Wednesday, 29 November 2023


On Monday, Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-05) announced that his nominee, Aldea Children and Family Services, has been chosen as the 2021 “Angel in Adoption” for California’s Fifth Congressional District.

This award is granted to people and organizations across the country who make lasting differences in promoting adoption, permanency, and child welfare.

“Aldea Children and Family Services is a critical lifeline for children who have faced trauma at home. Over the years, the staff there have helped nearly 4,000 people improve their lives and heal past trauma and we are so proud of their work. That’s why I am thrilled that Aldea has been chosen as this year’s Angel in Adoption for our district and proud to honor its work today.”

Based in Napa and Solano County, Aldea Children and Family Services is a Key Foster Family Agency that helps more than 3,900 people each year.

Aldea helps government agencies support children who are removed from their homes by finding them treatment, foster care and adoption services, and support and mental health treatment.

These services allow children to heal from past trauma and allow families to build healthy relationships.

The Angels in Adoption Program is run by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute and honors people and organizations that promote strong adoption, permanency, and child welfare programs across the county.

Each year they recognize individuals who are dedicated to these issues and make a deep national impact.

You can click here to learn more.

Thompson represents California’s Fifth Congressional District, which includes all or part of Contra Costa, Lake, Napa, Solano and Sonoma counties.

Working to bolster the state's response to the Caldor Fire, Governor Gavin Newsom today requested a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration to assist wildfire response and recovery efforts in El Dorado County.

The request follows the Presidential Emergency Declaration California secured last week to support the Caldor fire response, and a previous Presidential Major Disaster Declaration to support counties impacted by the Dixie and River fires.

“We’re working around the clock in close coordination with our federal partners to ensure South Lake Tahoe communities impacted by the Caldor Fire have the resources and supports they need during this difficult time,” said Gov. Newsom.

The Caldor fire, which has burned 218,459 acres to date, is now the 15th largest and the 17th most destructive wildfire in state history.

If approved, a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration will help people in the impacted county through eligibility for programs and support that can include housing assistance, food aid, counseling, medical services and legal services.

The request includes public assistance to help state, tribal and local governments with ongoing emergency response and recovery costs. The request also includes hazard mitigation, which helps state and local governments reduce the risks and impacts of future disasters.

California has secured Fire Management Assistance Grants, or FMAGs, from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to support the state’s response to the Dixie fire in Lassen, Butte and Plumas counties and the response to the French fire, Caldor fire, Monument fire, River fire and Lava fire.

Gov. Newsom has proclaimed a state of emergency in counties impacted by the Cache fire, Caldor fire, McFarland and Monument fires, Antelope and River fires, Dixie, Fly and Tamarack fires and the Lava fire and Beckwourth Complex fire.

The governor has also signed executive orders to support impacted communities and bolster wildfire response and recovery efforts. Cal Fire and the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services personnel are responding in concert with other federal, state and local agencies to address emergency management and mutual aid needs for the fires.

John Louis Cea, 24, of Long Island, New York, was sentenced to state prison on Thursday, September 9, 2021, for grand theft and robbery cases committed in Mendocino County, California. Photo courtesy of the Mendocino County District Attorney’s Office.

NORTH COAST, Calif. — A New York man twice prosecuted and convicted of victimizing North Coast residents was sentenced Thursday to state prison.

John Louis Cea, 24, of Long Island earlier was convicted by plea on July 1 of felony grand theft of an amount of money over $950, as well as convicted of a separate crime of robbery in the second degree, also a felony, the Mendocino County District Attorney’s Office reported.

Mendocino County Superior Court Judge Keith Faulder on Thursday sentenced Cea to 68 months in state prison, the maximum sentence allowed under California law for the two convictions when sentenced together.

Robbery is defined under California law as a violent felony so any work or other credits the defendant may earn toward early prison release will be limited to no more than 15% of the sentence.

Cea came to Ukiah in October 2020 and stole $32,000 from an elderly business owner who was fixing a private ATM he had set up in a local cannabis business, officials said.

Cea watched as the 85-year-old man went back and forth between his Prius and the cannabis store. When the man was not looking, authorities said Cea opened the hatchback and stole a spare money machine cartridge loaded with $32,000 in cash.

About six weeks later Cea and another New York man returned to Mendocino County, this time with the intent to steal marijuana. Cea met a young couple and convinced them to meet him and his partner at the Burger King parking lot in Willits with two pounds of marijuana. When the couple arrived at Burger King, Cea and the other man forcibly took the marijuana from the couple their marijuana without paying for it, the District Attorney’s Office reported.

The two men jumped into a rental car and recklessly fled north on Highway 101 while pursued by law enforcement. The vehicle eventually crashed into a building in Laytonville. Cea’s partner was arrested near the crash scene, but Cea was able to elude capture and escape back to New York. He was tracked down, arrested, and extradited to California, authorities said.

District Attorney David Eyster prosecuted the case, with the assistance of the Ukiah Police Department, the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office, the Willits Police Department, New York law enforcement investigators, and the District Attorney’s own Bureau of Investigations.

The District Attorney’s Office offered special thanks to private citizen witnesses who called for law enforcement help and provided valuable information.

Those witnesses included a retired Sonoma County Sheriff’s deputy and the Lake County District Attorney’s Office’s chief investigator.

NORTH COAST, Calif. — A Sunday head-on crash on Highway 101 in Mendocino County killed one man and injured four others.

Pending family notifications, the California Highway Patrol’s Ukiah Area office did not release the names of the five victims of the crash, which occurred at 11:04 a.m. Sunday on southbound Highway 101 north of the Ridgewood scale facility.

The CHP said officers were dispatched to the scene, arriving to confirm that the male driver of one of the two vehicles involved had died.

The 29-year-old Covelo man who died was driving a 2000 Acura Integra northbound in the No. 1 lane at approximately 70 miles per hour, the CHP said.

At the same time, a 29-year-old Olivehurst woman was driving a 2009 Dodge Ram pickup within the No. 1 lane southbound, also at 70 miles per hour, the CHP report said.

For unknown reasons, the CHP said the Covelo man allowed his vehicle to cross over the double yellow lines dividing the north and southbound lanes, heading directly toward the Dodge.

The left front of the Acura hit the left front of the Dodge, causing the pickup to hit a guardrail and overturn, the CHP said.

The CHP said the Acura came to rest on its wheels within the highway’s No. 2 southbound lane, while the pickup came to rest on its roof within the same lane, south of the Acura.

Firefighters helped the Dodge pickup’s driver and her three passengers — a 9-year-old boy and two girls, ages 7 and 4 — out of the truck, the CHP reported.

The pickup’s driver sustained major injuries and was taken to Adventist Health Howard Memorial Hospital for treatment, as were the children, who the CHP said had minor injuries.

The Acura’s driver was pronounced dead minutes after authorities arrived on scene, the CHP said.

The CHP said the crash’s cause remains under investigation, however, they’ve determined that neither alcohol nor drugs were involved.

Anyone with information about the crash is asked to contact the CHP’s Ukiah Area office at 707-467-4420.

Email Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Follow her on Twitter, @ERLarson, or Lake County News, @LakeCoNews.

Christopher James Bettega, 23, of Covelo, California, was arrested on Wednesday, September 8, 2021, for murder. Mendocino County Jail photo.

NORTH COAST, Calif. — Authorities have arrested a Covelo man on suspicion of the murder last week of his cousin.

Christopher James Bettega, 23, was arrested on Wednesday for killing William Daniel Bettega, 25, also of Covelo, according to a report from Sgt. Luis Espinoza of the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office.

Espinoza said that at 1:30 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 4, the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office Dispatch Center began receiving calls for service concerning a reported assault and possible kidnapping in an unknown area of Covelo.

The reports initially identified cousins Christopher Bettega and William Bettega as being the reported victims. At the time of the call, the location of William Bettega was unknown, Espinoza said.

Mendocino County Sheriff's deputies began to respond to Covelo and while they were responding, Espinoza said a separate call for service regarding a deceased person was dispatched.

Espinoza said the Covelo Fire Department had been dispatched to an injured male on the roadway near the intersection of Crawford and Henderson roads. When they arrived, they determined the subject was deceased and the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office was requested to respond.

When the deputies arrived at the deceased male's location, Espinoza said it was believed — based on evidence located at the scene — that the person was struck by a motor vehicle.

The deceased man was later identified as William Bettega, Espinoza said.

Espinoza said Mendocino County Sheriff's Office detectives were dispatched and assumed control over the investigation.

Based on the suspected nature of the death, sheriff's detectives requested and were assisted by an investigator from the California Highway Patrol Northern Division Investigation Services Unit. Espinoza said CHP officers assisted in documentation of the death scene.

A patrol deputy assisting sheriff's detectives located a vehicle in the Short Creek drainage just east of Biggar Lane in Covelo, Espinoza reported.

Espinoza said evidence consistent with a recent collision involving a pedestrian was located on the exterior of the vehicle. The vehicle was identified as being primarily utilized by Christopher Bettega.

Several people were contacted and interviewed over the next four days during the course of this investigation, he said.

On Wednesday, sheriff's detectives and patrol deputies served a search warrant at a residence near the intersection of Biggar Lane and Mendocino Pass Road in Covelo. At the conclusion of the search warrant, based on the information learned during the investigation, Espinoza said Christopher Bettega was arrested for murder.

Christopher Bettega was booked into the Mendocino County Jail on Wednesday afternoon. He’s still in custody in lieu of $1 million bail, according to jail records.

While this investigation is ongoing, Espinoza said there is no information suggesting the existence of any additional suspects and no evidence so far to support the initially reported kidnapping incident.

Espinoza said the investigation is still active and sheriff's detectives are asking anyone with information related to Christopher Bettega’S and William Bettega's activities on the night of Friday, Sept. 3, and during the early morning hours of Saturday, Sept. 4, to contact the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office.

Sheriff's detectives ask any person or business with surveillance video which depicts a lifted white Chevy Silverado traveling on downtown Covelo roads between the hours of 12 a.m. and 1:30 a.m. on Sept. 4 to contact them.

An anonymous message can be left on the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office Tip-Line by calling 707-234-2100.

The Mendocino County Sheriff's Office thanked the California Department of Justice Eureka and Santa Rosa Bureau of Forensic Services Criminalists; CHP Garberville and CHP Ukiah Offices; CHP Northern Division ISU and Multi Disciplinary Investigation Team and the Mendocino County District Attorney's Office Investigators for their continued assistance during this investigation.

Around-the-clock, one-way traffic control will be in effect on Highway 99 north of Gridley, California, from Friday, September 17, to Monday, September 20, 2021. Map courtesy of Caltrans.

Caltrans is alerting motorists about around-the-clock one-way traffic control next weekend on State Highway 99 about 10 miles north of Gridley in Butte County.

Crews plan to conduct one-way traffic control from 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 17, to 5 a.m. Monday, Sept. 20, in the Cottonwood Creek area.

Motorists may expect traffic back-ups and 20-minute delays during peak travel times. Caltrans advises motorists to use alternate routes.

Flaggers at each end of the construction zone will be utilized along with a pilot car. Motorists are reminded that pilot vehicles are to be followed at all times within the project zone for the safety of construction crews and travelers.

Failure to follow pilot vehicles may result in a $220 citation with traffic fees doubled in construction zones. The California Highway Patrol will be on site, monitoring traffic safety during construction.

The following weekend, Nelson Avenue will be closed at Highway 99 from 8 p.m. September 24 to 5 a.m. September 27. Nelson Avenue residents will be detoured to Highway 162 then to Wilbur Road to connect with Nelson Avenue.

The extended closures will allow crews to construct a new highway alignment leading to the newly built Cottonwood Creek Bridge. Teichert Construction of Sacramento is the contractor on the $8 million bridge project.

Weather or unexpected events may delay or postpone work.

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12.02.2023 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
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12.02.2023 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm
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12.09.2023 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
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