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Razor clam diggers can count on an eight-day opener beginning Feb. 15 and start planning trips to Washington's beaches in March, state shellfish managers said today.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) approved the upcoming dig, which runs Feb. 15-22, after marine toxin tests showed the clams are safe to eat.

Dan Ayres, WDFW coastal shellfish manager, said the best digging typically occurs one to two hours before low tide. No digging is allowed at any beach before noon.

A lawsuit that accuses the federal Environmental Protection Agency from failing to protect Washington and Oregon oysters from ocean acidification is scheduled for a hearing Thursday in Seattle.

The agency is being sued by the Center for Biological Diversity, a nonprofit organization that works to protect endangered species and habitat.

The center is challenging an EPA decision three years ago that said Washington and Oregon sea water meets water-quality standards meant to protect marine life.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers today released the final Environmental Impact Statement to reduce predation on juvenile salmon and steelhead listed under the Endangered Species Act by a large population of double-crested cormorants in the Columbia River estuary.

A Coast Guard helicopter crew medevaced three mariners, reportedly suffering from burns and a leg injury, from a cargo ship 52 miles west of the Columbia River Bar, Thursday.  A Coast Guard Air Station Astoria MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew hoisted the three men from the 623-foot Cyprus-flagged motor vessel and transferred them to awaiting emergency medical service personnel at the air station.

A Coast Guard spokesman says a derelict 69-foot fishing vessel has sunk at the Port of Astoria.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Jonathan Klingenberg said the Cap'n Oscar was submerged up to the pilothouse by Thursday evening. It has an unknown amount of fuel aboard.  An agency team is working with Port of Astoria personnel to minimize any pollution.

"Thanks to the crew at the Port of Astoria and the quick response from the Coast Guard incident management department we were able to quickly address the pollution threat," said Chief Warrant Officer Amber Winkowski, the command duty officer at Sector Columbia River. "The Coast Guard will continue to monitor the case until the vessel is removed from the water and the pollution is mitigated."

Personnel from the Port of Astoria, working with Coast Guard responders, plan to attempt dewatering at low tide followed by a full removal of the vessel the Friday morning .

Custom Excavating, contractor for the City of Astoria, will be cutting trees on Irving Avenue between 21st and 29th Streets on February 9th thru February 11th. Pacific Power will be dropping the power lines to help facilitate the project's safety; the power is projected to be down for a few hours on Monday, February 9th.

If you have any questions you can call Astoria Engineering Division at 503-338-5173.

The public is invited to learn more about a proposed enterprise zone designed to boost economic development in Clatsop County at a meeting Tuesday, Feb. 24 at 6 p.m. at the Judge Guy Boyington Building, 857 Commercial St., Astoria.

The Oregon Immunization Program reminds parents that children will not be able to attend school or child care starting Feb. 18 – School Exclusion Day – if their records on file show missing immunizations.

Here's your rundown on Monday's City Council meeting in Astoria.

 Astoria Mayor Arline LaMear proclaimed the week of February 2nd to be Tongue Point Job Corps Center week. The proclamation recognized the Job Corps center as celebrating fifty years of carrying out its mission and has provided training to more than 40,000 youth over the years. The Mayor noted that Tongue Point Job Corps is the third oldest in the nation and the largest in the Northwest.

At 9:46 AM, on February 1, 2015, Astoria Police were notified by the caretaker for the Astoria Column of an item that was suspicious. Officers responded and located a large diameter pipe that was at least partially filled with concrete. As a precaution, Astoria Police asked the few people at the column to leave and closed the park to the public.

The board adopted the Clatsop Vision 2030Together. The Vision, crafted with assistance from consultants Zenn Associates and developed through a long public outreach effort that included interviews, community workshops and surveys, provides a roadmap for where citizens hope to see the county in 15-20 years. It includes an overarching vision and core community values, as well as visions for each of six focus areas: Economy and Jobs; Arts, Culture and History; Health, Safety and Resilience; Education and Learning; Environmental, Natural Resources and Recreation; and Community Development and Planning.

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