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Second man pleads guilty of embezzling from tribe

A second man has pleaded guilty to pilfering nearly $1 million  from the Yurok Tribe.

Ron LeValley, 66, pleaded guilty in a U.S. District Court in San Francisco on Tuesday to a federal count of conspiracy to embezzle funds from an Indian tribe.


Tsunami events planned as delegation set to depart

Del Norters are in for a tsunami-minded March, with the 50-year commemoration of the 1964 tsunami that changed Crescent City forever, and Tsunami Safe Week, which includes safety-focused events starting March 19 and culminating in a full-scale evacuation on March 26.

Additionally, a delegation from the North Coast is preparing to leave for Japan this week to meet the owners of a boat that washed ashore in Crescent City more than two years after being ripped to sea from Japan during the March 2011 tsunami. 

On Friday, Del Norte High School students, teachers, local law enforcement officials, emergency responders and tsunami science specialists will be heading to Japan, and ultimately Rikuzentakata, the Japanese city where the “Miracle Boat” originated and which had the second-highest death toll in Japan. 



Jefferson measure on agenda

County supervisors on Tuesday will consider a ballot measure that would ask Del Norte voters their opinion on whether the Board should vote on a Jefferson state declaration.

Members of the Del Norte County State of Jefferson Declaration Committee have made two unsuccessful attempts to place a declaration to withdraw from the State of California before the Board of Supervisors for a vote. Supervisors have called for a fiscal analysis and asked county staff to determine how services would be affected
if the Jefferson state effort succeeded.

At the Board of Supervisors’ Jan. 28 meeting, Board Chair David Finigan said he supported putting the issue to a countywide vote because it would require a neutral analysis detailing the pros and cons of breaking away from

If approved, Del Norte County’s decision will mirror that of the Tehama County Board of Supervisors, which last month voted to place an advisory measure on the June ballot. Three other counties, Siskiyou, Modoc and Glenn have approved declarations to withdraw from California.

The Del Norte County Board of Supervisors meets at 10 a.m. in Room 100 at the Flynn Administrative Center at 981 H Street. Agendas are available at www.co.del-norte.ca.us.


No exception for trees

Del Norte Triplicate / Adam Spencer Bridget Kurz walks her dog at Ward Field, the airport next to her apartment in Gasquet. She enjoys living there but hopes the trees between her home and the airstrip are not removed.
When housing rates in Sonoma County became unaffordable, Bridget Kurz began researching places in Del Norte County, where her boyfriend has fished from commercially for years. 

She stumbled upon Valhalla Apartments in Gasquet and thought: “This is beautiful; this is where I want to live,” Kurz recalled thinking during her first visit. 

Now she’s not so sure.  

“I don’t know if I want to live here if the trees are cut down.”


College accreditation probation lifted

Del Norte campus not at risk of closure,  school official says

College of the Redwoods has regained its good standing with the Accreditation Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, officials announced Friday.

Two years after CR faced show cause, the ACCJC’s most serious sanction, the commission reaffirmed the community college’s accreditation and lifted the school’s probation status. CR had been on probation through the ACCJC since February 2013.

“This takes a lot off of our shoulders,” said Anita Janis, director of the Del Norte Education Center. “We worked long and hard on this one across the district. It hasn’t been just one person or a particular employee group. It’s wonderful to see where we’ve come from and where we’ve managed to get to through this whole process.”


Man, 71, attacked on walk

Multiple injuries sustained from 3 men, victim reports

A 71-year-old Crescent City man was brutally beaten and robbed while walking his dog Sunday morning.

Around 6:25 a.m., the man was walking on Howe Drive in Beachfront Park when he shined a flashlight on three young males, said Police Chief Doug Plack.

The males, without saying anything to the victim, began striking him in the head, face and neck area, Plack said.

It’s unclear how many times the victim was hit, Plack said.


Second candidate joins race for DA

The upcoming election for District Attorney has turned into a two-man race.

Attorney Dale Trigg told the Triplicate on Monday he will be challenging attorney Robert Drossel in June’s primary election.

Trigg, who moved to Crescent City in December 2012, hopes to bring a new perspective and fresh air to the office.

Before become a public defender in Del Norte County, Trigg has held several different positions. He practiced criminal defense, personal injury and family law for eight years in Montana; for two of those years he also took on a judgeship part time, in which he presided over criminal and civil cases.


Veteran DN attorney running for judge

A third candidate is planning to add his name to the June primary ballot for Del Norte County Superior Court Judge.

Dohn Henion joins appointed Judge Chris Doehle and attorney Darren McElfresh in the race.

Henion has practiced law in Del Norte County for 32 years. He was an attorney for the city for 14 years until late 2003 and served as counsel for Del Norte County from 2006 to 2010.

He was a public defender from 1981 to 1989.

Henion said he would like to bring “a level playing field to each case.”



Man, 18, sentenced for animal cruelty

A local man was sentenced to three years probation after being found guilty of animal cruelty by a jury on Wednesday.

A half-day jury trial and about half an hour in jury deliberations led to the conviction of Jericho Mercado, 18, of Crescent City for animal cruelty.

The case stems from an incident last September when Mercado was spotted by county workers abusing his dog, said Acting District Attorney Katherine Micks.

Witnesses testified at the trial that Mercado had choked, kicked, dragged and hit his pitbull named Buddy with a skateboard in front of the Flynn Administration Center around 11 a.m. on Sept. 9, Micks said

Mercado was sentenced after the trial to three years of formal probation. As part of his probation he must attend counseling and is prohibited from owning any animals for the duration of his probation. 

He must also submit to searches at any time from authorities to check whether he is keeping any animals.

Reach Anthony Skeens at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it


LAFCO review set for four months

County supervisors may have helped expedite a government process to try to ensure the local fair’s survival, but it will still be more than four months before a special district can be created.

The Del Norte County Fair Board, which represents the 41st District Agricultural Association, presented an application to the Local Area Formation Commission on Jan. 27 to form a parks and recreation district that would manage and operate the fairgrounds. 

The Fair Board was able to bypass a signature-gathering process and go directly to LAFCO thanks to the Board of Supervisors’ approval of a resolution of application on Jan. 20.

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