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Due to the continuing outbreak of the monkeypox virus, the Governor has declared a State of Emergency. That’s to try to get ahold of more shots of the vaccination. The California Department of Public Health is working with the Newsom administration to coordinate a response to monkeypox, find more vaccines and lead outreach and education efforts on accessing vaccines and treatment. The Governor announced the state was working in an urgent fashion across all levels of government to slow the spread of the virus. He says they’re working with the federal government to secure more vaccines, raise awareness about reducing risk, and stand with the LGBTQ community fighting stigmatization.

A fire breaks out in Ukiah and citizens try dousing the flames. It happened July 22nd in the 100 block of Lake Mendocino Drive. The Deputy who responded was in the area and was told by witnesses they saw a man walking near the fire. 72-year-old Jimmy Hendry was found nearby and told the Deputy he saw a woman named Monica start the fire and run away. But apparently Deputies knew the area had surveillance cameras. Hendry gave them his contact info and left. After Deputies got ahold of the surveillance footage, they confirmed it was Hendry who was alone in the area when the fire started. He was arrested for Recklessly Causing Fire to Forest Land and booked into jail on $157,500.00 bail.

A woman from Covelo has been arrested in connection to a possible rip off of Costco gift cards. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office was told 300 gift cards, each with a value of $30.00 were purchased from grant money given to the Round Valley Tribe. Deputies say the cards were all redeemed or used in May by various people at the Ukiah Costco. So, they looked at surveillance footage, identifying multiple people using the gift cards. Mendocino Major Crimes Task Force officers, Deputies and Probation Department staff served three search warrants in Covelo, finding evidence linking the gift cards to the locations. They also found firearms, ammo and a suspect, Kassandra Phillips. They say she worked at the location the gift cards were removed from and arrested her for embezzlement and grand theft and held on $15,000.00 bail.

The Lake County Board of Supervisors will officially ask the Governor to appoint a new member. After District 4 Supervisor Tina Scott resigned to take on a teaching position, the board will consider sending a letter to the Governor’s office for a successor. Scott’s last day was July 31st. Lake Co News reports the Board was considering a special election to be folded into the General in November, but the letter the Board is thinking of sending asks for timely action to fill the vacancy by appointment for the remainder of Scotts term. Also, this morning, the Board will hear from Supervisor Bruno Sabatier regarding an appeal for a decision by the Lake County Planning Commission for the Bottle Rock Farm FJA Trust Cannabis Project. He says there are several violations on the project property.

Some fixes need to be made on playground equipment at a park in Fort Bragg. The City’s Public Works Department is closing the Wiggly Giggly Playground at Bainbridge Park for repairs. The playground area and restroom will be temporarily closed as maintenance crews work there tomorrow all day. Both the playground and restrooms are expected to open later tomorrow or Thursday. For more info, you can get in touch with Fort Bragg’s Department of Public Works.

Sexual misconduct violations may have been swept under the rug in the Cal State University system… for a time. Ed Source reports 54 faculty members, coaches and other non-management employees at a dozen CSU campuses violated sexual misconduct and discrimination policies in cases settled or resolved between 2017 and 2021. The report says not all were kept that quiet, as there were some terminated, or they resigned. The university system released the information on the violations which included unwanted sexual advances, like requests for sex, unwanted touching and kissing, and discrimination based on gender and race. The information was just released considering other recent controversies about how the college system handled sexual harassment complaints and disciplined employees.

A recent report states one reason the COVID surge seems so high again, is that many people are being reinfected. The state’s Public Health Dept. reports in the first few weeks of July they documented over 50,000 reinfections. That was 1 in 7 of the new COVID cases through the middle of the month. It’s because of the more contagious and vaccine resistant sub-strains of omicron. They say you can get the infection again just weeks after a recovery. The state has already seen nearly ten million cases since the pandemic first started. The state Department of Public Health said there were more than 350,000 reinfections in the last 10-11 months, with the most happening the first week of last September when the delta strain was rising. But only about 2% of the cases were known reinfections.

The huge fire burning in the Klamath National Forest has killed two people. Apparently, the pair were found in a car Sunday in a driveway as the fire forged a path near Highway 96. The fire broke out Friday and mushroomed in size to more than 55,000 acres, creating it’s own weather system with dust, smoke plumes and flames. Thousands have been sent from their homes near the California-Oregon border. There’s video posted online from the highway showing blackened trees, burned out cars on the side of the road that had their wheels melted to the earth and destroyed buildings. The Klamath National Forest Supervisor posted on Facebook that in the first hours of the fire they knew they had lost several structures in and around Klamath River, including homes. There’s no confirmed number, but the Siskiyou County Sheriff says they’ve sifted through about 100 homes so far.

Lake County has announced a new Assistant County Administrator. Stephen L. Carter, Jr. was appointed after previous fiscal leadership positions in the County for the last seven years. The County reports Carter has prepared financial forecasts for County-wide fiscal planning and management activities, was a trusted authority on the Board of Supervisors’ purchasing policies and practices and supported staff in other financially focused roles. Staff knowing him, the press release says, as an effective trainer and highly creative problem solver, informed by years of experience and a strong theoretical foundation in Business Administration.

Adventist Health Ukiah Valley has announced they’re extending their contract for another two weeks with Anthem Blue Cross. The contract was supposed to expire July 18th but was then extended two more weeks. That ended yesterday as negotiations between Anthem Blue Cross and Adventist Health continued. There was a statement released at the end of last week, they extended again until August 16th as both sides continue to actively negotiate in good faith with the goal of reaching a mutually agreeable contract. The two healthcare giants have been working together for years and say they’re both committed to a new contract agreement.

An achievement for Amber Alerts. It’s been twenty years since the system was created in CA. The California Highway Patrol works with multiple agencies and the public to try to find missing children. So far they report the alert system has helped reunite 376 missing kids with their families. The commissioner of the law enforcement agency says it’s so successful, because “we are all caretakers in our community”. AMBER stands for “America’s Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response Alert”. It was developed in 1996 for 9-year-old Amber Hagerman who was abducted and murdered in Arlington, Texas and is used nationwide. In Calif. the system went into effect in 2002.

For more information regarding AMBER alerts, visit http://www.chp.ca.gov/newsalerts/ amber-alert.

A public hearing is set for the Lakeport City Council on delinquent utility accounts. The meeting tonight will cover 18 parcels with delinquent bills. It’s about $9,230 worth, as noted by the city’s Finance Department. The city has to first notify delinquent account holders so they have an opportunity to make good on their account. They get a delinquency notice monthly. Final notice was sent out to the delinquent accounts, as of May 31st, and should have been received by property owners by July 16th. Also during tonight’s meeting, the council will be asked to give their approval for the Police Chief to enter into an agreement with the City of Clearlake for supplemental services because of staffing challenges.

Two more bodies have been found in the blackened land of the McKinney Fire in the Siskiyou National Forest. Two others were found Sunday in a car along Route 96 in a driveway. A couple trying to get away from the flames were overtaken. The second pair were found at another house along the same highway yesterday, one of the only roads in and out of the area near the Oregon/Calif. border. The Sheriff’s Office says there is nobody else missing. The community of Klamath River has been decimated by the fire which grew tens of thousands of acres in a day, after breaking out Friday. More than 100 homes, sheds and other buildings have burned. Thankfully some rain came down and helped firefighters slow the spread of the fire, but there’s still no containment and the fire is considered to be out of control. It’s burned nearly 56,000 acres.

Congressman Jared Huffman along with 39 other House Reps have sent a letter to the Treasury Secretary and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Commissioner to get the IRS to review the status of the Family Research Council (FRC) and find ways to prevent abuse of IRS church status. It comes after an investigative report showing the Family Research Council’s church status application and IRS approval was obtained through the Freedom of Information Act. The congressional members are also asking for a better review process for organizations seeking church status so if they’re not actual churches, so they’re unable to abuse the tax code. Other Congress members from Calif. who signed the letter were Linda T. Sánchez, Adam Schiff, Norma J. Torres and Karen Bass.

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