Oregon Beach News, Monday 9/27 – Two Dead After Boat Capsizes Off Of Winchester Bay, SOLVE Beach and Riverside Cleanup, Limited Opening of Razor Clam Harvesting

The latest news stories across the state of Oregon from the digital home of the Oregon coastal cities, OregonBeachMagazine.com

Monday, September 27, 2021

Oregon Beach Weather

Today– Showers, with thunderstorms also possible after noon. High near 62. South southwest wind 8 to 14 mph, with gusts as high as 24 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New rainfall amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.

Tuesday– Showers and possibly a thunderstorm before noon, then a chance of showers. High near 60. South southwest wind around 9 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New precipitation amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.

Wednesday– A 20 percent chance of rain after noon. Partly sunny, with a high near 65. Light and variable wind becoming south southwest 5 to 9 mph in the morning.

Thursday– A 50 percent chance of rain. Partly sunny, with a high near 67.

Friday– Mostly sunny, with a high near 64. Breezy.

Two Dead After Boat Capsizes Off Of Winchester Bay

A woman and a young girl are dead after a boat capsized off of Winchester Bay on Sunday. Officials said reports of the capsized vessel just outside of the Umpqua River Bar came in around 9:27 a.m. Rescue teams made it on scene within six minutes.

It was reported that five people were in the water. Three people on the outskirts of the boat were able to make it out alive, they said. But two people, a young girl and a woman, were trapped inside the cabin of the boat. 

Officials said a rescue swimmer was able to recover both of them and they were being transported to emergency medical services on a 47 feet lifeboat.

The woman was pronounced dead on the lifeboat. The young child was rushed to EMS where they later passed away.

Officials originally reported the child was a young boy but later confirmed the deceased child was a young girl around 5 to 6 years old. They said the woman who died was her grandma.

SOLVE Beach and Riverside Cleanup

As an effort to improve the health of Oregon’s waterways, SOLVE is encouraging community members to take part in their 38th annual Beach and Riverside Cleanup.

The event is in partnership with the Oregon Lottery with support from multiple other agencies. It kicked off on Sept. 18 and will run until Oct. 3

So far, over 2,000 volunteers have come together and collected 26,815 pounds of litter and marine debris from Oregon’s coast, rivers, waterways and neighborhoods — all since the start of the event.

The goal is to create improvement through litter pick-up and restoration work.

Officials say this comes as droughts have persisted in western states through the summer months — sounding the alarm on the importance of taking care of our water as a precious natural resource. CLICK HERE to find a cleanup opportunity near you.

Limited Opening of Razor Clam Harvesting 

The Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) announce the opening of all razor clam harvesting from Tillamook Head, south of Seaside, to the California border.

Recent shellfish samples taken from this area indicate levels of the marine biotoxin domoic acid have fallen below the alert level.

Razor clamming remains closed from Tillamook Head north to the Columbia River, including inside the Columbia River. This area of the north coast includes the popular Clatsop beaches which remain closed under the annual conservation closure.

Mussel, bay clam and crab harvesting remain open along the entire Oregon coast. Coastal scallops are not affected by biotoxin closures when only the adductor muscle is eaten. ODA does not recommend eating whole scallops. Commercial shellfish products remain safe for consumers.

Paralytic shellfish toxin and domoic acid toxin are produced by algae and originate in the ocean. ODA will continue to test for shellfish toxins twice per month, as tides and weather permit. Reopening an area closed for biotoxins requires two consecutive tests with results below the closure limit.

For more information call ODA’s shellfish biotoxin safety hotline at (800) 448-2474, the Food Safety Division at (503) 986-4720, or visit the ODA Shellfish Biotoxin Closures webpage.

Oregon reports 2,113 new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases, 21 new deaths

Oregon Health Authority reported 2,113 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19 bringing the state total to 320,990.

The new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases reported today are in the following counties: Baker (15), Benton (38), Clackamas (153), Clatsop (10), Columbia (32), Coos (48), Crook (38), Curry (2), Deschutes (162), Douglas (53), Grant (11), Harney (24), Hood River (6), Jackson (90), Jefferson (42), Josephine (22), Klamath (58), Lake (24), Lane (171), Lincoln (18), Linn (148), Malheur (28), Marion (193), Morrow (8), Multnomah (275), Polk (33), Tillamook (17), Umatilla (93), Union (32), Wallowa (8), Wasco (24), Washington (161) and Yamhill (76).

Western States scientific safety review workgroup recommends Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine booster shot after six months for certain groups

The Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup today completed its review of the federal process and has recommended a booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine at least six months after their primary vaccination series for people older than 65 and people at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19.

“Everyone eligible who wants a booster will get one, and I’m committed to ensuring our most vulnerable Oregonians are protected from COVID-19, including those who are at higher risk due to systemic health and social inequities. I’d like to thank Oregonians for their patience as boosters become available while our hospitals and health care workers continue to respond to the ongoing Delta surge,” said Governor Kate Brown.

The workgroup provided its confirmation to the governors of California, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington today. Click here to view the news release from Governor Kate Brown’s office.

New graph shows running averages since beginning of vaccination effort

The overview tab of the Oregon COVID-19 Vaccine Daily Update dashboard includes tables which show the current 7-day running averages for total doses administered and people initiated. A new graph has been added to show these running averages over time since the beginning of the vaccination effort.

The running average for total doses administered accounts for all doses administered in Oregon, regardless of dose number (dose one versus dose two versus dose three, etc.). The running average for “people initiated” accounts for any person who received at least one shot of any COVID-19 vaccine.

The new graph will look like this example below:

Day Running Average

Summer has turned to fall, officially, but there’s still plenty of work for firefighters to do on several large wildfires, some of which have been burning for nearly two months. As of Sunday, there are still two large uncontained fires in Washington and six large uncontained fires and complexes in Oregon.

The Bull Complex Fire, sparked by lightning in early August 12 miles northeast of Detroit, has burned nearly 25,000 acres and is 20% contained, with 346 personnel still on scene as of Sunday. It’s hoped the fire can be fully contained by Oct. 30.

The Jack Fire, a human-caused blaze that was spotted on July 5 along Highway 138, has burned about 24,000 acres and has 61% of its perimeter contained.

The Cougar Peak Fire is currently burning approximately 15 miles northwest of Lakeview, Oregon. The Incident Command Post at the Lakeview Fairgrounds is closed to all but essential personnel to help ensure the health and safety of community members and firefighters. SIZE: 91,730 acres – CONTAINMENT: 65% – CAUSE: Undetermined

Fire season is not over! Please do all you can to prevent wildland fires.   

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Oregon’s New Gun Safety Law Now in Effect

A new Oregon gun safety law passed in the 2021 session took effect this weekend.


Senate Bill 554 took effect Saturday, September 25, 2021, as the 91st day after the session’s adjournment, signed into law by Oregon Governor Kate Brown. The law allows the state capitol, airports, schools, and universities to prohibit firearms and require firearms to be securely stored when not in use to avoid unintentional shootings and gun suicides.

The original measure, “Authorizes city, county, metropolitan service district, port operating commercial airport, school district, college or university to adopt ordinance or policy limiting or precluding affirmative defense for possession of firearms in public buildings by concealed handgun licensees.”

It modifies the definition of “public building,” for purposes of crime of possession of a weapon in a public building to include certain airport areas, buildings owned or controlled by public bodies and real property owned by college or university.

Gun safety advocates, such as Everytown, highlight that SB 554 “will require that firearms be securely stored and locked when not in use: Research shows secure storage legislation can prevent unintentional shootings and gun suicides. Right now, over 80 percent of gun deaths are gun suicides in Oregon. September marks Suicide Prevention Awareness Month.”

Oregon Employment Department Labor Market Information

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More than 94,000 unemployed Oregonians lost their weekly benefits this month when multiple federal pandemic aid programs expired at the same time. That’s 80% of all the people who had been receiving assistance prior to the Labor Day cutoff, according to data from the Oregon Employment Department.

There are now just 24,000 Oregonians receiving unemployment assistance, even fewer than the weeks before the pandemic when the state’s jobless rate was at a historic low.

Some business organizations hope the aid cutoff will push more people into the workforce, easing the labor shortage that is plaguing Oregon and the entire country.

But the number of Oregonians receiving jobless benefits had been in steep decline all year, and the number of job vacancies kept climbing anyway. The programs had been paying out $93 million a week in Oregon at the end of August, when the expanded benefits were still in place. That tally fell to just $29 million last week. https://www.qualityinfo.org/

OSP Troopers initiates a High-Risk traffic stop after Road Rage Incident in Lane County

On September 23, 2021, at approximately 4:09 P.M., members of the Oregon State Police Springfield Area Command received a menacing complaint on I-5, near milepost 189.  Troopers were advised that two vehicles were involved in a road rage incident and one of the motorists pointed a firearm at the victim vehicle during the incident.  Troopers were able to stop the vehicle on I-5 NB near milepost 205, where a high-risk stop was initiated.   The subject was taken into custody without incident.

The driver was identified as Roger Dale Brown Jr. (39) from Gresham, Oregon. The driver was found to be a convicted felon.  During a search of the vehicle, Troopers located four more weapons, two 45cal semi-auto pistols, a 308cal SCAR Assault rifle, and a pistol style AK47 with a 75-round drum.  

All weapons were loaded with bullets in the chambers and a heavy ballistic vest with rifle-rated plates in it.  There was also a seizure of approximately $60,000.  The suspect was ultimately arrested and transported to Lane County Jail where he was lodged for Menacing, Unlawful Use of a Firearm, Felon in Possession of a Firearm (X5), Felon in Possession of Body Armor, and Unlawful Possession of a Firearm. Oregon State Police

Myrtle Point Woman Killed In Dog Attack

A Myrtle Point woman, Amber LaBelle, was killed in a dog attack Friday.

The incident happened on the 1700 block of Spruce Street where LaBelle lived with her two daughters.

Neighbor April Shaw said she heard screaming and rushed to help out. Shaw said LaBelle’s daughter ran outside yelling for someone to call 911 and it was a bloody scene.

“It was a pretty bad scene,” said Shaw. “We had another neighbor holding a dog back, a pretty big dog, and I just ran past the dog and ran straight to Amber. She was unresponsive at the time.”

Neighbors said LaBelle was life-flighted to Riverbend Hospital in Springfield where she went into surgery. From there, she was reportedly put on life support and given 24 hours to live. Unfortunately, LaBelle passed away the next morning at 4 a.m.

Neighbors also said LaBelle did not own the dog. They also said the dog was a grey pit bull. However, Myrtle Police said the dog was known to LaBelle and it was not a random attack.

“At this point, an investigation has been launched and is ongoing,” said Myrtle Police Chief Scott Robinson.

Three Suspects Arrested in Medford Homicide Investigation

On September 25th, 2021 at about 11:33 a.m., officers were dispatched to an apartment in the 800 block of Royal Avenue for a possible assault, with the suspect being armed with a firearm. Officers located the residence and made contact with a suspect, later identified as Brycen Scofield, in the backyard of the residence. Scofield ran back inside the home, but eventually came out when officers called him on the phone. He was detained without further incident.

Officers searched the apartment and found a deceased male inside. The victim appeared to have suffered homicidal violence. The suspect(s) made efforts to conceal the victim and clean up the scene.

Detectives assumed the investigation and determined three suspects were involved in the murder, after inviting the victim over earlier in the day, to rob him of personal property. Detectives believe the victim was murdered with blunt force objects. Firearms were recovered from the scene. An autopsy will be conducted in the near future. 

The victim was identified as Aaron Stitt, 24 years old, next of kin have been notified.

All three suspects were located and lodged on the same charges.  – Murder 2nd Degree  – Robbery 1st Degree  – Abuse of a Corpse 2nd Degree  – Unlawful Use of a Weapon  – Tampering with Evidence —

No bail.  The scene was turned over to Medford Police detectives who are being assisted by the Oregon State Police Crime Lab. Medford Police Dept. 

Oregon Attorney Warns of Fake Job Postings

Recently, Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum learned about several fake job postings targeting individuals interested in applying for jobs at the Oregon Department of Justice.

The fake job listings are created by scraping legitimate websites, such as LinkedIn, and then substituting false information and embedding links which lead to website(s) that are used to harvest personally identifiable information.

By posing as a legitimate recruitment site, the scammers then collect personally identifiable information from unsuspecting individuals which is then sold.

Please be extra cautious if you receive unsolicited job announcements. To protect yourself from fake job scams, review these tips:

1. Conduct a web search of the hiring company using the company name only. Results that return multiple websites for the same company (abccompany.com and abccompanyllc.com) may indicate fraudulent job listings.

2. Legitimate companies will ask for personally identifiable information and bank account information for payroll purposes after hiring employees. This information is safer to give in-person. If in-person contact is not possible, a video call with the potential employer can confirm identity, especially if the company has a directory against which to compare employee photos.

3. Never send money to someone you meet online, especially by wire transfer.

4. Never provide credit card information to an employer.

5. Never provide bank account information to employers without verifying their identity.

6. Do not accept any job offers that ask you to use your own bank account to transfer their money. A legitimate company will not ask you to do this.

7. Never share your Social Security number or other personal identifiable information that can be used to access your accounts with someone who does not need to know this information.

8. Before entering personal identifiable information online, make sure the website is secure by looking at the address bar. The address should begin with [https://]https://, not [http://]http://.

For information on how to avoid phishing scams, review the tips in this handy one pager, https://www.doj.state.or.us/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/DOJ-Do_Not_Click-Flyer.pdf

And, if you have been a victim of a fake job listing, please file a complaint online at www.oregonconsumer.gov or call the Oregon Attorney General’s Consumer Hotline at 1-877-877-9393.

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