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Police in Fort Bragg get a call to help a woman in distress. It’s labor. She was about to have a baby. Three officers went to the call after the 911 dispatch transfer, the baby born into the arms of the officers. They report immediately stabilizing the baby and checking to make sure it was breathing and wrapped it up until medics could arrive. The mom and her newborn girl were taken to a hospital soon after. The Police Chief says they’re the same three officers who found a brush fire recently and their actions, he says, saved a huge disaster.

A man on the side of the road, standing by the trunk of his car in Redwood Valley jumps back in when cops arrive and 4 people end up arrested. Deputies say one of them did a vehicle check and asked the guy outside the var if everything was okay, then noticing someone in the back of the car. He asked the driver to roll windows down, and the officer saw an open bottle of booze in the car. There was a female driver who was under the age. One minor male was searched and the deputy found a gun under the driver’s seat. One female and two males, all under age were detained, and the guy who was outside of the car at first, Dreven Valencia. Deputies found a stolen semiautomatic pistol in the car and a high capacity magazine.  They were connected to gang activity and the adult was arrested on multiple charges and held on $25,000.00 bail. The juveniles were arrested and booked into the Mendocino County Juvenile Hall.   

Mendocino College has received part of the largest philanthropic gift given to community colleges in the nation. The California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office, in partnership with the Foundation for California Community Colleges announced a $100 million dollar pledge for scholarships for those already working toward a certificate or degree at a California community college or who are planning to transfer to a university; and emergency financial aid to students facing unexpected financial hardships. The money from the grant thru a donation from the Jay Pritzker Foundation. 34 community colleges in three regions with the lowest percentage of folks with college degrees be able to help students. The Mendocino College President says the grant will help many low-income students finish their studies and get into the workforce quicker, becoming significant contributors to our local economy.

You can send a text to 911 in Mendocino County now. The Sheriff’s office announced anyone in the county can text an emergency on a cell phone. The new Text to 9-1-1 program for those hearing or speech impaired, others in a situation that’s too dangerous to make a voice call or those in an area of the county with limited service where a voice call cannot be made, but a text message can be delivered. Their new slogan, “Call if you can – Text if you can’t” which came from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). If you do text, they ask to send an address with an exact location as GPS location accuracy varies carrier by carrier.

A man from Ukiah pleads guilty to growing illegal cannabis so he’s going to jail. The Mendocino County DA’s office reports 412 year old Zachary Pierre Brown pleaded guilty in October to maintaining a location for the unlawful cultivation of non-licensed (illegal) cannabis. He was sentenced to 3 years supervised probation and 180 days in the Mendocino County Jail. Brown’s not allowed to have more than 8 ounces of weed on probation, but has to first get a doctor’s recommendation for it. He also waived his 4th amendment right to search, drug testing, will have to do 200 hours of community service, pay a $2,000 fine, and cannot grow marijuana, legal or otherwise — for the term of his probation. He also has to repair the environmental damage he left behind and pay for the approved clean-up plan under biologists at the Department of Fish and Wildlife. Over 5,000 plants and 23 pounds of processed cannabis were seized in January when he was caught. Strict stay home orders are in place in Sonoma County.

A day after the public health officer in Sonoma County said hospitals were in okay shape and she didn’t think it was necessary, Dr. Sundari Mase reported an alarming increase in cases the last week and a half. The new orders start tomorrow and won’t expire until January 9th. No outdoor dining, no service at breweries and wineries, no hotel and vacation home stays and personal care salons have to close too. The Press Democrat reports it comes as cases of Coronavirus have doubled in the last two weeks. They’re being challenged with contact tracing, so Dr. Mase says it’s hard to isolate and quarantine people. She says it’s no longer centralized outbreaks at work sites and elder care facilities, that a broad geographic area of the county is getting overrun with infections.

New candidates have come through for the Middletown Area Town Hall. Earlier this week we heard the town hall was in need of new members as the three now are not interested in continuing. Seemed like there were few interested, but now, and seemingly in the final hour, 3 candidates emerged. Lake Co News reports the board excepted all three nominees, businesswoman Monica Rosenthal, Ken Gonzales, who had been on the board in the past and current Secretary Paul Baker.  Two representing Middletown proper and one at-large. The board has said that since the meetings have been online, they’ve had lower attendance. The three new members will be approved at the Town Hall meeting after the New Year.

The Lake County Office of Education has won a grant from the state. Lake County school districts will get help from the Learning Communities for Student Success Program which lasts through 2023. The grant is to help support programs that help kids stay in school by reducing truancy and supporting students who are at risk of dropping out. Lake Co News reports the superintendent of Lake County schools says they have a high amount of ongoing absenteeism.  The Super says when they  improve attendance rates, they improve their academic prospects and chances of graduating. Right now the office of education has several job opening so they can help implement the program, they include six attendance liaison positions and one attendance coordinator position.

A new app to find out if you’ve been exposed to COVID19 and to share if you’re infected is available in Calif. The Gov. announced CA Notify which was launched yesterday. It’s a free app for those with smart phones. It’ll inform you with a notification if someone within 6 feet of you has tested positive for the virus so you can quarantine and get tested. CA Notify is available thru your settings on an iPhone and for Android users, they can download the app from the Google Play Store. It’s private. The app is also voluntary and you can opt in or out whenever you like. The app also doesn’t collect any info on the user or share their identity. Visit CANotify.ca.gov to learn more about how CA Notify works.

A massive jump in jobless claims. As the lockdowns across the state continue, the state saw the highest number of claims since the end of March, just after the pandemic first arose.  47,454 new claims added over the last filing for 177,837. That number wiped out last week’s progress when the state saw the lowest amount of filing since March. Initial claims were at their highest since September. It seemed like a recovery was in the offing, but after the latest public health restrictions and curfews followed by the expected Thanksgiving COVID19 surge in the state, there’s been more jobless claims.

The cases of coronavirus in Calif. keep going up. The country and the state hitting record numbers daily. Mendocino and Lake counties have had big numbers of cases. The last week we’ve seen the highest number of daily deaths since the beginning of the pandemic in the state. The infection positivity rate at over 30,000 new infections a day several days this week. That’s an 80% increase from a week ago. Many areas in the purple zone with strict stay home orders have busted the 15% ICU capacity rule and have zero capacity now. Los Angeles County has reported a massive surge in deaths, averaging about 50/day, 70% more in the past week and almost 90 new infections per every 100,000 over the past week.

The US Fish & Wildlife Service is being sued for not protecting the northern spotted owl. The Environmental Protection Information Center and other groups including the Klamath Forest Alliance have filed a complaint in federal district court that the federal government has failed to meet crucial deadlines for the northern spotted owl to be categorized as endangered instead of threatened under the Endangered Species Act. One researcher says the animal is in a so-called ‘extinction vortex’ with a rapid decline and unless immediate action is taken, it will be extinct in our lifetime.  

A new bill is being introduced by a San Diego lawmaker to require the state to offer direct deposit unemployment payment and other options. Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez is introducing the bill so the state will have to offer direct deposit and other state income replacement benefits. CalMatters reports using the Bank of America debit cards and paper checks is outdated, making California one of only three states that don’t offer benefits thru direct deposit. Gonzalez says widespread debit card issues have prevented numerous families from feeding their families or paying their bills and that making direct deposit available is a simple, commonsense solution.

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