Wednesday, 26 January 2022

Regional

Gina Rae Bean, 43, of Fort Bragg, California, was convicted of a fatal hit-and-run crash in 2019 that killed a skateboarder. Mendocino County Jail photo.

NORTH COAST, Calif. — A Mendocino County judge on Thursday convicted a Fort Bragg woman of a felony in the 2019 death of a skateboarder.

Gina Rae Bean, 43, was found guilty after a trial in front of Presiding Judge Ann Moorman.

Bean was convicted of a felony, leaving the scene of an accident resulting in the death of another person, in this case, 21-year-old Calum Pulido, also known as Calum Hunnicutt.

The state Vehicle Code mandates that the driver of a vehicle involved in an accident resulting in the injury or death of a person must immediately stop the vehicle and render aid including summoning emergency help.

State law also requires a driver to report the accident without delay to the nearest law enforcement agency.

Criminal charges accused Bean of failing on the night of July 18, 2019, to stop, render aid or notify law enforcement of a crash on Highway 1 at the intersection with Little Lake Road.

Pulido was skateboarding with a friend at about 10:45 p.m. July 18. He was heading west on Little Lake Road when he was struck and killed by a northbound vehicle driven by Bean.

Court proceedings were delayed for a year because of a variety of reasons including COVID restrictions.

Eventually Bean and her private attorney waived her right to a jury trial and agreed to a trial before Judge Moorman in Mendocino County Superior Court.

The court trial began on Sept. 20 and over a total of five days prosecution and defense witnesses testified in front of Judge Moorman.

Bean testified on her own behalf at the court trial. Judge Moorman heard final arguments on Tuesday and took the case under submission.

Judge Moorman announced the guilty verdict on Thursday. Sentencing of Bean is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Dec. 3.

The Mendocino County District Attorney’s Office said Bean faces up to four years in state prison.

Bean also could be placed on supervised probation for no more than two years. Under law, however, Bean must serve county jail time. With credits, Bean could serve between 45 and 180 actual days in jail.

The California Highway Patrol and the state Department of Justice crime laboratories in Eureka and Sacramento developed evidence after the vehicle involved in the fatal accident was found hidden, and already under repair.

District Attorney investigators assisted prosecutor Eloise Kelsey in the trial preparation and developing additional evidence.

Judge Moorman found co-defendant, Ricky Faustino Santos, 37, also of Fort Bragg, was not guilty of being an accessory after the fact. Santos faces no further court proceedings, the District Attorney’s Office reported.

NORTH COAST, Calif. — A Ukiah man was fatally injured on Monday afternoon when his pickup went off Highway 1, overturned and caught fire.

The California Highway Patrol’s Ukiah Area office said the crash occurred at 3:50 p.m. Monday on Highway 1 south of Frog Pond Road near Little River.

It did not release the name of the 39-year-old man who died pending notification of next of kin.

The CHP said the man was driving a 1982 Dodge pickup northbound on Highway 1 at a high rate of speed.

Because of his speed, the driver was unable to safely negotiate a sharp turn and drove across both lanes of Highway 1, going off the roadway and down a steep hill, the CHP said.

The CHP said the Dodge rolled over multiple times and landed on its roof appropriately 200 feet down the hill.

When the pickup landed on its roof, it was fully engulfed in flames, the CHP reported.

The man, who the CHP said was not wearing his seat belt, died at the scene of his injuries.

As of Monday night, the CHP said it was unknown if alcohol and/or drugs were factors in this collision, which remains under investigation.

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.

The newly constructed Dry Creek Bridge on State Highway 20 in the Browns Valley area of Yuba County, California. Photo courtesy of Caltrans.

Caltrans is alerting motorists that traffic has been shifted to the newly constructed Dry Creek Bridge on State Highway 20 in the Browns Valley area of Yuba County.

The traffic shift allows the contractor to start demolishing the old bridge before the rainy season begins.

In the meantime, crews are scheduled early next week to begin major paving work along the Highway 20 corridor between Marysville Road and the Parks Bar Bridge.

Motorists may expect extended travel delays at various times and locations from approximately 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday until early November. There may be occasional work on Saturdays. Caltrans advises motorists to use alternate routes to avoid traffic delays.

Flaggers will be stationed at each end of the construction zone and a pilot vehicle will be used for traffic control. 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.

Motorists are reminded to Be Work Zone Alert with the speed limit through the construction zone reduced to 45 miles per hour.

The paving operation is part of a $61.5 million project to straighten and flatten roadway curves and slopes, widen shoulders, construct a new bridge and wildlife undercrossing and rehabilitate a 4.5-mile section of roadway in the Browns Valley area.

Weather or unexpected events may delay or postpone work. Other construction updates in the region are posted 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. — State Sen. Mike McGuire on Thursday thanked Gov. Newsom for his signing of SB 69, the Great Redwood Trail Act.

“With Big Coal trying to do an end run on the North Coast, the State of California is standing strong for the Great Redwood Trail. We won’t be intimidated, we’re certainly not going to back down. We will win this fight against Big Coal and the signing of SB 69 today is a massive step forward,” said McGuire.

He added, “I’m grateful to the governor for signing this historic legislation that will once and for all, close down the defunct and bankrupt North Coast Railroad Authority and transition the organization into a world class trails agency.”

The bill puts the organization, the funding, and the expert staff in place to fight what McGuire said are “midwestern coal barons” and to continue the progress on the Great Redwood Trail.

“We’ll kick off the Trail’s fully funded Master Plan in early 2022 and we couldn’t be more excited,” said McGuire.

Due to the passage and signing of SB 69, NCRA will transition to the Great Redwood Trail Agency on March 1, 2022, and the State Coastal Conservancy will take over oversight and management of the organization no later than July 1, 2022.

The Great Redwood Trail Agency’s mission is to master plan, design, construct, operate, and maintain the Great Redwood Trail.

They will begin the community outreach and master planning process the first part of the new year.

Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday proclaimed a state of emergency for Shasta County to support the response to the Fawn fire, which has to date burned 8,559 acres, destroying homes and causing the evacuation of thousands of residents.

California last week secured a Fire Management Assistance Grant, or FMAG, from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, to help ensure the availability of vital resources to suppress the Fawn 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.

The state previously secured FMAGs to support the 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.

The White House earlier this month approved a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration and Presidential Emergency Declaration to support the Caldor fire response, and previously approved a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration to support counties impacted by the Dixie and River fires.

NORTH COAST, Calif. — On Tuesday State Sen. Mike McGuire said he has introduced legislation to stop what he said is one of the largest environmental threats the North Coast has seen in decades — a proposal from a secret, clandestine operation, hiding behind an anonymous LLC out of Wyoming, that wants to ship millions of tons of coal through the Northern California counties of Marin, Sonoma, Mendocino, Trinity and Humboldt.

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.

Sen. McGuire's SB 307, which was introduced last week, would help stop that proposal, or anything like it in the future, in its tracks.

“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,” Sen. Mike McGuire said. “This dangerous proposal must be stopped, which is why we have introduced SB 307. This critical bill will ban any state funding from being invested to improve the rail line for coal shipments north of Willits and it bans any state funding to build out a potential coal storage terminal at the Port of Humboldt. No way, no how are we going to let this happen.”

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.

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.

SB 307 explicitly states that state money cannot be spent to initiate, improve or operate rail service on the now defunct North Coast rail line north of the City of Willits. Further, it bans state money from being spent on the build out of any new bulk coal terminal facilities within the County of Humboldt.

In addition, Sen. McGuire has made significant progress on the Great Redwood Trail. SB 69, which was approved in the Assembly by a vote of 71-0 and then in the Senate by 38-0, will close down the North Coast Railroad Authority, or NCRA, once and for all, and transfer their property and rights to the Great Redwood Trail Agency and to Sonoma Marin Area Rail Transit, or SMART.

The Great Redwood Trail will meander through ancient redwoods, state and national wild lands, 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.

“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,” McGuire said.

Upcoming Calendar

26Jan
01.26.2022 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
First 5 Lake Commission
26Jan
01.26.2022 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Sierra Club Lake Group community meeting
27Jan
01.27.2022 7:30 am - 8:30 am
Rotary Club of Middletown
29Jan
01.29.2022 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Steele
31Jan
01.31.2022 5:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Lake County 29'ers Cribbage Club Meeting
1Feb
02.01.2022 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Rotary Club of Clear Lake
2Feb
02.02.2022 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
History Roundtable
3Feb
02.03.2022 7:30 am - 8:30 am
Rotary Club of Middletown
5Feb
02.05.2022 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Steele

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