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Climb to the summit

The Tsunami All Starz senior level one team: (back row from left) Leya Pofahl, Jade Potts, Grace Gromacki (coach), Kenzi Achziger, Katie Sandoval; (front row from left) Kaylee Eiserich, Kaydence Farley, Haley Patapoff-Pruitt and Sarina Deihl brought home a first place finish and a bid to the summit in Tampa from The American Masterpiece cheer competition in San Jose Jan. 23-24. Del Norte Triplicate / Michael Zogg
The Tsunami All Starz senior level one cheer team ran into a bit of trouble on the first day of competition at The American Masterpiece in San Jose on Jan. 23. Some of the stunts performed by the youngsters were too difficult for the level 1 division and it costs the All Starz four points.

Luckily the senior team, consisting of eight girls ages 18-11, had put together such a clean performance that they were still in first place out of the six teams in their division.

“Being that much ahead of second place was really impressive,” said Tsunami All Starz senior level one coach Grace Gromacki.

Council hires new city manager

Michael Knight, a retired interim Eureka city manager, was hired Monday to serve as Crescent City’s interim city manager and to assist city council in its search for a permanent manager.

“I look forward to working with staff on the issues they have on their plate,” Knight said. “My first priority is to lead a nationwide search for a permanent city manager.”

The Council voted 5-0 to approve Knight, who takes over today for newly departed City Manager Eugene Palazzo.

Transportation plan requires multi-agency coordination

The most recent public Regional Transportation Plan meeting centered around what the plan covers and where people should go to voice concerns about a particular project.

The general interconnected nature of transportation infrastructure warrants discussions between agencies about how it all fits together, said Jeff Schwein, with Green Dot Transortation Solutions.

“You can’t just think in a box and do something for your own entity. You have to talk about what’s happening in the region and make sure it’s a good investment for the community as a whole, for the state as a whole, and for the nation as a whole. So, they’re trying to tie it all together,” Schwein said.

Friends, family and officials celebrate life of Jordan Kekry

Jordan Kekry talks about his life and business at Julindra Recycling in 2013. Del Norte Triplicate / Bryant Anderson
A chance meeting and a first foray into computers prompted Jordan Kekry to ask 18-year-old Kelly Schellong for help.

Schellong and her mother, who was good friends with Kekry, ran into him at the former Roland’s Restaurant, had dinner with him and listened to his frustrations. The future city councilwoman went to Kekry’s office after dinner, took the computer out of the box, began setting it up and received a job offer.

“I worked for him for the summer,” Schellong said, adding she worked for Kekry just before she left to attend College of the Redwoods in 1988. “The guys would go out and do their beer orders and deliveries and they would call orders in over the phone. Back then I had this really long legal-size pad of order forms and I would take orders for different beers over the phone and I would put them into the computer. I also did daily bookkeeping for the recycling part of the business.”

Walmart employee struck by truck dies in hospital Saturday

Teena Ramsland, 58, of Crescent City, died early Saturday morning after being struck by a pickup truck Thursday evening in Crescent City.

She was taken first to Sutter Coast Hospital then airlifted to Redding for treatment of blunt force trauma to the head, where she died shortly after 2 a.m.

According to California Highway Patrol, Ramsland just came off-shift at Walmart and was walking home a few blocks away. While crossing Summer Lane, just north of east Washington Boulevard, she was hit by a Toyota pickup truck driven by John Gulick, 30, also a Walmart employee.

SOU student drowns in high surf at Whalehead

Separated from friends in waves

A Southern Oregon University student died 2 p.m. Saturday at Whalehead Beach, eight miles north of Brookings, after he was caught in strong currents and pounding surf in the cold ocean water.

Alex Howell, 23, of Ashland and, Alex Smith, 22, of Medford, were visiting the coast with two other friends and decided to take a swim in the ocean. According to Oregon State Police and Curry County Sheriff’s reports, the two were about 75 yards offshore when Howell indicated he needed to get back to the beach.

They were separated by a heavy surf and the strong current.

Emergency dispatch call logs, Jan. 29-31, 2016

Excerpts from the Del Norte County emergency dispatch call logs, Jan. 29-31:

Friday, January 29

At 4:04 a.m., caller says four well-dressed Spanish men came into her house on the 200 block of F Street and disappeared a short time later. Caller says she does not know how they got in.

At 7:53 a.m., report of a woman staggering while walking a bike and yelling at herself while walking near 9th and G streets.

At 10:06 a.m., caller on the 1100 block of U.S. 101 North says he has not been able to contact his wife in the past two days and he is concerned.

Prison welfare check policy protest held in Sacramento

Dozens of opponents of California prisons' welfare check policy pose for a group photo on Monday in Sacramento, where they gathered to protest. // Courtesy Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity Committee
More than 5 dozen protesters rallied Monday afternoon in front of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation in Sacramento to voice their opposition to a controversial policy implemented at Pelican Bay State Prison this summer. 

Lawyers, activists, former prisoners as well as family members of those currently behind bars came by caravans from across the state to speak outside CDCR on the 6-month anniversary of PBSP’s “welfare check” policy affecting inmates of the prison’s Security Housing Unit (SHU). 

The twice-hourly checks were introduced at special housing units within other state prisons almost 10 years ago, with the stated goal of “limiting the opportunity an inmate has to commit acts of self-harm,” according to CDCR press secretary Terry Thornton. By having a correctional officers visit inmates at frequent at staggered intervals in the SHU, Administrative Segregation Unit (ASU), or Psychiatric Services Unit (PSU), officials hoped to reduce suicides. 

Clues few and far between for van submerged in Smith River

Family members are still hanging on for any sign of two men thought dead after their van crashed into the Smith River where it has remained submerged almost two months. 

Steve Fillman, 60, and Fred Hansen Jr., 54, were long-time residents of Crescent City. On Dec. 5, Fillman left town in the early afternoon to visit his mother, who was at an assisted living center in Grants Pass with a fractured hip. Hansen, his best friend and neighbor, came for the day trip. Around 7 p.m. that evening, Fillman called his wife, Deborah, to say he would be home in an hour. 

“Deborah Fillman never heard from him again,” wrote investigating officer John Nevarez, in a recent collision report. 

Deadline change doesn't move city

Even though the state will probably remove the March 1 deadline requiring jurisdictions adopt local marijuana ordinances, several Crecent City Council Members don’t think the blanket Crescent City pot law will change.

On Jan. 19 Crescent City Council approved its own ordinance, banning cultivation and other uses of marijuana. The ordinance includes a criminal misdemeanor penalty as a public nuisance. The City Council hurried the ordinance through because of the looming March 1 deadline.

On Thursday, the state assembly approved a bill on a 66-0 votes that extends the deadline indefinitely.

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