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A Grand Old Flag

Former State Department dignitary R. Barrie Walkley unfurls a Stars and Stripes-themed quilt, one of many mementos from his service to his country. Del NorteTriplicate / Bryant Anderson
British-born Del Norte retiree reflects on three decades of service in U.S. State Department 

Visitors to R. Barrie Walkley’s home can read the story of his life and career on its walls.

Two American flags, a plaque commemorating the 2011 inauguration of the U.S. Embassy in South Sudan and a U.S. Consulate General’s seal adorn the outbuildings. Wooden tablets hang from a bookcase near the front door. The Arabic lines, written by Somali and Guinean schoolchildren learning the Koran, share space with Steinbeck and Hemingway. A wooden stork headdress, crafted by the Baga people of Guinea, stands in one corner of Walkley’s living room. A second headdress, this one of a fish and a woman, reside in another corner. And two pairs of glass eyes from a stuffed springbok and gemsbok gaze out Walkley’s window onto the Smith River below.

Second chase suspect caught

Read more...Authorities believe they’ve caught up with the other man who led them on a chase into Smith River earlier this month that resulted in a school lockdown and two-day town-wide search. 

Suspected to be the person who shot at law enforcement from the passenger seat of a stolen vehicle during a high-speed pursuit, Brandon Proctor, 27, was apprehended at Wildwood Lane and Madison Avenue in Crescent City on Wednesday night by Del Norte County Sheriff deputies, who made the arrest without incident, sheriff’s officials said. Proctor, who said he is a Smith River transient, was spotted as deputies made contact with another unrelated subject who had been lying in the road.

Rancheria reclaims long-lost artifacts

Three-hundred and eighty-two pieces from a culture shattered by genocide may leave the Del Norte County Historical Society’s collection next week, when Smith River Rancheria is expected to reclaim things taken from the mass graves lying where Tolowa villages once stood.

A 1990 law enacted to protect Native American graves requires that control over their contents be returned to descendants within federally-recognized tribes. 

“There’s never been an apology by the federal government on what has happened to native people at all. But this is one step towards that apology. Let’s return these things so people can continue to practice their religion,” said Don Steinruck, Smith River Rancheria’s coordinator for the project. 

Huffman to visit Klamath for Last Chance Grade mtg.

U.S. Rep. Jared Huffman will be in Klamath on Monday afternoon to announce the formation of a stakeholder group tasked with exploring possible solutions to Last Chance Grade, according to a press release from his office.

The group will be formed in response to ongoing trouble caused by a section of U.S. Highway south of Crescent City that is set on an unstable slope above the ocean. 

“Last Chance Grade has for decades experienced landslides, sometimes with tragic consequences, and frequently caused disruption of traffic, and posed major safety risks,” the release states. 


Supervisors approve $2M grant application

Up to $2 million in grant money that Del Norte County missed out on last year is back on the table, and the same local programs that suffered from 2014’s loss are looking to get refunded.

The county’s 2015 Community Block Development Grant application, approved at this week’s County Supervisors meeting, aims to provide senior nutrition and court advocacy services with $250,000 each, as well as fund a couple other public infrastructure and supplemental projects, like the Bess Maxwell Safe Routes to Schools project, ADA upgrades to the Smith River Community Hall and a $50,000 code enforcement push in certain impoverished areas of Del Norte. 

Reporter's Notebook: Teacher connects troubled history to kids’ experiences

Speaking as a coordinator for the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, Del Norte County Historical Society vice president Sean Smith is quoted in a front page story today. 

Smith is also a teacher at Crescent Elk Middle School, where every year he explains the concept of genocide to eighth graders so that they will have “a framework for understanding what happened between Euro-American settlers of this region and the Tolowa and Yurok peoples,” he said. 

Huffman: No to USPS closure

In a letter addressed this week to new Postmaster General Megan Brennan, Congressman Jared Huffman reiterated his opposition to the U.S. Postal Service’s plan to close the Eureka Customer Service Mail Processing Center, where much of Crescent City mail is sorted. 

“I am concerned that recent Postal Service decisions regarding delivery service standards will exacerbate the impacts to my rural constituents,” the letter states. 

The closure, announced in 2011 and scheduled to take place sometime this year, will send mail north to Medford to be sorted, taking Eureka-area mail on a 194-mile journey before being dispersed to its final location. Outgoing mail from Crescent City, which already travels some distance for sorting, will only see an additional 27 miles, if sent upriver. 


$2M in drought bill to fight illegal pot

The California Legislature passed an emergency budget this week to address the state’s ongoing drought, which included $2 million in bond money for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife that will create 11 additional positions “focused on ending the thousands of illegal [marijuana] cultivation related diversions in Northern California watersheds,” according to a March 25 press release from Sen. Mike McGuire’s office. 


One driver injured in Northcrest crash

A Crescent City man was extracted from his vehicle and transported by Del Norte Ambulance to Sutter Coast Hospital Friday morning after his vehicle collided with another. 

John Horner, 40, sustained major injuries that included a broken hip and lacerations when, according to California Highway Patrol, he failed to slow or stop his 2007 Chevy Aveo and crashed into Richard White’s 2000 Ford Pickup. 

PenAir gets DOT approval

A PenAir flight passes over Mount McKinley in southwest Alaska, where the airline is based. Courtesy PenAir
With Essential Air Service partner settled, airport awaits flight schedule 

The U.S. Department of Transportation selected PenAir to provide Essential Air Service to Crescent City, putting the company in position to be the airport’s next sole commercial carrier as it takes over for SkyWest, which has a final departure scheduled for April 6. 

Made public Wednesday afternoon, the order for a two-year contract has PenAir compensated with federal subsidies in the amounts of $3.5 million for the first year and nearly $3 million for the second, the same sums requested in the company’s February bid for service to and from Crescent City, set to begin in September. 

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