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Those who were affected in Mendocino County by winter storms at the end of December all thru January only have a short window left to register for help with FEMA. The FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers in Mendocino are closed, but residents can still register for assistance on the phone or online. They have multi-lingual operators and help for those using video relay, captioned telephone service, or other communication services. Tomorrow is the deadline for a loan from the SBA and FEMA help.

You can also register through or the FEMA mobile app. Or call, 800-621-3362. The FEMA Hotline is open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. The SBA’s Customer Service Center is: 800-659-2955 or email for more information.

A bunch of environmentalists say Caltrans didn’t follow the California Environmental Quality Act by moving forward with the Richardson Grove highway improvement project. The groups have filed a case against the state agency which has been trying to start the Highway 101 project expansion through Richardson Grove to allow larger commercial transportation trucks through the area. But the environmental groups say the project would harm nearby old-growth redwood trees and local ecosystems. The Center for Biological Diversity says the root system of the trees could be disturbed, causing health problem or trees falling. Caltrans says the project will help improve movement of goods in and out of the area.

An investigator has been hired by the Yurok Tribe to look into new or existing cases of Missing and Murdered Indigenous People in the North Coast. Julia Oliveira has about a quarter century of experience and is a member of the Wyandotte Tribe herself. She also worked for the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office for two decades. She has personally conducted missing persons and child sex abuse cases and is still part of the Sheriff’s Office Crisis Intervention Team. Her most recent work was as the leader of the Blue Lake Rancheria Tribal Police Department. She says she applied for this job because she was “very passionate about this subject”. The Yurok Tribe declared Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons an emergency in December 2021.

As the nation deals with a possible banking crisis, the Savings Bank in Willits has announced a closure for a remodel. This is just for one day to transform their lobby. They close March 31st and reopen April 3rd. The branch’s walk-up and drive-up ATMs are available 24/7, plus their drive-up Video Teller is also available. Hours of operation are the same. The new lobby will have no more physical barriers between staff and their customers, which they say will bring a more open, comfortable space to do business in. Savings Bank of Mendocino County says they are a strong, independent financial institution providing Mendocino and Lake Counties the dependability of a local community bank.

The continued winter storms have dumped so much heavy snow that several dozen homes and businesses in the greater South Lake Tahoe area have been damaged. Since late last week fire officials say they’ve been pounded with winter weather, and there’s more rain and snow on the way for the mountains and lower elevations. Cal Fire was out with over 200 crew members across their Amador-El Dorado unit inspecting buildings for damage and helping those stuck due to “extreme” winter conditions. Crews have inspected over 120 structures since last week, two-thirds were damaged. Of those nine have been red-tagged. On social media, South Lake Tahoe city officials said their two Raley’s supermarkets were temporarily closed. Their local T.J. Maxx was forced to close “due to structural issues” and ski resorts had to close because there was too much snow and wind was rocking chair lifts so they couldn’t run them.

They’re celebrating a milestone at Operation Tango Mike. It’s been twenty years for the group which has supported thousands of military personnel. It started with a few friends who had deployed to Afghanistan in 2003. Operation Tango Mike is military slang for Operation Thanks Much. The nonprofit sends up to 100 care packages a month to troops overseas. They also support military families with home repairs, transportation and more. They also give emotional support and welcome volunteers to help prepare the care packages. Their mantra, “forget politics, support our troops”.

For more information or to add someone to the care package recipient list, please call
707-349-2838 or e-mail

As a result of the non-stop, pounding rain, the Garcia River has reached flood stage and is spilling onto State Route 1. Caltrans has closed the highway in both directions in Point Arena. Elsewhere the state agency closed State Route 175 in Hopland between Highway 101 and Old River Rd. because the Russian River was flooding. It reached minor flood stage at 15 feet yesterday afternoon and was expected to crest last night. State Route 128 in Navarro also flooded yesterday, which is typical when we have continuous rain. There have also been reports of mud and rock slides and downed trees across Northern Calif. The National Weather Service Eureka is also warning to be alert for “excessive runoff” and flooding of rivers, creek, streams, and other low-lying and flood-prone areas.

A quarter million or so PG&E customers are without power in the Bay Area. As of dinner time last night the utility reported over 258,000 households had no services. Yesterday earlier in the day there were nearly 300,000 in the dark. The National Weather Service reported winds were taking down power poles and lines and damaging PG&E equipment.

You can report downed power lines by calling 911 or PG&E at 800-743-5002.

A man hit by a tree as he worked with a crew along State Route 128 is “responsive”. Caltrans District 1 reported a staff member was hurt last Saturday as he worked on a tree hazard project. The injury is being investigated. The Anderson Valley Fire Department Battalion Chief told local media the accident occurred after the tree the contractor was cutting split down the middle, something called “barber chairing”. He had to have advanced life support to help him breathe, then he was taken to a hospital in Santa Rosa.

A man who was wanted for bringing an automatic rifle into a restaurant in Santa Barbara has been caught and arrested in Mendocino County. Police say in July of 2020, Jaime Soto Hernandez went inside a restaurant with an “AK-47-type assault rifle.” Witnesses called 911 saying the guy was pointing the weapon at a woman and pulled the trigger, which fatefully malfunctioned. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s dept. reports catching him and booking him into prison for “attempted murder of a peace officer”. He’s held on $1 million bail. Santa Barbara police say what Hernandez did was a form of “domestic assault violence” since he and the woman he confronted “exchanged words at a restaurant table”, then he pulled the gun and tried to fire it.

Clear Lake is officially full. For the first time in quite some time, the lake hit, 7.56 feet Rumsey Tuesday. Lake Co News reports it’s the first time since May of 2019, a flood year. And even more rain is coming so the Lake could even hit the monitor stage of 8 feet Rumsey, 9 feet Rumsey is flood stage and that happened in March of 2019. As a comparison, last year, on this day, the Lake was at .43 feet Rumsey. But all of these atmospheric rivers that have been lining up since late last year have helped fill it back up.

The Public Health Emergency related to COVID19 in Lake County is officially over. The Board of Supervisors voted unanimously at their regular meeting yesterday to end the Resolution enacting the emergency three years ago. In the county, there have been over 13,660 cases so far and 157 people have died due to the virus. Across California over 11 million people have been infected and well over 100,000 people have died. The former Public Health Officer Dr. Gary Pace declared the Public Health Emergency and the board ratified it. The then Sheriff, Brian Martin also then proclaimed a local emergency. At the time though, there were no cases of coronavirus in the county. The first confirmed case was April 5th, 2020.

The Lakeport City Council’s having a special meeting to try to get several million dollars in funds from the federal government. The meeting tonight at 6pm is open to the public, with masks highly encouraged along with social distancing. The council will consider asking Congressman Mike Thompson to request two Community Project Funding infusions. The congressman’s office has informed the city he can only ask for a total of 15 Community Project Funding requests and there’s obviously no guarantee the city will receive any money. One request is for nearly $2M for a homeless help center in Lakeport; and the other is for nearly $32M for a recreational center in Clearlake.

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