Sunday, 16 June 2024

Regional

CDFW forensics laboratory testing of DNA samples. Photo courtesy of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife has confirmed that the mountain lion euthanized in a remote area near Georgetown on Saturday was the same animal involved in a fatal attack earlier in the day.

CDFW’s Wildlife Forensics Laboratory determined on Sunday that DNA samples collected from the scene match samples taken from the lion carcass.

The male mountain lion weighed approximately 90 pounds and appeared to be in healthy condition.

On March 23, CDFW wildlife officers responded to a reported mountain lion attack involving 18- and 21-year-old brothers.

The men had been antler shed hunting in a remote area near Georgetown in El Dorado County when they were attacked.

The younger brother sustained injuries but was able to call 911; the older brother was pronounced dead at the scene by emergency responders.

In the interest of public safety, CDFW authorized a professional trapper, who was able to locate and euthanize the mountain lion within a few hours of the incident.

“First and foremost, our hearts go out to the families and loved ones affected by this tragic incident. Our thoughts are with them during this difficult time,” said CDFW Director Charlton H. Bonham.

Mountain lion encounters are uncommon in California but do occasionally occur. Most of the state is suitable mountain lion habitat.

However, this is the first confirmed fatality from a mountain lion attack in California since 2004.

CDFW will remain in close coordination with the El Dorado County Sheriff's Office as standard pathology and other assessments of the lion are completed. Forensic scientists will continue analyzing necropsy results to determine whether there were underlying health conditions related to this particular animal.

Learn more: Mountain Lions in California.

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning from noon Friday to 8 a.m. Sunday. Snow accumulation is forecast between 8 to 18 inches above 5,000 feet and 2 to 3 feet at the highest peaks. Wind gusts are also forecast up to 45 mph. Motorists should be prepared for chain controls, reduced visibility, additional travel times and delays.

If motorists travel during the storm, Caltrans advises to pack extra supplies in the event of an emergency or if traffic is held for an extended period of time. Those supplies should include extra snacks, water, a blanket, and a flashlight.

In the Sacramento Valley, rain amounts are forecast between 0.5 and 1 inch. The highest amounts are anticipated near Redding and into the foothills. Motorists should be prepared for slick travel conditions and longer than normal commute times.

Updates to the forecast can be found on the National Weather Service website. Motorists are also encouraged to check Caltrans’ QuickMap before traveling for current road conditions and chain requirements or download the QuickMap app from the App Store or Google Play. Road information is also available on Caltrans’ website or by calling the California Highway Information Network automated phone service at 1-800-427-ROAD (7623).

Caltrans District 3 is responsible for maintaining and operating 4,385 lane miles in 11 Sacramento Valley and Northern Sierra counties.

Johnathan Lee Draughan. Mendocino County Jail photo.

NORTH COAST, Calif. — The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office has arrested a Covelo man for the killing of the mother of his child.

Johnathan Lee Draughan, 43, was arrested for the early Wednesday morning kiling of 35-year-old Brandy Kay Mathieson, also of Covelo, according to a report from Lt. Andrew Porter.

At 5:29 a.m. Wednesday, the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office received a 911 call from Mathieson, who reported that she was a victim of domestic violence at the hands of her boyfriend, Johnathan Lee Draughan.

Mathieson reported that Draughan was in the house and he was armed with a firearm. While on the phone, gunshots were heard by the dispatcher and Mathieson was no longer speaking with dispatch, Porter said.

A short time later, Porter said Draughan spoke on the phone with the dispatcher and advised he had shot his girlfriend and he would await the arrival of deputies.

Deputies, who were responding from Willits, arrived and took Draughan into custody without incident, Porter said.

Mathieson was located inside the residence and life saving measures were attempted by the deputies and then continued by local fire resources. Porter said Mathieson showed no signs of life and was declared deceased at the scene.

Mathieson’s and Draughan's 2-year-old child was present and was transported to an out-of-county hospital for injuries unrelated to the shooting incident, Porter said.

Porter said Mendocino County Sheriff's Office detectives responded and took over the investigation. Criminalists from the California Department of Justice labs in both Eureka and Santa Rosa responded to assist in processing the crime scene for evidence.

Draughan was subsequently transported and booked into the Mendocino County Jail on a charge of homicide, Porter said. He is being held without bail, according to jail records.

Any persons with information related to this homicide are encouraged to contact the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office by calling Dispatch at 707-463-4086, or through the tip line at 707-234-2100.

Humboldt County Sheriff William Honsal has proclaimed a local emergency as a result of the significant impact of the Fleener Creek/Centerville landslide located west of Ferndale.

These ongoing landslides have been progressing significantly since January and are now threatening to impact the main entry and exit route to multiple residences, ranches and recreational areas managed by the Bureau of Land Management.

This is a clear threat to the safety of Humboldt County residents and will require immediate protective actions to ensure safe routes of travel are retained, and access to hazard areas are limited; these impacts are exhausting and exceed available county resources.

The Humboldt County Department of Public Works and Sheriff’s Office of Emergency Services are actively engaged in exploring options for alternative routes.

A local emergency proclamation is a prerequisite to request state or federal assistance for landslide related response and recovery efforts.

For updated information regarding Humboldt County’s emergency response, please go to www.humboldtsheriff.org/emergency and visit @HumCoOES on Facebook and Twitter. To sign up to receive text and email alerts of Humboldt County’s road conditions updates, visit www.humboldtgov.org/roads.

BERRY SUMMIT, Calif. — Caltrans partnered with several Humboldt County tribes to break ground recently on a project that will improve welcoming amenities for visitors to the popular Berry Summit Vista Point and honor the lives and history of the Yurok, Hoopa Valley, Karuk, Whil'kut, and other tribes that inhabit the area.

The Berry Summit Vista Point along Route 299 is renowned for breathtaking views and starry nighttime skies, but it has long lacked key services for travelers.

The project will add toilet facilities, solar-powered electric vehicle charging stations, a picnic area featuring local drought-resistant vegetation, night-sky-friendly solar lighting, informational kiosks, and decorative garbage cans.

Expected to be completed by early summer, the $759,00 effort was made possible by Governor Gavin Newsom’s Clean California Initiative — a sweeping, $1.2 billion, multiyear clean-up effort led by Caltrans to remove trash, create thousands of jobs, and join with communities throughout the state to reclaim, transform and beautify public spaces.

These enhancements to the popular scenic overlook destination will improve safety, increase convenience, and make for a more enjoyable recreational experience for travelers from across the state.

"A major element of Clean California is to inspire local pride and stewardship,” said Caltrans Director Tony Taveras. “This project reflects that spirit through the involvement of many exceptional local development partners, including local tribes, Humboldt County, the Humboldt County Association of Governments, CHP-Humboldt, and CAL-ORE Life Flight.”

Yolanda Latham of the Whil'kut tribe added, "This project will surely help those traveling through our region and ancestral territory, and I hope that many families will feel a bit safer when traveling with the elderly and little ones."

Humboldt County Supervisor Steve Madrone added, “The efforts by Caltrans and the Clean California team have been commendable. The project at Berry Summit Vista Point was developed by reaching out to tribes and the community to make meaningful improvements.”

Clean California has funded 319 projects statewide to revitalize and beautify underserved communities, some of which are already complete and now sources of community pride. Projects are improving public spaces, tribal lands, parks, neighborhoods, transit centers, walking paths, streets, roadsides, recreation fields, community gathering spots, and places of cultural importance or historical interest in underserved communities.

Since launching Clean California in July 2021, Caltrans has removed nearly 2.3 million cubic yards of litter from state highways – or enough to fill about 700 Olympic-size swimming pools.

The program has also created more than 15,000 jobs that have helped Californians overcome barriers to employment and drawn more than 10,000 volunteers to events ranging from community cleanups to large debris collections for appliances, tires, and mattresses.

For further information, visit https://cleanca.com/.

Copco No. 1 Dam. Photo by Shane Anderson/Swiftwater Films.

HORNBROOK, Calif. — Following Friday’s successful test blast, the Klamath River Renewal Corp. reported it will proceed with the removal of the Copco No. 1 Dam, the second dam to be removed as a part of the Klamath dam removal project.

The Copco No. 1 Dam, constructed in 1918 for the sole purpose of hydroelectric power generation, has blocked fish passage for over 100 years and is expected to be fully removed by the end of August 2024.

“We are excited to get to work,” said Mark Bransom, CEO of the Renewal Corp. “With the initial phase of drawdown complete, the dam is fully exposed and can safely be disassembled.”

Copco No. 2, a diversion dam that was located just downstream of Copco No. 1, was removed last year.

The remaining three dams, Copco No. 1, Iron Gate, and JC Boyle created reservoirs that needed to be drawn down before removal could begin.

The initial phase of drawdown concluded last month, and shortly thereafter FERC approved an advancement in the schedule, allowing for the removal of Copco No. 1 ahead of the other remaining dams.

Iron Gate and JC Boyle, which are clay core earthen dams, will remain at their full height until the spring runoff period has concluded and the Klamath River has returned to baseline flows. Work on their deconstruction will likely begin sometime in May, depending on precipitation.

Deconstruction of the Copco No.1 Dam, which will be performed through a repetitive cycle of drilling, blasting and chipping, can begin before the spring runoff period has concluded because it is a concrete arch dam.

Officials said that, should the Klamath River experience a significant flow event this spring, water could safely pass over the partially removed concrete dam and the dam would remain securely in place.

The Copco No. 1 Dam removal plan was specifically designed to allow for this safe flow passing, should it occur.

\The removal of Copco No. 1, Iron Gate, and JC Boyle Dams is expected to be complete sometime this fall, in time for the Fall run of Chinook salmon.

The restoration of the former reservoir footprints is currently underway and will continue for several years until vegetation is successfully established and water clarity has returned to baseline conditions.

Upcoming Calendar

16Jun
06.16.2024
Father's Day
18Jun
06.18.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Library Park
19Jun
06.19.2024
Juneteenth
19Jun
06.19.2024 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
Free veterans dinner
22Jun
06.22.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
22Jun
06.22.2024 5:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Love of the Land Dinner
25Jun
06.25.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Library Park
29Jun
06.29.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile

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