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College of the Redwoods president to retire in 2015

College of the Redwoods President Kathy Smith announced Monday that she plans to retire when her contract is up at the end of June 2015.

In an email to college staff on Friday afternoon, followed by a Monday morning press release, Smith said that she had informed the Board of Trustees last week that she will retire at the end of June, the end of her three-year contract, in order to visit family and travel. She started as president in 2012.


Attemped murder charge after fight

A dispute early Sunday morning at a local campground turned violent, resulting in three arrests, including one on an attempted murder charge, after a 49-year-old male was rushed to the hospital following an alleged blow to the head from a flashlight, according to Del Norte County Sheriff officials.

New director at county health department

The new director of county Health and Human Services is one week in at her new job.

Barbara Pierson was appointed to the position at a Board of Supervisors special meeting earlier this month and began working last week. She has more than 30 years of experience in health care, including working as the Behavioral Health Director of Lassen County for the past two years as well as a clinic manager at the Community Health Center in Del Norte County.

Under new law, drivers must give 3 feet to bikes

A new state law requiring drivers to give 3 feet of clearance when passing bicyclists traveling in the same direction took effect Tuesday, according to the California Department of Motor Vehicles. 

Texaco tear-down

Del Norte Triplicate / Stacy Pottorff
An old Texaco gas station on the 200 block of L Street across from Wild Bill’s Off the Beach was demolished Monday. Community Development Director Eric Taylor said that although there are no plans at this time, the property owners wanted to get the dilapidated building out of the way.

Coastal Commission gets firsthand look at Del Norte

Loren Bommelyn of Smith River Rancheria (left) and Bob Merrill of the California Coastal Commission (right), give commissioners a tour Wednesday of the Lake Earl eco-region, which could be environmentally restored as part of a Crescent City airport project. Del Norte Triplicate / Bryant Anderson
Almost $10 million in contracts to improve the runways at Crescent City’s airport was awarded last week, but while the California Coastal Commission, whose approval was needed for the project, visited Del Norte County this week, eyes were on the contentious wetlands miles north of the airfield.

The federally-mandated Runway Safety Area project at Del Norte County Regional Airport will destroy wetlands, including “environmentally sensitive habitat areas,” prompting the Coastal Commission to require the airport’s governing agency to create wetlands in the Lake Earl and Tolowa Dunes area. 

Murray calls out Gitlin

Supervisor: Accusation of  disrespect to women a ‘show’ 

A City Council member called for a County Supervisor to step down from his position at the Supervisors’ meeting on Tuesday.

Kathryn Murray, a member of the Crescent City Council, addressed the Del Norte County Board of Supervisors during its public comment period on Tuesday to call attention to District 1 Supervisor Roger Gitlin’s behavior at a recent Solid Waste Authority meeting, which she described as “very disrespectful.” Gitlin is the chair of the Solid Waste Authority Board.

Staff changes balance county budget

The County of Del Norte 2014–2015 budget, now open for public input until Tuesday, Sept. 23, is balanced, according to county staff, and will reflect the addition and elimination of several positions throughout various departments. 

The general fund, non-general fund as well as special district budgets that fall under the county’s purview are all balanced, according to CAO Jay Sarina, who presented the budget at this week’s Board of Supervisors meeting. No layoffs were necessary, Sarina said, and the balanced budget of $111,174,777, with a general fund of $24,530,400, was attained through a combination of salary savings, reductions in services and supplies, as well as increases in revenue. There’s also a $100,000 emergency contingency, according to budget documents.

Agencies’ pot raids yield 450 plants

The Del Norte County Sheriff Felony Investigation Unit along with other local agencies seized 450 marijuana plants and two firearms during drug raids this week.

No suspects were arrested but officials are hoping several promising leads turn into multiple suspects.

Driftwood fire burns half acre

A half-acre driftwood fire extinguished Friday on Point St. George likely smoldered for days, officials said. Del Norte Triplicate / Adam Spencer
A small driftwood fire that  is suspected to have smoldered for days on the beaches of Point St. George was doused by firefighters Friday afternoon.

The cause of the half-acre fire is undetermined, but considering that beach bonfires are popular in that area, it is highly possible that it was caused by a campfire that was not properly extinguished, according to Cal Fire Capt. Pat Barrington. 

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