Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Sweeping Zoning Changes Before Planning Commission Raise Concerns About Mercer-Fraser Reviving its Mad River Cannabis Facility

Posted By on Wed, Oct 31, 2018 at 1:22 PM

Humboldt Bay Municipal Water District General Manager John Friedenbach and staff address the County Planning Commission in January with concerns about Mercer-Fraser Co.'s proposal. - SCREENSHOT
  • Screenshot
  • Humboldt Bay Municipal Water District General Manager John Friedenbach and staff address the County Planning Commission in January with concerns about Mercer-Fraser Co.'s proposal.
The Humboldt County Planning Commission is set to consider sweeping zoning changes at its meeting tomorrow for hundreds of thousands of acres of properties throughout the county.

The zoning text amendments and reclassifications are being proposed to implement the county’s general plan update, which the board passed last year. But they are coming before the planning commission tomorrow night along with 30 owner-requested zoning changes, including a couple from Mercer-Fraser Co. that some worry will re-open the door to a controversial proposal to build a cannabis manufacturing facility along the Mad River near where the Humboldt Bay Municipal Water District pulls the area’s drinking water.

As a whole, the agenda item seems poised — if approved — to make sweeping changes to land use designations throughout the county, a possibility that caused a flurry of meetings. The Humboldt Bay Municipal Water Board is holding an emergency meeting this afternoon, the Willow Creek Community Services District discussed it at a recent meeting and the Willow Creek Chamber of Commerce held an emergency meeting Monday.

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Tuesday, October 30, 2018

HSU Student Swept Away Described as 'Sweetest Person Ever'

Posted By on Tue, Oct 30, 2018 at 6:34 PM

KeyMaan Stringer - FACEBOOK
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  • KeyMaan Stringer
When professor Rae Robison first met KeyMaan Stringer during the orientation for incoming students in Humboldt State’s Department of Theatre, Film and Dance in August, the 19-year-old freshman immediately stood out.

“He came over and said, ‘I just want to thank you. I’m so excited,’ and he hugged me and I’m not a hugger,” Robison recalled today. “Then, every single time I saw him on campus, he would yell, ‘Rae,’ and he would give me a hug.”

He was just “the sweetest person ever,” she said of Stringer, who arrived in Humboldt County from Los Angeles to begin classes just two months ago.

The U.S. Coast Guard scoured 160 square-nautical miles for 16 hours before suspending the search for Stringer, who was swept off the North Jetty while fishing with fellow students Monday afternoon.

Humboldt State University is proving counseling for members of the campus community who need assistance. Find more information here. Read an expanded story about Key’Maan Stringer and the lives he touched in his short life here.

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Update on Courthouse White Powder Incident

Posted By on Tue, Oct 30, 2018 at 4:45 PM

A Hazmat suit protects personnel outside of the Courthouse Clerk’s Lobby as seen from inside the lobby. - COURTESY OF MICHELLE BISHOP
  • Courtesy of Michelle Bishop
  • A Hazmat suit protects personnel outside of the Courthouse Clerk’s Lobby as seen from inside the lobby.
The white substance found smeared on the outside of the county court clerk’s office was not identified as a “chemical or biological agent” in initial tests but more will be conducted by an out-of-town lab.

One person did come into contact with the powder-like material, prompting “precautionary measures” to be taken, according to a release from the county. The FBI was also contacted.

“So far, there have been no reported symptoms of concern from this incident,” the release states.

The discovery of the substance around 9 a.m. Monday led to I Street being shut down between Fourth and Fifth streets and Humboldt County Court Clerk’s Office was closed for the remainder of the day due to “public safety concerns.”

Find previous Journal coverage here.

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Search Suspended for Missing Humboldt State Student

Posted By on Tue, Oct 30, 2018 at 1:44 PM

The search for a missing HSU student at the North Jetty on Monday. - MARK MCKENNA
  • Mark McKenna
  • The search for a missing HSU student at the North Jetty on Monday.
The U.S. Coast Guard has suspended the search for a 19-year-old Humboldt State University student who was swept off of the North Jetty on Monday afternoon while fishing with friends.

KeyMaan Stringer, who was from Los Angeles, was last seen about 4:30 p.m. when he went to free a line and was hit by a wave. Another man went into the water after Stringer but was unable to reach him.

According to a release, the Coast Guard traversed “160 square-nautical miles for 16 hours in a continuous effort” to locate Stringer. The search was called off just before 10 a.m. today.

Humboldt State is offering counseling to members of the campus community.
Read more information here.


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HSU: Missing Student Still Not Found, Counseling Available

Posted By on Tue, Oct 30, 2018 at 11:15 AM

The search for a missing HSU student at the North Jetty on Monday. - MARK MCKENNA
  • Mark McKenna
  • The search for a missing HSU student at the North Jetty on Monday.
UPDATE:
The Coast Guard has suspended the search for a 19-year-old Humboldt State University student who was swept off the North Jetty Monday afternoon while fishing with friends.

KeyMaan Stringer, who was from Los Angeles, was last seen about 4:30 p.m. when he went to free his line and was hit by a wave. Another man went into the water after Stringer but was unable to reach him.

According to a release, the Coast Guard traversed “160 square-nautical miles for 16 hours in a continuous effort” in an effort to locate Stringer. The search was called off just before 10 a.m. today.

PREVIOUS:

The 19-year-old Humboldt State University student swept off the North Jetty on Monday has still not been found, the university announced this morning in a statement reminding the campus community that counseling services are available.

KeyMaan Stringer was fishing with friends around 4:30 p.m. when he was washed off the rocks by a wave while trying to free a line. Another man at the scene jumped into help but was unable to reach him.

The HSU release states that the Los Angeles resident was still missing “despite an intense rescue effort involving the U.S. Coast Guard and other first responders.” Several resources are available for those who are struggling with the grief or otherwise overwhelmed by the circumstances.
The Coast Guard at the scene of Monday's search. - MARK MCKENNA
  • Mark McKenna
  • The Coast Guard at the scene of Monday's search.

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Monday, October 29, 2018

UPDATE: Search on for Missing HSU Student Swept off North Jetty

Posted By on Mon, Oct 29, 2018 at 6:51 PM

The Coast Guard was at the scene of today's search. - MARK MCKENNA
  • Mark McKenna
  • The Coast Guard was at the scene of today's search.
SECOND UPDATE:

The Coast Guard has suspended the search for a 19-year-old Humboldt State University student who was swept off of the North Jetty Monday afternoon while fishing with friends.

KeyMaan Stringer, who was from Los Angeles, was last seen about 4:30 p.m. when he went to free his line and was hit by a wave. Another man went into the water after Stringer but was unable to reach him.

According to a release, the Coast Guard traversed “160 square-nautical miles for 16 hours in a continuous effort” in an effort to locate Stringer. The search was called off just before 10 a.m. Tuesday.

PREVIOUS:

UPDATE:

Humboldt State University is offering counseling services after a 19-year-old student was swept off the North Jetty this afternoon while fishing.

“Our thoughts are with all of those affected by this accident, and the University is reaching out to provide support to friends and others,” a campus statement reads.
Emergency personnel at the scene. - BOBBY KROEKER
  • Bobby Kroeker
  • Emergency personnel at the scene.

PREVIOUS:

The U.S. Coast Guard and other rescue groups are searching for a 19-year-old Humboldt State student who was swept into the water at the North Jetty this afternoon.

The Coast Guard has sent a helicopter and a boat to aid in the search.

Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Samantha Karges identified the missing man as Keymaan Jac Quesmalik Stringer of Los Angeles. He was fishing with a group of other students. The first 911 call came in around 4:15 p.m.

According to the Lost Coast Outpost, Stringer was swept off the rocks while trying to clear a fishing line and another man jumped in to help but couldn’t reach him.


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Open Door Officially Opens in Fortuna

Posted By on Mon, Oct 29, 2018 at 2:54 PM

The Fortuna Chamber of Commerce organized the traditional ribbon cutting for the grand opening of the new Fortuna Open Door Community Center with the help of Humboldt County Second District Supervisor Estelle Fennell, St. Joseph Health Humboldt CEO Roberta Luskin-Hawk, North Coast Congressman Jared Huffman, ODCHC interim CEO Cheyenne Spetzler and ODCHC Board President Kathy Moxon, among others.
  • The Fortuna Chamber of Commerce organized the traditional ribbon cutting for the grand opening of the new Fortuna Open Door Community Center with the help of Humboldt County Second District Supervisor Estelle Fennell, St. Joseph Health Humboldt CEO Roberta Luskin-Hawk, North Coast Congressman Jared Huffman, ODCHC interim CEO Cheyenne Spetzler and ODCHC Board President Kathy Moxon, among others.

Open Door Community Health Centers officially added a new facility to its already formidable collection Oct. 26, when officials cut the ribbon on its new state-of-the-art health center in Fortuna.

The event, which drew North Coast Congressman Jared Huffman and Second District Humboldt County Supervisor Estelle Fennell, among other notables, marked the official opening of the 32,000-square-foot outpatient medical and dental facility, which is currently accepting new patients. (Dental services aren't slated to begin until Jan. 7, 2019.) Once fully staffed, the clinic is designed to accommodate more than 200 patients per day.


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FBI Contacted about White Powder on Court Clerk's Doors

Posted By on Mon, Oct 29, 2018 at 12:33 PM

A Hazmat suit protects personnel outside of the Courthouse Clerk’s Lobby as seen from inside the lobby. - COURTESY OF MICHELLE BISHOP
  • Courtesy of Michelle Bishop
  • A Hazmat suit protects personnel outside of the Courthouse Clerk’s Lobby as seen from inside the lobby.
The white substance found on the Humboldt County Court Clerk’s Office doors this morning has been sent for testing but results in the field “ruled out most common threats, including biological and chemical agents,” according to a release.

The court clerk’s office, located on the side of the courthouse, is closed for the day “out of an abundance of caution” but all other offices remaining under normal operations.

Read earlier coverage here and here.

“There was no indication of criminal activity or threats on the facility,” the release states. “Staff has also contacted the FBI, who has approved initiation of clean-up of the material.”

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Drug Task Force Seizes 9 Pounds of Heroin

Posted By on Mon, Oct 29, 2018 at 12:08 PM

Heroin and cash seized by the Humboldt County Drug Task Force on Sunday. - SUBMITTED
  • Submitted
  • Heroin and cash seized by the Humboldt County Drug Task Force on Sunday.
The Humboldt County Drug Task Force announced this afternoon that it has arrested three Mexican nationals in what it believes to be the largest heroin seizure in recent county history.

In the culmination of a year-long investigation, agents arrested Carlos Sanchez-Gallego, 63, of Mexicali, Mexico, after a search of his vehicle in Eureka discovered nearly 9 pounds of heroin packaged for sales in a false compartment yesterday evening. The heroin has a reported street value of more than $250,000, according to a press release.

Also yesterday, agents arrested Jose Ochoa-Ayon, 40, and Gilberto Castillo-Garcia, 29, both of Sinaloa, Mexico. Subsequent searches reportedly found another 2 ounces of heroin and $35,000 in cash that agents suspect is the proceeds of illegal drug sales and was subsequently seized.

The suspects were booked into Humboldt County jail, where they are each being held on $500,000. See the full Humboldt County Drug Task Force press release copied below.

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UPDATE: Court Clerk's Office Closes for 'Public Safety' After Powder Found on Door

Posted By on Mon, Oct 29, 2018 at 11:23 AM

A Hazmat suit protects personnel outside of the Courthouse Clerk’s Lobby as seen from inside the lobby. - COURTESY OF MICHELLE BISHOP
  • Courtesy of Michelle Bishop
  • A Hazmat suit protects personnel outside of the Courthouse Clerk’s Lobby as seen from inside the lobby.
UPDATE:

The white substance found on the Humboldt County Court Clerk’s Office doors this morning has been sent for testing but results in the field “ruled out most common threats, including biological and chemical agents,” according to a release.

The court clerk’s office, located on the side of the courthouse, is closed for the day “out of an abundance of caution” but all other offices remaining under normal operations.

PREVIOUSLY:

The Humboldt County Court Clerk’s Office will be closed for the rest of the day due to “public safety concerns” after a white substance was found on the outside door this morning, according to a release.

I Street was closed to allow an emergency response and HazMat crews were on scene. Read more about the response here.

According to the release, those needing immediate help can still contact the clerk’s office by calling 445-7256 until 2 p.m. today. Those with documents that must be filed can go to Room 203 (Payments/Information office).

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