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A new report says fire season is hardly over. Even though it’s getting cooler because of a change in seasons, the National Interagency Fire Center’s monthly report says there’s still “above-normal significant fire potential” for fires through November in Northern California. The center based in Idaho watches conditions for the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management and shows Coast Ranges from the Bay Area to Ukiah as an area at risk. The agency says it’s mostly due to the drought. At the same time the Governor has signed legislation for more prescribed burning to reduce wildfire hazards due to “extreme drought” or “exceptional drought” conditions.

The Dept. of Corrections is being investigated after one prison guard killed himself and another died of an overdose after reporting corruption and harassment. 56 year old Sgt. Kevin Steele reportedly kept track of improprieties like other guards framing prisoners with drugs and weapons. Steele wrote to top prison officials in Sacramento also saying that colleagues had forged documents. He was also working on cases with some lawyers who claimed evidence was falsified or covered up. Steele was found dead of suicide in August in Missouri. And a second team member in that investigation who complained of harassment and retaliation, 30-year-old Valentino Rodriguez accidentally od’d on fentanyl a year ago. Their entire unit has been replaced. They were supposed to be investigating crimes committed inside the prison. Others face disciplinary action.

If you need fingerprints for a background check, or for any other reason, you can head over to the Fort Bragg Police Department once again for “Live Scan” or fingerprinting services starting today. The Hours are Mondays and Wednesdays 1:30 PM to 3:30 PM, Tuesdays and Thursdays 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM and they are closed on Fridays and legal holidays.

For more information regarding Fingerprinting or Live Scan services please refer to the City of Fort Bragg website https://city.fortbragg.com and click on the Fort Bragg Police Department icon.  

The new desalination treatment system is in Fort Bragg. Tomorrow the city’s hosting a casual reception and ribbon cutting ceremony for the Aquaclear Desalination-Reverse Osmosis Water Treatment System at the city’s Corporation Yard at 2:00 PM. The city bought the set up five months ago so it can provide water during periods of salt-water intrusion in the Noyo River. It can bring in up to 200 gallons/minute of desalinated water, or 288,000 gallons per day. The wastewater treatment plant treats waste with certain bacteria and specialty microbes to clean water, they have to use brine, which is concentrated saltwater. So the amount it brings in is pretty limited, so the desalination system can only be used 12 hours per day for 144,000 gallons per day, about 25% of the City’s daily water use.

Money is headed to Lake County Behavioral Health Services. The agency working with the Office of Education received a Mental Health Student Services Act grant from the California Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission. The grant is to incentivize partnerships between Behavioral Health and educational agencies so there’s more access to mental health services in locations easily accessible to students and their families. The county says it’s a perfect time as students are returning to in-person school after over a year of shelter-in-place isolation. The support is for mental health services on school campuses, suicide prevention services, drop-out prevention services, placement assistance and service plans for students in need of ongoing services.

The Governor in the San Fernando Valley at Cal State Northridge signing a bill into law so college can be more affordable and increase access for those who would otherwise not attend. Newsom says it’s to ensure students have access to high-quality education, create change for generations and bolster the state’s innovation economy. It will reportedly create easier access to the University of California, or UC, and California State University, CSU, systems for 4-year degrees. The bill also adds $2 billion dollars for more affordable housing for students and helps to address the student housing crisis.

Applications for the West Business Development Center’s Startup Mendocino are being accepted. The campaign started a couple of years ago. Entrepreneurs learn how to develop and pitch their business idea at the Center. Applications for the program next year are being taken now, with a deadline of Monday October 25th.  Many local businesses are sponsoring or supporting StartUp Mendocino including the Community Foundation of Mendocino County, the Savings Bank of Mendocino County, the John and Sandra Mayfield Economic Development Fund and Adventist Health. The program is free and supported by the Small Business Administration and State Go-Biz funding.

The Humboldt County Board of Supervisors has their two cents about the old North Coast railroad bringing coal to Humboldt Bay. The railroad has been out of commission for decades, but there have been rumblings about bringing the rail line back to life to move coal from Rocky Mountain states out to Humboldt Bay for international export. But on Tuesday the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors made it pretty clear, they prefer the proposed Great Redwood Trail and oppose any fossil fuel export facilities. They approved a resolution to direct staff to work on a local ordinance to prohibit any “construction of new infrastructure for the transportation, storage, processing or export of coal in Humboldt County”.

The Acting Public Health Officer for Lake County, Dr. Charlie Evans says cases of COVID are going down, in alignment with the trends worldwide. Evans was not in person at Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors’ meeting, instead appeared in a pre-recorded video. He says even though cases are down, we have to still be mindful that it could surge again, and not to “let our guard down”. Cases are now in the 17/100,000 people range as opposed to 70/100,000 like over the heat of the summer. He says there’s an expectation though that in the winter, it will surge again, because in Alaska currently their infection rate is 150 per 100,000, twice Lake County’s peak.

The Middletown Art Center is changing its name. In its seventh year it will now be referred to as MAC For Lake County, the County’s premier contemporary art destination. They’re celebrating the name change with a launch event this Saturday October 9, 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., with dancing 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. at MAC, or from home on Zoom. They will also announce their Logo art contest winner, have a silent auction with Lake-made art and artisan items, a tour of their 3D Virtual Exhibit Archive, an interactive LED light installation and an exclusive introduction of upcoming Pomo Basket Weaving workshops. Doors open Saturday at 4:30 p.m. the program starts along with the Silent Auction at 5.

A death has been reported after a Sonoma County Transit bus and a pickup crashed into each other outside Guerneville. The crash this afternoon around lunchtime in front of Korbel Winery. The California Highway Patrol reports one lane of traffic had to be closed down and traffic was rerouted to another nearby road to avoid the crash.

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