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The outbreak at the Mendocino County Jail continues with testing, there have been 76 people testing positive. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office reports 63 of those are inmates and right now there are 39 active cases. On Saturday 17 inmates were recorded as recovered since the outbreak started Dec. 19th. First a corrections deputy tested positive. On Friday an ambulance took one of the inmates to the hospital who was having trouble breathing. The rest of the positive cases were isolated, but seven inmates who tested positive have been released through the courts or finishing time served. 13 staffers tested positive too, five have recovered. The Sheriff’s office reports largely isolating the outbreak area, but a small number of inmates were positive outside the original quarantine. They say they’ll continue to test and monitor those affected.

A woman from Gualala reported missing before the holiday weekend has been found dead. The Sheriff’s office, Mendocino County Search & Rescue volunteers, South Coast Volunteer Fire Department and Redwood Coast Fire Department were searching on New Years Day for Kerry Ann Bonanno on her property. 34 people and 2 specially trained dogs went out and in a steep wooded ravine on the property, searchers found Bonanno deceased. There will be an autopsy to determine how she died and with a toxicology report, that could take several weeks.

Several more cases of coronavirus have been reported in Mendocino County. The Public Health Office reported 53 more cases between January 1st and 2nd, and three more deaths due to the virus. All three were over 65 years of age and all passed away at Adventist Health Ukiah Valley. The Public Health Office reported they were a 76 year old Hispanic man from Ukiah, a 68 year old White man from the North County and a 67 year old man whose ethnicity was just marked as other, he too was from the North County.  Mendo Fever reports the three deaths came after the largest single day of positive results of cases, 71 on December 31st.

A woman who had a Black Lives Matter sign on her Laytonville property says it was stolen. Mendo Fever reports the owner of the Black Oak Ranch, Susy Barsotti, reported vandals used a chainsaw to cut down the sign and steal it on New Year’s Eve. She says there’s been ongoing vandalism of the sign since September when there was a robbery at a cannabis farm next door. She says someone changed her sign after to read Black Lies Matter instead, then someone splattered paint on the sign to hide the message.  Which she fixed. Then last week the sign was taken.

A man from Sonoma County has died along with two kids after the three were swept off the beach by a sneaker wave. The Press Democrat reports the 40 year old man and his children, a 4 year old boy and 7 year old girl near Goat Rock died Sunday. The dad’s body was found at Blind Beach by his wife, but the two children’s bodies were not found. The family just moved to Petaluma recently. A ranger said he had heard the dad who had one of the children’s hands, but lost grasp and jumped in after them. The day before a man from Southern California fell off the rocks below the Mendocino Headlands. He slipped while taking photos. His body was found in the water after about 45 minutes. There had been a high surf advisory on the coast over the weekend. On Friday waves hit up to 20 feet high.

An inmate at the Lake County Jail has been found dead in his cell. Daniel King of Clearlake was reportedly being seen for an advanced medical issue, but the Sheriff’s office reported it was not COVID related. The death happened Saturday night after midnight. Some cellmates called for help before midnight after finding the man unresponsive. Medics reported to the jail and tried CPR on him, to no avail. He was declared dead there. His death was said to be unexpected and did not involve trauma. King had been at the jail since February of last year and was waiting to be transferred to a state prison for a four year term for a probation violation of a domestic violence charge.  The death is being investigated by the DA’s office since it happened at the jail and an autopsy will be conducted too.

Some funeral homes in Calif. are turning families away because they’re overwhelmed with COVID cases. The head of the state funeral directors association says the funeral homes, like hospitals are being overrun. The Press Democrat reports one funeral home in Southern Calif. reports 30 body removals a day — six times more than usual. Some of the funeral home owners are calling each other to see who can take in the overflow, but there’s been no luck. Some say they’ve had to rent refrigerators. And there are reports of delayed hospital pickups. The executive director of the California Funeral Directors Association says it’s taking several days longer for cremations too. In before times it was a day or two, but now it could take up to a week or more.

The Mendocino County Sheriff has a presentation in front of the Board of Supervisors to get more money because of the mounting illegal marijuana grows and organized crime. Sheriff Matt Kendall is reportedly going to ask the board to hire ten more deputies as part of his power point presentation that he’s titled, “Imminent Threat – Appropriate Response”. There are a couple photos in the presentation, one with a trigger warning from some, a hogtied Black man, something 5th District Supervisor Ted Williams posted on Facebook it detracts from the otherwise relevant information. But the sheriff says residents tied the man up because he’s understaffed, and that’s when vigilante action takes over.

Police in Clearlake are looking for a man they say is connected to an attempted murder and assault on New Year’s Day. Police say the man was still on the run, but they arrested the victim who was taken to a hospital out of the county, because they had a bunch of ammunition, a large capacity magazine and an AR15 rifle ghost gun.  They’re searching for 31 year old Jose Ceja-Torres for the felony violations of attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon after reports of a gunshot victim. A man in his 40’s was found wounded and flown to a hospital for treatment. Ceja-Torres’ was identified as the shooter and was found to be wanted for being armed with a firearm while in possession of drugs and possession of marijuana for sale and felony evading a police officer. He is considered armed and dangerous.

The longest serving member on the Lake County Board of Supervisors is leaving. At the board meeting tomorrow, a fond farewell to Supervisor Rob Brown after 2 decades of service. He will speak at the meeting and he will receive a commendation for his 20 years. Then the oath of office will be administered to the District 1 Supervisor Moke Simon and District 4 Supervisor Tina Scott, and the newest member Supervisor Jessica Pyska, who won Brown’s seat in November. Simon is the outgoing chair so he will preside over an election for that position and vice chair and a couple of board appointments will be made too. Later in the meeting the public health officer will give a coronavirus update.

In Lakeport, they’ll start the first meeting of the new year discussing the pandemic. The meeting is online tomorrow night, the city council chambers remain closed to the public. A new Utilities Operator will be introduced and the city manager will talk about the city’s continuing response to coronavirus. The City Manager Kevin Ingram had previously requested staffers work closely with the League of California Cities so rural areas can be represented for COVID-19 relief for local businesses and residents then bring what they find back to the council for more consideration. They will review if the city needs to respond differently after that request almost a month ago. The council will also be appointed to various boards, committees and commissions.

Mendocino County reports because state waivers are expiring for pressure-treated wood, it will now be classified as a hazardous material. Apparently the wood is sometimes required by state Building Code, but now residents will only be able to dispose of it with Mendo Recycle for a fee, but commercial customers may have more of an issue getting rid of it. The chemicals used on it protect it from bug infestations and decay. Used for such things as fence posts, railroad ties and in decks. Starting this New Year though the state is requiring the treated wood waste to be categorized as hazardous material (HazMat), which means it cannot be accepted anymore by waste haulers or at transfer stations in Mendocino County. 

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