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A meeting of pot growers in Calif to discuss concerns in the new era of legalized weed. The Calf. Dept. of Food and Agriculture hosted the meeting in Santa Ana where folks discussed limits on farm sizes, renewable energy mandates and rules for tribal lands, among other issues. The regulations right now in place for the medical market, which were just made law over the last several months under the Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act. The rules for cannabis retailers, distributors, transporters and testers totally go into effect Jan. 1, 2018. The Record Bee reports a consultant at the meeting saying his clients mostly agree with all of the new rules set out, but some there said there were no clear provisions or any guidance for those growing on tribal land. Others spoke out about having to use at least 42 percent renewable energy. Folks have a six month grace period to follow all of the rules. So they’ll need to be compliant by July 2, 2018.

A delay in the Jury Trial for a man accused of a fatal crash where cops say he drove drunk into the victim. Robert Wade Hitchcock was supposed to be in court earlier this month but a couple of motions were filed and that delayed the case. He’s looking at multiple charges in the crash into Nichole Welborn who was getting into her car in Lower Lake in Sept. of 2016 and got pinned by Hitchcock’s truck. He’s charged with nine counts. He should be back in court this week.

Quite the meeting of Calif. Democrats as those loyal to Sen. Bernie Sanders lose control of the party. The so called “Berniecrats” trying to get someone to head the party of their liking, got close, but no cigar. Then they reportedly refused to accept election results this weekend and demanded validation for the new party chairman. Sanders followers want the Democratic Party to stop taking money from wealthy interests or corporations. Sanders supporters wanted Kimberly Ellis as the party leader but lost out to a party insider, Eric Bauman who won by just 62 votes out of almost 3,000. Congressman Adam Schiff delivered the keynote speech Saturday asking for party unity.

The Relay for Life of Lake County brought in some money for the American Cancer Society. The yearly event was earlier this month at Upper Lake High School. Locals took part in the event May 6th and 7th with volunteers setting up the football field for attendees. Northshore Fire Protection District handed out awards to survivors and they took the first lap at the event where as many as 300 family members and friends attended and listened to music as they walked the track. Organizers say they raised about $20,000, but the fundraising continues thru the end of August.

A member of the Lake County Sheriff’s Office being honored by the Board of Supervisors. Lake Co News reports Lieutenant Steve Brooks is receiving a proclamation just before his Retirement after 23 years of service with the dept. The board is also designating this week as National Public Works Week. In other business there’s a public hearing taking place tomorrow to consider approving an Application for Funding for the Anderson Springs Septic to Sewer Project which comes under the 2016 Butte and Valley Wildfire Recovery Disaster Notice of Funding Availability.

As the California Conservation Corps celebrates its 40th anniversary, some members come out to Ukiah to the base on Old River Road to talk about the work they do on public lands. A recruiter spoke to a group out this weekend saying they work on projects to improve forest health, build trails, restore habitats and go out to fires. Recently, the corp has also been helping schools and government agencies with energy efficiency. They say they work to get young people, ages 18-25, out in the environment, to work outdoors, volunteer and take care of the state’s natural resources. The base in Ukiah is the old dairy farm for the former Mendocino State Hospital. But apparently they’re considering a move to the the Hopland Research and Extension Center.

A youngster bests the adults in the yearly Catfish Derby in Clearlake Oaks. A record turnout for the event hosted by the Clearlake Oaks-Glenhaven Business Association, which is said to be the biggest catfish tournament west of the Mississippi. 895 adults and 137 children competed with the majority of the entries from outside of the county. The visitors from all over the state, but from as far away as Hawaii and also from Florida, Texas and Georgia, among other states too. An 11 year old took the adult division. 11-year-old Tanner Castillo from Sutter caught a fish weighing 28.81 pounds. So he got the $4,000 cash prize and a trophy. There are two children’s divisions two, they were won by Ivy Bain from Gerber, with a fish weighing 17.76 pounds and Kaia Calhoun from Kelseyville.

A bit of a green smoke cloud coming out of a marijuana grow house as a fire breaks out in Antioch. The Contra Costa County Fire Protection District reports the garden in a regular looking home had smoke coming out of the garage, which was actually a grow house. Firefighters smashed thru boarded up windows to gain access to the house. No injuries have been reported and no word how the fire started…

A new report says when the state was in the historic five year drought, many of California’s irrigation districts were not in compliance with a 2007 regulation of how much water could go to farmers. The Sacramento Bee newspaper reports farm-advocacy groups say the irrigation districts are dealing with confusing state and federal laws which sometimes overlap each other. The Exec. Director of the California Farm Water Coalition tells the newspaper there’s been so many changes, it’s no wonder they’re confused. The law from ’07 to keep better track of farm water use and to monitor the usage. But the newspaper found there were many loopholes in the law, making it mostly useless.

Rescue teams have been looking for a man who jumped into a river to save his son. The search started Saturday evening near the Pittsburg Marina by the confluence of the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers. The Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department says the dad and his son were in a boat with others when the son went overboard for some reason. There were no life jackets on anyone. The dad then jumped and rescued the boy using a flotation device, but dad floated away and went under. The boy was treated for hypothermia and the search for the father was called off that night because it was dark. The search started again yesterday with crews using sonar to try and find the 52-year-old man.

A man at a Walmart in Minnesota saves the day, tackling a deer that had wandered into the store in Wadena. The animal apparently walked into the store last Tuesday, thru its garden center. Then a man who saw the deer which apparently slammed into him, tackled it to the floor. He then apparently covered its eyes, to calm it down as he and a group got it back outside and let it go.

Searchers have found the bodies of a Santa Rosa couple whose plane went down in the Sierra Nevadas last month. The Sierra County Undersheriff has confirmed the bodies of Brenda and Mark Richard were found Wednesday, the day after their plane was spotted. The couple had flown out of the Truckee-Tahoe Airport April 17 headed for Petaluma when they disappeared. Their plane had an emergency locater transmitter but for some reason it failed. The plane was estimated by radar and cell data to be in a 400-square-mile area northwest of Truckee and crews looked for the Richards for six days after the crash before suspending the search.

The Middletown Art Center has won a California Arts Council Local Impact Grant for 2017 for their yearlong project called “Resilience” which will explore the local impacts of the four recent major fires. Executive Director Lisa Kaplan says the grant will allow them to provide broad access to the arts for all residents of Lake County with the multi-disciplinary project focused on the regeneration of nature after the Jerusalem, Rocky, Valley and Clayton fires.

The project will include workshops and master classes in painting, photography, printmaking and poetry/spoken word that anyone 12 and up can attend for just $5 per class or $60 for a complete series in one discipline. Kaplan says the project will culminate in a countywide art exhibit and a book showcasing images and words from the overall project. For details go to their website and click on the “Resilience” page.

A consultant’s being hired so the city of Ukiah can start an environmental review for a possible housing development for the homeless mentally ill. The company looking to put the development up was listed on the city council’s calendar this week as Rural Communities Housing Development Corp. They’re proposing a 38-unit, multi-family housing facility for the seriously mentally ill who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. But the California Environmental Quality Act calls for a review. It’s the same for any project. Whoever applies has to pay for the analysis. The project will also be reviewed by the Ukiah Planning Commission after the Memorial Day Holiday weekend.

Faculty and students none too happy about new space planning proposed at Mendocino College. The Daily Journal reports the some faculty will move to different offices and a welcome center will be put together, plus there will be a more centralized location for all services, including counseling. But the newspaper reports a lot of the plan uses space that’s already occupied. And it reports the library building’s will get a president’s office which we’ve reported on, as being what some are up in arms about. But the president’s office would move out of the Library building and make more space behind the circulation desk. The current office of the president would be a Hispanic-Serving Institutions grant student center and there would be more classroom space over at MacMillan Hall. There are other changes being proposed too. The president says they couldn’t show it to faculty in planning stages, but did as soon as they could.

The makeover of the downtown core of Willits has been recognized and honored by a regional professional planners’ association. The Willits News reports the Northern California chapter of the American Planners’ Association picked Willits for its Award of Excellence. The recognition for the proposed changes after the Willits Bypass was finished to make downtown more walkable, safer, and inviting. The Willits Main Street Corridor Enhancement Plan will include new landscaping, gathering areas, and pedestrian-and-cyclist-friendly streets which the city says will bring in more business. The city wins the award for the plan itself and the enthusiastic and harmonious response by residents.

Looking for something to do this weekend… Navarro-by-the-Sea is having its yearly Earth Day Cleanup and Volunteer BBQ. The event tomorrow and the Navarro-by-the-Sea Day is in a couple weeks too. The president of the Navarro-by-the-Sea Board says they’re working on the inn, making progress but still have a ways to go. They’ve been able to restore the upstairs windows and this month will finish up on the porch covering in one spot and putting up a woodshed to store firewood, which is the source of heat for the inn. They’re still in the process of raising money for a permanent roof which they say is the top priority. So the cleanup is tomorrow at 9 am at Captain Fletcher’s Inn with a work party until noon and a free barbecued lunch at noon for volunteers. Then June 10th, the Navarro-by-the-Sea Day will include free tours of the historic Captain Fletcher’s Inn where a fundraising silent auction will happen along with barbecuing all afternoon, homemade treats and dessert. For more info on the events, call 707-877-3477 or email beach127

Things are up in the air at the one-room school near Albion. The tiny town has one teacher working with K-3rd grade kids. The school’s been in danger of closing because there’s not many kids left to attend and they may only have three to five students next year. Some of the residents are working to keep the school open and won something of a reprieve last week after the Mendocino Unified School Board voted 3-2 to keep the school open next year. But apparently since the school board’s vote they’ve received emails and letters to close it down. The Mendocino Unified School District Superintendent proposed closing the school for a year until they could get more students. There’s another tiny school in the district with 14 students in Comptche. One other in the district, in Elk, closed in 2010.

The first home to be finished in the Valley Fire area by Habitat for Humanity. The new home dedicated by the nonprofit two weeks ago for the Carreker family on Big Valley Road in Middletown. Lake Co News reports it’s the second new home for fire victims, but the first in the footprint of the fire. The celebration May 6th, welcomed the family into their new home with a lunch and blessing by community members. Habitat for Humanity Lake County working with other organizations for low-income affordable family housing. The nonprofit is also helping with recovery and helping fire survivors get new homes. Habitat itself had to move its offices after it was hit by the Clayton Fire.

Part of Hill Road has reopened after being closed for several months due to a landslide. Lake Co News reports Lake County Public Works crews reopened part of the road yesterday. It was closed in December between Sutter Lakeside Hospital and Lakeshore Drive. The news site reports it’s the third winter in a row for a closure. Several homes were destroyed by the slide in the Lakeside Heights subdivision above the road. The slide was over two lanes of the highway, one lane was cleared and the road reopened a few weeks ago, but then it slid again. There are signs up on each end of the slide directing drivers to heed direction. The Lake County Board of Supervisors has approved a couple hundred thousand dollars for permanent repairs to the hillside.

A bill’s been passed by the California Senate so drug companies can no longer gift doctors. Sen. Mike McGuire authored the bill which he says will ban perks like airline tickets or fancy meals. He says it’ll lower drug costs because doctors getting the gifts wouldn’t feel they had to prescribe expensive drugs anymore. McGuire claims drug companies pay out almost one and a half billion a year in gifts, just to docs in Calif. He says not only has the cost of drugs gone up over the last ten years, so has the industry profits. McGuire’s bill passed the Senate 23-13, it now moves to the Assembly.

An Ad Hoc committee’s been formed by the Clearlake City Council to look at the needs of the homeless and other issues. The Record Bee reports the committee is going to have two representatives from the city council and another two from the Planning Commission, as well as up to two members at large. Those two would be city residents who have an interest in homelessness. The two city council and planning commission members have been chosen already. The mayor and the city manager have also apparently been working already on the issue, visiting other counties to learn about similar ideas for homelessness and helping the needy.

A new report by the state of Calif. shows more than 140 courthouses including in Lake County, are seismically unsafe. The study commissioned by the state showing the cost at more than $300 million for some of the fixes. The study presented this week to a Judicial Council which sets policy issues for the state courts. It says if there was a serious earthquake, there are 145 courthouses that might face “substantial” structural damage, “extensive” nonstructural damage and “substantial” risk to anyone inside the building at the time. The seismic-risk ratings were developed by FEMA. On the low side to just retrofit the highest risk facilities the would cost between three to $400 million and the cost of retrofitting the 44 highest risk facilities into the $1.3 to $1.7 billion dollar range.

Bail of $385,000 has been set for man arrested after a fight and drive-by shooting near the Buck Horn Bar in Covelo last week. Deputies responded to a fight between several men outside the bar last Friday and a witness reported someone driving up in a pickup truck and firing several shots. Deputies saw a guy, now ID’d as Luis Chavez, walking away and carrying something that turned out to be a rifle wrapped in a jacket. They then learned Chavez is a convicted felon who is not allowed to have a weapon and had felony warrant out of Mendocino County for assault with a firearm plus another misdemeanor. He also gave a fake name.

A Ukiah man who tried to ditch a gun while talking to Mendocino Deputies has been arrested as has a friend who was with him. Deputies were called out about a disturbance with several men standing in front of an apartment complex on Laws Avenue. While they are all talking a deputy saw one of the guys, Dreven Valencia, turn his back and pull a large-caliber gun out of his waistband and toss it under a car. They say Valencia became combative while being detained. Another man, Donovan Partridge was also detained and a search of his backpack turned up several live cartridges that matched the caliber of the handgun Valencia had. Also in the backpack were several prescription meds that appeared to be packaged for sale

A man’s been busted on a gang-related charge after allegedly tagging a wall at Grace Hudson School. Someone reported seeing 18-year-old Estaban Jose Cardenas spray-painting “X4” on a wall and took a picture of him. A short time later Mendocino County Deputies found Cardenas with four other people walking on Laws Avenue and South Dora Street. They say he had black spray paint on his hands, and he was wearing gang-related clothing. He was booked into the jail for vandalism and participation in criminal street gang activity.

Pacific Gas and Electric Co. says they are paying out more than $337 million in property taxes and franchise fees to the 50 California counties and several cities where they own and operate infrastructure. PG&E pays the fees to cities and counties for the use of public streets and facilities. Lake County’s getting about $799,000 and Mendocino just north of $1.4 million.

The owner of the former Wisedas (WizDiz) Resort in Clearlake has pleaded no contest to two misdemeanors for continuously maintaining a public nuisance on the property, and for negligently dumping ash into Clear Lake after a fire at the empty motel last October. The Lake County District Attorney says Edward Meyer, Jr. got three years’ probation and 150 hours of community service. Meyer was also ordered to complete full site remediation by October 2, pay a fine of $5,000, and pay full restitution of more than $15,000 to the Lake County Fire Protection District for costs of fighting the October 2016 fire. On top of all of that, the DA says Meyer will also pay $50,000 as a charitable donation to the county, which will be divided among multiple local organizations. The public nuisance charge dated to before the 2016 fire to a 2013 arson fire that destroyed most of the resort, after which local officials fought with Meyer to get the property cleaned up.

The Chief of California’s new Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulation says the state wants to work alongside legitimate marijuana growers to support their business by driving out the illegal growers. Speaking at a Sonoma County marijuana business conference last week, Lori Ajax said the state has to aggressively root out black market weed to get the legitimate industry to thrive. She told the group she knows it’s risky with possible federal inference looming but urged them to “come into the light” and comply with all the regulations, and help the state take a stand against non-licensed activity. Mendocino County District Attorney David Eyster shared the story on his Facebook Page, saying Ajax’s message should set the expectation for the industry: “Play by the new rules or expect old-fashion criminal litigation.”

A guy found unconscious in his truck Monday night has been arrested on suspicion of DUI Hit-and-Run, and it’s the second time in a week. Ukiah Police and an ambulance were called to East Perkins Street and Oak Manor Drive where they found the truck with major frontend damage and the driver Sergio Luna unresponsive. He was taken to Ukiah Valley Medical Center. Investigators learned before he passed out he had hit a parked car on Yosemite Drive. Luna is suspected of being under the influence of Heroin and prescription medication at the time of the crash. UPD says he was also arrested for a suspected DUI hit-and-run May 12th.

Lake County’s fallen safety officers will be honored in a memorial ceremony. The Lake County Sheriff’s Office chaplains will host the event, which starts at 6 p.m. at the Lake County Memorial Park in front of the Historic Courthouse Museum. The public is invited to attend in honor of those who put their lives on the line in Lake County and remember those who gave their lives in the performance of their duties.

A public hearing’s held regarding public housing in Lake County. The Record Bee reports Lake County’s California Human Development Dept. had the meeting to discuss the challenges and hear about farm workers and their families needs. A CHP officer was also at the meeting to discuss immigration worries with the crowd. The public hearing is one of a regular series held in the state every two years. Funding from the federal government goes to the dept. and helps with job openings for farm workers or those affected by natural disasters. The agency has a new office in Ukiah and announced anyone who needs help can come directly to the office. In Lakeport they’re looking to hire about 30 people with the help of the agency to clean up Lakeport’s parks, lagoons, and roads since the flooding.

Money from the Lake County Watershed Protection District will support the Quagga and Zebra Mussel Infestation Prevention program. Money from the California Parks and Recreation, Division of Boating and Waterways is also available thru a grant. The Director of the Water Resource Department for Lake County says they have the money and have to match some of it with labor. The grant for just over $312-thousand dollars. The money to help with the prevention program instead of taking money from other areas, so they can have eight boat ramp monitors for two years and two boat ramp monitor coordinators. The money will help pay to send the monitors to Watercraft Inspection Training and for training for the Water Resource Technician.

A Search and Rescue Helicopter Awareness Training’s happening at Lake Mendocino. The Mendocino and Napa County Sheriff’s Offices have the training this weekend working with several other law enforcement groups. It’s to show how to go out in a lengthy search and rescue mission that may occur in hard-to-access, mountainous terrain. That kind of rescue requires advanced training that includes aviation help with dropping in and helping them back out. So the California National Guard, Cal Fire, CHP and Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office are pitching in with the training. Aviation would help with medical extractions like hoisting out an injured person. The training this weekend, for more info, email barneys

The Department of Water Resources has shut down the Oroville Dam for repair for the summer. They will be constructing the main and emergency spillways through the summer and fall up until the next rainy season. The agency says they hope to have the main spillway operational by November 1st. They will have more work ahead in 2018 to finish the reconstruction of the two spillways. They’ll start ramping the flows down from the main spillway tomorrow morning with the outflows to stop in the afternoon, then the gates will close. The Hyatt Powerplant is expected to have more water flowing to balance everything out in the Feather River. Construction work will start around the clock early next week. They even have a couple of cameras set up with a live feed of the work so the public can see. We’ve got the link on our website and Facebook page. .

Sewer hookups are being considered by the Ukiah Valley Sanitation District for portable showers at Plowshares. The Daily Journal reports the district got a request for the hookups for the showers the Health and Human Services Agency is putting up in the parking lot of the nonprofit on South State Street. The showers after the winter homeless shelter closed but the agency wanted to keep the showers open for the homeless until a new shelter could be opened. The dept is covering the cost of operation for weekdays only, during noon – 5 PM.

Mendocino County looking to make more rentals available because of the lack of housing. The Daily Journal reports the county could now make it easier for property owners to build accessory dwelling units or mother in law apartments. The newspaper reports Supervisor Dan Gjerde recommended regulating the vacation rental market, ala air bnb in a letter to the Board of Supervisors and instead allow the market to be more open for those who are looking to work in the area. He says there are housing units taken off the market weekly and turned into vacation rentals. There’s been public outcry about not enough housing. The paper reports the county is now trying to get more property owners to build the granny or mother in law units to be rented out for long term use.

A woman arrested for DUI was found with a strange companion. Cops in Taunton, MA say Amy Rebello-McCarthy of Newton had a bearded dragon lizard stashed in her bra. She’s charged with operating under the influence, driving to endanger and marked lane violation. They say she slammed into six mailboxes and one of them smashed into the rear window of a parked car. Police also say her Mercedes had four flat tires, her airbags deployed and the bumpers on her car were ripped off. She had a passenger too, who police say they asked to put his lit cigarette out as gasoline was leaking from her smashed up car.

The owner of the former Wisedas Resort in Clearlake has pleaded no contest to two misdemeanors for continuously maintaining a public nuisance on the property, and for negligently discharging fire ash into Clear Lake following a fire at the vacant motel last October. The Lake County District Attorney says Edward Meyer, Jr. was sentenced to three years probation and 150 hours of community service. He was also ordered to complete full site remediation by October 2, pay a fine of $5,000, and pay full restitution of more than $15,000 to the Lake County Fire Protection District for their costs for fighting the October 2016 fire. On top of all of that, the DA says Meyer will also pay $50,000 as a charitable donation to the county, which will be divided among multiple local organizations.

The Chief of California’s new Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulation says the state wants to work alongside legitimate marijuana growers to support their business by driving out the illegal growers. Speaking at a Sonoma County marijuana business conference last week, Lori Ajax said the state must aggressively root out black market pot in order for the legitimate industry to thrive. She told the group she knows it’s risky with the specter of federal inference always looming but urged them to “come into the light” and comply with all the regs, and help the state take a stand against non-licensed activity. Mendocino County District Attorney David Eyster said, while sharing this story on his Facebook Page, Ajax’s message should set the expectation for the industry: “Play by the new rules or expect old-fashion criminal litigation.”

A guy found unconscious in his truck Monday night has been arrested on suspicion of DUI Hit-and-Run for the second time in a week. Ukiah Police and an ambulance were called to East Perkins Street and Oak Manor Drive where they found the truck with significant frontend damage and the driver Sergio Luna unresponsive. He was taken to Ukiah Valley Medical Center. Investigators learned that before he passed out he had hit a parked car on Yosemite Drive. Luna is suspected of being under the influence of Heroin and prescription medication at the time of the crash. UPD says he was also arrested for a suspected DUI hit-and-run May 12th.

Lake County’s fallen safety officers will be honored in a memorial ceremony this Friday. The Lake County Sheriff’s Office chaplains will host the event, which will begin at 6 p.m. at the Lake County Memorial Park in front of the Historic Courthouse Museum. The public is invited to attend to honor those who put their lives on the line every day in Lake County and remember those who gave their lives in the performance of their duties.

It may cost more for a number of activities in Ukiah. The Ukiah City Council is considering updating the schedule of fees for recreation and facilities. At the meeting tonight, the city council will hear from staff to also raise rates for the conference center. Right now to rent the red rooms there, it’s $1,500 a day, they want to raise that by $250, and the evening and weekend rate of $2,500 to instead be $3,000. Apparently they’ve not raised the rates for the red rooms for nearly a decade with few improvements to the building, so the money could go for capital improvements. They’re also suggesting increases for the other rooms too, nonprofits would get lower fees. The meeting tonight at 6 in City Council chambers.

A new report shows tourism is one industry doing well in Mendocino County. The report by the county’s Lodging Business Improvement District for the fiscal year 2014 shows the county made more than $4 million in transient occupancy taxes or hotel and lodging business, that’s just from unincorporated areas. The report says the county’s aggressive promotion kept people coming back, contributing to a full recovery of the tourism industry after the recession. The report also suggesting even more money should go into promotions so they can keep up with the successful growth the county’s enjoyed. The report says the BID Advisory Board found County-wide tourism promotion was underfunded compared to surrounding counties and competing markets.

Mendocino County working with the Coyote Valley Band of Pomo Indians on a possible new casino and housing project on its reservation in Redwood Valley. The Daily Journal reports the tribe would move their current casino to a new development and add single-family housing units in the spot where the casino is now. The Tribal Chairman Michael Hunter went to the capitol this week to try to get more money from the federal government and says there will be low-income housing included in the development. The new casino would be about the same as the current one, except they want to add a couple dozen more games. The restaurant would also add on so it has 125 seats, 75 more that now. The tribe and county have been working on the deal for months, a sticking point is the transient occupancy tax.

An eighth grade math teacher has won teacher of the year in the Middletown Unified School District. Ami Barker moves on to the Calif. Teacher of the Year competition as the representative for Lake County. Every year a teacher is chosen by school districts in Lake County to represent the county after they’re interviewed by community leaders. They are chosen based on state and national requirements, such as professional development activities, a commitment to the improvement of the educational system, personal attribute and creativity. Other teachers who were acknowledged as outstanding District Teachers of the Year were Tammi Mendonca of the Kelseyville Unified School District; Joel Sombs of Upper Lake; Curtis Reichert in the Lakeport School District; and Rick Easter of the Konocti Unified School District.

Approval by the Lakeport City Council for a new groundwater sustainability agency for part of the Scotts Valley groundwater basin. The council heard from community members, then voted unanimously for public hearing June 2nd. Lake Co News reports the Community Development Director says the city council had told staff back in January at a meeting to start working on making the groundwater sustainability agency a reality in alignment with all of the requirements of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act passed by Calif. lawmakers back in 2014. The agency will be responsible for the study of conditions and a plan to manage groundwater extractions by monitoring, regulating and to come up with fines for enforcement. The Scotts Valley Basin is considered a medium-priority basin. So there has to be an agency put together before June 30th with their groundwater sustainability plan in place by Jan. 31st of 2022.

An abundance of mosquitoes already being reported in Lake County. The Lake County Vector Control District says they’re already getting a bunch of calls after all the rain this winter. The weather has also meant they haven’t been able to treat some areas. There is standing water in some areas still after all of the rain. Clear Lake is more full than usual this year with water in low lying areas which scientists say is great habitat for the record number of mosquitoes. The Record Bee reports the State Public Health Officer saying when the rains stop and temperatures rise each year, there’s increased mosquito activity. Vector control says they’ve also received multiple calls about Rice Flies, which look a lot like a mosquito.

A man from Lakeport accused of killing his dog with a machete is going to a mental health facility. The Record Bee reports the court ruled William Gatlyn was declared mentally unfit to stand trial at his court hearing in December. He is on a waiting list to go to a program in San Bernardino for Jail-Based Competency Treatment. No word on how soon he’ll be admitted.

A man accused in the drunk driving death of a passenger in his truck is being tried in the case. The judge finding there was enough evidence against Jeremy Isom to be tried for vehicular manslaughter. He pleaded not guilty in November to the manslaughter, and for driving while intoxicated during the October 2016 accident where he rolled his truck on Morgan Valley Road in Lower Lake. Two other passengers in his truck had minor injuries, the third died. There is still evidence coming from the CHP, but the case was supposed to start today.

More than $13 million dollars in premium overcharges have been sent to nearly a quarter million people in Calif. by State Farm insurance. The state Insurance Commissioner says the company’s finally complying with the office’s order after they lost twice in court. The refunds include interest and come after an order by the Commissioner’s office for the insurance giant to reduce its homeowners’ and renters’ rates by seven percent back in Dec. of 2016 after they were found to be excessively high. But State Farm sued instead and lost. About 250,000 California consumers found to have been overcharged from about last December to the middle of February.

Part of the Masonite property in Ukiah has been sold. According to the Friends of Liberty they sold part of the property to Rhys Vineyards. As we’ve previously reported Ross Liberty, of Friends of Liberty, expanded his Factory Pipe business on the Masonite site. Now the company announces the vineyard bought part of the Mendocino County property which Liberty says will raise the image and awareness of Mendocino County as a premier wine growing region. He says Rhys Vineyards will also provide good living wage jobs with good benefits

An extension’s been announced for the emergency commercial rock crab fishery closure. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife extended the closure which was supposed to expire yesterday. It comes after State health agencies found the rock crabs north of Pigeon Point out to the Oregon border contained unhealthy levels of domoic acid. The Director then closed the fishery for commercial fishing, but kept the recreational fishery open with a warning not to eat them. The agency is monitoring the domoic acid levels in the rock crabs and other species that were not affected by the closure.

The Mendocino County DA’s office announces the search for a man they say had drugs and a weapon. On their Facebook Page, the DA’s office says for this "Warrant Wednesday" they’re looking for Carlos Ogawa for POSSESSION OF CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE WHILE ARMED and POSSESION OF A FIREARM. There’s a picture of Ogawa on the Facebook page with a description of the man as 30 years old, 5′ 6", 180 lbs with Black Hair and Brown eyes. They want him on a no bail hold.

The State Attorney General’s office apparently got another six and a half million dollars from the state to fight the Trump Administration. The Atty. General Xavier Becerra speaking with reporters Monday at a Sacramento Press Club event. He’s also apparently opened an office in Washington, D.C., to closely follow the Trump administration so the state can quickly react to the White House and even use civil rights attorneys for immigration issues, including threats to withhold funding from so-called “sanctuary cities.” The Governor Jerry Brown approving the extra money last week. Becerra’s request for the money said they want to fill 19 more deputy attorney general positions and says they’ve already spent more than 13,000 hours of legal time responding to Trump administration from Jan. 20th to May 8th.

The state legislature looking at ways to get tougher on some forms of edible cannabis. A law that just passed the state Assembly would ban marijuana laced candies which are used for chronic pain treatment. But they are also enticing to kids, so some lawmakers want them off the market. Assemblyman Rudy Salas wants the edibles not to look like candy. He says the candies hidden in pill bottles don’t do enough, adding when Proposition 64 passed it was for adult use so he wants to keep it just for adult use. There’s been more reports by doctors of kids in the ER from marijuana poisoning. The edibles bill is headed to the senate for a vote.

A man in Austin, TX suing a woman he dated for texting while they were at a movie. Brandon Vezmar suing his date in Small Claims court for $17.31, the price of her movie ticket for the 3D viewing of “Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2”. The man says he met the 35 year old woman online and took her to the movie May 6thg. He says it was about 15 mins into the movie when his date started her texting frenzy. He said it’s one of his pet peeves. He also says he asked her to stop or go outside, which she did, then never came back. Apparently she drove, so he was out of a ride home too. He says he texted her to pay him back but she refused.

Two men who appealed convictions that led to life sentences for the death of man during a botched marijuana robbery have had their charges lowered but their basic life sentences upheld. The Mendocino County District Attorney’s Office says Marvin Johnson Jr., and Simon Thornton were convicted in June 2012 of first-degree murder, attempted murder, and several other charges, for the incident at Lake Mendocino’s Bushay campground in 2011. The prosecution said Johnson hatched the robbery plan and recruited others in Willits to join him, but it was Thornton who started the violence by using a baseball ball when the victims fought back. The Court of Appeal in San Francisco ultimately found a glitch in a jury instruction and ordered a reversal of their original first-and-second degree murder convictions and gave the DA the option of either a new trial or a conviction for second-degree murder. The DA agreed to the lesser charge and last Friday both men appeared before their original judge for new a sentence, but still ended up with life terms, with just a few months’ shorter on the minimums.

Another lawsuit has been filed for last December’s fire at the Oakland warehouse known as the Ghost Ship. An attorney representing several of the families of those killed in the fire has filed a master complaint in Alameda County against the building’s owner and manager. Other families have filed individual lawsuits alleging unsafe conditions existed at the building long before the fire that killed 36 people attending a concert within the maze of illegal living spaces. The DA is still investigating whether criminal charges should be filed against the building’s owner and leaseholder, but the lawsuits filed so far allege they negligently ignored safety hazards.

The California Department of Public Health is asking you to eliminate standing water around your property to help reduce mosquito populations in an effort to prevent Zika and West Nile virus infections. The State Public Health Officer says as the rainy season comes to an end and temperatures go up, we will see a jump in mosquito activity and you can help curb that by dumping out any containers that hold standing water. She says mosquitoes can breed in very small amounts of water so frequently clean your birdbaths and pet watering dishes, and dump water from the little dishes under your potted plants.

If you’re interested in going to the inaugural Lakeport Sprint Boat Grand Prix, ticket buying locations have been announced. The event takes place the weekend of June 3rd and 4th. Organizers are encouraging buying tickets online thru the site or to a local ticket outlet. The locations, Twin Pine Casino ‘Off the Vine’ Gift shop, Kelseyville Lumber, Lake County Fairgrounds, Steele Winery Tasting Room, and Chacewater Winery Tasting Room. And in Ukiah at dig! Music. They’re also still looking for vendors and volunteers, you can visit the website for more info on that too.

The Howard Jarvis Taxpayer Association says they’re not appealing a court’s decision that the new Ukiah sales tax for street repairs did not need more votes to pass. The tax payer protection group had argued the sales tax should have been approved by two-thirds of Ukiah residents last November. They sued in court saying instead of the narrow majority win, it should have received 66 percent, but the court did not agree. Jarvis had a chance to appeal the ruling last month after the Mendocino County Superior Court tossed the case. But the association sent out a press release saying they’re not planning an appeal. The money collected so far was put into an escrow account. The tax was expected to bring in as much as $2.5 million dollars a year for road repairs.

A Calif. seafood company is accused of violating the California Coastal Act by not taking some of their equipment out of Humboldt County. Coast Seafoods Company had until last week to take their shellfish farming equipment, like stakes, ropes and even oysters out within 30 days, that was originally ordered in February. The California Coastal Commission sent the company a letter giving them 30 days from April 21st to remove the shellfish culturing equipment and send pictures proving the work had been done. Apparently they did send pictures, but about a week too late and an inspection showed a bunch of equipment still left behind. The company had until April 28th to take out the remaining equipment and if they fail they could be slapped with fees of up to $15,000 a day. The company’s lawyer sites weather related issues with the cleanup. The deadline for cleanup was extended to May 2nd. No word on completion since that date.

Donations have been made to the Lake County Sheriff, District 3 Supervisor and the Undersheriff by the Habematolel Pomo Tribe of Upper Lake. The donations of $25,000 each for the County of Lake and $25,000 for the Lake County Sheriff’s Office. The Tribal Chair presented the money in a meeting with gratitude for a professional and respectful working relationship with the County and the Sheriff’s Office. The Tribal Chair said they wanted to give back to the community and this was their way of doing that. Sheriff Brian Martin and Supervisor Jim Steele thanked the tribe with the Sheriff saying they’ll use the donation for training, equipment, and materials to enhance services for Native American communities.

Cops on the lookout for a couple of men they say purchased hundreds in merchandise at a garden supply store in Middletown with a phony credit card. The Lake County Sheriff’s Office is looking for the duo who bought $1,500 worth of items May 9th at Lovie’s Garden Supply with a fraudulent credit card from an out-of-state resident. The Sheriff’s office says the men might have been in an older, Ford F-150 pickup. They’re asking anyone with info to call the Sheriff’s Office. They say they do have pictures of the two that were captured on video.

A new report shows former Gov. Pat Brown, the father of our current Governor, wasn’t completely honest about how much it would cost to build the Oroville Dam. The Sacramento Bee reports Brown misled voters about the dam’s cost, ignored recommendations to wait to construct it and brushed off allegations about substandard materials being used to build the project. The newspaper reports Brown’s administration got passed labor strikes, dealt with worker deaths and other scandals before the dam was built, but it was built on time. The report after the failure of the tallest dam in the U-S had almost 200,000 people evacuating their homes with one hour’s notice. The paper reports it didn’t find anything to show the way the dam was built would cause future spillway problems, but some experts say the spillway failure in February was partly caused by design and construction problems decades ago.

It’s that time of year again… in the city of Clearlake, officials are sending out their seasonal notification to property owners to get at their overgrown weeds and vegetation to reduce the potential of fire and to tidy things up. Every year from May 15th thru Nov. 1st we have increased fire danger in Northern California because of too many weeds and too much brush. The Clayton Fire last year and the Valley and Jerusalem and Rocky Fires in 2015 brought more awareness to overgrown weeds and vegetation. The City Manager says weeds and vegetation are greater this year due to the very wet winter. It’s a property owner’s responsibility to pull weeds and keep their land from having overgrown vegetation. The city is working with the Lake County Fire Protection District enforcing ordinances to keep blight and fire hazards down, that could mean being cited or charged a fee.

An elderly gramma had her family worried when she mistakenly drove 300 miles to Scotland instead of six miles to the nearby hospital for an appointment. Valerie Johnson was headed to Worcester (Woos-ter) which is only six miles away from where she lives, but she somehow got diverted out of her way then drove for eight hours, ending up in Larkhall, Scotland, when she ran out of gas. Her daughter called cops after mom’s neighbor got worried about her. So she hopped a flight to Scotland to scoop her up. A couple noticed the woman’s car was stuck in the middle of the road outside their house so they called police then cared for her until her daughter arrived.

Ukiah Police investigating a Saturday morning stabbing. The victim told police he was stabbed from behind while walking in the 200 block of Observatory Avenue around 3am and did not see who attacked him. Police say he was stabbed several times and due to the severity of his injuries, was taken to an out-of-area hospital. Officers found the crime scene and gathered some evidence but have not released any information on a suspect or reason for the attack. If you know something you are asked to call Ukiah Police.

A truck stolen from Fort Bragg has been found and the guy who allegedly stole it arrested. The pickup was reported missing last Thursday from a home on N. McPherson Street. Fort Bragg Police say it had been left unlocked with the keys inside and had been taken sometime the night before. After seeing a description of the vehicle, a Mendocino County Sheriff’s Deputy told Fort Bragg Police they had seen it that morning and spoke to the driver, George Mansfield, during a report of illegal camping at Virgin Creek Lane. Fort Bragg Police then issued a warrant for Mansfield and a few hours later another Mendocino County Deputy spotted him on Lyndon Lane. Mansfield was arrested without incident and the stolen truck returned to the owner.

The Lake County Sheriff’s Office is asking for your help in identifying two suspects in a fraud investigation. The say on May 9 two men bought about $1,500 worth of merchandise from Lovie’s Garden Supply in Middletown. The men used a forged credit card with account information belonging to another person who lives out of state. The men may be associated with an older white Ford F-150 pick up truck. You can see a surveillance photo of the two men on the Press Democrat Website. If you have any information you are urged to contact Lake County Sheriff’s Office.

Witnesses call the scene of a violent car accident on Highway 101 Saturday morning in Sonoma County “unbelievable”. The CHP says around 8am a Sonoma County woman was heading south on Highway 101 near Geysers Road when she was hit by a northbound SUV being driven by a Huntington Beach man who had drifted across the road into her lane. The woman’s car is described as sliced down the middle, and the man was thrown from his vehicle but the CHP says she has only minor injuries and he moderate injuries. The crash shut down traffic on Highway 101 throughout Saturday morning. The cause is still under investigation, but the CHP says drugs are believed to be a factor. One 16-year veteran CHP officer says the woman’s car was one of the most severely damaged cars he’d ever seen.