Campfire in the dunes of Ocean Shores turns into dune fire Friday night

A campfire in the dunes of Ocean Shores got out of hand over the weekend. Lt. John Garner with the department said they responded to the Chance ala mere beach approach just before 9 Friday night.

On April 17th, 2015 at 8:44pm Ocean Shores Fire Department was dispatched to a brush fire in the dunes north of the Chance ala mere approach. Initial reports stated that the fire was spreading quickly with winds from the North. Both of Ocean Shores new brush engines were sent and found an approximately 50’ X 300’ brush fire spreading quickly from north to south. The head of the fire was quickly extinguished and the flanks of the fire were extinguished soon after. The source of the fire was a camp fire that had been started in the dunes to get away from the wind. Ocean Shores Police made contact with individuals who stared it and confirmed this was the source. District 7 personnel responded to aid in fire fighting operations.

As we approach the wild fire season the Ocean Shores Fire Department would like to remind all residents and guests to be responsible with your camp fires. All fires need to be a minimum of 100’ from the dunes and further away in heavy winds. All fires should be completely extinguished before you leave and only natural cured fire wood should be used for your fires. Absolutely no pallets or garbage is allowed. Remember have fun and be safe.

Despondent man talked into mental care, as Hoquiam police seize his pistol

Just before 2 A.M. Thursday morning, officers responded to a possible suicidal subject in the area of 31st Street and Sumner Avenue.
Officers had earlier attempted to locate the 31-year old Cosmopolis man at a local motel to no avail. The man had made threats to harm himself via text to family members; Family members reported finding the man on the street where they tried to detain him until the police arrived.
As Sgt. Salstrom arrived in the area, the man fled down an alley on foot. Sgt. Salstrom was able to overtake the man and start a conversation regarding his thoughts to harm himself. Sgt. Salstrom was able to convince the man to be voluntarily transported to Community Hospital to talk to a Mental Health Professional.
Family members were concerned the man had been in possession of an old derringer-style pistol he may have been carrying inside a backpack earlier in the day. He did not have the backpack at the time he was contacted by Sgt. Salstrom.
Officer Grossi checked the alley and located an abandoned backpack as described. He located items inside the backpack which appeared to belong to the despondent man, as well as a pistol with ammunition.

Hoquiam Seized Weapon
The firearm was seized as evidence as the man is a respondent in a domestic violence no-contact protection order from Cosmopolis whereby he is prohibited from possessing a firearm. The man was transported to the hospital for a mental health evaluation; the case for unlawful possession of a firearm will be forwarded to the Grays Harbor County Prosecutor’s Office for charges.

Cosmopolis Lions Club hopes you ‘see’ Lions Recycle for Sight drop boxes

As spring cleaning gets underway, the Cosmopolis Lions are asking people to look through dresser drawers and closets for used eyeglasses and donate them to the Lions Recycle for Sight program.
During the month of May the Cosmopolis Lions Club will be emphasizing the collection of used prescription eyeglasses and prescription and non-prescription sunglasses as part of a unique recycling program. The collected glasses will be cleaned and prepared for distribution in developing countries where eye care is often unaffordable and inaccessible. “We need everyone to donate their used eyeglasses,” said Lion Rod Matye, “In most developing countries, an eye exam can cost as much as one month’s wages and a single eye doctor may serve a community of hundreds of thousands of people.”
The donated glasses will be shipped to the NW Regional Lions Eye glass Recycling Center where they will be cleaned, categorized by prescription and prepared for distribution by Lions and other groups.
The Cosmopolis Lions will be out May 1st and 2nd for the annual White Cane fund raising event at the following locations: 1). The Cosmopolis Post Office 114 F St. Cosmopolis; 2). Swanson’s Food, 217 N. Boone St. Aberdeen and 3). Dennis Company 220 N. Boone St. Aberdeen
You may also donate used glasses (including sunglasses and reading glasses), by placing them in the specially marked Lions Recycle for Sight collection boxes at these locations.
The Cosmopolis Lions Club has 41 members and meets on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday at 6:30pm at 601 2nd St.. Lions clubs are a group of men and women who identify needs within the community and work together to fulfill those needs. For more information or to get involved with the Cosmopolis Lions Club, please contact us at 533-7779 or stop by on our meeting dates.
Lions Clubs International is the world’s largest service club organization with more than 1.3 million members in approximately 45,000 clubs in 205 countries and geographical areas around the world. Since 1917, Lions clubs have aided the blind and visually impaired and made a strong commitment to community service and serving youth throughout the world. For more information about Lions Clubs International, visit the website at lionsclubs.org.

 

Lions Recycle for Sight

In just about any dresser drawer, one can find a pair of eyeglasses that are no longer being used. That same pair of eyeglasses can change another person’s life.

That’s why we started the Lions Recycle for Sight program. Everyone can help.

Throughout the year, Lions, Leos and other volunteers collect used eyeglasses and deliver them to regional Lions Eyeglass Recycling Centers (LERCs). LERC volunteers clean, sort by prescription strength and package the glasses.  Most of the recycled glasses are distributed to people in need in developing countries where they will have the greatest impact.

Eyeglass Recycling – How You Can Help

If you have used eyeglasses you no longer need, you can donate them now. Lions accept prescription and reading glasses, sunglasses and plastic and metal frames. Children’s glasses are especially needed. Here’s how you can help.

– See more at: http://www.lionsclubs.org/EN/how-we-serve/sight/index.php#sthash.dNeAaHXO.dpuf

Public comments sought on Weatherwax Wetland and Habitat Mitigation Bank in Ocean Shores

The city of Ocean Shores is getting into the Mitigation Banking business the Department of Ecology is accepting public comment on certification of the Weatherwax Wetland and Habitat Mitigation Bank.
The city has been working on forming a mitigation bank on the 120 acres of wetlands since 2011, certification would finalize the process and permanently preserve the property. With projected revenues of over a million dollars, the Department of Ecology projects to award almost 12 credits for mitigation on the property.

Continue reading Public comments sought on Weatherwax Wetland and Habitat Mitigation Bank in Ocean Shores

Washington AG sues firm over illegal student loan practices

Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced action against a student loan debt adjusting firm that exploited borrowers for financial gain.

Ferguson filed a lawsuit Monday charging StudentLoanProcessing.US (SLP) and its president James Krause with violating Washington’s Debt Adjusting Act and Consumer Protection Act, including charging illegal fees for debt adjusting and failing to inform customers of important rights as is legally required. The same services SLP offers are available — for free — through the U.S. Dept. of Education (DOE).

“My office will aggressively crack down on those who prey on student loan borrowers — many of whom are already overburdened — for profit,” Ferguson said. “This firm charged exorbitant and illegal fees for services that student loan borrowers can obtain for free.”

Many student loan debt adjustment firms have sprung up as a result of the $1.2 trillion debt burden carried by nearly 40 million American borrowers. Most offer to help students fill out and submit paperwork to DOE to consolidate their federal student loans.

Since July 2011, SLP has marketed and advertised for-cost services to assist student loan borrowers applying for DOE federal student loan repayment programs, including the Income-Based Repayment Program, and Direct Consolidation Loans.

SLP charged each consumer an upfront enrollment fee of $250, or one percent of their outstanding loan balance, whichever was greater. A vast majority of consumers paid more than the $250 enrollment fee, even as high as $2,000. Washington’s Debt Adjustment Act places a strict limit of $25 on initial fees, meaning even SLP’s minimum fee was ten times the legal limit, the Attorney General’s Office alleges.

The Debt Adjustment Act also dictate’s that a debt adjuster’s fee may not exceed 15 percent of each payment, which SLP’s monthly fee of $39 did for most Washington consumers.

The AGO also alleges SLP failed to include language in its contracts informing consumers of their three-day “right to cancel” period, a further violation of the Debt Adjustment Act.

Violations of the Debt Adjustment Act are automatic violations of the Consumer Protection Act.

A total of 88 Washington consumers, with an average student loan debt of approximately $58,000, used SLP’s services. SLP has received roughly $132,000 in fees from these consumers.

The AGO is seeking:

  • To void all SLP contracts with Washington consumers;
  • Restitution for consumers for all fees paid to SLP;
  • An injunction against SLP prohibiting future violations of the Debt Adjustment Act and Consumer Protection Act;
  • Payment of $2,000 for each violation of the Consumer Protection Act; and
  • Attorney’s costs and fees.

The complaint can be found here.

Assistant Attorneys General John Nelson and Ben Roesch are leads on this case.

Apply for U.S. Department of Education federal repayment programs for free

For most federal borrowers, the consolidation process is fairly straightforward:  The borrower fills out a two-page application, verifies his or her employment and income, and submits the package to the DOE.  This service is done through the DOE for free and typically takes four to six weeks.  Learn more here: www.StudentLoans.gov.

Free student loan debt assistance

Ferguson urges current and former students never to pay upfront for help with student loan debt relief.  For information on legitimate sources of free assistance, contact the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau or the National Consumer Law Center.

For problems with your student loan servicer or a debt collector contact the U.S. Department of Education’s Student Loan Ombudsman at 1-877-557-2575 or www.ombudsman.ed.gov, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, or file a complaint with the Washington State Attorney General’s Office.

Pacific County Emergency Management Agency offering CERT training

The Pacific County Emergency Management Agency (PCEMA) is offering a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) course in Long Beach.

The course will be held at the Lighthouse Oceanfront Resort (12415 Pacific Way, Long Beach). Pre-registration is required and is limited to 20 participants.

Training is scheduled as follows:

Saturday May 2, 2015 · 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Sunday, May 3 2015 · 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Saturday, May 9, 2015 · 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

The CERT program is an all-risk, all-hazard training. This valuable course is designed to help you protect yourself, your family, your neighbors, and your neighborhood in an emergency situation. CERT members receive 20 hours of initial training provided free of charge. The course is taught with classroom instruction for the first two days and practical exercises during the last day. Participants under the age of 18 must have parent/guardian permission to attend.

To register or for more information, contact Scott McDougall at (360) 642-9338 or email smcdougall@co.pacific.wa.us.

Grays Harbor College now offers ASE Certification for Auto Technicians

For automotive technicians working in the area, Grays Harbor College now provides Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certification and re-certification testing. Until recently, those working in auto mechanics fields had to travel to Longview or Puyallup for these exams.

For those already working in the field, the renewals are good for 5 years, and the testing is handled by Jim Sorensen, GHC testing specialist. For more information about the ASE mechanic testing, contact him at 360.538.4049, jim.sorensen@ghc.edu.

Students in the College’s Automotive Technology program now take the initial certification tests prior to graduation, according to instructor Denis Samson. The first student to prepare and successfully complete the tests was Brandon Reeson, who graduated last June and now has relocated to Bellingham for a job in his field and possibly continuing his education at Western Washington University. Reeson earned 9 ASE certificates before he graduated, which are good for the first two years of his new career.

To inquire about GHC’s Automotive Technology program, please contact the instructor, Denis Samson, 360.538.4131, denis.sansom@ghc.edu, or the College’s Workforce Education office at 360.538.4011.

Federal Emergency Management Agency releases Tribal Nations Pocket Guide

Today, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced a new tool to better inform tribes about FEMA policies and programs. The document, FEMA and Tribal Nations: A Pocket Guide, provides FEMA’s tribal partners readily accessible information about FEMA.

FEMA and Tribal Nations: A Pocket Guide explains FEMA’s policies on tribal engagement, outlines key FEMA programs and how they relate to tribes, and provides contact information on how to reach the agency’s tribal liaisons.

Developed in coordination with national tribal organizations, the pocket guide was released at the 2014 National Congress of American Indians’ Annual Convention in Atlanta, Georgia. Tribal officials are able to obtain a hard copy of the pocket guide by contacting their Regional Tribal Liaisons.

FEMA is committed to supporting Indian Country in its efforts to build more resilient and better prepared communities. More information about FEMA Tribal Affairs is available at www.fema.gov/tribal.

 

City of Aberdeen to reconsider fluoridation of water supply

The city of Aberdeen will review whether they should continue adding fluoride to their water in the coming months, after several public comments on the matter North Aberdeen resident Karla Eilers spoke last night. “There are many out there that believe that fluoridating our public water is a great idea and helps prevent tooth decay. The CDC has gone as far as to say that fluoridation is 1 of the top 10 public health achievements of the 20th century.” Eilers said that some opinions have changed in the 15 years that Aberdeen has been adding fluoride to the water supply. “According to data from the World Health Organization, there is no discernible difference in tooth decay between the minority of developed countries that fluoridate their water, and the majority that do not.”
The city council last night voted to draft an ordinance to remove fluoridation from the water supply, Eilers is hoping the community gets involved, she said after the meeting. “There  is the positives of fluoridation, there’s also the negatives. They have been swayed by reports from the CDC and other governments that it’s good for you, when in reality there’s enough scientific support that it’s actually not. I think it’s important that the citizens be made aware of these issues and the information that’s out there and be able to make a choice and vote on whether or not they want to have this in their drinking water.”
To contact your city councilmember find your ward representative in the Government section of their website www.aberdeenwa.gov

Was John Tornow a murderous wildman or a misunderstood loner?

Veteran newsman Bill Lindstrom has pursued the truth about John Tornow for almost 3 decades. Among the several outcomes of his work is a new book, “John Tornow: Villain or Victim?” Lindstrom will discuss the book, the research and the Tornow legend at three Timberland libraries in November:

 

Saturday, November 1 from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Aberdeen Timberland Library, 121 E. Market Street, (360) 533-2360.

Tuesday, November 18 from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Elma Timberland Library, 119 First Street, (360) 482-3737.

Tuesday, November 25 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Shelton Timberland Library, 710 W. Alder Street, (360) 426-1362.

 

This meticulously researched history reads like a blend of mystery and tragedy as it reinterprets the life of an enigmatic man accused of heinous crimes. A veteran news reporter, Lindstrom poured over century-old court documents, transcriptions, contemporary news articles and interviews to produce an authoritative and compassionate account. He brings the Tornow family’s life and times alive, describing the daily routines and personal sorrows that led up to multiple murders, a 19-month manhunt and an enduring Northwest legend.

 

All programs at Timberland libraries are free and open to the public.

 

For information, contact the individual library or visit www.TRL.org.