Tuesday, 16 July 2024


LAKEPORT – “We aren't trimming fat, we're cutting meat,” Lakeport’s school chief said of the $561,800 in budget cuts she proposed at a Tuesday night special meeting of the school board.

Lakeport Unified School District superintendent Erin Hagberg told the audience of almost 20 that the cuts would have a “crippling effect” on funding and services to students during the 2010-11 school year.

If approved, students will get a longer Thanksgiving vacation, elementary level teachers will have more students and more children will be walking to school.

Using an overhead projector to show revenue losses totaling $528,850, Hagberg explained that the combination of $300,000 in state budget cuts and $198,000 attributed to declining enrollment was largely responsible for the reductions.

A negative cost of living adjustment for employees accounted for the remaining $30,000 shortfall from this year to next.

If the cuts are approved at the regularly scheduled board meeting Thursday evening, four teachers, one principal, and an assistant day care position will be gone this fall. “It will have an impact, obviously, on kids,” Hagberg said.

Also, a fiscal services assistant would see a nearly 40-percent reduction in hours, Hagberg said. “We are already understaffed compared to every other district in the county.”

Under the proposal a bus route also will be eliminated, Hagberg said. Which route will be cut is to be determined according to safety assessments, not distance to school.

Perhaps the only popular cut would be to the school calendar, cutting the two days of the year with perhaps the poorest attendance so students wouldn’t go to school at all the week of Thanksgiving.

Other cuts would include eliminating the K-8 grade summer school program, which “directly affects kids,” in Hagberg’s words, and loss of the high school readiness program.

Hagberg explained that school districts throughout California are having similar meetings to make cuts in anticipation of a March 15 state budget deadline. To make matters worse for Lakeport’s district, Hagberg added, “We are among half the school districts in the state facing declining enrollment.”

Noting she had proposed to cut slightly more than projections require, Hagberg said these cuts amount to $200 per student. “We are hearing rumors it could be $250,” she said of the governor’s proposed budget shortfall. “I’m thinking this is a best-case scenario, not a worst-case scenario.”

Hagberg commented that the cuts proposed Tuesday would bring Lakeport district’s total for the past three years to $1.6 million in budget reductions. The 2010-11 district-wide budget will be $14 million after Thursday’s expected cuts.

Three of the teaching positions proposed for the chopping block will occur at Terrace School, which serves fourth through eighth grades. The other would be at the elementary school, where class sizes would grow to 24 students per teacher. Teacher to student ratios are worse at the district’s other campuses.

The principal position being eliminated would be that of the alternative education principal who currently administers the district’s home school program, the community day school and the alternative high school. “It will certainly have an impact on children,” Hagberg said.

Explaining her budget choices, Hagberg thanked administrators at all campuses for their thoughtful input.

“The process I’ve chosen to follow and I feel has been effective,” she said, referring to the third time the district has had to downsize, is to consult the principals to decide what is the least damaging place to cut. “We work together as a team,” she said, “to make recommendations to the board.”

Noting, “This becomes more difficult every year,” Hagberg said that although last year she was confident some teaching positions recommended for cutting would be restored, this year is different. “I’m not seeing that we will be putting those positions back.”

Board members responded to Hagberg’s proposals with few questions.

Trustee Dennis Darling expressed appreciation for the work that went into the recommendations. “It’s been hard on staff,” he said.

Board member Bob Weiss echoed Darling’s sentiment. “It’s not supposed to be personal but obviously in this small community, it is.”

Weiss added, “As hard as these decision are, it is clear it will be harder ... if we don’t make these decisions.”

Board president Tom Powers, who said he “looks forward to when this trend reverses,” referred to the personal affect the cuts will have on his family. “I have two children in this district and I know these cuts will affect them,” he said.

Transportation Director David Norris said he feels the district is “at what I consider the bare minimum for safety,” commenting, “our board will have to change its walking policy.” He also commented that the expected increase in traffic from the loss of a bus route will be “more dangerous for kids.”

Norris also said, “it works against everything that is green … (with a bus) you have one engine transporting 90 kids.”

As the board went into closed session to discuss a personnel matter, Terrace Middle School Vice Principal Andy Goodwin commented, “This is an awful time for anybody.”

The cuts, he said, “are certainly not in the best interests of the kids ... outside of kids, you start looking at people’s lives.”

E-mail Maile Field 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 and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lake-County-News/143156775604?ref=mf .


The great blue heron is one of the stars of the annual Heron Festival, scheduled to take place Saturday, April 24, and Sunday, April 25, 2010. Courtesy photo.


CLEAR LAKE STATE PARK – The 16th-annual Heron Festival and Wildflower Brunch, presented by the Redbud Audubon Society and the Clear Lake State Park Interpretive Association, will be held April 24 and 25 at Clear Lake State Park in Kelseyville.

The event is a fun, family-oriented weekend that features pontoon boat tours, birding and nature walks, exhibits, nature talks, and children’s activities.

The annual Wildflower Brunch, prepared by the Clear Lake State Park Interpretive Association, will be held on Saturday, April 24, from 9 a.m. to noon. It features a build-your-own omelet with choice of fillings, served with pastries, fruit, and coffee. The cost for the brunch is $15.

Advance brunch reservations and payment are requested and may be made online beginning March 1 by visiting www.heronfestival.org or by calling 707-263-8030.

On Saturday and Sunday, pontoon boat excursions will take visitors along the shoreline of Clear Lake to view nesting herons, egrets, grebes and other shorebirds.

The 90-minute boat trips will be offered hourly from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Experienced Audubon birding guides will accompany each boat to share information about the birds and wildlife seen on each trip.

The pontoon boat excursions will leave from the Clear Lake State Park marina; cost is $15 per. Advance reservations are required and may be made online after March 1 by visiting www.heronfestival.org or by phone at 707-263-8030.

The Visitor Center at Clear Lake State Park will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

Throughout the weekend, the Visitor Center Auditorium will feature speaker presentations, slide shows, and videos on local birds and wildlife. Topics will range from the weekend’s featured herons, wildflowers, and hummingbirds.

The center features interpretive displays of Lake County’s natural and cultural resources including an erupting volcano, a Pomo Indian village, a mountain lion cave, and dioramas of the woodland and riparian habitats in the park. The gift shop offers educational and entertaining nature items.

Nature and bird walks will be led by local park docents and Audubon guides who are specialists in the park’s birds and wildlife. A nature fair with over 40 outdoor exhibit booths will present conservation and nature displays, educational materials, and nature-related arts and crafts.

Another highlight of the weekend, especially for children, is “Raptor Speak,” where live owls and other birds of prey join Curator Jenny Papkas from Native Bird Connections to offer an opportunity to see raptor behavior up close. Learn about these lively non-releasable raptors in a fun and informative talk and bird demonstration which is offered twice on Sunday.

Dr. Harry Lyons, Professor of Biology and Ecology at the Clear Lake Campus of Yuba College, offers an entertaining program on Sunday that mixes biology, music, and humor to tell the story of Clear Lake.

In “Myths and Music of Clear Lake,” Dr. Lyons gives the history and biology of the lake’s more than 2 million years of existence and the importance of its ecosystem to the birds, fish, and wildlife of Lake County.

During Heron Festival weekend, admission to Clear Lake State Park is free. Except for the boat rides and brunch, all other festival activities also are free.

Camping sites are available through the State Park reservation system. Local resort, motel, and bed-and-breakfast information is available through www.lakecounty.com or by calling 800-525-3743. For more information, visit www.heronfestival.org or call 707-263-8030.

For visitor information, contact the Lake County Visitor Information Center at 800-525-3743 or www.lakecounty.com .

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LAKEPORT – One of two men being tried together for a September 2009 Clearlake murder was back on the stand Monday.

Shannon Lee Edmonds, 35, spent about 45 minutes on the stand Tuesday, following several hours of testimony he gave when court was in session last Thursday.

Edmonds is facing charges for murder and a special allegation of using a knife to kill 25-year-old Shelby Uehling during a fight along Old Highway 53 in Clearlake in the early morning hours of last Sept. 22.

Edmonds' codefendent, Melvin Dale Norton, was on the stand last week. The 38-year-old Norton faces charges of murder, a special allegation that he used a billy club, assault with a deadly weapon, being an accessory, a special allegation of causing great bodily injury, and two strike enhancements.

The deadly confrontation had allegedly arisen because Edmonds and Norton walked up to warn Uehling, who was parked not far from Norton's home, to leave Patricia Campbell alone. She was a longtime family friend of Norton's and Edmonds' on-again, off-again girlfriend who had dated Uehling for about a week in September during a breakup with Edmonds.

Also on Tuesday, the defense asked for time to investigate new information suggesting that two other men may also have been in a physical confrontation with Uehling a day or so before his death.

The defense attorney and prosecution put Edmonds through several rounds of questions during his brief return to the stand.

Edmonds' defense attorney, Doug Rhoades, began redirect questioning of Edmonds Tuesday morning, asking him about his difficulty answering prosecutor Art Grothe's questions last week about the fact that Uehling was dead.

Edmonds explained that it was very hard for him to accept that something he did caused Uehling to die, but he acknowledged that the former Montana resident was dead.

Stephen Carter, Norton's defense attorney, asked if Edmonds saw Norton and Uehling physically fighting when he arrived at Uehling's car, parked off of Highway 53 near Norton's home. Edmonds said no, and he did not see Norton using a golf club he was carrying against Uehling.

Grothe asked Edmonds if he saw Norton hitting Uehling. Edmonds said it was too dark to tell if they were shoving or hitting each other.

The prosecutor then drew Edmonds' attention to a transcript of his interview with Clearlake Police detectives hours after Uehling's death on Sept. 22.

In that interview, Edmonds told police that Uehling and Norton were “basically going on at it,” and described them as “boxing.” But when Grothe asked him on Tuesday of the men were fighting, Edmonds said he didn't know, although he acknowledged he had told police they were.

When it was again Rhoades' turn, he asked Edmonds if he had seen Norton and Uehling with their fists up, facing each other, he said no.

Rhoades then asked when Clearlake Police interviewed him on Sept. 22. Edmonds said it was shortly before 10:30 a.m. During questioning, Rhoades concluded that Edmonds had been awake 25 hours at that point.

“Safe to say you were getting pretty tired?” Rhoades asked.

“Very,” Edmonds replied.

Carter asked if Edmonds had answered the detectives' questions fairly and honestly at the time. Edmonds said yes. Carter asked if any of the questions in court changed Edmonds' testimony that when he ran up to the scene he found Norton and Uehling in some kind of physical confrontation. Edmonds said it did not.

Grothe, noting that Edmonds said testified to answering police fairly and honestly, pointed to several pages in the transcript where he alleged discrepancies.

In particular, Grothe said Edmonds had told police that he hadn't known Uehling and Campbell had a sexual relationship, which contradicted testimony he gave in court last week.

Edmonds also had given police a chronology of his activities, which Grothe pointed out omitted killing Uehling.

“So that was a lie?” Grothe asked.

“Correct,” said Edmonds.

Edmonds admitting to lying to police about Norton's phone call to him before the fight, warning him about Uehling's presence. He had told police Norton had called to say “he was home and he'd see me tomorrow.”

Grothe also pointed out that Edmonds had not been truthful about his blood-stained clothing, and that he had said he had injured his arm when falling over a fence rather than being stabbed by Uehling, as he testified in court.

At one point in the police interview Edmonds said the situation was “bullshit,” and Grothe asked him what he meant. He said he felt Det. Tom Clements was harassing him with repetitive questions, “just as you're doing now,” Edmonds told Grothe.

Grothe followed by suggesting Edmonds didn't do his best to answer the officers truthfully, and Edmonds replied no, not at the beginning.

Rhoades pointed to the transcript about a third of the way into the interview when Edmonds asked for a cigarette and was promised he would receive one when the interview was done. He asked Edmonds if, from that point forward, he was attempting to tell the truth. He said he was.

Rhoades read from the transcript, in which Edmonds told police he and Uehling got into a brawl, Uehling pulled a knife and stabbed him and Edmonds stabbed him back.

“This was happening pretty fast, was it not?” Rhoades asked.

“Extremely,” Edmonds said.

During testimony it was noted that Edmonds told police that he was scared and terrified, which was a reason for lying.

Grothe questioned Edmonds about his statements to police about not wanting to go to prison over Uehling, who Edmonds had called a drug dealer.

Was he still afraid of going to prison? Grothe asked.

“Of course,” Edmonds said.

“You still willing to lie to avoid that, sir?” asked Grothe.

“No,” Edmonds replied.

Rhoades asked his client if, during the fight, he remembered Uehling saying, “Stop, that's enough, I quit, anything like that?”

“No, not at all,” Edmonds said.

As Grothe returned to questioning, Edmonds testified to remembering “a lot of screaming through the entire fight.”

Grothe asked if he remembered Uehling screaming near the oak tree where his body later was found after his throat was cut. Edmonds said no.

He played a snippet of Norton's interview with police in which he imitated Uehling making a guttural “agggghhhh” sound.

Rhoades asked if Norton had heard other people making sounds like that described by Norton. He said yes. Were those people using methamphetamine? Yes, Edmonds said.

Carter asked Edmonds if he associated those sounds with Uehling being angry during the fight as opposed to being hurt. Yes, Edmonds replied.

Grothe asked if Edmond had ever heard someone attempting to speak who has had the horns of their thyroids broken off and their throat crushed. Rhoades objected to the question, which he said was “convoluted,” but Judge Arthur Mann overruled.

“I've heard people scream who have been punched in the throat,” Edmonds stated.

The attorneys asked to approach the bench, after which the jury was briefly excused and the attorneys went into the judge's chambers for a short time. When they returned the jury brought back in and testimony continued.

At that point the defense stated that they rested.

Prosecution calls rebuttal witnesses

In presenting rebuttal witnesses, Grothe recalled Clearlake Police Officer Michael Carpenter, who testified earlier in the trial. Carpenter, who came to the stand in uniform, was the first to arrive at the scene and discover Uehling's body.

The attorneys questioned him about dealing with people who use methamphetamine. He described them as having rapid speech and a dry mouth, and being unable to stay on topic in conversation. Their tongues move around rapidly, they can't control their bodily functions, their eyes are dilated and have rapid movement, and their internal clocks are off.

“There's a reason it's called speed?” Rhoades asked.

“Correct,” Carpenter said.

Rhoades asked Carpenter about bruxism, which he said is teeth grinding, another symptom of methamphetamine use, as well as scratching.

Rhoades questioned the officer about when Uehling's shirt was removed. Carpenter said it was sliced open at the scene and removed at the hospital.

Carpenter, under questioning both by Rhoades and Carter, didn't remember if Uehling had been strapped to a backboard for the ride to the hospital. Nor had he ever seen a dead body strapped down.

“Doesn't it matter how a body that's needed for evidence is transported?” Carter asked,.

Carpenter said he didn't see the body fall off the gurney. From the scene to the hospital medics had conducted cardiopulmonary resuscitation on Uehling.

Carter asked if Carpenter had received any training in the psychological aspects associated with methamphetamine. He said he was not.

Grothe entered a stipulation that a zip tie that had been attached to the end of an asp – or extendable baton – that the men are alleged to have used against Uehling was actually placed there by Clements prior to his testimony.

The defense also entered a stipulation that Officer Timothy Alvarado would testify that he interviewed Linda Dale and Joseph Taylor, who told him that at 9 p.m. Sept. 21, 2009, Uehling called Taylor to tell him that he was standing in field near Cass Avenue, which is near Old Highway 53.

Following the stipulation, Grothe requested the asp be moved into evidence. The defense did not object and Mann accepted it.

Following the lunch break, the jury heard from Alisha Stottsberry, a registered nurse who is medical director at the Lake County Jail – which she and Grothe were careful not to mention by name because of concerns about Edmonds' incarceration being prejudicial.

Edmonds had stated in testimony last week that he has epilepsy and that five grand mal seizures he had suffered since his arrest last Sept. 22 have caused him to lose memory.

When asked directly about Edmonds' medical conditions and records, Stottsberry said she couldn't answer because of new laws preventing disclosure without Edmonds' consent. Grothe asked Mann to order her to answer, which Mann did, saying that Edmonds had already disclosed the information and therefore it was not a violation of health record disclosure laws.

Based on a review of Edmonds' medical records, Stottsberry said Edmonds did report suffering from “seizures” on his medical intake form. On Dec. 29, nonmedical staff at the jail witnessed him having a seizure, although Stottsberry said it wasn't a grand mal-type seizure, which can result in violent shaking and tremors, a subject being unable to breath and losing bowel control.

Edmonds also reported having another seizure that was not witnessed by staff on Dec. 31. At that time Stottsberry said it was documented that Edmonds reported having other seizures not witnessed by staff.

Rhoades asked Stottsberry about longterm memory loss as the result of seizures. He pointed to Epilepsy Foundation documents that stated long-term and short-term memory loss are symptoms of the disease. She said her experience is that people who suffer from seizures usually don't remember what happened during the seizure.

He also asked her about Edmonds' epilepsy medications, the dosages for which are at 1,800 milligrams. Stottsberry called that level “medium high.”

After Stottsberry left the stand, Carter and Rhoades asked the court for more time to try to locate a woman named Katherine Lawson who visited Norton in jail on Saturday and told him that Campbell's ex-husband and a relative of his had a physical alteration with Uehling within 48 hours of his death.

Carter's and Rhoades' investigators were trying to locate the woman, and they asked for a brief stay in the trial while they investigated. “None of this information was ever know by my client or me or Mr. Rhoades or his client prior to this morning,” said Carter.

Rhoades called it “somewhat tenuous information” but felt it needed to be investigated.

Grothe was against the delay. “I'm always somewhat leery of these last minute, 'somebody else did it' assertions by folks who come into the jail,” said Grothe, adding he didn't think it would be admissible.

Mann gave the defense until 9 a.m. Wednesday, noting that the information seemed “pretty speculative.”

Closing arguments are expected to begin Wednesday morning.

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 and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lake-County-News/143156775604?ref=mf .

CLEARLAKE – A Clearlake home suffered major damage Saturday due to a structure fire.

The fire occurred at an older, stick-built residence located at 3759 Buckeye St.

Firefighters were dispatched to the scene shortly before 11 p.m.

Lake County Fire Protection District firefighters, with assistance from Cal Fire, arrived on scene within five minutes of the call to find that the home was about 60- to 75-percent involved, said Lake County Fire Protection Battalion Chief Willie Sapeta.

Sapeta said 18 firefighters, along a Lake County Fire Protection engine, a water tender, two medic units, a battalion chief and one Cal Fire engine responded.

“We had the fire controlled in about 20 minutes,” he said, adding that the fire was confined to the residence and didn't damage any other structures nearby.

The blaze was an accident, which Sapeta said was triggered by a grease fire that rapidly involved the entire kitchen.

Damage spread to about 75 percent of the residence, he said.

The home's two residents escaped uninjured with three of their cats, although Sapeta said they lost a fourth cat in the fire.

Overhaul and salvage at the site kept firefighters on scene until about 1:30 a.m. Sunday, he said.

The Red Cross arranged for temporary housing for the home's occupants because of the damage resulting from the fire, Sapeta said.

Sapeta estimated the damage to the home to be between $60,000 and $80,000.

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 and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lake-County-News/143156775604?ref=mf .

American Legion Tredway Post 194 Commander Jim Merriman speaks at the post's 90th birthday celebration on Thursday, February 25, 2010. Photo by Ginny Craven.



KELSEYVILLE – It was a great time for a celebration on the evening of Feb. 25, when Tredway Post 194 of the American Legion celebrated its 90th birthday with about 75 in attendance.

Commander Jim Merriman welcomed the members and guests, including several members of the Military Funeral Honors Team of Lake County.

Bugler Boyd Green sounded Church Call and Chaplain Woody Hughes gave opening remarks, including an adaptation of Dan Valentine’s “What Is a Veteran.”

Merriman and Roy Pearson, a member since 1946, recounted some of the storied history of Tredway Post 194.

The Tredway Post was chartered with 15 members on Feb. 5, 1920, just five months after the American Legion itself was chartered.

Merriman quipped, “One of our members said ‘they weren’t fast enough to build a fence to keep us out.’”

The post was named in honor of Will Tredway, the first Lake County resident killed in World War I. Tredway was killed in action in France at the age of 21. He was buried there.

To this day, the Tredway family has a standing annual reservation for the post building on Easter weekend for a family reunion.




Chaplain Woody Hughes gave opening remarks in honor of American Legion Tredway Post 194's 90th birthday on Thursday, February 25, 2010. Photo by Ginny Craven.



The original meeting site for Post 194 was in a different Kelseyville location, consisting of an open air type of covered patio. The current building was erected between 1928 and 1930.

Local men transported gravel by wagons and horse teams from a nearby creek. They then made concrete in troughs and built the sturdy structure that remains today.

Merriman said he could personally attest to the hand mixed old fashioned concrete. During expansion projects, he has cut into the thick walls, finding sticks, grass and other debris.

In 1925, the Post 194 Women’s Auxiliary was formed but did not continue. That segment of the post was revived and chartered March 1, 1969 with Betty Franklin as President. Today, local auxiliary members continue to work side by side with the Legion members.

In speaking of Past Commanders, Jim Merriman said, “It makes you want to stand tall and be proud.” He added, “To follow in their footsteps.”

American Legion Tredway Post 194 is accepting new members to the general membership and auxiliary. You may contact Commander Jim Merriman at 707-279-2411 or for auxiliary membership Tressa Merriman at 707-279-4517.

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Lake County Veterans Service Officer Jim Brown (right) and Bob Penny, the county's assistant veterans service officer, were on hand for American Legion Tredway Post 194's 90th birthday on Thursday, February 25, 2010. Photo by Ginny Craven.

SONOMA COUNTY – A man who allegedly kept a woman captive at his home while he sexually assaulted her has been charged with eight felony counts.

Sonoma County District Attorney Stephan Passalacqua said that on Monday John Manuel Negrete-Gomez, 40, of Santa Rosa, pleaded not guilty to eight felony counts involving the sexual assault of a woman whom he had kept captive in his trailer by tethering her ankle with a cable mounted to the floor of his trailer bedroom.

Negrete-Gomez is charged with three counts of oral copulation by force, one count of penetration with a foreign object by force, one count of false imprisonment, one count of criminal threats, one count of possession of a controlled substance for sale, and one count of possession of a controlled substance.

The acts allegedly occurred between Feb. 9 and Feb. 12.

Sonoma County Sheriff’s deputies rescued a woman who said she was tied up, beaten and sexually assaulted for three days in a south Santa Rosa mobile home park until she managed to call for help.

When deputies entered the bedroom of the trailer, where Negrete-Gomez lived, they found a 40-year-old woman, tethered at her ankle to a bolt in the floor, pleading for help, Passalacqua's office reported.

Detectives obtained a search warrant to collect potential evidence at the residence and also located evidence of sales of methamphetamine as well as various pills.

Negrete-Gomez is being held at the Sonoma County Jail. Bail has been set at $2.1 million. The case is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on March 29.

Deputy District Attorney Dan Cohan is the prosecutor assigned to the case. Sonoma County Sheriff’s Detective Jake Vivian is the lead detective.

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NORTH COAST – In the wake of a devastating 8.8-magnitude earthquake that occurred early last Saturday morning off the shore of Maule, Chile, rescue organizations around the world are mobilizing to offer assistance to that country.

More than 100 aftershocks have reportedly hit the country in the wake of Saturday's earthquake, tsunamis were triggered and more than 700 people are reported dead, with more casualties expected, according to media reports.

Groups like the American Red Cross, Salvation Army, Operation USA are fundraising to assist the country.

On Monday, US Ambassador to Chile Paul Simons reported that the Chilean government indicated that it was open to receive offers of assistance from the international community.

According to the Mobile Giving Foundation, the following organizations are taking donations for Chile through mobile giving:

  • Text the word “CHILE” to 20222 to donate $10 on behalf of World Vision;

  • Text the word “CHILE” to 52000 to donate $10 on behalf of the Salvation Army;

  • Text the word “SAVE” to 20222 to donate $10 on behalf of Save the Children Federation Inc.;

  • Text the word “CHILE” to 85944 to donate $10 on behalf of International Medical Corp.;

  • Text the word "4CHILE" to 50555 to donate $10 on behalf of Convoy of Hope;

  • Text the word "CHILE" to 50555 to donate $10 on behalf of Friends of the World Program;

  • Text the word "REBUILD" to 50555 to donate $10 on behalf of Friends of the Operation USA.


The American Red Cross, which made an initial commitment of $50,000 to Chilean relief, is accepting donations at its Web site, www.redcross.org.

Simons reported that the US Embassy activated a consular operations center in an effort locate the 18,000 Americans residing around Chile, and about 1,000 living in the Concepcion area.

He said that, as of Monday, “we do not have any reports of any American citizens who have died or had any serious injuries.”

Simons said the situation in Santiago, Chile's capital, “is returning to normal fairly quickly,” with electricity and water being restored to most of the city.

“But the Concepcion area, the Maule area, were hit very, very, very hard, and the situation there is quite precarious,” he said. “And that really will be the focus of our efforts in the coming days in terms of American citizen work.”

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ST. HELENA – Three Cal Fire firefighters escaped serious injury early Saturday morning when the fire truck they were riding in rolled down an embankment in rural Napa County.

The three firefighters were staffing a Napa County Fire Department engine and responding to a reported tree down in the Deer Park area of unincorporated Napa County at around 1:30 a.m. Saturday when the crash occurred, according to Napa County Fire Marshal Pete Muñoa.

Preliminary reports indicate that the engine and crew were traveling down a narrow, unlit rural road when the right wheels lost contact with the roadway, according to Muñoa's report.

He said the vehicle rolled 360 degrees down a steep embankment, traveling approximately 40 feet before hitting a large pine tree where it came to a stop.

The three firefighters extricated themselves from the engine and were transported via ambulance to the Queen of the Valley Hospital in Napa for medical evaluation. Muñoa said only one of the three firefighters was treated for a minor shoulder injury and all were released shortly after.

The 2006 Pierce Fire Engine was equipped with driver and passenger airbags which is believed to

have saved the life of at least one of the firefighters, Muñoa said.

A CAL FIRE Serious Accident Review Team (SART) has been activated and will be conducting a

thorough investigation of the incident in cooperation with the California Highway Patrol and the Napa County Risk Manager, he added.

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Kelseyville Pharmacy was the scene of an alleged armed robbery on Saturday, February 27, 2010. Employees said a man came in carrying a kitchen knife and demanded OxyContin. Photo by Gail Salituri.

KELSEYVILLE – Authorities are searching for a man who they say allegedly took several bottles of prescription painkiller at knifepoint from a local pharmacy on Saturday.

Capt. James Bauman of the Lake County Sheriff's Office said deputies responded to Kelseyville Pharmacy on Main Street at about 9:30 a.m. Saturday in response to the report of an armed robbery.

When contacted by Lake County News on Monday, a Kelseyville Pharmacy staffer said a supervisor was not available to speak about the alleged incident.

Pharmacy employees told deputies that a man walked into the store at about 9:25 a.m. Saturday with a kitchen knife in his hand, Bauman said.

When the three employees realized the man was armed, Bauman said they immediately ran for an exit door leading into the pharmacy's back parking lot, with two of them making it out.

However, the suspect cornered one of the women before she could get to the door and demanded she give him some OxyContin, Bauman said.

Bauman said the woman gave the suspect several bottles of OxyContin and as she was looking for more he fled out of the pharmacy and continued on foot towards the Main Street bridge, which spans Kelsey Creek.

None of the employees were injured during the alleged robbery, Bauman said.

Witnesses told Lake County News that in the hours following the incident deputies searched downtown Kelseyville – questioning visitors and business owners in the area and performing a search of the creek.

Bauman said deputies searched the area for several hours but didn't find the man.

He said witnesses described the suspect as a white male adult, unknown age, at least 6 feet tall, weighing 170 to 220 pounds, and wearing white or gray sweatpants, a gray hooded sweatshirt, a black “puffy” jacket over the sweatshirt and a red bandana over his face.

Bauman asked that anyone with information about the alleged robbery and the suspect's possible identify call the Lake County Sheriff’s Major Crimes Unit at 707-262-4200.


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 and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lake-County-News/143156775604?ref=mf .




Lake County Sheriff's deputies searched around Kelsey Creek after a man allegedly robbed the nearby Kelseyville Pharmacy on Saturday, February 27, 2010. Photo by Gail Salituri.

COVELO – A Covelo man arrested Sunday for beating the woman he lived with was located by deputies thanks to his dog.

David C. Peters, 29, was arrested for inflicting injury upon a cohabitant, in this case the 29-year-old woman who shares his home on Highway 162 in Covelo.

Capt. Kurt Smallcomb of the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office reported that deputies responded to the home at 4 p.m. Sunday on the report of domestic violence and found the alleged victim at a friend's home.

Deputies observed visible swelling and bruising to the left side of the victim's face. Smallcomb said she also was bleeding from an injury to her left elbow and a laceration on the side of her neck.

She told deputies that the injuries resulted from an assault committed by Peters, who she reported struck her four times with his closed fist, according to the report.

Smallcomb said the woman lost consciousness as a result of the assault, and was later transported to Howard Hospital by a friend where she was treated and released that same evening.

Peters was arrested later that evening by deputies, who followed Peters' dog from his yard to a hiding place in a wooded area behind the home, Smallcomb said.

He added that Peters was transported to the Mendocino County Jail where he was booked on a charge of inflicting injury on a spouse or cohabitant.

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Lyndall’s Sports Stop Grill

4220 Main St., Kelseyville, CA 95451

Telephone: 707-279-0123

Hours: Sunday through Thursday, 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Free WiFi

Being a food writer, I am asked constantly, “Where is the best place to eat in the county?” I always respond, “It depends on what kind of food you are looking for.”

After asking them a few questions here and there I give them my recommendation based on what they are looking for. This also means that I have to eat everywhere so I can give a knowledgeable endorsement. What can I say, it’s a dirty job but someone has to do it.

After attending Rosa D’Oro’s Venetian Masquerade a couple of weeks ago I decided to stop in to Lyndall’s Sports Stop Grill. Now, I’ve said it in the past that I’m not a sports fan, and like a lot of people I have some preconceived ideas about certain things, so I pulled into the parking lot with the feeling of “I’m going to hate this, but at least I’m giving it a shot.”

Upon walking in, I looked around and superficially thought, “Yep, just what I was expecting.” There were assorted framed jerseys, sports memorabilia, photographs and numerous televisions tuned to a baseball game. I continued my judgments by thinking, “Get ready for the greasy fries and overcooked burger.”

Then I’m looking at the menu. Under appetizers were listed Mozzarella sticks with marinara, clam strips with cocktail sauce, onion rings …“Yep, just what I was expecting.” There are several different burgers are on the menu, grilled cheese sandwich, tuna melt ... “ho hum.”

But all of a sudden the sound of my mind crashing with a thundering clamor must have filled the room.

There on the menu was salmon with hollandaise, sautéed scallops in garlic sauce, cheese tortellini! This isn’t Sports bar food! “I’m in a sports grill and seeing linguini and clams on the menu?! This doesn’t

make sense! Is it a grill or fine dining? Error, error, does not compute!”

The linguini and clams comes with clams in the shell, not canned. I saw several people eating it so it must be good (my annoying diabetic diet means I’m not supposed to eat pasta, so I had to refrain from

ordering it).

The room was about half-filled with diners. The lone waitress was a very cute, dark blond, quick moving pixie that I couldn’t take my eyes off of as she zipped through the room like she was overdosed on caffeine. She was smiling so much that it looked like she loved what she was doing. She was so attentive and concerned with my needs that I completely forgot to get her name.

“OK,” I thought, “Let’s test this cook and see if he overcooks the scallops in garlic sauce.” Nope! The scallops were cooked perfectly, and the broccoli side was prepared flawlessly. I was stunned.

After enjoying my food for several minutes, I finally find a flaw in the meal when I notice that the small tough muscle wasn’t removed from the side of the scallops; it’s not a cardinal sin, just an oversight which kept the entire meal from being perfect.

My first visit encountering this multifaceted menu confused my jaded preconceived opinions so badly that I knew I had to go back, and soon. The second time the waitress was a taller girl with dark, long, curly hair, and she smiled so much that it was making MY cheeks hurt.

She was very attentive, giving me constant updates on my order and asking if I needed anything else. She was so busy flitting from place to place like a honeybee in a florist shop that I didn’t get to ask her name either. The thought that these girls must get paid extra just to look so happy kept going through my mind.

The menu says the fish tacos are a “must try”… I love fish tacos! I must have them, and the buffalo wings which are also a favorite of mine. The waitress asked me how hot I wanted the wings and I replied, “The hottest you got.” She said “Those are called 'nitro.'” Sounds good to me.

The fish tacos come with French fries, potato salad or coleslaw, and I asked for the coleslaw. When the tacos arrive I notice they are larger than I commonly see them, and I spend a moment poking at the two of them noting the relish consisted of fresh tomatoes, pickled jalapeños, red onions, cilantro and, of course, cabbage. The coleslaw was simple yet special with the addition of caraway seeds in it.

When I finished the slaw I started on the tacos. How do I say this without exaggeration? They are the best fish tacos I have ever had in my life. You should keep in mind that I’ve eaten fish tacos on the Mexican coast!

The buffalo wings are also out of this world. The sauce contains chopped jalapeños giving added texture and depth of heat. In the initial bite you taste the chicken and notice that the sauce has much

more depth of flavor than most you eat. This isn’t just a simple recipe of hot sauce and butter, this sauce was well thought through.

The heat is great for someone of my “chile head” level. Anywhere the sauce touches your face starts with a slow burn and intensifies to what feels like a severe sunburn. The burn on my lips lasted about

15 endorphin-filled minutes. You also get the traditional blue cheese dressing and celery sticks with the wings.

Taking a better look around the restaurant I see a sign requesting donations for the Kelseyville High football team’s helmets, and an advertisement for the Cleavage Creek Wines that they serve there (a

portion of the proceeds from their wine sales goes to breast cancer research).

Their afternoon menu is like a sports page from a news paper with community news, calendar and local sports players to watch. The Lyndall family is so involved with charity and the community that I feel honored to be eating in the establishment.

Looking more closely at the décor you notice old pictures from Lake County sports teams and you can recognize names like Gaddy, Porter, Gatton and even Mitchell Johns. They are interesting historical

pictures that allowed me to put a face to the names I see all around the county. So instead of my initial impression that it was cheesy-sporty, the décor is thoughtfully considered and pays hometown homage which makes me feel comfortable and at home.


Get the WiFi password from your waitress. The connection is super fast and I had no problems with it at all.

The prices are fair; both of my meals there including drinks were right around $20, not including tip. There’s dining available outdoors on the deck, but due to the weather right now it’s pretty empty out

there. Indoors there is seating for around 90 people.

I needed a couple of last minute facts to finish the review and went back again and just HAD to have the fish tacos one more time. I’m just not a burger and fries kind of guy. The fish tacos this time had

a mild chili mayonnaise on them which was very good. I also ordered the spicy Reuben and fries to go. The pixie waitress even said “goodbye” to me as she left for the day, even though she didn’t serve me at all today. This is the friendliest staff!

Since variety is the spice of life I could never declare there is a “best” restaurant in the county, but if you were to ask me to name the five best restaurants in Lake County Lyndall’s Sports Stop Grill will

be in that top five.

Ross A. Christensen is an award-winning gardener and gourmet cook. He is the author of "Sushi A to Z, The Ultimate Guide" and is currently working on a new book. He has been a public speaker for many years and enjoys being involved in the community. Follow him on Twitter, http://twitter.com/Foodiefreak .

Follow Lake County News on Twitter at http://twitter.com/LakeCoNews and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lake-County-News/143156775604?ref=mf .

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