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About The daily Astorian. (Astoria, Or.) 1961-current | View Entire Issue (May 2, 2016)
DailyAstorian.com // MONDAY, MAY 2, 2016
143RD YEAR, NO. 213
FEW FISH BITE, BUT
DERBY STILL DELIGHTS selects
ﬁ re chief
Astoria ﬁ sheries class
stocks lake with prize
Pendleton ﬁ re marshal
will receive offer
By EDWARD STRATTON
The Daily Astorian
By R.J. MARX
The Daily Astorian
mid hundreds of trout reeled in
Saturday by anglers at Coffenbury
Lake, Astoria High School’s tro-
phy stock remained elusive.
Upperclassmen in Lee Cain’s ﬁ sher-
ies technology class came in the dead of
the night Friday to release 69 rainbow
trout tagged with prizes donated by local
Only nine tagged ﬁ sh were caught, but
the fundraiser, now in its sixth year, drew in
110 ﬁ shers and $1,100.
“That pretty much takes care of ﬁ sheries
technologies materials for the year for exper-
imental research,” Cain said .
Cain runs an aquatics biology program
in the Eldon Korpela Applied Science Cen-
ter above the high school, complete with an
attached hatchery rearing up to 30,000 Chi-
nook and 5,000 coho eggs a year for release
as juveniles each May into Youngs Bay. The
program includes a yearlong ﬁ sheries tech-
nology course upperclassmen can apply for
after completing prerequisites.
Cain’s advanced ﬁ sheries students, known
as “ﬁ sh techs,” raise the trout, seek donated
prizes from local businesses and staff the
derby. The proceeds go to the research proj-
ects of next year’s class in a revolving fund.
Astoria graduate Brooke Cross, on a visit
home from Western Oregon University, said
she woke up at 5:30 a.m. Saturday to be out
at the lake by the 7 a.m. start of the derby.
After nearly eight hours of trying and a good
number of smaller catches, she landed a
nearly 2-pound rainbow trout, the only high-
value trophy ﬁ sh caught all day.
Photos by Edward Stratton/The Daily Astorian
Astoria High School graduate Tim Welsh took in one of the hundreds of untagged trout
caught Saturday at Coffenbury Lake. A tagged rainbow trout, part of a fundraiser for
the aquatic biology program , proved more elusive, with only nine caught all day.
Senior Devon Nikkila chalked the lack-
luster catches up to lethargy from travel and
temperature differences. Many of the trout in
Saturday’s derby had to be trucked up from
hatcheries near Netarts and Hebo to Astoria,
after otters invaded the high school’s hatch-
ery and went ﬁ shing.
See DERBY, Page 10A
It took most of the day, but Astoria High
School graduate Brooke Cross caught the
biggest tagged rainbow trout of the day
her first time out at her alma mater’s fish-
ing derby fundraiser. With her is Nick Ket-
cham, another graduate and former aquat-
ic biology student, who after three derbies
said he has yet to win a prize.
ABOVE: Students in Astoria High
School’s aquatic biology program,
including senior Devon Nikkila, ran
rainbow trout Friday night from their
school hatchery to an oxygen-fed
tank in the back of a district truck
for transport to Coffenbury Lake
for the derby fundraiser Saturday.
BELOW: More than 100 anglers of all
ages took to the bucolic Coffen-
bury Lake Saturday to fish in a
derby supporting Astoria High
School’s aquatic biology pro-
CANNON BEACH — The Cannon Beach
Rural Fire Protection District will make an
offer to Matt Benedict, the Pendleton ﬁ re mar-
shal, to serve as ﬁ re chief.
In a special meeting Friday, members of
the district’s board of directors unanimously
agreed to offer the job to Benedict contingent
on the successful negotiation of an employ-
ment package and
“He’ll be a great
addition to our system,”
Director Garry Smith
said at the meeting.
The salary for the ﬁ re
chief’s job is $67,500 to
$75,000, depending on
“We had a great
meeting with him,”
Board of Directors
Clyde said . “We hope we will be able to nego-
tiate with him.”
In addition to being Pendleton’s ﬁ re mar-
shal, Benedict is the chief of the all-volunteer
Helix Rural Fire Protection District.
He was selected from a ﬁ eld narrowed to
former Pendleton Chief Gary Woods and John
West of the state Department of Public Safety
Standards and Training.
“All three of them were very good,” Clyde
said. “He (Benedict) seemed like he would ﬁ t
in very nicely — as they all did — with the ﬁ re-
ﬁ ghters and the community.”
Interim Chief Jim Stearns said after the
meeting the board will now contact the candi-
dates and let them know, and contact the Spe-
cial Districts Association of Oregon.
Stearns said he will remain at the “will of
“Hopefully we’ll get this fellow on board
June 1,” Stearns said . “Beyond that, I’ll stay as
long as need be.”
The board is looking to replace former Fire
Chief Mike Balzer, who was ﬁ red in October.
Balzer has since ﬁ led a lawsuit against the
ﬁ re district claiming wrongful dismissal. Three
ﬁ re board members turned back a recall elec-
tion in early April. The recall effort stemmed
from frustration among some residents over the
board’s handling of Balzer’s ﬁ ring.
By DERRICK DePLEDGE
The Daily Astorian
Astorian hopes to sail around world, into history
Woman trains for the
journey of a lifetime
iccolea Miouo Nance wanted a
way to see the world. Luckily, she
had a friend wanting to sail around it.
In a year, Nance, 45, hopes to start
her journey from the
West End Mooring
Basin in Astoria to
globe with her live-
aboard roommate Dovid Smith and his
cat, Capt. Nigel Shortbottom.
Adding to the intrigue is the pos-
sibility Nance could be the ﬁ rst Afri-
can-American woman to circle the globe
on a sailboat. She has been researching
circumnavigations for the past few years.
See NANCE, Page 10A
Edward Stratton/The Daily Astorian
Niccolea Miouo Nance, left, Dovid Smith and Capt. Nigel Short-
bottom are preparing to depart next year on a multiyear voyage
around the world.
Several high-level staff at Clatsop Behav-
ioral Healthcare have resigned, raising another
layer of concern about the agency’s ability to
function effectively as Clatsop County’s men-
The departures come amid state and inter-
nal reviews into management that stem from
community doubts about the quality of care
and a union staff vote of “no conﬁ dence” in the
agency’s clinical director.
“We can conﬁ rm there have been some
recent resignations for various reasons,” Nick
Benas, the director of business operations
at Clatsop Behavioral Healthcare, said in an
email Friday. “From an individual protection,
legal and policy standpoint, we are not able to
disclose any related information.
“We are taking prompt action to ﬁ ll these
positions to ensure continuity of service for our
clients. Clatsop Behavioral Healthcare contin-
ues to be grateful for the service of all our staff.
We are committed to building a culture of pro-
fessional excellence to support those we serve.”
The agency declined to disclose the job
titles of staff who have resigned — or con-
ﬁ rm a list given to The Daily Astorian — but
See DEPARTURES, Page 10A