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Updated: 3 months 6 days ago

Measles outbreaks in Pacific Northwest prompt concern from North Coast health departments

Mon, 02/11/2019 - 4:29pm

WILLITS, 4/8/19 -- A measles outbreak in the Pacific Northwest, mostly around the Vancouver, WA and Portland, OR area, has prompted concern among health departments on the North Coast. Both Mendocino and Humboldt county health officials are now expressing concern for what a measles outbreak could mean here, especially due to the relatively low rates of vaccination in the area.

The measles vaccine is safe, while the disease is quite serious, often resulting in life long complications and in some cases death.

Here is some background, tips, and medical information sent out by the Mendocino County Public Health Officer below. You can check current vaccine information about local schools here:

Seventh Grade:

Measles Outbreak in Oregon and Washington

A measles outbreak has emerged near Portland, Oregon with 38 confirmed cases and 13 suspected cases since January 1 so far.  Most of those infected have been children under 10 years of age, and there is a correlation with greater numbers of cases occurring in areas with lower than average vaccination rates.

While this is considered a “Public Health Emergency” in the affected areas around Portland, no cases have been seen in Northern California as of this time.  

At the Mendocino County Public Health Department, we are invested in the health of our community, and we are determined to dispense information that may be useful in preventing measles or in identifying it soon after it appears.

Measles is a highly contagious viral disease. It is widespread in many parts of the world, including Europe, Africa, and Asia. It begins with a fever (which can reach as high as 104 degrees Fahrenheit) that lasts for a couple of days, followed by a cough, runny nose, conjunctivitis (pink eye), and a rash. The rash typically appears first on the face, in the mouth, along the hairline, and behind the ears and then affects the rest of the body. Infected people are usually contagious from about 4 days before their rash starts to 4 days afterwards.

The virus lives in the nose and throat mucus of an infected person. It can spread to others through coughing and sneezing. Surprisingly, the measles virus can live for up to two hours in an airspace where the infected person coughed or sneezed. If other people breathe the contaminated air or touch an infected surface, then touch their eyes, noses, or mouth, they can become infected. Measles is so contagious that if one person has it, 90% of the people close to that person who are not immune will also become infected.

It can be fatal.  As many as one out of every 20 children infected with measles gets pneumonia, the most common cause of death from measles in young children.  One in every 1,000 children with measles develops swelling of the brain that can cause deafness or an intellectual disability. Pregnant women with measles might give birth early or have a low-weight baby.

The last large outbreak of measles in California was associated with Disneyland and occurred from December 2014 through April 2015, when at least 131 California residents were infected.

Immunization is thought to be 97% effective, and most children are adequately vaccinated by the time they enter Kindergarten.  Child care facilities and schools with low vaccination rates are at increased risk for outbreaks of this vaccine-preventable disease.  It is not too late to get vaccinated now; it may even help up to 72 hours after exposure.

You can lookup vaccination rates at the schools in your area to see if your child is more likely to get the illness.

Seventh Grade:

There is no effective treatment.  The best thing to do is to keep your child at home if they become ill with a suspicious rash.  Letting them out in public makes it much more likely to spread.  Getting medical help if they are getting quite ill, especially with pneumonia or severe headache is important.

What about the Vaccine?  There is a vaccine (that comes in a shot) that keeps people from getting measles. It is called the MMR vaccine. It protects against 3 different infections: measles, mumps, and rubella. Contact your medical provider if you or your child haven’t been vaccinated.  
Should I call the doctor or nurse if I think my child or I have measles? — Yes. If you or your child has a fever and rash, call the doctor or nurse. He or she can ask questions and tell you what to do next. Don't go to the doctor's office without calling first. Measles spreads easily, so you could give it to other people at the doctor's office.
What if I was near someone with measles? — If you or your child has not had the MMR vaccine, call the doctor or nurse. It might still be possible to avoid getting sick. If you get it soon enough, the vaccine can stop measles or make it less serious. People who cannot get the vaccine can take a medicine that can help keep them from getting sick.
Is there a test for measles? — Yes. The doctor or nurse can do blood tests to check for measles. However, these tests might not be needed. A doctor or nurse can often tell if a person has measles by doing an exam and learning about the symptoms.
How is measles treated? — For most people, there is no specific treatment. If you or your child have it, you can: Rest, drink plenty of fluids, take acetaminophen (sample brand name: Tylenol) to help with fever and aches.

*Do not give aspirin or medicines that contain aspirin to children younger than 18. In children, aspirin can cause a serious problem called Reye syndrome.

Doctors give vitamin A to some children with measles. If your child needs treatment in the hospital, or has another health condition besides measles, the doctor might give vitamin A.

You may contact the Mendocino County Health Department with questions at (707) 472-2600. 

For more information, you may visit:

Mendocino County Public Health’s Website: https://www.mendocinocounty.or

California Department of Public Health Website:

Center for Disease Control Website:

Thank you.

Dr. Gary Pace, MD
Mendocino County Public Health Officer

Press release from the Mendocino County Public Health Officer.

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Large power outage in Brooktrails and Leggett

Sun, 02/10/2019 - 5:44pm

WILLITS, 2/10/19 -- A few power outages have hit Mendocino County, with a particularly large one occurring in Brooktrails. According to Pacific Gas & Electric, 868 customers are without power in Brooktrails and 261 customers are without power in Leggett. There are also small outages in Laytonville and Branscomb.

The number of people affected by outages is measured in "customers" not individuals, with business and residences counting as customers. This means that a couple thousand people are likely without power in Brooktrails, since the area is mostly homes, many with families.

PG&E does not have an estimate for when power will be restored to Brooktrails.

For more information you can check out the PG&E outage map here.

The post Large power outage in Brooktrails and Leggett appeared first on The Mendocino Voice.

101 now open from Laytonville to Leggett

Sun, 02/10/2019 - 10:17am

UPDATE 3:20 p.m. -- Hwys. 101 and 199 are now open:

US 101 near SR 1 and US 199 have been reopened.

— Caltrans District 1 (@CaltransDist1) February 10, 2019

UPDATE 11:40 a.m. -- The 101 between Laytonville and Leggett is now open, however, it is closed near the junction with State Route 1, due to downed trees, as you can see from CalTrans' tweet.

US 101 has reopened between Laytonville and Leggett due to snow, but I’d now closed near SR 1 due to downed trees.

— Caltrans District 1 (@CaltransDist1) February 10, 2019

Some people are reporting that there may be one way traffic control in that area, but we are unable to verify that. PG&E seems to be on the job.

WILLITS, 2/10/19 -- The California Highway Patrol has closed U.S. Route 101 north of Laytonville, to Leggett, due to heavy snow conditions. Additionally, a power line has fallen and workers are trying to clear and repair that amid inclement conditions.

It was snowing on the valley floor in Willits, and throughout the region, as cold wintery weather continues to blanket the North Coast. Snow fell at sea level in Eureka and Arcata, in Humboldt County, a rare occurrence.

US 101 is CLOSED from Laytonville to Leggett due to heavy snowfall. No ETO.

— Caltrans District 1 (@CaltransDist1) February 10, 2019

The roads around the region are slick and dangerous, please exercise caution.

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Vigil for Khadijah Britton will be held in Covelo and Lakeport, Feb. 9

Fri, 02/08/2019 - 2:37pm

MENDOCINO Co., 2/8/19 — Khadijah Britton was last seen in Covelo on February 7, 2018, allegedly being forced into a car at gunpoint by her former boyfriend, Negie Fallis. More than a year later, the 24 year old woman remains missing, despite ongoing searches, a substantial reward for information, and a widespread community effort to locate her.

To highlight Britton's continued absence, two vigils are planned for Saturday, February 9, commemorating one year since she was last seen. Family and friends have organized a walk through Covelo for Saturday, beginning at 2:30 p.m., followed by a candlelight vigil around 5:30 p.m. The walk will begin at Dan's Market, and then go through town past the high school and return to Keith's grocery store, where the vigil will take place. In Lakeport, people will gather on Main St. at 4 p.m. outside the museum, between 2nd and 3rd Streets for a march, and then a vigil will take place at 5:30 p.m. People are asked to bring candles, signs, and balloons (see flyer below).

Over the past year, community members have spoken out about her absence and organized vigils, searches, fundraisers, and participated in marches connecting Britton's absence to domestic violence and the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women's movement, including at several of this year's Women's Marches — but Britton remains missing.

No charges have been brought by the Mendocino County District Attorney's Office regarding Britton's disappearance, despite an ongoing search for her throughout Northern California. The primary suspect in her disappearance, her former boyfriend Fallis, was sentenced to state prison in December for being a felon in possession of a firearm, in an arrest related to an alleged violent beating of Britton. His accomplice, Antonia Bautista-Dalson, was also charged.

The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office continues to seek any information related to Britton’s disappearance, and a significant reward is being offered for any information that helps find her: $85,000 for information leading to her, and an additional $25,000 for information leading to a conviction and arrest. Anyone with information about Britton should contact the MCSO tip line at (707) 463- 4086 or the tip line (707) 234-2100, or the anonymous WeTip service at 1-800-78-CRIME. You can read The Mendocino Voice’s complete coverage of Britton’s disappearance and Fallis' legal proceedings here.

Flyer Flyer for the Lakeport march and vigil on Feb. 9.

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Memorial for Krissy and Damian Orbon will be held Feb. 10 in Willits

Thu, 02/07/2019 - 1:15pm

WILLITS, 2/7/19 — A memorial service for Krissy Orbon and her son Damian will be held on Sunday, February 10 at the Little Lake Grange. The mother and son, who were beloved throughout the region, were shot and killed outside Willits in a suicide and double-homicide on January 10. The memorial will focus on domestic violence awareness and prevention, and include musical performances along with a potluck. The even will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. All are welcome to attend. (More information below).

One of the flyers for the memorial service.

Krissy Orbon, 32, and her son Damian, 8, were killed on January 10 by Michael David Wilkins, Damian's father and Krissy's former partner. Those close to Krissy described her as a loving and dedicated mother who wanted the best for her son Damian. Wilkins and Orbon had recently separated, but Wilkins had continued to see Damian, his son. The Orbons lived in Mendocino County, including Ukiah and Willits, as well as Lake and Humboldt counties, and Damian briefly attended the La Vida Charter School at the Ridgewood Ranch, through a home school program.

Doors will open for the event at the Little Lake Grange at 11:30 a.m. on Sunday, February 10. The memorial service will take place from 12 p.m. until 2 p.m., and musical performances from Matt Hardle and The Real Sarahs will begin at 2 p.m. Refreshments will be provided but potluck dishes are welcome. The event will also include a focus on domestic violence awareness and prevention. A GoFundMe has been started to assist with memorial costs, and $10 donations will be accepted at the door.

More details about the memorial service are available below:

Here's the flyer for the event:

Flyer for the memorial event.

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Black History Month celebration will be held Feb. 9 in Willits

Thu, 02/07/2019 - 11:31am

WILLITS, 2/7/19 — The Black Futures Society will be hosting a Black History Month celebration at the Little Lake Grange in Willits on Saturday, Feb. 9, featuring workshops, panel discussions film screenings, dance performances, an open mic, a raffle, and more. The family-friendly event begins at 3 p.m. on Saturday and will continue until 8 p.m., with music and dancing after dinner, food provided by the Zocalo Collective. Suggested donation is $10 but no one will be turned away for lack of funds; dinner tickets can be purchased at a number of locations and online.

Here's all the details from the press release:

Black History Month 
Celebration and Dinner
Presented by the Black Futures Society

Date: Saturday February 9th

Time: 3 - 8 PM

Location: Little Lake Grange, 291 School St., Willits, CA

In celebration of Black History Month and the contributions of the African Diaspora to the world, the Black Futures Society presents an evening of art, education, music, dance, food and fun for both children and adults. The suggested donation is $10 per family and of course, no one will be turned away. Soul Food Dinner tickets are $20 in advance and can be purchased at J.D. Redhouse in Willits and at Tastebuds Restaurant in Ukiah.  Also on the web at

Suggested Donation: $10 per family (no-one turned away for lack of funds), Dinner Tickets $20 in advance, $25 at the door;
available at J D Rehouse and Tastebuds

Event Features:

Soul Food Dinner: Presened by the Zocalo Collective, traditional and vegan remix platters including vegan mac and cheese, vegan and conventional fried chicken, collard greens and black eyed peas. Dinner Tickets are available for purchase in advance at J.D. Redhouse and Tastebuds.

Panel Discussion: A conversation on Unity, featuring Bill Durham, host of Club FM KMEC, Polly Girdin, Civil Rights Activist and member of Coyote Valley Band of Pomo Indians and others.

West African Music and Dance Performance

Collage Workshop, All Ages: Facilitated by Jazzminh Moore 

Educational Art Installation: Contemporary Black Artists, curated by Jazzminh Moore


Raffle: Educational DVDs, Books, and other goodies

Exhibition of African Masks

This event is sponsored by the Little Lake Grange.  Dinner is sponsored by the Zocalo Collective. Raffle is sponsored by the Black Futures Society.

3:10 Opening and Welcome by Jocelyn Friend
3:15 - 5:00  Workshops, film and Educational Exhibition: Collage Workshop, Open Mic of famous speeches and poems, short film corner 
5:00 - 5:40 Film Segment 
5:45 - 6:15 Panel Discussion
6:30 - 7:30 Dinner and Raffle
7:00 - 8:00 Music and Dance 


3:10 Opening and Welcome by Jocelyn Friend

3:15 - 5:00  Workshops, film and Educational Exhibition: Collage Workshop, Open Mic of famous speeches and poems, short film corner 

5:00 - 5:40 Film Segment 

5:45 - 6:15 Panel Discussion

6:30 - 7:30 Dinner and Raffle

7:00 - 8:00 Music and Dance 

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US Route 101 now open –Overturned tanker closed highway for hours north of Leggett — gasoline spilled into stream (updated 5:55 p.m. with video)

Tue, 02/05/2019 - 8:42am

UPDATE 5:25 p.m. -- As of 5:10 p.m. the 101 is open again, with one-way traffic control at the site of the accident. Expect delays through tomorrow, including one-way traffic control while a pavement repair is done.

(function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); = id; js.src = ''; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));Accident Highway 101 Overturned Gas Truck February 5 2019

US HWY 101 NOW OPEN TO ONE-WAY TRAFFIC north of Leggett in Mendocino County. Traffic conytrol will extend through tomorrow due to damaged pavement.Video is the overturned truck being uprighted and getting ready for removal resulting from overturning on US Hughway 101 North of Leggett in Mendocino County.Road/Traffic updates: or download the app for Android or iOS phones.

Posted by Caltrans District 1 on Tuesday, February 5, 2019

UPDATE 2:05 p.m. -- The California Highway Patrol has released the name of the truck driver who overturned his tanker truck this morning, closing U.S. Route 101 north of Leggett, and spilling gasoline onto the road, and potentially into creeks. According to authorities Archie Campbell, 62 of Willits, was driving north on the 101 when he lost control of his tanker and crashed into Jitney Gulch Bridge. His tanker overturned and began to spill gasoline into the road.

The spill has been contained but potentially hundreds of gallons of gasoline spilled either into a nearby creek or directly into the Eel River. Investigators from the California Department of Fish and Wildfire have been called to the scene, as was Mendo Hazmat. Drainage valves on the tanker were crushed by the crash, meaning that crews are having to drill into the tanker to pump the gasoline out, before clearing the scene. As can be imagined, drilling into a steel tank full of gasoline is a delicate and time consuming operation.

The CHP has stated that Campbell does not appear to have been under the influence, and that he suffered only mild injuries.

A large section of the 101 is closed, roughly between Leggett and Piercy. The CHP has stated that there is no estimated time of opening, and CalTrans is saying it may not be open till later this evening. People have attempted to circumvent the closure, causing the CHP to call in extra officers.

[UPDATE 1:29pm] Hwy 101 remains CLOSED north of Leggett in Mendocino County due to overturned truck leaking fluid. This 2-lane highway closed. Motorist must go around closure and use I-5. Hopefully open this evening. Road/Traffic updates:

— Caltrans District 1 (@CaltransDist1) February 5, 2019

Here is the official release from the CHP:

02/05/2019, at approximately 0620 hours, a semi-truck tanker, driven by Archie Campbell of Willits, CA., was traveling northbound on US-101, north of Leggett, in Mendocino County. The semi-truck was carrying a cargo of gasoline fuel. For reasons still under investigation, the semi-truck collided with Jitney Gultch bridge rail while negotiating the left hand curve of the bridge. The semi-truck overturned onto the roadway, blocking the northbound lane of US-101. As a result of the collision, the tank trailer began leaking fuel onto the roadway and shoulder. CHP personnel responded to the scene and assumed incident command. The driver was transported to Jerold Phelps Community Hospital for minor injuries. DUI does not appear to be a factor in this collision.

Due to the fuel spilling onto the roadway and surrounding area, Haz-Mat protocols were established. Mendocino County Environmental health was notified. US-101 has been shut down in both directions. Northbound traffic is being turned around at SR-1 and southbound traffic is being turned around at Reynolds Overcrossing, south of Piercy. An estimated time of reopening has not been determined at this time.
The California Highway Patrol Garberville Area office is investigating this collision.

The California Highway Patrol would like to remind motorists to slow down and use caution when driving in inclement weather.
J. Taylor 02/05/2019 12:30

MENDOCINO Co., 2/5/19 — A tanker truck over turned overturned on U.S. Route 101 just south of the Peg House near Leggett around 6:22 a.m. and is leaking onto the highway. The 101 has been closed to allow for clean-up. There is currently no estimated time of re-opening, and CalTrans is instructing drivers to use I-5 as a detour.

The accident occurred between Leggett and the Peg House, and southbound lanes are currently at Reynolds overpass just before Confusion Hill. There is no current information about where the northbound lanes are closed, but Officer Taylor of the Garberville CHP office said the closure will be at Hwy. 1.

The tanker is currently still leaking fuel, as of around 8:15 a.m., and a tow truck is on the way. Fuel is being pumped our of the tanker into an additional empty fuel tanker. Mendocino County Environmental Health as well as the California Highway Patrol are responding. The driver of the semi was initially trapped in the truck, but has since exited safely, and there do not seem to be any major injuries reported. Officer Taylor said that there was at least a hundred gallons of fuel spilled, and there may be more if the tanker was full. Taylor expected the closure to last for at least six hours while responders to righted the truck and cleaned the road.

Reader Jonathan Beck, who was on the scene, sent some photos included below. Beck and a volunteer firefighter helped the driver escape from the truck, and he also helped pile dirt near a storm drain to prevent fuel from leaking into the drain. Beck said another truck narrowly avoided crashing into the fuel tank after it overturned due to the icy roads. There have been a number of accidents overnight and this morning — please take caution as there may be ice or other collisions on your drive.

A photo from reader Jonathan Beck, who was on the scene.

We'll update as more information becomes available. Redheaded Blackbelt has some additional reporting on the collision beginning from the initial accident.

A photo from reader Jonathan Beck, who was on the scene.

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One-way traffic controls on 101 between Ukiah and Hopland due to collision

Mon, 02/04/2019 - 6:44pm

MENDOCINO Co., 2/4/19 — A traffic collision involving a Chevy SUV and a semi-truck occurred around 6:15 p.m. in between Hopland and Ukiah, near the ReTech Systems building. There are currently one-way traffic controls in place on U.S Route 101 near Henry Station Road as emergency responders and tow trucks respond to the collision.

The initial collision resulted in the semi-truck blocking the northbound lanes of Highway 101, according to the CHP incident page. Tow trucks are currently on the way to the scene, but traffic is currently delayed in the area. We'll update as more information is available. Please take caution on the roads as winter weather conditions make driving difficult.

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Winter weather returning to Mendocino County

Sat, 02/02/2019 - 3:58pm

MENDOCINO Co., 2/02/19 — After a brief reprieve of sunny skies and warm temps this week, winter weather has returned to Mendocino County, with more rain, freezing overnight temperatures, high wind, flooding, and possible hail and snow forecasted through Tuesday morning.

According to the Eureka office of the National Weather Service, rain totals are forecasted to be between one and half to five inches around the North Coast between Friday evening and Tuesday morning. Snow levels are predicted to reach 3,000 feet on Sunday, with possible heavy mountain snow, and then drop to 1,000 feet on Monday, with up to two inches predicted in lower elevations — meaning much of northeastern Mendocino could see some snow, and road conditions may be difficult. Inland temperatures may also drop to the high 20s F by Monday evening. PG&E has also set up staffing centers in Ukiah, Fort Bragg, Clearlake, and Fortuna in order to respond to outages quickly.

Chains may be required in mountainous areas, and travel is not recommended unless necessary. Rockslides and other hazardous driving conditions are forecast across the North Coast. There is also a flash flood warning in effect through Monday, particularly for areas in the burn scar.

You can check the forecast for your specific area at Information about current road conditions can be found on the CalTrans Quickmap road information page, as well as the California Highway Patrol current incident page. You can report an outage and check for information about current outages at the PG&E outage page. You can find information about river flooding levels through the NWS flood level gauges here. The Mendocino Voice will also be providing updates on our website, Facebook, and Twitter — send us our snow photos to share!

Some snow has already hit the Mendocino National Forest, and the Forest Service staff are doing snow surveys this week. You can check out more of their photos on their Facebook page:

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Motorcyclist killed in head on collision on Hwy. 20

Thu, 01/31/2019 - 9:47pm

WILLITS, 1/31/19 — A 62 year old man was killed today when he drove his Harley Davidson motorcycle into opposing traffic and collided head on with a Toyota Camry on Hwy. 20, near Marina Dr. According to a press release from the California Highway Patrol the man was from Redwood Valley. His identity has not been released pending notification of next of kin.

The woman driving Toyota suffered moderate injuries and was taken to Adventist Health Ukiah, she is 37 and from Lakeport. A third car, driven by a 62 year old Ukiah man, struck the rear of the Toyota after the initial accident, but the driver suffered no injuries.

The accident caused the closure of Hwy. 20 from about 5:30 p.m. today, and took some time to clear.

An trucker who was driving east on Hwy. 20 witnessed the accident and explained that it appeared that the man was attempting to pass cars coming around a curve, when he plowed into the Toyota, causing him to fly off the road and a few feet down a hillside.

Here is the CHP summary of the event:

On 01/31/2019 at approximately 1650 hours, a silver 2018 Toyota Camry was traveling eastbound on SR-20, west of marina Dr, at approximately 55 mph. A white 2001 Chevrolet Colorado was traveling eastbound behind the Toyota Camry. A 2004 Harley Davidson was traveling westbound on SR-20 in the eastbound lane, directly in front of the Toyota Camry at a high rate of speed. The front end of the Harley Davidson collided with the front end of the Toyota Camry. The driver of the Chevrolet Colorado swerved to the left to avoid the collision and the right front of his vehicle collided with the left front of the Toyota Camry. The driver of the Harley Davidson sustained fatal injuries as a result of the collision. The driver of the Toyota Camry sustained moderate injuries as a result of this collision and was transported by ambulance to Adventist Health Ukiah Valley. The driver of the Chevrolet Colorado was uninjured. There were no passenger involved in this collision. This traffic collision is still under investigation.


And here is our initial reporting:

Major accident on Hwy. 20 near Lake Mendo — Highway now reopened

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