Jack Durney – Hoquiam Mayor

Balloon fight between Hoquiam and Aberdeen residents on May 16th.

Hoquiam’s Urban Renewal Project, and the upcoming movie at the 7th Street Theater.

 

This Saturday, April 18, at 7pm, John Larson, Director of the Polson Museum will present historic films and photos of…

Posted by 7th Street Theatre on Monday, April 13, 2015

Department of Natural Resources LiDAR hazard mapping receives unanimous approval from House

A catalog of detailed LiDAR maps of Washington’s geologic hazards is one step closer to reality after the state House voted unanimously Wednesday in favor of a bill requested by Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark.

Senate Bill 5088 requires the Washington State Department of Natural Resources to expand LiDAR mapping of geologic hazards like landslides and fault lines and work with counties, cities and the public to disseminate that information. The measure is the first of three “critical first steps” identified by the Joint SR 530 Landslide Commission convened by Gov. Jay Inslee and Snohomish County Executive John Lovick to study emergency response to the disaster.

“The tragedy of last year’s unprecedented natural disasters should have guided all of our focus on the vital government role of ensuring public safety,” said Commissioner Goldmark. “By creating and maintaining a centralized database of precise locations of hazards like deep-seated landslides and fault lines, we can give planners, developers and the public information they need to be protected against the next disaster.”

The bill was introduced by Sen. Kirk Pearson, R-Monroe and was unanimously passed by the Senate in February. House members voted 97-0 to approve the bill Wednesday. It now goes to Gov. Inslee’s desk for final approval.

“I’m very pleased that the House took action on this important bill. It has the potential to help save lives by mapping possible disaster areas,” said Pearson.

Home of the Washington Geological Survey, DNR is responsible for surveying and mapping Washington’s geologic hazards. The department is currently staffed with three hazards geologists and two mapping geologists. LiDAR mapping is one of the agency’s top priorities for this legislative session.

A budget appropriation must be made in order for DNR to implement the program in a meaningful way, according to Commissioner Goldmark. The program is estimated to cost $6.6 million. The operating budget proposed by the House dedicated $4,645,000. The Senate’s proposed operating budget left the program unfunded.

DNR hopes to hire additional geologists and technical experts in order to interpret new LiDAR surveys and prepare maps of hazards that will be accessible to land use planners, emergency managers and the public.

Lidar 4Lidar 3

“Unanimous passage of this legislation indicates public safety is a top priority; one I know legislators take seriously. I’m optimistic they will come through and dedicate funding for this important initiative,” Commissioner Goldmark said.

Lidar 2LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) uses lasers mounted on aircraft to scope topography by measuring reflected light. Those beams of light penetrate forest canopy, ground cover and human development to allow mappers and scientists to see the landforms below with pinpoint accuracy.

A little more than one-fourth of Washington has already been mapped with LiDAR, though much of that was done with lower-quality imaging. DNR will initially target LiDAR mapping efforts at population centers and infrastructure most at risk from landslides and other hazards.

DNR’s Natural Resource Mission on Behalf of Washingtonians

Under the elected leadership of Commissioner Goldmark, DNR manages more than 5.6 million acres of state-owned forest, range, commercial, agricultural, conservation, and aquatic lands. More than half of these lands are held in trust and produce income to support public schools and other state institutions. Lands managed by DNR also provide outdoor recreation, native fish and wildlife habitat, and clean and abundant water.

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.

Aberdeen man breaks windows after Grays Harbor Transit hits and kills his dog

Aberdeen Police investigated after a man apparently shattered two windows of a Grays Harbor Transit bus. Police Captain John Green said the man was upset because the bus had killed his dog.
Green said just before 3 Tuesday afternoon they responded to the area of the 500 Block of W. Huntley street reference a report of a disorderly male at the location.

Responding officers discovered that a 21 year old male had become very upset after a Grays Harbor Transit bus had accidently struck his dog and killed it. The man began striking the windows on the side of the bus with his hands, shattering two of them. It was reported that he yelled at the bus driver in a threatening manner. The female bus driver was visibly upset when the officers arrived.

The Aberdeen man was arrested for Malicious Mischief in the Second degree and booked into the City of Aberdeen jail. He was released on his own recognizance this morning.
The investigation is continuing.

Grays Harbor Transit vandalism Grays Harbor Transit vandalism Grays Harbor Transit vandalism Grays Harbor Transit vandalism

Hoquiam house fire started near wood insert stove

A stubborn house fire displaced a Hoquiam mother and two children yesterday. Captain John Bickar tells us they responded to the home in the 600 block of Queen Avenue around 10:30 Tuesday morning. “We showed up on scene, had quit a bit of smoke coming out of the wall and the eves over by the chimney. Went in and we had fire in the walls, opened those up and it went right upstairs and into the attic. So the crews exposed that and extinguished it.”

No one was injured in the fire, the renter had just left about 10 minutes beforehand with a fire going in a the wood insert-stove. Bickar said it appeared that the chimney failed somewhere between the stove and the wall. Damage estimates were over $30,000 mostly from smoke, crews were able to keep the damages mostly over the front room and a second bedroom in the attic space.

 

Cosmopolis man mugged in Aberdeen, police seek tips

Aberdeen police are looking for tips after a man was attacked by two people near Heron and L Street early Tuesday morning.
Police Captain John Green tells KBKW at about 1:10 this morning, they responded to a call of a Spanish speaking male who was reporting a robbery. The victim, a 24 year old Cosmopolis male, was in the area of Heron and L Street.

Officers saw that the victim had a laceration on his head and he was bleeding. The Aberdeen Fire Department responded and provided aid to the victim. The victim was transported to the GHCH by AFD.
The investigating officer used the language line and found out the victim was reporting that he had been assaulted and robbed of his wallet and cell phone near the motel by the AM PM store.
The victim reported he was walking home behind the Travel Lure hotel when he was confronted by two men and a women. The victim said he was assaulted by the two males who hit him and knocked him to the ground. His wallet and cell phone was taken from him. The victim said the female suspect supplied a knife to one of the male suspects during the attack. From the initial investigation it did not appear the victim was assaulted with the knife.

He described the suspects as:

White female, about five feet tall, about 120 pounds with straight dark hair in a long ponytail, and early 20’s in age.

White male, 5-4 to 5-5, thin build, long black hair.

White male, about 6 feet tall, average build, and mid to late 20’s in age.

The investigation is continuing.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Aberdeen Police Department at 360-533-3180 or the APD tip line at 360-538-4450.

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.

Aberdeen man robbed while walking home

Aberdeen Police are looking for tips to an armed robbery that took place outside an F street apartment earlier this week. Police Captain John Green tells KBKW on 10/13/14 at about 10:29 A.M. Aberdeen Police Officers responded to the report of a robbery that occurred the night before in the area of the 200 Block of N. F Street.

The victim told the investigating officer that on 10/12/14 at about 9:00 P.M. he was walking to his apartment. His apartment has a front door that leads into the alley. The victim said he saw a group of men standing in the area. He described them as three Native Americans and one black male.

The victim said as he passed the group the black male struck him in the chest and then displayed a knife. The victim said the black male struck him in the forehead with the tip of the knife. The victim reported that the black male also struck him numerous times while the other suspects held his arms back.

The victim said that the suspects took his wallet and cell phone.

The victim was helped to his apartment by another tenant.

The victim refused medical assistance.

The suspects were described as:

1. Black male, approximately 30 years of age, taller than 5,5, medium build with a full beard. LSW a black hoodie, black pants, white shoes.

2. Three Native American males about 20 years of age.

 

Anyone with information is asked to call the Aberdeen Police Department at 360-533-3180 or the tip line at 360-538-4450.

Great Washington ShakeOut hits 1 Million goal

More than 1 million Washingtonians have now signed up to participate in the Great Washington ShakeOut statewide earthquake drill, making the exercise the largest in state history.
On Thursday, Oct. 16th at 10:16 a.m., citizens across the state will “drop, cover and hold on,” practicing the skills to help stay safe during an earthquake. In addition, coastal communities will test their tsunami alert sirens at the same time.
“We set an extraordinary goal and I couldn’t be more pleased that we met it,” said John Schelling, Mitigation & Recovery Section Manager with the Washington Military Department’s Emergency Management Division. “Now I’m hoping we can go even higher. The ShakeOut provides the perfect opportunity for all Washingtonians to practice earthquake safety and then do at least one more thing to become better prepared for our next earthquake or even our next winter storm. I encourage those who haven’t signed up yet to participate in this important drill.”
Visit www.shakeout.org/washington for more information, to register to participate in the exercise. As of early this morning, 1,018,934 have registered to participate in tomorrow’s annual ShakeOut drill.

Maintenance man caught on trail-cam stealing from Aberdeen apartment

An apartment maintenance man was arrested for using his keys to get into at least one Aberdeen home. Police Captain John Green tells us they were contacted Tuesday the 14th by a resident who lives at the Broadway Apartments in the 300 Block of N. Broadway about a theft from their apartment. The resident is also the owner and manager of the apartment building according to reports.

The resident said that they had experienced thefts from their apartment for the past month, and they suspected the building maintenance person in the thefts.

The resident set up an animal camera in their apartment, it’s recording appeared to show the apartment building maintenance person entering the apartment and taking cash that belonged to the resident.

Investigating officers located the maintenance person, a 27 year old Aberdeen male, in the basement of the building. He was arrested without incident on charges of Residential Burglary, Possession of drug paraphernalia, and two Aberdeen Municipal Court arrest warrants.