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Drug Take Back Day in Mendocino County. Tomorrow in Fort Bragg from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. the Fort Bragg Police Department and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration are taking back unused and unwanted prescription drugs. The pills will be disposed of police say to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding homes of potentially dangerous and expired medications. This is a nationwide event, going for a decade now. Last fall there were nearly 883,000 pounds of prescription drugs dropped off at almost 6,300 sites operated by the DEA and nearly 5,000 state and local law enforcement partners. To date the DEA and other law enforcement partners have collected almost 6,350 tons of expired, unused, and unwanted prescription medications since the first National Prescription Drug Take Back in 2010.

Millions in raises coming to Lake County staffers. As we’ve been reporting the Board of Supervisors has been considering the raises. Lake Co News reports it adds up to more than $5 million in raises for county staff. The news site says on Tuesday there was a three hour discussion on the matter that was a bit muddy, with most of the board approving of the management raises, but others have to wait until next week for their agreements. The raises go into effect right away, but for some, they may have to wait until March. The County Administrative Officer says a survey conducted two years ago showed more than a third of county staff had applied for other jobs, most of which looking for more money, 75% said they were underpaid.

Congressman John Garamendi had his Women of the Year event online due to the pandemic. He honored more than 3 dozen women from his district, for being leaders and visionaries in their communities. That included Yvonne Cox in Lake County, who hails from Lucerne. The women, Garamendi says have all made major contributions through public service, business, education, and local advocacy. They also touched on the fact that it’s the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment. Garamendi says during the pandemic, each of the honorees worked tirelessly to serve their communities and help vulnerable populations weather the storm.

A third case of Covid-19 in the Lake County Jail inmate population. There was a case discovered a couple weeks ago and all inmates in close contact were isolated. Earlier this week there was a confirmation of a second inmate who contracted the virus, and yesterday a 3rd. The Lake County Sheriff’s Office reported after testing several inmates in a single unit in isolation, another tested positive. There are currently two active cases in the jail and there have been five cases total since March. The dept. says they’re working with the public health office to closely monitor the situation and testing staff and inmates to contain the virus.

More containment has been reported on the August Complex, but not that much. In any case there hasn’t been much forward movement on the giant fire in several days even with fast moving winds in red flag conditions. The fire has burned 1,032,264 acres and is 92 percent contained. The acreage has not changed since Sunday, the containment has grown by one percent. The fire, which was made up of several, then split into management zones ignited in dry lightning Aug. 16 and 17. The last of the evacuation orders and warnings in Mendocino County have been lifted. And the largest part of the fire, the Southwest Area Incident Management was handed back to the Mendocino National Forest on Thursday.

Calmer wind conditions has led PG&E to cancel some of their planned public safety power shutoffs, but forecasters issued a new fire weather watch. On Sunday there’s another fire risk and Pacific Gas & Electric Co. may again turn off power. They say they’ll decide today or tomorrow. The fire weather watch is for 8 a.m. Sunday to 8 a.m. Tuesday for most of the North Bay, parts of the East Bay, the Diablo Range and the Santa Cruz mountains. The National Weather Service forecasts sustained wind speeds of 25 to 35 mph and gusts could pass 70 mph, more than what triggered the red flag warning that ends today.

The unemployment claims in Calif are way down, to nearly what they were at the end of March, before things got really bad due to the pandemic. The US Labor Dept. reports claims here in California were the lowest they’ve been since all the shutdowns. Still almost 160,000 California workers filed first-time unemployment claims for the week that ended Oct. 17th. At the end of March, workers filed over one million first time claims. The two months prior to the pandemic and businesses closing, the unemployment claims were about 45,000 a week.

A special presentation by the Middletown Art Center “Navigating the Chaos” is open to the public. The online workshop tomorrow afternoon from 1:30 pm to 3:30pm will be facilitied by Neurographica® Specialist and Artist Antje Howard. There will be drawing and writing and group interaction. Howard says everyone can work together to bring emotions like confusion and grief into a more navigable form. For more info visit http://www.middletownartcenter.org.

Some complaints have been filed by folks who regularly use Riverside Park asking for another location for the city’s drive-through haunted house. The event set for this weekend in Ukiah, but some say it’s not safe and it will disrupt local wildlife which includes owls, skunks, raccoons, and cottontail rabbits. They’re generally only disrupted by pedestrians, dog-walkers, some cyclists, and city workers the recreationalists say. The event which has been dubbed “Sacrifice” is drive and walk-through in the park at night. One of the complaints says the park terrain is dangerous for cars and in the dark for walkers too. The complaints at this week’s City Council meeting.

The wine grape haul this year is said to be lighter. The grape crush report doesn’t come out until February, but the Daily Journal reports the executive director of Mendocino WineGrowers, Inc says projections are for 10-40 percent lower yield and lighter tonnage. The lower yield didn’t have anything to do with fires, it was already predicted before the fires broke out and the grapes possible exposure to smoke. But then grapes are also being rejected due to smoke taint in Mendocino and other regions including Lake County, Napa, Sonoma, and in Oregon.

One of 2 men busted for stealing from a local church is sentenced to prison. The DA’s office reports Abel Aguado, generally of Ukiah got 32 months in the Realignment County Prison or Low Gap Jail… after having his probation terminated for violating certain conditions. He and his Devin Franklin Kester Tyler, also of Ukiah were convicted in February of 2019 for breaking into, stealing from, and vandalizing St. Mary’s of the Angels Catholic Church in Ukiah. Both were sentenced to residential treatment, then probation. Kester Tyler skipped out on residential treatment and sent to prison for 3 ½ years. Aguado also violated his probation, but that charge was dismissed. In March he was placed back on probation for violating terms, then again in July. This time, he was sent to serve time in jail.

A new report says there’s nobody who formally oversees school nurses in Calif. The report shows Calif. is one of ten states and the District of Columbia who don’t have a school nurse leader at the state level. The National Association of State School Nurse Consultants says they’ve been lobbying the state for years to get a nurse consultant. And now with the pandemic, school nurses don’t have anyone playing a key role to be sure students and staff return to the classroom safely. So school nurses work with local health officers and reportedly look to the state Department of Public Health for direction. A spokesperson for the California Department of Education says even though there’s no school nurse, they have a health consultant who updates schools on vaccines and other health requirements.

$2 million dollars coming to Lake County Behavioral Health Services for Early Psychosis Intervention. A competitive grant through the Mental Health Services Oversight & Accountability Commission will help expand services. They say they’ll be able to offer cutting edge, practices, training on community screening and identification of youth experiencing early onset of psychosis, co-occurring substance use disorder services, educational groups for families, caregivers, and parents and wellness groups. The grant will begin to be implemented later this year and will continue to be used over four years to expand and improve services for young people in Lake County.

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