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Updated 7:05pm - Mar 31, 2015

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Heavy rain, high winds to hit DN

Eight to nine inches of rain and high winds between 20 and 30 mph are forecast for Del Norte and the surrounding area over the next few days, according to the National Weather Service in Eureka, and residents are advised to watch out for flooding.

The rain and winds will hit over four episodes, NWS Science Officer Mel Nordquist said, from Wednesday evening  until at least Sunday afternoon, with the heaviest episode — bringing about 4–5 inches — predicted for Thursday night and Friday morning. 

Energy assistance returns for seniors

The Del Norte Senior Center will welcome back a portion of the Department of Health and Human Service’s Low Income Energy Assistance Program come March, four years after the program was suspended entirely for misuse of funds.  

Senior Center doors will be open to low-income residents looking for help paying their utility bills, as the program is shifted back in increments from Redwood Community Action Agency, a nonprofit based in Eureka that took on program administration in Del Norte County when the senior center was deemed unfit to house it in 2011. 

Vendor call for antique, craft fair

The VFW Ladies Auxiliary is seeking vendors for a craft and antique craft fair that will be held March 7 at the Veterans Hall.

The table fee is $20 and the deadline to reserve a space is Feb. 28.

Trusting the Rope

Del Norte County Search and Rescue team leader Tom Cabrera communicates from the edge as first responders train on a Crescent City cliffside. Del Norte Triplicate / Emily Jo Cureton
Triplicate reporter gets unexpected inside look 
at rescue ropes training 

Like most people who end up on the panicky end of a rescuer’s rope, dropping off a cliff was not my plan last Thursday afternoon, when employees of Redwood National and State Parks, volunteers for Del Norte County Search and Rescue, and the Pelican Bay State Prison Crisis Response Team held a training exercise off Pebble Beach Drive in Crescent City.

This Triplicate reporter just happened to pass by, curiosity piqued by the 20 or so participants gathered on a bluff with an array of ropes slung over its edge. 

City Council names police chief

New Police Chief Ivan Minsal will be sworn into office March 2. Del Norte Triplicate / Bryant Anderson
New hire brings over three decades of experience to job

Six months into the search for a good fit, the Crescent City Council approved a new and permanent head of the Crescent City Police Department.

Ivan Minsal was introduced to the City Council at its regular meeting Monday evening by City Manager Eugene Palazzo, who said that of all the applicants for the position, “Ivan really floated to the top.” 

Hailing from Southern California, Minsal brings with him 33 years of law enforcement experience, having “served in nearly every capacity with the force” over the years, including 26 years in command, according to a press release from the city.

Rare sea duck sighted in C.C. continent’s first

A common scoter has been seen at Crescent City Harbor recently. Courtesy of Rob Fowler
An unusual visitor to Crescent City Harbor has become quite the celebrity among birders, who are flocking from as far as San Diego to catch a glimpse.

A male common scoter — the first recorded in North America — has taken up residence in the inner boat basin and has birders reaching for their cameras and binoculars. The sea duck was first spotted on Jan. 24, said Klamath birder Lucas Brug.

The common scoter is a black sea duck about 17–22 inches in length that breeds across northern Europe and Asia, Brug said. The common scoter resembles the black scoter, which is common in Del Norte County, but instead of sporting an all-yellow bill with a large knob at the top, the common scoter has a gray-black bill with a patch of orange on the top and a smaller knob close to its forehead.

Eleven arrested in 3 drug busts

Law enforcement officers conducted raids on three local houses that were all under surveillance and investigation for drug activity and increased traffic, both foot and vehicle, in residential areas, according to a press release from the Del Norte County Sherrif’s Office. 

The Sheriff’s Office, along with members of the Pelican Bay Prison Crisis Response Team and the Del Norte County Probation Department, confirmed suspicion of drug activity at all three residences and made 11 arrests, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Volunteers sought to record birds

Local birders who have seen their fill of the common scoter in Crescent City can take a more active role in protecting other local sea birds as part of the University of Washington’s Coastal Observation and Seabird Survey Team.

COASST volunteers collect data on beach-cast carcasses of marine birds on a monthly basis to help establish a baseline pattern of beached bird mortality on North Pacific beaches, according to a press release from the university’s School of Aquatic and Fisheries Sciences. The data helps address marine conservation issues and protects marine resources.

A Ticket to Ride

Peter Nova and Smith River band students work on their song aboard the visiting John Lennon Educational Tour Bus Thursday afternoon. Del Norte Triplicate / Bryant Anderson
Smith River kids record aboard mobile studio after winning national contest 

Bass guitars, tenor and baritone saxophones created a wall of sound that permeated the narrow interior of the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus.

With the keyboard adding a chant-like melody, engineer Peter Nova tried the lyrics. Smith River School students Carlos Alvarez, Arturo Ramos, Janell Yang, Seth Lee, Dakota Bigovich and Aaron Mignon crowded around him.

“SR six. SR six. SR six. We’re the Smith River Wildcats,” Nova chanted, getting the students to sing along.

Fair Board ready to take charge

Del Norte County set a precedent when it became the first in the state to levy a tax to fund its fairgrounds, and it ventured farther into new territory at the first meeting of the Del Norte County Fair Special District Board of Directors, held on Thursday.

A new government entity, the special district was approved in the November election when voters passed Measure F, which will put a 0.25-percent tax on sales in the county for the next seven years to fund Del Norte County Fairgrounds operations. Voters also chose five members to serve on the special district’s board in the election.

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