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Category Archives: 94.5 K-Wine News

94.5 K-Wine Local News Reports

Ukiah Valley Fire Authority responded to reports of smoke in a closed shuttered shop last week after a California highway patrol officer spotted what appeared to be a building fire. When crews arrived at the building in the 1200 block of North State Street, they found a 56 year old Ukiah man sleeping inside. He had been staying there for a couple of days and likely started the fire with a candle. He was arrested Saturday, and may face arson charges once an investigation determines the cause of the fire.

The merger of Visit Ukiah, The Ukiah Main Street Program and the Greater Ukiah Chamber of Commerce has been up for discussion for months now, and the merger has now gotten the thumbs up by the City of Ukiah. The organizations have similar missions along with overlapping board members, and have been looking at ways to merge while holding onto the most effective programs of each organization.

Lake County Sheriff’s deputies responded to the 17,000 block of Morgan Valley Road in Lower lake on Saturday to find two bail bonds agents had fired shots at 40 year old Gregory Crumpler, who was wanted in Mendocino County on charges related to illegal drug sales. Crumpler had allegedly skipped out on bail and the bail bond agents had tracked him down. The shots were fired when the suspect jumped into the vehicle of one of the bail bond agents, and fled. Crumpler is still on the run, but the bail bond’s agents car was found about three miles away . Anyone with information in the case is asked to call central dispatch.

A decision is expected by March on the Mendocino College Student Housing Site Master Plan for on campus housing. The team has plans to visit the Ukiah Campus before the next board meeting on Feb 13th to provide more information and to get feedback. Three housing sites are currently being considered are the Campus Hilltop, the student center/baseball field option, and one near the solar field/entry road. The housing is expected to cost anywhere between $650 to 950 for two semesters.

Mass shootings like the one in November at Thousand Oaks Country bar are usually followed by rallies for tighter gun control, including laws like ones passed in California to raise the legal limit to buy a rifle to 21, initiatives to ban all high capacity magazines and require background checks. A new report out today may throw cold water on those efforts. According to the US Department of Justices Bureau of Justice statistics, nine out of every ten state and federal prisoners convicted of crimes using a firearm got their guns outside of legal avenues, reinforcing the idea that criminals don’t usually observe the law. The study says 43% of prisoners surveyed got their gun on the black market, 25% said they got their gun from a friend or family member, 10.1% said they got their weapon from a gun retailer, 7.5% from a store, 2% at a pawnshop and 1% from a gun show.

Lake and Mendocino county grape growers may be getting some extra help after the U.S. house passed a bill that would allow North Coast grape growers who had their grapes rejected by wineries last year, to tap emergency funds to compensate for losses from smoke taint. Losses total over $37 million in Lake county, according to the Lake County Wine grape Commission.

Mendocino County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a shooting early Saturday morning in the 100 block of Concow Blvd in Covelo and were told by a woman that she had heard shots outside her home, and said that 24 year old Jessica Durazo of Covelo, had entered the home and threatened to kill a female family member. She left after residents told her to get out, breaking windows on a vehicle on her way. Deputies found shell casings outside of the home, and the suspect a a different home in the 76,000 block of Main in Covelo. Durazo was taken to the Mendocino County Jail on an outstanding warrant.

Cannabis is legal in the state of California, but California Highway patrol officers are still making arrests. About eight tons of cannabis was seized by troopers in 2018. A spokesperson for CHP said last week that anyone transporting cannabis in the state for commercial purposes must carry a license, and comply with regulations. State officers are still on the hunt for black market operators.

Alcohol and drugs don’t appear to be a factor in a crash that killed a 51 year old man on highway 101 in Willits on Friday. California Highway Patrol is investigating after 71 year old Ramon Machado drifted into the southbound lanes and hit a van driven by the 51 year old victim. Machado was also seriously injured and taken to Howard Memorial Hospital for treatment.

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Camp Fire survivors living at a fairground since losing their homes may have to leave soon. The Chico Enterprise Record is reporting a lease for an emergency shelter at the Silver Dollar Fairgrounds ends in  about a week and half. The American Red Cross operates the shelter. Now officials in Butte County are  trying to find housing for several hundred evacuees.  A Red Cross spokesperson says most survivors are in trailers and parked RVs, several hundred more people staying in dorms. The fire Nov. 8th killed at least 86 people and burned several thousand homes and took out the entire town of Paradise.

A man wanted by the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office for Attempted murder and various other crimes has been captured. Deputies found SESARIO LOZINTO RIOS IV who had been posted as Warrant Wednesday online. His bail was $440,000 dollars. They had his description and picture up online saying he was last seen in Hopland.

Reports of a shooter on the Santa Rosa Jr. College campus meant the evacuation of several students and employees at the school’s art building. After a room by room search, it turned out there was no threat. Campus police say they had a report of an active shooter for the first time ever. Some students were criticizing the school’s alert system after for not telling enough people or giving much info. But the police chief says, nothing like it’s ever happened, they got all of the info they had out to the community as they received it in real time. A student reportedly told a teacher a relative told her they were in the building, coming to kill her because she was pregnant. Police then rushed the building and evacuated classes. But no threat or gunman was found.

The prosecution in a double murder case decades ago has been denied a motion to move a retrial to Butte County. The Butte County DA’s office arguing Butte County’s population growth over the years and not a lot of news on the Steven Crittenden case meant he could get a fair trial locally. But the judge said, even though that was a compelling argument, main factors from the original 1981 trial applied still, possible prejudicial media coverage. 40 articles on the case in the last two years alone, one quoting his half brother, calling him a psychopath who admitted to murdering Dr. William Chiapella and Katherine Chiapella in January 1987. The pair killed in their home in Chico when Crittenden was a college kid. He was found guilty in 1989 and sentenced to death. That was overturned though after it was found the original prosecutor was potentially motivated by race, Crittenden is black. He’s in custody awaiting the new trial.

A man from Clearlake’s arrested after reports of a robbery and a whole lot of marijuana. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s office reports getting a call to the robbery of about 40 pounds of processed marijuana in Redwood Valley. They say they gathered info that Brian Cresci was responsible for the robbery at gunpoint. So they got a search warrant of his home. He’s already a convicted felon, so deputies summoned a SWAT team along with Clearlake police. Detectives found ammo and other weapons accessories including several high capacity magazines and arrested him. He was held on $15,000.00 bail.

The new Fort Bragg mayor has announced several priorities plus mentioned some challenges speaking to the city council. Mayor Will Lee praised the diversity in the new council, there are two women now and himself, the first openly gay mayor. He says he will share responsibility for many tasks, giving other members more leverage and said they are all equal, he just has more duties. He also mentioned their accomplishments for 2018 including a balanced budget and wastewater treatment plant renovation, which came in ahead of schedule. The budget last time had a small deficit, but for this fiscal year, they’re ahead, more than 20-thousand dollars.

A federal judge reports PG&E not properly insulating power conductors, then trees or limbs falling on distribution lines was part of the reason wildfire disasters occurred in both 2017 and 2018. The filing in court in San Francisco yesterday by Judge William Alsup says after studying the materials from the utility company, the court tentatively found this to be the single most recurring cause of the fires that together, killed more than 120 people and burned more than 20 thousand homes in Butte County and across the North Bay. A spokesman for PG&E says they’re reviewing the order and are committing to complying with all rules and regulations.

City staff in Clearlake presents a plan to collect taxes from vacation rentals who advertise online. Lake Co News reports the assistant city manager spoke on the matter last June, saying the city collects more than 10% on vacation rental taxes and from hotels and the like, but some of that goes back into the district for promotion. It’s been steadily climbing, but now the city’s looking to collect more from short-term vacation rentals thru online companies like AirBNB, VRBO and FlipKey. The city found several listings and sent them notice they had to pay the taxes moving forward.

Packed meeting on bringing a Dollar General store to Upper Lake. More than 100 people came out in a torrential downpour to hear about the plan at the West Region Town Hall Wednesday. There were other matters to be discussed, but apparently the development was the hot topic. The developer, Cross Development out of Texas had a representative at the meeting too who said it will fill a void in the area, bringing affordable goods to the community. There were questions and answers with three Board Supervisors also in attendance. 102 people voted against the Dollar General in the area, only one voted in favor.

A proposal has been sent to the Mendocino County Department of Transportation to extend a road near Factory Pipe at the old Masonite Site. The deadline to submit proposals was last Friday. And the County’s apparently reviewing the proposal which would be taken to the Board of Supervisors next. The proposal for an already approved grant for one mile of road, a water line, sanitary sewer line, storm drain, and power and communication lines. The project would take more than six months and could start as soon as this spring.

An Assembly investigation says an ex legislator probably kissed a legislative employee against her will. The investigation made public yesterday from an outside investigator who confirmed the incidents reported against Sebastian Ridley-Thomas that he kissed the employee, held her hand, and called her several times even after she said she wasn’t interested. The Democrat resigned a year ago saying he had some sort of health issue and had various surgeries related to it. His lawyer says he never did any of it. There were also three other Democratic legislators who resigned in 2017 and early last year related to sexual misconduct complaints, and others have been sanctioned. There was even a $350,000 settlement with a former employee who claims the Senate didn’t’ take action and fired her after she reported Assembly employee raped her.

Home marijuana deliveries now legal in the state. Even for towns where legal weed is not sold. The state Bureau of Cannabis Control allowing the deliveries, something opposed by police chiefs and others saying it will create chaos and there might even be hidden transactions. The idea’s been pushed by Cannabis companies and consumers because there are areas where legal pot sales are not allowed. So residents in those areas cannot make purchases. State regulators using the business and professions code to allow this, as it says local governments can’t prevent delivery on public roads by a licensed operator.

Eight homes in Shelter Cove with major damage after giant waves crashed down on the shoreline. The homes on Lower Pacific Drive. Shelter Cove Fire reports one of them had as many as 10 broken windows. Other homes were flooded out and furniture damaged, another with a broken door. Others with debris, water and mud throughout. The Fire Dept. reports wearing life jackets to assess damage, saying they’ve never seen waves like that. One firefighter telling Kym Kemp dot com, they were standing on a deck and a wave overtook it so they had to run. Power and propane also turned off to the homes as a preventative measure. Blue Star gas and the power was out working in the area. And firefighters were boarding some of the windows on the damaged homes.

Some road closures due to the winter storm. Hwy. 128 west of Navarro from mile marker 0 to 11 is closed because of flooding from the Navarro River. On Hwy. 175, a closure at Old River Rd. due to flooding of the Russian River. State Route 175 in Hopland was closed at the Russian River due to flooding. Some in Mendocino County reporting power outages, flood warnings, road hazards and crashes last night. As many as 1,000 customers in Willits reported losing power last night, and another several hundred in Laytonville, Fort Bragg and Philo. Both PG&E and Caltrans have incident reports on for outages and closures. There are several flood and creek watches in effect too mainly near the Navarro and the Russian Rivers. Earlier last night there were reports of downed power lines and a small fire from sparking lines. Also reports of downed trees and rocks blocking roads. PG&E reminding not to touch live downed wires, secure outdoor furniture, freeze bottles of water to use for drinking or cooling the fridge, have flashlights handy instead of candles.

Money’s been raised by students and staffers at Eagle Peak Middle School in Redwood Valley along with other schools in Ukiah to buy school supplies for thousands of other kids in Butte County impacted by the Camp Fire. They’re calling the fundraiser Backpacks for Butte. All of the supplies and the backpacks going to the Butte County Office of Education. A 5th grade teacher from Eagle Peak, Karlie Gallagher, lead the whole thing which so far has brought in more than 150 backpacks and boxes of school supplies. The idea came after Gallagher spoke to her class about the Camp Fire which killed 86 people and destroyed nearly 15,000 homes. The teacher says the kids had been thru similar experiences and they came up with the idea. So Gallagher called the county’s education department and found out at least 5,000 kids had lost their homes and needed backpacks and school supplies.

A man from San Francisco has been arrested after police found him driving a stolen mail truck. Fort Bragg Police say they got a call last Saturday morning for the stolen United States Postal Service truck, and they saw the driver at a Chevron Gas Station. He was then detained and held at gunpoint, but say he wouldn’t listen to their commands and had to be “forced” into handcuffs. He’s been identified as 23 year old Aerius Price. He was taken back to San Francisco to face federal charges.

An appointment to the Lakeport Fire Protection District Board. The city council approved Alan Flora out of a pool of seven applicants. An Ad Hoc committee reportedly decided to create the position. Flora reportedly chosen for his fiscal experience. Last month the board came up with a way to move forward on appointments for the board, one district board member to be appointed in 2019 for a four year term. Then another will be appointed next year so the terms are staggered.

Lake County moving forward to officially be a dark sky community, which essentially means, a change to light pollution legislation. A nonprofit the Friends of Taylor Observatory supporting the legislation to regulate light pollution from streetlights and in other ways. That would help the county get certification from the International Dark Skies Association. The nonprofit that promotes stargazing says there are about 100 locations around the world designated as International Dark Sky Places. If Lake County gets the designation, it would be the only one in the country.

Lakeport Police are partnering with Lake County Behavioral Services. The police chief and the Health Services Administrator report the Lakeport City Council and Lake County Board of Supervisors approved the agreement to allow crisis workers to work with cops in the field and at the police station. The partnership begins this month. The police chief says it’s to provide better service for those in need of behavioral health assistance. The department says many of the calls they get are for people needing this kind of help and even though officers are trained for it, the chief says the partnership will help provide more expertise and faster response to those in need.

A woman and a man in Butte County have been arrested in connection to a drug overdose at the Gold Country Casino in Oroville. Jonathan Shade of Roseville and Holly Barker of Paradise are charged with several crimes including child endangerment, possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. The two were treated and released at a hospital after the incident last weekend. They have a five month old infant which was found with them. Another man was treated and released from a hospital after the incident too. Detectives are working to find out where the drugs involved were from and if it’s connected to one in Chico.

Another massive storm, maybe the worst of the winter so far is expected and the ocean will be affected. Forecasters say Gale force winds out of the south will slow down today, but the swell will keep happening thru tonight with wave heights of up to 30 feet which means there will be more erosion and changes to the ocean floor due to so-called shoaling, creating a hazardous and chaotic sea state. In places normally deemed safe, the sea will be hazardous and will most likely affect local crab fishing and other marine interests.

Another statement from the National Weather Service on the weather event currently happening. High surf over 30 ft along the Mendocino Coast so low areas on Highway 1 and areas like Arena Cove in Point Arena could flood. The Navarro River is forecast for minor flood stage tonight through early tomorrow morning, so like in the past, it could mean Highway 128 will have to be closed. The Russian River is not supposed to flood but could be impacted in low areas of Highway 175. If needed you can get sandbags at local fire stations for free.

Already seeing some effects from the first winter storm, fast winds and heavy rain brought down a bunch of trees in Lake County. Power outages also reported that put the lights out for thousands. There were also reports of flooded streets yesterday. The National Weather Service reported several inches of rain across Lake County, with nearly 6 inches in the Boggs Mountain State Demonstration Forest. Also Clearlake rose nearly 3 feet Rumsey by early this morning. Firefighters in Cobb went to a home after a tree fell on it. No injuries reported but the residents couldn’t stay there. As many as 4,500 people without power in Clearlake, Clearlake Highlands and Middletown yesterday.

The Womens Marches happening across the country this weekend, in Ukiah, it’s Saturday. Starting at 11am, folks will meet at the Alex Thomas Plaza in Downtown Ukiah with speakers, music and more. The first Womens March was the day after the inauguration of President Trump. Speakers will speak on immigration and family separation and more. Those joining are encouraged to wear red to support Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women. The Women’s March is sponsored by the Inland Mendocino Democrat Club and the Mendocino Environmental Center.

Mendocino County Sheriff’s Dept. on the lookout for a man they say is wanted for several crimes. Deputies searching for Tim Sanderson for possession of a firearm, possession for sale and person prohibited from having a firearm, among other alleged crimes. The warrant calls for bail of $120,000. He’s described as a 59 year old man, 5 foot 9, 110 pounds with Brown Hair and Blue Eyes. They say he was last seen in Laytonville. They’re asking anyone who may have seen him or has information that could lead to his arrest to call the Sheriff’s Dept.

A woman in Fort Bragg’s been detained for a hit and run last weekend. Police say they were providing security and traffic control when the fire happened at the Chapel by the Sea Saturday when they got a call to help the CHP who had detained Shelly Azmi after several witnesses say she had crashed into another car on N. Main Street then took off. She was found at her home with moderate damage to her car. The other car also had moderate damage, but there were no injuries reported. Azmi was contacted by Fort Bragg Police and they say she seemed drunk. They say after detaining her, she tried to kick out the back bars of the patrol vehicle and hit her head. They repeatedly warned her to stop, but she wouldn’t so they had to restrain her. Then she was taken to a hospital for treatment then cleared to go to jail. She had her blood drawn which was sent to the Department of Justice laboratory for processing. She’s could be charged with Hit-and-Run Collision and more after her blood test comes back.

Bank of America has donated its building to Lakeport and the City Council has voted to accept it. The Lakeport branch was closed at the end of 2017 with only its ATM operational. The City Manager presented the donation to the council, saying she was excited about the donation which has been talked about for about a year. The building’s valued at nearly a half million dollars. And the city has to allow the ATM to stay. The bank’s lawyers reportedly have the documents for the donation and after they’re signed the building will be in escrow and close within a month or so.

A major storm is headed our way with an atmospheric river, so a ton of rain and snow, along with fast moving wind. There’s a high wind watch this afternoon into early tomorrow morning in Lake and Mendocino Counties as well as a Flood Watch for both as well. At the Lakeport City Council meeting last night the Public Works Director told councilmembers he sent an email to members and staff about severe weather concerns because there could be 7 inches of rain in 24 hours along with the fast winds. That of course to lead to downed trees and no power. There are reports we could see some thunderstorms this afternoon and evening over burn scars which could mean debris flows and heavy mountain snow above the 5,000 foot level.

Reports of debris in Clear Lake lead the Lake County Water Resources Department to announce a warning after stormwater runoff from recent rains. Trees and other floating debris plus now another storm’s coming. They warn there could be logs on the surface, and others submerged. So if you venture out, stay at a safe speed and keep a clear line of vision ahead, especially during dusk and dawn. They’ll patrol the lake and remove hazardous floating debris too.

A veteran school administrator’s been chosen as the interim school superintendent for Lakeport. After the ousting of April Leiferman last week, the board chose Patrick Iaccino, who used to be the superintendent of the Upper Lake Unified School District. He retired about a year and a half ago. The board meeting Monday went almost four hours including some closed sessions on the matter. Iaccino and another former county superintendent Judy Luchsinger were interviewed in open session. One board member quit after Leiferman was terminated. Lake Co News reports there was concern others might be expelled in the district, but the board said they had no intention of letting anyone else go and anything to the contrary was rumor.

Butte County is suing PG&E. The announcement only a couple days after the utility announced they were filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. 86 people died in the Camp fire and more than 14,000 homes were destroyed, including practically the entire town of Paradise. The lawsuit blaming the utility company for the fire November 8th which is being called the deadliest and most destructive in state history. Others are also suing PG&E for the Camp Fire, plus, the fires of October 2017 where 44 people died and thousands more homes were lost. Some of the fires have been linked to PG&E equipment.

A woman who was killed along with her 8 year old son by her boyfriend reportedly went thru years of abuse. Krissy Lynn Orbon’s family speaking out after her death, saying she dealt with years of verbal and physical abuse but she was too afraid to get help or leave him. The Press Democrat reports Michael Wilkins of Willits was suspected of murdering Orbon and their 8-year-old son, Damian before taking his own life. Police say Wilkins used a stolen rifle for the shootings, but there had never been any reports of domestic abuse before. The couple broke up about a month before their deaths. But Obon’s grandma says Wilkins assaulted her, even when she was pregnant, and threatened to kill her more than once.

State Sens. Bill Dodd and Mike McGuire working with the Governor and other lawmakers after the bankruptcy announcement by PG&E to protect fire survivors and ratepayers. A measure passed in the last session to help PG&E stay afloat and let the utility use ratepayers as a way to pay damages for the October 2017 fires, but that won’t apply to the Camp Fire or others in 2018. The utility did the same in 2001, due to $9 billion in debt and rising wholesale power costs. McGuire says he wants to see the utility come up with a plan to get out of the mess. He adds that lawmakers and Governor Newsome are working overtime to come up with some safeguards to ensure survivors who lost everything in the North Bay and Camp fires are protected. The governor announced Monday he is consulting with experts on bankruptcy and finance but also said they need to be patient.

An extension for those seeking new health insurance thru the state. Covered California says those interested in enrolling have three more days to finish up. The deadline was yesterday, but there was a surge of applications on Monday. So for those applying before midnight tonight, they have some breathing room. The Executive Director of Covered California says thousands waiting until the final day, and they’re there to help quote, "get across the finish line.” You can use an insurance agent, the Covered California website or call for help. If completed, care coverage would begin February 1st.

A warning about possible flooding ahead of the atmospheric river storm incoming today. Forecasters warn of soaking rain and a potential for flooding, with high winds and a blanket of snow in the Sierra Nevada of up to 4 feet. The National Weather Service warning of heavy rain and possible flooding this afternoon into tomorrow morning and gusty winds of up to 60 mph. We could see a half foot of rain in some areas and could be the strongest storm of the winter so far. From the Oregon border to San Diego, it’ll be wet. Forecasters say heavy rain could cause flooding on streets tonight and that small streams and creeks could run high and flood with rainfall rates at an 1 inch an hour. There are also blizzard conditions possible tomorrow in the Sierra Nevada at elevations of 7,000 feet and higher and 8 to 18 inches of snow expected below 7,000 feet with a possibility of as much as 30 inches.

The Ukiah City Council considers declaring a homeless shelter crisis. The declaration tonight at their meeting so the city can qualify for grants from the state for two projects. The Homeless Emergency Aid Program or HEAP grants from the state and Mendocino County is supposed to be getting as much as $5 million from it. The city council discussed the declaration at their meeting before Xmas vacation. It was announced then that Continuums of Care are eligible to apply for grants to use for homeless services, rental help and capital improvements. But there has to be a crisis declaration first. The two projects to use the funds would be finishing up the Redwood Community Services shelter and building another bathroom at the Project Sanctuary shelter.

A man from Clearlake Oaks accused of killing two people in a shootout and the attempted murder of three others including a CHP officer was supposed to be in court this week but the case is continued. Alan Ashmore accused of the Oct. 2017 shooting spree had pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity last year. His trial was supposed to start tomorrow, but now there’s a settlement hearing set for March instead. And there’s also a jury trial set to begin at the end of March. Ashmore’s been in custody since his arrest. He was evaluated by a couple doctors and the report’s been sent to the court. His dad and a friend were the two killed.

A man from Clearklake’s arrested and pleaded not guilty for the beating and robbery of another man. Paul Mendez arrested after an incident last December where police say he attacked Nicholas Vining. He’s charged with battery with serious bodily injury, robbery and assault with a deadly weapon (not a firearm) with likely gross bodily injury. Vining came out of a medically induced coma and told police it was Mendez who attacked him. At the same time Mendez is on active parole for sexual battery plus he’s a registered sex offender with ankle monitoring. He admitted he assaulted Vining and is held without bond because of the parole violation.

PG&E reports they’re filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Citing “extraordinary challenges” after the 2017 and 2018 wildfires in our state. Now state Senator Mike McGuire says it’s important to protect survivors of the wildfires and ratepayers. McGuire says the state should look at the past as a lesson and make sure Californians have access to reliable and affordable service, plus he added the needs of fire survivors have to stay a top priority. In the utility’s filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, they gave 15-days notice, which is required by law in order to file for bankruptcy.

In order to protect the West Coast from off shore drilling, Congressman Jared Huffman reintroduced a couple of bills. He says opening public waters to oil and gas companies jeopardizes fragile ecosystems, adding they can’t stand by as the Trump administration puts profit from polluters over long-term interests of Americans. His West Coast Ocean Protection Act would ban any new oil or natural gas leases off the coasts of California, Oregon and Washington. Huffman has said in the past, he thinks a quote, “true ‘America first” energy policy means oil off beaches while investing in home-grown renewable sources of power.

A man who died in a home in Chico where several people overdosed over the weekend has been identified. Police say 34 year old Aris Turner died, an autopsy is pending. The Coroner’s Office says they’re unaware of more deaths related to the incident last Saturday. The “mass overdose” ended with a dozen others in the hospital too. Police say they think it was from a combo of fentanyl and another drug at an after party. The police chief says the rest of those in the hospital were all released in good health. Someone in the home reportedly called 9-1-1 as they all started to experience the overdose. Cops found drugs at the home and have taken samples for testing. The home was also being treated as a hazmat site afterward. The home in question also had several police calls last year, mostly for noise, one for domestic violence, and one more for leaking vehicle liquid.

If PG&E is allowed to go thru with the Chapter 11 bankruptcy it means those with claims against the massive utility would have to wait longer and maybe get less. Last year lawmakers even tried to change some bills around to protect the company should they need to file for bankruptcy protection, but that looks to be a moot point now. A federal bankruptcy judge would decide how the utility reorganizes. The official filing will happen Jan. 29th, after a mandatory 15 days notice. Then the judge will decide who gets money and who doesn’t, and will stop all lawsuits accusing the utility in the October 2017 wildfires which killed 44 people and destroyed 8,900 homes. The bankruptcy will probably take as long as a year and a half to resolve.

A fire has flattened the only funeral home on the Mendocino Coast. The Chapel by the Sea in Fort Bragg burned Saturday after the fire started on the second floor of the old 6,800 square foot building. The Fort Bragg Fire Department on the scene seeing the second floor totally engulfed in flames, so they went to work to set up a line around it so it didn’t spread. It took a few hours for the fire to be contained and a couple more to mop up. Officials say the old redwood construction was why the fire got so intense and spread so fast. They were still trying to figure out a damage estimate yesterday, but the building was considered a total loss. One of the owners just lost his home in Paradise in the Camp Fire. And apparently the owners have some other businesses that were impacted by the Carr Fire in July.

More flu activity’s reported in Calif. The state Department of Public Health says it’s important to get vaccinated if you’ve not done so already. There’s been flu activity reported in every region of the state and the department says, above expected levels for this time of year. The peak of the season is in January and February, but can continue until the spring.

For more information about the flu, including weekly updates on flu activity, visit the CDPH influenza Web page. To find a vaccine location near you, visit HealthMap Vaccine Finder.

The CEO of PG&E who announced her retirement a couple of days ago looks to be getting a fat severance package. The Press Democrat reports former Chief Executive Officer Geisha Williams may get millions. Her resignation and the company’s impending bankruptcy filing announced Sunday. Williams was running the company a couple of years. During her tenure, the company was blamed for massive wildfires in Northern Calif and was being sued. The utility announced yesterday Williams would get somewhere between $2.3 to $4.5 million, plus another $3 million or so in pension benefits, but that may be lost with the bankruptcy filing. She earned more than $8.5 million in 2017.

A special weather statement due to a few storms in Northern Calif. Two major ones headed our way, the first tonight into tomorrow morning, the next, tomorrow afternoon into Thursday night. The second one is supposed to be even stronger, with heavier rain and strong winds. The National Weather Service warning there could be local flooding in urban areas, small streams, and possibly near the Mendocino and Carr Fire burn scars. It could mean rivers rise near their monitor stage and giant waves, as high as 20 to 25 ft and breakers of 25 to 30 feet Thursday. They warn to look out for downed tree branches with local power outages, debris flows in fire burn areas and large surf and possible coastal flooding. Also, heavy snow in some mountain passes. Winds of up to 70 mph are also possible in the second storm.

Due to PG&E’s impending bankruptcy, customers can expect higher monthly bills. This a warning from one consumer group, a lawmaker and former PUC commissioner. Mark Toney of the Utility Reform Network says PG&E has filed for bankruptcy before, and customers took the brunt of it, ending up with massive bills over a ten year period. That’s according to former PUC Commissioner Loretta Lynch. She says this time though, the PUC cannot approve a bankruptcy settlement that violates state law and it has to have regulatory will power to enforce the law and protect the ratepayers.

PG&E has announced they’re filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy due to the several billion dollars in possible damages from lawsuits after deadly fires in California last year and in October 2017. During the two years of fires there was at least $30 billion in potential damages from lawsuits after the fires that killed more than 100 people and burned thousands of homes. Last night the CEO resigned, then today the largest utility in the nation made the announcement so they can hold off creditors and still operate as they try to get their finances in order. The lawsuits will still be ongoing, but all of the claims will become one in bankruptcy court, without a jury, so it could protect the company from massive verdicts. The State’s still investigating if the utility’s equipment sparked the Camp Fire as well as the deadliest before it, the Tubbs Fire in Oct. 2017.