Thursday, October 29, 2020

HCDTF Seize One-Fourth Pound of Meth and 1,300 Oxycodone Pills

Posted By on Thu, Oct 29, 2020 at 5:45 PM

The methamphetamine and Oxycodone pills that were found after HCDTF served several warrants. - HCDTF
  • HCDTF
  • The methamphetamine and Oxycodone pills that were found after HCDTF served several warrants.
The Humboldt County Drug Task Force seized one-fourth pound of methamphetamine and about 1,300 Oxycodone pills after serving several warrants in unincorporated areas of Eureka.

The warrants were in response to "a seizure by customs agents in Peru who intercepted multiple packages containing large quantities of Oxycodone that were being shipped" to the Eureka addresses where the warrants were served.

According to the release, agents located financial documents of the suspects allegedly wiring large amounts of money back to Peru and they were in possession of packaging materials showing they have received multiple packages from Peru in the past year.

Law enforcement arrested Major Neil Gutierrez Flores, 41 years old from Peru, and John Alberto Gutierrez Flores, 37 years old from Peru, for alleged possession of controlled substances for sale and possession of methamphetamine for sale.

Read the full press release below. 




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Voter Assistance Centers Open Saturday

Posted By on Thu, Oct 29, 2020 at 4:32 PM

All nine of Humboldt County's Voter Assistance Centers will open this Saturday, Oct. 31, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The centers will be open to all voters for in-person voting, vote-by-mail ballot drop off, replacement ballots and same-day registration voting beginning Saturday (8 a.m. to 4 p.m.) through Election Day on Tuesday (7 a.m. to 8 p.m.).

You can find the nearest voter assistance center here or at the bottom of the post.

Read the full press release below. 

Voter Assistance Centers to Open Saturday

Saturday, October 31, 2020, marks the opening of the nine Voter Assistance Centers in Humboldt County. The centers offer in-person voting, vote-by-mail ballot turn in, replacement ballots, and same-day registration and voting.

The Voter Assistance Centers will be open from 8AM until 4PM on Saturday October 31, Sunday November 1, and Monday November 2. On Election Day, November 3, they will open at 7AM and close at 8PM.

Many polling locations are NOT open for this election. Humboldt County voters are encouraged to go to their assigned Voter Assistance Center. To find out where yours is, go to https://co.humboldt.ca.us/election/polling-place. Provide the information requested and get the name and address of your center.

Humboldt County Office of Elections
2426 6th Street, Eureka, CA
707-445-7481
Humboldt_elections@co.humboldt.ca.us
Humboldtgov.org/elections
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Humboldt's COVID Case Count at 569

Posted By on Thu, Oct 29, 2020 at 4:22 PM

Public Health reported one new COVID-19 case  today, setting the county's total case count at 569.

Today's results include 214 tests. To date, Humboldt County has seen 37 hospitalizations and 10 COVID-related deaths.

Humboldt County continues its stay in the "minimal" risk tier under the state's "Blueprint for a Safer Economy," according to California Department of Public Health data released Tuesday, with a positivity rate of 1.5 percent and an adjusted case rate of 2.8 per 100,000.

Earlier this week, health officials reminded residents that "two consecutive weeks of a case rate greater than 2.0 would move the county fully into the orange tier."

Meanwhile, the state has an overall positivity rate of 3.2 and case rate of 7.2.

Right now, under the lower risk category, most indoor businesses — including bars — can reopen but the county can put further restrictions in place, according to the state. Read more about what it means here.

The Humboldt County Data Dashboard was recently updated to include hospitalization rates by age group, death rates by age group and case totals by ZIP code, the latter of which are reported in "a range of 0 to 5 for case count until the area surpasses 5 total cases," according to a county news release.

After that threshold has been reached in a ZIP code, the exact number will be included.

Basics of COVID-19

The California Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control, state that symptoms of novel coronavirus include cough and shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, or at least two of the following: fever, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat or a new loss of taste or smell.

Emergency warning signs needing immediate medical attention include difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion or inability to awaken, and bluish lips or face.

In an emergency situation:

Call ahead to the emergency room or inform the 911 operator of the possibility of a COVID-19 infection and, if possible, put on a face mask.

Symptoms or possible exposure:

In the case of a possible exposure with symptoms — fever and cough or shortness of breath — contact your doctor’s office or the county Department of Health and Human Services, which has a hotline that can be reached during business hours at covidinfo@co.humboldt.ca.us or at (707) 441-5000. Residents seeking medical advice or questions about testing are asked to contact Public Health at hhsphb@co.humbldt.ca.us or at (707) 445-6200.

St. Joseph Health has also set up a virtual assessment tool as an aid to assess risk factors for contracting the illness, which can be found at here.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has started a rumor-control webpage that can be found here.

For the Journal's latest COVID stories, updates and information resources, click here.
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Crash at Henderson and H Street in Eureka

Posted By on Thu, Oct 29, 2020 at 12:03 PM

Emergency personnel uses a stretcher to take a victim to the ambulance. - MARK MCKENNA
  • Mark McKenna
  • Emergency personnel uses a stretcher to take a victim to the ambulance.
A multi-car collision happened about 11:10 a.m. at the intersection of Henderson and H Streets in Eureka.

One woman has facial injuries. An ambulance is responding to a Code 3 (with lights and siren).

H is closed at Henderson.

UPDATE 11:50 a.m.: Video from Melinda Riley


According to our reporter Mark McKenna who spoke to witnesses, “They said it appears initial collision was two vehicles in the intersection of H and Henderson. One of those vehicles hit a parked car on H Street and the parked car appears to have been spun into H street. The parked vehicle was then apparently struck by a 4th car but they are still talking to witnesses.

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Stabbing in Arcata Last Night

Posted By and on Thu, Oct 29, 2020 at 10:54 AM

FILE
  • file

The Humboldt County Sheriff's Office responded to a report of a stabbing in Arcata last night.

According to the report, a 28-year-old man was stabbed while riding his skateboard by two unknown suspects on Upper Bay Road. He was transported to a local hospital by a friend and is expected to survive his injuries.

The stabbing is under investigation.

Read the full release from HCSO spokesperson Samantha Karges below.

On Oct. 28, 2020, at about 11:50 p.m., Humboldt County Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to a local hospital for the report of a stabbing victim.

Deputies made contact with a 28-year-old male victim, who told deputies that he was stabbed by two unknown subjects while riding his skateboard on Upper Bay Road in Arcata. The victim was then reportedly transported to a local hospital by a friend. The victim is expected to survive his injuries.

This case is still under investigation and we have no further details to release at this time.

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Wednesday, October 28, 2020

UPDATE: Vegetation Fire Northwest of Pecwan

Posted By on Wed, Oct 28, 2020 at 5:10 PM

Smoke rising from the Church Fire. - CALFIRE
  • CalFire
  • Smoke rising from the Church Fire.
A vegetation fire is burning off the north end of Highway 169 and threatening multiple structures near the community of Johnson northwest of Pecwan, according to Cal Fire Battalion Chief Paul Savona. The call came in about 4:07 p.m., he said.

“Aircraft are currently at the scene of a 1/4 to 1/2 acre fire,” he said. “Air will work to slow the fire with retardant until ground resources which are on the way get there.”

Savona said that Salyer Fire, Hoopa Fire, Yurok Fire, and Willow Creek Fire have been dispatched to the scene of what is now called the Church Fire.

UPDATE 5:54 p.m.: “Forward progress stopped,” Savona said.
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One New COVID Hospitalization Reported

Posted By on Wed, Oct 28, 2020 at 3:39 PM

Public Health reported no new COVID-19 cases were confirmed today, leaving the county's total case count at 568, but one new hospitalization has occurred.

Humboldt County continues its tenuous hold to the "minimal" risk tier under the state's "Blueprint for a Safer Economy," according to California Department of Public Health data released Tuesday, with a positivity rate of 1.5 percent and an adjusted case rate of 2.8 per 100,000.

This week, health officials reminded residents that "two consecutive weeks of a case rate greater than 2.0 would move the county fully into the orange tier."

Meanwhile, the state has an overall positivity rate of 3.2 and case rate of 7.2.

Right now, under the lower risk category, most indoor businesses — including bars — can reopen but the county can put further restrictions in place, according to the state. Read more about what it means here.

The Humboldt County Data Dashboard was recently updated to include hospitalization rates by age group, death rates by age group and case totals by ZIP code, the latter of which are reported in "a range of 0 to 5 for case count until the area surpasses 5 total cases," according to a county news release.

After that threshold has been reached in a ZIP code, the exact number will be included. Today's results included 214 test samples. To date, Humboldt County has seen 37 hospitalizations and 10 COVID-related deaths.

Basics of COVID-19

The California Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control, state that symptoms of novel coronavirus include cough and shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, or at least two of the following: fever, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat or a new loss of taste or smell.

Emergency warning signs needing immediate medical attention include difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion or inability to awaken, and bluish lips or face.

In an emergency situation:

Call ahead to the emergency room or inform the 911 operator of the possibility of a COVID-19 infection and, if possible, put on a face mask.

Symptoms or possible exposure:

In the case of a possible exposure with symptoms — fever and cough or shortness of breath — contact your doctor’s office or the county Department of Health and Human Services, which has a hotline that can be reached during business hours at covidinfo@co.humboldt.ca.us or at (707) 441-5000. Residents seeking medical advice or questions about testing are asked to contact Public Health at hhsphb@co.humbldt.ca.us or at (707) 445-6200.

St. Joseph Health has also set up a virtual assessment tool as an aid to assess risk factors for contracting the illness, which can be found at here.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has started a rumor-control webpage that can be found here.

For the Journal's latest COVID stories, updates and information resources, click here.
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McKinleyville Stabbing Under Investigation

Posted By on Wed, Oct 28, 2020 at 2:11 PM

sheriff.png
The Humboldt County Sheriff's Office is investigating a McKinleyville stabbing that resulted in one man being taken to the hospital, with another claiming he acted in self-defense after an apparent road rage incident on Haven Lane.

According to a news release, the suspect contacted the sheriff's office following the stabbing that took place just before 4:30 p.m. Tuesday. Deputies collected evidence from the individual, a 24 year old, who was released.

The incident apparently started when the 24 year old flipped off the 34 year old who was stabbed while driving on Haven Lane, leading to a confrontation on Chance Lane, where the stabbing occurred.

"Deputies responded to the area and made contact with the 34-year-old male stabbing victim, providing lifesaving first aid until medical crews arrived," the release states. "The victim was transported to a local hospital for treatment of his injuries."

His condition was not immediately available.

According to HCSO, no arrests have been made and the case remains under investigation.

Read the release below:
On Oct. 27, 2020, at about 4:24 p.m., Humboldt County Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to the 1100 block of Chance Lane in McKinleyville for the report of a stabbing victim. Deputies responded to the area and made contact with the 34-year-old male stabbing victim, providing lifesaving first aid until medical crews arrived. The victim was transported to a local hospital for treatment of his injuries. During their investigation, deputies learned that the stabbing had been the result of an apparent road rage incident occurring on Haven Lane, in which the victim reportedly confronted the 24-year-old male suspect who had given him the middle finger gesture while driving. During the confrontation, the suspect reportedly stabbed the victim. Following the stabbing, both the suspect and the victim left the scene separately. While deputies were investigating, the male suspect contacted the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office to provide a statement regarding this incident. The suspect told deputies that he had stabbed the victim out of self-defense. Sheriff’s deputies collected evidence from the suspect, and he was later released at the scene. This case is still under investigation and no arrests have been made. The case will be forwarded to the Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office for review and charging decisions. Anyone with information about this case or related criminal activity is encouraged to call the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office at (707) 445-7251 or the Sheriff’s Office Crime Tip line at (707) 268-2539.

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Worried it's Too Late to Send in Your Ballot? Don't Panic

Posted By on Wed, Oct 28, 2020 at 11:56 AM

FILE
  • File

Less than a week before Election Day and anxiety over the postal service’s ability to ferry voters’ ballots to county election administrators on time has ratcheted up yet again.

Back in May, the United States Postal Service’s top lawyer advised voters across the country to put their ballots in the mail no later than 7 days before Election Day “to account for delivery standards and to allow for contingencies.”

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a ruling effectively barring election administrators in Wisconsin from counting mail-in ballots that are postmarked before the polls close but which don’t arrive until after Election Day. Democrats and liberal court watchers were particularly alarmed by the opinion penned by Justice Brett Kavanaugh, which seemed to reflect the justice’s ambivalence about the practice of accepting ballots after the polls close. “States want to avoid the chaos and suspicions of impropriety that can ensue if thousands of absentee ballots flow in after election day and potentially flip the results of an election,” Kavanaugh wrote. It’s almost as if he were writing about California.

But election administrators and legal experts have a message for voters here: 

Breathe.

First, about that warning from the postal service: California is different.

This summer, state legislators passed a law giving any ballot postmarked before the polls close up to 17 days to wend its way from a voter’s mailbox to county administrators. The law was meant to ensure that even the most catastrophic of postal snafus wouldn’t disenfranchise mail-in voters.

The Postal Service’s warning is “what you get when other agencies try to do your job for you,” said Santa Cruz County Registrar Gail Pellerin. With California’s 17-day window for incoming ballots, voting by mail ought to be a safe option at least until the coming weekend, she said. If voters want to be extra cautious, they can take their ballot directly into a post office: “Walk it in and get it postmarked.” Or deposit it in a county-managed drop box or at a vote center.

(For more information on voting in Humboldt County, including where to find a drop box or vote center, click here. Want to check the status of your ballot? Click here. According to the state, 33,230 of Humboldt’s mail-in ballots have been accepted by the Elections Office as of Oct. 26. A total of 86,385 were sent out.)

Second, about that Kavanaugh opinion: again, California is different.

As UC Irvine law professor Rick Hasen wrote in the Washington Post, the linchpin of Kavanaugh’s opinion wasn’t his antipathy to counting ballots after November 3. It was an argument about judicial overreach and which branch and level of government has the power to set election rules.

Here’s the chain of events that led up to this opinion: Wisconsin state law, passed by its legislature, requires all ballots to be in by the end of Election Day. In September, a federal judge ruled that, in light of the pandemic, counties should ease up those restrictions and allow otherwise valid ballots to be counted six days after the fact. The Supreme Court reversed that ruling.

From Kavanaugh’s opinion:

“Assessing the complicated tradeoffs involved in changing or retaining election deadlines…is primarily the responsibility of state legislatures and falls outside the competence of federal courts.”

That reading of the constitution, Hasen writes, gives state legislatures “almost absolute power to set the manner for conducting presidential and congressional elections.”

Fortunately for fans of California’s 17-day election rule, it was penned by the Legislature. In an email, Hasen said that he does not “anticipate any issues along this line” in California.

Via the Post It, CalMatters political reporter Ben Christopher shares frequent updates from the (socially distanced) 2020 campaign trail. North Coast Journal digital editor Kimberly Wear contributed to this report.
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NCJ Archive: Bring on the Bugs

Posted By on Wed, Oct 28, 2020 at 10:23 AM

Female cross orb weaver showing distinctive cross pattern on her back. - PHOTO BY ANTHONY WESTKAMPER
  • Photo by Anthony Westkamper
  • Female cross orb weaver showing distinctive cross pattern on her back.
Editor's Note: It's that time of year again, the pumpkin spiders (aka cross orb weavers) are back. And while the world around us may seem a bit, well, scary right now, at least nature is staying the course by delivering up a cadre of crawling critters just in time for Halloween. So, here's a story on their annual arrival from the fall of 2007, a simpler time, perhaps, but isn't it also nice to know some things haven't changed.

There has been a lot of bug action at my house lately. On warm nights, the chorus of crickets from the front yard is loud enough to get a little embarrassing. If I go outside and walk up and down the street, it becomes obvious that the entire cricket scene is happening at my house alone. They have made themselves very, very comfortable in the tall grasses and asters in my front yard. That’s great, but their enthusiasm can be a bit much after a while. I keep waiting for the neighbors to step outside and tell them to keep it down.
The spiders have moved in as well. A cross spider hung inside my kitchen window for a month, growing bigger every day. Outside, more cross spiders — easily recognizable by their brown bodies and spotty white crosses on their backs — strung elaborate webs between the shrubs. Just now, as I was typing this, a spider dropped from the rafters onto my desk. Is this Halloween season or what?

Ladybugs waddle across my kitchen table in the morning. One night, a moth fluttered onto the book I was reading in bed. The next night, a spider showed up in the same place at the same time. “All right,” my husband said, jumping out of bed. “That’s enough. Do something about that spider!” “

Wouldn’t it be interesting,” I asked, as I swept the spider carefully onto the back of a magazine, “if a different bug came to visit us in bed every night at the same time?”

“No, that would not be interesting!” he said. “Where are you taking that spider?” I think he suspected that I’d set up a bug menagerie in some unused corner of the house, but I assured him that I was going to sweep my little visitor out the window.

I got to wondering why so many creepy bugs appear, as if on cue, around Halloween, so I called our resident bug expert Peter Haggard, who wrote Insects of the Pacific Northwest (Timber Press, 2006) with his wife Judy.
“It’s a good time of year for spiders,” he said. “Their life cycle is such that the females are ready to lay eggs right now. You might see a cup of sewed-together leaves off the web where she spends her time. In the cup you will find her husband. She’ll keep getting bigger and bigger until she lays her egg case, and then she’ll lose 80 percent of her body mass. In fact, that egg case will be larger than she is. And she’ll die within a couple of days.” There it is: the drama of a spider’s life. Big pregnant spider in the center of the web, little husband off to the side, and a litter of eggs that will have to fend for themselves.

The brown cross spider is a European introduction that does well around humans, but there’s a native spider that’s easy to spot right now too: Argiope aurentica, the big black and yellow spider that also lays its eggs in the fall. I asked Pete if people should be worried about getting bitten by these spiders.
An Argiope aurentica. - WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
  • Wikimedia Commons
  • An Argiope aurentica.
“You know,” he said, “all spiders make their living biting. Most of their toxins don’t do more harm than a mosquito. Spiders have no interest in biting you. I handle them all the time, and they’re just not that aggressive.” (Although I wasn’t worried about getting bitten by the spider that was living in my kitchen window, I did decide to move her outside, in the name of marital harmony, once I realized that she was getting ready to lay eggs.)

He had some surprising information about the crickets in my yard, too. “You know, there was no cricket noise around here years ago,” he said. “In the last decade or so, gardens have really gotten to be full of crickets. But they’re an introduced species sold in pet stores. You know, the black ones? They like to live under boards and around people’s homes.” Although they’re not native, they’re not much of a problem, he tells me. “We have native crickets too, but you won’t see them around humans much. It’s these introduced crickets that like to hang around and chirp at sunset. That’s all right — it’s a nice sound.”
A woolly bear. - WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
  • Wikimedia Commons
  • A woolly bear.

He also suggests keeping an eye out for banded woollybears, Pyrrharctia isabella, the fuzzy black and orange caterpillars that turn into orange moths. “They say you can tell what kind of winter we’re going to have by looking at how wide the orange band is around their bodies,” Pete said. “I don’t know about that, but they’re interesting to watch, anyway.”
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