Rural fire districts work out payment plan, sign new agreement with City of Hoquiam

HOQUIAM, Wash. – Three fire districts that cover remote areas of Grays Harbor county have come to separate agreements with the City of Hoquiam to pay back debt and maintain ALS service.
The fire districts in Copalis Crossing, Humptulips, and Pacific Beach received letters this summer telling then that Hoquiam will only send out an ambulance for trauma-related injuries until their accounts were brought current.
City Administrator Brian Shay said this morning “Those issues have been resolved, and we adopted new contracts with district 8 and 16 last night. So we’re back to the original status quo of the city of Hoquiam providing the same fire and ambulance service that we have for many years with those districts.”
Commissioners from district 8, 16, and 17 have been working with Hoquiam officials to iron out a payment plan for thousands of dollars in back bills. The city council last night approved agreements with two of the three districts, Shay said district 17 is the only one that has not signed an agreement, and they’re expecting one soon.

Copalis Crossing Fire District appoints new Commissioner, signs ambulance agreement with Hoquiam

COPALIS CROSSING, Wash. – The fire district that covers Copalis Crossing in North Grays Harbor has signed a new contract with the city of Hoquiam for ambulance service, finalizing a deal to pay back-bills and maintain ALS service in the area.
Fire Commissioner Caroline Perry tells us the district appointed Rick Richers to the vacant commissioner’s seat this week, and with two passing levies; things are looking up for the volunteer fire department. Not a moment too soon either, they’ve suffered three break-ins and vandalism at one of their stations, and are still looking for volunteers, apply at their station 1617 Ocean Beach Rd, in Copalis Crossing.

Grays Harbor voters supporting local levies, Transit, in November General election

In Elma, incumbent council Jim Taylor is loosing to Pat Miller, while David Blackett appears to be holding on to his seat. While in McCleary Mayor Gary Dent is leading for what will be his sixth term as mayor.

Fire District levies are getting support throughout the county, district 5 voters are approving a levy to purchase two new ambulances for East Grays Harbor, District 7 in Ocean City is approving an EMS levy. District 8 in Pacific Beach is passing a levy to purchase a new firetruck. District 16 in Copalis Crossing is passing two levies, one for EMS, the other for M and O.
District 14 in Ocosta is less than 1% away from the supermajority vote required to approve their EMS levy.

With just over 38% voter turnout in Grays Harbor, the next ballot count will be on Friday.

Statewide, initatives 517 and 522 both appear to be failing. 522, which seeks to label genetically modified foods, and 517 would add protections for signature gatherers.
Because of the state’s vote-by mail system, counties will be updating their numbers daily throughout the week, the election results will be certified on the 26th of November.

The expensive race for State Senator of the 26th Legeslative District is within 770 votes. Jan Angel leads over Nathan Schlicher 51 to 48% for the seat vacated when Derek Kilmer was elected to US Congress.

Pacific County reports 42% voter turnout, South Bend mayor Kirk Church’s attempt at a write-in campaign is loosing to Rose Struck.

Break in and vandalism prompt closure of fire hall in remote Grays Harbor county

HOQUIAM, Wash. – For the third time in about a year, a remote volunteer fire district has been broken into. The Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Department investigated the break in at Fire Station 82 off of Powell Road (Hoquiam) Monday afternoon.
Investigators say the thieves apparently used a vehicle to smash open a garage door and steal numerous lifesaving items including firefighter gear and breathing apparatus. Chief Criminal Deputy Steve Shumate tells us that due to the amount of damage to their building, and the extent of the loss, Fire District 16 closed the station Monday and Tuesday. Fire Commissioner Caroline Perry tells us they have since made repairs to the door and lighting and have reopened the station.

The items that had been reported stolen include: tools, flashlights, bolt cutters, fire fighter gear to include helmets, boots, pants, gloves, and several sets of breathing apparatus’. 

Shumate said it should be noted that this district was broken into just over a year ago. The suspects in that case were eventually caught with the help of citizens. Anyone with information on this last burglary is asked to call the Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Department at 360-249-3711 or the dispatch center at 360-532-8765.

Fire District 16 in Copalis Crossing is accepting letters of interest for a vacant Fire Commissioners position. They will be reviewing them on the second Wednesday in November. The district covers Copalis Crossing and assists in the North beach area.

Copalis Crossing Fire District 16 irons out payment plan for service-stopping city debt

COPALIS CROSSING, Wash. – The fire district that covers Copalis Crossing has reached a deal with the City of Hoquiam to pay off back bills and restore ambulance service to the North Grays Harbor area.

Commissioners from district 16 met with Hoquiam officials and representatives from Senator Jim Hargrove’s office this week to iron out a payment plan for about $12-thousand owed. City Administrator Brian Shay tells us the arrangement should have them caught up within a year and a half. Shay commended the current leadership team of 16, and said that city staff are working on a new formal agreement to provide EMS service to the area.

Fire District 16 has two levies on the November ballot, one for EMS, and one for Fire.

Hoquiam cuts off non-trauma ambulance service to three rural areas

COPALIS CROSSING, Wash. – If you call for an ambulance in Northwest Grays Harbor county, you might not be injured enough for a ride into town anymore.
The fire districts that cover Copalis Crossing, Humptulips, and Pacific Beach received letters from the city of Hoquiam last month telling then that Hoquiam will only send out an ambulance for trauma-related injuries effective July first.
Hoquiam Mayor Jack Durney said this morning “We’ve been working with them, and it just got to a point where we have to get paid. If we get a call where we have to run to Pacific Beach, Copalis Crossing, or Taholah with an ambulance to help we have to bring in a couple of guys on overtime to protect Hoquiam.”
City Finance Director Mike Folkers told the Hoquiam city council at last night’s meeting that each of the three districts owed over 16-thousand, and have been unable to catch up on payments for over 3 years. 

Skateboard Towing Incident Sends One to Hospital

OCEAN SHORES, Wash. – The Ocean Shores Police Department is investigating a traffic accident that resulted in a 23 year old Ocean Shores man being admitted to Harborview Medical Center in critical condition.

At approximately 4:30 PM on Wednesday May 30th the 23 year old man was driven to the Ocean Shores Fire Department with severe head injuries. Investigation has found that the man was riding a skateboard and being towed by a car driven by a 20-year old Copalis Crossing man on the 300 block of Ensign Avenue. The man fell off of the skateboard resulting in serious head trauma. He was not wearing a helmet. After being transported to Grays Harbor Community Hospital he was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center. The investigation is still continuing.

Grays Harbor PUD Responds to 8,800 Without Power

ABERDEEN, Wash. – Grays Harbor PUD is responding to a power outage impacting the North Beach area of Grays Harbor County including the Ocean Shores, Oyhut, Ocean City, Copalis Beach, Pacific Beach, Copalis Crossing, Moclips, Taholah, and Bernard Creek areas. The outage occurred at about 7:15pm.

A PUD service truck is patrolling the transmission line serving the area. No word yet on the cause of the outage or an expected restoration time.

**SAFETY ALERT**

During outages, Grays Harbor PUD is urging residents to use caution when operating portable generators and reminds customers that portable generators should NOT be plugged into a home electrical system (wall socket). This can "backfeed" electricity into our distribution lines and possibly injure one of our lineworkers or other field personnel. Connecting larger, or whole house, generators into a home electric system requires installation by a certified electrician who can install proper disconnect switches that isolate your home from our system when you want to operate your generator.

Grays Harbor PUD Crews Continue to Restore Power

ABERDEEN, Wash. – 

Grays Harbor PUD crews are continuing to work to restore power to areas of west Grays Harbor County hit by high winds yesterday evening. Crews responding to outages are finding broken poles, power lines down in areas, and trees through power lines. Following is the latest on the storm recovery effort:
 
Northwest part of the District north of Hoquiam: Grays Harbor PUD has restored power to approximately 879 customers in the Copalis Crossing area. The PUD will be working to restore power to the Moclips area with the next hour. The PUD will then continue to work to restore power to the remaining customers in the northern part of the District. A total of approximately 3565 customers were impacted by the power outage caused by high winds yesterday evening.
 
Ocean Shores: Crews are still working to restore power to approximately 3899 customers in Ocean Shores. The estimated time for restoration of power is about noon today. 
 
North Aberdeen, Wishkah, Arnold Hill, East Aberdeen areas: Outage is impacting approximately 1886 customers. The outage occurred just before 9pm. There are a large number of power lines down in the area. The PUD will be patrolling a transmission line serving the area that runs cross-country this morning after daylight to inspect the line for damage. No estimated time yet for restoration of power.
 
Grays Harbor City west of Hoquiam: Approximately 200 customers impacted. Outage occurred at about 9pm. Cause of the outage is a downed power line. Estimated time for restoration is noon today.