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Sonoma County News

Windsor Town Council

The open seat on the Windsor Town Council is still undecided. A long, late night session last night ended with a split vote between the 4 members. Another discussion will take place July 28th and may lead to a special election as early as next April. (photo courtesy Sonoma County Tourism)


Fire Insurance Assistance

Homeowners impacted by wildfires in the past few years are now getting some much needed help from the state. California's Deputy insurance Commissioner Michael Sollar says a Superior Court ruling this week sided with consumers. The fight involves California's fair coverage plan, the insurer of last resort, where homeowners go if their insurance company drops their fire coverage. (photo courtesy World Property Journal)


Local COVID-19 Cases

The Delta Variant has caused a rise in local COVID 19 cases, mostly among non-vaccinated people. Currently there are 884 active cases, with one new death reported, bringing the total to 328 fatalities from the coronavirus in Sonoma County since it started last year. Health officials urge residents to get tested, and get vaccinated. (photo courtesy PBS)


Oil Refinery Pollution

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District has voted to strengthen a rule that reduces emissions from oil refineries, requiring the companies to install technology to cut particulate output by 70%. That rule is the most stringent regulation of it's kind in the country. Environmental activists call it a victory for Bay Area residents. (photo courtesy Public News Service)


UC Tuition Increase

Today, University of California regents will ask for tuition increases they say are needed to provide a quality education. Student groups oppose the increases as an unfair burden on low-income families. But UC officials say tuition increases will generate more financial aid for all but the wealthiest families. (photo courtesy Google Sites)


PG&E Planned Outages

Sonoma County may have more planned power outages that could last longer, according to new information released yesterday. PG&E said they are factoring in trees that could pose a threat to power lines during severe weather. The new criteria mean Sonoma County’s average potential number of planned outages could increase from 2.1 to 3.8 annually. (photo courtesy WPMI)


Fire Resource Funding

Bodega Bay Fire Protection District will receive some much needed funding. Sonoma County Supervisors approved nearly $8 million for Bodega and other regional fire department consolidations. Sonoma County Fire District will expand even farther to stretch along the coast of Bodega Bay. (photo courtesy Bodega Bay Fire)


Santa Rosa Homeless COVID 19

The COVID outbreak at the county's largest homeless shelter continues to be a focus of attention for health officials. Currently there are 90 positive cases, with 7 new cases confirmed since the last round of testing at the end of last week. Individuals who have tested positive are being housed at an Alternate Care Site in Healdsburg (photo courtesy Patch)


Fire Test Cancelled

The Emergency Alert and Warning Exercise scheduled for tomorrow has been cancelled, due to fire weather concerns in the North Bay mountains and the greater Bay Area. This exercise would have included a NOAA Weather Radio warning alarm system test to the County of Sonoma and a SoCoAlert test in a targeted geographical area in the City of Santa Rosa. The test of both systems will be rescheduled at a later date. (photo courtesy Flame Institute of Fire and Safety)


PG&E Fire Prevention Grants

PG&E is working with local organizations focused on fire prevention by offering grants. $230,000 will go to three Sonoma County Fire Safe Councils. Fire Safe Sonoma, Bennet Ridge Fire Safety Organization, and COPE Northern Sonoma County, and millions of dollars for projects like clearing vegetation along Franz Valley Road, chipper programs and roadside hazard reduction in Occidental. (photo courtesy Rivendell Tree Experts)


Local Mask Guidelines

As COVID 19 cases are on the rise again, Counties around the Bay Area, including Sonoma, are recommending mask wearing indoors. In a joint statement of Bay Area health officers, they say Wearing masks in places such as stores and movie theaters will "ensure easy verification that all unvaccinated people are masked in those settings and as an extra precautionary measure for all," (photo courtesy Reuters)


Free School Lunches

Flush with cash from an unexpected budget surplus, California is launching the nation's largest statewide universal free lunch program next month. California's 6.2 million public school students will have the option to eat school meals for free, regardless of their family's income. (photo courtesy North Coast Community Service)


Recall Election Candidates

The list of candidates running in California's recall election of Governor Newsom includes 41 people but remains unsettled. Conservative talk radio host Larry Elder says he should be on the list of candidates released Saturday but state officials say he submitted incomplete tax returns. Candidates must submit returns from the five most recent taxable years. The election is Sept. 14th. (photo courtesy The Guardian)


Local COVID-19 Deaths

Three new COVID-19 deaths have been reported by Sonoma County Health officials. All three were unvaccinated, and bring the total of COVID related deaths in July to 7, as the County also warns of a recent spike in hospitalizations, mostly of unvaccinated patients. The transmission rate is currently 6.3 new daily cases per 100,000 residents, with 843 active cases countywide. (photo courtesy Haaretz)


County Business Vaccination

The County of Sonoma and State of California are offering businesses the chance to organize local vaccination events with the assistance of free use of mobile vaccine clinics. This service can allow employers, either on their own or by partnering with another employer, to provide locals with the opportunity to vaccinate members of their staff, their community, and their customers. (photo courtesy Insurance Journal)


Wildfire Updates

The latest on the wildfire burning in Northern California and Oregon, there are more evacuation orders and warnings because of the Dixie Fire in Butte County near the town of Paradise, which has spread to Plumas County. The Dixie Fire is almost 8 square miles, more than double in size yesterday, and only 12% contained. And, Bay Area firefighters are in Southern Oregon helping with the Bootleg Fire, the largest fire in the country this year. It has burned more than 355 square miles, destroyed 20 homes, and disrupted power transmission lines that send electricity to parts of California. (photo courtesy Patch)


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