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Redwood parks rated 'fair' in new assessment

Survey looks at cultural, natural park resources

LRT acquires moviehouse

Group gets long-sought event venue

Lighthouse Repertory Theatre members visit Red’s Showcase Twin Cinemas, a former moviehouse that the community theater group is acquiring. (The Daily Triplicate/Rick Postal)

In exchange for $180,000 and the naming rights to the building, the Lighthouse Repertory Theatre has finally reached its goal of buying a permanent venue in Crescent City.

The sale of Red’s Showcase Twin Cinemas at 369 G Street was completed Friday when Chetco Federal Credit Union wired its share of the asking price, a $130,000 loan to LRT.

Drilling for a disaster

Plane crash kicks off simulation

Firefighters work to put out a controlled fire that was set up around an empty fuselage at the Del Norte County Airport on Thursday. The Daily Triplicate/Bryant Anderson
Two surfers were the first casualties in a simulated chemical spill that supposedly released toxic nerve agents into the environment and turned Point St. George into a hot zone Thursday.

In addition to the wave riders, there were at least two other simulated deaths in Thursday’s drill, as both the fictional pilot of the plane carrying the deadly cargo and his passenger perished after they crash landed at the Crescent City airport to kick off the event.

“It was a bad surfing day,” Del Norte County Emergency Services Manager Cindy Henderson said with a laugh as she discussed the various “victims” of the exercise.

The simulation — which involved more than 40 agencies and around 200 people — was designed to test the region’s emergency response to a large-scale disaster and expose any weaknesses that might cause problems during such an event.

“We had successes, but we also had some problems,” Henderson said. “But if we had a perfect scenario we wouldn’t learn from this.”

Suspect in home invasions arrested

Police: Klamath man was ‘running amok’

A Klamath man suspected in home invasion robberies was arrested Tuesday in the Tulley Creek housing area near Weitchpec by federal marshals, the Del Norte County Sheriff’s Office said Thursday.

Read more...Stanley “Buck” Scott, 24, was arrested on suspicion of involvement in home invasion robberies in Klamath and Orick involving the theft of guns and drugs.

Yurok Tribal Police attempted to apprehend Scott on Jan. 3, but he evaded officers by jumping into the Klamath River, swimming downstream and then hiding in the woods, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Sheriff’s Sgt. Steve Morris said he and 10 other officers and a police dog took to the woods in Klamath that day and found Scott’s trail, but lost him again.

“We called it off because it was verified that he was no longer in Del Norte County,” said Morris. “If we had gotten close enough to him, believe me, we would have used our Tasers.”

Last-minute push on for fishermen, businesses

Harbor deadline coming up the end of this month

Crescent City’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC) is asking fishermen and harbor district businesses to help the district qualify for a grant to repair the inner basin, dredge and revitalize the harbor.

The deadline for the grant application is Jan. 31, which is causing the SBDC some concern because its still need more documentation.  

“We are in dire need for harbor businesses and fishermen to come forward and support our working harbor,” said SBDC representative Janna Clemons. “People can call day or night, and they should, because this affects us all.”

In honor of tall trees

Priority mail stamp dedication  set for Friday in Hiouchi

The new priority-mail stamp is a digital illustration of people walking through a redwood forest. Illustration courtesy of U.S. Postal Service
The U.S. Postal Service is honoring the giant redwood that draws so many tourists to Northern California with a stamp of its own.

A redwood forest stamp dedication ceremony is scheduled at Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park in Hiouchi on Friday at 1:30 p.m.

“We like to honor not only people, but also national treasures like the redwood forest,” said U.S. Postal Service spokesman James Wigdel.

The 2009 priority mail stamp, a digital illustration of two people walking through a forest of redwood trees, was produced by artist Dan Cosgrove of Clarendon Hills, Ill., under the direction of postal service art director Carl T. Herman of Carlsbad.

Cosgrove also illustrated the 2009 express mail stamp depicting Yellowstone National Park’s geyser, Old Faithful.

“The U.S. Postal Service is proud to be honoring the redwood forests through the release of the 2009 priority stamp,” said Crescent City Postmaster Susan Vargas. “We are especially excited that we are holding the ceremony surrounded by the majestic beauty the stamp depicts.”

Vargas will be dedicating the stamp at Friday’s dedication ceremony.

The $4.95 stamps are being issued when new prices go into effect Jan. 18 for express and priority mail.

Stamps will be for sale at the ceremony and the dedication is open to the public.

High waves to join sun for weekend

People headed to the beach this weekend should expect great weather but dangerously high waves.

“We are looking at a long period swell this weekend, right at about 9 feet, with breakers of 15-16 feet,” said meteorologist Brian Koeneke of the National Weather Service.

According to a release from California State Parks, some beaches may be closed to the public if surf becomes too dangerous.

“So far no warning has been issued for Northern California yet,” said Rick Nolan, chief of interpretation for Redwood National and State parks on Wednesday.

Smoke alarms were disabled

Smoke alarms save lives.

The scene at Sunday’s fatal fire at the Pebble Beach Apartments. The Daily Triplicate/Bryant Anderson
Two recent fires in Crescent City, including one that killed a mother and seriously burned her 6-year-old son, could have been less severe if either residence had a working smoke alarm, said fire investigators.

“Smoke alarms are so critical in saving lives,” said Calfire Battalion Chief Jim Smith. “Checking your smoke alarm is the most important thing you can do to protect your family from fire.”

Investigators of the fire at the Pebble Beach Apartments at 8th and C streets found that the smoke alarms in the residence had been disabled, despite a form signed when Victoria Di Silvestro moved in that stated the alarms were present and active.

The fire started in a heating mat on a couch in the lower level of the two-story apartment. Di Silvestro and her son, Anthony, were found upstairs. Firefighters said she died shielding Anthony, who is now being treated at a Portland hospital.

Elk Valley selects interim G.M.

Larry Johnson
Elk Valley Rancheria has selected an interim general manager for Elk Valley Casino on Howland Hill Road.

Larry J. Johnson was chosen for his more than 30 years of experience in the hospitality, food, and gaming industries. He most recently served as general manager for the Coyote Valley Casino in Redwood Valley.

“Larry will be a strong leader for Elk Valley Casino,” said Dale A. Miller, Chairman of Elk Valley Rancheria, in a statement. “His depth of experience will be a great asset to us as we improve and expand our customer loyalty.”

Johnson said he is looking forward to his new position at the casino.

“This is going to be a great experience for all of us,” he said. “I am really looking forward to getting acquainted with the staff, our customers and the community.”

Woman ‘a hero,’ firefighters say

‘She was using her body to shield her son’

Victoria Di Silvestro “died a hero,” firefighters said Tuesday.

At 5 a.m. Sunday morning a fire caused by a heating mat on a couch broke out in the downstairs of the home she shared with her 6 year-old son in the Pebble Beach Apartments.

Anthony Bookhammer
When firefighters found Di Silvestro, 36, in the thick black smoke they rolled her over to get her out and discovered the boy, Anthony Bookhammer,  beneath her.

“She died protecting her son,” said Crescent Fire Protection District volunteer Darrin Short. “She was using her body to shield her son.”

“They came out of there saying, ‘You won’t believe this, she was up there shielding her son,’” Short said. “We really want people to know what she did. She died a hero.”

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