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Monthly Archives: September 2022

That woman from Northern California who faked her own kidnapping and was actually with an ex-boyfriend is back to court. Sherri Papini, a married mom of two from Redding faces jail time for the phony abduction story in 2016. She claimed she was snatched by a couple of Hispanic women who branded her. But then admitted she was with her ex in San Diego. Her lawyer claims she is disturbed and feels disgraced, but should be able to serve at home, but prosecutors are looking at jail time of up to eight months along with $300,000 in restitution to pay for searchers and the whole operation to find her after her “well-planned and sophisticated scheme”.

It’s Suicide Prevention Month and Lake County health officials are reminding how important it is to have those sometimes uncomfortable, but important conversations with friends or family members about it. Suicide is one of the leading causes of death in the United States.  And nearly 46,000 people died due to self-directed injury in 2020 alone in the country.  It was the second leading cause of death in people 10-14 and 25-32, third among those 15-24, and fourth for individuals aged 35-44. In Lake County untreated mental health or substance use conditions can contribute to suicides, and services are available.  Information on Lake County Behavioral Health Services’ programs and offerings is accessible here:

Two local elementary schools have received prestigious recognition. Yokayo Elementary received Gold, and Grace Hudson Elementary received Silver from the California PBIS Coalition. The awards are for putting Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) programs in place in over 10,500 public schools for almost 6 million students in California; only 430 schools received a Gold level award, and 504 received Silver awards. PBIS helps administrators and faculty encourage good behavior and improve student learning. Yokayo implemented the national character education program called Character Counts ; and Grace Hudson’s program is focused on three rules: Be responsible/Ser responsable, Be respectful/Ser respetuoso, and Be Safe/Ser seguro.

It’s the final push for folks to fill out the disaster recovery study in Mendocino County. Prevention, Recovery, Resiliency, and Mitigation Division (PRRM) is requesting the survey be filled out by those who may have been victims of wildfires, past or present, and not only those who had direct impact caused by the 2017, 2018, 2020, and 2021 wildfire disasters. The agency wants the entire community to identify, track, and address remaining unmet needs, plan for future recovery, resiliency, and mitigation projects, and update the County Recovery Plan. Responses are totally anonymous and inform for what sorts of projects the recovery team pursues for the next three to five years. The survey is available until the end of this month.

To complete the survey, please visit:

In Lake County, they have released the 2022 Draft Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP). The Lake County Fire Safe Council, Lake County Community Risk Reduction Authority, Lake County Resource Conservation District (RCD), Clear Lake Environmental Research Center, Lake County’s Fire Protection Districts and members of the Lake County Fire Chiefs Association have all worked on the plan. While they worked on it in the early stages, they got feedback in public meetings of Municipal Advisory Councils and other community groups. You can check it out online and comment on it there.

Click to access 2022CCWPP_Draft.pdf

The county is also looking for Government-to-Government feedback. After a workshop last Wednesday with government entities interested in “Government-to-Government” after the Draft 2022 Lake County Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP). The county is looking for feedback for 2 weeks, ending at the end of the month.

For written Government-to-Government input to be considered prior to our upcoming Public-facing CWPP Workshop, please submit your comments to no later than Close of Business Friday, September 30.

The Mendocino County Public Health Officer is rescinding a public health order requiring certain workers to be vaccinated. The last health order was from April 25th requiring either inoculations to protect against COVID, or weekly testing. The new health order says employers, employees, and places of employment must follow Cal Osha guidelines. But effective on Saturday Dr. Andy Coren is rescinding mandated COVID-19 testing for workers who asked for exemptions for medical reasons or religious beliefs in certain settings. There are however some types of healthcare settings where workers will still need to follow the old restrictions. Coren also said he’d defer to the state for any new guidelines that may come out.

The Governor has signed a package of bills into law to fight back the climate crisis. As some spots across the state a couple of weeks ago rose to at least 10 degrees over normal for September days, Newsom signed 40 climate bills into law. Some require 90% of the state’s electricity comes from renewable energy and zero-carbon sources. That’s up from the current 59%. The bills also cut all new oil and gas drilling if it’s within 3,200 feet of schools, homes, apartments, parks, and public-facing businesses; and the package sets goals for the state to be totally carbon neutral by 2045.

For the second month in a row, the Lucerne Area Town Hall has asked for the public to weigh in on the Elijah House. They voted unanimously to put a formal complaint into the Lake County Civil Grand Jury on behalf of the Northshore based Advisory Council. It comes after some employees were suspended without a pay for more than a week and the shelter closed abruptly last month leaving several residents without shelter. A victim advocate came to speak out at the town hall about the issue. Apparently there were several residents at the home which provides transitional jobs in several Northern California counties including Mendocino, Contra Costa and Humboldt. All of the suspended employees were allowed to return to work a week later.

The Pear Festival is back in Kelseyville. The Kelseyville Pear Festival which uses the slogan, “Catch the Magic” has re-emerged after the pandemic lockdown days. The event started as a small street fair nearly 30 years ago. Organizers say they get more then 10,000 people/year visiting the village of Kelseyville for the annual event. The Kelseyville Pear Festival is also coined as the largest one-day event in Lake County and it’s all happening this Saturday. There’s even a billboard outside of town now, touting Kelseyville as the “Pear Capital of the World”. The Kelseyville Pear Festival Committee had to cancel back in 2020 due to lockdowns, then again in 2021 after consulting with medical experts. This year is the 28th Kelseyville Pear Festival, after the first ever back in 1993.

A man who attacked an elderly woman in a shopping center in Willits a year ago has been sentenced to 15 years behind bars. Last Friday 24 year old Jose Miguel Perez was sent to prison for the October 2021 incident, caught on surveillance cameras in the area. It showed Perez attacked a frail woman unknown to him, and viciously beat her, then drag her behind a grocery store at the shopping center. He apparently tried to rape her and left her for dead, but someone came along on a bike and called 911 to get her help. Perez was found guilty in April for felony kidnapping with the intent to commit rape and felony assault by force likely to cause great bodily injury. He also admitted a sentencing enhancement of inflicting great bodily injury that caused the victim to lose consciousness due to a traumatic brain injury. The victim was present during the sentencing Friday and made a statement.

The City of Ukiah’s Draft 2040 General Plan has been released. The city’s asking for the public’s input during a public review this Thursday between 5:30 and 7:00 p.m. It’s at the Ukiah Valley Conference Center on 200 South School Street with the presentation starting about 5:45 p.m. with a Q & A after with 2040 General Plan staff planners. The notes taken at the meeting will then be sent off to the Planning Commission and City Council. You can check it all out at the city’s General Plan update site,

Police are searching for whoever may have shot at a window of a home in Fort Bragg. Mendo Fever reports it happened Friday night about 8 pm on Myrtle St., then not that much later, another report of shots fired on Main St. where a business reported two of their windows were hit by bullets. Later, a car was also reportedly hit. Police have not found much in the way of evidence so far, but they did find it was one firearm that was used. They’re not sure if it came from a car, or someone was walking with a weapon.

The Lake County Board of Supervisors will be taking up the idea of incentives for the sheriff’s dept. to hire new staff members. The board is considering a resolution brought to them by the Sheriff himself to offer incentives to get more staff on board for patrol and to work in dispatch and at the jail. The board is reportedly considering using cannabis money to pay for it. They will also take a stab at a response to the 2021-22 Grand Jury Final Report.

It’s back to the drawing board again for the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors on finances. In the morning, the board is hearing a presentation on the Fiscal Year 2020/21 Financial Report. The Board will give direction to staff if needed. Then it’s on to the possibility of Mendocino County Public Employees getting new health plans from PRISMHealth. The Board is looking at buying Fully Funded Health Care Plans and Membership in the PRISM Employee Benefits Program for a dental program for employees and their dependents. They’re also going department by department to see if any positions that have not been filled due to staffing shortages can just be eliminated entirely.

It’s the 75th anniversary of the Wildlife Conservation Board which was created years back by the Caif. Legislature. The board works with conservation groups, government agencies and residents of the state to protect biodiversity, increase climate resiliency and provide access for all under the umbrella of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW). The three main pillars they work under, finding land to acquire, habitat restoration and developing wildlife-oriented public access facilities. Right now they’re focused on protecting biodiversity, climate resilience, disadvantaged communities and protecting 30 percent of land and coastal waters by 2030.

Starting this weekend if you’re visiting any healthcare, acute care or skilled nursing facility in the state the COVID restrictions are over. The only thing you will have to do starting tomorrow, is continue to mask up. The facilities themselves must maintain the current infection prevention practices for vulnerable populations. Testing should also be offered for the public if it’s required by the state in the future again.  Screening testing for those entering the facilities is no longer required by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in general community settings. The state has administered almost 80 million doses of the vaccine by now, with at least 80% of residents getting at least one dose. The state has had about 10,350,000 cases since the start of the pandemic and almost 95,000 deaths. Those unvaccinated are much more likely to die from the virus.

A woman in Hopland reports finding a rattlesnake in the cab of her truck. Yesterday afternoon, Erica Franklin told Mendo Fever she was preparing to run errands and as she went to put her puppy in the truck, she encountered the snake coiled up on the middle console. She says she’s unsure how the rattler got into the truck, which shed its skin in the truck while she wasn’t around. She says the car was secure and locked.

A fire has ignited in the tiny coastal town of Mendocino.  Firefighters also found someone inside who had been burned and got them to a hospital. The 52-year-old man was reportedly inside the home for about 5 – 10 minutes as the fire started. No word on his condition or how the fire started.

The Mendocino County Board of Supervisors is trying to get their hands around what has been described as a financial crisis. Last month the board asked for help from the state after Supervisor Ted Williams said he hadn’t seen a credible financial report in his three years on the board. This week they met with the State Controller who informed the Board needs to take control and make official requests to the auditor, which they’ve done. They also said if some of the work was beyond local capabilities, they could hire outside help since many departments are seriously short staffed. The auditor chaffed, saying the CEO’s office has the same capabilities accused the board of trying to “break her will” just after she took the job. More to come, we’re sure…

Some folks are speaking out about the name of a local marijuana dispensary. The Daily Journal reports the building on Talmage and South State St. houses the shop called “Cookies”. Some say it could be a magnet for kids who don’t know they actually sell weed there. A resident spoke out at the last City Council meeting saying the City of Ukiah may want to rethink the name saying it reminds him of the Cookie Monster character from Sesame Street, which he called outright marketing to kids. Someone representing the business though says the “brand identity and artwork was designed to have an adult appreciation and appeal.”

We’ve got a new historic fire in California. The Mosquito Fire has now overtaken all others this year to be named the biggest in the state as it’s still only 20% contained. The fire ignited in the Sierra Nevada foothills September 6th and is threatening thousands of homes, and some historic giant sequoias. This weekend the state is supposed to be getting some rain, but not much, however that could put a dent in containment for the fire straddling Placer and El Dorado counties. But Cal Fire says with the rainstorm, comes wind. 70 homes have been destroyed by the fire. Fire officials say they expect the fire to continuing growing.

A man from Lake County found guilty of multiple sex assaults is getting a new trial. The motion for 36-year-old Antonio Magalhaes of Nice who was arrested two years ago. He’s accused of assaulting two people over six months in 2018 and 19. One he allegedly broke into a home and raped a woman, then raped a second woman the following year. He was found guilty this spring of several crimes including, assault with intent to commit sodomy while committing a first degree burglary; sodomy by force and rape of an intoxicated, unconscious person. He was set to be sentenced in July and was facing 38 years, but his lawyer asked for a new trial due to evidence related issues, where a witness supposedly didn’t finish testifying on cross examination. They’re back in court Tuesday.

The Governor has signed a new law he says will protect the health and wellbeing of kids. It’s the nation’s first online safety bill and will require sites and apps to consider the best interest of children. It will ban certain features that put kids at risk, like strangers messaging each other. Sites likely used by kids must also turn on the highest privacy settings by design and default.

Another case of Mpox has been reported in the state. A health care worker, a first for the nation, was apparently exposed on the job in Los Angeles County. That’s where California’s first monkeypox death was recently confirmed too. The CDC recommends people get vaccinated if they’re in contact with someone who has disease or know a sexual partner was diagnosed in the past two weeks.

The pair of earthquakes in Santa Rosa earlier this week may have exposed an issue with the earthquake early warning system. Several residents have reported receiving English Shake Alerts and other wireless emergency alerts on their cellphones, but they signed up to get them in Spanish. Sonoma County officials say it’s an important safety issue. Social media posts show there may be more people than we know who had the issue, but some just didn’t report a problem with the Shake Alerts which come direct from the U.S. Geological Survey and broadcast from cell towers.

A long-time wine maker from the Central Valley has died. The family of 79-year-old Fred T. Franzia of the Bronco Wine Co. announced he died at his home after some health issues they had not shared publicly. The Central Valley man is remembered for creating high quality wines at a value, including Charles Shaw a/k/a Two Buck Chuck which sold over 1 billion bottles with the belief that wine should be enjoyed and consumed on every American Table.

A woman who disappeared in the Cobb area while picking berries has still not been found after a month. 38-year-old Goldie Lee Morse vanished from the Black Rock Golf Course August 13th, without even taking her shoes. Police say they do not think there was foul play involved. Apparently there have been reports of people seeing her that night and the next morning, but not again. The Lake County Sheriff’s Office reports continuing to find information on what may have happened to her. Mendo Fever reports speaking to a friend of Morse’s who says while picking berries with her roommate, the roommate left for less than a half hour and when they came back they saw only Morse’s shoes.

After the Mendocino County Grand Jury report on Water Insecurity in the Redwood Valley County Water District, the Board of Supervisors has come up with their mandatory response. The jury said the water district has not been able to consistently provide adequate water for customers, both residential and commercial. The report also said one of the main problems was due to its massive debt, nearly $7 million dollars. The money owed to the federal government and has not been paid for several decades. The Water District board is apparently set to discuss the debt at a meeting today. The jury recommended consolidation with other water districts. The Board of Supervisors sent a response to the Grand Jury, mostly disagreeing, but also admitting it wasn’t in a position to respond to all of the findings.

That dead humpback whale that washed ashore in Fort Bragg will not be removed after all. After a visit earlier this week by scientists and researchers, it was decided the 26.5-foot juvenile humpback near Glass Beach would be left to decompose naturally. The Noyo Center responded to the scene and reported to the Mendocino Voice, that there can be many benefits from leaving the whale where it is, for one thing, creating its own ecosystem where it lies. It is partially in the water, so scientists have been challenged to study the animal. They say they will continue to evaluate it though, and may take more tissue samples to try to determine how it died and its age.

The Governor has signed a new law to help those in the state affected by mental health issues. Governor Newsom therefore triggered the new CARE Court, which his office called “a paradigm shift” for people with severe mental health and substance use crises to get the care and services they need. CARE stands for Community Assistance, Recovery, and Empowerment Act. As part of the law families, clinicians, first responders and others can refer people with disorders like schizophrenia or psychosis for help. It will first start in Glenn, Orange, Riverside, San Diego, Stanislaus, Tuolumne counties and in San Francisco.

Amazon is being sued by the State of Calif. The State Attorney General Rob Bonta says the company has “stifled its competition for years” and blocked the competition with their pricing. He says that has meant families have to pay more, so he wants Amazon to “pay the price.” The lawsuit is being met with negativity by tech experts who say it doesn’t make much sense as consumers try to beat back inflation by shopping for the lowest prices. Amazon has previously said sellers set their own prices and the company has the right not to spotlight products they feel aren’t priced competitively.

The Lake County Sheriff has reported to the Lake County Board of Supervisors about a staffing idea. The Board heard Tuesday from Sheriff Brian Martin on staffing incentives he wanted to offer because of a serious staffing shortage at the agency. He has 17 out of 50 positions filled at the moment and another seven people are on leave. He says he has one deputy trainee in the training academy, six deputies at the jail, three for dispatch and another deputy at the courthouse, but still, it’s not nearly enough. He says they don’t have enough people on the street. So he proposes adding emergency staff incentive pay, better hiring incentives at $15,000 to $20,000 and a new retention incentive. The board agreed to talk again about the idea at their meeting next week. Also this week PG&E spoke about their vegetation management programs and tree mortality issue.

United Disaster Relief of Northern Calif. has won a grant from 100+ Women Strong of Inland Mendocino County. At their gathering in late spring at Rivino Vineyards the group heard presentations by three nonprofits. Then over a hundred local donors gave the thumbs up to United Disaster Relief, formerly the Mendo-Lake Complex Fire Relief. The head of the nonprofit says the money will help them with their new building in Ukiah and spread the word on the organization which started after the Valley Fire in Lake County. They help fire survivors who may have lost their homes get all of their documents in order, find shelter and more.

The COVID mandate across California is no more. As of this Saturday workers who aren’t vaccinated don’t need to be tested every week any longer. The state Department of Public Health says the number of those unprotected is low, and vaccine coverage in high-risk settings is high, with as much as 80-percent of people having had their full doses, while almost half have received at least one booster shot.

That aftershock that hit less than a minute after Tuesday’s earthquake in Santa Rosa was larger than first reported. The U.S. Geological Survey upgraded the after-shock from a magnitude three-point-nine to a four-point-three. The first earthquake was a four-point-four. That one was centered two miles northeast of central Santa Rosa. The aftershock was centered a mile away. No major damage was done to the city’s infrastructure.

The Ghost Ship disaster in Oakland is back in the news. The guy who was the master tenant and is a Lake County resident may be behind bars again. You may recall the giant warehouse stuffed to the gills with artwork caught fire in 2016 during a party and killed 36 people. Now Derick Almena has to come back to court after his home was searched showing he had violated conditions of his probation by possessing weapons. He’s been on probation after he was found guilty in the fire for involuntary manslaughter. He asked at the time for his supervision to be transferred to Mendocino County. Probation officers have reported finding several weapons, including a machete, bows and arrows, and ammunition, all against the terms of his supervision. Prosecutors say they’re looking to revoke the deal so that could mean prison time for Almena who’s been ordered to appear, one week from tomorrow, back in Oakland.

The man suspected in the disappearance of a woman from Round Valley is out of prison, but in a local jail. Negie Fallis, is believed by Khadijah Britton’s family and others, to be involved in her disappearance in February of 2018. He’s in Mendocino County jail, and out of federal prison after over two years for possession of a firearm by a felon. Fallis was booked into jail back in 2018 after being seen holding a gun to Britton and forcing her into a car. Charges against him back then included kidnapping, assault with a deadly weapon, corporal injury to a spouse, and burglary. But the charges were dismissed. He’s been in and out prison since. Now he’s accused of violating his Post Release Custody Supervision.

Some folks in Santa Rosa and beyond felt some shaking. A magnitude 4.4 earthquake hit after 6:30 last night and not too far behind was a 3.9. The U.S. Geological Survey reported the 4.4 at 6:39 p.m. about 2.4 miles north-northeast of Santa Rosa and the 3.9 at 6:40 p.m. about 2.3 miles north of Santa Rosa. Geologists say the temblors hit on the Rodgers Creek Fault, which has the potential for an even stronger quake. The last bigger earthquakes on the fault were back in 1969 and were 5.6 and magnitude 5.7 near Santa Rosa. No injuries or damage was reported.

They’re still looking for a permanent police chief in Ukiah after the last one was fired. So the City Council has voted to hire an executive placement firm to find Chief Noble Waidelich’s replacement. This will be the fourth new chief in as many years. 3 head-hunting firms gave proposals to the city. City staff and an ad-hoc committee chose Mosaic Public Partners out of Placer County. The cost would be $38,000 and needs to be added to the budget. The city never told us why Waidelich was fired after first being placed on administrative leave for an ongoing criminal investigation. The city manager at the time of his firing said he was no longer a fit. The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the former chief.

The Governor has announced the state’s launched a new website to help those who need abortions. is accessible for those who need to find an abortion provider and also gives information on abortion rights, different types of abortions, paying for the procedure, and more. It includes info for California residents and non-residents dealing with restrictions or outright bans like in Texas, Tennessee and Alabama. The site is in English and Spanish, and the state says it will also be translated into other languages too. The site is up a day after South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham introduced a national ban on abortions after 15 weeks of conception.

Three administrative sites on the Mendocino National Forest are being temporarily closed for hazardous material cleanup. It’s happening through the end of the month at the High Glade lookout, Keller Place and Beaver Glade fire station. The closures are to protect the public and contractors during the work. They’re asking the public to avoid the cleanup operations and if you come upon any heavy equipment on forest roads to be cautious. The 2018 Ranch Fire burned the High Glade lookout area. The Beaver Glade fire station and historic Keller Place cabin burned in the 2020 August Complex.

It’s been almost 14 years, but the Kelseyville Unified School District superintendent is leaving. Dr. Dave McQueen has announced he’s retiring next year. That will be after the 2022-23 school year, next June. The Kelseyville Unified School District Board of Trustees is looking for qualified applicants to take over next July. McQueen says he’s spent his entire career and lifetime in the district. And that all of his kids have graduated from Kelseyville High. The district will post the superintendent’s position this week with the deadline for applications as Oct. 12th.

An update is to be delivered to the Clearlake City Council on the recreation center feasibility study. The council’s also looking at a mutual aid agreement with several other cities in Lake and Mendocino counties tomorrow night. The second phase of the Recreation Center Feasibility Study will be high up on the agenda, but the mutual aid agreement for Clearlake, Lakeport, Fort Bragg, Point Arena, Ukiah and Willits would mean the cities and two counties would meet regularly. There, they would discuss issues, share ideas and give support with the City of Ukiah leading. At the beginning of the meeting the council is meeting some dogs up for adoption from the city shelter and read a proclamation declaring Sept. 23rd as Native American Day.

Public libraries across the state will be getting a shot in the arm after the Governor announced millions in grants for the institutions. Over a quarter billion dollars will be distributed to libraries in 172 cities in 34 counties, including Lake County. The $254 million is part of the first round of the Building Forward Library Improvement Grant Program. It includes nearly $1,100,000 for Lake County’s four libraries. In Lakeport, Middletown, The Redbud Library and the Upper Lake Library, with the most for Lakeport. Newsom says the libraries across Calif. are the “hearts of communities across the state and our hubs of learning, discovery, and oftentimes — safety”.

They’re hosting a free harvest sharing at the Grange in Willits. One week from this Sunday, on Sept. 25th from 9:30 a.m. to noon for all interested. There’s also a pancake breakfast the same morning. Head to the back of the Grange for the Harvest Sharing. There will be tables accepting donations of food related items to give away, plus you can take whatever you and your family might need. To top it off, the entire thing is free. They’re also inviting herbalists to bring culinary and/or medicinal herbs, fresh or dried. They are setting up a table just for that.

Since we’ve had such hot weather, wine country may be threatened. The climate crisis, first starting with a deep frost, then hot weather and drought have dried out vineyards. Wine-grape production is supposed to be down about 4% this year to 3.5 million tons. The USDA reported the numbers, which local owners say could mean they have the second-smallest crop for the last ten years. The last time the harvest was damaged since then was due to fires in 2020. Experts say vineyards are getting dangerously close to more damage due to even more intense and frequent weather disasters.

A woman arrested for a DUI has been found guilty by a jury. 27-year-old Desiree Leilehua Johnson, of Carmichael, was convicted Friday for a misdemeanor of driving a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol, and also for driving with a blood alcohol of .08 percent or higher. That’s also a misdemeanor. There was also a special allegation against her that that blood alcohol measured .15 or greater, and the jury found that to be true. It was actually, 3 times the legal limit, at .24.

Senate Majority Leader Mike McGuire had a guest with him during a virtual town hall on Mpox and the pandemic. Infectious Disease Expert Dr. Timothy Brewer from UCLA, appeared with McGuire to answered questions Thursday night. At the same time the Mendocino County Public Health Dept. confirmed the first case of Mpox last Friday. McGuire confirmed the new virus, what had been referred to as monkeypox, is now in almost every county in Northern Calif. There are vaccines available for those considered at high risk. There is also no evidence, they said, that the infection increases your risk of getting COVID, or the other way around either. They also advised it’s important to get the COVID booster which was just approved, and targets the original strain and omicron.

The California Air Resources Board has put out a new climate roadmap showing more offshore wind development, climate-friendly housing construction, cleaner aviation fuels and reducing miles traveled. The changes come as the state tries to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and fast track other projects in the state. The draft plan released in May from the state shows a bunch of projects the Governor hopes to get done to get to carbon neutrality by the year 2045. That includes trying to eliminate 91% of fossil fuels at a potential cost of $18 billion in 2035 and $27 billion in 2045. The air board won’t be doing much more as part of the plan until the end of the year.

Four people, including one juvenile have been arrested with a bunch of stolen checks and other people’s mail, a felony. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office along with Ukiah Police stopped a car on the 500 block of North Dora Street and found 2 adults and two teens, Marlen Nunez-Alvarez, Victor Martinez, Elijah Devinegomes and a 17-year-old male. They found over 50 stolen checks, personal documents, and US mail which belonged to people living in various parts of the county. They say some of the checks had been forged in the name of those arrested. Law enforcement officers are working with the US Postal Inspection Service to try to contact the victims. The group was arrested for various crimes including grand theft and conspiracy and booked into jail and juvenile hall.

Another town hall for the Ukiah Unified School District on Developer Fees. The meeting is Monday, the 26th, 2 Mondays from now. Ukiah Unified staff are hosting the meeting at the Ukiah Unified District Service Center where they invite community members to learn about what developer fees are and ask any questions. The meeting comes after a study by a consultant on the fees which are used to pay school districts to ease the impact of new development on school facilities. Nearly a decade ago, the school board decided to stop collecting the fees, but now the Board wants the Administration to come up with a new developer fee study. A draft study was presented to the Ukiah Unified Trustees during a public hearing on August 11th. There was one community meeting on the matter already. The Board will consider reinstating the fees at their meeting next month.

Another dead whale has washed up on shore on the Mendocino Coast. The humpback was found off Fort Bragg this time, by a resident biking on the coastal trail. There were a couple of rangers on scene too. Kym Kemp reports they were holding back with the location to lessen the amount of people milling around as scientists and researchers were on the scene figuring out next steps. It comes after a rare, beaked whale washed up in Fort Bragg in May, and a sperm whale washed up on Portuguese beach near the town of Mendocino. There were also reports of a dead mama humpback found at the Point Reyes national seashore.

A small wildfire has been quickly put out outside Ukiah city limits. The police scanner blared out that firefighters were responding to a grassfire yesterday afternoon by Oak Knoll Road and Fircrest Drive south of city limits. It was only about 15 minutes that firefighters had snuffed the flames. Mendo Fever reported hearing there had also been a decent sized spot fire doused nearby.

The Calif. Legislature approved a grant to workers who lost their jobs during lockdown. The $2,500 grants for people who were displaced from their jobs due to the pandemic so they can learn a new trade. The first 3,000 have received the grant this past spring and this summer. The state’s opening up the grants again for more people, those in the lower-income brackets who also lost their jobs or had their hours seriously cut during the pandemic. Workers who have kids under 18 will get half of the grant money allocated. The state is looking to reach as many as 190,000 people with the grants, called the Golden State Education and Training Grant Program.

California will be the first state in the country to have a ranking system for heat waves, much like hurricanes and tornados. The Governor signed the law Friday for new regulations for the
California Environmental Protection Agency to come up with the ranking system for extreme heat events by Jan. 1, 2025. It was part of a group of bills the Governor signed last week to protect residents from the oppressive heat that’s been made worse due to climate change. Newsom commented that last week’s “unprecedented heat wave” was “a painful reminder of the costs and impacts of climate change — and it won’t be the last”.

Adventist Health Ukiah Valley hospital reports achieving all three honor rolls by Cal Hospital Compare. The hospital is one of only nine to be named for excellence in maternity care, opioid stewardship and patient safety. The group releases three hospital honor rolls a year to accelerate hospital progress, recognize and celebrate hospital performance and support patients and families in choosing hospitals that best fit their healthcare needs. The Administrator for Adventist Health Ukiah Valley says it’s an honor to be recognized for excellent patient care. And the Calif. Health & Human Services Secretary says the annual measurements through Cal Hospital Compare helps them to applaud hospitals doing excellent work and show where improvement is needed.

Someone has reported to Ukiah Police an attempted kidnapping at the Chili Cookoff. The mom says she was at the event Friday when a man came up to her and her toddler, grabbed the two-year-old by the hand and tried to leave. But mom and her friend got the child away and the suspect ran off. The mom described the would-be abductor as very tan skin, about 5’ 10”, 200-220 lbs, 35-45 years old, wearing a brown tank top and tan shorts. The mother called 911 saying the man was quite slick and others nearby didn’t notice, probably thinking this was the child’s parent. Police confirmed they got to the scene and were canvassing the area and actively investigating.

The City of Lakeport needs some art for Lakefront Park. They’re looking for mid-range to large-scale sculptural and/or innovative, mixed or multimedia art to be shown in front of the new lakefront park development downtown. They’ve extended the deadline to Tuesday, October 11th. Those chosen will get from $5,000 to $20,000 depending what’s needed for their project. That should cover the materials, artist’s labor, installation needs, and any necessary travel expenses. As we reported earlier this month, Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) are strongly urged to submit proposals. You do not need to be a county resident.
For more information, contact Jenni Byers, Community Development Director, (707) 263-
5615, Ext. 201,

A career fair is being hosted by Adventist Health Ukiah Valley. They’re looking for both clinical and non-clinical positions. The fair is Thursday, Sept. 15th 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Ukiah Valley Conference Center at 200 S. School St. The positions they’re looking to fill include nurses, medical assistants, housekeepers, customer care associates, and technicians. They say they’re offering competitive wages and exceptional benefits. Career fair attendees are asked to wear face masks and maintain social distancing.

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

A man from Albion is going to prison for two decades for murder. Robert Henry Brockway III got 21 years to life after pleading guilty last month to murder in the second degree and residential burglary while someone was home. He had been in trouble with police several times in the past. In this case, Brockway was accused of killing Jimmie Mooneyham inside his home. He first claimed he was not guilty by reason of insanity. Then he changed to a guilty plea as they were choosing the jury. He was suspected of the crimes after he was linked through evidence.

A disaster has been declared in the State of Calif. for Chinook salmon. At the beginning of the month the Commerce Department declared fishery disasters and set aside over $17 million dollars for multiple Native American tribes for disaster assistance. Salmon have been under duress for years due to warming waters. They generally migrate to the ocean to feed and come back to spawn, but the numbers have been decreasing year over year. Scientists say it’s not only climate change but also pollution in river dams that prevents access to spawning areas. Some of the stocks have been deemed threatened or endangered and more are reportedly being considered threatened under the Endangered Species Act.

A giant grant has been given to the Noyo Center by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA). The more than $825,000 grant to boost tourism in Mendocino County. It will fund a new visitor building using money from the pandemic stimulus known as the American Rescue Plan. The money will help pay for designing the building and a feasibility study for the Marine Science’s Ocean Science Center. There is a matching fund as well of nearly $208,000 that can go into the project too.

A new booster shot for the COVID19 vaccine is about to be rolled out. Last week a briefing by the FDA informed all in attendance of the agency’s “Vaccinate All 58” campaign. The boosters are for those who are 12 years of age and older. The state is getting more than 1 million doses. Some of the health experts in the virtual meeting for the FDA last Wednesday said the vaccination, like many others, requires a booster for continued protection against severe disease and death as the protection can decrease over time. They have been updated so that they can protect against newer strains as well as the original coronavirus.

The Chili Cook Off has come back after the pandemic put it on pause. This was the first cookoff since COVID19 overtook the country. The event is a fundraiser for the Boys & Girls Club of Ukiah. The money raised helps the club continue to offer their services. Granite Construction has been the main sponsor for years.

Once again PG&E says they have to raise their prices. The company says it’s for about 7 bucks a month for the average customer with electricity and gas and does not get help with their bills through subsidies. Lower-income or CARE customers who do get help would see an increase of under $5/month on average. The energy giant blames inflation in their Securities and Exchange Commission filing. The document says they may be negatively affected by inflation resulting in impacts to their operations, liquidity, and cash flows. They also said in the filing that they’ve already experienced higher prices for equipment, materials, supplies, employee labor, contractor services, and variable-rate debt.

Two people from Ukiah have been booked into jail for trafficking marijuana. Deputies picked up Kevin Worley and Destenie Hall Thursday morning after seeing them while out on routine patrol stopped on the side of the road. They say they contacted the pair and Hall seemed high on drugs and evaluated her to confirm it. They found a couple baggies with two different types of suspected controlled substances and in possession of drug paraphernalia. They also found 5 pounds of bud marijuana packaged for sale. She was booked for being under the influence of a controlled substance, and she and Worley for possession of marijuana for sales, transportation of marijuana for sales and possession of drug paraphernalia. They’re both held on $15,000.00 bail separately.

A man in Ukiah has been arrested after he was found in possession of drugs for sale, while out on bail for another crime. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Dept. reports Eric Silk-Hoaglin was seen by Deputies who recognized him from previous contact, so they stopped him on North State Street. They searched the car and found he was out on bail, then found several rounds of ammunition on the driver’s side floorboard of the vehicle and immediately detained the guy. They also found a bunch of small baggies on him with fentanyl inside and evidence he was probably selling drugs. Silk-Hoaglin was arrested for possession of narcotic for sale, transportation of a narcotic for sale, possession of ammunition by a prohibited person and committing a felony offense while out of custody on bail. He was held on $50,000.00 bail.

2 people in Cloverdale have been arrested for alleged drug sales. Cloverdale police say they found a couple of people asleep in a blue Dodge Journey in front of a driveway. They say the driver was Maggie Tapia of Crescent City who was on active felony probation. She was with Anthony Grayson of Ukiah. The two were both arrested after police smelled drugs coming out of the car. They searched and found 2 pounds of suspected meth and another 3 ounces of suspected fentanyl, plus various drug paraphernalia and evidence they may have been attempting to sell the drugs. The DEA pegged the suspected fentanyl at more than 39,000 lethal doses. The two were booked into Sonoma County Jail on multiple felony drug charges on $100,000 bail each.

A cow wandering in traffic has been hit by a couple of cars on Highway 101 near Willits. The animal was hit by two cars around 10 pm Saturday. The cow was reported to be in the center divider of Highway 101 near the Willits exit. The owner of the animal was apparently on the way there, but it was too late as it was hit in the southbound lane by one vehicle. Then it was hit again and at least one person was reportedly injured too, per the police scanner calling them, “walking wounded.” Mendo Fever reports the CHP had to close the Willits Bypass and redirected traffic to Highway 20 for under about an hour.

The Walker Fire which had been burning for about a week and a half is 100% contained. Fire officials said on Saturday the fire had been encircled. It started September 1st south of Willits. Cal Fire put out their final report on the incident late Saturday afternoon. The fire burned about 109 acres then flared up again to blacken another 15 acres after that. Firefighters were still on the scene controlling hot spots and mopping up. The cause of the Walker Fire is still being investigated.

Just one more day of this insanely hot weather. Our National Weather Service Excessive Heat Warning goes until 10pm tonight with the expected high in Ukiah at 108. Cal ISO has also issued another Flex Alert calling for power use reduction for a record-breaking 10th day in a row. But unlike yesterday’s that was extra long, today’s is back to the normal 4pm-9pm with the forecasted afternoon peak usage much lower than it has been all week, at around 46,000 MW, down from over 51,000 MW Thursday.

Some residents of Clearlake have returned home after a structure fire that moved to some brush led to evacuations. The Tana fire broke out around 4pm near Crawford and Tana Avenues. Lake County News reports within 15 minutes three structures were on fire and the fire jumped across Highway 53. Air attacks started by 4:30pm and Cal Fire reported the fire contained at 6:25pm. Clearlake Police lifted all evacuation advisories and orders around 10:30pm although some roads remained closed.

Waste Management has resumed collecting containers from customers they no longer serve. Most were collected in July and August. From now through September 14, residents of County Solid Waste Collection Area No. 2 previously served by Waste Management but now served by Redwood Waste Solutions, may place old Waste Management containers out by the road. Inland areas will be collected from today through Sunday and coastal areas from tomorrow through Wednesday September 14th

Fire departments in Hopland, Manchester and Laytonville and getting new fire training towers, which Mendocino County has purchased with the settlement money from Pacific Gas and Electric. The towers are 5 stories high and are outfitted to allow firefighters to practice high angle rescue, ladder drills, and several types of fire suppression. And they will be available regionally for various fire agencies throughout the County to come and use. Two more large towers funded by the PG&E money will be coming next year.

A reminder to Hopkins fire survivors that applications for reassessment of damaged or destroyed property must be filed by Monday, September 12 with the County Assessor’s office. You can get an application on the Mendocino County website or by calling or stopping by the Assessor’s office. To qualify for a calamity adjustment your property must have suffered more than $10,000 worth of damage. There is no charge to file the application for reassessment.

Some new rules are in place for the Ukiah Skake Park. After problems reportedly cropped up last spring with unruly kids and kids skipping school, the City and School District closed it for a while and then reopened it with some restrictions. The Ukiah Daily Journal reports the Skate Park is now closed during school hours, and all minors must be accompanied by an adult or have a permission waiver signed by a guardian. Since Ukiah High started classes last month there has been an attendant there making sure.

Another step forward for a proposed housing development in Lakeport. On Tuesday the Lakeport City Council voted unanimously to hold a public hearing on a zoning ordinance change for the Waterstone Residential project proposed near Westside Community Park. Lake County News reports the hearing will be held September 20. It would include 128 new apartment units and 48 cluster homes on 15 acres on Craig Avenue, with apartments solar powered and the houses wired for it. Last month the Lakeport Planning Commission recommended the city council approve it.

PG&E is reportedly looking to raise rates. The utility says in a government filing that due to inflation they are asking state regulators to let them up their revenue which the Record Bee reports would amount to an increase of around $7 a month for the average customer of both electricity and gas. Subsidized CARE customers would see a hike of around $5 a month. PG&E says inflation is hitting them in labor, materials and services. The state Public Utilities Commission has the final say on any rate hike.

The National Weather Service has extended our Excessive Heat Warning until 10pm Friday. Today’s High for Ukiah could hit 111 and Friday’s High is forecast to be 107. And while we made it through another day without rolling blackouts, Cal ISO has again called for a Flex Alert to reduce power usage this afternoon, and this one is longer than the usual Flex Alert from 3pm to 10pm. Yesterday demand peaked over 50,000 Megawatts at 4pm. Today they are forecasting a peak of 51,288 at 430pm.

Cal Fire confirms about another 15 acres were burned in a flare-up at the Walker Fire in Willits Tuesday. Officials say the flare-up was spotted around 5pm at Morris Dam and air and ground resources quickly hit the scene. Cal Fire reports the Walker Fire has scorched 124 acres since it started September 1 on the east side of Highway 101. As of this morning Cal Fire reported the fire was 87 percent contained. Officials say no structures have been damaged or are currently threatened.

In all Cal Fire reported Wednesday there were over 5,600 firefighters making progress on 10 major wildfires and two extended attack wildfires in California. Since the beginning of the year, 251,002 acres have burned in California but officials call this week crucial as Northern California continues to see a high risk of fire through Friday due to the heat wave conditions with very low day and nighttime relative humidity and periods of locally gusty afternoon winds plus the possibility of scattered thunderstorms.

A Mendocino County infant has passed away from COVID-19. The Mendocino County Health Department announced Wednesday that County death #135 was an infant that was not yet eligible for vaccination. They did not disclose in what part of the County the child lived. County Health Officer Dr. Andy Coren says COVID-19 has become one of the top 3 leading causes of death in California over the last year with an increase in children testing positive over the summer.

The Ukiah Boys & Girls Club Chili Cook-Off is back. After being canceled for a couple of years due to the pandemic, Granite Construction’s annual Chili Cook-Off fundraiser for the Club will be back in downtown Ukiah tomorrow at the Alex R. Thomas Plaza with tasting beginning at 6 p.m. Granite Construction tells the Willits News that with the event being gone so long they are expecting a huge crowd this time around. Among the fundraising goals for the Boys & Girls Club of Ukiah this year is to buy a 15-passenger van to counteract the shortage of school bus drivers.

The Lakeport City Council has taken steps to fill the council seat of former Mayor Pro Tem Mireya Turner who left last month to become the Lake County Community Development director. At their meeting Tuesday the Council asked city staff to start taking applications for the seat. Lake County News reports state law requires the council to take action within 60 days to either make an appointment or call a special election but city officials say there wasn’t time for a special election because the seat expires in December. Meanwhile the council elected Kenny Parlet as Mayor Pro Tem.

The State Controller has published the 2021 self-reported payroll data for California special districts. Lake County has 30 special districts. Lake County News reports the largest special district payrolls in 2021 in Lake County were the Lake County Fire Protection District with 40 employees earning a total of $1,911,823, the Kelseyville Fire Protection District with 29 employees earning a total of $1,502,623 and the Northshore Fire Protection District with 39 employees totalling $1,350,935.

Mendocino County has gotten a credit rating upgrade from S&P Global Ratings. The County announced Tuesday that S&P bumped it up from “AA-” to “AA”. S&P cited several key factors in the upgrade, including the County’s “improved financial position, supported by enhanced financial management policies and practices”. The upgrade comes as the county refinances some 2012 bonds for cash flow savings and funds $10 million in new capital projects including the jail expansion and some roofing and HVAC projects at essential County facilities.

Tuesday was the hottest day on record for the City of Ukiah. The National Weather Service confirms while Monday’s 112 broke the old September 5 record of 108 set in 2020 on Tuesday at 330pm we hit 117, beating the all time record for any date which was 115 back in September 1955. Officials say while it won’t get quite that high today, it will still be dangerously hot with the expected high near 110 today, 111 Thursday and still in the 100’s on Friday before relatively cooling into the 90’s for the weekend.

The Extreme Heat Alert for interior Mendocino County has been extended by the Mendocino County Public Health Department. While we likely won’t hit Tuesday’s incredible record of 117 in Ukiah, we are still forecast to hit 110 today, 111 tomorrow and 108 Friday with the heat alert expected to end Friday night. There are cooling centers at the Ukiah Civic Center, Willits City Hall, Potter Valley Community Center, The Family Resource Center on Henderson Rd and Round Valley Indian Health Center.

Despite hitting a record peak demand of 52,061 MegaWatts Tuesday afternoon the California Independent System Operator ended its Energy Emergency Alert Level 3 period without having to order rolling blackouts and Cal-ISO says it’s thanks to citizens. They say after the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services issued an emergency alert around 5:45 pm saying rolling blackouts were imminent and asking people to reduce power, Cal-ISO’s grid operator saw an immediate and significant drop in energy use.

The Department of Water Resources has deployed four temporary power generator units. There are two in Roseville and two in Yuba City which can put 120 megawatts back into the grid which according to Lake County News is enough to power around 120,000 homes. This is reportedly the first time that these generators have been fired up since they were installed last year under an executive order from Governor Gavin Newsom. They are powered by natural gas but have an emissions reduction system.

A Willits man is being held with no bail for allegedly driving under the influence with a suspended license. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Offices says last Thursday a Deputy conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle for a vehicle code violation on Meadowbrook Drive near Della Avenue. The officer suspected the driver, William Young, who was on a suspended license and on formal probation, was under the influence of a controlled substance which was allegedly confirmed by a field test.

Cancer Resource Centers of Mendocino County says their 2022 Pure Mendocino fundraiser held last month more than made up for its two-year pandemic hiatus. CRCMC says generous donors raised a record $162,000 at the annual fundraiser for the non-profit which provides cancer support services to patients and their families free of charge. The Pure Mendocino event accounts for 25 percent of the organization’s operating funds and can be used for essential operations like staffing.

The arson trial of a Clearlake Oaks woman has reportedly been set for October 5. At a hearing late last month Tori Elizabeth Brannon reportedly pleaded not guilty to all counts after being found competent to stand trial following a few months at State Hospital under treatment with antipsychotic medications. Lake County News reports Brannon is charged with a July 2021 fire on Hoover Street in Clearlake Oaks that destroyed five structures and six out buildings with property loss estimated at $613,500.

Mendocino County Public Health has declared a heat emergency for the Ukiah and Potter Valley areas until Friday night. High temperatures are forecast to hit 116 today, and be near, or over, 110 degrees each day through Friday. The City of Ukiah has opened a cooling center at the Civic Center where anyone can come and escape the heat. It’s open today (Tuesday) through Friday from 8 am to 8 pm, although Mendocino Health officials say those hours will be extended if there are rolling power outages.

Other cooling shelters include: the Ukiah Senior Center, Ukiah Library, Alex Rorabaugh Center, Round Valley Senior Center, Round Valley Library, Round Valley Volunteer Fire Protection District, Round Valley Indian Health Center, and Willits City Hall.

Rolling blackouts are a real possibility this week. The California Independent System Operator declared a Stage 1 emergency alert on Monday due to statewide usage, and the rolling blackouts come when they get to a Stage 3 alert. The Record Bee reports power consumption Monday peaked at nearly 49,000 megawatts but the power forecast today is a peak of more than 51,000 megawatts which would be the highest in 16 years in California and drought has lessened the available hydroelectric power since then.

The Ukiah City Council is set to discuss whether to support a sales tax hike for fire protection proposed by the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors that will be on the ballot in November. The Ukiah Daily Journal reports Measure P is a one-quarter-cent sales tax with 90% of the revenue going to fire protection agencies including the Ukiah Valley Fire Authority and 10% going towards prevention and resiliency efforts. The Ukiah City Council meets Wednesday beginning at 6 p.m.

The Ukiah Valley Russian River Cleanup is set for Saturday, Sept. 17 as part of Coastal Cleanup Day during which hundreds of communities worldwide work to prevent litter from contaminating drinking water and killing fish. It’s co-sponsored by the Mendocino County Resource Conservation District, Mendocino County Water Agency, and Redwood Waste Solutions. Volunteers will meet at 9 a.m. for a safety talk and to divide into teams. They ask that you register by Sept. 10 with a link at

The newly-formed Konocti Fire Safe Council has received a $10,000 donation from the District 5 Supervisor to get their organization going. Lake County News reports the Council was formed by a group of four Kelseyville homeowners’ associations that worked together to get a new firehouse in the Soda Bay corridor, which didn’t happen, and now want to lead the community in reducing wildfire risk. They plan to focus on preparedness, education, evacuation readiness, and hazardous fuel reduction.

A potential zoning change to allow for a new housing project is on the agenda for the Lakeport City Council. The council is scheduled to hold a public hearing on the Parkside Residential Project which calls for 128 new apartment units and 48 cluster homes on a 15-acre site on Craig Ave. This is the first reading of the potential zoning change – the second is Sept. 20. Lake County News report when the Lakeport Planning Commission considered the project last month, they recommended the city council approve it.

The Middletown Area Town Hall has a meeting this week. The group known as MATH is set to meet Thursday, Sept. 8, at 7pm in the Middletown Community Meeting Room. The meeting is open to the public either in person or on Zoom. The agenda includes Cal Fire Chief Paul Duncan and Pacific Gas and Electric representative Melinda Rivera. MATH is a municipal advisory council serving residents of Anderson Springs, Cobb, Coyote Valley, Hidden Valley Lake, Long Valley and Middletown.

The Lakeport City Council is set to start mulling how to fill the seat of Mayor Pro Tem Mireya Turner who resigned last month to become Lake County Community Development Director. Lake County News reports when the council meets tonight they will be asked to direct the City Clerk to solicit applications to fill Turner’s seat and work with the Mayor to set a date for interviews at either a regular or special meeting. But they could be asked to just nominate and elect a new mayor pro tem.