Archive for KBKW News

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Missing 18-year old presumed drowned off of Ocean Shores

Ocean Shores Police Department

An 18-year old California man is missing and presumed drowned in the ocean at Ocean Shores.

Sgt. David McManus with the Ocean Shores Police Department tells us at about 8pm on July 26, eight young people from a youth group visiting from California were playing in the surf near the beach approach at W. Chance ala Mer. The survivors described getting caught in a rip current and being pulled out through the surf and into deep water. Five of the subjects were able to get to shore with little trouble, while two others barely made it back to shore and were treated by paramedics on scene for exhaustion and possible ingestion of sea water.

After verifying that the family has been notified of the event, OSPD has identified the man as Renelle Paul Alimoren of Pomona, California. He reportedly helped two of his friends to shore before being swept out again by the rip current. He was last spotted in the surf at about 8:30pm Saturday night, about half a mile south of where he first entered the water.

The Ocean Shores Police and Fire Departments responded and attempted to locate Alimoren from the beach. The United States Coast Guard responded with a boat from Station Grays Harbor and a helicopter from Astoria. They searched the area for several hours, but were unable to locate him.

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Mason County search crews find missing 10-year old safe Friday morning

Mason County Sheriff's Office

Search-and-rescue crews have located the 10-year old boy missing in Mason County overnight, spotted by helicopter around 9:30, he was reported safe shortly after.
Searchers from Grays Harbor, Thurston, Pierce and Mason counties searched for the boy after he disappeared while picking berries with his sister near Lake Cushman in Mason County. The family searched for him until dark and then called for help. Ground searchers found a footprint earlier this morning.

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WorkSource has a new VA Benefits Service Officer

Worksource Grays Harbor Veterans Affairs

Veteran’s Affairs Benefits Assistance has returned to the WorkSource Grays Harbor office in Aberdeen. Office co-manager Ron Schmidt tells us from 9am to 3pm every Friday, JC will be on hand to help with disability compensation, vet and survivor pensions, as well as aid and attendance access.
To schedule an appointment, call JC at (253) 961-9965
The Worksource Grays Harbor Office id located at 511 West Heron Street in Aberdeen.

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House approves Kilmer amendment to higher education bill to better help students manage their finances

Congressman Derek Kilmer

On Thursday U.S. Representative Derek Kilmer introduced an amendment to connect students with the financial management resources they need to responsibly manage their funds. The amendment was approved by a vote of 404-14 to be included as part of the Empowering Students Through Enhanced Financial Counseling Act (H.R. 4984), which passed the House today by a vote of 405-11. The amendment directs universities and the Department of Education to introduce students to the financial management resources provided by the Financial Literacy and Education Commission.

“In order to grow quality jobs and opportunities we need to keep the doors to higher education open for all students,” said Rep. Kilmer. “Those students who are taking on loans to pay for college need access to tools to keep their finances on track.  Empowering more students to better manage their finances will help them succeed, strengthen their household finances, and boost the financial stability of our country.” 

 

View Kilmer speaking about his amendment on the House floor here.

 

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) released an assessment in 2012 on the financial literacy skills of students around the world and found that Americans ranked below average. Recently, the Washington Post reported that college graduates in Washington state from the class of 2012 left school with an average debt of $23,293

 

Congress created The Financial Aid Literacy and Education Commission in 2003 and it was responsible for developing a website to provide financial management resources for all Americans. The website helps consumers better understand financial products, common elements of employment benefit packages, and taxes; offers guidance on how to financially prepare for and respond to major life events; and gives tips on saving, borrowing, and deterring fraud.

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Editorial: Greater Grays Harbor Inc. supports “Yes” vote for Public Hospital District #2

Greater Grays Harbor Inc.

If Grays Harbor Community Hospital does not become a public hospital, our economic health will be in jeopardy. That is why the board of Greater Grays Harbor, Inc. has voted to support the formation of Grays Harbor Public Hospital District #2.

Community Hospital has struggled the past few years to balance its budget, and the primary reason it has been unable to do so is because of its “payer mix.” Today, about 80 percent of its patients rely on Medicaid or Medicare to pay for their healthcare. Unfortunately the government does not pay enough to cover the costs the hospital incurs just caring for those patients. Eight out of ten times when a patient walks in the door, the hospital is losing money just by doing what they are mandated by law to do.

In the times of economic prosperity, most of the hospital’s patients are employed and have health insurance, and they subsidized everybody else – a fact of life still at most hospitals in the U.S. And the hospital has been cutting costs. But there is no fat left to trim. And the hospital cannot expect two patients to carry their own costs and a portion of those of eight others – it is deeply unfair and fundamentally unsustainable. The hospital needs to be paid a fairer price for what it provides to all of its patients.

GHCH, along with three other rural community hospitals in much the same position, asked this fiscal fairness of the state legislature this past session, and the legislature agreed to increase the reimbursements for Medicaid patients to match the higher reimbursement rates of Medicare patients. However, the law mandates that the hospital must be owned and operated by a public entity – a hospital district.

There are benefits to being public besides recouping a greater portion of Medicaid costs. The hospital will be able to run levies to support its operations. Elected hospital commissioners will set the rate, and county commissioners are in charge of approving anything up to $0.50; anything above that to a maximum of $0.75 goes to a public vote. The average public hospital levy is $0.50, which means $4.17 for someone who owns a $100,000 home, a very small price to pay for the service (Aberdeen residents pay $6.69 per month for storm drain maintenance, for example.) Elected officials and levy votes will make GHCH accountable to the people.

Another effect of the levy process is that those patients who are costing the hospital are chipping in to pay for the cost of the services through rent and property taxes, which makes it more equitable. And no one in Grays Harbor can say they don’t use the hospital – you never know when you, or someone you care about, will need their services. It’s not like a store or a bank.

It is also worth dwelling on what will happen if the public district does not come to pass. Unfortunately, that is a murkier view. It is very likely that many of the hospital’s more than 650, mainly family-wage jobs will be lost and services cut. This alone would be devastating to local businesses, and property values would surely plunge as former medical staff move to jobs elsewhere while others are dissuaded from living in an area which does not have a full suite of medical services.

And forget persuading new industry to set up shop here. Few industrial businesses, and no large scale operations, want to open in an area where the only hospital is a critical access facility that stabilizes and ships emergencies to Olympia. Our area’s dependence on Medicaid would continue and possibly grow, further limiting the hospital.

And think about the medical transport by ambulances – it will tie up our cities’ emergency services. They will be responsible for taking emergency cases from here to Olympia – valuable time where they may be needed for emergency calls here, and a valuable chunk of our communities’ budgets.

None of this addresses what it means if, say, the Family Birthing Center closes up shop – a definite possibility. Will you or your family member need to go all the way in Olympia for routine OB care, never mind the birth? The hospital will certainly provide a lot less primary care to patients, and possibly a great deal less surgery. We have doctors who can do all manner of surgeries, from replacing knees and hips to reconstructive surgery, to cancer surgery. The Harbor stands to lose those services if the hospital district isn’t formed.

A levy is truly a small price to pay for stability, economic development, public safety and accountability. And it’s cheaper than the cost of appointments in Olympia, on the cost to the cities of transporting emergency cases to Olympia.

That is why we support the formation of the Gray Harbor Public Hospital District No. 2, and we urge you to vote Yes.

Signed,

The Board of Greater Grays Harbor, Inc.

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National Night Out block parties adding up in Hoquiam

National Night Out 2014

The Hoquiam Police Department is proud to sponsor 2014 National Night Out on Tuesday, August 5, 2014 in Hoquiam.

National Night Out is an informal, community based event held all across the country on August 5th.  The idea is for neighbors to get together at a block party so they can visit and get to know each other better.  Neighbors who know each other tend to look out for each other.  Strong neighborhoods make for safe communities.

At this time, Hoquiam has seven scheduled block parties:

o Elk’s Lodge at 624 K Street
o Channel Point Village
o 914 Maple Street
o 408 J Street
o 1420 Marion Street
o 2641 Pacific Avenue
o 330 Eklund Avenue

But, it is not too late!  All hosted block parties will receive give-away items from the police department as well as a visit from police, fire and city officials during the night.  If you want to host a BLOCK PARTY in Hoquiam, please sign up with Tracy Wood at 538-3970 or [email protected].

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Greater Grays Harbor Inc. selects Andre “Dru” Garson as new CEO

Greater Grays Harbor Inc.

Andre “Dru” Garson was offered and has accepted the position of CEO of Greater Grays Harbor, Inc.

In addition to being a Development Specialist with the Alaska Department of Commerce and Community Economic Development in Juneau, Garson has worked with disadvantaged regions of Alaska to develop and establish economic development and tourism programs. Garson has his master’s degree in resource recreation and tourism, and has worked in many regions of Alaska to develop tourism and workforce development with focus on key industry clusters in that state.

According to Board Chair Mike O’Dell, Garson’s qualifications aligned well with the projects that the board has established in their strategic planning for the organization.

“We are excited about the assets Dru will bring to the community, and believe he is well qualified to not only complete community projects that are in process, but also to establish new directions and relationships essential to the success of GGHI,” O’Dell said.

Garson, who is finishing a project for the state of Alaska, will be starting as CEO of GGHI in September, and is looking forward to being here.

“There are a lot of similarities between the economy of Grays Harbor and many communities that I’ve worked with throughout Southeast Alaska,” he said. “I’m excited about moving to Grays Harbor and look forward to meeting and working with the local business community.”

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