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Local air guard members deploy to Southeast Asia

More than 100 airmen from the Oregon Air National Guard’s 116th Air Control Squadron mobilized for a six-month deployment to Southeast Asia in support of Operation Inherent Resolve and Operation Resolute Support. The 116th is based at Camp Rilea in Warrenton and is a subordinate unit of the 142nd Fighter Wing in Portland. It will provide tactical command and control in three areas spanning more than 850,000 square miles. It is the Oregon Air National Guard’s most deployed unit. “I’m so (continued)

Nominations sought for region's top citizens

The Astoria-Warrenton Area Chamber of Commerce is accepting nominations for two volunteer service awards. The annual George Award and Richard Ford Distinguished Service Award are two of the most sought-after awards in Astoria and Warrenton, chamber officials said. The recipients are often humble, yet strong leaders who often work behind the scenes to make our communities better. Award winners will be announced during the chamber’s annual meeting and banquet on Jan. 25. The awards honor (continued)

State delays commercial Dungeness crab season

The opening of the commercial Dungeness crab season will be delayed from Dec. 1 until at least Dec. 16 along the entire Oregon coast as testing shows crabs are too low in meat yield. The target opening of the ocean commercial Dungeness crab season is Dec. 1, but is frequently delayed to ensure a high-quality product and avoid waste of the resource. Crab that was tested for quality in early November showed that none of the test areas met the meat yield criteria for a Dec. 1 opening. The delayed (continued)

WHS gets 35-20 win in first-round of playoffs

A 35-20 win over the Sheridan Spartans last Friday places the Warrenton Warrior's football team into Saturday’s quarterfinals. “We did a nice job of executing our game plan on Friday and focusing on control,” Assistant Coach Cade Wilkins said. “Even though it was a good win, we have to make sure we flush last Friday and continue to move forward.” Warrenton’s offense was led by Jake Morrow and Hordie Bodden Bodden, scoring an impressive 21 points in the first quarter alone. Austin (continued)

Port gets down to business of repairs and making money

While the Port of Astoria waits for the state to approve its strategic plan – something essential to receive future state or federal grants – the agency is getting down to business with deferred maintenance and setting the course for stability. At a meeting this week, port commissioners approved contracts or negotiations dealing with airport repairs, damaged pier pipes and West Marina Basin dredging. They also approved a contract that requires port staff to move from its upscale offices (continued)

City's new library director considers 'things'

Warrenton Community Library has a new director. Kelly Knudsen, a former high school English teacher, took over the role of library director Monday. The current director, Nettie-Lee Calog, officially retires Friday. Knudsen, 44, earned a master’s degree in library and information science from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. Her bachelor’s degree is in English. She moved to Oregon three years ago and was school librarian at David Douglas High School in Portland. “I’ve always (continued)

Controlled burns part of state's wildfire prevention plan

Cool, rainy weather across much of the state has allowed the first controlled burns to be lit in parts of Oregon. New rules governing smoke may allow more burns than in the past. Increasing burning will improve forest health and help landowners reduce the public safety risk from the buildup of fuels in forests, Oregon Department of Forestry officials said. Known as prescribed fires, the regulated burns are lit when weather conditions help minimize smoke getting into smoke-sensitive recepto (continued)

Voters approve two tax measures

Both rural fire district tax measures were approved during Tuesday’s special election. Those in the Warrenton Rural Fire Protection District (outside city limits) approved the five-year local option tax for general operations 190 to 90, or a 68 percent approval rating. Those in the Gearhart Rural Fire Protection District (outside city limits) approved a similar five year tax by a margin of 310 to 226, or 58 percent of the vote. The Warrenton measure is expected to raise $56,000 per year for (continued)

City places lien on 'nuisance' home

The city of Warrenton has placed a lien on the title of a house on South Main Avenue in hopes of recovering costs associated with cleaning up the property. The city spent months trying to get the owners of 1180 S. Main Ave. to abate what amounted to a public nuisance because of all the junk and debris in the yard, according to a staff report. The city sent a letter to the property owner requesting payment of $3,067 for costs associated with the cleanup on Aug. 28. No response had been received (continued)

Taxpayers to get a kicker from state

Oregon taxpayers can expect a kicker this year after the state Office of Economic Analysis confirmed a $1.5 billion tax surplus for the 2018 tax year. Instead of kicker checks, the surplus will be returned to taxpayers through a credit on their 2019 state personal income tax returns filed in 2020. To calculate the amount of credit, filers can multiply their 2018 tax liability before any credits (line 22 on Form OR-40) by 16 percent. Keep in mind that the state may use all or part of your kicker (continued)

Transit agency adds new route on east side of Astoria

Sunset Empire Transportation District has expanded weekend bus service in Astoria. The new service, Route 13, began Oct. 26. It serves the east side of Astoria and operates from 9:55 a.m. until 3:51 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. The new route connects with the Pacific Connector Bus at Astoria Transit Center. The district is excited to add services that are a direct result of the state’s new transit tax, Executive Director Jeff Hazen said. House Bill 2017 was passed in 2017 and all employees (continued)

Have hatchery; will travel

Astoria company develops innovative fish hatchery in a box

An Astoria company has developed a fish hatchery in a box. Redd Zone made its first Instant Hatchery sale last week to the Skokomish Indian Tribe in Washington state. The Instant Hatchery is a self-contained unit filled with innovative upgrades to traditional hatchery equipment. The entire hatchery is built within a Conex box, or intermodal shipping container. “What usually happens today when a hatchery wins a grant to upgrade is they build a fancy new building and fill it with 100-year-old (continued)

Tourism spending rose to highest level last year

The amount tourists spend in Northwest Oregon rose to its highest level last year, according to the Oregon Employment Department. Visitors spent $1.56 billion here in 2018. The previous record was $1.32 billion in 2006 (the amount has been adjusted for inflation). Five northwest counties are included in the tally: Clatsop, Tillamook, Columbia, Lincoln and Benton. “Complete records aren’t available for 2019 yet, but preliminary estimates indicate that about 380 more jobs are being added this (continued)

Business and development tidbits for Nov. 1

** Branch gets coffee stand The new TLC credit union next to Walmart will feature a coffee house, the company announced. Red Leaf Organic Coffee will have an in-branch location that will have the same business hours as the credit union and serve a variety of espresso drinks, smoothies, energy drinks, local teas, house-made bakery items and breakfast sandwiches. The branch, which is expected to open before the end of the year, also will have a Spotify station and free wi-fi. TLC is a division of (continued)

Everyone has a reason to vote, say three teen essay winners

A teen from Long Beach, Wash., and two brothers from Warrenton won top honors in a high school essay contest, “I Will Always Vote.” The contest was sponsored by Indivisible North Coast Oregon and the Astoria branch of the American Association of University Women. “All the essays showed that the students are passionate about staying informed and that they understand the importance of participating in the democratic process,” said INCO member Eric Halperin, one of the contest’s (continued)

Columnists & Other Opinions

History in the Making for Nov. 8: Jeff Hazen appointed to commission from field of seven

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

Twenty years ago November 1999 ** Seven residents apply for the seat left vacant through the resignation of Les Newton. They are Carl Stark Jr., a retired clergyman; Robert Smith, a Clatsop County deputy sheriff; Lylla Gaebel, a member of the county’s budget committee; Deon Harris, a retired county emergency manager who moved to town a year earlier from Idaho; and Jeff Hazen, an assistant manager at Costco. Hazen was appointed to fill the position. ** Warrenton High School receives a new (continued)

Senior Moments: What have we saved with DST?

Changing our clocks seemed a bit more painful to many of us seniors this year. We may have been persuaded to believe we wouldn’t have to do this anymore. So why do we do this? I did a little research through the National Geographic website and learned the practice dates back to 1918. During World War II, the United States made daylight savings time mandatory for the entire country between Feb. 9, 1942, and Sept. 30, 1945, as a way of saving wartime resources. Before then it was optional. (continued)

Senior Moments: Listening can make you more popular

My focus this week is on boredom. Seniors often are accused of being boring. Most of the time we are totally innocent, not knowing or wishing to be thought of as such. It’s hard to believe, but often family and friends endure long conversations from us mostly begun and accentuated with “I,” “My,” or “Me.” I was introduced to a word that’s new to me, abstemiousness, or lack of self-indulgence. We need to wean ourselves from talking too long about ourselves. Admittedly, that i (continued)


Wellness Cafe offers food prep tips

“Cancer Fighters in Your Kitchen” is the topic of the next Wellness Café Health Chat. The chat is from 11 a.m. to noon Tuesday, Nov. 19, in the Columbia Memorial Hospital-OHSU Knight center activity room, 1905 Exchange St. Participants can learn about common and not so common herbs and spices that can boost the immune system before, during and after cancer treatment. The class is let by Registered Dietician Grace Laman and includes recipes and a demonstration. For more information, call (continued)

'Work Spaces' features sites throughout county

An art exhibit about the places people work can be viewed through Nov. 27 in the Royal Nebeker Art Gallery at Clatsop Community College. “Work Spaces” features more than 100 photographs by Astoria-based artist Michael Mathers. “This show is the result of two years of knocking on doors of different kinds of work spaces,” Mathers said. “Everyone photographed got a print in exchange for a referral to another work space.” Once the project was underway, Mathers would show samples t (continued)

Medicare classes help with open enrollment

Classes on understanding Medicare are scheduled at three locations in Clatsop County. Fall open enrollment is Oct. 15-Dec. 7. Northwest Senior and Disability Services and Senior Health Insurance Benefits Assistance are sponsoring the classes. To register, call 503-861-4200. Walk-ins also are welcome. Seaside: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sept. 18 and Nov. 15 at Bob Chisholm Community Center, 1225 Avenue A. Astoria: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Oct. 18 and Nov. 20, second floor Coho Room, Columbia Center, 2021 Marine (continued)

Police and Public Safety

Local sex offender dies in prison

A Warrenton man sentenced in January for child sexual abuse has died in prison. Carl Axel Hagnas, 70, was found dead Oct. 31 at the Snake River Correctional Institution in Ontario. The cause of death had not yet been released by the state Medical Examiner or the Oregon State Police, who investigate in-custody deaths. A local handyman, Hagnas had faced 13 counts when he pleaded no contest in January to two counts of sex abuse and one count of sodomy. He was serving a six-year sentence. Hagn (continued)

Public safety calls for week of Nov. 8

** Warrants Warrant service, 10:30 a.m. Oct. 29, under Skipanon River Bridge at Warrenton Marina. Police made contact with Robert Mitchell Swehla(CQ), 33, of Astoria, who had an outstanding warrant for contempt of court. He was taken directly to court, which was in session, and was arraigned before the judge. Warrant service, 12:38 p.m. Nov. 3, 100 block South Highway 101. James Daniel Dunlap, 41, no known address, was arrested on a detainer from Clatsop County Parole and Probation. ** Thefts (continued)

Public safety calls for week of Nov. 1

** Warrants Warrant service, 7:24 p.m. Oct. 23, 200 block South Main Avenue. Courtnie M. Wofford, 24, no known address, was arrested on a warrant for failure to appear in court. ** Thefts and burglaries Stolen iPad, 9:51 a.m. Oct. 21, Big 5 Sporting Goods. Lonny A. Baker, 30, and Chelsey J. Gutierrez, 28, no known address, were arrested on suspicion of second-degree theft. Burglary, 11:37 a.m. Oct. 22, 1100 block Northwest Warrenton Drive. A man reported a mountain bike and trailer valued at (continued)