Friday, July 10, 2020

Road Construction Work in Eureka Next Week

Posted By on Fri, Jul 10, 2020 at 12:59 PM

The city of Eureka and PG&E will be working on utility reconstruction work on adjoining side streets to Fourth Street (Hwy 101) from O Street to Y Street in Eureka on Monday, July 13, through Friday, July 17.

There will be controlled traffic and detours in the area. Drivers should expect short delays.

Read the full release below.

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HumCo Correctional Officer Tests Positive for COVID-19

Posted By on Fri, Jul 10, 2020 at 12:08 PM

The Humboldt County jail. - FILE
  • File
  • The Humboldt County jail.
A Humboldt County correctional officer as tested positive for COVID-19, the Sheriff's Office announced this morning.

The deputy tested positive for the virus during a routine medical screening and is asymptomatic, according to a press release. They will undergo a 14-day isolation period required by Public Health, the release states, adding that contact investigators have identified three additional correctional officers who had direct exposure to the officer and they are undergoing temporary quarantines, pending testing.

Additionally, the release states the Sheriff's Office is working to test all inmates who have possibly been exposed.

Throughout the state and nation, jails and prisons — like other congregate living settings — have the been the sites of intense clusters of COVID-19 cases, and the local jail implemented strict screening protocols to try to keep the virus out of the facility.

Humboldt County Sheriff William Honsal said in the release that the jail will continue taking every precaution necessary to keep staff and inmates healthy and safe.

“Being such a large department and the unique circumstances that come with a correctional facility, we did expect this type of situation to occur at some point during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Honsal said. “We are thankful to have been able to identify this individual and their close contacts quickly, and will continue following our protocols in place to minimize further exposure and impact on our incarcerated population.”

See the full press release copied below:

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COVID-19: Humboldt County Schools Weigh Reopening Plans Amid Funding Threat, T-S Reports

Posted By on Fri, Jul 10, 2020 at 11:43 AM

Eureka City Schools' main office. - FILE
  • File
  • Eureka City Schools' main office.
The Times-Standard is reporting that Humboldt County schools are weighing their reopening options and plans as the 2020-2021 school year approaches. 

Read the full story here.
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Thursday, July 9, 2020

Humboldt Area Foundation Launches Project to Support Local Media

Posted By on Thu, Jul 9, 2020 at 6:52 PM

Humboldt Area Foundation and its affiliate Wild Rivers Community Foundation has invested $35,000 in a pilot project to help support local media in a new pilot project called the Community Voices Coalition that will generate "truthful, courageous and equitable stories covering vulnerable and traditionally underrepresented communities affected by the coronavirus in Humboldt, Trinity, Del Norte and Curry counties."

The North Coast Journal and Access Humboldt will be participating in the pilot project.

“We at the Humboldt Area and Wild Rivers Community Foundations recognize the vital role of our local media and independent journalism. They are uniquely positioned to understand our region, and its context, history and people," HAF CEO Bryna Lipper said. "We are proud to support the Northcoast Journal and Access Humboldt, and honor their shared commitment to lifting up voices that may not otherwise be heard."

Read the full press release below.
HUMBOLDT AREA FOUNDATION LAUNCHES PROJECT TO SUPPORT LOCAL JOURNALISM BAYSIDE, CA (July 9, 2020) – Humboldt Area Foundation and its affiliate, the Wild Rivers Community Foundation, have invested $35,000 for a pilot project to support local journalism in generating truthful, courageous and equitable stories covering vulnerable and traditionally under-represented communities affected by the coronavirus in Humboldt, Trinity, Del Norte and Curry counties. The project will also work to lift community voices and increase access to relevant and useful information people can use. The project involves both nonprofit and for-profit media partners, with the Northcoast Journal and Access Humboldt as the initiating lead partners.

CEO Bryna Lipper said: “We at the Humboldt Area and Wild Rivers Community Foundations recognize the vital role of our local media and independent journalism. They are uniquely positioned to understand our region, and its context, history and people. We are proud to support the Northcoast Journal and Access Humboldt, and honor their shared commitment to lifting up voices that may not otherwise be heard.

Under the Community Voices Coalition banner, the Northcoast Journal will soon publish its first weekly story. The Journal will harness the talent of existing staff and their network of journalists in developing and creating pieces for print. Their investigations, publications, and social media will be conducted with full editorial independence and under their rigorous editorial control.

The Journal will also create an open-source social media channel, where stories can be picked up for distribution, and repurposed by other regional or national media outlets, a successful model similar to CalMatters to provide high-quality non-partisan stories explaining the work of California government.

This pilot project also includes an ambitious collaboration with Access Humboldt. Working with Internews and other regional partners, Access Humboldt will promote community voices to strengthen local media reporting and citizen journalism. Continuing to build on its history of amplifying local perspectives and talent, Access Humboldt will provide media training and manage local cable television and radio channels as a part of the project.

Access Humboldt Executive Director Sean Taketa McLaughlin said: "This pilot project is a both a timely pandemic response and a natural extension of our ongoing efforts to build a sustainable information ecosystem in our region. When local media empower residents to effectively participate in civic life directly addressing local needs and interests, diverse voices tell important stories, information is equally accessible, and the quality of life in our communities improves."

Through Access Humboldt, the Community Voices Coalition will leverage the expertise of Internews, an international nonprofit organization that promotes citizen journalism locally and around the world. With roots in the region, Internews was eager to reinvest in the community and bring its global expertise back to the place where it first empowered local voices.

Access Humboldt and Internews will begin by creating a local advisory/editorial group to guide its project work and facilitate community listening and storytelling. Other communications and media partners, as well as citizen journalists, will be invited to participate. The project budget includes a fund to recruit and compensate story writers recruited for the project, as well as story translation services to better reach non-English speaking groups.

Luis Chabolla, Interim Director of Communications at the Foundation said: “We’re starting by building on the strengths of our partners and working together to stretch the reach and depth of the project. While launched as a three-month pilot, we hope the results will commit us and others to keep the project going.”

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Attorney: Nelson's Character Led to His Release After Blue Lake Murder Arrest

Posted By on Thu, Jul 9, 2020 at 5:56 PM

Mark Anthony Nelson Jr. looks on as his attorney reads a statement on his behalf. - MARK MCKENNA
  • Mark McKenna
  • Mark Anthony Nelson Jr. looks on as his attorney reads a statement on his behalf.


Mark Anthony Nelson Jr. — a 39-year-old gas station clerk from Eureka — has had quite a week.

A man came to rob the gas station where he worked.

He shot and killed that man, prompting his arrest on suspicion of murder, possessing stolen property and being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm. He was booked into Humboldt County Correctional facility without bail, and quarantined there for five days.


Then yesterday, in a stunning reversal, the Humboldt County District Attorney’s decided no charges would be filed in the case. Nelson walked free, and joined his partner Cynthia Shelton and their 14-year-old daughter for a quiet night at home.

“We are just chilling,” Shelton wrote on Facebook.

Although Nelson won’t be granting interviews, local defense attorney Russell Clanton spoke on his behalf today.

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California AG and State Public Education Leaders Sue Trump Administration for Policy that Requires International Students to Take In-Person Classes or Risk Deportation

Posted By on Thu, Jul 9, 2020 at 5:42 PM

The California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, California Community Colleges Chancellor Eloy Ortiz Oakley, and California State University Chancellor Timothy White announced that the State of California is filing a lawsuit against the Trump Administration's "unlawful policy that threatens to exacerbate the spread of COVID-19 and exile hundreds of thousands of college students studying in the United States through the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP)."

According to the release, on July 6, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), which oversees SEVP, announced the agency would formally issue a policy that will disqualify students from SEVP for taking classes entirely online during the COVID-19 pandemic. For those enrolled in SEVP with no in-person classes available, ICE’s only guidance to students was to either leave the country or transfer to another program.

"Shame on the Trump Administration for risking not only the education opportunities for students who earned the chance to go to college, but now their health and well-being as well,” said Attorney General Becerra in the release. “Today, President Trump appears set to do just that — amidst a global pandemic of historic proportions. Not on our watch. No one graduates more students from college or assembles a more talented and diverse group of future leaders than California. Today’s lawsuit rests on America’s enduring principle that everyone who works hard and plays by the rules can earn a chance to get ahead. We'll see the Trump Administration in court."

Read the full release below. 

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The California Fire Foundation and Sysco Corporation Donates $5,000 to Food for People

Posted By on Thu, Jul 9, 2020 at 5:09 PM

SUBMITTED
  • Submitted
The California Fire Foundation and Sysco Corporation have donated $5,000 to Food for People as a relief effort to help Humboldt County communities impacted by COVID-19.

“As California firefighters are on the front lines of wildfires and other natural disasters, so too are the many organizations supporting families and communities through the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Rick Martinez, Executive Director of the California Fire Foundation. “Our foundation has already supported communities heavily impacted by disaster, and thanks to the support from Sysco, we are proud to continue that commitment and aid the Food for People Food Bank in their ongoing efforts to help their communities.”

Food for People has been conducting drive-thru food bank distributions since the shelter in place order began in March. 

“So many are suffering in our community due to this unprecedented crisis and we have seen the need for our service increase dramatically,” said Anne Holcomb, Executive Director of the Food for People Food Bank in Humboldt County. “We understand the long-term consequences of hunger and poor nutrition and thanks to the generous aid from California Fire Foundation and Sysco, we can continue our commitment to creating a stronger and healthier Humboldt County.”

Read the full press release below.

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Newsom Appoints Yurok Education Department Director Jim McQuillen to State Board of Education

Posted By on Thu, Jul 9, 2020 at 4:49 PM

On Monday, July 6, California Governor Gavin Newsom appointed Yurok Education Director Jim McQuillen (left) to the State Board of Education. - SUBMITTED
  • Submitted
  • On Monday, July 6, California Governor Gavin Newsom appointed Yurok Education Director Jim McQuillen (left) to the State Board of Education.
Gov. Gavin Newsom has recently appointed Yurok Education Department Director Jim McQuillen to the California State Board of Education.

“I am honored to receive this appointment by Governor Newsom,” McQuillen said in a release. “In this role, I will continue to advocate for our native students and for all students to receive equitable educational services.”

According to the release, McQuillen is the first Yurok Tribe citizen to serve on the board, which is the state's K-12 policy-making body for academic standards, curriculum, instructional materials, assessments and accountability. 

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Public Health Confirms Four New COVID-19 Cases

Posted By on Thu, Jul 9, 2020 at 4:39 PM

A Humboldt County Public Health Laboratory employee processes a COVID-19 test. - PUBLIC HEALTH
  • Public health
  • A Humboldt County Public Health Laboratory employee processes a COVID-19 test.
Humboldt County Public Health has confirmed four new COVID-19 cases, bringing the countywide total to 161.

The new cases are confirmed after a county spike that has now seen 55 cases over the past 17 days with 29 confirmed within the last week. Six additional cases were also confirmed from people who were visiting family and friends from outside of the county, however, because they don't reside here, their cases are not included in the Humboldt County case count.

Humboldt County further emphasized the need to adhere to safety measures, including maintaining social distancing and postponing or canceling non-essential travel in a recent press release.

“Each one of us can make choices to lessen the impacts of this pandemic,” Humboldt County Health Officer Teresa Frankovich said in the release. “Each one of us can choose to wear a facial covering when we leave our household. Each one of us can choose to stay home rather than attend a celebration or gathering. Our community is resilient when we work together, and that commitment to each other has never been more important than it is now.”

To date, 16 local residents have been hospitalized with COVID-19 at some point in their care, including four people who died of the disease, all residents of Alder Bay Assisted Living.

Humboldt County Public Health is urging residents who aren't experiencing symptoms to get tested free of charge at the mobile testing site at Redwood Acres Fairgrounds. (People experiencing symptoms should contact a healthcare provider, officials say.) Asymptomatic individuals can make an appointment to be tested by visiting https://Lhi.care/covidtesting or calling (888) 634-1123. Tests will be administered free of charge, whether or not people have health insurance.

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.

Read the county's release below and view its case dashboard here:

July 9, 2020 - Four New Cases Reported Today 707-441-5000 ; covidinfo@co.humboldt.ca.us ; Monday-Friday 8am to 7pm Opens in new window Humboldt County’s total COVID-19 case count rose to 161 after four new cases were reported today. For the most recent COVID-19 information, visit cdc.gov or cdph.ca.gov. Local information is available at humboldtgov.org or during business hours by contacting covidinfo@co.humboldt.ca.us or calling 707-441-5000.
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Update: Suspicious Package on Humboldt Hill Revealed to be Vinyl Records (VIDEO)

Posted By and on Thu, Jul 9, 2020 at 3:14 PM

Humboldt County Sheriff's deputy wearing safety gear to examine the package. - HUMBOLDT COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE
  • Humboldt County Sheriff's Office
  • Humboldt County Sheriff's deputy wearing safety gear to examine the package.
Update: HCSO Public Information Officer Samantha Karges describes the incident in a video. She says that earlier today, HCSO responded to a call about two suspicious packages, and after checking with residents near where the packages were found and confirming that they didn't belong to them, the HCSO EOD team was called.

The EOD robot was under maintenance, so a deputy wore a bomb suit to examine that package that was determined to be vinyl records. 

Read the full Humboldt County Sheriff's Office press release below.

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