Wednesday, 29 November 2023


NORTH COAST, Calif. — The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office said it has arrested a Ukiah man who stabbed a pet Chihuahua.

Diego Pulido, 26, was arrested following the incident, which the agency said occurred last week.

At 10:22 a.m. Aug. 29, the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office Communications Center received a 911 call regarding a disturbance in the 3900 block of Seiji Way in Ukiah, where the caller stated that someone had been stabbed.

Deputies arrived at the location within minutes and were advised by witnesses that a male subject, later identified as Pulido, had stabbed the family dog and possibly stabbed a 58-year-old family member.

The family member was preparing to leave the area with the family dog in order to obtain veterinary treatment upon the deputies’ arrival. Authorities said deputies summoned medical assistance for the family member and the dog.

The sheriff’s office said deputies were advised Pulido was currently inside of the residence.

Utilizing a patrol vehicle public address system, deputies were able to get Pulido to exit the residence.

When Pulido came out of the home, the deputies noticed he had what appeared to be blood on his hands, arms and clothing.

Deputies learned during the investigation that for unknown reasons, Pulido obtained a kitchen knife and stabbed the small family Chihuahua two times in the abdomen.

The family member also had blood on him, which initially led witnesses to believe he had been stabbed as well. However, the sheriff’s office said it was determined that the family dog had bitten the family member in the hand while trying to provide aid.

The family member took the dog to an out of county emergency veterinarian hospital where the dog received treatment and is expected to survive.

Pulido was ultimately placed under arrest for felony animal cruelty and booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was to be held in lieu of $15,000 bail.

Jail records showed that Pulido remained in custody on Wednesday.

Over-pumping during drought can increase nitrate at public-supply wells. Public domain image.

Intensive pumping of aquifers during drought can speed up deterioration of groundwater quality, according to a new study by the U.S. Geological Survey.

The results highlight clean drinking water supply vulnerabilities in California and other western states currently experiencing record drought conditions.

“Water quality problems from legacy groundwater pollution could get worse, faster, when pumping increases during drought,” said Dr. Zeno Levy, a research geologist with the USGS. “This could lead to more public drinking-water wells being shut down if costly treatment or cleaner water sources to mix with are not available.”

Researchers examined 30 years of data from California’s Central Valley to find increasing nitrate concentrations at public drinking-water wells were more prevalent in areas where groundwater levels dropped rapidly during drought.

Nitrate is a contaminant from fertilizer typically present at elevated concentrations in shallow groundwater throughout the Central Valley due to decades of agricultural land use.

Scientists found that increased pumping from wells during drought can pull shallow, contaminated groundwater down to depths commonly tapped for public drinking-water supply.

Previous groundwater research has focused on the risk of wells being overdrawn and running dry during drought. The new study provides a major advancement to understanding the related consequences to water quality caused by over pumping.

The study is unique in that it looked at regional linkages between groundwater use and quality, rather than local patterns at the scale of individual wells. This research was undertaken as part of a cooperative effort between the USGS and the California State Water Resources Control Board’s Groundwater Ambient Monitoring and Assessment Program.

The study "Critical aquifer overdraft accelerates degradation of groundwater quality in California’s Central Valley during drought" is published in Geophysical Research Letters.

The State Highway 99/Live Oak Boulevard intersection in Live Oak, California. Photo courtesy of Caltrans.

LIVE OAK, Calif. — Caltrans is alerting motorists and pedestrians that Pennington Road will be closed to cross traffic at State Highway 99/Live Oak Boulevard next week for construction activity.

Crews are scheduled to begin closing the west side of the intersection at 9 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 7, as they prepare to rebuild the roadway. The intersection will be closed to cross traffic through the end of November.

Motorists and pedestrians should use either Elm Street or Kola Street for State Highway 99 access, where flaggers will be temporarily stationed during daytime hours to conduct traffic control and allow for a safe crossing. Four-way stop signs will control traffic during overnight hours.

Crews are expected to install permanent traffic signals at the two intersections by Sept. 14.

During work on the west side of the intersection, northbound Highway 99 travelers will be permitted to make right turns onto east Pennington. However, left turns onto east Pennington will be prohibited for southbound motorists.

The contractor will maintain access to businesses during construction. Caltrans reminds motorists to be alert for trucks entering and exiting the roadway, and crews working along the highway.

Visit for the latest news and updates as well as maps showing access to businesses in the construction area, business deals for consumers, photo simulations of the boulevard including traffic lane striping for the five-lane roadway after construction, and other information. You also may connect with the Live Oak 99 social media campaign: Facebook and Twitter.

Weather or unexpected events may delay or postpone work. Other construction updates in the region are posted 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. — Cal Fire said that firefighters are continuing to monitor hot spots from a fire incident that began on Monday night in Healdsburg.

At 8:10 p.m. Monday, Cal Fire’s Sonoma-Lake-Napa Unit along with local agencies throughout Sonoma County responded to multiple vegetation fires throughout the Healdsburg area, officials said.

Cal Fire said crews were initially dispatched to a reported vegetation fire off Bailhache Avenue, followed by additional fires located north and west of Healdsburg.

The final fire was reported off West Dry Creek Road just before 10 p.m., Cal Fire said.

By 11:30 p.m. Monday, 15 fires were located and contained after burning approximately six acres, according to Cal Fire’s report.

Cal Fire said the largest fire of the night was located off Chiquita Road and was contained after burning approximately two acres.

At the peak of firefighting operations approximately 80 fire personnel were assigned to the fires including 20 fire engines, six water tenders and three bulldozers, Cal Fire reported.

Crews remained in the area on Tuesday night, where Cal Fire said they were continuing to monitor for hot spots.

Cal Fire said each fire within this incident is under investigation, with more information will be released when it becomes available.

Anyone with information about the fires is encouraged to contact the Cal Fire Tip Line at 1-800-468-4408. Callers can remain anonymous if they wish.

NORTH COAST, Calif. — State Sen. Mike McGuire is raising the alarm about what he said is one of the largest environmental threats to face the North Coast in decades.

A secret, clandestine operation — hiding behind an anonymous LLC out of Wyoming — wants to ship millions and millions of tons of coal from Montana, Utah and Wyoming through the Northern California counties of Marin, Sonoma, Mendocino, Trinity and Humboldt, McGuire said.

McGuire said the shadowy rail operation would utilize a portion of the now defunct North Coast rail route, which runs approximately 320 miles between Marin and Humboldt counties. The coal would then be loaded onto ships in Humboldt Bay, sold overseas, and burned.

“This toxic coal train would run through the heart of so many thriving communities and along the Russian and Eel Rivers, which are the main source of drinking water for nearly one million residents,” McGuire said. “These mighty waterways are also home to some of the most sensitive ecosystems on Earth, which include numerous endangered species.”

The secrecy behind the toxic coal train is completely offensive, as well as the fact these bad actors have met behind closed doors with some local officials to try and make this toxic dream a reality, McGuire said.

He said this anonymous group has also filed a request to kill the build out of the Great Redwood Trail.

The trail, which will be the longest contiguous rail-trail in America, would stretch from the bustling waters of San Francisco Bay to the fog-shrouded redwood shores of Humboldt Bay.

Sen. McGuire has made significant progress on the Great Redwood Trail over the past several years.

The trail system would meander through ancient redwoods, state and national wildlands, oak-studded golden hills and along our incredible rivers. The trail will also be an economic driver for the dozens of rural communities it runs through.

“California banned coal-fired power plants for good reason,” McGuire said. ”Coal is the dirtiest and most damaging source of energy out there. It’s the number one cause of global warming and it’s the number one contributor to our climate crisis. The people of the North Coast won’t stand for this. We rallied against Big Oil to protect our coast from offshore drilling — and won. And we will win this fight against Big Coal.”

He added, “I’m here to promise that, no matter how many billions of dollars these coal barons throw at this project, we’re going to stop this dangerous proposal and put a nail in the coffin of coal, and we will continue to move the Great Redwood Trail forward.”

Sen. McGuire is expected to make an announcement in the coming days about new legislation he’ll be carrying to help stop Big Coal in their tracks.

Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday honored Correctional Lieutenant Robert “Bobby” Travelstead of the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office, who died this week.

“It is with great sadness that Jennifer and I extend our heartfelt condolences to the family, friends and members of the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office on this devastating loss. Lt. Travelstead dedicated his life to service, working to ensure the safety of his community and our nation, and we are forever grateful,” Newsom said.

Travelstead, 40, died on Sept. 1, 2021, due to complications from COVID-19.

He joined the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office in 2007 as a correctional deputy and served in several roles in the Detention Division.

He promoted to sergeant in 2014 and worked as a supervisor at the Main Adult Detention Facility, North County Detention Facility and Pretrial Services.

In 2019, he promoted to Lieutenant and was assigned to the Main Adult Detention Facility as the Watch Commander.

Lt. Travelstead’s commitment to service began in 2001 as a member of the U.S. Navy.

In 2006, he was honorably discharged as a decorated veteran, having served as a Field Medical Corpsman for the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force and Naval Service in Southwest Asia during Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.

Lt. Travelstead is survived by his two daughters, Kaylie and Kiana, and three siblings.

In honor of Lt. Travelstead, Capitol flags will be flown at half-staff.

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