Oregon Beach News, Thursday 12/1 – Weather Advisory for Snow in Oregon Coast Range, Shore Acres State Park Holiday Lights To Sparkle Thru Dec. 31

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

Thursday, December 1, 2022 

Oregon Beach Weather

SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY ISSUED: 2:09 AM DEC. 1, 2022 – NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE

...SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY NOW IN EFFECT UNTIL 10 AM PST FRIDAY...
...GALE WARNING IN EFFECT FROM 10 AM FRIDAY TO 1 PM PST SATURDAY...

* WHAT...West winds 15 to 25 kt with gusts up to 30 kt and seas 10 to 14 ft at 14 seconds. Friday morning, south winds increase to 30 to 40 kt with gusts up to 45 kt and seas become very steep and wind driven at 16 to 21 ft.

* WHERE...All areas.

* WHEN...The Small Craft Advisory is in effect until 10 AM PST Friday, followed by a Gale Warning from 10 AM Friday to 1 PM PST Saturday.

* IMPACTS...Strong winds and very steep seas could capsize or damage vessels. Low visibility conditions are expected.

* View the hazard area in detail at https://go.usa.gov/x6hks

Weather Advisory for Snow in Oregon Coast Range

The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a Winter Weather Advisory for snow in the North Oregon Coast, the North Oregon Coast Range and the Central Oregon Coast Range.

Sunset Rest Area

WHAT – Snow above 500 feet. Additional snow accumulations from two to four inches.

WHEN – Until 10 p.m. for the Central Oregon Coast Range and until 4 p.m. this afternoon for the North Oregon Coast.

IMPACTS – Plan on slippery road conditions. The hazardous conditions could impact the morning commute.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS – Slow down and use caution while traveling.

For the latest road conditions call 5 1 1, or visit for Oregon: https://www.tripcheck.com

Shore Acres State Park Holiday Lights To Sparkle Thru Dec. 31

Holiday Lights at Shore Acres State Park will open this year Nov. 24-Dec. 31 with a new timed entry system for visitors to park their vehicles 4-9 p.m. A $5 vehicle parking ticket assigned to a date and entry time of the visitors’ choice is needed to enter the show. The event parking fee is the same as the normal day-use parking permit price for the park.

Holiday Lights visitors must reserve their spot and then have their ticket for parking ready to show the ranger at the booth when they arrive at their selected times. Visitors will no longer have the option to purchase a parking permit onsite to park and attend.

“We’re excited that the Friends of Shore Acres will host Holiday Lights again in 2022 and that this timed entry system will help keep the flow of traffic moving during this very popular event,” says Lee Ricci, park manager for the Sunset Bay Management Unit.

Date and timed entry parking tickets are available now online . Reservations also can be made by calling 800-452-5687. The $5 event parking permit is non-refundable.

The parking ticket is required to enter the event; however, the $5 fee may be waived if the person making the reservation has one of the following and selects the option during the reservation process: 12- or 24-month parking permit; special access pass for either the veterans with service-connected disabilities or foster, guardian and adoptive foster parents of Oregon foster children; current Oregon State Park camping confirmation that coincides with the date of the event visit; or an Oregon Pacific Coast Passport.

The printed ticket, as well as the selected pass, permit, or campground confirmation, must be presented to park staff at entry to keep traffic moving.

This new process will help people quickly enter the parking area and prevent long waits to enter the park, which will improve safety issues on the Cape Arago Highway. In previous years, long lines have backed up on the narrow highway and blocked side roads, which hindered traffic and emergency vehicle access.

Although visitors can reserve their timed entry parking spot now, additional spots will be available later this fall for each evening during a seven-day rolling window tentatively set to begin Nov. 18 for visits beginning Nov. 24. The rolling window will run through Dec. 31.

“We realize that it’s early for many families to make November and December plans and we want people to have an opportunity for spur-of-the-moment visits,” Ricci adds, “We’re holding half the parking sites for that rolling seven-day window to ensure visitors can reserve closer to the event.”

The Friends of Shore Acres launched the Holiday Lights show in 1987 and it continued to delight visitors through 2019. The event was paused 2020-2021 for visitor safety during the pandemic. In 2019, nearly 60,000 visitors attended. Park staff expect the light show to be just as popular in 2022, if not more after a two-year absence.

Visit the Oregon State Parks website for 12 and 24-month parking permit and special access pass information. Oregon Pacific Coast Passport information is available at the US Forest Service website  — https://stateparks.oregon.gov/index.cfm?do=v.feature-article&articleId=300#:~:text=Nov%208%2C%202022,31%20from%204%2D9%20p.m.

Waterfall Community Health Center Adding New Mental Health Clinic Location

Waterfall Chief Innovation Officer Lance Nelson tells us they’re adding a new location to join their Coos Bay and North Bend clinics as they continue to expand care. It’s a move that will quadruple the clinic’s reach in mental health care for the south coast.

“The community has been correct in assuming that there aren’t enough mental health services in Coos County, so Waterfall has been adding more and more clinicians, mental health therapists, psychiatrists, people who can prescribe medications, and we’ve run out of room,” Nelson.

Unable to house all of the incoming clinicians in their current space, Nelson began to look for available local commercial space.

His answer came through Coos Bay Village developer Greg Drobot.

Drobot had hopes to offer medical services at the mixed use complex.

“He really liked the idea, so he made it viable for us financially. You know, we’re currently leasing the mental health building we lease now, so we won’t need to lease that, so that money can go towards the new project. And then we’ve had a community partner help to help make it happen.”

Nelson believed the site’s waterfront views could aid in a patient’s road to recovery by rolling out a scenic red carpet, “We didn’t want to set up in a dingy old warehouse somewhere that might actually add to some people’s depression or anxiety.”

The ability to add 16 new offices and two rooms for group therapy sweetened the deal and will allow the clinic to move from seeing about 25 patients a day to roughly 100 daily.

“In the area of psychiatry, trying to get someone to manage psychiatric medications has been really difficult, and now we have a prime location that helps us recruit and retain providers.”

Construction on the new location began in November. Waterfall expects to begin serving clients at the new location this March. Nelson says they’ll continue to have three clinicians on site at their North Bend main campus and two at their Coos Bay clinic near Marshfield High School, but the main delivery of psychiatry for adults will move to the new location.

More Winter Weather On The Way For Oregon

Heavy wind and rain tapered off in the Portland metro area but it already caused widespread power outages and traffic issues. As of 7 a.m. Wednesday, reports were about 9,000 people were without power in Oregon and Southwest Washington.

U.S. 26 has reopened after downed power lines were cleared from the roadway between the Sylvan overpass and the Vista Ridge Tunnel. U.S. 30 is closed about halfway between Astoria and Clatskanie, due to a landslide. Traffic officials Wednesday morning had no estimate for when that highway would reopen.

Two more strong weather systems will move through Oregon and Washington over the next few days.

While lower elevations will see very limited snow showers, people traveling through the Gorge, the Cascade Passes, and the Coast Range should prepare for snow sticking around on roadways through at least Sunday. Drivers should also expect hazardous travel conditions in Eastern Oregon.

Starting Wednesday night, heavy showers will move through Northwest Oregon again, and some places will see those showers in the form of snowflakes. A similar system will move through Thursday night into Friday morning.

Friday afternoon and evening should be rainy and blustery, with heavy wind gusts especially along the Coast Range. Then another cold weather system will move through Friday night and Saturday morning, dropping several more inches along the Gorge and in the Cascades, where it could stick around for several days.

Anybody planning to drive, especially at higher elevations, should prepare for winter conditions. Even if there’s no snow, moisture on the roads can freeze in the early morning hours.

$6.1 Million Going To Small Cities For Roads And Sidewalks

Small cities around the state are receiving $6.1 million in funding after the Small City Allotment Advisory Committee approved the latest round of recommendations in the 2023 Small City Allotment program. The approved 27 projects range from adding sidewalks to chip-sealing roads, from paving city streets to improving intersections – all in communities with populations of 5,000 or less.

For this sixth round of funding, ODOT received 84 applications requesting a total of $18,920,300. The annual amount available for the program is $5 million. For this round, additional funds were available from projects canceled due to high construction costs.

“Also due to inflation, we increased the maximum award amount from $100,000 to $250,000,” said SCA Program Manager Deanna Edgar. “That resulted in fewer awards – but these awards can really make a difference in today’s environment.”

Oregon’s historic transportation funding package, HB 2017 from the 2017 Oregon Legislature, created the Small City Allotment program to help communities fix local roads that are inadequate for the capacity they serve or in a condition detrimental to safety. To include as many cities as possible, the program does not require matching funds. MORE INFO: https://www.oregon.gov/odot/LocalGov/Pages/SCA_Program.aspx

Portland Woman Sentenced to Federal Prison for Stealing Covid Relief Funds While on Supervised Release

PORTLAND, Ore.—A Portland woman was sentenced to federal prison today for violating the terms of her post-prison supervised release by submitting two fraudulent applications for loans intended to help small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tiairre Travonne Chaney, 35, was sentenced to six months in federal prison followed by a 24-month term of supervised release.

According to court documents, in September 2015, Chaney was charged by criminal information with one count of wire fraud after she submitted 35 fraudulent income tax returns and caused the IRS to pay her more than $155,000 in unwarranted tax refunds. One month later, Chaney pleaded guilty to the single charge and, in February 2016, was sentenced to one year and one day in federal prison followed by a three-year term of supervised release. Chaney was released from prison in November 2016.

By June 2018, Chaney was found to have violated her supervised release conditions by failing to pay restitution, failing to file true and correct taxes, and failing to report to her probation officer. As a result, she was placed on GPS monitoring for 30 days. In December 2019, Chaney violated her supervision terms a second time by again failing to report to her probation officer and pay restitution and also failing to obtain lawful employment. She was sentenced to three months in prison and her 33-month term of supervised release was reimposed.

In January and May 2021, Chaney violated her supervised release a third time by submitting to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) two fraudulent applications for Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs)for Tncw Baked Goods, LLC, a straw entity she formed after the onset of the pandemic. In her applications, Chaney falsely denied being on supervised release and denied her felony conviction. In the second application, she falsely claimed Tncw Baked Goods, LLC, realized gross revenues of $45,663 in 2020 when in fact it had done no business whatsoever. 

This case was investigated by the SBA Office of Inspector General and the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA). It was prosecuted by Ryan W. Bounds, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon.

Anyone with information about allegations of attempted fraud involving COVID-19 can report it by calling the Justice Department’s National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) Hotline at 866-720-5721 or via the NCDF Web Complaint Form at: https://www.justice.gov/disaster-fraud/ncdf-disaster-complaint-form.

OSP is seeking the public’s assistance with a death investigation in Douglas County

2022-11/1002/159482/Mr._Mell.jpg

The Oregon State Police is asking for #publicassistance with a death investigation that occurred on November 30, 2021.  OSP is hoping with the 1st anniversary of this incident that someone will come forward with new information.

On November 30, 2021, at approximately 1:00 P.M., Larry Mell was traveling westbound in his red 2003 Dodge Ram truck on Hwy 38 near Putnam Valley Rd, just west of Drain, Oregon, when he was shot.  Mr. Mell later died as a result of his injuries.  The Oregon State Police’s preliminary investigation suggests this incident appears to be accidental. 

Mr. Mell was 72 at the time of his death.  He had 8 children, several grandchildren, and a great-grandchild. Mr. Mell’s family described him as a Navy veteran who served in the Vietnam War. Mr. Mell loved fishing and crabbing and is greatly missed. Mr. Mell’s family said he was a strong survivor who had overcome heart surgery, a brain injury, and cancer. 

The Oregon State Police along with Mr. Mell’s family is requesting if anyone was shooting or who knows of someone who was shooting in the area of Hwy 38 and Putnam Valley Rd on November 30, 2021, call us.   

Help provide some closure to this family who is desperately seeking answers to what happened.  If you think you might have some information on this incident, we urge you to call the Oregon State Police at 800-442-2068 or OSP from your mobile phone. Reference case # SP21-335049.

Two Men Were Arrested This Week As Part Of An Investigation Into Several Robberies In Klamath Falls

The Klamath Falls Police Department said Wednesday, Nov. 30 in a press release that Samuel J. McConathy, 27, and Geoffrey W. McKay, 25, were Tuesday, Nov. 29.

According to the press release, the reported robberies began Tuesday, Nov. 22 and continued through Monday, Nov. 28 at the following locations: The Yellow Flamingo Lottery Bar at 1819 Avalon St., the Tyler Texas BBQ at 1414 Oregon Ave. twice, the Oregon Avenue Food Mart at 2123 Oregon Ave. and the Stop-N-Go store at 1710 Oregon Ave.

“All five reports described an unknown white male adult wearing similar clothing, and he would demand money from the employees once he entered the businesses,” the press release stated. “No weapons were seen, but it was believed the subject was possibly armed during the incidents. During three of the reported robberies, the subject left the scene with a large amount of cash. During the other two incidents, the unknown subject fled the scene after the employees threatened to defend themselves with a weapon or call the police.”

Tuesday, KFPD detectives identified and arrested McConathy and McKay in connection to the robberies. The two men were contacted after McConathy reported his van stolen shortly after a report of a robbery at the Speedway Express at approximately 5 that morning.

“The initial investigation reported a male subject entering the location, removing the cash register and fleeing the area in a silver van,” the press release states. “The subjects later dumped the register out of the vehicle.”

Before this incident, KFPD detectives were conducting surveillance operations during the late evening and early morning hours due to the recent robberies, according to the press release.

“KFPD detectives observed the same van in the area during their surveillance of a local business,” the press release states. “In a joint effort, KFPD and [Klamath County Sheriff’s Office] detectives were able to link both subjects to all three robberies and two attempted robberies in the city limits, and a theft and initiating a false report within the urban growth boundary.”

McConathy was lodged in the Klamath County Jail for four counts of Second-degree Robbery, Criminal Conspiracy to Commit Robbery, Second-degree Attempted Theft, Third-degree Criminal Mischief and Initiating a False Report.

McKay was lodged in the Klamath County Jail for for five counts of Second-degree Robbery, Criminal Conspiracy to Commit Robbery, Second-degree Attempted Theft and Third-degree Criminal Mischief.

Anyone with additional information regarding these robberies is encouraged to call the Klamath Falls Police Department at 541-883-5336 or the anonymous tip line at 541-883-5334.

Oregon State Parks offers $5 off annual parking permit purchases in December 

SALEM, Oregon— Give the gift of the outdoors and save this season with the Oregon State Parks 12-month parking permit sale through December.

The permit hangtag once again features whimsical designs from Portland artist El Tran. Holiday shoppers can buy the annual parking permits for only $25, which is a $5 savings starting Dec. 1 and running through Dec. 31. The pass is good for 12 months starting in the month of purchase.

Purchasing passes is easy. Buy them online at the Oregon State Parks store. Parking permits are also sold at some state park friends’ group stores and select local businesses throughout the state. For a complete list of vendors, visit stateparks.oregon.gov.

Parking costs $5 a day at 25 Oregon state parks unless you have a 12- or 24-month parking permit or a same-day camping receipt. The 24-month pass is $50 and is also available at store.oregonstateparks.org. The permits are transferable from vehicle to vehicle.

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