34-Year-Old Found Dead Beside Road Near Arcata

Kym Kemp / Saturday, Oct. 18 @ 11:31 a.m. / News

A 34-year-old Oregon man was found dead beside Highway 255 just south of Arcata yesterday. The deceased was found in a ditch while his belongings, a backpack and wheeled basket, were found neatly along the road.

“There was no body trauma. Nothing indicative that he was hit by a car,” explained Officer Greg Pope of the Arcata Police Department. The man, he said, was a “local transient,” someone known to law enforcement.

According to Humboldt County Deputy Coroner Trevor Enright, there are “no suspicious circumstances.” The death is believed to be a natural event.

Attempts to locate family are ongoing.


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Major Injury Accident on Alderpoint Road

Kym Kemp / Saturday, Oct. 18 @ 12:41 a.m. / News

According to CHP dispatch, a Nissan pickup has had a major injury accident on Alderpoint Road. A few minutes before midnight a caller reported the incident on the narrow, rural route.

Emergency vehicles will be headed to the scene. Please be extra aware if driving in the area.



Trash Talking—How to Be Part of the Solution

Kym Kemp / Friday, Oct. 17 @ 10:31 p.m. / Good News

Mike Miller stands beside a pile of garbage he had just loaded into his truck. [Photo provided by Cathy Miller.]

“If everybody would pitch in and pick up a little trash here and there, it would be a lot easier job. It would keep it clean here,” said Mike Miller, age 68, who has been picking up garbage once or twice a week for three years in the Southern Humboldt area. Miller wants to see the community work together to clean up garbage. On Saturday, October 25, he, along with others, have worked to organize a Community Cleanup in Southern Humboldt. In the northern half of the county, PacOut Green Team has cleanup planned for Mad River Beach on October 18.

Trash, particularly that found in homeless encampments, has become a public concern across the county. From northern to southern Humboldt, groups such as PacOut Green Team and individuals, such as Miller, are attempting to address the problem with cleanup days where community members are asked to join in cleaning specific areas or just by hauling out the garbage themselves.Trash found at a homeless encampment in Southern Humboldt this year.

Miller explained he became involved in clean up after attending a town meeting in Garberville about problems associated with the homeless and “trimmigrants,” migrant workers in the marijuana business.  “Everyone bitched at the meeting,” he said. But, according to Miller, some of the participants also asked, “Are we going to do something about it?” Miller decided to start picking up trash.

Miller explained that he began with “this homeless guy—name was Eight, a navy veteran. I worked with him almost a year. I was picking up trash twice a week then. I’ve cut down to once a week now… . When I first started, I thought I’d give it a year… . I’m still doing it three years later.”

While some groups go to areas inhabited by the homeless, Miller doesn’t. “I don’t really go into camps,” he explained. “I engage with certain homeless people. I give them bags. I tell them when I’m going to be… . They put it in certain locations and I pick it up.”  

“Most of them don’t have cars or money to [take garbage to the dump,]” Miller pointed out. However, some people are willing to help. he said, “There are a bunch of camps on the north end of Redway. There are some homeless back there who clean up… . They leave it for me somewhere at the trailheads.”

Miller said that he believes that the homeless aren’t to blame for all of the waste he gathers. “The trash I picked up today along the river bar– I’m pretty sure it wasn’t all homeless,” he said. “A lot of local kids go down to the riverbar. There is illegal dumping, too. Sometimes when I pick up bags, I’m thinking they’re from people with homes.”

Some of the people who joined in the Southern Humboldt cleanup in June of 2013.

Miller estimates that he has picked up approximately 60,000 lbs over the last three years. In June of 2013, he organized a community clean-up that picked up 4,180 lbs and, in June of this year, the community cleanup day picked up 2,720 lbs. Luckily, he gets his dump fees waived by the County.

This next Saturday will be his three year anniversary of the day he first began pickling picking up trash on a large scale. That’s a lot of trash picked up and, he admits, he’s getting tired. “I’m getting ready to retire and see if there is anyone out there wanting to take over.”

Not ready to take on the whole shebang? How about just a couple of hours? Miller’s Community Cleanup starts at 10 a.m. and goes til two on Saturday, October 25. 

For those who live in northern Humboldt, PacOut Green Team will be at the Mad River Beach Saturday, October 18 from 9 til 10.

 



Soldier and Former Local Arrested For Manslaughter in Washington After Wife’s Shooting Death

Andrew Goff / Friday, Oct. 17 @ 7:35 p.m. / News

UPDATE, 10/22: Today, the Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office officially charged Skyler Nemetz with the murder of his wife

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Original Post:

Photo from Facebook

20-year-old Skylar Nemetz, who once attended Arcata High School and is a specialist with the 7th Infantry Division at Joint Base Lewis-McChord near Tacoma, Washington, was booked into Pierce County Jail last night. He has been charged with first-degree manslaughter after he told officials that he accidentally shot his wife in the back of the head with an AR-15 rifle. 

According to various area news sources, Nemetz fatally shot his wife, 19-year-old Danielle, a former McKinleyville High School cheerleader, as she sat at a computer in their apartment Thursday night. Nemetz reportedly thought the weapon was unloaded but admitted to pointing the gun at Danielle and pulling the trigger.

Seattle’s KIRO-TV spoke with the couple’s neighbor, Brandon Cochran:

“I just heard one bang and then I heard him saying, ‘Oh my God, oh my God.’ And then she started to scream and yell, and then she stopped screaming, and he just kept saying, ‘Oh my God, oh my God,’” said Cochran.

He said Nemetz, who was wearing a white T-shirt with blood stains on it, came out of the building looking distraught.

Another neighbor said he had heard no argument prior to the shooting. Police had received no previous domestic violence calls between the couple. 

Below is a report first aired on KIRO-TV last night:



Accident on 101 at Safety Corridor

Andrew Goff / Friday, Oct. 17 @ 5:43 p.m. / Traffic

LoCO readers are reporting that an accident on Highway 101 at the safety corridor has slowed northbound traffic to a crawl. Emergency personnel are on the scene.

Commuters may want to consider an alternate route. 



Alleged Scotia Sticky Bandit Takes Plea Agreement, 30 Months Federal Prison

Kym Kemp / Friday, Oct. 17 @ 3:50 p.m. / Crime

On October 2, Ryan Daniel Kullrich, age 38 from Bakersfield, California, was sentenced to 30 months in a federal prison on three counts of bank robbery. Kullrich, known as the “Sticky Bandit” is believed to have been the bandit caught on tape attempting to steal from the U.S. Bank in Scotia on December 10, 2013.

On that day, an employee of the U.S. Bank in Scotia noticed that an envelope in the night deposit box was covered with a sticky substance. Several pieces of cardboard attached to a string were stuck to the envelope. Using surveillance tape(see above,) officers were able to determine that a man had been fishing for deposited items.

Other banks from Fortuna to Fort Bragg and beyond had experienced similar issues. On December 16, 2013, the police in Medford, Oregon arrested Kullrich for attempting to take money from a bank there. The 38-year-old from Bakersfield, California was soon facing multiple charges from several jurisdictions.  

According to Lauren Horwood, spokeswoman for the US Attorneys Office, Eastern District of California, said that federal guidelines say that Kullrich will have to serve a minimum of 85% of his sentence.

Previously:



Fortuna Schools Briefly Placed on Lockdown Due to Employee Behavior

Ryan Burns / Friday, Oct. 17 @ 2:39 p.m. / Public Safety

The campuses of South Fortuna Elementary School and Toddy Thomas Middle School were briefly placed on lockdown today due to the behavior of an unnamed employee.

Becky Giacomini, assistant superintendent of the Fortuna Elementary School District, said the lockdowns occurred “because we were having a situation with an employee,” but she would not disclose the details of the situation or the identity of the employee. She said the employee “was having a rough day.”

The Fortuna Police Department is aware of the situation, she added, and the problematic employee, who was at South Fortuna Elementary but is not a teacher, is no longer on campus. 

Toddy Thomas, meanwhile, was placed on partial lockdown because the principal was responding to the situation across town at South Fortuna Elementary, according to Giacomini. The lockdown for both schools has been lifted.