Sat, Apr 4, 2020
Home Town Debate
Willapa Harbor Herald • Town Crier
Traveler's Companion
(360) 942-3466 • PO Box 706, Raymond, WA 98577
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Pacific County Adjusts to Life Under State and Local Orders

On March 16 Governor Inslee issued an order closing restaurants, bars, taverns and coffee shops and prohibiting large gatherings to control the spread of COVID-19. On March 17 the governor followed with an order closing all schools in the state. On that same day Pacific County launched its Emergency Operations Center to coordinate the local coronavirus response. Since then both the county and the state in rapid succession, have issued new orders to control the coronavirus pandemic. The local orders started with the closure of beaches to razor clam digging, followed several days later by a closure of all beach approaches and hospitality lodging, followed by an amendment clarifying that order. And on March 23 the governor issued a Stay-at-Home order which included the closure of all non-essential businesses in the state. For the general public, the coronavirus outbreak, the response and the ramifications have been almost impossible to comprehend.

The Pacific County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is tracking and coordinating the local COVID-19 response to both state and local orders. Pat Matlock, Chief Criminal Deputy in the Sheriff's Office has now assumed the role of EOC's Public information Officer. In a conversation on March 26, he summarized the status of these orders, beginning by stating that local schools, government agencies and businesses are in compliance with these orders. The purpose of each of these actions is to minimize the potential spread of COVID-19 in our community. To date Pacific County is one of five out of 39 counties in Washington without a confirmed case of the disease.

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Record recovery stimulus package inked

The Senate and House approved a $2.2 trillion stimulus recovery rescue package for Americans, businesses and hospitals last Wednesday and Friday - the largest emergency aid package in history. There were more than 3.3 million unemployment claims last week.

Married couples will receive one-time payments of $2,400 who filed jointly with an additional $500 per child for each qualifying child claimed as a dependent in their family to help fight off the economic derailment caused by coronavirus. The package includes payments of $1,200 to individuals making less than $75,000. One-third of the economy is being covered by the package, a lot of it to middle and lower income people. One hundred and seventy-five million are expected to receive checks.

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Hospital CEO/Administrator Kempton discusses COVID-19 in our area
Matthew Kempton
Hospital CEO/Administrator Kempton discusses COVID-19 in our area

The Herald reached out to Willapa Harbor Hospital Chief Executive Officer/Administrator Matthew Kempton, MHA, about the Coronavirus Pandemic that is surrounding the world. As of Friday, 24 of 39 Washington counties had reported cases of the virus; however, Pacific County was not one of them.

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Panic Buying and Senior Shopping Hours: Conversations with Pioneer Grocery's Rick Manlow and Mike Johnson, and Thriftway's Melanie Bowling

Since the onset of the COVID-19 outbreak, we've all seen pictures of long lines at grocery stores and carts overloaded with toilet paper. Is your store experiencing "panic" buying? What items have been selling out?

Rick responded emphatically that "yes" Pioneer Grocery is definitely experiencing panic buying. People are buying large quantities of toilet paper, cleaning supplies, hand sanitizers, disinfection wipes and other paper products. Staple food items such as rice, beans, potatoes and canned goods have been hard to keep in stock. Bakeries aren't able to keep up with the demand for bread.

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State of Emergency in all counties: Schools shut down; local food service to continue

SOUTH BEND - Governor Jay Inslee proclaimed a State of Emergency for all counties throughout the state as a result of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). All schools in Washington were closed effective yesterday until April 27. Sunday night, Gov. Inslee added more protections against COVID-19. (See story page 1). As of Monday morning in the USA, 30 million students are staying home because 33 states have been forced to close schools.

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Winter Weather
Photo by Karen S. Carter
Winter Weather

Washington was touched by a brief artic front over last weekend. On Saturday snow actually accumulated in higher elevations. Hopefully it is the last gasp of winter weather.

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A free meal at the Soup Kitchen
On February 20, the soup kitchen fed three homeless people and 20 others from around the community. Servers Livvie, Rochelle, and Callie welcome everyone who comes in for a meal.
A free meal at the Soup Kitchen

Every third Thursday, the Adventist Community Services host a free meal at their Soup Kitchen at 1134 Crescent Street in Raymond. The next meal will be on Thursday, March 19 from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. They invite anyone who needs a hot meal to come and enjoy.

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Pacific County Health Department prepares for the coronavirus

Most cases of COVID-19 are mild and the best care is to stay at home and rest. ~ Deputy Health Officer Dr. Steven Krager

COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, began in China and has now spread throughout the world, including to several counties in Washington.

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Valley FFA serves Teachers Appreciation Breakfast
Valley FFA serves Teachers Appreciation Breakfast

Valley students Ella Petit, Aaron Wilson, Aubree Triplet, Merisa Frasier, Alyssa Brock, Emily Wilson, and Aubriella Burk serve Teachers Appreciation Breakfast during FFA Week. Valley also had a state officer visit, milk chugging contest, lasso roping contest and an ice cream social during FFA Week.

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Around the Willapa: A conversation with Raymond  Police Chief Chuck Spoor
Chuck Spoor
Around the Willapa: A conversation with Raymond Police Chief Chuck Spoor

"We can't incarcerate our way to a safer community. Our best investment is in early childhood education."
~ Chuck Spoor

Given the number of Spoors in the community, I assume that you grew up here. Who are you related to? Where did you go to high school? And who is in your immediate family?


I grew up in South Bend and graduated from South Bend High School in 1988.

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