Archives for March 2015

Mendocino County Health Report

A recent released health report shows overall health improvement for Mendocino County. According to the Ukiah Daily Journal, A new health report ranks Mendocino County at No. 35 in overall health for 2015, out of 57 California counties. The study took into account two categories: health outcomes and health factors. Other subcategories within the report included: length of life; quality of life; health behavior; clinical care; social and economic factors; and physical environment. Lake County was nearly dead last at 56. Sonoma was ranked No. 8 overall, and Humboldt County was just ahead of Mendocino County at No. 34. Marin County has taken the top spot for at least the past five years. This year’s report showed a stark improvement for Mendocino County, which was ranked No. 44 overall in 2014, and 43 in 2013. Overall, the report suggested that at least 16 percent of Mendocino County residents are in poor health. However, one of the positives related to Mendocino County health is the 75 percent access residents have to exercise opportunities in the area.

Peeping Tom gets prison time

One year in jail for a former Rohnert Park Prison Guard. 44 year old Todd Morrow was sentenced yesterday after pleading no contest last month to child pornography and peeping charges. Morrow recorded a teen family member with hidden cameras in her bedroom and bathroom. He was arrested last year after the girl’s mother discovered a flash drive containing the images in the pocket of his uniform. Morrow was fired from his job at the Mendocino County Prison Facilty. Besides prison time, As part of his punishment, Morrow must register as a sex-offender for the rest of his life.

Road Construction

Caltrans is set to begin work this week, which will close a section of Highway 128 to Big Rigs. The slope protection project will be centered two miles west of the three-way intersection of North Cloverdale Boulevard/ North Redwood Highway/Oat Valley Road, and 1.8 miles east of the Mendocino County line. The width of the highway. will be temporarily reduced at a hair-pin curve so big rigs will not be able to travel through the construction zone and will be detoured. Construction work is scheduled to continue through October 2015.

Murder Suspect Not Charged

Becuase of insufficient evidence, a Clearlake man was not charged yesterday with murder for a double homicide. Police believe 26-year-old Francisco Leon-Sarmiento is connected to the murders of Steven Jepsen, 54, and Juan Perez-Rodriguez, 38 because he was seen leaving the scene of the crime on the 16000 block of 35th Avenue. According to CPD, the two victims were shot during a dispute about a pot transaction. Leon-Sarmiento remains in custody on a marijuana charge.

UUSD to Hire More Teachers

You always hear about school district cutting teachers – but the Ukiah Unified School District is hiring more. This month, The district’s board of trustees approved moving forward with the hiring of seven more full-time teachers for its elementary schools. The district’s current Strategic Pla for fiscal year 2015-16 includes funding for seven new reading support teachers, staffing for a Summer School program, and adding one physical education teacher at every elementary school.

Petition Challenges No Grow Ordiance Clearlake

A petition challenging the newly approved no grow marijuana ordinance in Clearlake has been subnmitted with over a thousand signatures. The petition asks that a referendum be placed on a ballot, allowing voters to decide on the no grow measure. The city council passed the ordinance in late February citing safety issues and cost. While considering the ordinance, the city’s Finance Director told the council that approximately $113,000 had been spent by the city in just seven months dealing with issues related to cultivation. 638 of the signatures on the petition are needed for it to be verified. The city council will either approve the referendum or place it on a ballot for voters to decide. A lawsuit against Clearlake’s ban on marijuana cultivation within city was filed in Lake County Superior Court last week.

Recreational Abalone Season Opens April 1

California’s popular red abalone sport fishery season will open tomorrow – and officials are reminding everyone about the regulations. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife also enacted regulations last year that changed the start time from one-half hour before sunrise to 8 a.m. The limit on abalone cards was also reduced from 24 to 18. Abalone licenses and report cards can be purchased online at

Suspects Arrested in Stabbing

Two people have been arrested in connection with a stabbing. Lake County Sheriff’s deputies have arrested two people for a stabbing. 26 year old Matthew Williams of Clearlake and a 15 year old male were taken into custody Sunday afternoon after deputies responded to the area of Elem Drive in Clearlake Oaks for a reported brandishing of a knife. When deputies arrived they found a man who had a puncture wound to his left side. Several witnesses identified Williams as being responsible for stabbing the victim and also identified the juvenile as having been involved in the assault. The victim remains in the hospital in stable condition. Williams and the teen were taken into custody for felony assault with a deadly weapon. Williams was booked into the Hill Road Correctional Facility with his bail set at $25,000 and The teenager was booked into the Lake County Juvenile Hall.

Tsunami debris discussed in Fort Bragg

Tsunami debris discovered on the North Coast was the topic of discussion at a meeting in Fort Bragg. Bits and pieces of debris generated by the tsunami that devastated Japan in 2011 are being found by local residents and tourists. The Advocate News reports, Eben Schwartz, a marine debris program manager with the California Coastal Commission, spoke to a crowded town hall about the ocean debris and its effects. The presentation was hosted by the Noyo Marine Science Center. According to Schwartz, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration estimates that 1.5million tons of debris is spread out over the entire north Pacific, an area of about 4,000 miles. Due to strong ocean currents along California, the Mendocino coastline and areas immediately north are the only places in the state where researchers expect to see debris.

Brooktrails and Willits reach agreement

Brooktrails and the city of Willits have reached an agreement. Wilits News reports, Brooktrails and Willits abruptly resolved their litigation and set up a new framework for working together. The agreement was read into the court record last Wednesday effectively ending the conflict.
This unprecedented move occurred while the trial was underway. Brooktrails Board President Rick Williams says, It is time to put this controversy into the past and look forward to the how Brooktrails and the City can work together in the future. Brooktrails agreed to pay 36 percent (down from 37.69 percent) of all future bond payments for construction of the Willits sewer plant, and to pay Willits $213,500 in disputed past payments. Willits agreed to reserve capacity in the new plant exclusively for Brooktrails amounting to 459,000 gallons per day of dry weather flow. Local taxpayers have paid nearly $1.5 million in legal costs.