Hoquiam

Austin Jenkins

 

A paper mill in Hoquiam has had its share of ups and downs over the past seven years.

It was a major employer and once even referred to as the “greenest” paper mill in the country. It was also a symbol for Grays Harbor County’s effort to reinvent itself after the timber market collapsed.

But now the mill is closed for good.

Ed Ronco / KPLU

If you drive through Grays Harbor County, it’s easy to notice the darkened storefronts and empty homes that signal the area’s economic struggles. But in the county with a poverty rate that's twice the state average, a long-standing rivalry between two high schools feeds the hungry.

For more than a century, the Hoquiam Grizzlies and the Aberdeen Bobcats have maintained one of Washington state’s biggest high school football rivalries. But it’s their rivalry in Food Ball that funds the majority of the county food banks' annual budget.

HOQUIAM, Wash. — The Loggers Playday community festival in Hoquiam is raising eyebrows with a T-shirt mocking Osama bin Laden. It's a cartoon of bin Laden tied to a log with the caption "Osama Bin Loggin.'"

Photo by MïK / Flickr

Grays Harbor Paper has shut down its mill in Hoquiam, putting a dour end to what had been a success story for 18 years. 

240 workers are losing their jobs. Many were shocked by the announcement, according to King-5 news.

“I thought this place was going to be in for the long haul,” said Tony Harris, who had worked for Grays Harbor Paper for two years.