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The investigation into the natural gas leak and fire at Comfort Suites in Astoria Monday night continues. Yesterday, members of the Clatsop County Fire Investigation Team and Oregon State Police Arson Investigators worked at the scene trying to identify the cause of the gas leak and fire. 

At this time the ignition source that triggered the fire remains unknown.  Investigators were able to determine that the gas leak was not caused by mechanical failure.

After 35 years with the city of Astoria, Public Works Director Ken Cook has announced his retirement set for the end of November.

Monday night Astoria Fire Department and an Officer from Astoria Police Department were dispatched to the Comfort Suites in East Astoria for a report of a natural gas leak behind the building.

 

A collaborative project between researchers and the West Coast sablefish fishing industry is showing promise for reducing the number of seabirds caught in longline fishing gear, in particular, several albatross species including one threatened with extinction.

The combination of using streamer lines (also called bird-scaring lines) to protect longline fishing gear from seabird attacks on baits, and setting hooks at night when the birds are less active can significantly reduce seabird mortality, the researchers say.

Results of the study were just published in the journal Fisheries Research.

The Clatsop County Commission will consider regulating short-term vacation rentals with a new ordinance that is intended to "ensure the safety and well-being of renters and limit conflicts with neighbors." according to a news release this (Monday) morning. 

The county points to the growing use of residential homes as vacation rentals as the reason the new rules are being considered and commissioners are asking for public comment in a hearing on a proposed short-term rental ordinance at its regular meeting Wednesday, Sept. 27 beginning at 6 p.m. at the Judge Guy Boyington Building, 857 Commercial St., Astoria.

The mass of warm water known as "the blob" that heated up the North Pacific Ocean has dissipated, but scientists are still seeing the lingering effects of those unusually warm sea surface temperatures on Pacific Northwest salmon and steelhead.

Federal research surveys this summer caught among the lowest numbers of juvenile coho and Chinook salmon in 20 years, suggesting that many fish did not survive their first months at sea. Scientists warn that salmon fisheries may face hard times in the next few years.

Lincoln City Police Responded to the Spyglass Ridge Open Space on a welfare check of two individuals in a 1993 GMC Typhoon SUV. Upon arriving officers recognized the female in the driver's seat to be Nicolette Willey (Dryke) age 24, of Newport, OR and were aware she was wanted on a Felony warrant for Robbery out of Salem, OR.

The county board approved a memorandum of understanding between Clatsop County and the cities of Astoria, Cannon Beach, Gearhart, Seaside and Warrenton to fund a comprehensive study of local housing issues. Under the agreement, the county will pay $50,000 and the cities $10,000 each toward the cost of the study, for which the county will issue a request for proposals from potential contractors.

In other news from Clatsop County: 

Clatsop County Manager Cameron Moore announced the selection of Tracie Krevanko as the new County Clerk.

Krevanko replaces Valerie Crafard, who is retiring after three years at the post. Krevanko will begin Oct. 16.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and five Lower Columbia River ports are beginning the public scoping process to prepare an integrated environmental impact statement and long-term maintenance plan for the Lower Columbia River Federal Navigation Channel. The Plan will ensure the channel, extending upstream from the Mouth of Columbia River to Vancouver, Wash., is maintained and operational at its federally authorized 43-foot depth for another 20 years. The public outreach includes a meeting in Astoria at the Columbia River Maritime Museum Tuesday, October 17, 2017.

The Coast Guard suspended the search 8:56 p.m. for a missing man who reportedly fell off a cliff in Oswald West State Park, Oregon, Sunday.  The search was suspended after search efforts by an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Sector Columbia River, a 47-foot Motor Life Boat from Station Tillamook Bay and local responders were unsuccessful.

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