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A man riding his bike recognized by Mendocino Deputies as on parole. They say he had a light violation on his bike as he rode early in the morning. They’ve identified him as Jose Ayala and say he seemed high so they stopped him and asked him to take field sobriety tests, but he would not comply. So they asked to search him and found a baggie with a white powder inside, thinking it was meth, they detained him. When they searched him and his backpack, they found a semiautomatic handgun. A Ukiah police officer came for backup and they found yet another plastic baggie on him with what they say was a commercial quantity of suspected methamphetamine.  Ayala was arrested on multiple charges including Felony Possession of Controlled Substance While Armed with Loaded Firearm, Felony Armed While In Commission Of Felony and Felony Carry Loaded Firearm In Public. They later found pills on him while he was being booked so they added more charges. He was released though with a promise to return for a court date.

Mendocino Public Schools will require masks be worn in class in the fall, through at least November 1st. The California Department of Public Health went back and forth on the requirement and ultimately decided to leave it up to local jurisdictions. The Superintendent of Mendocino County Schools Michelle Hutchins said she understands it’s disappointing to some, but alternative COVID-prevention protocols could lead us back to a hybrid of in-person and virtual learning. The options Hutchins says, were three feet distance between students at all times or masks, so they opted for masks because the distance requirement was just not doable. So in the fall all Mendocino County K-12 schools will require universal masking indoors for students and staff.

A statement released by public health officials across Northern Calif. about misinformation out there on COVID19 vaccinations. The joint statement says some of the counties within the RANCHO area, which stands for the Rural Association of Northern Calif. Health Officers, have the lowest rates of the vaccination in the state, but also the lowest rate of antibodies, meaning the virus can thrive here. The group says as summer with tourism starts in full force, there are views and some misinformation or myths to address. They specially called 5 of them as untrue, if you had the virus, you can’t get it again, false; that getting the shots is worse than the virus itself, false; that the vaccine is experimental – it was rushed into use, they it’s sort of new technology, but hardly experimental; myth #4: the vaccine will make you sterile, absolutely not the scientists say; and finally myth 5, the vaccine can alter your DNA.

An air tanker on its way to the massive Dixie Fire in the Camp Fire footprint quickly put out another fire. It happened yesterday, a fire in brush in Paradise. The air tanker saw it and dropped retardant on it, slowing the spread to only burn a ¼ acre. Again it happened about an hour later, this time in Magalia, another town where the Camp fire burned. Another air tanker saw about ½ acre on fire and dropped retardant. The Cal Fire chief in Butte County said it was lucky they had aircraft in the area to get resources to those fires immediately.

The Dixie fire burning near the Camp Fire footprint, burning in Butte and Plumas counties finally has some containment. Yesterday we told you it was zero percent contained, but now Cal Fire reports they have it 7% surrounded. The fire has scorched almost 5,000 acres, continuing to explode in size after breaking out in very hot, dry weather in the Feather River Cyn Tuesday night. Cal Fire also reports a firefighter has been injured in the fire, but there are no structures currently threatened, damaged, or destroyed. The fire is burning in steep and inaccessible terrain. There is still an evacuation order in place and a warning too.

A man in Redwood Valley has been arrested after being spotted alone in a car late at night. Mendocino Deputies on routine patrol saw a black Audi sedan with expired registration so they stopped the driver who was alone at the time. He was identified as Jesse Connolly who had a felony warrant out for his arrest for not appearing in court when he was supposed to. He was booked into jail on $15,000.00 bail.

Deputies in Ukiah have arrested a man they say was sitting alone in a car talking to himself. They found Cody Ladd was on active parole and say he seemed high on something, so they conducted field sobriety tests. They say they arrested him soon after the tests for being under the influence of a controlled substance. They say during a search of his car they found a baggie with a white, crystalline substance and believed it to be meth. His parole officer was called and they placed Ladd on a parole hold and booked him into jail on no bail.

Another day searching for illegal marijuana grows in Mendocino County. Kym Kemp reports a National Guard helicopter was seen over county skies Wednesday to look for unlawful grow sites.  They were working with the Mendocino County Sheriff’s office on the searches. A Laytonville resident spotted a chopper circling above ground, then Kemp reported also seeing it land at the Ukiah Municipal Airport. It’s apparently not unusual for the Sheriff’s dept. to work with the National Guard to help eradicate marijuana. 

Bad news regarding the ongoing drought. The Sacramento River is so over heated that it could kill almost all of the already endangered salmon species. Calif. officials so it will be too hot for juvenile salmon to survive the fall. The Dept. of Fish and Wildlife is predicting the winter-run of Chinook will struggle against continued hot weather in the Sacramento Valley. They call it a persistent heat dome and say water will not be cool enough because of it and that it’s possible nearly all of the in-river juveniles won’t survive this season. And since they have about a three year life cycle, it will be a “near-total” wipeout this year, and an increase of extinction of the species.

A fire that had been threatening a grid the runs electricity through Oregon into Calif. is growing without much more containment. The so-called Bootleg fire in central Oregon has burned almost a quarter million acres of land northeast of Klamath Falls and about 45 miles north of the California border. The fire started July 6th in the Fremont-Winema National Forest on private land near Sprague River. There are three major electricity transmission lines in peril. They provide up to 5,500 megawatts of power to our state. It’s already perilous in Calif with the high heat, and three flex alerts since last weekend. The fire has burned at least 21 homes and is threatening thousands more.

Assemblywoman Cecilia Aguiar-Curry is applauding the new Broadband Budget Bill which unanimously passed her chamber. The bill also passed unanimously after in the senate. She was part of the Assembly negotiating team who worked with the Governor and Senate on the package. The bill looks to overhaul the state’s broadband system and provide more money so the state can be in the technological 21st century. The pandemic further shed a light on the disparity in internet coverage across the state, but Aguiar-Curry says the bill will ensure all Californians have access to internet-based services like education and job training, telehealth, and the digital economy.

Firefighters from Calif. are headed to Oregon to help with the Bootleg and other massive fires across the west. The work through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact which provides mutual aid to Oregon. At the same time the National Multi-Agency Coordinating Group elevated the National Preparedness Level to Level 5 — the highest level — because of increased fire activity. Oregon Gov. Kate Brown requested help from Calif. so the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services sent a Type 6 (wildland fire fast attack) strike team, and another task force, with three Type 3 fire (wildland fire) engines and two Type 6 fire engines. There are more being sent proactively to Southern Oregon in case of new fires.

Norcal tires has confirmed a positive COVID case. The Public Health Office says the Ukiah office of the tire store says between July 5th and 12th, members of the public could have been exposed to the virus and should be tested. The public health office says if you’re vaccinated and showing symptoms, you should also definitely be tested. The business put out a statement saying the safety of customers, staff and the community is of the utmost importance and they’re following all health and safety protocols after an employee tested positive. They remind everyone to help stop the spread and get vaccinated.

Cases and hospitalizations are surging again in Calif. about a month after restrictions were lifted, coronavirus cases and hospitalizations are spiking again. In Los Angeles County they’ve had five days straight of over 1,000 new cases. They’ve re-instituted the mask mandate. The Gov. reopened the state June 15th and allowed everyone vaccinated or not to go back out into indoor public spaces. But this week we saw the average number of daily cases more than triple. The state’s positivity rate went from 0.08% to 3%. Hot spots noted from June 12th to July 12th in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Orange counties. Public health officials say almost all of the new cases, hospitalizations and deaths are in the unvaccinated. They note about 40% of state residents are not vaccinated.

The city of Ukiah’s recycled water is running low due to the drought. The city’s director of water and sewer reported to the city council last week the amount of water isn’t sustainable, even as they watch over storage very closely at the recycled water facility. The water the city treats at the Ukiah Valley Wastewater Treatment Plant through the Purple Pipe system is mostly for agricultural uses such as vineyard irrigation. The city’s trying to find ways to bolster the supply of the recycled water. But they’re mostly storing groundwater not surface water.

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