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Eye opening info for the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors who commissioned a study about what employees make vs. other markets. The Daily Journal reports the partial study and evaluation to cover the county’s classification and compensation plan which was ordered to see if changes were in order. It shows some county employees make below-market salaries and some paid above average. It shows overall labor expenditures. The study says the county should come up with a salary strategy and policy as opposed to nearby counties, like Sonoma or Lake, then be competitive. The study also recommended the county re-evaluate every year and adjust so it can retain and recruit staff.

Roadwork in Willits is wrapping up downtown. Pre-paving work started last week and paving work is expected next week, all part of the city’s Rehabilitation and Relinquishment of Old Highway 101 project. As we reported last week there will be one way traffic controls and in some cases, detours. There may be delays of about 15 minutes on some roads. Striping the road will happen the middle of October with the whole thing to be done ahead of the rainy season, or November 1st. Everything, of course, depends on weather. The city’s Mayor says Caltrans and Granite Construction have been “very efficient” and “mindful of providing for through-traffic and pedestrian access to business.”

Those supporting a repeal of the Calif. gas tax at the capitol. They’ve now announced a new initiative for 2020 to come up with money to pay for road repairs and cut the state’s $77 billion high-speed rail project. The proposal asks voters this November to first repeal the 12-cent gas tax and vehicle registration fee hikes approved by the legislature. The next step for 2020 is to change the state Constitution so money has to go from the existing gas taxes to only go to road and bridge fixes, not transit, bicycle infrastructure or planning. Then money from auto sales, insurance and vehicle registrations would go to transit projects.

An elderly couple from Lake County busted for taking several pounds of marijuana across state lines as Christmas gifts get off with no jail time… if they follow their punishment to a T. 71-year-old Barbara and 80-year-old Patrick Jiron got three years’ probation and home supervision at their house in Clearlake Oaks. They also got three 30 day jail sentences which will be waived if they follow their probation terms. The couple arrested with 60 pounds of weed they say were gifts for family in Vermont and Massachussetts last December. They said they were unaware that was illegal. They pleaded no contest to possession.

Cal Fire’s getting a cash infusion to fight fires. 234 million set aside for the fire fighting agency, over their $443 million yearly budget, for $677 million altogether. Cal Fire officials had reported they only had $11 million left after an early start and busy season. That was when the Mendocino Complex was still burning and the Carr Fire in Redding. This is not the first time the state had to use reserve funds for firefighting. It’s the tenth time.

A State Senator’s being reprimanded after a lobbyist says he threatened to slap her and rubbed her shoulders. Apparently Republican Sen. Joel Anderson was not disciplined but was reprimanded. He’s now running for the state tax board and not for re-election as a legislator. A letter written Monday and publicly revealed to the Senator from the Senate President Pro Tem called Anderson’s behavior completely unacceptable. California Nurses Association lobbyist Stephanie Roberson made the complaint against Anderson last month after their alleged encounter at The Diplomat restaurant near the Capitol.

A new study in Calif. shows young people may be voting in large numbers. The findings by Democratic data firm TargetSmart. The study shows there was a nearly 10% spike in turnout for the primary among those between 18 and 29-years-old from 2014, the last midterm. It’s the second largest jump of any state in the nation. And more than 200,000 16 and 17-year-olds had already pre-registered so they can hit the polls in November. The teens also apparently didn’t affiliate with any major political party, instead choosing no party preference. There were more than 47 percent as political independents, compared to 34 percent as Democrats and less than 10 percent for Republicans. The deadline to register to vote for the November election is Oct. 22. Those 16 or 17 can also pre-register. You can do all of that online at

Calif. reportedly one of seven states and the District of Columbia that requires schools to test drinking water for lead. And thousands of schools tested their water, but a law signed by the Gov. late last year puts a limit on the amount of lead in drinking water which the American Academy of Pediatrics says is too lenient. The state law says schools should turn off or replace lead-contaminated fixtures with lead concentrations of more than 15 parts per billion. But the Academy says there’s no amount of lead that’s safe for kids because it can increase in children’s blood and limit brain development and put them at increased risk for behavioral problems.

A pastor in Danville is put on leave for allowing a priest removed for child abuse accusations to still celebrate mass and sacraments. The Bishop of Oakland sent a letter last week to parishioners saying he learned that father Patrick Foley who was removed for inappropriate behavior with kids was celebrating mass and other sacraments at St. Isidore” and he didn’t have a “letter of suitability” from his diocese which was a violation of the Catholic Church’s national protocols. So now the bishop says he ordered an investigation into the violation. So that parish pastor, the Rev. Gerry Moran was put on leave while there’s an independent investigation into the matter.

A man in Northern Ireland’s been arrested for breaking into a dead woman’s home, stealing credit cards and paying his food and bills with them. Marie Conlon died almost four years ago. Late last year, cops went into her apartment and found her remains, nearly three years after her death in Belfast. Robert Sharkey at some point got in, did not report the death and using her money. He pleaded guilty to breaking in, stealing batteries, a coffee mug, about $65 cash and her debit card. He bought almost $8,000 of Dominos Pizza with the card another $4300 at a supermarket and paid for his cell phone and power bill.

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