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Warrenton fishing boat capsizes, killing two

A Warrenton-based commercial crab boat capsized Saturday in rough waters at the Tillamook Bay bar, killing two of the four crew members, according to the U.S. Coast Guard. All four members of fishing vessel Coastal Reign were pulled from the bay after the capsizing. The Coast Guard had been watching the area because there were small craft restrictions due to bad weather and choppy seas. A rescue crew was sent immediately from nearby Garibaldi and a helicopter from Astoria when the vessel’s (continued)

County now considered at low risk for virus

Clatsop County moves from “extreme risk” today, Feb. 26, to the least-restrictive category for COVID-19. The change eases restrictions on bars, restaurants, theaters, bowling alleys and other indoor recreation and entertainment establishments. The move to “low risk” is the result of a drop in the county’s new case rate. During the two weeks between Feb. 7 and 20, there were just 12 new cases, which is less than 50 per 100,000 population according to the state’s risk-level metric (continued)

Innovators wanted: Couple opens 'makerspace' with a twist

First published in the Feb. 19 print edition

Have a grand idea but worried about the effort or cost of seeing it to fruition? Travis Rowland may have the solution. He and his wife, Nina, have opened Vegabond 3D, a place where business ideas can be nurtured and innovators can find tools to put plans in motion. “My main mission here is to help people find their passion,” he said, “and help people improve their relationship with themselves through creativity.” Starting a business is a huge barrier to creativity, Rowland said. So he (continued)

Food truck pod by City Hall awaits design

First published in the Feb. 19 print edition

The city has hired an award-winning landscape architect to develop a food truck pod that will be anything but boring. “The Food Pod project is a fun one, and I hope that it brings a lot of energy to downtown Warrenton when completed,” said Scott Hess, Warrenton’s Community Development director. Warrenton Urban Renewal Agency, an entity established in 2007 to revitalize downtown using special tax money, signed an agreement late last year with GreenWorks, a Portland-based landscap (continued)

Sewer fix should pave way for airport development

First published in the Feb. 19 print edition

Big River Construction of Astoria was awarded a contract Tuesday to immediately begin replacing the sewer system at Astoria-Warrenton Regional Airport. The replacement is essential for the Port of Astoria to develop its industrial park adjacent to the airport and completing the job allows the industrial park’s first tenant, Scoular, to build its seafood processing plant there. “We’re going to replace most of the sewer infrastructure we have out at the airport,” said Matt McGrath, deputy (continued)

COVID: County's weekly case count drops

Just five cases of COVID-19 were reported during the past seven days by Clatsop County Public Health Department. All five individuals were recovering at home. The county has recorded a total of 768 cases since the pandemic began. Eighteen people have been hospitalized and six have died. Statewide, there had been a total of 151,257 cases and 2,143 deaths as of Wednesday. Oregon had administered a cumulative total of 707,244 first and second doses of COVID-19 vaccines as of Wednesday. ** (continued)

History in the Making: A look at Warrenton's top stories from The Columbia Press annals

Hammond considers conference center proposal

** February 2011, 10 years ago ** The Warrenton-Hammond Historical Society, which has housed its archives for three years in space donated by the Deep Sea Fishermen’s Benefit Fund at Lighthouse Park, has moved and is searching for a new location. City officials are outraged when state leaders offer a mere $100,000 to help the city build its new multi-million dollar wastewater treatment plant, which also will be used by Fort Stevens State Park and its 3 million annual visitors. A 1979 (continued)

High school football season finally opens

Warrenton High School's football season begins March 5 with a home game against Corbett. The idea of a home game might be enticing to some people, but, sorry to say, no spectators are allowed. The game will be televised on the NFHS network, which broadcasts high school sports from across the country (go to It’s the beginning of a shortened game season, due to the pandemic, head coach Ian O’Brien said. Warrenton will play an away game at Rainier March 12, home against (continued)

National park offers listening adventure

Want to explore the sounds of nature without leaving your easy chair? Lewis and Clark National Historical Park can take you on a sound adventure, allowing you to hear local birds, babbling streams, rustling reeds, even the sounds of shotguns during an elk hunt. The sounds were recorded by Jacob Job of the Colorado State University Sound and Light Ecology Team as part of the national park’s Soundscape Project. A Lewis and Clark Listening Adventure story map highlights the sounds of Lewis and (continued)

County arts groups receive operating grants

The Oregon Arts Commission awarded small grants to 97 organizations statewide, meant to be a lifeline ensuring arts access for Oregonians, the agency announced. The Small Operating Grants are designed to provide support to arts organizations with budgets under $150,000. Eligibility was limited to nonprofit organizations at least two years old that provide ongoing, sustained artistic programming and outreach programs. Each organization received $1,159. “So many grants are project-oriented when (continued)

Strong management of fisheries works, oversight committee contends

Rigorous management practices have helped rebuild depleted fish stocks worldwide, according to a new report. Nine of ten West Coast groundfish stocks have successfully rebuilt since the stocks were declared overfished or depleted in 1999. Most recently, the stock of cowcod was declared rebuilt, or at sustainable levels, in 2019, decades ahead of the expected date. Only one fish, the yelloweye rockfish, is under a rebuilding plan, and yelloweye are rebuilding faster than expected, according to a (continued)

Dangerous curve ahead: City, state work to resolve Hwy 104 safety issues

First published in the Feb. 12 print edition

Derek and Kalee Spivey were asleep Dec. 7, their two dogs snoozing peacefully nearby, when their world changed. A suspected drunken driver failed to make the curve where Northwest Warrenton Drive turns into Pacific Avenue in Hammond and plowed into their house. “The wall and car landed on both of us,” Kalee Spivey said. “It’s horrible. We have pretty bad trauma from it.” The Spiveys and their pets walked away with scrapes and bruises, but the couple’s emotional scars will tak (continued)

Lunch Buddy Program calls it quits

First published in the Feb. 12 print edition

A nonprofit group whose mission was to prevent Clatsop County students from dropping out of school has decided to cease operating. The Lunch Buddy Mentoring Program board of directors made the decision after a two-year review of funding and the demands needed to keep the program viable, according to a statement released by the board. Lunch buddies have been a presence in eight elementary and three middle schools in the Warrenton, Astoria, Seaside and Knappa school districts. The mentors hav (continued)

State gets funding to become part of national suicide hotline

A national suicide prevention hotline is in the works. As the nation is accustomed to dialing 911 for public safety emergencies, there will be a three-digit number for suicide emergencies: 988. “We look forward to having another tool to help us save lives,” said Patrick Allen, director of the Oregon Health Authority. Oregon received a $135,000 grant to join the national effort from Vibrant Emotional Health, the nonprofit group that administers the national suicide prevention hotline. (continued)

Ombudsmen sought to help those in care facilities

Oregon’s Long Term Care Ombudsman program needs volunteers. “With vaccines for COVID-19 now being administered, there seems to be a light at the end of the tunnel,” said Natascha Adams, volunteer recruiter. “However, Oregonians living in long-term care facilities continue to be isolated while having some of the highest rates of infection and deaths.” Long-term care ombudsmen serve as advocates for those in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. The ombudsman becomes th (continued)

Columnists & Other Opinions

It's delightful when books jump into our bags

We delightedly reopened the Warrenton Community Library (WCL) doors this week for patrons to browse for books and materials and use the computers, with a limited time of 30 minutes. Thank you to everyone for understanding the importance of utilizing the drive-through during the past two months and helping Clatsop County slow the spread of COVID-19 in our community. We are delighted to let people in again, with masks and social distancing, helping them fill their informational and literacy (continued)

Senior Moments: I've learned a lot from obituaries

I’ll begin my column today with a confession. I enjoy reading obituaries and often come away happy. Of course, there are the sad ones that provoke a person to pray for all concerned even if you do not know the family. And there are times you read an obituary wishing you had known the person when they were living. Or maybe you knew the person, but not the salient facts about them and you wish you had. I have a daughter-in-law in California who now and then sends copies of obituaries she has (continued)

Here's to Your Health: When can you get the COVID-19 vaccine?

As a member of Clatsop County’s COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Task Force, I’ve been getting a lot of questions from community members about when they or their loved ones will be able to get a COVID-19 vaccine. I urge them, and you, to be patient. Our local vaccine rollout has gone relatively smooth, but we are still at the beginning of this effort. The vaccine task force includes members from the County Health Department, Columbia Memorial Hospital, Providence Seaside Hospital and other (continued)

Senior Moments: February has two days to celebrate

Sunday is Valentine's Day. It’s especially fun when such a romantic occasion falls on a Sunday. Most of us celebrate Valentine's Day by giving flowers, candy and cards to those we love. Often, that includes dinner out and many people become engaged even have their wedding on that day. Many pray that our local restaurants will be open at least for limited inside dining on Sunday. I suspect creative romantics won't be disheartened by “what ifs,” but will create a beautiful candlelight (continued)


How to make connections during COVID

Painting instructor Kristin Shauck presents “The Giant Give: Creative Community Connections in the Time of COVID” during the next Ales & Ideas lecture. The lecture series is sponsored by Fort George Brewery and Clatsop Community College. Shauck’s talk is set for 7 p.m. Thursday, March 4, as a Facebook Live event on the Fort George Brewery’s Facebook page. Clatsop Community College’s art program and Royal Nebeker Gallery have a history of supporting arts-based social action in rural (continued)

Registration opens for Girls Build camps

Registration is open for the popular Girls Build camp scheduled in Warrenton this summer. The camp is co-sponsored by Hampton Affiliates and the Warrenton-Hammond School District and is run by women in the construction trades. It provides a hands-on opportunity for girls ages 8 to 15 to develop building skills and learn about the high-paying skilled crafts. In prior years, participants have built playhouses, benches and picture boxes and worked with circular saws, nail guns, drills and sanders. (continued)

Police and Public Safety

Baby killed, mother injured in Cannon Beach crash

An infant was killed and her mother badly injured Monday in a vehicle crash in Cannon Beach. The vehicle’s driver was arrested on suspicion of manslaughter, assault, reckless driving and driving under the influence of intoxicants. The three were in a Mazda MZ3 headed south on Ecola State Park Road about 6 p.m. Monday, according to Oregon State Police. Driver Rony Tomas-Garcia, 23, of Seaside veered off the road and struck a tree, which caused the vehicle to flip onto its top. The 3 (continued)

Public safety calls for week of Feb. 19

** Warrants** Warrant service, 4:39 p.m. Feb. 10, 600 block East Harbor Drive. Daniel C. Lunsford, 31, of Warrenton was arrested on a statewide felony warrant from Clatsop Community Corrections. Warrant service, 6:07 a.m. Feb. 11, police station. Jonathan C. Myers, 35, of Warrenton was arrested on a failure to appear warrant. ** Drug offenses ** Possession of controlled substances, 11:30 am. Feb. 13, 1300 block Southeast Second Street. Christopher R. Cave, 35, of Astoria was arrested on (continued)

Public safety calls for week of Feb. 12

** Thefts and burglaries ** Shoplifting, 7:35 p.m. Feb. 1, Walmart. Cassandra M. McCalip, 38, of Ilwaco, Wash., was arrested on suspicion of second-degree theft, criminal trespassing and an outstanding failure to appear warrant after she allegedly attempted to leave the store without paying for $113 in clothes, lights, jewelry and leather work gloves. Stolen vehicle, 10:24 a.m. Feb. 2, 1600 block Ensign Lane. A Gearhart woman reported her 2012 Dodge Caravan stolen. The vehicle was lat (continued)


Volleyball season begins with bevy of home games

Warrenton High School’s volleyball season starts at home on Tuesday, March 2, against nonleague Neah-Kah-Nie. The 6 p.m. game will be broadcast live on the NFHS network ( “I feel like I'm in some kind of a time warp. Is this August or February? I’m just not quite sure,” Head Coach Staci Miethe said. “But hey, I'm so glad to be out on the court. It's nice to be with the girls. We're going to have a great season.” A bright smile beamed across her face, discernabl (continued)

Team ready to push aside pandemic, get out and play

Charlie Bergerson is a starting senior on Warrenton High School’s varsity football team, No. 55 on the offensive and defensive lines. In an interview, Charlie talked about the impact the pandemic has had on his life. “I'm grateful that school is starting up again. But, more importantly, I'm excited about football,” he said. “It’s a way of relieving my stress. It gives me an opportunity to hang out with friends and to socialize--to be a part of a team.” Initially, he found th (continued)