Thursday, 25 July 2024


A male turkey with his fancy plumage. Photo by Gary Stolz, US Fish and Wildlife.



Indigenous to the Americas, the wild turkey is a majestic, fast-running bird more of interest to bird watchers and hunters than butchers.

The wild turkey was domesticated around 10 BC to 10 A D by the Aztecs. They ate its meat and used its feathers for ornamental purposes during their annual turkey festival. They were known to trade about 1,000 birds daily in their markets. When the conquistadors arrived in the Americas, turkey had become the staple meat of Mayans, Aztecs, Incas and other indigenous peoples.

In the wild the bird is fast (up to 40 kilometer per hour top speed), and its eyesight and hearing are sharp. Some say the bird is unattractive looking, but the male has an iridescent plumage that is fine to look at when he “displays” the ruffled feathers.

The bird sports a fanlike tail, bare head and bright beard. They gobble with a distinctive sound that can be heard a mile and a half away. During the day wild turkeys forage for seeds, berries, buds and grubs (even a little snake, frog or salamander may be on its menu), and at night they fly into trees to roost. An adult wild turkey can weigh as much as 20 pounds and they can live to be 6 to 9 years old.

The females will lay four to 17 eggs, and feed their chicks for a few days after they hatch and the males take no role in the raising of the young. That is why you will often see mother/child flocks that can number in the dozens.

Benjamin Franklin would have preferred that the wild turkey be the national bird of the US instead of the bald eagle.

Writing to his daughter he stated: “For my own part I wish the Bald Eagle had not been chosen the representative of our Country. For the truth the Turkey is in comparison a much more respectable bird, and withal a true original Native of America ... He is besides, though a little vain & silly, a Bird of Courage, and would not hesitate to attack a Grenadier of the British Guards who should presume to invade his Farm Yard with a red coat on.”

The wild turkey was wiped out in the United States by overhunting coupled with the disappearance of their preferred woodland habitat in the early 20th century.

They will typically forage on forest floors, but can also be found in grasslands and swamps. You can see them foraging in open areas around Davis and Woodland, in the farm lands and around Cache Creek, and throughout Lake County. Feeding on nuts, seeds, fruits, insects, and salamanders they can be both beneficial and a pest to the gardener or farmer and to the declining salamander population.


In the 1940s, reintroduction programs of the wild bird took place and the birds were relocated to areas where populations had been decimated but woodlands were recovering. The program was so successful the birds now live in areas where they may not have occurred when Europeans first reached the Americas. Today, flocks can be found in Hawaii, Europe and New Zealand.




If approached by an aggressive wild turkey, pointing a black umbrella at the bird will scare it away, but not the dog. Pictured is Andrew Fulks. Courtesy photo.



Now occupying about 18 percent of our state they are a highly valued upland game bird as well as a great bird to watch.

If you have the birds around your home or farm it is best to resist feeding them or approaching them. Trouble can begin as a flock of wild turkeys can cause great damage to a garden and if they lose their natural fear of humans they could become dangerously aggressive during breeding season.

If you have a problem with wild turkeys contact your local Department of Fish and Game office or visit .

Mayan royal feasts included turkey wrapped in corn tortillas. Heat a corn tortilla until soft; add warm shredded turkey, a bit if avocado and if you are as courageous as the wild turkey a bit of habanera chili. Roll up and enjoy with steamed wild rice and fresh tomatoes.

For a more adventurous use of your leftover turkey you might try this tamale recipe called “Pibikutz, adapted from a recipe in the Diario Yucatan the Merida Yucatan newspaper, October 1996.



Traditionally prepared during the festival of Hanal Pixan, which has since become the Day of the Dead in the Maya area, this dish has a symbolic process of "burying" the tamale in a pit and then "resurrecting" as it corresponds with the ancient Maya idea of burying the dead before their transition into the afterlife.

4 cups turkey broth

6 2/3 cups corn masa harina

1/3 cup solid turkey fat or butter

6 2/3 cups shredded cooked turkey (for a vegetarian version substitute thinly sliced “ToFurkey”)

1 teaspoon achiote

Salt, to taste

1 cup tomato

1 large onion

2 sprigs of epazote (parsley is a close substitute)

habanera chile, to taste

about 12-15 corn husks

Boil the broth with half a teaspoon of achiote or parsley, a dash of salt and a little bit of the masa harina for thickening. This will be part of the "kol" that bathes the interior of the tamales.

Mix the corn masa with the turkey fat, salt and achiote to make a dough. This forms the filling that will cover the shredded turkey meat. Put some of this corn dough on top of a corn husk. Make a hollow in the dough. Layer this hollow with the turkey and bathe with the broth, alternating with onion, tomato, chile and epazote. Finally, put a covering of corn dough on top.

Wrap everything with corn husks and then bake for an hour and a half at 375 degrees. Or, for the traditional method, bury the pibikutz in a firewood and rock pit, and let cook for eight hours. Truly a “wild” treat!

Debra Chase is the executive director of Tuleyome, a local nonprofit working to protect both our wild heritage and our agricultural heritage for future generations. She's also the chef/owner of UnCooked Creations, a raw vegan/vegetarian professional chef service. She and her husband Dave reside on their farm in Colusa County. Visit Tuleyome online at .

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Turkeys in the wild. Photo by Moonjaz.

LAKE COUNTY – The Thanksgiving holiday traditionally means heavy traffic on California’s roadways. However, holiday travelers won’t be the only ones making the trip this year.

The California Highway Patrol (CHP) will mount a focused campaign against safety belt violators during the Thanksgiving holiday.

“Wearing a seatbelt is the easiest and quickest way to save a life,” said CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow. “It takes two seconds to buckle up.”

Thirty-three people were killed on California roadways during the Thanksgiving holiday in 2008, the CHP reported.

Among the 20 vehicle occupants killed in CHP jurisdiction, 35 percent were not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash.

In addition to keeping an eye out for vehicle occupants without seatbelts, officers will be especially watchful for impaired drivers during the period.

“Throughout the holiday travel season officers will also emphasize driving under the influence enforcement to help remove these most dangerous drivers from California’s roadways,” said Commissioner Farrow.

Starting at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 25, through midnight, Sunday, Nov. 29, the CHP will be implementing the annual Thanksgiving enforcement period. During this time all available officers will be out on the road.

“The roadways get crowded during the four-day weekend and on the day after Thanksgiving with holiday shopping traffic congestion,” said Commissioner Farrow. “The message is simple, drive safe, sober and remember to buckle up.”

Thanksgiving is also an Operation CARE (Combined Accident Reduction Effort) holiday.

Operation CARE is a joint program of the nation’s highway patrols that places special safety emphasis on interstate highways during holiday periods.

CARE highways in California include Interstates 80, 40, 15 (San Bernardino to the Nevada border) and 5 (Bakersfield north to the Oregon line).

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LAKE COUNTY – Lake County’s unemployment rate took a jump in the wrong direction in October, climbing to its second-highest rate of 2010 as state and national unemployment also went up.

The California Employment Development Department’s latest report put Lake County’s October unemployment rate at 16.2 percent, up from a revised rate of 14.8 percent for September. In October 2008 Lake County posted a jobless rate of 11.2 percent.

The county was ranked No. 50 out of the state’s 58 counties for joblessness in October, the agency reported.

The state’s overall unemployment rate for October was 12.5 percent, compared to 8.0 percent in October of 2008, the Employment Development Department reported. In September, the state’s unemployment rate was 12.3 percent.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the nation’s October unemployment rate was 10.2 percent, up from 9.8 percent in September and 6.6 percent in October of 2008.

In response to the unemployment reports, US Sen. Barbara Boxer said the news is a clear sign that more action must be taken to put people back to work, and she’s working with Senate leaders and other committee chairmen on a job creation package.

Boxer, who chairs the Environment and Public Works Committee, said she’ll work to include significant investments in transportation and infrastructure in the package, and will push for the immediate reauthorization of the Economic Development Administration to allow creation of private sector jobs in the communities that need them most.

She said those initiatives could create hundreds of thousands of new jobs.

“I will also work to make sure the package includes legislation I sponsored to increase lending to small businesses, which are the main engines of job creation in this country,” she said.

Based on the state’s revised unemployment reports, Lake County’s jobless rate hit 16 percent in January and February before peaking at 16.6 percent in March.

Over the last several months, the county’s unemployment rate has been reduced somewhat, likely due to the seasonal agricultural harvests.

However, with harvest now over and with hundreds of jobs lost – possibly permanently – in the recent closure of Konocti Harbor Resort & Spa, the rate likely will climb for the remainder of the year and into next spring, which is part of the normal yearly unemployment cycle.

Lake’s neighboring counties registered the following jobless rates and state rankings in October: Colusa, 17.3 percent, No. 53; Glenn, 13.4 percent, No. 33; Mendocino, 10.6 percent, No. 12; Napa, 9.0 percent, No. 3; Sonoma, 10.1 percent, No. 10; and Yolo, 12.2 percent, No. 24.

California’s unemployed numbered 2,293,000 in October, an increase of 808,000 from the previous October, and up 36,000 from September, according to the Employment Development Department.

Imperial County had the state’s highest unemployment rate, at 30 percent, while Marin County’s unemployment rate was the lowest statewide at 8.1 percent.

The Employment Development Department reported that nonfarm payroll jobs in October totaled 14,199,000, an increase of 25,700 jobs over September but a decrease of 687,700 jobs – or 4.6 percent – from October of 2008.

The employment figures are based on information derived from two sources – a federal survey of 5,500 California households and a survey of 42,000 California businesses measures jobs in the economy.

The agency reported that the federal households survey showed a decrease in the number of employed people, estimating the number of Californians employed in October was 16,041,000, down 94,000 from September, and down 981,000 from the employment total in October of last year.

In October, six employment categories – information; financial activities; professional and business services; educational and health services; leisure and hospitality; and government – added jobs over the month, gaining 48,600 jobs, according to the report.

The biggest job number increase for October came in the government sector, which added 13,400 jobs but has posted an average job loss of 8,000 per month over the last six months, the Employment Development Department reported.

Declines in job numbers in October came in five categories – mining and logging; construction;

manufacturing; trade, transportation and utilities; and other services – for a total of 22,900 lost jobs. The Employment Development Department’s report showed that manufacturing posted the largest decline over the month, down by 8,300 jobs.

Educational and health services was the only industry division to show job gains over the year, posting a 1.4-percent increase, amounting to 23,500 jobs, based on the report.

The 10 remaining categories posted declines totaling 711,200 lost jobs since October of 2008. They included mining and logging; construction; manufacturing; trade, transportation and utilities; information; financial activities; professional and business services; leisure and hospitality; other services; and government.

The largest decline of an industry on a numerical basis over the year was found in trade, transportation and utilities, which lost 160,900 jobs, a decline of 5.7 percent, according to the report. Construction posted the largest decline on a percentage basis, down by 18.2 percent, a decrease of 136,500 jobs.

During the October survey week, approximately 740,272 people were receiving regular unemployment insurance benefits, according to the Employment Development Department. That’s down slightly from the 744,924 people receiving the benefits in September and 527,918 reported last year.

The agency reported that, at the same time, new claims for unemployment insurance jumped up to 83,475 in October, compared with 69,160 in September and 67,491 in October of last year.

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 .

SACRAMENTO – As the holiday season approaches, Cal Fire and the Office of the State Fire Marshal are reminding Californians about the dangers that home fires pose.

The holidays are a time of food, fun and festivities; but they are also a time to be extra cautious as thousands of home fires are caused from cooking equipment during the holidays.

One of the most dangerous pieces of equipment can be a turkey fryer. A common problem is that people misjudge the amount of oil needed, not allowing room for the turkey to be placed inside.

But even when the oil is at the right level, a partially frozen turkey can cause hot oil to spew a jet of fire. Any contact between hot oil and nonmetallic materials could lead to serious damage.

Fires have occurred when turkey fryers were used in a garage or barn or under eaves to keep the appliance out of the rain. Follow all manufactures instructions and insure that children are not in the area.

“Safe cooking this Thanksgiving can mean the difference between a great gathering with family and friends or visitors from the fire department sharing in your gathering because of a cooking emergency,” said acting State Fire Marshal Tonya Hoover.

Cal Fire and the Office of the State Fire Marshal, along with the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA), are urging cooks to “stand by their pan” to prevent fires.

“It only takes seconds for an unattended meal to turn into a dangerous and damaging fire,” stated Hoover.

To help reduce the chance of fire and injuries associated with holiday cooking, follow these safety tips:

  • Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. Never leave cooking food unattended.

  • If you leave the kitchen for even a short period time, turn off the stove.

  • Cooking food should always be supervised by an adult.

  • Turkey fryers should always be used outdoors a safe distance from buildings and other material that can burn. Never use on wooden decks or in garages.

  • Children should not be permitted near a turkey fryer since hot oil can cause serious burn injuries.

  • Provide a level surface that is free of ignitable materials when using turkey fryers.

  • Make sure a fire extinguisher is handy at all times. Never use water to put out a grease fire.

  • Use well-insulated potholders or oven mitts when touching pot or lid handles.

For more information on fire safety, visit our website at .

T Watts at the KPFZ microphone. Courtesy photo.




Give thanks and praises to the Most High.”

– Robert Nesta Marley

kick back and let the light shine

remember all yours could’a been all mine

that’s why y’all ought to be thankful

you ought to be thoughtful …”

– Sylvester Stewart


In the biography of Bob Marley, “Catch A Fire,” penned by rock journalist Timothy White, it is written that on their first American tour in 1973, Reggae icon Bob Marley & The Wailers opened for Sly & The Family Stone.

Bob & The Wailers were thrown off the the tour almost immediately. They were stranded in Las Vegas where they were forced by circumstance to leave on foot, walking toward the fame and fortune that was, bit by bit, seemingly, slipping away from Sly (Sylvester Stewart).

When I read White’s report of how the then-ragged Wailers were treated by the so-called rock establishment, or at least an icon of the rock establishment, I took serious note of it. How could two of my favorite artists not survive together on the same tour?

Exuding from their lyrics, despite being a culture apart, was the same thematic concern. Peace, love and the elevation of the underdog not withstanding, the brothers just couldn’t seem to make it. It seems as if all the strife in the world can be traced to the strange truth that mankind has this need to dominate one another.

Though we again approach that season that retailers pant heavily for, that children, by ritual and fantasy are encouraged to covet and play with war toys and other multimillion dollar industries within industries, much of the world is wracked by war, poverty, sickness and crime. We sit here in the west unable to agree on what freedom is, yet we continue to dole out the standard that the rest of the world looks at and I guess we should be thankful that some of us are able to at least envision true Thanksgiving and good will toward men.

Meanwhile, behind the big scene, the purse string bandits continue their merry trek to the shrinking collective of banks, corporate bonuses still in vogue despite cries of foul from the highest office in this land. Hard to fathom, but it seems suddenly the chief executive is largely ceremonial. I suspect it has been that way for a long time.

Oh, excuse me. This is supposed to be a music column. Divine music, the balm that eases pain like the snake oil we bought a century or two ago. I’m told there was music at the first Thanksgiving, a century or two before that. Then the hordes from all the continents came. By hook or by crook we came. Some of us assimilated. Some of us remain marginalized. Like it or not as the poor and the middle class become one, the destiny of the super rich is the stuff that science fiction used to be made of. Give thanks!


Keep prayin’, keep thinkin’ those kind thoughts.


Upcoming cool events:

Monday, November 30

Blues Monday at the Blue Wing featuring Memphis Exchange with Randy McGowen. 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Blue Wing Saloon & Café, 9520 Main St., Upper Lake. Information: 707-275-2233 or .

Friday, Nov. 27, and Saturday, Nov. 28

Fifteenth annual Holiday Jazz Festival at Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort, Spa & Casino. The festival kicks off on Nov. 27 with the top-selling American jazz artist, trumpeter Chris Botti, who boasts four No. 1 jazz albums, as well as multiple gold and platinum albums and Grammy Awards. He has performed and recorded with artists such as Sting, Josh Groban, Paul Simon, John Mayer, Andrea Boccelli and Jill Scott. Nov. 28 features funky horn man Boney James. A saxophonist, producer and songwriter, James' success with contemporary jazz and R&B have made him one of the most respected and best-selling instrumental artists of our time. Doors open each evening at 7 p.m. with live entertainment beginning at 8 p.m. For tickets call Omega Events Box Office at 949-360-7800 or visit

T. Watts is a writer, radio host and music critic. Visit his Web site at .

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SONOMA COUNTY – Sonoma County officials had a busy weekend responding to rescues on the coast, including locating the body of a diver on Sunday and later pulling two stranded fishermen to safety from a rocky outcropping where they had been stranded.

The body of a Caucasian male who had been diving near Horseshoe Cove within the Salt point State Park was found floating face down, wearing a wet suit, the Sonoma County Sheriff's Office reported Sunday.

The Sonoma County Sheriff's helicopter “Henry-1” was dispatched to the area just after 1 p.m. Sunday, according to the report from Sgt. Dave Thompson.

Ground units, including sheriff's deputies and state parks lifeguards, arrived at the scene and located the subject, who was then partially out of the water. Thompson said Henry-1 arrived over the cove and quickly configured the helicopter to perform a rescue.

Sheriff's Pilot Paul Bradley flew Tactical Flight Paramedic Scott Westrope to the subject via a 100-foot-long rescue rope, which was attached to the underside of the helicopter, Thompson reported.

Westrope contacted the unconscious subject and put a rescue-strap around him. Bradley then flew both Westrope and the subject to the top of the bluffs surrounding the cove. Once atop the bluffs, the subject was determined to be deceased, Thompson said.

He said the coroner's office is following up on the case.

Just after the Henry-1 crew was completing its mission to recover the diver's body, some hikers reported they had just seen what they believed to be a person stranded on a large rocky outcropping just south of Horseshoe Cove, Thompson said.

Henry-1 quickly lifted off and responded to the area to begin searching for the person, Thompson said. Within seconds, the helicopter was overhead and located two male subjects on top of a large rock and completely surrounded by the ocean's rough waters.

The helicopter was once again configured to perform a long-line rescue. Using the 100-foot-long rescue rope, Bradley precisely lowered Tactical Flight Deputy Chris Lomanto and Westrope to the top of the rock, where they began the rescue, Thompson said.

Westrope attached a rescue device to the first man, securing him to the helicopter, and both were then flown to the shore where State Park's Lifeguards were standing-by. Thompson said Bradley then returned to the rock where Deputy Lomanto had remained with the second man, who was trapped on a narrow shelf along the rock itself.

Lomanto then attached himself back onto the rescue long-line and was immediately flown to the second man, with both then flown to shore, Thompson said.


The men, ages 19 and 20 and both Santa Rosa residents, were uninjured and were very grateful to be safely back on the shore, Thompson reported.

He said the men had apparently gotten onto the large rock to go fishing. While on the rock, the tide had come back in, cutting them off from returning back to shore.

In addition to Sunday's rescues, Henry-1 and its crew responded to a diver in distress report in Gualala on the Mendocino Coast just before 10 a.m. Saturday, according to Thompson.

Cal Fire, State Parks lifeguards and other rescue personnel including Cal Star air ambulance also responded to the area, where Thompson said the diver was reportedly swept out to sea and had been unable to swim back to shore due to the strong rip current and heavy surf.

Henry-1 arrived on scene 22 minutes after receiving the call and found the 51-year-old Lafayette man a quarter-mile offshore. They pulled him to safety in a rescue operation that took less than two minutes. By the time of the man's rescue he had been in the water for more than an hour, Thompson said.

Thompson said the diver, who had 21 years of experience, had accurately recognized his dilemma early on and abandoned his weight belt. His dive tube and other dive gear were later stripped away from him by large waves before he was rescued.

He said the diver was cold and extremely tired but uninjured and thankful for everyone's efforts.

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LOWER LAKE – A Monday night traffic collision killed a bear near Lower Lake.

A Chevy van hit the bear on Highway 29 near Hofacker Lane outside of Lower Lake shortly before 8:30 p.m., according the California Highway Patrol.

CHP Officer Steve Tanguay said the van was traveling southbound on Highway 29 when the bear ran out into the roadway, and the driver couldn't stop the vehicle, which struck and killed the animal.

Tanguay said the van driver wasn't injured and declined a report.

The CHP said that the incident was reported to California Department of Fish and Game, but Warden Loren Freeman said they don't usually respond to dead bears, which are picked up by Caltrans or, if it's on a local roadway, the county roads department.

While it's not a violation to accidentally hit wildlife with a vehicle, “They can't take the animal with them,” he said.

Fish and Game usually responds when mountain lions and elk are hit, because people are likely to try to take some part of those animals, Freeman said.

Freeman said an elk was last hit in the county about a month ago near Clearlake Oaks.

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

LAKE COUNTY – Winter boating season has arrived, and the Lake County Sheriff’s Marine Patrol Unit and California Department of Boating and Waterways (DBW) are reminding boaters about the risk of cold water immersion.

Ocean and lake temperatures are their coldest at this time of year and even a strong swimmer can experience difficulty if they accidentally find themselves in cold water, according to Marine Patrol Sgt. Dennis Ostini.

It can take only a few minutes for a boater falling into cold water to have their ability to swim and rescue themselves compromised and the real risks can take effect in the first few seconds. Ostini said the use of a life jacket or personal flotation device always increases the chances of survival.

The effects of cold water immersion are predictable and well documented officials reported.

Within one minute of an accidental immersion, the body reacts with an involuntary gasp, followed by hyperventilation of up to 10 times normal breathing.

If the head is underwater during that initial deep gasp, the person can inhale enough water to drown. It is imperative not to panic and breathing will return to close to normal.

Within 10 minutes of cold water immersion, a person will become incapacitated to the point that the muscles in their limbs stop working and they will no longer be able to swim or rescue themselves.

Self-rescue should be accomplished before incapacitation becomes a factor. If self-rescue is not possible, the person should at least try to get as much of the body out of the water as possible to delay the onset of hypothermia.

Within one hour of cold water immersion, depending on the water temperature, the body continues to cool and the resulting hypothermia can create a range of symptoms from confusion to unconsciousness and eventually lead to death.

The best way to survive an accidental cold water immersion is to wear a life jacket, according to Ostini. It will help keep the head above water in the event of an accidental immersion until breathing can be brought under control.

It also will keep a person afloat while they concentrate on rescuing themselves. If self-rescue is not possible, a life jacket can provide some thermal protection against the onset of hypothermia and keep a person afloat until someone else can assist with a rescue.

Boaters are also advised to file a float plan before heading out on the water. The chances of successfully locating an overdue boat are much greater if responders have certain facts about the boat trip that may be included on a float plan.

For your own safety and before boating, file a float plan with a reliable person who will notify authorities if necessary, Ostini urged.

For more information on safe boating or to fill out a float plan, please visit or call 888-326-2822.



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THE GEYSERS – A moderate earthquake was reported at The Geysers early Tuesday morning.

The 3.7-magnitude earthquake was reported at 3:59 a.m., according to the US Geological Survey.

The quake, which occurred at a depth of 1.7 miles, was centered two miles northeast of The Geysers, four miles west southwest of Cobb and six miles west northwest of Anderson Springs, the US Geological Survey reported.

Ten smaller earthquakes followed within the hour – most of them at or near the epicenter of the 3.7-magnitude quake – with the largest measuring 2.5 on the Richter scale, according to monitoring records.

Shake reports were made to the US Geological Survey from Hidden Valley Lake, Middletown and Sebastopol, as well as more faraway locales including Sacramento, Martinez, San Francisco and Menlo Lake.

The Geysers area last experienced a quake measuring 3.0 or above on Oct. 30, when a 3.6-magnitude quake occurred there, as Lake County News has reported.

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

COVELO – A Covelo man was arrested late last week for allegedly choking his elderly father.

Randy Maple, 40, was arrested last Friday at around 6:30 p.m. and charged with battery, elder abuse and false imprisonment, according to a report from Capt. Kurt Smallcomb of the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office.

Smallcomb said the charges stemmed from an incident, earlier in the day, in which Maple allegedly attacked and choked his elderly father.

Maple was transported to the Mendocino County Jail where he was booked without incident, Smallcomb said.

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LAKEPORT – A motorcyclist injured in a crash on Cow Mountain Saturday became the focus of a search and rescue effort.

The Lakeport Fire Protection District reported late Saturday that it received a report of an injured dirt bike rider in the Cow Mountain Recreation Area at about 11:30 a.m. that day.

The initial reports on the injured biker’s location and status were vague, with one unconfirmed report stating that he was being transported by ATV to the Mendo-Lake Road, according to the fire district.

Lakeport ambulance 5012 arrived first on scene at Mendo-Lake Road and trail 25 at 11:51 a.m., at which time reporting parties told paramedics that the patient was 1.5 miles down a “black diamond” trail and ATVs could only travel half a mile due to poor road conditions and trees across the trail.

Under the direction of Fire Chief Ken Wells, Helicopter REACH 6 conducted a flyover to search for the injured party but without success, fire officials said.

Four Lakeport firefighters, including two paramedics, began walking down the trail to search for the injured person. Shortly into the operation, rescuers came upon other dirt bike riders; they advised the patient was located several miles down the trail and had a shoulder injury that prevented him from riding out, according to the report.

By 12:30 p.m., the firefighters still hadn’t located the man, and officials said they resource orders for both Lake County Search and Rescue and a California Highway Patrol rescue helicopter from Redding.

At approximately 1:41 p.m., following another hour of searching, paramedics located the man after hiking 2.8 miles over harsh terrain, the district reported.

The paramedics found the man, who is in his 30s, with an isolated shoulder injury caused by losing control of a dirt bike and striking a tree. He had walked nearly two miles from the accident site before being located.

After a thorough patient assessment, paramedics decided to walk the patient out due to an extended arrival time for air resources, the fire district reported.

A Lakeport volunteer firefighter’s ATV and sheriff’s office ATV had traveled down trail 25 as far as possible before road conditions became too severe. After splinting the injured extremity, paramedics walked with the patient to awaiting ATV equipment, which then transported the patient to the ambulance.

Lakeport Fire reported that the patient was transported to Sutter Lakeside Hospital by Lakeport ambulance 5012 for definitive treatment shortly before 3 p.m.

The patient was wearing full protective equipment, including body armor and helmet, which likely reduced injury severity, according to the district.

No injuries to emergency responders were reported and law enforcement is conducting the accident investigation.

Agencies involved in the successful operation included Lakeport Fire, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office, CHP and REACH air ambulance.

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Upcoming Calendar

07.27.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
07.30.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Library Park
08.03.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
08.06.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Library Park
08.10.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
08.13.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Library Park
08.17.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
08.20.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Library Park
08.24.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
08.27.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Library Park

Mini Calendar



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