The mandatory evacuation for residents on White Rock Canyon Road was lifted last night. Due to the Elk Fire, Elk Mountain Road at Rancheria Road remains closed to everyone except residents.
The road closure will be re-evaluated this morning. Those who live near White Rock Canyon Road are still under an Advisory Evacuation and should be prepared to evacuate.
The Elk Fire started yesterday afternoon off of Elk Mountain Road and Mount Dinger Road north of Upper Lake. As of last night, the fire had burned 450 acres and was 20% contained. Agencies working the scene are CALFIRE, United States Forest Service, North Shore Fire District, Lake County Sheriff’s Office and CHP.
The 19-year-old suspect in the Laytonville stabbing deaths of two people, is taking a plea deal.
Talen Barton is accused of stabbing two people to death in July, as well as injuring two others. Barton has agreed to plead guilty to the premeditated killings Teo Palmieri, 17, and his father, Coleman Palmieri, 52. They are the son and husband of Dr. Cindy Norvell, who was also stabbed along with her brother. Barton had been living with the family for at least a year, and it’s been reported they were working to help him attend college. By agreeing to plead guilty to the premeditated killings, Barton is expected to recieve a 71-year prison sentence, and waive his rights to a trial.
District Attorney David Eyster tells the Ukiah Daily Journal, that the time served boils down to be at least 25 years to life on the two murder counts; two counts of seven years to life for the attempted murders of Dr. Norvell and her brother, and three years for false imprisonment of two teenage girls who were also at the home during the attacks. A motive for Barton’s actions still hasn’t been established by investigators with the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office. Barton’s official sentencing will be on the morning of October 6th.
The Lakeport Police Department has issued a traffic safety advisory for the Lake County Fair Parade today. Starting at 5:00 PM, Main St from 9th Street to C St and Martin St from Estep St. to Main St will be closed for the Lake County Fair Parade. The Parade will start at 5:30 PM at the old Natural High School property and will travel south on North Main St to Martin St and then west on Martin St to the Lake County Fairgrounds. During the parade, detour routes will be available on North Forbes and Armstrong Streets. Street closures are expected to be removed when the parade ends at approximately 6:00 PM. Up to 2,000 are expected to attend the parade. )))
At the Lakeport City Council is postponing debate on a cell phone tower proposal. Back in May, The Lakeport Planning Commission granted approval to Verizon Wireless for the constrcution of a 72-foot-tall monopine tower on North High Street in Lakeport. But residents made it known that they don’t want the tower there. The city needs the new tower to fill a coverage gap, and because data usage is currently over-taxing the existing Verizon Wireless tower. The city council has agreed to a 90-day continuance to investigate alternate locations, which include the courthouse roof and the jail roof.
Sixty-three percent of California voters oppose a plan to increase state gas taxes to help pay for transportation projects as federal money has dried up. State lawmakers consider a bill to increase the state’s 42-cents-per-gallon gas tax by 12 cents. The poll, conducted by UC at Berkeley finds 63 percent of voters in the Golden State would oppose such an increase in the state’s gas tax. The increase will bring the total amount of money that drivers in California are charged at the pump to more than 72 cents per gallon.
According to the Anderson Valley Advertiser, Laytonville’s teen killer, Talen Barton , appeared in Judge Moorman’s courtroom today at 1:30pm to enter guilty pleas under terms of a plea agreement reached with the Public Defender and the DA. Barton will have to serve nearly 70 years in prison without possibility of parole, putting him close to 90 before he gets out. The family that Barton destroyed are Quakers, and would not consider the death penalty. According to the Mendocino County Sheriff department, on July 19th, Barton used a 12-inch kitchen knife to kill two people, 17-year-old Teo Palmieri and his father 52-year-old Coleman Palmieri. Barton also attacked a 54-year-old woman and a 52-year-old man seriously injuring them.
Unemployment increased slightly in Lake County in July, according to the state’s latest report on jobs. The California Employment Development Department report shows that that Lake County’s July unemployment was at 7.2 percent, up from 6.7 percent in June.
Mendocino County’s unemployment in July was at 5.5 percent, up from 5.1 percent in June. The agency said the state’s overall jobless rate decreased slightly to 6.2 percent in July.
In June, the state’s unemployment rate was 6.3 percent, and in July 2014, the unemployment rate was 7.4 percent.
The the Board of Supervisors have continued emergency proclamations for Lake County. The emergency declaration for the drought was first issued back in March of 2014, and each month since it has been continued. The wildfire emergency declaration was ratified last month, and was continued this month to help with recovery efforts. During their meeting this week, the supervisors approved a resolution designating the county departments that will act as the agents for the California Disaster Assistance Act funding the county has received due to the Rocky and Jerusalem fires. Last week, Governor Jerry Brown issued an an executive order to expedite funds to Lake County because of the fires.
An arrest has been made in a series of burglaries in the Covelo area. Mendocino County Sheriff’s deputies responded Sunday morning around 9 o’clock to a residence along Henderson Road in Covelo as part of an investigation into several burlaries in the area. A probation search was conducted in an attempt to locate stolen firearms and any suspects associated with the burglaries. 32 year old Gabriel Bowes of Covelo was identified as being a person of interest and he was also wanted on a Mendocino County felony arrest warrant for violation of probation. Deputies arrived at the location to find Bowes hiding in a bathroom. A stolen 9mm handgun and ammunition was found nearby in a bedroom. Bowes was arrested for the warrant and for being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition. He was booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was to be held on a no-bail status pursuant to the arrest warrant. The female resident of the home, 41 year old Sammi Leggett, of Covelo was arrested for harboring Bowes and released upon her signed promise to appear at a future court date.
If you’re going to drive around with drugs, make sure your registration is up-to-date. Expired tags wree the reason for recent a traffic stop by a Mendoncino County Sheriff’s Deputy. The driver of a Toyota Corolla was stopped on Highway 101 near Willits. When the deputy approached, he noticed an odor of marijuana coming from inside the car. A search of the car revealed two large duffle bags in the trunk, which contained approximately thirty-one pounds of bud marijuana packaged in one-pound increments. Franklin Timothy Lunney was arrested for transportation of marijuana and was booked into the Mendocino County Jail.