The Pepperbox

The Student News Site of Arcata High School

The Pepperbox

The Pepperbox

Navigating life and school after an attempt
Navigating life and school after an attempt
Ell Franklin and Anthony VasekNovember 3, 2023
“I’ve been focusing more on myself and what I need because I used to be a really bad people pleaser. I’ve always put everyone else first before me.”
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The CCLL Leadership team 

(top row, left to right: Erika Homan, Carolyn van Mantgem, Melanie Zapper, Taylor Nada, Tim Clewell.
bottom row, left to right: Johanna Mauro, Fionn Conroy, Kayla Gaskill)
Hello CCLL!
Taylor Nada, Online Editor • December 7, 2023
This year, the Arcata Arts Institute joined a new program known as the Creative Careers Leadership Lab (CCLL), an organization aimed at helping art students gain skills to succeed in future careers in the arts.  
Pepperbox Broadcast
Pepperbox Broadcast
Rey Barber, Art Director • November 17, 2023
“It’s the first time we’ve ever had a broadcast,” Kloe Bryant said, “so it’s really just testing everything out,”
Difference Between America and Other Countries
Shu YamashitaNovember 14, 2023
“In Italy, we have just one class and the same classmates, we don’t change classes. We have been in the same class for four years. We have twelve subjects,”
Is study hall really for studying?
Kyndle Eisner, Production Manager • November 14, 2023
“I feel like it’s less strict than last year, but the pass system is stupid and doesn’t work.”

Markussen, Unnerving Encounters

“allegedly attempting to climb a fence and later entering a hallway at a childcare facility on campus,”

Michael Markussen (34) was arrested on Monday, September 11, at Cal Poly Humboldt University for “allegedly attempting to climb a fence and later entering a hallway at a childcare facility on campus,” according to the Times-Standard.

 The University’s Children’s Center was put into immediate lockdown, with no inflicted injuries or harm. Markussen was released very soon after the arrest with a simple “stay away order” for seven days. Which, following the incident, has not been followed in the slightest.

On the same day a citizen was sitting outside of Renata’s Creperie Cafe in Arcata talking with a friend at a table. “(Markusssen) Walked up as if he was a part of our conversation, and just stood there, staring at my male friend for a few minutes, I finally looked over and said ‘hello,’ and he looked very angry and upset and he rambled a bit, couldn’t really understand him, and then he said today was the first day of him being sober, and we wished him the best, trying to get a move on. He looks like he wanted to hurt my friend, who is a complete stranger, he looks very aggressive, that’s about it,” they said.

A week prior to the Cal Poly incident, Markussen attempted to physically grab a child out of a shopping cart in the McKinleyville Winco parking lot. 

There was yet another sighting of the man exhibiting the same previous threatening behavior, in Fairfax where he attempted to give children rides in his van near the local schools. A concerned mother whose kid saw him doing this called the non-emergency police to alert them of the situation. An investigator was assigned to look into it by the White Hill Middle Schools’ request. 

The most threatening allegation surrounding Markussen was a story from his ex-girlfriend. It described how he managed to burn her home down, using special and important photos of her parents that had passed away as tinder for the fire. 

He has been most frequently seen around the Blue Lake and Arcata’s Wildberries, reportedly: “holding a black briefcase with a super creepy vibe to him, ” an Arcata High student said. The student had witnessed the mysterious man uncomfortably staring at people after he was released from jail. What the student did not see was that he was actively harassing and following customers around as well.

Markussen is described as a dark, long-haired male with black ink arm tattoos and tan skin who drives a big white van. His primary target has been unattended children, but he claims to only want to help them.  

Anyone with a child in their lives is advised to keep a closer eye on them and their surroundings, in light of these instances. This concern brings attention to precautions potentially necessary to ensure the children of Humboldt County are safe. Even adults, teenagers, seniors, and are advised not to approach this man, as he is clearly mentally unstable, frequently under the influence of drugs, and has been a serious threat to the safety of this community.

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About the Contributor
Nola Briar-Bonpane, Graphic Designer
Nola is a junior, soon to be published author, and Erykah Badu enthusiast, and her poem “Reflections of Mine'' is in the Poetry Nation 2023 Anthropology. She plans to write about student issues, current events, and more “underground” topics. Nola enjoys sunbathing, forests, beaches, and concerts. She grew up on an 18-acre farm in Petrolia with her beloved alpacas but now lives in Arcata. Some of her favorite artists are Mac Miller, Mac Demarco, Sade, Kendrick Lamar, and Al Green. She hopes to go to a UC or travel abroad in Italy after high school. Her Instagram is @nolaamaria. 
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