Oregon Beach News, Tuesday 1/4 – Flooding In Coastal Cities, Two Men Died When Their Vehicle Crashed into the Coos River

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

Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Oregon Beach Weather

Today– Showers before noon, then rain after noon. Snow level 2500 feet rising to 3500 feet. High near 50. South southwest wind 10 to 14 mph, with gusts as high as 21 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New precipitation amounts between three quarters and one inch possible.

Wednesday– Rain, mainly after 10am. High near 51. Calm wind becoming south 5 to 7 mph in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New precipitation amounts between a quarter and half of an inch possible.

Thursday– Rain. High near 53. Breezy, with a south southwest wind 16 to 18 mph, with gusts as high as 28 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New precipitation amounts between a quarter and half of an inch possible.

Friday– Rain. High near 51. Breezy. Chance of precipitation is 90%.

Saturday– A slight chance of rain before 10am. Snow level 2500 feet rising to 3000 feet in the afternoon. Partly sunny, with a high near 49.

Flooding In Coastal Cities

From the coastal cities extending through parts of Willamette Valley, there is a Flood Watch in place. With heavy rainfall expected in the forecast, there is a concern for water pooling and flooding. This weather system is expected to bring a two to a four-hour period of heavy rainfall. That rain, plus snow melt-off from the lower elevations of the Willapa Hills and the north Oregon coast range could increase the risk for flooding.

After nearly two inches of rain on Sunday night, many residents woke up to flooding in areas near Florence on Monday.

King tides also played a part in Highway 126 between Florence and Cushman being shut down for nearly 4 hours on Monday.

Even when the water levels drop, ODOT officials said it takes some time to clear roadways.

The flooding usually brings debris, which they will have to eventually remove with a plow. Officials also said the heavy run-off from the snow last week, coupled with the rain, winds, and king tide, caused the roadway to become submerged for a few hours. The highway is now clear for the time being. 

Coos Bay also reported flooding on many downtown streets.

A series of storms are scheduled through the workweek. Models show rain totals could get up to around five to eight inches for the coast range and Cascade foothills between Sunday and Friday. Coastal cities could get up to three to five inches and two to four inches in the valley.

Two Men Died When Their Vehicle Crashed into the Coos River

The Coos County Sheriff’s Office said the crash was likely caused by speed and poor road conditions.

Jose Perez-Ramirez, 36, and Robert L. Poblano, 36, both of Coos Bay, died in the crash.

At 9:30 a.m. Sunday, the sheriff’s office was notified of a vehicle that was upside down in the Coos River near milepost 1 on Weyerhaeuser 5000 Road, Coos Bay. Because of a steep embankment and the river conditions, the deputy requested assistance from the marine division as well as a tow company.

When additional resources arrived to assist, the vehicle was recovered from the river and the bodies of the two men were found inside. 

If anyone has seen or knows the whereabouts of Tameka Please have her call her father… police report of a missing person has been filed in Lincoln County… spread this around so we can find her. Thank you – Last seen in Walport Oregon Case# 21-02175 — If you have any information, please call Lincoln County Sheriffs Office: (541) 265-0777

Oregon reports 9,701 new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases, 11 new deaths

There are 11 new COVID-19-related deaths in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll to 5,666, Oregon Health Authority (OHA) reported at 12:01 a.m. today.

OHA reported 9,701 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19 as of 12:01 a.m. today, bringing the state total to 430,931.

The 11 new deaths and 9,701 new cases reported today include data recorded by counties for the four-day period between Dec. 30 and Jan. 2.

Today’s update includes the largest single-day total of newly identified cases reported to public health, with 3,534 confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases on Dec. 30.

The new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases reported today are in the following counties: Baker (16), Benton (243), Clackamas (1057), Clatsop (50), Columbia (58), Coos (44), Crook (22), Curry (27), Deschutes (881), Douglas (119), Gilliam (5), Grant (3), Harney (7), Hood River (7), Jackson (572), Jefferson (71), Josephine (161), Klamath (27), Lane (696), Lincoln (96), Linn (280), Malheur (11), Marion (231), Morrow (16), Multnomah (2565), Polk (66), Tillamook (69), Umatilla (61), Union (41), Wallowa (6), Wasco (21), Washington (2079), Wheeler (2) and Yamhill (91)

Oregon reports 3,534 confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases on Dec. 30, 2,246 confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases on Dec. 31, 1,763 new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases on Jan. 1, and 2,158 new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases on Jan. 2.

“We already have seen the impacts of the highly transmissible Omicron variant across the country since late December,” said Tom Jeanne, M.D., M.P.H., deputy state health officer and epidemiologist. “Our data show the Omicron variant is here and now fueling the surge in cases. It will likely lead to a rise in hospitalizations and, sadly, deaths.”

Jeanne added that OHA urges everyone in Oregon to get vaccinated and, when they’re able, to get a booster shot to protect themselves against serious illness and death from COVID-19. It also encourages everyone to continue wearing masks and get tested if they have COVID-19 symptoms or are exposed to someone with COVID-19.

Oregon kids could lose out on after-school activities this month if school districts follow new state guidance that extracurricular activities be cancelled to reduce the spread of the COVID- 19 omicron variant.

But the guidance, issued Monday by state health and education officials, is simply a recommendation — not a requirement. That means it’s unclear how many, if any, schools or districts will actually cancel extracurricular activities and when.

The recommendations were among a series of steps the Oregon Health Authority and Department of Education want districts to take as the rapidly-spreading omicron variant threatens to force thousands of children to stay home due to an infection or exposure.

Schools and organizations that go forward with extracurricular activities “should expect rapid transmission of COVID-19 that will prevent students from participating in in-person learning,” the state wrote.

The state is giving school districts the freedom to “ensure” schools and other groups hosting activities are following the same safety protocols in after-school activities as they do during the school day.

Pacific Power Continues Service Restoration as Winter Weather Moves Across Oregon 

Scattered weather-related service interruptions began early Sunday afternoon along the coast and continued inland into late Monday 

Nearly 550 Pacific Power line crews, contractors and support personnel continued service restoration work after a series of storms brought high winds, mid-elevation snow and heavy rain to portions of the company’s service area. Working through stormy, sometimes freezing conditions, crews made good progress restoring service to more than 47,000 customers from Sunday afternoon to Monday afternoon with coastal communities including Astoria, Lincoln City and Coos Bay initially hit with the bulk of outages as the storm system moved inland. Additional crews were at the ready to respond and will continue restoration work into Tuesday as any new weather-related outages occur. 

As of 5 p.m. Monday, approximately 7,600 customers are currently without power and in the process of having service restored. Most customers are expected to have service restored by Midnight tonight with some small, isolated outages in the Coos Bay and Enterprise areas lingering into Tuesday. Visit pacificpower.net/outages for a map showing current restoration time estimates.

“We appreciate our customers’ patience and understanding as Pacific Power crews work around the clock to restore service,” said Curtis Mansfield, senior vice president of power delivery. “Our teams are as persistent as this weather system seems to be and we’ll keep working until everyone’s lights are back on.”

Pacific Power emergency managers and regional business managers are working with local emergency officials to prioritize power restoration to critical facilities in the communities affected by extended outages.

Pacific Power encourages customers to report outages by calling 1-877-508-5088 or text OUT to 722797. Customers can text STAT to 722797 to check the status of their outage.

To ease the inconvenience of power outages and assist crews in restoring power, Pacific Power suggests the following tips and safety precautions:

  • Stay away from all downed power lines and utility lines. Even if the lines are not sparking, they could be energized and extremely dangerous. Call 911 and report the outage to Pacific Power at 1-877-508-5088
  • Don’t drive over downed power lines.
  • Maintain safe distances from workers. Repair work is being done under our COVID-19 safety protocols. Waves and acknowledgement are welcome, but please allow crews to do their work at an appropriate distance both for operational and COVID-19 safety.
  • If there is damage to your service mast or weatherhead, where the powerline connects to your home or business, you will need to contact a licensed electrician for repairs before service can be restored. Our crews can only work on company-owned equipment.
  • Check on your neighbors, especially those who may need special assistance. Also, check with others who have electricity, to see if you can visit.
  • If you have power at this time, keep mobile devices charged so that they may be used in an emergency. Before anything happens, download the Pacific Power app to your smart device so you can have information readily available.
  • Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed. Most food requiring refrigeration can be kept safely in a closed refrigerator for several hours. An unopened refrigerator will keep food cold for about 4 hours. A full freezer will keep the temperature for about 48 hours. 
  • Remember your pets! Pets who spend a lot of time outdoors need more food in the winter because keeping warm depletes energy.
  • Never burn charcoal for heating or cooking indoors. If you are using alternate heat or cooking sources, remember to allow plenty of ventilation. 
  • If you are using a generator, make sure to follow all manufacturer’s instructions. Make sure the generator is outside and not near any household air intakes. Do not connect the generator directly to your breaker box as this can create a dangerous situation for crews working on the powerlines. Instead, plug essential appliances directly into the generator.

Salem Grandfather Shoots Home Intruder

A Salem grandfather shot and killed an alleged home intruder Sunday while his adult daughter and two grandchildren were inside the house.

Marion County sheriff’s deputies were called to the home in an unincorporated area of east Salem just before 7 p.m. for a disturbance. When they arrived, they found the suspect dead at the scene. 

The suspect was identified as Peter Bishop, 42, of Salem. The resident reported to have shot Bishop is an unidentified 62-year-old Salem man, according to a press release. 

Investigators say a 911 caller reported an unknown male was trying to break into the home before a resident shot the intruder. No one in the home was injured during the incident.

The investigation into the shooting is ongoing. Once complete, the case will be forwarded to the Marion County District Attorney’s Office for review.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to submit tips online or by texting TIPMCSO and their tip to 847411.

Oregon DMV Can Now Register Emergency Contacts To Alert Family Faster In Case of A Crash

If you are in a crash or other situation where you can’t communicate with emergency responders, a new service for Oregonians will help police contact your family faster.

With today’s speed of online information, especially with mobile phone video and pictures through social media, there is a risk your friends and family could learn you’re in an emergency before law enforcement can contact your family. That’s a traumatic way to get such critical information – and possibly misinformation.

That’s one reason many states, including Oregon, are setting up emergency contact registries through their DMVs.

The 2021 Oregon Legislature, under House Bill 3125, created an emergency contact service for Oregon residents. Starting Jan. 3, 2022, you can register up to two people, age 18 and older, as emergency contacts for situations where you can’t communicate.

Only Oregon law enforcement personnel will be able to access your emergency contact information. They are able to do so securely through their patrol cars so they can contact your loved ones quickly.

Your emergency contacts can be anyone you choose – family or friends. The only exception is if you are under age 18 – then you must include a parent or legal guardian as one of your contacts.

A parent or legal guardian can also register as an emergency contact for their children under 18 years old.

To register, go to DMV2U.Oregon.gov and sign in to “Access My DMV Profile.” You need to have an Oregon driver license, permit or identification card to register with the service.

Ask your family and friends to register their emergency contacts too!

The emergency contact registry is the newest among more than 20 services DMV has created on DMV2U in the past two years. These and other new DMV services are part of ODOT’s commitment to put new technology to use to make Oregon’s transportation system safer, more efficient and more user friendly.

Before you visit a DMV office, see if you can get the DMV service you need at DMV2U.Oregon.gov.

DMV has added over 20 new services to DMV2U, including driver license renewal, and you can make an appointment for services that must be done in person – such as applying for a new license or the Real ID option for air travel.

Oregon Secretary of State’s office raises Residency Questions on Oregon Governor Candidate Kristof

Former New York Times journalist Nicholas Kristof has told Oregon’s top election official that his having voted in New York state in 2020 doesn’t disqualify him from being a candidate for governor in Oregon.

According to Oregon law, a candidate must have been a resident of the state for at least three years before an election.

His having voted in New York in November 2020 has raised questions in the Oregon Secretary of State’s office about his eligibility to run in the November 2022 election.

Kristof is running in a crowded field for the Democratic nomination for governor and has raised some $2.5 million for his campaign war chest.

New High Desert Museum Exhibit Invites Visitors to Consider Concepts of Community

BEND, OR — The COVID-19 pandemic, which has shaped our lives in so many ways, has precipitated a moment of asking questions—about who we are and who we want to be as individuals and as a society. It has highlighted the importance of community, and perhaps prompted us to reflect on the communities we want to be a part of and create.

While these questions are relevant, they are not new.

In the new, original exhibit Imagine a World, opening Saturday, January 29, the High Desert Museum examines efforts over the decades to create ideal societies throughout the Western United States—and what we can learn from them. And through an interactive element, Imagine a World gives visitors the opportunity to articulate what kind of world we want to live in for the future.

For generations, people have journeyed to the High Desert and Western United States with visions of founding their own utopias, ranging from the Kaweah Co-Operative Colony in central California in the late 1800s to the artistic and back-to-the-land communes of the 1960s and 1970s, such as Drop City.

The exhibition looks at the ambitions, intentions and outcomes of utopian and intentional communities across the West, delving into approaches ranging from ecological to spiritual to political. Some groups focused on creating an ideal society, while others searched for an idyllic place already in existence to call home. 

“The intentional communities featured in the exhibit all pose interesting questions,” says Laura Ferguson, Ph.D., Museum senior curator of Western history and curator of Imagine a World. “By exploring the ideas that inspired each group, we’re able to consider what we might learn from each society and imagine more possibilities. Ultimately, we hope the exhibition sparks conversations about what kind of world we want today.” 

Imagine a World explores philosophies around community and how they’ve been put into practice. One is ecological laboratories, such as Biosphere 2 in Arizona. In that instance, eight people in 1991 sealed themselves for more than two years into a vast structure of glass pyramids and buildings. They were attempting to thrive as a closed ecosystem that could create its own oxygen and grow enough food to support the inhabitants. It didn’t fully succeed in those aims, but the facility continues to be a hub of scientific research today.

Ma Anand Sheela, spokesperson for the followers of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh who moved to Wasco County, Oregon in the early 1980s, shares her thoughts. The spiritual leaders attempted to found a new town, Rajneeshpuram, and drew hundreds of followers to the

The exhibit also explores spiritually oriented endeavors, such as Oregon’s most famous (or infamous) intentional community–Rajneeshpuram. In 1981, Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, a spiritual teacher with an international following, left India for the United States. The Bhagwan and his chief lieutenant, Ma Anand Sheela, selected a site in Wasco County, Oregon, for their planned community, embracing narratives about an “empty” American West. Just a few years later, in 1985, the community collapsed. Objects in the exhibition, including a Rolls Royce from the same time period, will offer a closer look at the Rajneeshees and the community they sought to create.

The communes of the 1960s and 1970s are featured, as well. One such community is Drop City in Colorado, where residents lived minimally and communally, sharing money, clothing and food. They embraced geodesic domes, advanced by the architect Buckminster Fuller, as the building style that would make up the community. They constructed the domes from salvaged wood and scrap metal, taking pride in living off other people’s trash. While Drop City dissolved by 1973, ideas that germinated there continue to flourish today.

In addition to examining physical settlements, Imagine a World will feature several Native artists who envision alternative worlds and recognize the ways that cosmology, science and futurism have long been part of Indigenous worldviews and oral traditions. Called Indigenous futurisms, the artists imagine Native people well into the future, including in the realms of science fiction and outer space.

As the culmination of the exhibit, visitors will be invited to contribute what they believe should be included in an ideal society through an interactive, immersive experience. 

“The history of Rajneeshpuram in Oregon’s High Desert led us to explore broader questions of communities,” said Museum Executive Director Dana Whitelaw, Ph.D. “Imagine a World examines different groups that have come to the High Desert inspiring visitors to ask their own questions about what can community look like and how do we work to create it.”

Imagine a World (highdesertmuseum.org/imagine-a-world) will be on display through September 25, 2022.

The exhibit is made possible by Bend Cultural Tourism Fund and KTVZ/KFXO with support from Bend Magazine, The Bulletin, CHUBB and the James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation.


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 is 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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A 17-year-old was reported missing in Salem and detectives say the teen might be the victim of an online catfishing scheme.

Ezra Mayhugh, 17, was last seen on October 15, 2021 after being dropped off in downtown Salem by a friend, the Marion County Sheriff’s Office said. He was reported as a runaway the following day when he did not return home.

Investigators say he might be in Washington or California. They hope to reunite Ezra safely with family members.

He’s described as about 5-foot 11-inches tall, weighing 130 pounds, with blonde hair and brown eyes.

If you have had contact with Mayhugh since October 15 or have other helpful information on his whereabouts, the sheriff’s office asks you to contact Detective M.J. Sphoon at 503-588-6808 or to submit a tip by texting TIPMCSO and your tip to 847411.


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