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An explosion earlier this week in Willits has led to the discovery of a drug lab. Deputies came out Tuesday afternoon to help Little Lake Firefighters after the reported explosion at the metal-sided building on Cropley Lane. There was no actual fire but there was a large hole in the roof caused by something flying out of whatever caused the blast. No one was inside the building deputies say contained a highly sophisticated marijuana extraction lab. Also on the property were several greenhouses with hundreds of growing marijuana plants. Investigators say the property has a permit from the Mendocino County Agriculture Department but the marijuana extraction lab brought out the Major Crimes Task Force. So far no one has been arrested.

Local investigators are looking for potential victims of a former Lake County man convicted of identity theft in Placer and Sacramento counties. George Tanner McQueen II, who was at one time the Dean of Yuba Community College and worked for the Lake County Office of Education, was convicted of elder abuse in 2005. But this summer he was convicted of felony identity theft in cases involving the use of his own son and daughter’s personal information. He will spend several months in jail and then five years on probation. Lake County News reports his tax preparation and accounting business McQueen and Associates has local clients so the Lake County Sheriff’s Office and Lake County District Attorney’s Office have opened an investigation.

Nearly 200 personnel are working on wildland fire operations at the Mendocino National Forest on the Upper Lake Ranger District and in the Yolla Bolly Middle Eel Wilderness. The Forest Service says the Slides fire four miles west of Lake Pillsbury is about 50 acres and 40 percent contained. The Skeleton fire four miles east of Lake Pillsbury is about 200 acres and 50 percent contained. Visitors are asked to use the Elk Mountain road to Upper Lake to access the Lake Pillsbury recreation area because there is a lot of emergency vehicle traffic on County Road 301. The two fires in the Yolla Bolly Middle Eel Wilderness are together less than two acres.


Protestors out to protect DACA in Lakeport. Folks with signs that said “Honk if you support DACA” held up by about 60 people Tuesday. They’re speaking out after President Trump announced he would rescind the program put into place by President Obama a couple of years ago to protect the children of illegal immigrants who came to the U-S with their parents. There are about 800-thousand so-called Dreamers in the U-S, about a quarter of them in Calif. So that got folks in Lakeport and some from Mendocino County protesting in front of the Historic Courthouse Museum.

The lawyer for the former Ghost Ship leader and his former assistant says the two men should not be charged with involuntary manslaughter for last December’s deadly fire that killed 36 people. Derick Almena and Max Harris are charged for 36 counts of involuntary manslaughter but their lawyer Tony Serra told the judge this week, the charges were, quote “fatally ambiguous,” because they don’t specify what prosecutors are basing their case on. The judge overruled the challenge, calling it demur. The two men are in court in Lake County since the case drew so much publicity in Oakland, where it happened. Plus Almena and his family moved to Lake County after it happened. Both men are being held on $750,000. A lawyer representing the families of the victims says the cause of the fire was electrical, and a party the night of the accident strained the electricity, causing the fire.

Seems like forward progress has been slowed on the two fires near Lake Pillsbury. Fire crews are working to contain the two wildfires in the Mendocino National Forest, the biggest, the Skeleton Fire and the Slides Fire, both in the Upper Lake Ranger District. As we reported yesterday, there are also a few smaller fires in the Yolla Bolly Middle Eel Wilderness. But crews on the Slides Fire, which broke out after a dry lightning storm four miles west of Lake Pillsbury have it 40 percent contained now at 50 acres burned. Firefighters trying to prevent it from spreading to private property. And the Skeleton Fire has charred 200 acres and is 50 percent contained. That one is four miles east of Lake Pillsbury.

A recruitment firm is being hired by the City of Fort Bragg to find a new city manager. The City Council announced they’re hiring a head-hunter to find them someone to oversee the daily administration and management of the city government. The manager is also tasked with making sure the policy direction by the council is implemented. The contract to hire the recruiting firm is several thousand dollars, possibly as much as $30,000, which will come from the General Fund and the Water and Wastewater Enterprises. The Mayor along with Council Member Dave Turner are getting together with an ad hoc committee to hammer out the details of a deal with the recruitment firm.

The State Assembly has passed several affordable housing bills that were first negotiated with Gov. Jerry Brown. Senate Bill 2, to create a fund that would continually funnel money into affordable housing thru a real estate fee, was the toughest to get thru, with a couple of holdout democrats who finally voted yes on it. The bill to collect $200-$300 million a year in real-estate document fees. The estimate is that the fees would eventually add up to more than $5 billion dollars after those same fees are matched by federal, local and private funds. The California Association of Realtors supports the bill. The group of bills that passed the Assembly last night have cities having to approve more housing developments because of the housing shortage in the state.

The public health officer in Lake County confirms a bat has tested positive for rabies. Lake Co News reports whoever came into contact with it has to be treated. The bat was found in Kelseyville Tuesday and apparently it was a high school student who was in contact with it. The news site reports this is the
second case reported in as many weeks. There was another bat in Lucerne that also tested positive for rabies, and there were several people in contact with that one, which was dying. So they all had to have rabies treatment too.

A man from Massachusetts found guilty for dealing a massive amount of marijuana into the state from Mendocino County had his sentenced reduced. The U.S. Attorney’s Office reports David Simmons of Fairhaven being found guilty for a count of conspiracy to distribute marijuana a couple years ago. He received 51 months in prison and three years of supervised release. But now it’s under 3 years instead, at 33 months in prison and another three years of supervised release. The sentence for working with an eight person drug dealing ring from 2010 to 2014 where “high-grade” marijuana was shipped from Mendocino County to Fall River, Mass., for sale by a network of distributors.

A public meeting of the Lakeport Planning Commission has been called regarding new potential amendments to the Zoning Ordinance to allow commercial cannabis uses in the city. The meeting at 5 Tuesday afternoon in council chambers at City Hall. The commission looking to come up with procedures to allow commercial cannabis in the city to go along with state regulations after marijuana was legalized last November. There will be a short discussion on the matter and consideration for permit standards for commercial cannabis, including its cultivation, manufacturing, testing, retail delivery, etc. They’re encouraging public participation.

A green light for recreation on the Russian River after tests no longer showed harmful blue-green algae in the water. Signs taken down yesterday after only highly diluted concentrations of the algae-produced toxin were detected. Tests over summer months were sometimes positive for the neurotoxin, Anatoxin-a. And visual monitoring and inspections at beaches didn’t show obvious signs of the algae. Water regulators along the North Coast say there’s noticeably less . So the county’s allowing swimming at the 10 most popular public beaches.

A motorcyclist has major injuries after an accident with a pickup truck at the intersection of Highway 101 and North State Street in Ukiah. The CHP reported a man in a pickup was trying to turn left as he exited the highway onto North State Street and didn’t see the motorcycle rider going in the opposite direction. So the pickup rolled on top of the Ukiah man on the 1970 Moto Guzzi.

Another bat has tested positive for rabies in Lake County – the second one in two weeks – and a kid who touched it is being treated. Dr. Karen Tait says the bat was found in Kelseyville Tuesday and the Kelseyville Schools Superintendent tells Lake County News a High School freshman is the one being treated. Earlier this month a bat found in Lucerne tested positive for rabies and several people who touched it had to be treated. Tait says this is the bats’ annual fall migration so there are more around. She says people should not touch them or try and help them if they look sick. And she says to make sure you vaccinate your dogs and cats.

Firefighters are holding steady on some lightning-started fires in the Upper Lake Ranger District. Fire crews out on the two biggest fires, the Skeleton Fire and the Slides Fire, on either side of Lake Pillsbury. The Slides Fire, about four miles to the west of Lake Pillsbury, has burned 50 acres and is around 20 percent contained. It’s near private property, but no evacuations have been reported. The Skeleton Fire, across from the Snow Mountain Wilderness, has burned 200 acres and is 40 percent contained. There are no buildings or private property close by.

No-go yet on getting broadband internet to some folks who live near Woodland State Park. At the Broadband Alliance of Mendocino County’s Public Outreach Meeting held last week, members said the park needs connectivity to run their sewer project, and the Alliance thought it was an opportunity to get service to an adjacent community along Road 408. But the project is being managed out of the State Parks Northern Service Center in Sacramento, and the manager says that although he always requests service for the surrounding community in these types of projects, especially as park employees live there, it unfortunately never happens. He says State Parks does not have the funding for the necessary trenching needed on 2 miles of Woodlands property. It was suggested the Alliance connect with Congressman Jared Huffman’s Office to see if a different state contractor could possibly be used.

The lightning started fires in the Upper Lake Ranger District are still burning and several other small fires have also ignited. Fire crews out on the two biggest fires, the Skeleton Fire and the Slides Fire, on either side of Lake Pillsbury. The Slides Fire, about four miles to the west of Lake Pillsbury, has burned 40 acres and is 20 percent contained. They are fighting near private property, but no evacuations have been reported. There’s dozers, engines, a water tender and a large air tanker dumping retardant on the fire, which is reported in steep terrain. The other fire near the lake, to the east, the Skeleton Fire, across from the Snow Mountain Wilderness has charred 200 acres and is 40 percent contained. There are no buildings or private property close by for concern. There are more lightning caused fires too, in the Yolla Bolly Middle Eel Wilderness, only one has firefighters on it.

The body of a man’s been found in Covelo. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office reports getting a call yesterday mid-morning about the body so Cal Fire and Covelo Volunteer Fire responded. The Sheriff’s Dept. was also on scene and says the man looked to be Hispanic, between 25 and 35 years old and that he had been murdered. They say it looks like where the body was dumped was not the scene of the homicide though. The Sheriff’s Office asking anyone who may know anything or who could have seen a car on Highway 162/Covelo Road, south of Covelo to the Dos Rios area, or maybe parked in dirt nearby, to call the Sheriff’s office.

A young man in Ukiah has been arrested for a domestic violence incident on South St. Street. The Sheriff’s Office reports getting a call from a woman who says her boyfriend, Martin Ceja Valencia assaulted her. Police say they also found out the woman was two months pregnant and was shoved to the ground. Ceja Valencia is also accused of kicking the woman in the back multiple times, once she landed on the floor. Deputies say she had injuries consistent with the reported assault. The man’s arrested for felony domestic violence and he’s booked into the Mendocino County Jail, held on $25,000.00 bail.

The Willits City Council did not take much action on the Medical Cannabis Ordinance, just some minor tweaks in language. They have added there can be no visible evidence in a public right of way or on private property for cultivators, those who process medical pot, distribute, test, research and more. There will be no outdoor grows allowed either. And there must be security surveillance at businesses. The council also added language to the ordinance about marijuana still being illegal by the federal government, specifically stating the city is not encouraging or promoting the business of selling weed especially in any way that it may be illegal according to federal law, noting specifically that it’s still illegal and subject to criminal prosecution.

Lower permit fees approved by the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors for cottage cannabis growers. IT comes after complaints about the cost at a public hearing. 2nd District Supervisor John McCowen clarifying for those at the meeting Tuesday, that there has to be a permit in place for anyone growing cannabis in the county except anyone who’s exempt for personal use or as a caregiver. He added that there was confusion, so he was trying to clarify the county’s position. The undersheriff also agreed with McCowen’s points, saying they’re only interested in people who are violating environmental laws. After some discussion, the board decided to charge 40 percent for a cottage permit application which is nearly $500 now and another 40 percent for the yearly permit and inspection fee, which is currently $270. There will also be a 50 percent reduction of the property profile fee for cottage growers, now $277.

A logger had an accident near Fort Bragg, falling from a cable to his death. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office reports Jose Antonio Arenas Flores of Fort Bragg was near Camp 19 east of Fort Bragg when a cable being used by a crew there stopped suddenly and Flores lost his grip on it. He fell into logging debris below in the Jackson Demonstration State Forest in hilly terrain. The crew was hitched to the cable, which is generally used to haul logs. So when two logs fell, the cable operator stopped and lowered it to grab them and the cable jerked.

A die in staged in front of Assemblyman Jim Wood’s office in Ukiah. The Daily Journal reports it was a mock showing of several dead people who support a state bill to create single-payer health care system in California. They had a message with the bodies on the ground, “Dying without SB 562.” The message hand scrolled on gravestone shaped signs. The bill being considered in the Assembly, stalled after it passed the Senate. The Healthy California Act hasn’t had much action since and some blame Wood for it stalling. Wood put out a statement a day before though, hearing about the planned protest, saying he will always advocate for the right for advocates to have their voice heard. He also says solutions for universal health care are in the works.

Mendocino County has several departments still fine tuning the new rules to govern both medical and recreational cannabis. Last week the Planning Commission worked on the issue for zoning. The Board of Supervisors tasked the commission with figuring out where businesses could be located. The commission saying businesses needed to have commercial zoning or the General Plan would have to be amended and all new environmental reviews ordered. There were questions presented by business representatives at the meeting and some wondered when specifically the county would start issuing licenses in December.

A State Senator from Siskiyou County has asked the Governor to declare a state of emergency because of all of the illegal marijuana grows in his district. Republican Senator Ted Gaines of Granite Bay says there’s a major problem that’s growing, especially over the last two years. He did a flyover in a helicopter last month saying, the view just south of the Oregon border was filled with weed. The senator says he saw more than 100 illegal marijuana grows from the air, with about 100 plants in each grow. The Sheriff in Siskiyou County agreed saying there are dozens of illegal grows with growers stealing water from farmers. He says they also use illegal pesticides on their plants. The senator wants Governor Brown to send the National Guard and Fish and Wildlife – to help the sheriff’s department because of the massive water pollution. Plus he also wants the grows gone.

Grape Growers have had quite a schizophrenic season, now thunderstorms have growers trying to protect grapes against mold. It’s been an extremely hot summer, with some grapes shriveling up and needing extra watering, as we reported earlier this week. Now a thunderstorm rolls thru northern Calif. bringing a drop of rain so growers had to run to protect against mildew and fruit rot. The Press Democrat reports some growers worrying about chardonnay, which happens to be coming to age right now in Sonoma County. It’s the largest varietal in the county, with about one-third of the overall wine grape crop. The yield for this year is expected to be smaller than an average year because of the heat over Labor Day. The 10-year average for Sonoma, Napa, Lake and Mendocino is just over 460,000 tons. And last year it was a lot higher, at nearly 504,000 tons.

The former Stanford University student accused of raping a passed out student near a fraternity party is now the face of rape in a text book on criminal justice. Brock Turner, the college swimmer who only went to jail for three months for the 2015 rape has his mug shot in an edition of "Introduction to Criminal Justice" next to the definition of rape. One student posted it on her Facebook page. After he was let out of jail, Turner moved home to Ohio, and had to register as a sex offender.

A Burger King in New Jersey has a new distinction, parking lot babies. Two tiny whoppers… er, baby boys born only a couple days apart in the parking lot of the fast food joint in Denville, New Jersey. Apparently each of the parents of the newborn babies were on their way to a hospital when they had to make the emergency stop at the restaurant’s parking lot. The first couple got stuck in a traffic backup, and the expectant mom was having contractions and called 911. Police and fire crews scooped them up after the baby was born in their car. Then the next day, another mom was having serious contractions so they pulled over and called 911. Same thing, police and firefighters got to the parking lot, then whisked mom and baby to the hospital.

PM News Update

A man in Laytonville’s been arrested after cops find a possible domestic violence incident from Tribal Police. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office says they got a call from Laytonville Cahto Tribal Police for deputies to investigate. They say Brandon Mitchell was arrested after a fight with an adult female who he had been dating, but was arguing with. Police say Mitchell pushed the woman to the ground, hurting her face, where they saw visible injuries. Mitchell’s charged with Felony Domestic Violence Battery and was held in the Mendocino County Jail on $25,000.00 bail

A man from New Jersey accused of an attempted murder a couple years ago in Covelo has been found guilty. The jury said 28 year old Adam Michael Kendall of Harrison, New Jersey was guilty for the attempted murder using a hammer on a marijuana business associate. The DA’s office reports the jury came back with a true finding that Kendall inflicted great bodily injury on the victim. He’s due back in court next Thursday to set a date to be sentenced. The jury’s finding gets sent next to the probation dept. for a sentencing recommendation. He’s now held on no bail.

The final draft of the medical cannabis ordinance in Willits is being considered. The Willits City Council is introducing the final draft of the medical cannabis ordinance at its regular meeting tonight for the regulation of medical marijuana so it’s in line with state law. The proposal includes the Medical Cannabis Land Use Ordinance where it’s outlined who can get permits and how commercial businesses can operate, whether they’re growers, dispensaries, labs and researchers. It will also include requirements for personal cultivation for both medical and nonmedical cannabis.

Lake County is reportedly looking for innovative ways to do business along with improving operations. Lake Co News reports the latest budget approved with some comments at the board of supervisors meeting including the county facing major fiscal challenges. The County Administrative Officer made some statements to the board about coming up with new ways to do business and the board unanimously approved the recommended budget presented to them which is just over $230 million dollars. Of that, about 78-million covers salaries and benefits, 74 mil to services and supplies, 34 million for misc. expenses, and more. The budget is almost $11 million more than the final recommended budget for the last fiscal year.

A woman from Clearlake Oaks has been arrested on drug charges after a traffic stop. Cops say 31 year old Tiffany Violet Marie Larue was busted last Friday during a stop where the deputy found meth on her. She’s charged with possession of a controlled substance for sale, transportation of a controlled substance, being under the influence of a controlled substance and possession of controlled substance paraphernalia. The routine stop on Hwy 20 and Highway 53 in Clearlake Oaks. The arresting officer says the woman seemed high on drugs so she was searched. There were drugs and a meth pipe inside. She’s was released on $35,000 bail.

A couple of new fires in the Upper Lake Ranger District after dry lightning strikes. The Mendocino National Forest reports the fires started last night, one called the Skeleton fire, on the Upper Lake Ranger District, about six miles east of Lake Pillsbury in the Snow Mountain Wilderness, is about 20 acres. Then another, the Slides 2 fire, also on the Upper Lake district, about four miles west of Lake Pillsbury. The forest service says there could be other fires too after the thunderstorms passed over the forest yesterday with light winds.

A man in Clearlake has been arrested for animal abuse after police find he left his dog to die on the side of a highway. Cops say James Miranda is charged with felony animal abuse and a misdemeanor for being under the influence of a controlled substance. They say they got a tip about the dead dog on the shoulder of Highway 53 and that it looked as though the dog may have been abused. It was somehow attached to a hand cart or dolly. A Clearlake Animal Control Officer went to the scene too. Apparently whoever reported the dog on the highway said it also had an elastic band wrapped around its jaw consistent with a muzzle. The dog was taken to a vet where it was pronounced dead. Another animal control officer apparently recognized the dog and knew its owner, so Miranda was brought in and admitted it was his dog and had been hit by a car.

The state’s considering ways to pay teachers out on maternity leave. Democratic Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher of San Diego has a bill to provide up to six fully paid weeks off for teachers out on maternity leave. The bill was approved in both houses of the state legislature. A group of school districts, charter schools and community colleges are against the idea, saying the money to pay for it would have to be taken from other programs and student services from their finite budgets. The bill has been sent to Governor Brown who has until next month to sign it. There’s also another maternity bill headed to the state Senate to offer job protection for new mom’s who work for small businesses.

Berkeley police say they need more tools to fight against violent protests so they want it to be okay to use pepper spray for crowd control if it turns violent. Pepper spray has been banned in the city since 1997, as a crowd-control weapon, but officers are allowed to carry small cans on individual suspects. Now the police chief Andrew Greenwood says pepper spray is less onerous than tear gas and they should be allowed to use it. It comes after four political demonstrations that got violent in Berkeley since February.

The Gov. Jerry Brown along with top lawmakers say they’re going to put aside several million dollars to help dreamers. The announcement yesterday that $30 million will be used to help young immigrants who need help with legal services and college financial aid. This after the President announced he would end the DACA program, Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals. The money to be divided with twenty million for legal services and the other $10 million to financial aid for participants in the program, $7 million of it for community college students, $2 million for California State University students and $1 million for University of California students.

Media has to remind folks about fake news as Hurricane Irma has some on twitter saying there are sharks cruising around Florida, kind of like Sharknado. A hoax shared on social media saying when Irma was a category 4 storm sharks were somehow ‘airlifted’ out of the waters off Florida and were swirling about. Many apparently believed it and tweeted about their worry about the state being overrun with sharks. Others, as we reported, thought they could shoot the hurricane to make it turn around.

PM News

A reminder of the potential after the Valley Fire. A Ponderosa Pine that survived other historic fires and was just burnt by the Valley Fire has been given its own Memorial Tower. The massive more than 100-foot-tall tree near Bogg Mountain got a six-foot-tall ring of steel and cedar which gets lit each night so a halo can be seen from up to three miles away. A local man from Lake County, Henry Blohm, had the memorial installed on his property which he says shows “sacrifice and sticking with it and not giving up”. There’s also a rope ladder there which gives access to letters, pictures or other mementos for those who lost so much in the fire. It was one of the worst fires in Calif. history, killing 4 and burning more than 76,000 acres, destroying more than 1200 homes and caused as much as $1.2 billion in damage.

A man from Wales is believed to be the first ever to swim across the Hoover Dam. But he was fined for it and super drunk too. 28 year old Arron Hughes says he was up partying for nearly 1.5 days in Nevada and jumped into the dam, deciding to swim across. He also says he had so much fun in Vegas with his friends, they made the "Hangover look tame”, referring to the raucous comedy starring Bradley Cooper. He says it took him about a half hour to cross, but he felt “knackered” half way across. He’s been fined $330 for “jumping, diving, swimming from dam spillways or other structures”.

A presentation is being considered by the Lakeport Economic Development Advisory Committee for a so-called Dark Sky designation for Lake County. The committee advocates for local businesses and works between the city and community members as a liaison. The Friends of Taylor Observatory’s project to get the designation as a International Dark Sky Community from the International Dark-Sky Association. Lake Co News reports it would mean a town, city, municipality or other legally organized community is focused on the preservation of the night sky by using and enforcing a quality outdoor lighting ordinance, dark sky education and citizen support of dark skies. The committee is also considering implementing the Lakeport Economic Development Strategic Plan.

Several dozen environmentally conscious community members met up in Todd Grove Park to spruce things up. They are part of the new Friends of Todd Grove Park. Apparently they have adopted the park after the Community Services Administrator in Ukiah made the suggestion. It’s not new, the “adopt a park” program helps improve parks. Low Gap and Observatory have a similar program going on, where concerned citizens help the city take care of the park, like weeding or putting down mulch to keep weeds at bay. At Todd Grove Park over the weekend, they had a mulching party. The whole thing put together by the Day of Caring, part of a nationwide effort for people to give back to their communities.

The State Attorney General Xavier Becerra has signed on to a lawsuit against the federal government regarding DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Initiative. Becerra working with the attorneys general for Minnesota, Maryland and Maine. The lawsuit filed yesterday in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. They say the Trump Administration violated the Constitution and federal laws by rescinding DACA. The suit says the initiative has allowed more than 800,000 Dreamers, to be successful and productive Americans. Becerra says in California, we don’t just support and value Dreamers, “we fight for them”. The Attorneys General say there are several violations by the federal government of the Constitution and federal laws to make sure the federal government treats everyone fairly and transparently. About 25% of the nations Dreamers live in Calif.

A bicyclist is recovering after crashing into a car at the corner of Low Gap Road and Brush Street. The Ukiah Valley Fire Authority went to the scene by the Quest Mart at 915 N. State Street yesterday around mid-morning finding a woman with “minor to moderate injuries”. She was taken to a local hospital and police came to the scene too. They say the car involved in the bike crash was a delivery truck stopped at a red light. The driver says when the coast was clear he went to turn right and was hit by the bicyclist who was going south in the northbound traffic lane. The bike rider had a laceration on one of her legs.

A young northern elephant seal ends up in a parking lot and is rescued and quickly taken to a marine mammal center. The seal named “Chumley” was seen Sunday headed for Lakeville Highway. Police and animal control officers from Petaluma found Chumley who got back into the water so they left. But apparently they got a call later that was in the same area in a parking lot for the Sheraton Hotel near the Petaluma Marina. They say he was headed the wrong direction on the boat ramp and must have gotten turned around. They say it didn’t seem sick or injured but morning traffic was picking up so they had her moved to the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito. A vet says she was 8 months old and doing fine. If her bloodwork comes back okay, she’ll be released back out into the water by Point Reyes.

A new report shows the amount of juveniles using marijuana has gone way down. The rate of 12- to 17-year-olds using weed is at its lowest level in more than twenty years. This according to the latest National Survey on Drug Use and Health. It says last year 6.5% of those surveyed used pot, which is a huge drop off since 2014, which coincidentally was when the country’s first recreational marijuana shops opened in Washington state and Colorado. The survey shows the last time use was this low was back in 1994. But the study does show adult use is going up. Last year, just under 21 percent of Americans 18 to 25 used marijuana at least monthly, that was the highest rate since 1985. And for adults 26 to 34, 14.5 percent were using pot each month, which is the highest usage since 1985.

2 people have been arrested after weekend attempted robberies in Napa County. The Sonoma Police Department reports Catrina Hockney of Napa and Miguel Maravilla of Vallejo busted Saturday for a robbery at a Wells Fargo in Sonoma. Cops say they had persons of interest and a flier went up with the two suspects listed on it for multiple attempted robberies in Napa. There was a description of their vehicle on the flier, a 2007 tan Chevy pickup which was seen later that day by the Wells Fargo. Cops stopped the pickup and arrested the two. They say they found a bunch of cash. Hockney was seen on video surveillance in the bank. The pair were booked on $500,000 bail in the Sonoma County Jail for robbery and conspiracy.

The Governor is supporting a senate bill to make Calif. a sanctuary state. So undocumented immigrants may be able to breathe a sigh of relief in Calif. The State Senate President pro Tem Kevin de Leon authored the bill and worked on it with the governor. De Leon says it’ll protect community members, working families, immigrants, mothers being separated from their children and children being separated from their mothers. When the governor signs it in to law it will prohibit state and local police from asking folks their immigration status or enforcing federal immigration laws. There are crimes 800 though, where law enforcement would be encouraged to turn over undocumented criminals to immigration officials, including serious felonies, like battery, assault and sexual crimes.

Another step closer for a new state law to make Calif. prescription drug laws different than the rest of the country. As the State Assembly passes Bill 17 by Sen. Ed Hernandez of West Covina and Assemblyman David Chiu of San Francisco. It looks to make drug prices for public and private health plans more transparent. So health insurance companies could try to get prices lower thru negotiating or get cheaper alternatives for patients. No surprise, the pharmaceutical industry is strongly against the bill and has lobbyists working against it. They also ran full-page ads before the Legislature’s final votes on the measure. One lobbyist tells the Press Democrat the bill won’t help Californians get access to needed medicine or lower prices. If it passes, pharmaceutical companies would have to inform health insurers and government health plans about prescription drug price hikes 60 days before it’s supposed to happen, if they’re going to go up more than 16 percent over a two-year period. Plus they have to have a reason for the price hike.

PM News Update

Too hot outside for grape vines over the Labor Day holiday. Triple Digit temperatures and record breaking heat has caused some damage to some wine grapes, leaving them looking more like raisins. The San Francisco Chronicle reports some winemakers reported dehydrated wine grapes. In Napa some say they’ve never seen excessive heat this time of the growing season. Some extra watering saved some of the grapes, but some over-ripe grapes may have to be pushed for use with less expensive wines.

The Lake County Board of Supervisors will take up their final budget for this fiscal year this week. The regular board meeting at 9 tomorrow morning where the board will first have a public hearing on the final recommended budget for fiscal year 2017-18. There’s $7 million more in the budget this fiscal year at about $219 and a half million dollars. There’s also a closed session on the agenda tomorrow for some employee evaluations.

A man in Ukiah’s been arrested, police say he’s charged with the sexual abuse of an 11 year old. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Dept reports getting a call from the County Department of Child Protective Services that the 11 year-old told them about the abuse, so they investigated further, finding probable cause against David Richard. Police say the man sexual abused the female juvenile continually for several months when she was 7 to 8 years-old. They got an arrest warrant and brought him in to the Mendocino Jail and booked him on $300,000.00 bail. Police say they’re still investigating and anyone with info is urged to call the Sheriff’s Dept.

It’s been ten years since the Gardens Project started to help neighborhoods grow and manage community gardens. So there’s a celebration set for this Friday at Vinewood Park in Ukiah, where one of the community gardens is located. The party starts at 3 with family activities and a taco bar at 6, plus there will be live music all night. North Coast Opportunities Gardens Project Director tells the Daily Journal, the celebration is for everyone who’s been part of the Project the last ten years. The project has helped local community groups start and manage their own garden plots with donated seeds and compost. They continue with support for the garden too. Tickets are available at the Mendocino Book Company, Westside Renaissance Market, and the Ukiah Natural Foods Co-Op, or online at

It’s going to be a bit before Highway 1 at Mud Creek reopens… it’s also going to cost as much as $40 million to fix the mud slide on the Big Sur coast. Caltrans says the work is dependent of course on the winter weather. They say it’s one of the largest slides in the state’s history. The agency says they’re working to safely rebuild in the, quote “complex and unpredictable area”. The agency announced the plan for a rebuild in August with a new roadway, multiple embankments, berms, rocks, netting, culverts and other stabilizing materials. The slide is about 9 miles north of the San Luis Obispo/Monterey county line, where a quarter-mile of Highway 1 got buried and around 75 acres of land fell. The road should reopen to traffic by late summer 2018.

A draft Marijuana Ordinance is being looked over in Lakeport so the Planning Commission and City Council can go over it before the January 1st deadline for local municipalities. The Lakeport City Manager says there won’t be many changes to the current ordinance that covers cultivation since it follows most of the state regulations already, but there’s one revision to come, for indoor grow limits, which will cap cultivation at six plants. The city manager says they have to make the change so Lakeport follows the state’s regulations. The city staff’s apparently been looking into what nearby cities are doing as well.

A greenlight for a joining of the fire district with the city. The City Council and the Ukiah Valley Fire District board of directors say yes to an agreement which they say is the start of a new level of cooperation for the two agencies. The Daily Journal reports the new name as the Ukiah Valley Fire Authority. The Authority gets its first agreement with the city, even though the District had been working in the city for the last four years. There was another agreement in place, but it was just short term. The new official agreement sets out the framework but allows for future expansion.

A mail carrier is ok after his Postal Service truck got rear-ended at the intersection of South Orchard Avenue and East Gobbi Street. According to the Ukiah Valley Fire Authority the driver of the mail truck turned right, headed toward the post office last Thursday when he was rear-ended by an Infiniti sedan. The mail truck flipped, landing on its side, but the driver said no to medical assistance. Ukiah police say the Infiniti driver was trying to get past the mail truck and was waiting for a turn, but apparently clipped the back of the truck, then hit an SUV. She was then arrested for suspicion of driving without a license and violating her probation. She was cited and released.

Hundreds turn out for the memorial of a Lake County Sheriff’s deputy who died in the line of duty last month. 50 year old Deputy Rob Rumfelt was also in the military service. Lake Co News reports he was remembered Saturday as a fearless Marine, a dedicated member of law enforcement, a devoted family man and a constant friend. The deputy died Aug. 22nd after a solo car crash as he left the scene of a domestic violence call in Lakeport. Other officers say it was a medical emergency – maybe a heart attack – before the crash that killed Rumfelt. His death was the first for the Lake County Sheriff’s Dept. in more than 30 years. Police officers, sheriff’s deputies, CHP officers, State Parks and Fish and Wildlife officers from around the state, and firefighters from local agencies and Cal Fire were at the memorial.

Lakeport school officials warning to be alert after a mountain lion sighting. The Lakeport Unified School District asking parents to be on the lookout to protect children on their way to school. Last Thursday the Superintendent had the campus on lockdown before kindergarten was supposed to be dismissed because a woman on her way to the school to pick up her kid said she saw a mountain lion headed toward campus on Lakeshore Boulevard near Lange Street across from Lakeport Elementary School. The police dept. reports the parent told school staff right away and the within 60 seconds the school was on lockdown and Lakeport Police units quickly responded.

A celebration in Clearlake as Adventist Health Clear Lake and Project Restoration has their grand opening of Restoration House. The five bedroom house is located in Lower Lake for vulnerable members of the community to live in as a transition before being on their own. The home funded with a $300,000 grant from Adventist Health, Adventist Health Clear Lake’s parent company. The house will be open to people who’ve enrolled in the Project Restoration collaboration. The Restoration House saying their goal is to better serve so-called “super-utilizers”. Apparently the mayor of Clearlake was the first to have the idea for Project Restoration because of ongoing homelessness in the city.

Lake county’s still reaching out to survivors of the Valley Fire about the removal of debris from their properties. Back in July, the county sent packets out to folks who received debris removal services from government contractors, they had attached invoices that needed to be sent to insurance companies for possible reimbursement. Then last month letters went out to others with statements needing signatures under penalty of perjury saying they had no insurance at the time of the Valley Fire. They’re sending second notices this week to those who didn’t respond.

A sheriff in Florida telling people not to shoot at the monster Hurricane Irma, telling them that wouldn’t turn her around. The Pasco County Sheriff’s Office told folks shooting weapons at the then category 4 storm would have dangerous side effects… There was even a Facebook event set up called, Shoot at Hurricane Irma, with more than 50,000 people marking that they were interested. Another 25,000 said they were participating Saturday night. The event set up by 22-year-old Ryon Edwards who said, let’s show Irma that we shoot first. But then the Sheriff’s office tweeted that night, "To clarify, DO NOT shoot weapons @ #Irma. You won’t make it turn around & it will have very dangerous side effects."