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94.5 K-Wine Local News Reports

The final reading and passing of the new medical marijuana ordinance in Clearlake. The City Council has unanimously approved the ordinance after an ad hoc committee started on the project last fall and after the Clearlake Planning Commission recommended it too. Lake Co News reports key provisions are banning commercial cultivation altogether, a six-plant limit on properties of any size, a yearly permitting system and banning growing in scenic and beautification corridors, near water bodies, or close to parks, schools and daycare centers. The ordinance first before the council Jan. 14th and has had several changes. The second reading was Jan. 28th with several more modifications made then. The news site reports only two people spoke during the last public comment period.

At a meeting of the Middletown Area Town Hall, the Lake County Sheriff and a couple members of the board of supervisors showed up to talk about the new state medical marijuana law and concerns about crime in the Valley fire area. Supervisors Anthony Farrington and Jim Comstock and Sheriff Brian Martin were at the meeting last night. A discussion about the thefts in Middletown and Cobb started at the beginning of the meeting. Apparently a Middletown resident had been posting thefts on Facebook of bricks, tools, firewood, lumber and other items in the Valley fire area. The Sheriff says his dept has been working tirelessly, but has a severe staffing shortage, having just lost two more deputies to Napa where they’ll be paid more. Talk about starting a neighborhood watch was continued until next time. Farrington spoke about the new Med. Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act and explained to the attendees about the law in general terms with many questions asked. An Ad Hoc committee’s been formed to make recommendations to the Board of Supervisors sometime this year.

A red light for a man in Boonville who wants to have a marijuana festival. The board of directors for the Mendocino County Fair said no to the proposal this week for the Boonville fairgrounds property. Directors saying they were concerned about federal laws and were even setting a precedent regarding like-minded future events. Chad Rea of Boonville and the producer of the “Mendo Grow Show” says he went to the fairgrounds board about the event, he dubbed “The Spring Planting Show” for the weekend of May 14. He says the “21-and-over” event was focused on medical marijuana-related workshops, community education, safety, hazard mitigation, networking, legal roundtables, political discourse and gardening tips for growers. He says it wasn’t about promoting illegal marijuana use, and says it would have stimulated Anderson Valley’s economy.

Crab fisherman who’ve been suffering due to the loss of the Dungeness season are getting some relief. There’s now a fisherman’s relief fund set up by the Salmon Trollers Marketing Association. The federal Small Business Administration is also sending someone out to Fort Bragg next week as continued ocean testing shows heightened levels of domoic acid in crabs caught off the Northern California coast. No crabbing can happen until 2 straight weeks of clean results, so now the season may not get going until next month, near molting season, when catches are generally down. The SBA representative will be at the Salmon Trollers Marketing Association Hall next Tues and Weds from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Thurs., 8 a.m. to noon.

Police in Fort Bragg have arrested a young man they say broke into a home and stole items from a car. Police say they got a call Monday night to the report of a burglary at a home and found the suspect had kicked in a window in an empty home then went inside. They say he kept going and went out the back door, but took items on his way out. He was confronted and dropped everything. When officers were searching the neighborhood, they found the guy running from a car he’d just entered and taken property from. They chased him on foot and found he’d probably been responsible for another burglary nearby. They say he’d entered several cars and took items. Donald Mack was arrested on several charges, and booked at the Mendocino County Jail.

A couple of Ukiah teens and one of their moms have been arrested after the teens were caught in an alleged attempted burglary. 19-year-old Christopher Beck and 18-year-old Jesse Boulerice are charged with suspicion of attempted burglary, prowling, possession of burglary tools and receiving stolen property. Officers arrested them Monday night after a resident called police to report two people in his backyard. The case was turned over to detectives who were working on other unsolved burglaries. On Wednesday they searched Beck’s home and allegedly found things that had been stolen from Oak Manor School in October and from some other more recent cases. While at the home, Beck’s mother Violet Beck was arrested for meth possession and being in possession of a loaded firearm.

A homeowner with a gun got the upper hand on an intruder. Ukiah Police say the homeowner called police around 5:45 am Weds. and said he was holding another man at gunpoint. Oscar Alvarez Carrillo had allegedly climbed a fence and opened the victim’s backdoor. The homeowner heard Carillo come in, yelled at him and showed him the gun, then held him until police arrived. Carrillo arrested for prowling, being under the influence of illegal drugs and a couple outstanding warrants.

The Valley Fire Long-Term Recovery Task Force is taking a survey focusing on long-term recovery and rebuilding. The results will be used to help the Lake County Board of Supervisors make recovery-related policies. Long-Term Recovery Coordinator Carol Hutchinson says it’s important to take the survey available next week so the County can best represent the needs of fire survivors if the County has information from as many survivors as possible. The survey will be sent to fire survivors via email starting next Tuesday. It should take 5-15 minutes to complete. If you don’t get one, check their spam box or you can do the survey online at

Several Northern Coast beaches could have parks personnel downsized where day-use fees are charged. The Calif. Parks Dept’s been pushing to get self-pay stations at more than a dozen beaches along the Sonoma Coast. But now they’re just interested in three locations: Shell Beach, Stump Beach and Freezeout Creek. The agency also wants to put up manned fee-collection stations at Bodega Head, Goat Rock and Willow Creek. A public meeting to be held in Sebastopol Wednesday to discuss the proposed changes.

The first case of Zika in California has hit a resident of Yolo County. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed the resident tested positive for the virus, they had just gotten back from a country where the virus exists and caught a mild case. This while new details come out about the possible effects of the virus on unborn babies brains. U.S. health officials say mosquito eradication here and abroad is a major component in keeping pregnant women protected until a vaccine can be developed. European researchers found an extremely abnormal brain —a fraction of the proper size and without the usual crinkly neural folds. The mom had Zika symptoms at the end of the first trimester while she was living in Brazil.

The Middletown Area Town Hall has a presentation for the community on new medical marijuana legislation and how it might affect the community. The meeting tonight at 7 p.m. at the Middletown Community Center. Last month the MATH Secretary had asked for the discussion on the new medical marijuana legislation which the Gov. signed into law last fall. Lake Co News reports County Supervisor Anthony Farrington will be at tonight’s meeting talking about the new law that had been partly introduced by No. Coast state Sen. Mike McGuire. His is part of a trio of bills that together make up the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act. MATH serves residents of Anderson Springs, Cobb, Coyote Valley (including Hidden Valley Lake), Long Valley and Middletown.

State Sen. Mike McGuire has introduced a bill to tax medical marijuana as its sold at 15%. The Marijuana Value Tax Act is expected to bring the state as much as $100 million dollars in new revenue. McGuire says after passing the new law regulating medical pot, they made a a commitment to follow up on a statewide excise tax to focus on the impacts of cultivation and use of marijuana. Lake Co News reports the state Board of Equalization estimating total sales of medical marijuana in the state to bring in more than $1 billion which is expected to be even higher after the new rules and regulations start to kick in. If the new bill passes, the tax would go to the new Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation to distribute thru grant programs.

Ukiah Police have released a sketch of a man they say is related to an incident January 19th where a man tried to grab a 10-year-old. Police have been trying to figure out who the man is after the Accelerated Achievement Academy student was followed. They say they’ve been actively investigating, as well as other recent similar ones in Ukiah. The victim met with a Certified Police Sketch Artist. This latest incident around Scott Street and North State Street. Police say there’s no indication yet this guy is associated with any of the other incidents. You can see the sketch on the Ukiah Police Facebook Page or at the Press Democrat website.

Preliminary numbers for the 2015 grape harvest are out, showing the North Coast grape crop fell about 25 percent from 2014. According to the USDA report released yesterday, growers in Mendocino, Lake, Napa, and Sonoma counties picked 400,174 tons of grapes last fall. But while the yield was down, the prices were up. The Press Democrat reports Napa County grapes got the highest average price per ton in California at $4,329, up 6 percent from 2014. Sonoma County had the second highest with $2,441, up 5 percent from 2014. Mendocino County had an average of $1,515 per ton and Lake County at $1,600

If you missed the last meeting of the Valley Fire Recovery Task Force, the minutes are posted on the website The task force includes local, state, federal, tribal and non-profit agencies working towards recovery. The meetings are public so fire survivors can hear information first hand and have a chance to ask questions and voice concerns. The Feb 2nd meeting included a discussion of the St Vincent DePaul “House in a Box” program that provides sofas, dining room sets, beds, kitchen utensils, and other goods. About 200 Valley Fire survivors have applied for a “House in a Box.” There were also detailed discussions on trees, septic systems, contractors, and revised property tax assessments.

A special’s meeting’s been called by the Mendocino Board of Supervisor’s Health and Human Services Standing Committee regarding the Kemper Report. This had been set for next Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. but in order for more time for public participation the Kemper Report item is instead going to be heard at 10:00 a.m. in the Board of Supervisors Chambers. There will a public presentation of the report from Kemper Consulting plus time for the public to give their comments. It’ll be held in chambers at 501 Low Gap Road, Rm. 1070 in Ukiah, but if you can’t make it, check the county website or this radio station’s website for more info. You can also call the county’s executive office at (707) 463- 4441.

The city of Ukiah is gathering public comment this month on the city’s recently updated Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan. Several members of the public spoke out about the plan at the last Ukiah Planning Commission meeting, several saying they were disappointed to have just found out about that meeting the day it happened. Members of the Planning Commission apparently not thrilled with the presentation by staff last month due to no maps, copies of the plan or anyone representing the consultants who created the plan or its subcontractors. The chair of the commission saying the presentation was lacking.

A teacher from Yokayo Elementary School has been arrested on suspicion of selling drugs. Cloverdale Police say Jared Candelaria of Cloverdale is charged with felony possession and transportation of a controlled substance, specifically Oxycodone. Police had been watching the guy and had collected evidence for a month and a half before a search warrant was served and he was arrested. Cops say they found drugs at his home and in his possession plus they found evidence of sale. Candelaria was booked into the Sonoma County Jail under $30,000 bail. He’s due in court March 12th.

Animal control officers say a dead calf found on the side of a rural east Sonoma County road was illegally dumped after dying but they don’t know how it got there and why it had its hind legs tied to a gate. The calf partially bound and tied with a 10-foot rope. CHP first thought it was a possible case of animal cruelty, but says there was no obvious trauma to the animal, which they say was about eight months old. Animal control officials say it probably died somewhere else then got dumped at the Skaggs Island-area gate, calling it unusual.

A judge in Mendocino County ruling on whether firefighters could take their proposed ballot initiative to voters for public safety dollars got shot down. The ruling from last Wednesday on the challenge for Proposition 172 funds. The judge tossing the case saying it was purely based on the language in the proposed initiative as currently written. If it passed the judge’s muster, it would have asked the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors to show more transparency with the handling of Proposition 172 funds and asked to include in proposed and final budgets a line item saying allocations to fire districts and other public safety agencies would be made. They also wanted a minimum of 30 percent. The county’s acting counsel filed the suit against the fire initiative.

The Clearlake City Manager says the city’s attacked more than half of its 36 priority goals by either starting or completing them in the first half of the fiscal year. The city manager Greg Folsom says the biggest achievements were increases in staff for the Police Department and Code Enforcement. The staffing comes as the city deals with more crime. Six new officers were hired and a new community policing program started. There was also the start of almost 1,200 new code enforcement cases invoiced at $105,000. Folsom also touted the work of animal control, especially after the SPCA terminated its contract.

A new version of a bill that didn’t make it thru Calif’s legislative session last year is being reintroduced to coincide with recent comments made by President Barack Obama to ban solitary confinement of juveniles in federal prisons. State Senator Mark Leno of San Francisco says he’s preparing a new version of his bill limiting solitary confinement in state and county-run juvenile detention centers. He says the kids in the system are troubled and have mental health issues so it just makes the problem for them worse. But apparently unions representing prison guards who are major campaign donors in Sacramento opposed Leno’s first bill. The new bill puts limits on using solitary confinement but not banning it entirely and it requires facilities to keep track of how much they use it.

The legislature will consider a trio of bills to move $23 million in state money for an Earthquake Early Warning system. The legislation in the Assembly and the state Senate to fund California’s part of the $38 million ShakeAlert system experts say may be able to give more than a minute warning before a temblor reaches a community. It could slow trains, stop elevators at the nearest floor and give people a chance to take cover. The bills take out language from an earlier bill that prohibited using general fund money to develop the warning system. Federal Emergency Management Agency estimates California is responsible for $3.5 billion, or 66 percent, of annual losses from earthquakes across the country.

A semi driver’s been taken to the hospital and the highway cleaned up after he slid out on Walker Road in Ukiah. The CHP says it happened Tuesday when the driver tried getting around a 20 mph curve and overturned. The semi was towing a 45′ trailer loaded with garbage. It slid on its side hitting railing. The driver, Jose Nieto in a Solid Waste truck had to be taken to the hospital. He had major injuries and police say they don’t consider Alcohol as a factor in the crash. The road was closed for about 6 hours for clean up and removal of the truck, trailer, and garbage.

A man from Wisconsin who got his 10th DUI says the beer in his beer battered fish and chips was to blame. The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports 76 year old John Przybyla busted in October of 2014 after a deputy saw his truck cross the center line of a state highway. When pulled over, the deputy noticed the smell of booze and gave him a field sobriety test, he failed. He denied drinking and said it was the beer-battered fish he ate that night. These same statements were made in court on Monday. But police say his blood-alcohol level was .062. Przybyla found guilty on several charges and faces up to 12.5 years in prison.

Traffic nightmare as the offramp from the northbound 101 to eastbound Route 20 is going to be closed tomorrow through Tuesday during morning traffic commutes into lunchtime. There’s a detour using the West Road/ Redwood Valley interchange and the southbound 101 offramp to route 20 is open. But drivers will see some delays from 5 a.m. to 2 p.m Repairs because of failing asphalt along Route 20 near Lake Mendocino. The area’s being grinded and paved. Some delays reported already where the work is happening, especially on Fridays, with waits of up to a half hour.

There’s been another report of a Ukiah student being approached by a stranger. Police say they were contacted by a social worker with Mendocino Youth Project who said a man in a truck followed a girl Monday morning after she walked through the Shell Station at the corner of South Orchard and East Perkins. She said she walked to different spots along Perkins to avoid the guy but at one point he got close enough to make inappropriate comments and gestures at her. The suspect is described as a heavy looking Hispanic man in his 30’s, with a mustache, wearing a grey hat and a blue hoodie. The truck was a faded red, two-door Chevy pickup with the word “Chevrolet” written on the tailgate, over a silver stripe. Following a series of similar incidents last month the UPD has stepped up their Stranger Danger training at elementary schools. UPD says while they are still investigating all these incidents involving kids walking to and from school, it’s important to note they’re not sure they’re connected.

Habitat for Humanity Lake County is asking the state for some help rebuilding homes for those who lost them in last summer fires. Habitat Lake County President Richard Birk and representatives of other Northern California Habitat affiliates recently met with state Sen. Mike McGuire in Sacramento to talk specifically about housing issues relating to the fires. Lake County News reports Habitat for Humanity Lake County wants help not just for uninsured, low-income families who lost houses, but also for low-income renters who were displaced.

The Clearlake City Council is gearing up for the second and final reading of an updated marijuana cultivation ordinance. The council started a second reading at its January 28 meeting, but found a mistake in the language about the setback distance that needed to be fixed. Lake County News reports during the discussion they also decided to require any outstanding fines owed by a cultivation applicant would have to be all paid up before they could get a new permit. The main provisions of the proposed ordinance are: establishment of a permitting system; a six-plant limit on parcels of all sizes; and prohibitions on growing in certain areas in the city with limits on distance from parks, schools, daycare centers, bodies of water and certain scenic and beautification zones. The council meets Thursday at 6pm at Clearlake City Hall.

Ukiah police on the lookout for suspects an elderly couple reported invaded their home and robbed them. Police say the elderly couple saying two or three men came into their house through a sliding glass door. Cops say the couple, the 77-year-old woman and 80-year-old man were tied up, the woman on a couch and the man face down on the kitchen floor. Their phones were also turned disabled as the suspects ransacked the home, then suddenly said they were in the wrong house and left. The suspects described as white men, one maybe Hispanic, in their late 20s or early 30s. All were wearing hats and clothes covering the lower part of their faces.

The Gov. Jerry Brown reaching out to the federal government for a fishery disaster declaration for the almost three-month delay in the opening of the Dungeness crab season and to cover the closure of the rock crab fishery. This to cover struggling fleets in Bodega Bay, Fort Bragg and elsewhere. The Press Democrat reports the request for aid going to the U.S. Commerce Secretary saying the state’s had direct economic losses in the neighborhood of $49 million plus that doesn’t cover fish processors, gear and tackle suppliers, restaurants, markets and other interests related to the fishery. The governor says the commercial Dungeness crab season could be closed for most or all of the 2015-16 season. Domoic acid levels are now low in test crab at several ports, but apparently the fishery cannot open until all ports test clean for two weeks in a row.

Bees being stolen in the Chico area because they’re pulling high prices to rent plus there’s a short supply of bee hives. The Record Bee reports thieves brazenly going directly into orchards, loading bee boxes onto pallets, then move them onto trucks with a forklift. As many as 280 hives missing in Colusa County last month. Then, soon after another 280 hives were stolen in the Yuba/Sutter area. Some beekeepers hit last year by thieves have hired private security to keep an eye on their goods. Renting a bee hive goes for between $150-$185 and even more.

A man in Florida’s busted for, get this… heaving an alligator at a Wendy’s fast food drive thru window. Joshua James has been arrested and charged with assault with a deadly weapon without intent to kill. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation officials say the man tossed the 3.5-foot alligator through the drive-thru in October after he got his drink. He then drove away. He’s also charged with illegally possessing an alligator and petty theft. He’s released on $6,000 bail and ordered to have no contact with animals. His mom said it was a stupid prank…

The Red Cross in Utah honoring a year-old red kangaroo working as a therapy animal in Salt Lake City at a veterans home. Charlie, one of about 12 therapy animals at the William E. Christoffersen Veterans home. He also visits special education classes and hospice care facilities too. He won’t be able to stay at the Veteran’s Home much longer as he’s growing quickly and already over 5 feet tall. The Utah Red Cross is honoring Charlie and veterans home administrator Noralyn Kahn in March.

No definitive decision yet for the Mendocino County Animal Shelter. The Daily Journal reports after a couple county meetings staff has not come up with a recommendation. The latest, Monday’s Health and Human Services Agency regular committee meeting. Staff saying they couldn’t come up with a position based on just one request for a proposal for an outside organization to take over management of animal care services and operating the shelter. The committee has referred the possible move to the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors for further discussion.

A resolution has been unanimously agreed to by Mendocino County supervisors to take care of fixes that turned up charges to the county library system. The county was charging the library for equipment no longer being used or that’s more than 15 years old because of an outdated list of assets. The Daily Journal reports the equipment use charges that had been assessed to the library was for equipment that had been purchased before the 2012-13 fiscal year so that was found to be invalid by the county auditor-controller. The board’s agreed it was inappropriate to assess the library for items purchased with dedicated library funds, including from library sales tax revenue, and its share of property tax dollars.

The SPCA of Clear Lake is empty with the last of its animals moved to another rescue so the organization refocuses effort on low-cost spaying and neutering services. Lake Co News reports the organization said it adopted out or placed 43 cats and 29 dogs, most of those were pit bulls. They also reported the first 40 days of the year had a zero rate of euthanasia. The last three dogs were transferred to Petaluma Animal Services Foundation. All this after the SPCA announced last month they would stop taking animals and they were closing the shelter. But they’re reestablishing the low-cost spay/neuter clinic as their focus instead of animal adoption. For more info, visit spcaofclearlake.

photo Lesley Lotto
Remote News Service
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A man from Antioch who police say is connected to several bank robberies in Northern California has been arrested in Clearlake Oaks. The Lake County Sheriff’s Office reports getting a tip from Clearlake Police that Wesley Krohn was in Glenhaven after making comments he’d, quote “shoot it out” if he was ever contacted by law enforcement. So Deputies and Police went to a home nearby and as they saw him leave, they followed him. After he turned into a business, moving quickly, the officers tried to catch him, but he was going 80 miles per hour. A deputy threw down a spike strip and Krohn stopped, his tires deflated. He’s arrested and held on a federal no bail warrant and multiple local charges.

A consultant’s report out on the condition of the Mendocino County mental health system, and it highlights a number of problems. The report done by the Kemper Consulting Group, and paid for by the county, indicates the program for children and young adults – Redwood Quality Management Group – is generally effective and just suggests some improvements. But Kemper finds the adult system – Ortner Management Group – is lacking in many areas, notably accountability, slow decision-making, delays in electronic record-keeping, and a murky contract. The report suggests the county should not have entered into the contact with Ortner and offers ways to amend the current contact. You can see the report for yourself on the County Website.

Mendocino County has a new Animal Shelter Manager. The County Executive Officer has Mary Jane Montana taking over as Interim Animal Shelter Manager at the County’s Animal Shelter in Ukiah starting tomorrow. Montana was most recently the Executive Director the SPCA of Clear Lake, which closed January 31st after the retirement of their volunteer veterinarian and a dramatic drop in donations as residents focused more charitable efforts towards the Valley Fire. Montana has also served in several key positions with Lake County, including as Chief Building Official and Planning Director.

The Upper Lake Unified School District Board meets this week to talk about what’s next in hiring admin staff. At its last meeting the board hired Upper Lake Union High School District Principal/Superintendent Patrick Iaccino to also act as interim superintendent of the new district. Lake County News reports this week they’ll look at a memo of understanding with the High School District to have Iaccino’s current administrative assistant there provide administrative secretarial support to the new district and another memo to have the elementary district’s chief business official take over those duties at the new unified district. The memos call for them to not be paid any extra money and the shared jobs would end June 30th. The meeting is 5 p.m. Tuesday at Upper Lake High School.

A man from Laytonville has been arrested on suspicion of weapons and drug charges. Police arrested Jeremy Auman Sunday with an illegal handgun and drugs near Anton Stadium. Ukiah Police say they got a call about a suspicious car parked near the stadium with people inside. Auman and his passenger, a woman from Willits found with methamphetamine, Oxycodone and drug paraphernalia. Cops also found an unregistered 9mm handgun they say was connected to Auman. He was arrested on suspicion of possessing an illegally obtained handgun, controlled substances and drug paraphernalia. The woman arrested on suspicion of possessing drugs and drug paraphernalia. The two booked into Mendocino County Jail.

Anderson Spring’s popping up flowers in the blackened area of the Valley fire but only 19 homes remain from a couple hundred. The Press Democrat reports two of the four who died in the massive summer fire were in Anderson Springs, a little town on the outskirts of a 19th century hot springs resort. The newspaper reports many others in the fire zone have begun to rebuild, but those in Anderson Springs have obstacles other’s aren’t facing. About 115 of the burned out homes had septic tanks located too close to the creek. So now the county may grant variances partially to some of the small lot sizes and that depends how close they are to the creek. Many of the homes that burned were not up to code. County officials say the septic system rules are to protect the environment and health and safety of water consumers. About 30 percent of the homes there before the fire were full-time residences.

A working session’s planned for the Lakeport Economic Development Advisory Committee to consider the city’s economic strategic plan. It’s tomorrow early morning, from 7:30 to 9 a.m. at Lakeport City Hall. They’ll be reviewing several studies and reports the Lakeport Community Development Department finds are relevant to economic development strategy and the priorities for the city of Lakeport. They’ll look at the Lakeport Economic Development Strategic Plan with time for public input.

A man from Ukiah’s been arrested after he was found to have more than 1,600 pounds of bagged marijuana in his truck. Christopher Potter pulled over by the CHP last Thursday afternoon on Highway 12 south of Cloverdale because he had darkly tinted windows. The officer says the truck was pulling a closed and padlocked equipment trailer. The officer says when he spoke to Potter for a few minutes he smelled pot so a police dog inspected and alerted to something. The trailer was opened and the officer found several large black garbage bags, filled with marijuana. Potter was arrested on suspicion of possession of marijuana and transporting it for sale.

A bill including protection against the possibility of another Indian casino in Sonoma County may be on its way to the floor of the House of Representatives. Congressman Jared Huffman says the bill that he drafted to create land for the Lytton Pomo tribe across from Windsor would provide “bulletproof” protection against gaming, if it passes. Huffman says it mirrors an agreement with the tribe and Sonoma County that the tribe cannot build a casino anywhere in the county for 22 years. Huffman also says his bill has an additional permanent prohibition against gaming north of Highway 12, basically from Santa Rosa to the Mendocino County line. The bill is reportedly supported by the tribe and county officials and was approved unanimously by the House Natural Resources Committee, a step before a possible vote by the full House of Representatives. Congressman Mike Thompson has co-authored the bill, supported by the Gov. Jerry Brown.

A man in Pennsylvania busted after police say he swiped several police badges as he was held for questioning in a domestic dispute. Robert Dingeldein accused of stealing the badges last Oct. 30th as he was questioned by Irwin police. It’s a small town, so he was held in the mayor’s office to keep him away from a woman also being questioned in the dispute. Police say they didn’t know he took something from the office until someone brought a stolen badge back last month. The man’s since apologized and returned three other badges he took. He faces theft related charges.

A man in North Carolina has died while taking part on the annual Krispy Kreme Challenge. The 58 year old collapsed during the 5 mile race where participants also down a dozen donuts on their own. Jeff Woods had complained of chest pains during the first mile of the challenge, called a test of “physical fitness and gastrointestinal fortitude”. He died just after he got to the hospital. Participants in supposed to run 2.5 miles to a Krispy Kreme shop, eat 12 doughnuts (totalling 2,400 calories), and then run 2.5 miles back to the starting point.


New neighbors in Ukiah. Mom and Dad, Kira and Cody Swan of Ukiah have new triplets. The identical triplets Kodi Reann, Layla Michele and Madilynn Glen arrived February 1st and are breathing on their own and eating. The family at the University of California, San Francisco, medical center. The babies weighed between 2 pounds, 12 ounces to 3 pounds, 9 ounces. The Press Democrat reports on a study in the Journal of Biosocial Science finding identical triplets only happen 20 to 30 times in 1 million births.

At a special meeting of the Clearlake City Council, the council voted to use unallocated funds for equipment replacements for police and public works. The Finance Director presented findings to the city council last week saying the city’s got almost $260,000 in net unallocated funds halfway through this fiscal year so the city will dip into much of it, more than 80 percent. The Record Bee Newspaper reports the finance director saying the police dept. needs the funds so it can replace a couple of communication panels connecting callers to dispatchers. One’s busted the other’s old and in bad condition. It would cost about $47,000 to replace. The mayor says the panels have to be replaced, plus the dept. also needs upgrades for tasers, body cameras, and patrol cars.

A new study from the University of Idaho shows the entire country needs to pay closer attention to wildfire growth. The researchers calling for academia, government agencies, industries and communities to work together on the quote “wicked problem”. The report published in the journal BioScience. The lead author says there needs to be closer communication with communities about how to coexist with wildfire. The study done in the Graduate Program for the UI College of Natural Re-sources. The report shows wildfires across the country last year alone were a new record, burning more than 10.1 million acres. The fires destroyed 4,500 homes and structures and killed 13 firefighters.

A new prize for Upper Lake High School as the school won the Lake County Academic Decathlon. The contest Saturday with Upper Lake unseating last year’s winning team, Clear Lake High and defending champs, Kelseyville High School. There are three members on each Academic Decathlon team from three academic levels: Honors, with a grade point average of 3.75 to 4.00; Scholastic, 3.00 to 3.74 GPA; and Varsity, GPA of 2.99 or below. They compete in 10 areas, arts, economics, essay, interview, language and literature, mathematics, music, science, social science and speech.

A man arrested for growing marijuana in the Mendocino National Forest is going to federal prison. Pablo Barreto-Cruz of Mexico has been sentenced to five years, three months plus he has to pay almost $23,000 in restitution for growing marijuana on public land and depredation of public lands and resources. Court papers say the guy had grown almost 3,000 pot plants in the Mendocino National Forest from March to May of last year alone. Police say the garden caused serious damage to habitat and water quality of the national forest. The U.S. Forest Service reports the cultivation site diverted about 18,000 gallons of water per day.

A lawyer working with a group of civic organizations has sent a letter on the group’s behalf to the city of San Francisco saying they’re going to file a lawsuit if the open-air urinal in Dolores Park is not removed in 20 days. The urinal is out in the open. It’s made of concrete and is screened by plants for privacy. The circular looking urinal was placed in the park last month. The reason apparently was the park only has three toilets and folks were relieving themselves in bushes or buildings anyway. But now the 1/2 dozen civic groups teamed up for the formal letter to the city that says the urinal must go.

A new roundabout proposed for Ukiah has been scrapped. The traffic circle for Low Gap Road and North Bush Street was de-funded due to a major gap in the amount of money available for transportation projects because of lower gas prices. The tax money is not enough, so the roundabout is apparently on hold until 2018 at the soonest. The Mayor told the Ukiah City Council the Mendocino Council of Governments cut the project and three others too due to as much as $750 million being cut from the State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP).

A special meeting’s been called regarding refinancing water revenue bonds in Ukiah. The council meeting today to consider a resolution to refinance water revenue bonds and save the city’s water utility more than $1 million. The Daily Journal reports the city’s sold almost $18 million worth of Water and Wastewater Revenue Bonds but still has almost $12 million to pay off. The newspaper reports the funds used for paying for and building capital improvements to the water systems. The city’s financial adviser says it’s a good time to consider refinancing the bonds to avoid the possibility of interest rates going up in coming months.

The price of gas is going down, way down. It’s dropped nearly a dime in the last couple of weeks to $1.82 a gallon. Industry analyst Trilby Lundberg says the price is 37 cents a gallon under where it was a year ago. She says the price drop could continue if crude oil costs continue to slide. The highest average price of regular gasoline in the lower 48 states at $2.62 per gallon in Los Angeles and in Tulsa, Oklahoma, it was $1.44. And the average diesel price is $2.13 per gallon, down about 7 cents from two weeks ago.

The new Miss Mendocino hails from Ukiah. Michelle Goodman won the crown Saturday Night and got herself a $5,000 scholarship. Goodman’s a student at the Pacific Union College. She will go on to represent the county at the Miss California Scholarship Program in late June. The contestants were judged on their personal interview Saturday afternoon and other categories: Talent, Evening Wear, On-Stage Question and Physical Fitness.

Construction way behind schedule on the 68 billion dollar high-speed rail system to connect travelers from San Francisco to Los Angeles. The bullet train project’s being sued by residents in its path. The suit filed in 2011 on behalf of a group of Central Valley farmers. They’re back in court now arguing the state’s not keeping promises it made to voters in 2008 regarding travel times and the system cost. Voters said yes to selling almost $10 billion in bonds for a project to cost $40 billion. The first signs of construction are just starting to show up but it’s taken years for officials to get thousands of parcels of land required for the project. Right now they hold just 63 percent of the parcels needed for just 29 miles in the Central Valley.

Fans of Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders getting free tattoos and going for it in a big way. Several dozen came out to the tattoo shop, Aartistic Tattoo in Montpelier, Vermont getting their free Bernie tat, featuring his picture with messy hair and his thick-rimmed glasses. The Burlington Free Press reports ( a promotion started a week ago with the shop saying it’ll keep going as longer as Sanders runs.

A gun rights bill in Washington apparently includes fake quotes by America’s Founding Fathers. The News Tribune reports ( ) Republican Rep. Matt Shea of Spokane Valley introduced a measure to create penalties for public officials blocking residents from owning or buying guns but it has quotes in it he says are from the U.S. Constitution, but actually, they’re not. Researchers looking at the draft say the bill has as many as three quotes attributed to Thomas Jefferson, George Washington and Alexander Hamilton that were not said or written by them.


Bad grades for Lake County and mediocre ones for Mendocino in the latest American Lung Association State of Tobacco Control report card. Lake County and it’s cities scored F’s in the 14th annual report on four policy areas: tobacco control and prevention spending; smoke-free air; tobacco taxes; and cessation coverage. A spokesman tells the Record Bee the point of the report is to highlight where they think elected officials can improve policy. Clearlake and Lakeport earned some points for having parks that prohibit smoking, but that was pretty much it for Lake County. Mendocino as a whole got a C as did the cities of Ukiah and Fort Bragg for having limits on smoking for some public areas and events. Willits got a D and Point Arena an F.

Californians need to keep up water conservation, but can back off a bit. The chair of the State Water Board Felicia Marcus, says if the rain and snow continue thru March, we might be able to ease up on the tough requirements or even drop them altogether. Since the drought’s lasted so long many of the state’s reservoirs and groundwater basins are still depleted so further water conservation is needed. This is the fourth time the state has mandated residents continue conserving. The board is going to continue to track water conservation for all of the urban water suppliers each month. Those who comply with individual water supplier conservation requirements will have their mandates based on savings since June of 2015. Marcus says she thinks the state’s rate will hit the 20 percent mark but not getting the prior call for 25 percent so some areas can back off to 23%. The state could save more than 1 million acre-feet of water through October 2016 that way.

State lawmakers are asking the Gov. Jerry Brown to immediately take action due to the dismal, if none, crab season for fisheries on the North Coast. Sen. Mike McGuire of Healdsburg, the chair of the state Joint Committee on Fisheries and Aquaculture says he wants the governor to declare a fishery disaster due to unsafe levels of domoic acid in California Dungeness crabs which forced a delay of the crab season in November, missing the peak holiday season. Losses are projected in the millions of dollars. Yearly crab revenues usually average $60 million in California and the peak season brings in more than $95 million in direct revenue. Levels of the toxin are tapering, but McGuire says it may be until mid-February, or even much later in the year for the season.

The first of several upcoming workshops for those looking to rebuild or repair after the Valley Fire has taken place. The Record Bee reports more than 30 private and public entities, from the United States Small Business Administration (SBA) to Kelseyville Lumber had booths set up with informational handouts at the After the Fire summit. It was an open house regarding hazard mitigation and a housing summit too. The event was hosted by the Valley Fire Recovery Task Force at Twin Pine Casino in Middletown on Tuesday. Calfire, FEMA and several area businesses helping in recovery and rebuilding.

(Another version of above) It’s been nine months since Calif. had to start some serious water conservation, and this week dozens of water agency head’s pleaded with the Gov. to relax the mandate. But the State Water Resources Control Board voted for adjustments instead. So places where it’s hot like the Southern California desert and the Central Valley stay at 25% from 2013 levels. The state agency says the rules needed to be adjusted so it’s more fair across the state. Now, California cities and water agencies have to reduce consumption 23 percent overall instead. The board has also said yes to cities with extremely hot weather or high levels of population growth to reduce their mandatory state conservation targets up to 8 percentage points. Those range from 8 percent to 36 percent, based on per capita use.

Three people in a car crash had major injuries after a head-on crash near Rio Nido. The CHP reports the accident last Saturday when driver Alexander Vassar of Guerneville lost control of his car as he drove too fast in a 25 mph zone just before midnight. Officers say the man went into the opposite lane and hit a car headed in the other direction. Vassar, the other driver, Patricia Klemme of Monte Rio and Vassar’s passenger Kaitlynne Watson of Rio Nido all had to be taken to the hospital. Russian River firefighters had to cut Vassar out of his totaled car. Vassar reported earlier in the week in stable condition and Klemme was in the ICU in critical condition. Watson not listed as a patient at the same hospital. The crash is being investigated but the CHP says they don’t believe alcohol was a factor.

A police dog coming to the Fort Bragg Police Department. Jerry, the canine unit will have Officer Brandon McGregor as his handler. The team will train for a month and a half together with Jerry learning how to catch suspects, learn narcotics detection then work with McGregor. The dog, just a puppy really, at about 20 months old. He will live with his handler and is expected to start his training in the next few weeks. The money for Jerry, who’s name may change once he gets here, came from the Mendocino Public Safety Foundation.

Firefighters in Fort Bragg made quick work of a fire at an apartment building. It happened last Thursday, Jan. 28th and damaged a downstairs unit but firefighters stopped it from spreading further. 20 Fort Bragg volunteer firefighters in three engines and the department’s aerial truck went to the scene. No injuries were reported but a family lost their home. The fire under investigation.

A former Ohio police officer who just retired gets to buy his K-9 partner for $1. It caused quite the controversy when Marietta officials said Matt Hickey’s police dog, Ajax, had to be sold at auction since it was technically city property and could still work. But Ajax and handler Hickey worked together for three years, and the dog lived with him so officials said Hickey could buy Ajax from the city. This after earlier in the week the city said he could keep the dog if he stayed on the police force on a volunteer basis after his retirement. He said no, he was retiring due to health concerns. He says now he’s "speechless and very grateful" he gets to keep his partner Ajax.

An ape at the Salt Lake City zoo apparently got the memo early about which team will win the Super Bowl. A zoo spokesperson says the 1 year old Orangutan named Tuah has predicted the Carolina Panthers are going to win. He chewed up a cardboard Panthers sign then kissed a papier-mache Panthers helmet. The zoo says he didn’t even go near the Denver Broncos sign or helmet. Apparently it’s an annual event at the zoo, animals have correctly predicted the Super Bowl winner eight straight years. This was Tuah’s first time though.


A man from Fort Bragg has been arrested on several charges, including vandalism and drug charges. Police say they got a call about a man without a shirt on walking on Redwood Avenue, punching cars. They found Joe Gunn after several calls to police about a disturbance and damage of property. Gunn found to be high on methamphetamine. Police say he vandalized multiple properties as he went into a rage after meeting an ex girlfriend, protected from Gunn by a domestic violence restraining order. Gunn was arrested for vandalism, being under the Influence of a Controlled Substance and violation of a Domestic Violence Restraining Order. He was booked at the Mendocino County Jail in Ukiah.

A 12th police officer has been added to the Lakeport Police Dept… temporarily. The City Council has said yay to putting the salaried position in the dept. until they can hire a few permanent cops as others leave or retire. As we’ve reported the Police Chief Brad Rasmussen told the council in a report there’s a lag getting people trained up since a couple of officers are on medical leave and there’s pending retirements. Lake Co News reports the chief asked for the 12th officer position starting in March and going through June 2017. The Council agreed.

With the closure of the FEMA Field Office in Lakeport and the near-completion of CalRecycle’s debris cleanup for residential lots, Lake County says they’re moving resources away from recovery from the Valley Fire and more towards rebuilding. The County Administrative Officer says many County staffers are working with the Emergency Operations Center and fire recovery programs since July when the Rocky Fire broke out, but now they’re going back to their regular jobs, which he says will help with rebuilding. As part of this, the County is getting out of donation management. Staff took it over when the area was overwhelmed with contributions but the donation center at the Work Right building is set to close by the end of March. District 5 Supervisor Rob Brown says the Seventh Day Adventist Donation Center in Lakeport will try to stay open for as long as needed and the Cobb Mountain Lion’s Club plans to keep their donation center open at the Little Red Schoolhouse until September.

The Gov. Jerry Brown signing that emergency legislation to change the upcoming deadline local governments had faced to ban or regulate medical marijuana cultivation. Brown signed the bill drafted by northern calif. Assemblyman Jim Wood of Healdsburg yesterday. It changes regulations in the bill passed in September approved as the legislative session came to an end. It had said March 1st would be the latest counties and cities could come up with their own rules governing cultivation or they’d lose power to the state. Assemblyman Wood says the deadline made it into the regulations by mistake and locals now have until 2018 to consider the issue.

A little, one room elementary school in Sonoma County is staying open as it’s increased enrollment by 50 percent, up to nine students. The Press Democrat reports Union School in Petaluma was close to closing because there were only six students, and the school’s average daily attendance was lower than what the state requires which is six students. The school is more than 100 years old. It was recruiting heavily to try to get just one student more to stay open, the principal and only teacher there says so many families applied she had to close enrollment so the school wouldn’t be overflowing.

Residents of Mendocino County get to figure out what the county’s cannabis policy should be. Meetings set for area residents to speak with county officials, farming, banking, and legal experts, plus cannabis advocacy groups to look at the state’s new commercial medical marijuana regulations. The Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act passed last fall and signed into law by the Gov. Jerry Brown. In Willits this Saturday, events are focused on what kind of cannabis regulation would work best for Mendocino County. The first at noon at the Little Lake Grange. Then another at the Willits’ Harrah Senior Center, the County Ad Hoc Committee meets with the public from 2 – 5 p.m. For more info, call 707-272-1512.

A new building comes to the East Hill Veterinary Clinic for small animals in Willits. The new, energy efficient building was designed especially as an expansion to the 35 year old Willits animal clinic. Dr. Chana Eisenstein and her partner Holly Bennett took over the clinic in September 2009. The expansion was planned pretty soon after the two took over the clinic. They say they worked with locals on the expansion including the designer, engineers, contractors and subcontractors. The building is Americans with Disabilities Act compliant and is now double the size. Check out the clinics Facebook page for more info.

The Clearlake City Council is talking over the 2016 fiscal year budget at a special meeting. The city manager prepared a report with staff regarding the general fund revenues being about $172,500 more than previously anticipated. The budget was adopted midway through last year. Projected expenditures are also up almost $265,000. The Record Bee reports there are five areas identified as key contributors to the increases: animal control, community development, legal fees, engineering, and the Clearlake Police Department’s (CLPD) use of the Nixle Warning Service. The most costs came out of community development at $ 120,000. The meeting tonight at 6 p.m.

The Yolo County Water and Conservation Agency is closing the Indian Valley Reservoir campground and boat launch. The news came out at the Chi Council monthly meeting last week but a representative with the Water Agency says they have no plans to close the facility as long as the lake gets enough water for it to be safe to launch. Last year it was closed due to low water but the agency says hopefully this year there will be enough run-off to fill the reservoir. The ramp and campground were closed for more than a year because of drought conditions. The county owns the facilities at the dam and the boat ramp, the lake is popular for anglers and campers off Highway 20 on Walker Ridge Road.

Police in Tucson say staff at a fast food restaurant got pranked, being convinced to smash windows by someone pretending to be a fire-suppression company. The employees reported getting a call around 1 a.m. Tuesday morning about gas levels being too high so the building needed to be evacuated, but that wasn’t all, the prankster convinced employees to smash every window in the building so it wouldn’t explode. The call said to be illegal by police because it resulted in criminal damage. No arrests so far.

A man police say posed as a priest and officiated at Masses, funerals, confessions, and at least one wedding has been arrested on suspicion of selling thousands of dollars in bogus tickets to see Pope Francis. Erwin Mena busted on 30 charges, including grand theft, perjury and even practicing medicine without a license. Cops say the guy posed as a priest at St. Ignatius of Loyola parish in northeastern Los Angeles, selling tickets to a pilgrimage to New York to see the pope during his Philadelphia visit last September. Some people paid him more than $950 each in cash for the trip.

AT&T officials in Mendocino County discussing how they can avoid another massive outage. The representatives at the Board of Supervisors meeting Tuesday. The VP of external affairs for California, and area director of external affairs for the North Coast told supervisors the company’s working on a “fiber ring” to hopefully address the issue if a line goes down. They explained there’s a single point of failure, but re-engineering fiber paths would mean a diverse routing system to reverse telecommunication traffic impacted at a single point location. They say it’s not a permanent fix for everything though so there could be another outage again when the project is done.

A man in Kelseyville who led police on a high speed chase ended up injured and his girlfriend arrested on drug and weapons charges. Timothy Tolbert faces several charges after the Tuesday chase and search of his home where police found his girlfriend, Melissa Gregor, and drugs and weapons. Clearlake Police say one of their officers was out on routine patrol when they saw a motorcycle without a front headlight on, in the dark. The cop approached the motorcycle which sped off. A Lake County Sheriff’s Deputy took chase too after seeing the bike speed past. Tolbert lost control, went off the road and crashed into a telephone pole guide wire. He was taken to a hospital for treatment and the CHP came to the scene. They found Tolbert was on felony probation for drug-related charges. Now the DA takes over to decide charges which could include evading a police officer while driving in wanton willful disregard for public safety and driving on a suspended license. Girlfriend Gregor was arrested for possession of narcotics for sale, possession of stolen property and possession of tear gas by a prohibited person, among several other charges.


The identities of two girls whose bodies were found in Mendocino County 37 years ago have been released but police say there are still no suspects and they’re no closer to knowing how they died. The Sheriff Tom Allman says the girls were 15-year-old Kerry Ann Graham and 14-year-old Francine Trimble – two friends from Forestville, who’d headed off to the Coddingtown Mall in Santa Rosa in December 1978 and were never seen again. Their skeletal remains were found about 6 months later by two tourists in a rural area off Highway 20 outside Willits. Allman tells the Daily Journal the case is as active now as it has ever been and he hopes the publicity will help someone remember something about the day the girls went missing – especially how or if they ever got to the Mall.

Lake Mendocino’s water level is going to be higher than usually allowed in the winter, at least for a while. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says they’re letting the water level rise to almost 6,000 acre-feet above the normal winter limit in an effort to keep the level up for later in the year when its warmer. The Sonoma County Water Agency’s principal engineer tells the Press Democrat it could make a difference in the amount of water available for releases into the Russian River later in the year when fish are migrating. A Corps spokesman says the allowance is an extension of a variance granted to local water agencies last year to help conserve water. That variance expires in March, and at that point they will likely go back to normal water level management of the lake.

County Supervisors trying to decide if they should say yes to the Special Districts applying to the state for money to pay for the design of sewer projects in Middletown and Anderson Springs. The Special Districts Administrator Mark Dellinger sending a memo to the Lake County supes saying how the need is greater since the Valley Fire. They have to consider sewer development projects because of overtaxed systems and current building codes. Dellinger says many homes in the Anderson Springs area can’t be rebuilt under the current building and set back codes without a sewer system. Nearly 200 homes were lost in that area alone. Homeowners could rebuild on the creek, but they’d have to conform to current state environmental regulations banning septic systems that close to a watershed. So the county has to approve going for a $500,000 grant from the State Water Resources Control Board. The BOS meeting tomorrow morning at 9 a.m.

A group of wild ponies running seriously close to a highway near Ukiah have been brought to a horse sanctuary in Hollister. Sonoma Action for Equine Rescue or SAFER says six ponies were taken from the property on Boonville Road last week, put onto a trailer Monday morning by Valley View Ranch Horse Rescue out of King City and trailered to Hollister, to the Freedom Reins sanctuary. SAFER says the whole thing was quick and the operation went smoothly. The white ponies are all stallions which will be castrated after being quarantined first. They’ll then be released onto the 7,000-acre ranch where they can continuing living a wild life. The ponies had been found grazing in a pumpkin patch last week, part of a larger group known as the “Ponies of Robinson Creek" who’ve apparently been running free for at least 40 years.

The Governor’s got a plan to keep non violent felons out of prison. Brown says his tough-on-crime law from 40 years ago’s been a bust mostly because of quote “unintended consequences”. He wants voters to answer the call with a ballot initiative for November regarding the thousands of state prisoners who’ve already finished their basic sentence and passed a public safety screening so they could become eligible for parole. Also those who go thru rehab programs in prison could earn credits. As we’ve reported it would also mean judges instead of prosecutors would decide if juveniles as young as 14 should be tried as adults. It’s expected he’ll use $24 million in leftover campaign money to fund a petition drive to get the needed 585,407 valid signatures.

The state is using less water because of the drought, but not the 25 percent conservation mandate set by the Gov. For the 3rd month in a row, residents were at the 18% mark. But the State Water Resources Control Board says the state looks like it will beat its long-term conservation goal. The state’s met a combined 25.5 percent conservation rate since the Governor first issued the mandate in June which calls for savings from 2013 use rates. State water managers waiting for the April 1st snowpack report from the Sierra Nevadas which at that time of year is at its deepest before melting and feeding rivers and streams. That will tell if drought conditions are easing up. This week the snowpack water content was 130 percent of its historical average for this time of year.

A proposed housing development outside Windsor on the Lytton Rancheria got contentious at a town hall hosted by a couple Sonoma County supervisors. The Press Democrat reports the meeting called to answer questions from residents and to put together a citizen’s advisory committee to work with the tribe. County officials saying they have an agreement from the tribe they wouldn’t build a casino on the land. Supervisor James Gore represents Windsor and the north county said they were there to share information and be fair observers saying the land would probably go into trust for the tribe, creating a reservation. The Lytton tribe looking to build 147 homes and a retreat for tribal members on 124 acres as part of an agreement with the federal government. The county has agreed to up to 360 homes, a hotel and winery as long as they don’t build a casino for 22 years along with several other concessions.

Lawmakers in Washington DC trying to discourage crime, saying they’ll pay residents to abstain. The D.C. Council has unanimously voted yes on a bill to include paying residents a stipend so they won’t commit crimes. Apparently it’s modeled on a similar program in Richmond, California which has helped that city bring crime rates down. The bill in DC would name up to 200 people a year considered at risk of committing or becoming victims of violent crime. They would participate in behavioral therapy and other programs and if they stay out of trouble, they would be paid.

A jury summons has gone out to hundreds of residents in southeastern Mississippi which incorrectly told them to call a sex hotline. As many as 350 jury summons with the wrong phone number have been sent to Jackson County’s potential jurors. As soon as they went out, the circuit court started to get calls or people came by in person to report the problem. The county’s drafted an apology letter to be sent out to those who got the wrong info on their summons. The county clerk says he’s not sure if the county will be liable for costs associated with any potential jurors billed for using the hotline.

The Ukiah Fire Marshall wants the winter homeless shelter on Mazzoni Street to close for safety concerns. The shelter looking for an extension, but Kevin Jennings, the Ukiah Valley Fire Authority Division Chief and the city’s Fire Marshal says he’s not going to approve it, because the building needs major improvements. He outlined his problems with the shelter staying open to April in a report to the City Council. He says at first it was supposed to only be used during the coldest times of year, but says there’s no sprinkler system and a change of occupancy brings “significant” violations of the California Fire Code. Those running the shelter want it to stay open due to the amount of rain predicted in the spring. The city council will further consider the matter at their meeting tonight, but it looks like, per the agenda, the extension will be denied.

Northern California legislators asking for answers about telecommunication outages and needs in rural Calif. State Sen. Mike McGuire and Assemblymember Jim Wood, both of Healdsburg, looking to hear from AT&T regarding recent fiber outages, one of which last September, shut down much of the North Coast telecommunication and network systems, with rural residents completely without service. The two lawmakers and the chairs of the County Boards of Supervisors in Sonoma, Mendocino, Lake and Humboldt counties are formally asking for accountability from AT&T in the North Coast. There were four major outages this past year. Lake Co News reports a lack of communication from AT&T meant residents, local county and city officials and public safety officers didn’t know when they’d be back online.

The first occupancy permits are being issued in some areas devastated by the Valley Fire, which destroyed about 1,280 homes. The Press Democrat reports last week a homeowner in Middletown became the first to be issued an occupancy permit so he can move into a new manufactured home on the lot where his house burned down. He moved in over the weekend. The paper reports other homes are going up on burned-out lots where homeowners are rebuilding on Cobb Mountain. Lake County Supervisor Rob Brown tells the paper the first folks to move back in show “a sign of courage and encouragement.”

Maldonado Martial Arts is continuing to partner with Ukiah Police on presenting stranger danger information for kids. They have stepped up the program following some incidents in January in which kids were approached while walking near school. The program covers the buddy system, where to run, what to say, and having a plan. Ukiah Police have been posting the schedule on their Facebook page, with Mr. Maldonado currently scheduled to go to Grace Hudson Feb 5, Nokomis Feb 8, Frank Zeek Feb 10, 
Calpella Feb 16, Yokayo Feb 17 and Oak Manor Feb 19.

The Lake County Supervisors are set to talk about whether to keep in place the emergency proclamations the county’s been under since the Valley Fire. The board meets Tuesday morning and will discuss both the local health emergency and the emergency declaration for wildfire conditions. Lake County News report they will also hear about the completion of the new bridge on Ackley Road at Manning Creek and consider authorizing Public Works to sign off on it. And the agenda includes possibly approving a deal between the county and an engineering service to replace two other bridges: the N. Fork Cache Creek Bridge at Chalk Mountain Road and the Upper Wolf Creek Bridge at Wolf Creek Road.

The Mendocino County animal shelter in Ukiah looks to be staying with the same operations in place. The Daily Journal reports the Board of Supervisors will take up the management of the shelter at their meeting next week. The paper reports the Health and Human Services Agency staff could tell supervisors they don’t have enough information to recommend or approve management or operations changes anytime soon. There’s been a request for operation of the shelter and Petaluma Animal Services Foundation has shown interest. The paper reports the longtime shelter manager who’s currently on leave has hinted there could be some changes coming.

A man from Lake County who killed his cousin has been found to have been insane at the time of the murder. The man, Salvador Flores Guzman of Finley, found guilty by a jury of murdering Manuel Guzman of Kelseyville in Feb. of 2015. The jury found Guzman guilty of assault with a knife and special allegations including inflicting great bodily injury on someone over the age of 70 too. There was a special hearing right after the conviction where Guzman was found to be insane at the time of the murder. He was accused of following his cousin in the parking lot at Konocti Vista Casino then when his cousin left, followed him to a pear orchard and stabbed him multiple times. He admitted he killed the cousin saying they’d had problems for 3 decades. He’ll be sentenced February 26th.

A bill to eliminate the deadline for California’s first medical marijuana law is close to being signed by the governor. The legislature quickly passed the bill introduced right after the new year and sent immediately to Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk. It takes away the March 1st deadline for cities and counties to put together their own medical marijuana cultivation rules so they don’t have to totally allow the state to make up the rules, something some city officials and medical cannabis advocates couldn’t agree to. Assemblyman Jim Wood of Healdsburg authored the bill to give local governments until Jan. 1st of 2018 to regulate medical pot gardens.

Prosecutors in the case of a triple homicide in Forestville say as much as $250,000 in cash stolen from the victims was hidden at a ranch in the Denver-area. This information revealed during opening statements in the trial of Mark Cappello of Central City, Colo. charged with the murder of three people in what cops said was a pot deal gone bad. They say Cappelo, aka as Cowboy shot the trio, his future business partners, during a meeting at a cabin. Each of the victims shot once in the head. Apparently as much as 80 pounds of stolen pot given to two co-defendants by Cappelo before he tried to leave the country. He kept the money himself and hid it at his brother’s Colorado ranch. Cappello hired to drive the drugs from California to the East Coast. The triple murder in February of 2013.

Word that some of the Valley Fire cleanup caused more damage on Cobb Mountain. The Starview Water System was damaged seriously by the fire and lost more than 130 customers and infrastructure but the Lake County Special Districts Administrator says removal of debris and trees caused even more damage to remaining piping, causing more service outages and boil-water advisories to about 14 remaining customers in the network. The administration says it was due to the use of heavy machinery being used to take out the debris by crews hired by CalRecycle who ran over or dug up lines and other items, plus trees felled by contractors of PG& E. Special Districts went ahead and fixed the damaged pipes, but now there’s question about getting reimbursed for the costs.

A couple of state senators say they’re working to help children in California in poverty. A coalition led by Senators Mike McGuire and Holly Mitchell is working with the California Department of Education to help more than 326,000 more kids get free and reduced lunches at school. The kids have been automatically approved for free meals in schools. In Lake County schools provide free to reduced meals for nearly 2,900 students, 680 more. McGuire is the Chair of the Senate Human Services Committee. He worked on this with Mitchell the Chair of the Senate Budget Committee on Health and Human Services working with the California Department of Education, Department of Social Services and Department of Health Care Services.

A town in Maine being sued by a group of cat caretakers over a woman’s wishes her life savings go to care for abandoned cats. Barbara Thorpe died back in 2002 left the majority of her $200,000 estate for food, shelter and veterinary care to the stray cats in Dixfield. A local newspaper reports there’s only been a few thousand given for the care of the cats. The city and five women caring for the town’s strays sued the trustees saying they excessively billed fees to the trust and didn’t carry out Thorpe’s wishes. The trustees’ lawyer "vehemently denies any wrongdoing."

A bunny got stuck on the roof of a home in Northern Ireland after winds from Storm Gertrude threw Bumper the bunny’s hutch up into the air. Firefighters say the hutch was sent flying into the air, tossing the rabbit out onto the roof. The bunny got stuck on the roof after its hutch crashed into the side of the home. Firefighters got little bumper, now renamed Gertrude down.

A man charged in the death of his 11 year old nephew and set for a jury trial has changed his plea in the 11th hour. 19 year old Jaime “Flaco” Rodriguez, Jr. of Ukiah in court Friday pleading no contest in the June 2015 death of his visiting nephew. He’s going to get 84 months in prison when he’s formally sentenced February 26th, the judge must agree to the deal. This in connection to the death of the nephew by gunshot wound to the face and neck. Rodriguez first told police the two were targets of a drive by shooting but then an investigation showed Rodriguez and his nephew were in the backyard of a home and Rodriguez took out a loaded handgun and started to handle it and it went off and hit his nephew. He then carried him to the road and called in the phony drive by.

AT&T’s expected at the next meeting of the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors. The telecommunications company to address several major outages in the county after the company announced a planned upgrade to its North Coast network . The County Executive office says it got a letter of commitment from the company’s vice president of external affairs. The chair of the Broadband Alliance of Mendocino County says she’s not exactly sure what tomorrow’s board presentation will cover but says the public should come and ask questions. Staff expected to be there includes AT&T’s vice president of external affairs for California, director of technology, planning and engineering and area director of external affairs for the North Coast.

A local church in Ukiah says it’s been broken into, someone prying a door to the church in an apparent burglary attempt. Police say a caller at the Nazarene Church called about a week and a half ago to report the attempted crime. Nothing was taken though, but the door was damaged and needed to be repaired.

A judge in Mendocino County Superior Court says she’s taking a few days to decide if Prop 172 funding should be further spread to fire districts, by way of an election ballot. Acting County Counsel Katharine Elliott had filed a lawsuit after fire departments in Brooktrails, Hopland, Mendocino and Comptche submitted a petition to the county elections office to see if they could get the issue on a ballot saying the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors should consider 30 percent of the Proposition 172 money for fire agencies. The money’s collected thru a half-cent sales tax across the state for public safety agencies. If the proposed initiative makes it to the ballot, it asks the supervisors to put forward a more transparent process in the budget about how the money is collected and distributed.

Christian Schools from across the state have donated money to Middletown Christian School to help students and staff affected by the Valley fire. Lake Co News reports the Principal of the school says the fire’s led to an exhibition of love, support and prayers from people far and wide. The school’s morning assembly last Thursday to welcome representatives from the Association of Christian Schools International who came with a gift of more than $26,000 for those hit by the fire. The news site reports the assembly last week turned into a celebration of hope. The principal says the school has 10 more students since the fire. Middletown Christian School has more than 4 dozen students in kindergarten up through 12th grade, six teachers and one administrator.

The Lake County Board of Supervisors gives a thumbs up to the new agreement for transitional housing for a handful of Valley fire survivors, some did not qualify for federal assistance. Lake Co News reports it’s the second agreement with the Konocti Harbor Resort and Spa with this one looking for a maximum compensation of almost $137,000 for four-months. The county’s Social Services director, who’s also the Valley fire long term recovery coordinator says the resort has helped dozens of survivors since the fire broke out. The resort refurbished 48 rooms, paid for by the county. The county also paid for the room occupancy for the first two months at $1,000 each per month. At one point there were 81 rooms being used. This second agreement pays the resort $3,000 a room for the 33 additional rooms. The money for refurbishment and occupancy not covered under the original agreement.

Police in Wisconsin have recovered tens of thousands of dollars worth of cheese, for the second time in a week. Marshfield Police say 41,000 pounds of parmesan cheese worth about $90,000 had been stolen from a distributor Jan. 15th. A semi picking it up, but the truck never reaching its destination in Illinois. Investigators getting a tip the cheese was elsewhere, finding it in Grand Chute in another warehouse. Then last week police in Germantown got a report of $70,000 worth of cheddar and other cheeses stolen from a distribution center but found Milwaukee 4 days later.

A sheriff’s sergeant asking for an independent hearing to see if he could be reinstated after being terminated, turned down by an appeals court. The case of James Beland who was fired by the Shierr of Lake County in 2008 for several reasons including insubordination, willful disobedience, dishonesty, criticism of orders and “failure of good behavior”. He was investigated during 8 different internal affairs incidents regarding cases from April 2007 to June 2008. One about an incident where it was alleged Beland hot a subordinate on the head. One issue being reviewed was conflicting statements about a breathalyzer test for then-Chief Deputy Russell Perdock, who drove a speedboat that crashed into another boat, killing one person. An appeal to the Lake County Board of Supervisors denied so Beland sued, that was denied, so he appealed.

A British man’s been arrested, after being found with 38 mobile phones stuffed down his pants. West Midlands Police say they think the guy stole phones from people at a concert in Birmingham, central England. The man with another, both arrested seen at the venue with their trousers taped closed at the bottom. Cops looking out after getting reports of phone thefts during an earlier concert in Manchester by the same band.

The Lakeport police chief plans to go to the city council to get another officer position temporarily ahead of the loss of staff and needing to get new staff trained. Lake Co News reports the city council will consider the matter at their meeting tomorrow night. Chief Brad Rasmussen is planning to ask the city council to allow the City Manager to put money in the budget for a 12th sworn police officer position at about $91,000 – covering salary and benefits for 15-months, from March 15th, 2016, to June 30th, 2017. Right now the budget covers 11 full-time sworn positions and one part-time sworn position. Three officers are leaving the dept. this year, one within a couple months.

An event planned for residents looking to rebuild after the summer’s wildfires. Lake Co News reports volunteers and residents who lost their homes along with active community members have the Valley Fire Rebuild Expo coming for residents of south Lake County. The expo Saturday, Feb. 20th and Sunday, Feb. 21st at Twin Pine Casino Event Center in Middletown. The news site reports the event is to create excitement around rebuilding with several resources, products and services at the expo. This event presented by the Cobb Resiliency Action Group – or “CRAG” – along with the nonprofit Friends of Cobb Mountain. Preregistration encouraged but it’s free to attend. Vendors have to pay $100. For more info, visit .


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