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Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today introduced a bill that would improve Medicare coverage for seniors and individuals with disabilities. The bill, the “Medicare Affordability and Enrollment Act,” would establish an out-of-pocket spending cap, streamline the Medicare enrollment process by reducing penalties and roadblocks for those seeking coverage, and make the program more equitable for lower-income seniors and individuals with disabilities, among other steps to improve the program

The Suspicious Death investigation in Columbia County is now a homicide investigation. Investigators working on the case have identified Apache Rose Hightower, 24, Portland, as the victim of homicidal violence following the autopsy Wednesday in Portland.

A busy fall weekend is coming up with a popular brew event coming to Astoria, a coastwide beach clean up that attracts thousands, and an unusual opportunity to hear more from experts about a humpback whale that washed ashore this week.

Marine life scientists say a dead 38-foot-long humpback whale disappeared off an Oregon beach before they could figure out what killed it.  Scientists brought equipment to the beach on Monday hoping to examine the whale, but Sunday's high tide must have pulled it back out to sea.Today its back and washed up two miles south at Short Sand Beach inside Oswald West State Park.. State park staff will be on the beach at 1 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday, September 24-25, to present interpretive talks

Clatsop County's first death penalty trial in 15 years is set to begin Tuesday and could last for up to two months.  Jury selection for 28-year-old Randy Lee Roden's murder trial will begin this week. Roden is accused of killing 2-year-old Evangelina Wing, who died of blunt force trauma in December 2014.

One of the Astoria City Council goals this year is to promote positive economic development through strengthened partnerships. Community Development Director Kevin Cronin has been working to define exactly what that means and formulate a plan to achieve that goal since he first arrived last year.   Monday night Cronin presented a plan that would hire a consultancy to help formulate the plan and provide tools for the city to use in putting a plan into action.

Street light improvements for the Safeway intersection and the bus stops on 33rd and Highway 30, a new life saving piece of equipment for emergency responders, more help for the aquatic center, and a new approach to the city’s role in economic development were all on the agenda a Monday’s city council meeting.  Here's your morning brief.

The United States Coast Guard Cutter Steadfast (WMEC 623) returned home Thursday, September 15, after successfully completing a 62-day counter narcotics patrol in the Eastern Pacific.

The 210-foot cutter was deployed in support of Joint Interagency Task Force – South (JIATF-S) with the primary mission of detection and interdiction of illegal narcotics trafficking. The efforts by the crew of Steadfast lead to the successful interdiction of more than 4,800 pounds of cocaine, with a street value of over $71 Million.

The Astoria Downtown Historic District Association's Volunteer Appreciation Night received an Excellence in Downtown Revitalization Award for "Best Volunteer Development" from Oregon Main Street on September 15 during the Oregon Main Street Evening of Excellence Celebration in Astoria. This award honors the Main Street organization that has developed the most thorough effort to recruit, train, motivate, or recognize volunteers. On hand to accept the award was Blue Anderson with the Astoria Downtown Historic District Association. 

Astoria will be in the spotlight at the inaugural People’s Coast Summit presented by the Oregon Coast Visitor’s Association in October.  The two-day industry event is designed for visitor-related organizations and businesses on the coast as a professional development workshop and networking opportunity.

During the month of September, local agencies and businesses throughout Clatsop County are partnering to launch the OK/HELP sign program.  The OK/HELP signs are being offered to local citizens to use following a large disruptive event in the county that requires widespread welfare checks. By putting the sign in a front window to indicate their status, citizens can help save time for those tasked with checking on residents door-to-door.  A sign that says “OK” allows workers to move efficiently through neighborhoods using precious time to tend to those bearing a “HELP” placard.

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