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Local News

On North Coast, lack of access to abortion services

Reporter Nicole Bales with The Astorian also wrote and contributed to this report. This story is made possible by a collaboration between KMUN and The Astorian. CLATSOP COUNTY — Before her son turned a year old, Chelsea Johnsen had cervical surgery to remove cells that had the potential to become cancerous. Then she found out…

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General News Local News Politics & Policy

Astoria considers changes to abandoned vehicle ordinance

ASTORIA — City leaders have amended Astoria’s abandoned vehicle ordinance in a move they hope will help address growing concerns about RVs and other vehicles abandoned on city streets. The update to the ordinance is part of several so-called “livability” ordinances the city has considered in recent months with a direct link to homelessness-related issues…

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General News Local News

Remains of missing woman found

The remains of a Svenson woman who disappeared in 2019 have been found on an island on the Columbia River. The Oregon State Police Medical Examiner’s office has positively identified remains found on Lois Island, an island located between Tongue Point and the John Day river outlet, as those of 29-year-old Maya Sanders who was…

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General News Local News

New affordable housing project in the works

ASTORIA — A proposal by the Northwest Oregon Housing Authority could increase the amount of affordable housing in Astoria available to seniors and people with disabilities. The NOHA hopes to add to the existing Owens Adair affordable housing complex on 15th and Duane Street, essentially creating a mirror image of the building to add around…

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General News Local News

Cruise ships return to Astoria

ASTORIA — For the last two years, the cruise ship industry, a major source of revenue for the Port of Astoria, has faced major disruptions. But last week, on Friday, the first ship of the season docked at the end of Pier 1, the Koningsdam. Originally, the Koningsdam was supposed to be the second cruise…

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General News Local News Politics & Policy

City drops Heritage Square housing project

The Astoria City Council signaled today that it will be stepping back from a proposed downtown workforce and affordable housing project. During an executive session earlier this week, city councilors learned exactly how much Portland developer Edlen & Co. was asking the city to contribute to get the proposed housing project at Heritage Square off…

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General News Local News Politics & Policy

County eyes properties for housing development

Clatsop County is looking to develop housing at foreclosed properties the county owns in several North Coast cities. Monica Steele, assistant county manager, told members of Astoria’s Homelessness Solutions Task Force at a meeting Thursday that the county is talking with nonprofits and private developers to see what interest there might be to create various…

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General News Local News

Owner to sell historic ‘Terrible Tilly’ lighthouse

Terrible Tilly, the 141-year-old Tillamook Rock Lighthouse near Cannon Beach, is for sale.  Owner Mimi Morissette has listed the property for $6.5 million. She once hoped to turn the lighthouse into a large columbarium, a place to store people’s cremated remains. There was room, she said, for up to 300,000 urns.  But Morissette’s plan never…

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Local News

Suspect in Astoria arson fires arrested

The suspect in a string of arson fires in Astoria’s Uppertown neighborhood is in custody. Preston Powers, 18, was arrested by sheriff’s office deputies in Gainesville, Florida where he is accused of making multiple bomb threats toward Buchholz High School in August 2021. According to Paul Charas, a deputy district attorney for Clatsop County, the…

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General News Local News

Astoria city, business leaders to lead community forum on homelessness

UPDATE — KMUN was at the city’s forum on livability and homelessness in Astoria and recorded the event. You can listen by clicking play on the sound file above. Lorraine Veach recently overheard two women talking about a divisive proposal to build workforce and affordable housing in Astoria’s Heritage Square downtown. The women were bemoaning…

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Local News Science & Nature

Fish and wildlife commission prohibits sea star harvest in Oregon

It has been nearly a decade since researchers and beachcombers watched sea stars seemingly melt away in front of them. Beginning in 2013 and 2014, a mysterious disease decimated sea star populations on the West Coast. The cause of sea star wasting syndrome, which hit some 23 different species of sea stars, remains a scientific…

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Local News

Highway 101 reopens to one lane

A landslide that state geologists describe as large and complex closed a portion of U.S. Highway 101 near Wheeler for nearly two days. The highway reopened to one-lane traffic near milepost 47 late Wednesday afternoon, but flaggers could be guiding traffic through for several weeks to come. State road crews will need to clear vegetation…

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Local News

Gray whales pass Oregon Coast

Giants are passing by the Oregon Coast right now: Gray whales migrating north, heading to the Bering Sea from calving grounds in Baja California, Mexico. After several years of seeing “skinny” gray whales — whales apparently not finding enough food en route — and varied improvement since amid shifting ocean conditions, researchers have been concerned…

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Local News

Landslide closes Highway 101 near Wheeler

Photo courtesy of ODOT U.S. Highway 101 is closed south of Wheeler tonight and through tomorrow morning because of an active landslide. The landslide began early this morning near milepost 47 in Tillamook County. State road crews tried several times to reopen a lane on the highway today only to have more rocks and material…

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Local News

Wev to face challenger in May election

A challenger has emerged in the race for a seat on the Clatsop County Board of Commissioners. Nathan Pinkstaff has announced he will run for the District 3 seat currently held by County Commissioner Pamela Wev. Pinkstaff works as deck mechanic for Tidewater Barge Lines and has worked in the timber and commercial fishing industries…

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Local News

State begins to move birds off Astoria Bridge

Flaggers stop traffic in both directions and the Astoria Bridge falls silent. Until the fireworks begin. The pyrotechnics go off in lone bursts with long gaps in between, each one leaving a thin trail of smoke that hovers over the Columbia River. Angela Beers-Seydel, a spokeswoman for the Oregon Department of Transportation, leans against the…

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Local News

State moves to haze birds off Astoria Bridge

Expect loud noises and intermittent traffic delays on the Astoria Bridge today as crews test out techniques to clear double crested cormorants from the bridge. The bridge is scheduled to be under construction for protection work and painting this summer and the increased presence of cormorants on the bridge has become a problem. Traffic today…

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Local News

High wind warning in effect for the coast

A high wind warning is in effect for Oregon’s North Coast beginning tonight through late Monday afternoon. The warning also applies to the south Washington coast. The National Weather Service says people should expect south winds of up to 35 miles per hour with gusts of 45 to 60 miles per hour. Winds will be…

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Local News

End of mask mandate complex for local schools

The announcement that Oregon officials will lift the state’s indoor mask mandate ahead of schedule on March 19 was welcome news for people who had pushed for an easing of masking requirements in schools — or at least, for local control so districts could make such decisions on their own. To mask or not to…

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Local News

LOCAL NEWS: Astoria will close childcare facility

Astoria city leaders are planning to get out of the childcare business. At a work session Wednesday afternoon, city councilors said they couldn’t support continuing with the city’s Sprouts Learning Center daycare. The daycare center, one of the larger facilities in Clatsop County, is run through the Astoria Parks and Recreation Department, serves 21 families…