Buoy oh buoy! What is that??

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Jan 242018

NOAA Tsunami detection buoy on beach north of Yachats yesterday.
Tyler Coppin photo

Call it a coincidence with a long reach. Beachwalker Tyler Coppin ran across a beached tsunami detection buoy stranded on the sand about a mile north of Yachats on Monday. Strangely the beached buoy came ashore the same day that a strong earthquake rocked the ocean floor southeast of Kodiak Island, Alaska. But this particular detection device was not operating, obviously.

The buoy was well marked as belonging to the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration. NOAA was summoned to come pick up their “wayward buoy” and get it ready to be re-launched from whence it came – 200 miles off Astoria.

Monday was the day, of course, when a strong sea-floor earthquake southeast of Kodiak Island rattled and swayed the region which initially prompted a tsunami warning for southern Alaska and northern British Columbia. There was a tsunami WATCH issued for the United States West Coast.
The quake, though large, did not trigger much of anything except a lot of fear and reminders that the Pacific Ocean is ringed with huge earthquake faults that are quite active.

School Board Chairman Ron Beck cited by Newport Police for Disorderly Conduct

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Jan 232018

Ron Beck
School Board Chairman
Cited for disorderly
conduct outside his place of employment.

Official News Release issued by Newport Police

On January 10th at 5:15pm, Newport Officers responded to a physical altercation in the parking lot of Central Lincoln PUD, 2129 N. Coast Hwy. Officers arrived and found School Baord Chairman Ronald Beck at the location. Beck was injured, and reported he was assaulted by a group of juveniles. The juveniles fled the area in a vehicle prior to Police arrival.

Officers were able to identify the owner of the suspect vehicle through a description provided by Beck. Officers conducted an investigation and identified five juveniles, ranging from 16-17 years of age that were associated with the vehicle and altercation.

Officers learned the incident began when Beck confronted a juvenile driver for entering an exit only driveway on PUD property after hours. Beck and the driver exchanged words. Beck exited his vehicle and began to walk towards the vehicle. Two of the juveniles exited the vehicle and exchanged words with Beck. The juveniles approached Beck and Beck was reported to have punched one of the juveniles. The juvenile that was struck by Beck and a second juvenile physically fought with Beck. A third juvenile exited the car, and punched Beck multiple times. Beck and one of the juveniles both called 911 to report the incident.

A 16 and 17-year-old male, and a 17-year-old female were arrested and lodged in Juvenile Detention for Assault 4, Harassment, and Disorderly Conduct 2 for their involvement in the disturbance and assault. Beck was cited and released for Disorderly Conduct 2 for his role in the disturbance.

If anyone has information regarding this case, contact the Newport Police Department at 541-574-3348. The Newport Police Tip Line is available at 541-574-5455, or Text-a-Tip at 541-270-1856

A very lucky seal pup!

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Jan 232018

Very lucky seal pup that he wound up at OCA for treatment.
OCA photo

Monday afternoon the Oregon Coast Aquarium admitted an injured male northern fur seal pup for rehabilitation. The cause? Entanglement by a plastic string, likely from a balloon or packaging material. The string bore through the young seal’s thick fur coat and skin, leaving an open wound around the neck.

An officer with the NOAA Fisheries Office of Law Enforcement reported the injured animal to the Oregon Marine Mammal Stranding Network (OMMSN) after it was found in an RV parking lot in Winchester Bay. The small seal was vocal and appeared alert despite its injuries.

OMMSN Stranding Coordinator, Jim Rice, who also works with Oregon State University’s Marine Mammal Institute at the Hatfield Marine Science Center, contacted Oregon Coast Aquarium Director of Animal Husbandry, Jim Burke, to inquire about admitting the pup for rehabilitation. Upon Burke’s positive confirmation, Rice drove to retrieve the injured animal and transport it to the Aquarium. A few hours later, Aquarium staff admitted the pup for care, immediately removed the entanglement, and administered wound treatment.

Aquarium staff will continue to provide antibiotics, fluids, and radiant heat for the northern fur seal pup until its planned release tomorrow. Staff will also tag the animal for future identification purposes in case it was ever to strand again.

“The sooner the pup is released, the better,” said Burke. “The animal would not have survived without being dis-entangled. He is stronger today now that we’ve removed the entanglement and administered multiple courses of antibiotics. The best thing is to get the pup back in the water where it can hunt for food. Luckily, the wound appears superficial.”

“When people release balloons into the air, they often end up in the ocean. Then the string potentially becomes entanglement to marine life,” said Rice. “The OMMSN sees this situation often. We don’t get an awful lot of live fur seals, but we do see dead entangled animals regularly. This guy is lucky.”

Pickup vs. semi traffic Crash in Lincoln City

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Jan 232018

Pickup reportedly hit the semi at 2130 NE 101, Lincoln City
Reader photo

Traffic is slow on Highway 101 around the NW 2100 block of Highway 101 in Lincoln city due to a white chevy Silverado heading Northbound (with UHaul trailer) hit a semi truck and trailer parked on the shoulder of the northbound lane. It happened directly in front of the old Lincoln City Auto Parts store.

Police and Fire-Rescue are on the scene. Paramedics have already taken the driver to the hospital.

As the Warming Shelter turns….

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Jan 232018

Patrick Alexander
Homeless/Warming Shelter at old Taft Fire Hall Building

Lincoln City Homeless Facility and Warming Shelter President Patrick Alexander gave the Lincoln City City Council an update Monday evening on their activities at the old Taft Fire Hall that is owned by the Mayor Don Williams. Alexander reported they have provided 23 nights of warming shelter services with 261 bed-nights. He also said they were applying for an ordinance change that would make their services legal under city law. Yes, you read that right. Under city land use laws homeless and warming shelters are not permitted at the old Taft Hall but the non-profit organization is doing it anyway. And the mayor is receiving rent from the group which got THEIR money from the city in the form of a $45,000 grant from the city council. Members of the city council, including Mayor Williams, claim they did not know where the money would end up when the grant was awarded to the non-profit.

Alexander was told that his application for an ordinance modification was being referred to City Attorney Richard Appicello to evaluate who should pay for the request to modify the ordinance which is a bit pricey – is it the applicant, or based on the circumstances of helping the homeless, would the city pick up the tab?

And that’s where they left it.

Lincoln Co. Health & Human Svcs Director Cheryl Connell terminated

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Jan 232018

Lincoln Co. Commission fires HHS Director Cheryl Connell

Cheryl Connell
Lauded for her service then terminated due to concerns over leadership and communications style.

In an extremely tense session of the Lincoln County Board of Commissioners, county Health and Human Services Director, and 30 year employee of Lincoln County Health and Human Services Cheryl Connell was terminated Wednesday by the commissioners. County Commission Chairman Doug Hunt gave her a choice of resigning and filling out the rest of the month on the job, or be terminated immediately. Connell refused to resign and was immediately fired by the commission.

Reasons for the termination, according to the commission, was their concern over what was described as her communications and leadership style. Commission Chairman Hunt said their opinion prompted concern about county Health and Human Services taking new directions related to the new county Health and Wellness Center soon to be under construction.

Although Connell took issue with Commissioner Hunt’s allegations of issues with her leadership and communications style, Hunt said his opinion was determined by what he called a number of former HHS employees’ exit interviews and allegations related to Connell’s leadership and communications style set forth in a recent outside consultant’s report to the commission. Connell said employee turnover in HHS was no worse than average turnover rates in the HHS industry.

Commissioner Terry Thompson said that although he respected Connell’s accomplishments over her year’s of service, he supports the difficult decision of asking for her resignation. Commissioner Bill Hall, who Connell praised for his compassionate and enlightened support of HHS operations, visibly winced in emotional pain at supporting his fellow commissioners in their positions on the matter.

The vote to terminate Connell was unanimous.

Oregon Coast Weather or Not….

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Jan 232018

The ‘Weather or Not’ Twitter feed keeps you posted on any major weather events, plus you’ll get updated travel info and an abbreviated forecast each morning tailored to the Central Coast. Just follow @chrisburnswx.

Summary: Observations

Forecast: Lincoln City, Depoe Bay, Newport, Waldport, Yachats

Travel: ODOT TripCheck, Activity Planner, Coast Range, Cascades

Marine: Local Waters, Bar Reports

Tides: Tide Tables

The ‘Weather or Not’ Twitter feed keeps you posted on any major weather events, plus you’ll get updated travel info and an abbreviated forecast each morning tailored to the Central Coast. Just follow @chrisburnswx.

Anybody know anything about this memorial?

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Jan 232018

Greg Henton was out shooting pictures and came across this memorial up a cliff at Agate Beach. And he’s asking if anyone knows the significance or the origin of the memorial and for whom or what.

Email response to: News@NewsLincolnCounty.com

Any idea who put this here and why?

Tsunami Watch cancelled…

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Jan 232018


A small tsunami was observed Alaska, but this event does not pose a threat to the coastal areas of Washington and Oregon.

Once again, the tsunami watch has ended for the coastal areas of Washington and Oregon.

This will be the final bulletin issued by the National Weather Service in Portland Oregon.