On Saturday ( December 19, 2015), Clatsop County Sheriff's Office arrested a 34-year-old Warrenton man for crimes involving the sexual abuse of a 16-year-old male. With assistance from Warrenton Police Department, Sidney Sean Mecham was taken into custody without incident at a residence in the 100 block of NW First Street. Mecham was lodged in the Clatsop County Jail on one count each of Sexual Abuse III, Furnishing Alcohol to a Minor, Failure to Report as a Sex Offender and Probation Violation.
In response to requests to extend the public comment period on rulemaking regarding state-owned historically filled lands, the Oregon Department of State Lands (DSL) will be accepting comments until Jan. 31, 2016. The previous deadline was Dec. 31, 2015.
Visitors to the Oregon coast are inv ited to watch for migrating whales with trained volunteers during the annual winter Whale Watching Week from Dec. 27-31 hosted by Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD). Volunteers with the Whale Watching Spoken Here program will be stationed at 24 sites from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on those days to help people spot gray whales that are heading south to Mexico.
The Oregon Department of State Lands held a rather important public hearing in Astoria last night. Few knew it was taking place. The division is embarking on a plan to identify and map more of the land it owns. But not all the potential land. There are notable exclusions.
On December 11, 2015 at about 7PM, OSP Troopers and emergency personnel responded to the report of a vehicle versus pedestrian on Highway 101 near milepost 6 (in Astoria).
Preliminary information indicates a 1987 Jeep Wrangler was traveling southbound on Highway 101 when it struck a pedestrian who was walking in the southbound lane of travel. The pedestrian, Michael M DENMAN, age 61, of Springfield was pronounced deceased on scene.
Monday morning the Warrenton Police Department was dispatched to a motor vehicle vs. pedestrian crash at S. Main Ave. and SW 9th Street. Dispatch advised that a 12-year old boy had been struck and injured by a vehicle. As Chief Mathew Workman arrived he found witnesses and off-duty Medix Ambulance personnel providing medical aid to the 12-year old boy until fire and the Medix ambulance arrived.
Missing person, Willard Shinabery, was located near the Astoria Roundabout in a drainage ditch. He was hypothermic and had superficial scratches, but was otherwise unharmed. Mr. Shinabery suffers from dementia and became the subject of a large scale search when he was reported missing Monday morning. He was last seen leaving the Astoria Cleaners on W Marine Dr around 6:30 am on foot
Farm, forest zone review
The board heard a presentation from Planning Division staff on a planned review of the county’s land-use code covering farm- and forest-zoned property. Clatsop County is one of several counties selected by the Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development for the project, which will assist the county in updating its code for the Agriculture-Forestry (AF), Forest-80 (F-80) and Exclusive Farm Use (EFU) zones to ensure compliance with state law and meet local needs. The review will be the county’s first comprehensive update of farm and forest zones since 1993.
The board approved a memorandum of understanding with DLCD detailing the parties’ respective roles, and appointed an advisory committee to oversee the project. Committee members are Joseph Anderson, Bill Boone, Brad Cowan, Ginger Edwards, Ashley Lertora and Teresa Retzlaff.
Land use appeal
Following a public hearing, the board of commissioners voted to overturn a ruling of the City of Gearhart Planning Commission that denied an application from Cary Johnson to partition a property in the city’s urban growth area. Johnson had applied to partition a 21,482-square-foot tax lot on Eastpine Lane into two lots, and after the planning commission ruling appealed the decision to the county. Planning Division staff said Johnson’s application met the applicable requirements and recommended that the board of commissioners allow the partition.
Manager interview process
The board reached consensus on a process for interviewing finalists for the vacant County Manager position. The county will host a meet-and-greet reception for the finalists on Jan. 28 and conduct interviews on Jan. 29, with three interview panels representing the county commissioners, county department heads and community stakeholders.
Applications for the position are being accepted until Dec. 31, and the board is scheduled to meet in executive session at its Jan. 13 meeting to select three to six finalists.
In other business the board
-Proclaimed 2016 as the Year of Wellness in Clatsop County. The proclamation recognizes local health promotion efforts such as the Way to Wellville and Prevention Works and encourages the community to learn about ways to improve health and well-being.
-Introduced new county employee Tim Samples, who joined the Building Codes Division as a building inspector.
(information provided by Clatsop County)