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Man cleared of multiple charges

Acquittal, dismissals for Klamath resident in 3 separate cases


After months of court appearances, a Klamath man was cleared Friday of the last of three assault, battery and vandalism charges against him.

Michael Clarence Loftin, 26, had a jailhouse battery charge dismissed Friday, three days after a jury acquitted him of assault with a deadly weapon causing great bodily injury.

And a charge against Loftin of vandalizing a cell in the Del Norte County Jail was dismissed last week.

HSU gets stem cell research grant

The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine has approved $17.5 million in funding for training in stem cell research at universities and research institutions across the state, with an anticipated $1.6 million slated for Humboldt State University.


At last, dredging!

Some work set to start next month

Harbormaster Richard Young points to areas needing dredging on a harbor map Thursday. The Daily Triplicate/Bryant Anderson
Boats running aground and people being able to stand knee-deep in the water may soon be just bad memories at Crescent City Harbor.

At least two of three long-delayed dredging projects should be completed within the next 12 months, and some work will be begin next month, harbor officials said this week.

As sediment has accumulated, some boats run aground if their skippers try to enter or exit the harbor at low tide.

“While this doesn’t solve the problem, it will help,” Harbormaster Richard Young said Thursday. “We’ll be in a lot better place.”

Because the money is expected to come from different federal sources, the dredging is essentially divided into three projects:

• Congressionally funded dredging by the Army Corps of Engineers for  the critical section of the federal channel along the north side of Citizen’s Dock. Corps officials say this should happen by early next year at the latest.

Counterfeit bills turning up

Stores warned after 2 take in phony money

Counterfeit money has turned up twice in the past week at Crescent City stores, and police are asking local businesses to be on the lookout for fake bills.

On Tuesday, two counterfeit $50 bills were passed at Discount Liquors on Ninth Street. On Wednesday, a fake $100 bill was reported at the Patriot Gas Station on U.S. Highway 101.

“Recently we’ve had a few, but not as many as they printed in the past,” said Detective Keith Doyle on Thursday.

Larger amounts of counterfeit money turned up during a two-week period February of last year, and last  September a police-run DUI checkpoint confiscated $850 in counterfeit bills during a pullover that resulted in three arrests.

“A lot of times they come in waves,” said Doyle.

Two DNHS choir students among the elite

Two Del Norte High School choir students will soon be among an elite group of some of the best young singers in California.
Senior Winona Hendrick and sophomore Maya Kramer will be participating in the 2009 California All-State Women's and Mixed Honor Choirs in Pasadena March 26-28.

Last fall, the two students auditioned for judges from the American Choral Director’s Association, DNHS Music Director Dan Sedgewick said. Hendrick and Kramer competed against 168 students along the North Coast.

They both scored high enough to qualify them to attend not only the California Coastal Region’s Honor Choirs Concert in November, but also the statewide concert this month.

“Basically, they’re both awesome,” Sedgewick said.

Police Logs March 20, 2009

State OKs Last Chance Grade fix

$9.25 million for Hwy. 101 work

Triplicate file photo
The California Transportation Commission (CTC) recently approved $9.25 million in construction funding to help stabilize Last Chance Grade on U.S. Highway 101.

Work on the grade, which is located about 11 miles north of Klamath, is expected to begin as soon as June or July of this year and take up to a year to be completed.

“It’s always been a priority,” Del Norte County Supervisor David Finigan said Wednesday about the project that is in his district. “It’s nice to see the CTC is fully funding what it feels is going to be a long-term fix.”

Last Chance Grade is built over a deep-seeded landslide that essentially pushes the roadway toward an oceanside cliff. This has caused the California Department of Transpor­tation (Caltrans) to perform regular maintenance on the roadway over the past 20 years just to keep it passable.

The new funding will be used by Caltrans to construct six new retaining walls for stabilization, and also improve the slope of the roadway.

Harbor, gallery reach accord

Extension has been 2 years in making

After two years of negotiations, the Crescent Harbor Art Gallery has a new lease to sign.

At Tuesday’s Harbor Commission meeting the commission voted unanimously to accept a lease designed by gallery representatives and the Harbor Commission’s lease committee.

“This has been a long time coming,” said Commissioner Ron Philips on Tuesday night. “You can’t go to a harbor without seeing a nice art gallery.”

However, as of Wednesday morning the gallery had not seen a copy of the  lease or had a chance to sign it, said Linda Ging, president of the Coast Redwoods Art Association, which runs the gallery.

The new lease is for 10 years, with a provision that it can be revisited by the harbor in five.

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