News Roundup: DA Will Prosecute 'Flagrant' Mask Order Violators, Dozens in Crescent City Protest Shelter Order (Without Masks)


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Humboldt County District Attorney Maggie Fleming is prepared to prosecute people who “flagrantly” violate the Public Health Officer’s order that local residents wear facial coverings when inside buildings that aren’t their home, covered spaces and when they can’t maintain 6 feet of physical distancing outside, according to a report in the Times-Standard.

Violating the order constitutes a misdemeanor offense, punishable by a fine of up to $1,000, 90 days in jail or both — with penalties potentially levied for each day someone is found to be in violation — but Fleming said she’s hoping she won’t need to prosecute anyone, reports the Times-Standard’s Sonia Waraich.

Waraich also has a report on small businesses that are hopeful to get a chunk of the Paycheck Protection Program aid as Congress prepares to make another injection into the program as a part of the $483 billion package that’s headed to the House for a vote. The story looks a couple of businesses — Tomaso’s and Humboldt Bay Provisions — that couldn’t access funds before they dried up last round, and another — Ramone’s Bakery and Café — that did. Read the full story here. (Full disclosure, the North Coast Journal received a loan through the program.)

The paper’s Andrew Butler, meanwhile, has a story about how Eureka City Schools is working to close the “opportunity gap” that exists for the 10 percent of its students who are homeless with the district having shifted to an internet based, distance-learning model. Butler reports the strategy features calls from teachers to students at least once a week.

The Lost Coast Outpost’s Jessica Cejnar reports that more than 50 people in Crescent City spent part of Tuesday standing maskless and in close quarters along U.S. Highway 101 to protest state and local shelter-in-place orders while holding signs like, “Say No to Tyranny.”

LoCo’s Ryan Burns, meanwhile, has continued to report on the ongoing dispute between the local Target store management, employees and county health officials about the handling of a store employee who tested positive for COVID-19, and whether proper steps were taken to protect other employees and the public. Read more here.

And Burns has another piece about Humboldt Mediation Services offering to provide much needed video conferencing as tensions rise in some households during shelter in place. Read Burns’ full story, and find out out to access services, here.

The Mad River Union has announced that one of its former writers and former local resident Steve Robles has died of COVID-19 in the Los Angeles area. A passionate musician, Robles wrote for the paper until November, when he moved south. Read the full story here.

Humboldt County’s Joint Information Center, meanwhile, invites the public to tune into a live broadcast tonight of a conversation between Sheriff William Honsal, Public Health Officer Teresa Frankovich and Deputy Health Officer Josh Ennis that will “joined and moderated” by Lost Coast Outpost Editor Hank Sims. Titled “The Economy, the Surge and What’s Next for Humboldt County,” the conversation will begin at 6 p.m. and can be seen on Access Humboldt Channel 10 and Access Humboldt’s YouTube page or heard on the radio waves of KZZH-LP 96.7 FM. Frankovich has said the discussion will focus heavily on modeling projections and what the experts predict Humboldt County may see as far as peak COVID-19 infection rates locally and when they may come.

Finally, NBC News has an important report on a study published Wednesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association that analyzed 5,700 hospitalized COVID-19 patients in New York City and found that underlying conditions were common. Specifically, they found that 57 had high blood pressure, 41 percent were obese and a third had diabetes. Read the full story here.

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