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It’s the Maximum Enforcement Period for the CHP like so many other holiday weekends. The patrol reminding to stay safe on the roads and watch out for other distracted drivers. They say even though traffic could be lighter due to the pandemic, staying safe is as critical as ever. So no speeding, avoid driving tired, impaired, or distracted. Most of the state is in the strict stay home order and we’ve been advised to be at home as much as possible. So with that, don’t travel too far, drive sober, avoid distractions, always buckle up, and leave plenty of time to get to your destination. The Maximum Enforcement Period starts this evening at 6:01 p.m. and goes until Sunday at 11:59 p.m.

A man from Ukiah’s been arrested after reports of child abuse. Deputies found a 13 year old girl with Brandon Wiard after a Wildlife Officer on routine patrol saw them. Deputies say the two may have been having a sexual relationship. They say though that it started when the girl was only 12 and it had been ongoing for about a year. Wiard has been arrested for willfully engaging in lewd or lascivious acts with a child under the age of fourteen and for sex with someone under 14. They asked for a bail enhancement due to the pandemic, which was granted. Wiard’s held in the Mendocino County Jail on $175,000.00 bail. Detectives are still investigating and ask anyone who may know Wiard or the girl to call them.

Deputies at the Hare Creek drainage area in Fort Bragg because of continuing trespassing complaints. The sheriff’s office reports the trespassing over 150-acres of private land where there’s been a history of the homeless using the properties. So cops went in to remove debris and garbage. With the help of other agencies the sheriff’s department cleaned the area of large accumulations of garbage, biohazards, and fire risks. They say there was also criminal activity beyond illegal drug use which was an annoyance to neighbors and nearby businesses.  Along with the Sheriff’s office multiple agencies and groups helped with the encampment cleanup including Fort Bragg Police, the Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Rotary Club of Fort Bragg, Fort Bragg Fire Department, and Friends of the Hospitality House. And the state Department of Transportation provided trash collection equipment.

An outbreak of coronavirus has been reported at the Mendocino County Jail. Following in the footsteps of the Lake County Jail before it, the sheriff’s office here reports a deputy was off work, feeling sick so they got tested for COVID19 with a positive test returned last Saturday, so they started contact tracing. It was found a couple of other deputies had been in contact with the infected officer, so they too were tested. One of them had a positive test at the same time another employee reported feeling ill and got a positive test result. At this point, on Tuesday the Mendocino County Public Health Dept. got involved testing more staffers and inmates. 3 male inmates reported flu like symptoms so they were tested and came back with positive results. Their housing unit was then quarantined when a second housing unit had a sick inmate with a positive test too. That was another quarantine situation. At the moment the jail is being sanitized. (4 inmates and 3 deputies.) 

In Sonoma County they’ve now received several hundred doses of the Moderna Vaccine. 5,800 doses of the vaccine came in yesterday with an additional 3,000 expected next week. This is on top of the 7,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine with more coming. The vaccine’s arrival, none too soon as the county’s been hit hard by the pandemic. The Public Health Office is also reporting they’ve heard about the plans by the Graton Resort and Casino to host a massive New Year’s Eve party indoors, inviting 4,000 people to attend. The Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria is not bound to follow the state’s health restrictions as they’re a U.S. sovereign entity. But apparently they’re working with public health to reduce the risk of spreading the virus.

Local Sonoma County hospitals have been getting their vaccine shipments directly from Pfizer and Moderna. The Press Democrat reports the doses received are being used on front-line health care workers. Next week residents and staff at nursing homes are getting vaccinated as part of a partnership with CVS and Walgreens. The newspaper is reporting Public Health Dept. is vaccinating first responders, including paramedics, firefighters and other emergency services workers, then it’s staff at local kidney dialysis centers, the psychiatric hospital in Santa Rosa and the county’s psychiatric emergency center. Dr. Sundari Mase is asking residents to be careful over the holidays and please avoid gathering for Christmas and New Year’s. It comes after data showing the Thanksgiving holiday added to the already increasing cases. The seven-day average in Sonoma County was about 45 new daily cases per 100,000 residents.

A car reportedly leaves the scene of a crash in Laytonville. Mendo Fever reports hearing on the scanner about the crash yesterday afternoon around 3:40 p.m. south of Laytonville with a motorcycle and a Mazda near where the 101 and Davidson Lane meet. The CHP reported it was possible a teal colored Mazda that fled the scene after possibly hitting a ditch. And that the Mazda may have damaged a tire and could have been driving without enough air in that tire. No injuries were reported.

A water main break in Fort Bragg has led to a boil water order for residents. It happened where East Bush and North McPherson Street meet. Crews working yesterday to get the main fixed. The mayor tells Mendo Fever the repairs were complete at 3:30 p.m. and that a couple square blocks around the break still had the boiling water order in place. The water has to be tested over a 24 hour period before the order can be lifted.

New COVID19 testing hours coming to Lake County. The Public Health Officer says the company Verily, who’s been doing the testing in the county is being replaced by OptumServe. There will no longer be any drive-thru testing, it will all be indoors in Lakeport and Lower Lake. Starting after New Year’s, testing in Lakeport will be at the Silveira Community Center from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays. Then on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at the Lower Lake Town Hall, 16195 Main St. The only day where no testing will be available is on Sunday. The Public Health Office says you don’t need an appointment. Also Rite Aid will be doing testing in Clearlake, and that’s with Verily, you do need an appointment for that.

Since the state got less vaccines than had been anticipated the state may have to decide who gets the limited supply first, essential workers or the elderly. About 2 million doses are set to arrive next month, but almost 12 million residents are essential workers, and about half are thought to be the highest priority, not even including health care workers. About 6 million people are over the age of 65 too. Several dozen groups in Calif. are helping the state decide who the priority should be as part of the Community Vaccine Advisory Committee. Right now, state guidelines say the vaccine should go to workers in three groups: education and childcare workers, emergency services personnel and finally those working in high-priority essential businesses, from agriculture and grocery services to plant nurseries and sawmills.

2 more people have died from the virus. The Mendocino County Public Health Dept. reports one of them was a county resident. The 25th death showed up on the county’s coronavirus dashboard last week, then the following day the Public Health Officer said that person didn’t live in the county and should not have been added to the county’s data, so he lowered the death count to 24. Then Friday there was a death of a county resident, and the dashboard went back up to 25. That death was a Hispanic man over 65 living in Ukiah. Also the county reported another 58 cases the last 2 days for a total of 2,314 cases. The Public Health Office also reports 17 people are in the hospital, including 5 in an ICU.

The city of Fort Bragg looking at innovative ways to bring in tourism dollars. During a city council meeting the city manager reported about $50,000 left in the Visit Fort Bragg budget as of October. The tourism industry has taken a hit due to the pandemic. Visit Fort Bragg holding onto $10,000 for a spring event, but right now most of the state is on a strict stay home order. The city’s deciding if it should promote events like the biannual whale migration. Other events that are on the tourism promotion list include Winter Visitation in January, Fort Bragg Restaurant Week in February and Fort Bragg ‘Book Early’ Week in March.

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