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The City of Astoria has announced the promotion of Jeff Harrington to Public Works Director. Harrington has been the City Engineer for the past seven years and has stepped in as acting director of the department. He is filling the role being vacated by Ken Cook who retires at the end of this month. Cook had led the department for the past 11 years.

Coast Guard Cutter Alert returned to its homeport of Astoria Monday after a 73-day, counter-smuggling deployment in the Eastern Pacific Ocean.

The Alert completed a 13,740-mile patrol as a part of the U.S.'s joint military and law enforcement counter-drug task force which acts to stop the flow of illicit drugs into the U.S. The crew patrolled the Eastern Pacific drug transit zone and interdicted seven "go-fast" style vessels suspected of smuggling using an embarked helicopter and two pursuit boats.

Photo-CMH Chief Executive Officer Eric Thorson gives a check to CCC Foundation President Susan Bartlett. (L-R) Trece Gurrad, Susan Bartlett, Eric Thorson, Chris Breitmeyer, Allison Sansom, Sarrah Lindgren, Heidi Thompson, Madilyn Davis, Miranda Dietrichs

Columbia Memorial Hospital presented a check for $50,000 to the Clatsop Community College Foundation on Wednesday, November 8, 2017, to go towards the college’s nursing program. CMH has been a supporter of the Nursing Program in many ways over the years and the partnership is important for both parties.

Probiotics are a type of "good" bacteria found in some foods and supplements that humans consume that is said to promote digestive system health. There is some debate in the medical community about the need for those supplements but there's no question that good bacteria in the gut helps keep you healthy and has shown benefits that tend to outweigh side effects.

Now probiotics will be used in a federally funded Oregon research study aimed at reducing a bad bacteria that crops up in oysters.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers awarded a $6.2 million contract to Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife to operate and maintain the Bonneville Fish Hatchery, on the Columbia River. The firm-fixed contract is for one year, with two consecutive option years, if exercised, in-order-to produce fall Chinook to aid in mitigation obligations for The Dalles and John Day dams.

The Oregon Department of Revenue has recently seen a spike in concerned taxpayers reporting fishy phone calls. The callers fraudulently identify themselves as IRS or Department of Revenue employees and threaten the taxpayer with arrest if they don't provide personal identifying information, such as Social Security or credit card numbers. 

State officials say a scam like this surfaces every year. The tell-tale sign is the caller threatening arrest or other consequences, which is an attempt to goad a taxpayer into a bad decision. Revenue employees may ask a taxpayer to verify some personal information, but they won't make threats or demand personal or financial information. 

On November 6, 2077, at approximately 4:30 am, Seaside Police attempted to pull over a vehicle which had been driving erratically and at high speeds on Highway 26. SPD gave chase northbound on Highway l0l but, due to the subject's speed and the road and weather conditions, decided to abandon the pursuit.

The vehicle was again pursued by both the Warrenton Police Department and Clatsop County Sheriff s Office as it continued north at speeds exceeding 100 mph on a very dark and wet morning. The suspect vehicle lost a tire going the wrong way through the roundabout coming into Astoria and the vehicle finally crashed after being spike stripped by the Astoria Police Department. The suspect fled the vehicle on foot and was arrested soon thereafter.

A Gearhart ballot measure that would have repealed and replaced that town's short-term rental laws was defeated by voters in Tuesday's Special Election.  Warrenton voters approved a higher local option levy to operate the town library for five years.

In the second unofficial tally, Tuesday night the county reports the turn-out for the election was just a little over 39 percent.

77 percent of the voters who cast a ballot in Gearhart voted against an initiative that would have loosened the rules the city put in place for owners of vacation rentals keeping those requirements in place.

Warrenton voters cast 55 percent in favor of a new five-year tax levy to operate the city library. The new levy replaces a previous local option tax with one that will make it possible for the library to offer a few more services.

 

According to a 2016 estimate by the Department of Veterans Affairs, we are losing 362 American WWII veterans every day. The few remaining, approximately 558,000, WWII veterans will soon be gone, taking with them their stories of life during the war. 

Veterans' Legacies, a non-profit group based in Oregon, is working to capture personal accounts of WWII veterans in order to preserve and share them in a free, online database, available to the public. 

Gary Mortensen, co-founder of Veterans' Legacies, and Mark Browning, executive director of the organization, have recently expanded their efforts to collect the stories of Oregon's WWII veterans. In response to the growing urgency of the situation, Mortensen and Browning looked for ways to increase the ability to research and interview surviving veterans, and their families.

Rosemary Baker-Monaghan, who has served on the Clatsop Community College Board of Directors since 2000, has been named the 2017 Howard Cherry Awards Outstanding Board Member by the Oregon Community College Association.

 Baker-Monaghan, a native Northwesterner, was lauded by CCC President Chris Breitmeyer as an outstanding leader, campus diversity champion, and passionate advocate for classroom security and campus safety. In addition to CCC, she has served on Clatsop Economic Development Resources (CEDR), the Lewis and Clark National Park Association, is Past-President of the Astoria Rotary Club and has been chair of the Lower Columbia Tourism Committee. She also served 12 years in public office from 1991 - 2003 with the City of Seaside, 4 1/2 years on the Planning Commission, 4 years on the City Council, and 4 years as Mayor. 

 

If you work in the hospitality industry you may already be aware of a scam where hotel guests get a call in their room from a person claiming to be the hotel front desk and asking for credit card information from the guest again because "something went wrong" with the computer when the guest checked in. The guest, unless they've heard of this scam, doesn't realize that call could be coming from anyone.  It's always a good idea to handle these situations by going down to the front desk and handling the transaction face to face to avoid giving out personal information over the phone.

Here's another twist, and it happened recently in Cannon Beach according to the police department. An unknown subject contacted the hotel dining room/ restaurant by phone, claiming to be from their accounting department. The subject reported there had been problems posting room service credit card billings. Using this as his justification, the subject was able to obtain information from staff, including guest names, guest rooms, and specific room service meals.

With that information, the scammer can then call each guest, claim their card didn't go through and ask for that information over the phone. The guest has no idea it's not the front desk calling. It sounds legitimate because the crook has such specific information.

Police suggest that hotel operators be alert to the possibility of this criminal activity and call police if a similar incident takes place.

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