Plea Rejected in Human Trafficking Case

A plea deal in a human trafficking case has been rejected. 37-year-old Sam Lindsey Massette, and his wife, 27-year-old Krystina Marie Pickersgill were arrested in June for forcing teenage girls into prostitution. In October, Pickersgill pled guilty to one count of human trafficking, and was sentenced to probation with a maximum prison sentence of 12 years if she does not comply. Lake County Superior Court J. David Markham refused to sentence Pickersgill, calling it too lenient. As a result, Pickersgill exercised her right to withdraw her guilty plea, and the case will start over.

Identity of Man Killed in Crash Near Willits Released

The man who died Friday in a crash on U.S. Route 101, north of Willits, has been identified. 51-year-old Michael Paul Andrus, of Kelseyville died at the scene of the crash. His vehicle was struck when a 71-year-old man from Leggett man, driving a pickup truck north on Hwy 101 drifted into the southbound lanes.

2nd Arrest Made in December Felony Assault

Clearlake Police have made a second arrest in an assault case that left a man seriously injured. On December 3rd, 29-year-old Nicholas Vining, who is known locally as “Caveman,” was found near his mother’s home with severe injuries. He was reportedly attacked in the area of Old Highway 53. Information led police to 25-year-old Charles Drake of Clearlake, who admitted to cutting Nicholas’ hair and beard with a knife and taking his shoes. On December 31st, 28-year-old Paul John Mendez Jr. of Clearlake was arrested for probable cause in the attack. Police say more arrests may follow.

Plan to Merge 3 Ukiah Visitor Programs Moves Forward

A plan to merge all three of Ukiah’s visitor programs into one has received almost unanimous support by its members. Now details of the merger of Visit Ukiah, the Ukiah Main Street Program and the Greater Ukiah Chamber of Commerce, are being worked out.

Mendo Humane Society Has Overflow of New Arrivals

The Humane Society for Inland Mendocino County has an overflow of new arrivals. On Sunday, they rescued over 16 dogs from a hoarding situation in Clearlake, and seven puppies that were abandoned outside the Little Lake Fire Protection District station in Willits. You can help by fostering or adopting a dog, or by making a donation. Learn more at: mendohumanesociety.com

Lakeport City Council to Consider Property Purchase

The Lakeport City Council is holding a special meeting this evening to consider a proposed property purchase. The property is at 2033 S. Main St. – the city would purchase it from AutoZone Parts Inc. at a price just over $17,400.00. The meeting to discuss the proposal will be held at 5:15 p.m. in the council chambers at Lakeport City Hall.

City of Clearlake Warns of Social Security Scam

The City of Clearlake Police Department is alerting residents that scammers are targeting the 707 area code with fraudulent Social Security calls. As part of the con, scammers try to convince you to give up personal information, like Social Security numbers and bank account numbers, over the phone. Alternately, a caller claims to be from SSA headquarters and asks you to confirm personal information, such as an SSN, “new” Medicare number, address, and date of birth. City Manager, Greg Folsom, says he and other city staff members recently received calls from these scammers and they can sound fairly legitimate as they threaten to cut off your benefits. Folsom says to be cautious and to avoid providing information such as your SSN or bank account numbers to unknown persons over the phone or internet

Fatal Crash Near Willits

A crash near Willits left one mad dead. According to the CHP, a 71-year-old man from Leggett man was driving a Dodge Ram pickup truck north on Hwy. 101 just north of Reynolds Highway around 4:40 p.m. on Frday, when he allowed it to drift into the southbound lanes, where it struck a Mercedes Sprinter van. The 51-year-old driver of that vehicle died at the scene. The driver of the pickup was transported to a hospital with major injuries.

Man Seriously Injured in Motorized Bike Crash

A man riding this motorized bicycle in Clearlake on Saturday was seriously injured when he crashed. Witnesses told police the man was eastbound on the south shoulder of Lakeshore Drive when he suddenly lost control and crashed. Police say the driver suffered major head trauma. He was transported via ambulance to Adventist Health Hospital Clear Lake. Police believe the gas-powered bicycle experienced a mechanical failure, which led to the crash.

Fugitive Steals Vehicle from Bail Bond Agents

The Lake County Sheriff’s Office is looking a man who reportedly stole a vehicle from bail bond agents who were attempting to apprehend him on Saturday. 40-year-old Gary Crumpler is wanted in Mendocino County for charges related to drug sales. Bail agents say Crumpler was able to gain access to one of their vehicles and fled. An extensive search was conducted but so far, he hasn’t been located.