Thursday, 25 July 2024


LAKEPORT – A barbecue cook-off, musical entertainment by the LC Diamonds, children’s activities, a car show, food and wine tasting will highlight the inaugural “Grillin’ on the Green” fundraiser scheduled for Saturday, August 7, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., at Westside Community Park, 1401 Westside Park Road.

The public is invited to attend and participate in the festivities, including the barbecue competition, the Westside Community Park fundraising committee has announced.

All proceeds from the event will benefit the next phase of development of Westside Community Park, which will include soccer fields, a regulation baseball field, and a combination Little League baseball/softball field. The Park Committee recently received a $200,000 grant from the Stewardship Council for the Phase II development.

Estimated cost of the project is $335,000.

Westside Community Park is a City of Lakeport recreational facility that was established 12 years ago.

The nonprofit park committee is developing the park in conjunction with the city of Lakeport, volunteers, and numerous contributions by individuals and businesses dedicated to constructing a recreational facility for the youth and adults of Lake County.

The park currently is four acres consisting of two soccer fields, a parking lot, a picnic area overlooking the soccer fields, and an ADA compliant walking path.

Future plans for development of the park’s full 60 acres include baseball/softball fields, a BMX track, a skateboard facility, football fields, a children’s play structure, a dog park, walking paths, and a horse arena.

“It will truly be a beautiful addition to Lake County and a much-needed recreational facility for families, groups, and leagues,” says Rollins, chair of the Westside Community Park Committee.

Individuals and groups, from backyard barbecuers to professional grillers, have an opportunity to compete in the cook-off. There is no entry fee. Each contestant is required to provide his/her own setup and samples of the chef’s “grillin’” specialty for 200 people.

The competition will culminate in a presentation of the People’s Choice Awards. For entry forms or additional information about the event and the barbecue competition, contact Ustrud or Rollins, 707-263-7091.

The park committee is seeking sponsorships for the event, says Ustrud, a member of the Park’s fundraising committee. The Priest Family Trust and the Keeling-Barnes Family Foundation, as major sponsors of the event, are each offering a $5,000 matching challenge to the community.

Levels of sponsor recognition are $100, $300, $500, $1,000, $3,000 and $5,000. Sponsors will be recognized at the Grillin’ on the Green event.

Ticket prices are $25 per adult and $10 per child 12 years old or younger.

Tickets may be purchased in advance at the Lake County Chamber of Commerce, the Kitchen Gallery, and Lake Event Design, all in Lakeport, and at the Clear Lake Chamber of Commerce in the City of Clearlake.

Tickets are also available from members of the fundraising committee. They are Dennis Rollins, Cindy Ustrud, Alice Holmes, Wilda Shock, and Beth and Jeff Havrilla.

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LAKEPORT – Native children from around Lake County are invited to take part in an athletic event Aug. 4.

The ninth annual Lake County Tribal Health Youth Olympics will be held that day from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Lake County Fairgrounds, 401 Martin St. in Lakeport.

Registration starts at 9 a.m., said Misty Poloni of Lake County Tribal Health.

Poloni said children ages 4 to 18 are invited to participate. Lunch will be served from noon to 1 p.m.

The event is meant to raise awareness of diabetes and youth physical fitness, Poloni said.

Events include t-ball, balloon toss, sack race, 25 yard run, basketball, softball throw and the day's final event, the tug-of-war, she said.

Trophies will be offered for winners, with medals given for the rest of the top three finishers, Poloni said.

The roster of events follows.

Ages 4-6

10 a.m. – T-ball

11 a.m. – Coed water balloon toss

11:30 a.m. – 25 yard run

1 p.m. – Coed sack race

2 p.m. – Tug-of-war

Ages 7-9

10:30 a.m. – T-ball

11 a.m. – 25 yard run

11:30 a.m. – Softball thrown

1:15 p.m. – Coed sack race

2 p.m. – Tug-of-war

Ages 10-12

10 a.m. – 25 yard run

10 a.m. – Basketball tournament trophy game

11 a.m. – Softball thrown

1:30 p.m. – Coed sack race

2 p.m. – Tug-of-war

Ages 13-15

10 a.m. – Basketball tournament trophy game

10:30 a.m. – 25 yard run

12 p.m. – Softball throw

2 p.m. – Tug-of-war

Ages 16-17

10 a.m. – Basketball tournament trophy game

12 p.m. – 25 yard run

1 p.m. – Softball throw

2 p.m. – Tug-of-war

For more information, call Lake County Tribal Health's administration at 707-263-8382, Extension 101.

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 .

LAKE COUNTY – The California Highway Patrol will conduct a sobriety checkpoint this Saturday, July 17.

“The desired result is to save lives and make everyone’s family summer excursion, for both our community residents and those visiting our beautiful county, a safe and pleasurable memory,” Lt. Mark Loveless, CHP area commander.

The sobriety checkpoint will be staffed by officers who are trained in the detection of alcohol and/or drug impaired drivers.

Drug recognition experts, certified by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, will be on site to provide on the spot assessments of drivers suspected of drug use.

The officers will also be equipped with state of the art hand-held breath devices which provide an accurate measure of blood alcohol concentrations of suspected drunk drivers.

Caltrans employees will be on site providing traffic control in order to ensure the safety of officers and motorists alike.

“Traffic volume permitting, all vehicles will be checked and drivers who are under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, or unlicensed, can expect to be arrested,” Loveless said.

“Our goal is to ensure the safe passage of each and every motorist by targeting roads where there is a high frequency of drunk driving,” he said. “DUI enforcement patrols, as well as sobriety checkpoints, are effective tools for achieving this goal and are designed to augment existing patrol operations. By publicizing our efforts, we believe that we can deter motorists from drinking and driving.”

Funding for this program was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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NICE – Authorities are investigating break-ins that occurred last month in businesses along the Highway 20 corridor in Nice.

The main break-ins occurred late June 18 or early June 19, and impacted the Mystic Barrel gift store and Nice Pet Care next door in the 3700 block of Highway 20, according to Capt. James Bauman of the Lake County Sheriff's Office.

The Nice Pet Care break-in was discovered at about 5:30 a.m. June 19, Bauman said. The store owner had seen the store intact at 10 p.m. the night before.

A deputy responded and found a window next to Nice Pet Care's entrance door shattered, and while she was looking over the scene she noticed that a similar break-in had occurred at Mystic Barrel, Bauman said.

Bauman said the deputy called Tina Dawn-Rubin, Mystic Barrel's owner, who met with the deputy to look the place over.

Dawn-Rubin said the large windows on both her shop and Nice Pet Care were shattered, and the male suspect came in under a foot-high shelf in her store.

“He could not get our cash register open, so he just took the whole register and product,” she told Lake County News.

A survey of the shop after the burglary revealed a knife display in disarray with knives stolen, and pieces of the cash register were found later that morning by Dawn-Rubin near the lake, according to the sheriff's report.

Bauman said investigators believe the same suspect is responsible for the break-ins.

Dawn-Rubin said the losses through the theft of the cash register and the merchandise – including knives and BB guns – were significant, totaling more than $600.

She said her store was the victim of a minor break-in previously that involved young people who bailed out a back window before doing much damage.

Nice Pet Care reported grooming clippers, a dog pen, clipper attachments, petty cash and 10 sets of dog clothing stolen, Bauman said.

Anita Smith, Nice Pet Care's owner, said the suspect “just tore up the place, took half my equipment – down to my towels.”

In addition to the clipper blades, dog clothing and towels, Smith said dryers were stolen and the store was ransacked.

Smith said that in the six years she's worked at the shop – which she's owned the last three years – she's never had a break-in.

“This would have been the last place that I would have thought anyone would break into,” she said.

Smith said she's using the equipment she has left and she's keeping open because she has to keep paying her bills, but she's having issues with her insurance and her landlord is wanting her to pay for a new window to replace the one broken in the burglary.

She said she's having to put the store back together but hasn't been able to replace her equipment.

Smith said the equipment would only be useful to a person who does the kind of work she does or knows someone who does. “These people must have been really hard up.”

“There's just been a rash of burglaries,” Dawn-Rubin said, reporting that a week after her break-in a home behind the post office was hit, and two cars were stolen off of Plumas.

Dawn-Rubin reported that a break-in attempt was made on the Nice Market the same morning as the burglary of her business. The Nice Market confirmed that several weeks ago a break-in attempt was made on that business but the alarm went off and no entry was made.

The Nice Frostie was burglarized the night of May 22, Bauman said. Lake County News was unable to confirm reported break-ins to other businesses before press time.

Bauman said anyone with information on the break-ins is encouraged to call the sheriff's Major Crimes Unit at 707-262-4200.

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 .

KELSEYVILLE – Sheriff's deputies arrested a Kelseyville man Saturday afternoon he allegedly confronted and shot a trespasser who later couldn't be located.

Nickolas Leone, 47, was arrested on a felony charge of discharging a firearm in a negligent manner, according to Capt. James Bauman of the Lake County Sheriff's Office.

On Saturday shortly before 1 p.m. deputies responded to a residence on Highway 175 in Kelseyville to investigate a reported shooting. Bauman said a neighboring property owner called 911 and reported that Leone had shot an alleged trespasser.

When deputies arrived at the scene, Leone told them that 32-year-old John Allen Kniss, also of Kelseyville, had been harassing and threatening him over a woman Kniss had reportedly dated for several years, Bauman said. Kniss apparently believed Leone was now having a relationship with the woman.

Leone told deputies that at about noon on Saturday Kniss came driving up his driveway at a high rate of speed and after stopping just short of the gate to Leone’s property, began trying to force his way through the gate, according to Bauman's reported.

Leone retrieved a shotgun and exited his home, telling Kniss to leave. Bauman said Kniss reportedly ignored Leone’s demands and Leone allegedly fired a warning shot in the air.

Kniss continued to force his way through the gate and when he stepped onto the property, Leone shot him in the arm and shoulder from a distance of about 80 to 100 feet. Bauman said Kniss was apparently able to return to his pickup truck and leave.

Deputies were able to locate some blood and other evidence of the shooting at the scene, but after a search for Kniss, including checks with both area hospitals, deputies couldn't find him, Bauman said.

Bauman said Kniss had reportedly told other witnesses to the incident not to call the police before leaving the scene. Kniss was reportedly driving an older blue pickup truck and his condition is unknown.

Without any clear evidence at the scene that Leone’s actions were justifiable, he was arrested, Bauman said.

Bauman said Leone was booked at the Lake County Jail and posted a $10,000 bail later that same evening.

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THE GEYSERS – A 4.0-magnitude earthquake was reported near The Geysers Thursday morning.

The temblor occurred at 8:31 a.m., according to the US Geological Survey.

The epicenter was located one mile north of The Geysers geothermal steamfield, five miles west southwest of Cobb and seven miles west northwest of Anderson Springs, at a depth of 1.7 miles, the survey reported.

Several smaller quakes followed that were centered one to two miles north of The Geysers – the largest a 2.0, according to US Geological Survey records.

By noon the survey received 15 shake reports from nine zip codes for the 4.0-magnitude quake, including reports from Lakeport, Middletown and Kelseyville, Calistoga and St. Helena in Napa County, the Sonoma County communities of Santa Rosa, Cloverdale and Windsor, and a report from Arcata, 248 miles away in Humboldt County.

A 3.2-magnitude quake occurred three miles east of The Geysers on Monday, as Lake County News has reported.

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THE GEYSERS – A 3.4-magnitude earthquake occurred Monday evening near The Geysers geothermal steamfield, shaking the Cobb area for several seconds, according to one area resident.

The quake was recorded by the US Geological Survey at 8:03 p.m.

Its epicenter was three miles east of The Geysers, four miles south southwest of Cobb and four miles west northwest of Anderson Springs at a depth of 1.4 miles, according to the US Geological Survey.

Cobb resident Roger Kinney said he was standing on his deck when he felt the earthquake, which he said lasted five to six seconds and felt bigger than the reported magnitude.

The US Geological Survey received shake reports from Healdsburg, Calistoga, Union City, San Ramon, El Cerrito and from faraway Poway, located 826 miles from the epicenter.

A 3.0-magnitude earthquake was reported two miles south southwest of Anderson Springs early Friday morning, as Lake County News has reported.

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 – During a brief Wednesday morning ceremony, the members of the 2010-11 grand jury were sworn in and given their charge for the coming year.

Judge Richard Martin conducted the impaneling in his Department 2 courtroom.

Selected for the 2010-11 panel are new grand jurors Michael Daugherty, Nanette Marschall and Mary Nolan, all of Lakeport; Kenneth Fountain of Lower Lake; Jay Gehrke of Clearlake; Phyllis Kelley-Howell of Kelseyville; Mary Moore of Lucerne; and Judith Stelljes of Kelseyville.

Grand jurors from the 2009-10 panel which will return for another year of service include Clearlake residents Jack Scialabba, Venoma Gill and Dave Johnson; Lakeport residents Kathleen Bisaccio, Fred Christensen, Judith Steele Lanfranco and Phillip Myers; Kevin Byrnes of Lower Lake; Gerald Morehouse of Lucerne; and Diane Trudeau of Cobb.

The remainder of the 2009-10 panel that have completed their service are Rose Marie Blackwell of Clearlake Oaks; Rudy Brunner, Marilyn Johnson, Heather Powers and Carol Vedder of Lakeport; Larry Heine of Lower Lake; Sunol Westergren of Glenhaven; and George Torngren of Nice.

Before a small audience composed mostly of the incoming panel of jurors, Martin shared a brief history of the grand jury system and explained its significance.

“This system has been around for over 200 years in this country,” Martin said.

He explained that the grand jury system is composed of citizens who act as watchdogs to help make government better.

“It's a good endeavor” that helps improve and fine tune government, Martin said.

Martin directed his court clerk to take the roll of jurors, who were then asked to stand and take an oath committing to carry out their duties in the coming year.

As part of their charge, jurors are sworn to confidentiality, and are unable to discuss matters investigated by the jury either during their service or in the future.

Once they were sworn, Martin had the group come forward and sit in the jury box.

He thanked the outgoing grand jury, noting that in the past year, “There was a lot of hard work.”

Martin said he met with grand jury Foreman Fred Christensen on a regular basis during the past year.

“It was rewarding for me to see both the foreperson and grand jurors as active as they were this last year,” he said.

Martin said the grand jury did very thorough work and wrote a good report – released earlier this month – with several committee members stepping up to write facets of the document

He called the recent report “a very good work product” that was unbiased and achieved the goal of making local government better.

Christensen offered a few words of thanks of his own to outgoing grand juror Rose Marie Blackwell, who was present for the swearing in.

Martin reappointed Christensen as foreperson in the coming year, noting his collegial personality and ability to work with people.

Looking on during the empaneling ceremony were Commissioner Vincent Lechowick of Department A, County Clerk Pam Cochrane, Jury Commissioner Yolanda Rosas, Assistant Jury Commissioner Tina Sanderson and County Counsel Anita Grant.

Grant, Martin told the grand jurors, “is someone who you are going to need to know,” as she will be the grand jury's lawyer. She told the group she will be speaking to them on Friday morning.

Martin then excused everyone from the courtroom but the jurors themselves in order to read them their charge.

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 .

Surveillance photos from Wells Fargo Bank in Chico, Calif., show a white male suspect who is alleged to have robbed the bank shortly after 10 a.m. on Tuesday, July 13, 2010.

CHICO – Authorities are looking for a suspect who allegedly walked into a Chico bank Tuesday morning and demanded money before fleeing on a bicycle.

The incident occurred at 10:18 a.m. at the Wells Fargo Bank on 954 East Ave., according to Sgt. Rob Merrifield of the Chico Police Department's Special Operations Section.

Merrifield sad Chico Police responded to the alleged bank robbery, and when they arrived at the bank employees reported that a male suspect approached one of the tellers and presented a note demanding money and suggesting that he had a weapon.

The teller complied with the demand and the suspect then fled the business on a mountain bike. Merrifield said the suspect was last seen fleeing the area eastbound on East Avenue.

Responding officers were unable to locate the suspect, Merrifield said.

The suspect is described as a white male adult, approximately 40 to 49 years old, 6 feet 4 inches tall, wearing an apparent wig underneath a dark bicycle helmet and sunglasses, according to the police report.

Merrifield said the suspect had a full beard, which may have been false, and was wearing a blue jacket and blue pants.

Anyone with information about the crime or who may have seen the suspect fleeing the area is encouraged to contact the Chico Police Department at 530-897-5820.

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Fern G. Joaquin, 67, of Covelo, Calif., died on Friday, July 9, 2010, when the vehicle she was riding in collided with a tree and rolled down an embankment in the Mendocino National Forest. Photo courtesy of the Glenn County Sheriff's Office.

MENDOCINO NATIONAL FOREST – A Covelo woman was identified as the victim of a fatal vehicle crash that occurred in the Mendocino National Forest last Friday.

Fern Gertrude Joaquin, 67, was the victim of the crash, according to a report from the Willows California Highway Patrol office.

The collision took place at around 8:30 p.m. on Forest Road N04 west of Forest Highway 7 in the Mendocino National Forest, the CHP reported.

The CHP reported that Fern Joaquin was riding in a 1994 Isuzu driven by 84-year-old Sylvester Joaquin of Covelo, who was traveling eastbound on Forest Road 21N04. Also in the car were 47-year-old Frances Y. Hoaglen and Angie Lynn Joaquin, 36, both of Covelo.

For an unknown reason Sylvester Joaquin lost control of the vehicle and collided with a tree before the vehicle rolled several times across the roadway and down an embankment, becoming wedged against a tree, the CHP reported.

Sylvester Joaquin, Angie Joaquin and Hoaglen all managed to get out of the vehicle, according to the CHP.

Glenn County Sheriff Larry Jones said a Butte County man who was monitoring a citizen’s band radio reported there had been a traffic accident in the mountains off of Forest Highway 7 and occupants were trapped inside.

The CHP, Glenn County Sheriff’s Office and Fish & Game responded in an effort to locate the accident scene, and ground ambulances and medical helicopters were dispatched, Jones said.

Joaquin was pronounced deceased at the scene, according to the CHP.

Paramedics transported the three surviving occupants of the car to Enloe Hospital in Chico, where all three were treated for major injuries, the CHP said.

Jones said his office notified the US Forest Service Law Enforcement Branch of the fatality in the forest.

All of the vehicle's occupants were wearing their safety belts, the CHP said.

The CHP is investigating the crash.

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Upcoming Calendar

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
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
08.06.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Library Park
08.10.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
08.13.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Library Park
08.17.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
08.20.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Library Park
08.24.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
08.27.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Library Park

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