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Police are investigating a fatal crash involving a bicyclist in Clearlake Tuesday evening. They have arrested the driver they say hit the biker, and charged him with misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter. Officers say 18-year-old Johnny Leon-Rojas of Clearlake was driving the Toyota Tundra that hit the bicycle around 5:45 at Boyles Avenue near 26th Avenue. The rider was a man in his mid 40’s from Clearlake. He died at the scene. Leon-Rojas was booked into the county jail and is due in court on Thursday.

The heavy rain has moved on, but the flooding it caused has left a nasty, potentially harmful, mess. Mendocino County says that standing water in the low-lying areas along the Russian and Navarro rivers could contain human fecal material, livestock manure, and other hazardous materials and should be approached with caution. Officials are advising you to avoid contaminated water, which could cause gastrointestinal illnesses when ingested, with
symptoms including vomiting, diarrhea, or nausea, particularly if you have any open cuts or sores. You should wash thoroughly with soap to remove any potential contaminants and apply antibiotic ointment to any wounds to discourage infection if you are exposed. If you think your drinking water has been contaminated, you should use bottled water until you get a water test through County Environmental Health. The county is also warning about using any gas-powered appliance inside—and about turning on the power in any area that has been under water. Public health officials say they will keep an eye on the cleanup to keep everyone safe.

Ukiah police have arrested a man and charged him with stealing a car from Willits. Cops got a hit from their license plate reader Tuesday morning in the area of East Perkins Street and found two people inside the car swiped from Willits on Monday. The passenger is accused of possession of a stolen vehicle, and possession of dagger officers say he had on him. The woman who was driving had no idea she was using a stolen car and said the supsect was just giving her a lift. She was released, but he was booked into the county jail.

The Mendocino County sheriff’s office is accusing a man from Ukiah of threatening to kill a woman during an altercation on South State Street. Officers called to a disturbance there eventually found the 32-year-old suspect and charged him with felony criminal threats and violating his parole. The 53-year-old woman told police she feared for her life but wasn’t physically hurt.

The Mendocino Country sheriff’s office credits public cooperation for helping to find a theft suspect. The theft happened at a business on North State Street where officers say a woman and man went to pay but instead grabbed the items and ran. Deputies picked up the woman after their investigation, but they didn’t know who the man was. They put his picture on Facebook, and a couple hours later, online sleuths were able to ID him. The woman was arrested, and the rest of the case was turned over to the DA for further action. The stolen merchandise was returned to the business.

An alert resident who tipped off police after his mail was stolen may have helped solve a series of other mail thefts in Ukiah. Deputies say the man from Old River Road got a good look at the vehicle that pulled up and took his mail. Based on that description, deputies found the vehicle with three people inside. Also inside were 16 pieces of mail reported stolen from the Old River Road and Tribe Ranch Road areas. The driver and one passenger were charged with taking the mail, and the other passenger was ticketed for a couple outstanding warrants. Deputies say the case is a good example of an alert resident seeing something and quickly reporting it.

A chase after an attempted traffic stop has led to several charges. Mendocino County sheriff’s deputies say the driver took off after they saw some traffic violations on North Talmadge Road in Ukiah. The chase continued toward the city and ended when the CHP put down some stop sticks near Brush Street, where the suspect bailed. He was quickly caught and arrested. The suspect is accused of felony reckless evading, felony bail jumping from another charge, resisting arrest, and other charges. He ended up in the county jail on $60,000 bail.

The EPA wants the public to look over a plan to clean up the Sulphur Bank Mercury Mine Superfund site in Clearlake Oaks, EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator Martha Guzman says the plan is the first step to cleaning up the contaminated soil and reducing mercury levels in Clear Lake. It involves clearing the mine area and contaminated soil in the sovereign territory of the Elem Indian Colony Tribe and nearby residential areas. There will be a public hearing on January 25th from 5:30 to 7:30. to review that draft. After gathering public comment for the next year, the EPA hopes to start the cleanup as soon as 2025. The 160-acre site on the shore of Clearlake contains 2.5 million tons of mine waste. It has been a designated superfund site since 1990.

Non-life-threatening wounds for a man shot in a holstering accident at Highland Springs Range in Lakeport. The Lake Count Sheriffs office says the guest at the range was injured when the gun accidentally went off, leaving the bullet in his thigh. The victim went to the hospital but was later released.

You might have a hard time finding local oysters on the menu and if you do, they’ll likely cost more. The heavy rains have sent lots of runoff into oyster beds, so the state has shut down the harvest for the time being. Oyster farmers say it is not unusual for winter storms to close the beds, but this year has been worse than usual,. That means there could be a supply pinch until testing shows the harvest is safe again.

PG&E says it is holding off—for now—cutting down a 160 foot tall Ponederoa Pine in Mendocino County that is home to some nesting Bald Eagles. A couple dozen protesters have been gathering at the tree for the past couple weeks, saying it should be protected because of the nest and because it sits on tribal land of the Coyote Valley Band of Pomo Indians. PG&E says the tree is a hazard to nearby power lines, but that it will review other options before moving ahead with plans to take it down.

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