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Costs saved, fugitive lost

Shirley Rush, 65, is under investigation in Del Norte County and sought on warrants from Arkansas and Missouri.
An alleged con artist wanted for decades by several states was briefly in custody in Del Norte County but slipped away from law enforcement trying to save the county some money.

The 65-year old woman identified as Shirley Rush came to Crescent City no later than September. Since then she is believed to have written more than $40,000 in bad checks, according to a press release issued Thursday by Del Norte County District Attorney Dale Trigg.

Counties in Arkansas and Missouri are willing to extradite Rush on active felony warrants for similar crimes in their states. 

Sutter case heads to private mediation

A lawsuit alleging Sutter Coast Hospital violated a contract through which it received land to build the hospital might be settled in private mediation next week.  

If a settlement is not reached, Judge Leslie C. Nichols announced during a court hearing Thursday that he is inclined to decide the case from the bench and not grant a jury trial as requested by the plaintiff, Beverly Hussey.

Hussey, widow of the man who donated land for the hospital to be built, alleges Sutter Coast’s pursuit of a Critical Access Hospital designation, which brings in higher Medicare reimbursement for rural hospitals, would degrade the hospital to a point that it would violate the Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&Rs) contract that outlined how the donated land could be used.

Caltrans says Last Chance Grade fix going as quickly as possible

Last Chance Grade’s precarious placement on a sliding seaboard has the county abuzz over how to fix it fastest, while Caltrans maintains it’s doing all it can to move the project along.

“The reason I brought up the emergency status is because Caltrans hasn’t given us any answers short of declaring that,” Kurt Stremberg said at Thursday’s Del Norte Local Transportation Commission meeting.

When U.S. 101 collapsed north of Klamath in 1972, it proved fatal for both of Stremberg’s parents. To save his neighbors the heartache, Stremberg has made it his onus since then to keep the slide out from happening again.

School Board mulls upping hours for instructional aides

The Del Norte County Unified School District Board took a cursory look Thursday at increasing instructional aides’ hours to furnish its special education program with better trained and invested staff.

At 3.5 hours a day maximum, the aides have little reason not to call in sick frequently or quit early, according to a study on the district’s special education program prepared in May by School Services of California, Inc.

With no retirement plan, “there’s no reason to save sick leave if you’re 3.5,” said Assistant Superintendent of Business Services Jeff Napier.

O'Rourke, Masten trailing in early results

Preliminary results from Tuesday’s runoff election were announced Wednesday, favoring new leadership on the Yurok Tribal Council

James Dunlap took 576 votes for chair over incumbent Thomas P. O’Rourke’s 383.

The race for vice chair was slightly closer, with David L. Gensaw Sr. winning 543 votes. Incumbent Susan Masten claimed 410.

The Election Board meets Nov. 16, to certify results.

Contact the Election Department at 707-482-1350 or This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it for more information.

Board taps task force member

Patricia Black was selected by unanimous vote Tuesday from six applicants interviewed to sit on the Del Norte Solid Waste Management Authority (DSWMA) Board of Commissioners.

Black is a member services specialist for the Del Norte Open Door Community Health Center, a member of the authority’s advisory task force since 2012 and a former Spanish language teacher. Black was selected for having connections with diverse groups in the county, as well as a marked commitment to the agency charged with overseeing local trash and recycling, DSWMA commissioners noted.

Black’s seat on the board is reserved for a member of the public. Her selection must still be approved by Crescent City Council and Del Norte County supervisors.

'Nothing changes' for Pac Shores owner

Seven swampy properties at Pacific Shores are still worth more than their owner claims, according to a recent decision by the Del Norte County Board of Supervisors.

In 1964, Dwayne Smith bought a handful of half-acre lots from a salesman in Southern California; his intention was to build property, first for vacation and then for retirement.

More than 50 years later Smith lives in a senior community in Seal Beach, staking continued claims in a protracted campaign to recover his losses on the failed residential subdivision between Lake Tolowa and the Pacific.

Emergency dispatch call logs, Nov. 5-8, 2015

Excerpts from the call logs for the Del Norte County Sheriff’s Office, Crescent City Police Department, Del Norte Ambulance, Fort Dick Fire District, and California Highway Patrol, November 5-8:

Thursday, November 5

At 1:41 a.m., a noise complaint for the 800 block of J Street.

At 8:07 a.m., caller says his car was tampered with in a parking lot on the 300 block of U.S. 101 South.

At 10:03 a.m., caller reports hearing a man yelling and screaming near Joshua Road and U.S. 101.

DNSO on lookout for C.C. woman

 Local law enforcement is looking for a Crescent City woman considered armed and dangerous and wanted for attempted murder.

She was last seen in Smith River.

Bite Out of Blight cleanup, Nov. 7, 2015

 On Saturday morning 21 volunteers, with the support of several local businesses, teamed up to clean up Embarcadero Drive. The crew filled a 20-cubic-yard dumpster with about 1.6 tons of litter from an area frequently used for illegal camping.

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