Tuesday, 23 July 2024


WASHINGTON – This Thursday, Congressman Thompson will host a live town hall meeting via telephone and he is inviting every resident of the 1st Congressional District to join him.

Participants will be able to directly ask Congressman Thompson questions about issues that impact the 1st District and he will respond on-the-spot for all participants to hear.

“Telephone town halls are a great way to bring residents from across Northern California together to share their concerns and get real-time answers,” said Congressman Thompson. “I’m looking forward to hearing questions on important issues like health care, the war in Iraq and climate change and then sharing what I’m doing in Congress to help. I hope everyone will use this opportunity to make their voices heard.”

The town hall meeting will be held from 7 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 1.

To join the toll-free call, dial 1-866-447-5149 and enter the pass code 13293.


MIDDLETOWN – A traffic collision Monday evening claimed a single fatality – a cow that had wandered into the road.

The Clearlake Highway Patrol's incident logs reported that the vehicle-versus-cow collision occurred at 7:32 p.m. on southbound Highway 29, two miles north of Middletown.

The black cow was reportedly dead at the scene, found on the road's west shoulder, according to the CHP.

A rancher who may have owned the cow and Caltrans were reportedly on their way to the scene to remove the animal, CHP reported.

No information was available about the vehicle involved.

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A Kelseyville firefighter works at the scene of Bob Roy's home, which burned Friday evening. Photo by Harold LaBonte.



KELSEYVILLE – An older model single-wide mobile home was gutted Friday night after a fire broke out in the living room area.

The fire broke out at about 8:10 p.m. in the trailer, situated in Space 50 at Live Oak Trailer Park at 5935 Live Oak Drive. The trailer was the home of Bob Roy, who neighbors at the park said is in his 80s.

A neighbor’s Ford Bronco, parked in Roy’s driveway as a courtesy to discourage strangers from parking there, suffered moderate damages in the blaze.

The neighbor and owner of the restored Bronco, Linda Cole, said she has known Roy since 1998, the year she first moved to the park.

Roy had not been able to afford regular propane deliveries and just recently purchased a second portable electric heater which he frequently moved about the home as needed, said Cole.

Kelseyville Fire Protection District Chief Howard Strickler would not speculate nor offer any theory as to the cause of the fire.

Strickler indicated that the fire crew would remain on scene for at least one hour after the blaze was extinguished.

There was no word on the condition of Roy, who was reportedly in the home when the fire started.

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


The fire, which started just after 8 p.m., began in the trailer's living room. Photo by Harold LaBonte.



A friend's Bronco parked near the trailer also was damaged. Photo by Harold LaBonte.



LAKE COUNTY – Local firefighters are on their way home a week after having been dispatched to Southern California to aid in the fight against the region's wildfire.

On Oct. 22, a team of five engines – one each from Lakeport Fire Protection District, Northshore Fire Protection District, Lake County Fire Protection District, South County Fire Protection District and Mendocino County's Anderson Valley – and 14 firefighting personnel reported for duty in Southern California, as Lake County News reported last week.

The group was assigned to the Lake Arrowhead area, where they helped protect homes, Lakeport Fire Protection District Chief Ken Wells reported last week.

On Monday afternoon Wells said the contingent was released from duty and by 2 p.m. were on their way home from Victorville.

Wells said he wasn't sure if they would stop along the way to rest or push to drive straight home.

The firefighters are returning home with “no injuries whatsoever,” said Wells.

“They'll probably have some nice stories when they come home,” he added.

On Monday Cal Fire reported that a total of 517,797 acres burned across San Diego, San Bernardino, Orange, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Riverside and Ventura counties.

Five fires are still burning as of early Tuesday morning, including the Witch, Harris and Poomacha in San Diego County, the Slide Fire in San Bernardino County and the Santiago Fire in Orange County.

Last week, in response to the severe fire conditions in Southern California, Cal Fire reopened Northern California's fire season, which allowed the agency to retain seasonal firefighting personnel to both respond to the southern wildfires and keep the northern areas staffed.

As of Monday, Cal Fire had not changed fire season's open status.

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Cal Fire firefighters on their way up to a fire off of Ridge Road on Cobb. Photo by Liam and Robert Lynch.


LAKE COUNTY – Two fires on different ends of the county called on local, state and federal firefighters Sunday.

Two small fires along Ridge Road on Cobb ignited just after 2:30 p.m., according to Cal Fire.

Engineer Brion Borba of South Lake County Fire Protection District's Cobb Fire Station said the Ridge Road fires were caused when a tree came down into some power lines, causing them to arc.

The biggest of the two fires burned about an acre, said Borba.

Cal Fire reported that the second fire was about a quarter-acre in size.

The fires threatened two structures in the immediate area, said Borba. One fire backed up to one of the homes and was headed toward another.

Borba said South Lake Fire sent three fire engines and a bulldozer to the fire. Cal Fire also sent three engines, a hand crew and a helicopter, which was canceled but sent its crew anyway to help on the ground.

Between the two agencies there were a total of between 15 and 20 firefighters on scene, added Borba.

Borba said the last engine left the scene at 7:30 p.m.

He said conditions on Cobb are very dry.

“It's burning just like it would in the summertime,” he said. “If we had had wind on this fire it would have been a lot worse.”

South Lake Fire encourages people to be careful due to the dry conditions.

Another fire hits Bartlett Springs

Cal Fire reported that a structure fire on Bartlett Springs was reported at 5:53 p.m.

The fire, according to Cal Fire, was on Mendocino National Forest land, with the US Forest Service as the lead responder. Cal Fire sent one engine, and firefighters remained on scene until Sunday evening.

Mendocino Forest officials could not be reached Sunday for more information on the fire.

Over the summer, Bartlett Springs was the site of two other structure fires, both believed to be arson, as Lake County News previously reported. A fire in late July claimed the third Bartlett Springs Resort Lodge, while a September fire destroyed the rebuilt Bartlett Springs Resort gazebo.

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LAKE COUNTY – The California Highway Patrol (CHP) hopes to scare motorists away from the idea of drunk driving this Halloween.

Last year, the weekend prior to Halloween, CHP officers arrested 1,258 people throughout the state for driving under the influence (DUI).

“If you’re caught driving under the influence, officers will be treating you to time in the local jail,” said CHP Lt. Dane Hayward of the Clear Lake Area office.

In addition to possible jail time, DUI violators face loss of their driver’s license, alcohol-treatment classes and other expenses that can exceed $10,000.

“One way to help keep your good time this Halloween from becoming a drunk driving nightmare is to designate a sober driver before the drinking begins,” said Hayward.

However, the problem of drunk driving is not just seasonal in California.

DUI is the leading cause of fatal traffic collisions in California. In 2006, 1,597 people died in alcohol-related traffic crashes; they represent 38 percent of the overall total. Another sobering statistic, 14 percent of victims killed in alcohol-involved collisions were under age 21.

The CHP encourages motorists to call 9-1-1 to report suspected drunk drivers. Be ready to provide the vehicle’s license plate number, make and model, and location.

In addition to keeping an eye on the road, pedestrian safety is also of paramount concern for the CHP. Last Halloween there were 57 collisions in California involving pedestrians, two were fatal.

“Helping to ensure the safety of trick-or-treaters will take a combined effort from both motorists and parents,” said Hayward. “By taking a few extra precautions, everyone can have a safe and fun Halloween.”

Motorists should watch for children darting out from between parked cars and walking on roadways. Also, when driving, be sure to enter and exit driveways carefully. Parents make sure your child can be seen, especially when it gets dark. Remind the kids to look both ways before crossing the street and to use the crosswalks at intersections.


LAKE COUNTY – A staph infection that's resistant to certain types of antibiotics has lately been the source for a lot of anxiety across the country.

However, Lake County Public Health Officer Dr. Craig McMillan says the infection is nothing new, and is confident that local doctors have the knowledge to deal with it when it appears.

McMillan said Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is everywhere, literally in every county across the state, including Lake County.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that MRSA is resistant to common antibiotics including methicillin, oxacillin, penicillin and amoxicillin.

The infection is found most frequently among people with weakened immune systems who are often in hospitals and facilities such as nursing homes, according to the CDC.

A fact sheet from the Journal of the American Medical Association (AMA) stated that 85 percent of all MRSA cases are related to exposures to health care delivery.

Health care facilities aren't the only places where MRSA is found, said McMillan; jails around the state also are having a constant problem.

The AMA also reported that the estimated number of people who developed a serious, invasive MRSA infection in 2006 was 94,360; among those, 18,650 people died during a hospital stay related to these serious MRSA infections.

McMillan said MRSA has been found in Lake County, where there have been as many as 100 cases over the last two years. “And those are just the ones they choose to report to us.”

There could be more cases that have occurred locally, said McMillan, because MRSA is not a disease that must be reported to local health officials.

McMillan noted that MRSA cases are not appearing in “extraordinary numbers” in Lake County.

He said local health care providers are very knowledgeable about MRSA, and hospitals pay a lot of attention to it. A state expert on MRSA spoke on the topic to local doctors and nurses at a June continuing education session, and Sutter Lakeside Hospital held a training for Lakeport Unified School District.

There is some good news when it comes to fighting MRSA, said McMillan.

Some antibiotics can help control MRSA, he said. In fact, a sulpha-type antibiotic works very well in controlling MRSA, working 99 percent of the time.

Strains of MRSA resistant to all antibiotics are rare, he added.

For more information about MRSA, visit the CDC online at www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dhqp/ar_mrsa.html.

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LAKE COUNTY – Mendocino College officials are working on locating a permanent site for the college's Lake Center, with a focus on a Lakeport location.

The college is considering a 31-acre parcel located at 2565 Parallel Drive in Lakeport and owned by Tom Adamson, a Scottsdale, Ariz.-based developer who has proposed building a 130-lot subdivision on the site, as Lake County News reported in July.

In July, College Superintendent and President Kathy Lehner wrote to Adamson to express interest in the site.

Lehner told Lake County News in a recent interview that the college is still talking to Adamson about the land. In addition, the college's Board of Trustees held a closed session discussion on the property at its Oct. 10 meeting.

The immediate concern, said Lehner, is getting a new appraisal on the property, which Lake County Assessor's Records value at $1.5 million.

Lehner said the college's board wants to get to a point where they can agree to a price and make an offer.

The purchase process, which would be supervised by the California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office, will be conditional upon a California Environmental Quality Act review and seismic testing, said Lehner.

Earlier this month, Mendocino College officials met with Lakeport City Manager Jerry Gillham to identify alternate Lake Center sites in case the Parallel Drive location doesn't work out, Lehner said.

“My intent is to identify something by the end of the year, Dec. 31, because we would like to get the final project proposal done by next July, and in order to do that we have to have the site,” said Lehner.

Measure W, passed last year by voters, gave the college $67.5 million in bond funding for 30 construction and renovation projects, including a permanent Lake Center.

The first Measure W Bond Program Quarterly Status Report, issued earlier this month, reported that, with the addition of state and other matching funds, the Measure W program has a total projected budget of $97.4 million.


Mendocino College's current Lake Center is located at a rented facility at 1005 Parallel drive.

The center serves about 300 “full-time equivalents,” which translates into more than 300 students when counting part-time enrollees, said Lehner.

The enrollment, she said, includes a “big mix” of adults seeking additional education and first-time college students.

Lehner said the bond measure sets aside $15 million for the land purchase, improvements and the start of building for the Lake Center.

“We may not be able to get everything we want at Lake in our first go around,” said Lehner.

If the land is secured, Lehner said the college will put up the buildings it can afford, which could include portables.

Lehner said the new center will allow the college to fulfill its plans of expanding services to Lake County.

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UKIAH – Mendocino College’s Bond Implementation Planning Committee has issued its first “Measure W Bond Program Quarterly Status Report – October 2007,” detailing financial and other information regarding the College’s $67.5 million construction and renovation bond.

With the addition of state and other matching funds, the Measure W program has a total projected budget of $97.4 million.


A presentation of the report was given to the Measure W Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committee (CBOC) on Tuesday, Oct. 9, and to the Mendocino-Lake Community College Board of Trustees on Wednesday, Oct. 10.


The report provides a summary of the 30 construction and renovation projects listed under the bond, and provides 16 separate summary sheets for projects in progress. As of August 2007, $1,165,746 has been expended and $677,053 has been encumbered.


“Since last November a great deal of work has gone into program planning, establishing numerous project committees and a Facilities Planning office, setting up financial reporting, and starting projects such as re-roofing, procurement of a new computer system and submitting the Final Plan Proposal for our new Library/Learning Resource Center,” said Superintendent/President Kathy Lehner. “We believe Measure W will open more doors, literally, for student success, and we are very excited about the numerous projects we have moving forward. We will continue to keep the public informed about our activities, through media, our website and the quarterly reports.”


A copy of the report, along with other bond information, is available online at www.mendocino.edu/bond or by contacting the Public Information Office at 468-3012.


Also posted at the same web address are the agendas and minutes for the Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committee’s quarterly meetings, which are open to the public.


Their next meeting will be held at 5 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2008, at the Mendocino College Willits Center, 11 Marin St.


The voters, authorizing $67.5 million of facilities bond funds, passed measure W on Nov. 7, 2006.


LAKE COUNTY – For those looking forward to celebrating Halloween, there are events around the county for ghosts and goblins of all ages.

Here is a roundup of Halloween happenings from around the county. {sidebar id=20}

Spooky story time

Wild About Books in Clearlake will host a day of Halloween stories on Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Stories will include a mix of the scary and the funny, according to Lori Peters of Wild About Books.

Those who come in costume will receive a treat, Peters reported.

Wild About Books is located at 14290 Olympic Drive, Clearlake; telephone, 707-994-9453. Visit the store online at www.wildaboutbooks.net.

Popular children's parade returns

In Lakeport, the Lakeport Elementary School Halloween Parade will take place beginning at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 31, said Trish Wiggs, the school secretary.

Lakeport Police will close off a portion of Main Street, allowing first, second and third graders to parade from Natural High School down to Museum Park and back down the other side of the street to their starting point, said Wiggs.

The parade should last about a half hour, Wiggs said.

Leading off the parade will be the Clear Lake High School Marching Band, followed by the school children in their costumes, said Wiggs.

“This has been a tradition for years and years,” she said.

The parade, which Wiggs said has been taking place for more than three decades, draws a lot of people from around the community, and is an annual favorite.

“People really look forward to it in the community,” she said, noting that the school starts getting calls in the weeks before the parade from people making sure it's taking place.

Following the parade, the children will return to the school where their classrooms will hold Halloween parties, said Wiggs.

Halloween party in Clearlake City Hall

Clearlake City Hall is once again extending an invitation to children and parents to come and visit its Halloween party, scheduled from 1 to 5:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Mayor Judy Thein reported that city hall's corridors will be transformed with decorations for the occasion, with city staff dressed in costume.

The event will feature tasty goodies conjured up by city staff, and children will receive reflective trick or treat bags featuring the words “Don't be tricked – drugs are no treat!” to help celebrate Red Ribbon month in conjunction with local schools, Thein said.

Clearlake City Hall is located at 14050 Olympic Drive. For more information call 707-994-8201.

Other happenings in Clearlake include a haunted house at the Lake County Fire Protection District Fire House, 14815 Olympic Drive.

Church hosts harvest party in Hidden Valley

Hidden Valley Lake Community Church has a fun evening planned for the whole family on Wednesday.

The church's 17th annual Harvest Party will feature lots of games, candy, a fun mystery house, contests, puppet show, chili cookoff, raffle prizes (including a new bicycle) and more, according to church member and Lamar Morgan.

Visitors can come in costume or regular clothes, according to Morgan.

The party begins at 6 p.m. and last until 8:30 p.m., said Morgan. It's free and open to the general public, and families with small children are encouraged to attend.

People interested in attending this party are encouraged to RSVP by going to www.squidoo.com/HVCC, clicking on the Evite invitation and following the instructions, Morgan reported.

The church is located at 18160 Spruce Grove Rd. Ext., across from the Hidden Valley Lake Golf Course.

For more information call the church office, 707-987-3510.

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The Sixth Street home is a complete loss, according to fire officials. A car nearby also was damaged. Photo by Harold LaBonte.


LAKEPORT – Two people escaped a fire that completely destroyed their house Saturday morning.

Lakeport Fire Protection District Chief Ken Wells said the fire was reported at about 5:45 a.m. at a Sixth Street home.

Two people in the rented single-story home woke up to find it fully involved in fire, said Wells, and were able to escape.

Wells said 10 firefighters from Lakeport Fire, two from Kelseyville Fire Protection District and a total of three engines responded to the fire.

Firefighters were on scene until about 11:30 a.m., Wells said.

The cause of the fire, said Wells, is a cigarette. One of the home's residents had fallen asleep while smoking.

The home is a complete loss, Wells said.

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KELSEYVILLE – Caltrans reported Thursday that it has completed the signalization project at the intersection of Route 29/281 (Kit’s Corner).

The traffic signal will be activated on Thursday, Nov. 1, according to a report from Caltrans spokesman Phil Frisbie Jr.

Caltrans reminded motorists to always drive cautiously and courteously, especially while motorists become accustomed to the new signal.

The operational project will improve the movement of traffic through the intersection of Route 29, Route 281 (Soda Bay Road) and Red Hills Road, according to Caltrans.

In addition, officials expect a reduction in the number of collisions involving turning vehicles at the intersection.

The contractor, Steiny and Co. Inc. of Vallejo, began construction on Aug. 30, Frisbie reported.

The Nov. 1 completion date is about one month ahead of schedule, according to Caltrans.

Caltrans previously reported that the stoplight was installed at a cost of just under $500,000.


Upcoming Calendar

07.23.2024 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Clearlake Planning Commission
07.24.2024 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
ReCoverCA Homebuyer Assistance Workshop
07.27.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
07.30.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Library Park
08.03.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
08.06.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Library Park
08.10.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
08.13.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Library Park
08.17.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
08.20.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Library Park

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