DESPITE SPRINKLES EARLIER IN THE DAY, a large crowd gathered in the Clatskanie City Park Monday for the annual Labor Day concert of the North Coast Big Band. The concert was sponsored by the Clatskanie Parks and Recreation Distict, and also kicked-off the 25th annual performing arts series of the Clatskanie Arts Commission. Chief Photo by Deborah Steele Hazen
SOUNDS OF THE BIG BAND ERA filled the Clatskanie City Park Monday afternoon for the annual Labor Day concert performed by the North Coast Big Band. The concert was sponsored by the Clatskanie Parks and Recreation District, and also served to kick-off the 25th annual performing arts season of the Clatskanie Arts Commission. Chief Photo by Deborah Steele Hazen
Burglary suspects, Joshua Eldred and Jennifer Vasey, who were pictured on the front page of the Sept. 5th issue of The Chief, pictured above, were arrested by Clatskanie police Wednesday. They were booked on burglary and theft charges at the Columbia County Jail, and subsequently released.
Vasey was re-arrested Thursday along with Tiffany M. Kelly, also known as Tiffany Ellis on charges of Burglary 1, Burglary 2 and Receiving Stolen Property.
Eldred is no longer in custody, but is not wanted by police at this time.
Clatskanie Police and Columbia County Sheriff’s deputies, who are working together on the recent string of burglaries in the Clatskanie area, are seeking Marvin E. Elder, a transient in the Clatskanie area, on charges of Burglary I, Burglary II and Receiving Stolen Property.
Anyone knowing of his whereabouts is encouraged to call the non-emergency police dispatch number of 1 800 696-7795, or in the case of an active sighting or crime, call 9-1-1.
A rash of burglaries and thefts – at least 14 in the past month – are being investigated by the City of Clatskanie police force.
Similar incidents in the surrounding Clatskanie rural area have been reported to the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office.
Clatskanie Police Chief Marvin Hoover said Tuesday afternoon that police are actively seeking two suspects in connection with the thefts, who were identified by a witness during a theft of gas from a van parked at a Clatskanie business Monday night, Sept. 2.
The suspects, pictured here, are Joshua James Eldred, 35, and Jennifer Elizabeth Vasey, 31. Last known address of both of the suspects is 350 NE 6th Street in Clatskanie.
Hoover said that based on witness reports, the police have “probable cause to arrest them for that theft. We also believe they are responsible for several crimes – thefts and burglaries.”
Those crimes include entering and/or thefts of gas, tools, batteries, and more from storage units, garages, the city shops off of Bryant Street and Highway 47, vehicles parked at Clatskanie Middle/High School, the CMHS softball equipment room, the back-up generator at CMHS, the school bus garage, and Evenson Logging.
The theft of several thousand dollars worth of tools and copper fittings from the city shop off of Bryant Street was discovered Tuesday.
Also recently, a church was broken into in the rural area and a computer system was stolen, Hoover said. Lawnmowers have been stolen in the rural area and reported to the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office. Additional information about the reports to the sheriff’s office was unavailable Tuesday.
Hoover said that Eldred, who has a “fairly lengthy” criminal history, was arrested by sheriff’s deputies late last week, was booked in the Columbia County Jail, and was subsequently released.
The Columbia County District Attorney’s office confirmed that Eldred has been in custody for Possession of a Controlled Substance – Methamphetamine, Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle and Assault. The assault was allegedly committed against Vasey. Eldred failed to appear on the assault case, but a spokesperson in the district attorney’s office said that Vasey had asked that the “no contact” order against Eldred be removed.
Hoover said Vasey has several charges pending through the district attorney’s office.
It is suspected that Eldred was the man who eluded police and sheriff’s deputies in an unsuccessful foot pursuit that occurred Aug. 27 in the rural area west of Clatskanie off of Colvin Road.
Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Eldred and Vasey are asked to call the Clatskanie Police Department at 503 728-2145, the non-emergency number at 1 800 696-7795, or in the case of an active sighting or an emergency, call 9-1-1.
by Adam J. Wehrley
In a rare Tuesday night, Sept. 3, meeting a bare quorum of the Rainier city council approved two changes to city ordinances and contracts for work on the Fox Creek reservoir before holding an extensive executive session to discuss contract obligations with leadership from the Rainier Senior Center.
After mandatory readings at three business meeting the council approved changes to the city’s poultry ordinance which will now allow a limited number of chickens within the city based on the size of the lot and under other restrictions. The full ordinance is available at city offices or online at http://www.cityofrainier.com/?view=cityordinance.
The ordinance was approved unanimously by the councilors present.
The council unanimously approved an ordinance governing the planned dry recreational vehicle (RV) camp on city land near the marina, the full text of which is available at the above site.
City manager Debra Dudley reported that work is underway on the RV camp.
Two contracts related to reestablishing the Fox Creek reservoir as water source for the city were approved. One contract allows up to $5000 for access road repairs. The second provides up to $5000 for the removal of 50 cubic yards of silt to be used as top soil at the city park.
Dudley explained that the reservoir has been drained and the 50 cubic yards of silt could be removed without seeking further permits.
Dudley also reported that only one bid had been received for repainting city hall and that consulting engineers had recommended rejecting the bid. The council did so unanimously stating the intention to make further requests for bids.
The council briefly discussed street improvement priorities which included 7th, Maple and View streets.
Pastor Steve Stecker of Rainier Community Church of God addressed the councilors urging them to pass an ordinance restricting the establishment of sex oriented businesses such as adult book stores and exotic dance clubs.
Pastor Stecker cited several studies and reports by municipalities throughout the Northwest showing the adverse effects these clubs have on communities, including an accompanying rise in sex-related crimes.
Mayor Jerry Cole had invited Pastor Stecker to speak on the matter.
Dan Jacobson of the Clatsop-Nehalem confederated tribes thanked the city for allowing the use of Riverside Park in late July by approximately 300 people participating in and supporting a canoe journey by several tribal groups to Quinault, Wash.
6000 people, representing 100 tribes gather at Quinault for the annual gathering hosted by different tribes each year.
Jacobson also reported on progress he has made on renovating the city’s old marina into a canoe/kayak launching site and pocket park. He will soon be installing shade sails at the site.
Representatives and promoters for the Countrystock music festival requested permission to have a beer garden in the city park on Sept. 21-22 to coincide with the event. The council with-held approval pending more information and the desire to have the full council present for the discussion. Councilor Sloan Nelson stated that he would like to see a unanimous decision if the council were going to change the policy against alcohol in the park for a limited number of special events.
A portion of the funds raised by the two-day concert benefits the Wounded Warrior Project and food donations will be received for a local charity.
National and regional country artists are scheduled along with a military band from Fort Lewis. Children’s activities and a motorcycle rally are planned for the event which is billed as having a patriotic focus.
The council met in executive session for over an hour to discuss contract obligations with Bill Diaz and Randy Bailey from the Rainier Senior Center.
Both the Clatskanie and Rainier school board’s have meetings scheduled for Monday, Sept. 9.
The Clatskanie school board is now meeting in the Clatskanie Elementary School media center. Those attending the meeting, which begins at 6:30 p.m., are encouraged to park in the parking lot along S. Nehalem Street, walk through the playground and enter via the “knuckle” in the newer east wing of the school.
New business on the agenda includes a discussion about changing board meeting dates, the Oregon School Board’s Association (OSBA) regional meeting and annual convention.
Also at the meeting, administrator reports will be given by Superintendent/Elementary Principal Lloyd Hartley, Clatskanie Middle/High School (CMHS) Principal Jeff Baughman, and finance manager Janice Essenberg.
Consent agenda items include the bid for cafeteria food and paper supplies, updating contract language for the maintenance supervisor, and approval of the hiring of Karen Slotten as half-time English teacher at CMHS.
Rainier School Board
The Rainier School District board of directors will meet at 7 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 9, at the district office on the Briarcliff campus, 28168 Old Rainier Road.
Agenda items include school updates, a campus clean-up gathering set for Sept. 14, and first readings of board policy updates from the OSBA.
An executive session is scheduled under Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS) 192.660(2)(b) regarding personnel isues.
Immediately following that executive session, a second open meeting will be held regarding a Rainier Education Association level III grievance. Another executive session may be called after that meeting.
SHINING LIKE A BLUE TOPAZ in the late summer evening, the Clatskanie swimming pool is a destination for water lovers as its season draws to a close. The pool will be open through this Sunday, Sept. 8. End of season hours are weekdays, 7-8 a.m., exercise; 8-9 a.m., exercise and synchronized swimming; 12-1 p.m., lap swim; 1-4 p.m. open swim; 4-6 p.m., family swim; 6-7 p.m., lap swim; 7-9 p.m., open swim. Saturday hours are 12-1 p.m., lap swim; 1-4 p.m., open swim; 4-6 p.m., family swim; 6-7 p.m., lap swim, and 7-9 p.m., open swim. On Sunday, the pool will be open 1-4 p.m. for open swimming, and will then close for the season. Chief Photo by Deborah Steele Hazen