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Coast Guard basing two new $73 million cutters in Columbia estuary

The 154-foot Sentinel-class cutters replace the 1980s-era 110-foot Island-class patrol boats

Coast Guard Basing Two New  Million Cutters In Columbia Estuary

U.S. Coast Guard

The Sentinel-class fast response cutter is a new Coast Guard patrol boat that is capable of deploying independently to conduct missions that include port, waterways and coastal security; fishery patrols; search and rescue; and national defense. Named after Coast Guard enlisted heroes, the cutters are replacing the aging Island-class 110-foot patrol boats. The U.S. Coast Guard has selected Astoria as the new home for two fast response cutters by 2021, a decision that will expand the agency s footprint in the Columbia-Pacific region and provide a significant financial boost to the Lower Columbia River area. The 154-foot Sentinel-class cutters each costing $73 million replace the 1980s-era 110-foot Island-class patrol boats, which are nearing the end of service life.

Each of the new cutters will require two officers and 20 crew. Upon stationing a new Sentinel-class cutter in Ketchikan, Alaska, earlier this month, Coast Guard Adm. Charles D. Michel said, At 154 feet, the Fast Response Cutter has incredible improvements over its predecessor. The longer length makes for a more stable platform to conduct operations from launching small boats in heavy seas to remaining at sea for longer periods of time.

This new cutter is also capable of going farther increasing operational range from 1,853 nautical miles to 2,500 nautical miles. As a result, Alaska will see a 19 percent increase in patrol boat operations. The Fast Response Cutter also achieves speeds of nearly 30 knots for longer periods of time, besting the cutter it is replacing.

Paraphrasing the ship s commanding officer, the ship can go farther than before and get there faster than before. Astoria had been competing with Newport for the two new cutters.

The Coast Guard has been looking at the 17th Street Dock or Tongue Point for the new cutters, but an official said a decision has not been made on where in the city the cutters will homeport. The new cutters have not been named, according to the Coast Guard, but others in the class have been named for enlisted personnel who distinguished themselves. The Coast Guard said a 110-foot Island-class patrol boat, the Orcas, will continue to operate in Coos Bay until the new cutters arrive in Astoria in 2021.

The Coast Guard s Sector Columbia River headquarters and Air Station Astoria are based at the Astoria Regional Airport in Warrenton. Astoria is also home to the Coast Guard s 210-foot medium endurance cutters Steadfast and Alert, and the 180-foot buoy tender Fir, but does not have one of the Island-class patrol boats.


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DC man gets 14 years for robbery of elderly couple

THE DISTRICT14-year sentence for robbery of couple

A D.C. Superior Court judge sentenced a 52-year-old District man to 14 years in prison Friday for the May 2016 robbery of a senior couple in Northwest Washington. Milton Hood was found guilty in January of robbery and assault. Prosecutors said Hood attacked the victims, an 81-year-old man and his 75-year-old wife, as they were walking along 23rd Street NW between P and Q streets. Hood knocked the man to the ground and took his wallet.

The woman, fearing for her husband s life, hit the assailant on the head and neck with her cane. Hood turned and hit her, knocking her head to the ground, prosecutors said. He then tried to steal her purse, but she held on to it. When drivers stopped to help the couple, the assailant ran. Hood was found two hours later, and a DNA swab from the victim s cane matched his. In addition to his prison term, Judge Kimberley S. Knowles is requiring Hood be placed on three years of supervised release, officials said.

Dana Hegdpeth

Navy member dies in car crash

A 34-year-old man died after his 2015 Dodge Charger crashed in Upper Marlboro, officials said. Jonathan Javoria Griffin was driving the car just after midnight Friday along the southbound side of Route 301 near Village Drive when it crashed. Griffin was pronounced dead on the scene. Some roads in the area were closed for several hours, as crews were on the scene. Maryland State Police said Griffin was a member of the Navy who was assigned to Fort Meade s National Security Agency.

Dana Hedgpeth

Five days later, College Park fire extinguished

Officials on Friday officially declared the massive five-alarm fire that consumed a College Park apartment building extinguished. The pronouncement came five days after the fire broke out Monday at the building under construction in the 4700 block of Berwyn House Road.

[200 firefighters battle five-alarm blaze at College Park construction site[1]]

Firefighters had been monitoring the rubble for flare-ups every day since the initial response by more than 200 firefighters from across the region, said Prince George s County Fire Department spokesman Mark Brady. The fire caused nearly $40 million in damage, the most the county fire department has recorded in its history. Investigators have initially ruled the fire accidental, but are still working to determine its cause and origin, Brady said.

Lynh Bui

Manhunt for inmate who fled at psychiatric hospital

A man who guards were unloading Friday from a prison van in the parking lot of Maryland s maximum-security psychiatric hospital had maneuvered his way out of handcuffs and a waistchain before fleeing into woods, police said. Authorities discharged K-9s, helicopters and teams of law enforcement in the hunt for David M. Watson, 28.

Watson is charged with attempted murder involving police officers in Wicomico County and was on his way to Clifton T. Perkins Hospital Center near Jessup for an evaluation in his case, said Sherry Llewellyn, a spokeswoman for Howard County Police, which is leading the search. Online court records in Maryland show Watson was found incompetent to stand trial in 2014. After the van arrived in the lot at about 9:40 a.m., a guard opened the vehicle door and Watson pushed the guard to the ground, Llewellyn said. Watson then ran into woods, Llewellyn said, where investigators found some items of clothing he may have discarded. Watson was serving a 100-year sentence for attempted murder in Delaware, where Wicomico County deputies had picked him up for transport to Perkins, Llewellyn said.

Lynh Bui


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