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Giant Pacific octopus washes ashore

Largest species in the world is not uncommon off local shores

Kimmy and Bobby check out their discovery on the beach Friday. Submitted Photo
Stephanie Starets-Foote was looking for agates with two of her children on the beach at the end of Fifth Street on Friday when they found the body of an octopus.

“It was enormous,” Starets-Foote said. “The tentacles were chewed off, but judging by the diameter of where they hit, the body they must have been 10 feet long.”

It was the first such encounter for  Starets-Foote and her children, Kimmy and Bobby.

Economic development director gets new office

The new economic development director in town finally has an office — just up the road from his old office.

Bill Renfroe, the recently hired director for the Tri-Agency Economic Develop­ment Authority, will be asking the board tonight to approve a lease for office space at 501 H St.

The lease is for $250 a month, well under the board’s $625 a month budgeted amount.

Renfroe has been working out of the county’s offices at the Flynn Administration Center since starting in January.

Rancheria sues former administrator

The Elk Valley Rancheria has filed a lawsuit against its former tribal administrative officer, claiming she didn’t pay back thousands of dollars in loans and business credit card bills.

The suit, filed Feb. 13, also alleges Terri Camarena used her position to change payment schedules on payroll advance loans and then abruptly quit without making payments.

The suit said Camarena resigned Sept. 22.

“What it was before I quit, was the accounting department wasn’t taking out the full amounts from the paychecks,” Camarena said Tuesday.

She said the rancheria’s accounting department was supposed to take money out of paychecks every two weeks for employees who received payroll advances, but the department did not do that.

Driver who suffered heart attack dies

A Klamath man who had a heart attack while driving, causing his truck to crash last week, died a day after the wreck.

Carl Whitworth, 68, had a heart attack while driving his pickup south of Hamilton Road on U.S. Highway 101 on Feb. 18. It hit an embankment, then flipped onto its side.

Whitworth was not breathing when authorities arrived and had to be pulled out of the pickup through the windshield and resuscitated, according to the Crescent City Volunteer Fire Department.

CPR and a defibrillator were administered multiple times before Whitworth was placed in the ambulance, said authorities.

‘The boat got away’

2 spend night in woods after losing kayak

Kipper McNeal and Shane Tahey stand bundled up Monday morning after spending a night in the cold, wet woods without shelter. Photo Courtesy of Del Norte Search and Rescue/George Pettit
Two kayakers spent a cold wet Sunday night in the national forest high above the north fork of the Smith River.

Grants Pass, Ore., residents Kipper McNeal and Shane Tahey, who have been kayaking together for five years, put their boats in the water at Major Moore Landing with three friends Sunday afternoon.

Major Moore Landing is more than 12 miles up Low Divide Road off Highway 197. The road runs along one ridge of the canyon of the north fork of the Smith River.

“Shane’s kayak rolled in a rapid and he had to egress,” McNeal said. “The boat got away from us.”

After losing his kayak, Tahey tried to swim down the river holding onto the back of McNeal’s boat, which they quickly realized wasn’t going to work.

Schools brace for millions in cuts

District begins discussing ideas to reduce expenses

Now that the state has cut down on school funding for the remainder of this academic year and the next, on Monday evening Del Norte County Unified School District began discussing how to make cuts to its own budget.

State funding cuts for this school year exceed $1 million. For the 2009-2010 year, funding will be about cut by about $1.4 million. The budget deal reached by state legislators last week decreases funding to the school district’s general revenue and to specific programs, such as grants for arts and music, counselors at the high school, and everyday things like instructional materials and transportation.

“There’s never a final chapter to the ongoing budget debate,” said Deputy Superintendent Rodney Jahn.

While the district will be subject to cuts from the state, Measure A, the district’s $25 million bond levy will not make up the difference. Taxes collected from the voter-approved measure must go towards building improvements and modernization and cannot pay the district’s operational fees or salaries.

Flouride foes still targeting city water

Web site pushes ballot measure

A local woman who believes people are being poisoned by the fluoride in Crescent City’s water supply has started a public awareness campaign to try to get the chemical taken out.

Fluoridation of water has been debated in communities throughout the country for decades. Councilwoman Donna Westfall raised the issue shortly after she was elected, but it dissipated after she failed to garner the support of her City Council colleagues.

Flouridation is widely supported by public health officials as a means of preventing tooth decay.

Now a new Web site created by Crescent City resident Katherine Kelly to inform the public about the dangers of fluoride, aims to circumvent the council and bring the issue back in the form of a ballot measure.

“Once people learn about what the chemical is they put in our water they’re horrified,” Kelly said Thursday. “My job, that I’ve taken for myself, is to get out there and get this information to people so they can make an informed decision on Election Day next year.”

Local family sues over peanut contamination

Three-year-old Bryson Trone of Crescent City, like many children his age, likes peanut butter and crackers. 

On the day after Christmas, the last day that Bryson ate crackers made from Peanut Corporation of America’s (PCA)  peanut butter, Trone became seriously ill, according to a lawsuit his family has filed in federal court.

After Bryson was hospitalized with classic salmonella poisoning symptoms of fever and bloody diarrhea, his  parents, Derek and Cindy Trone, filed a lawsuit against PCA and the Kellogg Company, which distributed the tainted crackers.

The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Georgia, alleges that PCA and the Kellogg Company are liable for all injuries, are in breach of their warranty and were negligent in their failure to stop tainted products from being sold.

‘Glad to be back on deck’

Renovated pool enjoyed by swimmers

Crescent City Swim Club members are happy to be back in the renovated city pool. See more club photos at triplicate.com/photos. (The Daily Triplicate/Bryant Anderson)
Ron Radison  was in familiar surroundings as he looked out over the water and saw groups of children swimming laps at Fred Endert Municipal Pool.

“I’m glad to be back on this deck,” said Radison, a swim coach. “It’s been a long time coming.”

Since last April, the Crescent City Swim Club Sharks have been a group without a home, as the pool was shut down for major renovations.

Plack: Shelter worsened problem

Overnight facility homeless magnet, says police chief

Don Simpson looks for handouts near Walmart earlier this week. Bryant Anderson/The Daily Triplicate
The operation of an overnight shelter at the county fairgrounds in December and January worsened the homeless problem in Crescent City, Police Chief Douglas Plack said this week.

“It created havoc for us,” Plack said, adding that the shelter attracted more homeless people to Crescent City, some of whom are still here weeks after it was closed down.

Plack said he has ordered his officers to crack down on aggressive panhandling, and he plans to clear out a homeless camp on the east side of town.

The chief said he feared the panhandling could affect the tourism industry that is vital to the local economy.

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