Thursday, 18 July 2024


BLUE LAKES AND LUCERNE – Two crashes resulted in major injuries on Friday.

The first occurred near Blue Lakes shortly before 3:30 p.m., the second was reported on Highway 20 in Lucerne just after 8 p.m.

The Blue Lakes crash reportedly involved three vehicles, including a Chevrolet pickup, a Dodge SUV and a Chevrolet sedan, according to the California Highway Patrol. One of the vehicles had rolled over in the westbound lane.

A person was reported trapped in a vehicle, according to the initial CHP report.

The CHP reported that major injuries resulted, but the names of those involved were not immediately available.

Both lanes of traffic were blocked at CHP and firefighters responded to the scene. CHP reported that the roadway was reopened at approximately 4:44 p.m.

Later Friday, at 8:10 p.m. a vehicle was reported into a tree at Lucerne Harbor Park on Highway 20 at Ninth.

The collision also was reported to have resulted in major injuries, according to the CHP.

An air ambulance landed in Lucerne a short time later to transport the victim to an area hospital.

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Clear Lake State Park in Kelseyville, Calif., has a rich diversity of birds, including this male Pileated Woodpecker recently photographed in the park by docent Brad Barnwell.




KELSEYVILLE – If you enjoy Clear Lake and its superlative wildlife, you won’t want to miss the 16th annual Heron Festival taking place this weekend at Clear Lake State Park in Kelseyville.

This free event (except for the pontoon boat rides and the Wildflower Brunch) will feature an array of fascinating programs and speakers – including several local Lake County naturalists.

On Saturday and Sunday mornings at 8:30 a.m. Clear Lake State Park docent and local bird expert Brad Barnwell will lead the Audubon Birdwalk.

The walk will follow the riparian habitat along creeks that meander through the park. Along the way, wading and water birds, raptors, woodpeckers and riparian animal species will be viewed (bring your binoculars if have them). The walk will commence at the Visitors Center entrance ramp.

Popular wildlife photographer Philip Greene will show his spectacular photos and deliver his lecture on herons at 10 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. on Saturday at the Visitor Center Auditorium. Greene will focus on the nesting cycle of herons with special emphasis on mating behaviors, nest building, and fledging.

At 3 p.m. on Saturday Park docent, Glenn Smith, will lead a walk on the Dorn Trail to upland areas of the Park. You will see blooming native plants of the Oak woodlands and chaparral habitat, as well as great views of Clear Lake and Big Valley.

On Sunday at 10 a.m., Dr. Harry Lyons, professor of biology at Yuba College will present his popular “Myths and Music of Clear Lake.” Dr. Lyons offers an entertaining program that mixes biology, music and humor to tell the story of Clear Lake and its more than two million years of existence.

All of the programs will be in the Visitor Center Auditorium at the park.

A special program on Sunday, April 25, at 1 p.m. and again at 2 p.m. is the “Raptor Speak” presentation, featuring live owls and other birds of prey presented by Native Bird Connections. Learn about these lively non-releasable raptors in a fun and informative talk and bird demonstration. “Raptor Speak,” will be presented in the big tent next to the Visitor Center.

The festival also features a nature fair, children’s activities, a children’s Heron Art Show, visitor center tours, pontoon boat tours on Clear Lake, food, and music by the Kelseyville High School Jazz Band. On Saturday only, the Clear Lake State Park Interpretive Association is presenting its annual “Wildflower Brunch” from 9 a.m. to noon.

Tickets are still available for the Pontoon boat rides ($15 per person) and the Wildflower Brunch ($15 per person). All other activities are free. For a complete schedule or to make reservations for the boat rides or the brunch, go to or call 707-263-8030.

The event is presented by the Redbud Audubon Society, Inc. and the Clear Lake State Park Interpretive Association (CLSPIA).

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Dr. Harry Lyons uses a mix of biology, humor and music to tell the story of Clear Lake this Sunday, April, 25, 2010, during the Heron Festival in Kelseyville, Calif. Courtesy photo.

The goal of the expo is to help community members learn how to protect themselves from wildfire in case it happens as well as to protect against it altogether. Wildfires have threatened local communities in recent years; the Walker Fire east of Clearlake Oaks, Calif., in June of 2008 endangered the homes of residents in the Double Eagle Ranch. File photo by Elizabeth Larson.


KELSEYVILLE – Lake County’s first Wildfire Safety Expo will debut in May, offering community members and homeowners information on how to prepare for wildfire danger.

The free event will be held on Sunday, May 2, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Kelseyville Lumber Home Improvement Center, 3505 Merritt Road in Kelseyville.

“This event marks the beginning of Wildfire Awareness Week in California,” said Linda Juntunen, the expo's project coordinator. “We hope to provide helpful information so citizens will be better prepared in the event of wildfire. We have a few demonstrations planned that will be entertaining, but will also be valuable education tools. Some of our vendors will be doing live-fire demonstrations of their products, and I think the public will find them very interesting.”

Presented by the Lake County Fire Safe Council, partners for this event include the Kelseyville, Lake County, Lake Pillsbury, Lakeport, Northshore and South Lake Fire Protection Districts; the Lake County Fire Chiefs’ Association; Cal Fire; the Bureau of Land Management; and U. S. Forest Service.

A vendor fair will focus on fuel reduction methods, new fire-resistant building materials, home fire safety information and fire safe landscaping tips. Home fire protection products like Thermo gel and Barricade will be demonstrated.

Representatives from Lake County’s Building Department, the Air Quality Management District and Animal Care and Control will be on hand to answer homeowners' questions.

The Master Gardeners and PG&E will have tips on fire safe landscaping

Smokey Bear and Sparky the Fire Dog will be on hand for the kids, along with the Kid’s Fire Safety House.

Live fire demonstrations will be conducted and various pieces of equipment will be on display throughout the day, along with antique fire engines. The Forest Service also will demonstrate fire fighting methods and techniques.

“This event is a first for Lake County and will provide ‘one stop shopping’ for homeowners to take responsibility for their own safety and protection during the upcoming fire season,” said Jeff Tunnell, fire mitigation and education specialist for the Bureau of Land Management. “One of our themes is ‘Help them (firefighters) help you.’ Make it possible for the fire agencies to protect your homes safely and effectively.”

Take responsibility by learning how to protect your home and create the defensible space. Be fire wise and fire safe this season – attend the Wildfire Safety Expo.

Contact Linda Juntunen, project coordinator, at 707-263-4180, Extension 16, for additional information, or see the event flier at

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LUCERNE – A Wednesday night fight led to a stabbing and a man's arrest for attempted murder.

Samuel Thomas Robbins, 35, of Lucerne was booked for assault with a deadly weapon and attempted murder following the confrontation, which injured another Lucerne resident, 33-year-old Eugene Basurto, according to Capt. James Bauman of the Lake County Sheriff's Office.

On Wednesday at about 9:20 p.m. sheriff's deputies responded to the area of space 21 at “Lucerne On The Lake” on Lakeshore Boulevard in Lucerne to investigate an anonymous report of a physical fight in progress, Bauman said.

When deputies arrived, they located two men, later identified as Basurto and Robbins. Bauman said Basurto was lying on the ground covered with blood and Robbins was kneeling over him holding a towel over what were later determined to be several laceration wounds.

Basurto was conscious and both he and Robbins initially told deputies they did not know who had attacked him, according to Bauman's report.

As deputies secured the scene, rescue personnel from the Northshore Fire Protection District were responded for treatment of Basurto’s injuries, Bauman said. Fire personnel coordinated a landing zone at Lucerne Harbor where Basurto was ultimately transported and flown out of county for further treatment by a REACH air ambulance.

The Sheriff’s Major Crimes Unit was called out to assist in the investigation, which lasted throughout the night and well into Thursday morning, Bauman said.

While Robbins continued to deny knowing what had happened to Basurto, detectives developed enough information to secure a search warrant for Robbins’ residence at space 21 of the trailer park. Bauman said the search warrant was executed at about 12:45 a.m. Thursday and among other evidence collected, a bloody knife was recovered from the home.

After the evidence was recovered from his residence, Robbins was arrested and booked at the Lake County Jail on felony charges of attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon. He remains in custody with no bail, Bauman said.

Further details, including a motive for the apparent stabbing, are pending further investigation and Basurto’s current condition is unknown at this time.

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UKIAH – A Kelseyville teenager was arrested by Mendocino County Sheriff's deputies Wednesday after she was found with marijuana and prescription drugs for which she allegedly didn't have a prescription.

Erica Allen, 19, was arrested but released on a cite following a vehicle stop by deputies, according to a report from Mendocino County Sheriff's Sgt. James Van Hagen.

Van Hagen said that at 10 a.m. Wednesday Mendocino County Sheriff's Office were on routine patrol in the 1000 block of N. State Street in Ukiah, when they observed a vehicle speeding in the area.

The deputies stopped the vehicle and contacted both occupants, one of which was Allen, riding as the passenger, Van Hagen said.

As the deputies spoke with both the driver and Allen they could smell the odor of burning marijuana coming from inside of the vehicle, Van Hagen said. Further investigation revealed that Allen allegedly was the one smoking the drug.

During A search of the vehicle and Allen's belongings, Van Hagen said deputies located 3 Percocet pills inside an Advil bottle without a prescription attached.

Allen was arrested at the scene for possession of a controlled substance. Van Hagen said that the Allen was then cited and released on the charge.

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SACRAMENTO – The California Community Colleges and California State University have worked together to create what is considered to be one of the most significant pieces of legislation for California students, which goes to the state's Senate Education Committee on Wednesday.

Senate Bill 1440, authored by state Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima), will simplify the transfer process between the two systems, increase efficiency and generate approximately $160 million annually in cost savings.

The savings would in turn provide access to roughly 40,000 additional community college students and nearly 14,000 California State University students annually for the same amount of money allocated in each system’s respective budget, according to the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office.

The bill will go before the California Senate Education Committee beginning at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday.

The proposed bill, for the first time in California history, promises community college students a clear pathway for transfer, state education officials reported. When they complete an associate degree they are guaranteed admission to the California State University system at junior status.

“The need to widen the transfer pipeline is essential as many jobs in today’s economy require either an associate or bachelor’s degree,” said Sen. Padilla. “Complexities of the current transfer process between the two systems are causing a bottleneck. This initiative will help break the cycle and increase graduation rates. It is a brilliant idea and I’m excited to be carrying this bill.”

According to a report from the California Legislative Analyst’s Office, community college students transferring to a California State University graduated with an average of 162 units when the minimum requirement is 120 units.

A new study by the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office finds roughly 50,000 community college students transfer annually to the California State University system. They do so with an average of 80 semester units when only 60 semester units are required.

Similarly, when these students arrive at the California State University, they take excess units to make up for courses that did not transfer from their community college.

“I came to California from Florida 13 years ago,” said California State University Chancellor Charles Reed. “One of my goals when I came here was to make the process of transfer from community colleges to the universities as simple as it was in Florida. The Florida transfer system is called the perfect 2+2 system. Up until now I have not been successful but I’m optimistic that now is the time transfer reform will pass in California. Chancellor Scott and I have talked about this for the last 10 years.”

In education reform states such as Oregon and Florida, transfer is made seamless. Enactment of transfer reform legislation in Florida resulted in students completing their bachelor’s degree with only 138 units.

California students and taxpayers can benefit from transfer reform, education officials reported, because many transfer students take up to a full year of classes beyond the semester units required for a bachelor’s degree. These extra units cost the public millions of dollars each year.

“Students attending our colleges often express concerns about the complex and confusing transfer process,” said the California Community Colleges Chancellor Jack Scott. “This transfer initiative will put an end to the confusion and serve as a student passport to the California State University system.

“The reform measure will provide great savings for students in that it will save them time and money. It will provide great savings for the state in that we can educate more students for the same amount of money. This is a nationwide imperative. We have got to produce more college graduates by 2020 as part of President Obama’s goal to make the United States the most educated workforce in the world once again,” Scott stated.

Community colleges have experienced a surge in enrollment during this economic recession. More students understand the reality of the job market and the need to secure a college degree.

Senate Bill 1440 recognizes the considerable work a student has completed when preparing to transfer to a four-year college or university and allows community colleges to grant an associate degree for transfer in the student’s field of study.

Preparing students to transfer to a four-year university is a core mission of the California Community Colleges. The Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) projects the state will face a shortage of a million bachelor’s degree holders for the workforce by 2025.

PPIC also states that, in conjunction with gradually increasing college attendance rates and California State University graduation rates, increasing transfer rates by 20 percent in the next 15 years will close that one million degree gap dramatically.

“Based upon projections made by the Public Policy Institute of California, Senate Bill 1440 will put California on the right path to begin meeting our state’s need,” said The Campaign for College Opportunity Executive Director Michele Siqueiros.

The California Community Colleges is the largest system of higher education in the nation composed of 72 districts and 112 colleges serving 2.9 million students per year. Community colleges supply workforce training and basic skills education and prepare students for transfer to four-year institutions.

The Chancellor’s Office provides leadership, advocacy and support under the direction of the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges.

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Gary Costa, 37, is being sought in connection with the murder of a Bay Point, Calif., woman. Photo courtesy of the Contra Costa County Sheriff's Office.


LAKE COUNTY – Bay Area authorities are searching for a man wanted in connection with the murder of the mother of his child and who is believed to possibly be headed to the North Coast region, including Lake County.

The Contra Costa County Sheriff's Office has identified 37-year-old Gary Costa as a suspect in the killing of 26-year-old Sarah Morgan of Bay Point, according to a statement released by sheriff's spokesman Jimmy Lee.

“He is still outstanding,” Lee told Lake County News on Thursday about Costa's status.

An arrest warrant for homicide was issued for Costa relating to Morgan's murder, Lee reported.

Shortly before 3 p.m. Tuesday Morgan was found inside a residence on the 600 block of Medanos Loop in Bay Point by apartment maintenance workers who heard a fire alarm, according to Lee's report.

When the maintenance workers entered the unit, the fire sprinklers were on and they found Morgan inside, Lee said.

Firefighters pronounced Morgan deceased at the scene. Lee said deputy sheriffs who responded determined that a homicide occurred and notified detectives and the crime lab.

The exact motive for the killing is not known at this time, although Morgan and Costa

had a relationship, Lee reported. Costa also the father of Morgan's child.

Officials believe Costa may be in the Clearlake, Ukiah, Sacramento or Vallejo areas.

Costa is described as a white male, 5 feet 4 inches tall and 200 pounds, with red hair and green-colored eyes.

He was last driving a black 2009 Toyota Camry with California license plate 6GAF450.

Costa is a parolee at large and should be considered armed and dangerous, officials warned.

Anyone with any information on the whereabouts of Costa or information on the case is asked to call Contra Costa County Sheriff's detectives at 925-646-2441.

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MIDDLETOWN – The Lake County Sheriff's Office is seeking information about a man who allegedly robbed a convenience story in Middletown on Sunday.

Capt. James Bauman of the Lake County Sheriff's Office said sheriff's deputies responded to the Store 24 convenience store on Highway 29 in Middletown at about 5:30 a.m. Sunday on a reported robbery in progress. The suspect had left the area prior to the deputies’ arrival.

Employees told deputies that an unknown white male adult had entered the store, pointed his finger at the clerk simulating a handgun, and demanded all the money in the cash register, Bauman said.

No actual weapon was seen, however Bauman reported that the clerk gave more than $200 in currency to the suspect before he fled on foot from the store. There was one patron in the store at the time of the robbery and he was ordered on his knees while the crime was committed.

The suspect was described as a white male adult with dark-colored eyes and a medium build.

Bauman said the suspect was wearing a black jacket with a camouflage hood, black or dark-colored denim pants, black gloves and white athletic shoes. He was last seen fleeing on foot to the east of the store.

Anyone with information relating to the robbery should contact the Sheriff’s Major Crimes Unit at 707-262-4200.

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SANTA ROSA – A Tuesday manhunt led to the arrest of a Rohnert Park man who was the suspect in an early morning home invasion robbery.

John Mark Haun, 39, was arrested following the multiagency search, according to a report from the Sonoma County Sheriff's Office.

At 6:30 a.m. Tuesday Sonoma County Sheriff's deputies were dispatched to a residence in the 200 block of Brey Road in Santa Rosa, adjacent to Spring Lake Park, for an in-progress residential home invasion robbery, according to the report.

As deputies converged on the scene, an alert witness informed patrol personnel that the suspect had fled the victim's residence and was last seen running toward a neighboring creek that runs east-west between Channel Drive and Montgomery Drive and is located a few hundred yards from the victim's residence.

Deputies immediately established a perimeter along both sides of the creek, which was heavily wooded.

A massive manhunt ensued with the assistance of the sheriff's helicopter and two K-9 teams – one from Santa Rosa Police Department and the other from Petaluma Police Department.

After approximately three hours of searching, the suspect, later identified as Haun, was located hiding amongst the brush along the creek. With the assistance of one of the K-9 teams, Haun was taken into custody.

A black nylon pouch was found in close proximity to where Haun was hiding. A black semi-automatic handgun was found in the nylon pouch. The handgun was later determined to be stolen.

Haun was booked into the Sonoma County Main Adult Detention Facility on charges of robbery, possession of stolen property, convicted felon in possession of a firearm, using a firearm in commission of a felony and resisting arrest.

Haun's bail is currently set at $40.000.

The Sonoma County Sheriff's Office asks that anyone with information regarding this incident contact Det. Jim Naugle at 707-565-2185.

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A Caltrans maintenance crew picks up trash along Highway 29 near Cruikshank Road near Kelseyville, Calif., on Thursday, April 22, 2010. Photo courtesy of Caltrans.




LAKE COUNTY Caltrans and the California Highway Patrol joined forces in a statewide Litter Removal and Enforcement Day held on April 22, the 40th anniversary of Earth Day. Litter is an ongoing problem on State Highways.

Litter is not only ugly, it can lead to pollution. Last year alone, Caltrans spent $60 million picking up trash on California State Highways.

A total of more than 160,000 cubic yards of litter was removed last year, enough to fill 10,000 Caltrans garbage trucks, which would stretch about 52 miles if parked end to end!

Cigarette butts are the No. 1 item littered in California — they are discarded by the millions, often causing roadside fires, clogging storm drains, and threatening our water quality and wildlife.

In addition, motorists face the risk of accident, injury, and death as the result of trash and other debris fallen from vehicles hauling unsecured/untarped loads.

“Caltrans spends millions of dollars cleaning up trash from California highways when there are so many other uses for that money,” said Matthew K. Brady, Acting Caltrans District 1 Director. “We’re asking the public to help us reduce our trash problem – please Don’t Trash California.”

Caltrans said the dedicated volunteers who help clean state highways are a big part of the litter solution.

In Caltrans District 1 – Del Norte, Humboldt, Mendocino and Lake counties – there are about 320 Adopt-A-Highway groups made up of approximately 1,500 volunteers.

For more information on the Caltrans Adopt-A-Highway program, please call Nita Brake-Mills at


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LAKEPORT – A Richmond man has been sentenced to probation and fines for a 2009 deer poaching case.

On April 12 Joel Calzada-Morales, 52, pleaded no contest to illegal spotlighting. Judge Richard Martin then sentenced Calzada-Morales to three years probation, ordered him to pay a fine of $1,150 and revoked his hunting privilege for three years, according to a report from the Lake County District Attorney's Office.

In addition numerous items seized by game wardens were ordered forfeited to the state, including two spotlights, four gun cases, a Benelli M1 12-gauge shotgun, a Savage .17 caliber rifle, a Remington 30-06 rifle and a Henry .22 caliber rifle.

Chief Deputy District Attorney Richard Hinchcliff, who prosecutes Fish and Game violations in Lake County, filed charges against Calzada-Morales and another co-defendant charging them with spotlighting and unlawful possession of deer parts.

Spotlighting is the unlawful use of artificial lights to assist in the taking of a game animal, and is committed when the rays of an artificial light are intentionally cast or directed in an area inhabited by wild animals while the person is in possession of a firearm or weapon that could be used to kill an animal.

It is not necessary that an animal actually be killed in order to be a violation of the spotlighting statute, officials reported.

According to investigation reports, on Nov. 24, 2009, Fish and Game wardens were patrolling the Mendocino National Forest using aircraft spotters and wardens on the ground.

At approximately 9 p.m. wardens observed a vehicle moving through the forest shining spotlights out of the vehicle and into the surrounding hillsides, including in the State Game Refuge.

At approximately 11:20 p.m. wardens were able to catch up to and contact the occupants of the vehicle, including Calzada-Morales.

In the bed of the pickup Wardens Loren Freeman and Mike Pascoe found fresh blood and hair that they suspected belonged to an illegally taken deer, although the animal itself was not found.

The suspects claimed the blood and hair was from a jack rabbit. Inside the vehicle wardens located guns and spotlights.

Samples from the bed of the truck were sent to the Department of Fish and Game Forensics Laboratory in Rancho Cordova for testing. The forensic test determined the blood and hair was from a deer.

Hinchcliff, who has prosecuted poaching cases for the last 10 years, told Lake County News on Tuesday that he's seeing fewer poaching cases coming for prosecution.

However, that's not necessarily because there is less poaching. Rather, he said there have been significant cuts to Department of Fish and Game resources in recent years, meaning fewer wardens with less time in the woods.

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LAKE COUNTY – Lake County's unemployment numbers showed another slight upward climb in March, according to the state's newest report on employment rates.

The California Employment Development Department reported on Friday that Lake County's March unemployment rate was 19.5 percent, up slightly from the adjusted February rate of 19.4 percent but down from 19.8 percent in January. Lake County's March 2009 unemployment rate was 15.6 percent.

Statewide, unemployment in California increased in March to 12.6 percent, up from 12.5 percent in February. The Employment Development Department reported that the state's March 2009 unemployment rate was 10.6 percent.

The number of people unemployed in California was 2,308,000 – up by 31,000 over the month, and up by 362,000 compared with March of last year, the agency reported.

In Lake County, the 25,500-member labor force saw 4,980 people out of work in March. Employment Development Department statistics showed that the county's labor force had grown by about 130 people over February, when 4,930 people were unemployed.

Nationwide, March unemployment was 9.7 percent, which was unchanged from February, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. The March 2009 nationwide unemployment rate was 8.6 percent.

Lake County is currently ranked No. 50 out of California's 58 counties when it comes to unemployment, based on the Friday report.

The Employment Development Department report noted that the lowest unemployment in the state was found in Mono County, which had an 8.1 percent unemployment rate, while Imperial County, with 27 percent unemployment, had the highest rate.

Lake's neighboring counties posted the following rates and state rankings: Glenn, 18.1 percent, No. 42; Mendocino, 12.9 percent, No. 21; Napa, 10.7 percent, No. 9; Sonoma, 11.3 percent, No. 12; and Yolo, 14.7 percent, No. 28. Of those counties, Napa and Yolo showed slight improvements by percentage, and Sonoma showed no change from February.

In specific areas of Lake County, the lowest unemployment was reported in Upper Lake, at 10.3 percent, with the highest rate – 28.4 percent – found in Clearlake Oaks, the Employment Development Department reported.

The following unemployment rates were reported for other areas of the county: Nice, 27.9 percent; city of Clearlake, 27.5 percent; Lucerne, 20.5 percent; Kelseyville, 19.9 percent; Middletown, 19.8; city of Lakeport, 18.8 percent; Cobb, 17.5 percent; Lower Lake, 16.5 percent; Hidden Valley Lake, 16.2 percent; and north Lakeport, 15.6 percent.

The Employment Development Department said that nonfarm payroll jobs increased by 4,200 in March, based on data from two separate surveys.

The agency said California has gained jobs in each of the first three months of 2010, with gains over the period totaling 32,400 jobs. Nonfarm jobs in California totaled 13,842,000 in March, an increase of 4,200 over the month, according to a survey of businesses that is larger and less variable statistically.

The year-over-year change – March 2009 to March 2010 – showed a decrease of 458,400 jobs, down 3.2 percent, according to the report.

One of the two surveys used, a federal study done with a smaller sample than the state's survey of employers, showed an increase in the number of employed people during the month. It estimated the number of Californians holding jobs in March was 15,938,000, an increase of 53,000 from February, but down 463,000 from the employment total in March of last year.

The Employment Development Department report on payroll employment in the nonfarm industries of

California totaled 13,842,000 in March, a net gain of 4,200 jobs since the February survey. This followed a gain of 2,800 jobs, as revised, in February.

The report noted that five categories – mining and logging; manufacturing; educational and health services; leisure and hospitality; and other services – added jobs over the month, gaining 13,400 jobs. Educational and health services posted the largest increase over the month, adding 6,100 jobs.

Meanwhile, five categories – construction; information; financial activities; professional and business services; and government – reported job declines this month, down 9,200 jobs.

Information posted the largest decline over the month, down by 2,600 jobs. One sector – trade, transportation and utilities – recorded no change. One industry division, educational and health services, posted job gains over the year, adding 26,400 jobs (a 1.5 percent increase).

The Friday report said 10 categories – mining and logging; construction; manufacturing; trade, transportation and utilities; information; financial activities; professional and business services; leisure

and hospitality; other services; and government – posted job declines over the year, down 484,800 jobs.

The report noted that the largest decline both numerically and based on percentage was found in construction employment, down by 108,300 jobs – a decline of 16.3 percent.

In related data, the EDD reported that there were 768,583 people receiving regular unemployment insurance benefits during the March survey week. When federal unemployment insurance extensions are included, the total is 1,659,358 people receiving benefits. That's compared with 714,145 in February and 858,778 last year.

At the same time, the agency said new claims for unemployment insurance were 70,450 in March, compared with 63,766 in February and 79,979 in March of last year.

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