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'Blighted' former fish market nears sale

Del Norte Triplicate

Business at the Del Norte County Supervisors’ meeting Tuesday included a word of hope for a property with a problematic past and a word of dissent to the state about a new fishing restriction.

The large blue building at 400 Front St. that’s seen its share of failed businesses over the past few years, including most recently the fish market Top Blue Marine and, before that, the Surfside Grill and Brewery, is now close to having a new buyer, according to discussion at the meeting. 

Crescent City local Troy Duncan, who owns Red Sky Roofing, is currently looking at buying the property, according to Supervisor Roger Gitlin, and is busy cleaning it up and getting it ready for what he has planned, even though it’s unclear at this point what that might be.

Promising palette at student show

A metal fish by Gasquet Mountain School student Cadence Salas hangs among nearly 400 student works at the art show opening. Del Norte Triplicate / Bryant Anderson
Gallery of Arts and Culture ‘honors creativity’ of local kids, teens with new display

The opening of a student art show downtown had teachers, students and community members elbow to elbow Friday afternoon as they moved through the gallery to study the nearly 400 works crafted by local youth. 

More than 250 students under the wings of the Del Norte Unified School District and County Office of Education have on display at the Gallery of Arts and Culture their portraits and abstractions of human and mythical beasts alike rendered variously in metal, pencil, collage and watercolor. 

Harbor ponders moving Hensel's

Restaurant’s last day will be Sat. unless deal is reached 

One of Del Norte’s most popular restaurants has to close this week, but perhaps only temporarily if restaurant owner Kenyon Hensel can make headway with harbor officials on relocating his business to a new property.

Since last May, Hensel’s Seafood, the top-reviewed Del Norte seafood restaurant on the mobile app Yelp, has been housed in a trailer located right in the path of Englund Marine’s plans to expand on the property it leases from the harbor. Now that the marine supply store’s expansion — previously caught up in a required permitting process — is about to happen, Hensel’s has to move by May 10, according to its lease. 

Assembly to vote on mining protection

The California Assembly is expected to vote this week on a joint resolution calling for action to protect the Smith River from the effects of mining within its watershed. 

District 2 Sen. Mike McGuire co-authored the Smith River Watershed Protection measure, which urges Pres. Obama and Congress to permanently safeguard the currently unprotected North Fork of the Smith River to “ensure the state’s premiere wild and scenic river would be protected from the devastating effects of a proposed strip-mining operation … in southern Oregon.” 

Last year the Panama-based Red Flat Nickel Corporation submitted a plan to drill up to 59 test mine shafts on 3,980 acres. The exploratory drilling could lead to the establishment of one of the largest nickel, cobalt and chromium mines in the Western United States. 

Pedestrian killed by vehicle on 101

A 27-year-old pedestrian died after being struck by a vehicle Saturday evening when she attempted to cross the highway 500 feet north of a newly installed pedestrian crossing signal, authorities say. 

Sabrina Cowan was hit south of Parkway Drive by a 1995 Chevy S-10 pickup that was traveling south on U.S. Highway 101, according to a California Highway Patrol news release. The driver, 28-year-old Shelby Kim of McKinleyville, stopped and called 911, the release says, and emergency personnel who responded pronounced Cowan dead on the scene.



Federal inquiry into cop actions

Video appears to show two officers taking cash from bust 

Hidden camera footage showing two law enforcement officers pocketing cash they found in a wallet during a Sheriff’s Office drug bust in March prompted an FBI investigation this week into the incident, and now additional questions are being raised about what happened that evening.

The video, which was shown to the Triplicate on Friday, wasn’t shot on the cameras that James Banuelos had mounted around his house — law enforcement knocked those down and took them as evidence when they showed up with a warrant to search the residence on March 9, which ultimately led to Banuelos’ arrest on suspicion of possession and sales of a controlled substance. As far as anyone knew, nothing was being recorded, but no one knew about the hidden cameras that Banuelos had tucked away around the house, wirelessly downloading everything they witnessed to his iPod. That footage, now in the hands of the FBI, shows an officer taking out what appears to be cash from a wallet that he found during the search, counting it out to “300” and laughing while splitting it with another officer and stuffing his share in his vest.

School district sued over bullying case

Suit claims students were racially harassed by classmates, staff 

A federal investigation of the Del Norte Unified School District that was finished in February found that school administrators didn’t adequately respond to racial harassment that had been occurring at Redwood Elementary School since 2013, and this week the mother of a harassed student sued the district and Superintendent Don Olson in federal court.

The lawsuit seeks an unspecified amount in damages, according to attorney Jay Jambeck, and alleges that beginning in the 2011-2012 school year, Shawna Fairgood’s children were harassed based upon their race by other students and employees of DNUSD. 

Advocates for victims honored at prison

Honorees of Pelican Bay’s National Crime Victims’ Rights Week luncheon pause for a photo. Submitted
At its ninth annual gathering coinciding with National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, Pelican Bay State Prison hosted local crime victims advocates and law enforcement officers Thursday afternoon to recognize their efforts. 

Ten individuals representing various local agencies were recognized at the the luncheon held in the PBSP cafeteria. 

“Pelican Bay State Prison’s annual luncheon is an opportunity to recognize and support the individuals and organizations that help victims of crime. It is a pleasure to welcome both Del Norte County and Curry County organizations,” said Lt. Chris Acosta, who opened this year’s luncheon, themed “Engaging Communities, Empowering Victims.”

Jury awards C.O. a $200K apology

All Pelican Bay Correctional Sgt. Antonio Teruel wanted was an apology for the potentially life-destroying lies that his colleague, former Correctional Officer Hugh Soule, wrote about him in a letter he that copied and sent — and even hand-delivered — to various people in Teruel’s life. 

But when Soule refused to apologize for trying to destroy Teruel’s character with the things he wrote, which included false accusations of abusing children, embezzling money, and downloading child pornography, a jury stepped in and did it for him — to the tune of $203,500.

Last Eureka paper Sunday

The final edition of the Eureka Times-Standard to be delivered in Del Norte County will be this Sunday’s.

A year after the newspaper scaled back home delivery in Del Norte from daily to Sundays only, the Times-Standard announced earlier this month that all deliveries would cease.  

Single-copy rack sales will also come to an end, leaving mail subscriptions and online editions the only option for Del Norters who wish to read it. 

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