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Mendocino County Today: October 27, 2012

ON OCTOBER 25, 2012, at 8:15am, a 2001 Infinity SUV, driven by 20 year old Domonic Troy Quilici of Crockett, California, was traveling northbound on US-101 at Cummins Road in northern Mendocino County. For reasons still under investigation, the vehicle ran off the east roadway edge of the freeway, collided with an embankment and overturned several times. The vehicle came to rest on its driver side on the east shoulder of the freeway. Quilici remained inside the vehicle where he sustained minor injuries. The two remaining passengers, whose positions in the vehicle are undetermined, were not wearing seatbelts, and were ejected from the vehicle. 21 year old Vincent Jay Dodson of Vallejo, California succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced deceased at the scene. His father, 44 year old Greg Saul Dodson, also of Vallejo, California was flown to Mercy Medical Center in Redding where he later succumbed to his injuries. Quilici was taken by ground ambulance to Howard Memorial Hospital in Willits where he was treated and released to the custody of California Highway Patrol (CHP) and later booked into the Mendocino County Jail for charges including vehicular manslaughter. DUI does not appear to be a factor in this collision. The California Highway Patrol Garberville Area office is investigating this collision.

J. Audet Booking Photo, October 19, 2012

WHO IS THIS WOMAN? A reader convincingly writes that the “Pixie” we think is also Jacqueline Audet doesn't seem to be the Pixie from Boone, Wautaga County, North Carolina, daughter of Pamela Ward Audet, age 48 (dob 1964). “At www.Ancestry.com the only Jacqueline, I could find who matched the approximate age of 22 is ‘Jacqueline Therese Audet’ dob 12 April 1991 at Los Angeles, CA. Maybe her booking record in Ukiah will show if the birthdate is a match. [If the kid has been sober enough to remember it. Turns out Jaqueline Nicole Audet (aka “Pixie”) was booked with a date of birth as January 17, 1990] Possibility that parents might have been living in California at the time. Pamela Ward Audet may also be known as Pamela K. Audet. 1637 Little Laurel Rd., Boone, NC 28607-7487. Found a North Carolina divorce record showing a Pamela Audet divorced a Michael Audet on 21 February 1998 when the kid would have been almost seven.”

Hoover

KEVIN HOOVER has announced he will cease publication of the Arcata Eye on Feb. 14, 2014. Reached by phone this morning, Hoover said he has both personal and professional reasons for his decision. Personally he’d like more time to pursue other creative outlets, a luxury that his current workload simply doesn’t allow. “Doing this paper eats my life,” he said. And professionally he’s not satisfied with the product he’s been able to produce on a shoestring budget. “By and large people are pretty happy with what’s in the newspaper. I’m not,” he said. “It only has about five percent of the news I’d like to have in it. And really I’m just tired of doing things fast and shitty.” Hoover published the first edition of the Eye on October 22, 1996, shortly after the demise of the Arcata Union, for which Hoover was a reporter. In the nearly 15 years since the Eye has become a popular — if sometimes controversial — source for community news, debate and humor, including Hoover’s droll musings on area crime (compiled in two books, The Police Log and The Police Log II: The Nimrod Imbroglios). Hoover said Arcata — and really every community — needs its own source of independent news, and he hopes to find others in the community willing to take over that task before he publishes the final issue of the Eye (on his 60th birthday). “I don’t really feel like I’m doing an adequate job being the Fourth Estate,” he said. “I’m doing what I can, but this town really needs to make a long-term commitment to an independent news-gathering entity.” With that in mind, Hoover said he plans to visit each Arcata neighborhood this fall, asking residents what they want in a community newspaper and what each of them can contribute. “I’ve pretty much defined, over these last years, what an Arcata newspaper is,” Hoover said. “But I’m under no illusion that there aren’t people who can do it better — on all levels. They could run a business better, approach advertising better, manage people better, and they could probably write better stories in a lot of ways too.” He noted that the media landscape has gone through an epochal change in recent years with the proliferation of Facebook, smartphones and blogging. This multitude of “shiny objects” vying for the public’s attention make community newspapers, if anything, more important, Hoover said, because newspapers provide an independent perspective. “Every community needs one, and they’re the better for it,” he said.

Ossenberg

RONALD WALTER OSSENBERG, 52, is the man shot to death Wednesday by a CHP officer near Upper Lake. According to Lake County District Attorney, Don Anderson, Ossenberg, homeless, had a long criminal history. He'd just been released from the Orange County jail when he stole a 2010 Toyota Camry in Fullerton and drove north, eluding State Park police in San Luis Obispo County but was soon identified as the man who grabbed a backpack from a woman on the Golden Gate Bridge before heading to Lake County. DA Anderson said Ossenberg had previously visited Lake County on vacation.

OSSENBERG was sitting in the stolen Camry along side Highway 29 when a female CHP officer stopped to ask Ossenberg if he needed help. She then asked him exit his car to determine if he was drunk or otherwise under the influence. As the officer, still not identified, was running a computer check on Ossenberg, he attacked her, choking her and throwing her to the ground where he tried to get her gun out of its holster.

A PASSERBY, also not yet identified, stopped and ran toward the struggling couple, partially drawing Ossenberg's attention, which allowed the officer to get full control of her gun and shoot Ossenberg in the chest, killing him.

DA ANDERSON said the intervention of the passerby saved the officer's life. If Ossenberg had managed to get her gun Anderson said he was certain Ossenberg, given his history of assault on peace officers, would have shot the officer.

NORBURY’S FATHER testifies about journal entries in Ukiah trial. by Tiffany Revelle

Norbury booking photos from (1) 2010, (2) January 2012 (one month before Andrews was murdered), and February 2012.
And Jamal Andrews's obituary photo

Journal entries penned by convicted killer Billy M. Norbury's father about his son's strange behavior and the continued cross-examination of a psychologist went before the jury Thursday in the ongoing sanity phase of Norbury's murder trial. The jury on Monday convicted Norbury of first-degree murder and a special allegation that he used a 30-30 Winchester rifle to shoot and kill his Redwood Valley neighbor, Jamal Andrews, 30, on the night of Jan. 24. Norbury's Ukiah defense attorney, Al Kubanis, is now making his case to the jury that Norbury was legally insane when he pulled the trigger. To that end, Kubanis on Wednesday afternoon called to the witness stand Dr. John Podboy, a forensic clinical psychologist who testified he had diagnosed Norbury as a paranoid schizophrenic. District Attorney David Eyster, who is prosecuting the case, continued his cross-examination Thursday morning. The first thing he did was confirm that Podboy had reviewed his notes but still couldn't answer lingering questions from Wednesday regarding one test he had used to evaluate Norbury. Eyster also confirmed, via question and answer, that Podboy wasn't a medical doctor. Podboy had also testified that Norbury suffered from delusions and auditory hallucinations, meaning he heard voices telling him to “do bad things.” Eyster asked Podboy about a mental health clinician he had called earlier in the trial who testified he had observed “no visual or auditory hallucinations” when he had briefly interviewed Norbury to screen him for alcohol and mental health problems for a custody hearing held 19 days before the shooting. Podboy said he didn't remember that witness, or his report from Norbury's divorce file, and had, in part, relied on reports from Norbury's family and friends in his diagnosis, including two friends of the family who were sitting in the courtroom gallery and had watched most of the trial. “I interviewed so many people who were telling me the same thing,” Podboy said. One of the tests Podboy used to diagnose Norbury included a question about whether he had considered “doing something harmful or shocking.” Podboy testified that because Norbury had at first answered that he had and then changed his mind, the psychologist believed he was a suicide risk. When Eyster asked if he had reported that concern to the Mendocino County Jail staff, Podboy said he hadn't. Eyster also confirmed in his cross-examination of Podboy that the diagnostic manual he had used in the case defined mental disorders that “may not be wholly relevant to legal judgments.” Insanity is a legal term under state law meaning that because of a mental defect or disorder, the defendant didn't understand the nature or quality of the act, or was incapable of distinguishing between right and wrong. Podboy also testified that the mental disorder he diagnosed in Norbury was characterized in one standard as a schizoid personality disorder, and that it was intermittent. Family members had reported Norbury had made a change for the better when they testified at the custody hearing in January, and Podboy said he hadn't heard of those improvements from the family members he had interviewed. Eyster, having confirmed that another test Podboy used had said nothing about schizophrenia, asked Podboy if he had gotten “the big clues” about schizophrenia from Norbury's mother and grandmother. Podboy acknowledged he'd been impressed with the “font of knowledge” the women had on the disorder. Eyster asked if it was normal for a person to apologize for bad behavior, giving three examples of Norbury's behavior from earlier testimony in the case. Podboy said it was “normal behavior” to apologize. Podboy said he believed Norbury has a “mental blockage” leading up to the event, and that he still has it. Eyster asked if it was unusual, given such a blockage, for Norbury to be surprised that police had produced a warrant to search his home so quickly after the shooting, as indicated in a transcript of a Jan. 27 phone call to his grandmother from the county jail. During Kubanis' redirect questioning, Podboy confirmed that Norbury had just been arraigned in court and informed of the charges against him when that phone call was made. “The evidence is overwhelming that the defendant has a history of auditory hallucinations and feared for his life, and that came from a number of reliable sources,” Podboy said. “I consider his family and friends to be reliable individuals.”

Norbury's father, Billy Dean Norbury, resumed the witness stand after Podboy stepped down. Kubanis and Eyster took turns guiding him through journal entries that had come to the defense's attention Friday. “Billy wouldn't talk,” Billy D. Norbury said of a Feb. 22, 2011 entry he had written. “He was afraid the feds could listen through cell phones and TVs.” On that occasion, he testified, his son had said the Mexican mafia was after him and had retrieved a loaded .357 Magnum from a gun safe because he believed he and his children were in danger. On May 6, 2011, the father had written that he had come home to find his son “soaking wet, trying to wash off fire or something.” His son had been angry, he wrote, and hadn't slept for four days. “Wasn't there times when you kind of treated it nonchalantly?” Eyster asked, referring to the defendant's odd behavior. “You would have to be more specific,” the witness said. Eyster then asked the father about a Feb. 23, 2011 entry where he had written that he had awakened at 4am to find his son dressed in sweats, boots, a camo shirt and gloves, and that he would only make hand signals when he spoke to his son, pointing up at the ceiling and motioning for his father to not talk. Billy D. Norbury testified that he'd taken his son for a drive at his son's request early that morning, and that, following his son's hand signals, had ended up at the bottom of the Willits grade. “It really looked cute to me,” Eyster read from the father's journal. “I know it was really serious to Billy, but it's still really comical. It's like we were playing Army” like the two did when the defendant was a child. “Did you think this was a good moment to call for Mental Health?” Eyster asked. “It did occur to me,” the witness answered. Eyster proceeded through the journal entry, pointing out another notation where Billy D. Norbury had again described his son as “cute,” and “like a little kid going to the zoo” as they defrosted the vehicle's windshield while getting ready to go. Asked if a point later in the trip, where the younger Norbury was giving his father hand signals to tell him where to go as he drove, if it was “still cute,” the witness chastised Eyster for being “disrespectful.” Behnke told him to answer the question. “I don't remember,” the witness said, clarifying later that he didn't want to drive to the emergency room unless his son agreed to go. The trial continues Monday.

NORBURY JUROR asks to be excused. By Tiffany Revelle.

The length and tone of the murder trial of Billy M. Norbury clearly was beginning to wear on at least one juror Thursday afternoon, on the third day into the sanity phase of the trial in Mendocino County Superior Court. The jury of six men and six women on Monday convicted Norbury, 34, of using a 30-30 Winchester rifle to shoot and kill his Redwood Valley neighbor, Jamal Andrews, 30, on the night of Jan. 24. The jury on Tuesday began hearing evidence from Norbury's Ukiah defense attorney, Al Kubanis, who is trying to convince the jury it was more likely than not that Norbury was legally insane when he shot Andrews. Judge John Behnke told the attorneys after the jury left for its lunch break Thursday — on the 10th day of the trial so far — that one juror had asked to be excused because his employer would only pay him for 40 hours of jury duty, saying the length of the trial had affected his ability “to sustain (his) family.” The note also said the juror had become “stressed by the tone that the trial had taken,” and that the juror had “found some of the questions offensive,” Behnke told defense attorney Kubanis and District Attorney David Eyster, who is prosecuting the case. Both attorneys have spent time trying to discredit each other's witnesses, and Behnke has refereed numerous interruptions and frustrated outbursts by witnesses and the attorneys during the trial. The judge conferred briefly with Eyster and Kubanis before calling the juror into the courtroom to question him and make a decision about whether to excuse and replace him with one of the three alternates who have been sitting with the jury and hearing the same evidence. Eyster characterized the juror's concern about pay as “a focus issue,” because his attention could be divided “if he's sitting here worrying about his family.” The second issue, he said, wasn't significant unless it compromised the juror's ability to deliberate fairly. Behnke called the juror into the courtroom and asked him if the pay issue affected his ability to concentrate, and the juror said it did. Behnke then asked, regarding the “upsetting” tone of the trial, whether the juror felt he could still follow jury instructions and make a fair decision based on the evidence presented in court. “I can try my best,” the juror said, and Behnke did not excuse him from the trial, but instructed the juror to notify him in writing if he ever felt that ability was compromised. Behnke has spent an average of half an hour every morning of the trial, and sometimes more time throughout the day, without the jury in the room, going over which evidence the attorneys can present to the jury and how it will be presented. On Thursday afternoon, the judge and attorneys estimated the jury would be able to start deliberating Tuesday, Oct. 30 at the latest. That estimate was extended Thursday while the judge and attorneys discussed ways to speed up the presentation of new evidence to the jury, including journal entries about Norbury's behavior penned by his father. (Courtesy, the Ukiah Daily Journal)

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MCOG TO HOST Community Workshops to Discuss Alternative Future Growth Scenarios for Mendocino

As part of the Vision Mendocino 2030 project, the Mendocino Council of Governments (MCOG) will hold a series of public workshops between November 3rd and 27th to discuss alternative growth scenarios for the future of Mendocino County. Members of the public are invited to participate in the following workshops:

Ukiah Saturday, November 3rd, 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Mendocino County Veterans Memorial Building, 293 Seminary Ave., Ukiah

Willits Saturday, November 3rd, 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Willits Senior Center, 1501 Baechtel Road, Willits

Fort Bragg Wednesday, November 7th, 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. City of Fort Bragg Town Hall, 363 N. Main St., Fort Bragg

Laytonville Tuesday, November 13th, 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Lions Fire Hall, 44920 Willits Avenue, Laytonville

Covelo Wednesday, November 14th, 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Round Valley Library Community Room, 23925 Howard St., Covelo

Point Arena Thursday, November 15th, 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Point Arena City Hall, 451 School St. / 24000 Hwy. 1, Point Arena

Boonville Tuesday, November 27th, 5:30 p.m. to 7.00 p.m. Anderson Valley Fire Department & Community Service District, 14281 Hwy, 128, Boonville

The goal of the Vision Mendocino 2030 project is to create a regional Blueprint Plan that guides sustainable change in Mendocino County over the next 20 years. This project will integrate planning for housing, jobs, transportation, and the environment in both the cities and unincorporated areas of Mendocino County. The project is currently in its third phase out of four phases. In the first phase, MCOG gathered existing data relevant for the project. During the second phase, MCOG held community workshops to understand the community’s priorities and values. In this, the third phase of the project, MCOG staff and consultants have developed five alternative growth scenarios based on the community input. During this phase, MCOG will identify a preferred scenario based on community review and comments. In the final phase MCOG will develop policies and tools for the implementation of the preferred future growth scenario. MCOG is holding a series of workshops to facilitate the selection of a preferred growth scenario by the community. The main purpose of the workshops is to help members of the public understand the relative benefits and drawbacks of each alternative and find a growth scenario that best suits Mendocino County. During the workshop, MCOG staff and consultants will present alternative growth scenarios, discuss them with the community, and ask the community to identify their preferred vision. Comments will be received at the workshop or can be submitted by visiting www.visionmendocino2030.org. Any person with special needs or requiring special aid, such as an interpreter for the hearing impaired, is requested to contact MCOG by phone or mail. For further information, please contact the Mendocino Council of Governments (MCOG) at 707-463-1859. (—Seung Hong, www.planningcenter.com)

ONE OF THE MOST AMUSING and amazing moments in Thursday night’s second game of the World Series came when Giants outfielder Gregor Blanco’s bunt down the third base line refused to roll foul as most of them do. Some heavy-hitting commentators even speculated that the Giants grounds crew, knowing the Giants have more people who can bunt than the Tigers, sculpted the third base line with just a teensy bit of tilt toward the infield just for this possibility — a conspiracy theory we find very hard to believe. After an agonizing few seconds of staring at the wiggling little sphere, dejected Tiger infielders realized the ball was going to stay fair by just a couple of inches, after which the umpire emphatically and dramatically pointed inside the foul line that the ball was fair, as if the Tiger infielders didn’t see it for themselves. The ruling left the bases loaded with nobody out, after which Brandon Crawford grounded into a double play which scored Hunter Pence from third for what turned out to be the winning run. It turns out that the game of baseball includes three grown men staring at a little white ball slowly rolling along a narrow dirt path with millions of dollars in the balance depending on which direction the ball takes by an inch or two. If the Giants can keep up this kind of tiny-ball luck they’ll be shoe-ins to be World Series champs.

One Comment

  1. John Sakowicz October 27, 2012

    Go Giants!

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