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County unemployment reached 12.4% in Jan.

Del Norte County’s preliminary January 2009 jobless rate was 12.4 percent, up 2.1 percent from the revised December rate of 10.3 percent, the state reported Thursday.

That’s 3.4 percentage points above the January 2008 rate of 9.0 percent. Total Del Norte industry employment decreased 10 jobs from January 2008 to January 2009, ending the year-over period with 8,290 jobs, according to the California Employment Development Department.

The statewide seasonally unadjusted rate increased 4.2 percent — from 6.4 to 10.6 percent over the year.

Some surrounding county unemployment rates included 17.6 percent for Siskiyou, 20.9 percent for Trinity, and 11.1 percent for Humboldt. Marin had the lowest rate in the state at 6.6 percent and Colusa County had the highest with 26.7 percent. The comparable U.S. rate was 8.5 percent.

Year-over job growth for Del Norte occurred in natural resources, mining and construction and government
 Industry sectors with no change over the year included information, financial activities and other services
 Year-over job losses occurred in farm, manufacturing, trade, transportation, and utilities; professional and business services; private educational and health services; leisure and hospitality.

The government sector gained 90 jobs over the year and natural resources, mining and construction gained 10 jobs. State government accounted for about 90 percent of the gain.

Farm and trade, transportation and utilities declined 30 jobs each. Professional and business services was down 20 and all other declining sectors were down 10 jobs each.

Police Logs March 6, 2009

Tribal police search for man

Missing since Nov., foul play suspected

The Yurok Tribal Police Department announced Wednesday it  is searching for a man missing since last year, and foul play is possible.

Read more...Melvin Dean Perkins, 48, was last seen at the Cher-ere Bridge Camp­ground in Klamath last Nov. 3.

“We are investigating this missing persons case as possible foul play,” said Tribal Police Chief Dave Parris in a press release.

He could not be reached for further comment Wednesday.

Insurance case results in 30-day sentence

Woman had faced dozens of charges

The first of two defendants who at one time faced dozens of felony fraud charges for an insurance scandal was sentenced in Del Norte Superior Court this week.

On Tuesday, a judge ordered Page Castro to serve 30 days in jail and pay $5,000 in restitution after she pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge of grand theft by embezzlement for her part in a scheme that left some people falsely believing that they were insured when in fact they were not.

She is seeking permission to serve the sentence under house arrest instead of in jail, court documents show.

“I am pleased that it has come to a conclusion given the length of time it has taken to get to this point,” Del Norte County District Attorney Mike Riese said. “Half of the case is sentenced now.”

School Board to discuss layoffs again on Friday

Deadline looms to send notices

With a March 15 deadline for issuing layoff notices looming, the Del Norte County Unified School District Board will discuss sending the notices to administrators and teachers at a Friday meeting.

The district is facing about a $1.4 million cut in revenue from the state for the 2009-2010 school year.

School Board members already approved sending layoff notices for temporary staff members. Now, they are considering sending additional notices to 11 employees, mostly teachers, and 21 administrators, who may lose their jobs, be reassigned or have their work days reduced next school year.

It’s also possible that those who receive layoff notices will keep their same jobs next school year.

‘Still can’t get over it’

Dog nearly strangled by elevator

Dorothy Gaudett with her dog Puffy and his rescuer, Darci Davis, in the lobby of the Surf Apartments. The Daily Triplicate/Bryant Anderson
The elevator at the five-story Surf Apartments in downtown Crescent City is not a dog’s best friend.

Darci Davis was getting her mother’s mail in the building Feb. 20 when she heard a dog choking.

“I heard this horrible sound,” Davis said. “It was a combination of gurgling, yelping and crying.”

The sounds were coming from the elevator in the lobby of the apartments and when Davis ran around the corner she saw Puffy, a Pomeranian, dangling from a leash in the upper corner of the elevator door frame.

“That dog was struggling and screaming bloody murder,” Davis said. “I knew right away that if I didn’t do something it was going to be a goner.”

Puffy’s owner, Dorothy Gaudett, an 83 year-old resident of the apartments, had returned from walking Puffy and entered the elevator on the way back to her fifth floor apartment. What she didn’t notice is that Puffy stayed outside the elevator as the door shut.

Stimulus: $626,000 for roads

City, county move fast to pick projects

Officials recently learned that President Obama’s economic stimulus package will inject about $626,000 into local transportation projects within Crescent City and Del Norte County.

The problem is the two jurisdictions will now have to compete for the federal dollars as there are more proposed projects than there is money, meaning some wishes will go  unfulfilled.

A decision must be made quickly, too, as the Del Norte Local Transportation Commission must submit which projects it wants to fund with the stimulus money by the end of the week or risk losing out on an immediate influx of cash.

“If we miss the deadline, it reduces our chances of turning around the projects quickly enough,” Local Transportation Commission Executive Director Tamera Buchanan said. “We could lose access to the money.”

With so many communities vying for federal economic stimulus money, Buchanan said if Del Norte County steps out of line for just a moment others will fill the void. While this wouldn’t necessarily mean a loss of the money, she did say it could result in substantial funding delays.

Dozens of Indian students honored

Effort addresses ‘achievement gap’

Tuesday brought an opportunity for some of Del Norte’s best and brightest students to be recognized for their efforts.

Seventh- through 12th-grade American Indian students who have earned a 3.0 GPA or higher will be honored at the annual Del Norte Schools Title VII Amer­ican Indian Edu­cation Honor Roll Luncheon. The students re­ceive a certificate of their achieve­ment and a small incentive, such as a free pass to go bowling.

“We’re honoring those folks who are really working hard,” said William Einman, assistant principal at Margaret Keating Elementary School.

Students must be enrolled in the school district’s Title VII program, a federally mandated program that provides additional support to meet American Indian students’ academic needs. There are tutors available at several Del Norte schools.

$500 reward offered after bomb threats

The Crescent City Police Department is offering a $500 reward for information leading to the arrest and formal charging of the person or people responsible for false bomb threats Feb. 4 at Del Norte High School and on Feb. 25 at the Flynn Administration Center.

Police Chief Doug Plack said the threats disrupted important day-to-day operations of the public entities involved and consumed financial resources and manpower “that could better be expended in other areas in our efforts to safeguard our community.”

Police urge anyone with information on either incident to call the department at 707-464-2133 or, to remain anonymous, call the Crescent City Police Crime Tip Hotline at 707-218-4229.

Woman stabbed at Shangri La Trailer Court

Stabbing death occurred at trailer court in November

 A Crescent City woman was stabbed last Friday evening in her trailer, the Del Norte County Sheriff’s Office said Tuesday.

Terry Wilhelm, 32, said in the emergency room at Sutter Coast Hospital she was “stabbed in the leg by an unknown suspect,” while in her trailer at Shangri La Trailer Court on U.S. Highway 101, said Sheriff Dean Wilson.

Wilhelm  told authorities “she was assaulted with a knife,” but “she didn’t describe anybody,” Wilson said.

The sheriff said other witnesses were in the trailer at the time of the stabbing, but that further details on what prompted the attack and what was happening at the trailer were unavailable.

“There were other individuals at the residence,” said Wilson. “There are several witnesses that were contacted but no suspects.”

Wilson said the victim and the witnesses’ may have seen the suspect.

He said it’s relatively common for the office to interview assault victims who don’t want to press charges against their assailant because it may be a friend or they fear retaliation.

The Shangri La Trailer Court was the site of a homicide last Nov. 19, in which Mario Con­treras Garcia, 21, is suspected of  fatally stabbing Terry Maddon, 39, who died at the scene. Garcia is currently facing charges of voluntary manslaughter, assault with a deadly weapon and an enhancement for using a knife. He pleaded not guilty last year.


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