It is Time, Once Again, For SOHUM’S MOST WANTED

Hank Sims / Tuesday, Oct. 25 @ 3:38 p.m. / Crime

Many local police agencies have experimented with MOST WANTED posters at one time or another, before drifting away and losing interest. We recall ones from the Eureka Police Department and the Arcata Police Department, as well as various subsets of the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office.

For whatever reason, the only MOST WANTED poster with any staying power is SoHUM’s MOST WANTED. We put it down to an enterprising resident sergeant with some latitude from HQ. 

That sergeant just released his updated poster, featuring six outstanding felony warrant suspects. He writes, as always:

If you have any information regarding the whereabouts of these wanted fugitives, contact the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office at 707-445-7251. You can also report anonymously to Sheriff’s Office Garberville Station at 707-923-2761.

So that’s what to do if you see one of the Most Wanted, below.

Marcus Allen Asbury
Felony Warrant
Unlawful Sex with Minor

Zachary Brown
Felony Warrant
Battery with Serious Injury

Brian Cameron Wilson
Felony Warrant
PRCS Violation

Thomas Caswell Owens
Felony Warrant
Receiving Stolen Property

Daniel Lewis Nolen
Felony Warrant
Transport / Sell Narcotics

Aaron Ashley Arlotta
Felony Warrant
Domestic Violence


Don’t Fall For the Jury Duty Phone Scam That Might Come From (707) 639-8020

Ryan Burns / Tuesday, Oct. 25 @ 3:11 p.m. / Crime

We got a call early this afternoon from Eureka resident Kathleen Edmonds who wanted to alert us to a phone scam targeting Humboldt County residents. Edwards said she’d received a call from people claiming to be with the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office. They told her she had two warrants against her for failure to show up for jury duty.

The scammers told Edwards she needed to pay them $495 to clear one warrant and $475 for the other.

“They said I couldn’t use an ATM card or a credit card; I had to go to Rite-Aid and buy a MoneyPak,” Edwards said. MoneyPaks are essentially prepaid cash cards.

“I’m 66 so they probably think I’m old and stupid,” Edwards added. “I kept asking if I could go down [to the courthouse] and pay it. They hemmed and hawed. They said I couldn’t talk to them or see them.”

The scammers told Edwards the money would go to the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Treasury Department. After the initial conversation Edwards called them back on the number they had provided: (707) 639-8020. “They answered, ‘Treasury Department, how may I help you?’” Edwards said.

She contacted the county’s Jury Services department and was told she didn’t need to report for jury duty until January at the soonest. She and her husband later called the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office and were told that there have been several similar reports recently, Edwards said.

The Outpost decided to call the phone number for ourselves and, sure enough, after about half a dozen rings a woman answered and said, “Treasury department.” The phone number — which, again, is (707) 639-8020 — is registered through Pinger, a free Internet-based phone service.

The scammers are obviously, by definition, duplicitous scumbags, but they deserve at least a little credit for basing their grift on local news. About two weeks ago the Humboldt Superior Court’s jury staff began calling calling folks who’ve failed to complete jury duty. Court staff may arrange to have a sheriff’s deputy escort you to the courthouse, and they might even assess a fine. But you can be certain that paying the fine won’t require a trip to Rite-Aid.

HSU President Rossbacher Issues Apology For Recent Statement Regarding Racism on Campus

Ryan Burns / Tuesday, Oct. 25 @ 12:33 p.m. / HSU , Our Culture

Image from the “Pocnormhsu” Facebook page, which was created in the wake of comments made in an Oct. 4 statement from HSU President Dr. Lisa Rossbacher.

Humboldt State University President Dr. Lisa Rossbacher has issued an apology to students, staff and faculty for a message she sent out early this month that inadvertently sparked indignation, leading to protests over the administration’s perceived attitude toward racism on campus.


That original message, ironically, was intended to have the opposite effect. Titled “Standing Together for an Inclusive Community,” Rossbacher’s statement acknowledged the presence of racial bias and racially motivated violence both inside and outside the university community.

But one sentence managed to undercut the gist of Rossbacher’s message.

“I know that racism is not the norm on our campus or in our neighboring communities,” she wrote. Many interpreted this as an attempt to downplay or even dismiss the racism experienced by people of color in Humboldt County and on the HSU campus, and a protest soon took root through social media under the hashtag #pocnormhsu.

In the weeks since, many on campus have come together both online and in public fora to share their experiences and call on university administrators to do more to address racial bias and discrimination. In an Oct. 12 editorial the HSU Lumberjack said, “Rossbacher failed to interpret and address the problem of racialized violence and discrimination in its entirety, which does a complete disservice to the experiences of students and faculty of color.”

It should be noted that Rossbacher’s Oct. 4 statement did note, “[W]e hear too many stories about HSU students, staff, and faculty experiencing acts of overt racism and enduring on-going bias.” And it called for members of the university community to “re-dedicate ourselves to creating a more welcoming and inclusive community for our Students of Color and for all People of Color in Humboldt County.” (Read the full statement here.)

Regardless, many on campus read Rossbacher’s phrase “not the norm” to mean “not prevalent,” and they began sharing their own experiences as a way to prove otherwise. Some examples:

And this one referring to last year’s racist assault in downtown Arcata:

Yesterday, in a follow-up message to the campus community, Rossbacher said she used the word “norm” to mean “a standard of accepted behavior,” and she added that she is “deeply sorry” for creating harm.

Her full statement is below. 

Apology and a Shared Commitment for an Inclusive Campus

Dear HSU community,

I am writing to offer my heartfelt apology to the students, staff, and faculty who were hurt by my recent message to the campus about standing together for an inclusive community. In that letter, I used the word “norm” to describe “a standard of accepted behavior” and to reiterate that racism in any form is intolerable and unacceptable, but I now understand that in the context of ongoing racism the word created other offensive and hurtful meanings. I also realize that your concern is about more than words. For creating harm, I am deeply sorry.

I recognize that many members of the HSU community experience racism, both overtly and subtly through microaggressions, nearly every day. Many of you have taken the time to write to me and talk with me about your experiences; I value your insights and share your concerns. I am committed to working with all of you to eliminate the barriers to creating a truly inclusive campus.

Much work is needed to create deep and enduring change. The upcoming Campus Dialogue on Race (October 31 – November 4) will be an important opportunity to consider how we can move forward together. These dialogues will serve as a springboard for additional action as we focus on the individual and institutional transformations needed to make clear that the lives and experiences of people of color really matter at HSU.

Sincerely yours,
Lisa A. Rossbacher, Ph.D. 

(AUDIO) Betty Chinn is in the New York Times!

Bayley Brown / Tuesday, Oct. 25 @ 11:14 a.m. / :)

Well what a fabulous surprise this morning! Eureka philanthropist and saint Betty Chinn was featured in California Today, a regular column published by the New York Times written by third-generation Californian Mike McPhate. Check out the article here

Of course Betty also stopped by KHUM to discuss this exciting experience. Listen below.  

(AUDIO) Betty Chinn in NYT!

Photo taken at an earlier date at the Blue Angel Container Village. By: Bayley Brown

MALL LIVES MATTER: Walmart Evacuated After Poison Freon Gas Spewed From Broken Freezer Pipe

Hank Sims / Tuesday, Oct. 25 @ 11:10 a.m. / Emergencies

Photo: Andrew Goff.

The Bayshore Mall Walmart was forced to temporarily close its doors this morning after a freon gas pipe burst in the freezer area, exhaling the dangerous refrigerant into the open air.

The breakage happened just after 9 a.m., according to store manager Keith Elward, who spoke to the Outpost’s Andrew Goff at the scene. The store was quickly evacuated. Employees are milling about to the rear of the mall until further orders are given.

Repairmen are on the way, Elward said, but currently there is no estimated time of reopening.

The rest of the mall is still open.

The Bayshore Mall Walmart is Humboldt County’s only Walmart. People looking to get their Walmart shopping done this morning can drive to Crescent City or Redding.

(PHOTOS) Do You Recognize This Alleged McKinleyville Bank Robber?

Andrew Goff / Tuesday, Oct. 25 @ 10:19 a.m. / Crime

Who is this Buddy Holly-ish bank robber?

Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office press release: 

On Monday, October 24, 2016 at about 4:30 p.m. Humboldt County Deputies responded to Umpqua Bank on Central Avenue in McKinleyville for a report of a robbery that had just occurred. Witnesses stated the suspect entered the bank, walked up to a bank teller and handed them a note demanding money. No weapons were seen. The bank teller placed an undisclosed amount of cash into a black bag provided by the suspect. The suspect fled the scene on foot across Central Ave and proceeded toward the McKinleyville Shopping Center into the field behind Safeway. Deputies searched the area and were unsuccessful in locating the suspect. Arcata Police Department responded and assisted in the search with their K-9 unit and were also unable to locate the suspect.

The suspect is described as a white male adult, approximately 5’10”, 175 lbs, clean shaven, with short brown hair, black rim eyeglasses, wearing a maroon beanie with white print, black pants, black t-shirt, tan shoes, and a yellow rain poncho. The suspect is possibly associated with a white Dodge Caravan or Town and Country van.
The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) responded and is also investigating the incident.

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.

Suddenlink Has Restored Service to Eel River Valley, But You May Need to Reboot Your Modem

Hank Sims / Tuesday, Oct. 25 @ 6:56 a.m. / Internet

The bits and bytes are flowing to the Eel River Valley once more. This according to Suddenlink representative Gene Regan, who emailed us in triumph from the East Coast at 2:05 a.m. (PDT).

Still no Internet at your place? Here’s what you need to do:

It’s possible that some Suddenlink internet customers may need to reboot their modems and routers to restore service.  To do so, they should unplug power from both the modem and the router, then power up the modem first and then their router.

Regan said that the outage was storm-related — a tree somewhere south of Eureka was blown into into some power and communications lines, taking out electrical service and communications to the Valley both. (He didn’t specify where, precisely this happened, but given the vague location, the description and the timing we’re going to guess that it was this incident off Elk River Road.)

The power company had to fix its lines before letting Suddenlink crews in, Regan said, which seems to have been a major factor in the duration of the Internet outage. Suddenlink customers in Fernbridge, Ferndale, Fortuna, Hydesville, Carlotta, Rio Dell and Scotia were all affected, along with customers of certain cell phone companies in those areas.