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News Briefs May 3, 2014

Benefit car wash for firefighter

A car wash will be held today to raise money for a Fort Dick and Smith River firefighter whose home was destroyed in a fire last month.

Ron Simpson and his family of 10 kids need help finding a rental home and rebuilding a five-bedroom house. 

The car wash will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. today at Pizza Hut near the corner of Northcrest Drive and U.S. Highway 101 in Crescent City. Donations can also be made to an account in the Simpson family name at the Rogue Federal Credit Union in Brookings.

— Del Norte Triplicate

Possible tsunami debris boat found

OCEAN SHORES, Wash.  — Washington authorities are working with the Japanese consulate to determine whether a small boat found on a beach in the town of Ocean Shores might have crossed the Pacific from the March 2011 tsunami.

Ecology Department spokeswoman Linda Kent said Thursday there’s a nameplate on the boat, but it’s barely legible.

The boat was found Monday covered with barnacles and seaweed. It was taken to a state parks maintenance facility and tested for invasive species.

Kent says another boat found April 23 near Long Beach, also covered with marine life, had no marks that could determine its origin.

She says there has been no confirmed tsunami debris since last year.

The boat bears a resemblance to a barnacle-encrusted boat that washed ashore in Crescent City last year. It was traced back to a high school in Rikuzentakata, Japan, which lost it in the 2011 tsunami.

— Staff and wire reports


Warmth speeds up snowpack melt

GRANTS PASS — Record warm temperatures have accelerated the melting of an already skimpy snowpack in most of Oregon, particularly in the south.

The Klamath Basin had the state’s lowest snowpack on Friday, just 18 percent of normal. The Willamette Basin is at 51 percent, Central Oregon at 50 percent. The northeastern corner of the state is best off, with basins around Enterprise and Baker City at 120 percent of normal, and basins around Pendleton 97 percent. Snow that accumulates over the winter and melts in the spring is a major source of water storage Oregon and the West.

“We are definitely going to end up with one of the lowest years on record,” said Julie Koeberle, hydrologist for the Natural Resources Conservation Service, a division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

— The Associated Pres


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