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The federal government has turned down California’s request for help with the summer wildfires that started in lightning strikes. The Press Democrat reports this was for the Creek fire in Fresno and Madera counties and a Southern California fire which ignited after an explosion at a gender reveal party. The Governor’s Office of Emergency Services says they were rejected for the major presidential disaster declaration for six fires. FEMA had reportedly told Congressman Mike Thompson they would put in 100% for debris removal in Northern Calif. and the President reportedly expanded the mid-August disaster declaration for certain areas, but not the Creek fire or the five others that started early last month including the Bobcat fire, the El Dorado fire and the Oak Fire in Mendocino County.

The Mendocino County Elections office says to call if you have not received your Absentee Ballot, also known as a Vote by Mail Ballot, one in the same. They say they will gladly reissue a ballot. They were mailed to all active registered voters in the county on October 5th for the November 3rd General Election. The Assessor-Clerk-Recorder’s office says they have received multiple complaints about the State’s new “Where’s My Ballot” site and says it’s not working in all of the county, but you can check their website to see if your ballot was received after you fill it out.  There are polling locations on Election Day only, not for Early Voting. And you can drop off your voted ballot in several locations. Also, the last day to register to vote in the November 3rd Election is Monday, October 19th.  

The name of a street in Lakeport is being renamed in honor of a resident. The Planning Commission approved the honor for Charlie Jolin who Lake Co News reports was a major help with the development of Westside Community Park. So the city has agreed they will rename Westside Park Road for Jolin. There was a request by the Westside Community Park Committee over the summer and the City Council gave it their approval a month after Jolin died at the age of 96. The honor after Jolin and another community member came up with the park idea years back. The committee reportedly wanted to name the entire park after him, or the street to Charlie’s Way but settled on renaming the street with his full name.

An online town hall for the Lake County Continuum of Care for residents to weigh in on how to use grant money to support their efforts in the pandemic. Lake Co News reports the meeting is Monday at 6 on Zoom, but you can also stream it on their Facebook page. Continuum of Care staff will hear public input on the Emergency Solutions Grant for COVID response. Their goal on the regular, is to promote an end to homelessness in the community and to help others who are at risk of homelessness. The grant from the federal CARES Act from the Department of Housing and Urban Development to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the coronavirus pandemic.

A new report shows there are still hundreds of thousands of students that don’t have a way to access the internet to check in with their teachers or to even accomplish any distance learning. Each of the school districts in the state are supposed to make sure students have access to computers and the internet while they’re at home due to the pandemic. The state Education Committee met earlier this week at the capitol with state education leaders and teachers discussing how distance learning is going. The state Board of Education President says there are at least 300,000 students still without internet and therefore no way for distance learning. But there had been 700,000 laptops and 320,000 hotspots needed in June.

A man from Santa Rosa’s been killed in a car accident near Willits. An 8 year old girl in another car was reportedly injured too. The California Highway Patrol reports a 40-year-old driver headed north on the 101 near the north end of the Willits bypass Wednesday afternoon and crossed the double yellow lines to pass a semi-truck, but then crashed head on with another car driven by a man from Covelo who had two passengers with him. The Chevy went back into the path of the semi and blocked other cars and the highway after the head-on crash. The CHP says he was pronounced dead at the scene and may not have had a seatbelt on. The other driver had major injuries as did one of his passengers, the 8 year old girl. The other passenger had minor injuries and the semi drive was uninjured.  

The state secretary of state says, like a lot of the country, Californians are turning in their ballots weeks ahead of Election Day in record numbers. As of the last report, there were more than 1.5 million voters who had returned their vote-by-mail ballots as opposed to the 150,000 ballots returned for the 2016 presidential election around the same time period. Secretary of State Alex Padilla says they knew the pandemic would be challenging, but they’ve been prepared and voters have responded. California announced months ago the state would be sending all registered, active voters a ballot with most expected to vote by mail.

A fire in Ukiah has reportedly destroyed several cars after it ignited from a smoldering wood pile. The Ukiah Valley Fire Authority reports getting a call Wednesday to the 800 block of Orr Springs Road around 2:30 p.m. from several people who say they saw a large plume of smoke in the area. They found two RVs, at least one car and about three-quarters of an acre of vegetation torched. Firefighters were able to save the home though. They’re investigating exactly how the fire started but say they think it might have sparked in a pile of recently cut wood. They remind to do your outdoor work in cooler morning hours and not at all during a Red Flag warning which we have now, but is set to end today.

They’ve reopened the Cache Creek Casino after a cyber-attack closed it down. The casino put out a statement earlier this week that IT professionals have been working 24-7 to get them back online after the attack Sept. 20th that led to a closure. They say they’re confident now guests will be able to enjoy the “four-diamond experience they have come to expect from Cache Creek Casino Resort”. The GM says it’s been a year of challenges, but they’re grateful to reopen. They’re investigating the computer systems damage and say they’ll make sure they’re data is protected from future attacks. The golf course did remain open the entire time. They have not yet determined if any of their guests personal information was exposed.

Community Cleanup Day has been announced in the City of Lakeport. The city along with Lakeport Disposal Company are asking for help from residents for the cleanup a week from tomorrow, Saturday, October 24th from 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. in the public parking lot north of the Fifth Street boat ramp in downtown Lakeport. It is only for those who live in the city to drop their trash and other waste there. You need to have a photo ID and copy of any City of Lakeport utility bill. They’re not taking several items due to the pandemic, including e-waste and furniture or linens.  

For more details please see the City’s website (CityofLakeport.com), its Facebook page or contact Lakeport Disposal at 263-6080.

Water drops above the South Zone of the August Complex fire which continues to burn, but is slowing it’s expansion. The West Zone is 100% contained. Now crews are now beefing up containment lines in the South Zone.  They say they’re challenged now as the zone has creeped into steep, rugged terrain in hot, dry, windy conditions.  They’re using remote sensing data on the east side of the South Zone for any remaining heat. Evacuations have been lifted in the Pillsbury Lake area of the Complex, but several zones in Mendocino County remain in evacuation order and evacuation warning status. The entire fire has burned almost 1,030,200 acres and is 78% contained. The South Zone alone is at almost 500,000 acres, the North East Zone burned 270,500 acres, North West Zone 118,905 acres and the now 100% contained West Zone has almost 141,000 acres.

An inmate at the Lake County Jail has contracted COVID. The Sheriff’s Office reported a recently incarcerated inmate at the Hill Road Correctional Facility in Lakeport tested positive for COVID-19 during their intake process. The infected inmate was asymptomatic at that time and during confinement at the Jail. They have been released. The Sheriff’s office reports it looks like there was no community spread and that it was an isolated case. Any other inmate nearby was quarantined and more testing and screening will happen during their period of quarantine. They report back in March having instituted and continue enhanced measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the jail which includes no jail programs or in person visitation, enhanced medical screening at booking, face mask wearing by staff and inmates, designated bed spaces for isolation and quarantine, and comprehensive regular cleaning and disinfecting.  

A human skull found in a creek on Lost Coast Forestlands (LCF) property. A biologist working there reportedly thought it was part of an abalone shell and picked it up. The land manager on the property says it’s a “conservation forestry company working to restore, protect and manage local timberlands”. Police were called in for testing. Mendo Fever reports an older woman disappeared in the Piercy area in 2018 and neighbors say it could be her remains. The skull found about a ¼ mile upstream from a bridge. The news site also reports about 8 years ago an entire skeleton was found within a couple miles of where the skull was found, but so far, there’s no connection.

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