LONG BEACH -- A Memorial Day family outing on the main access to the beach in Long Beach turned to tragedy when a 14-year-old boy was presumed drowned after possibly getting caught in a rip current/undertow while swimming in the ocean.
The U.S. Coast Guard suspended the search last Monday night (May 31) for the boy, who was reportedly swept offshore while standing in water up to his waist when he went missing, a Washington State Park Ranger told the Herald at the scene.
At approximately 2:00 p.m., the teenager was reported to be missing by his friend, who confirmed he was wearing a red swimmers cap, gray T-shirt and black swim shorts.
Petty Officer Cynthia Oldham of the Astoria Coast Guard Sector Columbia River talked to the Herald by phone Monday morning about the incident. Oldham has been with the Coast Guard for 16 years, including 15 in Astoria and one year in Boston.
"As of this morning (9:45 am), we had no reports of finding him," Oldham informed. "When a search is suspended, they won't back out pending information, such as, if a fisherman saw something and called it in, then we would relaunch.
"We're not exactly sure what happened to him, it would just be a speculation to say a rip current took him under," Oldham said. "He was from Portland (Oregon) here for vacation. He was with a friend in the water and a bunch of family and friends were onshore."
The Coast Guard does not release names of minors. "No, we don't have a name to release," Oldham said. "Typically, the names of minors are not released."
Inslee announces vaccination incentives
As of Friday morning, the U.S. has reported more than 33 million COVID-19 cases and 596,000 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
Worldwide, there have been more than 172 million cases and more than 3.7 million deaths. About 51 percent of people in the U.S. have received at least one vaccine shot, and more than 41 percent are fully vaccinated, according to the CDC.
Through June 3, Pacific County had 1,047 positive cases and three new cases since May 19. There were 15 active cases in the county and 42 hospitalizations. Pacific County had 12 recorded deaths from COVID-19.
Gov. Jay Inslee announced a suite of new incentives to help encourage unvaccinated Washingtonians to get the COVID shot.
The Washington State Lottery will be conducting a "Shot of a Lifetime" giveaway series during the month of June, working with state agencies, technology companies, sports teams and higher education institutions across the state to offer a myriad of different prizes to vaccinated individuals.
The incentives announced today include Lottery cash drawings, with prizes totaling $2 million; higher education tuition and expense assistance; sports tickets and gear; gift cards, airline tickets, and game systems and smart speakers.
"These generous programs will encourage more Washingtonians to take this life-saving vaccine," Inslee said during a press conference Thursday. "I hope people will see this as an opportunity to reopen even sooner than June 30 if we can stay motivated, stay informed and get more people vaccinated faster throughout the month of June."
Two fires were reported in the Winlock area this past weekend. The fire departments of Winlock, Toledo, Vader and Napavine were on scene for the fires.
Winlock FFA students in the Conduct of Chapter team recently finished in the top eight at the state competition. The students participated in learning Parliamentary Procedure, also known as Roberts Rule of Order. This is a process many governments use to facilitate their meetings, it gives order to each meeting in a more formal process.
Inslee sets June 30 for state reopening
Gov. Jay Inslee announced Thursday that the state is moving toward a statewide June 30 reopening date and that all counties in Washington will move to Phase 3 of the Healthy WA: Roadmap to Recovery reopening plan effective May 18 until June 30.
The announcement comes after the governor paused phase movement for two weeks to review an emerging flattening trend in statewide COVID-19 data. As of this week, the plateau observed in COVID-19 activity has become a decline.
"What we know now gives us the confidence to close this chapter in this pandemic and begin another," Inslee said at a press conference Thursday. "This next part of our fight to save lives in Washington will focus on increasing vaccination rates and continuing to monitor variants of concern as we move toward reopening our state."
The full reopening could happen earlier than June 30 if 70% or more of Washingtonians over the age of 16 initiate vaccination. Washington has administered over six million doses of vaccine, and 56 percent of Washingtonians have initiated vaccination.
Every year there the Winolequa Garden Club gives a scholarship to a local student who will be going on to higher education. This year was no different. They chose a student who desires to be a Veterinarian Technician and business. Alicia Clevenger is the recipient of this year's award.
Each year a student or a few apply for the scholarship, Alicia did this year. How did she hear about the scholarship? She stated, "I heard about the scholarship from my counselor Mrs. Olson."
MENLO - Former Willapa Valley HS exceptional student-athlete Britney Patrick, and now current St. Martin's third baseman, earned a selection on the Division 2 Conference Commissioners Association (D2CCA) All-West Region Second Team. Patrick was also named the Great Northwest Athletic Conference Freshman of the Year, and is a member of the GNAC's First Team.
Patrick, who hit with a lethal wickedness in high school as a member of the Pe Ell-Willapa Valley Titans, pretty much picked up where she left off while establishing herself as one of the Saints' best hitters, and also in the West Region. Patrick is one of only six freshmen to be named to the first or second all-league team which includes players from California, Arizona, Idaho, Hawai'i and Washington. Note: The D2CCA is comprised of sports information directors from each region, with each member nominating and voting. All first team selections then move on to All-American voting.
There are openings for more businesses to sign up for the Raymond Farmers Market (RFM), which opens Friday from 2:00-7:00 p.m. along the grassy area in front of the Northwest Carriage Museum in historic downtown Raymond. The event, under the direction of RFM Manager Denise Spaman, is scheduled to take place every Friday from June 4 through September 24.
Some of the businesses lined up for the season are Pacific Seafood, Goosepoint Oysters, Timeless Talismans, Self Care with Sonya, Luna Elementals, Sugar Rush Boutique, Sprout & Roost Edible Landscape Nursery, Pure Forks Creek Farm & Produce, and Harbor Eden Farms.
The City of Winlock has graduated another student in their intern program for their water distribution and wastewater treatment program. They hire individuals to help clean the water you drink and the toilet water you flush. This year James Agren has graduated.
James came to the City of Winlock with the desire to learn. He stated, "The importance of having competent people running infrastructure, making sure that all the pieces fit together and they function efficiently and safely is no simple task, and that is not enough to keep turning it over to outside contractors. The public workers in these small towns really do a lot with very little."
Gov. Jay Inslee signed a dozen bills last Tuesday that will improve accountability for law enforcement in Washington state, and will create the nation's strongest police accountability system. The governor, joined by community members and families of those impacted, signed the bills at the Eastside Community Center in Tacoma.
The governor signed legislation that will create an Office of Independent Investigations that reports to the governor, prohibit certain uses of force and will require more thorough oversight requirements for hiring and for reporting misconduct.
"The crises of the past year have unmasked long-standing inequities in our society. The consciousness of our state and nation has been raised against inequity in many forms," Inslee said. "Our moral mandate to acknowledge these hard truths crystallized in the fallout from the killing of George Floyd in Minnesota, and the killing of Manny Ellis in Tacoma. The bills I am signing today respect these truths and lay a solid foundation to halt inequity's pernicious influence in our systems of government."
Memorial Day is a time we remember those who have served our country. It's about bringing back to memory those who have served.
The Winlock Egg Day Royalty Court has been around as long as Egg Day has.
On Memorial Day, Monday, May 31, the Raymond American Legion in conjunction with VFW Post 968 and the Marine Corps League, will hold two short observance ceremonies. One will be at the Fern Hill Cemetery starting at noon with a guest bagpipe player and guest singer Lily, who will perform her own song. The second will be at the Bush Memorial in South Bend starting at 1:00 p.m.
What does it mean to serve for others? In many cases the sacrifice is death. Come November 11, we will see the celebration of the Centennial of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, located in the National Cemetery, just across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C.
In 1921 this monument commemorated the American armed forces who fought in the Great War, the "war to end all wars." My uncle, Thomas Darrah, and my grandfather, James L. Frink, both survived combat in the trenches as soldiers in France in 1918.
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