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The man known as the Red Beaded Burglar is talking about his time on the run. 40-year-old William Evers admits in an interview with the Press Democrat that he committed the 8 burglaries across several Mendocino County communities until he was captured in November. In fact, Evers says he probably committed several more as he hid out for several months. Evers disputes charges that he fired at a deputy who was part of a search team looking for him in May. He tells the paper that he doesn’t mind the notoriety—or the nickname—but that he expects to spend a long time in jail. Evers is locked up on 2.5 million dollars bail. He is due in court for a preliminary hearing next week.

A one-time Lake County supervisor is running for county District Attorney. Anthony Farrington tells LakeCo News he is in the race because of encouragement from county residents and his own concerns about crime He also says he knows what it is like to be a victim because his father was murdered when Farrington was 7 years old. Farrington’s background includes service on the Lake County Board of Supervisors, representing District 4. He will face incumbent DA Susan Krones who is looking for a second term.

No more overdue fees at Mendocino County Libraries. The library says the change eliminates a barrier so all county residents can access library materials. There will still be a charge for replacements for any items that are damaged or not returned. Materials will still have due dates and can be renewed twice unless another patron has requested them. The board of supervisors approved dropping the late fees late last year. No-fee is a nationwide trend. Many libraries are doing away with overdue penalties as suggested by the American Library Association.

The Mendocino Land Trust is looking for public comments as it renews its accreditation from the national Land Trust Alliance. The organization says that accreditation recognizes local programs that meet national standards to protect natural spaces and working land. The Mendocino Land Trust also says that accreditation gives donors and other partners confidence in its work. If you would like to weigh in or find out more, the website landtrustaccredidation.org has the details.

Ukiah’s Demolition Review Committee has approved a request to tear down two buildings on South Main Street downtown. One of the buildings houses a well-known local business called the Dragon’s Lair. There was one “no” vote and some public opposition. The committee decided that the structure does not meet the criteria to remain standing as a historic structure. The city council will make the ultimate decision about whether or not building owners get a demolition permit.

Assemblyman Jim Wood says he’s supporting bills to create a universal healthcare system in Calif. He’s announced he’s voting for AB 1400. He’s the chair of the Assembly Health Committee. He says he continues to feel the “anger that many Californians experience in their efforts to access quality and affordable health care” as prices soar for brand name drugs and insurance premiums. He says he’s worked with plenty in the healthcare field before and feels it’s something that can be accomplished. AB 1400 would establish rules for a universal, single-payer system. It will be heard by Wood’s committee Tuesday.

As confirmed cases of COVID rapidly increase in Lake County, the Public Health Officer, Dr. Gary Pace has put out a statement. Dr. Pace says after classrooms reopened after the holidays, there have been outbreaks in students and staff at local schools. There are recommendations from the state and Cal/OSHA as the omicron variant spreads through communities. Anyone vaccinated or not, asymptomatic or previously infected can end isolation after 5 days if they have no symptoms after first testing positive, or if they’re getting better and have a negative test. Guidelines for staff are a tad different because they’re governed by the state. Dr. Pace says they hope this latest surge only lasts about a month.

Another person has died from COVID19 in Mendocino County. The Public Health Office reports the 106th person to die in the county was a Ukiah resident. The 86 year old woman was vaccinated. They say fully vaccinated people over age 18 should strongly consider getting a COVID-19 vaccine booster to improve immunity.

To find the nearest vaccine clinic in your area, please visit the Public Health website at: www.mendocinocounty.org/covid19

The Mendocino County Health Officer Dr. Andrew Coren has put out a new health update in alignment with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention regarding isolation and quarantining. Positive cases and exposure by a close contact can end their isolation or quarantine after 5 days with a negative antigen test if they have no symptoms and wear a mask for the other five days. It used to be a ten day quarantine. Also, a person who is current on their vaccine, is only considered to be, if they have a booster too. Dr. Andy Coren says the omicron strain’s increased contagion makes boosters essential for a high level of protection from illness, hospitalization, and death.

Senator Mike McGuire continues pushing legislation against coal shipments through Northern Calif. A proposal for what McGuire says is a secret operation to ship millions of tons of coal overseas has passed with bipartisan support in the Senate Transportation Committee. McGuire says the proposed toxic coal train is an environmental disaster waiting to happen. He says SB 307 will protect the state with the required funding so there are improvements on the now defunct North Coast rail line north of Willits and does not allow state funds to be used for a possible bulk coal terminal facility at the Port of Humboldt. 

Lake County just got schooled by a judge. The judge is ordering the county not to allow the construction of a multi-million dollar, upscale resort in the Guenoc Valley. The ruling cites the county failing to consider how the development would affect community safety and wildfire evacuations in the highly fire-prone area. The ruling after the Center for Biological Diversity sued against the 16,000-acre project where there are oak woodlands, wildlife corridors and habitat for sensitive wildlife species, including golden eagles, foothill yellow-legged frogs and western pond turtles.

The state has reported one of the all time highs of COVID19 cases for the third day in a row. The state Department of Public Health reports a positivity rate of 21.4% with a daily case rate of 107/100,000, up from 89 per 100,000 on Wednesday, and nearly at the all-time high we hit of 112 cases per 100,000 in January 2021. But the state also reported these latest numbers are an under estimate, because of a data processing error so it doesn’t include Los Angeles County due to delayed submission. And the county was reporting over 22,000 cases a day.

The Kelseyville Fire Protection District’s Measure A tax failed. A final canvass of the vote this week on Measure A, showed it did not get enough votes to create a new community services district. The idea was to bring in millions of dollars to pay for more staff, including up to eight more firefighters, build new facilities and buy new equipment.  The chief says the new station they wanted to build would have reduced response time over a 100-square-mile area.

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