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Death linked to stolen car

Klamath Falls police believe that a vehicle matching the description of one stolen in Gasquet earlier this month is connected to a homicide that occurred in their community last week.

Detectives are searching for a newer model white Honda Civic in connection with the death of 49-year-old Donald Clinton Black, according to Klamath Falls Det. Peter York.  

Black was found dead from a gunshot wound in his home on Jan. 20, the Herald and News reported. A 32-year-old Klamath Falls man, Joseph Everett Woodward, has been charged with Black’s death and faces a preliminary hearing in court today. 

Woman arrested after arson attempt

A local woman was arrested on Wednesday on multiple charges stemming from an incident at the Del Norte Mental Health Clinic on K Street.

Destinie Wettengel, 21, of Crescent City, reportedly entered the Mental Health Clinic and began threatening workers there, according to Crescent City Police Sgt. Justin Gill. Wettengel then barricaded herself in a back room and started a fire inside, Gill said.

Perseverance and Progress

Yurok Transportation Planner Isaac Kinney stands in front of the Yurok Country Visitor Center, which is nearing completion and is part of the Yurok Tribe’s effort to spearhead economic revival in Klamath. Courtesy Matt Mais
Contributions to the business community and Crescent City and Del Norte County Chamber of Commerce were recognized at the chamber’s sellout annual awards banquet held Saturday night at Lucky 7 Casino Tolowa Event Center.

Three individuals and two organizations were recipients of the night’s major awards:

There were an unprecedented two winners, the Yurok Tribe and Crescent City Harbor District, of this year’s Del Norte Pride Award, which recognizes outstanding contributions to improving the aesthetics of the community.

Home away from abuse

Smith River Rancheria program specialist Virginia Tolento, left, and Dorothy Wait, director of the tribe’s Department of Community and Family Services, show off decor at the transitional home. Del Norte Triplicate / Emily Jo Cureton
One local house became a home last month when it was outfitted by Smith River Rancheria to help a survivor of domestic violence end an abusive relationship without also risking the roof over her family’s head.

For that family, placement in a furnished three-bedroom near the Lucky 7 Casino means a year of housing security, provided in step with counseling and support services from the tribe’s Department of Community and Family Services. 

Del Norte jobless rate drops

After posting the lowest November jobless rate since 2007, Del Norte County’s preliminary unemployment numbers for December are even lower.

December’s unemployment rate for Del Norte County was 8.7 percent, down 0.6 percentage points from the revised November rate of 9.3 percent, according to the California Employment Development Department. It’s also 2 percentage points lower than December 2013’s 10.7 percent.

Report: Not enough air smoke-free

A report released Wednesday found that progress in the fight against tobacco use “is at a standstill in California and in most cities and counties in the North Coast,” according to a press release from the American Lung Association. 

Tracking the annual progress of state and federal tobacco policies, the State of Tobacco Control 2015 report assessed 482 cities and all 58 counties in California, and found that more could be done to protect residents from tobacco-related death and disease, the release states.  

Engineers on a Mission

Jackquelin DeLeon-Mendoza works on building her rocket. Del Norte Triplicate / Bryant Anderson
Visiting educators from Portland science museum lead project 

The school day had ended for most of their classmates, but for Carol Byers’ Gifted and Talented students at Joe Hamilton Elementary School on Thursday, the fun began when the last bell rang.

Under the direction of Jaimie Thompson, outreach educator for Portland’s Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, the third-, fourth- and fifth-graders constructed rockets using paper, scissors, tape and PVC pipe. 

Septic leak’s smelly saga

A saga underlies the stench at West Park Properties, an 11-acre mobile home park that can be found by smell after a good rain, when its failing septic system flushes into the nearby creek, water ducking under Northcrest Drive in Crescent City before flowing over marshland into the southeastern tip of Lake Earl. 

Not 200 feet downstream from the stink sits an unused sewage lift station built by the county of Del Norte in 2011 to help resolve longstanding wastewater issues at this mobile home park and two others nearby.

Mining company hits pause on effort to test-drill

A foreign-owned mining company has withdrawn its application for an Oregon state permit to use stream water in exploratory drilling throughout headwaters of the North Fork Smith River.

The Oregon Water Resources Department shot down Red Flat Nickel Corporation’s much-contested request for a limited water use license in September, but on Wednesday the OWRD took its final order back, saying it would reconsider the application based on a December appeal by the mining company. All the while, the department was aware that the mining outfit planned to rescind its application, according to OWRD spokesperson Dwight French.

Board OK’s more hours for literacy coordinator

After the matter had been tabled four times, Kelley Nolan, literacy coordinator for Del Norte Reads, successfully made the case for increasing her hours.

The new Del Norte County Library Board on Thursday unanimously approved increasing Nolan’s working hours from a maximum of 19 hours a week to 25 hours a week with the stipulation that she may not exceed 1,300 hours a year. Nolan said this will allow her to raise the quality of the program.

“I felt like it was a little vote of confidence,” she said. “We had scaled down (the program) to meet the budget and that’s OK. This allows me to look for other revenue and to work for other partners.”

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