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Willapa Harbor Herald • Town Crier
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(360) 942-3466 • PO Box 706, Raymond, WA 98577

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Showing 17 articles from January 18, 2017.

Grays Harbor Herald News

Aberdeen police seeking information on two convenience store incidents

On Jan. 12 at 12:23 a.m. an armed suspect displaying a black semi automatic pistol entered the 7-11 at 904 E. Market Street and demanded cash from the vault. The clerk did not have access to the vault and the suspect then took an undisclosed amount of money from the register drawer and fled on foot from the location. The suspect is believed to be a white male of medium build, 18-25 years of age, and wearing a light gray sports-type jacket with a black hooded sweatshirt underneath, as well as a black face mask and black jeans.

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Cantwell, Herrera Beutler introduce bill to support Dungeness crab fishermen, provide stability to fisheries

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Recently, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler (WA-03) introduced bipartisan bills in the Senate and House, respectively, to permanently extend a decades-long fishery management agreement that has been vital to Washington state's Dungeness crab fishery.

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Dungeness crab is back on the menu

West Coast crab fishermen have recently ended an 11-day strike after a successful agreement was negotiated with seafood processors. This agreement was reached on Friday, January 6, and marks the start of the Dungeness crab season in California, Oregon and Washington.

The strike initially came about as Pacific Seafood Group, an industry conglomerate, reduced it's buying price from the agreed $3 to $2.75 per pound or lower. Boats remained in their respective ports as the crab season was supposed to begin on January 1.

The commercial season had already been delayed a month due to the presence of high levels of domoic acid, a neurotoxin produced by algae.

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Happenings

Jan. 20: Youth Mental Health First Aid presented by Pacific County Youth Alliance offers a class running from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Grays Harbor College Riverview Education Center, 600 Washington Ave., Raymond in Room 110. Similar to First Aid and CPR, Mental Health First Aid teaches individuals how to help those experiencing mental health challenges or crises. Cost $18 per person. Registration includes course book, light breakfast, refreshments and lunch. To RSVP please contact, Becky Fischer at (360) 214-1520 or fischerb@willapabh.org.

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Selmer's building facades may remain as part of Gateway Center
Photo by Todd Bennington - Gateway Center designers heard comments on Jan. 5 from a number of area residents in regard to the fate of the Selmer's building. Most spoke in favor of maintaining a portion of the existing building.
Selmer's building facades may remain as part of Gateway Center

At a special meeting held on Jan. 5 at the Rotary Log Pavilion to determine the fate of downtown Aberdeen's Selmer's building in relation to the construction of the new Gateway Center, city officials and project designers agreed that design options will be made available that incorporate two of the building's existing brick facades.

The meeting was scheduled in response to the circulation of an online petition and public concern over the more than 90-year-old building, which sits on the site of the yet-to-be-constructed Gateway Center, a planned economic development, business, and tourism hub.

Project officials estimated the cost of keeping the existing facades and incorporating them into the new Gateway structure to be about $850,000, while total demolition would range around $300,000 - meaning an additional $550,000 will likely be tacked on to the total cost of the Gateway project.

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Winter Wine Festival to be held this weekend
Winter Wine Festival to be held this weekend

Wine enthusiasts should make sure to come out on Saturday, Jan. 21, from noon to 9 p.m., to the Grays Harbor Fairgrounds for the 10th Annual Winter Wine Festival. The event is organized by the Elma Chamber of Commerce.

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Town Crier News

Community mourns loss of local teen in I-5 crossing accident

Friday night is typically an evening where students are out with one another having fun.

However, Friday, Jan. 6, 2017, turned into a tragic evening for the Toledo community with the loss of 16-year-old Lukah Herren, who was struck and killed by a vehicle while attempting to cross Interstate 5 near Chehalis to join her friends. Lukah was struck by a 19-year-old driver from Longview, whose life was also forever changed that evening.

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FBLA members prepare for competition

Members of the new FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America) are getting ready for their first competitive competition, Winter Conference l, on January 23.

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Sledding in the snow
Photo contributed by Shannon Freeman - The latest snow fall in Lewis County gave kids the opportunity to go sledding.
Sledding in the snow
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Toledo School District to host community meeting

Toledo School District invites members of the public to a community meeting at 7 pm on January 23 to discuss student safety, student learning and energy efficiency projects that will appear on a bond measure in February. The meeting will be held at Toledo High School.

Kelley Wilson from Construction Services Group and Ryan Swanson from Piper Jaffray will join Toledo School District Superintendent Chris Rust and Monique Norberg, Tom Lahmann, Bill Moore and Denny Clark to help answer questions about the how the bond proposal was created, what needs it will address and who was involved, as well as questions about cost. Because the high school was built more than 40 years ago, it requires substantial updates to ensure students and staff are in a safe environment that aligns with current academic requirements.

"We're looking forward to answering questions," said Rust. "We want the community to be fully informed about what they're being asked to vote for in February."

In addition to this community meeting, Rust is conducting building tours every Tuesday at 6 p.m. at the high school. He's also available for house calls to explain the bond. Call (360) 864-6325 to arrange a time.

The price of the bond is set at $14.2 million. It represents an estimated tax rate of $2.38/$1000 assessed value. If the district passes the bond in 2017, the State will contribute another $8.2 million to the project.

The Toledo School District serves over 750 K-12 students. To learn more, visit www.toledoschools.us.

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Town Crier moves downstairs
Please come in to see our new office and introduce yourself. We are located at 202 NE First Street, Suite B (next to Winlock Eggspress). The coffee is on!
Town Crier moves downstairs
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Winlock council addresses Public Works hiring process dispute

The Winlock City Council meeting started with the mention that the mayor and city council would be going into two executive sessions. The first being to discuss "potential litigation with the city attorney" and the second to "allow council to review the applications in a closed executive session for the Public Works position."

The Winlock Mayor and City Council 2016 Volunteer Appreciation Award was presented to Randy Pennington. Mayor Lonnie Dowell told Pennington the award is "in appreciation of all the hard work that you do volunteering." Randy Pennington volunteers with the Winlock Toledo Police Department and many other organizations.

Mike Hogg spoke on the First Street road closure. He asked if the road will be reopened. A motion was made by Councilman Tim White to open the road, seconded by Sarah Gifford, and the council voted unanimously to approve. The road will be closed for a short additional period while the sidewalk is being replaced.

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Willapa Harbor Herald News

Adult winter reading challenge underway

Pacific County Libraries feature an Adult Winter Reading Program each year with some great prizes. For every five books you read, Raymond Timberland Library offers a bar of chocolate and a book of your choice from the Friends of the Library book sale. At the South Bend Library, for every five books you read you are entered into a drawing for a winter reading themed gift basket, and for every ten books you get to choose a free book. All Pacific County Timberland Library branches also enter your name in a drawing for a night's lodging for two at the Shelburne Inn, with the other branches offering varying selections of local prizes.

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Free tax prep to be offered
Free tax prep to be offered

An in-person tax preparation service will be on offer at the Raymond Timberland Library on the second and fourth Saturdays of the month between Feb. 11 and April 8. Sessions will run from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

"It centers on people who are over 50 or low income, but everybody, any age, is welcome," said volunteer Kathy Bale.

Bale explained that the service is offered through an arrangement between the popular retirement association AARP and the Internal Revenue Service. She said the two entities work together on grant funding in order to provide computers and tax software to be able to provide the service.

The service is administered by volunteers, Bale further explained, who study and pass a certification test before they're able to provide assistance.

Participating taxpayers are helped to fill out their taxes before they're filed electronically that same day. They first meet with a tax counselor who helps input their information before another volunteer does a quality review to ensure all information is correct and free of errors or typos.

The service is being offered locally for the first time in several years, though it has been available in Aberdeen during that time. Bale said she thinks it's important to make the service more accessible locally because many people, especially those who are elderly, have a difficult time making the Aberdeen trip.

Next year, the service may be offered on more than just the five Saturdays depending on how many people take advantage of it this year, Bale indicated.

In order to file their taxes, participants need to bring a driver's license, or other form of photo identification, and Social Security cards for themselves as well their spouse or dependents if applicable. If filing a joint return, both spouses have to be present to sign.

Bale indicated that while some tax matters are beyond the scope of the free service, most standard tax issues can be handled. She said they can usually help with investment income and filing taxes for prior years, and those who have their own business and are filing a Schedule C can usually be assisted provided they have normal business expenses and income.

"If they came to the site, we would know right away," said Bale of whether or not a given case is too complex for the volunteers to handle.

Of the four volunteers participating in offering the Raymond service, Bale said she is the only one who resides in the immediate area, so additional help in the future would be appreciated.

"If somebody else wanted to volunteer, if they could come out one of these Saturday's just to get the information to volunteer or contact AARP, that would be great," Bale said, further mentioning that while volunteers need to study and pass a certification test they don't need to be AARP members.

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Pacific County Fair to be themed 'Honoring Our Heritage'
Pacific County Fair to be themed 'Honoring Our Heritage'

The Pacific County Friends of the Fair have been busy planning for the upcoming 2017 Pacific County Fair. They have decided the theme will be "Honoring Our Heritage." The Friends of the Fair are extending an open invitation to people living in the Pacific County area and beyond to share their culture on Saturday, Aug. 26, at the fair.

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Raymond Theatre working to stay warm

With cold January temperatures in effect, the management of the historic Raymond Theatre is currently working to purchase a heat pump because the old one has become outdated.

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South Bend band makes it to Grammy shortlist
Chromus playing the Chester Bar in South Bend shortly after the release of their first album. Left to right are Max Davis on guitar, drummer Mike Peterson (partly obscured), bassist Don Bird, and Phil Davis on keyboard.
South Bend band makes it to Grammy shortlist

During the latter part of the twentieth century, the Pacific Northwest became a notable cultural gem for its influence on rock music. Well-known bands and musicians from Washington include Pearl Jam, Alice In Chains, Soundgarden, Mudhoney, Modest Mouse, The Melvins, Jimi Hendrix, and of course Kurt Cobain and Nirvana, who were instrumental in popularizing the style of music that came to be known as grunge.

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