Archives for December 2013

New Year New Laws

The new year is bringing 800 new laws to California, many of which will be effective tomorrow. Some of those include the following:

Public schools will be required to allow transgender students to pick which restroom and locker room they want to use and which sport teams to join based on the gender with which they identity.

Teen drivers will be prohibited from writing, sending or reading text-messages while driving, even if using a hands-free device.

When passing a bicyclist heading in the same direction, motorists are required to pass with no less than 3-feet between the vehicle and the bicycle.

Clean air vehicles will continue to be allowed to drive in carpool lanes without meeting the occupancy requirement of two or more passengers .

The increase of the minimum wage for California from $8 to $9 per hour will begin on July 1. An employer that fails to pay the new minimum wage may be subject to liquidated damages to the employee.

Also effective July 1, employers will be prohibited from considering prior criminal convictions during a background check if the conviction has been judicially dismissed.

Lake Co Candidates Announced

The following candidates for Lake County positions been announced for the June 3 primary. Running for Sheriff-Coroner are Robert Chalk and Bria. Martin against incumbent Francisco Rivero. Jeri Spittler will challenge incumbent Jeff Smith for District 2 Supervisor. John Brosnan, Marvin Butler, Mark Currier, Herb Gura and James Steele will run for District 3 Supervisor. Incumbent Denise Rushing will not to run. Incumbent Donald Anderson will run for District Attorney unopposed so far. Cathy Saderlund will run for County Clerk, Barbara Ringen will run for Treasurer-Tax Collector and Brock Falkenberg will run for County Superintendent of Schools.

Vet Gives Another Vet a New Car

Talk about the giving spirit…Lake County Korean War veteran Griff Ratterree won a car in a raffle and when he found out that Army Specialist Troy McGuire was coming home from Afghanistan on leave and his family really needed a car Ratterree gave the car to the family. More than 100 people came out Saturday to honor McGuire at a welcome home party in the parking lot of Round Table Pizza on 11th Street in Lakeport. McGuire earned a Purple Heart while administering first-aid and providing cover to three of his team members when they were attacked during a dismounted patrol in Afghanistan in July.

Ukiah Safeway Suffers Smoke Damage

Ukiah’s Safeway store was evacuated Sunday night after cardboard boxes caught fire and filled the building with smoke. Chief John Bartlett said a pile of flattened and bound cardboard boxes caught fire then spread to a pile of pallets and filled the store with smoke. Bartlett said the store was evacuated and no injuries were reported. The store suffered only minor damage.

Deputy Hit by Drunk Driver

A Southern California man was arrested Monday morning after his car hit a Mendocino County Sheriff’s deputy near Willits. Sheriff Tom Allman said Deputy Joey DeMarco was driving his 2011 patrol vehicle on Sherwood Road in Willits around 12:30 a.m. Dec. 30 when a car headed the opposite direction crossed over the centerlines and hit him. The deputy’s vehicle was hit head-on. Allman said neither DeMarco nor his K-9 officer were seriously injured. DeMarco is reportedly sore and did suffer a broken arm. The vehicle is totaled. Allman says the accident perfectly demonstrates the dangers of driving after drinking, and advises everyone to use caution if they are on the roads tonight. He adds the MSCO will be out in full force tonight for New Year’s Eve making sure the roads are safe from drunk drivers.

Ukiah and Costco Working Together

Ukiah Mayor Phil Baldwin says the city and Costco are working together to get through the process of opening a store here. He believes it’s a mutual commitment. The next step is approval of a Site Development Permit, which goes before the Ukiah Planning Commission next month. If all goes according to plan, the goal is to have the doors open for the new Costco in February or March of 2015.

2 Arrested in Jeep Rollover

Two men remained in jail Saturday following a single-vehicle rollover early Saturday morning near Hidden Valley Lake. The 20-year old driver was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence, according to the California Highway Patrol. The 18-year-old passenger was arrested for public intoxication and having a concealed dirk or dagger. Craig Clark was driving his jeep southbound on Highway 29 when the vehicle veered toward the highway’s right shoulder. He over corrected and veered back to the left across the two northbound lanes, with the Jeep’s front end hitting a dirt embankment, which caused the jeep to overturn. He was booked for two felony counts of DUI causing injury.

Ukiah Police Getting New Vehicles

The Ukiah Police Department will be getting three new vehicles: 2 sedans and one SUV. Police Chief Chris Dewey said the city’s budget included funds to buy two patrol vehicles that they replace on an annual basis. The SUV will replace what he called a “command staff vehicle” that was past it’s usefulness. The Ukiah City Council approved the purchase of the vehicles from Zumwalt Ford. A member of the audience at the council meeting suggested that special consideration should have been given to Ukiah Ford. They chose not to bid. Mayor Phil Baldwin says that at a later meeting, the council should discuss creating a policy of local preference to make local businesses more interested in bidding.

Ukiah Students to Get New Laptops

Soon all of Ukiah Unified School District’s 3rd and 10th grade students will have a laptop purchased for them by the school. The Superintendent says the purchase is part of a pilot program to help students transition to the Common Core State Standards. The nearly $300,000 purchase of the laptops will be funded through money received from the state to support transition to the Common Core State Standards. The district decided to start on a small scale to make sure this process will help students meet the goals of college and career readiness.

Pounds of Marijuana Seized

The LCSO Major Crimes Unit took over the investigation on Hunter Point Road and obtained a search warrant. According to unconfirmed reports, during the search of the property, hundreds of pounds of semi-processed marijuana were located in a hidden room in a garage which resulted in additional search warrants being issued. As a result of those search warrants, the narcotics unit seized over 430 pounds of marijuana from the Hunter Point Road residence, 173 pounds from Lake County Car Audio and 374 pounds from a Broadway Avenue residence. In total, 980 pounds of marijuana was seized, along with some weapons. The property owners were arrested on marijuana and firearm charges. James and Nora Jean are in custody at the Lake County Hill Road Correctional Facility with bail set at $500,000 each. Their first court appearance is scheduled for today.