Safety and Public Awareness

Safety and Public Awareness

News reporting arrests, weather warnings, product recalls, and other important information relating to safety and public awareness, are found in this category.

Update: April 11, 2013:

According to information received by KMUD News, Olivia Marquez-Sykes passed away early morning on Thursday April 11, 2013. According to the KMUD Local Newscast, aired by KMUD News Director Terri Klemetson on April 11, Olivia's mother, Julie Marquez, posted to her Facebook page: “Our dear sweet Olivia followed her own path and crossed over at 4 am this morning. She fought long and hard, but she is at peace now and flying free.”

KMUD wishes to extend condolences to Olivia's family and friends.

The original post on this story apperas below.


A Southern Humboldt teenager is in serious condition and being treated at U.C.Davis Medical Center after returning from a party in a daze and reporting to her family that she had taken the drug ecstacy.

Use the player below to hear more on this story, including friends and family rallying to support this much loved local young woman. This story was aired on the KMUD Local News,Tues., March 19, 2013, by KMUD News Director,  Terri Klemetson.

  • Donations to help Olivia's family with medical expenses may be made at: Garberville Community Credit Union Acct.# 16550
  • Cards and gifts may be sent to U.C. Davis Medical Center: 2315 Stockton Blvd, Sacramento, California 95817
  • Click here for the Facebook Page: Loving Olivia



A recent Eureka Police Department press release describes a message popping up on local residents computer screens purporting to be from the “Department of Homeland Security National Cyber Security Division.” The message reportedly causes the computer to freeze and instructs the user that to “unlock” the computer they are “obliged to pay a fine of $300.00.” The EPD advises that anyone receiving this message should not make any requested payments and should file a complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) at http://www.ic3.gov/default.aspx.

According to the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) website,  this type of cyber attack is called "ransomware" and results after an e-mail message, puporting to be from the Department of Homeland Security National Cyber Security Division or from other "official sources", including the FBI, is received by the victim. US-CERT gives information about avoiding cyber attacks and scams including not clicking on links or opening attachments from suspicious e-mails.

The full EPD press release may be read below.

On 3/20/13, the Eureka Police Department received a report of a computer-related scam now affecting some local residents.  Victims report a pop-up message will appear on their personal computer.  The message is purportedly from the “Department of Homeland Security National Cyber Security Division.”  The message, which appears to be a form of malware/virus known as “ransomware,” states: “The work of your computer has been suspended on the grounds of the violation of the law of the United States of America.”  It further declares, “This computer has been blocked.”  The message remains locked in the front of one’s screen and the user is unable to close it or access other programs.  It essentially freezes the computer. The message instructs the user that to “unlock” the computer they are “obliged to pay a fine of $300.00.”  It further states they must pay this fine through “MoneyPak” within 48 hours (Green Dot MoneyPak is available through Walmart, Kmart, Rite Aid and other major retailers).  If the fine has not been paid, it threatens the user will become the subject of criminal prosecution without the right to pay the fine.  The warning asserts once you pay the “fine” your computer will be unblocked. The “fine” is paid by entering your $300.00 MoneyPak code into a box on the pop-up warning screen and clicking ok.

The warning screen is very convincing with logos from Homeland Security as well as major retailers such as Walmart.  Walmart and the other retailersare not associated with this scam.  Alternate versions of this same scam may use the FBI’s logo  Anyone receiving this message should not enter a MoneyPak code or any other payment method into the screen.  Users should file a complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) at http://www.ic3.gov/default.aspx.  The IC3 is a partnership between the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C).


A Humboldt County Sheriff's Deputy, patrolling the area of recent fiber optic cable vandalism in the Rio Dell area (click here to see that story), resulted in a vehicular pursuit which was eventually terminated for public safety concerns but later picked up by the California Highway Patrol. After crashing and rolling the car he was driving, 29 year old Michael Joseph Petersen, was arrested for felony evasion, possession of a loaded firearm in a vehicle, possession of illicit drugs, possession of hashish, possession of a controlled substance, resisting arrest, driving unlicensed and driving under the influence. According to the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office (see the press release below) there is no indication Petersen was involved in the Suddenlink vandalisms.

HCSO Press Release, dated March 18, 2013:

On 03-18-2013, approximately 1:00 a.m. a Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Sheriff patrolling in the area of Blue Slide Road and Price Creek Road, Rio Dell area, saw a grey 1989 Toyota pickup truck parked in a turnout in the area where the Suddenlink Fiber Optic vandalisms had been occurring.  As the deputy drove by he saw a subject standing outside the trucks driver side door wearing a black backpack.  When the deputy made a u-turn to investigate what the person was doing the truck sped away, south on Blue Slide Road. The deputy sheriff attempted to pull the car over and the truck failed to yield. Instead the pickup sped up to speeds in excess of 60 mph. The deputy initiated a pursuit as the truck accelerated to 70 mph as it approached Rio Dell City limits. The truck failed to stop for a stop sign then entered US 101 southbound vary speeds of 50 to 80 mph. The truck then exited US 101 at Pepperwood exit continuing southbound on State Route 254 (Avenue of the Giants). While traveling southbound on State Route 254 the truck weaved into both lanes of traffic. Due to public safety concerns the deputy terminated the pursuit.
A few minutes later California Highway Patrol (CHP) Officers who were responding to assist the deputy spotted the pickup truck on Dyerville Loop Road, Garberville area. The truck again started to flee from the C.H.P. car, however lost control and crashed in the 2700 block of Dyerville Loop Road. The pickup truck rolled over during the crash and traveled approximately 400 feet down a hillside. The driver, who was the sole occupant in the pickup truck was taken into custody by C.H.P. He received minor injuries in the collision. The C.H.P. Officers located a loaded Colt handgun in the vehicle, along with a variety of illegal drugs.

The deputy joined the CHP Officers on scene and the driver, Michael Joseph Petersen, 29 years old from Garberville was arrested for felony evasion, possession of a loaded firearm in a vehicle, possession of illicit drugs, possession of hashish, possession of a controlled substance, resisting arrest, driving unlicensed and driving under the influence.  Petersen was taken to a local hospital for his injuries and was treated and released. He was transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility where his bail was set at $50,000.00.

There is no indication Petersen was involved in the Suddenlink vandalisms.

Anyone with information for the Sheriffs Office regarding this case or related criminal activity is encouraged to call the Sheriffs Office at 707-445-7251 or the Sheriffs Office Crime Tip line at 707-268-2539.

Michael Joseph Petersen shown below.


NOAA's National Weather Service in Eureka informed KMUD News that the annual Tsunami Warning Communications Test, for 2013 will take place on Wednesday, March 27th between 11:00 am and 12:00 noon. To insure that the Tsunami Warning System works properly in case of a real tsunami emergency, Del Norte, Humboldt, and Mendocino Counties will all participate in this test by interrupting TV and Radio Stations, and activating NOAA Weather Radios and Outdoor Sirens. However, not all Cable and Satellite TV Stations may be able to participate.

Remember when you hear or see the warning test on March 27 between 11:00 a.m. and 12:00 Noon:

    • You do NOT need to take any action  
    • Do NOT call 911 or local authorities  
    • Do NOT evacuate your home or business.  


For more information see the flyer below.

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