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A young man who used to live in Fort Bragg gets nearly 19 years behind bars for selling drugs to a minor and child abuse. The DA’s office says 19 year old Francisco Javier Martinez pleaded guilty to several crimes including selling drugs to a minor, threatening a victim, assault with a knife and child abuse, plus a laundry list of more crimes. It comes after police found Martinez last December after a domestic assault call to Purity Market in Fort Bragg. A girl there with a swollen face, bruises and other signs of abuse, including several knife marks. Police say Martinez had been abusing the girl, but told police she was in possession of drugs and had an addiction issue. The girl called police inside the market where they found blood on the floor. They arrested Martinez after the girl told them several stories about abuse over several months.

A new public health officer has been sworn in in Mendocino County. During the Tuesday virtual meeting of the Board of Supervisors, Dr. Howard or “Andy” Coren was officially sworn in. At the same meeting the director of Behavioral Health warned the board about a pending “mental health epidemic” from fear, isolation and depression many people are dealing with due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The 3rd District Supervisor John Hashak then thanked the previous Public Health Officer, Dr. (Noemi) Doohan for her work during the first days of the coronavirus pandemic. She will continue to work with Coren thru the end of the year. Dr. Jenine Miller, then spoke to the board about the increases in anxiety, depression, substance abuse and alcohol sales due to the pandemic. The county is starting a campaign to ask others in the community if they feel suicidal, and says there are new support groups for English and Spanish speakers.

An announcement from the Mendocino County Elections Office about mail in ballots. They’re being sent out Oct. 5th for all registered voters in the State of California, including Mendocino County voters. They say if you don’t get yours by Oct. 15th to call for a replacement ballot. The office encouraging everyone to vote the ballot as soon as you get it and either mail it right away or put it in one of the various Ballot Drop Boxes. There are many in the county, in Willits, Fort Bragg, Point Arena, the County Administration Building, in Boonville34 and at the Fairgrounds. There will also be in person voting for those who would rather…

The Willits City Council has voted to move forward with a beautification project downtown. At their meeting last week, members decided to hire Granite Construction for the Willits Downtown Improvement Project. The design was already accepted and authorized by city staff to put out to bid in June. Granite came in with the lowest, at just under $593,000. There was only one other bid, that one $200,000 more. The project has been planned for years. The city working with community members for the new streetscape.

Firefighters getting an upper hand on area fires due to cooler weather and fog, but hotter weather is headed our way and warnings that there could be rolling blackouts for the state’s power grid. The Press Democrat reports the extreme heat watch was issued by the National Weather Service with triple digit temperatures also forecast thru the holiday weekend. Cal Fire officials say the hot weather means they’ll have to work extra hard to mop up spots where they’re still working on finalizing containment on the massive LNU Complex that’s scorched ground in 5 counties, killed 5 people and destroyed thousands of structures.

In light of expected higher temperatures, the California Independent Systems Operator has issued an order for power providers to postpone maintenance this weekend that could trigger outages. A spokesperson for PG&E says they’re doing what the Indepndent Systems Operator demands and they don’t see any intentional power downs, but they’re preparing using updated technology to help them, if need be, restore power more quickly and efficiently. The National Weather Service says smoke from the August Complex fires in the Mendocino National Forest drifting into the County, but mostly elevated. There are excessive heat watches in Lake and Mendocino counties until next Tuesday and Air Quality Alerts continue for Lake.

Those evacuated in the North Bay due to the LNU Lightning Complex fires may be able to get money from the federal government for emergency expenses but the deadline is approaching. The deadline to tap into FEMA help this Saturday for evacuation costs, but it’s not for those who had property damage from the fires. It applies to folks in Lake, Sonoma, Napa, Solano, Yolo, San Mateo, Santa Cruz, and Monterey counties. Some area nonprofits say not many people have applied. FEMA reported as of yesterday afternoon, there were only 340 applications in major Northern California fire zones.

The Lake County Board of Supervisors have heard from officials with PG&E about last year’s power shutoffs. The utility company says this time around if they have to power down, it will only affect about a third of those it did last fall. They’re working to isolate the power downs by utilizing microgrids and substations which should all be constructed by the 15th, about a week and a half from now. They also said their notifications will have more detailed information about when the power will be off, then on again. It’s all part of their Community Wildfire Safety Program.

The president of Adventist Health for Mendocino County is leaving. Jason Wells who oversees the hospitals in Ukiah, Willits, and Fort Bragg announced he was promoted to Chief Consumer and Innovation Officer so he’s moving to Roseville at the end of the year. MendoFever reports he will still continue on as the chairman of the 3 hospital community boards after he moves. He says there will be a local president and he’ll be the interim president until a new candidate emerges.  He tells the news site his new position will address the complexity, uncertainty, and fear patients can feel as they receive medical care, with improved access and experience for patients. 

Several soldiers will be assigned to the August Complex on the Mendocino National Forest. The fire has burned more than 261,200 acres and is just 20% contained. In the community meeting last night it was announced that 200 soldiers from Washington who arrived last week have been assigned to the fire. It grew about 19,000 acres yesterday. The biggest part of the fire, the Doe/Glade fire is burning on the Grindstone Ranger District in Glenn and Tehama counties. And the Hull, is burning on the Upper Lake District in northern Lake County and Mendocino County. That triggered an evacuation warning which still holds for the Pillsbury Ranch area. A firefighter was killed on the fire Monday and another injured in a car crash.

As firefighters continue working on containment lines on the massive LNU Lightning Complex, a National Guard firefighter had to be rescued after a fall in steep terrain in Sonoma County. There was no immediate word on the firefighter’s condition as they worked on — now what is the 3rd largest fire in state history.   Forward movement seems to have stopped on the 375,209-acre complex and containment is at 81% contained.  The Hennessey, the largest of the complex has burned just under 318,000 acres.

Two more areas that had been evacuated are allowing residents back in. The evacuation order for areas south of Butts Canyon Road, east of Highway 29 and north and west of the Lake-Napa County line are downgraded to warnings. And the warning for areas north of Morgan Valley Road, east of Highway 53, south of Highway 20 and west of the Lake-Colusa county line are lifted. The are now fire lines all around the Walbridge fire, part of the massive LNU complex. It’s 87% contained. And the biggest in the complex, the Hennessey fire has a patrol line all the way around it. They’re working on one section near the Lake County line still so there are still evacuation warnings. Since the weather is heating up the next several days they’re staffing up again to monitor the fire line. The Hennessey fire’s containment is 78% and the entire complex is now 81% contained.

The top health official in Calif. is warning ahead of the Labor Day holiday weekend to limit gatherings and to keep them outside. Health & Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly also reminding to wear masks, socially distance and use good hand hygiene. The acting state health officer with Ghaly at a press conference where she says case numbers and hospitalizations are both down, as well as ICU bed use, which was down 25%. She reminded the state has made incredible progress and they don’t want to lose ground over the holiday weekend, that it’s time to stay vigilant. The safest thing you can do, Dr. Erica Pan says is to stay at home with the people you live with.

The August Complex burning on the Mendocino National Forest in the Grindstone and Upper Lake Ranger Districts is active. The Forest Service says the fire is only 23% contained and has burned over 287,100 acres. Firefighters working in an active area in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest to slow the spread and protect structures and cultural resources. They’re working to improve containment lines ahead of some windy conditions. The Doe Fire on the northwest side of the fire has crossed some early containment lines. Where the Hull Fire started on the southwest side of the Doe Fire there are also more crews being added to reinforce containment lines after a spot fire broke out. They warn smoke will spill into areas creating poor air quality.

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