Sunday, 14 July 2024


UPPER LAKE – Firefighters responded to a small grass fire reported along Highway 20 late Wednesday night.

The fire, dispatched just after 11 p.m., was located on Highway 20 west of Saratoga Springs, according to Cal Fire.

Officials reported the fire was about 100 feet off the road. Local firefighters responded along with Cal Fire, which sent a five-engine wildland fire response team.

Cal Fire said the blaze burned less than half an acre. The cause was not known.

The scene had been cleared and the fire contained before 1 a.m. Thursday, according to Cal Fire.

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


Jennifer Harte (second from left) and her homestay family at Kyoto. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Harte.



MIDDLETOWN – On Aug. 13, Middletown Middle School arrived back in America from an adventure they will never forget.

Twelve lucky students who were chosen after a long selection process along, with three chaperones, traveled to Naka-cho, Middletown's sister city in Japan.

I am one of the students who was lucky enough to go on this trip. This was definitely a big deal for both towns involved in the exchange.

When we arrived in Osaka we took a bus to Naka-cho community center. We were taken to a welcome party which had all of the town council waiting there for us. Every member made a speech including some members from their school board. It was a strange but exciting feeling being in a foreign country surrounded by people who you can't understand.

After the party we met up with our homestay families who we'd stay with during the week. Some of the students got to stay with the same students who visited Middletown last summer, but some students stayed with families they had never met and had no problem getting friendly and comfortable with them. The whole town showed nothing but hospitality and tried to make our stay as comfortable as possible.

It was odd getting used to all the differences in Japan, especially the little things, like instead of lifting the faucet up to turn it on you lift it up to turn it off, using a toilet you had to squat over and driving on the opposite side of the road.

The houses there were very simple as well, but constructed beautifully. There was not much furniture in each room but my favorite room was the living room with the sunken table. There were many shrines everywhere and religion seemed very important to them. Every time we went to a shrine they would pray.

Everyone on the delegation had to be open about trying new things because there was definitely some strange and unfamiliar food. They took us to a creek were we caught fish with our bare hands, cooked them then ate the fish, ungutted. I even ate the fish head, eyeballs and all!

At one point toward the beginning when we all meet the students we had to catch our lunch, noodles with soy sauce, with chopsticks which were being shot down a bamboo shoot. The following day we got to watch a Kabuku (type of dance) play done by the elementary school students. With such grace and beauty they performed!

We got to go on a tour of their schools and see what the normal school day was like for them. Their main sport was Kendo, which we got to try out as well. For those of you who don't know what that is, it's like fencing but with bamboo sticks. Also we got to enjoy visiting some temples like Jogoji Temple, where we did Za-Zen meditation and took part in a traditional tea ceremony followed by a trip to Kyoto's Golden Temple.

The trip was way more then any of us had expected. Many of the delegation stated that we were "rock stars" during our stay. Some funny experiences happened that proved that point like constantly getting stared at, teens wanting our autographs and many people wanting pictures with us as well.

Our chaperones have stated many times that the group of students that went were so wonderful and they wouldn't have wished to replace any one of us.

When asked his favorite part of the trip, the first thing Middletown Middle School's principal, Dan Morgan, said was, "I really enjoyed getting to know the students who made the trip on a completely different level. Traveling with our students, experiencing another country and culture with them, and observing them mature and grow through the experience was really rewarding. I also really enjoyed getting to know these students on a more personal level ... we had a lot of fun together."

Troy Brierly, the school's wrestling coach, our other chaperone, said, "Not even the 1,000-degree heat could have taken anything away from that trip. I will never forget one second of it or the other delegates who shared the experience with me."

I think we all agree that there wasn't one part of the trip any of us would have wished to change. It was perfect and hopefully someday you too can get the chance to go visit this wonderful country.

Jennifer Harte, 14, is a freshman at Middletown High School. She lives with her mom and dad and two cats, and enjoys playing piano and guitar, drawing, writing short stories, reading and spending time with friends. She is an aspiring journalist.



The student delegation with their chaperones and the Naka-cho Town Council. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Harte.




The community of Naka-cho, Middletown's sister city. Photo by Jennifer Harte.




Jennifer Harte tries on a traditional kimono. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Harte.




The Kyoto Golden Temple. Photo by Jennifer Harte.




The home on Harbor Drive burned Sunday evening. Photo by Dwain Goforth.


KELSEYVILLE – A home was hit by fire Sunday in the Clear Lake Riviera.

The home, located on Harbor Drive, reportedly burned early Sunday evening, before 6 p.m., according to witnesses.

Kelseyville Fire and Cal Fire were among those responding to the fire, which was reported to have completely engulfed the two-story dwelling at one point.

Wind blew the smoke around the Riviera, which reportedly led to concern that other fires might be in the area.

No further information on the fire or the cause were available late Sunday.

Harold LaBonte contributed to this report.

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


KELSEYVILLE – A good Samaritan's quick actions saved a Lower Lake man from a burning vehicle Monday.

Gary Hoertkorn of Kelseyville is credited with pulling 18-year-old Charles Barron from a Jeep that caught on fire after a single-vehicle collision, according to California Highway Patrol Officer Adam Garcia.

Just after 3:30 p.m. Monday 18-year-old Arturo Cerna of Lower Lake was driving a 1993 Jeep northbound on Highway 29 north of Honey Cut Lane when his vehicle drifted onto the east shoulder, Garcia said. Barron was riding as a passenger in the Jeep.

Cerna attempted to correct the Jeep's path, which caused it to spin out of control. Garcia said the Jeep traveled across the southbound lane and off the west shoulder, rolling over as it traveled down a dirt embankment and collided with an oak tree.

The Jeep caught fire shortly after the collision, said Garcia.

That's when Hoertkorn came upon the collision and removed the severely injured Barron from the burning vehicle, Garcia said.

Garcia said the Jeep fire caused a small wildfire that was quickly put out by personnel from Kelseyville Fire Protection and Cal Fire.

Cerna was taken by ground ambulance to Sutter Lakeside Hospital where he was treated for moderate injuries, said Garcia, while Barron was taken to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital by REACH air ambulance with major life-threatening injuries.

Garcia said it's unknown at this point if either Cerna or Barron was wearing their seatbelt.

The Jeep crash resulted in a temporary closure of Highway 29, as Lake County News has reported.

While traffic was stopped, another crash occurred, this one involving a motorcycle, said Garcia.

At 3:50 p.m. 65-year-old Everette Weller, riding a 2006 Harley Davidson northbound, came upon the stopped traffic. Garcia said Weller "aggressively attempted" to stop but was unable to avoid a collision.

Weller's motorcycle sideswiped a silver BMW driven by 66-year-old Steve Allison of Cobb and then collided with a 1988 Ford Ranger driven by 58-year-old Jerry Jones of Middletown, Garcia reported.

According to Garcia, Weller was then thrown to the pavement where he sustained major life-threatening injuries and was taken to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital by REACH air ambulance.

Middletown resident Wendell Langford, who witnessed the crash along with his family, said he's concerned that authorities on the scene didn't have traffic control or flares in place, which may have prevented Weller's motorcycle crash.

Langford said traffic was stopped around a blind corner, which he said he had warned CHP and sheriff's deputies on the scene about before the crash occurred.

"This guy should have never been in this accident," Langford said.

Langford's concerns about the case have been sent to Officer Nick Powell, who Garcia said is investigating Weller's collision. Officer Steve Curtis is investigating the Jeep crash.

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


Kelseyville Fire Captain Joe Huggins said the home, which burned Sunday, is a total loss. Photo by Dwain Goforth.

KELSEYVILLE – A Clear Lake Riviera home is a loss after a Sunday fire, a Kelseyville Fire Protection District official reported Monday.

The home, located on Harbor Drive, burned Sunday evening, as Lake County News has reported.

Captain Joe Huggins said the fire district received the call on the fire at 6:44 p.m. Sunday.

Three Kelseyville Fire engines, one engine from Lakeport Fire Protection District, a water tender from Lake County Fire Protection District and three Cal Fire engines responded to the blaze, Huggins said.

Three to four people were in the home at the time the fire broke out, Huggins said. No injuries were reported.

The fire destroyed the home, said Huggins. “It didn't burn to the ground but it was a loss,” he said.

He said the fire's cause is still under investigation.

The loss estimate is also being prepared as part of a final report, Huggins said.

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


KELSEYVILLE – A motorcycle crash on Soda Bay Road Sunday night claimed the life of one person and injured another.

The crash occurred shortly after 10 p.m. in front of Konocti Harbor Resort and Spa, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Two riders were involved, however it was not clear in the preliminary report if they were riding together on one bike or were riding separately.

CHP, Lake County Sheriff's deputies and fire responded to the scene. Shortly after 10:30 p.m. officials determined one of the riders had died.

The surviving rider was transported to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital by REACH air ambulance, which used Riviera Elementary School as a landing zone, officials reported.

CHP sent an officer to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital to oversee a blood draw on the surviving rider.

The names of the injured rider and the crash victim were not available Sunday night.

Harold LaBonte contributed to this report.

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


LAKE COUNTY – On Tuesday the California Highway Patrol identified the motorcycle rider who died in a single-vehicle collision Sunday night.

CHP Officer Adam Garcia said that James O'Donnell, 42, of Santa Rosa died in a motorcycle crash that occurred at Konocti Harbor Resort and Spa.

O'Donnell was riding a Harley Davidson motorcycle with 44-year-old Shelly Grove of Santa Rosa riding as a passenger when the crash occurred, said Garcia. Both were wearing helmets.

Garcia said O'Donnell and Grove were riding from the resort's lodge toward Soda Bay Road when O'Donnell popped a wheelie, causing the bike to go off the road and over the curb.

The motorcycle hit a tree and a large rock, and both O'Donnell and Grove were ejected from the bike, said Garcia.

Helicopters landed at Riviera Elementary School to transport O'Donnell and Grove to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital. Garcia said O'Donnell was pronounced dead at the helicopter landing zone, while Grove was transported with major, life-threatening injuries.

Garcia said investigators aren't certain how fast the motorcycle was traveling at the time the crash occurred.

Toxicology tests are pending to determine if O'Donnell was under the influence, said Garcia.

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


MENDOCINO NATIONAL FOREST – Later this week a Chico tribe will begin commemorations of their forced removal from lands in the valley and relocation to Round Valley in 1863.

On Saturday, Sept. 6, the Mechoopda Indian Tribe of Chico will sponsor a potluck gathering at 3 p.m. at Hooker Oak Park in Bidwell Park to commemorate the 145th anniversary of the Nome Cult Trail, which was the forced relocation of American Indians from Chico across what is now the Mendocino National Forest to Round Valley in 1863.

The next week, on Saturday, Sept. 13 in the afternoon, the Round Valley Indian Tribes will sponsor a gathering at the Round Valley Reservation in Covelo to mark the completion of the 13th annual retracing of the original 100-mile trek.

Descendants of those who were part of the original relocation and other supporters will walk from Chico to Covelo starting Sunday, Sept. 7, descending down into Round Valley Sept. 13.

The theme for the walk and gatherings is “Honor Their Memory … A Path Not Forgotten.” Both the Chico and Covelo events are free and open to the public.

At the Covelo event there will be presentations by the walkers and a meal starting at about 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 13, at the Tribal Building, 77826 Covelo Road. From Sept. 7 through Sept. 13, walkers will retrace the original trail, camping out each night along the way.

The tribes welcome the public to join them for all or part of the walk and for the gathering in Covelo on Saturday afternoon.

The removal of American Indians from Chico to the Nome Cult Reservation in 1863 is one of the many forced relocations following the establishment of reservations in northern California in the 1850s.

Several different tribes were moved to the Nome Cult Reservation after it was established in Round Valley in 1856.

In September 1863, 461 American Indians were marched under guard from Chico to the Nome Cult Reservation, nearly 100 miles across the Sacramento Valley and rugged North Coast Ranges. Only 277 tribal members completed the journey. Some were killed, a few escaped, and others were left behind, too sick to go on.

Although the path itself has disappeared, this route is now called the Nome Cult Trail. The most grueling part of the trail passed through what is now the Mendocino National Forest.

The Forest Service has placed interpretive signs along the route to mark places where the tribal members and their military escorts camped. A free brochure and trail map produced by the Forest Service is available from Mendocino National Forest offices for those interested in the route.

The Mendocino National Forest requests that people traveling on forest roads along the trail route be aware and careful of the walkers to ensure their safety.

This year the walkers, many of whom are descendants of those who made the trek in 1863, will begin west of Chico at Irvine Finch Park, located at River Road and State Highway 32, at 7 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 7. They will walk west on State Highway 32 and camp at the Buckhorn Campground at Black Butte Lake the first night. For the remainder of the week they will walk across the Mendocino National Forest, following the Nome Cult Trail.

Their planned schedule is:

  • Monday, Sept. 8, camp at Buckhorn Campground;

  • Tuesday, Sept. 9, camp at Black Bear Campground;

  • Wednesday, Sept. 10, camp at Log Springs;

  • Thursday, Sept. 11, camp at Wells Cabin Campground;

  • Friday, Sept. 12, camp at Eel River Campground;

  • Saturday, Sept. 13, walk into Round Valley.

For more information on the Sept. 6 Chico event, please contact Arlene Ward, Chico Mechoopda Tribe, at 530-899-8922, Extension 220. For more information on the walk and the Sept. 13 Covelo event,

please contact Alberta Azbill, Round Valley Indian Tribes at 707-983-6126.


LOWER LAKE – A vehicle crash early Monday morning resulted in at least one person being seriously injured.

The California Highway Patrol reported that the crash occurred on Spruce Grove Road a mile and a half east of Highway 29 at Lower Lake at about 12:18 a.m.

A single vehicle collided with a tree and overturned in the middle of the road, CHP reported.

Three people were involved, with one of them hurt badly, according to the CHP.

Cal Fire was requested and REACH was called to transport the crash victim to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital. The subject transported to the hospital was reported to be Brian Inglewood.

No further information on injuries or the identities of the other victims involved was available early Monday morning before publication.

Harold LaBonte contributed to this report.

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


NICE – Fire destroyed a motorhome at a Northshore RV park Monday night.

The fire took placed at the Aurora RV park in Nice, according to Northshore Fire Protection District officials.

Three Northshore Fire engines and one engine from Cal Fire responded to the fire, which was reported at about 8:55 p.m., said Todd Pittman, a Northshore Fire firefighter/paramedic.

The RV was fully engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived, said Pittman. Firefighters were able to quickly contain the blaze by about 9:10 p.m.

No one was in the RV when it caught fire, said Pittman. Lake County Sheriff's officials had reported that there was ammunition going off in the RV, but Pittman said firefighters didn't encounter any.

Pittman said the fire caused some heat damage to nearby RVs.

The motorhome was a loss, but Pittman didn't have a damage estimate.

He said the cause is still under investigation.

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


KELSEYVILLE – Highway 29 was closed for a few hours Monday afternoon to allow firefighters to mop up after a small vegetation fire sparked by a vehicle fire.

The California Highway Patrol reported that a Jeep flipped over and caught fire on Highway 29 near Kelseyville Auto Salvage and Tow just after 3:30 p.m.

The Jeep fire sparked a grass fire which burned less than a quarter of an acre, according to Cal Fire, which responded to the scene along with local fire officials.

Lake County Animal Control also was called to respond to the scene because of a dog that was found loose following the collision.

Shortly after the Jeep crash was reported another collision involving a motorcycle took place to the south, according to the CHP.

A total of three people were reported injured, with two being transported to the hospital via REACH and CalStar air ambulance, which used Kit's Corner for a landing zone. A third victim was taken by ambulance to Redbud Community Hospital, officials at the scene reported. At least one person was reported with major injuries.

The Jeep crash blocked the highway and backed traffic up for nearly two miles, the CHP reported.

Traffic was diverted from Highway 29 onto Highway 175 and Highway 281/Red Hills for a few hours while the scene was cleared and firefighters mopped up the fire area.

Shortly before 5 p.m. Cal Fire said that the two fires were contained and that firefighters were mopping up the area.

The roadway was reopened shortly before 6:30 p.m., the CHP reported.

No further information about the injured parties was available late Monday.


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


Dustin Scott of Scotts Valley 4-H earned $400.00 for his grand champion turkey; he's pictured here maneuvering his turkey toward the auction ring. Photo by Harold LaBonte.





LAKEPORT – Future Farmers of America and 4-H members from around Lake County wrapped up a year of livestock projects at the annual Junior Livestock Auction.

The event was held Saturday afternoon at the Lake County Fairgrounds in Lakeport. It's part of the annual Lake County Fair, which runs through this weekend.

Auction officials reported there were approximately 282 lots in this year's auction, the proceeds of which many young people put toward education and other goals.

Full results and auction tallies will be published as soon as they are prepared.

The Lake County Fair wraps up Sunday evening.

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



Kylie Hill of Big Valley and her two white grand champion chickens, which sold for $500. Later in the auction Kylie auctioned her reserve grand champion steer, which weighed in at 1,225 pounds. Photo by Harold LaBonte.



A large crowd gathered for the annual auction Saturday. Photo by Harold LaBonte.



Upcoming Calendar

07.16.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Library Park
07.17.2024 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
Free veterans dinner
07.20.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
07.23.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Library Park
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

Mini Calendar



Award winning journalism on the shores of Clear Lake. 



Enter your email here to make sure you get the daily headlines.

You'll receive one daily headline email and breaking news alerts.
No spam.