The latest news stories across the state of Oregon from the digital home of the Oregon coastal cities, OregonBeachMagazine.com
Monday, March 13, 2023
Oregon Beach Weather
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY ISSUED: 2:06 AM MAR. 13, 2023 – NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE
...SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY NOW IN EFFECT UNTIL 2 PM PDT THIS AFTERNOON... * WHAT...South winds 15 to 25 kt with gusts up to 35 kt and steep seas 7 to 11 ft. Winds shifting to northwest by mid to late morning with seas subsiding early this afternoon. * WHERE...All areas. * WHEN...Until 2 PM PDT this afternoon. * IMPACTS...Gusty winds and steep, hazardous seas could capsize or damage vessels. * View the hazard area in detail at https://go.usa.gov/x6hks
CareOregon Purchases Red Lion Inn & Suites In Seaside to Help with Access To Housing In Northwest Oregon
The healthcare organization CareOregon announced that it has purchased the Red Lion Inn & Suites in Seaside and will begin converting it into housing for the region’s healthcare workforce and Oregon Health Plan members with behavioral health needs. Columbia Pacific CCO, which is part of the CareOregon family, will operate the housing with its local partners Clatsop Behavioral Health and Clatsop Community Action.
“Over the past several years as we’ve engaged in conversations about what our region needs to be healthy, we’ve continuously heard that housing is among our greatest needs,” said Mimi Haley, Columbia Pacific CCO executive director. “Converting the Red Lion into housing for providers and community members is part of a larger strategy to improve overall community health.”
The project is filling a unique need by creating both workforce and permanent supportive housing. By providing market rate units for providers serving the region, Columbia Pacific is helping address a critical barrier that prevents healthcare and social service organizations from attracting new staff to the region. Approximately two-thirds of units will be reserved for workforce housing.
“Our hospital often loses potential employees because of the lack of available housing in our region,” said Pam Cooper, Providence Seaside Hospital director of finance. “We have staff driving in from Tillamook County and Washington state. It’s challenging, especially when folks are ‘on call’ and need to be able to respond within 30 minutes of being called to come in. I spend a lot of my time trying to find leases, find rooms, make arrangements with AirBnBs so we can have our shifts covered. The investment from CareOregon and Columbia Pacific is going to help us address this need.”
The remaining one-third of the units will be dedicated as permanent supportive housing for Columbia Pacific members with behavioral health needs. By providing permanent supportive housing units, Columbia Pacific is creating long term housing for individuals at risk of houselessness. Clatsop Behavioral Health will provide onsite housing assistance for these community members with the goal of creating a safe, stable environment where residents get the support they need to stay housed, and are able to stay engaged with their healthcare providers.
“The per capita rate of houselessness here in Clatsop County is the highest in the state and by a long shot” said Amy Baker, Clatsop Behavioral Health executive director. “It’s six times the state average and 4.6 times Multnomah County’s per capita rate of homelessness. So, being able to provide permanent supportive housing, it’s going to make a tremendous difference in our community. Importantly, access to housing for our employees will be a gamechanger. Our agency loses about 30% of the applicants in our job pipeline because of lack of housing. We need more access to housing here on the coast. This project is part of the solution.”
By converting an existing building into housing, CareOregon will be able to create housing units for roughly half of the cost of a new build and on an accelerated timeframe. Current construction estimates anticipate opening the building to residents by spring 2024.
“Throughout our nearly three decades of existence, CareOregon has made big investments in programs and services that can make an impact in the lives of those we serve,” said Eric C. Hunter, CareOregon CEO. “Rolling up our sleeves and working alongside community is how we approach everything we do. We’re honored to be able to leverage our dollars to help meet local needs in the Columbia Pacific region.”
Columbia Pacific’s focus on housing investment is a direct result of and in response to community feedback. Access to safe, affordable housing was identified in our 2019-2024 Regional Health Improvement Plan as a top priority across our region. More than 1,900 community members provided feedback to inform this plan.
For information, contact Becca Thomsen, Communications Manager, 503-416-3756, firstname.lastname@example.org
For more than 25 years, CareOregon has offered health services and community benefit programs to Oregon Health Plan members. Today, we support the needs of more than 500,000 Oregonians through three coordinated care organizations, a Medicare Advantage plan, a Tribal Care Coordination program, a dental care organization, and in-home medical care with Housecall Providers. CareOregon members have access to integrated physical, dental and mental health care, and substance use treatment. We believe that good health requires more than clinics and hospitals, so we also connect members to housing, fresh food, education and transportation services. CareOregon is a mission-driven, community-based nonprofit with offices in Portland, Medford and Seaside, Oregon.
About Columbia Pacific CCO
Columbia Pacific CCO, part of the CareOregon family of companies, is proud to serve more than 35,000 Oregon Health Plan members living in Clatsop, Columbia and Tillamook counties. As a nonprofit coordinated care organization (CCO), we provide physical, dental and mental health care through a growing network of health care providers. Our priorities are guided by our local board of directors, community advisory councils and clinical advisory panel, and are informed by extensive community engagement. Columbia Pacific is committed to promoting the health of all those in our region. We focus on increasing access to language services, offering treatment for those experiencing substance use disorders, and fostering connections that promote social health. (SOURCE)
Armed And Dangerous Suspect Arrested At Mill Casino After Tips From Community
A man known to be armed and dangerous was arrested at the Mill Casino on Saturday after residents reported his presence to police, the Coquille Police Department reported.
Coquille police asked for help from the public on March 10 to find Jacob Warren, 20, who police said was wanted on charges of theft and burglary. According to police, Warren had stolen a gun from a vehicle and fought with a police officer who had attempted to arrest him. Police also said Warren was the subject of multiple charges in California and Oregon.
According to Coquille police, on March 11 Warren was recognized at the Mill Casino by a resident who then reported his presence to law enforcement. Coquille police said North Bend officers went to the casino and found a man matching Warren’s description, who denied that he was Warren. The man, who turned out to be Warren, then tried to run away on foot and fought with police and casino security, Coquille police said. Police said they used a taser to subdue Warren and arrest him.
Coquille police said Warren was sent to the Coos County Jail. He was charged with two counts of first-degree theft, possession of weapons by a felon, unlawful entry into a vehicle, second-degree theft, two counts of fraudulent credit card use, third-degree escape and first-degree burglary. Police said more charges are expected. Police also said he was charged with resisting arrest, giving false information to police and third-degree escape for his actions at the casino. Coquille police said he also faces felony charges from California jurisdictions.
OHCS launches new updates to data dashboards on affordable rental housing and homeownership
Oregon Housing and Community Services has worked over the past several years to build up data systems to improve transparency around affordable housing development and services provided to households with low to moderate incomes. The two newly updated data dashboards, Affordable Rental Housing and Homeownership, reflect this work and commitment.
“We are excited to announce updates and improvements have been made to the data dashboards that represent the collective work of and outcomes for the people of Oregon,” OHCS Director Andrea Bell said. “Let the data be yet another proof point that positive housing outcomes can prevail when we tackle the urgency of the affordable housing crisis with data-driven solutions that center our collective humanity.”
The Affordable Rental Housing Dashboard provides data for OHCS-administered funding programs such as Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) and Local Innovation and Fast Track (LIFT). This dashboard provides details on the number of homes (units) the state has funded, if the properties are new construction or were preserved, if they are rural or urban, and other information about the affordable housing portfolio. Data shown is from January 2016 to September 2022.
The Homeownership Dashboard shows data on who received counseling and education at a homeownership center, down payment assistance, Oregon Bond Residential Loans, and other program services that create pathways to homeownership. Data shown is from January 2017 to December 2022.
These data dashboards are updated quarterly and will continue to evolve and change along with our programs as we work to improve service to Oregonians. Our vision is that all Oregonians will have access to safe, stable and affordable housing.
About Oregon Housing and Community Services – Oregon Housing and Community Services provides resources for Oregonians to reduce poverty and increase access to stable housing. Our intentional focus on housing and community services allows the agency to serve Oregonians across the housing continuum, including preventing homelessness, providing housing stability supports, financing the building and preservation of affordable housing, and encouraging homeownership.
$4.6 million in funding available for community-based organizations to support immigrants and refugees from Ukraine
The deadline to apply is March 27, 2023.
(Salem) – The Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS) Refugee Program is inviting community partners to apply for a portion of $4.6 million in funding that is available to provide services and support to certain individuals from Ukraine or those who entered through the Uniting for Ukraine program.
The deadline to apply is March 27, 2023, and the application can be found online.
The U.S. Resettlement Program is operated by the U.S. Department of State through contracts with national non-profit organizations called resettlement agencies. These organizations have local affiliate offices throughout the nation.
The ODHS Refugee Program is responsible for some of the services that are outside of the initial resettlement provided by the resettlement agencies. The Refugee Program provides cash, medical, employment and acculturation services to refugees (and those eligible for refugee services) who are within 60 months of gaining their eligible immigration status.
Since February 2022, over 3,100 individuals from Ukraine have resettled in Oregon.
The purpose of this request is to ask for applications from culturally and/or linguistically responsive organizations who provide services to immigrants or refugees (and those eligible for refugee services) to increase services and supports.
Funding is available to support:
- Housing and food assistance services: $2 million
- Statewide outreach, sponsor coordination and connection to existing case management services: $200,000
- Employment services assistance: $221,800
- Health and mental health services: $675,000
- Child care: $100,00
- Legal services: $800,000
- Youth mentoring: $100,000
- School assistance: $515,000
- Senior services: $50,000
Organizations may express interest in supporting more than one service area. Community organizations are eligible to submit proposals for the funding.
More information the ODHS Refugee Program can be found online.
About the Oregon Department of Human Services – The mission of the Oregon Department of Human Services is to help Oregonians in their own communities achieve wellbeing and independence through opportunities that protect, empower, respect choice and preserve dignity.
Deschutes County DA’s Office Releases Final Report On Melissa Trench’s Death
The death of Melissa Trench, the Bend woman whose body was located in Shevlin Park in January after she went missing in December, was deemed a suicide, according to reports from the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office.
Trench, 38, was last seen by her family on Dec. 26. The next day, she called an ex-boyfriend from years prior telling him she was injured in the forest. Soon after Trench called the ex-boyfriend, her family was alerted and a search involving law enforcement and members of the public began.
Following an extensive investigation by the sheriff’s office and the Bend Police Department, which found no evidence of foul play, Trench’s body was located by her brother at the south end of Shevlin Park near Forest Road 4606, the Bend Police Department said in January. After Trench was located, her body was examined by a medical examiner who concluded Trench’s death was a suicide, the report showed. (SOURCE)
Oregon State University Research on Wildfires
Oregon State University research into the ability of a wildfire to improve the health of a forest uncovered a Goldilocks effect – unless a blaze falls in a narrow severity range, neither too hot nor too cold, it isn’t very good at helping forest landscapes return to their historical, more fire-tolerant conditions.
The study led by Skye Greenler, a graduate research fellow in the OSU College of Forestry, and Chris Dunn, an assistant professor in the college, has important implications for land managers charged with restoring ecosystems and reducing fire hazard in dry forests such as those east of the Cascade Range.
The findings, published in PLOS One, shed light on the situations in which managed wildfires, as well as postfire efforts such as thinning and planting, are likely to be most effective at achieving restoration goals.
Wildfire has shaped ecosystems for millennia, the researchers note, but its impacts have become an increasing social, economic and ecological concern across the western United States. Aggressive fire exclusion policies, forest and resource management practices and climate change have altered forest structure and composition – increasing forests’ vulnerability to extreme wildfires and drought.
“As wildfire activity continues to intensify in the West, it’s becoming clear that a variety of management activities are necessary to make ecosystems healthier and to lower wildfire risk,” Greenler said. “Fuel reduction treatments like mechanical thinning and prescribed fire can reduce community and ecosystem risk, but in most places, the pace and scale of treatments are way below what’s needed to substantially alter fire effects and behavior.”
In an independent project, Greenler and Dunn in a collaboration with College of Forestry colleagues James Johnston, Andrew Merschel and John Bailey developed a new way to predict the fire severities that are most apt to help eastern Oregon forests return to their historical density, species composition and basal area, a measure of how much ground in a specific area is occupied by tree stems.
“We built probabilistic tree mortality models for 24 species based on their characteristics and remotely sensed fire severity data from a collection of burned areas,” Greenler said. “Then we looked at unburned stands in the Ochoco, Deschutes, Fremont-Winema and Malheur national forests to model postfire conditions and compared the results to historical conditions. That let us identify which fire severities had the highest restoration potential.”
The research team, which also included scientists from the University of Washington, the U.S. Forest Service and Applegate Forestry LLC of Corvallis, generally found that basal area and density targets could be met through fire within a fairly narrow range of moderate severity.
However, one blaze can’t restore species composition to its historical norm in a forest that evolved amid frequent, low-severity fires, the scientists found.
“Landscapes have likely passed thresholds that preclude the effectiveness of managed wildfire alone as a restoration tool,” Greenler said. “In a large number of fire-prone western landscapes, forest structure and composition are no longer resistant or resilient to natural disturbance processes like fire, drought, and endemic insects and pathogens, and interactions among all of those.”
Although more and more wildfires are burning large areas and at high severity, the majority of fires in the West still burn at low or moderate severity, the authors note. They cite a recent analysis that found about half of the burned area in Oregon and Washington from 1985 through 2010 did so in low-severity fires – in systems characterized historically by low- and mixed-severity fire regimes.
“Low severity may be ‘too cold’ to meet restoration objectives in areas where significant tree density reduction or big shifts in tree species composition are needed,” Greenler said. “For a better understanding of the fire severities that are the most restorative, we need empirical modeling that can be applied beyond individual fire events and across a broad range of conditions. Our study lets managers and researchers link forest restoration goals with maps of predicted post-fire conditions.”
About the OSU College of Forestry: For a century, the College of Forestry has been a world class center of teaching, learning and research. It offers graduate and undergraduate degree programs in sustaining ecosystems, managing forests and manufacturing wood products; conducts basic and applied research on the nature and use of forests; and operates more than 15,000 acres of college forests. (SOURCE)
Wondering about your refund? Use the Oregon Dept. of Revenue’s Where’s My Refund Tool
Salem, OR— The Oregon Department of Revenue has begun issuing refunds due to taxpayers who have filed their 2022 tax returns. Through March 3, the department had received and processed 681,099 returns and had issued 495,606 refunds.
The agency began processing returns January 23 in the order they were received. However, each year, the department waits until after February 15 to issue personal income tax refunds as part of its tax fraud prevention efforts. The delay allows for confirmation that the amounts claimed on tax returns match what employers report on Forms W-2 and 1099.
Now that the agency has begun issuing refunds, taxpayers can check Where’s My Refund on Revenue Online to see the status of their refund. To check the status of their refund, taxpayers will need their:
- Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN);
- Filing status; and
- The exact refund amount shown on:
- Line 46 of their Form OR-40, or
- Line 71 of their Form OR-40-N, or
- Line 70 of their Form OR-40-P
The Department of Revenue recommends that taxpayers wait one week after they have electronically filed their return to use the Where’s My Refund tool.
Where’s My Refund will tell taxpayers whether their refund has been issued electronically, a check has been mailed, their refund has been adjusted, there are questions about their return, or their return is being manually processed.
E-filing and requesting direct deposit is the fastest way for a taxpayer to get their refund. On average, taxpayers who e-file their returns and request their refund via direct deposit receive their refund 34 days sooner than taxpayers who mail their paper returns and request paper refund checks.
All Oregon resident taxpayers preparing their own returns in 2023 can file electronically at no cost using one of Oregon’s free file options.
Taxpayers can check the status of their federal tax refunds on the IRS website.
Six common reasons refunds take longer and what to do about it
- Filing a paper return. Paper returns take longer to process and, as a result, it takes longer to issue related refunds. File electronically instead.
- Filing electronically and requesting to receive a refund via a check takes longer. Request direct deposit instead.
- Filing more than once. Sending a paper return through the mail after e-filing will a delay a refund. Taxpayers should file just once.
- Filing during peak filing periods. Refunds are also issued slower during peak filing periods, like the last few weeks before the April 18 deadline. Filing well ahead of the deadline will help taxpayers get their refunds sooner.
- Refunds can also be delayed when errors are identified on returns. Taxpayers who receive a letter requesting additional information are urged to respond promptly through Revenue Online to speed the processing of their return.
- Taxpayers who check Where’s My Refund one week after they file and receive a message saying their return is being manually processed should watch their mailbox for correspondence from the department. If it has been 12 weeks or more since they filed their return and they haven’t received a letter from the department, taxpayers should call 503-378-4988 or 800-356-4222 to speak with a customer service representative.
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.