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News of Record Dec. 1–4, 2014

These are the misdemeanor and felony sentencings provided by the Del Norte County Superior Court for the dates of Dec. 1–4:

Cris Underwood, 31, Crescent City, was sentenced to 30 days in jail and fined $630 for obstructing/resisting a police officer and sentenced to 30 days in jail and three years of probation and fined $630 for vandalism.

Maggie Tapia, 31, Crescent City, was sentenced to 90 days in jail and fined $2,274 for driving on a license suspended for DUI.

Courthouse gets bomb threat

The Del Norte County Courthouse was closed for several hours Thursday morning when the Del Norte County Jail received an anonymous phone call claiming there was a potential explosive somewhere in the courthouse, said California Highway Patrol Officer Brandy Gonzalez.

CHP took the lead on the scene because the courthouse is state property, but the Crescent City Police Department, the Del Norte County Sheriff’s Office and the Crescent Fire Protection District all responded to aid in searching the courthouse, Gonzalez said. No explosives were found in the search.

'Something So Beautiful'

With temperatures 10–20 degrees colder than the main stem of the Klamath, Blue Creek is believed by many biologists to be a vital refuge for fish that might otherwise never reach spawning grounds in the upper river. Courtesy Western Rivers Conservancy / Barrie Kovish
Tribe will get back watershed regarded as key to salmon survival 

As controversial legislation to remove dams in the Klamath Basin awaits congressional approval, the right to manage one of the river’s main tributaries and its most important salmon stream will soon be restored to the Yurok Tribe. 

This month, some 6,479 acres along the middle reach of Blue Creek will be transferred out of Green Diamond Resource Company’s ownership as part of a plan to buy the entire 47,000-acre watershed and return it to Native American stewardship. Once the deal goes through, the Yurok Tribe will manage about 30,500 acres around Blue Creek, all acquired since 2011 through a partnership with Portland-based non-profit Western Rivers Conservancy. 

Humboldt supports rerouting Hwy. 101 slide area

A citizen’s advisory committee advocating rerouting U.S. Highway 101 around Last Chance Grade obtained a letter of support from the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday.

In a letter to Caltrans District 1 Director Charles Fielder and the Del Norte Local Transportation Commission, Humboldt District 1 Supervisor Rex Bohn spoke on behalf of the entire board in offering its full support for finding an alternate route around the slide-prone area south of Crescent City.  

“Too often the ongoing collapse of the roadway and landslides in this area result in long-term road closures, delays in the passage of trucks hauling much-needed goods and services, and sadly the loss of life due to unforeseen accidents,” Bohn wrote. “It is only a matter of time before the entire mountain … and the roadway with it collapses into the Pacific Ocean.”

Deadly explosive device disabled

The explosive device found by a Redwood National and State Parks maintenance worker at an illegal dump site off Old Mill Road was successfully neutralized without incident by the Humboldt County Bomb Squad on Monday.

“They were able to disassemble the device without destroying it, so we were able to retain a lot of the device,” said Redwood National and State Parks Chief Ranger Marshall Neeck.

Veterans monument effort ready for permit

The Crescent City Council on Monday approved a maintenance agreement in connection with a long-awaited monument honoring members of the U.S. armed forces.

Members of the Del Norte Veterans Monument Committee say the maintenance agreement is the final component necessary to obtain a coastal development permit from the California Coastal Commission. The committee has worked for nearly eight years to obtain all the required permits, said Harlan Ziegler, committee president. 

“It’s just taking a long time,” he said. “I think it was November 2007 that the idea was brought up at a City Council meeting, and the city adopted a resolution to have a monument honoring our veterans.”

Coat donations sought

A “thank-you” sign for Coats for Kids donors bears handprints of children who received winter clothing through the program. Submitted
Coats for Kids, a tradition started in 1994 with KPOD Radio, continues today with participation from all local Bicoastal Media Radio stations serving Curry and Del Norte County: KPOD 97.9, AM 1240 and KCRE 94.3.  

Coat donations are accepted through Dec. 31  from Port Orford to Klamath at Coats for Kids partners: Rogue Credit Union (all coastal branches); Curry Medical Center in Brookings; Cholwell Benz & Hartwick offices (Crescent City and Brookings); Recology Del Norte, Elk Valley Casino and Pem Mey Fuel Mart in Klamath. 

Owner gets stolen Jeep back after wild pursuit

The vehicle before it was stolen. Submitted
While sleeping on the first floor of her house, Brookings resident Jennifer Harrah heard her jeep being started up and driven away sometime between 6:16 and 6:50 a.m. on Monday morning. Still half-asleep, however, Harrah didn’t quite register what she was hearing.

“I didn’t think anything of it,” Harrah told the Triplicate. “At about 6:50 a.m. I got my daughter up for school. When I came back downstairs I looked out my back window and my jeep was gone.”

Harrah said a neighbor walked past her house and noticed the jeep was still there at 6:16 a.m. on Monday, meaning the jeep must have been stolen sometime in the next 35 minutes.

Harbor bustles on opening day

California Department of Fish and Wildlife game warden A.J. Bolton checks the size of crabs being unloaded in Crescent City Harbor on Monday, the first day of the commercial season. Del Norte Triplicate / Bryant Anderson
Ready to eat? Now there’s a third place to buy fresh crab at the harbor 

On the opening day of the commercial season in California’s top-producing Dungeness crab port, most people come to work — unloaders filling and dumping buckets of crab into totes held at the perfect temperature, game wardens checking  that crabs are large enough to harvest and fishermen, the ones who make it all happen, pulling into Crescent City Harbor with their first haul of the season.

But some just come to watch.

“We come down here every year to watch as the crabs are landed, especially on the first day,” said Crescent City resident Otto Hinckelmann, who has been coming to Citizens Dock with his wife Carol Czapla every opening day since they moved here five years ago.

Boater drowns in swift water

Santa Rosa man’s boat swamped near Jed Smith 

A 57-year-old Santa Rosa man died in the Smith River near Jedediah Smith Campground on Saturday morning after swift water swamped his drift boat and sent him into the icy current. 

A bystander pulled Jay Eugene Jackson from the river minutes later, but it was too late. Two Redwood National Park Rangers administered CPR for 45 minutes before Jackson was pronounced dead at the scene by emergency responders, according to parks officials. 

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