Saturday, 15 June 2024

News

NORTHSHORE – In the midst of a blistering host Friday, fire crews responded to wildland fires and a blaze in a Nice home attributed to circuit overload for a marijuana grow.


Shortly before 1 p.m. Friday Cal Fire aircraft were circling over a residential area in Nice, where a three-story home at 3116 Knob caught fire, according to Northshore Fire Battalion Chief Steve Hart.


Four engines from Northshore Fire, two engines from Cal Fire and one engine from Lakeport Fire responded to the blaze, Hart said.


With the heat being so bad – Hart estimated it was around 103 or 104 degrees – they had extra crews on scene so they could switch the firefighters out quickly.


Hart said the fire extended from the basement area all the way to the attic, which presented a big problem for the firefighters.


He said crews leapfrogged each and other chased the fire from floor to floor. Some crews were pulling out the ceiling to expose the fire so other crews could come in behind them to work on attacking and extinguishing it.


At the same time, Cal Fire had two air tankers and an air attack circling overhead. Hart said they didn't end up needing to drop water, but were there in case the fire got into nearby vegetation.


It took firefighters about 30 minutes to contain the fire, and Hart said they managed to save the house.


“We contained the fire on the north third of the residence and were able to save the reminder of the house all the way up to the main floor,” Hart said.


Hart said the fire's cause was a direct result of overuse of appliances associated with a marijuana grow operation, which was located throughout the home. The appliance usage overloaded the circuits and the fire broke out.


He estimated the home's value to be about $500,000 with about $100,000 damage resulting from the fire.


The home's renter was out of town at the time and the residence was unoccupied, Hart said. There were no injuries to firefighters and no other structures were threatened or damaged.


As the fire was burning in Nice, a wildland fire broke out on Sulphur Bank and North Drive in Clearlake Oaks, according to Northshore Fire Protection District Battalion Chief Pat Brown.


Cal Fire led the response to the five-acre fire, with Battalion Chief Linda Green acting as incident commander, he said.


Brown said Cal Fire sent two aircraft, one helicopter, four engines and two hand crews, with Northshore sending Brown, an engine and a water tender and Lake County Fire sending two engines, a water tender and Battalion Chief Charlie Diener.


Cal Fire also reported a small fire in Upper Lake was quickly contained early Friday afternoon.


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 .

THE GEYSERS – Thursday saw two sizable earthquakes – measuring 4.0 and 3.8 respectively – occurring near The Geysers geothermal steamfield.


The first, a 4.0-magnitude temblor, was centered one mile north of The Geysers and was recorded just after 8:30 a.m., as Lake County News reported midday Thursday.


The second, measuring 3.8, was reported at 4:54 p.m., according to the US Geological Survey.


Its epicenter was one mile north northwest of The Geysers, five miles west southwest of Cobb and seven miles west northwest of Anderson Springs, at a depth of 1.3 miles, the survey reported.


Cobb resident Roger Kinney, who shares earthquake reports with Lake County News, said he and his wife both felt the quake and saw the water in their swimming pool undulating as a result.


By 11 p.m. Thursday the US Geological Survey had received 12 shake reports from eight zip codes, including Kelseyville, Calistoga, Sebastopol, Cloverdale, San Pablo, Oakland, Port Costa and Creston, a small town located in San Luis Obispo County, approximately 424 miles away from the quake's epicenter.


So far this month there have been five earthquakes measuring 3.0 in magnitude or above, based on US Geological Survey 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 and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lake-County-News/143156775604?ref=mf .

LAKEPORT – During a brief Wednesday morning ceremony, the members of the 2010-11 grand jury were sworn in and given their charge for the coming year.


Judge Richard Martin conducted the impaneling in his Department 2 courtroom.


Selected for the 2010-11 panel are new grand jurors Michael Daugherty, Nanette Marschall and Mary Nolan, all of Lakeport; Kenneth Fountain of Lower Lake; Jay Gehrke of Clearlake; Phyllis Kelley-Howell of Kelseyville; Mary Moore of Lucerne; and Judith Stelljes of Kelseyville.


Grand jurors from the 2009-10 panel which will return for another year of service include Clearlake residents Jack Scialabba, Venoma Gill and Dave Johnson; Lakeport residents Kathleen Bisaccio, Fred Christensen, Judith Steele Lanfranco and Phillip Myers; Kevin Byrnes of Lower Lake; Gerald Morehouse of Lucerne; and Diane Trudeau of Cobb.


The remainder of the 2009-10 panel that have completed their service are Rose Marie Blackwell of Clearlake Oaks; Rudy Brunner, Marilyn Johnson, Heather Powers and Carol Vedder of Lakeport; Larry Heine of Lower Lake; Sunol Westergren of Glenhaven; and George Torngren of Nice.


Before a small audience composed mostly of the incoming panel of jurors, Martin shared a brief history of the grand jury system and explained its significance.


“This system has been around for over 200 years in this country,” Martin said.


He explained that the grand jury system is composed of citizens who act as watchdogs to help make government better.


“It's a good endeavor” that helps improve and fine tune government, Martin said.


Martin directed his court clerk to take the roll of jurors, who were then asked to stand and take an oath committing to carry out their duties in the coming year.


As part of their charge, jurors are sworn to confidentiality, and are unable to discuss matters investigated by the jury either during their service or in the future.


Once they were sworn, Martin had the group come forward and sit in the jury box.


He thanked the outgoing grand jury, noting that in the past year, “There was a lot of hard work.”


Martin said he met with grand jury Foreman Fred Christensen on a regular basis during the past year.


“It was rewarding for me to see both the foreperson and grand jurors as active as they were this last year,” he said.


Martin said the grand jury did very thorough work and wrote a good report – released earlier this month – with several committee members stepping up to write facets of the document


He called the recent report “a very good work product” that was unbiased and achieved the goal of making local government better.


Christensen offered a few words of thanks of his own to outgoing grand juror Rose Marie Blackwell, who was present for the swearing in.


Martin reappointed Christensen as foreperson in the coming year, noting his collegial personality and ability to work with people.


Looking on during the empaneling ceremony were Commissioner Vincent Lechowick of Department A, County Clerk Pam Cochrane, Jury Commissioner Yolanda Rosas, Assistant Jury Commissioner Tina Sanderson and County Counsel Anita Grant.


Grant, Martin told the grand jurors, “is someone who you are going to need to know,” as she will be the grand jury's lawyer. She told the group she will be speaking to them on Friday morning.


Martin then excused everyone from the courtroom but the jurors themselves in order to read them their charge.


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 – Lake County residents who are considering purchasing high energy efficient appliances will have more opportunities for rebates from the California Cash for Appliances PLUS program after July 29.


The California Energy Commission (CEC) issued draft guidelines expanding the Cash for Appliances rebate program to include high energy efficient dishwashers, freezers, water heaters, and heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. The expanded program is California Cash for Appliances PLUS.


Consumers still have up to 120 days from the purchase date to submit their rebate application by mail.


Choices for eligible models include 273 clothes washers, 139 refrigerators and 314 room air conditioners. A complete list of eligible models may be viewed at www.cash4appliances.org/products/index.html.


To date, the CEC has received more than 59,000 applications with approximately $19 million still available for rebates. A tracker is updated on the remaining amount of funds available at www.cash4appliances.org.


The California Cash for Appliances PLUS rebate program proposal will be heard at the July 28 CEC business meeting. Consumers can begin to purchase from the new selection of appliances beginning on July 29 until funds are exhausted. Rebates are awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis.


Consumers are eligible for a rebate when they purchase a qualified high energy efficient appliance, properly recycle their old appliance, and submit a complete application package within 120 days of the appliance purchase.


Instructions on how to complete an application for the California Cash for Appliances rebate is available at www.cash4appliances.org/consumers/Rebate-Form.pdf.


Eligible energy efficient appliances and rebate amounts available are: refrigerators $200, clothes washers $100, and room air conditioners up to $50. Proposed energy efficient appliance rebate include: dishwashers $100, freezers $50, water heaters $300-$750, and HVAC systems: $500-$1000.


To be eligible for the rebate, Lake County residents must recycle their old appliances at South Lake Refuse and Recycling, who will issue a Recycling Form. Recycling Forms can only be issued at South Lake Refuse and Recycling to be eligible for the Cash for Appliances Rebate program.


South Lake Refuse and Recycling is located at the entrance of the Eastlake Landfill, 16015 Davis St., Clearlake, and open 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily.


To recycle appliances any time, customers in the unincorporated areas may call their hauler to schedule a “bulky item pick up” for a $10 fee.


All county residents may drop off appliances at Lake County Waste Solutions, 230 Soda Bay Road, Lakeport in addition to South Lake Refuse and Recycling also for a $10 fee.


Because of the continued availability of funds, the CEC is expanding consumer choices for high energy efficient appliances.


The revised rebate program guidelines can be viewed at

www.energy.ca.gov/2009publications/CEC-400-2009-025/CEC-400-2009-025-CMF-REV4.PDF.


Additional information also is available through retailer locations throughout the county and consumers can call the toll-free number for questions at: 1-888-390-4034.


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 .

LAKEPORT – A barbecue cook-off, musical entertainment by the LC Diamonds, children’s activities, a car show, food and wine tasting will highlight the inaugural “Grillin’ on the Green” fundraiser scheduled for Saturday, August 7, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., at Westside Community Park, 1401 Westside Park Road.


The public is invited to attend and participate in the festivities, including the barbecue competition, the Westside Community Park fundraising committee has announced.


All proceeds from the event will benefit the next phase of development of Westside Community Park, which will include soccer fields, a regulation baseball field, and a combination Little League baseball/softball field. The Park Committee recently received a $200,000 grant from the Stewardship Council for the Phase II development.


Estimated cost of the project is $335,000.


Westside Community Park is a City of Lakeport recreational facility that was established 12 years ago.


The nonprofit park committee is developing the park in conjunction with the city of Lakeport, volunteers, and numerous contributions by individuals and businesses dedicated to constructing a recreational facility for the youth and adults of Lake County.


The park currently is four acres consisting of two soccer fields, a parking lot, a picnic area overlooking the soccer fields, and an ADA compliant walking path.


Future plans for development of the park’s full 60 acres include baseball/softball fields, a BMX track, a skateboard facility, football fields, a children’s play structure, a dog park, walking paths, and a horse arena.


“It will truly be a beautiful addition to Lake County and a much-needed recreational facility for families, groups, and leagues,” says Rollins, chair of the Westside Community Park Committee.


Individuals and groups, from backyard barbecuers to professional grillers, have an opportunity to compete in the cook-off. There is no entry fee. Each contestant is required to provide his/her own setup and samples of the chef’s “grillin’” specialty for 200 people.


The competition will culminate in a presentation of the People’s Choice Awards. For entry forms or additional information about the event and the barbecue competition, contact Ustrud or Rollins, 707-263-7091.


The park committee is seeking sponsorships for the event, says Ustrud, a member of the Park’s fundraising committee. The Priest Family Trust and the Keeling-Barnes Family Foundation, as major sponsors of the event, are each offering a $5,000 matching challenge to the community.


Levels of sponsor recognition are $100, $300, $500, $1,000, $3,000 and $5,000. Sponsors will be recognized at the Grillin’ on the Green event.


Ticket prices are $25 per adult and $10 per child 12 years old or younger.


Tickets may be purchased in advance at the Lake County Chamber of Commerce, the Kitchen Gallery, and Lake Event Design, all in Lakeport, and at the Clear Lake Chamber of Commerce in the City of Clearlake.


Tickets are also available from members of the fundraising committee. They are Dennis Rollins, Cindy Ustrud, Alice Holmes, Wilda Shock, and Beth and Jeff Havrilla.


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 .

LAKEPORT – Native children from around Lake County are invited to take part in an athletic event Aug. 4.


The ninth annual Lake County Tribal Health Youth Olympics will be held that day from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Lake County Fairgrounds, 401 Martin St. in Lakeport.


Registration starts at 9 a.m., said Misty Poloni of Lake County Tribal Health.


Poloni said children ages 4 to 18 are invited to participate. Lunch will be served from noon to 1 p.m.


The event is meant to raise awareness of diabetes and youth physical fitness, Poloni said.


Events include t-ball, balloon toss, sack race, 25 yard run, basketball, softball throw and the day's final event, the tug-of-war, she said.


Trophies will be offered for winners, with medals given for the rest of the top three finishers, Poloni said.


The roster of events follows.


Ages 4-6


10 a.m. – T-ball

11 a.m. – Coed water balloon toss

11:30 a.m. – 25 yard run

1 p.m. – Coed sack race

2 p.m. – Tug-of-war


Ages 7-9


10:30 a.m. – T-ball

11 a.m. – 25 yard run

11:30 a.m. – Softball thrown

1:15 p.m. – Coed sack race

2 p.m. – Tug-of-war


Ages 10-12


10 a.m. – 25 yard run

10 a.m. – Basketball tournament trophy game

11 a.m. – Softball thrown

1:30 p.m. – Coed sack race

2 p.m. – Tug-of-war


Ages 13-15


10 a.m. – Basketball tournament trophy game

10:30 a.m. – 25 yard run

12 p.m. – Softball throw

2 p.m. – Tug-of-war


Ages 16-17


10 a.m. – Basketball tournament trophy game

12 p.m. – 25 yard run

1 p.m. – Softball throw

2 p.m. – Tug-of-war


For more information, call Lake County Tribal Health's administration at 707-263-8382, Extension 101.


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 .

WILLITS – This week authorities recovered a tractor stolen from the Sacramento Valley in the Willits area and a Butte County man was arrested.


David Day, 43, was taken into custody on Thursday after Mendocino County Sheriff's deputies found him in possession of the stolen Bobcat industrial tractor, according to a report from Capt. Kurt Smallcomb.


Smallcomb said that on Thursday deputies received information from Butte County law enforcement that a tractor theft had taken place in the Chico area.


At 2:30 a.m. Thursday Deputies Brixie and Demarco were working in the area of southern Willits and Highway 101 when they observed a pickup pulling a trailer loaded with a Bobcat loader/tractor, Smallcomb said.


The deputies followed the suspect vehicle south on Highway 101 to the East Highway 20 exit. Smallcomb said they learned the vehicle's and trailer's license information came back from the Butte County area.


Brixie and Demarco – along with other deputies and officers from the California Highway Patrol – conducted a traffic stop in the area of Highway 20 and Marina Drive, Smallcomb said.


Once the vehicle was stopped, Smallcomb said the deputies were able to substantiate that the Bobcat tractor/loader was indeed one of the implements stolen from the Chico area.


The suspect driver, who was identified as Day, was subsequently arrested and booked into the Mendocino County Jail for possession of stolen property. Smallcomb said Day's bail was set at $15,000.


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 – The California Highway Patrol will conduct a sobriety checkpoint this Saturday, July 17.


“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.


The sobriety checkpoint will be staffed by officers 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 will also be equipped with state of the art hand-held 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.


“Traffic volume permitting, all vehicles will be checked and drivers who are under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, or unlicensed, can expect to be arrested,” Loveless said.


“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,” he said. “DUI enforcement patrols, as well as sobriety checkpoints, are effective tools for achieving this goal and are designed to augment existing patrol operations. By publicizing our efforts, we believe that we can deter motorists from drinking and driving.”


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


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 .

NICE – Authorities are investigating break-ins that occurred last month in businesses along the Highway 20 corridor in Nice.


The main break-ins occurred late June 18 or early June 19, and impacted the Mystic Barrel gift store and Nice Pet Care next door in the 3700 block of Highway 20, according to Capt. James Bauman of the Lake County Sheriff's Office.


The Nice Pet Care break-in was discovered at about 5:30 a.m. June 19, Bauman said. The store owner had seen the store intact at 10 p.m. the night before.


A deputy responded and found a window next to Nice Pet Care's entrance door shattered, and while she was looking over the scene she noticed that a similar break-in had occurred at Mystic Barrel, Bauman said.


Bauman said the deputy called Tina Dawn-Rubin, Mystic Barrel's owner, who met with the deputy to look the place over.


Dawn-Rubin said the large windows on both her shop and Nice Pet Care were shattered, and the male suspect came in under a foot-high shelf in her store.


“He could not get our cash register open, so he just took the whole register and product,” she told Lake County News.


A survey of the shop after the burglary revealed a knife display in disarray with knives stolen, and pieces of the cash register were found later that morning by Dawn-Rubin near the lake, according to the sheriff's report.


Bauman said investigators believe the same suspect is responsible for the break-ins.


Dawn-Rubin said the losses through the theft of the cash register and the merchandise – including knives and BB guns – were significant, totaling more than $600.


She said her store was the victim of a minor break-in previously that involved young people who bailed out a back window before doing much damage.


Nice Pet Care reported grooming clippers, a dog pen, clipper attachments, petty cash and 10 sets of dog clothing stolen, Bauman said.


Anita Smith, Nice Pet Care's owner, said the suspect “just tore up the place, took half my equipment – down to my towels.”


In addition to the clipper blades, dog clothing and towels, Smith said dryers were stolen and the store was ransacked.


Smith said that in the six years she's worked at the shop – which she's owned the last three years – she's never had a break-in.


“This would have been the last place that I would have thought anyone would break into,” she said.


Smith said she's using the equipment she has left and she's keeping open because she has to keep paying her bills, but she's having issues with her insurance and her landlord is wanting her to pay for a new window to replace the one broken in the burglary.


She said she's having to put the store back together but hasn't been able to replace her equipment.


Smith said the equipment would only be useful to a person who does the kind of work she does or knows someone who does. “These people must have been really hard up.”


“There's just been a rash of burglaries,” Dawn-Rubin said, reporting that a week after her break-in a home behind the post office was hit, and two cars were stolen off of Plumas.


Dawn-Rubin reported that a break-in attempt was made on the Nice Market the same morning as the burglary of her business. The Nice Market confirmed that several weeks ago a break-in attempt was made on that business but the alarm went off and no entry was made.


The Nice Frostie was burglarized the night of May 22, Bauman said. Lake County News was unable to confirm reported break-ins to other businesses before press time.


Bauman said anyone with information on the break-ins is encouraged to call the 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 .

CHICO – One of state's largest municipal parks is seeing a series of vehicle burglaries, according to a Thursday report.


The burglaries in Chico's Bidwell Park – the third largest municipal park in the state – began June 22 and are continuing, according to Sgt. Rob Merrifield of the Chico Police Department.


Merrifield reported that over the past four weeks seven vehicle burglaries were reported.


In each case, the thieves broke windows and removed purses and small electronics such as iPods, he said.


The locations varied but most occurred in remote parking lots such as Browns Hole, Horseshoe Lake and the Easter Cross. Merrifield said at least one burglary took place at One Mile.


He warned that leaving valuables in vehicle when using the park is an invitation to theft. Thieves

target these parking lots because they know that park users frequently leave purses, electronics and wallets in the vehicle while they run or hike in the park.


Leaving the purse or wallet under the seat is no defense, Merrifield added.


Police also are reminding the public to report suspicious activity in the park. Merrifield said to be alert for people watching the parking lots and take note of any vehicles that appear to be casing the area, and to report thefts to authorities immediately.


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 GEYSERS – A 4.0-magnitude earthquake was reported near The Geysers Thursday morning.


The temblor occurred at 8:31 a.m., according to the US Geological Survey.


The epicenter was located one mile north of The Geysers geothermal steamfield, five miles west southwest of Cobb and seven miles west northwest of Anderson Springs, at a depth of 1.7 miles, the survey reported.


Several smaller quakes followed that were centered one to two miles north of The Geysers – the largest a 2.0, according to US Geological Survey records.


By noon the survey received 15 shake reports from nine zip codes for the 4.0-magnitude quake, including reports from Lakeport, Middletown and Kelseyville, Calistoga and St. Helena in Napa County, the Sonoma County communities of Santa Rosa, Cloverdale and Windsor, and a report from Arcata, 248 miles away in Humboldt County.


A 3.2-magnitude quake occurred three miles east of The Geysers on Monday, as Lake County News has 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 and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lake-County-News/143156775604?ref=mf .

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15Jun
06.15.2024 6:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Middletown Art Center exhibit opening
16Jun
06.16.2024
Father's Day
16Jun
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16Jun
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Moose Lodge Father’s Day breakfast
18Jun
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Farmers' Market at Library Park
19Jun
06.19.2024
Juneteenth
19Jun
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Free veterans dinner
22Jun
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Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
22Jun
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