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Plus: It’s not too late to submit your California ballot, and if Joe Biden wins the White House, who will Governor Gavin Newsom choose to replace Sen. Kamala Harris?

Friday Fun! Are you ready for Halloween? I’m Winston Gieseke, charity editor and specials for The Desert Sun, and to me, for most of the year it’s been like Halloween. After all, I have been wearing a mask and eating sweets for the past eight months. But that won’t stop me from bringing you the latest in our splendor.

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California EDD director resigns

If you are one of those people are still waiting to get your California jobless claim processed – earlier this month there were reports that more than 1.6 million claims were backlog – you might see some changes as a new sheriff is coming. at the state Employment Development Department.

Sharon Hilliard, who was appointed director of the organization in February, resigned, according to a report on Friday by KCRA 3 Investigates.

“It has been my privilege to be part of the Employment Development team since the day I entered the EDD building more than 37 years ago,” Hilliard said from a memo cited by the station. “I was 19 years old at the time, and looking back I can’t imagine how fortunate it would be to work with so many dedicated, qualified and professional people who are determined to provide the best services possible. Californians. With a heavy heart, I announced my retirement on December 31, 2020.

In addition to the backlog, the entangled department experienced a massive amount of fraud during the COVID-19 outbreak, and a number of state lawmakers have urged Hilliard to resign for months.

Nearly 12,000 Californians could become homeless again

Project Roomkey is a state program It has sheltered thousands of homeless in hotels during the coronavirus pandemic. Governor Gavin Newsom kicked off the project in April, and as a result more than 28,000 people – 17% of the state’s homeless population – received a $ 150 million programmed shelter, deployed in virtually every town. all 58 counties of the state.

But some counties have ended programs, leaving customers nowhere to go. And on December 30th, statewide funding will end, forcing many others to completely close their programs or provide more funding to allow people to stay longer.

Statewide, only 5% of Roomkey customers find permanent homes, according to an analysis by The Desert Sun. And among Roomkey’s Riverside County clients, 43% – about 375 people – remained in one of the many hotel units scattered across the state’s fourth most populous district, while 29% were back in status. homeless, an emergency shelter or unable to be monitored.

A follow-up state initiative called Project Homekey aims to renovate old hotels and motels into affordable apartments, but not all counties receive funding. Among them, some counties report that they expect to offer affordable living by the end of the year, while others say their Homekey projects won’t be ready to stay until mid-2021 or even later. Riverside County’s largest project for everyone, including those currently in hotel rooms, won’t open until May 2023.

That means nearly 12,000 people, mainly concentrated in California’s largest counties, are once again facing the possibility of a return to homelessness in the midst of the pandemic.

Is it too late to mail in your California ballot?

In four days, Election Day will come for us, and some are worried about the postal service’s ability to deliver voter ballots to county election administrators on time. But Ben Christopher, writing for Cal Matters, reports that election regulators and legal experts say California voters have less to worry about.

This summer, state lawmakers passed the law to introduce any postmarked ballot 17 days before the end of the 17-day vote to find its way from voters’ mailboxes to county administrators. . This is meant to ensure that even the most catastrophic of the postal snafus will not deprive voters of mailing rights.

However, if voters want to be extra vigilant, they can always bring their ballot directly to the post office or put it in a county-managed ballot box or a voting center.

So far, more than 8.7 million ballots have been returned – nearly 60% of all votes in the 2016 presidential election in California.

And don’t forget: You can still vote on Election Day in person, even without a mask, but you’ll have more limited options as most counties run fewer polling centers than with previous elections.

Seven Riverside County firefighters tested positive for COVID-19; up to 80 are quarantined

Seven Cal Fire firefighters from Riverside County There have been positive results for the past few months for COVID-19 and about 80 others have been or are in quarantine, fire officials said this week.

However, this entire group comprises only about 10% of the district fire force. No terminals are closed and there is no impact on service.

Out of seven people who tested positive, only one had mild symptoms; the others had no symptoms, said Cal Fire’s Captain Jesse Dofelmire.

It is believed that cases may have occurred as early as June and are not linked to a single source. Regular firefighters are at risk of exposure to COVID-19 because they are frequent first responders in contact with members of the public.

As of Thursday, about 24 firefighters remain quarantined, though their stations and cities have not been disclosed to protect their privacy.

There have been a total of 67,552 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Riverside County and 1,306 deaths there attributed to the disease as of Thursday. About 60,490 people have recovered from the disease.

Newsom’s kids go back to private school in California

Governor Gavin Newsom said on Friday that his four children, ages 4 to 11, are returning to the classroom taking a “phased approach” to face-to-face learning, Politico reports.

Currently, many schools across California remain closed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, including most of the public schools in Sacramento County, where the governor lives.

Newsom’s kids attend an unknown private school in Sacramento County that has a schedule of blending distance education and on-site education. It is expected to return full-time next month.

“We fully believe that the socially emotional learning that happens in the classroom is the best place for our children, certainly the best place for their parents,” Newsom said. “And so we have a full responsibility to do everything in our power to support our counties so they can reopen safely, insisting on reopening safely. full. “

Newsom’s vote, the joke about choosing a successor to Kamala Harris

In other Newsom news, The governor is one of more than 8 million Californians who have voted this year, a figure Newsom calls “remarkable.”

Sacramento Bee reported that while voting on Thursday, Newsom clashed with Sacramento Kings player Harrison Barnes. The Governor said Barnes was only talking about the only person he talked to recently who didn’t propose who would replace Kamala Harris in the Senate if she was elected vice president.

“About everyone else I meet has a strong opinion,” Newsom said. “I haven’t even handled that decision myself because we’ll have to make it after Election Day, whether it’s an option or not.”

Politico says at least a dozen California Democrats are getting serious in the mix – with Secretary Alex Padilla presumably at the top – and their supporters, sponsors and staff are jostling for give their case. When a Senate seat opens in California, the governor can appoint a substitute without calling a special election. Newsom’s Choice will serve the remaining two years of Harris’s term.

That’s all, friends. Have a safe and informative weekend! And don’t forget to set the clock back an hour before going to bed on Saturday.

In California there was a flurry of news from all over the newsrooms of the USA Today network. Also contributed: KCRA 3, Politico, Ong Sacramento.

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