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King Cruz beloved by all his subjects

Del Norte High School senior Montoya Cruz wears a big smile along with his crown Friday night after being named homecoming king. Del Norte Triplicate / Bryant Anderson
Del Norte’s 2015 homecoming king has answered the age-old question emphatically: It is better to be loved than feared.

For the last four years senior Montoya Cruz, who is an exceptionally outgoing special education student, has woven himself into the fabric of Del Norte High School, and there is no doubt that it is a better place because of him. 

“Cruz is one of those guys that seems like his job in life is to make the rest of us feel better about ours,” said physical education teacher Kirk Burrows. “He just goes out of his way to make sure that he says something nice to you and compliments you.”

Vacant house still standing after blaze

Firefighters knock down a blaze that engulfed a house and garage on Elk Valley Road Tuesday morning. Del Norte Triplicate / Bryant Anderson
Local fire crews put out  an Elk Valley Road structure fire Tuesday morning, but what set the house and garage aflame is not yet known. 

Half of a house believed to be vacant was engulfed in flame by the time the Crescent City Fire Department, Crescent City Protection District and Pelican Bay Fire Department all made it to the scene at Elk Valley and Adair Street. 

Pelican Bay Fire Captain Ray Rook said the fire was still growing when he and his crew of three inmates rolled up in engine 49 and were able to belay a supply line and a couple of fire attack lines. 

Insurance signup deadline is Sunday

The window to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act this year is closing quickly, with only three days left to enroll in a plan via the state’s marketplace, Covered California. 

Those who don’t choose a health plan by Feb. 15 and pay the first premium by Feb. 24 risk steeper penalties on their 2015 federal tax return. 

By visiting CoveredCa.com, people can determine their eligibility for public-payer plans like MediCal, choose from plans offered by two private insurers operating in this region and see if they qualify for monthly premium assistance.

Hearings scheduled in assault, pot cases

Court appearances were set on Tuesday for a couple of Del Norte Superior Court cases, including one involving two men arrested last September on suspicion of growing marijuana and another regarding a man who allegedly stabbed someone in the neck outside of a local bar in 2013.

A jury trial for the stabbing incident, which involves defendant Matthew Honeycutt and is expected to last for five to seven days, according to Honeycutt’s attorney Robert Forkner, was set for March 9, with a readiness conference scheduled for Feb. 25.

Structure Fire - Elk Valley and Adair

It was a long wait in Klamath

A photo provided by a Pacific Power official shows a scene “representative of the terrain/surroundings the crews are working in to get to and repair the lines.”
Some folks went without electricity for nearly four days as weather stymied repairs 

Heavy rain, high wind and no power were the defining elements of the weekend across most of Del Norte, with some Klamath residents going nearly four days without electricity while Pacific Power crews slogged through rough terrain to restore it.

The wind gusts, which clocked in as high as 78 mph on Sunday night, according to a citizen report provided to the National Weather Service in Eureka, and the rain, which soaked some areas of the county with more than 9 inches, created the perfect storm for falling tree conditions.

Former U.S. Rep. Clausen, 91, dies

Don Clausen
Del Norter championed local issues in Washington 

Don Clausen, a former Del Norte County Supervisor who served in the U.S. House of Representatives for 18 years, died over the weekend. He was 91. 

Widely remembered for his contributions to transportation infrastructure on the North Coast, Clausen was born on April 27, 1923, in Ferndale, his home until he enrolled in the V5 Naval Aviation Cadet program after the United States entered World War II. 

Hartwick, Stremberg honored by Realtors assn.

Annual awards banquet held Friday 

Gathered out of the rain and under the spell of Tsunami Swing’s musical stylings, local real estate agents were celebrated for their accomplishments Friday. 

The Del Norte Association of Realtors held a banquet with raffle prizes and a silent auction to recognize more than 30 real estate agents for their sales and contributions to the community. 

“All of us together make Del Norte happen,” Dee Kinney, president of the association for the past two years, told a room full of her peers. 

Senators pursue stiffer punishment for illegal pot cultivation

A bill recently introduced to the U.S. Senate marks the latest push in an effort by California lawmakers to steepen fines and punishments for illegal marijuana growers wreaking environmental havoc on public lands. 

Sponsored by senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), S.B. 348 seeks “to impose enhanced penalties for conduct relating to unlawful production of a controlled substance on federal property or while intentionally trespassing on the property of another that causes environmental damage,” according to a bill summary available at Congress.gov.

Lights out in Klamath

Pacific Power workers keep an eye on a generator taken to Klamath to restore power until a permanent fix was made.
Tree leaning on line cuts electricity to 803 houses through Friday 

A power line failure in a remote area knocked out electricity for 803 Pacific Power customers in Klamath on Thursday morning, and power wasn’t expected to be fully restored until Friday evening. 

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