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FLORENCE, Ore. (AP) — The state of Oregon has fined a Florence restaurant nearly $18,000 for willfully exposing workers to COVID-19 after an investigation in which officials say compliance officers were threatened.

The Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Administration on Tuesday announced the fine for The New Blue Hen, The Register-Guard reported.

The New Blue Hen, doing business as Little Brown Hen Café, had been allowing indoor dining since at least Dec. 26, a state investigation found.

“The business did so despite knowing it was violating a public health order limiting the capacity for indoor dining to zero in an ‘extreme risk’ county,” the state news release said.

The restaurant did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Complaints about the restaurant led to an inspection during which, “several people – including one carrying a firearm – blocked the business’ entrance and threatened compliance officers” on Jan. 4, according to the state.

The state assigned two compliance officers and both identified themselves during the inspection and asked to speak to the owner, the state said, at which point they were threatened.

The people at the entrance followed them to their cars shouting at them as they left, officials said.

Inspectors were able to give visual confirmation of indoor dining.

Michael Wood, administrator for Oregon OSHA, imposed the $17,800 penalty, which is twice the minimum penalty for a willful violation to reflect “the need to ensure a more appropriate deterrent effect where employers insist on disregarding public health measures.”

The restaurant has 30 days to appeal.

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Gavin Newsom Posts TikTok Video of Him and George Lopez Inside Off-Limits Restaurant

Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-CA) is facing backlash after he posted a video on TikTok telling people how to get vaccinated against the coronavirus while standing inside a restaurant that is off limits to everyone else in the California city of Fresno.

The video shows Newsom and celebrity chef George Lopez, both wearing masks, in an exchange about coronavirus vaccinations. 

“How do I find out if I can get a vaccination?” Lopez asks looking into the camera.

Then, Newsom says:
“George you gotta go to”

“Wait a minute — thank you governor,” Lopez says.

“Wonderful to be of service George,” Newsom adds.

The video first appeared on Newsom’s TikTok account but spread to other social media platforms, including Twitter.

Here’s the video.

— Reopen California Schools (@ReopenCASchools) February 27, 2021

Fox News reported on backlash from the video and the response from the governor’s office:

California Gov. Gavin Newsom appeared indoors at a restaurant in a county where indoor dining is not allowed, but the governor’s office has said he did not dine at the restaurant.

He was there to meet with the restaurant’s owners, who received a relief grant, Newsom spokesperson Daniel Lopez told Fox News.

In early November, Newsom was spotted dining at the posh French Laundry in Napa for the birthday of a longtime adviser. Indoor dining was not open to the public in Napa. Newsom earned bitter backlash for the outing, which he later called “a mistake.”

“I need to preach and practice, not just preach,” Newsom said after apologizing for the hypocrisy coming from a governor that has inflicted some of the more severe restrictions in the name of not spreading the coronavirus.

As Breitbart News reported, former acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell took on Newsom, who faces a potential recall, and the D.C. political establishment during a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on Saturday.

Grenell has not yet decided if he will challenge Newsom in a potential special election, but his supporters, and those of former President Donald Trump, hope that will happen.

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