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State DOT Says Jobs Float in, SR 520 Pontoons Float Out

TACOMA, Wash. - Six more pontoons are complete for the new State Route 520 floating bridge. U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer of Gig Harbor joined state and local leaders in Tacoma today, as Washington State Department of Transportation crews began float-out of the second cycle of supplemental pontoons. 

This float-out follows six months of construction at the Concrete Tech Corporation site, wrapping up the second of six pontoon construction cycles in Tacoma. Crews completed 12 of 44 pontoons to be built in Tacoma and towed from Commencement Bay to Lake Washington. 

“Growing our economy requires making smart investments in our infrastructure,” Kilmer said. “Projects like the SR 520 pontoon construction help our communities by investing in the foundation of a strong economy for decades to come and creating jobs not just in King County, but in communities like Tacoma and Aberdeen, as well.” 

At last count, Tacoma pontoon construction generated more than 170 family-wage jobs – the majority in skilled trades, such as carpentry, concrete and iron work. 

“We talk often about the importance of the transportation system to the state’s economy and how it benefits everyone regardless of where the infrastructure is built,” said state Transportation Secretary Paula Hammond. “The Tacoma construction site is a terrific example of immediate, family-wage jobs that the SR 520 program has generated in Pierce County. We are grateful for our regional partnerships as we construct a bridge that will last for 75 years or more.” 

North Beach Group to Talk With Business Association

PACIFIC BEACH, Wash. - A group of concerned citizens from North Beach will be at the Pacific Beach Fire Hall tomorrow to help save the County's Resident Deputy Program.
Sara Owen with the group SWORD tells us the important program could fall to budget cuts "we have two Resident Deputies currently for the North Beach area, essentially there's about 450 to 500 square miles that these two deputies cover."
The grass roots effort called Stand With Our Resident Deputies was started last month. County Sheriff Mike Wheelan said they're trying not to cut it, however "if it comes down to 'do we save obs, or do we save the Resident Deputy Program,' I'm going to do what I can to save jobs."
County Commissioner Herb Welch has said he will attend the North Beach Business Association meeting tomorrow evening to discuss the county's budget.

Coast Guard Contains Oil Sheen in Westport Marina

WESTPORT, Wash. - The Coast Guard responded to a 400-foot by 100-foot sheen of unknown substance in Grays Harbor, on Monday.
The 13th Coast Guard District Public Affairs office tells us they were notified by the National Response Center at 7:40 p.m., on Sunday, but were unable to locate the sheen that evening due to a lack of light. Coast Guard pollution investigators from Astoria, Ore., and Coast Guard Station Gray’s Harbor personnel located the sheen on Monday and placed sorbents or absorbent pads on the contaminated area.
The source of the spill was identified as a vessel moored at Pier 17 at the Westport Marina in Westport, Wash. The owner of the vessel is currently working with the Coast Guard to secure the source of the leak and begin the cleanup process.
Coast Guard and Washington State Dept. of Ecology will monitor the cleanup operation and conduct an investigation to determine the cause of the spill.

Nisqually Estuary Team To Be Honored

The Nisqually Estuary Restoration Team will receive national accolades for outstanding efforts to restore and protect the coastal environment on Saturday Dec. 10 at the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge. The team will receive the Coastal America Partnership Award, the only award of its kind presented by the Obama administration for on-the-ground environmental restoration partnership projects.

The award ceremony and a tour will showcase the 900-acre restoration site. The ceremony will feature officials from the U.S. Department of Interior, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Nisqually Indian Tribe, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Ducks Unlimited, and the Nisqually River Council. 

Westport Man Steals Purse After Dropping Off Job Application

WESTPORT, Wash. - A Westport man is believed to have stolen from a company office, right after he applied for a job there yesterday afternoon.  Officer Burger with the Wesport Police department tells us the 19 year old had just turned in his job application when he can be seen on camera grabbing a woman's purse before leaving the business. When confronted around 10:30 last night, the man ran into Twin Harbor's State Park. Burger said he was very cold, and thankful, when officers plucked him from chest-deep waters about an hour later. The man is well known to officers in the area, and was booked into the Grays Harbor County jail on felony theft charges.

Statewide Lake Fishing Opens April 27, Capping Off a Month of Outdoor Fun

OLYMPIA, Wash. - For many anglers, "opening day" is synonymous with the start of the lowland lakes trout-fishing season, which gets under way April 27 this year. Hundreds of thousands of Washingtonians typically descend on trout-stocked lakes to kick off the state’s biggest outdoor event.

To prepare for the upcoming season, hatchery crews from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) have been working since last year to stock more than 17 million fish in over 600 lakes throughout the state. Anglers can find how many went where at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/statewide/ .

But anglers - and hunters, too - are also looking forward to a variety of other "opening days" this month for seasons ranging from razor clam digs on ocean beaches to turkey hunting throughout the state. Many communities throughout the state are also hosting festivals this month to mark major bird migrations including sandhill cranes, waterfowl and shorebirds.

"April really marks the start of the new year for fishing, hunting, and a wide range of outdoor activities," said Joe Stohr, WDFW deputy director. "The annual cycle is beginning again and a lot of us are glad to see it arrive."

Health Care Authority says Emergency Department partnership is improving care and saving money

OLYMPIA – In a report summing up more than a year of experience in reforming the state’s hospital emergency departments, the Health Care Authority...

CERT Training Offered at Grays Harbor College

South Bend, Washington – Grays Harbor Emergency Management is hosting Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training which is also open to Pacific County residents. The training is scheduled as follows:

June 8, 2012 – 5:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

June 9, 2012 – 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

June 16, 2012 – 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

All training will be held at Grays Harbor College, (1620 Edward Smith Drive, Aberdeen – Building 1500, Room 1512). Pre-registration is encouraged.

Washington DNR Bans all Outdoor Burning, Statewide Ban Expands Upon Local Restrictions

With multiple fires burning on the landscape and communities suffering from dense layers of smoke, the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has...