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Mendocino County is desperate for more Social Workers. During Social Worker month, the county put out a request for more folks to apply. There are 16 openings at the Mendocino County Social Services Department. The county’s also offering Social Worker Assistant (SWA) jobs for those interested, while they work on their educational requirements. Mendocino College also has a Human Services Certificate program which is a two year program, setting a student up to take on a career in social work, or other child care related professions.

If you would like information on a career in social work with Mendocino County, please visit the Mendocino County website at https://www.governmentjobs.com/careers/mendocinoca.

Some high school kids in Ukiah are connected to the program with NASA called HUNCH
(High Schools United with NASA to Create Hardware). The students are building brackets for storage lockers to be used by the International Space Station (ISS) in Machine Tool class. The program started 16 years ago so high school students could learn a new skill. They do many different things, besides building tools, like industrial sewing and culinary technology.

To learn more about Machine Shop and Welding at Ukiah High School, contact Jay Montesonti at jmontesonti@uusd.net.

The woman from Shasta County recently arrested for supposedly faking her own kidnapping, has been let out of jail. Sherri Papini’s case went viral after police blamed her last week of faking the kidnapping 5 years ago. She was released on $120,000 bail after being arrested for lying to federal agents for the bogus abduction report and defrauding the state’s victim compensation fund for therapy and other costs. She was supposedly jogging when she was taken, but in reality, was with an ex-boyfriend. She said a couple of Spanish speaking women kidnapped her, chained her up, and branded her. She faces 25 years in prison.

As it seems that the worst of COVID19 may be behind us, the state has reported 9 million cases. The LA Times case count reports the total is at around 25% of Californians infected at some point over the last two years. The omicron strain of the virus exploded cases, 44% of them reported over the last 3 months. And half over the last six months. Right now the state is reporting nearly 4,600 new cases/day, down by about 60% from two weeks ago. It still sounds like a lot, but when omicron first touched down, we had about 123,000 cases/day.

The Governor has delivered his State of the State speech talking soaring gas prices, among other pressing issues, like homelessness, climate change and public education. The speech delivered yesterday at Natural Resources Agency headquarters in Sacramento. He says there will be relief for high gas prices, but not by “embracing polluters” or “drilling even more oil” which he blamed for the more extreme weather in modern times, more extreme drought and more wildfires. In 2020, before the pandemic, Newsom focused on the homeless problem, calling it a disgrace. Last year he set billions aside to shelter the unsheltered. In his speech last year at an empty Dodger Stadium, he paid silent tribute to those lost to COVID.

If you’re running for office in Mendocino County for this June’s primary, you better tee up your paperwork. Friday is the deadline for the June 7th statewide primary election. Sample ballots are being sent out next month, and May 23rd is the last day to register to vote. There are nine elected officials up for re-election this year, including the Sheriff Matt Kendall and District Attorney David Eyster. Both are running for re-election along with the Assessor-Clerk-Recorder Katrina Bartolomie. They’re all so far, running unopposed. But the Superintendent of Schools, another big job up for re-election, does have someone running against incumbent Michelle Hutchins, Nicole Glentzer, the Superintendent of Human Resources for the Ukiah Unified School District. There are some County Supervisors also up for re-election.

Lake County is sending protective gear to help citizens in Ukraine. The Board of Supervisors has given approval after a state request for help. The Sheriff brought the request to the board from the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services and from Homeland Security. It was included in the regular meeting as an extra agenda item yesterday. The letter from the Sheriff had been addressed to all Sheriff’s in Calif., along with police chiefs and other law enforcement executives asking for help as they continue to monitor the Russian war. It comes after the Ukrainian Consulate asked for help from Calif., in the form of ballistic helmets and vests, and other tactical safety equipment like goggles and gloves.

State Senator Mike McGuire has a competitor from Lake County. Former internet executive Gene Yoon has reportedly filed his candidacy papers to run for the State Senate District 2 seat. McGuire was just named as the Senate Majority Leader, and has held the seat for nearly 8 years. Yoon says there are serious issues with the drought, wildfires and the power grid; crime and homelessness; inflation and failing schools. He said there’s no other state district in America that holds so much promise and so many problems. Yoon lives in Lake County. The Senate District also includes Mendocino, Marin, Sonoma, Humboldt, Trinity, and Del Norte.

There’s just one gas station in the town of Mendocino, and the prices are currently out of control. Gas prices are sky high everywhere, with Calif., having some of the costliest nationwide. But Schlafer’s Auto Body & Repair reportedly boasts the highest in the country. The median price is somewhere around $4 to $4.50/gallon due to the war in Ukraine. Schlafer’s is charging $8.45 a gallon for regular. Gas Buddy, an app that helps you find gas at reasonable prices nationwide, says Schlafer’s was most likely the most expensive station in America, and that they didn’t know of one more expensive. The owner told the SF Chronicle she has to charge that much or she would go out of business.

The Public Lands Telecommunications Act has been reintroduced in the US House. Congressman Jared Huffman says the last couple of years of the pandemic, with many people working from home, remote learning, and telehealth visits, it’s revealed a digital divide in the US. He says federal land management agencies can do more to close this gap, if they have more authorities, incentives, and resources, like the ones in his bill. He says in this way land management agencies can help expand broadband access in rural and Tribal communities because it’s integral to the country’s economy. The bill is supported by the Rural Broadband Association, Rural County Representatives of California, and Competitive Carriers Association, among others.

A man from Morgan Hill has been convicted in Mendocino County after a police chase. Michael Gray was found guilty by the jury for recklessly evading a peace officer, evading a peace officer by traveling in the opposite lane of traffic and misdemeanor possession of methamphetamine. The case in court after a Ukiah police officer followed three motorcycles in October of 2020, Gray being on one of the bikes on S. State St. The cop saw Gray pull a wheelie and the officer went after the trio. Two pulled over, Gray kept going at speeds of up to 70 mph on side streets. He finally crashed and was arrested after he was treated because the bike pinned him under it. He was found with 35 grams of meth. He faces at least six months in jail and will be sentenced next month.

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