Oregon Beach News, Friday 3/24 – Thousands of Residents on the Oregon Coast Were Without Power Thursday, Port Of Coos Bay Aims To Become A Major Shipping Hub

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

Friday, March 24, 2023

Oregon Beach Weather

SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY ISSUED: 2:40 AM MAR. 24, 2023 – NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE

...SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 11 PM PDT SATURDAY...

* WHAT...Northwest winds 10 to 20 kt with gusts up to 25 kt and steep seas 14 to 15 ft. Seas diminish this afternoon, but remain steep at 10 to 12 ft through Saturday.

* WHERE...All areas.

* WHEN...Until 11 PM PDT Saturday.

* IMPACTS...Gusty winds and/or steep seas could capsize or damage smaller vessels.

* View the hazard area in detail at https://go.usa.gov/x6hks

Thousands of Residents on the Oregon Coast Were Without Power Thursday

As of 11:10 a.m., Pacific Power was reporting two separate outages in the Cannon Beach area that were leaving nearly 3,000 people without electricity. The outage was first reported around 10:30 a.m. and was resolved within several hours.

Tillamook People’s Utility District crews were also busy working multiple large outages north of Tillamook. In a release, the company said more than 8,000 residents living between Garibaldi and Manzanita were in the dark because the Pacific Power transmission line that supplies the area is down.

The utility companies blamed the outage on a damaged line. By 5 p.m., all coastal outages had been resolved.

The Port Of Coos Bay Aims To Become A Major Shipping Hub

Officials want to boost shipping and commerce at the southern Oregon Coast port

The Port of Coos Bay is the only shipping facility between San Francisco and Portland. Efforts are underway to expand its capacity and create what would be called the Pacific Coast Intermodal Port.

The Coos Bay-North Bend area has roughly 32,000 residents and hundreds of acres zoned for industrial development. Through a public-private partnership between the port and NorthPoint Development, advocates of the port expansion aim to develop a $1.8 billion intermodal facility, capable of moving freight using multiple modes of transportation.

“Our primary role is to facilitate and encourage economic development here in the region and for the state,” said Margaret Barber, director of external affairs and business development for the Port of Coos Bay.

Two tug boats approach a cargo ship in a body of water
Tug boats maneuver a cargo ship into place at the Port of Coos Bay in a still from a promotional video released by port authorities in 2018.Oregon International Port Of Coos Bay

Barber said one asset the port controls is the Coos Bay rail line, which it’s hoping to upgrade if it can obtain $700 million from the U.S. Transportation Department’s Mega Grant program. While the Port of Coos Bay was not chosen as a Mega Grant recipient last year, Barber said advocates of a port expansion already have lined up $35 million from the state of Oregon, a BUILD grant, and a Port Infrastructure and Development program.

“We’ve got nine tunnels along our rail lines. So we’ll be making those taller essentially, or dropping it down one way or the other, so that it can accommodate double-stack traffic, because that’s primarily how containers are moved now,” Barber said. “So we’re looking at—when this is fully up and running—moving about 1.2 million containers through the Port of Coos Bay every year.”

A blue and green train
A freight train with Coos Bay Rail Line arrives in West Eugene. Port of Coos Bay officials say once an intermodal facility is developed, they expect 12 trains a day will travel between the two cities.Brian Bull / KLCC

The Coos Bay Rail Line runs 134 miles and links the port with the national rail network in Eugene.

Barber said that moving product by rail is more eco-friendly than by semi-truck, and, she said, results in 75% less greenhouse gas emissions. An improved rail system could be used for more than international goods shipped from overseas, she added.

“The idea would be that we can capture a lot of export traffic as well,” she said. “Whether it’s agricultural products from the Midwest, or Oregon even, and move stuff back that way.”THANKS TO OUR SPONSOR:Become a Sponsor

Upgraded rail and port facilities could help Coos Bay and North Bend rebound from several recent setbacks. In 2019, the Coos Bay Georgia Pacific Mill shut down, and last year the Shutter Creek Correctional Institution in North Bend closed. The combined loss of those 220 jobs has created more urgency for the plans to upgrade the port, and that’s sparked attention from some politicians.

A map of Coos Bay pinpoints the location of the port. A computer graphic shows cargo ships docked next to containers. Text reads "Intermodal Terminal: The new intermodal terminal will be built on the North Spit on land owned by OIPCB"
A slide from an online PowerPoint presentation illustrates proposals for the Port of Coos Bay. Rogue Valley Area Commission On Transportation

“I would love to talk more about the Port of Coos Bay,” Val Hoyle, the Democratic representative for Oregon’s 4th Congressional District, said on a recent edition of KLCC’s “Oregon Rainmakers” podcast.

Holye, a member of the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, said the Port of Coos Bay is her top transportation priority, and she’s looking to have its channel dredged to a depth of 45 feet and a width of 450 feet to enable full-size container ships.

“With that, we will be able to reduce the supply chain congestion on the west by 10 to 12%,” said Hoyle. “And it will create both directly—and with ancillary services—about 9,000 jobs between Coos, Douglas, and Lane County.”

Among those also hoping for an improved facility is Lori Steele, executive director of the West Coast Seafood Processors Association. Steele told KLCC that this push is good news for processors and suppliers, at a time when the seafood industry is still recuperating from the COVID-19 pandemic and the loss of its Ukraine market.

“The Port of Coos Bay is really our largest international port and terminal,” said Steele. “And they are not only making efforts to make expansions and grow as an international shipping terminal, but they’re also making significant investments in the future of their fishing and seafood industry down there.”

There are undercurrents of dissent, however. The Biden administration and some environmentalists are eying the southern Oregon Coast for wind turbine developments. That’s caused concern for fishermen and other environmentalists.

Hoyle is hoping all these competing interests can be worked out.

“We feed the world out of the south coast,” she said. “And we want to make sure we allow people to fish, we allow whale migration to be not affected, and that we also move to a green energy source right there in the California current where there’s a lot of fish and there’s a lot of wind.”

Proponents of a port expansion say that if the rail line, navigation channel, and container terminal all come together, the Pacific Coast Intermodal Port will generate 3,500 construction jobs over a five-year period, and will lead to 12 trains a day running between the Coos Bay area and Eugene. https://www.opb.org/article/2023/03/24/port-of-coos-bay-expansion-intermodal-freight/

Salmon Harbor Marina Unveils New Automated Fee Machines

Douglas County Commissioners Tom Kress, Chris Boice, and Tim Freeman along with Douglas County’s Salmon Harbor Marina are excited to unveil and introduce automated fee machines at Salmon Harbor Marina in Winchester Bay.  The new automated fee machines will enhance the payment processes for launches, transient moorage, and dry camping.  There are three new automated fee machines, one at the east launch ramp, one at the west launch ramp and one at the D-section of the dry-camping area on the middle spit of Salmon Harbor on Ork Rock Road. 

Salmon Harbor Marina discontinued the use of traditional pay boxes and began accepting payments through these automated fee machines, which are designed to accept credit card transactions exclusively.  Visitors who prefer to pay with cash will still have the option to do so at the Salmon Harbor Marina Office, located at 100 Ork Rock Road in Winchester Bay.  The Salmon Harbor Marina Office is open Monday through Friday – 8:00 am to 4:30 pm.   For after-hours payments, envelopes will be made available at the office, and payment can be deposited in the pay slot.

The automated fee machines are the latest of several ongoing improvement projects initiated by the Douglas County Board of Commissioners and Salmon Harbor Marina in order to enhance the Winchester Bay community.  

Douglas County is also excited to promote our new social media page promoting all the wonderful recreational opportunities available in the beautiful town of Winchester Bay, Oregon. From exploring the stunning sand dunes to crabbing and fishing in the bay to camping experiences to sea glass hunting on the beach, there is always something to do for everyone.  To keep you up-to-date with all the latest news and happenings in Winchester Bay, we invite you to like and follow our Discover Winchester Bay social media page at https://www.facebook.com/DiscoverWinchesterBay/. By doing so, you’ll have access to regular updates, photos, and videos of our town, as well as exclusive offers and discounts from Salmon Harbor Marina, Winchester RV Resort, Douglas County Parks, Umpqua River Lighthouse Museum & Giftshop and the Coastal Visitors Center.

Salmon Harbor Marina, “the best kept secret on the Oregon Coast,” is one of the largest recreational facilities along the Oregon Coast. Salmon Harbor has immediate access to the Umpqua River, County Parks, the Umpqua River Lighthouse Museum, the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area, the Pacific Ocean, and miles of public white-sand beaches.  The full-service marina offers 375 moorage slips with power and water, two launch ramps, a full-service fuel dock and 124 self-contained first come, first served camping sites with restroom and shower facilities.  They also operate the nationally renowned Winchester Bay RV Resort with 178 large full-hook up sites with newly upgraded WiFi service.  For more information about Salmon Harbor Marina check out their webpage at https://douglascounty-oregon.us/448/Salmon-Harbor-Marina. https://douglascounty-oregon.us/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=137#:~:text=The%20new%20automated%20fee%20machines,Harbor%20on%20Ork%20Rock%20Road.

KCFM Radio Talks with Florence Police Chief on Scams in the Area

A conversation with Florence Police Chief John Pitcher yielded a great deal of information on local scams that have been circulating in the community.  Chief Pitcher compiled a detailed list of the activities that have been recognized in the Florence area. 

He stated in his report that Florence citizens have been tricked out of thousands of dollars over time.  He listed 9 of the popular scams that have been tried including Technical support scams that notify you that they are with a large tech company and inform the individual that they have a virus on their computer and then gaining your trust ask for access to your computer to repair the problem.

If you have any questions or concerns about an email, a caller or even someone visiting your home or business in person you can contact the Florence Police Department at 997-3515. The complete list that Chief Pitcher put together is available on our website attached to this news story at kcst.com or kcfmradio.com. https://kcfmradio.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/press-release-protect-yourself-from-scams.doc

$200 Million Housing and Homelessness Package Clears Legislature

Oregon lawmakers passed a $200 million bipartisan housing and homelessness package Tuesday night, sending it to Gov. Tina Kotek’s desk for final approval.

The $200 million outlay, encapsulated in House Bills 2001 and 5019, will bolster rent assistance, expand shelters, protect homeless youth and catalyze housing development, among other initiatives. The package also makes several policy changes intended to defray the affordable housing crisis, including giving tenants more time to pay overdue rent and holding local jurisdictions accountable for producing more housing.

The Senate passed both bills on a 21-7 vote Tuesday evening, less than a week after the package was overwhelmingly approved by the House. The package is among Kotek’s top policy priorities for the session.

The rapid and lopsided passage of the first bill represents a major victory for Kotek, a Portland Democrat who made housing her signature issue during her record-setting nine years as speaker of the House. The fact the money measure passed the Legislature in March, with millions slated to be pumped out to communities starting this week, is highly unusual and shows the sense of urgency in both parties to address the state’s pressing housing shortage.

The Senate passed both bills on a 21-7 vote Tuesday evening, less than a week after the package was overwhelmingly approved by the House. The package is among Kotek’s top policy priorities for the session.

The rapid and lopsided passage of the first bill represents a major victory for Kotek, a Portland Democrat who made housing her signature issue during her record-setting nine years as speaker of the House. The fact the money measure passed the Legislature in March, with millions slated to be pumped out to communities starting this week, is highly unusual and shows the sense of urgency in both parties to address the state’s pressing housing shortage.

Knopp and Sen. Daniel Bonham, R-The Dalles, both said more mental health and addiction resources need to be created throughout the state as well.

Kotek is slated to sign the package quickly, allowing $30 million to be pushed out to local communities immediately. Those initial funds will go to eviction prevention, rent assistance and some state staffing costs. The remainder of the funding will become available July 1, the start of the next fiscal year.

The money will be on top of any funding that makes its way into the general housing and homelessness budget for the coming two years. Service providers view the emergency funding as a down payment that will allow them to quickly scale up their work while they wait on typical state funding.

The largest portion of money, $55 million, will be used to secure apartments for unhoused people. That money will go to nonprofits and landlords to help 1,200 unsheltered people become housed, largely by paying the rent for them to live in privately owned apartments.

Multnomah County plans to use its portion of the funding to resurrect a pilot program it initiated last summer that paid landlords to house unsheltered people while providing landlords assurances such as landlord-tenant mediation and money to repair damages. They hope to house 300 people through that.

The next largest portion of money, $34 million, will go toward rent assistance aimed at preventing evictions. State officials project the rent assistance will prevent 8,750 families and individuals who are currently housed from becoming homeless. That equates to nearly $3,800 per household.

Multnomah County aims to prevent 2,000 households from becoming evicted.

The bill also brings back some pandemic-era renter protections that have since expired. It will require landlords to give tenants 10 days’ notice instead of 72 hours before initiating an eviction, provide tenants with information about their rights and resources upon notice of eviction and accept payment of rent after eviction court proceedings have started.

Policy changes will also require judges to throw out an eviction case if a landlord refused to accept rent payments, including through a rent assistance program. Judges will also be required to seal some eviction records to avoid causing barriers to future housing for individuals.

Another $25 million in the bill is earmarked for to support youth through housing, shelter, behavioral health care and other supportive services. Most of the funding will expand the state’s host home programs that are like foster homes but are for older teens and grant them more independence. Some money will also be used to expand local youth housing and shelter programs and add emergency housing funds for families with school-age children.

The package calls for $23.8 million to expand low-barrier shelters statewide to serve those who aren’t able to immediately access housing. The funding will add 600 beds across a state that has an estimated 12,000 people experiencing unsheltered homelessness, according to the last federal count of homeless individuals.

Multnomah County will get 150 of those new shelter beds, though the city of Portland will not be allowed to use the funds for the planned mass city-run tent encampments, the first of which is slated to open this year.

In addition, $27 million will go to 25 rural counties, enabling them to create 100 new shelter beds and house 450 people. It is estimated there are about 5,000 unsheltered people across the 25 rural counties.

But Bonham and Sen. David Brock Smith, R-Port Orford, said more funding for rural communities needs to be considered in the future.

The package will also allocate $20 million to produce affordable modular homes. The factory-built homes are intended to avoid the delays that typically come with building homes and apartments from scratch. The projects could be tiny homes, backyard dwelling units, duplexes or full apartment complexes.

The bills will also relax land use restrictions to allow for more rapid construction of housing in urban and rural areas. That includes eliminating some permitting requirements and prohibiting appeals to housing development plans if the local government has followed the state’s plans.

In a push for more local accountability, the state will now have some increased authority over local development plans. State officials will annually assess and set housing production targets for cities with more than 10,000 residents and can intervene if those cities fall behind.

The bill also provides $5 million to develop housing for agricultural workers. (SOURCE)

Oregon Legislature Proposes Tight Budget As COVID Cash Runs Out

Legislative budget writers plan to trim many state agency budgets while increasing overall spending in the next two years. 

Co-chairs of the legislative budget-writing committee on Thursday shared the broad strokes of their $31.6 billion spending planEditSign for the two years beginning July 1. It starts with 2.5% reductions to current agency spending, cuts that would primarily be achieved by not filling vacancies. 

The planned cuts come as lawmakers and Gov. Tina Kotek envision spending hundreds of millions more to address the state’s most pressing issues, including a housing shortage, a dearth of public defenders that has left Oregonians without their constitutional right to representation in criminal cases and a rollback of Medicaid benefits expanded earlier in the pandemic that could leave up to 300,000 Oregonians uninsured. 

It’s larger than the $29.3 billion the state spent in the current budget cycle, but it still represents a haircut for state agencies who will be asked to hold positions vacant. One key factor making budgeting decisions harder this year: The billions of dollars in federal COVID funding that helped grow state programs and provide one-time boosts for schools and housing isn’t available. 

“We no longer have that federal fund buffer, so things will be a little tighter,” said Rep. Tawna Sanchez, D-Portland and one co-chair of the Joint Ways and Means Committee.

Like a $32.1 billion plan Kotek proposed in January, the plan Sanchez and the other budget-writing  co-chair, Sen. Elizabeth Steiner, D-Portland, unveiled calls for increasing school funding and prioritizing education, housing and human services.

Unlike the governor’s plan, which called for diverting hundreds of millions of dollars intended for the state’s reserves to meet those goals, the legislative proposal would maintain a 1% distribution to the state’s rainy day fund of close to $300 million. 

The framework includes almost $200 million in early spending on a $217 million housing package that Kotek is expected to sign soon and a $210 million set of incentives for semiconductors and advanced manufacturing that’s working its way through the Legislature. Some of the money for those packages will come from the current budget. 

Beyond that, the plan anticipates spending $325.6 million toward top state priorities, including managing Medicaid eligibility and preserving basic health and dental coverage for low-income adults who risk losing Medicaid coverage. Public defense services, literacy programs, housing and behavioral health and reproductive health are also included in that $325.6 million pot – but the state doesn’t have enough money to meet those needs, according to the framework.

The state’s next economic forecast in May could follow recent trends of showing higher-than-expected revenue, meaning lawmakers will have more flexibility to increase spending on priorities or decrease cuts. 

But if that doesn’t happen, Steiner said they’ll face tough decisions when crafting the full budget. They may have to dip into the money allocated for reserves, make additional cuts to state agencies or limit new spending. 

“This is my fifth year doing this, and it’s going to be the hardest,” Steiner said. “People have become accustomed to having lots and lots and lots of resources. The combination of the uncertain economy and inflation are putting us in a very different place than we were two or four years ago.” 

The proposal released Thursday is a high-level look at state finances, with many details left to negotiate. Sanchez and Steiner shared it with other lawmakers shortly before releasing it to the public with a clear message for the 88 other legislators: There won’t be enough money for everything they want to do. 

“There really isn’t a whole lot of room for a whole lot,” Sanchez said. “We did deprioritize new things. We’re not going to move into new things really right now because we don’t know where we’re going to be. We don’t know what the May forecast is going to look like.”

The proposal calls for increasing the State School Fund, which covers most of the state’s K-12 budget, from $9.5 billion to $9.9 billion. That’s the same increase as Kotek’s proposal, though lower than the $10.3 billion education groups say is necessary to maintain current service levels for students. 

Education advocates widely panned the legislative proposal, saying it doesn’t do enough to fund K-12 education and universities. Jim Green, executive director of the Oregon School Boards Association, said in a statement that districts project widespread cuts in programs and staff.

“We appreciate that legislators are trying to address budget pressures,” he said. “But schools are facing a crisis in serving students’ increasing social and emotional needs, as well as workforce shortages.”

University leaders, meanwhile, noted that Oregon spends less per student than most other states. Nagi Naganathan, president of the Oregon Institute of Technology and chair of the Oregon Council of Presidents, said students need more support after the stresses of the pandemic.

“Our students, both current and future, have been hit hard by the pandemic,” she said. “They require more wraparound and behavioral health services, stronger academic advising, greater financial aid, and more support than ever on their path toward a degree.”

The legislative proposal calls for most state agencies to keep a certain number of vacant positions open to save costs, though it also calls for about $120 million in recruitment and retention benefits to keep corrections workers and behavioral health caregivers on the job. 

“Those are areas where we have experienced particularly acute staff shortages,” Steiner said. 

The framework also includes $330 million for state employee raises expected to result from future collective bargaining agreements. 

The human services budget includes nearly $109 million to comply with a federal court order that requires the Oregon State Hospital to treat and release patients back to their communities on a  set schedule, and for related needs. That order applies to patients who face criminal charges and need treatment so they can aid in the defense of their case. 

The initial plan doesn’t include state-issued general obligation bonds, which lawmakers continue to negotiate. Kotek has called for issuing about $770 billion in bonds to build new affordable homes for renters and homeowners, while universities seek bond funding for campus construction projects.

Bonds also could come into play for Oregon’s portion of the Interstate 5 bridge replacement between Portland and Vancouver, Washington: Oregon’s northern neighbor expects the state to match Washington’s $1 billion commitment to the bridge, which could cost as much as $7.5 billion. 

In a statement, Kotek praised the chairs’ “thoughtful approach” to developing a budget proposal.

“We share a mission-focused vision: rather than scores of new programs, we need to prioritize investments that will deliver meaningful results on housing and homelessness, behavioral health, and education,” she said. “As the budget process moves forward, I urge the Legislature to exhaust every possible funding option in order to make the visible and measurable progress that Oregonians are demanding on these issues of statewide concern.” (SOURCE)

Senate Bill Looks To Address Source Of Oregon Water Pollution

A new bill introduced into the Oregon Legislature last week is hoping to address Oregon’s water pollution issue, with some people believing that the unhoused population play a contributing role.

If passed, Senate Bill 1086 would, “authorize any person to submit a complaint to the Department of Environmental Quality if the person reasonably believes that the camping site of homeless individuals is causing discharge of wastes into state waters.”

Senate Bill 1086

The bill would also direct the department to remove those from the camping site and clean the camping site as necessary to protect state waters.

“We cannot allow the homeless to continue to impact the waters of the state,” said Sen. David Brock Smith, a chief sponsor of the bill and Republican representing District 1, which represents all of Curry County and parts of Coos and Douglas counties.

According to the bill’s text, the DEQ may contract or collaborate with any local government to carry out removal and cleanup activities. But it states that the “removal of homeless individuals under this section must be conducted in a manner that conforms to the provisions of ORS 195.505,” which is the state’s camp removal & unclaimed personal property policies.

“These homeless camps don’t have any consequences, and yet they’re some of the most polluting,” Smith said.

During the removal process in affected areas, Smith said outreach services will be provided to those that want to get off the streets. However, for those who decide to stay on the street, Smith said, there is no solution on how to stop them from polluting again.

“That’s the billion dollar question,” he said. 

During his interview with NewsWatch 12, Smith claimed the state has spent millions of dollars over the last six years to clean up Oregon’s waterways, but with little success. He also claimed that the unhoused, over the years, have been polluting Oregon’s water with trash, fecal matter and even drugs, which has been slowly contaminating Oregon’s water.

Although the bill is still in its very early stages, Smith said he hopes the bill will receive bi-partisan support. 

“I look forward to other colleagues signing on,” Smith said. “This isn’t a partisan issue. This is a bipartisan issue to protect waters of the state, regardless of who is doing the polluting.” (SOURCE)

Oregon Psilocybin Services issues state’s first licenses

PORTLAND, Ore. –Oregon Health Authority (OHA) has issued the state’s first psilocybin license as part of the nation’s first regulatory framework for psilocybin services. The manufacturer license was issued to a woman-owned business, Satori Farms PDX LLC, owned by Tori Armbrust. As the nation celebrates Women’s History Month, this woman-owned business will bring communities one step closer towards accessing psilocybin services in Oregon.

“We congratulate Tori Armbrust of Satori Farms PDX LLC for being issued the first psilocybin license in Oregon’s history and for representing women leading the way for the emerging psilocybin ecosystem,” says Oregon Psilocybin Services Section Manager Angie Allbee. “We are committed to fostering an inclusive partnership with our regulated community to ensure safe, effective and equitable psilocybin services throughout the state.”

The role of Oregon Psilocybin Services (OPS) is to license psilocybin facilitators, manufacturers, service centers and laboratories, while ensuring that those licensees and their workers comply with Oregon law. OPS began accepting applications for the four license types on January 2, 2023. OPS expects to issue additional licenses to laboratories, service centers and facilitators in the coming months.

Anyone interested in accessing psilocybin services can find service centers and facilitators once they are licensed on the OPS Licensee Directory website. The directory will contain licensee names and contact details for all licensees that have requested to have their information published. This may also provide opportunities for licensed psilocybin businesses to connect.

Oregon Psilocybin Services (OPS) has also begun publishing a Weekly Report on Applications for Licenses and Worker Permits. The new weekly report includes information about total number of applications received by type and status. OPS will update the report on a weekly basis.

OPS encourages the public to visit the OPS website for more information and to sign up for updates on the section’s work. For the latest updates, subscribe to the Oregon Psilocybin Services distribution list at: oregon.gov/psilocybin 

Four Sisters Claim Oregon Lottery’s $1 Million Raffle Prize

Salem, Ore. – A retired Wood Village woman and her three sisters are planning a fun vacation together after winning the $1 million top prize in Oregon Lottery’s annual St. Patrick’s Day Raffle. 

Oregon Lottery St. Patrick's Day Raffle

Carol Serbick bought the winning ticket at Bumpers Grill & Bar in Fairview on March 2, 2023 – about a week before tickets were sold out.  

“I went to the restroom, walked past the bar and said to the bartender, ‘just give me one ticket,’” she said. “Between us sisters, we purchased a total of nine tickets.” 

The sisters had agreed to split the prize money before the winning numbers were drawn. The plan was for each sister to buy two – but Serbick picked up the ninth ticket on a whim. A first time Raffle player, Serbick is the oldest sibling and all four are retirees looking forward to a sisters’ trip. 

To check the winning numbers for all 1,801 Raffle prizes, players can use the Lottery’s smart phone app, go to www.oregonlottery.org or visit a participating Oregon Lottery retail location.

The $500 and $100 prize winners can claim their prizes at any Oregon Lottery retail location. In addition, players can claim their prize by mail – visit www.oregonlottery.org/claim-a-prize/ for instructions. 

The Raffle offers the best odds of any Oregon Lottery game of winning $1 million – 1 in 250,000. Overall odds of winning a prize are 1 in 138.8. This was the 23rd time a Raffle was offered by the Oregon Lottery. 

The Oregon Lottery reminds players to always sign the back of their Lottery tickets, regardless of the game. In the event of winning a jackpot, they should consult with a trusted financial planner or similar professional to develop a plan for their winnings. 

Since the Oregon Lottery began selling tickets on April 25, 1985, it has earned nearly $15 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

Senate Passes Bill To Recognize Potato As Official Oregon Vegetable 

The Oregon Senate has passed a bill that will make the potato the state’s official vegetable. It’s the state’s most widely cultivated vegetable crop on 44-thousand acres. Two-and-a-half billion pounds of potatoes are sold bringing in 216-million dollars to the state’s economy.

Senator Bill Hansell says Oregon is also the state where a favorite potato product was created, “The iconic tater-tot was developed by two brothers in Ontario, Oregon who also created the OreIda potato company.”

Potato farmers donate a million pounds of potatoes to the Oregon Food Bank each year. Oregon is the fourth largest potato producing state behind Idaho, Washington and Wisconsin. The bill now moves to the House.

May be an image of 3 people and text

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
  • White
  • 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.

May be an image of 4 people and text

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