Saturday, 13 July 2024


Kevin Gomes captured a picture of the black smoke coming from the burning home in the Clear Lake Riviera on the afternoon of Saturday, March 27, 2010. He reported hearing loud explosions that are believed to have come from nearby propane tanks.


CLEAR LAKE RIVIERA – A fire destroyed a home in the Clear Lake Riviera this past Saturday.

The fire occurred at 4664 Kaweah Road at Sequoia Road, according to Kelseyville Fire Protection District Battalion Chief Joe Huggins.

Huggins said the fire was dispatched at 4:47 p.m., with a total of four engines – three from Kelseyville, one from Lakeport Fire – responding.

Initial radio reports indicated that the home was fully involved at the time of dispatch.

“The fire originated in the garage and extended into the house,” Huggins said.

He said that the fire got up into the attack and firefighters had to pull the ceiling down to access the fire.

The 1,250-square foot home was a total loss, with anything that didn't burn being damaged by smoke, Huggins said.

Firefighters cleared the scene by 7:15 p.m., he said.

The cause of the fire is still pending an investigation, but Huggins said it appeared to be related to malfunctioning electrical equipment in the garage.

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 .

LAKEPORT – A late night crash on Saturday outside of Lakeport injured three teenagers and required the work of several local agencies to respond and clear the scene.

The crash occurred just after 11 p.m. on Lakeshore Boulevard at Penelope Court, according to a report from Firefighter Paramedic Brian Hajik of the Lakeport Fire Protection District.

Hajik said the Lakeport Fire Protection District was dispatched to the crash, with the initial reports indicating unknown injuries and one vehicle involved.

Shortly after Lakeport Medic Engine 5012 and Ambulance 5013 left for the scene, dispatch advised that several callers were reporting at least one patient was lying in the street with major injuries, resulting in a request for a second ground ambulance and one medical helicopter was made, Hajik reported.

Before fire personnel arrived on scene, a Lake County Sheriff's deputy arrived on scene and reported one patient with major injuries and two with moderate injuries, according to Hajik's report. A third ground ambulance and second helicopter was requested as Lakeport Fire units arrived on scene.

Fire Capt. Bob Holbrook established fire command as Lakeport paramedics began triaging patients. Hajik said paramedics found three patients, all approximately 18 years old and all ejected during a rollover inside a compact car traveling at an unknown rate of speed.

The three teenagers had various multisystem trauma injuries. Hajik said extrication tools were not required to remove them from the vehicle.

After triage, paramedics began rendering advanced life support to the most acute patients as a request for a third air ambulance was made, he said.

Due to the number of patients and lack of timely resource capabilities, a multiple casualty incident (MCI) was declared. Hajik established communications with Sutter Lakeside Hospital and established MEDCOM, the incident commander for patient transport destinations and prehospital advisory.

Working with the incident commander, Hajik said multiple landing zones were identified and secured with aid from law enforcement.

The first and most critical patient was transported to Sutter Lakeside Hospital helipad by Lakeport Fire at 11:27 p.m. Hajik said the second patient transported to a landing zone at the Nice-Lucerne Cutoff at Lakeshore Boulevard by the Northshore Fire Department. Patient number three was transported directly to Sutter Lakeside Hospital due to an extended estimated time of arrival for the third helicopter.

Contributing factors such as alcohol, seatbelt use, speed and others are still being determined by law enforcement and not available as of Sunday, Hajik said.

No injuries to emergency responders were reported and the incident was terminated at 12:09 a.m. Sunday, according to Hajik.

A total of two chief officers, two engines, four ground ambulances, three helicopters and several

volunteer firefighters responded. Hajik said the incident was safely and effectively mitigated with

aid from Lakeport Fire Protection District, Northshore Fire Protection District, Lake County Sheriff, California Highway Patrol, CALSTAR and REACH.

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LAKEPORT – A Lakeport teenager at the wheel of a car that flipped over several times Saturday night has been arrested.

Jaime Luis Mitchell, 18, was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol causing injury at 11:50 p.m. Saturday at the scene of the crash, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Mitchell sustained major injuries, including facial fractures. His passengers also were hurt – Philip Patereau, 18, of Lakeport suffered a head laceration and back pain, and 19-year-old Nathaniel White of Lakeport had back pain and facial lacerations, the report said.

The severity of the crash resulted in a response from numerous agencies, including Lakeport Fire Protection District, Northshore Fire Protection District, Lake County Sheriff, California Highway Patrol, CALSTAR and REACH, as Lake County News has reported.

The CHP collision report said that, just after 11 p.m. Saturday, Mitchell was driving his 1998 Honda Civil northbound on Lakeshore Boulevard at Hill Road at a high rate of speed and he failed to negotiate a right curve in the roadway.

The Honda crossed the southbound lane, went off the road and struck a concrete abutment, which caused the car to roll over four times, hitting several objects including two fences, the CHP said.

None of the three teens were wearing safety belts, and all were ejected from the car as it was rolling. Mitchell was ejected into the intersection of Lakeshore Boulevard and Penelope Court, the CHP reported, while Patereau and White were thrown onto the shoulder of Lakeshore Boulevard.

All three teens were transported by air ambulance to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital, according to the CHP.

An update on the teens' condition was not available Tuesday evening.

CHP Officer Joe Wind said Tuesday the crash is still being investigated.

He said CHP Officer Kory Reynolds is the lead investigator on the crash.

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COBB – Area officials spent several hours late Sunday and early Monday morning dealing with downed utility lines.

The live wires and a tree were blocking the roadway at Bottle Rock Road and Rainbow Drive in the Cobb area shortly before 8:30 p.m., according to the California Highway Patrol.

Cal Fire, which cut up the tree, and the Lake County Roads Department responded to the scene, the CHP reported.

Pacific Gas & Electric, AT&T and Mediacom also were called, according to the report. AT&T wasn't expected to be on scene until around 2:30 a.m. Monday.

The roadway was cleared of everything but the AT&T line by around 10:36 p.m., the CHP 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 .


LAKEPORT – One of two men who were the subject of a day-long manhunt in Hidden Valley Lake in November of 2008 has been sentenced to prison.

Charles William Burk, 32, a transient, was sentenced by Judge Arthur H. Mann on Monday to 20 years and four months in prison, according to a report from Chief Deputy District Attorney Richard Hinchcliff, who prosecuted the case.

Burke pleaded guilty on Feb. 10 to attempted murder and assault on a deputy sheriff, and admitted a special allegation of personally using a firearm during the commission of a felony, Hinchcliff said.

Thomas Quinn, Burke's defense attorney, said his client “expressed great remorse for this episode which was largely induced by his having been up for four days on methamphetamine.”

Quinn added, “He realizes, however, that that doesn't excuse his conduct, which he took responsibility for, and harbors no animosity towards the victims who are his family.”

According to the investigation by the Lake County Sheriff’s Office, on Nov. 13, 2008, Burk and a co-defendant, Malcolm Safa Brown, broke into the home of Burk’s adoptive parents on Noble Ranch Road in the Hidden Valley Lake area at approximately 7 a.m., while they and their 22-year-old son were home sleeping.

Upon entry, Brown began hitting the 22-year-old son in the head. Burk grabbed a .22-caliber rifle he was aware was kept in the residence and pointed it at his father when his father emerged from the bedroom from a few feet away, and pulled the trigger.

There was no bullet in the chamber and the gun did not fire. Burk then attempted to chamber a round in the barrel, but the bullet lodged sideways in the chamber and would not fire.

The victims were able to force Burk and Brown to leave the residence after a violent physical confrontation in which the victims received physical injuries requiring sutures at the hospital, according to the report,

While fleeing the scene down Spruce Grove Road with Burk driving, Burk encountered sheriff’s Deputy Bryan Smith responding to the scene. Burk intentionally swerved his vehicle into Deputy Smith’s patrol vehicle and rammed the patrol vehicle, then continued with his escape.

Burk and Brown then drove through a metal gate and a cyclone fence on private property off of Spruce Grove Road, drove down a driveway, through a chicken coop and crashed their vehicle into a tree near a residence. Burk then left the vehicle with the motor running and attempted to break into a house on the property, but was prevented from gaining entry by the residents inside.

The men then separated, and Burk broke into another residence on Raven Hill Road that did not have anyone home at the time. Inside the residence Burk gathered a bag of food and other items to use in his escape, and found a razor which he used to shave his head and face to disguise himself.

Burk also, for an unknown reason, removed clothing from and cut the hair off of several Barbie dolls belonging to the daughter of the owner of the residence.

An extensive manhunt was conducted by the Lake County Sheriff’s Office, including assistance from a Sonoma County Sheriff’s helicopter.

Both suspects were located later that day by Lake County deputy sheriffs and California Highway Patrol officers and arrested. An extensive investigation by the Sheriff’s Department followed.

Brown was previously sentenced on May 26, 2009, to 16 years in prison.

At Burk’s sentencing on Monday, Judge Mann sentenced him to the upper term of nine years for attempted murder, 16 months for the assault on Deputy Smith, and an additional 10 years for use of a firearm, for a total of 20 years and 4 months.

In addition, Burk was ordered to pay a restitution fine of $4,200 and restitution to the victims totaling $21,266.01.

Burk will be sent to San Quentin for processing and classification to determine in which prison he will be housed.

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CLEARLAKE OAKS – District 3 Supervisor Denise Rushing invites the public to attend a Clearlake Oaks Community Town Hall Meeting at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday April 7, at the Clearlake Oaks Moose Lodge.

The lodge is located at the corner of Highway 53 and Highway 20.

County staff will provide updates on the redevelopment process, local projects and other issues.

The agenda includes an open forum to discuss issues of interest to the community of Clearlake Oaks. Parking at the Moose lodge is limited, so carpooling is encouraged.

Once again, free tables will be set up for local groups, businesses or organizations wishing to distribute informational literature.

For more information contact Supervisor Denise Rushing at 707-263-2368 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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THE GEYSERS – A 3.7-magnitude earthquake was felt near The Geysers early Sunday morning.

The quake occurred at a depth of a mile and a half at 2:39 a.m., according to the US Geological Survey.

It was centered one mile northwest of The Geysers, six miles west southwest of Cobb and eight miles west northwest of Anderson Springs, the US Geological Survey reported.

The agency received nine shake reports from eight zip codes, with reports coming form Kelseyville and Middletown, areas of Sonoma County such as Cloverdale, Petaluma and Sebastopol, and as far south as San Jose.

The last quake of magnitude 3.0 or above reported in Lake County occurred on March 10, as Lake County News has reported.

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CLEARLAKE – Construction has begun on a new veterans health care clinic in Clearlake, which Congressman Mike Thompson and Veterans Affairs officials will tour next week.

The new community based outpatient clinic (CBOC) in Clearlake will be located at 15145 Lakeshore Drive, Clearlake. The existing facility is undergoing a completely new design and renovation process.

The new clinic will have approximately 8,600 square feet of clinic space and will offer primary care, mental health services and limited specialty care through tele-health technology, linking the Clinic with specialists at the San Francisco VA Medical Center and Santa Rosa VA Outpatient Clinic.

Congressman Mike Thompson and VA officials will tour the new clinic space on April 6 at 11:30 a.m.

They will be joined by Clearlake Mayor Judy Thein and her colleagues Joyce Overton and Curt Giambruno; Lakeport Mayor Jim Irwin; Lake County Supervisors Anthony Farrington, Denise Rushing, Rob Brown, Jim Comstock and Jeff Smith; Lake County Veteran Administrator Kelly Cox, and Lake County Veterans Service Officer/Health Department Director Jim Brown.

Congressman Thompson has been a passionate advocate and longtime supporter of establishing a VA clinic in Lake County. “Our veterans deserve to be able to access care close to home, rather than being forced to travel to San Francisco or Ukiah to get health care. This is great for our vets and our entire community,” said Thompson.

The Clearlake VA Clinic is scheduled to be operational by the fall of 2010, with management and staffing the responsibility of the San Francisco VAMC. VA estimates about 8,000 veterans living in Lake County, with nearly 3,000 already enrolled with VA, many of which receive care at the Ukiah VA Outpatient Clinic.

Veterans who are interested in receiving care at the Clearlake Clinic may register at the San Francisco VAMC or any of its outpatient clinics. In addition veterans can register at or or contact the VAMC Eligibility Office at 415-750-2015.

This project is under the joint supervision of Capital Partners Development Co. LLC, Vila Construction Company of Petaluma, Carpenter Robbins Commercial Real Estate and the SFVAMC’s Planning and Engineering departments.

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MENDOCINO COUNTY – A local man has been sentenced to 25 years to life in prison for a murder-for-hire plot to kill his political rival that took place nearly five years ago.

Kenneth Allen Rogers, 52, was convicted last summer of conspiring with an employee, Richard Peacock, to kill Alan Simon on June 17, 2005, in Westport. Since the shooting Rogers had moved to Lake County, as Lake County News has reported.

Last Friday, Mendocino County Superior Court Judge Ron Brown denied Rogers' motion for a new trial, denied probation and sentenced Rogers to a state prison term of 25 years to life for conspiracy to commit first-degree murder and attempted murder with special findings of willfulness, deliberation and premeditation, according to a report from the office of Mendocino County District Attorney Meredith Lintott.

Rogers will not be eligible for parole until he has served a full 25 years in prison.

“Everyone can sleep better knowing a very violent criminal has been sentenced,” Simon said.

On July 22, 2009, a Mendocino County jury of eight women and four men in Ukiah convicted Rogers of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, and attempted first-degree murder, in the 2005 shooting of Simon, then 53.

Simon had replaced Rogers on the Westport County Water Board in an August 2004 recall election and had then voted to fire Rogers as assistant fire chief.

The evidence at trial showed that Rogers at the time of the shooting was chairman of the Mendocino County Republican Party, and that he viewed these setbacks as hurtful to a political career in Sacramento.

The shooting occurred at 10:26 p.m. on a Friday night, when Peacock, after knocking on the front door of Simon's residence, shot through it nine times.

Simon dove to the floor, resulting in his being grazed by a bullet in the forearm and scalp. He was able to remain conscious and give the 911 dispatcher a description of the shooter's vehicle, a white Miata convertible with unique damage to the left front fender.

The next day Peacock, then a 54-year-old resident of Sacramento and an employee of Rogers with a long criminal record, was arrested in Laytonville.

In September 2006, Richard Peacock was tried and convicted for attempted murder. Because of Peacock's having “three strikes,” he was sentenced to 71 years to life.

Tim Stoen, the deputy district attorney prosecuting Rogers, called a variety of witnesses to establish guilt by circumstantial evidence.

The evidence showed that the gun discarded by Peacock had been in the possession of Rogers, that Rogers had a photo of Simon's house on his digital camera, that Rogers was so angry with Simon that “spittle was flying” at the mention of his name, and that Peacock did not know Simon and had no connections to Westport.

After the trial – in which Rogers had been represented by Lakeport attorney J. David Markham – Rogers hired new defense counsel, Kenny Giffard, from Sacramento.

On March 26, prior to rendering judgment and sentence, Judge Brown conducted a hearing on Giffard's motion for a new trial, which was based primarily on the allegation of “ineffective assistance of counsel.”

Giffard contended that Markham had made a prejudicial mistake in asking a question he did not know the answer to in advance, and had improperly advised Rogers not to testify on his behalf.

At the hearing Mr. Markham testified there was a tactical reason for asking the “blind” question so as to show Rogers was not the “loose cannon” the prosecution contended him to be. Markham also testified he had advised Rogers of his right to take the witness stand, but had recommended he not do so.

Markham said he had made that recommendation based on 22 hours of meetings with Rogers, during which he determined Rogers was unable to adequately explain important evidence, made incriminating statements with unawareness of their effect and came across as unbelievable.

Markham, who is certified by the California State Bar as a criminal law specialist, further testified he was able to keep away from the jury photos of Miracle-Gro next to water pipes in the water district headquarters which the prosecution contended showed the stealing of public water to irrigate pot plants, and was able to keep away from the jury a flier allegedly circulated by Rogers saying “Heil Simon.”

Rogers also testified at the hearing. He denied having anything to do with Simon's shooting and contended Markham had been ineffective as his counsel.

Judge Brown, who had presided over the trial, ruled that Giffard had not met his burden to show ineffectiveness of counsel and denied the motion for a new trial.

Stoen argued that probation should be denied for a number of reasons, including the sophistication of the crime.

“This was almost the perfect crime,” Stoen said. “Alan Simon is shot in his own house, separated from other houses and in a rural area, at 10:30 at night. Nine bullets go through his door … If it were not for the providential act that he ducked, he would have been killed. His body would not have been discovered until 8 a.m. or so the next day at the earliest. By then the shooter, Richard Peacock, would have been long gone from Mendocino County to his home in Sacramento, and the gun would have been thrown into the Sacramento River.

“Nobody would have remembered Richard Peacock being in Westport on the day of the shooting, since he came at night, so as to be able to identify him as the shooter,” Stoen continued. “And Kenneth Rogers would have relaxed on his property, having formulated an intent to kill and having sent his lackey to do the killing, with no physical connection to any of the empty cartridges on Alan Simon's front lawn. That, your Honor, is how close we came to have a murder on our hands which would never – repeat never – have been solved.”

Based on the probation officer's recommendation, Judge Brown denied probation. Following the Penal Code's required sentence for conspiracy to commit first degree murder, Judge Brown sentenced Rogers and remanded him into the custody of the California Department of Corrections.

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LAKE COUNTY – The US Census has opened several questionnaire assistance centers around Lake County to assist area residents by answering questions and getting them needed forms.

Census Day is this Thursday, April 1.

If you have not received your questionnaire you can pick one up at the centers or a “Be Counted Kiosk,” which can also can be found in areas of the county.

The questionnaire assistance centers are scheduled to operate through April 19. The locations are temporary and may change, depending on levels of local assistance needed by residents.

Census officials hope that people will fill out their 10-question form and mail it back as soon as possible, saving millions of taxpayer dollars.

It costs the government just the price of a postage stamp when a household mails back the 10-question form, which should take just 10 minutes to complete. It costs the Census Bureau $57 to send a census taker door-to-door to follow up with each household that fails to respond.

At a map-based feature and widget application allows communities to track how well they are responding by mail and how they compare to neighboring cities, counties or states.

The following is the list of questionnaire center and kiosk locations.


Redbud Library

14785 Burns Valley Road

10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday, and Thursday through Saturday

12 p.m. to 8 p.m., Wednesday

Queen of Peace Catholic Church

Knights Room, Parish Hall

14435 Uhl Ave.

4 p.m. to 9 p.m., Tuesdays and Thursdays

Services available in both English and Spanish


Cobb Mountain Area Water District

16595 Highway 175

10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays

1 p.m. to 5 p.m., Mondays and Wednesdays


Lake Family Resource Center

5350 Main St.

Open during normal business hour

St. Peters Catholic Church

Glebe Hall

4085 Main St.

4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday

Services available in both English and Spanish

Lake Pillsbury

Soda Creek Store

26853 Elk Mountain Road, Potter Valley

11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday


Lake One Stop

55 1st St.

1 p.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday

Services available in both English and Spanish

Lakeport Library

1425 N. High St.

10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday, and Thursday through Saturday

12 p.m. to 8 p.m., Wednesday


Lucerne Alpine Senior Center

Country Club Drive

11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Monday through Wednesday

Lake County Visitors Center

6110 E. Highway 20


2 p.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Wednesday

12 p.m. to 5 p.m., Saturdays

12 p.m. to 4 p.m., Sundays


2 p.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Wednesday, April 5-7, April 12-14 and April 19

12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sundays, April 4, 11 and 18


Senior Citizens Inc.

15299 Central Park Road

9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday

Upper Lake

Bachelor Valley Grange

9355 Government St.

Open during normal business hours

Habematolel Tribal Offices

375 E. Highway 20

2 p.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday

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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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