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Some balloons getting caught up in electricity lines had turned the power off for hundreds in Redwood Valley. Pacific Gas & Electric reports mylar balloons that contacted overhead power lines switched the power off for 743 customers Monday night around 5pm. They had to inspect the lines before turning them back on due to the company’s “enhanced power line safety settings”. That started with the energy company’s public safety power shutoff events. So the company sent crews to inspect the lines in a chopper because of the rugged terrain. Balloons have previously caused hundreds of power outages in both Lake and Mendocino counties and other parts of PG&E’s service territory, disrupting electric service to over 250,000 homes and businesses.

A state official in Utah and two federally recognized tribal nations reportedly spoke this spring about shipping coal from Rocky Mountain states along the Northern California coast then out to Humboldt Bay to be shipped overseas. The Salt Lake Tribune newspaper got ahold of an internal memo from a port agency in Utah showing coal industry companies in Montana and Utah had been in discussions for the move, but there’s been public outcry, and moves to quash any clandestine plans to move coal through Northern Calif. on a defunct rail line planned for a rail trail instead.

The top utility regulator in Calif. who’s been overseeing PG&E’s bankruptcy and ensuing criminal cases, has resigned. Marybel Batjer did not say why she’s leaving in an email to staff at the California Public Utilities Commission, leaving the Governor to have to search for her replacement. Her term was not supposed to end until the end of 2026. Pacific Gas & Electric Co., as you may recall filed for bankruptcy in 2019 after the devastating Camp fire. The utility is facing a slew of charges for its old equipment starting fires. Just last week 4 charges of manslaughter were filed against the state’s largest investor-owned utility, after the company already pleaded guilty to 84 counts of involuntary manslaughter related to the Camp fire.

The new-ish superintendent of schools in Middletown has been terminated. After a closed session of the School District Board Monday Superintendent Michael Cox was released from his contract. The board president thanked Cox for his service and thanked the community for their patience and support. Cox was just hired in April of 2020 after he led an Alternative Education Center in the Silver Valley Unified School District in Southern California. The district board didn’t say why they ended Cox’s contract, but Lake Co News reports the board had 10 closed session evaluations of Cox since he started the job and since this past June, three about his performance and three during regular meetings. All closed door sessions.

Bail has been denied for a woman from Clearlake Oaks charged for the death of her boyfriend after she said he raped her, then left the state. Tammy Sue Grogan-Robinson was in court yesterday to face charges in the murder of her boyfriend, Charles Vernon McClelland of Rohnert Park who was found at her home in July. He was shot several times with a handgun. She left soon after, ending up in Missouri, where she was later arrested, then extradited back. Her lawyer asked for her $2 million dollar bail to be lowered, but the Deputy DA in the case argued she should get no bail since she’s a flight risk, calling the murder premeditated. And the prosecution won that argument with Grogan-Robinson held without bail. She’s due back in court Oct. 13th

The Lake County Board of Supervisors is having a series of public hearings on the redistricting process. As we’ve been reporting, this happens every decade as the US Census comes out to make local and state political districts more evenly distributed with population growth. All of the board’s hearings will be in the board chambers, but you can also join on Zoom. They will take public input.

Adding on to the mandate for healthcare and other state workers to get the COVID-19 vaccine, the California Department of Public Health has issued a new health order requiring vaccines for those working in adult, senior care and at in-home direct care settings. The director of the agency says we have to do all we can to keep the most vulnerable communities safe from the continuing threat of the COVID19 pandemic. There have been nearly 20,000 confirmed outbreaks and almost 50% of them were in health care, congregate care, and direct care settings. 22% of all of them were in adult and senior care facilities and in-home direct care settings. The new mandate says workers must initiate the vaccine by Nov. 30th.

A man from Ukiah has been killed in a single car crash after his pickup went down a steep hill on highway 1. The CHP reports the driver was in a Dodge pickup which burst into flames after the crash north on the highway, just north of the Heritage House near Little River at Frog Pond Road. Officers say he was driving too fast and couldn’t make a sharp turn, went off the highway, down the hill and rolled multiple times before coming to a stop on its roof. Also, he was not wearing a seatbelt.

The company METALfx, located in Willits gets its 15 minutes of fame. The precision metal fabricator has been a featured player on “Manufacturing Marvels”. The series shows off North American manufacturing companies on the Fox Business Network. The president of the company expressed utter joy at the appearance, which happened last Wednesday night. The president of the company says they have small town charm and they were excited to share that with a wider audience.

There won’t be extended school days or the school year either in Calif. for elementary schoolers. Governor Newsom’s administration had put money into extra time for students, but school districts and charter schools are reportedly still struggling to find teachers, substitute teachers, bus drivers and contact tracers. Superintendents tell Ed Source they’re still struggling with reopenings and new policies amidst the continuing pandemic. The Legislature has agreed to push a deadline for extending school and the budget attached to it, until next year. That’s $1.75 billion as just the first installment in a $5 billion deal to fund full school days and full school years for kindergarten to sixth grade.

Johnson’s Beach in Guerneville is up for sale. It’s been over six years since the owners, former financiers, Dan Poirier and Nick Moore bought the place. The 11 acre beach along with a lodge and cabins are on the market for over $3.5 million dollars now that the beach season has officially ended. The realtor says there’s been a lot of interest in the property and they are apparently accepting offers through Monday. The beach is a couple of blocks from Main Street and has been a Russian River landmark for years.

A group of doctors, nurses and other medical staff at Adventist Health Howard Hospital have written a scathing letter to the editor regarding hospital capacity and residents who are not getting vaccinated. The letter to says they’ve been running Howard Hospital for weeks around 140% capacity due to the Covid 19 delta surge. They go on to say the ICU is full and more deaths are coming and that the overwhelm is due mostly to the un-vaccinated and patients are increasingly younger. They are imploring residents to get vaccinated. They also say to continue masking, distancing and washing hands, but that is dwarfed by the effect of getting your vaccination. The letter also says 3 counties with the lowest vaccination rates have the highest case rates and death rate than any country worldwide. And the 3 with the lowest case rates, have the highest vaccination rates.

The Mendocino County Board of Supervisors meeting spent some time on the drought. Supervisors got a status report on the water hauling taking place by truck out of Ukiah. They heard from the Drought Ad Hoc Committee members on potential future steps to help communities and find money to pay for the water hauling. The county did receive some money from the state. The supervisors heard there is enough capacity to use three water haulers. They also discussed being proactive for future water storage needs. The board also talked about having a member represent the County’s Redevelopment/Successor Agency Oversight Board, for which Mo Mulheren was appointed.

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