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Girl struck by van

A 7-year-old girl was injured  Monday evening on U.S. High­way 169 in Klamath after she crossed into the path of a mini-van, according to a California High­way Patrol report.

The Klamath girl suffered major injuries, according to the CHP, which did not release her name.

The girl was transported to Sutter Coast Hospital and later flown to Oakland Children’s Medical Center.

The girl and three of her siblings were waiting with their mother to cross Highway 169 when the mother saw someone she knew approaching from their west in an SUV, the CHP report said, adding the mother yelled to her friend to ask for a ride.

The girl misunderstood and thought her mother was telling her to cross the street, stated the CHP. She then  walked into the path of an eastbound Dodge Caravan.

The driver of the van, Vicky Lynn Bates, 48, of Klamath, was driving 35 mph, braked and swerved left, the CHP report said.  The van’s right-side mirror struck the girl in the head, the CHP said.

Blackhawks fly in

Cavalry unit makes a stop in commander’s hometown

Members of the 4-6 Air Cavalry unload after landing on Tuesday. The Daily Triplicate/Bryant Anderson
Crescent City was invaded Tuesday night, sort of.

Five Blackhawk troop transport helicopters thundered over the town and landed to an appreciative audience of about 70 people watching at the Del Norte County Airport.

The 4-6 Air Cavalry out of Fort Lewis, Wash., made an unusual pit stop in Crescent City on its way home from training at Fort Irwin, Calif.

Why? Because the unit’s commanding officer is a local.

Army Maj. Aadam Trask, the 4-6’s commanding officer, was taking one of his last flights in a 28-year career as a helicopter pilot. Trask is retiring at the end of the year.

To see more photos from this event click here.

Judge orders murder trial

Local woman killed nearly one year ago

Nearly a year after Crescent City resident Michelle Dickson was stabbed to death at a Del Norte County picnic area and her body thrown over the highest bridge in Oregon, the 23-year-old’s suspected killer will stand trial for her murder.

A Del Norte Superior Court judge ruled that there was sufficient evidence presented during Josiah Marlon Miller’s preliminary hearing Tuesday to warrant the charges against the Arcata resident and move forward with a much-anticipated trial.

Judge William Fol­lett made his decision in front of a courtroom filled with Miller and Dickson’s family and friends, who listened to several hours of testimony from a number of witnesses, including law enforcement officials, a DNA expert and a close acquaintance of the defendant.

While there was no evidence that inextricably linked Miller to Dickson’s death, Del Norte County District Attorney Mike Riese used the hearing to paint a portrait of a suspect who continually changed the story he told friends and investigators about the night Dickson disappeared and the hours leading up to when her car was found consumed in flames on a beach south of Crescent City.

Waste Authority prepares budget

The Del Norte Solid Waste Management Authority could be adopting a budget June 10.

The proposed budget for 2009-10 totals  $3,116,000, which is $935,780 less than the budget for the current fiscal year, according to authority director Kevin Hendrick.

There are two main reasons for the decrease. Only a small portion of two short-term grants, totalling $369,000, will be transferring over to the next fiscal year, and the authority reassessed its financial arrangement with Hambro Waste Sol­utions, the company that operates the transfer station.

“When we started the operations agreement with Hambro, we were unsure of how much revenue would be coming in,” Hendrick said. “After four years of history, payments to Hambro have never exceeded $2 million; so we can reduce that budget line by $500,000 and still have enough to pay Hambro.”

Fire and Water

The Daily Triplicate/Bryant Anderson
Firehose water gushes from the gutter of a condemned motel during a controlled burn Tuesday night at Ninth and J streets. Close to surrounding houses, the building had firefighters paying extra-close attention.

To see more picures from the burn click here .

News of Record May 29-June 4

Stolen car found in Smith River

Authorities fished a stolen car out of the Smith River on Tuesday near the Dr. Fine Bridge on U.S. Highway 101.

At approximately 7:30 a.m., the California Highway Patrol received a report that a car was in the river.

The vehicle, later determined to be stolen, was standing on its wheels 7 feet underwater and nearly 30 feet from shore, CHP Officer Mike Brown said.

“They pushed it down the incline and into the river,” Brown said. “At first we were worried that there might be someone in the vehicle, but the sheriff sent in their dive team and they reported the vehicle was empty.”

Because the vehicle was in a waterway, the Department of Fish and Game was called in to remove it and access the environmental impact.
“This was not a big pollution event,” said Fish and Game spokesperson Carol Singleton. “There were no significant impacts to the water or wildlife.”

National Park to rescue?

Agreement could bring federal help

Jeff Bomke, left, of state parks and Steve Chaney of the National Park Service discuss possible closures. The Daily Triplicate/Bryant Anderson
They call them the Redwood National and State Parks, and that may be what saves the state park portion of the partnership, including most of the redwoods in Del Norte County.

The redwood parks of the North Coast are run under a unique agreement that allows the National Park Service and California State Parks to operate cooperatively, essentially sharing resources.

With Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger proposing to close all the state parks on the North Coast due to the state government's budget crisis, the NPS is in a position to help due to the unique nature of the two park services’ cooperative management agreement.

Schwarzenegger’s proposal shines a spotlight on a portion of the redwoods operating agreement between the National Park Service and California State Parks. In essence, the agreement states that, “to the extent practicable,” both agencies “commit their respective resources” for the common protection of the RNSP “without regard to ownership.”

Proposal to close parks costs more than it saves

The Crescent City office houses both state and national redwood parks officials. The Daily Triplicate/Bryant Anderson
The proposal to close 220 California state parks to help fill a yawning state budget deficit may do just the opposite.

A study of the economic impact of state parks on the California economy indicates that closing parks may actually increase the state’s budget woes while also damaging local economies.

The study, “The Role of California State Parks in the California Economic System,” is considered, by both the state and national park service, to be a generally valid accounting of revenue the state park system generates.

“We use the study’s numbers as general statements,” said Redwoods State Parks Superintendent Jeff Bomke. “But it’s important to remember that there are no perfect numbers, there is always a margin of error.”

The 2008-09 budget for the California State Parks included $149 million from the states’ tax-based general fund, according to John Harris, the redwoods state parks’ natural resource program manager in Eureka.

Spikes end chase that reaches 100 mph

Pursuit starts in Oregon and ends south of Mill Creek

A high-speed chase that began in Oregon and raced through Crescent City ended late Sunday just south of Mill Creek.

At 11:30 p.m., Curry County sheriff’s Deputy Ted Longton attempted to pull over a car on  Benham Lane in Harbor.

The driver, Drake Bettinger, 34, of Brookings, refused to pull over and sped south down Wenbourne Lane and then Oceanview Drive, authorities said.

Amanda Evans, 21, and Shane Clark, 37, both of Brookings, were also in the vehicle, authorities said.

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