The latest news stories across the state of Oregon from the digital home of the Oregon coastal cities, OregonBeachMagazine.com
Friday, September 1, 2023
Oregon Beach Weather
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY ISSUED: 2:19 AM SEP. 1, 2023 – NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE
...SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 2 AM PDT SATURDAY... * WHAT...Steep seas 6 to 9 ft at 8 seconds and north winds 15 to 20 kt with gusts to 30 kt. * WHERE...All of the waters. * WHEN...Until 2 AM 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
Harris Beach Health Advisory Issued
High bacteria levels prompt OHA recommendation to avoid water contact
Oregon Health Authority (OHA) is issuing a public health advisory today for unsafe levels of fecal bacteria in ocean waters at Harris Beach in Curry County. People should avoid direct contact with the water in this area until the advisory is lifted.
Unsafe levels of fecal bacteria can cause diarrhea, stomach cramps, skin rashes, upper respiratory infections, and other illnesses. Children, elderly and those with a compromised immune system should use extra caution as they are more vulnerable to illness from waterborne bacteria.
Visitors should avoid wading in nearby creeks, pools of water on the beach, or in discolored water, and stay clear of water runoff flowing into the ocean. Levels of fecal bacteria tend to be higher in these types of water sources.
Unsafe levels of fecal bacteria in ocean waters can come from both shore and inland sources including:
- Stormwater runoff.
- Sewer overflows.
- Failing septic systems.
- Animal waste from livestock, pets and wildlife.
Even if there is no advisory in effect, avoid swimming in the ocean within 48 hours after a rainstorm.
Ocean waters will be re-tested after an advisory is issued. Once bacteria levels are at a safe level, OHA will notify the public that the advisory is lifted.
While this advisory is in effect at Harris Beach, state officials continue to encourage other recreational activities (flying kites, picnicking, playing on the beach, walking, etc.) on this beach because they pose no health risk even during an advisory.
For the most recent information on advisories, visit the Oregon Beach Monitoring Program website at http://www.healthoregon.org/beach or call 971-673-0482, or 877-290-6767 (toll-free).
Registration is Live for SOLVE Beach & Riverside Cleanup
– Get ready to participate in a time-honored tradition as SOLVE presents the Annual Beach & Riverside Cleanup. This eagerly anticipated event brings families and communities together to engage in beach cleanups, river cleanups, habitat restoration projects, and neighborhood litter pickup events throughout Oregon.
SOLVE is hosting over 60 project sites statewide between September 9th through September 17th – with the main events culminating on Saturday, September 16th. This extensive reach encompasses locations from the Coast to Portland, as well as the Willamette Valley, Central and Eastern Oregon. Volunteer registration is now live. Visit www.solveoregon.org to learn more about the available projects and to register for this impactful event.
From its inception in 1986, the Beach & Riverside Cleanup has evolved into a cherished annual event for countless Oregonian families. “It stands as a testament to our shared dedication to environmental stewardship, offering a safe and efficient way to make a lasting impact,” says Kris Carico, SOLVE’s Chief Executive Officer. “Our journey through the years has fostered a deep connection to Oregon’s waterways, from their origin to the sea. We encourage all fellow Oregonians to sign up for this statewide cleanup event.“
Since its start, the Beach & Riverside Cleanup has accounted for the removal of more than 2.5 million pounds of litter and marine debris. To put this in perspective, that’s equivalent to the weight of six Boeing 747 airplanes. Last year’s impressive effort involved almost 3,000 volunteers across 147 sites in Oregon, resulting in the collection and removal of approximately 50,000 pounds of discarded trash. September 16th is also International Coastal Cleanup Day and SOLVE is proudly joining forces with the Ocean Conservancy Group, contributing to a global endeavor aimed at preserving our coastlines.
SOLVE’s Beach & Riverside Cleanup is in partnership with Subaru of Portland, with additional support from OnPoint Community Credit Union, Bamboo Sushi, Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, Metro, BottleDrop, Knife River, Koin, Fred Meyer, Chevron, Clean Water Services, Tillamook County Creamery Association, and Tektronix.
About SOLVE — SOLVE is a statewide non-profit organization that brings Oregonians together to improve our environment and build a legacy of stewardship. Since 1969, the organization has grown from a small, grassroots group to a national model of volunteer action. Today, SOLVE mobilizes and trains tens of thousands of volunteers of all ages across Oregon to clean and restore our neighborhoods and natural areas, and build a legacy of stewardship for our state. Visit solveoregon.org for more information.
Astoria Hospital Hopes To Include Tsunami Upgrades In Planned Expansion
If awarded, a federal grant would help Columbia Memorial Hospital prepare for a natural disaster
Columbia Memorial Hospital is closing in on a $13.9 million federal grant that will allow the Astoria-based hospital to serve as a refuge for the community in the event of a tsunami or earthquake.
Hospital leaders announced on Wednesday that the Federal Emergency Management Agencyhas selected its application as a finalist for a grant to help communities reduce the risk from natural disasters. If selected, Columbia Memorial will use the money to make the planned expansion to the nearly 50-year-old hospital more resistant to an earthquake or tsunami.
“We find ourselves struggling to grow in our current facility because of the design, and it was also built in a time where we didn’t know much about the Cascadia subduction zone,” Columbia Memorial CEO Erik Thorsen told The Lund Report, referring to a large fault line off the Oregon coast.
Columbia Memorial plans to begin work next year on an expansion of the 25-bed acute care hospital that’ll add 180,000 square feet. The plan is intended to add more space at the hospital for services and will expand the hospital’s emergency department, operating rooms, laboratory and radiology services, while also adding a new chapel and dining facilities.
Columbia Memorial plans to use the FEMA grant money on a “deep pile foundation” for the expansion. The foundation would extend deep below the earth’s surface, possibly reaching bedrock, helping the new building withstand an earthquake, Thorsen said.
Another notable feature Columbia Memorial would use the money on is a “tsunami vertical evacuation structure,” an accessible surface on the roof of the third floor of the expanded hospital where up to 1,900 people could find high ground on the structure in the event of a tsunami.
The hospital also plans to use the grant money to put generators and other critical infrastructure on the roof to keep it functional in case of an earthquake or tsunami. Thorsen said that the hospital is planning to have supplies and a kitchen that could support people taking refuge for up to 96 hours. A new helipad included in the expansion could also be used to evacuate people taking refuge at the hospital, he said.
“The other big part is really the location of our patients,” said Thorsen.
The expansion would allow patients to be kept on the hospital’s third floor and they wouldn’t have to be evacuated from the facility in case of an emergency, he said. Currently, he said the entire hospital would have to be evacuated in case of an emergency.
Mark Kujala, director of the Columbia Memorial Hospital Foundation, told The Lund Report that while FEMA might request additional information about its grant application over the coming months, he’s confident the hospital in Astoria will be selected.
Thorsen said he’s grateful that the grant has the support of many community members and elected officials, including area Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici.
“Columbia Memorial Hospital serves communities on Oregon’s North Coast, and it must be able to withstand a natural disaster,” Bonamici said in a statement. (SOURCE)
Call For Local Artists Submissions For Permanent Installation At The Surfsand Resort
Studio Art Direct is seeking coastal themed artworks created by local artists for permanent installation at The Surfsand Resort in Cannon Beach.
The iconic Surfsand is remodeling with a fresh, natural, modern coastal feel. As part of the new design, artworks will be purchased for 92 guest rooms and public areas throughout four buildings. The goal of the art collection is to surprise and delight hotel guests with works of art that communicate the majesty, beauty, and excitement Oregon coast. We are seeking unique, artistic impressions that will create a magical sense of place imbuing the soul of Cannon Beach.
REQUIREMENTS — To be considered, you must reside in Clatsop or Tillamook County. Emerging and established artists are encouraged to submit.
TYPE OF ARTWORK — Original and reproduction artworks depicting scenes from Cannon Beach and surrounding coastal icons, vistas and details will be considered. From the ocean to the dunes, from Cannon Beach downtown to the people who live and play there, we are looking for a fresh local feel with a colorful and uplifting palette. Abstract and impressionistic styles are preferred.
Mediums can include, but are not limited to, original paintings, printmaking, drawings, multi-media, silk screen, and wall sculpture. Professional captures of original artworks suitable for reproduction are also included. A variety of sizes will be considered.
Photography will not be accepted.
PURCHASE INFORMATION — Original artworks will be purchased outright. Budget is $150 – $6,000.00/each.
Reproduction artworks will be selected for volume installations in guest rooms. Licensing royalties will be negotiated directly with selected artists.
HOW TO SUBMIT — Submitting is easy! Click here for online submission form or go to www.studioartdirect.com/submit-art
· Deadline for submissions: September 4, 2023
· Announcement to selected artists: September 8,
· Project installation: Phased December 2023 –
ABOUT SURFSAND RESORT — For decades, families have made Surfsand their destination to reconnect, celebrate, and relax. Our legendary beach has hosted generations of driftwood forts, sea star sightings, and lantern-lit beach walks. With the Pacific Ocean at our doorstep and extraordinary views of Haystack Rock, the Surfsand makes space for you to choose how you want to unwind and explore the North Oregon Coast. From a relaxing soak in the hot tub or to bonfire and s’mores under the stars; from a sound sleep in a luxurious bed to fresh, mouthwatering PNW cuisine, we create unforgettable experiences that bring you back, year after year.
To learn more about Surf Sand Resort, visit www.surfsand.com
ABOUT STUDIO ART DIRECT– We are corporate Art Consultants creating memorable, custom, site specific art and graphic collections for the healthcare, hospitality, public works, and corporations. With over 30 years of experience and $25M in completed projects, our vast network of artists, designers, and craftsmen allows us to curate, create, and fabricate permanent art collections that infuse soul into every project. From large-scale installation art to environmental graphics, themed originals to volume reproductions, we are experiential designers collaborating with design teams and owners to create immersive environments, intelligently curated and fabricated with purpose.
To learn more about Studio Art Direct, visit www.studioartdirect.com (SOURCE)
Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office to Host Hiring Event in September
We are looking for individuals with strong character, motivation, and integrity to join our Sheriff’s Office team. With multiple positions open, the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office is hosting a hiring event on Saturday, September 30, 2023. This event is a great opportunity for interested applicants to meet our team, ask questions, and get a better idea of the rewarding careers with our team.
Deputy applicants ages 21 years and older are invited to complete the written and physical testing requirements for free. Participants in this event experience a significantly expedited application process. In addition to completing required tests for free, participants will also have the opportunity to meet our team, ask questions, receive more information on perks and benefits, and enjoy free lunch and snacks. All participants need to bring ID and deputy applicants need to bring athletic clothes and shoes.
We also encourage anyone interested in our medical positions to attend this event. While there are no testing requirements for qualified nursing candidates, applicants will have the chance to meet our team and complete an application.
Those interested in participating can complete an application before or after the event. For those that would like to submit an application before, visit www.co.lincoln.or.us/748/Join-the-Team. Join us at this hiring event to jumpstart your successful career in Law Enforcement.
Date: Saturday, September 30, 2023
Time: 10:30am – 4:00pm
10:30am – 11:00am Check in and Meet and Greet
11:00am – 1:00pm Written Exam (tests for applicants interested in deputy positions)
1:00pm – 1:30pm Lunch and Networking
1:30pm – 4:00pm Physical Test (physical testing for applicants interested in deputy positions. Testing takes less than 30 minutes per participant).
Location: Search and Rescue Building, 830 NE 7th St., Newport
What to Bring:
- Government Issued Identification
- Athletic clothes and shoes if applying for a deputy position
- Interest in joining our team as a Corrections or Patrol Deputy, Corrections Nurse, or Cook.
Registration for this event is encouraged but not required. For questions or to register, contact Jess Palma at 541-265-0652 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Yachats Lions Labor Day Breakfast on September 3rd
Oregon Lions Sight & Hearing Foundation – 08/18/23 9:39 AM
Yachats Lions Club – Pancake Breakfast on September 3rd
Yachats Lions Club – Pancake Breakfast on September 3rd
YACHATS, OR, September 3rd – The Yachats Lions Club will host their Labor Day Pancake Breakfast on September 3rd from 7:30am – 11:00am at Yachats Lions Hall at 344 4th Street, Yachats OR 97498. There’s a $10 suggested donation to welcome folks for an all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast!
All proceeds from Yachats Lions Club’s annual fundraisers and their Yachats Lions Thrift Store makes giving back to their local community possible. We support Lions community service projects, which include scholarships to graduating seniors, food pantries, school programs, Yachats Youth & Family Services, South Lincoln Resources, Yachats Fire Department, and eyeglasses & exams for children & adults. With the motto “WE SERVE,” Yachats Lions Club is celebrating 73 years of service to Yachats and South Lincoln County.
Together, the Lions Clubs of Oregon, the statewide nonprofit OLSHF, and partners offer access to people for critical sight-saving surgeries and treatments, secure new eyeglasses, help people who can’t afford eyeglasses and hearing aids, and manage the largest vision screening program in the US.
To learn more about the Yachats Lions Club and their work in the local community, you can visit yachatslionsclub.org.
Rod’s N Rhodies Car Show
The annual Rod’s N Rhodies car show event is coming September 8th and 9th to the Old Town Area. The 15th annual event will feature hot rods and classic custom vehicles from all over the west.
The annual event goes towards supporting Transportation Solutions which provides car repairs for families in need. Transportation Solutions works with local families on a referral basis to fix most maintenance problems so that individuals can get to work, transport kids to school, and other activities. Information on the mission of Transportation Solutions can be found at rodsnrhodies.org/transportation-solutions.
Florence Annual Yard Sale
If you want to participate in the annual City Wide Garage Sale September 8-10, then you have to act quickly. In order to be included in the map that is distributed in the Siuslaw News the deadline for registration is this coming Monday, August 21st. due to print deadlines information has to be in to make the September 1st and September 8th publications. This is the 10th year the community garage sale has gone on and participants will receive recognition on the map and two signs for their $15 fee.
Lincoln City Police Department Will Conduct Enhanced DUII Enforcement Over Labor Day Weekend
The Lincoln City Police Department will be utilizing grant funds to step up their enforcement efforts against drunk driving over the Labor Day weekend. This additional enforcement effort is being conducted in conjunction with national crackdown efforts that are designed to curb drunken driving, decrease crashes, reduce injuries, and save lives.
During the upcoming Labor Day weekend, law enforcement agencies nationwide will be out in force looking to get drunk and impaired drivers off the roadways. Lincoln City Police officers will be putting extra focus on seeking out drivers who are impaired by alcohol or drugs. Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants (DUII) continues to be a leading cause of motor vehicle crash injuries and deaths throughout the nation.
The Lincoln City Police Department last used these grant funds during the weekend of the Newport Seafood and Wine Festival. During that operation, the officer conducted multiple traffic stops, but no DUII arrests were made.
The members of the Lincoln City Police Department are committed to the safety of our citizens and visitors. The DUII Enforcement grant funds are a valuable resource that assists us in improving the traffic safety in our community. Our goal is simple: to save lives and prevent injuries caused by DUII crashes. These grant funds were made possible through the Oregon Department of Transportation and Oregon Impact.
Oregon State Police attempting to located dangerous escapee- Public assistance requested
On Wednesday, August 30, 2023, at approximately 10:45 P.M., the Oregon State Police were notified of an escaped adult in custody and patient of the Oregon State Hospital, located in Salem.
Christopher Lee Pray was an adult in custody at the Multnomah County jail for multiple serious charges, to include Attempted Aggravated Murder, when he was transferred to the Oregon State Hospital on August 30. At approximately 10:45 P.M., Pray escaped from custody when he stole a white 2016 Dodge Caravan, bearing Oregon license plate E265614, and eluded law enforcement southbound on Interstate 5. Law enforcement terminated the pursuit due to safety concerns and Pray was not apprehended.
Prays whereabouts are unknown at this time. He was last seen heading southbound on Interstate 5, however he has ties to the greater Portland metro area. At the time of his escape, he was fully restrained with leg shackles, a belly chain, handcuffs, and a restraint connecting all three together. He was wearing a white t-shirt, maroon sweatpants, and black rubber slippers.
Pray is considered extremely dangerous and should not be approached. Law enforcement is urging the public to dial 911 and report any sightings of Pray or the vehicle he was operating.
Christopher Lee Pray- Poses an extreme danger to the public
- 39 years old
- 6 ft. tall, 170 pounds
- Brown hair and brown eyes
- White male
- Trimmed facial hair- may be different from photo
- Stitches on his upper lip
- Tattoos- Right arm- “PRAY”; right forearm – “S”; neck- possibly “supreme”
- Full restraints- leg shackles, belly chain, and handcuffs
- White t-shirt, maroon sweatpants, and black rubber slippers.
2016 white Dodge Caravan- (photo not actual vehicle)
- Oregon license plate- E265614 (yellow plate)
- No identifying marks
Oregon to issue an additional $39 million in Pandemic EBT food assistance to 325,000 children
- Oregon will provide approximately $39 million in food benefits to approximately 325,000 students beginning Aug. 31 and through September.
- Starting Aug. 31 and through the month of September, $120 in food benefits per eligible child will be issued to Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) cards.
- These additional food benefits are part of the P-EBT program, a temporary COVID-19 response program meant to provide additional food support for children whose access to food provided through school programs.
- Since 2020, Oregon has issued $1 billion in P-EBT food benefits to help children in Oregon get enough quality and nutritious food.
(Salem) – The Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS) will begin issuing approximately $39 million in Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) food benefits to approximately 325,000 students in Oregon on Aug. 31.
“We are grateful to be able to provide these food benefits to eligible students in Oregon,” said Claire Seguin, director of the ODHS Self-Sufficiency Programs. “As communities continue to be affected by COVID-19 and the rising cost of food, we know that many families are experiencing hardship and are struggling to get enough healthy food for themselves and their children. We encourage anyone who is struggling to meet their basic needs to contact our partners at 211, the Oregon Food Bank and their local Community Action Agency for support during this difficult time.”
How students will receive P-EBT food benefits — The P-EBT food benefits will be issued onto the P-EBT cards mailed to students in Spring 2023. Families who lost or threw away their card can contact the P-EBT call center at (844) ORE-PEBT or (844) 673-7328 to request a new card.
Newly eligible students will receive two pieces of mail addressed to them:
- A letter notifying them they will receive P-EBT
- A separate envelope with their P-EBT card that has $120 of food benefits on it
Who is eligible for P-EBT food benefits — Students are eligible for this P-EBT issuance if they received free or reduced-price National School Lunch Program meals at school or attended a Community Eligibility Provision school in May 2023.
More P-EBT food benefits to come for certain children — Oregon has received federal approval to provide additional P-EBT food benefits to children under 6 years old who received Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program food benefits between July 2022 and August 2023. Details about when and how these children will receive their P-EBT food benefits will be announced as soon as it is available.
What is the P-EBT program? — Since 2020, Oregon has issued approximately $1 billion in P-EBT food benefits to help children in Oregon get enough quality and nutritious food.
These additional food benefits are part of the P-EBT program, a temporary COVID-19 response program meant to provide additional food support for children whose access to adequate and quality food received through school programs may have been impacted by COVID-19.
Visit pebt.oregon.gov for more information about the P-EBT program.
Families with specific questions about their child’s eligibility or P-EBT card can contact the P-EBT Call Center at (844) ORE-PEBT or (844) 673-7328. The P-EBT Call Center is available Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Pacific in seven language options (English, Spanish, Russian, Vietnamese, Somalian, Mandarin and Cantonese). Callers may also request a translator for additional languages.
P-EBT does not replace any child nutrition program already offered and families are encouraged to continue to participate in meal programs in their schools and communities.
P-EBT food benefits are issued in addition to regular SNAP benefits. P-EBT benefits are not considered in a public charge test.
Resources to help meet basic needs
- Find food resources in your community: needfood.oregon.gov
- Find a food pantry: foodfinder.oregonfoodbank.org
- Learn about government programs and community resources for older adults and people with disabilities: Aging and Disability Resource Connection of Oregon at 1-855-673-2372 or www.adrcoforegon.org.
- Dial 2-1-1, or text your zip code to 898-211, www.211info.org
- Find local resources and support by contacting your local Community Action Agency: www.caporegon.org/find-services/
About SNAP — Administered by ODHS, SNAP is a federal program that provides food assistance to approximately 1 million eligible, low-income families and individuals in Oregon, including many older adults and people with disabilities. Oregonians in need can apply for benefits, including SNAP, child care, cash assistance and Medicaid. Learn more at https://govstatus.egov.com/or-dhs-benefits. For local resources in your area, such as food or shelter, please call 2-1-1 or reach out to the state’s Aging and Disability Resource Connection (ADRC) at 1-855-ORE-ADRC or 1-855-673-2372.
About P-EBT — Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) is part of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. P-EBT is money for children whose access to adequate and quality food may have been impacted by COVID-19.
P-EBT is a program in partnership with the Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS) and the Oregon Department of Education (ODE).
Oregon Political Leaders Delighted By State Revenue Forecast
Oregon will have plenty of tax money to spend on public services as corporate tax collections are increasing in a strong post-pandemic economy, state economists said Wednesday.
Total general fund resources for the 2023-25 budget are projected to be $437 million higher than state economists projected ahead of final budget votes in June, officials said. Democratic Gov. Tina Kotek welcomed the news from the Office of Economic Analysis.
“We must leverage the opportunity presented by another positive forecast to invest in housing production and other urgent needs to support Oregon families and the state’s long-term economic growth,” Kotek said.
Rep. Vikki Breese-Iverson, leader of the minority Republicans in the Oregon House of Representatives, urged that funds be dedicated to combat crime and the flood of fentanyl into the state. House Speaker Dan Rayfield, a Democrat, said the healthy revenue forecast means Oregon can continue to address homelessness, access to mental health and health care, community safety and education.
State Economist Josh Lehner said that as inflation slows, income gains are outpacing price increases, leading to rising living standards.
“Today’s forecast means we can sustain critical funding for services that directly impact the lives of Oregon families,” Democratic Senate President Rob Wagner said.
Senate Republican Leader Tim Knopp urged bold investments in infrastructure like roads, sewer systems and water.
An increase in revenues at the end of the 2021-23 biennium will result in a larger personal income “kicker” than previously estimated, state economists said. The typical Oregonian is expected to receive a $980 credit on their state income tax under Oregon’s unique “kicker” law. (SOURCE)
Joint Task Force Arrests Phoenix Man for Sexually Exploiting Several Children Through Social Media, Detectives Believe He May Have Other Victims
JCSO Case 23-1667
PHOENIX, Ore. – A Phoenix man is now lodged in the Jackson County Jail on child cyber-sex crime charges. The Southern Oregon Child Exploitation Team (SOCET) joint inter-agency task force arrested the man yesterday morning and served a search warrant at his apartment in the 600 block of North Main Street in Phoenix. SOCET began an investigation after receiving a report from the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office of a child being sexually exploited through the social media site X, formerly known as Twitter.
The suspect, Joshua Ray Pool, 40, of Phoenix, is charged with using a child in display of sexually explicit content and first-degree encouraging child sex abuse. During the warrant, investigators seized digital devices which will be forensically examined by Southern Oregon High Tech Crimes Task Force (SOHTCTF) for further evidence of child exploitation.
Investigators believe Pool may have been communicating with other child victims from throughout the United States. If you have any information on the suspect, contact investigators through the Sheriff’s App “Submit a Tip” feature. Download the App here: https://apps.myocv.com/share/a72997501. You can also call the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office (JCSO) Tip Line at (541) 774-8333 and reference case number 23-1667.
JCSO deputies, Federal Bureau of Investigation, SOHTCTF, Medford Police Department, Phoenix Police Department, and Jackson County District Attorney’s Office assisted with the warrant service. Detectives are interviewing possible witnesses and involved parties, and investigations are ongoing.
SOCET is a joint inter-agency task force that started in June of 2020 to combat child exploitation and human trafficking. The task force consists of investigators from JCSO and Homeland Security Investigations; as well as prosecutors from our local, state and federal law enforcement partners in Jackson and Josephine County.
REMINDER: Resumption of federal student loan repayments begins in October
Salem –The Oregon Division of Financial Regulation (DFR) is reminding everyone with federal student loans that payments will resume for all borrowers in October, following a pause implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Interest accrual resumes Sept. 1, potentially affecting borrowers’ outstanding loan balances. Since March 2020, interest on most federal student loans had been temporarily paused.
“An important aspect of this transition is that people’s student loan balances have remained unchanged, but with the resumption of interest accrual, they will begin to rise,” said Lane Thompson, Oregon student loan ombuds. “We encourage borrowers to be active in understanding the implications of this change on their financial obligations.”
To facilitate a smooth transition and ensure accurate communication, all borrowers are urged to log in to studentaid.gov, the official U.S. Department of Education platform for federal student aid, and verify the accuracy of their contact and servicer information. Also, it is recommended that borrowers review their repayment options. Circumstances can evolve over time, making it essential to align repayment strategies with current financial status.
“A lot can change in three years, so it is paramount for people to verify the accuracy of their information,” Thompson said. “Ensuring that contact details are up to date will help borrowers stay informed about their loan status.”
In conjunction with the resumption of payments, the Biden administration has introduced an on-ramp program, which includes a fact sheet. This initiative aims to provide some relief to borrowers by prohibiting loan servicers from reporting missed payments to credit bureaus for one year. This measure offers a safety net for those facing difficulties in making payments after the extended payment pause.
DFR advises all borrowers to remain vigilant against potential scams. Instances of fraud have been reported in which scammers attempt to deceive people into making payments to unauthorized entities instead of their legitimate loan servicer.
“Scammers are out and trying to take advantage of the situation,” said TK Keen, DFR administrator. “Borrowers are encouraged to seek written communication, such as letters, from their servicers to verify authenticity.”
The Oregon Attorney General’s office is also integral in safeguarding those with student loans.
“My office plays a vital role in protecting student loan borrowers from misleading and deceptive practices. This fall will be no exception – we will be closely watching what happens when the pause on repayment ends in October,” said Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum. “If you have a concern about a practice of your loan servicer pertaining to your student loans, I urge you to file a complaint.”
It is critically important for borrowers to find out their loan servicer’s name and contact information, and understand their repayment plan and options. This knowledge empowers people to effectively manage their loan obligations.
For more information and guidance on student loan repayments, visit DFR’s help page or contact the student loan ombuds office at 888-877-4894 (toll-free) or .email@example.com“>firstname.lastname@example.org.
### 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 www.dcbs.oregon.gov.
A federal judge has found that a Trump-era rule change that allowed for the logging of old-growth forests in the Pacific Northwest violates several laws.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Andrew Hallman on Thursday found that the U.S. Forest Service violated the National Environmental Policy Act, the National Forest Management Act and the Endangered Species Act when it amended a protection that had been in place since 1994.
The findings came in response to a lawsuit filed by multiple environmental groups over the change.
Hallman recommended that the Forest Service’s environmental assessment and finding of no significant impact should be vacated and that the agency should be required to prepare a full environmental impact statement related to the change.
“The highly uncertain effects of this project, when considered in light of its massive scope and setting, raise substantial questions about whether this project will have a significant effect on the environment,” Hallman wrote.
The Forest Service didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking comment. The agency has two weeks to object to the judge’s findings and recommendations.
The protection changed by the Trump administration banned the harvesting of trees 21 inches (53 centimeters) or greater in diameter and instead emphasized maintaining a mix of trees, with trees at least 150 years old prioritized for protection and favoring fire-tolerant species.
The area impacted by the rule is at least 7 million acres (2.8 million hectares), approximately the size of the state of Maryland, on six national forests in eastern Oregon and southeast Washington state.
The Trump administration said the change, which went into effect in 2021, would make forests “more resistant and resilient to disturbances like wildfire.”
“We’re looking to create landscapes that withstand and recover more quickly from wildfire, drought and other disturbances,” Ochoco National Forest supervisor Shane Jeffries told Oregon Public Broadcasting at the time. “We’re not looking to take every grand fir and white fir out of the forests.”
The lawsuit, however, said the government’s environmental assessment didn’t adequately address scientific uncertainty surrounding the effectiveness of thinning, especially large trees, for reducing fire risk. The groups said the thinning and logging of large trees can actually increase fire severity.
The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Pendleton, Oregon, also said overwhelming evidence exists that large trees play a critical role in maintaining biodiversity and mitigating climate change and that eastern Oregon is lacking those trees after “more than a century of high-grade logging.”
Greater Hells Canyon Council, Oregon Wild, Central Oregon LandWatch, Great Old Broads for Wilderness, WildEarth Guardians and the Sierra Club were all plaintiffs in the lawsuit with support from the Nez Perce Tribe.
Rob Klavins, an advocate for Oregon Wild based in the state’s rural Wallowa County, said in a news release that he hopes the Forest Service will take this decision to heart and called on the Biden administration to stop defending the Trump-era rule change.
Earlier this year, President Joe Biden signed an executive order directing federal land managers to identify threats to older trees, such as wildfire and climate change, and develop policies to safeguard them.
As the Forest Service goes “back to the drawing board, we expect them to meaningfully involve all members of the public to create a durable solution,” Klavins said. (SOURCE)
5,000th Wish Granted by the Make-A-Wish Foundation in Oregon and Southwest Washington
The Make-A-Wish Foundation has hit a new milestone. On Wednesday night, they granted their 5,000 wish in Oregon and Southwest Washington.
The wish recipient was a Molalla teen named Brandon who wished to customize his 2001 Acura TL.
Almost exactly one year ago, Brandon had an enlarged lymph node removed from his neck shortly after he was diagnosed with lymphoma.
His family says the car marks a new path forward after he spent months fighting for his life.
Make-A-wish shared a statement from Brandon with us.
“Well, I had this car, and I really wanted to do stuff to it but at the time I really couldn’t do anything,” he said. “So, it was kind of a long shot but it ended up working out, and I just wanted to pretty much make it look how it is now.”
The first wish Make-A-Wish Oregon granted was back in 1983.
“It’s pretty cool that in Oregon and southwest Washington alone we have granted 5,000 wishes for local children, and it is pretty amazing to be able to say we have made this huge impact, not only on the community of the kids we have granted their wishes, but also all of the people who get to donate and help and be a part of the magic of granting a wish,” said Laila Cook, CEO of Make-A-Wish Oregon.
Make-A-Wish expressed their gratitude for everyone here who helps them make wishes come true.
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