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DN’s flawed census data raises questions

Del Norte County’s annual Economic Profile was released this week, a hulking 80-page document that coalesces data from scores of sources, meant to paint a statistical portrait for community planners and prospective business owners. 

The profile’s offerings range from basic population figures, say, 25,477 total unincarcerated county residents; to more complex calculations, like the change in total value of newly constructed housing units, down almost a percent since 2012, after it nose-dived by more than 50 percent the year prior. 

Ex-coach charged with possession

A former high school coach was charged with a misdemeanor count of possession of a controlled substance Friday, after a car accident led law enforcement to find more than 12 grams of methamphetamine, authorities say, in his vehicle and home. 

The charge comes two weeks after the traffic collision landed John Horner, 40, in the hospital with severe injuries. 

Child visitation debate led to SR assault

Prosecutors say a dispute over supervised visitation prompted a Smith River man to run over another with his car last month. 

At a hearing Thursday, Deputy District Attorney Todd Zocchi said that Jacob Kupecz, 25, was motivated to attack Jose Aguilar-Lorios, 30, after the victim was granted access to children he was accused by Kupecz of molesting.  

“He was upset with your ruling allowing supervised visitation,”  Zocchi said, addressing Judge Darren McElfresh. “He didn’t think that was right, so he went over to the victim’s residence,” where, Zocchi said, Kupecz would not rest until he’d attempted to take out Aguilar-Lorio’s eyes with a knife.


Reporter's Notebook: Conflict of interest concerns over ‘Safe Routes’ contractor

Local contractor Johnny Jacobs attended a Del Norte Local Transportation Commission meeting with a handful of others this week to air their concerns about Del Norte County Supervisor Martha McClure being considered as a private contractor to manage the commission’s Safe Routes to School program, claiming that the arrangement would present a conflict of interest.

Jacobs’ comments were among the most colorful: “Just hand the keys to her,” he said. “Let her run the county, and we’ll all go home!” 

Wildflower art show entries due Wed.

Participants have until Wednesday to submit photographs and paintings to the Arthur Van Deventer Wildflower Painting and Photography Competition.

The competition is held in conjunction with the Ruby Van Deventer Wildflower Show, which will take place April 24–25. The theme of the competition is the native wildflowers of Del Norte and Curry counties.

Students invited to submit art for show

Entries are still being accepted for an art show featuring the work of local students.

Students can submit drawing, painting, beadwork, ceramics, pottery and sculpture to the Del Norte County Unified School District Office by Wednesday. The work will be on display at the Gallery of Arts and Culture from April 24 to May 10. 

News of Record March 27 – April 9, 2015

These are the misdemeanor and felony sentencings provided by the Del Norte County Superior Court for March 27 – April 9, 2015:

Dustin Steel, 27, McKinleyville, was sentenced to three years of probation and fined $876 for felony possession of narcotic/controlled substance and possession of paraphernalia and was sentenced to 30 days in jail for a probation violation.

Terry Jolley, 62, Crescent City, was sentenced to 365 days in jail for a probation violation.

Peeking under PenAir's hood

PenAir pilot Nick Bolin talks safety in flight while greeting locals who toured a PenAir aircraft Wednesday. Del Norte Triplicate / Bryant Anderson
No flights in or out of Crescent City until new carrier takes over

The terminal bustled with hundreds of people waiting to board a plane that wouldn’t be going anywhere Wednesday afternoon.

Gearing up to take over commercial air service to Crescent City, PenAir had a Saab 340 on the ground at the Del Norte Regional Airport, where inquiring souls could take a peek at the vessel that would carry them to Portland later this year.

“I haven’t been on a plane in probably 10 years,” said Crescent City resident John Mertes, as he stood in line to see this one himself. 



Report: Smith, Rogue in danger

The Smith and Rogue rivers are among the top 10 most endangered rivers in the country, according to an advocacy group rallying public opposition to strip mining proposals on U.S. Forest Service lands in Southern Oregon.

“The annual America’s Most Endangered Rivers report is a list of rivers at a crossroads, where key decisions in the coming months will determine the rivers’ fates,” according to a Tuesday press release from American Rivers, a Washington, D.C.-based advocacy group with more than 200,000 members. 

Whale corpse washes up

College of the Redwoods biology professor Chris Callahan examines the bone of a gray whale that washed up on Pebble Beach Wednesday. Del Norte Triplicate / Bryant Anderson
A gray whale washed ashore at Pebble Beach sometime Tuesday night, its decomposing corpse running aground in the high tide line north of the split staircase. 

“The animal is pretty far gone, pretty soupy,” said Chris Callahan, assistant professor of biology for College of the Redwoods, who brought students to the beach to learn whale anatomy firsthand on Wednesday.

Callahan determined the whale was female. Measuring 36 feet, she appears small for an adult, perhaps not full grown. 

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