• Third Aberdeen ward meeting tonight at Robert Gray Elementary

    ABERDEEN, Wash. – The next ward meeting for Aberdeen residents starts at 6:30 tonight at Robert Gray Elementary, Mayor Bill Simpson said last week about 30 residents and city staff attended the first, and about 40 the second meeting. the final meeting will be held at McDermoth Elementary on Friday. A town hall meeting will be held early next year to address the larger concerns raised at these meetings.

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  • Theft, speeding, and needles top concerns at Aberdeen ward meeting

    ABERDEEN, Wash. – The questions ranged from cars speeding down city streets, car prowls and thefts, to discarded needles last night at an Aberdeen ward meeting. Mayor Bill Simpson started by reading right from the wall at Stevens Elementary “I read this coming in ‘Respect each other, we are a family’ and that’s the way we are in this city. It’s going to take all of us to solve the problems. The police can’t do it all, the fire can’t do it all, we can’t do it all as the city, we all have to work together to make things happen. If you’ve got drug [problems] in your neighborhood, for god sakes call somebody, let them know.” About 30 residents and city staff attended the first of four meetings to discuss issues in the city.
    Resident John Barclay asked Police Chief Bob Torgerson if his department has the resources they need to do their job “You know there’s a lot of funding streams, but there’s not a lot that go on year after year. Sales tax, B&O tax, those kind of things are the regular funding sources we have. The problem is that we have a lot of activities in the city that a lot of people like. We all like our parks, we all like our fire departments, police department, our streets, we like all of those things that we have as a city infrastructure.”

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  • Aberdeen School District to Honor 19 Retiring Employees

    ABERDEEN, Wash. – A reception honoring a principal, 10 teachers and eight members of the support staff who are retiring from the Aberdeen School District is set for 3:30 to 5 p.m. on Thursday, June 14, in the Commons at Aberdeen High School.
    Community members, family, friends and students, both past and present, are invited to stop by as the district thanks the retirees for their years of service to our community.
    The reception is co-hosted by the Aberdeen School District and the Aberdeen Education Association.
    “I have been honored these past two years to work with the fine staff members who are retiring this year in the Aberdeen School District,” Superintendent Thomas Opstad said. “They have given much to our schools and the community, and we wish them the very best in their retirement.”
    “I look at this list and we have a huge hole to fill,” Joan Lesman, president of the Aberdeen Education Association, said. “There are hundreds of years of experience here. We might be able to fill their positions, but we are not going to be able to replace them.”
    The high schools, in particular, are saying good-bye to a wealth of institutional knowledge, Mrs. Lesman observed. “But again, when I look at the whole list – all of these people have given so much,” she said. “Our community is so much better for having them. They’ve dedicated their lives to making Aberdeen a better place and I am so grateful.”

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  • Aberdeen Councilman Announces Run for Mayor

    ABERDEEN, Wash. – Councilman Paul Fritts has announced that he plans to run for mayor this November, “I see a variety of challenges ahead for the city—from the overall budget to specific issues such as deteriorating streets,” Fritts says. “As a council member, I have worked on these issues but felt as mayor I could take an even more-direct role in working on them.”


    (Click the story title to hear Fritts’ February 10th interview on Coffee Talk with Doug McDowell)

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  • Volunteers Sought to Help Clean up State Park Coastal Beaches

    Grays Harbor County, Washington – The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission and partners invite the public to participate in the International Coastal & Underwater Cleanup.
    Gov. Chris Gregoire has proclaimed Sept. 19 and 20 official Operation Shore Patrol Days, and she urges citizens to participate in keeping Washington’s Pacific waterways clean. The goal of Operation Shore Patrol is to focus attention on litter accumulated from water and land sources on Washington state ocean beaches. Litter poses a threat to people, fish and wildlife and creates an unsightly environment. Operation Shore Patrol is a major step in helping to rid the Washington state coastline of litter and debris.
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  • Bike-ninjas and crosswalks top concerns at second Aberdeen ward meeting

    ABERDEEN, Wash. – Taking back the night and the crosswalks of Aberdeen seemed to be the theme of last night’s ward meeting at A.J. West Elementary. Local business owner Gary Randall has been facing expensive theft and vandalism issues in the second ward. “Usually about two, or three o’clock in the morning you literally have to drive very carefully – especially around the neighborhood, because there are people in black clothing riding bicycles. These people are all out doing wrong things, each person that I’ve caught on camera stealing from me is dressed in clandestine type clothing – same people I see on bicycles. I don’t know why this is going on, I don’t know why the police department can’t fix this problem.
    Police Chief Bob Torgerson replied “Everybody that’s riding a bicycle dressed in black, it’s legal and they can do that. We have methods, and our officers do engage those folks, but they are limited within the Constitution of the United States. The same [laws] that protect all of our rights, also protect their rights.” Torgerson added “As far as arresting people, we’ll arrest as many as we can – but there’s also [the question of] what we do with them.”

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  • Aberdeen mayor schedules ward meetings, wants input

    ABERDEEN, Wash. – The mayor of the city of Aberdeen will conduct ward meetings in the coming months to gather questions, and hear your concerns about anything from needles to trains. Mayor Bill Simpson said you can attend any of the meetings being held at local schools regardless of ward. A citywide town hall meeting is also being planned for early 2014 to address concerns raised. Similar to meetings held last year, Simpson said “No solutions would be done that night, then we’ll meet again later on and show them what we’ve done with these ideas.”
    The first meeting will be held at Steven’s Elementary, on October 28th then at A.J. West Elementary, on October 29th. Two November meetings will take place at Robert Gray on the 4th, then McDermoth on the 8th. All meetings will begin at 6:30 that evening.

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  • Changes Coming for Aberdeen’s Highly Capable Kids Program

    ABERDEEN, Wash. – Aberdeen School District may be restructuring it’s highly capable program for gifted students. School Superintendent Dr Tom Opstad presented alternatives to the School Board this week, a full copy of the presentation can be viewed at asd5.org, with a link to a survey requesting parent’s input on proposed changes, such as shifting from a 1-day-a-week program currently taught at Robert Gray, to a more ongoing program in each elementary building. Opstad’s proposal also seeks to expand the availability to 12th grade instead of 6th where the program stops currently.

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  • Grays Harbor County Morns First H1N1 Swine Flu Death

    The November 6 death of Conner Woodruff, a 12 year old student of Robert Gray Elementary School, has been linked to the H1N1 (swine) flu virus. County public health officials were notified of the positive test result Friday afternoon.
    “This is a tragic death. Our thoughts are with Conner’s family and friends,” said Joan Brewster, Director of the Grays Harbor County Health Department.
    “Conner died from a very uncommon complication of the flu in which the heart muscle becomes inflamed,” reports Dr. John Bausher, the Grays Harbor County Health Officer. “This is a rare event that is associated with many different kinds of viral illness such as measles, chickenpox, mumps, and influenza (flu). When it happens, it is heartbreaking.”
    Conner’s death is the first in Grays Harbor County to be attributed to the swine flu virus. Public health and school officials are working together with Conner’s family to address parent, student, and staff concerns.
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