Raid on suspected drug house in Ocean Shores nets three arrests

Serving a search warrant last week on a suspected drug house in Ocean Shores netted 3 arrests. Police Chief Mike Styner tells us On Thursday, April 9th, Officers from the Ocean Shores Police

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Montesano man in custody after brief high-speed chase

A 23-year-old Montesano man is back in custody after a high-speed chase from Hoquiam into Aberdeen. Hoquiam Police Chief Jeff Myers tells us the man was at Grays Harbor Community Hospital

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Drug Takeback Day everyday at the Hoquiam Police Department

Got Drugs? You can now drop off your unused or unwanted prescription drugs at the Hoquiam Police Department any time. Thanks in part to Jefferson County who donated the large metal drop box.

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No foul play expected in Hoquiam death investigation

Hoquiam police do not expect foul play in the investigation of a death yesterday. Several neighbors in the 2000 block of Broadway Avenue reported a woman outside of a trailer screaming about

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Hoquiam driver makes his own detour through one-way traffic

Traffic backed up through Hoquiam yesterday after the driver of a loaded chip truck sideswiped the guard rail on the Simpson Avenue Bridge, breaking the front axle and flattening several tires

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Hoquiam man sentenced to prison for 5th DUI

A Hoquiam man was sentenced to prison for his fifth DUI earlier this month, the arresting officer, Hoquiam Police Chief Jeff Myers thanked the County Prosecutor for getting tough on repeat DUI drivers. Arresting documents show 55 year old Carl C. Weber was driving his son home from the hospital on a revoked license on April 15th when he tested at twice the legal limit for Driving Under the Influence of alcohol. Interim County Prosecutor Gerald Fuller said on July 9th, just 4 days after Weber’s birthday, he was sentenced to 25 months for felony DUI. Myers said in his report that the man repeated several times during the traffic stop, and his arrest, that he “was going to go to prison this time.”

Smaller taxing authorities could feel strain, or benefit, from new Public Hospital District

About 40 attended the first of two meetings to discuss the protection of the Central Park Park Fire District’s ability to levee at the fire station last night. With a new hospital district potentially pushing smaller fire districts throughout the county closer to their taxing authority maximum, District 2 Chief Leonard Johnson said “We may have a tax impact next year that may result in us increasing property taxes in the fire district from a process that we’re allowed to under law, but it doesn’t require us to go to [ask] the taxpayers.” Johnson described the complicated levee payout process that could put the smaller districts at risk of cap, but also caps out the larger districts taxing authority district-wide. This can incentivize what’s called a buyback, where a larger district pays a smaller not to use their levy, in order to tax at a higher rate across it’s entire district – all legal under RCW. Asked if both districts were interested, Johnson said yes. With the proposed formation of a Public Hospital District #2 in Western Grays Harbor, and the possible expansion of District #1 in East county, portions of Fire District 2 have become the knot in the middle of a game of tug-o-war. Fire District #2 Chief Leonard Johnson Many questions last night asked if Grays Harbor Community Hospital was putting it’s debt on the public dime, CEO Tom Jensen explained “We’re not trying to become a public hospital district to “tax” we’re trying to become a public hospital to get access to a higher reimbursement rate from a bill that was put together and lobbied for two years. If we can get the bill, it means bringing into this community another 3 million dollars. And it says right in the bill that if you want access to this you have to become a Public Hospital District and you have to own and operate it. Now that doesn’t mean Tom Jensen, that means you as the community will own and operate that facility, and I will tell you that with an extra 3 million in the bank, that organization will make money. Grays Harbor Community Hospital and Summit Pacific Medical Center administratorsCentral Park resident Frank Scherer asked Jensen “What are the current debt of the hospital, and liabilities outstanding, and why do the taxpayers have to make that up to make this hospital solvent?” Jensen replied “Long term debt bonds are about 36-million dollars, technically the bill doesn’t state that it has to be taxed, to that will be up to the commissioners. It won’t even be up to me, So the commissioners will make the decision on what that tax rate  will be, we’re just communicating what it could be. And more than likely the most that we could get if we became a Public Hospital District is 42 cents.” Along with whether to form the district, your August Ballot will ask you to select a District Commissioner, and 2 at-large Commissioners, for a total of 7 that will make up the public board if the district is approved. If it isn’t approved, you might just see a proposition on the November ballot to add a few cities into the current Hospital District #1 in East County. Seeing that some of the new district’s potential commissioners are former and current employees of the non-profit hospital, one woman asked why? I asked Police Chief Bob Torgerson if he was planning on stuffing his pockets from the public coffers “The reason to run for any public office is to serve the community, the other reason is that I’m not part of the group that is currently running the hospital. I’ve had 40 years of public experience being in the public eye, doing public service, but the whole purpose is to make it better for everybody.” Torgerson is running against the hospital’s former CFO Tim Howden for the 1st At Large position The question and answer session lasted about an hour last night, you’ll have more chances to ask questions at one of two meetings next week. Hospital Administrators will be at the Log Pavillion in Aberdeen Wednesday evening, July 23rd for a debate hosted by the League of Woman Voters beginning at 6, then a second meeting hosted by Fire District #2 is being held in Brady that night at 7. Listen to Johnson with Doug McDowell on CoffeeTalk earlier this week.