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Sen. Wyden: America is suffering some growing pains…

Sen. Ron Wyden

Wyden, Colleagues Secure Investigation Into White Supremacy and Extremism in the Military

Investigation comes after letter from senators calling on DoD to address white supremacy and extremist ideology in the military following Capitol siege

“Extremist ideology threatens to compromise the unity and effectiveness of our Armed Forces, and in turn jeopardizes the national security of the United States.”

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden today announced the Department of Defense will heed the call from him and his colleagues and investigate and address white supremacy and extremist ideology in the ranks of the military following the attack on the U.S. Capitol. Several of the insurrectionists who attacked the Capitol have been identified as active duty servicemembers, reservists, retirees and veterans.

“The issue of white supremacy and extremist ideology within the ranks of our military is not new, but the attack on the Capitol makes clear this alarming trend must be immediately addressed,” Wyden and 13 other Democratic senators wrote in a letter to Department of Defense Acting Inspector General Sean O’Donnell. “The spread of white supremacist ideology is dangerous for the military and threatens to rupture civil-military safeguards that our democracy requires.”

A 2020 poll found that approximately one-third of all active-duty respondents said they saw “signs of white supremacist or racist ideology in the ranks” and research shows that right-wing extremists deliberately target servicemembers and veterans to capitalize on their specialized experience. Noting this extreme vulnerability, the senators pressed the Department of Defense to “support servicemembers when they transition out of the military so that our active duty and veteran populations are less vulnerable to recruitment by extremist organizations, and more resilient in the face of misinformation and conspiracy theories – the perpetuation of which the FBI has deemed a domestic terrorism threat.”

The letter, led by U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., was also signed by U.S. Sens. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Robert Menendez, D-N.J., Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., Mazie K. Hirono, D-Hawaii, Edward J. Markey, D-Mass., Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, Tammy Baldwin, D-Wisc., Chris Murphy, D-Conn., and Bob Casey, D-Pa.

A copy of the senators’ letter is available here.

A copy of DoD’s response is available here.

A web version of this release is available here.

Angry man with a machete…

Ronald Callihan, 60
Waving a machete

On January 17th, 2021 4:18pm the Newport Police Department was dispatched to the Newport Bay Motel, 754 SW Coast Highway, on the report of a male subject at the location assaulting another person with a machete.

Officers arrived and contacted Ronald Callihan, 66, of Newport, sitting in his vehicle. Investigation revealed that Callihan was staying at the motel and had prior issues with another tenant there. While the victim was in a common area working on their bicycle, Callihan approached the victim and began swinging a machete wildly at the victim. The victim attempted to get away, but was unable to and was struck in the arm with the machete. Callihan was yelling at the victim and continued to swing the machete at the victim, only stopping the assault when bystanders intervened.

Callihan admitted to the assault and was still very agitated when contacted by officers. He was placed into custody without incident and the machete was seized. The victim refused any medical treatment at the scene.

Callihan was taken into custody and lodged at the Lincoln County Jail for the following charges;

Callihan, Ronald, 66

Assault 2
Assault 4
Unlawful Use of a Weapon
Disorderly Conduct

Young woman throws a fit – Winds up in jail…



Location: 160 NW 25th Street, Walmart, Newport

Date/Time: January 17th, 2021 @ 1107 Hours

Sunday morning at 1107 Hours the Newport Police Department were dispatched to the Newport Walmart on the report of a female subject at the location attempting to assault a store employee with a baseball bat. An Oregon State Trooper was the first to arrive on scene and was able to intervene and stop the suspect.

Investigation revealed that Hannah Lettrell, 30, of McMinnville, had been in the store and had stolen some items. Lettrell had left the business with the stolen merchandise, but had returned a short time later. Walmart security had witnessed Lettrell return and confronted her about the earlier theft. This is when Lettrell brandished a baseball bat and charged at the Walmart security officer, swinging the bat at them and yelling profanities. The Walmart security officer was able to flee away from the suspect.

An Oregon State Trooper, who was in the area at the time, intervened and gave commands to Lettrell to drop the bat. Lettrell threw the bat, then proceeded to yell and scream at responders. She was taken into custody and lodged at the Lincoln County Jail for the following charges;

Hannah Lettrell, 30

  • Assault 2 – Attempted
  • Unlawful Use of a Weapon
  • Menacing
  • Disorderly Conduct
  • Theft 3

Oregon Death Toll from Covid-19 hits 1,800 souls…

Oregon reports 799 new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases, one new death

PORTLAND, Ore. — COVID-19 has claimed one more life in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll to 1,800 the Oregon Health Authority reported at 12:01 a.m. today.

Oregon Health Authority reported 799 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19 as of 12:01 a.m. today bringing the state total to 133,205.

Vaccinations in Oregon

Today, OHA reported that 15,784 new doses of COVID-19 vaccinations were added to the state immunization registry. Of this total, 12,781 vaccine doses were administered on Jan. 16.

Based on updated totals, OHA is meeting Gov. Kate Brown’s goal of ensuring 12,000 vaccinations a day. The Governor required the benchmark to be met by the end of the two-week period that began Jan. 4. Today we surpassed 200,000 doses of COVID vaccine administered to Oregonians.

Cumulative daily totals can take several days to finalize because providers have 72 hours to report doses administered and technical challenges have caused many providers to lag in their reporting. OHA has been providing technical support to vaccination sites to improve the timeliness of their data entry into the state’s ALERT Immunization Information System (IIS).

Oregon has now administered a cumulative total of 204,974 first and second doses of COVID-19 vaccines. All vaccinations were administered by Oregon hospitals, long-term care facilities, emergency medical service (EMS) agencies, urgent care facilities and Local Public Health Authorities (LPHAs).

To date, 335,075 doses of vaccine have been delivered to sites across Oregon.

These data are preliminary and subject to change. OHA’s dashboards provide regularly updated vaccination data and Oregon’s dashboard has been updated today.

COVID-19 hospitalizations

The number of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 across Oregon is 361, which is four fewer than yesterday. There are 95 COVID-19 patients in intensive care unit (ICU) beds, which is three more than yesterday.

The total number of patients in hospital beds may fluctuate between report times. The numbers do not reflect admissions per day, nor the length of hospital stay. Staffing limitations are not captured in this data and may further limit bed capacity.

More information about hospital capacity can be found here.

The new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases reported today are in the following counties: Baker (2), Benton (12), Clackamas (66), Clatsop (16), Columbia (10), Coos (5), Crook (6), Curry (6), Deschutes (46), Douglas (11), Gilliam (3), Harney (2), Hood River (3), Jackson (30), Jefferson (15), Josephine (30), Klamath (6), Lake (1), Lane (53), Lincoln (6), Linn (7), Malheur (7), Marion (86), Morrow (5), Multnomah (102), Polk (34), Tillamook (3), Umatilla (57), Union (10), Wasco (8), Washington (131), Yamhill (20).

Oregon’s 1,800th COVID-19 death is a 74-year-old woman in Jackson County who tested positive Dec. 6 and died Dec. 25. Location of death is being confirmed. She had underlying conditions.



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Short term profits can produce dire consequences

Dear Editor,

I would like to respond to the author of “Rebuttal to 15Neighborhoods.”  The author’s desire to protect their investment is typical and understandable. The post reflects our culture’s focus on short term profits without regard to future consequences.

What would be the financial impact to Short Term Rentals and County services if housing costs lock out service workers, causing them to leave the area?  Before the pandemic, Portland was faced with this eventuality. A number of restaurants and shops had to reduce days and hours open due to a lack of workers. The cost of housing exceeded their earnings so they left the area for a place with a better quality of life and you can’t blame them for doing so.

Lincoln County should learn from that situation. We need to stop focusing on the next quarterly results and adopt a more long-term, sustainable view if we want to maintain a decent lifeway that supports both businesses and workers, continuing to attract the visitors that drive our economy.


Ron Potter
Waldport, OR 97394

England’s variant of Covid-19 now on the loose in the U.S.

Testing reveals first case of U.K. variant of COVID-19 in Oregon

PORTLAND, Ore. — Oregon Health Authority has been notified today that a person in Oregon, identified as a Multnomah County resident, has tested positive with the variant COVID-19 virus strain originally detected in the United Kingdom.

This is the first identification in Oregon of the United Kingdom variant strain, also called strain B.1.1.7 or SARS-CoV-2 VOC 202012/01. The individual has no known travel history. Health officials are still investigating the possible sources of infection. The strain has been detected in several states, including California.

“The detection of the first case of this variant strain is a concern, and we have been monitoring movement of this strain,” said Dean Sidelinger, M.D., health officer and state epidemiologist at OHA. “As we learn more about this case and the individual who tested positive for this strain, OHA continues to promote effective public health measures, including wearing masks, maintaining six feet of physical distance, staying home, washing your hands, and avoiding gatherings and travel.”

Information about the characteristics of COVID-19 variants is rapidly emerging, for the U.K. strain and another variant first found in South Africa.

Viruses constantly mutate, and new variants of a virus are expected to occur over time. Multiple variants of the virus that causes COVID-19 have been documented in the United States and globally during this pandemic. Most variants do not change how the virus behaves, and many disappear. 

Scientists are working to learn more about how easily they might spread, and currently there is no evidence that these variants cause more severe illness or increased risk of death, or affect vaccine effectiveness, according to the Centers for the Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Multnomah County public health staff is working tonight and through the weekend to go back over details with this individual related to their isolation plan, contacts and any possible exposures.

“Confirming this strain locally is distressing,” said Multnomah County Health Officer Dr. Jennifer Vines. “Until we have enough vaccine, we must continue using face masks, distancing, and limiting our social interactions.”

The CDC provides case data information in the United States.

Oregonians can continue to work together to prevent more lives being lost to the virus by doing the following:

  • Maintain six feet of physical distance;
  • Wear a face covering when outside the house;
  • Practice good hand hygiene;
  • Avoid any gatherings with people you don’t live with;
  • If you start to have symptoms — even mild ones — consult with a medical provider quickly to get instructions on how to care for yourself and your household members and also whether to get tested;
  • And finally, if you get a call from public health, answer it, and take their advice on how to protect yourself and those around you.

Corona Virus Update – When will our elderly get their shot?

Our public information update was just sent to our LincolnAlerts subscribers.  We are getting a lot of inquiries about vaccines for those age 65+.  Below is what we are sharing with them:

“Right now, Lincoln County has not received any vaccines for age 65 up, however as soon as we have them and have the clinics ready, we’re going to let everyone know.  Stay tuned to your normal media sources for updates, or follow our web page   https://www.co.lincoln.or.us/hhs/page/covid-19-vaccine or facebook page for updates https://www.facebook.com/LincolnPublicHealth

Another way to make sure you don’t miss an update is to sign up with your email for LincolnAlerts at http://member.everbridge.net/index/892807736721689#/login  ”


Thieves posing as IRS workers…


As we get into tax season, the IRS is reminding taxpayers to be on the lookout for scam e-mails, texts,  and phone calls aimed at tricking you into disclosing personal and financial information that could be used to steal your identity and financial assets. The IRS does not send out unsolicited e-mails, phone calls or texts asking for personal information.

The IRS has seen a recent increase in these scams, many of which originate outside the United States.  To date, investigations have identified sites hosting hundreds of IRS-related phishing scams.  These scam websites have been found to originate in at least 20 different countries.

Scammers claiming to be from the IRS, tell you that you are due a federal tax refund, and direct you to a website that appears to be a genuine IRS site.  The bogus sites contain forms or interactive web pages similar to IRS forms and web pages.

Don’t be fooled!  These sites and forms have been modified to request detailed personal and financial information from the e-mail recipients. E-mail addresses involving users in professional and educational communities seem to be heavily targeted.

The information obtained is then used to steal the taxpayer identity and financial assets.  Typically, identity thieves use someone’s personal data to empty the victim’s financial accounts, run up charges on the victim’s existing credit cards, apply for new loans, credit cards, services, or benefits in the victim’s name and even file fraudulent tax returns.

The IRS does not send out unsolicited e-mails or ask for detailed personal information.  Additionally, the IRS never asks people for their PIN numbers, passwords or similar secret access information for their credit card, bank, or other financial accounts. The IRS primarily uses the mail when they need to notify you regarding any tax-related matter. They do not phone you late at night, or text you.

For more information on phishing (suspicious e-mails) and identity theft, visit the IRS Web site at www.irs.gov .

For information on preventing or handling the aftermath of identity theft, visit the Federal Trade Commission Web sites at www.consumer.gov/idtheft and www.OnGuardOnline.gov (and click on Topics).

Please report the fraudulent misuse of the IRS name, logo, forms or other IRS property by calling the Treasury inspector General for Tax Administration toll-free hotline at 1-800-366-4484.

For more information and tips, visit our web site at www.lincolncountysheriff.net and Like us on Facebook at Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office – Oregon.

Waldport woman loses one of her two dogs and her life at the mouth of the Alsea River

On January 15 at approximately 5:17 pm, Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office Dispatch received a report of a missing person, last seen in the area of Bayshore, Waldport. The missing person, identified as Toni L. Goessman, 60, of Waldport, was reported to be last seen walking her dogs approximately 2 hours earlier.

Mr. Goessman became concerned when one of their two dogs returned by itself to their residence, soaking wet.  Mr. Goessman drove around the area, looking for his wife. Mr. Goessman reported Mrs. Goessman regularly goes on walks with their dogs on the beach. Mr. Goessman was unable to search on foot due to limited mobility. Mr. Goessman reported it was out of the ordinary for Mrs. Goessman to be without their dogs.

Lincoln County Sheriff’s deputies responded to the area and conducted a preliminary search. Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue was activated, and additional personnel began searching the area. The U.S. Coast Guard was also notified and their assistance was requested.

At about 10:32 pm, Search and Rescue volunteers discovered Mrs. Goessman, deceased in the surf near the mouth of the Alsea River. Their other dog, “Tango”, described as a brown Boxer with a white chest, was not found. Circumstances surrounding Mrs. Goessman’s death did not appear suspicious.

Mr. Goessman was notified of Mrs. Goessman’s death and Bateman Funeral Home responded to the location. The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office extends its deepest condolences to the Goessman family and would like to remind members of the public to please use caution when recreating near waterways.  Large “sneaker waves” are common along Oregon beaches.  The closer walkers get to the water, the greater the danger.

Traffic Crash in the Otis area….

9:30am. Report of a traffic crash in Otis at 501 Yodel Lane near Trotters Path.  North Lincoln Fire-Rescue is enroute.   Low speed crash.  No injuries although one of the drivers seems not fully conscious.  Both vehicles are off the roadway.

A possibly mentally handicapped male stabs his neighbor in Tidewater…

Branden Gross
Held for seriously assaulting a neighbor…


On January 15th at approximately 5:52 pm, Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office Dispatch received a 911 call reporting a stabbing that occurred on E Little Albany Loop, in Tidewater. The reporting party told Dispatch the victim was able to get away from the suspect and seek help from a neighbor. Dispatch received multiple calls during the response including one reporting the suspect’s location.

Lincoln County Sheriff’s deputies responded to the scene and detained Branden Michael Gross, 29, of Tidewater. After Mr. Gross was detained and the scene was secured, medics with Pacific West Ambulance and Central Oregon Coast Fire/Rescue assessed the adult female victim. The victim sustained multiple stab wounds in the midsection which were determined to be non-life-threatening. She was transported to Samaritan Pacific Communities Hospital.

Investigation determined the victim arrived home in the evening and found Mr. Gross upstairs, inside her home. The victim was able to wrestle Mr. Gross out of the residence through the back door while screaming for help.  Mr. Gross turned back toward the residence and entered again through the back door. Another physical struggle ensued, and Mr. Gross stabbed the victim with a knife two times in the area of her abdomen.

Neighbors were alerted to the victim’s screaming and responded to the location to find Mr. Gross and the victim in a physical struggle at the back door. Neighbors intervened and got between the victim and Mr. Gross. During this time, the victim was able to escape and go to a neighbor’s residence and Mr. Gross was able to escape the victim’s residence through the front door.

Mr. Gross was located at a nearby residence and was arrested for the crimes of Burglary in the first degree, Unlawful Use of a Weapon and Assault in the second degree with a total bail set at $300,000. He was transported and lodged at the Lincoln County Jail. Investigation revealed the suspect was unknown to the victim. It was reported that Mr. Gross suffers from mental health issues.  

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