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Incidents result in shelter’s closure

Fairgrounds ends housing of homeles

A homeless shelter at the Del Norte County Fairgrounds was shut down two weeks early because of numerous disturbances in the area.

“It was time — it was my feeling that there were some unfortunate issues that occurred, like the guy getting beat up,” Randy Hatfield, chief executive officer of the fairgrounds, said Wednesday.

He was referring to a Dec. 30 assault in which James Craig, 26, was severely beaten in the parking lot in front of the shelter.

After the reported assault, Hatfield said he paid his part-time fairground security guards to work extra hours for eight days, using the money that Our Daily Bread Ministries had paid for rent.

Deadline near for switch to digital beacon

Boat devices must change by Feb. 1

Boat owners will soon have no choice when it comes to their on-board emergency beacons.

On Feb. 1 analog emergency position indicating radio beacons (EPIRB) will not only be obsolete, they will be illegal.

When activated, EPIRBs transmit a signal that helps rescue crews find vessels in distress. Currently EPIRBs transmit their signals via satellite on 121.5/243 MHz analog.

On Feb. 1, Cospas-Sarsat, the international satellite-based search and rescue system established by the United States, Canada, Russia and France, will cease processing the analog EPIRBS and will begin processing only 406 MHz digital radio beacon signals.

McClure almost misses the show

Martha McClure snapped this photo during the inauguration. Courtesy of Martha McClure
Del Norte County supervisor Martha McClure almost didn’t make it to President  Obama’s inauguration Tuesday.

Despite having a ticket for the historic event and waiting in Washington D.C.’s frigid January weather for more than six hours, she found herself pinned against a 10-foot-tall iron security gate with thousands of others, locked out of the inauguration.

“How can this happen when Obama ran such a flawless campaign?” she heard one man yell out as others in the crowd began chanting to be let in.

She grabbed her husband’s arm and tried to find another entrance. By the time they left the logjam they were swept up by another crowd pushing toward a newly opened gate.

School Board may appoint Measure A committee

Levy panel could have 10 members

From almost 30 people, the applicant pool for the Measure A Citizen’s Oversight Committee has been whittled to 10.

After interviewing 14 candidates last week, Del Norte County Unified School District Board members will decide Thursday whether to appoint those 10. 

n WHAT: Del Norte County Office of Education and Unified School District Board Meetings
n WHEN: Thursday at 5:30 p.m.
n WHERE: Education Center Building, Curriculum and Instruction Center at 301 W. Washington Blvd.

While it has no voting power, the committee will oversee the school district as it utilizes the $25 million bond levy passed by voters in November.

Also Thursday, board members will take up a subject first discussed near the end of 2008. In addition to investigating how to clump elementary grades at “in-town” schools, Superintendent Jan Moorehouse will ask the board to look into whether sixth-grade classes could be moved to a middle school.

Police increase emphasis on drunk driving

Grant allows for more stakeouts, checkpoints

The Crescent City Police Department will increase its emphasis on drunk drivers, especially repeat offenders, for the rest of this year.

The California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently awarded a $31,223 grant to the Police Department for the increased emphasis.

“It’s still the No. 1 cause of traffic fatalities across the U.S.,” said police Sgt. Eric Capon.

The department made 55 DUI arrests last year, compared to 78 in 2007. The department reported that the busiest year for DUI arrests was in 2006, with 120 arrests. In 2005, the department had 53 arrests.

Rescuers practice jetty operations

Police to test ‘line-launcher’

A rescue volunteer attaches a line to a jetty anchor. Photo courtesy Del Norte County Search and Rescue
The Del Norte County Search and Rescue Team assembled on the Crescent City breakwater last weekend  to test equipment and strategies for recovering people who have been washed off the jetty.

“It was a training session — based on our experience with the doctor,” said SAR coordinator Terry McNamara.

Emergency Room physician Onik Arian died last month after being washed off the jetty.

McNamara said Arian was dead before his body was recovered, but added the operation could have gone better.

School board member to speak at conference

'Blessing in the sky'

A few lucky residents get subsidized apartments

Jason Jimenez, a poker dealer at Elk Valley Casino, moves into a new apartment at Hidden Creek Apartments on Thursday. The Daily Triplicate/Bryant Anderson
Affordable housing has long been considered to be in short supply in Del Norte County.

In this rural, low-income county, there are a lot of people who can’t quite afford a house and are looking for family-sized rentals.

Several outside developers have expressed interest in building dozens of two-, three-, and four-bedroom apartment complexes in Del Norte. One behind Wal-Mart has just been completed and is currently leasing apartments, while two long-proposed developments in Crescent City still need to financing.

The Crescent City Redevelopment Agency wants to add 86 more affordable housing units by this summer. In the past, City Council members have stressed the need for housing for those who make less than the area median income of $53,800.

County asks Obama for $50 million

Officials compile wish list of projects

Even though it’s his first official day on the job, Del Norte County already has a wish list for President Barack Obama, and from top to bottom it appears it would cost him nearly $50 million to make it come true.

With Obama proposing an $825 billion economic stimulus package that consists largely of new federal spending on infrastructure projects to create more jobs, local officials are clamoring to bring some of that money here to spend in the community.

“They’re looking at projects that can be implemented quickly, so you can put people to work quickly,” Interim City Manager Michael Young said of the Obama administration’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan. “What we picked were projects that would be shovel-ready, something that’s ready to go right now.”

Hwy 101 project funding delayed

Budget crisis leaves safety work in limbo  

The state’s budget woes forced the California Transportation Commission to delay $9.25 million in funding for a planned road project on U.S. Highway 101 at Last Chance Grade.

It is just one project of many that the state agency decided to freeze spending on this month as California lawmakers grapple with a $42 billion budget deficit that has had statewide ramifications.

Located between Crescent City and Klamath, Last Chance Grade is an active slide area where work crews planned to build six retaining walls for stabilization and improve the slope of the roadway.

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