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Ex-cheer coach convicted of contacting student to commit sex offense

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Joseph Young. Courtesy Del Norte District Attorney Office
Lifelong county resident Joseph Young, 41, was convicted by jury Thursday of four of five charges he faced for an inappropriate relationship with a juvenile cheerleading student at Del Norte High School. 

Following three days of trial, the 12-person jury pronounced Young guilty of two felony counts for contacting a minor with intent to commit a sexual offense on April 6-7 of last year. 

Young’s defense attorney, Mike Riese, said he plans to appeal the verdict at sentencing in March, alleging insufficient evidence. 


Blue Creek confluence likely to stay closed

The California Fish and Game Commission is considering reducing the stretch of the Klamath River closed to catch and release fishing this summer, after last year’s restrictions at the confluence with Blue Creek caused a stir among county officials and fishing guides. 

Sport fishing regulations for the 2016 season, including the year’s bag limit, will be formally adopted in April, giving people time to comment on the proposed changes. 

Last year, the Klamath was closed a half mile above the mouth of Blue Creek and 500 feet below to provide cold water respite for fish during summer months of low, warm water, as requested by the Yurok Tribe. 


Out of work crabbers struggling to get by

'One of the roughest times' ever in boom and bust biz

As the California Crab industry braces for a season that may be a complete bust each person dependent on the industry is left to try and make up for the loss.

Although some are able to weather the disaster financially better than others, everyone is feeling the hit and some may lose everything.

Federal aid may come through but that can take up to 16  months, far too late to help those in need of cash now. Be it a crab boat captain, a crew member, a processor, a restaurant owner or a crab wholesaler, each could be facing a year with no crab revenue. And in a rural community where there is very little work to begin with the implications of a season without crab will be devastating. Many within the industry are already fighting for survival.


Job training OK'd for detained youth

Vocational training will be provided to incarcerated youth in space provided by Hambro Forest Products, Inc., thanks to a lease that was signed Tuesday with the Del Norte County Probation Department.

County supervisors approved a five-year agreement for use of 992 square feet of an old shop on Elk Valley Road, 4-0, Chairman Gerry Hemmingsen having recused himself.

There, a teacher with the County Office of Education will teach marketable skills like framing, siding and roofing to kids housed in juvenile hall for 30 days or longer, while the probation department works to build relationships with businesses in the community to find them work once they have the skills, said Chief Probation Officer Lonnie Reyman.


Emergency dispatch call logs, Feb. 8, 2016

Excerpts from the Del Norte County emergency dispatch call logs, Feb. 8: 

Monday, February 8

At 12:25 a.m., caller says a man just took a half gallon of alcohol from a store on the 400 block of M Street.

At 7:27 a.m., report of a man and woman in a verbal argument near 10th and B Street.

At 9:11 a.m., caller says some welding equipment and guns were stolen from his boat near B Dock at the Harbor Area.


Coastal Commision fires Lester

McClure joins 7-5 majority in ousting exec. despite vocal support from public

After seven hours of public testimony on his behalf, it was determined behind closed doors late Wednesday that Dr. Charles Lester, executive director of the California Coastal Commission, had lost his job.

“If there’s a silver lining, it’s that I’m so energized by all the people who came together,” Lester said. “This was a spontaneous expression of our commitment to the coast of California, and we should all be proud of that.”

The announcement of the split 7-5 vote in favor of terminating Lester was made in Morro Bay a little after 9 p.m., despite having the public’s overwhelming support.


Only reality: part 3 in a series on domestic violence in DN

Read more...Even though people in Del Norte County have been reporting domestic violence at a staggering rate, most abuse is suffered in secrecy.

Native American communities are disproportionately affected. 

While Native people make up about 10 percent of Del Norte’s general population, they are consistently at least 25 percent of the victim caseload for the county’s major service providers and the state court system.

 Native children are a lot more likely to be included in referrals to the county’s department for Child Welfare Services, according to agency data analyzed from 2009-2012. 


Alleged victim says he was in love with cheer coach

Whether or not “cuddling” is considered “lewd and lascivious” behavior is a matter standing before a jury this morning, following three days of trial for alleged sex crimes by county employee and former cheerleading coach Joseph Young. 

The relationship between Young, 41, and his then-17 year old cheer student at Del Norte High School may have started as a friendship in the fall of 2014, said District Attorney Dale Trigg, but it reached felonious levels of intimacy before the start of 2015. 

Young’s defense attorney Mike Riese said his client “exercised bad judgment,” but has been charged with crimes for which there is no evidence. 


Coastal Voices: RSVP has a lot of ways to lend a hand

As 2016 gets underway, there are volunteer opportunities in the Del Norte community that help serve local community needs.  For those who are 55 and up, the Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) is looking for community members who have some time and talent and want to give back.  

For those that are interested in helping those in need of food, Rural Human Services distributes 600 to 700 food boxes a month and needs volunteer help.  They will also need help at the Farmer’s Market in the summertime.  For more information about getting involved, call Ron Phillips at 464-8347.

Another option for people who might like to work outdoors is the Del Norte Gleaning Program.   Volunteer gleaners gather food that is either left over after a harvest, or is in abundance- sometimes in the trees of someone’s yard.  Contact Kelley Nolan at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it


Emergency dispatch call logs, Feb. 5-7, 2016

Excerpts from the Del Norte County emergency dispatch call logs, Feb. 5-7: 

Friday, February 5

At 1:32 a.m., report of two large dogs that will not stop barking near the 100 block of Downing Street.

At 2:42 a.m., report of a couple standing outside yelling at each other on the 400 block of U.S. 101 North.

At 6:41 a.m., caller on the 1400 block of U.S. 101 South said he heard somebody yelling for help and believes they are in the water.


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