T he C olumbia P ress May 22, 2020 Utility customers to get credits Thanks: Show appreciation for hard jobs Continued from Page 1 ficers nationwide die every year in the line of duty. “I have never heard anyone say they entered law enforce- ment to make lots of money,” Warrenton Police Chief Matt Workman said. “It’s strange that ‘risking your life’ is al- ways very low on the list of things officers think about or that worry them. Only a cer- tain type of person can enter a profession where you may be giving your life to protect someone else, even a strang- er.” As with many police offi- cers, law enforcement is in Workman’s blood. His grand- father was a police officer in his Nebraska hometown and his daughter, Bethany, joined the Seaside Police Depart- ment in 2016. Several individuals and businesses, including Costco and Lum’s Auto Center, have used this month to thank lo- cal officers and firefighters for all they do by delivering treats, artwork and thank- you cards to the stations. “The best way to thank of- ficers is to just tell them so,” Workman said. “If an officer does something special or over and above their duties, write a letter or send an email to the chief.” Workman ensures the notes are put in the officer’s per- sonnel file and used during their annual evaluations. “Many people ask if they can buy a gift or give an of- ficer something, but their thanks is all we need and many times all we can accept given Oregon’s ethics laws,” he said. “We appreciate our citizens and we it makes us feel good when we are told so as well.” 3 Peggy Yingst A military hovercraft unloads supplies on Sunset Beach while emergency volunteers and curious residents watch. Hovercraft story wins regional award Last year’s story about an emergency preparedness drill that brought a military hovercraft to Sunset Beach received a first-place award for The Columbia Press in the technology writing cate- gory for small newspapers in the Northwest Excellence in Journalism competition. The awards, which were an- nounced Monday night, are sponsored by the Society of Professional Journalists and included newspapers from Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Idaho and Montana. Sisters Cindy Yingst and Peggy Yingst covered and wrote the story, accompanied by photos from Peggy Yingst and Mark Wickham. The Astorian’s Edward Stratton won a first-place award in the comprehensive coverage category for small newspapers for his yearlong coverage of changes at the Port of Astoria. Hailey Hoff- man was a runner up in the spot news photography cate- gory. Ad campaign aims to spur state pride Keep Oregon Green is launching a new wildfire pre- vention campaign and releas- ing four new public service announcements to help raise awareness. The announcements feature movie, television and voice actor Sam Elliott, who is the official voice of Smokey Bear. Each announcement encour- ages residents and tourists to practice basic wildfire safety while enjoying the outdoors. Elliott has a home in Or- egon and has experienced fire firsthand near his other home in California. Pride in Oregon is the driv- ing force behind Keep Ore- gon Green’s campaign and new website. It’s hoped stun- ning campaign photos of Or- egon’s iconic landscapes will encourage everyone to pro- tect the state’s scenic recre- ation areas. The new campaign artwork, PSAs, and additional wildfire safety tips can be found at keeporegongreen.org and on its various social media plat- forms. NW Natural customers can expect a credit on their June bill. Credits returned to Oregon customers this year are a re- cord $17 million. The average residential customer will see a credit of $16.88, about 30 percent of an average monthly bill. The av- erage small commercial cus- tomer will see a credit of $77. “Our customers’ natural gas bills are about 40 per- cent lower than they were 15 years ago,” NW Natural President David H. Anderson said. “During such a chal- lenging time for so many due to COVID-19, we’re especial- ly pleased to share these cost savings.” During the past 16 years, NW Natural has issued nearly $160 million in bill credits to Oregon customers. The credits result from ser- vices provided at the com- pany’s underground natural gas storage facility in Mist, as well as from pipeline capacity management, Anderson said.