Saturday, September 9, 2017

Arcata Police, Witnesses Describe How a Fight Erupted into Gunfire

Posted By on Sat, Sep 9, 2017 at 8:30 PM

The taped-off crime scene at bar row on the Arcata Plaza. - THADEUS GREENSON
  • Thadeus Greenson
  • The taped-off crime scene at bar row on the Arcata Plaza.
Officers were approaching a parked car that they believed contained a man suspected of brandishing a firearm early this morning, when a 26-year-old man exited the vehicle and allegedly fired at least two shots at them, hitting a Humboldt State University officer in the leg and prompting the officers to return fire, fatally wounding the suspect.

According to an updated press release, at least 11 shots were fired in the exchange, which occurred on Arcata’s bustling bar row at about 1:40 a.m. According to witness accounts, the street was packed with people.

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McKinleyvile Marksman

Posted By on Sat, Sep 9, 2017 at 2:49 PM

Dan Jones takes aim. - JENNIFER FUMIKO CAHILL
  • Jennifer Fumiko Cahill
  • Dan Jones takes aim.

Turns out skeet shooting isn't necessarily a young person's game, at least according to Dan Jones. He ought to know — the 45-year-old McKinleyville native has just climbed to No. 1 in the national rankings by the National Skeet Shooting Association and he's on his way to compete against some 400 to 500 shooters at the U.S. Open in Chicago this week and another 1,000 or so at the World Championship (which he won in 2014) in San Antonio right after that.

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Officer Wounded, Suspect Killed in Arcata Plaza Shooting

Posted By on Sat, Sep 9, 2017 at 8:41 AM

The taped-off crime scene at bar row on the Arcata Plaza. - THADEUS GREENSON
  • Thadeus Greenson
  • The taped-off crime scene at bar row on the Arcata Plaza.

A shootout in front of bar row on the Arcata Plaza around 2 a.m. left a Humboldt State University police officer wounded and a suspect dead.

The officer’s injuries are considered serious but not life threatening.

According to an Arcata Police Department press release, an APD officer was with the UPD officer investigating a report of a man waving a handgun on the plaza at about 1:40 a.m. When the officers approached a parked vehicle, a 26-year-old reportedly got out and opened fire, wounding the UPD officer. Both officers returned fire, fatally wounding the man, who was later pronounced dead at Mad River Community Hospital.

The suspect, whose identity is currently being withheld, reportedly has prior felony convictions. APD plans to provide an update at 6 p.m. today with further information.

Find the full APD press release copied below:

On September 9, 2017 at about 1:40am, an Arcata Police Officer and a Humboldt State University Police Officer were investigating a report of a man seen waiving a handgun on the Plaza. Reportedly the man was involved in an altercation when he displayed the gun.
Preliminary reports indicate that as the police officers approached a parked vehicle, the suspect, a twenty-six year-old male, with past felony convictions, got out of the vehicle and fired a handgun at the officers. The Humboldt State University Police Officer was wounded by the gun fire. Both officers returned fire, hitting the man. The man was not an HSU student. He was pronounced dead at the Mad River Community Hospital. His identity is being withheld pending notification of family. The police officer who was shot was transported to a local Hospital where he has been admitted. His injuries are not life-threatening. A handgun was recovered at the crime scene.
The Humboldt County Critical Incident Response Team (CIRT) which includes investigators from the Eureka Police Department, Humboldt County Sheriff's Office, Humboldt County District Attorney's Office, Fortuna Police Department, California Highway Patrol and the Department of Justice Crime Laboratory are investigating this shooting.
Witnesses are asked to call the Arcata Police Department, (707) 822-2426.
No further information will be released at this time. The Arcata Police Department will issue an update this evening at 6pm.
Below is a statement from Humboldt State University:
September 9, 2017

The following statements relate to the shooting that occurred early this morning near the Arcata Plaza. Details on the incident are available from the Arcata Police Department.

HSU President Lisa Rossbacher: “Our officer was shot this morning while serving and protecting our community. He was treated, and I’m relieved to hear that he is in stable condition. I want him, and his family, to know that we appreciate his service and that they are in our thoughts.”

HSU Police Chief Donn Peterson: “This situation began with the University Police Department assisting Arcata Police as they responded to an incident near the Plaza. A University Police officer was shot and wounded during an encounter with an armed subject. His injuries are serious, but do not appear to be life threatening. The role of the University Police Department now will be to support the investigation into this incident.”

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Friday, September 8, 2017

Eureka Condemns 'Heroin Hilton,' Displacing 20

Posted By on Fri, Sep 8, 2017 at 1:54 PM

Workers board up 216, 218 and 220 Third Street this morning. - THADEUS GREENSON
  • Thadeus Greenson
  • Workers board up 216, 218 and 220 Third Street this morning.

UPDATE: Eureka City Councilmember Kim Bergel has informed the Journal via Facebook that she was told the city has offered all 20 or so displaced residents of the condemned  buildings the option of staying at the local Motel 6 until Monday, when relocation funds are expected to be made available. The Journal hasn't yet been able to verify this and it wasn't an offer given to all residents on site this morning.

The city of Eureka condemned three properties on Third Street owned by Floyd and Betty Squires this morning, forcing about 20 people out of their apartments and, in some cases, onto the streets.

Deputy Public Works Director Brian Issa says the city felt the need to take immediate action due to hazardous, unsanitary conditions that posed a danger to residents and the general public. Tenants said they were notified first thing yesterday morning that they had 24 hours to vacate the premises and move all their stuff. Known as the “Heroin Hilton,” the apartment building at 220 Third St. has been the site of several recent drug busts, and neighbors have long complained of constant streams of people coming in and out of the building, along with pervasive drug use in and around the apartments.

“This place has just descended into chaos,” Issa said. “It’s a trap house. On any given day, there are people lying on the floor in the hallway and on the stairs with needles in their arms, feces on the floor.”

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Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Update: Man Killed in Single Car Crash Behind Costco ID'd

Posted By on Wed, Sep 6, 2017 at 11:01 AM

  • FILE
UPDATE: The coroner's office has identified the man killed in last night's Eureka crash as 22-year-old Humboldt County resident Kendall Schroeder.

The Eureka Police Department responded to a single car crash on Railroad Avenue behind Costco just before 9 p.m. on Tuesday, where the vehicle’s only occupant was pronounced dead at the scene.

The man, whose name has not been released pending notification of next of kin, was driving a red Toyota pickup that ran into a parked semi-truck trailer, according to the EPD release. He was the 25th traffic-related death in Humboldt County this year.

The crash remains under investigation.

Press release from the Eureka Police Department:
On September 5, 2017 at about 8:47 p.m., officers with the Eureka Police Department responded to Railroad Avenue just north of W. Wabash Avenue for the report of a traffic collision with a possible fatality.
Officers arrived on scene and found that a red Toyota pickup had collided with a parked flatbed semi-truck trailer. The pickup had come to rest under the flatbed trailer, causing extensive damage. A single male occupant of the Toyota suffered major head trauma and was pronounced deceased at the scene by emergency personnel.
The identity of the driver is pending the notification of the next of kin. This is an ongoing investigation; any witnesses are asked to call the Eureka Police Department at (707) 441-4044.

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Monday, September 4, 2017

The Smoke is No Joke

Posted By on Mon, Sep 4, 2017 at 3:27 PM

The red, smoke-filtered sun over the Arcata Bottoms. - THADEUS GREENSON
  • Thadeus Greenson
  • The red, smoke-filtered sun over the Arcata Bottoms.

If you've been (or even looked) outside this weekend, you've noticed the air has been thick with visible fog-like smoke. And chances are, depending on your location, you're feeling the effects in some measure.

In a press release, the North Coast Unified Air Quality Management District warned of hazardous conditions in Orleans, Weitchpec and Hoopa due to wildfires. Clean air shelters for our county are located at the Weitchpec Tribal Office and the Hoopa Neighborhood Facility. NCUAQMD advised residents to contact their health providers if they notice signs of excess smoke exposure, among them coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, chest pain and nausea.

An earlier release today designated areas from Trinidad, McKinleyville, Arcata, Blue Lake, Eureka, Fortuna, Ferndale and Rio Dell to Scotia as "'Unhealthy' with periods of 'Very Unhealthy' conditions with possible improvement toward the afternoon/evening." Meanwhile,  Garberville and Southern Humboldt communities are categorized as "overall 'Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups' to 'Unhealthy,'" and Willow Creek and Salyer are labeled "Very Unhealthy."

Those who are most vulnerable to the effects of smoke exposure — including the young, elderly, pregnant women and those with respiratory or heart disease — are advised to keep indoors and "avoid prolonged activity," though everyone should avoid long, strenuous outdoor activity and pay attention to potential symptoms.

See the full press release copied below for details and a full list of symptoms to look out for.

Updated, September 4, 2017 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For the following areas:
Air Quality Alert
Hazardous Conditions
In Humboldt County:
Orleans, Weitchpec, and Hoopa are forecast “Hazardous” conditions for these
communities in the Klamath River drainage.
In Trinity County:
 Weaverville and possible adjacent areas (Big Bar, Del Loma, Lewiston, Junction City,
and Hayfork) are forecast “Hazardous” conditions with periods of “Very Unhealthy”.
Clean Air Shelters in Humboldt County:
- Weitchpec Tribal Office, Highway 96, Weitchpec. Hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- Hoopa Neighborhood Facility, Hoopa Tribal Office, Highway 96, Hoopa, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.,
M-F and this Holiday Weekend.
Clean Air Shelters in Trinity County:
- Veterans Memorial Hall, 101 Memorial Dr, Weaverville. Hours are 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
- American Red Cross Evacuation Shelter, First Baptist Church, 1261 Main St., Weaverville. - Hayfork Community Center, 154 Tule Creek Road, Hayfork. Hours are 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Clean Air Shelters in Del Norte County (see also
- Family Resource Center, 494 Pacific Ave, Crescent City (closed 8 p.m. to 10 a.m.)
- Tsunami Lanes Bowling Alley, 760 L Street, Crescent City (open during regular
bowling alley hours posted at location)
- Xaa-wan'-k'wvt Village and Resort (formerly Ship Ashore), 12370 Hwy 101 N.,
Smith River (closed 8 p.m. to 6 a.m.)
Updates will be provided as conditions change, and people are recommended to restrict outdoor activities when possible. People are recommended to restrict outdoor activity.

Symptoms that may be related to excess smoke exposure include:
• Repeated coughing
• Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
• Wheezing
• Chest tightness or pain
• Palpitations
• Nausea or unusual fatigue
• Lightheadedness
If you have any of the symptoms listed above, contact your health care provider. Please see the NCUAQMD’s website at for additional recommendations on limiting smoke exposure.
For 24-hour Air Quality Advisory Information, call the NCUAQMD’s hotline toll-free at 1-866-BURN-DAY (1-866-287-6329), or visit the website at
Health Information for Smoke Impacts
Concentrations of smoke may vary depending upon location, weather, and distance from the fire. Smoke from wildfires and structure fires contain harmful chemicals that can affect your health. Smoke can cause eye and throat irritation, coughing, and difficulty breathing. People who are at greatest risk of experiencing symptoms due to smoke include: those with respiratory disease (such as asthma), those with heart disease, young children, and older adults.
These sensitive populations should stay indoors and avoid prolonged activity. All others should limit prolonged or heavy activity and time spent outdoors. Even healthy adults can be affected by smoke. Seek medical help if you have symptoms that worsen or become severe.
If you can see, taste, or feel smoke, contact your local health department and/or primary healthcare provider. This is especially important if you have health concerns, are elderly, are pregnant, or have a child in your care.
Follow these general precautions to protect your health during a smoke event:
• Minimize or stop outdoor activities, especially exercise
• Stay indoors with windows and doors closed as much as possible
• Do not run fans that bring smoky outdoor air inside – examples include swamp
coolers, whole-house fans, and fresh air ventilation systems
• Run your air-conditioner only if it does not bring smoke in from the outdoors. Change
the standard air conditioner filter to a medium or high efficiency filter. If available, use
the “re-circulate” or “recycle” setting on the unit
• Do not smoke, fry food, or do other things that will create indoor air pollution
If you have lung disease (including asthma) or heart disease, closely monitor your health and contact your doctor if you have symptoms that worsen.
Consider leaving the area until smoke conditions improve if you have repeated coughing, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, wheezing, chest tightness or pain, palpitations, nausea, unusual fatigue, lightheadedness.

For 24-hour Air Quality Advisory Information, call toll-free at 1-866-BURN-DAY (1-866-287-6329).
For further information, visit the District’s website at
AIR QUALITY MANAGEMENT DISTRICT 707 L Street, Eureka, CA 95501 Telephone (707) 443-3093 Fax (707) 443-3099

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Sunday, September 3, 2017

TL;DR: Cemetery Rising

Posted By on Sun, Sep 3, 2017 at 10:10 AM

  • Photo by Eric Mueller

Busy week? No worries. We understand. You just haven’t found time to read “Cemetery Rising,” this week’s cover story about restoration efforts at Eureka’s historic Myrtle Grove Memorial Cemetery.

While we encourage you to take a look, here’s the long story short: A group of dedicated volunteers has been working for nearly two years to bring the cemetery built in 1861 back from the brink of obscurity. Together, they’re manicuring the grounds, uncovering long-hidden headstones and repairing dozens of markers that time broke apart.

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Saturday, September 2, 2017

Today Ties Eureka's Hottest on Record

Posted By on Sat, Sep 2, 2017 at 3:30 PM

Kids dipped their feet at the zoo to keep cool. - JENNIFER FUMIKO CAHILL
  • Jennifer Fumiko Cahill
  • Kids dipped their feet at the zoo to keep cool.
Well, that escalated quickly. It's not just your imagination, Eureka is in the midst of one of its hottest days in recorded history, the National Weather Service reports.

According to the NWS Twitter feed, the official recorded temperature for the city hit 87 degrees at about 11:37 a.m., tying a previous city record set Oct. 26, 1993. Alas, the site warned that "cooling" had begun, leaving today's date unlikely to take lone possession of the distinction. Throughout Humboldt County, the mercury is up, with Fortuna hitting triple digits and 90 degrees at the airport in McKinleyville.

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Poor Reggae on the River Attendance Leaves Mateel Community Center's Future in Question

Posted By on Sat, Sep 2, 2017 at 9:33 AM

This year's Reggae on the River. - FILE
  • File
  • This year's Reggae on the River.
Redway’s Mateel Community Center is in a state of crisis after its biggest annual fundraiser, Reggae on the River, not only failed to meet revenue projections but left the center with a “significant” debt.

“Very challenging times lie ahead, there are difficult decisions to make, and the future of both ROTR and the MCC is at stake,” Mateel General Manager Justin Crellin wrote in a letter to to the Southern Humboldt community, inviting it to a Sept. 19 meeting when he will share further detail of the Mateel’s financial state and what options are being considered.

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Thursday, August 31, 2017

St. Joseph Hospital Fined by the State for Juggling Surgeries

Posted By on Thu, Aug 31, 2017 at 2:00 PM

An April 2014 incident in which a surgeon had to leave a hysterectomy to perform an emergency Cesarean section has resulted in a $40,000 fine for St. Joseph Hospital from the California Department of Public Health. In its press release, the CDPH stated "the hospital failed to ensure the health and safety of a patient when it did not follow established policies and procedures." This is the hospital’s second "Immediate Jeopardy" administrative penalty.

According to state documents, the incident occurred on April 29, 2014, when a physician performing a hysterectomy on a patient was called out to perform an emergency C-section and had to leave the operating room, "as no other obstetrician could be found." The doctor left "after the arteries to the uterus had been clamped, cut, and tied off." The incident report does not say how long it took, but both surgeries were successful.

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