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Police seek leads in teen beating case

Victim was seen shouting racial epithets before attack

Authorities are asking for the public’s help in solving the case of a 15-year-old who was beaten unconscious on Oct. 23 by four men.

“Our officer was dispatched to Social Services (880 Northcrest Drive). We got the report of a battery ... that the victim was a minor and had lost consciousness,” said Crescent City Police Chief Doug Plack.

Swift-water classroom

Del Norte County Search and Rescue volunteer Tim Sanderson crosses the river on a ‘zip line.’ Sanderson is attached to a rope and uses the force of the current to get from one side to the other.Photos courtesy of Bill Wortell
Volunteers practice on the Smith

Del Norte County Search and Rescue team members only get this chance every two to three years.

Over the weekend, the volunteers participated in a Rescue 3 International swift-water rescue certification class. Phil Turnbull, a swift-water rescue instructor and member of Josephine County Search and Rescue, put on the three-day class, said Terry McNamara, coordinator for Del Norte Search and Rescue.

Friday was classroom work, but Saturday and Sunday found rescuers on the middle fork of the Smith River by Slant Bridge — and in some cases in the river.

City panel considers wind power ordinance

Middle school project brought need to light

When Crescent Elk Middle School teacher Joe Gillespie asked the city for permission to construct a 40-foot-tall wind turbine outside his classroom, it helped trigger a discussion that might make it easier for others to do the same.

Because Gillespie needed to cut through a substantial amount of red tape to build his alternative energy project — one that is supported by city officials — the Crescent City Planning Commission decided the city needed a new ordinance that would streamline the process in the future.

Wintry blast forecast for region

Drivers warned of snow and hail, even rockslides

A dry fall means that the freezing temperatures due to hit the North Coast this weekend are a mixed blessing, experts say.

“It will be bringing some much-needed precipitation, but it is also bringing very cold air,” said National Weather Service meteorologist Troy Nicolini. “There is a huge amount of cold air draping down the coast.”

The cold front will drop temperatures so extremely that Nicolini said the area could experience everything from snow and black ice to hail and rockslides.

Three taken to hospital after bloody fight

Police: More charges likely

A man’s ear was partially punched off in an altercation Sunday night that left two men hospitalized after being severely beaten by another man, police said.

At approximately 10:29 p.m. on the 600 block of C street an altercation broke out between Coby Fiikanen, 28, and Scott Chambers, 48, and Michael Caldwell, 51, said Crescent City Chief of Police Doug Plack.

Property tax installment is due today

10 percent penalty for late payments

Property taxes are due today.

The first installment is always due on Dec. 10 to Del Norte County. There’s a 10 percent late penalty for payments after that date. 

Property owners should have received their tax bill in October detailing how much is due. Payments can be made by credit card, check or cash to the county.

The second installment will be due no later than April 10. After that, there’s a $10 late fee. There are additional penalties of 1.5 percent per month and a $15 redemption fee attached after June 30 if the taxes remain unpaid.

You can now access your property tax information online at www.dnco.org. Click on “Agencies and Departments” at the top right and then scroll to the Tax Collector’s page. to view information, you will need your parcel number (APN) in order to view each property.

In addition, the county provides a free email service to remind property owners of the Secured Property Tax due dates.

Drill puts fire trucks through maneuvers

More than 50 firefighters train at fairgrounds

Ten fire trucks, 50 volunteer and professional firefighters and hundreds of cones took over the Del Norte County Fairgrounds on Tuesday.

Crescent City Volunteer Fire Department and Crescent City Fire Protection District spent the day driving through an Emergency Vehicle Operations Course (EVOC) made of cones in the fairground parking lot.

“EVOC is sponsored by VFIS (Volunteer Firefighter Insurance Services),” said Crescent City Fire Chief Steve Wakefield. “They insure a large number of volunteer fire departments across the country.”

The necessary training is also fun, said volunteer firefighter Sabrina Pennington.

“It’s challenging,” Pennington said. “You have to drive 200 yards in a straight line and then back up exactly the same way.”
The 200-yard drive was just one of the challenges that firefighters had to navigate.

They had to parallel park, navigate a twisting narrow path and park within set distances of walls designated by cones.

“We want them to drive all the different vehicles,” said Wakefield. “They all have a different feel.”

Weekend of rare sights

Thomas B. Dunklin is pictured here during the Cedar Creek culvert replacement project he documented last year. The Daily Triplicate/Bryant Anderson
Events offer education in river life

The Smith River is a “salmon stronghold” and fisheries biologists plan to take it by storm this weekend.

Starting Friday with an evening of underwater video and photography of salmon spawning, it will be a weekend of free workshops and field trips all about salmon, entitled “Smith River: A Salmon Stronghold.”

Ex-prosecutor sues DA, county

Fired attorney claims she was maligned by boss

In December 2005, Karen Olson testified against her boss during a local grand jury investigation.

At the time she was the second-highest-ranking prosecutor in Del Norte County and her superior was District Attorney Mike Riese.

She told the grand jury what she knew about Riese’s handling of a financial elder abuse case in which he dismissed felony charges against the defendants in exchange for more than $400,000 in restitution, $100,000 of which went toward his office’s budget.

Waste panel to pick member

The Del Norte Solid Waste Management Authority will meet Wednesday to pick the board’s public representative.

The board is made up of two City Council members, two county Board of Supervisors members and a public representative.

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