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California is looking at accepting cryptocurrency and digital cash after the President seemed to embrace the idea a couple months ago. So, yesterday, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed an executive order so state agencies, following the federal government’s lead, will draft regulations for digital money. The governor’s office says there are a lot of opportunities, at the same time, a lot of unknowns in the industry. The executive order says Calif. should lead in this moment. The governor says the move will “establish a comprehensive, thoughtful, and harmonized regulatory and business environment for crypto assets.”

The State Legislature is looking to help community college students left behind by putting new rules in place about remedial classes. A bill in the Assembly would add onto a current law which says community colleges have to let most students take transfer-level classes without a remedial class first. Remedial classes don’t earn students credits and cannot be used to transfer to a four year university. But the new law would stress that students only enroll in the remedial classes for certain reasons and that has to be supported with data. Without supporting data a student should then be allowed to enroll in transfer-level math and English classes.

Cases of COVID19 are skyrocketing again in Mendocino County. The Public Health Office says cases have more than doubled in the last two weeks. Mendocino County is now in the High CDC transmission range as kids go back to school after proms and sports games. The public health officer says since health orders and recommendations changed because of less cases in March, there’s been confusion. Dr. Coren says folks should continue to wear a mask indoors in public places. Masks are still required for EVERYONE in some settings, including public transit and long-term care facilities. Keep gatherings small, stay home if you test positive or have symptoms, and follow the guidance on isolation to protect others. A new wave of omicron is coming from overseas that could cause more severe disease.

In Lake County, the public health office is reminding about life-saving treatments for COVID infections for those at the highest risk of severe disease. There’s an increase in cases worldwide at the moment as new variants spread after omicron, they’re currently being referred to as the BA.4 and BA.5 variants. The strains from South Africa are up 173% and there’s been a 20% increase in tests coming back positive. In The US, there’s been a nearly 50% increase in omicron variants too, including the two new ones, but so far, at a much lower rate than South Africa. For those getting tested, the return is 3% positivity. 2 people died last week from COVID in Lake County, but so far the county has not recorded an increase in hospitalizations. There have been 10 new cases since last week.

Literacy programs are helping children with learning loss due to pandemic school disruptions, which put many students four to five months behind in reading and math. 96 percent of California students had in-person learning canceled, modified or moved online over the previous school year. Close to 40 percent of the state’s enrollment drop was in kindergarten. Dino Pliego with Save the Children in California says the organization’s programs serve 15-thousand-500 kids at 26 rural schools.

 :12  "Our elementary school-age education programs offered during and after school strive for reading and math proficiency by the end of third grade. Which is that critical time that children go from learning to read, to reading to learn."

Tag: The data also shows school disruptions were harder on some students than others. Children from minority communities were set back an average of six months, and those who come from poverty were up to seven months behind.

Second Cut: Shane Garver is head of education, hunger and resilience for Save the Children. He says the good news is that kids in the literacy programs have proved very resilient.

 :22  "On average, kids in these programs have gained an additional month in reading, above and beyond a full school years’ worth of growth. So, while much of the country has fallen behind in their reading ability, kids in Save the Children's programs have actually moved ahead, working to close that achievement gap that is persistent across minority and high-poverty communities in the rural parts of the United States."

Tag: The classes will continue even while school is out, to counteract learning loss known as the “summer slide.”

Caltrans is looking to the public to help prevent pollution. They have a new public education campaign going called, “Let’s Change This to That” which reports the ways stormwater gets polluted and the ways we can all prevent contaminating California’s waterways. The top pollutants that move from roads and streets are, trash and litter, so you should try to secure items in truck beds and put trash and recycling in the correct bin, sediments that come from gardens, so you should sweep driveways instead of hosing them off, nutrients that could come from overwatering, bacteria, so they remind to limit pet and RV waste, metals which can be avoided by checking car tire pressure and change oil and fluids and use commercial car washes, and finally pesticides, so if possible you should use organic pesticides and properly dispose of unused portions.

Today is a day to remember Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women. Studies show more than 80% of Native women have been the victims of violence and over half have been victims of sexual violence. A nonprofit that’s dedicated to helping find the missing women or help solve cases, the Sovereign Bodies Institute, says it happens repeatedly in Northern Calif. May 5th has been designated as a day to remember, with “Say Her Name!” Locally Khadijah Britton from Covelo is still missing after vanishing 4 years ago from Round Valley. Another local woman, Rachel Sloan, of Laytonville’s Cahto tribe was found murdered in 2013. And Nicole Smith a member of the Manchester band of Pomo People was killed in 2017. In Upper Lake, Vanessa Niko, a member of the Habematolel Pomo was killed by Willy Timmons who’s in prison for her 2017 murder. And finally, another member of the Round Valley tribe, Rosalina “Belle” Rodriguez was shot and killed and found in Covelo.

In the midst of severe drought, staff members in Lakeport have been tasked with finding more money for water system improvements. The City Council heard from the Assistant City Manager and Finance Director at their last meeting on the most recent rate study on multiple projects to be done over the next decade. They add up to nearly $6 million in today’s dollars. The Record Bee reports there are at least a half dozen water main replacements needed. Staff are supposed to bring back a financial plan for the June 7th council meeting.

The Humboldt County Drug Task Force says they’ve busted 2 people they’ve been watching for a couple of months. 41 year old Angela Early of Eureka and 29 year old Brandon Battles of Rio Dell were arrested for dealing fentanyl from the Bay Area into Humboldt County. The pair were seen by officers tailing them with two other people near the Mendocino County line. 33 year old Summer Reed of Klamath and 41 year old Tracy Miguelena of Hoopa were headed to Oakland from Humboldt County when they were busted this morning. The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office stopped the four who were all arrested. They were found with 3.5 ounces of fentanyl, a digital scale, & packaging. They were booked in the Humboldt County Jail for possessing fentanyl for sale, transporting the drug and transporting it across counties and conspiracy.

State Senator and Majority Leader Mike McGuire says he’s working to help smaller craft brewers who contribute billions to the state’s economy. They employ 66,000 Californians among them. And they’ve been fighting a loophole in state law which McGuire has introduced legislation to fix. McGuire says it will allow the brewers to ship directly to consumers by extending the privilege to out-of-state breweries. He says the legislation will protect direct to consumer shipping which has helped them continue making local beers. Right now the  brewers can sell beer from their brewery either on tap, for takeaway, or shipped by mail but they can’t ship to consumers in state.

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