Education

Saturday, May 18, 2019

'Today is Your Day:' Charmaine Lawson Accepts Son's Degree in Emotional Ceremony

Posted By on Sat, May 18, 2019 at 2:32 PM

Charmaine Lawson accepts an honorary degree on behalf of her son, David Josiah Lawson, who was fatally stabbed in 2017 while a sophomore at Humboldt State University. - MARK MCKENNA
  • Mark McKenna
  • Charmaine Lawson accepts an honorary degree on behalf of her son, David Josiah Lawson, who was fatally stabbed in 2017 while a sophomore at Humboldt State University.
Panchos, umbrellas and rain jackets surrounded Humboldt State University’s Redwood Bowl this morning as graduates celebrated their commencement. Among them, in a full cap, gown and graduation stole, was Charmaine Lawson, sitting in place of her son, David Josiah Lawson.

David Josiah Lawson, who was a 19-year-old sophomore when he was fatally stabbed at an off-campus party two years ago in the early morning hours of April 15, 2017, would have spent this weekend celebrating his graduation from HSU. Instead, his mother accepted an honorary posthumous degree on his behalf.

After all graduates in the criminology and justice studies major were named, professor Michihiro Clark Sugata announced the presentation of the posthumous degree.

“The degree will be accepted by his mother, Charmaine Lawson,” Clark Sugata told the crowd. Cheering, applause and a standing ovation followed, as Lawson continued her walk onto the stage. “David. Josiah. Lawson,” the professor continued. Raising both her hands and the HSU diploma, Lawson stayed on stage to celebrate her son’s degree.


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Wednesday, May 15, 2019

HSU: Gist Hall Still Closed, Test Finds No Asbestos in the Air

Posted By on Wed, May 15, 2019 at 12:54 PM

Humboldt State University - FILE
  • File
  • Humboldt State University
Testing by a private lab found no asbestos fibers in the air of Gist Hall, which has been closed for nearly a week after “disturbed material” was discovered during a routine check of the building’s systems, according to a release today from Humboldt State University.

A second test to “confirm that it is indeed disturbed asbestos” is slated and the results are expected by the end of the week.

“Until then, out of an abundance of caution, Gist Hall will remain closed for an estimated two to six weeks,” the release states. “During that time, the University will contract with a firm to develop a plan and carry out the cleanup.”

The discovery of the possible disturbed asbestos and ensuing closure of Gist Hall came in the midst of finals, with exams slated for the building moved to new locations.

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Monday, May 13, 2019

Gist Hall Remains Closed, Finals Relocated

Posted By on Mon, May 13, 2019 at 9:48 AM

Humboldt State University - FILE
  • File
  • Humboldt State University
Gist Hall at Humboldt State University remains closed today “out of an abundance of caution” after Friday’s discovery of what could be disturbed asbestos and finals have been moved to new locations.

“All classes and other activities in Gist Hall have been suspended,” a release from HSU states. “There is no access to offices or other spaces. Services and other programs in the building are being relocated, and those directly affected are receiving guidance from their divisions or departments.

Employees who work in Gist Hall are directed to call their supervisors. Click here for the list of relocated finals.

Read the notice from HSU below:


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THIRD UPDATE: Fortuna High Lockdown Lifted, Individual Detained

Posted By and on Mon, May 13, 2019 at 9:02 AM

File - FUHSD
  • FUHSD
  • File
THIRD UPDATE:

This morning’s school lockdowns in Fortuna were prompted by reports from parents that their children had received “a concerning image” that was being circulated on the social media app SnapChat.

The message showed a picture of an assault rifle with the words “getting ready for school.”

According to a Fortuna Police Department release, an investigation was immediately launched and the department received an anonymous call identifying an individual believed to have sent the Snapchat message and indicating the individual was headed to Fortuna High School.

The department then requested the lockdown as a “precautionary measure.”

“The alleged sender was located and detained at a residence in Rio Dell,” the FPD release states. “A Fortuna Police Department detective investigated and found no credible threat associated with the subject and that the SnapChat message was only reposted by the subject. The lock-down was lifted and Fortuna Police Department Detective is continuing to investigate the origin of the SnapChat message.”

Read the full release at the end of the story.



SECOND UPDATE:

Fortuna High School and East Lake High School were briefly on lockdown this morning after receiving a “potential threat,” according to Fortuna High School Principal Clint Duey said in a phone call to parents.


Fortuna Police were on campus during the lockdown, Duey said, and the individual involved has been detained. At least one person reported receiving a photo of an assault rifle with the words “getting ready for school,” according to a Redheaded Blackbelt report, which states it has not confirmed if the incident is related to the school lockdowns.


The lockdown has now been lifted and classes are resuming as “close to normal as possible.” Duey invited parents who were concerned about their child to come to the office and “we will be happy to assist you … .”

UPDATE:

The lockdown has been lifted.

PREVIOUS:

Fortuna High School is currently on lockdown, according to a Fortuna Police Department tweet at 8:42 a.m., which states it is a "precautionary measure." No other information was immediately available.
Release from the Fortuna Police Department:
On Monday morning, May 13, 2019 Fortuna Police Department received phone calls from parents of Fortuna High School students reporting a concerning image circulating on a social media app., SnapChat. The message indicated a potential threat to an unspecified school in an unspecified area. Officers immediately began investigating.

Following the initial reports from parents, The Fortuna Police Department received an anonymous phone call, identifying an individual who they believed sent the Snapchat message and indicating the individual was headed to Fortuna High School.

Based off the facts that the SnapChat message was received by Fortuna High School students and the anonymous caller identified a subject as the sender and reported the subject was in route to Fortuna High School the Fortuna Police Department requested a lock-down at Fortuna High School as a precautionary measure while continuing to investigate.

The Fortuna Police Department received assistance from Rio Dell and Ferndale Police Departments.

The alleged sender was located and detained at a residence in Rio Dell. A Fortuna Police Department Detective investigated and found no credible threat associated with the subject and that the SnapChat message was only reposted by the subject. The lock-down was lifted and Fortuna Police Department Detective is continuing to investigate the origin of the SnapChat message.

The Fortuna Police Department and Fortuna High School take the safety and security of students and school staff very seriously.

We remind our community that it is important to let us know anytime that a message of this nature is received so that a potential tragedy can be prevented.
This case remains under investigation, any further information will be released to the public as it becomes available to us.


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Friday, May 10, 2019

'Possible' Disturbed Asbestos Closes Down Gist Hall

Posted By on Fri, May 10, 2019 at 10:33 PM

Humboldt State University - FILE
  • File
  • Humboldt State University
Humboldt State University’s Gist Hall “has been closed until further notice” after what the university describes as “the possible presence of disturbed asbestos” was detected during a “routine check” on Friday.

According to a post on the HSU website, tests will be conducted over the weekend and Monday. The university asks employees who worked in Gist Hall to contact their supervisors. Finals are being relocated.

“All events and other activities in the building have been suspended, and there is no access to offices or classrooms. Finals are being relocated, and that schedule will be shared by email and posted on the building doors as soon as possible,” the post reads.

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Friday, May 3, 2019

THIRD UPDATE: Counseling Available in Wake of McKinleyville High Student's Death

Posted By and on Fri, May 3, 2019 at 7:43 AM

3rd UPDATE:

McKinleyville High School Principal Nic Collart posted a letter on the school’s website this morning saying he wanted to reassure parents and students that “our school is safe” in the aftermath of an apparent student suicide on campus this morning and to let them know counseling services will be available this afternoon at several locations.

In the message, Collart offers thoughts and prayers to the family and friends of the student who was found deceased on the campus this morning, saying few details are being release because it is “important for us to handle this situation in a thoughtful and confidential manner.”

“The strength of our school is that we are a family and in these moments coming together to support one another is what we need and what we do best,” he wrote.

Counseling will be available from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. today at several locations listed below.

• McKinleyville Family Resource Center
1450 Hiller Rd, McKinleyville, CA 95519
(707) 840-0905

• Two Feathers Native American Family Services
1560 Betty Ct A, McKinleyville, CA 95519
(707) 839-1933

• Boys & Girls Club of the Redwoods McKinleyville Teen & Community Center
1705 Gwin Rd, McKinleyville, CA 95519
(707) 840-0304

Weekend crisis support will be available through the County of Humboldt’s Mental Health Mobile Response Team.
707-445-7715

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
1-800-273-TALK (8255)

Read the full letter below:
THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR SUPPORT!
AND KNOW THERE IS SUPPORT FOR YOU!

Dear MHS Family,
School was closed today due to an apparent student suicide on our campus. We want to assure you our school is safe but will remain closed until Monday when school resumes. It is important for us to handle this situation in a thoughtful and confidential manner. Therefore we are unable to release details at this time Our thoughts and prayers are with the students family.

We want you to know that counseling services will be available for any of our students or community starting at 1:00 this afternoon at McKinleyville Rec Center, Family Resource Center, and Two Feathers. Support staff will be on hand for anyone who needs them. If you have any questions about these counseling services or directions to these locations please call 839-6400 for more information. You can also call the Humboldt County Mental Health Mobile Response Team at 707 445-7715 We will follow up at the end of the day with information for additional support over this weekend.

The strength of our school is that we are a family and in these moments coming together to support one another is what we need and what we do best.

I love you all very much,
Mr. Collart


2nd UPDATE:
Humboldt County Sheriff William Honsal confirmed to the Journal that the deceased person found on the McKinleyville High School campus at around 6:30 this morning was a student.

Honsal said his department will release additional information later today but “this is a sensitive case” and there are lots of bases to cover before making more details public. He said this is a “death investigation only,” adding that no crime is suspected and there is no ongoing threat to students or the community.

1st UPDATE:
The McKinleyville Union Elementary School District sent out an automated phone call to parents shortly before 8:30 a.m. to inform them that, while McKinleyville High School is closed today, Morris Elementary, Dow’s Prairie Elementary and McKinleyville Middle School remain in session after officials determined students and staff are “not in any danger.”

The message notes that “there are many rumors swirling around what may have occurred” at the high school but says the district does not have “additional details” at this time, but does say it is working to make counseling services available to students, as needed.

PREVIOUSLY:
McKinleyville High School is closed today, according to a post on the campus Facebook page that states more detail will follow.

Early morning calls to the school and the district office went unanswered but parents are reporting that they are receiving emails and auto calls saying the school is closed.

According to a report on the scanner, a deceased individual was located on the quad at McKinleyville High School early this morning.

A poster on McKinleyville Community Watch wrote, “Anyone know what’s going on at the High school? 5 sheriff cars, fire truck and ambulance…just thought it was strange cause it’s so early.”

No other details were immediately available.


Editor's note: This story was first published at www.kymkemp.com and is reprinted here with permission.
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Wednesday, May 1, 2019

As Chancellor Backs HSU's Gutting of KHSU, Community Members Look to Purchase the Station

Posted By on Wed, May 1, 2019 at 2:15 PM

KHSU's studio. - MARK MCKENNA
  • Mark McKenna
  • KHSU's studio.
California State University Chancellor Timothy White is supporting Humboldt State University President Lisa Rossbacher’s recent decision to gut local programming on the KHSU radio station, saying it was in the “fiscal interests of the university.”

White’s comments came in an April 25 letter responding to Rita Carole, a McKinlevyille resident, who had contacted him 10 days earlier to express concerns about Rossbacher’s April 11 decision to immediately and indefinitely suspend all of KHSU’s volunteer programing and to eliminate all but two of the staff positions dedicated to running the station. The remaining two employees resigned in the ensuing 48 hours, as a host of the station’s members and underwriters withdrew their financial support of the station in protest.

Meanwhile, there’s also a local effort underway to create a local nonprofit organization

The university’s press release announcing the station’s “reorganization” was not signed and did not include a statement from Rossbacher, but the press release pointed to the university’s budget crunch, its fiscal support of the station, some operational issues and a desire to involve more students in KHSU’s programming as reasons for the decision. White indicated in his letter to Carole that he supported that reasoning.

“The stated goals to be achieved by this realignment — implementing a financially sustainable operating model, preserving quality programming for the North Coast and providing additional opportunities for students — are admirable goals that I support,” White wrote. “Attainment of those goals will lead to long-term success for KHSU.”

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Thursday, April 18, 2019

Letter from Legislators: KHSU Gutting a 'Slap in the Face'

Posted By on Thu, Apr 18, 2019 at 11:19 AM

khsu_2018_cymk_transparent.png
Adding to a growing list, current and former North Coast legislators are calling on the California State University Chancellor’s Office to suspend any decision-making on the future of KHSU until new top administrators arrive at Humboldt State University.

HSU President Lisa Rossbacher and Vice President of Advancement Craig Wruck, who oversees KHSU, are both slated to retire this year.

State Sen. Mike McGuire, Assemblymember Jim Wood, retired state Sen. Wes Chesbro and retired Assemblymember Patty Berg penned a strongly worded letter that describes HSU’s decision to gut the public radio station as “a slap in the face to Humboldt County and the North Coast.”

“The reckless manner and timing of HSU shutting down this amazing station could not have been worse and it’s time for the long-term decision making by a short-term administration to stop,” the letter states. “Major decisions made behind closed doors, and with zero transparency, simply do not work for this community. It hurts the credibility of the University and makes everyone’s job harder (especially the incoming President). There was absolutely no reason for this situation to unfold as it has and we want it to stop.”

Find previous Journal coverage on the situation here, here, here and here or pick up this week's edition.

Read the full letter below:

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Wednesday, April 17, 2019

KHSU Dismantling Rebuked, KEET Board to Discuss Possible Radio Venture

Posted By on Wed, Apr 17, 2019 at 1:54 PM

KHSU's studio. - MARK MCKENNA
  • Mark McKenna
  • KHSU's studio.
The recent turmoil at KHSU and the possibility of exploring a radio endeavor will be one of the discussion topics at KEET’s Board of Directors meeting Thursday but no decisions are slated to be made at this point, according to station Executive Director David Gordon.

Meanwhile, the Humboldt State University Department of Journalism and the University Senate have both come out against the administration’s decision to dismantle the campus public radio station, which stunned staff and the community.

In a Facebook posts and in an interview with the Journal, KEET’s Gordon emphasized that KHSU is just one topic on the agenda for the board’s regularly scheduled meeting and that time for public comment and seating will be limited.

“It’s just basically do we have any interest in pursuing any sort of radio venture,” Gordon said, noting recent events brought the issue to the forefront.


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Saturday, April 13, 2019

KHSU Protesters at the Arcata Farmers Market

Posted By on Sat, Apr 13, 2019 at 6:40 PM

Demonstrators unhappy with the firing of KHSU staffers and the suspension of local programming gathered into a protest walk around the farmers market area. - PHOTO BY MARK LARSON
  • Photo by Mark Larson
  • Demonstrators unhappy with the firing of KHSU staffers and the suspension of local programming gathered into a protest walk around the farmers market area.

More than 100 protestors gathered on the Arcata Plaza on Saturday morning to share their frustrations, sadness and anger about Humboldt State University's decision on Thursday to cut the community programming volunteers and most of the staff at KHSU-FM. (The remaining two staff members David Reed and Natalya Estrada have since resigned, as well.) The protesters mingled and shared theories about HSU's motives, before organizing into a protest march around the farmers market area on the plaza. See photos in the slideshow below.

"The fact that they did this right after the recent fund drive shows what a bad neighbor HSU has become," said Rick Levin, a former underwriter, volunteer musician for live shows and on-air helper during pledge drives. "And now they're blaming the community for not supporting it enough."

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