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ALLMAN BACKS BILL TO REDUCE PRESCRIPTION ABUSE (LAW) JB 3/26/15

SHERIFF TOM ALLMAN RECENTLY SHOWED HIS SUPPORT FOR A NEW BILL AIMED AT REDUCING PRESCRIPTION DRUG ABUSE.

ACCORDING TO THE UKIAH DAILY JOURNAL, MENDOCINO COUNTY SHERIFF TOM ALLMAN WAS IN ATTENDANCE AT THE STATE CAPITOL TUESDAY WHEN ASSEMBLYMAN JIM WOOD INTRODUCED LEGISLATION TO HELP CURB PRESCRIPTION DRUG ABUSE AND DEATHS, SOMETHING HE HOPES CAN BE ACCOMPLISHED BY UTILIZING A RELATIVELY NEW UNCRUSHABLE PILL TECHNOLOGY. ALLMAN SAID. IN MENDOCINO COUNTY SPECIFICALLY, WERE ALMOST DOUBLE THE STATEWIDE AVERAGE OF DEATHS AND REHABILITATION OF PRESCRIPTION DRUGS. WOOD SAID ASSEMBLY BILL 623 WOULD MAKE IT EASIER FOR HEALTHCARE PROVIDERS TO PRESCRIBE OPIOID PAIN MEDICATION FOR A LESS THAN 30-DAY SUPPLY TO LIMIT THE NUMBER OF PILLS CIRCULATING FOR THEFT OR MISUSE; EXPAND THE ABILITY TO PRESCRIBE ABUSE DETERRENT FORMULA MEDICATION, OR ADFS; AND PROVIDE MORE PATIENT COUNSELING FROM PHARMACISTS ON HOW TO PROPERLY STORE AND DISPOSE OF OPIOIDS.

SKUNK TRAIN DERAILS, NO INJURIES REPORTED (TR) JB 3/26/15

A FAULT IN A RAIL WAS FOUND TO BE THE CAUSE OF A DERAILMENT OF THE SKUNK TRAIN OVER THE WEEKEND.

IN WHAT IS BEING DESCRIBED AS A MINOR INCIDENT, MENDOCINO COUNTYS SKUNK TRAIN DERAILED ON SUNDAY AFTERNOON ON A RETURN TRIP FROM NORTHSPUR TO WILLITS. A BROKEN OR FRACTURED RAIL CAUSED ONE WHEEL OF THE LOCOMOTIVE AND ONE WHEEL ON TWO OF THREE PASSENGER CARS TO FALL TIGHTLY AGAINST THE INSIDE OF THE RAIL. THERE WERE NO INJURIES REPORTED IN THE INCIDENT AND THE TRAIN WAS BACK ON THE TRACKS WITHIN A FEW HOURS, WITH ALL OPERATIONS RETURNING TO NORMAL. THE TRACKS ARE INSPECTED MULTIPLE TIMES DURING THE WEEK AND IT IS POSSIBLE THAT THE BREAK WAS CAUSED BY THAT VERY TRAIN PASSING OVER THE TRACKS.

SENATE APPROVES $1 BILLION WATER PLAN (GOV/EVR) JB 3/26/15

AMID THE FOURTH YEAR OF DROUGHT CONDITIONS, THE CALIFORNIA STATE SENATE HAS APPROVED A $1 BILLION WATER PLAN.

THE STATE SENATE ON WEDNESDAY APPROVED A $1 BILLION PROPOSAL TO SPEED UP SPENDING ON WATER PROJECTS AND OFFER ABOUT $75 MILLION IN IMMEDIATE AID TO RESIDENTS AND WILDLIFE IN DROUGHT-STRICKEN CALIFORNIA. THE LEGISLATION ACCELERATES WATER INFRASTRUCTURE SPENDING, SOME OF WHICH CAN BOOST LOCAL WATER SUPPLIES IN FUTURE YEARS. IT INCLUDES $267 MILLION TO GIVE OUT GRANTS FOR WATER-RECYCLING PROJECTS AND EXPAND DRINKING WATER IN SMALL AND POOR CITIES. THE FUNDING PLAN WAS FAST-TRACKED AFTER IT WAS ANNOUNCED LAST WEEK BY GOV. JERRY BROWN AND LEGISLATIVE LEADERS OF BOTH PARTIES. BUT A COMPANION MEASURE TO AUTHORIZE FINES FOR ILLEGAL DIVERSIONS OF WATER DREW CRITICISM FROM REPUBLICANS ON WEDNESDAY FOR EXPANDING GOVERNMENT POWERS WITHOUT TRADITIONAL LEGISLATIVE SCRUTINY.

VETERANS BENEFIT FROM MEDICAL PROGRAM CHANGE (GOV) JB 3/26/15

VETERANS ON THE NORTH COAST ARE SET TO BENEFIT FROM A MAJOR CHANGE MADE TO THEIR MEDICAL CHOICE PROGRAM.

THE PRESS DEMOCRAT REPORTED THAT THE DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS ON WEDNESDAY ANNOUNCED THAT IT WOULD GREATLY INCREASE ELIGIBILITY FOR THE PROGRAM BY CHANGING THE WAY IT CALCULATES DISTANCES BETWEEN VETERANS HOME ADDRESSES AND THE NEAREST VA FACILITY, FROM A STRAIGHT LINE DISTANCE TO DRIVING DISTANCE. ON JANUARY 13, CONGRESSMAN JARED HUFFMAN SENT A LETTER TO VA SECRETARY ROBERT MCDONALD POINTING OUT THAT SOME 1,700 VETERANS IN HIS NORTH COAST DISTRICT LIVE IN INACCESSIBLE AREAS AND COULD BE ELIGIBLE FOR THE PROGRAM IF DISTANCE WERE INSTEAD MEASURED IN MILES DRIVEN. THE AGENCY SAID THE CHANGE WILL BE MADE THROUGH REGULATORY ACTION IN THE NEXT FEW WEEKS, AND THAT IT WOULD LIKELY DOUBLE THE NUMBER OF VETERANS ELIGIBLE FOR THE PROGRAM.

TIMBER HARVEST MONEY RESTORED FOR COUNTY (GOV/ECN) JB 3/26/15

FOLLOWING THE RENEWAL OF THE SECURE RURAL SCHOOLS PROGRAM, MORE THAN $300,000 OF TIMBER HARVEST FUNDS IS HEADED FOR MENDOCINO COUNTY.

CONGRESSMAN JARED HUFFMAN, ALONG WITH REPRESENTATIVES FROM WASHINGTON AND OREGON WORKED TOGETHER TO SECURE A RENEWAL FOR THE PROGRAM THAT HAD BEEN ALLOWED TO LAPSE LAST SEPTEMBER. THE PROGRAM ALLOWS THE U.S. FOREST SERVICE TO SHARE REVENUES FROM TIMBER HARVESTS WITH AREAS THAT CONTAIN NATIONAL FOREST LAND, SINCE THAT LAND CANNOT BE TAXED BY STATES OR COUNTIES. OVER 4,000 SCHOOL DISTRICTS ACROSS THE COUNTRY BENEFIT FROM FUNDS RECEIVED FROM THE PROGRAM, WITH MENDOCINO COUNTY RECEIVING OVER $307,000 IN 2013 ALONE.

UKIAH FOOD WASTE COLLECTION HEADING TO VOTE AGAIN (PI) JB 3/26/15

THE ISSUE OF FOOD WASTE COLLECTION FOR COMPOSTING IN UKIAH WILL LIKELY BE VOTED ON BY THE UKIAH CITY COUNCIL NEXT MONTH.

FOR YEARS NOW, UKIAH WASTE SOLUTIONS AND CITY OFFICIALS HAVE BROUGHT UP THE CONCEPT OF HAVING THE CITYS FOOD WASTE COMPOSTED INSTEAD OF BEING SENT TO LANDFILLS. THE HOPE IS THAT RESIDENTS WOULD BE ABLE TO ADD FOOD WASTE TO THEIR GREEN YARD WASTE BIN BUT THE COMMINGLING OF WASTE PRODUCTS WAS RESISTED BY UKIAH WASTE SOLUTIONS DUE TO THE ADDED COST AND OTHER FACTORS. THE UKIAH CITY COUNCIL IS PLANNING TO REVISIT THE SUBJECT, INCLUDING POTENTIAL BENEFITS AND ACTUAL FINANCIAL FIGURES OF THE PROPOSED PROJECT AT ITS SECOND MEETING IN APRIL.

MISSING HIKER BOOKED ON THEFT WARRANT (LAW) JB 3/26/15

A HIKER REPORTED MISSING ON MOUNT TAMALPAIS WAS ARRESTED FOR A WARRANT FROM MENDOCINO COUNTY UPON HER RETURN.

24 YEAR OLD JENNIFER BAIR, THE MISSING FEMALE HIKER ON MOUNT TAMALPAIS WHO WAS FOUND LATE TUESDAY MORNING ALLEGEDLY AVOIDED LAW ENFORCEMENT PERSONNEL WHO WERE SEARCHING FOR HER BECAUSE SHE HAD AN OUTSTANDING THEFT WARRANT FOR HER ARREST IN MENDOCINO COUNTY. BAIR HAD BECOME SEPARATED FROM 2 MEN AS THEY WERE HIKING TO A HOT SPRING AND THE TWO MEN REPORTED HER MISSING. A PARK RANGER WAS POSTED AT BAIRS CAR AND BAIR REAPPEARED AROUND 11 AM TUESDAY MORNING. BAIR SAID SHE KNEW ABOUT THE SEARCH WARRANT AND HAD AVOIDED CONTACT BECAUSE IT. BAIR WAS ARRESTED ON THE WARRANT AND BOOKED INTO THE MARIN COUNTY JAIL.

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