Friday, 19 July 2024


This supplements my previous article on the same subject with a basic discussion of two “carrot and stick” methods that may help ensure that your testamentary wishes are respected after you die: the “no contest clause” and the “forced election” (aka “the widow’s election”).

Let’s discuss each individually.

The “no contest clause” used in a will and/or trust is the most trusted legal tool to make beneficiaries accept and not quarrel over the decedent’s estate plan.

Very simply speaking, a no contest clause deters a beneficiary from bringing lawsuits to contest the terms of a trust or a will, involving certain allegations. The deterrence is to disinherit a beneficiary entirely if he or she should bring such a contest and fail.

Under current law, as of Jan. 1, 2010, “no contest clauses” now only apply to the following three types of legal challenges: “direct contests” – those contests alleging forgery, improper execution, lack of capacity, menace, duress, fraud or undue influence, and alleged revocations of trusts and wills that are brought without probable cause; actions to determine the character, title or ownership of property – if expressly provided for as triggering a contest; and filing a creditor’s claim or an action to enforce a creditor’s claim – if expressly provided for as triggering a will/trust contest.

The “probable cause” exception for bringing a direct contest protects a beneficiary who brings the contest based on a “reasonable belief” at the time that further legal discovery will lead to evidence supporting a “direct contest.”

The scope of the no contest clause should be drafted with particular attention to who is likely to bring what type of contest.

The no contest clause only deters beneficiaries who stand to lose something significant by bringing a contest so that the beneficiary’s fear of losing what they are assured of receiving outweighs their desire (greed) to try to receive more.

Some people chose to buy peace for their primary heirs by leaving something significant, with a no contest clause attached, to a beneficiary whom they otherwise might entirely disinherit.

Next, the “forced election.” A forced election occurs when a decedent’s will or trust forces a beneficiary to choose between either accepting an inheritance (under the will or trust) or asserting his/her ownership rights in property that the decedent’s will or trust gives entirely to someone else.

The forced election typically involves a deceased spouse attempting to give one or more items of community property to someone other than the surviving spouse/co-owner by inducing (or coercing) the surviving spouse to accept an inheritance of money (or other property) that is left to the surviving spouse under the same legal instrument.

Nowadays, however, the “forced election” is seldom used due to its adverse tax consequences, its engendering acrimonious feelings in the surviving spouse, and the existence of better alternatives.

For example, consider a married man who writes a will gifting his and his wife’s community property residence to a testamentary trust (established at his death) that provides for the lifetime benefit of his surviving wife (if she survives) and that thereafter leaves all to the husband’s children from his prior marriage; in the same will the husband also leaves a generous gift of money to his surviving wife as an incentive to obtain her cooperation.

Thus, the surviving wife must either accept her husband’s testamentary gift of money and the right to remain in the couple’s home until she dies, or else assert her one-half ownership right in the couple’s community property residence. Whether the surviving spouse will agree usually depends on how generous is the incentive.

Neither of the foregoing “carrot and stick” approaches guarantees that the decedent’s wishes will be respected and that litigation will be avoided.

They are, amongst the available tools, along with those discussed in my prior article, available to help ensure that one’s testamentary wishes are carried out.

Dennis A. Fordham, attorney (LL.M. tax studies), is a State Bar Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Probate and Trust Law. His office is at 55 First St., Lakeport, California. Dennis can be reached by e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by phone at 707-263-3235.

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LAKEPORT, Calif. – The California Highway Patrol will host a child safety seat checkup event for the community on Saturday, Aug. 14.

It will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the McDonald's parking lot, 1400 Todd Road, in Lakeport.

A certified child passenger safety technicians will be at the event to perform child safety seat evaluations for all children in the vehicle under the age of 6 years old, as well as to explain to event participants the importance of ensuring all children are properly secured in a motor vehicle.

This will be a free service to the motorist.

Children riding in vehicles are required by law to be properly restrained in a child safety seat until the age of 6, or they weigh 60 pounds.

Not only is it the law, but it’s also much safer, the CHP reported. An unrestrained child in a car is at significant risk of injury or death in the event of even a minor traffic collision.

Protect your children by using age-appropriate passenger restraint devices – safety seats or seat belts for older children.

Your child’s life depends on that car seat, that’s why it is important to make sure it is properly installed, according to the CHP.

The California Office of Traffic Safety reported that California’s child safety seat usage rate reached a record high of 94 percent in 2008 but dropped to 91 percent in 2009.

The CHP implemented their Child Passenger Safety (CPS) Program in April 1999. Thousands of employees have been trained in CPS, including CHP cadets.

The 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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LAKE COUNTY, Calif. – A Carmichael man prosecuted for a fatal 2006 sailboat crash has filed a federal lawsuit against Lake County and several of its law enforcement officials, claiming that his civil rights were violated and seeking $1 million in damages.

Bismarck Dinius, 42, and his attorney Laurence Masson of Berkeley, along with the Northern California Innocence Project filed the case on Tuesday, according to Masson.

It names a number of county officials, including District Attorney Jon Hopkins and Sheriff Rod Mitchell; Capt. James Bauman, Sgt. James Samples, Sgt. Dennis Ostini and Deputy Lloyd Wells; retirees Sgt. Wes Frey and Sgt. Dean Pick; former sheriff's Capt. Russell Perdock; and Lt. Charles Slabaugh of the Sacramento County Sheriff's Office, who assisted with the initial investigation. Additionally, the case alleges the involvement of 25 unnamed individuals.

The 14-page document said the action arises principally “from the unconstitutional, corrupt efforts” of county elected and law enforcement officials to prosecute Dinius for a homicide he did not commit.

Dinius alleges violation of his federal civil rights, and makes claims for slander and malicious prosecution.

Masson said Dinius is seeking $1 million, including punitive damages, and attorneys fees and costs, the latter having totaled over $300,000, according to a previous Dinius interview with Lake County News.

We haven't been served yet with the legal action so I can't really comment on anything at this point,” County Counsel Anita Grant said Wednesday afternoon.

Hopkins, who had been out of the office Tuesday and Wednesday, said he also hadn't seen the document and couldn't offer comment on it.

Sheriff Rod Mitchell called the situation “very unfortunate.”

“I'm confident that the department handled this matter appropriately,” he said.

Questioned about the timing of the case, Linda Starr, legal director for the Northern California Innocent Project at Santa Clara University, said it had nothing to do with the sheriff's race that is under way and about to go into its fall stretch.

“That there is a contested sheriff's race is purely coincidental,” she said. “The suit was filed when it was adequately investigated, researched and drafted.”

Case alleges corruption

On Clear Lake on the night of April 29, 2006, Dinius was sitting at the tiller of the Beats Workin' II, a sailboat owned by then-Willows resident Mark Weber, when it was hit from behind by a powerboat driven by Perdock.

Witnesses during the 2009 trial estimated Perdock was traveling between 40 and 60 miles per hour.

Weber's girlfriend, 51-year-old Lynn Thornton, was mortally injured and died several days later.

Perdock was not charged, but a year after the crash Dinius was charged with felony boating under the influence causing great bodily injury and manslaughter, and misdemeanor counts of boating under the influence and boating with a blood alcohol level of more than 0.08.

Dinius, Weber and Perdock all were sued by Thornton's estate, with that civil case settling in 2007. The terms of the settlement required that Perdock's and Dinius' insurance each paid $300,000 to the estate, and Weber's paid $100,000, as Lake County News has reported.

Shortly before the trial began in July 2009, Hopkins dropped the manslaughter charge and issued on open letter, which Dinius' lawsuit alleges slandered him by calling him “a drunken sailor.” Dinius' suit said Hopkins' conduct was “malicious and oppressive,” and warrants award of punitive damages.

The case filing comes nearly a year after a Lake County jury acquitted Dinius of the felony and misdemeanor boating under the influence charges.

At the same time, the jury deadlocked on the misdemeanor count of boating with a blood alcohol level of more than 0.08, which the court later dropped.

In January Dinius filed a claim with the county seeking unspecified damages to cover attorney fees, emotional distress, and loss of both his reputation and his job.

That claim was rejected the following month, clearing the way for the federal civil rights case, Victor Haltom, Dinius' criminal defense attorney, told Lake County News in a previous interview.

In the Tuesday filing Dinius accuses the named officials of concealing exculpatory evidence and fabricating evidence to make him appear guilty of Thornton's death.

“Defendants' corrupt investigation, prosecution, and attempted conviction of Dinius exhausted his financial resources, left him jobless, degraded his reputation, and emotionally scarred him,” the suit states. “Corrupt personal motives, rather than the pursuit of justice or legitimate activity within the scope of their employment, busied defendants' conduct.”

As part of his case Dinius argues that county officials ordered former sheriff's Sgt. James Beland not to administer a breathalyzer test to Perdock at the crash scene, and that Beland's statements to fellow employees that he was upset about that order led to “harassing internal affairs investigations” and his termination in December 2008.

The filing alleges that the sheriff's office under Mitchell's leadership “had a custom, usage, pattern, practice, or unwritten code of conduct of protecting favored employees, such as defendant Perdock, aligned with Mitchell and punishing employees, such as Sergeant Beland, who resisted the favoritism when it crossed the line.”

On the stand during the 2009 trial, Beland claimed his termination was a direct result of the case. He said that he had asked Ostini at the scene if he should do the breathalyzer and that Ostini had said no, Perdock was going for a blood test.

Beland maintained on the stand that it was “a discussion on how to handle the situation, but it was also an order,” as Lake County News reported in its trial coverage.

What's ahead for the county

Grant said the county belongs to the California State Association of Counties' Excess Insurance Authority.

She said the county's liability claims are handled by a third party administrator through that organization, in this case the George Hills Co., which had turned down Dinius' administrative claim against the county in February.

“When we're served then counsel will be assigned,” said Grant, noting that pursuant to the terms of the liability insurance, an outside attorney will defend the county in the suit.

Hopkins, who came in third in the June 8 primary and so will not be on the November ballot for the district attorney's job, will nonetheless be defended by the county after he's gone from its employment, Grant said.

“He's named for actions he took while in our employment so it should be covered,” she said, adding that the same should apply to Frey and Pick, the two retirees the suit named.

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, Calif. – Lake County's newly elected superintendent of schools will start work sooner than expected, with his predecessor to step down this month.

On Wednesday night the Lake County Board of Education accepted county Superintendent of Schools Dave Geck's resignation.

Geck told Lake County News that he will retire effective Aug. 31, clearing the way for Wally Holbrook, elected in June to succeed him, to take office before January.

He said this was an opportune time to step down.

“Our idea was to really look at leadership transition,” Geck said.

Holbrook said he was excited about getting to work early.

He said he will be serving on an appointment basis until he formally takes office in January.

The development, said Holbrook, “was evidence of a good transition that Dave and I have been working on for awhile.”

Holbrook said it's an opportunity for him to step into the role at the same time as schools around the county start. “I'm looking forward to that.”

Geck himself took office early in 2006, with his predecessor, Bill Cornelison, stepping down early so Geck be sworn in during a September ceremony.

After the June 8 election, in which Holbrook won with 59.6 percent of the vote, he began meeting with Geck and the deputy superintendent, along with other officials at the office of education and county board of education members.

Geck said the sooner they could put the transition into place, the more money they could save.

He is at the stop salary step – $122,000 a year – for the office, while Holbrook will begin at $116,000.

Geck will work, unpaid, to assist Holbrook through the rest of the transition, with the district covering his health benefits for the remaining four months of the year.

With those savings, and with Holbrook working three-quarter time until January, Geck said the district is estimated to save $30,000 in salary costs over the coming 16 months.

Holbrook said he has been spending a lot of time getting to know people, and understanding how people and programs fit together in the office of education.

“I'm learning every day,” and enjoying it, said Holbrook.

He's looking forward to starting work at the start of the school year, with its unique energy.

Once in office, Holbrook said a review of all of the office of education's programs and services will start right away.

Geck has been with the Lake County Office of Education for 14 years and has a 35-year career in education, more than 30 years of it spent locally. He decided last fall not to seek a second term.

He and his wife, Rose, are retiring at the same time, and are looking forward to being able to work together on future projects.

Both are educators, but he said they may not work in education and instead might pursue projects in a different area.

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 .

A Cal fire tanker drops retardant on a fire in the hills above Lucerne, Calif., on the evening of Thursday, August 12, 2010. Photo by Elizabeth Larson.


LUCERNE, Calif. – On Thursday evening state and local firefighters battled a vegetation fire in the hills above Lucerne.

The fire was dispatched shortly after 5 p.m., about 10 minutes after the power in the town had gone off for about a minute. Reports from the scene indicated power lines were down.

Cal Fire, Northshore Fire and the US Forest Service were among the agencies responding.

One structure was reported threatened by the fire, which firefighters had to access off of Robinson Road, which turns off of Foothill Drive.

Cal Fire sent four fixed wing aircraft to monitor the fire. A Cal Fire helicopter made about 20 water drops, traveling back and forth from the lake with a bucket designed for the task.

In addition, Cal Fire air tankers made six retardant drops.

Just after 7 p.m. Cal Fire estimated the blaze to be about 10 acres in size.




A Cal Fire helicopter fills its bucket with water from Clear Lake to fight a fire in the hills above Lucerne, Calif., on Thursday, August 12, 2010. Photo by Trent Kirk.



Resources on scene included two US Forest Service engines, five Cal Fire engines, one helicopter, two crews, two dozers and a battalion chief, according to Cal Fire. Information on the number of Northshore Fire resources was not immediately available.

Pacific Gas & Electric had been notified of the power line issues and had arrived at the scene shortly before 7 p.m., according to radio reports.

At about 7:20 p.m. Cal Water was notified that firefighters were drawing down water from the town's hydrants.

The fire's cause is still under investigation, Cal Fire said.

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




A Cal Fire tanker begins a retardant drop on the fire above Lucerne, Calif., on Thursday, August 12, 2010. Photo by Trent Kirk.





The flames were visible in this photograph taken by Amanda Guyette on Thursday, August 12, 2010.





LUCERNE, Calif. – Unusual cloud formations and eye-popping colors made for an amazing sunset Tuesday evening.

Lucerne resident and professional photographer Ron Keas captured the progression of the sunset in a series of shots.

He said the sunset contained “probably the most unusual cloud formation I've seen in my five years of photographing sunsets here.”

“What a show,” he added.

See more of Keas' work at his Web site,

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, Calif. – Water users in the Kelseyville and Finley areas are being urged to boil water for the next few days in the wake of a low water issue that occurred on Thursday.

Some customers in the area reported receiving hand-delivered notices from Lake County Special Districts, while others received calls from the agency through the Office of Emergency Services' reverse 911 system.

Lake County News also received reports from Kelseyville residents of the water being off in downtown Kelseyville for about two hours on Thursday morning.

Pete Preciado, Lake County Special Districts deputy administrator, said the system experienced low water pressure on Thursday morning, resulting in a lot of calls from customers.

“Right now everything's back to normal,” he said Thursday afternoon. “The system is fine, the water is fine.”

However, he said Special Districts was asking customers to purify their water before drinking it, with boiling one of the ways to achieve that goal.

“Anytime you lose system pressure you could suffer back siphonage, and that could bring water into the system,” he said.

Last week construction began in downtown Kelseyville to increase the size of the water main, a project Preciado said is expected to conclude next Tuesday.

Preciado said district workers valved off an area of Main Street where that work is going on.

“We are isolating sections of pipe and redirecting the water,” he said.

He said that, following their investigation into the low water pressure occurrence, they believe the way the area was valved caused the problem.

“The wells are fine, the pipes are fine, the storage tanks are fine, it was just the valving off for construction,” he said.

Preciado said once Special Districts settled on a cause, the focus then turned to getting the water pressure restored, flushing the lines and notifying the public.

He said they were in the process of collecting bacteriological samples to make sure the water was safe to drink. They have to have two days of consecutive clean samples before the health department will rule the water safe.

Preciado said Special Districts is telling customers in the Kelseyville and Finley areas who have received the notices and calls to boil their water until a paper notice is placed on their door notifying them of the boil water order's cancellation.

If everything goes well, the earliest the order would be lifted is Saturday afternoon, Preciado said.

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

KELSEYVILLE, Calif. – In a Tuesday night meeting the Kelseyville Unified School District Board of Trustees began a discussion with the community about the need to cut funds for the 2011-12 school year, with school site configuration one way of achieving that end.

About 30 people attended the 45-minute meeting at Kelseyville High School, with district staff presenting an overview of Kelseyville Unified's financial challenges.

Board President Rick Winer said the meeting's purpose was to discuss site configuration, but he said the board's members – which included John DeChaine, Peter Quartarolo, Gary Olson and Chris Irwin – had open minds about how to approach the situation.

“We want to investigate and collect all the data that we can” before making a decision, Winer said.

District Superintendent Dave McQueen said the discussion about how to deal with the district's declining enrollment had been going on for several years.

He said they were looking at how to configure the district's school sites to maximize dollars and use the facilities in the best way possible.

Students had been moved around in the district before, said McQueen.

While the district has looked at similar issues previously, McQueen said this was a more open process. “We want community input,” he said. “We want to look at every viable option.”

He said they needed to look at the situation as a community, and do what's best for both the community as a whole and the school district. McQueen assured the audience that nothing had yet been decided.

A series of configuration meetings are scheduled through November, McQueen said. The first meeting was Tuesday; others are set for 7 p.m. Sept. 14, Oct. 12 and Nov. 9 in the student center at Kelseyville High School.

A district configuration committee composed of employee staff, teachers, administration and parent teacher organization representatives also will hold several meetings to gather data, but those aren't public meetings, they said.

McQueen said they hoped to supply three to four different options to the board for its consideration.

Tiffany Kemp, the district's chief financial officer, said the district was looking to have a decision made by the Nov. 16 board meeting about where to make the cuts.

“We have two major factors that we're up against as a district,” which are not unique to Kelseyville, Kemp said.

Those two factors are declining enrollment and revenue cuts, Kemp said. As enrollment continues to decline, the district loses more revenue.

Kemp said the district has been in a declining enrollment trend since 2003, with the trend expected to continue until the 2013-14 school year.

She showed a chart that illustrated the district dropping from a high of 1,952 students in the 2001-02 school year to an estimated 1,611 students in 2013-14.

At that point the kindergarten through third grade enrollment is predicted to rise, but it is expected to be outdone by student number decreases at the high school, Kemp explained.

Over the last two years the state has been reducing revenue for schools, Kemp said. “We don't see any signs that that's going to improve.”

If the state doesn't fund cost of living increases totaling 2.1 percent in 2011-12 and 2.4 percent in 2012-13 the district can expect revenue reductions of $200,000 in 2011-12 and $360,000 in 2012-13, Kemp said.

In the midst of all of these challenges, Kemp said the state requires Kelseyville Unified to maintain a reserve totaling 3-percent of its expenditures. For 2010-11, the district's expenditures total about $13 million.

Kemp said the district is in deficit spending. Kelseyville Unified has total expenditures of just over $14 million anticipated for the coming school year, with revenues at slightly over $13 million. The district currently has about $1 million in reserves.

The district has eight sites, Kemp said. They include Kelseyville Elementary, 469 students; Kelseyville High, 504 students; Ed Donaldson Continuation High School, 12 students; Riviera Elementary, 289 students; Intermountain High School, eight students; the new Riviera High School, with no student amount listed; Mountain Vista Middle School, 399 students; and Kelseyville Community Day School, 16 students.

The goal, said Kemp, is to get the most out of the sites.

“We want this to be a positive experience,” said Kemp.

The district plans to evaluate the impact on the community and minimize negative impacts on students and staff, she said.

During a brief public comment period, community members asked about the potential for positive impact from federal legislation and previous task forces that have met, and questioned current teacher benefit levels.

Shelly Bell asked if the board had enough time to make a decision by the November deadline. McQueen said yes, with district staff already having begun work to study the situation.

Bell asked if the bottom line was financial. McQueen said it was a big consideration, adding the board has a huge stake in what the community thinks and how whatever actions are taken will affect them.

No possibility was off the table? Bell asked. McQueen said she was correct.

Bell asked if most savings are still in personnel. Kemp said yes.

McQueen welcomed community members to send questions, comments and suggestions to the district at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. In addition the community can call 707-279-1511.

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 .



LOWER LAKE, Calif. – A crash that blocked Highway 29 for several hours on Wednesday resulted in no injuries to the drivers involved.

The crash occurred at 8:20 a.m. Wednesday just north of Diener Drive, according to California Highway Patrol Officer Steve Tanguay.

Donald Secord, 55, of Lakeport was driving a 2006 International Suburban Propane truck southbound, with Manuel de Jusus Calvo Santiz of Clearlake driving his 1997 Honda Civic northbound, according to the report.

For an unknown reason, Santiz lost control of the Honda and it began to drift from side to side. Tanguay said it then veered to the left and crossed over the solid double yellow lines, hitting the left rear tires of the propane truck, breaking the rear axle.

Both vehicles spun out of control and the Honda went off of the road to the west, with the propane truck came to rest blocking the southbound lane of traffic, he said.

The roadway was blocked for several hours with one way traffic control until the propane truck could be moved, Tanguay reported.

There were no injuries in this collision and alcohol or drugs are not considered factors, he said.

Tanguay said Santiz was placed under arrest for driving without a driver's license.

The collision is being investigated by CHP Officer Brian Engle.

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Lake County Sheriff's deputies and officers with the California Department of Justice's Campaign Against Marijuana Planting found these weapons located in the marijuana grow near Middletown, Calif., on Tuesday, August 10, 2010. Photo courtesy of the Lake County Sheriff's Office.

MIDDLETOWN, Calif. – Local and state officials found another illegal marijuana grow this week totaling thousands of plants, with the additional discovery of weapons.

Sgt. Brian Martin of the Lake County Sheriff's Office reported that sheriff's deputies along with law

enforcement officials from the California Department of Justice's Campaign Against Marijuana Planting (CAMP) team continued their investigation into illegal cultivation of marijuana operations in Lake County.

In the area of Socrates Mine Road and Ford Flat Road between Middletown and Cobb, they discovered an illegal marijuana garden containing over 10,000 marijuana plants, Martin said.

The location of this marijuana garden was eight-tenths of a mile away from another marijuana garden in which an armed suspect was shot and killed by a deputy six days earlier, according to Martin.

That suspect, Martin said, was identified by family members on Tuesday as Juan Sanchez Corona, 51, of Michoacán, Mexico.

Also discovered in the garden that was located on Tuesday were several firearms, which Martin said were located in concealed locations in and around the garden.

Officials discovered that all of the firearms were loaded, and there was extra ammunition located at

the site for all of the weapons. Martin said the weapons included three shotguns, one of which had a

pistol grip, an assault rifle with a scope, and another rifle.

The investigation also revealed a night vision scope that has the ability to project an infrared beam. This type of device allows the user to broadcast light that is invisible to the naked eye, but allows anyone equipped with a night vision device to see just as clearly as if a spotlight were being used, Martin said.

Martin said they found at the campsite ammunition for two other caliber firearms which weren't located. The ammunition in question is the type most commonly used for handguns.

Officials discovered three unoccupied tents in and around the garden. Martin said they also found recent footprints, and determined that the marijuana plants had been watered within hours of their arrival.

The garden was located on a remote portion of a large parcel of private property. Martin said the

owner of the property is not suspected of being involved.

Law enforcement officials are investigating the possibility that the persons responsible for this marijuana garden are connected to the marijuana garden located on Aug. 4, Martin said.

The Lake County Sheriff’s Office reminds all people that access remote lands to be mindful and vigilant of these illegal marijuana operations.

If you come across such an operation, you are urged to immediately back out of the area and notify the sheriff’s office.

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On Tuesday, August 10, 2010, California Highway Patrol officers and a tow company remained at the scene of a big rig crash on Highway 29 outside of Lakeport, Calif. Photo by John Jensen.



LAKEPORT, Calif. – A wreck involving a big rig and a smaller vehicle resulted in minor injuries and closed down a portion of Highway 29 on Tuesday.

The crash, which took place just north of the Nice-Lucerne Cutoff, was reported just before 3:30 p.m.

A small vehicle and a semi collided, with the big rig over on its side, according to witnesses.

The California Highway Patrol reported that there were four crash victims who were out and walking but had sustained injuries.

Caltrans personnel were called to the scene to assist with setting up cones around the blocked southbound lane, the CHP said.

The truck was reported to be leaking diesel fuel, according to the CHP.

A full report on the individuals involved in the crash and the extent of their injuries wasn't available from the CHP Tuesday evening. Minor injuries were reported.

It took several hours to investigate the scene and remove the vehicles.

At around 6:30 p.m. several CHP officers were still examining the scene. The big rig had been set upright but still hadn't been removed from the highway median at that point.

About an hour and a half later the truck had been towed off the highway.

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 .

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