Fort Bragg Advocate-News

August 28, 2014

Ft. Bragg Advocate-News - Weekly newspaper with news, sports, obituaries and classifieds.

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Classifieds .. B6-7 Crossword .......B4 Obituaries ... A6-7 Opinion ............A4 Sports .............. B2 Sudoku ............B4 Index ............... ## INDEX By Kelci Parks @FBAdvocateNews on Twitter Fort Bragg resident Daniel Medina, 34, was arrested on Aug. 19 and eventually booked on multiple charges of sexual abuse against a minor. Charges include lewd and lascivious acts on a child under 14, the contin- uous sexual abuse of a child un- der 14 and penetration with a for- eign object. The Sheriff's Office reports that in July MCSO detectives opened an investigation into the possible sexual abuse of a young girl who reported that she had been molested by Medina, a fam- ily member, for the past seven years. Officers working on the case say that the abuse allegedly occurred about 20 times over the seven-year period. The incidents took place pre- dominately within Fort Bragg city limits, as well as two recent CRIME Arrest made in child sexual abuse case By Kelci Parks @FBAdvocateNews on Twitter The Fort Bragg Agricultural Program is going into its second year after an eight-year hiatus. Teacher Megan Schmitt said she's excited about the progress it has made in the short time it has been back. According to teachers, the long-time program was active for about 20 years before being cut. Its demise was sealed when the former Ag teacher left the position and the district didn't hire a replacement. "Last year was full of chal- lenges, getting the new pro- gram going," said Schmitt. "We reapplied for our FFA charter, developed classes and went full force into developing a school farm laboratory for students to explore agricultural projects." Classes are available to all high school students and in- clude agriculture biology, agri- culture earth science, agricul- ture mechanics and environ- mental horticulture. Recently, the 2-acre area where the classes take place has undergone some major im- provements. New fences are be- ing put up to make the space more secure and some incon- veniently located trees were re- moved to level and grade the en- tire area. The improvements will be an ongoing project with a lot of in- EDUCATION FBHS Ag program springs back to life By Adam Randall @udjadam on Twitter Congressman Jared Huffman was at Mendocino College on Aug. 18 for an informal discus- sion in which citizens in atten- dance were able to bring up top- ics of concern. Huffman was able to address multiple subjects including the Willits Bypass, trespass mar- ijuana grows and the coastal broadband outage to name a few. "This gathering was a chance for you to have some access to me," Huffman said to the audi- ence. "For you to find out a little about me, and my priorities and what I'm doing." The hot topic of the day was the Willits Bypass issue, which drew many questions from those in the crowd. Many were scepti- cal as to Huffman's involvement in the project. "I don't know exactly what went on behind the scenes, but I know you were involved in negotiations with Congress- man Thompson and the colo- nel of the Army Corps of Engi- neers," one concerned citizen said. "I'm not naïve, and know GOVERNMENT Huffman talks bypass, pot and the Internet CHRIS CALDER ― ADVOCATE PHOTO Fort Bragg Fire Department's huge American flag flew high above the Take Back Our Forests walk in memory of Jere Melo Saturday, Aug. 23. By Chris Calder @FBAdvocateNews on Twitter The third Walk to Take Back the Forests took place in Fort Bragg last Saturday, drawing a strong show of local support, and showing signs that the Jere Melo Foundation's persistence on the is- sue of trespass marijuana grows is paying off in Sacramento and Washington. The event to promote aware- ness of the dangers trespass grows pose to the public and environ- ment honored former Fort Bragg mayor and longtime forester Jere Melo, who was murdered while in- vestigating a trespass grow east of Fort Bragg in 2011. The foundation formed in Me- lo's name has been organizing events and sending representa- tives to venues like the League of California Cities' annual meet- ings, trying to win support for changes in the law that would in- crease both penalties and funding to enforce laws against marijuana trespass grows. Progress They have already seen some success. In 2012, Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law AB2284, authored by Assembly member Wesley Chesbro, which increased civil penalties for Fish and Wildlife vi- olations connected to illicit drug production and allowed law en- forcement to pull over people seen carrying agricultural supplies like water line on public lands. At Saturday's event, an aide to Congressman Jared Huffman reported progress on Huffman's proposed PLANT Act (Protecting Lands Against Marijuana Traf- ficking). The legislation itself has not passed, but provisions were included by a Senate Committee in another piece of legislation, en- acting stiffer penalties focusing on three areas: "unlawful use of poisons or hazardous chemicals such as pesticides, rodenticides, or high grade fertilizers, substan- tial impairment or taking of water from local aquifers, rivers, or bod- ies of water, significant removal of vegetation or the clear cutting of timber." Huffman has said he favors leaving the question of marijuana legalization up to states, but that the damage caused by trespass ENVIRONMENT Take Back Forests walk aims at trespass grows State legislation upped penalties for wildlife violations; Jere Melo Foundation presses on LGBT ISSUES » PAGE A2 President honors coast physician SPORTS » PAGE B2 'Wolves ready for new season BIKE RODEO » PAGE A3 PAL event mixes safety with fun THIS WEEK'S WEB BONUS Visit our Facebook page for daily posts Tips for Health & Wellness, Senior Living. Special Pages A8-9 Celebrate 75th Paul Bunyan Days this weekend. Special Section INSIDE THIS WEEK Fort Bragg resident booked into county jail for alleged sexual abuse of a girl under 14 FORESTS » PAGE 10 AG » PAGE 10 ARREST » PAGE 10 HUFFMAN » PAGE 12 » Thursday, August 28, 2014 75 CENTS FACEBOOK.COM/FORTBRAGGADVOCATENEWS Volume 126, issue 13 8 52659 03864 0 A NEWSPAPER

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