May 14, 2016

Yes Eureka, for some Suddenlink is not working right now

It is not your imagination. And, a power outage for some, PG and E on the scene.


Great. Last week, first Verizon had issues, next day AT and T, now Suddenlink and PG & E.

Of course, it's some idiot running into a pole or cutting a cable half the time. Storms cause less outages.

What have we done to offend the internet/utility Gods? Whoever is the culprit, knock it off!


11 p.m.Suddenlink service restored.

May 13, 2016

HCSO assists with rendering homemade device harmless at Little River Inn golf course

On 05-12-2016 at about 8:11 AM Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies were dispatched to a possible explosive device at the Little River Inn golf course in Little River, California.

Upon arrival Deputies learned that while maintenance staff was mowing the course workers found what was believed to be an explosive device near one of the tee boxes. The device was found during daylight hours and away from any structures which prompted a call to the Sheriff's Office.

The suspected explosive device was small in size and appeared to be homemade.

The area was cordoned off and the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office explosive ordinance disposal (EOD) unit was requested to respond.

The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office EOD unit arrived on scene and examined the device before rendering it safe by detonating the device.

Mendocino County Sheriff’s Deputies collected evidence at the scene and the investigation is ongoing at this time.

"He shot two unarmed men in the back who were running away"

**This post from earlier in the day did not show up on Lost Coast Outpost.  I have not heard back why so I am reprinting it.

If you follow my court coverage or blog, please bookmark my blog directly so you do not miss posts.**


In his cross examination of EPD Detective John Gordon, Public Defender Casey Russo questioned Detective Gordon and said that in his testimony earlier, statements he made were not direct quotes from Derek Payton and Brittany Thompson but a summary of what they said. While Detective Gordon agreed with that, he said that certain statements like Payton telling him he was tired of being ripped off, were actual quotes.

Eliot Walin, the gunshot victim who died, was described by Mr. Russo as a large guy. Detective Gordon said yes, that Walin was taller than him and he is 6 ft 2 inches tall. Walin had a lot of tattoos, some were prison tattoos and some white pride tattoos, which included swastikas. From jail photos, Detective Gordon had seen tattoos on Doug Camili that said HCG, which stands for Humboldt County Gang.

Mr. Russo showed Detective Gordon a transcript with a statement from Payton. "They said they were going to take her car keys, fucking rob us and do crap shit." Then, Mr. Russo brought up that Nikolas Deremer did "grab a box with 6 pounds of marijuana."

Mr. Russo asked Detective Gordon about two statements that Thompson made. "They held a gun to her head and said if she said anything, they would kill her," said Mr. Russo. She believed that "Mr. Payton was trying to protect her."

During the cross examination, it came out that none of the neighbors saw the shooting. Camili was questioned by Officer Ben Altic and he told Officer Altic that "he was just walking on 15th street and heard gunshots." Camili was not searched. There was a pocket knife found next to Walin's body. When Mr. Russo showed Detective Gordon a photograph of that knife, Detective Gordon said that the knife had been moved by law enforcement "a bit further" than where it was found. The stolen box of marijuana was "never recovered," said Detective Gordon.

Camili told Detective Gordon that he went to get money owed from Payton. He took Walin and Deremer with him. They took the box of marijuana from Payton. Camili said he walked out the door, heard commotion behind him, "saw the laser dot, ducked and ran" and heard gunshots.

"Camili knew Walin had been shot?" asked Mr. Russo.

"Yes," responded Detective Gordon.

"Camili was a friend of Walin's," said Mr. Russo.

 Again, Detective Gordon said, "Yes."

"He did not call the police. He did not tell Officer Altic that Walin had been shot," asked Mr. Russo.

Mr. Russo tried to argue for self defense or voluntary manslaughter. Mr. Christiansen dsaid that for the purpose of the preliminary hearing, the People had provided the evidence necessary for the charges. Mr. Christiansen said that when Payton was shooting at the three men, he did not know about the alleged sexual assault on Thompson. As for the self defense argument, Mr. Christiansen said,"He shot two unarmed men in the back who were running away.".

Judge Feeney read and referred to CALCRIM code 505 Right to self defense or justifiable homicide. He also read CALCRIM code 520 Murder; talked about express and implied malice. Judge Feeney said "that from what I have heard in this hearing, this case does not show expressed malice but it does show implied malice. The shooting did not occur in the residence."

Judge Feeney also agreed with the People that in jury instructions, Mr. Russo could ask for lesser options to be included.

Woman arrested for domestic violence after she allegedly kicks her boyfriend in the face

On 05-12-2016 at approximately 8:30 AM, Deputies from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office were dispatched to a domestic disturbance in the 76000 block of Hwy 162 in Covelo, CA.

Deputies learned a 32 year-old male and his 32 year-old female cohabitant, Taleasha Marieann Staser, had engaged in an argument over relationship issues.

As the argument grew more heated, the 32 year-old male decided to leave the residence the couple shared. As he bent down to gather the personal belongings he wanted to take with him, Staser kicked him twice in the face.  The 32 year-old male had a visible injury to his face but declined medical treatment.

Staser was later located in Ukiah by a Ukiah Police Department Officer and arrested for domestic violence battery in connection with the incident.

Staser was booked into the Mendocino County Jail where she was to be held in lieu of $25,000.00 bail

No bail for you!

On 05-12-2016 at 6:42 AM, Deputies from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office were dispatched to a situation of illegal camping at the intersection of Poppy Drive and Bear Drive in Brooktrails, California.

Upon arrival, the Deputies found a male and a female in a tent illegally camping at the location.  A Jeep Cherokee with Utah plates was parked nearby with a 28 year-old male sleeping inside.

While contacting the man sleeping in the car, the Deputies detected the odor of marijuana coming from inside the vehicle. The subject initially provided a false name but was subsequently identified as being Jonathon Wayne Fitzpatrick.

Fitzpatrick was found to be wanted on a felony arrest warrant out of Los Angeles, California.

A search of the car resulted in the discovery of approximately one pound of psylocibin mushrooms, a digital scale and a small quantity of marijuana.

Fitzpatrick was arrested on the felony arrest warrant, possession of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance for sale and for obstructing or resisting an officer in the performance of his duties.

Fitzpatrick was booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was to be held on a no bail status.

AT and T service restored in Humboldt, everything working normally

Statement from AT and T spokesperson Matthew Cross:

"Due to fiber damage caused by a fallen tree near the northern part of Stafford, some customers in the Humboldt County area may have experienced trouble with their wireless or wireline services during parts of last night and today. Our technicians worked to repair the damaged fiber and service is now running normally.  We apologize for any inconvenience."

"They held a gun to her head and said if she said anything, they would kill her."








In his cross examination of EPD Detective John Gordon, Public Defender Casey Russo questioned Detective Gordon and said that in his testimony earlier, statements he made were not direct quotes from Derek Payton and Brittany Thompson but a summary of what they said. While Detective Gordon agreed with that, he said that certain statements like Payton telling him he was tired of being ripped off, were actual quotes.

Eliot Walin, the gunshot victim who died, was described by Mr. Russo as a large guy. Detective Gordon said yes, that Walin was taller than him and he is 6 ft 2 inches tall. Walin had a lot of tattoos, some were prison tattoos and some white pride tattoos, which included swastikas. From jail photos, Detective Gordon had seen tattoos on Doug Camili that said HCG, which stands for Humboldt County Gang.

Mr. Russo showed Detective Gordon a transcript with a statement from Payton. "They said they were going to take her car keys, fucking rob us and do crap shit." Then, Mr. Russo brought up that Nikolas Deremer did "grab a box with 6 pounds of marijuana."

Mr. Russo asked Detective Gordon about two statements that Thompson made. "They held a gun to her head and said if she said anything, they would kill her," said Mr. Russo. She believed that "Mr. Payton was trying to protect her."

During the cross examination, it came out that none of the neighbors saw the shooting. Camili was questioned by Officer Ben Altic and he told Officer Altic that "he was just walking on 15th street and heard gunshots." Camili was not searched. There was a pocket knife found next to Walin's body. When Mr. Russo showed Detective Gordon a photograph of that knife, Detective Gordon said that the knife had been moved by law enforcement "a bit further" than where it was found. The stolen box of marijuana was "never recovered," said Detective Gordon.

Camili told Detective Gordon that he went to get money owed from Payton. He took Walin and Deremer with him. They took the box of marijuana from Payton. Camili said he walked out the door, heard commotion behind him, "saw the laser dot, ducked and ran" and heard gunshots.

"Camili knew Walin had been shot?" asked Mr. Russo.

"Yes," responded Detective Gordon.

"Camili was a friend of Walin's," said Mr. Russo.

 Again, Detective Gordon said, "Yes."

"He did not call the police. He did not tell Officer Altic that Walin had been shot," asked Mr. Russo.

Mr. Russo tried to argue for self defense or voluntary manslaughter. Mr. Christiansen dsaid that for the purpose of the preliminary hearing, the People had provided the evidence necessary for the charges. Mr. Christiansen said that when Payton was shooting at the three men, he did not know about the alleged sexual assault on Thompson. As for the self defense argument, Mr. Christiansen said,"He shot two unarmed men in the back who were running away.".

Judge Feeney read and referred to CALCRIM code 505 Right to self defense or justifiable homicide. He also read CALCRIM code 520 Murder; talked about express and implied malice. Judge Feeney said "that from what I have heard in this hearing, this case does not show expressed malice but it does show implied malice. The shooting did not occur in the residence."

Judge Feeney also agreed with the People that in jury instructions, Mr. Russo could ask for lesser options to be included.

Thank you Ms. Patton for the truth, especially regarding media coverage

Thank you Ms. Patton for the truth, especially regarding media coverage.

https://www.conservativeoutfitters.com/blogs/news/100907393-black-female-employee-drops-bombshell-about-trump

His endorsement of the $2 billion State Senate homeless services and housing bond will help tens of thousands of Californians who call our streets home and who receive shelter and services, by building over 14,000 units all across the State"


Senator Mike McGuire issued the following statement regarding the Governor’s May Budget Revisions released this morning.
  
“Governor Brown’s budget revisions are a solid step in the right direction.  His endorsement of the $2 billion State Senate homeless services and housing bond will help tens of thousands of Californians who call our streets home and who receive shelter and services, by building over 14,000 units all across the State" said Senator McGuire.

Senator McGuire does have some concerns about the Governor's proposed transportation package. 
"While I applaud the Governor's focus on California's crumbling transportation infrastructure, I don't believe his proposal goes far enough to dig us out of the $130 billion deferred maintenance hole that we're in. We'll need to continue to work together to achieve a more robust transportation package, which means sitting down and combining the proposals from the Governor and the Legislature in the coming months” Senator Mike McGuire said.

AT and T outage caused by a tree taking down a communication line

An official statement will be out shortly, most likely within a hour, said AT and T spokesperson, Matthew Cross. Information on restoration is expected in that press release.

Jonas Semore jury trial resumes Monday; Semore charged with the death of man dropped off at Mad River ER


Just confirmed with Deputy District Attorney Roger Rees that introductory instructions and opening statements are scheduled for Monday, May 16.

The Court previously granted the People's motion in limine. The defense motion will be decided on Monday. People's witnesses are scheduled for Monday, following opening statements.

Jonas Semore is charged in the homicide of David Ganfield, the Mckinleyville man, dropped off at Mad River ER.

May 11, 2016

Jonas Semore jury trial delayed, possibly start next Monday

Opening statements were scheduled to start today. The May 11 jury trial in the Jonas Semore case has been vacated, trial scheduled to start Monday, May 16.

An emergency continuance was filed by the defense.

Attorneys will meet with Judge John Feeney on Friday, May 13 at 8:30 for a hearing on status.

The defense has filed a motion in limine to exclude gang evidence. The District Attorney filed a motion to exclude prior conviction of witnesses.

Deputy District Attorney Roger Rees is prosecuting the case. Mr. Russ Clanton is representing Semore.

Sign of a true Christian; a 9 year old gives gifts to the homeless to celebrate her birthday

Sign of a true Christian. God bless this little girl.

http://m.aol.com/article/2016/05/12/9-year-old-birthday-presents-prays-homeless/21376215/


EPD humor, thanks Officer Mackelroy

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=1044963742205793&id=100000765310225

The video is titled, when another police officer leaves a CD in your car.

May 12, 2016

Allegations of being thrown on the bed, pants pulled down, rape threat, stolen marijuana and slightly different versions emerge during preliminary hearing about Watson and F homicide

Eureka Police Detective John Gordon testified for almost two hours on May 11 and was the People's only witness in the preliminary hearing on May 11 for Derek Payton.



The preliminary hearing for Payton was held in Courtroom 1 with Judge John Feeney. Payton was held to answer on all charges.

 Payton is charged with four felony counts. Count 1 Murder of Elliot Walin; special allegation that Payton personally and intentionally discharged a firearm, a Taurus revolver. Count 2 Assault with a firearm on Nickolas Edmund Deremer; special allegation, causing great bodily injury. Count 3 is discharge of a firearm with gross negligence. Count 4 Maintaining a place for selling or using a controlled substance; marijuana; special allegation that he was armed with a firearm during the "commission or attempted commission of the above offense."

Deputy District Attorney David Christensen is prosecuting the case. Payton is represented by Public Defender Casey Russo.

On October 24, 2015, Detective Gordon was the on-call criminal investigator for EPD. At approximately 9:45 p.m.about a homicide on the 1500 block of F Street and that the victim had been taken to the hospital.

Detective Gordon spoke to Sgt. Reyna Sanchez and learned that there was a gunshot victim located near the intersection and "possibly a second victim." Detective Gordon and Detective Ron Harpham went to St. Joe's hospital and to ER. One subject was identified as Elliot Walin. "They were trying life saving efforts and I was told that he would mos likely not live."

In the next room to  Walin, was Nickolas Deremer. Detective Gordon said that Deremer had "fragments pierced" on his shoulder and a bullet hole on "back of his shoulder."

Deremer told Detective Gordon that he and his friend walked into an argument and people started shooting. Deremer's demeanor was "uncooperative", said Detective Gordon. "He would not provide details."

Detective Gordon had also spoken to EPD Officer Andrew Endsley. He gave Detective Gordon a watch that the ambulance personnel had given him.  Learning that two "females" had transported Deremer and dropped him off at the hospital, Detective Gordon asked Detective Harpham to get the surveillance video.

"By the time I got to the scene, other witnesses had been interviewed. People had pointed officers to the alley where the argument had taken place. Officers had detained a Henry Nunviller, since someone said he knew something about what had occurred. Based on Nunviller's statements and other statements, Detective Gordon learned about an apartment and the name, Brittany Thompson.

A search warrant was obtained and the apartment was searched. "No guns, no ammo, no casings" were found in the apartment. During the search, law enforcement found "a marijuana scale, trimming tools, marijuana paraphernelia, pay stubs from Derek Payton, Brittany Thompson and a couple of other people."

An extensive search was done of the area for shell casings. None were found. Bullet holes were located. "The first bullet hole was in a fence directly south facing the apartment.  A bullet was found on the carpet in a residence. Several more bullet holes located on the west side of the street and a hole in a window."

"The alley is located between E and F streets, between Randall and Watson and the apartment is middle of the block."

Detective Gordon attended Walin's autopsy, which was done by Dr. Mark Super, the Saturday after the body was found. Detective Gordon described the injuries to Walin as "through and through bullet wounds through his chest, coming from the back."

The cause of death was a gunshot wound to the back. Deputy District Attorney introduced the death certificate as People's exhibit #1 and it was entered into evidence.

"On November 2, 2015, we received a call from EPD about a dispute over a vehicle, last name was Scott and that Payton had possession of the vehicle. Payton was at the Quality Inn motel and he was the rightful owner."

"We found Payton in a hotel room linked to a female he was with and recovered a handgun from the drawer." Detective Gordon described it as a "stainless steel Taurus revolver with a laser grip and seven rounds in the chamber, which is rare." The number of rounds matched the number of bullet holes found at the crime scene and Detective Gordon said that "a revolver does not expel casings."

Payton was taken into custody on a warrant and interviewed at EPD. Payton was advised of his Miranda Rights and he agreed to talk with Detective Gordon.

Detective Gordon testified that Payton told him he was involved in the October 24, 2015 incident. "He was asleep in the back room. Thompson let Doug Camili in, who said Payton owed him money, but Payton had paid him for the marijuana. Camili asked for money. Eliot Walin and Nickolas Deremer came in with Doug Camili." Camili was the only person not injured, Detective Gordon added.

Payton told Detective Gordon that "he came into the living room. Someone noticed marijuana on a table, he thinks it was Deremer, who said, 'Why don't we take the marijuna then?' They took it. Payton said he pointed a gun at them to intimidate them. Payton said Thompson told him, "Don;t let them do this, shoot them, shoot them."

Payton followed them into the alley, he told Detective Gordon he was "shooting at them but not trying to kill them. He was tired of being ripped off."

DDA Christensen asked about the laser grip. Detective Gordon described how that works and locks on to a target. Payton told Detective Gordon "he spent 7 rounds, he was unaware he hot them and he went back into the house."

Detective Gordon spoke to Thompson "a number of times." Once was when she called EPD and said that she believed Camili had stolen  her car.In the first interview, she denied being there, said she wasn;t home, a friend came and she left."

"When she was at EPD, she altered her story. She was home. She let Camili in with two people." She told Detective Gordon that, "the people came and stole marijuana and ransacked the house. When she tried to save some marijuana belonging to her employer, Walin and Deremer threw her on the bed, pulled down her pants and threatened to rape her."

"During the alleged assault, she either dialed or answered her phone and asked a male friend to come over, so the friend grabbed a shotgun and came over." That friend was Nunviller.

She gave different versions and different details.

Detective Gordon then spoke to Camili. When he went back to talk to Thompson, she had a lawyer and was "not allowed to talk" to Detective Gordon.

Detective Gordon spoke to Payton about the alleged assault. "He said that Camili was alone with Thompson when she was purchasing heroin from him. Payton said that Walin and Deremer were not alone with Brittany at any point." Payton told Detective Gordon he did not see any guns on the three men but that Thompson told him they had guns and he was aware that they carried guns in the past.

Payton said he heard a police scanner on Camili and realized they were there to rob him.

"So basically, one of the men grabbed the marijuana and he followed them and started shooting," said DDA Christensen.

"That's right," said Detective Gordon. "No self defense."

Yesterday's post (also includes information on all previous coverage):

http://johnchiv.blogspot.com/2016/05/derek-payton-held-to-answer-on-all.html

Another AT and T outage or not? Some customers having no issues

Some people are having problems, some not.

I am waiting to hear back from both my AT and T contacts for Northern California.

CA Police Chief Association says, Rise in Crime Unique to California

 Recent crime data compiled by the California Police Chiefs Association
(CPCA) shows a dramatic crime increase in California during 2015, but not in other states. The
significant increase follows a year after Proposition 47 resulted in statewide criminal justice reform that
weakened sentences without requiring alternative rehabilitation for offenders.
“These numbers are more than statistics, they represent victims who have suffered theft,
robbery, assault, or any number of crimes,” said Ventura Police Chief Ken Corney, President of CPCA.
“Clearly, something unique is happening in California and it’s important we study this trend to
understand exactly what is going on before more people get hurt.”
Through a ballot initiative, Proposition 47 reduced numerous felonies to misdemeanors,
including grand theft of property under $950, and various drug use. The goal of the initiative was to
fund additional substance abuse and mental health services with the savings from lowering
incarcerations. However, the savings have not materialized as predicted, there are no requirements for
offenders to attend services, and statewide access to substance abuse and mental health programs is not
yet available.
“To reduce sentences without having alternative services in place, and without requiring
offenders to participate in rehabilitative programs, leaves law enforcement with very limited options in
dealing with crime,” continued Chief Corney. “As a result, what we have seen is repeat offenders
committing multiple crimes because they know they aren’t going to be held accountable.”
“Over the last year retail theft incidents have nearly doubled compared to recent years. Prop 47
is riddled with many unintended consequences and created an emboldened criminal class,” said Bill
Dombrowski, President & CEO of the California Retailers Association. “We have also seen an increase
in physical confrontations while trying to stop these incidents, which is causing us concern."
Far beyond normal fluctuations, crime data reported by 311 municipal police departments from
across the state shows a startling rise in crime throughout California last year. Elk Grove Police Chief
Robert Lehner collected data from California’s Police Departments and compared it to the data released
so far by the FBI. Those results, in the attached report, show property crime (theft, burglary, motor
vehicle theft, etc.), increased 15.25% in cities with populations over 100,000, compared to a decrease
of 6% across the nation. Violent crime (murder, robbery, aggravated assault, etc.) increased 15.41% in
cities with populations over 100,00, in contrast to a 1.3% increase in the other states. Similar results are
also seen in comparisons of smaller cities.
The increase in property crime in the California cities already reporting is the largest year-over-
year increase in property crimes since at least 1960. The increase in violent crime is the largest year

Fox who bit Fortuna teen tests positive for rabies

A fox believed to have bitten a Fortuna teen and behaved aggressively at two locations has tested positive for rabies. The test was performed today at the Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS) Public Health Laboratory in Eureka.
The two incidents took place in the 6500 block of Rohnerville Road. Investigators believe the same fox was likely involved in both encounters.
“We all need to be aware of the signs that an animal may be dangerous and take the appropriate steps to stay safe, especially in our rural area," said 2nd District Supervisor Estelle Fennell, adding that her heart goes out to the teen who went through this difficult experience.
The fox reportedly bit the teenager shortly after chasing a neighbor’s cat and running into a house. The fox then reportedly charged a homeowner, who shot the animal in the head. The teenager has received prophylactic treatment. No one else was injured.
Experts say rabies is always present in the wildlife population throughout Humboldt County, especially among skunks, bats and foxes.
Preventive measures include avoiding contact with wild and stray animals, bringing pet foods indoors at night, reporting animal bites to your county or municipal animal control officer, and if you are bitten, washing the bite immediately with soap and water and seeking medical attention.
Public Health officials stressed the importance of fully vaccinating domestic animals against rabies, including dogs, cats and select livestock.
Reduced-cost vaccinations are available throughout the county. A list of discounted vaccination clinics through the middle of June is posted on DHHS’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/humcodhhs.
Questions about rabies may be directed to the DHHS Division of Environmental Health at 707-445-6215 or toll free at 800-963-9241.
Previously:
Possible rabies exposure in Fortuna area
On Wednesday, the Humboldt County Department of Health & Human Services was notified of two encounters with an aggressive fox along Rohnerville Road in the Fortuna area. In one incident, a teenager was bitten by a fox. The teenager has received prophylactic treatment. In the other incident nearby, no one was bitten, and a fox was shot and killed. Investigators think it’s likely the same fox was involved in both encounters.
The dead fox has been sent to the Public Health Laboratory for testing for rabies. Because the fox was shot in the brain, which is used for testing, the results may be inconclusive. We hope to have results later today. We will issue a second release at that time along with additional information about protecting your family from rabies.

For years, the rectory has served as a safe place where people turned for refuge. It is in this house, the defendant chose to break in and kill."


District Attorney Fleming addressed the court yesterday after Fr. Eric's sisters read theor statements.

"The facts show that the defendant had assistance of his family and an opportunity to reach out." She referred to his arrest in November 2013 when he called and asked his mother for money to get a hotel room. "This time he chose not to call. It was very clear he knew what he was doing. He even fooled the security guard."

"He made the choice to destroy a life and a community. This Court has heard senseless crimes many times. For years, the rectory has served as a safe place where people turned for refuge. It is in this house, the defendant chose to break in and kill."

Ms. Fleming said that it was "clear he understoods his actions." She pointed out the wrapping of the body, dousing in alcohol, trying to burn the body, set the rectory on fire and taking the time to put the garage car down after he stole Fr. Eric's car as examples.

District Attorney Maggie Fleming read from a transcript of a recent jail call that Bullock made to his mother. In that call, Carol Bruno asked him to appeal and he responded why would he appeal., "I'm guilty. I was in the wrong."

Harland Law Firm celebrates 70th anniversary and gives "special thanks to our clients who have made this law firm what it is today"

Harland Law Firm celebrates "70 years of excellence. As we celebrate our 70th anniversary, we would like to give special thanks to our clients who have made this law firm what it is today," said Mr. Richard Smith.

What is now the Harland Law Firm LLP was founded in 1946 when Collis P Mahan opened an office in Fortuna, the town he grew up in.  About 34 years ago the firm opened an office in Eureka.

"After the passage of so much time, it is appropriate for the lawyers of the firm to acknowledge and thank our clients for their continuing support and confidence, " said Mr. Richard Smith.

The current lawyers of the firm, in order of their arrival, are Richard Smith, James Aste, Allison Jackson, John Lopez, Tamara Falor and Amy Mendoza-Stover.

Assemblyman Jim Wood pursues funding for rural after school programs

The “Rural After-School Program” bill, authored by Assemblyman Jim Wood, was unanimously passed by the full Assembly today.  AB 2615 will ensure rural school districts get their fair share of federal after school program funding.
Assemblyman Wood said, “It is essential that all students are provided with safe, social and academic after-school alternatives, and currently rural schools are not getting their fair share.  I am proud to author a bill that will adjust the funding distribution formula to reflect the reality of life in rural communities by providing more financial aid for after-school programs.”  
The current distribution of funds unfairly favors areas with higher population densities and fails to provide rural schools with the greatest need of financial assistance.  This legislation will develop a process for equitable distribution of after school program funding in each geographic region ensuring rural schools get their fair share of funding. 
“By requiring this money to be spread more evenly children in rural communities will be provided with the important academic and social support of after-school programs,” said Wood.
AB 2516 will be heard in Senate Rules Committee.

New program in San Diego offers chronic drug offenders a commitment to housing along with drug treatment

http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/2016/may/11/goldsmith-drug-crime-treatment-misdemeanor/2/?#article-copy


Excerpt:

Goldsmith said the new program won’t succeed with everyone because he will have only the threat of misdemeanor conviction -- not a felony -- to persuade offenders to seek treatment. But Goldsmith said he’s optimistic many chronic offenders will choose the program, which the Police Department's Homeless Outreach Team has already begun offering to offenders, because they want a better life.

“We’re giving them more than just a bed on a cold night,” he said. “We’re giving them a commitment to housing along with drug treatment. Every one of these chronic offenders has a story and every one of them has buttons you can push to change their behavior and help themselves.”

And he predicted strong public support.

“This is a serious community problem,” he said. “The voters have said clearly ‘we want these problems to be addressed through treatment, not through warehousing in jail.’”


California Governor's office of Emergency Services funds Humboldt DA Victim Witness Program



Humboldt County District Attorney Maggie Fleming announced that the DA Victim Witness Program has been selected to receive funding through a competitive grant from the Unserved/Underserved Victim Advocacy and Outreach (UV) Program of the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES). The grant will provide $175,000 per year of support for 5-years (with the submission of mandatory annual reports and re-applications).
The grant will support the District Attorney’s Office efforts to: 1/respond to the emotional and physical needs of crime victims; 2/help victims understand and participate in the criminal justice system; and 3/enhance the safety and security of victims.
The primary purpose of the grant is to increase access to culturally appropriate victim services for unserved/underserved victims of crime. This will be accomplished by creating new programs and enhancing existing programs to specifically address the needs of unserved/underserved populations and by increasing outreach efforts. DA Fleming stated, “Receipt of this funding is evidence that the State recognizes our commitment to reach all county residents that could benefit from assistance for victims; this support will significantly enhance our efforts. I appreciate the efforts taken by the Victim Witness office team to apply for this grant in order to obtain funds that will help us provide valuable services to our community.”

Federal Judge rules in favor of House Republicans against Obama administration and Obamacare

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2016/05/12/judge-rules-for-house-republicans-in-obamacare-lawsuit.html

Excerpt:

A federal judge ruled Thursday for House Republicans in a challenge brought against the Obama administration over the legality of payments to insurers under ObamaCare.

U.S. District Judge Rosemary Collyer ruled the spending unconstitutional -- while putting the decision on hold pending appeal. 


Property dispute results in arrest for alleged attempted murder and criminal threats

On 05-09-2016 at approximately 4:00 PM, Deputies from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office were dispatched to a disturbance in the 24000 block of Shady Lane in Covelo, California.

It was reported a shotgun had been brandished and a short time later came a report that gunshots had been heard.

Witnesses told Deputies that Anastacio Arturo Payan and his 62 year-old male neighbor had been in an ongoing property line dispute. On this date the neighbor was cutting brush on the disputed portion of land. Payan demanded the neighbor stop cutting the brush but the neighbor refused.

As Payan grew more angry the neighbor retreated to his trailer and armed himself with a shotgun.

Payan wrestled the shotgun from the neighbor's hands as the neighbor fell to the ground. Payan fired three shots into the ground near the neighbor's face and struck the neighbor with the butt of the shotgun.

Witnesses stated Payan threatened to kill the neighbor, aimed the gun at the neighbor's face and pulled the trigger, yet the shotgun did not discharge.

Payan was arrested for attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon and making criminal threats.

Payan was booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was to be held in lieu of $250,000.00 bail.

Community Cornerstone in Redway burglarized

On Thursday, May 12, 2016 at about 7:35 a.m., the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a burglary that occurred sometime between 9:30 p.m. last night and 7 a.m. this morning at the Community Cornerstone in Redway. Upon arrival, the deputy spoke with Community Cornerstone employees. The employees told the deputy a window was broken to gain entry, and numerous items were taken. Amongst these items were merchandise for the Special Olympics, two small safes containing cash, and keys to company vehicles. One of the vehicles was stolen, a 2006 bronze Dodge Stratus, license plate 6NGV161.
The Community Cornerstone is a nonprofit organization that helps persons with disabilities. They assist with transportation, meals, recreational activities, and a variety of personal and vocational skills.

Clarence Bruno III arrested for alleged burglary and violation of probation

On 05-10-2016 at approximately 5:30 AM, Deputies from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office were dispatched to a forced-entry burglary at the Uptown Mercantile in Covelo, California.

The reporting party told Sheriff's Office Dispatch that the suspect, Clarence Bruno III, was in the back of the business and in possession of an SKS type of assault-rifle.

By the time Deputies arrived on scene Bruno had left the business and had been located by Round Valley Tribal Police outside a nearby business.  Bruno had been detained and property from Uptown Mercantile was found nearby.

Uptown Mercantile video showed Bruno and an unidentified female accomplice wearing a hooded sweatshirt break the business's front window and remove approximately $2,300.00 worth of clothing and other property.

Piles of stolen clothing were recovered near where Bruno had been detained. Ammunition of the type used by an SKS rifle was located under a pile of the stolen merchandise but the firearm was never found.

Bruno was arrested for burglary, possession of ammunition by a prohibited person and violation of the terms of his Placer County probation.

Bruno was booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was to be held in lieu of $15,000.00 bail.

HSU student and UC Davis bound student shadow Supervisor Virginia Bass today


"I am excited to have Humboldt State University soon-to-be graduate MacKenzie Dorn and UC Davis bound Max Bass shadowing me today!"

"First stop is the Eureka main post office for the kick off for the Letter Carriers food drive which will benefit Food for People."

Later in the day, "During stops three and four with Max and Mackenzie we discussed issues of cannabis with Lori Ajax (and her crew) the newly appointed Chief of the Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation for the California Department of Consumer Affairs and then spent some time with our County Counsel Jeff Blanck who talked about various legal issues that counties sometimes face."




May 11, 2016

"For what you have done to Eric--my twin--is pure evil and you are a waste of skin. So, Gary Lee Bullock when you get to hell, you better beg the devil for mercy because I don't and I won't!"

"For what you have done to Eric--my twin--is pure evil and you are a waste of skin. So, Gary Lee Bullock when you get to hell, you better beg the devil for mercy because I don't and I won't!" This is the last sentence of statement that Fr. Eric's twin sister, Karin  made to Bullock at his sentencing today.

"Choices we make them everyday, most of which only affect ourselves. But you made a choice that has brought us here today," said Lisa. "Eric lived what he taught. He had such compassion for all of humanity and did what he could to alleviate suffering. Eric would have done that for you."

"I chose to forgive you for two reasons," said Lisa. "First of which my brother Eric would (and probably did) forgive and would want us to do the same. Second is as a Seventh Day Adventist Christian I can do no less."

"I pray for you and your family, for they have now lost a son and a brother. However, they can visit you. I must go to a cemetery to do that. I pray for your salvation as that is what Eric would want, what I want. God is just waiting to forgive, and he will. But again, it's your choice."

Commenting on physical distance where they each lived and growing apart as time slipped by as well as the Fr. Eric's becoming a priest, "Naturally the distance grew between us (literally). However, I can honestly say we were working on closing the gap the last seven/eight months of his life. You had no right to take that away from us, Mr. Scumbag."

"Eric lived his life as he was taught," said Anita. "You shmuck, you didn't have to kill him, he probably would have given you the keys to the car, or maybe even a ride home. So how many times did my brother say 'Let's talk about this' or 'I forgive you' or 'Gid forgives you' before you put/shoved the pilsner glass in his mouth to make him be quiet."

All three sisters who read the statement addressed Bullock directly in their statement. They all teared up, his sister Anita could not finish reading her statement and it was completed by Victim Witness Advocate Mary Beth Bian.

As his twin sister Karin Freed, who has been here for all the court hearings, read her statement, a picture of Fr. Eric's grave flashed on the screen. One of the jurors who attended the sentencing sat next to me and she sobbed as each sister read the statement. Before court, this juror told me she wanted to attend and see what Fr. Eric's family had to say.


"It's never going to be over; there is partial closure"; exclusive interview with Fr. Eric's family and photos





These are photos I took in the lobby on the first floor of the Courthouse. In the first photo, you see all of Fr. Eric Freed's sisters with Victim Witness Advocate Marybeth Bian. In the second photo, the sisters are with family friend and family attorney, Ms. Kathleen Bryson.

The t-shirts the sisters are wearing was designed by Ms. Bryson's daughter, Gillian, who attended St. Bernard's Catholic School and were made and are available at Humboldt Republic. They did not wear them during the trial and those of us who have had these did not wear it in the past two years to court or at trial, out of respect for the judicial process.

After the sentencing was over, parishioners and community members who knew Fr. Eric gathered in a small conference room. KIEM, North Coast News, LOCO, TS, Mad River Union and I all received copies of the victim statements, made by three of Fr. Eric's sisters. His sister Melissa (with the cap) was unable to make it to the trial but she is here for the sentencing.

They agreed to speak only with me, privately, to answer any questions. I was so overwhelmed myself with emotions that I could not think of many questions.

I asked them how they felt, Fr. Eric's sister Anita said, "It's never going to be over; there is partial closure."

"We know he is never going to be out," said Melissa. She added that knowing that no other family has to go through what they did is a relief and they are grateful that the community will be safe.

His twin sister Karin, repeated what she read in her statement in court. "The only way we can see him is at his gravesite."

Melissa said that the she still had a birthday message recorded on her answering machine from September 2013 after she made a birthday call to her brother in September 2013. She put it on disk and gave her sisters a copy.

Amidst our grief, relief and tears, I learned that one of my favorite homilies, a story about his dad, was not quite the way Fr. Eric told it. I joked, "Are you telling me he lied to us?" Laughing, one sister said yes; the other said, each person remembers events differently; and one sister said, "Let's just say he had a wonderful imagination."

I asked them about something they had privately shared with me a long time ago. They found out about their brother's death through the media. The police had not yet been able to notify them. At the press conference, Eureka Police Chief declined to mention who the victim was but Eureka Mayor Frank Jager, said "We all know it's Fr. Eric."

The family said that Mayor Jager apologized to them. "That meant a lot."

The family said they had asked why Bullock was not held in jail. They said Deputy District Attorney Andrew Isaac told them that "even if Bullock was on probation, the jail could not hold him, they would have to rearrest him."

The family was unanimous in agreement that since District Attorney Maggie Fleming took over, they have been very impressed. They especially wanted to thank Ms. Bian who has been there for them since the beginning.





Gary Lee Bullock sentenced to two terms of life without possibility of parole and a determinate sentence





On April 11, a jury found Gary Lee Bullock guilty on all counts of the murder of Fr. Eric Freed. On April 15, Bullock withdrew his plea of not guilty by insanity

Gary Lee Bullock was charged with Count 1 murder with three special allegations: infliction of torture, murder committed while engaging in first degree residential burglary, murder committed during carjacking. Count 2 and 3 are both first degree residential burglary. Count 4 Vehicle theft. Count 5 arson of inhabitated structure,  Count 6 is carjacking and Count 7 is Torture.

Judge John Feeney's tentative decision had been to follow probation's recommendation and sentence Bullock to two life sentences without the possibility of parole and a determinate sentence of thirteen years and two months.

Bullock's lawyer, Mr. Kaleb Cockrum brought up Penal Code 654 saying that according to that code, you can't be punished twice for the same act in California. And then attempted to list the car jacking and a few other counts as being part of a continuous chain of events; Mr. Cockrum did not include attempted arson among these crimes.

MS. Fleming responded that all special circumstances had been addressed in the DA's memo on sentencing by Mr. Isaac. Addressing the 654 argument by Mr. Cockrum, she said, "I do agree 654 applies to car theft so that sentence should be stayed. All other charges are distinct and stand alone."

Judge Feeney agreed with Ms. Fleming.

The final decison was two life sentences without possibility of parole and a determinate sentence of 12 years and 6 months; all to be served consecutively. 

Count 1: Life in prison without possibility of parole

Count 2: 1 year and 4 months (1/3 of the mid term)

Count 3: 1 year 4 months (1/3 of the mid term)

Count 4: 8 months (1/3 of mid term)-- stayed due to PC 654

Count 5: 10 months (1/3 of mid term)

Count 6: 9 years

Count 7: Life in prison without possibility of parole

The credit of 861 days in jail would be applied to Count 6.






Help this dog rescued from Palco Marsh with her amputation surgery

I got this request from Tamara Faylor.

Surgery is scheduled for this Friday and funds have not been pouring in and so there is a need for more publicity about this sweet girl's amputation surgery need.  Could you please post with priority.  Buddy's & Angel's Animal Rescue is one of the rescues that help the dogs out that would have been involved in the Palco March eviction but for the preplanning and assistance.





Here is the language from the Go Fund Me post:

I volunteer with Buddy and Angel's Animal Rescue which is a non-profit group in Humboldt County.  
This rescue focuses mainly on the homeless animal population in the area. They assist homeless animals by offering services such as spay/neuter, vaccines, dewormer, flea medicine, mange treatments, food distribution, collar/leash distribution and medical appointments. Recently, they have been working with Companion Animal Foundation, Redwood Pals Rescue, and the City of Eureka to provide even more homeless pets with more medical care! 

On one of the rescue's outreach days at the Palco Marsh in Eureka, BAAR came across a 4 month old, female, Pit Bull puppy with a possible dislocated elbow.

Little Ms. Tanner went into a foster situation immediately, pending a vet exam. "Tawny Tanner" (a nick name given by her foster parent) was seen on May 3rd at Myrtle Avenue Veterinary Hospital in Eureka and was not only spayed, but she also received much needed x-rays to determine what was actually wrong with her leg (many thanks to the City of Eureka/Eureka Police Department and their new Animal Control Officer!!)

Unfortunately, the x-rays showed that the puppy's humerus was broken. Due to the location of the break, a simple cast cannot heal the damage. 

Buddy and Angel's is now needing to raise $2000 so that this puppy can have her leg removed, to ensure that she can live pain free! 

I personally have a deep, sincere, passion to assist animals in need, and I know that a lot of people in the Humboldt area feel the same way. 

Not every person who chooses to own a pet, has the ability to fund unforseen accidents. The homeless community has even less options when dealing with medical care for their pets. This is why "Tawny" needs your support!

BAAR understands and appreciates that there are varying opinions on homeless animal ownership. However, the rescue intends on continuing to advocate for the homeless animals in the county who need help. 

With that said, Buddy and Angel's needs your help to get this puppy's amputation done as quickly as possible! 

Every single dollar is sincerely appreciated. All donations are tax-deductible! If you feel uncomfortable donating through Gofundme, please feel free to contact Myrtle Avenue Vet at 707-443-8686 to make a donation on behalf of this special puppy.

Derek Payton held to answer on all charges for Eliot Walin homicide



Finally, the preliminary hearing for Derek Payton was held today in Courtroom 1 with Judge John Feeney. He was held to answer on all charges.

 He is charged with four felony counts. Count 1 Murder of Elliot Walin; special allegation that Payton personally and intentionally discharged a firearm, a Taurus revolver. Count 2 Assault with a firearm on Nickolas Edmund Deremer; special allegation, causing great bodily injury. Count 3 is discharge of a firearm with gross negligence. Count 4 Maintaining a place for selling or using a controlled substance; marijuana; special allegation that he was armed with a firearm during the "commission or attempted commission of the above offense."

Deputy District Attorney David Christensen is prosecuting the case. Payton is represented by Public Defender Casey Russo.

Before the preliminary hearing, Mr. Russo spoke for about five minutes with Payton, who kept shaking his head, "no". I assume that was no to a plea deal.

EPD Detective John Gordon was the only witness. He is the lead investigator on this case.

Arraignment on information is on June 7, 2016 at 2 p.m..


Jan 28, 2016


Preliminary hearing rescheduled for Derek Payton charged with the murder of Eliot Walin

Due to a change in a new attorney being appointed in January, Derek Payton's preliminary hearing that was scheduled for February 9 has been vacated. He has a new intervention hearing on February 23 and his new preliminary hearing date is March 7, 2016.


Jan 6, 2016


Attorney for Derek Payton suspect in Eli Walin homicide files motion to withdraw

A hearing for confirmation of counsel and new dates to be set is scheduled for this afternoon.

Public defender Casey Russo was confirmed as Payton's attorney today.

Preliminary hearing is February 9 at 8:30 a.m.; Intervention is on January 26 at 3 p.m.


Nov 3, 2015


Derek Payton arrested for Eliot Walin homicide

I had already done a post that this was pot related on October 27.

Oct 27, 2015


"Everyone on the streets knows who did it", Source close to man shot at Watson and F alludes to pot as motive

Eliot Michael Walin, was known as Eli to his friends.

Michael Acosta, who represented Eli in his 2013 cases and considered him a friend called his death tragic. He leaves behind his young daughter, Elliot, named after him and a mother and sister who are very close.

Eli did serve time in prison, he had a few cases in the Humboldt Superior Court system, the most recent being the 2013 charges against him for assault on Deputy Conan Moore. He plead to one charge but had another similar charge dismissed. He also had two misdemeanor assault and battery cases in 2013, one against an Andrew Lee Cross dismissed.

"He was trying to turn his life around," Mr. Acosta told me this morning.

A source close to Eli who wishes to remain unnamed, said as far as he knows Eli was unarmed, has heard different versions of whether he was shot in the back or the chest and alluded to "pot" as a motive. "Everyone on the streets knows who did it."

EPD Press Release:


Department were dispatched to the report of multiple shots heard in the vicinity of the 1500 block of F Street.  Responding officers located a victim, Elliot Michael Walin (age 31 of Fortuna), lying in the roadway near the intersection of Watson and F Streets. Walin had sustained a single gunshot wound to his upper torso and was being attended to by a couple of citizens.

Medical aid was summoned and Walin was transported by ambulance to St. Joseph Hospital where he was later pronounced deceased.  While this was occurring, hospital staff contacted the EPD Communications Center to report a second male gunshot victim had been brought to the emergency room by acquaintances who found him walking on Wabash Avenue.  The second victim was uncooperative but admitted to investigators he was with Walin at the time the shooting occurred.

EPD quickly developed a number of strong investigative leads and a suspect was soon identified.  On 11/02/15, at about 12:30 PM, EPD officers were dispatched to a motel on the 1200 block of Fourth Street regarding a suspicious person/circumstances call (involving a possible embezzled or stolen vehicle on scene).  Upon arrival, officers located Derek Charles Payton (age 22 of Eureka) whom EPD investigators had previously identified as the suspect in the homicide.  Payton was taken into custody on two misdemeanor domestic violence-related warrants and subsequently transported to EPD Headquarters where he was interviewed by the lead investigator on this case, Detective John Gordon.

During the interview, Payton confessed to having shot at both victims over a marijuana-related dispute.  Payton was transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility where he was booked on his warrants and for 187(a) PC (Murder) and 245(a)(2) PC (Assault with a Deadly Weapon (Firearm).  His bail was set at $1,050,000.00.

Meanwhile, EPD investigators obtained search warrants for a room and two vehicles associated with Payton at the motel.  While securing the motel room, investigators detained a female occupant, Lindzy Rose Yee (age 30 of Eureka). Yee was on probation for drug related offenses.

During a subsequent search of the motel room, investigators located methamphetamine and heroin.  Investigators also located and seized a handgun believed to have been used by Payton during the shooting.

Yee was arrested and transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility where she was booked for possession of controlled substance while armed, possession of drug paraphernalia, unlawful possession of a stun gun by a convicted felon, and probation violation.

Pre-trial for Mark Wheetley's DUI case continued until June 16; case in early resolution court

The defense continued a pre-trial for Mark Wheetley's DUI case today. The new date is June 16. The case is being prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Whitney Barnes. Mr. David Nims is representing Mark Wheetley.

The case is in the early resolution court, Courtroom 3.

Feb 18, 2016

Mark Wheetley arraigned this morning for DUI in early resolution court

Mark Wheetley was arraigned this morning, in Courtroom 3 which is early resolution court. The alleged DUI occurred "on or about January 7, 2016." Count 1 is Driving under the influence of alcoholic beverage. Count 2 is Driving while having 0.08 % or higher bloood alcohol.

Mr. David Nims, from the law firm of Janssen and Malloy, appeared in court on behalf of Mr. Wheetley. Deputy District Attorney Max Cardoza was present for the People. Commissioner Michael Eannarino is the Judge in Courtroom 3.

Next court date is May 11.


Feb 1, 2016


Mark Wheetley withdraws as candidate in 3rd District Supervisorial race

Statement from Arcata Council member Mark Wheetley:

"After long and thoughtful consideration, I have decided to withdraw my candidacy for Third District Supervisor.  Due to a number of personal and professional obligations, it would be difficult to sustain an effective and competitive campaign at this time in balance with those commitments."

"I am thankful for all the support I have received from the people of the Third District and throughout Humboldt County.  I will continue to serve the people of Arcata on the City Council until my term expires in December 2018."

According to Humboldt County jail reports, Mark Edward Wheetley arrested by California Highway Patrol 1/7.16 at 9:30 p.m. for VC23152(a).

From Shouse Law site:

Most people who get arrested for DUI in California ultimately get charged with two separate misdemeanor offenses:
  • driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, under California Vehicle Code 23152(a) VC, and
  • driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.08% or greater, pursuant to California Vehicle Code 23152(b) VC.2
Penalties for DUI offenses increase with each "prior" conviction.  Penalties generally 
consist of probation, alcohol education classes, fines and possible jail time.  A 
first-time offender faces no mandatory minimum jail time, while a second-time offender 
faces a minimum of 96 hours in county jail.  For a third-time offender, minimum jail 
time increases to 120 days.  A DUI causing injury can be charged as either a 
misdemeanor  or felony and can involve state prison time.

Verizon can you hear me now? Cell-phone service down in Humboldt?

Compared to the rest of the country, Humboldt has been spared so far. About an hour ago, tried to dial out on my cell-phone.

Cannot get through, not even to customer service. Texted a few friends and they are having the same issue.




Jonas Semore jury trial delayed, possibly start next Monday

Opening statements were scheduled to start today. The May 11 jury trial in the Jonas Semore case has been vacated, trial scheduled to start Monday, May 16.

An emergency continuance was filed by the defense.

Attorneys will meet with Judge John Feeney on Friday, May 13 at 8:30 for a hearing on status.

The defense has filed a motion in limine to exclude gang evidence. The District Attorney filed a motion to exclude prior conviction of witnesses.

Deputy District Attorney Roger Rees is prosecuting the case. Mr. Russ Clanton is representing Semore.


Tenants at the Ritz will be able to go back once the damaged electrical wiring has been isolated

Humboldt Bay Fire Chief Bill Gillespie says:

"The tenants will be able to go back in once the damaged electrical wiring has been isolated. One apartment has some minor damage to a wall where we opened a concealed space to check for fire spread. The property owner had someone working on that when I departed. The fire burned in the overhang above the 3rd and F street door, and looked like it started at or from a light or associated wiring in the overhang. "

Fire Department Press Release:



Humboldt Bay Fire
News Release




 

May 11, 2016
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
 
Subject :
Structure fire, 433 Third Street, Eureka.
Contact :
Kent Hulbert, Battalion Chief
 



 
On May 11, at approximately 0400 hrs. Humboldt Bay Fire responded to an investigation of an odor of smoke at 433 Third Street. The first arriving unit found an odor of smoke inside the building on the second floor and observed smoke between the ceiling of the first and second floor that was getting thicker. Another engine was requested for assistance, then crews observed smoke and a small amount of fire on the exterior of the building at a light fixture above the entrance to the Ritz Bar. A full structure fire response was initiated including 2 additional engines and two chief officers. The building was evacuated of all tenants. Crews arrived and removed the roofing and ceiling of the exterior overhang and attacked the fire, extinguishing it within 10 minutes of arrival. Crews then removed more of the overhang to ensure that no more of the building was compromised. Two businesses had smoke inside and were ventilated with fans. The fire is under investigation, but appears to have started in a light fixture and is suspected to be caused by an electrical short.
No injuries were reported.
All tenants were able to return to their apartments and businesses by 0600 hrs.
Damage is estimated at $6000.