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Sacred ceremonial objects reclaim purpose after long absence

After a years-long repatriation process, the Yurok Tribe recently received more than 100 sacred artifacts from the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, which was celebrated Saturday at the Yurok Tribal Office in Klamath. Del Norte Triplicate / Adam Spencer
For nearly 150 years, sacred ceremonial objects once used by the ancestors of the Yurok Tribe were held in private collections and museums, preventing the fulfillment of their intended purpose: to be danced in at Yurok ceremonies.

On Saturday, the Yurok Tribe celebrated the return of 128 ceremonial objects from the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian, the culmination of a nine-year process and one of the largest repatriations of American Indian artifacts in United States history. 

“This is our backbone right here. This is our culture and who we are,” said Rosie Clayburn, the tribe’s Cultural Resource Manager, who in May accompanied the items as they traveled from Suitland, Md., to San Francisco, where a tribal delegation and traditional dance leaders met to transport the objects to Yurok Tribal ancestral territory.

Local beekeeper looks forward to healthy honey harvest this summer

Nursery owner and bee farmer Kees Oostra examines honeycomb from one of his 20 local hives. Del Norte Triplicate / Bryant Anderson
Kees Oostra keeps five beehives on the second story of his barn, but you wouldn’t know it unless he showed you.

The space below the roof is calm, cool and shady. Oostra says he keeps his bees here so bears won’t raid the white wooden boxes arranged on sturdy tables that serve as hives. He lifts the lid of the first one with his bare hands and pulls out a frame thick with eggs and worker bees.

“These are all new bees in the making,” Oostra said.

Library sits on $350k reserve

The Del Norte Public Library has nearly $350,000 in the bank, but you won’t see it in the Library Board’s proposed budget for the next fiscal year.

At its meeting last week, the Del Norte Library District Board of Trustees approved its 2014–2015 proposed budget, which lists the expenditures and revenues balancing out to $180,500. According to last year’s independent audit, as well as County Auditor Clinton Schaad’s records, however, there’s $346,741.77 in the library fund, plus another $40,997.82 in a building fund — all numbers Schaad confirmed when he showed up at the meeting last Thursday at the trustees’ invitation.

Solid Waste Authority Board debates future direction

Following the recommendation of an independent consultant’s assessment, the Del Norte Solid Waste Management Authority Board held a special meeting last week to debate the future direction of the embattled public agency that handles all local trash and recycling issues.

First up on the list of pressing issues was what to do about the top two staff positions at the authority: program manager and executive director.

Driver of Harley dies from crash off 199

A motorcyclist died on Tuesday evening after he struck a guardrail and was thrown down a ravine on Highway 199.


According to the California Highway Patrol, Robert Gatlin, 59, of Gold Beach, was traveling alone southbound on Highway 199 on a Harley-Davidson when he left the roadway and struck a guardrail just north of mile marker 24 on Tuesday around 5 p.m.

Collision on 101 diverts traffic

A collision on U.S. Highway 101 in front of Anchor Beach Inn left both drivers with minor injuries and caused the highway to close for about half an hour on Tuesday.

Christina Zendejas, 26, of Crescent City pulled her Chevy Astro out of the Anchor Beach parking lot onto Highway 101 just before 1 p.m., according to a press release from the California Highway Patrol.

Teen girls arrested for kidnapping minor

A Crescent City woman and a juvenile were arrested late Tuesday night by the Del Norte County Sheriff’s Office following an altercation that occurred on the 200 block of Maiden Lane.

Kianna Ownsbey, 18, of Crescent City was arrested on charges of kidnapping and accessory and a suspected accomplice, a 17-year-old female whose name was withheld due to her age, was sent to juvenile hall, Del Norte Sheriff’s Commander Bill Steven said.

Pelican Bay's inmate firefighters find a place to do some good

Members of Pelican Bay State Prison’s inmate firefighting program practice outside their firehouse. Del Norte Triplicate / Bryant Anderson
“We’re clamp sliding! We’re moving!” 

Three firefighters in heavy yellow jackets and helmets are crowded around a bulky hose connected to a fire engine — a pale yellow one, not the traditional red. The hose is blasting water 20 feet in front of them, and on command the firefighters begin to maneuver through a corridor of wooden pallets that have been set up outside the firehouse to simulate a burning structure.

The nozzleman — that’s the firefighter on the front of the hose shouting the commands — begins to move forward, and the guys behind him follow as water continues to shoot wildly around.

Radio personality ‘Dapper Dutch’ fondly recalled

For Homer “Dutch” Dremann, better known to his friends as Dutch, dedication meant a lot.

From the songs he’d dedicate to his wife Katherine on the radio — “And this one’s for Lady Kay,” he’d say — to the various hobbies and aspirations that he kept up with throughout his entire life, to the loyalty and encouragement he gave unconditionally to his family, friends, and strangers, Dutch could only be considered passionate, people who knew him say.

Sutter Coast names Hanna interim CEO

An interim CEO for Sutter Coast Hospital has been chosen to head Crescent City’s sole hospital while recruitment for a more long-term CEO continues.

Mitch Hanna, CEO of Sutter Auburn Faith Hospital in Auburn, has agreed to serve as the interim CEO of Sutter Coast and split his time between Auburn and Crescent City, heading both facilities at the same time, according to information released by Sutter Coast on Friday.

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