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PG&E is urging customers not to use too much energy as there are extreme heat alerts, and a statewide Flex Alert. Temperatures locally in the upper 90’s – 105 thru the weekend. But we’re expecting nearly a week of heat in the North Bay and beyond. The National Weather Service says it’s even going to be pretty warm overnight, only dipping into the 60s and 70s. There’s smog expected in the Bay Area too as PG&E reports a Flex Alert today between 3 p.m. and 10 p.m. It’s caused by a high-pressure system over the state. The excessive heat watch over the weekend for us locally. Forecasters say we will experience “record or near record heat” from noon today to 7 p.m. Sunday with dangerously hot conditions in Inland Mendocino County and a lot of Lake County

A diversity grant from North Coast Brewing Company and UC Davis for scholarships in the brewing industry. The $50,000 endowment for a Mark E. Ruedrich North Coast Brewing Diversity Scholarship for a Master Brewers Certificate at UC Davis’ Continuing and Professional Education. It comes after a study by the Brewers Association showed nearly 90% of brewers and 76 percent of production staff at breweries were white.

New health orders in Mendocino County. As of today at 3 pm, we stay mostly the same, but there are more limits on our so-called social bubbles. Dr. Noemi Doohan issued the new Shelter in Place order yesterday, to go into effect today at 3. There are also new protocols for schools, planning ahead for in-person instruction. The order reduces gatherings from 100-50 outdoors for faith-based services and cultural ceremonies; outdoor funeral and memorial services; as well as outdoor protests. Children’s bubbles or activity units are ten children and two adults, for recreation, not outdoor sports, that follows youth sports requirements of physical distancing of at least 6 feet apart. These protocols just changing language, pretty much the same. This order stays in effect until a week after Labor Day, but for school aged kids, until further notice.

An arrest has been made in the case of several fires set in Ukiah Wednesday. The Mendocino Sheriff reports 32 year old Alberto Vincent Acosta, a 32-year-old homeless man, living in Ukiah, was stopped by a police officer yesterday morning. Now he’s held in jail for several felony arson charges, including arson during a state of emergency on $1 million bail. Fires were all put out before spreading far or causing serious damage. The man became a person of interest in the arsons Wednesday night when a deputy recognized Acosta and saw him walking near where some of the fires started.  Then some surveillance footage from nearby homes and businesses further strengthened Acosta’s possible connection to the fires.

A firefighter at Ukiah Valley Fire Authority has tested positive for coronavirus. They’re symptomatic though and isolating. The symptoms showed up just as they were about to start a 48-hour shift on Wednesday, and they were immediately isolated, as were other close contacts. The equipment and facilities were quickly disinfected and rapid testing was performed right away to confirm that positive result. The Fire Authority says the firefighter had limited workplace contact with anyone else and that they’re working with Mendocino County Public Health for contact tracing.  They can still fully staff the department and be operational.

Lake County Public Health Officer reports 37 active cases, but things remain manageable. With a total of 267 positives in the county. But in Mendocino County another day of a surge in cases, hitting 513 cases locally, 119 are isolating, 9 in the hospital and 4 in an ICU. 10 people have died in Mendo, 2 in Lake. The state of Calif. has now surpassed 602,000 cases and has had almost 11,000 deaths. The Konocti Vista Casino and Resort in Lakeport has identified a case in an employee. They closed down for a deep cleaning and for contact tracing for guest, employee and community safety.  Management confirms the employee had limited contact with the public, but is suggesting any guest or employee there between Aug. 1st – 9th should get a test and see your doctor if you feel you have any COVID-19 symptoms.

With the extreme heat, Pacific Gas and Electric has promised regulators there will be a better way to handle their intentional power downs without disrupting the public too much. The utility with the promise in a hearing in front of the Public Utilities Commission. It’s all part of the continued investigation into the botched public safety power shutoffs last fall. It could be worse unfortunately as millions of people work are either working at home, or have schooling online because of the pandemic.

Two people running for two open seats on the Fort Bragg City Council. The deadline to fill out the necessary paperwork closed a week ago today. The County Clerk has certified nomination papers for the Mayor William V. Lee and Vice Mayor Bernie Norvell. So the election which was budgeted for $10,000 is canceled. The money goes back into the city’s General Fund. There is still an election of course, for federal, state and county offices and initiatives.

While we wait for the legislature to take up the issue of evictions, they can resume Sept. 1st. That’s the word from the Judicial Council of Calif. that the state can restart evictions and foreclosures unless lawmakers do something before that. The Council has therefore voted to end the temporary statewide protections for those without a job due to the pandemic. Lawmakers are reportedly negotiating with the Governor to stop most evictions while the pandemic continues, but they haven’t come to any agreement even though they’ve reportedly been in talks for five months.

The city of Sacramento is part of a coronavirus vaccine clinical trial. UC Davis Health reported earlier this week they’re trying to get up to 200 people from the greater Sacramento metropolitan area to take part in the clinical trial that will include as many as 30,000 people worldwide. The trial with both Pfizer and BioNTech, who have been working on a COVID-19 vaccine candidate. Sacramento was chosen because UC Davis Health can reach out quickly to minority communities with the city being the third most ethnically diverse in America, per the US News & World Report.

A man in Lakeport’s been arrested after a woman at a local laundromat is robbed. Police say they arrested 26 year old transient Michael Toney yesterday morning. Police report the victim was a 64 year old woman who was doing her laundry at Willow Wash in the Safeway Shopping Center when Toney assaulted her. Police reported to the laundromat and the woman gave them a detailed description of a man who she says she never met before. She says he pinned her against some laundry equipment after she already gave him money while he was panhandling. Police found Toney, who matched the description nearby. He’s charged with robbery by force and was held on $150,000.  

State Senator Mike McGuire says he secured millions in critical mental health funding for both Humboldt and Mendocino counties from a grant established last year by lawmakers. The Mental Health Services Act grant. McGuire says there’s a $5M dollar fund that was recently approved by the Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission for each county to split and work with schools on mental illness in children and teens. The 4 year grants have a projected start date of this fallfor such things as expanded school and peer counseling services at school sites, suicide prevention programming, enhanced family support for low income students and homeless students, stigma and dropout prevention and more.

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