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California Veteran of the Year: Living the creed

VFW 1381 Post Cmdr. Jerry Johnson is the recipient of the 2015 California Veteran of the Year Award. Del Norte Triplicate / Bryant Anderson
“Semper fi, brother,” VFW Cmdr Johnny Johnson said, after recounting his time as a Marine, the storm that blew him into Crescent City, his California Veteran of the Year Award and his commitment to helping veterans and the homeless in Del Norte County.

Semper fidelis, Johnson’s salutation and the solemn creed of every Marine. It means simply: “always faithful.” The way Johnson says it, with his easy North Carolina drawl, it sounds like it’s coming straight from his heart and you can tell he means it. According to those closest to him, he lives the sentiment in its purest form.

“I’ll tell you what,” said VFW Auxiliary Cmdr Lindell Scarbrough. “He is so gung-ho for our post. But it’s vets in general. Jerry is down here seven days a week and they know that if they need him they can call him in the middle of the night. Jerry works with everyone in the community and the county, and the state, trying to help all of the homeless. That’s why we keep electing him commander.”

Driver of car in river identified

Body of Grants Pass woman, 19, retrieved on Sat. 

The victim killed when her car left U.S. 199 and plunged into the Smith River near Gasquet on Thursday has been identified as Montgomery Shine Sophia Green, 19, of Grants Pass.

Crews were unable to get her car out because of the weather. They continued on Saturday and recovered the body.

Police said Green’s northbound Buick Regal veered off of U.S. 199 shortly before noon Thursday and crashed into the Smith River. The crash was within about an eighth of a mile from a similar crash that killed two others last December.

Coast Guard 'copter: On science mission, not rescue mission

A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter seen hovering over Castle Rock on Saturday wasn’t fetching a pair of sodden, shipwrecked kayakers. It was delivering a pair of bird surveyors to do a few hours’ work.

“It wasn’t a rescue,” said Lt. J.J. Briggs, in command of the mission that afternoon.

Every couple of years, U.S. Fish and Wildlife scientists must change out the equipment they use to monitor the cliffs that are home to several hundreds of thousands of seabirds in a year.

Weekend's warm weather set record

Crescent City reached new heights on Sunday with piping 73-degree weather. The previous record, set in 1954, was broken by a single degree.

Peaking at 67 degrees, Monday was warm as well, and just shy of meeting 1950’s long-held record of 69.

Emergency dispatch call logs, April 14-18, 2016

Excerpts from the Del Norte County emergency dispatch call logs, April 14-18:

Thursday, April 14

At 7:48 a.m., caller on the 100 block of Knutsen Lane in Smith River reports that someone stole some items from his unlocked vehicle.

At 8:02 a.m., caller on the 800 block of Third St., requests removal of a transient subject sleeping near the dumpster in the alley way.

At 8:37 a.m., caller on Leif Circle reports a subject walking around in the park taking recycling out of recycling bins.

At 9:24 a.m., caller on the 1200 block of McNamara Road reports that a customer had their storage shed broken into.

Veterans monument: Donations welcome

Mayor Pro Tem Blake Inscore challenges those in attendance to match his donation of $500 toward the Point of Honor veterans monument at the corner of Front Street and U.S. 101.
Local dignitaries and Sen. Mike McGuire proclaimed the beginning of the fundraising phase of the Point of Honor monument Friday and thanked the many people involved in bringing the project to a pivotal point.

The future 5,000 square foot monument will anchor the corner of Front Street and  U.S. 101.

From a podium set up in the grass of the future site, Kelly Schellong opened the event and welcomed all in attendance.

“The most important dignitaries are the veterans that are here,” Schellong said.

Weather suspends recovery of another car in river

Read more... Responders are hoping to proceed today with recovery efforts for a car that crashed into the Smith River Thursday morning.

Initial attempts to pull the car from the river were suspended late Thursday afternoon due to swift currents and a rising water level. At least one person is presumed dead.

At 11:25 a.m. April 14, a caller reported seeing a car sinking into the water near mile marker 10.50 of U.S. 199, just north of Hiouchi and within an eighth of a mile of the location where two Crescent City men died when their van plunged into the river late last year.

CCPD staff crisis looms

The Crescent City Police Department is scrambling to cope with what the police officer’s union calls a near-crisis level staff shortage in coming weeks as officers leave for better-paying jobs with other agencies.

Effective April 30, Crescent City police will lose one sergeant to the Del Norte District Attorney’s Office and a senior officer to the Del Norte Sheriff’s Office (DNSO). Both individuals accepted positions with the other agencies earlier this year and submitted their notice Friday, according to Chief Ivan Minsal.

“It’s going to be a little tight. The wages and benefits aren’t real attractive when you compare them to other communities when it comes to law enforcement,” said Minsal. “Our city council is understanding the problem and they are working toward trying to fix this, trying to get us back into some kind of competitive market so we can attract people who want to come to Crescent City.”

Missing Alder inmate caught

The inmate who walked out of Alder Conservation Camp in Klamath on Monday evening was apprehended Thursday morning in Oakland, according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR).

Darius Louis, 19, was in custody since June 2015 for a Lake County grand theft and was originally set for release in March 2020. He served on an inmate firefighting crew at Alder Camp, a minimum-security prison.

Louis was last seen April 11 at 9 p.m. and determined to be missing less than two hours later. A notification was dispatched to officers statewide, according to Lt. Aaron Yderraga, a CDCR spokesman.

Sen. McGuire details his priorities for North Coast

California Sen. Mike McGuire speak at a site dedication for a veterans monument during his visit to Del Norte on Friday. Del Norte Triplicate / Bryant Anderson
During a three-day visit to Del Norte County, State Sen. Mike McGuire stressed that when it comes to state matters a “one size fits all approach” doesn’t work for the North Coast.

Here’s what he had to say during an interview with the Triplicate about some of the region’s big ticket issues:



To address the economic hardship that’s been staring rural counties like Del Norte in the face since long before the recession, McGuire said, “We have to start upstream. What I mean by that is we actually have to fund public education to its full potential. If we don’t start investing in people while they’re young, we’re robbing individuals of their livelihood.

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