Wednesday, October 22, 2014

UPDATE: Homicide Arrest in Redway

Posted By on Wed, Oct 22, 2014 at 12:33 PM

Dean Creek Resort - GOOGLE MAPS
  • Google Maps
  • Dean Creek Resort
UPDATED: After notifying next of kin, the Humboldt County Coroner's Office has released the name of the shooting victim, Daneyal Mohammad Siddique, a 40-year-old man who lived in Redway.

PREVIOUSLY:

The Humboldt County Sheriff's Office arrested a man on suspicion of murder after a shooting at the Dean Creek Resort north of Redway early this morning.

Jason Armstrong, 40, of Texas, was arrested after officers responded to the resort shortly after midnight. Armstrong had been in a brief argument with the victim earlier in the evening, according to the sheriff's office, though the two did not know each other.

According to a press release, Armstrong and the victim parted ways before "Armstrong went to victim’s room to settle the argument, believing it was not over. Armstrong was carrying a semi- automatic handgun. Armstrong confronted the victim on the back patio of the room and brandished the handgun at the victim. While brandishing the handgun, the victim attempted to disarm Armstrong. During the brief struggle over the weapon, Armstrong strong shot the victim once in the chest."

Medical personnel were unable to revive the victim, who was pronounced dead at the scene. Armstrong surrendered to deputies without incident.

Sheriff's Lt. Steve Knight said it's the 10th homicide under sheriff's office jurisdiction this year, and the third investigation announced recently.

Sheriff's office press release:


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Monday, October 20, 2014

Supes to Discuss Jail Release Policy

Posted By on Mon, Oct 20, 2014 at 2:16 PM

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The Humboldt County Board of Supervisors will look over this year’s grand jury recommendations tomorrow, including the report that called for the end of Humboldt County Jail’s late night release policy.

Sheriff Mike Downey said in August that the jail would not comply with the report, and would continue to release people between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., despite community and grand jury concerns that the practice put the public and outgoing prisoners at risk.

St. Bernard Pastor Eric Freed was killed on New Year’s Day, allegedly by a Garberville man who had been released from jail hours before.

It’s unclear if the board will discuss late night releases, but county Chief Administrative Officer Phillip Smith-Hanes wrote to the supervisors a recommendation to adopt another of the grand jury’s recommendations: That the county provide transportation to outgoing inmates who were arrested 25 or more miles from the jail per California law. That means bus tickets for people arrested where the Humboldt Transit Authority services, and some other means of transportation for remote arrestees.

“The Grand Jury's recommendation to contract with Humboldt Transit Authority (HTA) requires additional financial resources and may be an option if the county's sales tax measure, Measure Z, passes in the Nov. 4, 2014 election, and the community identifies this as a priority. However, HTA is limited by its operational schedule, which is primarily daytime,” Smith-Hanes wrote.

Read more on the grand jury recommendations and the county’s jail release policy.
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Sunday, October 19, 2014

'Unfit for a Free Society'

Posted By on Sun, Oct 19, 2014 at 3:09 PM

A week after Bodhi Tree was sentenced to serve 105 years to life in state prison for murdering two people in Arcata last year and shooting a third in Eureka, a pre-sentencing report made public as a part of his case file sheds new light on the 29-year-old and his path through the criminal justice system. It also underscores the multi-layered tragedy that just played out before our community’s eyes.

The report paints a picture of a man born into difficult circumstances who suffered numerous childhood traumas and was never taught to harness his anger, a problem that compounded with the onset of multiple mental illnesses as he became an adult.

“When he first entered the adult criminal justice system at age 18, defendant was the type of transitional aged youth who service providers watched with bated breath in hopes that his psychiatric condition would stabilize and his out of control behavior would deescalate,” wrote Deputy Probation Officer Jeanne Kirke. “Unfortunately, that was not the case.”

A jury recently convicted Tree of the murders of Alan “Sunshine” Marcet, 27, and Christina Schwartz, 18, at an Arcata house party on May 18, 2013, finding he fatally shot the two as they lay in bed. No motive is clear, though prosecutors argued Tree has an established pattern of behaving aggressively toward women to the point that other men come to their defense.

The probation report is filled with scores of letters from friends and family of Marcet and Schwartz mourning their loss and urging the court to sentence Tree to the maximum allowable under the law. Combined, the letters paint a portrait of two young people who were well loved, and loved well in return.

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Saturday, October 18, 2014

Police Promotions

Posted By on Sat, Oct 18, 2014 at 4:50 PM

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Being a bit old school, I was put off at first. Eureka Police Chief Andy Mills was on the phone asking me to take part in a community panel that would help him decide who to promote to the position of EPD captain. The positions are critical to Mills’ plan for policing Eureka, which involves splitting the city in half geographically, with one captain responsible for the day-to-day operations of each. He said he wanted good people in place and was reshaping the department’s promotional process.

Historically, EPD promotions have been an insular affair, with testing and interviewing happening behind closed doors and including no one outside the law enforcement community. But Mills, who came from San Diego about a year ago to take over the department, was changing that, putting together three interview panels — one of community members, another of Eureka department heads and the last of law enforcement officials — in an attempt to get a more holistic feel for the candidates, and how they respond to different people and situations.

The catch for me was that large parts of the process were going to be confidential and I would have to sign a nondisclosure agreement. And, if I joined the panel, I would be asking questions provided by Mills, with only a limited opportunity to ask follow up questions. As a journalist, telling me I’m not allowed to ask my own questions and that what’s said needs to be kept secret is generally a deal breaker. Further, I believe journalists should keep their sources and subjects at arm’s length to preserve objectivity as much as possible. Things can get sticky and lines can grow blurry when you get too close, and having a hand in deciding who gets promoted in an agency I cover seemed all too close for my tastes. But, I told Mills I’d mull it over.

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Friday, October 17, 2014

Former Sheriff's Sgt. Charged with On-Duty Rape

Posted By on Fri, Oct 17, 2014 at 12:26 PM

Jason Daniels
  • Jason Daniels
A former Humboldt County Sheriff’s sergeant has been charged with committing rape and sexual battery while on duty last year.

Jason Scott Daniels, 41, was arrested Oct. 18, 2013 by investigators with the Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office based on allegations that he sexually assaulted a woman while detaining her. Thursday, the DA’s Office filed a three-count felony complaint charging Daniels with sexual y penetrating a woman with a foreign object against her will and sexually battering her while she was unlawfully restrained on Aug. 29, 2013, and a separate charge of sexually battering another woman while unlawfully restraining her on March 13, 2013.

The DA’s Office confirmed last year that the two alleged offenses from Aug. 29, 2013 were both committed while Daniels was on duty. It’s unclear why almost a year passed between the dates of Daniels’ arrest and his being formally charged with a crime. Calls placed to the DA’s Office today were not immediately returned.

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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Little Sips of Water

Posted By on Tue, Oct 14, 2014 at 1:51 PM

This Wednesday and Thursday, Oct. 15 and 16, the Humboldt Bay Municipal Water District will be hooking up a new connection between its water transmission main and Arcata's water system.

A handful of addresses won't have water at all, and they've been notified already, says the district.

The supply line to Arcata, McKinleyville, Eureka, the Samoa Peninsula and the Humboldt Community Services District also will be affected, but the reservoirs serving those customers will be full going into the procedure — the district is asking everyone in those areas to conserve water on Wednesday and Thursday so they don't deplete those reservoirs.

The district also notes that there will be one-way controlled traffic on Aldergrove Road during the procedure.

So: Conserve water!
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Korbel Mill For Sale

Posted By on Tue, Oct 14, 2014 at 12:43 PM

click image Korbel - PHOTO FROM THE CALIFORNIA REDWOOD CO. WEBSITE
  • Photo from the California Redwood Co. website
  • Korbel

California Redwood Co., a subsidiary of Green Diamond Resource Co., has put its Korbel sawmill up for sale.

“In a recent meeting, company president Douglas Reed told employees it makes sense for the sawmill to be owned or managed by a company that has deep knowledge of Douglas-fir manufacturing and marketing for the California market,” says company spokesman Gary Rynearson.

Rynearson says Green Diamond will continue to focus on its core business, “growing and harvesting high quality redwood and Douglas-fir timber.”

In May, California Redwood Co. began exiting the redwood manufacturing and distribution business, with Reed saying in a news release at the time that the company had “not been able to achieve positive results for redwood lumber manufacturing and sales over the last several years.”

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Sunday, October 12, 2014

God's Country

Posted By on Sun, Oct 12, 2014 at 7:11 AM

THIS IS MY HUMBOLDT from Ryan Johnson on Vimeo.

Humboldt County’s a beautiful place. This isn’t news.

But if you could distill days’ full of beauty from scenic vistas throughout the county into a four-and-a-half-minute experience, there would be a novelty factor, right? Well, that’s what local photographer/handyman Ryan Johnson has done.

Johnson, who has lived in Humboldt County since coming to go to school in 2001, said he was inspired by Ben Canales when he got the idea of putting together a time-lapse montage of Humboldt County, to create a piece showing “what this place means to me. I don’t know if it will ever be finished," he said, "but the video you see is truly a piece of my heart.”

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Thursday, October 9, 2014

What Not To Like?

Posted By on Thu, Oct 9, 2014 at 4:12 PM

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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

A Star is Born and El Pulpo be thy Name

Posted By on Wed, Oct 8, 2014 at 4:52 PM

oliver_pulpo.png
Humboldt County’s most famous flaming octopus has fully arrived on the national stage.

El Pulpo Mecanico, the brainchild of Kinetic hall-of-famer Duane Flatmo, has for years been appearing at Burning Man, an arts festival in the Nevada desert, and has become a favorite of its cult-like following. But now, the fire spewing machine is going mainstream.

First, the newly dubbed “pyropus” made an unexpected appearance on former Daily Show correspondent John Oliver’s HBO show, Last Week Tonight. (The appearance comes toward the end of the two minute segment, but is worth the wait.)

But that’s just the beginning, as Flatmo’s tentacled friend is due to be featured on a Burning Man themed episode of The Simpsons on Nov. 16, when some three million viewers will watch Bart, Homer and company party on the playa. Flatmo said he was touring El Pulpo around Burning Man when he ran into a lawyer-type who told him Simpsons Director David Silverman was at a nearby camp and wanted to meet him. Turns out Silverman is a big-time Burner, known for strolling around playing a flaming tuba. Obviously, the two hit it off.

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