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Final approval of raises for county employees will go before the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday. Many county workers have taken pay cuts in the past few years during the recession but last Wednesday the county tentatively approved a two-year union contract for more than 700 workers, which the Daily Journal reports includes across-the-board wage increases of 3 percent each year, plus a $2,000 bonus. Employees will also get longevity pay, to reward those who stay around and those under management level will, for the first time ever, be given a modest 1 percent wage increase for every five years after their 10th year. Supervisor John McCowen told the paper the negotiations were friendly, and the union came to the table with a realistic idea of the county’s finances, meaning it’s not that the county has so much more to spend, but rather they wanted to take steps to improve morale in each department.

A Mendocino College faculty member has visited Capitol Hill as part of a team of scientists from across the country with the Biological and Ecological Sciences Coalition. Dr. Brianna Zuber visited with several California Senators and Representatives during Congressional Visits Day in Washington, D.C. Dr. Zuber is a Biology instructor at the College and was selected to attend because of Mendocino College’s unique facility: the Mendocino College Coastal Field Station. During the Congressional Visits Day, Zuber was a spokesperson for the Organization of Biological Field Stations and spoke about the active role the county plays in fostering environmental stewardship. She also discussed the college’s hands-on, experiential field education and STEM experiences for students of all ages as well as the community.

Our heat advisory remains in effect until 11 pm Thursday. Forecasters say Ukiah is looking at potential highs of 100 Tuesday, 105 Wednesday and 108 Thursday. And the scorching temps are accompanied by very low humidity, which is elevating the fire danger in the region.

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