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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…
Jun 22, 2021

New app to speed notification, aid evacuees in an emergency

by Marc Albert
When conditions align, California wildfires are terrifying and catastrophic. But a San Francisco-based startup named Zonehaven is harnessing technology and smart phone apps to give evacuees and rescuers an edge in an emergency. Launched with the aid…
Jun 21, 2021

City of Sonoma likely adding new development fee for fire services

by Marc Albert
The price of a new home in the city of Sonoma will likely to get more expensive soon. Sonoma city officials are considering a proposed fire protection development fee. It would bring Sonoma in line with ones approved for nearby unincorporated areas.…
Jun 18, 2021

Readying for the worst

by Marc Albert
Distinct, European-style high-low sirens will penetrate the redwoods around Occidental and Camp Meeker Saturday morning, the latest in a series of evacuation drills ahead of fire season. The exercises are designed as much for first responders as…
Jun 18, 2021

Sonoma County celebrates Juneteenth

by Tessa Paoli
"It really didn't start as a festival at all, it started as a kind of protest," said Nancy Rogers, chair of the Sonoma County Juneteenth Committee. The committee was started by Santa Rosa Junior College students over half a century ago. This is the…
Jun 17, 2021

Continued mask use varies in Cloverdale as economy reopens

by Tessa Paoli
Until clear guidance was handed down today by the state's workplace regulators, this week businesses all around Sonoma County have been making their own rules for mask wearing. "It felt freeing and it felt like we were breaking the rules," said…
Jun 17, 2021

Sonoma County Resiliency: Mental health workers on the frontlines of the pandemic

by Tessa Paoli
Brad LaBass started his job as a clinician on the mobile support team in Santa Rosa a few weeks before the pandemic hit. "There's so much unknown in general about COVID," LaBass said. "The anxiety for all of us was high too." The mobile support team…
Jun 16, 2021

Frustration and comradery as alumni vow to save faltering west county schools

by Marc Albert
Part political organizing, part reunion, about 80 people gathered Wednesday evening in Sebastopol; vowing to block the planned consolidation of two local high schools. Greg Jacobs, a 1966 graduate of Analy High, says the controversy isn't a…

Hoping To Avoid A Repeat Of Jan. 6, Police Prep For A Far-Right Rally At The Capitol

Law enforcement officials in Washington, D.C., boosted security ahead of a scheduled far-right rally near the U.S. Capitol on Saturday. Demonstrators…

Police And FBI Are Now Looking For A Missing Woman's Boyfriend

NORTH PORT, Fla. (AP) — Police in Florida on Saturday searched a vast wildlife reserve near the Gulf Coast for 23-year-old Brian Laundrie, a person…

Louisianans Decide Whether To Save Their Most Valuable Possession - Their Homes

It's been weeks since Hurricane Ida barrelled through Louisiana with 150 mph winds, damaging or destroying thousands of homes. Scores of people are…

Opinion: Automatic Pay Raises Haven't Stopped Chicago's Corruption

This week 45 of the 50 city of Chicago aldermen accepted a 5.5% pay raise to increase the highest-paid among them to an annual salary of…

Thousands Of Haitians Are Waiting At The U.S.-Mexico Border To Enter The Country

Scott Simon talks with Washington Post correspondent Arelis Hernandez about the thousands of Haitians gathered at the southern border.

How A Summer Of 'Yes' Is Ending In A Cloud Of Uncertainty For Businesses

It started out as the summer of possibility. Earlier this year, lines outside restaurants were long and bars filled up with noshing revelers. People…

U.S. Plans To Deport Massive Number Of Haitians From Del Rio, Texas, An Official Says

DEL RIO, Texas — A U.S. official says the Biden administration is planning "massive movements" of Haitian migrants in a small Texas border town on…

Millionaire Robert Durst Was In HBO's 'The Jinx.' It Led To His Murder Conviction

INGLEWOOD, Calif. — A Los Angeles jury convicted Robert Durst on Friday of murdering his best friend 20 years ago in a case that took on new life…

Students Are Damaging School Bathrooms For Attention On TikTok

Students are destroying or stealing items at their schools, often in the school bathrooms, for what school administrators and police are blaming on a…

Housing Regulator Nominee Will Have The Power To Reshape Homeownership In America

The Biden Administration may announce the nomination of a key regulator who could direct billions of dollars for down-payment assistance and make…

FDA Advisers Endorse Pfizer COVID Booster Only For Those 65 And Over Or At Risk

An independent committee of experts has recommended that the Food and Drug Administration should not allow Pfizer to provide a third dose of its…

3 Tourists Allegedly Attacked A Hostess Who Asked For Vaccine Proof In A Restaurant

Three tourists were arrested after allegedly assaulting a restaurant host in Manhattan after she asked for proof of their vaccination status before…

3 Tourists Allegedly Attacked A Hostess Who Asked For Vaccine Proof At A Restaurant

Three tourists were arrested after allegedly assaulting a restaurant host in Manhattan after she asked for proof of their vaccination status before…

France Recalls Ambassadors To The U.S. And Australia In Objection To Security Pact

France has recalled its ambassadors to the U.S. and Australia as it registers its objection to a pact announced this week to build nuclear-powered…

Thousands of Migrants, Mostly From Haiti, Are Packed Under Texas Bridge

NPR's Leila Fadel speaks with Reuters reporter Alexandra Ulmer about the conditions beneath a bridge in Del Rio, Texas and Ciudad Acuña, Mexico where…

Capitol Police Are Bracing Themselves Ahead Of Far-Right 'Justice For J6' Rally

Law enforcement is bracing, again, for possible extremist violence on Capitol grounds. The "Justice for J-6" rally — a nod to Jan. 6 when Trump…

E-Bikes Take The Stage At German Car Show

In Germany, car companies are showing off their latest electric vehicles. But in areas of Europe, some cars won't be allowed on the street soon. So…

Pentagon Calls Drone Strike Which Killed Afghan Civilians A 'Tragic Mistake'

The Pentagon says it made a 'tragic mistake' in its drone strike meant for the masterminds of an attack on the Kabul airport. The strike killed up to…

City Infrastructure Must Evolve To Protect Residents From Extreme Heat

Heat is the number on weather-related killer in the U.S., yet our infrastructure was not built with it in mind. As that heat gets more extreme,…

This Prison Teaches Inmates How To Grow Their Own Food

Food served in prisons and jails is notoriously dreadful. Picture mystery meat drenched with dull gravy and a heavy reliance on overly processed…

N.C. Judges Strike Down A Voter ID Law They Say Discriminates Against Black Voters

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina judges struck down the state's latest photo voter identification law on Friday, agreeing with minority voters…

California Coronavirus Updates: Biden Administration Hitting Wall With COVID Relief Over Lack Of Cooperation From States

Find an updated count of COVID-19 cases in California and by county on our tracker here. Latest Updates Biden administration hitting wall with COVID…

A Colorado School Shooter Is Being Sentenced To Life In Prison

DENVER — A judge on Friday sentenced a former student to life in prison without parole for a 2019 shooting inside a suburban Denver high school that…

A Single Fire Killed Thousands Of Sequoias. Scientists Are Racing To Save The Rest

Lauren Sommer | NPR On a hot afternoon in California's Sequoia National Park, Alexis Bernal squints up at the top of a 200-foot-tall tree. "That is…

Thousands Of Haitian Migrants Wait Under South Texas Bridge

Nearly 10,000 migrants, mostly Haitians are staying under a bridge in Del Rio, Texas, after crossing the border in recent days.

Jason Reynolds: How Can We Connect With Kids Through The Written Word?

About The Episode Jason Reynolds is an award-winning author and National Ambassador for Young People's Literature. This hour, Jason speaks with…

More Than 600,000 White Flags On The National Mall Honor Lives Lost To COVID

For more than two weeks starting this week, more than 600,000 white flags will fill the National Mall — symbolizing the lives lost to COVID-19 in the…

Texas Hones Solutions To Keep Drivers Away From Flash Floods

Over half of flood deaths in the U.S. happen on roads, a risk that's growing with the warming climate. Texas has dealt with flash flooding for…

In Texas, Officials Are Reporting A Surge In Migrants At The Southern Border This Week

A surge in migration at the U.S.-Mexico border is again causing issues for federal authorities and local officials in Texas. Border Patrol officials…

In Texas, Officials Are Reporting A Surge Of Migrants At The Southern Border This Week

A surge in migration at the U.S.-Mexico border is again causing issues for federal authorities and local officials in Texas. Border Patrol officials…

Their Dad Transformed Video Games In The 1970s — And Passed On His Pioneering Spirit

A self-taught electricalengineer transformed the video game world in the 1970s. Before Gerald "Jerry" Lawson helped invent the first video game…

All The Hospitals In Idaho Are Rationing Care Because Of COVID-19 Surge

Idaho's public health leaders are expanding health care rationing across the state. The move follows a decision by a large health care system there…

Yes, We're Calling It Hispanic Heritage Month And We Know It Makes Some Of You Cringe

As the headline unambiguously states, here at NPR we've kicked off Hispanic Heritage Month. Not Latino Heritage Month. Not Latinx Heritage Month. Not…

House Republican Who Voted To Impeach Trump Won't Run Again

One of the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach former President Donald Trump for his role in inciting the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol…

Caldor Fire Updates: Fire Officials Don't See 'Any Major Threats' As Highway 88 Reopens, More Evacuations Lift

Here's the latest information on the fire, evacuations, damages and closures. Information is changing quickly, so please check with local first…

Caldor Fire: Where To Find Information And Resources

As of Sept. 17, we will no longer be adding daily updates to this page but will continue to update resources on where to find information about the…

Minnesota Supreme Court Allows The Ballot Question On Changing The Minneapolis Police

MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Supreme Court cleared the way Thursday evening for voters in Minneapolis to decide on the future of policing in the city…

Prescribed Burns Could Help Reduce California’s Wildfires. A New Bill Could Help Make Planned Fires More Frequent

After decades of fire suppression in California, prescribed burns have regained traction as one method to boosting the resilience of forests during…

‘This Did Not Need To Happen’: Fourth COVID-19 Wave Pushes California’s Healthcare Workers To The Brink

The fourth wave of COVID-19 sweeping across many parts of California is taking an emotional and physical toll on nurses and doctors in the…

More Twists In Real Life Crime Drama That Has South Carolina Riveted

NPR's Mary Louise Kelly talks with Associated Press reporter Jeffrey Collins about a series of crimes swirling around a powerful South Carolina…

Infrastructure Bill Aims To Address Lead Pipes: Lessons Learned From Flint

The infrastructure bill moving through Congress includes billions to replace lead pipes. In Flint, Mich., NPR's Ari Shapiro talks with residents on…

Are COVID-19 Vaccine Boosters Necessary?

The FDA is set to rule on Pfizer boosters on Friday. Some scientists say they aren't needed for healthy people and the doses would more helpful for…

State Court To Decide If Minneapolis Will Have A Vote On Replacing Police Department

The Minnesota Supreme Court has ruled in favor of ballot language to reimagine the Minneapolis police department in the upcoming election. Early…

State Supreme Court Rules In Favor Of Minneapolis Vote To Reimagine Police Department

The Minnesota Supreme Court has ruled in favor of ballot language to reimagine the Minneapolis police department in the upcoming election. Early…

The Best And Worst So Far From The Not-Very-Festive Toronto International Film Fest

The Toronto International Film Fest is usually mobbed with over a thousand industry types from all over the world. But this year the partially-online…

Why Britain Has Been Eager To Join The U.S. Deal With Australia — And France Hasn't

The new deal between the U.S. with the U.K. and Australia counters China but it's viewed differently by key allies. Britain is eager to get on board…

The Jobs That Await Afghans In The U.S. Are Often Far Below Their Skill Level

Many Afghans who have come to the U.S. through the Special Immigrant Visa program are educated and skilled, yet they end up in low wage jobs — a…

Health Officials Wonder Why Biden's Mandate Didn't Also Require Vaccination To Travel

A debate is heating up over whether President Biden's sweeping vaccine mandate should be extended to cover those who travel domestically by plane and…

Newsom Won, But He Won Big With Latinos

NPR's Ailsa Chang speaks with Sonja Diaz, director of the Latino Policy and Politics Initiative at UCLA, about the significance of the Latino vote in…

With Vaccines Now Mandated For Workplaces, Will A Travel Mandate Be Next?

A debate is heating up over whether President Biden's sweeping vaccine mandate should be extended to cover those who travel domestically by plane and…

Orangevale Resident Nakia Porter Says Solano County Deputies Knocked Her Unconscious. She's Now Filed Federal Charges.

On an evening last August, Nakia Porter and her family were driving back to their home in Orangevale after a trip to the Bay Area when she started…

California Coronavirus Updates: Los Angeles County Will Soon Require Proof Of Vaccination For Indoor Bars, Nightclubs And More

Find an updated count of COVID-19 cases in California and by county on our tracker here. Latest Updates President Biden meets with business leaders,…

South Carolina Lawyer Murdaugh Surrenders To Face Charges In $10M Insurance Fraud

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Lawyer Alex Murdaugh surrendered Thursday to face insurance fraud and other charges after state police said he arranged to have…

Idaho Is Rationing Health Care Statewide As It Struggles To Cope With COVID-19

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Idaho public health leaders on Thursday expanded health care rationing statewide amid a massive increase in the number of…

'Storm Lake' Documentary Depicts The Triumph And Struggle Of A Local Newspaper

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Art Cullen discusses the battle to keep print news alive in small-town America. Cullen runs Iowa's Storm Lake…

U.S. Border Agents Found A Toddler And A Baby Abandoned Along The Rio Grande

U.S. Border Patrol agents found a toddler girl and her baby brother abandoned along the Rio Grande near Eagle Pass, Texas, this week, in what the…

The Justice Department Moves To Block The Purdue Pharma Sackler Bankruptcy Deal

A division of the Justice Department that serves as a watchdog over the federal bankruptcy system filed an appeal late Wednesday seeking to block the…

The DOJ Moves To Block The Purdue Pharma Bankruptcy Deal That Shields The Sacklers

A division of the Justice Department that serves as a watchdog over the federal bankruptcy system filed an appeal late Wednesday seeking to block the…

Philip Morris Is Buying An Asthma Inhaler Company. Health Groups Are Suspicious

Philip Morris International is buying British pharmaceutical firm Vectura in a deal that will see a company synonymous with Big Tobacco taking over a…

A Young Woman Vanished On A Cross-Country Trip. Her Boyfriend Is A Person Of Interest

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — A Florida woman who vanished while on a nomadic cross-country trip in a converted camper van with her boyfriend is the subject…

Derek Chauvin Returns To Court For Allegedly Holding A Black Teen Down By The Throat

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A former Minneapolis police officer convicted of murder in the death of George Floyd is scheduled to be arraigned Thursday for…

ICU Beds In Alabama Have Been Filled With Adults And Children

NPR's Noel King talks to Dr. David Kimberlin, a pediatric infectious disease physician at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and Children's of…

People Around The World Are Taking Extreme Measures To Get A COVID Vaccine

People from countries with limited vaccine access are traveling thousands of miles to the U.S. to try to get a shot. Most people, however, don't have…

Pittsburgh Wants You To See Constellations When You Look Up At The Night Sky

The Pittsburgh City Council will start implementing a plan to fight light pollution over the next two years. Scientists say light pollution in cities…

A Record Number Of Women Are Driving Trucks To Pay The Bills

After losing jobs during the pandemic, more and more women are becoming truck drivers. Many have been attracted by the high demand and higher pay.

Alaska's Largest Hospital Says The Strain Of COVID Is Forcing It To Ration Care

The stark situation of COVID's impact on Alaska has affected the ability of the state's largest hospital to provide care for some patients. On…

At 101, This Woman From Maine Is Still Hauling Lobsters With No Plans To Stop

ROCKLAND, Maine (AP) — When Virginia Oliver started trapping lobster off Maine's rocky coast, World War II was more than a decade in the future, the…

Caldor Fire Updates: Fire Officials Hope To Lift More Evacuations Thursday

Here's the latest information on the fire, evacuations, damages and closures. Information is changing quickly, so please check with local first…

Full Speed Ahead On Overhauling California Recalls

As for Californians themselves, a recent UC Berkeley survey of registered voters found that an overwhelming majority, 75%,look upon the electorate’s…

A Colorado Investigation Of Elijah McClain's Death Alleges Racially Biased Policing

DENVER — A civil rights investigation begun amid outrage over the death of Elijah McClain has found that the Aurora Police Department has a pattern…

The 1st All-Civilian Space Mission Into Orbit Is Preparing For Takeoff

The first all-civilian space mission into orbit is expected to take flight from Kennedy Space Center on Wednesday evening. Private company SpaceX is…
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