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More than 400 homeowners in Sonoma County can get help removing debris after the August Complex and Glass Fires. The Press Democrat reports 432 Sonoma County properties burned or damaged by the Walbridge, Meyers and Glass wildfires can get help if homeowners register for the program.  Government funded contractors will go out to properties and clean out debris, ash and clear hazardous trees where homes and outbuildings were destroyed or heavily damaged. But you have to allow workers access by filling out the proper forms, only 35 were sent is as of Friday, and the deadline is approaching. Crews can come out as soon as a week from tomorrow to do the work in Sonoma, Mendocino, Lake, Napa, Solano and Yolo counties. But a Sonoma County spokesperson says the contractors will not come to Sonoma County unless a “sufficient number” of property owners register.

No school this week, but distance learning continues next week in Ukiah after the Thanksgiving holiday. The School district put out a statement for families to rest, relax, and connect with each other and give thanks for the many blessings during this tough time. Since there are more coronavirus cases in the county and we’re in the purple tier that has postponed the school reopening process. The Mendocino County Public Health Officer says schools can only reopen when Mendocino County moves to the red tier and stays there for two more weeks. To follow any school related news you can visit the district’s website, Facebook Page or also look at the state’s COVID-19 numbers for the county to keep up.

FEMA reminding that when a major disaster is declared, Hazard Mitigation Grant Program funding could be available for homeowners to help rebuild. You can learn more by finding recovery information, rebuilding materials and flyers from the federal government at M & M True Value in Covelo for mitigation info. FEMA reports the information includes today’s most advanced methods to make homes and property more resilient from natural disasters. More information about strengthening property can be found at www.fema.gov/what-mitigation.

The Public Health Officer in Lake County reminding that even though we all have coronavirus fatigue, we have to stay vigilant. Dr. Gary Pace putting out a statement over the weekend, that he understands giving up treasured holiday traditions has been particularly painful for many. He says it’s important though to keep the long view in mind this Thanksgiving as increasing cases have regularly followed holidays where extended families and other cross-household groups together.  Pace says if that happens again, local healthcare resources will be strained, and Lake County probably will probably end up like it’s neighbor Mendocino County in the Purple Tier which could lead to greater business restrictions for a considerable period, perhaps months.  If you do gather:

  • Stay outside, and be vigilant with sanitation if people must go inside to use restrooms
  • No greater than 3 households
  • Keep it short – 2 hours or less 

He goes on to remind that traveling, or having out-of-area family and friends come to you, is not a good idea this year.  The State advises a 14-day self-quarantine on return for those traveling out of State, and any non-essential travel carries risk.  If you must travel, precautions should be strongly emphasized:

·      Masking while indoors;

·      Staying away from others when ill; 

·      Social Distancing; 

·      Proper disinfection.

The Lake County Public Health Office is offering more free flu vaccines. On Friday they put out a statement that the free Drive Up Flu Vaccine events were a success and wanted to thank the public for participating. So today and tomorrow from 1-3pm, you can drive up at 922 Beveins Ct. in Lakeport and on Wednesday from 2-4. You do have to call to schedule an appointment and you must wear a mask. 707-263-1090 or 800- 794-9291 to schedule, or for more information.  They remind it’s important in the time of COVID-19 for anyone 6 months or older to get a flu vaccine.

A reminder the yearly Lake County Burn Ban is still in effect.  CalFire has lifted the burn permit suspension so there’s no burning during the peak fire season, but they’ve yet to declare an end to fire season.  The burn permit suspension lifting lets some burns occur, but a ban is still in effect for all waste burning, unless an exemption burn permit has been issued like for agricultural operations,essential control burns for fire safety projects, public safety burns, specific burns in the wildfire recovery areas, and others.  To obtain an exemption, first contact the Lake County Air Quality Management District (LCAQMD) to determine need, then your local Fire Protection Agency so that your burn site can be inspected and evaluated for fire safety. 

Police in Fort Bragg report a motorcyclist took off an unsafe speeds and one of their officers took chase. The cop was apparently finishing up a service call at Adventist Mendocino Coast Hospital and saw a yellow off road motorcycle without proper lighting. The motorcyclist, identified as Devan Tompkins of Fort Bragg, was eventually arrested. He was found with drug paraphernalia, brass knuckles, and a switch blade knife. He’s charged with evading police, reckless driving, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of brass knuckles, and possession of a switch blade knife. Police also report it’s not the first report on a motorcyclist riding recklessly in the city. Two other reports in recent months of trying to stop motorcyclists who fled and eluded Officers. They say they think the same guy, Tompkins may have been one of those suspects.

It’s that time of year again, when you can go out and get your own Christmas tree straight from the Mendocino National Forest. But you have to have a permit. They started to sell them November 5th at $10 each. They have only a limited amount and they’re sold on a first-come, first-served basis and are good for this year only. And due to the pandemic, there are no in-person sales at Forest offices. You can get them thru the mail and at certain vendors. Because of the August Complex fire closure, Christmas tree cutting is allowed only in specific areas of the Forest outside the closure area. Vendors:

  • Upper Lake Grocery160 E. Hwy 20, Upper Lake707-275-2380
  • M&M Feed and Supply74540 Hill Road, Covelo707-983-6273
  • Keith’s Family Foods76201 Covelo Road, Covelo 707-983-6633

As we see an uptick in cases nationwide, here in Mendocino County, we’re in the purple tier. For days, the amount of cases have been up, just yesterday another 35 cases were reported and 4 on Saturday. Dr. Andy Coren, the County Public Health Officer had his weekly press conference Friday saying nearly 200 people are currently in quarantine, 106 were in isolation, and 9 people were in the hospital. So far 22 people have died. Since we’re in the purple tier, we have a curfew of 10:00 pm. Also it’s outside only for places of worship, restaurants, gyms, personal care (nail and hair can still be indoors). Indoor retail is at 25% capacity. Schools that opened already can stay open, but others cannot reopen. Dr. Coren says if the case rate continues where it is about 8 cases/day on average, we could run out of ICU beds in two weeks. Two people transferred into our county after they ran out of their hospital beds.

The Public Health Officer, Dr. Andy Coren reports an outbreak at a board and care facility where they are doing surveillance and outbreak testing and contact tracing. He’s asking anyone who gets a call, to please answer and be forthright and give them your information. In his weekly public address, Coren says outbreaks are not the reason for most of the cases and there’s no particular industry they’ve identified, most, he says are from community spread and close contacts. Many are home clusters he says, more than 50% of the county’s newest cases were spread in the home from not quarantining the right way which is no closer than 6 feet for up to 15 minutes in a 24 hour period, which does not need to be continuous. Those in quarantine need to separate entirely from anyone in isolation. The county can offer alternative care sites to help support keeping family safe.

Like the Lake County Public Health Officer, Dr. Andy Coren, the Mendocino County Public Health Advisor warns not to travel this Thanksgiving. Dr. Coren says we should be avoiding gatherings w/anyone outside our households. To use a video conferencing app or get on the phone with family and friends to socialize. If you’re sick or have been in contact with a COVID patient in the last 14 days, if you are elderly or have chronic conditions like obesity, heart or lung conditions, diabetes, cancer, or other illnesses or take medicines that might affect your immunity. He also says not to forget to get the flu shot, wear a mask when indoors, unless you’re alone or with those in your immediate household, or eating. Maintain six feet distance, wash your hands for 20 seconds, and use hand sanitizer in between. Increase airflow in your home. If you do gather to do it outside and with no more than 3 households, up to 12 people and under 2 hours. Wave instead of shaking hands or hugging or kissing, avoid shouting or singing loudly, chanting or playing wind instruments which can all increase transmission and contagion. Don’t share phones, toys, utensils and bring wipes to disinfect objects that were shared. If you do travel, quarantine for 7-14 days upon your return. And avoid Black Friday shopping.

2 people from Covelo are missing and the Sheriff reports he thinks it could be a kidnapping. Deputies got a call last Thursday about a reported assault and possible kidnapping of 34 year old Kyle McCartney and 48 year old Traci Bland. The person who called was not very cooperative at first but then relented saying he had been taken somewhere by the now two missing people and when they got there, there were four Hispanic or Native Americans who attacked and assaulted the two. Then they ran off and with Kyle and Traci. They’ve not been seen or heard from since then. Their car was found later abandoned. The Sheriff’s Dept. say it’s investigating it as a missing persons case or possible kidnapping and assault and they’re asking the public for help finding the two.

A woman from Hopland has been reported missing. The Sheriff’s office reports 54 year old Christina Emmet was reported missing yesterday afternoon. Her car was found abandoned in the 11000 block of Old River Road in Hopland. The Sheriff’s office reports the County Search and Rescue team is looking for Emmet who’s described as being 5’2″, 135 lbs with brown eyes and brown hair. They say she may also be experiencing mental health related issues.

UPDATE 1:14 p.m.

The Mendocino County Sheriff Office’s reports Christina Emmett’s body was fund in the Russian River. She was pulled out of the river by Hopland Fire’s swift water team.

The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page said, “There is no foul play suspected at this time and this may have been caused by a fall.”

Wide ranging statements from several sheriff’s offices in Calif, including in the Emerald Triangle after the Governor ordered a new stay home order after 10 pm for counties in the purple tier. The sheriff offices in Sacramento, Madera, and the Emerald Triangle, including in Mendocino County put out statements they would not enforce the curfew. Mendocino and Trinity are in the purple tier of the state’s Blueprint for a Healthy Economy, Humboldt is in the red. But the county’s Public Health Officer said last week they’re close to purple. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page had a post Friday, they won’t be enforcing compliance of any health or emergency orders related to curfews. Sheriff Matt Kendall says the orders from the Governor are too “too ambiguous to be enforceable” and says they’re too busy investigating criminal matters and bringing justice to victims. 

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