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Search for Olson’s replacement begins

Superintendent to retire in July; board hires firm to assist in filling the position 

The Del Norte County Unified School District is taking initial steps in the search for a new superintendent, a position it aims to have filled before August.

At the school district’s board meeting last Thursday, board members voted to enlist executive search firm Leadership Associates to help select the new superintendent, which will replace current Del Norte Unified Superintendent Don Olson. Olson, who is currently on medical leave, has worked for the school district for 38 years and announced last month that he would retire in July.  


Fair association tips hat to local board’s ingenuity

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Del Norte County Fair Board member Kevin Hartwick and fair manager Randy Hatfield receive the Louis Merrill Award in Reno, Nev. Submitted
The Del Norte County Fair was recognized last month for making unprecedented efforts to keep the fair and its grounds solvent. 

For its work on Measure F, the Del Norte County Fair was presented with the Louis Merrill Award at the Western Fair Association’s annual convention in Reno, Nev. Sharing the spotlight with the Big Fresno Fair, both fairs were recognized for ingenuity and leadership like that of the award’s namesake, the founder of the modern WFA. 


Wood to chair ‘digital divide’ panel

Del Norte County’s California Assembly member announced last week that he has been appointed chair of the Assembly Select Committee on the Digital Divide. 

Assemblyman Jim Wood will head a bipartisan panel tasked with studying and proposing solutions to issues concerning access to consistent, dependable telecommunication services, according to a press release from Wood’s office. 


News of Record Feb. 6–12, 2015

These are the misdemeanor and felony sentencings provided by the Del Norte County Superior Court for Feb. 6–12, 2015:

Lisa Rae Hulford, 48, Crescent City, was sentenced to 189 days in jail and three years of probation and fined $680 for making/passing fictitious checks.

Notchko Paul McCovey, 43, Hoopa, was sentenced to 90 days in jail and three years of probation and fined $680 for failure to appear.


Uncovered

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Paintings by Del Norte artist Florence Keller hang at the Crescent City Cultural Center after being found in a closet. Del Norte Triplicate / Bryant Anderson
Long-missing trove of local artist’s work found at Cultural Center 

The doors of an unassuming couple of closets at the Crescent City Cultural Center swung open this week after nearly a decade of being locked away in darkness. 

There in the solitude lie 40 paintings by Florence Keller, some superfluous breaker boxes and a pile of Christmas decorations, found by city staff who had decided it was time to take a look.

“A couple of years ago when I took over maintenance, I thought those two rooms were storage for the visitor center,” Crescent City Public Works Maintenance Manager Jason Wylie said. 


State of DN more stable

A State of the County Address released this week set a tone of optimism and ambition for Del Norte in 2015, as well as outlined a few areas that local officials might focus on improving as the county emerges on the other side of a couple years’ worth of budget cuts and sparse resources.

The document, penned by Board of Supervisors Chairman David Finigan and presented at Tuesday’s meeting, emphasizes inter-agency cooperation, refined goals and, more specifically, a new focus on children’s services through comprehensive review and budgeting. It’s the first time in a long time such a proclamation has been released, Finigan said, and it’s simply meant to provide leadership and focus now that Del Norte is in a relatively better position, resource-wise. 


Pledges to keep local SBDC office open

It’s business as usual in downtown Crescent City, where aspiring and seasoned entrepreneurs can still seek services at the Small Business Development Center.

With local funding sources covering most of what federal grants won’t this year, the nonprofit headquartered in Eureka will retain its physical presence in Del Norte County at the H Street office.

“We’ve raised the money,” said Amber Wier, who runs the local SBDC office. “With promises made, the SBDC feels very comfortable in maintaining an office space here, which was really key.” 


Sheriff looks to beef up patrols

After a 2014 campaign season that included much discussion of law enforcement response to Del Norte’s outlying communities, the new sheriff said he would provide guidance to local neighborhood watch leaders and his office will have a greater presence at neighborhood watch meetings.

During a meeting of the Smith River Neighborhood Watch Group on Wednesday, Del Norte County Sheriff Erik Apperson said he is exploring ideas that will make it easier for deputies to respond to outlying communities like Smith River. 


Audit of Solid Waste released to public

Some messes last longer than others. 

This week the agency managing trash and recycling disposal in Del Norte grappled with two particularly costly and persistent imbroglios, one born of a now-defunct landfill, the other from its own coffers, three years since investigations revealed some $26,000 in cash went unaccounted for between 2005 and 2012. 


Reporter's Notebook: Yurok language class popularity prompts district to expand program

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Not a scam: Reporter Aaron West took this screenshot when his request to join a local Facebook group was met with suspicion.
According to a discussion at the Del Norte County Unified School District meeting on Thursday, the Yurok language class that’s currently offered at Del Norte High School has been catching on recently. 

The class, which for lack of another teacher combines first and third-level students, is reportedly so popular that instructor Barbara McQuillen has found herself teaching Yurok to 40 high school students at the same time, which is 30 more people than the reported total number of fluent Yurok speakers and about 10 more than the average class size in California, according to the California School Boards Association. 

 


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