Saturday, 13 July 2024


LUCERNE – A homeowner and firefighters were able to stop a Wednesday afternoon fire before it did major damage to a Lucerne residence.

The fire, reported just after 2 p.m., occurred in a home on Rosemont Drive, according to Northshore Fire Battalion Chief Jamie Crabtree.

The cause, said Crabtree, appeared to be a malfunctioning water heater.

“The homeowner noticed something wrong, came out and actually got the gas turned off,” said Crabtree.

Using a garden hose, the homeowner was able to control the fire, but by then it already had gotten into the attic space. Crabtree said Northshore Fire crews got there and opened up the attic to extinguish the fire.

Eight firefighters and four engines responded, Crabtree said. It took firefighters just over an hour to get the fire out and mop up the scene.

Crabtree estimated damage at between $5,000 and $10,000.

E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Follow Lake County News on Twitter at and on Facebook at .

LAKEPORT – Detectives are investigating the shooting of a local man that occurred Monday evening in the unincorporated area of Lakeport.

Marshall Wisterman, 35, was the victim of the shooting, according to Capt. James Bauman of the Lake County Sheriff's Office.

Sheriff’s deputies responded to the shooting at the Lakeside Village Mobile Home Park in north Lakeport at around 8:30 p.m., with the Lakeport Police Department also responding to assist, according to Bauman.

Bauman said that when the first responders arrived at the scene, they found Wisterman lying in the hallway of his home with an apparent gunshot wound to his abdomen.

Wisterman was alive and as deputies secured the scene, rescue personnel from the Lakeport Fire Protection District responded in to treat his injuries and transport him to a waiting air ambulance, Bauman said.

Bauman said Wisterman ultimately was flown out of county for further treatment. Detectives with the Sheriff’s Major Crimes Unit were called out to the scene to assist with the investigation.

Preliminary information obtained at the scene revealed that an unidentified man had apparently come to Wisterman’s home and was allowed inside to talk to him, Bauman said.

The conversation between Wisterman and the visitor began to turn into an argument and when Wisterman took the man outside to get the confrontation away from his wife and children, a single gunshot was heard, according to Bauman.

Authorities believe the shooting occurred in or near one of the carports. Bauman said the suspect was gone on the deputies’ arrival and it is unclear at this point what the argument was about, or how Wisterman got back into his home after being shot.

Sheriff’s personnel processed the crime scene throughout the night and as of about 3:30 a.m. – when the scene was cleared – no suspect was in custody, Bauman said.

He said the shooting is pending further investigation and Wisterman’s condition is believed to be critical as of this release.


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Herons are expert fishers and often are seen near the water. Courtesy photo.





A very special caller has been helping us out on the farm of late. The visits are usually in the early morning hours just before dawn and again at dusk. We see him most often at the little fish pond in the front yard, standing motionless and alone. Wary and alert, he waits for prey to come within range of his long sharp beak.

Standing about 4 feet tall, long-legged with dusky light feathers floating above the thicker gray-blue feathers of his back and neck, he will begin a slow, measured gait away from the pond. Moving at a snail's pace towards the nearest gopher hole he suddenly strikes with a speed so great you can barely see his head move forward, and then he is back in position again with a vole or gopher proudly displayed in his beak. Then whoosh down the gullet it goes. Ahhh, breakfast!

Sometimes called Big Cranky, Long John, or Poor Joe, and often called the blue crane (although related, herons are in a different taxonomic family than are cranes), the great blue heron is the most common and largest of North American herons and one of the most widely distributed, breeding from southeastern Alaska to Nova Scotia and southward across the continent to Mexico and the West Indies.

Standing some 3 to 4½ feet tall and sporting a wingspan of nearly 6½ feet, great blues are a great joy to see in flight, often cruising at a speed of 20 to 30 miles an hour. As nature would never be without irony this beautiful bird, majestic in flight and displaying movements on the ground measured with the precision of a Swiss watchmaker, has a flight call that can only be described as a cranky honk, and when startled it produces a low pitched croak sounding much like grandpa waking from a deep sleep.

Great blues prefer to nest in colonies in very tall trees but will also nest by themselves in low shrubs. Typically their nests are flimsy, flat platforms of sticks about 18 inches across, but well-used older nests can be very bulky and measure 3 to 4 feet across. These older nests are generally repaired and used year after year, and may be lined with twigs, mosses, pine needles, reeds, and marsh grasses.

Generally, nesting occurs between March and May. The birds will lay three to seven eggs that are a pale blue-green to olive in color.

Both parents will take turns incubating the eggs and feeding the nestlings; when newly hatched, the nestlings are fed by the parents regurgitating food into the mouths of the chicks (usually fish) and then later onto the nest floor.

The young will start taking sustained flights around the nesting grounds 60 days after hatching and will abandon the nest between 65 and 91 days after hatching.

Great blues typically live between 10 and 21 years.




A great blue heron nabs a gopher. Photo by Rick Leche.



The great blue heron is protected by law and may not be kept in captivity without a permit. Adult great blues have few natural enemies. They are occasionally preyed upon or attacked by hawks or owls, but predation is not a limiting factor on their populations. The eggs and young can be heavily preyed upon in the nest by crows, ravens, hawks, owls, gulls and raccoons.

Historically populations of great blue herons were adversely affected by shooting and collecting of their plumage for fashion (for plumed women’s hats) and egg collecting, as well as by the extensive loss of wetland habitats in the U.S. within the last century.

Changing attitudes and the regulation of wetland losses in recent years have allowed great blue heron populations to recover and stabilize throughout much of the species’ range, though the potential for human-caused declines still exists.

As urban sprawl claims more of our beautiful landscape year after year, you can bet that wherever the interests of humans and wildlife collide the great blue heron is a good indicator of the environmental health of its region.

As one of many top-level predators, great blue herons cut a high profile within an ecosystem. These birds require wetland areas that are relatively disturbance-free for nesting, while feeding in both aquatic and terrestrial habitats throughout the year.

Environmental landscapes that support great blue herons clearly have many elements required to support a variety of other wildlife species.

Because they are waders and expert fishers the great blue heron is typically seen along coastlines, in marshes, or near the shores of ponds or streams. Their diet consists primarily of fish, but they also eat amphibians, reptiles, insects, crustaceans, and sometimes small mammals and birds.

They are often seen around rice fields, in open pastures (especially when wet), along creeks and in protected wetlands, or in my front yard eating the voles and gophers.



Debra Chase is the Executive Director of Tuleyome. She and her husband Dave reside on their farm in Colusa County. Tuleyome is a local nonprofit working to protect both our wild heritage and our agricultural heritage for future generations. Past Tuleyome Tales articles are available in the library section of their Web site, .

COLUSA COUNTY – A portion of Highway 20 was shut down on Wednesday as a bomb squad was called in to deal with what turned out to be a fake bomb.

The facsimile device was found by a Caltrans crew picking up trash along Highway 20 east of Highway 16 shortly before 10 a.m. Wednesday, according to California Highway Patrol Officer John Waggoner of the Williams CHP office.

Waggoner said the 8-inch-long object – found a short way off the roadway inside the Colusa County line – was constructed of PVC pipe, was a few inches in diameter and had caps on each end.

He said Caltrans immediately notified CHP, which in turn contacted the Butte County Sheriff's Office's explosives unit.

Waggoner said the bomb squad arrived at around 1 p.m., at which time the CHP completely closed down the highway.

He said Caltrans shut down traffic at Williams and CHP officers from the Clear Lake office diverted Highway 20 traffic onto Highway 16.

The bomb squad used a robot to help deal with the device, which they hit with a type of cannon that blew one side of it off, Waggoner said.

“They were able to see inside and saw that it was nothing,” said Waggoner, noting there were no explosives inside and no electronic device.

CHP's Ukiah Dispatch reported that the highway reopened shortly after 2 p.m.

Waggoner said such bomb scares aren't common occurrences.

“When we come across something like this we will take every precaution and make sure that it isn't an explosive device,” Waggoner 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 and on Facebook at .

LAKEPORT – On Monday a judge denied a motion to separate the trials of two men accused of a September homicide.

Judge Arthur Mann ruled that Melvin Dale Norton, 38, and Shannon Lee Edmonds, 35, will stand trial for murder together. Jury selection in their trial is set to begin Jan. 12.

The men are charged with killing 25-year-old Shelby Uehling in the early morning hours of Sept. 22.

Edmonds is charged with murder with a special allegation of using a knife, while Norton faces charges of murder with a special allegation that he used a billy club, and assault with a deadly weapon with a special allegation of causing great bodily injury, according to court documents.

Uehling, who had recently moved to Lake County from the Bozeman area of Montana, had been seeing Edmonds' girlfriend – who temporarily had separated from Edmonds – which is alleged to have sparked the fatal confrontation.

The prosecution alleges that Norton found Uehling sleeping in his car in the Clearlake neighborhood, known as “the resorts,” where Edmonds and his girlfriend lived after the couple reconciled.

Norton is then alleged to have called Edmonds before grabbing a golf club and leaving to join Edmonds in going to Uehling's car. Uehling was found lying by the side of Old Highway 53 near the car, with his throat slit.

Stephen Carter, Norton's defense attorney, filed a motion late last month to separate Norton's trial from Edmonds', as Lake County News has reported.

Prosecutor Art Grothe – who had indicated to Lake County News that he planned to oppose the motion – filed a response to Carter's separation motion, but Judge Mann said he hadn't had a chance to read it before the hearing started Monday morning.

Mann, who said he intended to read through Grothe's motion after the hearing in order to issue the ruling Monday, asked Carter for any further arguments.

Carter cited a 1967 case, People vs. Massey, which set fourth four points to look at when considering a severance motion: if an incriminating confession from one of the defendants exists, if there is a prejudicial association, would confusion result from multiple counts and conflicting defense, and would a co-defendant give exonerating testimony.

“All four of these issues are present for Mr. Norton,” said Carter.

Carter said that Edmonds made incriminating statements during a phone call from jail – which law enforcement reportedly had recorded, according to court records – in which he admitted to causing Uehling's death, which he stated was done in self defense.

That's incredibly important in the case, said Carter, which charges Norton and Edmonds in going to Uehling's parked car and getting into a fight with him.

Carter added that he wasn't saying that Norton was completely innocent of everything, although the jury may find that to be the case.

He said his client has stated that he went up to talk with Uehling about being a problem for Edmonds' girlfriend and the situation unfolded.

Convenience of trying both men at the same time isn't a good reason for the joint trial, Carter said.

“We don't mean to bash Mr. Edmonds but simply to show that these two defendants are very differently situated,” Carter said.

Edmonds' involvement in the Renato Hughes case also is expected to come up in the prosecution, and Carter was concerned about the potential for prejudicial impacts on his client's case.

Hughes and two friends had allegedly broken into Edmonds' Clearlake Park home in December of 2005; as they fled Edmonds shot two of the men in the back and Hughes was prosecuted for their deaths under the provocative act law because he was allegedly taking part in a crime that could result in a lethal response. Hughes later was acquitted of the murder charges.

Carter also referenced a later situation in which Edmonds allegedly tried to get his then-girlfriend, Lori Tyler, to commit suicide with him.

While those two issues may be admissable in Edmonds' trial, Carter said they shouldn't be allowed to be presented during Norton's.

“Mr. Norton has nothing to do with any of those things,” Carter said, and to have him tried with Edmonds “puts Mr. Norton in a very bad position.”

Carter said he expected both men would testify in their trials and would be forthcoming. “But having their cases joined has a chilling effect on my client, Mr. Norton, to testify,” he said.

One central concern was that neither Norton or Edmonds have waived time, meaning their trial proceedings need to move forward in short order. Carter said the time waiver issue didn't need to affect the requested separation.

In arguing against separating the two prosecutions, Grothe told the court, “The factual scenario here is rather important.”

He said the two defendants are friends. A conflict arose between Edmonds and Uehling over Uehling's involvement with the woman. Subsequently, Norton allegedly saw Uehling sleeping in his car at around 1 a.m. Sept. 22, which prompted him to call Edmonds.

Grothe said Edmonds armed himself with a knife and an asp – or a billy club – and Norton took with him a golf club which later was found buried in the dash of Uehling's car.

He said he wouldn't characterize the two mens' statements as “entirely forthcoming,” but they're not necessarily inconsistent and therefore, “There is not a conflicting defense between the two.”

Citing the 2007 Tafoya case which went before the California Supreme Court, Grothe said severing a joint prosecution only is appropriate if it would be so grossly unfair that it would deprive a defendant of a fair trial.

He said he was introducing information about prior cases involving Edmonds, but he didn't plan to use them in the case in chief, and anticipated the trial court would “severely manage” how and when that information is used.

Grothe argued that Norton and Edmonds “jointly planned and executed” the crime, afterwards changing out of their bloodstained clothing at Norton's place.

Attorney Doug Rhoades, representing Edmonds, joined Grothe in opposing the motion. “I am not in favor of severance at this time,” Rhoades said.

Addressing Grothe's allegations that Uehling's death was jointly planned by Edmonds and Norton, Carter said, “That's not borne out by the evidence.”

Carter said the trial's timing and judicial economy “should not carry the day” when a person is facing life in prison.

Mann asked Carter about the impact of the potential severance due to the time waiver.

Carter said he'd considered it but didn't have a definite answer. He suggested, however, that it would be appropriate for Edmonds' trial to move forward and Norton's to follow, since he had made the severance motion.

Grothe maintained that they couldn't do two separate trials in a narrow time frame. Carter suggested his client would waive time in a limited aspect if the motion were granted.

Noting that the time waiver and the possibility that Edmonds would testify in Norton's trial both weren't certain, Grothe said, “I don't like to rely on either of those maybes.” He said he planned to offer Edmonds' statement in a recorded jail phone call in the trial as an admission.

After speaking with Norton – seated beside Edmonds in the back row of the jury box – Carter said Norton would waive time until after Edmonds' trial was completed.

At the end of the hearing, which lasted around 20 minutes, Mann said he would take the matter under consideration and issue his ruling by day's end, which he did. The ruling against the motion came out before 4 p.m.

“It likely will be a big issue on appeal should Mr. Norton be convicted of anything at trial,” Carter said late Monday.

Two more hearings currently are scheduled before the trial starts next week, including a settlement conference on Wednesday and a trial assignment hearing Friday, Carter 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 and on Facebook at .

Flotilla 88 Commander Harry De Lope receives the Flotilla of the Year award from Division Commander Rich Thomas and Vice Division Commander Jill Munger. Photo courtesy of Dorothy De Lope.


LAKE COUNTY – The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, Flotilla 88 of Lake County has been honored for excellence in its efforts to serve the community.

The group recently won “Flotilla of the Year” for 2009.

At the Dec. 13 Division 08-08 meeting at the Benbow Inn in Garberville, with four flotillas represented, Lake County's Flotilla won the honor of being selected as Flotilla of the Year based on total number of volunteer hours.

Flotilla 88 Commander Harry De Lope said the flotilla received the award because its 49 members devoted a total of 4,876 hours to Coast Guard administrative and missions supports in 2009.

Those volunteer hours covered 146 safety patrols, 25 regatta patrols, 18 marine safety patrols, 164 Coast Guard support hours, 20 boaters assists and $37,000 property saved, and 180 vessel inspections, De Lope said. The group also published 35 public affairs articles.

The prestigious award will be displayed at the Lake County Courthouse in the flotilla's showcase adjacent to the elevators on the first floor, according to flotilla officials.

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WILLITS – A Willits man was arrested last Saturday for a number of charges in a domestic violence case in which he poured diesel fuel on his 27-year-old girlfriend.

Luke Wayne Jacobson, 25, was arrested for domestic violence, making terrorist threats, assault with a caustic chemical and violation of a court order, according to Lt. Ron Welch of the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office.

On Jan. 2 shortly before 3:30 p.m. Mendocino County Sheriff's deputies were dispatched to a reported domestic violence incident on East Side Road in Willits, Welch said.

Initial reports indicated the the suspect, Jacobson, had left the area in a pickup. Welch said it also was reported that Jacobson had allegedly poured diesel fuel onto the victim and she was having difficulty breathing.

The victim stated that she and Jacobson had an argument that turned physical, whereupon the victim stated said that she was hit, slapped, choked and threatened with death, Welch reported.

The fight continued outside when Jacobson pushed the victim onto the ground, restrained her and then poured diesel fuel onto the side of her neck and hair. Welch said the altercation was stopped by witnesses and Jacobson left the scene. The victim was visibly shaken, however she declined any medical attention.

While at the scene, Jacobson allegedly called the victim on her cell phone and he could be overheard by a deputy saying that he was his way back to kill her, Welch said.

Shortly thereafter he was observed driving by. Welch said the deputies had to run about 50 yards to their patrol units that were on the outside of a locked gate and lost visual contact with Jacobson.

The direction in which Jacobson drove away led them to Canyon Road where a witness told deputies that he observed a brown pickup driving at a high rate of speed towards Tomki Road, according to Welch.

The deputies alerted deputies from the Ukiah office, who intersected Jacobson on the Redwood Valley side of Tomki Road. Welch said Jacobson was arrested without incident.

Jacobson was booked into the Mendocino County Jail, with bail set at $50,000, according to jail records.

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MIDDLETOWN – A local woman had to be extricated from her vehicle following a New Year's Day crash near Middletown.

Highway 29 was closed down for a time as rescue personnel cut Middletown resident Kathleen Gregory, 51, out of her vehicle, according to a California Highway Patrol report.

The crash occurred at 5 p.m. on Highway 29 near the Dry Creek Cutoff, according to CHP Officer Steve Tanguay.

Kathleen Noble, 43, of Middletown was driving her Saturn Vue southbound on Highway 29, approaching Dry Creek Cutoff, as Gregory was heading eastbound on the cutoff in her 1989 Acura Legend, approaching the stop sign at Highway 29, Tanguay explained.

According to the collision report, Gregory did not stop at the posted stop sign and moved forward onto the highway directly in front of Noble, and Noble's Saturn hit the left side of Gregory's Acura.

Tanguay said Gregory had to be extricated from her vehicle and was flown by helicopter to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital for her injuries.

Officer Mark Barnes is investigating the collision, according to the report.

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Whether you’ve made your new year’s resolutions already or if you haven’t, I want you to think about adding one more thing to your list for the new year. I do it every year myself: Try some new foods.

You could call it your culinary “bucket list” or just a simple “There, I tried it, now leave me alone” list. Personally I try to experience as many different types of foods and flavors as I can. This is not only to be able to say that I’ve tried it but I’m looking to possibly add it to my own kitchen. After all, you are going to be eating for the rest of your life, why should you stick with the same old thing over and over again? Why not expand your culinary horizons to something that may change your way of cooking forever?

I cooked a pig’s head recently just to say I’ve done it. Unfortunately for a culinary adventurer like myself, at this point in my life there are very few things that I haven’t at least tried so things keep getting more and more exotic. This year my list of new things to try will include things like lamb’s eyeballs, canned gooseneck barnacles and Bhut Jolokia chilis.

I don’t expect everyone to be as adventurous as that. I don’t even expect my own family to try all those things (although here’s hoping they will!).

Here’s my list of things you might not have tried before but should in 2010.

Asian fish sauce

Buy a bottle, but make it a small bottle. It doesn’t spoil even at room temperature, so you will most likely own it for the rest of your life (unless you are like me and develop a taste for it and try to put it in everything).

Ignore the people who say it tastes like anchovies and armpits – although they are correct – still, ignore them and try it. It’s used as liquid salt in many Asian cuisines. It adds salt and a distinctive anchovy-like flavor to many dishes. It is the parent sauce of Worcestershire sauce.

Puy (aka green) lentils

Available at local health food stores, green lentils don’t dissolve into a paste when cooked like other lentils do. Sometimes called “caviar lentils” since they mildly resemble caviar. They take about 20 minutes to cook, and take about 10 minutes longer if you cook them in an acidic liquid. They have a firm texture and are almost impossible to overcook.

Use them as a side dish, as an addition to soups, salads, even bread. They can even be spouted. They have a fantastic unique flavor, and are high in protein.


Every time I buy sake someone asks what it tastes like and I tell them, “Wine tastes like grapes intensified a thousand times, and sake tastes like rice intensified a thousand times.” Good quality sake should be drunk cold. The practice of drinking sake warm was to hide the fact that after the war American GIs were being served cheap sake and heating it hid its bad qualities.

The thing that most people don’t know is that it is impossible to get a hangover from good quality sake. Try adding a couple of tablespoons of sake to the water in which you cook your rice.


Capers are the pickled unopened flower buds from a Mediterranean shrub. They are salty and sour, with floral overtones.

Popular in sauces like puttanesca, they add a brightness to even the heaviest sauce, especially tartar sauce. Mayonnaise, lemon juice, chopped dill pickles, and chopped capers is my favorite accompaniment for French fries.

A rarer find are caper berries, the pollinated flower “seed”; they are similar in taste but look like an olive with a stem attached and less delicate of a flavor. These are popular as a cocktail garnish. If you are really curious about them let me know – I’ve got a huge jar of them in the fridge.

Israeli couscous

Different from regular couscous in that it is larger and toasted. It is sometimes called “pearled couscous.” This is one item that my family enjoys too.

Boil in water or stock, drain, then serve with butter. You could change things up by draining the couscous and then tossing in a handful of grated cheddar while still hot and stir to combine.

If you don’t want to try Israeli couscous, orzo (in the pasta section of your grocery store) also is a great thing to play with. It’s rice-shaped pasta that's a great change from rice with dinner.

Look for Israeli couscous in the Kosher area of your grocery store. I always have this in my kitchen.

Italian-style Giardiniera

A traditional pickled Italian vegetable mix. My father-in-law used to make it at home and so my wife says the smell of Giardiniera is “the smell of summer.” It's carrots, cauliflower, celery, cucumbers, pearl onions, red bell peppers, and pepperoncini in a salty/sour brine.

Chicago has a Giardiniera sandwich spread that is nothing like the Italian-style Giardiniera (Why does Chicago have Giardiniera that isn’t Giardiniera and a pizza that isn’t a pizza, and what’s up with those hot dogs? Chicago is a culinary dichotomy).

Giardiniera is a great snack food, especially if served cold during the summer. I snack on it year-round. I always have a jar in my fridge and one or two more in my pantry.

Kava tea

Kava Kava is derived from the root of the pepper tree and contains a narcotic that is very popular with men in Micronesia where it grows. The Kava Kava drink that is popular in New Zealand tastes like muddy water and gives your mind a foggy narcotic veil for a couple minutes (I had it once while on vacation).

The Kava tea (available at many local health food and grocery stores) is much better tasting and puts a much milder narcotic veil like effect. I drink it after a stressful day just before bedtime. CAUTION: It WILL show up on a drug test, so drink it appropriately. In New Zealand, men who abuse Kava Kava develop impotence.

Palm hearts

Eaten fresh in the American South and Caribbean where they grow, Southerners call it “Cajun cabbage,” which is confusing since it is nothing like cabbage.

Commonly found in jars and cans in the canned vegetables aisle, it has a taste and texture like nothing you have ever experienced before. It looks like shiny, bulky, white sticks of chalk. I like to chop some coarsely and throw it on salads to bring to potluck dinners. It’s fun to watch the looks on people’s faces when they see them and can't quite figure out what they are.

Very mild flavored, palm hearts are a fascinating ingredient to use and even just snack on plain. My first experience with palm hearts was in the Cayman Islands and are a part of one of my greatest and fondest memories.

If you can’t see yourself eating even one of these ingredients, go ahead and make your own list. Try a new vegetable, a new fruit, a new sauce, a new deli meat, a new cheese, a new liqueur, a new flavor of ice cream, a new spice … you’re getting the idea. Just open yourself to something you have never experienced before.

I’d love to hear your comments about the new things you’ve tried and what you thought about them.

Have fun with new ingredients, and Happy New Year!

Ross A. Christensen is an award-winning gardener and gourmet cook. He is the author of "Sushi A to Z, The Ultimate Guide" and is currently working on a new book. He has been a public speaker for many years and enjoys being involved in the community. Follow him on Twitter, .

SONOMA COUNTY – On Monday a Sonoma County jury found a Windsor man guilty of five felony counts of vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated stemming from a 2007 crash that killed a family.

The guilty verdicts in the trial of 28-year-old Ryan Odell Karr “send a clear message that driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is inexcusable and predictably tragic,” said Sonoma County District Attorney Stephan Passalacqua.

On Jan. 19, 2007, Karr was driving in commute-hour traffic at about 70 miles per hour on northbound Highway 101 at the Airport Boulevard overcrossing when he rearended a vehicle being driven by Edith Medina-Carlos, 23, according to Passalacqua's office.

Medina-Carlos’ vehicle immediately caught on fire and was subsequently engulfed in flames. Also traveling in Ms. Carlos’ vehicle and killed in the fiery accident was her son, Fernando Flores-Carlos, 7, and Windsor residents Maria Lopez Camacho, 54; Almadelia Mendera-Basurto, 16; and Carmina Solorio, 23, of Mexico.

Medina-Carlos and her other son, then 4-year-old Christian Flores Camacho, were pulled from the burning vehicle. The others burned to death in the vehicle. Medina-Carlos died the following day and Christian survived with serious burns, but later lost an arm, an ear and a leg.

Karr’s blood was taken at the scene of the collision and tested. It came back positive for cocaine and marijuana, Passalacqua said. Experts opined that Karr was under the influence of marijuana at the time of the collision. The jury also found that he was speeding.

Deputy District Attorney Victoria Shanahan was the assigned prosecutor on the case. She was assisted by District Attorney Investigator Greg Phillips.

California Highway Patrol Officer Ronald Cincera was the lead investigator in this case, assisted by other California Highway Patrol officers and Windsor Fire personnel.

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CLEARLAKE OAKS – A Clearlake Oaks woman suffered major injuries last week when she was hit by a car while crossing Highway 20.

Ronda Gullickson, 49, sustained major injuries to her legs and arms Dec. 29 after being hit while walking with her dog in a marked crosswalk west of Acorn Street near the Red and White Market, according to the California Highway Patrol.

With Gullickson was 24-year-old Jonathan Miraville, who was not reported to have been injured in the crash, which occurred shortly before 5:30 p.m., according to the CHP report.

Officer Steve Tanguay said Chris Cravalho, 53, of Clearlake was driving his 1997 Chevrolet Lumina westbound on Highway 20 when he struck Gullickson.

An ambulance from Northshore Fire Protection's Clearlake Oaks station transported Gullickson to Sutter Lakeside Hospital, Tanguay said.

Gullickson's dog also was injured, and was transported home by her father, according to the CHP.

Tanguay said Officer Steve Curtis is investigating the collision.

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The historic stone wall in the foreground made for a great frame to this sunset show Miguel Lanigan took about half a mile west of Clearlake Oaks in December.


LAKE COUNTY – A good way to start the new year is with gratitude, especially for the beauty and natural wonders of Lake County.

Local readers are generous with contributions and pictures, and to start the new year off we've compiled a group of pictured submitted by readers over the past month.

Photos always are welcome; e-mail them to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with information about who took the photos, when they were taken and where.

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A hummingbird visits a feeder at the home of Clearlake Oaks resident Miguel Lanigan, who snapped the shot in December.

Frank Hodges of Lucerne sent in this colorful sunrise captured in December.

Lucerne resident Lenny Matthews captured this sunset

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