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Fair Board ready to take charge

Del Norte County set a precedent when it became the first in the state to levy a tax to fund its fairgrounds, and it ventured farther into new territory at the first meeting of the Del Norte County Fair Special District Board of Directors, held on Thursday.

A new government entity, the special district was approved in the November election when voters passed Measure F, which will put a 0.25-percent tax on sales in the county for the next seven years to fund Del Norte County Fairgrounds operations. Voters also chose five members to serve on the special district’s board in the election.

Insurance company, Sutter settle contract

A contract dispute between Crescent City’s hospital operator and an insurer covering 570 Del Norters ended Friday morning. 

“The not-for-profit Sutter Health network announced today that it reached agreement on a new two-year contract with Blue Shield of California, preserving patient access to the doctors and care centers that Blue Shield sold to patients during fall open enrollment,” according to a press release from Sutter. 

Kiosks will offer tour of tsunami history

Half a century after a tsunami destroyed the downtown area, roughly 300 people retraced its steps. Led by volunteer tour guides last year, visitors heard stories of tragedy, courage and survival. 

As Crescent City approaches the 51st anniversary of the tsunami this year, city staff, elected officials and other community contributors are working to create a permanent self-guided walking tour featuring eight kiosks that tell different aspects of the story.

Dodson turns self in on four charges

A local man wanted on suspicion of robbery, criminal threats, false imprisonment and battery on a noncohabitating former spouse turned himself in to the Del Norte County Jail before posting bail and being released.

Daniel Dodson, 37, of Crescent City, was wanted in connection with an incident at a business on the 200 block of L Street when the alleged victim, who reportedly knows Dodson, named him as the robber, said Crescent City Police Sgt. Justin Gill. 

Alcohol a factor in Stout Grove crash

Three people were taken to the hospital Thursday after losing control of their vehicle and crashing into a fallen redwood. 

The driver, Christopher Dawson, 33, was not able to negotiate a bend in Stout Grove Road, according to a CHP news release. He was later determined by California Highway Patrol to be under the influence of alcohol.

Explosion from RV fire heard Wednesday

Shortly before 8 p.m. Wednesday, many Crescent City residents heard an explosion and felt tremors that originated from the vicinity of a homeless encampment in the brush past the end of Iowa Street. 

The Crescent Fire Protection District and other emergency personnel responded to the area to put out a fire at a recreational trailer that was parked there.

Last Chance Grade: New routes proposed

Proposed alternative routes
The lengthy process of rerouting a relatively short length of road is just getting underway as possible route alternatives to the section of Highway 101 known as Last Chance Grade are considered.

Public meetings hosted by Caltrans, the Yurok Tribe, Smith River Rancheria, Elk Valley Rancheria, California Department of Parks and Recreation and the National Park Service were held in Crescent City, Eureka and Klamath this week to solicit community input for the Last Chance Grade Feasibility Study.

Stelling cleared in DNSC lawsuit

Jury finds senior center, 2 former administrators at fault 

After a grueling week-and-a-half of testimony on the accounting procedures used by the Del Norte Senior Center four years ago, a local jury on Tuesday found two of three defendants, as well as the plaintiff, at fault in the Del Norte Senior Center’s suit against three former employees concerning the loss of hundreds of thousands of dollars stemming from the misuse of energy program funds.

Accused of negligence and breach of contract, the jury found that Tracy Stelling, who had been contracted as a part-time accountant for the senior center from 2002–11, was not at fault for any of the losses claimed by the center. 

Many local docs left out of new plan

A new Del Norte County-centric health insurance plan developed by CalPERS, Anthem Blue Cross and Sutter Health was offered to 1,700 local residents this month, stirring controversy over which doctors were covered by the plan’s network.

Doctors that aren’t employed by Sutter-affiliated entities were not asked to be part of Anthem’s Del Norte County Exclusive Provider Organization before it was rolled out to members of the state’s health benefit and pension system, CalPERS, on Jan. 8, but after significant blowback from independent clinics and patients the plan’s network is being expanded to include any local physician that contracts with Anthem, according to Sutter Coast Hospital CEO Mitch Hanna. 

Committee posts stir debate at meeting

Infighting dominated Tuesday’s Del Norte County Board of Supervisors meeting, with county leaders split 3-2 over routine committee assignments. 

The committees at stake are advisory groups with no decision-making authority, which report to the full board on everything from specific goals to general planning for transportation, health care, intergovernmental collaboration and much more. Every year county supervisors are divided up in pairs among about 50 committees to collaborate with partners like the City of Crescent City, various special service districts, native tribes and state agencies.

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