Thursday, 18 April 2024

News

LAKEPORT – Sheriff's officials are continuing to search for clues to the whereabouts of a Lakeport man who went missing earlier this month shortly before he was due to turn himself in to serve a jail sentence.


William Michael Farrell, 49, was reportedly last seen leaving Konocti Vista Casino Resort Marina in an older wooden boat on March 7, as Lake County News has reported.


On Wednesday Sgt. Dennis Ostini on the Lake County Sheriff's Marine Patrol said there still was no sign of Farrell.


“I'm checking daily some of the places where I can only guess he may surface,” Ostini said.


On March 10, the Sheriff’s Marine Patrol found Farrell's boat capsized and submerged about 400 feet off of Buckingham Peninsula.


Investigators found no obvious signs of a collision or other damage to the boat, which was reportedly more than 50 years old and is believed to have had a leak. Farrell's girlfriend also told investigators that the boat's outboard motor had a history of mechanical problems.


In examining the boat, Marine Patrol concluded it could easily have been swamped by the lake's windy conditions on March 7, officials reported.


Farrell had been scheduled to turn himself in at the Lake County Jail on Wednesday, according to attorney Stephen Carter, who represented Farrell in a welfare fraud case, for which he was sentenced Feb. 8.


Carter said he was able to get Farrell felony probation rather than prison, and his sentence included 200 days of jail time, with 37 days of credit served, and Farrell only required to serve half time, or about 80 days in all.


In addition, Farrell was required to repay $3,174 in restitution. Carter said he already had made some payments.


Sheriff's Capt. Rob Howe said they were aware of Farrell's court case.


He said the sheriff's office assigned a detective to follow up on Farrell's disappearance and continue to investigate it as a missing person's case.


Farrell is described as a white male adult, 5 feet 8 inches tall, 185 pounds, with brown hair, blue eyes, a goatee-style beard, tattoos on both forearms, and a significant surgical scar at the center of his chest and abdomen.


Officials didn't have information on what he was wearing when he left the casino March 7.


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 .

LAKEPORT – If you've been noticing a lot of rocks coming off a stretch of Highway 29 north of Lakeport, you're not alone.


For more than a month local residents have been reporting rocks flying off of Highway 29 – from about the Highway 175 turnoff to the Hopland Grade and as far north as Hill Road – which has resulted in damaged windshields and dents on vehicles.


As a result Caltrans is reporting that it's planning a repaving project to fix the damaged roadway.


Agency spokesman Phil Frisbie said they've received calls from the public about the roadway's condition.


Frisbie said the cooler weather caused the top layer of asphalt to deteriorate, resulting in the flying rocks.


Last week Caltrans secured funding for an emergency paving project, Frisbie said.


They've been allocated about $4 million from a special fund that's used each year to address unforeseen problems with roads, he explained.


“We're planning on repaving approximately eight miles of the highway near Lakeport,” he said. “That should be happening this spring or summer.”


They're moving forward with preparing the project's specifications, which Frisbie said will allow them to put the project out to bid.


The funds are allowing Caltrans to move forward quickly on the project, which Frisbie said normally would take several years to complete.


In the mean time, they've stepped up their highway sweeping schedule, with maintenance crews trying to sweep the highways about twice a week, Frisbie said.


Crews were in evidence along that stretch of highway last week.


“Our phone calls have been decreasing since our maintenance people have been out there,” 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 .

SACRAMENTO – In making his appointments this week, Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez put two North Coast legislators in important leadership positions.


Assemblymember Noreen Evans (D-Santa Rosa) was appointed as the State Assembly’s Majority Whip and Assemblyman Wes Chesbro (D-Arcata) will chair the Assembly Natural Resources Committee and the Joint Committee on Fisheries and Aquaculture.


Evans previously served as chair of the Assembly Budget Committee. The new appointment went into effect Thursday.


“I am extremely honored that the speaker has entrusted me with this important position,” she said in a written statement. “I look forward to helping to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the State Assembly and to make our state more responsive to the needs of all Californians.”


Evans, who is currently in her third and last term in the Assembly, is running for the District 2 state Senate seat currently held by Patricia Wiggins, who is retiring at year's end. Also in that race are Lawrence Wiesner, David Rosas, Tom Lynch and Joanne Sanders.


In appointing Chesbro to the chairmanship of the Assembly Natural Resources Committee and the Joint Committee on Fisheries and Aquaculture, Pérez said Chesbro “has a deep knowledge of the issues, a background in recycling that includes years of service on the Integrated Waste Management Board and strong, positive relationships with environmentalists and the natural resources industries.”


Chesbro thanked Pérez “for entrusting me with the stewardship of these vital committees.”


“My focus in the Assembly since the day I took office has been to put the First District first,” Chesbro said in a press statement. “All the issues these two committees have jurisdiction over directly impact the First District, including California’s Environmental Quality Act, forestry practices, land conservation, coastal protection, oil spills, solid waste and recycling, renewable energy, air quality and climate change.”


Pérez also appointed Chesbro to serve on the Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials, Governmental Organization, Higher Education and Budget committees, including the Budget subcommittees on Health and Human Services and Education Finance.


He also will remain chair of the Assembly Select Committee on Disabilities.


Chesbro is seeking reelection this year. He will face Green Party candidate William P. Meyers and Republican Karen Brooks in the June 8 primary.


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 .

UKIAH – Two young Ukiah men were arrested Wednesday after they allegedly took part in stabbing two other Ukiah residents during a fight.


Ryan Raya, 21, and Gabriel Hernandez, 19, were arrested for assault with a deadly weapon, attempted robbery and participating in a criminal street gang, according to a report from Capt. Kurt Smallcomb of the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office.


Mendocino County Sheriff's deputies, with the assistance of Ukiah Police officers, were dispatched to the 2100 block of South State Street in Ukiah at 9 p.m. Tuesday regarding a multiple stabbing incident, Smallcomb said.


Deputies arrived on scene along with medical personnel to learn that the first victim, a 23-year-old identified as “Alejandro,” had received a stab wound to his lower abdomen, while 19-year-old “Armando” was stabbed in the legs, according to the report.


Smallcomb said officers learned that the two victims had been outside an apartment in the 175 block of Laws Avenue when they were confronted by the listed suspects.


The suspects advised the two victims they were “Norteno” – referring to themselves as gang members – and demanded money from the victims. The suspects then attacked and stabbed the two victims before fleeing. The victims advised they did not release any money to the suspects.


Alejandro was transported to the hospital and treated for injuries that were not life threatening. Smallcomb said Armando received medical treatment at the scene.


Deputies continued their investigation into identifying the suspects and were able to obtain possible names of the suspects. Smallcomb said they eventually identified Raya and Hernandez as the main suspects responsible for the victims injuries. Both are known gang members.


On Wednesday at 1 a.m. Deputies Massey, Mcbride and Donald Scott proceeded to the suspects residences where they were contacted and subsequently arrested without incident, Smallcomb said.


The two suspects were arrested and booked, with bail for each set at $125,000.


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

COBB – A Kelseyville man was arrested Monday after he allegedly attempted fled from the scene of a vehicle collision.


John Allen Kniss, 32, was arrested on felony charges of hit and run causing injury, driving under the influence causing bodily injury and misdemeanor resisting arrest following the crash, which occurred at approximately 7:19 p.m. Monday, according to California Highway Patrol Officer Steve Tanguay.


Tanguay said Kniss was driving a 1991 Chevrolet Camaro northbound on Ranch Road, north of Highway 175 to Cobb as Heath Vijsma, 39, of Cobb was driving southbound on Highway 175 in a 1993 Ford Mustang. Another Cobb resident, 59-year-old Lynette Sandoval, in the front right passenger’s seat of the Ford Mustang.


Kniss allegedly allowed the Camaro to veer to the left and the front of the Camaro struck the front of the Mustang head-on, Tanguay said. The force of the impact inflicted injuries to passenger Sandoval.


Kniss then allegedly fled the scene in the Camaro and attempted to hide the vehicle at another location. Tanguay said the CHP located Kniss a short time later and he began to resist arrest.


Kniss was arrested and booked into the Lake County Jail, with his bail set at $10,000. He remained in jail on Tuesday, according to jail records.


CHP Officers Kevin Domby and Efrain Cortez are investigating the crash.


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

MENDOCINO NATIONAL FOREST – Snow pack measurements taken at Anthony Peak on the Mendocino National Forest at the end of February show that precipitation this winter is slightly above average.


The average snowpack measured at the end of the month was 70.4 inches, with water content measuring 25.7 inches, forest officials reported on Thursday.


Those measurements are 113 percent of average snow pack and 105 percent of average water content, according to the report.


The historic average for this time of year is 61.8 inches of snow pack and 24.7 inches of water content.


“We started this season with a bang at 121 percent of average for water content, but are approaching average this month,” said Forest Hydrologist Robin Mowery. “There are still several decent storms predicted this season and the hope is that snow pack will be at least average this year, if not better.”


For reference, 1991 was the record low with 4.1 inches of snow pack. The record high was in 1969 with 148.8 inches of snow pack.


Mendocino National Forest employees Jordan Saylor and Kevin Case took the recent snow measurements.


Snowpack and water content monitoring is an important tool in determining the coming year’s water supply. The data is used by hydrologists, hydroelectric power companies, the recreation industry and other organizations.


More than 50 agencies and utilities, in coordination with the California Department of Water Resources, visit hundreds of snow measurement courses in California’s mountains as part of the Cooperative Snow Surveys Program. For more information on California snow surveys, please visit http://cdec.water.ca.gov/snow .


Originally established in 1944, the Anthony Peak snow course provides data for precipitation draining into the Grindstone watershed into Stony Creek and the Black Butte Reservoir, ending in the Sacramento River.


Runoff from the Mendocino National Forest is critical in providing surface water and ground water for the surrounding communities.


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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The weigh-in site is ready for action this week at Library Park in Lakeport, Calif., where the Bassmaster Elite Series Golden State Shootout will take place from Thursday, March 18, to Sunday, March 21, 2010. Photo by Tera DeVroede.




 

LAKEPORT – Competitors are set to launch Thursday in the Bassmaster Elite Series Golden State Shootout.


Pro anglers will be blasting off at 7 a.m. from Library Park in Lakeport.


Anglers and pros alike were invited to compete in the five-day event.


There have been noticeably more fishermen out on the water, which is because March 15, 16 and 17 were practice days.


Tournament waters – considered all waters open to public fishing in Clear Lake and all rivers, creeks and canals connecting to Clear Lake – have been off-limits to pros from Feb. 15 through this past Sunday.


All contestants had a briefing along with registration on Wednesday at Robinson Rancheria.


They are to report to Library Park between Third and Fifth streets Thursday to launch their boats. Contestants will go out in flights. Flights and check-in times will be staggered to give each contestant equal fishing time.


The launch site is also the weigh-in site, so participants must be back by 3:30 p.m. for weigh-ins for the three days of the tournament. Each day the fish limit is five and they may not be smaller than 12 inches.


On Saturday, the top 50 pros and top 50 participating marshals will be announced and pros that placed 13th through 50th will receive their awards.


The top 12 pros will be known by Sunday; that will be the final day of the competition. The awards presentation will be held at the weigh-in site.


For more information, visit www.lakeportchamber.com . For general information about Bassmasters fishing tournaments and Bassmasters Magazine, visit www.bassmasters.com and www.ToyotaFishing.com .


E-mail Tera deVroede 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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The Dingwall family, from left, Shirley, Sgt. Tommy Dingwall, his father Tom Dingwall and grandfather Tom Dingwall. Photo by Ron Quick.
 

 




LAKEPORT – The February packing party brought a great surprise for Operation Tango Mike volunteers.


Sgt. Courtney T. (Tommy) Dingwall and his wife Brenda arrived for a surprise visit to share their thanks for local support during the Marine’s deployment. They were accompanied by the sergeant’s grandparents and father, and Brenda’s parents.


Volunteers were delighted with the visit and were happy to see the young man home and safe. Sgt. Dingwall shared some stories from his deployment, answered many questions and sincerely thanked everyone for the care packages and support he had received.


Sgt. and Mrs. Dingwall then stuck around to lend a hand packing care packages for other deployed troops.


This month, volunteers will be preparing Easter care packages for our troops. The packing party will take place at 6 p.m. Thursday, March 18, at Umpqua Bank, 805 11th St., Lakeport. Rumor has it that we may have another visitor!


The March packing party is significant as it will mark seven years ago that I first sent a care package to a soldier in Afghanistan. I began doing so with friends when a couple of our co-workers were deployed.


Our co-workers returned home, but the need for troop support still existed. I continued sending care packages and began enlisting the help of others. Since then, the effort has grown to what has become known as Operation Tango Mike (Operation Thanks Much).


Lake County’s generosity and caring spirit has ensured that troops receive monthly care packages, even in difficult economic times. Somehow, the community always comes through and there are enough supplies, volunteers to lovingly pack them and funds to ship them.


There are similar troop support efforts around the country. However, many groups pack only quarterly or specifically during the holidays. Operation Tango Mike has grown and endured and care packages are sent every month. In fact, once a name is placed on the recipient list, that individual receives a monthly care package throughout his/her deployment. Troops can count on Operation Tango Mike’s support.

 

 

 

 

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Ginny Craven, founder of Operation Tango Mike, and Sgt. Tommy Dingwall. Photo by Ron Quick.
 

 

 

 


Lake County is filled with giving and caring people who share of themselves in so many ways. This effort is one of the manifestations of that goodness and all that makes Lake County a wonderful place to live.


On Sunday, March 21, Operation Tango Mike volunteers, members of the Military Funeral Honors Team of Lake County and the Kelseyville Lions Club will co-sponsor a community event.


A pancake breakfast will be held from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Kelseyville Lions Club, 4335 Sylar Lane, with proceeds benefiting the family of Sergeant First Class David Hartman.


SFC Hartman was killed in Pakistan on Feb. 3, leaving behind his pregnant wife Cherise and toddler son Mikey.


Many of the soldier’s family members reside in Kelseyville and have expressed their gratitude for the community’s support.


For further information regarding Operation Tango Mike, please call 349-2838 or e-mail 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 .

SUSANVILLE – A man convicted of a 1989 murder has been denied parole for the fourth time.


The Board of Parole Hearings denied parole to Oreno Baddie, 69, on March 9.


Baddie previously had parole hearings in in 2001, 2004 and 2008, according to Chief Deputy District Attorney Richard Hinchcliff, who has appeared at all previous hearings to oppose parole for Baddie.


On May 14, 1989, Baddie shot and killed Cesario P. Martinez in the city of Clearlake.


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.


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.


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. Baddie told Martinez he was under citizen’s arrest and ordered him to lie on the ground.


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.


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.


Hinchcliff attended the two-hour Lifer Hearing at the High Desert State Prison, located in Susanville, and asked the Board of Parole Hearings commissioners to deny parole for the reasons that Baddie had not attended any drug and alcohol rehabilitation classes during his 20 years in prison, and still presented an unreasonable danger to the public if released on parole.


The commissioners agreed and denied 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.


In addition, Baddie had consistently disregarded parole commissioners previous recommendations that he participate in drug and alcohol treatment.


Baddie’s next parole hearing will be in 2013.


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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