Oregon Beach News, Friday 4/19 – Coos County Jail Doubling Capacity, Newport Man Arrested for Felony Hit and Run & Other Local and Statewide News…

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

Friday, April 19, 2024

Oregon Beach Weather

Coos County Jail Doubling Capacity

Coos County Jail is doubling its capacity to 98 beds on April 27th at 8:00 a.m. This expansion, is a significant milestone, which will enable us to better serve our community and contribute to a safer Coos County.

May be an image of text

Since Sheriff Fabrizio’s election, he and his command staff have tirelessly worked to rehire Corrections and Patrol Deputies who were lost to attrition, retirements, and better-paying departments. This collective effort is a testament to their dedication and the value they place on public safety.

Since the beginning of 2023, the Sheriff’s Office has rehired 27% of overall staff, and these deputies have been fully trained, allowing the Coos County Jail to double its capacity from 49 beds to 98 beds on April 27th at 8:00 a.m.

The Coos County Sheriff’s Office is excited about adding this additional jail space, which will assist the Sheriff’s Office and local law enforcement agencies in combating crime within Coos County and beyond.

Newport Man Arrested for Felony Hit and Run

Location: NW 25th Street and Walmart parking lot, Newport

Date/Time: April 17, 2024 @ 8:55 PM

Details: On Wednesday April 17, 2024 at 8:55 PM, Newport Officers were alerted to a motor vehicle versus pedestrian crash in the Walmart parking lot. Prior to Officers arriving, the suspect fled the scene in a vehicle. The investigation revealed 44-year-old Newport resident Larry Janz II was intentionally following the victim, who was known to Janz II, in his vehicle. The victim, who was also operating a vehicle, pulled into the Walmart parking lot, stopped their vehicle in a lane of travel, and exited their vehicle. Janz II sideswiped the victim’s vehicle, striking and injuring the victim in the process. The victim, a 38-year-old Newport resident, suffered injuries severe enough to be later transported to another hospital via helicopter. Janz II fled the scene without rending aide or exchanging information, as required by law.

Janz II was located at his residence and later taken into custody without incident and lodged at the Lincoln County jail for: Fail to perform duties of driver to injured persons (Class C Felony).

The incident remains under investigation. If you have any information regarding this case, contact Officer Mangum of the Newport Police Department at 541-574-3348. The Newport Police Tip Line is available at 541-574-5455, or Text-a-Tip at 541-270-1856 or tipline@newportpolice.net.Newport Officers were assisted by: Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, Oregon State Police, Newport Fire Department and Pacific West Ambulance.

Yachats Sip ‘n Stroll this Saturday 4/20

Yachats second annual “Sip ‘n Stroll” saunters into town Saturday.

From 11 a.m.  to 4 p.m. local shops and restaurants will host visiting wineries, a brewery and a distillery for customers to sample and buy beverages, food and merchandise. For $20, attendees receive five wine sampling tickets, a map of participating shops and wineries, and an event wine glass.

“We’re really growing,” said Nichole Lippincott, director of the Yachats Chamber of Commerce, which is producing the event for second year. “Everybody really enjoyed last year’s event. Some of the businesses involved reached out last fall to make sure they’d be included this year.”

Last year’s inaugural event drew 214 attendees, 13 wineries, breweries and distillery, and 13 local shops and restaurants. This year, Lippincott says, “We’re hoping for 300 folks” and the chamber has purchased 400 event glasses. The number of participating businesses has jumped to about 19, and 21 beverage producers have signed up.

Attendees will be able to sample wares from wineries all over Oregon, beer from Depoe Bay Brewing and rum from Stillwagon of Florence.

To encourage pre-registration, the chamber is offering one extra taste ticket to people who register online, up until the night before the event. To pre-register, visit the event website.

For registering on the day of the Sip ‘n Stroll, the signup location is the event center at Overleaf Lodge on the north end of town, or at the Yachats Visitor Center downtown.  Pre-registrants can pick up their tickets, a map and glass at the Overleaf.

The sites scheduled to participate are: Overleaf Lodge; Adobe Resort & Restaurant; Yachats Community Presbyterian Church for bathroom breaks, snacks, and water; Peephole Gallery Studio; Billow Cloud Soaps; Perpetua Records; Sea Note Restaurant; Yachats Mystique Antiques & Antique Virgin; Ya-Hots Video Country Store; Coastal Balance Chiropractic & Massage; Drift Inn; Ona restaurant; Styx, Stones ‘n Bones; Big Dog BBQ; the chamber’s visitor center for bathroom breaks and water); Earthworks Gallery; Touchstone Gallery, and Beach Daisy Wine.

All attendees will be able to buy additional taste tickets at a couple of spots throughout town at a cost of $3 apiece.

“We really want to encourage people to park in town and use the free shuttle bus,” says Lippincott.

The bus will run on a loop from 10:45 a.m. to approximately 4:30 p.m. The stops are at the Overleaf, the Adobe Resort, the Midtown Guitar Plaza near the Yachats Commons, and the Green House Marketplace, which is home to Beach Daisy Wine, galleries and a gift shop.

As an alternative to walking along U.S. Highway 101, Lippincott urged walkers to use the 804 Trail.

Tote bags for holding bottles will be available for $5. One new feature — prompted by attendee requests last year — is a courier service for people who want to buy wine by the case, but have no way to lug it around town.

“When you register, you’ll get a number,” said Lippincott. “If you find a wine you’d like to buy by the case, give that number to the winery representative, and keep the receipt.” Volunteers will drive purchases by the case to the Overleaf, where they can be picked up throughout the day. (SOURCE)

Dozing Driver Crashes into SUV and Local Business in Lincoln City

On Wednesday, April 17th, 2024, at around 6:50 AM, multiple Lincoln City Police Officers responded to the report of a single vehicle crash into a building located at 3026 NE Highway 101, later learning another vehicle had also been struck. Officers arrived and assisted North Lincoln Fire Department with securing the scene and initial medical evaluation of involved drivers. 

Officers investigated and learned that Marvin Noe Tojin Lopez, a 24-year-old male from Newport Oregon, had fallen asleep at the wheel, while driving home from working on a residential remodeling job all night. Tojin Lopez had been driving his Honda Accord southbound and initially struck a northbound Honda Pilot with such force, the Accord’s front driver’s side wheel was entirely removed from the vehicle. Following the initial impact, the Accord skid into the building. Tojin Lopez was transported to the hospital for further medical care. The driver of the Pilot reported no injuries on scene. Subsequently Tojin Lopez was issued citations for Driving without a License, Driving without Insurance, Careless Driving, and Failing to Wear a Seatbelt.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Drowsy Driving led to 684 deaths in 2021 and in 2017 accounted for 91,000 of our nation’s vehicle crashes. If you feel fatigued, your driving skills are probable impaired as well. Please pull over, take a short 20-minute nap, and reevalute.

The Lincoln City Police Department would like to thank the North Lincoln Fire Department, Pacific West Ambulance, Menefee and Car Care Towing for their quick responses, allowing officers to get the roadway reopened.

Waldport and Yachats City Councils Considering Sharing Costs of Expanded Lincoln County Sheriff’s Patrols

Waldport and Yachats are considering a proposal to expand Lincoln County Sheriff’s coverage in the two cities by sharing costs and adding a third deputy to patrols.

The idea comes as Waldport faces a 9 percent increase in its contract with the sheriff’s office and Yachats looks for ways to increase the presence of deputies in the community.

The Waldport city council listened to a presentation about the proposal last week by Sheriff Curtis Landers, who is scheduled to appear before the Yachats council on Wednesday to talk about the idea.

The Waldport council said it would like to proceed with the proposal, which has been under discussion between Waldport city manager Dann Cutter and Yachats city manager Bobbi Price. Both councils would have to formally approve any contract, as would the Lincoln County budget committee and commissioners.

Landers, Cutter and Price estimate a two-city contract with a third deputy would cost approximately $450,000 – with Waldport paying $300,000 and Yachats $150,000.

Waldport has been contracting with the sheriff’s office to provide deputies since it dissolved its police department in 1998. The city currently pays $366,831 a year for deputies Doug Honse on days and Abby Dorsey on nights for a combined 80 hours a week.

That contract expires June 30 and if Waldport wants to continue with two deputies the new contract would increase to $400,000 on July 1.

The increase reflects the price of everything going up over time including the overhead the sheriff’s office pays to Lincoln County which will increase from 13 percent to 17.5 percent in July.

“I’ve been working with our county administrator to address the current 17.5 percent of indirect cost that I’ve been required to put onto the city for our personnel cost,” Landers said. “And that’s been a cost that’s been there since we’ve had the contract, an indirect cost. That number’s also gone up. To be frank, we can’t figure out how that number is even calculated.” READ MORE: https://yachatsnews.com/two-cities-look-at-sharing-sheriff-patrols/

Calling employers from coastal Lane, Coos, Douglas, and Lincoln counties! Coastal Career Fair

The City of Florence joins regional partners in welcoming employers from up to 60 miles away from Florence to attend the Coastal Career Fair on Thursday, April 25, from 10 am to 2 pm at the Florence Events Center, 715 Quince Street!

This event is free for all participants. Contact OED_LaneRecruiters@employ.oregon.gov or 541-686-7601 (Opt. 2) for more information, or click through to the event page at https://CoastalCareerFair.eventbrite.com.

The Coastal Career Fair hopes to provide active job postings and business resources for people in Western Lane County and up and down the Oregon Coast. It is coordinated by Lane Workforce Partnership, Collaborative EDO, and WorkSource Lane with support from the City of Florence and the Florence Area Chamber of Commerce.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is image-22.png

It’s Killer Whale Season Along The Oregon Coast

It’s killer whale season along the Oregon Coast! And it has just begun. Reports of groups entering Tillamook Bay and Coos Bay have already come in. These whales feed primary on marine mammals. They hunt baby Gray whales as they venture north to their feeding grounds and newly born harbor seals.

May be an image of orca

Your best chance of seeing these magnificent beasts is to find a headland that overlooks a vast part of the ocean or in areas that have a large population of pinnipeds (seals and sea lions). On the northern Oregon Coast, they have been known to come into Nehalem Bay and Tillamook Bay.

For more up to date sightings there are a few Facebook groups you might want to be a part of, Clatsop and Pacific County Whale Sightings and Oregon Killer Whale Monitory Program.

If you do happen to spot killer whales along the Oregon Coast and can get photographs of them researchers are interested in identifying and tracking them. https://www.facebook.com/SeasideAquarium

Retired Wildlife Trooper Indicted For Shooting Toledo Neighbor’s Two Dogs

A retired Oregon State Police wildlife trooper has been indicted by a Lincoln County grand jury on six charges of animal abuse four months after he allegedly shot two of his neighbor’s German shepherds that had wandered onto his property on Bay Road near Toledo.

Greg A. Torland, 65, of Toledo was secretly indicted by a grand jury April 9, the charges made public Monday and is scheduled to be arraigned in circuit court April 29. He is free on $50,000 bond.

Torland is accused of two counts of first-degree aggravated animal abuse and four counts of first-degree animal abuse. The indictments accused him of “unlawfully and maliciously” shooting and killing the German shepherds on Jan. 6.

The indictments say three of the charges are from the act of killing eight-month-old Liberty; the other three for killing 18-moth-old Hemi.

Because of the secret indictments, a Lincoln County Sheriff’s investigation into the incident is not yet part of the public court record. But the owner of the dogs, Ace Garrison of Toledo, has used Facebook messages and a GoFundMe campaign to bring attention to the incident – and eventually an investigation by the sheriff’s and district attorney’s offices.

Garrison said that his dogs got out of their enclosure Jan. 6 while he was at work.

Initially told there would be no criminal investigation, Garrison buried his dogs on his property only to have them exhumed later as part of the investigation.

The grand jury heard from four witnesses April 9 – Garrison, sheriff’s deputy Soren Cullivan, Gabriel Gagner, a neighbor who witnessed the incident, and veterinarian Maia Titcomb. Jacob Kamins, an assistant Oregon Department of Justice attorney specializing in animal cruelty cases, was brought in to handle the grand jury proceedings and prosecution.

A Portland television station, KATU, reported in January that the sheriff’s office told it that a homeowner called to report two German shepherds on their property. At the time, deputies told KATU that an animal services deputy was not able to respond and that the homeowner eventually shot the dogs out of what they said was self-defense.

KATU talked to Gagner, the neighbor, who disputed that account. (SOURCE)

Hiker Finds Human Remains in Campsite Near Newport

On 04/13/2024, a hiker from the Newport area located human remains in a dispersed campsite just outside the city limits of Newport. The hiker reported the incident to the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies responded to the area and were directed to the campsite, which was located approximately 100 yards into thick foliage from the roadway.

The remains appeared to have been exposed to the environment for a prolonged period of time. Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office Deputies and Detectives conducted a death investigation before the Lincoln County Search and Rescue Team assisted in removing the remains.

The remains have been tentatively identified but will undergo advanced testing to make a final determination. No identifying information is being released at this time. No suspicious circumstances have been determined and there is no concern for community safety.

If anyone has any information relating to this incident, please call the Sheriff’s Tip Line at 541-265-0669. Reference case number 24S-06357.


Emergency Volunteer Corps of Nehalem Bay

Astoria Warrenton Crab, Seafood & Wine Festival is April 26-28

The Astoria Warrenton Crab, Seafood and Wine Festival is held annually on the last weekend of April, at the Clatsop County Fair & Expo Center. The Astoria-Warrenton Area Chamber of Commerce (AWACC) coordinates this event which, held annually since 1982, features around 150 vendors of hand-crafted arts, coastal cuisine, Oregon wine and local brews. The festival is a major fundraiser for not only the AWACC, but dozens of community organizations that participate in the event. The festival also draws traffic to hundreds of small businesses, from Crab Fest vendors and performers to local hotels, restaurants and shops in the surrounding region.

Eat! Enjoy a selection of northwest flavors from a dozen food vendors. Food options are primarily crab and seafood, but also include other cuisines and vegan, vegetarian, gluten free, and kid friendly options.

Drink! Tour Oregon’s renowned wine country with 40 wineries offering a multitude of varietals made in Oregon, primarily using northwest-grown grapes. Local craft breweries will be serving up their favorite foamy brews. And, for those that prefer their spirits distilled, we’ve got you covered, too. Be sure to stop by the Hydration Station, sponsored by NW Natural, for water in between sips of wine, too.
Check out the award-winning wines from our festival’s wine competition in March 2024!

Be Merry! Enjoy live music on two stages throughout the weekend, featuring performers from a variety of genres to keep your toes tapping. While listening, stroll through the aisles of more than 100 booths featuring local artists, northwest-made products and more.

Parking & Shuttle Details are available on the “Getting to the Festival” page – click here!

Garden volunteers needed at Shore Acres State Park April through September

— Come share your gardening skills or learn new ones as a garden volunteer at Shore Acres State Park.

Join rangers in caring for the gardens 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. the third Friday of every month from April through September. Tasks vary depending on the season and could include cleaning out the pond, pruning roses, trimming shrubs, pulling weeds, mulching, planting and helping to remove invasive species.

The 2024 garden volunteer schedule:

  • April 19: Pond clean out
  • May 17: Prepare for summer
  • June 21: Garden clean up
  • July 19: Garden clean up
  • Aug. 16: English ivy pull
  • Sept. 20: Prepare for fall

Sign up for one or more of these events at https://form.jotform.com/240225153017140

Participants should be prepared to travel a short distance on uneven ground and trails to the service site. Service will take place outdoors, and volunteers should be comfortable wearing work gloves and using hand tools.

Dress for the weather. Closed-toed shoes are recommended. Wear something you don’t mind getting dirty. Remember to bring a water bottle, sack lunch and work gloves if you have them (some will be provided if not).

OHCS, BuildUp Oregon launch program to expand early childhood education access statewide

Funds include $10 million for developing early care and education facilities co-located with affordable housing

Salem, Ore. — Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS) and BuildUp Oregon announce the launch of the OHCS Co-location Fund aimed at expanding access to early childhood education and affordable housing across Oregon.

“Families face a pile of cost burdens that limit their access to afford housing, and one of these burdens is the high cost of early childcare. These investments set out to change the trajectory for Oregon families, allowing for increased stability and a better quality of life,” says OHCS Director Andrea Bell.

BuildUp Oregon will administer the $10 million in OHCS funds allocated by the Oregon legislature through House Bill 5011 to support co-locating early care and education (ECE) facilities with affordable housing. 

These resources will help bring affordable housing developers and ECE providers together to open and expand childcare services within or on the grounds of affordable housing developments. The funding awarded will depend on each project’s needs, size, and costs. 

Funds provided through BuildUp Oregon can be used for: 

  • Technical assistance to ECE providers and affordable housing developers on how to co-locate 
  • Relationship building between ECE providers and housing developers to identify potential collaboration opportunities and facilitate communication 
  • Financial support to ECE providers and developers to build or expand operations within or adjacent to affordable housing developments 

The goal of the OHCS Co-location Fund is to create or preserve 600 ECE slots throughout Oregon. 

OHCS is a funding partner with Multnomah County for the BuildUp Oregon program. Earlier this month, Multnomah County launched the Preschool for All Facilities Fund. That fund offers comprehensive support to early care and education providers in Multnomah County participating in Preschool for All (PFA) who are looking to enhance the quality of care at existing facilities, expand to serve additional families or open a new location.

“The Facilities Fund will provide crucial support to early care and education providers and help build up the infrastructure we need to ensure universal access to preschool by 2030,” said Preschool and Early Learning Division Director Leslee Barnes. “This initiative represents a vital step towards all children having access to high-quality childcare in safe and nurturing environments.”

Interested developers and providers can learn more about BuildUp Oregon by visiting www.BuildUpOregon.org. BuildUp Oregon will also provide further information about the OHCS Co-location Fund through a webinar in May. Details and updates on the webinar will be available on BuildUp Oregon’s website. 

About BuildUp Oregon

BuildUp Oregon is composed of four Community Development Financial Institutions. Its members are Micro Enterprise Services of Oregon (MESO), Craft3, Network for Oregon Affordable Housing (NOAH), and Low-Income Investment Fund (LIIF). Together, these organizations are dedicated to ensuring equitable access to high-quality childcare and supporting the growth and development of early care and education providers.

About Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS) 

OHCS is Oregon’s housing finance agency. The state agency provides financial and program support to create and preserve opportunities for quality, affordable housing for Oregonians of low and moderate-income. OHCS administers programs that provide housing stabilization. OHCS delivers these programs primarily through grants, contracts, and loan agreements with local partners and community-based providers. For more information, please visit: oregon.gov/ohcs

Latest Measure 110 data show new highs in client engagement with highest quarterly gains in substance use treatment, peer support services

SALEM, Ore. — Measure 110 Behavioral Health Resource Network providers reported increases in client engagement over all service areas, according to recently released quarterly reporting data.

As providers continue to establish and expand services, the most recent data revealed a 346 percent client gain in screening services since the program’s start – indicating that more providers are seeing new clients for the first time. Supported employment showed the highest overall percentage gain at 422 percent.

Client screening is an important first step for people seeking substance use treatment and recovery. As a result, network providers have reported increased numbers of people are accessing low-barrier treatment services and supports.

The latest data also show a 258 percent increase in people accessing peer services, in addition to other supports.  Many peer service providers reported meeting people in their homes or in community settings and using other measures to lower service barriers such as providing childcare and securing transportation to treatment.

Measure 110 network providers report the number of clients they serve and the number of encounters they have with their clients as a measure of overall engagement. Some clients may receive multiple services within a network or within multiple service networks.

The latest report covers network activities from July 1 through Sept. 30, 2023. Collectively, Measure 110 providers have now reported five quarters of data and expenditures from July 1, 2022, when the first network was established, through Sept. 30, 2023.

Overall, Measure 110 providers reported 267,000 encounters for people seeking peer support services and more than 220,000 encounters for substance use treatment over the 15 months of operations from July 1, 2022 – September 30, 2023.

OHA continually updates a comprehensive Measure 110 data reporting dashboard that includes quarterly data, expenditures, key demographic information, and aggregated narrative summaries for the 42 statewide service networks.

The dashboard also contains a section that shows how providers are conducting community outreach to directly connect individuals to services in their communities.

“Public awareness campaigns and community engagement activities play a pivotal role in dismantling social stigmas, misconceptions, and discrimination related to specific health services and conditions,” reported one provider. “By challenging and dispelling these stigmas, we empower individuals to seek care comfortably, which in turn, lowers the hurdles to accessing services.”

Other providers focused on reaching populations that historically have been under supported.  “Our peers and navigators have been able to do community outreach on a regular basis…with peer support referrals and health screenings,” reported one provider. “[Our] outreach focuses primarily on the houseless, unstably housed, incarcerated, transitional, and marginalized BIPOC communities.”

Another provider described the value of providing supported employment services to people in need. “The housing portion of our services has helped build tangible life skills as our tenants work to remodel and create a beautiful space while earning a paycheck.”

Despite the reported growth in service access, nearly one-third of providers continue to report challenges around building their workforce.

The deadline for the next round of reporting for expenditure and program data is in April and will cover the time from October 1 – December 30, 2023. OHA expects to publish that data in Summer 2024.

Background: In November 2020, Oregon voters passed Measure 110, the Drug Addiction Treatment and Recovery Act of 2020, which became effective Dec. 4, 2020, to better serve people actively using substances or diagnosed with a substance use disorder. In July 2021, the legislature passed SB 755, which amended the act and made it more feasible to implement.

People who provide drug treatment and recovery services and advocates for criminal justice reform wrote Measure 110 in response to the high rate of drug addiction and overdoses in Oregon, and the disproportionate impact of those outcomes on Oregon’s communities of color.

Their goal was to establish a more equitable health-based and effective approach to substance use disorder.

OHA is continuing to develop and sharpen strategic parameters around data collection, establishing standards for the type that is appropriate to collect, modifying internal systems and processes to capture data outcomes, metrics, and reducing administrative burden on providers.

The Measure 110 program continues to refine service data collection for communities of color and other disproportionately affected communities, as the networks transition toward implementing Race Ethnicity and Language Disability (REALD) standards in their data collection.

U.S. Attorney’s Office Launches Carjacking Task Force

PORTLAND, Ore.—The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Oregon announced today that it will join 10 other U.S. Attorney’s Offices in establishing a multi-agency task force to address carjacking, an important public safety threat impacting communities in Oregon and beyond.

“We are pleased to join our Justice Department colleagues from across the country in taking this important, targeted step to address carjacking, a dangerous, violent crime. We thank all our law enforcement partners for their ongoing commitment to protecting Oregonians through this and other violent crime reduction efforts.” said Natalie Wight, U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon.

“The Justice Department has no higher priority than keeping our communities safe. We do so by targeting the most significant drivers of violent crime and by acting as a force multiplier for our state and local law enforcement partners. We’re seeing results — with violent crime declining broadly nationwide,” said Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco. “Today, we are launching seven new carjacking task forces across the country to build on the success of task forces in Chicago, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, and Tampa, where available data shows that carjacking rates are now falling. When prosecutors, officers, agents, and analysts come together to crunch data, share intelligence, and apply best practices, we can make real progress in the fight against all forms of violent crime, including carjacking.”

In keeping with the Justice Department’s Comprehensive Strategy for Reducing Violent Crime, the District of Oregon carjacking task force will focus federal resources on identifying, investigating, and prosecuting individuals responsible for committing carjackings and related crimes throughout the state. 

Carjacking task forces have proven to be an effective part of successful violent crime reduction strategies by focusing on a significant driver of crime and taking violent offenders off the streets. For example, carjackings in Philadelphia declined by 31 percent from 2022 to 2023, and armed carjackings are down 28 percent in the District of Columbia so far this year compared to the same period in 2023. In Chicago, carjackings decreased 29 percent from their high in 2021 through the end of 2023.

Local efforts to combat carjacking have already produced positive results. On Tuesday, a federal grand jury in Portland returned a three-count indictment charging, Raheim Carter, 41, a Portland resident, with carjacking, using and carrying a firearm during a crime of violence, and illegally possessing a firearm as a convicted felon. On March 15, 2024, Carter and an accomplice are alleged to have stolen a vehicle at gunpoint from a North Portland resident. Carter and the accomplice are alleged to have approached the victim while he was unloading groceries from his vehicle, demanded he hand over his keys at gunpoint, and drove off with the vehicle. The case was investigated by the Portland Police Bureau with assistance from the FBI.

The newly formed carjacking task forces will be led by U.S. Attorney’s Offices, the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) with state and local law enforcement partners.

Oregon Department of Emergency Management shares FEMA Public Assistance notification with counties and tribes impacted by the January storm

SALEM, Ore. – April 18, 2024 – On April 13, President Joe Biden approved Governor Tina Kotek’s request for a federal major disaster declaration for severe winter storms, straight-line winds, landslides, and mudslides that occurred throughout the state from Jan. 10-22 (view a GIS StoryMap of the event).

The declaration will provide supplemental grant funding through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Public Assistance program, a reimbursement program for public infrastructure damage and response costs to state, tribal, and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations in designated counties impacted by the event. This disaster declaration covers Benton, Clackamas, Coos, Hood River, Lane, Lincoln, Linn, Multnomah, Sherman, Tillamook, and Wasco counties and the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians.

FEMA Public Assistance is a supplementary financial assistance program for emergency work and the repair or replacement of public facilities and infrastructure damaged by the winter event. Financial assistance is available on a cost-sharing basis; reimbursement is 75% federal share of the eligible cost for emergency measures and permanent restoration costs and 25% is the applicant’s responsibility. The Oregon Department of Emergency Management (ODEM) administers the Public Assistance program in the state.

All eligible applicants with eligible projects within the designated counties and tribes can apply for public assistance. Eligible applicants include local governments, tribal governments, special districts, state agencies, and certain private nonprofits that have incurred costs for response activities or sustained facility damage as a direct result of the January event. Private nonprofits are those entities that provide a governmental type of service and have a 501(c), (d) or (e) tax exception status (see page 43 of the FEMA Public Assistance Program and Guide regarding eligible facilities and required documentation). Certain private nonprofits with damage to their facilities should apply for a U.S. Small Business Administration loan first.

ODEM and FEMA will work with each applicant to develop their projects, scope and costs that can be reimbursed. Potential applicants in the designated counties must complete a Request for Public Assistance in the FEMA Grants Portal by May 13.

The Major Disaster Declaration does not provide FEMA Individual Assistance and will not reimburse funds for repair or replacement costs by individuals to their property.

Learn more about the Public Assistance program at https://www.oregon.gov/oem/emresources/disasterassist/Pages/Public-Assistance.aspx.

Skeletal Remains Found in Rural Jacksonville Area, Detectives Investigating Suspicious Death

RURAL JACKSONVILLE, Ore. – Jackson County Sheriff’s Office (JCSO) detectives are investigating a suspicious death after skeletal remains were discovered Sunday, April 14 outside Jacksonville in the Applegate area. JCSO detectives and medical examiners responded to investigate. The rugged terrain and remote area required JCSO Search and Rescue (SAR) to assist in recovering the remains. Due to the ongoing investigation, the exact location will not be released at this time.

Investigators are working to identify the subject and the cause and manner of death. Due to the advanced stages of decomposition, state medical examiners will conduct additional testing. This case is under further investigation with detectives following additional leads. No more information is available at this time. JCSO Case 24-2046

Merkley, Wyden: Immediate Drought Relief Headed to the Klamath Basin, Pushing for Long-Term Recovery Solutions

Washington, D.C.– Oregon’s U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden released the following statement today following the Bureau of Reclamation’s recently announced water allocation for the Klamath Project, as well as $8.5 million in immediate drought relief aid for Klamath Basin communities and $5 million in technical assistance for Klamath Basin Tribes impacted by prolonged drought:

“We remain committed as ever to working together to ensure Klamath Basin communities have the resources they need to be successful. While the initial water allocation announced this year was less than expected, this immediate funding we secured and pushed the Biden administration to make available will go toward helping the region meet the challenges ahead.

“We are encouraged by the progress that Tribes and farmers in the basin have made in recent months, including the historic agreement between the Klamath Tribes, Yurok Tribe, Karuk Tribe, and Klamath Water Users Association, as well as the infusion of $72 million?in new federal funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for the basin’s recovery.

“Driven by the momentum of the cooperation paired with the robust investments that we secured, we are encouraged by the new ways folks are coming together to modernize agricultural operations, restore ecosystems and productive farms, and save the C’waam and Koptu fish from extinction. All these collective efforts are certainly building toward more comprehensive solutions where everyone in the Klamath Basin moves forward together toward a more resilient future.” https://www.wyden.senate.gov/news/press-releases/merkley-wyden-immediate-drought-relief-headed-to-the-klamath-basin-pushing-for-long-term-recovery-solutions

National Park Service approves Crater Lake National Park concessions contract transfer

Hospitality company ExplorUS to offer full visitor services this summer

CRATER LAKE, Ore. – The National Park Service (NPS) has approved the transfer of the Crater Lake National Park concessions contract formerly held by Crater Lake Hospitality.   

Hospitality company ExplorUS will take over providing visitor services under the contract immediately, including:  

  • Lodging at Crater Lake Lodge, The Cabins at Mazama Village, and Mazama Campground    
  • Food and Beverage at Crater Lake Lodge Dining Room, Annie Creek Restaurant, and Rim Village Café    
  • Retail at Rim Village Gift Shop, Annie Creek Gift Shop and Mazama Village Store (including gas pumps)   
  • Lake and Wizard Island Boat Tours 

“We look forward to working with ExplorUS as they invest in facilities, staff training, visitor services, and other improvements to make visitors’ and employees’ experiences at Crater Lake even better,” Crater Lake National Park Superintendent Craig Ackerman said.  

NPS and ExplorUS are striving for a seamless transition of services but ask for flexibility and patience from park visitors. The majority of visitor services in Crater Lake National Park begin to open for the season in mid-May. Information about services currently available are available on the park website at https://www.nps.gov/crla.   


  About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 429 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at www.nps.gov, and on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.   

The Oregon Caves National Monument and Preserve is back open after the winter season closure.

Tours will be offered five days a week, Thursday through Monday, on a limited basis. They will run on a first come, first served basis between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Entry to the monument is free, however tickets for tours can be purchased on site or at the Illinois Valley Visitor Center.

Meanwhile, Crater Lake National Park visitors can enjoy a free visit this weekend. Saturday is the first day of National Park Week which means the National Park Service is offering free admission to over 400 parks nationwide.

That includes Crater Lake National Park, and it’s only on Saturday.

The next fee free day after that is June 19.

National Park Week runs April 20 through April 28 and NPS is offering up a list of themes for each day of the celebrationhttps://www.nps.gov/subjects/npscelebrates/national-park-week.htm

Entrance fees will be waived on April 20, 2024, to kick off the celebration and to encourage everyone to enjoy their national parks in person. National Park Service parks, programs, and partners will host events and activities all week! Follow National Park Week on social media and join the fun all week using #NationalParkWeek.

Oregon’s Nonfarm Payroll Employment Rises by 1,400 in March

In March, Oregon’s seasonally adjusted nonfarm payroll employment rose by 1,400 jobs, following a revised gain of 2,800 jobs in February. March’s gains were largest in professional and business services (+2,400 jobs); government (+1,000); and wholesale trade (+600). Monthly declines were largest in construction (-2,300 jobs); retail trade (-600); and manufacturing (-600).

Hiring trends diverged during the first three months of the year. Several major industries expanded by at least 1,500 jobs, while others contracted. Health care and social assistance continued its rapid growth of the past two years with gains totaling 3,300 jobs during January, February, and March. Administrative and waste services added 2,700 jobs during those three months, which was an abrupt shift following this industry’s loss of 4,600 jobs during 2023. Government added 1,500 jobs so far this year as it continued its recovery and expansion of the past three years.

The industry that dropped the most during the first three months of the year was construction, which dropped by 3,300 jobs, following a relatively flat year in 2023 when it gained only 900 jobs. Meanwhile, accommodation and food services dropped 1,900 jobs so far this year, which nearly erased its gain of 2,000 jobs last year. 

Oregon’s unemployment rate was 4.2% in both February and March. Its rise from a record low of 3.4% in May 2023 is a sign of a loosening labor market. Another indicator of a loosening labor market was the rise in the number of Oregonians employed part time for economic reasons, which rose to 73,000 in March from a low of 48,200 in September 2022. 

Oregon’s Next Minimum Wage Increase Takes Effect In July

Oregon’s Bureau of Labor and Industries announced Tuesday that the minimum wage in the Portland area will rise to $15.95. In urban counties outside the Portland area, the minimum wage will be $14.70 an hour. And in rural counties, the minimum will be $13.70. The change takes effect July 1.

A 50-cent hike to Oregon’s minimum wage will bring baseline pay in the Portland area just to the doorstep of $16 an hour this summer.

Oregon has had a tiered minimum wage since 2017, when the state Legislature approved a series of minimum wage increases but kept the minimum lower in more rural parts of the state, reasoning that the cost of living was lower, too.

Since 2023, annual increases in the minimum wage have been tied to the rate of inflation. The Consumer Price Index, the inflation measure used to calculate the increase, rose 3.5% over the past year.

The increases announced Tuesday range from 2.9% for the Portland metro to 3.8% raise in rural areas. The average Oregon hourly wage is much higher than the minimum, $31.17 last year, according to the state employment department. The federal minimum wage has been $7.25 an hour since 2009.

April 30th is the deadline for people registering to vote in Oregon for the first time or for those who wish to change party affiliation.

The upcoming May 21st election is a closed-party primary election for registered Democrats and Republicans.
That means that Democrats will be voting for Democrat and nonpartisan candidates and measures and Republicans will be voting for Republican and nonpartisan candidates and measures.

Non-affiliated and all other voters will be voting on nonpartisan candidates and measures.

Oregon Online Voter Registration: https://sos.oregon.gov/voting/Pages/registration.aspx?lang=en

ODOT Reminding The Public That Political Signs Posted Incorrectly Will Be Removed

The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) would like to remind the public that political signs posted incorrectly will be removed.

ODOT will remove improperly placed signs like the one above and hold them at the nearest ODOT maintenance yard. Photo courtesy of the Oregon Department of Transportation.

During election season ODOT tells us they receive complaints from the public and candidates regarding the improper placement of political signs on the state highway rights of way, where only official traffic control devices are allowed. Improperly placed signs can distract drivers and block road safety messages.

Wrongly placed signs will be taken down and held at a nearby ODOT district maintenance office for 30 days. To reclaim signs, go here to find the nearest ODOT maintenance office.

Signs are prohibited on trees, utility poles, fence posts and natural features within highway right-of-ways, ODOT tells us. They also are prohibited within view of a designated scenic area.

State highway width rights of way can vary considerably depending on the location. Check with your local ODOT district maintenance office to determine whether placing a sign is on private property or highway right of way. Local municipalities may also regulate the placement of political signs.

Political signs are allowed on private property within view of state highways with the following restrictions:

  • Signs are limited to 12 square feet but can be up to 32 square feet with a variance from our Oregon Advertising Sign program
  • Signs cannot have flashing or intermittent lights, or animated or moving parts
  • Signs must not imitate official highway signs or devices
  • Signs are not allowed in scenic corridors
  • No payment or compensation of any kind can be exchanged for either the placement of or the message on temporary signs, including political signs, which are visible to a state highway

For more information go to ODOT’s Outdoor Advertising Sign Program.

Oregon Secretary of State releases 2024 Civic Engagement Toolkit

Oregon Secretary of State LaVonne Griffin-Valade released a civic engagement toolkit today, aimed at helping organizations do voter registration and voter turnout work in the 2024 elections.

The tools included in the 2024 toolkit are official, non-partisan, research-backed and free to use with or without attribution to our office.

Download the 2024 Civic Engagement Toolkit here.

Museum receives $500,000 National Endowment for the Humanities award 


BEND, OR — The High Desert Museum will receive $500,000 from the National Endowment for the Humanities, one of 10 in the nation selected for funding for the exceedingly competitive Public Humanities Projects: Exhibition category, the agency announced Tuesday.

The funding will support the Museum’s revitalization of its permanent exhibition dedicated to the Indigenous cultures of the region. By Hand Through Memory opened in 1999, supported in part by NEH funding. Hand in hand with Native partners, the Museum has been working on a new version of the exhibition for several years.

This award is the second grant for the project: In 2019, NEH awarded the Museum $45,000 to support the planning of the renovation. The agency also awarded the Museum $500,000 in 2023 to support an associated expansion of the Museum, bringing the total commitment to the Museum’s future to $1,045,000.

“For more than four decades, the High Desert Museum has set the gold standard for showing and telling both Oregonians and visitors our state’s history,” U.S. Senator Ron Wyden said. “Indigenous history is essential to that mission, and I’m gratified this Central Oregon treasure has secured such a significant federal investment to enable it to update and expand the permanent exhibition devoted to Native perspectives and experiences.”

“We’re immensely grateful to NEH and Senators Wyden and Merkley for this transformational investment,” said High Desert Museum Executive Director Dana Whitelaw, Ph.D. “The revitalized exhibition will be centered in Native voices and knowledge, sharing the rich stories of Indigenous communities throughout the Plateau region. The NEH funding is vital for realizing our vision.”

The Museum is presently working on exhibition design with Ralph Appelbaum Associates, a firm that has handled museum projects ranging from the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History in Washington, D.C. to the First

Americans Museum in Oklahoma City, an effort sharing the stories of the 39 Tribes in Oklahoma that opened in 2021.

The exhibition renovation is part of the long-term vision for the future of the Museum, which includes more capacity for educational programming, immersive experiences to bring visitors into the forest canopy, a permanent art exhibition space and a gathering space for Museum events. The Sisters-based Roundhouse Foundation helped launch work on this vision with a $6 million gift in 2021.

The Museum opened in 1982. Founder Donald M. Kerr envisioned the space as an immersive experience that highlights the wonder of the High Desert, often saying that its mission is to “wildly excite and responsibly teach.” He also intended for the Museum and its programs to spark dialogue and bring people together in conversations about what they want for the region’s future.

Today, the Museum shares up to nine rotating temporary exhibitions, serves more than 8,600 participants with school field trips, and provides free and reduced-price admissions to more than 25,000 visitors. It welcomed more than 216,000 visitors in 2023.

The National Endowment for the Humanities is an independent federal agency that supports cultural institutions in their efforts to facilitate research and original scholarship, provides opportunities for lifelong learning, preserves and provides access to cultural and educational resources, and strengthens the institutional base of the humanities throughout the nation.


The HIGH DESERT MUSEUM opened in Bend, Oregon in 1982. It brings together wildlife, cultures, art, history and the natural world to convey the wonder of North America’s High Desert. The Museum is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, is a Smithsonian Affiliate, was the 2019 recipient of the Western Museums Association’s Charles Redd Award for Exhibition Excellence and was a 2021 recipient of the National Medal for Museum and Library Service. To learn more, visit highdesertmuseum.org and follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

ODOT Reminding The Public That Political Signs Posted Incorrectly Will Be Removed

The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) would like to remind the public that political signs posted incorrectly will be removed.


ODOT will remove improperly placed signs like the one above and hold them at the nearest ODOT maintenance yard. Photo courtesy of the Oregon Department of Transportation.

During election season ODOT tells us they receive complaints from the public and candidates regarding the improper placement of political signs on the state highway rights of way, where only official traffic control devices are allowed. Improperly placed signs can distract drivers and block road safety messages.

Wrongly placed signs will be taken down and held at a nearby ODOT district maintenance office for 30 days. To reclaim signs, go here to find the nearest ODOT maintenance office.

Signs are prohibited on trees, utility poles, fence posts and natural features within highway right-of-ways, ODOT tells us. They also are prohibited within view of a designated scenic area.

State highway width rights of way can vary considerably depending on the location. Check with your local ODOT district maintenance office to determine whether placing a sign is on private property or highway right of way. Local municipalities may also regulate the placement of political signs.

Political signs are allowed on private property within view of state highways with the following restrictions:

  • Signs are limited to 12 square feet but can be up to 32 square feet with a variance from our Oregon Advertising Sign program
  • Signs cannot have flashing or intermittent lights, or animated or moving parts
  • Signs must not imitate official highway signs or devices
  • Signs are not allowed in scenic corridors
  • No payment or compensation of any kind can be exchanged for either the placement of or the message on temporary signs, including political signs, which are visible to a state highway

For more information go to ODOT’s Outdoor Advertising Sign Program.

Oregon Offers Electric Car Rebates Again – Apply Now Until June 3rd


Due to high demand and limited funding, OCVRP will be open for a short time in 2024. Vehicles must be purchased or leased between April 3, 2024, to June 3, 2024, to be eligible for a rebate.

Applicants have six months from their date of purchase or lease to apply. Low- and moderate-income households can prequalify for the $5,000 Charge Ahead rebate by completing the application now at https://apps.oregon.gov/DEQ/Voucher/apply.

Oregon to Honor Fallen Law Enforcement Officers May 7th, 2024

Every year, the Oregon Law Enforcement Memorial Ceremony honors the state’s law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty. This year’s ceremony will be held Tuesday, May 7 at 1 p.m. at the Oregon Public Safety Academy in Salem.

The annual event commemorates the more than 190 fallen officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice in service to the state of Oregon since the 1860s. This includes law enforcement, corrections, and parole and probation officers from city, county, state, tribal and federal law enforcement agencies.

The Department of Public Safety Standards and Training is proud to host the ceremony in partnership with the Oregon Law Enforcement Memorial Fund, Oregon Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.), Oregon Fallen Badge Foundation, and various statewide law enforcement associations.


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

Contact us: Info@OregonBeachMagazine.com

Related posts

It’s National Library Week

Renee Shaw

Oregon Beach News, Tuesday 3/29 – Tillamook Rock Lighthouse For Sale, Settlement Reached In Brookings Lawsuit Filed By Disabled Woman

Renee Shaw

Girl Scouts of the USA’s Top Executive, Sylvia Acevedo, To Deliver Keynote and Bestow Highest Honor For 20 Gold Award Girl Scouts

Brian Casey