When are masks required?

When are masks required?

Rebecca Neipp

A week after Gov. Gavin Newsom mandated that Californians wear masks or cloth face coverings outside their homes, many residents are still expressing confusion about who is exempt, and what the consequences are for noncompliance. Statewide, law enforcement agencies have embraced positions that range from . . . Read Full Story >>

Budget includes $9 bill. increase in taxes

Budget includes $9 bill. increase in taxes

Rebecca Neipp

The California Legislature voted Monday, mostly along party lines, to adopt a budget package that relies in part on a $9 billion increase in taxpayer obligations to cover a projected $54 billion deficit. Although the legislators met the constitutional deadline of passing a budget by . . . Read Full Story >>

County accepting  applications for  forgivable loans

County accepting applications for forgivable loans

Kern County announced Tuesday that they are now accepting applications for “Kern Recovers” — a program to issue $25 million in forgivable loans to small businesses that have experienced hardship from COVID-19 closures and other safety measures. “We recognize that our local small businesses have . . . Read Full Story >>

Salons, churches begin to re-open

Salons, churches begin to re-open

Rebecca Neipp

Salons, churches and day cares are the latest operations that have been granted permission to resume — so long as regional variance has already been granted and state guidelines are adhered to. On Tuesday, Gov. Gavin Newsom held a press conference updating Californians on the . . . Read Full Story >>

Kern OKs $25m in relief funds

Kern OKs $25m in relief funds

Rebecca Neipp

While the federal government approved $2 trillion in coronavirus relief funds in March, many small businesses did not qualify for the Payment Protection Program and other available resources. But on Tuesday, the Kern County Board of Supervisors approved $25 million to help local proprietors left . . . Read Full Story >>

Pandemic yields historic state budget deficit

Pandemic yields historic state budget deficit

Rebecca Neipp

California is facing the highest unemployment rate and the largest budget deficit since the Great Depression — and it could get worse, as financial hardship associated with COVID-19 continues on an unknown timeline. The historic crash comes on the heels of a high-flying economy, which . . . Read Full Story >>

Newsom grants tax extension

After numerous discussions with State Board of Equalization leaders, business groups and others, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced last week that he is granting extensions and making payment plans available to qualifying property taxpayers. The governor issued two executive orders, the first of which allows homeowners . . . Read Full Story >>

County adds more detail to COVID-19 dashboard

Rebecca Neipp

Officials of Kern County Public Health Department have once again added more layers of detail in their reports for COVID-19 results. The new dashboard unveiled Monday now includes breakdowns by race, gender and zip code. The Kern County Board of Supervisors directed county counsel to . . . Read Full Story >>

Supervisors adopt actions to posture for reopening

Supervisors adopt actions to posture for reopening

Rebecca Neipp

Following Gov. Gavin Newsom’s pledge to begin re-opening sectors of the economy Friday (related story: www.news-ridgecrest.com/news/story.pl?id=0000011370), the Kern County Board of Supervisors approved a multi-point resolution that would allow them to transition into the next stage of COVID-19 restrictions as smoothly as possible. Preparations are . . . Read Full Story >>

Re-opening begins Friday

Re-opening begins Friday

Rebecca Neipp

Based on promises made by Gov. Gavin Newsom during a Monday press conference, restrictions on “non-essential” operations will be relaxed for eligible regions and sectors, beginning today. Newsom outlined last week a four-stage plan, which will be subsequently broken into phases for each stage, that . . . Read Full Story >>

‘Everything remains the same’

‘Everything remains the same’

Rebecca Neipp

Officials of Kern County Public Health Department clarified during a Monday press conference that their weekend announcement of a rescinded order does not change adherence to or enforcements of the Gov. Gavin Newsom’s stay-at-home directives. KCPHD Communications Director Michelle Corson noted that it only cleared . . . Read Full Story >>

IYK gets $11 million to fix runway

IYK gets $11 million to fix runway

Rebecca Neipp

Inyokern Airport received word this week that it has been awarded $11 million in funds to reconstruct one of the runways damaged in last year’s earthquake sequence. The grant will be funded through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Airport Improvement Program, along with appropriations under . . . Read Full Story >>

‘We are weeks, not months, away’

‘We are weeks, not months, away’

Rebecca Neipp

Gov. Gavin Newsom held another press conference this week — not for the anticipated update on relaxing social distancing restrictions, but chastising beachgoers photographed on Golden State beaches this weekend. He began by thanking the 40 million Californians who, through their precautions to reduce the . . . Read Full Story >>

County officials warns of looming fiscal threats

County officials warns of looming fiscal threats

Rebecca Neipp

Unprecedented plunges in crude oil, along with ongoing economic uncertainty during the global COVID-19 pandemic, herald another grim budget cycle for Kern County — which just recovered from the devastating oil crash of 2015. For decades the county has enjoyed robust revenues drawn from property . . . Read Full Story >>

State legislators promote recovery

State legislators promote recovery

State legislators representing the Indian Wells Valley spoke out this week over California’s response to the COVID-19 crisis, each urging the administration to keep the workforce and taxpayers in mind during the period of economic recovery. Senate Republican Leader Shannon Grove was appointed to the . . . Read Full Story >>

Governor hints at relaxing restrictions

Governor hints at relaxing restrictions

Rebecca Neipp

“Through extraordinary behavior from millions of you, because you have practiced physical distancing and stay-at-home orders, you have bent the curve in the state of California,” Gov. Gavin Newsom said in a noon press conference. He said that because of collaborative efforts of Californians, the . . . Read Full Story >>

COVID-19 stimulus: Where is it?  Who gets it?

COVID-19 stimulus: Where is it?  Who gets it?

Rebecca Neipp

This week, residents reported that their stimulus checks — for up to $1,200 per eligible adult and $500 per eligible child — began arriving in the mail. Meanwhile, small business owners say that they are still awaiting their share of the $2 trillion COVID-19 package . . . Read Full Story >>

Grove comments on state COVID-19 funding proposal

Grove comments on state COVID-19 funding proposal

State Senate Republican Leader Shannon Grove recently commented on the importance of Special Budget Subcommittee oversight on COVID-19 spending. Last month, Senate Republican Leader Grove and members of the California Senate Republican Caucus voted in support of Senate Bill 89. This legislation has committed $500 . . . Read Full Story >>

Congress passes  $2 trillion in aid

Congress passes $2 trillion in aid

Rebecca Neipp

A historic $2 trillion package was passed by congress and signed by the president last week in an attempt to bring relief to communities, businesses and families impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. At press time, the U.S. saw coronavirus cases ballon up above 240,000, giving . . . Read Full Story >>

Elected officials scramble  for COVID-19 aid

Elected officials scramble for COVID-19 aid

Rebecca Neipp

Elected officials at every level of government are in the process of negotiating relief for communities suffering from negative impacts of the COVID-19 epidemic. But when it will come, who will qualify, and what it will look like remains largely undefined. While healthcare officials brace . . . Read Full Story >>