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Category Archives: 94.5 K-Wine News

94.5 K-Wine Local News Reports

Mendocino Supervisors are appointing a new citizen commission to draw new district lines in the county. This is due to population changes that came after the 2020 Census, which was delayed some due to the pandemic. But the county’s not getting the final info from the Census until the end of September. The county has until the end of the year to redraw district lines. The new citizen commission will meet about once a month before the December 15th deadline. The board is encouraging members of the public to apply ASAP. The board also moved to amend the Mendocino Cannabis Equity Program after the county received more than 2 million dollars to help those most impacted by the war on drugs.

It’s bad in Lake County. Of all the counties in Calif., Lake has the highest rate of COVID cases per 100,000 people. So the Board of Supervisors is asking for everyone to put their masks back on in indoor public places. At their meeting yesterday, the board unanimously approved a mask wearing resolution. Not a mandate, more like a nudge. Lake joins many other counties, Los Angeles, Contra Costa, San Francisco, Santa Clara and Sonoma — plus the city of Berkeley, all recommending everyone, vaccinated or not, wear their masks. In Los Angeles County, it’s mandatory. It comes one month after the state fully reopened after nearly a year and a half of staying home to stay safe from the virus.

The Governor has signed a wide ranging broadband access bill into law to “bridge the digital divide”.
The state will invest about $6 billion so all Californians have access to broadband coverage through a new state-owned open access middle mile network and last mile projects to finally connect homes and businesses with local networks. The Governor spoke upon the signing saying as the state builds back after a 15 month closure, they’re committed to addressing the challenges the pandemic exposed, including the digital divide “holding back too many communities in a state renowned for its pioneering technology and innovation economy”. The new law would also set up an apparatus for loans for local governments and nonprofits for broadband infrastructure; create a broadband czar position at the California Department of Technology; and a committee with representatives from across state government.

A man in Fort Bragg has been arrested for having a gun on him while on probation. Police went to William Hill’s house on Monday with a search warrant related to another investigation and found four guns even though the guy’s not allowed to have them because of a criminal protection order. He apparently also admitted to police he knew it was illegal for him to have guns, so he was booked into jail. Because of his record and the ongoing investigation into a felony, which police have not disclosed, bail was set at $100,000 more than the minimum.

A 7-year-old had to be pulled out of a burning home in Willits. The so-called Locust incident burned two structures, one a home in the 1200 block of Locust Street off Walnut Street. Firefighters reported last night multiple structures were threatened, but they held it to two structures. They were there late into the night mopping up. They’ve not said what caused the fire.

A woman from Marysville busted after a car crash near Leggett. The CHP reports getting a call to a crash on the 101 near Leggett’s Cal Fire station. They say 25-year-old Marissa Johnson tried to pass another car while it was not safe and crashed into a truck and trailer which led to an altercation that escalated. The CHP says she pulled out a gun. Scanner reports first said she was firing a machine gun. But when officers arrived the woman was quickly taken into custody. She was in possession of three semi-automatic pistols and booked in jail for DUI, brandishing a firearm, carrying a concealed weapon, possession of ammunition by a prohibited person, and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Sonoma County could be the scene of a whole lot of power downs. PG&E apparently has new criteria to determine when to trigger a public safety power shutoff. The utility company and emergency officials in the county reported to the Board of Supervisors on risky trees, so-called “overstrike trees” which are a risk to lines due to their height, density and health. The utility company says there are as many as 5.3 million trees like that outside of their right of way but in its Northern and Central California service area. So Sonoma could see an average of nearly 4 power downs a year affecting over 6,200 customers.

The largest homeless shelter in Sonoma County is being hammered by COVID cases. The Press Democrat reports at least 90 residents had contracted the virus since after the outbreak became apparent July 2nd at the Samuel Jones L. Hall homeless shelter in Santa Rosa. 9 residents had to be hospitalized, four were released, and thankfully, there have not been any reported deaths. There were 59 cases reported last week and another 26 possible. They are frequently testing, and so that confirmed seven more cases in surveillance testing. They are not taking any new residents until two weeks after all test negative. The management of the shelter says cases are finally dwindling with just one new confirmed case this week.

A couple of massive wildfires have burned almost 100,000 acres together and are creating their own weather conditions. We’ve been reporting on the Dixie Fire which blew up in a couple days from 20-61,000 acres with only 15% containment. PG&E reported they think their equipment is responsible for starting the fire. It generated a massive cloud yesterday, creating its own lightening. The National Weather Service in Sacramento reported the clouds were dangerous as the lightening created by the fire, could start new fires too. There are evacuation orders in place for Butte and Plumas counties. The Tamarack fire near the California-Nevada border also jumped in size, nearly doubling in one day from 23,000 to almost 40,000 acres yesterday with 0% containment. Heat from the fire is rising, creating clouds and dark skies.

A woman whose daughter has disappeared out of Yuba City says she thinks she may be somewhere near or in Clearlake. Anna Parra Stickle posted on Facebook about the disappearance of her daughter Nichole Huerta, aka Nichole Arnold Schanuth Hopkins. Stickle’s post says there has to be someone out there who knows where her daughter is as she’s been missing since March. She also is asking for anyone who many know anything about who she was with when she disappeared to call her. She says Nichole’s son has been holed up in his room since his mother disappeared. She is also asking for messages on Facebook or you can call and block your number as the family is desperate for info. We’ve placed all info on this radio station’s website and Facebook page. Anna: 530-315-2343.

A major cannabis project could be coming to Clearlake Oaks. The Lake County Planning Commission is considering the project in Kelseyville and another on property split in Middletown. The meeting is tomorrow morning in person and on Zoom. The meeting is continued from two weeks ago for the proposed project at High Valley Ranch. The proposal is for a 649-acre chunk of the 1,640-acre ranch. It would have space for drying marijuana, packing, distribution (shipping and receiving), and other ancillary uses such as office space. The other on old vineyard property with a bunch of walnut trees that need to be removed. They also want to put in more than 100 hoop houses over 4 years.

An affordable housing project is being considered in Anderson Valley with the help of Congressman Jared Huffman. The Community Project Funding process is in the latest House Appropriations Committee’s Fiscal Year 2022 funding bill. Huffman says the Anderson Valley Affordable Housing Initiative could get $400,000 from the federal government. And another project we told you about earlier this week for a bull kelp forest recovery program in Sonoma and Mendocino counties at $500,000. Huffman says the bills will be considered on the House Floor in months ahead.

A man has been arrested after a gunshot victim was dropped off at the Cal-Fire Covelo Substation. Deputies got a call to a 28 year old shooting victim who they say was shot by a family member after an altercation on the road north of Covelo.  Before deputies got to the Cal Fire station, the victim was flown to an out of county hospital. The suspect was identified after as Angel Reyes-Guzman of San Jose and Modesto, so an arrest warrant was issued. Reyes-Guzman was found in Modesto and arrested. He was booked into the Stanislaus County Jail and Mendocino deputies arrived there for continued investigating. Deputies served a search warrant in Covelo at a big illegal marijuana farm. 20 people were seen there, 13 took off, 8 were detained and questioned and nearly 14,000 plants were taken.  Reyes-Guzman has been charged with attempted murder and the personal use of a firearm causing great bodily injury and held on $650,000 bail. 

Congressman Jared Huffman is trying to get millions to help restore the kelp forest off the North Coast. Huffman introduced legislation last week for a new grant program managed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration with $50 million a year for at least four years. The idea is to help conserve, restore and manage kelp forest ecosystems. His legislation dubbed the Keeping Ecosystems Living and Productive, or KELP, Act would help bull kelp forests off the coasts of Sonoma and Mendocino counties which help us know more about the health of an ocean. About 5 years ago scientists made us aware of a 93% decline in the forest canopy since 2008.

It’s happening again, PG&E being blamed for a massive wildfire, but this time the energy company owns it. The utility has reported to the Calif. Public Utilities Commission one of their repairmen went to a circuit outage July 13th, last Tuesday, and saw blown fuses in a conductor on top of a pole with a tree leaning on the conductor and a fire at the bottom of that tree. And since it was steep rough terrain, the repair person couldn’t get to another area with reports of no power. The Dixie Fire has blackened almost 60,000 acres, tripling in size in one day, and is only 15% contained. The employee called his supervisor and they called 911. The fire was just 10 acres that night. Cal Fire investigators took evidence including part of the power line, conductor, and part of the tree.

California is about to have the biggest free lunch program for kids, no matter the family’s income. The unexpected budget surplus is helping to bolster the largest free student lunch program in the US. Experts say it’s a great way to remove the stigma for those who have to get a free lunch. And they say more hungry kids will be taken care of.  New York, Boston and Chicago also offer free school meals for all, but Calif. will be the first State that has a universal program. The state of Maine followed shortly California’s announcement with a similar plan.

Just like elsewhere in the state, Mendocino County does not have enough affordable or available housing. The Grand Jury has released their report on housing saying Planning and Building Services are just doing permitting to develop housing and making sure all the red tape is followed, but they’re not working within state standards to meet local housing needs. They’re also not regularly in touch with the Board of Supervisors on the matter. Instead the Community Development Commission (CDC) and Rural Community Housing Development Corporation are working to get local needs met.

Over 20 applications have landed at Mendocino County Environmental Health for hoop house Building Permits. About 3 dozen sites are looking to put in the hoop houses, but the process was put off as the county worked on its Cannabis Program policies and County Code. Now the county’s attorney says they shouldn’t wait any longer to review, then issue the permits. So the Environmental Health Dept. began considering the permit applications and should be done by the end of the week. The agency says it’s going to keep working with their partner agencies and the regulated community to get the projects going quick.

A man from Potter Valley reported missing last week has been found dead near his home. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s office reports Ronald “PJ” Bruggeman Junior’s body was found by a friend over the weekend. The coroner will release a cause of death after an autopsy, but the Sheriff’s Dept. said the circumstance of the death was unusual. The Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue team were out looking for Bruggeman who had not been seen since July 15th. He left apparently without transportation or his wallet or phone. Friends reportedly said he may have been having a mental health crisis before he disappeared. The family has set up a GoFundMe for his wife and two children.

The Mendocino National Forest Upper Lake Ranger District office says they’re closing Thursday and Friday, then again for a couple days next week and the week after to help on a wildfire in Washington state, the Red Apple fire. The Chief said it was a difficult decision to close their offices, but it’s critical fire season and important they help wildland firefighters across the country. Plus she says it’s a temporary office closure. Check the Mendocino National Forest website for further temporary office closures.

The Mendocino County Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder, Registrar of Voters putting out the word on deadlines for local referendum petitions. Petitions protesting adopting an ordinance have to be submitted before the effective date of the ordinance. Katrina Bartolomie specifically referring to Chapter 22.18 of the county code. It was adopted in June and takes effect this coming Friday. So petitions have to be into the office no later than 5pm on Thursday. Those who signed a petition, but want to withdraw their name, can do so the day before the petition is filed.

Rumors floating around that the budget for the new Little Lake Fire Protection District fire house had gone over. But the Fire Chief told the Board of Directors at their meeting July 13th, that was not the case. The misinformation that the firehouse would be close to a $9 million dollar expenditure which had some community members upset. The chief says they are within budget for the new firehouse, and that he appreciates the community voting to pass the bond measure, but he did say construction costs are way higher now. The firehouse got $7.2 million, but at the time it was supposed to cost about $5.6 million. The chief says he still thinks they can stay within the budget.

A couple from Mendocino have been awarded No. 1 Airbnb hosts of California. The announcement for Guest Studio Minutes from Mendocino and its owners Glenn and Suzanne. The notice as part of a report on the #1 most hospitable hosts in each state. They got the most 5-star reviews in cleanliness, check-In, and communication categories — with a minimum of 100 reviews. The couple said they weren’t really paying close attention to their reviews and said, “it was a shock” and they feel honored.

The State Water Resources Control Board is not curtailing water in the Eel River Watershed. The Advocate News reports even though there are dire water situations elsewhere, the reservoirs in Brooktrails Township, Lake Emily and Lake Ada Rose, are at 88% capacity.  Lake Emily was down two-acre feet the first week of July and Lake Ada Rose was down one-acre foot.  But they remind residents to conserve any way with small measures like just turning off the water when you brush your teeth, make sure your toilet is functioning properly, upgrade old appliances and have efficient plumbing systems if possible.

A man who had not been vaccinated in Sonoma County is the latest casualty from the pandemic. The Sonoma County public health dept. reported the man was the ninth person this month to die from COVID19. The man had other health conditions, but officials didn’t say when he got sick, but that he died July 8th.  There had only been one death in Sonoma County since May from the virus, but the deaths, hospitalizations and infections have been surging again. On Sunday local hospitals reported 44 people admitted with the virus and 10 in an ICU. The public health dept. warning we could continue to see rising cases and deaths as the Delta strain takes over and spreads amongst the unvaccinated.

Two men who police say were smoking meth along Highway 1 started a fire. The Sonoma County Sheriff’s office reports 56 year old David Phillips of Camp Meeker and 34 year old James Ware of Monte Rio were responsible for the Sunday afternoon fire. They were searching for a pickup truck seen leaving the area of the fire off Highway 1 along the Sonoma coast. A sheriff’s deputy apparently headed to the fire saw the pickup along Highway 116 and talked to the men. They found a bunch of drugs and paraphernalia. Some of the drugs found included fentanyl, cocaine and meth, plus a bunch of oxycodone and Xanax. The two arrested for causing a fire and possessing drugs and paraphernalia, plus one of them had an active warrant from Santa Clara County for a traffic violation.

Evacuations have been ordered in Clearlake Oaks as at least 5 homes have burned in a fire. The fire reported last night before 6 and was dubbed the Hoover fire as it’s burning in the area of 1st and Hoover streets. The fire reportedly started in one home, then spread from flying embers onto fences and in yards. The Press Democrat reports some residents used garden hoses to try to stop the spread, but it was windy. Power lines were also down in the area and PG&E was on the scene last night. There were no injuries, but the newspaper reports firefighters were challenged by hot temperatures and fast moving winds. The fire was contained to that neighborhood and the Red Cross arrived to help.  

A 4½-acre fire near Nice had neighbors evacuating. The fire was 3 acres at first before jumping less than half its size. It was contained in about an hour. But there were roads closed for hours so firefighters could monitor the situation. Evacuations were lifted about 90 minutes after being ordered.

Many of the larger counties in the state are ordering residents to put their masks on, even the fully vaccinated, that’s against what the CDC and state are saying for indoor settings. But county officials say it will help slow the spread of the virus. Across the Bay area, health offices were strongly encouraging mask wearing by all residents because infections and hospitalizations were rising. Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara and Sonoma, along with the city of Berkeley were asking for masks to be worn. Also in Sacramento, Yolo and Fresno counties. LA county too, but the sheriff there says he’s not going to enforce it, because it’s not backed by science. All of those counties make up nearly the entire state.

The fires keep burning, like every summer. But now the National Weather Service is issuing a fire weather watch for almost all of Northern Calif until 5pm today. Nothing from PG&E though on a possible Public Safety Power Shutoff. Forecasts called for dry thunderstorms throughout the region, especially at higher elevations. There’s also a red flag warning in effect for the eastern Sierra Nevada from the Oregon state line south into Central California.  The one large fire burning in the region, the Dixie fire burning in Butte and Plumas counties near the Feather River Canyon has blackened nearly 19,000 acres, exploding almost 9,000 in a day. It’s only 15% contained.

A woman in Ukiah’s landed in the hospital after reports of a solo car crash in the 100 block of Brush St. Police say the woman hit a utility pole then got out and ran away. She was described as being a Hispanic female wearing a hot pink shirt, last seen running northbound toward the Fairgrounds Friday. Cops went to the scene finding the car with major damage, then later found Luna Magdaleno bleeding and looked to have serious injuries. Police say she seemed drunk and admitted she was indeed drinking before the crash. She was then taken to the hospital and not booked on DUI quite yet. She was already on probation for a previous DUI and had a suspended driver’s license. A police report was taken but because of Magdaleno’s injuries she was not immediately arrested.

The first in person meeting’s being held by the Lakeport City Council since the pandemic first surfaced. At the meeting, the council will meet the city’s newest member of the police force, K-9 Olin and his human partner, Kaylene Strugnell. Council chambers are open to the public, following state guidelines from Cal OSHA. Those not fully vaccinated must wear a mask. The meeting will be hybrid though, some on Zoom too.  The new police dog has been trained in narcotic detection and has patrol certification including suspect tracking and apprehension. He’s the first since K-9 Max retired in 2009. Lakeport police will also present a use of force report to the city council.

A man from Potter Valley has been reported missing and police are asking for the public’s help finding him. The family of PJ Bruggeman, Jr. says they’ve not seen or heard from him since last Thursday. His partner says she saw him that day near his home. He’s considered at-risk. A Nixle Alert was issued by the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office last week. He’s described as 5′ 11”, 160 pounds w/blonde dreadlocks and several tattoos. Family members say he left home without transportation and left his wallet and phone. Search and Rescue were reportedly searching in the Mid-Mountain Road area of Potter Valley on foot and using off-road vehicles.  

Probation officers in Lake County are being honored by the Board of Supervisors. The‌ ‌board is meeting in person and will stream the meeting on local cable. They will also allow participants via Zoom too. They will first proclaim this week as Probation Officers Week in Lake County. Later as the supervisors sit as the Sanitation District Board of Directors, they’ll mull a resolution over delinquent sewer fees for the Lake County Sanitation District.

Going against guidelines from the CDC, the University of California system is mandating vaccinations against COVID19 this fall. It’s changing course for the system because back in April they said they’d only mandate vaccines after the FDA gave full approval, not just emergency approval for the vaccines. Then last month UC said they’d require them without FDA approval but didn’t say what triggered the reversal in their previous policy. This they say is the final policy for their 10 campuses. The UC President says they decided on it after consulting with infectious disease experts and continuing to look over evidence from medical studies about how dangerous COVID-19 and its emerging variants of concern are. But the 23-campus California State University system says they still plan to await full FDA approval of at least one existing vaccine before mandating it.

It didn’t go well during a forest consultation tour between representatives of Cal Fire and the Coyote Valley Band of Pomo Indians. Mendo Voice reports talks broke down last Tuesday while a group of activists gathered for a prayer circle at the main Caspar entrance to Jackson Demonstration State Forest. So there was no tour with the two sides after all. Apparently over 80 people showed up. They tell the news site Cal Fire didn’t want to take part in the forest tour due to concern of counter protesters also possibly showing up. The tribe had requested a government to government consult regarding timber harvesting in the forest.

A new report says Lake Mendocino may not meet its August storage target. The State Water Resources Control Board ordered emergency regulation for water rights holders in the Russian River watershed for certain levels. But the Lake met its targets twice in July. But it’s only getting hotter. The GM of the Russian River Flood Control & Water Conservation Improvement District says storage levels trigger the Curtailment of Diversions to Protect Water Suppliers and Threatened and Endangered Fish in the Russian River Watershed after about 26,109 acre feet on or before August 1st. Those impacted will get a notice in snail mail.

The Grand Jury report has been released regarding technology in Mendocino County. The report critical of the county CEO and BOS saying the entities have not clearly defined the scope, authority or recruitment strategy for the proposed Chief Information Officer position. The report goes on to say the IT Master Plan has been delayed almost two years as it’s a low priority. The report says there’s no reason for various departments to not be able to report to a central IT Dept. There’s no communication the Jury reports about IT’s priorities and project initiatives. And since there’s no project managers some plans are unfulfilled or not planned. The county also has not secured its systems with an independent audit in over 15 years.

A special, limited meeting is being held by the Board of Supervisors. They were supposed to talk over and possibly take action on creating a Public Safety Advisory Board. They can either adopt an associated ordinance to create the Board, or amend the ordinance to instead create a Sheriff Oversight Board or other alternative model.

The Clearlake City Council revisiting the Burns Valley development project, plus they’re working with PG&E for long term use of the Clearlake Community Senior Center as a Customer Resource Center in the case of Public Safety Power Shutoffs. The so-called Customer Resource Centers (CRC) are being put up in service areas for those who need electricity at all times. There are also restrooms there, air-conditioned rooms, chairs to sit in, water and other essentials. The last time needed, the senior center was utilized, and there was a short term agreement with PG&E for it. But that expired. So the city and the utility company entered into a longer agreement for continued use of the facility.

Congressman Mike Thompson has announced a request for a transportation project in Lake County is being included in the Fiscal Year 2022 funding legislation the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development has released. It includes nearly a half million dollars just for the Kelseyville Sidewalk Project.

The Bureau of Land Management in Ukiah is asking for public comment on travel management planning for trails and roads in the Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument. They’re also holding a Zoom meeting this Wednesday on the matter. They already had a couple of workshops where they outlined the issues that should be addressed after receiving some public comment. Six years ago the Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument was designated by Presidential Proclamation so almost 331,000 acres of public lands in Colusa, Glenn, Lake, Mendocino, Napa, Solano and Yolo counties can be used for recreation, hunting, fishing and livestock grazing.

A man has been arrested for arson after reports of a dumpster fire. Police got a call to the Fairfield Inn. Surveillance video caught a man, they’ve since identified and arrested. Nathaniel Chim of Fort Bragg was arrested by deputies last Thursday.

A man riding his bike recognized by Mendocino Deputies as on parole. They say he had a light violation on his bike as he rode early in the morning. They’ve identified him as Jose Ayala and say he seemed high so they stopped him and asked him to take field sobriety tests, but he would not comply. So they asked to search him and found a baggie with a white powder inside, thinking it was meth, they detained him. When they searched him and his backpack, they found a semiautomatic handgun. A Ukiah police officer came for backup and they found yet another plastic baggie on him with what they say was a commercial quantity of suspected methamphetamine.  Ayala was arrested on multiple charges including Felony Possession of Controlled Substance While Armed with Loaded Firearm, Felony Armed While In Commission Of Felony and Felony Carry Loaded Firearm In Public. They later found pills on him while he was being booked so they added more charges. He was released though with a promise to return for a court date.

Mendocino Public Schools will require masks be worn in class in the fall, through at least November 1st. The California Department of Public Health went back and forth on the requirement and ultimately decided to leave it up to local jurisdictions. The Superintendent of Mendocino County Schools Michelle Hutchins said she understands it’s disappointing to some, but alternative COVID-prevention protocols could lead us back to a hybrid of in-person and virtual learning. The options Hutchins says, were three feet distance between students at all times or masks, so they opted for masks because the distance requirement was just not doable. So in the fall all Mendocino County K-12 schools will require universal masking indoors for students and staff.

A statement released by public health officials across Northern Calif. about misinformation out there on COVID19 vaccinations. The joint statement says some of the counties within the RANCHO area, which stands for the Rural Association of Northern Calif. Health Officers, have the lowest rates of the vaccination in the state, but also the lowest rate of antibodies, meaning the virus can thrive here. The group says as summer with tourism starts in full force, there are views and some misinformation or myths to address. They specially called 5 of them as untrue, if you had the virus, you can’t get it again, false; that getting the shots is worse than the virus itself, false; that the vaccine is experimental – it was rushed into use, they it’s sort of new technology, but hardly experimental; myth #4: the vaccine will make you sterile, absolutely not the scientists say; and finally myth 5, the vaccine can alter your DNA.

An air tanker on its way to the massive Dixie Fire in the Camp Fire footprint quickly put out another fire. It happened yesterday, a fire in brush in Paradise. The air tanker saw it and dropped retardant on it, slowing the spread to only burn a ¼ acre. Again it happened about an hour later, this time in Magalia, another town where the Camp fire burned. Another air tanker saw about ½ acre on fire and dropped retardant. The Cal Fire chief in Butte County said it was lucky they had aircraft in the area to get resources to those fires immediately.

The Dixie fire burning near the Camp Fire footprint, burning in Butte and Plumas counties finally has some containment. Yesterday we told you it was zero percent contained, but now Cal Fire reports they have it 7% surrounded. The fire has scorched almost 5,000 acres, continuing to explode in size after breaking out in very hot, dry weather in the Feather River Cyn Tuesday night. Cal Fire also reports a firefighter has been injured in the fire, but there are no structures currently threatened, damaged, or destroyed. The fire is burning in steep and inaccessible terrain. There is still an evacuation order in place and a warning too.

A man in Redwood Valley has been arrested after being spotted alone in a car late at night. Mendocino Deputies on routine patrol saw a black Audi sedan with expired registration so they stopped the driver who was alone at the time. He was identified as Jesse Connolly who had a felony warrant out for his arrest for not appearing in court when he was supposed to. He was booked into jail on $15,000.00 bail.

Deputies in Ukiah have arrested a man they say was sitting alone in a car talking to himself. They found Cody Ladd was on active parole and say he seemed high on something, so they conducted field sobriety tests. They say they arrested him soon after the tests for being under the influence of a controlled substance. They say during a search of his car they found a baggie with a white, crystalline substance and believed it to be meth. His parole officer was called and they placed Ladd on a parole hold and booked him into jail on no bail.

Another day searching for illegal marijuana grows in Mendocino County. Kym Kemp reports a National Guard helicopter was seen over county skies Wednesday to look for unlawful grow sites.  They were working with the Mendocino County Sheriff’s office on the searches. A Laytonville resident spotted a chopper circling above ground, then Kemp reported also seeing it land at the Ukiah Municipal Airport. It’s apparently not unusual for the Sheriff’s dept. to work with the National Guard to help eradicate marijuana. 

Bad news regarding the ongoing drought. The Sacramento River is so over heated that it could kill almost all of the already endangered salmon species. Calif. officials so it will be too hot for juvenile salmon to survive the fall. The Dept. of Fish and Wildlife is predicting the winter-run of Chinook will struggle against continued hot weather in the Sacramento Valley. They call it a persistent heat dome and say water will not be cool enough because of it and that it’s possible nearly all of the in-river juveniles won’t survive this season. And since they have about a three year life cycle, it will be a “near-total” wipeout this year, and an increase of extinction of the species.

A fire that had been threatening a grid the runs electricity through Oregon into Calif. is growing without much more containment. The so-called Bootleg fire in central Oregon has burned almost a quarter million acres of land northeast of Klamath Falls and about 45 miles north of the California border. The fire started July 6th in the Fremont-Winema National Forest on private land near Sprague River. There are three major electricity transmission lines in peril. They provide up to 5,500 megawatts of power to our state. It’s already perilous in Calif with the high heat, and three flex alerts since last weekend. The fire has burned at least 21 homes and is threatening thousands more.

Assemblywoman Cecilia Aguiar-Curry is applauding the new Broadband Budget Bill which unanimously passed her chamber. The bill also passed unanimously after in the senate. She was part of the Assembly negotiating team who worked with the Governor and Senate on the package. The bill looks to overhaul the state’s broadband system and provide more money so the state can be in the technological 21st century. The pandemic further shed a light on the disparity in internet coverage across the state, but Aguiar-Curry says the bill will ensure all Californians have access to internet-based services like education and job training, telehealth, and the digital economy.

Firefighters from Calif. are headed to Oregon to help with the Bootleg and other massive fires across the west. The work through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact which provides mutual aid to Oregon. At the same time the National Multi-Agency Coordinating Group elevated the National Preparedness Level to Level 5 — the highest level — because of increased fire activity. Oregon Gov. Kate Brown requested help from Calif. so the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services sent a Type 6 (wildland fire fast attack) strike team, and another task force, with three Type 3 fire (wildland fire) engines and two Type 6 fire engines. There are more being sent proactively to Southern Oregon in case of new fires.

Norcal tires has confirmed a positive COVID case. The Public Health Office says the Ukiah office of the tire store says between July 5th and 12th, members of the public could have been exposed to the virus and should be tested. The public health office says if you’re vaccinated and showing symptoms, you should also definitely be tested. The business put out a statement saying the safety of customers, staff and the community is of the utmost importance and they’re following all health and safety protocols after an employee tested positive. They remind everyone to help stop the spread and get vaccinated.

Cases and hospitalizations are surging again in Calif. about a month after restrictions were lifted, coronavirus cases and hospitalizations are spiking again. In Los Angeles County they’ve had five days straight of over 1,000 new cases. They’ve re-instituted the mask mandate. The Gov. reopened the state June 15th and allowed everyone vaccinated or not to go back out into indoor public spaces. But this week we saw the average number of daily cases more than triple. The state’s positivity rate went from 0.08% to 3%. Hot spots noted from June 12th to July 12th in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Orange counties. Public health officials say almost all of the new cases, hospitalizations and deaths are in the unvaccinated. They note about 40% of state residents are not vaccinated.

The city of Ukiah’s recycled water is running low due to the drought. The city’s director of water and sewer reported to the city council last week the amount of water isn’t sustainable, even as they watch over storage very closely at the recycled water facility. The water the city treats at the Ukiah Valley Wastewater Treatment Plant through the Purple Pipe system is mostly for agricultural uses such as vineyard irrigation. The city’s trying to find ways to bolster the supply of the recycled water. But they’re mostly storing groundwater not surface water.

A tiny fire at a tiny cabin in the woods in Leggett quickly put out. Mendo Fever reports the 1,000 square foot cabin caught fire last night, but it was put out quickly after firefighters got there ten minutes later. The Incident Commander said the fire was kept to one outside wall and didn’t spread.

Three search warrants in Willits and Laytonville served by the California Department of Fish & Wildlife as part of their latest illegal marijuana eradication spree.  The agents along with an Environmental Scientist, and deputies from the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office, Lake County Sheriff’s Office, representatives of the State Water Board, Mendocino County Code Enforcement and CALFire on the scene with search warrants. No state licenses were noted in the cases so the grows were considered illegal. They also found a bunch of environmental violations including: illegal streambed alterations, unpermitted culvert installation, surface water diversions, unpermitted grading, illegal timber conversion and a poached deer. In all about 12,600 illegal cannabis plants were eradicated and more than 2,600 pounds of illegal processed cannabis was destroyed.

It was a resounding thumbs down from the Point Arena City Council to allow people to live or park overnight in their cars or RV’s if they have no other safe place to park. At their meeting last month the council was looking into a safe parking ordinance, to mirror a similar one in Eugene, OR. The city manager said there was more to consider and civil liability was a concern as well, if something were to happen to a parked person. These sorts of programs have various amenities, but as presented in Pt. Arena, a bathroom would be the minimum and would probably need to be monitored. The cost for the small town seemed to outweigh the benefit, but the matter will be revisited at a future meeting.

They are back after a year without, the Mendocino Music Festival. Starting tomorrow and continuing for ten days there will be live music. Ten concerts in all, an hour long each at the Cotton Auditorium in Fort Bragg. Public safety protocols will be in place, no intermission without proof of vaccination and a mask inside the auditorium at all times. The Music Festival features all sorts of genres of music including, classical, jazz, bluegrass, Cajun, Brazilian and Latin. For more information on tickets and the schedule, please call 707-937-2044 or visit mendocinomusic.org.

Temporary water tanks could be brought in due to the drought, skirting certain permitting requirements. At their meeting this week the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors approved waiving permit requirements to bring in tanks for 5000 gallons or less, but residents would have to have a permit later if they decide to keep the massive tanks, or remove them. Mendocino Voice reports the board is trying to figure out other ways to get water, like ponds and reservoirs in other jurisdictions. They also discussed the road dust suppression program being put on hold through the winter and fall.

A major outbreak of COVID has been reported at the largest homeless shelter in Sonoma County. The health department reports over half the residents at the Sam Jones L. Hall homeless shelter in Santa Rosa were infected by Tuesday. There were also a couple dozen other positive cases being reviewed, so the total could be about 85 infections. And almost half of the residents who live at the shelter are fully vaccinated. There had only been 13 infections there before this. They all happened back in January. The shelter has 213-beds. City officials have now reopened an alternative care site at a Best Western in Healdsburg.

The former Governor Jerry Brown says his successor is overspending, and he won’t be recalled. Gov. Jerry Brown interviewed on NBC TV in LA says the money being spent now could bring “fiscal stress” in the future. He says the surplus the state has right now is bigger than ever before, but it’s being artificially pumped up by the federal stimulus money the state’s been getting due to the pandemic. Brown says the way the state is spending is not sustainable and we should find a “more frugal, sustainable, more prudent way of doing business”.  The new budget was signed into law Tuesday by Newsom. Brown also predicted in the interview that Newsom will not be recalled.

Deja vu for those living in Paradise. The Camp Fire decimated the town and just as some have built back, another fire on the border of Butte County has triggered evacuation warnings. The latest, the “Dixie” fire started Tuesday in the Feather River Canyon near Highway 70 and was just about 2 acres until it grew yesterday from the 500 acres it had jumped to, to 1,200 acres in one hour.  The fire is zero percent contained. The fire is moving into Plumas County, but thankfully not near any populated areas in private timber lands. The scar from the Camp fire is also between the new fire and homes. The Camp fire burned over 150,000 acres and was the state’s deadliest fire of all time.

A man from Clearlake has been killed in a head on crash in Colusa County. Lake Co News reports the man was identified yesterday as 57 year old Roman Calderon. He was ejected from his pickup truck after driving on Hwy 20 near Hwy 16, crossing the double-yellow lines and hitting Jacob Funk and his 3 passengers head on. The CHP at the time said they considered alcohol or booze a possible factor and said Calderon was not wearing a seatbelt. He died at the scene. The others in a Dodge Durango ended up in the hospital.

There’s no Public Health Officer in Lake County at the moment, so the county’s epidemiologist updated the Board of Supervisors this week. Sarah Marikos says the case load is growing, and for a time recently had been the highest in the state. She also told the board the testing rate has slowed, the slowest since the case surge at the beginning of this year. There were 36 cases for the week beginning July 4th. The daily case rate for a seven day stretch was at 10 cases per 100,000 people. The state’s at 3 to 4 per 100,000.  Then this week, it already appeared Lake was going to be at 11 cases/100,000, the highest daily rate in California. So far 63 people in Lake County have died from COVID19.

Public comment is being accepted by the Bureau of Land Management’s Ukiah Field Office to plan for trails and roads inside the Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument on BLM-managed public lands. They’re having a Zoom meeting next Wednesday night on the 30 day scoping period. There are over 330,000 acres of public lands in the Monument, co-managed by the BLM and the U.S. Forest Service within Colusa, Glenn, Lake, Mendocino, Napa, Solano and Yolo counties.

Written comments may be submitted electronically to the project ePlanning website; via email to BLM_CA_BSM_NM@blm.gov; or by mail, BLM Ukiah Field Office, Attn: BSMNM Travel Management Planning EA, 2550 North State Street, Suite 2, Ukiah, CA 95482.

A nasty virus is circulating among many northern Calif. counties in deer. So the California Department of Fish and Wildlife is asking residents not to feed wild animals, as a reminder so cases of adenovirus hemorrhagic disease don’t spread. When the animals congregate in a herd the disease can spread, there’s no cure or vaccine for it, so they’re trying to slow the spread. It’s usually found in young animals, but is not known to spread to humans, household pets, or domestic livestock.

The Mendocino County Public Health Office is confirming the Delta strain of coronavirus is here locally. At the Board of Supervisors meeting Tuesday, Public Health Officer Dr. Andy Coren reported there is a cluster of cases, but he says the vaccines are effective against the strain. The average rate of cases is higher than the state as a whole, at 5.3 cases/day per 100,000 people instead of the state’s 3-4 cases/100,000 people. Dr. Coren reports nine people are in the hospital and five are in the Intensive Care Unit. 2 are Lake County residents, and two are hospitalized in Sonoma County.

A homeopathic doctor in Napa Calif. is facing federal fraud charges for supposedly selling bogus vaccination cards. Not only that, but prosecutors also say Juli Mazi was selling so called immunization pellets which she said would provide life long immunity to COVID. She claimed the pellets had trace amounts of the disease and that vaccines had “toxic ingredients” in them. The fake vaccine cards she’s accused of distributing looked forged to show the owner of the card had Moderna doses, and still some patients were told to just fill out their own cards. The prosecutor on her case accused her of preying on fear and spreading misinformation and peddling fake treatments.

A man in Ukiah busted after deputies on routine patrol saw no tail lights on a car. The car seen near the 101 and the Perkins Street off ramp so they stopped the driver. In the car, Aaron Simpson, the passenger, allowed a search and deputies found blank checks from Express Mart in Ukiah. The deputies found he didn’t work there and should not have possession of the checks. The CHP was there too and found what appeared to be meth in a baggie in the car. So Simpson was arrested for Felony Possession of Check With Intent To Forge, Felony Possession of Stolen Property, and Misdemeanor Possession of Controlled Substance. He was booked on zero bail though due to the pandemic.

A woman from Willits has been arrested after a report of somebody trespassing and possibly stealing a horse. Deputies spoke to the person who called the theft in and found a woman, with no shoes on identified as Makayla McGrew. She was informed she was on private property and needed to leave, but she came back. People there say she placed a halter on a saddled horse and got on it, then someone confronted her as she tried leaving. She got into a verbal confrontation with them and finally dismounted and left again. She was arrested later on grand theft and trespassing charges, but no bail due to the COVID-19 bail schedule set by the State of California Judicial Council.

Lots of calls to the Ukiah Valley Fire Authority during a test by PG&E that seemingly few people knew about. The Daily Journal reports giant flames were seen shooting out of large metal structures yesterday morning. The fire chief said they got a call to some “cubes on fire” on Kunzler Rd, but they were being generated on purpose by Pacific Gas and Electric on their gas pipeline from Healdsburg to Hopland. They were burning excess gas off. PG&E did notify the fire dept. earlier this month, but they tell the newspaper it was surprising that so many people saw it overnight.

A bear caught cooling off in Lake Mendocino caught on video by the US Army Corps of Engineers. They shared pictures to their Facebook page of the black bear that climbed into an old water cistern on the Lake during really hot days late last month. It’s not unusual, but apparently the first time the park manager said she had heard of one going into a cistern.  Wildlife cameras caught the images of the animal June 30th, when it was 105 degrees in the shade.

Looks like community colleges in Calif. are adding on ethnic studies as a requirement. The board of governors who oversees California’s more than 100 community colleges has voted unanimously to revise general education requirements with ethnic studies added on for those pursuing an associate degree. It will start in the Fall of 2022, but probably won’t actually go into effect for a year after that. It will mean students have to take a Native American studies, African American studies, Asian American studies or Latina and Latino studies class. CSU is also requiring students take ethnic studies for lower division coursework. So those at community college who transfer will also need to have the class.

Nationwide teacher shortage after the pandemic and in Lake County, they’re taking the bull by the horns. Lake Co News reports the Office of Education is trying to create a teacher credentialing program with Teach Lake County. So those who have bachelor’s degrees can earn a teaching credential near home at an affordable price. So far they have had over 20 educators in the program. They currently have an Intern Credentialing program for two types of credentials including teaching multiple subjects (transitional kindergarten through sixth grade) or mild/moderate special education.

A bunch of marijuana being grown illegally on various farms has been eradicated. The Mendocino County Code Enforcement Division has been investigating the possible non-permitted commercial cannabis, finding 3 in Willits and another in Gualala, yanking over 830 plants in all. The citations or charges for growing in non-permitted structures, without a County Cultivation Permit, or State Cultivation License.  Those responsible had to get rid of the plants. The work after complaints made to the Code Enforcement Division about Cannabis and General Code Violations in unincorporated areas of the County.

In a dramatic turn of events and after the threat of at least one lawsuit the state will allow Calif. schools to make their own choice when it comes to facial coverings. Earlier this week we told you that the state Public Health Dept. announced that since 3 feet distance, per CDC guidelines, cannot always be achieved, that masks would be mandatory. But then hours later they took it back saying local school officials can choose how to deal with students who refuse to wear masks. They were going to straight up prohibit unmasked students on campus. The guidance also said kids who were banned for not wearing masks should be offered alternative educational opportunities.

A big push by the state to corral illegal marijuana grows. The state Dept. of Fish and Wildlife working with the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) and the state licensing authority to find possible environmental violations connected to unlicensed cannabis cultivation. The agency says they fully support the regulated market and those working to keep it compliant. The permitting process, the agency says is designed to reduce environmental impacts. Before growing, an active state license is required with local approval possibly also needed.  The multiagency task force will look for grows on priority watersheds and areas with sensitive habitat and/or threatened or endangered species.

The drought is causing Fort Bragg to put a mandatory water conservation measure in place. The City Council voted unanimously for a Water Warning, mandatory Stage 2 conservation. That means residents have to hit a 10-20% reduction in seasonal water use. The city first had voluntary Stage 1 and Stage 2 water conservation measures. But water flows were starting to lower, the Noyo River, for example was at levels at where they were during the worst drought on record, back in 1977. Mendo Fever reports Fort Bragg city leaders are working with the Water Quality Board Division of Water Rights, CA Fish and Wildlife, County staff and elected officials about the diversion from the Noyo River regarding the seasonal dam at Camp Noyo.

A small grass fire quickly put out in Ukiah… by some locals nearby. Mendo Fever reports both Ukiah Valley Fire Authority and the Police Department responded to a small grass fire. The site reports it was in an empty lot near the intersection of Perkins Street and Hospital Drive, but before fire fighters even got there the fire was out as locals with fire extinguishers were proactive.  The fire chief says he thinks it may have been caused by a cigarette being tossed. They made sure the fire was totally extinguished before leaving the scene. And the chief says motorists really should have a fire extinguisher in their vehicles. And also, to call the fire department to make sure fires are completely out.  

Lakeport police have a new police dog after over a decade without. The Chief Brad Rasmussen reports Police K-9 Olin, a young male German shepherd will work with handler, Officer Kaylene Strugnell. The last dog the police department worked with was in May of 2009. The chief tells Lake Co News he’s been trying to get a police dog in the department again for years and was planning to back in 2018. The city got a grant of about $38,000 from the USDA along with private funding to re-establish the K-9 Unit. Olin and his human partner have completed their first six weeks of training and started to work together last month. The dog is trained in drug detection including meth, heroin and cocaine, and he has a patrol certification including suspect tracking and apprehension.

It was a yes from the Board of Supervisors to move the Lake County Registrar of Voters Office. The new office across from the courthouse. They’ll move next year. The ten year lease was unanimously approved by the board at their meeting Tuesday. There have to be some renovations first, like upgrading the bathrooms to meet Americans with Disabilities Act compliance and enclosing offices in the main area, putting in new doors and heating and more. They look to be in the new space in June of next year. The building used to be the local Pacific Gas and Electric office for many years.

CalPERS, the largest public pension fund in the country is paying as much as $2.7 billion back to policyholders who had giant premium hikes. The retirement system settled a class-action lawsuit over the fee hikes for almost 80,000 people who paid more for long-term costs of nursing care that also included “inflation-protection” coverage. A judge still has to give the deal the green light. It comes as a bunch of policyholders sued in 2013 after they were told their premiums were going up over two years by 85%.

Several cases of COVID19 have been confirmed at the Chowder House and Tap Room in Pt. Arena, Trinks Café in Gualala Cove and Azul Bar & Grill in Gualala. The Mendocino County Public Health Office reports from the end of June thru the first week of July, many people may have been exposed to the virus and should be tested if they’re not vaccinated. They also say if you feel you may have symptoms and have received the vaccination, you should also be tested. The agency says they’re preparing for outbreaks during summer months. The establishment owners put out statements too, saying they’re following health and safety protocols and urge residents to get vaccinated. Others say they’re totally sanitizing and reopening and also encourage getting the shots so we can live without fear and anxiety.

The legislative session is about to end in Sacramento as lawmakers consider a bill to require nursing homes to account better for billions in taxpayer dollars they get every year. The State Assembly Committee on Health is considering a bill to require nursing homes to provide detailed financial reports including transactions with any vendors they own more than a five-percent interest in. State Senator Henry Stern of Los Angeles sponsored the bill.

 :14  “Unless we actually know the nature of these related-party transactions, there’s an ability to erect a very insidious shell game – moving money around, and not knowing where it is – that we could be seeing billions of dollars in waste and abuse.”

Tag:  Those against the bill say it puts too big a regulatory burden on an industry that’s reeling from COVID-19. Rallies in support of the bill are happening today in L-A and Oakland.

Second Cut: Blanca Castro with A-A-R-P California says COVID exposed longstanding problems with short staffing. She says state info shows more than 110-thousand nursing home residents and staff had been infected as of May.

 :08  “The time is now to hold to nursing home operators accountable. Over 9,000 lives were lost; that includes residents and staff.”

Third Cut: Union leader Arnulfo De La Cruz with S-E-I-U 2015 says some nursing-home corporations use what he calls “accounting tricks” with affiliated companies to extract profits from rent, supplies and more.

 :12  “Shining a light on the lack of transparency by some of California’s largest nursing-home employers is a fundamental step towards our vision for a longterm care system that puts care first, not profit.”

Fourth Cut: Tony Chicotel with California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform says these concerns predate the pandemic.

 :14  “Nursing homes know their costs. They know their profits, and the state simply doesn’t. This lack of transparency results in the state getting ripped off, paying for the private jets and vacation homes of nursing-home owners, instead of the staff and resources critical for resident well-being.”

Tag:  A recent state auditor’s report found from 2006 to 2015, three of the state’s biggest nursing-home corporations grew substantially – and their related-party transactions soared – even as deficiencies that caused serious harm or death to residents increased by 35-percent.

A man involved in a head on crash in Colusa County has died. The 57 year old victim was from Clearlake. The CHP reports he was driving on Highway 20 east of Highway 16 when the 2014 Toyota Tacoma pickup he was driving at a high rate of speed swerved and hit Jacob Funk of Orland. He had 3 passengers, 2 of which were small children. The patrol says Funk tried to avoid the crash but the pickup hit his front left side. The Clearlake driver did not have on a seatbelt. Everyone else did. Funk had neck and back pain and his adult passenger had a head contusion. The children complained of pain. Air ambulances were sent. The CHP indicated alcohol and/or drugs were possible factors in the accident.

The cause of a couple of power outages over the weekend in Lake County have been released. Pacific Gas and Electric says the Saturday outage in the middle of a heat wave was possibly caused by a fault in the electric line. They inspected the area several times but never found why there was a fault. But due to high fire threat they kept the line down to make sure it was 100% inspected before they turned it back on. They inspected again early Sunday morning and power was completely restored by 9am. The second outage Sunday afternoon in the Hidden Valley Lake area was heat related.  Repairs were made in about four hours.

A massive new state budget has been signed into law by the governor. He says it includes the biggest recovery in state history, the $100 billion California Comeback Plan. It is supposed to provide relief to the neediest. Immediate direct cash payments to middle class families and businesses hit hardest by the pandemic. The Gov. says they’re using the surplus to make investments in certain communities. He says the pandemic has shown where support is needed for those facing the greatest hardships. There is a major surplus, the most in state history, nearly $76 billion, reversing an anticipated shortfall estimated last year during the height of the pandemic.

State Senator Mike McGuire says an agreement has been reached to expand high speed internet across the state. He says the Senate, Assembly and Governor’s office agreed on a package of bills for historic broadband infrastructure for both unserved and underserved communities across the state. He says “it’s no longer a luxury, it has to be a right” as the pandemic shined a light on the massive disparities that exist in small towns and inner cities when it comes to a lack of internet. The package of bills includes $3.25 billion to construct a state-owned fiber middle mile and requires construction in geographically diverse urban and rural communities. There’s $2 billion for last mile infrastructure, at least $1 billion for rural communities, $750 million in loans to startup local broadband networks and $50 million for technical assistance grants for rural and underserved communities.

A meeting of Sherwood Firewise Communities included special presentations on fire safety in the area. The quarterly meeting including a presentation by the Mendocino County Office of Emergency Services Director regarding evacuation zones, which you can view at mendoready.org. All you have to do is enter your address to find your evacuation zone. He also encouraged residents to sign up on Everbridge and Nixle for emergency notifications. The Executive Director of Mendocino County Fire Safe Council was also there encouraging folks to take part in Chipper Days. They also went over a FEMA program for roof replacement and another to create defensible space around your home. The group also got a water service update from the Brooktrails Township Community Service District General Manager.

Universal transitional kindergarten is starting in Calif. The Gov. and some lawmakers working on the idea, pouring $2.7 billion into a program to eventually be phased in by the 2025-26 school year. There are already about 100,000 kids in TK, but it’s being expanded after the Gov. signed a Senate bill into law Friday. Some larger school districts in the state already have the program in place, but the state had been behind other states already offering transitional kindie for years. There are millions of under the age of 5 kids in Calif. Only about a third are enrolled in TK.

The choice of mask wearing in schools in the fall was apparently because there wasn’t enough space in all schools to follow CDC guidelines of 3 feet of physical space between students. The new state rule says masks promote safety and in-person learning by reducing the need for physical distancing. But the new rules could even change by November. Some parents are none too happy about the masking rules, according to Cal Matters. Reopen Calif. Schools, a group looking for the government to reopen in person learning said the new face covering rule is “outrageous”. The director says his group was inundated with calls and donations and is filing a lawsuit against the state.

The cost to Californians due to the pandemic to date, $12.3 billion. The latest data shows over 40 categories, the state has calculated that amount from “total direct pandemic emergency response” between 2020 and 2022. That paid for masks for health care workers, gowns, gloves, medical interpreters, laptops for students, temporary contact tracers. And more of it went to state prisons to fight the pandemic, testing for the virus and lab equipment. A lot of the money came from the federal government from the various stimulus packages.

The Gov. cannot have his party affiliation on the recall ballot in Sept. A judge says Gov. Newsom cannot indicate he’s a Democrat after his lawyers and the Secretary of State fought for it in court. But the judge says Newsom missed a deadline and she’s following the law, so Newsom filed a lawsuit. He was apparently supposed to include his party affiliation in a reply to the recall in February of 2020, but one of his lawyers says they made a mistake.  Too bad the judge said. The special election is Sept. 14.

Deputies are searching for a man they say was involved in the shooting near the Black Butte Store in Covelo. Deputies say sometime last Wednesday, one victim and a witness were headed back to an illegal marijuana cultivation site in a remote area of Mendocino County and another cultivator shot a gun at them. The victim and witness got out of a car and called for help, meeting at the Black Butte Store. All deputies say is the suspect was described as a Hispanic man, between 35 to 45 years-old, about 5 feet 5 inches tall, 165 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes. Deputies went back two days later and found over 2,900 marijuana plants in non-permitted green houses and other structures. There is not a whole lot more info on the investigation so far.

A wildfire is out of control in Oregon, knocking out power lines that are extremely important for stabilizing the grids in much of the western U.S. California says there can be rotating blackouts because of it. And Nevada faced a power emergency. The Bootleg fire, which has burned almost 80,000 acres and is zero percent contained is impacting the California Oregon Intertie. Last August we had the first rolling blackouts in twenty years, when we had an energy crisis due to extremely hot weather. We’ve already had a call for conservation of energy, that was before the official start of summer.

Children have to wear masks to school in the fall if they’re vaccinated or not. That’s the word from the California Department of Public Health. Dr. Mark Ghaly announced children have to wear masks in classrooms even though the CDC has different guidelines that they’re unnecessary if certain protocols are followed. The CDC relaxed masking guidelines Friday. The agency says kids with the vaccination can go without face coverings but should still stay 3 feet apart inside classrooms. But while Ghaly applauded the move he also said “masking is a simple and effective intervention” and that “treating all kids the same will support a calm and supportive school environment.”

A missing fire hose has been found in Clearlake, and a woman has been arrested. The hose stolen last month after the Wilkinson fire, was found over the weekend. Police say the Fire Chief at the Lake County Fire Protection District was in touch after finding the hose and some other equipment had been taken. Now they report 1,100 feet of hose and some of the stolen connectors were found and 31 year old Rebecca Moresi was arrested. The woman apparently admitted she was in a fire zone and took the hose and connectors. She said she had a pump on her property and was going to use the stolen equipment. She did not go to jail but promised to return to court. The stolen equipment was brought back to the Fire District.

The Lake County Board of Supervisors discussing moving the office for the Registrar of Voters. The board is considering a lease agreement with the John Allen Dye Trust of 1993 for a building which used to be the offices for Pacific Gas and Electric Co. It would be a ten year lease from August 1st until July of 2031. The County Administrative Officer told the board both the registrar and auditor-controller have been needing new space for some time. They’ve been looking for a new location for 2 years. Apparently someone with the John Allen Dye Trust contacted the county to say the PG&E space was available. It would be $2,200/month to lease it. But that could be raised after the fifth year.

A bunch of people lost power in the southeastern section of Lake County, but no cause has been released yet. Yesterday folks in and around Hidden Valley Lake lost power. About 800 or so customers got their power back after about 12 hours.  It unfortunately happened during high temperatures that were over 100 yesterday. There were also no cooling centers for relief. Some people were posting on social media about having now power, and that it was 106 or so out when it happened. Some people were posting for their neighbors to check their elderly neighbors to make sure they were ok.

A wildfire is under control near Ukiah after less than one hour. The Police scanner said it broke out where Highway 20 and the 101 meet near Lake Mendocino. The fire was between Redwood Valley and Ukiah south of Vinegar Point. Aircraft and bulldozers were sent to the scene along with ground crews from Redwood Valley-Calpella Fire and Ukiah Valley Fire Authority. The fire reportedly held steady at 2 acres and was burning on a hill in brush. Around 8 last night some traffic lanes were closed to give firefighters more space to work.

New info on a fire that broke out last week called the Broiler Fire which burned about 80 acres and 3 homes. Someone mowing dry grass in the heat of the afternoon reportedly started the fire. Flow Cannabis reportedly put out a statement saying it was their employee who was mowing and hit a rock, causing a spark. The president of the company says they were truly sorry for the “stress, anxiety, fear, and loss” their Redwood Valley neighbors have endured. The fire started July 7th behind the Broiler Steak House. There were quick evacuations of nearby residents. The fire was stopped after two days. Nine structures in all, including the 3 homes were destroyed.

A new report from the Mendocino County Public Health Office says only about ½ the local population has received a vaccination against the coronavirus. On Friday, during their regular discussion on the pandemic, the acting Public Health Officer Dr. Noemi Doohan called that a “vulnerability” if there are more surges. She says there have been about 34 residents that have gotten the virus even though they were fully vaccinated. One of them was hospitalized. They’re still urging residents who’ve not received their shots to do so. And if some have only received one shot of the 2 shot regimen, to complete their series.

In Calif. the Delta variant is taking over. About 52% of the cases were identified as the strain in Calif., and about 31% were the UK or Alpha variant. The CDC reported the Delta variant is in the Midwest, where it’s upwards of 80% of cases. The strain surfaced in India and is more infectious and can increase the chance of hospitalization. Health experts say it can be resistant to vaccines. But the unvaccinated are more likely to be at risk. There’s also a couple new variants, the Lambda, and now the Epsilon, which was first detected here in Calif.

More info on the shooting death of a man in Clearlake Oaks who police say may have been killed by a woman he assaulted. Last week the Lake County Sheriff’s office reported going to a home where they found the man dead from gunshot wounds. Major Crimes Detectives apparently found out through witness accounts the woman had been raped by the man at her home before he was shot to death. He’s now been identified as Charles Vernon McClelland of Rohnert Park who she had an on again off again relationship with over five years. She says he assaulted her and before he tried again she got a hold of a gun and shot him multiple times. Police say the victim is fully cooperating with them.

COVID19 is spiking again in Lake County. The public health department’s website reported 54 active cases. 2 percent higher than a week before. The county is reporting both testing positivity and daily rates on the rise after an all time low last month. There are also a couple cases of the Delta strain, which has been rising fast across the globe. The health department reports 50 percent of residents are vaccinated and 43.5 percent were still unvaccinated. Other news in Lake County on the pandemic, they’re trying to get an updated number on the amount of deaths. And senior centers will continue to stay closed for indoor dining services. It also looks as though the county may be without a health officer at the moment, with interim health officer, Dr. Evan Bloom saying he is no longer doing the job as of July 1st.

A man in Lakeport has been arrested for a car theft earlier this year. 28 year old Austin Schweitzer was in jail for another reason and was about to be sentenced but asked for a continuance. He’s now charged with Vehicle Theft, two counts of Buy/Sell/Receive Stolen Property, Shoplifting (up to $950), Grand Theft — Sell Access Card- Intent to Defraud. He entered a so-called Nolo plea to the car theft and the rest of the charges were dropped. That’s like a guilty plea. A deal for sentencing was agreed to, but the judge can change it. He’s accused of stealing a car in February as it sat with its engine running, to warm it up. Then he tried to use the victim’s credit cards, which alerted police and he was caught.

A man and woman in Ukiah have been arrested after a deputy on routine patrol saw them pull into a business. A records check on the man, Edgar Vazquez, showed he was on pretrial release and could be searched. While searching the vehicle and Vazquez himself, he was found with what looked to be meth. In the car was drug paraphernalia and a couple more packages that looked to be wrapped up for sale, also of meth. Deputies found that Vazquez and his passenger, Ivette Mendoza had engaged in conspiracy to possess and transport meth for sale. So the pair were arrested on multiple charges including possession of a controlled substance for sale, conspiracy to commit a crime and transporting a controlled substance for sale. Vazquez was held on $50,000.00 bail, but Mendoza was booked and released with a promise to return to court.

The Mendocino County Board of Supervisors are back for their regular meeting after a week off for the Independence Day holiday. The board will hear their weekly update from the public health officer, who this week may be former officer Dr. Noemi Doohan, as Dr. Coren had been on vacation. But we have not confirmed that. They will consider some moves as it relates to economic impacts due to the pandemic. They’ll continue the coronavirus discussion later with stimulus money distribution to Northcoast Opportunities and the Community Foundation of Mendocino County. They’ll later take on an urgency ordinance regarding the drought emergency and hear from the Drought Ad Hoc Committee and potentially take action on items they suggest. The board will also talk about widening the E. side of Potter Valley Rd. and have a discussion on redistricting.

The Gov. is asking Californians to voluntarily cut their water use by 15%. It’s not a mandate, but the Gov. says the loss of water in the state is “jaw-dropping”. Temperatures in Calif. are very warm with excessive heat warnings this weekend in the North Bay. There are also several wildfires burning in Northern California. The most important reservoirs are reportedly at record low levels. Lake Oroville is at 30% capacity. State officials are considering closing the hydroelectric plant later this year if it continues to dry up. Lake Mendocino could be totally empty later this year along the Russian River. The Gov. is asking for voluntary conservation efforts which we are no stranger to, like taking shorter showers, running dishwashers only when full and reducing how often you water your lawn.

A little shaky after a magnitude 6 earthquake jolted the California-Nevada border. Massive boulders were tossed onto a highway and shake reports came from as far away as Las Vegas and San Francisco. We know the deal, there will be days of aftershocks too following the 4pm quake yesterday south of Lake Tahoe near Walker, a small town with few homes in the eastern Sierra Nevada. There was no major damage or injuries reported. There were already several dozen aftershocks, several measured at least magnitude 4 or above. There were rockslides and reports of cars hitting rocks, but no injuries.

A car accident at a local cemetery brings out the CHP and medics. Mendo Fever reports a white truck crashed into the fence at the Mendocino Little River Cemetery Wednesday afternoon. The truck reportedly kept going until coming to a stop in brush. The CHP says the driver ended up in the hospital with moderate injuries described as lacerations, scrapes and bruises. Another driver reported the crash. About thirty feet of the cemetery’s chain link fence were smashed in the accident.

A fire reported in Laytonville out quick, but a double wide burned. The fire reported yesterday morning in Laytonville which spread to brush after gutting the trailer home. Laytonville Fire reported the Long Incident had been threatening wildland, but they mostly contained it to the mobile home park. There were air resources called, but then canceled after the fire was contained. The one double wide was lost, two more structures were damaged.

Two men near the Black Butte Store in Covelo in an argument and reports of one of them shot in the chest. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office reports getting a call to the shop earlier this week. The owner of the store says he heard to men speaking Spanish. They were in a blue, newer model Toyota Tacoma. He says the victim was shot 3-4 times in the shoulder. He had a tshirt wrapped around his shoulder, soaked in blood. Round Valley Tribal Police arrived on the scene, then deputies. An eyewitness was questioned and the investigation continues. No word on the victim’s condition.

An inmate at a state prison who is from Ukiah has died in custody. The Mendocino County DA reports 66 year old Steven Patrick Ryan died. He was in prison for the shooting death of a Black man and was sent to prison for 21 years for the manslaughter charge and for using firearm to commit the crime. He was found guilty by a jury in 2018 for the shooting death of De’Shaun Christopher Davis who was unarmed in 2016 on Thanksgiving.

The Broiler Fire which had been burning north of Ukiah in Redwood Valley is 75% contained. Cal Fire reported sending their last report on the fire which started last weekend. It burned three homes, and two outbuildings were damaged. The fire blackened 80 acres.

Mendocino County residents are being invited by the Redwood Credit Union to shred documents for free. It’s July 24th at 9. The annual shred-a-thon and e-waste event is back on after being canceled last year due to the pandemic. They’re helping folks get rid of sensitive documents, confidential paperwork and electronics in one fell swoop. They’re accepting nonperishable food and monetary donations for the Redwood Empire Food Bank.

A bunch of coronavirus cases have been confirmed at Jensen’s Restaurant and from Willits Frontier Days events. The Mendocino County Public Health Office reports the Frontier Days outbreak between June 25th and July 4th and the cases confirmed from Jensen’s Restaurant were sometime between June 28th – July 1st. The health office is reminding that if you were at the restaurant or any event connected to Frontier Days you may have been exposed and should be tested. Two employees at Jensens turned up positive cases. And at least five people at Frontier Days.

A new phone scam being reported in Lake County that the Sheriff’s Office has warrants for you. The Sheriff’s Office says the people calling say they’re Lt. Findley of the Sheriff’s Office and you have warrants and fines against you for not appearing for a court subpoena and the fines have to be paid immediately.

The Governor is pouring money into cleaning transportation hubs, highways and stations. The Governor called them “too damn dirty” and says it’s time to use “tax dollars… more appropriately”. His Clean California initiative was revealed in a stop to Richmond, but he’s traveling the state to talk about it. Newsom says he’s sending work crews to pick up trash and litter along freeways and at transit stations. During the three year program, he’s also looking to work with communities so they learn about good garbage disposal practices to prevent future littering.

If you had been planning to attend the Grace Hudson Museum fundraiser this weekend, it’s canceled. The decision made due to the weather forecast. It’s supposed to get to about 107 degrees tomorrow, so the boards of the Sun House Guild and Art Center Ukiah are postponing the “Corner in the Gardens” fundraiser. The museum director says even though they’re disappointed, the “comfort and health of both our guests and participating artists are of greatest importance”. They plan on a new date soon, for next spring.

The Mendocino Cannabis Alliance has put out a statement about the Commercial Cannabis Activities Ordinance recently adopted by the Board of Supervisors. They say they’re against both changes, one which removes a provision for large-scale cultivation expansion and the other looks to totally nullify the ordinance. The alliance says there’s been a lot of talk around the move by the board, but says they believe the referendums endanger existing licensed businesses in Phase 1 and 2. So they say to protect their members they’re publicly opposing the referendums. 

The Lake County Sheriff’s Office is looking for more information on a shooting in Clearlake Oaks. The department reports getting a call to a home where they found a dead man. A woman ended up in the hospital after admitting she shot the man who assaulted her. Police say the woman was cooperating in their investigation and the man’s injuries were consistent with the story.

A fire in Redwood Valley has quickly spread and burned 80 acres. The fire was not moving anymore after firefighters established control lines. There were several homes in the area evacuated. The fire is 20% contained with more very hot weather on the way.

Sonoma County once a hotbed for COVID19 spread, is once again seeing a spike in cases along with heat-related sickness. The county’s ICU beds are filling, currently hitting 72%. 44 patients were being treated for the virus in the 6 hospitals in the county, 13 are in an ICU. The Sonoma County Health Officer Dr. Sundari Mase says the numbers are about where they were at in February.  Reports say all of the ICU cases are in unvaccinated individuals. County officials say it’s at where we were last summer, and not as bad as the surge they experienced over the winter months.

An environmental group is suing Sonoma County over the county’s permitting policies on drilling groundwater wells, something the group says could harm Russian River stream flows. California Coastkeeper, under the umbrella of the Russian Riverkeeper and several other like-minded organizations filed the lawsuit late last month. The group looking to stop the county from issuing more drilling permits and to put new rules in place for various assessments on the effects of well water extraction on the Russian River and its tributaries. It comes with a threat too, if the county doesn’t take appropriate measures, they’ll be considered in violation of their “public trust duty” to safeguard certain shared natural resources against adverse impacts.

As if it’s not been hot enough this early in summer, there’s a new excessive heat watch coming. The National Weather Service issued the warning starting this Saturday with temps expected in the 90’s and triple digits. Monday should cool off, but still be in the upper 90s and low 100s. But they say there’s no worry about increased wildfire risk. Also, there’s no red flag warning for the weekend.

A bunch more marijuana projects are being mulled by the Lake County Planning Commission. There’s a meeting this morning on the matter in Board chambers which will include discussion on a rather large operation in High Valley. Folks can be there in person, but like many other meetings during these times, it’s also on Zoom, the county’s Facebook page and on the county of Lake Youtube page. The High Valley Ranch operation on property recently sold for several million dollars. The company who purchased it filled out forms saying they were owners and managers of real estate. But one of the managers is apparently involved in various cannabis businesses around the state.

The state says since the pandemic has not gone away, school districts will have to still offer distance learning or some sort of independent study option. The Gov. and some lawmakers had previously said schools should fully reopen this fall for face to face instruction, but some kids and their parents are not prepared to get back to in person learning. So for this year only districts are mandated to offer students online learning through independent study, which has always been around as a voluntary model for districts pre-pandemic.

Tens of millions of dollars has been awarded by Caltrans from the state and federal government for cities, counties, tribes and transit companies in the state to work on improving the state’s transportation network. The $34 million in grant money is partially paying for sustainable transportation projects which were approved in a senate bill a few years ago. The infrastructure work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve the state highway system, enhance access to safe walkways and bikeways, and for natural disaster preparedness. About $700,000 goes to tribes, agencies and local governments for transit and active transportation projects. Sustainable Transportation Planning Grants were awarded to Del Norte, Humboldt, Lake and Mendocino counties.

Not looking good for wildfire season. So far, at least up until July 4th, from the start of the year, there were almost 4,600 fires in Calif, a lot more than the amount last year. Cal Fire reports there were about 3,850 fires during the same time period last year. And by the end of 2020 there had been just over 9,900 fires that scorched more than 6,650 square miles and damaged or destroyed nearly 10,500 structures. And 33 people were killed. The fire agency says this year so far 91 structures have been damaged or destroyed. There are two fires that have been burning for over a week, one is nearly totally surrounded, while another fire, the Salt Fire north of Redding is only 35% contained and has already burned over 12,640 acres.  The broiler fire here locally has burned 80 acres and has jumped to 60% containment from 20% in one day.

The state Attorney General says they have some new protocols to follow for police agencies after the death last year of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Atty. General Rob Bonta made the announcement yesterday that there will be investigations by the California Department of Justice into officer involved shooting deaths. The agency will work by itself, not in concert with investigations by local agencies. The new law was co-authored by Bonta when he was an Assemblyman and it went into effect July 1st. He says the department will ensure that every Californian is treated equally. Some police agencies though say they’re being undermined by the new law. There will be 33 special agents between northern and southern Calif. along with supervisors that will be able to call in crime analysts, forensic experts and others as needed. They’re looking to make sure shootings are justified.

A helicopter that had been contracted to work on a fire in the Northern California city of Weed made an emergency landing, but the pilot escaped unharmed. The U.S. Forest Service reports no injuries or damage and that the pilot either walked or swam out of Lake Shastina where they landed. There are nearly 1,000 firefighters on the Lava Fire which sparked by lightning June 24th. It has burned more than 25,000 acres and is just about 70% contained. 

Masks are mandatory again at the state Capitol after at least nine people tested positive for coronavirus. Four of the people who tested positive are considered break through cases since they are fully vaccinated, thus a return of to mandatory mask wearing for lawmakers and staff. The masks had been required still in hallways, committee rooms and legislative chambers, but anyone who was fully vaccinated could take their masks off in their own offices. That is no longer the case since the outbreak. Additionally, and already in place, those who have not been vaccinated need to be tested twice a week.