Skip navigation

Category Archives: 94.5 K-Wine News

94.5 K-Wine Local News Reports

Police in Clearlake are investigating a shooting death. 19-year-old Brandon Horner was pronounced dead in the 15300 block of Lakeshore Drive near 40th Avenue, where his body was found around 7:45 Saturday night. Police think he was shot somewhere else. As of now, there is no word on suspects. If you have any information that might help, you can contact Clearlake PD.

We are in for some stormy weather through Tuesday. The National Weather Service has two wind advisories in effect: one until 6 p.m. and a second from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. tomorrow.. Gusts up to around 50 mph are expected this afternoon and up to 55 mph tomorrow. Where you are will affect how much wind you might see—higher wind gusts are more likely at exposed ridgetops and coastal headlands. Rain could also bring flooding; there is a flood watch for the Russian River near Hopland, where flooding is possible. Forecasters are also keeping an eye on Clear Lake, which is expected to stay below flood stage with several inches of rain. Authorities say you should use caution and be prepared to wait out yet another round of nasty weather across all of Northern California. The mountains will get even more snow—high elevations could see another 5 feet.

Imagine, if you can, 53 feet of snow. That is the snow depth that some folks in the Sierras are still dealing with after the relentless snow. In perspective, that is about the height of a five-story building. The snow is causing concern that roofs could collapse under the weight.

A man clearing storm debris was injured over the weekend when a tree he was cutting fell onto him. Anderson Valley Fire Department Battalion Chief Angela DeWitt tells that the victim was working near the intersection of State Route 128 and Yorkville Ranch Road on Saturday afternoon. The man was taken to Adventist Health Ukiah Valley. His condition hasn’t been released.

A weekend memorial service was held for a teenager from Sonoma County who was stabbed to death during a fight in a classroom at Montgomery High School in Santa Rosa last week. About 300 members of his family and friends got ogether Sunday to remember 16-year-old Jayden Pienta as a baseball-loving kid who was taken too soon. His mom says she’ll never forget taking her son to baseball games and doing things that parents do with their children like ordering pizza and listening to music to pass the time on the ride. The boy charged with killing Jayden is just 15, but authorities say Daniel Pulido will be tried as an adult. The school principal and assistant principal have been put on leave for the rest of the school year as the investigation continues.

Another somber gathering of loved ones took place on Sunday, this one a vigil for a man Sonoma County who walked away from his home three weeks ago and hasn’t been seen since. 64 Larry Atchison has dementia and had been alone for just a few minutes on February 27th when his wife couldn’t find him at their Santa Rosa home. His family is asking anyone in the entire region, including in Lake County, to keep an eye out for him. Searchers have put up a Facebook page with information about Larry.

While the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank is causing financial shock worldwide this morning it is also causing anxiety closer home, Governor Gavin Newsom says he will work with the White House to protect the livelihoods of thousands of California depositors who had money in the now-closed bank. It’s not just high-tech types who are worried. SVB has been an important lender to wineries across Northern California for years. Some of them say their entire business could be at risk unless they are able to continue to access cash or get loans for expansion.

A close encounter with a bear over in Mendocino County. According to, the aggressive bear drew blood when its paws swiped homeowner Ryan Balou as the bear charged across Balou’s back porch. Balou knows bears well and even runs a Facebook page documenting the wildlife that roams around his property in the Blue Lakes Drive area of Brooktrail. In fact, Balou doesn’t seem fazed by what happened. He tells the website that the bear’s behavior is normal under the circumstances and that it may have been more aggressive because of the amount of garbage that has piled up in the area. Normal sanitation services haven’t been available for a couple weeks because of the bad weather.

Conservation groups and local residents are going to court to try to stop a project that would realign the path of Highway 101 through the Richardson Grove State Park in southern Humboldt County. The suit says Caltrans is ignoring the environmental consequences of the work and how it would affect a grove of ancient redwoods that are up to 3,000 years old. Director of programs at the Center for Biological Diversity Peter Galvin calls realigning the highway both environmentally and fiscally foolish. Caltrans first proposed the project in 2007. Richardson Grove State Park is considered the gateway to the redwoods heading north on Highway 101. It is home to one of the last protected stands of accessible old-growth redwood trees in the world.

The state of emergency in Lake County declared three years ago at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic could soon be history. The Lake County Board of Supervisors will discuss ending that emergency at its meeting this week. The state rescinded its state of emergency last month, and other jurisdictions have been doing the same. Also on the agenda for Tuesday’s meeting was the potential purchase of some property within the Middle Creek Flood Damage Reduction and Ecosystem Restoration project. The price tag—1.2 million dollars. Board members will also meet in private to discuss several personnel and legal issues. The meeting is at ‌9 ‌a.m. Tuesday in the boardroom at the Lake County Courthouse. If you can’t be there, it streams live on the county’s usual social media platforms.

A festival for lowriders is in the works for Ukiah . Big Picture Ukiah ,South Valley High School and La Familia Market are working together putting on the 1st Lowrider Festival March 24, from 4:00 – 9:00 p.m. at the Alex R. Thomas Plaza in Ukiah. Organizers say it will be a great way to empower students and give them experience planning and hosting a large community event. It will have food and merchandise vendors ,a lineup of diverse entertainment and the stars of the show—lowriders. Festival goers can vote on their favorites in several categories, including Best Paint Job, Best Engine, Best Classic Car, and the most prestigious, Best in Show.

Scattered thunderstorms are forecast along with continued rain. The National Weather Service says to expect a steady stream of rain that could trigger road closures and rising rivers. The Navarro is expected to crest, so watch out for closures at its mouth. The Guerneville River was expected to crest tonight. Also in Sonoma County a mudslide was blocking a thoroughfare near Sturgeon’s Mill. Part of the Rohnert Park Expressway was closed due to flooding near Stony Point and trees down on westbound Highway 116 were blocking access. A woman got trapped in standing water near Riverfront Regional Park, so Forestville Fire swift water rescuers plucked her up. The rain is expected to continue through tonight.

California is marking another milestone as it recovers from the driest three years ever. Some counties along the Central Coast, like Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo, are no longer in a drought. Same for the San Joaquin Valley. New data shows almost all of the serious conditions in the southern part of the state are in San Bernardino County. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts more rainy days this month, leading to more areas emerging from the drought by May.

Lake County is under a flood watch as rain continues to pelt the northern and central sections of the state. The flood watch is in effect through tonight at 10pm. The National Weather Service reported over 2 inches in parts of Lake County yesterday with heavier rain falling last night. And about an inch and a half more is expected through the weekend and even more over the next week. This weekend could see gusts of up to 30 miles per hour. There’s also a flood watch for the Ukiah Valley and much of Mendocino County. Meteorologists say the latest atmospheric river will continue to bring heavy rain today with gusty winds into early next week. 2-4 inches are expected through Sunday and snow melt could increase the runoff.

With the Governor’s latest proclamation of a state of emergency for more than 20 counties, Mendocino County is added on. The Board of Supervisors had ratified the local emergency declaration just hours before. Governor Newsom’s declaration and comments that the state will continue mobilizing all possible resources to protect Californians. As we reported, the county is asking for residents to report in any severe weather damage so they can assess how much property damage there is to seek help from the state and federal government. The county CEO says they’re asking for daily updates from the Governor’s OES.

Trinity county has been slammed with snow. That meant the closure of Hwy 36 and Hwy 299, but the Governor has not included the county in his latest emergency declarations. As Humboldt and Mendocino Counties were added, major news outlets descended on the area. Some of the reports from locals about their commutes, and one about helicopters dropping feed down to cattle in remote areas from the California National Guard.

With disaster seems to always come a warning… the California Attorney General Rob Bonta is reminding that gouging customers during a state of emergency is illegal in California. After the Governor’s declaration of a state of emergency for several more counties, Bonta reminded as demand for essential goods and supplies grows, there may be unreasonable prices emerging. He is urging businesses not to jack up their prices during the emergency, and says his office is closely monitoring for this. The latest 21 counties included in the state of emergency includes Mendocino and Lake counties, along with Santa Clara, San Francisco, Tuolumne, and Yuba.

An experienced horticulturist is wanted for the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens. It’s not a volunteer gig, it’s a full-time year-round position with benefits. The gardens are also looking for part-time seasonal Store and Cafe Staff for the summer.

View the full job description and application instructions at:

A public information session is being held by the Lake County Office of Emergency Services on the Local Mitigation Plan. The plan forms the foundation of the community’s long-term strategy to reduce disaster-related losses. They are having a brief presentation, then Q&A afterwards. The meeting is in two weeks, on Thursday, March 23rd at Hidden Valley Lake Community Services District at 6pm.

Adventist Health Ukiah Valley reminding about Match Day which happens nationwide. Next Friday, March 17th, medical students find out where they will go for their graduate medical education residency training. Adventist Ukiah Valley has a Family Residency Program, for which they will get to find out the six new resident physicians who are coming to Mendocino County. The hospital is inviting the community to a Community Celebration Friday, March 17th at 1:00 p.m. in the Glenn Miller Conference Room. At that time, the six residents will be revealed.

Two men in Fort Bragg have been arrested after a months long drug dealing investigation. Police gathered enough evidence to obtain search warrants at two apartments and found two men with drugs and other items for drug sales. 21-year-old Kole Parker had more than 50 grams of suspected meth, fentanyl, digital scales, cash and other paraphernalia. At the second apartment in the same building, 75-year-old Steven Jones was found with more meth, marijuana, a scale, packaging materials, cash, cutting agents, and other narcotics sales paraphernalia. Each was booked into jail for possessing with intent to sell or distribute and more. A third guy, 21-year-old James Duffy was also arrested for obstructing a peace officer and violating probation.

As part of a new gambling bill lawmakers are considering there could be more cardrooms. The Assembly Governmental Organization Committee has advanced a proposal for a new cardroom moratorium for twenty years. The first Native American lawmaker introduced the bill backed by tribes that would replace the Gambling Control Act of 1997’s moratorium. The last vote on a moratorium failed. If the new bill passes, the moratorium would expire in 2043. No new cardrooms could open, but it would allow smaller cardrooms to expand if they have less than 20 tables.

Caltrans is distributing a bunch of money for local projects with money from the federal Highway Safety Improvement Program. Over $225 million would pay for local projects to cut the amount of traffic deaths and serious injuries on city and county roads, with several in Lake and Mendocino Counties. In Mendo, Ukiah is getting traffic signal improvements; Willits will get new warning signs, and center and edge lines, pedestrian safety improvements and upgraded signal buttons and hardware. There will also be upgrades and replacements across the county for guardrails, new curve warning signs and sidewalks. And in Fort Bragg larger stop signs in some spots and upgraded pedestrian crossings. In Lake, they’re getting pedestrian crossing improvements like solar powered flashing beacons and LED enhanced crosswalk signs; solar powered dynamic speed warning signs at 22 locations; new signs and guardrails in the Robinson Rancheria.

As expected, Sonoma County is planning a managed homeless camp on county-owned land in northern Santa Rosa. A permit application has been filed for the encampment that will have room for 90 tents, each will have a bed. The planning department will have to give the greenlight for the project, which would be the first of its kind. It’s to help get the growing homeless encampment off the Joe Rodota Trail once and for all. Right now there are just over 80 tents there.

At least half the state is being hit by another atmospheric river. Emergency workers are fanning out across the state and millions of residents have been told to leave or to be prepared to, at a moment’s notice. Evacuation warnings have been issued across the Central Coast, and in Madera, Merced, and Tulare counties. Others already left their homes last night. The biggest threat is flooding due to snow melting from previous storms, and heavy rain pouring over the snowmelt.

Governor Newsom says California is using every tool to protect communities. That was the word Wednesday as the Governor asked the federal government for, yet another emergency declaration related to the winter storms. Now there are 34 counties included as Newsom added 21 on Wednesday, including Lake and Mendocino. He says it means the 34 counties can get access to federal assistance like generators and equipment for clearing roads.

Swift water rescue teams are at the ready in Northern and Central California. The state has 14 teams deployed for the first time in six years. One is headed to the Russian River in Sonoma County, where it’s supposed to be inching up to flood stage. It’s supposed to get to just under a foot away from flood stage near Guerneville tonight. Crews are monitoring for possible overflow and will be on boats and jet skis and have various search equipment.

More ski resorts are closing in the State of California because of the storm. They include Kirkwood, Heavenly, Northstar, Donner Ski Ranch, and Sierra-at-Tahoe. The resorts reporting conditions are too risky for guests and employees because of rain, wet, heavy snow, and gusty winds. Plus, Interstate 80 and Highway 50 are covered in snow, and you need chains, which are seriously hard to come by these days. Conditions are expected to worsen over the weekend with more snow on the way.

Lake County Supervisors take up elder care and the unsheltered. At their regular meeting this week, Supervisors discussed possible changes to federal law related to the Medicaid inmate policy. They also looked over the Lake County Continuum of Care coordinated entry system policy. The Medicaid issue presented by District 2 Supervisor Bruno Sabatier requesting all inmates be eligible for Medicaid, as opposed to current policy. Sabatier says the law is ancient and does not ensure all in the entire country have health insurance. And Supes reviewed the Continuum of Care coordinated entry system policy about how the unsheltered can get services and programs. Supervisors also okayed or continued several emergency declarations, including the continuation of a local emergency related to winter storms.

It was an exhaust fan that started a fire in a building in Ukiah. Ukiah Valley Fire Authority reports getting a call early yesterday morning to the 1300 block of Hastings Road and saw smoke coming out of the roof of the building. The fire started in a bathroom on the first floor of the three-story building which was believed to have been caused by an exhaust fan that was left turned on. There was nobody in the building at the time of the fire and flames were kept inside the walls because the building has a sprinkler system. Firefighters opened the walls and snuffed the fire out. Redwood Valley, Hopland and Potter Valley fire departments were also on the scene with Ukiah for about five hours. The fire was found to be accidental.

Coastal resilience projects could take a hit with the Governor’s new budget. Cuts of over a half billion dollars to help protect the coast from climate change are part of the six billion in cuts the Governor is proposing to try to help fill the $22.5 billion deficit. The programs give money to local governments to protect beaches, homes and infrastructure in danger from rising sea levels. There would be $734 million to address coastal resilience, a 43% or $561 million cut when you compare the resiliency money to 2021 and 2022.

It’s the hard work that got them the accolades. The Mendocino County Grand Jury have been honored with a Proclamation from the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors declaring February “Grand Jury Awareness Month in Mendocino County.” The Jury is tasked with investigating, then reporting about the operations of local governments, sometimes referred to as a “watchdog”. Every county in Calif. has to have one annually. They are citizens who are sworn to secrecy when fellow citizens complain to them about local government.

As the next winter storms come to Central and Northern Calif. just ahead of the official start of spring, Pacific Gas and Electric Company is sending crews ahead of time to work on possible power outages, and to avert them, if possible. Storms are forecasted today into tomorrow with more rain, higher snow levels than before though, this time around the 6,000-to-8,000-foot level in the Sierra, and strong, gusty wind. This could mean downed trees, limbs or other debris on powerlines that could mess with equipment and service. And PG&E’s own meteorology team is warning about flooding due to melting snow on top of it all because it’s a warmer system. PG&E electric crews, troublemen, distribution line technicians and system inspectors, like first responders, will be at the ready and monitoring for trouble.

A series of school walkouts, demonstrations and marches like never seen before in Sonoma County after a stabbing at a school in Santa Rosa. Those taking to the streets against school violence and asking leaders for more protections. Thousands of kids from secondary schools from as many as 10 campuses from Santa Rosa to Petaluma were out yesterday. They also tried spreading the word about a campaign spreading nationwide called, “Stop The Bleed,” which asks teachers to be trained in help for severe trauma.

Just a week after a student was killed with a knife at a school in Santa Rosa, another is found with a knife in their backpack. It happened Tuesday at Amarosa Academy, a small, alternative school for kids in middle and senior high school. The child was found with a hunting knife just after school started. The 15-year-old was reportedly carrying the knife, concealed in the plastic lining of a binder in the backpack. Police arrested the teen for suspicion of felony possession of a dangerous weapon on campus. Last Wednesday, a 16-year-old at a different school was stabbed to death in a classroom. A 15-year-old has been charged with voluntary manslaughter in the death.

Relief is in sight for those skyrocketing gas bills from Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E). The bills this month could be as much as 75% lower as the company distributes its April Climate Credit a month early. Without the credit, the bill’s would be down 40% because of a huge decrease in market prices PG&E pays to purchase natural gas for its customers. Plus, customers use less gas as colder temperatures moderate. Average prices in January were as much as five times higher than the US benchmark, in Calif.

As Lakeport prepares to build a new courthouse, the City Council is working on traffic improvements because of possible congestion around the construction. At their meeting this week the council heard an update from the City Manager on the $73M dollar, 45,300 square foot courthouse on five-acres at 675 Lakeport Blvd. The project is in the design-build phase, with construction starting in about a year. Completion is expected around fall of 2025. The traffic improvements would be in the area which is an access street to the Lakeport Senior Center and the city’s corporation yard.

Nearly 20 new projects across the state are being fortified thanks to grants from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. $22.5 million will cover 19 projects for the restoration of critical habitat for salmon, climate resiliency, wildlife corridors and wetlands restoration. Over eight million will pay for eight projects in watersheds related to the drought and how it impacts salmon in rivers and streams. Another $6.6 million went to seven other projects for degrading water and habitat conditions because of climate change. About $6.5 million for three fish passage projects. Finally one million to the Regents of UC Davis to incorporate beaver dam analogs in the restoration of wetlands and mountain meadows.

Websites could be affected at Mendocino County schools as they report a network disruption and possibly cyber-security situation. They called law enforcement, local education agencies, and employees to inform them, and then quickly set up a task force with cybersecurity specialists. The Office of Education says they’re working 24/7 to address the issue and securely restore their network. But they’ve not said exactly what may or may not be threatened, since they’re in the early stages of determining how the breach, if that’s indeed what it was, happened. Apparently they’re not the only education institution to deal with a cyber attack lately, they’ve been happening nationwide.

A woman from Mendocino County accused of giving police phony evidence agreed to a plea deal. Megan Marie Champion was on probation for a misdemeanor marijuana case and violated the probation. She was ordered to do community service, but apparently never reported her hours. Her lawyer eventually submitted dates and locations of work performed which was signed by a livestock business owner in Humboldt County. But DA investigators say it was fake because she was actually performing in a rodeo out of state. The livestock business owner owned up, and the DA also said these kinds of things have been piling up. Folks arrested then submitting phony documents.

It’s not getting any better at Yosemite, but still they have a reopening date in mind. Cabins have been buried in snow and roads unseeable after storms lined up in Calif. More rain and snow is on the way to Northern and Central Calif. Yosemite reported 40 inches, which broke a record that was in place for a half century. The park reported higher elevations got about 15 feet of snow. The National Park Service closed Yosemite to visitors Feb. 25th, but plans to reopen Monday. Crews are working on getting power back on, clearing roofs and plowing roads and parking lots. They will continue to evaluate conditions daily.

The snow has gotten in the way of getting the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office snocat back after a rescue in Laytonville. Mendocino County Search & Rescue and Mendocino County Information Services were helping the Sheriff’s office in the Spy Rock Road area after the Snocat was damaged, breaking a wheel on its front track during Monday’s rescue missions. They reported heavy snow, ice and white-out conditions in the area of Spy Rock Road and Iron Peak Road.

The Lakeport Police Chief is running for a seat on the Board of Supervisors. Chief Brad Rasmussen has decided to seek the District 4 supervisor position next year. Lake County News reports Rasmussen saying he’s excited by the idea. If he wins, he’d be on the Board starting in 2025, after he retires as Chief. The primary is next March, one year from now. He will run against incumbent Supervisor Michael Green, who was not voted in, but instead, appointed, just last October by Gov. Gavin Newsom. The seat was held by Tina Scott, but she quit last summer to take a job with the Lakeport Unified School District. Rasmussen says he’s 100% committed to his job as chief for the time being.

Lake County is asking for the public’s help to find out about snow and rainstorm damage. The Lake County Sheriff’s Office of Emergency Services and Lake County Community Development Department want the public to weigh in on winter storm issues at both residential and commercial buildings which may have structural damage from the storms. The Sheriff, Rob Howe, proclaimed a local emergency a couple weeks ago. The county is looking for ways to get help from the State and/or Fed. So, if this is you, report your damage no later than Friday, March 24th. Visit the Sheriff’s website, or give them a call.

A man from Ukiah arrested for an arson incident has admitted he started the fire. Police say they got a call last Friday afternoon to the 800 block of South Dora Street and when they got there they found a vacant home, with smoke coming out. They say Christopher Judd was inside watching the fire burn. They report he had no home address too. They ordered him to get out of the home, and firefighters were called and put the fire out. The fire was pretty much just in a pile of trash and debris. Judd was questioned and admitted the arson and was arrested. He told cops he didn’t want to burn the home, just was trying the clean the house. He was held on $15,000 bail. This is just one of a series of arson fires lately, including another at the Gualala Community Center, one at the Round Valley Health Clinic and a dumpster fire behind Raley’s.

Another dangerous storm is headed to the state after weeks of being pelted by rain and snow. It’s another one of those atmospheric rivers that’s on track to hit Northern and Central California tomorrow and continue through the weekend. And we’re all familiar with what that means — heavy rain, flooding, powerful winds, snow, even mudslides. Some people in Fresno County have already been told they may need to evacuate, while Monterey County advises residents it’s not a bad idea to have two weeks-worth of supplies. The National Weather Service warns “buckle up, it’s going to be quite the weather ride.”

A handful of ski resorts in California say they have too much snow… if that wasn’t a thing before, it is in 2023. The four resorts together top 600 inches this season after the recent wave of winter storms. That includes China Peak near Fresno, Boreal near Lake Tahoe, Sugar Bowl near Truckee and Dodge Ridge in Pinecrest. Two others in the Tahoe area may soon join the party when the next atmospheric river moves in this week. The Sierra Nevada is expecting ten to 30-inches of snow.

Crews have found a woman stranded in her car on Spyrock Road in Laytonville for three days. She and her daughter and her daughter’s boyfriend had set out to evacuate another family member further up Spyock Road on Sunday. The younger couple walked several miles to seek shelter in a vacant home they had seen, but the woman stayed behind. She was able to get in touch with rescuers, who finally got to her at about 3:30 yesterday afternoon. The woman said she had prepared for the trip and had enough provisions to sustain herself. Her story was one of many that have been playing out over the region since the snow began. A father and daughter stuck in a car in Redwood Valley and a person in Laytonville who was running dangerously low on food and supplies were among those reached by crews from several agencies. PG&E says it is working to get power back on to about 300 customers and hopes to have that done by today. Some people in the communities of Legette and Piercy have been without electricity for almost two weeks. Our wild weather has caused things rarely seen. There was snow on the Point Arena Pier. According to, there appear to be no other documented times when snow fell there. Some long-term residents in the hardest-hit areas say this is the worst snowfall they have ever seen The snowfall totals in the mountains are impressive. The upper mountain at the Palisades Tahoe resort got almost 2 feet of snow in 24 hours, and the snowpack there is almost 19 feet. That’s close to a record. There is an ongoing concern in areas hard hit by the snow. Fire departments are reminding people to check their ventilation systems to make sure they aren’t blocked, potentially trapping deadly carbon monoxide gas inside. Topping things off, forecasters are concerned about another of those atmospheric rivers late in the week. There is a lot of uncertainty about where the storm will end up, but it is a good idea to be prepared anywhere along the coast or at higher elevations. California Attorney General Rob Bonta has announced a major settlement in a case involving several owners and operators of gas stations, including some in Lake, Mendocino, and Sonoma Counties. The $1.7 million settlement resolves allegations the defendants broke state environmental laws while operating above-ground and underground storage tank systems at 14 gas stations. An investigation found a recurring failure to properly maintain, install, implement, and operate various spill prevention and safety measures since at least 2013. The settlement includes robust injunctive terms to improve the defendants’ operational safety and compliance with state laws to avoid potential contamination of soil and groundwater. California requires that all underground storage tank systems be designed and constructed with primary and secondary levels of containment, continuous monitoring systems, constant vacuum pressure, equipment to prevent spills and leaks, and automatic leak detectors. In addition to that civil fine, The settlement imposes more than a dozen conditions, including the employment of an environmental compliance coordinator and annual reporting requirements. California is transferring its prescriptions from Walgreens after the pharmacy says it won’t sell abortion medication in 20 heavily Republican states. The governor says Walgreens has caved into pressure from the right, so California won’t do any business with the company. It’s not quite clear just how much that business is, as the governor’s office says it is still reviewing contracts between Walgreens and state health programs like MediCal and Covered California. In the governor’s words, “we’re done. The announcement hit Walgreens’ stocks, which fell by 1.6 percent. When the Camp Fire devastated the community of Paradise in 2018, fire crews fought to save the only hospital in town. Now, that facility is closed. The Press Democrat reports that Adventist Health has decided not to reopen the Feather River Hospital in Butte County. Adventist Heath claimed nearly 1 billion dollars in damage against the trust fund set up to pay victims of the fire. It later settled for an undisclosed lesser amount. In addition to being a vital health resource, the hospital was the biggest employer in Paradise. Residents say the loss of their hospital means longer drives to other hospitals in the region. Adventist Health says even with the settlement, there aren’t enough residents to justify rebuilding Feather River. The company says it is not abandoning Paradise and is committed to restoring some level of care for the people who live there. A man from Point Arena has been arrested after sheriff’s deputies say he tossed rocks at several people in the parking lot of the Point Arena City Park near the public bathrooms on Sunday afternoon. Two 67-year-old men were taken to the hospital; they were hit. Two others were hot but refused medical treatment. Police found the suspect, identified as 34-year-old Alejandro Ortiz, yelling at people nearby while holding a large rock. and quickly took him into custody. He is charged with assault, battery, and felony vandalism. He was booked into the county jail for $30,000. The Lakeport City Council is meeting tonight with a full agenda. Among the items on it is a discussion of possible improvements to Lakeport Boulevard at Larracou Lane. Those changes would be in anticipation of the new courthouse project there. Options include signals at the intersection, a roundabout, or other traffic configurations. The meeting starts at 6 p.m. in the Council Chambers at city hall. The agenda is on the city website, as are instructions on how to join in by Zoom. Here’s a reminder. It’s almost time to change the clocks. We move to daylight saving time this weekend, which means we spring forward early Sunday morning. We lose an hour of sleep. Bills in Congress to change the twice-a-year ritual haven’t gone anywhere, even though lots of people support them. One sticking point is whether we should stick with daylight saving for the long summer evenings or go with standard time year-round. We fall back on November 5th. By this evening, some low level areas in Lake and Mendocino Counties see several inches of snow inches this evening. The snow will not stick around though. The forecast calls for a shift to a rainy pattern later in the week with another of those “atmospheric rivers” looming offshore. Meteorologists aren’t yet certain where the storm will hit and just how much rain will fall, but they suggest being prepared anywhere along the coast, just in case. The Lake County Sheriff’s Office of Emergency Services and Lake County Community Development Department are requesting reports of residential and commercial buildings that sustained structural damage in the recent winter storms. Sheriff Rob Howe proclaimed a local emergency on February 24, due to impacts from the low elevation snow. This damage assessment will help find potential assistance from both the the State and Federal governments .If your home or business sustained moderate to major damage, you should report it as soon as possible but no later than Friday, March 24. The Lake County Sheriff’s Department’s website has the information.

Some people in northern Mendocino County will start another week trapped because of the snow. Sheriff Matt Kendall says crews are doing their best to clear the way out, but it could be another week being stuck for some. The issue is the long driveways that lead up to many properties. reports that rescue crews will be out at the break of dawn in the area of Spy Rock Road in Laytonville. That’s where they’ll try to reach two women stuck in their car since Friday under drifts as high as six feet. The Department has been using its plows to get emergency supplies to other people in need, with some folks running low on propane, firewood, and medication. The forecast calls for more snow in those higher elevations with heavy rain from yet another atmospheric river toward the end of the week. Meteorologists say it’s a good idea to prepare for the worst and hope for the best. Mendocino County’s Facebook page has real-time information about the storm and the state of emergency that was put into effect last week.

The snowfall does have some benefits. The State Department of Water Resources reported over the weekend that the vital snowpack in Northern California is well above average and will make at least a good dent in the drought.Water managers say they’re a lot more optimistic about the water supply than they were a year ago. They caution that it will take more than one season to completely bust the drought and that a quick spring thaw could mean flooding risks.

Clearlake Police are reminding the public about a woman who has been missing since September. 62-year-old Collette Tollner was last seen near the Hope Center. She is a white adult with brown and gray hair and blue eyes. She is 5 feet, 2 inches tall, and weighs 130 pounds. If you have any information that might help find her, you can contact the Clearlake Police Department.

The search is expanding for a man who has been missing from his Sonoma County home for a week. 64-year-old Larry Atchison has dementia and was alone for just 15 minutes when he apparently wandered off from his home in Santa Rosa last Monday afternoon. Atchison is 6 feet tall, weighs 200 pounds, and was last seen wearing a black jacket, blue jeans, and black shoes. He has gray hair and brown eyes. His family is organizing the search, which now includes most of the county, including Windsor and Healdsburg. There is also a Facebook group page that has almost 1,000 members. His family says they are holding out hope as they try to find Larry.

You’ll have more time this year to file both your federal and state taxes. The state has gone along with the IRS to move the filing date to October 16th because of the devastating storms that brought in the new year. There was some concern that pushing back the date could affect California’s budget, but officials say the good economy, higher tax rates, and new laws mean the state should be OK with waiting six months for its money. The IRS and the state already have a lot of that money—70 percent of the tax revenue collected comes right out of your paycheck anyway, even with withholding. But if you DO owe—either personal or business taxes—you’ll get a reprieve and more time to gather up all that paperwork you normally have to have ready in April. The relief automatically applies for deadlines falling on or after January 8, 2023, and before October 16, 2023, including the 2022 individual income tax returns due on April 18 and the quarterly estimated tax payments, typically due on January 17, 2023, and April 18, 2023. Those payments were previously extended to May 15, 2023, for those impacted by winter storms. The State FTB website has information about this year’s tax collections.

The Lake County Board of Supervisors meets on Tuesday. Among the agenda items, supervisors will consider signing a letter in support of the Clear Lake Ferry Service Feasibility Study and continuing emergency proclamations about the county’s housing problems and about increasing tree mortality. They will also go behind closed doors to talk about appointing a county public health officer. You can see the agenda on the county website, and you can watch on the usual social media channels. The meeting starts at 9 a.m. in the board chambers at the county courthouse in Lakeport.

Two new members of the Clearlake Planning Commission The City Council has chosen Christopher Inglis and Jack Smalley to join the five-member commission. They’ll replace Lisa Wilson and Erin McCarrick, who told the city they wouldn’t be seeking another term The council approved Inglis and Smalley unanimously. The newcomers will take part in their first planning commission meeting on the 14th.

Almost three years to the day it began, Mendocino County has ended its local COVID-19 emergency. Since the Board of Supervisors ratified the emergency on March 10, 2020, 143 people have died of COVID in Mendocino County. Public health officer Andy Coren says the county is averaging around four new cases per day. At its peak in February 2021, that number was more than 200 cases a day. One consequence of the end of the emergency is that supervisors will have to return to in-person meetings to satisfy the state’s open meeting law. The public will still be able to take part virtually. 1st District Supervisor Glenn McGourty calls the last three years one of the most challenging times in Mendocino County history

County-supplied trash cans in the village of Mendocino are going away. The Board of Supervisors voted to pull the trash cans because they have been overflowing with more visitors dumping their residential trash in the cans. The supervisors are working on a new plan that will offer a stipend for village businesses to put up their own cans and be responsible for dumping them.

Highland Springs Recreation Area is closed because of weather related damage. The Lake County Water Resources Department says it’s because of potentially life-threatening conditions caused by storms. County crews were on site Wednesday for a survey and found hundreds of trees down and partially fallen limbs on recreational trails, parking areas and the disc golf course. They say there are saturated soils, and when they were there, high winds and freezing temperatures. There’s also more rain on the way which could last several days and leave even more damage behind. District 4 Supervisor Michael Green visited the area and said it could be weeks to fully assess the damage and get crews in to prepare the park for public use..

There’s an official local emergency due to the storms in Mendocino County. The County CEO, who is also the Director of Emergency Services, Darcie Antle, proclaimed a local emergency due to severe winter storms. The conditions which have included high winds, cold weather, rain, and low-elevation snow caused severe ground saturation, unstable hillsides, downed trees, and multiple power outages across the County. That left a major impact on the County, community operations, and resources needed, so more public safety, health, and emergency services were added.

Real-time updates are being made on the Mendocino County Facebook page ( and Twitter.

A new report says state education officials have a new plan to deal with suspension and expulsion rates. Officials have reportedly noticed marginalized students are mostly impacted, so now they will have new education codes that will protect kids excessively disciplined. A new hotline is being set up for parents and students to report over-the-top punishments. The state Schools’ Superintendent Tony Thurmond says taking kids from the learning environment and suspending them, or totally removing them permanently can push them to a life of crime.

A federal judge is allowing fines against the state of California after multiple prison inmates killed themselves behind bars. The judge says she’s starting to fine $1,000 per day for each of the 15 unmet safeguards that she wants to see put in place by April 1st. This is for all of the state’s 34 adult prisons. It comes after over 200 inmates committed suicide over an eight year period where state corrections officials failed to follow court-ordered suicide prevention measures. The judge is also fining the state over $1.5 million for not hiring enough mental health professionals. The fines have accumulated since 2017.

More winter weather means no more drought for almost all of Sonoma County. The US Drought Monitor says all the wet weather has left only the northeast corner in “moderate drought”. The rain and snow in December across the state left almost all of the Bay Area and about 89% of Sonoma County with “abnormally dry” conditions, but no longer in drought. That report from Tuesday. Two thirds of Mendocino County’s western side is considered drought free, same for a-third of Napa County. The mapping takes into account precipitation, soil moisture and hydrological factors for agricultural, socioeconomic and ecological factors, plus a region’s climate history and input from local collaborators.

Pacific Gas & Electric gets to keep Diablo Canyon nuclear plant open longer. There had been plans to taper off power from the plant in the next couple years. Now the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission ruled it should stay open through 2030 to ensure energy reliability. The Legislature previously approved a bill to keep the plant running until 2030. It was supposed to close in 2025. And the Governor had also said the state still needed the nuclear plant operational, as it’s the state’s single largest electricity source.

It’s a no… A proposal to bring more clean electricity to those served by the Geysers geothermal field got the thumbs down for at least one stakeholder. Electricity from the plant goes out to Sonoma, Mendocino and Lake counties. There’s a proposal for 85% more power from the board of Sonoma Clean Power. Projects with Salt Lake City-based Cyrq Energy; Eavor Inc., the California arm of Canada’s Eavor Technologies; and Chevron New Energies to each produce as much as 200 more megawatts. Right now there’s 700 megawatts of output from the GeoZone. Cyrq and Eavor got unanimous approval from the board, but Chevron New Energies proposal failed. Sonoma Board members reportedly felt Chevron would greenwash and not really follow through.

After widespread power outages across California following severe winter storms, reports that a lot more power is back on. Still 42-thousand homes or businesses are still in the dark as the state prepares for more wet weather and snow for several days. The Governor had declared a state of emergency for more than a dozen counties. The National Guard was sent to San Bernardino to help people who have been trapped in their homes for days on end because of heavy snow.

Reports of illegal price gouging during the state of emergency are being taken seriously. California Attorney General Rob Bonta is warning as winter storms continue and crews provide relief, it’s imperative everyone stay alert to possible price gouging. He says businesses better not to take advantage of the current demand for essential supplies, urging victims to report it immediately. Violators face possible jail time and a fine.

Ukiah city staff have been directed to prepare a letter to be sent to federal officials after the flood plain maps came in from FEMA. The letter would appeal the new maps, according to the mayor after they looked drastically different than expected. The Public Works Director reported to the city council that indeed the city was appealing proposed changes and were even hiring a new consultant to review the new maps. This comes after another consultant the city hired agreed with the new FEMA flood maps. The city manager is also strongly urging community members to visit the city’s website to review the maps for themselves. The areas most affected are the Wagonseller and the Oak Manor areas.

Several hundred people have entered the online snowman contest in Lake County. It was supposed to all be in fun, but the response was so strong, they added a “pets in the snow” contest too. 800 entries came in for the snowman contest with photos posted on Facebook. Lakeport Tire and Auto sponsored the contest with entries from Lake and Mendocino Counties and even from outside California. The contest was created by a Lakeport local. The pets in the snow contest got almost 200 entries in just a few hours. Prizes are being given out along with a donation by Lakeport Tire and Auto to the Lake County Animal Shelter.

The new chief of the Clearlake Police Department has been sworn in. Along with the new chief Tim Hobbs, Lt. Ryan Peterson was sworn in as lieutenant. Chief Hobbs has been with the agency for 20 years. He was appointed Interim Chief in December after Chief Andrew White was hired as police chief in the city of Martinez. Peterson has been with the department for 15 years and takes over in Hobbs old position. Former Chief White was at the swearing in yesterday. The mayor also noted besides former Chief White, the Lakeport Police Chief Brad Rasmussen and Lake County Fire Chief Willie Sapeta endorsed Hobbs for the position.

A bill in the house would study the benefit and impact on farming seaweed. Congressman Jared Huffman along with a colleague from Alaska have introduced the Coastal Seaweed Farm Act of 2023. It looks to have the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) work together to learn about coastal seaweed farming and come up with money through a grant program to reduce cost barriers for indigenous communities, so they too can participate in coastal seaweed farming. Huffman says the practice has tremendous potential as a food replacement, fertilizer, and as animal feed while providing benefits to local economies.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has decided to indeed protect the California spotted owl under the Endangered Species Act. The owls have been disappearing due to logging, climate change, among more threats. The owl inhabiting the southern/coastal population would be listed as endangered and the Sierra Nevada population would be listed as threatened. The listings come after an agreement between the Fish and Wildlife Service and the Sierra Forest Legacy, Defenders of Wildlife, and the Center for Biological Diversity, all represented by Earthjustice.

In a formal letter to further the progress of the Great Redwood Trail, the Great Redwood Trail Agency says the Skunk Train has abandoned the rail. The agency filed an application with the federal Surface Transportation Board. After filing to railbank 176 miles of dilapidated rail line from Willits to Humboldt Bay, the application was approved. That meant the Skunk Train couldn’t take over the rail line as a public right of way. Just a 50-mile section remains for railbanking. It also means the Skunk Train, which is a tourist attraction, would be deemed as having committed adverse abandonment since it does not conduct freight operations. The company also cannot run trains from Ft Bragg to Willits because of tunnel collapses.

State and federal fishery scientists say the lowest number of Chinook since 2008 has been counted in their spawning grounds. The scientists met virtually this week at their annual Salmon Information Meeting. They announced spawning salmon that returned to California’s rivers late last year were at just under 170,000 adults on the Sacramento River. The fall Chinook on the Klamath were at just under 103,800, the second lowest amount since 1997. The director of the Fish and Wildlife says it was kind of expected even though they took protective and restorative actions in California. It could change this year, scientists say with all of the wet weather. The Salmon Information Meeting was attended by fishing industry participants, conservation organizations and other stakeholders.

A fire at a home in Fort Bragg was apparently caused by bad wiring. The Fort Bragg Fire Chief says the fire was fully involved on the second story of the home and it was filled with smoke. When they arrived, they couldn’t attack because the smoke was too thick and temperatures, too hot. Crews cut through the roof to vent the fire so they could get inside. The newer homeowners reported that the area the fire started in had had leaks and bad wiring in the past. The Chief says it’s possible the wiring was not up to code.

California State Parks are starting a new digital Passport Program. This means visitors can use their phones, or digital devices, to enter any one of the state’s 280 parks. The Calif. State Parks Director reminds that spending time outdoors has proven benefits such as improving mental and physical health and inspiring creativity and connection, and he says, “it’s fun!”. You can also use the official app to track your visits and earn badges. It’s available on iOS or Android devices. Also there are ways to enjoy parks for free with the California State Park Library Pass, CalWORKs, and for those receiving Social Security.

Some members of Congress, including Representative Jared Huffman have sent a letter to the President for better security at the Capitol. Huffman reportedly led the effort to encourage President Biden to appoint a new Architect of the Capitol to enforce a ban on members carrying firearms on the House Floor. There’s already a regulation in place from 1967, but apparently, it’s not always followed. Plus, the former Architect of the Capitol was fired and magnetometers outside the House Floor have been removed now that the Republicans hold the majority. They also cite the release of tapes from the January 6th insurrection to Fox News.

The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors is green-lighting an agreement for a tribal casino-resort near Geyserville. The project would sit on the site of the River Rock Casino. The Dry Creek Rancheria is looking to put the new casino on its land in the Alexander Valley, featuring almost 300 rooms, a 60-thousand-square-foot casino with up to 15-hundred slot machines, a wedding chapel, spa, and other amenities. The agreed to deal replaces another between the county and tribe from way back in 2008 which allowed for an even bigger hotel and casino, and more gaming devices.

Preparations in the works for three Friday nights of films to be shown from the International Wildlife Film Festival which takes place each year in Missoula, Montana. This Friday festivities begin at the Ukiah Civic Center, with snacks, music, then film screenings. The opening night theme is “Bees, Butterflies and Birds”. The event starts at 6:15 pm followed by the screening at 7 p.m. Series tickets can be purchased on site, night of, are at Book Company for $30. The money raised goes to the Redwood Valley Outdoor Education Project (RVOEP), a special program of the Ukiah Unified School District that provides outdoor environmental education programs to over 2,000 students a year.

So much snow came down in the Lake Tahoe area, that some resorts had to close. Now reports of an avalanche slamming into an apartment building in Olympic Valley Tuesday night. Evacuations were ordered after the slide filled the bottom two stories of the three-story building. It was measured at 200 yards wide and 25 feet deep. The Placer County Sheriff’s office reports they did not find anyone trapped or injured. The building at the base of Palisades Tahoe ski area, which closed Tuesday due to severe weather.

The Clearlake Senior Center is asking for support for their Meals on Wheels program. They’re having an old fashion hoedown, including food and music. It’s happening 3 weeks from Saturday, March 25th at the Highlands Senior Center located in Clearlake. Tickets are $40 and a no host bar will be provided. You can get your tickets by calling the Center, in person at their Thrift Store or online at

Some of the weather-related services provided by Lake County are being suspended. The County announced after the massive snowfall, life-threatening temperatures, and other challenges related to the weather, including power outages, there were added community services, like warming centers and a 24/7 Hotline for Homebound Individuals. Storm activity is tapering off so the warming centers in Lower Lake and Middletown are closed as of today. The hotline is also being turned off. But anyone needing support can call the Sheriff’s Office Dispatch, not 911. There is more rain and sleet forecasted this weekend. The County will reassess if any of the services need to be opened or started again.

A man from Fort Bragg has been arrested after Deputies were called to Adventist Health Coast Hospital’s ER for an assault. Deputies say a man had been admitted with several blunt force injuries to his body, but the 53-year-old wouldn’t help. As he finally decided to work with Deputies, they headed to another location where there was supposedly a man with a gunshot wound to his leg. They couldn’t find him, but he too, ended up in the same hospital as the other guy. Deputies found the two incidents were related and eventually found David Appier beat the 53-year-old, who pulled a gun on him. Appier was treated then arrested for Assault with a Deadly Weapon and Battery with Serious Bodily Injury. He was held on $30,000.00 bail.

Major work could soon begin on the Great Redwood Trail. The Great Redwood Trail Agency has filed an official application with the federal Surface Transportation Board to build the trail which will be from Willits to Humboldt Bay. The agency is planning to railbank the line with the approval of the federal government. That means the area can be preserved as a public trail after it was closed down for freight a quarter century ago. The second segment of railbanking starts from Willits to Cloverdale and trail planning follows for the 50-mile stretch across from scenic vineyard lands and next to sections of the Russian River.

The end of an era… the former Howard Hospital in Willits has been demolished. The nearly 100 year old building sat on three acres and was nearly 30,000 square feet before you add up all the smaller buildings. The hospital was empty for about seven years and the tear down started at the beginning of the year. A demolition company from Ukiah won the contract. The buildings were on the market for a while, but there were no bites as the cost to retrofit the old building may have cost more than tearing it down, and starting it over.

The Governor has made it official, signaling the next phase of the pandemic with a proclamation to end the COVID emergency. The state is now moving into the so-called SMARTER Plan to support communities and respond to outbreaks. The goal is to continue increasing vaccination rates, especially among children and find patients who need them, effective treatments. Cases will also be tracked to monitor spikes and identify new variants.

Yosemite National Park is still closed because of too much snow. It was supposed to reopen today, but there’s as much as 15-feet of snow in some areas. Pictures of the area have been posted, with some showing snow blocking the doorway of a building. The park closed Saturday during a powerful winter storm as crews are working on restoring critical services so guests can safely return. But currently they have not set a reopening date.

An ex-Deputy DA in Lake County has settled a federal discrimination lawsuit with the County. Daniel Flesch claimed he was discriminated and retaliated against while a Senior Deputy DA because he’s Jewish and complained there was sexism and racism going on in the workplace. An $825,000 settlement was reportedly reached in December. Lake County News reports Flesh voluntarily resigned in January after about a decade. He filed suit about a year ago after complaining about décor in the office that was offensive to women, Jewish and Black people.

It could be a first, ski resorts closing because of too much powder. A pair of resorts in Lake Tahoe are closed, Palisades Tahoe ski resort said it would close all ski lifts for “the safety of our employees and of our guests.” The resort says it got over three feet in one day, and they still expected the same again the next day. Kirkwood Mountain Resort also tweeted they were closing yesterday because of the intense winter storm. And Heavenly tweeted they were open, but would delay the day yesterday, calling the conditions, dynamic.

An oversight hearing is set by a committee of lawmakers regarding how the state handles toxic soil from industrial, military or other cleanup sites . CalMatters reported last month there were businesses and government agencies which were dumping contaminated soil at landfills on the regular in Arizona and Utah. Those states don’t have as strong of environmental regulation and oversight as California. The news report says California’s Department of Toxic Substances Control was one of the biggest out-of-state dumpers though, sending toxic waste to Arizona. The hearing of the Senate’s Environmental Quality Committee will reportedly investigate.

The Konocti Fire Safe Countil has won a $20,000 grant from the California Fire Safe Council. The Community Fire-Safe Capacity-Building Grant applied for one of the 14 projects the grants were going to. The money comes from Edison International and the California Department of Conservation. The grant money will go to buy equipment and help expand the council’s community outreach program, upgrade communication technologies, and provide development of fire safety and mitigation projects. The council works mostly for the Soda Bay corridor including Kelseyville Riviera, Riviera Estates, Lakeview Estates, Konocti Shores, Riviera West, Buckingham and Riviera Heights.

As expected, the Lake County Board of Supervisors gave the greenlight to the Sheriff’s local emergency declaration related to the winter storms. The Board ratified the Sheriff’s declaration of a local emergency last Friday because of the snow at low elevations, power outages and extremely cold temperatures last week. Several hundred PG&E customers were still without power yesterday. Many county services were impacted by the weather, and schools were closed yesterday. But some opened after closing on Friday and Monday. Most services were suspended by the county, but Sunrise Services Foundation’s warming center in Lakeport was staying open. There is still a freeze warning in effect for Lake County, with temperatures well below freezing in the early morning hours.

Multiple incidents reported on roads due to remaining wet or icy conditions. The incidents this morning in Hopland, one crash was reported and a couple others in the area on Highway 101. There was also a single car crash reported near the Redwood Rancheria. Earlier today we still had many road closures. Those included State Route 175 between Hopland and Lakeport due to winter weather hazards, Road B in Redwood Valley and East Road were both closed due to a downed tree last night which took down utility lines with it. The main route between the Ukiah Valley and Lake Pillsbury – Eel River Road/Van Arsdale Road was also closed after multiple trees fell during the recent storms. Highway 1 between Rockport and Leggett was also closed.

Hwy 128 was reopened though after CalTrans, a local construction company and PG&E worked together to clear the highway from Boonville to Cloverdale. Power is also back on to much of Yorkville. And Highway 253 has also reopened.

A man pulled over in Willits for texting while driving has been arrested for possession of child pornography. Willits police report 31-year-old Keono Lara of Fort Bragg admitted he was on felony probation for possession of child pornography. With that, he can be searched and has to give police his passwords for all electronic devices. Police found a tablet and multiple phones in the car with him, so they looked at their contents. Police say there were more than 100 images and movies of young females in various sex acts with adult men. So the man was arrested once again for possessing kiddie porn, violating his probation, and more charges could be coming.

There is still impending weather coming our way. Meteorologists in Eureka with the National Weather Service say we could still have moderate to heavy snow above 1,500 feet coming in today. There’s still dangerous travel conditions, including wet/icy roads, fast moving winds, snow, and possible downed trees and powerlines.  When it’s dark or foggy, be especially careful for Black Ice which is hard to see and makes roads very slippery, especially on bridges and overpasses. More winter weather is headed our way this weekend. 

For additional preparedness information, residents can visit and follow the County of Mendocino Facebook page for situational updates.

Online resources to assist with checking road conditions in Mendocino and Lake County:

CHP Traffic:

Department of Transportation:

State Routes:

It’s been nearly three years since COVID19 was declared an emergency in the State of Calif. Today is the end of the public health emergency. The end of the emergency doesn’t mean COVID is over, it means the government will not be mandating orders related to the pandemic. It also means some of the regulations and executive orders that came with the pandemic from the state will be phased out. Many were done last October, when the state announced it would end the mandates. The federal government’s state of emergency ends May 11th.

PG&E raising their prices has caught some customers off guard. Some customers report receiving bills in the neighborhood of twice as much as what a typical bill has been for them. Utility experts say it’s not just electricity, but also natural gas that has been skyrocketing.  The energy institute at Haas at UC Berkeley has been tracking prices and says as opposed to the rest of the US, California’s prices are not in line. They’re cheaper elsewhere. And we don’t have a reserve of natural gas like we’ve had in years past.

The continuing winter storms are apparently helping with California’s drought.  Lake Shasta, the state’s largest reservoir, is almost 60-percent of capacity, double the amount in November.  Lake Oroville has surpassed its historical average for February, sitting at 72-percent of capacity, compared to just 28-percent three months ago.  While the recent rain and snow have made a difference, experts say a lot more is still needed. And more is on the way, this weekend.

The State Water Board has decided to allow more storage in Central Valley reservoirs, going against rules that say water has to be released as a protection for salmon and other endangered fish. A waiver has been agreed to so cities and growers who get water from the State Water Project and Central Valley Project can get more. The water goes mostly to those in Southern California, and hundreds of thousands of acres of farmland. This is just until the end of March. But environmentalists spoke out saying it will endanger chinook salmon and other native fish in the Delta struggling to survive.

Two people in Lakeport have been arrested after police served a search warrant and found fentanyl and methamphetamine. James Biocca Jr. of Healdsburg and Melody Yadon of Willits were arrested after a group of cops with a warrant searched a storage locker in Kelseyville the pair owned. Biocca was arrested earlier this month and found with almost 100 grams of
fentanyl and more than 21 grams of meth packaged for sale. The Lakeport Police Chief says Monday as officers searched the storage locker, the pair showed up there, and they already found meth. The two were searched and more drugs were found with them. Cops also found cash on them so they were arrested for various charges. Biocca was held on $250,000 bail and Yadon, $10,000.

Police in Clearlake are asking for the public’s help finding a woman who vanished. Police say they were alerted that 29-year-old Brittany Spurling disappeared. She was last seen on Lakeshore Drive in Clearlake, and is described as being a white female adult with blonde hair and blue eyes, 5 foot 4, 130 pounds. She was last seen in blue denim overalls and black pants with a jacket on. If you’ve seen her, please call the Clearlake Police Dept.

A man in Ukiah has been arrested after another man was assaulted in a motel room. Police say they got a call from a hysterical female to come to the Super 8 Motel on S. Orchard Avenue in Ukiah for some sort of physical altercation. Police say there was a juvenile walking to the motel office with blood on his clothes with a woman, the victim’s girlfriend. The two shared there had been an altercation with the kid’s uncle and a man identified as Adam Pearson in one of the motel rooms. The uncle and teen fought with the man in the hotel room, and later outside of it, but Pearson took off. The uncle ended up in the hospital but left before being treated. They also found and arrested Pearson who was later positively id’d by the victim’s girlfriend. He’s charged with battery causing serious bodily injury, child endangerment and violation of parole.

Quick work by Ukiah police who arrested a man on several charges after a burglary is reported at a home. Police say the suspect, now identified as Mark Wolk, was arrested after they were led to his home. Wolk is on active probation for a different burglary. The homeowners say they lost a legally owned and registered handgun, an Apple watch, and other personal items. Since Wolk was on probation, his bedroom was searched, and the items were located. He was arrested and booked at the Mendocino County Jail for violation of probation, felon in possession of a firearm, possession of ammunition and more. All the charges are felonies.

An arrest has been made after reports of a robbery at Keith’s Market in Covelo. The Sheriff’s Dept. reports getting a call to an altercation and identifying Markas Capskis as a suspect who stole items from the market, then when confronted by an employee and Good Samaritan, he attacked them. The employee subdued Capskis, who Deputies confirm had a criminal background including vandalizing businesses, possible arson at the Round Valley Health Clinic and multiple other burglaries. He was found, arrested and charged with robbery, assault with a deadly weapon, criminal threats, elder abuse and for the previous crimes and held on $50,000.00 bail.