Monday, 02 October 2023


LAKE COUNTY – A power outage Friday afternoon left thousands of customers from Lakeport to Cobb without power for several hours.

The outage began at 12:04 p.m., said Susan Simon, a spokesperson for Pacific Gas and Electric Co.

Initially, 13,000 customers in Lakeport and Kelseyville were affected, said Simon.

The power outage appeared to reach as far as Cobb, where a resident reported to Lake County News that the power also was out at his home Friday afternoon.

Within about an hour, according to Simon, all but 3,000 customers had their power restored.

By 5:30 p.m., there still remained 1,300 customers without power, said Simon, with the last part of the outage centered around Kelseyville.

Somewhere between 6 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. the last of the customers had the power go back on in their homes, Simon said.

The cause, said Simon, was a squirrel.

“A squirrel came in contact with a piece of equipment and as a result of that we lost power to three separate substations,” said Simon.

Simon did not have specifics on where it was precisely that the fatal meeting between squirrel and power equipment took place.

E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


LAKE COUNTY – The United Way is looking for Lake County organizations to fund in several important service areas.

Fritz Ward, marketing director for United Way of Sonoma-Mendocino-Lake, said the organization is seeking funding proposals for projects in four “focused funding” areas from nonprofits in its three service counties.

Those focus areas include after-school and summer programs focused on youth in grades four through eight; parenting and social-skills training for parents; emergency food and shelter, transitional and permanent supportive housing programs; and senior food and mental-health programs, according to Chanda Zirkelbach, vice president of the agency's Community Impact division.

Ward said United Way wants to find the best partner agencies doing the best work in their communities.

A volunteer group reviews applications and conducts site visits, he said.

The selection process, Ward added, is based strictly on merit.

“There's almost always more need than money,” he added.

Those groups who do receive funding have their performance monitored, Ward said.

Last year, Catholic Charities-Lake County Rural Food Project received $14,000 and the Redwood Coast Seniors-Meals on Wheels/Mental Health Outreach program received $90,000, Zirkelbach reported.

Ward said the United Way believes it's more important to give more money to one program that is doing great work than break that funding up to try to cover many smaller efforts.

Applications became available Jan. 15, with the submission deadline set for Feb. 25.

For information on how to apply or to learn how to access United Way's online application, contact Zirkelbach at 707-528-4485, Extension 110, or e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

There will be an applicant orientation Feb. 1 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Santa Rosa Transit Department Training Room 103, located at 45 Stony Point Road, Santa Rosa.

E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


CLEARLAKE OAKS – District 3 Supervisor Denise Rushing invites the community to the first Northshore town hall meeting for 2008, planned for early next week.

The Clearlake Oaks Community Town Hall meeting will take place beginning at 4 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 20 at the Clearlake Oaks Moose Lodge, 15900 E. Highway 20 (near the intersection of Highway 20 and 53).

County staff will provide updates on the redevelopment process; local projects, including The Plaza, community parks, Clark's Island and progress on the trail system; and other issues.

The agenda includes an open forum to discuss issues of interest to the community of Clearlake Oaks.

Rushing also will deliver the a “State of the County” report for District 3.

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

Parking at the Moose lodge is limited, so carpooling is encouraged.

Many thanks to the moose lodge for donating the space for this community meeting!

Upcoming town halls along the Northshore are scheduled for 4 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 27, at Pine Acres Resort in Blue Lakes; and 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 9, at the Lucerne Alpine Senior Center.

For more information contact District 3 Supervisor Denise Rushing, telephone 263-2368 or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


UKIAH – A Lucerne man was picked up during an enforcement conducted by a task force that monitors convicted sex offenders.

Jesse Raymond Heilig, 25, was arrested on two felony warrants for violations of probation on Thursday morning, according to a report from Lt. Kurt Smallcomb of the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office.

A Mendocino County Sheriff's sergeant – assigned to the Sexual Assault Felony Enforcement Team (also known as SAFE) – arrested Heilig at an East Stanley Street address, Smallcomb reported.

Heilig was transported to the county jail, said Smallcomb, where bail was set at a no-bail status.

Heilig is a registered sex offender, and is listed on the Megan's Law Web site because of his conviction for rape of a drugged victim.

The SAFE Program is funded by a grant and allows local sheriff's offices to spend more time investigating sex offenders that may be out of compliance with the 290 PC (sexual offenders registration law) requirements, Smallcomb reported.

Lake County also participates in the SAFE Program, as Lake County News has reported.


Lake County and Sacramento fans poured in to support Faded At Four Sunday night during the Bodog Battle of the Bands at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco. Pictured is lead singer Jon Foutch. Audience votes determine if they move on to the finals. The top prize is $1 million and a recording contract. Photo by Suzette Cook-Mankins.


LAKE COUNTY – For an intrepid band of Lake County musicians, stardom could be just around the corner.

For the last seven months, Faded At Four has been among thousands of bands across the United States, Canada and Europe battling to win a $1 million recording contract.

Band members include guitarists Brian Kenner of Lakeport and Chris Murphy of Kelseyville, bass guitarist Martin Scheel of Lower Lake, drummer Chris “Pencil” Sanders of Clearlake, and lead singer and Upper Lake native Jon Foutch.

Foutch said the band got into the Bodog Battle of the Bands last June, a competition that he said started with 4,500 bands.

Faded At Four submitted a profile, a picture and a single to join the competition, much of which has taken place through Internet voting, he explained.

In the San Francisco region, where Faded At Four is competing, Internet voting quickly took the band to a No. 1 ranking.

“We were absolutely floored,” said Foutch.

The band, which has an “aggressive” rock/metal sound, soon finished third nationwide in the online voting, said Foutch.

The competition then moved into live performances. During the third round of the competition, held Sunday at San Francisco's Great American Music Hall for the western region, Faded At Four placed second overall, said Foutch.

The performance was witnessed by three busloads of fans who made the trip to San Francisco, said Foutch.

“The energy level was through the roof,” he said.

It's been a year of hard work and success for Faded At Four, whose original members joined forces five years ago, said Foutch. The band in its current form has been together for two years.

Foutch, who attended American River College and Sonoma State, met Scheel while in college.

Eventually, they decided that they wanted to form a band.

“I'd figured out at some point after I'd gotten out of school that I could sing,” said Foutch, who was born and raised in Lake County and works as the facility administrator of the local dialysis clinic.

Besides singing he played drums for the band in the beginning. “It wasn't pretty,” he laughed.

Then the band met up at a party with Sanders, who joined as their drummer.

Last summer, opportunities began coming together for Faded At Four, which had been playing at Konocti Harbor Resort and Spa, said Foutch.

After regular appearances at the resort – playing in its clubs, showroom and amphitheater – Faded At Four was asked to open for Kid Rock during X.S. Weekend, an important accomplishment for the band, Foutch said.

Faded At Four is one of 48 U.S. bands now poised for the next round in the Bodog Battle of the Bands competition, which Foutch said will be televised on the Fuse Network.

On March 12, the band is set to compete with other 11 West Coast bands at The Avalon Club in Hollywood, said Foutch. From that performance, one winning band will emerge.

The West Coast winner will then advance to a final round of 10 bands – one from each of the four U.S. regions – based in San Francisco, Oklahoma, Denver and New York – plus five bands chosen from Europe and Canada.

There also will be one wild card spot. The 44 U.S. bands that are left after the top four are chosen will compete for that spot through online voting, said Foutch.

The competition – which he said has been likened to “Survivor” for bands – will then move into a reality television format.

“It's getting unbelievably competitive,” he said, adding that there are many great bands in the competition.

Faded At Four's members practice individually all the time, and get together twice a week to practice together, Foutch said.

Besides the hard work and talent, the band credits its network of fans and supporters for helping it advance this far.

“The fans have been so important to us,” said Foutch.

They're hoping to organize a trip for fans to Hollywood for March's phase of the competition, he said.

The farther along they advance, the more real it all gets, said Foutch. “This can really, really happen.”

Winning, he added, isn't necessary to benefit from the competition. The visibility it generates brings with it other chances. “It affords us a really, really good opportunity.”

Most of the band members have wives and children, and Foutch – a dad himself – said the decision to compete and take a shot at fame wasn't made lightly.

Ultimately, he said, they want to offer better lives for their families.

Foutch said friends of the band are joking about someday being able to say they “knew them when.” But for Foutch, Lake County will always be home.

“There's no place that I'd rather live than I live right now,” said Foutch, who lives in a home built by his ancestors.

If fame comes his way, Foutch said, “You take anybody and everyone you love with you.”

To learn more about Faded At Four, how to support the group in the Bodog Battle of the Bands or to hear the band's music, visit You can also visit the band's MySpace page at

E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Bass guitarist Martin Scheel during the Sunday performance in San Francisco. Photo by Suzette Cook-Mankins.




Kim Clymire (left) receives the Partner of the Year Award from Chuck Morse, president of the West Lake RCD Board of Directors. Photo by Terre Logsdon.

KELSEYVILLE – It was a night to celebrate accomplishments and a night to honor the dedicated volunteers who help make our watersheds – and all of Lake County – a healthier place for all to live

The sixth annual Watershed Year in Review was sponsored by the East Lake and West Lake Resource Conservation Districts (RCDs), the Upper Cache Creek Watershed Alliance and hosted by the Chi Council for the Clear Lake Hitch.

Kim Clymire, director of Lake County Public Services – believing he was attending a Kelseyville Business Association meeting to make a presentation on Skate Parks – was surprised to learn that was being honored with the Partner of the Year Award.

“Kim has expressed a philosophy and belief of support for this volunteer effort and has been a major supporter of what we do,” said Chuck Morse, president of the West Lake RCD Board of Directors, who presented the award to Clymire.

“I feel blessed and lucky to be part of the team,” Clymire said.

Both Peter Windrem, chair of the Chi Council, and Ronda Mottlow, water resource manager for Robinson Rancheria Band of Pomo Indians, gave separate presentations on the state of the Clear Lake Hitch – a species of fish unique to Clear Lake whose numbers have plummeted in the past 50 years.

The exact reasons for their decline is unknown, but both Robinson Rancheria and the Chi Council are monitoring their habitat, which includes the tributaries to Clear Lake as well as the lake itself.

Not only are the hitch important to Pomo culture – the fish has been a staple part of the Pomo diet for thousands of years – but “hitch are important to the economy [in Lake County],” said Mottlow. That's because the largemouth bass, which are abundant in Clear Lake and bring fisherman and tournaments from around the world to our county, feed on the hitch.

The Upper Cache Creek Watershed Alliance honored six outstanding and dedicated volunteers with awards that were designed by Carle High School students.

Linda Juntunen, Project Coordinator for the East and West Lake RCDs, presented awards to Kevin Ingram, Big Valley Watershed Council; Robert Geary, Chi Council for the Clear Lake Hitch; Fran Ransley, Lower Lake Watershed Council; Joe Dias, Middle Creek Coordinated Resource Management and Planning; Jim Bridges, Nice Watershed Group; and Patty Patten, Scotts Creek Watershed Council.

Greg Dills, watershed coordinator for the East and West Lake RCDs, gave an overview of the year’s activities and Korinn Smith, district conservationist for Natural Resources Conservation Service, gave a presentation on how they've assisted landowners during the previous year.

If you would like to participate in counting hitch during their annual migrations upstream to spawn, the Chi Council for the Clear Lake Hitch is always looking for more volunteers.

Visit for more information.

E-mail Terre Logsdon at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


LAKEPORT – Mendocino College officials are awaiting an appraisal before making an offer on property that would be the future home of the college's Lake County Center.

Mendocino College officials are looking seriously at 31-acre parcel located at 2565 Parallel Drive in Lakeport and owned by Tom Adamson, a Scottsdale, Ariz.-based developer who has proposed building a 130-lot subdivision on the site, as Lake County News as reported.

Measure W, a 67.5 million passed by voters in November 2006, sets aside $15 million for the college to purchase land, and begin improvements and building, college President and Superintendent Kathy Lehner told Lake County News in the fall.

The college Board of Trustees, at its Jan. 9 meeting, indicated its desire to move forward with the purchase, said Lehner.

As soon as the appraisal is completed – which she said should be within the next few weeks – “We are going to move forward with making that offer,” said Lehner.

Lehner said this week that buying land for a new center wouldn't be possible without the bond, especially in the current state fiscal crisis.

This week Lehner also had to meet with state officials to assess the college's fiscal situation.

“This is worse than last year,” said Lehner, comparing the current situation to five years ago.

It's still too early to be entirely certain of how Mendocino College will be affected, Lehner said.

That's largely because there are months of budget haggling to go through between the Legislature and the governor.

If cuts proposed in the current draft of the governor's budget went through, Lehner said financial aid, CalWORKS – which offers temporary financial support to families with minor children – and programs for students needing academic help and for single mothers would suffer.

She added that the college can anticipate no cost of living increase next year, a challenge as the college's expenses continue to rise.

An example: the college's health insurance costs have historically risen 13 percent a year, Lehner explained.

One way of giving themselves some breathing room is by not immediately filling vacant jobs, said Lehner.

College officials are scheduled to meet with staff Friday morning in Ukiah to discuss the fiscal challenges ahead.

Lehner suggested the year ahead isn't going to be an easy one, fiscally speaking. “It's not going to be pretty.”

E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


LAKE COUNTY – A new state report shows that Lake County Victim-Witness' efforts to get restitution for victims of crime has resulted in a near doubling of funds over the last two fiscal years.

The California Victim Compensation Board and Government Claims Board has released its annual report compiling various statistics regarding victims throughout California.

Also contained in the report is a tally of claims submitted by all 58 counties regarding victims of violent crime.

Lake County ranks 28th of all 58 counties for applications received from the District Attorney's Victim-Witness Division, which submitted 358 for fiscal year 2006-07, according to the report.

Napa ranked 26th, submitting 223; Mendocino ranked 41st with 136 applications; and Sonoma was listed at 14th, with 860 applications, the report noted.

Claims are submitted through local Victim-Witness centers for crimes including child abuse, elder abuse, domestic violence, drunk driving with injuries and any crime committed against a person.

Applicants submit claims to receive reimbursement from the Restitution Fund that defendants are ordered to pay into upon any conviction.

“Restitution fines are ordered for all defendants upon conviction of a misdemeanor or felony and vary in amount – the limit being $10,000 for felonies, $1,000 for misdemeanors,” explained Lake County Victim-Witness Director Sam Laird in a statement from his office. “This is not ‘taxpayers' dollars’ in the traditional sense of the word.”

Reimbursements to victims include costs associated with medical/dental bills, mental health therapy and relocation, Laird explained.

“I know our staff is doing everything possible to make sure that all victims are offered compensation through the board, some counties are just not as active as Lake because of lack of funding or staff,” said Laird. “The support we receive from our District Attorney and all members of the DA’s Office and local law enforcement makes this possible.”

The number is just a small fraction of the new victims that Lake County Victim-Witness helps, said Laird.

Laird says the office helps between 1,000 and 1,300 new victims annually. When Laird joined Victim-Witness in 2001, he said the office was serving between 800 and 1,000 victims annually.

Not all victims qualify for the program and some decline to apply, he added.

In the 2006-07 fiscal year, $299,026 was reimbursed to people who were victimized in Lake County, Laird reported. In comparison, victim reimbursement was $186,282 in 2005-06; $93,614 for2004-05; and $181,813 for 2003-04.

“I am very pleased with the report,” said District Attorney Jon Hopkins. “Our Victim-Witness Division is so active, doing everything possible to ensure that victims are not left behind or fall through the cracks of the criminal justice system, and our entire office is organized to maximize the benefits to the victims.”

For more information about the Victim Compensation Board and Government Claims Board visit

E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


MIDDLETOWN – District 1 Supervisor Ed Robey will present his annual “State of the District” message this week.

Robey will give his report to the Middletown Luncheon Club beginning at noon on Wednesday, Jan. 16.

The Middletown Luncheon Club is a nonprofit, tax-exempt California corporation and is not affiliated with the Middletown Community Methodist Church.


The group meets at the Middletown Methodist Church's social hall, 15833 Armstrong St.

Lunch is $4 per person; reservations are not required.

For more information, contact Helen Whitney, 928-9812.


LAKE COUNTY – A man sent to prison for committing a murder in Clearlake nearly two decades ago has been denied parole.

At a Jan. 16 parole hearing at California State Prison, Solano – located in Vacaville – the Board of Parole Hearings denied 67-year-old Oreno Baddie parole for the third time, according to Lake County's Chief Deputy District Attorney Richard Hinchcliff.

On May 14, 1989, Baddie shot and killed Cesario P. Martinez in Clearlake, Hinchcliff reported.

Investigation reports by the Clearlake Police Department revealed that two days prior to the murder, Martinez obtained a stereo from Baddie that resulted in a disagreement over ownership of the stereo, and Baddie began threatening to kill Martinez, according to Hinchcliff's report.

Martinez, who was warned of the threats by an officer, did not take the threats seriously and attempted to contact Baddie to resolve the dispute and calm him down, said Hinchcliff.

When Martinez knocked on Baddie’s door to speak to him, Baddie retrieved a gun and confronted Martinez who was standing outside and was unarmed, Hinchcliff reported.

Baddie told Martinez he was under citizen’s arrest and ordered him to lie on the ground, Hinchcliff explained. When Martinez refused to lie down, Baddie shot him five times in the chest, lower back, thigh, forearm and wrist. Martinez died that day at the hospital.

According to Hinchcliff, Baddie later told investigators that he shot Martinez because he was afraid he would get away. It was reported that Baddie had been heavily using drugs and alcohol in the days preceding the shooting.

Baddie was convicted by a jury of second-degree murder and personal use of a firearm on Jan. 8, 1990, and on Oct. 26, 1990 was sentenced by Superior Court Judge John J. Golden to a term of 17 years to life.

The Jan. 16 hearing was the third for Baddie, who Hinchcliff had previously been denied parole at hearings in 2001 and 2004.

Hinchcliff has appeared before the Parole Board at all of Baddie's hearings to argue against his release.

On Jan. 16 Hinchcliff traveled to Vacaville for the hour-and-a-half-long “lifer hearing.”

He said he asked the Parole Board of Hearing commissioners to once again deny Baddie parole because he had not attended any drug and alcohol rehabilitation classes during his 17 years in prison, and still presented an unreasonable danger to the public if released on parole.

The commissioners agreed and denied Baddie parole, stating that the crime was committed for a trivial reason, was committed in a callous manner, that Baddie had not made sufficient programming efforts in prison and that he still presented a danger to the public if released at this time, said Hinchcliff.

Baddie’s next parole hearing will be in 2010, Hinchcliff said.


LAKEPORT – A pedestrian and a motorcycle rider both sustained injuries after a Friday collision on Highway 20.

Jes Shoaf, 36, of Lucerne and Grant Murray, 73, of Upper Lake were hurt in the crash, according to California Highway Patrol Officer Adam Garcia.

Garcia said that Shoaf was walking from south to north across Highway 20 at the intersection with the Nice-Lucerne Cutoff at 5:49 p.m. when he was hit by a 2002 Harley Davidson motorcycle driven by Murray, who was traveling westbound.

Murray – who was ejected from the motorcycle and sustained moderate injuries – was transported to Sutter Lakeside Hospital by Northshore Fire Protection District's Nice ambulance, Garcia reported.

Northshore Fire personnel also transported Shoaf to Sutter Lakeside, said Garcia. Shoaf sustained major injuries.

Garcia said Shoaf is believed to have been under the influence of alcohol at the time of collision.

Officer Mark Barnes is investigating the incident, Garcia reported.

E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


LAKE COUNTY – Voting by mail for California's Feb. 5 "Super Tuesday" primary election has begun.

The last day to register to vote is Tuesday, Jan. 22, 15 days before the Feb. 5 election, and the last day to request a vote by mail ballot is Jan. 29.

Voter registration forms are available at all post offices, county library branches, and other county, state and federal government offices, Department of Motor Vehicles, Social Security office, EDD and Adult Services.

Forms must be mailed right away in order to get to the County Registrar's office in time.

People may also go directly to the Registrar of Voters office on the second floor of the Lake County Courthouse and register there.

Anyone who has moved to a new physical address, changed their name or wishes to change party affiliation, must re-register.

Signing up to vote by mail is strongly encouraged, for ease and convenience.

If you are unsure of your registration status contact the Lake County Registrar of Voters Office, 255 N. Forbes St., Lakeport, CA 95453, telephone 707-263-2372.

For more information, see


Upcoming Calendar

10.03.2023 9:00 am - 2:00 pm
Board of Supervisors
10.03.2023 4:00 pm - 7:00 pm
National Night Out
10.05.2023 7:30 am - 8:30 am
Rotary Club of Middletown
Middletown Art Center
10.06.2023 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm
David Arkenstone & Friends in concert
10.07.2023 9:00 am - 11:00 am
Sponsoring Survivorship Breast Cancer Run & Walk
10.07.2023 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
Columbus Day
10.12.2023 7:30 am - 8:30 am
Rotary Club of Middletown
Middletown Art Center
10.14.2023 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Soap Box Derby

Mini Calendar



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