Mandatory Evacuation Order for Elk Fire Lifted

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.

Laytonville Stabbing Suspect Takes Plea Deal

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.

Traffic Advisory for Lake Couny Fair

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. )))

Lakeport Cell Tower Debate Postponed

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.

Gas tax

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.

Laytonville teen killer pleads guilty under plea agreement

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 Up Slightly Lake and Mendocino Counties

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.

Lake County Emergency Proclamations Continued

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.

Arrest Made in a series of Burglaries Covelo

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.

31 Pounds of Marijuana Found in Traffic Stop

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.