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A man from Rio Dell who left a suicide note a week ago is still missing, but his car has been found near Leggett. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office searching for Jacob Roberts who was reported missing on April 14th after the Rio Dell Police found his vehicle. Police there say Humboldt County deputies had served a search warrant after his wife said he left a note saying he took a car and was going as far north as he could and would then walk into the woods and intentionally starve to death. The vehicle found in Leggett the day he was reported missing, April 14th. That’s when Mendocino deputies began their search with a tracking bloodhound and helicopter. Cops say they’re not sure if he was indeed suicidal or trying to run from prosecution of some sort.

A homeless man found in Lakeport is said to have been a registered sex offender who did not change his address. Dean Thomas Ammons arrested yesterday after police reached out to the public for help finding the high-risk sex offender who did not follow registration requirements. Since there are temporary bail restrictions in place because of coronavirus, police were not able to book him into the Lake County Jail. So he’s got a monitoring device hooked up so that he can be traced. He also got a citation for a felony violation of failing to register as a sex offender. He was released as part of the California Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections new policy enacted March 31st. The same one that allowed 3 inmates to hit Mendocino and Lake Counties, 2, one in Lake, the other in Mendocino tested positive for COVID-19.

Under a new public health order expected at the end of the week, residents in Mendocino County are expected to be required to wear masks when leaving their homes for any activity. The Public Health Officer Dr. Noemi Doohan was part of the online Board of Supervisors meeting Monday, who also said she’d announce several other measures to loosen the restrictions on her stay at home order including singing with social distancing with a total of four or less people, traveling up to ten miles away from home to recreate, and nonessential businesses would able to sell and deliver products to customers.

The Governor’s office of Business and Economic Development or GO-BIZ has awarded Mendocino County with more than $2,200,000 in Cannabis Equity Grant Funding for the development and implementation of a Local Equity Program.  The money starts funneling in for the Fiscal Year 2020-2021 with no more than 10% for administration. So that means there’s still more than $2 million for loans, grants, technical assistance, training, waivers and fee reductions for those eligible. The County’s Planning and Building Services Dept is partnering with Go-Biz for an agreement to get the money, then announcements will be made this summer regarding the program being implemented and how to participate.

State Senator Mike McGuire says the Governor wants to start ramping up coronavirus testing to 25,000 a day by the end of this month. This information as part of the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors meeting yesterday. McGuire says the priority is to first test the most vulnerable populations including skilled nursing facility residents and staff and frontline workers including police, emergency service workers and health care workers. He also said that sadly there won’t be normal seating at restaurants for the remainder of the year, he wasn’t sure about large events, and there could be different attendance at large events like sports and county fairs with social distancing. He told the supervisors he was worried about too quickly relaxing some of the restrictions in place at beaches and parks in coastal Mendocino, Sonoma and Marin.

We should see more restrictions relaxed by the end of the week. The Public Health Officer in Mendocino County is expected to allow drives of up to ten miles for recreational activities, group singing, but no instruments and with social distancing in place and possible barriers, some businesses will be able to allow employees to sell and deliver inventory to customers and the Board of Supervisors will work with West Company to come up with new plans for schools and churches for limited re-openings. Dr. Noemi Doohan expressed frustration with the amount of tests available and sorrow about what’s happening at nursing homes across the state. She mentioned the testing of raw sewage in Lake County and says she wants to start doing that in Mendocino County as well. There will be new guidance too on facial masks. Two Parks will open, but all others will stay closed. She said there would be more limited openings at the beginning of May.

The 11th Street Corridor work will go on in Lakeport. The City Council is about to approve a plan to refurbish part of the road for several blocks in the downtown area. The work in one of the busiest areas of the City since it’s so close to the middle of everything. The Asst. City Manager sent a report to the council saying there’s also limited pedestrian access there for walking, biking and all that creates traffic snarls and accidents. They’ve already held public meetings on the matter and a feasibility study too. The plan isn’t solid yet, they have to find funding after approval. The meeting tonight at six on go to meeting.

A new report shows Calif. behind most others in testing for COVID-19. The Associated Press report shows California has done just over 7 tests per 1,000 residents, this from data culled by the independent COVID Tracking Project. Texas and Virginia were just behind with about 6.4 per 1,000 residents, and Kansas, where they had 6.2 per 1,000 residents. Pennsylvania ahead of the pack with 12.4 per 1,000 and New York was 31.6 per 1,000 residents, the second-highest in the U.S. behind Rhode Island, with 32.8 per 1,000 residents. The Gov said yesterday in his daily briefing testing rates were less than what was needed but said they hope to ramp up testing in coming weeks and says the state’s already making progress.

Because so many kids are at home being virtually schooled, the Governor has announced several new partnerships, so students get access to Wi-Fi, computers and the tools to keep them connected to their teachers. There’s a new task force set up to close the digital divide, as we mentioned yesterday google was making several donations, now T-Mobile, and Amazon with nearly 25,000 tablet devices between them. Apple is donating 9,000 iPads and is working with 8,000 school districts to give more. The Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative (Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife ) is donating $1,000,000, Jack Dorsey is donating $1,000,000 and investors Ann & John Doerr are donating $1,000,000. The California Public Utilities Commission is also helping with hotspots and internet, worth $25 million.

A former prisoner released into Lake County because of the coronavirus is reported to be one of the six positive COVID-19 cases in that County. The Sheriff has confirmed the case to Lake County News. They were also released from the California Institution for Men in Chino, like two others who ended up in Mendocino County, one of them also positive. The prisoners all released as part of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation program announced last month. The former prisoner in Lake County, like the positive case in Mendocino County was asymptomatic during a screening when he was released to return to Lake County. All of the prisoners told to self-quarantine and given facial barriers to wear as they traveled to their county of release.

At a Monday meeting of the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors, they heard about the 5th case of coronavirus, discussed emergency order changes and a grant from FEMA. The CEO reported the county got a $750,000 grant from FEMA and the Public Health Officer caught the board up on the story of the inmate from Chino State Prison who ended up in Ukiah after being exposed to coronavirus inside. Dr. Doohan reported nearly 70 cases were confirmed at the prison where the former prisoner was housed, then released under certain criteria having to do with the pandemic. She says Sheriff Matt Kendall reported their concern to the Gov. All five cases of COVID-19 have been contracted out of the county. A new Shelter in Place order is expected by Friday.

The Public Health Officer in Lake County expanding on information there was coronavirus in local sewage. Dr. Gary Pace speaking out after test results showed coronavirus in raw sewage at all four of its sewage treatment plants. The tests are being conducted across the country, and in Lake County there were a couple with no virus detection, then April 8th it was found in Kelseyville, Middletown, Northwest Regional in north Lakeport and Southeast Regional in Clearlake sewage treatment plants. There’s no evidence that the virus can be spread thru wastewater. Dr. Pace says stool samples tested at a hospital in Boston showed the virus didn’t shed in a way they could follow cases closely yet. But says it’s a good indicator to see if cases are going up or down.  Pace says raw sewage has other contaminants in it that are hazardous as well. He says they believe it can be killed in raw sewage with detergent and bleach.

Protests around the country and in Calif against the stay at home restrictions put into place by Governors. The governor asking for people to continue following guidelines saying some counties could gradually relax strict rules, like in Ventura County where they want to reopen golf courses and parks. Then the public health officer in Los Angeles County had to remind residents not to descend on those locations. The Governor announced at his Monday briefing there would be news tomorrow about the reopening of the state. There have been nearly 1,200 deaths in the state related to COVID-19. At the same time there were cars circling around at the Capitol yesterday and as many as 200 protesters out of their cars marching with signs, many without masks and crowding shoulder to shoulder against Newsom’s orders. For which he said, if you’re going to protest, at least practice physical distancing.

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