Tuesday, 16 July 2024


LUCERNE – A repair van parked at the Lucerne Alpine Senior Center this week was reported stolen, according to officials.

The center was closed last week in order to repair water damage from a leaking pipe, as Lake County News has reported.

ServPro, a company that specializes in fire and water cleanup, had reportedly sent three vans to the center on Thursday. One of the vans, which was left unlocked with the keys inside, was stolen, according to California Highway Patrol Officer Steve Tanguay.

The bright green van with the orange ServePro logo was last seen heading eastbound on Country Club Drive at about 3:30 p.m. Thursday, Tanguay said. On Friday, it still hadn't been recovered.

A CHP officer was dispatched to the center to take a report, Tanguay said.

Anyone with information should call the CHP's Kelseyville office at 279-0103 or call 911.

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 Public Works staff unclogged a drainage in Lucerne on Wednesday, January 20, 2010. A portion of nearby Foothill Drive and homes close to the area were threatened with possible flooding due to the drainage. Photo by Elizabeth Larson.




LAKE COUNTY – Heavy rains and even snow created challenges for residents around Lake County on Wednesday.

The rains, which had begun over the weekend, continued in steady fashion over many parts of the county Wednesday, with local creeks running fast after swelling with runoff.

County Roads Superintendent Steve Stangland, already shorthanded due to staff illnesses and vacations that already were scheduled, was trying to concentrate his crews on populated areas of the county, including Lucerne, where water was pooling on roadways and clogging drainages.

In Clearlake Oaks, road crews continued to deal with a collapsed retaining wall at Beryl Way, Stangland said.

Stangland also had his crews ready to respond with snow plows to the more remote areas of the county, including Bartlett Springs and Elk Mountain, where snow had fallen.

Snow plus more hail also hit the Cobb area, which has been hammered by all manner of storms this week.

Area resident Roger Kinney reported that Cobb once again saw thunder and lightning on Wednesday. Earlier in the week the thunder and lightning had been so fierce in his area, at 3,000 feet elevation, that it had set off his wife's car alarm. He said it snowed late into the night there.

Numerous rock and mud slides were affecting county highways, according to the California Highway Patrol.

A slide, complete with uprooted trees, was reported on Soda Bay Road near the Ferndale Resort in the morning, the CHP reported. Later in the day, boulders “the size of a vehicle” were reported along Highway 29 at the Coyote Grade in the early afternoon.

Winds helped knock down more power lines and trees on Wednesday.

A pine tree that fell along Bottle Rock Road on Tuesday was still causing headaches for road crews a day later. Stangland said they hoped to see the portion of Bottle Rock Road Between Sulphur Creek Road and Highway 175 reopened late Wednesday.

Some utilities were affected by the storms, including AT&T services because of the Bottle Rock Road situation. Later in the day, parts of the county were affected by a Mediacom Internet service outage that lasted well over 12 hours.

Wet weather is expected to continue through the week's end, but with precipitation forecast to taper off.

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 – On Sunday officials arrested a Willits man who allegedly attempted to kill his girlfriend and assaulted a Willits Police officer during his arrest.

Shawn Sherrill, 42, was arrested on charges of attempted murder, spousal assault, assault on a peace officer, making terrorist threats and resisting arrest, according to Capt. Kurt Smallcomb of the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office.

Shortly before midnight on Sunday Mendocino County Sheriff's deputies were dispatched to a location off of Birch Street in Willits regarding a domestic violence report, Smallcomb said. Upon arrival deputies contacted a female adult who advised her live-in boyfriend, Shawn Sherrill had assaulted her.

Smallcomb said deputies found evidence of the assault to include blunt force trauma to the woman's nose, eyes and chin. Also in the residence was the woman's 4-year-old child. Further investigation revealed that while Sherrill was choking the female he said that he wanted her to die.

The victim stated Sherrill had come home intoxicated and had knocked the door to the residence in. Upon entry into the home, he grabbed her, punched and choked her, Smallcomb said. The woman told deputies that Sherrill had run into the woods upon learning law enforcement had been contacted.

Deputies investigated the assault and left the location, taking positions around the apartment awaiting the return of the suspect, according to Smallcomb. A short time later, Sherrill returned to the apartment and got into a vehicle.

Smallcomb said deputies contacted Sherrill, who advised he wished to fight them rather than be arrested. Sherrill then ran into the apartment securing the door behind him. Officers from the Willits Police Department were summoned to the location to assist while Sherrill was inside the apartment.

Sherrill exited the apartment and took a defensive stance. Smallcomb said Sherrill assaulted one officer while being placed under arrest. Deputies were able to overpower Sherrill and placed him into handcuffs.

Smallcomb said Sherrill was transported and booked into the Mendocino County Jail, where his bail was set at $200,000.

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 .

When establishing a living trust, married persons – and registered domestic partners – with significant separate property assets must decide whether to transfer their separate properties into a single joint trust, or into individual separate property trust(s). This is often very relevant in second marriages, and later in life marriages, where significant separate property assets and step-children are usually involved.

Maintaining one’s separate property’s identity is important because at death or divorce it belongs to that one spouse alone. Assets acquired prior to marriage, or received as a gift or inheritance during marriage, are separate property, unless co-mingled and transmuted into community property.

Community property, however, belongs equally to both spouses. It is divided 50-50 at death or divorce. Everything acquired during marriage, particularly marital earnings, is presumed to be community property.

When significant separate property is involved, there are multiple concerns with using a single joint trust.

First, including separate property in a single trust with community property and/or the other spouse’s own separate property, risks losing the separate character of these assets.

The separate property might be sold and the proceeds co-mingled with community property or the other spouse’s separate property. It will be difficult, or impossible, to distinguish the proceeds from the original separate property.

Second, assets in a joint trust will usually be managed by both spouses while they are alive and competent, and thereafter their children or beneficiaries.

That may not be desirable for separate property. The spouse with the separate property may not want to share control and management of the separate property with the other spouse. Also, and more worrisome, is that the stepchildren may later manage the separate property when both spouses are no longer able to manage their affairs.

Third, the surviving spouse, if left in charge of the separate property, may consume the separate property before using their own property – to the detriment of the children of the spouse owning the separate property.

What are the solutions?

The best solution, when substantial separate property assets are concerned, is to create two separate trusts to hold each spouse’s separate property estate. If necessary, a joint trust may be established to hold “community property” assets.

Alternatively, the separate property assets may be held a common trust but be controlled by a “special trustee” appointed by the spouse owning the separate property. Initially that spouse would be the special trustee.

The successor special trustee, who steps in at disability and/or death, would be that spouse’s own children or beneficiaries. The trust would say how the separate property is to be used for the benefit of the contributing spouse, the other spouse, and the children.

Protecting their children, as well as themselves, motivates people to ensure that their separate property is maintained as such, is separately managed, and is separately distributed at death (and not co-mingled with the other spouse’s estate).

Whether to use a separate property trust or use a common trust with a special trustee(s) in charge of separate properties, entails examination of individual circumstances such as the nature of the assets, the size of estate, and the quality of familial relationships involved.

Dennis A. Fordham, attorney (LL.M. tax studies), is a State Bar Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Probate and Trust Law. His office is at 55 1st St., Lakeport, California. Dennis can be reached by e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by phone at 707-263-3235.

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 .

Bryan Scobey went missing on Wednesday, January 13, 2010, and friends and officials have launched major efforts to find him. Courtesy photo.



SONOMA COUNTY – A missing Santa Rosa man is the subject of a newly launched Web site which is dedicated to finding him.

The new site, www.findbryan.com , compiles information, articles and photos of 35-year-old Bryan Scobey, who went missing after leaving on rounds for his employer on the morning of Jan. 13, as Lake County News has reported.

Texas resident Randy Hill, a former roommate of Scobey's designed the site.

He and another Scobey friend, Bob Ramme, also are managing a Facebook page dedicated to Scobey, http://www.facebook.com/search/?q=Bryan+Scobey&init=quick#/group.php?v=wall&ref=search&gid=282451080228 .

Scobey, a 1992 graduate of Lower Lake High School, was last seen driving a white 2008 GMC Canyon Hitmen Pest Control truck with a ladder rack, bright orange extension ladder and aluminum took box. The truck features the company logo and the words “orange oil specialists” in bright orange letters. The vehicle's license plate is 8R05342.

The truck's global positioning system last put him in the area of Highways 12 and 121, but searches of the area – conducted both by officials and a dedicated group of Scobey's friends – have not turned up any signs of him.

A private investigator is now working on the case, Ramme said this week.

Scobey is a Caucasian male with an olive complexion, and is further described as being around 6 feet inch tall and 230 pounds. He is bald, has brown eyes, and a dark mustache and groomed goatee.

Anyone who sees the Hitman Termite & Pest Control Inc. truck or has information about Scobey is asked to immediately call the Sonoma County Sheriff's Office at 707-565-2121 or by dialing 911.

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 – With a strong El Nino reaching its peak in the eastern Pacific, a series of storms will continue to bring rain and strong winds to Lake County Tuesday and throughout the week, with officials urging local residents to prepare for the weather.

A National Aeronautics and Space Administration advisory warned that even more rainfall could arrive next week as part of a warmer series of systems, which officials warn could mean greater potential for serious flooding given the massive volume of snow expected this week.

NASA's advisory stated that the next two to three weeks “are likely to be more active across California than any other 2-3 week period in recent memory.”

Riding on a strong 230 mile per hour jet stream that includes a lower-level jet stream around 4,000 feet, these storms will continue to slam into Lake County and all of California over the next two weeks, according to Western Coastal and Marine Geology U.S. Geological Survey Pacific Science Center (USGS) in Santa Cruz.

As the temperatures drop throughout the day Tuesday, snow levels are expected to fall to the 3,000 to 4,000 foot level, according to the USGS, and combined with the low-level jet stream with strong winds, storm conditions may be treacherous.

The National Weather Services in Sacramento reported that Lake County can expect 5 to 12 inches of rain this week, with 2 to 6 feet of snow expected over the 5,000-foot elevation mark.

The strongest storm of this series is expected overnight Wednesday into Thursday; higher elevations of the county, including Cobb, can expect a mix of rain and snow with high winds, forecasters said.

Tuesday's high temperature will reach the low 40s early in the day as a colder storm system moves in,with overnight lows in the mid- to upper-30s, the National Weather Service reported.

Forecasters said temperatures will remain near 40 degrees through Friday, when the storms are expected to taper off, with skies partially clearing on Saturday.

Minor flooding could be experienced in flood-prone areas by Thursday, according to the National Weather Service.

On Monday, the Lake County Sheriff's Office of Emergency Services issued a public service advisory warning of more storms to come and the possibility of significantly more water by the middle of this week.

Pointing to the NASA advisory, sheriff's Capt. James Bauman said the county can expect by mid week to see water levels rise significantly, with swiftly moving water in small rivers and streams in our area. That could lead to minor flooding in creeks, streams and low-lying areas.

In preparation for the incoming storm systems, Bauman said the Office of Emergency Services has developed staffing patterns to serve the County Emergency Operations Center if needed.

He said Lake County Public Works and Caltrans have pre-positioned resources to respond in the event of localized flooding. Pacific Gas & Electric Co. also is ready to respond to power outages if needed; the company's outage line iss 800-743-5002.

Bauman urged motorists to use extreme caution on the roadways, particularly when standing water or water running across the roadway is encountered. He said to remember that water may be deeper or running more swiftly than it appears and negotiating such conditions can be very dangerous.

Those with travel or outdoor plans this week should closely monitor conditions by first checking www.weather.gov/sacramento or the NOAA weather radio for the latest weather information, Bauman said.

The Lake County Office of Emergency services does not provide sandbags or sand. However, Bauman provided a list of local businesses that, as of Monday, had sandbags and sand on hand.

Sandbags available:

Rainbow Agricultural Services

1975 Argonaut Road, Lakeport

Telephone: 707-279-0550

Piedmont Lumber

2465 South Main St., Lakeport

Telephone: 707-263-8400

Kelseyville Lumber and Supply Co.

3895 Main St., Kelseyville

Telephone: 707-279-4297

Lake Builders Supply Co.

3694 East Highway 20, Nice

Telephone: 707-274-6607

Mendo Mill and Lumber Co.

5255 Old Highway 53, Clearlake

Telephone: 707-994-1014

Four Corners Building Supply

14975 Olympic Drive, Clearlake

Telephone: 707-994-6277

Sand on hand:

R.B. Peters

78 Soda Bay Road, Lakeport

Telephone: 707-263-3678

Piedmont Lumber

2465 South Main St., Lakeport

Telephone: 707-263-8400

Kelseyville Lumber and Supply Co.

3895 Main St., Kelseyville

Telephone: 707-279-4297

Pivniska Trucking Inc.

85 West Highway 20, Upper Lake

Telephone: 707-275-3203

Layne Paving and Trucking

3700 Old Highway 53, Clearlake

Telephone: 707-994-6324

Clear Lake Lava

14572 East Highway 20, Clearlake Oaks

Telephone: 707-998-1115


For up-to-the-minute weather information, please follow the “Forecast” link on 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 .

LAKE COUNTY – Power outages, difficult road conditions and wet weather were still in evidence around Lake County on Thursday, as the winter storms continued.

The storms, which began earlier this week, have turned out to be good news for the county's water supply, with creeks and Clear Lake all noting measurable improvements, according to US Geological Survey gauges stationed around the county.

Clear Lake was reported at 2.72 feet Rumsey late Thursday, having risen from below 1.0 foot Rumsey less than a week ago, the USGS reported.

Traveling along county roads proved challenging in some parts of the county, particularly the Cobb area, which continued to get snow on Thursday. Lake County Public Works reported that chains were required on all county maintained roads in Cobb.

One reader reported that on Thursday morning motorists traveling along Highway 175 between the Cobb school and Loch Lomond were sliding sideways on the road and blocking traffic because they lacked chains or four-wheel drive capability on their vehicles.

The California Highway Patrol reported a jacknifed truck that blocked the roadway between Loch Lomond Road and Harrington Flat Road at around 9:30 a.m. on Highway 175 in the Cobb area, with eight other vehicles reported stuck due to snowy conditions. Over an hour later the road was reopened.

During the course of the day the county's roads department responded to the Cobb area, where they plowed the roads and put down sand.

Throughout the rest of the day, reports would continue to come in about vehicles stuck in the snow or trees down across roadways in the Cobb area, according to the CHP. A noninjury solo vehicle collision reported just before 3:30 p.m. had a vehicle dangling over the embankment on Bottle Rock Road, three miles from Kelseyville.

Other roadway trouble spots around the county on Thursday included Scotts Valley Road near Lakeport, closed between Highway 20 and Laurel Dell Road due to flooding; Rose Anderson Road, from Maria Vista Road to Van Dorn Reservoir Road in the Middletown area, closed due to a downed power pole and lines; and Douglas Terrace in Lucerne, closed because of a downed tree and power lines, according to the roads department.

Snow was reported falling in the Bartlett Springs and Elk Mountain Road areas, where roads were open. However, county officials urged anyone traveling in those areas to have chains and four-wheel drive.

Also on Thursday, power outages continued in Cobb.

Jana Morris, a spokesperson for Pacific Gas & Electric Co., reported that two separate outages affecting nearly 700 customers were reported at about 2:30 p.m.

Both outages appeared to be storm related, Morris said. Power was restored later in the evening.

To see some of Thursday's snow fall in Cobb, see area resident Roger Kinney's video at www.youtube.com/watch?v=H_grz-TEjFI .

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 .

Mendocino College Vice President of Education and Student Services Meridith Randall, Howard Memorial Hospital CEO Kevin Erich, and Mendocino College Superintendent/President Kathryn G. Lehner. Courtesy photo.

UKIAH – Mendocino College’s nursing education program is the beneficiary of a monetary gift from Willits' Frank R. Howard Memorial Hospital, college administrators have announced.

The hospital recently gave $12,500 to the Mendocino College Foundation, according to Superintendent/President Kathryn G. Lehner.

The funds will help support the college’s nursing program, including faculty and clinical expenses for nursing students, allowing the college to continue bringing new individuals into the program.

The donation will benefit nursing students from around the region who pursue degrees in the program. The fifth graduating class, which celebrated commencement last May, included graduates from Lake County.

"Howard Memorial Hospital supports Mendocino College's efforts to provide quality medical education,” said Kevin Erich, president and chief executive officer of the hospital located in Willits. “The registered nurse education program in particular is of tremendous benefit to our local hospitals and clinics and helps to ensure access to quality medical care for years to come.''

He said the hospital was pleased to be able to help Mendocino College fulfill its educational mission with the donation.

The hospital’s governing board approved the donation following review of a recommendation from Howard Memorial Hospital’s administrative team, Erich said about the $12,500 gift.

In 2008, the College received a $10,000 donation from the hospital.

“I am so thankful that Howard Hospital continues to be dedicated to helping our program be successful,” said Mendocino College Nursing Director Barbara J. French. “Even in this dramatic economic climate they have given a great amount to the College for the nursing program.”

The contribution will be administered by the Mendocino College Foundation, the nonprofit organization that provides funding for education enhancement, staffing and program needs at the four campus centers, and student scholarships.

The foundation is beginning its 26th year of support for Mendocino College.

Echoing the nursing director’s sentiments about the hospital’s contribution, Meridith Randall, vice president of Education and Student Services at the college, said, “Howard Hospital has been one of our most generous and consistent supporters since the beginning of our nursing program. We are especially grateful for this donation during difficult financial times for the college.”

French stated that state budget cuts are affecting all programs at the college. “The school is scrambling to maintain all courses at their current levels, and nursing is no exception. It is by donations such as those from our clinical training sites that help us maintain our high standards for our nursing program.”

Sue Goff, dean of the College’s Career & Technical Education, also shares French’s appreciation for the hospital’s generosity.

“The most immediate and persistent need we have in the Mendocino Nursing Program is to support faculty positions, particularly in light of ever-shrinking state funding,” she said. “These generous donations are greatly appreciated and will assist us in continuing to admit new nursing students every year. Howard Hospital is an exemplary partner working with Mendocino College in maintaining a high quality and accessible nursing program to meet our community needs.”

The hospital’s latest contribution follows a donation from one of its employees, Registered Nurse Vicky Howard.

The Mendocino College graduate, who says she believes in giving back, had been a nursing program scholarship recipient. She and her husband Jeff made a $500 donation last fall. Vicky Howard explained at the time that she was grateful to Mendocino College for giving her a chance to earn her degree.

Mendocino College Foundation relies on contributions for providing scholarships to students and for helping it in its support for the College.

Information about the foundation, its directors, events, and giving opportunities can be found on the foundation’s Web site, http://foundation.mendocino.edu , or may be obtained by calling the foundation office at 707-467-1018.

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 – Stormy conditions on Monday hammered the North Coast and Lake County, where there were numerous reports of downed trees, rock slides, power outages and vehicle collisions.

Western Weather Group reported rain levels approaching 2 inches on Monday for many areas of Lake County, with Middletown nearing 3 inches and one weather station in the Red Hills area between Kelseyville and Lower Lake showing approximately 3.55 inches.

US Geological Survey stream gauges showed the levels in area streams and creeks jumped thanks to the recent storms.

Clear Lake was reported to be at 1.23 feet Rumsey late Monday, up from less than 0.80 feet Rumsey earlier in the week.

The Lake County Sheriff's Office of Emergency Services warned that there could be instances of flooding later in the week. But that problem already had started Monday afternoon, when the CHP reported water over the roadway on Highway 20 just west of Lucerne.

One area that was hit particularly hard by Monday's storms was Cobb.

Cobb resident Roger Kinney said they were experiencing gusting winds and power outages, along with several small hailstorms.

They also had several thunderstorms, Kinney said, with the thunder and lightning getting so close at one point that it was shaking his house.

Around the rest of the county, there were numerous instances of trees that were down and blocking roadways and downed power lines.

Shortly before 2 p.m. officials reported downed power lines blocking both lanes on Bottle Rock Road north of Sulphur Creek, with South Lake County Fire Protection District and the California Highway Patrol responding.

Rock slides and boulders rolling onto area roads because of the saturated earth also were an issue.

One CHP report made shortly before 1 p.m. on Highway 29 near Lower Lake said there were rocks in the roadway “about the size of basketballs.”

Numerous car collisions – most without injuries – were reported Monday, with most appearing to be due to the wet conditions.

A crash that occurred at around 6 p.m. on Highway 29 just south of Spruce Grove Road resulted when a Ford Explorer hit a boulder that had gone into the roadway, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Monday evening, icy conditions were reported on Highway 53, and similar icy conditions on Highway 29 at Red Hills Road caused a vehicle to go off the roadway at around 9 p.m. No injuries were reported.

On Monday evening, a retaining wall on Beryl Way in Clearlake Oaks collapsed due to excessive water, which pushed cinder blocks from the wall into the road, according to the CHP.

The county's road department reported that Berle Way was scheduled to be closed until Tuesday morning because of the wall failure.

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 .

Bryan Scobey of Santa Rosa is believed to have gone missing of his own volition, and now is being sought by authorities who allege he embezzled a vehicle from his employer. Courtesy photo.



SONOMA COUNTY – A Santa Rosa man who disappeared from work last week appears to have gone missing on his own, and now is wanted on embezzlement charges, law enforcement officials reported late Thursday.

Bryan William Scobey, 35, is no longer considered a missing person, but Sonoma County Sheriff's detectives are actively seeking him for allegedly embezzling company property – including a pickup truck – from his employer, Hitmen Termite & Pest Control Inc., according to Sgt. Tim Duke.

Duke said a male subject told authorities that he had driven Scobey to Reno, Nev.

The latest information in the case follows a week of exhaustive work both by authorities and Scobey's friends, who started Facebook and MySpace pages, and even launched a Web site, www.findbryan.com , to help find him. On Thursday, nearly 2,000 people had signed up to be Scobey's friend on Facebook.

His friends also had raised money to hire a private investigator, but Randy Hill and Bob Ramme, who led the effort, reported on the Facebook page Thursday that they were suspending the private investigator.

Late Thursday, Scobey's friends on Facebook shared different reactions, from disbelief to relief that he is alive. Many also were preparing to offer him support and encouragement for when he returns, as well as offering to raise money to assist Scobey's wife and three stepchildren.

Duke said that at approximately 5:21 p.m. Jan. 13 the Sonoma County Sheriff's Office was contacted by a concerned representative of Hitmen Termite & Pest Control Inc. who wanted to check on the welfare of Scobey, one of their employees. Scobey had reportedly worked for the company for several years.

The Hitmen representative reported to the sheriff's office that the company's vehicle assigned to Scobey, a pickup truck, was last known to be in the area of Freemont Drive and Burndale Road in Sonoma.

Several deputies were summoned to check the area in an attempt to locate Scobey or his company vehicle, Duke said. The Sonoma County Sheriff's Office helicopter, “Henry-1,” assisted in the search.

During the intensive four-hour search for Scobey, several law enforcement resources were utilized in an attempt to locate him and his vehicle, Duke said.

The company vehicle Scobey was assigned had a global positioning satellite (GPS) device installed. The GPS company was contacted and was able to establish the last known location of the vehicle and time the GPS stopped functioning, which was at 8:39 a.m. Jan. 13. The area was checked but neither Scobey nor the company vehicle was located.

Scobey had a company cell phone, Duke said. The cell phone carrier was contacted and revealed the last phone call made from Scobey's phone occurred at 8:49 a.m.

Duke said it was apparent that the GPS and cell phone, both belonging to the company, had been disabled. Preliminarily, it was unknown if Scobey or another source disabled the devices.

Authorities deemed Scobey's disappearance suspicious and it subsequently became a missing person's case, the investigation of which was delegated to detectives in the Sonoma County Sheriff's Violent Crimes Unit, Duke said.

Detectives continued to use existing law enforcement resources and implemented additional resources in an attempt to locate Scobey and his company vehicle, Duke said.

Investigative leads took detectives to the city of Yreka, in Siskiyou County. Detectives worked with local law enforcement authorities and ascertained that Scobey arrived in Yreka on Jan. 13. He allegedly stopped in Yreka on his way to Portland, Ore. – which is listed as his birthplace on his MySpace page.

Scobey was traveling by himself, driving the company vehicle, and appeared to be in good health, according to the report.

While in Yreka, Scobey ran out of money. Duke's report said that Scobey allegedly sold tools and other items off the company vehicle that belong to Hitmen Termite & Pest Control Inc.

On the night of Friday, Jan. 15, Scobey allegedly befriended what Duke called “an unwitting subject” to drive him to Reno. The subject agreed, and in exchange for driving Scobey to Reno, Scobey told the man that he could keep the Hitmen Termite & Pest Control vehicle.

Scobey is being sought for embezzlement of a company vehicle and items that he took and sold without the permission of his employer, Duke said.

Duke said that the Hitmen truck was located and will be returned to the company. Several tools and other items Scobey allegedly sold or bartered have also been recovered.

Anyone with information on the case should contact the Sonoma County Sheriff's Office at 707-565-2511.

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 .


Bryan Scobey was last seen by coworkers on Wednesday, January 13, 2010. Courtesy photo.




SONOMA COUNTY – A former Lake County resident who went missing a week ago has become the focus of an intense search by friends and family, who are marshaling online resources from around the country in an effort to locate him.

Bryan Scobey, 35, of Santa Rosa was last seen on the morning of Wednesday, Jan. 13, after he set out to keep appointments for his employer, Hitmen Termite & Pest Control Inc. of Santa Rosa.

The 1992 Lower Lake High School graduate, who claimed Clearlake as his hometown, was reported missing when he didn't return at day's end, according to his friends.

Sgt. Tim Duke of the Sonoma County Sheriff's Offices Violent Crimes Investigation Unit said Tuesday that the agency has been working the case “pretty much around the clock.”

“I have a lot of angles to work on this case,” said Duke, adding, “We're not done yet.”

Bob Ramme, a longtime friend of Scobey's, said if Scobey decided to just take a holiday, that's OK, but he appealed to his friend to make contact with at least one person, and that his friends will respect that decision.

“We just want to know that he's OK,” said Ramme. “That's all that we want to know.”

Scobey is 6 feet, 1 inch tall and weighs 230 pounds. He is described as a Caucasian with olive skin and brown eyes. He is bald, but has a dark mustache and groomed goatee.

He was driving a white 2008 GMC Canyon Hitmen Pest Control truck with a ladder rack, bright orange extension ladder and aluminum took box, according to a flyer distributed by his friends.

The truck features the company logo and the words “orange oil specialists” in bright orange letters. The vehicle's license plate is 8R05342.

Hitmen Termite & Pest Control Inc. did not respond to Lake County News' request for a comment Tuesday.

The global positioning system on the truck placed Scobey at Highways 12 and 121 in Sonoma, but a search of the area by deputies and the sheriff's Henry-1 helicopter, as well as thermal imaging equipment, didn't turn up any sign of him, according to Ramme.

Searches of the area conducted by groups of Scobey's friends also found no trace, Ramme said.

Another search party is getting set to look for Scobey in the Sonoma. Ramme said the time and location of the search will be disclosed on Wednesday.

Ramme, of Modesto, and Randy Hill of Texas, a former roommate of Scobey's, both have been working long distance – and long hours – on the case.

Both men post regular updates to the “Friends of Bryan Scobey” Facebook page, www.facebook.com/group.php?v=wall&ref=search&gid=282451080228 , which Ramme created shortly after Scobey's disappearance.

On Tuesday, Ramme spoke with Lake County News as he was traveling to Santa Rosa to speak with a private investigator who was being hired through funds raised, in part, on the Facebook page.

Late Tuesday, the page already had nearly 1,400 friends, many of them from across the United States. The page is filled with prayers and messages to Scobey, as well as updates on the situation. A MySpace page, www.myspace.com/friends_of_bryan_scobey , also has been updated with information on his case.

Another Web site, www.findbryan.com, is expected to be up and running Wednesday evening, Hill announced on the Facebook page late Tuesday.

The outpouring of support for Scobey has proved true a passage he wrote on his MySpace page last year: “I have no doubt that I have the most loyal, consistent and loving friends that any one person could have.”

Ramme said he's trying to figure out the puzzle of what happened to his friend, who he's known for about 16 years.

According to what Scobey's coworkers have told Ramme, Jan. 13 started off like a normal day, with Scobey being “the same old Bryan” – a positive, encouraging and energetic man, Ramme said.

Scobey's coworkers, the last people known to have spoken to him, didn't notice anything different about his demeanor before he left for appointments with customers, according to Ramme.

Ramme said gas card records showed that Scobey filled up the truck before going to his first appointment. The GMC Canyon truck has a 19-gallon gas tank, which – when full – has a range of between about 300 and 450 miles, an estimate based on manufacturer mileage specifications.

Scobey is believed to have finished that first appointment before driving up into the area of Highway 12 and 121, where the GPS last recorded his location, Ramme said.

At about 8:30 a.m., Scobey turned off his company cell phone – he didn't have a personal cell phone – which is something Ramme said he only usually did after going home at night.

Since then, there has been no credit card, bank account or cell phone activity, said Ramme. Law enforcement has checked all ticket sales for area airports, trains and buses.

Scobey's friends also have been checking longterm parking areas of airports around the region and handing out flyers, which are available on the Facebook page. A search party last went out on Monday, with no results.

Another friend, Jody Galvan, said Tuesday she was similarly baffled by the disappearance of Scobey.

Galvan said she's known Scobey for a long time, although they haven't been in touch often over the last several years.

Addressing speculation that he may have run away, Galvan said, “I know people change, but the Bryan I knew would never run away – from anything or anyone. He's a spiritual, easy going, go-with-the-flow kind of guy and would much rather work through something that was bothering him, than run from it.”

She said because they've not been in contact much recently, she can't know for sure what's in his head. In the mean time, she's holding onto the hope that Scobey “is simply taking a break from life, and has not gone missing at the hand of someone else.”

When Ramme last spoke to Scobey in November, Ramme said his friend was doing OK and nothing seemed amiss.

Like most people these days, Scobey was facing tight finances, especially after Trina, his wife of more than 10 years, was laid off of her job.

Scobey also had recently reconnected with a brother in Kansas and a sister in Colorado who Ramme said he hadn't mentioned before. Ramme said Scobey's siblings haven't seen him, either.

“This is so far outside of his character, to just take off,” said Ramme.

On Scobey's personal MySpace page, http://www.myspace.com/djhitman707 , he referred to his nickname, “DJ Hitman,” which is the name he used for his disk jockey business.

In posts he placed on the page last September, Scobey described himself as a happily married man who called his wife “my best friend.” He also talked about his three teenage stepchildren and spoke proudly of his job.

Describing himself as a Christian, he had several blog posts in which he described how to be truly caring in a relationship as well as sharing his thoughts on music.

Ramme said he wasn't aware of any drug or alcohol issues that might have led Scobey to do something out of character.

None of his friends have reported receiving any messages of any kind, even cryptic ones.

“We could only wish,” said Ramme.

That leads to fears of foul play.

“There was no threats that anybody could speak of,” said Ramme.

He added, “He owed a couple people some money, but nothing major.”

Disappearances of adults aren't uncommon, according to statistics compiled by the California Department of Justice.

In 2008, there were approximately 34,236 missing adult cases statewide, with more than 28,000 of those people being located or returning on their own. More than 1,500 others were voluntarily missing.

For that year in Sonoma County, there were 409 missing persons reports, of which 365 turned up in some fashion, including 15 who were voluntarily missing. In Lake County in 2008, there were 51 person reports, all of which appeared to have later been found, based on reports.

Anyone who sees the Hitman Termite & Pest Control Inc. truck is urged not to touch it. Instead, immediately call the Sonoma County Sheriff's Office by dialing 911 or 707-565-2121.

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 .

SACRAMENTO – Sutter Health has announced that it will make the largest disaster-relief donation in the history of the health care system, contributing $1.25 million to help the victims of the powerful earthquake in Haiti.

The Northern California network of doctors, not-for-profit hospitals and other health care service providers also will provide critical medical supplies and trained medical personnel to the support the relief effort.

“We find it difficult to comprehend the staggering human tragedy that continues to unfold in Haiti following Tuesday’s powerful earthquake. Devastating events such as this compel us to look beyond our local Northern California communities to the overwhelming needs of our global community,” said Patrick Fry, Sutter Health president and CEO.

Since 2005, the network has donated $850,000 to support relief efforts around the world.

“We have a long history of coming to the aid of those impacted by natural disaster,” said Fry. “Our organization’s donation is a testament to generous nature of our employees, who also have offered their own time, money and expertise to help the people of Haiti.”

The Sutter Health network’s donation includes:

– $1 million: Sutter Health provides these funds to Doctors Without Borders to support health care treatment for earthquake victims.

– Critical medical supplies: The Sutter Health network is collecting much-needed supplies from its facilities and partnering with the MedShare to transport these resources to Haiti.

– $250,000: Sutter Health makes this donation to MedShare to help support expenses for shipping of critical medical supplies to Haiti.

– Medical volunteers: In the days ahead, Sutter-affiliated hospitals and physicians will work together to send trained medical personnel to Haiti.

"The next several days, weeks and months will likely be overwhelming for the people of Haiti,” added Fry. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone impacted by this devastating natural disaster.”

The Sutter Health network selected MedShare because the organization brings needed supplies to worldwide disasters and impoverished hospitals 365 days a year. Supporting the health infrastructure is an important mission of Sutter Health.

The Sutter Health network selected Doctors Without Borders because this international medical humanitarian organization provides aid in nearly 60 countries, and it already has at least 1,000 people working in Haiti. Doctors Without Borders commits to bringing quality medical care to people caught in crisis regardless of race, religion or political affiliation.

Sutter Health physicians and hospitals share a common commitment to creating healthier communities through programs and services that respond to community needs. In 2008, the network invested $599 million in these programs, as well as in charity care.

Visit Sutter Health online at www.SutterHealth.org or www.Facebook.com/SutterHealth .

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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