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An urgency ordinance passed in May in Lake County so folks wear masks in county facilities has been rescinded. That’s because there’s now a Public Health Order in place so the Board of Supervisors found the Urgency Ordinance not needed any longer. There had been no requirement at all for face coverings in Lake County businesses, so as an additional protective measure, the board voted for the ordinance for County-owned facilities, especially because the Courthouse building in Lakeport gets a lot of foot traffic. The Public Health Order says all local businesses will require face coverings. It goes for workers and patrons. The Health Order does allow those with problems breathing to be excluded, but those persons have to maintain social distancing unless there’s a barrier between them and another person or they’re with a family or household member. There are now 11 active cases in Lake County and 30 cases total.

4 more cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in Lake County. The Public Health Officer reported 11 active cases, one person in the hospital, 1 in the Lake County Jail and 9 others are stable in home isolation. Dr. Gary Pace says they’ve seen clusters of infections but there’s not been widespread community transmission. He says there’s also been strong contact tracing with each new positive test. He says there may be more cases due to how contagious it is and how it can spread in households quickly and more businesses are reopening along with the Lake. Dr. Pace says if you think you may have been exposed, immediately get tested. There are free drive thru testing sites in Lake County.

AgVenture is canceled this summer. The event’s steering committee says it’s due to COVID-19 and thanked all of who have participated over the decade they’ve held the event which has graduated almost 120 professionals, elected officials and community leaders. The committee says the coronavirus pandemic has shined a light on how farming and food production are essential to our daily lives. And that farmers, ranchers, farmworkers, haulers, processors, suppliers and anyone else working in the Ag industry is an essential worker. AgVenture has educated many over the ten years on how important agriculture is to Lake County’s economy.

4 people recovering after a crash between two cars and a cement truck on the 101 in Willits. The CHP reports a Honda Civic going 65 MPH, followed by a Subaru Legacy also at that speed when the Peterbilt truck was headed in the other direction. The Honda drifted over in front of the cement truck, spun over to the side of the highway, then the cement truck rolled and blocked traffic. The Subaru was hit by part of the truck which had separated from its cab on impact. The driver of the Honda had major injuries and was arrested for DUI, the other two drivers and the Honda passenger all went to the hospital too. No word on their conditions.

The rest of Lake Mendocino will be open for visitors. Parts of the area had already opened, but no campgrounds and boat ramps. The South Boat Ramp, the Dam Parking Lot, the North Boat Ramp, day use areas Pomo A, and Pomo B, Shakota trailhead: accessible from both Pomo A and B; the Overlook and Joe Reilly are only open for walk-in and bike-in traffic. There are some restrooms open too and single use picnic tables, but those are being discouraged for use. Some of the areas will remained closed for the summer, Oak Grove, Pomo C, Kyen Campground, playgrounds, and group picnic areas. There are also safety precautions in place all around. A warning with the opening, that if it starts to get too crowded, it could be closed down again.

A little closer to permanent protection for Mill Bend. The Redwood Coast Land Conservancy has announced they’ve been awarded over $2 million in grants to protect 113 acres of coastal wetlands and some surrounding hills in the Gualala River Estuary. Money came thru the US Fish & Wildlife Service, which is part of the Dept. of Interior, the California Natural Resources Agency, and the California State Coastal Conservancy. The last bit of the project is now to raise the last $205,000 for continued stewardship of Mill Bend so it’s protected as a park and conservatory.

Woodland Community College is planning to reopen all three of its campuses for in person classes. The College President says they’re working closely with state and county health officers, and district leaders. He says it’s important for them to be equitable and accessible, especially to low-income and students of color who may not have access to technology and money to succeed. They will however have online classes this summer at their Woodland and Lake campuses. And three classes will be in person at their Colusa County Campus. The school’s currently working with instructors to make adjustments so students still get a great educational experience online. They’re enrolling in person, with minimal staffing for the fall.

A judge in California’s Second Appellate District has been removed from the bench after sexual misconduct charges against him. The Commission on Judicial Performance reports Justice Jeffrey Johnson will no longer serve after multiple complaints of misconduct. The final decision is confirmed within 30 days, subject to discretionary review by the California Supreme Court. The commission says Justice Johnson touched four women without their consent and engaged in sexual harassment against seven others. He’s further accused of trying to develop personal relationships with three other women. He’s also accused of being at work drunk, and making disparaging remarks about colleagues.

The Commonwealth Garden (CG) across from Adventist Health Howard Memorial Hospital is giving away plant starts. They plant on their five-acre site that has a greenhouse, orchard, bee boxes and organic produce each June. The garden is run by the hospital’s foundation. Their plant giveaway started about a month ago with plant starts going to more than 150 households, but they still have more. They ask because of the pandemic and the need for social distancing, to call first to schedule a pickup. They’re free but say donations are welcome to help defray the cost of water, soil and seeds.  Call (707) 459-2777 to volunteer and get more information about the CG.

Since Mendocino County is generally following Sonoma County, we thought we’d update you on what’s happening there. Sonoma County slowed the phase 2 reopening because of a spike in cases. While some restaurants opened around Memorial Day, churches, barber shops and hair salons did not. The Sonoma County Health Officer Dr. Sundari Mase now says she will allow a larger piece of the economy to open by Saturday. That will include indoor dining at restaurants, wineries and brewpubs, in-store shopping at malls, and haircuts at barbershops and hair salons. She will also allow places of worship to welcome congregants, but only 100 at a time. Dr. Mase says the outbreak is stable, and if it holds the rest of the week, most services closed in her original stay-home order went from March 18th could reopen again.

After some blow back from the public the Sonoma County Sheriff showed up at the latest Board of Supervisors meeting. Sheriff Mark Essick made headlines last week saying he would not abide by the Public Health Order which held at the first part of phase 2 while surrounding counties opened. Essick saying it wasn’t in alignment with the state, but the Board of Supervisors stood by the Public Health Officer who got strict after a few outbreak clusters in the County. Essick at the Board of Supervisors meeting last night, the Press Democrat reports, to make peace. Of course it was a virtual meeting due to the pandemic. But he acknowledged he made a mistake and said he was optimistic there was a clear path forward, agreeable to all, and in the best interest of Sonoma County.

You may see some smoke billowing in the air around the airport as the Ukiah Valley Fire Authority reports they will be conducting a training exercise. The burn tomorrow night at 6 pm at the south end of the airport.

Two men from Ukiah have been arrested for a ripoff at Ukiah Valley Athletic Club. The Sheriff’s office reports two people went into the gym and lifted a large industrial pool heater and a large roll of industrial rubber flooring. Both of the items together had a combined value of $3,700.00. The gym’s surveillance video caught the theft and posted the video on their social media platforms. Then deputies got an anonymous tip about a familiar car to the incident parked in Talmage. Deputies went to the area and found two men, with evidence from the gym and various other businesses. Jesus Malfavon-Sandoval and Luis Magana-Alvarez were arrested on several charges, Grand Theft and Conspiracy, but released after booking because of the COVID-19 emergency order by the Judicial Council. Their bail was set at zero dollars.

A man from Covelo has been sent to prison for being in possession of ammunition . The DA reports 33 year old Luis John Oliver was sentenced last Thursday to 51 months in prison. He was indicted by a federal grand jury in February and convicted of being a convicted felon in unlawful possession of ammunition and a few weeks later also indicted by the same grand jury of being a convicted felon in unlawful possession of both a firearm and ammunition. The DA says after his prison time he’ll get 36 months of supervised release.

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