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Mendocino County Today: February 13, 2012

DOUG BOSCO, former Northcoast congressman and now an attorney based in Santa Rosa, is promoting Stacey Lawson to succeed Mike Thompson as the area's corporate congressperson. Bosco told the Press Democrat that Ms. Lawson “can take ideas and make jobs out of them.” Bosco, also a skilled alchemist, in his years as a congressman, took Northcoast votes and made money for himself out of them. Lawson, like Bosco, has access to money, and she's got plenty of money of her own, having sold her software start-up for $60 mil. Having cashed in big time on her obvious entrepreneurial gifts, Ms. Lawson took off for India where she became a devotee of the kind of cash and carry “guru” that narcissistic Americans seem to fall for the instant they board Air India. And now that she's got her mystic ticket punched, Ms. Lawson, a resident of San Francisco's Pacific Heights before she moved to San Rafael three years ago, is running for Congress. Candidate Jared Huffman, also of San Rafael and a sitting Assemblyman of no particular distinction, has so far lined up the Northcoast's middle-of-the-road extremist vote — mainstream Democrats — while Norman Solomon is stoutly supported by the more reality based Northcoast voters. Lawson will presumably cut into Huffman's support.

BILLY MORIAH NORBURY, 33, of Redwood Valley, has pled not guilty to murdering his Redwood Valley neighbor reggae artist Jamal Andrews. Norbury's preliminary hearing is set for March 7. The motive for the killing continues to elude investigators, with most relatives unaware of any encounters between the two men prior to late 2011. While some friends of the victim have alleged the shooting to be a hate crime, detectives have failed to find evidence to support that theory. Andrews, 30, was shot in the head and shoulder just before 10pm, January 24, in the front yard of his home on Road B in Redwood Valley with a rifle. He died at the scene. Andrews' girlfriend and eight-month-old son were in the home at the time of the shooting. The assailant escaped on an ATV and deputies arrested Norbury at his Redwood Valley home a short time later. In a press release Mendocino County Sheriff's Office said the deputies “observed in plain sight items that appeared to link the suspect directly to the shooting incident.” Andrews grew up in Laytonville and was a member of Mendocino County's Reggae group the High Grade All-Stars.

NEXT WEEK Mendo plans to renew its $245k contract with Napa-based “Ligouri Associates” for another year of Courthouse security. There’s no evidence that any attempt was made to recruit a local security services outfit for the simple task of screening Courthouse visitors. Among the contract’s provisions are “While on duty in a Mendocino County Courthouse, guards shall not… display a discourteous, abrupt, abrasive, or belligerent attitude,” or “sleep.” They are also prohibited from “Volunteering, or providing, an opinion regarding a candidate for any political office. In addition, the guard shall not provide any personal opinion regarding any political position, proposition or referendum, whether solicited or unsolicited.”

MENDOCINO COUNTY Department Head's Association will have its contract renewed next week, less the 10% reduction in pay they took in 2010. And no more discounted computers: “The Computer Loan Program is eliminated effective February 14, 2012. Employees participating in the program prior to that date shall be eligible to remain in the program until their loan is paid off.”

BACK ON JANUARY 6th, Halifax Media Holdings LLC, based in Florida, paid $143 million for The Press Democrat and 15 other regional newspapers owned by the New York Times. Halifax has been trying to sell the PD but has not been able to find a buyer. A Mitt Romney-style gut and sell was the fate predicted for the PD when Halifax took over. But what the PD isn't telling its readers (and what the paper doesn't tell its readers is a subject area the size of several galaxies), is that local moneybags are trying to put together the purchase price with the aim of returning it to the successful local focus it enjoyed under the great Art Volkerts.

CALIFORNIA HIGHWAY PATROL Highway Patrol officers are continuing to investigate what caused a rollover crash off Highway 20 Sunday the 5th of February that sent two people to the hospital. According to CHP reports, driver Garrett Matson, 35, was driving westbound at about 55 miles per hour approaching mile marker 2.7. “For an unknown reason, the vehicle slid out of control and rolled over,” the CHP report stated. Skidmarks on the otherwise straight section of road showed the 1995 Isuzu SUV was sliding nearly broadside when it hit the shallow ditch and flipped, scattering vehicle parts and other items behind it. The vehicle came to rest on its roof, partially in the ditch. Fort Bragg Fire Chief Steve Orsi said the driver, Matson, was out of the vehicle when firefighters arrived, but a passenger was trapped in the car. Orsi said that once her pinned arm was freed, she was able to be helped out of the vehicle. Matson was listed as having sustained a broken collarbone and passenger Gina Rae Bean, 33, was taken to Mendocino Coast District Hospital with moderate injuries. “The reason for this traffic collision is still under investigation,” said CHP reports.


MATSON, 36, also remains the sole suspect in the death of Katlyn Long, 22, of Fort Bragg. Miss Long had broken off her relationship with Matson, who was then 31, but in late May of 2008, Matson apparently talked Miss Long into meeting with him in her home, but in the morning she, a non-drug user, had died of an overdose of methadone. Matson has never offered an explanation of how an overdose of this drug might have occurred. And he has not been charged in her death. DA Eyster has said the case remains open.




HEY BUDDY, are those nail clippers

yer hiding inside those nice slippers?

Why no, officer,

but what if they were?

What’s next? Unzip our zippers?


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