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Category Archives: 94.5 K-Wine News

94.5 K-Wine Local News Reports

There’s a new proposed bus route through the downtown core of Ukiah. The Traffic Engineering Committee is considering the new route today which would also mean the removal of around 15 parking spaces near the courthouse, the Grace Hudson Museum and the Ukiah Valley Conference Center. The Daily Journal reports the proposal’s been submitted by the Mendocino Transit Authority for today’s meeting. The paperwork says the new route would bring transit service to the Oak Manor neighborhood on the eastside and Todd Grove park on the westside.

The new main courthouse proposed in Lake County is at the top of the priority list for the Judicial Council to consider this week. The meeting Thursday afternoon in San Francisco. As we’ve reported the local courthouse and several others in the region have been pushed up to the top of the list. The courthouse construction projects have to first be considered by the Judicial Council’s Court Facilities Advisory Committee. An updated priority list of 80 projects will be looked at with Lakeport’s in the top spot. And the second is for a new Ukiah courthouse in Mendocino County.

Still no sign of a man who went overboard off the Sonoma Coast. Four fisherman from Fort Bragg in the fishing boat that overturned Saturday outside Bodega Bay. The four were aboard Miss Hailee when a big wave hit the boat, turning it over. Two men and a woman were pulled out of the water by a Coast Guard helicopter. The fourth fisherman has not been found and was presumed dead. A distress signal had been sent out, and an airplane, helicopter and two patrol boats. The man lost apparently did have on a life vest, but rescuers were unsure he had on other protective gear.

A new report shows even as the Governor pillories PG&E for not upgrading its infrastructure, he and his wife had accepted donations from the utility. The Press Democrat reports Gov. Newsom has received more than $700,000 from Pacific Gas & Electric, its foundation and employees for political campaigns, ballot initiatives, his inauguration and his wife’s foundation and film projects. The information obtained in a records request by the Washington Post show Newsom’s ties to PG&E. Newsom called out the utility company last week for corporate greed.

PG&E is about to endure yet another investigation… this time into the public safety power shutoffs. The California Public Utilities Commission’s reportedly trying to limit the shutoffs in the future and is expected to start a new investigation into Pacific Gas & Electric at their meeting this week.  The commission is expected to question the company to see if they were following commission regulations during the intentional power downs. The commission president calling out the utility saying the state can’t continue with the shutoffs like they did last month. The commission’s expected to demand that utility companies are better prepared in the future so shutoffs are less impactful on Californians.

The City of Clearlake may be able to secure thousands for affordable housing. The Record Bee reports the city’s up for as much as $160,000 in affordable housing grants from the state, so the city manager is poised to ask the city council for permission to apply. A senate bill passed last year, the Building Homes and Jobs Act comes with a permanent revenue source for affordable housing development. The money comes from a small fee tacked on to all real estate transactions. So far $123 million came in this year. That is divided up into $160,000 pieces for local jurisdictions to use to pay for affordable housing projects.

A man from Kelseyville killed in a car crash over the weekend has not been identified yet so his family can first be notified. The 78 year old died in a Saturday night crash on Highway 29 north of Main Street. The CHP reports April Flores of Lakeport was southbound on Highway 29 and the man was stopped at a stop sign when he suddenly turned left onto the highway into Flores’ path. Flores car hit the victim’s which went off the highway and rolled, partially ejecting the man. The CHP says the man did not have on a seat belt. Flores was uninjured and stayed at the scene until emergency responders arrived. The man pronounced dead at the scene.

A new CEO being sought by the Lake County Fair Board of Directors. A search is underway after the last CEO, Courtny Conkle left in September. Courtny got a job in another state so the Fair Board is on the lookout for a new leader. The board president says they’re looking for someone who’s sharp, to implement their policies and manage day-to-day operations. The pay is roughly $80-100,000 per year.  CEO applications should be received by Dec. 6, 2019.

 

 

 

 

People who get EBT CalFresh food benefits in Mendocino County can now get reimbursed for any food that was lost in last month’s public safety power shutoffs. The state has waived some of the usual requirements to report lost food so those who were affected can get a replacement benefit more quickly. To find out more, you can contact the Department of Social Services offices in Ukiah and Fort Bragg before November 22nd—a week from Friday.

Police in Willits nabbing a suspected prowler early this morning while out on routine patrol. Officers say they spotted a man acting strange outside a home on Raymond Lane around 3:30 and when they tried to talk to him he ran. Cops eventually caught him a short distance away. The man told police his name was Erik Estrada—as in the actor—but he was later identified as Michael Estrada, who they say had an outstanding warrant from Sacramento County. Estrada was booked into the county jail on the warrant and several other charges.

Plans for improving transit facilities in Lake County are now available for review. The Lake Area Planning council has looked at conditions of things like bus shelters, signs and benches and suggested ways they might be made better. You can read that draft report on either the Area Planning Council or Lake Transit website and leave comments there for the next 30 days.

A warning about a disease that kills oak trees that appears to be spreading in the state’s coastal counties. Scientists at Berkeley say they have have found a sharp increase in the number cases of Sudden Oak Death–or SOD–in just the last year. Those experts say they are worried that SOD is hitting more trees in more places than before along the coast from Monterrey to Humboldt Counties. Those researchers have been using data collected by volunteers for the last 12 years to monitor the health of those oaks. Now, they say more trees are at risk, and that more dead trees means more fuel for wildfires. The pathogen can be controlled, but only if people are aware of it and treat or remove other trees near those that have been infected.

A home in Ukiah seriously damaged after a fire breaks out in its garage. The Ukiah Valley Fire Authority reports on Friday’s fire near the corner of Mendocino Drive and Pomolita Way. Someone reportedly heard an explosion then saw flames and when firefighters arrived, the garage was totally engulfed. Nobody was inside the home at the time, but a small dog died. The fire was spreading into the kitchen and living room, but it was stopped before doing any more damage. No word yet if the fire was suspicious or not, but at first look, they said it appeared accidental.

A fire lookout tower on top of Mt. Konocti had to be closed down after a safety inspection. The volunteer staffed 50-foot tall tower reopened in 2015 after being closed for 12 years. At the reopening meeting at the tower was about the time the Valley Fire started. Four more seasons have passed, and fire officials say there have been several dozen first reports from the tower. But a Cal Fire safety inspection Oct. 3rd found it was unsafe to occupy so it was closed two days later. Apparently there were cracks found in its support beams and it has floor and roof damage.

A man from Nice has been sent to prison for ten years for spousal abuse and arson. Lake Co News reports Michael Ward was found guilty of abusing his wife who says he pushed her down, hurting her arm and flushed her deceased mother’s ashes down the toilet. And another couple times threatened to burn their home with a blow torch. One of the times, lit several items in the house on fire. A neighbor also reported the couple’s kids told them Ward had a blow torch and was trying to light their house on fire. Ward’s charged with arson of a residence, attempted arson, criminal threats, false imprisonment, and child endangerment.

A special meeting’s being called of the Lakeport City Council regarding the new seawall proposed for Library Park. The meeting tomorrow night to discuss the seawall seriously damaged nearly three years ago in a flood event. The city’s had to keep parts of the park fenced off since the February 2017 event. FEMA is supposed to be funding the new seawall, but Lake County News reports there have been several complications. So now the city council will decide who to award the bid to. They’re considering the lowest bidder, West Coast Contractors out of Oregon who bid just under $800,000. The engineer estimate is $1 million. Construction is estimated to start Dec. 23rd.

After a car accident in Kelseyville Saturday, one person has died. The crash about dinner time on Highway 29 at Main Street. Firefighters found one car on its side and someone inside was partially ejected. The CHP reported a truck and sedan in the crash and the truck was the one that rolled. An air ambulance was called and canceled for a critically injured person who died. The other driver had minor injuries.  Lake Co News reports it’s the fourth traffic-involved fatality in two weeks.

After nearly a day of searching for a man who vanished after his fishing boat vanished off the Sonoma Coast, the Coast Guard has called off the search. The Coast Guard presuming the person on board the 54-foot commercial fishing boat, Miss Hailee, died. The boat capsized Saturday night off Bodega Bay with four people falling into the water. One man continued to be missing. Three were rescued Saturday night and the search continued for the fourth thru Sunday afternoon, covering nearly 400 miles over 16 hours.

A woman from Santa Rosa is recovering after a solo car crash near Graton where she was trapped for more than six hours. The Press Democrat reports the woman was driving early yesterday morning and ran a stop sign at the Highway 116 intersection, crossed the highway, went over a dirt berm driving thru pine trees, rolling and landing upside down on private property. The woman wasn’t found until 9 am after crashing around 230 am. Graton and Forestville firefighters cut the doors off the car to free her. She ended up in the hospital in serious condition, but was said to be alert and conscious.

Even though they’re pretty sure the Northshore Fire District’s Measure N tax didn’t pass, the Lake County Registrar of Voters Office says there are still some ballots to count. Lake Co News reports the Fire District’s board chair says some residents told them they never even got a ballot or got them too late. The parcel tax on the ballot for voters in the district, more than 6,300 on the Northshore. The news site reports there were four precincts open in Clearlake Oaks, Lucerne, Nice and Upper Lake. It needed a supermajority of 66.7 percent to pass, but early tally’s showed 63.01 percent were yeses, just barely falling short to pass.

A missing hiker’s body has been found in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park. The man, 40 year old Alan Stringer of Huntington Beach had been reported missing last Monday after he didn’t get home when he was supposed to. The Inyo County Sheriff’s Office reports the body was found Thursday at the top of the Darwin Glacier. The man apparently had no hiking plans, but did recently purchase hiking equipment and took a mountaineering course.

Scrutiny against the State Christmas tree. Apparently the first one had a crack, and a new one has been brought to the capitol. It’s sparse, not Charlie Brown sparse, but not very full. One arborist said it’s a perfect tree, and other’s say it’s ugly. Some people interviewed by local Sacramento reporters say the tree isn’t what they expected. The 60 foot or so White Fir taken from a state forest in Shasta County.

California has pulled the licenses of around 400 legal marijuana related businesses after those companies failed to complete some mandatory training. According to a publication in Colorado that covers the cannabis business, that move could affect around 5 percent of California’s legal marijuana trade.. It means those retailers distributors and microbusiness will have to close down until they meet the requirements. The State Bureau of Cannabis Control says the training involved the state’s online track and trace system that helps them monitor the cannabis supply chain Officials say they expect those businesses to quickly finish the training so they can log into the tracking system and resume sales. Industry groups are worried that the closures could cause customers to turn to the black market, at least temporarily. There is no word on just WHAT business have been affected.

The city of Lakeport is looking for people who want to get involved in local government. Applications are being taken for voluntary spots on the The Lakeport Planning Commission Parks and Recreation Commission, the Lakeport Fire Protection District Board and the Lakeport Economic Development Advisory Committee. You can find out more on the city website on the community news page. Those selected will start on January 1st

Monday is Veterans Day and several communities are planning observances. In Lakeport, there will be a ceremony at 11:00 AM at the Konocti Vista Casino. State and federal offices, including the post office, are closed. Also on Monday, Mendocino Transit Authority services will be limited to just two routes—65 and 95—so employees can take part in annual training. There is more information on those schedules on the website mendocinotransit.org.

The Lake County Military Honors team and some local students will take down the flag for the season at at Austin Park in Clearlake next week. The ceremony will also include representatives of other community organizations. The ceremony is set for Tuesday, November 12th at 11:00 am. The flag will be properly folded and stored away until is is raised over the park again in May.

We are less than 3 weeks away from Thanksgiving, and quickly after that we swing into the Christmas mode. One of the first big events of the season in Lake County is set for Clearlake on December 7. The annual Christmas at the Lake Parade is already taking applications to join the lineup. You can contact the Clear Lake Chamber of commerce to get one.

A man accused of murder and drug and weapons charges in Fort Bragg has been found guilty. Wing Wo Ma, a/k/a Mark Ma, a/k/a Fat Mark convicted for the murder of Jim Tat Kong and Cindy Bao Feng Chen in October of 2013. Wo Ma arrested by the FBI after the couple was shot to death as they sat in their minivan. Ma had borrowed money from Kong for multiple business ventures including a cannabis business and a real estate scheme in Mendocino County. He could not repay the money though, so cops say he killed the couple then left their van parked in a secluded, wooded area in Mendocino County. He was also found guilty of bribing an Alameda County District Attorney investigator so he wouldn’t be prosecuted.

A man suspected of robbing the Coast Cinema in Fort Bragg has been arrested. The police chief reports Matthew Vicchione was arrested yesterday afternoon for Armed Robbery, criminal threats and burglary. Officers were asking for the public’s help finding the suspect. They say Vicchione went into he theater, showed a handgun, and demanded money at a cash register, then took off. Fort Bragg Police, the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office, a SWAT team, and agents from State Parole worked the case. Vicchione has been charged and booked into the Mendocino County Jail in Ukiah.

It’s been a year since the Camp Fire, the deadliest in Calif. history, burned the town of Paradise and devastated nearby towns. From here on out, November 8th is going to be known in Butte County as Camp Fire Remembrance Day. The Butte County Board of Supervisors passed the resolution Tuesday as a survivor read it out loud. It calls for a moment of silence at 11:08 a.m. the same as the date, the 11th month and 8th day. And still others want it to be 85 seconds long to remember the 85 killed in the fire.

A town hall in Crescent City with some lawmakers to discuss the repair and realignment of the 101 by Last Chance Grade. The area’s been unstable for some time and community members are looking for solutions. Congressman Jared Huffman in town for the meetup where about 100 people from Del Norte showed up. Assemblyman Jim Wood and State Senator Mike McGuire were also on hand. But local officials and residents want the work to move along and not be stagnant. The project is not set to finish construction until 2039. The Crescent City Mayor said they need the work done yesterday. And the chair of the Del Norte County Board of Supervisors emphasized they need an open and safe highway for local residents.

Another town hall with residents to get input on several safety and access improvements for pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists in Lakeport. The potential work on 11th street and surrounding areas discussed with the City Council. The project won’t be finalized until next year. The community design project manager has reportedly been working with the Local Government Commission and reaching out to residents for feedback. The Record Bee reports the project’s final plan and other ideas will help with access and safety for users of the 11th Street corridor.

No state or federal aid coming to the rescue after the Kincade fire even though it burned almost 80,000 acres. The Press Democrat reports the county and landowners will have to pay for the debris cleanup after the fire took down 174 homes and 200 other buildings. The county had the largest evacuation ever, 200,000 people. The Deputy County Administrator told the Press Democrat the fire was not at the level to receive a federal declaration and the state says it’s not a big enough disaster for Cal Recycle. The county will start the hazardous waste cleanup program next week at no cost to fire survivors. But landowners will have to do whatever other debris cleanup that is not hazardous.

Unofficial returns show voters in the Northshore Fire Protection district have apparently rejected a proposal for a special real property tax to pay for fire and EMS services, new equipment, and hiring. Figures posted on the County Registrar of Voters website show Measure N fell short of the 66.7 percent super majority vote needed with 63 percent of the voters saying “Yes” and 37 percent saying “No”. Any ballot stamped by Tuesday has to be in the registrar’s office by tomorrow to be counted so the numbers could still change. Those website figures so far show about 28 percent of registered voters took part in Tuesday’s election, and that most of them used absentee or mail in ballots instead of going to one of the four poling place that were set up. The county has 30 days to certify the results.

The Mendocino County Sheriff’s office says the California Department of Fish and Wildlife is investigating the death of a pig found stabbed to death early last month in Riverside Park in Ukiah. The Ukiah Daily Journal reports that the animal was apparently one of the dozens of animals kept in an enclosure just north of the park for the past few months and that officials think this was an isolated case. There are no suspects. The pig found under a shopping cart, leading the sheriffs office to speculate that whoever killed it, was trying to move the dead animal. The County Animal Control office is also looking into reports that the pigs kept near the park were mistreated while they were penned in.

Stocks of PG & E way down today after the utility reported its liability for wildfires in the third quarter added up to almost 2 point 5 billion dollars, leading to a 1 point 6 billion dollar loss for the company for the three month period. PG & E took that big financial hit for claims related to the 2017 Northern California Wildfires and the 2018 Camp Fire settled since its last financial statement three months ago. Without those claims, the company would have actually made a profit of 590 million dollars. Its been a tough year for PG & E. Its shares have cratered from 48 dollars last November to around 6 dollars now.

A warning from the Lakeport Police Department about some potentially deadly pills that might be on the streets. Some pills marked as Oxycodone seized in a drug raid earlier this year have been tested and found to be made of FENTANYL instead. Police are worried because it appears those drugs were destined for illegal sales in the local community. While investigators aren’t sure how much fentanyl is in each pill, they say even a small amount can be fatal and because the pills look legit, users might not even know just what they are taking. The DEA says it has seen a recent increase in similar counterfeit pills laced with Fentanyl, apparently manufactured in Mexico and smuggled across the border to be sold in the US.

Record numbers in California are registered to vote, more than 20-point-3 million, 3 million more than during the same time in 2016. The stats from the Secretary of State Alex Padilla who says we’re ten percent higher than the 2016 presidential election. He predicts massive turnout for the 2020 presidential election…

:07  “Automatic voter registration and online registration have empowered millions of citizens to register to vote.”

The state will also mail ballots to all voters next year. You can make sure your registration is up to date at VoterStatus.sos.ca.gov and first-time voters can go to RegisterToVote.ca.gov. You also can register on election day itself at any polling place or early-vote center.

California’s primary is March 3rd. Padilla says those registered with any of the political parties can only vote in that party’s primary.

:10  “No-party-preference voters can, however, request to vote in the Democratic Party, Libertarian Party or American Independent Party’s presidential primary.”

Democrats make up the largest bloc of registered voters in California, followed by “no party preference,” with Republicans coming in third.

Fort Bragg police looking for help finding a robber. The police department looking for residents to review surveillance video if they have it on private cameras around Coast Cinemas. A robber they say, probably parked their car in the area and might have tossed a disguise near the theater after leaving late Sunday or Monday. Anyone with private surveillance cameras within a three block radius of the theater are asked to send video of up to thirty minutes to the police department. You can even pickup a recordable DVD from the department. They say they’ll accept anonymous submissions, but they’re not preferred.

Agencies involved in cannabis licensing have an online workshop next week to outline rules for anyone applying for a state cultivating license. The e-session with representatives of the State Water Resources Council, the Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Department of Food and Agriculture is planned for next Tuesday, November 12th. Officials say they want to make sure potential operators understand all the rules and regulations they’ll encounter along the way as they work through the application process. The workshop is free but you’ll have to sign up though the Fish and Wildlife website if you want to log in.

3 people have been arrested on drug charges in Humboldt County, found with a bunch of heroin. The Humboldt County Drug Task Force and the Sheriff’s Office had been tracking one person after a tip, Aaron Anthony Nelson for dealing drugs in Humboldt County. Agents got a search warrant for Nelson and his car, and found him, detaining him with two others in the car, Kathlene Mellon and Paul McElroy. The car was searched and nearly a pound of heroin packaged for sales was found along with digital scales, packaging material, and other drug paraphernalia. Mellon and McElroy were cited and released on drug charges and Nelson was arrested and booked on possession and transportation of controlled substances for sales and probation violation.

The commercial Dungeness Crab Season is being postponed. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife delayed the Nov. 15th start date for the fishery south of the Mendocino/Sonoma county line because of risks of entanglement in fishing gear. Now the opening is a week later, Friday, Nov. 22nd.  And 18 hours ahead of that, all of the traps can be set and baited and the presoak can start a day before. The Dungeness Crab Fishing Gear Working Group will be working closely with the state agency to get the word out of any other changes and to review scientific information and help with efforts to minimize the risk of whale and sea turtle entanglements.

For more information on Dungeness crab, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/crab.

A fatal strain of opoid recently found in Lakeport. Lakeport Police say lab results confirmed pills found this past spring had fentanyl in them. The drug found after a traffic stop for an equipment violation. Lake Co News reports Leopoldo Bravo of Kelseyville was on probation and searched. He was found with more than an ounce of cocaine, 100 opioid tablets and nearly $2,000 in cash. The police chief says the pills were marked or appeared to be pharmaceutical grade oxycodone tablets. They were sent to a lab and found to contain fentanyl.

A man accused of murdering his traveling companion from Illinois will be going to trial next year. Lake Co News reports 21 year old Mavrick Fisher in court Tuesday for his arraignment in the death of 25-year-old Grant Whitaker. The two both deaf traveled to Calif. where they were looking to build a deaf farming community. They were camping in Humboldt County where Whitaker met his fate, killed by a rock to the head last August. Cops say they think Fisher wrapped Whitaker’s body in a sleeping bag and dumped it at a property on Scotts Valley Road near Lakeport. Fisher was arrested in Mexico, the day the body was found. The trial date set for January 2nd, but before that a settlement conference next month.

The Eagle fire which started in a remote area near Clearlake Oaks is fully contained. And so is the massive Kincade Fire. The Eagle fire started Monday night off Walker Ridge Road and Bartlett Springs Road and burned only 75 acres. The much larger Kincade fire which took down several homes and burned the most area ever in Sonoma County has also been contained. The fire burning for two weeks triggered massive evacuations after breaking out October 23rd in the Geysers geothermal steamfield. At one point more than 90,000 homes were threatened.  The fire burned nearly 77,760 acres. Its cause is under investigation, but PG&E reported a failed transmission line in The Geysers near the origin of the fire.

Lake County is taking on a massive project, revising all eight area plans. At the BOS meeting, staffers were instructed to get to work on the revisions, but first an outside consultant is being hired to be sure environmental regulations are met. The Lower Lake area plan will reportedly be first, as it’s the oldest of any plan in the county. The rest will come after that.

Two members of the Lakeport City Council have been appointed with an alternate for the ad-hoc committee regarding public safety power shutoffs. The committee will draft communications and support the community. The two active members will be Mireya Turner and Stacey Mattina and their alternate is George Spurr. There will also be officials with the County on the committee. The Lakeport City Manager says they went with the committee after a joint meeting with Clearlake and the County last week.

An emergency ordinance has been passed by the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors against price gouging after local emergencies. The county got complaints from people who experienced massive price increases for lodging, gas, and water during last month’s PG&E Public Safety Power Shutoffs. The ordinance says any business charging more than 10% more than previous pricing before the emergency declaration could face criminal prosecution and face a year in jail or a fine of up to $20,000, or both. The new ordinance goes into effect January 5th of 2020.

The name of the man killed in a crash with a Pacific Gas and Electric Co. truck in Southern Humboldt has been released. 26 year old Colby Kyle of Mississippi was a subcontractor for the energy company in Northern Calif. He was killed in a crash a day before a PG&E power shutoff while driving a Freightliner truck Oct. 25th. The truck veered off the side of the road and rolled. There were no other vehicles involved. No word why the truck went off the road yet or how fast he was going.

Gold Certification has been awarded to Adventist Health Howard Memorial Hospital for Excellence in in Person-Centered Care. The award by Planetree International recognizing the hospital’s achievement and innovation for in person-centered care. It’s one of 96 healthcare organizations across the globe to get the designation. It’s the highest level of achievement for in person-centered care and the only award recognizing the care across the continuum of care according to the president of Planetree International. They’re a nonprofit positioning itself as at the forefront of the movement to transform healthcare from the perspective of patients.

 

Crews still working the the line in a remote part of Lake County as the Eagle Fire continues to burn. Cal Fire reporting the 75 acre fire northeast of Clearlake is 65 percent contained, with continued progress toward full containment.

A fast response this morning keeping a grass fire in Mendocino County from spreading. That fire called in just off highway 101 at Burke Hill South of Ukiah. Crews were able to contain the flames when they got there and spent the early part of the afternoon mopping up.

As work to contain the 77,000 acre Kincade fire continues, CalFire is saying thanks to people in the affected area. Fire Division Chief Jonathan Cox putting out a video message today saying if it weren’t for people in the fire zone heeding evacuation orders, and for property owners maintaining a clear space around their buildings, fighting the fire would have been even harder. He also says it’s important to remember that the wildfire season is far from over, so anyone outside should be very careful.

The Lake County Sheriff’s Department has identified a pedestrian hit killed last night in Nice. First responders found 58 year old Peter Grundig of Nice along the side of Highway 20 near Hudson Avenue where he was pronounced dead. So far no word on any potential charges against the driver involved as the investigation continues.

There is a new judge on the Mendocino County Court bench. Governor Newsom has appointed Victoria Shanahan of Windsor to replace Judge David Reimenschneider, who announced his retirement last month. Shanahan has been a private practice criminal defense lawyer in Santa Rosa since 2015. Her background also includes working as chief Deputy District Attorney in Mendocino County from 2002 to 2007 and an unsuccessful run for Sonoma County DA in 2014.

Second District Congressman Jared Huffman is taking a break from Washington later this week and while he is back home he plans to meet with his constituents. His office says Huffman will have a Town Hall meeting this Saturday in Fort Bragg. The meeting—scheduled from 10:30 to noon at the Dana Gray Elementary School on Chestnut Street. Several topics likely to come up, including the impeachment proceeding in Washington, environmental issues, and the recent PG & E Public Safety Power Shutoffs. The shutoffs were personal for Huffman. He was one of the thousands of people affected when his lights went out late last month while he was at his home in Marin County.

 

An addition to Mendocino College Health Center’s board of directors. Katie Fairbairn, the executive director of the Mendocino College Foundation and part of 100+ Women Strong Inland Mendocino County. The board says they invited Fairbairn because she’s dedicated to community-building, and because of her interest and experience involving health insurance benefits. She says she was impressed by the board’s smart and thoughtful leaders and its dedication to providing “the most needed healthcare to the neediest populations.”

A woman in Butte County’s been arrested after scamming a Camp Fire survivor out of thousands. The Sheriff’s office reports arresting 29 year old Brenda Asbury for elder abuse, embezzlement and grand theft after scamming a 75 year old who lost their home in the fire last year out of more than $63,000 from an insurance settlement. The woman turned herself in to cops Monday after driving back from Tulsa, Oklahoma. She’s in jail on $63,100 bail and is supposed to be arraigned tomorrow.

Two fires near homeless encampments keep Ukiah Fire Authority staffers on their toes. Thick, black smoke reported from a fire under the bridge above the Russian River along Lake Mendocino Dr. yesterday morning. Furniture ignited, creating the thick smoke by someone, officials say was either cooking or trying to warm up. Another fire on the Rail Trail near East Gobbi Street Monday afternoon. The Fire Authority says it was the same sort of situation, someone started a cooking or warming fire.

Final plans for the Streetscape Project to be presented to the Ukiah City Council. The project also known as the Road Diet because four lanes will be reconstructed down to three with a turn lane. The design team for the project says it’s not the most attractive thing to call it, but it’s the right solution for the downtown area, and a way to reduce how many crashes happen and how serious they are.  The staff report for this evening’s meeting says the plans and specifications are after ten years of extensive feedback from the City Council and stakeholders. If there’s an approval, the bidding process could begin in less than a month.

A group of Sonoma County mayors and county leaders say they want Pacific Gas & Electric to be turned into a customer-owned power company. A letter sent by the group to the California Public Utilities Commission with a proposal from the mayor of San Jose to create a cooperative. The mayors of Petaluma, Windsor, Sonoma and Cotati signing on. It comes after four back to back public safety power shutoffs, the utility being found responsible for multiple deadly fires and the San Bruno gas explosion. PG&E filed for bankruptcy protection in January with $30 billion in liabilities from the wildfires.

The DMV is being blamed for revealing private information to other government entities for thousands under some sort of criminal investigation. State officials say the information on more than 3,000 people was given to seven government agencies, including Social Security numbers to see if they were real or bogus or if that person was ineligible for a Social Security number. Those people were under investigation by various district attorney’s in two counties, San Diego and Santa Clara. The people affected got letters from the DMV to assure them, they were not being investigated.

The CEO of PG&E has been called to the Governor’s office. Gov. Newsom giving PG&E until next June to solve its chapter 11 bankruptcy. The closed door meeting yesterday where the governor reportedly told CEO Bill Johnson how the recent blackouts affected the medically infirm, and how small businesses and schools were also impacted with closures. Newsom also reportedly threatened a possible takeover of the company. Johnson says he understood the hardship they caused and apologized, but said his goal was to make sure nobody died, and they achieved that.

 

Crews continue working at the Eagle Fire in lake County. CalFire says the fire, about 12 miles northeast of Clearlake in a remote location near Walker Ridge Road and Bartlett Springs Road, has burned around 75 acres and is about 40 percent contained. The National Weather Service says the Eagle Fire and the growing Ranch Fire to the northeast in Tehama County are contributing to hazy skies and what forecasters call “moderate” air quality across much of the region.

The Ukiah Valley Fire Authority responding to a couple fires, including one this morning along the Russian River, near what authorities think are homeless encampments. This morning’s fire, called in around 7AM under a bridge along Lake Mendocino Drive apparently started by someone trying to stay warm with a cook stove and spread to some nearby junk The Ukiah Daily news reporting that there was also a similar fire on Monday Afternoon along the Rail Trail near East Gobbi Street. Fire Division Chief Jeff Adair is glad that people nearby have been alert, spotting the fires and calling them in, especially since today’s fire was fairly close to some neighboring homes. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office has been called in to look at the cases

Police are investigating an armed holdup at a Fort Bragg movie theater. Officers—called to the Coast Cinemas on South Franklin Street just after 7 on Monday evening, after a report that a man with a gun demanded money from an employee, grabbed the cash from the register and ran. Nobody was hurt. That suspect is described as a white man in his 40s, about 6 feet tall with what was described as a deep voice, who was wearing a black and orange beanie with a California Flag, a large puffy jacket and blue jeans with a hammer loop. Detectives are looking at surveillance video and following up on leads and would like to hear from anyone who has any information about the case. Any tips provided can be kept anonymous.

The Mendocino County Board of Supervisors ratifying a proclamation of a local emergency issued last month because of the Public Safety Power Shutoffs. That proclamation clears the way for the county to look for money to reimburse any additional costs incurred because of the shutoffs and to consider any emergency related ordinances that might be needed. Today’s board meeting was on the road, as members convened in Mendocino. Supervisors say meeting there gave them a chance to hear the specific concerns of people along the coast, without those residents having to travel to Ukiah.

Polls in the Northshore Fire protection district in Lake County are open until 8:00, as voters decide on a special property tax to fund fire and EMS services, hire firefighters and buy some new equipment. To find out where to vote, and more about the Measure N proposal, you can check the Lake County Website. The Registrars Office is also open, to take mail in ballots and answer any questions.

Lakeport Police say last month’s national drug take back day was a success. The department says about 40 people safety disposed of 48.3 pounds of prescription medications, including opioids like Oxycodone, Dilaudid and Fentanyl, keeping them off the streets and out of the environment. Police say even though the drug take back day happens only twice a year, they always accept unwanted prescription meds at the station during normal business hours.

Two people are being held without bail in Lake County after police say they found stolen items in their car, plus drugs and other stolen items at their home. Sheriff’s Deputies say they were called to the area of Kokanee Way and Soda Bay Road in Kelseyville last Thursday for reports of a suspicious person in the area. That’s where they found an unoccupied black BMW blocking a driveway and inside, items taken from the Grace Evangelical Free Church in Kelseyville. Also inside—papers leading them to 33 year old Nichirein Langston and 28 year old Elona Vizzi, of Kelseyville. Cops later arrested the two at their home, where the officers say they found two ounces of meth, 134 pounds of marijuana, dozens of prescription pills, along with two chain saws, a leaf blower, tools, and a generator taken from the church and other places around the area. Langston and Vizzi are both now facing multiple charges. Officers say Langston admitted to taking the items and police are hoping to find the rightful owners. You can see them on the County Sheriff’s web page and claim them if you can prove they’re yours.