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District attorney's statement on Romannose-Jones case

Quite understandably, there has been a considerable amount of public discussion about my recent decision to dismiss charges in connection with the tragic death of Dante Romannose-Jones. There is quite a bit of misinformation out there about this case. I am not able to give specific and detailed reasons for this decision as to do so could compromise an ongoing investigation that is continuing by the Del Norte Sheriff’s Office. In an effort to try to strike a balance between informing the public about this important case on the one hand and not compromising the ongoing investigation on the other, I will provide some limited information.

What my office can do with a case depends on the investigation that was done. On the evening of the shooting, the DNSO processed the crime scene, gathered physical evidence and interviewed witnesses. There is not a single witness who was interviewed by the DNSO on the evening of the shooting or even the following day who claimed to have witnessed the shooting or who claimed to identify the shooter. Two individuals, both of whom initially reported multiple times to law enforcement that they did not see the shooting and could not identify the shooter, did come forward days later and reverse course, claiming to have either witnessed the shooting or the person who did it shortly thereafter. In addition to changing their stories, they are each convicted felons, which further undermines their credibility.


Family of slain youth angered after charges against arrested teen are dropped

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Dante Hat-Anew Wayne Romannose-Jones. Courtesy Jack Coffey
Outrage, sorrow, and confusion marked the scene Thursday in Del Norte Superior Court as murder charges were dismissed against Nathan Feliz in the May shooting death of Dante Romannose-Jones, 13, of Klamath. 

“I was just learning how to live again, and this is how we start off our year: in fear, and injustice, and in pain,” said the teen victim’s mother Martha Romannose-Jones.

“It’s sickening and terrifying for all of us,” said Shelly Lynn Thomas, another of Romannose-Jones’ family members. “No one seems to understand.”


Del Norte rivers swelled this weekend, but not as much as Humboldt's

The swollen Klamath and Smith Rivers, though they rose fast and high over the weekend, failed to reach flood stage — unlike their neighbors to the south.

“We lucked out this time,” said Del Norte County Emergency Services Manager Cindy Henderson.

Except for a couple of downed power lines and some small stream flooding, she said, things were quiet.

Different parts of the county received between 2.5 and 4.5 inches Sunday, according to the National Weather Service in Eureka.


High school renovations project awarded, bonds put out for sale

With a contractor on board and another series of bonds hitting the market soon, renovations on Del Norte High School will be able to begin at the end of the school year.

At a special meeting on Thursday, the Del Norte Unified School District Board of Trustees awarded the $6.2 million project to install new windows, seal the exterior, rewire the fire alarms and revamp the heating and ventilation system to Redding-based Cal Electro, Inc., the lowest bidder of three.

Most of the renovating, which also includes gym and locker room improvements, will occur during holiday and summer breaks, to make sure programs are disrupted as little as possible, especially for students with special needs, said Superintendent Jeff Harris.


Customers voice rate concerns

About 20 utility customers showed up for a public meeting at Crescent City’s Wastewater Treatment Plant Wednesday looking for answers and ready to voice their concerns about the consumption-based sewer rate proposal being considered for adoption by City Council.

City Manager Eugene Palazzo asked those in attendance for their questions while Public Information Officer Kymmie Scott wrote them down on a white board.

Evelyn Cook of Crescent City, who also writes a column for the Triplicate, echoed concerns of several in the crowd, asking about those in the community on fixed incomes and cannot afford a rate increase. She wanted to know if the city can offer discounts.


News of Record, Jan. 7-14, 2016

Misdemeanor and felony sentencings provided by the Del Norte County Superior Court for Jan. 7-14, 2016:

• Brandon M. Feight, 30, Crescent City, was sentenced to 18 days in jail, one year probation and fined $2,987 plus $500 in public defender fees for possession of a stolen vehicle, alcohol-related reckless driving and driving on a suspended license.

• Xavier N. Pastrana, 31, Crescent City, was sentenced to 90 days in jail and fined $440 for violation of a court order and obstructing or resisting a police officer.


Emergency dispatch call logs, Jan. 13-14, 2016

Excerpts from the Del Norte County emergency dispatch call logs, Jan. 13 & 14: 

Wednesday, Jan. 13

At 2:07 a.m., caller at Safeway requesting a removal, says she has asked them multiple times to leave.

At 6:32 a.m., report of powerlines down in the roadway at Northcrest Drive and Harding Avenue.

At 9:04 a.m., caller reports her ex husband is harassing her in person and over the phone on the 300 block of Amador Street.


Council considers candidates in third closed-door session

Crescent City Council has scheduled a third closed-door session for 4:30 p.m. Wednesday to consider candidates for interim city manager to replace outgoing City Manager Eugene Palazzo.

Councilors emerged from a special closed session Thursday and announced they were still undecided on a replacement.

At last count, the city was looking at nine potential candidates, but no one on the council would confirm or deny if that was still the number involved, or if they had narrowed the field.


Local Walmart not one of those closing

Crescent City’s Walmart store apparently isn’t one of the more than 100 across the nation, including nine in California, targeted for closure.

Walmart announced Friday it planned to close 269 stores worldwide, including 154 stores in the U.S.

“I had no idea. It came as a complete surprise,” said Crescent City Walmart Manager Peter Davis.

Davis was quick to add the move won’t affect his store and the Crescent City Walmart will continue to operate as usual.


Climate change talk Monday

Rapid sea-level rises, melting ice caps and warming weather elsewhere may dominate the conversation about climate change but a talk Monday in Brookings will attempt to bring the discussion closer to home.

The streams, salmon and forests of the Southern Oregon and Northern California coasts are at risk of disappearing as we know them if trends toward a warmer and drier climate continue to progress, says Dr. Alan Journet, professor emeritus of biology and environmental science at Southeast Missouri State University.

He’s gearing up to present just what’s expected in the next century and what there is to be done about it, pulling from his 30 years studying forest ecology in Costa Rica and in the Midwest.


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