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Officials seek cause of fatal fire

Man remains in stable condition

Officials still don’t know the cause of a house fire on Endert Street that killed Jill Flagler, 42, of Crescent City, on Tuesday, and they say the investigation will likely hinge on details provided by her husband who was able to escape the blaze.

Michael Flagler, 46, was admitted to Sutter Coast Hospital with carbon monoxide poisoning, and Crescent City Fire Chief Steve Wakefield said investigators from Cal Fire intend to interview him to try to find out exactly what happened.

“We had a fire, we know kind of what area of the house it started in, and we don’t really know why,” Wakefield said. “I think the next piece of the puzzle is when they can talk to him and find out from him what he knows.”

Woman dies in blaze

Man treated for smoke inhalation

Firefighters work inside. The Daily Triplicate/Bryant Anderson
A Crescent City woman died in a house fire Tuesday afternoon that left her husband in intensive care with carbon monoxide poisoning due to smoke inhalation.

Authorities are still investigating the cause of the fire that claimed the life of Jill Flagler, 42, and injured Michael Flagler, 46, who was able to escape after bystanders assisted him through a window.

He was listed in stable condition at Sutter Coast Hospital.

“We’re still in the middle of the investigation,” Crescent City Fire Chief Steve Wakefield said, and Cal Fire officials haven’t yet determined what actually sparked the blaze at 772 Endert St. in the Bertsch Tract neighborhood. “They’re still scraping up all the debris, looking through it and trying to find anything out about what caused the fire.”

Court upholds gay marriage ban

County issued at least 52 same-sex licenses

During the period last year that same-sex marriage was legal in California, at least 52 same-sex couples obtained marriage licenses in Del Norte County.

That’s out of 171 total couples, which makes the number of same-sex couples almost a third of the total marriages for the period.

While upholding the voter-approved Proposition 8 ban on gay marriage, the state Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriages that already occurred remain valid. 

The majority of the same-sex couples obtaining licenses in Del Norte County traveled from states where same-sex marriage wasn’t legal.

Marriage license records at the County Recorders Office showed same-sex couples traveling from as far as the East Coast to get married in Del Norte.

Supervisors repeat stand on watershed

Compensation sought if land sale occurs

The Del Norte County Board of Supervisors is once again trying to stop the federal government from taking land off the county’s tax rolls by turning it into public property.

In the upcoming fiscal year budget, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has proposed a $1 million appropriation for the acquisition of the Hurdygurdy Creek watershed, nearly 5,400 acres of private property within the boundaries of the Smith River National Recreation Area.

The land is currently owned by Agnew Corporation, and county supervisors are worried that if it goes into public ownership they won’t get anything in return to offset the loss of revenue that could be generated through possible timber receipts and property taxes.

“It comes down to dollars and cents,” District 3 Supervisor Mike Sullivan said. “We are shrinking and it seems there has been a movement to put land into the public trust.”

Alcohol a big contributor to holiday arrests

Memorial Day weekend is a holiday for honoring those who died in service to our country.

You might think it would inspire contemplation and remembrance, but  police logs from the weekend paint a different story.

There were more than 20 alcohol-related disorderly conduct and DUI charges in Del Norte County over the long weekend. During a typical weekend, there are rarely more than five or six such arrests, authorities said.

News of Record May 15-21

‘We can never forget’

Events honor vets, seafarers

Korean War veteran Jim Husong salutes the flag at the Crescent City Veterans Cemetery on Monday morning. The Daily Triplicate/Bryant Anderson
Del Norte County remembered the fallen with emotion and honor  Monday at two ceremonies.

Whether they died in combat or at sea, the departed were honored with flags, poetry and tears on Memorial Day.

The first ceremony, honoring those who died for their country in battle, took place at the Crescent City Veteran’s Cemetery.

“It’s a price we can never forget,” said Ricardo de Solenni, whose brother died in Afghanistan. “It’s something that hits close to home, yet those who haven’t experienced war can’t put their finger on it, other than to honor those who are gone.”

 To see more pictures of Mondays events click here and here .


Aid offered to firms hit by salmon closures

Team in town on Wednesday regarding loans

The closing of the 2009 commercial salmon fishing season spells economic woe for Del Norte County, but there is one small bright spot.

The U.S. Small Business Administration announced that low interest disaster loans are available to small businesses that have suffered financial losses due to the closure.

SBA is offering working capital loans of up to $2 million at an interest rate of 4 percent and with terms up to 30 years, a press release states.

These “loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact,” said SBA Disaster Field Operations Center Director Alfred Judd.

Marijuana charges are dismissed

Deputy’s heart attack derails prosecution

Charges have been dismissed — for now — against two Oregon brothers arrested last year after a traffic stop turned up more than 6 pounds of marijuana  packaged in numerous ways.

The Del Norte County District Attorney’s Office sought dismissal of charges of possession of marijuana, transportation of the drug and possession of marijuana for sale against Jerald M. Inman 47 of Medford, and his brother, Kenneth E. Inman, 50 of Grants Pass.

But District Attorney Mike Riese said they will eventually be refiled — after the investigating officer recovers from a heart attack.

The brothers had been in Del Norte County Jail since their arrest Nov. 18.

Chasing the Storms

Retired mailman unwinds chasing elusive twisters

Mike Stern leaves soon for Oklahoma City. The Daily Triplicate/Byrant Anderson
Who would want to spend a vacation chasing storms all over the Midwest?

Mike Stern, that’s who.

After living in California his whole life, the retired Crescent City mailman decided five years ago that he wanted to see a tornado in person and he’s been chasing that dream ever since.

“I’ve never seen clouds like that,” Stern, 64, said, pointing at a photo of dark gray storm clouds rolling across the plains of Tornado Alley in the Midwest.

After watching storm-chasing shows on the Weather Channel, Stern knew he had to see a tornado, but that’s not likely to happen in California.

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