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A tentative deal has been made by California lawmakers and thousands of childcare providers to get one-time stipends and paid-days off during the pandemic. The Senate Budget Committee approved the move last week which is expected to be approved by the full Legislature in just days. $144 million in federal funds will go into the economic recovery package that the governor announced for $9.6 billion. The new union Child Care Providers United formed after almost 2 decades of organizing. The union’s vice chair tells Education Source, this will be a huge relief for providers. The agreement gives a one time stipend of $525 per child in subsidized care as of Nov. 2020, 16 more paid days off related to COVID19 and creates a working group of state and union representatives to lobby for more money from the federal CARES Act and a waiver of family fees and support for providers who shut down.

A new doctor has been hired at Adventist Health Howard Memorial. Dr. Yoshihiro Katsuura, a spine surgeon spent time in the region as a medical student and says he feels like he’s home.  He says he showed up on a whim one day after a friend in medical school said to check out the hospital, and he kept checking in for ten years. He worked at Howard over the years as a volunteer and in the Emergency department. He says the time spent there inspired him to become an orthopedic surgeon. He’s now seeing patients in Willits at the Redwood Medical Clinic.

A man accused of a triple murder at the Bear River Rancheria has been arraigned in Utah where he was caught. Mauricio Sanchez-Johnson is accused in the February 10th murder. Two people found shot to death and third found with severe injuries died at a hospital. One of them was reported to be his friend, 16 year old Shelly Mae Autumn Moon, her mom, Margarett Lee Moon and Margarett’s fiancé Nikki Dion Metcalf. There were also 2 uninjured children in the home. The Sheriff’s dept. says he ran from Humboldt County that night and ended up in Utah. He’s held there without bail. He was arrested on I-80 with another man Von Eric Keener. They’re both held there until they can be extradited back to Humboldt County.

Lawmakers had been considering a $600 direct payment to several million people for coronavirus relief who have low to moderate incomes. 5.7 million people are set to get a $600 one-time payment. Gov. Gavin Newsom has indicated he’ll sign it into law today. State lawmakers are trying to get stimulus payments to residents who didn’t get money from the federal government, that includes non-citizens. Those eligible will get the payment within 45 to 60 days after they get their state tax refunds. The Legislature has also been working on a bigger relief package, approved yesterday including over $2 billion in grants for small businesses, waives around $25.6 million in business fees for struggling restaurants and hair salons, gives $30 million to food banks and another $5 million for diaper banks.

Mendocino County is opening up the next tier for vaccinations. Now 1B joins tier 1A so that those over 75 years old, EMS, School and Childcare Staff, and Food and Agricultural workers can get their shots. There are actually two tiers within a tier, so this second tier, part one, includes ag workers in growing, harvesting, production, preparing, selling, cooking and serving food products, cannabis and lumber. So yesterday those groups started to be able to get their vaccines. You have to bring identification with you, possibly a pay stub, business card or receipt proving your eligibility. Then starting March 15th, the next tier group includes people with underlying medical conditions including Cancer, Diabetes, heart disease, immune diseases, severely obese and sickle cell disease among many more.

More vaccine doses have arrived in Lake County. The Public Health Office reports the severe weather last week across the country delayed supply and therefore vaccination clinics. But this week and last week’s supplies were received yesterday so first dose clinics will resume tomorrow from 10am-4pm, at Lakeport Auto Movies, the same for Thursday, then Friday at Redbud Park, also from 10am-4pm. They expect to restart their regular schedule next week which is Monday/Tuesday in Lakeport; Thursday/Friday in Clearlake.  They ask that you do not show up without an appointment. Right now they’re still in Tier 1A. More vaccines will be sent to North Lake Pharmacy, Safeway Pharmacy, Adventist Health, Lakeview Health Center for second doses only and Sutter Health, also for second doses. The Public Health Officer says to call them direct to see if they have any open appointments.

 Another virtual meetup with state Sen. Mike McGuire. This time, tomorrow, the Senator is hosting a chat with tourism leaders and those in the hospitality industry on the road to reopening. The meeting is tomorrow at 4pm. If you want to attend, you must get in touch with McGuire’s office.  Along with McGuire, participants include the president and CEO of Visit California; a couple of union leaders, one who works at Disneyland and another at Santa Clara County Convention Center and the CEO/film commissioner for Visit Yosemite. As we’ve experienced the state’s hospitality and tourism sectors are some of the largest economic drivers for the state and the pandemic has devastated the industries.

A drive-by shooting is being investigated in Lakeport. Police say they got notice yesterday morning, someone saying a car drove past and shot into the house multiple times. The car was described as a dark-colored sedan. The police chief says there were no injuries in the home and they do not believe it was random shooting. They’re asking neighbors if they know anything to come forward, they did get some tips and are looking into them. They ask anyone else with info to please call the police department, the call can be anonymous. You can also send them a Facebook message.

The governor says the state’s new system to deliver, track and schedule coronavirus vaccines is first coming to some counties before it rolls out across the state after the labored rollout of the national supply. The Gov. had announced that Blue Shield would be managing a new centralized system so vaccines are distributed quickly and equitably.  The ten counties that are part of the new system are transitioning over to the Blue Shield system this week. They’re located in inland sections of central and Southern California. One will move into the system later than the other nine.  The state’s public health agency says the state and Blue Shield have been working tirelessly so the state more efficiently and equitably administers vaccines.

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