 5 in Medi-Cal that have had a gap in coverage.”

Tag: Other bills in the package include SB 923. which requires health plans to list doctors that provide gender-affirming care. and AB 1130, which would create an office of health-care affordability.

Electric buses are gracing Mendocino County, compliments of the Mendocino Transit Authority. The MTA announced they’ve started to move over to all electricity-powered public bus service in Willits. They’ve now got two 18-passenger “cutaway” buses that travel on Route 1 hourly. That route connects downtown Willits with local shopping and some healthcare providers, the Harrah Senior Center, Howard Hospital and Sherwood Rancheria. They travel between the hours of about 7 a.m. and finish before 5:30 p.m.. They have to charge overnight at the bus yard, then start all over again. There will be a total of six all electric buses that will travel between Willits, Fort Bragg and Ukiah in coming years, then they will add another three after that. The two they have cost more than a half million dollars, which was almost entirely covered by the Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust for California.

A man from Upper Lake found guilty of murdering his partner, and the mother of his children, back in court. Willy Tujays Timmons was convicted last year in the bludgeoning death of Vanessa Niko. He was in quarantine in the jail and had his sentencing continued. The case goes back to 2017 when Niko was hit with a rock and died. Timmons has been charged with murder, inflicting corporal injury with a prior conviction within seven years, causing permanent disability, and torture, plus the previous conviction of battery before the death, which would be taken into consideration. He wanted to fire his lawyer too, and now awaits sentencing while in Jail.

An RV in Clearlake Oaks and a garage burned and a man at the scene had minor injuries. The fire Monday morning had Northshore Fire, Lake County Fire and Cal Fire out, but it was out pretty much after they arrived. The RV and an upstairs apartment caught fire along with the garage. Two people were there at the time, one of them ended up in the hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation and was later released. So far investigators say, they’re not sure how it started.

Since fire season has begun in earnest in California, CAL FIRE says they’re recognizing their 500th Firewise USA site. The recognition by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) shows a certain community is working to reduce wildfire risk to homes in that area. Hollister Ranch in Santa Barbara County is the newest, and 500th Firewise USA® Community in the state. The area has 133 parcels. Coincidentally, only four days after the area was recognized, the Hollister Fire broke out in the Hollister Ranch community. And a couple of homes in its path were saved as the homeowners recently cleared brush away, to make way for defensible space.

A couple in Willits held a get together to discuss the ongoing war in Ukraine, and their relation to the war torn county with others in their local community. Aimee and Brady Nord reportedly raised $2,200 from presentations from their time in the Peace Corps in Ukraine. They spent two years there teaching English to locals in a small village. They have updated their presentation to include current events for the Willits Rotary Club and at Northspur Brewery.

Even less water is going to those who are served by the State Water Project. The next allocation will be just 5 percent of what they requested, two thirds less than what was expected in December. It’s still very dry even though we have had some wet weather. It’s nowhere near what is needed. So on Friday, the Department of Water Resources announced the drop in distribution because of a “historically dry January and February”, and no significant storms forecasted in the days ahead. Not all who get allocations will be totally cut back, those with senior water rights have agreements in place to protect how much water can be cut. And all allocations could be cut again in May or June after the last snow survey of the season. That comes April 1st.

A man form Santa Rosa has been arrested in Ukiah after a traffic stop led to a DUI. Deputies pulled Elezar Cavero-Martinez over and say he reeked like booze. He also gave Deputies his brother’s name and birthday. Deputies further say there were booze bottles about the car, so they did a field sobriety test on the guy, finding he was indeed impaired. Cavero-Martinez was booked into Mendocino County Jail, found that he gave them a fake name as he had a suspended license for another DUI and was on pre-trial release for the same. He also had a couple warrants out for his arrest. He was being held on $15,000.00 bail for various crimes.

A woman from Redwood Valley has been arrested after the car she was in was pulled over for an expired registration. Nichole Sotillekonevitch was the passenger, and the driver was found to be on Post Release Community Supervision (PRCS). So Deputies searched the car and found a loaded shotgun, a short barreled assault rifle and a loaded high capacity magazine. Also, the assault rifle did not have a serial number. Deputies say the arms belonged to Sotillekonevitch. She was then arrested for several felonies, including Possession of Short Barreled Rifle, Possessing an Undetectable Firearm and Possessing a Large Capacity Magazine. She’s held on $15,000.00 bail.

After a student from Willits High School was arrested for alleged threats towards the school, they’re not being charged after all. The child was booked in Mendocino County Juvenile Hall for Criminal Threats last week. But police say the Probation Department and District Attorney’s Office decided the case didn’t warrant further action. The DA’s office said they didn’t think they had enough evidence to proceed with a filing. The police department says that doesn’t negate the fact that they had enough evidence against the juvenile to begin with.

A man in Willits has been taken to jail for Assault with a Deadly Weapon and Criminal Threats. Police say they got a call to a home Saturday night for an assault and found 35 year old Robert Spicer had confronted family members with a knife, threatening their lives. The family members left the home, fearing for their lives and called police. The man also locked them out when they left, but apparently his brother tried to get inside the home and was nearly stabbed. He grabbed a metal rod and fended Spicer off. Spicer had apparently had several run ins with police lately and has been delusional. Family members were working with mental health professionals for him and were trying to get him evicted. They worked with police this last time to get him to come out of the home willingly and a police dog helped. He was taken to the hospital for treatment, then arrested for several crimes including Assault with a Deadly Weapon, Resisting Arrest with Violence and Criminal Threats.

A woman from Novato accused of driving head on into a van in Clearlake with her pickup truck has been given probation. 22 year old Keilah Marie Coyle was in her Ford F-150 truck and crossed over Highway 29’s solid double yellow lines, hitting the van. The probation department granted the probation, finding her guilty of Gross Vehicular Manslaughter with vessel while intoxicated and DUI with Alcohol while causing injury, but some of the more serious charges against her were dropped. The probation includes terms and conditions including electronic and alcohol monitoring, more treatment/ counseling programs, community service hours and she has to be under the watchful eye of a probation officer. She cannot violate any laws or leave the state without permission. 53 year old Cassandra Rolicheck and 47 year old Miguel Dominguez were killed in the crash.  

Some California community clinics say they’re still waiting to get paid back for millions of COVID vaccinations. The clinics apparently in some of the poorest and neediest areas, and in areas where the majority of the residents are people of color. CalMatters reports the state has not released info on how to submit claims, so as of right now the clinics are out the money. There’s no actual dollar amount overall, but many of the clinics say they’re owned several million dollars, which is frustrating, as the state claimed it was committed to vaccine equity, but they haven’t been paid back. Some of the clinics, the news site reports may have to close their vaccination clinics, if they don’t get the money they’ve spent. One state Senator from Van Nuys has drafted a bill though, to invest $400 million in community health centers for wages, workforce training and improved care.

Since the Lake County Administrative Officer announced her retirement, the Board of Supervisors will consider recruitment at their next meeting. Tomorrow the board will meet online and discuss how they intend to find a replacement for Carol Huchingson who announced last week she would leave office at the end of April after six years in the position.

Lake County District 2 Supervisor Bruno Sabatier says he’ll run for another term this June. The Lake County Registrar of Voters has reportedly received the required documentation for Sabatier to run, and there are no opponents, so he’s obviously staying in office another five years now. The primary is June 7th, with the General Election in November. Sabatier has also served on the Clearlake City Council. His first time on the board started in 2019. Some of the issues he’s worked on include Cannabis, the pandemic, the drought and crime.

Free lunches in Calif. that went to children in kindergarten through 12th grade from the USDA, could be ending. The federal government’s National School Lunch Program was expanded in March of 2020 due to the pandemic. Most kids under 18 years old, no matter if they were attached to a certain school or not, were served. Waivers were granted so there was more program flexibility, and the waivers have been renewed many times. Before the pandemic, almost 30 million lunches were served daily through the National School Lunch Program. But the last waiver ends June 30th. Advocates are trying to get Congress to continue again, at even higher levels, but the funds were reportedly not included in the last spending bill House and Senate lawmakers passed this month.

Large events have been on and off over the last two years. They’re on now with proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test. But the state has recently decided to ditch that requirement. Calif. will change to a strong recommendation for a negative test or vaccination for large indoor events on April 1st. That’s for events with over 1,000 people, sometimes referred to as “indoor mega events.” Organizers will be encouraged to screen attendees based on the risk of transmission of the virus. This is the new guidance the California Department of Public Health announced last Friday. It’s the latest health protocol to be tossed. The universal mask mandate for indoor places was rescinded a month ago, and last week students were allowed to take their masks off, but school districts are allowed to keep it in place, if they want.

The Governor has proposed giving $100 million dollars to certain Native American tribes so they can buy and maintain their ancestral lands. The Press Democrat reports the proposal is part of Newsom’s promise to give a third of the land in Calif. and coastal waters to tribes by 2030. He says tribal leaders should also get to decide what land they preserve. Last week Newsom announced part of his budget would be earmarked for tribes, but the state Legislature has to also greenlight the idea. It wouldn’t be a grant, but instead the state’s Natural Resources Secretary says they’ll come up with a structure or process for tribes to decide where the money goes. It’s all part of the continued ‘Land Back’ movement to return Native American homelands to the descendants of the people who previously lived on and owned the land.

A man from Washington State has been arrested in Willits after he was found asleep in a vehicle. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Dept. reports a Deputy spotted Jack Waldrop last Tuesday along the side of a road, partially blocking a lane. He was asked for his driver’s license and said no, then took off. The Deputy took chase for about 10-12 more miles until Waldrop stopped again. He got out of the vehicle and was immediately arrested for evading. Then, after a warrants check, it was found he had an outstanding nationwide extradition felony arrest warrant from the State of Washington for first degree kidnapping. They say he also seemed drunk, so he was charged with DUI. He’s booked into Mendocino County Jail and held on $535,000.00 bail.

PG&E is being held accountable for causing wildfires by State Senator Mike McGuire. The Senate Majority Leader is calling for the utility to finally underground their transmission and distribution lines after the company was blamed for deaths, charged with 100 felonies and claimed bankruptcy after several fires a few years ago. McGuire has introduced a bill to ensure the utility company at least undergrounds their equipment in the most fire prone areas, 10,000 miles or so. The bill also looks to save ratepayers on their utility bills and watch over the utility to make sure they get the work done. So far only 100 miles has been done. McGuire says every time there’s a fire PG&E apologizes, pays a fine, says they’ve hardening the lines and moves on. He says he doesn’t trust their “lip service”.

The body of a man who was found dead in a van in Garberville has been identified. Three people who happened upon the van, with its door partially open, spotting the body, called for help. The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Department responded to a vacant gas station. They say it was 51-year-old Johnny Ko of Los Angeles, and that there were no obvious signs of foul play. There will also be an autopsy performed today.

The County Administrative Officer in Lake County is retiring. Carol Huchingson released a letter to the public yesterday, noting her more than 3 decades in public service, the last 29 in Lake County. She credits hundreds of incredible people who have dedicated their lives to serving the community. She wrote about those facing food and housing insecurity, and other deep, personal challenges.  She also said there was no greater honor than being entrusted by the Board of Supervisors and touted the work they did together, whether rebuilding after wildfires or the COVID19 pandemic. Her last day in office is the end of next month.

It’s finally moving forward… it looks like a massive reservoir, long-planned in Northern Calif is finally coming to fruition, with the help of the federal government. The fed looks poised to loan almost $2.2 billion dollars to the state, which is about half the cost for design, planning and construction. The plan is to build in the tiny town of Sites, in the mountains in rural Colusa County, a plan in the making for well over a half century. The EPA announced the loan yesterday, but final approval of the loan could take another two years.

The Governor has announced the appointment of several judges across the state, including a former Mendocino County Public Defender. 48-year-old Kristi Peariso, worked here for a short time as a Public Defender, from 1998 to 2000. She was named among 17 Californians to take the bench. She was appointed to serve on the Ventura County Superior Court. Since leaving Mendo, she’s been a law professor at the Southern California Institute of Law and a defense attorney in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties.

The Mendocino County Public Health Officer looked like he was having a good time. A picture posted of Dr. Andy Coren and the hosts of a podcast called “Like it or Not”. The pair, Carter Lane and Drew Nicoll talked COVID, masks, mandates and more with Coren. The two hosts from Ukiah host their podcast weekly checking in with locals and chatting about the county. Other guests have included the Sheriff, local musicians and financiers.

There’s a new Executive Director at the Alex Rorabaugh Recreation Center (ARRC). They’ve announced Carter Grissom has been appointed to the position where he’ll help the board of directors continue their mission. The Center helps kids after school who participate in the Boys & Girls Club. Plus hundreds use the Center for classes, sports camps and there are youth sports leagues at the facility year round.

Tomorrow is the County CEO’s last day. After 12 years as the Chief Executive Officer Carmel Angelo is saying her goodbyes. At her last Board of Supervisors meeting as CEO, she received a proclamation, which the Board Chair, Fifth District Supervisor Ted Williams read aloud. They touted her leadership during the pandemic, the legalization of cannabis and catastrophic wildfires. At the same time, she was called out in a Grand Jury Report which found failures at the top and in the Board of Supervisors. The Daily Journal reports the Jury’s report said the CEO had too much power because of gaps in leadership from the Board.

Just like in Before Times, the City of Ukiah could allow people to come back in person to City Council meetings. The City Manager Sage Sangiacomo announced yesterday as the mask mandates are rescinded and case numbers come down with other restrictions, staff is working with the mayor on ways to do hybrid meetings. He says they could begin that around the first week of April. The Mayor apparently asked staff members how comfortable they were with that. And the city manager answered saying he thought they were all ready for the hybrid idea. The council members agreed that the public was also ready to get back to in person meetings, but there may be some still uncomfortable with the idea, so the hybrid model was a way to meet in the middle.

An idea circulating in the state Legislature could ease the pain at the pump. Some Democratic Assembly members have drafted a proposal to send a $400 dollar rebate to taxpayers to take the edge off the soaring price of gas, along with an increase in the cost of living during the pandemic. They estimate the $400 rebate would amount to almost 70 gallons of gas at the current price, which at last look was edging up to $6/gallon in many places statewide. Gov. Gavin Newsom also mentioned he would have a proposal for relief, but he has yet to release any details of that. Republicans meanwhile are asking for a temporary reprieve of a 51 cent gas tax, but that failed in the Legislature.

A formal move by the City of Fort Bragg against the Skunk Train. At this week’s City Council meeting, they approved a letter to send to the Coastal Commission about the Mendocino Railways loan application. The city says it looks like the skunk train is acting like a public utility, not a tourist train, something they disagree with. The city says Mendocino Railways is trying to claim exemption of regulations and bypass community planning. The application says the money for the Skunk Train would be to repair railroad ties, rebuild the track, and restore the tunnel, part of a development plan to expand the train. But the city’s letter says they’ve not been contacted about the plans or started a product review process.

Have you ever watched the show, “Undercover Boss”? A couple of folks in Fort Bragg made an appearance on it last month. The manager of the local Round Table Pizza, Laudalina Parks, and her employee, Trish Fernandez, were on an episode February 25th. The two following the president and CEO of Round Table, Paul Damico, who appeared in disguise, as the bosses do, on a cross-country trip to pop into locations without managers knowing. There are 420 locations on the West Coast.  The Fort Bragg location is reported to be in the top 25% of profitable Round Table restaurants.

A major event in Ukiah to raise awareness about sexual exploitation and human trafficking. along with several local community sponsors have put together a multimedia exhibit for the week of March 28th at the Ukiah Valley Conference Center. It will be an immersive experience in film, photography, and artifacts that show the stories of resilient survivors of human trafficking worldwide. The president of iEmpathize is traveling with the exhibit and will be at the Conference Center leading guided tours and showing adults how they can empower youth, moving people from apathy or sympathy to empathy. This is an issue in Northern CA and Mendocino County, so the local sponsors include this radio station, CASA of Mendocino & Lake Counties; the Mendocino County Department of Social Services; Project Sanctuary; Redwood Community Services; South Ukiah Rotary; and Ukiah Unified School District