Federal investigation begins its rounds of “big banks”

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Dec 072010
 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Tuesday, December 7, 2010
U.S. Department of Justice

WASHINGTON – Bank of America entities have agreed to pay a total of $137.3 million in restitution to federal and state agencies for its participation in a conspiracy to rig bids in the municipal bond derivatives market and as a condition of its admission into the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Corporate Leniency Program, the Department of Justice announced today.

Bank of America entered into agreements with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the Office of the Comptroller of Currency (OCC), and 20 State Attorneys General. The global resolution with these federal and state entities provides for payment of restitution to the IRS and to municipalities harmed by Bank of America’s anticompetitive conduct in the municipal bond derivatives market. In a related matter, Bank of America entered into a written agreement with the Federal Reserve Board to address certain remedial measures.

According to agreements announced today, Bank of America employees engaged in illegal conduct, including bid rigging and other deceptive practices, in connection with the marketing and sale of tax-exempt municipal bond derivatives contracts. Continue reading »

Bank of America pays $67 million to Oregon to settle anti-trust claims

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Dec 072010
 

Provided by Oregon Attorney General John Kroger:

Attorney General John Kroger today announced a $67 million multi-state settlement that resolves allegations that Bank of America engaged in anti-competitive conduct that restrained competition in the $400 billion municipal bond derivative industry.

“Illegal conduct in the financial services industry helped cause the global recession that we’re only just beginning to emerge from,” said Keith Dubanevich, Chief of Staff and Special Counsel to Attorney General Kroger. “We need to take action against companies that break the law to ensure that history doesn’t repeat itself.” Continue reading »

Newport Chamber of Commerce update

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Dec 072010
 


December 9th Business After Hours – Hosted by Festival of Trees

The December 9th Business After Hours will be hosted by the Festival of Trees. Chamber Members & guests are invited to attend this complimentary networking and socializing event at the Best Western Agate Beach Inn from 5:15 – 7pm.

Young Professionals Lunch Mob – December 8th

Calling all ‘Yo-Pros!’ We have an upcoming Lunch Mob set for Noon, December 8th at Nana’s Irish Pub. We hope to see you all there to enjoy a great lunch, network and support a local business. For more details, call the Chamber office @ (541) 265-8801.

Slight change in LC Schools bad weather “make up” days.

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Dec 072010
 

Lincoln County school students missed November 23rd due to a cold snap that iced up the streets. Originally the district thought the best way to make up the missed day was to hold school during one of the “Spring Break” days.

Well, district officials have changed their mind. They going to leave “Spring Break” alone. They’re now saying that Monday, April 25th will be the make up day for losing November 23rd. If it becomes necessary to make up additional days of school lost to bad weather, those days will be made up in this order: March 28, May 2, 9, 16, and 23; and, if necessary, March 29.

The Lincoln County School District master calendar now reflects the adjustment.

Waldport SUV driver leaves the road, slams into a house.

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Dec 072010
 

Crestline Drive, Waldport, Monday

Update: Tuesday, 3:15pm
Driver of the SUV is identified as James Stewart of, 75, of Tidewater. He was transported by ambulance to PCH. Later he was transported to Good Samaritan Hospital in Corvallis. Stewart is listed there in critical condition.

What was described as an “older man” drove his SUV off of Crestline Drive in Waldport early Monday evening. Witnesses say he drifted off the road, drove over a home’s front yard, took out a road sign, plowed through landscaping at another home and then through a thick hedge before hitting the north end of 1365 Crestline. No one inside the house was injured.

The occupants of the home and witnesses rushed to the driver’s aid, finding him unconscious and not breathing. They attempted CPR with mixed results. Arriving paramedics from Central Coast Fire Paramedics quickly loaded him aboard an ambulance and sped off “code 3” to PCH in Newport, working on the victim the whole way. There was no immediate word on his condition.

Officers on scene said it was not possible to know if the man suffered a heart attack before, during or after the accident.

Newport Walmart is going MONDO!

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Dec 062010
 

Newport City Manager Jim Voetberg let “Wally World” out of the bag Monday night by announcing that the long expected expansion of the Newport Walmart is now starting to happen. Voetberg and Community Development Director Derrick Tokos confirmed that Walmart has applied for building permits to expand their long outdated Walmart facility at the north end of town by another 20,000 square feet.

They said Walmart will expand their store into a “Super Walmart” which usually includes greatly expanded departments and merchandise selection, along with a fully stocked grocery store. Walmart is also expected to move the building’s main entrance more to the west which they say will make access to their new building more convenient for customers.

The expansion will also allow easier access for delivery trucks to drop off their loads of new merchandise. Tokos said it appears construction will take place around their existing store which will stay open during the expansion. Construction would be expected to continue into the summer with completion by Fall which would ensure they capture next winter’s Thanksgiving and Christmas shopping seasons.

“Current” Newport City Council “punts” geological hazard issue into next year and to the “new” council.

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Dec 062010
 

Newport City Councilors Monday night referred the “coastal bluff geologic hazard” controversy back to the City Planning Commission. Councilors said it was to give the commission another review of the issue because there was something new that cropped up in front of the city council that the commission hadn’t been exposed to. And that was the State Board of Geological Examiners saying the planning commission’s recommendation that “moderate” risk lots be subjected to lower cost “cursory” geologic reviews is inappropriate. The chairman of the examiners board told the council that “moderate” lots must to be subjected to the same detailed (and more expensive) full geological investigations as required for active or high risk lots. Continue reading »

Newport City Council heeds the battle cry “Ban the Bag!”

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Dec 062010
 

Newport City Councilors were confronted by a small (friendly) army of anti-plastic baggers, all wearing t-shirts with “Ban the Bag” stenciled on them. From teen-agers to grey beards they jointly lobbied the council to pass a resolution in support of proposed state legislation that will ban the use of plastic grocery bags.

They say the bags are polluting the earth, including local landfills. They harm sea life and are a waste of petroleum resources.

The Council agreed with them, and gave their official endorsement of the anti-plastic-bag bill that is expected to be
introduced after the first of the year. Paper bags are expected to make a come back, along with more permanent shopping bags made of cloth or other durable materials.

Newport City Council votes to give new owners of La Maison a liquor license over objections by Police Chief Mark Miranda.

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Dec 062010
 

La Maison, Newport

Although Newport Police Chief Mark Miranda reported that the new owners of La Maison restaurant had too many brushes with the law to be recommended for a liquor license, the city council, after hearing pleas from the new owner Kate Brown along with patrons and friends that Kate and her husband be given “a second chance,” the council relented and voted to ask the State Liquor Control Commission issue them one. Councilor Terry Obteshka added that he wants the Browns to pay all delinquent traffic tickets during the coming year. Continue reading »

Newport City Council endorses plan to make finding parking downtown easier.

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Dec 062010
 

Although a number of City Center area business owners said they want no part of it, Newport City Councilors heard support from many more and decided to give a new parking plan a chance to succeed. The council voted to levy a $35 surcharge on City Center area business licenses to create a fund to better manage parking the area already has.

The $3,000 a year City Center parking fund will erect signs that point the way to nearby parking lots. It will also pay to install new parking signs on main throughways, along with new paint on curbs and striping on asphalt. Continue reading »

Car vs. House on Crestline in Waldport – Possible fatal in the SUV.

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Dec 062010
 

A car has left Crestline and drove into the front livingroom of 1365 Crestline, Waldport. The driver is not conscious, not breathing. CPR in progress.

5:35pm
Driver transported code three to PCH with paramedics working on him. Said to be “older” male.

No one in the house injured. SUV took out a street sign, landscaping at 3645 Crestline, went through hedges at 1465 Crestline, and hit the north end of the house.

If witnesses won’t talk, there’s not much the DA can do but dismiss the case.

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Dec 062010
 

The Lincoln County District Attorney’s Office has released an Otis woman who had been charged with stealing approximately $10,000 from a family-related bank account. Kathleen Multanen was released from custody after the District Attorney’s office learned they couldn’t get the evidence from those making the allegations. And without the evidence the Grand Jury couldn’t hear the case. Chief Deputy DA Marcia Buckley said if no evidence is presented, there can be no determination of any facts in the case. And without facts, there’s no reason to be in court.

The Lincoln County Jail has confirmed that Kathleen Multanen is no longer being held there.

Does your fireplace just smolder instead of keeping you warm?

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Dec 062010
 

On those dark rainy nights that make Oregon such a glorious emerald Avatar-land, do you sometimes throw logs on the fire only to see them generate lots more smoke than fire? Well…you’re not alone as you can see in this article in the Coos Bay World…

http://www.theworldlink.com/news/local/article_276fcbea-2c60-5e36-956b-6c34dfbf8149.html

UO’s “On the Rocks” tonight on NBC. The “other” national championship.

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Dec 062010
 

Although they call themselves “a buncha goofballs,” NBC doesn’t seem to think so. University of Oregon’s “On the Rocks,” made up of singing A Capella students, will appear on NBC’s “Sing Off” tonight on KGW-TV, Channel 8. The competition is stiff, according to the UO Friday-afternoon-in-the-quad-performers. The story is in the Register Guard.

http://www.registerguard.com/csp/cms/sites/web/news/cityregion/25618300-41/group-cappella-nbc-rocks-sing.csp

Good progress at extending unemployment for millions of out-of-work Americans

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Dec 052010
 

It appears that Washington is starting to understand the magnitude of the need of millions of American who are out of work and near destitute through no fault of their own. A compromise appeared to be emerging in the U.S. Senate that would extend tax cuts for the super-rich to two years, as long as the cost of the one year extension is eventually made up in federal spending cuts elsewhere.

The story is in the Oregonian:

http://www.oregonlive.com/news/index.ssf/2010/12/after_the_tax_fight_democrats.html

Over 100 Newport area people put their money where their heart is, for Jessica Knight.

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Dec 052010
 


(Click image to play video)

Cafe Mundo in Nye Beach was alive with friends of Jessica Knight, who is battling Melanoma at a Bay Area hospital. They brought their love, their good wishes and their wallets to help her fight the disease that has separated Jessica from the area and the people she loves.

Sparks and flame coming from power pole on Stormwatch Road

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Dec 052010
 

8:45pm, Sunday
Yachats Fire Units are enroute to a power pole fire that has been sending sparks and flames out to where it has ignited a tree and some surrounding brush at 5341 Stormwatch Road. Caller says the fire has begun to die down.

Newport Fire enroute to Calvary Baptist Church on SW Alder

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Dec 052010
 

5:05pm
Reports say the back door to the Calvary Baptist Church is open by the soup kitchen, and that there is smell of natural gas. Units on scene.

5:25PM
Emergency crews converged at the church. Went inside. They reported no smell of natural gas. Searched area. Nothing found. Locked the door and departed.

Ring through the Christmas Season and into the New Year with Yachats Village Ringers!

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Dec 052010
 

The Yachats Village Ringers present their fourth annual holiday concert, “Let There Be Peace.” Featuring carols from various countries and cultures as well as traditional favorites, the program will be presented on Friday, December 17, 7:00 PM at the Yachats Commons, 441 Highway 101 in Yachats.

This year’s special guests include Doc Slyter, Cultural Committee Chair and Tribal Flutist of the Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umqua and Siuslaw Indians; and Rob Gándara, Irish Flutist who is a member of Ordinance, a group that specializes in performing traditional Celtic melodies. Local artists, Mindy Simon, viola and Will Williams, percussion will also perform with the Handbell ensemble.

The Yachats Village Ringers consists of eleven ringers performing on three octaves of English Handbells and Handchimes. Cheryl Waide is the director.

Admission is by donation and proceeds will go to the Confederated Tribes Cultural Fund. Refreshments and Holiday Gift Baskets (for purchase) will be provided by the Yachats Ladies Club. For more information, call 541-547-4821 or email: jckraft@pioneer.net.

A “Sea of Lights” at the Oregon Coast Aquarium

 Oregon Coast Aquarium, Special Events  Comments Off on A “Sea of Lights” at the Oregon Coast Aquarium
Dec 042010
 


(Click image to play video)

Schools and schools of humans swam through the gates and around the exhibits at the Oregon Coast Aquarium’s “Sea of Lights” Friday and Saturday evenings. A few bucks or some canned food for Food Share was all that was needed to get in to enjoy a little bit of a seagoing Christmas. Here’s a sample of what the families enjoyed.