Siskiyou County

Photo used courtesy of National Park Service

Native peoples called the high Modoc Plateau area "the smiles of God," a strangely fitting name for this lonely remnant of the Old West. One good reason to visit the remote Modoc Plateau is to study now obscure California history. The lava caves and craggy volcanic outcroppings at Lava Beds National Monument enabled charismatic “Captain Jack” and his Modoc band to hold out against hundreds of U.S. Army troops, with superior arms, for more than three months before being starved into defeat in 1873.

Ian Grant / Flickr, Creative Commons

McCloud, onetime mill town in the shadow of Mount Shasta, is famous for its wild spring mushrooms. Buyers show up every May to gather in the best of what local fungus hunters have found, then quickly pack and ship the fresh mushroom crop to appreciative chefs as far away as New York. What better theme could McCloud choose for its Memorial Day weekend party? 

Crystal Geyser vaulted a legal hurdle in Siskiyou County Court Thursday, though obstacles remain to firing up a contentious bottling plant.

A Siskiyou County judge ruled that local activists were a quarter century too late with their complaint, essentially dismissing their case. 

But activists with the group We Advocate Thorough Environmental Review (WATER), nevertheless claimed a partial victory. They said publicity of the case may have helped bring about their goal: an Environmental Impact Report. Roslyn McCoy serves as Treasurer for WATER.

Conflicting claims over plans to restart a shuttered Mt. Shasta city bottling plant will be considered by a Siskiyou County court Thursday.

The hearing won’t end the controversy. It’s only the latest twist in a campaign to reopen a shuttered bottling plant just outside the city of Mt. Shasta.

Once operated by the French multinational Dannon, and later the Coca-Cola Company, the plant was acquired by Crystal Geyser Water Company two and a half years ago.

Social media reports that missing infant Ember Graham has been found are false. Shasta County Sheriff Tom Bosenko told the Redding Record Searchlight Wednesday that the search for the missing 6-month-old has been suspended and there are no new leads in the case.

Following the death of Ember’s father, Mathew Graham, who died in a hail of bullets Monday in Dunsmuir, Bosenko says that Ember may never be found.

In the North State: 

Fire fighters have contained the Cooley Fire in Siskiyou County. The fire started Monday evening and has been burning near Cooley Road, five miles north of Montague. It was contained at 180 acres.

In major ongoing California fire news: 

The man charged with starting last year’s Boles Fire in Weed pleaded guilty Wednesday in Siskiyou County Superior Court.

The Redding Record Searchlight reports that 25-year-old Ronald Marshall of Weed made the plea during a pretrial conference.

Marshall originally pleaded not guilty to three felony counts of arson, but changed his plea Wednesday. His attorney, John Lawrence of Yreka, has asked for a change of venue due to the extreme publicity surrounding the case.

A murder suspect on the run was caught at a Siskiyou County rest stop just after midnight Tuesday.

Song Wang of Washington was wanted for the murder of a Bellevue, Washington, woman and for setting her apartment on fire.

The victim, 37-year-old Kittaporn Saosawatsri, suffered multiple stab wounds. 

Wang was recognized by a highway worker. He was arrested at the Grass Lake Rest Area along Highway 97, 21 miles northeast of Weed. He had been wanted since Saturday night.


The Stephens Fire in Siskiyou County has been declared 100 percent contained. It broke out Tuesday after a control burn on private property escaped containment.

Public Information Officer Andrea Capps says it burned about 200 acres 18 miles east of McCloud, just south of Horse Peak.  Crews from Cal-Fire and the Shasta Trinity National Forest are continuing to strengthen containment lines. She says the cause is under investigation, but that it’s likely changing weather conditions that caused the fire to escape.