Saturday, March 17, 2012

Local Norovirus Cases Prompt Call For Health Precautions

Friday, March 16, 2012

The Clatsop County Public Health Department has been investigating several outbreaks of acute vomiting and diarrhea in local elder care facilities believed to be linked to a contagious infection.

Two of the cases have been identified as caused by the norovirus. This is an extremely contagious gastrointestinal infection spread most often by hands that have been contaminated with feces or vomit or aerosolized vomit of infected people.

To prevent the spread of norovirus and other gastrointestinal infections, the Public Health Department urges people to practice frequent hand-washing or sanitizing, especially after using the bathroom or changing diapers, before preparing meals or feeding an infant, and before and after providing care to another.

People with acute vomiting and diarrhea should not return to school, daycare, residential care or food service until they have been symptom-free for 72 hours. Those people should also inform their employers of their illness, and continue to practice scrupulous hand-washing.

For more information contact the Public Health Department at (503) 325-8500.

Released by:Tom Bennett
Community Relations Coordinator
(503) 338-3622

Clatsop County Health Department Tracking Higher-Than-Normal Resperatory Illness

Friday, March 16, 2012

The Clatsop County Public Health Department is urging the public to observe basic preventative health steps as a result of an increase in reports of upper respiratory tract infections across the county.

Surveillance of local hospital emergency departments and urgent care and walk-in clinics has revealed bronchitis, sinus infections, strep throat and a small number of positive influenza tests. One local school district reported that its absenteeism rate peaked at 19 percent, versus a normal rate of 6 to 8 percent.

Predominant symptoms found in school cases are fever, sore throat, body aches, headaches and nasal and chest congestion.

Neither Columbia Memorial Hospital in Astoria nor Providence Seaside Hospital in Seaside is reporting any increased hospitalization as a result of these infections. However, people with fever and sore throat should be medically evaluated, as untreated strep throat can lead to complications including heart and kidney problems.

The Public Health Department reminds citizens to help prevent the spread of respiratory illness by:

· Covering your mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze and throwing the tissue away

· Washing your hands with soap and water, especially after coughing or sneezing

· Avoiding touching your eyes, nose or mouth

· Trying to avoid close contact with sick people

· Getting a flu shot (for those age 6 months and older)

Those who do contract a flu-like illness are urged to remain home at least 24 hours after the fever is gone (if no fever-reducing medicine is used), to reduce the risk of spreading the illness at work or school.

For more information, go to the Public Health page on the Clatsop County website, or call (503) 325-8500.

Released by: Tom Bennett
Community Relations Coordinator
(503) 338-3622

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Oregon's March GOP Candidate Debate Cancelled By ORP's Alley

Read Full OCN Report

Clatsop County Sheriff's Office Week In Review - March 4th thru 11th

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The following are weekly reports from the Clatsop County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Division, Parole and Probation Division and Corrections Division.

Criminal Division

The Criminal Division had 199 calls for service for the period of March 4 through March 11. They include 10 alarms, 13 agency assists, two animal/dog complaints, seven disturbances, two Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants (DUII) arrests, four property crimes, eight traffic citations, 71 traffic stops and 15 arrest warrants served. Crimes of note are as follows:

· Theft of two yards of ¾ minus gravel from the Knappa Water District on Allen Road;

· Disturbance on Walluski Loop that resulted in the arrest of Bjorn Vaugh of Astoria on a charge of Strangulation – released after six hours in Clatsop County Jail;

· Criminal Mischief on Kylester Lane in Knappa where a storage unit was broken into, nothing of value taken;

· Arrest of Torae Shufelt of Wheeler on a charge of DUII on Hwy 101 and Tolovana – released after one hour in jail.

· Arrest of Donald Baker of Seaside on charges of Menacing and Harassment on Elm Road in Jewell after a neighborhood disturbance involving the firing of guns – released after 15 hours in jail.

· Theft of two metal tent poles owned by the Commercial Fisherman’s Festival from Tongue Point property;

· Arrest of Jessica Slaughter of Warrenton for a restraining order violation – in custody as of March 13 for previous probation violations;

· Arrest of Kristopher French of Longview on a charge of DUII on Hwy 105 and Wireless Road – released after two hours in jail

· Arrest of John Bard of Beaverton on a charge of Public Indecency on Lewis and Clark Road near Crown Camp (milepost 10) – released after 20 minutes in jail.

If you have any information regarding the crimes listed above please call the Sheriff’s Office at 503-325-8635.

Parole and Probation Division

Currently Parole and Probation supervises 419 offenders – 319 men and 100 women. More than half, 51%, are 30 years of age or younger. Of that total, 259 offenders are being supervised for a C felony crime, 89 for a B felony crime and 49 for an A felony crime. Plus, 23 offenders are on supervision for misdemeanor offenses.

More than half of the offenders are either currently entered into treatment programs (41 percent) or have been referred to treatment programs (12 percent). Twenty-five percent of our offenders have completed treatment programs.

The Parole and Probation Division is in charge of:

· Direct supervision of state-funded felony offenders on probation, post-prison supervision and parole, as well as a limited number of misdemeanor offenders;

· Provision of programming and services to assist the offender in overcoming criminal thinking/behavior patterns and/or learning the skills necessary to appropriately function in the community;

· Imposition of a continuum of sanctions for noncompliance with conditions of supervision.

Corrections Division

The Corrections Division reports that from March 4 through March 11, 20 people were released early from the Clatsop County Jail. Of those 20, eight were forced Matrix releases that included crimes of: First-Degree Burglary, Attempt to Elude, Possession of Controlled Substance-Methemphetamine, Possession of Controlled Substance-Heroin, Failure to Appear on a Violation of Release Agreement, Reckless Driving, Reckless Endangering, Probation Violation-Interfering with a Police Officer.

The 12 that were released prior to completing their sentences involve crimes of: Post-Prison Supervision Violation-Sex Abuse I, Post-Prison Supervision Violation-Attempt to Rape I, Post-Prison Supervision Violation-Possession of Controlled Substance-Heroin, Post-Prison Supervision Violation-Possession of Controlled Substance-Meth, Probation Violation-Theft II, Probation Violation-Possession of Controlled Substance, Menacing, Domestic Assault, Probation Violation-Harassment, Probation Violation-Resisting Arrest/Reckless Driving, Driving While License Suspended, and Contempt.

The releases for the period March 4-11 resulted in a total of 88 days not served in jail for sentenced offenders.

Released by: Tom Bennett
Community Relations Coordinator
(503) 338-3622

March 14, 2012 Highlights For Clatsop County Board Of Commissioners Regular Meeting

Ambulance plan update approved

The board adopted an update to the county’s Ambulance Service Area Plan, the first such revision since the plan was originally adopted in 1996.

The ASA Plan spells out the scope of work requirements for the local ambulance service provider, including staff training and licensing, equipment, communications, response times and mutual aid agreements with other agencies.

The ASA Plan is a separate document from the franchise agreement between the county and the current ambulance service provider, Medix Ambulance Service Inc., which was renewed for a 15-year term in 2001.

Land sale approved

The board approved the sale of a 4.57-acre parcel on Highway 202 south of Astoria to the Walluski Western Ltd. Company. The company approached the county last year about purchasing the site, which adjoins Walluski Western’s current operations. The property formerly housed the county animal shelter and currently provides space for the Sheriff’s Office inmate work crew program, including storage for firewood cut by the work crew and provided to local residents in need.

Walluski Western will pay $135,000 for the property and use the buildings on the site to house milling and machining equipment that will employ four people. The county plans to construct a new facility for the work crew at the Clatsop County Fairgrounds, using the proceeds of the land sale to fund the project.

Manager criteria approved

The board adopted standards and criteria for the hiring of a new county manager. They include minimum educational and professional requirements, as well as broad management and financial knowledge in the public sector, leadership abilities and communications skills, among others.

The county is recruiting a replacement for County Manager Duane Cole, who is retiring from service May 31. The standards and criteria will guide the recruitment and selection of the new manager, whom the board hopes to select by the end of May.

Ocean energy discussed

The board heard a presentation from Belinda Batten and Meleah Ashford from Northwest Marine Renewable Energy Center on issues surrounding proposed offshore wave-energy development and the organization’s plan to establish a wave-energy research facility on the Oregon Coast. Clatsop County is one of four areas currently under consideration for the site, which would provide space for in-ocean testing of energy devices, as well as research into environmental impacts. In Clatsop County the center’s attention has focused on Camp Rilea Armed Forces Training Center in Warrenton, which is pursuing a renewable energy initiative.

Board Chair Peter Huhtala urged Batten to seek the input of local fishermen as part of the process.

Employment numbers reviewed

The board heard a presentation from Shawna Sykes and Eric Knoder of the Oregon Employment Department on jobless numbers for Clatsop County. The local seasonally adjusted unemployment rate is currently 7.8 percent, lower than the statewide figure, and the past three months have seen a strong rate of job growth, they noted. But the rebound has been uneven, with manufacturing and retail trade positions returning but leisure and hospitality jobs lagging. Real wages in the county are at 2002 levels, they said.

Dredging comment endorsed

The board voted to send a letter to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers asking that the agency withdraw a draft environmental assessment on dredge disposal plans for the Lower Columbia River. The vote came after comments from Dale Beasley, president of the Columbia River Crab Fishermen’s Association, who told the board that the draft document lacks data on the impact of dredge disposal at the mouth of the Columbia River on wave amplification and crab mortality.

Other Business

In other business the board:

-Approved an amendment to the 2011-12 Public Health agreement with the Oregon Health Authority to account for increased grant revenue of $4,900 for the Tobacco Prevention and Education and $16,200 for Women, Infant and Child (WIC) programs.

-Approved adjustments, effective April 1, to service fees for the Public Health Department to reflect statutory and regulatory changes to the Environmental Health Program and changes to Community Health and Family Planning services.

-re-appointed Russ Farmer to the Clatsop County Budget Committee

-appointed Terri Coulombe and David Hablewitz to the Clatsop County Housing Authority Board of Commissioners.

Tom Bennett

Community Relations Coordinator

(503) 325-1000 ext. 1312

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Astoria Police Conclude Sex Abuse Investigation

Suspect Arrested
On March 14, 2012 Astoria Police arrested Earnest Aiken, Age 80 of Astoria.
The incident leading to his arrest began on December 28, 2011 with a mandatory reporter who viewed a Facebook post by the teenage victim in the case. The mandatory reporter, a teacher, reported the possible abuse to Department of Human Services - Child Protective Services (CPS).
Astoria Police assigned the case to the School Resource Officer Ken Hansen who investigated in conjunction with CPS. The victim disclosed that Aiken touched her on the clothed buttocks and vagina.

On March 14 Officer Hansen served a warrant that was a result of a Grand Jury indictment taking Aiken into custody. Aiken had made arrangements to turn him self in.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Public Meetings At Astoria & Ilwaco Scheduled, March 15 To Explain Lower Columbia Dredged Material Placement Assessment

March 13, 2012
Dredging News Online

Based on early feedback on a recent public notice regarding a draft environmental assessment, the US Army Corps of Engineers is clarifying a portion of a recent draft environmental assessment.
The purpose of the draft environmental assessment is to identify three locations that may be used for dredged material placement.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Conservative Party Affiliate Chair, Tea Party Patriot, Lisa Michaels, Defeated By Cornilles In Primary, Plans To Run As A Republican Against Bonamici

This is touted on a Lisa Michaels website: “Conservative Party (Oregon) affiliate Chairman, Lisa Michaels, is running for the 2012 Republican nomination for Oregon's 1st Congressional District. Lisa has produced many cable TV and youtube videos exposing BIG Government injustices and malfeasance. Lisa is a Conservative 1st! As the Chairman of the Conservative Party (Oregon)Lisa has been working to find and elect truly conservative candidates to serve in Oregon“.

Lisa Michaels,Tea Party Patriot, who lost the GOP primary, against Rob Cornilles, in the special election race for Oregon's 1st Congressional District plans to run as a Republican against incumbent, Suzanne Bonamici for 1st District Congressional seat.

Michaels filed Wednesday to run in the Republican primary for the seat now held by newly elected Rep. Suzanne Bonamici, D-Ore. Michaels is the first Republican to file for the seat, and she might be the only once since the filing deadline is on Tuesday and no one else has publicly expressed interest in taking on Bonamici.