Prius Driver Fled Scene of Accident in Eureka Last Night

Kym Kemp / Wednesday, Feb. 18 @ 12:55 p.m. / Crime

Brand new Prius was abandoned by a driver at the scene of an accident in Eureka last night. [Photos provided by a reader.]

According to Eureka Police Department spokesperson, Brittany Powell, 

On 02/17/15 at about 11:44 p.m., Officers responded to the 1400 block of Hodgson Street for the report of a vehicle that drove off the roadway.  Upon arrival, officers located a 2015 Toyota Prius that had driven approximately 30 feet into the brush north of Hodgson Street.  The driver of the vehicle was no longer on scene.  Anyone with information on any of these collisions are asked to call the Eureka Police Department at (707) 441-4060.


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Emergency! Sheriff Declares Son of Rainageddon a County-Wrecker, Will Seek State Funds to Rebuild

Hank Sims / Wednesday, Feb. 18 @ 10:28 a.m. / Emergency

From the County of Humboldt:

Humboldt County Sheriff Mike Downey on Tuesday proclaimed a local emergency in response to damages caused by the rain and wind storms that hit the area Feb. 6 through Feb. 8. Initial damage estimates from the storm, including damages suffered by the County of Humboldt, local cities and special districts, are approximately $5.4 million.

The extent of the damages caused by the storm are estimated to exceed the county’s available funding for necessary repairs. By proclaiming a local emergency it allows the county Operational Area to apply for California Disaster Assistance Act funding.

The most major damage was done to local roads. Some of the damaged roads include Wilder Ridge Road (seen in photo), Alderpoint Road, Chambers Road, East Branch Road, and Mattole Road. In addition, the Jameson Creek culvert on Rohnerville Road was significantly damaged, and the Redway Community Services District repair to stabilize the slope at the Dogwood Lift Station will be included in storm damages.

The Humboldt County Board of Supervisors is not in session this week. The local emergency proclamation will be placed on the Feb. 24 agenda for the Board to consider ratification.

Downey’s proclamation can be found here.



Rollover Accident 5th and Broadway Early This Morning

Kym Kemp / Wednesday, Feb. 18 @ 7:20 a.m. / Crime

Update 8:20 a.m.: Brittany Powell, spokesperson for the Eureka Police Department wrote,

The crash was called into us on 02/18/15 at about 2:29 a.m.  The vehicle was a 98 Chevy pickup and was found flipped over.  It hit a hydrant and Kristina’s causing structural damage.  Officers reviewed surveillance from a nearby business and saw the driver and passenger leave on foot eastbound on 4th Street.  A small blood trail was followed by officers but the trail was lost. 

Anyone with information is asked to call the Eureka Police Department at (707) 441-4060. 

An officer examines evidence from the accident as a fire hydrant sprays water onto a nearby business. [Photo provided by a reader.]

At approximately 2:30 this morning, a truck rolled over on the corner of Broadway and 5th Street in Eureka. A fire hydrant was hit and water sprayed into the street. Kristina’s, a nearby business sustained structural damage in the accident. One lane was temporarily blocked.

According to the scanner, the driver and passenger fled the scene. Law enforcement followed a blood trail to 4th Street. However, the trail was lost.

We’ve requested more information from the Eureka Police Department and will update as soon as possible.



OBITUARY: Jonathan Walsh Mellon, 1981-2015

Kym Kemp / Wednesday, Feb. 18 @ 6:50 a.m. / Obits

Jonathan Walsh Mellon left this earth way too soon for his new adventure on February 13th doing what he loved, being adventurous, wild and free. He was born on September 30th, 1981, son of Mark Mellon and Joe and Mona Pinochi.

To all his friends he was known as a free spirit, a charismatic soul who lived for his family, friends and fun times. He grew up with his two brothers, Cory and Casey Pinochi who were his sidekicks in his many shenanigans throughout the years. Jonathan was generous, kind, caring and was the type of guy who would give you the shirt off of his back. He lived for the outdoors and loved to spend his time hunting, fishing, abalone diving, hiking, snowboarding, camping and just being outside. He made friends easily and had friends from every aspect of his life. Jonathan was the life of the party and always rallied everyone for a trip to the hills.

Jonathan spent his early years giving his mother gray hair and learning how to hunt and fish. He soon became a skilled outdoorsman and enjoyed sharing his passion with friends and family. His mom knew at a young age of two that he was destined to be a skilled outdoorsman when she found him honing his hunting skills by practicing cleaning game by pulling the stuffing from his Easter bunny.

He was blessed to gain two brothers and another father figure with the marriage of his mom Mona and his stepdad Joe. Jonathan’s favorite story to tell about this union was that he finally got cable T.V and Nintendo, being an only child he was ecstatic to gain two brothers as well.

He attended Freshwater until 6th grade and then went to Saint Bernard’s where he graduated in 2000. He played baseball and football and couldn’t wait for the weekend football games to end on Saturday so he could take off and go hunting. During his childhood and high school years he gained some lifelong friends that remained really close with him to this day including Justin, Johnny and Kenny and they often spent many wild trips together where there was nothing but fun, laughter and good times.

He went on to earn his AA from College of the Redwoods with a little push from his mom. In 2004 he met the love of his life Lacey Pope and they quickly became inseparable for the next decade. He had found someone that shared his love for the outdoors and he was eager to share that love with her. One of his favorite stories was a 4x4 buck they got miles down hill at Horse Mountain where he had to cut the buck in half and they each packed half out uphill back to camp. After that trip, he knew she was a keeper.

There were many trips with his brother Cory, Haley, Lacey and himself that created a unique bond between the four of them, they could often be found on hunting trips together up at Joe Massei’s place. Many fond memories were made with Jonathan whether it was camping at the Forks of Salmon, going on midnight rides up Kneeland, duck hunting at his cousin Clancy’s duck club with his uncles and cousins, hunting with Cory, Haley, Lacey, Kenny, his dad, Joe, Justin, Johnny, Nick, Brandon and Ryan. Summers were spent at the family cabin in Trinity Village where as young children he and his brothers slept out on the deck with numerous childhood friends including Matt, Maureen and Nick. The Cabin was still a favorite hangout into his adulthood, he loved the river, loved having friends up there to hangout at the decks and the midnight trips to Denny to shoot guns or a moonlit swim in the river via spotlight. He thoroughly enjoyed all of his trips to Squaw Valley where he shredded the mountain with no fear. The J st. houses where Jonathan, his girlfriend Lacey, his brother Cory and his sister-in-law Haley were neighbors were known as the central hub for many friends to come and visit, have a venison/abalone/salmon feast, play horseshoes and enjoy each other. His friends were his family and he had some very close bonds with them. Jonathan was a lover of people and he met some very close friends later on in life as well that became some of his very best friends. He could often be found on adventures with his friends Mike and Jesse.

Jonathan is his mom’s sunshine; he is the center of her world. Growing up, Mona and Jonathan adventured around the West Coast. The only criteria for selecting their vehicle was whether they could both sleep in the back of it. These trips helped shape him into the venturesome, family oriented man he was. He was her rock during her battle with cancer and he cherished every moment they had together whether it was her directing him in his life accomplishments or just spending family time together. Another very special person in his life is his Grandpa Jack Walsh, they shared a very special bond. This was apparent when Jack got lost out at the ranch and the search party couldn’t find him, but Jonathan knew right where he was and went and got him. Jonathan and his grandpa had a unique connection and always shared a shot of wild turkey when they were together. He held a very special place in his heart for his nephews Kade and Lucca, and his niece Kamryn. Jonathan was so excited about taking his nephews hunting that he bought Kade a gun for his first birthday and took him on many trips to the hills with his brother Cory to teach Kade how to shoot it. He had already started instilling his love for the outdoors with the boys as they accompanied him on the family hunting trip this last hunting season.

Jonathan was a lover of all, including animals, especially his dogs Gin, Chet and his old hunting partner Buck. He was caught on numerous occasions helping bottle feed baby kittens with Lacey and Haley. His love of animals wasn’t always apparent to everyone because he often blamed his soft spot for animals on Haley and Lacey. Most of the dog emergency kit that accompanied the many trips he went on was utilized for his own personal injuries.

Jonathan was a selfless individual who would lend a hand to anyone that needed it without asking for anything in return. He had mastered construction skills over the last several years which proved to be very useful in many of his personal projects, as well as projects he helped others with, most recently helping his brother Cory with their new fixer upper as he called it in Trinity Village. He also went over to Redding and helped his brother Casey put on a new roof at his new house. He was a very hard worker and could always be counted on whether to help work, guide a hunting or fishing trip or just be along for the ride. Jonathan never turned anyone down and was always there for everybody that needed him. He was a very upbeat person and kept a positive attitude towards life. This characteristic is what drew people to him, his sense of humor was contagious and his smile could light up a room. Jonathan’s zest for life was unmatched by anyone and he didn’t live to work, he worked to live his venturesome life how he wanted. Jonathan would say “Life is a garden, you’ve got to dig it!” and he lived every moment of his life that way.

The celebration of Jonathan’s life will be Sunday the 22nd at Ocean View Cemetary, St. Bernard’s side at 12:30 and reception to follow at 2 o’clock at the Elk’s Lodge in Eureka. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to an account at Coast Central Credit Union account number #197127 and in care of Mona Walsh Pinochi to promote and fund youth hunter safety or a charity of your choice. Jonathan is survived by his parents Mark Mellon and Joe and Mona Pinochi, his brothers Cory (Haley) and Casey (Karen) Pinochi,. Tim Mellon and his sister Brandy Mellon as well as his uncle K.C. Mellon and Grandma Lee Walashek. On the Walsh side of his large family he is survived by his grandparents Dr. Jack and Mary Walsh, his aunts and uncles Linda Bareilles (Ken), Danny Walsh (Tracey), Rosie Wahlund(Ron), Pat, Kitty Kathol(Lorenzo), Lizzy Day (Tom), Heidi Beauchamp(Ron), Betsy Homen(Frank). On the Pinochi side he is survived by Paula Fredrickson, Pat McNamera(Joe), Teresa Levin(Marc) and a plethora of cousins. He is smiling down from heaven knowing that his friends and family are coming back together to celebrate his life.

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The above obituary was submitted by Jonathan Mellon’s family. The Lost Coast Outpost runs obituaries of Humboldt County residents at no charge. Email news@lostcoastoutpost.com.



VIDEO: Hip-Hop Beat Hypes County’s Upcoming Budget Meeting

Ryan Burns / Tuesday, Feb. 17 @ 2:06 p.m. / Government , Technology

Hip hop has seen some weird collaborations over the years: Run DMC and Aerosmith; Eminem and Elton John; LL Cool J and Brad Paisley. But we at the Outpost never expected to hear the likes of Ryan Sundberg, Rex Bohn and Mark Lovelace dropping science over a sick beat.

Granted, the county supervisors didn’t take turns spitting lyrics in Rick Rubin’s studio; instead, the video above was assembled by the crew over at Access Humboldt, who took video samples from Humboldt County’s last two interactive community budget meetings and laid them over a hi-hat boom-bap from classic ‘90s hip hop.

The resulting alchemy is, well, kinda surreal. But pretty dope, by government budget meeting standards.

Perhaps it’s a fitting tribute, since the meetings themselves are both innovative and collaborative. Three years ago county officials launched what they believe to be a first-of-its-kind, live-streaming meeting, with community members and government officials gathering at five remote sites around the county to participate simultaneously via Google Hangouts.

As county officials put it in a recent news release, “This innovative, award-winning meeting gives members of the public an opportunity to weigh in on the county’s $300 million budget, no matter where they live in Humboldt County.” You can even Tweet your comments and questions via @HumCoGov.

This year’s tech-facilitated conversation, scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 26 at 5:30 p.m., is bound to include debate over Measure Z, the public safety/essential services measure passed by voters last November. Click on over to the county website to see where your supervisor will be posted. And start rehearsing your verse on general fund reserves, deferred maintenance and contingencies. 



Helicopter Rescue After Boat Overturns on the Trinity

Andrew Goff / Tuesday, Feb. 17 @ 10:47 a.m. / Emergencies

Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office press release:

On 02-16-2015 at about 3:10 p.m. the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office received a cellular telephone call, regarding a boating accident on the Trinity River near Sugar Bowl Ranch, Willow Creek. It was reported a boat which launched at the rodeo grounds in Hoopa had overturned on the Trinity River near the Sugar Bowl Ranch and sank. The boat contained 4 victims, two males ages 56 and 25 along with two females ages 47 and 65.

One of the male victims age 25 was able to climb up the cliff from the river to call for help for the other (3) three victims. The other (3) three victims, became stuck on a cliff about 100 feet above the river. They were unable to climb down or up from the cliff, because of the rugged terrain.

Emergency personnel consisting of the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office, United States Forest Service and members of the Salyer volunteer Fire Department immediately responded to the scene. Once the emergency personnel were on scene it was determined the best course of rescue would be a helicopter.

A CHP helicopter from Redding then responded to the scene. A CHP helicopter pilot utilized a rescue officer, who was attached to the helicopter by a rope. The rescue officer was lowered to the victims on the cliff by the helicopter. The rescue officer was able to place a harness on each victim. Each victim was then separately lifted to safety by the helicopter.

The victims were treated for any possible injuries by an ambulance which was staged at the Willow Creek airport. The victim’s only received small cuts, bruising and slight hypothermia from their ordeal. The victims did not need hospitalization for their injuries.

Anyone with information for the Sheriff’s Office regarding this case or related criminal activity is encouraged to call the Sheriff’s Office at 707-445-7251 or the Sheriff’s Office Crime Tip line at 707-268-2539.



OBITUARY: Thomas Joseph, 1943-2015

LoCO Staff / Tuesday, Feb. 17 @ 8:23 a.m. / Obits

Thomas Harmy Joseph Sr. was born October 1, 1943 in Fresno, California. As a Shoshoni/Pauite from Lone Pine, Tom embraced the beliefs and philosophies of his people. He dedicated his life to advocating for Indian rights, connecting to the natural environment, protecting his country, living a healthy spiritual life, and caretaking his children and grandchildren.

Tom’s advocacy began as a student at UCLA, when he brought a group of students to participate in the occupation of Alcatraz. As a consultant for the inter-tribal council for the State of California, he lobbied in Washington, D.C., to protect the inherent rights of Indian people. He also collaborated with the Black Panthers during the civil rights movement. In 1978, he met his wife, Patricia, while they were both fighting the fish wars to maintain inherent fishing rights on the Klamath River. Tom loved to work with Indian people and traveled all over the country. He ran a recovery home in Lone Pine, California; he assisted youth in counseling and recovery in Canada; and he worked in forestry in Idaho.

Tom also had a sincere relationship with the natural environment. He loved to camp, hike, swim, hunt, gather, and fish. He knew how to be self-sufficient and he and his family could survive for months off of natural resources. Most importantly, Tom had a deep respect for the environment and talked to his children about the importance of being stewards of the land.

Tom treasured his service to his country as a Vietnam Veteran. He earned a national defense service medal, a Vietnam service medal with one star, a Vietnam campaign medal, a Presidential unit citation, a rifle sharp shooter badge, a pistol sharp shooter badge and a good conduct medal.

Tom had a strong connection to multiple forms of spirituality, including his love for the Latter Day Saint church. He was proud that he received a full-ride scholarship to Brigham Young University to play football and he shared stories of his honorable mission that he served in Arizona. Throughout his life, he maintained a relationship to the LDS church. He held priesthood and was temple-worthy. In addition, he cherished his children and grandchildren’s participation in the local ceremonies of the Hupa, Yurok, and Karuk peoples. On many occasions, he would shed tears of joy and pride when his children and grandchildren would sing. He valued the family and community sweats and always felt cleansed, balanced and healthy afterwards. Tom looked forward to the many trips he took to his home to visit family and to participate in ceremonies.

In Tom’s latter years, he advocated for youth; he was sought for guidance; and he took care of his children and grandchildren. Tom was known for his strength, kind heart, eloquence, humility, and hospitality. However, he often regarded his greatest accomplishment as his children and his grandchildren. He loved watching them play sports, participate in youth activities, take leadership roles, and make a difference in their communities. He was most proud of his children and grandchildren’s love and value for each other. His wish was that they continue to communicate with each other, guide each other, support each other, and respect each other.

He is preceded in death by his mother, Martha Jefferson; his father, Orval Joseph; his uncle Richie Joseph; and his aunt Dorothy Joseph.

He is survived by his wife, Patricia Joseph; his children Onna Joseph, Bessie Ann and Ben Shorty, Eric and Brandy Joseph, Mikyo Jackson, Silischitawn Jackson, Nah-tes and Rachel Jackson, Thomas Joseph Jr., Kee-yeh’ Joseph, Kin-sin-ta Joseph, and Kisdyante Joseph; his grandchildren, Winter Lyons, Napooi Shorty, Chee Shorty, Rotah Shorty, Keduescha Jackson, Lacey Mae Jackson, Quincy Jackson, Sarah Lewis, Brycee Hostler, Jonda Hostler, Nah-tes Jackson, Taryete Jackson, and David Jackson; his siblings, Loren Joseph, Melvin Joseph, Linda Joseph, Robert Joseph, Callie and Walt Lara, Holly and Malcolm Frederick, Kathy and Richie McClellan, Steve Hostler, and Cheri Buck; and his numerous nieces, nephews, family and friends from all over the country.

Pallbearers are his sons Mikyo Jackson, Nah-Tes Jackson, Silichitawn Jackson, Eric Joseph, Thomas Joseph Jr. and Grandsons, the Shorty Boys, Nah-Tes Jackson and his brothers Loren Joseph, Robert Joseph, and Melvin Joseph.

Services will be held at the Yurok Veteran’s Cemetery in Tule Creek, California at 1 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 20th. A reception will follow at the American Legion Hall in Hoopa, California.

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The above obituary was submitted by Thomas Joseph’s family. The Lost Coast Outpost runs obituaries of Humboldt County residents at no charge. Email news@lostcoastoutpost.com.