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Former state Sen. Pat Wiggins dies at 73

Former North Coast state Sen. Pat Wiggins died early Thursday after a long illness, and tributes poured in from friends and public officials for the Democrat who had a 14-year career in politics. She was 73.

Rep. Mike Thompson pushes gun background-check legislation

In a move laden with election-year political implications, Rep. Mike Thompson announced Tuesday that he has more than 100 co-sponsors for a bill to expand background checks on gun buyers.

Mike Thompson, Jared Huffman raised millions in race for Congress

Veteran Rep. Mike Thompson and House newcomer Jared Huffman both cracked the million-dollar mark in last year’s campaign and are regarded as formidable North Coast political fundraisers. But compared to their colleagues on Capitol Hill, the two Democrats were in middle of the pack in the 2012 money race in which 439 House winners, including six delegates, raised nearly $742 million.

Local effects of federal budget cuts still unknown

Local government officials are scrambling to assess the impact — still largely unknown — of the $85 billion in federal spending cuts due to begin taking effect Friday.

‘Sequester’ could close Sonoma County airport control tower

The air traffic control tower at Sonoma County’s regional airport may be shut down if the nation’s elected leaders can’t reach a budget deal by Friday, a scenario some fear could limit commercial passenger flights in and out of Santa Rosa or halt them entirely.

Rep. Mike Thompson’s gun violence panel backs assault-weapons ban

Rep. Mike Thompson, D-St. Helena, on Thursday released a set of 15 policy recommendations on preventing gun violence, including a federal ban on assault weapons and background checks for most gun buyers, as well as proposals regarding mental health, school safety and media portrayals of violence.

Sonoma County laments plan to end Saturday mail

Across the nation Wednesday, people absorbed the news that the Postal Service plans to stop delivering mail on Saturdays as a cost-savings measure. The change will take effect in August.

Santa Rosa council supports federal assault weapons ban

The day after the Petaluma City Council expressed support for the federal assault weapons ban, the Santa Rosa City Council fired off two letters supporting efforts by Sen. Diane Feinstein and Congressman Mike Thompson to curb gun violence. Both letters referenced the December school shooting in Newtown, Conn., where 20 children and 6 adults were killed by a gunman using an assault-style rifle.

Overflow Santa Rosa crowd divided over adding gun controls

Madeleine Melo of Fort Bragg, widow of the North Coast’s most prominent recent victim of gun violence, spoke out Thursday night in defense of gun ownership at a public forum convened by Rep. Mike Thompson.

Rep. Thompson hosts forum on gun violence in Santa Rosa Thursday

Rep. Mike Thompson said the public forum on gun violence prevention that he is hosting Thursday in Santa Rosa will be a wide-ranging discussion of the divisive issue rekindled by last month’s tragedy in Connecticut.

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