Local News

State files lawsuit against RV park owners

ILWACO, Wash. — The state has filed a lawsuit against the new owners of Beacon RV park, alleging the owners are ignoring their tenants’ legal protections. The filing by the Washington Attorney General’s Office for a preliminary injunction comes on the heels of a cease and desist order issued in late July. Only a few…


Long-term cleanup of river ferry uncertain

The U.S. Coast Guard says it still isn’t clear what caused the sinking of a historic river ferry near downtown Astoria last week. The Tourist No. 2 capsized at a floating dock west of the Sixth Street viewing platform where the vessel had been moored for some time. No one was onboard the ferry when…


Historic ferry capsizes near downtown Astoria

  ASTORIA — The Tourist No. 2, a former Columbia River ferry boat built in the 1920s, capsized at a dock near downtown Astoria Thursday afternoon. Good Samaritan boats arrived to try to contain some fuel spilled from the vessel as the smell of diesel filled the air.  Donald Anderson, chief marine science technician with…


State orders Ilwaco RV park owners to stop unlawful actions

PACIFIC COUNTY — The new owners of an RV park in Ilwaco, Wash., have violated multiple provisions of Washington’s landlord tenant laws, according to the state In a cease and desist order and a notice of violation issued last week, the Attorney General’s Manufactured Housing Dispute Resolution Program found that Michael and Denise Werner used…


Candidate bows out of city council race

ASTORIA — Jennifer Crockett, executive director for the Liberty Theatre in downtown Astoria, says she will not run for a seat on the Astoria City Council in November. Crockett announced her candidacy for the downtown Ward 3 seat earlier this year. City Councilor Joan Herman, who currently occupies that seat, has said she will not…


Cafe owner ordered to remove parklet

What goes up must come down. A covered structure complete with chairs and a bar top that was built over a parking space next to the Street 14 Cafe in downtown Astoria on Saturday has been declared a nuisance. At a meeting Monday night, the Astoria City Council said it was not authorized by the…



Tenants of Ilwaco RV park face eviction

Tenants of an RV park in Ilwaco, Wash., knew the eviction notices were coming. On Tuesday, they finally arrived. A man and a woman roamed the Beacon RV park off Elizabeth Avenue, handing official eviction summons to some tenants or simply taping the summons to people’s doors. It is a situation that county officials and…


Timbers from famed Beeswax shipwreck found on North Coast

No one believed Craig Andes when he said he found pieces of a shipwreck that resisted discovery for centuries in sea caves north of Manzanita. But Andes, a commercial fisherman based in Tillamook County and an avid beachcomber, persisted. Samples of the timbers he found sticking out of the sand in the caves were eventually…


Part of Astoria brewery collapses

ASTORIA — A portion of one of Astoria’s largest breweries collapsed over the Columbia River Tuesday evening. Photos show the mid-section of an overwater part of the Buoy Beer Company facility fallen inward and sagging toward the Columbia River. People racing sailboats on the river reported seeing some of the dock face fall into the…


Threat sends Clatskanie school into lockdown

CLATSKANIE — The last day of school at the Clatskanie Middle/High School ended on an alarming note after one student told another student there was a weapon on campus. No weapon was found, but students went into lockdown for more than an hour Thursday while Columbia County Sheriff’s Office deputies swept the building. The school had…


Bird flu concerns force new restrictions at wildlife center

CLATSOP COUNTY — Normally, the Wildlife Center of the North Coast would be drowning in ducklings right now. The Olney-based wildlife rescue and rehabilitation center sees several hundred a year and late spring is always an especially busy time. But avian influenza is on the move across the nation. Millions of birds have died from…


Tenants raise alarm about Ilwaco RV park

ILWACO — On Monday, the Ilwaco City Council met to discuss a proclamation to declare a housing emergency in the city. But residents say a very specific type of housing emergency has been unfolding for months only a few blocks away. Tenants of the Beacon Charters and RV Park on Elizabeth Avenue say new owners…


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…


Astoria city manager to step down

ASTORIA — After 15 years with the city, Astoria City Manager Brett Estes is stepping down. He said Wednesday that he will be taking on the role of North Coast regional representative with the Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development, a job previously held by Lisa Phipps. Estes’ last day is July 4. The…


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…


Voters reject school bond proposal

PACIFIC COUNTY — Voters rejected a $96.2 million bond proposed by the Ocean Beach School District this week. Several hundred ballots remain to be tallied since Tuesday night’s election, but the bond needed a supermajority of 60% to pass. With the recent count as of Thursday sitting at only 22.7% in favor of the bond…


Two vie for District 5 seat

CLATSOP COUNTY — Housing is one of the main talking points for candidates vying for the District 5 seat on the Clatsop County Board of Commissioners in the May primary election. District 5 is massive. It stretches from the southern part of Seaside to the Tillamook County line and east to include communities like Jewell and…


District 3 candidates talk housing, childcare

CLATSOP COUNTY — The issues of housing and childcare top the list for two candidates vying for the District 3 seat on the Clatsop County Board of Commissioners. Ballots for the May primary election go out in the mail this week. Voters in District 3, which now encompasses most of Astoria after the lines were…


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…


City chooses new daycare provider for Sprouts facility

ASTORIA — Bumble Art Studio, a part-time preschool in Astoria, will take over day care operations at a city-run facility that was set to close in June. In an unanimous vote Monday night, the Astoria City Council chose Bumble’s proposal to lease the Sprouts Learning Center over a second proposal submitted by Head Start, an…


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…


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…


Genetic ‘traces’ paint a picture for fisheries

As fish swim around in the ocean, they leave pieces of themselves behind. “At sort of the least technical level: It’s slime. It’s skin. It’s poop,” said Andrew “Ole” Shelton, a researcher with the Northwest Fisheries Science Center in Seattle. “It’s, you know, all the things you don’t really want to think about being in…


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…


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…


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…


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…


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…