Wednesday, 17 July 2024



COBB – A man being sought following a confrontation with Lake County Sheriff's deputies earlier this week was arrested without incident by members of the sheriff's SWAT team late Wednesday.

Victor Bronco Rodin, 43, of Cobb was arrested at 10:30 p.m. Wednesday at his mother's Clearlake Oaks home, Chief Deputy James Bauman of the Lake County Sheriff's Office reported Thursday.

Rodin had been sought by sheriff's deputies since Tuesday night, when he had confronted two deputies at his ex-girlfriend's house on Brookside Drive, as Lake County News has reported.

Believing he was armed and about to shoot at them, one of the deputies shot once at Rodin, who was not hurt, Bauman said.

Rodin fled on foot into the woods, where deputies searched for him until 1 a.m. Wednesday. Later that day, a sheriff's SWAT team resumed the search for Rodin, who Bauman said was a convicted felon with a history of unstable behavior.

From 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday SWAT members went door to door in the immediate vicinity of the

Brookside Drive home to check unoccupied homes and make sure residents knew Rodin was at large, Bauman reported.

Sheriff’s personnel continued to follow up on leads regarding Rodin’s whereabouts in the Cobb Mountain area until about 9:30 p.m. Wednesday, Bauman said.

At about that time the sheriff’s office received a call from Rodin's mother, who reported that he was at her home in Clearlake Oaks and was prepared to turn himself in to authorities, according to Bauman.

Several members of the SWAT team responded to the Clearlake Oaks home, Bauman reported, while the California Highway Patrol set up precautionary road blocks in the area along State Highway 20 to avert another potential escape.

Bauman said sheriff's deputies took Rodin into custody without resistance at about 10:30 p.m.

At that point they also confirmed that Rodin had not been injured as a result of the gunfire the

previous night on Brookside Drive, Bauman said.

Rodin was booked into the Lake County Jail early Thursday morning on misdemeanor charges of a felon in possession of tear gas, resisting/obstructing a peace officer and two unrelated arrest warrant, according to jail records. Bail was set at $7,000.

Bauman said the sheriff's office used its telephonic warning system to send out a public safety alert at about 10:30 a.m. Thursday to inform Cobb residents that Rodin had been apprehended. The previous day, the sheriff's office used the system to notify 600 people in the community of the situation.

This is the first time the system – purchased a few years ago – been used for a community safety alert, said Bauman. Previously, it had been used for staff and search and rescue callouts. “It's a pretty handy item to have.”

Bauman said he was not sure if the deputy who fired the shot at Rodin was placed on leave, although he had been off on Wednesday night. District Attorney's investigators had been called to the scene at Cobb late Tuesday to conduct an investigation into the officer-involved shooting.

Information on Rodin's past felony conviction was not available, however, Bauman said sheriff's deputies have had previous contact with him.

“His local record shows several warrants in the past several years,” said Bauman.

Rodin also was arrested in 2004 for spousal battery, according to Bauman, who said he did not know if the woman involved was the ex-girlfriend in whose home Rodin was found Tuesday night.

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COBB – Lake County Sheriff's deputies were searching for a suspect Tuesday night who was believed to have been involved in a shooting in the Cobb area.

Radio reports indicated that shots were fired in the area of Brookside Drive – between Forest Lake Drive and Dogwood Way – at about 9 p.m.

An individual was reported to have been injured and medical personnel were summoned to the scene.

Deputies who arrived at the scene reported over the radio that they had fired at the suspect, who barricaded himself into a home in the 10300 block of Brookside Drive.

The suspect then reportedly slipped out a back window at the residence and escaped into the heavily forested area.

There were more than half a dozen sheriff's units on scene, according to radio reports, along with a medical unit and at least one California Highway Patrol vehicle.

Sheriff's personnel set up a perimeter that extended several streets over to Maple Shadows Drive.

At least two K-9s also were requested to the “Brookside Incident” at 9:12 p.m., and were deployed to search for the suspect at 9:51 p.m.

CHP officers at one point had found an individual matching the suspect's description near the Loch Lomond bar.

However, at about 10:50 p.m. deputies reported that a shot was fired in their direction, which may have come from the area of a nearby residence.

Just after 11 p.m. two sheriff's detectives were called to the scene.

There was no further information available early Wednesday morning.

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LUCERNE – Burglars hit the Lucerne Alpine Senior Center over the weekend, taking hundreds of dollars in equipment, officials reported Monday.

Lee Tyree, who took over as the center's executive director on Jan. 1, said the building was broken into once or, possibly, twice on Sunday.

Taken was a brand new laptop computer, office equipment including phones and about $30 in change found in the offices, Tyree reported.

Tyree said she received a phone call on Sunday at about 1:30 p.m. from center board member Ken Kent, who told her about the break in.

She immediately went to the center, where she and Kent surveyed the damage.

The burglars appeared to have broken out the outreach office's window, gained access and then began going through desks to find cash, she said.

They then broke out the window to her office but didn't appear to have taken anything.

There also was about $30 in change spilled on the floor, she said.

However, the burglars didn't manage to get away with the center's extremely heavy safe, she said.

Tyree said she called the sheriff's office and made a report.

On Monday morning, when Tyree went in to work, she discovered they had come back, returned to her office and stolen her brand new laptop computer, which she had gotten last month.

“I'm sick about it,” she said.

The suspects also had taken phones, picked up the $30 in change and made another try at the safe, she said.

Tyree wasn't sure if two separate break-ins had occurred or if the suspects were actually still in the building and hiding when she and Kent arrived to call the sheriff on Sunday.

“It's kind of a scary feeling,” she said.

Due to the President's Day holiday, the Lake County Sheriff's Office could not be reached for comment Monday on the case.

Although center officials don't have any particular suspects in mind, they did find a possible clue on Monday – a green jacket had been left behind, sitting on Tyree's chair in her office.

Tyree said she may also have a clue to when at least one of the break-ins took place: JJ Jackson, the center's former executive director, reported to her that he was receiving calls on his home phone from the center's fax machine – which also can be used as a phone – early Sunday morning.

Tyree suspected the suspects might be close to home. “We have a lot of problems with the neighborhood kids.”

They are believed to be responsible for knocking over an extremely heavy concrete bench in front of the center, which the county's Parks Department had to use a backhoe to put right, she said.

In recent years the center has been the victim of other cases of vandalism, and Tyree said illegal dumping at the center's thrift shop is an ongoing problem.

Tyree said she's requesting additional sheriff's patrols around the building, and asks town residents to please call 911 if they see any suspicious behavior around the center.

Anyone with information on the break-ins should call the Lake County Sheriff's Office at 262-4200.

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COBB – The Lake County Sheriff's Office is continuing to look for a man involved in a violent confrontation with deputies Tuesday night in Cobb.

As Lake County News has reported, deputies were searching for a man late Tuesday night after he barricaded himself in a house and then escaped into the woods.

Lake County Sheriff's Chief Deputy James Bauman reported Wednesday that the department was continuing its efforts to find 43-year-old Victor Rodin.

Rodin is described as a while male adult, 6 feet, 4 inches tall, approximately 200 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes. Bauman said Rodin was last seen wearing a light-colored, dirty T-shirt and denim pants.

The sheriff's office issued a recorded telephonic warning to more than 600 Cobb residents at about 10 a.m. Wednesday, informing them of the incident, and the fact that Rodin was at large and possibly still in the area, Bauman reported.

The confrontation that led to the hunt for Rodin arose at about 8:30 p.m. Tuesday when deputies arrived at a Brookside Drive residence to conduct a welfare check on Rodin, who has a history of unstable behavior, Bauman reported.

Rodin's mother had called the sheriff’s office to report her son missing and at risk after learning of a dispute between him with his former girlfriend on Sunday, according to Bauman.

Two sheriff’s deputies located Rodin's former girlfriend, who believed Rodin was trespassing at her home on Brookside Drive, Bauman said.

Upon gaining her permission to check the residence, the two deputies entered the home to check on Rodin, Bauman reported.

The deputies announced their presence, and began searching the home, Bauman said, finding Rodin in a bedroom.

In very limited light, Bauman said deputies could see that Rodin was holding a canister of pepper spray in one hand and concealing the other hand.

After repeatedly refusing to show his other hand, Bauman said Rodin suddenly brandished what appeared to be a weapon.

One of the deputies fired one shot from his sidearm in defense, Bauman said.

The deputies then backed out of immediate danger and took cover, and Rodin closed the door to the room, barricading himself inside, according to Bauman.

As the deputies waited for additional cover units to arrive, one of them went outside of the home to check for escape routes, and saw Rodin run into the nearby woods, Bauman said.

Five additional sheriff’s deputies responded to the area and with the assistance of several units from the California Highway Patrol and a K-9 unit from the Lakeport Police Department, an extensive search for Rodin was conducted until about 1 a.m. Wednesday, according to Bauman.

Because an officer-involved shooting had taken place, Bauman said the Lake County District Attorney’s Office was called in to conduct an independent. Meanwhile, sheriff’s detectives continued to process the scene throughout the night.

On Wednesday morning an extensive search for Rodin was resumed by members of the sheriff’s

SWAT team, Bauman said.

Bauman said it's believed that Rodin was not wounded by the deputy's single gunshot; however, he may be injured by other means.

Rodin is a convicted felon with a history of unstable behavior, has an unrelated outstanding warrant for his arrest, and should be considered armed and dangerous, Bauman reported.

Anyone who sees Rodin or knows of his whereabouts should immediately call the Lake County Sheriff’s Office, 262-4200 or 911, and should by no means, attempt to contact or apprehend him.


Kelseyville resident Peter Windrem speaks at the Tuesday night meeting. Photo by Maile Field.


KELSEYVILLE – A school board agenda featuring a possible change of the high school mascot from the “Knights” back to the “Indians” drew a crowd of 150 here Tuesday night.

Public comments ranged from “Let’s move on,” which arose repeatedly, to County Supervisor Rob Brown waving a check for $1,000 in the air to support the cost of changing back.

The open-ended “Approve/Disapprove/Discuss” item followed a controversial but unanimous decision almost two years ago to change from the Indian mascot, at the request of a local Native American tribal member. The decision to change the name was unanimously upheld two months later then was hotly debated during the most recent school board election.

Speaking to neither side of the issue Tuesday night was high school English and world history teacher Meredith Lahmann. “Is the cartoon we use while playing games really a top priority compared to our children’s academic needs?” she asked.

“Where were the outcries from the community when test scores plummeted?” she continued.

“I was happy as a Kelseyville Indian but I am also happy as a Kelseyville Knight because a mascot is a cartoon used to represent a team when it is playing a game,” she said. “Therefore, I do not invest much energy in it.”

Marr Olsen, wearing an Indian-logo black sweatshirt that read “ALWAYS AN INDIAN” on the back, objected. “It’s not a cartoon character,” he said.

“It’s like the eagle on top of the flag,” he explained, “that’s not a cartoon.”

Responding to remarks from Kelseyville resident and attorney Peter Windrem, who stated clearly that he is descended from “the earliest settlers,” Olsen said, “If anyone wants to be that sensitive about it, then deed your land back to ‘em.”

Windrem had reviewed the origin of the term “Indian,” noting that it was applied to Native Americans by early travelers from Europe who thought they had reached India. He said the name “Indian” is owned by a group of people who have now requested it not be used.

“The graceful thing to do,” Windrem advised, would be to thank the group for its permitted use and now that permission is withdrawn we stop using the name … “and we go on with our lives.”

Members of Mendocino County’s Native American community spoke as well, including a woman who identified herself as “Tony,” who said the issue is about respect.

“If my people went out and massacred your people and then called ourselves 'The Oakies' or something,” she said, that would not be respectful.

But Leah Palmer disagreed. Palmer, who identified herself as a member of Kelseyville’s class of ’93, addressed the crowd while holding an infant. She said she is teaching her daughter cheers that use the term “Indian” with respect.

“If anyone thinks they were disrespected, it was because they didn’t understand,” she said.

Palmer said that abandoning the “Indian” mascot name is like “uprooting a family.”

Several speakers commented that the discussion was creating “strife” and “derision” in the community.

“Our billboards on the highway call Kelseyville a Friendly Country Town,” Lahmann said. “Are we?”

The board decided to continue the mascot discussion until next month.


It's official former State Sen. Wesley Chesbro is now officially in the race for the Assembly's First District seat.

Chesbro paid his filing fees at the Humboldt County Elections Office on Friday and took out papers for the Democratic Party nomination in the race for the First Assembly District, his office reported over the weekend.

From 1998 to 2006 Chesbro represented the North Coast in the State Senate for eight years.

He's now hoping to succeed State Assemblywoman Patty Berg who is no longer able to serve in the State Assembly due to term limits.

Chesbro said he is calling his Assembly campaign “First District First,” to highlight his commitment to put the needs of First Assembly District residents ahead of all else.

The filing period for State Assembly candidates began on Monday, Feb. 11 and will close on March 7.

So far, Chesbro is the only candidate known to have taken out nomination papers and paid his filing fee.


CLEARLAKE – Officials have identified a woman who died as the result of a Friday auto collision.

The California Highway Patrol reported Wednesday the crash victim was 76-year-old Colleen Infeld of Clearlake.

Infeld died Friday following a head-on collision along Highway 29 north of Hofacker Lane between Lower Lake and Hidden Valley, as Lake County News reported.

CHP reported Infeld was driving southbound on Highway 29 shortly before 10 a.m. when her 2004 Ford Focus crossed into the northbound lane.

She collided head-on with a 2005 Chevy Impala driven by an 85-year-old Clearlake Oaks man, who CHP did not identify. The man was taken to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital by air ambulance.

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MIDDLETOWN – A Sunday morning crash claimed the life of a Middletown man Sunday.

Michael Medrano, 41, was the victim of the single-vehicle crash, his family confirmed Wednesday.

California Highway Patrol Officer Adam Garcia said the collision that took Medrano's life occurred at about 12:25 a.m. Sunday.

Medrano was alone, driving his 1991 Nissan pickup westbound on Highway 175, west of the Dry Creek Cutoff, said Garcia.

“He was coming out of a slight curve in the road and veered off the road to the right and struck a tree head-on,” Garcia said.

The impact, said Garcia, caused the truck to spin out and hit another tree.

Medrano, who was wearing his seat belt, died at the scene, Garcia said.

Garcia said alcohol is believed to have been a contributing factor in the fatal collision. However, the CHP is awaiting a coroner's report before making a final conclusion.

Officer Steve Tanguay is investigating the case, Garcia said.

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THE GEYSERS – The Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) plans to conduct a control burn in The Geysers area this Tuesday.

Cal Fire's Sonoma-Lake-Napa Unit plans to conduct the burn between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.

A control burn involves intentionally burning predesignated areas of brush under carefully controlled conditions to reduce hazards from wildfires and improve wildlife habitat.

Smoke from this operation may be visible in the northern Sonoma County areas of Healdsburg, Geyserville and Cloverdale, and in portions of Lake County, Cal Fire reported.

The benefits of the low intensity fire in the natural environment are:

– Cleansing of wild land debris. Excessive dead and down branches, brush and small trees will be consumed by fire, reducing the presence of fuels.

– Improving wildlife habitat. Removal of decadent fuel encourages the growth of seasonal grasses and plants which provide food and habitat to a wider range of animals.

– Killing disease. Low intensity fire helps eliminate and control diseased plants and trees.

– New growth. Controlled burning encourages the healthy growth of new plants, especially those fire dependent for renewal or seed dispersion.

– Reduces opportunity for destructive fires. Prescribed fires decrease the size and frequency of large uncontrolled destructive wildfires.



LAKE COUNTY – The skies over Lake County held special wonder for stargazers Wednesday, with a total lunar eclipse.

Lake County News correspondent Harold LaBonte captured the eclipse with his digital camera from the lakeshore in Lakeport.

The total eclipse lasted from 8:01 p.m. to 8:51 p.m., NASA reported. A partial eclipse of the moon lasted longer, from 5:43 p.m. to 9:09 p.m.

NASA reports that the next total lunar eclipse that will be visible in North American will take place on Dec. 21, 2010.






LAKE COUNTY – The county's Elections Office reports that the nomination period is open for local, state and federal elected office, with local candidates taking out initial paperwork to begin the process of running for office.

Registrar of Voters Diane Fridley reported that activity is picking up for offices that will be voted on during the statewide Direct Primary Election scheduled for Tuesday, June 3.

The primary will feature voting for supervisorial Districts 1, 4 and 5, as well as U.S. House of Representatives Congressional District 1 and State Assembly District 1. Candidates for the latter two offices, said Fridley, are to be nominated by political parties qualified to participate in the election.

The first step in filing is usually to take out a Form 501, which allows a candidate to raise money. Fridley said candidates would next file petitions to submit signatures in lie of paying a filing fee – usually about 1 percent of the elected office's annual salary.

Finally, to officially become a candidate, a person must filed a declaration of candidacy, she said.

So far, no local supervisorial candidates have filed declaration of candidacy paperwork, the deadline for which is Friday, March 7 at 5 p.m.

However, Form 501s have been filed in all districts, she said, as have petitions in lieu of filing fees, the deadline for which is Thursday, Feb. 21.

In District 1, the five people seeking to succeed Supervisor Ed Robey who have taken out the initial paperwork to run are James Comstock, Scott Fergusson, Don Dornbush, Susanne La Faver and Robert MacIntyre, said Fridley.

In District 4, incumbent Supervisor Anthony Farrington has filed the Form 501 and in-lieu of petition, with no other candidates appearing so far, said Fridley.

In the final District up for election this year, District 5, Fridley said challenger Robert Stark and incumbent Rob Brown both have taken out paperwork to pursue fundraising and signatures.

During this, the nomination period, candidates must file a declaration of candidacy to officially get onto the ballot, said Fridley.

So far, no State Assembly or Congressional candidates have filed declaration of candidacy papers, said Fridley. However, Humboldt County Libertarian Ed Musgrave was issued in-lieu of filing fee petitions to run for the State Assembly seat.

Fridley said that during the primary election the two active local partisan central committees, for the Republicans and Democrats, will elect members, who will appear on the ballot.

As they're accepting paperwork for the primary, Fridley said her office is still working on certifying the Feb. 5 presidential primary, which must be completed by early next month.

For more information regarding filing for the elective offices enumerated above or to be provided with a copy of the Lake County Candidate Handbook/Election Calendar, contact the Lake County Registrar of Voters Office, telephone 263-2372, or visit them at the Lake County Courthouse, 255 N Forbes St., Room 209, Lakeport.

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


Congressman Mike Thompson pours the fruit of his Lake County vines. Photo by Terre Logsdon.


FINLEY – Merlot and Ghiardelli, Zinfandel and dark chocolate-dipped strawberries, Barbera and chocolate mousse – all these flavors and more drew Lake County residents and visitors in droves to the second annual Wine and Chocolate held at Mt. Konocti Growers Saturday.

The event is a benefit for the Lake Family Resource Center domestic violence shelter project.

“What a tremendous show of support from the agricultural community and the community at large for the Lake Family Resource Center,” said Representative Mike Thompson, who was pouring for Bonterra Winery, a California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF) winery, to which Thompson supplies grapes from his Lake County vineyard. “It’s an honor to be here.”

Twenty-eight different wineries – all with winegrapes grown in Lake County – were pouring their wines paired with fine chocolates or other desserts with chocolate.



Barney Fetzer and Angela Bowles pour Ceago

Upcoming Calendar

07.17.2024 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
Free veterans dinner
07.18.2024 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
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