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The Public Health Officer in Lake County is allowing more activity on Clear Lake. Dr. Gary Pace says closing the Lake was a difficult decision, but that the pandemic was spreading in the Bay Area and neighboring Sonoma County, and he says he was informed by other medical professionals they had to prepare for a potential surge, and there was a lot known about the virus at the time either. He says they had little capacity to test and an older population on top of everything else led to the decision. He says since then the County has done a good job slowing the spread, so the Lake will be open with public boat ramps this Saturday. But he says those recreating must observe social distancing, there will also be ramp monitoring for the Quagga Mussel program. He says the stay home order is also changing ahead of Mother’s Day, with low-risk retailers reopening. For guidance check the Health Office website.

As theaters are still closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Mendocino College theater announces online performances. The Spring Dance Festival was canceled but the students have instead filmed their pieces. Now called the Spring Dance on Film Festival to be uploaded by tomorrow. You can start watching the more than dozen dance pieces as films instead. They’re each three to five minutes long.

The Governor’s office has announced workers’ compensation benefits are being extended to all essential employees who’ve been infected with coronavirus, The Governor has signed an executive order for anyone who has to leave home to work during the pandemic as an essential employee. It says if they contract coronavirus they can get workers’ comp with the state assuming it happened at work.  The Governor says it should provide some relief for front line health care and public safety workers. He says as we enter the second phase of reopening, he wants to keep state workers safe and healthy.

North Coast lawmakers Assemblyman Jim Wood and Sen. Mike McGuire have announced sending a letter to the Governor to get more financial help due to the pandemic. The two along with 48 other lawmakers asking Gov. Gavin Newsom for financial support that came from the federal government. The counties they all represent have smaller populations and the lawmakers say, they’re still dealing with the same hits to their budgets as larger counties.

Nearly a quarter of a billion dollars being returned to California for protective masks paid to a Chinese company who missed a deadline. The Governor’s office said last month they’d reached a contract for 500 million protective masks because of the coronavirus pandemic. Millions did get here, but an April 30th deadline in the contract to be certified by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health for the N95 masks was not met. They were supposed to get here this month, but yesterday there was an amendment made to the contract, pushing the deadline to the end of the month and if the company missing that deadline, the state gets all of the money back.

Ten people have been arrested in Covelo in connection to an illegal marijuana farm. The Sheriff’s Dept. reports meeting multiple times with the Round Valley Indian Reservation Tribal Council about concern of non-native people coming onto properties and building a giant marijuana growing operation. There were reports of gunfire increasing too. At the same time the Sheriff reported becoming aware of a missing man from San Jose, Victor “Gallo” Medina whose family said he was working at that marijuana garden. During a raid Tuesday, the ten were arrested after 55 large greenhouses and other growing paraphernalia was found. They were also running drainage to a spawning tributary for endangered salmon and steel head trout in the Eel River watershed. Meanwhile the missing man was not found.

The Mendocino County Clerk Recorder is issuing Marriage licenses again.  Clerk Recorder Katrina Bartolomie says soon the County will again perform wedding ceremonies and issue the license at that time. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the County Administration Center is closed but if you’re interested you can get an emailed packet of required paperwork. Then you’ll be sent instructions about where to enter the building with the license and ceremony outdoors, outside of their office because of social distancing requirements. You have to make your appointment in advance and it’s only available for Mendocino County residents. No walk-ins are being allowed right now.

A new website launched so you can find a testing site by your location. You can also set up an appointment from the website operated by Verily and OptumServe for Californians. It’s also free whether you have insurance or are undocumented. The state Dept. of Public Health reports there’s expanded testing criteria so more people can be tested much closer to home. The State Testing Task Force is trying to get more than 90 percent of Californians within an hour drive of a testing site. There should be about 90 new sites within a week in 36 counties. For more information about testing and preventing the spread of COVID-19, visit www.covid19.ca.gov.

A missing toddler from Hidden Valley Lake has been found. The Lake County Sheriff’s office reports the 3 year old girl was found yesterday afternoon safe. Lake Co News reports dispatch traffic revealed the girl had gone missing earlier in the afternoon.
Lake County Sheriff’s deputies, California Highway Patrol officers and firefighters along with local residents were searching for the child.

A new antibody test will be available in Sonoma County. The County Health Officer reports it will be available in a month or so they can first validate testing equipment and its accuracy. The county’s public health lab will perform and process the tests. The Press Democrat reports the office is also expanding drive-thru diagnostic testing to find active coronavirus infections. The antibody test is different, it looks for a past infection. The tests have been ongoing in Santa Clara and Los Angeles counties, considered hotspots earlier in the pandemic so they could slow the spread.

A restaurant in Napa is defying the stay home orders, opening for dining in. The Press Democrat reports Fume Bistro opened Monday after only doing take out for several weeks and losing 25% of their income during that time. The newspaper reports the restaurant had no financial help from the state, there wasn’t a surge of cases and no sign of lifting restrictions before Mother’s Day, one of the busiest days of the year for restaurants. So the owner opened with tables ten feet apart, employees being temperature-checked and only allowing 45 people instead of about 100 in at a time. The owner says he was visited by public health officials and says he got an email stating he has to shut down by today. There have been 75 COVID-19 infections in Napa County and two deaths.

Two food processing plants in Tulare County a hot spot for Covid-19 with more than 100 employees testing positive. County health officials say the two Ruiz Foods facilities in Dinuba and Tulare had 107 cases of the virus. They’re known for the El Monterey frozen Mexican food. The cases more than doubled since last week when there were 43 positive cases. The company decided to stop production Monday at the Dinuba facility and test more employees. The Tulare plant instead enhanced safety measures and are continuing to prepare and package burritos, quesadillas, enchiladas and other items.

A murderer convicted in Mendocino County back in court, but by video from Susanville, entering guilty pleas to a murder and carjacking from back in 2001 as part of a deal with the DA. Tai Edmund Fred Abreu agreed to a plea deal with the DA’s office for the 2001 murder in Fort Bragg. He is due for sentencing in two weeks and is expected to get 24 years to life in state prison for the stabbing death of Donald Perez. The DA’s office reports Abreu was with two other men when they killed Perez, a visitor to the Fort Bragg area who had a romantic interest in an Abreu co-defendant.  He was previously sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, but he appealed and tried getting the case overturned. All denied, but after a new law passed a couple years ago so he could have his case reopened. He will be back in court May 21st and will also go in front of the parole board.

Sheriff Matt Kendall expanding on their drug raid and search for a missing man from San Jose at an illegal marijuana garden in Covelo. Kym Kemp speaking to the sheriff about the raid on the Round Valley Indian Reservation Tuesday. He says growers have been displacing and intimidating Round Valley residents from their tribal lands and finding people who have distant relatives and using that land for their grow. He also told the news site about concern regarding associated violence to the grow sites and more than a dozen homicides in Round Valley over 15 years, ten of which were related to illegal grows. They pulled more than 22,000 plants at the grow Tuesday and arrested ten people. The missing man has not been located.

The Gov. has announced the next phase of reopening California’s economy which will allow some retailers to reopen with drive up service. Governor Newsom’s announcement today was expected as the state was set to loosen restrictions due to recent strides made in fighting coronavirus. Stores that can open with curbside service if there are other safety requirements include bookstores, clothing stores, florists and sporting goods stores. Places like hair salons and gyms, offices and dining in restaurants not yet. But some government’s may be given variances. The next phase should include those businesses and the fourth would include large gatherings at concerts and sporting events.

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