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The North Coast Journal is the definitive source of information for local news, music, art, entertainment, restaurants, reviews, and events in Humboldt County.
Updated: 6 months 1 week ago

Missing Pieces

Thu, 05/11/2017 - 1:00am
How a defense team's gamble crumbled the case against Kyle Zoellner, and where it goes from here It was a bold move, and one Humboldt County deputy public defenders Luke Brownfield and Kelly Neel weren't fully committed to until the last possible minute. It was the morning of May 1, and their client, 23-year-old Kyle Christopher Zoellner, had been in jail for 16 days since he was beaten, bloodied and arrested before dawn on April 15 in front of a home on Arcata's Spear Avenue and accused of fatally stabbing David Josiah Lawson, a 19-year-old Humboldt State University sophomore, at a house party.…

Civility Now

Thu, 05/11/2017 - 1:00am
Split Eureka council passes code of conduct San Francisco Ethics Commission Chair Peter Keane believes the Eureka City Council was headed down the right path when members recently debated whether elected and appointed officials should make political endorsements. In fact, the law professor embraces the idea that office holders, in general, should be restricted from throwing their support behind candidates.…

Photo Contest!

Wed, 05/10/2017 - 3:54pm

I don’t think we’re alone in saying 2017 has been a slog so far. We were all so happy to put 2016 behind us but every day it seems like some new craziness — both from within our county and beyond — has descended to test us.

But all that has spurred us to spend some time contemplating the ties that bind us together, and we keep coming back to the word community.…

Skilled Nursing Defendants File for Change of Venue

Mon, 05/08/2017 - 11:03am
Shlomo Rechnitz can’t get a fair trial in Humboldt County. That’s the contention of the law firm representing the skilled nursing magnate, Lewis Brisbois, Bisgaard & Smith LLP, which recently filed a motion for a change of venue in one of the three wrongful death and elder abuse suits filed against Rechnitz and his company, Brius Healthcare Management.

The case in question revolves around Ralph Sorensen, a patient at Seaview Rehabilitation and Wellness Center who died Jan. 27, 2016 after complications related to an infected pressure ulcer.…

Tensions Escalate During Saturday Protest in Arcata

Sun, 05/07/2017 - 3:04pm

Arcata has been quiet today after protesters' chants echoed through the city's streets for two consecutive days, demanding justice for slain Humboldt State University sophomore David Josiah Lawson.

More than 100 people descended on the Arcata Plaza yesterday, where they chanted and waved signs before moving on to the Union Town Shopping Center. At the shopping center, which houses Safeway and CVS, the protesters blocked the entrances and exits, refusing to let cars pass unless they first agreed to call the Humboldt County District Attorney's Office to request further investigation into Lawson's killing.

The protest — which came after more than 100 students and community members marched through the streets Friday night — turned tense at times, when some motorists took exception to not being allowed to leave or enter the parking lot.…

Eureka Visitor's Center to Close During Bid Process

Sun, 05/07/2017 - 9:43am
After more than 40 years, the Eureka Visitor’s Center on Broadway is slated to close at the end of next month while the city completes a competitive bid process for the service during peak tourist season.

Eureka councilmembers voted 4-1 last week — with Councilmember Marian Brady dissenting — not to extend funding after the Greater Eureka Chamber of Commerce’s $110,000 annual contract ends June 30.

The city voiced its intention last year to take the bid route — with bids due in June with the selection process expected in August.…

Peaceful Protest in Arcata Demands 'Justice for Josiah'

Sat, 05/06/2017 - 9:14am

More than 100 people marched through Arcata last night to demand justice for slain Humboldt State University sophomore David Josiah Lawson and urge law enforcement to continue its investigation.

Chants of “justice for Josiah” and “no justice, no peace,” echoed off downtown buildings and through on-campus apartments as the group marched for more than two hours. At several rallying points, speakers urged those in attendance — mostly students with some community members sprinkled in — to call the Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office to urge a thorough and continued investigation.

Earlier in the day yesterday, a Humboldt County Superior Court judge ruled police had not found enough evidence to hold Lawson’s accused killer, 23-year-old Kyle Zoellner, to stand trial on a murder charge.…

Judge Dismisses Murder Charge in Slaying of HSU Student

Fri, 05/05/2017 - 3:34pm
Update: The city of Arcata released a statement that is copied in its entirety below the original post.

Humboldt County Superior Court Judge Dale Reinholtsen ruled this afternoon that there is insufficient evidence to hold Kyle Christopher Zoellner to stand trial on a charge that he murdered David Josiah Lawson on April 15.

Friends and family of Zoellner’s clapped as the judge announced his ruling, after which bailiffs quickly led the defendant out of the packed courtroom. Some who had been attending the hearing in support of Lawson, a 19-year-old Humboldt State University sophomore, wept in the hallway afterward.

Reinholtsen offered a lengthy explanation of his ruling and the deficiencies in the prosecutors' case against Zoellner, saying there wasn’t a single witness that put a knife in Zoellner’s hands that night, much less who claimed to have seen the fatal stabbing.…

UPDATE: Arrest Made In Fatal Hit and Run Near Clam Beach

Fri, 05/05/2017 - 9:46am
UPDATE: Humboldt CHP has recovered one of the vehicles involved, a 1995 Ford Escort, and has arrested David J. Lara of Trinidad on felony hit and run charges. Lara was taken into custody and was booked into the Humboldt County Jail early this morning.…

Fatal Shelter Cove Collision Deemed 'Intentional,' Man Arrested

Thu, 05/04/2017 - 3:59pm
A fatal traffic collision in Shelter Cove yesterday left one person dead and a 45-year-man has been arrested in what officials are calling "an intentional act."

Few details are being released at this time, but both the Redheaded Blackbelt and the Lost Coast Outpost reported that the person killed was a pedestrian. The Humboldt County Sheriff's Office identified the suspect as Eric Lively.…

Huffman, Humboldt Residents, Decry House Passage of 'TrumpCare'

Thu, 05/04/2017 - 3:30pm
Shortly after H.R. 1628 passed by a narrow margin in the House of Representatives, Rep. Jared Huffman's office fired off a press release denouncing the passage of "TrumpCare" as a "disaster." The bill, which includes an amendment that may remove coverage for patients with pre-existing conditions, can still be altered significantly in the Senate.…

Five Owlets Have Landed in Ferndale

Thu, 05/04/2017 - 1:03pm
Things are getting crowded in the barn owl nest in The Ferndale Music Company and the Old Steeple building.

The mother owl “Truman” appears to have now hatched five of her six eggs — with the first two debuting last week in the bell tower of the turn-of the-century former Ferndale church.

The Ferndale Music Company guitar salesman Anthony Taibi said his boss Paul Beatie — who set up the owl cam that gives an up-close view of Truman and her brood — believes the fifth owlet hatched Tuesday. “You can hear them making noise up there,” Taibi said.…

What Now?

Thu, 05/04/2017 - 1:00am
Two men, 20 minutes and the fracture in Arcata David Josiah Lawson's mother's grief is audible as she speaks with her Jamaican accent. But so is her pride.…

Blind, Sick, Alone

Thu, 05/04/2017 - 1:00am
Eureka Rehabilitation and Wellness Center accused of dumping patient Local law firm Janssen Malloy, LLC, which recently filed two complaints alleging patient neglect and abuse against local skilled nursing facilities, has added another case to its slate, accusing Eureka Rehabilitation and Wellness Center of dumping a dependent adult in a hotel room without proper medical care in October of 2016. The man, who was blind and had a host of behavioral and physical problems, died four days later.…

Dozens Gather for May Day Protest in Fortuna (with Video)

Tue, 05/02/2017 - 3:30pm
Around 35 demonstrators gathered in front of the Fortuna City Hall on Monday to show support for a proposed sanctuary ordinance being considered by the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors. Those in attendance also mentioned that May 1 is International Workers Day and made mentions of the demonstrations taking place around the globe today.

Renee Saucedo, of the community group Centro del Pueblo, organized the gathering and made the opening remarks to the crowd.…

EPD Offering Grant Money for Juvenile Drug Treatment

Mon, 05/01/2017 - 2:29pm
The Eureka Police Department is offering $20,000 in grant money to a local nonprofit or government entity with a proven track record of successfully combating juvenile drug addiction. The money comes from the $124,000 in asset seizure funds EPD received last year, $25,000 of which can be earmarked for community education.

Chief Andrew Mills said the goal of the grant is to stem the tide of young addicts before they become entangled in the justice system.…

Eureka Council Code Outlines How to do Unto Others, Each Other

Sun, 04/30/2017 - 8:56am
Eureka councilmembers would be expected to use their words wisely — but not in support of a candidate running for council or in off-the-record conversations with journalists — under an ethics and conduct code under consideration at Tuesday’s meeting.

Adopted from the city of Sunnyvale, the 20-page document outlines how Eureka’s elected and appointed officials are expected to act with the public, the media, staff and each other — apparently the result of councilmembers raising the subject during a strategic visioning session.

The council has seen some fiery discussions erupt at the dais over the last year or so, especially when weighing such contentious items as homeless encampments and human rights resolutions.


State Lawmakers Look to Protect Coast from Trump Orders

Sat, 04/29/2017 - 7:51am

California’s iconic coast and offshore waters came under new threat not once, but twice this week as President Donald Trump signed executive orders aimed at undoing both land and ocean protections along the state’s coastline.

On Wednesday, Trump directed the Secretary of the Interior to review all or part of 24 monuments created by presidential proclamation since 1996 that make up 100,000 acres or more.…

'Heart' of Palco Marsh Case Allowed to Proceed

Fri, 04/28/2017 - 9:44am
A federal judge dismissed portions of a lawsuit claiming that Eureka’s ordinances against camping and the storage of personal items in public spaces violate the Constitutional rights of homeless individuals but is allowing an amended complaint to be filed.

U.S. District Court Judge Jeffrey White also found the civil suit filed against the city by attorney Peter Martin could proceed on the Eighth Amendment claim that outlawing public camping without providing adequate shelters amounts to cruel and unusual punishment by making homelessness itself a crime.

Martin’s law partner Shelley Mack says a decision is still being made on whether to refile on the issues the judge left the door open to — allegations that the city's ordinance violate due process rights, protection against unreasonable search and seizure and the right to privacy.

“The Eighth Amendment claim is really the heart of the case and that is the claim that we are really focusing on,” she says.

Eureka Rehabilitation Accused of Dumping Patient

Thu, 04/27/2017 - 12:23pm
Local law firm Janssen Malloy LLC, which recently filed two complaints alleging patient neglect and abuse against local skilled nursing facilities, has added another case to its slate, accusing Eureka Rehabilitation and Wellness Center of discharging a dependent adult into a hotel without proper medical care in October of 2016. The man, who was blind and had a host of behavioral and physical problems, died four days later.

In a complaint filed March 10, Janssen Malloy alleges that a 65-year-old dependent adult, Alan Dewey, died of neglect after being discharged from Eureka Rehabilitation and Wellness Center on Oct. 14, 2016.…
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