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A construction company in the Central Valley whose owners ended up in prison for defrauding homeowners in Sonoma County after the Tubbs fire get to stay out of jail on bail. The ruling yesterday allow the co-defendants and spouses Salavador and Pamela Chiaramonte to be out of jail on bail bond as the proceedings continue. The pair charged with nearly 60 counts of diversion of construction funds to grand theft of personal property and much more. Their $250,000 bails though had to be proven the money was legitimately earned and also not fraudulent. They’re accused with family members of defrauding fire victims. Their cases continue in October.

No decisions yet about what to do with all of the money from PG&E Sonoma County is getting as part of their bankruptcy case settlement. The Board of Supervisors is tabling how to spend almost $150 million in wildfire settlement money and will get public comment before coming back with their decision this fall. The meeting yesterday was the first time the settlement spending was broached amongst the public. $149.3 million was paid to the county by the utility company in June for the October 2017 firestorm that killed 24 people and burned 5,300 homes. It also comes at a time that 50 people have died from the COVID-19 pandemic and tens of thousands have no jobs.

A new report says thanks to personal relationships the Public Utilities Commission made high-level hiring decisions. The State Personnel Board report showed the PUC Executive Director Alice Stebbins used her position to advance former associates at previous jobs for positions at two California state environmental departments. Now Stebbins is on administrative leave as the commission does an internal review after the personnel board wrote some of those hirings had, “highly questionable legitimacy.” She’s been the head of the commission since 2018 when the commission was facing pressure to be tougher on the oversight of PG&E after the deadly fires in Northern California in 2017 and 2018.

Rumors, just that, of an Immigration & Customs Enforcement Helicopter hovering over the county for immigration raids. The Mendocino Sheriff Matt Kendall says an ICE helicopter spotted at the airport was to help find illegal marijuana farms. He says there is so much land in the county under federal jurisdiction that the county taps federal resources to find illegal marijuana farms. He says that ultimately saves the county money and is a way to pass that savings on to the county.

The city manager in Lakeport is leaving a new manager named. Margaret Silveira retired at the end of last month. During an online meeting, there was a going away celebration for Silveira with a video tribute. Her deputy, Kevin Ingram, is the new manager after being the Community Development Director and City Manager Assistant. At the meeting Ingram spoke about the pandemic and how it’s impacting city workers, but said he was hopeful for the future. He says he wants to repair and update city infrastructure and get a new park erected at an unused school.

The Chief of Staff at Adventist Health has put out a statement regarding the pandemic. Dr. William Miller says he agrees that shutting down the economy was successful to avoid a disastrous surge in coronavirus cases, and as things have loosened cases have predictably spiked.  Dr. Miller says that’s why we need more testing, but that’s not been happening along with aggressive contact tracing and quarantine measures. Again there’s a shortage of testing supplies and overwhelmed labs. He says public health departments across the state can’t keep up. He says the problem with it all lays in the hands of the federal government’s inadequate response.

More than a dozen new cases of COVID-19 have turned up in Lake County, with the county hitting 253 cases. Yesterday we reported a surge of 20 cases, to hit 240, now 13 more cases in one day. It comes with 259 more tests results coming in. The Public Health Office reports 30 active cases and 221 recovered. At the same time the Board of Supervisors is still considering ways to enforce mask wearing and social distancing measures.  Mendocino County had 6 more cases for a total of 478 cases.

A new partnership with Google has been announced for earthquake warnings. The Gov. announced the partnership for those with phones with the Android operating system to feature early warning technology. The same info to send out alerts will come from California’s Earthquake Early Warning System. Gov. Newsom says Calif. will have a world class Earthquake Early Warning System as a standard function on every Android phone. Last fall he announced the first ever early warning system for smart phones, called “MyShake”. Now Google is expanding on that for Androids. For more info, visit www.earthquake.ca.gov .

The bill State Senator Mike McGuire has drafted to protect journalists from physical attacks or being detained has made it through the first Assembly committee. The legislation to protect media members at demonstrations passed the Assembly Public Safety Committee unanimously. McGuire says the press risks their personal health and safety when they’re out at protests or rallies to get the public needed information. He goes on to say California should be the leader, making sure the press is protected by their First Amendment rights. The Press Freedom Act moves next to the Assembly Appropriations Committee, then to the Assembly floor for a full vote later this month.

A man in Lakeport in court after charges of child molestation and lewd acts. He was in court last fall in the case after he was charged with oral copulation, sending harmful material to a minor, lewd acts and annoying or molesting a child under 18 and indecent exposure. 32 year old David Johnson booked into the Santa Rita Jail last year and brought to Lake County soon after. There have been several court dates since, all continued.  The man waived his right to a preliminary hearing and was ordered to a jury trial which was set for January. Then also continued. He is currently not in custody. During remote proceedings DNA evidence was discussed  but not what it was. Johnson while out of jail may not even go to the grocery store and is under supervised conditional release and under the supervision of a probation officer. But that is now under further consideration. He’s due back in court Monday.

Adventist Health’s CEO reporting some employees at one of their clinics have tested positive for coronavirus. He says they’ve increased safety measures at their clinics since the pandemic started and says there’s no evidence of exposure to patients from those who contracted the virus, which happened outside of the clinic. Those infected had mild symptoms and are isolating at home.

No new cases have been reported at the Sherwood Oaks Skilled Nursing Facility so far this week, and two more residents got to leave the hospital and are considered recovered and no longer contagious. The two left Adventist Health Mendocino Coast yesterday and returned to Sherwood Oaks. There are however four other residents who are still in the hospital but are expected to be okay, as their conditions are reportedly improving.  

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