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The Mendocino County Public Health Office out with a warning: COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are on the rise again. The Health Officer Dr. Andy Coren says we are in another surge with daily average cases at 8 or more a day per 100,000 residents. The most cases are concentrated in Ukiah, Redwood Valley, and Willits. And outbreaks are reported at the Office Bar & Bistro and The Pub with three confirmed cases among customers who were there on either May 22nd or 23rd. So if you were there a couple of weeks ago, you should get tested. Dr. Coren says there was also an unrelated death to those businesses. He says to get tested even if you have mild symptoms and to frequently be tested if you’re not vaccinated.

A woman in Fort Bragg has been arrested, held on thousands of dollars bail for illegally growing marijuana and having outstanding warrants. Sheriff’s Deputies served the arrest warrant Saturday, contacting Rachel Hunt at the home. The warrants were for the illegal grow and violating probation. She’s held on $15,000.00 bail.

Konocti Unified School District has graduated their first Middle College group: Rafael Contreras, Domminic Mayer, and Viviana Ramos. The trio took college courses instead of high school elective courses as part of a partnership with the Lake County Campus of Woodland Community College which started in the fall of 2017. Students are allowed to take two college classes a semester, so by the time they graduate, they’ve accumulated 48 college credits. These three were able to get their Associate of Science degrees in Natural Science and Mathematics. And Contreras and Ramos are co-valedictorians, and Mayer was named KEC High School Student of the Year.

A man in Willits has been arrested after reports of a domestic violence incident. Deputies reported to the home over the weekend, finding the female victim in front of the home with Anthony Cape. She says the two were living together and a fight got physical, with him pushing her and tackling her to the ground. Deputies say she was also slapped in the face and had visible injuries on her face, hands and knees. Cape was arrested for felony domestic violence battery and since he was on probation he was jailed on $25,000 bail. He was additionally charged with violating probation.

An abandoned derelict motor home off the 101 in southern Mendo County has been removed. The motor home has apparently sitting there partially hidden near barriers placed by Caltrans to block a dirt access road. They say the vehicle was parked there at least two years. The DA says the roof of the RV was collapsing and came to find it was probably an environmental hazard and a public nuisance. Calls to the Mendocino County Building and Planning Department and Caltrans ended with the barriers to the dirt road removed, and the trash filled RV was towed out. They’re looking into who left the RV there as they could be responsible for towing funds.

A man who used to live in Ukiah and has a long criminal record has been sent to prison for life for various crimes including domestic violence, assault with a deadly weapon, battery with serious bodily injury and dissuading a witness by means of threats or force.  Raymond Jones had other crimes on his record so the judge agreed to sentencing enhancements after former felony convictions for robbery and residential burglary in the San Joaquin County Superior Court, within the Three Strikes law.  The prosecution was arguing for 25 years as the defense said the 3 strikes law shouldn’t be considered.  In the end, the sentencing recommendation by the Probation Department was followed and Jones ended up getting 114 years, 4 months to life in state prison.

A 30 year ban on assault weapons in Calif. has been overturned by a federal judge in San Diego. The judge said the state’s definition of illegal military style rifles was unlawful, and deprived law abiding citizens weapons commonly allowed in other states.  Meanwhile, the Gov. called it “a direct threat to public safety and the lives of innocent Californians, period.” The judge likened assault rifles to the Swiss Army knife, calling an AR-15 rifle a perfect combination of home defense weapon and homeland defense equipment. Good for both home and battle.

15 lucky and newly vaccinated Californians are $50,000 richer, including one person from Mendocino County. The Gov. was at California State Lottery headquarters Friday as he encouraged all Californians to continue getting COVID19 vaccines ahead of the state’s official reopening, June 15th. But vaccine rates are off 18% from a week ago, thus the state lottery. And 10 people will also receive $1.5 million each — the largest of any vaccination prize in the country.

It finally ended peacefully… the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office and a SWAT team was on the scene of a standoff with a man they said may have been armed in the Coyote Valley Rancheria. Mendocino County Sheriff Matt Kendall talking to the press as law enforcement teams gathered to try to talk the guy out of the home. Deputies were trying to arrest Tiny Whipple for the manufacture of firearms and other violent offenses but say when they tried to get him into custody, he ran to the back of a home and hid in a shed. He is not a tribal member and was banned from the tribe in 2015. Apparently before the standoff, Whipple had been quoted saying he wanted a shootout with cops.

A bunch of illegal cannabis, illegal water use and environmental crimes cited in a case from Willits earlier this month. The California Department of Fish & Wildlife reportedly served a search warrant the second week of May along with an Environmental Scientist from the agency, the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office, a North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board representative and Mendocino County Code Enforcement. There was no state license to grow weed at the property and environmental violations were cited, including there being a manmade dam that was impacting the natural stream flow, illegal water diversion used to irrigate cannabis plants, sediment placed where it can pass into waters of the state, unpermitted stream crossings, cultivation areas with deleterious materials located near waters of the state. In the end more than 4,100 illegal cannabis plants were eradicated and over 75 pounds of processed cannabis was destroyed.

The Governor insists he won’t be lifting the coronavirus state of emergency on June 15. The state is reopening, but there will still be some restrictions in place. The state of emergency afforded Newsom broad authority for state laws and regulations. He says he won’t end the state of emergency because the virus “is not taking the summer months off.” Republicans have been trying to get that overturned for months with no luck as Democrats in the majority have continually blocked their efforts.

The Lake County Board of Supervisors will reconsider a permit for a big marijuana grow by Hidden Valley Lake. At the same time the board will talk drought and what to do about water trucks taking water from Clear Lake. The owner of WeGrow is trying to get her cannabis growing operation approved on a small chunk of her 309-acre property in Middletown. It’s just next to Hidden Valley Lake on nine acres. She’s proposing 35 greenhouses, four 50-foot by 100-foot drying buildings, a 200-square-foot shed, four 2,500-gallon water tanks and fencing. The board, like every other week will also hear about the pandemic from Public Health officials and hear an appeal again on a Vicious Animal Abatement case.

The search for a missing man in Clear Lake has been continuing after a boating accident. Early Saturday morning reports of a man in a boat with four others offshore of Clearlake Oaks. The boat overturned just after midnight, then reports came in of a missing Black man in his 50s who had apparently tried to rescue someone else, then vanished himself. The boat was found near the Clearlake Oaks boat launch. The Lake County Sheriff reported to Lake Co News the Marine Patrol was searching with no luck on Saturday and into yesterday.

Assemblymember Cecilia Aguiar-Curry’s Internet for All Act has passed the Assembly. The bill would change the way broadband is supplied under the California Advanced Services Program. It would be bolstered with more money to bring the state into the technological 21st century. Aguiar-Curry says even before the pandemic, which shone a glaring light on the lack of reliable, affordable internet, we knew access was an essential requirement. A matching Senate Bill also passed to hopefully provide all Californians fast enough internet so they can access services like Telehealth, education and job-training. The Internet for All Act prioritizes broadband in the most vulnerable and unserved rural and urban communities.

A massive effort to have Governor Newsom’s back as he faces a recall election. Workers and union leaders at the California Labor Federation, which includes over 2 million state workers are working to defend Newsom as he works with unions to quickly get essential workers vaccinated. Thousands from the union are working on the campaign to keep the Gov. in office. They will walk precincts and knock on doors, meet face-to-face with voters regarding stopping the recall. They will also make phone calls and have outreach in various languages including, Spanish, Vietnamese and Chinese.

A Northern California Coalition, including Tribal, local and regional environmental organizations and individuals are calling for a 2-year moratorium on logging in Jackson Demonstration State Forest (JDSF). Kym Kemp reports there’s a petition circulating until there’s a new environmental impact report. The last one was drafted in 2007. Among the considerations the group is asking for: consideration of climate change impacts to and mitigation potential of the forest, acknowledging how the economy has changed in Mendocino County, guarantee of equitable access for all, emphasizing outdoor education for youth and adults and more low-impact recreation which won’t pose a threat to Native American Cultural Heritage.

The Mendocino County Board of Supervisors will meet on the latest with the pandemic with the Public Health Officer. Like every week Dr. Andy Coren will present to the board, but this week may be different, as we’ve experienced another death and a mini outbreak at two restaurants. They’ll also discuss a re-establishment of the Mendocino County Water Agency as a Stand-Alone Agency with room for Public Health and Safety Issues Related to Drought Response and other Critical Tasks. And there’s a special budget meeting this week, so the board will take some time on that. And they’ll look at possibly boosting staff in Code Enforcement, the Sheriff’s Office, County Counsel, and Cannabis Program, for Cannabis Complaints and Enforcement, Aligned with the Humboldt Model.

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