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Sonoma County News

Hwy 12 Construction

A reminder that this is the weekend that CalTrans will be closing down both directions of Hwy 12 between Dutton Ave and Fulton Road for repaving. The closure will start tonight at 8pm and run until 8am tomorrow...and then repeat Saturday and Sunday night. One lane in each direction of the 3-mile stretch will be open during the day. The roadway should fully reopen sometime early Monday morning, the entire project will eventually repave everything from Farmers Lane to Llano Road.

Crime Grant

Oakland may have missed out, but Santa Rosa did receive a grant from the state for over $2 million dollars to help fight retail crimes. Sonoma County's DA Carla Rodriguez made the announcement. Part of the money will go towards hiring a prosecutor who will solely focus on retails crimes.

SR Stabbing

Santa Rosa police were called to a group home for adults on Gordon Lane Wednesday morning because one of the residents attempted to stab another man. 71-year old Josh Jennings used a large kitchen knife to attack another resident, who was able to escape. The other residents were not mentally capable of locking their rooms or evacuating on their own. Police located Jennings in the home, deployed a taser multiple times and were able to disarm him. He was arrested with no injuries to residents or police.

Newsom Insurance

Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed a bill to improve property insurance options for landowners who have had to turn to the California FAIR plan, the state’s insurer of last resort, because of a lack of coverage after wildfires. The legislation will allow commercial policies under the FAIR plan to move back to the competitive market with coverage protecting farming and ranching operations. He also issued an executive order on Thursday pressing the state’s insurance commissioner to shore up California’s troubled insurance market as options for homeowners across the state are dwindling.

Jewelry Arrest

Three Florida residents are behind bars in Sonoma County this morning after they attempted to sell fake apple products and jeweler to people passing by the Vineyard Plaza parking lot in Healdsburg Tuesday morning. One person the trio approached called police, who responded and found about 30 counterfeit Apple watches and ear pods, at least 20 pieces of suspected counterfeit gold jewelry, gift cards and more than $2,500 in cash. They will be arraigned today in court.

Murdoch Stepping Down

Rupert Murdoch is stepping down as chairman of Fox and News Corp after building a media empire over seven decades. Murdoch is 92, and will officially step down in November. His eldest son, Lachlan, will become chair of News Corp and will be executive chair and CEO of Fox Corp.

Montgomery High Student Arrested

A 14-year old Montgormery High School student was arrested yesterday after he brought an imitation gun to school and another student posted a video showing the gun in a backpack. School staff quickly identified both students and pulled them from their classes and notified police. Officers retrieved the fake weapon from the students locker. The student was arrested and later released to his parents.

Masking Back

This morning health care workers in Sonoma County are required to mask up again. Dr. Karen Smith, the county's interim health officer, issued the notice yesterday. Rising hospitalizations from COVID and respiratory illnesses along with increased detection of COVID in wastewater triggered the mandate.

Supervisors Meeting Disrupted

Loud demonstrators outside, a heated exchange between supervisors and another hateful Zoom hack all took place during the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors special session on the Agricultural Access Verification Program. Chris Coursey and Lynda Hopkins clashed during the debate as Coursey and Susan Gorin wanted to keep the existing Ag Pass program. Supervisors Rabbit and Gore were in favor of including harvest as an allowable activity during emergency situations if approved by the Sheriff. In the end, after 4 and 1/2 hours, Lynda Hopkins cast the deciding vote to approve adding harvest to be included if deemed safe.

Sunday Fires

There were a couple of small fires yesterday around the county... first in Petaluma off Eucalyptus Road near Middle Two Rock shortly before 4pm. Crews from multiple agencies were about to contain the fire that started in a garage. There were no injuries but the fire did throw off a lot of smoke. Another fire started near Lake Park drive in Santa Rosa adjacent to Bicentennial Parkway. It was less than an acre but very near some homes, crews had it under control quickly with no reported damage.

Auto Layoffs

The United Auto Workers and automakers returned to the bargaining table this weekend but aren't making much progress. In addition, Ford temporarily laid off around 600 workers Friday at a Michigan Assembly Plant, and GM expects 2,000 to be laid off at a Plant in Kansas City. Those laid off workers will not receive any compensation.

Prisoner Swap

A prisoner swap is underway between the United States and Iran, with each nation releasing 5 prisoners and the freeing up of $6 billion dollars of Iranian assets that have been held in South Korea. The money is supposed to go towards humanitarian aid in Iran, but once the money is in Iran, it will be almost impossible to determine where the money goes.

Spring Lake

Following the collapse of a giant oak branch two months ago that injured six people and sent a 6-year old boy to a trauma center, the Upper Shady Oaks Picnic Area is being removed from Spring Lake Regional Park in Santa Rosa. Experts recommended moving the picnic ground and trimming back the remaining trees that have been weakened by years of drought. A new picnic area will eventually be constructed at the Lower Oak Knolls area.


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