Archive for August 2011

State Budget Cuts Reduce After-School Options

Proponents of the cuts predicted that churches and other nonprofit groups would step in, but Frieling says that hasn’t happened, and those that do have after-school programs are also struggling financially.

Fewer families are part of Working Connections, the state-funded program which shares the cost of child care with working parents so they can keep working. Funding cuts have changed the eligibility requirements, meaning families have to be poorer to qualify. Even so, Frieling notes, the demand for affordable care is high.

“What we’re hearing in some communities is, because so many cuts have already had to be made to this program, there’s been a wait list established; and that some families may have siblings care for younger children, or leaving kids home alone unattended, during the hours that they’re not in school.”

Almost 40 percent of children whose families receive child-care subsidies are ages 5 through 12, she says. According to the Washington State Budget and Policy Center, lack of access to affordable child care is the biggest barrier for families trying to pull themselves out of poverty.

AYP Shows Aberdeen Up Slightly, Hoquiam Down

ABERDEEN, Wash. – Adequate Yearly Progress reports released yesterday show Aberdeen schools inching forward and Hoquiam loosing ground. The federal report, shows Aberdeen School District up 4 tenths of a percent with 62.7% for last year, Hoquiam fell from 81% AYP for the previous school year to 67.3% for last year. The State Summary shows Washington fell overall from 63.1 to 62.2%.

Lewis County to Fight Prowls With Prowls

CHEHALIS, Wash. – Lewis County residents and visitors may see something new on their windshield, a postcard sized note complimenting owners if doors are locked, or tips to prevent theft if doors are not locked. The program, “Prevent Crime – Lock Your Doors Every Time,” begins next week throughout Lewis County. Sheriff Steve Mansfield said they have had numerous problems with vehicle prowls in the county.

County Plans on Redistricting Could Be Changing

MONTESANO, Wash. – Timelines at the County level could soon change with yesterday’s announcement that Washington’s Redistricting Commission will be unveiling their draft plans at two special meetings on September 13th. That date also marks the opening of the public comment period on the draft plans, which will run through October 11th. The Commission plans to release a final congressional and legislative redistricting plan by early November. Grays Harbor County had planned to adopt a final plan by early December.

Redistricting Maps Due Out Soon From State

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Washington’s Redistricting Commission says they have concluded their public forums and will be unveiling draft plans at special meetings on September 13th. From May to August the Commission held 18 public forums statewide to gather input from over 1,000 of Washington’s community leaders and residents. September 13th also marks the opening of the public comment period on the draft plans, which will run through October 11th. The Commission plans to release a final congressional and legislative redistricting plan by early November.

Assault With a Screwdriver Doesn’t Fix Relationship

ABERDEEN, Wash. – A man was assaulted by his ex girlfriend with a screwdriver this morning. Aberdeen police tell us the 45 year old man opened the door to his apartment in the 300 block of North Alder and was confronted by the woman he had broken up with three days earlier. 55 year old Cheryl Henderson allegedly stabbed the man in the chest and arm before a second person called 911. Investigators recovered the screwdriver at the scene, the suspect was arrested without incident for Assault in the 2nd degree, and domestic violence. The Aberdeen Fire Department treated the victim, and transported him to Community Hospital in Aberdeen.

Fish Head Cleanup on Highway 101

WSP Trooper March cleaning up one of the spills

Man Wanted in Homicide Investigation Arrested in Ocean Shores

OCEAN SHORES, Wash. – A man wanted in a California murder investigation was nabbed from Ocean Shores yesterday, Seargent Brouillard with the Ocean Shore Police Department tells us a keen eye from patrol officer Kyle Watson stopped fugitive Rico Espitia because he resembled someone else that officers were looking for. In the process of running his name they found that he had outstanding warrants for Homicide out of California. Espitia was booked into the Grays Harbor County Jail on fugitive charges stemming from that investigation.

Garden Hose Helps Douse House Fire

HOQUIAM, Wash. – A Hoquiam man used his garden hose on a house fire this morning, and Hoquiam Fire reports, it helped. No one was injured, and about $10-15,000 in damages were reported after a fire on the outside of a home in the 1100 block of Chenault this morning. Captain Jerry Glenn tells us the residents smelled smoke right before the fire alarm went off around 5:25. With everyone safely outside, the homeowner was dousing the flames with a garden hose when trucks arrived. Glenn said that helped limit damages to the exterior of the home. The cause of the fire near the gas main remains under investigation.

Washington Schools To Get Federal ‘Report Cards’ Today

ABERDEEN, Wash. – Washington education officials will be releasing last spring’s adequate yearly progress reports for schools and districts. Steven’s Elementary Principal Kathleen Werner tells us, the cards are stacked against schools in these reports “there’s 21 cells, you have to pass every cell. So one cell might be special ed, and they’re expected to test at grade level, but they qualify for special ed if they’re 2 grades behind.”
The Pass/Fail report is required by the federal No Child Left Behind law, according to the Superintendent of Public Instruction, Aberdeen School District trails Hoquiam with 63% to Hoquiam’s 81% AYP for the 2009-2010 school year. Werner’s school reported 95% of AYP for the same year, with only one “Fail” in Special Ed Reading.

A preliminary list of schools and districts identified for improvement is released by August 31. The final list is released by November 15.