Warrenton woman injured

in crash on Highway 101

A Warrenton woman was seriously injured Tuesday after crashing her vehicle on U.S. Highway 101 near Cullaby Lake Lane.

Police say the woman, 20, was driving northbound and crossed the southbound lane while coming around a sharp corner. She and a dog were ejected from the vehicle after she struck a power pole guide wire, mailboxes, broke a phone line pole and rolled into a swamp.

The driver was taken to a Portland metro area hospital. Police searched for the dog, a black-and-white pit bull that ran from the scene, but were unable to locate the animal. The dog’s owner announced on Facebook Wednesday morning that his dog had been found.

Prior to the crash, police received a complaint about reckless driving. The caller reported the driver was speeding, passing vehicles in an unsafe way and failing to say in their lane.

Police are investigating the crash.

EO Media Group announces

layoffs over virus losses

EO Media Group, the owner of The Astorian, Chinook Observer and Seaside Signal, announced the layoff of 18% of its workforce Wednesday, a result of coronavirus-related revenue losses due to canceled events and business closures impacting advertising.

Of the 181 employees in Oregon and Washington state, 47 newspaper and corporate staff members were given layoff notices. The Astorian and Chinook Observer each lost two positions of the 44 employed by the newspapers.

The remaining workforce has been advised of a 10% reduction in hours effective April 1.

In a memo to employees announcing the layoffs, Heidi Wright, EO Media Group’s chief operating officer, said, “By taking these actions today, our intent is to stabilize the company and come out of this crisis intact and ready to continue on as a vital part of the communities we serve.”

— The Astorian

Restaurant closures

upend seafood industry

Oregon’s seafood industry is losing a major market as restaurant dining rooms across the country close to reduce the spread of the new coronavirus.

Seafood processors across the Northwest say they’re shifting gears quickly to make up for the loss in restaurant sales. They’re putting more seafood in the freezer and selling more to grocery stores.

Northwest seafood processor Andrew Bornstein said grocery stores are buying more seafood now because so many people are stocking up in response to statewide orders to stay home. But that doesn’t mean his business isn’t taking a big hit.

“Does the increase in grocery make up for a lack of restaurant business? No, not even close,” said Bornstein, who manages Bornstein Seafoods. The company has seafood processing plants in Astoria and Bellingham, Washington.

For some seafood items like Dungeness crab, restaurants and casinos make up about 90% of the market, he said. Meanwhile, big events like crab feeds and seafood festivals that also drive a lot of sales are now canceled or postponed.

So, he and other processors have stopped buying Dungeness crab from fishing boats, and they’ve had to put a large portion of this year’s hefty catch in the freezer to wait for better markets.

Oregon’s crab fleet started fishing in January and has already landed more than 18 million pounds.

— Oregon Public Broadcasting

Petition seeks early release for Washington state inmates

Advocates for people incarcerated in Washington prisons have filed a petition with the state Supreme Court seeking the immediate release of some inmates to reduce the risk of a coronavirus outbreak behind bars.

“Prisons present the potential for a catastrophic outcome should COVID-19 enter these facilities,” said the petition, filed on behalf of five Washington prisoners. It names Gov. Jay Inslee and Department of Corrections Secretary Steve Sinclair as the respondents.

One of the inmates is a pregnant 21-year-old who, lawyers say, is currently sharing a cell with two other women at the Washington Corrections Center for Women.

The petition for a writ of mandamus, announced Tuesday by Columbia Legal Services, a civil legal aid law firm, asks the Washington Supreme Court to intervene on behalf of older inmates, those with underlying health conditions and those who are within 18 months of their release date.

— Oregon Public Broadcasting

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