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A broadband test will help Mendocino County determine home internet speeds. The Broadband Speed-Test Initiative has kicked off to crowd source data so the county can try to get funding for better internet service for unserved and underserved areas. The data gathered countywide will correct any self-reporting from the past that may have been inaccurate. The info gathered is private and won’t be shared. It’s so the county can apply for grants for better broadband service.

Everyone in Mendocino County is invited to test their internet speeds, and together we can help close the Digital Divide in Mendocino County. Learn more and take the test today at https://www.mendocinocounty.org/speedtest.

The recall election is coming, so the Lake County Board of Supervisors will be on Zoom for their regular meeting. That’s to make space for election activities tomorrow. For those who want to see the board in action, they can hop on Zoom or see the meeting on the county’s YouTube or Facebook pages.

To participate, please join the Zoom Meeting at 9am on Tuesday, 9/14:

https://lakecounty.zoom.us/j/95863948038?pwd=QXByb25ET2xMbVY5UnB2UVhyZkplQT09

Webinar ID: 958 6394 8038    

Passcode: 845932

It’s National Recovery Month so Lake County is celebrating those who’ve made gains in recovery. National Recovery Month highlights the critical role behavioral health plays in the community’s overall well-being. The theme is “Recovery is for Everyone: Every Person, Every Family, Every Community”. The Director of Lake County Behavioral Health Services says everyone needs to work together to “increase awareness and improve understanding about diseases and the negative effects of substance abuse”.  

For more info, contact Lake County Behavioral Health Services at 707-274-9101 or 707-994-7090.

A head on crash in the Ridgewood area has ended in a death. A  29 year old man in an Acura Integra and a 29 year old woman in a Dodge Ram crashed. The Acura apparently crossed the double yellow lines on the 101 north of the Scale Facility and drove into the Ram, causing it to hit the guardrail and roll.  The Acura ended up in the southbound lanes. The driver and passengers in the Dodge were helped out, the driver had major injuries and the passengers had minor injuries. The driver of the Acura died. The accident is being investigated, but cops say they don’t think drugs or alcohol were a factor.

Tribal Police called Mendocino Deputies for backup after someone supposedly pulled out a gun in Covelo. It happened a week ago Saturday on the corner of Barnes Lane and Highway 162. There were actually two separate incidents in the area, one with Luiz Gonzalez and Bridgette Frank who were in an argument with a couple of others, a 24 year old man and 50 year old woman. Witnesses reported Frank broke the 50 year old woman’s car window and left. And police say Gonzalez tossed a metal brake rotor at someone, but didn’t hit them.  Gonzalez was detained and held on $30,000.00 bail, but deputies and Tribal Police could not find Frank who ran from the scene.

Mandatory evacuation orders have been lifted in Mendocino County after a fire broke out outside Calpella. At least 200 people had to be evacuated, that’s about 30% of the entire town. The Hopkins Fire was reported in the area of Moore and East Hopkins streets 6 miles north of Ukiah. One firefighter was injured as the fire burned in low humidity, and dry windy conditions, with some gusts recorded at 20 mph. The fire has burned 275 acres so far. The evacuations were in the area east of the 101 corridor between Highway 20 and Lake Mendocino Drive to the west shore of Lake Mendocino. Several homes and other buildings have been destroyed. Fire officials say it will probably take until Wednesday for the fire to be totally contained.

After a bit of a row between the Governor and top Republican challenger in the recall, former radio talk show host Larry Elder, the Secretary of State’s office reported the election system is secure. Over the weekend Governor Newsom responded to Elder saying the election could have fraudulent votes, calling that a scare tactic, and reports about the security of the state’s election management system are “inaccurate.” Some are already calling for an audit before the election even happened. They’ve sent a letter to the Secretary of State about the ballot management system. But the secretary of state says it’s impossible to do the type of audit the experts requested on such short notice.  But she also said Calif has the “strictest voting system testing, procedures for use and security requirements in the nation”.

Lake County’s Public Health Office says after being nearly ahead of all other counties per capita in COVID-19 cases, the surge is finally showing signs of slowing. Dr. Gary Pace, who is the interim health officer as the county still searches for his replacement, says there’s been some bumps in the road. As kids go back to school in person there’s been an increase in cases, and the same after the Lake County Fair. There have now been 79 deaths due to complications from the virus. He says everyone needs to take the virus seriously, 18 months in. He says the vaccinated run a small risk of being hospitalized or dying from COVID and that getting vaccinated is the most significant thing to do to make the county safer, keep kids in school, businesses open, and hospitals from getting overwhelmed.

The Mendocino County Public Health Officer has changed his tune and will not mandate vaccines for restaurant employees and patrons. Dr. Andy Coren says after he spoke to restaurant owners, many concerned about the blowback they’d get for a vaccine mandate, he will “strongly recommend” vaccines instead. Dr. Coren said not all of those who went to a meeting last week at the Ukiah Valley Athletic Club were opposed, but after receiving letters and comments, he changed his mind. Dr. Coren said the strongest influence on him was the deep divisions in the community. He says people can make an informed decision about where they want to patronize.

There have been some COVID outbreaks at Mendocino County skilled nursing facilities again. Dr. Andy Coren said one at the Mendocino County Jail seems to be under control now, one at a skilled nursing facility seems to nearly be over and another is receiving help from the state. He didn’t give the names of the facilities. He also noted another outbreak at the homeless shelter, saying multiple people were given alternate shelter to recover safely. There’s another outbreak too at the Safeway in Willits. But with all of the outbreaks, Dr. Coren says case numbers have been down the last three weeks. As of the last update, there were 25 people in the hospital, eight of them in the ICU and only one ICU bed available in the county.

A man from Covelo has been arrested on multiple charges after reports of someone showing a gun. Deputies say they got a report Reginald Azbill had hit his girlfriend, but she didn’t immediately report it. Then again she said she was in the shower and Azbill appeared with a gun and pointed it at her, threatening her. So after he left she called police. They put out an alert to find him and got an Emergency Protective Order for the girlfriend. Another report of a man with a gun involving Azbill came to deputies attention. A man says he saw him pull a firearm and looked to be loading the weapon. But Azbill left the area. In a separate area Deputies approached Azbill and arrested him, finding a few guns, meth and a pipe. The guns were found to be stolen from Texas. He’s charged with multiple crimes and held without bail.

Police have responded to a shooting in Ukiah finding casings and bullet fragments. It happened in the 700 block of S. Dora St. near Yokayo Elementary which went into lockdown. Witnesses took video Friday which showed a man shooting into a car, then both cars drive away. Police found the car by the elementary school with nobody inside and impounded it. The car was a blue BMW with meth inside, forensic evidence also found and identified the shooter only as a Black man in his 30’s, over 6 feet tall, with an athletic build, shoulder length dread locks with bleached tips. The passenger was a thin, white man in his 20’s with light brown or blonde hair. The shooter reportedly fired at a red or orange hatchback sedan, like a PT cruiser. No arrests have been made and the victims have not come forward.

An elderly woman from Ukiah reported being threatened by a man on a skateboard. She says the man, later identified as Donald Spencer was screaming at her and raised his skateboard in an aggressive manner while threatening to strike her. She walks using a walker and rushed away, finding someone to call 911 for her. Police found her and the skateboard. They then found Spencer in a car, where he’d been living with his dog. Police say he became belligerent with them and was uncooperative but admitted the incident with the woman. He was arrested and the woman was driven home with adult protective services called.  The man’s dog was taken to the local animal shelter and his car impounded.

The Hopkins fire near Calpella is at 20% containment and has not grown much. There are shelters in place for those told to evacuate in the Mendocino County Office of Education building on Old River Road. Animals were also being sheltered at the animal shelter or at the fairgrounds. Reports say there are still 200 structures threatened by the Hopkins fire which also led to downed power lines and a loss of cell service for some. The fire started yesterday and grew quickly with many still evacuated and roadblocks in place. Some who had been evacuated were allowed to go home, but other warnings and orders stayed in place. The Daily Journal reports multiple homes have been destroyed and the fire has burned 257 acres.           

Please visit MendoReady.org for additional information to include the updated map for evacuation orders and warnings.

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