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Sep 23, 2021

Rohnert Park officers indicted in "highway robbery" case

by Marc Albert
Federal prosecutors allege two former Rohnert Park police officers seized money and drugs they kept for themselves in a 18 month spree ending in 2018. This week's 18-page indictment accuses former Rohnert Park Sergeant Brendan Jacy Tatum and officer…
Sep 23, 2021

KRCB converse: Infectious disease specialist on boosters

by Tessa Paoli
Today Center for Disease Control and Prevention decided Pfizer boosters should first go to people who received the first two Pfizer vaccines and are 65 and older, nursing home residents and people between the ages of 50 and 64 that have underlying…
Sep 22, 2021

A new wildfire breaks out in Schellville near Napa Road

by Greta Mart
A wildfire broke out Wednesday afternoon in Schellville, southeast of the city of Sonoma. Located on the east side of Freemont Drive, near the intersection of Napa Road, the Freemont fire grew from about a half-acre to 40-plus acres in under an…
Sep 22, 2021

With wildfires come lawyers, but past survivors have a message: buyers beware

by Lily Jamali/NPR CA Newsroom
Attorneys in the fast-growing wildfire litigation industry are racing to recruit victims of fires ravaging parts of Northern California, and they're promising to take on a familiar target: PG&E. In July, the company disclosed that its equipment may…
Sep 21, 2021

Petaluma moves ahead with micro shelters for homeless

by Marc Albert
Assurances that counseling, treatment and other programs will be integral, Petaluma's city council unanimously approved a 25-unit tiny house village to shelter to some of the city's chronically homeless Monday night. Addressing the council,…
Sep 20, 2021

Roseland’s Mitote food truck park designed to lift up local chefs

by Tessa Paoli
On a Monday afternoon in Santa Rosa’s Roseland neighborhood, chef Ezequiel Valentín prepares tacos, hot dogs and the signature mole in the Oaxacan style, the region of Mexico where he’s from. Valentín is a chef at Maria Machetes, one of four trucks…
Sep 20, 2021

Delinquent water customers could face new rules once COVID passes

by Marc Albert
Those who have fallen behind on water bills in Petaluma may soon face new protocols as the city council considers policy changes tonight. Petaluma assistant city attorney Dylan Brady said the bulk of the changes are to comply with a bill recently…
Sep 17, 2021

Casino proposal may face long process

by Marc Albert
When the Koi Nation revealed plans for a 200-room casino resort between Santa Rosa and Windsor this week, tribal officials said the facility could be up and running, and providing eleven hundred permanent jobs, within four years. As a sovereign…
Sep 17, 2021

Coast Guard works to contain Bodega Bay diesel spill

by Marc Albert
The Coast Guard continues monitoring conditions in Bodega Bay following a diesel fuel spill late Wednesday night or early Thursday morning at Spud Point Marina. As of Friday afternoon, officials said clean up efforts have concluded. No marine…
Sep 17, 2021

While summer surge slows, health officials urge vigilance

by Tessa Paoli
Sonoma County's case rate has decreased by more than fifty percent from the peak of the delta surge in mid-August. And hospitalizations have also dropped to 51 patients from the peak of 84. While ICU numbers have also declined, there are still a…
Sep 17, 2021

Minimum wage to rise in Santa Rosa in January

by Marc Albert
Minimum wage workers in Santa Rosa will see a small bump in pay come January, as the second of several hikes takes affect. The slightly bigger paychecks are courtesy of Santa Rosa's city council which is raising the local minimum wage to $15.85 per…
Sep 16, 2021

Crews reduce wildfire risk while building better futures

by Mark Prell
Along the roads in and around Occidental, you'll hear the sound of chipper/shredders, chainsaws and weed trimmers. It's part of a state-funded project to create and maintain fire-safe pathways for residents who may need to evacuate from a wildfire.…
Sep 15, 2021

Ravitch routs recall

by Marc Albert
About 60 local politicos and supporters of Sonoma County District Attorney Jill Ravitch gathered at Teamsters Hall in Santa Rosa Tuesday night. But any fears of a nail-biter among attendees were swept away with the first results. Within minutes of…
Sep 14, 2021

Preliminary results point to landslide against DA recall

by Greta Mart
Preliminary election results have Sonoma County District Attorney Jill Ravitch with a big win so far. Over 100,000 local voters said 'no' to the effort to recall Ravitch. That campaign was funded by developer Bill Gallaher, and just under 25,000…
Sep 14, 2021

Sonoma County considers adopting home commercial kitchen program

by Tessa Paoli
Today Sonoma County's board of supervisors looked at adopting a statewide program allowing aspiring chefs to cook and sell food from home. The Microenterprise Home Kitchen Operations, or MEHKO for short, was signed into state law in 2018. It allows…
Sep 10, 2021

Sonoma County DA write-in candidate Joe Castagnola

by Greta Mart
On the Sonoma County version of the Sept. 14 recall election ballot, voters are asked if they support the recall of District Attorney Jill Ravitch. If a voter opts for "yes," there are no names on the ballot of possible replacements. Instead there…
Sep 10, 2021

Local doctors say hospital patients continue to be younger and unvaccinated

by Pixabay
Dr. Chad Krilich, chief medical officer for Providence, which operates three hospitals throughout the county, said they saw a slight uptick in ICU patients earlier this week, and about half of the hospitals' ICUs were filled with COVID patients. "We…
Sep 10, 2021

Windsor town manager resigns

by Marc Albert
With Windsor still reacting to the potential return of former mayor Dominic Foppoli, more turnover is coming to town hall. City Manager Ken MacNab has announced his resignation, effective the end of the year. MacNab, 55, declined to return an email…
Sep 09, 2021

Sonoma County 75% vaccinated and COVID rate begins to stabilize

by Tessa Paoli
This week the county announced that 75 percent of all residents over 12 years old are fully vaccinated. And although COVID transmission is still widespread and driven by the delta variant, Supervisor David Rabbitt says cases are on a downward trend.…
Sep 09, 2021

Tanker trucks begin water deliveries to Mendo coast as wells dry up

by Marc Albert
Emergency water supplies are flowing, or more accurately rolling, out to thirsty residents along the Mendocino Coast, after officials approved a stop-gap measure. The first trucks hauling an estimated 5 million gallons of water a month left Ukiah…
Sep 08, 2021

Santa Rosa officials hope up-armored restroom will resist abuse, prove financially wise

by Marc Albert
There are no skylights, no heated seat or bidet. Nevertheless, Santa Rosa officials remain confident the city's new expensive public toilet will pay off. Plopped on Santa Rosa Avenue near the city's transit mall, the metal kiosk has some post-modern…
Sep 07, 2021

Arson suspected in slew of north Sonoma County brush fires

by Marc Albert, Greta Mart and Tessa Paoli
Sonoma County police and fire investigators continue to work on finding a cause for a string of suspicious fires that started Monday night. Between 8 and 10 p.m.,15 spot fires started burning along roadsides in Healdsburg, Geyserville and one in…
Sep 07, 2021

New voices confirm low income housing fraud charges

by Chris Lee
Press Democrat reporter Andrew Graham discusses his and Evan Varian's latest investigation with KRCB's Chris Lee. It adds evidence to the claims that state and county officials may not have explored all the evidence in a housing fraud charge against…
Sep 03, 2021

Filing hints at Northwest Pacific RR revival for coal trains

by Marc Albert
A filing with an obscure federal body suggests moves are underway to revive the old Northwestern Pacific Rail Road to deliver coal to conceptual port facilities in Arcata. Though few details have emerged, state Senator Mike McGuire is vowing to…
Sep 03, 2021

August had the highest COVID death rate since the winter surge

by Tessa Paoli
County officials reported nine additional deaths on Thursday, making August the deadliest month since last Winter's surge. There have been a total of 30 COVID-related deaths in August, just behind last February when 31 COVID deaths were reported.…
Sep 03, 2021

KRCB Converse: Epidemiologist on summer surge and fall forecast

by Tessa Paoli
UC Berkeley infectious disease specialist Dr. John Swartzberg walks us through the summer surge driven by the highly transmissible delta variant. Swartzberg also gives insight to what fall and winter may look like through back to school and flu…
Sep 03, 2021

Foppoli's quest baffling, stupefying Windsor

by Marc Albert
Resigned from office after alleged sex offenses, former Windsor mayor Dominic Foppoli filed initial papers for another run at the office, though there seems little enthusiasm among local residents. Despite the fact that none of the salacious…
Sep 02, 2021

Neighbors concerned as county again puts Chanate campus up for sale

by Marc Albert
A big chunk of Santa Rosa will be offered to the highest bidder Tuesday, as officials again try to off-load an abandoned 71-acre former hospital campus. Largely vacant since Sutter Health relocated seven years ago, the last sale attempt failed after…
Sep 01, 2021

Santa Rosa considers amending anti-harassment policy

by Marc Albert
Elected leaders in Santa Rosa met Tuesday to review the city's anti-harrassment policy, last updated five years ago. Officials say the current policy conforms with an updated state law, but Amy Reeve, director of human resources for the city, says…
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Sep 01, 2021

KRCB FireCast Resources

by Darren LaShelle
FireCast is a collection of the internet's best fire monitoring tools - all tuned for Sonoma County. The FireCast resource page is available on our website at krcb.org/firecast and on our free NorCal Public Media app. The app is available at in the…
Aug 31, 2021

New tech aiding Pacific coast fish census

by Marc Albert
Federal marine scientists are halfway through what they are calling their most ambitious and comprehensive fish census off the west coast. Conditions in the Pacific are looking pretty good. Since early June, the Reuben Lasker, a research ship…
Aug 31, 2021

Calling for micro grids to ease pains of preemptive blackouts

by Greta Mart
Pacific Gas and Electric is installing dozens of weather stations across Sonoma County to get real-time, localized data to anticipate and respond to wildfires, as well as working towards breaking up its electric grid into smaller pieces called…
Aug 27, 2021

Weather service predicting continuing drought, water agencies contemplating solutions

by Marc Albert
Long range weather forecasts don't see drought-busting storms on the horizon, and local water agencies are starting to brace for the worst. If you've been following the drought intensify for two years, the words of Brad Puig, a meteorologist with…
Aug 27, 2021

Weather stations helping PG&E forecast fire danger

by Marc Albert
Utility Pacific Gas & Electric says it has installed hundreds of weather stations, including dozens locally, to help anticipate fire danger and reduce preventative blackouts. Just off 101 at River Road, under a canopy of wires near hulking…
Aug 27, 2021

Fire prep, recovery program launched at SRJC

by Marc Albert
Instructors are hired and students enrolled as Santa Rosa Junior College launches a wildfire resiliency program. Launched with half a million dollars from the county's PG&E settlement, officials at SRJC say the program teaches strategies to prevent…
Aug 26, 2021

Supes considering Styrofoam prohibition

by Marc Albert
Following a largely symbolic county supervisors vote Tuesday, an ordinance taking shape here in Sonoma County could ban Styrofoam. A vote could come as soon as next month to take affect January 1st. Promoted as environmentally friendly, the proposal…
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Aug 25, 2021

Housing fraud allegations raise questions

by Chris Lee
Local developer Bill Gallaher and his companies have been accused of housing fraud. That's one takeaway from a series of stories by Press Democrat reporters Ethan Varian and Andrew Graham. The charges stem from a wrongful termination suit that is…
Aug 25, 2021

Housing in high demand as county opens lottery for affordable units

by Marc Albert
The mailbags at Sonoma County's Housing Authority have been particularly full in recent days. Housing Director Martha Cheever said they've received more than 600 applications since opening a wait list for affordable three bedroom units last week.…
Aug 23, 2021

Santa Rosa ped overpass clears hurdle, would pair with proposed SMART crossing

by Marc Albert
With a bit more than half the money assembled for a highway crossing talked about for two decades, Santa Rosa officials are confident they'll quickly find the rest. If built, cyclists and those on foot wouldn't feel like they're playing chicken with…
Aug 23, 2021

Concerns raised as Sonoma County considers 'micro-restaurants'

by Marc Albert
With a statewide law letting people sell certain homemade foods considered a success, there's a push to allow budding home chefs to open their homes to diners. Already in place in a handful of California counties, some on a trial basis, the rules…
Aug 20, 2021

Young Sonoma County 'promotores' help their communities through emergencies

by Tessa Paoli
“Having the youth at the center of this work is really key,” said Latino Service Provider’s director of programs Stephanie Manieri. “To make sure that our community feels that the information that is being presented is coming from trusted people and…
Aug 20, 2021

This Santa Rosa Teacher centers social justice in her classroom

by Tessa Paoli
Samantha Kim teaches sixth grade at Santa Rosa's Steele Lane Elementary School. On the first day of school, Kim assigned self-portraits. “As I was watching the kids color I was like, oh my gosh some of these kids are only using orange, yellow or…
Aug 19, 2021

Sonoma County increases COVID-19 testing as cases remain high

by Tessa Paoli
The demand for testing in Sonoma County has increased 60 percent in the past month as cases of the highly transmissible delta variant soar. And local physicians like Dr. Jenny Fish have witnessed how hard it's been for patients to get tests promptly…
Aug 18, 2021

What's new with the delta variant? One expert explains

by Tessa Paoli
KRCB's Tessa Paoli talks with UC Berkeley infectious disease and vaccine expert Dr. John Swartzberg to understand where we stand with the highly transmissible delta variant and how we can protect ourselves. Part I: Part II:
Aug 17, 2021

Why Offshore Winds in August Raise Alarms

by Chris Lee
National Weather Service Meteorologist Brian Garcia talks with KRCB's Chris Lee about the dangerous weeks between seasonal offshore winds (that are coming sooner) and the season's first rains (which are coming later). Fires, he says, are essentially…
Aug 17, 2021

Sonoma County requires county employees to get vaccinated or tested

by Tessa Paoli
Today’s decision adds more than 4,000 county workers to the list of public facing employees that must either show proof of vaccination or get tested weekly. Police, firefighters and school staff were already required. Today's move by the board of…
Aug 16, 2021

Medical Experts optimistic right precautions can protect local kids

by Tessa Paoli
Safety in the classroom has been a big topic this summer as schools across the county return to full-time, in person instruction. UC Berkeley Infectious disease specialist Dr. John Swartzberg said, with the highly transmissible delta variant, more…
Aug 13, 2021

Sonoma County covid cases continue rising, impacting local hospitals

by Tessa Paoli
COVID cases and hospitalization rates remain high in Sonoma County due to the emergence of the highly transmissible delta variant. And the surge is impacting local hospitals. Dr. Chad Krilich, the chief medical officer for Providence St. Joseph…
Aug 12, 2021

Following state mandate, Sonoma County's school staff will need to show proof of vaccination or weekly testing

by Tessa Paoli
For many school districts throughout the county, today is the first day of full-time, in-person instruction since March 2020. And before Governor Gavin Newsom's announcement this week about the vaccine requirement and weekly testing for those not…
Aug 11, 2021

Despite curtailment order, water still vanishing

by Marc Albert
Despite a week-old curtailment order, water levels in the upper Russian River remain stubbornly low. KRCB's Marc Albert reports. Since the end of July, operators of the Coyote Valley Dam at Lake Mendocino have sent 115 cubic feet per second down the…
Aug 10, 2021

Sonoma County schools are back to a sense of normalcy this fall

by Tessa Paoli
This year's back-to-school throughout the county resembles a more normal year, with full-time, in-person instruction and full class sizes. “With the elimination of social distancing, we no longer have to have smaller classes,” said Sonoma County…
Aug 10, 2021

Wastewater conundrum sparking west county controversy

by Marc Albert
Neighbors are suing to block a sewage transfer station north of Sebastopol, arguing Sonoma Water and other agencies swept environmental concerns under the rug. Currently, sewage from the small west county town of Occidental is trucked 18 miles to a…
Aug 06, 2021

Much local progress on carbon emissions, more left to do

by Marc Albert
While the nation and world bickers about climate change, Sonoma County at least has been making headway. Statistically, the gains are fairly impressive. We're a bit late, but Sonoma County is meeting targets established by the 1997 Kyoto…
Aug 06, 2021

More COVID recovery aid available for small businesses; nonprofits

by Marc Albert
Another round of emergency funding will start becoming available to small businesses next month after California’s Office of the Small Business Advocate announced additional funds became available. Non profits, cultural institutions, and sole…
Aug 05, 2021

Sonoma County tells emergency personnel get vaccinated or tested weekly

by Tessa Paoli
Sonoma County is now requiring vaccine proof or weekly tests for its four thousand firefighters, law enforcement, emergency medical service workers and disaster shelter staff, starting September first. This health order expands on last week's…
Aug 05, 2021

Railroad crossing impasse may be heading for resolution

by Marc Albert
According to some neighbors, the train that was supposed to weave the north bay together has instead chopped a community in two. Instead of a quick jaunt across the tracks, those on foot must walk nearly a mile via Guerneville Road to cross. As a…
Aug 03, 2021

Sonoma County Resiliency: the pandemic through the eyes of a local ICU nurse.

by Tessa Paoli
“I don't think a single medical team member will come through this and say that their life has not been forever changed,” said Andrea Nofi, a clinical staff nurse at Sutter Santa Rosa Regional Hospital. Nofi has been an emergency medical technician,…
Aug 03, 2021

In water emergency, Healdsburg residents ponder if everyone is doing their share

by Marc Albert
While California's housing crisis is prompting a lot of construction, where is the water for all those new homes and hotels going to come from? That was among the questions facing the Healdsburg council Monday night, one of Sonoma County's most…
Aug 03, 2021

Red Cross calling for blood donations to alleviate shortage

by Mark Prell
The American Red Cross says there is a blood shortage across the country, and that it needs thousands of donations a day just to meet current demand. “We're experiencing a severe blood shortage because the number of trauma cases, organ transplants,…
Aug 03, 2021

No more water to support water rights along the Russian River

by Mark Prell
Unprecedented drought conditions have forced state water regulators to take the drastic step of officially suspending water rights along the Russian River. Sam Boland-Brien with the state water board said conditions have continued to worsen in the…
Aug 03, 2021

Will mask mandate drastically change local behavior?

by Marc Albert
Prior to the new announcement, crowds seemed ready to mingle as bands played and beer poured last Thursday evening at the Barlow, a commercial development in Sebastopol. On Friday a cook at a nearby Thai restaurant, who declined to provide their…
Aug 02, 2021

Sonoma County reinstates indoor mask mandate

by Tessa Paoli
Sonoma County, along with six other Bay Area counties and the city of Berkeley, has re-instated a mask mandate for all indoor work settings and public spaces. The decision comes less than a week after state officials recommended all people,…
Aug 02, 2021

Additional aircraft join CalFire roster, with more on the way

by Marc Albert
A dozen extra firefighting planes and helicopters joined CalFire last week. Each has taken to the air since in what's shaping up as California's worst fire year ever. The air assets, a mix of planes and choppers, aren't exactly new, but state…
Jul 30, 2021

Local pediatrician talks trust, listening and collaboration to overcome vaccine hesitancy

by Tessa Paoli
Dr. Brian Prystowsky is a pediatrician at Sutter Santa Rosa and has spent the last decade talking to concerned parents about vaccines. When the pandemic hit, Prystowky started collaborating with doctors, outreach workers, businesses and artists to…
Jul 30, 2021

Local Ag group urges state financial aid as drought slams farming

by Marc Albert
About two dozen small farmers gathered on a withered field on Santa Rosa's edge Wednesday, hoping to pressure state officials for financial relief. "We don't know when our well is going to say 'no' can't take this drought anymore," said Yael…
Jul 29, 2021

Supervisors pursuing big move; thounsands of county jobs could be transferred to downtown Santa Rosa

by Marc Albert
Saying it is time for the county to walk it's own talk, the Sonoma County board of supervisors have agreed to consider relocating most county offices to downtown Santa Rosa. With deferred maintenance on its more than half-century-old campus…
Jul 28, 2021

County vows major outreach efforts to assure federal COVID relief cash is equitably distributed

by Marc Albert
Though decisions won't be final before December, elected officials are moving forward with a strategy to ensure people, businesses and groups often overlooked get a fair share of $96 million in federal funds Sonoma County has or will receive. While…
Jul 27, 2021

"COVID isn't done with us," cases continue to rise in Sonoma County

by Tessa Paoli
Sonoma County's overall daily case rate has risen to three times where the county was a couple months ago. Case rates are more than four times higher among unvaccinated people. And new cases are disproportionately high among Latinx and Black…
Jul 27, 2021

Sonoma County grapples with new mask recommendation

by Tessa Paoli
Sonoma County, along with six other Bay Area counties, has gone back to recommending all people, vaccinated or not, wear masks indoors because of the highly transmissible delta variant. Sonoma County COVID-19 hospitalizations have more than doubled…
Jul 26, 2021

Despite pandemic, hundreds do their part for new Santa Rosa mural

by Tessa Paoli
The pandemic hasn't slowed down Santa Rosa-based youth art organization ArtStart. In late March lead artists and young students painted a quarantine-themed mural in downtown Petaluma. And now the group is finishing up a second mural in a…
Jul 23, 2021

Local coalition calls for safety and respect for Sonoma County farmworkers

by Tessa Paoli
A local coalition called North Bay Jobs with Justice is leading the campaign for farmworker safety and respect during wildfires. And it started with intensive interviews with farmworkers about their needs. “As an organization, this work is worker…
Jul 21, 2021

New PG&E CEO vows to bury thousands of miles of power lines

by Marc Albert
In a dramatic shift, Pacific Gas & Electric Company has announced a new effort to bury powerlines underground in coming years. The company said, since 2018, it has completed demonstration projects aimed at converting overhead power lines to…
Jul 21, 2021

Sonoma County eyes further constraints on vacation rentals

by Tessa Paoli
Sonoma County is a tourist destination for people from all over. But it's also a place with unpredictable, severe weather and a lack of affordable, permanent housing. "People are increasingly being priced out," Supervisor Lynda Hopkins said. "We are…
Jul 21, 2021

Loan fund pitched to speed housing construction

by Marc Albert
A multi-million-dollar revolving loan fund for housing construction will likely move a bit closer to reality Tuesday evening, as Santa Rosa officials work on finalizing agreements. If all goes smoothly, over the next four or so years, the funds…
Jul 19, 2021

PG&E opts to remove downed trees left behind

by Marc Albert
Pacific Gas and Electric has abruptly changed course and will remove logs burnt and cut down in 2019 and 2020 in Sonoma county. The giant Northern California utility has had an on-again, off-again policy concerning wildfire-damaged trees cut down by…
Jul 19, 2021

Wetlands improvements coming to Sears Point

by Marc Albert
A new phase of a wetlands restoration project is set to get underway at Sears Point in August. The 1,000 acre project, fallowed grazing land once eyed for a casino, is instead creating habitat for shorebirds, a refuge for salmon smolts and other…
Jul 17, 2021

How do COVID breakthrough infections occur? One expert explains

by Tessa Paoli
COVID numbers have doubled in Sonoma County this month and this week there has been a reported outbreak at Santa Rosa's Samuel Jones Hall Homeless Shelter, where over half the residents tested positive and almost half of those were fully vaccinated.…
Jul 15, 2021

Do your part." Coffey Park residents plead with city to complete fire recovery

by Tessa Paoli
More than 70 residents of Santa Rosa's Coffey Park neighborhood asked the council to spend the $27 million PG&E settlement money fixing streets damaged in the fire. Because FEMA denied the city's request to repair damaged sidewalks, these funds…
Jul 15, 2021

Ravitch recall floundering as no challengers emerge

by Marc Albert
The campaign fliers keep landing in local mailboxes, but unlike the gubernatorial recall, there aren't dozens of colorful characters angling to seize the office of county district attorney. "Interestingly enough the deadline for the district…
Jul 13, 2021

Despite improvements since Tubbs Fire emergency notifications remain imperfect

by Marc Albert
One of the most glaring lessons from the Tubbs Fire was the failure to warn those in its path. Concerned that blanket alerts would cause massive traffic jams, officials hesitated. The results were tragic. Much work has been done in the close to four…
Jul 09, 2021

Outrage, finger-pointing as redwoods fall to chainsaws

by Marc Albert
Even as firefighters fan out across California to battle new blazes, crews are still working in areas burnt in last year's fires. Along Mill Creek Road west of Healdsburg, where the Walbridge fire left devastation, there's also plenty of…
Jul 09, 2021

Local environmentalists call for reassessment of forest management

by Marc Albert
As local fire prevention and mitigation efforts race against collective fear of a season of flame, members of the Sonoma County environmental community are calling for priorities to be reassessed. After a century of fire suppression, authorities…
Jul 08, 2021

Petitioning for farmworker rights in Sonoma County

by Tessa Paoli
North Bay Jobs With Justice is a growing coalition of 32 labor and community organizations working on economic, racial and climate justice. The group is circulating a public call to enhance protections for farmworkers ahead of late summer harvests…
Jul 08, 2021

COVID cases and hospitalizations rise in Sonoma County

by Tessa Paoli
Sonoma County's current case rate is fluctuating between five and six cases per 100,0000 residents, increasing from four on June 15. And Health Officer Dr. Sundari Mase says unvaccinated, young people make up the majority of new cases. "Yes I'm…
Jul 06, 2021

Sonoma County launches river revitalization project

by Tessa Paoli
Sonoma County and the Russian River Confluence launched a revitalization project to improve the health of the river this summer. The idea is to collaborate with organizations, businesses, residents and visitors to all be good stewards of the beloved…
Jul 02, 2021

A rise in COVID hospitalizations across Sonoma County concerns local doctors

by Tessa Paoli
Countywide, there are currently 33 COVID-19 patients in the hospital. The average number of COVID hospitalization rates has almost doubled from last week. And so have the number of patients admitted to the ICU. “For a week or two it was really…
Jul 02, 2021

Film delves into 2013 Lopez case; 13-year-old Santa Rosa boy killed by Sonoma County deputy

by Marc Albert
Nationwide outrage following the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis Police didn't occur in a vacuum. Dozens of questionable deaths at the hands of authorities had primed the pump for a reaction last summer that played out in cities across the US.…
Jul 01, 2021

FEMA fire safety grant welcomed by local officials

by Marc Albert
Locally, the announcement a bit of a surprise, but not entirely out of the blue. Officials say the money helps fund crucially needed work, and arrived just in time. Sonoma County officials weren't exactly astounded by Wednesday's announcement. They…
Jun 30, 2021

Restarting Sonoma County’s tourism engine

by Tessa Paoli
"Sonoma County is roaring back after the COVID-19 closures without question," said Sonoma County Tourism CEO Claudia Vecchio. Vecchio said last year travel to the county was down by 50 percent because of the pandemic. And the hospitality industry…
Jun 30, 2021

Petaluma sets priorities for next 12-months

by Marc Albert
Petaluma officials met Monday to finalize an exhaustive list of more than 100 local priorities into goals achievable within the year. Most of the items--like fixing tennis courts--are among the typical and mundane operations of local government.…
Jun 29, 2021

PG&E burying lines in Rincon Valley

by Marc Albert
When noise disrupts the typical suburban quiet in Rincon Valley, there will probably be few complaints. The area, just east of Santa Rosa, is perhaps where the most visible utility strengthening work going on in the county, is underway. The burying…
Jun 28, 2021

A new, highly transmissible COVID-19 variant explained

by Tessa Paoli
Just when it seems the coronavirus pandemic is waning in California, we hear about new variants. But what does that mean? To learn about one variant that’s been identified in Sonoma County, we asked Dr. John Swartzberg, an infectious disease expert…
Jun 25, 2021

Sonoma County Resiliency: Lockdown thwarts privacy and connection for therapists working with kids

by Tessa Paoli
“It's been a roller coaster,” said Meghan Nunez, clinical supervisor at Social Advocates for Youth. Social Advocates for Youth, or SAY, is a Santa Rosa-based nonprofit that provides counseling, housing and career services to children, teens and…
Jun 25, 2021

Ag insurers recalculation of wildfire risk leaving growers in the lurch

by Marc Albert
The chaos, stress and anger many fire survivors have endured trying to re-up their home insurance following mega-fires that have ripped through California the last five years are stories pretty well known. But, there's also parallel crisis locally…
Jun 25, 2021

Receding Sonoma Valley aquifers could prompt big changes in how wells are used

by Marc Albert
There's likely a vast, unseen reservoir beneath your feet, built by centuries of rain percolating through the earth. Problem is, it's not limitless. In the Sonoma Valley, one of the county's three basins, that invisible supply has sunk 10 feet in…
Jun 24, 2021

Many Bodega Bay restaurant workers are still keeping their masks on

by Tessa Paoli
It's been a week since Governor Gavin Newsom signed the executive order allowing fully vaccinated employees to ditch their masks. But some businesses are still treading cautiously. "I think it's ridiculous. We have been careful all this time, to…
Jun 23, 2021

The days of 'freeways' could be numbered

by Marc Albert
A long range plan could add tolls on many local highways. It's far from a done deal, and officials anticipate widespread displeasure, but sometime in the future, driving down 101 could cost you. A half million dollar Caltrans grant will allow the…
Jun 23, 2021

Using open space for fire resiliency

by Tessa Paoli
The Greenbelt Alliance is an organization that advocates greenbelts, or open spaces like parks, preserves and agriculture lands to create natural buffers between communities and wildlands. "We believe that there is huge potential for the Bay Area…
Jun 22, 2021

Delta coronavirus variant emerges in Sonoma County

by Tessa Paoli
Data shows there are currently nineteen reported cases of the delta variant in the County, which has been shown to be more transmissible by 50 percent. And it's becoming more widespread in the United States. "The virus does exactly what we expect it…

Derek Chauvin Plans To Appeal His Conviction In George Floyd's Murder

MINNEAPOLIS — The former Minneapolis police officer convicted of murder in George Floyd's death intends to appeal his conviction and sentence, saying…

A CDC Panel Backs Booster Shots For Older Adults, A Step Toward Making Them Available

Updated September 23, 2021 at 5:14 PM ET Advisers to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have recommended a third dose of Pfizer's…

A Federal Arrest Warrant Issued For Gabby Petito's Boyfriend, FBI Says

BILLINGS, Mont. — Federal officials say the boyfriend of Gabby Petito, whose body was found at a national park in Wyoming after a cross country trip…

The Biden Administration Will No Longer Use Horses At A Texas Border Crossing

The Biden administration has suspended the use of horse patrols at the U.S.-Mexico border crossing in Del Rio, Texas, White House press secretary Jen…

Sacramento Zoo Explores Relocation To Larger Site In Elk Grove

A beloved Sacramento landmark is considering up-and-leaving its longtime city digs for a bigger home in the suburbs. The Sacramento Zoo says it is…

13 People Were Shot, 1 Killed, At A Tennessee Kroger Store. The Suspect Is Dead

One person is dead and at least a dozen others are wounded after a mass shooting at a Kroger grocery store in Collierville, Tenn., a suburb east of…

Education Dept. Will Reimburse Florida District That Had Funds Held Over Mask Mandate

The U.S. Department of Education announced Thursday that it would send roughly $148,000 to one Florida school district, Alachua County Public…

Hollywood Production Crews May Strike Due To Unglamorously Low Wages And Long Hours

IATSE, a union which represents film crews, has asked their members to grant them the authority to strike. Conditions have worsened in the pandemic…

Plan To Widen Highway In South Carolina Would Cut Through Black And Brown Communities

NPR's Leila Fadel talks with Omar Muhammad, executive director of the Lowcountry Alliance for Model Communities, on communities in North Charleston,…

Boppy Recalls 3.3. Million Baby Pillows After The Deaths Of 8 Infants

The Boppy Co., the maker of an array of infant carriers and nursing pillows, is recalling nearly 3.3 million of their newborn loungers, which have…

Afghan Allies That Were Left Behind Face An Uncertain Future

The White House now says it failed to evacuate most of America's Afghan allies in the airlift from Kabul. Even those evacuated may be stuck in…

After 6 Weeks, The Trial Against R. Kelly Is Almost Over

The federal trial against R. Kelly is nearing its end after six weeks of witness testimony. He's being charged with racketeering and trafficking,…

WNBA Playoffs Start Tonight. Here's A Preview Of What To Expect

NPR's Audie Cornish talks with Lyndsey D'Arcangelo of The Athletic about the WNBA playoffs, which begins with the New York Liberty, who grabbed the…

Most Of The $47 Billion Meant To Prevent Evictions Hasn't Reached Those Who Need It

Many states have stumbled getting rental assistance from Congress into the hands of people facing eviction. State and local programs are scrambling…

A Former Louisiana State Trooper Is Charged In The Flashlight Beating Of A Black Man

A former Louisiana State Police trooper has been charged with a civil rights violation for pummeling a Black motorist 18 times with a flashlight —…

DHS Secretary Mayorkas On Border Conditions And Next Steps For Surge Of Migrants

NPR's Audie Cornish speaks with Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas about the government's handling of refugees at the…

CDC Advisers Deliberate Over The Need For A Pfizer COVID Vaccine Booster

An independent advisory committee of the CDC is evaluating the need for a Pfizer booster dose — meeting one day after the FDA granted emergency use…

The Feasibility Of Biden's Global Vaccination Goal

President Biden has unveiled a plan to vaccinate 70% of the world's population over the next year. But what will it take to get other rich countries…

Thousands Of Migrants Are Weighing Whether To Crossing Into The U.S.

Haitian migrants camped on the Mexican side of the U.S. border are debating making the crossing north to face possible deportation to Haiti — or…

Rural Hospitals Fear A Vaccine Mandate Would Dwindle Already Overextended Staffs

Rural hospitals want to see their workforce get vaccinated against COVID-19. But they're worried Biden's new mandate will cause staff shortages, and…

Can You Handle The Truth: Fact-Checking Claims About Breakthrough COVID-19 Cases

Reports about vaccinated Americans catching COVID-19 are energizing vaccine skeptics and leading to more misinformation about efficacy and…

A Florida Lawmaker Is Proposing A Restrictive Texas-Style Abortion Bill

A Republican state lawmaker in Florida is proposing a bill that would ban most abortions as early as around six weeks, allow members of the public to…

California Coronavirus Updates: Oakland Schools To Require All Students 12 And Older To Be Vaccinated

Find an updated count of COVID-19 cases in California and by county on our tracker here. Latest Updates Oakland schools to require all students 12…

A Woman's Remains From 1977 Are Identified, And Authorities Blame A Serial Killer

PASCAGOULA, Miss. — A Mississippi sheriff's department said Tuesday that it has identified the skeletal remains of a woman found nearly 44 years ago,…

Racial Justice Themes Replace Confederate Stained-Glass Images At National Cathedral

Washington National Cathedral has chosen contemporary artist Kerry James Marshall, renowned for his wide-ranging works depicting African American…

National Cathedral Will Replace Confederate Stained Glass With Racial Justice Imagery

Washington National Cathedral announced Thursday it has chosen contemporary artist Kerry James Marshall, renowned for his wide-ranging works…

U.S. Special Envoy To Haiti Quits Over Deportations Of Haitian Refugees

Daniel Foote, the U.S. special envoy for Haiti, has handed his resignation to Secretary of State Antony Blinken, saying he "will not be associated…

U.S. Special Envoy To Haiti Quits Over Deportations Of Haitian Migrants

Daniel Foote, the U.S. special envoy for Haiti, has handed his resignation to Secretary of State Antony Blinken, saying he "will not be associated…

Biden Administration Seeks A Contractor For A Migrant Facility At Guantanamo

As the Biden administration scrambles to relocate thousands of Haitian migrants camped in a small Texas border town, it's also looking for a private…

Many Haitian Migrants Are Staying In The U.S. Even As Expulsion Flights Rise

DEL RIO, Texas (AP) — Three hours after being freed from a giant migrant camp under an international bridge, Mackenson Veillard stood outside a gas…

Black And Latino Homeowners Are About Twice As Likely As Whites To Get Low Appraisals

Home appraisers are more likely to undervalue homes in Black and Latino areas than those in white ones, a new report by Freddie Mac has found. It's…

A New Law In California Aims To Protect Workers At Retail Warehouses Like Amazon's

California has become the first state to implement a law that addresses working conditions for warehouse workers, like those for Amazon and other…

Betty Soskin, The Oldest Active U.S. Park Ranger, Is Still Going Strong

Soskin, who turned 100 years old on Wednesday, currently works as a ranger at the Rosie the Riveter/WWII Home Front National Historical Park in…

Chicago Uses Social Issues To Encourage Businesses To Leave Texas

The City of Chicago believes turnabout is fair play. For years, Texas has been trying to lure businesses away from other states, particularly those…

Some Haitians Are Allowed Into The U.S. Temporarily, Others Are Sent Back To Haiti

We've been following the story of thousands of migrants, mostly from Haiti, camping out under a bridge in a Texas border town. That crowd is looking…

Opposed To The New Abortion Ban In Texas? Chicago Says Move On Up To The North

The City of Chicago believes turnabout is fair play. For years, Texas has been trying to lure businesses away from other states, particularly those…

How Haitian Migrants Are Getting To The U.S., And Where They May Go Next

We've been following the story of thousands of migrants, mostly from Haiti, camping out under a bridge in a Texas border town. That crowd is looking…

U.S. Businesses In China Confident Despite Pandemic And Stagnant Bilateral Relations

BEIJING — American firms are the most confident they have been about their business prospects in China since before a damaging U.S.-China trade war…

The FDA OKs Pfizer-BioNTech Booster For People 65+ And At High Risk For Severe COVID

The Food and Drug Administration authorized a booster dose Wednesday of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID vaccine for people 65 and older and others at high…

Students With Disabilities Across California Stuck In Limbo

Julie Fitzgibbons, the mother of triplets all on the autism spectrum, tries to get her son, Brady, 13,1 to come back to his desk in Monrovia, on

As Sacramento Opens New Navigation Center For Unhoused People, A New Lawsuit Threatens To Block Other Shelters From Moving Forward

Pets, possessions and partners can come with homeless people who are referred to the city’s newest navigation center on X Street, a shelter for…

Florida Students Are No Longer Required To Quarantine After Being Exposed To COVID

ORLANDO, Fla. — A day after assuming his job, Florida's newly appointed surgeon general on Wednesday signed new protocols allowing parents to decide…

Lawsuits Against Ohio State University Over Sex Abuse By A Team Doctor Are Dismissed

COLUMBUS, Ohio — A federal judge dismissed some of the biggest remaining lawsuits over Ohio State's failure to stop decades-old sexual abuse by…

7 Lawmakers Face Ethics Complaints For Not Filing Their Personal Stock Transactions

Seven House lawmakers are facing ethics complaints for violating the Stock Act, which polices insider trading, because of a recent bipartisan trend…

How Brazil's Severe Drought Affects The Entire World's Coffee Supply Chain

Attributed to climate change, Brazil's historic drought is devastating its coffee farmers, who's crops supply much of the world.

A Dead Wild Male Ocelot May Still Have Offspring, If Scientists' Efforts Succeed

South Texas is the one place in the U.S. where ocelots breed in the wild. After the death of a male, scientists tried something novel: artificial…

At 100, The National Park Service's Oldest Active Ranger Is Still Going Strong

Betty Soskin has accomplished a lot over the course of her life. She's been a published author, a songwriter/activist during the civil rights…

Survivor Of 1973 Rape Says She May Have Identified The Wrong Man Due To Racial Bias

A Black man convicted of raping a white woman in 1973 in Boston will get a new day in court. The victim says she may have identified the wrong man,

New Orleans City Council Launches Investigation Into Mass Power Failure During Ida

The New Orleans City Council is grilling power company Entergy about the catastrophic failure of its grid after Hurricane Ida. Mass power outages…

How Indigenous Knowledge Is Changing The Way California Tracks The Effects of Climate Change

The weekend of the Mule Days parade in Bishop used to be hot. Sweltering hot. Hot enough that L’eaux Stewart’s childhood memories of the May festival…

Committee To Decide Who Speaks On Behalf Of Afghanistan At The U.N. General Assembly

An obscure committee will decide who speaks on behalf of Afghanistan at the U.N. The Taliban sent a letter saying they want to speak to the General…

NATO Secretary General On This Year's United Nations General Assembly

NPR's Ari Shapiro talks with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg about this year's UNGA, especially on military involvement in Afghanistan and…

Biden Announces A New Goal To Vaccinate 70% Of The World's Population Within A Year

President Biden announced an effort to vaccinate 70% of the world's population against COVID by this time 2022. Health officials from lower income…

New Monument Marking The End Of Slavery Has Replaced Robert E. Lee Statue In Virginia

Just weeks after officials in Richmond, Va., took down the nation's largest statue of Robert E. Lee, a new monument is going up — the Emancipation…

Congresswoman Bush On Her Efforts To Reinstate A Ban On Evictions During The Pandemic

NPR's Audie Cornish speaks with Rep. Cori Bush, D-Mo., about her ongoing efforts to expand access to emergency rental assistance funds to households…

Democrats Are Split Over Biden's $3.5 Trillion Spending Plan

Moderate and progressive Democrats are at an impasse over the size of the reconciliation package. Some of them met with President Biden at the White…

More States Are Trying Not To Fill Voting Districts With Prisoners Who Can't Vote

A growing number of states have policies for avoiding drawing new voting districts filled with prisoners who can't vote. It's part of an effort to…

The New Space Force Uniforms Are Causing A Stir

Some people call them futuristic; others say they're a new take on the classic double-breasted tunic. But it seems everyone has a reaction to the new…

Democrats Face Uncertain Path To Avoid Fiscal Calamity

Democrats in Washington are working against a rapidly approaching deadline to end a standoff with Republicans that could force a partial government…

France To Send Its Ambassador Back To The U.S. Following A Macron-Biden Call

President Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron issued a joint statement after speaking by phone on Thursday about the rift between the allies…

California Coronavirus Updates: San Francisco Airport Mandates All Employees Be Vaccinated

Find an updated count of COVID-19 cases in California and by county on our tracker here. Latest Updates San Francisco Airport mandates all employees…

With A Spotlight On Gabby Petito, The Parents Of 2 Missing Black Men Call For Action

There has been national focus over the last few days on the unfolding story of Gabby Petito, the 22-year-old white woman whose death was ruled a…

Here's What Haitians Are Finding When They Get Off U.S. Expulsion Flights

Migrants whom the U.S. is forcibly returning to Haiti are expressing anger, frustration and desperation when they arrive at Toussaint Louverture…

Florida Gov. DeSantis Taps A New Surgeon General Who Doesn't Support Vaccine Mandates

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has announced the state's next surgeon general, who falls in line with the governor's belief that vaccine mandates during…

Methamphetamine Deaths Soar, Hitting Black And Native Americans Especially Hard

When Winnie White Tail convened a new session of inpatient substance use treatment last month for members of the Arapaho and Cheyenne tribes, she…

Why Liquor Shortages Caused By The COVID-19 Pandemic Still Persist In Some States

A fair warning for your next trip to the liquor store: Several states across the U.S. are still experiencing booze shortages related to COVID-19, and…

Why Liquor Shortages Caused By The COVID-19 Pandemic Persist In Some States

A fair warning for your next trip to the liquor store: Several states across the U.S. are still experiencing booze shortages related to COVID-19, and…

In Boston, A 10-Foot Wide House Sells For $1.25 Million

Located in the city's historic North End neighborhood, the 2-bedroom 1-bath home was built in 1890, according to city tax records, though some…

Lack Of Bus Drivers Doesn't Stop A Boston Class From Taking A School Trip

Teacher Jim Mayers says a charter bus canceled before an eleventh grade field trip. The students rode in a replacement — a party bus complete with…

Entergy Resisted Upgrading New Orleans' Power Grid. Residents Paid the Price

The day after Wilma Banks lost power, the stale summer air inside her New Orleans apartment became suffocating. Typically when her breathing gets…

An Emancipation Statue Debuts In Virginia Two Weeks After Robert E. Lee Was Removed

Two weeks after the 6o-foot-tallstatue of Robert E. Lee was removed in Richmond, Va., the former Confederate capital city has become home a new…

Brazil's Jair Bolsonaro Remains Defiant On COVID-19 And The Environment At The U.N.

Upon taking the podium at the United Nations in New York City, the far-right leader of Brazil, President Jair Bolsonaro, remained defiant against his…

After Hurricane Ida Failures, Calls Grow For A Probe Into New Orleans' Power Company

Utility company Entergy failed to provide power for a million people after Hurricane Ida ripped through New Orleans. A new NPR-ProPublica joint…

What Will Happen To Haitian Migrants Massed At The U.S.-Mexico Border?

NPR's Rachel Martin talks to Reuters reporter Daina Beth Solomon about how disturbing scenes from a border town in Texas are prompting the Department…

A Colorado Coal Plant Could Help Solve Renewable Energy's Storage Problem

As coal plants shut down, many places face the loss of jobs and taxes. But in Colorado, one town hopes to transform a coal plant into a new kind of

News Brief: COVID-19 Outlook, Haitian Migrants, New Orleans' Power Grid Probe

The delta variant may have peaked in the U.S. Photos of U.S. agents herding Haitian migrants at the border are hard to look at. Probe finds Entergy…

Is The Worst Over? Modelers Predict A Steady Decline In COVID Cases Through March

Americans may be able to breathe a tentative sigh of relief soon, according to researchers studying the trajectory of the pandemic. The delta surge…

Home Births Gain Popularity In ‘Baby Bust’ Decade

By Phillip Reese In a back-to-the-future twist on birth trends, California is seeing a sustained rise in the number of women choosing to deliver…

As California’s Drought Deepens, Water Use Drops Only 1.8%

Californians reduced their water use at home by a meager 1.8% statewide in July compared to last year, even after Gov. Gavin Newsomurged residents to…

California's COVID-19 Transmission Rate Is Lower Than Other States

LOS ANGELES — California is seeing lower coronavirus transmission than other U.S. states as virus cases and hospitalizations for COVID-19 decline…

The Lack Of Latinos In Media Could Affect How Others View Them, The Government Says

PHOENIX — Latinos are perpetually absent in major newsrooms, Hollywood films and other media industries where their portrayals — or lack thereof —…

‘Winter Was The Deadliest Season’: Report Shows 137 Homeless Residents Died In Sacramento County In 2020

Drugs and alcohol, accidents, suicides and exposure to the cold, along with other causes, led to the deaths of 137 homeless people in Sacramento…

LGBTQ Vets Discharged Under 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Have New Chance For Full Benefits

Thousands of LGBTQ veterans who were discharged from the military under the "don't ask, don't tell" policy have gained new access to full government…

Misinformation That Pushed Haitian Migrants To U.S. Border Persists Amid Deportations

NPR's Audie Cornish speaks with Jacqueline Charles of the Miami Herald and John Holman of Al Jazeera English about the Haitian migrants at the…

Haitians Pushed To U.S. Border By Misinformation Now Angry At Deportation

NPR's Audie Cornish speaks with Jacqueline Charles of the Miami Herald and John Holman of Al Jazeera English about the Haitian migrants at the…

A U.S. Strike Recently Killed Afghan Civilians, But It's Far From The First Time

NPR's Leila Fadel talks with Neta Crawford, co-director of the Cost of War Project, about civilian casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan at the hands of…
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