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24-hour alert at border

State steps up effort to stop invasive species

The inspection station on U.S. Highway 101 south of the Oregon border is now open 24 hours per day. The Daily Triplicate/Nicholas Grube
In the second half of last year the California agricultural inspection station on Highway 101 caught almost 10 times as many bad bugs as it did in the first six months.

The “Bug Station,” has been open more often than it has been for the last five years. In fact, it never closes now.

After five years of frequently shuttered bays, the inspection stations at the California/Oregon border on highways 101 and 199 returned to operating 24 hours a day in August 2008, and  business is booming.

In the first six months of 2008, inspectors at the Highway 101 station found 35 prohibited pests and noxious weeds, said Steve Lyle, director of public affairs for the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA).

Since last summer’s increase in staffing and hours, more than 300 separate incidents of “bad bugs” were caught at the border, he said.


City hires new manager

After months of interviews, the Crescent City Council announced the hiring of a new city manager Monday.

With a unanimous vote, the council appointed Rod Butler to fill a position that was long left in the hands of an interim administrator who came out of retirement after the previous manager resigned unexpectedly in May 2008.

Butler, 44, has 19 years of experience working as an administrator in city government. His most recent job was as the assistant to the city manager of Pomona, the fifth largest municipality in Los Angeles County.

Though Butler was not at Monday’s meeting when the council made its announcement, he did express his gratitude and excitement in a written statement.

City Council supports theme

No decision made on how to present city to visitors

Crescent City Councilwoman Donna Westfall didn’t have to nudge her colleagues much to get the type of response she was looking for.

And she definitely didn’t need a sword or an eyepatch to do it either.

Instead, at Monday’s City Council meeting, Westfall — who once donned pirate’s garb to help exemplify her desire to bring a theme to Crescent City — only needed to ask for her fellow council members’ opinions about the subject.

Councilman Charles Slert, an accomplished architect, liked the idea of bringing a theme back to Crescent City. He noted that there have been attempts to do so, citing some of the nautical artifacts strewn along Front Street.

“Instead of reinventing the wheel, I’d like to see us get back on track,” Slert said. “It just creates a framework, or a point of reference, so there’s continuity throughout the community.”


4th arrest in beating at shelter

Police still seek another suspect

A fourth suspect in the beating of a man outside the temporary homeless shelter at the Del Norte County Fairgrounds has been arrested.

But a fifth suspect identified only as “Jason Brown,” the man whom authorities believe struck the victim in the head with a flashlight, is still at large, said Sgt. Steve Hablitzel of the California Highway Patrol.

Clinton Makemson was arrested at 2:30 p.m. Saturday on suspicion of  attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon.

“Makemson was involved with the beating, but he is not the suspect who hit the victim in the head with a flashlight,” said Del Norte District Attorney Mike Riese.


Gasquet to get $20K grant for radio devices

The Gasquet Fire Protection District has received more than $20,000 in grant funds that it will use to buy a new radio repeater to put at the Camp Six Lookout site, it was announced Monday.

Gasquet Fire Chief Darrell Parlasca said the money is coming at a good time because the repeater is old and weak, and just recently stopped working.

“We’re replacing that repeater and we’re also going to buy a couple hand held and portable radios,” he said.


Four escape mishaps on Smith

3 rescued after raft capsizes; camper awakes to immersion

The top portion of the camper shell of Gary Handsher’s truck was in the Smith River after he awoke to find it immersed in water. The Daily Triplicate/Bryant Anderson
Four men survived watery mishaps in two separate incidents Friday on the high and fast-flowing Smith River.

Three were Oregon residents who went on a rafting trip on the North Fork on Friday afternoon and capsized. A fourth man man woke up Friday morning with his camper immersed in water on what had been the bank of the river.

Chad Adkinson, 42, and his son Brock Adkinson, 18, both from Jacksonville Ore., and Jonathan Dahlin from Medford, Ore., put in at Moors Mooring, 14 miles up on the North Fork of the Smith River for a “pleasure rafting trip,” said Del Norte County sheriff’s Commander Tim Athey.

After their raft capsized, Brock Adkinson and Dahlin were hoisted out of the river at about 5 p.m. by a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter. Chad Adkinson was pulled out of the water at the confluence of the Middle and North forks of the river by nearby residents, said Athey.

Creditor sues retirement center

Addie Meedom House could face foreclosure

Owners of Addie Meedom House, an assisted-living facility in Crescent City that houses 35 residents, plan to keep it open. File photo
An Oregon bank has taken legal action to foreclose on the Addie Meedom House and its parent company, Sunwest Management, Inc., after the local assisted living community defaulted on millions of dollars’ worth of loans.

What this means for the 35 residents at the Addie Meedom House remains to be seen. But Sunwest’s Vice President of Operations, Randy Cyphers, said his company plans to keep the facility’s doors open despite its financial difficulties.

“We’re not just a Starbucks where we can just close the door,” Cyphers said Wednesday. “We intend to keep the property, and as far as foreclosure is concerned, we will work through whatever that process is.”

A Eureka law firm filed the lawsuit on behalf of PremierWest Bank. According to the suit, PremierWest gave the Addie Meedom House two loans for a combined $7 million in 2005, and the assisted living facility defaulted on both loans last summer while still owing the bank more than $4.8 million.

Gusts hit 50 mph on coast

Weekend weather should be milder

Gusts up to 50 mph hit Crescent City early Friday, shaking houses and roofs.

The wind blew down pieces of a carport at the Kings Valley Mobile Estates off Kings Valley Road just after midnight, but no other major damage was reported, authorities said.

Arlena Moses, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Eureka, said the high winds were an “isolated event.”

“During the wintertime systems come through frequently,” Moses said. “We’re looking at systems coming through every three to four days.”

Westfall to pursue theme for city

Newly elected City Councilwoman Donna Westfall continues to live up to her campaign  promise to try to bring change to city government.

After a recently failed attempt to take fluoride out of the city’s water supply, she is now pushing to adopt a theme for Crescent City and allow veterans exemptions on their business licenses.

Westfall was unavailable for comment Friday after the City Council agenda came out, but giving Crescent City a theme is something she discussed during her run for office.

News of Record for Dec. 26-Jan. 1

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