Saturday, 13 July 2024


SACRAMENTO – Assemblyman Wesley Chesbro (D-North Coast) will be in Clearlake on Monday, July 26, to take a firsthand look at the growing problem of algae blooms on Clear Lake.

Chesbro's office said Friday that he will meet with constituents at Austin Park in Clearlake to hear their concerns about the algae problem from 11 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

From 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Chesbro will tour the lake in the county’s air boat with county Supervisor Jeff Smith to learn more about the scope of the problem and assist with the eradication process.

Chesbro also will meet with county officials, agriculture representatives and Clearlake Mayor Judy Thein, his office reported.

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GLENHAVEN – Sheriff's officials are investigating a Tuesday afternoon boat crash that injured two people.

The crash was reported at 4:25 p.m. Tuesday from the area of the Glenhaven Beach Resort in Glenhaven, according to Capt. James Bauman of the Lake County Sheriff's Office.

He said emergency personnel from the sheriff's office responded both by water and land, with rescue personnel from the Northshore Fire Protection District, Lake County Fire Protection District and Cal Fire also responding.

A deputy assigned to the Clearlake Oaks area was the first on scene. Bauman said he found a 24-foot Blue Water power boat that had run aground on some rocks and crashed into a seawall in the area of the resort, Bauman said.

The vessel’s operator, 59-year-old James Wickersham of Lucerne, was found still on board, and had sustained major injuries. Bauman said the vessel had extensive damage and Wickersham had sustained major injuries.

Wickersham ultimately was flown out of county to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital by a REACH air ambulance for treatment, according to Bauman's report.

A passenger on the boat, 54-year-old Natasha Young of San Ramon, had apparently been ejected from the vessel and into the lake prior to it crashing into the rocks and seawall, Bauman said.

Young was pulled from the water by an unidentified boater on a personal water craft in the area. Bauman said she was transported to Sutter Lakeside Hospital with minor injuries and later released.

Bauman said that much has yet to be investigated in determining the cause of the accident.

However, he said it appears that the 24-foot boat was approaching a point of land near the Sea Breeze Resort in Glenhaven when, for some unknown reason, while Wickersham steered away to avoid the point, the boat collided with a retractable dock that was suspended above the surface of the lake.

The collision apparently incapacitated Wickersham and caused Young to be ejected into the water, Bauman said. The boat continued without an operator, at a speed believed to be about 35 to 40 miles per hour, in a circular pattern until eventually crashing into the rocks and seawall ashore.

Wickersham’s exact condition is unknown, however he is believed to be in critical but stable condition, Bauman said.

He added that it does not appear that alcohol or drugs were a contributing factor in the accident.

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WASHINGTON, DC – On the evening of Wednesday, July 28, Congressman Mike Thompson (D-St. Helena) will host a live town hall meeting via telephone and he is inviting every resident of the First Congressional District to join him.

Participants are encouraged to ask him questions about the issues that are important to them.

“Our country is facing many challenges right now and I want to make sure that people from across our district can discuss what’s on their mind,” said Congressman Thompson.

“It’s extremely important to me to hear from constituents, and this telephone town hall will be a great chance to talk about the challenges facing our country,” he added. “Please take this opportunity to call in and make your voice heard.”

The call will take place from 7:10 p.m. to 8:10 p.m. Pacific time.

When the call starts, dial 877-229-8493 and enter the passcode 13293.

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LAKE COUNTY – This weekend the county's wineries are getting together to regale residents and visitors alike with great wine, terrific food, tour and entertainment.

It's part of the Lake County Winery Association's sixth annual, two-day Lake County Wine Adventure, scheduled for 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, July 24, and Sunday, July 25.

Throughout the weekend, “wine adventurers” will taste wines from five of Lake County's six distinct viticulture areas s they visit participating wineries.

Wineries taking part this year include Ceago Vinegarden and Tulip Hill Winery in Nice; Brassfield Estate Winery, Shannon Ridge Winery, High Valley Estate Vineyards, and Noggle Vineyards & Winery in Clearlake Oaks; Villa La Brenta in Clearlake; Gregory Graham Winery, Ployez Winery, Hawk and Horse Vineyards, and Six Sigma Ranch in Lower Lake; Langtry Estate & Vineyards and Off the Vine at Twin Pine Casino in Middletown; Moore Family Winery on Cobb Mountain;Cougar's Leap Winery, Kelseyville Wine Co., Shed Horn Cellars, Mt. Konocti Growers, Bell Hill Vineyards, Rosa d'Oro Vineyards, Steele Wines, and Wildhurst Vineyards in Kelseyville; Sol Rouge Wines will be offered at the Lake County Wine Studio in Upper Lake and Robledo Family Winery will be pouring at their brand new tasting site located on Soda Bay Road in Lakeport.

Online ticket sales have closed, but tickets can be purchased for $40 each at every participating winery on the day of the event. Each ticket is good for two days of activities and entitles the holder to wine tastings and horse d'oeuvres at each winery, a logo wine glass, a tasting booklet and a reusable wine tote.

Several wineries also offer barrel tastings, winery tours, art exhibits and entertainment. Event-goers will be entered into a raffle drawing when they leave their completed adventure tickets with the last winery they visit. The grand prize features a cellar collection of premium wines from each participating Lake County winery.

Event organizers urge participants to designate a driver, who will be able to enjoy nonalcoholic drinks, food and entertainment free of charge at each site compliments of the Lake County Winery Association. Designated drivers also can turn in their special button to be eligible for some fun Lake County prizes.

For more information, call 800-595-WINE (9463), 707-355-2762 or visit

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KELSEYVILLE – A man who allegedly was shot earlier this month while trespassing on another man's property has been taken into custody.

John Allen Kniss, 32, of Kelseyville was arrested last Friday on a misdemeanor bench warrant, according to Lake County Jail records.

Kniss had allegedly been shot by 48-year-old Nickolas Leone of Kelseyville on July 10, as Lake County News has reported.

Capt. James Bauman of the Lake County Sheriff's Office reported previously that Kniss allegedly had driven up to Leone's home and tried to force his way through a gate.

Bauman said Leone told authorities that Kniss had been harassing and threatening him because Kniss believed Leone was dating a former girlfriend.

Leone had reportedly told deputies that he shot Kniss in the arm and shoulder at a distance of 80 to 100 feet after Kniss ignored his demands to leave, according to Bauman's July 12 report.

Deputies had been unable to locate Kniss at the time and subsequently arrested Leone for felony discharging a firearm in a negligent manner, Bauman said.

When Kniss was finally located last week, Bauman said he had several pellet wounds in the left arm, shoulder and chest from the incident.

Bauman said Kniss acknowledged the incident occurred and told deputies he didn't seek medical attention as he had no insurance, and didn't report the incident to authorities because he was afraid of being arrested.


The warrant that led to Kniss' arrest came from a February case, charging him with battery on a spouse, false imprisonment and vandalism, Bauman said.


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UPPER LAKE – A cigarette is believed to be the cause of a Thursday evening fire that burned an Upper Lake duplex and left two families homeless.

The fire, which was dispatched shortly after 6:30 p.m., occurred in two attached cabins in the 9300 block of Government Street, according to Northshore Fire Protection Chief Jim Robbins.

The fire district was having a training night, with firefighters at all of the district's stations, when the call came in, according to Robbins.

That meant a lot of firefighters and equipment were available to respond to the blaze, “which really helped out,” said Robbins, who was the incident commander.

A total of five engines, a medic unit and a battalion chief, in addition to Robbins, were among the responding resources from Northshore Fire, he said.

The structure was three-quarters involved when the firefighters arrived on scene. “I have to give my firefighters credit, they did a good stop on it,” said Robbins.

In addition to Northshore Fire, Cal Fire also sent two engines and a battalion chief, said Joe Petersen of the Cal Fire Dispatch Center. Lakeport Fire also was reported to have sent resources.

Robbins said it took firefighters about 30 minutes to extinguish the blaze and about two hours of mop up.

The older cabins – which Robbins said were built in the 1940s and used by California Conservation Corps crews – had flat roofs covered later by peaked roofs, with enclosed attic space that was difficult to access.

He said firefighters had to spend time pulling down the ceiling to make sure the fire was completely out.

No one was injured but the homes were complete losses, with two families – each composed of two adults – displaced, Robbins said.

The families had places to stay but Robbins said he brought in Red Cross because the renters lost virtually everything they owned.

Robbins said the fire appeared to be accidental, and was caused when a cigarette got under the back porch and lit the blaze.

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

CLEAR LAKE – This Saturday, July 24, the Lake County Sheriff’s Marine Patrol will conduct a boating under the influence (BUI) checkpoint on Clear Lake.

Several allied law enforcement agencies will be assisting with the checkpoint, including California State Parks, the California Department of Fish and Game and the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department, according, to Capt. James Bauman of the Lake County Sheriff's Office.

The BUI checkpoint is intended to reduce the number of alcohol-related accidents and injuries, and to enforce other California boating laws on the waters of Clear Lake, Bauman said.

Boaters will be stopped briefly and questioned. Bauman said any boat operators showing signs of alcohol use, intoxication or impairment, may be subject to further testing. Anyone found to have a blood-alcohol content higher than .08 percent may be subject to arrest and incarceration.

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MIDDLETOWN – A structure fire destroyed a family's home near Middletown late Sunday night.

The fire was reported at about 10:20 p.m. at 21000 block of Highway 29, according to Cal Fire, which responded along with South Lake County Fire Protection District.

South Lake County Fire Battalion Chief Rich Boehm said the dwelling was small and looked like a singlewide modular.

He said a family of four was living in the home – a woman and her three children.

South Lake County Fire sent two engines, a water tender and eight firefighters, with the Cal Fire station just down the road sending another eight firefighters and two engines.

He said it took firefighters about 20 minutes to put the fire out. “Being as small as it was it didn't take them very long,” Boehm said.

Boehm said the cause appears to be related to the home's electrical system.

“It was completely gutted,” he said, although the walls and roof were still upright after the fire was extinguished.

He estimated the total loss at $40,000.

The family had a place to stay but Boehm said he also provided them with contact information for Red Cross to help while they're displaced.

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

DOUBLE EAGLE RANCH – Firefighters raced to contain a Thursday afternoon fire that burned along Highway 20 near the Double Eagle Ranch east of Clearlake Oaks.

The fire, which burned three acres, was dispatched just after 2 p.m., according to Joe Petersen of the Cal Fire dispatch center.

Cal Fire sent a battalion chief, three engines, a water tender, a spotter plane and a helicopter that conducted air drops, Petersen reported.

Northshore Fire Protection District also sent firefighters and two engines, according to Northshore Fire Chief Jim Robbins.

The California Highway Patrol reported being on scene and traffic control was put in place near Spring Valley Lakes.

Reports from the scene had officials calling for two more engines when the fire made a run along a creek.

The CHP reported that the fire was getting close to the roadway less than 10 minutes after it was dispatched.

Robbins said the fire went down a steep embankment toward a creek lined with large boulders, and the creek helped stop the fire's progress.

He said the fire was believed to have been caused by sparks from a big rig pulling a long bed trailer loaded with hay. The CHP reported that the truck had busted axles and a big rig tow truck was called.

Within about 35 minutes of the original dispatch the fire was contained, said Robbins.

Radio reports indicated about an hour of cleanup would be required. One water tender and one engine from Northshore Fire stayed on scene to help with mop up, officials 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 and on Facebook at .

Lake County won a Silver Award for its booth at the 2010 California State Fair. Photo by Ron Keas.



LAKE COUNTY – Lake County is the recipient of a Silver Award at the California State Fair again this year.

Through the efforts the Lake County Chamber of Commerce, the exhibit was designed, constructed and staffing arranged for the fair's 19-day run.

Opening on July 14, the fair closes at 10 p.m. Aug. 1.

The 2010 theme for the State Fair is “Passport to Adventure.”

The exhibit for Lake County provides insights into the various adventures which may be experienced upon visiting wine tasting, farm trails, kayaking/canoing with the new water trails brochures, fishing, water recreation galore, camping, community festivals, unique lodging experiences, adventures in historical research and just plain relaxing in the county's clear, clean air.

The title banners at the top of the exhibit replicate passport stamps which list all the communities in the county. Suspended above the exhibit are a mini-motorcycle, a bicycle and a very large kayak. The brand new kayak was donated to raffle during the fair by Holly and Chuck, so a very lucky fair visitor will receive a call in the beginning of August when their name is drawn.

Lake County residents are encouraged to make the trip to Sacramento and visit the exhibit, along with 29 other counties who have displays.

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LAKE COUNTY – If you're interested in learning more about the invasive weeds in Clear Lake, now is your chance.

The third week of July is California’s annual “Invasive Weed Awareness Week.”

The mark the occasion, the Lake County Weed Management Area is hosting its fifth annual invasive weeds tour this Thursday, July 22.

Greg Dills of the East Lake and West Lake Resource Conservation Districts said Monday that spaces are still available on the free, self-driving tour.

The tour will begin in Lakeport, proceed to Nice and Kelseyville, and end at Lakeside Park with a discussion and samples of aquatic weeds followed by lunch.

This year’s tour includes revisiting some of the same sites as last year to observe the progress in controlling the invasive weeds and, in some cases, to see how rapidly the unattended invasive weeds have spread.

Participants will see a demonstration area where goats have been used to control Spanish broom. The tour will also highlight weeds such as Arundo donax, tamarisk, tree of heaven, skeleton weed, water primrose and various other aquatic weeds.

Passenger vans with limited seating will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis. All other participants will need to provide their own transportation and carpooling is encouraged.

The end-of-tour lunch is free but donations to offset the costs of lunch and refreshments will be greatly appreciated and cheerfully accepted.

Registration begins at 8:15 a.m. at the Lake County Department of Agriculture, located at 883 Lakeport

Blvd. The tour will depart from the parking lot at 8:45 a.m.

Please RSVP with Kristi at 707-263-0217 by July 19 if you plan on attending and indicate if you would like a seat on one of the vans.

The tour is sponsored by Lake County Department of Agriculture, the Lake County Department of Public Works, and the East Lake and West Lake Resource Conservation Districts.

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Upcoming Calendar

07.13.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
07.13.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Lake County Library Bookmobile special stop
07.16.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Library Park
07.17.2024 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
Free veterans dinner
07.20.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
07.23.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Library Park
07.27.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
07.30.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Library Park
08.03.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
08.06.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Library Park

Mini Calendar



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