J.D Morris - Staff Reporter

J.D. Morris is a staff reporter at The Press Democrat


The Latest Stories By J.D Morris

The only contested county-level races on the June ballot will be among the candidates running for sheriff, clerk and district attorney.
Critics want the Board of Supervisors to restrict commercial cultivation to industrial zones and to stop issuing commercial growing permits.
Christopher Godley brings to his new assignment as Sonoma County’s interim emergency manager several decades of related experience.
Funding options for the Santa Rosa Plain, Sonoma Valley and Petaluma Valley agencies include charges on groundwater use or wells, as well as potential new levies by parcel or acreage.
Christopher Helgren was moved from his post as emergency services manager before an unflattering state review and after significant public blowback.
James Gore is participating as chair of a national association’s Resilient Counties Advisory Board, which works to help counties prepare themselves to better withstand future natural disasters.
A small team of workers is setting up the forms for the foundation of a Larkfield Estates home, signaling the slow but steady rebuilding effort progressing in the unincorporated community north of Santa Rosa.
‘We’re still not sufficiently visible,’ said Renata Moreira, executive director of Our Family Coalition, in a keynote talk.
'All my life I placed my faith in the professionals — you guys rock,' said Supervisor Susan Gorin, who lost her own home in the October fires, after hearing a presentation from a top county emergency official. 'And to tell you that I am horribly disappointed is an understatement.'
The race for the Sonoma County clerk-recorder-assessor and registrar of voters post now features three candidates, all of them currently working in the office.
'Plaintiffs failed to use and exercise ... the proper care and precautions which a reasonable prudent person under the same or similar circumstances would have exercised,' attorneys wrote in their Feb. 20 response to the lawsuit.
County leaders now say they’d rather send too many warning messages than too few during future emergencies. 'We need to use every notification tool available to us,' said Supervisor Lynda Hopkins.
A onetime influx of $2 million from the state will mean more than 32 jobs in county behavioral health division will be saved, for now.
'The County would benefit from additional training, exercises and awareness, with emphasis on coordinated communications and more preparation and analysis associated with these rapidly evolving evacuation scenarios,' the review said.
The screening came during the annual Day of Remembrance marking FDR’s order of internment camps for Japanese-Americans.
Residents of the makeshift camps behind the Dollar Tree in Roseland face a March 23 deadline to move out.
Poor emergency communication by Sonoma County in October’s firestorm endangered lives, Board of Supervisors Chairman James Gore said Thursday.
Four months after the wildfire tore apart their Santa Rosa neighborhoods, residents say the fire has brought them together.
'They were caught short. And they... weren’t as prepared as they needed to be,' California’s top emergency official said of Sonoma County’s response to the firestorm.
The calls are an effort by the utility to give customers a chance to ask questions about their bills or other aspects of the rebuilding process.
Use of control burns, expanded monitoring for slides and floods conditions and tighter regulation of brush control are all on the table for the county.
Unions representing county workers sought a 2 percent pay raise and a one-year extension of current contracts, which expire this year. The county says it is the wrong time to boost pay because it hasn’t determined the budget impacts of the fires.
Santa Rosa resident Robert Percy, who lost his eye in the wake of the fires, is among numerous fire survivors struggling to get help from FEMA.
At the Sonoma County Alliance this week, Gina Belforte introduced herself as a candidate for the supervisor seat currently held by Shirlee Zane.
Voters could be asked to approve a housing bond to speed reconstruction, Sonoma County and Santa Rosa could combine campuses and free up land, and other lofty housing ideas floated Tuesday.