Laura Wiens, The Triplicate

Red Cross volunteer Robin Payne has been busy lately, and not in her hometown of Crescent City.

Six months after hurricane Sandy devastated sections of the East Coast, Robin headed for New York City last month, where she spent several weeks helping still-struggling storm victims get connected with appropriate agencies, such as FEMA.

It was her second trip to the East Coast to help with post-Sandy relief efforts. The first time last November she joined a convoy of six vehicles from California and Arizona for a cross-country road trip. The second time around, she flew both ways.

The local grandmother also deployed for the Red Cross in 2010 after hurricane Isaac hit the northern Gulf Coast.

"When I'm not volunteering across the country with the Red Cross, I volunteer with the chapter in Crescent City," said Robin.

Her request to fellow Del Norters: "Donate time to the Red Cross. We always need more volunteers."

For more information about getting involved with the Red Cross, go to and click on "Volunteer," or call 464-2277.

Triplicate by pony express

Like many kids making extra money back in the day, Melissa (Dickerson) Vistalli delivered the Del Norte Triplicate when she was 13. Most of the time she did so on a bicycle, until it broke. Then she got a bit unorthodox with her delivery system.

A family friend out on Old Mill Road loaned her his pony, and she rode it in town to get the paper to subscribers. One day a Triplicate photographer took her picture aboard the pony and put it in the paper.

Melissa left Del Norte 22 years ago, and only recently returned. Someone told her the picture was now hanging in the lobby of the Triplicate, and she stopped by to take a look, and got a bit nostalgic.

Those were simpler times, with fewer regulations.

"No one ever told me I couldn't ride it through town," said Melissa, now 43.

School's out andhellip; forever

The school year is rapidly winding down, and so are the careers of several Del Norte Unified School District employees who are retiring next month.

All of them will be honored at a reception Thursday at 5:30 p.m. at the Tolowa Events Center in Smith River.

Those soon to retire include Rodney Jahn, deputy superintendent; Pat Jensen, transportation; andJudy Wangerin, Food Services director.

Retiring teachers include Janet Parker, kindergarten, Bess Maxwell; Karen Bertolini, third grade, Redwood; Chery Rafferty, second grade, Redwood; Martha Morgan, second grade, Redwood; Hollie McKinney, second grade, Pine Grove; Anna Caldwell, sixth grade, Crescent Elk; Mary Hosley, PE, Crescent Elk; Andy Robertson, Industrial Arts, DNHS; Jay Fair, Technology, DNHS; and Randy Mitchell, Mathematics, Sunset.