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Another death has been reported in Mendocino County associated with the pandemic. The Public Health Dept. reports being notified of a county resident lost to the COVID-19 virus, a 41 year old Willits woman who was unvaccinated. This is now the 58th death in Mendocino County. Once again Public Health is reminding residents to use caution when placing themselves in situations that may expose them to COVID-19, especially considering the new more infectious Delta variant. And to follow all CDC and CDPH guidance. Vaccination, masking and social distancing remain the best options for combating the Covid-19 Virus.

Reports of the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office engaging in a high speed chase near Willits with a suspect known to carry guns, who they believed might be under the influence. Mendo Fever reports scanner traffic said deputies took chase after the black Dodge Charger with oversized tires because the driver was going faster than 100 miles/hour at times and driving erratically. The driver was spotted on the 101 and Highway 162 driving faster than 80 mph at times and driving in opposite lanes of traffic. The driver was also seen tossing stuff out of the car and they lost sight of him for a time. Then the guy stopped and ran and deputies took off on foot after him. There was one other person with the driver and the pair were caught before midnight.

A fire has gutted a beloved resale shop in Guerneville. Gypsy Sisters was owned by Cherie Sexton for 15 years. It was destroyed with two other buildings downtown Sunday night. Apparently the fire started in the crawl space under the old Flavors Unlimited ice cream shop. The Sonoma County Fire Protection District reports that shop, the former DeeDees Graphics and Printing and the Gypsy Sisters building were heavily damaged. The buildings will be torn down now. The fire is under investigation.

Folks have been allowed back into the area where the Cache fire burned in Lake County. Some of the homeowners who lost all of their belongings have started GoFundMe accounts so they can pay to replace their personal items, including clothes, furniture and the rest.

The Sonoma County Public Health Officer is moving up the deadline for when public school staff have to get their COVID19 vaccine in accordance with the guidelines from the California Department of Public Health. Teachers, administrators, and other staff have to show proof they’ve been vaccinated by Sept. 24th, three weeks sooner than the state deadline of Oct. 15th. If they don’t get the vaccine, then they will be tested every week. Dr. Sundari Mase put out a statement that after she spoke to local school and community leaders, she found it would be necessary and appropriate for all schools to comply sooner. A spokesperson for the county says “they know the vaccine is the best tool to fight the pandemic.”

Residents told to leave their homes as the Cache fire broke out have been allowed to go home. Some came back Sunday night to survey the damage, but yesterday they were able to sift through what was left behind in the ash. The city manager, who’s also the Clearlake director of emergency services, also notified that those who are not property owners or their representatives, were restricted from entry. Most of the fire’s destruction was limited to the Creekside Mobile Home Park. A few other mobile homes were destroyed or damaged at the nearby Cache Creek Mobile Home Park, and its water system was destroyed. The fire burned 83 acres last week. A local assistance center for fire survivors is being set up to help.

There are dozens of fires burning in the state and thousands of firefighters working overtime. That spurred Gov. Newsom to request a presidential major disaster declaration for eight counties. That would cover the Dixie, Antelope, McFarland, Monument and River fires and open up the ability for the federal government to help pay for housing, food, unemployment and governmental emergency costs. The state reported tens of thousands of Californians are currently under mandatory evacuation orders and over 500 households were in shelters. And now the Caldor Fire in El Dorado County is creeping closer to Lake Tahoe. The fire is only 5% contained and has burned 447 buildings already.  The Dixie Fire is now 40% contained, but it’s getting closer and closer to that Gigafire status. It’s burned nearly 700 homes.

Smaller school districts are reportedly struggling even though the state promised they wouldn’t be harmed as attendance dropped due to the pandemic. Ed Source reports the so-called hold-harmless policy didn’t necessarily cover all districts. The Small School Districts Association sent a letter this spring to the Senate and Assembly budget committees but say they have yet to get a response. And say there’s been no action as the legislature is about to end its work for the year. The state policy is such that districts need to prove they had budgeted for growth in enrollment, and then the state would pay above the year before enrollment.

A man from Redwood Valley has been found guilty of a first degree murder in Covelo last year. Joel Mendoza-Gonzalez was killed a year ago in a drive by shooting and Jameson Wolfgang Jackson is the shooter. He was also convicted for a 2001 murder of Brooktrails store-owner Joan LeFeat, when he was only 15.  He’s now 36 years old, but since he was tried as a juvenile before, he was released from lockup in 2008, and was paroled until 2010. He’s had various other arrests since then including one for domestic violence a couple of years ago. He was held in jail the last year on $2 million bail. He will be sentenced Sept. 16th and faces life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Some complaints have been pouring into the Secretary of State’s office after a video on Instagram went viral, showing you can see someone’s yes vote on the recall election ballot. The video apparently shows, if you hold the ballot return envelope a certain way, the yes votes are easily seen outside the return envelope. At the same time the Los Angeles County Registrar’s office said the design allows two small holes on each side of the envelope, where a voter signs were designed that way on purpose, and they’ve been used for several elections. And they say voters can control how they place their ballot in the envelope to ensure secure and appropriate handling, including by mail, ballot drop box or at an official vote center. The recall election against Governor Gavin Newsom is set for Sept. 14th. You are asked two questions, should Newsom be removed, yes or no? And then find your replacement candidate, from which there are dozens of candidates. Since there are so many, if Newsom loses, a potential winner may only get 25% of the vote, or less.

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