Monday, 26 February 2024

News

MIDDLETOWN – A local man was the victim of a fatal Friday morning crash near Middletown.


The 47-year-old Lower Lake resident died at the scene of the solo-vehicle collision, which occurred on Butts Canyon Road a mile and a half east of Highway 29, the California Highway Patrol reported.


The man's identity was not released Friday by the CHP or the coroner's office pending family notification.


Just a few minutes before 7 a.m. the man was driving his 2008 Ford Edge westbound on Butts Canyon Road at an unknown speed when, according to the CHP report, he allowed his vehicle to drift off the road's south edge.


When the car went off the road it overturned and hit a utility pole, the CHP said.


The driver, pronounced dead at the scene, was wearing his seat belt and the vehicle's airbag had deployed, according to the CHP report.


CHP Officer Steve Curtis is leading the crash investigation, the agency reported.


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 http://twitter.com/LakeCoNews .

LUCERNE – A former director of the Lucerne Alpine Senior Center has been rearrested and charged again with embezzlement and grand theft.


Rowland James Mosser, 65, of Lucerne was arrested shortly before 9:30 a.m. Thursday and booked on four felony counts, two for embezzlement and two for grand theft, according to court records.


Mosser, whose current occupation is listed as business consultant on his booking sheet, posted the $10,000 bail later in the day and was released from the Lake County Jail.


Gary Luck, the county's retired district attorney who now works as a part-time prosecutor, said he is pursuing the same charges as were previously alleged against Mosser, but which were dropped during a January preliminary hearing due to the need for more evidence, as Lake County News has reported.


“It's the same case all over again,” but with a much deeper accounting of records, Luck said.


However, the case will differ in at least one way – charges have not been refiled against Mosser's wife, Jayne, who previously had faced a single felony count of grand theft.


“We don't feel we have enough evidence to convince the jury that she participated in it,” said Luck.


Judy Conard, who has acted as Mosser's attorney, did not have a comment on the case when contacted by Lake County News on Thursday.


Mosser was the center's executive director from July 2002 to August 2005.


The senior center's financial issues were the focus of an extensive grand jury investigation that was released as part of the 2006-07 report.


The refiled case against Mosser alleges that the embezzlement and theft activities took place between Jan. 1, 2005, and Aug. 12, 2005.


After the initial case was dropped earlier this year, the District Attorney's Office had a forensic examination conducted on the center's books and bank records, said Luck.


That, he said, gave the prosecution a better understanding of what was happening to the center's finances while Mosser was the center's executive director.


Former center officials told Lake County News in previous interviews that they could not account for between $150,000 and $175,000 in center funds after Mosser left in August 2005.


However, as to the total amount Mosser is alleged to have taken from the center, Luck said he doesn't have a “firm amount” and that such a total may never be available because Mosser didn't keep accurate financial records.


“Our case is built on his poor record keeping,” said Luck.


One figure that has become clearer is that between $60,000 and $64,000 was supposed to have been in the center's vault at one point, Luck said.


“The money had to go somewhere,” said Luck.


During testimony in the January preliminary hearing, Ron Larsen, the case's investigator, said he had found evidence of the Mossers' home electricity bill being paid at one point by the center.


Larsen also had testified to reviewing the Mossers' own bank statements, noting that over the period from 2003 to 2005 the couple went through a large amount of money, more than $167,000, which had appeared to come from investments.


In 2005 when the couple closed their personal checking account, all of that money appeared to be gone, with their only income source being Rowland Mosser's salary, Luck had stated in the preliminary hearing.


“When their money disappears, that's when the Lucerne Senior Center's money disappears,” Luck stated at the time.


Mosser is tentatively scheduled to appear in court on Nov. 20, according to booking records.


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 http://twitter.com/LakeCoNews .


LAKE COUNTY – The California Highway Patrol, Lake County Sheriff’s Office, Lakeport Police Department and the Clearlake Police Department will conduct a joint sobriety checkpoint on Friday, Sept. 25.

Funding for this program was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

“The desired result is to save lives and make everyone’s family summer excursion, for both our community residents and those visiting our beautiful county, a safe and pleasurable memory,” Lt. Mark Loveless, CHP area commander, said Wednesday.

The sobriety checkpoint will be staffed by officers and deputies from each department who are trained in the detection of alcohol and/or drug impaired drivers.

Drug recognition experts, certified by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, will be on site to provide on the spot assessments of drivers suspected of drug use.

The officers and deputies will also be equipped with state of the art handheld breath devices which provide an accurate measure of blood alcohol concentrations of suspected drunk drivers.

Caltrans employees will be on site providing traffic control in order to ensure the safety of officers and motorists alike.   

Lt. Loveless said that, traffic volume permitting, all vehicles will be checked and drivers who are under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, or unlicensed, can be expected to be arrested.

“Our goal is to ensure the safe passage of each and every motorist by targeting roads where there is a high frequency of drunk driving,” Loveless said. “DUI enforcement patrols as well as sobriety checkpoints are effective tools for achieving this goal and are designed to augment existing patrol operations.”

He added, “By publicizing our efforts, we believe that we can deter motorists from drinking and driving.”

MIDDLETOWN – The California Highway Patrol is reporting a possible fatal crash near Middletown.


Throughout the morning CHP officers remained on the scene of the crash, which occurred on Butts Canyon Road approximately one mile from Highway 29.


The solo-vehicle collision involved a vehicle that was reported to have been wrapped around a power pole, according to the CHP.


The collision caused the road to be shut down while Pacific Gas & Electric worked to replace the power pole, the CHP reported. Shortly after 7:30 a.m. the road was opened under one-way traffic control.


The CHP did not have additional details on the crash or its victim available during the morning.


Lake County News will update the story as more information becomes available.


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 http://twitter.com/LakeCoNews .

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Konocti Harbor is reported to be under a sales contract, according to a representative of the company overseeing the resort's sale. Courtesy photo.
 

 

 

KELSEYVILLE – A representative of the company overseeing the sale of Konocti Harbor Resort & Spa said Wednesday that the resort is currently under a sales contract.


The news comes just a few weeks after it was announced that the resort would close temporarily but indefinitely beginning in November.


James Bishop, managing director of WhiteStar Advisors LLC, shared some basic details about the resort's current sales situation in an interview with Lake County News.


“There is a signed contract but they have not yet reached the date by which the escrow needs to be opened,” he explained.


Bishop would not disclose the identity of the potential buyer or discuss terms of the contract, including the price, which is stated as $15 million on the county's multiple listing service.


The purchase contract is still being negotiated, Bishop said, and he wouldn't guess as to when those negotiations or a sale might wrap up.


The 90-acre full-service lakefront resort includes an outdoor amphitheater and indoor showroom, swimming pools, a marina, restaurant and night club facilities, hotel accommodations, a spa, and meeting and conference rooms.


The property had been listed locally by Coldwell Banker Town & Country. However, Bishop noted, “This particular contract did not involve a local Realtor.”


Coldwell Banker Town & Country representatives did not return calls from Lake County News seeking comment.


In November 2004, the US Department of Labor sued Local 38 of the United Association of Plumbers, Pipefitters and Journeymen, whose Convalescent Trust Fund, Lakeside Haven, has owned Konocti Harbor since 1959.


The federal suit alleged that the union diverted $36 million from pension funds to help run the resort, as Lake County News has reported. Department of Labor attorneys told Lake County News in a 2007 interview that the amount the union transferred to the trust fund between 1994 and 2004 was actually around $54 million.


The suit's settlement was finalized in August 2007.


WhiteStar Advisors LLC, based in Boca Raton, Fla., was appointed to act as the resort's independent fiduciary in September 2007, according to federal court records. The company is being paid $25,000 per quarter for its services.


“In this particular case our primary role is to facilitate the sale of the property,” said Bishop. “We see that as our most important function at the moment.”


He added, “Our job is not to manage and run the resort on a day-to-day basis.”


The lawsuit settlement, said Bishop, contains a formulation for the application of the sale's proceeds. “The first money goes back to the trust fund,” he said.


Bishop said the firm doesn't have a permanent presence, and relies on assistance from the current management team – led by Greg Bennett, the resort's longtime president and general manager.


Gloria Della, spokesperson for the US Department of Labor, told Lake County News on Wednesday that the consent order that resulted from the lawsuit isn't affected by the resort's closure or the current situation.


“The independent fiduciary continues to manage the property and the Department is monitoring the case on an ongoing basis,” she said.


During the two years that WhiteStar has been on the job, the economy has changed dramatically, which has proved a challenge in finding a seller.


There have been interested buyers, including Bay Area firm Page Mill Properties, which had at one point looked at buying the resort for $25 million, as Lake County News has reported.


However, that deal fell apart, and Page Mill has now fallen into troubles of its own. The San Jose Mercury News reported that the company failed to make a $50 million balloon payment to Wells Fargo last month and now has a court-appointed receiver overseeing it operations.


Page Mill also is locked in lawsuits over rent hikes in East Palo Alto, where it's the biggest landlord of rent-controlled properties, the San Jose Mercury News reported.


While there have been a number of people looking at Konocti Harbor, Bishop said resorts across the nation have been hit hard in the current economic climate, which is affecting all sectors.


WhiteStar has real estate and investment activities across the country, said Bishop. “We see the same kinds of problems in very high end properties with very sophisticated, high-end type buyers,” he said, just as they struggles for smaller, local properties.


Efforts under way to help employees


Earlier this month, WhiteStar sent Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) letters to local and state government officials, notifying them of the “expected temporary closure” of the resort, effective Nov. 11, as Lake County News has reported. The letter also was sent to Unite Here Local 2850 of Oakland, which represents the resort's workforce.


The closure, which the WhiteStar letter stated was to be for an “indefinite” period of time, was to affect approximately 700 employees, although an accompanying employee count list submitted to the state Employment Development Department listed approximately 559 staff slated for layoff.


Unite Here Local 2850's president, Wei-Ling Huber, said the economy has a lot of accommodations businesses struggling in other places like the Bay Area. I think Konocti's been hit a lot harder than a lot of the other hotels were hit,” Huber said.


Bishop said he didn't know whether the resort will be sold in time to prevent those employees from losing their jobs.


Meanwhile, in response to the announcement that the resort was closing, local officials created a committee to assess the economic impacts, primarily the displaced workers.


County Administrative Officer Kelly Cox said Wednesday that he can't say much publicly about the county's efforts at this point.


He did say, however, that the county has communicated its “strong desire” to all parties involved that the current owners keep Konocti Harbor open and operational until its sold.


“We have also been obtaining information about programs that may be available through the federal government to assist in keeping the facility open,” he said.


Huber said the union has a successor agreement which requires a new owner to retain the current employees if Konocti Harbor continues to be operated as a resort. That successor agreement also is supposed to uphold the current employee contract under new ownership.


She said Unite Here Local 2850 has has a good relationship with UA Local 38, which is working to ensure benefits and severance for the resort's employees.


Huber said Unite Here will meet in early October with UA Local 38 to discuss the succession and worker benefits issues.


She said this is the time of year when Konocti Harbor's seasonal workforce starts to shrink following the more active summer months. Huber estimated the resort tops out at about 700 employees in summer and is reduced to less than 100 employees during the winter.


No potential new owners have yet been introduced to the union, said Huber.


“It's pretty early in the process,” she said, explaining that, in general, the union doesn't start talking to new owners until a few weeks before the new ownership actually takes over.


In the case that Konocti Harbor goes to a new owner who intends to use it for a nonresort use, thus canceling out its succession agreement, Huber said the union will help point union members toward services and assist them in transitioning to new employers.


Teddie Pierce, executive director of the Lake One-Stop Center, located at 55 First St. in Lakeport, said she wants Konocti Harbor's employees to know that help with services including unemployment information, work readiness and career transition counseling is available if it's needed.


She said they can get immediate information about employee assistance by calling the office at 707-263-0630, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., or emailing a request to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .


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 http://twitter.com/LakeCoNews .

SONOMA COUNTY – A wildland fire sparked Monday afternoon was edging toward full containment on Tuesday.


The Pine Fire, located near Pine Flat Road west of The Geysers Complex and east of Geyserville in Sonoma County, was estimated to be 85-percent contained by the end of Tuesday, according to Cal Fire.


Approximately 630 firefighters were on scene Tuesday, with Cal Fire reporting three injuries.


Burning in heavy brush since noon on Monday, the fire is estimated to be around 300 acres, down from Cal Fire's previous estimate of 350 acres.


Cal Fire said full containment is expected at around 8 a.m. Wednesday.


The fire's cause is still under investigation, Cal Fire reported.


Resources Cal Fire reported to have on scene Tuesday included 21 engines, 30 fire crews, seven air tankers, four helicopters, 15 bulldozers and five water tenders.


The six homes previously reported to be in danger are no longer threatened, officials said Tuesday.


Pine Flat Road also has reopened, Cal Fire said.


Firefighting costs by day's end Tuesday were estimated at approximately $922,896, according to Cal Fire.


Cooperating agencies working on the fire include Cal Fire, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Sonoma County Fire, South Lake County Fire, California Highway Patrol, Sonoma County Roads, Pacific Gas & Electric, Sonoma County Sheriff, Geyserville Fire Department and CalEMA.


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 http://twitter.com/LakeCoNews .

LAKE COUNTY – At its event this past Saturday the Lake County Wine Auction once again raised a considerable amount of funds for community causes.

On Thursday members of the Lake County Wine Alliance Board of Directors announced the proceeds of the 10th annual Wine Auction, held on Sept. 19.

The charity event received more than $120,000 in revenue from ticket sales, sponsorships, the live and silent auctions and raffle, a special fund-a-need item, entry into the Vintage Vault, sales of fine edition posters and a winery dinner, the board reported.

Event organizers noted that expenses were reduced about 20 percent from the previous year, and overall revenues were down about 30 percent from the income received in 2008.

Attendance was close to a sell-out once again for this popular benefit that raises funds to support the arts, health and community while also promoting Lake County as a premier wine grape growing region.

Premier sponsors included Pacific Gas & Electric Co., Beckstoffer Vineyards, Kelseyville Lumber, Saw Shop Gallery Bistro, Mendo Lake Credit Union and Wildhurst Vineyards.

The Wine Alliance is a nonprofit organization of Lake County wineries, winegrape growers, related businesses and community supporters directed by an all-volunteer board of directors, under the leadership of Margaret Walker Stimmel, president; Marie Beery, vice president; and Rob Roumiguiere, treasurer.

Andy Beckstoffer, chairman and chief executive officer of Beckstoffer Vineyards, was the Wine Auction honorary committee chair for the 2009 event.

Special guest Congressman Mike Thompson attended, and offered the live auction lot that garnered the highest bid, a barbecue at his ranch in Lake County with wines made from the grapes grown in his vineyard. Thompson has participated every year, and is a strong supporter of Lake County’s wine industry.

Other highlights of the event included the auctioneering talents of Tom DiNardo, the music of the LC Diamonds, the new Vintage Vault with seven Lake County wineries pouring special wines, the addition of local actors lending fun and pizzazz, and the transformation of the National Guard Armory building into a Tuscan courtyard with draped walls and garlands of twinkle lights.

Representatives of the organizations that will receive proceeds from the Wine Auction participated by setting up, decorating and cleaning up the venue.

The beneficiary organizations will receive their respective share of the net proceeds from the Wine Alliance later this year.

Those to benefit include: the Allegro Music Scholarship Program, the fine arts programs at the five Lake County high schools, the Lake County Hunger Task Force, the Meals on Wheels programs at five senior centers, the St. Helena Hospital Clearlake mammography fund, the Stitch and Give Knitters, the Lake County Chapter of Vietnam Veterans, People Services Inc., Senior Law Project Inc. and the Ely Stage Stop and Country Museum.

Information about the 11th annual Lake County Wine Auction will be available at www.winealliance.org  or by calling 1-866-279-WINE.

LAKEPORT – Firefighters quickly contained a small vegetation fire in Lakeport Wednesday evening.


Lakeport Fire Protection District personnel responded to the fire at approximately 6:41 p.m. Wednesday, according to a report from firefighter/paramedic Brian Hajik.


Hajik said the fire was located near the intersection of Larrecou Lane and Konocti Avenue.


Lakeport Fire's engine 5021 arrived in under four minutes and reported the fire as under a quarter acre in light flashy fuels, he said. Lakeport medic engine 5012 arrived 1 minute later and assumed command of the incident.


Under the direction of Captain Rick Bergem, hose lines were quickly extended on both flanks before flames threatened structures, Hajik said.


He said aggressive firefighting operations led to fire containment in five minutes. Mopup lasted just over an hour, and the incident was terminated at 7:47 p.m.


In all, Lakeport Fire Protection District responded with three engines, and Kelseyville Fire provided one ambulance with mutual aid, according to Hajik.


The fire occurred at the future site of the Lakeport Fire Protection District station. Hajik said that construction has not yet begun.


Fire cause is currently under investigation and no injuries were reported, Hajik said.

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From left, Shannon Edmonds and Melvin Norton are being held in connection with a fatal stabbing that is alleged to have occurred in Clearlake on Tuesday, September 22, 2009. Lake County Jail photos.
 

 

 

THIS STORY HAS BEEN UPDATED.

 

CLEARLAKE – A man who shot and killed two men as they fled from his home following an alleged December 2005 break-in has been charged, along with another Clearlake resident, with homicide in a Tuesday morning stabbing.


Shannon Lee Edmonds, 35, of Clearlake was arrested early Tuesday, along with Melvin Dale Norton, 38, also of Clearlake, according to Clearlake Police Chief Allan McClain.


Edmonds and Norton weren't booked until shortly before 8 p.m. Tuesday as a result of interviews going on throughout the day, McClain told Lake County News.


Bail for each of the men is set at $1 million, according to their booking information. Arraignment is tentatively scheduled for Thursday.


McClain said Edmonds and Norton were arrested for the stabbing death of a white male adult in his 30s who has not yet been identified.


Clearlake Police officers were dispatched to an area of Old Highway 53 and Clement Drive at about 1:15 a.m. Tuesday on the report of a possible assault, McClain said.


When the officers arrived at the scene, they found the victim lying on the side of the roadway. McClain said the victim was transported to Saint Helena Hospital Clearlake where he was pronounced dead upon arrival.


The leads developed by the first officers on scene and by detectives assigned to the case resulted in the arrest of Edmonds and Norton, both of whom are charged with homicide, McClain said.


Officer Michael Ray arrested both men at 5 a.m., according to jail records.


McClain said Clearlake Police detectives, along with Lake County District Attorney's Office investigators, were in the process of serving search warrants and collecting additional evidence.


He said the victim's name will be released by the Lake County Sheriff-Coroner's Office at the appropriate time.


District Attorney Jon Hopkins said late Tuesday that his chief deputy, Richard Hinchcliff, was working on the case with Clearlake Police.


Edmonds was at the center of a December 2005 case in which three Bay Area men allegedly broke into his Clearlake Park home and assaulted him, his then-girlfriend Lori Tyler, her teenage son Dale Lafferty and Lafferty's friend, Justin Sutch.


Christian Foster, 22, along with 21-year-old Rashad Williams and Renato Hughes, then 21, allegedly formed a “crime team” and broke into Edmonds' home in search of marijuana, as Hopkins explained to the jury in the trial in the summer of 2008. During the 2005 incident, Lafferty was beaten nearly to death with a bat and suffered permanent brain damage.


Edmonds fatally shot Williams and Foster as they ran from his home, with the prosecution arguing the men were still in the house when they were shot, and the defense saying that Edmonds shot them after following them outside.


The District Attorney's Office did not charge Edmonds in that case.


Hughes later was charged with his friends' deaths under the provocative act law, which holds anyone alleged to have taken part in a crime that could provoke a lethal act responsible for resulting deaths.


His defense attorney, Stuart Hanlon, on Tuesday called news of Edmonds' arrest on the murder charge “amazing.”


Throughout Hughes' legal proceedings, Hanlon attempted to place blame on Edmonds and demanded his prosecution.


In similar fashion, Hanlon on Tuesday called the Clearlake homicide “a murder waiting to happen,” alleging that Edmonds had essentially been given permission to kill people because he had never been charged for any of the deaths.


Edmonds also wasn't charged for an August 2007 incident in which he allegedly tried to force Tyler to commit suicide with him, making her take about 150 pills and write out a suicide note, as Lake County News has reported. The couple later drove to the hospital, but about two weeks afterward Edmonds again attempted suicide by taking pills.


“He's a troubled man, that's for sure,” said Hanlon.


However, Edmonds has a sparse local criminal record, with no previous charges involving violence.


A check of Lake County court records showed that Edmonds has only one criminal case on file locally – a January conviction on misdemeanor charges of disorderly conduct while under the influence of drugs and disturbing the peace.


Hanlon said his investigators found that Edmonds was charged in Mendocino County with several low-level drug offenses – but no felonies.


In Hughes' trial – held last summer in Contra Costa County, where it was moved due to pretrial publicity – Hughes was acquitted of the two homicide counts, robbery and attempted murder, with the jury hanging on assault causing great bodily injury. Hughes was convicted of burglary and assault with a firearm.


During the trial's closing arguments, Hanlon had stated Foster was shot four times in the back, one of them while he was on the ground, which Hanlon told Lake County News on Tuesday that Edmonds had testified to while on the stand.


It's a point that both Hanlon and Hopkins continue to argue.


Hopkins told Lake County News in a recent interview that he provided evidence in last year's trial that proved Edmonds couldn't have shot Foster while he was lying prone.


Hanlon on Tuesday responded to that statement with some colorful language, and maintained that the jury didn't buy that explanation.


Last December, a federal lawsuit filed against Edmonds by Williams' and Foster's families was settled. Edmonds' insurance carrier, Allied, paid an undisclosed amount, as Lake County News has reported.


In the suit, the families alleged that Edmonds was a known drug dealer, and claimed that Foster's and Williams' civil rights were violated.


That suit's defendants originally had included the county and the city of Clearlake, but a federal judge dismissed the case against the local jurisdictions.


If anyone has any information regarding this case please contact the Clearlake Police Department at 707-994-8251.


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 http://twitter.com/LakeCoNews .

MENDOCINO – Mendocino County officials are dealing with water quality concerns in the seaside town of Mendocino.

The Mendocino City Community Services District made emergency repairs at the sewage treatment plant located at the far west end of town from Aug. 24 through 28, the county reported. The repairs necessitated wastewater to be diverted to the plants overflow pond.

On Aug. 28, repairs were complete, the pond was pumped dry and plant flow returned to normal, according to the county's report.

At about the time the repairs were completed, a resident located immediately adjacent to and east of the plant complained of foul smelling water coming from their well. Officials said the shallow well located approximately 100 feet away from the pond.

The Division of Environmental Health (DEH) was notified on Sept. 15 of a water sample taken from the well testing positive for the presence of fecal bacteria. DEH staff visited the neighborhood on Sept. 18, to obtain information on well construction in the area and to collect additional water samples.

Well construction varied from old, poorly constructed, shallow wells to newer deep wells installed to meet sanitary requirements, officials said.

DEH staff collected water samples from five wells. Two samples collected from shallow wells tested positive for bacteria, but none of the samples were found to contain fecal bacteria. Another shallow well in the area that was tested by residents also was reported to be free of fecal contamination, the county reported.

Mendocino County DEH staff conducts inspections at food facilities in Mendocino and those establishments on private well have water samples collected.  Of the most recently collected water samples from 16 food establishments, none were found to contain fecal bacteria.

Aside from the one positive sample there does not appear to be fecal contamination of water wells in the vicinity of the Mendocino sewage treatment plant, the agency reported. The source of contamination in the one well has not been determined.

DEH staff recommendation is for homeowners whose water is supplied from shallow wells to have the system inspected and repairs and upgrades made as required to minimize the risk of harmful bacteria getting into the water supply.

SONOMA COUNTY – A fire burning in a remote part of Sonoma County near The Geysers geothermal complex was fully contained Wednesday evening.


The Pine Fire burned 300 acres near Pine Flat Road, west of The Geysers Complex and east of Geyserville, according to Cal Fire.


The fire began Monday in heavy fuels. The fire's cause remains under investigation, Cal Fire stated.


Approximately 415 firefighting personnel – including 22 fire crews – remained on scene Wednesday, along with six engines and three water tenders, according to Cal Fire. Three injuries were reported during the incident.


Cal Fire's final report on the fire stated that suppression costs reached $1.7 million.


Agencies that worked the fire during its two-day duration included Cal Fire, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Sonoma County Fire, South Lake County Fire, California Highway Patrol, Sonoma County Roads, Pacific Gas & Electric, Sonoma County Sheriff, Geyserville Fire Department and the California Emergency Management Agency.


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 http://twitter.com/LakeCoNews .

UPPER LAKE – A man who was hang gliding in the Upper Lake area Saturday died after crashing his glider.


The man, whose name has not yet been released from the Lake County Sheriff-Coroner's Office, died at the scene.


He had been hang gliding in an area several miles north of Upper Lake in the Middle Creek area off of Elk Mountain Road, officials reported.


Northshore Fire Battalion Chief Pat Brown said they responded to a medical call at around 1 p.m. Saturday.


They found the man had crashed his glider, but Brown noted that the crash wasn't a hard one.


What appears to have taken the man's life was a heart attack while he was still in the air, said Brown.


Brown said firefighters were unable to revive the victim.


Tamara Schmidt, spokesperson for the Mendocino National Forest, said the incident did not happen on US Forest Service Land.


She said the forest offered to assist Northshore Fire with an engine, but it wasn't needed at the call.


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 http://twitter.com/LakeCoNews .

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