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Expensive work site theft has a happy ending

Call it the Case of the Thief with a Conscience. On Monday, a surveyor reported to police that a global-positioning satellite head unit valued at more than $40,000 had been stolen from a work site just south of Warrenton High School between 4 and 4:50 p.m. Police issued bulletins about the stolen equipment, including a post on Facebook. By Wednesday morning, the unit and its case had been returned to the location from where it had been stolen. A note was attached: “Sorry, I thought this was (continued)

Man arrested for Astoria Mini Mart East robbery

An Astoria man was arrested late Friday after a robbery the previous evening at Astoria Mini Mart East. Calvin John Proctor, 29, was booked at Clatsop County Jail on suspicion of robbery, two counts of second-degree possession of stolen property, and violating probation on a previous burglary charge. A man wearing a white bandanna, white face mask, and sunglasses entered the store on Marine Drive about 8:52 p.m. June 3. He handed the clerk a note demanding money, which was given to him. A (continued)

County drops into low-risk category for COVID-19

Clatsop County will remain at “low-risk” for coronavirus until at least June 17, according to new state protocols. There were 10 new COVID-19 cases during the two-week reporting period that ended June 5. Under the low-risk designation, restaurants, gyms and theaters can operate at 50 percent capacity, and churches at 75 percent of capacity. Restrictions imposed under the risk-level metric, as well as most requirements for masking and social distancing, will be lifted statewide once 70 (continued)

WHS's O'Brien wins state honors

Ian O’Brien, Warrenton High School’s assistant principal and athletic director, was named Athletic Director of the Year for small schools by the Oregon Schools Activities Association. O’Brien holds a master’s degree in teaching from Eastern Oregon University. After graduating in 2009, he began his career as a social science teacher at the high school. He left in 2015 to take an assistant principal position at Lakeridge High School in Lake Oswego, returning to Warrenton in 2017. (continued)

Port sailing through a reputation rebuild: Despite tough year, finances are coming together

First published in the June 4 print edition

The Port of Astoria, which has spent years paying the consequences of mismanagement and questionable business decisions, is working its way back as a respectable member of society. Business Oregon, the state’s economic development agency, approved the port’s business strategy and capital facilities plans recently. Without their completion -- and without the agency’s stamp of approval -- the port had failed to obtain grants and its public and private partnerships were drying up. Two weeks (continued)

Everybody's planning for camping

First published in the June 4 print edition

While many people have thought about camping during the pandemic, at least two municipalities are mulling the idea, too. The city of Warrenton is looking at ways to increase the availability of camping at its two marinas. And the Port of Astoria may consider creating a new campground altogether. The idea to build a campground on the bayfront – property on the Skipanon Peninsula owned by the Port of Astoria – was brought up Tuesday by Warrenton City Commissioner Rick Newton. And port leaders (continued)

Lift-span repairs require nighttime bridge closures

Nighttime closures of Youngs Bay Bridge begin this weekend and for two weeks as part of the repair project that began there in March 2019. The $12.4 million project includes raising the bracing for the lift span, replacing rocker bearings, repairing damaged concrete, and replacing compression joint seals. Most of the work on the 58-year-old bridge was performed from below using a barge. While there have been some single-lane closures during repairs, the remaining repairs to the tower require a (continued)

Fisherman statue dedicated at marina office

First published in the June 4 print edition

A sculpture dedicated Wednesday at Warrenton Marina honors members of the fishing industry, which has brought countless economic benefits to the city. The sculpture was installed earlier this spring, but the dedication was postponed due to the pandemic. “We are proud of what we’ve accomplished during a bad year,” said Brenda Hoxsey, chair of Spruce Up Warrenton, a group of grassroots volunteers that commissioned and donated the sculpture to the city. The piece was created by chainsaw (continued)

Doughnut Day to honor county's law enforcement

The Salvation Army will make sure Clatsop County’s peace officers get to enjoy National Doughnut Day today, June 4. National Doughnut Day became a nationwide celebration thanks to charity’s work during World War I. The Salvation Army in Chicago celebrated the very first National Doughnut Day in 1938, honoring the “Doughnut Lassies” and “Doughnut Dollies” who traveled overseas to provide emotional and spiritual support, supplies, and services such as fresh donuts and hot coffee t (continued)

Group unveils plan for a new Warrenton park

First published in the May 28 print edition

A group of Warrenton residents want to turn a vacant downtown lot owned by the city of Warrenton into a community gathering place with a gazebo, picnic tables, corn-hole games. “I know people need a vision to understand where we’re wanting to go, but obviously things can be changed up,” Jeanne Smith told city commissioners Tuesday night. Smith is co-owner of Main Street Market and a member of Spruce Up Warrenton. She has been the driving force behind the annual harvest festivals and (continued)

Food pod's construction fund increased amid tensions

First published in the May 28 print edition

A new food pod next to City Hall took another step forward Tuesday. City commissioners, in their role as the city’s Urban Renewal Agency, voted 4-0 to increase funding for the food truck area and solidified the selected design. The decision came with a bit of drama, however, when Commissioner Rick Newton chose to leave the meeting rather than discuss the issue, which was the last item of business for the night. In March, Newton was the sole dissenter on the selected design, which has a small (continued)

Workman is association's new president

First published in the May 28 print edition

Warrenton Police Chief Matt Workman was installed as president of the Oregon Association Chiefs of Police during the group’s annual recognition dinner. He also received, along with fellow Chief John Teague of the Keizer Police Department, the Champion for Children & Youth Award. The award recognizes extraordinary commitment and leadership in the effort to prevent crime by helping kids get the right start in life. Workman has been a police officer for 30 years. He began his career in 1991 with (continued)

History in the Making: Warrenton Waterfront Trail is dedicated

A look at Warrenton's top stories from the annals of The Columbia Press.

** May 2011, 10 years ago ** The city approves a $26.2 million budget for fiscal year 2011-12. City Manager Bob Maxfield warns that water and sewer rate hikes are imminent. The Warrenton High School Band won the 3A state band competition for the fourth year in a row. Warrenton High School’s boys track team wins the league championship for the first time in the team’s history. ** May 1996, 25 years ago** A 22-year-old clerk at CJ’s Speedy Mart, corner of Highway 101 and Marlin Avenue, is (continued)

Four county beaches to be monitored for bacteria

Oregon Health Authority and the Department of Environmental Quality plan to monitor many of the state’s most popular beaches for bacteria this summer, including four in Clatsop County. The Oregon Beach Monitoring Program includes some of the most frequently visited beaches in Oregon as well as any beach where the program has found bacteria in the past. Several groups also have asked for monitoring due to potential pollution concerns, program managers said. County beaches on the list ar (continued)

Columnists & Other Opinions

Financial Focus with Adam Miller

Discussing financial goals with your family

June is Effective Communications Month. It’s a good reminder to recognize the importance of good communications, because it plays a role in almost every aspect of living – including your finances. You’ll want to clearly communicate your financial goals to your loved ones – and you’ll want to hear theirs, too. Let’s look at some of the communications you might have with family members: ** Your spouse – You and your spouse may have different thoughts about a range of financial (continued)

Senior Moments: Some choices are easier than others

There are so many decisions to make in one's lifetime, especially for seniors. You know, like whether to order the entrée called chicken roulade stuffed with spinach and feta or just a salad. Or maybe a hamburger? It’s fun to sit in a restaurant again, for sure! But, of course, that means decisions -- including which restaurant on what day and at what time. In psychology, decision-making is the cognitive process resulting in the selection of a belief or a course of action among several (continued)

Mayor's Message: Improvements will add to life as we enter post-COVID normal

Summer is coming and people are understandably anxious to get back to whatever sense of normalcy can be allowed. Clatsop County, as I write this, is 60 percent vaccinated. We’re on the home stretch. While slow at some points and faster at others, your city is moving to improve the city to ensure we’re well poised to move out of this pandemic. The Warrenton Urban Renewal Agency is moving forward to engineer and underground power lines downtown, as well as improve drainage and sidewalks. We (continued)

Senior Moments: Remembering what's important

Memorial Day is observed on the last Monday of May. It was formally known as Decoration Day and commemorates all men and women who have died in military service for our United States of America, the land of the free and the home of the brave. This coming Monday is Memorial Day, a time to remember. We are reminded that our flag doesn’t fly because the wind moves it. It flies with the last breath of each person who died protecting it. Many choose Memorial Day to go to the cemetery where loved (continued)


Midsummer Festival to take one more virtual year

The 2021 Scandinavian Midsummer Festival, set to begin June 18, will again be modified this year due to pandemic health regulations. Several events still will take place, but with a few changes. ** Coronation of Miss Scandinavia 2021 will take place virtually at 7 p.m. June 18. Senior princesses sponsored by the Danish Society, Finnish Brotherhood, Sons of Norway and VASA Swedish Lodge will speak about their heritage. The live-streamed can be accessed at ** The “Optog,” (continued)

Maritime museum featuring new 3D movie

Columbia River Maritime Museum has a new movie showing in the 3D theater, “Ocean Odyssey,” which follows the journey of humpback whales on their 2,000-mile migration from the Great Barrier Reef to their feeding grounds in Antarctica. Also featured is the latest exhibit, “Twin Palaces of the Pacific,” which focuses on twin ships Great Northern and Northern Pacific. The fast luxury liners carried passengers between San Francisco and Astoria. The movie and visits to the gift shop are free (continued)

Performance delves into Finnish love and politics

A joint venture between Astor Street Opry Company and the Astoria Scandinavian Midsummer Festival Association will bring a piece of history to life. “Rakkautta ja Politikkaa,” or “Love and Politics,” was found in the attic of Suomi Hall. The one-act play was published in 1906 in Hameenlinna, Finland, and translated from Finnish by Sirpa Duoos, Clatsop County’s property management specialist. The Astoria Finnish Socialist Club was built in 1910, when Astoria’s Uniontown was larg (continued)

Finnish Brotherhood taking orders for food specialties

The Astoria Finnish Brotherhood Auxiliary is selling rice pudding and fruit soup for at-home midsummer celebrations. Preorders will be taken by calling 503-440-9002. A quart of freshly made rice pudding and fruit soup is $15. The items can be picked up from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, June 19, at Suomi Hall, 244 W. Marine Drive, Astoria. Those picking up orders should drive behind the building and members will hand them their orders. (continued)

Campers will learn to survive and thrive

Lewis and Clark National Historical Park will have an online “Survive and Thrive in Nature!” virtual nature survival camp. The weeklong class will be held July 12 to 16, but registration for the camp opens Monday, May 24. Campers can take part in fun activities from their home, as led by counselors live and online from 9 a.m. to noon each day. Nature Survival Camp is open to youth entering fourth through ninth grades in the 2021-22 school year or age equivalent. Registration is free, (continued)

Police and Public Safety

Public safety calls for week of June 4

** Warrants ** Warrant service, 7:49 p.m. May 28, Fred Meyer. James Earl Harrod, 35, no known address, was arrested on a warrant issued by Clatsop County Sheriff’s Office. ** Thefts and burglaries ** Mail theft, 7:25 p.m. May 25, 500 block Southwest First Place. A woman reported $211 eyelash extension were stolen. Scam, 3:20 p.m. May 27, 100 block Northeast Skipanon Drive. A woman reported she was installing a streaming device when a message came over her TV screen informing her she needed to (continued)

Public safety calls for week of May 28

** Warrants ** Medical response, 5:40 p.m. May 20, 700 block Northwest Warrenton Drive. Luke Taylor Miehe, 48, of Warrenton was arrested on a warrant. Warrant service, 7:45 p.m. May 20, Walmart. Timothy J. Hamness, 35, of Vancouver, Wash., was arrested on a warrant issued by Multnomah County. Disturbance, 9:09 p.m. May 20, Fred Meyer. Daniel Neil Ashley, 44, no known address, was arrested on a warrant from parole and probation. Warrant service, 7:12 p.m. May 23, 500 block South Main Avenue. (continued)


College's maritime training program wins national honors

Clatsop Community College’s Maritime science program was named a Center of Excellence for Domestic Maritime Workforce Training and Education. It is one of 27 training institutions in 16 states to receive the honor from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration. The designation recognizes “the tremendous value that your institution provides to our nation by developing and preparing students for demanding careers in our vitally important maritime industry,” DOT (continued)

College news

A resident of Seaside and a resident of Astoria have been named to the dean’s lists of two out-of-state colleges. Wayne Davis of Seaside made the dean’s list for winter term at Southern New Hampshire University. Clayne Williams of Astoria made the dean’s list for spring semester at Eastern New Mexico University. (continued)