Mendocino Complex 100-Percent Contained

The largest wildfire incident in California history is 100-percent contained.  The Forest Service made that declaration yesteday for the Mendocino Complex, composed of two fires that started on July 27th within about an hour of each other in Mendocino County, moving into Lake County, and spreading to two other counties.  The combined River and Ranch fires destroyed nearly 460-thousand-acres and 280-structures, killed one firefighter and injured four others. The River fire was fully contained August 14 at 48,920 acres. The Ranch fire burned 410,203 acres. The cause of each remains under investigation.

Calls for Illegal Fireworks Down this Year in Lakeport

Lakeport Police Chief Brad Rasmussen gave the City Council an action report this week regarding fireworks this past July 4th holiday. At the Librrary Park event, police only had to remove one person for being under the influence and handled a call for one lost child. There were fewer calls for the usage of illegal fireworks, but there were a lot of fireworks going off all over town – especially on 11th Street near Safeway. No fires were started because of illegal firework usage this year.

Trial Date for UVSD vs City of Ukiah Vacated

The trial for the lawsuit by the Ukiah Valley Sanitation District against the city of Ukiah will not start next week as scheduled. The UKiah City Manager syas the court has vacated the trial date to allow more time for settlement discussions. The lawsuit filed in 2014 alleges the city owes the district up to $30 million in payments.

Hiking trails on North Cow Mountain Reopen

Hiking trails on North Cow Mountain have been reopened to the public. Visitors are urged to be aware of their surroundings and watch for potential hazards. More details on the condition of the trails will be provided during a community meeting this evening, hosted by the BLM at the Ukiah Valley Conference Center from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Target shooting is still prohibited due to fire danger. The South Cow Mountain Recreation Area remains closed.

CHP Conducting Patrols Near Mendocino County Schools

The California Highway Patrol is conducting enhanced enforcement patrols focused on crosswalks and school buses in Mendocino County this week. Today and tomorrow, plain clothes officers will be monitoring crosswalks in Hopland. Uniformed officers will issue citations to pedestrians and motorists who fail to yield right-of-way. On Friday, the CHP will be focusing on vehicles who do not stop for school buses in Ukiah and Willits.

5th Annual Veterans Stand Down Fair

The fifth annual Lake-Mendocino Homeless Veterans Stand Down/Veterans Resource Fair is coming happening today and tomorrow at the Lake County Fairgrounds in Lakeport. This year’s stand down will offer access to on-site medical services, enrollment in healthcare and supplemental nutrition programs, as well as other programs relating to educational, employment, and food resource issues that are important to our veterans. Numerous VA resources will be onsite in addition to other federal, state, county and community organizations. The event last year hosted more than 150 veterans.

Disaster Unemployment Assistance Deadline Extended

The Employment Development Department has announced an extension to file for help for those in Lake County affected by the Mendocino Complex. The deadline to file for Disaster Unemployment Assistance, was September 21st, but that has been extended to October 12th. DUA provides temporary unemployment benefits to people whose jobs or work hour losses are a direct result of a disaster and who do not qualify for regular state unemployment insurance benefits, such as business owners or the self-employed.

Lake County Man Charged with Felony Assault

A Lake County man has been charged with felony assault after leaving another man critically injured at the Graton Resort and Casino Saturday night. The men had been involved in a prior altercation in which police were called but no arrests were made. A short time later, 44-year-old Morgan Lewis shoved the 57-year-old male victim, causing him to fall backwards hitting his head on concrete. He was transported to a hospital unresponsive and unconscious.

Details on Arrest of Ukiah High School Teacher

More details have been released about the arrest of a Ukiah High School teacher for alleged misconduct with a 17-year-old former student. According to the Mendocino County District Attorney’s Office, 34-year-old Ben O’Neill, was arrested on September 4th. The former student said she visited him at the school in September of 2017, and the contact between the two involved hugging in a storage room adjacent to the classroom. The incident was not reported to school officials until May of 2018. O’Neill was arrested on a misdemeanor charge following in investigation.

Bicyclist Killed in Crash Identifiedg

The bicyclist killed in a crash on Friday has been identified. According to the Ukiah Police Department and the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office, 34-year-old Samuel Lara, of Covelo, died after being struck by a dump truck at the intersection of Talmage Road and the Hastings Frontage Road. The dump truck driver had reportedly been cleared by a flagger to turn south onto Hastings Road from Talmage Road when he hit the biyclist. UPD continues to investigate.