Oregon Beach News, Wednesday 11/15 – Woman Rescued After 30 Foot Cliff Fall at House Rock Viewpoint & Other Local and Statewide News…

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

Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Oregon Beach Weather

Woman Rescued After 30 Foot Cliff Fall at House Rock Viewpoint

On Monday 11/13 at about 1:12pm, the Brookings Police Dispatch transferred a 911 call to the Curry County Sheriff’s Office Dispatch from 56-year-old Jody Thibodo of Brookings.

Thibodo reported that she had been hiking on a trail with her dog, and she and her dog, Electra, had slipped off the trail, was stuck about 30-feet down a steep embankment and needed help. Thibodo was not familiar with the area and was unsure where her vehicle was parked.

Curry County Sheriff’s Office Dispatch Sergeant Synthia Westerman was able to get a coordinate of Thibodo’s location from the 911 call and paged out the Curry County Search and Rescue rope team. Sheriff’s patrol deputies responded to the area and located Thibodo’s vehicle at House Rock Viewpoint about five miles north of Brookings.

With the assistance of the deputies, SAR members, Art Tarin, Craig Rasbury, Jennifer Stansell, Mike Merica, Joe Kolp, Dirk Van Zante and SAR Manager Jesse Fletcher arrived and set up a plan for the rescue.

SAR members located Thibodo and her dog off the trail just less than a mile north of House Rock Viewpoint. The SAR team was able to rappel down to Thibodo and her dog, Electra, put harnesses on them and bring them both back to the trail where they were escorted back to Thibodo’s vehicle.

“We have an incredible SAR team who stop what they are doing when they get a SAR call and respond to help,” Curry County Sheriff John Ward said. “They do this so that others may live”. (SOURCE)

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.

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)

Oregon State Parks and Recreation Commission Meeting in Newport

The Oregon State Parks and Recreation Commission will convene Nov. 14 and 15 in Newport, Oregon. 

On Nov. 14, commissioners will tour Brian Booth State Park in the morning and gather for a work session to discuss training from 1 to 3 p.m. at Hallmark Inn, 744 SW Elizabeth Street in Newport. 

On Nov. 15, commissioners will convene an executive session at 8:30 a.m. at Hallmark Inn, 744 SW Elizabeth Street in Newport to discuss real estate and legal issues. Executive sessions are closed to the public. A business meeting will begin at 9:45 a.m. and will be open to the public.

Anyone may attend or listen to the business meeting; instructions on how to listen will be posted on the commission web page prior to the meeting. The business meeting includes time for informal public comment related to any items not on the agenda. Registration is required to speak at the meeting if attending online, and is available online at https://bit.ly/registernov2023commission. The deadline to register to speak at the meeting virtually is 5 p.m., Nov. 13. No advance registration is required to speak in person at the meeting. Time per speaker is limited to three minutes. Please submit written public comments by 5 p.m. Nov. 13 to is.havel@oprd.oregon.gov“>chris.havel@oprd.oregon.gov

The full agenda and supporting documents are posted on the commission web page. Notable requests: 

Anyone needing special accommodations to attend the meeting should contact Denise Warburton, commission assistant, at least three days in advance: burton@oprd.oregon.gov“>denise.warburton@oprd.oregon.gov or 503-779-9729. 

The Oregon State Parks and Recreation Commission promotes outdoor recreation and heritage by establishing policies, adopting rules and setting the budget for the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department. The seven members are appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Oregon Senate. They serve four-year terms and meet several times a year at locations across the state. 

North Bend School District Public Meeting — November 16, 2023

Below are North Bend School District public meetings currently scheduled for November:

November 16, 2023
       Work Session
       North Bend High School Library at 6:00 p.m. 
       2323 Pacific St., North Bend, OR

The schedule is subject to change. Please email mbrix@nbend.k12.or.us or visit the NBSD Website: https://meetings.boardbook.org/Public/Organization/1573 for agenda information

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.”

Sale of Shilo Inn Seaside Scheduled This Month

The court-appointed receiver is overseeing the sale of the beachfront Shilo Inn Seaside. Over two decades ago, Mark Hemstreet, the hotelier of Shilo Inn chain boasted almost 50 hotels spread across the Western region. However, starting with the travel slowdown following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Shilo’s presence has diminished, and Hemstreet has encountered a string of financial challenges.

In the preceding year, a Multnomah County Circuit Court judge rendered a verdict necessitating that Hemstreet and Shilo Management Corp. settle a debt owed to California-based Cathay Bank. Subsequently, the judge appointed a receiver with the authority to liquidate various assets within the receivership estate, including Shilo Inns located in Arizona, Nevada, Oregon, and Texas, to offset the outstanding debt.

At present, the receiver is preparing to auction off the 113-room Seaside Shilo to the highest bidder. The hotel is described as a lucrative investment, as it generated $1.93 million in net operating income during the previous year. Interested buyers are required to submit their bids by November 22. (SOURCE)

Suspect In Custody After Shots Fired At Portland International Airport TSA Checkpoint

The Port of Portland is investigating after someone fired a gun at a security checkpoint inside the Portland International Airport at about 11 pm Tuesday night.

The shots were fired near the D and E gates TSA checkpoint prompting an immediate response by police. No one was hurt in the shooting and Port of Portland police have made an arrest.

A woman told news channels that she had just gotten off a flight when she heard at least three shots. After coming out from hiding, she took video of a person who is believed to be a woman being arrested and put into a police car outside of the airport.

The woman who heard the shots fired says all the people getting off the plane first ducked and ran for cover, and then many of them rushed back to the jet bridge for safety.

She said it was crowded and people were really scared. She says it was a few minutes later when someone opened the door, she went back into the airport and then outside and saw the arrest.

Police have not yet said what led up to the gunfire. The name of the suspect has not yet been released. The investigation is ongoing, and no other information has been provided at this time. (SOURCE)

Oregon Department of Forestry deployments to Kentucky and North Carolina

Though fire season has subsided in Oregon, other parts of the country are strained for resources as they hit their peak. In the last week, the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) sent 68 firefighters to Kentucky and 10 firefighters to North Carolina to assist in their fire suppression efforts. The department is planning on sending more firefighters this week to both states. 

The resources went to Kentucky and North Carolina under mutual assistance agreements between the states. Those sent out of state range from incident management team (IMT) members to single resources, which can be an individual, a piece of equipment and its personnel complement, or a crew/team of individuals. giving a wide variety of help to our partner states. 

When wildfire activity is low in Oregon, such as during our rainy fall, firefighters can be spared to help in places experiencing high levels of wildfire. Before committing to any deployment, ODF makes sure that our own fire management system is prepared and ready to respond to fires here in Oregon.

Sending our firefighters on these out-of-state deployments helps them build relationships outside of our organization, learn new suppression tactics and gives them the opportunity to fight fire in a different landscape. These off-season deployments help keep their skills sharp and come back to Oregon with new knowledge that can be applied to our future fire seasons. 

“During our peak season, Oregon can and has called on other states to send firefighters and equipment when wildfires exceed our local capacity. The hope with these deployments is to build strong relationships so when we need help, other states will answer our call to action” Blake Ellis, fire operations manager, said. 

During the 2023 fire season, Oregon received over 80 firefighters from out of state to help with ODF fire support and the Tyee Ridge Complex.

This is all done through mutual assistance agreements with other states, including Alaska and NW Canadian territories, creating a cache of reciprocal resources and a larger, comprehensive fire management system. This is called the complete and coordinated fire system.

Wednesday Marks The Ninth Day That Children Have Been Out Of Portland Public Schools Due To The Ongoing Teachers Strike

The main issues involve pay, more planning time and smaller class sizes.

Roughly 44,000 children in Portland will be out of school again Wednesday since there’s no settlement agreement between Portland Public Schools and its teachers.  Monday will be the seventh day of missed classes due to the teachers strike.

“We recognize this is a hardship for a lot of our community members, especially our kids,” said School Board Chair Gary Hollands.

The Portland Association of Teachers, which represents roughly 3,700 teachers, counselors and other employees wants higher wages, more planning time and reduced class sizes. The district claims it can’t afford the union’s proposal.

The district proposed a package that it claims addresses compensation, preparation time and class sizes. The district said the latest offer would cost an additional $147 million, requiring budget cuts over the next three years totaling almost $103 million. It’s not clear where those cuts would be made.

“We’re already taking a close look at administrative costs, discretionary spending, contracted services,” said PPS Superintendent Guadalupe Guerrero.

Portland Public School teachers went on strike Nov. 1. District officials explained it is too early to determine whether the school year will be extended for make-up days.

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”.

2022 Hate Crime Statistics — The FBI recently released the 2022 Hate Crime Reportas part of its Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) ProgramIn Oregon, 212 of 236 agencies voluntarily submitted data for this current 2022 report. The UCR program specifically defines a hate crime as a criminal offense motivated, in whole or in part, by the offender’s bias or biases against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender, or gender identity. In Oregon, there were 290 single bias incidents reported in 2022, and 287 single bias incidents reported in 2021. In Oregon, there were 428 reported victims in 2022, and 377 reported victims in 2021. (Note: These victim numbers include both single bias and multiple bias incidents.) Nationally, there were over 11,000 single-bias hate crime incidents involving 13,278 victims and 346 multiple-bias hate crime incidents that involved 433 victims. In 2022, the top three bias categories in single-bias incidents were race/ethnicity/ancestry, religion, and sexual-orientation. The top bias types within those bias categories by volume of reported hate crime incidents is Anti-Black or African American for race/ethnicity/ancestry bias, Anti-Jewish for religious bias, and Anti-Gay (male) for sexual-orientation bias.

Key Takeaways from 2022 Hate Crimes Report — The bias motivator in about 60% of Oregon incidents were race/ethnicity/ancestry. Victims perceived as Black were the racial group targeted most frequently. Religion was the motivator in about 10% of cases. Victims perceived as Jewish were the religious group targeted most frequently. Sexual orientation was the motivator in about 18% of reported Oregon incidents. Raw UCR reporting is available on FBI.gov and through the FBI’s Crime Data Explorer.

FBI Role in Investigating Hate Crimes — There are a number of federal laws that give the FBI the ability to investigate hate crimes. Those laws generally require some kind of criminal act AND a finding that the person committing the act did so because he/she was motivated by bias. The criminal act can include offenses such as murder, assault, arson, and it generally requires the use or threat of force or violence. For an incident to qualify as a federal hate crime, the subject(s) must have acted wholly or in part based on the victim’s actual or perceived status. This is generally consistent with state law. Under federal law, bias motivators include:

  • Race
  • Ethnicity
  • National origin
  • Disability
  • Religion
  • Gender
  • Gender identity
  • Sexual orientation

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

Oregon Gives Out $35M Grants To Programs Training Workers For High Demand Industries

Oregon is sending a total of $35 million in grant funding to 30 projects across the state designed to support workforce training in high-demand industries.

As one of several efforts to improve workforce training in the tech sector, state and national leaders gathered for a discussion in April 2023 at Portland Community College’s Willow Creek campus. From left to right: Oregon Rep. Janelle Bynum, Oregon U.S. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici, Oregon U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, Oregon Gov. Tina Kotek and Oregon Sen. Janeen Sollman.
Meerah Powell

It’s the largest round of funding awarded so far under the Future Ready Oregon planapproved by state lawmakers in 2022. The legislation overall steers $200 million from the state’s general fund and federal pandemic relief aid to education and training for Oregonians.

The plan focuses on historically underserved communities, such as people of color, veterans and people living in rural areas. Future Ready Oregon’s director, Jennifer Purcell, says the program targets workforce training in three industries key to the state’s economy: health care, manufacturing and technology.

To be considered for a Workforce Ready grant from the program, Purcell said projects had to originate from community-based organizations, such as a community college.

“We really prioritized equity and innovation and partnerships,” she said. “Projects that really consider the whole person, the individual’s needs, and meeting people where they’re at, connecting them to the resources that they need to be successful, both in education and employment.”

Purcell says the chosen projects demonstrated partnerships among organizations that not only provide job training, but are also able to help people dealing with things like housing or food insecurity.

The state’s Higher Education Coordinating Commission is administering the package of investments included in the Future Ready Oregon legislation. The commission reported that more than 150 projects applied for the grant funding.

Projects at seven community colleges were among those to receive funding in this round of grants. For example, Mt. Hood Community College in east Multnomah County is creating a mobile training lab for advanced manufacturing careers with a focus on the semiconductor industry.

Other recipients include organizations like the Boys & Girls Club and tribal communities. The Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation is on the list for its project partnering with industry and Pendleton-based Blue Mountain Community College to provide training and credentialing in unmanned aircraft systems. Purcell says another round of grant funding is expected early next year. (SOURCE)

OHCS releases report on state-funded wildfire assistance program

SALEM, Ore. — The state Wildfire Recovery and Resilience Account (WRRA) program supported hundreds of wildfire-affected households to find temporary housing or to recover fully from the massive devastation of the 2020 Labor Day Wildfires and Straight-line Winds, according to a new report published by Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS).

OHCS used $35.3 million of the $150 million made available by the Oregon Legislature through House Bill 5006 to begin implementing WRRA in the fall of 2021 and continued through summer 2023. 

The report documents the assistance distributed through WRRA:

  • The program supported 1,146 households with at least one type of support, such as rent assistance, home reconstruction, repair or replacement, flexible funding to replace lost or damaged household goods, or removal of hazard trees on a participant’s property.
  • WRRA supported 450 households with intermediate or temporary housing and supported 867 households with their full recovery from the wildfires.
  • Over 65% of the households supported by the WRRA program were low- or moderate-income.

“WRRA was developed to provide assistance to fire survivors most in need as quickly as possible through a network of local organizations to provide shelter services, interim housing and to help families complete their recovery whenever possible,” said Lauren Dressen, chief recovery officer of the OHCS Disaster Recovery and Resilience Division. “Thanks to a tremendous amount of work by our local partners, over a thousand families were served, including hundreds who were able to achieve full recovery.”

WRRA was one of the primary strategies pursued by OHCS to assist with fire recovery quickly. The others were to provide dedicated fire recovery funds to subsidize permanent affordable housing developments; award grants to local governments to fund recovery activities; and prioritize fire recovery within existing housing development funding programs. Over 1,000 additional units of affordable housing have been, or will be, built in fire-impacted communities as a result of these efforts.

To read the full report and learn more about WRRA, visit the OHCS website

How to get help with state medical, food, cash, and child care benefits and avoid potentially high call wait times at the ONE Customer Service Center

(Salem) – With the end of the COVID-19 federal public health emergency, the state is required to review eligibility for all 1.5 million Oregonians who have Oregon Health Plan (OHP) and other Medicaid benefits. These medical renewals combined with the unprecedented levels of people applying for and receiving medical, food, cash, and child care benefits, have led to a historically high number of callers to the ONE Customer Service Center and is impacting call wait times. 

The Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS) is encouraging people in Oregon to use new alternate contact options given high call wait times at the ONE Customer Service Center. The ONE Customer Service Center provides phone support to people in Oregon calling to apply for or get help with their medical, food, cash, and child care benefits.

ODHS anticipates that wait times will remain high during open enrollment season for Medicare and the Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace. While people can apply for OHP any time of year, both open enrollment events increase awareness of and interest in applying for OHP. 

“We know that many people in Oregon depend on us when they have questions about their medical, food, cash and child care benefits,” said Nathan Singer (he/him) director of the Oregon Eligibility Partnership at ODHS which manages the ONE Customer Service Center. “We are doing everything we can to provide the best customer service possible on our phones and in our offices. We encourage people to create or use their ONE Online account, the Oregon ONE Mobile app or online chat bot when possible.”

OHP members are encouraged to respond as quickly as possible after they receive a request for information to avoid any possible delays. The fastest way members can provide an update is by going to benefits.oregon.gov and creating or logging into their ONE Online account. People can also create an ONE Online account and upload documents through the Oregon ONE Mobile app. 

The ONE Customer Service Center can be reached by phone at 1-800-699-9075, Monday to Friday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Call wait times are lowest in the morning between 7 and 8 a.m., especially on Tuesday mornings. 

People are welcome to visit or call their local ODHS office with questions, find an office near you here

The Aging and Disability Resource Connection of Oregon is also available to provide support at 1-855-673-2372 or in-person, find a local office at  www.adrcoforegon.org.

There are many other ways people can get support and information about their medical, food, cash, and child care benefits:

  • Online at: benefits.oregon.gov
  • Through the free Oregon ONE Mobile app available on Apple and Android app stores
  • Visiting or calling an office near you: Find an office.
  • Older adults and people with disabilities can get help through Aging and Disability Resource Connection of Oregon at 1-855-673-2372 or www.adrcoforegon.org.
  • In your language: Help in Your Language
  • By mail at: ONE Customer Service Center, PO Box 14015, Salem, OR 97309
  • By fax at: 503-378-5628

People also can seek free help with their medical benefits from a community partner. Find a community partner near you.

ODHS is committed to providing the best customer service and doing everything it can to support people who need help with their benefits in as timely way as possible, including:

  • Creating an incident management team that is committed to ensuring we provide the best customer service possible by:
    • Making as many staff as possible available to support people in Oregon who are contacting the ONE Customer Service Center for help with their benefits.
    • Prioritizing any agency work like hiring, budget, training, or data analysis, that supports the ONE Customer Service Center.
    • Ensuring workers have the best and latest information they need to support people contacting the ONE Customer Service Center.
    • Bringing ODHS leaders together to problem solve and create short-, medium- and long-term solutions to meet our customer service goals.
  • Launching Oregon ONE Mobile, an app in English and Spanish that allows people to manage benefits, respond to inquiries and get notifications. This free app is available on Apple and Android app stores.
  • Adding a call back option to the ONE Customer Service Center, for some types of calls, so people don’t have to stay on hold when wait times are long.
  • Sending text message reminders for critical matters such as appointments and key deadlines. People are now 1.25 times more likely to attend appointments and 1.7 times more likely to renew their cases on time since this was put in place.
  • Adding a chat bot service assistant for people applying for or managing their benefits online.
  • Emailing and texting people whose mail was returned to ask them to update their addresses so they can get important information about their benefits.
  • Redesigning and adding a Spanish version of the benefits.oregon.gov website where people go to find information about applying for and managing their benefits.
  • Adding 200 contracted staff to temporarily increase capacity in the ONE Customer Service Center.
  • Making renewal notices easier to understand.

ODHS is committed to transparency. Dashboards with the latest wait times, customer service scores and medical renewal information are available online here.

About the Oregon Department of Human Services — The mission of ODHS is to help Oregonians in their own communities achieve wellbeing and independence through opportunities that protect, empower, respect choice and preserve dignity. 

Oregon Food Bank Teams Up With Shari’s to Raise Donations and Educate About Hunger

Shari’s Restaurant is partnering with the Oregon Food Bank for an education campaign. They are working together to launch a series of public service announcements to educate the community about hunger and raise donations for the food bank.

– Shari’s Restaurants (“Shari’s”), one of the largest full-service community restaurant chains in the Pacific Northwest, today announced that it has partnered with Oregon Food Bank on an education campaign to raise awareness for the fight against hunger. Through the partnership, Shari’s and Oregon Food Bank will develop a series of public service announcements designed to tell the full story of hunger and the breadth of anti-hunger work and to mobilize local communities across the state to take action against food insecurity and its root causes.

Oregon Food Bank, which is a member of Feeding America®, seeks to provide access to nutritious food for all while building community power and working across systems and networks to eliminate hunger. From Oregon Food Bank’s 21 regional food banks, the organization distributes free food equitably across the Network in Oregon and SW Washington and advocates for policies and programs to address the root causes of hunger.

“Shari’s is a community-oriented, family-style restaurant at its core, and we recognize the importance of lending a helping hand to our neighbors in need,” said Sam Borgese, principal of Gather Holdings and owner of Shari’s. “We are proud to renew our partnership with Oregon Food Bank and to play a part in raising necessary awareness and funds in the critical fight against food insecurity.”

“We are so grateful to Shari‘s for joining Oregon Food Bank to spread the true story of hunger,” shared Oregon Food Bank President Susannah Morgan. “Distributing enough food today will not end hunger tomorrow. Together, we’re working to fundamentally shift common understanding of food insecurity, its root causes and the actions needed to end hunger for good.”

Shari’s first partnered with Oregon Food Bank alongside Sysco food distribution on a similar education campaign during the 2019 holiday season. The campaign raised approximately $13,500 to support Oregon Food Bank’s end-of-year efforts against hunger.

Oregon Approves Alternative to Bar Exam


Law school graduates will soon be able to practice law in Oregon without passing the bar exam, the Oregon Supreme Court decided Tuesday. The Oregon State Bar is one of the latest organizations to move away from traditional standardized testing.

The ruling comes at a time when questions about the equity and effectiveness of the bar exam and other standardized tests—and whether they are accurate measurements of ability and learning—are increasingly prominent in the discourse around higher ed.

Under the plan, which goes into effect in May 2024, anyone with a degree from a law school accredited by the American Bar Association, including those outside Oregon, will be able to get licensed to practice law under the new Supervised Practice Pathway program. Instead of taking the bar exam, law school graduates can spend 675 hours working with a licensed Oregon attorney and produce a portfolio of their work for evaluation by the Oregon State Board of Bar Examiners.

A second proposed pathway, which would require Oregon law school students to complete a specified curriculum and a capstone project, is still under review.

“The goal was to develop a licensure pathway that was as, if not more, rigorous than the current bar exam and prioritize equity in the process. Those twin pillars have always been the guideposts for this effort,” said Brian Gallini, dean of the Willamette University College of Law in Salem, Ore., and a member of the state Licensure Pathways Development Committee, which developed the pathway program.

“What I hope it accomplishes is that it provides a pathway that is more directly tied to the skills expected of newly licensed lawyers that do a better job of protecting the public than a multiple-choice and essay-based exam do,” he said. “And I hope that because of the transparency in grading and requirements, it does that in a more equitable manner.”

Only two states—Wisconsin and New Hampshire—already have permanent alternative pathways to practice law, and they are different from Oregon’s new plan.

Wisconsin is the only state that still offers diploma privilege—which allows law students to practice upon graduation—though it was a more common practice until the rise of the bar exam in the mid-20th century. Under the diploma-privilege policy, a graduate of one of the state’s two law schools who completes a specified curriculum with a certain grade point average and passes a character and fitness exam is granted a law license. According to Reuters, 62.9 percent of lawyers in Wisconsin used diploma privilege for admission to the bar.

Law students in the University of New Hampshire’s Daniel Webster Scholar honors program can bypass the traditional bar by completing specialized coursework and passing a two-day assessment process “consisting of interviews, testing and simulations before graduation,” according to the state judicial branch’s website.

While the bar examination has been the standard for evaluating the competency of would-be lawyers for generations, interest in alternatives has grown in recent years.

Numerous other states, including California, Minnesota and Washington, are also exploring possible alternatives to the bar exam similar to Oregon’s.

The new pathway, which is open to law graduates across the country, is also a potential recruitment tool in a state that doesn’t have enough lawyers.

More than 2,000 people facing criminal charges in Oregon do not have legal representation, according to data from the Oregon Circuit Courts. Last week, a federal judge ruled that if Oregon counties can’t appoint an attorney for a criminal defendant within a week of their first court appearance, they must be released from jail, according to the Associated Press.

“For those graduates who may be thinking about a practice in the West Coast, or thinking about the financial commitment of the bar exam, or leveraging their postgraduate experience for the benefit of employment, this will truly be the nation’s only opportunity to do that,” Gallini said.

Mae Lee Browning, legislative director for the Oregon Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, said in an email that the organization “is enthusiastic about this coming at a time when we need more attorneys, especially public defenders” and hopeful that it will increase the number of public defenders in the state. (SOURCE)

Oregon Heritage Commission to meet Nov. 27 for grant approvals

Salem, OR—The Oregon Heritage Commission will meet via zoom at 10:00 a.m. on November 27. Its agenda includes approval of 2023 Oregon Heritage. Interested parties must register through Zoom to receive access information. You can access the agenda and the registration information here: https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_e7rdqd…

The Heritage Commission is comprised of nine people representing Oregon’s heritage and geographical diversity who have been appointed by the Governor. There are nine advisory representatives from state agencies and statewide organizations. The mission of the Oregon Heritage Commission is to secure, sustain, and enhance Oregon’s heritage by ensuring coordination of heritage initiatives by public and private organizations; advocacy on its behalf; education of the public about its extent and value; and promotion and celebration of its diversity. For more information, contact coordinator Katie Henry at (503) 877-8834 or katie.henry@oprd.oregon.gov.

Special accommodations for the meeting – including translation services – may be made by calling (503) 986‐0690 at least 72 hours prior to the start of the meeting.
For more information about the commission, visit www.oregonheritage.org.

Oregon Main Street Announces New Application Round for Top Tier Communities

Oregon Main Street just opened applications for the Designated Main Street and Affiliated Main Street level communities for new communities who want to join the OMS Network at one of the Main Street Track levels or for existing communities that want to move up a level.. Applications are due on January 31, 2023.

Applications can be found on our website at www.oregonmainstreet or Clicking Here.

OMS will host an application workshop on Tuesday, November 14, at 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. The workshop will cover some of the requirements to participate at these tiers and provide tips on completing the application. You must register in advance to attend:  Click Here to Register

Oregon Main Street has a tiered approach that allows communities to participate in ways that best meet their capacity and needs.  The Main Street track, which includes Accredited, Designated, and Affiliated Main Street levels, is for communities that want to use the comprehensive Main Street Approach™ to sustain and enhance their historic downtown or traditional commercial neighborhood district.

There are specific criteria communities must meet to qualify and maintain status depending on the level of participation. Some of these criteria include:

Having an independent nonprofit focused on the historic core
Commitment to using the Main Street Four-Point™ structure
Adequate staffing levels
Participation in required trainings

There is also the Connected Communities level for communities that aren’t ready to use the Main Street™ structure but see value in participating in the OMS Network. A full list of communities participating in the OMS Network can be found at www.oregonmainstreet.org.

Acceptance into the Oregon Main Street Network, depending on the Tier, allows communities to participate in services such as training workshops, be eligible for community assessments and technical assistance, and compete for grants.

The Main Street Approach™, developed by Main Street America™, is a time-tested framework for community-driven, comprehensive revitalization. This proven approach emphasizes community organization, design, promotion, and economic vitality to create healthy and livable downtown commercial districts. This approach advocates a return to community self-reliance, empowerment and the rebuilding of commercial districts based on traditional assets, unique architecture, personal service, local ownership, and sense of community.

“We are excited about opening up applications for communities to participate in our Network at one of our advanced levels,” said Sheri Stuart, State Coordinator, Oregon Main Street. “Through a recent study of our Network, we know the difference our local main street organizations are having on their communities and welcome the opportunity to work more deeply with other communities that want to use the Main Street Approach™.” This study, culminating in the Impact of Oregon’s Main Streets Report, shares the story of how the Oregon Main Street Network strengthens community networks, bolsters the economy, generates state and local tax revenue, and fosters social connections across the state.

Oregon Main Street is part of Oregon Heritage in Oregon Parks and Recreation Department. For more information see our website at www.oregonmainstreet.org , or contact Sheri Stuart at sheri.stuart@oprd.oregon.gov or 503.986.0679.

Merkley, Wyden Announce Over $2 Million In Housing Assistance For Six Oregon Counties

Oregon’s U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden announced a total of $2,366,528 in U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program investments are heading to Clackamas, Douglas, Lane, Linn-Benton, Malheur, and Marion counties.

“As the affordable housing crisis continues to impact Oregon families in every corner of the state, I am encouraged to see these counties being awarded such critical housing assistance to provide shelter to those who need it most,” said Merkley. “I won’t stop working to secure federal resources that help put a roof over every Oregonian.”

“Housing is a human right, and it’s urgent business to invest real resources in making that statement a reality for Oregonians struggling to afford a roof over their heads and a floor under their feet,” Wyden said. “I am gratified that these federal housing funds are heading to Oregon and will keep battling to secure similar resources for the entire state.” 

The HCV Program helps ensure that low-income families, the elderly, and Americans with disabilities are able to afford decent, safe, and sanitary housing within the private market. This program also supports families and individuals who are currently in federally subsidized housing by ensuring they can continue to utilize these critical programs. Further, the program allows participants the opportunity to find their own housing, including single-family homes, townhouses, and apartments.

Individual awards for Oregon are as follows:

Housing Authority of Clackamas County

            $266,534 – Oregon City

Housing Authority of Douglas County

            $28,605 – Roseburg

Housing Authority & Communication Services of Lane County

            $596,282 – Eugene

Linn-Benton Housing Authority

            $280,650 – Albany

Housing Authority of Malheur County

            $441,164 – Ontario

Marion County Housing Authority

            $658,720 – Salem

Housing Authority of the City of Salem

            $94,573 – Salem

Give blood, celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the film “Elf”

Exclusive “Elf” + Red Cross socks for donors Nov. 10-30 — Portland, OR (Nov. 10, 2023) — For many, watching the classic holiday movie “Elf” has been a heartwarming tradition for 20 years. This November, the American Red Cross is encouraging people to add a new tradition as the holiday season begins: Spread cheer with a blood or platelet donation. 

Donations are critical to the blood supply as the holiday season draws near – a time when blood donations often decline. Donors of all blood types are urged to give, especially type O blood donors and those giving platelets.

To celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the film “Elf,”  and create holiday cheer, all who come to give Nov. 10-30 will receive an exclusive pair of “Elf” + Red Cross socks, while supplies last. For more details, visit RedCrossBlood.org/Elf.

It feels good to give a gift to someone else that truly means something. Those wishing to help patients receive lifesaving transfusions can book a blood or platelet donation appointment by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). 

How to donate blood  — A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger must also meet certain height and weight requirements.

Amplify your impact − volunteer!  — Another way to support the lifesaving mission of the Red Cross is to become a volunteer blood donor ambassador at Red Cross blood drives. Blood donor ambassadors help greet, check-in and thank blood donors to ensure they have a positive donation experience.  

Volunteers can also serve as transportation specialists, playing a vital role in ensuring lifesaving blood products are delivered to nearby hospitals. For more information and to apply for either position, contact or visit redcross.org/volunteertoday.  

About the American Red Cross: The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides comfort to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation’s blood and is the primary blood supplier to 65 hospitals throughout Washington and Oregon; teaches skills that save lives; distributes international humanitarian aid; and supports veterans, military members and their families. The Red Cross is a nonprofit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to deliver its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or CruzRojaAmericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

“Elf” and all related characters and elements © & ™ New Line Productions, Inc.

Oregon is Searching for its Next Poet Laureate

Oregon is searching for its next Poet Laureate. Over the two-year-term, the Poet Laureate promotes the art of poetry, encourages literacy and learning, addresses issues relating to the humanities and reflects on public life in Oregon.

Information about the Poet Laureate program, how to nominate the next Poet LaureateAnis, and how to request an appearance can be found on this website. Please also check out our Facebook page.

Nominations are accepted through January 8th, and poets are welcome to nominate themselves. The next Poet Laureate term begins in May. MORE INFO: https://culturaltrust.org/oregon-poet-laureate/?fbclid=IwAR0O-Gx81HjAKwXHwyrEVtxpgyXma9XRb5xwacG_o57ga3_lKUwIbPRMXks

Missing Yachats Man’s Vehicle Found in North Lane County

On 08/25/2023, Dustin Steyding was reported missing to the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office after he left work on 07/22/2023 and hadn’t been located since. Dustin was living and working in the Yachats area. 

Dustin was reported to be in good physical condition, having previously worked as a hot shot firefighter in New Mexico. Dustin is very experienced in the woods and commonly goes out for hikes to stay in shape. Without means to locate Dustin, Deputies entered Dustin as a missing person in a national database. 

On 09/04/2023, the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office received a call from Dustin’s family after they located his vehicle on Keller Creek Rd, just outside of Lincoln County in Lane County. Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office Deputies contacted the vehicle and determined it had been at the location for some time. Deputies were unable to determine Dustin’s direction of travel from the vehicle.

The vehicle having been located in Lane County, Lincoln County Deputies contacted the Lane County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue Team and arranged for their response the next day to started searching the area. After two days of searching, no clues to Dustin’s have been found.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Dustin Steyding should contact the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office at 541-265-0777 and reference case number 23S-07321.

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
  • White
  • 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.

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Contact us: Info@OregonBeachMagazine.com

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