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A woman from Nice is accused of leading police on a chase that at one point hit 112 miles an hour on Highway 29. The Lake County Sheriff’s office says 37-year-old Miranda Ellingwoodestrella was driving a stolen car when cops tried to stop her Saturday afternoon around 3:30. Officers say she took off but was finally pulled over on Highway 175 after that high-speed pursuit. According to a release from the sheriff’s office, Ellingwoodestrella was uncooperative and acted suspiciously, so a deputy had to fire a beanbag round that hit her in the leg. She was eventually arrested and was booked into the county jail on $35,000 bond. Charges against her include vehicle theft, evading, and possession of a stolen vehicle. She is also on felony probation for burglary in Mendocino County.

A man from Clearlake is facing several charges after he was arrested following a chase on Highway 53. Sheriff’s deputies say 65-year-old Ronald Antoni took off when they tried to pull him over for making an illegal U-turn near Olympic Drive on Sunday night. The pursuit eventually ended when Antoni pulled into the parking lot of Adventist Hospital. Deputies say he told them he was trying to get to the hospital and also admitted he had a few drinks and had smoked meth. He was booked into the county jail on charges of evading, reckless driving, and DUI.

Two Lake County first responders have been cited for bravery by congressman Mike Thomson. The congressman says Sheriff’s Deputy Marc De La Torre and Lake County Fire Protection District Chief Willie Sapeta have received his Fifth District Public Safety Hero of the Year. Award. Thompson says both have served with distinction and gone above and beyond the call of duty to help out in emergency situations. Deputy De la Torre was specifically honored for saving the life of a child who had become unresponsive in its mother’s arms, while Chief Sapata was recognized for his leadership during the devastating wildfires over the past several years.

Small businesses in the Cobb area are now eligible for low-interest loans through the Cobb Area Council. The loans have an interest rate of 2 percent will range from $2,500 to $7,500 and can be used for costs related to wildfires, the public safety power shutoffs, or business start-up and expansion. Larger loans will also be considered. Cobb Area Council Economic Development Committee Chair Jessica Pyska says the money for the loans comes from a $200,000 grant awarded late last year by the Federal Home Loan Bank. The Area Council and the Office of Community Development Services have more information.

Two people are in isolation a hospital in Napa with concerns about the Coronavirus. Both were passengers on that cruise ship who were evacuated off Japan and flown to Travis Air Force Base earlier this week. One of them tested positive for the virus on the ship, the other tested negative there, but has since shown symptoms. 5 cruise passengers were taken to hospitals in Solano County after they landed at Travis, but doctors say there weren’t enough isolation beds for the two who ended up at Queen of Peace Hospital in Napa.

California insurance commissioner Ricardo Lara is facing a lawsuit from a consumer group over records related to his campaign. Consumer Watchdog wants to see Lara’s calendar and get more details about his meetings with insurance executives who donated to his last campaign. The commissioner says that information is privileged and not for the public. The meetings involved campaign donors who had ties to a company called Applied Underwriters, which had issues before the state insurance commission which Lara heads. He says the donations and meetings did not effect any commission decisions

California lawmakers are discussing a bill that would prohibit insurance companies from canceling or not renewing policies for homeowners who live in communities that meet state standards for protection against wildfires. The proposal would also require financial incentives to homeowners who have taken fire risk reduction steps on their property. Backers say more people in fire-prone areas have seen their policies canceled and that it is unfair for insurance companies to penalize those who live in places that have tried to minimize the risk.

A new poll says Bernie Sanders is widening his lead in California, less than two weeks before the March 3rd primary. The Public Policy Institute poll shows Sanders with 32 percent support of likely Democratic voters, with Joe Biden at 14 percent, Elizabeth Warren at 13 percent and Michael Bloomberg and Pete Buttegeig at 1 percent. It is Sanders’ biggest lead since the PPC polling started last summer and it is also the best showing for Bloomberg. Those asked say the ability to defeat President Trump will be the most important consideration when they vote.

The man in a standoff with police last year will be checked out by two doctors to see if he’s competent to stand trial. Lake Co News reports 31 year old Francisco Morales-Gomez was arrested last November after a long standoff with police where they say he was holding his 6-year-old son hostage. He was set for trial at the start of the New Year, but his lawyer told the judge he was concerned about Morales-Gomez’s mental competence. It all comes after his wife said he pulled a gun at their house. Then Clearlake Police and SWAT teams from Lake County and Sonoma County came to the house and nearby homes were evacuated. Turns out he only had a bb gun. He was charged with false imprisonment of a hostage, false imprisonment by violence, child abuse, and resisting an officer with violence or the threat of violence. He’s due back in court February 11th and two doctors will report on his mental health.

The Lake County Board of Supervisors will present a proclamation after wildfires last year. The board meeting as usual in the morning tomorrow at 9, will present the proclamation to recognize Caltrans District 1 and Konocti Conservation Camp Crews for fighting fires last year. They will also hear an update on the Lake County Tourism Improvement District. The district is a marketing arm for the County, charging a tax that ultimately pays for marketing and to attract visitors to increase tourism with overnight stays. The District first formed in October 2018.

A man from Lakeport has been arrested after being found on Terrace Middle School grounds with drugs and a knife. Police say the man, 34 year old Michael King had no reason to be there Friday morning. The School Resource Officer found him on campus and made contact, seeing a folding knife in his possession.  Cops say the Resource Officer found he was illegally in possession of the knife and no actual reason he was there. He was charged with possession of a weapon on school grounds and misdemeanor charges of possession of suspected methamphetamine, possession of about a half pound of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was booked on $15,000 bail.

A man from Oklahoma has been arrested after a break in at an auto parts store in Covelo. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office reports getting a call after the Napa Auto Parts Store alarm went off, they found a broken front window. The business owner told them someone had stolen a Honda Generator from the store. After deputies spoke to witnesses in the area, they found someone had seen a white man carrying a generator nearby. The man identified as Daniel Batten was found in downtown Covelo. Police found the generator and arrested him near Hidden Oaks Convenience Store on burglary and felony vandalism charges and held him on $15,000.00 bail.

3 major political parties in Mendocino County have reportedly informed the County Elections Office they’ll allow those with no party preference to cross over and vote on other ballots in the primary. Last October, on the 135th day before the Presidential Primary, the American Independent Party, the Democratic Party, and the Libertarian Party notified the Secretary of State they’ll allow non-affiliated party voters the right to “crossover” to their political ballot. Those voters were sent Vote By Mail info to see if they wanted to choose a certain political party ballot or stay the way they were. They’ll take changes until Election Day or the last possible mail in ballot day. If you want to vote on the Republican, Green Party or Peace and Freedom ballot, you have to re-register with that deadline at Feb. 18th.

More water allocations are being put into the 2020 State Water Project. Last Friday the State Department of Water Resources announced the increase to 15 percent of requested supplies, up the 5% initial allocation announced Dec. 2nd. They take a look each month after getting reports on snowpack levels and runoff. Water from Clear Lake runs into Cache Creek then into the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, a source for the State Water Project. The Dept. of Water Resources Director says after some big storms in December, but not so much this month, the snowpack is below average.

There’s a new State Director for the Bureau of Land Management. Last week Karen Mouritsen took the helm of the agency. She joins after being the State Director for the BLM Eastern States Office. There she oversaw BLM lands and minerals in 22 states along and east of the Mississippi River. Kym Kemp reports Mouritsen also worked in the Nation’s Capital in key leadership roles including senior level as the BLM Deputy Assistant Director for Energy, Minerals, and Realty Management, BLM Budget Officer and BLM liaison to the Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management.

A legislator from Calif. looking to get a bill passed regarding wildfire disasters and lost school time. State Senator Bill Dodd has a new bill called the “Disaster Relief Instructional Recovery Program” that would fund summer school to make up for lost days due to fires, other natural disasters and intended blackouts. There would be no requirement for schools or students or teachers to participate, a school district would just choose to opt in. Districts as well as charter schools would be able to join programs if they had lost five or more days of school because of disasters during one school year or as many as 10 instructional days over two out of three consecutive school years. So far this school year because of fires and intentional power shutoffs, 800,000 students were affected with school closures.

Two people in Southern California have reportedly become the third and fourth people in the U.S. to officially be diagnosed with a sometimes deadly virus circulating in China. The Centers for Disease Control says someone traveling from the Chinese city of Wuhan — the heart of the epidemic — tested positive for the Corona virus. One patient in Orange County in isolation in a hospital and said to be in good condition. The second case in LA County. It’s also in Washington State and Chicago. Effects like pneumonia, include fever, coughing and wheezing. It’s said to be closely related to the deadly SARS and MERS viruses.

Prescription drug costs are part of the Governor’s work this year, now including insulin. Word that the governor wanted to start the state’s own drug label, now insulin. The Governor’s office has not said what the cost differential would be if the state gets to into the business of selling prescription drugs. The Governor says they’re currently negotiating ways to lower prices on drugs like insulin, which he says is at the top of the list. The Sacramento Bee newspaper reports about 7.4 million Americans use insulin. There are only three companies controlling the insulin market in the country. The financial analyst for the legislature says lawmakers should be cautious, adding it’s not a bad idea, but it could also increase costs over the long term.

The Bureau of Land Management is looking for public input finding lands where the public is allowed to recreate, fish and hunt, but where there’s no public access. The BLM will be posting the first priority list online by the middle of March. They’ll keep updating it biannually, for ten years. They’re asking the public to identify parcels to be included on the list before the end of February. And it’s a leap year, so you have until Saturday, February 29th. The agency says it’s worked tirelessly with other federal and state agencies, public and private partners to continually find public land access issues proactively. The land has to be managed by the BLM and be on at least 640 contiguous acres with either restricted or no public access.

More than a dozen states including Calif. have filed a lawsuit against the federal government for trying to block food stamps for nearly 700,000 Americans. The Calif. Atty. General Xavier Becerra says nobody should have to choose between a hot meal and paying their rent. The states and Washington, D.C., along with New York City say the Trump administration did not properly follow the required steps to put the wide ranging rules in place. It’s not the first time Calif. has sued the Trump Administration, there are 65 lawsuits in all.

Lawmakers are trying to reform the Cannabis industry’s tax code. Assemblyman Rob Bonta has introduced a bill to “suspend the state’s cultivation tax and reduce the excise tax from 15% to 11%” over 3 years”. Bonta says it’s to stop the black market by reducing the difference in pricing from illegal sales to the legal market. He says the illicit market is still undercutting the legal market and businesses complying with state regulations. His bill would temporarily reduce the tax burden on licensed businesses. There are reports that only 10% of the 1,700 cannabis dispensaries in Los Angeles are properly licensed.

Congressman Jared Huffman along with another 38 Members of Congress from both parties sent a letter to FEMA to drop a claim against PG&E and its settlement to pay survivors of the 2017 and 2018 Northern California wildfires. The multi-billion dollar fund agreed to by the utility company so thousands still without a permanent home can rebuild. Those signing including Mike Thompson say they think FEMA shouldn’t be trying to recoup any money as its owed first and foremost to survivors still trying to rebuild their lives. They say it could undermine FEMA’s reputation as an honest and fair partner.

A community meeting is set by the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors Cannabis Ad Hoc Committee in Laytonville. The community meeting is an update and for the public to be able to share any recommendations they have for the Ad Hoc Committee on possible changes to the County’s Cannabis Cultivation Ordinance. The board had asked the Committee to review the Ordinance and report back with possible revisions to streamline certain requirements. The meeting is Wednesday at 6:00 p.m. at Harwood Hall.

The new Mendocino County census website has been launched. ‘Mendocino Counts! 2020 Census’ at http://www.mendocinocounts.org. The county says it has all sorts of excellent resource information about the 2020 Census which officially starts April 1st. It happens every decade to see how many members of Congress a state can have. It also informs how more than $675 billion in federal funding should be shared amongst the counties in Calif. The website is in both English and Spanish, featuring a frequently asked questions section. There will also soon be a link to the online census questionnaire and a phone number for other questions. Right now they’re accepting job applications through the site.

At a meeting of the Lakeport City Council, they’ll discuss applying for state grant money to improve park bathrooms. The meeting tomorrow night at City Hall where the Public Works Director is set to ask the council to adopt a resolution so the City Manager can send in a grant application to the Division of Boating and Waterways for just over $184,000 to pay to replace the bathrooms at the First and Third street boat ramp. They also want a public hearing regarding the Community Development Block Grant program and to discuss an application which asks for up to $3,500,000. The meeting will also cover storms and the recent public safety power shutoffs.

An Air Force serviceman who ran away from court-martial proceedings in Las Vegas is dead. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s office reportedly got into a standoff with a 32 year old serviceman after the Air Force requested help. They say he shot himself outside a car after a chase Sunday morning that ended in Redwood Valley. The court martial was taking place last Friday at Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas. Before the airman was sentenced, he ran from authorities, so a warrant was issued for his arrest. The CHP tried nabbing him outside Ukiah, but he wouldn’t stop. Air Force Special Agents tried finding him on Reeves Canyon Road, where they located his Jeep Wrangler. Deputies got back up with a drone, which saw a person inside the vehicle. Then a single shot was heard. A SWAT team came out and found the man on a hill near the jeep dead from a gunshot out of a high-powered rifle.

(UPDATE)

On 01-20-2020 the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office Coroner’s Division was able to contact the wanted service member’s legal next of kin and notify them of the his death.
The wanted service member’s identity is releasable to the public and he has been identified as Kevin A. Larson (34 year-old male from Las Vegas, Nevada).

A special meeting of the Lake County Board of Supervisors and department heads has been called. On Wednesday morning the meeting on revenue generation and economic development for future sustainability. It’s happening Wednesday at 9 a.m. at the Lower Lake Town Hall on Main St.

An accident has taken the life of a man trying to cross Highway 101. The man hit at Burke Hill was declared dead on the scene near Ukiah. Paramedics tried CPR to no avail. The man reportedly waving his arms as he tried walking across the northbound lane. A truck hit him going at least 65 mph.

A special event planned in Covelo two years after a local woman disappeared after a fight with her ex-boyfriend. The event for Khadijah Britton a day after the two year anniversary of her disappearance. There have been searches continuing and flyers and banners up across the area where she vanished. There’s also a reward of more than $100,000 for information on where she may be and that could lead to an arrest. The event at the Rec Center at 1 p.m. on Saturday, February 8th with guest speakers, food, a silent auction, and more. The young woman last seen being shoved into a car at gunpoint by her ex, Negie Fallis, who has been sent to prison on a felony firearm possession charge in a separate case connected to Britton.

A woman in Calpella has been arrested after reports of a domestic violence incident. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office reports getting a call, but say they didn’t notice any obvious disturbance. Then about fifteen minutes later, they got a call to Ukiah Valley Medical Center to look into a domestic violence dispute in the Calpella area and found a 27 year old man and 13 year old girl being treated. The man said he was dating 22 year old Jessica Pingree who was attacking him and when the 13 year old tried to intervene, she was also attacked. So Pingree was arrested for domestic violence battery and willful cruelty to a child and booked on $25,000.00 bail.

A man in Boonville’s been arrested after reports of a domestic violence incident. Mendocino Deputies responded December 23rd after a woman says she was attacked by her husband Lamberto Magnaperez,. She also told deputies the man had been abusing her for two years. Deputies spoke to Magnaperez and say they developed probable cause to believe Magnaperez’s wife. He’s charged with domestic violence battery and was booked into Mendocino County Jail where he was held on $25,000.00 bail.

A young woman in Ukiah’s been arrested after reports a man was seen banging on someone’s front door, holding a gun. Mendocino deputies say they spoke to 18 year old Natalie Carrascosantana who they say told them there was no disturbance and she didn’t see anyone with a gun. Her boyfriend was found inside and gave deputies a different story. They ended up arresting Carrascosantana for domestic violence battery against her boyfriend.  Deputies found a gun in the home, but say there was no evidence it was used in the incident. Carrascosantana was being held on $25,000.00 bail.

 

 

Birders will be out over the next few weeks in Mendocino County for the annual Christmas-time bird count. The Ukiah Peregrine Audubon Society does this every year as part of a nationwide effort to see what species are around. Last year’s event wasn’t on a particularly good day to spot birds- it was cloudy and misty-but the 50 or so people who show up saw more than 35 thousand birds, including at least two which are considered rare in the Oak Manor Park area. You can learn more at an informational meeting at 7:00 this evening at the Civic Center on Seminary Avenue.

The state is slapping CVS with a big penalty for failure to pay the whole redemption value of recyclable bottles and cans. CalRecycle says 81 of the 848 CVS pharmacies in the state failed to refund the right CRV and so the chain has been docked 3.6 million dollars. It is the biggest penalty in years, according to the consumer group Public Watchdog. Officials say shortchanging even a few cents per container adds up, and amounts to an extra tax on consumers. Many private recyclers have closed because the price they can get for that scrap metal and plastic has dropped dramatically in the past few years. That’s left supermarkets and large stores as the only convenient places for many people to get their cash value back. Large stores without a recycling center within half a mile are required to take back the empties.

Hundreds of PG&E customers in Mendocino and Lake counties are getting ready for an evening in the dark. The scope of the public safety power shutoff isn’t as big as projected 24 hours ago, but it’s cold comfort to 173 customers in Mendocino County and another 12,000 or so in Lake County. The Mendocino Executive office says those outages are along Highway 175 in the Old Hopland area to the Sonoma County line. Lake County says most of its outages are in Hidden Valley Lake and Middletown areas. The power down started around 7:00 this morning and the all clear could come in the wee hours Thursday, with PG&E hoping to inspect and re-energize those lines within 24 hours for everyone.

The utility says the weather has cooperated, with winds not as high as projected and some parts of its service area even getting some badly needed rain. The Red Flag Advisory is still up for interior Mendocino County and much of Lake County until early Thursday. After that, fire weather conditions are expected to fall below threat levels, at least for the next few days.

The PG & E website has an interactive map and updates are being posted on government pages and social media channels.

Residents in Lake County’s Northshore area will have a chance to find out more about plans to slow traffic on Highway 20 in Nice, Lucerne, Glenhaven and Clearlake Oaks. There are actually two identical workshops planned December 4th from 4:00 to 5:00. One is at the Northshore Event Center, in Nice, the other is at the Northshore Fire Station in Clearlake Oaks. Final design work is under way for the project that will improve walking, biking and transit use along that road. The Lake Area Planning Council is involved in the job. A CalTrans grant is paying for it.

A “Neighborfest” has been announced by New Paradigm College, a hands-on planning workshop to be more prepared for emergencies. The event in partnership with North Coast Opportunities at “The Lucerne Castle” next Friday afternoon at 1. The college explains it, as neighbors celebrating together are more prepared for emergencies. Adding it’s designed to help neighborhoods organize their own events and festivals and apply for funding. Those who attend will learn how to plan, fund and host their own event. It’s free, but you have to register, visit: http://party.npc2020.net

Willits police say there were no threats to schools, but they’ve had a lock down. A call to the High School yesterday after a rumor a student might have a gun. When cops got there, they found the student was not on school grounds, but the school was placed on lockdown as a precaution just before 11 am yesterday morning. The student was found around 11 and detained. Police say the student had an airsoft pistol which they confiscated. They say there was never a threat and the child never entered school grounds.

The Downtown Streetscape Project in Ukiah is becoming a reality. Nearly a unanimous vote in favor of the project by the City Council. The Daily Journal reports the plan will reduce State street from two lanes to one, with a center left turn lane in each direction. It will also have wider sidewalks, safer crosswalks, new streetlights, more landscaping and benches to sit on. Temporary ramps will be installed for pedestrian access and no businesses will have to close. The project is going out to bid, then it has to come back to the City Council to decide who to work with. Construction is slated to start at the beginning of 2020.

An enthusiastic thumbs up by the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors to start collecting taxes from private campgrounds, RV parks, and tent sites. But that’s not it, as voters also have to approve the transient occupancy tax. Right now there’s a transient occupancy tax for “lodging establishments” for hotels, motels and the like. The election would take place on the presidential primary ballot, March 3, 2020. The county has indicated the tax revenue would be used for fire agencies in Mendocino County and the rest at the discretion of the Fire Chief’s Association.

A planning commissioner has been chosen in Clearlake. 3 people applied for the position and the City Council made their decision last night to appoint Erin McCarrick. She has a decade of experience working in politics and for nonprofits in North Dakota and South Dakota then came to Calif. for grad school. Lake Co News reports she moved to Lake County helping with local hiring after the Valley and Clayton fires. She’s also a consultant and owns two cannabis businesses: Clearlake Ventures, in Clearlake, and Cara Farms, in Potter Valley.

Cops in Lakeport investigating a fake jewelry scam. Several victims approached by a man, described as possibly of Middle Eastern descent, about 5 foot 8, with a thin build and a short beard. The man says he was robbed and all he had left was a gold chain and ring and tried to sell it for $500, stating it’s really worth $3,000. One victim said he only had $128 and says the suspect gave him the jewelry, took his money and took off in a newer black Cadillac Escalade. The jewelry was found to be worthless. The jeweler who appraised it told police 8 different people brought him the same jewelry from people describing a similar situation, describing the same suspect.

Sonoma Clean Power is reportedly investigating what it would take, to take over, PG&E. The company is a public agency supplying renewable energy to Sonoma and Mendocino counties. Its board of directors voted unanimously for staffers to start exploring what it would look like for an acquisition of PG&E power lines and other equipment. It comes after the public safety power shutoffs, numerous deadly fires dating back to 2017 and the utility company’s bankruptcy filing earlier this year. A spokesperson for PG&E says their power facilities are not for sale and changing the company’s structure would not make for a safer operation.

Still no word what caused a fishing vessel out of Fort Bragg to capsize out of Jenner. The family that owned the vessel, Miss Hailee says there were no signs of trouble for the boat that turned over with 4 crew members aboard. 3 were rescued, a fourth has still not been found since their fishing trip last weekend. The man still missing has been identified as Arnulfo “Amigo” Santiago. The boat captain is still recovering from severe hypothermia. The Miss Hailee was a 54-foot wooden vessel built in Fort Bragg in 1970 owned by the Richard Kelley family. The story was that the crew were fishing off Fort Bragg before heading south and ran into trouble. The Coast Guard searched two days with no luck finding the still missing Santiago.

A better look for cell tower infrastructure when it comes to 5G wireless in Fort Bragg. The City Council has approved new aesthetic guidelines for the location and look of infrastructure for 5G wireless technology in city limits. Those at this week’s meeting brought up potential health threats from radiation and even how it might affect the beehives behind the Guest House. The City Manager says they’re following carefully written federal law for how local governments handle 5G technology. Earlier this year the City Council approved aesthetic guidelines for future wireless infrastructure but it was reportedly the only choice from FCC regulations passed in 2018, but they can decide on the look of the technology locally.

The legislature is trying to make it law for municipalities to be able to yank police officer badges for officers with a history of criminal activity or serious misconduct. This comes after an investigation across the state showed more than 80 working cops in Calif. have a prior criminal conviction. So the state public safety committee is considering the matter. The investigation showed California one of only five states that don’t “decertify” an officer for misconduct or revoke their license. The investigation also said some rural departments had a history of hiring the officers, others would not, specifically in the city of McFarland in Kern County where they had a ratio of one in five officers over the last decade, were either sued or fired from another department for misconduct or they’d been convicted of a crime.

category 94.5 K-Wine News]

We are heading into this weekend in MUCH better shape than we were at the start of the week. CalFire reports progress at the Kincaid fire, saying it is 64 percent contained and on the Burris Fire, , calling it 94 percent contained, with full containment possible by Sunday. The number of people who can’t go home is also dropping substantially with 5 more evacuation warnings lifted in the Kincaid fire zone in Sonoma and Napa Counties. PG & E calls the public safety shutoff essentially over, but another 24,000 customers in Sonoma County have no natural gas service because of the risk of explosions and may not have their heating and cooking fuel back until Monday.

While the weather conditions have improved with cooler temperatures and no high winds expected, there is no RAIN expected anytime soon either, so officials are urging everyone to remember that even the smallest spark can still set off a major fire. That means things like being careful when using lawnmowers and other power equipment outside and not driving vehicles into dry grass or brush.

The Mendocino County Economic Development and Finance Corporation is offering a way for small business owners recover from this week’s shutoffs and prepare for future events like it that could take a toll on the bottom line. The organization has set up a special loan fund that will offer low interest loans at three percent up to $50,000 dollars for small business to recover losses or invest in emergency preparedness. EFDC director Heather Gurewitz calls it a community service for local business that have gone through though a tough time. There’s information about the loans and the qualifications at the website EFDC.org.

A Democratic congressman from California is calling for a public takeover of PG & E, saying the utility is putting its profits and its investors over public safety. Congressman Ro Kahana says the for profit utility model doesn’t work any more. Meanwhile, Govenor Newsom has created a new cabinet level position of energy czar to oversee the state’s utilities including PG & E and fix a system the governor thinks is broken.

Don’t forget it’s FALL BACK to Pacific Standard time on Sunday morning. California is one of several states looking at proposals to end the annual clock-changing ritual. Last year, voters overwhelmingly said YES to Proposition 7 giving the legislature the power to vote on going to Daylight Saving Time year round as long as congress approves. Opponents say a single time would be disrupting and confusing unless the 3 bordering states and Mexico do the same. Meanwhile, firefighting groups say you should also use the time change as a reminder to check to make sure your smoke alarms are working properly.

Virus-free. www.avg.com

The Mendocino County Counsel is leaving. The Board of Supervisors announced Katharine Elliott has resigned to go to Nevada County for a job. Her last day is October 18th. Elliott was first a Deputy County Counsel, starting in April of 2015 after leaving private practice. She was quickly appointed Acting County Counsel and selected permanent County Counsel in March of 2016. She has worked on the County’s cannabis ordinances, advised the County on the creation of protocols and resolutions after several wildfires, and advised County departments, special districts and commissions on other legal matters.

Firelines reinforced on the fire outside Covelo, the Henthorne Fire which is burning in steep, rugged terrain. Firefighters have the fire 35% contained after burning 244 acres. Forward movement has been stopped and some firefighters are moving off the fire. In Plumas County, that giant fire near the town of Gennessee, the Walker Fire has burned more than 47,300 acres and is 20 percent contained. The Red Bank Fire in Tehama County is 75% contained after burning more than 8,800 acres with two structures destroyed. The fire was caused by a lightning strike.

After a Grand Jury report on the Ukiah Valley Sanitation District, the district speaks out on the findings. The Daily Journal reports the report was released in June calling for more transparency by the District. It goes on the say the city and Sanitation District asked for new sewer rates, and comments on the lawsuit between the two entities which ended up costing $9 million in legal and administrative fees and the city paying the district nearly $5 million after the lawsuit. It says also that there’s needless spending by the two agencies, that being the city and district, who are jointly responsible for a single sanitation system. The District Board Chair Theresa McNerlin responds that they disagree “wholly or partially” with 12 of the 14 findings and two of four recommendations won’t be happening.

A couple of jobs added in the Mendocino County DA’s office. This week the Board of Supervisors said yes to a full time Legal Services Supervisor, Senior Legal Assistant, and District Attorney Investigator, and there will also be a Sheriff’s Legal Assistant. The county is cutting the position of Office Services Supervisors. The positions duties are as follows: Senior Legal Assistant does paralegal work with a monthly salary of about 3,600- 4,400, the District Attorney Investigator was cut due to budgetary reasons and will be back on. The Sheriff’s Office Legal Secretary will be called a Sheriff’s Legal Specialist with differing job skills needed and a monthly salary between 3200-4,000.

Mystery around the sudden dismissal of the Middletown High School girls and boys cross country team coach Don Cobb. Cobb taking the teams to North Central League championships last year and just ahead of this year’s practices starting, he was relieved. This from the principal of the school who told the Record Bee newspaper Monday that it’s a personnel matter he can’t discuss. He added it was a “super sensitive matter.” The Assistant coach Anna Schneider will take over for the rest of the 2019 season. Cobb told the newspaper he accepted the decision and is moving on with his life.

Lake County considering a sales tax measure next year for road improvement. District 2 Supervisor Bruno Sabatier broached the subject at the meeting Tuesday talking about the poor condition of pavement throughout the County and said unless they add more money to the problem, roads probably won’t get much better in the next 10 years. The Public Works Director Scott De Leon says a one cent sales tax could help. Any sales tax measure put on the ballot next year needs a two-thirds supermajority to pass. The same thing has been in the works before and failed. District 5 Supervisor Rob Brown says it’s because residents in Lakeport and Clearlake voted against it.

Two women from Oklahoma accused of an ambush and murder plot have been arrested in Northern Calif. The two are sisters, 27 year old Tierzah Mapson and 28 year old Elise. They were arrested in Fortuna after both federal and state authorities found them at a campsite. Another sister and alleged co-conspirator, Charis Mapson, was arrested last week in Oklahoma. The three to be taken to Alabama after being accused there of trying to lure Tierzah’s ex, the dad of her child, and his new girlfriend to a remote area where dad was shot by one of the sisters. The trio face conspiracy, attempted murder and more. No word who did the shooting, but cops noted Charis was a former U.S. Marine marksman.

The Gov. joining 11 others to call on the federal government to act on gun reform. Newsom saying we’re at a tipping point and that Washington needs to step up and stop with the “empty rhetoric, listen and take meaningful action”. The Governors urging President Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Congress to pass sensible gun legislation featuring four policies which have wide support by most Americans:

  • Pass Extreme Risk Protection Order legislation, commonly referred to as Red Flag laws, preventing individuals who pose a risk to themselves or others from purchasing or possessing a firearm;
  • Pass universal background checks closing the private gun sales loophole;
  • Outlaw assault weapons and high-capacity magazines; and;
  • Establish stricter reporting requirements to prevent those deemed by a mental health professional to be a danger to themselves or others from purchasing a firearm.

The Clearlake City Council apparently going to turn down bids for a couple of chip seal projects. The matter on the agenda for tomorrow night’s meeting to reject the bids for the double chip seal project in the Southwest Avenues. Apparently the two bids that came in were a lot more than what the city engineer estimated, $70,000.00. The matter to be tabled because this time of year, it costs more for this type of work, so they’re looking for rebids in the Spring. It would be paid for by the city’s Measure V road tax.

One of the Lake County Supervisors has been appointed to the State Board of Fire Services. Governor Newsom has appointed District 1 Supervisor Moke Simon to the panel of 17 who reports to the California State Fire Marshal. The Marshal is the chair of the board which also has representatives from local governments, the fire service and firefighter associations, the insurance industry and the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services. They look at various issues including fire protection and prevention, developing technical and performance standards for training of fire service personnel, coming up with policies for the certification system for the California Fire Service, advising the State Fire Marshal on regulations, and work like an appeals board on the application of California State Fire Marshal regulations.

The Gov. gets legislation to overhaul how California approves charter schools. The Press Democrat reports the state Assembly passed it 56-16 so that no more charter schools are authorized by the state, it would instead be up to individual school districts and county governments.  It also means charter school teachers need to be credentialed and those already teaching have to be credentialed, if they’re not, within five years. The author of the bill, Democratic Assemblyman Patrick O’Donnell of Long Beach says it means more flexibility for school districts and their communities. Right now there are about 1,300 charter schools in Calif. which are publicly funded.

A man in Northern Calif. busted after stashing weapons and ammo in a bunker. The Red Bluff Daily Record reports Gary Stiles was nabbed Monday on weapons violations and surrendered the guns found in the bunker due to a restraining order filed against him because several people say he harassed them. That’s who tipped cops off. The man’s steel survival bunker was found about 10 feet underground. That’s where dozens of handguns, rifles and shotguns, including illegal semi-automatic rifles; 50 high-capacity magazines and as much as 50,000 rounds of ammo were found.

DA’s and Public Defenders are planning to strike in Mendocino County. The Mendocino County Public Attorneys Association negotiating a new deal with the Board of Supervisors since last fall, their contract ended this past January. The union says it made an offer to the county’s negotiating lawyer and got no response until last month, but negotiations have mostly gone nowhere. The union says while the board gave itself a 17 percent raise last year, public servants continue to struggle as the county continues to pay out of market rates, 35-45 percent less than comparable markets. The union says it thinks they’re at an impasse. The union says the latest offer was for 4% more, and that’s unacceptable.

Police have arrested a man in Fort Bragg after a couple of shootings they say were to lure young people. Police say the shootings July 10th and 11th didn’t hurt anybody, but some buildings were hit. Police collected evidence there and went around the neighborhood looking for probationers and parolees with possible gang ties. They arrested one person for a parole violation who they say may be involved in six shootings since March. They say 32 year old Harry Mila was trying to get youngsters to engage with him in gang-like behavior and warn if you see him around your kids, it’s not good.

A wildfire we told you about in Napa is fully contained. The Canyon Fire was 100% contained yesterday after breaking out Monday afternoon on Wragg Cyn Rd and Hwy 128 at Lake Berryessa. Another fire, the Marshview fire in Solano County started yesterday on I-680 and Marshview Rd. near Cordelia. The two fires together burned 64 acres. The two fires are under investigation.

Nuisance vehicles in Fort Bragg are going to be pulled, but there’s still no ordinance on public camping. The City Council said yes to the first reading of the “nuisance vehicles” ordinance in order to remove cars from city streets. Vehicles abandoned, unregistered and inoperable or used for storage or camping can be cited. And the council tabled a vote to ban most camping in town, and ban sleeping in cars in the Central Business District, and other rules. But the Mayor pulled it from the agenda saying they’d return to it again in the future.

A packed Lakeport School Board meeting with parents, students and others discussing what should be done with leftover bond money. There’s more than 1.3 million dollars left over in the fund. The Record Bee reports some speaking wanted a pool, or others wanted a fitness center. One estimate for a new pool came in at just under 2 million, that was without locker rooms and American Disabilities Act accessibility bathrooms. Some at the meeting complained there could be no swim team without a pool, and others simply wanted air conditioning added to the gymnasium. The board president speaking to the standing room only crowd saying the discussion on air conditioning should be talked about, but later. The board also discussed their budget and the possibility of laying off some people, including a high school counselor, computer tech, crossing guard, and special education para-professional.  

The three investor owned utility companies in Calif. have all said they’d be open to putting money into a new fund to cover the costs of future wildfire disasters associated with their equipment. San Diego Gas & Electric already agreed to put money into the $10.5 billion dollar fund and Southern California Edison and Pacific Gas & Electric agreed yesterday. It’s not agreed yet what each will put up yet, because rules for the plan it depends on the company’s individual risk of catastrophic wildfire and prior history with safety. P,G&E is reportedly paying more than the others, but only after it gets out of bankruptcy. And San Diego Gas & Electric will pay the least.