Wednesday, 17 July 2024


LAKEPORT – City officials won a victory in their struggle to end a state-imposed sewer connection ban on Thursday, when the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board voted to lift the ban if the city met certain conditions.

Acting City Manager Richard Knoll and other city staffers attended the meeting Thursday morning in Rancho Cordova.

The hookup ban resulted from an incident last April in which the city sewer system became overloaded due to heavy rains and problems with Willopoint trailer park's sewer system.

The city tried to release treated wastewater from its system through irrigation, in order to prevent its sewer ponds overflowing, according to Knoll. Because of ground saturation, between three and six million gallons of treated wastewater ran off the site, into a Clear Lake tributary and, eventually, into the lake itself, which violating CLMSD's waste discharge agreement with the state.

Knoll said the board did decide to formally impose the cease and desist ban – which had been issued to the city on Jan. 18, at the same time as the hookup moratorium. However, it agreed to lift the connection ban, he said.

“There are a number of stipulations and conditions associated with the cease and desist order, including the fact that we have to construct 90 acres of additional irrigation facilities related to our spray disposal at the wastewater site,” he said.

That work needs to be completed by Nov. 1, he said, and would add capacity to the system.

The city has agreed to other stipulations spelled out in the cease and desist order as well, said Knoll, including completing a sewer master plan, and more plans for staffing and revenue.

The project to add irrigation is progressing, said Knoll. At the March 20 City Council meeting staff will offer a proposal from the city's engineering firm that include design and bid specifications for the project.

Last month, Knoll said, the council directed staff to begin negotiations on the irrigation facilities and another capacity-increasing project, which would build a bypass channel around the sewer system's recapture basin, allowing the city to extend irrigation, its main treated wastewater disposal method.

The regional board and the city didn't see eye to eye on everything, said Knoll, including capacity calculations for the city's sewer system. He said during his testimony at Thursday's meeting he mentioned his concerns about those calculations and the board's methodology.

Some of the regional board's staff research included using the city's draft general plan as a basis for calculating capacity, said Knoll, which isn't an accurate approach.

They also found on the city's Web site a map of proposed projects that, if built, would not all run into the city's sewer system.

The information the regional board staff pieced together led them to conclude that several hundred new homes would hook up to the system within the next few years, said Knoll.

Knoll said that's untrue, and after looking historically at the number of new home permits he reported to the board that the city is issuing an average of 12 to 14 permits annually.

Scott Schellinger of Schellinger Brothers, the company building the Parkside subdivision near Westside Community Park, attended the meeting, said Knoll. Schellinger told the regional board that if they could build and sell 25 homes in the next year in Lakeport they would be “ecstatic.” He added that Lakeport is a market that doesn't have high-volume housing demand.

With those objections lodged, however, Knoll said the city was willing to accept the board's conclusions about capacity and move forward.

“The question was, is the city out of capacity?” Knoll said. The answer, he added, based on the water board's calculations, was yes.

However, capacity will expand due to the city's planned projects, he said.

“That is the basis upon which the regional board lifted the connection ban,” said Knoll.

Knoll explained that he told the regional board that it's been a difficult year for the city in terms of the sewer issue. He said he's had to adjust his own thinking about the city's sewer capabilities.

“We've had to come to grips with the fact that we don't have as much capacity as we thought we did,” he said.

Hookups to the sewer system would be able to take place again after Nov. 1 once the city fulfills the regional board's stipulations, said Knoll. That will allow Schellinger Brothers to move forward with permits, including four that were pending for new family homes.

Knoll reported Rick Kemp at the Sears on Main Street also had wanted a building permit for a new business in his plaza, which while in the county would flow into the city sewer system.

With the regional board's willingness to lift the ban based on the city's proposed capacity projects, the city now has new hurdles, said Knoll.

The irrigation and bypass channels, together, are in the million-dollar range, said Knoll.

“How we're going to pay for it is going to be the challenge,” he said.

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WASHINGTON, D.C. The House of Representatives on March 14 passed four measures during Sunshine Week that promote and preserve open government, including a bill to strengthen the Freedom of Information Act.

"Today, Congress took an important step towards restoring openness and transparency in government," said Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and a co-sponsor of the bills.

"Over the past six years, the Bush administration has done everything it can to operate in secret, to avoid public scrutiny, and to limit congressional oversight. I am pleased that Congress is reversing this course by passing four critically important good government bills with strong bipartisan support," he added.


The bills passed and the votes were: H.R. 1309 (308-117) to strengthen FOIA and improve public access to government information; H.R. 1255 (333-93) to nullify an executive order limiting access to presidential records; H.R. 985 (331-94) granting improved protection to federal whistleblowers; and H.R. 1254 (390-34) to require the release of presidential library donor information.

– H.R. 1255, approved by a vote of 333-93, makes clear that presidential records belong to the American people, not the president who created them. The Presidential Records Act Amendments of 2007 will nullify a Bush executive order which gave former presidents – and their heirs – nearly unlimited authority to withhold or delay the release of their own records. If it becomes law, this legislation will ensure that a complete historical record is available to researchers.

– H.R. 1254, approved by a vote of 390-34, will require organizations that raise money for presidential libraries to disclose information about their donors. This will eliminate a major loophole that allows presidential supporters to secretly give millions in support of a president’s legacy while that president

– H.R. 1309, approved by a vote of 308-117, will strengthen the Freedom of Information Act and improve public access to government information. One key element of this legislation would restore the presumption of disclosure under FOIA that was eliminated by the Bush Administration in 2001.

– H.R. 985, approved by a vote of 331-94, offers improved protections to federal whistleblowers who report wrongdoing to authorities. Federal employees and contractors are privy to information that enables them to play an essential role in ensuring government accountability.

Lake County's Congressman Mike Thompson voted yes on all four of the laws.




WASHINGTON, D.C. Ten years after Congress enacted the Electronic Freedom of Information Act Amendments (E-FOIA), only one in five federal agencies actually complies with the law, according to a new survey released today during Sunshine Week by the National Security Archive.

Passed in 1996 and effective in 1997, E-FOIA ordered federal agencies to post key records online, provide citizens with detailed guidance on making information requests, and use new information technology to publish information proactively. The act's intent: Expand public access and reduce the burden of FOIA requests.

But most federal agencies do not follow the law, according to the National Security Archive's government-wide audit, "File Not Found," conducted with support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

The Knight Open Government Survey systematically reviewed agency Web sites to cover all 91 federal agencies that have Chief FOIA Officers and the additional 58 agency components each of which handles more than 500 FOIA requests a year.

Key findings are:

– Only one in five federal agencies (21 percent) posts on the Web all four categories of records that the law specifically requires;

– Only one in 16 agencies (6 percent) posts all ten elements of essential FOIA guidance;

– Only 36 percent of agencies provide the required indexes of records;

– Only 26 percent of agencies provide online forms for submitting FOIA requests;

– Many agency Web links are missing or just wrong - one FOIA fax number checked in the Knight Survey actually rang in the maternity ward of a military base hospital.

"Federal agencies are flunking the online test and keeping us in the dark," said Thomas Blanton, the Archive's director. "Some government sites just link to each other in an endless empty loop."

"Public access on the Web to government information is the only long-term solution to the backlogs and delays that undermine the FOIA today," said the Archive's general counsel, Meredith Fuchs. "This audit plus Congressional oversight should provide a wake-up call to the agencies."

Fuchs cited the Education Department and NASA as "E-Stars" with excellent FOIA Web sites, and the Air Force, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and Veterans Affairs as among the dozen "E-Delinquents." Last week, the Archive faxed the top FOIA officer at each of the E-Delinquents with advance notice of the Survey and the critical findings specific to that agency.

"It's appropriate that this important news is being released during Sunshine Week, when millions of Americans will be able to see it," said Eric Newton, vice president of the journalism program at the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. "People need to know when their government is not obeying its own laws."

Download the full report at


LOWER LAKE – A woman who was revived after an auto accident Wednesday died of her injuries Thursday, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Daphne Kelley, 56, of Clearlake died at UC Davis Medical Center, where she had been taken for treatment, according to CHP Officer Kevin Domby.

Kelley's 1999 Oldsmobile collided with a tree at 8:01 a.m. Wednesday on Highway 29 near Diener Drive, according to CHP incident logs.

Rescue crews had managed to revive her at the accident scene before transporting her to Davis, according to Domby.

The agency reported that Kelley was driving northbound at an unknown rate of speed when her car went into the southbound lane then back into the northbound lane before going off the road and striking the tree on the driver's side.

The CHP has released no further information about the accident or what caused Kelley's vehicle to travel back and forth across the road before the collision took place.

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A sense of sadness permeates our little town. We knew what was coming, yet you keep thinking, "He's too good a man, husband, father, friend." There had to be a miracle somewhere amongst the reality that the end was approaching. The Best Neighbor Lucerne ever had left us on March 13. He put up a good fight but a Higher Power must have needed him more than us. Pinky Cantrell truly was a hero to the folks Northshore.
Pinky was always quick with a smile. But he was quicker to offer a helping hand when he saw a need that needed filling. There were plenty of "needs" in Lucerne. He volunteered at the fire house for 36 years. Any attempts at paying him for a service rendered quickly found its way into the donation jar. He served as Deputy Fire Chief, Assistant Fire Chief and was Captain of Rescue and EMT. He volunteered at the Lucerne Alpine Senior Center for many, many years, doing whatever job needed doing, especially helping with commodities day. All anyone had to do was ask.
Pinky and his wife Alyce were amongst the founders of the Citizens Patrol and Neighborhood Watch. I always felt safer when I'd look out and there they went, patrolling our streets, helping to keep us safe and sound. Pinky maintained his contacts with the Sheriff's Department, Caltrans and California Highway Patrol. His drive to serve never diminished.
His love of our mountains was manifested by physical labor. How many trees did he help plant in our National Forest? Who knows, we can't see the forest for the trees he planted, but you can go enjoy the Pinky Cantrell Grove in the Mendocino National Forest. He'd like that.
Even with his own troubles he always made sure to ask how you were doing with yours. When he asked, it wasn't just a polite question, he really wanted to know because he truly cared. When he went to the Lakeport Skilled Nursing Center in Lakeport for his final leg of this journey many of the staff there finally had a chance to repay the kindness and service they had received from him during the course of their lives. Pinky's family is so grateful for the wonderful care he received there, they did treat him like the family member he had become to them.
Alfred "Pinky" Dexter Cantrell got his start in this life on July 22, 1935 in Everton Missouri to Dollie L. Calloway Cantrell and John S. Cantrell. Siblings include John H. Cantrell of Ash Grove, MoO; Lloyd R. Cantrell, deceased; Marguerite Langsdon of Springfield, Mo; Lucille Hutchison of Lubbock, Texas, and Easter Lenger of Mt. Vernon, Mo.

Pinky graduated from Ash Grove High School in 1953. He served his nation as a Marine from 1953 to 1957, serving in the Korean War. He married Minnie Jean Ball Egbert in 1957 and daughter Brenda Lee was born in 1958. Pinky moved to Lucerne in 1968 and worked as a butcher at Lakeview Market for Art Burry. He married Alyce Thedorf in 1992, loving her and her children and grandchildren. He retired from Caltrans in 1997.
The Lucerne Fire House will hold a celebration of the wonderful life of our friend and neighbor in about a month, we will keep you posted. No tears allowed.


LAKE COUNTY – The West Lake Conservation District has won a state grant that will help it complete assessments of three of the county's major watersheds.

Greg Dills, watershed coordinator, East Lake and West Lake Conservation Districts, said the West Lake District recently received a CALFED Watershed Committee grant of funds from Proposition 50, a state water bond.

The plan, said Dills, is to produce three watershed assessments for Middle Creek, Scotts Creek and Kelsey Creek, which will inventory historical and current data collected on the watersheds.

It was tough competition, said Dills; there were 120 applicants from agencies around the state that competed in a two-phased grant application process.

The district submitted a concept paper, Dills said, which explained its plan for the three assessments.

After making it past the first round of cuts, which took the number of applications down to 60, Dills said the district wrote a full proposal. The district, he said, was eventually named one of 28 projects funded statewide.

"It's highly competitive," said Dills. "We were fortunate to have done so well."

The watershed assessments the district proposes to complete will be a management tool, said Dills, and a building block in future work.

Once those planning documents are finished, he said, the district and/or its partners can use them to approach agencies for funds to pursue the projects identified in the assessments, such as restoration or fuel load reduction.

Together, Middle and Scotts Creeks are the most significant conveyance of water to Clear Lake, said Dills. They transport 57 percent of the water and 70 percent of sediment, he added.

The third largest watershed, said Dills, is Kelsey Creek.

The watersheds each have coordinated resource management and planning groups – called CRMPs – that have been meeting about the health of the county's watersheds, he said. For many years those groups have been compiling data and doing the background work necessary for watershed improvement projects.

“We've seen a lot of land use changes going on in the watersheds in recent years," said Dills, including shifts from agricultural usage to development, which impact watersheds.

The three watershed groups for Kelsey Creek, Middle Creek, and Scotts Creek, are now jumping into the assessment process, he said, which includes going into the Department of Public Works watershed data library, which stretches back to the 1940s.

That data, he said, includes loss of habitat, water quality data, fuel load management, stream bank erosion, nonnative and invasive weeds.

Dills said they'll identity missing data and try to fill in the gaps during the new assessment project.

There are many aspects to watershed management and assessments, said Dills. So, besides CRMP members examining data, there also will be help from engineers, hydrologists and other professionals in the watershed management field to help put the assessments together, "so we have the science behind it," he added.

There's a lot of work to be done, he said, and a deadline to do it by – June 2008 for assessment completion, with the grant expiring the following June.

Simultaneously, as the assessments are going on, said Dills, the Clear Lake Basin Management Plan will be completed under the grant. When the assessments are finished, he said, they will be incorporated into that finished management plan.

The grant also offers funds to provide capacity building for the Upper Cache Creek Watershed, said Dills. "Capacity building," said Dills, is a term used in reference to providing assistance and sustainability for the watershed groups, which includes training and educational workshops for watershed group members. Providing that assistance will be a function of the Upper Cache Creek Watershed Alliance, which was formed under this grant.  

A few of those workshops have already taken place, he said. One, on Jan. 27 at the Scotts Valley Women's Clubhouse, was standing-room only, he said.

Interest in the health of watersheds – which has a direct impact on water quality – is interesting more people these days, Dills said.

"Back nine years ago when I started this whole journey, doing a kickoff meeting for a watershed group was a cold sell," he said.

He added, “This many years later, we have people coming in the office asking for help starting one.”

Education about water issues, and the success of local watershed groups, has helped generate the increased interest, he said. The Scotts Creek Watershed Council, he said, has been responsible for creek cleanups and a fire break on Cow Mountain.

The Big Valley CRMP, Lower Lake Watershed Council, Middle Creek CRMP, and Nice Watershed Group also participate in cleanup events each year removing thousands of cubic yards of trash from our landscape, according to Linda Juntunen, project coordinator for the West Lake Conservation District. The active groups are involved in a variety of projects and activities besides their cleanup events.

There are now nine CRMPs in various stages of activity throughout Lake County, Dills reported, with a 10th, in Lucerne, now beginning to form.

For more information about watershed issues, CRMPs and how to get involved, call the West Lake Resource Conservation District,  263-4180.

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LAKEPORT – Lakeport's acting city manager said he plans to recommend that the City Council approve the city's hosting BoardStock this year.

Richard Knoll said in an interview Wednesday that he's preparing a staff report to the council for its March 20 meeting in which he'll urge them to move forward with the event, which for the past two years has been hosted at Konocti Harbor Resort & Spa.

The city hosted a public meeting March 6 to allow community members the chance to give their opinions on the plan.

At the council's request, a second meeting to gauge community opinion about the event will be held at City Hall at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 20.

From the first community meeting, Knoll said the city received 23 written responses from community members that were opposed to hosting the event, and 19 that expressed support.

He said that he hoped the council wouldn't rely solely on those responses to make their decision, because he believes the event is consistent with past lake-centered events hosted in Lakeport, including boat racing and sailing events.

Knoll said city staff has come up with conditions for the event. “More than anything else, it's a rough operational plan.”

That plan calls for fencing, limited gate locations, hiring extra security personnel to augment the police staff, and requiring that the event be nonalcoholic. That last part, said Knoll, would be enforced through searches of bags and coolers, with alcohol being confiscated if necessary.

A beer garden will be part of staff's suggestion, he said, which would be tightly controlled, with no alcohol leaving that area.

Knoll said there are still other issues that need to be addressed, such as providing access to bathroom facilities for boaters, which he said was a problem at Konocti Harbor.

He said he believes the event will bring a lot of people to the county and could potentially have a very beneficial impact on the local economy.

The event will likely take place in August, Knoll said, although the timing could be more flexible in the future.

He said he's concerned about water quality, because algae blooms have happened in the past at that time – although not recently, he said.

Knoll said the council could make a decision as early as its March 20 meeting, but that he thinks they might wait until April 3, at which time Stimmel – who is currently out of the country – would be able to attend.

Local business owners share opinions

Roy Disney of Disney's Water Sports was one voice at the March 6 meeting who laid out several concerns about the event, especially the intersection of boating and alcohol.

Disney said in a later interview, “Our No. 1 concern with the whole event is safety and safe boating out on the lake.”

Alcohol, he said, “just has no room in boating.”

Disney, who has been in business locally for 25 years, said that the event is “well known for its alcohol consumption.”

While he loves the water sports competition side of the event, Disney said he doesn't believe BoardStock is a good fit for Lakeport, and doesn't think it can be converted to a nonalcoholic event.

He's also not convinced of the potential benefit to local hotels and restaurants, because August is already a peak tourism time.

For Disney, “ideal events” for Lake County include the Konocti Challenge (formerly Pedal the Puddle), fishing tournaments and car shows, which all possess a strong family element.

He said he's not alone in his concerns about the event, and that other local businesses, particularly hotels and restaurants, have told him they don't support BoardStock being held in Lakeport.

Sandra West, owner of Kelseyville's Edgewater Resort, has built a successful business on the lakeshore and been a staunch advocate of the county.

She also was at the March 6 meeting to ask questions.

West said Wednesday that she thinks BoardStock in Lakeport could be a good idea, if it has limitations and restrictions, such as making it an alcohol-free event.

She agreed with Disney that August is already a busy season for local tourism, and she would like to see the event held during the off season, such as in April or October. Like Disney, West said she's also heard from local business owners and community members about hosting the event in Lakeport, and the majority of them have “negative thoughts.”

West said she's also like to see the county hold a “safe, clean and sober weekend,” which she feels would end up attracting more families interested in having safe fun on the water.

She said she would only really support the event if it was advertised as being “safe and sober.”

“No beer gardens, none of that stuff,” she said.

West said it's her understanding that BoardStock, when it was held in Stockton several years ago, was an alcohol-free event.

She added that the promoter should waive any fees for holding the event in Lake County.

There's no better setting for the event than Lake County, she said – if it's done properly.

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A channel of the Middle Creek levee, maintained by the county. Photo courtesy of Tom Smythe.

UPPER LAKE – The US Army Corps of Engineers has removed the Middle Creek levee from its list of levees around the nation that the agency said had not been properly maintained.

In late January, the Corps released a list of 122 levees across the U.S. that it said could fail to protect against flood events due to maintenance issues.

The 11-mile Middle Creek levee system near Upper Lake made that original list, much to the frustration of local officials, who said

Tom Smythe, water resources engineer with the Water Resource Division of Lake County's Public Works Department, said Middle Creek's low rating resulted from a Corps inspection conducted in 2005.

Smythe said the county's levees are inspected twice annually by the state Department of Water Resources, and that the county has remained in compliance with the state's maintenance standards over the past decade.

The Army Corps' low rating listed issues that Smythe said had already been addressed, such as trees and vegetation along the levees, and gravel bars that have been removed.

The Corps' list also incorrectly reported that the 3.5-mile stretch of levees in the Middle Creek Reclamation District is maintained by the Department of Water Resources was maintained by the county, Smythe said.

Since that January list was released, levee districts around the state began requesting reinspections.

On Feb. 14, the Army Corps and Department of Water Resources took another look at the Middle Creek levee system, said Smythe.

The inspection went well, he said.

“The inspectors saw that the system was being maintained and the deficiencies noted in the previous inspection were being addressed,” he said. “Attitudes were positive at the end of the inspection.”

An updated list of levees issued by the Corps on Feb. 16 shows that Middle Creek and seven other levees around the state were removed from the list.

However, the county didn't receive an official notification of that fact, said Smythe, only finding out about it unofficially earlier this month.

Dave Killam, a spokesman for the Sacramento Army Corps office, said those levees were removed from the list after being reinspected based on information provided by the levee owners.

Killam said a new list of poorly maintained levees will be released sometime this spring.

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An Army Corps of Engineer map that showed the levees originally listed as being poorly maintained.


Hazmat drums. Photo courtesy of the Environmental Protection Agency.


A nationwide information audit, conducted as a prelude to Sunshine Week, found slightly more than four in 10 of the official gatekeepers willing – if wary – to provide copies of emergency response plans, which federal law makes public.

Other local officials, however, reacted to requests with confusion, outright denials and sometimes by calling police to check out the auditors. Many weren’t sure who had the authority to release the reports, or even where the documents were located.

More than a third of public officials audited refused to provide access to their local Comprehensive Emergency Response Plan – which is mandated by the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act of 1986 as a public document. Another 20 percent provided only partial reports.

Those denials stood in stark contrast to the experience of other auditors, many of whom were offered copies of the report in either paper or disc form; 48, or 12 percent, of the 404 communities put the reports online.

The audits were conducted in early January, when reporters, civic group members, students and other volunteers visited their Local Emergency Planning Committee, which prepares the reports outlining emergency response in the event of a chemical or hazardous material accident. The 1986 law not only says the plans are public, it also requires the local officials to advertise their availability once a year.

In all, 162 news organizations participated as requestors, along with three student newspapers and eight League of Women Voters chapters. This report is built on a database of their experiences and offers a snapshot of the difficulties citizens may face when they request public information that may be considered sensitive.

The audit is a project of the American Society of Newspaper Editors, the Coalition of Journalists for Open Government, the National Freedom of Information Coalition and the Society of Environmental Journalists for Sunshine Week 2007, March 11-17. Sunshine Week is an open government initiative spearheaded by ASNE. Entering its third year, the program encourages newspapers, broadcasters, online content producers, schools, libraries, civic groups and others to engage in discussions about the importance of protecting public access to government information and meetings. It is supported by a grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

Overall, there were 404 audits conducted in 37 states and Puerto Rico. The emergency response plan was provided in full to 177 requestors, or 44 percent of the total. One official in Iowa told the auditor that he was delighted to see a citizen seeking the report: "We need more awareness on what to do during an incident for the safety of everyone."

Officials around the country who denied requests, however, frequently cited national security or terrorism concerns – or even, incorrectly, the USA PATRIOT Act. In fact, the law provides for separating any sensitive information the local responders gather in preparing the plans. Several auditors were told they were getting the document because they didn’t "look like terrorists." In all, 20 percent of auditors, or 82 requestors, received the plan only in part, and 36 percent, 145 requests, were denied.

In some cases, officials ran background checks on citizen auditors or sent police to follow them. The highway patrol in one state even launched an all-county alert seeking more information about one requester. In several states, officials sent e-mails to colleagues in other emergency planning agencies warning of the audit.

A handful of the officials asked for the report apparently did not understand the request and did not appear eager to help. Several also were working out of their homes or businesses, although that did not necessarily hinder disclosure.

The full report can be viewed online at It includes data charts as well as recaps of auditors' experiences.


LOWER LAKE – Rescue crews on Wednesday saved the life of a woman whose car smashed into a tree, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The accident victim's name has not yet been released by authorities.

CHP incident logs report that the solo vehicle accident occurred at 8:01 a.m. on Highway 29 at Diener Drive.

Officer Kevin Domby of the Clear Lake CHP Office reported that the woman was driving north on Highway 29 north of Diener Drive at an unknown speed when the accident occurred.

Domby said the woman's 1999 Oldsmobile traveled into the southbound lane, then back into the northbound lane before going off the road's north edge and striking a tree on the driver's side.

The woman was reported dead at the scene, but rescue crews revived her, said Domby. She was transported to UC Davis Medical Center, said Domby, where she was in critical condition.

No further details about the incident were available by the time of publication.

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LAKEPORT A Clearlake man charged with the October murder of a woman he shared a home with has entered a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity.

James Wade Roberts, 45, is facing murder charges for the death of Clearlake resident Ruth Donaldson, 63.

Roberts was in Judge Arthur Mann's court Monday to enter a plea, said District Attorney Jon Hopkins, who is prosecuting Roberts' case.

Hopkins said Roberts entered pleas of not guilty and not guilty by reason of insanity to the murder charge against him.

Roberts' defense attorney, Steve Carter, asked for a psychologist, who had previously been appointed to Roberts' case confidentially, to be reappointed as an expert consultant, said Hopkins.

Hopkins explained the Penal Code requires that two to three psychologists must be appointed to evaluate Roberts due to the insanity plea.

He said that Mann appointed two new psychologists to the case, and will continue the hearing March 19, when a third psychologist also will be appointed.

Clearlake Police found Donaldson's body in the Mullen Avenue home that she shared with Roberts on Oct. 15.

Roberts is being held in the Lake County Jail on $1 million bail.

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The wrecked Toyota pickup after Sunday's accident. Photo by CHP Officer Kevin Domby.


This story has been updated.

LAKE PILLSBURY – An early morning traffic collision on Sunday killed a 19-year-old Santa Rosa man, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The victim's name has not been released pending family notification.

The accident, a vehicle rollover, happened along Elk Mountain Road east of Soda Creek at 12:40 a.m., according to a CHP report released Monday.

Ryan White, 20, of Rohnert Park was driving a 2000 Toyota Tacoma westbound on Elk Mountain Road west of Oak Flats campground and three miles east of Soda Creek, the CHP reported.

With White were three passengers – one in the front, the unidentified victim, and two in the back, Erik Anderson, 23, of Santa Rosa and a 17-year-old male juvenile, also from Santa Rosa, the CHP report noted.

White rapidly accelerated in the Toyota and lost control, the CHP stated, with the rear of the vehicle skidding out from behind and rotating in a clockwise direction.

The Toyota then left the paved portion of the road and began to overturn, according to the CHP.

The right front passenger was ejected and sustained major injuries, the CHP reported. He was transported via ground ambulance to the hospital, where he later died.

Neither White nor Anderson received any injuries, the CHP said. The juvenile received minor injuries and was treated at the scene.

The CHP reported that White was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence.

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