29 September 2011 by Published in: News No comments yet

Fiery Sunrise Marks End of Summer

A FIERY SUNRISE marked the second to the last day of summer on Sept. 21. Just before the sun rose above the eastern horizon, this was the view at the intersection of Highway 30 and Nehalem Street in Clatskanie. The orange glow behind a bank of early morning clouds seemed to signal the arrival of the autumnal equinox approximately 48 hours later. Photo by Sharon Uerling

Westport Man Faces Charges in Eluding/OSP Crash Case

Following a plea from the Oregon State Police (OSP) on Monday for information from the public regarding the operator of a motorcycle sought for eluding an OSP trooper through Clatskanie early Sunday morning, the suspect voluntarily came to the OSP Astoria Area Command office Tuesday morning.

The incident resulted in OSP Trooper Jessica Spurlock crashing her patrol car into an embankment about a mile east of Clatskanie.

According to an OSP press release late Tuesday afternoon, as a result of the public’s help and the ongoing investigation, Nicholas R. Boehler III, age 30, from Westport, voluntarily turned himself in Tuesday morning and is fully cooperating with the investigation

Boehler was cited to appear Oct. 24, in Columbia County Circuit Court on the following charges:

• Felony Attempt to Elude Using a Motor Vehicle;

• Reckless Driving;

• Violation of the Basic Rule to wit: 74 mph in a 55 mph speed zone;

• No Operators License to wit: No Motorcycle Endorsement.

Oregon State Police (OSP) asked for the public’s help Monday to locate and identify the motorcycle and its driver involved in an early Sunday morning attempt to elude along Highway 30 near Clatskanie.  The motorcyclist, who was reportedly wearing a black helmet and dark-colored clothing, had not been identified after the trooper crashed her patrol car and received minor injuries.

At about 6:30 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 25, OSP Trooper Spurlock was patrolling westbound on Highway 30 about three miles west of Clatskanie when she saw a unknown make or model dark-colored motorcycle eastbound traveling 74 mph in a 55 mph speed zone.  Spurlock turned around and overtook the motorcycle in Clatskanie where she attempted a traffic stop.

The motorcycle accelerated to speeds near 120 mph eastbound from Clatskanie, according to an OSP press release. The trooper, with emergency lights and siren activated, kept the motorcycle in sight until losing control of the 2010 Ford Crown Victoria patrol car near milepost 59 and crashing into an embankment.

The motorcycle was last seen eastbound at a high rate of speed. Two vehicles that were westbound and may have witnessed the trooper’s crash failed to stop and drove past the scene toward Clatskanie. The drivers of the two westbound vehicles that did not stop following the trooper’s crash have not contacted OSP.

Any witnesses who were westbound at the time of the trooper’s crash or may have seen the motorcycle eastbound shortly after 6:30 a.m. between Clatskanie and Rainier is asked to contact the OSP Northern Command Center dispatch at 800-452-7888.

OSP Seeks Public’s Help

AN OREGON STATE POLICE (OSP) TROOPER received minor injuries early Sunday morning after she lost control of her patrol car about a mile east of Clatskanie while attempting to stop a motorcycle. A Westport man was charged in connection with the incident. See the accompanying story for details. OSP Photo

New Columbia County Rider Fare Increase Takes Effect Oct. 1

New fares for the Columbia County Rider transit system will go into effect Oct. 1.

The Columbia County board of commissioners approved the increases at its meeting Sept. 14.

“Due to decreases in state and federal funding, community contributions, and because of increased costs of providing public transit service, the county has determined that fares must be increased in order to continue providing public transit in Columbia County,” transit manager Janet Wright announced.

“The reduction in federal/state allocations for transit services has given us no choice but to either reduce service or raise fares or do a combination of both,” Wright said. “After an analysis of the routes and rider use we have determined that a fare increase and the establishment of a zone-based fare system will allow us to continue the current level of service.”

For example, under the new fares, a trip from Clatskanie or Rainier to Longview will cost $6, or $5 for youth (age 12 and under), college students, seniors age 62 and over, and persons with disabilities.

Complete information on fares and Columbia County Rider service can be found at www.columbiacountyrider.com or by calling 503 366-0159.

Port Commission Meets in Clatskanie Wednesday

The Port of St. Helens board of commissioners was scheduled to meet at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 28, in the Clatskanie People’s Utility District (PUD) meeting room, 495 E. Columbia River Highway.

The main topic of the workshop session was to be a presentation from Columbia Riverkeepers to inform the Port commission about its concerns regarding business activity at Port Westward.

“This should be an informative discussion and will help people understand the obstacles we face when working on economic development,” said Port commission chair Robert Keyser.

All interested members of the public were encouraged to attend.

Private Timberlands Re-Open

With the start of fall rains and cooler temperatures, private timberland owners in Northwest Oregon reopened their lands for public recreational purposes late last week.

Evenson Timberlands, Longview Timberlands and the Campbell Group have all reopened their forests due to reduced fire danger.

Unless Evenson Timberlands are posted for active logging or weekend hunting only, walk-in users are welcome, Eric Evenson told The Chief this week.

Ed Hendrix, Longview Timberlands’ general manager for Oregon operations, said, “Recent rainfall and cool weather has reduced fire danger in most of our timberlands. Most of our lands in Oregon will be re-opened to walk-in recreation except for areas of active operations. We are still asking the public to use caution and not smoke on our property.”

For up-to-date information on Longview Timberlands  closures visit the website at www.longviewtimber.com.

Health and Safety Fair Fills PUD Parking Lot

MANY LOCAL BUSINESSES AND ORGANIZATIONS set up booths to promote health and safety, filling the parking lot of the Clatskanie People’s Utility District (PUD) on Saturday, Sept. 24, during the Health and Safety Fair, pictured above.

The fair was sponsored by the Clatskanie PUD, Kiwanis Club of Clatskanie, Clatskanie Rural Fire Protection District, Clatskanie Together Coalition, Wauna Federal Credit Union and the Clatskanie School District.

Pictured at right is a bicycle rodeo, where the first 20 kids in need received a bike helmet free, along with learning bicycle safety. The event was sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Clatskanie, with assistance from members of the Clatskanie High School Key Club.

Other sponsored events included a prescription drug drop-off, pet chipping, a relay for life, a fun run, poison control information, children’s eye care information, tobacco prevention, fire safety information and demonstrations, flood safety information, body mass index screenings, blood pressure and blood sugar readings, sleep disorder demonstrations and oxygen screens, weatherization and rehabilitation, Wii Fit, emergency preparedness information, an electricity safety demonstration board and drawings, and more. Chief Photos by Annie Hulegaard


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