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Sonoma County is asking local companies to get their employees to get the COVID booster or be tested twice a week. The county’s Public Health Officer Dr. Sundari Mase is making a strong recommendation, not a mandate. She’s also recommending those unvaccinated or unboosted to wear a mask while indoors. It comes as cases are rapidly rising in the state and to prevent even more outbreaks. The county’s rethinking its own vaccination and testing mandate for county employees after Mase’s recommendation. The county has also recently issued some new health orders for local school employees, emergency responders and those at dental offices, pharmacies and temporary disaster shelters to get boosted or test twice a week.

The first state in the union to hit 5 million COVID cases is Calif. The state dashboard went over the milestone yesterday after the holiday weekend. The state Department of Public Health posted the updated case numbers, also noting more than 75,500 deaths. The first case in California was nearly two years ago, January 25, 2020. It was nearly a year before the state hit one million infections, last November and it’s taken off from there. Texas has the next highest, more than 4.4 million and Florida topped 3.9 million as of Sunday.

The Ukiah Unified School District’s music department has come back live and continues in the new year. Two in-person holiday shows this month were some kids first experience performing on a stage in front of a huge audience. Teachers said they did great and the electricity of a live audience with the kids all dressed up was gratifying. The next performances will happen next spring and some students may be able to travel to see the San Francisco Symphony perform Stravinsky’s “Rite of Spring”.

There are still hundreds of people without power after a winter storm, impacting Humboldt, Mendocino and Trinity counties. About 9700 customers were still waiting for their power to be restored as of dinner time last night. PG&E has not given an estimated time of restoration. A spokesperson for the utility company says crews have been working non-stop patrolling lines to find the problem. She says there were downed trees and access issues because of all the snow impacting higher elevations. They need to bring in specialized equipment for some remote areas. About 3,000 PG&E customers in Southern Humboldt and Northern Mendocino are in the dark, more than half in Mendo.

A man from Covelo arrested after a multi-car crash was pretty drunk, according to police. Willits Police say Jared Reed Thompson hit six vehicles before taking off and being found passed out in his car. Police gave him a field sobriety test and say he “blew almost four times the legal limit for DUI”. Police also say they got a call to a crash, finding 2 cars were slammed into at a Safeway, then three more at the gas pump there, before a final head on crash. Thompson’s charged with several crimes including DUI, felony evasion of a police officer and felony hit and run resulting in death or injury.

If you want to adopt a pet, now is the time in Ukiah. The shelter is reporting being at a critical point with the dog population. They say they have to start to increase the amount of adoptions they have been doing or could be faced with putting healthy dogs down. Local rescues are full, their partner organizations are also full and they have more and more dogs coming in every day. They report not having to euthanize animals for years, because they had the space and resources, but not anymore. They say if you know anyone who may be interested, to PLEASE come forth to adopt. It’s free, all you have to pay for is the $25 license. For more info and to see pictures of the dogs and to submit applications, go to: You can also call them: 707-467-6453.

A car crash near Leggett after a car may have hit ice ends with some minor injuries. Mendo Fever reports hearing about the accident on the scanner traffic and the California Highway Patrol Traffic Incident Information Page showed several people may have been injured after the car went off the 101 near Leggett. The news site reported the car couldn’t be seen on the road and may have crashed over the bank near Little Dan Creek.  The crash yesterday morning of a woman and 7 year old child in a Honda CRV. The woman and child had non-life threatening injuries and the car, which rolled 600 feet down an embankment, had major damage.

Plastic shopping bags are reportedly being sold by large retailers in California, which is against the law. The report by Reuters news agency says the retailers were also misleading customers by selling the bags with language and symbols on them leading them to believe the plastic bags could be recycled. A state-appointed commission detailed how the bags had the “chasing arrows” logo and the words “recycle” and “recyclable” on them. This according to the California Statewide Commission on Recycling Markets and Curbside Recycling who is now asking the state attorney general and CalRecycle to curb the practice, calling it illegal labeling which could lead to more plastic pollution.

The Humboldt County Jail has had quite the outbreak of COVID- 19, but things seem to be calming down. Two more cases were reported Monday after thirty-six inmates and about a half dozen staffers tested positive. The outbreak started a couple of weeks ago, but the Sheriff’s Office says they have it controlled now. The 69 bed housing unit where it happened was at 70% capacity. Corrections staff say all who tested positive were taken from the unit so they could isolate. They had been testing daily due to the outbreak but are reportedly back to weekly testing after 3 days of all negatives.

A couple of fires have been reported in Ukiah, but neither one anything big. The Ukiah Valley Fire Authority says they got a call to two structure fires Monday, one of them was at a large apartment building on Village Circle. That fire turned out to be exhaust from a dryer vent. But about 4 hours after that there was another report of an apartment complex on fire, but it turned out to be a dumpster fire. They reported it seemed suspicious in nature.

The Lake County Board of Supervisors have turned in their new maps for redistricting. They had their second and final reading to approve the new supervisorial district boundaries last week with approval unanimous. It has to be done each decade after the US Census. After a bunch of meetings since this summer with a consultant and county staff the five supervisorial districts changed slightly. A resolution to approve the maps was approved 2 weeks ago, then last week the final vote. The deadline was Dec. 15th.

A man from Clearlake has been arrested on various charges after police say he smoked a bunch of meth the got in his car and drove in Ukiah. Police say Michael Sorrell was driving without a license, in a bike lane, erratically, and when a cop tried stopping him, he kept going. The officer activated his emergency lights, to no avail. They say he kept driving in an unsafe manner with wanton disregard for the public. Officers followed for over 2 miles, then he crashed into a curb causing front end damage to his car, so he got out and ran, but landed in a blackberry bush and finally surrendered. Police found drug paraphernalia, weapons, and burglary tools so he was booked at the Mendocino County jail for multiple charges.

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