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Category Archives: 94.5 K-Wine News

94.5 K-Wine Local News Reports

Lake County has moved into the CDC’s highest risk category for Covid-19. The Lake County Health Department calls that change alarming because it shows widespread community transmission of the virus. The department is also worried about new stress on the county’s health care system. Public Health officer Dr. Erik McLaughlin says moving into the High Community Level does not trigger any new countywide health measures—yet. He says the county could consider moving back to some of the earlier restrictions and policies to check the spread of the illness. The department strongly recommends indoor masking—not as a punishment, but as an important prevention tool. A Health Services data analysis shows the county is now reporting 12 weekly cases for every 100,000 residents, high enough to clear the bar of 200 the CDC has set for the High Community Level. Test positivity has also been creeping upward over recent weeks to 11% in Lake County. Officials say if people wear masks, get vaccinated, and get tested, the trend of more Covid cases can again go down

California’s proposed ban on gas powers vehicles by 2035 gets cool reception at a hearing by the State Air Resources Board. The board took nine hours of comments and heard lots of critics of the plan but there were a few supporters too. They say the proposal doesn’t go far enough. Among the concerns—are the effect on disadvantaged communities and the aggressive timeline to make the switch. Board members questioned both sales and charging electrics, saying the infrastructure is nowhere near what it would have to be by the cutoff of combustion. Members want staff members to address those concerns and find a path to lower the barriers for low-income people to buy electric vehicles. The board is expected to vote on the mandate in August.

Some nonprofits in Lake County competed to win a $10,000 grant. The Lake County Women’s Civic Club says they received multiple applications, all of which were “worthy causes and missions”. Six were chosen who had to make a presentation to the board, explaining why they would make an impact with the money. Ultimately, the Northshore Youth Club won the grant.  The nonprofit sponsors local academic and extracurricular enrichment activities to kids 5 to 18 years old like basketball league, football, cheer, and even rock music camp. The group is 80% funded through donations and sponsorships and 20% through minimal registration fees.

A man from Ukiah has been arrested after Deputies, on a welfare check of a woman couldn’t find her. They called her family who found the woman who they say may have been with her boyfriend, Anthony Ocampo. The two were found parked in a car and after questioning the pair found she had been abused over a couple of days last weekend. Deputies also found there was a restraining order between them, and that Ocampo was on felony probation due to interactions with the woman. He was arrested for Felony False Imprisonment, Felony Criminal Threats, Felony Violation of Probation, Misdemeanor Domestic Battery and Misdemeanor Violation of Restraining Order and held without bail.

A woman from Philo has been arrested after reports of domestic violence against a man. Deputies called to a home earlier this week along with fire and medical personnel. They say the woman there, Margaret Farley, seemed drunk and was not helpful. They then found a man with a wound to his eye and say the pair had been drinking together when she punched the guy in the face. They arrested Farley for Domestic Violence and held her on $25,000.00 bail.

Deputies in Ukiah had to use Narcan on a man they found unresponsive. They reported last Friday to the 1300 block of North State Street finding the man with a faint pulse, barely breathing. Someone else at the scene said the guy had used fentanyl and eventually became unresponsive, so the Deputy gave him a 4mg dose of Narcan, then a second one, when the first didn’t work. Medics arrived, but after the guy awoke, he refused more help. The Sheriff’s Office reports since they started to use the antidote in 2019, there have been thirteen situations that saved the lives of thirteen people.

Lake County is reminding about PTSD awareness. And the US Senate declared June 27th Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Day. The Department of Veterans Affairs’ National Center for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) says probably 6% of residents in the United States will experience PTSD at some point in their lives, and that about 12 million adults experience PTSD annually. Lake County reminds if you have PTSD, you’re not alone, and if you know someone who may be suffering, or if you need help, it’s available through Behavioral Health Services. The Director of the agency says “It’s okay, to not be okay”.

The Mendocino County Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder Katrina Bartolomie announced there are still ballots from Tuesday’s primary election as part of the official canvass. On Wednesday, the county still had several thousand Vote By Mail ballots to process and count and a few hundred Provisional/Conditional ballots to review, process and count. By law, any ballot that is postmarked by Election Day (June 7), they’re required to accept thru Tuesday, June 14th. The office will update their unofficial results within 2 weeks and post it on their website. By law they have 30 days from the date of the election to certify.

A new report from Cal Fire says once again PG&E is to blame for a massive fire. This time the energy company is being called out for an “excessively delayed response” that contributed to the Dixie Fire last year. It ended up being the second-largest wildfire in California history. Investigators said the spread of the nearly one-million-acre fire was caused because PG&E was too slow to react after one of their power lines malfunctioned near the Cresta Dam in Plumas County last July. They got there about ten hours after ignition and the fire was too big at that point. PG&E was already blamed for the fire and made a deal to avoid criminal prosecution.

The largest utility, which has been consistently blamed for causing wildfires in Calif., has pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter related for another. Pacific Gas & Electric is being blamed for the death of four people and the destruction of hundreds of homes in Redding after the Zogg Fire in 2020. The fire swept through rugged terrain, swallowing up 200 homes and charring Nearly 90 square miles. State investigators say a pine tree fell on one of the utility company’s distribution lines. Afterwards Shasta and Tehama counties sued, saying the company was negligent by not removing the tree which was earlier marked for removal. Millions of customers are serviced by the utility giant which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy 2 and a half years ago after multiple fires were started by aging infrastructure.

A man who once lived on the streets of Ukiah is going to prison for nearly 2 decades for attempted murder. 67-year-old David Giusti will be an elderly man before he’s eligible to be released after a jury convicted him of attempted murder in the first degree, the personal use of a deadly and dangerous weapon in the commission of the attempted murder and inflicting great bodily injury on the victim. Plus, he had a previous Strike conviction when he went after another homeless man in March of 2020 who was trying to sleep on a loading dock which Giusti said was his camp. The victim had about forty head wounds after Guisti hit him with a metal bracket attached to a long handle. His previous strike was similar, he attacked someone in the head with a glass bottle.

A man from Cobb in trouble with the law after an altercation at a barbecue. The DA charged 23-year-old Hunter Toles after a shooting. He was arrested Tuesday and appeared in court yesterday on Zoom. Police who responded say there was drinking going on at the gathering where Toles grabbed a shotgun and fired off three shots. One hit a woman at close range. She reportedly had non-life-threatening injuries. He’s charged with attempted murder, assault with a firearm and battery causing serious bodily injury for shooting the woman, along with special allegations of personally and intentionally discharging a firearm, personal use of a shotgun and inflicting great bodily injury on the female victim. He faces charges for two other people too who were not hit by the gunfire. He faces three life sentences if convicted of the charges and is held in jail on just over 3 million dollars bail. He claims it was self-defense.

A former Kelseyville man who went to prison over 30 years ago for child abuse and murder will not be paroled. The Board of Parole Hearings said no to convicted murderer and child abuser, 61-year-old Leonard Scott Snider who was found guilty in August of 1990 for first-degree-murder of a 3 ½ year old boy from Lakeport; and for the felony child abuse of another young boy. At the time he got 31 years to life. He had been in trouble several times for domestic violence against girlfriends, including threats and physical violence. An 8-year-old boy testified against him that Snider had been seriously abusing him. Then the three year old boy was severely traumatized by Snider and died. He blamed the girlfriends. Snider’s next parole hearing is in 2027.

Cal Fire and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are conducting a prescribed burn at the Coyote Valley Dam. It starts Monday at 5:00 P.M. and will about four hours with smoke visible throughout the Ukiah and Redwood Valley areas. They say it’s to help the Corps remove vegetation from the face of the Coyote Valley Dam for increased access and visibility for a required inspection. Coyote Dam and the Fish Hatchery area near the base of the dam will be closed to the public. The burn will be conducted under very tight restrictions for the personal safety of firefighters and area residents.

A new study shows women, Black and Latino workers are being paid less than their white male counterparts at California State University. The study by the Calif. State Univ. Employees Union shows disparities in nonfaculty members are part of a failure of the salary system which hasn’t been keeping pace with the rest of the country. And with that CSU and labor leaders are reportedly negotiating a way to rework the entire salary structure so the university system is more competitive on the job market. The report looked at the salaries of about 12,000 nonfaculty workers at 23 campuses and in the chancellor’s office, including custodians, lab technicians and healthcare workers.

Leggett had a minute of fame. The tiny town appeared on the TV game show Jeopardy Monday. The category was “On the Coast” and the winner of a question then chose the “On the Coast” category for $600 with the clue about “PCH”. It said it’s “PCH for short, this road has its northern terminus near Leggett, California.” The champ, who had been on a streak, punched the buzzer and answered the Pacific Coast Highway, which runs along the state. The champ had his last night though, even though he correctly named Leggett, losing a sixteen episode winning streak.

As a reminder the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors has their budget talks and will broach a new sales tax subject. The meeting this morning will feature consideration by the Board of a new sales tax on the November ballot. The money received from the proposed tax would go for fire and/or water. Whether one or the other, or both, remains to be seen. At the same time, Mendo Voice reports the Citizens for the Library also have a tax on the ballot. They’ve reached out to the Board saying the competition on the ballot is not welcome. They’ve even secured 4,200 signatures for the library measure.

A hero has been honored by folks in Lakeport. A medal of heroism from the city with the police chief and former fire chief in attendance. Larry Richardson won the honor for jumping into action pulling two men out of a burning home last September. At the time he was on duty at the Lake County Fairgrounds and says he saw smoking at the Fairgrounds Village Mobile Home Park, a park for those 55 and older. The fire and police chiefs arrived after Richardson and say he risked his own life to rescue two people, who were burned by the fire.  He carried one of them out. The two were both taken to the hospital for burns. The source of the fire was apparently a cigarette.

Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-05)’s H.R. 7910, the Protecting Our Kids Act has passed the House of Representatives. Yesterday Congressman Thompson’s bill with NY House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerrold Nadler and Texas rep and Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security Subcommittee Chairwoman Sheila Jackson Lee. Thompson says after the heartbreaking mass shootings in Buffalo, Uvalde, and Tulsa, there’s also everyday gun violence that often goes unreported and has to be addressed to save lives. If it passes the Senate, it will raise the age of purchase of some firearms to 21, make the sale, import, manufacture, transfer or possession of a large capacity magazines illegal, put new laws in place against gun trafficking, regulate storing of firearms and more.

Could California go purple? The state’s been a blue Democratic stronghold for years, but then the progressive San Francisco DA was recalled, and a billionaire former Republican is the front runner for the Mayoral primary in LA. He’s now a Democrat though. There were a bunch of close US House races in Orange County and the Central Valley, but those areas have always leaned Red. Attorney General Rob Bonta has advanced to the General, but he’s got stiff competition from Republicans. But Republicans have been on the losing end of statewide races since 2006.

A record low turnout has been recorded for Tuesday’s primary election. Many races were uncontested locally, and the ones that did have challengers, won with staggering leads. Republican state Sen. Brian Dahle will face off against Governor Newsom in November. Even though Newsom has been bashed and battered, and faced a recall, he looks fairly safe in the race. Dems were also leading in races for US Senate with former Senator, and now VP Kamala Harris’ successor Alex Padilla leading in polls against Republican Mark Meuser and 21 other challengers. Some DA’s and other law enforcement officers across the state want to oust Attorney General Rob Bonta, but he has a stealthy lead against Republicans Nathan Hochman and Eric Early, and Anne Marie Schubert, the anti-establishment Sacramento DA who ran with no party preference. Turnout was only 16%.

It looks like a runoff for the State Supt. of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond. Yesterday morning with all counties reporting, Thurmond had under 46% of the vote. He had to get 50% to win outright. Three others, all closely behing Thurmond, first, a math teacher in San Francisco, Ainye Long, with 11.7%; then closely behind her were George Yang, an engineer from Menlo Park and former Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, and Lance Christensen, a former vice president of education policy at the California Policy Center, a conservative think tank.

Many already know it, the month of June is Pride Month. The Lake County Board of Supervisors made that official at their latest meeting, proclaiming it and flying a rainbow flag over the courthouse. Also, the Board heard from the Sheriff about military equipment usage and the Community Development Director reported on forming the Cannabis Committee. The Sheriff’s office shared their new Military Equipment Policy and discussed buying more drones. The Sheriff says most of the equipment is stored in case there’s a riot at the jail. The Lakeport Police Chief also chimed in with support, since there’s no SWAT team around.  The Cannabis Task Force we hear will have nine spots. The application deadline is next Wednesday.

Lake County’s Community Visioning Forum Planning Committee had another meeting. They’re set up to help promote tolerance, respect, equity and inclusion in the county. They have another half dozen meetings planned this year. They invite residents, county and city leaders along with tribal governments to attend. They hired a local consultant for visioning forums, Nicole Anderson, who told those in attendance it’s important to connect with others. There was also an anti-racism expert on hand discussing shifting mindsets and perspectives.

A Deputy on patrol in Ukiah has arrested a man after recognizing him from previous contact. Franklin Patty had a warrant for his arrest and was found with meth in his possession. He was held without bail since he had the warrant, then also arrested for possession of a controlled substance.

A man in Willits is busted after a call to the Sheriff’s office about a domestic situation. The Deputies who responded say the victim and Joel Neely were in a relationship and lived together and had an argument. The victim says they were arguing about dinner and how it was prepared when Neely punched her in the face. They put out a be-on-the-look-out alert for Neely related to the domestic dispute, and found and arrested him. He’s charged with domestic battery and held on $25,000.00 bail.

A man in Covelo has been arrested after an assault. Deputies say they found a victim with injuries to their face. They said their boyfriend of the last two years, Jose “Johnny” Santiago, had hit the victim in the face with a large piece of wood a week ago. Plus, he took her car and damaged it. Her family gave her a ride to the Covelo Fire Department, then a be-on-the-look-out (BOLO) alert was put out for Santiago. The next day Round Valley Tribal Police picked up Santiago. A Deputy arrested him after for Domestic Battery, Assault with a deadly weapon and Battery causing serious injury. He was held on $30,000.00 bail.

Three people in Laytonville have been arrested after a car with out of state, dated registration tags was spotted. Two people were contacted in a driveway as another walked away. The driver was Chad Mallett, and a backseat passenger, was Marie Manning. The guy walking away was identified as Bradley Mallett. Deputies found drug paraphernalia and marijuana in the vehicle. And the driver admitted he had warrants for his arrest. Also, a Deputy found a fixed blade knife with him, and pepper spray on the woman. Mallett indeed had 3 warrants out of Humboldt County, so he was arrested for possessing a dirk or dagger and pepper spray in the car and held on $35,000. The one who walked away was arrested for being under the influence while on Post Release Community Supervision and was held without bail.  And Manning was arrested and held on $15,000.00 bail.

Some election results. Since Sheriff Matt Kendall only had a write in, last minute competitor, he sailed to a win with 95% of the vote last night. Competitor and youtuber Trent James only got about 150 votes. The contentious Superintendent of Schools race looked to be going to incumbent challenger Nicole Glentzer who won 52% of the vote against Michelle Hutchins. It was an easy win for 3rd District Supervisor John Hashak who got over 70% of the vote in a landslide and in the 5th District, Ted Williams got 85% of the vote. And in all of the uncontested races, the Assessor-Clerk-Recorder, Auditor-Controller/Treasurer-Tax-Collector and DA were all safe in their jobs.

Congressman Mike Thompson, in the 4th District easily won his primary with 66% of the vote against Matt Brock. Mike McGuire, the state Senate Majority Leader had a healthy lead in his primary with 68 percent, Assemblymember Cecilia Aguiar-Curry won 66 percent. Assemblyman Jim Wood had almost 73% against his primary challenger. Lake County’s Assessor Recorder goes to the incumbent, Rich Ford and the DA, which was a competitive race, went to the incumbent Susan Krones with a healthy win. Bryan Pullman won a seat on the Middletown Unified School Board.

The offices for the Sheriff Brian Martin, Superintendent of Schools Brock Falkenberg, District 2 Supervisor Bruno Sabatier and District 3 Supervisor Eddie “EJ” Crandell were all uncontested, so they essentially all won reelection.

The Governor’s new budget includes a bunch more money for school districts and charter schools. There would be $4.5 billion more than what Newsom is proposing for the Local Control Funding Formula lawmakers released. This is just a draft budget, but it would mean some of the Governor’s ideas wouldn’t make it into the final budget, like a literacy proposal and changes to language learning and reading. They would cut money for maintenance at K-12 facilities and money for dual enrollment and career pathways. Legislative leaders are reportedly following the same revenue projections Newsom used.

The Governor is trying to help with the infant formula shortage, signing an executive order against price gouging. Due to a recall and supply chain issues because of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s been a challenge to get formula for some families. Some places are jacking up the prices of what they do have. Even eBay had auctions going on for formula. The Governor’s order says sellers may not charge more than 10% over the price they charged on Feb. 17th. And the state Department of Public Health’s Women, Infants and Children, or WIC, broadened the list of eligible brands that can be purchased with their benefits.

The Noyo Theatre in Willits has opened a 21-and-older viewing area. The owners changed a screening room into a lounge where patrons can buy beer, wine and cider. There are state-of-the-art antigravity chairs with a big screen to watch films and enjoy adult beverages. Those imbibing may not bring their drinks into the lobby and nobody under 21 is allowed in the lounge. The lounge only seats 33 people at a time. There are also wheelchair accessible spots.

Two people in Redwood Valley have been arrested for being in possession of guns in a car. Deputies on patrol saw a black Dodge Charger driven by Ashley Lenhart and knew her and that she had a suspended and revoked driver’s license. They also spotted various vehicle code violations, so they stopped her. There were two men in the car with her, 23-year-old Jermaine Watson from Clearlake Oaks, and 22-year-old William Hutton from Clearlake. They searched the car and one guy said he had a gun on him and turned it over. Driver Lenhart and passenger Watson were both arrested. Lenhart for the five misdemeanor warrants and driving on a suspended license; and Watson for carrying a loaded firearm in a public place and carrying a loaded handgun for which he was not the registered owner. Hutton was released at the scene without charges.

Those who live in Mendocino County are being asked to finish up a survey if they were impacted by fires in 2017 and 2018. The Prevention, Recovery, Resiliency and Mitigation Division reminds the state Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) ReCoverCA Program Disaster Housing Assistance Survey before the end of July. It’s for eligible homeowners looking to get grants of up to $500,000 if they’re still in the process of rebuilding. Those impacted by 2020 wildfires will have their chance to apply shortly. Announcements will be made.

If you or anyone you work with has further questions about ReCoverCA, OOR, or other disaster recovery resources, please contact HCD by email at or call (916) 202-1764.

More info on the report of shots fired in Comptche earlier this week. The Sheriff’s office reports getting a call late Monday night to the 8400 block of Flynn Creek Road because someone was yelling, firing a gun and driving an ATV around. Deputies say there was another call about a fire in the area so with firefighters they reported to the scene. Firefighters put out a fire on a trailer. They found Michael McSorley to be the suspect for the arson and an unreported assault Tuesday. A 36 year old man was reported to be the victim. He reported McSorley was armed with an “AR-15 style” rifle and shot it near the victim’s head, threatening to kill him. He also hit him multiple times with his hands and feet. McSorley was arrested yesterday, but a SWAT team had to help. He’s charged making criminal threats and assault with a firearm and held on $250,000 bail.

It’s voting day, if you didn’t send in your ballot, there are plenty of spots to go cast one. The measure for Anderson Valley Voters, whether or not to allow for a tax to help pay to renovate classrooms; upgrade agricultural program facilities; repair or replace roofs, water infrastructure, heating and air conditioning systems; construct a new elementary school multipurpose room; and improve student safety through $13,000,000 in bonds. Also in Mendocino County, 3rd District Supervisor, 5th District Supervisor, 2nd Congressional District, Congressman Jared Huffman is up for re-election. The Governor who is expected to easily win, has 25 contenders against him and room on the ballot for a write in. A contentious battle for Rob Bonta to stay in as the Attorney General. This is just the primary though. Also on the ballot, Secretary of State, Controller, Treasurer and shall US Senator Alex Padilla get another term? Remember, he took over for Kamala Harris who became the Vice President of the US. In the Legislature Senate Majority Leader Mike McGuire is up for another term, as is Assemblyman Jim Wood. Both the state and Mendocino County Superintendent of Schools are on the ballot as is the local DA and Sheriff, neither of which have competitors on the ballot, but possible write in competitors.  In Lake County, Congressman Mike Thompson is up for re-election as is Assemblymember Cecelia Aguiar Curry in the 4th District. The DA is also in a tight race and they’re choosing a new Board Member for the Middletown Unified School District.

A former Lake County Social Services staffer is going to jail. Susan Marlowe busted for stealing thousands from the agency. The Lakeport resident will also have to pay the money back. She used to be a deputy public guardian and deputy public administrator for Lake County Adult Protective Services but was arrested last August after the theft of debit cards from the department. The money was stimulus after the pandemic broke out. The cards totaled almost $13,000.  So, Marlowe was charged in March with elder abuse, embezzlement by a public officer, embezzlement, larceny and identity theft. She ended up with two years formal probation, 20 hours of community service and 120 days in jail. A restitution hearing is coming in August.

A springtime swell of COVID cases is being reported by the new Lake County Public Health Officer. Dr. Erik McLaughlin sent out notice, the county has been seeing a surge of cases, at nearly 11% of anyone testing for COVID, getting back positive results. Dr. McLaughlin says the number of cases has been going up steadily over the last few weeks, and that some nearby counties were reinstating indoor masking requirements. While he’s not mandating that, he is reminding to wear a “properly fitting mask in indoor public settings” and to get vaccinated if you are not already. As a reminder, if you have symptoms of Covid-19, to please get tested and speak with your health care provider. McLaughlin says the Bay Area has the most cases of all in Calif. mostly due to omicron, which is very contagious.

Cal Fire has put a burn ban in place, suspending all burn permits for outdoor residential burning in the State Responsibility Area of Mendocino County. The burn ban starts next Monday due to increased fire danger because of dead grass and hotter, drier conditions. Cal Fire Mendocino says the state has been experiencing an unusually early start to fire season because of the ongoing drought and historically low rainfall and reservoir levels. The chief of Cal Fire says it’s imperative we collectively take “preventative steps now to prepare” and they’re asking all Californians to do their part in wildfire preparedness:

• Clear all dead and or dying vegetation 100 feet from around all structures.

• Landscape with fire resistant plants and non-flammable ground cover.

• Find alternative ways to dispose of landscape debris like chipping or hauling it to a biomass energy or green waste facility.

Campfires may be permitted if the campfire is maintained in such a manner as to prevent its spread to the wildland. A valid campfire permit is required and can be obtained online at

For additional information on how to create Defensible Space, Home Hardening, Evacuation Planning and how to be prepared for wildfires, as well as tips to prevent wildfires, visit

A Nixle alert was sent out to some residents near Comptche due to shots fired in one neighborhood. Residents in the 8000 block of Flynn Creek Road south of Comptche were warned to shelter just after midnight last night. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Department reported a man with a firearm had been seen and to avoid the area. But then Mendocino Action News on Facebook posted Deputies were called to the area for a reported arson first, and a possibly intoxicated person who supposedly lit a trailer on fire and fired shots from an ATV.

A warrant for the arrest of a man from Clearlake ended up in the guy’s arrest. Police say 44 year old Robert Flores is accused of sexual acts with a child 10 or younger, and one count of lewd and lascivious acts upon a child. Cops had been following leads to find and arrest Flores and finally found him in Ukiah. Police found him in a business parking lot but he tried to get away. But a police dog named Zeus nabbed the man. Flores was booked in the Lake County Jail. Not a lot more info was released due to privacy concerns for the young victim.

In a surprise move, the Mendocino Railway which operates the Skunk Train has reportedly sent a request to the state Assembly Transportation Committee to note they support legislation by State Senator Mike McGuire to stop a mysterious coal train proposed in the area. It would have coal traveling through Marin, Sonoma, Mendocino, Trinity, and Humboldt counties, after first restoring the old North Coast rail route, long out of service. The bill would ban any money going to operate rail services on the North Coast Rail Authorities (NCRA) or Great Redwood Trail Agency’s (GRTA) rail right-of-way north of the City of Willits, and no state funding could be spent on a coal terminal within Humboldt County. The Skunk Train operator wrote they’ve never supported the transport of coal, they support the remote residences and communities. The operator says any press reports they are working with the “Mystery Coal Train” is fake news.

Several firefighters with CalFire gathering to prepare for the peak of wildfire season. They got together at the Jackson Demonstration State Forest last week clearing brush, putting up shelters and working with tools in timed drills for this fire year. The Crew Readiness Drill to see how quickly they can work and find any potential weak points in their work. The Mendocino unit making sure they’re ready for what may be coming. They report having 430 personnel at the ready for the season. They started hiring back in March and will most likely be on well into fall and possible winter months.

Fort Bragg’s community garden is open for business. The South Lincoln Street Community Garden is located next to the CV Starr Community Center. Last weekend they had their grand opening with treats, music and activities for the whole fam. They opened for planting over winter months. And those attending, just missed a downpour as they left for the day. There are a couple of garden setups that are accessible under the Americans with Disabilities Act along with nearly 2 dozen other plots, each are 50 square feet. There’s also a greenhouse, water tanks, a shed and composting section.

The latest on the Measure B, Behavioral Health Regional Training Center. They’re meeting with local tribal leaders from across the County to see how they can help each other out. The agency is also working with the National Alliance on Mental Illness, assessing clients with harm reduction and the Safe RX Coalition. They’re also preparing for a Fentanyl awareness day in a few weeks. And Institute leaders are developing several projects to reduce mental health stigma Countywide. With that, they’re producing a podcast, participating in California’s Adopt a Highway program, and putting together a community education campaign. The money from Measure B continues help individuals without access to crisis after care services the same as non-Medi-Cal recipients.

Work has begun with Lake County Land Trust’s on Rabbit Hill Park to place directional signs up to help travelers along. The Record Bee reports the small peak in Middletown with gorgeous views started to get some signage last weekend. Lake County Land Trust and some locals were working to get the signs up to point out surrounding mountains including St. Helena, Cobb and Harbin. Students from Middletown High helped get the signs up with volunteers. Hardester’s Market donated tools for hole digging to mount the signs, and some spray paint. Students did some gardening too for general cleanup and helped paint. The 9 acre park where they were working was donated to the Lake County Land Trust 2 decades ago.

Lawmakers are reportedly considering ways to save water, potentially offering farmers money for not using water. There’s a proposal in the state Senate to spend as much as $1.5 billion to buy “senior water rights”. Senior water rights are for some farmers who are allowed to take as much water as needed from rivers and streams for the sustainability of their crops. But if the state owns the rights instead, the water would not be used, as a way to save endangered salmon and other fish. Since the state has a record budget surplus, some Democratic lawmakers are considering the plan to buy senior water rights which is part of the budget negotiations with the Governor. $1.5 billion could buy about 200,000 acre feet of water.

They’re at it again Mendocino, charging exorbitant amounts for gas. A Chevron in the coastal village is at almost $10/gallon. 3 more than the state average. Judy Schlafer Auto Body & Repair in Mendocino is charging $9.60 a gallon. She says if she didn’t, she’d soon be out of business. Hers is the only gas station in the town. She has charged more than most places in the state and has made headlines before. But the San Francisco Chronicle reports Schlafer thinks there are more expensive places in the state. The newspaper says not so fast, they called other resort towns and couldn’t find a more expensive spot. The average price of gas in California is $2 more a year ago.

The Lake County Sheriff says he’s been informed the Health Services Department doesn’t have enough money to work in the jail anymore. So, the Sheriff will take the matter to the Board of Supervisors at their meeting tomorrow morning. Lake Co News reports the Sheriff Brian Martin was advised by the Public Health Director the Health Department can no longer administer the contract to supply medical services for inmates as they have since 1995. The news site further reports, a new contract will have to be drafted, so the Sheriff will ask the Board which county department will take over the contract.

An election regarding the ongoing discussion of the South Lakeport annexation is on the docket for the City Council. At their meeting tomorrow the council will consider approving a private financing plan for water system improvements as well. The annexation issue has become contentious, as some property owners are not into the idea, so the council is considering a resolution for a special municipal election in November. State law requires an election if there are protests. As far as the water infrastructure improvements, that could cost the city as much as $6 million dollars. The council decided last month it could be financed after water system improvements were identified in an August 2021 rate study.

Some vineyard developers in Sonoma County are accused of major damage to streams and wetlands after clearing 40 acres of oak woodlands. A complaint was filed by the North Coast Water Quality Control Board regarding the old Alexander Valley Ranch. Fines from the Board at just over $3,750,850. The claim is that developers, Hugh Reimers and Krasilsa Pacific Farms didn’t follow a 2019 Cleanup and Abatement Order, which says they have to restore the streams and wetlands to their previous condition due to environmental harm they caused. Damage was reportedly caused to headwater streams and wetlands by discharging sediment to tributaries of the Little and Big Sulphur creeks in the Russian River watershed.

The Governor has introduced a new campaign to protect kids in schools and Calif. communities from guns. Last Friday, on National Gun Violence Awareness Day, Governor Newsom announced Gun Violence Restraining Orders or so-called “red flag” laws. He called gun violence an epidemic that’s causing too many Americans to live in fear due to inaction. The red flag laws mean guns and ammo can be taken away temporarily if individuals who own them are at risk of harming themselves or others. This gives family members or other loved ones, or law enforcement the right to intervene and temporarily prevent someone in crisis from accessing firearms. It’s an 18 month long campaign focusing on outreach and education.

The deadline to apply to be in the Mendocino County Grand Jury has been extended. The county’s Superior Court needs 19 residents each year to “investigate the operations of county, city and district governments… and respond to citizen complaints.” After that they send in reports to local agencies and officials, of which they have to respond. Mendo Voice reports in the past, some things jurors have investigated have included the COVID pandemic’s impact on local students, the state of emergency communications infrastructure, the lack of affordable housing in Mendocino County, and the role of the County CEO. The new deadline is June 17th.

A former Ukiah Police officer accused of inappropriate conduct and sex assault is apparently still featured on social media for the department. Mendo Voice reports Sgt. Kevin Murray is out on bail but is featured on Facebook. The news site has posted all of the photos online, which were supposed to be amusing, and one of Murray being promoted. He’s out of work now while facing allegations. The Police Chief Noble Waidelich is also facing criminal allegations, for domestic abuse. The news site also reports it’s department policy not to allow inappropriate content on the department’s social media pages. And that it will be removed if there are complaints. Mendo Voice says they’ve filed a public records request with the City of Ukiah to try to see if any reports were ever filed to remove the content.

Oops, Senator Mike McGuire has been saying the state will be able to build a rail trail and that the state has beat back Big Coal. But apparently there are now big money offers to buy the old railroad that runs from Willits to Eureka to ship coal to Asia from Humboldt Bay. At a town hall last week on the Great Redwood Trail, McGuire stated they had finally “put a nail in the coffin of Big Coal”, beating back the toxic coal train. There are already sections of trail built in some areas. But some areas have been on hold waiting for permission. Appeals were allowed to the Surface Transportation Board by May 31st. But the North Coast Railroad Company announced they wanted to buy an entire 176 miles of track. Congressman Jared Huffman commenting on the application, saying it was too late, and they should be disqualified. The Skunk Train also applied for 13 miles of track.

The Mendocino County Board of Supervisors is considering a new sales tax to pay for water projects and fire services. At their meeting tomorrow morning the board will continue discussions after a unanimous vote for staff to draft a sales tax measure and bring it back to the full board. The board has apparently not decided on how much of a tax yet. The report also notes Measure B will be will soon be cut to 0.125% so if the Board wants to add three-eighths of a cent (0.375%) it would not be felt by residents. No word if there would be two separate taxes, one for fire, and one for water.

The Superintendent of the Fort Bragg Unified School District has resigned. Becky Walker has been on the job since 2016, but will move on after getting a new job in Lake County. She’s been a math teacher at the middle school, and Vice-Principal at the high school, then Principal there. She was then Interim Superintendent of the school district then the Superintendent. She says she’s super excited for her new gig as the Deputy Superintendent of Lake County Office of Education. Her family will move to Kelseyville.

A man from Occidental accused of the murder of a man from Lucerne had a remote court appearance in the case. 26 year old Nova Maye Deperno was arrested in connection to the death of Ronald Meluso. His lawyer asked for a continuance due to missing discovery. Last month there were several missing supplemental reports at the preliminary hearing so the court agreed, the defense needed time to review them. The next court date is July 8th for charges with murder, burglary, vehicle theft and buy/sell/receive stolen property after Deperno’s arrest last January. He showed detectives where Meluso’s body was in a rural area in northern Lake County. He pleaded not guilty though and is being held without bail.

State Senator Mike McGuire says there is not much time left to get ready for fire season. McGuire calls the outlook for this year‘s fire season—in his words—hellacious. He is worried that there may not be enough firefighters, so he has introduced a bill in Sacramento that would allow CalFire to hire and train more than 1,100 new recruits. McGuire says CalFire currently falls short of the recommended staffing level of three firefighters per engine. The union that represents the CalFire workers says the state should use some of its record budget surplus to ensure enough firefighters before it is too late.

As if we needed a reminder that fire season is coming fast, CalFire crews have been working a 570-acre fire just outside Napa since Tuesday. The latest info shows 65 percent containment, with optimism that the predicted weekend rain will help get full containment. Investigators are looking for the cause of the fire.

A man from Lakeport will pay a heavy price for drunk driving. The Record-Bee reports that 36-year-old Steven Pruitt has been sentenced to 5 years for a fatal crash in September. Pruitt pleaded no contest earlier this year to charges he was under the influence when he crossed the center line, hitting the other vehicle. That driver, 64 year old 64-year-old Lonnie Sullivanof Clearlake Oaks died. Pruitt was also ordered to pay a $3,000 fine.

A program to encourage summer reading starts tomorrow in Lake County. The theme of this year’s edition of the annual challenge is to read beyond the beaten path. Children, teens, and adults can win prizes, including stickers, small toys, a Kindle Fire tablet, or local business gift cards. The library says the challenge is a great way to get people to dive into a good book over the summer months The library website — has the information.

Robotic taxis are a thing, have you heard? California regulators have given the thumbs up for a robotic taxi service where passengers would enjoy driverless rides in San Francisco only for now. Cruise got unanimous approval from the California Public Utilities Commission. The company owned by automaker General Motors got the permit even though there have been safety concerns raised about the taxis not being able to pick up and drop off passengers at the curb, so they’ll have to double park in traffic lanes. Another company with driverless taxis owned by Google has been doing the same since fall of 2020, but in Phoenix, AZ.

Mendocino joins a dozen other counties that have drifted back into the CDC’s high-level range for COVID19 cases. That means the federal agency would like folks in those counties to wear facial coverings in public indoor settings. A spokesperson for Sonoma County says they’re not going to do a mask mandate yet, but the Public Health Officer has not ruled it out. The CDC considers cases per-capita along with hospitalizations to measure community risk. A county with at least 200 cases per 100,000 residents is at the “medium” level, Sonoma County recorded 299 as of yesterday, Mendocino had 206. The others noted with high levels are Del Norte, El Dorado, Marin, Monterey, Napa, Placer, San Benito, Santa Clara, Sacramento, Solano and Yolo counties.

The Department of Cannabis Control says companies with cannabis licenses who’ve been impacted by the drought emergency can request disaster relief. The department’s disaster-relief authority reported recently that state licensees can request temporary relief from certain regulations. They have to fill out the proper forms and send them to the Dept. of Cannabis Control. They look at each case individually, for instance, some of the items they say they’ll consider: curbside pickup at retailers in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and evacuation of cannabis and cannabis products in response to major wildfires.

Elon Musk to the rescue… or not. The Siskiyou County Sheriff is hoping so. They’ve tweeted out to Musk to help them fight illegal cannabis grows. Apparently, the office got the idea after several tweets last week to the Governor’s office for help. Sheriff Jeremiah LaRue, who also happens to be the youngest sheriff in California, says those in the area claim it’s racism at work because they’re mostly Hmong or of Chinese descent. The Sheriff says that’s not true, and racism or discrimination claims are being weaponized so they can’t enforce illegal grows. He says he tagged Musk in his latest appeal to get anyone to respond, and that since Musk is smart and rich, maybe he can help.

A man from Hemet got off after a jury couldn’t reach unanimous verdicts for two misdemeanor DUI charges. 26 year old Joshua Dickerson was charged by the Mendocino County DA in 2017 for driving drunk and driving a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol .08 or greater, both misdemeanors. But it was a mistrial, the jury split 11 for guilty to 1. But then Dickerson admitted he was responsible for the drunk driving case and for misdemeanor resisting arrest.

Another extremely dry year upon us so those using Russian River water are being ordered to cut back on water usage. Those who get their water from Lake Mendocino and Lake Pillsbury are affected by curtailments just announced. It’s because PG&E has asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to release way less water. At the same time the General Manager of the Russian River Flood Control and Water Conservation Improvement District says last year’s variance was the same, but water managers were expecting a lot more this year because of the storage levels in Lake Pillsbury. PG&E’s letter to the Fed says if they released more water, Lake Pillsbury would be too low and could become unstable, then affecting Scott Dam. 

A reprieve for the owner of a restaurant put out of business… The Clearlake City Council on the precipice of demolishing the Sunflower restaurant says the owner has to immediately get the proper permits to renovate or the dilapidated lakeside building will be torn down. During a special meeting yesterday owner Roopa Shekar’s appeal which was previously denied was heard again. The old Lakeshore Inn, which was once a bustling hangout, has long sat unattended. The Sunflower Chinese restaurant took over, but closed in 2018 after being deemed a health and safety hazard, then a public nuisance. The owner had not done anything the city asked so the city was set to demolish the building. The owner claims she didn’t know it was under an abatement order and asked for more time, which has been granted.

A judge in California stopped a program operated by the state to spray pesticides on public lands and some private property because of potential health risks. The judge ruled the Department of Food and Agriculture has to stop spraying under the Statewide Plant Pest Prevention and Management Program within two months. The San Francisco Chronicle reports it comes after a state appeals court ruled the program violated the California Environmental Quality Act because it didn’t do site-specific environmental reviews or notify the public before they sprayed the poisons. Over 6 dozen types of pesticides have been used as part of the program. The Dept. of Food and Agriculture does have the right to appeal.

Quick work of a fire in the center divider of the 101 in Ukiah. Mendo Fever reports the fire started Monday south of N State St., allegedly started by a pedestrian wearing a black jacket. Ukiah CHP officers went to the scene and found a woman who matched the description and detained her. They say they found a green lighter on the woman. Mendocino Deputies also worked on the investigation with the CHP and arrested Melissa Beck of Ukiah. She’s charged with arson and was booked into jail.

A former Deputy in the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office says he’s a write-in candidate for Sheriff. Sheriff Matt Kendall doesn’t have a formal opponent on the ballot, but now has a competitor in former Deputy Trent James. The registrar of voters says he qualified as a write-in because he secured enough signatures of support, before the deadline last week. He apparently came to the decision too late because as he was told he could be a write-in, all ballots had already been mailed to voters and thousands of them had already been returned to the office. James was stationed in Covelo and was also a Willits police officer for a short time.

A former Mendocino County probation officer says she still wants a jury trial in her case against and County. The defense filed a motion to dismiss Carley vs. County of Mendocino, which won’t be heard until next month. Amanda Carley’s accused her former fiancé, Ukiah Police Chief Noble Waidelich of domestic abuse and more. She’s due in court in the matter next week. Then a motion to dismiss is also supposed to be heard July 15th. The chief is accused by Carley of using his position for witness intimidation and using his power position to get out of criminal prosecution. Carley claims the County and City of Ukiah tried to protect Waidelich.

After reports of a pickup truck catching fire in the Brooktrails area, several resources rushed to the scene. Mendo Fever reports the fire was on the truck and an attached utility trailer which sent smoke into the sky. A resident told the news site the fire was out within about 15 minutes and didn’t spread. There were a couple of water tenders and three trucks on the scene with a Deputy from the Sheriff’s office. The Brooktrails Volunteer Fire Department posted on social media they responded with the Willits’s Little Lake Fire Department and CAL FIRE.

Quick work of a vegetation fire near Laytonville. Firefighters on the scene yesterday afternoon after reports of flames in the 44000 block of North Highway 101. Mendo Fever reports fire engines, aircraft, a helicopter, and a dozer were headed there, but were not needed as forward progress stopped on the fire, which the news site says was about as big as a football field.

Congressman Mike Thompson, who happens to be the Chair for the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force has introduced a bill with some colleagues to protect children from gun violence. Thompson along with House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerry Nadler and House Judiciary Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security Subcommittee Chair Sheila Jackson Lee have introduced the Protecting Our Kids Act. The three House members say the legislation is needed and offers more than thoughts and prayers. Instead Thompson says it will help end gun violence by “raising the age to purchase certain firearms, cracking down on gun trafficking, ghost guns and bump stocks, supporting safer storage of firearms, and banning large capacity magazines often used in mass shootings”. Thompson says he’s a life-long gun owner and hunter.

Thousands of teachers in Calif. have quit their jobs since the pandemic started. Several more Ed Source reports quit after in person learning restarted. The news site reports many were burnt out already and when kids returned thought things would get better, but then the social-emotional trauma children were dealing with kicked in. The report says students regularly came to school late, got into fights with each other, interrupted lessons and ignored teachers. The report also says many teachers are retiring early. Thousands retired in 2020. They cited the pandemic as a main reason. And in a survey by the country’s largest union, over half said they would leave the teaching profession earlier than expected. 90% said it was due to burnout and pandemic-related stress.

Three Black women have been honored in the wine industry for promoting diversity and equal opportunity. The North Bay Business Journal reports the Association of African American Vintners honored Monique Bell for contributing to education at Cal State Fresno, Theodora Lee the founder of the Black Vines Wine Festival and Dorothy Gaiter, a former wine columnist at the Wall Street Journal. The trio got their awards at Santa Rosa’s DeLoach Vineyards May 21st. The Association of African American Vintners says they’ve been getting more inquiries on memberships ever since the murder of George Floyd in 2020.

For the first time since the COVID19 pandemic started, Mendocino College had in person graduation. The 49th Commencement took place a couple of Fridays ago, May 20th. The last time they had an in-person commencement was 2019, so this time, they invited graduates from 2020 and 2021 to join this year’s grads to walk together.  The Superintendent/President Tim Karas told the graduates to use their “knowledge, skills, and experience to build communities, shine a light on inequities, and encourage others to join us”. Adding the new graduates, could “do anything.” 

It’s been almost two years since a fire broke out and burned into the Big Basin Redwoods State Park in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Almost 97% of the park, the oldest in the state, burned. It was August of 2020 when the CZU Lightening Complex charred the park and killed one person. 86,000 acres burned and almost all of the park’s buildings, campgrounds and trails burned along with almost its entire old-growth redwood forest. Officials said its recovering though, with nearly every large old growth redwood tree showing regrowth, “with green needles sprouting from blackened trunks and branches”. And with that they’ll return to limited access on days after Independence Day. Full access won’t be for several years.

Some private Calif. colleges say they want to limit trespassing on campuses, especially by people who try to get in to harass students. It’s considered a misdemeanor, but private colleges are only allowed to give out a warning letter. Now some lawmakers are looking to change that saying the no-trespassing letters are ineffective. The Senate bill, if it passes, would change part of the state’s criminal code for public colleges or universities and public and private K-12 schools, to include private institutions and give a police officer or officer of the school more power. Punishment for a violation would be a fine of under $500 or imprisonment in county jail for no longer than six months, or both. It passed the Senate unanimously and moves to the Assembly next.

A proposed policy for the University of California has been tossed that would have required  high school ethnic studies courses, calling the rule narrow, ideological and activist. Professors put a draft forward saying they’ll fight for the right to teach high schoolers about the heritage, history, culture and struggles of historically underrepresented groups in Calif. The UC Board of Regents were set to consider the proposal, but after several drafts, the Board of Admissions and Relations with Schools or BOARS, has stalled due to the debate on the matter nationwide.

After a small airplane went down near Willits, the family of the pilot says he had traumatic head injuries after trying to save his girlfriend. Mendo Fever reports the aircraft crashed Monday east of Willits and the pilot is on life support after he threw himself on top of his girlfriend when he knew they were going to crash. The girlfriend has reported internal injuries after she pulled her partner from the plane. The FAA’s preliminary report says the plane crashed after it experienced engine issues while landing on a private strip, then burst into flames. Apparently the pilot was trying to land on an airstrip on land owned by his family.

Former Sheriff Tom Allman out with praise for his successor on the job, Matt Kendall. Allman penned a letter to the editor on saying he has seen Kendall grow from Deputy into a strong leader. He says he trained Kendall, who in 1991 was promoted from the jail, then worked in the North County. He says back then, he was energetic and smart, and listened and learned. Allman says after watching Kendall’s career for more than 30 years, he’s seen him mature into a true and disciplined leader with ethics. The letter is an endorsement for Kendall to continue as Sheriff.

Congressman Jared Huffman says he’s drafted legislation so communities can better deal with flooding after wildfires. His Post Fire Flooding and Debris Flow Act would include slowing and preventing flooding and debris flows after wildfires with grant money. It would make these catastrophes eligible under FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) and create a pathway so state and local governments can move swiftly if a storm is coming, so land, property, lives and public infrastructure are protected. A companion bill has been introduced in the US Senate by Senator Alex Padilla.

A fire burning in Napa County has blown up in size to 570 acres. A Nixle alert went out for mandatory evacuations in the area of 1300 Soda Canyon Rd. out to a dead end and there are road closures to accompany that. The Sheriff’s office had Deputies going door to door telling residents to leave as the fire spread at a moderate rate yesterday. They reported there were ground and air resources working the fire to slow the spread. The so-called Old Fire was only 5% contained last night and an evacuation center was set up for residents.

Two hikers had to be rescued from near Shelter Cove, but one didn’t make it. The pair were swept into the ocean Sunday afternoon a mile north of the Black Sands Beach trailhead. The Shelter Cove Fire Chief told Mendo Fever they had two ocean rescue units and two beach rescue units on the scene along with various other emergency responders. There was apparently a group hiking together, when the two were swept away into the rough ocean water. The two were taken out of the water and back to the marina. Only one was conscious and the other was declared dead at the scene by paramedics. The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office reported they were investigating how the pair fell into the water.

State Senator Bill Dodd’s legislation to extend gaming compacts of over 2 dozen tribes has been approved. Dodd says it gives the state more time to negotiate long term agreements and allows tribes to continue on a path toward more self-sufficiency and economic development. Some tribes had already agreed to new 20-year gaming compacts with the state. They had temporary extensions that were supposed to expire at the end of the month, but Dodd’s bill gives them all an 18-month extension. It includes the Cahto Tribe of the Laytonville Rancheria, Hopland Band of Pomo Indians, Manchester Band of Pomo Indians of the Manchester Rancheria, Middletown Rancheria of Pomo Indians, the Robinson Rancheria and the Sherwood Valley Rancheria of Pomo Indians.

A man from Kelseyville who police say was driving drunk lost his passenger in a crash, and faces charges. The California Highway Patrol’s Clear Lake Area office arrested 27 year old Adryan Segura after his passenger, 28 year old Amy Maurie Walker-Allen died in the crash. Police say he crashed near the Nice-Lucerne Cutoff after making an unsafe turn, went off the road and down a grassy embankment, hitting a wire fence. Segura also had major injuries and was determined to be under the influence of alcohol.

A man has been arrested in Ukiah for elder abuse. Mendocino Deputies were called to reports of a domestic violence incident in the 3500 block of Highway 253 last Tuesday by a woman at a call box. Deputies say the woman had visible injuries to her arm and head. They found her ex-boyfriend, Jon Rickel, had pushed her, causing her to fall and get injured. Deputies went to his house and found him, developing cause to believe he hurt the woman. So, he was arrested for Felony Domestic Violence Battery and Misdemeanor Elder or Dependent Adult Abuse. He was booked into jail on $50,000.00 bail.

A man wanted for a felony arrest warrant in Laytonville has been arrested. Deputies say they found James Simmon who told them he was assaulted. They say he climbed up on a roof where Fire personnel found him and gave him medical treatment for what appeared to be a stabbing. But then he was arrested for a warrant. He told Deputies he didn’t want anyone else prosecuted. He was treated, then held without bail.

A plane has crashed east of Willits. Mendo Fever reports a Cal Fire helicopter touched down at the Eden Valley Airstrip where the pilot confirmed there was a small plane that had crashed and a fire had been extinguished. The pilot was reportedly taken into Willits by a passing driver. They called for help. The FAA was also reporting to the scene. The news site reports there were two people aboard the airplane, one was injured and hospitalized, but the other was un-injured. But they were both at the hospital.

A Temporary Urgency Change Petition has been filed by the Sonoma Water Agency for a Critical Water Supply Condition. The petition was reportedly filed with the State Water Resources Control Board due to the drought. If approved, the Russian River’s instream flow requirements would change to allow Sonoma Water to continue minimal instream flows to preserve water supply in Lake Mendocino and Lake Sonoma. It also means users have to reduce water usage by 20% between July 1st and October 31st compared to the same time period in 2020. Without the declaration water managers say it would lead to even more water declines in the two lakes.

The Lake County Deputy Sheriff’s Association and the Lake County Deputy District Attorneys Association are endorsing DA Susan Krones for another term. Lake Co News reports the decision was made earlier this month, but was made concrete this weekend. Former county supervisor, Anthony Farrington, is running against the incumbent. After Farrington wrote a letter to the editor for the news site which had both the Deputy Sheriff’s Association and the DA’s Association sticking with Krones, calling the letter untrue. Farrington said in his letter Krones had not received any endorsements from law enforcement, but the two Associations endorsed Krones after his letter.

A special meeting’s being held by the Clearlake City Council about an appeal by the owner of a local restaurant, which has been scheduled to be torn down. The meeting is this Thursday afternoon regarding the Sunflower restaurant after the council voted unanimously to approve a contract for excavation of the restaurant. It used to be the Lakeshore Inn and became a nuisance in December of 2018, and an abatement order was issued a few years later. Then the city opened bids for it, but a new owner emerged for the restaurant who promised to renovate. That never happened. So here we are. The meeting at 3p Thursday in Council chambers.

Governor Newsom is down with COVID. The Governor was positive over the holiday weekend, testing after a meeting he had in San Francisco with the Prime Minister of New Zealand, who he met to sign a new climate partnership agreement with. Newsom’s office says he has mild symptoms, is working at home, but will take Paxlovid, an antiviral medication. He will stay isolated until he has a negative test. The Governor has been vaccinated and received two booster shots, the last one as recently as May 18.

There’s a new leader for Mendocino Community Health Centers. MCHC announced Rod Grainger is its new chief executive officer. Grainger has 3 decades of healthcare management experience and a strong background in healthcare finance, according to the healthcare system. They report his last job was for ten years at Long Valley Health Center as their executive director. MCHC has been around since 1991 and has expanded from the Laws Avenue location in Ukiah to four sites altogether: Hillside Health Center and Dora Street Health Center in Ukiah, Little Lake Health Center in Willits and Lakeview Health Center in Lakeport.

Students appeared to be fed up with school shootings after the latest massacre in Texas, so they walked out. Last Thursday students across the country left class, protesting what they say is inaction to stop school shootings. Students in Calif. telling the LA Times, they have to advocate for themselves because “thoughts and prayers are not getting us anywhere after years and years.”  The group Students Demand Action had organized a bunch of the protests. They formed after the 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

The state Education Secretary is calling for something to be done to prevent any more school shootings. Secretary Miguel Cardona’s remarks after the Uvalde, TX rampage that killed 19 students and 2 teachers. Cardona says so far, actions taken have not been sufficient. He added that the country was becoming “desensitized to the murder of children.”

Six people have been arrested on suspicion of scamming California’s recycling program out of ten-million-dollars. The suspects are accused of bringing several tons of recyclables in from Arizona then redeeming it for cash at recycling centers in Southern California. The state’s recycling program only accepts items from California. Arizona does not offer a five or ten-cent rebate for bottles, cans and other recyclable containers. The suspects all face felony charges.

A red flag warning for part of Northern California should be ending tonight. The National Weather Service issued the warning Sunday due to fast moving winds and dry conditions. Multiple fires were also reported during the warning, which has officials concerned about summer months. The red flag warning expires at eight p.m. tonight.

It’s looking better at Pudding Creek Beach in Fort Bragg. Bacteria levels are no longer higher than acceptable state standards. Signs that were put up with warnings about swimming and staying out of the water were taken down. Each week 5 beaches are tested for bacteria in summer months, four are in in Mendocino County. They were all tested again last Tuesday, and Thursday, the tests came back negative. Big River, Little River, Pudding Creek, Hare Creek and Caspar Beach—are tested each week from April to October to make sure levels of three bacteria are safe, they are coliform, E. coli and enterococcus.

Many communities will hold observances to mark Memorial Day on Monday. The Ukiah VFW Post 1900, in conjunction with Lewis White Post 76, will hold its traditional ceremony to honor those who have died serving our country. The ceremony will be held in the tree-lined Russian River Cemetery on Low Gap Road in Ukiah starting Monday at noon. Potter Valley’s Memorial Day service is at Potter Valley Cemetery on East Side Road at 9 a.m. Former American Legion Lewis White Post 76 Commander Ralph Paulin will lead the ceremony, and Potter Valley Scout Troup 72 will assist.

A report that a woman who has filed a civil lawsuit against Ukiah Police Chief Noble Waidelich wants a jury trial in the case, but she may run out of time. According to, that lawsuit alleges Waidelich beat her and used witness intimidation to escape prosecution. Amanda Carley filed the suit in 2015 and it has pushed back several times. She wants a six-month extension allowed by rules enacted during the pandemic. Carley was a probation officer at the time and was engaged to Waidelich. She broke it off when she claims their relationship became violent. A judge will take up the matter and decide if the suit moves ahead or gets tossed out.

High school seniors who are homeless could get $1,000 from the state to help them out. Lawmakers will consider the guranteed income plan they say would help those students transition to adulthood The latest count shows about 15,000 homeless senior students. The money would be no strings attached and tax-free. The bill’s sponsors say that cash could break the cycle of poverty and put them on a stable financial footing. Governor Newsom wants to spend about 35 million dollars in his proposed budget for guaranteed money to several other groups like foster children and pregnant teens.

It’s fire season mostly year-round in Calif. But as we hit peak season, CalFire is reminding folks to prepare their homes by hardening them. They urge you to abate weeds and build a defensible space zone around your property. As the weather warms, that increases fire danger. Officials with the fire agency are providing tips for residents to ensure they prepare by retrofitting their homes to improve the chance it can survive a wildfire, especially because there have already been red flag warnings this year. Defensible Space is the buffer between a building and the grass, trees, shrubs, or other vegetation, which can stop the spread of a wildfire. They say to use gravel, pavers or other noncombustible materials there and remove all dead and dying weeds, brush and trees.

To learn more about how you can be prepared for wildfire, visit

After reports of shots fired in Ukiah, police have arrested someone they say was involved. Police say a pickup was seen in the area of 200 Ford St. after several reports of shots fired. They saw a vehicle around the corner matching the description and detained two people. There were reports the pickup occupants had an interaction with a pedestrian. Cops gathered evidence and continued investigating and identified the shooter as Bryan M. Sanchez who happened to be on probation for a burglary. There was a 17-year-old with him. Police say there have been a bunch of other reports of harassing behavior by the driver and the victim, a woman. No word so far what set off the shooting incident.

A new scholarship by the Lake County Winegrape Commission has gone to a senior at Upper Lake High. The $5,000 “Future of Agriculture” scholarship went to Atlantis Jones at a recent Senior Scholarship and Awards Night at the high school. The new scholarship is being given to one student in Lake County going to a four-year university, based on academic achievement, financial need, and a demonstrated interest in agriculture. It’s part of a program the Commission worked on to inspire high schoolers with the Lake County Farm Bureau to develop “Cultivate – Careers in the Winegrape Industry”.

Like many places across the country this Spring, Caltrans had a Litter Cleanup Day. This week crews and volunteers poured out onto highways across the state, plucking up trash and debris. In District 1, Del Norte, Humboldt, Lake, and Mendocino counties, there was also a call-out to community members to join and pick up litter in their neighborhoods and nearby parks. It’s all part of Governor Newsom’s Clean California initiative, a $1.1 billion campaign over several years tasking Caltrans with keeping roads and waterways free of litter, creating thousands of jobs, and transforming state and local public spaces through beautification efforts.

Assemblymember Cecilia Aguiar-Curry has announced a package of gun control bills in the Assembly after recent mass shootings in Buffalo, NY, Uvalde, TX and here in Sacramento several months ago. Aguiar-Curry says the U-S is the “only country in the world where the regulation of guns and gun-ownership is treated with such callous disregard, where no place is safe, including places of worship, grocery stores and elementary schools”. The package includes prohibiting gun manufacturers from marketing to minors, changes the definition of firearm and firearm precursor parts, addresses ghost guns, reduces the amount of guns one person can have, prohibits 3-D printing of firearms, starts a community violence prevention and recovery program and starts a 10-year firearm prohibition for anyone convicted of child abuse and elder and dependent adult abuse involving violence.

Stopped in its tracks… a case of unemployment insurance fraud in Calif. The Employment Development Department says they recently blocked a fraud attempt by criminals trying to rip off hundreds of millions in benefits from the state with paper and fax applications. They’ve sent notices to those who may be impacted. The agency says the crooks sent tons of fake claims in, about 40,000 more claims than usual. They were not paid, which saved the state more than a half billion dollars. A fraud specialist with the department says they have new fraud filters which stopped the constant stream of fraud attempts, schemes and criminal tactics.

Several thousand dollars has been gifted to the Ukiah Valley Trail Group to improve trails by Lake Mendocino. The group reports getting a $32,000 gift from Pacific Redwood Medical Group so they can realign and improve the trails between the Dam and Spillway. They also gifted $25,000 in 2019 to build the trail above City View Trail at Low Gap Park. The medical group’s fund is based on employee donations but managed by the Group. They say most full-time employees have been donating each month. They picked the Ukiah Valley Trail Group because the non-profit’s mission aligned with the ways they want to improve community health, encouraging physically active lifestyles.

After reports they may have to close down because of budget woes, the Mendocino County Museum in Willits was packed with folks showing support last Friday. That included local officials like the mayor, the 3rd District Supervisor, staff from the Willits Chamber of Commerce, volunteers, and local arts and history enthusiasts. They report more than 100 people came through the museum last Friday night. The mayor also reported the City Council was planning to bring a resolution to keep the museum open to the Board of Spervisors.