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Firefighters who worked in Sonoma County last month are having health screenings to see if they were exposed to toxins. The Press Dem. reports about 175 Bay Area firefighters will give blood and urine samples for a research project by the San Francisco Firefighters Cancer Prevention Foundation. The organization has put up $100,000 to pay for the screenings. They will take the samplings and compare them to those of 25 firefighters who did not work on the fires. Researchers are checking for heavy metals, such as arsenic and chromium, organic pollutants, like dioxins, and other toxic byproducts of burns. Previous studies show firefighters could absorb carcinogens or other toxins into their skin and thru their clothes or thru hand-to-mouth ingestion, all that besides breathing smoke.

Part of Northern Calif. is under a flood advisory, including southern Lake County because of the heavy rain. The National Weather Service put the advisory out until 2:45 p.m. today. There was also heavy rain expected along I-80 and also north of the highway. Lake Co News reports it from about Solano County and southern Lake County into the foothills and higher elevations of the Sierra Nevada. Rain could come back into the evening, but should clear after that thru the weekend. Next week holds the possibility for more rain.

Mendocino County will be able to send fire debris to the Eastlake Landfill in Lake County. Lake County had said no, then revisited the issue and reversed the decision. The county had been concerned the landfill would fill up. The Public Services Director says the Landfill is at about 87 percent capacity as of 2017 which would include Sulphur Fire estimates, but not Redwood Valley Fire debris. They apparently used Valley Fire debris as a comparison to get the estimates. It means there’s still about 13 years left for use, unless there are other disasters, then it’s at about 9.5 years. The contract for Mendocino County would allow for 400 properties worth of debris.

A bill’s been introduced by Congressman Mike Thompson for temporary tax relief to victims of the California fires. Thompson says it would help survivors of the October fires claim tax deductions for destroyed property, allow penalty-free access to retirement funds, and give tax credits to disaster-affected employers for wages paid to employees from disaster areas. It also encourages charitable contributions by temporarily suspending limitations on deducting charitable contributions associated with qualified fire relief. Thompson represents the 5th Congressional District, which includes all or part of Contra Costa, Lake, Napa, Solano and Sonoma counties.

The CHP has started a new campaign to help older drivers. The Age Well, Drive Smart program to help older drivers stay safe on the road. It’s in the form of a driving class so that Senior drivers refresh driving skills. So they’re inviting older drivers to go to the Age Well, Drive Smart class for free to drive safer and drive longer. It lasts about two hours and is offered at local CHP offices and some senior centers. The program is made possible from a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. For more info, call any local CHP office.

Ukiah may soon have some more housing. The Daily Journal reports a project to bring more than 30 “moderate-income housing” units. The Planning Commission will consider the project next month. The newspaper reports it would be two separate buildings on two parcels owned by the city which had been purchased by the former redevelopment agency on about 1.7 acres. The city’s already apparently entered into an agreement with a development company out of Chico. The city will reportedly use the money made off the new development and put up affordable housing later. The Planning Commission will consider the project at a special meeting set for December 5th.

California Assemblyman Jim Wood at the latest Board of Supervisors meeting to update the board on accomplishments in Mendocino County and the California 2nd Assembly District. The Daily Journal reports on the meeting with Wood saying lawmakers were ready to take on transportation, housing and environmental protection, but couldn’t predict the devastation of the October fires and trauma to local families. He thanked emergency crews and first responders who helped with the fires. He also spoke about Climate Change and programs the Legislature worked on to lower greenhouse gases and fund environmental and public health programs. He talked about rogue marijuana gardens and their cleanup and the upcoming legal sale of cannabis. Wood also talked about what a challenge broadband has been in the area, affecting businesses, hospitals, schools and libraries.

Ukiah’s received grant money so the Rail Trail north to Brush Street can be expanded and to pay for the new pedestrian bridge over Orr Creek. The nearly two million dollar Urban Greening Grant from the state will pay for the third phase of the trail. Right now it goes from Gobbi St. to Clara Ave. The plan is apparently to extend the trail about a third of a mile out to Brush, with the main expense the bridge. There will be a new pedestrian bridge near the existing railway bridge. North Coast Opportunities apparently helped secure the funding.

Driving while bagpiping. That’s the what police in New Zealand say it looked like in the city of Dunedin. An officer performing a routine check says he saw one driver with his hands off the steering wheel and on something else. He says the driver’s hands were going a million miles an hour on some sort of black-type instrument, perhaps a clarinet. But says when he got closer the man said he was just playing an air guitar version of the pipes and there was actually no musical instrument in the man’s car. The driver got off with a warning during an hour-long check of several drivers. Eight others got tickets for various offences.

Sergeant Johnson advised the public to resist mobile phones or any other distractions while driving, and to "keep both hands on the wheel at all times".


A Flood Watch continues through Thursday morning especially for the burn areas of Redwood Valley and Potter Valley, which means the possibility of flooding as well as landslides. The sheriff’s office says the rainfall amounts forecast for Mendocino County until Thursday morning include the possibility of Fort Bragg getting nearly an inch; Willits, Ukiah and Gualala getting an inch-and-a-half; and Laytonville getting more than two inches.

A Mendocino county man wanted on several charges including kidnapping has been captured. The Sheriff’s Office says Farand Hoaglin was also wanted for carjacking, robbery and multiple violations related to being a habitual offender. His bail was said to be $850,000.

Tehama County officials say the man who went on a shooting rampage in Rancho Tehama Tuesday morning had killed his wife the night before. Police say Kevin Neal shot and killed his wife Monday and hid her body under the floor of his home. Neal had been out of bail on an assault with a deadly weapon charge from last January and police say they had a long history of calls to his home including for shots fired. On Tuesday Neal killed two neighbors and then killed two other people and injured ten more at several different locations including an elementary school where the Sheriff says the lockdown procedure likely saved many lives.

A new set up for horse owners impacted by the October fires. The Daily Journal reports locals Mary Snyder and her partner Don Burgess are donating two warehouses in Redwood Valley to use for supplies to help horse owners take care of their animals. The warehouses have feed and all the equipment needed for horseback riding. They are staffing with volunteers. They say they’re not looking for donations, but those who want to help can offer cash or gift cards for fire victims. Those needing help are asked to contact the nonprofit SAFER, Sonoma Action for Equine Rescue directly at or visit their Facebook page.

More proposed changes for marijuana growing in Ukiah means no growing outdoors. The city council says it’s so the city can still get certain state grants. The Planning Commission was apparently against the idea. But the Daily Journal reports the Mayor Jim Brown working with Council Member Maureen Mulheren as the City Council marijuana ad-hoc committee and says they had a compromise idea to allow six plants in a greenhouse instead of 12. But the Planning Manager says the city council is now back to no outdoor growing and they’ll also decide if the number of plants allowed for personal use should be six instead of 12, the same number allowed by state law. The council’s next meeting is tonight at 6 p.m.

An urgency ordinance has been approved by the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors for fire debris removal off private property. The ordinance also covers nuisance abatement. The Daily Journal reports the County Planning and Building Services Director saying the ordinance would outline the exact steps needed regarding private cleanup including needed self-certification. This relates to those who opted out of the right-of-entry forms needed for government or public cleanup. The deadline for the forms to be turned in regarding private cleanup is tomorrow to the Environmental Health Department. Private cleanup has to be done by February 1st. The ordinance has been approved unanimously.

A Tool Drive’s kicked off in Willits for victims of the October fires. The Willits Farmer’s Market along with the School of Adaptive Agriculture started the Tool Drive for Mendocino Lake Complex fire victims. A Facebook post by the School says many of those who lost their homes, lost everything, including garden and household tools. Some victims need the tools for their work, but for everyone, they’re an essential part of restarting their lives. 300 homes were destroyed in the fire and 9 people were killed. The School of Adaptive Agriculture has programs and offers support to those interested in food production. One of the school’s founders and the Willits Market Manager, Michael Foley apparently came up with the Tool Drive idea.

Clearlake is going thru Sulphur fire cleanup and recovery. Lake Co News reports barges had to be inspected for Quagga mussels before they could go into the lake. They also brought along a couple of K9 inspectors… SOT

Seal Marine Salvage of Discovery Bay and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife working with Lake County officials and contractors at Redbud Park to inspect barges yesterday. Seal Marine Salvage will work for about 10-days along nearly one mile of shoreline that was burned in the fire last month.

Just a couple days after the announcement of a judge not running for re-election in Lake County Superior Court, a well-known local lawyer throws his hat into the race. Lake Co News reports J. David Markham is running for Lake County Superior Court judge in Department 4, the seat held by Judge Stephen Hedstrom who says he’s not going for a fourth term. His term ends in just over a year from now, January of 2019. The news site reports Markham saying he will protect crime victims and make sure convicts get just punishment. He’s currently a partner at Lake Indigent Defense LLP, who have a defense contract with Lake County.

Cal Fire’s Sonoma-Lake-Napa Unit is moving out of peak fire season. The unit will still be staffed in case of a fire. According to Lake Co News, the unit will still be monitoring weather conditions closely and can still beef up staffing if warranted. Cal Fire still works in the off season, focusing on fire prevention and fuel treatment as part of the state’s ongoing Strategic Fire Plan. The news site reports this past fire season was an active one with Cal Fire and other agencies working more than 6,000 wildfires in the State Responsibility Area that burned nearly 505,000 acres.

A special meeting’s been called by the Clearlake City Council on Sulphur fire-related items. The meeting tomorrow afternoon at 5-30 with some business before the regular meeting where the main item is the Sulphur fire debris cleanup deadlines. A cleanup application deadline of Dec. 15th and the final debris cleanup deadline of Jan. 15th for property owners will be discussed for those not working with the US Army Corps of Engineers. They will also have to extend the local emergency first issued October 9th, the day after the fires started.

Santa Rosa dealing with not only the cost of fighting the massive fires last month, but also dealing with a mental health issue. The city saying they’ve already spent about $5 million fighting the Tubbs and Nuns fires. 23 people also died in the fires and more than 5,100 homes were destroyed. The money spent already was from the city’s “unassigned” money from the current budget which is more than the 17 percent reserve level. And Sonoma County Supervisors have a discussion about the impact the fires had on those who lost their homes. The Press Democrat reports the board is urging staff for strong public messaging about mental health resources available to victims. They’ve also asked for a detailed presentation from a medical professional next month. This comes after the body of a local dentist was just found last Saturday in the ashes. He had apparently shot himself to death. The county’s mental health director also told the supervisors they’ve had about two times the amount of phone calls from residents than usual.

In the latest mass shooting in the country, it’s Northern California were four people were killed. Police say 10 other people were also wounded in seven locations around Rancho Tehama yesterday. The Tehama County Sheriff’s Office says a neighborhood dispute ignited the mass shooting which started about 8am. They reported several 911 calls about gunfire from different locations, including at an elementary school. The Sheriff’s office reports at least one student was shot and another was wounded in a car on the way to school in the random rampage. No one died at the school even though officials say the shooter, Kevin Neal, targeted from the outside and fired inside with multiple rounds. He was killed in a shootout with police. Cops reported they knew the guy from prior complaints from neighbors about another shooting and a stabbing, both of which he was being prosecuted for.

A flood watch has been issued by the National Weather Service for burn areas of Redwood Valley and Potter Valley. The weather warning for today and into tomorrow morning. Forecasters warn there could be heavy rain which may cause flooding and landslides in and below the burn scar.

The US Army Corps of Engineers has started fire debris removal in Mendocino County. The County reminding though that the deadline has passed for Right of Entry Forms to allow the Corps to clear your property, and if you’re having a private contractor do it, you must submit a Private Cleanup Form to the County no later than tomorrow. Those in the Corps program should get a call from them about 24- 48 hours before they come to your property. The name of the contractor is Environmental Chemical Cleanup or ECC and the contractors and all Corps employees will have ID clothing with logos. Once the property’s cleared, owners will be notified they need a summary report with pre and post photos and lab results. The Corps says they should be done by early 2018.

Four people have been killed after police say a man randomly opened fire in seven locations around Rancho Tehama this morning. The Tehama County Sheriffs Office says around 8am they got several 911 calls about gunfire from different locations, including an elementary school. One student was shot and flown to a hospital, and another was wounded in a car on the way to school. No one died at the school even though officials say he targeted it from the outside and also fired inside with multiple rounds. The gunman was killed in a shootout with police. Authorities say they know him from prior contacts. While the motive for today’s attack is not known, neighbors had reported a domestic violence incident Monday.

The National Weather Service has issued a Flood Watch for the burned areas of Redwood Valley and Potter Valley for Wednesday morning through Thursday morning. They say potentially heavy rainfall could cause flooding as well as landslides in and below the burn scar.

The Lake County Sheriff’s Office is warning about a possible disaster assistance scam involving a fraudulent letter claiming to be from the U.S. Small Business Administration. If you get a letter about SBA disaster loan help and you didn’t even apply with FEMA or the SBA, the Sheriff asks you report that to both the SBA Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 and the National Center for Disaster Fraud at (866) 720-5721.

The US Army Corps of Engineers has started doing fire debris removal in Mendocino County. The County reminds you the deadline has passed to do a Right of Entry Form to have the Corps clear your property, and if you’re having a private contractor do it, you must submit a Private Cleanup Form to the County no later than Thursday, November 16th. Those in the Corps program should get a call from them about 24- 48 hours before they come to your property. The name of the contractor is Environmental Chemical Cleanup or ECC and the contractors and all Corps employees will have ID and be wearing visibility clothing with logos. Once a property’s been cleared, owners will be notified and get a summary report of the work done, with pre and post photos and lab results. The Corps anticipates getting this all done by early 2018.

A teacher in Willits says he’s running to be the next 3rd District Supervisor in Mendocino County. John Haschak announced his run saying there’s a need for strong leadership, especially after the fires last month. He says public safety and disaster preparedness are his priority. He’s been a teacher in Willits public schools for nearly 3 decades. Haschak also says he’d like to focus on more job opportunities, protecting the environment and common sense regulations on marijuana. The Daily Journal reports Haschak has some endorsements from locals already.

A judge on the Lake County Superior Court says he’s not running for re-election again. Judge Stephen Hedstrom made the announcement yesterday regarding a possible fourth term run next year. He says he’ll finish his current term which ends in January of 2019. Lake Co News says Hedstrom is not retiring per se’, but that he’s practiced law more than 4 decades and by the time his term is up, he’ll be 70. One term is six years. He told the news site he’s ready for more freedom and it seemed like the right thing to do at this time. He says he made the announcement early enough for other potential candidates to have time to run.

A homeless man in Clearlake is going to trial after leaving his dog to die on the side of Highway 53. James Harley Thomas Miranda is charged with felony animal cruelty and a misdemeanor for being under the influence of a controlled substance. Back in Sept. Miranda’s dog Cocoa was found by someone tied up on the side of the highway dead. A picture of the dog was posted on Facebook and went viral and Miranda was arrested the next day. Miranda in court yesterday saying his dog had been hit by a car, something a necropsy showed may have indeed been the cause of death. Miranda told the court he loved the dog and was sad it had been hit. He said he had no money to take it to the vet so he left the dog and went to his parents house to get a truck to go back to the dog. Miranda was ordered to stand trial on the case and comes back to court after the Thanksgiving holiday.

The U-S flag in Austin Park in Clearlake has been taken down. Several people came out for the flag’s removal including children from the Konocti Unified School District, members of the Park Study Club, city of Clearlake staff, the Lake County Fire Protection District, and the American Legion. It’s an annual lowering of the flag which the city manager says is a tribute to veterans and the flag.

The burn ban in Lake County has been lifted after another firey season. The Lake County Air Quality Management District lifted the ban as of this morning. But there are still permits required for any outdoor burning in the Lake County Air Basin. To get a burn permit you can call your local fire agency or the Lake County Air Quality Management District. The permit required for any burns bigger than 20 acres, multi-day burns, standing vegetation burns, whole tree or vine removals of more than an acre, and other burns which could bring major smoke to the area.

For those looking to serve up some crab this holiday season, you’re in luck. An early start off the Sonoma Coast compared to years past where the season was shortened or entirely canceled. So fresh Dungeness crab could be in local markets by the end of the week, just in time for Thanksgiving. It’s the first official day of commercial crabbing season off Bodega Harbor tomorrow, but the crab pots have mostly been prepared to be put out this morning, the first pots can be pulled just after midnight tonight, technically, first thing tomorrow morning. Last year was a good one for crabbers after 2015 was closed because of algae-related domoic acid tainted crustaceans.

Bids have been accepted in Lake County for Holiday Harbor and the Lucerne Visitor Information Center. The Record Bee reports the properties are now in escrow after only one bid for the visitor center came in at just over $260,000 and the highest of three bids was accepted for Holiday Harbor, at about $760,000. Both of the winning bids by the same person. 4 percent of the purchase price on both properties needs to be put into the escrow account. The two properties had been on the market before, but were not successful. The county apparently hoping the properties are fixed up so they can bring money in thru tax revenue.

A fence in front of the lake in Library Park in Clearlake is not going anywhere… right now. The Record Bee reports the Lakeport Public Works Director saying the fence is up because of work being done thru other governmental entities, and FEMA money needed. The work being done after last winter’s heavy rains and flooding. Apparently most of the work’s been done, but there are other projects they still need to address which went over the local budget, so they’re waiting on FEMA funding. The work includes on the sidewalk next to the lake. Some people who were living on the lake couldn’t live there due to damaged sewer lines and infrastructure which is all repaired now. But some folks still are not allowed back to their homes. The residents in the area of Willow Point have not been able to live in their homes since last February when the evacuations were ordered.

A jury in Alabama awards an Army veteran who broke his hip picking out a watermelon at Walmart $7.5 million. Retired Sgt. Henry Walker at a Walmart in Phinix City and when he went to reach for a watermelon, his foot apparently got stuck in the side of a wooden pallet. He then fell and shattered his hip. His lawyer says it permanently changed his life and that he has to use a walker to get around now. So he sued the big box store saying they had not kept its premises reasonably safe. Footage of other customers also getting their feet stuck in the same pallet were shown to the jury.

A more-than-130-year-old Mendocino County church has been destroyed by fire. The New Life Community Church, originally called Covelo Presbyterian Church when founded in 1884, burned down around 1am Saturday morning. The Press Democrat reports the back doors were open when tribal police responded after getting calls about smoke coming from the church. Cal Fire and Covelo volunteer firefighters responded but couldn’t save the building. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the cause. A church elder says transients were known to camp out by the door and that the fire was being considered suspicious.

The Mendocino County Fire Recovery Team will hold a community meeting Wednesday evening to support survivors of the Redwood Complex Fire. The community meeting will have a briefing for residents with updates on the Debris Cleanup and Removal Program, FEMA’s short-term housing programs, and long-term recovery projects. Following the updates, there will be an opportunity to ask questions. It’s Wednesday, November 15, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
at theEagle Peak Middle School Cafeteria in Redwood Valley. If you can’t make it there, the briefing will be streamed live on the Mendocino County Facebook page and YouTube Channel. And you can submit questions in advance to the Mendocino County Executive Office at

A reported domestic violence call has led to the arrest of a parolee with a stolen van. Ukiah Police responded Saturday night to an area on East Clay Street for a call about a man and woman arguing. When officers saw the man, Kenneth Dewitt, they recognized him as being out on parole. As one officer spoke to him about the argument with the woman, who turned out to be an ex-girlfriend, another officer noticed Dewitt’s van had its ignition taken apart so it could be started without a key. A records check revealed the van had been reported stolen out of Crescent City October 29. Dewitt was arrested for possession of a stolen vehicle and for violation of his parole. At last check he was being held on no bond.

The deadline is looming for the victims of the Tubbs fire in Sonoma County who want to use government resources for debris cleanup. The Press Democrat reports the deadline for the Army Corps of Engineers to do the cleanup is today. As of last Friday evening, nearly 3,100 property owners turned in their “right of entry” forms, but that’s about 67 percent of the homes destroyed in the Tubbs and the Nuns and Pocket fires in Sonoma County last month. More than 1,900 applications have been approved so far.

The Federal government is reportedly looking for a new warning system in Northern Calif. after the deadly October wildfires. The Press Democrat reports it was known the technology that can be used to broadcast official emergency warnings from cell towers was outdated. The newspaper reports messages were too short when they came and didn’t have web links associated to them. The paper further reports the FCC was checking into updating warning capabilities but ran into some red tape which led Sonoma County officials to forego the Wireless Emergency Alert messages that come over like text messages. So now a newer system will apparently be implemented. The FCC ordering all cellphone companies to allow for embedded links and longer government emergency text messages.

An outside company is taking over the investigations and complaints at the state capitol of possible sexual harassment or misconduct. This after Democratic State Senator Tony Mendoza was accused of improper conduct, inviting a young woman in a fellowship program to his house repeatedly. She never went. Now the leader of the Senate, President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon, is being called out on the formal complaint against Mendoza, something de Leon says he knew nothing about. The Press Democrat also reports de Leon rents a room in Mendoza’s home in Sacramento. And De Leon is running for the U.S. Senate seat long held by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who the newspaper reports is one of California’s most prominent women in politics and a powerful U.S. senator.

A man from Los Angeles has been arrested in connection to a stabbing early Saturday morning in Willits. Willits Police say they got a call just after midnight Friday night to the Safeway gas station for a woman in distress. They say when they got there they found the victim with multiple stab wounds. They identified Jose Grant of being involved and worked with the Sheriff’s Office to find him. Grant’s arrested and booked into County Jail for attempted murder.

Hospice Services of Lake County is having a series of free workshops on how to cope after the death of a loved one during the holiday season. They have a Bereavement Counselor from Hospice Services giving three talks on the grieving process and offering tips for coping with feelings of loss during the holidays. The discussion in Lakeport, this Wednesday at 2 PM at Hospice Services of Lake County bereavement center on Parallel Drive. Then on Friday in Clearlake at 1 PM at the Senior Support Center and finally in Middletown, next Tuesday at 1 PM at the Middletown Senior Center.

For more information and to RSVP, call (707) 263-6270 Ext.123 or send an email to kbradley. Also, visit the agency’s website,

Two teenagers who disappeared from Middletown have been found safe. The Lake County Sheriff’s Office reports 18 year old Jacob Young and 15 year old Olivia Baker were last seen on Halloween in Middletown. The two were found last Sunday, about 5 days later. Lake Co News reports the Lake County Sheriff’s office thanking the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office to help locate the teens safely.

The Mendocino County Farm Bureau is having a meetup to help the victims of the October fires. The Post-Fire Agricultural and Rural Property Resource Meeting is set for Wednesday morning at 9 at the Ukiah Valley Conference Center. It’s open to the public and free to join in. The executive director of the Farm Bureau says they’ll delve into post-fire erosion control practices, techniques and materials for rural residential, agricultural and rangeland properties, tree removal, maintenance and re-planting options, damage assessment and they’ll have a presentation on after-fire technical and financial assistance help. They will have time after the meeting for folks to visit with individual agencies and organizations.

Attendees are asked to RSVP to the Farm Bureau at (707) 462-6664 or respond to the calendar event link at

Wet weather forecast all week. Lake Co News reports the National Weather Service warning a Pacific storm has moved over the Coastal Range and will bring wet weather into tomorrow with another stronger system later this week. There was rain in some areas last night with an 80% chance in Lake County and 60% in Mendo County today. Things should dry up tomorrow then pick back up either Wednesday or Thursday, clear Friday and wet over the weekend.

The Lake County Board of Supervisors has been going back and forth on whether or not to accept out-of-county wildland fire debris and will reconsider the matter. The board will talk about taking out of county fire debris at the Eastlake Landfill at their meeting tomorrow and discuss Sulphur fire recovery. Lake Co News reports on the agenda for tomorrow’s meeting after last month’s meeting where the board decided not to accept fire debris at the landfill because of limited space. But the news site reports Supervisor Rob Brown asked for the matter to be brought back for reconsideration. The board will also look to continue the local health emergency declared by the Lake County Health Officer due to the Sulphur fire.

Ukiah Waste Solutions is considering getting rid of all of their bins except the largest size for residents. Notices apparently sent to all of the company’s curbside collection customers, that they’re dumping their 10 and 20-gallon cans and instead will only offer the 32 gallon can regardless of the amount of trash produced by customers. The change set for after the new year. That means the rate will go up for customers who’ve been using the smaller cans to as much as about $13 more dollars a month. The Daily Journal reports even if you don’t want garbage pickup, you’d be charged $10 a month, which is almost two times the amount before. The city council will consider the changes at their meeting next month.

Pacific Gas and Electric is claiming a private power line may have started the Tubbs fire in Santa Rosa last month. The cause of the Tubbs fire, which killed 21 people and destroyed more than 4,400 homes, remains under state investigation, but at least 10 lawsuits with more than 100 plaintiffs had been filed against PG&E claiming their poorly maintained power lines were responsible for the Tubbs and other fires started in the high winds on October 8. The Press Democrat cites court documents filed this week by PG&E say their investigations suggest the Tubbs fire may have been caused by electrical equipment that was “owned, installed and maintained by a third party”. PG&E did not name the third party, but referenced an area where investigators have been focused and have taken away some privately owned equipment.

The California Department of Tax and Fee Administration has issued a reminder today that anyone planning to sell cannabis or cannabis products beginning January 1, must register with them for a seller’s permit. Cultivators, processors, manufacturers, retailers, and distributors who make sales are all required to obtain and maintain a seller’s permit as a prerequisite for applying for a license with the Bureau of Cannabis Control, the Department of Food and Agriculture, or the Department of Public Health. If you already have a seller’s permit including one previously issued by the Board of Equalization you do not need to register for a new one.

The annual retiring of the flag at Clearlake’s Austin Park will be held Monday morning. The flag, donated by the Park Study Club, is flown above Austin Park each year between Memorial Day and Labor Day but Clearlake City Manager Greg Folsom tells Lake County News this year they were asked to keep it up until Veteran’s Day in honor of the local veterans and their service to our country. So this Monday, the city of Clearlake, along with children from Konocti Unified School District, the Park Study Club, the Lake County Fire Protection District, and the American Legion, will hold the annual flag lowering and retirement ceremony at Austin Park at 11 a.m.

PG&E says it was a private power line that may have started the Tubbs fire in Santa Rosa. The Press Democrat reports the utility saying a preliminary investigation shows the fire may have been caused by electrical equipment owned, installed and maintained by a third party. The third party not named in P,G&E’s court filing. The Tubbs fire is responsible for the death of 21 people. It’s now being called the deadliest fire in state history. More than 4,400 homes in Sonoma County were destroyed. The fire’s cause is still being investigated by the state and more than 100 people are suing P,G&E saying the utility’s poorly maintained power lines were to blame. The utility doesn’t say who the private party is in their filing, just that it was in Napa County near Bennett Lane and Highway 128 north of Calistoga.

The Mendocino County Sheriff is giving an update on the Redwood Valley fire blamed for the death of 9 people. A month after the fire started, the Sheriff Tom Allman gave an update to the community and on some proactive work so residents can be warned ahead of fires in the future. The Sheriff says they’ve documented the response to the fire during the first 12 hours and when they got their first emergency call. The Daily Journal reports the first 12 hours are when most of the people who died in the fire were lost and most of the property burned. It was also the same time other fires started in Sonoma, Napa and Lake counties. The Sheriff says he thinks it would be helpful in the future to have air-raid sirens, using certain herbicides and federally managed emergency cellphone alerts.

The Lake County Board of Supervisors has agreed to call the county an arts destination to bring in more tourism and revenue. The Lake County Arts Council apparently came up with the idea and the board endorsed it. It means there will be more art studios, installations and the county will look for more art-related festivals to be put on. The Arts Council will put together a team who will be in charge of the new campaign which may include working with schools and finding funding sources and working with the community.

Work in the Kelseyville Unified School District funded by a local bond has begun. The school district’s Board of Trustees approving all of the projects to be paid for under the bond. The first part was done in March, a new security fence in front of the Kelseyville Elementary School. A bunch of other projects started over the summer including replacing several portable classrooms and preparing for rebuilds of some, which they say should be done by next spring. There’s also a new Wood/Metal/Auto shop going in next summer or spring. The money also paid for air conditioning in the high school gym locker rooms and main court area.

New housing a topic of discussion by city leaders in Fort Bragg. The Fort Bragg Community Development Committee meeting in early fall on a report of several vacant properties that may be eventually turned into housing. The city council will consider some ideas at their meeting Monday. The Vice Mayor had asked staff for a list of vacant homes and businesses. The council also considering a mandatory registry once a property is empty to keep track of them. A full report and recommendations from the Community Development Committee will be available at Monday’s meeting.

A teenager in Fort Bragg’s been arrested in connection to a car theft. Police say they got tracking information from the 17 year old’s GPS-anklet because he’s on probation. Police say they tracked the kid Sunday afternoon after the stolen vehicle was reported. When they went to the person who called in the stolen car, they found a witness, but a friend of the victim found the car soon after. Police figured out who their suspect was after the witness report and GPS tracker and on Monday they arrested the teen at home. The teen charged with suspicion of vehicle theft and violation of juvenile probation and booked at Mendocino County Juvenile Hall.

More than 17.5 million dollars has been donated for the fire victims in Mendocino, Lake, Sonoma and Napa counties. The fund established by state Sen. Mike McGuire, The Press Democrat, and Redwood Credit Union has had 25,000 donations. All of the administrative costs associated with the North Bay Fire Relief Fund are being covered by the credit union so 100% of the donations go to the victims. The Fund helping students without a home in each of the counties with a $500 gift card to replace clothes and supplies. More than one hundred 20 gift cards were delivered to the Mendocino County Office of Education and more than 15 to Lake County. There will also be $1,000 checks to anyone who lost their home. Anyone looking for assistance should apply through North Coast Opportunities in Mendocino and Lake Counties. You can also contribute thru the credit union and online at:

The owner of a proposed marijuana dispensary in Ukiah has backed out. The City Planner says the applicant withdrew because of public opposition to the project. The Ukiah Planning Commission was about to have their second hearing on the application for the Dogwood Dispensary at the corner of Low Gap Road and North State Street, when the application was taken back. No vote had been taken on the application yet after several community members complained about the project as it was near schools. The commission got a loud applause at the public hearing this week after announcing the application was withdrawn.

The Mendocino Broadband Alliance is reminding you that if you haven’t done so already, to please take their survey about telecommunications outages during the fires last month. They’ve gotten about 1100 responses, but only 363 from Mendocino County and they need more to get good data on what areas lost coverage. And they also want to hear from you even if you didn’t lose any services. They would especially like to get responses from folks in Boonville, Caspar, Westport, Talmage, Yorkville, Leggett, Piercy, Branscomb, Elk, Dos Rios, Gualala, Hopland, and Little River. You can find it at or on our website.

Sheriff Tom Allman says emergency managers have identified several actions they could take to improve the county’s ability to warn residents about fast-moving fires. The Sheriff gave a press conference this morning in which he recapped the initial responses, in minute-by-minute detail, during the first 12 hours of the fires that started at 11:34pm on October 8 in Potter Valley. Allman did not want discuss whether or not different choices should have been made as the flames quickly spread, killing nine people in the first few hours as first responders raced to evacuate homes. Allman said among the improvements he’d like to see are: reestablishing the community air raid sirens; increasing the fire- defensible space around cell towers and communications equipment with gravel buffers or even just herbicides; and refining the Wireless Emergency Alert system which is currently pushed over cell phones for broad use like Amber Alerts but Allman thinks could be made more focused for local use.

The Mendocino Broadband Alliance is reminding you that if you haven’t done so already, to please take their survey about telecommunications outages during the fires last month. They’ve gotten about 1100 responses, but only 363 from Mendocino County and they need more to get good data on what areas lost coverage. And they also want to hear from you even if you didn’t lose any services. They would especially like to get responses from folks in Boonville, Caspar, Westport, Talmage, Yorkville, Leggett, Piercy, Branscomb, Elk, Dos Rios, Gualala, Hopland, and Little River. You can find it at or on our website.

The Mendocino County Department of Agriculture is hosting a training to introduce cannabis cultivators to basic pesticide use regulations, and the requirements for using pesticides in a commercial setting. It’s Wednesday, November 15, from 10:30am to Noon at Harwood Hall which is at 44400 Willis Ave in Laytonville. They ask that you register in advance by calling the Mendocino County Department of Agriculture office at (707) 234-6830.