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An unprovoked attack and a real estate frenzy: Must-read weekend stories from Sonoma County

Happy Sunday! I’m Marie McCain, one of the Press Democrat’s local news editors.

We know you do a lot with your weekends and time can be at a premium. So, to make things easier, we’ve put together a list of stories you’re going to want to read this weekend.

Here they are:

Sonoma County Jail inmates wait for transfer to the North County Detention Facility. (Press Democrat file photo)
Sonoma County Jail inmates wait for transfer to the North County Detention Facility. (Press Democrat file photo)

Civil grand jury questions steep prices for Sonoma County Jail phone calls: A Sonoma County civil grand jury investigation has found that the price the Sheriff’s Office places on calls from the jail — where inmates often are awaiting trial and haven’t been convicted of any crimes — far outstrips prices in state and federal prisons.

The report, which one Sonoma County supervisor called “shocking,” was released last month and calls for the supervisors and Sheriff’s Office to reform the system, which charges inmates more than 20 cents a minute for calls.

Frankie Boots and the County Line. (Press Democrat file photo)
Frankie Boots and the County Line. (Press Democrat file photo)

Musicians say they were attacked at Penngrove tavern: Three local musicians who say they were attacked in an unprovoked assault outside a Penngrove bar where they were playing music on July 15, also say the sole employee working at the tavern sided with their assailants.

The alleged attack has sparked outrage on social media, and spurred Twin Oaks Roadhouse, which is owned by HopMonk Taverns, to issue a public statement.

Carlos Arrendondo arrives for his appointment to get vaccinated, as banners advertise the availability of the Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines at a county-run vaccination site at the Eugene A. Obregon Park in Los Angeles Thursday, July 22, 2021. The top health official in Los Angeles County on Thursday implored residents to get vaccinated as the region experiences a coronavirus surge similar to last summer's.  (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
Carlos Arrendondo arrives for his appointment to get vaccinated, as banners advertise the availability of the Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines at a county-run vaccination site at the Eugene A. Obregon Park in Los Angeles Thursday, July 22, 2021. The top health official in Los Angeles County on Thursday implored residents to get vaccinated as the region experiences a coronavirus surge similar to last summer's. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

Delta variant leads to rapid rise of hospitalizations in Sonoma County: The highly infectious and more transmissible delta variant — the most dominant COVID-19 strain in the United States — is spreading rapidly countywide, mostly among unvaccinated residents.

There are more than 45 new daily infections and the average number of COVID-19 hospital patients countywide has increased to 42 since the July 4 holiday weekend. On Friday, the county topped 1,000 active cases for the first time since March, when only about a quarter of residents 16 and older were fully vaccinated, according to its COVID-19 data portal.

An unfinished stairway leads to the second floor of John and Angela Ghigliazza's home, Friday, July 16, 2021. The home was razed by the 2017 Tubbs fire as it swept through their Wikiup area neighborhood. Now the couple is in a dispute with their general contractor, American Pacific Builders. Because the house is unlivable, the couple resides in Rio Nido for now.  (Kent Porter / The Press Democrat)
An unfinished stairway leads to the second floor of John and Angela Ghigliazza's home, Friday, July 16, 2021. The home was razed by the 2017 Tubbs fire as it swept through their Wikiup area neighborhood. Now the couple is in a dispute with their general contractor, American Pacific Builders. Because the house is unlivable, the couple resides in Rio Nido for now. (Kent Porter / The Press Democrat)

‘Like being held hostage’: Tubbs fire survivors now battling their Santa Rosa contractor: The Ghigliazzas were among more than a dozen families and homeowners, all disgruntled American Pacific Builders clients, who met in Coffey Park on June 22 to compare notes, discuss strategies and share stories about the contractor — like the one about the customer who became so frustrated by her inability to get a phone call returned that she dropped by the company’s offices, where APB called police to have her removed.

Since then, The Press Democrat has talked to 14 unhappy APB clients. Most — unlike the Ghigliazzas — have moved into their houses. Their challenge now, they said, is to persuade the builder to finish the job, to tackle punchlist items and warranty work, which in many cases has languished for more than 12 months even though APB is contractually obligated to take care of it within a year.

Ariel and David Beauhaire play with their son Akiva, 22 months, the front porch of their Petaluma rental home on Friday, June 11, 2021. The couple have made four recent offers on homes in west Petaluma and Penngrove to no avail. (John Burgess/The Press Democrat)
Ariel and David Beauhaire play with their son Akiva, 22 months, the front porch of their Petaluma rental home on Friday, June 11, 2021. The couple have made four recent offers on homes in west Petaluma and Penngrove to no avail. (John Burgess/The Press Democrat)

Sonoma County’s booming housing market sets another median price record: The median sale price of a single-family home in Sonoma County reached a record of $825,000 in June, signaling a continued frenzy in the housing market emerging from the pandemic that has exacerbated affordability for middle-class families striving to become homeowners.

Residential real estate sales are being driven by a dramatic increase in the number of houses selling in the highest price ranges with outside buyers in many cases paying cash for properties, said Rick Laws, a regional vice president at Compass real estate brokerage in Santa Rosa who compiles monthly county housing reports.

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