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Homeless in Crescent City

‘A real hard place to be homeless’

Roy James Vickers and his girlfriend, Rosalyn Angelique, lead the way to their camp behind the Washington Boulevard fire station. Daily Triplicate/Bryant Anderson
Richard Keehn is an expert on being homeless in Crescent City.

“I’ve been homeless here off and on since 1959,” Keehn said matter-of-factly, holding an unlit cigarette. “Crescent City is a real hard place to be homeless. Harder than most others.”

The temporary shelter at the fair grounds primarily serves the cold homeless.

Del Norte jobless rate hits 10%

Del Norte County’s preliminary November 2008 unemployment rate was 10 percent, according to newly released state figures.

That is 1.1 percent up from the October rate of 8.9 percent, and 1.6 percent above a year ago.

The statewide rate increased 2.7 percent from 5.6 to 8.3 percent over the year. The U.S. rate was 6.1 percent.

YouTube video brings arrest in artifacts case

A Eureka man suspected of stealing artifacts from Yurok Tribe burial grounds in Patrick’s Point State Park was arrested in Humboldt County this week after officials found videos on YouTube that documented his exploits.

The videos, which have since been removed from the online sharing site, were instrumental in apprehending 30-year-old James Edward Truhls, who was booked into jail on suspicion of  possession of stolen property, injury to historical objects and unlawful excavation of an American Indian site.

Teaching assistant pleads guilty

Charged with molestation at his home

A former Crescent Elk Middle School teaching assistant pleaded guilty Friday to the molestation of a child in his home.

Michael John Kozak, 36, is facing up to eight years in prison for the offense, said Del Norte County District Attorney Mike Riese.

Kozak had worked for the school district since January, according to district officials.

Danger and Allure

After fatal fall, jetty still a draw

A man walks along Crescent City’s breakwater earlier this month as a large wave crashes behind him. The Daily Triplicate/Adam Madison.
If it weren’t for the danger signs and the closed gate, the Crescent City jetty might seem like a welcoming attraction. And some people can’t stay away despite the warnings.

Mere days after a wave crashed over the breakwater and claimed the life of a local doctor, people again populated the structure and strolled along its ridge, leaving the mainland to walk on a bridge that leads only into the sea.


Inmate enters not guilty plea in murder case

A Pelican Bay State Prison inmate with a history of assaulting other prisoners pleaded not guilty Thursday to the 2003 murder of his cell-mate.

Wayne Smith, 36, is charged with killing his cellmate, Michael Shane Hicks, on Dec. 3, 2003, at Pelican Bay.

Smith currently resides in the prison’s Special Housing Unit, according to Lt. Ken Thomas at Pelican Bay.

Smith is scheduled to next appear in court Jan. 15.

School food distribution fills holday void

For those families that rely on the free and reduced meal program at Del Norte schools, volunteers will be at Joe Hamilton Elementary giving out “sacks of snacks” during the holiday vacation.

Eligible families can come by the school on E Street from 10 a.m. to noon Tuesday and Dec. 30 to pick up sacks full of sandwich fixings, Ramen soup, mixed fruit cups, fruit drinks, fresh apples and oranges, peanut butter and jelly and granola bars.

Eligibility is determined by parents’ income and the number of children in the household.

Del Norte County Unified School District Superintendent Jan Moorehouse explained how several groups came together to donate meals during the holiday break.

The school district, Del Norte County, Child Care Council, Wild Rivers Community Foundation, the Senior Center, Rural Human Services and the Community Action Network  pooled their resources.

Children have an opportunity to eat breakfast and lunch at school five days a week; however, there’s “nothing during the vacation,” Moorehouse said.

Storms to last until Christmas

Less snowy but even wetter storms in the next week’s forecast

It’s beginning to look like wet weather all the way through Christmas.

Another series of storms is expected to hit the North Coast this weekend and not let up until after the holiday.
A “warmer and wetter” storm will hit the area late Saturday and into Sunday, according to the National Weather Service. However, it won’t be severe weather leading up to the holiday, just damp.

“It doesn’t look to be much of a winter weather event,” said Bryan Caffrey, a meterologist with the NWS.

Rainfall could total 1-3 inches over the weekend. Inland, up to a foot of snow could fall in the mountains, but will mostly stay off the roads, Caffrey said.

The storm hitting Dec. 23 through Christmas Day will be quite wet, possibly bringing 5 more inches of rain. Rainfall could total 8-10 inches over next week.

A great deal of rain is typical for Del Norte this time of year. However, the storm next week will be “a little bit heavier for this time of year,” Caffrey said.

Brother goes to operating room with knife wound

Police: Sister injured sibling in dispute over her daughter

A Crescent City woman was arrested on suspicion of wounding her brother with a knife Tuesday evening at her home.

Heather Louise Lopez, 27, was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon causing great bodily injury.
“At 5:50 (p.m.) we responded to 200 Jackie Street and observed a male with a deep laceration sustained to the right side of his torso,” said Crescent City Police Chief Doug Plack.

The chief said the victim, Jeremiah Lopez, 23, was still bleeding when police arrived.

“It was bleeding enough it was leaving blood droplets on the floor and and out in the front yard,” Plack said. “And from what I understand it’s a three-centimeter wound.”

Traffic stop results in drug, alcohol arrests

Three people were arrested after drugs and open bottles of alcohol were found in their car during a Tuesday morning pullover.

The driver, Larry Lee Jones, 32, of Crescent City, was arrested on a $10,000 warrant for failure to comply with probation.

He was also under suspicion of possession of a controlled substance, driving on a suspended license, driving with tail lights out at night, being under the influence of a controlled substance and a parole violation resulting from the accrued charges.

“Larry was on formal probation for previous drug activity,” said Del Norte sheriff’s Commander Tim Athey.

The front-seat passenger, Jennifer Marie Jones, 31, of Happy Camp, was arrested on suspicion of possession of marijuana under an ounce and disorderly conduct under the influence of alcohol.

“She admitted to drinking and smoking marijuana,” said Athey.

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