- October 11, 2021
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Hello! I’m Marie McCain, one of the Press Democrat’s local news editors. Here’s hoping you’re having a relaxing Sunday evening and are able to get some rest ahead of what will likely be a busy week.
It’s definitely been a busy, newsy weekend in Sonoma County and its neighboring regions.
The latest installment in an exclusive Press Democrat investigative series about the dismissal of a popular teacher at the prestigious Sonoma Academy tops our list of local news stories you should read this weekend.
Sonoma Academy graduates known years ago as ‘Marco’s Girls’ spotlight teacher’s sexual harassment, school inaction
Seven women who graduated from Sonoma Academy have stepped forward and publicly accused Marco Morrone, a popular humanities teacher, of sexual harassment of female students from 2007 to 2014. Morrone, they said, exploited the feelings many of them as 16- and 17-year-olds had for him as an instructor and mentor. Now, a dozen or more years after their graduation, as women in their 20s and early 30s, they regard his treatment of them as nothing short of sexual grooming.
Friends rally to help a beloved outdoorsman after fire destroys his Santa Rosa log home
After losing his home in a fire on Monday, Billy Gianquint’s friends have come forward to offer support and condolences to a homeowner they hardly consider an average Sonoma County resident. Gianquinto is a renowned duck caller, former NCAA basketball referee and host of outdoor cable programs including “Ducks with Billy & Buck” and “The Outdoor Gazette.” In 2011, he was inducted into the California Outdoors Hall of Fame and lauded for, among other things, teaching youth about outdoor activities.
Santa Rosa man ravaged by COVID spent 5 weeks in coma and survived
Dennis Stankovic woke up in a hospital room in northeast Georgia after five weeks in a medically-induced coma. His kidneys had shut down. He had internal bleeding, blood clots in his legs, and pneumonia. His right lung had collapsed. He had ulcers, bedsores, and a septic infection. At one point his temperature was up to 105. So it might seem odd that in the months since he awakened, he’s come to regard that 35-day stare-down with death as “the best thing that ever happened to me.”
Armstrong Redwoods reopening delayed until late July due to post-fire tree removal
It will now be at least late July before the park near Guerneville can admit visitors because the front parking lot is needed as a helicopter landing zone to aid the removal of more than 1,000 burned and hazardous trees from up the hill — above the valley floor and the famed, old-growth redwood grove that park managers were preparing to reopen for the first time since the Walbridge fire ravaged the area last year.
Prune Packers baseball and Rec Park squeeze fun, good baseball and old friends into the storied stands
It’s been dubbed “the sweetest little ballpark in Northern California.” Healdsburg’s Rec Park is the stadium where the wood beneath your bum is more than 100 years old, where foul balls threaten to dent any car parked on Piper Street and top-level college players off for the summer swing wooden bats. Opening day June 8 marked 100 years of Prune Packer baseball in the park.
Santa Rosa police ‘set officers up to fail’ with projectiles fired during George Floyd protest, investigation finds
Flawed decisions to purchase rubber bullets — controversial in their own right — as well as similar-looking rounds for puncturing barricades collided with an aggressive police response to protests over police brutality, racism and the death of George Floyd last May, leading to the permanent injury of a protester in Santa Rosa.
Two teens dead following devastating Rohnert Park crash
“This is one of the worst crashes I’ve ever seen,” Rohnert Park police Deputy Chief Aaron Johnson said Sunday night. “The vehicle was torn to pieces.” Authorities believe speed may have been a factor in the crash, which closed the roadway for more than three hours while the incident was investigated. The driver, a 17-year-old girl, and passenger, a 16-year-old girl, both suffered major injuries and died at the scene.
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