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The Lakeport City Council will be talking about homelessness and related mental health issues at its regular meeting on Tuesday. The council will get an update from staff about programs and available opportunities to deal with the homeless. The city says a significant number of the Lakeport Police Department calls for service involve interactions with homeless people or those experiencing a mental health-related crisis. The City Manager and Police Chief will outline what they are doing to deal with those issues.

Fort Bragg police chief John McNaulty wants people to use good judgment recording incidents on their phones. He has put out a press release saying a bystander s recording a medical emergency earlier this week caused emotional distress for the victim’s family and forced responders to take steps to keep the scene private while they tended to the patient. Chief McNaulty says he understands that people want to record what they see for accountability, but that Fort Bragg officers are required to wear body cameras to document all emergency responses.

Water and Sewer rates could be going up in the city of Lakeport. Lake Co News reporting that the city council has voted to move ahead with an increase covering 2022 to 2026. The rates have not gone up since 2017, and the city says keeping them as they are is not an option. There are some steps left before your bills go up. First, there will be a public hearing on October 19th. Then the city will mail out a required notice about the proposed increase After that, the council will take a vote to make it official.

The Clearlake City council has received an update about the Cache fire that burned 56 homes and 91 outbuildings last month. City Manager Alan Flora told the council at a meeting on Thursday night that the emergency center that took in those displaced by the fire is now closed. Flora says those people have been moved to temporary housing. Lake Co News reports the city has submitted an initial damage estimate to the state to see if can be added to the larger California disaster declaration. That estimate puts the damage and cleanup costs at around 14 point 5 million dollars. Flora says the city’s next priority will be cleanup and rebuilding the 83-acre fire zone around Sixth Avenue and Cache Stre

In order to protect employees and customers of local businesses, the Mendocino County Public Health Officer has announced vaccinations will be required for all restaurant employees, and customers to be inside.  Dr. Andy Coren says there are still too many high exposure events, especially in restaurants and bars, so he’s ordering businesses to require vaccinations or to show proof of testing. He says if those visiting the establishments don’t want to show proof, they can get food to go or eat outdoors. There will be some exemptions allowed. Hospital rates are still high he says and there have been days where there were no ICU beds. And those in the hospital were younger and sicker than ever before. The month of August saw the most coronavirus cases in the County, 1,365.

Looking for a fugitive, the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office still looking for the so-called Redbearded Burglar. William Evers reportedly seen this week in someone’s vegetable garden and deputies caught video of him slipping away as they got there. So afterwards, a SWAT team, continued patrol of the area, a Task Force and police dog went searching in Albion. The Sheriff’s Office reports they searched 17 miles over 7 hours in challenging terrain for Evers and saw signs or evidence of him, but they didn’t physically encounter him.

Lighter winds have aided fire crews across Northern Calif. Especially the Caldor Fire which is creeping toward Lake Tahoe. Some folks were allowed to go back home after the fire triggered the evacuation of 22,000 people Monday. The fire is just a few miles outside South Lake Tahoe. The fire is threatening at least 30,000 homes, businesses and other buildings ranging from cabins to ski resorts. Controlled fires are diverting the massive inferno away from populated areas. Evacuation orders were lifted or downgraded to warnings in parts of El Dorado County. Lighter wind was expected today, but there’s also a warming front coming this weekend. The fire has burned over 210,000 acres and is only 27% contained.

Sonoma County is getting hammered by COVID again. The Public Health Dept. reports nine new deaths ending the month of August as one of the worst the county’s seen. The Press Democrat reports public health dept. reported five deaths yesterday morning, and 4 more in the afternoon. Six were not vaccinated. The Public Health Officer, Dr. Sundari Mase says the deaths in the unvaccinated residents were a much younger population than before and the ones who were vaccinated were much older with severe underlying health issues. These deaths were in 2 unvaccinated homeless men between 50 and 64, an unvaccinated man over 79, an unvaccinated man over 69, an unvaccinated woman over 69 and an unvaccinated woman over 79.

Things are finally looking better on the unemployment front in California. But pretty soon the federal benefit add on of $300/week will end. There were 59,755 initial claims for unemployment for the week ending Aug. 28th, nearly 3,600 less than a week before. This is the first time since October 2020 that initial claims were down in Calif. for three weeks in a row.  The extra $300 ends tomorrow.  

A new three digit number is coming online if you need mental healthcare quick. 9-8-8 starts next July, but apparently there’s no funding for the idea yet. Mental health advocates say the state will need $50 million to staff call centers and related crisis response services.  Lawmakers were working to find the money after a bill failed that would have meant a fee for land and cell phone lines.  The money would have paid for the state’s National Suicide Prevention Lifeline call centers which are already online and the new 9-8-8 lines because the call centers already in place could not handle the volume anticipated.

CalFresh benefits being paid for by the stimulus package related to the pandemic are ending soon. The State Dept. of Social Services reports the temporary 15 percent benefit increase for all CalFresh households, under the American Rescue Plan Act ends September 30th.

A decent sized earthquake hit near Talmage. The shaker measured 3.6 and the United States Geological Survey reported it was east northeast of Talmage just after 10:44 p.m. last night and about 4.6 miles deep. The temblor was centered close to another that hit two days before. Reports the earthquake was felt in Willits and Ukiah.

The Lake County Fair is on the way after a year off due to the pandemic. The Public Health Dept. wants to remind people to enjoy the fair safely. They say if you do go, you should wear a mask, even outdoors, since there will probably be large crowds. And you should physically distance yourself from others whenever you can, wash your hands frequently, especially before eating if you’ve been in physical contact with other people. Public health also says those who are unvaccinated or have underlying medical conditions should consider the risks and say it may not be the right time to attend. Right now the county COVID19 case rate is 43.6/100,000 residents.  There will also be a mobile vaccination van onsite each day of the fair this weekend.

Even though it goes against the state requirements during the historic drought, the city of Ukiah has announced it will divert water from the Russian River to truck out to Mendocino. The California State Water Resources Control Board has been curtailing water in the river since early August. The director of water and sewer resources for the city of Ukiah says they’re taking a very small amount and there’s enough water there. There has not been a water hauler identified to date, but the city says it’ll probably truck 65,000 to 75,000 gallons a day, or about $2,000 worth of water.

The chili cookoff held each year by Granite Construction to raise money for the Boys & Girls Club of Ukiah is off. But the Club CEO says they still need to raise money. In past years they’ve raised about $24,000. Bussing kids to school and after care is a challenge due to a lack of transportation, but the city of Ukiah’s been helping with the after school care. Donations can be sent or dropped off at Granite Construction in Ukiah, but checks should be made out to Boys & Girls Club of Ukiah. The fundraiser closes next Friday, September 10th.

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