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Mode gets 11 years, 8 months in plea deal

Courtesy Del Norte District Attorney Office.
A Del Norte local with an extensive criminal history is expected to serve almost 10 years in state prison as part of a plea deal. 

Jayson Lavern Mode, 41, was sentenced Thursday to 11 years and 8 months for two felony crimes in 2014 as well as special enhancement, according to a press release from District Attorney Dale Trigg. 

Although Mode faced a litany of offenses from the past two years, a majority of those were dismissed in a bargain which Trigg said was largely satisfactory given the potential difficulty of prosecuting those cases involving family members. 

Rep. Huffman Talks Crab Crisis

U.S. Congressman Jared Huffman came to Crescent City’s Harbor District Thursday to discuss dredging the Federal Channel and the status of relief for the beleaguered crab industry.

Huffman didn’t have good news for crab crew members. Huffman said federal relief for hourly workers doesn't offer much hope.

“The first wave of relief was the SBA loan program. In the next wave of relief there may be money for the hourly workers but I have no idea how much would be cash.”

$1.4 Million B Street sewer project, underway and on schedule

Read more... Crescent City’s  $1.4 million B Street Sewer Rehabilitation Project is well under way and dewatering wells should be completed on schedule, according to city officials.

“This project includes replacing the existing clay line between 2nd Street and the treatment plant and along B Street with a new 36-inch diameter sewer line,” said Public Works director Eric Wier. “This will give us the needed capacity to handle some of the storm events. And replace a dilapidated line that has huge consequences if it does fail.”

The project is estimated to take 60 days, weather permitting, Wier said. “These repairs are part of ongoing upgrades to the utility system in an effort to conserve water and increase the efficiency,” he said.


Rates hike foes turn in 2,000 signatures

City Council put off their vote on a new consumption based sewer rate ordinance Tuesday and said goodbye to Director of Finance Emily Boyd, who is taking a new job as the director of finance for the city former City Manager Eugene Palazzo recently left to lead.

The sewer rate vote will have to wait until 2,023 Prop 218 petition signatures gathered by the Del Norte County Crescent City Taxpayers Association are validated, said Public Information Officer Kymmie Scott while addressing the council.

“It could take to two to three days,” Scott said.

Church opens food pantry for crabbers; fundraisers planned

Another local organization is reaching out to the community help Del Norte crabbers down on their luck this season.

Hope Ministries Worship Center has opened a food pantry at Price Mall across from U.S. Bank in Crescent City and with help from some “extreme couponers” and other folks is offering staples like milk, bread, eggs, pastas and canned goods to fishermen and their families.

Crabbers can also find toilet paper, soaps and shampoos, feminine hygiene products, laundry detergent and baby items at the church’s pantry. All they need to bring is their commercial fishing license and an ID.

Crab season depends on whole state

The commercial Dungeness crab season will remain closed until the entire California coast is pulling up risk-free crab, the Department of Fish and Wildlife announced late Wednesday.

The decision to do so was informed by “extensive feedback from members of the commercial Dungeness crab fishery,” according to a press release from the department.

Recreational crabbing had opened south of Point Reyes Feb. 11, its crab no longer testing toxic levels of the algae produced domoic acid, it was uncertain whether a partial commercial opening would follow.

Nasty weather makes return

Del Norte County was plunged back into winter this week  after a couple weeks of mostly dry, warm weather.

Only a quarter of an inch of rain fell in Crescent City by press time Wednesday, though gusts of wind got as high as 49 miles per hour at the airport just after noon, according to the National Weather Service in Eureka. Camp Six’s strongest gust came in at 52 mph before 3 p.m.

The weather may ease off some today but slightly stronger winds are predicted to blow early Friday morning, as are heavy rains.

Interim manager: Settling into job

Mike Knight, Crescent City’s new interim city manager, says he’s settling in nicely and planning his search for the best available permanent city manager while helping city staff complete its strategic plan.

“I like the area and I like the staff. They are a good cohesive group,” Knight said. “They seem to be motivated and many of them are balancing a lot of different projects but getting stuff done, so far I really enjoy working with the staff. And that is key for I think anybody in their job.”

Knight was hired to replace outgoing City Manager Eugene Palazzo, who left  Jan. 22. Knight started Feb. 1.

Waste panel tries again to fill vacancy

The Del Norte Solid Waste Management Authority will make another attempt to fill an empty public seat on its board of commissioners, while making motions toward streamlining the process for the future.

The decision was rendered Tuesday at the authority’s latest meeting.

Applications for the position will be accepted at the Crescent City Transfer Station until Feb. 25 at 5 p.m.

The process in place has the Del Norte County Board of Supervisors and the Crescent City Council make their own judgments on a candidate the Solid Waste Authority had already interviewed and voted on. And last November, it ultimately had Patricia Black rejected by supervisors with a split 2-1 vote, after having been approved unanimously by both the city council and solid waste.

Grim wait is over after two months

A CHP officer stands on a rocky promontory overseeing Wednesday's rescue operation. Del Norte Triplicate // Bryant Anderson
The van carrying two Crescent City men to their deaths off an embankment into the Smith River late last year has been found and its passengers now removed, following more than two months of frustrated efforts to locate and recover the vehicle during torrential winter rainfall. 

Steve Fillman, 60, and Fred Hansen Jr., 54, careened off an unprotected section of U.S. 199 south of Gasquet on the evening of Dec. 5 while returning from a visit to Fillman’s mother earlier that day in Grants Pass. 

Early Wednesday, officials from the Del Norte County Sheriff’s office, California Highway Patrol, and USDA Forest Service joined Search And Rescue members from Del Norte and Klamath counties on an uncommon, if not unprecedented operation for state rescue divers: to pull bodies from inside the submerged vehicle and leave the van in the water. 

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