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Category Archives: 94.5 K-Wine News

94.5 K-Wine Local News Reports

California is keeping conservation measures in place even though there’s been a ton of rain. The State Water Resources Control Board says the rules should stay put at least thru May. They say at that time, they can be re-evaluated after the rain passes. But towns and municipalities that have dropped strict watering rules, fines and various penalties don’t have to pick them back up. Other regions that have kept tight restrictions in place because of a shortage of supplies may keep them in place but may drop them if they can prove recent rains have helped get their reservoirs back to normal.

Lake County considering changes to the transportation plan. The Lake County/City Area Planning Council is updating the Regional Transportation Plan to cover the next couple of decades. They’re considering better sidewalks, bike paths and road extensions so they’re connected to shopping centers and housing. A Senior Planner for the Council says both Measures “V” and “Z” that will bolster revenue for such projects will help as money has dwindled in recent years. There will be a series of public workshops on the projects and transportation issues so the public can get involved in future plans.

A new director of Lake County Water Resources. The Board of Supervisors put Philip Moy in charge of all things water. He’s most recently been working as the Chief Scientist for a biological research program in Washington. He’ll be overseeing Lakebed Management, Flood Corridor Property Maintenance, Flood Control and the Watershed Protection District. The Water Resources Dept became its own agency last year.

Flood warning continuing for several rivers including the Navarro River At Navarro in Mendocino COUNTY. The rain is dying down ahead of another storm, so water should drain but the river’s going to rise thru mid morning today with the Flood Warning extended until this afternoon…or until its canceled. The river was at 19.4 feet overnight with minor flooding forecast. Flood Stage is 23.0 feet. It was predicted to crest this morning then go back down to flood stage later. The National Weather Service says there will be flooding of Highway 128 about 5 miles from Highway 1 and the road will be closed. A warning to not drive cars across flooded roads.

Free guided hikes are being offered by the Bureau of Land Management to find wintering bald eagles in the Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument. The hikes start this Saturday and will continue thru the middle of next month. If you want to go, you have to call the BLM’s Ukiah Field Office. They’re asking for early reservations because of the popularity of the hikes, which are limited to 25 participants.

The Mendocino County Employees Retirement Association is following the Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers to set the Cost of Living Adjustment. Before this they used the San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose Region, now it’s the entire Western Region. It means it’ll be based on an economic analysis by the Retirement Administrator for the Association. The latest analysis shows the Western Region as a better fit for inflation in Mendocino County. The Western Region is made up of Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.

As of the beginning of the year it became illegal to hold or in any way use a phone while driving. They can be used if they’re stuck to a dash or corner of the windshield, without blocking the driver’s view. It’s a reminder out of Lake County where there’s been reports of people still on their smartphones as they drive. Drivers have to use hands free technology and if they have to use their screen, only one swipe of the phone is allowed. Drivers under 18 are prohibited from using the phone for any reason and could get a ticket starting at $20. It’s also considered a moving violation so you can get a point on your driving record and possibly higher insurance rates. In Clearlake, police will be patrolling specifically to look for distracted drivers.

Caltrans’ reporting they’re preparing for the latest round of winter weather, on roads 24/7 monitoring state routes and keeping roads open and clear. Since forecasters are predicting 3 more storms in the next several days, some foothill areas could get up to three inches alone in the next 2 days. Snow levels may also drop to 4,000 feet in Northern California during the next few days. Crews will be out plowing snow, clearing culverts and drains, pumping water from roads, cutting trees, removing boulders, and will be close to moving vehicles. In the last week, they’ve been out to 30 emergencies after some $122 million in storm damage. They’re anticipating more closures and warn drivers to frequently check road conditions. They also say to expect unexpected delays and closures.

The latest in this next series of storms tapering off, but forecasters say there’s several more days of rain on the way. But as the National Weather Service reports there will only be about half the rain we got last week. The latest models show as much as a half foot of rain thru the middle of next week. More rain and wind on the way with snow levels predicted in the 3,000 and 4,000 foot range.

Clearlake is gearing up to collect more tax money through Measure V, that’ll go to road improvements. The City Council discussed the Measure last week with the Finance Director talking to the council about an agreement with the State Board of Equalization about the Measure and how the money will be used and administered. The agreement makes a promise to the state for reimbursement for costs of the set up of the whole process of collecting the tax. The money to go to resurfacing streets.

Senator Mike McGuire along with Sen. Scott Weiner have introduced a bill that means any future presidential or vice presidential candidates have to release tax returns before they can be on California’s ballot. Senator McGuire says it comes after the latest presidential election where the winner never released his tax returns to the American public, even after other presidential candidates have done so voluntarily for decades. SB 149 is not the first of its kind in the country, as New York has proposed a similar measure… If it passes any presidential candidate will have to file his tax returns with the state which will then be posted online so they can appear on the ballot. It has to be sent to the Secretary of State’s Office at least 70 days before the election.

A couple from Contra Costa County has been arrested with a stolen car containing drugs and a weapon at the Graton Casino. Apparently a casino guard saw Justin Lynn of Oakley fixing the license plate on a BMW in the parking lot and became suspicious after seeing two different license plates and loose ammunition on a seat. The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Dept. says they got a call and found Lynn had several arrest warrants for theft and drug cases in other counties. They also found methamphetamine and heroin in the man’s pockets and a loaded handgun and id’s and credit cards in the car. The woman with him, Kayla Tindall of Pittsburg also apparently had a bunch of IDs that were not hers. The two busted for felony possession of stolen property and other charges.

It’s back on the market, 267 acres in Cloverdale including the property’s permits for a resort hotel of up to 150 rooms, 40 bungalows, spa and restaurant, 130 homes, possible equestrian center, shops and stores. As we’ve reported, it was supposed to be a $200 million dollar project in the Alexander Valley. But apparently the project fell thru after a January 3rd deadline passed. The Mayor of the town says at the last minute the developer pulled out. He says they believe there will be another developer that will find the project to be right for them though. He says it could bring in $1.7 million in hotel and bed taxes and help bring tourists to Sonoma County’s northernmost city. No sale price has been publicized.

A couple of ordinances regarding medical marijuana are being passed by the Mendocino County Planning Commission. Then, if the two amendments known together as the Medical Cannabis Cultivation Regulation pass the board of supervisors, agricultural and zoning codes will change. The codes will more regulation for growing in various zones, at the same time protecting natural resources. The rules will work with the Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act recently passed by state lawmakers and signed by Gov. Brown. Permits would be issued by the county’s agriculture department starting in the year 2020. Those with permits already will get to apply before that. The new regulations would allow various gardens on one parcel, there would be relaxed rules on visibility and outdoor grows in industrial areas will not be allowed.

A former Mendocino County Sheriff’s Deputy is recovering after being shot on duty in Bonner County, Idaho. The Sheriff Tom Allman reports Justin Penn shot three times while he tried to serve an arrest warrant. He was with the Mendocino Sheriff’s Office from 2008 to 2011, leaving ahead of imminent layoffs. Since then, he’s been in Idaho on the job. Allman reports Deputy Penn as listed in fair condition and that his department wishes Penn a speedy recovery.

Lower opioid use reported in Lake County. Per the SafeRx Opioid Reduction Task Force, the use of black market and prescription use was down. That data from Partnership HealthPlan of California and the California Department of Public Health. The information released from January 2014 to August 2016 showed a 62 percent reduction in opioid use and an 85 percent reduction in high dose users when you count 100 Plan members. The study shows a 70% prescription rate drop too. They also report the strength of the opioid’s being prescribed was also down 30 percent.

Senator Mike McGuire is trying to get a bill he drafted that was denied, another go. The bill passed both legislative houses last time around but the Governor never signed it, letting it die. The bill to require the state to set money aside for Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) reimbursements to counties. McGuire says the state made a promise to advance the reimbursements from Fish and Wildlife to rural counties. He says for 15 years the state’s been putting the tax money into the General Fund, but it should have been going to help rural communities thrive. The PILT payments started back in 1949 to offset the potential impacts to county property taxes when the state acquires private property in a county for wildlife management areas.

A lawsuit to stop the Dollar General store in Redwood Valley from being built has been tossed. The suit brought by some residents of Redwood Valley against the construction of the 9,100 square foot store approved in 2015 saying it wouldn’t fit in to the rural character of the town. But the judge said no and won’t allow any other challenges to the legality of the construction. The owners of Redwood Valley Market went to court last year to stop the store from being built, asking for an environmental assessment of the proposed store after the Planning and Building Department said it wasn’t needed. The store owners along with other residents first challenged a permit. But it went thru anyway. So then the store owners filed against the developer, but that was thrown out because it passed the 35-day statute of limitations. Residents say they’ll move their fight to future development of other projects they deem not a fit for the community.

2 people charged with perjury have pleaded not guilty in Lake County court. Shannon Mick and Michael Alexander are accused in connection to a child custody case. The two both from Live Oak were arrested last fall after the DA’s office Perjury Investigation Unit found they had both lied in court in written statements and oral testimony. They’re fighting over a toddler, the dad filed for custody after he heard the 3 year old was being subjected to physical fighting and alcohol abuse between the mom, Mick, and her boyfriend, Alexander. Mick testifying in court that there had been no abuse or boozing. But a deputy who investigated, testified otherwise. Mick claimed her lawyer forged documents on her behalf too. The two are again saying they’re not guilty on all counts against them, they’re due back in court next week.

As more storms line up, road crews in Sonoma County are working feverishly to patch roads. 6 county roads west of Highway 101 were partially or totally closed because of floods or landslides. New potholes have been reported all over the county or old ones have gotten bigger. The county’s transportation and public works director says they’re working as quickly as possible but says most of the fixes are just temporary patches so the roads are driveable. County supervisors approved spending more than $11.5 million this fiscal year on road preservation, half of last year’s allocation.

Squatters have been making themselves at home in a home in Fort Bragg. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office reports four people living in the home illegally arrested Sunday afternoon. They report another person was arrested later the same day for burglarizing the house owned by a 78-year old woman from Red Bluff. A neighbor apparently told the owner there were people living there. Deputies arrested the 4 people, all there when they arrived and found stolen property from local burglaries, methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia. Charges against the four include burglary, possession of stolen property, forgery and maintaining a residence where a controlled substance was used.

The Lake County Board of Supervisors says yes to forming a new municipal advisory council. After District 3 Supervisor Jim Steele requested the council, supervisors all voted yes for the Middle Region Town Hall in Lucerne. The council is formed for unincorporated areas of the county so they can let the board know about matters related to their region. The new council joins the others, the Middletown Area Town Hall, which was the first, starting in December 2006, the East Region 3 Town Hall, or EaRTH for the Clearlake Oaks area and the Cobb Area Council. There soon could be another, the West Region Town Hall, or WRTH, for Upper Lake, Nice, Blue Lakes and surrounding areas.

Firefighters in Oklahoma City got a unique call. A cow stuck in a pool. The firefighters get a call last Sunday from someone who reported hearing some sort of “snorting” in their swimming pool area. When they got there, they found there was a hole in the pool liner with a cow trapped underneath, in the water. They used pumps to take out around 5 feet of water from the pool so the cow didn’t get hypothermia. They then used a wrecker to pluck the nearly 1,500-pound animal from the pool. They say the cow was not hurt.

New delegates have been chosen in Assembly District 2 by the Democratic party. The Daily Journal reports 2,900 delegates go to the California State convention and one third of them are elected, the rest are elected officials their appointees and the local Central Committees. The newspaper reports there were 19 women and 15 men trying to become delegates in Mendocino County. About 100 voters came out Saturday in Ukiah and 390 in Eureka. Those are the only polling places left in this Assembly district.

Three River Rafters are OK after rescuers said it’d be safer for them to stay on rocks on the water all night than for them to try a night rescue. The trio part of larger group from Humboldt County who launched from Branscomb to raft the South Fork of the Eel River. Their raft got wrapped around a boulder north of Laytonville so they climbed onto the rock and made it to shore while the rest of their group went for help. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office says since it was late and an attempted night rescue would have been dangerous, and since the guys had warm clothes and supplies, rescue was postponed until daylight. So yesterday a Mendocino County Cal FIRE Unit sent a chopper crew to hoist the men out, but apparently they freed their raft and floated out to Big Bend Lodge near Leggett. They were reported in good health and the whole group headed back to Humboldt County.

A woman’s been arrested in Gualala after police say she tried setting her cousin’s home on fire. Police say the cousin telling them her and some friends got the fire out, but she wanted Ashaki Scott arrested. She told police Scott started the fire after she wouldn’t let her defraud a business client’s credit card. The victim claims she and her suspect cousin had a fight last Thursday night when she caught Scott trying to make a fraudulent purchase. The victim says she did tell Scott she could burn some cardboard boxes in the wood burning stove for heat, she awoke to smoke and saw Scott had stacked the boxes up six feet high and was leaving with her bags packed. Deputies nabbed Scott a couple hours later banging on people’s doors looking for a ride. She was being held on $100,000 bail.

The Lake County Narcotics Task Force has made a series of arrests at retail “smoke shops” for selling meth pipes and distributing nitrous oxide. Warrants served at the two “Cheaper Cigarettes” locations on Lakeshore Dr. and Olympic Dr. in Clearlake, “Ed and Linda’s” on Lakeshore Dr. in Clearlake, “Smoke on the Water” on Highway 20 in Lucerne and Mystic Barrel on Highway 20 in Nice. Detectives say employees at two of the stores sold meth pipes to undercover detectives just before the raids. Besides more than 800 pipes, cops also found two 12-gauge shotguns, a .380 automatic pistol and a .22 revolver.

The Noyo Center For Marine Science Board of Directors is hosting an event to raise money to reassemble their 26-ft killer whale skeleton. After it’s done, it’ll be the 2nd largest in the world. The Center says the skeleton will engage visitors and community members and students with a very unique learning experience and will bring visitors for decades to learn about ocean animals and ecosystems and the threats they face. The event, NEXT Sunday, January 29th from 4:00 PM
TO 7:00 PM at Pete O’Donohue’s in Fort Bragg. There will be food, music, and of course marine science. RSVP to the The Noyo Center Board of Directors.

If you’re planning on pruning some trees on your property, the Tree Care Industry Association says you should make sure whoever you hire does not use spikes for climbing. The TCIA says spikes should only be used on trees being removed because they do unnecessary damage to living trees. Each puncture from a spike produces a certain amount of tree tissue death and groupings of spike holes can cause the entire area on the trunk to die back with no chance of recovery – and they say this is even true for large trees with thick bark. They say professional tree care companies are aware of the dangers of spikes and use proper equipment like ropes and harnesses to climb. For more information visit

A new study show’s if local groundwater basins are brought to a sustainable balance – which is required by state law, it will mean a lot of money. The Governor’s got a five year Water Action plan to help with water shortages. But it requires investment and innovations including continued conservation, storm water capture, recycling and storage. Brown’s 2014 Sustainable Groundwater Management Act says groundwater-dependent areas have to stop overdraft and bring their water basins into sustainable levels of pumping and recharge by 2040. The new study also says if all this is done, it could eliminate the problems of over-pumping, including dewatering streams and the sinking of land which can damage bridges, roads, canals, and other infrastructure. The “Water Available for Replenishment” report was required by the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act to be used by state representatives in local sustainable groundwater management agencies.

The wife of the shooter at the Orlando nightclub massacre has been arrested. Noor Salman arrested in Oakland yesterday and due in court this morning. She’s arrested on charges that include obstruction of justice and providing material support to a foreign terrorist organization. After the massacre where 49 people were killed last year, Salman came back to the Bay Area with her son. She was questioned by the FBI back when the mass shooting happened. Her lawyer says she had no foreknowledge of her husband’s plans. She did however know he watched jihadist videos, but her lawyer says she knew nothing of his intent to go to the Pulse nightclub and kill people. She also says she was an abused wife.

A settlement for those who’ve bought milk over the last dozen years or so… A class-action lawsuit was settled regarding price-fixing against dairy co-ops. The co-ops accused of conspiring to reduce the size of their herd. No word on exactly how much the payout is for Californians, but word is it could be between $10 and $20.

A man from Oakland has been sent to prison for nine years for the rape of an unconscious woman at a BART station. Carlton Barra pleaded no contest for the attack in the victim’s car New Years Day 2015 at the Millbrae BART station. Barra was charged with rape by force or threat and rape by use of drugs. Cops said at the time the victim did not know Barra and was going to sleep in her car after partying for the holiday then woke up with a towel over her and her dress pushed up, saying she felt as though something sexual had happened. Barra busted by DNA evidence. The DNA also linked the guy to a stranger rape of a prostitute in Oakland in June of 2011 and another attack of a drunk woman at a party in Hayward in April of 2006.

A bit late, but better late than never. A book of short stories called “Forty Minutes Late” makes it back to a San Francisco library — 100 years later. Webb Johnson returned the book his great grandma checked out from the old Fillmore branch in 1917. Apparently she died a week before it was due back and that branch no longer exists. Johnson found the book in a trunk in 1996 and says he thought the library wouldn’t want it back, but then it announced their “fine forgiveness program” until Feb. 14th which inspired him to return it.

Volunteers are needed by Project Sanctuary. The shelter for domestic violence victims and rape crisis center. The Executive Director says it’s the first time they’ve reached out to the community to find crisis line volunteers. They say they’re looking for as many as 10-15 volunteers to go thru training, become certified and put in a couple nights a month, answering crisis line calls from home. There’s a four month long course before one can volunteer. The training starts in February and features a history of domestic violence, its effect on children, child sexual abuse, courts and the legal system, and crisis intervention. You also have to pass a background check and be fingerprinted and provide references. If all goes well, there’s an exam at the end. For more information, email mary or call (707) 462-9196.

A Women’s March is happening in Ukiah the same day as the Women’s March on the Capitol. This Saturday at noon, the local march will start at the Alex R. Thomas Jr. Plaza at 310 S. State St. in Ukiah. Those marching will present talks, poetry, songs and inspirational music. As they march to the courthouse. They’re telling anyone who’s interested to bring instruments, signs and walking shoes. Some of the group were together this past weekend making signs at the Mendocino Environmental Center.

Mendocino County is homing in on needed mental-health services in the county. Board members, county mental-health staff and a member of the public got together and studied the five stages of mental-health treatment and came up with some possible areas where help could be provided. They’re looking at housing, case management, education, psychiatric care, help maintaining social connections, and mobile emergency responders. Ideas to be presented to the Board of Supervisors at its meeting next Monday. A ballot measure that barely lost would have meant there would be an inpatient facility built for people in crisis. There are currently two crisis centers in Ukiah and Fort Bragg operated by Redwood Community Services. Supervisor Dan Hamburg was at the meeting saying better training for cops is needed so they can help respond effectively to crises.

Abandoned cars becoming a real eye sore in Lake County. The Lake County Code Enforcement Officer says they take one to two cars in a week, and sometimes a half dozen or so. But the Board of Supervisors are taking up the matter. Last Tuesday the board agreed to continue the Abandoned Vehicle Abatement Authority in Lake County. The authority collects money which it uses to clean old cars up then responsibly get rid of them. They will pick up inoperable and unlicensed vehicles in private or public spaces. Then the owner gets ten days to either move or clean up the vehicle for disposal. It can then be hauled off to the junkyard if they don’t do anything.

The Lake County Sheriff has declared a local state of emergency after flooding and heavy rain. The declaration allows local officials to authorize orders and regulations to cover the cost of cleanup. They’re still assessing all of the damage from the rains and flooding of the last week or so as another storm forms. So far estimates are in the $600,000 range, but private property numbers were not included. The declaration is considered by the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services and the Lake County Board of Supervisors for approval. The board will take up the matter at their meeting this week during the Draft Cannabis Ordinance Workshop.

The Governor’s chosen replacement for attorney general, Democratic Congressman Xavier Becerra, easily wins the support of the Assembly. Becerra to fill the position Kamala Harris left after being elected to the U.S. Senate. Becerra was once a member of the Assembly himself. He got 56 votes along party lines. One Republican voted “yes” was, Rocky Chavez from Oceanside who said he found no ethical or moral reasons to vote against Becerra. The vote goes next to the Senate.

A house in Lakeport has been damaged severely by a fire. Local fire departments went to reports over the weekend of the fire at a home on Beach Lake, which they say was almost totally gutted, with just a few areas of wall standing in the front of the home. The fire dept. says the owner of the home was not there at the time, but the fire was burning a while before they got there. They say more than 50 percent of the house was in flames when they arrived. No injuries were reported.

Dozens of volunteers out over the weekend to clean up after the Russian River flooded neighborhoods in Sonoma County. Many carried heavy bags, trash pickers, shovels and brooms picking trash from the river banks that included bicycle frames to clothing and cigarette butts. Clean River Alliance organized the clean up that included community leaders and residents and Russian River firefighters too. The firefighters worked their fire hose over the asphalt entrance to Riverkeeper Park. It was the last of three volunteer clean up days ahead of the next rain, expected Wednesday. There’s also a Post Flood Day of Action Friday where North Coast Congressman Jared Huffman of San Rafael will attend, instead of the Inauguration.

Forecasters say we should expect another round of heavy rain in Northern California this week. The National Weather Service says the precipitation is expected to start Wednesday and we could get several inches of rain. There’s also another round expected Friday, and a third on Sunday. The forecast models show snow levels will drop to 3,500 feet Thursday and 1,500 feet Saturday. In Lake and Mendocino Counties temps should hit the 50’s in the daytime hours and 30’s overnight. The forecast calls for potential flooding in streams and creeks already swollen from last week’s storms.

A major turnout for a rally against the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare. On Sunday, thousands of nurses, doctors, and patients rallied across the state, joining others nationwide in support of the health care law. Thousands gathered in San Francisco waving signs and flags. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi at the rally. She says it’s a first stand against the Republican effort to repeal the law without a replacement. They used a budget maneuver requiring a bare majority in the Senate. Newly elected Democratic U-S Sen. Kamala Harris was with hundreds of protesting nurses and other health care workers and patients in Los Angeles at a demonstration outside County/USC Medical Center.

An ex Contra Costa County sheriff’s deputy has been arrested after a shooting at a house party in Sacramento. Police say 23 year old Kyle Rowland was arrested for five counts of attempted murder and for the shooting early Friday morning at a small party with about 10 people inside. Police say he left for an unknown reason and showed back up with a gun. Cops say someone else at the party tried to get the gun away from Rowland when he fired. He was restrained by someone there until cops arrived. They found two firearms at the scene. Rowland was only with the Sheriff’s Office since October of 2016 and was on probationary status. His employment was terminated and he’s held without bail.

Congressman Jared Huffman is joined by several others in the California congressional delegation staying home instead of attending Donald Trump’s inauguration Friday. As we reported, Huffman is doing service and community events he says will send a positive message. And as of last Thursday 39 of the 55 member Calif. delegation said they were going, but at least 12 House Democrats said they were not going. Five more said they’re still deciding as of last Thursday. That was before weekend remarks by Trump against Atlanta Congressman John Lewis. Which spurred other Congressional members to say they wouldn’t attend over the weekend. Sen. Dianne Feinstein just had a pacemaker installed and has not announced if she’ll be well enough to go. Rep. Judy Chu, Rep. Mark DeSaulnier, Rep. Jared Huffman, Rep. Barbara Lee, Rep. Ted Lieu, Rep. Zoe Lofgren, Rep. Jerry McNerney, Rep. Grace F. Napolitano, Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard, Rep. Raul Ruiz, Rep. Mark Takano and Rep. Maxine Waters all say they’ll stay back.

Water’s being released from Lake Mendocino after the recent rain. The Army Corp started the releases yesterday because the overfilled reservoir was around two-fifths of its maximum allowable capacity. They say they’re going to gradually ramp up releases ahead of storms that are predicted for next week. The rainwater is held in a dam, but released so when rain starts to raise the water to high, it doesn’t spill over the top of the dam. The Corp’s timing it as downstream river levels subside. Forecasters say another round of rain is coming early to mid next week. The corp says it will keep monitoring lake and river levels and change flows as needed.

A man from Boonville accused of drowning a 6 year old relative makes a court appearance. Ricky Owens is charged with felony endangering a child or causing or permitting a child to suffer physical pain, mental suffering or injury. He was held Friday on $50,000 bail. Police called to a hotel in December for reports of an unresponsive boy. Owens telling cops he was teaching the kid to swim, but the event was caught on a hotel surveillance camera, showing Owens putting the child in the pool water and nearly drowning him several times in several minutes, holding him under water until his body was limp. He was arrested and the child went to the hospital, but was expected to make a full recovery. Owens is due in court again Feb. 7th.

A driver whose car went off Highway 20 into Clear Lake has been rescued. Several first responders went to the crash west of Foothill Drive, finding a silver four-door sedan that landed on its roof and was mostly submerged in the lake. The CHP says they got info from someone else about the crash who saw lights in the lake. A silver sedan was headed east on the highway and believed to be the only car involved in the incident. Firefighters got the female driver out, she was given CPR and had a pulse and taken to Sutter Lakeside Hospital late last night.

Still a little wet out there after nearly a week of solid rain. Yesterday was drizzly in spots in Lake County with the Lake continuing to swell. There was also some snow reported by Cobb and in parts of Kelseyville, including at Mt. Konocti. The National Weather Service reported the recent rain was 175 to 200 percent of normal for the time of year. There was another flood warning issued yesterday for parts of Lake County too which continues through this afternoon. Should be dry today, with another round headed our way Tuesday or Wednesday. There could be some dense fog in parts of Lake County tonight into tomorrow morning and a slight chance of showers tomorrow night into Sunday. Forecast models show next week’s storm could bring heavy rain and snow at the 7,000 foot level with possible gusty winds.

For much of Calif., the drought’s over. After almost a week of constant rain, a federal report on drought conditions by the USDA shows almost half of California is no longer in a drought. The report shows 42 percent of the state is no longer in drought conditions, as opposed to 3 percent last year. The report with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Admin. And the Univ. of Nebraska-Lincoln, shows almost all of Northern California from the Santa Cruz Mountains to the Oregon border is now in normal water conditions. A senior meteorologist with the NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center in Maryland wrote the report saying the drought is over in Northern Calif.

The Democratic party in Calif. is changing to become even more progressive. Last week the Democratic Party had their delegate elections. Many who backed Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders for President had major wins at the party elections. The elections held last weekend in each of the state’s 80 Assembly districts. Word is progressives won many of the 1,100 state delegate seats. Each of the delegates sits for 2 years, there are seven men and seven women in each district. They will all gather together in May for the state party convention and choose their party officers. The approve the party platform in even-numbered years. The party chair is retiring, so new blood, all around.

The Upper Lake Unified School District starts their search for a new superintendent. Superintendent Patrick Iaccino is retiring in June, so the school district has a meeting planned where they’ll seek public input on a new leader. Iaccino one of the leaders of the idea to merge the Upper Lake Union Elementary District with the High School District. The town hall to discuss the search for a new Superintendent is Wednesday, Feb. 1st at the Upper Lake High School cafeteria at 6pm. You can visit the school district’s website if you’re interested in the job that pays between $114,000 to $157,000 or so a year, including benefits. The deadline to apply is 5 p.m. March 1st.

A child in Central California is dead after his older brother accidentally shot him. Police in Chowchilla say the death is a tragic reminder to keep guns away from young children. The child died on the way to the hospital in the small community outside of Fresno.

A man from Vacaville has been arrested after police say he helped his mother die. She was found with a single gunshot wound to the head last month and her 43 year old son, Eric Capitanich was arrested yesterday. Police say he helped his mom, who he lived with, commit suicide. The two were given an eviction notice last August. A neighbor said the mom seemed frail, and not very healthy. They also said they saw police show up at the home with a realtor, a locksmith and sheriff in Sept. But apparently they couldn’t leave because mom was bedridden. They were living at a Motel 6. The mother’s body was find inside a storage unit they rented. Capitanich to be charged with assisting a suicide. He faces up to three years in jail.

Another broken levee reported along the Cosumnes (ko-SUE-meez) River flooded areas of Elk Grove. One neighborhood under a voluntary evacuation early yesterday, but some stayed back so fire crews had to help some homeowners out of flooded homes. After the levee broke due to heavy rain, water went rushing into the Point Pleasant neighborhood. More than a dozen people had to be helped out with boats. Additional crews brought in by the Cosumnes Fire Department to help with rescues over the weekend. There’s also been an evacuation center set up by the Red Cross at Laguna Town Hall in Elk Grove.

Mendocino County is paying less towards its public pension investments. The Daily Journal reports an expansion of government staff offset some recent losses toward public-pension investments last fiscal year so the Board of Supervisors voted to slightly lower the contribution rate for employees’ retirement plans. Apparently the supervisors learned more about their fund and its long term durability too. The County Employees Retirement Association assuring supervisors the fund would grow nicely over the long term. The accrued liability of retirement benefits has nearly doubled since 2007 though.

The crazy rain over the last several days waning, and low lying areas of the Ukiah Valley have not reported sustaining damage. The Russian River crested lower than the National Weather Service had predicted. This according to the Sheriff’s Office and the Office of Emergency Services. The river got to about 22 ½ feet, which was four feet lower than what was prepared for. Many roads and parts of highways were closed down due to mudslides and heavy downpour. The Oak Manor neighborhood was evacuated voluntarily and electricity shut down. 3 people went to one city set up shelter, while the other was vacant. The County’s transportation director says it’s going to take weeks or months to fix all of the roads damaged by the storms.

In other parts of Northern Calif, homes were flooded and the Russian River surged to its highest level in ten years. The River was higher and moving swiftly in Sonoma County. The river was just under 38 feet, the highest since 2006. Back then it went up to 42 feet. The river was swollen then hit Sunday by the first major surge of storms this week, getting to 32 feet late in the day then crested Monday at 35 feet. The river was supposed to stay at flood stage until later today. There were 650 homes potentially affected by the storm yesterday. At one point as many as 1,900 households were under an advisory evacuation, but many people stayed. An assessment to be done after the river settles back down. 30 roads in the county were closed yesterday.

Two men arrested for an armored car robbery and shootout with police in Windsor and Calistoga are going to trial for attempted murder and other charges. A judge found enough evidence against Ivan Morales of Lakeport and Sergey Gutsu of Antelope to proceed. The pair face 30 years to life in prison if they’re found guilty for the July heist outside Chase Bank in Windsor. The judge ruled there was enough evidence to show Morales shot the armored car guard using an automatic rifle. She also approved a 25 year potential enhancement for any sentence because a gun was used. Both men are also accused of a half dozen other charges that include a couple counts of armed robbery, assault and possession of a stolen vehicle. They’re due back in court Jan. 23rd.

30 people living on farms in Northern California had to be rescued from their homes in the latest storms that brought a foot of snow to Portland, Oregon. As many as 20,000 people were in the dark in Lake Tahoe too as the Pineapple Express took down trees, left dirty debris and downed power lines. More than two dozen homes inundated by creek water in San Benito County. There was still trickling and drizzling over parts of Northern Calif predicted for today, but the biggest surge happened over the last 48 hours. Areas of the Northern Calif. wine country hit hard with more than a dozen inches of rain in 3 days and a blizzard warning in the Sierras. 33 billion gallons of water added to Lake Tahoe since January 1st alone. The storm moved on but damage is still being assessed. A small tornado even touched down in Sacramento Tuesday…

A couple thousand people near Sacramento had to leave their homes because a river levee was in danger after the storms. An avalanche was reported near the Alpine Meadows ski resort slid into homes, but no major damage or injuries were reported. Two popular ski resorts Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows closed for two days and had no power.

State Senator Bill Dodd looking to stop the bleed of fake news. Dodd’s introduced a bill for media literacy education in school curriculums. He says there’s too much fake or misleading news out there and no real education for people to know how to distinguish fact from fiction. Fake news prevalent during the last presidential election where reports of phony or partly fake stories and hoax websites were outperforming real news of the day posted on social media sites. Dodd’s bill calls for the California Board of Education’s Instructional Quality Commission would have to come up with the curriculum for schools to follow. It would provide media literacy training for teachers in California as well.

California’s below average when it comes to K-12 education. That accorded to a new report by the magazine Education Week. It gives Calif. a C-minus which is in the bottom 10 of the 50 states and Washington, D.C. In several categories, the magazine scored Calif. fairly low with a total of about 70 points out of 100, Massachusetts was at the top, then New Jersey, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maryland and Connecticut; which still all got B’s. Calif. was 41st in conditions that help children succeed, 39th in school finance, and 30th in achievement. The Education Week report measured how states educate and prepare kids.

A California lawmaker working to fight the epidemic of fake news. Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez from Los Angeles wants teachers in high school to help figure out what’s real or phony. Gomez says kids should be taught reasoning skills to assess what they’re reading online thru the use of new curriculum. Gomez says bogus news stories are a quote, “direct threat to our democracy.”

A teenager who snuck into an abandoned prison in Illinois got a little more than she bargained for. State police say two teens snuck into the Joliet Correctional Center through a hole in a fence but one accidentally locked herself in a cell. The Joliet Fire Department went to the prison to help. They used a sledgehammer to free the girl, who will face trespassing charges with her friend. The prison outside Chicago has been closed since 2002. The girl stuck inside 45 minutes.

Police get a call from a train conductor in Germany after a naked man with a knife is found in a train bathroom. Reporters from Public broadcaster ZDF say the 22-year-old man was man-scaping or as they reported it, engaging in a quote, “intimate shave”, when police stopped him at Duesseldorf’s main train station. A police spokesperson says the man was annoyed when he was interrupted and put his close back on, reluctantly. He was not arrested, but he didn’t have a valid train ticket, so he was removed. He told cops he was shaving onboard, because he wasn’t welcome at home.

The City of Ukiah gets approval for a receivership of the Palace Hotel. A judge said yes to the city in court this week ruling the violations by the owner Eladia Laines were so extensive that the health and safety of the public and neighbors were endangered. Mark Adams of the California Receivership Group has been named as the receiver. He will not own the property but takes full and complete possession and control of the property which means he pays all expenses and debts. Laines has 2 months to appeal and even if she does, she’ll have to put up a $100,000 bond. Adams checked out the hotel over the weekend, which was further damaged by the rains.

Heavy rain has left standing water in many areas of Northern California. As much as 7.5 inches added to the months total rainfall in Willits alone. Cal Fire’s Howard Forest Station recorded 7.68 inches which flooded roads and closed highways throughout the county. The California Department of Water Resources recorded 36 inches of rain for Willits’ since Dec. 10th. The National Weather Service Eureka Forecast Office said heavy rain would continue in California and the western U.S. and that flooding was expected in part of the state into western Nevada. There was a flood watch in place, with extensions continuing to be added on until later this afternoon. Those for a large area of northwestern California including Del Norte, Humboldt, Trinity and Mendocino counties.

The Willits City Council taking on commercial cannabis permits in their first meeting of the new year. The last time the council considered the matter, the public spoke too. Residents at the November meeting said Willits should capitalize on its established cannabis reputation and try to make as much money off of marijuana as possible. A panel set up to get public feedback, called a “working group” but City staffers say an ad hoc committee should be put together to come up with a cannabis ordinance that have the city’s best interests in mind. The working group, for their part, has come out against outdoor growing in city limits, due to its strong odor.

Already crumbling roads take a hit from almost constant rain that started almost a week ago. In Hidden Valley Lake, the Community Services District reported seven sewer stations at full capacity. There was a lot of flooding last weekend in the area with several homes evacuated Sunday. There was no damage to the homes and the evacuations were only for a few hours. There were power outages reported across Lake County, fallen trees and limbs and powerlines. Bridges and roads were closed, and several roads and parts of highways impassable. A hazardous weather outlook covers most of Northern Calif. today, with flood warnings thru most of Lake County and much of Mendocino County.

Many schools closed because of the storm yesterday but were reporting either school would go on as usual today, or there would be a delayed opening. Students to be released at the regular time though.

A woman in Clearlake charged with robbery and assault agrees to a plea deal. Samantha Sandhoff gets off with a misdemeanor after an incident in October that she was initially charged with robbery, assault with deadly weapon, though not a firearm, conspiracy to commit a crime and actions likely to cause injury. It comes after the Rite Aid in town reported a woman stole items at the store. When she left in a van, she hit an employee, that evidence shows, she saw as she hit. She blamed someone with her, but the judge found her guilty of a misdemeanor violation of possessing and ordered two years of summary probation, 49 days of jail with 49 days of credit. She also has to pay fines, assessments and fees worth $630, and complete 40 hours of community service.

Widespread flooding after the last storm hits the North Coast. Heavy rain and fast moving winds caused flooding, power outages and rivers to run over their banks. The Russian River threatened up to 800 homes yesterday. The storm also knocked out power to several homes, in Sonoma County as many as 11,000 homes were without power. Reports of constant calls for help from emergency crews yesterday between 4 and 8pm when the storm hit hardest. In Monte Rio the Fire Chief reported trees and power lines down everywhere. He said since the ground was so saturated, the new rain was just running off and the ground crumbling beneath. As of last night 8½ inches of rain had fallen since the weekend in Santa Rosa and almost 20 inches in the hills west of Healdsburg.

The Russian River went over its banks Monday and was expected to go beyond flood stage last night in Guerneville at almost 40 feet, the highest since 2006 when it hit almost 42 feet and caused more than $100 million in flood damage. There were 800 homes threatened this time around and as many as 3,000 residents were evacuated from Forestville to Jenner. Emergency crews were using paddle boats to get to stranded residents. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was planning on flood control releases from lakes Sonoma and Mendocino.

A boy hit by a car in Clearlake Oaks is recovering. The CHP reported the 13-year-old was hit by a jeep last Thursday as he walked along a road. The Jeep’s driver immediately stopped. Her name has not been released, but the CHP reports she’s a 45-year-old from Clearlake Oaks. Officers say they do not suspect drugs or alcohol as contributing factors in the crash. The teen had major injuries and ended up at a hospital in Chico. There’s a gofundme account set up for the boy who’s been id’d as Angell Aguirre, Jr., a 7th grader at Lower Lake Elementary School.

Praise for the Grand Jury report on the Library report. The California Grand Jurors’ Association gave the local jury the Robert Geiss Excellence in Reporting Award for their 2014-15 report, “The Library.” Back to back grand juries were questioning the way the county officials interpreted state law and county accounting records connected to the Mendocino County Library. After the reports, major changes were implemented for library management and operations.

Another major dousing of rain. No school in Ukiah yesterday and today in case of flooding on the Talmage Road and Perkins Street bridges over the Russian River. The Daily Journal reported Highways 1, 128 and 175 flooded and were closed in rural areas. Gibson Creek was raging so Babcock Lane was closed after Sunday’s storm. The city manager announced yesterday some downtown street closures due to flooding. And School Street between Scott and Henry streets was also flooded by Gibson Creek. The City also announced they were turning electricity off for homes in the Oak Manor neighborhood so transformers didn’t get damaged, and told residents to voluntarily evacuate. Last night the Russian River was expected to crest in Hopland too. There were also evacuation centers set up on the east side of the River at the Mendocino County Office of Education located and across the river at the Ukiah High School at 1000 Low Gap Road.

Pouring rain had both the Russian and Garcia rivers overflowing yesterday. The CHP had officers roaming streets and closing them. Talmage Road between the 101 and Old River Road, Vichy Springs between Oak Manor Drive and Watson Road, Highway 175 near its intersection with Highway 101 in Hopland, Westside Potter Valley Road in Potter Valley, and Highway 1 near the Garcia River on the coast were all roped off. Forecasters had said the Russian River would peak last night and flood Hopland, Talmage and Ukiah in the Oak Manor area.

There had also been warnings about blizzards in the Sierra Nevada mountains with the latest storm. 10 feet was expected for the highest mountains and 7 feet in Tahoe, along with a high risk of avalanches, and wind gusts of up to 60 mph. Reports the Sierra ridge saw gusts that were above 100 mph. The first blizzard warning for parts of the Sierra in nine years. The National Weather Service called it a dangerous, life-threatening situation. Some ski resorts even closed down and many roads were closed down. Highway 80 was requiring chains.

Congressman Jared Huffman, a Democrat from San Rafael says he’s not attending Donald Trump’s inauguration. Huffman says he’s going to do everything he personally can to limit the damage that might be done during the 45th presidents term in office. He says he won’t celebrate the beginning of quote, a “dark and dangerous chapter” in American politics. He posted the announcement on his Facebook page. The Press Democrat interviewed Huffman who says the decision was not difficult and that the response has been mostly positive. He says he’s not going because of Trump’s election comments, calling his election, quote a “juggernaut of bad ideas, embarrassing conduct and scandal.” There are only two other members of the House who said they won’t go either, Democrat Luis Gutierrez of Illinois and Rep. Katherine Clark, a Dem from Maine.

Another day, another storm, but forecasters say this one could be bigger. The National Weather Service in Eureka saying Mendocino County may get hit hard and that Ukiah could get as much as 3 inches of rain. Since the forecast, the Ukiah Unified School District announced no school today. Besides rain there will be unusually strong, high winds with this storm, especially on the coast. The weather service says that means there could be more downed power lines and trees.

There were thousands without power in Mendocino County Sunday. The Advocate newspaper reported wind gusts of up to 60 miles an hour and power out to thousands. There were also reports of downed trees and flooding rivers.

Today there’s a flood watch along much of the North Coast, a high wind warning and heavy rain likely through tomorrow.

The Flood Warning thru tomorrow night and the wind warning through late tonight with possible wind gusts of up to 50 miles per hour or more. The storms are not supposed to clear until weekend in a region already soaked from weekend storms and rain last week.

In Lake County, the Public Works Department reported Seigler Canyon Road was closed from Highway 29 to Big Canyon Road due to flooding and Perini Road closed at Seigler Canyon Road and Scotts Valley Road from Hendricks to Highway 20 due to flooding.

Clear Lake rose 2 feet, and by the end of the day yesterday, it was at 5.50 feet Rumsey, nearly three times the depth than a year ago on the same day. Cache Creek was swelling even with the dam open it was running back into Clearlake.

The forecast for Lake County says there could be 3" to 7" of rain. Highway 1 at the Garcia River and Highway 175 in Hopland were both opened back up, but Highway 128 at the Navarro River, was still closed. Late last night it was reported residents in Hopland got their power back, but about 5, 500 residents, mostly on the coast, were still without power.

The Ukiah Unified School District Superintendent announced no school because of the forecast. There was flood warnings and possibility of bridges being closed and impassable. The superintendent apologizing for the inconvenience but saying student safety is the primary concern. There is a plan for school to be open tomorrow, but they will notify families if that changes. Also watch the district’s Facebook page for more info or our Fan Page, or this radio station’s website.

There are Flood Warnings for the following rivers in Northwest California… Russian River near Hopland affecting Mendocino County, Navarro River At Navarro affecting Mendocino County, Mad River Near Arcata affecting Humboldt County, Eel River At Fernbridge affecting Humboldt County and Van Duzen River Near Bridgeville affecting Humboldt County. The heaviest rain in this next go is supposed to happen this morning. 3 to 5 inches expected in Mendocino and Humboldt counties and 6 to 8 inches in the mountains. Forecasters say that will lead to another flood crest on the rivers. …Flood Warning Continues for The Navarro River At Navarro until tomorrow afternoon with moderate flooding forecast. The river was at 17 feet as of 9 pm last night, Flood Stage is 23.0 feet.

The last storm caused flooding and travel problems in the Mendocino National Forest. Rock slides reported, a sink hole making one area impassable, a slide and more. OHV trails on the Upper Lake and Grindstone ranger districts were closed Sunday and will stay that way until it’s dry with no more rain in the forecast. The Red Bluff Recreation Area was also closed Sunday because of flooding concerns. For exact locations of road closures, alerts and notices check the forest service webpage and type in Mendocino. You can also check their Facebook Page which is Mendocino NF, Twitter: @MendocinoNF or call 530-934-3316.

A man in Laytonville’s been arrested after a stabbing. The victim was hit in the hand and landed in the hospital. Police say they got a call to the stabbing of a man who told them he got into a fight with his girlfriend, identified as Jenny Bennett, and that she grabbed a knife and stabbed the victim, who had a laceration on his hand and injuries to his face. Deputies say when they went to interview Bennett she obstructed and resisted, but they finally arrested her. She’s charged with several crimes including Assault With a Deadly Weapon Other Than Firearm, Felony Domestic Violence Battery and Resisting / Delaying / Obstructing a Peace Officer. She was held on $30,000 bail.

A man in Fort Bragg’s been arrested after police get a call about an argument between neighbors that turned violent. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office reports the victim complaining about Robert Vargas who they say was shooting firearms in the area and that he might have drugs. Vargas was checked out and found to be on probation. When police went to his house they say they found several items he was not allowed to have due to the probation. They found Meth, drug paraphernalia, a .22 caliber rifle and several rounds of loaded ammunition. He was arrested for several crimes including being a Convicted felon in possession of a firearm, Possession of ammunition by a prohibited person and Possession of a controlled substance. He was held without bail because of his probation terms.

A Covelo man is recovering after being mauled by his neighbors’ dogs. Mendocino Animal Control says the victim was out walking last Wednesday night when three Pit Bulls attacked. He had major injuries to his arms, legs and face and had to be flown to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital where he is currently in intensive care. Investigators say the dogs’ owner Escareno Pinon was cooperating and his dogs put in a 10-day quarantine. Pinon says he accidentally left his yard gate open and the dogs got out and says when he got home he found the victim and called for help. Animal Control also reported having previous contact with the guy about a dog bite, but it was a different dog.

One of the men accused in a crime spree that ended with the shooting of an armored truck guard in Windsor and ended in Calistoga says the other guy was the mastermind. 24 year old Ivan Morales of Lakeport in a taped interview said 24 year old Sergey Gutsu of Antelope was to blame. Morales says Gutsu planned the robbery and gave him ammo for an automatic rifle he was planning to leave unloaded. He says his plan was to scare the guard, not shoot him. Court documents say Morales shot and wounded a guard outside a bank in Windsor as Gutsu grabbed the money. They then ran to Calistoga where there was another shootout, this time with Calistoga police. The two men are charged with felony robbery, attempted murder and felony assault on a police officer using a firearm.

Yosemite is re-opening even though heavy rain is anticipated. There was a rock slide over the weekend which blocked Highway 140 into the Park after rain caused the Merced River to flood. The park was set to open at 8 a-m after it had been evacuated for four days. All of the campgrounds were supposed to reopen tonight and there are other areas to lodge opening tomorrow. The park staff was warning tourists and guests to be cautious upon returning because flooding went over a bridge and flooded out a camp at Half Dome Village. There was some damage to park facilities and multiple rock slides, the biggest one apparently sent car-sized boulders down on Highway 140, also known as El Portal Road, near the park’s border gate.

Cal Fire jumping into action to help during the storms. Firefighters and inmate fire crews also work with local governments and the public during storm and flood response. Lake Co News reporting the Cal Fire Sonoma Lake Napa Unit reported more than 60 calls for help over the weekend. They responded to downed trees in roadways and stranded residents in Hidden Valley Lake. Firefighters working with the Lake County Sheriff’s Office to help evacuate people safely. Inmate crews have been on standby.

Sonoma County’s getting ready for more flooding along the Russian River after several hundred homes were flooded. The California Nevada River Forecast Center reported late last night the river was supposed to hit flood stage overnight. It was predicted to stay at flood levels thru early this morning. This latest storm forecast shows the river would again reach flood stage overnight tonight but recede by Thursday morning. The county was evacuating people in the low lying areas of Monte Rio and Guerneville Sunday, but newer flood forecasting shows as many as 550 households would be impacted when the Russian River reaches 35 feet.

There’s a shelter set up for those evacuated at Guerneville Veterans Hall. They’re open 24/7 thru Friday. The county says it’ll open more shelters as needed. Pacific Gas and Electric Co. reported getting power back on for more than 15,500 households since Saturday as they work around the clock to restore even more.

Heavy rains over the last several days has caused flooding along Lake County roads. The Sheriff’s office had reported roads closed over the weekend in Hidden Valley Lake, most reopening by last night. The Sheriff’s office also reported some damaged homes, but no major injuries. The storm is not over yet, and more will come to the area thru the week. Today we have an 80% chance of more rain, but storms are expected tomorrow and Wednesday too. The agency also reminding drivers not to try to plow thru standing water, which may end up being deeper than you think, plus flowing water can sweep a car away.

Some lost power in the Cobb area because of the storms. An outage first reported yesterday mid-morning, and was supposed to be back on last night. No word from Pacific Gas and Electric Co. this morning. About 600 people had lost power yesterday, and no cause was made public so far. Storms and heavy rain had taken down some trees and lines throughout the county though. There were also smaller, limited outages in other areas yesterday, including Clearlake, Hidden Valley Lake, Kelseyville, Lakeport, Lower Lake and Middletown. The utility did say the storm was impacting thousands.

Some roads had to be closed down in Clearlake. Police reporting a closure because of the rain and a sewage leak in another area of the city. That had the mayor calling for residents to use caution as the storms continue and the police department urging folks to stay away from the area of Old Highway 53 at J&L Market because of heavy flooding. They had barricade warnings up where drivers were being told to use alternative routes. The sewage leak in the 6800 block of Meadowbrook where police were warning to stay away. They warned to assume the water was contaminated.

A fire over the weekend in Hidden Valley Lake has damaged a home. The person who lives in the home and their three pets were rescued by firefighters. South Lake County Fire and Cal Fire were on the scene Saturday afternoon after a garage fire was reported. Cal Fire reported power lines down and a victim rescued and taken to a hospital for injuries. Three cats were also rescued. Firefighters reported half of the home burned with an estimated loss of $200,000, $80,000 was prevented.

Schools closed due to the storms, Alexander Valley Union, Cloverdale Unified, Forestville Union, Guerneville, Geyserville Unified, Harmony Union and Monte Rio Union.

Evacuations after flooding, mudslides and power outages reported across a wide swath of land on the North Coast. The water pushing the lower Russian River toward its banks last night which meant several thousand people had leave their homes. It’s the first time in 11 years this has happened as homes and businesses were threatened and some were inundated with water. The Russian River was rising so the Sonoma County communities of Guerneville, Monte Rio and Duncans Mills were on the alert. The river is supposed to crest late this morning into the noon hour at 37 feet — 5 feet above flood stage. That would immediately mean floods for lower areas of the river like Guerneville and farther west. The National Weather Service shows as many as 650 homes and businesses in their models that could be affected by flooding. Anyone needing shelter can go to the Santa Rosa Veterans Building.

Almost a foot of rain fell from Friday to Sunday, according to a weather station west of Healdsburg. Lake Sonoma recorded more than a half foot of rain and Windsor, Occidental and Monte Rio had more than 4 inches. There was nearly 3.5 inches in Santa Rosa. In Petaluma, emergency responders eyeing the Petaluma River which was expected to react to a high tide before 10:30 a.m. Some people in Sonoma County had to be rescued from stalled cars near the river and some homes were threatened at a Mobile Home Park by rising water.

Some possible road closures and roads already affected by the weekend storms, Highway 128 where the Navarro River gets near the southern Mendocino Coast. At least a dozen Sonoma County roads were closed around rivers and water bodies. There were also high winds reported over the weekend which were taking out trees and causing power outages to more than 20,000. About half of those in the dark, in Sonoma County, the rest in Mendocino County, into Lake and Humboldt counties. In Gualala, the National Weather Service recorded a 76 mile an hour wind gust yesterday and another one that hit 52 mph in Monte Rio. Massive power outages reported across the Mendocino Coast in Fort Bragg, Mendocino and Albion. The Mendocino County Sheriff warning about saturation of the ground causing many downed trees mixed with high wind.

Californians still powering thru the drought with continued conservation. As of last Wednesday, residents had kept the savings at just under 19 percent. The usage down 18.8 percent compared to November 2013 water usage numbers. That according to the State Water Resources Control Board. The Sierra Nevada snowpack’s water content measuring around 70 percent of the average for early January and the cumulative water savings from June 2015 through November 2016 was at 22.6 percent.

Google’s self-driving car division says it’s got minivans that are hitting the roads in California and Arizona. Waymo reports the minivans, built in a partnership with Fiat Chrysler, are Chrysler Pacifica hybrids. They have sensors and radar specific for Waymo. The partnership with Fiat Chrysler and Waymo was announced in May. The CEO says they came up with the system specifically for self driving vehicles instead of using the same parts as other similar models. They’ve been in development for eight years.

No vote by the Ukiah City Council about giving up the right to purchase 800 acre-feet of Lake Mendocino water annually. The city council started discussing what would happen if the water was not released instead. The council discussing how that could help further development in other places. The city’s water and sewer director asked the council to permanently approve relinquishing the water right saying even in severe drought years, the city was fine without the extra water. The matter tabled to a future meeting. The council agreeing too, to a public workshop on the matter.

4 million dollars coming from the United States Department of Labor to help with the cleanup and recovery of the Valley and Butte fires. Both fires in 2015 with the Valley Fire mostly in Lake County, killing four people and destroying almost 2,000 structures, nearly 1,300 were homes. The fire blackened more than 76,000 acres. The Butte fire was in both Amador and Calaveras counties. It charred almost 71,000 acres and burned more than 900 structures, including more than 500 homes. President Barack Obama declared the areas major disasters and now the Labor Dept. released money thru the National Dislocated Worker Grant to pay for disaster relief employment for cleanup and recovery.

A new app will allow Ukiah residents to click and report potholes, and other road hazards. The new free app for Android and Apple phones is called “My Ukiah”. The app for non-emergency reporting of items like graffiti, potholes or broken streetlights. It’s another option for those who don’t feel like calling, emailing or visiting offices where one reports such things. During the report, the app collects GPS coordinates then submits them with a photo or video the user can submit so city staff can have a detailed location. Right now there are categories for reporting that include, creeks, parks, potholes, streetlights, traffic signals, trees, water and other.

After a short closure the dog kennels at the Mendocino County Animal Shelter are reopening. The kennels at the shelter closed to the public after a dog got the parvovirus. The kennels will reopen in about 10 days, Tuesday, January 17th. The kennel found the virus had somehow gotten to one of the dogs there December 21st, so they impounded more than 2 dozen others, 20 were puppies. The virus affects dog’s belly’s and digestive systems. All of the dogs inside have been tested and disinfectant has been used to clean everything, then a quarantine. The shelter re-opened this week, but for administrative needs, not any visits.

Families getting help from the state for food for pregnant mamas and babies can soon get more from farmers’ markets across Mendocino County. The general manager of the Mendocino County Farmers’ Market Association says fresh produce is now available thru the federal Women, Infants and Children program known as WIC. The program gives money to states thru food stamps for food for pregnant, breastfeeding, and post-natal mothers with kids up to 5 years old. Food vendors are paid back from the state for fresh food. The state was apparently looking for more ways to get nutritious foods to young families with vouchers. The county giving out coupon booklets to farmers’ markets already, but now residents will get vouchers directly from the state so they can shop at farmers’ markets all year long.

A man in Fort Bragg’s busted for DUI after police say he hit a pedestrian. Police say they got a call to the incident last Thursday night. Officers say when they got there they found a 67 year old woman lying in the street being treated. There was another crash while police were there so they responded to that one and found a man being treated by the fire dept. He’s id’d as Victor Reyna-Viscensio, who witnesses also positively identified as the driver who hit the woman earlier. He was taken to a hospital for minor injuries, then arrested and booked on suspicion of felony DUI and hit-and-run causing injury.

A major winter storm is headed our way. As we reported earlier this week, forecasters calling for the North Coast, lower and higher elevations to get slammed with rain and snow, depending. Up to five inches of rain forecasted to fall on the North Coast which meteorologists predict could flood rivers. They say the Russian River, Napa River and Navarro River could go past flood stage which means possible floods, road closures and power outages. The forecast models so far show the system will hit Big Sur and Santa Cruz the hardest, with some areas getting as much as a foot of rain. Forecasters should know more about exact areas that will be hit the hardest today. They have said however, the Navarro River, could get the worst of it, with an expected crest Sunday night to 9.5 feet above flood stage.

The woman from Fort Bragg accused of neglecting and possibly abusing an elderly woman, found dead and mummified had a court date rescheduled. Lori Fiorentino’s preliminary hearing was rescheduled for Jan. 30th since a pathology report was still being prepared. Fiorentino told the judge she would wait for the report after the judge reminded her she had a right to a speedy preliminary hearing. She waived that right and will now wait in jail for the pathology report.

The state has released more information on a security breach of health insurance company Anthem. The state Department of Insurance reports Anthem has agreed to tighten up security and provide credit protection to the nearly 80 million consumers whose records were compromised. The company’s paying more than $260 million for security improvements and other actions after the breach. The
California Insurance Commissioner is one of seven commissioners leading the national investigation of the Anthem cyber breach. He says it’s the largest cyber hack ever of an insurance company’s customer data. They also say the cyber attacker was acting on behalf of a foreign government. And says the federal Government needs to take steps to prevent this from happening again.

More information’s been released regarding the boat that capsized by Noyo Harbor, killing one man from Fort Bragg. The man, Richard Mottlow’s wife Sherie telling the Press Democrat she was waiting with pizza and champagne on New Year’s eve for her hubby who’d gone out with 2 friends, Rowdy Perkins and Lisa Marie Mullen-Salisbury for a routine trip to pick up their crab pots. She says it was something her husband and Perkins, the owner of the boat did all the time. This time the boat got caught in other crab pot’s wiring and turned over. Apparently their motor shaft got tangled in a crab line so the owner got out and cut the line, but a propeller got tangled in a crab line too. The motor wouldn’t start and they were overtaken by a wave. Perkins and Mullen-Salisbury made it back, Mottlow was recovered the next day.

A couple of backcountry skiers are okay after getting caught in an avalanche between Reno and Lake Tahoe. The slide closed the state highway in an area where about 6 feet of snow fell in four days. A spokeswoman for the Nevada Department of Transportation says nobody was hurt. The man and woman walking off the mountain after rescue crews went to find them yesterday afternoon. They were on the Mount Rose Highway west of the Mount Rose ski resort. The two checked by paramedics and released. The avalanche also hit some cars on the highway near the summit which is popular for back country and cross country skiing and sledding. The National Weather Service reported 70 inches of snow recorded on Mount Rose resort since last Sunday. And a lot more is on the way.

A man and woman in Danville are arrested after a routine traffic stop. Police stop the couple from Vallejo, James Garrett and Jamie Douglas who they say had stolen gifts and methamphetamine. Police say the pair are connected to a string of package thefts. They’re charged with identity theft, conspiracy, possession of stolen property, petty theft, possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia. Residents in Danville had reported several package thefts and gave police surveillance video which captured a Toyota Tundra, which was the truck pulled over in the stop. The pair found with stolen items, then later, more of the same in their Vallejo home.