How not to head home late at night…

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Feb 222017

On the Bay Road between Newport and Toledo.
Reader photos

Driver should have been able to get out fairly easily.

Curves in the road never take a night off. Law enforcement investigating.

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 Posted by at 12:59 PM

Highway 101 closed today just south of Cannon Beach – maybe tomorrow too –

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Feb 222017

U.S. 101 five miles south of Cannon Beach will be closed through at least the end of the day or possibly tomorrow to allow for scalers to remove loose rock and materials from a slide that closed the highway earlier today. The roadway will be opened only when it is safe for travelers.

Travelers needing to detour around the closure should use OR 53 (Necanicum Highway) and U.S 26. If taking the detour, factor in at least one hour of extra travel time. Anyone traveling on Coast and Coast Range highways should be aware of slide dangers after record rainfall that has saturated soils. Travelers should drive with caution and be alert to downed trees, debris and other materials on these roadways.

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 Posted by at 12:31 PM


Feb 222017

This week Newport Police Officers began receiving calls about a probable phone scam. Victims were reporting that during the Presidents’ Day holiday weekend they had received calls from Central Lincoln PUD claiming they were late on paying their bill. The caller threatened residents that their power would be turned off if they did not pay immediately. The caller told resident they were associated with Central Lincoln PUD, and that a power crew had been dispatched to residents’ homes or businesses to shut off their power. The caller acted as if he was communicating with a crew in the background, and pretended he was trying to help the residents keep their power on. The caller instructed the residents to buy a pre-paid credit card, and then recite that credit card number to him over the phone.

Residents reported the number listed on their caller ID’s showed a number associated with Central Lincoln PUD. These calls occurred after the PUD business office was closed, making it impossible for the residents to contact PUD by phone to determine if there was a true problem with their bill.

Newport Police Officers contacted Central Lincoln PUD, and learned there had been at least 10 incidents of this phone scam reported over the long holiday weekend. Central Lincoln PUD advises its customers that they will never call a customer after hours or on the weekends. Also, they will never call to threaten that power will be turned off.

If you receive such a call, immediately report it to your local law enforcement agency. The Newport Police Tip line is available at 541-574-5466, or Text-a-Tip at 541-270-1856.

 Posted by at 11:43 AM

Empty Kayak Floating Off South End of Depoe Bay -Turned out to be a log

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Feb 222017

Report of a black kayak floating 100 yards off Depoe Bay at the south end of town. Caller to 9-1-1 said the empty kayak is floating just beyond the surf line west of 1113 No. Highway 101.

Depoe Bay Fire-Rescue and Lincoln County Sheriff’s Deputy are on scene searching the area for any sign of a distressed person.

Depoe Bay Fire says their binoculars revealed it’s a log bobbing in the surf.

 Posted by at 11:09 AM

Nothing like staying in touch with who’s running the show…

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Feb 222017

State Capitol, Salem

OCCC will provide live video town hall connections to Salem this Friday morning at 7:45 so that the public can connect with their elected representatives at the start of this busy legislative session.

Ask questions! Hear, live and in person, from your electeds about what’s coming to the floor in the days and weeks ahead — and what it means for you, and for Lincoln County.

We will have video conferences in both our Lincoln City and Newport locations – signs in the lobby will direct the public to the room in each location.

We would love for you to join us, and to share this invitation with others on your email list or through your Facebook pages, etc.

OCCC Locations hosting this week’s video town hall:
Central County Campus – 400 SE College Way, Newport
North County Center – 3788 SE High School Drive, Lincoln City

 Posted by at 10:42 AM

Weather or Not: Mixing it Up

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Feb 222017

Wednesday, Feb. 22nd – Lincoln County

Summary: Intense rain showers early, dry later, moderate winds and cool yesterday.

Past 24 Hours High/Low/Rain…
Lincoln City: 51F/39F/0.46”
Depoe Bay: 50F/37F/0.32”
Newport: 48F/36F/0.47”
Waldport: 46F/38F/1.17”
Yachats: 48F/40F/0.88”

Newport Airport Conditions…
Ceiling: unlimited
Visibility: 10 miles/Wind: E 3 mph/Altimeter: 30.25”

Forecast: The predicted cooler air arrived on schedule overnight and will be with us for several days. Showers and maybe a thunderstorm or two are on tap today, light winds and a high of 45F. Tonight, we’re in for a possible Wintry mix of rain and snow showers, the mercury dropping to 35F but little or no snow accumulation is expected. Still chilly tomorrow, showers remain likely and the high again stalls near 45F. Outlook is for showers Friday, partly sunny Saturday, then a chance of showers Sunday through Tuesday. Below normal thermometer readings are projected to last until early next week.

Seafood & Wine Festival… Mainly light winds, showers, sunbreaks and cool throughout the event with highs of 45F, lows of 35F.

wxon-twitterBe sure to follow Weather or Not’s Twitter feed to keep current on Winter’s rapidly changing conditions. You’ll get updated travel info and notification of any new advisories, watches or warnings. Follow @chrisburnswx.

Travel: In the Coast Range this morning, there are possible spots of ice with 32F in the passes. Willamette Valley highways are wet, there’s dense fog, temperatures near 35F. The Columbia River Gorge has wet roads, thermometer readings 35-40F. For the Cascades, snow showers, packed snow, and 20-25F in the passes this morning, the snow level is at the surface, carry chains or traction tires, except chains required at Government Camp, up to 2 inches of snow is predicted for the passes today. * An interactive map of the latest Northwest/Central Oregon travel weather is available here. Also, motorists should always visit ODOT’s TripCheck before hitting the road.

Marine: Winds are variable 5-15 knots this morning with seas 8 feet at 14 seconds. Expect quiet weather with 6-8 foot seas for the next several days and winds below advisory strength through at least Friday. * Full text of the latest marine forecast is available here. And, make sure you check the latest Bar Reports before venturing offshore.

On the Beach… Showers, surf 5-6 feet (low).
* For a safe and enjoyable time on the Central Coast, the Oregon Parks & Recreation Department offers these Beach Safety Tips.
* Tides
02/22 Wed 08:53 AM 7.93 H
02/22 Wed 03:54 PM 0.81 L
02/22 Wed 10:35 PM 6.72 H
02/23 Thu 03:42 AM 3.81 L

In Short: Showers, rain/snow mix, continued cool and unsettled.

 Posted by at 8:00 AM

Pumping up Safe Haven Hill, Fixing Moore Drive Storm Drainage and Affirming Newport as a Sanctuary City

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Feb 222017

Archive photo

Everyone in Newport knows that it’s not an issue of IF but actually WHEN the “Big One” hits the coast, and after 5 full minutes of strong Cascadia Earthquake shaking, it will be necessary to be able to scramble to safety out of the way of an arriving tsunami.

And one of those “refuge” locations is atop Safe Haven Hill in South Beach. City Fire Chief Rob Murphy told the Newport City Council Tuesday evening that the city’s emergency preparedness plan focuses on acquiring large shipping containers, placing them in strategic locations like on top of Safe Haven Hill and filling them with everything that earthquake survivors need: Food, emergency shelter tents, common drugs to prevent infections, lots of drinkable water and other emergency items.

Chief Murphy told the council that it’s clear to him that such “survival containers” should be placed in at least four other locations around Newport to enable survivors to endure the first couple of days after an earthquake and tsunami, and begin to make their way to bigger centers of refuge – like at Oregon Coast Community College and areas north of the bridge. Chief Murphy says he’s looking for ways to acquire more steel containers in which to place survival goods to keep everyone alive and healthy until further help can arrive from areas beyond Oregon by air and by sea.

The City Council also learned that the recent “Vision 2040” project is still ongoing – the next step involving more outreach into the community to add to the pile of opinions and other data provided by a heavy weekend of community-wide input on what they would like Newport to become by 2040. Many groups and organizations that didn’t participate in the inaugural launch of the project will be asked to submit their ideas by clicking on this link:

The City Council bit the bullet on John Moore Road and approved some storm water improvements so that heavy rainwater stops inundating The Embarcadero as it flows off of Highway 20, down John Moore Road and into the resort’s parking lots. Work on the improvements should begin by late Spring which will direct storm water straight to Yaquina Bay without historical flood patterns.

And as usual, anything connected with recently “elected” President Donald Trump has agitated city halls all over the country – including communities in Oregon. As it turns out, Oregon is a state legislatively proclaimed “Sanctuary State” when it comes to immigrants – immigrants either here legally or otherwise. But Newport City Councilors want the world to know that they want the world to know that Newport is not only in a Sanctuary State, a Sanctuary County, but also is, itself, a Sanctuary City. However the council wasn’t quite prepared to write the formal language that would go with such a declaration. So they carried the issue over to the next meeting – which is only two weeks away.

 Posted by at 2:48 AM

Community Emergency Response Team is looking for caring and committed volunteers

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Feb 222017

The Central Coast Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) latest training classes begins Tuesday March 7, at 5:30 PM. The CERT program goals are to promote emergency preparedness, develop skills to respond to and cope with the aftermath of a disaster, and develop neighborhood self-sufficiency before, during and after a natural or man-made disaster. Topics taught and completed by the participants include:

* Disaster preparedness
* Disaster fire suppression
* Disaster medical operations
* Light search and rescue
* Terrorism
* Disaster psychology
* CERT organization, and
* The final drill.

CERT graduates have the knowledge, skills, and abilities to not only help their family be better prepared for emergencies, but to assist their neighborhood in becoming better prepared to take action when Newport is threatened by a major emergency or disaster.

Members will maintain and refine their skills by participating in exercises and activities. They can attend supplemental training opportunities offered by the Newport Fire and Rescue, Lincoln County Emergency Services Department, and the Newport Police Department.

There are CERT opportunities available in other areas of Lincoln County with teams in Lincoln City, Toledo, and one is forming in Siletz as well.

Citizens interested in future CERT training courses may by calling Melanie Nelson at 541-265-9461.

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 Posted by at 12:05 AM

Grandparents Can Help Bridge the College Cost Gap

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Feb 212017

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Duane J. Silbernagel
Financial Advisor
Waddell & Reed

Grandparents Can Help Bridge the College Cost Gap
Provided By: Duane J. Silbernagel

Sponsored Material

For many families, a college education is a significant financial burden that is increasingly hard to meet with savings, current income, and a manageable amount of loans. For some, the ace in the hole might be grandparents, whose added funds can help bridge the gap. If you’re a grandparent who would like to help fund your grandchild’s college education, here are some strategies.

529 college savings plan

A 529 college savings plan is one of the best vehicles for multigenerational college funding. 529 plans are offered by states and managed by financial institutions. Grandparents can open a 529 account on their own — either with their own state’s plan or another state’s plan — and name their grandchild as beneficiary (one grandchild per account), or they can contribute to an existing 529 account that has already been established for that grandchild (for example, by a parent).

Once a 529 account is open, grandparents can contribute as much or as little as they want, subject to the individual plan’s lifetime limits, which are typically $300,000 and up. Grandparents can set up automatic monthly contributions or they can gift a larger lump sum — a scenario where 529 plans really shine.

Contributions to a 529 plan accumulate tax deferred (which means no taxes are due on any earnings made along the way), and earnings are completely tax-free at the federal level (and typically at the state level) if account funds are used to pay the beneficiary’s qualified education expenses. (However, the earnings portion of any withdrawal used for a non-education purpose is subject to income tax and a 10% penalty.)

Under rules unique to 529 plans, individuals can make a lump-sum gift of up to $70,000 ($140,000 for joint gifts by a married couple) and avoid federal gift tax by making a special election on their tax return to treat the gift as if it were made in equal installments over a five-year period. After five years, another lump-sum gift can be made using the same technique. This strategy offers two advantages: The money is considered removed from the grandparents’ estate (unless a grandparent were to die during the five-year period, in which case a portion of the gift would be recaptured), but grandparents still retain control over their contribution and can withdraw part or all of it for an unexpected financial need (the earnings portion of such a withdrawal would be subject to income tax and a 10% penalty, though).

What happens at college time if a grandchild gets a scholarship? Grandparents can seamlessly change the beneficiary of the 529 account to another grandchild, or they can make a penalty-free withdrawal from the account up to the amount of the scholarship (though they would still owe income tax on the earnings portion of this withdrawal).

Finally, a word about financial aid. Under current federal financial aid rules, a grandparent-owned 529 account is not counted as a parent or student asset, but withdrawals from a grandparent-owned 529 account are counted as student income in the following academic year, which can decrease the grandchild’s eligibility for financial aid in that year by up to 50%. By contrast, parent-owned 529 accounts are counted as parent assets up front, but withdrawals are not counted as student income — a more favorable treatment.

Outright cash gifts

Another option for grandparents is to make an outright gift of cash or securities to their grandchild or his or her parent. To help reduce any potential gift tax implications, grandparents should keep their gift under the annual federal gift tax exclusion amount — $14,000 for individual gifts or $28,000 for joint gifts. Otherwise, a larger gift may be subject to federal gift tax and, for a gift made to a grandchild, federal generation-skipping transfer tax, which is a tax on gifts made to a person who is more than one generation below you.

An outright cash gift to a grandchild or a grandchild’s parent will be considered an asset for financial aid purposes. Under the federal aid formula, students must contribute 20% of their assets each year toward college costs, and parents must contribute 5.6% of their assets.

Pay tuition directly to the college

For grandparents who are considering making an outright cash gift, another option is to bypass grandchildren and pay the college directly. Under federal law, tuition payments made directly to a college aren’t considered taxable gifts, no matter how large the payment. This rule is beneficial considering that tuition at many private colleges is now over $40,000 per year. Only tuition qualifies for this federal gift tax exclusion; room and board aren’t eligible.

Aside from the benefit of being able to make larger tax-free gifts, paying tuition directly to the college ensures that your money will be used for education purposes. However, a direct tuition payment might prompt a college to reduce any potential grant award in your grandchild’s financial aid package, so make sure to ask the college about the financial aid impact of your gift.

I hope you found this beneficial and informational. For more information about me and my services, visit my website: or just click here.
Thank you for your interest.

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 Posted by at 5:21 PM

Oregon Sec. of State: Voter fraud not a problem in Oregon

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Feb 212017

Dennis Richardson
Oergon Sec. of State

Amidst a wide ranging series of accusations from President Donald Trump of voter fraud nationwide, Oregon Secretary of State Bill Richardson has fired off a letter to the White House to inform Trump that voter fraud is not happening in Oregon.

Here’s the story in The Oregonian. Click here.

 Posted by at 8:47 AM