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Updated 11:00am - Nov 26, 2014

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Hussey suit gets a boost

Sutter Health denied claim that case lacks legal basis 

A visiting judge of Del Norte Superior Court ruled last week that a lawsuit against Sutter Coast Hospital’s plan to convert to a Critical Access Hospital may go forward.

Beverly Hussey, the widow of the donor of the land where the hospital was built, filed suit against Sutter Coast in April, alleging that plans to convert to a Critical Access facility violate the contract outlining conditions of the land donation.

Bleak report on city sewer debt

There’s good news and bad news in regard to the city’s massive $44 million sewer system loan. The bad news: The city doesn’t have enough money to make its annual payment. The good news: Assistance could be on the way. 

A bleak report on the Crescent City sewer’s debt situation has the city requesting financial assistance from the state for the loan’s $2.2 million annual debt service payments, $1.1 million of which is an interest payment that the city can’t pay, putting the loan in technical default. City Manager Gene Palazzo said that the assistance request, which involves putting the city on a workout plan that aims to lower the interest payments to 0 percent as well as move to a graduated payment plan, has received “positive feedback” from the state, but for now “they haven’t approved anything.” 

Gitlin calls for chair to resign

The county battle over public prayer and placing items on meeting agendas continued on Tuesday when a Del Norte County supervisor called for the resignation of the Board of Supervisors’ chairman.

“Do you really want to do this?” Board Chairman David Finigan asked his colleague Roger Gitlin, who during the meeting’s public comment period called for Finigan’s resignation as chairman. 

“Chairman Finigan, the supervisor from District 1 calls for your immediate resignation as chairman of the Board of Supervisors,” Gitlin read from a prepared document. “Since 5th District Supervisor Finigan assumed the position of chairman there has been a significant erosion to the integrity of the board. The delusion of integrity and cooperative bipartisan effectiveness is directly attributable to the evident failure of objective and neutral leadership of current Chairman Finigan.”

Tolowa demonstrate traditional dance

Tolowa dancers wait to perform Saturday at Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park. Del Norte Triplicate / Melea Burke
Some sat cross-legged on the ground, meditating in the shadow of giant redwoods towering over the Jed Smith campground while others formed rows of folding chairs  in a half-moon around a shaded area swept clear of pine needles. 

Outside the campground, the midday heat was oppressive, but the redwood canopy offered instant relief for more than 100 people gathered for a special Saturday educational program co-hosted by Redwood National and State Parks, the Redwood Parks Association and members of the Tolowa Nation. 

Lt. gov. hopeful makes Del Norte stop

The Republican candidate for lieutenant governor paid a visit to Crescent City as part of a tour of some of California’s most “economically challenged” areas.

Ron Nehring, who is from San Diego County, held a meet-and-greet at Del Norte Republican Central Committee headquarters on Sunday. His journey brought him from other economically challenged areas in the Inland Empire and the Central Valley.

If elected, Nehring hopes to make California more competitive with Texas and other states when it comes to attracting and retaining businesses, he said.

“The lieutenant governor chairs the state’s Economic Development Commission. Under (Gavin) Newsom, it’s a defunct commission. It needs to be rebooted, and we need to be an incubator and advocate for long-term reforms to make California competitive.” 

County closing books on repairs

The public will have a chance to speak at the Board of Supervisors meeting this morning about two local projects that the county is looking to close the books on.

The public hearing for the projects, which include repairs to Crescent City Harbor and Redwood Cove Senior Apartments, is the final phase in a public participation process that’s required for Community Development Block Grant-funded endeavors.

“This is the last step in the citizen participation process of the grants,” said Toni Self, administrative analyst for the county who handles all the CDBG grants. 


Tribe busts pot grows

WEITCHPEC — The California National Guard on Monday joined more than a dozen other agencies to help the Yurok tribe combat rampant marijuana grows that have threatened the reservation’s water supply, harmed its salmon and interfered with cultural ceremonies.

Law enforcement officers began serving search warrants at about 9 a.m. in the operation, which came at the request of Yurok officials and targeted properties in and near the reservation along the Klamath River.

Siskiyou Wilderness anniversary event Sunday

Fire lookouts in the Siskiyou Wilderness offer stunning views. Submitted
Thirty years ago, the High Siskiyous, — the mountains along the eastern border of Del Norte County — were designated as the Siskiyou Wilderness area.

To mark the 30th anniversary of the designation, there will be a free tour of the fire lookouts overlooking the High Siskiyous offered this Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., hosted by the Friends of Del Norte. 

Cancer fight on track

Nicolaus Bell arranges photographs of his grandmother — in honor of whom Bell’s family’s team was named “Team Grammie” — Saturday during Relay for Life, a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society. Del Norte Triplicate / Melea Burke
Attendees raise funds for cause that’s personal to many 

Six years ago Cecilia Sample-Bergren was diagnosed with brain cancer. 

At 4 years old, Cecilia went through chemotherapy and radiation. She had a stem cell transplant and was quarantined for nearly a month. Now, at 12 years old, Cecilia still goes for annual checkups, but she is currently cancer free, said her grandmother Kelly Larson.

“Because of Relay and the things they do, we still have her,” Larson said.

Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive” blared from the loudspeakers as Cecilia, breast cancer survivor Olinda Prokupek and skin cancer survivor Donna Fennell led the first lap of this year’s Relay for Life on Saturday. With nearly 50 cancer survivors clad in purple T-shirts behind them, the trio held the survivor banner as they made their way around the track at Del Norte High School.

Saving each other’s lives

Kristina Davis, holding son Little Charley, is expecting her third child, a girl they’ve named Johanna. Del Norte Triplicate / Bryant Anderson
Urged to abort her baby, Kristina Davis instead puts her faith in God

“There’s no chance for your baby to survive.”

For the third time in less than 48 hours, Kristina and Charles Davis faced the possibility of aborting their child, a little girl they have named Johanna. The day before, they discovered that Johanna was healthy at about 20 weeks into Kristina’s pregnancy. But the ultrasound also revealed an unusual thickness near Kristina’s cervix — Johanna was sharing space with a tumor, and doctors couldn’t tell how aggressive the cancer was. 

Twice before, Kristina and her family prayed for guidance, and twice her doctors came back with new information that put on hold the need to abort Johanna. But now a top specialist in the field of gynecological cancers told Kristina that she may not survive the pregnancy.

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