Tuesday, 23 July 2024

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Zino Mezoui took part as a vendor at the Kelseyville Olive Festival on March 21, 2010. Photo by Maile Field.

 



KELSEYVILLE, Calif. – A local restaurateur is being remembered by friends for his warmth, generosity and good food after his death from a motorcycle crash on Friday.


Zino Mezoui, 57, owner of Zino's Ristorante and Inn in Kelseyville, died from injuries sustained in a Friday morning collision with a vehicle at Highway 29 and Siegler Canyon Road.


Friends shared the news which they confirmed with family. Postings were being made on Facebook in memory of Mezoui throughout the weekend.


The California Highway Patrol and the District Attorney's Office were investigating the crash on Friday, with the driver of the vehicle fleeing the scene afterward, as Lake County News has reported. As of Sunday, no arrests in the case had been reported.


CHP Officer Dallas Richey said Friday that the motorcyclist – in this case Mezoui, who Richey didn't identify by name at that time – had been flown to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital, where he later died from his injuries.


“He was such a charming beautiful person who really contributed to what Lake County is,” said friend Maile Field.


Mezoui's death marks the second loss of a well-known and respected businessman this month. On Sept. 4, local Realtor Byron Whipple was killed in a boating crash on Clear Lake.


Tony Barthel, owner of Featherbed Railroad Bed & Breakfast Resort in Nice, found out early Saturday morning about Mezoui's death after seeing it posted on Facebook.


“He was someone you always looked forward to spending any amount of time with,” Barthel said.


“Plus, he was one hell of a cook,” Barthel added.


Mezoui had a passion for cooking, Barthel said.


That passion was in his blood – Mezoui's Web site noted that he came from three generations of French and Italian chefs and restaurateurs.


Mezoui was born in France and moved to the United States in the 1980s, according to an August 2009 profile written by JoAnn Saccato of the Lake County Community Co-op.


He and wife, Jan, arrived in Lake County in 2006 from Sonoma, where he had operated Zino on the Plaza for 25 years, according to his Web site.


While they had planned to retire, those plans didn't last for long, and they opened up their new restaurant at 6330 Soda Bay Road, overlooking Clear Lake.


In addition to working to create a comfortable and welcoming atmosphere, Mezoui crafted food using fresh produce purchased from local farmers, according to Saccato's profile.


Mezoui was a very warm and personable man, said Barthel, “a kind soul in the community” who was always there for people.

 

 

 

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Jan and Zino Mezoui, from a picture posted on their Web site, www.zinoclearlake.com/index.html.
 

 

 


As innkeepers, Barthel said he and his wife, Peggy, were always happy to send visitors to Mezoui's restaurant.


The Barthels managed to get away from their own business for an anniversary dinner on Thursday night, with the restaurant being one of their favorite special occasion places.


“You always knew you were getting a hug going in,” Tony Barthel said.


After their dinner Thursday, the Barthels hung out and chatted with Mezoui, who shared with them his excitement about his motorcycle, which he said was finally ready to ride after being in the shop.


The ride on Friday that ended in Mezoui's death apparently was the ride he'd been looking forward to for so long. Barthel said that, having been there to hear Mezoui talk about the motorcycle made the news of his death from the crash all the more difficult.


“That was the end of the night for us” when they got the news at about 4 a.m. Saturday, he said.


Joey Luiz, another friend of Mezoui's, posted the news on Facebook.


Luiz said his roommate had come upon the crash before first responders arrived at the scene, and told Luiz that people were there trying to render first aid.


It was later when Luiz heard from another friend who had gone to the restaurant – which was open for business as scheduled – that Mezoui had died. That's when Luiz said he put it all together.


“I'm still numb about the whole thing,” said Luiz.


He had fond memories of dinners there and visits with Mezoui, who he remembered as generous and full of fun.


They knew each other personally and professionally, with Mezoui calling Luiz in 2007 about purchasing local wines for his restaurant.


Luiz said Mezoui was “probably one of the warmest, kindest people I've ever known.”


At a Clear Lake Chamber dinner last year, which coincided with the end of Luiz' tenure as president, he said Mezoui helped put on a fun event, providing for Luiz a throne, toy crown and robe.


Field, another of Mezoui's many friends, said she'd been e-mailing friends from New York to Hawaii over the weekend, and they all immediately expressed regret and remembrance.


“Zino had a magical ability to make his guests feel at home whether we were celebrating an afternoon on the lake and had come in dripping wet and windblown or if we were wearing our pearls and schmoozing out of town business people,” Field said.


“He somehow remembered that I had minored in French in college and always therefore greeted me in French. He was also fluent in Italian,” she said.


Field, who recently moved from Kelseyville to Washington, DC, said no one on the East Coast will ever achieve that balance of friendly and professional that Mezoui did.


“And did I mention the food? No words describe it,” she said.


Field, who plans to come to Lake County this week for harvest, said the suspect in the hit-and-run had better turn themselves in, because with her coming to town, “jail is the safest place to be” for them.


The loss is a deep one, said Barthel.


“I think that this community is really going to miss Zino,” he said.


According to Barthel, Mezoui's family is planning to continue with his work and keep Zino's open.


Mezoui's life, his friends agreed, was far too short, but one filled with passion.


“What a great life, to do what you love,” Barthel said.


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 .

SONOMA COUNTY, Calif. – Hundreds of firefighters were on the scene of a fire in Bodega Bay on Saturday, according to state fire officials.


The fire began Saturday at 12:34 p.m. near the 18000 block of Highway 1, Cal Fire reported.


Cal Fire said there were approximately 300 firefighters working the wildland incident, including personnel from Cal Fire and Sonoma County Fire Services including the volunteer companies of Bodega, Bloomfield, Cazadero, Camp Meeker, Valley Ford and Wilmar, and local fire departments from Bodega Bay, Forestville, Goldridge, Marin County, Monte Rio, Rancho Adobe, US Coast Guard FD and Windsor.


The wildland fire was 89 acres 90 percent contained Saturday night, according to the Cal Fire report.


One firefighter injury was been reported, with the firefighter transported to a Bay Area hospital for medical treatment. Cal Fire reported that the firefighter was in critical but stable condition.


The wildland fire threatened homes and the town of Bodega. Cal Fire reported that one outbuilding and two vehicles were destroyed by the wildland fire. Firefighting crews were committed overnight and will continue mop up through Sunday.


There are two road closures at this time – Highway 1 and Bodega Highway, and Highway 1 and Estero Road, according to Cal Fire.


As a result of the fire, the 911 emergency call system was down for the residents in Bodega Bay, although the Bodega Bay Fire District is currently staffed and available to response to local emergencies, Cal Fire said.


Officials urged Bodega Bay residents to call 707-875-3001 to report emergencies until the 911 emergency call system is restored.


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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A vehicle collided with a tree on Elk Mountain Road near Upper Lake, Calif., on the night of Thursday, September 23, 2010, resulting in minor injuries for the driver. Photo by Gary McAuley.


 

 


UPPER LAKE, Calif. – A vehicle that crashed into a tree near Upper Lake Thursday night resulted in minor injuries for the driver.


The crash occurred just after 10:30 p.m. several miles up Elk Mountain Road, just north of the U.S. Forest Service ranger station, according to the California Highway Patrol.


The two-door Chevrolet went off the roadway and hit a tree, according to reports from the scene.


The CHP reported the driver was 26-year-old Kara Snow, who was alone in the car.


Responding to the scene were the CHP, Lake County Sheriff's and Northshore Fire Protection District.


Northshore Fire was dispatched at approximately 10:37 p.m., according to Battalion Chief Steve Hart.


Hart responded along with one engine, one medic unit and two off-duty battalion chiefs.


The driver had been able to get out of the car on her own, according to Hart. She was transported by Northshore Fire ambulance to Sutter Lakeside Hospital.


The CHP reported that Snow suffered minor injuries.


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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California Highway Patrol, Lake County Sheriff's Office and Northshore Fire Protection District officials examine a vehicle that collided with a tree on Elk Mountain Road near Upper Lake, Calif., on Thursday, September 23, 2010. Photo by Gary McAuley.
 

SONOMA COUNTY – A wildland fire that burned in the town of Bodega over the weekend is 100-percent contained, Cal Fire reported Sunday.


The blaze, which began just after 12:30 p.m. Saturday, was located in the 18000 block of Highway 1, according to the Sunday report.


The fire burned 98 acres, and destroyed two parked vehicles and one outbuilding. It was fully contained by 8 a.m. Sunday, Cal Fire said.


Officials said the cause is under investigation.


Approximately 200 firefighters were assigned to the incident and were continuing with mop up, which was expected to continue late Sunday and possibly into Monday morning due to the heavy fuels involved, state fire officials reported.


One firefighter injury was reported. Cal Fire said the firefighter in question, from Sonoma County Fire and Emergency Services-Bodega Volunteer Fire Co., sustained significant injuries while working on the Bodega Fire Saturday afternoon.


The volunteer firefighter – also a seasonal firefighter with Cal Fire – was actively working on the fire when he came into contact with an energized downed power line. Officials said he sustained an electrical shock and subsequent burns.


He was transported by helicopter to a burn center for treatment. Cal Fire said that as of Sunday morning the firefighter was reported in stable condition and medical staff is continuing with treatment and evaluation.


The accident is being investigated by a Cal Fire Serious Accident Review Team, which is a standard practice when injuries of this type occur.


Officials said the 911 emergency call system which was out of service in some areas servicing the community of Bodega Bay was expected to be fully restored by telecommunication crews by late Sunday.


Follow Lake County News on Twitter at http://twitter.com/LakeCoNews and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lake-County-News/143156775604?ref=mf .

LAKEPORT, Calif. – In deliberations that took just over an hour a Lake County jury on Thursday acquitted a local doctor who had been accused of inappropriate conduct toward a patient.

 

At the end of what defense attorney Patrick Clancy said was an emotional five-and-a-half-day-long trial, the jury found Dr. Corey Warner not guilty of sexual battery by fraudulent representation and a second count of sexual battery under a different section of the penal code.

 

Prosecutor Ed Borg said jury selection took place Sept. 14 and the presentation of evidence began the next day. The jury went into deliberations on Thursday and returned a short time later with the not guilty verdict.

 

Warner, 41, was arrested June 10 following the conclusion of an investigation into allegations made by a female patient, according to the Lake County Sheriff's Office's June report.

 

The patient alleged that on July 7, 2009, she visited Warner's practice at Hidden Valley Medical Services in Hidden Valley for an examination following a fall from a horse, according to Clancy.

 

Clancy said the patient alleged that Warner gave her a breast exam she didn't request. “He claimed, and his records showed, that no such exam was ever given,” Clancy said.

 

Borg said the woman also alleged that Warner thrust his pelvis against her while having her bend over to do a range of motion exercise.

 

The woman, whose name was not released by the defense or prosecution, reported the alleged incident on the same day that she said it occurred, Borg said.

 

Clancy alleged that while the sheriff's office said the investigation had been going on close to a year before Warner was arrested, there actually had been large delays in the investigation, which he said amounted to more than 11 months.

 

“It's the worst case in terms of an investigation that I've ever seen,” Clancy said.

 

Clancy suggested that it should have taken a week to wrap up the inquiry into the case's facts. “The delays were just totally unconscionable, totally inexcusable.”

 

While he didn't blame the initial lag on sheriff's Det. Mike Curran, Clancy said Curran didn't speak to witnesses in the case, including doctor's office staff, for many months afterward. That's an issue, he said, because, “Everyone knows that memories fade with time.”

 

Borg disputed Clancy's claims about the delays. There were timing issues – which were a concern for the jury – but he said they weren't as serious as Clancy portrayed them to be.

 

While it should have taken just a few days for the deputy who took the report to pass it on to Curran, Borg said for some reason it wasn't routed to Curran immediately. Curran got the case late in November and had completed most of the investigation within a month.

 

The defense theorized that the female patient was angry with Warner after she received a steroid shot for poison oak in January 2009, with the shot resulting in a 5 centimeter by 4 centimeter by 2 centimeter depression on her buttocks, Clancy said.

 

During the trial Clancy called a number of witnesses to testify to Warner's moral character and exceptional professional reputation.

 

Those witnesses included other local doctors and some of Warner's own patients, one of them a man whose young wife died unexpectedly last year and who broke down on the stand, saying he could never have made it without Warner's support.

 

“They love him. They absolutely love him,” Clancy said of Warner's patients.

 

Clancy said the backbone of the defense included the office procedures and standards of practice used to ensure client protection, which they went over in detail during the trial.

 

Borg said Clancy gave “an excellent closing argument” in which he highlighted what he considered the flaws in the case. Clancy in turn noted that Borg was both professional and ethical in his approach to the prosecution, and he felt Judge Andrew Blum was very fair in his handling of the case.

 

The jury came back with its verdict at about 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Borg said.

 

After speaking with jurors, “Essentially, it came down to they didn't feel we had proven the case,” Borg said. The jury also had problems with inconsistencies in the alleged victim's testimony and the testimony of office staff.

 

In his conversations with jurors, Clancy said they noted they didn't find the patient a reliable witness.

 

With the verdict decided, “What happened afterwards is what is utterly amazing,” said Clancy.

 

Warner and his wife were hugging and crying, and as the jurors walked out, each patted him on the back, according to Clancy.

 

The jurors waited outside to talk, and the female jurors later approached Warner and asked him to be their doctor, Clancy said.

 

He said the female jurors also got together with Warner's wife to let her know that they didn't just vote not guilty, but that they voted him innocent. Some of the jurors also reportedly confronted Curran after the trial, Clancy said.

 

While the Warners never doubted he would be acquitted, the prosecution has taken a toll on them. At the same time, Dr. Warner has continued his practice, Clancy said.

 

Dr. Warner is taking a few days off to be with his wife before getting back to his patients on Monday, according to Clancy.

 

However, while he loves his patients and is being asked to say, Clancy said Warner is having to give considerable thought to whether he will stay in Lake County.

 

Sheriff Rod Mitchell said Friday that once Curran got the case, he brought the shortfalls in its handling to the attention of both Mitchell and Capt. Rob Howe.

 

Mitchell said review steps have been put in place to avoid such delays in investigations going forward.

 

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, Calif. – A federal marijuana charge stemming from an arrest earlier this month has been dropped against an Upper Lake man, but a federal case filed against him and several co-defendants last year continues to move forward, accompanied by a growing amount of discovery.


Drug Enforcement Administration agents arrested Thomas Lee Carter, 59, on Sept. 1, alleging possession with intent to distribute marijuana and violation of previous release terms, as Lake County News has reported.


Carter had been arrested in August 2009, along with one of his employees, Brett Bassignani, 44, of Nice; Scott Feil, 44, and his wife, Diana, 29, of Upper Lake and Redwood Valley; Diana Feil's stepfather, Steven Swanson, 60, of Sebastopol. They're charged with various counts stemming from the government's allegations that they were connected in a marijuana distribution operation.


On Tuesday the US Attorney's Office filed a notice of dismissal on the charge relating to Carter's Sept. 1 arrest, according to court documents.


An unsigned copy of that dismissal notice was filed online by the court. The notice must be signed by U.S. Magistrate Elizabeth D. LaPorte before it's official, based on court protocol. The San Francisco Clerk of the Courts said Thursday that a signed version had not yet been filed with that office.


Geoffrey Hansen, a federal public defender who is working on Carter's case, said a federal grand jury chose not to indict Carter on the charge.


“One never knows why the grand jury does or does not indict in a particular case,” as the proceedings are sealed, Hansen told Lake County News.


The US Attorney's Office could not offer comment on the case. Spokesman Jack Gillund said they could neither confirm or deny the actions taken Tuesday. In the interest of fairness, the agency does not comment on cases until after they are adjudicated.


The dismissal notice states that the complaint was dismissed “without prejudice,” which Hansen said leaves the door open for the US Attorney's Office to refile the case.


Hansen said the government clearly indicated that it was trying to get Carter back in custody and revoke his bond with the new arrest, a strategy which he said was spelled out in a Sept. 8 hearing. But federal Judge Bernard Zimmerman “would have none of it,” Hansen said.


While the Sept. 1 arrest complaint is gone, still moving forward is the case from the August 2009 arrests, Hansen said. In that case Carter and his co-defendants were released on property-secured bond last year.


If convicted in that case, all of the defendants are looking at multiple years in federal prison and loss of millions of dollars in property to federal forfeiture, based on information in case filings.


The charges against Carter include a single count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute marijuana, which carries a minimum 10-year sentence and $4 million fine, and two counts of distributing or possessing with intent to distribute marijuana, each charge carrying a five-year minimum and a $2 million fine.


Bassignani is charged with two counts of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute marijuana and one count of distributing or possessing with intent to distribute marijuana.


Carter and Bassignani are alleged to have been involved in agreeing to sell 500 rooted marijuana plant clones to an informant, who is alleged to have made direct contact with Bassignani but not Carter.


The government's case alleges that Bassignani told undercover agents that he was Carter's “plant manager,” and that he was employed “for the sole purpose of caring for marijuana plants, and that his salary was paid for entirely with proceeds from the sale of marijuana.”


Scott and Diana Feil and Swanson are charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute marijuana, distributing or possessing with intent to distribute marijuana, conspiracy to launder money and engaging in monetary transactions in property derived from specific unlawful activity. Scott Feil is facing two counts of filing false tax returns, and Swanson two counts of tax evasion.


A superseding indictment handed down in July added another defendant, Mark Leonard Garcia, in connection to a San Diego dispensary. Court documents indicate Garcia is charged with two counts of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute marijuana.


Hansen said the substantive motions in that case will be in court in December, with the defendants themselves set to appear in federal court the following month. That's when the judge will hold a status hearing on the motions and the issues with the significant amount of discovery in the case, now estimated to be well over 100,000 pages of case documents.


Hansen said the judge has allowed the two sides to do serial filings due to the amount of discovery that continues to come in on an ongoing basis.


“We've had a number of discovery issues with the government,” said Hansen, a complaint he has made in motions to the court, stating that the US Attorney's Office has not been forthcoming with some of the information it's required to share with the defense.


A Tuesday afternoon hearing was held to discuss some of those issues, Hansen said, with the judge taking various arguments under discussion.


Attorneys allege flaws in government's case


In its case filings, the US Attorney's Office is alleging that Carter, Bassignani, the Feils, Swanson and Garcia were part of a marijuana distribution operation with bases of operation in Lake County, Los Angeles and San Diego.


“They've endeavored to make some connection,” said Hansen, suggesting there is an attempt to make Carter something he is not.


Hansen said that, from his perspective, there is no relationship whatsoever between Carter and Scott Feil. His main evidence to support that belief is that the government has never charged Carter with conspiracy relating to Feil's case.


He said he believes that if the case goes to trial it will be sometime in the middle of 2011.


“Motions are going to be very important here,” he said.


Hansen said Feil's lawyers are making very strong arguments that a search of Feil's Los Angeles medical marijuana dispensary in 2005 was illegal and that it has tainted the entire prosecution.


“If they're right, this case goes away,” said Hansen.


He added that in the Tuesday discovery hearing Zimmerman acknowledged that Feil's attorneys' argument on that point is a substantial one.


Santa Monica attorney Charles Lindner, a member of Feil's defense team, explained that on March 15, 2005, the Los Angeles Police Department raided Feil's medical marijuana dispensary, United Medical Caregivers Clinic, and seized $186,416 in assets.


“They started before they got a search warrant,” Lindner said, explaining that the police later found a judge to sign a warrant and allegedly didn't telling him the search involved a medical marijuana establishment.


In that case, in which Feil was represented by attorney Paul Gabbert, the Ninth Circuit Court reversed a lower court decision and found that the search violated the Fourth Amendment – which guards against unreasonable search and seizure – according to a copy of the ruling, filed in October 2009. The Los Angeles Police Department was ordered to return Feil's assets.


“From that point forward we are under DEA investigation,” said Lindner.


He added, “The whole thing about the feds is, they want money,” noting that the federal government receives large percentages of the property seized in such cases.


Lindner said the portions of the case that rely on that illegal 2005 search are what is problematic.


He explained them in terms of a legal doctrine called “fruit of the poisonous tree,” which requires an exclusion of all evidence obtained illegally.


The doctrine was established in a US Supreme Court ruling in Wong Sun versus the United States in the 1950s, according to legal histories of the case. Illegal arrests was made and the resulting statement made by one the defendants was considered by the court to be illegally obtained, and therefore the “fruit” – or direct result – of an illegal arrest.


Lindner alleges that in the 2009 case against Feil and Carter, the unlawful search warrant in 2005 was the start of the investigation.


If the court agrees the government has got a big problem in its case, Lindner said.


Lindner said if the case holds to its schedule, evidentiary hearings in the case should start in January.


However, he's not certain about a time frame for trial.


“These cases can get really, really, really complicated,” he said.


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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Docked at the Skylark Shores, seaplanes graced the shore of Clear Lake at the 31st annual Clear Lake Splash-In on Saturday, September 25, 2010. Photo by Terre Logsdon.
 

 

 





LAKEPORT, Calif. – Mythical, majestic and “just plain wrong!” were some of the exclamations overheard on Saturday in Lakeport as the seemingly-impossible happened time and again: airplanes landing – and taking off – from the surface of the waters of Clear Lake.


It was all part of the action at the 31st annual Clear Lake Splash-In, which continues Sunday.


Seaplane pilots from around the United States made their way to Lakeport for the annual Splash-In, the largest gathering of seaplanes west of the Mississippi.


The annual celebration of seaplanes featured handmade, ultra-light and antique craft.


“Once again, the community support for this event has been great,” said Chuck Kimes, organizer of the event.

 

 

 

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The 1945 Grumman G-44 Widgeon is a shining example of the fascination of seaplanes. The plane was featured at the 31st annual Clear Lake Splash-In on Saturday, September 25, and Sunday, September 26, 2010, in Lakeport, Calif. Photo by Terre Logsdon.
 

 

 


Kimes credited Melissa Fulton, chief executive officer of the Lake County Chamber of Commerce, Doug Grider, Lakeport's Public Works superintendent, the Upper Lake Future Farmers' of America and the Sea Scouts for helping make this years' event another success.


Although primarily a seaplane pilots' event, the Clear Lake Splash-In attracts the young and the young-at-heart alike who want to get a closeup look at these magnificent flying machines.


“I'm amazed at the variety of airplanes here,” said Walter Windus, chair of the Splash-In Board of Directors.


Windus explained that the variety of planes participating in the event is unique – and even unusual for seaplane pilots to experience.


“There are all makes and models here, from planes made in somebody's garage by hand, to planes over 50 years old, restored and worth over $1 million,” he said.

 

 

 

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The Piper Apache was a popular plane at the annual Clear Lake Splash-In on Saturday, September 25, 2010. Photo by Terre Logsdon.
 

 

 


Lake County resident and seaplane pilot Mike Dunlap, who was on ramp patrol duty with his trusty golden retriever to keep the crowds safe, also noted the cooperation and assistance the city of Lakeport gives to this event.


The two-day event, which has taken place in Lakeport for 28 out of the 31 years the event has been held, is a great benefit to the local economy, Dunlap explained.


“Between motel rooms, dining out, buying fuel and more, we've estimated that participants add more than $80,000 to the local economy during the Splash-In,” Dunlap said.


The call came over the radio before 1 p.m. that so many planes had flown in for the event that Lampson Airport was full – there was no more room for “regular” planes to land, park and take a shuttle over to the site of the Splash-In.


“But they'll make room,” Dunlap said, as he was expecting another pilot from Nevada who had already registered.

 

 

 

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Pilot James Nezgoda polishes up his 1947 Republic RC-3 SeaBee at the 31st annual Clear Lake Splash-In on Saturday, September 25, 2010, in Lakeport, Calif. Photo by Terre Logsdon.
 

 

 


Because of the more stringent guidelines this year to prevent the introduction of quagga and zebra mussels, coupled with the inspection program, organizers were concerned that it might keep pilots from coming – but that was not the case.


“We worked with the county and we worked with our pilots, and everything worked out fine,” Kimes said.


As spectators admired the seaplanes on the grounds of Natural High and the docks at Skylark Shores, wondering how the planes made the leap from water to sky, Dunlap joked, “What keeps planes in the air? Money. And Seaplanes? More money.”


But for the aficionados of aviation, as well as seaplane pilots and dreamers, seeing the intersection between sky and water was priceless.


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.

 

 

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In the shade of the wings, fellow pilots and spectators alike talk of aviation and the wild blue skies at the 31st annual Clear Lake Splash-In on Saturday, September 25, 2010, in Lakeport, Calif. Photo by Terre Logsdon.
 

 

 

 

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Sleek lines, blues skies, and flat waters make for a wonderful weekend of flying in Lake County, Calif., which hosted the 31st annual Clear Lake Splash-In on Saturday, September 25, and Sunday, September 26, 2010. Photo by Terre Logsdon.
 

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A fire on Friday, September 24, 2010, burned an outbuilding and endangered nearby homes in Lakeport, Calif. Photo by Brian Hajik.
 

 

 

 

 



LAKEPORT, Calif. – A late afternoon fire in Lakeport burned an outbuilding, burned nearby vegetation and got close to some homes.


The fire was reported shortly before 5 p.m. on Lakeshore Boulevard, according to reports from the scene.


Lakeport Fire firefighter/paramedic Ponciano Hernandez, the agency's duty officer on Friday, said the fire was located in the area of Lakeshore Boulevard and Rainbow Road.


Hernandez said the fire burned an outbuilding and then got into vegetation on the hill.


“We had some houses threatened up on top,” he said.


It took about an hour from the time firefighters arrived on scene to the completion of mop up, Hernandez said.


Lakeport Fire sent three engines, Cal Fire sent a battalion chief and Kelseyville Fire sent an engine, he said.


The cause of the fire is still under investigation, according to Hernandez.


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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Firefighters work at the scene of a fire off of Lakeshore Boulevard in Lakeport, Calif., on Friday, September 24, 2010. Photo by Brian Hajik.
 

 

 

 

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Lakeport Fire with mutual aid from Kelseyville Fire and Cal Fire responded to put out the blaze in Lakeport, Calif., on Friday, September 24, 2010. Photo by Brian Hajik.
 

LAKE COUNTY, Calif. – Although autumn is now officially under way, Mother Nature is about to throw an atmospheric curve ball at Northern California that will extend the game of summer just a bit longer.


Temperatures are forecast to climb back in to the high 90s and near 100 over the next few days, according to the National Weather Service in Sacramento.


A strong high pressure system is building over Northern California, including Lake County, which will push temperatures a little higher each day with the hottest days predicted on Monday and Tuesday, forecaster said.


Overnight temperatures will warm up as well, the National Weather Service predicts, with overnight lows 15 to 20 degrees warmer than the last few nights, when temperatures dipped in to the low 40s, and cool off to the upper 50s and low 60s.


Forecasters state that Friday's high will reach in to the upper 80s, with both Saturday and Sunday expected to reach well in to the 90s.


Prepare for summer weather if you are planning on attending one of the many outdoor events scheduled this weekend, including the Kelseyville Pear Festival, the Clear Lake Splash-In in Lakeport or the People's Choice Wine Awards in Lower Lake.


Morning events, such as parade at the pear festival, the guided walks at both Rodman Slough Preserve and Clear Lake State Park, should have ideal temperatures in the mid 60s and low 70s.


Temperatures will continue to increase early next week, according to forecasters, with daytime highs in the upper 90s near 100 on both Monday and Tuesday, with a cooling trend beginning on Wednesday.


Although temperatures are expected to trend downward beginning on Wednesday as the high pressure system moves out, it will still remain slightly warmer than the average temperature of 82, according to the forecast.


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


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 .

Image
Not much went right for the Lower Lake Trojans against St Helena on their football field on Friday, September 24, 2010. Here star running back EJ Jermany fumbles on Lower Lake's first possession. Photo by Ed Oswalt.

 



 

LOWER LAKE, Calif. – The previously winless St. Helena Saints stormed into Lower Lake Friday night and dominated the Trojans football team by a score of 37-12, handing Lower Lake their first defeat of the season.


Lower Lake’s win/loss record now stands at 2 and 1.

 

 

After the loss, a visibly discouraged head coach Stan Weiper said he was “surprised at how bad we were” and added, “We were out of sync from the start.”

 

 

St. Helena got on the board early, needing just five plays – all runs – to score first, capped by a 30-yard sprint from Saints running back Charles Bertoli into the Trojans end zone.


The extra point by kicker David Martinez made it 7-0.

 

 

Lower Lake’s Marcus Radovan took the ensuing kickoff return back to St. Helena’s 47 yard line, but EJ Jermany fumbled the ball on the Trojans' opening possession and St. Helena recovered.


The Saints took advantage of the turnover, driving 73 yards in nine plays to score their second touchdown.

 

 

Lower Lake got on the board with their next possession – the longest of the game for the Trojans – when Devante Scott carried the ball six yards into St. Helena’s end zone and brought the score to 14-6.

 

 

“We’re capable,” Weiper said. “We just need to get back on track.”

 

 

But St. Helena answered on their next possession, taking 11 plays to march 65 yards downfield, scoring on a Richard Hoppe quarterback keep from the Trojans’ 6-yard line. The added extra point brought the first quarter to a close with Lower Lake trailing 21-6.

 

 

An interception on the Saints' 29 yard line by defensive back Peter Del Bondio led to a 37-yard field goal by David Martinez, and St. Helena broadened their lead to 24-6.


The Trojans were forced to punt on their next possession, and when the Saints scored on a 21-yard run from tight end Alex Quirici, Lower Lake ended the first half trailing 31-6.

 

 

The Saints continued to dominate in the second half, when Bertoli ended Lower Lake’s opening third quarter possession by intercepting an errant Trojan pass and returning it 64 yards for another St. Helena touchdown.

 

 

The Trojans managed to score only once more in the game, when Roy Percoats ran the ball 85 yards downfield to score Lower Lake’s second touchdown.

 

 

 

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Joseph Taylor was one of three players to throw a pass for Lower Lake; the three combined to complete three of 12 attempts in the game with St. Helena on Friday, September 24, 2010. Photo by Ed Oswalt.
 

 

 


After failing to make the twp-point conversion, the Trojans trailed 37-12, the final score of the game.

 

 

“We didn’t do anything well,” Weiper said after Lower Lake’s first loss. “We thought we could play competitively, and we just didn’t.”

 

 

The Trojans went three for 12 with 48 yards passing (and two interceptions), and carried the ball 38 times for 274 yards rushing.


Defensively, Trojans linebacker Antonio Hines had an impressive nine tackles, one assist and one quarterback sack against the Saints.

 

 

In junior varsity action, Lower Lake’s Jessie Meldrum caught a Jason Mallory pass at midfield to score the game’s only touchdown, and the Trojans made the two-point conversion to beat the Saints 8-0, improving their record to 2-1 this season.

 

 

Lower Lake plays again next Friday, Oct. 1, at home against Upper Lake, which lost to Ft. Bragg 48-12 on Friday night, bringing their record to 1-2 this season. The Trojans will travel to Cloverdale to take on the Eagles Oct. 8.


For more pictures of the game visit www.sportsphoto.us/20100924/index.html.


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, Calif. – The California Highway Patrol is investigating two fatal crashes that occurred Friday morning.

 

One occurred near Blue Lakes shortly after 10:30 a.m. and the second was a hit-and-run collision involving a vehicle and a motorcycle at Highway 29 and Siegler Canyon Road that took place after 11 a.m., according to CHP and witness reports.

 

The crash on Highway 20 at Blue Lakes involved three vehicles, according to CHP Officer Dallas Richey.

 

Richey did not have full details available mid-afternoon, as the report wasn't complete.

 

Northshore Fire Protection District Battalion Chief Steve Hart said one of the vehicles went over the side of the road and was about 10 feet from the lake.

 

One person was pronounced dead at the scene, and the other crash victims suffered minor injuries and refused medical care, Hart said.

 

In addition to Hart, Northshore Fire responded with two ambulances and two engines, and Lakeport Fire sent one ambulance as mutual aid, he said.

 

Hart said the crash temporarily shut down the highway while first responders got on scene.

 

“We were able to open up one lane for traffic control within the first 15 minutes,” he said. “We did get it going as fast as we could.”

 

Hart said the scene was cleared after about two hours, with one person detained by CHP.

 

The incident at Highway 29 and Siegler Canyon involved a vehicle that hit a motorcycle and then left the scene, Richey said.

 

The motorcyclist was flown out by air ambulance to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital, where he later died, according to Richey.

 

A suspect vehicle has been found but Richey said the suspect hasn't yet been identified.

 

Lake County News will follow up with more information as it becomes 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 .

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