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A big settlement in an antitrust case against northern California’s largest health care system. Sutter Health will pay 575 million dollars for claims that its practices led to fewer choices and higher costs for patients. Sutter doesn’t admit wrongdoing but says it agreed to the deal to put the case to rest. Attorney General Xavier Beccara calls Sutter’s actions anti-competitive and says they led to more expensive health care in Northern California compared to the rest of the state. The settlement is the first of its kind in the US.

A man from Kelseyville will serve nearly 4 years in prison after he pleaded no contest to gun and drug charges in two separate cases earlier this month. 26-year-old Leopoldo Bravo’s sentence also includes a $3,200 fine. Bravo’s lawyers unsuccessfully argued their client deserved probation instead of jail time.

Voters in the Willits Unified School District will decide on a 17 million dollar bond issue after the School Board authorized putting that question to a vote. If it passes, the money would be used to improve student safety and security, fix deteriorating roofs, plumbing, and other systems, pave parking lots, modernize classrooms, science labs, and other facilities, among other things. District officials say the average homeowner would see an 80 dollar a year property tax increase. They say while no one wants higher taxes, the money is needed to make sure schools are safe and up to date. The bond issue will be part of the March 3rd presidential primary ballot.

Members of the Lake County Board of Supervisors say they’re concerned about how many people in the county use tobacco products and are asking the county health department for help. Banning flavored tobacco and vaping products, more smoking restrictions in public places and requiring places that sell tobacco to have a special license are among the ideas the board has tossed around. Members want the health department to report back with more information about the problem and potential solutions. The latest figures show more than a quarter of county residents smoke, including 31 percent of those between 24 and 44. Those are among the highest numbers in the state.

California’s population is growing but the growth rate has slowed to a crawl, according to new figures from the State Department of Finance. More babies have been born in California this year, but that increase was offset by the number of people moving out. The bottom line is net growth is only a fraction of a percent, which is the lowest rate of growth since 1900. California is still home to nearly 40 million people, making it by far the most populous state, 10 million ahead of number 2 Texas.

The Mendocino College Foundation has a new scholarship fund. The foundation says the George Weger Perpetual Scholarship is for any Mendocino student graduating from Ukiah High. It’s the second scholarship by the family, but they have been funding other
scholarships for the last decade. George Weger says he decided to help students pay for college because he likes seeing kids succeed

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