The latest news stories across the state of Oregon from the digital home of the Oregon coastal cities, OregonBeachMagazine.com
Monday, May 15, 2023
Oregon Beach Weather
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY ISSUED: 12:51 AM MAY. 15, 2023 – NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE
...SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 8 AM THIS MORNING TO 2 AM PDT TUESDAY... * WHAT...Steep seas 6 to 8 ft due to the combination of west swell and southerly wind waves. * WHERE...All areas. * WHEN...From 8 AM this morning to 2 AM PDT Tuesday. * IMPACTS...Gusty winds and/or steep seas could capsize ordamage smaller vessels. * View the hazard area in detail at https://go.usa.gov/x6hks
High School Senior From Beaverton Identified As A Swimmer Who Went Missing Friday In The Ocean Near Cannon Beach
The Beaverton School District said 18-year-old Jacob Stokes was among a group of students who went missing in the ocean near Cannon Beach on Friday.
Firefighters with the Cannon Beach Fire District said four people were in the water when they went missing just before 4 p.m. They were told two made it out of the water safely.
A Cannon Beach Fire Department swimmer rescued one person who was taken to the hospital.Rescue crews searched for the remaining swimmer for another hour but could not find the person. The Coast Guard continued searching with a helicopter and two boats until dark. It turned over the recovery efforts to local authorities.
On Sunday, May 14, friends and family of a track star from Mountainside High School who was set to enroll at Oregon State University this autumn paid tribute to the “easygoing” and “super nice person” he was.
Man and Dog Rescued at Ecola State Park
A man and his dog were rescued Saturday afternoon after falling off a cliff in Ecola State Park near Cannon Beach.
Emergency crews were called to Indian Beach Trail at about 12:15 p.m., where they found the man and his dog 75 feet down a steep embankment.
Pothole Repairs in Coos Bay May 15th
According to a news release from the City of Coos Bay, on Monday, May 15th, the City staff will be performing pothole repairs on So. 3rd St. & So. 2nd St. at Anderson Ave. Works will begin by 8 a.m. and end no later than 3:30 p.m. Repairs are expected to be completed by Tuesday, May 16th. There will be road closures associated with this work for the staff’s safety. Please slow down and use caution when nearing the construction area and comply with the signage.
Pioneer Connect Seeking Federal Grant To Bring High-Speed Internet To Remote 12-Mile Stretch Between Yachats And Florence
One of the area’s largest communications providers is seeking support for a $3.8 million project to bring high-speed broadband internet to up to 180 residences in a 12-mile stretch between Yachats and Florence.
Pioneer Connect, the Philomath-based internet and telephone cooperative, is applying for its third U.S. Department of Agriculture grant under the federal government’s 4-year-old broadband “ReConnect” program. In 2022, the agency spent $1.67 billion to help fund 105 rural or tribal projects across the United States.
The cooperative’s latest proposal would center on the Tenmile area six miles south of Yachats. It is seeking support from local residents and Yachats-area businesses and organizations as part of its application, said Tanya Howie, Pioneer’s marketing manager.
Under Pioneer’s Tenmile proposal, the USDA would provide a $3.23 million grant and the cooperative provide the remaining $570,000.
But the population served would be tiny – 60 new and 120 existing customers — compared with Pioneer’s 6,800 broadband customers in Lincoln, Benton and Polk counties.
“It’s our strategy to get fiber to all of our customers in our district, but without these grants it would not be feasible,” Pioneer Connect general manager Jim Rennard told YachatsNews.
Pioneer received a $24.9 million USDA grant in 2022 to couple with a $8.3 million loan to replace its copper network with a fiber network to serve more than 1,500 residences and businesses in rural areas of Benton and Lincoln counties over the next five years. In 2021 it received a $3 million USDA grant for a $3.7 million project to install fiber connections in the Triangle Lake, Deadwood, Horton and Blachly areas. Both those projects are in the planning or contracting stages.
Pioneer is using its own resources to bring broadband to 3,000 homes and businesses in the Philomath area and has just started working on a $1.6 million broadband project to serve 560 homes and businesses in downtown Waldport.
Rennard said Tenmile-area customers served by its copper lines have broadband speeds of 25 megabits into their homes and 3 megabits going out. That limits internet connectivity for everything from searching the world wide web to online meetings, medical appointments, online schooling and gaming.
The new fiber network would have a base service of 100 megabits into homes and 100 megabits going out, Rennard said.
“Our network is outdated for today’s needs,” he said.
The application to the USDA does not include Pioneer’s customers in Yachats proper, which still mostly has copper lines for internet and phone.
“Should Pioneer be successful in winning this grant, we will be able to leverage these new facilities and accelerate our ability to extend fiber to more of our members, including Yachats proper,” Howie said.
The Tenmile application is due at the end of June with a decision in 4-6 months, Howie said.
As part of the grant, Pioneer needs to find or develop a “community center” in the Tenmie area for at least two years that people can access the internet for free. It would have 10 workstations.
In Triangle Lake, the cooperative is placing a small trailer near a school for that use, Rennard said.
If awarded, Rennard said Pioneer will need six months to engineer the project – the terrain between Yachats and Florence is very challenging – and then up to two years for contractors to complete it.
“It will be underground where possible and overhead where its cost prohibitive,” said Rennard.
Pioneer is a 72-year-old member-controlled cooperative that has pivoted away from focusing on telephone services to providing internet broadband, which can include phones. In addition to its 6,800 broadband customers, it has 9,000 voice/telephone customers – down from a peak of 16,000 more than 10 years ago, Rennard said.
“We’re doing OK businesswise because we’ve moved into broadband,” Rennard told YachatsNews. “And that’s why it’s important to upgrade our network to bring better speed to customers.” (SOURCE)
Republican Temporary Restraining Order Denied For House Bill 2002
According to court records, a motion set by Representative Emily McIntire (R-Eagle Point) & Senator Suzanne Weber (R-Tillamook) to get a temporary restraining order put on House Bill 2002 has been denied.
“Having considered the briefing submitted by the parties, and having heard argument and being fully advised, for the reasons stated in the hearing record, the Court hereby orders that Plaintiffs’ Motion is denied,” said the Honorable David E. Leith from Marion County.
According to a press release from Representative Lily Morgan, on May 3, Senator Weber and Representative McIntire filed a lawsuit against the Legislature contending that the bill summary of House Bill 2002 violates Senate Rule 13.02, ORS 171.134, and Article 4 § 21 of the Oregon Constitution.
The suit seeks a declaratory and injunctive relief pursuant to ORS 28.020 directing the legislature to prepare the measure summary for HB 2002 so that “it’s summary is written in manner that results in score of at least 60 on the Flesch readability test or meets an equivalent standard of comparable test.
The plaintiffs also seek a declaratory and injunctive relief pursuant to ORS 28.020 and Oregon Rule of Civil Procedure 79 against Defendants Brocker, Johnson, and Wagner, enjoining them from taking further action on HB 2002 until the measure’s summary complies with ORS 171.134.
If passed House Bill 2002 would allow minors to seek reproductive health care information or services, and gender affirming treatment without the consent of a their parent(s). (SOURCE)
Court Hears Klamath That Threatens The Delivery Of Irrigation Water To Klamath Basin Farmers And Ranchers And To Klamath Basin Wildlife Refuges.
Arguments were held Wednesday, May 10 on a case that threatens the delivery of irrigation water to Klamath Basin farmers and ranchers and to Klamath Basin wildlife refuges.
The Yurok Tribe and Pacific Coast Federations of Fishermen’s Associations are seeking an injunction that would limit water to the Klamath Project. The groups claim the Bureau of Reclamation cannot be trusted to limit water deliveries in accordance with an Interim Operations Plan (IOP), even though the current allocation for the project is less than the amount provided for in accordance with the IOP.
Judge William H. Orrick, U.S. District Court Judge for the Northern District of California, indicated that he would not grant the motion, but left open the opportunity for parties to return to court after Reclamation adopts an actual Klamath Project operations plan for 2023.
In his Wednesday ruling, Orrick indicated he did not see a basis to issue a preliminary injunction based on the information he received. Orrick did, however, require Reclamation to submit a final 2023 operations plan, and left open to the parties the possibility of asking the court to grant some kind of relief at that time.
Spokesmen for the Klamath Water Users Association said the litigation “comes at a time when there is abundant water in the Klamath Basin.”
“It’s inconceivable that we are in court when we should be irrigating and producing food,” said KWUA Vice President Jeff Boyd, a project farmer. “It would have been great if Reclamation had done what they were supposed to and issued a final plan on time rather than being intimidated by politics and lawsuits.”
Orrick, who has heard several Klamath Project matters, said he had not expected to see a Klamath case this year.
In 2020, Reclamation adopted an IOP for the Klamath Project controlling the amounts of water made available in Upper Klamath Lake, the Klamath River, and for irrigation and wildlife refuges. The IOP is the basis for annual operations plans based on year-specific hydrologic conditions.
Moss Driscoll, KWUA’s director of water policy, expressed frustration with the ongoing delays created by the BOR, saying, “They are not doing a good job in managing water in the Klamath Basin effectively.”
Drought conditions this past winter led Reclamation to deviate from the Klamath River flows required under the IOP, which it did for 28 days in February and March in accordance with what BOR referred to as “Temporary Operations Procedures.” The reduction in river flows, as measured at Iron Gate Dam, during this period was as much as 160 cubic feet per second, compared to prescribed flows of 1,000 cubic feet per second. The reductions in river flows ceased March 13, and the Temporary Operating Procedures expired March 31, causing operations to presumably revert to the IOP.
In response to BOR’s Temporary Operating Procedures, the Yurok Tribe filed its motion for a preliminary injunction. Driscoll said the preliminary injunction motion asked the court to order limitations on diversions not stated in the IOP. “Basically, the plaintiffs are asking the court to write a new plan and micromanage the Klamath Project during 2023.”
He noted that in recent weeks there have been “favorable, wet weather” and that “snowpack conditions in the mountains have been as high as 200 percent of normal.”
At Crater Lake National Park, for example, snowfall since Oct. 1, 2022, has been 624 inches, which is 134 percent of average.
“The IOP went back into effect April 1,” Driscoll said in the statement. “If Reclamation was following the IOP, it would have issued a 2023 operations plan providing an irrigation supply of 285,000 acre-feet, which is still well below irrigation needs. Instead, Reclamation informally announced an ‘initial’ supply of 215,000 acre-feet but did not write an operations plan as in past years. In the meantime, it has followed the IOP to the letter in terms of releases of Klamath River flows.”
So far this year, 215,000 acre-feet of water has been released to the Klamath River. Diversions for irrigation have been 6,000 acre-feet.
Driscoll said some water districts, including the Malin Irrigation District, have opted to largely remain shut down at this time because of ongoing uncertainties about water supply.
“This is having real-world impacts to our growers and long-term consequences,” he said, noting the Malin district has 3,500 acres of “some of the most productive lands in the entire basin. Some farmers who are not going to farm and wondering if they will ever farm again.” (SOURCE)
Award-Winning Documentary ELEMENTAL: REIMAGINE WILDFIRE Will Premiere In Chiloquin On June 3rd
Directed by Portland filmmaker Trip Jennings, co-produced by Sara Quinn, the critically-acclaimed, award-winning documentary ELEMENTAL: REIMAGINE WILDFIRE will premiere in Chiloquin on June 3, 2023 at Klamath Tribes Community Fitness Center. Doors at 4:15 PM, film at 5 pm.
This special event will be followed by Q&A with filmmakers Trip Jennings, Ralph Bloemers and invited guests.
Filmed in Oregon and narrated by David Oyelowo, ELEMENTAL: REIMAGINE WILDFIRE (84 min) takes viewers on a journey across the nation with the top experts to better understand fire.
The film starts with the harrowing escape from Paradise, California as the town ignited from wind-driven embers and burned within a few hours of the fire’s start and then continues to recent record-shattering fires. The film includes the voices of climate experts, Indigenous people and fire survivors, and asks us to reimagine wildfire as we prepare for an increasingly hotter future.
In the wake of deadly fires in Oregon, California, Colorado and New Mexico, ELEMENTAL, REIMAGINE WILDFIRE is an important look at discovering how we can all reimagine our relationship with wildfire, now more timely and urgent than ever. FOR MORE INFO and EVENTS: https://www.elementalfilm.com
Salem Police Investigate Serious Assault Incident at Downtown Mall
Update May 13, 2023 | 12:00 p.m.
The victim in this incident, identified as Enrique Sanchez Franco, age 20, died overnight, succumbing to the injuries he received in the altercation.
The 15-year-old juvenile remains in custody and his charges are as follows:
- Murder in the second degree
- Assault in the first degree
- Unlawful use of a weapon, knife
- Disorderly conduct
The case remains under investigation, and no further information will be released.
# # # Update May 12, 2023 | 10:15 p.m.
Salem Police detectives have made an arrest in today’s assault at the Salem Center Mall.
Detectives learned two male individuals at the mall were in an altercation, leaving one person with life-threatening injuries and hospitalized.
The suspect in the assault fled the scene. Using all available leads, this evening detectives arrested the 15-year-old suspect. Lodging to follow at the Marion County Juvenile Department on related charges.
The Salem Police Department does not provide the identity of minors involved in criminal investigations.
Further details about the victim are not available for release. The case remains under investigation, and no other information will be published at this time.
# # # Originally published May 12, 2023 | 3:47 p.m.
Salem, Ore. — At approximately 12:25 p.m. today, Salem Police officers were called to the Salem Center Mall at 401 Center ST NE on the report of a serious assault in the vicinity of the second-floor entrance to the Macy’s store.
Officers arrived to find one male individual with life-threatening injuries, suspected to be the result of a stabbing. He was transported to Salem Health. A second male individual believed to be involved in the incident fled from the scene.
The portion of the mall where the incident occurred was closed to the public and remains closed. No other patrons at the mall were injured. Mall shoppers exited the building in an orderly fashion. There is no ongoing risk to the public.
The incident remains an active investigation, therefore, no further details are being provided.
PODCAST: 4 Oregon Cold Cases Solved, Families Get Closure
What would you do if someone you loved vanished and was never heard from again? That was the case for several families we interviewed on the first five episodes of The Unidentifieds podcast.
In previous episodes, we explored the rapidly expanding use of genetic genealogy in finding the identities of long lost souls whose remains were found in Oregon.
We told the stories of a nomadic Navy veteran, a young woman who liked to sing, a girl who wore a pink plaid coat and mother of pearl ring, and a little boy whose time on earth was too short.
They all vanished in Oregon. But they were all also found in Oregon. Their stories told, and their names said aloud once again, thanks to the help of passionate experts, their families and advances in DNA technology and genetic genealogy.
On the final episode of The Unidentifieds, hosts Regan Mertz and Dave Killen unpack the emotional toll on families and how getting answers about their loved ones’ fates – even if decades later – brings closure.
The investigators and scientists who worked on the cold cases reflect on how each person’s story lingers in their memory, long after the cases were solved.
How to find The Unidentifieds podcast from The Oregonian/OregonLive
Subscribe to The Unidentifieds on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, YouTube or anywhere else you listen to podcasts. Be sure to give it a five-star rating. Find all previously released episodes below:
- Episode 1: No ID. No name. A mystery that endured for 47 years.
- Episode 2: A 2-year-old’s remains found in a southern Oregon reservoir identified 58 years later
- Episode 3: How DNA and genetic genealogy are solving decades-old cold cases
- Episode 4: Human remains found in remote woods near Government Camp identified 34 years later
- Episode 5: Human remains found near Multnomah Falls in 1979 identified four decades later
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
- 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.
Contact us: Info@OregonBeachMagazine.com