A proposed ConnectOregon V project for Astoria that didn't make the first cut gets another look by the State Transportation Commission.

After considering input from the public at a hearing in July, 2014 and reviewing a large volume of written comments, the Oregon Transportation Commission approved 36 multimodal projects from around the state for $40,369,189 in funding, provided by the ConnectOregon V program. The Port of Astoria won a grant for $480,000 to upgrade runways at the regional airport and The Columbia River Pilots won a $949,608 grant for their proposed Columbia River clearance project.  Because the commission disagreed with staff over selection of one of the proposed projects in St. Helens there is some extra money available.

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The 2015 Clatsop County Cultural Coalition grant recipients have been selected. Each year, approximately $8,000 is made available by the Oregon Cultural Trust to Clatsop County Cultural Coalition to fund projects in art, music, humanities, and heritage in Clatsop County. An awards ceremony for the 2015 grant recipients was held Wednesday, December 10th at the Butterfield Cottage, Seaside Museum and Historical Society, Seaside. 2015 grant recipients gave brief presentations on their projects and received their award checks. Multi-instrumentalist Jeff Blanche also performed.

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Following their repeated calls to ensure the safety of residents in coastal areas, Oregon Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley and Representatives Peter DeFazio, Kurt Schrader, Earl Blumenauer and Suzanne Bonamici today announced the Congress has passed legislation that will keep the U.S. Coast Guard's air facility at Newport open through the coming year.

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It's the most wonderful time of the year—and potentially the most profitable for scammers. Better Business Bureau serving Alaska, Oregon and Western Washington has put together a list of 12 common Christmas schemes to help consumers stay safe this holiday season.

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At their public meeting today, the State Land Board directed the Department of State Lands (DSL) to work towards implementing an ownership model for the Elliott State Forest involving another public entity or a public-private partnership. The goal is to "de-couple" timber harvesting from school funding, and remove the forest from the Common School Fund's land portfolio.

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The Astoria Fire Department fire engines will be parading through neighborhoods in Astoria on Wednesday, December 10th, Thursday, December 11th, and Friday, December 12th from 6:30pm to 8:30pm. Firefighters, family, and friends will be picking up non-perishable food items and donations for needy families this holiday season. The fire engines will be decorated with lights and playing Christmas music. We've heard that Santa Claus will be making an appearance to help us hand out candy canes and spread the Christmas joy!

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The Coast Guard rescued five fishermen from the 78-foot fishing vessel Titan after it grounded and began to take on water off of the A-jetty on the north side of the Columbia River near Ilwaco, Washington, Friday.  A Coast Guard Cape Disappointment 47-foot Motor Life Boat crew responded to the situation, safely removed the fisherman after dewatering efforts failed and took them back to the station.

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Thursday morning at 9:21am officers from the Warrenton Police Department were called to the Warrenton Marina regarding a male subject who was breaking into boats. Officers arrived and were told that 36-year old Lonie Davis was
seen by a witness on and in three different boats. The witness called the Warrenton Marina Harbormaster who responded and saw Davis enter a fourth boat that did not belong to Davis.

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On Wednesday evening the Clatsop County Sheriff, Sheriff's Deputies and an Oregon State Police Trooper responded to a report of a burglary in progress, resulting in the arrest of two Clatsop County residents 34-year-old JOSEPH LEE COZART and  29-year-old TAMARA DENISE PAINTER.  

A homeowner in the Miles Crossing area south of Astoria returned to his residence to find TAMARA PAINTER in an unknown vehicle in his rural driveway. PAINTER promptly left the residence when contacted by the homeowner. As the homeowner approached the door to his residence, he confronted JOSEPH COZART exiting the door with a box full of stolen items. The homeowner detained COZART at gunpoint, contacted the Sheriff's Office and held him there until deputies arrived approximately three minutes later.

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Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum and 44 other state attorneys general today announced a $3.8 million settlement with Sirius XM Radio Inc. resolving claims alleging that the satellite radio company engaged in misleading advertising and billing practices. Sirius XM also will provide restitution to eligible consumers who have complaints about the problems addressed in the settlement, including complaints that consumers were wrongfully billed for SiriusXM services between July 28, 2008 and December 4, 2014.

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Astoria Dispatch has been receiving numerous complaints from citizens regarding phone calls from the IRS claiming they owe tax monies. The IRS itself has issued numerous warning about this pervasive telephone scam. The IRS will always send taxpayers a written notification regarding any tax matters via U.S. mail. The people behind this scam are sophisticated enough that they may even have the IRS appear on peoples caller ID, they may tell people a badge number, and may even be able to tell someone a partial social security number. There have also been reports of people being threatened with jail time if they don't immediately pay supposed back taxes.

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