CRABBING BOAT-THREE RESCUED
Crab fishermen survive harrowing capsize off Oregon coast
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Three men were in good condition early Wednesday after being cut from inside the hull of a capsized crab boat off the Oregon coast. Their harrowing rescue was caught on video the night before. The 38-foot Pacific Miner was flipped upside-down by large waves late Tuesday and then got caught on rocks in a jetty in Coos Bay. A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter spotted the vessel and launched a rescue. Local fire firefighters cut through the ship’s hull with saws and pulled the men out. A bait shop owner who posted video of the rescue says it was a miracle the boat didn’t wash out to sea.
Climate bill could trigger GOP walkout in Oregon Statehouse
SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The GOP leader in the Oregon Senate says there could be another walkout by Republicans over legislation aimed at stemming global warming. Senate Minority Leader Herman Baertschiger, Jr., told reporters Wednesday that a bill being prepared by Democrats in the Legislature, which they control, is similar to one that was introduced in 2019. Republicans in the Senate staged a nine-day walkout over that bill, denying a quorum. They returned only after Democrats realized they lacked votes to independently pass the measure. The draft bill would force big greenhouse gas emitters to obtain credits for each ton of gas they emit, and create an overall cap for emissions allowed in the state.
Northwest hit with more snow, wind, power outages, 2 rescued
SKYKOMISH, Wash. (AP) — Snowfall around the Northwest has continued, dropping over a foot on parts of the Olympic Peninsula Wednesday and resulting in the rescue Tuesday of a stranded couple southwest of Mt. Bachelor in Oregon. The Seattle metro area didn’t see much new snow Wednesday but many schools, including those in Seattle, remain delayed or closed because of lingering snow and ice. Over 20,000 customers were without power Wednesday afternoon as high winds blew in. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said the state Emergency Management Division brought food, water and fuel to people between Gold Bar and Skykomish, where U.S. Highway 2 has been closed for days because of downed trees and power lines.
PACIFIC NORTHWEST-WINTER STORMS-SNOWPACK
Snowstorms boost anemic snowpack in Oregon in just 2 weeks
SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Widespread snowstorms have boosted Oregon’s previously anemic snow pack to almost normal levels statewide in just two weeks. The biggest improvements in what is called “snow-water equivalent” are in the Hood, Sandy and Lower Deschutes basins. Those areas were at 26% of normal on Dec. 30 and are now at 90% of normal. Last year saw something similar unfold in Oregon. Snowpack was lagging then as well, but a series of storms hit in February that boosted the snow-water equivalent. Snowpack is a crucial source of water for farms, especially in Eastern Oregon.
Ex-sheriff’s office employee files discrimination suit
ASTORIA, Ore. (AP) — A former staff assistant has filed a federal lawsuit against the Clatsop County Sheriff’s Office and her former supervisor alleging sex discrimination and retaliation. The Astorian reports Kimberly Losada of Naselle, Washington, resigned from her job in August after nearly 15 years with the Parole and Probation Division. In a lawsuit filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Portland, she alleges that Lt. Kristen Hanthorn, who leads the division, subjected her to bullying, harassment, discrimination and retaliation based on her sex. Hanthorn and the county declined to comment on the lawsuit.
CRATER LAKE-POWER OUTAGE
Heavy snow causes power outage at Crater Lake National Park
MEDFORD, Ore. (AP) — Heavy snow has temporarily cut communications with people at Crater Lake National Park. The park’s website says telephone and internet service have been down since Monday and the cafe and gift shop at Rim Village are also closed. Authorities also closed the road from park headquarters to Rim Village due to heavy snow. Park officials are concentrating on keeping the southern access road to the park, from Klamath Falls, open to retain access for some staff members who use it to get to work. No one is sure exactly how much snow has fallen in the past five days.
Tribes break ground on hatchery that aims to restore salmon
MILTON-FREEWATER, Ore. (AP) — The Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation has broke ground on a long-awaited hatchery in the Walla Wall River basin. During a ground-breaking event at the South Fork Walla Walla Chinook salmon spawning facility outside Milton-Freewater, Tribal Board of Trustees Vice Chair Jeremy Wolf said at the ceremony last week that the spring Chinook hatchery, a more than $20 million project funded by the Bonneville Power Administration, is anticipated to open in the spring of 2021.
NORPAC FACILITIES SALE
Cold storage company purchases NORPAC plants
SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The $49 million sale of NORPAC Foods’ Salem, Brooks and Stayton processing facilities to cold storage giant Lineage Logistics has been approved by U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Peter McKittrick. The approval is contingent on agreements being reached concerning previous union contracts. The Statesman Journal reports the sale marks the end of the nearly 100-year-old Willamette Valley agricultural processor. Most of the intangible assets of NORPAC, including its intellectual property, trade names, inventory, contracts and trademarks, were sold as part of a $107 million sale of NORPAC’s Quincy, Washington, processing plant to Oregon Potato Company in December.