Kelley Atherton


For the last three years, I have been a reporter for The Daily Triplicate in Crescent City, Calif., where I have tried my hand at many different beats. I currently cover education and health, but I also do features, including a monthly spotlight on local food.


<p>Between March and May, I had several moments of panic about whether I was going to be able to complete the last two of the three stories I promised for the fellowship.There's a sense of relief when the editing is done and the designers are putting it on the page and I go home to try and take my mind off the story. That usually doesn't work and I ended up laying in bed worrying about typos, whether names are spelled correctly or huge inaccuracies because I've completely misunderstood the story (that has never happened, but I still worry nonetheless) and that I'm a fraud of a journalist. The real sigh of relief comes the next day when I'm thinking about the next story.</p>

<p>While other social services are facing budget cuts, the funding to serve Del Norte County’s mentally ill population seems relatively secure.</p>

<p>While funding for California's welfare programs has seen a steady decline over the past few decades, the state's financial crisis may mean even more severe cutbacks. Many who depend on these programs may face homelessness and illness as a result.</p>

<p>Del Norte County has a serious problem with tooth decay. In fact, the problem is spread across California — a recent study found that two-thirds of the state’s children have some form of tooth decay. Kelley Atherton finds out why.</p>

<p>In Del Norte County, groups such as the Children's Health Collaborative seek funding in a push to provide more nutritious meals at high schools and encourage students to make healthier food decisions.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p>

<p>A group of parents, educators and nutrition experts are making strides to break the cycle of unhealthy food choices among students in the Del Norte County Unified School District.</p>

<p>I attended a meeting Tuesday evening where I felt real inspiration.</p>

<p><span style="white-space:pre"> </span>Sometimes it seems like all I ever hear about is the bad in Del Norte County.</p>