Africanized honeybees, also known as killer bees, are in the San Francisco Bay Area for the first time. The San Francisco Chronicle reporting the bees spotted in Lafayette by UC San Diego researchers who have been watching them move thru the state. They’d been seen only as far north before this as Mariposa County. Researchers say they don’t know how many there are, but it’s likely there’s more than one colony.
A man has been arrested in Napa County in connection to the suspicious death of a woman at a Calistoga bed and breakfast earlier this month. Gena Penney of Alta Dena found in a room where she and her boyfriend Kevin Jones were vacationing. Police say evidence collected and Jones’ suspicious behavior led to his arrest in Reno. The cause of Penney’s death has not been released.
New warnings for those who’ve survived the Valley Fire. State and federal disaster officials say there are scammers out there like so many other disasters. The Governor’s office of emergency services says property owners should beware of false claims of being federal disaster workers or licensed building contractors. FEMA says if someone shows up at your home, make sure to verify their credentials. Federal workers always have their official photo id’s. And contractors need to have a state license. The fire burned 76,000-acres and took down almost 2,000 structures, including 1,280 homes, 27 multi-family structures and 66 commercial properties. Federal teams are going to move thru neighborhoods and will ask residents to register for federal aid. Ask for their photo ID and if you feel something is still suspicious call FEMA’s Disaster Fraud Hotline, (866) 720-5721.
The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Dept. has new info and some arrests connected to the death of a man in the Yorkville area by a pot garden. The sheriff’s office says the man was found with about 200 marijuana plants in a remote and hidden garden in the Anderson Valley. Cops went to the area after getting a call about another man injured by shots fired. Police say it seems to be a botched pot heist on remote property. Isidro Lopez-Bernal of Ukiah and Mario Godinez of Cloverdale have been arrested in the case and are held on $500,000 bail for suspicion of robbery and murder. The victim described as a Hispanic man who had at least one gunshot wound and possibly more. Another wounded man taken to a hospital. No word on his condition.
A man who went home to his house in the Cobb Mountain area says it was looted and ransacked. The Press Democrat reports Mario Uribe went home Saturday after being evacuated for two weeks. His home was not damaged by the fire, but crooks got in instead. He says his home in the Whispering Pines area had been turned upside down, the contents of almost every drawer dumped. He says he thinks he’s out as much as $38,000 of cash that he stashed as well as missing tools. The newspaper reports Uribe is one of several homeowners who were ripped off while under mandatory evacuations. Law enforcement is tallying all of the crimes committed during the two weeks of intense fire activity. At least a half dozen people have been arrested for crimes committed against evacuees.
A man’s been arrested in Kelseyville, hanging out with others in a vacant house. The Sheriff’s dept. reports Edward Gutierrez and 2 others telling them they were renting rooms at the home, but a checkup showed that not to be true. Dispatch reported to the officer on the scene that Gutierrez had two outstanding warrants so he was taken into a patrol car which he escaped from. Later he was found and arrested after an alert via City Watch, a program that calls folks in a specific area to advise them of emergencies or law enforcement activities. Gutierrez booked for several crimes including the outstanding warrants and possession of methamphetamine.
Crews in Ukiah are pouring concrete over new piping after a fire hydrant leak. The work on the corner of Peach Street and South Orchard Avenue after thousands of gallons leaked onto nearby streets last Friday. The city’s Water and Sewer Maintenance Division says about 15,000 gallons of water leaked onto the street. None is going to be charged to residents. There was a second water main break a day after on Peach Street at Plum Drive. Crews say that leak was easier to fix than the one Friday. About 500 gallons of water escaped in the Plum Drive leak Monday.
The Mendocino Council of Governments is having their next regular public meeting in Hopland. The meeting next Monday for a presentation, among other things, of transportation plans and projects for the Hopland area. The agency says it’s also hearing a presentation on the final draft report for the Hopland Main Street Corridor Engineered Feasibility Study. They could take action on the study which was put together after public input the last several months. They will also consider projects including the Mendocino County Department of Transportation bridge project across Feliz Creek, a chip seal project on Old River Road in old Hopland and a visit to the first roundabout by Caltrans at Old River Road and Highway 175.
A law firm from Southern California says it’s filed a civil lawsuit against Pacific Gas and Electric Co. for 2 residents of Calaveras County in relation to the Butte fire. The plaintiffs Brian Moeller and Jolene Stewart were renting homes in Solana Beach and lost all of their personal belongings and left homeless after the fire. There’s been no cause determined for the fire which is 96% contained after burning nearly 71,000 acres. But PG&E officials had said a tree may have contacted a PG&E line where the fire started. The lawsuit names PG&E and Trees Inc., a contractor who maintains trees in the area of the power lines.
A major die off of Guadalupe fur seals means an depth study and investigation. The seal is a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act and has been dying off along the North Coast for 8 months in large numbers. The sea animal facing new challenges finding food, like several thousand California sea lions which have come ashore emaciated looking over the past year. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reports as many as 80 Guadalupe fur seals found since January, eight times the yearly average.
A dog by itself in a pickup truck had to be rescued after causing the truck it was in to go into lake in Maine. Ellsworth Police say a man out walking the dog near Branch Lake Saturday and put the dog back into the truck after an encounter with another dog. As the owner spoke to the other dog’s owner, the Yorkshire terrier managed to bump the gear shift, causing it to roll about 75 feet into the lake, before sinking in roughly 10 feet of water. A family friend swam into the lake and saved the trapped dog.
A woman in Nogales had a surprise after a loud thunder like sound. Maya Donnelly says she thought she heard thunder in the early morning hours, and thought it was probably a typical monsoon and went back to sleep. Then later she looked in her carport near the U.S.-Mexico border, finding pieces of wood on the ground and a bulky bundle wrapped in black plastic. Turns out it was about 2 dozen pounds of pot. Cops say it was probably dropped accidentally by a drug smuggler’s aircraft.