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Clearlake police justified in the deadly shooting of a man who was stabbing his half-brother. The D-A’s office ruled the shooting death of Rocco Morgan, Jr. last July by officer Brittany Shores was justified. District Attorney Susan Krones says Morgan was shot by Shores as she saw him beating his brother and stabbing him. She believed the victim’s life was in danger and fired a shot, which did nothing, so she fired again before leaving to get backup officers. Morgan was taken to a hospital and died later.

The City of Willits reports taking major precautions due to the outbreak… City Hall is reducing its hours from 10-4 for the public. They are canceling the March 25th meeting, the next one April 8th might also be canceled. All events of over 25 set for the Community Center have been canceled, the Community Development Department will be closed to the public and will have meetings via phone. All essential meetings are canceled, water shutoffs are postponed for a month. They want people, whenever possible, to use the drop box in front of City Hall, pay by mail or use their website. Police and Sheriff substations are limiting call response to only urgent calls and encouraging phone calling instead of in person visits.

Mendocino County Public Health says it’s actively responding to the threat of COVID-19 and after the local emergency was called on March 4th, there are no local cases. But since there’s rapid spread in San Francisco, Mendocino County is following CDC guidance and ordering a ban on non-essential public gatherings of 50 people or more.  Health Officer Dr. Noemi Doohan says there should be social distancing in gatherings of 10-50 people, and mitigation measures have to be implemented. Any violation of an order is a misdemeanor punishable by fine, imprisonment, or both. The order in coordination with the big 6 Bay Area counties (San Francisco, Marin, Santa Clara, San Mateo, Contra Costa and Alameda). A press conference is being held this afternoon with more information for the public which will be live streamed on the Mendocino County YouTube Channel (www.youtube.com/MendocinoCountyVideo) and Facebook page (www.facebook.com/mendocinocounty/).

Some restaurants and bars staying open even after the Governor issued a directive for closures. The Daily Journal reports visiting some businesses who said they would only close, when forced to do so. The newspaper reports Safeway on South State Street had modified its hours, open 6 a.m. until 10 p.m. Ukiah Natural Foods had modified fresh selections, closing the salad bar and removing seating near the coffee and juice bar.

MTA is closing their office in Ukiah and implementing work from home rules for their non-essential staff. They say they may also have to reduce service or modify some schedules. They’re monitoring phone calls at dispatch and will update their website as needed.

Other sources of information you can monitor on a regular basis are the Mendocino County Department of Public Health https://www.mendocinocounty.org/government/health-and-human-services-agency/public-health  and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) https://www.cdc.gov/

Safeway has announced hiring a massive amount of people because of panic shopping due to the coronavirus. The hiring in Northern Calif, with more than 2,000 immediate openings at Safeway, Andronico’s, Vons, and Pak ‘N Save stores. The openings area also for western Nevada, and Hawaii. The hiring includes paid training, flexible scheduling, and employee discounts at Safeway. If you apply to be a delivery driver, a commercial driver’s license is not required.

More instructions from the state regarding food, beverage and other service venues. The governor says the new aggressive, but necessary actions will protect communities. Bars, wineries, breweries and pubs should be closed, except for venues authorized for the sale of beer and wine to be consumed off premises. And any that provide meals are considered restaurants for these purposes, they should be closed for in-restaurant seated dining and open only for delivery or drive thru. The state says to remind employees about best hygiene practices, clean more, including menus, cash registers, pens, pencils and nonfood contact areas. Make sure there’s social distancing and limit how many people line up for food.

The Mendocino County Health Officer tweeted a photo of herself and another staffer with a box of coronavirus test kits. The caption says “We’ve got COVID-19 test kits!” But they only received 50 of them. They’ve used 38 of those with 0 positives, 16 negatives and 22 pending.

The Mendocino County Health Officer, CEO and schools Superintendent announcing schools transitioning to modified schooling today. Home schooling thru at least April 3rd with no work right now, as this would be spring break. Teachers are meeting today to decide how to deliver the schoolwork to kids. Teachers looking to distribute thru email or Google Classroom. Anyone without internet can get it printed. In Fort Bragg and other schools, meals can be provided for kids but the child has to be at the school to receive it.

Dollar General stores are having senior only time before opening. Starting today the corporate office is encouraging member stores to have their first hour of operation for seniors only. The CEO thanking customers for their understanding of this decision and asking those younger to visit later in the day so at risk populations can get there first and alone. With this announcement, they say they’ll also close an hour earlier for employees to clean and restock.

Intro: Sacramento lawmakers are pressing for health-care reforms that they say will help combat COVID-19. The Health 4 All Coalition announced their legislative priorities for 2020 on Monday — designed to get more people covered and cut costs for patients. State Senator Richard Pan, who also is a pediatrician, says Senate Bill 65 would cap health insurance premiums and copays at a percentage of people’s income.

:07  “We need to provide some limits on cost sharing so that people don’t just have coverage but they can actually afford to get the care. “

Tag:  Another bill would have the state of California start manufacturing generic drugs so no company could gouge consumers.

Second Cut: Assemblyman Joaquin Arambula, also a doctor, has sponsored Assembly Bill 4, which would open up Medi-Cal to all income-eligible adults, regardless of immigration status. He says we can’t stop the spread of disease while hundreds of thousands remain uninsured.

:07  “Health care is a human right. Our undocumented Californians should be treated with the same dignity and given this right.”

Third Cut: Last year California expanded Medi-Cal to include undocumented low-income young adults. State Senator Maria Elena Durazo says the next step is to include undocumented seniors.

:15  “The health-care safety net system has always been the smartest thing to do, and that’s even more important right now.”

Tag:  The Health 4 All coalition also supports a bill to establish a state office of health-care affordability; and one to raise the assets limit for seniors so they don’t lose access to Medi-Cal for having small amounts of savings.

It may not be long before residents in Sonoma County are told they must shelter in place at home for up to three weeks so they don’t come into contact with anyone else. There are already 7 million people in six other Bay Area counties with the same restrictions on travel and business operations. The county’s interim public health officer has not decided yet, but there may be an announcement sometime today. The first confirmed case of a resident infected from an unknown local source has heightened the local public health emergency. And then another person was revealed to have COVID-19 over the weekend, but they haven’t said how that person contracted the illness.

The DMV out with new guidelines due to the pandemic. They’re asking law enforcement not to be terribly strict for 60 days while enforcing driver license and vehicle registration expiration dates, using their own discretion so at-risk people like seniors and folks with underlying health conditions don’t need to visit a DMV field office. The 60 day period from yesterday, to protect other DMV customers who would otherwise have to come to a DMV office, but are worried they may get sick. The agency says most things you need to do at the DMV can be done online, thru snailmail or at kiosks statewide or in their business partner locations. So they’re telling police to be flexible during this unprecedented time. If you need a REAL ID, the federal government requires an office visit though.

Lawmakers are reportedly approving as much as $1 billion in new spending for the coronavirus outbreak. They immediately suspended work for the next month too. This is reported to be the first unexpected work stoppage in the Legislature in 158 years. It comes after lawmakers in both parties voted overwhelmingly to allow the Gov. Gavin Newsom to spend money without their oversight. A government historian says the last time lawmakers unexpectedly suspended meetings was back in 1862, when a flood took over most of the capitol and also forced the new governor at the time, Leland Stanford to use a boat to get to his inauguration.

State Senator Mike McGuire and Mendocino County public officials, and Superintendent of Schools Michelle Hutchins are having a “telephone town hall” on coronavirus. The meeting tomorrow where you can call in, listen or email questions ahead of time. McGuire’s office says they’re working with all levels of government to ensure a unified approach to the coronavirus response on the North Coast and that needs are being met. He says they also want to make sure residents are up to date on the most accurate information to protect themselves, their families and their communities.

The telephone town hall this tomorrow at 7:00 p.m.

Who: Senator Mike McGuire, Mendocino County leaders, public health officials and the county Superintendent of Schools.

What: Telephone Town Hall to provide the latest updates on our response to the coronavirus.

When: This coming Wednesday, March 18, at 7:00 p.m.

How to attend: Dial (877) 226-8216, enter code 2864418 and follow the prompts. You will be connected to the live town hall via telephone and you will be able to listen to the officials providing updates. Email your questions and comments in advance and in real time on Wednesday evening to: Senator.McGuire@Senate.ca.gov

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