Saturday, 18 May 2024

Regional

The Humboldt County Coroner’s Office has positively identified human remains discovered in the area of the Manila Dunes on Jan. 5 as that of 56-year-old Pete William Dibean of Manila, California.

Dibean was living in a well-established makeshift metal structure in a homeless encampment at the dunes.

On Jan. 5, at about 4:52 p.m., the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Emergency Communications Center received a call regarding human remains in the area of the Manila Dunes homeless encampment. Humboldt County Sheriff’s deputies and a deputy coroner responded to the scene and recovered the remains.

An autopsy was conducted on Jan. 10 and the manner of death was determined to be a homicide.

This case is currently under investigation by the Sheriff’s Major Crimes Division.

The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office extends our deepest sympathies to Pete Dibean’s family and friends during this difficult time.

This is an active investigation, and the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office thanked those that have come forward with information relating to this case.

The agency encourages others that may have any information about this homicide to call the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office at 707-445-7251 or the Sheriff’s Office Anonymous Crime Tip line at 707-268-2539.

Caltrans is reminding motorists to plan for extra travel time and remember safe driving tips for foggy conditions this holiday season.

Throughout the fall, winter and early spring, the Central Valley often finds itself shrouded in thick ground fog, better known as tule fog, which emerges after rains saturate the soil.

Foggy conditions can form along the Sierra Nevada within mountain valleys in a similar fashion. At the higher peaks, fog can also form when moist winds blow toward a mountain and cause the air to rise and cool.

Nearly three in four fog-related traffic collisions are connected to motorists driving too fast, statistics indicate. These collisions also result in the highest fatality rates.

To help motorists navigate safely through foggy conditions, Caltrans offers these driving tips:

• Reduce your speed to ensure a safe stopping distance.
• Drive with headlights on low beam. Never drive with only the parking lights or fog lights on and avoid using high beams in fog.
• Use extra caution when crossing traffic or busy intersections, especially in dense fog. Lower your window and listen for traffic you can't see.
• Use windshield wipers and your defroster to improve visibility.
• Be patient and don't pass long lines of traffic.
• Use the “fog line” on your right shoulder as a guide.
• Avoid stopping along the freeway or highway shoulders.
• When looking to exit, the solid white line on the shoulder will veer to the right, breaks for a few feet, and then resumes along the ramp. Also, highways prone to fog will have markers that follow a 3-2-1 dot countdown pattern to let motorists know there is an exit ahead. On the right shoulder, drivers will see three reflective markers 2,100 feet before the exit, two markers at 1,400 feet and one marker at 700 feet.

Caltrans District 3 is responsible for maintaining and operating 4,385 lane miles in 11 Sacramento Valley and Northern Sierra counties. Caltrans reminds motorists to “Be Work Zone Alert” and slow in construction zones for the safety of travelers and crews performing these improvements.

The department will issue construction updates on X @CaltransDist3 and on Facebook at CaltransDistrict3. For real-time traffic, click on Caltrans’ QuickMap or download the QuickMap app from the App Store or Google Play.

NORTH COAST, Calif. — The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office said it has identified human remains found earlier this month as belonging to a Piercy man whose disappearance had resulted in a search effort involving agencies around the region.

On Tuesday, the agency’s Coroner's Division reported they had identified the deceased body after recent dental comparisons were conducted by a forensic odontologist.

Dental comparisons confirmed the deceased person found during the Dec. 10 search efforts as being Scott William Graves, 63.

Graves’ family had reported him missing on Dec. 7 after last hearing from him on Dec. 4. At that time, he had tried to leave his property in the 73000 block of Island Mountain Road but it was too wet and the roads were unsafe for travel. He told family members he would try again the following day.

Search efforts began on Dec. 7 and continued until the remains were found three days later. Agencies from around the North Coast, including the Lake County Sheriff’s Office’s Search and Rescue team, assisted with the search.

The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Coroner's Division and sheriff's detectives are continuing investigations in an attempt to determine the manner, cause and circumstances of Graves' death.

Anyone who might have information that could assist sheriff's detectives in this investigation are urged to contact the Sheriff's Office Tip-Line by calling 707-234-2100 or the WeTip Anonymous Crime Reporting Hotline by calling 800-782-7463.

The Calpella Two Bridge Replacements Project in Mendocino County, California. Photo courtesy of Caltrans.

NORTH COAST, Calif. — As construction continues on the Calpella Two Bridge Replacements Project, Eastside Calpella Road in Redwood Valley will be closed next week from Monday, Jan. 15, to Friday, Jan. 19.

Weather permitting, the road closure will be in effect from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Road 144 to Moore Street (Moore Street to Route 20 local traffic only).

The closure is needed so crews can perform falsework removal from the new bridge.

As a reminder, eastbound motorists on Route 20 are unable to turn left onto Road 144 or turn left from Road 144 to eastbound Route 20.

These changes are expected to last until next spring.

Please follow signage and thank you for your patience during this safety project.

Myers and Sons Construction is the contractor for the $32.4 million project with $5.2 million from SB 1 funding. Completion is expected in 2025.

Find more information here.

The Calpella Two Bridge Replacements Project in Mendocino County, California. Photo courtesy of Caltrans.

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection Cal Fire Wood Products and Bioenergy Grants Program is announcing $15 million has been awarded for 16 projects across the state.

These projects will fund expansion in workforce development and businesses involved in creating healthy, resilient forests across the state as outlined in California’s Wildfire and Forest Resilience Action Plan.

The 16 grant awards support private businesses, nonprofits, schools and tribes.

“Cal Fire’s Business and Workforce Development Grants Program is proud to support businesses and projects that are doing the vital work of maintaining and enhancing the wood products infrastructure of California to support healthy resilient forests,” said Cal Fire Assistant Deputy Director for Climate and Energy, Alan Talhelm. “Projects that receive support from these grants not only support forest health and wildfire resilience, but they also support the people and ecosystems that depend on California’s forestlands.”

The awardees address a wide variety of projects. Two grants will subsidize transporting lowvalue forest biomass. These projects are essential for the transportation of material out of high wildfire hazard zones, which would otherwise be cost prohibitive.

Five workforce development grants will provide new job training opportunities. One example being the Quartz Valley Indian Reservation in Siskiyou County, which will offer fire and fuels training to 100 people over the next three years, increasing local capacity for fuels management.

A total of four grants will be offered to small forest operations businesses. Grant funding was also offered to projects that further reforestation efforts in California as well as projects that will help build a new forest bioenergy production facility.

“Cal Fire’s Workforce Development Grant gives my team the opportunity to help California,” said current grantee Taylor Parker of the Sierra Nevada Alliance. “Because of this funding, we are able to fill some crucial forestry gaps, increasing the quality of life for habitats and people in this process.”

With these grant offers, the Wood Products and Bioenergy Team at Cal Fire has now awarded $103 million to 89 business and workforce projects that align with the state’s climate mitigation and economic development goals.

Cal Fire’s Business and Workforce Development grant awards are funded with State of California General Funds. The solicitation will soon open for new grant applications. Please visit Cal Fire’s Wood Products and Bioenergy webpage for details.

Route 162 in Covelo at the decorative median island. Photo courtesy of Caltrans.

COVELO, Calif. – Caltrans hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony today to celebrate the completion of a $1.5 million Clean California project to beautify downtown Covelo and improve safety for drivers, pedestrians and bikers.

The project was made possible through Gov. Gavin Newsom's Clean California initiative, a sweeping $1.2 billion, multiyear clean-up effort led by Caltrans to remove trash, create thousands of jobs, and engage communities to transform public areas into spaces of pride for all Californians.

The upgrades improved a nearly one mile stretch of Commercial Street (State Road 162) that serves as the main street through Covelo.

This included adding traffic-calming features from west of the Town Creek Bridge to east of East Lane, such as a decorative median island and speed table humps to reduce traffic speeds.

The Mendocino County town is located adjacent to the Round Valley Indian Reservation. The project added crosswalks and solar lighting with changeable banners featuring a Yuki Basket design selected by local tribes.

The tribal pattern represents the history and culture of the area and is designed to help reduce litter and discourage graffiti by adding value and a sense of community representation.

Ribbon cutting of the Covelo Clean California project Mendocino County District 3 Supervisor John Haschak and Covelo residents Kay Richards and Lew Chichester. Photo courtesy of Caltrans.

“These investments will benefit the entire community in and around Covelo by creating a safer, more reliable transportation system,” said Caltrans Director Tony Tavares. “Pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists will all benefit from this project, as we continue to improve and rebuild our infrastructure.”

To create improvements that would best reflect community needs, Caltrans partnered with the Round Valley Tribes, residents, businesses and the Mendocino Council of Governments, or MCOG. After receiving feedback and planning for the project, construction took one year to complete.

“With the ongoing efforts to beautify and increase safety, we look forward to continuing to work with the community of Covelo to fine-tune these traffic calming measures that address the safety concerns for drivers and non-motorized users, said Caltrans District 1 Director Matthew Brady. “We are proud to make an investment into downtown Covelo and bring this Clean California project with pilot features to the community.”

The project is one of about 320 Clean California projects beautifying communities throughout the state.

Since launching Clean California in July 2021, Caltrans has removed an estimated 2 million cubic yards of litter from state highways – or enough to fill 634 Olympic-size swimming pools. The program has created nearly 8,700 jobs that have helped Californians overcome barriers to employment and drawn more than 10,000 volunteers to events ranging from community cleanups to large debris collections for appliances, tires, and mattresses.

For more information, visit https://cleancalifornia.dot.ca.gov/.

Solar lighting with changeable banners featuring a Yuki basket design selected by local tribes. Photo courtesy of Caltrans.

Upcoming Calendar

18May
05.18.2024 7:30 am - 1:00 pm
Inaugural veterans charity run
18May
05.18.2024 8:00 am - 11:00 am
Sheriff’s Activity League benefit breakfast
18May
05.18.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
18May
05.18.2024 10:00 am - 05.19.2024 4:00 pm
Buckingham Test and Tune
18May
05.18.2024 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Land Trust benefit
21May
05.21.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Library Park
22May
05.22.2024 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Lake Leadership Forum
25May
05.25.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
27May
05.27.2024
Memorial Day

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