Heads Up! Highway 299 Will be Closed for a Few Hours Tomorrow as Caltrans Blows More Stuff Up at Big French Creek

Hank Sims / Thursday, April 13 @ 11:07 a.m. / Transportation

Big French Creek Slide as of March 14. Photo: Caltrans.

Big French Creek, you will recall, is that slide-prone section of Highway 299 between Willow Creek and Weaverville. It’ll be shut down for a few hours tomorrow as Big Orange gets its boom on.

From Caltrans District Two:


The route will be closed for blasting of large rock on Friday, April 14, 2017 between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.Please note the road will be open as usual before and after the blasting, on top of the hour. AND, there is the possibility of canceling this blasting due to rain.

Just as a reminder, here is our REGULAR SCHEDULE:
Monday to Saturday 

• Single-time openings on the hour from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm every day. Motorists must be in line on the hour in order to pass through the construction area, one-way traffic control with minimum delays and overnight from 6:00 pm to 6:00 am with up to 30 minute delays, one-way traffic control.


• Open all day from Sunday at 6:00 am throughout the day and overnight to Monday at 6:00 am, one-way traffic control, with a maximum of 30-minute delays.

All detour openings are subject to change at any time due to weather conditions or for safety reasons. 


(UPDATE) Who Steals a Pink, Breast Cancer Awareness-Promoting Tow Truck?

Andrew Goff / Thursday, April 13 @ 9:49 a.m. / Crime

California Highway Patrol provides more information on the incident:


On April 13, 2017 at approximately 3:15 AM, a flat bed tow truck, owned by Buddy’s Auto Center, was a completing a service call on Hwy 96 north of Hoopa in Humboldt County. The tow truck was carrying a Dodge pickup and pulling an enclosed trailer containing two snowmobiles. The driver of the tow truck stopped for a chainsaw that was in the roadway and was confronted by two subjects reported as carrying firearms. One of the subjects discharged a round from a handgun and demanded the occupants of the tow truck get out.

The suspects were described as wearing dark clothing and dark masks. The tow truck driver and passenger complied and were unharmed. The suspects got into the tow truck and fled the scene traveling southbound on Hwy 96 towards Hoopa.

The California Highway Patrol and the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Department responded personnel to the scene. At approximately 8:30 AM, a US Forest Service crew reported having located the tow truck, which was on fire, on upper Mill Creek Rd. California Highway Patrol officers responded to the scene on Mill Creek Rd. The tow truck and Dodge pick-up were recovered. The tow truck sustained fire damage. The trailer and snowmobiles are still missing.

Anyone with information is requested to contact the California Highway Patrol.

  • Trailer Information: 2007 Haulmark 6x10 fully enclosed trailer, black with chrome wheel wells, California License plate 4KR8700
  • Snowmobile #1:  2011 Skidoo Snowmobile Summit Everest 800, black, License plate 24HE95
  • Snowmboile #2 : information pending

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UPDATE, 11:38 a.m.: According to posts in the Facebook group Humboldt Thieves the truck was found after having been set on fire. 

Original Post: Well, that’s what we’d like to find out. 

Early this morning a driver with Willow Creek-based Buddy’s Towing was returning from a job in the Hoopa area when he was stopped by two men with guns who forced him out of the vehicle, according to the driver’s girlfriend Stacy Schmidt. Oh, the vehicle in question just happens to be painted bright pink, an attempt to raise breast cancer awareness. 

Schmidt tells the Outpost that the driver is OK but that the truck is still missing. The California Highway Patrol is currently investigating, so, if you see a bright pink tow truck you should probably give them a call at 822-5981.

(VIDEO) KNITTING FOR A CAUSE: A Eureka Business is Calling All Knitters to Help Make 100 Pairs of Quality Wool Socks for the Homeless

Sierra Jenkins / Thursday, April 13 @ 6:53 a.m. / LoCO Video Reports

Click video to play. Problems on iPhone? Turn your phone sideways.

Socks are a necessity when it comes to protecting your feet. But for those living on the streets, socks are a difficult item to keep dry and clean, so they’re often tossed to the wayside. This unfortunately becomes a continuous cycle of needing more socks, thus making them one of the most requested items by the homeless.

So Laura Lamers, owner of the NorthCoast Knittery in Eureka, is spearheading an effort to knit one hundred pairs of good quality socks for the homeless before September. The socks will then go to the Eureka Rescue Mission.

“The difference is a lot of people donate socks or buy them, but most of those are made of acrylic or unnatural fibers. So the water doesn’t wick away,” she said. “So we’re making more of a boot sock, the sock is thicker and it’s a made of a thicker yarn — 100% super wash wool. So the water will wick away, last longer and not be a throwaway item.”

Lamers teaches a wide variety of knitting classes and on Tuesday’s from 12 to 2 offers a free social gathering called “Knitting with Laura,” where you can knit or crochet anything your heart desires and she’ll give you pointers. But this is also the time knitters can come make the socks for the homeless. The knittery will provide the pattern, instruction, and a deal on the yarn.

In this LoCO Video Report we’ll explain more about the effort, how knitting various items for the homeless has become a tradition for the NorthCoast Knittery, and how Lamers is even getting people out-of-state to participate.

OBITUARY: Serenity Hope Cross, 2016-2017

LoCO Staff / Wednesday, April 12 @ 10 a.m. / Obits


Serenity Hope Cross passed in her sleep on April 4, 2017 in Crescent City. Serenity was born to Damon and Heather Cross on January 8, 2016 in Arcata. Serenity was a member of the Hoopa Valley Tribe.

Serenity was known as “mommy’s little sidekick” and “pretty mama.” She loved playing with her big brother David and big sister Kylie and her many cousins. She was an easy going baby with a smile that could brighten anyone’s day.

Serenity is preceded in death by her paternal grandfather David Leslie Cross, maternal grandfather Ronald Keith Brazil and aunt Rebecca Robyn Brazil.

She is survived by her parents, Damon and Heather Cross, siblings David and Kylie, Grandmothers Dorcas Brazil (John Martinez) and Lila Lucero, Uncle Aaron Cross (Rachelle Thomas), Aunts Kathie Brazil (Josh Cabodi), Leah Christian (Steve),  Nena Macias (Eugene Colegrove) and  Shaleen Carlson (Bobby) and numerous cousins.

Funeral services will take place on April 12th, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. at the Assembly of God Church in Hoopa, and will be officiated by Boyd Ferris and Joseph Marshall. Interment will be at the Hoopa Tribal Cemetery following the funeral services. Immediately following will be a reception at the American Legion Hall #415 in Hoopa.

Pall Bearers are Aaron Cross, Michael “Theka” Teodecki, Josh Cabodi and Steve Christian.

Honorary Pall Bearers are Clyde Moon, Desmond Oliver, Guy Baldy, John Martinez, Josh McKnight, Emil Marshall, Ron Wormouth, Mike Perry, Glen Moore, David Hostler and Chance Carpenter.

We may have missed many, many friends and family during this difficult time, and for that we deeply apologize. 

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The obituary above was submitted by Serenity’s family. The Lost Coast Outpost runs obituaries of Humboldt County residents at no charge. See guidelines here.

ONE LAW AT A TIME: Petaluma Man Arrested in Downtown Garberville For Driving Without a License, Carrying 23 Pounds in the Back Seat

Hank Sims / Wednesday, April 12 @ 10 a.m. / Crime

From the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office:

On Wednesday, April 12, 2017 at about 0247 hours, Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Garberville units conducted a traffic stop on Sprowel Creek at Redwood Drive, Garberville. Once deputies approached the vehicle a strong odor of marijuana was detected. During an investigative search, approximately 23 pounds of packaged marijuana bud was located on the rear passenger’s seat.

The driver of the vehicle was identified as Luom Andrew Tran, age 29 of Petaluma. Tran claimed to have a medical marijuana recommendation, but it was unable to be verified. Tran was taken into custody and later booked into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility on possession for sales, transportation and driving without a license. 

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.  

Gonsea Restaurant Reopens Five Days After Public Health Shut It Down

Ryan Burns / Tuesday, April 11 @ 6:03 p.m. / Health

Image from Gonsea’s website.

Five days after being forcibly closed for numerous health code violations, Eureka’s Gonsea restaurant has been cleared to reopen following a new inspection by county officials. 

The violations responsible for closing the restaurant last week included a fly infestation, improper food storage and a lack of adequate hand-washing by employees. Read last week’s story for details.

But the latest inspection, which took place this morning, found everything to be in ship shape. Food was properly stored; hot and cold units were suitably hot and cold; employees were washing their hands as required; work surfaces and utensils were clean; and food was being thawed properly.

Click here to read the full report in pdf form.

Attorney Allison Jackson Files $1.44 Million Claim Against County Over Adult Protective Services Case

Ryan Burns / Tuesday, April 11 @ 5:38 p.m. / Courts

Allison Jackson, an attorney with Eureka’s Harland Law Firm, has filed a claim for $1.44 million in damages against the county on behalf of her client, Judith Magney. Magney, you may recall, is the elderly woman who fought the county over custody of her dying husband, Dick Magney, back in 2015. 

As the Outpost previously reported, Dick Magney had signed an advance directive granting his wife the power to make health care decisions when he was unable to do so. As his health deteriorated in early 2015, his wife Judy and his primary doctor at St. Joseph Hospital wanted him to receive only palliative care. But Deputy County Counsel Blair Angus petitioned the court to grant the county conservatorship of Dick Magney, arguing that it was unclear whether Judy Magney was following her husband’s wishes. 

A court battle ensued, and a Humboldt County Superior Court judge issued a temporary order for medical intervention, as requested by the county. But that decision was later overturned by a three-judge panel of the First District Court of Appeals, which issued a scathing decision lambasting the county for omitting relevant information, misrepresenting the law and facts of the case and making factual assertions based on “multiple levels of hearsay” and “unsupported by any evidence.”

In an interview this week, Humboldt County Counsel Jeffrey Blanck said he disagreed with the decision and felt the judges “went overboard in their criticism.” He called the ruling “disparaging” and said, “I don’t see the need for that, in this case.”

The county sought to have that decision de-published, to no avail. Now, Allison Jackson is pursuing a tort claim totaling $1.44 million, including nearly $288,000 in court costs and medical expenses (the appellate court already granted Magney court costs) and more than $1.15 million in punitive damages for alleged civil rights violations. 

In the claim Jackson accuses the county of numerous offenses including medical battery, false imprisonment, deliberately misleading the court, withholding and manipulating evidence, conspiring to violate civil rights, negligence, elder abuse and more.

In addition to naming the County Counsel’s Office, Adult Protective Services and the Public Guardian Office, Jackson’s claim names nine individual county employees, including Blanck and Angus, alleging that they’re personally responsible for the violations

Blanck said the county has hired outside counsel to deal with the claim, though he used a first person plural pronoun in describing what comes next. “We’ll be analyzing the claim [to] see if we find any merit in any of her allegations,” he said.

The county has 45 days from the date the claim was filed to either deny or accept it, a period that in this case will end May 12. If the county doesn’t respond to the claim it will be denied by default, but Blanck said the county plans on responding. However, he did suggest that it’s unlikely they’ll immediately agree to the full amount.

“The claim was for over $1 million,” Blanck said. “As a general rule it’s not something where we’d say, ‘Fine, we’ll write you a check.’ That’s a lot of money.” County officials will look at how Jackson arrived at the figure she’s requesting and then determine what they think the claim is worth, “if anything,” Blanck said.