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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.”

Serious sun run forecast

Blue skies could last for a while
A sunny Tuesday at South Beach is enjoyed by Crescent City resident Jackson Bowen, 3. The Daily Triplicate/Bryant Anderson
Local residents and visitors should be able to enjoy sun-soaked weather through the weekend and beyond.

“To have a dry period in January is not atypical, but to have a dry period this long is unusual,” said National Weather Service meteorologist Reginald Kennedy.

Kennedy said Crescent City hit a record high temperature of 69 degrees Monday, with the previous record on that day at 67 degrees in 1981.

“We’re looking for things to be returning to something more typical by  Wednesday or Thursday next week,” when a storm system out of the Gulf of Alaska could bring rain, said Kennedy.

Dissent on board over new leaders

Hemmingsen new chairman of supervisors

Controversy kicked off the new year at the first Del Norte County Board of Supervisors meeting of 2009.

After the selection of Gerry Hemmingsen as chairman and Mike Sullivan as vice-chairman, another  supervisor complained that some board members ignored protocol and came to an agreement on who to select for those positions before Tuesday’s meeting.

“It’s just unfortunate to see politics rather than process,” District 2 Supervisor Martha McClure said after the meeting. “It felt very orchestrated.”

Typically, when a chairperson is selected at the beginning of each new year, McClure said the proper decorum is to have the vice chair from the previous year take the lead seat on the board. In this instance it would have been District 1 Supervisor Leslie McNamer’s turn, since she was the vice chair the previous two years.

CHP: Van’s beach plunge was an ‘intentional act’

Officers watch Monday as the van is hoisted back onto Pebble Beach Drive. The Daily Triplicate/Richard Wiens
The van that tumbled over an embankment on Pebble Beach Drive on Monday night was apparently  pushed, authorities said Tuesday.

The van’s owner told the California Highway Patrol that it had been stolen the same evening.

“It looks like an intentional act,” said CHP Officer Don Bloyd, who added, “we have a suspect under investigation,” but no arrests have been made yet.

“As far as I know, someone pushed it off, but I don’t know who,” Bloyd said.

The van’s owner, Lyle Snook, 73, said he was questioned Monday night after CHP found his insurance information inside the crushed van.

Collisions at hospital injure 2

Two collisions, including a hit and run, occurred in front of Sutter Coast Hospital within a few hours of each other Monday, injuring two women.

A woman allegedly fled in her SUV Monday afternoon after her vehicle hit another woman who was pushing a stroller with a baby in a crosswalk on Washington Boulevard, according to California Highway Patrol reports.

The CHP is still looking for the silver Ford Excursion and the driver, said Officer Don Bloyd.

Amanda Fulton, 21, of Crescent City, suffered minor injuries and had a complaint of “a tingling sensation to her left thigh,” said the report, which noted the baby was not injured.

Empty van goes over cliff

Crescent City Fire Protection District firefighters inspect a van that rolled off Pebble Beach Drive. The Daily Triplicate/Bryant Anderson
A blue Ford van rolled off a cliff to the beach below Pebble Beach Road last night.

“Apparently there was no one in the van,” said Sgt. Steve Hablitzel of the California Highway Patrol (CHP).

At approximately 8 p.m., a resident who lives off Pebble Beach Road on Macken Street reported, after hearing a loud crash, that a car had driven off Pebble Beach Road, Hablitzel said.

“A white male wearing a dark watch cap was seen leaving the area shortly after the accident,” said Officer A. Randall of the CHP. “All of our eyewitness accounts came shortly after the incident.”

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