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A woman stranded on the side of the road along the coast helped out by a couple of District Attorney’s office employees. The Mendocino County DA’s office posted on their Facebook page that Assistant DA Dale Trigg and Assistant Chief DA Investigator Andy Alvarado were driving along the coast Tuesday morning to interview witnesses and found an older woman had locked herself out of her vehicle along an isolated stretch of Highway 20 in very cold weather. The DA’s office post says others had passed the “obviously distressed woman without stopping to help”, but not Trigg and Alvarado who offered her to stay in their warm car while they waited together for help. One hour later AAA came and helped and the woman was on her way.

A man from Ukiah busted for DUI had to go to court and face a jury. The DA’s office reports Bruce Branscomb McKee was arrested for DUI and went to jury trial. The DA’s office says he had ingested cannabis, then had an accident in November. But he was found guilty for misdemeanor DUI. The sentencing has not happened yet.

A mistrial in the case of three men for a robbery, but they’re not free yet. The Mendo DA’s office reports a jury was deadlocked in the case of Nathan Kurtz of Petaluma, Azuriah Paul of Forestville and Shane Waier of Capitola, all still charged with first degree robbery in concert with two others. There are also special allegations related to firearms. The lawyers in the case are supposed to meet again, per protocol and discuss the trial and a retrial. The men charged for a July 2019 incident.

The Gov. has announced an independent panel to review any FDA approved COVID vaccines to make sure their safe. Now the state’s acting Public Health Officer, Dr. Erica Pan has announced a group of physicians covering immunization, geriatrics, ethics, epidemiology, health equity, and pharmacy will be on the COVID-19 Drafting Guidelines Workgroup. They will come up with California-specific guidance related to the vaccine following frameworks put out by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

A man from McKinleyville has ended up in the hospital after he says another man confronted and stabbed him. The Humboldt County Sheriff’s dept reports the 34 year old victim was taken to a local hospital after what’s being called a road rage incident. The victim says he went after the 24 year old suspect who gave him the middle finger while driving and during a confrontation, he was stabbed. After that they both left the scene. The suspect called the Sheriff’s Office first to report what happened and admitted he stabbed the victim, but said it was self-defense. They are investigating and have not arrested anyone.

New Covid-19 guidelines have been released by the state on indoor visits at nursing homes. After months of complaints by families who say they’re loved ones are suffering without visits, they may get their wish. On Friday the state says long term care facilities like nursing homes will be able to host visitors. But only in the 46 counties in the state’s red, orange and yellow tiers. The other 12 counties that are in purple may not have the visits yet, because it’s too risky. Visitors will be checked for fever and possible COVID-19 symptoms, wear masks and wash hands upon entering the facility. They can only visit facilities with no infectious residents or staff for the last 14 days.

Another employee group in Lake County gets their raise. The Lake County Board of Supervisors has voted unanimously for the Lake County Employee Association. The board continuing to approve raises across several associations, the latest the largest employee union. Some of the staff positions are also being reclassified and most see their salaries at 85% of the market median value, something the board says they’ve been working on for several months. Still the contracts with the Deputy Sheriff’s Association and Lake County Correctional Officers Association are awaiting final approval from their unions and will be considered at next week’s board meeting.

The Lake County Board of Supervisors hearing about the plan to kill mute swans from Clear Lake, since they’re considered an invasive species. The board considered the matter after a presentation from the Department of Fish and Wildlife regarding the planned eradication of the swans. It comes after a column in the Record Bee where a couple of Supervisors said that spurred them putting the item on the agenda. The agency representative said they didn’t know about the column in the newspaper. The agency says there are several reports of the bird’s aggression toward other species and that they’re harmful to ecosystems. The agency wants them killed by trained and experienced shooters, but they have no firm plan yet. The Board agreed they wanted alternatives to shooting the animals.

A new website has been put up in Mendocino County focused on coronavirus.  The site has resources about the virus, where you can get tested and if there are ongoing surveillance testing sites in areas of outbreaks. Mendocino County had a contract with UC San Francisco’s medical school for clinics to offer free testing, but that has ended. The program canceled by the university as of this Saturday. Optum Serve is still testing and the Public Health dept. is working with other local health centers and community organizations for more free testing for those who can’t get to the facility in Ukiah at the Redwood Empire Fairgrounds.

https://www.mendocinocounty.org/community/novel-coronavirus/covid-19-testing/local-surveillance-testing-opportunities

A man from Ukiah’s been arrested for failing to appear on a felony arrest warrant. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office reports contacting Jeremy Skinner early yesterday morning in the 1800 block of North State Street in Ukiah and arrested him knowing about his warrant. He was booked into Mendocino County Jail on $25,000.00 bail.

Dry air hanging around areas of the August Complex South Zone. The US Forest Service reports a dry air mass is here to stay for at least a week and that could spread the fire which has burned almost 500,000 acres on its own. It’s 90% contained. Crews continue to repair lines and grade roads, take down berms near containment lines so there’s drainage to prevent erosion in sloped areas and on firelines and trails. Excavators, graders and water tenders are in several areas including Leech Lake and around Lake Pillsbury. As we reported yesterday the uncontained area is in the Hellhole Canyon east of Covelo which is steep, dangerous terrain and not safe for firefighters. The entire Complex has burned 1,032,648 acres and is 93% contained.     

First time claims for unemployment down in the most recent reporting week, but the federal government says Calif. has one fifth of all unemployment claims in the country. While Calif. makes up around 7% of the US labor force, it was 20% of all first time claims across the country. But initial claims have been going down steadily for three weeks in a row, and were down 7,800 for the week of Oct. 24th. The U.S. Labor Department reports 152,100 California workers filed initial claims last week out of the 751,000 nationwide. Illinois had the second highest amount with 54,800 claims, then New York state had 52,300.

The Governor says older Californians who need to renew their drivers licenses can do it by mail so they don’t have to come to the DMV in person. Those 70 and older first got extensions on license renewals. They normally have to go in person. The department says there are probably about 860,000 seniors who come in person each year to update their licenses. The state says the extensions and renewals will keep everyone updated without them being at risk because they have to leave their house.  Also the governor has approved a new executive order for restaurants along highways to expand outdoor services for four months, but the Department of Transportation will have to issue special permits.

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