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New fire chief is longtime volunteer

Brian Alsbury, a longtime volunteer firefighter for the city, has been named Warrenton’s new fire chief. “I’m grateful to be given the opportunity to be at the helm of the Warrenton Fire Department,” Alsbury said. “I am especially looking forward to supporting the volunteer firefighters and career staff so that we can continue to provide the best fire (and emergency medical) services to our citizens, the Rural Fire District and those visiting our great coastal community.” Alsbury is (continued)

Downtown Christmas lighting set for Sunday

Christmas decorations have been up for a while, but there still are some surprises this weekend for downtown Warrenton. Spruce Up Warrenton and Warrenton Business Association are hosts for a holiday party and “light up downtown” event that begins at 4 p.m. Sunday at the Lighthouse Museum at Main Avenue and Harbor Drive (also known as the four-way stop). Santa will be available for photo and he’s bringing an elf who will help distribute cookies and hot chocolate. There will be holiday (continued)

The 'Warrior Way' includes recycling old jerseys

Cindy Kirby happened to be in the right place at the right time. The Warrenton-Hammond School District’s transportation director spotted high school Principal Rod Heyen removing boxes from the former tech building before it was torn down to make way for the new Career and Technical Education building. The boxes, filled with four decades of old football jerseys and helmets, were headed for the trash. It was a classic interception. Kirby went in to the line of scrimmage, made the turnover and (continued)

Port names new executive director

Finance chief Will Isom takes on new role

Will Isom was named the Port of Astoria’s executive director Tuesday afternoon, making him one of the youngest port chiefs in the state. Isom, 36, has filled the spot on a temporary basis for the past five months, replacing Jim Knight, who resigned in June after 4 ½ years at the helm. “At my core, I’m a pretty detail-oriented person,” Isom said Wednesday. “I do have the ability to sit back and see the bigger picture, which is important as an executive director. You have to be able to (continued)

Seaside tree to be a city peace symbol

Seaside and Tillamook have joined 24 communities across the state that plan to plant special peace trees to mark the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II. The trees will be distributed by the Oregon Department of Forestry in partnership with nonprofit groups Oregon Community Trees and the Medford-based One Sunny Day Initiative. The seedling ginkgo and Asian persimmon trees were grown from seed collected from trees that survived the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and brought to Oregon by (continued)

Fort Clatsop visitor fees go up Jan. 1

Visitor fees at Fort Clatsop are going up beginning Jan. 1, the National Park Service announced. NPS has phased in the increases over the last six years as part of its attempt to standardize entrance fees at similar parks. Visitors will pay $10 per adult, a $3 increase. The money will stay in the park and be put toward park improvements, the development of new exhibits, increased accessibility, and trail expansion. In 2018, 286,000 visitors spent an estimated $16.9 million in nearby communities (continued)

Coffee is in our blood, scientists say

Scientists at Oregon State University may have proven just how much people love coffee, tea, chocolate, soda and energy drinks. They’ve found it in our blood. Permanently. In conducting mass spectrometry research, Richard van Breemen and Luying Chen worked with various biomedical suppliers to purchase 18 batches of supposedly pure human blood serum pooled from multiple donors. Biomedical suppliers get their blood from blood banks, who pass along inventory that’s nearing its expiration date. (continued)

KMUN receives grant to upgrade

Coast Community Radio, the nonprofit radio station in the Columbia-Pacific region, has received a $19,401 grant from Oregon Cultural Trust. Station Manager Graham Nystrom wrote the grant request for money toward the Radio For Good campaign. The trust awarded CCR $19,401 toward phase two of the campaign, a three-year plan to repair, replace, and update all of our broadcast equipment from microphone to transmitter. “We are incredibly grateful that the Oregon Cultural Trust sees the importance (continued)

Quilts provide a warm 'Thank you for your service'

Sixteen armed service veterans were showered with a little love and warm quilts by women from the Quilts of Valor Foundation. The quilts were wrapped around each veteran during a ceremony at the monthly meeting of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Fort Stevens Post 10580 on Thursday, Nov. 21. “I know how hard it is to be a veteran or even how hard it is to be a spouse of a veteran,” said Chris Dunn of Quilts of Valor. The quilts are an expression of appreciation and “something to keep the (continued)

German students make a Lewis & Clark connection

Connecting with one’s roots can mean exploring a new world. For 23 teenagers who attend school in Walldorf, Germany, a connection was made in Astoria, Warrenton and Seaside. They came last week to view the historical trail of John Jacob Astor, born in Walldorf and America’s first millionaire. Astoria is named for him. “We’re having a great time over here,” said Jens Albrecht, headmaster of the Walldorf Realschule. His students visited Astoria City Hall, Astor Column, Fort Clatsop, (continued)

Park gets new name that honors veterans

The tiny park at the four-way stop has a few unofficial names: Post Office park and flagpole park among them. Tuesday night it got an official name: Warrenton Memorial Plaza. The 0.3-acre park at the crossroads of downtown is undergoing change. Soon it will be a community gathering place. For the past month, a work crew from Big River Construction has been adding concrete walkways and soil amendment and soon will add grass, shrubs, trees, lights and benches. The plaza includes the new veterans (continued)

Rare whale skeleton raised from Yaquina Bay

After more than three years of rest in Newport’s Yaquina Bay, the skeleton of a 78-foot blue whale was brought back to dry land so it can be preserved and prepared for a public display. With the help of a team of technical divers from Oregon Coast Aquarium and a Forslund Crane operation crew on the dock near Hatfield Marine Science Center, the whale’s 6,500-pound skull, 18-foot mandibles and several large net bags full of vertebrae and other bones were hoisted out of the water Nov. 21. The (continued)

Census participation is vital, county says

The 2020 U.S. Census officially begins April 1. Clatsop County officials want to make sure residents understand its importance and effect on funding local agencies receive. County staff members are assembling a group of community leaders they hope will spread the message to all residents. Here’s how the census will impact Clatsop County in the decade ahead: ** Federal funds, grants and support to states, counties and communities are based on population totals and breakdowns by sex, age, race (continued)

Work on North Jetty extended

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will extend construction through at least the end of the year on the North Jetty. The Corps originally planned to re-open the area and road Nov. 1, but jetty construction and equipment removal from the site has taken longer than anticipated. The jetty, North Jetty Road and nearby parking lots will remain closed. Benson and Waikiki beaches are not affected. The Corps constructed the rubble-mound jetties at the mouth of the Columbia River between 1885 and 1939. (continued)

Health coverage decisions due

Oregonians who don’t get health insurance through their jobs and don’t qualify for the Oregon Health Plan have until Dec. 15 to sign up for 2020 coverage. To sign up or make changes, go to The website will estimate whether you qualify for help paying for coverage, allow you to skim the plans available in your area, and help you find a local expert who can help you apply for a subsidy and enroll. Darlene Warren Farmers Insurance on Ensign Lane has a local expert who can (continued)

Columnists & Other Opinions

Senior Moments: Age shouldn't slow us down

My latest fortune cookie read, “No one grows old by living, only by losing interest in living.” That tailor-made for me and the rest of us. We seniors glean wisdom from so many places. Life is good! Many of you know that I’m active in the Warrenton Senior Citizens Inc. meal site held at noon on Mondays and Thursdays at Warrenton Community Center. There is a regular patron by the name of Betty Kelly who recently celebrated her 90th birthday and so is now referred to as a nonagenarian. (continued)

Letter to the Editor: Fire board thanks voters

We, the Board of Directors for the Warrenton Rural Fire Protection District, with to thank the citizens of rural Warrenton for recently voting and passing the five-year general operations fund for the district beginning with the 2021-2022 budget. This continues our fire protection and emergency services contract with the Warrenton Fire Department. Robert Atadero, Michael Brandon, Robert Kyle, Nancy Ledgerwood, Jan Osterby Warrenton Rural Fire Protection District (continued)

Senior Moments: t's OK if you feel nostalgic

Nostalgically speaking, it seems we seniors are prone to think positively and that makes us feel good. So is nostalgia a good thing or a bad thing? I went online and looked at some back issues of Psychology Today, a magazine that was a staple in my pastor husband’s office for many years. Several articles I perused seemed to emphasize that nostalgia can be a positive influence on our outlook in life. An example are the sentimental memories we have of ourselves as child trimming the Christmas (continued)


Christmas events roundup

Now is the time for anyone planning to enjoy holiday community events with friends and loved ones. There are dozens of activities this weekend, from sun up to evening. Here are some of the highlights. ** Holiday opera, begins Dec. 13 North Coast Chorale presents “Amahl and the Night Visitors,” a one-act opera, as well as other holiday favorites at 7 p.m. Fridays, Dec. 13 and 20, and 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 22, at the Clatsop Community College Performing Arts Center, 588 16th St., Astoria. ** (continued)

New book honors coastal conservation hero

A new book from OSU Press, “A Generous Nature: Lives Transformed by Oregon,” profiles conservationists and activists who’ve made enduring contributions to the preservation of Oregon’s wild and natural places and high quality of life. Among them is Neal Maine, a founder of North Coast Land Conservancy and its first executive director. Author Marcy Houle will discuss her book at 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14, at Beach Books, 616 Broadway St., Seaside. She and Maine also will sign copies of the (continued)

In Their Footsteps speaker ponders winter transportation

Ever wonder whether Lewis and Clark knew how to ski? Ski historian Richard Brenne will talk about historic winter transportation and his musings about the Corps of Discovery during the next installment of In Their Footsteps, a free speakers series sponsored by Lewis and Clark National Historical Park. Brenne’s talk is at 1 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 15, in the Netul River Room of the Fort Clatsop Visitor’s Center. Snowshoes are referenced in the explorers’ journals and Brenne theorizes that th (continued)

Ready, set, time to kick off the holidays ...

Holiday events listed in chronological order

Now that Thanksgiving has passed, no one can deny the holidays are in full swing. Even those who hate seeing Christmas decorations at Costco in early October should find themselves fully in the mood. And there are plenty of holidays treats to bring cheer: Santa visits, holiday movies, tree lightings, Christmas bazaars and more. Here are some of the most notable: ** Visits with Santa Visits with Santa, sponsored by the Liberty Theatre and the Astoria Downtown Historic District Association, will (continued)

Police and Public Safety

Driver damages electric vehicle charging stations at outlet mall

An Oregon City man was arrested after police found him at the Seaside Outlet Mall “burning cookies” late Sunday. Police received a complaint about 11:50 p.m. and, by the time they arrived at the mall on Roosevelt Drive, the vehicle’s engine was on fire near the electric vehicle charging station in the mall’s parking lot. The charging station also was damaged. The man refused to leave the car, saying he wanted to remove his belongings, according to a press release from the Seaside Police (continued)

Drunken driver hits car, then pedestrian

A 22-year-old suspected drunken driver was arrested on a variety of charges after he drove into a parked vehicle and left the scene and then struck a pedestrian walking across the street, Seaside police reported. Erick Yetzael Mendez Lopez was booked at Clatsop County Jail for third-degree assault, driving under the influence of intoxicants, reckless driving, reckless endangerment of others and failure to perform the duties of a driver when a person is injured or property damaged. Th (continued)

Wild weekend of parties leads to 20 arrests

A weekend of partying by a group of young people in Seaside resulted in more than 20 arrest citations for minors in possession of alcohol and a 33-year-old Gresham man arrested on suspicion of furnishing alcohol to minors. Officers were called to a loud party at the Coast River Inn on Avenue G shortly before 10:30 p.m. Friday. Several minors and adults were cited on alcohol-related charges, according to the Seaside Police Department. Landon Warrilow of Gresham was cited for furnishing alcohol (continued)

Public safety calls for week of Dec. 6

** Warrants Warrant service, 3:50 p.m. Nov. 29, woods off Highway 101 near Marlin. Natasha I. Ackerman, 35, of Nehalem was arrested on a failure to appear warrant. Warrant service, 12:50 p.m. Dec. 2, South Main Avenue at Southwest Third Street. Donald Oscar Lansdown, 42, no known address, was arrested on a failure to appear warrant. ** Thefts and burglaries Cold burglary, 5:30 p.m. Nov. 5, 800 block Fifth Street, Hammond. Taken was $9,621 in generators, tools and construction equipment. (continued)

Convicted child molester sentenced to 42 years

A convicted sex offender was sentenced Tuesday to 42 years in prison with no possibility of parole. Larry Dean Leach, 48, of Astoria was arrested on a warrant in New Mexico on May 7, 2018. He was brought to Clatsop County and charged with three counts of first-degree rape, three counts of sex abuse, and two counts of sexual misconduct with a child. An investigation into the case, which included three female victims, was led by Warrenton Police Detective Tyler Johnston. Leach’s trial began (continued)

Public safety calls for week of Nov. 29

** Warrants Warrant service, 2:42 p.m. Nov. 21, Walmart. Nicholus Allen Lyons, 37, of Astoria was arrested on a failure to appear warrant from Clatsop County Circuit Court. Domestic disturbance inside vehicle, 4:22 p.m. Nov. 22, 1600 block Northwest Peter Iredale Road, Hammond. Danielle G. Kettner, 38, and Nick Robert Adams, 36, both of Seaside, were arrested on warrants from Columbia County Circuit Court. ** Thefts and burglaries Attempted vehicle theft, 10:16 p.m. Nov. 15, 200 block Southwest (continued)


Warriors to play for Linn-Benton

Warrenton High School seniors Jacob Morrow and Austin Little sign their letters of intent Monday to play baseball for the Linn-Benton Community College in Albany. The school held a signing ceremony in the library with Coach Lennie Wolfe. “This is a tremendous accomplishment for two outstanding Warriors,” Athletic Director Ian O’Brien said. “These young men do things right both in and out of the classroom.” Morrow and Little both play three sports for the high school. Morrow was (continued)

Wrestlers show well at Estacada, Knappa

Warrenton High School’s wrestlers performed extremely well at last weekend’s Ranger Classic in Estacada. We entered six wrestlers into the varsity tournament and they scored a respectable 113.5 points and placed sixth out of the 11 4A and 5A teams. Each placed individually and as a group they went 17-5. Aricin Rodriquez won the tournament at 113 pounds as did Sam Irwin at 195 pounds. Both were aggressive and determined to control their matches. Armin Rodriquez, 138 pounds, and Nic Pior, 152 (continued)

Warrenton High School winter sports schedules

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Honor Roll students

The following Warrenton High School students made the Honor Roll for first quarter. ** Grade 9 Dylon M. Atwood, 3.86; Alyssa L. Hallock, 3.57; Shaunasy H. Holloway, 3.67; Angel D. Jimenez, 3.86; Levi T. Johnson, 4.0; Chloe R. Kirkpatrick, 3.67; Collin M. Klebe, 3.86; Charlie A. Leibold, 3.57; Joshua P. Lewis, 3.86; Tolbert D. Lovelady, 3.83; Raymond P. Nairn, 4.0; Brandon C. Runolfson, 3.5; Lathen A. Schultz, 3.5; Aaliyah M. Watson, 3.71. ** Grade 10 Evan D. Augustin, 3.57; Brenna R. Bemus, (continued)