Mason County Detectives Request Public’s Help To Identify Suspect

SHELTON, Wash. - Mason County Sheriff’s Detectives are requesting the public’s help in identifying a man who made unwanted advances to a 7year old boy at the Theler Center in Belfair on the afternoon of November 24, 2009.

According to investigators the boy was attending a Cub Scout Meeting at Theler Center during the late afternoon hours.  The boy went to the restroom and was confronted by a male who tried to engage him in conversation and then accosted him.  The boy was able to escape without injury.  The incident was not reported until the next day when the boy disclosed details of the incident to his mother.

Detectives say they have exhausted all leads in this case, but say they want to talk to the white male in his late teens to early 20’s, who was wearing a dark T shirt with a sail boat across the chest with cursive writing below the boat.  This person of interest is described as about 6 feet tall, with short brown hair and a thin build.

If anyone has information about this person or the incident, they are requested to call the Mason County Sheriff’s Office at (360) 275-4467 (Ext 313) or 911.  As always, citizens are encouraged not to approach suspects, but simply call and report.

Special Weather Statement for Grays Harbor County

    The National Weather Service has issued a Special Weather Statement for the Southwest Washington Coast, indicating a increasing threat for coastal flooding Thursday through Saturday over this New Year’s Holiday.
   Increasingly high astronomical tides, due to a full Moon, Southwest winds ranging from 20-33 MPH and very large coastal wave swells between 20-25 feet will combine to create minor to moderate tidal overflow conditions.
   There will be two wind episodes that will impact the coastal areas. The first will begin Thursday afternoon which will arrive at the same time as one of the highest high tides of the year.  The second Southwesterly wind episode will develop midday Friday (New Year’s Day) and continue through Saturday morning. A full Moon and extremely dangerous surf conditions with swells reaching 20-25 feet by Friday afternoon and lasting into the late night hours will add to the problems. The chance of tidal flooding is far greater over Friday into Saturday. Rain will continue to fall and the runoff into the rivers will add to the magnitude of the tidal and coastal flooding.
   There is still uncertainty as to how much of an impact these conditions will create upon the area.
 
   Grays Harbor County Emergency Management is asking all who venture onto the beaches for the area Clam digs over the New Year’s Holiday to exercise extreme caution. DO NOT TURN YOUR BACK TO THE SEA! Dangerous wave swells will be very unpredictable and can reach 20-25 feet with long runs up the beaches by the onrushing water. Waves will be powerful enough to sweep a person from the beach. Be alert for logs, debris and beach erosion, as this is common during high surf conditions.  

Special Weather Statement for Pacific County

South Bend, Washington – The National Weather Service, Portland Office issued a special weather statement, regarding the potential for wind and coastal storm surge later in the week. 
 
Increasingly high astronomical tides combined with moderate southerly winds Thursday through Saturday may result in the potential for coastal flooding toward the end of this week. The first episode of wind will occur midday Thursday which coincides with one of the highest high tides of the year.
 
A second wind event will develop midday Friday also near the time of high tide, continuing through Saturday morning. The most susceptible time for tidal overflow or coastal flooding will be midday Friday and again midday Saturday. 
 
At Toke Point near Willapa Bay astronomical high tides of 11.1 ft will occur at the midday tides Thursday and Friday. Water Levels over 11 ft create minor tidal overflows while 14.5 ft is the threshold for more widespread coastal flooding. The magnitude of tidal anomaly is still uncertain. 
 
In addition, rain showers may be mixed with snow in the coast range, with snow levels rising above 3000 feet in the afternoon. 
 
Residents are urged to check the National Weather Service website prior to travelling over the holiday weekend at http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/pqr/

Record coho returns boost Columbia River restoration

Coho on redd in Methow River - Photo courtesy Tom Scribner, Yakama NationPortland, Ore. – Record returns of coho salmon to the middle and upper Columbia River this year signal the comeback of fish that 20 years ago were virtually extinct in upriver tributaries.

Reintroduction programs led by the Yakama Nation and funded in part by the Bonneville Power Administration combined with restored habitat, improved dam passage and positive ocean conditions to bring unrivaled numbers of coho back to the rivers and streams, according to recently concluded annual counts.

Ten years ago, 12 adult coho returned past Rock Island Dam near Wenatchee, Wash. This year, 19,805 passed the dam. Returns past McNary Dam near Hermiston, Ore., climbed from 4,736 coho a decade ago to 33,385 this year – by far the most since counting began at the dam in 1954.

Grays Harbor PUD Looks to Rate Increases in 2010

ABERDEEN, Wash. - The Grays Harbor Public Utility District (PUD) Board of Commissioners has approved a 2010 spending plan that anticipates an 8 percent rate increase due to increased wholesale power rates from the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA), costs incurred to comply with the conservation and renewable energy mandates of voter-approved I-937 and a continued decline in secondary power markets where Grays Harbor PUD sells surplus power.

“This budget reflects the real impacts of increased power costs and the new expenditures associated with conservation and renewable energy requirements on the PUD and its customers,” said Tom Casey, PUD Commission president. “The increased financial burden of BPA’s rate increase, as well as the costly obligations of complying with I-937, make it very difficult for the PUD to develop a 2010 budget without any revenue increases."

Hoquiam Harbor Drug Burglary Targets Narcotics

HOQUIAM, Wash. - Tuesday December 29, 2009 just before 9AM, an employee arriving for work at Harbor Drug (300 block of Eighth Street) discovered the glass broken out of one of the doors to the parking lot off J Street. 

 
Officers responded to the scene and checked the interior for suspects. It was determined that the alarm in the building had in fact tripped due to the burglary, but that the suspect had been able to partially disable it. 
 
During the course of the investigation, Harbor Drug determined that the only items taken in the burglary were narcotics. It did not appear that any of the other medications were disturbed and there was no attempt to break into any of the registers or take any other items of value. Investigating officers believe that the suspect had a well formulated plan for the burglary and spent very little time inside. The time of entry was very narrow as the building had been last checked by a graveyard patrol officer at 0614 that morning.

Hoquiam Assists in Grays Harbor Drug Task Force Bust

HOQUIAM, Wash. - On Tuesday December 29, 2009 at approximately 10:41 AM, Hoquiam officers assisted detectives from the Grays Harbor Drug Task Force with the service of a search warrant on a residence in the 400 block of 31st Street in Hoquiam. The raid was a culmination of an ongoing DTF heroin investigation spanning multiple counties. 
 
DTF detectives had made multiple controlled buys from the location and secured a search warrant for the premises. During the course of the raid, six persons inside the home were detained, including the suspect who had allegedly been dealing heroin from the premises. 
 
Detectives recovered suspected heroin from within the residence, as well as cash and other indicia that was indicative of illegal drug sales.

School Rivalry Turns Into School Bus Vandalism

HOQUIAM, Wash. - On Tuesday evening, December 29, 2009 at approximately 10pm, Hoquiam officers were dispatched to a call of reported ‘shots fired’ at a Longview school bus parked at McDonald’s in the 2500 block of Simpson Ave. One window to the school bus had been damaged and four males were observed fleeing the scene in a newer, black colored car.
 
According to the bus driver, prior to the incident four young males were apparently in the parking lot attempting to taunt the Longview students who were inside the restaurant. When no one inside paid them any attention, two of the suspects walked across the street to where the black car was parked while two other suspects walked past the bus on Simpson Ave.

New WA Payday Loan Limits Take Effect Jan. 1

SEATTLE - Washington's new state laws to curb payday loan abuse are equally tough on both short-term borrowers and their high-interest lenders. Starting January 1, no one can take out a payday loan that totals more than $700 - or one-third of their gross monthly income - and lenders can check the borrower's loan history on a statewide database. The maximum number of payday loans that legally can be issued per person in a 12-month period is eight.

Deb Bortner is director of consumer services for the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions (DFI), the agency that licenses payday lenders. She says the goal is to keep people from getting stuck in an expensive cycle of debt.

"What we've seen is there are people - a very small number of people - who actually take out one a week. The law says you're not supposed to be able to take out one loan to pay off the last loan."

Other states have passed caps on payday loan interest rates, but Bortner says Washington lawmakers took a different approach, limiting the amounts people can borrow and making lenders work with those who cannot keep up with payments.

"When people do get in trouble and they can't pay back a loan, they can tell their lender, on or before it's due, 'I can't pay it back on time.' Then they're eligible to get a free installment plan."

Monthly Testing Time for AHAB Sirens

Montesano, WA – Grays Harbor County will conduct its monthly countywide AHAB (All Hazard Alert Broadcast) Siren test on Monday, January 04, 2010, at noon.
 
AHAB sirens are located in Pacific Beach, Copalis Beach, Ocean City, Ocean Shores, Hoquiam, Aberdeen, Moclips, Westport and Grayland.  All Grays Harbor County sirens will be included in the test beginning at noon.
 
AHAB sirens have a range of about one mile in radius depending on topography and weather. The activation will be Westminster Chimes followed by a test voice message. These sirens are meant to provide emergency notification to people who are outside.  Residents and businesses located within a tsunami inundation area are encouraged to maintain a working NOAA Weather Radio.
 
Please DO NOT call 911 regarding this testing.  If you have any questions or reports regarding the test, please contact Grays Harbor County Emergency Management at 360-249-3911 or ghcdem@co.grays-harbor.wa.us.