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The Lake County Board of Supervisors has approved some temporary changes so several still-unclaimed pets from the Valley fire so they can go to new homes. Lake County News reports Animal Care and Control asked the board to waive all remaining fees for dog and cat adoptions, other than spay and neuter fees, so animals can get into new homes. Many animals are being held for almost seven weeks hoping their owners would show up, but as of today, they’re up for adoption. Besides 10 dogs and 27 cats, there are also two chickens, three horses and eight goats. Supervisor Rob Brown says some folks are still having trouble finding their pets, and animal control says they’re concerned some have found animals and not turned them for fear there’s a euthanasia policy in effect, which is not the case.

The new Frank R. Howard Memorial Hospital in Willits is officially open. The $64 million building is about a mile from the old one and features what a hospital spokesman says are state-of-the-art operating rooms, a large Emergency Department, up-do-date earthquake proofing and artwork created by Mendocino County artists. Before the new Howard Memorial Hospital opens its doors to the general public though, the patients in the current building will be moved over. And they say the old ER will still be in operation until the new ER is fully up and running and all patients have been transferred.

The US Small Business Administration says they’ve approved more than $10 million in federal disaster loans for businesses and residents impacted by the Valley and Butte Fires in Lake and Calaveras counties. A spokesperson says the SBA has approved $357,200 for businesses and more than $9.6 million for residents to help rebuild and recover from the disaster. If you had damage you’re encouraged to register before the deadline of November 23rd. The SBA says you don’t need to wait for your insurance to settle or obtain a contractor’s estimate before you register. Call the Federal Emergency Management Agency at (800) 621-FEMA (3362). Or stop by the Lake County Disaster Recovery Centers. One is in Clearlake at the old Apria Health building on Olympic Drive; the other at the Middletown at the Senior Center on Washington St.

It’s happened again. For the second year in a row, The Press Democrat has won a top award for a daily newspaper website in an international online journalism contest. The newspaper reports Editor & Publisher magazine named Pressdemocrat.com the best daily newspaper website with under 1 million unique monthly visitors. The paper has also been named a finalist for the Eppy award.

The Brewery Gulch Inn in Mendocino has been won the third best hotel in Northern California by readers of Condé Nast Traveler. The magazine has a yearly readers’ choice awards which they say more than 128,000 readers participated in, rating more than 9,200 hotels. The Brewery Gulch Inn overlooks the Mendocino Coast. Rooms go for more than $300 a night.

It’s getting more challenging for Chinook Salmon due to the drought. A federal fisheries spokesperson says it doesn’t look good for the fish and has heightened fears of extinction. Officials with the National Marine Fisheries Service say preliminary counts show hot, shallow waters have killed off many of the young fish before they made it out to the Pacific Ocean. If numbers taken over the winter confirm the low number, it could be a second year in a row for 5 percent or less surviving California’s drought. Juvenile salmon need the water temperatures to be in the mid-50s or they can’t survive.

A woman from Willits is recovering after being stabbed. Police got a call to the E.R. at Ukiah Valley Medical Center Tuesday night and found the 18 year old victim who told them she was walking with a friend in downtown Ukiah when she was slashed multiple times. She says she wasn’t familiar with the Ukiah area so she wasn’t sure exactly where she was during the attack. She also told police she didn’t see or hear anyone at the time of the assault. Police say she had multiple stab wounds on her upper torso and to her head. Her injuries were described as serious. No arrests have been made.

Two brothers arrested for an attempted robbery at a marijuana garden. Three people were held hostage, one tied up last Friday. Someone called police saying there were two people with guns trying to steal pot plants on the property near Diener Drive and Highway 29 in Lower Lake. The Lake County Sheriff’s Office reports David Modica arrested, the victims saying he pointed a gun at them, although no one was injured. Several deputies descended on the scene along with the sheriff and commanding officers and detectives. Cops found shell casings but didn’t find the second suspect until they heard bushes rustling. Geno Modica was arrested later with 2 women. Both men fingered by the victims as the suspects and taken to jail. They face several charges and the two women were charged as accessories.

A witch priestess in Salem, MA got herself a protective order against a warlock she says was harassing her… yep, it’s all true. A judge granted the court order to Lori Sforza who accuses the self-proclaimed greatest warlock in the world, Christian Day of harassing her over the phone and on social media for three years. His lawyer says they were in business together at an occult shop and when she decided to go into business herself their relationship fell apart. The two had once made headlines casting spells together to try to heal Charlie Sheen, who once called himself a “Vatican assassin warlock”.

You can now get yourself some road kill on your next trip to NYC. Hotel Vermont is offering a selection of injured or killed animals on their menu calling it Wild About Vermont. The event next Saturday night with donations from hunters and fishermen in the state. It’s $75 a pop and features deer, bear, moose and muskrat.

California has less uninsured kids, 176 thousand of them. That’s more than any other state – since the Affordable Care Act went into full effect in 2014. This from a new report by the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families. Report coauthor Joan Alker says after California expanded Medicaid for adults – they signed up a lot of kids who were eligible but not yet enrolled.

Cut 74345 :14 "Many people don’t think about Medicaid expansion as a kids’ issue, but we know from past research that covering parents results in what we call a strong ‘welcome-mat’ effect for kids. That means when the parent learns about their own coverage opportunity they may learn their child is also eligible."

Tag: In the U-S overall, six percent of children don’t have health insurance. In California it’s five-point-four percent.

Second Cut: Kristen Golden Testa, with the nonprofit advocacy group Children’s Partnership, says the situation will get even better next year once a groundbreaking new state law to help undocumented children goes into effect.

Cut 75345 :09 "All low-income children will be able to enroll in Medi-Cal regardless of their immigration status. This will mean an additional 170-thousand children will have insurance."

Tag 1: Testa says that because California has the biggest population in the country, gains here will make a big dent in the national rate of uninsured children.

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