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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.

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