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Climbing high

Raeh Davis works her way to the top of the rock climbing wall provided by U.S. Army recruiters during physical training at the Redwood Coast Explorers Leadership Academy. Del Norte Triplicate / Michael Zogg
Explorers groups come together at leadership academy 

The annual Redwood Coast Explorer Leadership Academy is back in full swing this week as the Explorers make Del Norte High School their home for the week.

Every year, law enforcement Explorers from around Del Norte gather at the high school for a week of intense classes and workouts. For the first time this year, however, the academy has expanded to included all of the Explorer programs in the area.

“This is the first year that all these other Explorer agencies have come,” said Erik Apperson, who started the academy in 2003 and has been running it ever since. “In the past we have had Explorers from other areas come, but they were all law enforcement. The main difference this year is it is all local kids, but we have Fire Explorers, Del Norte Ambulance Explorers, Sheriff’s Explorers, the Police Explorers and the Sea Cadets. 

“We put all of those Explorers together and we have been able to hold classes that are a little bit more universal. The curriculum encompasses a multitude of courses that would apply to all of those.”

Local helms national forest

Merv George Jr.
Former Hoopa chairman named Six Rivers supervisor 

Six Rivers National Forest announced Wednesday that Merv George Jr. will serve as the new forest supervisor, becoming the first forest supervisor of Native American descent in the history of the Pacific Southwest Region.

As a graduate of Humboldt State University (1997) and Eureka High School (1991), George is also most likely the first local to hold Six Rivers’ top position.

“As a lifelong resident of the area and as the deputy forest supervisor for the last several years, Merv brings with him an unparalleled knowledge of the natural and cultural significance of the Six Rivers National Forest,” said Acting Forest Supervisor Mike Minton.

Loftin witness a no-show at hearing

A Crescent City man accused of stabbing a teenager with an eel hook in May and shooting another man less than a month later is still wrapped up in the Del Norte Superior Court system.

Michael Loftin, 31, who has been in jail since local law enforcement found him hiding under the backseat of a car in the Denny’s restaurant parking lot in June, will be kept in local custody for at least a little longer. Deputy District Attorney Todd Zocchi requested a continuance after Christina Letti, the prosecution’s material witness, deliberately skipped out on Tuesday’s preliminary hearing. The hearing was rescheduled for Aug. 19. Loftin faces multiple life sentences in state prison for two attempted murder counts, among other charges.

Interim chief heads police

Three new police officers, one of them the interim police chief, were sworn in at the Crescent City Council meeting this week.

Interim Police Chief Scott Berry, Officer Sarah Asbury, and Reserve Officer Alex Pearson all took oaths of office, as well as read and repeated the Peace Officer Code of Ethics at Monday’s meeting.

Irrigation cut off to some farms

GRANTS PASS, Ore. — Water is being cut off to about a third of the farms on a federal irrigation project in the drought-parched Klamath Basin of Oregon and California.

A July 31 letter from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation to irrigation districts says that the flows into the Klamath Reclamation Project’s primary reservoir have been below pre-season forecasts from the Natural Resources Conservation Service, forcing a reduction in releases to districts with junior claims on water in order to meet minimum water levels for endangered fish.

Progress made on containing Siskiyous wildfires

Major wildfires in the eastern Siskiyou Mountains continued to burn on Wednesday, covering nearly 52,000 acres, although firefighters have been able to make progress on containment.

More than 2,300 firefighters are battling the Beaver Fire near the community of Klamath River 28 miles east of Hornbrook on Highway 96 and the Oregon Gulch Fire, which straddles the California-Oregon border southeast of Ashland.

Pacific Shores grass fire put out quickly

Firefighters got a small vegetation fire in Pacific Shores under control quickly Monday.

Fort Dick Fire Chief Randy Crawford said the fire, covering a quarter to half an acre, burned mostly grass, brush and some debris.

Bike theft surges in Crescent City

Crescent City may be gaining the wrong kind of reputation among travelers who come to the Pacific Coast on bike.

Crescent City Interim Police Chief Calvin Scott Berry said he has been surprised by the number of bike thefts in the area since taking over for now-retired Police Chief Doug Plack on Monday.

Pot bust yields 286 plants

Sheriff’s deputies seized 286 marijuana plants Monday at an illegal grow operation on Murphy Street in Crescent City. Courtesy of Del Norte Sheriff’s Office
The Del Norte Sheriff’s Office executed a search warrant on the 800 block of Murphy Street on Monday and found a large marijuana grow.

Deputies arrested Illian Ginamarie Quinones-Cruz, 32, at the house and seized 286 marijuana plants along with thousands of dollars worth of growing equipment, said Commander Bill Steven.

Family: Thieves took photos of deceased relative

A robbery on North Bank Road has left some local residents scrambling to recover important memories.

The house was broken into sometime between Wednesday and Sunday last week while the owner, who asked to be unidentified, was out of town. He said he is still trying to tally everything that was taken, but of chief importance were memory disks in two cameras that contained about 400 photos of a family relative, Breena LeAnn Cardenas, who was killed in a drunk driving wreck in 2008 when she was 19 years old.

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