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Mendocino County gets to move into a less restrictive tier in California’s color-coded system. Glenn and Mendocino counties move into the red tier, from purple, the most restrictive. Other counties also moved up, Santa Cruz, Contra Costa, Marin and San Mateo, all from red to orange. Moving into the red tier means restaurants, gyms, places of worship and other businesses can reopen indoors with capacity limits. When they get up to the orange and yellow tiers the capacity limit loosens some and other non-essential types of businesses also can reopen. The State Dept. of Public Health announces their assessments each Tues. They also reportedly notified 8 other counties they didn’t meet the requirements of the tier they are currently in. This week’s list reflected numbers from Oct. 11th to Oct. 17th.

Mendocino County gets to move into the red tier from purple. The Public Health office reports being notified by the state they’ve moved out of the “widespread” COVID-19 community risk status of purple into Tier 2 or red, the “substantial” risk category which allows more businesses to reopen today. The County CEO thanked residents for doing their part to slow the spread of coronavirus. It also comes the same day the public health dept. announced an outbreak at a childcare facility in Fort Bragg. Still the Public Health Officer Dr. Andy Coren says moving to the red tier is good news, but many regions in the country are experiencing spikes.

A traffic stop leads to the arrest of a woman in Redwood Valley on parole. The Sheriff’s Dept. reports seeing the car make two traffic violations. The driver, Jeannette Long (a.k.a. Jeannette Perez), was found to be on active parole. Her parole officer was called and said she failed to report to a parole office when released so she was taken to jail on violation of parole and held on $50,000.00 bail.

Haunted Lake County is coming back, a little different this year. The cofounder and treasurer of the event says they’re doing a COVID-safe Halloween at the Lake County Fairgrounds in Lakeport. Lake Co News reports the organizer got approval from the Lake County Public Health Office for the drive thru event which started last weekend and goes again this weekend, Friday, Oct. 30th and Saturday, Oct. 31st, Halloween night. It’s from 5 to 10 p.m. with the 5 o’clock hour being less-scary for the kids, the 6 to 10 p.m. time period is geared towards adults. Last year they raised $6,000 for Operation Tango Mike, this year, proceeds will go to the Lake County Fair Foundation.

Nearly everyone who lost their power in the latest PG&E public safety power shutoffs have their power back on. Lake Co News reports the utility company said last night they’d already restored power to 97 percent of the 345,000 customers in 34 counties who they shut down due to red flag warning conditions. The power downs started over the weekend in windy and dry conditions. The last “all clear” came yesterday afternoon for the rest of the areas still without power. The company reported checking more than 17,000 miles of transmission and distribution lines using 1,800 ground patrol units, 65 helicopters and one airplane. The news site reports PG&E got 130 reports of damage or hazards like downed power lines or vegetation on lines.

The South Zone of the August Complex fire impacted some by the red flag weather. The fire’s been burning since the middle of August and is the first fire to ever burn more than a million acres in Calif. At 1,032,648 acres with 93% containment. It’s still burning in the Mendocino, Shasta-Trinity and Six Rivers National Forests and is active near Covelo in Hellhole Canyon. That part of the Complex, the South Zone has burned almost 500,000 acres on its own. It’s 90% contained. 600 firefighters are on the zone removing downed trees, fixing containment lines and breaking down berms.

Distracted drivers beware, the California Highway Patrol is starting a new enforcement campaign looking for impaired drivers in California. The money for the campaign comes from the Safer Highways Statewide grant which goes thru next September. The grant so the patrol can have more DUI patrols and checkpoints and traffic safety education across the state. They’re also taking part in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign. They say DUI is not only about alcohol consumption, but also, marijuana, prescription meds, illegal drugs, or any combo of them. Your inability to drive could mean you’re arrested if you’re found to be under the influence.

The Mayor of Fort Bragg is out. Mayor William Lee at the helm of the city council since winning his seat in November 2016. But now he says he’s resigning at the end of the year. He put out a letter saying it’s been one of the great honors of his life. He says it’s a challenging time, but is touting all he has accomplished in his time on the council, such as a balanced budget the past few years. He’s apparently leaving for a job out of town which he says is a career advancement. They will keep their home in Fort Bragg, so you may still see him around.  There will be a vote to choose a new Mayor and Vice Mayor December 14th.

Two homes in Potter Valley threatened by fires the fire dept. says were probably caused by running generators. The Potter Valley Volunteer Fire Department reported to the scene and says they got there just in time to save a home in one fire Monday just after midnight. The fire spotted on a deck outside, which by the time they arrived was fully engulfed in flames. They were able to stop it from spreading inside. They say there was a generator being used, not because of the power down, but because a tree limb fell and knocked out power. The second fire later Monday afternoon in an outbuilding, firefighters stopped it from spreading. They say that fire too was also believed to have ignited due to a generator.  

A new report says in the midst of the pandemic, more Californians are buying guns. The FBI reportedly conducted 462,000 background checks for handgun purchases in the state from March to September, that’s an 83% jump from the same period in 2019 when 209,000 were conducted. And the most ever in a seven month period. The checks for those buying a long gun or other type were also up, by 110,000, or 54%, from March to September compared with the same period last year.

A partnership between MCHC Health Centers (MCHC), and Direct Relief, a humanitarian aid organization will give backup power to the hospital group. The humanitarian organization has a mission to improve the health and lives of people affected by poverty or emergencies. The recent wildfires in Northern Calif. triggered the work and a donation of a $1.2 million solar battery microgrid power solution for the Hillside Health Center during any power outage. The project is being funded by Direct Relief and the California Public Utilities Commission. The hospital group had to close several times in 2018 & 19 due to fires and power outages. The group says one outage in 2019 caused missed visits by about 2,400 patients, a loss of vaccines, income loss for staff, and a loss of $300,000 in revenue.

There’s going to be days of cellular service outages in the Round Valley area, resulting in a complete loss of service. The Sheriff’s Dept. says they were notified starting at 6 am tomorrow until noon, six to 9 am Friday, 12 am to 6 am next Tuesday, and 12 am to 3 am next Wednesday there will be no cell service as US Cellular works on better service to the area. The Sheriff’s Office says they’re going to have Deputies specifically staffed in Round Valley during the disruption dates/times and that the Covelo Fire Department will also have personnel around the Covelo Firehouse for anyone who needs help whether that’s with a fire, medical needs or law enforcement help.

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