Oregon Beach News, Wednesday 3/22 – Free Parent /Caregiver Event on Community Local Drug Use Today, First Responders Locate Missing 4-Year-Old Near Bandon

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

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Oregon Beach Weather

...HAZARDOUS SEAS WARNING NOW IN EFFECT UNTIL 11 PM PDT THIS EVENING...
...SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY NOW IN EFFECT UNTIL 11 PM PDT THIS EVENING...
...HAZARDOUS SEAS WATCH IN EFFECT FROM THURSDAY MORNING THROUGH THURSDAY EVENING...

* WHAT...For the Hazardous Seas Warning, very steep and hazardous seas 8 to 11 ft at 8 seconds. For the Small Craft Advisory, northwest winds 15 to 25 kt with gusts up to 30 kt and seas 7 to 10 ft at 8 seconds. For the Hazardous Seas Watch, very steep and hazardous seas 11 to 16 ft at 10 seconds possible.

* WHERE...All areas with warning level seas expected beyond 5 nm from shore and south of Coos Bay. For the watch, all areas.

* WHEN...For the Hazardous Seas Warning, until 11 PM PDT this evening. For the Hazardous Seas Watch, from Thursday morning through Thursday evening.

* IMPACTS...Very steep and hazardous seas could capsize or damage vessels. Bar crossings will become especially treacherous.

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

Free Parent /Caregiver Event on Community Local Drug Use March 22nd

Parents and caretakers are invited to attend a free virtual information session at 6 p.m. this Wednesday, March 22, to learn how to protect children and teens, stay up-to-date with drug trends and find out what prevention services and resources are available in their community.

Parents and caretakers will hear from a panel of experts, including professionals who work in youth services, mental health, and law enforcement. All attendees will receive drug prevention materials and local agency information.

The event will be recorded to share with friends and family and will be posted at the Clatsop County website .

The Clatsop County Department of Public Health and Columbia County Public Health Department have partnered to sponsor this event. Individuals may register in advance or when the session begins.

First Responders Locate Missing 4-Year-Old Near Bandon

Around 3 p.m. Monday, the Coos County Sheriff’s Office Dispatch Center received a 911 call from a frantic mother stating her 4-year-old daughter had gone missing from her yard on SW Franklin, which is a county address.

Officer Whitmer from the Bandon Police Department with Coral after she was located, March 20, 2023. (photo via Coos County Sheriff’s Office)

Bandon Police Officer Whitman immediately responded to assist the Sheriff’s Office, gathered vital information, and began to search the area.

Members from Bandon Fire, Bandon Power, K9 Cena, and several deputies also responded to assist.

After about 15 minutes of being reported as missing, Coral was located a short distance from home at a neighbor’s residence.

Reedsport Main Street Program Event Today

The Reedsport Main Street Program and the Strategy Lounge have been selected as a 2023-2024 Main Street Economic Vitality Hub.

Liason Rosa Solano said the organization is partnering to learn, support, and help build skills for economic recovery and resiliency in the Reedsport community. Solano said Reedsport is one of three communities in Oregon selected.

The program will provide training and technical assistance from Rural Development Initiatives and Oregon Main Street for the next two years. It will include virtual trainings and in-person technical assistance workshops in Reedsport. The first virtual session, Economic Vitality 101, is on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. via Zoom.

Solano said those interested in helping Reedsport thrive can sign up by calling 541-271-3603 extension 1008 or email: mainstreet@cityofreedsport.org.

Two Beach Campgrounds to Close Temporarily This Fall and Winter

Two popular coastal campgrounds will temporarily close this fall and winter for construction projects. 

Bullards Beach, two miles north of Bandon, and Beverly Beach, seven miles north of Newport, will close their campgrounds temporarily for construction projects. 

Oregon Parks and Recreation Department understands that it takes time to plan a trip and wanted to give potential visitors enough notice to find alternative parks for their fall and winter visits.

  • Beverly Beach campgrounds will be closed Sept. 5, 2023 through May 24, 2024 to 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 be closed Oct. 15, 2023 through March 15, 2024 for a main sewer line upgrade. 

While the campgrounds will be closed at Bullards Beach, visitors can still enjoy the day-use area, boat ramp, lighthouse and horse camp, which will remain open. 

All facilities will be closed at Beverly Beach.

OPRD knows that these campgrounds are well loved places that will be missed this fall and winter season. The closures will allow crews to improve the parks for seasons to come. 

“Thank you for your patience as we make improvements to the campground that will enhance the park experience for all of our visitors,” said Bullards Beach Park Manager Nick Schoeppner.

House Passes Bill To Allow Oregonians To Pump Their Own Gas 

The bill, which now goes to the Senate, would end Oregon’s reputation as one of just two states that bans self-service pumps in most settings.

Oregon drivers who for decades have been banned from touching gas pumps could soon have the right to fuel their own cars, under a bill the state House overwhelmingly approved Monday.

Only Oregon and New Jersey ban self-service gas, though Oregon in recent years allowed people to pump their own gas in some rural counties and during heat- and COVID-related emergencies declared by the governor. The state now has a patchwork of regulations that bipartisan supporters of House Bill 2426 say their proposal would simplify.

The measure, which passed the House on a 47-10 vote and now heads to the Senate, would allow gas stations to designate up to half of their pumps for self service. In 16 of Oregon’s more heavily populated counties, at least one attendant would need to be present to pump gas for customers who don’t want the self-service option. Customers in 20 rural counties would be able to pump their own gas at any time regardless of whether an attendant is on site.

Gas stations would have to charge the same amount for self-service and full-service gas. A 2022 effort hit a roadblock when the state fire marshal said it would need more than $500,000 to regulate, but the fire marshal and other agencies now report that it would have a “minimal” impact.

Rep. Julie Fahey, D-Eugene, said the measure would give customers a choice, comparing it to self-checkout lanes at grocery stores. She usually opts to use checkout lanes with a cashier, but if she’s in a hurry and there are lines she’ll use a self-checkout lane.

“Our system regulating the dispensing of gasoline is complicated, and Oregonians are getting more and more familiar with pumping their own gas,” Fahey said.

Fahey and other supporters cited a 2021 survey from DHM Research and the Oregon Values and Belief Center that found that almost two-thirds of Oregonians supported changing the law to allow pumping their own gas.

But Rep. Jami Cate, R-Lebanon and one of the 10 lawmakers who voted against the measure, said she asked her constituents and was convinced to oppose it because many told her they feared a move toward self-service could  prevent people from fueling up if they have a disability  or don’t feel safe exiting their vehicle at night.

Reps. Janelle Bynum, D-Clackamas; Paul Evans, D-Monmouth; Pam Marsh, D-Ashland; Nancy Nathanson, D-Eugene; Rob Nosse, D-Portland; Ricki Ruiz, D-Gresham; Tawna Sanchez, D-Portland; Kim Wallan, R-Medford and Boomer Wright, R-Coos Bay, joined Cate in voting against the measure.

Rep. Anna Scharf, R-Dallas, said it was a personal issue – her mother is so opposed to the idea of pumping her own gas that she threatened to stop giving her Christmas presents if she voted for the bill. But her constituents overwhelmingly want the option, she said.

“Mom, if you’re watching, please forgive me,” Scharf said as she voted for the bill. (The Oregon Capital Chronicle)

Oregon lawmakers are pursuing a package of firearm bills aimed at preventing gun violence and curbing the proliferation of untraceable guns.

They say the proposals are needed to stem gun violence and give law enforcement the necessary tools to address the issue.

The Democratic lawmakers have the support of House Speaker Dan Rayfield, D-Corvallis, who asked the group to work on the issue, and Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum, who is concerned about the rise of “ghost guns,” which are untraceable.

In 2020, 593 Oregonians died from homicide or suicide by firearms, state data shows. Of those, 110 cases involved homicide, up from 78 in 2019. The proposals follow the narrow passage by voters in November of Measure 114, which would require gun purchasers to go through safety training before obtaining a permit, ban the sale of magazines with more than 10 bullets and close a loophole that allows people to buy firearms without a background check. The law remains stalled in a Harney County court and is set for a trial in September.

The Oregon House is expected to vote today on a bill that would allow self-service gas statewide. Currently, self-serve gas is only allowed in counties with lower populations. Gas station owners say the low unemployment level makes it difficult for them to hire enough people to staff all of their pumps. This bill would require at least one attendant, and some of the pumps would continue to be served. The bill has bipartisan support.

Oregon’s Nonfarm Payroll Jobs Changed Little in February 

In Oregon, nonfarm payroll employment declined by 100 jobs in February, following a gain of 9,600 jobs in January. Job losses in February were largest in manufacturing (-1,300 jobs) and financial activities (-1,000). Gains were largest in construction (+1,400 jobs), private educational services (+1,000), and government (+700). 

Nondurable goods manufacturing experienced more job cuts than normal in both January and February. The industry employed 57,800 in February, which was close to its February totals of the prior two years. Food manufacturing comprises about half of nondurable goods manufacturing employment and, at 27,800 jobs in February, was close to its February totals of each of the past seven years. Meanwhile, durable goods manufacturing hasn’t gained much ground lately, as it has hovered close to 137,000 jobs during the past eight months. Recent gains in machinery manufacturing have been offset by declines in computer and electronic product manufacturing

Construction employment rose sharply in February, reaching another record high of 122,700. The industry added 7,500 jobs, or 6.5%, over the past 12 months. Since February 2022, all published components of construction are up between 3.8% and 9.3%. The component that grew the fastest was building equipment contractors, which added 3,000 jobs, or 9.3%, in that time. Both components within construction of buildings grew close to 4%, with residential building construction up 800 jobs, or 3.8%, and nonresidential building construction up 500 jobs, or 4.3%. 

Government employment rebounded above to its pre-pandemic high of early 2020, as it rose to 302,100 jobs in February. Local government education rose to 139,100 jobs in February, which was 6,500 jobs above its year-ago figure, and is now nearly back to its February 2020 total of 141,900. Local government, excluding education slowly expanded over the past eight months; it employed 97,700 in February. 

Oregon’s unemployment rate was 4.7% in February, little changed from 4.8% in January. Oregon’s unemployment rate averaged 4.8% over the past six months. In February, the U.S. unemployment rate rose to 3.6%, from 3.4% in January. 

Next Press Releases 
The Oregon Employment Department plans to release the February county and metropolitan area unemployment rates on Tuesday, March 28, and the next statewide unemployment rate and employment survey data for March on Wednesday, April 19.

Gresham company recalling frozen strawberry products linked to hepatitis A cases in Washington

Oregon health officials are working with federal partners to determine whether product has caused any illnesses in Oregon

PORTLAND, Ore.— Scenic Fruit Company of Gresham is recalling frozen “Organic Strawberries” sold at Costco, Aldi, KeHE, Vital Choice Seafood and PCC Community Markets, and frozen “Organic Tropical Fruit Blend” sold at Trader Joe’s, due to an outbreak of hepatitis A illnesses.

Five outbreak-associated cases of hepatitis A have been reported in Washington since March 13. The five cases occurred between November 11 and December 27, 2022, and two individuals required hospitalization. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), everyone reported eating frozen organic strawberries.

Although no patients with hepatitis A in Oregon have been definitively linked to the consumption of these products, Oregon Health Authority (OHA) officials are monitoring the outbreak in Washington. In addition, OHA is interviewing persons diagnosed with hepatitis A to determine if any have consumed frozen berries.

“Since these products were available in Oregon stores, we want to let people know about them so they can take steps to protect themselves and their families,” said Ann Thomas, M.D., M.P.H., a public health physician in OHA’s Acute and Communicable Disease Prevention Section. “At this point, OHA is carefully investigating any new cases of hepatitis A virus to determine if they are associated with the outbreak, but we have not yet been able to link any Oregon cases to these products.”

The company has ceased the production and distribution of the product as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the company continue their investigation into what caused the problem. In addition, the company is removing all inventories of the affected lot from sale.

“The company is voluntarily recalling the affected products and cooperating with the FDA,” said Karel Smit, Oregon Department of Agriculture, Food Safety Program manager. “The purpose of the recall is to remove the products from commerce and prevent the public from consuming potentially affected products.”

Although no hepatitis A virus has been found in the products, consumers should stop eating the product, and return it to the place of purchase for a full refund, or throw it away. Consumers with questions may contact the company at customer.service@scenicfruit.com.

Thomas said, “People who believe they’ve gotten sick from consuming frozen strawberries purchased at Costco or Trader Joe’s should contact a health care provider.”

Since 2014, Oregon has seen an average of 20 cases a year, with 2020 having the highest number at 29. Symptoms of hepatitis A infection include jaundice (yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes), tiredness, stomach pain, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea (frequent watery bowel movements), dark urine, and light-colored bowel movements.

The disease varies in severity, with mild cases lasting two weeks or less and more severe cases lasting four to six weeks or longer. Hepatitis A infection can result in hospitalization. Some individuals, especially children, may not develop jaundice and may have a mild illness that can go unnoticed. However, even mildly ill people can be highly infectious. People with symptoms suggestive of hepatitis should consult a physician immediately, even if symptoms are mild.

For information about the national hepatitis A outbreak linked to frozen strawberries, visit the CDC website. General information about hepatitis A is available on OHA’s and CDC’s websites.

Oregon Psilocybin Services issues state’s first licenses

PORTLAND, Ore. –Oregon Health Authority (OHA) has issued the state’s first psilocybin license as part of the nation’s first regulatory framework for psilocybin services. The manufacturer license was issued to a woman-owned business, Satori Farms PDX LLC, owned by Tori Armbrust. As the nation celebrates Women’s History Month, this woman-owned business will bring communities one step closer towards accessing psilocybin services in Oregon.

“We congratulate Tori Armbrust of Satori Farms PDX LLC for being issued the first psilocybin license in Oregon’s history and for representing women leading the way for the emerging psilocybin ecosystem,” says Oregon Psilocybin Services Section Manager Angie Allbee. “We are committed to fostering an inclusive partnership with our regulated community to ensure safe, effective and equitable psilocybin services throughout the state.”

The role of Oregon Psilocybin Services (OPS) is to license psilocybin facilitators, manufacturers, service centers and laboratories, while ensuring that those licensees and their workers comply with Oregon law. OPS began accepting applications for the four license types on January 2, 2023. OPS expects to issue additional licenses to laboratories, service centers and facilitators in the coming months.

Anyone interested in accessing psilocybin services can find service centers and facilitators once they are licensed on the OPS Licensee Directory website. The directory will contain licensee names and contact details for all licensees that have requested to have their information published. This may also provide opportunities for licensed psilocybin businesses to connect.

Oregon Psilocybin Services (OPS) has also begun publishing a Weekly Report on Applications for Licenses and Worker Permits. The new weekly report includes information about total number of applications received by type and status. OPS will update the report on a weekly basis.

OPS encourages the public to visit the OPS website for more information and to sign up for updates on the section’s work.

For the latest updates, subscribe to the Oregon Psilocybin Services distribution list at: oregon.gov/psilocybin 

Spring Break Brings Popular Wildlife Program and Extended Hours to High Desert Museum

2023-03/6924/162075/Harriss_hawk_flies_in_Sky_Hunters_program._Photo_by_Abbott_Schindler..jpg

BEND, OR — The High Desert Museum celebrates spring break with special programs and extended hours beginning Saturday, March 25 through Sunday, April 2, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm. Visitors pay winter rates with summer hours through Friday, March 31. It’s made possible by Oregon College Savings Plan.

The popular indoor flight demonstration Sky Hunters returns to the E.L. Wiegand Pavilion in the Donald M. Kerr Birds of Prey Center. Visitors can experience powerful predators close up as raptors fly just overhead, showcasing the birds’ agility and grace. The program runs from Saturday, March 25 – Saturday, April 1 with demonstrations daily at 11:00 am and 1:30 pm. Tickets are $7 and available at Admissions. Museum members receive a 20 percent discount. 

The Museum is excited to welcome special guests from the U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife from Thursday, March 30 – Saturday, April 1. Visitors can find them at the Autzen Otter Exhibit sharing information and biofacts about sea otters and Pacific lamprey.

Spring break visitors will also be able to experience the Museum’s temporary exhibitions. The newest original exhibition is Creations of Spirit. Native artists created artwork to be used in Native communities before arriving at the Museum, and the art will be available to Native communities for use once again after the exhibition. It features acclaimed artists Joe Feddersen (Colville), RYAN! Feddersen (Colville), Natalie Kirk (Warm Springs), H’Klumaiyat Roberta Joy Kirk (Wasco, Warm Springs, Diné), Phillip Cash Cash, Ph.D., (Cayuse, Nez Perce), Jefferson Greene (Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs) and Kelli Palmer (Wasco, Warm Springs). Creations of Spirit is a one-of-a-kind, celebratory experience featuring the stories of living works of art. highdesertmuseum.org/creations-of-spirit

Other temporary exhibitions include the original effort, Under the Snow. The exhibit, offered in English and Spanish, reveals the hidden world beneath the snow, called the subnivium. In this environment, animals create a matrix of tunnels to survive the winter’s frigid temperatures and hide from the predators that lurk above. The exhibit is filled with animations of animals and immerses the visitor in the winter landscape. Learn more at highdesertmuseum.org/under-the-snow.

And In the Arena: Photographs from America’s Only Touring Black Rodeo, will be open through June 25. Through the lens of San Francisco Bay area photographer Gabriela Hasbun, the exhibit documents the exhilarating atmosphere of the Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo—the only touring Black rodeo in the country—and the showstopping style and skill of the Black cowboys and cowgirls who compete in it year after year. Learn more at highdesertmuseum.org/in-the-arena.

Living history characters in period dress will be present during spring break, as well, from Saturday, March 25 – Saturday, April 1 from 11:00 am – 3:00 pm. They will share how they lived and supported themselves in the High Desert in 1904 and offer visitors opportunities to help with chores and play games. The encounters will take place outdoors at the High Desert Ranch and Sawmill or indoors in the Spirit of the West exhibit. The location is weather-dependent, and visitors are encouraged to check with Admissions upon arrival.

Visitors will also be able to enjoy two daily talks during spring break, the Natural History Walk and Otter Encounter. Other daily programs that usually take place in the pavilion will resume on Sunday, April 2.

More information on visiting the High Desert Museum is available at highdesertmuseum.org/visit-bend-oregon.

ABOUT THE MUSEUM:

THE HIGH DESERT MUSEUM opened in Bend, Oregon in 1982. It brings together wildlife, cultures, art, history and the natural world to convey the wonder of North America’s High Desert. The Museum is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, is a Smithsonian Affiliate, was the 2019 recipient of the Western Museums Association’s Charles Redd Award for Exhibition Excellence and was a 2021 recipient of the National Medal for Museum and Library Service. To learn more, visit highdesertmuseum.org and follow us on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.

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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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