Archives for July 2019

Hiker Rescued Above Low Gap Park

The Ukiah Valley Fire Authority assisted in a rescue above Low Gap Park yesterday morning. A hiker was injured and needed transporting off the west hill. Calfire Copter 101 was called into help. According to officials, a 43-year-old woman fell on her way down the mountain from a section of private property that is not part of the the City View Trail. A Cal Fire helicopter located the hiker, and Cal Fire firefighters hiked up the trail to get to the woman, who was then was then lifted up into the helicopter and flown down the mountain. See photos of the rescue online at:

Firefighers Knock Down 2 Fires Saturday in Clearlake

Firefighters knocked down two fire in Clearlake on Saturday. The first one broke out just before 10AM at a 3-story structure on Pomo Road at Lakeshore and Woodland. The Lake County Fire Chief says they were able to save 50 to 75 percent of the structure. The second fire was a wildland fire that was reported at 1:30 p.m. behind the McDonald’s restaurant off Dam Road. The fire was contained at two acres. The cause of both fires remains under investigation.

More Areas Open in Mendocino National Forest with Ranch Fire Restoration Work

The Mendocino National Forest has opened many areas, roads and trails previously closed by the Ranch Fire Forest Supervisor Ann Carlson says there is still a vast amount of restoration work to do, but they are very pleased to be able to reopen much of the Ranch Fire closure area for summer visitors. She adds they hope that visitors pay close attention to warning signs when entering the area and maintain awareness of their surroundings. Be aware that hazards may persist in the fire area for several years. Find a link to some tips for traveling and recreating in burned areas online at:

Lower Lake Couple Facing Mulitple Drug Charges

A Lower Lake couple face several drug charges following a traffic stop and probation search. 33-year-old Leighann Marie Painchaud, and 36-year-old David Edward Row, were taken into custody at 3:30 a.m.Friday after a search of their residence turned up meth, marijuana, and other drugs, marijuana plants, and a butane honey oil lab.

Body of Missing Fisherman May Have Been Located

An underwater robot may have spotted the body of a missing Mendocino County fisherman. It’s presumed that 40-year-old Vincent Soto, drowned with his father in a boating accident on Lake Mendocino, on June 11th. Water releases from the Coyote Valley Dam had to be reduced so the diving robot could be used. Now further measures are being taken for recovery – including having the flow of Lake Mendocino into the Russian River stopped for a period of time, so specializd divers can go to the bottom of the lake without the danger of the current pushing them into the dam outlet. The family released a statement saying they finally have a sense of relief and are grateful to all the county’s organizations and volunteers for their help.

Lakeport Police Lt Named New Chief of Police in Cloverdale

Lakeport Police Lt. Jason Ferguson is leaving the department to become the new Police Chief for the city of Cloverdale in Sonoma County. Ferguson has served with the Lakeport Police for almost 21 years. His last day is today. The department held a farewell celebration for him yesterday. Ferguson will start working in hs new department on August 5th. He’ll be sworn in on August 14th.

Wildfire Victims Funding Bill Sent to Governor

A $21 billion dollar wildfire victims’ funding bill has made it through the legislature and is now awaiting Governor Newsom’s signature. Utility companies like P.G. & E. and Southern California Edison would each pay into the fund. Rate payers will continue to pay a $2.50 monthly charge as they have since 2001, and will continue to do so for another 15 years.

Memorial for Firefighter

Cal Fire will be holding a memorial service for Firefighter James A. Buckley. Buckley began his service with the Cal Fire Mendocino Unit in Point Arena in 2005, then served in Ukiah, Hopland, and at the Jackson State Demonstration Forest. Buckely passed away last month after a brief illness. He is survived by his daughter and son. The memorial service will be held tomorrow, at Camp 20, 15800 State Route 20, with seating beginning at 10:45 a.m. All who knew Buckley are welcome to attend.

Man Who Caged Teen Girl on Marijuana Farm Sentenced

The second of two men accused of imprisoning a teenage girl in a steel box in a Lake County marijuana field has been sentenced. Ryan Alan Balletto was sentenced to 372 months in prison for his role in a conspiracy to manufacture, possess with intent to distribute, and distribute marijuana; his possession of firearms in furtherance of narcotics trafficking; and his employment of a minor to violate drug laws. Balletto, 36, of Lake County, Calif., pleaded guilty to the charges on December 7, 2018. The other man, Patrick Pearmain, who took a plea deal in 2018, was sentenced to 12-and-a-half years in federal prison.

Underwater Search Doesn’t Turn Up Body of Missing Man

After reducing water flows into Lake Mendocino, a diving robot was used yesterday to search for the body of missing man. But the underwater search failed to located Vincent Soto. He’s been missing since he and his father went on a fishing trip on June 11. The body of 62-year-old Carlos Soto was found that evening.