Monday, 15 July 2024

News

LAKE COUNTY – Air conditions are expected to improve Saturday as winds clear out Lake County's air basin of smoke from fires that continue to burn around the region.


Fires in the Soda Complex and Yolla Bolly Complex in the Mendocino National Forest continued to burn Friday, as did a massive lightning complex in neighboring Mendocino counties, fire officials reported.


Wildland fires in Mendocino and Butte counties have taken a heavy toll on Lake County's air quality in recent days, but Lake County Air Pollution Control Officer Bob Reynolds said conditions began to improve late afternoon Friday.


The improved conditions came from a west to southeast wind that helped clear some smoke out of the county and which is expected to continue into the weekend, said Reynolds. He said air quality should be in the moderate range on Saturday.


However, he added that significant smoke remains over the ocean, and the west to southwest winds may bring more smoke over Northern California in the next few days.


In fire news, officials reported Friday that the Soda Complex on the Mendocino National Forest's Upper Lake Ranger District was 82-percent contained, a slight rollback on progress reported the previous day.


The fires have burned 6,325 acres in Lake and Mendocino counties, according to US Forest Services spokesperson Phebe Brown.


The Yolla Bolly Complex – which includes fires on the Yolla Bolly-Middle Eel Wilderness in Mendocino, Trinity and Tehama counties – saw some growth on Friday, according to Brown.


Brown reported that the fire remained at 65-percent containment, with the estimates of its acreage rolled back from more than 10,000 acres to 6,625.


There are 301 total personnel on the Soda Complex, which has cost $6.5 million to fight, Brown reported. The Yolla Bolly Complex has 78 personnel assigned to it, with suppression to date costing $1.45 million.


In neighboring Mendocino County, the Mendocino Lightning Complex remained at 65-percent containment Friday, having burned 500 more acres to reach 52,700 acres in size, Cal Fire reported. Approximately 2,092 personnel remain assigned to the complex.


Cal Fire's Friday report noted that 20 fires remain active out of the original 127 sparked by lightning three weeks ago.


Evacuation warnings also were lifted in the communities of Cummings and Leggett Valley late Friday, according to Cal Fire and Mendocino County officials.


The fire has so far cost $31.4 million to fight, Cal Fire reported.


For more information about the forest fires visit Forest Service Web site at www.fs.fed.us/r5/mendocino. For information about other fires around the state, visit www.cdf.ca.gov.


E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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The 2008-09 grand jury, with Brondell Locke returning as foreman (standing center, with blue folder) on Wednesday, July 9, 2008, in Judge Arthur Mann's Department 3 courtroom. Photo by Elizabeth Larson.

 


LAKEPORT – As officials prepare to release to the public the latest report by Lake County's civil grand jury, a new group of jurors for the 2008-09 year was seated Wednesday morning.


The new grand jury was impaneled in a short ceremony in Judge Arthur Mann's Department 3 courtroom at the Lake County Courthouse in Lakeport.


Also on Wednesday, the 2007-08 grand jury report was released to county department heads in anticipation of its public release, scheduled for Friday.


Several county officials were on hand to welcome and congratulate the new jurors. They included Judge David Herrick, Judge Richard Martin, county Chief Administrative Officer Kelly Cox, Chief Deputy District Attorney Richard Hinchcliff, County Counsel Anita Grant and Auditor-Control/County Clerk Pam Cochrane.


Judge Mann thanked the outgoing jurors and their foreman, Brondell Locke, for their service.


“You perform a very important function for the county of Lake,” Mann said.


With its report filed, the group was released from service. The 2007-08 members were Linda M. Alexander, Bob Cate, Pam Clevenger, Virginia L. Cline, Sandra Damitz, Michael H. Daugherty, Steven A. Esberg, Richard Everts, Kenneth L. Fountain, Kathleen H. Harrell, Pauline Hauser, Brondell Locke, Thomas A. Marquette, Jerry T. McCormick, Ronald G. Nagy, Carol Ripplinger, Lonny J. Rittler and Elizabeth Whittaker-Williams.


Mann lauded them for their report, which he called “the most extensive” he's ever seen.


The 254-page document is nearly 100 pages larger than last year's, with outgoing jurors saying it contained 82 reports on various issues and organizations, and also explored several complaints submitted by citizens.


They could not comment on the substance of the report, which isn't to be made public until Friday.


Mann then seated the new grand jury, which included four members – Linda M. Alexander of Witter Springs, Richard P. Everts of Upper Lake, Virginia L. Cline of Lakeport and Kathleen H. Harrell of Lakeport – who had agreed to continue their service from last year's grand jury


The rest of the new grand jury included Joy K. Allred of Upper Lake, Melissa Bentley of Cobb, Terry Bissonnette of Hidden Valley, John G. Daniels, of Lakeport, Harold Dietrich of Loch Lomond, Jesse O. Firestone Sr. of Clearlake, Dave R. Johnson of Clearlake, Loretta A. Krentz of Lucerne, Carolynn Manley of Lucerne, Phillip E. Myers of Lakeport, Charles O’Neill-Jones of Lower Lake, Lawrence Platz of Lakeport, Steven Tellardin of Kelseyville and Carol M. Vedder of Lakeport.'


That still left the jury one person short. So Mann reappointed Locke to the grand jury, a move which Locke greeted with surprise.


After swearing in the new grand jury, Mann reappointed Locke grand jury foreman, which Locke told Lake County News after the ceremony had proved to be another surprise for him.


Mann told the other jurors that they would find it easy to work with Locke, who has been on the grand jury the past two years. This will be his third year in a row with the group, and his second year as grand jury foreman.


Since the grand jury also had no alternates, Mann told outgoing jurors that they may be called in the event there are openings. Mann added it's a “virtual certainty” vacancies will occur on the grand jury in the year ahead.


The incoming grand jurors then went into a closed-door session with Judge Mann, who gave them their charge so they could begin organizing for the year ahead.


During their year of service – which follows a fiscal year format, from July to July – grand jury members serve as officers of the court but work as an independent body to ensure that government is acting in the best interests of the citizens it's intended to serve.


A statement from the grand jury's office says the body's major function “is to examine county and city government and special districts to ensure that their duties are being lawfully carried out.”


In order to do that, the grand jury reviews and evaluates procedures, methods and systems utilized by government entities to determine whether more efficient and economical programs may be employed.


In recent years, the Lake County grand jury has been noted for its highly detailed investigative reports, focusing attention on, among other things, an embezzlement case at the Lucerne Alpine Senior Center, Child Protective Services and defense services for indigent defendants in the county's court system.


E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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MENDOCINO NATIONAL FOREST – The blistering temperatures felt around the county so far this week have made firefighting more challenging on wildland blazes around the North Coast and in the area's National Forests lands.


Despite increased fire activity caused by warming daytime and nighttime temperatures, crews have continued making good progress in constructing fire lines on the Soda Complex, according to a report from Forest Service spokesman Brian LaMoure.


The complex is located on the Mendocino National Forest's Upper Lake Ranger District, to the north and northwest of Lake Pillsbury. It has burned 6,080 acres and is 76-percent contained. The fires are located in both Lake and Mendocino counties, and began June 21 when lightning storms hit the area.


LaMoure reported that the Soda Complex has two active fires – the Mill, 900 acres and 50-percent contained, which is expected to be contained on Thursday; and the 1,390-acre Monkey Rock Fire, which is 25-percent contained, with full containment expected on July 15.


A red flag warning will be in effect for the fire area from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. Wednesday due to hot, dry conditions, which are expected to extend throughout the rest of the week, according to LaMoure.


Another complex of lightning-caused fires in the Yolla Bolly-Middle Eel Wilderness has burned 7,987 acres in Mendocino, Trinity and Tehama counties, and is 65-percent contained, according to Forest Service spokesperson Mary Christensen. Full containment is anticipated July 30.


Officials reported there are 504 firefighters working on both fire complexes, where there have been a total of four injuries reported – three for the Soda Complex, one for the Yolla Bolly.


Total fire suppression costs to date are $5.68 million for the Soda Complex, while the Yolla Bolly is estimated at $1.45 million, LaMoure reported.


Also on Tuesday, Cal Fire reported that Mendocino County's lightning complex had grown to 51,200 acres burned, with 60-percent containment. Estimated suppression costs are at $25.1 million.


For more information about the forest fires visit Forest Service Web site at www.fs.fed.us/r5/mendocino. For information about other fires around the state, visit www.cdf.ca.gov.


E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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NORTH COAST – Despite hot weather and increasing fire danger, North Coast fires continued to move toward containment.


Continuing to burn on National Forest lands are the 6,120-acre Soda Complex, located to the north and northwest of Lake Pillsbury on the Upper Lake Ranger District in Lake and Mendocino counties, and the Yolla Bolly Complex in the Yolla Bolly-Middle Eel Wilderness, which has burned 10,669 acres.


Forest officials attribute both complexes to a June 21 lightning storm that passed over the North Coast.


The 1,390-acre Monkey Rock Fire in the Soda Complex experienced a flare up on Thursday, spreading embers on the M-1 Road outside of the wilderness area, according to US Forest Service spokesperson Phebe Brown.


She said firefighters quickly went to work on the spots where the embers spread, and continued patrolling for spot fires.


The complex is now 83-percent contained, Brown reported, with two fires still actively burning.


Besides the Monkey Rock Fire, the Mill Fire, at 940 acres, was still burning, and had made a strong uphill run on Wednesday, increasing in size as it went, according to Brown.


On Thursday, Brown said 307 firefighters remained assigned to the fire, which has cost $6.24 million to date to fight.


The Yolla Bolly Complex – located in Mendocino, Tehama and Trinity counties – has seven out of an original 22 fires still actively burning, according to Brown. The complex is 65-percent contained.


Brown said that, due to hot conditions, the fires could continue to spread. A total of 114 fire personnel are assigned to the complex, the suppression costs of which have cost $1.7 million to date.


In Mendocino County, where a lightning fire complex has burned 52,200 acres, 2,092 fire personnel continued to work on Thursday to put out all of the blazes, which are estimated at a total of 65-percent containment, Cal Fire officials reported.


While progress continues on the fires, there are still ample dangers, with a new evacuation warning issued by county officials on Thursday for the Mountain View Road area.


Thirty-six fires out of an original 127 continue to burn, with 335 residences threatened, according to Cal Fire. Suppression costs are estimated at $29.1 million.


For more information about the forest fires visit Forest Service Web site at www.fs.fed.us/r5/mendocino. For information about other fires around the state, visit www.cdf.ca.gov.


E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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This picture, another in a series taken from surveillance video, shows the profile of one of the suspects, who is wearing a green shirt. Photo courtesy of the Lake County Sheriff's Office.

 


LAKE COUNTY – Lake County Sheriff's detectives have released another photograph of potential suspects believed to be responsible for a June 22 assault on a young man in Kelseyville.


Lt. Dave Garzoli of the Lake County Sheriff's Office said deputies were dispatched to Konocti Harbor Resort and Spa at 1:57 a.m. June 22.


There they found a 23-year-old man who had been assaulted on the boat docks located behind the resort's bar, said Garzoli.


The young man had a “pretty substantial injury” to his face, Garzoli said. “At that time he was unaware of what happened, how it happened or who did it.”


Garzoli said detectives later received information that several subjects who had been at the Richmond Park Resort bar before going to Konocti Harbor, and who were connected with a white boat, were responsible for the assault.


“Nobody knows who they are, hence the pictures being put out there,” said Garzoli.


He said the sheriff's office secured the pictures from Richmond Park's surveillance cameras, taken around 12:30 a.m. and shortly thereafter on June 22, according to the photos' timestamps.


Anyone who recognizes any of the men in the photographs, or who witnessed the assault at Konocti Harbor, is asked to contact Lake County Sheriff’s Det. Corey Paulich at 262-4231, e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or Garzoli at 262-4202 or by e-mail at 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..


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LAKE COUNTY – Fires in Mendocino and Butte counties were responsible for increasing amounts of smoke in Lake County's air on Tuesday, which has resulted in an alert from air quality and health officials.


Lake County's Air Quality Management District issued an alert warning of unhealthy conditions for sensitive individuals that are expected on Wednesday.


A report from Air Pollution Control Officer Bob Reynolds said anticipated conditions on Wednesday include wind and levels of particulate and ozone presently in the air.


Individuals who are especially susceptible to smoky conditions are children, the elderly, individuals with heart conditions or chronic lung disease such as asthma, bronchitis and other respiratory conditions, Reynolds reported. The heat can make the stress worse, especially if exercising hard.


Even though local hospitals report no unusual increases in illness likely to be related to poor air quality, Lake County health officials recommend taking simple precautions in order to stay healthy.


Lake County Public Health Officer Dr. Karen Tait advises residents near the fires to be prepared. Individuals with asthma, bronchitis, emphysema and other lung or heart diseases should make sure that they have at least a five-day supply of any prescribed medications. Individuals with asthma should carefully follow their asthma management plans.


Anyone, regardless of known health conditions, should seek medical attention if they experience unusual symptoms of chest pain, chest tightness or shortness of breath.


Sensitive individuals should be prepared to stay indoors, avoid vigorous physical activity and check for a "recirculation" function on the air conditioner. If smoke is present, it will be easier to breathe indoors if air is recirculating instead of drawing smoky air from outdoors. Strong consideration should be given to moving planned outdoor events to an indoor location or rescheduling them, especially if they involve sports or similar activities.


Tait noted that many of the same people who have been advised to take precautions related to recent reductions in air quality from wildfire activity also are susceptible to heat-related illness and should take special care. It is important to stay hydrated; drink adequate water to ensure you do.


Dust masks are not protective against the most harmful pollutants caused by wildfire smoke that drifts to nearby areas. They are useful in filtering out the ash and larger particles that are encountered in burn areas and should be considered when recovering property or cleaning areas that have burned.


Air purifying respirators, such as N-95 filtering face pieces, may be effective in reducing harmful particulate matter, but also increase the work of breathing, can lead to physiologic stress, and are not recommended as a general protective measure. Their use should be limited to individual circumstances requiring addition protection (http://bepreparedcalifornia.ca gov/EPO/BeInformed /NaturalDisasters/Wildfires/CleanupFireAsh.htm), preferably in personnel trained and familiar with the proper fitting and use of these devices.


E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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LAKE COUNTY – Red flag warnings due to heat and extreme fire danger, and warnings about air quality will remain in effect through Friday, weather and air quality officials reported.


All of Lake County and much of Northern California is under a red flag warning and a hazardous weather outlook, according to the National Weather Service.


For much of Friday high temperatures are expected to continue, which the agency says is coupled with low humidity and northerly winds, creating conditions of critical fire danger. A gradual cooling trend is expected to begin Friday afternoon.


Lake County Air Pollution Control Officer Bob Reynolds reported that an alert warning sensitive groups that air quality is unhealthy will continue through Friday, as smoke from the region's wildland fires continues to degrade air quality.


Fires in Mendocino and Butte counties have been largely responsible for the smoke in Lake County's air basin, Reynolds said.


Reynolds reported that air quality on Thursday was estimated to have exceeded state and federal health-based particulate standards by 175 percent.


All residents need to take special care, according to Lake County Health Officer Dr. Karen Tait. The sensitive groups of special concern include children, the elderly, and those with heart and respiratory conditions.


E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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LAKE COUNTY – Continued fire activity around the North Coast resulted in Lake County air quality and health officials issuing another alert warning for Thursday.


Lake County Air Pollution Control Officer Bob Reynolds warned that sensitive individuals – children, the elderly, and those with heart and lung conditions – should take care on Thursday due to degraded air quality.


The thick smoke that returned to Lake County's skies in recent days continues to come mostly from lightning fires in Mendocino and Butte counties, Reynolds said.


Reynolds added that, until all of the fires are out, residual haze can be expected to continue.


Fires have burned for nearly three weeks, since a lightning storm hit on the weekend of June 21, peppering the state with more than 8,000 lightning strikes and causing nearly 1,800 wildland fires.


Mendocino County's lightning complex has been responsible for much of the smoke coming through Lake County. Cal Fire officials reported Wednesday that the fire is 65-percent contained and has burned 51,200 acres, at a cost of $27.3 million, with one firefighter fatality and 36 other injuries.


Thirty-seven fires are actively burning, with another 90 contained in Mendocino County. Cal fire said there are continued threats to communities and infrastructure, with more backfiring – or special burns – planned. A red flag warning is in effect through Friday due to extremely hot temperatures which are causing extreme fire conditions.


In the Mendocino National Forest, the Soda Complex, also caused by lightning fires on June 21, continues to inch toward containment, having burned 6,080 acres on the Upper Lake Ranger District in Lake and Mendocino counties.


Forest Services spokesperson Phebe Brown reported that the Soda Complex is now 78-percent contained, with two out of four original fires remaining active in the complex, which is burning to the north and northwest of Lake Pillsbury.


Elsewhere in the forest, the Yolla Bolly Complex, located in the Yolla Bolly-Middle Eel Wilderness in Mendocino, Trinity and Tehama counties, has burned 7,987 acres and is 65-percent contained, Brown reported.


More than $7 million has been spent on fighting those two complexes, Brown reported.


For more information about the forest fires visit Forest Service Web site at www.fs.fed.us/r5/mendocino. For information about other fires around the state, visit www.cdf.ca.gov.


E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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Firefighters from the Pacific islands of Saipan, Guam, American Samoa and Hawaii have come to California to learn more about wildland firefighting as they assist with fire suppression efforts on the Mendocino National Forest. Courtesy photo.

 


MENDOCINO NATIONAL FOREST – Firefighters from islands in the Pacific have joined the fight to contain wildland fires on the Mendocino National Forest.


When lightning storms came through Northern California on June 21, nearly 1,800 fires were sparked across the California, which stretched local and state resources thin.


On the Mendocino National Forest, the Mendocino Hotshots and initial attack crews had already worked nonstop to suppress the Whiskey Fire that had begun earlier on June 12, forest officials reported. Despite fatigue they were able to contain that fire and seven others that began by the lightning storm on June 21 before being required to take a mandatory rest break.


As resources wore thin fire officials called for assistance from out of the area.


On June 28, Rich Harvey’s Interagency Management Team from the Great Basin (Nevada, Idaho, Utah and Wyoming), coming off the Clover Fire in Lone Pine, Calif., was redirected to the Mendocino National Forest to take over the 23 fires burning in the Yolla Bolly Wilderness.


However, the Great Basin is not the furthest distance from which help would come.


On July 5, the Bear Divide Hotshots reported to the incident and brought another crew with them – a 20-person crew from the island of Saipan in the Pacific Islands, forest officials reported. The Saipan crew is available through a cooperative agreement between the Pacific Islands and Region Five of the US Forest Service.


According to Germaine Burrows, acting emergency coordination center manager for the Mendocino National Forest in Willows, the Saipan crew members are excited to be here working in California.


“This is the seventh year crews have come to California. The cooperative program began in 2000,” Burrows said. “Applicants compete to be on the fire team, have to pass our physical fitness requirements, and look forward to coming to the mainland to help with our wildland fires. This has been a very positive relationship for the past several years.”


Burrows said there are four fire crews – one each from Saipan, American Samoa, Guam and Hawaii. “We recruit crew members every year, with many returning each year. It is very popular and most years we have more people apply for the crews than we can accommodate.”


The crews are trained by a cadre of experts from the US Forest Service’s Region 5 fire professionals who go to the South Pacific Islands each April. They're put through the same standard “32 Hour Basic Wildland Firefighting” training as required for wildland firefighters working for the Forest Service.


Antony Babauta, superintendent of the Saipan crew, echoed the positive results of this program. “This gives the participants better experience and opportunities to compete for jobs,” said Babauta, who has brought crews to mainland United States for several fire seasons.


The cooperative program provides opportunity for the participants to gain wildland fire experience and is part of a grant offered by the US Forest Service, Region Five through its Fire and Aviation Management program. There also is a crew from American Samoa currently working with the Fulton Hotshots on fires in southern California.


After the crews have been paired with hotshot crews for 30 days, many are given the opportunity to continue on with hotshot crews or work with engine crews from around the state.


“We have had Pacific Island crews working with us in past years,” said Mike Alarid, superintendent of the Bear Divide Hotshots from the Angeles National Forest. “Last year we were able to keep two of the participants from the program on our crew all season.”


The Saipan crew will be with the Bear Divide Hotshots for the next 30 days, helping to suppress several of the many wildfires burning in California.


Harvey’s Type 2 Incident Management team, comprised of members from the Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, States of Idaho, Nevada and Utah, US Fish and Wildlife Service, and the cities of Reno and Carson City, Nevada, will be turning over management of the Yolla Bolly Complex to an incident management team from Alaska on Tuesday.

 

 

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The crew undergoes a briefing on the fire situation. Courtesy photo.
 

 


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LAKE COUNTY – The people involved with Lake County Community Co-op (LCCC) have made amazing strides since they first gathered in January of 2008.


Their first project to take flight was the Friday Night Farmers’ Market. This weekly market has created a gathering spot in Clearlake where families can purchase farm-fresh produce, listen to live music and browse various booths. Check out the calendar at http://lakecountycommunityco-op.wikispaces.com to discover who will be playing each week.


July has seen the launch of another LCCC project, a Buying Club. Membership is open to the public for a yearly fee of $24. Members can choose to purchase boxes of fresh, local and/or organic fruits, vegetables and herbs on a week-by-week basis. More information about the Buying Club and Community Supported Agriculture can be found at http://lakeco-op.org or by calling Patrick at 987-1987 or 987-1007.


Currently, LCCC is having a logo contest. The person who creates the logo that best represent the mission of the co-op will be presented with a weekly box of produce for four weeks, total value of at least $64. You can download the guidelines and an application for the contest at http://lakecountycommunityco-op.wikispaces.com or contact Lorna Sue at 274-9254.


Another project that is quickly taking off is the community garden site at the senior center in Clearlake. For the most current information on the community gardens, or to volunteer your time and talents, please stop by the LCCC general meeting, 10 a.m. until noon, the second Saturday of every month at the Hot Spot on Golf Avenue in Clearlake.


Most weeks, at the conclusion of the general meeting there is a short education session by an expert in current issues involving health, food safety, localization and other fascinating topics. The general meeting is open to the public. The Lake County community Co-op is looking for volunteers that are interested in joining this dynamic organization on the ground floor.


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LAKE COUNTY – A solo traffic collision Monday resulted in the arrests of three men.


Nikke John Buschman, 33, of Oroville; 29-year-old Joseph Charles Pounds of Tehachapi; and Sean Joel Marks, 35, of Petaluma were taken into custody following the crash, which occurred at 8:35 p.m. Monday on Highway 29, according to California Highway Patrol Officer Adam Garcia.


Garcia said Buschman was driving his 1999 VW Jetta on Highway 29 just south of Spruce Grove Road

North when he lost control of the car while attempting to negotiate a left curve, causing the vehicle to roll over.


Pounds, who was reportedly traveling with Buschman, was following him in a 2001 Kia SUV. After the

collision Pounds pulled over to assist Buschman and was later determined to have been driving while under the influence of alcohol.


Garcia said both men were arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol. Booking records show the men also were charged with misdemeanor counts of driving on suspended or revoked driver's licenses.


Buschman and Pounds were alleged to have been driving dangerously prior to the incident, Garcia said.


The third arrest came when officers encountered Marks, who was walking near the roadway at the time of the collision. Marks, who also had been drinking alcohol, was arrested for a parole violation, Garcia said.


On Tuesday, all three of the men were released from jail on bail, according to booking records.


Officer Steve Tanguay is investigating the collision, Garcia said.


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MIDDLETOWN – A discussion about implementing a busing fee in the Middletown Unified School District will continue in the future, but district officials want more input from the community before further considering the proposal.


Late last month, the district's board of trustees held a meeting in which they began discussing a proposal to charge fees for school bus ridership in order to help meet the district's skyrocketing fuel and transportation costs, as Lake County News has reported.


District Superintendent Korby Olson said the district is anticipating a 50-percent increase in its transportation budget in the coming year due to higher fuel costs.


That gave rise to a discussion about charging between $.50 and $2 a day for district bus service, which Olson said is seeing higher levels of use.


However, no parents came to share their views on the proposal at the board's June 25 meeting, Olson said, which could be attributed to the fact that summer meetings aren't as well attended due, in part, to vacations.


“We have to have parent input on this before we move forward,” Olson said.


He said the district board felt they couldn't take action until they have a better sense of what the district's parents want. So they'll plan on conducting surveys and continuing the discussion later in the year.


At the same meeting, the board held a discussion on raising developers fees, which are based on the square footage of a new home or commercial building. The district can only use fees for school building and construction.


No developers showed up at the meeting to dispute the proposal, which the board accepted, said Olson.


The district had last adjusted their rates two years ago to $2.63 for residential development and $0.42 for commercial development, said Olson.


In January the state adjusted the fees that a district can charge to $2.97 for residential development and $0.47 for commercial development, Olson added.


E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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