[Listen] Accused murderer of ex foster parent likely headed to adult court; Last week’s top stories

Humboldt Last Week is a way to hear highlights from Humboldt’s last week a news. It’s available on iTunes, SoundCloud, top podcast platforms, and at kymkemp.com

In the latest episode of Humboldt Last Week (13:00): (Warning: Graphic content) Back in October a man in his 60s by the name of Richard Falk was shot and killed in the Dinsmore area.

One murder suspect in the case is a 17 year old boy named Duane Gillespie, District Attorney Maggie Fleming told the Times Standard before declaring her intent to try him as an adult. The victim’s nephew and sister, Dennis and Patti Falk, say Gillespie was the victim’s foster child years back.

Another reported murder suspect is an unidentified teenage girl and it’s unclear if she will ever be named or tried as an adult. Perhaps you remember Redheaded Blackbelt coverage on the suspects’ arrests in Arcata with a helicopter hovering above.

Richard Falk had two adopted sons and dozens of foster children over the years. He was the youngest of three siblings, never married, worked locally before retirement, and was an Air Force veteran who had a well-attended military funeral. His family said he was retired at the time of his death and his years were numbered due to a cancer diagnosis.

“He was a good man,” Patti Falk said.

In the podcast Dennis and Patti Falk share more information about the victim, more information about Gillespie who Dennis Falk referred to as a ‘young Charles Manson,’ and how Gillespie interacted with the Falk family over the years.

Gillespie has reportedly pleaded not guilty to murder and burglary charges. It was last reported that a transfer hearing on Jan. 30 could officially move the case from juvenile to adult court. It’s not clear what his defense will be and defendants are to be presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. Gillespie would not have been discussed were he not named by the District Attorney’s Office and noted as a future defendant in adult court.

The story begins at 13:00.

Also covered

Finders keepers in not the HSU way, rent went up and the home vacancy rate went down, a hotline aimed to fight ICE, a pure and udder debate on raw milk, more college football drama as a talented head coach resigns, crime updates, film updates, and other top stories.

Crime scene tape, creative commons

Buck Mountain area, Google Maps

Data indicates Humboldt rental prices up, more people housed

In the next episode of Humboldt Last Week: Compared to this time last year house rental prices have increased and the vacancy rate has decreased in Humboldt County, according to a new quarterly report from Real Property Management Humboldt and RentRange.

A release on the report notes the data indicates the average rent for a three-bedroom house in the county right now is $1,350 a month, a 5 percent increase from last year. Nationwide, rent has gone up 7.2 percent. Also for comparison, they noted “much of California” has average rents of over $2,000 a month.

They say they expect rent prices to continue to rise due to legal recreational cannabis, increased admittance at HSU, and other economic factors.

Also, the data suggests 4.8 percent of homes are unoccupied in the county, which is down 0.2 percent from last year. That means more people are now housed in Humboldt.

After receiving the release this reporter asked: “I think while a lot of people -- especially property owners -- see this as good news, there are still a lot of families that need a three-bedroom house, but $1,350 is not feasible for their budget. Is there a way even they can look at this as good news?”

The response from Real Property Management Humboldt Marketing Manager Brittany Stuckey: 

Thank you for your response and great question. It is intended as a statement of statistical data, but we were intrigued by the decrease in vacancy. 

Renters might see this as good news considering our market rents are much lower compared to national rates and astoundingly lower than the rest of California which has rents of $3,500 and higher for comparable properties. With increased minimum wage, our rents would be increasingly affordable. 

Although it isn't popular to rave about housing, any drop in vacancies is amazing, as it is a typically stagnant datapoint.  

A decrease in vacancy rates and increase in rent could mean increased confidence in investing in properties (such) as rentals, which adds available housing. If there is a substantial increase in investment, and thus a larger supply of properties available, demand and thus prices could gradually decrease. 

I am an example of that investor confidence due to this increased rent and decrease in vacancy -- I am a renter, but I am now also a first time home buyer. I cannot afford a home in California, but the wonderful resident in my home helps to make ends meet. If market rent was lower, I couldn't afford that mortgage. That would be one more vacant home, one more houseless person, and me -- far from reaching my dream of owning a home. 

Beyond that, with the need for additional housing and this new data exposing the decreased vacancies and increasing rental rates may create interest in the development of more housing.

And here's the full press release from Real Property Management Humboldt:
[Eureka, CA] – 1/23/2018 – Humboldt rental home rates are rising according to Real Property Management Humboldt, part of the nation’s leading property management franchise organization, and RentRange, the nation’s leading provider of Rental Market Intelligence™. 
The quarterly “Rental Statistics Report” found that the average monthly rent for single-family homes in Humboldt was $1,350, representing a 5 percent year-over-year increase. Nationally, year over year rent increases for single family three-bedroom homes jumped by 7.2% during the fourth quarter of 2017 to $1,467.  However, the change from the end of the third quarter was minimal – only a slight change from $1,473 to $1,467, indicating that rental rate increases are starting to moderate despite the appearance of a large gain.  The data used rents on three-bedroom single-family homes only to insure comparability across markets. 
“Considering increased admittance at HSU, the enactment of Proposition 64, the overall economic health forecasted for the year, and a multitude of other economic factors that impact Humboldt’s housing market, we expect rental prices will continue to rise” said Darus Trutna, President of Real Property Management Humboldt. 
Humboldt vacancy rates, the percentage of homes considered unoccupied, fell to 4.8% percent through the second quarter. This represents a 0.2% percent decrease since last year at this time. Nationally, vacancy rates now average at 5.4%, the same as last year. 
“We are pleased to see that our market rates are not dramatically increasing, adversely affecting the residents in our community; unlike much of California where median rents for single family homes are upwards of $2,000 and it gets even more difficult to afford housing. It is especially thrilling to see a decrease in vacancy rates, a typically stagnant data point. It is motivational to see that more people have homes and gives us pride to know we may have played a part in moving people into those homes.” Brittany Stuckey, Marketing Manager of Real Property Management Humboldt. 
As leaders in the rental housing industry, Real Property Management and RentRange have an ongoing strategic business relationship. Real Property Management relies on RentRange’s proprietary rental housing data to provide investors with accurate, current information about local rental properties and rental markets. 

Submitted by Real Property Management Humboldt
The next episode of Humboldt Last Week will be released on Sunday in partnership with Riders in the Sky in Ferndale Feb. 23, Bongo Boy Studio, Mazzotti’s, and Primal Decor. 

[Audio] Family member praises lifesaving dog after fire, seeking housing; Top stories from last week

Humboldt Last Week is a way to hear highlights from Humboldt’s last week of news. It’s available on iTunes, SoundCloud, top podcast platforms, and at kymkemp.com

Episode partners: Riders in the Sky in Ferndale Feb. 23 / Bongo Boy Studio / Mazzotti’s / Primal Decor

In the latest episode of Humboldt Last Week (10:48): Who’s a good dog? Milli for sure. One recent morning in the 6 o’clock hour she woke up her Eureka family letting ‘em know their kitchen was on fire.

“(If it weren’t for Milli), I think I would have died from smoke inhalation,” said family member Jessica Jones. “My boyfriend is a really hard sleeper, I’m surprised the she even woke him up.  And I wouldn’t have woken up because I was so far in the back room…”

Luckily the children that live in the home were not at the house at the time. The two turtles that live there are also okay.

Jones said there were batteries in the smoke detectors at the home, and isn’t sure if the batteries were dead or if the detector malfunctioned. Because their rental agreement requires tenants to periodically test the detectors, that could possibly limit their housing options moving forward. Her boyfriend first rented the place around eight years ago.

“I’m just grateful that our dog saved our lives,” Jones said. “(Please let me know) if there’s any rentals out there available for (a displaced family) due to a fire on accident.”

In the podcast you can hear more about Milli, her family, her reward, and her difficult housing situation.

The story begins at 10:48.

Also covered

A Eureka mom said a woman tried to steal her truck with her baby inside, a condemned property displacing families, a Humboldt-shot film makes a Rolling Stone list, illegal outdoor cannabis woes, Mateel woes, good news for Eureka’s economy, the HSU alum headed for the NFL draft gets a huge nod, a hero, the Chronicle’s choice of the coolest thing to do in Humboldt, top crime stories, and other highlights.

Milli, submitted

Press release from Humboldt Bay Fire: 
At 6:26 AM this morning, Humboldt Bay Fire responded to a call for a Structure Fire in the 4100 block of Little Fairfield Street in Eureka. As the first arriving Fire Engine pulled up to the single-family home, they observed light smoke coming from the front door with a female resident on the front lawn suffering from mild smoke inhalation.
Firefighters geared up to attack the fire and made entry into the home. Once inside, they encountered a male resident in the kitchen attempting to extinguish a small fire on the stove. Firefighters escorted the male resident to safety, finished extinguishing the fire, and checked to ensure the fire had not spread into the attic.
After a quick knockdown of the fire, fire crews observed that the home had no working smoke detectors. The resident stated he had been cooking food on the stove that morning and fallen asleep. The next thing he remembered was being awakened by the family dog and seeing smoke in the house. Both residents of the home suffered from mild smoke inhalation but denied the need for additional medical attention. If not for the family dog alerting the residents, this incident could have had a much different outcome. Damage to personal belongings and the home are estimated to be $5000.
Humboldt Bay Fire would like to remind you that smoke detectors that are properly installed and maintained play a vital role in saving lives. If there is a fire in your home, smoke spreads fast and you need smoke detectors to give you time to get out.

[Audio] Coordinator chats about LA flights starting this summer; Top stories from last week

Humboldt Last Week is a way to hear highlights from Humboldt’s last week a news. It’s available on iTunes, SoundCloud, top podcast platforms, and at kymkemp.com

In the latest episode of Humboldt Last Week (12:48): Last week it was announced that for the first time in around seven years our airport will have a direct flight to Los Angeles. At least for a year, United Airlines will begin service between ACV and LAX on June 7.

“There will be specials for sure as we get closer to the launch so definitely watch out for those promotional sales,” said Humboldt County Aviation Program Coordinator Emily Jacobs.

In the podcast Jacobs discusses what it will take for the flight to remain long-term, the top benefits we could see from having an LA flight, price expectations, our airport’s name, the possibility of additional destinations, and much more.

The interview begins at 12:48.

Also covered

The memorial lighthouse in Trinidad is moved, Safeway no longer open 24 hours, the Fortuna ice rink won’t happen next winter unless they find new organizers, another Nickelodeon cartoonist with Humboldt ties, an officer who fought cancer is back on the job, a local novelist is donating proceeds from her new book to a good cause, top stories from two weeks ago (since I took a week off), crime updates, and other top stories.

By Florencio Briones, Wikipedia Commons