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Treetop High

The Sky Trail at Trees of Mystery in Klamath takes riders on an approximately eight-minute ride high through the redwood forest. On a clear day, visitors can see the Pacific Ocean from the cable cars. Del Norte Triplicate / Melea Burke
Historic Klamath redwoods attraction sees a record 400,000 visitors 

Standing tall as the mighty redwood forest behind the legendary pair, a giant Paul Bunyan and his best friend Babe the Blue Ox greet hundreds — even thousands — of visitors each day as they arrive at the Trees of Mystery adventure park in Klamath.

“Well, hello there!” Paul booms as a young father and his toddler son approach the 10-foot boots at the huge sculpture’s base. 

Wildfire season doused by rain

A moisture-laden storm doused Del Norte County on Wednesday, breaking rainfall records by as much as 2 inches, according to National Weather Service meteorologists.

The storm brought 2.75 inches of rain to Crescent City and 2.72 inches to the Gasquet Ranger Station before tapering off in the afternoon, meteorologist Brian Garcia said. The rain broke a record of 0.72 inches from 1986, drenched mountains and wooded areas and could potentially put a damper on the North Coast’s fire season, Garcia said.

Lewd acts charges dismissed

A former Crescent Elk after-school instructor who last year was arrested on charges of inappropriately touching middle school girls is off the hook after a judge rejected the District Attorney’s plea bargain last week, forcing the DA to decide between dismissing the case or going to trial without enough evidence.

Gary Moore, 52, originally faced four felony counts of lewd and lascivious acts on a minor under 14, but after the DA’s office interviewed the alleged victims in May it decided it didn’t have enough evidence to go to trial on the original charges, which led to the plea bargain. But when Superior Court Judge Doehle didn’t accept the two renegotiated misdemeanor battery counts, Moore was free to go with no jail time or probation.

Riese suit isn’t over

Former District Attorney Michael Riese filed an appeal on Friday with the U.S. Court of Appeals Ninth Circuit to overturn an August decision rejecting his lawsuit against several local governments and officials.

Saturday forum to feature 5 NorCal sheriffs

Del Norte County Sheriff Dean Wilson is hosting a forum that will feature several Northern California sheriffs on Saturday at the Veterans Hall in Crescent City.

Joining Wilson will be Humboldt County Sheriff Mike Downey, Glenn County Sheriff Larry Jones, Modoc County Sheriff Mike Poindexter and Siskiyou County Sheriff Jon Lopey.

Colbert, Huffman trade jabs

Comedian takes congressman to task on California trees

Del Norte County’s congressional representative traded barbs with comedian Stephen Colbert on Tuesday, covering topics ranging from the ancient redwoods to “Star Wars.”

Congressman Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael) appeared on Comedy Central’s “The Colbert Report” as part of its ongoing “Better Know a District” segments in which U.S. representatives are interviewed by Colbert, who adopts an absurdist persona during the show. The multiple Emmy Award-winning Colbert will take over CBS’ “Late Show” from David Letterman, who is retiring next year.

Two busts produce 350 pot plants

The Del Norte County Sheriff’s Office raided two apparent drug operations in the past seven days, resulting in four arrests and more than 350 marijuana plants seized.

Sheriff’s Office Commander Bill Steven said 147 marijuana plants were seized by deputies Wednesday on the 50 block of Weber Drive in Klamath.

State legislature candidates plan Del Norte stop

Two Democratic candidates for the California Legislature, Sonoma County Supervisor Mike McGuire and Healdsburg Mayor Jim Wood, will be visiting Crescent City on Friday and Saturday during campaign tours of the rural parts of the districts they hope to represent.

Wood, running for 2nd Assembly District, and McGuire, running for the state Senate’s new 2nd District, will be hosting a breakfast in Crescent City at Northwoods Restaurant from 7:30 to 9 a.m. followed by a tour of the newly reconstructed Crescent City Harbor.

Absence rate is improving

A new crop of high schoolers attends freshmen orientation at Del Norte High School in August. Del Norte Triplicate / Bryant Anderson
County’s poor record 
was nearly twice as bad as U.S. average in 2012–13 

A recent analysis of attendance at Del Norte Unified School District revealed a chronic absence rate almost double the national average, but newer data suggests improvement is in the works.

According to a California Center for Rural Policy study that looked at attendance rates during the 2012–13 school year, one in six students at DNUSD was considered chronically absent, compared to one in 10 nationally. The study reported that 18 percent of students, or 605 out of a total of 3,324, missed 10 percent or more of total school days — a rate the report said has remained about the same across the district for the past three years. 1,706 students, or 51 percent, were considered to have satisfactory attendance and 1,013, or 30 percent, were deemed “at risk.” The report defined “chronic absence” as missing 10 percent or more of total school days. 

Assault case defendant out on bail

Michael Loftin faces trial for teen’s eel hook stabbing 

A Crescent City man who is well-known to law enforcement and currently facing a charge for a teenager’s stabbing, possibly with an eel hook, in May posted bail and was released from Del Norte County Jail on Thursday.

Michael Clarence Loftin Jr., 31, of Crescent City, posted $60,000 bail through Aladdin Bail Bonds on Thursday, $10,000 bail from a probation violation and $50,000 bail from the assault with a deadly weapon charge.

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