The latest news stories across the state of Oregon from the digital home of the Oregon coastal cities, OregonBeachMagazine.com
Monday, September 19, 2022
Oregon Beach Weather
Biden Administration Targets Deep Waters Near Coos Bay For New Offshore Wind Power
The Biden administration will seek to add deep-water offshore wind energy, a developing technology that isn’t yet widely used, to its mix of renewable energy sources, administration leaders said Thursday.
Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm and Interior Secretary Deb Haaland told reporters on a White House call that their departments would advance efforts to increase capacity and bring down costs of floating offshore wind platforms that produce power over deep seas.
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, an Interior Department agency, will make specific siting decisions later, Haaland said. But the administration is targeting areas off the coast of Oregon and California and in the Gulf of Maine on the East Coast.
The most promising Oregon site is near Coos Bay in the southern part of the state, said Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, who was also on the call.
Existing offshore wind turbines are situated in shallow coastal areas and secured directly to the ocean floor, White House National Climate Advisor Gina McCarthy said on the press call. Developing technology for floating platforms to harness wind in deeper waters would unleash much more potential energy, the officials said.
Including deep-water areas, offshore wind could reach a capacity more than double existing U.S. electricity demand, Granholm said. But about two-thirds of that potential capacity is in deep-water areas, according to a DOE fact sheet Those areas currently produce virtually zero energy worldwide.
$50 million to be spent — The Energy Department will spend nearly $50 million on efforts to develop deep-water offshore wind.
Most of that funding, $31 million, will go to the department’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy to develop floating platform technology.
Energy will also fund a $6.85 million prize competition for engineers to design floating platforms that are optimized for wide-scale domestic manufacturing and commercialization, according to a White House fact sheet .
Another $3 million from the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure law enacted last year would be used to develop modeling tools to help design commercial-scale floating offshore wind farms.
And nearly $1 million in infrastructure law spending would be used for a West Coast ports analysis to see where upgrades would be needed to deploy floating offshore wind power.
Part of the department’s goal is to reduce the cost of floating offshore wind by more than 70%.
“DOE is all in on making floating offshore wind a real part of our energy mix,” Granholm told reporters.
The Interior Department set a goal of reaching 15 gigawatts from deep-water wind sources by 2035, Haaland said. That would be enough power for 5 million homes, she said.
Biden has already committed to seeking 30 gigawatts from all offshore wind by 2030 as part of his goal to reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by that year.
“Our goals are ambitious, but they are absolutely necessary,” Haaland said Thursday. “We can meet them when we partner innovation with resources and ambition. Nowhere is that more evident than the opportunity of floating wind.”
Community outreach —- The Oregon governor urged the federal leaders to collaborate with coastal communities and industries when building offshore wind infrastructure.
Oregon has long been committed to increasing renewable energy capacity, but increasing offshore wind energy must be balanced with the needs of local communities and industries, Brown said.
Asked about a congressional push to overhaul federal permitting requirements for energy projects, McCarthy said the administration would be careful in siting selections and in deployment of offshore wind, but also that the administration wanted to get through permitting “as quickly as possible.”
“That includes making sure that the sites that we pick and the turbine installations are done in a way that protects the species in our environment,” she said. “But also in a way that as quickly as we can delivers the kind of clean energy that our country needs and is looking forward to.”
Members of both chambers are working on passing legislation this month that would update what critics say are overlong processes for winning federal approval of energy projects.
Proponents of the changes say that several energy sources, including wind and solar, would benefit from a more streamlined process.
But House progressives and other environmental advocates have said changes could weaken protections and give communities less power to challenge energy projects.
Kayaker Rescued Near Chinook Winds Casino Resort
A man was reported being swept out to sea by a riptide near Chinook Winds Casino Resort around 1:45 p.m. Saturday after being thrown from his kayak in the breakers.
The victim was in the ocean with a kayak when waves knocked him out of the craft. He was not wearing a life vest.
The man was spotted drifting a few hundred yards out to sea by North Lincoln Fire & Rescue personnel. Rescuers relayed his position to a waiting water rescue unit that deployed a jetski that brought the man safely back to shore.
People familiar with the man said he would be okay and that he was a “strong person.” He was transported by ambulance to Samaritan North Lincoln Hospital.
A Coast Guard helicopter coming from North Bend was cancelled. Lincoln City Police also responded.
Waldport Area Meals On Wheels Desperately Needs Volunteers
A shortage of volunteers has spurred an urgent call for more helpers – and possibly put the viability of the operation into question. More than 60 people from Yachats to Seal Rock and up Oregon Highway 34 depend on Meals on Wheels to provide warm mid-day meals three times a week.
Based at the Waldport Community Center, the agency overseeing Meals on Wheels has “a concern about the sustainability of the program,” said program director Randi Moore with the Oregon Cascades West Council of Governments.
The meals program is the largest offered in the region by the Albany-based organization, serving seniors over 60 years of age and their spouses with both on-site meals and home delivery in Lincoln, Linn and Benton counties. People with disabilities who are under 60, and Native Americans over 55 are also eligible.
The Waldport operation maintains sit-down service on Mondays and Fridays; Wednesday service will be available in October when the weekly outdoor market ends. Home delivery is provided to recipients on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Recipients are asked to donate what they can, if anything, to help offset costs.
“Without our dedicated volunteers it would be impossible to pay for the work force hours needed to package, serve and deliver the 11,552 meals that were provided” by the Waldport site in fiscal 2021-22, Moore said. Federal and state funding sources, she said, cover only a part of the ongoing cost of operating Meals on Wheels.
After a Yachats volunteer described the Waldport operation as “desperately short of volunteers” on social media, Waldport site manager Nicole Person said she needs two types of volunteers — delivery drivers and kitchen staff.
“Volunteers in the kitchen portion out the meals, pack them for each consumer and then plate the hot entrees in trays for delivery by the drivers,” Person said in an email. Then, “we prepare for dining room service … and bring the food out to our diners. And then we clean up.”
Person said she needs two kitchen workers for each of the three days Meals on Wheels serves. Volunteers arrive between 9-9:30 a.m. and can expect to be done by 12:30-1 p.m. Drivers are also wanted for three different routes to deliver meals on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Volunteers can pitch in for one day, two or all three.
People interested may call Person at 541-563-8796. She said she’s at the Waldport Community Center, 265 N.W. Hemlock St. from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Mondays and Fridays.
In addition to the Waldport operation, the Lincoln County program also includes sites in Newport, Toledo, Siletz and Lincoln City.
Remain Aware and Continue to Practice Wildfire Prevention as Weather Changes
The Oregon Department of Forestry wants to remind Oregonians that even with the weather starting to transition to fall, fire is still on the landscape and fire season is still in effect. Oregon is still experiencing severe drought in majority of the state, dry fuels, higher temperatures and low humidity, the department wants to warn the public against complacency.
“East wind events, like the one we experienced this past weekend, are very common around this time of year. There is still potential for more fire starts and the season isn’t over yet” Mike Shaw, Fire Protection Division Chief, said. “We are prepared for new fire starts; however, the less human caused fires we have, the less strained our resources will be.”
Even with lower temperatures, there is still potential for a fire to start and grow significantly. Thus far in the season, Oregonians have done a good job of keeping human-caused fires below the 10-year average. ODF encourages the public to keep up the good work and persist until the official end of fire season.
“With the temperature changes, it’s easy to think that fires are lessening. However, we are still seeing new fire starts daily throughout the state of Oregon,” Levi Hopkins, Wildfire Prevention and Policy Manager, said.
Wildfire prevention means:
- Debris burning is prohibited during fire season without a permit. Cover your pile and wait until fire season is over. A dry, covered pile is cleaner and safer to burn late fall and winter.
- Don’t park your car over dried grass, and make sure your vehicle or ATV is regularly serviced
- Dispose of your cigarette using designated receptacles, and NEVER discard butts on the ground or in vegetation outdoors.
- Check local restrictions before lighting a campfire.
Several ODF districts have updated their fire danger levels recently; however most of the state remains between moderate and extreme fire danger. Visit Oregon.gov/odf to find local fire restrictions and keeporegongreen.org for more wildfire prevention tips.
The three biggest fires burning in Oregon continue to char thousands of acres, but all three fires saw cooler and wetter conditions over the weekend.
The Rum Creek Fire has torched 21,347 acres and is 83% contained. Fire officials working on the fire northwest of Grant Pass said several days of rain should help suppression, mop up and patrol, and opportunities for rehab and repair.
While there are no active evacuations for Jackson County, officials say people still need to be aware that fire traffic in the area still exists.
An updated map of road and land closures are available from the Bureau of Land Management Grants Pass Office website.
The Cedar Creek Fire burning to the east of Oakridge has charred 112,287 acres and remains uncontained.
Like the Rum Creek Fire, the weather allowed firefighters a chance to make significant progress securing containment lines.
Fire officials say they were about to complete about 2,000 acres of firing operations along the west and southwest edge of the fire.
Some lightning was reported Saturday and crews are ready to assist with initial attack responses.
The fire area saw .01 to .4 of an inch of rain Saturday. An updated map of closures is available from Lane County.
The Double Creek Fire burning east of Enterprise has blackened 157,208 acres and is 27% contained.
Officials said Sunday that fire activity remained minimal allowing firefighters to monitor and mop up the west side of the fire. Firefighters say rain and thunderstorms are possible all week before a warming and drying trend begins Friday.
Oregon recently became the first state to receive a federal investment to expand community-based mobile crisis and treatment services to anyone experiencing a mental health crisis. Community-based mobile crisis intervention services provide a different way to respond to crisis emergencies that helps de-escalate a situation and connect someone in crisis to support and treatments.
Community-based mobile crisis intervention services teams are required to be dispatched if requested by 988 call centers and are not restricted to select locations or regions, nor to any particular days or times.Learn more: http://ow.ly/nZNU50KM7sA
———– The latest Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) COVID-19 modeling (http://ow.ly/mo4g50KM7s3) continues to show a steady decline in the number of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 in Oregon through the end of October: As of Sept. 14, there were 253 COVID-19-positive patients in Oregon hospitals, down from the peak of 464 reached July 17.
The new report also raised concern about influenza, or the flu: A strong return of influenza may outpace COVID-19 in driving hospitalizations in Oregon over the fall and winter, according to the modeling. The report cited some parts of the Southern Hemisphere, where the flu typically circulates in their winter months (April to October) that had an early start to the flu season with relatively high rates of infection.
Getting your flu vaccine and staying up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines and boosters is especially important this year. It is safe to get both at the same time. Both flu vaccines and COVID-19 vaccines and boosters – including the new, updated COVID-19 booster that provides protection against Omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5 – are available across Oregon. To find a flu vaccine or COVID-19 vaccine or booster near you, visit http://ow.ly/W9fO50KM7s5 or call 211.
The Governor and the University of Oregon Apologize After Student Section Chants ‘F— The Mormons’ During BYU Game
The University of Oregon released a statement on Sunday apologizing to BYU after a video surfaced on social media showed the school’s student section chanting “F— the Mormons” during Saturday’s 41-20 win over Utah university.
“The University of Oregon sincerely apologizes for an offensive and disgraceful chant coming from the student section during yesterday’s game against Brigham Young University,” the statement said. “These types of actions go against everything the university stands for, and it goes against the spirit of competition. We can and will do better as a campus community that has no place for hate, bias or bigotry.”
Oregon’s announcement didn’t mention whether there would be any type of punishment for those that were known to have participated in the chant.
In addition, Oregon’s “Pit Crew” student section tweeted that the group condemned the chant and stated that it was “ashamed” of the people in attendance who targeted BYU with the anti-Moron chant.
“To all @BYUfootball fans in attendance at todays game we would like to apologize for the actions of the students in attendance,” Oregon’s “Pit Crew” tweeted. “We do not condone or support any hateful speech directed towards one’s religion and are ashamed of those who participated.”
Utah governor Spencer Cox also spoke out, labeling the chants as “religious bigotry” towards BYU’s fanbase. According to the university’s website, BYU is “a private Christian school owned and operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (colloquially known as ‘Mormons.’)”
The Ducks dominated the Cougars throughout the majority of the game and even raced out to a 38-7 lead. Oregon quarterback Bo Nix led the way with five total touchdowns in the win.
—— Oregon Governor Brown weighed in on the offensive chant Oregon Ducks football fans could be heard shouting at BYU fans during Saturday’s game.
A tweet from Brown’s official Twitter account on Sunday quote-tweeted a statement from the University of Oregon about the chant, which was directed at members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, stating, “In Oregon, we strive to be a welcoming, inclusive state to all, regardless of race, religion, gender, or background.
“Our state and nation have an ugly history of discrimination and bigotry. The chant at yesterday’s Oregon-BYU game was unacceptable. We must do better.”
Brown’s comments came after Utah Gov. Spencer Cox on Saturday shared a video of the incident and wrote, “Religious bigotry is alive and celebrated in Oregon.”
The statement from the university that Brown quote-tweeted read, “The University of Oregon sincerely apologizes for an offensive and disgraceful chant coming from the student section during yesterday’s game against Brigham Young University.
“These types of actions go against everything the university stands for, and it goes against the spirit of competition. We can and will do better as a campus community that has no place for hate, bias or bigotry.”
Update #2-Name released and timeline of events-Oregon State Police alerting the public of an armed and dangerous suspect last seen in SE Oregon
The suspect in a multi-state crime spree has been identified as Jamie Lee Cochran (42). He has spent time in West Virginia and Utah but is currently transient. After consultation with partner agencies the following is believed to be the timeline of events:
On Sunday, September 11, 2022, Mr. Cochran is believed to have burglarized a daycare in Salt Lake City, UT, where he stole a van that was driven through the fence of the daycare. The stolen van was later located in Elko, NV.
On Tuesday, September 13, 2022, Mr. Cochran is then believed to have stolen a quad that was driven to a residence where a home invasion robbery was committed. An orange 2001 Dodge Dakota pickup was stolen during the home invasion robbery from the residence in Elko, NV.
On the morning of Wednesday, September 14, 2022, deputies with the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office (NV) attempted to stop the 2001 orange Dodge Dakota pickup. The vehicle began attempting to elude the deputies while deputies pursued the vehicle towards Oregon. Oregon authorities were notified of the pursuit headed into Oregon.
Lake County Sheriff’s Office deputies (OR) and Oregon State Troopers responded on Highway 140 towards Nevada. A Lake County Sheriff’s Deputy and an Oregon State Trooper located the vehicle on Highway 140, just east of Adel, OR. The vehicle immediately began eluding officers and drove off road on to private farm fields. Deputies and Troopers lost sight of the vehicle a short time later.
Additional Troopers were called into the area to assist the Lake County Sheriff’s Office with the search for Mr. Cochran, who had not been identified at that point. The ground search was assisted by an Oregon State Police airplane, a helicopter and airplane from the California Highway Patrol, and a helicopter from the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office (NV). The ground search involved over 50 officers from multiple jurisdictions.
Officers were unable to locate the stolen orange Dakota, or Mr. Cochran.
On Thursday, September 15, 2022, at approximately 12:15 PM, Jamie Lee Cochran was taken into custody in the Fremont National Forest, in the Warner Mountains east of Lakeview, OR. Mr. Cochran was taken into custody by an Oregon State Police Fish and Wildlife Sergeant, a U.S. Forest Service Law Enforcement Officer, and a Bureau of Land Management Law Enforcement Ranger. The stolen Dodge Dakota pickup was found in the McDowell Creek area, west of Plush, OR. Mr. Cochran was taken into custody approximately 6 miles from where his truck was located and was armed with a stolen handgun when arrested.
The Oregon State Police was assisted in the investigation by the Lake County Sheriff’s Office (OR), the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office (NV), the Elko County Sheriff’s Office (NV), the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office (NV), the Salt Lake City Police Department, the California Highway Patrol, US Forest Law Enforcement, Bureau of Land Management Law Enforcement Rangers, and Bureau of Indian Affairs Law Enforcement.
Cochran was lodged in the Lake County Jail on outstanding warrants from Elko, NV. Additional charges of Elude-Felony, Unauthorized Use of Motor Vehicle and Theft 1 (possession of stolen firearm) are pending.
No further information will be released.
================= Update #1-The suspect has been located and is in custody. Further updates will be provided as information becomes available.
============== On September 14, 2022 at approximately 10:19 AM, the Oregon State Police were advised Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office was in pursuit of an armed and dangerous suspect that had committed multiple violent felonies from Salt Lake City, Utah to Elko, Nevada. The vehicle entered Oregon on Hwy 140 and was last seen northbound from Plush, OR.
The vehicle and suspect have not been located. The vehicle is described as burnt orange/silver 2001 Dodge Dakota 4-door. The plate is Nevada-436 NTR. The suspect is described as a white male adult, approximately 6 feet tall with a thin build, and beard. His clothing has been described as black jacket, brown pants with a baseball cap. The pants were also described as tan camouflage.
The suspect should be considered armed and dangerous, having committed prior home invasions and car-jackings. He should not be approached and if seen call 911 or contact the Oregon State Police Dispatch Center at 800-442-0776 or OSP (677) from your mobile phone.
After Statewide Amber Alert, Missing 7-Year-Old Portland Girl Found Safe In Stolen Honda Civic Near Laurelhurst Park
Portland police late Sunday located a 7-year-old girl who was missing for several hours after a car had been stolen while she was asleep inside it.
Police said the girl was found safe in the car near Laurelhurst Park, and officers were reuniting the child with her family at East Precinct.
Portland police announced at 11:27 p.m. Sunday that the girl had been found, about an hour after an Amber Alert was issued and more than four hours after the car had been stolen.
Earlier in the night, police had issued a plea to the public to be on the lookout for a 2011 black Honda Civic with no license plates stolen in Southeast Portland with a young girl, Yamilet Martinez, inside.
It was reported stolen Sunday in the area of Southeast 49th Avenue and Powell Boulevard. Police responded to the call just around 6:50 p.m. Authorities issued an Amber Alert for the girl around 10:35 p.m.
Police did not indicate that any arrests had been made. About 50 officers searched for the girl, and a command post was set up at East Precinct to coordinate the search.
“We received many tips from the community, and we are grateful for their help,” the Police Bureau said in a statement.
The Portland Police Bureau asks anyone with any additional information about this case to contact Detective Heidi Helwig at email@example.com, referencing case # 22-252068.
Senator Wyden Wants Information On Americans’ Phone Data Copied At a Massive Scale
The U.S. government searches and downloads the contents, including text messages, images and internet histories, of thousands of cellphones and laptops at border entry points every year.
Details of the database were revealed Thursday in a letter to CBP Commissioner Chris Magnus from Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), who criticized the agency for “allowing indiscriminate rifling through Americans’ private records” and called for stronger privacy protections.
That creates a troublesome and massive database of information, including of Americans reentering the country, according to U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Oregon.
Wyden, who also chairs the Senate Finance Committee, has written the Biden administration and U.S. Customs and Border Protection asking for answers about the agency’s database building and use of cellphone downloads.
A Wyden spokesman said it was unclear when the federal data collection practices started.
The Oregon lawmakers wants more details information on the U.S. databases, how they are accessed and how the information might be used.
Volunteers Save Injured Hiker During Training Exercises at Smith Rock State Park
A climber injured in a 50-foot fall at Smith Rock State Park got a lucky break when rescue crews already training nearby came to his assistance, Oregon officials reported..
On Saturday, September 17, a hiker took a massive fall while scaling a rock at Oregon’s Smith State Park. The fall occurred while the climber was trying to set a slackline while climbing near Asterick’s Pass. It was a dangerous fall, for sure. However, the injured climber lucked out quite a bit when rescuers were already in the area working on volunteer rescue training.
Oregon’s Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office reports that the climber fell at least 50 feet at the popular Smith Rock State Park. The authorities became aware of the scary situation after receiving a 9-1-1 call at about 10 a.m. Saturday morning (September 17). However, the situation was a little less horrifying for the injured climber as rescue crews were only minutes away. And, these experts were already poised to help the climber after conducting multiple practice drills during training exercises.
The volunteer rescue teams were training at the Oregon park near the Terrebonne trail. These drills were conducted with the volunteers, the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue Mountain Rescue Team. As well as several other teams trained in rescue operations.
After receiving the distress call, nine rescuers found the man. However, the hiker’s injuries were intense enough that he wasn’t able to descend on the river’s trail away from where the fall took place. Thankfully, the rescuers had much of the gear available while working on the training drills so they were able to lower the man 650 using a stretcher.
The injured hiker was taken to the hospital by ambulance after rescue teams were able to retrieve the man. However, there have been no updates on the condition of the hiker.
The climber faced the injuries while slacklining on the rocky hills and cliffs at the state park. Slacklining features the “stretching and tensioning a 1”– 2” wide length of nylon/polyester webbing between two anchor points.” The climbers use this stretched webbing for balancing while scaling the surfaces.
The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office sent thank yous to the Hood River Crag Rats, Eugene Mountain Rescue, Corvallis Mountain Rescue, and Redmond Fire rescuers for the help provided in the rescue.
This is just a small compilation of missing women and their pictures in the area. There are of course women missing all over Oregon and men and children missing too. We don’t mean to dismiss that, however, there is an inordinate amount of women who go missing each week and there could possibly be a connection with an anomaly or two here and there. Sadly most of them never get any attention. Family and friends must keep any information going and lead investigations so that they aren’t just forgotten.