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Monthly Archives: August 2020

A man’s been arrested for allegedly raping his wife while she was passed out. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office reports getting a call from the DA’s office in February about a rape, identifying the suspect as Anthony Oakley. They say there were several incidents along with another of criminal threats towards one victim and after investigating further found at least two abuse victims. One of them told deputies she was also raped by Oakley. Then a third woman said there were multiple rapes over a one year period, and criminal threats. So Oakley was arrested last week in Little River on several charges and held without bail.

The Mendocino County Registrar of Voters office says they’ve been getting a bunch of calls regarding the upcoming election and when ballots are going out. The Governor ordered all Californians to receive a mail in ballot, so Mendocino County voters will get those by mid-October. They’re going out October 5th. The office says if you don’t get yours by October 15th to call for a replacement ballot. There will be Ballot Drop Boxes if you cannot mail yours due to the pandemic. The office encourages you to process then mail in your ballot as soon as possible after you get it. If mailing your ballot through USPS, it must be mailed by Election Day.  If mailing on Election Day, be sure to get it postmarked.  If you use a Ballot Drop Off Location, please drop it off by 8 pm on Election Day. 

The Governor has announced a new four tier system for reopening the economy again. Similar to the first, but a little stricter with guidelines. The County Monitoring List is replaced by watching the number of cases per 100,000 residents. Each county has a color that goes with the four tiered approach. Counties have to stay in whatever their tier is for at least 3 weeks before moving forward with the data reviewed weekly and tiers are updated each Tuesday, starting next Tuesday, September 8th.  Since Mendocino was on the monitoring list, it’s now on the highest tier, also known as the purple tier because the virus is widespread in the county. But hair salons and barbershops can reopen indoors, retailers and indoor malls can reopen with 25% capacity, grocery stores must maintain 50% capacity and there is new guidance for childcare and extracurriculars, instead of 12 kid cap, there’s now 14 allowed with up to 2 supervising adults. The new order goes into effect this morning at 8.

Another death from coronavirus has been reported in Lake County. The Public Health Officer put out a statement over the weekend that the person who died was over 65, and living in a residential care facility, and had very serious, long-term medical issues.  They had a positive COVID-19 test when they passed away last week. The Public Health Officer Dr. Gary Pace reminds if someone who is living in a congregate living situation tests positive for COVID-19, they have great concern others may have been exposed, so with that the staff at the residential care facility are appropriately responding by testing, isolating and quarantining residents and employees.  The Public Health Office and state Department of Public Health are consulting, but have not released the name of the facility.

Along with Mendocino County, which generally follows what Sonoma County is doing… Sonoma is also allowing barbershops, hair salons and shopping malls to reopen indoors. No food courts or child play areas will open in malls though. It’s in alignment with the new four tiered system in the state released by the Governor last week. The new Blueprint for a Safer Economy, is a color-coded system allowing for very few cases per 100,000 residents for a total reopening, and even that still has many modifications. The four tiers are widespread, substantial, moderate and minimal virus spread.

The part of the LNU Lightning Complex in Sonoma County, the Walbridge fire has not grown that much more, firefighters monitoring for hot spots. The fire has blackened nearly 55,000 acres. Yesterday firefighters worked an area including Rio Nido, Hacienda and Guerneville. Cal Fire officials say the weather has helped them get a better foothold on the massive LNU Complex, which has burned more than 375,200 acres. It’s now 58% contained. The complex is burning in Sonoma, Napa, Solano, Lake and Yolo counties, and some in Colusa County too. More than 1,200 structures have burned. Evacuation orders have  been lifted in several places, but nearly 1,800 people are still evacuated and more than 3,350 have been warned they may have to leave. The Hennessey that’s been threatening Middletown, and burning in Colusa, Lake, Napa, Solano and Yolo counties, the largest in the complex, had burned just under 318,000 acres with containment up to 57 percent. 8 homes in Lake County have been destroyed.

Lake County’s not done with complaints on tax collection repossessions. The Board of Supervisors is reportedly considering a vote of no confidence on the treasurer-tax collector and is looking at potentially asking for her resignation. Lake Co News reports the board will consider the matter after a presentation tomorrow morning by the Supervisor Bruno Sabatier. The news site reports Sabatier will cite continued problems, including delayed deposits, not yet implementing new taxes or figuring out new ways to collect current taxes, problems solving staffing issues and trying new technology, and a generally lack of follow through. Barbara Ringen reportedly offered to retire early previously, but then retracted the offer. The City of Clearlake also recently filed suit against the county on the same issue.

Lakeport will hear a report on the state of policing in the city. The meeting online tomorrow night will also include a discussion on a grant for the city’s new community center. The Police Chief is set to present a report on the first half of 2020. Then the city manager is also going to give a report on the League of California Cities Annual Conference. The city also looking to get a piece of the CARES Act thru a grant application to buy kitchen equipment for the Silveira Community Center. The City Council will also vote on the continuing local emergencies for the Mendocino Complex fire; the public safety power shutoffs last year, the ongoing COVID-19 public health emergency and more.

Another death has shown up on the Mendocino County Public Health COVID-19 dashboard for a total of 17 deaths in the county. Saturday there were also 16 more cases and another 7 last night. A total of nearly 696 cases so far.

A man in Redwood Valley says he was awakened by a couple of people who broke into his trailer saying they were police officers. The man pulled out a gun and the intruders took off, but first fired their own guns into the trailer. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office’s reports the property had several marijuana grows and deputies say they think the intrusion was probably related to the grows. The man told deputies the intruders told him he needed to evacuate because of a fire. Deputies found spent bullet casings and at least one bullet hole in the trailer.

Another incident involving gunshots in Ukiah this time. Police say they had several 911 calls about shots fired, went to a home where a man says someone was hiding in their yard saying they were shot by at least one of three men who asked if he was part of a gang.  UPD, MCSO and CHP went searching, but found no evidence of a shooter. However the man was shot. No word how serious the gunshot wound was.

The Fire in the Mendocino National Forest, burning on the Upper Lake and Grindstone Districts has not grown much in the last day, but is only 18 percent contained. The August Fire has burned about 221,300 acres.  It’s made up of the Hull, Doe, Tatham, and Glade fires. Firefighters doing mop up on some areas and monitoring the fire, building more containment lines. They warn of poor air quality in the area.

Now there are more than 16,000 firefighters on 18 major fires and lightning complexes across California. Last week there were a couple thousand less. More firefighters, bulldozers and flyovers, Cal Fire says, means good progress with increased containment figures on all of the fires, and full containment on two of the larger wildfires. There are also less evacuation orders and more downgraded to warnings. But there are still almost 40,000 people evacuated from the current wildfires. 7 people have died across the state since the lightning strike wildfire storm 2 weeks ago and over 2,800 structures were destroyed. The LNU Lightning complex burning in Napa, Lake, Sonoma, Solano, and Yolo Counties has burned more than 375,200 acres, no forward movement since yesterday, and now 63% contained. The largest and the one burning near Middletown, the Hennessey is at just under 318,000 acres with 62% containment and the Wallbridge in West Sonoma County at nearly 55,000, it’s 64% contained.

On the August Fire in the Mendocino National Forest, the forest service announces military soldiers joining forces to fight the fires. The USDA Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Region, and the National Interagency Fire Center working with the Department of Defense to send 200 soldiers and command staff to help with wildfire suppression efforts. They’re supposed to be here early this week from Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington. They’re set to work on training and fire line certification. The regional forester says they’re thankful for the help and additional aircraft with suppression. The last time they had help from the military was two years ago on the Mendocino Complex Fire. The fire has burned more than 236,200 acres and is only 20% contained.

Some people who’d been evacuated due to the massive LNU Lightning Complex have been able to return home. The Lake County Sheriff Brian Martin said Hidden Valley Lake and part of Lower Lake were reduced to evacuation warnings instead. There were other warnings lifted earlier yesterday, but for Middletown, the warnings stayed. The Sheriff also said yesterday just because Orders are reduced to Warnings, doesn’t mean those who went home are totally in the clear. But firefighters made better progress on the biggest fire in the Complex, the Hennessey. It did grow yesterday, it’s just over 313,530 acres, containment was 33% earlier in the day. The Complex was at just over 371,000 with almost 1,100 structures gone and another 300 damaged.

A man in Ukiah’s been arrested after reports of a man without clothes on standing on a roof. The report Tuesday afternoon that the man was on top of a house with a kitchen knife acting bizarre. The deputy told him to drop the knife and come down to the ground, but he refused. Then he vanished and went into the backyard of the home, so deputies further told him to appear in front of them. One of them went onto the roof and the homeowner at the same time came out of the house with a gun. The deputy told them to go back in their house and backup from the probation office came. The naked guy also ran off. He was found and taken to a hospital kicking and screaming. Police say they told him to control his breathing but appeared he was high on something. He was taken to Adventist Health Ukiah Valley. No charges are pending.

The Round Valley Indian Tribe reportedly asking the Sheriff’s Office for help with crime on and around the Tribal lands in Covelo. The Sheriff’s office says that would include illegal marijuana growing, selling and the sale of firearms and environmental degradation after an uptick in violence in the area. Just Tuesday deputies stopped someone and saw a gun in their car, it was found to be fake, but the deputy then saw a loaded assault weapon. The owner of the weapon and driver of the car, Jesse Gurrola has been arrested, but released due to the pandemic. The Sheriff’s office says they’ll continue patrolling the area and will request whoever’s arrested be prosecuted by the DA or Office of the United States Attorney General.

A traffic stop in Covelo ends in a bunch of cocaine being found and an arrest. The deputy last Sunday stopped the Toyota truck and contacted three people all from Santa Rosa. The passenger, Jesus Espinoza, was holding a bag of “Chex mix”. He was found to be on pretrial release. The Chex mix was actually filled with plastic bags of cocaine. Deputies also found a bunch of cash in the car. Since Espinoza was violating his pre-trial release, he was arrested. For that and trying to conceal or destroy evidence and throwing stuff out of the truck. They also say he tried to resist officers. He was released though due to the pandemic.  

3 additional cases of COVID-19 have been identified in Mendocino County, bringing the total to 659. 1 additional death has been reported for the Ukiah area. Yesterday we reported six people in the hospital. There was one in an ICU, but that’s been removed from the dashboard and now there are five in the hospital. No other information was released from Public Health officials.

A woman from Galt, CA has been arrested in Covelo. During the sheriff’s office regular patrols of the area, deputies stopped Michelle Woodyatt for a traffic violation. They say there were warrants out for her arrest in Mendocino and Lake counties and she had a felony warrant in Butte for car theft. She was arrested and held in Mendocino County Jail with no bail.

2 people in Covelo, busted in regular sheriff’s office patrols for not stopping at a stop sign. They say the driver of the vehicle, Maryanne Whipple, had a suspended driver’s license.  They then found her passenger, Anthony Barber, had two felony arrest warrants from Lake County for failing to appear and two misdemeanor warrants from Mendocino County for possession of a controlled substance and violation of probation. Whipple got off with a citation, but Barber was arrested for the four warrants and held in Mendocino County Jail without bail.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has declared 2020 the “third driest year on record” for Lake Mendocino. The Corp announced the North and South boat ramps had been closed due to low water levels. The Lake last year was recorded at dropping about 12 inches every five days. The latest report on the Lake has water being released to maintain the minimum instream flows for fish in the Russian River, and further, the Lake continues dropping about a foot every five days. As of Tuesday it had dropped almost two feet in 11 days.

Legislators looking for ways to pay to fight fires when we had an early start to wildfire season due to the lightning ignited fires almost two weeks ago. The last minute legislation proposed to put aside $2.5 billion for future projects to handle wildfires and adapt to climate change. It looks to use a utility-bill fee and take up to $500 million to train firefighters and more. The utility fee would be extended for another 25 years but cost ratepayers less than $1 dollar a month. They say that would tap into the multi-billion insurance fund created last year to pay for utility caused fire damage. It remains to be seen if it’ll happen this session, which is supposed to end Monday.

The state’s planning to double coronavirus testing capacity ahead of flu season. The Governor says Calif. has entered into a new public-private partnership with life sciences company PerkinElmer. Gov. Newsom says in the next couple of months there will be new laboratory space so the company can help the state so it can do as many as 150,000 more daily tests starting mid-November. That would mean the state was conducting nearly 200,000 tests/day. The Gov. says the cost will be cut to about a third of what they normally do, saving the state money. They will also guarantee turnaround time at 24 to 48 hours.

Officials in Lake County letting fire evacuees know about shelters if they need to leave their homes. The Dept. of Social Services put out a statement about sheltering due to the massive LNU Lightning Complex fires. The agency, the Lake County Health Services Department and the American Red Cross working together for those most in need. There’s a shelter set up by the Red Cross at Kelseyville High. They ask evacuees to meet in the school parking lot and they will direct you further. They have areas for people who are COVID-19 positive or symptomatic or in a high-risk or vulnerable category for contracting the virus. They’re also assisting those who need to be quarantined. The Area Agency on Aging for Lake and Mendocino Counties says they’re open and operating remotely due to restrictions during the pandemic. Senior centers are still open too with certain adjustments due to safety protocols. Those who get home delivered meals in areas where there are mandatory evacuation orders, not warning, will not get a delivered meal since drivers cannot enter evacuation zones. 

Middletown still the focus for Cal Fire on the massive Hennessey Fire, part of the LNU Complex. The Operations Chief at their briefing this morning says that fire is the first priority in the entire complex, in an area just south of Middletown. The Chief says they’re trying to contain this part of the fire just above Anguin and Calistoga. There’s also the Walbridge fire in Sonoma County which the chief says has also been “overwhelmingly challenging” due to the terrain, fuels and structures. The Hennessey Fire is at 313,000 acres or so and 33% contained and the Walbridge has charred more than 55,300 acres, it’s also 33% contained.

Public health officials in Calif are preparing, they say, for a possible third surge of coronavirus cases. They say they believe it will come from two groups already hit hard: essential workers and younger folks. The Press Democrat reports the college campuses are closed, large outbreaks have been connected to fraternities in Los Angeles. And there’s an outbreak in the Central Valley, that closed a poultry processing plant. Experts say nearly 9,000 of the more than 12,600 deaths from the pandemic came after Memorial Day, around the time the economy started reopen.

Officials in Lake County announce a meeting next week with the Board of Supervisors and PG&E officials on possible Public Safety Power Shutoffs. The meeting with the Board Tuesday after last falls disastrous intentional power outages left people in the dark and heat for days on end. The utility company says they’ve been working the last year to limit the impact of these events, harden their energy infrastructure against fire risk through their Community Wildfire Safety Program. The meeting Tuesday at 10.

Two people have been found dead in a creek in Ukiah. Police report the two men’s bodies were found Tuesday night near a small park in Doolan Creek. Police say it doesn’t appear to be foul play but they’ve not released any official cause of death. The two men have reportedly been identified but their names were not released. They said the men, one 32, the other 43 years of age were found by someone passing by the area.

A fuel tanker has crashed into a tree in Covelo. The CHP reports the driver of a 2019 International truck with around 2,000 pounds of diesel fuel was headed west on Highway 162 near Barnes Lane Tuesday night and for some reason came off the edge of the road and rolled, crashing into the tree. The driver was reportedly killed. Mendocino County Environmental Health and the Redwood Empire Hazardous Incident Team were on the scene to off load the diesel fuel from the truck. The highway was closed for about an hour after the crash for the fuel transfer.

The change to have jury selection for trials in Lake County at the fairgrounds has been approved. The Presiding Superior Court Judge went to the state to get the judicial emergency order approved so that proceedings can be held outside of the Lake County Courthouse in Lakeport due to the pandemic, for social distancing. Lake Co News reports the chief justice signed the order about two weeks ago. There are six cases affected by the emergency order, three got time waivers so they can be set later than state law of 60 days.  Apparently cases set for trial in the Superior Court were either resolved or rescheduled up until now. The Public Health Officer had suggested the court move jury selection due to cramped quarters at the courthouse.

A new evacuation warning for part of Lake County due to the growing LNU Lightning Complex. For the Lake-Colusa county line. It grew yesterday afternoon and this morning to 370,000 acres charred so far. The fire is now 33 percent contained. So far, it’s destroyed 1,080 structures and damaged another 272. There are still 30,500 in harms way. The fire that’s getting close to Middletown, still a priority. The Hennessey is burning in Lake, Napa, Solano and Yolo counties. The Walbridge, part of the complex in Sonoma County hit 19% containment and grew to 55,353 acres with 19-percent containment. The Meyers fire north of Jenner is less worrisome to firefighters they say, it’s 97% contained, after blackening 2,360 acres. The new evacuation warning affecting those in Spring Valley, Long Valley and the Double Eagle Ranch subdivision.

More cases of coronavirus in Lake County. The case count has stayed pretty low, with new reports coming weekly from the Public Health Office. There are 23 active cases in the county, 33 more positive cases than a week before. Five are in the hospital, the most so far. 3 people have died from coronavirus in Lake County and almost 9,400 have been tested so far. There have been 314 positive cases, less than half what Mendocino County reported in their last county, 656. 

Parts of the Mendocino National Forest are closed due to the August Complex of fires. The fire started with many others across Northern Calif. more than a week ago during a lightning storm. The fire has blackened more than 200,400 acres and is only 17 percent contained. The largest section is known as the Doe Fire which has burned more than 160,000 and is 31-percent contained. There are also several dozen smaller fires that are part of the complex in Glenn County on the Grindstone Ranger District and the Hull on the Upper Lake Ranger District. That has burned nearly 5,000 acres and is only 5-percent contained.

The biggest fire and biggest area of concern in the LNU Complex, the Hennessey still burning out of control, but fire officials say they’ve got a better handle on it. The Middletown section of the fire in treacherous terrain where the Valley fire burned before it, 5 years ago. The fire on its own has burned more than 303,000 acres with 33% containment. A Cal Fire spokesman says with cooler temperatures they were trying to get ahead of the fire, and they’re bringing in more resources to help. Lake Co News reports 250 National Guard troops got to Santa Rosa yesterday to help on the massive LNU Complex which started in Napa County last week.

After new guidance was released from the CDC saying asymptomatic people with Covid-19 may not need testing, the Governor said nope… and the Sonoma County Health Officer says she’s not going to follow the new testing guidelines either.  Dr. Sundari Mase says the county will continue to test anyone who’s been in close contact with a known case. The new guidelines from the CDC after reported pressure from the White House. Public Health experts say that could spread the contagious disease more. Dr. Mase says the state has advised to keep testing people who want to be tested, whether they’re asymptomatic or symptomatic.

Cooler weather and more humidity aiding firefighters in Northern Calif. More equipment and resources also came to firefighters on the LNU Complex. 35,000 people who were under evacuation orders were allowed to go home too. The chief for Cal Fire in charge of the incident says firefighters and utility workers went to areas and cleared them so residents could return after they gained a little bit more containment on the massive fire last night. The fire, he says, jumped a highway and started to threaten structures in Yolo County. That led to more evacuations near the town of Rumsey.

Air quality in Mendocino County has improved a little, but the Air Quality Management District says smoke from Northern Calif. fires is impacting the air quality with moderate to unhealthy range for most of the county thru tomorrow. Inland communities and surrounding areas may also see some short periods of “Very Unhealthy” air quality depending on fire, wind, and other meteorological conditions. The agency says coastal areas can expect good air quality in the morning, then “Moderate” to “Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups” later in the day.

A new police chief has been named in Willits. Alexis Blaylock was part of the San Diego Police Dept. for almost 25 years where she was a patrol officer and had specialized assignments like dignitary protection, border crime suppression, internal affairs and juvenile services. She was also an adjunct professor who taught Police Investigative Report Writing for the San Diego Community College District.  She retired from San Diego and continued training officers as a consultant across the state. She also worked as a public safety officer at USC and has donated time and effort to charitable causes.

A new report shows many workers comp claims across the state due to the coronavirus pandemic. More claims in June and July than any month of the pandemic, with over 27,000 claims from May to July. The claims the report says could add up to over $2 billion in costs to employers and their insurance companies because employers in Calif. have to pay for workers’ comp coverage and for those who file claims they could get lost wages, medical benefits or death benefits for their families.  The Workers Compensation Institute says its recorded at least 140 workers families who had applied for death benefits since the pandemic first arose in March. Imperial County had the highest rate of COVID-19 claims.

Local businesses in Lake County will be able to get federal coronavirus stimulus money. The Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to approve allocations of CARES Act funding for local businesses, senior centers and more thru the COVID-19 pandemic. The board made the decision after hearing from a committee formed to decide how the $6.6 million from the federal CARES Act would be spent. The committee reportedly wanted approval for $5.5 million to be used on basic disaster response and the rest for a secondary category like grants for local businesses and meal programs for senior centers.

Firefighters get a hand from mother nature with better weather conditions aiding their containment efforts. Cal Fire reports more than 15,600 firefighters on over two dozen major fires and lightning complexes across the state. In the last 24-hours there were over two dozen lightning strikes in Northern California so firefighters continue to monitor for more lightning lit wildfires. They’re reporting more containment at a faster rate than before thanks to the weather. 96 out of state fire engines have also been assigned to fires. The extra resources, good humidity and lower temps overnight helpful to firefighters. Cal Fire reports warmer conditions expected over the weekend with possible thunderstorms in the upper portion of northern California and the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range. The LNU complex is at just under 370,000 acres and 33% contained. Almost 1100 structures have been destroyed and five people have died.

Reports of shots fired in Ukiah early this morning. Police responded to the area of S. Orchard Avenue after several 911 calls. Police searched the area looking for possible victims and saw two men then several expended bullet casings on the ground near them. They were detained but found not to be involved. Police say there were two cars and a home with people inside also hit by gun shots. Police say witnesses saw a car speeding in the area of where they heard the shots fired and later found some nearby homes had surveillance cameras. They’re looking over the footage and asks anyone who may know anything to call.

The Willits Educational Foundation announces its Summer Gala has been canceled. But the foundation says kids still need help during the current challenges of COVID-19 and distance learning. They say each student in the Willits Unified School District will probably need about $60 worth of supplies which adds up to about $90,000. With that the Rotary and foundation are working together to bring basic school supplies to the school district, not the music, art and library supplies the Gala has typically helped fund. The school superintendent says schools provide all needed distance learning supplies, but they need to have double their supplies, for at home, and at school, they can’t use the same stuff for sanitation reasons. So the foundation has a go fund me instead of their yearly gala.

The fires on the Upper Lake and Grindstone ranger districts in the Mendocino National Forest caused by lightning are being managed together. One of the fires in the August Complex, the Doe Fire is close to the Hull. The Doe is the biggest of all of the fires in the complex, at just over 160,000 acres.  The August Complex on the Grindstone District is in Glenn County and the Hull Fire outside Lake Pillsbury is on the Upper Lake Ranger District. The fires have burned almost 200,000 acres and are 17 percent contained.  There’s a chance of more thunderstorms again too today.

There’s an air quality alert in Lake County due to the fires. The Lake County Air Quality Management District says the alert goes thru tonight. The LNU complex of fires burning in Lake, Napa, Solano, Sonoma and Yolo counties along with the August Complex in the Mendocino National Forest is bringing unhealthy and potentially hazardous air to the region. Winds are expected to change directions today which could blow the smoke out but is expected to linger until the fires are all contained.

The Lake County Board of Supervisors has unanimously approved the emergency declaration for the LNU Lightning Complex. The Sheriff Brian Martin issued the declaration last Thursday after the fire started the weekend before, when it was about 131,000 acres and had zero containment. It’s now 27% contained, but it’s nearly double that size at 356,326 acres. The fire’s also taken down almost 1,000 structures and killed five people, three in Napa County and two in Solano County, there were also four civilian injuries. The Sheriff had ordered evacuations for several neighborhoods. Lake Co News reports as many as 7,000 residents are affected. The county has also asked for help from out of county agencies to be patrolling the evacuation area.

Crews getting the upper hand on the Walbridge fire which has burned more than 54,923 acres in northwestern Sonoma County. The fire is 19% contained but some folks are being allowed to return home. Fire officials say it’s mostly surrounded, but a shift in wind could blow containment lines. 5,100 people are still under a mandatory evacuation order and there are warnings for more than 400 more. The fire’s part of the massive LNU Complex, straddling five counties. The Meyers fire is nearly contained, the Hennessey fire is 33% contained but one fire, near the county line of Lake and Napa is still troublesome, in Middletown, where the Valley Fire burned in treacherous terrain.

The National Guard and California Conservation Corps could be joining Cal Fire as the fire season is in full swing and it could get worse with more lightning forecasted. The lightning-sparked fires have grown in a week to some of the biggest we’ve ever seen in Calif. Inmate firefighters are not supplementing crews like in years past due to the pandemic. Cal Fire’s Chief of planning says historically, it’s in early fall when the biggest and most damaging wildfires hit the state, so the middle of August is “very concerning”. Firefighters have been using more bulldozers, aircraft and getting help from firefighters from other states and the federal government. A union representing Cal Fire firefighters says 96% of their crews are committed.

The state auditor says the state’s been getting so much money from the federal government to help with the pandemic, that it’s a high risk for waste, fraud and abuse. Auditor Elaine Howle sent a letter to the Governor and legislative leaders invoking a state law that gives her the authority to watch over 18 government agencies who are supposed to oversee spending. She says prior audit findings and the federal money moving so fast into the state mean that responsible state agencies don’t have adequate processes in place for possible risks.

The LNU Complex has grown several thousand acres. From yesterday the complex added more than 6,000 acres for a total of 356,326 acres with 27% containment. Cal Fire reports 978 structures have been destroyed and another 256 damaged. Cal Fire reported there’s extreme fire behavior and in one area between Napa and Lake, where the Valley Fire burned in 2015 in Middletown is particularly challenging. They were trying to choke the fire off last night there, we haven’t received the morning report yet. The fire was switching directions with the wind, and crossing containment lines.

After two firefighters in Ukiah contracted coronavirus we find out, it seems they got it while fighting a fire in Southern Calif. The city manager says after contact tracing, they have confidence the two firefighters got in while they were on a Strike Team in Southern California, but that quick work from the fire dept. and other team members contained the virus from spreading. The first positive case was two weeks ago today, Aug. 12th so their quarantine period ends today. The two firefighters who tested positive are self-isolating and being monitored by the city and the Mendocino County Public Health Office.

A bill in the legislature that looks to ban flavored tobacco has passed the Assembly. The bill passed the appropriations committee Monday and heads back to the Senate now for another vote.  Assemblyman Wood and State Senator Mike McGuire support the bill which has a $250 fine for violations. The bill includes flavored tobacco, including menthol. Wood tweeted Monday it’s to curb smoking in younger people. McGuire is one of the group of senators who introduced the bill, saying it’s essential for youth health.

A Sherwood Oaks nursing facility resident who recently tested positive for COVID-19 is now in the hospital. The head of the facility says they were admitted to Adventist Health Mendocino Coast Monday even though they’re asymptomatic. He says they decided to have the patient transferred there to protect others at the Fort Bragg facility which had suffered an outbreak, which ended in 8 patients dying and several other residents and staff infected. 5 residents and staff who may have been exposed to this patient were tested and they expect results back today.  All other residents and staff are stable. 16 residents and 8 staffers have recovered from Covid. Yesterday the county confirmed 7 more cases of coronavirus for a total of 652 cases. 16 people have died from the virus in the county. There are currently 125 isolating including 4 in the hospital and one in an ICU. 506 people have been released from isolation and are considered no longer contagious.

Another community meeting with Cal Fire for Lake County residents. This one tomorrow night on Local Cable channel 8, Zoom or Facebook.  The meeting at 6pm will include Cal Fire representatives, and from the Lake County Sheriff’s Office, and other partnering agencies in the response for the county to the wildfire. There will also be representatives of the Red Cross, County Health Dept. and Social Services Agencies, Lake County Behavioral Health Services, and others available to answer constituent questions.  Elected representatives have also been invited. 

A live stream will again be posted at  We ask that most people listen in via this feed. 

Questions can be emailed ahead of time, to, or posted as comments in the Facebook live stream. 

A limited number of County residents can also participate and ask questions in real-time via Zoom:

Meeting ID: 946 1262 9840

Passcode: 288749

Those without reliable internet can listen or participate by phone: 1-669-900-6833.  You’ll need the the Meeting ID and Passcode listed above.

A new fire burning near Calpella has triggered evacuations. The fire by the exit to Hwy 20 on the east side of Hwy 101 near mile marker 29.2. The Mendocino County Sheriff has ordered evacuations of nearby residents and has deputies knocking at homes telling people they need to leave. Mendo Fever reports the fire was spotted across N. State Street before 2:30 this afternoon. The Sheriff says the areas of North State Street near Agnes Lane north to Calpella, Central Avenue, Hopkins Street, Moore Street, eastside Calpella Road, Graziano Lane, Third Street, and Durable Mill Road.

The Sheriff says with the help of US Cellular, service to the Covelo area is improved. The Sheriff announcing work with the Round Valley Indian Tribe and Senator Mike McGuire and Supervisor John Haschak to get better service to the area. Sheriff Kendall says it’s not perfect, but they’re still working on long term solutions.

The LNU complex has grown some… Cal Fire Chief Sean Kavanaugh on the complex. Kavanaugh says if the weather stays calm people can go home over the next 24 to 72 hours, but there’s a lot of work to do. Firefighters moving to Middletown to try to corral the area of the fire in the Valley Fire burn, which is in treacherous terrain and the highest priority. There’s also a tough area for firefighters on the Walbridge Fire, part of the complex in W. Sonoma County where there are a lot of structures and fuel to feed the fire.

The LNU Lightning Complex fire which is straddling several counties including Lake has grown by nearly 3,000 acres. The fire ignited by lightning Aug. 17th is at just under 353,000 acres and is 27-percent containment. The complex incident manager says the fire is, so far, the second-largest wildfire complex in recorded state history, behind the Mendocino Complex of 2018 that burned thru Lake, Mendocino, Colusa and Glenn counties. Incident Commander Shawn Kavanaugh says the fire has destroyed more than 900 structures… 

30,000 structures are still threatened. They are depending on air support since the fire is burning in rugged terrain. The LNU Complex is reportedly burning on the Rocky and Jerusalem fire scars.

The August Complex in the Mendocino National Forest’s Grindstone and Upper Lake ranger districts has also burned a significant swath of land. Cal Fire reports the fire at over 181,050 acres and is 11 percent contained. The US Forest Service reports 10 structures have been destroyed. There’s an evacuation warning for the Pillsbury Ranch area still in effect. The Forest Service reports the fire was made up of 37 different fires all lightning started last Monday, many contained or merged to become larger fires.

The Sheriff Matt Kendall says he’s working with state Senator Mike McGuire to get reliable and consistent cell service for Covelo and its surrounding area. Sheriff Kendall says there are many issues the two are working on together, but this is at the top of his priority list. The Sheriff says he’s working with McGuire and Supervisor Haschak to resolve the cell service issue as quickly as possible. He says it’s critical as fewer and fewer people have landlines and especially critical in more remote areas of the county, adding the biggest concern is for folks to be able to reach a 911 operator in times of crisis.

Firefighters getting some support after fighting for nearly a week with barely a break. More than 500 fires ignited after that lightning storm a week ago, including more than 60 in Sonoma, Napa, Lake, Solano and Yolo counties. The Sonoma County Fire District Chief says some of his crew worked three days straight without stopping. Officials with Cal Fire say others pulled 96 straight hours after the Meyers and Walbridge fires broke out. They’re part of the LNU Lightning Complex. More than 14,000 firefighters and other personnel on fires after those thunderstorms August 15th. There’s fewer available because of the pandemic. Inmate firefighters no longer available as they’ve been released from prison to slow the spread.

Cal Fire was expecting more lightning strikes to hit Northern Calif. but they mostly hit other parts of the state.  Part of the LNU Complex is nearly contained, the 2,360-acre Meyers fire along the Sonoma Coast. Incident commander Shawn Kavanaugh says they have a good plan in place, but that it’s a very large fire and weather and more could hamper their efforts.  

Another issue of concern in Sonoma County, the pandemic could spread during the wildfires and thousands have to leave their homes. Shelters for evacuees are limited with residents in W. Sonoma County displaced due to the Walbridge fire. The public health officer says the virus will spread as people are in constant contact with people outside their immediate households. Dr. Sundari Mase says the county’s still struggling to slow the virus and that it will likely be spread by those who are asymptomatic. Sonoma County’s testing results at more than 10% positivity, about twice as much as the state’s latest infection rate.

The unemployment department’s reportedly not answering a majority of calls coming in as the agency’s still dealing with a backlog of claims. The Press Democrat reports the Employment Development Dept. Director spoke in front of lawmakers yesterday as the agency has more than a million pending claims since the pandemic first surfaced in March. Department Director Sharon Hilliard says they should have 3,700 people working in the call center by January, instead of the 350 they had before the pandemic hit. She says they were caught unprepared for the massive surge in unemployment claims and says they can only answer about 54% of calls they’re getting.

Since the president has declared areas hit by wildfires federal disasters, that means individuals, families and businesses can apply for disaster assistance. Pres. Trump approved the declaration over the weekend so those hit in Sonoma, Lake, Napa, San Mateo, Santa Cruz, Solano, Monterey and Yolo counties can apply for federal grants. It’s to help the uninsured or underinsured with property or business losses and other disaster-related costs, repairs, funeral or medical expenses.

New reports of deferrals for Calif. college entrants. The Cal State University system is allowing entering students to defer enrollments due to the coronavirus pandemic. Some students are delaying for an entire term to delay online school or others are going to local community colleges outside California. International students are reported to be the main group getting the deferrals. This is also the first year the university system has allowed deferrals or delays for a semester. Each campus decides if they’ll allow the deferrals. Students who’ve requested the deferrals across the CSU and University of California campuses is said to be a small number when you compare it to the thousands who have decided to continue their enrollment.

Homeless Housing and help and prevention for homelessness is being offered by the Lake County Continuum of Care. The Homeless Housing, Assistance, and Prevention Program available with grant money to help address immediate homelessness challenges in Lake County. The money to be spent to move those who are currently homeless into permanent housing and ensure they are able to stay in that as permanent housing. There’s about $440,000 to use for this project. Interested agencies are encouraged to apply for collaborations. You must be a nonprofit, government or Tribal organization serving the homeless or those at‐risk of becoming homeless in Lake County. The deadline is Sept. 25th.

More favorable weather has helped firefighters across the state. But Cal Fire says there are still more than 14,000 firefighters on more than two dozen major fires and lightning complexes across California. Weather conditions were more favorable last night, but there were more than 200 recorded lightning strikes across the state. Firefighters are still monitoring for more lightning strike wildfires and the possibility of more lightning today. Since Saturday, August 15th, there’s been more than 13,000 lightning strikes, with over 230 new strikes in the last day. And with that more than 650 new wildfires, which have now burned over 1.25 million acres. That’s larger than the State of Delaware. And a new Red Flag Warning has been issued because there’s a possibility of lightning with little to no rain.

Things are looking up in California’s fight to slow the spread of coronavirus. The Gov. said he’s going to announce the reopening of some businesses that had to close again two months ago when the virus made another run. The announcement during a press conference on the massive wildfires that have broken out across the state. More than 1,000 homes have been destroyed and 7 people have died. The Gov. says it’s a difficult period, fighting both the pandemic and the wildfires up and down the state. He says more than 100,000 people are being tested for COVID-19 every day, but the fires have made that more of a challenge. The infection rate is now at 5.6%, the target was 8%. Some larger counties that had been on the state’s monitoring list including Orange and San Diego have been removed. Hospitalizations are down by almost a half and the average number of deaths has also dropped.

A man arrested in Ukiah for assaulting someone with a knife has been convicted. The Mendocino County DA reports the jury returned this morning with the guilty verdict against Joseph Hart, most recently of the Laytonville area. He also admitted a sentencing enhancement, an out of state strike offense, robbery. That means he would be ineligible for probation and will be sentenced to prison with his earliest release after spending 80% of whatever his sentence is. His case was referred for sentencing to the probation department. He faces 4-8 years behind bars and is currently held without bail.

A fire near Lake Pillsbury in the Mendocino National Forest has charred 3,000 acres and triggered evacuation warnings. The Hull Fire, five miles north of Lake Pillsbury on the Upper Lake District first spotted last Wednesday after lightning strikes during thunderstorms. Crews fighting the fire in steep, rugged terrain with ground crews and flyovers. The fire’s burning in timber and reportedly most active in Rattlesnake Creek. It’s 0% contained and reportedly threatening some cabins and other private property. This occurring in the middle of a Red Flag Warning with winds forecasted of up to 40 mph until this evening. The area of Pillsbury Ranch had been warned they may have to evacuate. 

A man in Ukiah who police say was driving too fast on the 101 S. near Perkins St. crashes on a right turn at the off ramp. The CHP reports the driver, Dylan Pullins could not keep control of his RAM 3500 and crashed into a tree. He had a passenger in the front seat who became trapped. He’s been identified as Garrett Taylor. The Ram burst into flames and Good Samaritans tried to pry the door open and help him out but he died in the vehicle. The driver, Pullins was taken to the hospital with minor injuries, then arrested for several charges including Felony DUI and Gross Vehicle Manslaughter. He’s held in Mendocino County Jail.  

A report of shots fired in Covelo at an apartment complex brings deputies to the scene. They found expended casings on their arrival this weekend. Witnesses say they saw a dark colored pick-up truck leaving the area of the shooting so officers did a canvas of the area and looked at area surveillance footage, but so far have not arrested anyone.

The Lake County Public Health Officer says they’re stopping Verily Testing this week. They’re going to re-evaluate daily. This is due to the high fire danger in the county and poor air quality from smoke. The Clearlake station is closed today. Anyone with an appointment is told to register again online. A reminder that even though the wildfires in the area are at the forefront, COVID-19 is still very active in the area too.

A fire in Sonoma County is rampaging thru homes and buildings. The Walbridge fire has destroyed 560 structures, taking down about 70% of the buildings so far accounted for in lightning strike caused fires in the North Bay. The Press Democrat reports Cal Fire’s first tally of the damage from only one part of the LNU Lightning Complex fires that have ravaged Sonoma, Napa and Solano. So far nearly 350,000 acres have been blackened by the complex and 871 structures destroyed. Another 30,500 are threatened and 5 people have died. This fire has made the Calif. history books already, in one week, the second largest ever. The fire is 22% contained with red flag warnings and dry lightning forecast last night.

The President has signed a major disaster declaration for Calif. Congressman Mike Thompson on the press conference with Cal Fire last night regarding the LNU Complex of fires, the Lake Napa Unit. Lake and Sonoma Counties once again dealing with massive fires. There’s a press conference tonight with Cal Fire and Lake County online, due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic at 6 pm. (To listen) (To ask questions)

Meeting ID: 913 3863 4529

Passcode: 094776

Representatives of the Red Cross, County Health and Social Services Agencies, Lake County Behavioral Health Services will be on the call.

Another fire joins with the others in the history books, the CZU Lightning Complex in the Santa Cruz Mountains. The fire fighters on the incident report people making it more difficult for them to fight as residents are not listening to evacuation orders and others looting businesses or even stealing from firefighters. 100 officers out patrolling the evacuation zone saying they’ll arrest who isn’t heeding orders. One firefighter had some of his belongings stolen. Fires burning on each side of the San Francisco Bay Area since more than 11,000 lightning strikes a week ago.

A bright spot in otherwise dismal news when it comes to the coronavirus pandemic. State and federal scientists say they expect a peak in Chinook Salmon next month. They had forecasted more than 473,000 adult salmon in the Sacramento River system, nearly 100,000 more than last year thru the so-called Salmon Highway. That moves along the Marin Coast. Scientists say there could even be a Salmon traffic jam over the next month. The season had been delayed because of the pandemic, fishing closed from April to June.

The Mendocino County Health Office reported 2 more deaths since last week. The report on Friday brings the total to 16 people dying from Covid-19 in the county. There were five deaths last week alone, 4 of them were in the hospital, one at the Sherwood Oaks skilled nursing facility. Health Officer, Dr. Doohan says the county’s had 85 cases per 100,000 cases as of late, which is getting close to the 200 case threshold for when schools cannot allow waivers for reopening. It’s also a lot higher than the 25 cases per 100,000 allowed for two weeks for a county to be removed from the state’s watchlist. The county is sending in 10 school waivers to the state. The health officer has lifted lodging restrictions for fire evacuees and says the outbreak at the Sherwood Oaks facility has been contained.

Dr. Doohan says the county is still seeing cases rise and no flattening of the curve. As of Friday there were still 106 active cases including 6 people in the hospital, but none are in an ICU. On Saturday the health office reported 19 more cases and Sunday another five for a total of 629 cases. 507 people are considered released from isolation, or no longer infected. That number does not reflect the 16 deaths in the county.

After a murder investigation in Covelo, the Mendocino County Sheriff’s office reports it was at a large illegal marijuana grow. The Sheriff’sMarijuana Enforcement Team pulled more than 2,100 actively growing marijuana plants the night of the murder. They say there were growing marijuana plants, two plastic style hoop houses with processed marijuana that had two thousand pounds of hanging/drying marijuana “bud”. Deputies came back after the initial investigation, due to safety concerns and a limited amount of officers due to the fires in the area. They returned again last Wednesday and pulled another 4,721 marijuana plants.

Infighting in the Democratic party at the state capitol. Lawmakers in their final week of this session on family leave. One senator from Santa Barbara has reportedly been trying to expand family leave benefits. Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson’s bill is supported by the Governor, apparently, he negotiated in June on the idea. Her bill guaranteeing more time off for family leave for businesses with more than five employees.  But others in her party say during a pandemic, is not the right time. In July there was a debate on the bill between moderate and progressive Democrats, but it passed, barely. 

A domestic violence shelter in Mendocino County says they’ve continued to offer services during the pandemic, remotely. The Daily Journal reports Shelter In Place, Project Sanctuary is trying to work within the limits of face to face services, utilizing telephones for confidential work and HIPAA compliant video counseling, in English and Spanish. They have an emergency shelter, can help with restraining order preparation, court advocacy, sexual assault response, and have a 24/7 crisis and support line, all for free. Their outreach coordinator says there’s been a rise in domestic abuse reports across the world during the pandemic. They say their advocates are available 24/7: (707) 463-4357 for the Inland Crisis and Support Line or (707) 964-4357 for the Coast Crisis and Support Line.

The south boat ramp at Lake Mendocino has been closed due to low water levels. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers closed the ramp for the rest of the summer as of last week. A week before that the also closed the north boat ramp so this means nothing you can’t carry yourself onto the water can be in the water. The Mendocino Voice newspaper reports this hasn’t happened for six years, since the summer of 2014 and that the Army Corps and Lake Mendocino officials were trying to keep the ramps open until Labor Day, but that was not to be. It comes at a time that water management strategies are being tested at the Lake by researchers from the Scripps Institute of Oceanography at UC San Diego.

A couple of men in an ongoing dispute shot on the Round Valley Indian Tribes Reservation. The Mendocino County Sheriff says the non-life threatening injuries last week due to “some beef going on and there’s not a lot of cooperation with law enforcement.” After the shots fired report Round Valley Tribal Police and Mendocino deputies responded with the sheriff who was there already on unrelated business. Officers say the went into a home and found the victims who were shot in the legs. Sheriff Kendall says they were in their early 20s or late teens and were Native American. He says two other young men at the scene, not person’s of interest gave conflicting reports than the victims, as to what had happened.

As fires continue to burn across the state, more than 14,000 firefighters work more than 24 major fires and lightning complexes. Concern about the weather turning into more lightning across the state last night turned out to be true even though weather conditions were more favorable. Firefighters were monitoring in case there was more lightning after more than 11,000 a week ago. Since a week ago, more than 625 more fires have started and charred more than 1.2 million acres. Cal Fire reports at least seven people have been killed and more than 1,200 structures destroyed. The agency reports there are already 2,700 more wildfires this year than there were all of last year. A Red Flag Warning issued by the National Weather Service was canceled earlier today.

Cal Fire has briefed the public on the LNU Complex of fires which started last weekend in dry lightning. The fire has burned over 350,000 acres across Napa, Sonoma, Lake, Solano and Yolo counties. The unit chief Shana Jones says the fire’s going to take some time to put out and firefighters appreciate everyone’s patience… Jones says the incident is number one priority for the state. The National Guard and U.S. military have sent help to Northern California due to staffing shortages on fire lines.

After the Mendocino County Public Health Officer announced the outbreak of Covid-19 at the Sherwood Oaks skilled nursing facility in Fort Bragg had been contained, word now that another resident has tested positive. The positive test after last Monday’s testing and the results this weekend. The elderly resident is asymptomatic and were reportedly exposed three weeks ago. A test two weeks ago came back negative though. The resident is isolating at the facility and is expected to have a full recovery after 8 other residents died and 16 other staff and residents have recovered.  Staff are being tested every week with no positive tests in more than 4 weeks.

5 people have died in several dozen wildfires burning in Northern California. The Press Democrat reports someone died in Solano County, but the Sheriff didn’t say much more about how or why. In Napa County, three people have died and more than 30 civilians and firefighters have been injured. The newspaper says it’s not sure if the number includes a Pacific Gas & Electric utility worker found dead Wednesday in Vacaville. And there was a pilot in central Calif. dropping water on a fire, who crashed and died. 2 people have also been reported missing.  At last count, the fires had burned 175 structures, including homes, and are threatening 50,000 more.

17,000 inmates in the state are being released to slow the spread of coronavirus. Mendo Fever dot com reports the sheriff put out a statement saying he got several calls from concerned citizens about a possibly surge in crime with the releases. The Sheriff announced a new program he calls, “While You’re Away” for extra patrols for homeowners concerned about their properties.

Water’s about to cost a stitch more. The city council has approved proposed rate increases even though there was concern about doing that in the middle of a pandemic. The Daily Journal reports the price increase will keep going up each year for five years. It starts with only 4 cents more a month for under 750 gallons or for the smallest meter, from the current $37.85/mo to $39.88, an increase of just over $2/month, starting in October. Council members voted unanimously on the price hike which will start after the needed “protest hearing” required by Prop. 218. The city manager says the price increase for the smallest meter is less than most small bottles of water at the store. 

Ukiah Unified getting ready for in person classes, even though they’ve begun with distance learning. As local health conditions allow, the return to class will see upgrades to classrooms and facilities. The School District put out a statement yesterday that staff members are working hard to make sure students and staff are safe when they’re back in person, having already spent more than $500,000 from their emergency funds from the State following CDC and Public Health guidance. There’s more custodial staff on duty for cleaning and sanitizing, classrooms have new wall-mounted hand sanitizer dispensers, sanitizer on hand for all teachers and staff members, and all elementary school classes have a sink and soap dispenser. There are also new air purifiers for classrooms and other workspaces. There will also be new plexiglass barriers where staff have to interact with the public or other staffers.

Another death has been reported in Mendocino County from coronavirus. Once again it appeared on the Public Health Office’s daily COVID-19 dashboard update. All it said was there was another COVID-19 related death in the Ukiah area. Boosting the number from 13-14 deaths this week. Mendo Fever dot com reports the Deputy Chief Executive Officer Sarah Dukett said the person who died was a Latino man over 60 years old. Also of note this week we went from 3 down to 2 people in the ICU. There are still 4 people in the hospital. Also another 5 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in the county for a total of 584.  

Cal Fire reports low numbers of firefighters available for the massive amount of fires across the state. So now a spokesperson for the agency there’s fear that people are trying to organize thru social media to create volunteer troops to go out and fight fires themselves. Firefighters from other states are expected this weekend. The Cal Fire chief says some people are refusing to leave their homes when there are mandatory evacuation orders. And because of the coronavirus pandemic some are concerned about gathering in shelters. 8,000 people have been ordered to evacuate in Sonoma County as two fires burn near the Russian River, the entire town of Healdsburg has been warned to prepare. Fires are reportedly threatening 25,000 people across five counties. The president of the union that represents thousands of Cal Fire firefighters, says the legislature needs to allocate more money as some firefighters are working 40 to 50 days at a time with no relief.

The fire straddling Lake and Napa counties has added another 84,000 acres. The LNU Complex has exploded to 215,000 acres in a day. It was at 131,000 yesterday morning. There’s no containment on the fire so far and four people have reportedly died due to the fire which has also grown to 5 counties. 3 people in Napa County and one in Solano County. There are more than 30,000 structures threatened and 480 destroyed already. Another 125 have been damaged. In Lake County, there are two fires that are part of the complex, the Aetna which has burned 4,500 acres and the Round fire has burned 4,000. There are evacuation orders for widespread areas of Napa and Sonoma counties. In Lake, also.  Cal Fire is reporting extreme fire behavior with spotting in several directions. There’s a state of emergency in Lake County. The Sheriff reporting there are not enough firefighters, but the fire’s not moving very quick like fires in the past. That gives residents time to prepare.

Mendocino College says as they prepare for classes to begin, the safety of students, faculty and staff is top of mind. They are starting classes this fall with a hybrid approach, partly in person, partly online. Most of the classes, however, will be online. But the college reports they’re reopening with comprehensive safety guidelines and protocols in place. The first few weeks of the fall semester, which started this week, are limited hours for in person services including Financial Aid and Admissions and Records. They’re also providing students who need them with Chromebooks. They’re also checking in with students who may need help securing food, textbooks or counseling. There are also small grants being offered to eligible students. For more info,

A sale of a local winery to another… Shannon Ridge has acquired Steele Wines of Finley. The purchase includes Shooting Star, Stymie and Writer’s Block. Lake Co News reports Shannon Ridge can now easily produce more than its 310,000 annual cases. They say they plan to use the newly acquired facilities for more winemaking capacity and storage and a mercantile where they sell meats, eggs and other farm goods, plus add family activities, like movie night and holiday celebrations.  

It’s a go, the Clearlake City Council is getting a bit more money each month. They voted yes to get a salary increase from $300 which has been in place more than 3 decades, to $500/mo.  The maximum allowed, per the state. Cities with populations less than 35,000 allows the council members to get 5-percent yearly raises. So the council could have boosted to $465 a month, or dip in further, for a 5-percent raise over the past 31 years – for a total of $765/mo, which they considered, then opted not. It’s going to cost the city $18,000 more a year for a total of $30,000. The extra funds come from the city’s general fund, but it doesn’t start until January.

Nearly 2 dozen fire emergencies with major fires after thousands of lightning strikes last weekend. The Gov. spoke yesterday saying the state’s having fires like haven’t been seen in “many, many years”. He says unlike last year’s Kincade or the Camp a year before, these fires are across a larger area and harder to manage. In Lake County, the Sheriff has declared a state of emergency and ordered evacuations in and around Hidden Valley Lake and Jerusalem Valley including North of Butts Canyon Road, South of Hofacker Ln to Morgan Valley Rd, East of Hwy. 29 and West of the Lake/Napa County line. This for the so-called LNU Complex, or the Lake Napa United. The fire has destroyed 105 structures and damaged 70 others. 4 people have died due to the fire and four people were also injured. The two fires in Lake County proper had burned 8,500 acres and were 0% contained. Officials mindful of the pandemic say if you have Covid-19, or think you were exposed to still follow evacuation orders. And wear a mask. Shelters will be at one third capacity.

An arrest has been made of another alleged arsonist. Wednesday a homeless woman was arrested for two dumpster fires, now the police department reports Wednesday they responded to a vegetation fire behind Oak Manor School that a citizen was dousing with a garden hose when they got there, then smoke from another fire was seen nearby, that in a dumpster. Police fanned out in the area looking for a possible suspect or more fires. After viewing surveillance footage from nearby businesses, they identified Esteban Rodriguez, a 28-year old transient and questioned him, determining he was responsible. He’s arrested with a bail enhancement of $250,000 for arson, arson during a state of emergency, and violation of probation.

2 Lake County parks are closed due to high fire danger. The Kelseyville Fire Protection District has requested the immediate closure of Highland Springs Recreation Area and Mt. Konocti County Park and Regional Trails, effective immediately, until further notice.

The LNU Complex of Fires has grown a bit more since this morning. We reportedly earlier we hit 215,000 acres, 84,000 more than yesterday. So far today, the fire is only up about 4,000 more and is 7% contained. In Lake County, the Aetna and Round Fires are holding at 4,500 and 4,000 acres respectively but have no containment. There are mandatory evacuation orders in place and a state of emergency in Lake County. Cal Fire reports expecting there to be significant fire growth as they’re seeing extreme fire behavior with short and long range spotting. The fire moving in multiple directions, impacting several communities.

Crews from Oregon, Idaho and Arizona have come to Calif. to relieve local firefighters and engines are even headed here from as far away as Maryland and New Jersey. There are tens of thousands of homes threatened in the state as fires broke out last weekend after almost 12,000 lightning strikes just ahead of a massive heat wave that brought triple-digit weather and monsoonal moisture from the south. Fire officials say some of the nearly 2 dozen fires burning in the state doubled in size in one day.

A man in Covelo accused of setting fires last August has asked the court to change his plea from not guilty to no contest for setting a fire in a home. Court papers say Derek McCormack also admitted a sentencing enhancement for the arson last August in Potter Valley at his ex-girlfriend’s home which was set during a fire state of emergency. His case sent to the probation department for a sentencing recommendation. He will be sentenced in October. As part of his plea he has to register for life as an arsonist. And it’s a three strikes offense. He faces up to 9 years in prison.

Another death from coronavirus has been reported in both Lake and Mendocino counties. The Public Health Officer in Lake, Dr. Gary Pace reported the third death in that county in someone under 65 years old. All he said was they were younger than 65 and had recently gone into the hospital with symptoms consistent with COVID-19. They died yesterday. Dr. Pace says it’s another tragic reminder to take all necessary precautions to slow the spread of the virus. 

In Mendocino County the Public Health office reported on their daily COVID-19 dashboard there was a death with a short note saying it was a patient from the Sherwood Oaks skilled nursing facility in Fort Bragg. So there have been 8 deaths from the facility and 13 total in Mendocino County. There were also four more cases reported yesterday for a total of 579 cases. The county’s COVID incident dashboard still shows 4 people in the hospital and 3 in an ICU.

Steady progress by firefighters on a fire reported in Mendocino County yesterday. The fire called the Red Fire was burning on the Ridgewood Grade along the 101. It was holding late last night at 12 acres. CalTrans and CalFire were allowing escorted cars thru on the northbound side of the highway last night. Firefighters had planes flying over the fire as it climbed the grade.

A temporary emergency closure has been called on some Bureau of Land Management public lands. The Ukiah Field Office issued the emergency closure across from the Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument in Lake and Napa because of wildfire danger.

Several fires burning after lightning strikes that started in Napa and spread to Lake, together the Lake Napa United, or LNU Lightning Complex have charred more than 124,000 acres, are 0 percent contained.  Residents in southern Lake County had to leave their homes late yesterday in areas east of Highway 29 at Napa County’s northern border out to the southern intersection of Highway 29 at St. Helena Creek Road in Lake County. And all of St. Helena Creek Road, from Highway 29 until the Butts Canyon Intersection, was also evacuated.

Rolling blackouts this week as schools are reopening online. The power outages were continuing with the Flex Alert issued by the state’s electric grid manager. The Gov. issued a state of emergency due to hundreds of fires across the state. As we reported yesterday the Governor announced an investigation into those overseeing the state’s power as to why they weren’t more prepared so there didn’t have to be rolling blackouts when temperatures reached more than 100 degrees in some places. The Gov. spoke Monday after finding out about potential power outs between the hours of 3-10 pm, urging Californians to try to limit their energy use during those hours.

In court, the victims of the Golden State Killer address him directly before his formal sentencing. Convicted serial killer and rapist Joseph DeAngelo will be sentenced tomorrow for years of violent criminal acts. His victims saying they want him to go to the most severe lockup since he’s not going to get the death penalty. A couple months ago, the former police officer admitted he killed 13 people and pleaded guilty as well to 13 rapes between 1975 and 1986, plus many other sexual assaults. He will likely get several life sentences under a plea deal so he avoids the death penalty.

Two people in the hospital after a shooting in Clearlake. Police called out last night to Twin Oaks Village in the 5700 block of Old Highway 53. There was a report of shots fired where officers found multiple people, two with gunshot wounds. One of them ran away, but they were stopped by police. The victims, two men were treated and one of them flown out of county. Not a lot more information was made available early this morning.

The Clearlake City Council angling for a pay raise after decades without. The reading of the ordinance at their meeting tonight and where the council will consider possible changes to commercial cannabis rules, including allowing more permits for operators. Lake Co News reports the meeting is closed to the public due to the pandemic, but you can catch it on the county’s YouTube channel. The city council hoping for a $200/month raise, from $300 to $500/month. They were first asking for more than twice what they’re currently earning, or 5 percent more for each year for the last 3 decades. They’ll move onto other business with possible changes to the city’s cannabis regulations. The meeting tonight at 6 pm.

A report says less kids are being vaccinated in Calif during the pandemic. The state’s health and human services secretary says ahead of flu season which generally adds hospitalizations, they’re seeing a trend of less vaccinations for measles, mumps and rubella because kids are being schooled at home. Dr. Ghaly of the state, says the flu and coronavirus have health officials concerned as the state deals with a surge in Covid-19 cases. Childhood vaccinations are reportedly off about 30% from last year.

Several shake reports after more than a dozen earthquakes hit Mendocino County. On Tuesday night, Central Mendocino County had a string of shakers, the largest, a decent sized temblor at 4.6 in magnitude. The United States Geological Survey reported another, a 3.1 quake was reported 3 miles from Willits at 5:46 p.m., then less than 10 minutes later, the 4.6 about 4.5 miles from Willits, shake reports by about 345 people. Then around an hour later, a 3.6 near Willits too. Then a smaller, 2.2 was felt in the same area followed by a 3.8 magnitude. 10 more shakers felt the same night between 7 and 8:15 pm, many near Willits but a couple near Redwood Valley, all less than 3.0 in magnitude.

Lightning fires across the state after as many as 11,000 lightning strikes. Officials say that ignited more than 370 new fires and most have been snuffed out with aggressive firefighting. There are more than 10,000 firefighters on almost two dozen major incidents or complexes. Fire officials say weather has made it a challenge including high heat, low humidity and strong winds. The hot weather is expected to continue this weekend which could create problems for firefighting efforts. Cal Fire reminds to have an evacuation plan, a supply kit, and important paperwork so it’s it easier if you have to evacuate.

35 wildfires make up the August Complex started by lightning across the Mendocino National Forest. It’s charred more than 116,000 acres. Firefighters on rugged land and windy conditions, dry fuels and hot temperatures keeping the fire active.  Officials say there are structures and powerlines being threatened. There are evacuations in the area.

As we reported earlier, another death in both Lake and Mendocino from coronavirus. In Mendocino County it was another patient from the Sherwood Oaks skilled nursing facility. The head of the facility says it was someone who had survived caused by the virus, then was feeling better for a week, then died from long standing heart disease, but the cause is listed as Covid related. That means 8 residents died of Covid complications at the facility.  16 other residents and 8 staffers recovered. It’s also been nearly 2 weeks without a new resident case at the facility and more than a month for a staff member.  

Fort Bragg starts school online like the rest in the county. The school superintendent says everyone is trying to adapt to the new normal and they’re all doing their best in a new and confusing situation. She says the biggest concern is that everyone has access to the internet and says everyone should try to stay flexible and stay in communication with schools. Any questions about distance learning is posted on each school’s website.

Since the Sunday lightning storm ignited several fires, some have exploded in size. A large complex of fires in Napa sending smoke into the sky, there are more than 60 in the LNU Lightning Complex, with the biggest of the bunch the Hennesy a 10,000-acre east of St. Helena burned one structure and two outbuildings; then there’s the 10,000-acre Gamble fire, west of Brooks; the 8,000-acre 15-10 fire near Putah Creek Bridge; the 1,000-acre Spanish fire near Spanish flat; and the 2,500-acre Markley fire near Monticello dam. 5,700 people have been evacuated. In Mendocino County we have some fires burning, one in Covelo, the Creek fire, off Hwy 162 and Short Creek Road. That fire is 40% contained and has charred 800 acres. One structure has been destroyed. Another fire near Potter Valley, the 3-19, has burned 62 acres and is 40% contained.

In Lake County there’s an evacuation order because of the the smaller Napa Fires is near the county line. The Sheriff telling Lake Co News the Gold Mine fire is only threatening very sparsely inhabited areas. He says they’ve contacted everyone in the area, and some say they’re staying in their homes. They will also re-evaluate this morning.

In Sonoma County the 13-4 fire outside Healdsburg has burned 500 acres, and the 11-16 fire north of Jenner charred 25 acres. Evacuations called for in the northwestern end of the county amidst a heat wave and a pandemic. The fire burning north of Guerneville in a hilly rugged area with evacuations called for over a 40 mile area. The two fires burning yesterday sending smoke into the air, a reminder of the massive Kincade fire last year and the 2017 firestorm. These fires blamed on lightning strikes, not PG&E equipment. Fire officials say most of the fire activity is in remote areas.

A new rule in Calif. for anyone entering a Cal State University school for ethnic studies. The Governor has signed a bill into law requiring incoming freshmen to take a course focused on one of four ethnic groups in order to graduate. So any student who wants to finish college at one of the 23 CSU campuses will have to take either Native American studies, African American studies, Asian American studies or Latina and Latino studies. The bill passed the Assembly a year ago and the Senate this past June. The Calif. Faculty Association says Calif. will be the first state in the nation for the mandate.

A church that burned in the Clayton Fire four years ago is reopening. The fire set by convicted arsonist Damin Anthony Pashilk burned more than 300 buildings including Lower Lake Community United Methodist Church. The church is still finishing up the work but has reopened to members amidst the pandemic. They can only have a handful of people in at a time to adhere to public health restrictions. There are also online services on Sundays. The church was standing before the fire for more than 150 years.

The Governor has declared a state of emergency due to the heat wave and forecasted high winds and a lack of resources to fight fires in the midst of the pandemic.  Gov. Newsom says all available resources are being called upon to keep communities safe in these “extreme conditions”. Newsom says the state is working with federal and local partners during the “continued dangerous weather conditions.” Earlier in the week the Gov. announced getting Fire Management Assistance Grants from FEMA to help with the response.  

Willits Schools are opening online only. Schools open a week from Monday online as the county hit the state’s coronavirus monitoring list. The schools will follow state and county guidelines as staff and teachers have been working over the summer to come up with this new way to educate. They say it will be effective and engaging. There will be assigned schedules for kids and activities where they can interact with other students. There will also be independent activities at specified times. The school district says they’re committed to help families and will be calling them all next week.

A man on the run after a murder in Covelo has been caught. The Mendocino Sheriff Matt Kendall reported Round Valley Tribal Police nabbed Jameson Jackson after a search with bloodhounds, helicopters, and ground crews. They say they also caught a woman who was with Jackson, Shayla Guerrero. The arrests after the shooting Monday near the Round Valley Indian Health Center. A vehicle spotted with a woman in the driver’s seat, then ditched later and the two reportedly went into the woods. Two people were shot, allegedly by Jackson. One a 30 year old man pronounced dead, the other a 38 year old man with a minor wound. The two were found yesterday, Jackson has a long criminal history and as of yesterday had multiple warrants out for his arrest including for robbery, rape, and cruelty to a child. Guerrero’s arrested for conspiracy and accessory and held on $100,000 bail.  And Jackson busted by Tribal Police while deputies were out at fires, has not been charged yet, but is held in jail.

19 more cases of COVID-19 have been identified in Mendocino County. For a total of 575. 2 more people have also died, they’re from the Ukiah area, for a total of 12 deaths. 4 people are still in the hospital, including 3 in the ICU. There were 4 in the ICU yesterday. 96 people are isolating due to the virus.

A protest hearing is being held regarding water rate increases. The Ukiah City Council is holding the legally required hearing Oct. 1st, online. The council agenda for tonight shows there have been nine protest letters regarding Prop. 218 notices sent to ratepayers of proposed increases over five-years. The Daily Journal got a hold of some of the protest letters, some complaining it’s the wrong time, that in the face of the pandemic, they have lower or no income and to raise the rate would be economically crushing. The rate increases are proposed to start in October and increase each year until 2024. The lowest would be about $2/month now, and $13 more a month in 4 years.

The 2nd and final reading on that enforcement ordinance for COVID orders in Lake County, was a close vote. The vote by the Lake County Board Of Supervisors 3-2 with Supervisors Rob Brown and Bruno Sabatier giving it a thumbs down.  The enforcement of mask wearing and other public health orders allows the county’s Health Services director and Community Development director or their designees, and any official designated by the Board of Supervisors to be allowed to enforce any violations like not wearing a mask, not socially distancing, follow hygiene requirements, and failing to close certain business sectors. It will be $100 for a first violation, up to $200 for a second violation within a year of the first violation and no more than $500 for each violation of the same ordinance within one year of the first violation.

Another Covid-19 outbreak at a senior care facility in Calif., this time in Woodland. Public Health officials in Yolo County say the latest outbreak is at Gloria’s Country Care, off Hwy. 16 just east of the Yolo County Flood Control and Water Conservation District offices. As of just this morning they had identified 16 cases. 7 are in residents and nine were in staff members. The health dept. reports one resident tested positive over the weekend, so health officials immediately tested all residents and staff, per the guidance set out by the state to do testing right away for individuals at high risk.

Police have arrested a woman they say was involved in setting a couple fires behind a business on Sunday morning. Police have identified the suspect as a homeless woman who was arrested last night. The police dept. got a call to 814 N. State Street Sunday for the fire in a debris pile that they say was threatening a building. They say they put the fire out with fire extinguishers they had and called firefighters in. The back of the business got scorched. When officers were investigating they saw smoke coming from just down the street, behind 955 N. State Street, finding a dumpster engulfed in flames, same deal, they put it out. Yesterday they found Kristine Lynn Tupper who matched the description of the alleged arsonist so she was arrested and held on arson and other charges and on an enhanced bail of $100,000.

Various arson fires being investigated by Ukiah firefighters. The Ukiah Valley Fire Department reports 8 arson fires were set in the city between last night and this morning and want anyone who may have seen anything to call.

A gas leak has been reported by the Sheriff in the 2100 block of N. State Street in Ukiah near Kunzler Ranch Rd. The Sheriff announcing an evacuation order for the area immediately. Questions are being answered on the Sheriff’s Facebook page that say if you’re on Kunzler Ranch Road, either move to Hensely Creek Road or down to Masonite Road and not to stay on or near the 2100 block of North State. Apparently PG&E had been working in the area, or a contractor for the utility, per Mendocino County 5th District Supervisor Ted Williams, and they hit and broke a high pressure gas main. PG&E’s been been moving their gas line due to the Ackerman Creek Bridge project.

It’s now official, Mendocino County is on the state’s watch list for coronavirus cases. One of more than 40 counties being monitored even though it appears the state is flattening the curve of the latest surge. There were nearly 15,000 new cases confirmed as part of that backlog of almost 300,000 test results hanging in the balance due to a data mix up. The Governor announced yesterday Santa Cruz came off the watch list, but with Mendocino was Amador, Calaveras, Sierra and Inyo counties. The state’s been identifying about 9-10,000 new cases a day for a week, but the positivity rate is lower than it’s been. He says the numbers are still high but trending in the right direction with hospitalizations down.

Since last week when the Hoopa Fire Department and Office of Emergency Services announced new cases COVID- 19, four more have been identified. They reported five cases Friday, but four more for a total of 42 cases have been reported. There are currently 24 active cases. With 18 recovered and no deaths. The commander of the COVID- 19 incident management team says it’s a life and death situation, something where everyone needs to work together. And it’s not political. The local medical center said an employee was positive for the virus but was not in contact with the public. They’re bringing in more people to help including 6 contact tracers and a dedicated hotline operator.

After a lightning storm at the end of last month sparked a couple of fires… the Red Salmon Complex has charred more than 15,000 acres. The firs are burning in rugged and remote forest land in the Trinity Alps Wilderness on the Six Rivers and Shasta-Trinity National Forests northeast of Willow Creek. The Red and the Salmon fires make up the Complex that both started July 27th. The fires are 35% contained. The fires are near each other and continue to grow steadily together. The north and east sides of the fire are being managed and fire lines are being constructed. They’re also using drones to watch fire activity.

Those living in the state without an employer sponsored health insurance plan after losing their job due to the pandemic can get it through the state. Covered California has extended its enrollment deadline for a couple more weeks. And Mendocino Coast Clinics is offering to help with registration. The executive director says they have patient advocates ready with free support for enrolling. Three people on staff are bilingual in English and Spanish and the majority of their services can be provided on the phone. Covered Calif. is part of The Affordable Care Act of 2010, aka Obamacare.

The City of Clearlake giving startups and small businesses a boost with a Shark Tank like competition with thousands available. The Record Bee reports a $10,000 sponsorship from the City is one of the various sponsors for the inaugural “Hands Up Lake County” which offers a cash award and ongoing mentorship to winners. There’s a $ 5,000 grant from premier sponsors, the owners of The Lodge at Blue Lakes too, for a total for first prize of $15,000. The deadline to apply is two Mondays from now, August 31st.

The Cobb Area Council trying to entice tourism, is spending $25,000 on marketing. There will be an economic development sub-committee with business owners, artists and community members to help steer consumers to the area for the benefit of the community. Local experts on the project include a website and logo designer, and local photographer. The new chairperson of the Council says she has great confidence in the marketing team which is being funded by a grant the Council got last September for the economic development of the area after the Valley Fire.

With the high heat, could come some blackouts. We warned there could be rolling blackouts or power downs during the Flex Alert the next couple of days. PG&E said they might turn off power yesterday between 5 and 10 p.m. but that didn’t happen. The company says after looking at forecasts of their electricity supply and demand, it wasn’t needed. The California Independent Systems Operator issued the Flex Alert through tomorrow for voluntary conservation because extra electricity use could tax the grid. Then late yesterday they issued a statewide Stage 2 Emergency, but it was canceled by 7:30 p.m. last night. 

Two people are recovering after a head on crash on Highway 20 east of Clearlake Oaks. The Clearlake office of the California Highway Patrol reported 20 year old Stephen Collins of St. Helena and 48 year old Robert Vogler of Kennewick, Washington each had major injuries in Friday afternoon’s crash. Collins in a Chevy Volt headed east and Vogler in a Chevy 2500 van headed west. The CHP says for some reason the Volt crossed over and hit directly into the van, head on. The van overturned and the highway was blocked for a couple of hours. The two men life flighted from the area to the hospital. Law enforcement says they don’t suspect either drugs or alcohol as factors in the crash and said both men were wearing seat belts.

The latest demographics related to COVID-19 in Lake County have been released by the public health officer. 32 more cases than a week before for a total of 272 cases as of yesterday. Public Health reports 138 of those cases were from a close contact to a known case; 51 were still being investigated; 40 were listed as “other/unknown”; 25 are from out of county contacts; 10 are thought to be from community transmission; six cases presumed work contact; two others holding, from Lake County Jail. The data shows most of the cases were in females, and most were in the Clearlake area, followed by the Northshore area, Lakeport, then Kelseyville, Loch Lomond and Cobb area.

As many as 20 fires have started on the Mendocino National Forest by lightning. The fires broke out Sunday are being managed as one incident called the August complex. As we mentioned yesterday some are very small, about ½ to ten acres, but the largest, the Doe Fire, which yesterday was only 100, was pegged at about 2,000 acres. The fire’s burning by Valley View Orchard 35 miles northwest of Willows in Bear Canyon. The next largest in the complex is the Pine Kop Fire at 750 acres, then the Rockwell Fire which is 400 acres. The fires are 0-percent contained. The Box Fire in the Snow Mountain Wilderness is 25 acres. Some of the other fires are contained and being monitored.

The search is on for a man in Covelo the Sheriff says is connected to the murder of another man and injury to another. Mendocino Sheriff Matt Kendall says they’re continuing to look for Jameson Jackson using bloodhounds, choppers and ground crews. Yesterday afternoon there was a shelter in place order for neighbors after one man was shot in the head, another hit on his earlobe. Jackson is reported to be the same man, who at the time was just 15, who was involved in the murder of Brooktrails store owner Joan LeaFeat. He was arrested again in March for domestic battery and second-degree robbery. The sheriff has detained a woman he says was with Jackson. The pair seen near the Round Valley Tribal Cemetery but ditched the car they were in. A gun magazine was found inside.  

Something the Sonoma County Public Health Officer says is alarming along with a spike in cases, six more nursing home residents have died from complications of the coronavirus.  57 people have now died from the pandemic in Sonoma County. And last week alone saw more than 735 more infections.  Health Officer Dr. Sundari Mase says there are many reasons, but also says they’re not allowing the virus to get away from them saying the county is a state hot spot though. The latest deaths reported over the weekend all people over 64 with underlying health conditions. Three were men and three were women. They all died between Aug. 7 and Aug. 13.

The Medical Director at Sherwood Oaks Skilled Nursing Facility in Fort Bragg where there had been a COVID outbreak says their last two residents at Adventist Health Mendocino Coast are back. Dr. John Cottle says the last two patients who were positive came back yesterday. Of the 2 dozen residents and 8 staff members who contracted the virus all recovered except for 7 residents who passed away. They have also hired more temporary staff, and had implemented strict isolation policies which are still in place. They’re doing weekly testing, the next round of results are expected this weekend. No staff have tested positive in a month. And no residents in the last week and a half. 

The Governor calling out power regulators in Calif. for allowing residents to go without power during a major heat wave as many are bound to their homes amidst the pandemic. Gov. Newsom called the blackouts experienced by 100’s of thousands “unacceptable” and has ordered an investigation. Newsom wrote to the heads of the California Public Utilities Commission, California Energy Commission and California Independent System Operator saying he was only told about the intended blackouts moments before they started. He says there was no time for residents to prepare, and that it was unbefitting of the nation’s largest and most innovative state.

A bunch of test results have come in after 300,000 were backlogged, and with that is some better news. The results showing a decline in hospitalization rates. There was also fewer than 130 deaths on Sunday, the first time since last month. The information also shows lower community spread and that those testing positive over a two week time span was at 6.5% yesterday. The Governor says all of that is an early indicator that the state was “stabilizing, and moving broadly in the right direction”.