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Updated 5:35pm - Feb 27, 2015

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Redwood burl thefts: Bill takes swing at poachers

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A ranger stands next to the scar burl poachers left on a redwood at the sound end of Redwood National Park in 2013. Courtesy Redwood National and State Parks
 A recent rise in burl thefts within Redwood National and State Parks is intensifying investigations of local wood merchants, while a bill introduced to the California Legislature last week proposes gnarly punishments to deter would-be thieves, even as sentences for nonviolent offenses are lessening statewide due to a recent voter mandate.


Kink in bus line is now solved

Greyhound, RCT aim to prevent stranded passengers 

Del Norte’s Redwood Coast buses are now officially connected to Greyhound’s lines, but the connection, at least in terms of communication between the two organizations, is still a work in progress.


COs arrested on way to UK in hash lab case

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C. Stack
 
Haddad
 
T. Stack
 Two Pelican Bay State Prison correctional officers were apprehended by the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office in Ukiah on Monday in connection with a hash lab that was uncovered in Crescent City last week. 


Washington Blvd. closed for sinkhole repair

With plans to rip up a good chunk of road, the Del Norte County Roads Division will have part of Washington Boulevard closed for the next two days to address a culvert failure.


Gray whales put on a show

Marine researcher identifies several individuals among group of 20–30 behemoths that passed through Tuesday 

It was hard to miss the V-shaped sprays of ocean water and hot breath punctuating Crescent City’s western horizon this week, when whales could be seen from land or sea in the shallows of St. George Reef.

Tipped off that as many as 30 gray whales were cruising around these parts, marine researcher Jeff Jacobsen set out in a small boat on Tuesday to photograph and identify individual animals.

“Usually in February, you’d go out all day and see two or three whales,” he said.


Study: Reroute worth the cost

Last Chance Grade failure poses great economic threat 

The cost of building a bypass around a troubled section of U.S. Highway 101 appears to be justified by the economic impact of a forced closure in the event of destruction by slide or slip out, according to a Caltrans study released Friday. 

Del Norte County could lose 3,000–4,000 jobs and roughly $300 million to $400 million in annual output if the stretch of 101 south of Crescent City known as Last Chance Grade failed, according to the economic impact study, which was requested by the Del Norte Local Transportation Commission. The job losses would also cost the region $100 to $130 million annually, the report says.


Gifted bus tickets lead to headache

Redwood Coast Transit board won’t refund Trinidad man 

A Trinidad City Councilman accused of buying $300 worth of bus passes to send Humboldt County undesirables on a trip to Crescent City became the Redwood Coast Transit board’s object of irritation this week when he asked for a refund because the passes had been voided.

But Dwight Miller, the Trinidadian elected official in question, denies trying to ship Trinidad’s social problems north; rather, he was only acting as a private citizen seeking to help people that the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office had identified as folks who wanted to move north and couldn’t afford the trip. Also, how about that refund?


Sewer rates stay; analysis planned

The Crescent City Council put off raising sewer rates Tuesday so that city staff can look into making a change to the rate structure. 

Currently charged a flat rate for both sewer and water, Del Norte County residents could see consumption-based sewer bills in the future, if the option proves a viable one.

“That may help some of our individual consumers,” Council Member Kathryn Murray said. “We’ll have to do the analysis, but it may help.” 


Reporter's Notebook: Provocative roadside billboard pops up on 101

Visitors from the south will find a new billboard to greet them as they arrive in Crescent City, and this one isn’t advertising Ocean World.

The sign, which is located on Highway 101, combines the tried-and-true advertising techniques of a big picture of a marijuana leaf next to the words “Sexing made Simple.” 

Drivers who find themselves slowing down enough to read the link that’s advertised beneath the pot leaf image might later visit an internet site that turns out to be owned by Steep Hill Halent, a company that claims to “provide quality control services to the medical cannabis industry.”


News of Record Feb. 13–19, 2015

These are the misdemeanor and felony sentencings provided by the Del Norte County Superior Court for Feb. 13–19, 2015:

Andre J. Gonzalez, 32, Smith River, was sentenced to 19 days in jail and four years of probation and fined $2,602 for driving under the influence with a prior and excessive blood alcohol.

Matthew A. Taylor, 29, Crescent City, was sentenced to 18 days in jail and three years of probation and fined $671 for obstructing/resisting a police officer and a probation violation.


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