For developing a ground-breaking policy that allowed a newborn baby to have her mother’s milk even though mom was serving a jail sentence, the Sutter County Health and Human Services Department Public Health Division has received recognition from the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO).
Breastmilk contains antibodies that help a baby fight off viruses and bacteria. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which funds the WIC programs that provide healthy food, education, and assistance to new mothers through local public health departments, breastfeeding lowers a baby’s risk of certain infections and diseases, including ear infections, asthma, lower respiratory infections, diarrhea and vomiting, childhood obesity, eczema, type 2 diabetes, childhood leukemia, and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Research also indicates that moms who breastfeed have lower rates of certain breast and ovarian cancers, as well as Type 2 diabetes.
But when mom is in jail, a baby’s access to mother’s milk can be blocked, unless policies are in place to help the jail accommodate feedings.
There was no such policy in Sutter County three years ago when an incarcerated mother of a newborn baby made a request for assistance. Sutter County’s WIC program worked with the Sutter County Jail, the Sutter County Health Officer, Dr. Lou Ann Cummings, (now retired) and the California Breastfeeding Coalition, said Tina Lavy, Sutter County WIC Lactation Consultant.
The policy, which allows mothers to pump milk and establishes protocols for ensuring the milk is properly stored and handled until it is delivered to the responsible party caring for the infant, is being recognized by NACCHO as a 2019 Model Practice at its national conference in Orlando in July. The practice receiving the award is titled “Supporting Mothers in Jail - No Barriers to Breastfeeding While Incarcerated.” The award was one of five made to public health departments in California; 53 awards were made throughout the nation.
In 2018, then Governor Jerry Brown signed a law requiring all jails to develop policies allowing babies to have access to their incarcerated mother’s breastmilk. According to Lavy, advice and guidance on establishing similar policies is also being requested by jail and public health officials from counties throughout California.
Sutter County was one of five California counties hosting table top exercises to prepare local election officials across the state for potential attempts by cyber attack to interfere with upcoming elections. Early Thursday morning, Elections Official Donna Johnston (pictured) worked with County Information Technology staff, including Scott Hansen (pictured in picture) to set up webinar equipment that allowed U.S. Homeland Security officials to conduct a 4.5 hour tabletop exercise. The purpose of the exercise was to identify best practices and areas for improvement in cyber incident planning, identification, response, and recovery through simulation of a realistic scenario exploring impacts to voter confidence, voter operations, voting operations, and the integrity of elections. Officials from surrounding counties and the FBI participated in the tabletop exercise. Identical tabletop exercises were hosted by Fresno, Los Angeles, Shasta, and Orange counties.
Sutter County today was listed among the top employers in the nation by the business magazine Forbes, which surveyed 80,000 Americans and ranked 1,430 large employers.
In a feature called “America’s Best Employers By State,” Forbes ranked Sutter County 30th out of 194 California companies ranked, based on a survey of workers at businesses with at least 500 employees.
Among employers that are county governments, only San Diego County finished higher on the list, at 22. Only five other counties made the list. Riverside, San Francisco, Monterey, San Joaquin, and Sacramento counties all ranked behind Sutter County.
Sutter County Board of Supervisors Chairman Mat Conant was pleasantly surprised by the announcement. But he was not at a loss for words about the reason for it.
“Our employees make this a great place to work,” he said. “This is a community rich in agricultural production, not yet paved over like some other regions of the state. It’s a great place to live and a great place to work. It’s a great community with great people, who make great employees.”
Sutter County has approximately 950 employees. Conant said many people do not understand the multitude of functions and responsibilities at the County, including law enforcement and public protection, health and human services, agricultural services and consumer protection, environmental health, code enforcement, planning and building services, road and bridge construction and maintenance, elections, recording and archiving of public documents, tax collection and treasury investment, auditing, property assessments and assessment appeals, fleet maintenance, building maintenance, information technology. The list is a long one.
“Everything our employees touch impacts the public, and they understand what they do is important,” Conant said. “When you feel your job matters, it can have a positive impact on the way you feel about your employer.
“This recognition by Forbes is a humbling affirmation that Sutter County values its employees, and its employees value Sutter County and the work they do on behalf of the residents.”
Sutter County has a population of approximately 98,000. Agriculture has a $1.5 billion annual impact on the economy. Its top crops are rice, walnuts, prunes, peaches, and tomatoes.
To determine the list, Statista surveyed 80,000 Americans working for businesses with at least 500 employees. All the surveys were anonymous, allowing participants to openly share their opinions. The respondents were asked to rate, on a scale of zero to 10, how likely they’d be to recommend their employer to others. Statista then asked respondents to nominate organizations in industries outside their own. The number of businesses ranked in each state was dependent on two factors—the number of qualifying employers and the size of the state’s workforce—and those with operations in more than one state had the opportunity to be listed multiple times. The final list ranks the 1,430 employers that received the greatest number of recommendations in each of the 50 states as well as the District of Columbia.
Despite the failure of the State Legislature to pass a bill to increase local election campaign transparency, Sutter County Registrar of Voters Donna Johnston has ordered the addition of pages on the County’s website to meet some of the goals of legislation proposed by Assemblyman James Gallagher.
Earlier this year, the Sutter County Board of Supervisors signed on to formally support legislation by Gallagher to require online posting of campaign finance documents.
The legislation, Assembly Bill 322, stalled in the Assembly Appropriations Committee earlier this year, but will be taken up by the Committee in 2020.
Sutter County Elections staff has added Campaign Finance information to their website in support of Gallagher’s bill.
Sutter County Elections has created an additional webpage with uploaded campaign statements for the 2020 election cycle contests.
These include the Board of Supervisor contests for Districts 1, 3 and 5.
Additional campaign statement filings will be added for future election filings.
Sutter County Registrar of Voters Donna Johnston stated that this is an important project for the department as it expands election related information to the public.
The link to the webpage can be found at https://www.suttercounty.org/doc/government/depts/cr/elections/cr_elections_home under the Campaign Finance Information section.
"I commend Donna Johnston and her team in making campaign finance documents more readily available to the public online," said Gallagher. "In the State Legislature, I will continue to work with Sutter County and all stakeholders to further promote transparency in the election process."
Sutter County’s Fire Chief, John Shalowitz, has declared the West Butte Fire 100% contained. Sutter County received support from Colusa, Butte, Cal Fire, Sac Metro Fire and Yuba City.
Sutter County Fire Department will continue to monitor the area of the fire. Smoke can be seen in some spots, but are well within the containment lines.
June 08, 2019
Fire crews from 6 departments (Butte Co., Cal-Fire, Sutter Co., Colusa Co., Yuba City and Sac Metro) are currently battling a 900 acre grass fire in the 9800 block of West Butte Rd. There are currently no structures threatened and no evacuation orders are being issued. Crews are making good progress and are expected to be working through the night. Please avoid the area, to reduce traffic congestion for emergency vehicles.