The latest news stories across the state of Oregon from the digital home of the Oregon coastal cities, OregonBeachMagazine.com
Friday, November 17, 2023
Oregon Beach Weather
Active Weather Alerts
…SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 10 AM TO 7 PM PST SATURDAY…
…GALE WATCH IN EFFECT FROM SATURDAY EVENING THROUGH SUNDAY MORNING…
* WHAT…Southwest winds 20 to 30 kt with gusts up to 35 kt and seas 6 to 9 ft at 10 seconds. Beginning Saturday evening, winds become west 25 to 35 kt with gusts up to 40 kt and seas 17 to 22 ft at 10 seconds possible.
* WHERE…All southern Oregon coastal waters.
* WHEN…The Small Craft Advisory is in effect from 10 AM to 7 PM PST Saturday, followed by a Gale Watch Saturday evening through Sunday morning.
* IMPACTS…Strong winds and very steep seas could capsize or damage vessels. Low visibility conditions are possible.
* View the hazard area in detail at https://go.usa.gov/x6hks
Lincoln City Traffic Stop Leads To Arrest And Seizure Of Drugs
On Wednesday, November 15, 2023 at about 10:47 AM, Lincoln City Police conducted a traffic stop in the 4600 block of SE Hwy 101 on a silver 2000 Honda Accord for an observed traffic violation. The officer made contact with the driver, who was identified by Oregon Identification Card as 45-year-old Adam Clayton Davis of Salem, Oregon. During the contact, the officer determined that Davis’ Oregon driver’s license was suspended, he had no insurance, and there was an active misdemeanor warrant for his arrest issued out of the Dallas Municipal Court for Failing To Appear on a Traffic Offense. The warrant was confirmed and Davis was taken into custody.
An inventory of the vehicle prior to towing was conducted, at which time the officer located a plastic baggy containing a white crystal-like substance believed to be methamphetamine. The vehicle was subsequently seized under a seizure warrant and transported back to the police department. An additional search warrant was obtained to search the vehicle, which yielded a large amount of a white crystal-like substance believed to be methamphetamine, along with other drug paraphernalia that was seized. A preliminary test of the white crystal substance indicated a presumptive positive indication for methamphetamine.
Davis was transported to the Lincoln County Jail and lodged on the misdemeanor warrant, as well as the following charges: Unlawful Possession of Methamphetamine with Commercial Drug Factors, and Unlawful Manufacture of Methamphetamine. Davis was also cited for driving with a suspended license and driving uninsured.
This case is a great example of how proactive police work and traffic enforcement efforts help to reduce criminal activity in our community.
Incident At Port Westward Narrowly Avoids Oil Spill
A vessel that strayed from its course while traveling upriver and collided with the Beaver Dock near Clatskanie, causing damage to the downriver approach and infrastructure, which nearly resulted in the spill of thousands of gallons of oil into the Columbia River.
The Port of Columbia County released the following information in response to the event on Nov. 13:
“The morning of Nov. 12, a vessel (unaffiliated with Port Westward users) was underway, traveling upriver. The vessel navigated off course and collided with the Beaver Dock causing damage to the downriver approach and infrastructure. At this time there are no known injuries or spills. The site has been secured with booming out of precaution.”
“The Port worked in close collaboration with Port Westward dock users, who responded immediately, to make all notifications per the facility Incident Response Plan. U.S. Coast Guard and other agencies have been onsite. We are currently working with an engineer to assess the extent of the damage and necessary repairs and hope to have the dock back in operation as soon as possible.”
Input from the DEQ — The incident, which took place on the morning of Nov. 12, saw a tugboat collide with the dock. The Chief spoke with the Communications Manager for the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), Lauren Wirtis, for an update on the situation.
“There is a pipe that goes from Columbia Pacific Bio Refinery (CPBR) out along that dock. It got pretty significantly damaged but fortunately did not break, and in DEQ’s and U.S. Coast Guard’s time monitoring the incident, we haven’t seen any oil on the water, which is really great news,” Wirtis said.
The pipe is connected to a tank that holds 25,000 gallons of renewable diesel, according to Wirtis. The pipe transfers oil from the refinery to ships on the dock. Because the valve that connects the tank to the pipe was already closed, Wirtis said that the maximum amount of oil that could have spilled was 9,450 gallons.
“Some of the valves were already closed, so it wouldn’t have been possible for more than 9,450 to spill,” Wirtis said. “And then CPBR kept closing the valves to reduce the potential to spill.”
The 9,450 gallons refers to the amount that was in the pipe at the time of the collision. In order to minimize the threat of oil leaking from the pipe, CPBR sent out consultants with a “spud barge” to “pull the remaining oil out of the pipe,” according to Wirtis.
Wirtis said that CPBR acted quickly to take steps to mitigate the risk of a spill. While they acted rapidly in the aftermath of the event, there was no ability to prevent the tugboat from actually hitting the dock. If the pipe had broken, it would have resulted in “thousands of gallons of oil in the river.”
Preparing for emergencies
Wirtis said that CPBR participates in “spill drills” in collaboration with the DEQ to best implement “spill response” plans. The drills are “essentially a tabletop exercise” where participants can practice what to do in the event of an emergency.
“What I can tell you about that is there are a lot of really sensitive environmental areas on the Columbia River, and the water moves really fast. So, that means oil travels really quickly, and can impact all of these sensitive environmental and cultural resources,” Wirtis said. “So, it can, very quickly, have a really large impact.”
Wirtis said that events like this are why they do the spill response drills. She said that she thought that everyone “played their role really well” in response to the incident.
“When things happen, or get really close to happening, we’re able to respond in a timely manner to minimize the impact on the environment. That worked really well. We’re also really fortunate with what happened with the pipe,” Wirtis said.
The Chief reached out to the Port of Columbia County and CPBR owners Global Partners LP for comment on the incident. Both referred to the statement on the Port of Columbia County website. (SOURCE)
Man Arrested For Shooting Deer Near Kirtis Park
On Saturday, October 28, 2023 at around 10:45 PM, the Lincoln City Police received reports of several shots being fired in the area of Kirtsis Park on NE 22nd St. An Officer responded to the area and upon arrival located a vehicle occupied by 21-year-old Randall Brooks III, of Grand Ronde. Near the vehicle was a freshly deceased buck deer, but the deer’s cause of death was not immediately apparent to the officer. After obtaining a statement from Brooks, who denied any involvement or knowledge of the animal’s death, he was initially released from the scene.
After Brooks departed, a more thorough inspection of the deceased deer was completed and during that inspection, some small caliber bullet wounds were located on the animal. Officers then canvassed the park and located evidence that directly implicated Brooks to the killing of the deer.
The vehicle occupied by Brooks was subsequently stopped by Grand Ronde Tribal Police. The Lincoln City Police seized the vehicle and obtained a search warrant for it. During the search, a 9 mm pistol was located in the vehicle, as well as other evidence connecting Brooks to the crime. Brooks was subsequently arrested on October 31, 2023 and transported to the Lincoln County Jail where he was lodged on charges of Unlawful Use of a Weapon and Unlawful Taking of Wildlife.
An Oregon State Police Game Trooper was contacted during the incident and the contact information for a person who could come salvage the deceased deer was obtained. The Lincoln City Police would like to thank the Grand Ronde Tribal Police for their assistance with this case.
Coos County jury found Johnny Ray Bohannon guilty for the June 8 murder of Rebecca Reaves in Coos Bay
Bohannon was automatically sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole before serving 25 years. District Attorney R. Paul Frasier and Deputy District Attorney John Blanc tried the case.
Bohannon has been in the Coos County Jail since June 9 when he was arrested for the bludgeoning murder of Reaves.
In that case, Coos Bay police responded to a home on Idaho Drive after a 9-1-1 caller reported a deceased woman in the home. Officers found Reaves in her home, with Police Chief Chris Chapanar saying her killing was a result of “homicidal violence.”
The Coos County Major Crimes Team was activated to investigate the murder, and officers quickly determined Bohannon was a suspect.
Less than 24 hours after Reaves was found dead, Bohannon was arrested at the Coos Bay Police Department and was transferred to the county jail, where he has been held since.
With the guilty verdict and sentencing, Bohannon will soon be transferred to the custody of the Oregon Department of Correction to begin serving his sentence.
A criminal background check shows before the murder, Bohannon has a lengthy criminal record dating back to 2005, when he was placed on probation on an assault charge.
Since then, Bohannon has faced multiple charges, mostly in Coos and Douglas counties. Some of the charges include harassment, assault, recklessly endangering another person, criminal mischief, burglary, possession of methamphetamines and unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon.
Tillamook State Forest gets a new trail bridge thanks to South Fork Forest Camp work crews
Tillamook, Ore.— This fall 30 adults in custody (AICs) from South Fork Forest Camp helped build a bridge on the newest section of the Wilson River Trail in the Tillamook State Forest. The bridge connects the eastern end of Wilson River trail to Drift Creek trailhead.
Once opened, this will create a hiking experience for trail users that connects over 30 miles of non-motorized trails in the Tillamook State Forest. There are still about four miles for trails to build before this section can open. “The goal is to have the trail and bridge open to the public in the fall of 2024,” said Joe Offer, ODF’s Recreation Program Manager.
Since 1951, Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) has partnered with Oregon Department of Corrections (DOC) in jointly operating South Fork Forest Camp, which houses AICs who assist in performing a variety of key forest management functions which include:
- fire suppression
- pre-commercial thinning
- maintenance of recreation buildings
- forest road improvement
- invasive weed removal and riparian rehabilitation
- making wooden signs for all state forests and campgrounds.
This interagency partnership allows AICs to gain valuable work skills while supporting ODF’s management of state forests and statewide fire suppression efforts.
South Fork Forest Camp can house up to 200 AICs and is located on state forest land about 28 miles east of Tillamook, OR.
Learn more about the South Fork Forest Camp here.
Learn more about Oregon’s state forests here.
Temporary Closure of Millicoma Marsh Trail Due to Sanitary Sewer Leak
On November 13, 2023, a local resident reported a liquid leak on the Millicoma Marsh Trail in Coos Bay. City crews responded immediately, finding a leak in the force main. They turned it off for repair. The overflow, less than 10 gallons, was contained quickly.
There was no contamination of waterways because the city cleaned up the discharged liquid immediately. The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality and the Oregon Emergency Response System were notified.
The trail is temporarily closed for repair. For more information, contact the Coos Bay Public Works Department.(SOURCE)
Coastal Voices Presents December Concert Series
Coastal Voices (CV) provides a musical start to the month of December in Lincoln County with a series of concerts.
3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2 at Chapel by the Sea in Lincoln City.3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 3 at Yachats Community Presbyterian Church in Yachats.3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 9 at the Newport Performing Arts Center.
Since 1998, the former Central Coast Chorale, now Coastal Voices, has enriched the holiday season on the Central Oregon Coast by performing sacred and secular music carefully selected by founder and director emerita Dr. Mary Lee Scoville.
Coastal Voices Artistic Director Rhodd Caldwell has chosen to honor that 25-year legacy in a program titled “Holiday Highlights – Our Favorites from 25 Years!”
“I culled these songs from our extensive library after consulting with long-time choir members and fans, asking them for their favorites,” Caldwell said.
The concert begins with “This Little Light of Mine” and ends with a medley from the 1954 musical movie “White Christmas.” In between, CV will present an eclectic musical roster. SoundWaves, a small ensemble drawn from the choir, will perform several numbers.
“However you choose to celebrate these December holidays, we have a song for you,” Caldwell said. “Come to hear madrigals, traditional carols, poetry set to music, familiar popular Christmas pieces, and medieval and modern sacred selections. Come prepared to sing as well!”
There will be a short sing-along with the audience following the intermission. Words to familiar holiday favorites will be printed in the program. An instrumental ensemble will accompany Coastal Voices on selected pieces at the Newport performance.
As a seasonal fundraiser, three concert-themed gift baskets will be raffled off at each venue.
The organization is also seeking badly needed storage space for the risers in use at each performance. Please call 541-283-6295 with donations or suggestions.
Tickets cost $20 per person, 18 and older, at the Dec. 2 and 3 performances; $25 at the Dec. 9 performance, 17 and under admitted free. Buy tickets at the door or online at coastal-voices.org.
Visit coastal-voices.org for more information about the group, including how to join, or to make donations. (SOURCE)
Florence Woman Uses Winnings To Support Three Rivers Casino’s Toy And Food Drive And Urges Others To Help Too
A Florence woman who has made it her mission to make sure all children have a toy for Christmas is asking others to help out with the Three Rivers Casino’s 19th annual Toy and Food Drive.
Liberty Kommer said that she sets aside a portion of her winnings for a fund she’s earmarked for the annual Christmas toy drive. She said that part of the joy is in picking out toys for the drive, as she picks out toys she would have liked to have when she was growing up. Kommer said that she never had a Christmas growing up and doesn’t want other children to go through the same thing. Last year, Kommer donated a truckload of bicycles and helmets.
The casino has collected thousands of toys over nearly two decades to be given to Toys for Tots and handed out. The drive runs through December 6 and new, unwrapped toys worth at least five dollars can be dropped off at the casino. Donors can also drop off three cans of food in exchange for five dollars in free play at the casino. More information on the drive can be found on the Three Rivers Casino’s website.
Two beach campgrounds update their closure schedules for 2023/2024
Two popular coastal campgrounds will temporarily close through spring/summer 2024 due to construction.
Bullards Beach campground, two miles north of Bandon, closed earlier this year for about a month while construction preparation work was completed. The construction schedule changed, which allows the park to reopen temporarily for camping Nov. 13 through Jan. 1, 2024. The campground will close again Jan. 2 through May 22, 2024, to complete the project.
Beverly Beach, seven miles north of Newport, will be closed through July 1, 2024 for construction, which is an extension of the original project schedule.
Oregon Parks and Recreation Department understands that it takes time to plan a trip and wants to give potential visitors a chance to make other plans. OPRD knows that these campgrounds are well loved places that will be missed this winter, spring and some of the summer season. The closures will allow crews to improve the parks for seasons to come.
- Beverly Beach campgrounds will upgrade the park and campground power and water lines as part of the Go Bond projects, which include improvements at 11 parks around the state.
- Bullards Beach campgrounds will upgrade its main sewer line. The park will be closed through May 22, 2024, which is an extension of the original closure. The extension will impact existing reservations from March 15 through May 22. Campers are being notified and provided with full refunds.
During the campground closure at Bullards Beach, there will be some areas of the park that visitors can still enjoy. The day use area, boat ramp, lighthouse and horse camp will remain open.
All facilities will be closed at Beverly Beach through July 1.
“While we’re disappointed to extend the construction period later into the season, we appreciate the support as we complete these important infrastructure improvements” said Bullards Beach Park Manager Nick Schoeppner.
“In the meantime, we are excited to welcome folks back to the campground at Bullards Beach this fall and winter season. It’s a great time to visit and enjoy less crowded beaches and trails and explore the community of Bandon and the surrounding area.”
Governor Kotek Issues Statement in Response to Revenue Forecast
Governor Tina Kotek issued a statement in response to the quarterly revenue forecast:
“Oregon’s economy is continuing to stabilize, and that is good news for working families and businesses across our state. To keep our economy moving in the right direction, we need to address core issues for Oregonians. Housing production, the addiction crisis, and access to child care are at the top of the list. I look forward to working with legislators in the upcoming 2024 session to make progress for Oregonians on these issues and more.”
Union Makes Concession To Withdraw Proposal For Capping Class Sizes As Portland Teacher Strike Continues
The main issues involve pay, more planning time and smaller class sizes.
The Portland Association of Teachers has removed class size caps — one of the most expensive, publicly popular and politically contentious elements of their asks — from their most recent bargaining proposal submitted Thursday.
The major concession from the union potentially paves the way for a settlement with the school district and an end to a strike that had already cost students 10 days of school and their teachers 12 days of pay as of Thursday. District officials say until the strike is over, it is difficult to determine exactly how many days students will need to make up to meet state requirements.
School will not reopen until Monday, Nov. 27 at the earliest, district officials announced Thursday and parent-teacher conferences that were scheduled for next week have been indefinitely postponed.
Union leaders had pushed hard for class size caps, telling members as recently as Wednesday night that the two sides remained “far apart” on the issue.
But the phrase “class size cap” was struck-through in the union’s latest proposal on workload issues Thursday afternoon. Instead, the Portland Association of Teachers has proposed a significant increase in the overage pay that teachers receive when the number of students in their classroom, or in their caseload, exceeds a certain threshold.
For example, in the current contract, a kindergarten teacher with more than 24 students in their class gets a 3% increase in their base salary for every student above that number. Under the proposal the union gave the district Thursday, that would increase to a 5% increase for the first student and a 10% increase for each additional student in elementary school, along with similar increases for every five students added at the middle and high school levels.
The threshold that triggers overage pay is 26 students at grades 1-3, and 28 students at grades 4-5 and grade 6 in K-8 schools. At the middle school level, teachers may lead up to 150 students before overage pay kicks in, while the high school caseload threshold is set at 160.
Currently, the district spends between $2 and $3 million a year on overage pay. It wasn’t immediately clear Thursday how much more in overage pay the district would have to spend under the union’s proposal, since they did not include cost estimates. District budget analysts were crunching numbers to figure out the cost Thursday evening, according to district spokesperson Will Howell.
Declining enrollment levels, driven by a lower birth rate, rising home prices and pandemic flight to home-school and private school options, have complicated the class size picture in recent years. In some schools, they’ve led to class sizes well below the thresholds. In others, so many students have departed that grade levels that could once support — for example — three classes each with 23 students now have two classes with over 30 students in each.
Fulfilling the class size and caseload caps that the union had requested in the last round of proposals would have cost the district about $100 million over two years, starting with the 2024-2025 school year, and required hiring more than 350 educators, according to the district’s analysis.
District negotiators and the school board have consistently said they oppose hard class size caps, both because of the financial implications and because they want to retain the flexibility to keep class sizes smallest at high needs, high poverty schools.
But in their most recent counter-proposal Wednesday, they offered to form a joint committee with teachers to focus on the class size issue, which could include conversations about redrawing attendance boundaries to balance enrollment in schools around the city.
The proposal the union put forth Thursday retains language that would allow for the formation of a class size committee at each school, on an as-needed basis. Those committees would consist of a union representative, the affected classroom teacher, the principal, an assistant superintendent or their proxy and two parents, appointed by either the PTA or, if there is not one, by the principal and by the building’s union representative.
The school-based class size committee would convene to discuss potential solutions for classrooms over the threshold, like adding support from reading specialists.
The state teachers union has tried for several years, without success, to get lawmakers to agree to make class size caps a mandatory topic of bargaining. They’ve met opposition from advocacy groups that represent school boards and superintendents. (SOURCE)
Sheriff’s Office Patrol Deputies Track Down and Arrest California Fugitive in Remote Forest Camp Near Trail
JCSO Case 23-6529 — TRAIL, Ore. – Jackson County Sheriff’s Office (JCSO) Patrol deputies tracked down and arrested a fugitive wanted out of California Tuesday. JCSO Patrol located and arrested Tyler Thomas Burrow, 24, on a Trinity County, California fugitive Warrant around 2:35 p.m. in a remote forest camp northeast of Trail.
He is lodged at the Jackson County Jail awaiting extradition back to California. Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office detectives are in Jackson County doing follow-up investigations. There is no more information for release at this time. Further information will come from the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office.
Connected to Missing Woman’s case:
FBI Portland Encourages Oregonians to Report Federal Hate Crimes
The Portland Division of the FBI is joining the FBI’s nationwide efforts to increase awareness about hate crimes and encourage reporting of hate incidents with advertising campaign across Oregon. The campaign, which began on November 6, includes billboards in Medford, Eugene, Corvallis, as well as static and digital displays reaching thousands of passengers daily at Portland International Airport.
Hate crimes are the highest priority of the FBI’s civil rights program because of the devastating impact they have on families and communities. The FBI defines a hate crime as a criminal offense against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an offender’s bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender, or gender identity.
The FBI is the lead investigative agency for criminal violations of federal civil rights statutes and works closely with local, state, tribal, and other federal law enforcement partners in many of these cases, even when federal charges are not pursued.
“Violent acts motivated by hate are unacceptable in our communities. Sadly though, the amount of hate crimes reported here in Oregon has doubled from what it was just five years ago. Even still, the vast majority of these crimes are going underreported and that needs to change. That’s why we are spreading the word with this campaign,” said Kieran L. Ramsey, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Portland Field Office. “The FBI serves to safeguard against hate and violence, but we can only do so if we know about any such threats or violent actions. Every person has the right to live without fear of violence or intimidation. The FBI and our law enforcement partners will continue to hold those accountable whose hate-filled aggression violates the civil rights of others.”
This Oregon effort ties with a national FBI awareness campaign that hopes to drive education efforts and increase reporting: “Protecting Our Communities Together: Report Hate Crimes”.
2022 Hate Crime Statistics — The FBI recently released the 2022 Hate Crime Reportas part of its Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program. In Oregon, 212 of 236 agencies voluntarily submitted data for this current 2022 report. The UCR program specifically defines a hate crime as a criminal offense motivated, in whole or in part, by the offender’s bias or biases against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender, or gender identity. In Oregon, there were 290 single bias incidents reported in 2022, and 287 single bias incidents reported in 2021. In Oregon, there were 428 reported victims in 2022, and 377 reported victims in 2021. (Note: These victim numbers include both single bias and multiple bias incidents.) Nationally, there were over 11,000 single-bias hate crime incidents involving 13,278 victims and 346 multiple-bias hate crime incidents that involved 433 victims. In 2022, the top three bias categories in single-bias incidents were race/ethnicity/ancestry, religion, and sexual-orientation. The top bias types within those bias categories by volume of reported hate crime incidents is Anti-Black or African American for race/ethnicity/ancestry bias, Anti-Jewish for religious bias, and Anti-Gay (male) for sexual-orientation bias.
Key Takeaways from 2022 Hate Crimes Report — The bias motivator in about 60% of Oregon incidents were race/ethnicity/ancestry. Victims perceived as Black were the racial group targeted most frequently. Religion was the motivator in about 10% of cases. Victims perceived as Jewish were the religious group targeted most frequently. Sexual orientation was the motivator in about 18% of reported Oregon incidents. Raw UCR reporting is available on FBI.gov and through the FBI’s Crime Data Explorer.
FBI Role in Investigating Hate Crimes — There are a number of federal laws that give the FBI the ability to investigate hate crimes. Those laws generally require some kind of criminal act AND a finding that the person committing the act did so because he/she was motivated by bias. The criminal act can include offenses such as murder, assault, arson, and it generally requires the use or threat of force or violence. For an incident to qualify as a federal hate crime, the subject(s) must have acted wholly or in part based on the victim’s actual or perceived status. This is generally consistent with state law. Under federal law, bias motivators include:
- National origin
- Gender identity
- Sexual orientation
Anyone who has information about or believes they are a victim of a federal hate crime should contact the FBI by phone at 1-800-CALL-FBI or online
DEA Medford, Grants Pass Police and Oregon State Police Dismantle Fentanyl and Methamphetamine Trafficking Ring in Southern Oregon
GRANTS PASS, Ore.- Today the DEA Seattle Field Division, along with our partners at the Grants Pass Police Department and Oregon State Police, are announcing the takedown of a drug and firearm trafficking ring in Southern Oregon on Tuesday. The investigation started about 18 months ago and resulted with the execution of 9 search warrants in and around Grants Pass, Oregon with 24 arrests, 37 firearms seized, as well as large quantities of fentanyl and methamphetamine.
Even before Tuesday’s enforcement action, the team had already seized 40 pounds of methamphetamine and more than nine pounds of fentanyl. Very small amounts of fentanyl-just two milligrams-can be deadly. The fentanyl seized had the potential to yield more than 144,000 deadly doses. These numbers will increase as the evidence collected in the search warrants is processed.
In Oregon, the DEA has seized more than 3.84 million deadly doses of fentanyl so far this year, which is double the amount seized all of last year.
“This case once again highlights DEA’s commitment to Southern Oregon and the strength of our partnerships throughout the region,” said David F. Reames, Special Agent in Charge, DEA Seattle Field Division. “The drug and weapons seizures made in this cooperative effort between Federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies made communities in Southern Oregon safer today.”
This takedown was made possible because of the cooperative efforts of DEA and our five offices throughout Oregon (Medford, Bend, Eugene, Salem and Portland) and our many law enforcement partners in Southern and Central Oregon, including Grants Pass Police, Oregon State Police, Central Point Police Department, Rogue Area Drug Enforcement (RADE), Central Oregon Drug Enforcement (CODE), Douglas County Interagency Narcotics Team (DINT), and Basin Interagency Narcotics Enforcement Team (BINET), and the Interagency Marijuana Enforcement Team (IMET).
This case is being prosecuted by the Josephine County District Attorney.
Last year, 110,757 Americans were killed as a result of drug poisonings, 70 percent involved fentanyl and 30 percent involved methamphetamine, according to the CDC. DEA laboratory testing indicates seven out of every 10 pills seized by DEA contain a lethal dose of fentanyl. One Pill Can Kill | DEA.gov
Lead-contaminated WanaBana applesauce impacting children, families in Oregon
PORTLAND, Ore. – State and local health officials have identified multiple children in Oregon with elevated blood lead levels after they ate certain pouches of applesauce called WanaBana Apple Cinnamon Fruit Purée.
The elevated blood lead reports follow a safety and recall alert from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in late October warning parents and caregivers against buying or feeding the product to young children.
As of Nov. 15, local public health investigators have found a total of six cases of elevated blood lead levels in children who ate WanaBana Apple Cinnamon Fruit Purée. The children live in Lake, Lincoln, Multnomah and Washington counties. Some of the families learned about the FDA alert through local news and online media reports that prompted parents and caregivers to report possible exposure to health care providers.
WanaBana Apple Cinnamon Fruit Purée is distributed nationwide through retailers including Dollar Tree, Amazon and other online stores. Additionally, since the FDA alert Oct. 28, two other brands of applesauce products sold at Schnucks and Weis Markets have become subject to the recall, though they are not available in Oregon.
A collaborative investigation by state and local partners, FDA’s Coordinated Outbreak Response & Evaluation (CORE) Network, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is ongoing.
While WanaBana has agreed to voluntarily recall all WanaBana Apple Cinnamon Fruit Purée pouches regardless of their expiration dates, some people may have bought the product before the recall announcement. Families should check their homes and throw away any pouches they find.
“While lead is toxic for all people regardless of age, small children are especially at risk because they’re still growing and developing,” said Ryan Barker, Oregon Health Authority’s Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program coordinator. “Continued exposure over time can permanently damage their central nervous system, which may result in long-term health problems, such as learning disorders, impaired speech and brain damage.”
Signs of lead poisoning are not always easy to see and can be mistaken for other illnesses. Without a blood test, lead poisoning may go undiagnosed, especially since affected children often don’t look or act sick.
Possible signs of lead exposure and symptoms in children include:
- Tiredness or loss of energy.
- Reduced attention span.
- Irritability or crankiness.
- Poor appetite.
- Weight loss.
- Trouble sleeping.
- Aches or pains in stomach.
Parents and caregivers concerned about a child’s exposure to WanaBana Apple Cinnamon Fruit Purée should contact their health care provider to request a blood test.
More information on blood testing and lead can be found on the following pages:
- CDC’s Testing Children for Lead Poisoning
- Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Units Medical Management of Childhood Lead Exposure
- Oregon Health Authority’s Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program
Umpqua River Drowning Investigation – One man dead another victim missing
ROSEBURG, Ore. – One man is dead and a second victim is presumed drowned after an incident in the South Umpqua River on Monday.
On Monday, November 13, 2023, shortly after 1:00 pm, 9-1-1 dispatchers received a report of two men who were trying to cross the South Umpqua river on foot when they lost their footing and fell into the water near the 1000-block of Kendall Street in Roseburg. Witnesses who called 9-1-1 reported observing both men go under water and not resurface.
Responders from the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, Douglas County Fire District #2, Roseburg Police Department, Roseburg Fire Department and Umpqua Valley Ambulance arrived at the scene and began searching.
One of the male victims was located deceased on the riverbank. His identity is being withheld at this time pending next of kin notification. Divers from the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office attempted to locate the second victim, described as a male, but were unsuccessful after two days of searching. Efforts to locate the second victim are still ongoing.
The FBI is Offering a Reward of up to $25,000 for Information Leading to the Arrest and Conviction of the Individual(s) Responsible for Portland Triple Homicide
PORTLAND, OREGON – The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Portland Field Office and the Portland Police Bureau are asking for the public’s help in identifying the individual(s) responsible for the shooting deaths of 17-year-old Eskender Tamra, 19-year-old Babu Daudi, and 20-year-old Patrick Johnson.
On Saturday, March 25, 2023, Tamra, Daudi, and Johnson were shot and killed while traveling in a car on Foss Avenue near University Park in North Portland around 12:30pm. Based on the investigation to date, it appears that three individuals fired numerous gunshots at the victims’ vehicle, killing all three people inside.
The FBI is offering a reward of up to $25,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the individual(s) responsible for the murders of Tamra, Daudi and Johnson.
“Even as the victims tried to drive away, the suspects chased them and continued shooting in broad daylight. From inside their homes, neighbors heard dozens of gunshots ring out and found shell casings in their yards,” said Kieran L. Ramsey, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Portland Field Office. “We know there are people out there who know who did this. The shooters brought terror to this neighborhood and ripped apart three families. For this community and these families, we are asking for the public to come forward with any information.”
If you have any information concerning this case, please contact the FBI Portland Field Office at (503) 224-4181, your local FBI office, the nearest American Embassy or Consulate, or you can submit a tip online at tips.fbi.gov.
Oregon Division of Financial Regulation reminds people to be careful of gift card scams as holiday shopping season approaches
The 2023 holiday shopping season is here and the Oregon Division of Financial Regulation (DFR) is reminding people to watch out for financial scams that can target their pocketbook, particularly gift card scams.
Gift card scams often start with a call, text, email, or social media message. Scammers will say anything to get you to buy gift cards – such as Google Play, Apple, or Amazon cards – and hand over the card number and personal identification number (PIN) codes.
According to the Federal Trade Commission, here are some common tactics scammers use:
1. Scammers will say it is urgent. They will say to pay them right away or something terrible will happen. They don’t want you to have time to think about what they are saying or talk to someone you trust. Slow down. Don’t pay. It is a scam.
2. Scammers will tell you which gift card to buy (and where). They might say to put money on an eBay, Google Play, Target, or Apple gift card. They might send you to a specific store – often Walmart, Target, CVS, or Walgreens. Sometimes, they will tell you to buy cards at several stores, so cashiers will not get suspicious. The scammer also might stay on the phone with you while you go to the store and load money onto the card. If this happens to you, hang up. It is a scam.
3. Scammers will ask you for the gift card number and PIN. The card number and PIN on the back of the card lets scammers get the money you loaded onto the card — even if you still have the card itself. Slow down. Don’t give them those numbers or send them a photo of the card. It is a scam.
Scammers tell different stories to get you to buy gift cards so they can steal your money.
• Scammers say they are from the government. They say they are from the IRS, the Social Security Administration, or even the Federal Trade Commission. They say you have to pay taxes or a fine. However, government agencies will not contact you to demand immediate payment, and they never demand payment by gift card. It is a scam.
• Scammers say they are from tech support. They say they are from Microsoft or Apple and there is something wrong with your computer. They ask for remote access and say to pay them to get it fixed. Don’t give them access to your computer. It is a scam.
• Scammers say they are a friend or family member with an emergency. If the scammer uses voice cloning, they may even sound just like your loved one. They ask you to send money right away – but not to tell anyone. It is a scam. If you are worried, contact the friend or relative to check that everything is all right.
• Scammers say you have won a prize. But first, they tell you to pay fees or other charges with a gift card. It is a scam. No honest business or agency will ever make you buy a gift card to pay them for a prize. And did you even enter to win that prize?
• Scammers say they are from your utility company. They threaten to cut off your service if you don’t pay immediately. Utility companies don’t work that way. It is a scam.
• Scammers ask for money after they chat you up on a dating website. Romance scammers will make up any story to trick you into buying a gift card to send them money. Slow down. Never send money or gifts to anyone you have not met in person – even if they send you money first.
• Scammers send a check for way more than you expected. They tell you to deposit the check and give them the difference on a gift card. Don’t do it. It is a scam. That check will be fake and you will be out that money.
To help prevent yourself from getting scammed, DFR offers these reminders:
• Don’t answer unknown numbers – block unwanted calls and text messages.
• Don’t give personal identifying information to unsolicited calls, texts, or emails. Hang up, look up their number, and call them to verify.
• Be skeptical. Ask questions and be wary of offers “too good to be true.”
• Resist the pressure to act immediately. Scammers use urgency as a tool.
• Stop and talk to someone you trust. Talking about it can help you spot the scam.
• Never pay someone who insists you pay with a gift card, money transfer, or cryptocurrency.
Remember, if it is too good to be true, it probably is.
If you feel you may have been scammed, the division’s consumer advocates may be able to help. They can be reached at 1-888-877-4894 (toll-free) or email@example.com.
### About Oregon DFR: The Division of Financial Regulation is part of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, Oregon’s largest business regulatory and consumer protection agency. Visit dfr.oregon.gov and oregon.gov/dcbs.
Free parking at Oregon State Parks the day after Thanksgiving
Oregon Parks and Recreation Department invites Oregonians to head outside the day after Thanksgiving, Nov. 24.
Popularly known as “Green Friday,” the day after Thanksgiving has become a tradition for many families. State parks will once again waive day-use parking fees in the 24 parks that are open and charge for parking on that day.
“We’re proud to continue this tradition and offer everyone the chance to explore parks in the fall,” said Lisa Sumption, director of Oregon Parks and Recreation Department.
Parking is free year-round at almost all state parks; the waiver applies to the parks that charge $5 daily for parking. Fee parks include popular destinations such as Fort Stevens, Cape Lookout, Silver Falls, Champoeg, L.L. Stub Stewart, Smith Rock and Milo McIver. A complete list of parks that require day-use parking permits is available online at stateparks.oregon.gov (Fall Creek is listed, but closed for the season).
The fee waiver applies from open to close on Nov. 24, except at Shore Acres State Park, where it expires at 4 p.m. for the Holiday Lights event that runs Thanksgiving through New Year’s Eve.
Use #OregonStateParks and #OptOutside on social media to share your adventures.
Oregon Lottery Profits Return $900 Million to State
Salem, Ore. – The Oregon Lottery will return nearly $900 million to the state for the 2023 fiscal year – down slightly from the previous year due to an increase in operating costs. Unclaimed prizes for the year totaled $9 million and will also go back to the state.
The funding directly benefits state parks and natural habitats, public schools, veteran services, outdoor school, and economic development. Oregon Lottery is self-funded through the sale of games, not tax dollars, and voters and the Legislature designate where the money goes.
“Oregon Lottery’s success allows us to support programs that help our state thrive,” said Oregon Lottery Director Mike Wells. “We’re focused on running our operations as efficiently as possible to benefit the public programs Oregonians care about.”
Lottery players were lucky this year with payouts totaling nearly $16 billion for the year. With jackpot games climbing to record amounts, eight players took home prizes worth $1 million or more. Prizes big and small account for about 92% of the Lottery dollars played.
Sales commissions on Lottery games also support retailers, many of whom are small business owners. The 3,800 Lottery retailers across Oregon collectively earned more than $310 million this year.
Since 2016, Oregon Lottery has maintained the highest level of accreditation for responsible gambling from both the National Association of State and Provincial Lotteries/National Council on Problem Gambling and the World Lottery Association’s (WLA) Responsible Gambling programs. Oregon is one of only eight lotteries in the U.S. to reach this level by the WLA.
The Lottery’s financial year runs from July 1, 2022 to June 30, 2023. A final audited report will be posted to the Oregon Lottery’s website.
Since the Oregon Lottery began selling tickets on April 25, 1985, it has earned nearly $15.5 billion for economic development, public education, outdoor school, state parks, veteran services, and watershed enhancements. For more information on the Oregon Lottery visit www.oregonlottery.org.
How to get help with state medical, food, cash, and child care benefits and avoid potentially high call wait times at the ONE Customer Service Center
(Salem) – With the end of the COVID-19 federal public health emergency, the state is required to review eligibility for all 1.5 million Oregonians who have Oregon Health Plan (OHP) and other Medicaid benefits. These medical renewals combined with the unprecedented levels of people applying for and receiving medical, food, cash, and child care benefits, have led to a historically high number of callers to the ONE Customer Service Center and is impacting call wait times.
The Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS) is encouraging people in Oregon to use new alternate contact options given high call wait times at the ONE Customer Service Center. The ONE Customer Service Center provides phone support to people in Oregon calling to apply for or get help with their medical, food, cash, and child care benefits.
ODHS anticipates that wait times will remain high during open enrollment season for Medicare and the Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace. While people can apply for OHP any time of year, both open enrollment events increase awareness of and interest in applying for OHP.
“We know that many people in Oregon depend on us when they have questions about their medical, food, cash and child care benefits,” said Nathan Singer (he/him) director of the Oregon Eligibility Partnership at ODHS which manages the ONE Customer Service Center. “We are doing everything we can to provide the best customer service possible on our phones and in our offices. We encourage people to create or use their ONE Online account, the Oregon ONE Mobile app or online chat bot when possible.”
OHP members are encouraged to respond as quickly as possible after they receive a request for information to avoid any possible delays. The fastest way members can provide an update is by going to benefits.oregon.gov and creating or logging into their ONE Online account. People can also create an ONE Online account and upload documents through the Oregon ONE Mobile app.
The ONE Customer Service Center can be reached by phone at 1-800-699-9075, Monday to Friday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Call wait times are lowest in the morning between 7 and 8 a.m., especially on Tuesday mornings.
People are welcome to visit or call their local ODHS office with questions, find an office near you here.
The Aging and Disability Resource Connection of Oregon is also available to provide support at 1-855-673-2372 or in-person, find a local office at www.adrcoforegon.org.
There are many other ways people can get support and information about their medical, food, cash, and child care benefits:
- Online at: benefits.oregon.gov
- Through the free Oregon ONE Mobile app available on Apple and Android app stores
- Visiting or calling an office near you: Find an office.
- Older adults and people with disabilities can get help through Aging and Disability Resource Connection of Oregon at 1-855-673-2372 or www.adrcoforegon.org.
- In your language: Help in Your Language
- By mail at: ONE Customer Service Center, PO Box 14015, Salem, OR 97309
- By fax at: 503-378-5628
People also can seek free help with their medical benefits from a community partner. Find a community partner near you.
ODHS is committed to providing the best customer service and doing everything it can to support people who need help with their benefits in as timely way as possible, including:
- Creating an incident management team that is committed to ensuring we provide the best customer service possible by:
- Making as many staff as possible available to support people in Oregon who are contacting the ONE Customer Service Center for help with their benefits.
- Prioritizing any agency work like hiring, budget, training, or data analysis, that supports the ONE Customer Service Center.
- Ensuring workers have the best and latest information they need to support people contacting the ONE Customer Service Center.
- Bringing ODHS leaders together to problem solve and create short-, medium- and long-term solutions to meet our customer service goals.
- Launching Oregon ONE Mobile, an app in English and Spanish that allows people to manage benefits, respond to inquiries and get notifications. This free app is available on Apple and Android app stores.
- Adding a call back option to the ONE Customer Service Center, for some types of calls, so people don’t have to stay on hold when wait times are long.
- Sending text message reminders for critical matters such as appointments and key deadlines. People are now 1.25 times more likely to attend appointments and 1.7 times more likely to renew their cases on time since this was put in place.
- Adding a chat bot service assistant for people applying for or managing their benefits online.
- Emailing and texting people whose mail was returned to ask them to update their addresses so they can get important information about their benefits.
- Redesigning and adding a Spanish version of the benefits.oregon.gov website where people go to find information about applying for and managing their benefits.
- Adding 200 contracted staff to temporarily increase capacity in the ONE Customer Service Center.
- Making renewal notices easier to understand.
ODHS is committed to transparency. Dashboards with the latest wait times, customer service scores and medical renewal information are available online here.
About the Oregon Department of Human Services — The mission of ODHS is to help Oregonians in their own communities achieve wellbeing and independence through opportunities that protect, empower, respect choice and preserve dignity.
Oregon Food Bank Teams Up With Shari’s to Raise Donations and Educate About Hunger
Shari’s Restaurant is partnering with the Oregon Food Bank for an education campaign. They are working together to launch a series of public service announcements to educate the community about hunger and raise donations for the food bank.
– Shari’s Restaurants (“Shari’s”), one of the largest full-service community restaurant chains in the Pacific Northwest, today announced that it has partnered with Oregon Food Bank on an education campaign to raise awareness for the fight against hunger. Through the partnership, Shari’s and Oregon Food Bank will develop a series of public service announcements designed to tell the full story of hunger and the breadth of anti-hunger work and to mobilize local communities across the state to take action against food insecurity and its root causes.
Oregon Food Bank, which is a member of Feeding America®, seeks to provide access to nutritious food for all while building community power and working across systems and networks to eliminate hunger. From Oregon Food Bank’s 21 regional food banks, the organization distributes free food equitably across the Network in Oregon and SW Washington and advocates for policies and programs to address the root causes of hunger.
“Shari’s is a community-oriented, family-style restaurant at its core, and we recognize the importance of lending a helping hand to our neighbors in need,” said Sam Borgese, principal of Gather Holdings and owner of Shari’s. “We are proud to renew our partnership with Oregon Food Bank and to play a part in raising necessary awareness and funds in the critical fight against food insecurity.”
“We are so grateful to Shari‘s for joining Oregon Food Bank to spread the true story of hunger,” shared Oregon Food Bank President Susannah Morgan. “Distributing enough food today will not end hunger tomorrow. Together, we’re working to fundamentally shift common understanding of food insecurity, its root causes and the actions needed to end hunger for good.”
Shari’s first partnered with Oregon Food Bank alongside Sysco food distribution on a similar education campaign during the 2019 holiday season. The campaign raised approximately $13,500 to support Oregon Food Bank’s end-of-year efforts against hunger.
Give blood, celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the film “Elf”
Exclusive “Elf” + Red Cross socks for donors Nov. 10-30 — Portland, OR (Nov. 10, 2023) — For many, watching the classic holiday movie “Elf” has been a heartwarming tradition for 20 years. This November, the American Red Cross is encouraging people to add a new tradition as the holiday season begins: Spread cheer with a blood or platelet donation.
Donations are critical to the blood supply as the holiday season draws near – a time when blood donations often decline. Donors of all blood types are urged to give, especially type O blood donors and those giving platelets.
To celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the film “Elf,” and create holiday cheer, all who come to give Nov. 10-30 will receive an exclusive pair of “Elf” + Red Cross socks, while supplies last. For more details, visit RedCrossBlood.org/Elf.
It feels good to give a gift to someone else that truly means something. Those wishing to help patients receive lifesaving transfusions can book a blood or platelet donation appointment by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
How to donate blood — A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger must also meet certain height and weight requirements.
Amplify your impact − volunteer! — Another way to support the lifesaving mission of the Red Cross is to become a volunteer blood donor ambassador at Red Cross blood drives. Blood donor ambassadors help greet, check-in and thank blood donors to ensure they have a positive donation experience.
Volunteers can also serve as transportation specialists, playing a vital role in ensuring lifesaving blood products are delivered to nearby hospitals. For more information and to apply for either position, contact or visit redcross.org/volunteertoday.
About the American Red Cross: The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides comfort to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation’s blood and is the primary blood supplier to 65 hospitals throughout Washington and Oregon; teaches skills that save lives; distributes international humanitarian aid; and supports veterans, military members and their families. The Red Cross is a nonprofit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to deliver its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or CruzRojaAmericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.
“Elf” and all related characters and elements © & ™ New Line Productions, Inc.
83-year-old Clarence Edward Pitts walked away from his home in Bandon on Tuesday, January 31 at around 1:00 p.m. Pitts is described as:
- 6′ 00″
- 150 lbs
- Gray hair
- Brown eyes
- Last seen wearing an orange beanie, plaid jacket, tan pants and white shoes
- May have a walking cane
- Has dementia and PTSD
Pitts may be in a vehicle that was also found to be missing from the home:
- 1999 Toyota Van
- Oregon license plate: WYN 788
If you see Clarence or have any information pertaining to where he may be, please call the Coos County Sheriff’s Office Dispatch Center at 541-396-2106 or the Bandon Police Department at 541-347-3189.
Contact us: Info@OregonBeachMagazine.com