Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Coast Guard Responds to Three Rescues in Three Days

Posted By on Tue, Feb 6, 2018 at 9:50 AM

The Lori Ann. - COURTESY OF THE COAST GUARD
  • Courtesy of the Coast Guard
  • The Lori Ann.
For the third time in three days, the Coast Guard was dispatched to help local fishermen in distress.

In the latest rescue, a lifeboat crew was sent around 1 p.m. Monday to assist four Dungeness crab fishermen aboard the 58-foot Lori Ann, which had become disabled amid heavy fog. After putting the vessel in a side tow, the Coast Guard brought the fishing boat back to Woodley Island.

"Fortunately, the fog cleared by the time we arrived, but maneuvering two boats in a field of crab pots is still very difficult," Petty Officer 3rd Class Nicholas Boyd, the rescue boat coxswain, said in a release. "It took a lot of time and caution to get everyone to the dock safely."

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UPDATED: Sheriff's Office Pulls Body from Van Duzen River

Posted By on Tue, Feb 6, 2018 at 9:21 AM

sheriff.png
UPDATE:

According to a press release from the sheriff's office, deputies recovered a male body from the Van Duzen River, near the south side of the Van Duzen River bank, located "approximately 1000 feet from the mouth of the river." An autopsy is scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 7.

Previously:

The Humboldt County Sheriff's Office confirmed that deputies retrieved a body from the Van Duzen River this afternoon at around 4 p.m. A citizen reported seeing a body in the water of the Eel River near Fortuna at 11:48 this morning, and deputies were dispatched to the Van Duzen Bridge in the Grizzly Bluff area.

Samantha Karges, spokesperson for the sheriff's office, was not able to offer more details this afternoon except to say the "original report of the body being female may be incorrect" and that she was waiting for official word from the deputy coroner.

According to an earlier email from Karges, the body was difficult to find as it was in a "very difficult location for emergency responders to access."

The initial reporting party described the body as having "been deceased for some time."

Editor's note: This post originally stated that the body was found in the Eel River, based on initial reports. It has been corrected to reflect an accurate location.


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The Redwood Coast is Lonely Planet's Best in the U.S. 2018

Posted By on Tue, Feb 6, 2018 at 7:58 AM

LONELY PLANET
  • Lonely Planet

If you're old enough to have traipsed around unfamiliar turf hauling a hefty Lonely Planet guidebook, this win will taste even sweeter: The go-to travel guide/app publisher has named California's Redwood Coast the No. 1 domestic travel destination on its 2018 list.

Lonely Planet picks its top 10 with the help of editors, contributors, researchers and locals — in this case, those locals include the Eureka-Humboldt Visitors Bureau. In a press release, the bureau's Tony Smithers says, “This is a huge endorsement from one of the world’s top travel brands ... We've always known that the Redwood Coast is one of the most special places on Earth. We’re honored and glad to see that Lonely Planet and others are starting to see it, too.”


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Monday, February 5, 2018

How to Get Involved 101

Posted By on Mon, Feb 5, 2018 at 3:18 PM

ncpalogo.png
“How do we get rid of the ‘old boys club?” was the first question posed at Sunday’s Run, Serve, Lead! conference hosted by North Coast People’s Alliance to educate residents about becoming involved in the political landscape.

The alliance grew out of the local efforts to elect Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sander to office.

The event’s panel included College of the Redwoods Trustee Danny Kelley, Arcata Mayor Sofia Pereira, Ferndale City Councilman Patrick O’Rourke, former Supervisor Clif Clendenen and immigration rights activist Renee Saucedo, who each shared their unique experiences and thoughts on local government.

“Forget about the good old boys,” advised Kelley, who defeated a nearly two-decade incumbent in November to take a seat on the college board. “Do what you think is right.”

Pereira gave the keynote speech at the event, which focused on how to prepare for mounting an election campaign or working on one, noting that everyone has “different experiences that are valuable to local government.”

“What’s that fire in your belly? What brought you here?” she asked the crowd of more than 100 gathered in the Multi-Generational Center in Fortuna.

Echoing a similar sentiment, Saucedo urged those in attendance to take the responsibility of governance into their own hands.

“The most meaningful change happens in this country when everyday people organize around issues they deeply care about,” she said.

O’Rourke agreed, saying involvement in local government starts with figuring out what talents and capabilities one has that can be useful to their community.

“It’s something you do from the heart,” he said.

Clendenen, meanwhile, also noted that the lack of depth many people have about the workings of their local government can be shocking.

“It’s a steep learning curve,” he said. “It makes for a better democracy when people understand their government.”

The alliance distributed information packets about how to become more involved, which are available online at northcoastpeoplesalliance.org.

NCPA Vice Chair and event coordinator Carrie Peyton-Dahlberg said the main aim was to encourage Humboldt residents to get involved, whether that means a full-fledged bid for office, a part-time role on a campaign or a couple hours a week of phone banking.

“If you have an hour or two, whatever time you’ve got, there’s something you can do,” she said.
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Crab Season Starts With Vessel Rescue, Fisherman Lost Overboard

Posted By on Mon, Feb 5, 2018 at 12:44 PM


After spending 11 hours combing 700 square miles off the coast, the U.S. Coast Guard has suspended the search for a crew member who fell off a crabbing boat in a tragic start to the commercial Dungeness season.

“It is with a heavy heart the Coast Guard makes the decision to suspend a search-and-rescue case,” Capt. Greg Fuller, the Sector Humboldt Bay commander, said in a release. “We extend our deepest condolences to this man’s loved ones and the entire fishing community.”

While the Coast Guard is not release the crew member’s name, the Redheaded Blackbelt’s Kym Kemp reported that family identified him as Bryan Scott Moore — also known as Bryan Moore Oberg — and posted his brother’s request for help in “any way to continue the search.”

Moore fell off the 47-foot commercial vessel Chief Joseph around 1:10 a.m. on Sunday along with another crew member, whom the captain was able to pull back on board. Moore has not been found.

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Friday, February 2, 2018

Sheriff, Bachelor Contestant Respond to Media Frenzy

Posted By on Fri, Feb 2, 2018 at 1:06 PM

Rebekah Martinez - THE ATTORNEY GENERAL'S OFFICE
  • The Attorney General's Office
  • Rebekah Martinez
When our story broke yesterday that one of the "Humboldt 35" – people on the California Attorney General's database listed as missing from Humboldt County – was not only safe and sound, but vying for a rose on national television, it was greeted by a variety of responses, and a lot of questions. The most pressing question: How did Martinez's name end up on the California Attorney General's website as a missing person, when she was clearly alive and well and active on social media during the time period she was supposedly missing? The answer to that question says a lot about how our system for reporting and investigating missing persons does – and doesn't  –  work.

Bekah Martinez herself helped our story go viral, retweeting it with the words "MOM. How many times do I have to tell you I don't get cell service on the Bachelor??" This year's season of the popular show started filming Sept. 20, according to Insider, and wrapped up around the end of November. On Nov. 18, Martinez's mother reported her missing, saying she was last seen Nov. 12, and her listing was active on the Attorney General's website as of Jan. 18, our "point in time" for capturing the Humboldt 35. Martinez's mom apparently reported her as having come to Humboldt to work on a cannabis farm. Whether she left The Bachelor set to come to Humboldt (Spoiler alert, Bachelor Nation), just offered the story as an alibi while she was wrapping up filming or the timeline is just wonky, we don't know.

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Thursday, February 1, 2018

Not Missing in Humboldt: Bachelor Contestant Bekah Martinez

Posted By on Thu, Feb 1, 2018 at 3:47 PM

Bekah Martinez - THE BACHELOR
  • The Bachelor
  • Bekah Martinez
It turns out Rebekah Martinez is not missing at all. Quite the contrary, actually, she's on a popular nationally televised show: The Bachelor, which you might have heard of.

When posting this week's cover story to Facebook, we asked if any of our readers recognized any of the 35 people currently listed as missing from Humboldt County on the California Department of Justice's website. Astute readers said, yes, they definitely did and pointed to Martinez, who appears to be a burgeoning reality television star. (Hat tip to you, Amy Bonner O'Brien!)

After some googling returned some Instagram images that appeared very similar to Martinez's photo on the missing persons page, we reached out to the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office. That prompted an email from Public Information Officer Samantha Karges to the deputy who initially took Martinez's missing persons report, noting the similarity in images and asking if Martinez was still listed as missing.

Ten minutes later, the deputy emailed Karges back: "I just got off the phone with Rebekah. She is in fact the same person. She has been removed from (the Missing and Unidentified Persons Unit)."

Responding to some follow up questions, Karges told the Journal via email that Martinez was reported missing at 1:06 a.m. on Nov. 18 by her mother. “Martinez had reportedly come to Humboldt County to work on a marijuana farm. Her mother hadn’t heard from her since Nov. 12, 2017,” Karges wrote.

There's not a lot of information on the Attorney General's website. It just says Martinez was last seen Nov. 12, 2017, and the case is being investigated by the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office. It's interesting to note that Martinez has been active on Instagram throughout the time she was reported as missing. She posted Sept. 17 to tell followers she was "giving up" her phone and social media for several weeks, but she started posting again Nov. 23, some 11 days after she was apparently reported missing. It's also worth noting that there are lots of similarities between Martinez's profile on the Bachelor website, which went up Jan. 1, and her missing persons report on the AG's website.

Rebekah Martinez - THE ATTORNEY GENERAL'S OFFICE
  • The Attorney General's Office
  • Rebekah Martinez
So it appears Martinez is doing fine, and our Humboldt 35 is down to 33. (We reported yesterday about a call we received from an avid North Coast Journal reader who was shocked to find his name on this week's cover.)

To see more of Martinez, tune into The Bachelor Mondays at 8 p.m. on ABC.

Editor's note: This story was updated from a previous version to include additional information. Find a full update to this story here.
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Still Missing: Ivan Linan

Posted By on Thu, Feb 1, 2018 at 12:20 PM

FROM THE NAMUS DATABASE
  • From the NamUs Database
A Spanish man who worked as a professional mountain climber and guide remains missing in Eastern Humboldt. Ivan Liñan Cano, 31, was reportedly struggling with mental health issues and paranoia on Nov. 28 when he attacked the friend who was driving a car in which he was a passenger on State Route 36 near Carlotta. The pair had apparently tried and failed to find mental health help for Liñan Cano in Eureka, according to a report on Redheaded Blackbelt. After an altercation, Liñan Cano left the vehicle and ran off into the woods. He has not been seen since.

According to an official report sent to the Journal from Liñan Cano's nephew, Norberto Ibanez Liñan, the men had been working at a cannabis cultivation site near Mad River in Trinity County. Liñan Cano's behavior prior to the episode was "strange," according to the report, and was exacerbated after he smoked marijuana and tried LSD.

Law enforcement searched for Liñan Cano for four days in the Swimmer's Delight area, where his friend saw him run into the woods. They also followed up on leads that Liñan Cano had checked into a hotel near Garberville with no success. Family members in Spain recently hired Humboldt private investigator Chris Cook to investigate his disappearance. Norberto Liñan calls the situation "very difficult and desperate."

According to Melva Paris, records manager for the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office, Liñan's name does not appear on the California Attorney General's list of missing persons as he is not believed to have been a victim of homicide. The Journal has been attempting to figure out what the standards are for a missing person to appear on the Attorney General's database, as not all of the cases on the site involve suspected homicides. Attempts to reach a public information officer at the AG's office have proved unsuccessful but we will update this post if we receive more information. For more about the challenges of investigating missing persons cases in Humboldt County and the possible reason for our very high number of reports, check out this week's cover story and additional reporting by Kym Kemp on Redheaded Blackbelt.

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Wednesday, January 31, 2018

The Humboldt 34: Missing Man Reunited With Family

Posted By on Wed, Jan 31, 2018 at 5:02 PM

Daniel Ogden Stromberg - CA ATTORNEY GENERAL
  • CA Attorney General
  • Daniel Ogden Stromberg
A short six hours after this week's copy of the Journal hit the stands, we received a call from a man whose name was featured on its cover: Daniel Ogden Stromberg. Stromberg, who is living in Eureka with a roommate, didn't know that he had been reported missing to the Eureka Police Department in July of 2017 or that his name was subsequently added to the Office of the Attorney General's list of missing persons, making him one of 35 people reported missing in Humboldt County.

Stromberg said that he reads the Journal every week and was surprised to see his name. He wondered who had reported him missing. The Eureka Police Department confirmed that his siblings in San Mateo County had been searching for Stromberg, age 70, since 2015. Suzie Owsley, of the Eureka Police Department's Criminal Investigations Unit, confirmed that she had put the family members in touch. Thirty-four people on the California Attorney General's database remain missing, with family members wondering where they are and what happened to them. You can read about Humboldt's missing persons, as well as our high rate of missing persons reports, in this week's Journal, available on newsstands now and online. Also, check out the story that broke after we published of a woman reported missing only to be found as a contestant on The Bachelor.

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Drug-Related Deaths on the Rise, say Sheriff, Coroner

Posted By on Wed, Jan 31, 2018 at 12:55 PM

The Humboldt County Sheriff's Office released a comprehensive report Monday which shows that deaths due to alcohol and other drugs continue to rise. The report, compiled by HCSO public information specialist Samantha Karges and Humboldt County Coroner's Office legal office assistant Brent Ferguson and reviewed by the Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Services, examined all "unattended deaths" in the county over the last three years. Unattended deaths are cases in which the coroner is called in to investigate the cause of death.

The report confirms a grim trend: Deaths due to alcohol and other drugs have steadily increased over the past three years, taking 49 lives in 2017. Chief Deputy Coroner Lt. Ernie Stewart says this upward trend is consistent with what he's seen over his 24-year career with the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office, adding that while the public is paying more attention right now to the opiate crisis, methamphetamine continues to be the biggest factor in drug-related deaths for Humboldt residents.

"Methamphetamine is still killing more people than opiates," Stewart said in a phone interview. "I believe that methamphetamine has carved out its place in our community and it's just not going away."

A detail from the report - HUMBOLDT COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE
  • Humboldt County Sheriff's Office
  • A detail from the report


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