CASE SUSPENDED: Man Who Led Cops on Bullet-Riddled Chase Through Downtown Eureka Deemed Mentally Incompetent; Judge Orders Second Opinion

Rhonda Parker / Tuesday, Oct. 17 @ 10:34 a.m. / Courts

A Southern Humboldt man who led police on a bullet-riddled chase through downtown Eureka has been found mentally incompetent to stand trial.

This morning visiting Judge David Herrick suspended criminal proceedings against Clayton Lee Lasinski after his attorney, Deputy Conflict Counsel David Lee, said a psychiatrist who examined Lasinski determined he “is incompetent to proceed.”

Lasinski.

Herrick, at the request of Deputy District Attorney Luke Bernthal, appointed another doctor to evaluate Lasinski and offer a second opinion. Bernthal said Lasinski has a history of criminal behavior and was found competent in the past.

Lasinski has been in jail for about 10 months, and this is the first time the issue of mental competence has been raised. But at the time of his arrest, Lasinski reportedly explained he thought pursuing officers were some gang members who had recently robbed him.

During the pursuit Lasinski allegedly stole a car, pointed a gun at witnesses and officers and attempted to carjack a second vehicle on Sixth Street. Eureka police fired about 40 rounds at him but he was hit only once in the chest. The chase ended when he finally collapsed in the street.

Lasinski’s gun was lying next to him, with eight rounds in the magazine but none in the chamber. It was determined he never fired the weapon, though the safety was off and the hammer cocked. The gun had been stolen from a Trinity County home a couple of months earlier.

If convicted of all charges, Lasinski could be sent to prison for more than 50 years.
Herrick set a date of Nov. 2 for review of the second doctor’s report. Lasinski’s jury trial had been set to begin next month.

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(VIDEO) Eureka Considering New Transitional Housing Facility Off the Hikshari Trail, on City Property; Chinn Would Run ‘Betty’s PG&E Village’

Sierra Jenkins / Tuesday, Oct. 17 @ 7 a.m. / LoCO Video Reports

  

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

The Betty Kwan Chinn Foundation operates a homeless day center, a homeless family shelter, and the Blue Angel Village on Washington Street — an emergency shelter with case management for up to 40 chronically homeless individuals at a time. Chinn’s programs have proven successful, and the city of Eureka wants to see them continue and expand. That expansion will be discussed at the city council meeting tonight.

First: City staff has proposed that council could appropriate $75,000 in Housing Successor Funds for Chinn to continue operating the Blue Angel Village for another year.

Secondly, the city will discuss the establishment of a property to put the trailers that PG&E has recently said they’ll donate to Chinn for the use of low-income transitional housing. Eureka City Manager Gregg Sparks says after much deliberation they’ve narrowed down a potential site for the project to a city owned property known as the Crowley property. It’s off of Hilfiker Lane between Humboldt Bay Fire’s training facility and the city’s wastewater treatment plant, parallel to the Elk River Hikshari’ Trail.

In this LoCO Video Report we visit the Blue Angel Village, finding out more about it’s operations and how it’s helped 318 homeless individuals since May 2016. Plus we check out the potential site for “Betty’s PG&E Village,” a project that Sparks says could be there for five to 10 years.

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OBITUARY: Margaret Marie Sloan Wright, 1955-2017

LoCO Staff / Tuesday, Oct. 17 @ 6:45 a.m. / Obits

 

Margaret Marie Sloan Wright
Born Dec. 12 1955 in Michigan
Passed away Sep. 29, 2017 in Arcata

Margaret graduated from McKinleyville High. She was born to Junior and Louise Sloan of McKinleyville. She leaves behind a daughter and a son and five grandkids — Tammy Amen Wright (Ken) granddaughter Bella, grandson John; Scott Wright (Amy), grandsons Donald, Tylor, Trystin. She leaves be hind her loving Mother Louise Sloan (Gene). She also leaves behind her loving brother, James Sloan, and sister-in-law, Pam Sloan and two nephews, two nieces, four beautiful great-nieces and a handsome little nephew. She dearly loved you all.

She leaves behind three best friends through grade school and high school. They meant the world to her: Patricia Hendershot Stevens, Maryland Wright, Tammy Johnson.

Margaret Wright was preceded in her passing by her father, Junior Sloan, and brother, Roger Sloan.

RIP, Mom. I’m on my way home to set you free, to be the beautiful angel you were meant to be. You left this world too soon. You got your dream come true — you are the proud grandma of a beautiful boy and girl. Please watch over them as they grow. We love you. So know you have four handsome grandsons and one beautiful granddaughter. Fly high, Mom. Scott, Amy, me and Ken love you. I’m coming home.

In regards to Margaret Wright, we have set up an account at Coast Central Credit Union to help out with funeral and burial cost. Account number is 21836157.

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



Oh, You’re So Smart? Well, Make Sequoia Park Better Then!

Andrew Goff / Monday, Oct. 16 @ 4:41 p.m. / Community

Improve this, you

Sequoia Park. You love it, I love it. Now what?

The City of Eureka has some ideas for ways it would like to improve the park. Before they move on those plans, though, they’d like to tap into whatever community brilliance might maybe be out there amongst the citizenry, specifically during a couple of community workshops. (Free refreshments!) The first of which is this Saturday, Oct. 21: 

Details in the City of Eureka press release below:

 

Sequoia Park has been a Eureka treasure for over 100 years.  Covered in tall-standing redwood trees, this park has something for everyone: trails, playgrounds, picnic areas, a duck pond, and the opportunity to connect with 67 acres of old growth forest in the middle of the city. With a landscape as exquisite as this one, it’s no wonder it holds such a special place in our community’s heart. That’s why we want to hear from you!
With your help, the City wants to:

  • Make the park more inclusive (create a safe play environment for people of all ages and abilities)
  • Diversify the park’s experiences
  • Enhance the play area
  • Expand recreational opportunities
  • Upgrade the trail system
  • Add more gathering space
  • Preserve natural and cultural resources
  • Promote sustainability
This groundbreaking project will engage the ideas and support of our entire community.  We will leverage our love affair with this piece of land, celebrate its spirit, maintain its remarkable history, and we will envision new ways to discover, learn, and play for generations to come. 

What do you say?  Let’s reimagine the next 100 years here, together!

Join us this Saturday, October 21st, the first part of a series of two community workshops to gather residents’ thoughts, ideas, and visions. With this public input, we will create a collaborative design and plan for the future of our beloved park.

To stay updated and to add your voice and ideas to the conversation, follow us on Facebook.com/eurekasequoiapark.  We hope to see you at the park this Saturday, Oct. 21 at 12:30 p.m.!

Free food and refreshments will be available!



Catastrophic Natural Disaster? There’s an App For That! Sheriff’s Office Asks Residents to Register With Their Alert/Information System

Hank Sims / Monday, Oct. 16 @ 2:49 p.m. / Emergencies

911. What is your emergency?

From the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office:

Sheriff Honsal and the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office of Emergency Services strongly urge all Humboldt residents to register today for Humboldt Alert by Everbridge, in order to receive critical emergency information like evacuation orders. Registering only takes a few minutes, at http://humboldtgov.org/alerts.

Humboldt Alert allows users to register whatever contact methods are best for them, including text messaging on cell phones, voice calls on cell and/or land lines, and email. Push notifications are also available when you install the Everbridge app on your smartphone. Most alerts are sent to a specific geographic area, based on addresses that users register. Not all registered users will receive all alerts. Registered information is confidential, and only used for emergency warning.

If you have not signed up for the new system in the last few months, then you are not currently registered to receive alerts on cell phones, unlisted land lines, or by email, even if you have received notification in the past. Information from the previous system could not be carried over, and only listed land lines were pre-loaded into the new system.

During the registration process, you will have the option to note any needs that first responders should be aware of in the event of an evacuation, like disabilities and medical conditions. Users can also register special skills and training that may be needed following a local disaster.

The events of the past week in neighboring counties are a terrible reminder that emergency conditions requiring immediate evacuations do not always allow time for door-to-door notifications. Having the ability to contact many people very quickly may be the most effective public safety tool available to first responders, to inform you of a rapidly developing emergency.

Humboldt County uses two evacuation warning levels, as follows:

  • Voluntary Evacuation Advisory – Evacuations may become necessary at any time. Please be prepared to leave, and await further instructions.
  • Mandatory Evacuation Order – Immediate evacuations are ordered for a designated area imminently threatened by a public safety hazard.

Please see the “Ready, Set, Go!” website from Cal Fire for more information about how to stay ready for evacuation, and the “Living With Wildfire in Northwestern California” publication, available in print locally and online.

For Humboldt Alert registration assistance, please call 707-268-2500.



Man and Horse Killed After Being Struck by Ford F150 on Bridge in Willow Creek

Andrew Goff / Monday, Oct. 16 @ 12:36 p.m. / Traffic

California Highway Patrol press release: 

 

On the night of Sunday, October 15, one involved party sustained fatal injuries after a Ford F150 traveling northbound on Country Club Road, near Seeley McIntosh Road, collided into a horse being ridden by a male.

At approximately 8:13 p.m., 50 year old Timothy Robert Ulrich of Hoopa, California, was driving a 2012 Ford F150 northbound on Country Club Road, approaching Seeley McIntosh Road.  At the same time, 67 year old Kenneth Wayne Brock, of Willow Creek, California, was riding his horse southbound on the northbound side of Country Club Road along the east shoulder of the bridge.  

An unrelated vehicle was driving southbound on Country Club Road and entered the bridge as the Ford F150 drove northbound onto the bridge.  For reasons still under the investigation Ulrich observed the approaching vehicle but did not observe the white horse that was walking along the east side of the bridge.  Ulrich suddenly observed the horse and turned his pickup to the left in an attempt to avoid a collision.  This evasive action was unsuccessful and the front right of the pickup collided into the right shoulder and side of the horse.  This resulted in the rider (Brock) being ejected from the horse.  The horse was deceased immediately and Brock had sustained major injuries from the impact with the bridge.  Brock was transported to Mad River Community Hospital for medical treatment where he later succumbed to his injuries.

Ulrich was wearing his seatbelt at the time of the collision and DUI is not believed to be a factor.  The CHP Humboldt Area office is investigating this traffic collision.




Last Night’s Fire By Zane Middle School Held to a Quarter-Acre; No Obvious Cause Discovered

Hank Sims / Monday, Oct. 16 @ 8:30 a.m. / Fire

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From Humboldt Bay Fire:

Humboldt Bay Fire responded to an investigation of a smoke near the Eureka Dog Park, Units responding could see a large smoke column coming from the area between the dog park and Zane Middle School. Additional resources were requested. On arrival crews found approximately one quarter of an acre of grass and brush burning. Crews deployed hose lines, surrounded and extinguished the fire within 45 minutes. No structures were threatened and there were no reports of injury.

Resources used. 2 engines, 1 water tender, 1 squad and 1 Battalion Chief. 12 personnel in total. Eureka Police assisted with 3 officers that responded to a verbal fight in the wooded area behind McFarland Street.

Arcata Fire Protection provided an engine to cover Humboldt Bay Stations.

During the fire several 911 calls were received for smoke and ash in the Eureka and Cutten areas. No additional fires were found.

Investigation of the fire was conducted and electrical lines and lightning were ruled out. No obvious cause was found.

Until rain is received fires can easily start in dry grass or brush. Humboldt Bay Fire reminds our citizens to be aware of current burning restrictions and high fire danger in the state, as well as calling 911 if a fire is seen.