A week ago a local family’s home burnt into a hollowed out hulk. Heath Hilton, his three children, and his fiancee, Jessica Martella, had just been grieving the death of Hilton’s mother. They were at her home cleaning with relatives, their three dogs at play back in their Manila yard when the blaze roared through the building taking nearly everything.
When fire crews arrived and began trying to enter the structure, Hilton said, one dog got past the fire personnel and ran in. “He was looking for us,” Hilton believes. The floor was damaged by the fire and the little dog fell through. “He got 3rd degree burns,” Hilton said. “The front pads on feet got melted off. He might lose one of his eyes. It is all hazed over.”
Relatives from out of town staying at his home because of Hilton’s mother’s death lost their luggage in the flames. Hilton and his family lost nearly everything including some precious items of his mother’s that had already been brought to his place.
Hilton’s employers have been very helpful. He said, “Blue Lake Rancheria put us up in one of the tribal houses. They’ve been absolutely amazing. They put beds and pots and pans and toiletries [in the new place.] I’m glad to have a roof over our head.”
Nonetheless, the family with two girls (ages 13 and 15) and an 18-year-old boy lost nearly everything. Co-workers and friends have been rallying to help. A gofundme site has been started here for anyone seeking to help the family pay for bills. There is also a rummage and bake sale this Saturday. See poster below.
Humboldt County Superior Court Calendar: Today
13150 Mm101 (Humboldt office): Traffic Hazard
0 Fernbridge St (Humboldt office): Report of Fire
2350 Mm101 (Crescent City office): Request CalTrans Notify
6941 Mm101 (Garberville office): Request CalTrans Notify
8470 Mm101 (Humboldt office): CLOSURE of a Road
Mad River Union: Big changes in McKinleyville
Mad River Union: Crabs mix it up with PufCaps, Colt 45s
KINS: AM News 073114
KINS: Ron Pierre – CC073114
Andrew Goff / Tuesday, July 29 @ 4:58 p.m. / Crime
(Above, L to R: Chiemwichitra, Wilkins, Nunez, Olivo)
Eureka Police Department press release:
On 07/28/14, detectives from the Eureka Police Departments Problem Oriented Policing Unit (POP) conducted a probation search at an apartment building in the 1800 block of “A” Street in Eureka. Upon arrival, detectives encountered six adult subjects and one juvenile.
As a result of the search, Timothy Chiemwichitra (28), Joe Olivo (35), Mario Nunez (28) and Vanessa Wilkins (25) were taken into custody and transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility for various violations.
Chiemwichitra was booked for being a Felon in Possession of a Firearm and Probation Violations. Olivo was booked for being a Felon in Possession of a Firearm and Parole Violations. Nunez was booked for being a Felon in Possession of a Firearm, Possession of Methamphetamine, Possession of Heroin and Probation Violations. Wilkins was booked for four outstanding warrants.
*Anyone with information concerning suspected drug activity, or other nuisances occurring in the City of Eureka is encouraged to call the Problem Oriented Policing Unit at (707) 441-4373.
Andrew Goff / Tuesday, July 29 @ 3:40 p.m. / Crime
Arcata Police Department press release:
On 07/26/2014, at approximately 1:00 am, the Arcata Police Department received the report of a gunshot followed by a person yelling for help in the Wiley Court area of Sunny Brae.
Officers responded to the area and contacted a subject who reported an individual known to him, along with another man, had come to the residence to discuss a business matter. During the course of the conversation both guests produced handguns and demanded money. One of the residents fled out a door and one of the suspects pursued. The two became involved in a struggle outside the home and the suspect’s firearm discharged. The bullet from the gun passed through the resident’s shirt creasing his abdomen. Both suspects then fled on foot.
The resident of the home declined medical attention.
The suspect who fired the shot was identified as Joel Johnston, 24 of Willow Creek. The second suspect was described as a white male adult, 5’8” tall, with brown hair.
Anyone with information as to Johnston’s whereabouts, or the identity of the second suspect, is asked to call the Arcata Police Department at 822-2428
Andrew Goff / Tuesday, July 29 @ 3:18 p.m. / Humboldt Approved
Congrats go out to power house Blue Rhythm Revue lead singer Samantha Toste who rallied the troops with her siren song and came out on top of last week’s “Best Humboldt Singer” poll. Your Lost Coast Outpost once foolishly entered a karaoke contest against her. She came out significantly wealthier. We drank beer.
But a new week means a new round of Humboldt Approved here on LoCO. Uh, oh! We’re smack dab in the middle of Hollywood summer blockbuster explodefest 2014 which is all the tie-in we need for this week’s category. Tell us, Humboldt, where do you most like to stare at the stars? Which is Humboldt’s best movie theatre?
You decide what aspects of your cinema experience are most important, whether it’s the building’s geography, technology, history, aesthetic or candy selection. We trust the LoCO commentariat to sort this out.
Below is your weekly reminder on how to make sure your vote counts:
To vote, look through the comments of this Humboldt Approved poll. If someone has already nominated the answer you would give for this week’s category, click the upvote arrow. If you don’t see your desired Humboldt Approved answer nominate it in a comment for others to upvote. (Please be careful to not duplicate answers; redundant answers will be deleted and potential associated upvotes will be lost.) Feel free to make your case by replying to/cheering on the answer you love most, but again the number by the arrows on the initial nomination is what counts.
You can vote for as many nominees as you deem worthy but, of course, the more you do that the more watered down your initial vote becomes. That’s math.
We reserve the right to delete superfluous/lame comments that make the voting/comment section hard to sift through. Please try not to get offended when your comment battle reply is deleted. We’re trying to do something here.
While many weeks we look for two winners — one winner from the metropolises of Eureka and Arcata, and one from Humboldt’s smaller communities — due to the nature of this category, this time we’re gonna limit it to one. Voting closes next Friday at noon and soon after a winner will be declared.
Slug it out now, please.
Andrew Goff / Tuesday, July 29 @ 2:33 p.m. /
Arcata Police Department press release:
On 07/26/2014, at approximately 0230 hrs, the Arcata Police Department received a 911 call from a subject reporting he had just been assaulted by two men. The caller indicated he was currently in the 800 Blk of 16th Street.
While responding to the assault call, Arcata Police received a second call reporting an injury traffic collision in the 1600 Blk of G St.
Officers responded to both locations and quickly determined the two subjects involved in the assault call were the same men involved in the traffic collision. The injuries reported to be associated with the collision were in fact stab wounds received during the assault on 16th St.
All three men were transported by ambulance to the Mad River Community Hospital. Two of the men, including one of the men who had been stabbed were treated and released. The third man had significant stab wounds requiring emergency surgery. He is now in stable condition.
Further investigation revealed the two men who were stabbed, confronted the third man in the 800 Blk of 16th St where he was camping. An argument over the camping location ensued, which quickly turned violent. Two of the men began assaulting the third man, who produced a knife and defended himself against the attack.
The investigation is on-going and no arrests have been made at this time.
If you witnessed this assault, or have any additional information regarding the events leading up to the altercation, please contact the Arcata Police Department at 822-2428.
Hank Sims / Tuesday, July 29 @ 1:28 p.m. / Economy
Earlier this month, the county’s only USDA-approved slaughterhouse was again temporarily decertified after federal inspectors reported witnessing repeated acts of inhumane treatment of animals.
On July 2, Myrtletown’s Redwood Meat Company received a letter from the USDA’s Food Safety Inspection Service listing several instances of botched cattle slaughtering at the company’s “knocking” facility, where animals are stunned before being killed. The service said that it was withdrawing USDA certification of all Redwood Meat products due to the firm’s “continued failure to maintain or implement required controls to prevent the inhumane handling and slaughtering of livestock.”
It was the second time this year that federal regulators have suspended Redwood Meat’s USDA certification on these grounds. Back in March, the Food Safety Inspection Service similarly suspended Redwood Meat’s certification after inspectors witnessed a bungled lamb slaughter. The suspension was lifted (or “held in abeyance,” technically) after the company promised improvements, but the cost of such improvements led Redwood Meat to abandon a non-core aspect of its business – hog processing.
The suspension earlier this month – which was also lifted after a few days – was due to inhumane treatment of cattle, which is Redwood Meat’s core business. According to the Food Safety Inspection Service’s letter, an inspector was walking to the “knocking area” of the facility when he witnessed the following scene:
He saw [REDACTED], a plant employee, running past him to the management office to get more bullets for the rifle since the [REDACTED] had indicated they had run out of bullets. The FSIS Food Inspector observed a steer with his legs folded underneath and head upright, with a hole from the captive bolt gun located at the caudal (top) edge of the head. The animal was rhythmically breathing inside the knock box and was partially standing, so that it was not leaning against the sides of the knock box.
The FSIS Food Inspector asked [REDACTED], standing at the knocking box, if he was going to use the rifle to render the animal unconscious. The operator informed him that they did not have more bullets. The FSIS Food Inspector told the stunner operator to use one of the other three visible and available hand-held captive bolt guns to re-stun the animal. When the stunner operator utilized the captive bolt gun, this second stun attempt rendered the steer completely unconscious.
The letter notes that the botched execution violated federal law regarding the humane treatment of animals for slaughter, and it re-suspended USDA certification of the facility. It also noted several other pieces of substandard equipment in the facility that led to animals being injured or killed inhumanely, and one instance where plant personnel kicked two sheep in moving them out of a trailer.
This most recent suspension was again lifted on July 14, after the company agreed to a new list of facility improvements, including additional reporting requirements, new backup “knocking” equipment, and employee training on how to recognize whether or not a “knocked” animal has truly been stunned or killed.
The temporary suspension of Redwood Meat Company’s USDA certification affected the entire local cattle industry, which depends on a licensed local facility that can process beef for sale. Reached earlier today, Sarah Mora, co-owner of Humboldt Grassfed Beef, told the Outpost that she did not wish to speak to the details of the most recent suspension, which left her and other beef processors without a local slaughterhouse for a little over a week, but she did say that the closure underlined Redwood Meat’s importance to the local industry.
“It’s a critical infrastructural element that we need to have,” Mora said. She added that she hoped Redwood Meat’s management and the USDA inspectors could work together to ensure such suspensions do not happen again.
- Notice of Suspension (March 25)
- Notice of Suspension Held in Abeyance (March 27)
- Reinstatement of Notice of Suspension (July 2)
- Reinstatement of Notice of Suspension Held in Abeyance (July 14)