Karen Lehman
Karen Lehman
12:00pm - 6:00pm

Sonoma County News

Kirsty Alley

Kirstie Alley, a two-time Emmy winner whose roles on the tv show “Cheers” and in the “Look Who's Talking” films made her one of the biggest stars in American comedy in the late 1980s and early 1990s, died Monday. She was 71. Her family said she was recently diagnosed with cancer. {photo courtesy of IMDB}

Michelin Awards

The coveted Michelin star awards have been announced, and Sonoma county can count 3 restaurants on the list. Single Thread in Healdsburg retains it's exceptional rating of 3 stars. Barndiva maintained it's 1 star rating. The third is a newcomer, actually a returning restaurant, Cyrus, winning 1 star.

Hertz Penalty

Hertz will pay nearly $170 million to settle hundreds of false theft claims involving its customers. Apparently after Hertz could not locate it's own vehicles after customers properly returned them, the company would file police reports claiming the cars were stolen by the customer. Some customers were pulled over and arrested for falsely stealing the car, others complained of problems with returns, paperwork and payments.

Nurses Strike Over

Nurses at Kaiser Permanente voted overwhelmingly to ratify a four-year labor contract that secured them the biggest pay raise in about 20 years. The nurses will see a 22.5% wage increase over the next four years.

Animal Rights Trial

A Sonoma County Superior Court ruled that two animal rights activists will stand trial on charges of conspiracy and burglary for their part in illegal protests on private property back in 2018 and 2019. According to the Press Democrat, Rachel Ziegler and Jonathan Frohnmayer will face multiple felony and misdemeanor charges related to three different incidents.

Country Summer

Country Music Fans, get ready, Country Summer is coming back and tickets are on sale now. The 3-day festival at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds runs June 16-18th next year. While the headliners have not yet been announced, previous concerts have featured Blake Shelton, Kelsea Ballerini, Chris Young, Darious Rucker, Jake Owen and many many more. You can order tickets online at countrysummer.com.


Was it really Banksy that painted a girl and a red balloon on a wall of the Windsor Masonic Lodge? We may never truly know. The Press Democrat featured a picture of the artwork, but it may be impossible to really know if the world-famous and ultra reclusive artist was in Sonoma county. {photo courtesy of the Press Democrat}

Sonoma County Pay Increase

The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors just may give some County employees an early Christmas gift, they will be voting on boosting the hourly rate for the lowest paid workers by 2.74%, bringing it to $17.25. The county adopted a living wage ordinance calling for annual reviews, but failed to do so after multiple wildfires and the pandemic. The vote should take place Tuesday night.

Gun and Drugs

A Jeep fishtailing out of control over Bicentennial Way in Santa Rosa on Saturday night led to the arrest of 3 men for possession of an unregistered gun, ammunition and drugs. Gabriel Torres and Michael McGuire of Windsor along with John Cast of Santa Rosa were all booked into jail.

Triple Threat

An uptick in flu, RSV and COVID cases are leading to more hospitalizations in the Bay Area and in Sonoma County. With Covid alone, we have 997 active cases as of Sunday with 43 people in the hospital. Nationwide at least 78,000 people have been hospitalized with the flu; 4,500 people have died. Doctors say with flu season here until early spring, the virus will keep spreading for at least three more months. So they are encouraging everyone to get a flu shot.

Diocese Bankruptcy

The Catholic Diocese of Santa Rosa announced over the weekend they are filing for bankruptcy protection. The church is facing more than 130 potential claims against it, having already paid out over $33 million in settlements. The diocese will now work with the court to evaluate any potential compensation for those that have come forward. The deadline to file a claim against the church is December 31st. {photo courtesy of Wikipedia}

Ripley's Closing

An iconic part of the Atlantic City Boardwalk is closing soon. The Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! museum will close on Dec. 31 after more than 26 years of tempting Boardwalk strollers with oddities including shrunken heads, mutant animals and models of unbelievably tall or short humans. Of course Robert Ripley was a Santa Rosa native, born in 1890, and is buried here as well, and yes, his tombstone does read... Ripley, believe it or not.

New Bomber

The United States' newest nuclear stealth bomber is making its public debut after years of secret development. The new bomber is part of the Pentagon’s answer to rising concerns over a future conflict with China. The B-21 Raider gets its name from the 1942 Doolittle Raid over Tokyo, led by Jimmy Doolittle who was born in Alameda, and is the first new American bomber aircraft built in more than 30 years. {photo courtesy of CNN}

Sebastopol Fire

Ten people are looking for a new place to stay after a fire destroyed one house and damaged three others in Sebastopol on Redwood Ave on Wednesday night. About 30 firefighters were needed to extinguish the blaze that also burned 4 cars. The fire caused an estimated $750,000 in damage and the cause is still under investigation. {photo courtesy of the Press Democrat}


Elon Musk's Neuralink company is seeking permission to test its brain implant in people soon. He said he thinks the company should be able to put the implant in a human brain as part of a clinical trial in about six months. Nuralink has many applications, from brain injuries, to potentially helping those who are paralyzed walk again. {photo courtesy of the Genetic Literacy Project}

Teacher Housing

The Sonoma County Office of Education is now in the housing business, as they have purchased a piece of property in Santa Rosa to build teacher housing. Spending $630,000 to acquire land on Juniper Ave, the plan is to build high-density housing that will include 60 rental units for teachers and other public employees.

Sonoma County Wine

A Sonoma county wine will be featured during a state dinner tonight at the White House. According to the Press Democrat, a 2019 Anakota Cabernet Sauvignon from Knights Valley will be poured. A 2018 Newton Chardonnay from Napa Valley and a Roederer Estate Brut Rosé from Mendocino also made the list.

World Aids Day

Today is World Aids Day. First recognized in 1988, World AIDS Day falls on December 1 each year. Today is dedicated to spreading awareness of the AIDS pandemic, and to mourning those who have died of the disease. An estimated 40 million people worldwide have died of AIDS since 1981.

Mobile Home Rent

The Santa Rosa City Council took the first steps last night to protect renters in mobile home parks with stronger rent control rules. The council will impose a stricter cap on how much rents can increase. The ordinance will have a final vote next week.

SF Robot Cops

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors by an 8 to 3 vote approved a plan to use potentially lethal, remote-controlled robots in emergency situations. The San Francisco Police Department was asking for the option to deploy robots equipped with explosive charges to disable suspects when lives are at stake. {photo courtesy of The Guardian}

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