Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Arcata Council to Consider McKinley's Fate

Posted By on Tue, Feb 20, 2018 at 8:39 PM

The statue of President William McKinley. - FILE
  • File
  • The statue of President William McKinley.
The Arcata City Council is set Wednesday to consider the fate of President William McKinley’s statue with a series of potential options ranging from taking down the 1906 tribute to putting the issue before voters.

Momentum has been building in recent months to remove the bronze, the first major work by renowned Armenian sculptor Haig Patigian, although the issue has been raised several times over the years.

At a December town hall, more than 40 speakers gave their views on the statue gifted to the city more than 100 years ago by Arcata farmer George Zehnder following McKinley’s assassination, setting the stage for Wednesday’s agenda item.

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Fixing a Broken System

Posted By on Tue, Feb 20, 2018 at 6:04 PM

Xavier Becerra
  • Xavier Becerra
The Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Services and Sheriff’s Office have agreed to a series of overhauls after a California Attorney General’s Office investigation found serious lapses in the local child abuse reporting system.

Under the stipulated judgement accepted by a judge last week, DHHS’ Child Welfare Services and the sheriff’s office are required to make what the attorney general’s office described as “extensive corrective measures across multiple government agencies to ensure that every report of child abuse and neglect is investigated by one or both agencies in a timely manner.”

Those include setting up a 24/7 emergency phone line screened by social workers to take calls of suspected neglect and abuse, ensuring timely cross reporting among agencies, establishing a community task force and the development and implementation of a joint tracking system.

Additionally, CWS is to revise its policies and procedures to “ensure collaboration with and input relating to decision making from tribes.”

The judgement notes that DHHS and the sheriff’s office worked cooperatively with the attorney general’s office and “have affirmed their commitment to make meaningful changes to how child abuse and neglect reports are handled in Humboldt County.”

“The institutions of Humboldt County entrusted to protect children failed them,” Attorney General Xavier Becerra said in a statement. “What can be more important than public agencies performing their duties to safeguard the security and welfare of our kids? We owe it to our children to enforce these laws vigorously. This stipulated judgment will keep the spotlight on Humboldt County's implementation of system-wide reforms to protect children from abuse and neglect.”

According to court documents, the attorney general’s investigation launched in 2015 found both agencies put children’s well-being at risk by either failing to follow up on neglect and abuse reports or not conducting investigations in a timely manner as required under California’s Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act and state welfare code.

That included the lack of a 24/7 emergency response system for CWS social workers to take calls — the main way abuse and neglect reports are made — with mandated reporters like teachers, as well as concerned citizens, forced to leave messages and often not receiving calls back for “days, weeks, or months, if at all,” court documents filed by the attorney general’s office state.

The court documents also state that “there were occasions when deputies did not respond to community calls for assistance or complete case reports” because the sheriff’s office did not have policies and procedures in place, and that CWS “did not investigate referrals in a timely manner.”

For example, the investigation found that in 2015 CWS “only made timely first face-to-face contact within the 10-day statutory period 64 percent of the time” and took an average of 97 days to complete an investigation, exceeding the mandatory 30-day requirement.

“From 2010 to 2015, more than half of all screen-in referrals took 63 days or more to close, with a number of referrals that were left open for years,” the court documents state.

The two agencies also did not have a cooperative agreement for handling reports or sharing information, which was mainly done via fax but only monitored during business hours with CWS routinely sending cross reports from the entire week to the sheriff’s office late Friday afternoon.

Under the stipulated judgment, DHHS and the sheriff’s office have set time frames for addressing those lapses and others and are required to retain a third-party monitor to ensure compliance.

Humboldt County Sheriff William Honsal said in a release that the process has strengthened his office’s “communication and teamwork” with CWS, noting that “protecting the children of the county is the highest priority.”

“Our new communications system and joint response protocol will ensure that mandated reports of child abuse and neglect are quickly investigated and that children are protected,” he said.

DHHS Director Connie Beck said the agreement builds on efforts that were already underway to modernize the CWS system.

“Staff inherited an inefficient paper-and-pencil system that they’ve had to work with for many years. I’m grateful for their commitment to systems improvement and, ultimately, to the children and families we serve,” she said.
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Monday, February 19, 2018

Snow Today, Freezing Temperatures Tonight

Posted By and on Mon, Feb 19, 2018 at 11:51 AM

A breakfast view of the snow from Fortuna. - BETTY BRIM
  • Betty Brim
  • A breakfast view of the snow from Fortuna.
If you woke up to snow or hail on the ground, you're not alone. Humboldt residents from Piercy to Willow Creek saw their fair share of the white stuff, with snow even dusting the ground at sea level, according to the Eureka office of the National Weather Service.

"We even had snow down at the office on Woodley Island," lead NWS meteorologist Matthew Kidwell told the Journal. Meanwhile, a high surf advisory is in effect until noon with waves up to 24 feet.

Kidwell said the largest amount of snow appeared to have fallen on the Ruth Lake area, with reports of 5.5 inches. Wilder Ridge, near Honeydew, received 3.6 inches and Kneeland saw 3 inches.

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Sunday, February 18, 2018

UPDATED: Hoopa Man Held on Suspicion of Murdering Sister

Posted By on Sun, Feb 18, 2018 at 10:48 AM

Antone Aubrey - SUBMITTED
  • Submitted
  • Antone Aubrey
UPDATE: The victim has been identified as Angel Aubrey, 33. Aubrey is the sister of Antone Aubrey, who was arrested in connection with the murder.

Previously:

Officers from the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office and Hoopa Tribal Police Department responded to a disturbance call yesterday afternoon behind the Hoopa Gas Station. According to a Humboldt County Sheriff's press release, officers found a woman who had been shot; she succumbed to her injuries on the scene. A suspect, Antone Aubrey, was arrested the same day and is being held on murder charges. See the full press release below.



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Saturday, February 17, 2018

One Billion Rising and Rising

Posted By on Sat, Feb 17, 2018 at 4:45 PM

Sunny Brae Middle School teacher Anne Youmans led a last minute review of her choreography coaching prior to the 1:45 p.m. performance on the Arcata Plaza. - PHOTO BY MARK LARSON
  • Photo by Mark Larson
  • Sunny Brae Middle School teacher Anne Youmans led a last minute review of her choreography coaching prior to the 1:45 p.m. performance on the Arcata Plaza.
More than 100 Arcata Elementary School and Sunny Brae Middle School students sang and danced to "Home We'll Go" at the sixth annual One Billion Rising event on the Arcata Plaza on Friday afternoon. "We're making a statement through dance to rise, resist and unite to make change happen so our homes and workplaces are safer for all of us," said event organizer Jessie Hobba. See a slideshow of photos from the event below.

Hobba and others from the local V-Day Humboldt movement started the local One Billion Rising dance event in 2012 as part of their activities on ending violence against women and girls. In her introduction, Hobba explained the origins of the "One Billion Rising" term by citing the United Nations statistic that one out of three women worldwide will be beaten or raped. That works out to about 1 billion women worldwide.

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Thursday, February 15, 2018

Wiyot Tribe Votes to Remove McKinley Statue

Posted By on Thu, Feb 15, 2018 at 4:00 PM

SUBMITTED
  • Submitted
Referring to U.S. President William McKinley's legacy of annexing indigenous lands within the continental United States and Hawaii, the Wiyot Tribe sent out a press release today in support of removing the McKinley statue from the Arcata Plaza. According to the release, the Wiyot Tribal Council voted unanimously Feb. 12 to support its removal, as well as that of a plaque on the nearby Jacoby Storehouse that refers euphemistically to "Indian trouble." The vote came in response to a request from the Arcata City Council, the Seventh Generation Fund and private citizens to weigh in on the issue.

The issue is set to go before the Arcata City Council again Feb. 21, following months of debate over whether or not to remove the landmark, which was placed on the plaza in 1906. Critics, citing McKinley's colonialist ambitions in the Spanish American War, have suggested a number of alternatives to the statue, which was erected during a period of national mourning after the 25th president's assassination. Suggestions have included a statue of the Virgin Mary, a Kinetic Sculpture and a statue-less gazebo or music pavilion. The Wiyot Tribe voted "to support replacement of the statue and plaque with something that represents Wiyot culture and/history."

You can read last year's cover story on the issue here.

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Agreement Reached in Attorney General's HumCo Child Abuse Reporting Inquiry

Posted By on Thu, Feb 15, 2018 at 11:24 AM

27e58a86d6b9d0c90432dc79eb784355_400x400.jpg
A Humboldt County Superior Court judge has accepted a stipulated judgement negotiated between the Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Services, the Sheriff's Office and the California Attorney General stemming from the AG's civil investigation into whether the county was in compliance with the California Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act, the county announced this morning.

In 2016, the state subpoenaed copious records from the county, requesting documentation of every report of child abuse or neglect received between 2011 and 2015. According to today's press release, "the inquiry was launched in 2015 after concerns were raised by local tribes and other community partners regarding inefficiencies and barriers to service in the CWS Emergency Response function, primarily dealing with screening practices and cross-reporting between agencies." This would account for why the original subpoena request, as reported by the Journal in 2016, seemed to focus on DHHS's interactions with local law enforcement and mandated reporting policies, especially as related to foster kids and native youth. (You can read our 2016 story here.)

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Tuesday, February 13, 2018

A Stranger's Kindness Restores Pilfered Scout Funds

Posted By on Tue, Feb 13, 2018 at 3:09 PM

Noah and his mom, Megan Tyler. - SUBMITTED
  • Submitted
  • Noah and his mom, Megan Tyler.
Eight-year-old Eureka Cub Scout Noah Coulombe loves participating in his pack’s annual popcorn sales project. He enjoys both making the sales and carefully tracking of his progress toward his goals. He also enjoys supporting his pack in their fundraising efforts.

Noah was one of his pack’s top salesmen in 2016, when he pulled in $1,175, and was well on his way to the top spot in 2017, so far ahead in his sales efforts that he increased his goal to $3,000. Noah spent his days and evenings making sales and carefully keeping track of his receipts and his progress when the unexpected happened.


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Bekah on the Hill

Posted By on Tue, Feb 13, 2018 at 8:09 AM

A screenshot of Rebekah Martinez's Feb. 2 Instagram post (right) makes light of her once missing status, which was reported by news outlets throughout the country.
  • A screenshot of Rebekah Martinez's Feb. 2 Instagram post (right) makes light of her once missing status, which was reported by news outlets throughout the country.
Hours after her elimination from the show shocked Bachelor nation, Rebekah Martinez did an interview with Jimmy Kimmel last night and “set the record” straight as to how she wound up on the California Attorney General’s missing persons database.

Martinez grabbed international headlines earlier this month after the Journal, with the help of a careful reader, recognized Martinez in a slideshow of missing persons as being the burgeoning reality television star who has been captivating audiences since she began vying for Arie’s love when this season premiered Jan. 1.

In the brief interview with Kimmel, Martinez explained that after her elimination from the show during filming last year that — despite the speculation — she had not lied to her mother when she told her on Nov. 12 she was headed to work on a marijuana farm near Eureka.

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Friday, February 9, 2018

Man Found in Van Duzen ID'd as Missing Spaniard

Posted By on Fri, Feb 9, 2018 at 3:49 PM

Ivan Linan Cano - SUBMITTED
  • Submitted
  • Ivan Linan Cano
The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office has identified the man whose body was found on Van Duzen River bar last week as Spaniard Iván Liñan Cano, who went missing  in late November while suffering from a mental health crisis. He was 31.

The professional mountain climber had leaped out of a car on Nov. 28 after attacking the driver while on State Route 36 near Carlotta and ran into the woods. Law enforcement initiated a four-day search for Liñan Cano and had followed up on several leads.

His family then enlisted the help of the private investigation firm Cook & Associates, which the sheriff’s office credited for helping to identify Liñan Cano’s body. He is one of several people featured in this week’s Journal, which includes a list of every person listed as missing from Humboldt County in the California Attorney General's missing persons database.

According to Liñan Cano’s family, he had been working at a Trinity County cannabis farm near Mad River but had a ticket to return home to Spain.


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