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Astoria City Manager Brett Estes announces that the field of finalists for the position of Astoria Community Development Director has been narrowed to five. The public is cordially invited to meet the candidates at an informal reception being held at the Barbey Maritime Center located at 2042 Marine Drive on Tuesday, May 5, 2015, 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Hors d'oeuvres will be served and a no-host bar will be available. Comment cards will be provided at the meet and greet.

Five conservation and animal welfare organizations initiated a lawsuit today against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and USDA Wildlife Services to stop what they term as the "slaughter of thousands of double-crested cormorants in the Columbia River basin." Sharnelle Fee, Director of the Wildlife Center of the North Coast says in a news release that the agencies are scapegoating the native birds for salmon declines while ignoring the real threat to salmon: mismanagement of the federal hydropower system. Unless stopped, the agencies will kill more than 15 percent of the entire population of double-crested cormorants west of the Rocky Mountains.

The Astoria city council has decided to abandon any plan to rebuild, or renovate the city library instead opting to explore building a new structure on heritage square next to the Garden of Surging Waves. That new building is envisioned as containing the square footage required for the new library and some housing, both affordable and market rate. The council directed staff to pursue the idea and City Manager Brett Estes said the most likely next step will be to hire an architect to produce a design and cost estimates. In other council action Monday night:

The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission will set ocean salmon and Pacific halibut seasons and discuss the status of wolves when it meets in Bend on April 24.

The Commission will be asked to set the 2015 ocean salmon and Pacific halibut seasons for Oregon's territorial waters from shore to three miles out. The seasons in ocean waters beyond three miles already have been set by the Pacific Management Council, and the Commission will consider similar regulations for state waters. In addition, recreational and commercial troll fall Chinook salmon target fisheries in state waters only will be considered for waters adjacent to Tillamook Bay, the Elk River, and the Chetco River.

Where each of the City's numbered streets between 6th and 11th Streets meet the Columbia River, a short bridge connects the solid-ground road to the over-water pier structure. The City refers to these six bridge structures as our street end structures since they are located at the north ends of our streets along the waterfront.

 Officials at Long Beach Elementary say the school received an anonymous call Thursday afternoon "using technology to hide both the voice and the phone number. The recorded call said only that the caller had an automatic weapon and to call 911. Police were immediately notified and the school was placed on lockdown. As a precautionary measure, all other buildings were also placed on modified lockdown while the situation was investigated".

The Port of Longview may become a stop for trains carrying oil from North Dakota that would supply the first refinery on the Columbia River.  According to documents secured through a freedom of information act request by Columbia Riverkeeper, the Washington Port which is just 45 minutes drive from Astoria is entertaining a partnership proposal by Riverside Refining LLC to build the new refinery on Port property in Longview and accept delivery crude oil by rail and then use the Columbia to ship the refined gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel.

The entire congressional delegation from Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana is demanding that the Obama administration begin negotiations with Canada to update the landmark Columbia River Treaty.

Oregon State police arrested a 28-year-old Astoria man Tuesday night for DUII and reckless driving after he missed a curve on highway 202 at mile post 12, lost control of his Chrysler 300, hit a power pole hard enough to break it off causing the transformer on the pole to explode as the vehicle continued down an embankment ending up in some trees and brush.

Police report that two local residents helped rescue the driver, identified as Jeffrey Raymond Culp and a 25- year old male passenger in the vehicle. The passenger was taken by Medix to Columbia Memorial Hospital where he was later released. Culp consented to impairment tested and officers say he showed significant signs of impairment. His blood alcohol level was tested two hour later at the county jail and measured 0.12%. He was cited and released.

The vehicle was left at the scene until Pacific Power crews were able to respond to repair the pole and downed lines.

The Lincoln County Interagency Narcotics Team (LINT) quietly dissolved today. In a news release Lincoln County Sheriff Dennis Dotson says drug investigations will continue conducted by the same former LINT detectives but rather than working out of the Oregon State Police Office in Newport, the detectives will work out of their respective departments utilizing technology to communicate and work drug cases as needed.

Defense lawyers for a mother accused of killing one daughter and injuring another at a Cannon Beach hotel last summer say they intend to present evidence she was in a "disordered mental state" at the time of the alleged crimes.

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