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.
THIS IS ONLY A TEST!!
For more information see the flyer below.
In a letter addressed to Caltrans Director, Michael Dougherty, dated March 5, 2013, California District 2 Senator, Noreen Evans, communicated concerns and asked a number of questions, on behalf of her constituents, regarding the current Willits Bypass Project.
- Click here for a pdf copy of Senator Evan's Letter to Caltrans. (Thanks to KMUD News Correspondent, Christina Aanestad, for providing the Evans Letter.)
- New ~ Click Here for the Caltrans Response to Senator Evan's letter.
- Click here for a KMUD News Post detailing the background of this project and protests against the project.
- Click here for the Caltrans Willits Highway Webcam.
KMUD News Director, Terri Klemetson, aired the piece below on the KMUD Local News, Tues. March 12, 2013, featuring a report on the Evans letter by Jennifer Poole, Editor of the Willits Weekly and KMUD News Correspondent.
Update March 15, 2013:
Last Wed., March 14, 2013, a fourth act of vandalism to Suddenlink's fiber optics cable occurred, this time in the 3400 block of Old Arcata Road. Suddenlink is offering a $5,000 cash reward for the arrest and conviction of the suspect(s) responsible for these crimes.The latest Humboldt County Sheriff's Office press release appears below.
On 3-13-13 at about 11:00 p.m. the Sheriff’s Office was contacted by Suddenlink and advised of vandalism to their Fiber Optic Cable. This is the fourth vandalism toSuddenlink’s Fiber Optic Service since March 8, 2013. The most recent vandalism is believed to have occurred in the 3400 block of Old Arcata Road however Suddenlink is still attempting to identify the exact location. The Sheriff’s Office responded to the area last night and did not locate any suspects or find obvious signs of where the cable was damaged.
Sheriff’s Investigators are currently on scene investigating this crime and Suddenlink personnel are working to repair the Fiber Optic Cable. Suddenlink previously estimated the repair costs to be approximately $10,000, per site. The vandalisms have occurred in the areas of Ferndale, Trinidad and now Bayside.
Suddenlink is offering a $5,000 cash reward for the arrest and conviction of the suspect(s) that are responsible for these crimes.This is an on-going investigation and the Sheriff’s Office is working diligently to identify a suspect or suspects in these crimes and to stop further vandalisms and interruptions to Suddenlink’s services.
Anyone with information for the Sheriff’s Office regarding this case or related criminal activity is encouraged to call Detective Kirkpatrick of the Sheriff’s Criminal Investigations Division at: 707-268-3640 or the Sheriff’s Tip Line at 707-268-2539.
Update March 12, 2013:
For the third time in less than a week, Suddenlink's fiber optic cable, the cable providing telephone, television and internet service to their customers, has been vandalized. The first two incidents occurred on March 8, 2013. This most recent act of vandalism was reported on Tues., March 12, when Sheriff's Deputies, responding to a telephone call from a Supervisor for Suddenlink, found a four-foot length of cable had been cut out and discarded in the brush nearby.
The press release update from the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office appears below:
On 03-12-2013 just after midnight the Sheriff’s Office received a telephone call from a Supervisor for Suddenlink, regarding vandalism again to their telephone/cable/internet service. The location of the vandalism to the Fiber Optic Cable was located approximately 2/10 of a mile north of the south Weymouth Bluff Road on Blue Slide Road, Ferndale. An approximate 4 foot section of the Fiber Optic Cable was cut out and discarded in the brush.The Sheriff’s Office responded to the scene and recovered the 4 foot piece of Fiber Optic Cable and booked it into evidence to be fingerprinted.
The Supervisor for Suddenlink estimated approximately $10,000 to repair the Fiber Optic Cable. There are currently no suspects for this vandalism. Suddenlink has since put a temporary repair on the Fiber Optic Cable to return service to their customers.
This is the third vandalism to Suddenlink’s Fiber Optic Cable since Friday, March 08th, 2013. The first two vandalisms occurred in the Trinidad and Ferndale area on Friday. The total cost for repair in the first two vandalisms is approximately $10,000 dollars.
Suddenlink has informed the Sheriff’s Office that they are offering a cash reward for the arrest and conviction of the suspect or suspects that are responsible for the vandalism to their Fiber Optic Cable.
Anyone with information for the Sheriff’s Office regarding this case or related criminal activity is encouraged to call the Sheriff’s Office at 707-445-7251 or the Sheriff’s Tip line at 707-268-2539.
See the original post on this story below.
According to a press release from the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office, dated March 8, 2013:
On 3-8-2013, approximately 10:30 a.m. the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office was notified by the Plant Manager of Suddenlink, that an unknown suspect(s) cut the companies Fiber Optic Cable at approximately 12:17 a.m. today. Repair crews were immediately notified of an outage, and when they responded to the underground vault located near Grizzly Bluff Road and Blue Slide Road, Ferndale they discovered the line was intentionally cut and approximately 24 feet of Fiber Optic Cable was stolen. The damaged line caused approximately 1000 customers to lose telephone service including 911, along with internet and cable.
Approximately two hours later service on another Suddenlink Fiber Optic Cable was lost in the Trinidad area. When Suddenlink repair crews arrived at the location of the damage on Scenic Drive, Trinidad near the US 101 southbound onramp, they discovered that line had been cut. Approximately 950 customers were affected by the loss of that line. There are no suspect(s) at this time. Estimated damage is over $10,000.00. Suddenlink is currently working to repair the damaged lines.
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.
The Humboldt County Board of Supervisors met Tuesday, March 5, 2013, to preview a draft registration program for outdoor medical marijuana cultivation. The County staff has been a year in the development phase of this ordinance, but before adoption the board plans to seek community input on the draft.
Use the player below to hear more on this story, including a report submitted by Daniel Mintz. This story was aired on the KMUD Local News on Tues., March 5 by KMUD News Director, Terri Klemetson.
The news piece in the player below was aired by KMUD News Coordinator, Christina Aanestad on the Local News Fri., March 1, 2013. The audio includes interviews with 4th District Humboldt County Supervisor, Mark Lovelace and Ellen Komp from Cal NORML
March Cannabis Science Update:
- Oral Administration of synthetic THC reduces symptoms of sleep apnea, according to clinical trial data published online in the scientific journal Frontiers in Psychiatry. http://norml.org/news/2013/02/14/study-oral-thc-administration-mitigates-sleep-apnea
- New findings highlight the high risks of smoking synthetic marijuana including possible kidney damage in some teens and young adults. http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6206a1.htm and http://www.samhsa.gov/newsroom/advisories/1212040915.aspx
- In February, a researcher from the University of Auckland in New Zealand claims he found an increased risk of stroke among cannabis users, but critics of the study contest that claim.
- Meanwhile, research published in the American Heart Journal said marijuana users who had heart attacks were no more likely to die than those who hadn’t smoked cannabis. http://healthland.time.com/2013/02/08/marijuana-linked-to-increased-stroke-risk/
- Finally, in Israel, researchers at Tel Aviv University studied the effect of medical marijuana on the health of 19 nursing home patients between the ages of 69 and 101. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130124123453.htm
Use the player below to hear the March Edition of Cannabis Science Update.
Cannabis Science Update is a regular feature of the KMUD radio show, Cannabis Consciousness (1:30-3:00pm on the first Sun. of every month), and is written by Kerry Reynolds, read by Harold Day, and recorded by Dave Smith.
- Spring Arts Collective Logo by Stu Moskowitz
Spring Art Collective (SAC) is the name of a program which offers fine art and music classes to interested young people. This year's program, held at the Mateel Community Center in Redway, began March 1, 2013 and will run through April 26, with a requested $5 donation per class session.
Use the player below to hear more on this story, which was aired on the KMUD Local News, Monday, March 4, 2013 by KMUD News Director, Terri Klemetson.
Photos below from the SAC: student paintings on silk, drying (left) and to the right, Kathryn Guillette with SAC music students.
According to a press release from the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office, dated Fri., March 1, 2013:
On 03-01-2013, approximately 12:15 p.m. the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office was notified by a citizen that they located a male, believed to be missing person Jeffrey Panutsos in the woods near Redwood Fields, deceased. Deputies responded to the scene and the Humboldt County Coroners Office was notified. It appeared that Panutsos injuries were self inflicted.
The original post of this incident appears below.
According to a press release from the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office, dated Feb. 28, 2013:
On 2-27-13 at about 1000 hours, the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office received a call from a concerned relative of Jeffrey Panutsos reporting him as a missing person. The relative informed the sheriff’s office he was last seen on 2-26-13 at about 2:00 p.m. when he left for a walk in the 3200 block of Cedar Street, Eureka. The sheriff’s office also learned that Panutsos frequently walks in the areas of Redwood Fields, Sequoia Park and other forested areas surrounding these locations. The relative is concerned because he suffers from unspecified medical conditions and for him to be gone overnight is unusual.
The sheriff’s office is asking the public’s help in locating Panutsos. Panutsos is described as a white male age 20, 6’2, 175-180 lbs., blond hair and green eyes. Panutsos was last seen wearing a green sweatshirt with “Humboldt” printed on the front, blue jeans, dark colored vans and a black beanie cap.
Panutsos has been entered in the state missing persons’ database and other local law enforcement agencies have been alerted. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office at 707-445-7251 or the Sheriff’s Tip Line 707-268-2539.
Update- Thurs., Feb. 28, 2013; wanted suspect, Walter Kristopher Miller, arrested in Ukiah. Hear more on the KMUD Local News tonight at 6 PM.
According to a press release from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office, Walter Kristopher Miller has been arrested. Miller is a suspect in a vehicular pursuit which, according to a Sheriff's Report, included gunshots fired by Miller at the pursing officer's car. Miller was taken into custody on Wed., Feb. 27 and booked for: attempted murder, illegal possessing a firearm, burglary, possessing stolen property, conspiracy and parole violation. See the press release directly below for more information on the arrest of Miller. Also, check below for previous audio aired on this story and additional press releases.
Press release update:
On 02-27-2013 at approximately 1130 hours Sheriff's Detectives received information that Walter Kristopher Miller was possibly occupying a room at the Best Western Orchard Inn in the city of Ukiah. Sheriff's Detectives conducted investigations into the information while members of the Mendocino Major Crimes Task Force and County of Mendocino Marijuana Eradication Team established surveillance on the hotel. Approximately 2 hours later Sheriff's Detectives uncovered substantial information that showed Miller was currently occupying a room at the hotel.
A perimeter was established around the hotel with the assistance of personnel from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office, Ukiah Police Department, California Highway Patrol (officers and helicopter) and Mendocino County District Attorney's Office.
The Mendocino County Sheriff's Office SWAT team, comprised of personnel from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office and Willits Police Department, were summoned to the scene. The SWAT team was deployed to the inside of the hotel where the team then confined Miller to the room he was solely occupying on the second story. Customers inside the hotel were evacuated to a safe location away from the hotel and nearby businesses were instructed to shelter in place. The City of Ukiah Fire Department in addition to the City of Ukiah Ambulance service and Ukiah Ambulance service were summoned to the area to stand by in the event of a medical emergency.
Personnel from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office Crisis Negotiation Team were summoned to the hotel in an attempt to contact Miller. Prior to their arrival a Sheriff's Detective established telephone communications with Miller and began to negotiate his peaceful surrender. During the approximately 2.5 hour negotiation process Miller expressed a desire to surrender to his parole agent from the Division of Adult Parole Operations with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. As the parole agent was arriving at the hotel Miller exited the room and surrendered himself to members of the SWAT team.
Sheriff's Detectives conducted a search of the hotel room pursuant to a search warrant and seized an AP 9mm machine pistol with 2 loaded high capacity magazines (20 & 30 round magazine). Sheriff's Detectives noted this was one of the firearms stolen from the Van Arsdale Road residence in Potter Valley on 02-25-2013 and was the firearm believed to be used during the attempted murder of the Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputy on that same day.
Miller was transported to the Mendocino County Jail where he was booked on charges of attempted murder, illegal possessing a firearm, burglary, possessing stolen property, conspiracy and parole violation. Miller is currently being held on a no bail status.
The original post of this story appears below.
A high speed pursuit, with shots fired at the pursuing Mendocino Sheriff Deputy's vehicle, occurred last Mon.evening. One of the two suspects in the incident has been arrested, but the other suspect, Walter Kristopher Miller, age 33, from Ukiah, California, is still at large and is considered armed and dangerous,
Use the player below to hear more on this incident, including press conference audio from Mendocino County Sheriff Tom Allman. This story was aired by KMUD News Director, Terri Klemetson, on the KMUD Local News Tues., Feb. 26, 2013.
Below, see the photo of wanted suspect Miller, arrested suspect Christopher Skaggs, and the Mendocino Sheriff's Office press releases.
Wanted suspect, Walter Kristopher Miller, shown below:
Arrested suspect, Christopher Skaggs, is shown below.
Original press release, dated Mon.,Feb. 25, 2013:
On 02-25-2013 at 2149 hours a Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputy conducted a traffic stop of a sedan displaying an expired registration in the 1200 block of South State Street in Ukiah, California. Once the sedan stopped the Deputy approached the driver?s window to contact the driver. Upon reaching the window the vehicle quickly accelerated southbound on South State Street, which prompted the Deputy to give chase.
The Deputy engaged the sedan in a vehicular pursuit as the sedan reached speeds of approximately 80-90 miles an hour. The sedan shortly thereafter turned westbound on Highway 253 and slowed to speeds of approximately 50-60 miles an hour. At this time the sedan swerved into the opposing traffic lane several times, even in the presence of blind curves in the roadway In the 900 block of Highway 253 the front passenger of the sedan partially exited the open passenger window and shot several times at the Deputy's patrol vehicle with a handgun. One of the bullets struck the patrol vehicle's radiator and shortly thereafter rendered the patrol vehicle inoperable.
Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies from county-wide converged to the area in an attempt to locate the sedan that was last seen traveling westbound of Highway 253. At this time the search was aided by personnel from the California Highway Patrol, Ukiah Police Department, Cloverdale Police Department and Sonoma County Sheriff's Office.
During the search the sedan was found abandoned in a driveway leading to a residence located in the 6000 block of Highway 253. As a result, a reverse 911 call was initiated to residents in the surrounding area. During a search of the driveway near the sedan several items where found that showed the escape path, by foot, of the suspects. Deputies on scene noticed the items found were reported as being stolen from a residential burglary on Van Arsdale Road in Potter Valley earlier in the evening. It was noted by Deputies that several firearms (handguns, rifle and shotgun) and ammunition had been stolen during the residential burglary but had not been recovered with the abandoned sedan.
Sheriff's Detectives responded to the scene and are conducting further investigations into the shooting incident.
At this time Detectives have identified Christopher Skaggs (30-years-old from Redwood Valley, California) and Walter Kristopher Miller (33-year-old from Ukiah, California) as persons of interest in this incident. The public should consider Skaggs and Miller to be possibly armed and dangerous. Skaggs is currently wanted on an unrelated burglary and robbery incident reported to the Sheriff's Office on 02-19-2013.
Anyone with information on the current whereabouts of Skaggs and Miller are urged to contact the Sheriff's Office Dispatch Center at 707-463-4086 or the Sheriff's Office Tip-Line at 707-234-2100.
Updated press release- Tues., Feb. 26, 2013:
On 02-26-2013 at approximately 0900 hours Sheriff's Detectives received information that Christopher Skaggs was seen walking in the 3000 block of South State Street in Ukiah. Sheriff's Detectives responded to the area and saw Skaggs near the intersection of South State Street and Norgard Lane. When Sheriff's Detectives attempted to contact Skaggs he fled on foot and was subsequently apprehended after a short foot chase.
Through further investigations Sheriff's Detectives have identified Walter Kristopher Miller as being the person whom discharged a firearm at the Sheriff's Deputy during the vehicular pursuit.
At this time Miller's current whereabouts are unknown and the public should consider him to be armed and dangerous. Sheriff's Detectives believe Miller to still be in possession of a firearm and he has a history of violent behavior.
A photograph of Miller can be found by accessing the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office website at www.mendocinosheriff.com and by selecting the "County's Most Wanted" link on the left side of the main page.
The Mendocino County Sheriff's Office would like to thank the California Highway Patrol, Ukiah Police Department, Cloverdale Police Department, Santa Rosa Police Department, Sonoma County Sheriff's Office, Mendocino County District Attorney's Office, California Department of Justice Forensic Bureau and U.S. Marshals Service for assisting in this investigation.
Anyone with information on the current whereabouts of Miller is urged to contact the Sheriff's Office Dispatch Center at 707-463-4086 or the Sheriff's Office Tip-Line at 707-234-2100.