Thursday, 18 July 2024

News

CLEARLAKE – More road work is set to begin in Clearlake next week.


The city of Clearlake reported that its contractor, Argonaut Constructors of Santa Rosa, will begin construction work on the city's Collector Street Rehabilitation Project Phase 2 on Monday, June 14.


Streets included in the project are Arrowhead Road between Golf Club Street and Modoc Street, Arrowhead Road between Park Street and Burns Valley Road, Burns Valley Road between Arrowhead Road and Woodland Street, and 40th Avenue between Moss Avenue and Phillips Avenue.


The road rehabilitation and paving work will start next Monday and continue through June 28. Work will commence on Arrowhead Road, then proceed to Burns Valley Road and then to 40th Avenue.


The schedule is weather dependent. Cooler weather than normal or rainy weather could delay the work schedule.


Electronic message boards will be in place prior to the start of paving work advising motorists of the work schedule and road closures.


Work hours will be Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.


The work will involve the excavation and removal (by grinding) the existing asphalt surfacing and old road base, and placement of new asphalt pavement and minor underground utility repair.


The new asphalt pavement will be placed in two lifts, a base asphalt course and finished asphalt course. The first, or base course of asphalt, will be placed immediately after the grinding. The finished asphalt course will be placed a day or two later.


Portions of Arrowhead Road, Burns Valley Road and 40th Avenue will be subject to closure. Through traffic will be detoured around the work site during construction hours. Access to local residents will be made available at all times during construction. However, delays should be expected.


Road closures will remain in effect during construction hours. Motorists are urged to drive carefully in areas of road construction.


For questions and information please call the city of Clearlake at 707-994-8201, Extension 180.


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SAN RAFAEL – A Clearlake Oaks man and his passenger who were driving with a group of Hells Angels were arrested Sunday after they was found with a number of illegal weapons during a traffic stop in San Rafael.


Jason Giannini, 23, and his passenger, 50-year-old Fred Heric of Santa Rosa, were both arrested following the stop, according to the Marin California Highway Patrol office.


The CHP said that at just after 10 a.m. Sunday a CHP officer made an enforcement stop for a gross polluter violation on a black 1991 Ford F-150 Giannini was driving southbound on US-101 on the Central San Rafael off-ramp.


The Ford allegedly had been emitting a large amount of black smoke as it was driving southbound US-101 with a pack of Hells Angels riders, the CHP reported.


During the course of the stop, CHP officers determined Giannini to be driving on a suspended license and impounded the vehicle, according to the report.


The CHP reported that while officers were searching the vehicle they found multiple switchblades, butterfly knives, brass knuckles and lead-weighted gloves, along with a loaded 9 millimeter pistol, loaded and expelled ammunition, a baton, counterfeit US currency and less than an ounce of marijuana.


Both Giannini and Heric of Santa Rosa were arrested and booked into Marin County Jail on misdemeanor charges of possessing a switchblade, a firearm with an obliterated serial number, a concealed firearm in a vehicle and a loaded firearm in a public place and felony possession of baton/metal knuckles, officials said.


The CHP said both Giannini and Heric will be charged with gang association enhancements.


In addition, Giannini faces a gross polluter infraction and a misdemeanor charge of driving on a suspended license, the CHP reported.


The Marin County Major Crimes Task Force will be assisting the CHP with the investigation.

 

Later that day, the CHP arrested a Novato man, 52-year-old David Cesena, who was taking place in the Hells Angels Memorial Ride after he failed to stop his motorcycle at the stoplight at the intersection the northbound US-101 off-ramp to San Marin Drive and Atherton Avenue.


During the search a CHP officer observed an out-of-place handle protruding from the handle bar/fork area of the 2003 Harley Davidson motorcycle. The CHP report said the item later was determined to be an ice pick designed to be concealed within the motorcycle.


Cesena subsequently was arrested for felony possession of a deadly weapon and several traffic infractions, including failure to stop at a red light, no insurance, improper display of license plates and expired registration.


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Altocumulus clouds form over Clear Lake, photographed from north Lakeport, Calif., near Rainbow Road at Lakeshore Boulevard, on Tuesday, June 8, 2010. Photo by Terre Logsdon.



 


LAKE COUNTY – Strong winds kicked up around Lake County and much of Northern California on Tuesday afternoon, whittling mid-level clouds over the mountains in the Mendocino National Forest into beautiful sunset formations, while ushering in another low pressure weather system.


That system brings with it the possibility of more rain in the county on Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service in Sacramento, which forecast a 20 percent chance of rain, with the majority of the system to reach much further in Northern California.


High temperatures Wednesday are predicted to reach in to the mid- to upper-60s, with overnight lows in the mid- to upper-40s, according to the National Weather Service. That will be noticeably cooler than the upper 70s enjoyed throughout the county over the last few days.


According to both the National Weather Service and the Western Weather Group, which many Lake County Farmers subscribe to, temperatures will be cooler with breezy winds picking up again throughout the day.


Sunnier skies should return during the day on Thursday, but winds will continue to be breezy, according to the National Weather Service.


Breezy winds, with gusts up to 23 miles per hour, are expected overnight on Thursday, the National Weather Service predicts, while the chance for rain moves out of Lake County, with sunny and mild temperatures returning.


For up-to-the minute weather information, please visit the Lake County News home page.


E-mail Terre Logsdon 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 – A Willits man was arrested Wednesday evening and charged with stealing a vehicle from Lake County.


Dustin Bruce, 26, was taken into custody for possession of a stolen vehicle, possession of stolen property, possession of methamphetamine and a parole violation, according to Capt. Kurt Smallcomb of the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office.


Mendocino County Sheriff's deputies were on patrol at the Sherwood Valley Rancheria Casino Wednesday evening when they observed a white Jeep Cherokee in the parking lot. Smallcomb said a records check on the vehicle showed the vehicle was reported stolen out of Lake County.


The deputies learned, with the assistance of the casino security, that a male subject had driven the Jeep to the location and then left in a separate vehicle, Smallcomb said. Contents inside the vehicle led the deputies to suspect that someone would be returning to get the vehicle.


A short while later a vehicle pulled up to the Jeep, where a male and female entered the vehicle, which then began to drive away, Smallcomb said. The vehicle exited from the casino and into a nearby residence.


Smallcomb said the deputies responded to the location and observed a male driver matching a previous description, seated in the driver seat. The female companion was now exiting the vehicle.


The driver, Bruce, was taken into custody without any incident, Smallcomb said.


Sheriff's deputies located 2.5 grams of suspected methamphetamine sitting on the driver seat, which Bruce appeared to have placed there when exiting the vehicle. Smallcomb said the deputies learned the female companion was not involved with the incident and was released on scene.


Bruce – who is currently on active parole from Mendocino County – was transported to the Mendocino County Jail and booked without a bail amount.


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NORTHERN CALIFORNIA – Three men alleged to have been involved in a multimillion-dollar bait-and-switch home refinance scam that victimized people around the state – including Lake County and the North Coast – have been arrested.


On Wednesday California Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. announced the arrests of Sean McConville, 30, of Austin, Texas; Matthew Bourgo, 27, of Thousand Oaks; and Joseph Nguyen, 37, of Woodland Hills.


Brown alleged that the men used “deceptive promises and forged documents” to steal almost $1 million from homeowners falsely guaranteed attractive home loan refinancing packages.


The arrests were part of a continuing problem into the now-defunct Southern California mortgage brokerage, ALG Capital Inc., Brown's office reported.


“These criminals employed a classic bait-and-switch in their refinance scheme,” Brown said. “With deceptive promises and forged documents, they maliciously cheated homeowners who trusted them and just wanted a fair deal.”


Brown's office initiated its investigation in October 2008 in response to more than 70 complaints against the defendants and their mortgage brokerage business, ALG Capital, Inc. The brokerage operated out of Calabasas from early 2006 until late 2007 and then moved to Mission Hills until it shut its doors in 2008.


The Attorney General's Office's investigation found that from April 2007 to October 2008, the owners and their associates lured dozens of borrowers into refinancing home loans by falsely promising low interest rates, minimal broker fees and other attractive terms. The brokerage then negotiated different terms with lenders.


When homeowners were presented with closing documents, they bore the terms promised, but which the lenders never approved, according to Brown's report.


After homeowners signed the closing documents, key pages were removed and replaced with pages bearing the terms that the lender had actually agreed to, Brown's office said. The homeowners' signatures were then forged on the replacement pages, and ALG forwarded the forged documents to the escrow company.


Homeowners only discovered they had been defrauded when they received the final loan documents with the true terms and their signatures forged on closing cost disclosures, truth-in-lending disclosures, loan applications and other documents, the Attorney General's Office reported.


Additionally, ALG collected almost $1 million in undisclosed fees, charging homeowners up to $57,000 in broker fees. Officials noted that, in total, dozens of homeowners were locked into almost $30 million in loans with terms they did not agree to.


As a result of this scheme, many homeowners were forced to sell their homes, come out of retirement, or tap retirement savings, officials reported. Others paid significant prepayment penalties, including over $21,000 in one case. Borrowers also rarely received the large cash-outs they were promised as part of the refinance.


Investigators located victims both locally and around the North Coast, including Nice, Santa Rosa and Petaluma, and in dozens of California cities – Auburn, Altadena, Arroyo Grande, Azusa, Bakersfield, Berkeley, Burbank, Calabasas, Castro Valley, Chino, Compton, Corona, Fairfield, Fontana, Fremont, Fresno, Garden Grove, Glendale, Hemet, Highland, Huntington Beach, La Habra, La Mesa, La Mirada, La Quinta, Lancaster, Livermore , Los Angeles, Long Beach, Manteca, Martinez, Monterey, Murrieta, Northridge, Oakland, Ontario, Palmdale, Pasadena, Perris, Pomona, Quartz Hill, Rancho Cucamonga, Redlands, Reedley, Rialto, Sacramento, San Clemente, San Diego, San Jose, Sierra Madre, Spring Valley, Stanton, Temecula, Whittier and Winnetka.


McConville, president and co-owner of the brokerage, was arrested early Tuesday morning at his residence and is being held at the Travis County Jail in Texas pending extradition. He was previously convicted of robbery in November 1997.


Bourgo, who posed as a licensed notary for the brokerage, was arrested Tuesday afternoon at his residence, and is being held in Ventura County Jail pending a transfer to Los Angeles County.


Nguyen, a former loan officer for the brokerage, also was arrested Tuesdasy afternoon at his business, where he worked as a chiropractor. He is being held by authorities in Los Angeles County.


The suspects are each being held on $29.5 million bail.


Attorney General's Offices spokesman Evan Westrup told Lake County News on Wednesday that more updates on the case are expected.


Last September, Brown's office arrested three others involved in the bait-and-switch scam, including Michael McConville, 32, of Simi Valley, Sean McConville's brother and co-owner of the brokerage; Alan Ruiz, 29, of Huntington Beach, a former loan officer; and Garrett Holdridge, 24, of Palmdale, who was convicted of seven felonies in March for his involvement in the scam.


The complaint, filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court, includes 38 counts of grand theft, 19 counts of forgery, three counts of elder abuse, and one count of conspiracy to commit grand theft.


Brown also filed suit against the McConville brothers in May 2009 for running a property tax reassessment scam which targeted Californians looking to lower their property taxes, as Lake County News reported. Numerous county residents received the scam letter and notified local officials about it.


Brown's office said the brothers billed tens of thousands of homeowners throughout California nearly $200 each for property tax reassessment services that were almost never performed and are available free of charge from local tax assessors.


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 – Heated races, expectations for runoffs, upsets for incumbents and low voter turnout aren't unique to Lake County this year.


Tuesday's primary election saw incumbents around the region – some of them in office for many years – dismissed from office or set for November runoffs.


The Tuesday primary also was marked by voter turnout that was low both locally and around the state, which county election officials have previously noted is common for primaries.


In Lake County, just over a third of voters showed up to the polls, running higher than the overall state average, according to state and local records.


This year, local law enforcement races in the county have proved the most heated.


On Tuesday, incumbent Sheriff Rod Mitchell placed four percentage points and 445 votes behind challenger Francisco Rivero. The two men will face off in November after Jack Baxter, a retired police sergeant from San Jose, finished third and was eliminated from the race.


The story was different in Tehama County, where Sheriff Clay Parker – in office since 1999 – was defeated on Tuesday by Dave Hencratt, one of his own detectives and a 21-year veteran of the Tehama County Sheriff's Office, according to details on Hencratt's Facebook page.


Meanwhile, there were several uncontested sheriff's races in neighboring counties in the Sacramento Valley and the North Coast.


Glenn County Sheriff Larry Jones, Colusa County Sheriff Scott Marshall, Mendocino County Sheriff Tom Allman, Napa County Sheriff Douglas Koford and Yolo County Sheriff Ed Prieto faced no opponents in seeking reelection Tuesday.


Sonoma County Sheriff Bill Cogbill did not seek reelection, and Windsor Police Chief Steve Freitas ran to succeed him unopposed.


In Humboldt County, Sheriff Gary Philp retired and was succeeded by Mike Downey, a veteran of his department, who defeated Michael Hislop, the Humboldt County District Attorney's Office's chief investigator and a former Eureka Police officer.


District attorney races show major upsets

 

 

District attorney races around the region this June appeared to be more contested overall.


Lake County District Attorney Jon Hopkins, who was seeking a second term in office, placed out of the running to reclaim his seat Tuesday. His challengers, Don Anderson and Doug Rhoades, will now race to November.


Hopkins, contacted by Lake County News on Wednesday, said he wasn't prepared to comment on the outcome of Tuesday's vote or his future plans.


The position in which Hopkins finds himself – an incumbent district attorney out of a job – isn't an isolated incident in races around the region this year.


In Glenn County, following a heated race, longtime District Attorney Robert Holzapfel was defeated by Robert Maloney, who he had beaten for the job in the early 1980s. Maloney currently is assistant district attorney in Shasta County.


Next door in Sonoma County, two-term District Attorney Stephen Passalacqua was defeated by Mendocino County prosecutor Jill Ravitch.


In other races, to the north, in Tehama County, District Attorney Gregg Cohen fended off challenger Kenneth Miller.


Mendocino County District Attorney Meredith Lintott finished first in the primary over challengers C. David Eyster and Matt Finnegan, with Lintott and Eyster slated to be in a November runoff.


In Humboldt County, District Attorney Paul Gallegos is facing a run to November against challenger Allison Jackson, who finished nearly three percentage points ahead of him, according to the Humboldt County Registrar of Voters. Gallegos and Jackson were the top finishers in a field of four.


Colusa County District Attorney John Poyner was unchallenged this year, as were Napa County District Attorney Gary Lieberstein and Yolo County District Attorney Jeff Reisig.

 

 

Fewer superintendent of schools races contested


Races for superintendents of schools around the region were mostly uncontested.


Superintendents Larry Champion in Tehama County, Barbara Nemko in Napa County, Garry Eagles in Humboldt County, Paul Tichinin in Mendocino County and Jorge Ayala in Yolo County all ran for reelection unopposed, while Steven Herrington had no challengers as he sought to succeed Sonoma County Superintendent of Schools Carl Wong.


In Lake County, Wally Holbrook and Judy Luchsinger raced to succeed retiring Superintendent of Schools Dave Geck, with Holbrook winning Tuesday with a nearly 19-percent lead, or just over 2,000 votes.


In Colusa County, incumbent Superintendent Kay Campbell Spurgeon finished first in a field of four, followed by Jamie Myers, Julie Struckmeyer and Becky Van Kleeck Poyner, according to the Colusa County Registrar of Voters. Preliminary numbers indicate Spurgeon and Myers will race to November.


In a primary upset, one-term Glenn County Superintendent of Schools Arturo Barrera was defeated by Glenn County Supervisor Tracey Quarne, also a county educator, who chose not to pursue reelection for his supervisorial seat in order to run against Barrera. Preliminary Glenn County Registrar of Voters numbers indicate that Quarne bested Barrera by nearly 17 percent, or more than 1,000 votes.


Low voter turnout statewide


As to voter turnout, statewide approximately 24.9 percent of voters participated in the Tuesday primary, according to California Secretary of State Debra Bowen's office. Lake County surpassed that state average with a 36.1-percent turnout.


Sierra County had the highest turnout of the state's 58 counties with 73.3 percent, while Riverside had the lowest, with 16.5 percent, according to state data.


Election officials are still processing mail-in ballots and conducting the official canvass. The following numbers – compiled from individuals counties and the Secretary of State – are preliminary results, and final results may differ.


Preliminary turnout results for Lake County, and neighboring and North Coast counties:


Colusa County: 39.6 percent (breakdown of precinct and absentee not immediately available).


Glenn County: 53.46 percent (precinct – 30.69 percent; absentee – 22.77 percent).


Humboldt: 38.3 percent (breakdown of precinct and absentee not immediately available).


Lake County: 36.1 percent (precinct – 17.3 percent; absentee – 18.8 percent).


Mendocino County: 26.59 percent (breakdown of precinct and absentee not immediately available).


Napa County: 26.37 percent (precinct – 16.30 percent; absentee – 10.08 percent).


Sonoma County: 38.9 percent (precinct – 14.8 percent; absentee – 24 percent).


Tehama County: 32.55 percent (precinct – 15.52 percent; absentee – 17.03 percent).


Yolo County: 29.9 percent (breakdown of precinct and absentee not immediately available).


E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Follow Lake County News on Twitter at http://twitter.com/LakeCoNews and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lake-County-News/143156775604?ref=mf .

FORT BRAGG – A Lake County man convicted of failing to reattach an undersize abalone has been sentenced to probation and a fine, the latest in a series of abalone poaching cases prosecuted by Mendocino County officials.


Judge Jonathan Lehan sentenced Rye Davis Gilley, 31, to 12 months probation, a $1,315 fine and a prohibition from fishing during his probation term on Monday.


Mendocino County District Attorney Meredith Lintott office's reported that on June 4 a six-man, six-woman jury convicted Gilley of failing to reattach an undersize abalone.


Gilley, a Lake County who works as a millwright in Redwood Valley,


Warden Patrick Freeling testified that at around 7 a.m. May 23, 2009, he was patrolling for abalone violators in the cove adjacent to Greenwood Beach in Elk.


Freeling, who was wearing camouflage, hid in a bush on the bluff and made observations through his binoculars. He first observed Mr. Gilley, 100 yards away, return to the surface holding up two legal-size abalone, according to testimony in the case.


Gilley is then alleged to have emerged holding what the warden determined was an undersize abalone – or one that is less than 7 inches in diameter. Freeling testified that Gilley placed the abalone on top of his dive tube for four minutes. After drifting 30 to 40 feet, he then “palmed” the abalone into the water. Four seconds later he dove into the water, where he stayed for seven seconds.


The abalone regulations require that an undersize abalone be reattached “immediately” to the “same surface” of the rock from which it was detached, Lintott's office reported. Based on his training and experience, the warden believed that it would have been impossible for Gilley to comply with that regulation, so he issued Gilley a citation.


Gilley testified he did not know the abalone was undersize until he measured it upon emerging from the water, and that he then waited to catch his breath before diving down to reattach it. He denied palming it or dropping it into the water.


He claimed in court that he properly reattached the abalone during his dive, which took 10 seconds, by attaching it to the same surface of the same ledge as the one from which he took it.


Prosecutor Tim Stoen argued that Gilley broke the law in two respects – he did not return it “immediately” in light of his good physical condition, and that returning it to the same ledge, given his drifting 30 to 40 feet, did not constitute the same surface of the rock from which it was detached.


Stoen argued that even though the case involved only a single undersize abalone, it was a serious one, for failure to enforce this regulation would be one more “nail in the coffin” of the Mendocino Coast's abalone population.


Defense attorney Mark Kalina argued it was reasonable for Gilley to take four minutes to catch his breath before diving to reattach the abalone, given the extremely rough ocean conditions, including 4 to 6 foot swells. He argued that the continuous ledge constituted, as a matter of reasonable interpretation of the regulations, taking into account ocean conditions, the same “rock” from which the abalone had been detached.


The jury deliberated one hour and 15 minutes before retuning its verdict of guilty.


Judge Lehan gave Gilley the same sentence he would have received if he had pleaded guilty or no contest.


Stoen also prosecuted a case in which an abalone poacher was sentenced late last month to three years in state prison, a lifetime prohibition from fishing and a $20,000 fine.


Judge Richard Henderson meted out that sentenced to Randy L. Appleyard, 26, of Waterford, who pleaded guilty to felony conspiracy to take abalone for commercial purposes, Lintott's office reported.


Appleyard's convicted co-conspirators in the case were Christopher Michael Kern, 27, of Orangevale, and Philip Michael Horch, 27, of Fair Oaks.


Kern previously pleaded guilty to felony conspiracy and was sentenced to three years supervised probation, 270 days county jail, a $20,000 fine and a lifetime fishing prohibition, while Horch – who acted only as a lookout – also previously had offered a plea and received the same sentence as Kern, but with a county jail term of 180 days.


On Aug. 11, 2009, Fish and Game warden Don Powers was on uniform patrol on the north side of Jughandle State Park when, from a hidden position, he observed the three men walking down a trail to the ocean, with Horch behaving as if he were a lookout. Powers contacted Fish and Game Lieutenant Dennis McKiver and Warden Erick Bloom, who also took observation positions.


Between them, the three wardens observed Appleyard and Kern make three trips up from the ocean, the first time carrying dive gear and the second and third times carrying heavy sacks. Each time they deposited the items behind a large bush.


The wardens later apprehended Horch, who had left the area to get his vehicle in order to pick up Appleyard and Kern with the abalone. The wardens then discovered, behind the bush, four blue mesh bags containing a total of 45 abalone, they testified.


Stoen, who charged the case, noted that Appleyard had in 2007 been convicted of an identical felony conspiracy charge, and was on probation for it, which carries with it a term requiring a year in county jail.


Following his sentencing, Appleyard – who was defended by attorney Bert Schlosser – was immediately remanded to the California Department of Corrections to begin his prison term, Lintott's office reported.


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 .

Posted at 9:17 p.m.

 


LAKEPORT – The Lake County Registrar of Voters office has released the count of absentee ballots in countywide races.


For countywide races including district attorney, sheriff and superintendent of schools, no results had yet been posted for the 53 county precincts.


The absentee results, posted shortly after 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, are as follows.



District attorney


Don Anderson, 2,138 votes, 40.8 percent;


Jon Hopkins, 1,572 votes, 30 percent;


Doug Rhoades, 1,524 votes, 29.1 percent.


Sheriff


Francisco Rivero, 2,063 votes, 38.3 percent;


Rod Mitchell, 1,896 votes, 35.2 percent;


Jack Baxter, 1,430 votes, 26.5 percent.



Superintendent of schools


Wally Holbrook, 2,956 votes, 56.2 percent;


Judy Luchsinger, 2,307 votes; 43.8 percent.



District 2 supervisor


Jeff Smith, 469 votes, 62.3 percent;


Joyce Overton, 284 votes, 37.7 percent.



District 3 supervisor


Denise Rushing, 631 votes, 52.4 percent;


Gary Lewis, 310 votes, 25.7 percent;


Robert Hesterberg, 263 votes, 21.8 percent.



Stay posted for further updates as they become available.


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 .

RED BLUFF – A Clearlake man died Tuesday after traveling the wrong way on a portion of Interstate 5 and subsequently colliding with a bridge.


Hubert Marks, 72, was the victim of the crash, according to the Red Bluff office of the California Highway Patrol.


At around 12:24 a.m. Tuesday Marks was traveling southbound in his 1996 Ford Ranger pickup in the northbound lane of Interstate 5 near Dibble Creek Bridge, south of the North Main Street overcrossing at an estimated speed of 70 miles per hour, according to the CHP report.


The CHP said there were no independent witnesses as to where he entered the highway going the wrong direction.


According to witness statements, Marks continued southbound in the northbound lane which ended at the Dibble Creek Bridge. Witnesses told CHP that Marks never hit the brakes before colliding with the raised concrete bridge abutment.


Marks' pickup spun in a clockwise direction and came to rest facing north within the highway's two northbound lanes, the CHP reported.


The CHP said Marks was wearing his seatbelt when the crash occurred.


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LAKE COUNTY – While much of the local focus on Tuesday was centered on county races, state and federal races on the ballot also took shape in preparation for November's general election.


Lake County voters cast votes for the US House of Representatives, US Senate, state Assembly, state Senate and governor, and several other state seats.


Incumbent Congressman Mike Thompson received 100 percent of Democratic ballots cast Tuesday, which numbered 5,118, the Lake County Registrar of Voters reported. In November he'll face Republican challenger Loren Hanks, an Air Force Reserve officer, who received 2,650 votes or 64 percent of his party's ballots.


In the US Senate race, Republican Carly Fiorina received 43 percent of her party's votes locally, or 1,861, while incumbent Barbara Boxer took 75.1 percent of the Democratic vote, constituting 4,075 Lake County ballots.


For the First Assembly District, incumbent Assemblyman Wes Chesbro – seeking his second term – will be the Democratic candidate on the November ballot, bringing in 4,948 votes Tuesday, according to Lake County Registrar of Voters results. His nearest challenger in the county was Republican Karen Brooks, with 3,860 votes.


Noreen Evans, a Chesbro colleague in the Assembly, led a field of Democrats seeking to succeed state Sen. Patricia Wiggins, who is retiring at year's end when her term expires.


Evans took in 45.2 percent of the local Democratic vote, or 2,340 votes, followed by Tom Lynch, who received 1,475 Lake County votes, or 28.5 percent. Republican Lawrence Wiesner received 3,732 votes, or 100 percent of the Republican ballots cast.


In the governor's race, Lake County's balloting mirrored state results. Democrat and former governor Edmund “Jerry” Brown took 4,677 votes, or 85.1 percent of the party vote, while Republican Meg Whitman received 70.5 percent, or 3,121 votes, followed by Steve Poizner, with 758 votes, or 17.1 percent of the Republican vote.


Democrat Gavin Newsom and Republican Abel Maldonado will face off this November in the lieutenant governor's race. While Newsom led among local and state Democratic voters, Maldonado trailed behind fellow Republican Sam Aanestad amongst Lake County voters.


Lake County voters for the most part followed statewide trends in choosing candidates for controller, secretary of state, treasurer, but favored insurance commissioner candidate Brian Fitzgerald, a Republican, over Mark Villines, who won the most votes statewide to face off with Democrat Dave Jones in November.


Likewise, local voters chose Tom Torlakson as the No. 1 candidate for state superintendent of education, but he placed second to Larry Aceves in statewide voting.


In the race for the First District seat on the State Board of Equalization, incumbent Betty T. Yee was the top Democratic vote getter and will face Republican challenger Kevin R. Scott in November.


County voters also closely followed statewide trends in voting for state ballot measures, local voting results showed.


Propositions 13 and 14 – covering seismic retrofits and primary election participation, respectively – passed in Lake County and across the state.


At the same time, Proposition 15, the California Fair Elections Act; Proposition 16, dealing with local electricity providers; and Proposition 17, relating to auto insurance pricing, all failed locally and across California.


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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Horses made their way along Main Street in Upper Lake, Calif., during the annual Wild West Day celebration on Saturday, June 5, 2010. Photo by Tera DeVroede.
 

UPPER LAKE – Main Street in Upper Lake was transformed into a bustling western scene this last Saturday.

The Wild West lived again, and has every year for the past 17 years, thanks to the hard work of Upper Lake’s Wild West Day founders Jill Perry of the Upper Lake Community Council and Debbie Hablutzel, president of the council.

The all-day, family-friendly event has grown to include an auxiliary breakfast, barbecue tri-tip dinner, street faire, theme contests, a parade, skits, a bull ride, kids’ inflatable jumpers and more.

New this year was a mechanical bull, thanks to Mobile Rock out of Auburn. For a small extra charge, those who dared took a seat and held on. Joe Fernandez got a special thanks for helping the community council with bull ride ticket sales all day long – and for donating all the wood for the mouth-watering tri-tip grill.

Another cool attraction was the booth set up by the Early Day Gas Engine and Tractor Association, Branch no. 31. They had an old motor that people, back in the olden days, used to pump water or power their home appliances such as a washing machine.

“It was the iPod of its day,” said representative Carl Righetti.

The Upper Lake Community and Northshore Fire Protection District benefits from this event, as all profits go back into the community, said Perry. The event stays true to its purpose of helping the local economy. It has provided funds for a variety of uses, including beautification and historical preservation.

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First place in the tractor competition was Floyd Hammack of Santa Rosa, Calif., with a 1956 Bolen with a 1934 Maytag and gas motor. Photo by Tera DeVroede.
 

The idea for the annual celebration came from former Upper Lake Postmaster Willie Guluarte when he and the original council were brainstorming on ways to attract more people to the historic town. Both Hablutzel and her husband, Brent, have a local business, as did Perry at the time. Both women, and the postmaster, knew Upper Lake needed something to bring more people into town.

At the first Wild West Day, the event was put on with only $100, said Perry.

Hablutzel said she thinks that this year's event was the best so far.

“I thought last year was it, but it definitely grew again,” she said. “This year’s was the biggest Wild West Day yet.”

A lot goes on behind the scenes – a lot of volunteer work, that is. The ladies originally handled the whole event by themselves, waking at 5:30 a.m. for the set up and cleaning up after through 8:00 p.m. Now, Perry has a crew of volunteers to aid them in the effort.

“They have been a big help for us,” said Perry.

Bales of hay dotted the street and nearly every hour the crowd was treated to a comical skit by the Blue Canyon Gang. Whether it was over money, or money, the gun-slinging cowboys and their women, threw down in a smoky bullet exchange, ending up with several of the actors playing dead – and pretty well, too. The actual boom from real guns loaded with blanks did make a few ears rings and babies cry. But, it was all for an authentic western experience.

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Margaret and David Retherford were among the costume winners at this year's Wild West Day in Upper Lake, Calif., on Saturday, June 5, 2010. Photo courtesy of Phil Smoley.
 

The West was not complete without horses – and the parade had a herd of beautiful horses along with classic cars, old tractors and western dress themes.

More than 50 vendors lined the street with their goods while people walked up and down, enjoying the parade, costumed event-goers, beautiful weather and well-planned activities.

Below are the results of the event's contests and parade.

Parade results

Grand Prize: 1927 Mercedes Roadster from Les Jardins du Bateau

Special Award: Rooster Lord as Black Bart

Floats: First place – The purple train from Olivia’s Organics; second place – ER Energy.

Music/marching groups: First place – Upper Lake High School Band; second place – United Veterans Council Color Guard.

Equestrian: First place – Back Country Horsemen of California, Lake-Mendocino Unit and the Clearlake Horse Club; second place – Lacy Villines and her miniature horse Rosie; third place – Nancy Williams of Williams Equine Enterprises.

Tractors: First place – 1956 Bolen with a 1934 Maytag and gas motor from owner Floyd Hammack of Santa Rosa and member of the Early Day Gas Engine and Tractor Association, Branch no. 31; second place – 1951 Ford Tractor from owner Carl Peterson; third place – 1941 Ford Tractor from owner Teresa Petersen.

Vehicles: First place – 1947 Ford pickup truck from owner Bernie Butcher of the Blue Wing Café and Tallman Hotel; second place – 1948 Dodge fire truck from owner Jamie Crabtree; third place – 1941 Dodge pick-up truck from owner Don Smith.

Other: First place – Wiley Kirk; second place – Lake County Wine Studio; third place – an old Ford EU from owner Jeff Tarpley.

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Contestant Norma Clay shows off her 19th century costume at the annual Wild West Day celebration on Saturday, June 5, 2010, in Upper Lake, Calif. Photo courtesy of Phil Smoley.
 

Beard and bonnet contest winners

Female costume: First place – Judy Pinto; second place – Sherry Fitch; third place – Laura Lamar.

Male costume: First place – David Retherford; second place – Matt Seabaugh; third place: Rooster Lord.

Mustache: First place – Jim Huddleson; second place – Lloyd Stottsberry; third place – Rooster Lord.

Beard: First place – Joe Schuster; second place – Buck Bonker; third place – Leroy Harris.

Bonnet: First place – Margaret Retherford; second place – Doris Harville; third place – Laura Lamar.

The Northshore Fire Protection District and the Upper Lake community council sponsored the event, along with the following local businesses and organizations: Bachelor Valley Grange, Nor Cal Motor & Speed Equipment, Finnish Line Coffee, Joe’s Place Automotive, The Virtuous Woman, Judy’s Junction, Hi-Way Grocery, Lastmile Auto Wreckers, Treasure Cove Pizza, Country Carpets, Westamerica Bank, Woody’s Gas Station, Dr. Milan Hopkins Alternative Medicine and Spa, Noble Realty, The Elegant Bowl, Blue Wing Saloon, Tallman Hotel, Pivniska Trucking, Northshore Business Association, MJ’s Place and Mountain High Coffee and Books.

Visit www.upperlakeca.org for more information about Upper Lake.

E-mail Tera deVroede 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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Jim Hudelson was the winner of the contest for best mustache at this year's Wild West Day in Upper Lake, Calif., on Saturday, June 5, 2010. Photo courtesy of Phil Smoley.
 

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