Monday, 15 July 2024


NORTHERN CALIFORNIA – The Department of Fish and Game (DFG) urges people who are out enjoying the outdoors not to handle young wild animals they may encounter.

People often spot young wild animals they think are orphaned or need help. In most cases they are neither, and should be left alone.

In 2008, more than 500 fawns were turned into California rehabilitation facilities by well-meaning members of the public, the Department of Fish and Game reported. Many of these fawns were healthy and did not need to be disturbed.

Once a fawn is removed from its mother, it can lose its ability to survive in the wild, officials reported. The same danger applies to most animals, including raccoons, bears, coyotes and most birds.

Disease is another reason that wild animals should not be handled. Wild animals can transmit diseases that can be contracted by humans, including rabies and tularemia, and also carry ticks, fleas and lice, the agency reported.

People improperly handling young wildlife is a problem across the nation, most commonly in the spring, when many species are caring for their young offspring, according to the report.

“People frequently pick up young wild animals because they believe they have been orphaned or abandoned and need to be saved,” said Nicole Carion, the Department of Fish and Game's statewide coordinator for wildlife rehabilitation and restricted species.

“However, in the vast majority of cases the parents are still caring for their offspring and the attempt to ’rescue‘ the young animal all too frequently results in harm,” Carion said. “Even though California has many capable rehabilitation centers, people need to understand that humans cannot provide the survival training or the perfect diet provided naturally by their wild mothers.”

The responsibility for intervention should be left to Department of Fish and Game personnel or permitted wildlife rehabilitators.

It is illegal to keep orphaned or injured animals for more than 48 hours in California. People can call a rehabilitator, who will determine whether there is a need for a rescue. Rehabilitators are trained to provide care for wild animals so they retain their natural fear of humans and do not become habituated or imprinted.

For more information, visit DFG’s wildlife rehabilitation Web site at

Remember: Wildlife belongs in the wild. As wildlife experts say: “If you care, leave them there.”

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NORTHERN CALIFORNIA – The California Highway Patrol announced this week that it's releasing a new piece of technology to help keep people safe on the state's highways.

Before you start your daily commute, you can now look up what traffic collisions or roadway hazards to avoid directly on your mobile device.

The CHP has launched a new mobile application that provides real-time updates on where officers are responding along California's roadways.

Continuously updated around the clock, the traffic reports include incident time, location and whether it involves a collision, traffic hazard or lane obstruction.

“By using this application, motorists will be able to choose an alternate route to get where they’re going and avoid the congested area,” said CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow. “This will help reduce frustration on the part of motorists stuck in traffic and possibly lessen the number of vehicles moving through the incident area.”

Commissioner Farrow cautioned that the mobile app should only be used by a driver who is parked or by a passenger in a moving vehicle.

California law prohibits motorists from reading, writing or sending a text message, or operating a mobile computing device while behind the wheel of a moving vehicle.

“Before heading out of the office or home, or while you’re waiting to pick up your child from school or after an appointment, motorists can get real time traffic information through this portable app,” Farrow said. “It’s a valuable tool, but it must be used safely.”

The new mobile app will keep motorists in the Ukiah and Clear Lake areas updated, along with other areas of the state, including Bakersfield, Barstow, the Bay Area, Bishop, Chico, El Centro, Fresno, Humboldt, Indio, Los Angeles, Merced, Monterey, Orange County, Redding, Sacramento, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Stockton, Susanville, Truckee, Ventura and Yreka.

The application works on most devices, including the Android, iPhone, Blackberry and others.

To view the site from a mobile device, please visit

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LAKE COUNTY – State and local officials are urging In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) program providers to begin a state-mandated reenrollment process by month's end to avoid being barred from receiving payment for their services.

On Tuesday, California Department of Social Services (CDSS) Director John Wagner urged all the IHSS providers to visit their county IHSS office to re-enroll.

The process is required by California's 2009 Budget Act passed by the Legislature. Wagner said the legislation included “a significant anti-fraud initiative” that had as one of its requirements a new IHSS provider enrollment process. State officials said the legislation is meant to “ensure the integrity of the program and protect client safety.”

Starting last Nov. 1, all new IHSS provider applicants were required to complete all four elements of a new process before being eligible to receive payment for services provided to IHSS recipients, the state reported.

Due to the large number of existing providers, state officials said the law allows any providers that were already working or applying to work prior to Nov. 1, 2009, through this June 30 to re-enroll in order to continue to receive payment from the IHSS program.

Tristan Brown, political director for California United Homecare Workers – the union that represents many IHSS workers, including those in Lake County – said the enrollment requirements are a concern for both clients and their providers alike.

“Providers have always had difficulties and concerns with the new anti-fraud enrollment measures because of the cost that have been associated with them,” he said, with the background checks costing $50 and higher depending on location.

He said those kinds of costs prove to be significant blocks for households already dealing with large medical costs, and also are limiting for clients because it potentially infringes on their caregiver choices.

“It can become a very intimate relationship, from a provider to a consumer,” he said, with clients wanting to have the freedom to choose who they want.

Brown suggested that the requirements were the product of “some overzealous district attorneys” and the Republican Caucus.

“We're not seeing this rampant fraud that they suspected,” he said, suggesting it was a “far-fetched idea” from the beginning, and a tactic to use IHSS as a bargaining chip to get other political concessions, which may become apparent in the upcoming budget process.

“It's a shame that our state's elderly and disabled are used in that fashion,” he said.

Steve Citron, manager of adult and housing services for the Lake County Department of Social Services, said the four-step process begins with providers filling out an enrollment form. They are then fingerprinted with the automated Livescan system.

From there, the prints are sent to the California Department of Justice, which then conducts a criminal background check on the individuals, he explained.

Citron said providers must then go through an orientation and sign another form – which the state said acknowledges the IHSS program requirements – to complete the process.

The California Department of Social Services reported that the level of enrollments under the new process has increased exponentially in recent months due to the action steps and outreach by the state, the counties, the public authorities and provider representative organizations.

As of June 9, approximately 330,000 providers have begun the reenrollment process, including more than 225,000 who have completed the process, including fingerprinting and a background check, according to the California Department of Social Services. Approximately 20,000 have taken no steps to re-enroll and risk losing their provider status.

In Lake County, 1,189 IHSS providers had completed the enrollment process as of June 9, according to numbers provided by the state. That number includes 941 existing IHSS providers and 248 who are new.

Approximately 360 local IHSS providers have pending enrollment status – 300 of which are current and 60 new providers, the state reported.

Under the process, eight local IHSS providers – six who already had been in the system and two others who were signing up for the first time – were deemed ineligible, according to the state.

Citron said Lake County's IHSS Public Authority started the reenrollment process for local providers last December, and has been sending out notices every month both to providers and service recipients alike reminding them of the state mandate.

Since then, the county has been doing about 200 reenrollments a month, Citron said.

As for completing the process, “I don't think it's going to be a problem in Lake County,” he added.

On Wednesday, the California Department of Social Services posted on its Web site a notice letter to counties extending the deadline for the reenrollments under certain circumstances.

If providers had started at least one of the four enrollment steps by the June 30 deadline that they will be allowed to complete the process by Dec. 31, the letter stated.

The reason for the extension appears to be one of workload. “Although the rate of enrollment completions has been rapidly increasing, the volume of provider enrollment forms, orientations, and criminal background checks are more than can be processed by June 30, 2010,” the letter explained.

What's still not entirely clear is the future of a state plan to fingerprint IHSS clients as well, which was contained in legislation the state passed last year, Citron said.


Noting that the plan “doesn't make a lot of sense,” Citron suggested it was “overkill” to prevent some kind of fraud that public authorities haven't seen.

The state put aside money and went out to bid for portable fingerprinting devices that could be taken to peoples' homes, Citron said.

The plan was going to require “a huge amount of money,” and the state Legislature has indicated that it doesn't plan to fund the fingerprinting program for the coming fiscal year, he said.

Last month, a Senate budget committee voted against spending $8.2 million this fiscal year to start that process, which is expected to cost $41.6 million over a seven-year contract, according to a May 10 Sacramento Bee report.

Because there is no funding for the fingerprinting devices and a great deal of uncertainty about the requirement, nobody has started fingerprinting clients, according to Citron.

“It doesn't make a lot of sense,” Citron concluded.

E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Follow Lake County News on Twitter at and on Facebook at .

The barn at the historic Old Gaddy Ranch with its new

LAKE COUNTY – A child injured in a crash late last week is recovering, officials reported Thursday.

The 3-year-old girl was injured when the pickup truck she was a passenger in collided with a power pole on Spruce Grove Road late Friday night, as Lake County News has reported.

The California Highway Patrol reported that the child's condition has significantly improved since the collision last Friday that caused a major head injury.

Her father, Ruben Gaona Gornejo of Santa Rosa, stated that it is a miracle she is talking and interacting with family, according to the report from CHP Officer Steve Tanguay.

Tanguay said that CHP investigators conducted nearly four days of investigation, including interviews and examination of physical evidence.

Original reports from the scene had indicated the pickup and another vehicle were racing before the crash. Tanguay said that has not been confirmed, although a witness did report that another vehicle was tailgating Gornejo's truck at one point.

CHP investigators concluded that the 3-year-old was improperly restrained at the time of the collision, Tanguay said.

She was riding in a child passenger seat not designed to be used as a booster or belt positioning seat which caused improper seatbelt positioning. Tanguay said that improper positioning allowed her head to strike the interior of the pickup at the time of the collision.

Tanguay said the CHP wants to remind everyone with children to make sure all they are properly restrained at all times.

He said the CHP has available technicians to help the public learn which child safety seat is right for a specific child, and how to properly install the child safety seat.

Call the local CHP office at 707-279-0103 for more information.

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LAKE COUNTY – Lake County's unemployment was down again in May, decreasing along with the joblessness across the state and the country as well.

The California Employment Development Department reported Friday that Lake County's May unemployment rate was 17.1 percent, down from 18.6 percent in April. The county's May 2009 unemployment rate was 14.7 percent.

Lake County's May unemployment rate ranked it No. 48 among the county's 58 counties, according to the report. The county's labor force rose from 25,340 people to 25,800 in May, when 4,400 people were out of work, 300 less than the previous month.

Statewide, unemployment totaled 12.4 percent in May, down a notch from 12.5 percent in April but up from 11.3 percent in May 2009, the state reported. The unemployment rate is derived from a federal survey of 5,500 California households.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the nation's unemployment was 9.7 percent in May, down from 9.9 percent in April.

The state's lowest unemployment rate in May was found in Marin, where joblessness totaled 7.9 percent, while the highest was 27.5 percent in Imperial County, according to the Employment Development Department.

Lake's neighboring counties posted the following rates and state rankings: Glenn, 15 percent, No. 38; Mendocino, 10.8 percent, No. 13; Napa, 9 percent, No. 4; Sonoma, 10 percent, No. 9; and Yolo, 11.7 percent, No. 23.

Upper Lake was the county area with the lowest unemployment in May – 8.9 percent – while the highest unemployment locally was in Clearlake Oaks, where joblessness totaled 25.2 percent, according to detailed state labor data.

The following unemployment rates were reported for other areas of the county, from highest to lowest: Nice, 24.7 percent; city of Clearlake, 24.3 percent; Lucerne, 17.9 percent; Kelseyville, 17.4 percent; Middletown, 17.2 percent; city of Lakeport, 16.4 percent; Cobb, 15.3 percent; Lower Lake, 14.3 percent; Hidden Valley Lake, 14.1 percent; north Lakeport, 13.6 percent.

California gains jobs in May

The Employment Development Department reported that California has gained jobs in each of the first five months of 2010, with gains over the period totaling 95,900 jobs.

Nonfarm jobs in California totaled 13,905,500 in May, an increase of 28,300 over the month, according to a survey of businesses that is larger and less variable statistically. The survey of 42,000 California

businesses measures jobs in the economy. The year-over-year change (May 2009 to May 2010) shows a decrease of 244,700 jobs (down 1.7 percent).

The federal survey of households, done with a smaller sample than the survey of employers, shows an increase in the number of employed people during the month. That survey estimated the number of Californians holding jobs in May was 16,062,000, an increase of 48,000 from April, but down 182,000 from the employment total in May of last year.

The number of people unemployed in California was 2,277,000 – down by 21,000 over the month, but up by 212,000 compared with May of last year the state reported.

EDD’s report on payroll employment (wage and salary jobs) in the nonfarm industries of California totaled 13,905,500 in May, a net gain of 28,300 jobs since the April survey, according to the report. This followed a gain of 25,400 jobs (as revised) in April.

Six categories – manufacturing; information; professional and business services; leisure and hospitality; other services; and government – added jobs over the month, gaining 46,200 jobs, the state reported. Government posted the largest increase over the month, adding 30,000 jobs, all in federal government.

Four categories – construction; trade, transportation and utilities; financial activities; and educational and health services – reported job declines in May month, down 17,900 jobs. The report showed that trade, transportation and utilities posted the largest decline over the month, down by 9,600 jobs.

One sector, mining and logging, recorded no change over the month, the state reported.

In a year-over-year comparison – May 2009 to May 2010 – nonfarm payroll employment in California decreased by 244,700 jobs, down 1.7 percent, according to the Employment Development Department. Three industry divisions – information; educational and health services; and government – posted job gains over the year, adding 37,000 jobs.

Educational and health services recorded the largest increase over the year on a numerical percentage

basis, up 24,500 jobs, a 1.4 percent increase. The state reported that information posted the largest increase over the year on a percentage basis, up 2.0 percent, a gain of 8,900 jobs.

Eight categories – mining and logging; construction; manufacturing; trade, transportation and utilities; financial activities; professional and business services; leisure and hospitality; and other services – posted job declines over the year, down 281,700 jobs, the state reported.

The report showed that trade, transportation and utilities employment showed the largest decline over the year on a numerical basis, down by 82,300 jobs, a decline of 3.1 percent. Construction employment showed the largest decline over the year on a percentage basis, down 12.8 percent, down 80,800 jobs.

In May, there were 675,201 people receiving regular unemployment insurance benefits during the May survey week, according to the Employment Development Department. When federal unemployment insurance extensions are included, the total is 1,461,349 people receiving benefits, compared to 729,211 in April and 839,960 last year.

At the same time, the state reported that new claims for unemployment insurance were 70,439 in May, compared with 83,896 in April and 67,579 in May of last year.

E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Follow Lake County News on Twitter at and on Facebook at .

ST. HELENA – Cal Fire reported that it's planning a live fire training with realistic, wildland fire conditions this weekend in Napa County.

Cal Fire's Sonoma-Lake-Napa Unit will conduct live fire training exercises on Saturday, June 19, on the Snell Valley Road area, near Pope Valley.

The live fire training will provide realistic wildland fire conditions to train 30 students who are attending the 14-day Cal Fire Firefighter’s Academy in St. Helena, the agency reported.

Cal Fire said the live fire training will provide a safe and controlled environment for the students to apply the fire fighting knowledge they have gained from the classroom segment of the academy.

Small grass fires will be started and students will practice extinguishing them using a variety of tools and techniques, according to Cal Fire.

The agency also noted that the students will be backed up and supported by fully trained fire personnel and engines from Cal Fire and Napa County Fire.

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The van Pedro Sanchez's girlfriend and her friend fled in on Tuesday, June 15, 2010. Sanchez is alleged to have used a shovel-type instrument on the windshield, which hampered the womens' ability to drive and covered both with small shards of glass. Photo courtesy of the Glenn County Sheriff's Office.



HAMILTON CITY – A Glenn County woman rammed a man with her van on Tuesday in an effort to escape a violent physical attack on she and a friend, officials reported.

Deputies eventually arrested 43-year-old Pedro Sanchez of Hamilton City and booked him into the Glenn County Jail in Willows for investigation of inflicting corporal injury upon a spouse, threatening a crime which could result in great bodily injury, assault with a deadly weapon other than a firearm and false imprisonment, according to Glenn County Sheriff Larry Jones.

Jones said his deputies were dispatched to a report of a large physical fight occurring at a home on County Road 24, just west of State Highway 45, south of Hamilton City.

Reports indicated a violent domestic situation was occurring with a suspect, later identified as Sanchez, discharging a firearm at two victims as they were attempting to flee the assault, Jones said.

Sanchez's significant other and 41-year-old Bridgette Dawn Walker, 41, both of whom had been residing at the address in the 8000 block of County Road 24, were able to flee the scene to Hamilton City were they awaited contact with the sheriff’s office, according to Jones.

Deputies, assisted by agents of the Glenn Inter-agency Narcotics Task Force, converged on the home in an effort to contain and locate Sanchez. Meanwhile, Jones met the two victims in Hamilton City.

Jones said the women were driving a Toyota van which had had its windshield on the driver’s side completely shattered by the impact of a shovel or similar type instrument. Both women were very upset, believing Sanchez had brandished a long gun, possibly a shotgun, and fired upon them as they were fleeing his attack.

Sanchez's girlfriend said she had gotten into a verbal argument with him and he held her against her will in their bedroom, threatening to disfigure her with a hammer if she attempted to leave him. Jones said she alleged that Sanchez became extremely violent throwing objects at her with one of the objects striking her behind the left ear, and he also took her cell phone.

The girlfriend claimed she needed to use the bathroom and used that to alert Walker before fleeing the house. Jones said Sanchez allegedly threw objects at them and stood in front of the driver’s side of the van, smashed out the windshield with impact of a shovel showering the occupants with shards of glass.

Walker told officials that she gunned the van and struck the suspect with the driver’s side front fender area, knocking him to the ground, in order to escape, Jones said.

Jones said both women stated they feared for their lives, and claimed that they saw Sanchez brandish a firearm and discharge it at them, although an initial inspection of the van found no projectile holes.

Though both women were slightly injured, they declined medical treatment and they declined the assistance of a domestic violence response team volunteer, Jones said.

Deputies found Sanchez near his home and requested an ambulance. Jones said a .22-caliber rifle was located; however the weapon’s involvement is yet to be determined. A metal claw hammer was located inside the victim’s bedroom.

Detectives from the Sheriff’s Major Crimes Unit were called out to take over the investigation. The victim was cleared by ambulance personnel and transported by Deputy Jon Owens to Glenn Medical Center for an evidentiary blood draw. Jones said Sanchez was then booked into the Glenn County Jail, with bail set at $210,000.

Detectives transported the victims to Willows for detailed statements. The van the victims had been in was towed and stored for evidence, Jones said.

Detective Greg Felton contacted the on-call Glenn County Superior Court Judge and obtained an emergency protective order and served the suspect in the jail. Jones said the victim was provided with domestic violence support information.

Additional investigation and witness interviews will be conducted, Jones said.

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Glenn County Sheriff

Community members gather to enjoy an evening of music in Lakeport's Library Park on Friday, June 18, 2010. Photo by Terre Logdson.



LAKEPORT – Dancing and enjoying the company of friends and family, residents and visitors gathered at Library Park to enjoy the Lakeport Summer Concert Series on Friday night.

Held every Friday evening in the summer, from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., the Summer Concert Series, which is free of charge, is popular with all ages.

On Friday evening, the American Rock band Swinging Chads energized the crowds and got many in the mood to dance.

The series started June 11, and will end on Aug. 13, when local favorites The Lost Boys end the series for the summer.

For the complete concert schedule, visit

E-mail Terre Logsdon at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Follow Lake County News on Twitter at and on Facebook at .

UKIAH – A man spotted hauling marijuana plants in a trailer Thursday was arrested along with two others, with authorities seizing hundreds of plants along with $49,000 in cash in resulting vehicle and residence searches.

Mitchell Lancaster, 51, and fellow Ukiah residents Dameon Lancaster, 27, and 31-year-old Melanie Foster were taken into custody and charged with marijuana cultivation and sales, according to Capt. Kurt Smallcomb of the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office.

Shortly before 8:30 a.m. Thursday the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office received information that Lancaster was driving his pickup truck and hauling numerous marijuana plants in the back of his trailer, Smallcomb said.

Deputies proceeded to the area of Linda Vista when they observed Mitchell driving and Lancaster as a passenger in the described pickup pulling trailer. Smallcomb said they stopped the vehicle and found several marijuana plants in the back of the pickup and in the trailer.

The vehicle stop initiated a search warrant which was obtained and served at Mitchell's home as well as that of Dameon, who Smallcomb said resided with Foster.

More than 600 marijuana plants were seized between both residences and the initial vehicle stop, Smallcomb reported.

In addition, approximately $49,000 in cash was seized between the vehicle stop and the search of the two residences, according to Smallcomb.

He said the three suspects were transported and booked into the Mendocino County Jail, with bail for each set at $20,000.

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THE GEYSERS – Tuesday proved a notable day for earthquakes around the globe and locally.

A 3.7 magnitude earthquake was recorded at The Geysers at 2:39 p.m. Tuesday, the second quake above a magnitude of 3.0 in as many days.

As previously reported by Lake County News, a 3.2 temblor shook The Geysers early Monday morning.

The Tuesday quake was centered two miles east of The Geysers and four miles southwest of Cobb, at a depth of 2.49 miles, according to the US Geological Survey.

Mainly felt in Santa Rosa, Petaluma and Healdsburg, the quake was reported in 13 different zip codes – the furthest report to the survey was from Newport Beach, 447 miles to the south.

Around the globe, Indonesia's Geophysics and Meteorological Agency issued a local tsunami warning Tuesday after a 6.2 temblor, followed by a 7.0, struck near West Papua, according to the Australian-based Adelaide Now Web site, which reported that the Hawaii-based Pacific Tsunami Warning Center did not issue a "Pacific-wide" warning.


The US Geological Survey reported that hundreds of quakes continued to shake Baja and Southern California Tuesday, which has seen an increase in seismic activity over the past few months since the 7.2 magnitude temblor struck Baja on April 4, as previously reported by Lake County News.

Temblors that struck that region on Tuesday included a sizable 5.7 quake, according to the US Geological Survey.

E-mail Terre Logsdon at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Follow Lake County News on Twitter at and on Facebook at .

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