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Lincoln City biking and walking lanes on the horizon??

 Daily News  Comments Off on Lincoln City biking and walking lanes on the horizon??
Jul 262011
 

Correction: City has received the planning grant.

When Lincoln City was combined many years ago, it was combined with a lot of smaller, but connected communities that had more than aging sewer and water systems. They had many narrow and sometimes very user-unfriendly streets for bicyclists and walkers. And they still have them today.

But the Community Development Department is taking the first step toward making all of Lincoln City just a little bit more accommodating for walkers and bicyclists. The city has received an ODOT grant to develop a bicycle and walking plan that will attempt to create easier and safer ways to navigate through Lincoln City, mainly north to south, as well as convenient routes for local residents who would like to reduce their carbon footprint and get in some good exercise.

City planning staff told the city council Monday night that the city has received the grant of $142,600 which will help pay for an inventory of strategic city streets that, with slight modifications, can help reduce the number cars on the road in favor of bicycles in bike lanes and streets that share the road with bicyclists and walkers.

Staff said they expect to hold a number of public meetings about possible bike and pedestrian accommodations for many streets around town. Again, the first step is to assemble a plan which will then create a push toward actually changing the look and feel of many Lincoln City streets to make them more inviting for bicyclists and walkers. Staff says they would like to have the plan created in about a year. After that it’s all about available city funds and grants to make it all happen.

Lincoln City Public Works Director suggests new approach to fixing slumping roads.

 Roads/Highways  Comments Off on Lincoln City Public Works Director suggests new approach to fixing slumping roads.
Jul 262011
 

Slumping LC roads, top three. Below, examples of road fixes.

Lincoln City Public Works Director Lila Bradley presented a method of serious road repair that she thinks the city council should take a serious look at. It’s a method that combines regular shoring up of road bases but also with a reinforcing series of cemented-in steel inserts that keep the road stable. Bradley said that three local roads might be eligible for such a technology, including those pictured, SE 51st, SW Fleet and High School Drive. Bradley said she wanted the council to know that there are some new ways of fixing slumping roads, something that Oregon never seems to run out of. She said she would be back to the council in the near future with a series of recommendations on a number of road repairs that might include this new approach. She showed some examples (bottom six photos) in which the new road repair techniques have been applied elsewhere.

Frustration among Lincoln City city councilors over tourism money for non-profits

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Jul 262011
 

Lincoln City City Council

Frustration flared Monday night over whether the Lincoln City Visitors and Convention Bureau (VCB) has been properly awarding $75,000 every year in grants to local non-profits for tourist-related events and services. Lincoln City resident Jim Hoover told the council that the VCB has not been following guidelines as laid down by the city and that the award policy changes being proposed seem to legitimize the way that the VCB has been awarding those tourism grants all along.

It was pointed out that a recently announced public meeting to discuss grant award policies was pretty much a bust. No one from the public showed up. Some councilors wondered if proper notice had been made. VCB Director Sandy Pfaff said they ran notices in the newspaper, on the radio and on the city website. Still, no interest. So, Pfaff asked that her new guideline be adopted. But the council balked. They voted four to two to hold the matter over until the next council meeting during which the public can comment on the criteria by which grand awards are made. Those voting no were Gary Ellingsworth and Gordon Eggleton.

More Schooner Creek water main headaches for Lincoln City

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Jul 252011
 

Schooner Creek pipeline crossing, exposed

Lincoln City public works workers discovered another major problem with the town’s Schooner Creek pipeline. This time it was upstream from the landslide on Schooner Creek Road that nearly wiped out that section of the line altogether last January. They have discovered the pipe’s crossing of Schooner Creek itself, just northwest of the water treatment plant has lost its support system as it crosses Schooner Creek, leaving the pipe undercut and exposed. Public Works Director Lila Bradley told the city council Monday night that the pipe support was damaged probably by the same deluge of rain that fell in mid-January that caused the slump-out on the road.

Bradley said they can probably do some temporary fixes to the pipe supports but that a long term solution is necessary. And it’ll cost upwards of $175,000. City Manager David Hawker chimed in right behind Bradley saying….”and we don’t have the money. And we won’t for a couple of years.” Hawker said there are a number of funding arrangements that he’s looking into. However, FEMA is not expected to be one, although Hawker said he’ll give it a try. Hawker said it’ll probably come down to floating bonds based on water utility revenues. But first, some old bonds have to be retired which will happen in about two years. He said that the situation isn’t as dire as it would have been, had the city not just completed the new Drift Creek water line from the plant to Highway 101 as a back-up for Schooner Creek. He reminded the council that the Schooner Creek line will be down anyway for a while this fall when crews rebuild Schooner Creek Road at the slide.

Lincoln County sued by sexual harrassment victim over behavior by former deputy district attorney

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Jul 252011
 

Rand Overton, former deputy DA

A federal lawsuit has been filed against Lincoln County claiming that a former Lincoln County deputy DA was not properly supervised which gave him the opportunity to sexually harass a woman who was seeking an order for child support. Former deputy DA Rand Overton was fired from his job, convicted of official misconduct, sentenced to 30 days in jail and barred from ever working again as a government lawyer. Now the victim is suing Lincoln County claiming that her U.S. Constitutional right of equal protection under the law was violated; essentially a civil rights claim. She has also filed a similar claim against Overton, himself. No specified damages were included in the claims. That’s usually left up to a judge or jury.

Overton was acting on behalf of the woman as she sought enforcement of child support payments from her “ex.” Instead, she claims, Overton sexually harassed her, even using his office computer to e-mail pictures of “himself” to her. The woman’s attorney, Larry Linder of Eugene says her claim stems from either a lack of enforcement of established county codes of conduct or a possible lack of such policies. He says they haven’t sorted that out yet. Linder says he expects resolution of the case within a year to 18 months depending on how the case fares in the federal court in Eugene.

Prior to working for Lincoln County, Overton was a deputy DA in Jefferson and Coos counties.

Lincoln County District Attorney Rob Bovett said there would be no comment from his office since the litigation is pending.

Shawn Griep arraigned for Tanger Mall Kidnapping

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Jul 252011
 

Shawn Griep (Top), Judge Charles Littlehales (Middle)

Accused kidnapper and fugitive from California Shawn Griep was arraigned from the Lincoln County Jail this afternoon, saying only enough to confirm that he is the person named in the grand jury indictment stemming from the kidnapping and assault of a young Portland area woman July 3rd as she walked to her car in the garage of the Tanger Outlet Mall in Lincoln City. According to the complaint, Griep pulled a knife on the woman. Both got into her car and and Griep took over the driving. When they arrived in a remote area the woman managed to jump out of the car and run to a nearby house for help. There she called 9-1-1. Arriving police officers found her car but no sign of Griep. A major search operation ensued but they found no sign of him. The young woman was cut by Griep as she fled her car but her wound was not described as serious. Earlier in the day a man matching Griep’s description commandeered two employees at the Inn at Wecoma and temporarily had them confined to a room. But he suddenly turned and left the building. A short while later, the kidnapping occurred at the outlet mall.

On a tip, authorities were able to find Griep this past weekend living at a residence in Otis. They found him hiding in a closet. He surrendered without incident. Police say Griep is their prime suspect in the Inn at Wecoma incident and have forwarded their evidence against Griep with the Lincoln County Grand Jury. Those additional charges could be forthcoming at any time.

Judge Charles Littlehales set August 1st for Griep’s next court appearance which involves a preliminary hearing to determine whether he should be bound over for trial. Judge Littlehalesset Griep’s bail at $900,000.

Shoes Full of Sand and other poignant observations at being new to the coast.

 Daily News  Comments Off on Shoes Full of Sand and other poignant observations at being new to the coast.
Jul 252011
 

Sue Lick, and her new book

Provided by Sue Lick, South Beach Author, and longtime newspaper writer:

South Beach author publishes Shoes Full of Sand

What is it really like to move from Silicon Valley to the Oregon Coast? Author Sue Fagalde Lick shares tales of her transformation into an Oregonian in her new book Shoes Full of Sand. A memoir told in essays, the book explains why a couple doing just fine in San Jose would choose to relocate to Lincoln County and what it’s like to start over where you don’t know anyone.

It also addresses such gripping queries as where are a dog’s knees, how long does it have to rain before one should start building an ark, and does radiation treatment make a person glow in the dark.

Lick spent many years as a newspaper reporter and editor for community newspapers in California and Oregon. As a freelance writer, she has published three books on Portuguese Americans, Stories Grandma Never Told, The Iberian Americans, and Azorean Dreams, as well as a how-to book called Freelancing for Newspapers. She has taught writing classes at Oregon Coast and Chemeketa community colleges and is co-founder of the Oregon Coast branch of Willamette Writers. Her freelance articles have appeared in Oregon Coast, Oregon Business, Northwest Senior News, Seaport Magazine, The Oregonian, and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, among others.

Shoes Full of Sand can be purchased in paperback at local bookstores, online at Amazon.com or at www.suelick.com/Sand.html. It is also available as an e-book for Kindle and other formats. For more information or to schedule readings or book-signing events, contact Sue Fagalde Lick at (541) 867-4692 or suelick@charter.net.

Drug driven counterfeit check scheme broken up in Lincoln City – Two arrested

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Jul 252011
 


Ross Hayward (L), Michael Tatum (M), John Mendiola (R)

Provided by Oregon State Police

An interagency investigation into the cashing of counterfeit payroll checks at Chinook Winds Casino has led to the arrest of seven people on various charges in Lincoln County. Investigators estimate the counterfeit check operation netted more than $20,000, in large part related to the use and purchase of methamphetamine.

On July 17, 2011 the Lincoln City Police Department requested the help of the interagency Lincoln Interagency Narcotics Team (LINT) following the arrest of a 47-year old CLAUDIA STARKEY from Beaverton after she cashed a counterfeit payroll check at Chinook Winds Casino. The woman cashed one of several $2,000 plus forged checks that various persons started cashing at the casino starting mid-June. STARKEY was also in possession of a small quantity of methamphetamine.

With information developed during this initial investigation, LINT detectives and Lincoln City police officers identified several potential suspects including two men identified as MICHAEL JAMES TATUM, age 48, from Depoe Bay, and ROSS STANLEY HAYWARD, age 37, from Lincoln City. TATUM and HAYWARD were identified as the persons responsible for manufacturing counterfeit checks. The computer-generated counterfeit checks used information obtained by TATUM and HAYWARD through several mail thefts around the area.

On July 19, the ongoing investigation led LINT detectives, with the assistance of Lincoln City Police Department, Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, and a U.S. Postal Service Inspector, to execute the first of several search warrants. Investigators served the first search warrant at TATUM’s Depoe Bay residence located at 515 Melody Street where they found evidence of the check forging operation including computer equipment used to make the counterfeit checks, suspected stolen mail, and a quantity of methamphetamine.

Later that evening, detectives executed a second search warrant at 2530 NE 31st Street #15 in Lincoln City where HAYWARD and KELLI RUST, age 28, reside. Investigators located further evidence of the check forging operation, a large amount of cash, and a quantity of methamphetamine. A small child was removed from the home and taken into protective custody.

Up to this point in the investigation, TATUM and HAYWARD were arrested and lodged in the Lincoln County Jail on the following charges:

HAYWARD
* Theft in the First Degree (5 counts)
* Forgery in the First Degree (5 counts)
* Felony Criminal Conspiracy (2 counts)
* Unlawful Possession of a Controlled Substance – Methamphetamine

TATUM
* Theft in the First Degree (5 counts)
* Forgery in the First Degree (5 counts)
* Felony Criminal Conspiracy (2 counts)
* Unlawful Possession, Distribution and Manufacture of a Controlled Substance – Methamphetamine

A third search warrant was executed at a residence located at 4665 Johns Avenue in Neotsu. The investigation indicated HAYWARD had access to this residence to hide currency obtained from the counterfeit check operation. Detectives found a large amount of cash at this location.

As the investigation continued, detectives learned numerous people were “recruited” to cash the forged checks at Chinook Winds Casino. Each person was paid a portion of the money after the counterfeit checks were cashed.

On July 21, investigators and officers from LINT, Lincoln City Police Department and Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office arrested three more people allegedly involved in cashing counterfeit checks. JULIE ANN GILBERT, age 55, from Lincoln City; JOHN MICHAEL MENDIOLA, age 32, from Lincoln City; and, GINA ELAYNE MARION, age 40, from Lincoln City, were arrested for:

* Forgery in the First Degree
* Unlawful Possession of a Forged Instrument
* Theft in the First Degree

LINT and Lincoln City Police Department are continuing the investigation and anticipate more arrests.

The interagency LINT team is comprised of members from the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, Lincoln City Police Department, Oregon State Police, and the Lincoln County District Attorney’s Office.