Woman Arrested for Saturday’s Homicide in Arcata Released From Jail

Hank Sims / Thursday, May 14 @ 5:17 p.m. / Crime

A woman who was arrested after Saturday night’s “marijuana-related robbery” that left one dead in an Arcata neighborhood has been released from jail.

According to jail records, Kimberly Lyn Steele, who was arrested at her Samoa home shortly after the incident in Arcata’s Sunset neighborhood, was set free yesterday shortly after noon.

Hours later, the Arcata Police Department and the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office raided a location at the Bear River Rancheria and took Billy Joe Giddings into custody. He and Robert Louis Huntzinger are still in jail facing murder and robbery charges.

Tom Chapman, Arcata chief of police, told the Outpost that his office and the district attorney were still reviewing evidence against Steele, and that they are still contemplating potential charges in connection with Saturday night’s events.

“[This] doesn’t mean the book is closed on Kimberley Steele,” Chapman said. “Not at all.”



Another Homicide Arrest Today; Sheriff’s Office Books One for Ganfield Slaying

Hank Sims / Thursday, May 14 @ 4:20 p.m. / Crime



From the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office:


On 05-14-2015 at 1:50 p.m. the Eureka Police Department conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle that was being driven by Jonas Randall Semore, age 42, at Harris and Summer Street, Eureka. Semore was detained by the Eureka Police Department.

The Eureka Police Department was aware that the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office considered Semore a person of interest in the homicide investigation of [David] Ganfield. The Eureka Police Department then contacted Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Detectives and advised them that Semore was detained. The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Detective requested that Semore be placed under arrest for the murder of David Ganfield.

Semore was then placed under arrest by the Eureka Police Department for homicide. Semore was transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility where he was booked for homicide and his bail was set at one million dollars.

This homicide investigation is still under investigation by Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Detectives.


After a Winter in Tahoe Fattening Up, Orphaned Bear Cubs Get Released Near Hoopa

Ryan Burns / Thursday, May 14 @ 3:54 p.m. / Animals , Feel Good , wildlife

Remember this poor little fella?

Photo by Allie Hostler, Two Rivers Tribune. Click to make it huge.

The little, abandoned bear cub who climbed the backstop at Hoopa Valley High on Dec. 30 has spent the last four and a half months putting on weight at Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care, and today’s the day he gets released back in the wilderness.

The cub, who was given the name Hoopa, was joined at the care center by another orphaned cub from Humboldt, named Salyer. Hoopa (a male) arrived at the care center on New Year’s Eve weighing just 20 pounds. There he joined Salyer (a female), who’d arrived a week earlier weighing 24 pounds.

Tom Millham, secretary/treasurer of Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care, said the cubs should have weighed at least 50 to 60 pounds at that time of year. “They were severely underweight,” Millham said. “Had we tried to put them into hibernation they probably would have died because they just didn’t have enough body fat.’

The care center was given instructions by officials with California Department of Fish and Wildlife to fatten the cubs up, which wasn’t a problem. “My wife is a very good cook,” Millham said. The cubs have since gained 48 pounds each, eating apples, watermelon, grapes, pears, fish, lettuce, avocado — “they love avocado,” Millham said.

The cubs were loaded into a bear cage hitched to the back of a truck this morning and driven back to Hoopa to be released. “They should be there right now,” Millham said at about 3:30 this afternoon. Asked if the cubs will be able to fend for themselves after a season in captivity, Millham said it won’t be a problem. The cubs scampered away anytime someone came into their enclosure, and care center workers took measures to teach them lessons that would normally come from their moms. For example, before feeding the cubs fish they’d place the fish in water so the cubs make the association. Mostly, though, instinct will take over, Millham said.

“We feel very confident that they’re not going to go near humans, no matter what,” he said.

Here are some pics of the cubs leaving the care center.

We believe that’s Hoopa on the right. Photo courtesy Tahoe Wildlife Care.

Road trip! Photo courtesy Tahoe Wildlife Care.

Slight Chance of Thunderstorms in Coastal Humboldt Today

Andrew Goff / Thursday, May 14 @ 1:53 p.m. / Weather

The rumble you hear this evening may not necessarily be coming from LoCO’s Thunderdome. The Eureka arm of the US National Weather Service predicts scattered thunderstorms for Northwest California’s interior beginning this afternoon. Additionally, NWS says there’s a slight chance that those storms could stray out toward the coast. 

“When thunder roars, go indoors,” rhymes NWS in the graphic below. They make it easy for you to remember. It’s up to you to alter your life.

EPD Unearths Hoard of Suspected Stolen Jewelry, Seeks Rightful Owners

Hank Sims / Thursday, May 14 @ 1:08 p.m. / Crime

From the Eureka Police Department:

The POP team recovered this suspected stolen property from a storage unit on May 4th. We are hoping to find an owner. If you believe this property is yours, please call Detective Sopoaga at (707) 441-4357. Have a police report number available from when you reported the items stolen and if possible a way to identify that the property is yours. Please only call about the pictured items. Thank you




Wildfire Near Benbow This Morning; Calfire Warns of Bad Year to Come

Hank Sims / Thursday, May 14 @ 11:07 a.m. / Fire!

A controlled burn in the Benbow area got out of control this morning, leading to a wildfire blaze that Calfire was able to contain to a quarter of an acre.

The agency took to Twitter to issue a warning. Three years of drought, plus the expected hotter than usual summer — though what is usual, anymore? — add up to the likelihood of a very active fire season to come.

Over 40 Cases of Whooping Cough So Far This Year; Vaccinate Your Damn Kids, Says County Health Department

Hank Sims / Thursday, May 14 @ 10:51 a.m. / Health

From the Humboldt County Department of Heath and Human Services:

In May, Humboldt County will join more than 2,000 U.S. communities for National Toddler Immunization Month to celebrate vaccination’s critical role in protecting children and underscore the importance of fully immunizing children against diseases like whooping cough and measles.

Pertussis sufferer. From Wikimedia.

These vaccine-preventable diseases were widespread in California last year. In Humboldt County, 141 cases of whooping cough were reported in 2014, with another 41 cases reported already this year. And while there was only one reported case of measles in the county last year, a large multi-state measles outbreak started at Disneyland and spread to seven additional states and two countries.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC,) there have been 136 cases of measles reported in California since December 2014 with two additional cases reported in April unrelated to the Disneyland outbreak.

Health officials believe timely immunization could have reduced these numbers. “Too many parents dealt with missed work and the trauma of their child being ill or even hospitalized,” said Susan Buckley, public health director for the Humboldt County Department of Health & Human Services. “We should not risk children’s health when vaccines are widely available.”

The CDC says vaccines are important, particularly against measles:

  • Measles is still common in many parts of the world including some countries in Europe, Asia, the Pacific and Africa.
  • The majority of people who get measles are unvaccinated.
  • Travelers with measles continue to bring the disease into the U.S.
  • Measles can spread when it reaches a community in the U.S. where there may be groups of unvaccinated people.

“Protecting our children against vaccine-preventable disease like whooping cough or measles is every parent’s responsibility,” said DHHS Immunization Coordinator Susan Wardrip, RN. “Delaying or avoiding immunization can have tragic consequences.”

Wardrip urges parents to make an appointment now with their health care provider. ”Routine infant and toddler immunizations will protect against serious illness in the future, and it’s something easy all parents can do for their children.”

For more information about immunizations, contact Humboldt County Public Health at 707-268-2108.