Wednesday, 22 March 2023


MIDDLETOWN – The U.S. Bureau of Land Management will host a meeting in Middletown Wednesday evening to discuss the cleanup of a local mercury mine.

BLM will host the meeting on the proposed cleanup plans for the Oat Hill Extension Mercury Mine near the Napa-Lake county line.

The public meeting will take place at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 14, at the Jesus Christ Fellowship Building, 21443 Pine St.

The Oat Hill Extension Mercury Mine, in the James Creek Watershed between Middletown and Calistoga, produced mercury from the 1870s until 1944, according to BLM.

According to a BLM report on the mine, the land to be cleaned consists of 25 acres of public lands administered by BLM. The site contains a mercury mine processing mill, a historic miner's cabin and approximately 500,000 tons of mercury mine wastes.

Because the tailings at the mine site have high levels of mercury, which can be dangerous to human, BLM reported that it closed the area to protect the public exposure to mercury and dangers, including mine shafts and unstable buildings.

David Lawler, abandoned mine lands coordinator in the California state BLM's Division of Energy and Minerals, said the mercury tailings at the site are eroding into James Creek.

James Creek, in turn, flows into Pope Creek and then into Putah Creek. From there, the water moves to Lake Berryessa and, ultimately, the Bay-Delta. He said BLM is trying to prevent the mercury from reaching those major state water sources downstream.

Lawler said the Oat Hill Extension Mine itself was a relatively small mine, producing about 1,000 flasks of mercury – or 76,000 pounds – during its operation.

Gary Sharpe, assistant field manager for the BLM’s Ukiah Field Office, said the Oat Hill Extension property is the site of the original mercury strike. The larger Oak Hill mine developed around it.

The main Oak Hill Mine, said Lawler, was the fifth largest mine in terms of production in California, and one of the largest in North American, producing 165,000 flasks of mercury.

The land BLM is proposing to clean up is surrounded by privately owned land, where the owners are doing some cleanup, said Lawler.

Another old mercury mine, the Corona mine, also is located nearby, Lawler said.

At Wednesday's meeting, Sharpe said BLM officials will explain the mercury contamination issues at the mine, describe removal alternatives, discuss engineering evaluations and present cost analysis information.

The BLM is seeking the community's input to help determine the best ways to contain and stabilize hazardous substances at the historic mine, Sharpe said. That input, along with the agency's technical expertise, with be used in the decision-making process.

Other agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Geologic Survey, the Department of Fish and Game, U.S. Fish and Wildlife and the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board will be involved in the decision making related to the cleanup effort, said Sharpe.

BLM has been evaluating the mine cleanup for about two years, said Sharpe, with a characterization and engineering report starting about a year ago.

A firm estimate on how much the cleanup will cost wasn't available, but Sharpe said some other mercury mine cleanups have ranged between $500,000 and $5 million.

Just how the cleanup will be conducted will be made at the state level, said Sharpe. “The decision ultimately will be made by BLM.”

That decision, he added, should be made within the next six months to a year.

“Mercury is a concern for a lot of people and a very difficult thing to control,” Sharpe said.

For the final engineering evaluation and cost analysis on the Oat Hill Extension mine, visit

E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


LAKE COUNTY – The Registrar of Voters Office has released an updated vote count for the Tuesday, Nov. 6 election.

No board seats have changed hands due the revised counts, although percentages have changed and write-in candidates have been tallied.


Lake County Office of Education Governing Board

Trustee Area 4 (ONE vacancy) – 5 of 5 precincts completed

David Browing: 1,370 votes, 78.6 percent

Larry A Juchert: 369 votes, 21.2 percent

Write-in candidates(s): 3, 0.2 percent

Mendocino-Lake College District Governing Board

Trustee Area 3 (ONE vacancy) – 16 of 16 precincts completed

Joan M. Eriksen: 2,340 votes, 55.3 percent

Larry MacLeitch: 1,887 votes, 44.6 percent

Write-in candidates(s): 8, 0.2 percent

Trustee Area 7 (ONE vacancy) – 16 of 16 precincts completed

Jerry DeChaine: 2,301 votes, 53.6 percent

Gary Taylor: 1,971 votes, 45.9 percent

Write-in candidates(s): 18, 0.4 percent

Kelseyville Unified School District Governing Board (THREE vacancies) – 7 of 7 precincts completed

John R. DeChaine: 1,021 votes, 18.8 percent

Gary Olson: 788 votes, 14.5 percent

Chris Irwin: 743 votes, 13.6 percent

Andy Dobusch: 735 votes, 13.5 percent

Valerie A. Ramirez: 579 votes, 10.6 percent

Don Boyd: 552 votes, 10.1 percent

Philip Murphy: 522 votes, 9.6 percent

Mireya Gehring Turner: 503 votes, 9.2 percent

Write-in candidates(s): 2, 0.0 percent

Lakeport Unified School District Governing Board (THREE vacancies) – 7 of 7 precincts completed

Bob Weiss: 932 votes, 24.5 percent

Robyn K. Stevenson: 916 votes, 24.1 percent

Philip T. Kirby: 847 votes, 22.3 percent

Craig Kinser: 734 votes, 19.3 percent

Patricia Jonas Voulgaris: 364 votes, 9.6 percent

Write-in candidates(s): 4, 0.1 percent

Lucerne Elementary School District Governing Board (ONE vacancy) – 4 of 4 precincts completed

Kay Hancock: 297 votes, 64.6 percent

Bruce Higgins: 163 votes, 35.4 percent

Write-in candidates(s): 0, 0.0 percent

Upper Lake Union High School District Governing Board (TWO vacancies) – 8 of 8 precincts completed

Annie Barnes: 560 votes, 29.0 percent

Colleen Alexander: 489 votes, 25.3 percent

Gary L. Lewis: 344 votes, 17.8 percent

Dawn R. Binns: 311 votes, 16.1 percent

Howard Chavez: 225 votes, 11.6 percent

Write-in candidates(s): 4, 0.2 percent


Anderson Springs Community Services District (TWO vacancies) – 1 of 1 precinct completed

Beatrice A. Moulton: 46 votes, 46.5 percent

Penelope D. Falduto: 42 votes, 42.4 percent

Daniel L. Wood: 11 votes, 11.1 percent

Write-in candidates(s): 0, 0.0 percent

Clearlake Oaks County Water District (THREE vacancies) – 2 of 2 precincts completed

Helen G. Locke: 333 votes, 23.2 percent

Mike Anisman: 259 votes, 18.0 percent

Frank Toney: 256 votes, 17.8 percent

Bob White: 244 votes, 17.0 percent

June A. Greene, 185 votes, 12.9 percent

Glenn R. Rowe, 157 votes, 10.9 percent

Write-in candidates(s): 2, 0.1 percent

E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..




LAKEPORT – A Saturday afternoon collision between a motorcycle and a vehicle has claimed one life.

The California Highway Patrol's Ukiah Dispatch Center confirmed Saturday evening that one person died as a result of the crash, which was reported at 1:33 p.m. on Highway 20 near Scotts Valley Road.

The CHP incident logs reported that a motorcycle collided with a dark-colored vehicle, with the vehicle going off the roadway and into the bushes.

At the same time, the motorcycle went into the lake, with the male rider down in the roadway, according to the logs. The crash blocked both lanes of traffic.

A caller reported to the CHP that an off-duty fireman and a nurse were doing cardiopulmonary resuscitation on one of the accident victims who, nearly 45 minutes later, had not regained consciousness.

The CHP reported Saturday night that a report on the accident had not yet been completed, and the CHP dispatcher did not have information on which one of the victims – the motorcycle rider of the vehicle's driver – had died.

The victim's name also was not available as of Saturday evening.

With the roads wet from a steady rain on Saturday, the CHP reported a number of non-injury collisions throughout the day along Highway 20.

E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


LAKEPORT – With jury selection still under way, the trial of Renato Hughes may start Thursday, according to the district attorney.

Hughes, 23, is being tried for the deaths of Christian Foster and Rashad Williams, who were shot to death during an alleged robbery on Dec. 7, 2005, in Clearlake Park.

The man who actually shot them was Shannon Edmonds, from whose home they were allegedly running when the shooting took place.

Because Hughes was allegedly taking part in a crime that was likely to result in a lethal response, he is being held tried for the deaths of Foster and Williams.

Jury selection began in late October, and will resume Wednesday, said District Attorney Jon Hopkins.

The lengthy process began with prospective jurors filling out questionnaires during the first week of selection, and returning the following week for questioning by the prosecution and the defense, as Lake County News previously reported.

Hopkins estimated that the trial could begin Thursday. However, defense attorney Stuart Hanlon told Lake County News in a previous interview that if he's not pleased with the jury that's selected, he plans to ask again for a venue change for the trial.

Hanlon has made repeated attempts to have the trial moved out of Lake County. He has alleged that his client, who is black, cannot receive a fair trial in a community such as Lake County, which is overwhelmingly white in composition.

So far the attempts to have the trial moved have failed at the local and appellate levels, with the Supreme Court refusing to consider the case earlier this year.

E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


United Veterans Council Military Funeral Honors Team raises the flag at Veterans Circle Sunday morning. Photo by Ryan Eldredge.

LAKEPORT – Veterans gathered at Hartley Cemetery in Lakeport for a special ceremony on Sunday.

Following the raising of the Avenue of Flags, the United Veterans Council Military Funeral Honors Team held a flag raising ceremony at the cemetery's Veterans Circle, an area created to eventually be the final resting place of indigent veterans.

Firing party commander Rich Feiro – also known as “our fearless leader” to the other veterans in the group – explained that each year the team honors a veteran during the raising of the colors.

This year, Harry Stivers, who retired from the Air Force, was honored and his flag was raised, then lowered to half mast along with the POW/MIA flag. Stivers' family was in attendance for the ceremony.

E-mail Terre Logsdon This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..



Veteran Harry Stivers was honored in this year's ceremony. Photo by Ryan Eldredge.




LAKEPORT – Sheriff's investigators hope that technology will offer them another clue in the unsolved murder of a Nice man. {sidebar id=26}

Lt. Cecil Brown of the Lake County Sheriff's Office released a statement Friday to update the community on the investigation into the death of 39-year-old Paul Joseph Womachka.

Womachka was reported missing on June 27 by his ex-wife and business partner, Erica Womachka, as Lake County News previously reported. Two days later, his body was found in his Hey Taxi minivan, underwater in Big Valley Rancheria's marina.

On Friday, Brown reported that sheriff's investigators are waiting for the results of a forensics examination on several pieces of evidence, about which Brown did not elaborate. A previous report explained that the Department of Justice was conducting DNA analysis to identify one or more individuals who may have been present at the time of the murder.

One piece of possible evidence he did share pertained to the minivan itself.

Brown said detectives are working with experts from General Motors to recover any available information from the on-board computer of the van. The computer may reveal details of when and how the van was driven before it entered the lake.

“We're not sure exactly what it's going to tell us yet,” said Brown.

The hope, said Brown, is that the computer will reveal the position of the throttle when the minivan went into the water.

A previous sheriff's office report said the van crashed through a fence before going in the water.

On Friday, Northshore Dive Team members John Rodriguez and Keith Hoyt told Lake County News that they found the minivan in about 9 feet of water. The van was discovered as water depth measurements were being taken for BoardStock.

Hoyt said the minivan was about 10 to 15 feet offshore, and that water weeds had kept the vehicle from moving farther. The windows were down and the minivan was filled with water, with Womachka still inside.

Divers did not remove Womachka's body from the vehicle, said Hoyt. Instead, the van was pulled from the water and tarped, and Lake County Sheriff's investigators had it moved from the scene.

Investigation still lacks rancheria's cooperation

At about midnight on June 27, Womachka received a call from Robinson Rancheria, where he was hired to drive Morgan Matthew Jack, 30, to his home at Big Valley Rancheria.

“He didn't want to take that ride,” Erica Womachka told Lake County News Friday.

Nevertheless, Paul Womachka took the job and never returned home.

After his body was found, an autopsy would confirm that he had been murdered, according to the sheriff's office.

However, the precise cause of Womachka's death has yet to be made public.

Even now, investigators are carefully guarding the information.

Brown said Friday that sheriff's investigators asked him not to comment on the cause of Womachka's death, which he said is too revealing.

“There is going to be some information we're going to hold onto,” Brown said.

Brown said he was not aware of Womachka having received any threats prior to his death. “Everything that I've heard is that he was easy to get along with and not prone to conflict.”

Morgan Jack initially was taken into custody and questioned in connection with the case, since he was believed to be among the last people to see Womachka alive, according to the sheriff's office.

Later, Jack was taken into custody by state officials for a parole violation, and moved to San Quentin for processing.

Since then, state parole officials have released Jack, said Brown.

“He is out of custody,” said Brown, who added, “He has not been cleared from this investigation.”

In early September Brown released a statement in which he explained that the sheriff's office was receiving no cooperation from Big Valley Rancheria in the investigation.

Brown reported at that time that sheriff's investigators had received second-hand information that a number of people at the rancheria had either described the attack on Womachka in detail or claimed to have taken part in it.

He told Lake County News in a previous interview that when sheriff's investigators went to the rancheria to question certain individuals, those people literally ran away or had already gone into hiding.

After that initial public statement, Brown said he received a call from Tribal Chair Valentino Jack, who promised to cooperate with the investigation, including providing rancheria maps to the sheriff's office.

Det. Nicole Costanza has yet to receive that promised information from Valentino Jack, Brown added. Neither have any significant witnesses come forward, Brown added.

“The detectives continue contacting and interviewing people who live in that area but nobody has provided any significant information,” said Brown.

A call Lake County News placed to Valentino Jack's office at Big Valley Rancheria was not returned.

Family searches for answers

Connie Goetz, Erica Womachka's stepmother, said that Paul Womachka's family continues to feel the repercussions of his death.

One of the most disturbing things the family has faced is that Womachka's three sons have been harassed over the murder by other children at school, said Goetz.

A girl who sat behind one of the boys in class, reportedly the niece of Morgan Jack, laughingly told Womachka's son that her uncle had murdered his father.

“We went right to the police,” said Goetz.

Erica Womachka agreed that her sons have been struggling with their father's death at the same time as they've had to deal with the cruelty of some of their peers.

Although she hasn't been threatened, Erica Womachka said she doesn't feel safe since her ex-husband – and best friend – was murdered.

“I do feel that my children are sometimes in danger because of this situation,” she said. “How immediate it is, I can't say.”

As a result, she is considering leaving Lake County. But she said she wants her sons to help make that decision which, so far, they've been unwilling to do. “They all don't feel like they want to leave.”

Womachka said she has been unemployed since the murder, and has been devoting her time to homeschooling her sons. “I am definitely going to need to do something soon,” she said.

Because Paul and Erica Womachka were divorced, his next of kin are, technically, his parents, who live in Iowa, Erica Womachka said. She said investigators have been relaying information to the Iowa family members.

Goetz said that Det. Nicole Costanza has made herself available to answer the family's questions, but that investigators have been careful in what they've told the family as well. “They told Erica she may never know the cause of death,” Goetz said.

Erica Womachka said she believes local authorities are doing everything they can to solve the case.

The approaching holidays can be a tough time for families suffering a loss. To help deal with that, Erica Womachka said her sons will go back to spend time with their father's family in Iowa, a trip her sons are looking forward to taking.

Looking back at her ex-husband's murder, Erica Womachka said she has a hard time believing that four months have passed already.

Added Goetz, “There's got to be some kind of closure in all of this.”

E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


LAKE COUNTY – The California Highway Patrol (CHP) is giving thanks this holiday season for drivers who play by the rules and help make the state’s roads a safer place.

“Our message is simple … drive safe, drive sober and buckle up,” said Lt. Dane Hayward, Commander of the Clear Lake Area CHP office.

To emphasize safety on the roadways, the CHP has scheduled another Maximum Enforcement Period during the Thanksgiving holiday, according to CHP Officer Adam Garcia.

The official Thanksgiving holiday driving period begins Wednesday, Nov. 21 at 6 p.m. and continues through Sunday, Nov. 25. At the same time, the CHP will implement the Maximum Enforcement Period and put every available officer on the road.

Joining the thousands of CHP officers out on the road Thanksgiving week are millions of Californians, and crowded highways can often lead to frustrating moments at the wheel, CHP reported.

“Be prepared for traffic tie-ups, especially on the Wednesday before or the Sunday after Thanksgiving,” said Lt. Hayward.

In addition to busy roadways, inclement weather is another factor motorists may have to contend with. Rain, fog, wind and snow have been known to create not only frustrating, but hazardous conditions for drivers.

“Many crashes are caused by driving too fast for current conditions,” added Lt. Hayward.

Last year, during the Thanksgiving MEP, 42 people died in 4,768 collisions that occurred in California. More than half of the vehicle occupants killed were not wearing their seat belt.

Another sobering statistic: 1,670 people were arrested by CHP officers for driving under the influence last year over the Thanksgiving holiday; a nearly 10 percent increase from the same time period the previous year.

The Thanksgiving Maximum Enforcement Period also is an Operation CARE (Combined Accident Reduction Effort) holiday, Garcia reported.

Operation CARE is a joint program of the nation’s highway patrols that promotes safe driving on interstate highways during holiday periods, according to Garcia. CARE highways in California include Interstates 80, 40, 15 (San Bernardino to the Nevada border) and 5 (Bakersfield north to the Oregon line).

The Thanksgiving Maximum Enforcement Period will be one of the year's last. Garcia said every year CHP conducts the maximum enforcement operations on New Year's, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas.


LAKEPORT – The California Highway Patrol has issued a report on a fatal Saturday crash which may have been caused by reckless driving.

The CHP reported that 61-year-old Wayne Stafford of Redwood Valley died as a result of the Saturday collision, which took place at about 1:30 p.m. on Highway 20 west of Scotts Valley Road.

Stafford was driving his 1990 Harley Davidson motorcycle westbound on Highway 20 “in a reckless manner,” passing other vehicles at high speeds while passing over double yellow lines in a right curve, according to CHP.

The road surface was wet due to the day's rainy weather, and the CHP reported that Stafford lost control of his motorcycle while passing over the double yellow lines.

The CHP report said the motorcycle went down on its left side and ejected Stafford onto the pavement.

Thomas Brower, 51, of Ukiah was driving his 1995 Toyota eastbound at between 50 and 55 miles per hour, according to the CHP. He hit the brakes but was unable to avoid hitting both Stafford and his motorcycle as they slid into the eastbound lane.

Stafford was transported to Sutter Lakeside Hospital where he died of his injuries, the CHP reported. Brower was physically uninjured.

E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


WASHINGTON – On Friday, the House passed a bill that would provide millions of middle-class families with tax relief and help grow our economy without increasing the national deficit.

One of the most important provisions in this bill would protect 23 million middle-class families from being hit by the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT), including more than 42,000 families in California’s 1st Congressional District.

“The AMT was created to make sure multi-millionaires were paying their fair share. It was never designed to hit middle-class families,” said Congressman Mike Thompson, who voted in favor of the Temporary Tax Relief Act of 2007 (H.R. 3996). “This bill is going to bring tax relief to tens of thousands of working families throughout our district. And it’s not going to increase the national deficit by one cent.”

In regards to the AMT, this bill would provide one-year AMT relief for nonrefundable personal credits and increase the AMT exemption amount to $66,250 for joint filers and $44,350 for individuals.

In addition to fixing the AMT, this bill would:

  • Provide 30 million American homeowners with property tax relief;

  • Help 12 million families by expanding the child tax credit;

  • Help 4.5 million families better afford college with the tuition deduction;

  • Save 3.4 million teachers money with a deduction for classroom expenses; and

  • Provide thousands of American troops in combat with tax relief under the Earned Income Tax Credit.

“The new Majority in Congress made a firm commitment to fiscal responsibility,” said Thompson. “This bill provides millions of hard-working Americans with much-needed tax relief, without passing the cost onto our grandchildren and without borrowing from foreign countries, such as China. And it will provide significant help to Americans trying to achieve the dream of homeownership and higher education.”

The bill would also help spur economic growth. The Temporary Tax Relief Act would extend tax incentives targeting small businesses and provides assistance to homeowners facing foreclosure or bankruptcy.

The bill also contains provisions modeled upon two pieces of legislation authored by Congressman Thompson. H.R. 1576 would make permanent tax incentives to landowners who conserve our country’s agricultural land and open spaces. H.R. 1304 would improve the manner in which motor sports complexes may depreciate facility-related expenses.

The bill now heads to the Senate for consideration.





LAKE COUNTY – Foreclosure rates around California continue to reach record levels, with foreclosures also continuing to climb in Lake County. {sidebar id=28}

A report released late last month by DataQuick Information Systems of La Jolla said that mortgage lenders started formal foreclosure proceedings on a record number of California homeowners in 2007's third quarter quarter, which resulted from declining home prices, sluggish sales and subprime mortgage distress.

A total of 72,571 Notices of Default – a notice given to a borrower that if they do not make payments by a certain deadline their property will be foreclosed on – were filed during the July-to-September period, according to DataQuick. That's up 34.5 percent from 53,943 during the previous quarter, and up 166.6 percent from 27,218 in third-quarter 2006.

Because a residence may be financed with multiple loans, last quarter's 72,751 default notices were recorded on 68,746 different residences, DataQuick reported.

In Lake County, Notices of Default in the third quarter numbered 129, up 20 over the second quarter of this year and 92.5 percent higher than the third quarter of 2006, in which there were 67 Notices of Default.

“That would be a record,” said DataQuick spokesman Andrew LePage.

In Sonoma County, Notices of Default rose 224 percent from last year, with Trustee Deeds jumping more than 500 percent. For Napa County, Notices of Default were up 279 percent over last year, and Trustee Deeds were up 720 percent.

Statewide, recorded Trustees Deeds – which marks the actual loss of a home to foreclosure – totaled 24,209 during the third quarter, the highest number in DataQuick's statistics, which go back to 1988, LePage reported.

Last quarter was up 38.7 percent from 17,458 for the previous quarter, and up 604.8 percent from 3,435 for last year's third quarter, according to DataQuick. The peak of the prior foreclosure cycle was 15,418 in third-quarter 1996, while the low was 637 in the second quarter of 2005.

In Lake County, there were 53 Trustee Deeds in the third quarter, a 342-percent increase over the third quarter of 2006, in which there were 12 Trustee Deeds, said LePage. That's another record, as it's also up from the 48 Trustee Deeds in 2007's second quarter.

Since 1996, the average number of Trustee Deeds filed in a given quarter was 16, LePage said.

“As long as the Notice of Default number is increasing, you're likely to see an increase in the number of foreclosures,” LePage explained.

On primary mortgages statewide, homeowners were a median five months behind on their payments when the lender started the default process. The borrowers owed a median $10,914 on a median $344,000 mortgage.

"We know now, in emerging detail, that a lot of these loans shouldn't have been made,” said DataQuick President Marshall Prentice. “The issue is whether the real estate market and the economy will digest these over the next year or two, or if housing market distress will bring the economy to its knees. Right now, most California neighborhoods do not have much of a foreclosure problem. But where there is a problem, it's getting nasty.”

E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..




LAKE COUNTY – Events planned around Lake County today will honor the sacrifices veterans have made in order to protect our country throughout its history.

The Avenue of Flags is scheduled to fly at the Upper Lake Cemetery, Lower Lake Cemetery and Hartley Cemetery in Lakeport from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., weather permitting.

Dean Gotham, president of the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 951, said his chapter is in charge of Hartley's Avenue of Flags.

If rain continues Sunday, the flags won't go up, said Gotham, and they're waiting to see what the weather will hold.

“I've been telling everyone to show up and the decision will be made at 0700,” he said.

At 8 a.m., a ceremony is planned at Hartley Cemetery's Veterans Circle, which local veterans groups dedicated on last Veterans Day, said Gotham. The circle is meant to be a resting place for indigent veterans.

The main event for the day will be the Lake County Veterans Day Ceremony will take place in the Theater Building at the Lake County Fairgrounds, 401 Martin St. The ceremony will begin at 11 a.m.

This year’s keynote speaker will be District 5 Supervisor Rob Brown.

The ceremony will include brief presentations of the county’s eighth annual “Friend of The Veteran” award and the United Veterans Council’s “Veteran of the Year” award.

Also taking part in the ceremony will be the Clear Lake High School Band, Lake County 4-H, Kelseyville Sea Scouts, Emily Barker, Ginny Craven and the United Veterans Council’s Military Funeral Team.

Immediately after the ceremony, the fourth annual Free Veterans Barbecue will take place at the Theater Building. The barbecue is sponsored by the United Veterans Council and all of Lake County’s Veterans Service Organizations.

Everyone is welcome to attend the ceremony and barbecue, and join in in remembering and honoring all veterans.

Also taking place through the rest of the weekend are poppy sales at Safeway, Longs, Century Market and Piedmont Lumber, according to the Vietnam Veterans of America. The poppy sales, which commemorate the World War I battles at Flanders Field, raise funds for local veterans groups.

E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


LAKEPORT – Officials have arrested a local dentist on a battery of charges, including burglary, forgery and obtaining controlled substances by fraud.

Dr. Scott Clayton Wheadon, DDS, 49, of Kelseyville was arrested on Nov. 7 by Lake County Narcotic Task Force agents, with the assistance of the California Highway Patrol, the Lake County Sheriff's Office and Lakeport Police Department, according to a report released to Lake County News Friday morning.

Wheadon is the dental director for Lake County Tribal Health's facility at 925 Bevins Court in Lakeport, according to a report from Lake County Narcotic Task Force Commander Richard Russell. Wheadon has been the dental director there for 10 years.

The arrest followed a four-month investigation, according to Russell.

In July, the task force received information that Wheadon was allegedly obtaining prescription medications for his personal use, which is illegal, Russell reported.

An investigation found evidence that Wheadon had allegedly obtained prescription medicals by fraud, deceit, misrepresentation or subterfuge on a number of occasions, according to Russell. Task force agents were able to identify some of those transactions through California Department of Justice records.

Agents contacted Wheadon at his office Wednesday while simultaneously serving a search warrant on his Kelseyville home, Russell said.

At Wheadon's home, Russell said agents found patient records, dental medications, and prescription medications Wheadon had allegedly obtained illegally.

They also found numerous firearms, including hunting rifles, a 9 mm pistol and a .38 pistol, said Russell. The firearms appeared to have been obtained legally, Russell added.

Wheadon was arrested on six felony charges, including procuring the administration of controlled substances by fraud, possessing controlled narcotic substances, forging or altering narcotic prescriptions, possessing a destructive device, forgery of prescriptions and first degree burglary.

The burglary charge, explained Russell, was added because Wheadon allegedly entered his place of work with the intent to commit a felony – in this instance, misrepresentation of a prescription.

The specific charges for which Wheadon was arrested stemmed from activities at his place of work, said Russell.

Russell would not disclose how long Wheadon was allegedly involved with the drug activities.

However, Wheadon's alleged activities don't appear linked to a larger prescription drug ring, and the drugs appeared to be for his personal use. “It was an isolated incident as far as we know,” said Russell.

Russell would not comment on a connection between Wheadon's alleged activities to obtain drugs and his patients.

Agents were unable to find evidence of similar alleged drug activity in other communities, Russell added.

According to jail booking records, Wheadon's bail was set at $65,000. By Friday morning Wheadon had posted bail and been released from the Lake County Jail.

According to his booking sheet, Wheadon is set to appear in court on Jan. 14, 2008.

On Jan. 31, 2008, Wheadon's dental license is set to expire, according to state Department of Consumer Affairs.

A call to Lake County Tribal Health to inquire about Wheadon's current employment status was not immediately returned.

E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Upcoming Calendar

03.22.2023 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm
Collier Avenue housing project public meeting
03.23.2023 7:30 am - 8:30 am
Rotary Club of Middletown
Middletown Art Center
03.23.2023 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm
Character Design~Art Class for Teens
03.23.2023 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Local hazard mitigation plan update
03.25.2023 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
03.27.2023 5:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Courting The Muse~Mixed Media Art Class
03.30.2023 7:30 am - 8:30 am
Rotary Club of Middletown
Middletown Art Center
03.30.2023 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm
Character Design~Art Class for Teens
04.01.2023 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
04.01.2023 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Lake County Spring Dance Festival

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