Seal pup enters the World below Yaquina Head Lighthouse

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May 082015

Seal pup enters the World below Yaqina Head Lighthouse.  First thing it sees is Mom.

Seal pup enters the World below Yaqina Head Lighthouse. First thing it sees is Mom.

Mom touches her baby for the first time.

Mom touches her baby for the first time.
Bill Posner photos

"Mom!  Take me swimming!

“Mom! Take me swimming!”

First swim riding on Mom

First swim riding on Mom

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 Posted by at 11:50 PM

High speed pursuit south on 101 heading to Yachats

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May 082015

7pm-Lincoln County in pursuit of vehicle south of Waldport.

7:08pm- After chasing for almost 15 miles they terminated…too risky to the public. They have confirmed who he is. They’ll get him later.

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 Posted by at 7:08 PM

Taking the “Easter Egg Hunt” out of rescuing those in distress

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May 082015
Making it easier for 911 to dispatch emergency responders to where they're needed.

Making it easier for 911 dispatchers to more quickly direct emergency responders to where they’re needed.

Ask any first responder what it’s like trying to quickly track down someone in distress, either on the beach or offshore, as reported by a 911 caller as to where they are.

“Easter Egg Hunt” is frequently the response.

The Oregon Coast is vast and confusing. Uninterrupted beauty scrambles people’s recollection of how close they are to anything. So when the call to 911 comes in and the dispatcher asks the reporting party where they are, that’s when the Easter Egg Hunt begins.

Fortunately Oregon Coast first responders are a very bright bunch who know their particular stretch of beach jurisdiction very well. Yachat’s Fire Chief Frankie Petrick rises to the top on that list. But even Chief Petrick can come up with multiple locations for where the distressed person is – even with the caller giving very specific descriptions of their immediate surroundings. So much of it is the same all up and down the coast. Beach, trees, ocean, rocks, Highway 101.

So Oregon Parks and Recreation is putting up bright yellow signs near recreational areas along Highway 101 with big numbers indicating what milepost on 101 the caller is standing near. And even though the out-of-state tourist may not know what the sign means, all the dispatcher has to ask – what is written on the big yellow sign?

The 200 signs are placed near Beach Access pathways and trails. Signs are closer together in cities but farther apart in more rural areas. They can also be more frequent in areas where beach access points are more numerous.

But there are no signs from Florence to Coos Bay. At least not yet. The U.S. Forest Service has issues with archaeologically significant areas. State Parks and Recreation says they’re working out the details that should produce signage that meets the Forest Service’s requirements.

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 Posted by at 3:27 PM

More on yesterday’s school lock-downs in Lincoln City

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May 082015

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From Lincoln County School District –

All Lincoln City Schools (Taft Elementary, Oceanlake Elementary and Taft High) were locked down Thursday afternoon, May 7th due to a threat of harm that was phoned into Taft Elementary School.

When the call was received, staff immediately notified 911 and simultaneously implemented lockdown procedures. All outdoor activities were immediately brought inside, all doors and windows were closed and locked, and all students and staff were on the floor and quiet; everyone was accounted for.

The Lincoln City Police Department quickly responded and provided direction and support to all of the Lincoln City schools. The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office and Oregon State Police also provided assistance as the police worked to secure campuses and give the all clear to release students.

Several mass phone calls were sent out to parents, guardians and emergency contacts to update them of the situation as the event unfolded.

Oceanlake Elementary was cleared for student release first, followed by Taft High 7-12 School, and finally Taft Elementary School. We are very appreciative of everyone’s patience as we worked to safely release students to their parents and guardians. Though buses were late (especially for Taft Elementary students), we are grateful for parents’ understanding as we managed this very unusual situation.

We are proud of our students and staff for taking safety seriously at all of our schools, for practicing their drills regularly, and for demonstrating their ability to put those emergency protocols into action.

We are also thankful for our incredible law enforcement partners who came out in force to safeguard all three of our Lincoln City schools.

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 Posted by at 2:46 PM

A big thank-you to OUR U.S. Coast Guard

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May 082015

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Coast Guard rescued "Max" after confusing clamming with bird retrieval.

Coast Guard rescued “Max” after confusing clamming with bird retrieval.

It all began when Lorrie Owens and her daughter went clamming yesterday on Yaquina Bay, just east of the Hatfield Marine Science Center. As they worked the delightfully low “low tide” for clams, their English Pointer “bird dog” Max spotted a lame seagull on some rocks and did what bird dogs do. Max “soft-mouthed” scooped up the bird and began bringing it back to Lorrie.

The bird quite understandably protested and managed to wiggle free from Max’s soft-mouth hold. The bird took off the best it could, but being lame, couldn’t swim fast so Max easily re-retrieved it, but after several escapes and re-retrievals, both Max and the bird got caught in the incoming tide. Soon they were out in the middle of channel passing the Embarcadero, then the International Terminal.

Lorrie had forgotten to bring her cell phone so she couldn’t call the Coast Guard but many others, who quickly figured out what was happening, did call them.

Then suddenly a paddle-boarder showed up and quickly launched and took off after Max. He pulled alongside the dog just as the Coast Guard arrived. The Guardians of the Coast quickly had a shivering Max aboard their motorlifeboat and told paddle-boarder Jason Abner they’d monitor his return to the beach.

A little later, a very grateful Lorrie and her daughter were re-united with Max back at the Coast Guard Station. She thanked the crew that helped to save her dog and for intervening to assist Mr. Abner.

A big community thank-you to the Coast Guard as well.

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 Posted by at 12:01 PM

Yachats: Traffic crash just north of town

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May 082015

11:43am- Yachats Fire Rescue is enroute to a report of a traffic crash on Hwy 101 at King Street just north of town. Watch for emergency vehicles. Northbound lane is blocked. Watch for flaggers.

11:45am- Three vehicle traffic crash involving a fire department vehicle.

11:48am- All those involved are out and walking around. Appears to be non-injury. OSP is enroute to investigate and do the paperwork.

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 Posted by at 11:45 AM

Power outage: Gleneden Beach area – nearly 1400 homes affected

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May 082015

pacific power

Pacific Power says it may take until 3pm this afternoon to repair/replace some equipment that failed at 7am throwing nearly 1,400 homes off the grid. They said they’re grateful for customer patience. They’re working as fast as they can to restore power.

Typically Pacific Power offers worst case scenario on how long repairs take, so if experience is any indication the power may come back on as early as 1pm. But that’s just a dart at the target.

 Posted by at 10:59 AM

Weather or Not: Throngs in Thongs

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May 082015

Chris Burns Weather

Friday, May 8th – Lincoln County

Summary: The breeze was down slightly yesterday, but not by much as afternoon/evening northerlies gusted into the 30s. Skies were mostly sunny, though a few cotton-ball clouds developed again right around sunset. High temperatures for the day came in on target between 55-60F. The wind machine was switched off by midnight and it was calm most of the night allowing some beach haze and patchy fog to develop just before dawn. This morning, clear skies above were undercut by patchy fog, lowering visibility down to a half mile in spots.

Past 24 Hours High/Low/Gust…
Lincoln City: 61F/47F/33mph
Depoe Bay: 57F/43F/27mph
Newport: 57F/41F/30mph
Waldport: 56F/43F/28mph
Yachats: 57F/44F/25mph

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Forecast: We’ll probably see a throng of visitors in shorts and flip-flops this weekend, especially tomorrow, when Valley temperatures make a run for the mid-80s while the Central Coast enjoys nearly ideal beach conditions. Today, abundant sunshine WON SUNNYis in the cards, highs of 60F or a little better, and northwest winds 10-15 mph gusting 20. Patchy fog, partly cloudy and lows of 45F are expected tonight. Tomorrow, while the Valley sweats, we should be mostly sunny with highs of 60-65F and light northwest winds. Outlook is for a change on Sunday when a minor weather front slides in bringing clouds and a chance of drizzle or showers. Unsettled conditions are predicted through Thursday with showers, sunbreaks and fairly light winds. Temperatures during the period are projected to be slightly below normal with highs of 50-55F and lows of 45F.

Surface Rescue

Call or email George today!

Travel: In the Coast Range today, sunny with 70-75F. Valley destinations are expecting sunshine and highs of 75-80F. The Columbia River Gorge forecast calls for sunny skies, light east wind, temps around 80F. For the Cascades, there is bare pavement on the passes this morning, temperatures are 35-45F; sunny with the free air freezing level at 9,000 feet. Outlook for weekend travelers is dry pavement until a chance of showers develops Sunday and Sunday night; the freezing level remains above 7,500 feet so the mountain highways should not be a problem.

Cascades Snow Pack: Currently 30”; a loss of 2” since yesterday; an overall loss of 6” in the past seven days; 86” less than this date last year; 91% below the 30-year average Snow Water Equivalent (total amount of moisture in the snow pack).

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Marine: Seas are lumpy 5 footers at 6 seconds with winds 15-20 knots out of the NNE this morning. Northerlies 15-20 WON MARINE WXknots gusting 25 are expected today with 4-5 foot windwaves overpowering a 3 foot swell. The breeze eases tonight to N 10-15 knots gusting 20 and seas 4 feet. Tomorrow, N winds 10-15 knots with 3 foot swells at 9 seconds. Outlook is for northerlies 10-20 knots Sunday through Tuesday with mixed swells/windwaves 4-5 feet. Always check the latest Bar Reports before you venture offshore.

On the Beach… Sunny, breezy, surf 3-4 feet (low).
* For a safe and enjoyable time on the Central Coast, the Oregon Parks & Recreation Department offers these Beach Safety Tips.
* Tides
05/08 Fri 10:04 AM -0.78 L
05/08 Fri 04:55 PM 6.51 H
05/08 Fri 10:00 PM 3.08 L
05/09 Sat 03:52 AM 7.68 H

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In Short: Clear and windy, then clouds and showers.

 Posted by at 7:39 AM