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As the Seattle Seahawks return to the Super Bowl for the second year in a row, the 12th Man's quest to attend the big game will prove to be expensive and difficult.

DUII discussions are back on the agenda at tonight's Astoria City Council meeting, as we have previously reported, Mayor LaMear requested that the topic be placed on tonight's agenda.  Clatsop County District Attorney Josh Marquis wants all driving under the influence cases to be cited by Astoria Police into Circuit Court instead of the city court and the council's refusal resulted in a court case that found that the DA does have the authority to take those cases but the city is within it's right to have those cases heard in municipal court.

Astoria Police have published their Annual Report. the report summarizes statistical information and reviews projects and programs over the last several years. The report was submitted first to the Astoria City Council and is included in the Council packet for the Council meeting scheduled for January 20th.

The Astoria Warrenton Area Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2014 George and Ford Awards. The George Award is given to two qualified candidates: David Reid, outgoing Chamber board president and proprietor of Aflac of Astoria, and Willis Van Dusen, former Astoria Mayor. The Richard Ford Distinguished Service Award recipients for 2014 are Carl and Dianne Burkhart, employees of NW Natural and TLC
Federal Credit Union, respectively.

Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici joined Education Secretary Arne Duncan at a Washington, D.C. elementary school today to emphasize the need to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). The law, which was last reauthorized in 2001 with the passage of the No Child Left Behind Act, outlines federal education policy and provides funding for certain programs in the nation's public schools.

The ConnectOregon V Final Review Committee met on Tuesday in Portland to review the list of qualified applications for the approximate $4 million in remaining ConnectOregon funds. Topping the list is the Port of St. Helens Berth 2, Beaver Dock Reconstruction for $2 million, followed by the City of Eugene Bike Share program for $909,066 and the Teevin Bros. Rail Intermodal Consolidation project in Rainier for $2.3 million.

On January 4, 2015, troopers in Lewis County were called to a two vehicle collision on State Route 12 involving a passenger car and semi-truck. The driver of the passenger car, Mr. Jay Sume of Randle, WA, was fatality injured when the vehicle he was driving crossed the center line, impacting the front of the semi-truck. The cause of the collision is still under investigation.

This fatality collision presented another obstacle for troopers. The wife of Mr. Sume arrived on scene after reading a message of the incident on the social media site FaceBook. Troopers were not prepared to notify Mrs. Sume of the death of her husband, or answer questions on how the death occurred when she arrived on scene. Investigators were still collecting evidence and determing a preliminary cause of the incident. Troopers were extremely concerned the final images Mrs. Sume would remember of her husband would have an emotionally lasting impact. Troopers were faced with the difficult task of telling Mrs. Sume her husband had died while she looked at the wreckage of the scene.

People willing to volunteer time and expertise are very valuable to the operation of the county government and each of the cities in the county.  The process of filling positions usually involves filling out an application and appointments are made as vacancies occur.

Astoria's new Chief of Police was officially sworn in this week by Mayor Arline LaMear. Brad Johnston appeared on Tom Freel's Coastwatch program on KAST along with Emergency Communications Manager Jeff Rusiecki to talk about the department and it's activities over the past year.  In the following portion of that interview Johnston talks about his new job and the added responsibilities of being the assistant City Manager. The conversation also covers the importance of social media and other technology in a modern police department.

Willis Van Dusen wasn't in his usual seat Monday night as the Astoria City Council Meeting was getting underway.  The outgoing Mayor was just returning from a vacation trip and told KAST news "I wouldn't miss this", as he took a seat in the audience and waited for the session to begin. Van Dusen was about to pass the gavel to incoming Mayor Arline LaMear.  Van Dusen was a strong supporter of LaMear's candidacy for the job he held for the past 24 years.

The contractor working for the Oregon Department of Transportation will resume bridge rehabilitation work on the Old Youngs Bay Bridge (U.S. 101 Bus) starting the week of January 12. Most of the work will be done during the daytime with flaggers controlling a single lane of traffic. Only minor delays are expected during construction activities and travelers should drive through the area with caution.

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