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Tree farm to produce cancer drug ingredient

A Taiwanese pharmaceutical company recently put down roots in Smith River, planting thousands of yew seedlings that will be turned into globally distributed cancer drugs after they mature. 

An Tec Biotechnology Corporation bought 80 acres between U.S. Highway 101 and Fred Haight Drive for an estimated $704,000 last August, according to county tax records. The parcels were owned by longtime local companies Smith River Farms and Hastings Smith River Tree Nursery. 

Skateboard beating suspects’ bail set at $1M

Ashley Piekosz
Three Crescent City residents who allegedly beat a man with a skateboard and put him in the hospital in critical condition pleaded not guilty on Monday to the felony charges they face.

Ashley Piekosz, Josh Andritsch and Chase Dickey, who were arrested last week for assaulting Darren Casteel with a skateboard in February, each face four felony counts including conspiracy to commit a crime, torture, aggravated mayhem and assault with a deadly weapon, as well as three special allegations. 


Garage Sale Review: Frog love and the classified ad piggyback

Del Norte Triplicate / Aaron West
What’s happening, you beautiful bargain bandits? This weekend I decided to turn the tables on everything you’ve come to expect from this garage sale column. “Did he finally stop blathering on about old junk?” you might ask. 

No, faithful readers, I’m still blathering on about junk, and I always will be. But this weekend I’m blathering about the junk in Brookings. 

Not only are the garage sales in Brookings located in a completely different city than the sales in Crescent City, they’re also located in a completely different state. The people of Oregon typically follow very different rules (these are called laws) regarding society, culture and the pursuit of happiness than the rules that Californians follow, and this was made quite clear to me when I ran into a person who the State of Oregon had allowed to be absolutely obsessed with frogs. As this person’s license plate stated, she was “unfrogettable.” 


Man crashes into ag. station, dies

A Cave Junction man traveling “at an unknown high rate of speed” on U.S. Highway 199 died early Thursday morning, according to a press release from the California Highway Patrol. 

One in jail; one on loose

A Del Norte Sheriff’s deputy patrols outside Smith River School Tuesday after an armed suspect who fled from police in a stolen vehicle was reportedly seen in the area. Del Norte Triplicate / Bryant Anderson
Traffic stop of stolen car leads to multi-agency manhunt in Smith River 

After a hectic Tuesday afternoon of law enforcement toting AR-15s while scouring streets and securing residences door-to-door, the town of Smith River lay quiet on Wednesday. And unlike the day before, there was neither an elementary school lockdown nor sightings of an armed man in a red sweatshirt, although officials say that Tuesday’s armed subject is still at large but perhaps no longer in Smith River.

“At this point in time, I think it’s pretty safe to say that unless (the subject) is a resident in Smith River, he’s probably pretty far away at this point,” Sheriff’s Commander Bill Steven said. “And even if he is a Smith River resident, he’s still probably far away.”

PenAir is in if DOT agrees

Alaska Airlines affiliate PenAir proposes to begin flying 30-seat Saab 340s out of Crescent City on Sept. 15. Courtesy Pen Air
Crescent City air travelers will soon be Portland-bound. 

Having pitched two northbound flights per day out of Crescent City, PenAir won the approval of the local airport authority this week and stands to be the only carrier considered by the U.S. Department of Transportation to take over area skies. 

The Border Coast Regional Airport Authority Board reached a unanimous decision at its Thursday meeting to back PenAir’s proposal as the airport’s best fit. 

The following morning, Redwood Airlines withdrew its proposal. 

Board may consider later class starts

Report: Benefits include increased test scores and attendance 

Del Norte’s sleep-deprived teenagers might one day be able to look forward to getting more rest if a school board discussion about Del Norte High School classes beginning later in the day gains any traction in the future.

The school board began eyeing the start time issue in January, when District 1 board member Don McArthur requested Assistant Superintendent Steve Godla give a report about the advantages and disadvantages surrounding later start times, and even though the matter since has been left off board meeting agendas, McArthur said it hasn’t been forgotten.

Assault victim dies in hospital

Robert Gregory
Robert Gregory, a Crescent City man who was in a coma for six years after being brutally beaten on H Street early one Friday morning in 2009, died in the hospital this week. He would have turned 34 on Monday.

“Robert would have been an integral part of this community,” Gregory’s younger sister Nicole Hemmingsen said. “He would’ve done great things here.”

Gregory worked multiple jobs in Del Norte and tutored anyone who needed help, his sister said, adding that her brother loved hiking and reading. He attended the University of California, Santa Cruz before moving back to Crescent City in 2009.

Reporter's Notebook: Tomasini’s throwing toga party Saturday night

Folks are invited to re-live their college days at Tomasini’s Enoteca on Saturday, when the downtown hotspot holds a toga party featuring live music by Chris Captiano. 

There will also be a beer pong tournament with beer steins given away to the winning team. 

“If they want to play beer pong, it’s over 21,” said Jenny Young, who organized the event. “But anybody can come.”

Cops find $60K of meth in house


Authorities seized 1 pound, 5 ounces of methamphetamine along with cash and three vehicles in a drug bust Thursday. Courtesy Del Norte County Sheriff’s Office
Two arrested; 3 vehicles seized at Carole Lane home

A large drug bust on Thursday led to the arrest of two Crescent City men, more than $60,000 in methamphetamine confiscated and the seizure of a truck and two identical gold Cadillacs. 

James Banuelos, 37, was booked into Del Norte County Jail on charges of possession of a controlled substance for sale, possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia and keeping a place to sell controlled substances after members of the Del Norte Sheriff’s Office Investigations Unit, Pelican Bay State Prison Crisis Response Team, and United States Forest Service served a search warrant at his residence in the 600 block of Carole Lane, according to a sheriff’s news release.


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