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A man from Chico is facing prison for some time after charges he lived with a dead man whose identity he used. The Butte County District Attorney’s office charged David Pirtle with identity theft and forgery for writing checks from his 4 years dead roommate Kevin Olson. Cops started investigating after several of Olson’s relatives reported not seeing him since about October of 2018. Detectives went to his home after finding about 50 checks had been written to Pirtle. An autopsy is planned and Pirtle is in jail on $165,000 bail. Police say Pirtle was paying the mortgage on time each month.

The Save the Redwoods League has acquired hundreds of acres of redwood forest at Montgomery Woods State Natural Reserve. The Atkins Place Forest is across from the reserve. The League partnered with California State Parks to make improvements to the park. The purchase by the League adds on to other purchases to protect over 37,500 acres. Save the Redwoods has moved to protect almost all of the 2,743 acres in Montgomery Woods. The head of the League says it’s an important area of the coast redwood range, “for both recreational visitors and conservation”

The Agriculture Department is trying to get a handle on how much cannabis is growing in Mendocino County so they’re looking for producers to fill out surveys. The state’s not given the county info on the METRC reporting system so this survey will help the County give the state needed information. The survey is for the 2021 Cultivation Season and can be filled out then returned directly to the Department of Agriculture. The info they collect is anonymous and used only for compilation of the annual Cannabis Crop Report.

The Governor has signed a law to protect women from paying more for feminine products and other items. The “pink-tax” is now illegal in California. The Governor’s wife and first partner, Jennifer Seibel Newsom along with the Legislative Women’s Caucus were with the Governor when he signed the law along with a package of bills to advance gender equity and protect the rights of women. The pink tax law was brought forward by Assemblymember Rebecca Bauer-Kahan of Orinda. It bans companies from tacking on higher prices for products based on gender. Companies who violate the new law can be fined thousands.

The Governor is poised to sign a bill that many say will slow the massive fires we’ve been experiencing for years in Calif., undergrounding power lines. Those against the idea say it would get in the way of regulatory oversight of energy companies and could mean higher power bills for consumers. Utility customers who are not in PG&E territory have reportedly been asking the governor to veto the bill. The bill passed the Assembly unanimously and was 31-9 in the Senate. But the Senate Majority Leader, Mike McGuire says year over year the Northern Calif. region has experienced massive utility caused wildfires and “undergrounding electrical lines reduces fire starts by 99 percent.”

Planners in the City of Ukiah are continuing their work on the city’s General Plan. At their meeting tonight, the Planning Commission will hear public comments, which they will continue to consider until they complete the document. They released the draft Environmental Impact Report for the 2040 General Plan with notes for tonight’s meeting. One of the commissioner’s, Rick Johnson also requested more info on the plans to be able to provide enough water, especially with the likely decommissioning of the Potter Valley Project. He said it could mean shifting primarily to aquifers for the city’s water, instead of the Russian River. He questioned how the city could continue providing water without the hydroelectric plant running.

The state is dealing with a major affordable housing crisis, and it’s spilling into dorm rooms and apartments for college students. Ed Source reports most of the colleges across the state which are UC or Cal State are not guaranteeing you’ll find housing over four years. Just a handful of community colleges have on-campus housing. But now the Legislature is heeding the call. The budget lawmakers created for the year carved out about $1.4 billion for more student housing at five UC campuses, nine CSU campuses and 12 community colleges. But it will reportedly take years to impact the shortage and won’t help current students, some of whom are taking to sleeping in their cars overnight.

Another bill passed by the Legislature this session would make solitary confinement a thing of the past. The so-called “California Mandela Act”, named after former political prisoner Nelson Mandela would limit the use of the tiny cells in all California prisons, jails and immigration detention facilities. It won on a party line vote with Republicans saying it will just cost too much. There are not many restrictions on how the practice is used in the state, but it usually means 22-23 hours in a day in a single cell. The bill the Governor is getting would ban the use for anyone under the age of 26 or over the age of 59 entirely. Also pregnant people, or a mother who had a miscarriage, just gave birth or people suffering from some sort of physical or mental disability.

A trio of students in Northern Calif have received the PG&E Better Together STEM Scholarships. The energy company announced 40 students in all of their service areas are getting scholarships worth $250,000 from the 2022 Better Together STEM Scholarship Program. There are some in Lake and Mendocino counties. 20 scholarships were distributed worth $10,000 and 20 for $2,500 for students who want a degree in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. Locally, the winners were Brody Breeden of Kelseyville, whose attending California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo and pursuing a degree in Computer Science; Ronan Williams, from Boonville, attending University of California, Irvine and pursuing a career in Biology; and Brayden Martinez, from Ukiah, attending Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and pursuing a degree in Engineering.

The drought is taking a toll on Lake Oroville. The level is so low and what rain we have received has not been enough to get the level back up so three of five ramps there are closed. Two ramps are still open to the public to launch boats. The Department of Water Resources says the two which are still open should stay that way because they run very deep into the lake. There have also been a lot less visitors and some houseboat owners have been having an issue accessing them, taking shuttles out to access them. Elevation over the weekend at the lake was just under 700 feet, just 35% of the lake’s total capacity, and 64% of the historical average.

Since nobody filed to run for an open spot on the Ukiah Unified School District Board, they will be appointing someone. The opening was for Trustee Area 6 and was supposed to be on the November 8th ballot. But the board is appointing someone. So any registered voter who lives in Area 6 can apply online at the District website. You can also call the Superintendent or Board offices to get the application. They need to get your completed application by Thursday, October 27th. Then the current Board of Trustees will interview the applicants in open session, Monday, November 7th. They will announce the new trustee after and they will be sworn in at the Board’s organizational meeting on December 15th.

Anyone interested may contact the Mendocino County Office of Elections at 707.234.6819.

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