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Governor imposes face mask rule statewide

A statewide requirement to wear face coverings in indoor public spaces began July 1. The guidance applies to businesses and members of the public visiting indoor public spaces, such as grocery stores. “The choices every single one of us make in the coming days matter,” Gov. Kate Brown said in making her announcement. “Face coverings that cover your nose and mouth play a critical role in reducing the spread of this disease because droplets from our breath can carry the virus to others (continued)

Investigation into officer's conduct continues

An investigation continues into the conduct of an off-duty Warrenton police officer, accused in a Facebook post of making fun of the final words of George Floyd, who died at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer. “The investigation is under way, but not yet complete,” City Manager Linda Engbretson said. “It depends on the availability of all witnesses, so I am not sure when she will be able to complete all interviews, but I am hoping it will be concluded sometime in the next f (continued)

Business and development tidbits for July 3

Arnie's, Tractor Supply get ready to open

**Tractor Supply Company** The 19,000-square-foot Tractor Supply Co. store visible from Highway 101 near the Les Schwab dealer is nearly open. “I’m excited although we’re not even close” to being ready yet, Manager Jeremy Gordon said. The exterior is complete and his 12 employees were getting shelves put up this week. They expect to receive inventory through the end of the month, he said. Opening day is Saturday, July 25. Tractor Supply Co. is at 1123 Alternate Highway 101. Hours are 8 (continued)

Effort to save local rainforest reserve wins large grant

A portion of North Coast characterized by scientists as the “Galapagos Islands of Oregon” moved a big step closer to permanent conservation last month. Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board announced a $2.13 million grant to North Coast Land Conservancy. With the grant, the nonprofit land trust has raised a total of $8.1 million and is launching a campaign to raise the final $1.9 million needed to complete its landmark marine reserve project. “Many people have worked for so many years t (continued)

Man who set fire to his home a murder suspect

A Seaside man who set fire to his own home before committing suicide in February is believed to have killed a Kelso resident three months earlier, the Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office reported. Detectives say their investigation points to the following scenario: Stephen Penwarden, 69, entered the home of Rick and Rebecca Huckaby shortly after 7 p.m. Nov. 12, 2019, and shot the husband multiple times with a .32-caliber pistol. Huckaby’s wife was home at the time, but didn’t recognize the (continued)

College game highlights local athletes

It was the bottom of the seventh, the final inning of a seven-inning practice game on the baseball field at Astoria’s Tapiola Park on Saturday, June 27. At bat was the Lower Columbia College team from Longview, Wash., for potentially its last at bat of the game — they were down 3-1, losing to the team from Lakeside School, a private institution whose alumni include Microsoft founders Bill Gates and Paul Allen. LCC’s Ashden Meyer led off the inning with a base hit to left field. Austin (continued)

County's fire season begins

Fire season officially began in Clatsop County on Wednesday, with weather and fuel conditions ripe for wildfires, according to Oregon Department of Forestry. Fire season is declared each year when conditions of fire hazard exist; most other areas of Oregon were in fire season. The declaration affects all public and private land with restrictions on operations to protect forest resources. Campfires will be allowed in designated campsites only. Additionally, a countywide burn ban is in effect, (continued)

Children still can get free meals

Two summer meal programs for children continue to operate in Warrenton. Warrenton-Hammond School District continues its meal offerings along several bus routes. The meals also can be picked up at Warrenton Grade School from 10 to 10:45 a.m. and from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays throughout the summer. Meals next week include blueberry muffins, toaster tarts, blueberry waffles, cereal, and sausage-pancake breakfast sticks for breakfast. Burgers, chicke (continued)

Take caution if you choose to boat and drink

Marine law enforcement from 18 sheriff’s offices in the state are working with the Marine Board, Oregon State Police, and five Coast Guard Stations to participate in this weekend’s Operation Dry Water. The coordinated effort over the Fourth of July holiday is part of a national effort to reduce accidents and fatalities caused by those boating under the influence of intoxicants. “We have multiple patrols scheduled this season to catch impaired boat operators,” said Randy Henry, a program (continued)

Brewpub to open in historic downtown Fenton building

Warrenton is about to get its first brewpub. Partners Jonathan Elliott and Eric Lane are putting the small brewery, Battery 245, in the 1925 Fenton Grocery Building, soon to be the centerpiece of downtown Warrenton. The partners signed a lease in March with building owner Russell Maize and are working with the Fenton building’s project manager, Weston Roberts. “There were a lot of people interested in the space, but none were the right fit,” Roberts said. “It’s finally the last piece (continued)

Dog park, ducks, recycling center in city's improvement plan for 2020-21

Street and park renovation, sewer projects and improved equipment for the police and fire departments are included in the capital improvement plan approved Tuesday night by the Warrenton City Commission. The plan, a blueprint for major spending during the next five years, was approved unanimously. There were few changes from the previous year. “It’s important to note on this one that we did not have a CIP work session,” Mayor Henry Balensifer said. “We decided to keep the programs (continued)

Coronavirus turns annual budget process into an ordeal

This year’s budget process hasn’t been fun for anyone. Cities, counties and other publicly run entities have had to scramble and get creative to come up with balanced budgets – a requirement of the state, but especially hard during the COVID-19 uncertainty. “While we were very conservative across all funds, it will be necessary to closely monitor expenditures,” Warrenton City Manager Linda Engbretson said. “There was a lot unknown as we were preparing this. … We also budget (continued)

City's community development director accepts post in Mount Angel

Kevin Cronin, who served as Warrenton’s community development director, has accepted a job as city manager of Mount Angel in Marion County. His last day was Thursday, June 25. Cronin was hired in June 2018 to replace City Planner Skip Urling, who retired. Previously, Cronin spent two years as Astoria’s community development director. During his two years with Warrenton, Cronin was best known for cracking down on blighted properties and cleaning up the city’s building code – including (continued)

County makes planning appointments

Planning commissioners Robert Stricklin in District 2 and Christopher Farrar in District 3, were reappointed Wednesday evening to four-years terms. Both positions were to expire on June 30. In addition, Commissioner Michael Magyar, whose term expires in June 2022, submitted his resignation. Lam Quang, a self-employed artist living in the Lewis & Clark/Olney/Wallooskee unincorporated area, was appointed to fill Magyar’s post. Two county commissioners, Mark Kujala and Lianne Thompson, had (continued)

County adopts ethics policy

County commissioners adopted a new policy Wednesday night on property governmental conduct. The order applies to all county employees, contract employees, applicants, contractors and authorized volunteers. The policy is meant to reinforce an organizational culture that provides the opportunity for all to report their concerns and complaints with assurance they’ll be investigated in a fair and timely fashion without retaliation. It covers the abuse, improper use or destruction of county (continued)

State's cultural organizations are suffering

Many of Oregon’s cultural organizations face suspension of operations or permanent closure due to the COVID-19 impact, reveals an Oregon Cultural Trust survey released this month(June 11). The survey, the most comprehensive look at Oregon’s cultural community since the crisis began, includes data and comments from 330 cultural nonprofit groups. Participants project a collective loss of $40 million and average losses of $121,281 through June 30. Just over half the respondents have annual (continued)

Columnists & Other Opinions

History in the Making: Bandit gives Warrenton its 15 minutes of fame

** July 1995, 25 years ago ** Warrenton Fiber Company owner Martin Nygaard asks the city to place a general obligation bond on the ballot to fund a $2 million commercial dock at Tansy Point, where the company leases land from the city. ** July 2000, 20 years ago ** The city of Warrenton loses a lawsuit filed by the developer of a 141-unit mini-storage facility at the four-way stop. The city had attempted to withhold a building permit after discovering some of the units would open directly onto (continued)

Letter to the editor: Multiple colors make the richest tapestry

It has been my experience with my own children that giving information rather than lectures encourages growth. For any generation to become its best, we provide resources that will promote an openness to all thought. Information, not lecture, opens the mind. Here are some additional mind-expanding books of color: “Three Sisters” by Bi Feiyu, “Please Look After Mom” by Shin Kyung, “Navajo Code Talkers” by Nathan Aaseng, “Sioux Women Traditionally Sacred” by Virginia Driving Hawk (continued)

Senior Moments: Preparing for July 4 hot dogs

As seniors, we are blessed to have more choices than other population groups. However, I suspect some days aren’t up to par with others or as we would choose. Personally, I think we need to sort out ways to cheer our friends and family, rather than gripe and complain or lament over the status of our day. We should consider that we can’t fix what’s going on in our country, but we can spread joy as we consider all we have to be thankful for. Oh, and let’s wear our masks (even if some jerk (continued)

Mayor's Message: Accountability is a two-way street

A number of factors have combined to create stress and strain on the mental health of many. Nerves are frayed from months on lockdown, there’s a changed landscape for businesses and doing business, plus unemployment, the continued failure of unemployment insurance assistance, the harassment of people wearing masks or not wearing masks in stores, and the sudden awareness of how different life experiences affect minority Americans and what to do about it. We also had a local incident of an (continued)

Senior Moments: We need computer buttons for life activities

The “start” button on my computer gives me too many choices: Switch user, log off, lock, restart, sleep and hibernate. What if we humans (especially us seniors) had such buttons to handle living our own lives? We do, to some extent, but don't usually realize it. One day recently, I began my day with the restart button. I couldn’t find the remote, which is the size of a credit card, for my Bose Radio. I had looked everywhere. Many seniors have what I call a junk drawer and, often, it holds (continued)


Small farms market is a real fresh affair

North Coast Food Web is sponsoring a Small Farm Market from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. every Thursday at 577 18th St., Astoria. During the pop-up-style food stand, more than a dozen farmers from Clatsop, Columbia, Pacific, Wahkiahkum, and Tillamook will bring eggs, fish, produce, jams and other local foods for purchase. Sales are by cash or check only. All proceeds go to the farmers. Producers sign an agreement that their products are grown with organic practices. For more information, call (continued)

Seaside Farmer's Market opens

Seaside opened its weekly farmer’s market on Wednesday. The market, at 1120 Broadway, will be open from 2 to 6 p.m. every week through Sept. 30. Masks are required and only service dogs will be allowed. Shoppers are asked to leave their children at home with a responsible adult. The market has 20 to 30 vendors offering fresh produce, artisan food and hand-crafted products. It’s run by Sunset Empire Park and Recreation District. (continued)

Fort Clatsop offers online camps

Registration opens Saturday, June 6, for the first virtual Nature Adventure and Nature Survival Camps at Lewis and Clark National Historical Park. The online camps are in July. **Nature Adventure Camp ** will take place from 10 a.m. to noon daily July 6 through 10. Each day, campers can participate in activities from their home as led by counselors live and online. Nature Adventure Camp is open to children entering fourth through sixth grade in the 2020-21 school year. ** Nature Survival Camp (continued)

Produce pantry available Thursdays

A mobile produce pantry for low-income Clatsop County residents is available every Thursday through Sept. 24. Anyone at or below eligible income levels (participants in the food stamp program or SNAP, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, Supplemental Security Income, or Low Income Energy Assistance Program) can pick up free fruits and vegetables. Warrenton – 3 to 4:30 p.m. at 2010 S.E. Chokeberry Ave., just past the animal shelter. Astoria – 9 to 10:30 a.m. in the 200 block of Marine (continued)

Police and Public Safety

Counterfeit bills making the rounds

Several counterfeit bills have been passed during the past week and merchants especially are being warned to be on the lookout. Two fake $50 bills were successfully passed in a downtown Seaside business on June 28, Seaside Police reported. A second attempt was made to pass counterfeit $50 bills at another business, but the clerk there recognized that the bills felt different from typical currency. Some counterfeit $10s and $20s also may have been passed, police said. Tips for spotting a (continued)

Public safety calls for week of July 3

** Thefts and burglaries ** Shoplifting, 5:40 p.m. June 16, Fred Meyer. Timothy M. Goza, 50, no known address, was cited for third-degree theft after he allegedly attempted twice to leave the store without paying for a can of beer. Store security reported it was the fourth incident of the day of alcohol theft by the man. Shoplifting, 6:50 p.m. June 20, Walmart. Two men reportedly made their way through the store concealing items in totes, removing spider wrap from high-cost electronics and (continued)

Public safety calls for week of June 26

** Thefts and burglaries ** Shoplifting, 10:08 p.m. June 5, Fred Meyer. Heather C. Huffman, 31, no known address, was cited for second-degree theft and criminal mischief after she allegedly attempted to leave the store without paying for $505 in clothes. Shoplifting, 11:04 a.m. June 7, Rite Aid. Tyler Michael Thury, 26, of Warrenton was cited for third-degree theft after he allegedly attempted to leave the store without paying for a $60 clock radio. Theft, 12:45 p.m. June 16, SuperMart. A man (continued)