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Ready to show off

A Kellogg's lily, painted in watercolor by Arthur Van Deventer, the wildflower show namesake's husband. Submitted
With spring comes the blossoming of wildflowers across the Del Norte region, many of which will be on display at the annual Ruby Van Deventer Wildflower Show on Friday and Saturday. 

Effort to protect N. Fork advances

City Council supports petition for river designation

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality voted 3 - 1 Wednesday to initiate rulemaking in regard to Oregon Rivers in an effort to protect certain rivers and watersheds from mining and other potentially harmful endeavors, said Smith River Alliance Executive Director Grant Werschkull.

The action moves the North Fork of the Smith River and its tributaries in Curry County, Oregon a step closer to designation as an Outstanding Resource Waters.

On Monday, Crescent City Council lent its support of the petition by voting unanimously to send a letter of support to the Oregon DEQ.

Governor declares emergency for roads

Gov. Jerry Brown declared an emergency on Tuesday for weather-torn roads in 11 Northern and Central California counties, including Del Norte.

The declaration will allow the state to apply for federal Emergency Relief money to make repairs.

State highway infrastructure took a beating during a series of storms that hit the coast beginning March 5. Flash flooding, erosion and landslides that followed on the coast were exasperated by extreme drought conditions, according to the proclamation.

City Council faces decision on sewer rate ordinance

The Crescent City Del Norte County Taxpayers Association referendum effort to block the consumption-based sewer rate ordinance was certified Monday on a unanimous vote by the Crescent City Council.

Councilors have the option to repeal the ordinance and write a new one or place the ordinance on the November ballot and let the Crescent City voters decide, according to City Public Information Officer Kymmie Scott.

During public comment, taxpayer association leader Linda Sutter said if the council had listened to the public in the first place they would never have passed the ordinance.

Wood pushes bill to help rural hospitals

California Assemblyman Jim Wood, in an effort to lure more doctors to rural communities, has introduced legislation that would give rural hospitals special privileges to hire doctors, according to a press release.

The bill — AB 2024 — has passed the Assembly Health Committee. It would exempt 28 rural health clinics and critical access hospitals from the statewide prohibition of Corporate Practice of Medicine (CPM) and allow rural hospitals to employ physicians. The bill will be heard next in Assembly Appropriations Committee.

“We are experiencing a healthcare crisis,” Wood said. “Rural California has one physician for every 3,500 people, and the average age of that one physician is 60. It is crucial that we find ways to convince physicians to practice in our small towns.”

HERO to help with energy efficiency

Crescent City residents can now take advantage of a state program that allows them to borrow against their home equity for water and energy efficiency projects.

The HERO Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program enables homeowners to make energy and water efficiency upgrades and pay for them over time through their property tax bill, HERO representatives announced Wednesday. This includes improving heating ventilation and air conditioning systems, windows, roofs and water heaters.

Under the PACE program, the homeowner is not required to pay cash upfront, and financing is based on the life of the product, up to 20 years.

Emergency dispatch call logs, April 18-20, 2016

Excerpts from the Del Norte County emergency dispatch call logs, April 18-20: 

Monday, April 18

Note: From 6:04 p.m.

At 6:04 p.m., a caller at Pacific Avenue and Pebble Beach Drive reports he found a set of keys in the area of Pebble Beach and would like to turn them in.

At 6:15 p.m., a caller on the 100 block of U.S. 101 says he needs to speak with an officer about some stolen property.

At 6:35 p.m., a caller on the 300 block of U.S. 101 reports a female subject in the middle of the road in a wheelchair.

New petition defends DHHS director

Supporters: First petition alleging flawed leadership wasn't circulated to all union members

After several people urged them to retain and support the Department of Health and Human Services’ current director, Del Norte County supervisors took no action during a closed-door session on Tuesday.

The meeting agenda also included initiating new litigation and a worker’s compensation case, but it was the evaluation of DHHS Director Barbara Pierson’s performance they wanted to comment on.

Pierson has been on closed session agendas since November, when she had her routine oral review.

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.

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