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Destination Hopland is back. This Saturday, September 18th, you can hop on and go wine tasting with over 10 local producers will feature their hand-crafted wines. Coach tickets include a wine glass, first class, that wine glass, 3 food tickets and become a Wine Club member for the day at all participating wineries, first class holders with food tickets can be used at various eateries, and the wine club member of the day gets all winery perks. It’s $40 for a coach ticket and $65 for first class.  

Around 2/3rd’s of the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office is fully vaccinated. The Sheriff’s office reported at least 70% of their full-time workers had gotten their shots. The Press Democrat reports the agency is in line with most other county government offices. Sheriff Mark Essick said he hoped to see even more employees get the vaccination. One of their Corrections Officers, Lt. Bobby Travelstead died Sept. 1st after contracting the virus. That same day was the deadline for all police, fire and ambulance agencies to get proof from employees they had been vaccinated in accordance with a county public health order.

The Dixie Fire has made history again… becoming the first single fire in the state to burn more than 900,000 acres. The fire started burning in a thick forested area of Plumas County, then spilled into other areas since starting mid-July. It’s about to be the 2nd Gigafire in the state, behind the August Complex which was made up of several fires that merged together. The Dixie has now burned over 919,000 acres and is 59% contained. The fire has its own meteorologist who says it looks to continue burning the next week as no precipitation is expected. There will also be near-record heat in some areas of the fire. Almost 1,300 structures have burned and nearly 6,000 are still threatened.

The Caldor fire is still burning near Lake Tahoe which has pretty much been saved. That fire has burned over 217,000 acres and is 50% contained.  Fire officials say the fire is still active and they’re working to reinforce the containment and corral spot fires. Some folks evacuated in El Dorado County have been able to go home, but since people left, bears have been spotted all over the place, going through trash. The local police say 15 of 17 recent calls about break-ins were due to bears. At least one had to be humanely euthanized due to severe burns on his paws.

A man’s been arrested in Fort Bragg after reports of a stolen car. Police say they got a call to find Arthur Montero threatened the car owner with a chainsaw if she didn’t hand over the keys to the car, after first going into her house. Police say Montero told the woman he’d “chop” her up with his chainsaw and tried starting it, but she gave him the keys.  Sheriff’s deputies and the CHP searched for her truck, finding Montero near a gas station, arresting him. There was no damage to the vehicle and Montero was booked into Mendocino County Jail for possession of a stolen vehicle, criminal threats, robbery, burglary and possession of stolen property.

More complaints coming into the Fort Bragg Police Department for super loud mufflers and exhaust systems on cars and motorcycles. So the police department says they’re trying to correct this and educate. As part of Calif. code a vehicle has to have an “adequate muffler” without excessive or unusual noise, and it cannot have “a cutout, bypass, or similar device.” It also says the person driving the vehicle cannot modify the exhaust system to make it louder or it will be considered not in compliance”.  So be on the lookout as Fort Bragg Police are holding a special maximum enforcement event to root these vehicles out.

The Governor’s office along with legislative leaders are looking at new requirements so students in school who may have to go home and quarantine will have access to remote learning, and schools won’t be penalized when they’re out. This means lawmakers have to hustle ahead of Friday when they recess for the year. The legislation after reports many students had gone without any learning last year because the requirements were not specifically spelled out. The Legislature cut all distance learning this year and is allowing independent study and very little live, online instruction. The superintendents of 23 county offices of education and 50 school districts said the independent study law doesn’t work for them in short-term quarantines.

A state of emergency has been declared for Lake County due to last month’s Cache fire. The Governor’s office says this will help Clearlake residents with recovery. One mobile home park was almost entirely wiped out by the fire, and another lost homes too. The mayor of Clearlake spoke with Lake Co News saying it’s great news for the city because they were concerned about what it would cost for cleanup. The proclamation helps speed up the removal of the hazardous debris left behind by the fire which started August 18th and burned just over 80 acres, 56 homes and 81 outbuildings.

A special meeting’s been set by the Lake County Board of Supervisors about the upcoming gubernatorial recall election.  The meeting is online tomorrow morning, you can find it on the county’s Facebook page or Channel 8. The elections office will give an update and the board will discuss special accommodations to be made so folks can vote safely in person with social distancing, due to the delta variant of COVID19. The idea’s being floated to use the board chambers for voting because there’s more room there, but that would mean the board wouldn’t be able to meet in person, only on zoom. The board is also looking at bringing in the new Community Development director to start before her official appointment date at an hourly rate for the next month.

A plan that had been in the works to take coal by train along a defunct railroad on the North Coast is apparently rearing its head again. But North Coast lawmakers say they’ll block the plan to export coal overseas from Montana, Utah and Wyoming out of the Port of Humboldt Bay. Sen. Mike McGuire says it would be one of the worst environmental threats to the North Coast in decades, saying the state banned coal-fired plants for a reason. The Lost Coast Outpost reported there’s a new North Coast Railroad Company which has filed with the Surface Transportation Board against plans to railbank the old rail line for the Great Redwood Trail, one of McGuire’s babies. The claim is that Congress should preserve rail service wherever possible. Congressman Jared Huffman is also urging his constituents to oppose resurrecting the rail line for coal transport.

More information’s surfaced about the failed attempt to arrest the so-called Redbearded Burglar earlier this week in Albion. The Mendocino Voice reports two SWAT officers, including a K9 handler, were injured Monday during the search. The news site reports all available personnel, including off-duty deputies, were called to help track fugitive William Evers down. He got away as it was dark, and deputies say because of the rough terrain. Apparently he’s gotten away from law enforcement four times this year, including during a shootout with deputies in May while Evers ran from the scene of a burglary. He’s been wanted for a string of burglaries.

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