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Race on to avoid losing millions

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The roof above the swimming pool will be replaced with new shingles and skylights. Del Norte Triplicate / Bryant Anderson
Most everyone has heard that you have to spend money to make money, but it wasn’t until this week that the Crescent City Council found out they’d have to have the spending done by June 30.

A new California Department of Housing and Community Development rule — presented to the Council on Monday — had the city racing this month to assign money to swimming pool repairs and Housing Authority computer upgrades by the end of the month, lest a domino effect of delayed grant funding take place. 


Loftin complains about jail time

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Michael Loftin
A Crescent City man who allegedly committed two violent crimes involving a hook and a handgun pleaded not guilty in court on Friday to all charges.

Michael Loftin, 31, is accused of putting an eel hook through a teenager’s arm in May, shooting a man less than a month later and then going on the run for two days before he was found under the backseat of a car in the Denny’s parking lot. Loftin pleaded not guilty in Del Norte Superior Court to two counts of attempted murder, two counts of assault with a deadly weapon and one count of unlawful firearm activity. His hearing is due for setting a trial date on July 14. Currently he’s in custody on $250,000 bail.


News of Record June 13–19

Del Norte County Superior Court felony and misdemeanor sentencings from June 13–19 include:

• Brandon W. Coltra, 36, Crescent City, was sentenced to 15 days in jail and 3 years of probation and fined $1,864 fine and $150 in public defender fees for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol with a prior.


Burn permits suspended Sunday

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection announced Thursday that all burn permits within Six Rivers National Forest are suspended effective Sunday, June 21, until further notice.


Burl poacher gets community service

EUREKA — An Orick man has been sentenced to 700 hours of community service and ordered to pay back $11,000 following his conviction on charges he poached a large burl from a redwood in the Redwood National and State Parks.


Proactive police work: Chief Plack retires

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Police Chief Doug Plack directs traffic during a homeless encampment cleanup in November, one of several cleanups conducted to reduce crime and address environmental and safety concerns. Plack numbers the effort among his proudest accomplishments. Del Norte Triplicate file/ Bryant Anderson
After 11 years as the Crescent City Police chief and more than 40 years in law enforcement, Doug Plack is hanging up the badge at the close of July but maintaining his commitment to the community of Del Norte County.

Thanks to the support of several Crescent City councils, city staff, police officers and police department staff, Plack said he is proud to have implemented a more proactive form of law enforcement and programs that embrace a “community-oriented policing philosophy.”

“Law enforcement in an earlier period of time was all a reactive type of patrol; in other words you get a call and you respond,” Plack said during an interview in his office this week. “Twenty-first century policing did not embrace that concept.”


City hires interim police chief

On Monday, the Crescent City Council approved the employment of an interim police chief of the Crescent City Police Department to serve after current chief Doug Plack leaves the job July 31.

Calvin Scott Berry, of Grass Valley, was recommended by City Manager Eugene Palazzo to fill the position on a temporary basis until Oct. 31 as city staff continues the recruitment process for a permanent replacement, which is expected to take several months.


Council balks at sewer deficit

With a unanimous vote of approval, the final 2014–2015 city budget made it past the Crescent City Council earlier this week, but after some scrutiny from Council members, it’s now scheduled to return to the legislative ring for a second round later this summer to deal with unanswered questions about the sewer fund. 

Board members expressed  concerns about the fund — the black sheep in the city’s otherwise generally healthy financial family — saying they were reluctant to approve a plan that includes a fund budgeted at minus $651,000, although Finance Director Emily Boyd said that deficit could decrease by as much as $200,000 depending on 2013-2014 expenditure figures. 


Fireworks safety on officials’ minds

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Illegal fireworks rivaling the official Fourth of July show rocket above Crescent City in 2010. Del Norte Triplicate / Bryant Anderson
Firework safety school begins next week, and everyone’s invited.

With an estimated 30,000 people coming into town for the city’s Fourth of July celebration, fireworks safety is on city officials’ minds, and after a brief discussion at Monday’s city council meeting, an educational campaign has been planned to address concerns.


Body found near Hwy 199 ruled a suicide

The coroner’s office has determined that a local man found on U.S. Highway 199 last week died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, Del Norte County Sheriff’s Commander Bill Steven told the Triplicate on Wednesday.


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