Wednesday, 24 July 2024


CLEARLAKE OAKS – Want to help make a lasting impression on Clearlake Oaks? If so, officials are inviting community members to take a hand in building the town's new Nylander Park along Highway 20.

Supervisor Denise Rushing reported that many Clearlake Oaks residents have been devoting time and energy to help county officials to design Nylander Park. Rushing said the park will be a highly visible stop for visitors to the Oaks, which she said is becoming known as the “Gateway to Clear Lake.”

Now, officials are asking for the community's help to get the park properly outfitted.

Clearlake Oaks residents Holly Harris and Chuck Lamb, who have been involved in the Nylander Park effort, are helping the county's Public Services Department solicit park accessories, equipment and donations for the park.

Harris and Lamb said donations may be made anonymously, in the donor's name or in memory of someone else.

Nylander Park eventually will have a small playground, picnic tables, barbecue grills, benches, a visitor information gazebo, restrooms, rock wall and parking, which Harris and Lamb reported will become a reality with the community's help.

To complete the park, Harris and Lamb reported that the following items are needed:

  • Acorn street lights – eight needed at $2,000 each.

  • Metal picnic tables with benches – seven needed at $2,700 each.

  • Six-foot park benches – 12 needed at $650 each.

  • Trash receptacles – six needed at $400 each.

  • Barbecue grills – seven needed at $300 each.

  • Drinking fountains – two needed at $3,000 each.

  • Bollard ground lights – eight needed at $1,000 each.

  • Oak trees – 10 feet at $180 each; 20 feet at $500 each; larger at $1,000 each.

  • Engraved 5 x 8-inch plaques are available at an additional $40.

Donations received to date include one bench, $3,500 in mature oak trees and $5,000 toward the rock wall, according to Harris and Lamb.

For those wanting to help, checks can be made out to "County of Lake" with Nylander Park in the memo line, according to Harris; be sure to specify if this is a general donation, or if you wish to purchase a specific item listed above.

Donations should be mailed to Lake County Department of Public Services, 333 Second St., Lakeport, CA 95453; Attn: Nylander Park Donation.

To see a flyer of park accessories officials plan to purchase, visit Rushing's Web site at

For more information on the park project, call Holly Harris and Chuck Lamb, 998-0135.

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


MIDDLETOWN – A solo vehicle rollover Wednesday afternoon had rescuers working to remove two trapped people from the wreckage.

The California Highway Patrol’s Incident Logs noted that the collision took place at 2:18 p.m. at Guenoc Winery on Butts Canyon Road at Oat Hill Road.

The vehicle went off the road and into a ditch, trapping two people, according to CHP.

The logs indicated that at least one of the people was lifeflighted to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital, where an officer was responding to investigate.

No further information about the collision was available Wednesday evening.


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Once recovered, the 2006 convertible was inspected by CHP and Kelseyville Fire and safety officials. Photo by Harold LaBonte.


KELSEYVILLE – A Lake County Parks and Recreation employee was startled Monday morning when two Mendocino County seniors emerged from a concrete and steel bathroom asking for help in finding their automobile.


County employee Jennifer Lyon explained that she was setting sprinklers near the Lakeside County Park baseball field around 7:15 a.m. Monday when two people approached her seeking assistance.

The pair, later identified as Russell and Sandra Troxler of Redwood Valley, had apparently spent the night in the ballfield bathroom, located several hundred yards from the park's boat ramp.


The two asked Lyon for a ride to town where they wanted to seek additional help in finding their missing vehicle, Lyon said.

Once downtown local California Highway Patrol and fire safety officials quickly determined that the two were confused and disorientated, said CHP Officer Craig Van Housen.

At about 10 a.m. authorities received a phone call from an individual launching a boat at the park, who saw a car antenna sticking up out of the water and an oxygen bottle floating in the area, according to the CHP Incident Logs. The car was found in what was estimated to be between 6 and 8 feet of water.

Emergency crews from Kelseyville Fire Department and divers from the North Shore Dive and Rescue Team advanced on the scene. It was quickly determined that the vehicle was a convertible with no apparent occupants.


Divers and fire and rescue personnel managed to remove the vehicle from the water by 11:15 a.m.


Upon closer inspection Van Housen speculated that the 2006 Sebring may have been running and the car appeared to have been in gear when it entered the water.


A number of the Troxler's personal belonging were found in the vehicle as well as a trunk full of fishing gear.


CHP Officer Adam Garcia said investigators believed the car went into the lake Sunday night or early Monday morning. Garcia said both of the Troxlers were very confused, and made statements about their car going into the “ocean.”

“We're still trying to figure it out,” Garcia said.

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Diver Stan Arrington secures recovery cables on the Troxlers' Sebring. Photo by Harold LaBonte.


World-class athletes will be competing on the water today. Photo courtesy of Rob Stimmel.

LAKEPORT BoardStock XII began preliminary challenge rounds Friday as dozens of wakeboarders, wakesurfers, BMX riders and skydivers readied themselves for two days of competition.

The first for Konocti Vista Casino but the third overall for Lake County, BoardStock has grown exponentially since Rob Stimmel began the thrilling series 11 years ago.

Gates open at 7:30 a.m. Saturday, with competition beginning at 8 a.m. Athletes from around the globe will compete for thousands of dollars in prize money.

Local and regional and national sponsors will have products on display and ready for purchasing.

Tickets to the two-day event start at $10 per day for those 7 to 12 years old and $20 for adults. Two-day passes are available for $30 per person.

The activity will be nonstop from opening bell right up through late afternoon when gates close at 5:30 p.m. Saturday.

The overall competition and finals should conclude by 3 p.m. Sunday.

For more information check the Web site,




Extreme motorcycle events also will be featured. Photo courtesy of Rob Stimmel.


LAKE COUNTY The public should be aware that they should expect delays at the intersection of Highway 29 and Live Oak Drive due to construction, according to a report issued early Wednesday morning by the California Highway Patrol.

The lights will be flashing red and all vehicles are required to stop for flashing red lights and may only proceed when it is clear.

The CHP reported that a Caltrans construction project is under way in the area.

Motorists should leave early to avoid becoming late if they plan to use this route.


LAKEPORT – Supervisor Anthony Farrington is recuperating following a Sunday collision that has left him with broken bones and other injuries.

As Lake County News first reported Monday, Farrington, 37, was injured in the collision in the Cow Mountain off-highway recreation area.

California Highway Patrol Officer Adam Garcia reported Monday that the collision occurred at about 5 p.m. when Farrington, riding a 2006 Yamaha YZ450 dirt bike, collided with a four-wheel-drive Ford pickup on a blind curve. Information on the pickup's driver was not available.

Garcia explained that Farrington tried to avoid the accident but slid into the front left of the pickup.

On Monday Farrington told Lake County News that he and his uncle decided to take their dirt bikes out for a few hours Sunday.

They decided to head home, with Farrington leading the way down the hill; he estimated he was traveling between 25 and 30 miles per hour. The ground, he said, was still wet following recent rains.

As they made their way around a blind curve, Farrington said he saw the Ford F-150 pickup – going between 10 and 15 miles per hour – coming around the corner in the middle of the road.

Farrington said he hit the brakes, which locked up on the wet ground and caused the bike to accelerate into the oncoming truck.

“I hit them head on,” said Farrington.

His body hit the truck's left front fender and, along with his bike, was thrown into the dirt embankment.

The pickup driver took Farrington down the hill, which he estimated took a half hour, as his uncle followed in another vehicle. From there, Farrington – nearly in shock – was driven to Sutter Lakeside's emergency room, arriving at about 5:30 p.m.

Farrington said he spent about five hours at the hospital, undergoing x-rays and examinations. He suffered a fractured and dislocated right shoulder, and also suffered injuries to his left wrist, left hip, pelvis, right femur and right hand.

X-rays showed that his hip and pelvis aren't broken but Farrington said he can barely walk and is in a lot of pain.

Fortunately, Farrington said he was wearing full riding gear, including a full face helmet and body protection. Without the helmet, Farrington said he's sure he would have died, as there was a large chunk taken out of the back of the helmet.

“The doctor and CHP officer said I was really lucky,” he said.

Farrington added that he feels he was blessed because he was not more critically hurt in the accident, which he said was the “wrong place, wrong time for both of us.”

Still in a lot of pain and bedridden, Farrington said he isn't going to be moving around much for a little while.

“I'm obviously not going to be at the board meeting,” he added, which is scheduled for today.

Farrington said he'll be seeing an orthopedic surgeon soon to get a sense of the extent of his other injuries.

Garcia reported that the investigation is still in progress, led by CHP Officer Dallas Richey.

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LAKEPORT – Authorities have identified the man found dead in his car at a Lakeport shopping center Tuesday.

Chief Deputy Russ Perdock of the Lake County Coroner's Office said Thursday that the man was Frank Krush, 70, of Upper Lake.

As Lake County News previously reported, Lakeport Police responded Tuesday evening to a report of a; man down at the Mendo-Lake Credit Union, located in the Willow Tree Shopping Center on 11th Street.

Lt. Brad Rasmussen of Lakeport Police said police found Krush's body in his passenger vehicle.

Lakeport Police conducted an investigation but found nothing suspicious, Rasmussen said.

Perdock confirmed that there was nothing suspicious about Krush's death, which they believe resulted from natural causes.

Krush has no next of kin locally, said Perdock, so finding family to notify has been a challenge for the Coroner's Office.

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A Cal Fire helicopter makes a water run while fighting a small fire along High Valley Road. Photo by Lenny Matthews.


HIGH VALLEY – A small fire along High Valley Road near Clearlake Oaks has been contained.

Cal Fire reported that the quarter-acre fire began in a slash pile on US Forest Service property around 6:15 p.m.

No specific time of containment was given, but containment had been reached by the time Lake County News contacted Cal Fire just after 7:30 p.m.

The Forest Service has subsequently taken over command of the site, Cal Fire's Incident Command Center reported.

Cal Fire sent sent two engines, a dozer and a battalion chief, along with a helicopter to drop water on the fire and an air attack. The helicopter picked up water along the Lucerne shoreline.

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LAKEPORT – The man convicted of murdering a 26-year-old single mother in her apartment more than five years ago will spend the rest of his life in prison.

Judge Arthur Mann sentenced Edward James Munoz, 27, to life without the possibility of parole on Monday afternoon, according to Chief Deputy District Attorney Richard Hinchcliff.

On June 27 a jury convicted Munoz of the brutal murder of Leah Leister in March 2002.

Munoz also was convicted of a special gang enhancement, said Hinchcliff. As Lake County News previously reported, Munoz originally told investigators he carried out Leister's murder on the orders of Norteno gang leaders in Pelican Bay State Prison, although he later changed his story.

Because of that gang enhancement, the mandatory sentence was elevated from 25 years to life to life without the possibility of parole, Hinchcliff said.

“Special circumstances make it a capital crime, which can either be the death penalty or life without parole, and we didn't seek the death penalty,” Hinchcliff explained.

In a previous interview, Hinchcliff said that the District Attorney's Office didn't believe the case would meet the necessary statutory guidelines for a death penalty case, which usually requires multiple homicides, the murder of a peace officer or an extensive previous criminal record.

Hinchcliff said George Boisseau, the Santa Rosa attorney defending Munoz, has filed a notice that he is planning to appeal the conviction. That's typical in every homicide case, said Hinchcliff.

Munoz – who has been housed in the Lake County Jail for nearly five and a half years, a stay which Hinchcliff estimated is the longest in the jail's history – will next be transported to San Quentin State Prison. There, Hinchcliff said prison officials will evaluate Munoz and decide where in the prison system to permanently house him.

Hinchcliff, who has worked on the case since its beginnings in 2002, said he's relieved that's it's finally over.

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A helicopter can be seen surveying the site over a fire near Lakeport Thursday.


LAKEPORT – Firefighters quickly contained a small wildland fire along Highway 29 Thursday afternoon.

The fire was reported at about 2:30 p.m. less than a mile north of Juvenile Hall on the west side of Highway 29 near the Nice-Lucerne Cutoff.

A firefighter reported finding a red gas can in the burned area.

Agencies responding included Lakeport Fire Protection District and Cal Fire.

One helicopter, one fixed-wing aircraft and one dozer were among the equipment sent to the fire, although the fire was controlled so quickly the helicopter did not conduct a fire drop.

The fire was under control by 3:15 p.m. About three and a half acres were burned.

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





LUCERNE – A boil water order issued to Lucerne water users Friday has been lifted.

California Water Service Co. employees delivered notices to town residents Tuesday afternoon explaining that water quality test results have confirmed that boiling water is no longer necessary before drinking or cooking.

The boil water notice, Cal Water reported, had been necessary due to increased turbidity, which the company had attributed to recent rains.

The current water treatment plant in Lucerne couldn't adequately treat the water, according to Cal Water, which led to the water not meeting quality standards.

The company said it has plans to construct a new plant, with completion expected in 2008. “We do not expect similar issues to arise once the new treatment plant is on-line,” the Monday notice states.

Cal Water's latest notice apologizes to customers for the inconvenience associated with the boil water notice. “Customer health and safety is our highest priority and we will continue to work diligently to provide water that meets or surpasses state and federal water quality standards.”

Water users who have questions are urged to call Cal Water's Local District Manager Gay Guidotti, 274-6624, or the California Department of Public Health, 576-2145.

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A seaplane leaves Lakeport after the Splash-In. Photo by Harold LaBonte.



LAKEPORT The highly anticipated Western States Seaplane Festival came to a close Sunday as the last of the very popular sea and floatplanes released themselves from the bounds of gravity for one last pass by Library Park.


This was one of many planes that lit up Lake County this weekend. Photo by Harold LaBonte.


The two-and-a-half day festival began with the arrival of more than two dozen aircraft on Friday,with many of them ramping out and parking at the ball park adjacent to Natural High School in downtown Lakeport.

By mid-day Saturday several more planes had arrived with dozens of land-based aircraft touching down at Lampson Field.

Downtown Lakeport, from Library Park on up through the high school grounds, was covered with classic automobiles, remote-controlled racers and a street full of visiting vendors displaying and selling shirts, skirts and artistically crafted gourds.


Also on display were three helicopters. A REACH Bell model 407, a CHP AS-350-B3 and the much larger U.S. Coast Guard HH-65 Dolphin Rescue helicopter.

Saturdays change of weather did not prevent the US Coast Guard copter and crew from demonstrating a sea rescue.

The Coast Guard demonstrates a rescue. Photo by Harold LaBonte.

Festival organizer Damon Trimble complimented the large group of owners and pilots, and was appreciative of their willingness to bring the entire event much closer to the public.

The public enjoyed the opportunity as well, with attendance estimates well above 2,000 for the main events held Saturday, according to festival officials.

Weather conditions prevented two of the Splash-In’s much-anticipated aircraft from participating on Saturday. The Coast Guard's C-130 and a Grumman Albatross were unable to join the celebration of flight.

Sunday’s weather gave photographers and pilots a background that few could resist. Many of the smaller aircraft’s pilots provided those on the ground with several opportunities for that last great shot.


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




A few were treated to view the scene from the pilot

Upcoming Calendar

07.24.2024 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
ReCoverCA Homebuyer Assistance Workshop
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
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08.06.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
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08.10.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
08.13.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
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08.17.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
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Farmers' Market at Library Park
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Farmers' Market at the Mercantile

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