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News of Record Dec. 5–11, 2014

These are the misdemeanor and felony sentencings provided by the Del Norte County Superior Court for the dates of Dec. 5–11:

Matthew McKeown, 35, Crescent City, was sentenced to 12 years in state prison and fined $1,231 for second-degree robbery (felony) and possession of a firearm by a felon.

Christopher Bessant, 23, Crescent City, was sentenced to 75 days in jail and three years of probation and fined $1,190 for possession of dirk/dagger (felony).

To 'educate and inform'

Lori Moodie-Cotta, 12, takes notes as she peruses the Dec. 2 Triplicate, provided to schools through Newspapers in Education. Del Norte Triplicate / Bryant Anderson
Lori Moodie-Cotta bent over the Dec. 2 issue of the Triplicate.

Lori and her peers in Heidi Graham’s fifth through eighth-grade class at Klamath River Early College of the Redwoods go through the newspaper every Tuesday and Thursday, making notes in a worksheet they turn in at the end of the lesson. 

The seventh-grader noted who the “Special good morning” message was to that day, the three-day weather forecast and the headlines. She then had to summarize any interesting stories in the newspaper, writing down “who, what, where, when, why and how” and write a paragraph explaining the article.

Flood danger falls as storm hits

Read more...Wednesday rain much lighter than earlier predicted 

Del Norte braced for high winds, potential power outages and the usual rock slides Wednesday as a strong Pacific storm system pummeled the North Coast.

High surf and wind advisories from the National Weather Service remained in effect until Thursday morning, with 19 to 24-foot breaking waves on west-facing beaches.

Mining corp. still pushing for test drilling

Red Flat Nickel disputes potential threat to fish, flows 

Proponents of open-pit mining in headwaters of the Smith River won’t take no, or even thousands of nos, for an answer. 

Red Flat Nickel Corporation has petitioned the State of Oregon Water Resources Department to reconsider its refusal to let the mining outfit pull from a tributary straddling the state line. The company wants water for test drilling, a crucial step towards developing a strip mine on its 3,000-acre Cleopatra claim within Rogue-Siskiyou National Forest, an area encompassing three major tributaries of the North Fork of the Smith River.

Three vehicles in 199 crash

A three-car collision involving a Caltrans truck on Tuesday evening delayed traffic on U.S. Highway 199 north of Gasquet and left two people with minor injuries.

Michael E. Polk, 46, of Crescent City, was traveling north on Highway 199 when his 2005 Dodge crossed the double yellow lines and collided with a Caltrans dump truck driven by Christopher J. Conrad, 35, of Cave Junction, Ore., who was traveling south.

Redwood School electronics stolen

Sheriff’s deputies are investigating a burglary at Redwood School that occurred over the weekend and resulted in the theft of five iPad minis and at least one laptop.

Teachers in two classrooms at the K-8 school on the 6900 block of Lake Earl Drive reported the thefts when they arrived at work on Monday morning, according to Jeff Napier, assistant superintendent of business for the Del Norte County Unified School District. He said the burglars gained access to the classrooms by forcing the windows open.

Gathering of Cultures

Songs and dances dominated the performances at Saturday’s Hmong New Year celebration at Crescent Elk Middle School. Del Norte Triplicate / Melea Burke
The main building at Crescent Elk Middle School was alive with color, music and the savory aroma of good things to eat on Saturday.

Inside the auditorium a huge banner proclaimed “Nyob Zoo Xyoo Tshiab — Happy Hmong New Year 2014–2015.” Girls and boys ran around in traditional Hmong dress, the coins on the boys’ necks jingling, the sequins on the girls’ headdresses catching the light and Hmong songs and dances dominated the performances.

But this year’s celebration took on a more multi-cultural theme with the inclusion of Humboldt State University’s Ballet Folklorico de Humboldt as well as Crescent City’s Baile de Paloma.

Bennett finishes 20 years on CR board

Del Norte County’s newest representative on the College of the Redwoods Board of Trustees will start her first term today.

Carol Matthews, whose career at the College of the Redwoods Del Norte Education Center spans more than 30 years, ran unopposed for CR Trustee Area 3 in the November election. She succeeds Rick Bennett, who had been on the CR Board for 20 years. 

Bennett announced his retirement earlier this year.

Upcoming storm will pack a punch

Heavy rains, big waves and winds to be reckoned with are in the forecast for Del Norte this week.

A high surf advisory is in effect from Tuesday evening until the wee hours on Thursday, with 20 to 25-foot breaking waves expected to barrel in to north and west-facing beaches. 

During this time, 15–30 mph winds may be punctuated by 60 mph gusts, making drives on highways 101 and 199 particularly perilous.

Complications slow losing battle with house fire

Owner laments loss of home he built over 50 years ago 

An old house at 1800 Union St. burned up late Sunday night, bringing three dozen firefighters to a sketchy scene down an overgrown dirt road in Crescent City.

Shimmying one engine down the narrow drive and running the hose from another engine as far as it would reach, firefighters eventually put out the blaze with no injuries. 

But when a blast of water sent white-hot electrical sparks flying, the firefighters pulled back and waited for a technician from Pacific Power to cut the juice. This was just one factor of several beleaguering the three-hour effort. 

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