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Oregon's U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley announced today that the Senate Appropriations Committee passed a bill including $50 million for small, remote ports and $135 million for deep draft ports. Senator Merkley says he fought to include the critical funding in the Energy and Water Appropriations bill after it was slashed from the President's budget.

Clatsop Community College has joined an innovative initiative to strengthen nursing education throughout Oregon. The Oregon Consortium for Nursing Education (OCNE) is a partnership of community colleges and the Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) School of Nursing. Key goals of OCNE include increasing access to baccalaureate education in nursing and promoting broad faculty collaboration to enhance training.

MONDAY MAY 25, 2015



In what may be the first of many drought-related activities this year, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife rescheduled the planned release of trophy trout in five North Coast lakes.

On Wednesday, May 20, 2015, Clatsop County Sheriff's Deputies arrested a 26-year-old Warrenton man for crimes involving the exploitation of a 16-year-old female. Following a 6-week investigation, KYLE MEYER BLOOM was taken into custody without incident.

Oregon's unemployment rate declined to 5.2 percent in April from 5.4 percent in March, reaching Oregon's lowest rate since July 2007 when the rate was also 5.2 percent. The rate is now back to where it was during 2006 through early 2008 when Oregon's rate held steady between 5.0 and 5.5 percent.

Life Flight Network (LFN), the largest not-for-profit air medical transport service in the United States, announced it has opened its newest base at the Warrenton-Astoria Regional Airport in Warrenton, Oregon. The base will provide 24/7 emergency medical air transport to residents and visitors
of the Oregon and Washington Coast.

The council discussed a proposed ordinance that would impose a surcharge on every offense for those found guilty of either traffic violations, or crimes with that new revenue stream going into the training budget for police employees. That fund has remained about the same over the last ten years while costs for the training have increased. The estimated revenue from the proposed surcharge would be about $20,000 a year. The assessment would not be levied against people who are found by the court to not have committed the offense they are cited for by police. Councilor's Herzig and Price expressed concern about tying the training program to a fee raised through violations cited by Astoria police likely to impact the city's poorest residents. Both asked that the city consider paying for the training through the city budget with Price asking if that could come from the General Fund. City Manager Brett Estes said the general fund budget lacks the capacity to cover the cost. He said the even though the city has a considerable contingency set aside tapping that money would drain the fund in later years.  He said the staff was trying to come up with something sustainable.  Councilor Warr said he supported the surcharge but the majority of the council expressed concerns over the proposal that could be considered by some to be similar to bounty hunting to raise the training revneue.  The proposal died. It is likely staff will seek a funding alternative to bring back for council consideration.

In Other Action Monday Night:

The Coast Guard detained the 600-foot motor vessel Ikan Sudip, after significant environmental and safety violations were found during an inspection in Astoria, Saturday.  Vessel inspectors from the Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit in Portland discovered the discrepancies during an inspection of the Panamanian-flagged motor vessel, which was built in 2004.

Beginning January 1, 2016, the visitor use fee to enter Lewis and Clark National Historical Park will increase from $3 per person to $5 per person. An annual Lewis and Clark Pass, good for unlimited entry for one year, will increase from $10 to $20.

Hundreds of Oregonians including farmers, ranchers, business owners, and conservationists will gather on Tuesday, May 26, 2015, at 12:00 pm at the Capitol steps in Salem, Oregon, for a rally to oppose liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports throughout Oregon. The rally will include speeches from tribal leaders, impacted landowners, and a keynote speech from Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Waterkeeper Alliance President.

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