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Volunteers sought for Blight cleanup project

Del Norte County Supervisor Roger Gitlin’s private Take a Bite out of Blight program is seeking volunteers to clean up a 12-acre parcel in Crescent City.

The cleanup starts 9 a.m. Sunday at the Amador Street cul de sac south of Washington Boulevard and adjacent to the Crescent City Fire Department station. Volunteers are asked to bring gloves and shovels. Trash bags and water will be furnished, according to Gitlin. To volunteer, contact Gitlin at 951-6361.

Worship in a cathedral

Pastor Steven Perez cuts wood at the construction site of Hiouchi Community Fellowship. Del Norte Triplicate / Adam Spencer
 The redwoods and wild rivers surrounding Hiouchi often feel like a cathedral of natural beauty to many a tourist, but not until now has the small community had brick-and-mortar church of its own.

With completion of a large addition and continued remodeling project-by-project as money allows, the Hiouchi Community Fellowship has converted a former tackle and rental shop on Highway 199 into a permanent space for a growing congregation.

The fellowship started as a Bible study group Pastor Steven Perez held at his home. When Perez found out many of the those attending his group did not attend any church on Sundays, he asked them if they were interested in starting their own.  

Vandalism blamed for regional outage

Phones, internet and TV service lost across N. Coast after cable cut near Ukiah 

Residents of the North Coast were back online Friday morning a day after a vandalized fiber optic cable south of Ukiah caused communication outages throughout the region. 

Cellular and standard phone lines, internet and television were among the services affected in Del Norte, Humboldt, Mendocino, Lake and Sonoma counties after an exposed AT&T cable was severed by one or more vandals, presumably looking for copper, the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office told the Press Democrat. 

The line was discarded after the suspects discovered it didn’t in fact contain copper, the Times-Standard reported. A landslide had initially damaged the line, which was being held off the ground by steel posts, easily visible, as a temporary fix until it could be buried underground.

Permit to kill cougar issued

 Five dead turkeys latest in series of Bertsch harassments 

A state fish and wildlife biologist issued a depredation permit to a homeowner in the Bertsch Tract on Thursday after confirming a mountain lion killed five of her turkeys.

Constance Rolon, who lives with her family near LeClair and Bertsch avenues, said a mountain lion broke into her turkey pen late Tuesday night, jumping over the metal wire fence surrounding the enclosure and punching through the orange safety fencing on top. Her family recovered four carcasses Wednesday morning.

On Thursday Rolon spent about two hours with Dave Lancaster, a California Department of Fish and Wildlife biologist from Eureka, who inspected the dead birds and their pen and found the fifth turkey the big cat had fed on.

Construction training initiated

On the remote Yurok Indian reservation, on-site job training is hard to come by, but a new program started this week will provide 10 tribal members with 550 hours of real-world building construction. 

They will be building a new home for  Yurok Tribal Elder Ken 'Butch' Sanderson from the ground up.

“We’re so isolated here we don’t have access to training that tribes in urban areas or areas with more access have,” said Don Barnes, director of the Yurok Tribe's Tribal Employment Rights Office (TERO), which aims to secure more employment and training opportunities for tribal members. 

When Barnes saw a presentation from the Native Construction Careers Initiative — a program of the national TERO council providing green or novice tribal workers with building construction skills — he was committed to bringing the program to Yurok Country.

News of record, Aug. 14-27, 2015

Misdemeanor and felony sentencings provided by the Del Norte County Superior Court for Aug. 14-27, 2015:

Joshua Dunn Andritsch, 25, Crescent City, was sentenced to seven years in state prison and fined $1,190 for assault by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury and a special allegation. Restitution is still to be determined.

John William Reitterer, 21, Crescent City, was sentenced to 80 days in jail and fined $891 for possession of drug paraphernalia, failure to appear and a probation violation.

Police and sheriff logs, Sept. 2-3, 2015

Excerpts from the call logs for the Del Norte County Sheriff’s Office and the Crescent City Police Department, September 2-3:

Wednesday, September 2

At 12:19 a.m., caller reports her daughter’s ex boyfriend called and stated he was on his way over to the residence on the 1100 block of Oregon Street in violation of a restraining order.

At 12:47 a.m., caller reports someone threw something and broke a window at a business on the 300 block of M Street.

At 3:51 a.m., report of a broken window to a business on the 200 block of I Street.

Protest over proposed pipeline

Hoopa Valley Youth Council members march to the Trinity River above, where they held a demonstration, below. Courtesy Zev Smith-Danford
 A 232-mile pipeline that would run through the southwest corner of Oregon, channeling fracked natural gas across numerous rivers and streams before it’s shipped overseas, concerns its neighbors to the south, too, a group of Northern California Native youth asserts.

The Hoopa Valley Youth Council held a demonstration on the banks of the Trinity River on Saturday to demand that Gov. Jerry Brown request a report on what environmental impact the Pacific Connector Pipeline would have on the waters of the Upper Klamath River.

If it is installed as proposed, spanning the river just below the Klamath Lakes before winding up to a liquified natural gas terminal in Coos Bay, any harm done on site will be felt downstream of the Oregon border, the youth say.

State settles SHU inmates' suit

One of the SHU corridors at Pelican Bay. Inmates held here initiated a class action suit leading to this week's agreement. Del Norte Triplicate / Bryant Anderson.
 California will end indefinite segregation for inmates, a practice notorious at Del Norte County’s own Pelican Bay State Prison where in recent years more than 500 prisoners had been held in isolation for more than a decade.

The settlement reached Tuesday in a class-action lawsuit brought by prisoners held in isolation,

California keeps more inmates in segregation than any other state and no state keeps inmates imprisoned for so long, according to the Center for Constitutional Rights, which represented long-serving inmates of Pelican Bay’s Security Housing Units — commonly referred to as the SHU — who are held in isolation for more than 22 hours per day.  

Of California’s nearly 3,000 inmates held in segregation, more than one third (1,116 inmates) are housed in Pelican Bay in soundproofed, windowless cells.  They receive no physical contact with visitors and are allowed only limited reading materials and communications with the outside world.

Benghazi survivor to speak at GOP fundraiser

Kris “Tanto” Paronto didn’t need anyone to tell him to start collecting his gear; he could already hear the explosions coming from the U.S. diplomatic compound less than a mile away.

Paronto, part of a six-man Global Response Staff team providing security to the Central Intelligence Agency Annex, had been in Benghazi for about two months. His team began mustering at 9:32 on the evening of Sept. 11, 2012. He had been scheduled to go home Sept. 15.

“It was pretty intense,” Paronto said of the attack that claimed the life of U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three others. “The whole team was already moving and getting all of our gear. This is what we actually train for. We respond to anybody that gets attacked and needs our assistance.”

Paronto, who co-authored “13 Hours: The Inside Account of What Really Happened in Benghazi,” is the keynote speaker at the Del Norte Republican Party’s annual Sept. 12 fundraiser dinner at Woodhaven Farm Lakehouse.

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