The latest news stories across the state of Oregon from the digital home of the Oregon coastal cities, OregonBeachMagazine.com
Monday, November 20, 2023
Oregon Beach Weather
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY ISSUED – NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE
...SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 10 AM TUESDAY TO 10 AM PST WEDNESDAY... * WHAT...Seas west 8 to 11 ft at 13 seconds. * WHERE...All areas. * WHEN...From 10 AM Tuesday to 10 AM PST Wednesday. * IMPACTS...Steep seas could capsize or damage smaller vessels. * View the hazard area in detail at https://go.usa.gov/x6hks
The South Coast Development Council In Coos Bay Receives $300,000 Federal Investment For Local Tech Based Start Ups
The South Coast Development Council, Inc. in Coos Bay has secured a $300,000 federal investment to nurture local tech-based start-ups. The $300,000 from the federal Economic Development Administration is designed to accelerate technology entrepreneurship on the South Coast by increasing access to entrepreneurial support and startup capital.
The South Coast Incubator Technology Industry Ecosystem Development project is led by the South Coast Development Council, Inc. with support from Southwestern Oregon Community College and the cities of Coos Bay and North Bend.
The funding has been announced by Oregon U.S. Senator Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley.
“This federal investment in the South Coast will generate jobs, innovation and economic activity that will ripple out for years to come,” Wyden said. “I’m gratified that key business, education and civic leaders in this rural Oregon community have teamed up to earn these resources. And I’ll keep battling for communities throughout Oregon to receive similar funds that build strong local economies.”
“Small businesses are the backbone of Oregon’s economy, and even more so for our rural and coastal communities,” Merkley said. “These important investments heading to the South Coast Development Council will support jobs, drive innovation, and help strengthen the local economy of the South Coast.”
“This is a perfectly-timed opportunity for our rural communities on the south Oregon coast. Our center now can develop a technology-based business incubator to help grow new businesses that focus on the fast-evolving Green Energy and Blue Economy sectors,” Southwestern Small Business Development Center Director Derek Tonn said. “That means direct assistance to local entrepreneurs developing tech-based products and services for clean energy innovation and people who work on the ocean and rivers.”
“This collaboration between South Coast Development Council, Inc., Southwestern Oregon Community College, their Small Business Development Center, and the cities of Coos Bay and North Bend is a potentially transformative step for Oregon’s South Coast,” South Coast Development Council Inc. Interim Executive Director Bryan Sykes said. “The business incubator located on Southwestern’s campus will foster tech-based entrepreneurship, offering prototyping services and comprehensive support to emerging businesses, entrepreneurs, and innovators.”
“This initiative will serve as a catalyst for our community’s economic growth, promising new opportunities and enhanced educational and networking pathways,” Sykes said. “It aligns with the state’s broader vision for an innovation hub, marking a significant step towards innovation and tech-based economic development. We look forward to continuing to bring resources to the community that will support economic growth, innovation, and increase the opportunities for success in our region.” https://www.scdcinc.org/
CAT Enrolling Participants For Septic System Replacement Program in Tillamook, Clatsop and Columbia Counties
The Community Action Team is actively seeking Tillamook, Clatsop and Columbia County property owners whose septic systems are failing to participate in a $1.5 million, grant-funded, no-interest, no-payment replacement program.
Casey Mitchell, who is overseeing the program for the Community Action Team (CAT), said that so far uptake has been slow, as property owners have been reticent to interact with team members for the project.
Mitchell stressed that although the program is being undertaken in conjunction with the county governments, they and CAT are committed to helping homeowners and are not using the program as an enforcement tool to penalize failed or failing systems.
CAT applied for the grant earlier this year in partnership with Tillamook County and received the $1.5-million award in June from state Coronavirus recovery funds, courtesy of the Department of Environmental Quality. The program offers homeowners in unincorporated parts of the three counties with septic system issues to apply for a loan to finance the repair or replacement of the system.
Loans offered through the program come with a 30-year term, no interest and no payments due. They are available to people making 120% of the area’s median income or less, which comes out to around $60,000 for an individual and $75,000 for a family of three in Tillamook County.
The loans are repaid when the property sells, with the funds returning to the program’s coffers for reuse in future loans. If the property is not sold or refinanced for non-emergency purposes during the thirty-year period, the loan will be forgiven.
Mitchell said that CAT has had great success with a similar loan program that offers the same terms to help residents repair roofs and siding and address other home maintenance issues. That program has been running for more than 30 years and Mitchell said that based on experience with it he expected that the septic loans could revolve three to four times before running out due to inflation and overhead and administrative costs.
The $1.5 million is expected to fund an initial round of up to 109 system repairs and replacements across the three counties, though only 35 property owners have applied to date.
Repairs financed so far have ranged from tank replacements costing several thousand dollars, to the installation of new drain fields for around $10,000, up to the installation of whitewater systems costing $25,000.
Mitchell said that the goal of the septic tank program was to help owners with failing systems remove the “anchor hanging over their head” of possible code violations and to help ensure the safety of wells on their properties and those of neighbors.
CAT has partnered with Tillamook Estuaries Partnership to help identify potentially failing systems and monitor future progress through their Environmental DNA testing program. Since 1997, the program has sent teams of volunteers into the field to gather water samples from around Tillamook County to be tested for contaminants, with the ability to pinpoint the source of contamination through DNA testing.
Mitchell said that he believed the unique program had been a key in CAT’s grant proposal being accepted and rated most highly of all applicants.
Tillamook County estimates that around 15% of properties in the county rely on septic systems and that some 5-10% of those systems are failing, threatening e. coli contamination of well and ground water.
Mitchell said that CAT had anticipated property owners’ reticence to welcome government-affiliated personnel onsite for inspections but said that he hoped people would see the positive results of participants and be willing to join the program.
“We knew that it was going to be a challenge to get to some of these folks and I think as we do more of these folks are going to see and say, ‘oh, this is legit,’” Mitchell said.
When a property owner contacts CAT with concerns about their system, they send a certified technician to the property to inspect the system. They then work with the county government to develop a plan for the property and obtain necessary permits for the work, with grant funds set aside to pay for engineering services on more complicated projects.
Once the planning work is complete, upgrades, repairs or replacements usually take two to three days of work, according to Mitchell.
Like CAT’s other housing initiatives, Mitchell said the goal of the septic program is to help facilitate home repairs that allow residents to age in place and avoid maintenance-cost induced home sales.
Property owners who believe their septic system is in need of repair can reach CAT at (503) 410-5833. https://cat-team.org/
Florence Rite-Aid Store Closing 11/29
As part of its Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing Rite-Aid has begun the process of shutting down what they are calling underperforming stores. One of those stores is here in Florence. Rite-Aid announced that the local store will remain open until November 29th. Large blue bins cover the open floor spaces at the location.
This will leave the city with one less pharmacy just two years after the closing of the Bi-Mart pharmacy. Rite- Aid has reportedly operated at very thin profit margins and has had heavy competition from larger chains like Walgreens and CVS. On top of that the chain is battling allegations that it did not do enough to quell the opioid epidemic.
Rite-Aid has reached agreements with its creditors and has also received a 3.4 billion dollar loan to keep some of their store open. If you are a pharmacy customer with Rite-Aid you will need to make arrangements to switch your prescriptions to one of the other pharmacies in town.
Coos Bay Sanitary Sewer Line Repairs on Second Avenue Eastside to Cause Traffic Delays
On Monday, November 20, the City of Coos Bay’s Water Quality Division will be repairing sanitary sewer lines on Second Avenue in Eastside. Work will start at 8 a.m. and is expected to be completed by 5 p.m. daily through November 22.
Repairs will be made near 178 2nd Avenue. Traffic will be restricted on Second Avenue and minor delays should be expected. Drivers and pedestrians are advised to please exercise caution within the work zone. Should you have questions, please contact Public Works at (541) 269–1181, extension 3565. https://www.coosbayor.gov/Home/Components/News/News/869/16
Coos County jury found Johnny Ray Bohannon guilty for the June 8 murder of Rebecca Reaves in Coos Bay
Bohannon was automatically sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole before serving 25 years. District Attorney R. Paul Frasier and Deputy District Attorney John Blanc tried the case.
Bohannon has been in the Coos County Jail since June 9 when he was arrested for the bludgeoning murder of Reaves.
In that case, Coos Bay police responded to a home on Idaho Drive after a 9-1-1 caller reported a deceased woman in the home. Officers found Reaves in her home, with Police Chief Chris Chapanar saying her killing was a result of “homicidal violence.”
The Coos County Major Crimes Team was activated to investigate the murder, and officers quickly determined Bohannon was a suspect.
Less than 24 hours after Reaves was found dead, Bohannon was arrested at the Coos Bay Police Department and was transferred to the county jail, where he has been held since.
With the guilty verdict and sentencing, Bohannon will soon be transferred to the custody of the Oregon Department of Correction to begin serving his sentence.
A criminal background check shows before the murder, Bohannon has a lengthy criminal record dating back to 2005, when he was placed on probation on an assault charge.
Since then, Bohannon has faced multiple charges, mostly in Coos and Douglas counties. Some of the charges include harassment, assault, recklessly endangering another person, criminal mischief, burglary, possession of methamphetamines and unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon.
Tillamook State Forest gets a new trail bridge thanks to South Fork Forest Camp work crews
Tillamook, Ore.— This fall 30 adults in custody (AICs) from South Fork Forest Camp helped build a bridge on the newest section of the Wilson River Trail in the Tillamook State Forest. The bridge connects the eastern end of Wilson River trail to Drift Creek trailhead.
Once opened, this will create a hiking experience for trail users that connects over 30 miles of non-motorized trails in the Tillamook State Forest. There are still about four miles for trails to build before this section can open. “The goal is to have the trail and bridge open to the public in the fall of 2024,” said Joe Offer, ODF’s Recreation Program Manager.
Since 1951, Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) has partnered with Oregon Department of Corrections (DOC) in jointly operating South Fork Forest Camp, which houses AICs who assist in performing a variety of key forest management functions which include:
- fire suppression
- pre-commercial thinning
- maintenance of recreation buildings
- forest road improvement
- invasive weed removal and riparian rehabilitation
- making wooden signs for all state forests and campgrounds.
This interagency partnership allows AICs to gain valuable work skills while supporting ODF’s management of state forests and statewide fire suppression efforts.
South Fork Forest Camp can house up to 200 AICs and is located on state forest land about 28 miles east of Tillamook, OR.
Learn more about the South Fork Forest Camp here.
Learn more about Oregon’s state forests here.
Temporary Closure of Millicoma Marsh Trail Due to Sanitary Sewer Leak
On November 13, 2023, a local resident reported a liquid leak on the Millicoma Marsh Trail in Coos Bay. City crews responded immediately, finding a leak in the force main. They turned it off for repair. The overflow, less than 10 gallons, was contained quickly.
There was no contamination of waterways because the city cleaned up the discharged liquid immediately. The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality and the Oregon Emergency Response System were notified.
The trail is temporarily closed for repair. For more information, contact the Coos Bay Public Works Department.(SOURCE)
Coastal Voices Presents December Concert Series
Coastal Voices (CV) provides a musical start to the month of December in Lincoln County with a series of concerts.
3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2 at Chapel by the Sea in Lincoln City.3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 3 at Yachats Community Presbyterian Church in Yachats.3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 9 at the Newport Performing Arts Center.
Since 1998, the former Central Coast Chorale, now Coastal Voices, has enriched the holiday season on the Central Oregon Coast by performing sacred and secular music carefully selected by founder and director emerita Dr. Mary Lee Scoville.
Coastal Voices Artistic Director Rhodd Caldwell has chosen to honor that 25-year legacy in a program titled “Holiday Highlights – Our Favorites from 25 Years!”
“I culled these songs from our extensive library after consulting with long-time choir members and fans, asking them for their favorites,” Caldwell said.
The concert begins with “This Little Light of Mine” and ends with a medley from the 1954 musical movie “White Christmas.” In between, CV will present an eclectic musical roster. SoundWaves, a small ensemble drawn from the choir, will perform several numbers.
“However you choose to celebrate these December holidays, we have a song for you,” Caldwell said. “Come to hear madrigals, traditional carols, poetry set to music, familiar popular Christmas pieces, and medieval and modern sacred selections. Come prepared to sing as well!”
There will be a short sing-along with the audience following the intermission. Words to familiar holiday favorites will be printed in the program. An instrumental ensemble will accompany Coastal Voices on selected pieces at the Newport performance.
As a seasonal fundraiser, three concert-themed gift baskets will be raffled off at each venue.
The organization is also seeking badly needed storage space for the risers in use at each performance. Please call 541-283-6295 with donations or suggestions.
Tickets cost $20 per person, 18 and older, at the Dec. 2 and 3 performances; $25 at the Dec. 9 performance, 17 and under admitted free. Buy tickets at the door or online at coastal-voices.org.
Visit coastal-voices.org for more information about the group, including how to join, or to make donations. (SOURCE)
Florence Woman Uses Winnings To Support Three Rivers Casino’s Toy And Food Drive And Urges Others To Help Too
A Florence woman who has made it her mission to make sure all children have a toy for Christmas is asking others to help out with the Three Rivers Casino’s 19th annual Toy and Food Drive.
Liberty Kommer said that she sets aside a portion of her winnings for a fund she’s earmarked for the annual Christmas toy drive. She said that part of the joy is in picking out toys for the drive, as she picks out toys she would have liked to have when she was growing up. Kommer said that she never had a Christmas growing up and doesn’t want other children to go through the same thing. Last year, Kommer donated a truckload of bicycles and helmets.
The casino has collected thousands of toys over nearly two decades to be given to Toys for Tots and handed out. The drive runs through December 6 and new, unwrapped toys worth at least five dollars can be dropped off at the casino. Donors can also drop off three cans of food in exchange for five dollars in free play at the casino. More information on the drive can be found on the Three Rivers Casino’s website.
Two beach campgrounds update their closure schedules for 2023/2024
Two popular coastal campgrounds will temporarily close through spring/summer 2024 due to construction.
Bullards Beach campground, two miles north of Bandon, closed earlier this year for about a month while construction preparation work was completed. The construction schedule changed, which allows the park to reopen temporarily for camping Nov. 13 through Jan. 1, 2024. The campground will close again Jan. 2 through May 22, 2024, to complete the project.
Beverly Beach, seven miles north of Newport, will be closed through July 1, 2024 for construction, which is an extension of the original project schedule.
Oregon Parks and Recreation Department understands that it takes time to plan a trip and wants to give potential visitors a chance to make other plans. OPRD knows that these campgrounds are well loved places that will be missed this winter, spring and some of the summer season. The closures will allow crews to improve the parks for seasons to come.
- Beverly Beach campgrounds will upgrade the park and campground power and water lines as part of the Go Bond projects, which include improvements at 11 parks around the state.
- Bullards Beach campgrounds will upgrade its main sewer line. The park will be closed through May 22, 2024, which is an extension of the original closure. The extension will impact existing reservations from March 15 through May 22. Campers are being notified and provided with full refunds.
During the campground closure at Bullards Beach, there will be some areas of the park that visitors can still enjoy. The day use area, boat ramp, lighthouse and horse camp will remain open.
All facilities will be closed at Beverly Beach through July 1.
“While we’re disappointed to extend the construction period later into the season, we appreciate the support as we complete these important infrastructure improvements” said Bullards Beach Park Manager Nick Schoeppner.
“In the meantime, we are excited to welcome folks back to the campground at Bullards Beach this fall and winter season. It’s a great time to visit and enjoy less crowded beaches and trails and explore the community of Bandon and the surrounding area.”
Union Makes Concession To Withdraw Proposal For Capping Class Sizes As Portland Teacher Strike Continues
The main issues involve pay, more planning time and smaller class sizes.
School will not reopen until Monday, Nov. 27 at the earliest, district officials announced last Thursday and parent-teacher conferences that were scheduled for next week have been indefinitely postponed.
The Portland Association of Teachers has removed class size caps — one of the most expensive, publicly popular and politically contentious elements of their asks — from their most recent bargaining proposal submitted Thursday.
The major concession from the union potentially paves the way for a settlement with the school district and an end to a strike that had already cost students 10 days of school and their teachers 12 days of pay as of Thursday. District officials say until the strike is over, it is difficult to determine exactly how many days students will need to make up to meet state requirements.
Union leaders had pushed hard for class size caps, telling members as recently as Wednesday night that the two sides remained “far apart” on the issue.
But the phrase “class size cap” was struck-through in the union’s latest proposal on workload issues Thursday afternoon. Instead, the Portland Association of Teachers has proposed a significant increase in the overage pay that teachers receive when the number of students in their classroom, or in their caseload, exceeds a certain threshold.
For example, in the current contract, a kindergarten teacher with more than 24 students in their class gets a 3% increase in their base salary for every student above that number. Under the proposal the union gave the district Thursday, that would increase to a 5% increase for the first student and a 10% increase for each additional student in elementary school, along with similar increases for every five students added at the middle and high school levels.
The threshold that triggers overage pay is 26 students at grades 1-3, and 28 students at grades 4-5 and grade 6 in K-8 schools. At the middle school level, teachers may lead up to 150 students before overage pay kicks in, while the high school caseload threshold is set at 160.
Currently, the district spends between $2 and $3 million a year on overage pay. It wasn’t immediately clear Thursday how much more in overage pay the district would have to spend under the union’s proposal, since they did not include cost estimates. District budget analysts were crunching numbers to figure out the cost Thursday evening, according to district spokesperson Will Howell.
Declining enrollment levels, driven by a lower birth rate, rising home prices and pandemic flight to home-school and private school options, have complicated the class size picture in recent years. In some schools, they’ve led to class sizes well below the thresholds. In others, so many students have departed that grade levels that could once support — for example — three classes each with 23 students now have two classes with over 30 students in each.
Fulfilling the class size and caseload caps that the union had requested in the last round of proposals would have cost the district about $100 million over two years, starting with the 2024-2025 school year, and required hiring more than 350 educators, according to the district’s analysis.
District negotiators and the school board have consistently said they oppose hard class size caps, both because of the financial implications and because they want to retain the flexibility to keep class sizes smallest at high needs, high poverty schools.
But in their most recent counter-proposal Wednesday, they offered to form a joint committee with teachers to focus on the class size issue, which could include conversations about redrawing attendance boundaries to balance enrollment in schools around the city.
The proposal the union put forth Thursday retains language that would allow for the formation of a class size committee at each school, on an as-needed basis. Those committees would consist of a union representative, the affected classroom teacher, the principal, an assistant superintendent or their proxy and two parents, appointed by either the PTA or, if there is not one, by the principal and by the building’s union representative.
The school-based class size committee would convene to discuss potential solutions for classrooms over the threshold, like adding support from reading specialists.
The state teachers union has tried for several years, without success, to get lawmakers to agree to make class size caps a mandatory topic of bargaining. They’ve met opposition from advocacy groups that represent school boards and superintendents. (SOURCE)
Free parking at Oregon State Parks the day after Thanksgiving
Oregon Parks and Recreation Department invites Oregonians to head outside the day after Thanksgiving, Nov. 24.
Popularly known as “Green Friday,” the day after Thanksgiving has become a tradition for many families. State parks will once again waive day-use parking fees in the 24 parks that are open and charge for parking on that day.
“We’re proud to continue this tradition and offer everyone the chance to explore parks in the fall,” said Lisa Sumption, director of Oregon Parks and Recreation Department.
Parking is free year-round at almost all state parks; the waiver applies to the parks that charge $5 daily for parking. Fee parks include popular destinations such as Fort Stevens, Cape Lookout, Silver Falls, Champoeg, L.L. Stub Stewart, Smith Rock and Milo McIver. A complete list of parks that require day-use parking permits is available online at stateparks.oregon.gov (Fall Creek is listed, but closed for the season).
The fee waiver applies from open to close on Nov. 24, except at Shore Acres State Park, where it expires at 4 p.m. for the Holiday Lights event that runs Thanksgiving through New Year’s Eve.
Use #OregonStateParks and #OptOutside on social media to share your adventures.
Projects to restore Columbia River Basin health in Oregon get $31 million
Seven projects will get millions in federal aid through Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley’s Columbia River Restoration Program
Oregon tribes, state agencies, farmers and ranchers are getting more than $31 million from the federal government to reduce toxic pollution in the Columbia River and its tributaries.
It’s the last of $79 million that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has dedicated to improving the health of the Columbia River Basin since 2021, under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
Oregon’s U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley, a Democrat, announced the projects that would receive funding Thursday, on the two-year anniversary of the law’s passage.
“Our rivers and waterways are the lifeblood of our communities. If they are dirty and polluted, our homes, schools, and businesses are dirty and polluted,” Merkley said in a news release.
The Columbia River Basin covers nearly 260,000 square miles, spanning 16 federally recognized tribal nations and seven states from Oregon and Washington to Wyoming. Over decades, it’s become contaminated by toxic waste from agriculture, forestry, recreation and hydroelectric power generation, harming the health of wildlife and leaving some fish species threatened, endangered or unsafe for consumption.
Among the recipients of the $31 million are the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde and the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation. Each tribe will receive about $2 million to reduce pollution in Columbia River tributaries that each tribe depends on for fish. The Grand Ronde will launch a new effort to reduce pollution in the Willamette River Basin, and the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla will target pollution in the Umatilla, Walla Walla, Snake and John Day tributaries to the Columbia River.
The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality will get $6 million to reduce the amount of agricultural pesticides, mercury and PFAS, often called “forever chemicals,” in the Columbia River Basin. Thousands of human-made PFAS, or perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, have been put into consumer and industrial products such as nonstick pans and flame retardants, and the EPA is just beginning to regulate them. They do not break down or go away naturally but instead have leached into rivers and streams, contaminating water and are now in the blood of nearly everyone in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The Portland-based nonprofit Salmon-Safe will get $6 million to continue growing its network of farmers, ranchers, developers and tribes along the river, who take on voluntary measures to protect water quality and quantity. In exchange, the producers earn the Salmon-Safe label, appealing to some consumers. Several Portland and Corvallis-based nonprofits collaborating with EPA will get between $4 million and $5.5 million to work on projects that can reduce stormwater runoff into the Columbia River.
Lastly, about $5.6 million will go to the Portland-based nonprofit Freshwater Trust to help farmers upgrade irrigation systems on fields to reduce fertilizer and manure runoff that is creating methylmercury pollution in the Snake River, poisoning fish that become unsafe for human consumption. The methylmercury is created when farm fertilizers get into water and, combined with warm temperatures, create algal blooms and conditions that lead to depleted oxygen levels in the water. Without the oxygen, bacteria grow and create methylmercury through digestive processes, which ends up in Snake River reservoirs each summer and fall. (SOURCE)
Traffic #ALERT UPDATE: SB I-205 Reopening at Airport Way after Fatal Crash Investigation
###PPB### Original Message Below
On scene supervisors have updated the closure of southbound I-205. All southbound I-205 traffic is diverted to Northeast Airport Way. The ramp onto I-205 from Northeast Killingsworth is also closed.
A crash involving a single vehicle has closed southbound Interstate-205 at Killingsworth, and is likely to significantly affect the morning commute hours.
On Monday, November 20, 2023 at 2:06a.m., North Precinct officers responded to a report of a crash on southbound I-205 at Northeast Killingsworth Street. When officers arrived, they found a vehicle crashed into the jersey barrier on the left side of the southbound lanes of travel. The driver was deceased at the scene.
The Portland Police Traffic Division Major Crash Team is responding to the scene to investigate this incident. During the investigation, southbound I-205 is closed to all traffic at Northeast Killingsworth Street. The Oregon Department of Transportation is assisting with traffic control and detours.
If anyone has information about this crash, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org attn: Traffic Investigations Unit and reference case number 23-301400.
The PIO is not responding to the scene. Additional information will be released as appropriate.
This is the 63rd fatal traffic-related crash in Portland this year. That is a higher figure than the Portland fatal crashes counted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). NHTSA’s count excludes crashes involving suicide, private property, non-public roadways, non-motor vehicles, and deaths that happen more than 30 days after a crash.
Sheriff’s Office Patrol Deputies Track Down and Arrest California Fugitive in Remote Forest Camp Near Trail
JCSO Case 23-6529 — TRAIL, Ore. – Jackson County Sheriff’s Office (JCSO) Patrol deputies tracked down and arrested a fugitive wanted out of California Tuesday. JCSO Patrol located and arrested Tyler Thomas Burrow, 24, on a Trinity County, California fugitive Warrant around 2:35 p.m. in a remote forest camp northeast of Trail.
He is lodged at the Jackson County Jail awaiting extradition back to California. Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office detectives are in Jackson County doing follow-up investigations. There is no more information for release at this time. Further information will come from the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office.
Connected to Missing Woman’s case:
An Oregon City Man Arrested After Walking Into Police Station And Confessing To Killing His Wife
Anthony Wessel, 41, was arrested for murder after apparently telling the Oregon City Police Department that he shot his wife, Anna Wessel, a press release says.
41-year-old Anthony Wessel was arrested by the Oregon City Police Department for Murder II after reporting he shot his wife. Mr. Wessel came to the police department shortly before 1:00pm on 11/13/2023 and said the incident occurred inside the family’s home in the 13400 block of Squire Dr in Oregon City. Officers rushed to the residence and located 37-year-old Anna Wessel deceased inside. No other occupants were located inside the home, and Mr. Wessel has been lodged at the Clackamas County Jail.
Oregon City Police Detectives, with assistance from the Clackamas County District Attorney’s Office and Clackamas County Medical Examiner’s Office, have processed the crime scene. The investigation is ongoing and no additional information will be released at this time. If you have any information related to this investigation, please call the Oregon City Police Tip line at 503-905-3505 and reference case #23-023587.
On November 13, 2023, Oregon City Police Department responded to the 13400 block of Squire Dr in Oregon City regarding a death investigation. Upon arriving, patrol officers located a deceased woman inside the home. 41-year-old Anthony Wessel was arrested for Murder II and lodged at the Clackamas County Jail. Detectives, with help from the Clackamas County District Attorney’s Office and Clackamas County Medical Examiner’s Office, are currently processing the scene. Additional information will be released as the investigation continues.
If you have any information related this investigation, please call the Oregon City Police Tip line at 503-905-3505 and reference: OCPD case #23-023587.
“Mr. Wessel came to the police department shortly before 1:00pm on 11/13/2023 and said the incident occurred inside the family’s home in the 13400 block of Squire Dr in Oregon City,” the press release said. “Officers rushed to the residence and located 37-year-old Anna Wessel deceased inside.”
Wessel has been charged with second-degree murder and unlawful use of a weapon. He is in custody at the Clackamas County Jail.
FBI Portland Encourages Oregonians to Report Federal Hate Crimes
The Portland Division of the FBI is joining the FBI’s nationwide efforts to increase awareness about hate crimes and encourage reporting of hate incidents with advertising campaign across Oregon. The campaign, which began on November 6, includes billboards in Medford, Eugene, Corvallis, as well as static and digital displays reaching thousands of passengers daily at Portland International Airport.
Hate crimes are the highest priority of the FBI’s civil rights program because of the devastating impact they have on families and communities. The FBI defines a hate crime as a criminal offense against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an offender’s bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender, or gender identity.
The FBI is the lead investigative agency for criminal violations of federal civil rights statutes and works closely with local, state, tribal, and other federal law enforcement partners in many of these cases, even when federal charges are not pursued.
“Violent acts motivated by hate are unacceptable in our communities. Sadly though, the amount of hate crimes reported here in Oregon has doubled from what it was just five years ago. Even still, the vast majority of these crimes are going underreported and that needs to change. That’s why we are spreading the word with this campaign,” said Kieran L. Ramsey, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Portland Field Office. “The FBI serves to safeguard against hate and violence, but we can only do so if we know about any such threats or violent actions. Every person has the right to live without fear of violence or intimidation. The FBI and our law enforcement partners will continue to hold those accountable whose hate-filled aggression violates the civil rights of others.”
This Oregon effort ties with a national FBI awareness campaign that hopes to drive education efforts and increase reporting: “Protecting Our Communities Together: Report Hate Crimes”. Anyone who has information about or believes they are a victim of a federal hate crime should contact the FBI by phone at 1-800-CALL-FBI or online
COVID Payments Data Brief highlights widely varying prices paid for common COVID-19-related procedures
Insurers paid hospitals vastly differing amounts for the same COVID-19-related procedures across Oregon
SALEM, Ore. – Oregon Health Authority (OHA) released a data brief that shows how much commercial insurers paid hospitals for COVID-19-related treatments in 2021.
The COVID Payments Data Brief looks at data for six common COVID-19-related procedures that account for more than $40 million paid by commercial insurers to Oregon hospitals in 2021. It highlights the median amount paid to hospitals for each type of procedure, how many of each procedure was performed, and the typical range of payments the hospital received.
Commercial insurers paid Oregon hospitals widely varying amounts for the same COVID-19 procedures, not only from hospital to hospital but also within the same hospital. For example, insurers paid hospitals a wide range for inpatient hospital stays that included treatment with remdesivir, an antiviral medication approved for hospitalized COVID-19 patients. The median payment was $5,506 per day, with the range of payments across hospitals from $4,167 to $7,631.
This report sheds additional light on the cost of the COVID-19 pandemic. As Oregon continues to recover from the pandemic, understanding cost and utilization of services is vital in ensuring Oregon can meet the health care cost growth target.
For more information about OHA’s Hospital Reporting Program, visit Oregon.gov/oha/HPA/ANALYTICS/Pages/Hospital-Reporting.aspx or contact email@example.com.
Oregon’s Drug Decriminalization Law Faces Growing Pushback Amid Fentanyl Crisis
Oregon’s first-in-the-nation law that decriminalized the possession of small amounts of heroin, cocaine and other illicit drugs in favor of an emphasis on addiction treatment is facing strong headwinds in the progressive state after an explosion of public drug use fueled by the proliferation of fentanyl and a surge in deaths from opioids, including those of children .
“The inability for people to live their day-to-day life without encountering open-air drug use is so pressing on urban folks’ minds,” said John Horvick, vice president of polling firm DHM Research. “That has very much changed people’s perspective about what they think Measure 110 is.”
When the law was approved by 58% of Oregon voters three years ago, supporters championed Measure 110 as a revolutionary approach that would transform addiction by minimizing penalties for drug use and investing instead in recovery.
But even top Democratic lawmakers who backed the law, which will likely dominate the upcoming legislative session, say they’re now open to revisiting it after the biggest increase in synthetic opioid deaths among states that have reported their numbers.
The cycle of addiction and homelessness spurred by fentanyl is most visible in Portland, where it’s not unusual to see people shooting up in broad daylight on busy city streets.
“Everything’s on the table,” said Democratic state Sen. Kate Lieber, co-chair of a new joint legislative committee created to tackle addiction. “We have got to do something to make sure that we have safer streets and that we’re saving lives.”
Measure 110 directed the state’s cannabis tax revenue toward drug addiction treatment services while decriminalizing the possession of so-called “personal use” amounts of illicit drugs. Possession of under a gram of heroin, for example, is only subject to a ticket and a maximum fine of $100.
Those caught with small amounts of drugs can have the citation dismissed by calling a 24-hour hotline to complete an addiction screening within 45 days, but those who don’t do a screening are not penalized for failing to pay the fine. In the first year after the law took effect in February 2021, only 1% of people who received citations for possession sought help via the hotline, state auditors found
Critics of the law say this doesn’t create an incentive to seek treatment.
Republican lawmakers have urged Democratic Gov. Tina Kotek to call a special session to address the issue before the Legislature reconvenes in February. They have proposed harsher sanctions for possession and other drug-related offenses, such as mandatory treatment and easing restrictions on placing people under the influence on holds in facilities such as hospitals if they pose a danger to themselves or others.
“Treatment should be a requirement, not a suggestion,” a group of Republican state representatives said in a letter to Kotek.
Law enforcement officials who have testified before the new legislative committee on addiction have proposed reestablishing drug possession as a class A misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to a year in jail or a $6,250 fine.
“We don’t believe a return to incarceration is the answer, but restoring a (class A) misdemeanor for possession with diversion opportunities is critically important,” Jason Edmiston, chief of police in the small, rural city of Hermiston in northeast Oregon, told the committee.
However, data shows decades of criminalizing possession hasn’t deterred people from using drugs. In 2022, nearly 25 million Americans, roughly 8% of the population, reported using illicit drugs other than marijuana in the previous year, according to the annual National Survey on Drug Use and Health .
Some lawmakers have suggested focusing on criminalizing public drug use rather than possession. Alex Kreit, assistant professor of law at Northern Kentucky University and director of its Center on Addiction Law and Policy, said such an approach could help curb visible drug use on city streets but wouldn’t address what’s largely seen as the root cause: homelessness.
“There are states that don’t have decriminalization that have these same difficult problems with public health and public order and just quality-of-life issues related to large-scale homeless populations in downtown areas,” he said, mentioning California as an example.
Backers of Oregon’s approach say decriminalization isn’t necessarily to blame, as many other states with stricter drug laws have also reported increases in fentanyl deaths.
But estimates from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show, among the states reporting data, Oregon had the highest increase in synthetic opioid overdose fatalities when comparing 2019 and the 12-month period ending June 30, a 13-fold surge from 84 deaths to more than 1,100.
Among the next highest was neighboring Washington state, which saw its estimated synthetic opioid overdose deaths increase seven-fold when comparing those same time periods, CDC data shows.
Nationally, overdose deaths involving synthetic opioids such as fentanyl roughly doubled over that time span. Roughly two-thirds of all deadly overdoses in the U.S. in the 12 months ending June 30 involved synthetic opioids, federal data shows.
Supporters of Oregon’s law say it was confronted by a perfect storm of broader forces, including the COVID-19 pandemic, a mental health workforce shortage and the fentanyl crisis, which didn’t reach fever pitch until after the law took effect in early 2021.
A group of Oregon lawmakers recently traveled to Portugal, which decriminalized the personal possession of drugs in 2001, to learn more about its policy. State Rep. Lily Morgan, the only Republican legislator on the trip, said Portugal’s approach was interesting but couldn’t necessarily be applied to Oregon.
“The biggest glaring difference is they’re still not dealing with fentanyl and meth,” she said, noting the country also has universal health care.
Despite public perception, the law has made some progress by directing $265 million dollars of cannabis tax revenue toward standing up the state’s new addiction treatment infrastructure.
The law also created what are known as Behavioral Health Resource Networks in every county, which provide care regardless of the ability to pay. The networks have ensured about 7,000 people entered treatment from January to March of this year, doubling from nearly 3,500 people from July through September 2022, state data shows.
The law’s funding also has been key for providers of mental health and addiction services because it has “created a sustainable, predictable funding home for services that never had that before,” said Heather Jefferis, executive director of Oregon Council for Behavioral Health, which represents such providers.
Horvick, the pollster, said public support for expanding treatment remains high despite pushback against the law.
“It would be a mistake to overturn 110 right now because I think that would make us go backwards,” Lieber, the Democratic state senator, said. “Just repealing it will not solve our problem. Even if we didn’t have 110, we would still be having significant issues.” (SOURCE)
Lead-contaminated WanaBana applesauce impacting children, families in Oregon
PORTLAND, Ore. – State and local health officials have identified multiple children in Oregon with elevated blood lead levels after they ate certain pouches of applesauce called WanaBana Apple Cinnamon Fruit Purée.
The elevated blood lead reports follow a safety and recall alert from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in late October warning parents and caregivers against buying or feeding the product to young children.
As of Nov. 15, local public health investigators have found a total of six cases of elevated blood lead levels in children who ate WanaBana Apple Cinnamon Fruit Purée. The children live in Lake, Lincoln, Multnomah and Washington counties. Some of the families learned about the FDA alert through local news and online media reports that prompted parents and caregivers to report possible exposure to health care providers.
WanaBana Apple Cinnamon Fruit Purée is distributed nationwide through retailers including Dollar Tree, Amazon and other online stores. Additionally, since the FDA alert Oct. 28, two other brands of applesauce products sold at Schnucks and Weis Markets have become subject to the recall, though they are not available in Oregon.
A collaborative investigation by state and local partners, FDA’s Coordinated Outbreak Response & Evaluation (CORE) Network, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is ongoing.
While WanaBana has agreed to voluntarily recall all WanaBana Apple Cinnamon Fruit Purée pouches regardless of their expiration dates, some people may have bought the product before the recall announcement. Families should check their homes and throw away any pouches they find.
“While lead is toxic for all people regardless of age, small children are especially at risk because they’re still growing and developing,” said Ryan Barker, Oregon Health Authority’s Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program coordinator. “Continued exposure over time can permanently damage their central nervous system, which may result in long-term health problems, such as learning disorders, impaired speech and brain damage.”
Signs of lead poisoning are not always easy to see and can be mistaken for other illnesses. Without a blood test, lead poisoning may go undiagnosed, especially since affected children often don’t look or act sick.
Possible signs of lead exposure and symptoms in children include:
- Tiredness or loss of energy.
- Reduced attention span.
- Irritability or crankiness.
- Poor appetite.
- Weight loss.
- Trouble sleeping.
- Aches or pains in stomach.
Parents and caregivers concerned about a child’s exposure to WanaBana Apple Cinnamon Fruit Purée should contact their health care provider to request a blood test.
More information on blood testing and lead can be found on the following pages:
- CDC’s Testing Children for Lead Poisoning
- Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Units Medical Management of Childhood Lead Exposure
- Oregon Health Authority’s Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program
FDA Issues Recall Alert for Dog and Cat Foods Sold in Oregon Due to Possible Salmonella Contamination
The Food and Drug Administration is alerting pet owners to a recall of certain pet foods that could be contaminated with Salmonella. TFP Nutrition and the FDA said all dry dog food and all dry cat food manufactured in one of TFP’s Texas facilities is contaminated and should be disposed of.
Brands affected by the recall include Exclusive Signature Dog and Cat Food and Feline Medley Formula Cat Food. The recalled food was sold at several pet and animal supply stores in Oregon.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said babies and young children can get sick from contaminated pet food if they have access to pet food bowls on the floor, put pet food in their mouths, or if caregivers don’t wash their hands after feeding pets.
Pet owners are urged to throw away recalled pet food and clean any surfaces that might have come in contact with the pet food.
Suppliers who may have sold the recalled pet food include:
- Wilco stores all over Oregon
- H and E Feed in Eugene
- Junction City Farm and Garden
- Old Mill Farm Store in Cottage Grove
- Country Farms and Ranch Supplies in Creswell
- The Farm Store and J and S Supply in Veneta
- Sweet Home Feed and Supply
- Out West Farm and Ranch in Philomath
- Scio Farm Store
- Central Feed and Supply in Sutherlin
- Douglas County Farmers Co-op in Roseburg
- Tractor Supply Co. in Junction City and Creswell
Unusual Respiratory Illness Effecting Oregon Dogs
Veterinary laboratories in several states are investigating an unusual respiratory illness in dogs and encouraging people to take basic precautions to keep their pets healthy as veterinarians try to pin down what’s making the animals sick.
Oregon, Colorado and New Hampshire are among the states that have seen cases of the illness, which has caused lasting respiratory disease and pneumonia and does not respond to antibiotics.
Symptoms of respiratory illness in dogs include coughing, sneezing, nasal or eye discharge and lethargy. Some cases of the pneunomia progress quickly, making dogs very sick within 24 to 36 hours.
The Oregon Department of Agriculture has documented more than 200 cases of the disease since mid-August. It has encouraged pet owners to contact their vet if their dog is sick and told state veterinarians to report cases as soon as possible. The agency is working with state researchers and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Veterinary Services Laboratory to find out what is causing the illnesses.
Dogs have died, said Kurt Williams, director of the Oregon Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory at Oregon State University. But without a clear way to define the disease or test for it, he said it’s hard to put a number on how many died from a severe form of the infection.
Williams had a simple message for dog owners: “Don’t panic.” He also said dog owners should make sure that their pets are up to date on vaccines, including those that protect against various respiratory illnesses.
Labs across the country have been sharing their findings as they try to pinpoint the culprit.
David Needle, senior veterinary pathologist at the University of New Hampshire’s New Hampshire Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, has been investigating the mysterious disease for almost a year.
His lab and colleagues at the university’s Hubbard Center for Genome Research have looked at samples from dogs in Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Massachusetts and more will be coming from Oregon, Colorado and possibly other states.
He said his team has not seen a large increase in dogs dying from the illness but still encouraged pet owners to “decrease contact with other dogs.” (SOURCE)
Oregon State Police Lieutenant rammed by suspect vehicle- Marion County
An Oregon State Police Lieutenant suffered minor injuries after being rammed by a motorist on Interstate 5 in Marion County.
Friday, November 17, 2023, 8:43 a.m. – The incident took place while the Lieutenant was attempting to get the suspect stopped and off the highway. The suspect vehicle rammed the patrol vehicle from behind, causing it to spin and strike the barrier, before fleeing northbound. The suspect was located and stopped in the Salem area.
The suspect has been arrested and there is no longer a danger to the public.
The Oregon State Police is investigating the incident with assistance from the Marion County Sheriff’s Office. Due to the ongoing investigation, further details are unavailable for release at this time.
*** UPDATE 2 – Arrest *** Sheriff’s Office investigate early morning assault, seek tips from the community
Early Saturday morning, 11/18/2023, patrol deputies located a vehicle alleged to have been involved in Friday morning’s robbery and assault that occurred on Brown Rd NE near Idaho Ave NE. Deputies contacted multiple people with the vehicle and called out investigators. Through the investigation, detectives identified Luis Cardenas-Penaloza (27) as the suspect in the assault and robbery. Cardenas-Penaloza was taken into custody and has been lodged at the Marion County Jail for charges including Assault 1, Robbery 1, and Unlawful Use of a Weapon. ________________________________________________________________
Detectives are continuing to investigate the incident from this morning which turns out was an attempted robbery where the victim was assaulted. This occurred on Brown Rd NE at Idaho Ave NE. Please let us know if you saw anything that appears suspicious or out of sorts. Investigators are still seeking information from anyone who may have been in the area around that 6:00 am hour. The victim was treated at an area hospital for non-life-threatening injuries and released. Investigators would like to talk with anyone who may have seen anything unusual. Please call Detective Van Horn on her cell at 503-991-2145.
### ________ Sheriff’s Deputies are in Brown Rd NE & Idaho Ave NE investigating an assault and will have Brown Rd NE blocked from Arizona NE north to Silverton Rd NE. Please avoid the area and use alternate routes. We are asking for the community’s help. If you were in this area around 6:00 am to 6:15 am and have any information, please get in touch with Detective Van Horn at 503-584-6211—no further details at this time.
Oregon Division of Financial Regulation reminds people to be careful of gift card scams as holiday shopping season approaches
The 2023 holiday shopping season is here and the Oregon Division of Financial Regulation (DFR) is reminding people to watch out for financial scams that can target their pocketbook, particularly gift card scams.
Gift card scams often start with a call, text, email, or social media message. Scammers will say anything to get you to buy gift cards – such as Google Play, Apple, or Amazon cards – and hand over the card number and personal identification number (PIN) codes.
According to the Federal Trade Commission, here are some common tactics scammers use:
1. Scammers will say it is urgent. They will say to pay them right away or something terrible will happen. They don’t want you to have time to think about what they are saying or talk to someone you trust. Slow down. Don’t pay. It is a scam.
2. Scammers will tell you which gift card to buy (and where). They might say to put money on an eBay, Google Play, Target, or Apple gift card. They might send you to a specific store – often Walmart, Target, CVS, or Walgreens. Sometimes, they will tell you to buy cards at several stores, so cashiers will not get suspicious. The scammer also might stay on the phone with you while you go to the store and load money onto the card. If this happens to you, hang up. It is a scam.
3. Scammers will ask you for the gift card number and PIN. The card number and PIN on the back of the card lets scammers get the money you loaded onto the card — even if you still have the card itself. Slow down. Don’t give them those numbers or send them a photo of the card. It is a scam.
Scammers tell different stories to get you to buy gift cards so they can steal your money.
• Scammers say they are from the government. They say they are from the IRS, the Social Security Administration, or even the Federal Trade Commission. They say you have to pay taxes or a fine. However, government agencies will not contact you to demand immediate payment, and they never demand payment by gift card. It is a scam.
• Scammers say they are from tech support. They say they are from Microsoft or Apple and there is something wrong with your computer. They ask for remote access and say to pay them to get it fixed. Don’t give them access to your computer. It is a scam.
• Scammers say they are a friend or family member with an emergency. If the scammer uses voice cloning, they may even sound just like your loved one. They ask you to send money right away – but not to tell anyone. It is a scam. If you are worried, contact the friend or relative to check that everything is all right.
• Scammers say you have won a prize. But first, they tell you to pay fees or other charges with a gift card. It is a scam. No honest business or agency will ever make you buy a gift card to pay them for a prize. And did you even enter to win that prize?
• Scammers say they are from your utility company. They threaten to cut off your service if you don’t pay immediately. Utility companies don’t work that way. It is a scam.
• Scammers ask for money after they chat you up on a dating website. Romance scammers will make up any story to trick you into buying a gift card to send them money. Slow down. Never send money or gifts to anyone you have not met in person – even if they send you money first.
• Scammers send a check for way more than you expected. They tell you to deposit the check and give them the difference on a gift card. Don’t do it. It is a scam. That check will be fake and you will be out that money.
To help prevent yourself from getting scammed, DFR offers these reminders:
• Don’t answer unknown numbers – block unwanted calls and text messages.
• Don’t give personal identifying information to unsolicited calls, texts, or emails. Hang up, look up their number, and call them to verify.
• Be skeptical. Ask questions and be wary of offers “too good to be true.”
• Resist the pressure to act immediately. Scammers use urgency as a tool.
• Stop and talk to someone you trust. Talking about it can help you spot the scam.
• Never pay someone who insists you pay with a gift card, money transfer, or cryptocurrency.
Remember, if it is too good to be true, it probably is.
If you feel you may have been scammed, the division’s consumer advocates may be able to help. They can be reached at 1-888-877-4894 (toll-free) or 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 oregon.gov/dcbs.
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