Apr 202015
Sacred Heart Church 9th and 101 Fire put itself out

Sacred Heart Church
9th and 101
Fire put itself out

Newport Firefighters were called to Sacred Heart Catholic Church on North 101 in Newport Monday at noon. A church worker went upstairs to check something and ran in to a room full of smoke. They called the fire department which is less than a block away. Firefighters rushed upstairs to find that the fire was already out.

But the occupants hadn’t put it out. It put itself out.

Fire Chief Rob Murphy said these kinds of fires happen – but not often. He said investigators found a puddle of candle wax on top of a table that had been a tall barrel-type candle last Wednesday when it was lit during a religious activity.

Chief Murphy said it seems like everyone left the room last Wednesday evening not realizing the flame had burned its way down deep inside the barrel candle where it couldn’t be seen.

Chief Murphy then surmised that the entire candle melted, creating drops of hot liquid that spilled over the side of the table, dripped onto two small white eraser boards underneath which began to smolder. They did burn, but very slowly. After an unknown amount of time the smolderings burned out, leaving a noticeable amount of smoke inside the room. The residual smoke was what the worker Monday morning ran into when she went upstairs.

Mess cleaned up. Case closed – except for a slight addition to the instructions when leaving the church at night. Turn off the lights AND blow out all candles before leaving the building.

 Posted by at 6:05 PM
Apr 202015




Find out how the Oregon Beach Monitoring Program, Surfrider’s Newport and Siuslaw Chapters’ Blue Water Task Force (BWTF) monitoring programs and local knowledge is being used in DEQ’s Midcoast Water Quality Management process. For over ten years Surfrider volunteers along the central coast of Oregon have been taking samples and continuously raising funds for their ongoing water quality testing program. These efforts have not only provided important information to recreational users, the local communities and visitors, but will also help inform management plans required by the EPA to address beaches with chronic bacteria problems. Now that’s citizen science at it’s finest! Help bring together local knowledge and shared data from Surfrider and Oregon’s Beach Monitoring Program and learn about DEQ’s online mapping tool to support integrating these partner efforts. Drinks and snacks will be provided. Please RSVP for this event online at http://tinyurl.com/beachworkshop.

Charlie Plybon – Oregon Policy Manager, Surfrider Foundation

Kevin Brannan – Natural Resource Specialist, Oregon Department of Environmental Quality

Tim Gross, Public Works Director, City of Newport

 Posted by at 4:07 PM
Apr 202015

3:41pm- A car traveling northbound on 101 at SW 68th in South Beach has left the road, overturned and landed up-side-down in a 25 foot deep ravine.

3:45pm- Newport Fire-Rescue reports they’re trying to get the lone driver out and walk him back up to the road.

3:50pm- Driver is refusing medical treatment – appears to be okay.

4:00pm- Driver was eventually transported to PCH anyway. OSP was interviewing him about what happened.

Citizen photos: Email to: Dave@NewsLincolnCounty.com

 Posted by at 3:46 PM
Apr 202015

Doug Nebert's RV-10  after nose-in crash Courtesy photo

Doug Nebert’s RV-10
after nose-in crash
Courtesy photo

Doug Nebert taking off from Newport Airport in his RV-10

Doug Nebert taking off from Newport Airport in his RV-10

Recent Memorial for Doug Nebert and his granddaughter at the Newport Airport

Recent Memorial for Doug Nebert and his granddaughter at the Newport Airport

nebert doug plaque

Newport pilot Doug Nebert has been blamed for the crash of his RV-10 private aircraft at the GP Mill in Toledo last May, a crash that took his life and the life of his 4 year old granddaughter, as well as causing serious injuries to his daughter.

The following is the complete report from the National Transportation Safety Board that did extensive interviews with witnesses and co-workers and associates at the Newport Airport.

Doug Nebert, who was also the builder of the experimental kit airplane, departed for a cross-country flight from his home airport. Nebert’s daughter reported that, following a normal departure, the airplane continued the takeoff climb through some cloud wisps and ascended above a lower cloud cover with an overcast layer above. She said suddenly, the engine experienced a total loss of power. The pilot maneuvered the airplane toward the closest airport, but, when he realized that the airplane would not be able to glide to the airport, he tried to make an off-airport landing. The airplane stalled and then plunged toward the ground in an open area of the Georgia Pacific Paper Mill. Ground scar analysis and wreckage fragmentation revealed that the airplane descended in a steep, near-vertical, nose-down, left-wing-down attitude before it hit the ground.

Nebert had installed a fuel flow transducer about 2 to 3 weeks before the accident and used heavy applications of room temperature vulcanization (RTV) silicone to seal the fuel lines. A friend of the pilot, who was also a mechanic, reported that he had observed the pilot about a year earlier using heavy applications of RTV silicone to seal parts during a condition inspection and that he had mentioned to the pilot that this was an improper practice. A bead of RTV silicone was found in the fuel line, and it is likely that it blocked the inlet of the transducer and starved the engine of fuel. Additionally, after to the loss of engine power, the pilot failed to maintain sufficient airspeed while maneuvering to locate a suitable off-airport landing site and flew the airplane beyond its ability to stay airborne, which resulted in a stall and loss of airplane control.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:

A total loss of engine power due to fuel starvation because of a blocked fuel line that resulted from the pilot’s improper maintenance practices and the pilot’s subsequent failure to maintain adequate airspeed while attempting a forced landing, which led to the airplane exceeding its critical angle-of-attack and experiencing an aerodynamic stall.

 Posted by at 2:39 PM
Apr 202015
Coast Guard helo Courtesy photo

Coast Guard helo
Courtesy photo

A federal judge in Eugene Monday morning listened to both sides in the legal battle between Fishermen’s Wives and the Coast Guard and will take up to two weeks to decide whether the Wive’s case against the Coast Guard should be cancelled or simply put on the shelf, ready to re-activate if the Coast Guard tries again to close the Newport Helicopter base.

Wive’s attorney Michael Haglund argued that the Coast Guard has shown no sign that it intends to back away from the closure, effective the first of the year, in that the closure remains a line-item in the Coast Guard’s national budget for 2016. The Coast Guard disagreed, claiming that the 2016 budget is a mere “carry forward” copy of the 2014 budget because of federal budget issues in Washington DC. The Congress recently banned the closure of the base until the first of the year to give time for an investigation to shed more light on the situation.

Haglund argued that there is a legally compelling reason to keep the Wive’s case active in that it’s still not clear what the Coast Guard’s intentions really are. He told the judge, per court policy, that as long as it doesn’t cost the court or those filing the case any money, the court should rule keeping the case ready in the wings is reasonable. Haglund also cited a couple of recent court cases where federal judges held cases in abeyance until further developments had time to play out rather than wiping the slate clean and making both sides have to start from scratch – something that would be an extreme hardship on Fishermen’s Wives and others.

Haglund, along with Lincoln County Counsel Wayne Belmont and Commissioner Terry Thompson all indicated that they are optimistic the judge will keep the case temporarily on the shelf, but ready for re-activation should the Coast Guard move to close the Newport Helo base later this year.

The courtroom in Eugene this morning was filled with Newport area supporters of Fishermen’s Wives including local government officials along with police, fire and search and rescue personnel who have argued that keeping the Newport Coast Guard helo base open is a matter of life and death for members of the Oregon commercial, charter and recreation fishing fleets as well as for loggers high in the mountains and for hundreds of thousands of visitors to the coast every year who get into trouble while surfing, swimming, beachcombing and hiking. While the Coast Guard contends a two hour rescue response time by their helicopters based in Astoria and Coos Bay is reasonable, Fishermen’s Wives and others point to the fact that such long response times, especially in cases of fishing emergencies well offshore, frequently become body retrieval operations, not rescues.

 Posted by at 11:53 AM
Apr 202015
U.S. Supreme Court turns down latest, and likely last challenge to Oregon's 'Right to Marry' law.

U.S. Supreme Court turns down latest, and likely last challenge to Oregon’s ‘Right to Marry’ law.

The U.S. Supreme Court today refused to hear one last legal try by the National Organization for Marriage to overturn an Oregon federal judge’s ruling that gave same gender couples the legal right to marry in Oregon.

Jeff Mapes and The Oregonian has the details. Click here.

 Posted by at 11:33 AM
Apr 202015
Schools of Sardines off California and Oregon in better times.  Sardines numbers collapsing since 2007.

Schools of Sardines off California and Oregon in better times. Sardines numbers collapsing since 2007.
Wikipedia photo

Federal regulators have closed the rest of this year’s sardine season and will likely to keep it closed for a while.

The decision to end the sardine harvest is in response to dwindling stocks of the small, oily fish that figure prominently in the overall ocean food chain. Reports say that the sardine population has crashed more than 90 percent since 2007.

There are a number of theories about why the fish stocks have collapsed. Some say it’s due to overfishing. But a report by the Pew Charitable Trusts contends that the wide variations in the sardine population are normal and usually related to long and gradual shifts in ocean conditions.

Sardines are a key ingredient in the ocean food web. They’re forage for marine life along the U.S. west coast. So when sardines take a dive in numbers it can affect larger animals including whales, tuna, seals, sea lions and seabirds, which rely on sardines for basic food.

It was reported this year that all but a small number of sea lion pups died of starvation for lack of sardines to eat.

In the face of all this the Pacific Fishery Management Council has shut down the current sardine season for a year, which was due to begin again July 1st. And it could be longer according to industry experts.

Fishing for mackerel, anchovies and squid remains open. About 100 fishing boats along the west coast have permits to fish for sardines.

 Posted by at 11:23 AM
Apr 202015
F/V Scooter high and dry off the South Beach Fishing Dock

F/V Scooter high and dry off the South Beach Fishing Dock
Ed McVea photo

Looks like the captain of the Fishing Vessel Scooter lost his way this morning while trying to get out through the fog to the jetties and out to sea. When the fog cleared, it became obvious that he zigged when he should have zagged and is now grounded between the South Beach Marina west entrance jetty and the public fishing dock.

The Coast Guard says high tide is at 3pm, so between noon and 3pm the skipper should be able to get his boat off the bottom.

 Posted by at 10:49 AM