Saturday, July 29, 2017

[Audio] Accused child rapist and former restaurateur headed to trial; Humboldt’s last week of news

Episode sponsored by Bongo Boy Studio and SHINERFEST.
In the latest episode of Humboldt Last Week (7:26): Warning: Graphic content. Accused child rapist and former restaurateur Chad Smith will face a jury and possible life sentence in prison after a judge ruled there was enough evidence to take his case to trial.

Smith, a 42 year old who also worked locally as a substitute teacher, is accused of offenses with multiple victims over the span of four years. Two girls, now 15, testified along with many others during preliminary hearings at the courthouse in Eureka last week.

“I didn’t see a whole lot of emotion (from the suspect) and as far as when the Jane Does were testifying he appeared to just stare head on to the girls without any emotion whatsoever,” said Times Standard reporter Sam Armanino, who attended the hearings.

In the podcast, Armanino discusses his coverage on the hearings, provides an update on the case, and provides observations on those that attended the hearings.

Smith’s next court hearing will be on August 10.

The story begins at 7:26.

Also covered

Differing views on a police officer shooting and killing a bulldog, medical detox finally comes to Humboldt, a Humboldt man was shot at Ruth Lake, the lighthouse in Trinidad will probably be moved soon, painting outside of the box, possible changes at the Crabs’ lab, crime, and much more.

Chad Smith, booking photo

Saturday, July 15, 2017

[Audio] Eureka Police Chief chats before starting new gig in Santa Cruz; Humboldt’s last week of news

Episode sponsored by Bongo Boy Studio.

In the latest episode of Humboldt Last Week (8:45): After almost four years of service as the Police Chief of Eureka, Andy Mills has taken a gig as the top cop in Santa Cruz. Moving closer to family, he and his wife will relocate to a city with well over twice as many people.

“I just really wanna thank the citizens of Eureka and the residents of Humboldt County who’ve welcomed us with open arms, who’ve treated us with nothing but respect,” Mills said. “We walk away from this experience better because we have met so many wonderful people… I just think it’s time now for another person to step in and take it to the next level and I’m sure that’ll take place…”

In the podcast Mills discusses past misconceptions regarding EPD, the media, the achievements he’s proudest of, what he hopes for in terms of the new Eureka Police Chief, his progressive policing, a roller coaster, and much more.

The interview begins at 8:45.

Also covered

That new mural in Eureka, a cannabis farmers market is nixed for now, speculation that a recent prostitution arrestee is actually a victim, an attempted plane ride with pounds, an officer involved shooting, crime, and much more.

Andy Mills

Sunday, July 9, 2017

[Audio] Pro-Trump media group buys out local TV news stations; Humboldt’s last week of news

Episode sponsored by Adventure’s Edge and Bongo Boy Studio.

In the latest episode of Humboldt Last Week (5:30): Some of our local news TV stations were bought out by a company that the Times Standard pointed out has “drawn criticism for its conservative leanings.”

Sinclair Broadcast Group is set to purchase four stations including our ABC and FOX affiliates -- the North Coast News stations. Sinclair has been accused of inserting national conservative propaganda into local newscasts at their almost 200 stations across the country.

“The Sinclair takeover of (the North Coast News stations) can have some good benefits, but also gives me personally some concerns about the perception of the news station to viewers,” said Jeremy Chen, a former North Coast News reporter who now works for ABC affiliate KESQ in the greater Coachella area. KESQ is not a Sinclair-owned station.

In the podcast Chen comments on what he believes are the pros and cons of the Sinclair takeover.

A piece by John Oliver recently examined how Sinclair sends out self-produced must-air conservative stories and requires local anchors to read biased scripts to introduce certain national stories. In a Bill Maher interview with Sinclair’s Chief Political Analyst Boris Epshteyn, a former senior advisor to President Trump, Epshteyn says "I’m very much on America's side, on the President's side."

While many see Sinclair as an affront to journalistic integrity, others believe the takeover will balance out what they consider to be a major left-leaning bias in the mainstream media.

The story begins at 5:30.

Also covered

The Sheriff’s Office has been looking into how an office they oversee has been illegally allowing the sale of dead people’s stuff to their own employees, a local gets the rare Citizen’s Distinguished Service Medal, there’s a military general in our midst, that “oh ship” moment, and much more.


Saturday, July 8, 2017

[Audio] FBI, others asked to look into past corruption within Sheriff’s Office; Humboldt’s last week of news

Episode sponsored by Adventure’s Edge and Bongo Boy Studio.

In the latest episode of Humboldt Last Week (12:28): The Sheriff’s Office has been looking into how an office they oversee has been illegally allowing the sale of dead people’s stuff to their own employees. Purchased items include vehicles and electronics -- things left behind by the dead with no will or heirs.

“The FBI and (California) Attorney General’s Office (have been asked by District Attorney Maggie Fleming) to get involved in the investigation,” said Lost Coast Outpost reporter Ryan Burns, who has been covering the investigation thoroughly. “... To Sheriff (William) Honsal’s credit, he’s been pretty open about the whole process from the moment this whole story broke… He sat down with me and was very forthcoming about where things stand...”

The office in question is that of the Public Administrator’s, which has been under the supervision of the Sheriff’s Office since February 2015.

In the podcast, Burns discusses what he’s learned, how an assessment of ‘good deals’ could play a role in the investigation, the sale of items to people close to the Sheriff’s Office, the return of some items, and much more.

The story begins at 12:28.

Also covered

Some of our local news TV stations were bought out by a company that has drawn criticism for its conservative leanings, a local gets the rare Citizen’s Distinguished Service Medal, there’s a military general in our midst, that “oh ship” moment, and much more.

70s Corvette, photo by Barnstarbob

Saturday, July 1, 2017

[Audio] Sex trafficking victim and activist talks CNN interviews; Humboldt’s last week of news

Episode sponsored by Adventure’s Edge, Eel River Brewing and Bongo Boy Studio.
In the latest episode of Humboldt Last Week (9:21): Elle Snow, a local sex trafficking victim and activist, was on CNN last week discussing her experiences and efforts to end “the game.”

“Snow founded the anti-slavery organization Game Over in 2016,” narrates CNN reporter Lynda Kinkade. “A survivor of prostitution, Snow says her trafficker was a drug dealer who first tricked her into thinking they were starting a relationship. But she says when she agreed to travel from her home in Eureka, Calif. to his apartment in Sacramento, everything changed.”

“Working with CNN was amazing,” Snow said. “The executive producer of the CNN Freedom Project, Leif Coorlim, was extremely respectful and really had the right priorities while covering this subject. Unlike all the other major news outlets that have contacted me, they didn't want to attack Humboldt County and make us out to be a horrific drug-ran county. They wanted to address the issues, but they mostly wanted to highlight what Humboldt is getting right when it comes to combating sex trafficking.”

In the podcast, more information from Snow is shared. Also, info on how she helped secure the first ever human trafficking conviction in Humboldt County, the brutality she had to endure to achieve it, why she tracks local online classified ads for prostitutes, her educational work, and the reach of the CNN piece.

Snow says additional CNN pieces are tentatively going to air in the coming weeks featuring herself and other locals working hard to help those that are trafficked here.

The story begins at 9:21.

Also covered

A press conference on the case of an HSU student murdered at a house party, Betty Chinn is stolen from and the community rallies, possible energy karma, a new Humboldt-launched app, a corruption investigation within the Sheriff’s Office, a viral video of an altercation at a local business leaves you furrowing a brow, crime updates, and much more.

Elle Snow, CNN screenshot