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California will mandate student vaccines for Covid-19 once federal officials fully approve the immunizations for the appropriate age groups. Governor Newsom says the new rules will be an addition to the current vaccine required for common childhood illnesses like measles, mumps, and rubella. They would start in the first academic term after the FDA gives the green light. It means middle and high school students could be under the mandate sometime before the 22-23 academic year. No such requirement for teachers and staff—yet. Predictably, there is pushback. Some Republican members of the assembly say there is no proof kids need the shots. They also argue that the governor has no business using his executive power to order them. The governor acknowledges that parents and educators will have lots of questions, but he promises the eventual guidance will be clear and based on science.

There is an explanation for that heavy equipment you might have noticed on the banks of the South Fork of the Eel River recently. Not to worry. The trucks and drilling rigs are part of a Cal-Trans project to replace a bridge in the area with one that is earthquake resistant. reporting that the current bridge isn’t up to standards and needs to be replaced The equipment on the water’s edge is testing the soil so engineers can plan the foundation of the new crossing. CalTrans says the work complies with all environmental regulations.

California’s unemployment rate is down. That includes Lake and Mendocino Counties. In August, the Lake County jobless rate was 7 percent, while in Mendocino County, it was 6.1 percent. Both are lower than the STATE figure of 7.5 percent. More people were working in Agriculture in Lake County in August, with 24 percent more farm employees than in July. There is still a big difference in unemployment across California. The lowest rate was In Marin County at 4.4 percent, while in Imperial County in Southern California it was 19.4 percent.

Clear Lake State Park is in some select company among all State Parks in California. It is one of just 19 across the state taking part in a new free pass program for fourth graders and their families. Those students can apply for a permit good for admission at no charge to Clear Lake State Park and the 18 others for a year. Park officials call it an opportunity for kids to explore, learn and benefit from California’s natural wonders. The website has sign-up information. 
Lake County Behavioral Health Services wants more people to understand mental illness. October 3-9 is Mental Illness Awareness Week. Behavioral Health Services says its programs and services are vital to those who experience mental health issues. According to the National National Alliance on Mental Illness, those issues affect one in five Americans. That number could be even higher because of the stigma attached to reporting mental health problems. Behavioral Health Services Director Todd Metcalf says Awareness Week is a good time to focus on mental health and the community resources available for help. He says support is more important than ever as many people are struggling because of the pandemic.

A woman from Fort Bragg who killed a skateboarder in a hit and run car crash faces prison time. Gina Bean was accused of hitting Calum Palido who was skateboarding with a friend on Hwy 1. At the time police said Bean left the scene of the accident in July of 2019 running into Palido on the highway at the intersection with Little Lake Road. Her court dates were rescheduled due to the pandemic. She waived her right to a jury trial, so the court trial started last week and went five days. She’s set to be sentenced Dec. 3rd and faces four years in prison or she could get supervised probation for under two years. But state law says she has to serve county jail time, which with credits, may be 45 and 180 days.

The beleaguered Sonoma County Sheriff says he’s not running for office again. Sheriff Mark Essick spent almost thirty years in the office, and only one term as the top dog. The Press Democrat reports the Sheriff saying he won’t be in law enforcement after his term ends at the end of next year. He says he’s mostly leaving due to the pressure it put on him, and his relationships with his family, where sometimes it was job over family. The newspaper characterized his term as tumultuous. He said last year he wasn’t going to enforce the stay at home public health order and called out the Public Health Officer. He also had a formal complaint filed by the county supervisor chair for harassment and bullying. There were also excessive force claims made against the office. He says some of the things that have happened, have worn on him.

The Governor has signed a bunch of bills into law, one of them regarding police misconduct. Gov. Newsom signed 8 bills into law yesterday, which include, a higher minimum age for police officers, allowing badges be permanently taken away in cases of excessive force, dishonesty and racial bias, restricting rubber bullet and tear gas use for crowd control, and restricting certain restraint techniques that interfere with breathing. Newsom says he hopes it provides contrast to anxiety and fear by some in the state. But some law enforcement groups were against some of the new laws saying they undermine how they keep Californians safe from criminals.

We’ve hit the end of the state’s COVID-19 Rent Relief Program, but now the state reports getting another $3 billion or so in assistance requests. There’s a website showing the requests, which highlighted over 309,000 applications from tenants and landlords. That adds up to the nearly $3 billion. Just under 55,000 households have received money already. In Lake County there were almost 800 applications, 777 are done. There could be more programs still to come.

The Public Health advisory not to drink tap water piped or pumped directly in from Clear Lake is still in effect in the Oaks and Lower Lake arms of the lake. A couple weeks ago residents in those areas were told not to use the water after routine tests turned up unhealthy levels of cyanobacteria. They can cause skin irritation or worse, even liver damage if you swim in it. And pets can die if they come into contact with the bacteria. The water can not be treated by boiling it or adding chemicals to it. Residents have been given alternate sources of water for free at fill stations from Golden State Water Company and the Mt. Konocti Water Co.

Two more deaths from COVID19 in the county. The Mendocino County Public Health Dept. reports being informed of the deaths yesterday bringing the total to 84 people lost to the virus. They reported the 83rd patient was a 68-year old man from Willits not vaccinated, and the 84th patient was an 86-year-old Fort Bragg man who was fully vaccinated. It comes a day after 9 other deaths were announced. Eight of which were part of an outbreak at two different skilled nursing facilities, Redwood Cove in Ukiah and Sherwood Oaks in Fort Bragg.

The end of the Water Year shows Ukiah was the second driest on record. The last time it was that dry was almost 100 years ago, in the 1923-24 Water Year, when the city only had 13.09 inches of rain. This year the city got 13.54 inches. The last Water Year was also pretty dry, and was the third driest over the years records have been kept, at 14.75 inches recorded.

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