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UKIAH, Calif. – A Ukiah man was sentenced to jail, probation and other conditions this week as the result of a misdemeanor conviction for unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor.

Judge Richard Henderson sentenced Upton Adams, 22, to three years of probation, 30 days in the county jail, mandatory counseling and will be subject to a three-year criminal protective order prohibiting him from contacting the victim.

Deputy District Attorney Shannon Cox prosecuted Adams, who was represented by Deputy Public Defender Eric Rennert, according to the Mendocino County District Attorney's Office.

According to the investigation, on July 22, 2009, Adams – 21 years old at the time – was working part-time as a teacher’s assistant at Mendocino College in a summer school class attended by high school students. On that date, he and a 15-year-old student engaged in a single act of sexual intercourse.

On July 24, 2009, officials at the college were notified of this behavior via an anonymous email, officials reported.

As a result, college officials immediately terminated Adams from his position and notified the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office, which interviewed both the victim and Adams. Officials said both acknowledged the encounter and both described it as consensual.

Adams allegedly acknowledged his wrongdoing to the deputy and, after conducting its investigation, the sheriff’s office forwarded its report to the District Attorney’s Office for consideration of criminal charges.

The District Attorney’s Office initially filed a single count of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor as a felony. However, after consulting with the victim and the victim’s mother, it was determined that a misdemeanor plea was an appropriate resolution of the case, officials reported.

Factors considered included that Adams had no criminal history, it was an isolated incident, there was no threat of force, and Adams admitted his wrongdoing at the earliest possible stage to both law enforcement and the court, according to the report.

During sentencing, Cox argued that Adams should receive a sentence of county jail, stressing the need to send a message to Adams and the community that this type of behavior will not go unpunished.

Henderson handed down the sentence based on the position of trust Adams held as a teacher’s assistant and also taking into account the age disparity between Adams and the victim, the District Attorney's Office reported.

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LAKEPORT, Calif. – The Bureau of Land Management will hold public meetings in September to gather input on issues that should be addressed in environmental documents for the proposed Walker Ridge Wind Project in Lake and Colusa counties.

Public scoping meetings for the environmental impact statement (EIS) will be held Sept. 9 in Lakeport at the Lake County Supervisors chamber at the Lake County Courthouse, 255 N. Forbes St., and Sept. 10 in Colusa at the Natural Resources Conservation Service office, 100 Sunrise Blvd.

Both meetings will run from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

“We are holding the meetings to gather public comment on issues, concerns and opportunities that should be considered in the analysis of the proposed action,” said Rich Burns, BLM Ukiah Field Office manager.

“In order to provide time for the public to develop comments following the scoping meetings, we are extending the public comment period 30 days to Sept. 28,” he said.

AltaGas Renewable Energy Pacific Inc. has applied for a right-of-way (ROW) authorization covering 8,157 acres on public lands for a 70-megawatt wind energy project with an interconnection to the Pacific Gas & Electric's 115-kilovolt (kV) distribution system.

As proposed by the company, the wind project could include 29 to 42 wind turbine generators, an underground electrical collection system, a substation, a 115-kV overhead transmission line, an interconnect station, an operations and maintenance building, and access roads.

Information on the status of the proposal is available at

Additional opportunities for public participation and formal comment will occur when the draft EIS is issued.

BLM has started a potential list of issues to be addressed in the analysis at a minimum, including social and economic impacts; traffic impacts; ground and surface water quantity and quality impacts; plant and animal species impacts, including special status species; impacts to cultural resources; and visual resource impacts.

For further information and/or to have your name added to the mailing list, contact Bethney Lefebvre, Ukiah Field Office, 2550 North State St., Ukiah, Calif., 95482, phone 707-468-4000, fax 707-468-4027, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Lake County Model Railroad Club members Bill Cossey and Dennis Burke check out operations for the club's open house during the Lake County Fair. Photo by Dave Fromer.

LAKEPORT, Calif. – There was a time when names such as Empire Builder, Coast Daylight and City of New Orleans prompted images of luxurious hotels on wheels. Those were the days when the railroads ruled and massive steam locomotives were king.

Those days are still alive, although on a much smaller scale, thanks to the members of the Lake County Model Railroad Club, who have recreated the early 1950s in their miniature empire located in the old Armory Building at the rear of the Lake County Fairgrounds in Lakeport.

“We’ve attempted to capture small glimpses of what California was like when the railroad was still the major mover of people and goods,” longtime club member Bill Cossey said. “We combine our hobby with a lesson in history to tell a story.”

While Cossey mentioned that all the major trackwork has been completed on their layout that just about completely fills the 40- by 60-foot building, the members are focusing their attention to the scenery and other details that bring the empire to life.

Visitors can imagine seeing a large freight or passenger train leaving Los Angeles working its way through the Sierra Nevada mountains before ending it’s journey in Sacramento.

“We’ve even captured the flavor of the old narrow gauge railroads that served the logging and mining areas of the state,” Cossey said. “You might even spot buildings you recognize.”

Cossey said the club’s plans include modeling a section of downtown Petaluma because of its railroad history and members Dennis Burke and Dave Fromer plan to model historic Lake County structures as well.

“You might find yourself staring at the Stonehouse from Hidden Valley or the Prather Brother’s lumber company in Lakeport,” Cossey said. “We model whatever catches our interest.”

Club members also belong to the larger National Model Railroad Association and its Redwood Empire Division that includes the coastal counties from Marin to the Oregon border.

“We host the annual fall meeting in November at our club,” Cossey said of the daylong event that features modeling classes and ends in a large operating session.

The club has been in existence for close to 20 years although in its infancy it lacked a permanent home and had to settle on a more portable operation that the members set up and took down every night.

“We needed a permanent home and fortunately nearly eight years ago the Lake County Fair made are dreams come true when we moved into the old armory building and began planning our new railroad,” Cossey said.

Noting that the club has made substantial progress during the eight years they’ve been at the fairgrounds, there is still the time consuming process of recreating the towns and countryside in miniature.

Those interested in viewing the club’s operation may do so during its annual open house held in conjunction with the Lake County Fair, which begins Thursday, Sept. 2, and runs through Sunday, Sept. 5.

The club also welcomes visitors and new members every Wednesday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Contact Dave Fromer at 707-987-3542 for further information about the group.

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Lake County Model Railroad Club member Dennis Burke fine tunes the trains that will be running during this year's Lake County Fair which opens Thursday, September 2, 2010. Photo by Dave Fromer.

Ruby Glebe, center, the grand marshal of the 2010 Lake County Fair cuts the ribbon signifying the fair's opening on Thursday, September 2, 2010, in Lakeport, Calif. Photo by Terre Logsdon.




LAKEPORT, Calif. – The Lake County Fair officially opened on Thursday evening.

Following a parade through Lakeport, fair Grand Marshal Ruby Glebe and a group of local dignitaries took part in a ribbon cutting ceremony that officially kicked off the annual end-of-summer event.

The fair runs through Sunday evening.

The theme of this year's fair is “Fun for the Whole Herd,” with a variety of entertainment, food, exhibits, a carnival, livestock shows and a tuff truck competition in store.


On Friday evening, the fair will host the Miss Lake County Pageant and the annual demolition derby.

Fair Chief Executive Officer Richard Persons said that, with both of those events going on, they expect Friday to be a busy night.

Person said the fair board decided to offer a special “party with your whole herd” ticket package available only on Friday night of the event.

Beginning at 8:30 p.m., the fair will offer a packaged admission of four tickets for $20. Regular ticket prices are $9 for full price admission for ages 12 through 60, $6 for seniors 60 and up, and $5 for kids ages 6 through 11. Children under age 6 are free every day of the fair. Ticket sales stop at 9 p.m. each day of the fair.

Unlimited ride wristbands cost $25 per day on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Wristbands are purchased in the carnival.


Events in the grandstand arena include the demolition derby on Friday evening, open mud drag races on Saturday evening, and the California State Finals of the WGAS Motorsports Tuff Truck and Buggy Races on Sunday evening.




Lake County Fair Grand Marshal Ruby Glebe rides in the parade that preceded the official opening of the fair in Lakeport, Calif., on Thursday, September 2, 2010. Photo by Terre Logsdon.


All grandstand shows start at 7:30 p.m., and are sponsored by Robinson Rancheria Resort and Casino. Local participants are also encouraged in the truck pulls, mud drag races and the tuff truck races, and entry forms are available at the fairgrounds office.

Live local entertainment occurs continuously on two stages. The Enhance H2O Main Stage will host the likes of the Lost Boys, LC Diamonds, Bill Noteman and the Rockets, and the Mark Weston Band, among others.

The Gazebo Stage will host a variety of acts including Mike Wilhelm and Hired Guns, Travis Rinker, Sax-O-Rama and the Kustom Cuts.


The annual Junior Livestock Auction takes place on Saturday, Sept. 4, at 1 p.m. in the Baldwin Pavilion.

Businesses and individuals are invited to bid on the prize-winning livestock raised and exhibited by local youth. Various livestock species are displayed throughout the fair, including swine, beef, sheep, goat and horse exhibits from local 4-H and FFA exhibitors.

Small animals are represented as well, with chickens, turkeys, rabbits and cavies all residing in the barn areas.

The Lake County Fair takes place at the fairgrounds, 401 Martin St., Lakeport.

Visit the fair online at




Clear Lake High School athletes and cheerleaders paraded through Lakeport on the way to the opening of the 2010 Lake County Fair in Lakeport, Calif., on Thursday, September 2, 2010. Photo by Terre Logsdon.

LAKE COUNTY, Calif. – The Kelseyville Waterworks System is undergoing a series of upgrades to the water system which will result in more reliable service with fewer leaks and water outages, officials reported Wednesday.

This planned maintenance revealed the fragile state of portions of the pipe in the water system, according to Lake County Special Districts, which oversees the Kelseyville water system.

Recently, while working on aged and fragile pipes in the distribution system, the system experienced an interruption of water service and pressure in parts of Kelseyville and Finley, as Lake County News has reported.

On Aug. 12, low pressure started early in the morning and the full extent of the water shortage was realized later that morning.

In an effort assure the health and safety of affected customers, Lake County Special Districts and other agencies coordinated emergency response measures to safely mitigate the problem.

“In cases like this, standard procedures include notifying the California Department of Public Health which mandates specific precautionary steps be taken to ensure the safety of the water once it is restored,” said Peter Preciado, Special Districts deputy administrator.

“The Lake County Sheriff’s Department’s reverse 911 provided notifications to the affected customers along with posting boil water notices on affected homes by 7 p.m. that evening,” said Preciado.

Emergency procedures and notification are required including boil water notices any time system water pressure drops below 20 psi. When pressure is too low or less than surrounding water sources, there is a possibility that those sources – wells, groundwater – might “backflow/siphon” and enter the system, Special Districts reported.

Systems checks such as flushing lines, confirming appropriate pressure and verifying chlorine residuals are standard emergency procedures after low water pressure is experienced. The chlorine residual is an indicator that the water is adequately disinfected and there is some chlorine remaining. Laboratory analysis for bacterial contamination confirms that the water is safe to drink.

Test results take about 24 hours and the California Department of Public Health requires two tests completed consecutively with both results absent of bacterial contamination before the boil water order can be lifted. Notices in the recent situation were lifted by Saturday afternoon.

The water pipes in the area of State Street to Second Street along Main have been the source of maintenance issues and were the cause of the recent leaks and loss of pressure, the county reported. Special Districts utility workers were closing water valves in the area to isolate the water pipe to allow RAD Construction to connect a new 10-inch PVC water pipe.

“Unfortunately, the remaining pipes in their fragile state began to fail under the increased water flow as Main Street between State Street and Konocti Road was now being bypassed,” said Preciado.

He said system pressure also began to drop. The efforts and professional expertise of RAD Construction, a local contractor, assisted in restoring water service by bringing the new water main into operation ahead of time.

“We want to thank the community for their patience and cooperation during this recent water emergency,” said Preciado.

He said Special Districts recognized the precautionary measures required by the California Department of Public Health following an interruption of water service due to low pressure are inconvenient and frustrating for customers.

Every effort was made in the most recent incident to have service restored as quickly as possible, he said.

For more information about the Kelseyville Waterworks upgrades call Lake County Special Districts administrative office at 707-263-0119.

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LAKEPORT, Calif. – The Lake County Vector Control District and Lake County Health Services reported Wednesday that they have received confirmation that a second mosquito sample collected in Lake County has tested positive for West Nile virus.

The sample was collected on August 24 southeast of Kelseyville. A previous sample that tested positive was collected near Upper Lake, as Lake County News has reported.

With many outdoor activities planned during the upcoming Lake County Fair and Labor Day holiday, health officials are encouraging people to take precautions including using mosquito repellents, combined with protective clothing (long sleeves and pants), which are especially important in the evening and early morning hours, go a long way to prevent West Nile virus infection, according to Lake County Health Officer Dr. Karen Tait.

“The recent high temperatures allow mosquitoes to reproduce more quickly, and the virus to replicate more quickly, which means that there is more West Nile virus out there,” said Dr. Jamesina Scott, district manager and research director for the Lake County Vector Control District.

Scott said the district has increased its surveillance and control activities in response to the recent positive mosquito samples.

She asked that community members remember the “three Ds of protection” – drain any standing water that may produce mosquitoes, defend yourself and your home by using an effective insect repellent; dressing protectively when outside, and making sure screens on doors and windows are in good condition.

Scott said mosquitoes develop in standing water, and a common mosquito source now that school has started is wading pools and swimming pools that are left filled and unmaintained. Residents should drain or dump out the wading pools and store them indoors or upside-down so that they won’t collect water.

The most recent data posted by California Department of Public Health showed that 34 human cases of West Nile virus have been reported from a total of 10 counties in California.

No human cases have been reported in Lake County this year, according to officials.

West Nile virus is transmitted by mosquitoes to a variety of animals and to humans. Mosquito and Vector Control agencies usually detect the virus in mosquitoes, birds and sometimes tree squirrels before human cases appear.

Most people who become infected with West Nile virus do not show symptoms and will recover uneventfully, according to the health department. Up to 20 percent of people will develop fever, headache, and other nonspecific symptoms that may last several weeks.

Approximately one in 150 people will develop severe illness known as neuroinvasive disease. People over age 50 and diabetics appear to be at most risk for the more severe forms of disease. There is no vaccine for humans.

A vaccine is available for horses and is strongly recommended because West Nile virus can also cause serious infections in horses. This year in California, eleven horses have become ill from West Nile virus, and three have died as a result of the infection.

Contact vector control for help controlling mosquitoes around your home, or to report potential mosquito sources, such as neglected swimming pools. Residents can request service, get mosquitofish, or report neglected swimming pools by calling 707-263-4770 or sending an e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To report a dead bird or squirrel, call 1-877-WNV-BIRD (1-877-968-2473) or visit the Lake County Vector Control District’s website at and click on the green “Report a Dead Bird” link.

For additional information on West Nile virus, visit, or

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LOWER LAKE, Calif. – The union representing Lake County's transit workers has reached a tentative employee contract agreement with the company that operates the county's transit contract.

Teamsters Local 624 and Paratransit Services went back to the table on Wednesday at the request of a federal mediator, and the two sides reported that an initial agreement on a three-year contract resulted.

Paratransit Services operates the county's public transportation services for Lake Transit Authority.

Concerns had arisen over the past month that a strike might result if the two sides couldn't settle a contract, potentially affecting thousands of riders and the 35 workers represented by the union, as Lake County News has reported.

A statement from Randy Grove, Paratransit Services' director of operations and human resources, said the negotiations had focused on wages and working conditions for employees.

Ralph Miranda, the union spokesman in the matter, said an agreement had been reached by about 2 p.m. Wednesday. That was about four hours after the meeting started.

“The successful conclusion of these negotiations reaffirms the track record of commitment both parties have demonstrated in working together in continuing to provide safe, efficient, rider-friendly transportation services for the citizens of Lake County,” Grove's statement said.

Miranda said both sides agreed to hold off on releasing the specific terms of the agreement until the union's membership has a chance to vote on it on Sept. 12.

However, he said many of the details resemble those that were included in the discussions the two sides had on Aug. 12. As previously reported, those talks included Paratransit's offer of a 1-percent wage increase across the board and a three-year package including wage increases of between 10 and 18 percent.

“I'm very confident it's going to be ratified,” Miranda said.

He credited the work of federal mediator David Weinberg with being instrumental in bringing the contract discussions to a successful conclusion.

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 .

Wally Holbrook takes the oath of office from Lake County Clerk/Auditor-Controller Pam Cochrane on Wednesday, September 1, 2010. Photo courtesy of Shelly Mascari.



LAKEPORT, Calif. – As board of education trustees and office of education staff looked on, Wally Holbrook was sworn in as the new Lake County superintendent of schools on Wednesday afternoon.

Holbrook won the office in the June primary.

Outgoing Superintendent of Schools David Geck retired early, and will be assisting Holbrook's transition in an unpaid, volunteer capacity, as Lake County News has reported.

Holbrook has said he plans to begin a review of the Lake County Office of Education's programs and services, and will share the results with the community in the months ahead.

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From left, Lake County Board of Education Trustee Dr. David Browning, newly sworn in Lake County Superintendent of Schools Wally Holbrook, Trustee Madelene Lyon and retiring Superintendent of Schools David Geck. Photo courtesy of Shelly Mascari.




During the swearing-in ceremony on Wednesday, September 1, 2010, new Lake County Superintendent of Schools Wally Holbrook signs the paperwork to complete the process of taking office. Photo courtesy of Shelly Mascari.

WILLOWS, Calif. – A coroner's inquest held in Glenn County this week ruled that the July 2007 death of a Willows man was not accidental but was caused by another person.

Sheriff Larry Jones had ordered the inquest into the death of Ivan “Bud” Foglesong, who died as the result of burns suffered in the fire of a hunting cabin, located on the Holzapfel Ranch, owned by current Glenn County District Attorney Robert Holzapfel, a relative by marriage.

On Monday morning the coroner's inquest began in Glenn County Superior Court in Willows, according to Jones.

A jury was sworn in and listened to two days of sworn testimony. On Tuesday the jury ruled 9-6 that Foglesong’s death was “at the hands of another person, other than by accident,” according to Jones' report.

Jones said the manner of death will be changed to reflect the jury’s findings and an amended death certificate will be filed.

The case file will now be forwarded to the California Attorney General’s Office for review and further action, Jones said. The Attorney General's Office is reportedly handling the matter because of Holzapfel's connections to the case.

The story of the 59-year-old Foglesong has been featured by Sacramento Valley Mirror Publisher and Editor Tim Crews and by the Citizens Against Homicide newsletter.

The family of the retired Air Force lieutenant colonel has contended that he was murdered despite the initial ruling that it was a suicide and, later, that it was an accident, according to articles on Foglesong's death.


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UPPER LAKE, Calif. – The Wednesday arrest of an Upper Lake man already facing federal prosecution in a marijuana case stemmed from a violation of his release terms, according to a federal official.

Thomas Lee Carter, 59, was arrested by federal Drug Enforcement Administration agents on Wednesday, as Lake County News has reported.

Carter and several co-defendants were arrested in August of 2009 and later indicted for charges stemming from the government's allegations that they conspired to sell marijuana locally and through medical marijuana dispensaries in San Diego and Los Angeles, according to court documents.

From that initial indictment Carter was charged with a single count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute marijuana and two counts of distributing or possessing with intent to distribute marijuana.

According to DEA Special Agent Casey McEnry, Carter was arrested on Wednesday and charged with another count of possession with intent to distribute marijuana.

McEnry said the new charge stems from Carter's alleged violation of his pretrial release terms for the August 2009 case.

Those release terms, she said, prohibit Carter from, among other things, committing any federal, state or local crimes.

Further details on the case and the basis of the allegations were not immediately available on Thursday.

McEnry said Carter – who had been booked into the Sonoma County Jail and held overnight Wednesday – made an initial appearance in San Francisco federal court on Thursday in answer to the charge.

She said Carter's next scheduled hearing in the case is Sept. 7, also in San Francisco.

Court documents show that the case in chief against Carter and his co-defendants – Brett Bassignani, Scott and Diana Feil, Steven Swanson and Mark Garcia – is scheduled to continue in January.

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 .

UPPER LAKE, Calif. – On Wednesday an Upper Lake man being prosecuted by the federal government for his alleged involvement in selling marijuana was taken into custody by federal agents.

Thomas Lee Carter, 59, was arrested by agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration, according to Sheriff Rod Mitchell.

Mitchell, whose deputies also were on scene during the operation, said Carter was arrested on a federal warrant, but was not able to provide additional details.

Lake County News left several phone and e-mail messages for the DEA's San Francisco division spokesperson on Wednesday, but none of the messages were returned.

Sonoma County Jail officials confirmed late Wednesday that Carter was being held in their main detention center on a detainer until he is picked up for transport to a facility in San Francisco.

He was booked into the Sonoma County Jail at 2:49 p.m. on a no-bail hold, according to jail records.

Carter and several other people – including one of his own employees – were arrested by the DEA in August 2009 and have since been charged with a battery of felonies related to the alleged production and sale of illicit marijuana, as Lake County News has reported.

In addition to Carter, arrested last year were Scott Feil, 44, and his wife, Diana, 29, of Upper Lake and Redwood Valley; Steven Swanson, 60, of Sebastopol; and Brett Bassignani, 44, of Nice, who works for Carter.

Court documents show that the government is alleging that the defendants in the case were conspiring to sell marijuana in an operation that began with growing and some sales in Lake County, and stretched to medical marijuana dispensaries in Los Angeles and San Diego. More than 100,000 pages of discovery have been submitted in the case.

The case filed by the US Attorney's Office alleges that Bassignani agreed to sell 500 marijuana clones to undercover DEA agents and an informant in May of 2006, and that he told investigators that part of his income with Carter's business came from marijuana sales.

Carter is facing a single count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute marijuana, which carries a minimum 10-year sentence and $4 million fine, and two counts of distributing or possessing with intent to distribute marijuana, which carry a five-year minimum and a $2 million fine for each conviction, according to court documents.

Bassignani is charged with two counts of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute marijuana and one count of distributing or possessing with intent to distribute marijuana.

The charges against the men appear not to have changed as the result of a superseding indictment a federal grand jury handed down in the case on July 22.

Scott and Diana Feil and Steven Swanson, Diana Feil's stepfather, also are charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute marijuana, distributing or possessing with intent to distribute marijuana, conspiracy to launder money, engaging in monetary transactions in property derived from specific unlawful activity.

The superseding indictment additionally accused Scott Feil of two counts of filing false tax returns, and Swanson of two counts of tax evasion.

The new indictment also added another defendant, Mark Leonard Garcia, in connection to a San Diego dispensary. Garcia is charged with two counts of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute marijuana.

The government is seeking forfeiture of millions of dollars in land, vehicles and other assets used or derived from proceeds of the alleged counts. That includes several hotels the Feils own around the North Coast and property belonging to Carter in Upper Lake.

Carter was released after posting $200,000 bail in August 2009, using his property at 1622 Hunter Point Road in Upper Lake to secure the bail, according to the conditions of his release.

The same document showed that he was subject to numerous conditions in order to remain out of jail, including not committing any federal, state or local crimes; not harassing, threatening or intimidating witnesses, victims or officers of the court; submitting to warrantless searches; and making all court appearances.

A criminal minute order from an Aug. 26 status conference in the case showed that motions are due in December, with the case continued to Jan. 27, 2011.

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 .

CLEARLAKE, Calif. – The county's second deadly home fire in less than a week claimed the life of a Clearlake woman early Wednesday.

Janet Lynn Barber, 45, was the victim of the fatal fire in her mobile home at Lakeside Resort in Clearlake, according to Capt. James Bauman of the Lake County Sheriff's Office, which conducted coroner duties on the case.

Clearlake Police Chief Allan McClain said police officers and Lake County Fire Protection District firefighters were dispatched to the fire just after 3 a.m. Wednesday.

Barber's home was located in space No. 14 at Lakeside Resort, located at 5775 Old Highway 53, he said.

McClain said by the time firefighters and police units arrived, the mobile home was fully engulfed.

Lake County Fire Battalion Chief Willie Sapeta said firefighters along with four engines, a rescue unit, two medic units and two battalion fought the blaze, which was contained at 3:40 a.m. The firefighters didn't return to quarters until 9:40 a.m.

It was after the fire was out that the fatality was confirmed, Sapeta said.

McClain said the Lake County Fire Arson team responded to investigate the fire, which was determined to be accidental in nature, possibly from Barber smoking in bed.

He said the fire was enhanced by Barber's oxygen machine, which was located near her bed.

A witness told investigators that Barber was attempting to put the fire out herself and was not able to get out of the residence, according to McClain.

Barber's death comes just days after another home fire claimed an elderly Clearlake Oaks man's life.

Early Sunday morning, 83-year-old Eugene Throop died in a fire at his home on Old Long Valley Road, as Lake County News has reported.

Throop, a retired Cal Fire dozer operator, and his wife had initially escaped but he is reported to have gone back to look for his dog, according to officials.

In addition to those tragedies, fire calls have been on the rise. Sapeta said firefighters have been inundated with calls in recent weeks, taking as many as 45 calls in a recent two-day period.

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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