Marci Kitchen Will be Arraigned This Afternoon on Numerous Charges, Including Gross Vehicular Manslaughter, Sheriff’s Office Says

Hank Sims / Thursday, Sept. 15 @ 10:32 a.m. / Crime

From the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office:

On behalf of the Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office, the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office is providing the following information in regards to the arrest of Marcia Maelinda Kitchen, dob 8/27/1977, from Fortuna.

On Wednesday, September 14th Kitchen self-surrendered to the DA’s Office on a Ramey warrant. Kitchen was booked into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility at 8:09 p.m. for the following charges: gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, driving under the influence and causing bodily injury to another person, fleeing a crime scene, causing great bodily injury in commission of a felony, and for causing bodily injury or death to more than one victim while driving.

Her bail was set at $750,000 and was posted at 9:18 p.m.
Kitchen will be arraigned today, September 15th at 1:30 p.m. at the Humboldt County Superior Court.

Any further information regarding this case should be directed to the Humboldt County District Attorney.

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(PHOTOS) Eureka Police Swarm Local Mexican Restaurant, Top Off Water Glasses (Some Better Than Others)

Andrew Goff / Thursday, Sept. 15 @ 10 a.m. / Amateur Hour , @Eureka

Last night, Rita’s Mexican Grill on Fifth Street overcame the inexperience of its rookie wait staff to somehow become the center of Eureka’s midweek social universe. Numerous Eureka Police Department and City of Eureka officials schmoozed and served during the EPD at Your Service event, a fundraiser for the Eureka Block Party scheduled to spread mirth at Sequoia Park on Sept. 24.

Your Lost Coast Outpost endured the crowds, scarfed some grilled fish tacos and photo-documented the chaos. 

EPD Captain Brian Stephens gauges a young diner’s satisfaction

“I want a burrito THIS BIG.”

Got some cash? Tip master general Supervisor Virginia Bass has a jar for that

Councilmember Melinda Ciarabellini would like you to attend a block party, please

EPD greeters Terry Liles and Shawn Sopoaga

Facebook comment threads are safe once again

Unaware of the evening’s event, Christina Perkins went to Rita’s to celebrate her birthday and ended up receiving quite the Chief Andy Mills-led group serenade

# # #

Sadly, we end this fluffy post with some graphic photos of when waiting goes bad. At some point in the evening, EPD’s least experienced water pourer, Captain Steve Watson, interrupted LoCO columnist Matthew Owen’s lovely fiesta with Hezekiah Allen to attempt a high-risk aerial glass top off. What ensued was an unnecessary use of aqua force that we feel it is important for the public to see. Thankfully, it was only Matt’s wallet that got wet. This could have been much worse. 

Sad.



Marci Kitchen, Suspect in Death of Two Girls in Fortuna, Arrested on Vehicular Manslaughter Charges, Released on Bail

Hank Sims / Thursday, Sept. 15 @ 7:09 a.m. / Crime

Kitchen.

Marci Kitchen — the suspect in the hit-and-run death of two teenage girls, one her own daughter, on Eel River Drive in July — was arrested last night, according to this morning’s jail booking reports.

Kitchen was charged with vehicular manslaughter in a case filed by the District Attorney’s office. She made bail shortly after being booked into custody.

The case has gripped and frustrated the county since the incident, as police spent the last two months building a case against Kitchen while she remained a free woman. Through her attorneys, she declined to speak with the police unless they brought charges.

We will update when we know more.

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(PHOTOS) Well, It’s Gonna Be Pretty Hard to Miss Lost Coast Brewery Now

Andrew Goff / Wednesday, Sept. 14 @ 5:03 p.m. / Beer , Economy , @Eureka

Allpoints Signs’ Geoff Wills eyes a ‘BREW’

Henceforth, let it be known! The brewery tours are ‘–> that way. It is now impossible to not know that. 

If you were driving S. Broadway Wednesday, you may have noticed the beginnings of the big, bright new sign that will from this day forward attempt to lure motorists to a sudsy rendezvous at Lost Coast Brewery, Humboldt County’s largest craft brewery. What you may be wondering is, “Hey, what’s that thing gonna look like when it’s done!” Well, see below! 

LoCO caught up with LoCB owner Barbara Groom beneath her new signage this morning. Groom told us that, alas, tourist traffic at her state-of-the-art brewing facility had been less than desired since opening last summer. She needed a sign. So she started googling around for inspiration and ended up taking a liking to 1950s hotel signs. She got to doodling and later found a graphic artist to bring her doodles to life. 

“I thought it would be eye-catching. What we really need to do is get the tourists off the freeway so we can get some of their sales tax,” Groom said with a laugh.” Hopefully this will be flashy enough.”

The sign’s physical construction is the work of Eureka’s Allpoints Signs. While it’s not the biggest job they’ve undertaken, Allpoints’ owner Geoff Wills told us this is easily the most complex and custom. When complete, the sign will feature LED lighting within its retro TV frame center. 

According to Wills, the sign should be done next week. 



The County’s Opioid Use is Still Really High, But It’s Dropping

Ryan Burns / Wednesday, Sept. 14 @ 3:29 p.m. / Health Care

Image adapted from photo posted to Flickr by JosephLeonardo.

Back in January the Outpost reported that Humboldt County’s overdose death rate is more than twice the national average, in no small part due to our rampant use of opiates and opioids, including heroin and prescription painkillers. The post also explored some of the measures being taken by health care providers and public health officials in hopes of curbing excessive use.

Well, good news: The amount of opioids prescribed in Humboldt County is starting to decline. Locals are still receiving far more opioids than the most recently available state averages. But the numbers have started to move in the right direction.

For example, the number of opioid prescriptions per person has dipped from roughly 1.29 in 2010 to 1.14 in 2015 (the most recent data). For comparison’s sake, the state average in 2013 was 0.56 prescriptions per person, which means Humboldt is still getting more than twice the state’s per capita average of opioid prescriptions. 

(Note: The Outpost attempted to get statewide data for 2015, to compare apples to apples so to speak, but the system used to curate this data — called the Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System (CURES) — is operated by the California Department of Justice, which restricts the data even from county governments. “The data sharing agreement we have with CA Dept. of Justice prevents us from accessing other counties or statewide data,” Humboldt County Epidemiologist Ron Largusa told the Outpost via email.) 

Here’s another data point: In 2010 Humboldt County residents were prescribed the equivalent of 353 Vicodin per person, or almost one 5 mg pill per person per day. In 2015 that had dropped to the equivalent of 271 Vicodin per person. So we’ve dropped by about 23 percent in five years. That seems like a good thing, right? However, the state average (again, using the most recent data we’ve got) was 119 Vicodin per person, meaning we remain more than double the state average. 

Part of Humboldt County’s modest declines appear to be the result of prescriptions that are either less strong or shorter in duration. In 2010 the average prescription issued in Humboldt County came with the equivalent of about 275 Vicodin. By 2015 it was down to 238 Vicodin — 37 fewer pills and closer to the statewide 2013 average of 211 pills.

In the press release below, the Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Services explains some of the measures that have been taken to address this issue:

The amount of opioids prescribed in Humboldt County is going down. Opioids are a type of painkiller that can have serious side effects including overdose and death. Since 2009, more people have died from opioid overdose than car crashes in the United States, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has made fighting the opioid epidemic a public health priority.

According to the CDC, one in four people who are prescribed opioids for chronic pain develop issues with addiction. The CDC has released new prescribing guidelines to try to curb the epidemic.

Since 2010, the amount of opioids prescribed in Humboldt County has decreased by 23 percent. The number of opioid prescriptions per person has gone down 11 percent, from 128.6 to 114 prescriptions per 100 people. More Humboldt prescribers are using CURES, the California prescription drug monitoring system, which helps prevent prescription opiate misuse.

These reductions are due in part to the efforts of Rx Safe Humboldt, a community coalition focused on reducing harms from opioids.

Coalition members include local doctors and nurses, community members, pharmacists, public health and mental health professionals, and local organizations including the Humboldt Independent Practice Association (IPA).

Coalition efforts are focused on changing prescribing practices, providing alternative treatments for chronic pain, increasing access to medication assisted treatment, increasing access to the overdose antidote Naloxone, and providing safe ways to dispose of expired and used medications.

Rx Safe Humboldt created a resource guide with information on non-pharmaceutical approaches to pain management. The guide includes a list of providers for acupuncture, chiropractic work, strength training, massage and other non-pharmaceutical therapies. The guide is available at www.rxsafehumboldt.org/.

On Sept. 22, Rx Safe Humboldt will bring partners together to address Humboldt County’s opioid epidemic. The event will be at the Sequoia Conference Center and will include live streamed presentations and sessions from a statewide convening of opioid safety coalitions in Oakland. Topics include how to treat chronic pain, discussion of the opioid epidemic, and breakout sessions about law enforcement efforts, Naloxone and others.

To register for this event, [click this link].



Do-Gooding Neighbors Extinguish Kitchen Fire in Eureka

Andrew Goff / Wednesday, Sept. 14 @ 3:17 p.m. / Fire

Humboldt Bay Fire press release:

Today at 12:01 P.M. Humboldt Bay Fire responded to a reported structure fire at 30 Chope Street. Upon arrival, fire personnel found light smoke coming from an upstairs apartment. Fire personnel investigated further and found that a cooking fire had occurred on the stove and had started to ignite nearby cabinets.

When the fire ignited, the tenant immediately evacuated the apartment and notified neighbors of the fire. All occupants had evacuated the apartments and were gathered safely away from the building. The tenant also notified the fire department. Neighbors retrieved their fire extinguishers and extinguished the fire on the cabinets and stove prior to Humboldt Bay Fire’s arrival. Had it not been for the quick action of the neighbors, this fire would have been much more significant. The fire department remained on scene to aid with smoke removal.

Although a fire occurred, there were no injuries and property damage was limited due to the property management company’s adherence to fire codes, the tenant remaining in attendance at the stove while cooking, the quick action of neighbors, and early notification of the fire department. All apartment buildings of three or more units are required to have a fire extinguisher on each level within 75 feet of travel.

The cause of the fire was attributed to a buildup of grease from normal use under the surface of the stovetop. Humboldt Bay Fire would like to remind everyone to take the extra time to clean under the stovetop regularly. Humboldt Bay Fire also provides fire extinguisher training, free of charge. If interested, please contact us at (707) 441-4000.




INTRODUCING: Sierra Jenkins, the Outpost’s New Videographic Multimedia Correspondent

Hank Sims / Wednesday, Sept. 14 @ 1:40 p.m. / Housekeeping

Lost Coast Outpost video correspondent Sierra Jenkins goes straight to the source to get you the news before it happens. Photo: Andrew Goff.

Today the Lost Coast Outpost is thrilled to launch the internet’s newest feature: Sierra Jenkins, our newest staff member and only video correspondent.

Welcome, Sierra! 

What is she going to be doing around here? How will she contribute to the LoCO experience? Well, we will be figuring out the fine points and specifics as we go along, but broadly speaking Jenkins will be tasked with producing video for the Outpost and its readers — a skill that none of the rest of us dummies even remotely possess.

A little bit more specifically: We envision Jenkins making regular short movies about Humboldt County society and the lives of its citizens. We want to make the sort of things you might drop into a time capsule to show people 75 years from now: This is what it was like in this strange, specific place, at this unusual point in its history. Hopefully the Outpost — and the internet, generally — will provide her with a broader canvas to do the work she was born to do. 

Most of Humboldt knows Jenkins through her work over the last two years as a KIEM News Channel 3 reporter and assignment editor. She covered all sorts of stories while at KIEM — murder trials, the Palco Marsh evictions, civic matters large and small — but some of her favorite stories were those in which she delved deep on a particular matter. She produced several two-part features at KIEM — “Growing Green,” a look at Arcata’s Medical Marijuana Innovation Zone; “Pawn Shops: The Real Deal,” a peek inside Eureka’s secondhand pawn emporiums; and more.

Jenkins is a graduate of the University of Texas-Arlington, where she majored in broadcast journalism. She lives in Eureka with her boyfriend, a Humboldt County native. I will say, personally, that she has an extremely keen and inquisitive mind. She seems restlessly curious about everyone and everything. She walked in here with a list of about 30 little movies she wanted to make — jotted down in a notepad the night before, if I understand it right. About half of her pitches were really, really good, and the other half were jaw-droppingly amazing.

Sierra Jenkins, everyone! 

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