Wednesday, 29 November 2023


Kaden Pearce of Red Bluff, California, has pleaded guilty to poaching a buck deer in August 2020. Photo courtesy of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

NORTHERN CALIFORNIA — A Tehama County man has pleaded guilty to deer poaching charges stemming from an August 2020 poaching investigation.

Kaden Pearce, 23, of Red Bluff, killed a large buck in a local walnut orchard where he did not have legal permission to hunt. He then falsified the location information when he reported the deer harvest on his deer tag as required by hunting regulations.

A local wildlife officer received a tip from an anonymous source about a possible deer poaching incident involving Pearce.

The investigation revealed Pearce had illegally trespassed onto the private property to take the buck on Aug. 16, 2020, and an interview with the manager of that property revealed he had previously warned Pearce not to hunt there.

Upon further investigation, wildlife officers concluded Pearce had falsely reported the harvest location.

On Oct. 27, 2021, Pearce pleaded guilty in Tehama County Superior Court to hunter trespass and falsifying a state document.

As a result of his guilty plea, he was ordered to pay $1,580 in fines and penalties, forfeit the antlers from the buck and complete 40 hours of community service. He was also placed on 12 months’ probation with his hunting privileges suspended for the duration of his probation.

The vast majority of California’s hunters are law abiding citizens who adhere to ethical hunting practices.

If you witness a poaching or polluting incident or any fish and wildlife violation, or have information about such a violation, immediately dial the toll free CalTIP number 1 888 334-CALTIP (888 334-2258), 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Or you may submit anonymous tips to CDFW using tip411, an internet based tool from that enables the public to text message an anonymous tip to wildlife officers and lets the officers respond back creating an anonymous two-way conversation. Anyone with a cell phone may send an anonymous tip to CDFW by texting “CALTIP,” followed by a space and the message, to 847411 (tip411).

NORTH COAST, Calif. — The Mendocino County Board of Supervisors will hold its fifth redistricting hearing on Tuesday, Dec. 7, at 1:30 p.m. following the board’s approval of a final map on Nov. 18.

This action follows the extensive work of the board-appointed, citizen-based Advisory Redistricting Commission, or ARC.

The ARC, with assistance from county staff from the executive office, county counsel and GIS, assisted the board in the redistricting process by facilitating community outreach, identifying communities of interest from public input and drafting maps in accordance with the required criteria outlined in the California FAIR MAPS Act, California Elections Code section 21500.

At the Dec. 7 regular meeting, the Board of Supervisors will consider introduction and adoption of an ordinance to repeal and replace Mendocino County Code section 2.08, and attach the Final Map and description of the boundaries of the five supervisorial districts.

Meetings are live streamed and available for viewing online one the Mendocino County YouTube page, at or by toll-free, telephonic live stream at 888-544-8306.

The public may participate digitally in meetings in lieu of personal attendance. Comment may be made in any of the following ways: via written comment to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., through our online eComment platform at, through voicemail messaging by calling 707-234-6333, or by telephone via telecomment.

Information regarding telecomment participation can be found here.

For more information, contact the County Executive Office at 707-463-4441 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Fall leaf color at the Chico Seed Orchard in Chico, California.

NORTHERN CALIFORNIA — Beginning Monday, Nov. 8, the pedestrian gate at the Chico Seed Orchard will be open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily except on federal holidays.

These hours coordinate with sunrise and sundown after daylight savings ends on Sunday, Nov. 7.

The hours for the drive-through gate remain the same throughout the year, Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Visitors are not allowed on the property after dark.

The Chico Seed Orchard is located on 209 acres at 2741 Cramer Lane in Chico.

There is a one-mile, self-guided and accessible nature trail that meanders through a unique botanical area in Edgar Slough.

Officials would like to remind pet owners that dogs must be on a leash at all times.

The orchard is part of the Mendocino National Forest. Please see Forest Order 08-20-01 and the associated map for public use, parking and closed areas at the Chico Seed Orchard.

GLENN COUNTY, Calif. — Caltrans is alerting motorists that the long-term closures of the north- and southbound Interstate 5 Willows safety roadside rest areas, or SRRA, in Glenn County have been extended to March 31, 2022.

The Willows rest areas have been closed since January for construction and were originally expected to reopen by Dec. 31. However, a time extension is required because of supply chain delays for materials needed to complete improvements to the facilities.

During the closure, northbound I-5 motorists will be directed to use the Red Bluff SRRA in Tehama County, about 42 miles north of Willows; please note the northbound Corning rest area is closed for maintenance work.

Southbound motorists will be directed to the Maxwell SRRA in Colusa County, about 34 miles south of the Willows SRRA.

Caltrans is investing more than $6.9 million to update the wastewater, water, and lighting systems at the Willows rest areas. TSI Engineering Inc. of North Highlands, Sacramento County, is the contractor for the project.

Weather or unexpected events may delay or prolong the work. Caltrans advises motorists to “Be Work Zone Alert.”

The department will issue construction updates on Twitter @CaltransDist3 and on Facebook at CaltransDistrict3.

For real-time traffic, click on Caltrans’ QuickMap or download the QuickMap app from the App Store or Google Play.

NORTH COAST, Calif. — The California Highway Patrol’s Northern Division, having jurisdiction over the major transportation corridor of United States 101 throughout Northern California, will be executing a Major Corridor Enhanced Primary Collision Factor Enforcement Campaign on Thursday, Dec. 2.

This effort aims to reduce the number of injury and fatal traffic crashes on US-101 throughout Northern Division.

In 2019 and 2020, a total of 1521 crashes occurred on US-101 in Mendocino and Humboldt counties, causing 535 injuries and killing a total of 32 people. 

The primary causes for these crashes were determined to be speed, reckless driving, unsafe lane change, unsafe turning movement, following too close, distracted driving, and driving under the influence, with increased injuries and deaths from occupant restraint violations.

The mission of the California Highway Patrol is to provide the highest level of safety, service, and security.

This includes the prevention of loss of life, injuries, and property damage resulting from traffic crashes through enforcement, education, engineering, and partnerships.

The CHP is promoting awareness and safe driving along this major corridor route. During the enhanced enforcement campaign, the CHP Northern Division will target US-101 in Mendocino and Humboldt counties with increased traffic safety operations to educate and, if necessary, take appropriate enforcement action on drivers who violate traffic laws along this major corridor route.

“The US-101 corridor within Northern Division is winding and mountainous, with many areas of undivided highway, increasing the frequency of traffic crashes,” said Northern Division Chief Greg Baarts. “Increased visibility, aggressive enforcement, and public education within the Areas along this corridor will contribute to improved safety for motorists traveling on US-101.”

The CHP reminds motorists to follow these basic traffic safety rules: always wear a seat belt, drive at a speed safe for conditions, eliminate distractions while driving, and always designate a sober driver.

Mendocino County Superintendent of Schools Michelle Hutchins. Courtesy photo.

NORTH COAST, Calif. — On Friday, Oct. 8, the Mendocino County Office of Education and Mendocino County Public Health Department hosted a meeting of local K-12 educators where Public Health Officer Dr. Andy Coren complimented educators, saying that schools have effectively “stopped COVID at the door.”

As education and public health leaders reviewed COVID transmission data, they noted that of the 33 COVID cases identified in schools, all were attributable to community spread — not transmission at school.

“This is important because people need to know schools are safe for students and staff,” said Mendocino County Superintendent of Schools Michelle Hutchins.

She explained that since the beginning of the current school year, the goal of the California Department of Education, or CDE, has been to assure that students have access to safe, full in-person instruction.

During the 2020-21 school year, state education and health officials mandated at least six feet of distancing between students, requiring schools to implement a hybrid model where only half of students were allowed on campus at any given time.

When COVID transmission rates did not increase, the minimum distance between students was reduced to four feet. Again, thanks to risk-mitigation strategies such as vaccines, screening, quarantines, masks and hand-washing, transmission rates did not increase.

This school year, there is no minimum physical distancing requirement, and again, transmission rates have not increased. Therefore, on Nov. 1, Gov. Gavin Newsom has agreed to revisit the mask requirement in schools.

Hutchins said, “No one expects the governor to remove the mask mandate immediately, but he is looking at the data and assessing the options. Even after events such as Homecoming at some of our biggest schools, we haven’t seen an uptick in cases. We appear to be transitioning from a world in the midst of a pandemic to a world where COVID-19 is endemic. As more and more people are vaccinated, the hope is that we will be able to return to life without masks, as long as we keep washing our hands and staying home when we’re sick.”

Hutchins hopes people will recognize how safe schools are and consider applying for the many positions currently available. As of Oct. 11, there were almost 200 education-related vacancies in Mendocino County.

“If you’re looking for work, whether you have a high school diploma, a college degree, or a teaching credential, there are jobs available. Go to for details,” she said.

Upcoming Calendar

12.02.2023 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
12.02.2023 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Festival of Trees
12.03.2023 10:00 am - 3:00 pm
Lower Lake Hometown HoliDaze Street Fair
12.09.2023 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
12.09.2023 4:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Christmas in Middletown
12.16.2023 9:00 am - 10:00 am
Kelseyville Wreaths Across America ceremony
12.16.2023 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
Christmas Eve

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