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The construction industry is finally rebounding, but it’s being hampered by a construction worker shortage. Industry professionals tell the Ukiah Daily Journal that the worker shortage is a statewide problem despite construction permits being up across the board in most counties. While the number of permits is going up, the number of licensed contractors has dropped. According to the Contractors State License Board there are nearly 21,000 fewer licensed contractors in the state compared to 10 years ago. Many former construction workers left the industry during recent economic downturns when work was slow, and have found other work or left for other areas, leaving a hole in the industry. Besides the quantity of workers,there is also a quality issue. Keith Woods, CEO of North Coast Builders Exchange says the pay is good, but many are turned off by the long hours and physical labor. He says finding workers who can pass a drug test is also an issue.

The Mendocino County Sheriff’s office will take part in a joint training exercise next week with the California National Guard, Cal Fire, Search and Rescue Teams from Lake, Napa, Marin, and Mendocino Counties, and the US Army Corps or Engineers. The training will involve extended search and rescue missions in difficult to access or dangerous terrain. Helicopters, National Guard crews, and Cal fire teams will all be used in the training exercise. As part of the training the South Lake Mendocino Wildlife area, including all hiking trails east of the Lake Mendocino Dam to the general public starting on Monday July 11th. They’ll re-open on Thursday the 14th.

Mendocino County Sheriff’s Deputies arrested Ismael Rodriguez for multiple drug violations during an unrelated investigation. Rodriguez’s home was searched as part of a condition of his probation. Deputies found 27.5 grams of methamphetamine, 4.5 grams of cocaine, 16 grams of psychedelic mushrooms, and 18 pounds of marijuana. Deputies also seized a variety of other drug paraphernalia. Rodriguez is charged with possession for sale of marijuana, narcotics possessed for sale, and violation of probation.

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