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Residents in Mendocino County getting a gentle reminder from Cal Fire that fireworks are illegal and can start wildfires. Cal Fire reminds that buying or selling fireworks in the County is punishable by law and that anyone who may start a fire because they used fireworks can be held accountable and could have to pay for firefighting and property damage. The fire agency estimating two of every five fires during Independence Day festivities are caused by fireworks. Please visit www.ReadyForWildfire.org for more information and safety tips. You can also download their app to receive wildfire alerts. 

Besides the emergency of Covid-19 in Calif. we are also in the midst of fire season. So State Senator Mike McGuire is hosting a tele-town hall on wildfire preparedness with guests like Cal Fire chiefs from our area, the Mendocino and Lake county sheriffs, and a representative from Pacific Gas & Electric. The meeting is NEXT Tuesday, July 7th at 6:30 p.m. Topics to include how law enforcement is preparing for wildfire season during the pandemic and how PG&E is working to reduce the frequency and duration of planned public safety power shutoffs.  

You can attend by dialing 844-721-7241 and entering the code 6666128, and ask questions by emailing them in advance and in real time to Senator.McGuire@Senate.ca.gov

A grant could help pay for more biking and walking trails in Ukiah. Walk and Bike Mendocino and the City of Ukiah are reportedly applying for a grant to add a three mile section of trail. Walk and Bike is asking the public for input on their draft plan which they say is important to the project. They’re looking to add the trail section from Commercial Drive to Plant Road. There’s a section already running from Brush St. to Commerce Drive. The new area would convert old decaying railroad tracks to a bike path and park. Walk and Bike and the City of Ukiah say they’d like the trail to eventually become part of the Northern California Great Redwood Trail. 

Several cases of coronavirus have turned up at marijuana grows in Humboldt County. Kym Kemp reporting a Southern Humboldt cannabis grow had a mini outbreak, but the Public Health Officer in the County didn’t confirm or deny. Dr. Teresa Frankovich did however say there was general concern about legal and illegal gardens and making sure people who work there get tested and stay safe. The spike in cases last week, nine positives Wednesday and five, Thursday.  

The paving project at the Ukiah airport is finally done. The nearly $4 million dollar project paid for by the Federal Aviation Administration to replace 75 feet of center runway, install a new blast pad, and a surface treatment for the rest of the runway. They’ve also updated some of the lighting, pavement markings and signs. The airport is also a major transportation hub for emergency services and a FedEx Ship Center. The airport is having other critical infrastructure updated too including repairing buildings, parking areas and adding security fencing.

Some recent road construction projects in Ukiah as part of the streetscape project. This week they’re finishing up sewer line replacements between Perkins and Smith streets and are now replacing waterlines there. Workers are allowing pedestrian access to businesses but say it’s messy work. They’re doing pipe “bursting” and other related construction activities on State Street between Church Street and Henry Street and the intersections of State and Church streets, State and Perkins streets, State and Standley streets, and State and Smith streets.

A man in Ukiah charged in the murder of another man has his trial set.  Mavrick Fisher’s lawyer asked for a continuance, but the court decided to move forward with a Settlement Conference/Trial Setting Conference on July 21st. and the Jury Trial set for Aug. 21st. The case was continued due to the pandemic, but will now go on related to the murder of Grant Whitaker of Mackinaw, Illinois last October. Fisher’s charged with not only murder, but assault with a deadly weapon and grand theft of a firearm. He pleaded not guilty last year and had a jury trial set for January, it was continued to March and that too was continued.  The victim’s remains were found last August on a remote property in Scotts Valley. The two, both deaf, had traveled to No. Calif together, then the Illinois man was reported missing by The Deaf Report. The Sheriff’s office say Fisher admitted to killing Whitaker and gave directions to find his body and found it.

As promised, the Lake County Public Health Officer has released demographic information on COVID-19 cases. Dr. Gary Pace had promised the info when the county hit 50 cases, which happened this weekend. He says he’ll updated it every week. So of the 56 cases so far, including two new ones confirmed last night, about half were from known cases. There have been 19 cases in Clearlake; 13 along the Northshore; 12 in Lakeport and north Lakeport areas; 7 from Kelseyville to Cobb; and 5, in an area covering another part of Clearlake, and Middletown, Hidden Valley and Lower Lake. Six cases are still being investigated, four presumably came from a work contact, 4 are unknown and two from a living situation, which could include a jail or nursing home. Most cases in those 18 to 49 years of and only five in the elderly and three under 17 years old.

Two more cases of coronavirus in Lake County to bring the total number to 56. 18 are currently active cases, 38 have recovered and are no longer considered contagious. Three people, however, are in the hospital and in an ICU. Dr. Gary Pace, the Public Health Officer says the cases are surging as there’s more movement and reopenings. He’s reminding to wear a mask and practice social distancing. The County has conducted more than 4,800 tests and 717 are still pending. Mendocino has also had 2 more cases since last week, for a total of 78.

Ukiah schools will have a Citizens’ Oversight Committee related to Measure A money. The funds for the repair and modernization of schools. It’s a state requirement to have an oversight committee whenever a local bond gets passed to be sure the money is used the way voters intended and to be sure the public knows where the money is going. The committee made up of at least seven volunteers who have to serve for two years. They are community at large, one business, one senior organization, one taxpayer organization, and parents with children in the District. The committee meetings are public and only 2-3 times a year.

Mendocino College will be mostly online in the fall. And registration is currently open at the college. The semester starts Aug. 17th. The college says they’ve been trying to figure out creative ways to move to the virtual platform due to COVID-19. So most of the classes will be totally online but a limited number will also be hybrid, partly online, partly in person, for example, auto classes, nursing and other career education courses and some art, music and science labs will have limited on-campus classes. The VP of Academic Affairs says the goal is to keep students safe while providing an engaging, high-quality learning environment due to current restrictions.

Two more people in Sonoma County have died due to complications from coronavirus. The county’s top public health official Dr. Sundari Mase confirmed the deaths happened Sunday and Monday. They were residents of a skilled nursing center and a residential care home. She didn’t give any other information out. So now seven people have died from Covid-19 in the county.  The county reported the fifth death last weekend in a man over 65 with previous health conditions. He has also lived at a skilled nursing center, but died at a hospital a day after he was transferred. The deaths come at a time of a major surge in cases in the state. The Gov. has also reported hospitalizations shot up by around 43% in the past two weeks, and that the state’s positivity rate was up during the same time period from 4.4% to 5.5%.

A neighborhood in Santa Rosa says it wants a cut of the $1 billion PG&E settlement related to wildfires in 2017 and 2018. Santa Rosa is getting $92 million after legal fees and litigation costs next month. Coffey Park lost more than 1,420 homes in the Tubbs fire in 2017. After the fire the group Coffey Strong emerged. On Sunday their board members discussed getting a chunk of the $92 million dollars. The city is reportedly planning to hold meetings on the distribution of funds.

The Golden State Killer admits it all. A former cop who previously admitted to police that he was the one who terrorized people across the state as the Golden State Killer and East Side Rapist, makes it official. Joseph James DeAngelo Jr. pleaded guilty, barely audibly in court as part of a plea deal so he would not face the death penalty. After DeAngelo was arrested in he told police investigators he did it all, admitting he murdered and raped across the state, but it was his alter ego Jerry, who forced him to commit a string of crimes that stretched over many years, ending abruptly in 1986. The deal called for him to plead guilty to 13 murders and dozens of rapes too old to prosecute.

More information on a shooting rampage in Red Bluff that left one man dead and four others shot and injured. The assistant sheriff in Tehama County says Louis Wesley Lane had been fired from the Walmart distribution center near Red Bluff in February 2019 after he didn’t report to work. He showed up this past weekend and pulled a semi-automatic rifle and shot randomly at people in the lobby of the building then had a shootout with police after they reported to the scene. Police say there’s no motive yet, just that he used to work at the center.

Gov. Gavin Newsom says about three-quarters of the 40 million residents in Calif live in a county with concerning coronavirus numbers. The Gov. says he’s going to get stricter with health orders and if things don’t turn the corner, there may be a pause in the state’s reopening. He’s already ordered bars in 7 counties, including Los Angeles, which has been dubbed a hotspot for COVID. Three of the state’s largest counties have also voluntarily agreed to close bars, San Diego, Riverside and Sacramento. 19 Calif. counties are on a watch list due to spiking cases, infection rates and hospitalizations.

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