WEATHER IN LINCOLN COUNTY

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You could feel this one coming! Mark McConnell announces his run for Mayor of Newport. Whither Mayor Bill Bain?

Mark McConnell (left), files for mayor. Mayor Bill Bain (right), remains a “Wild Card.”

The speculation had been rampant for weeks and it’s finally come true. City Councilor Mark McConnell has announced his candidacy for Mayor. McConnell is running on a platform of civility among city councilors, stability in terms of providing “core services” to residents and sustainable financial footing as the economy pulls out of a deep recession.

McConnell has been a long time resident and is in the middle of his third term as city councilor. If elected, McConnell’s seat would be filled by a city council-run application process and a vote on his successor.

In his announcement, McConnell touched on a major topic that has surrounded the council for some time. “Civility.” The council recently attended a “team building” workshop with an organizational consultant. The workshop had a stated goal of establishing better ways for councilors to deliberate among themselves and to negotiate more effectively to meet city challenges and solve long running problems. Since that workshop, dialog among councilors during regular city council meetings has been decidedly calmer and Roberts Rules of Order more closely followed.

McConnell’s announcement for Mayor means we now have two contenders for the top seat on the council. Patricia Patrick Joli’s announced her mayoral campaign some weeks back. Her platform closely resembles McConnell’s in focusing attention on meeting the city’s challenges in a climate of tightening economic constraints. (more…)

Shotgun blasts on NW High, just east of Nye Beach

502 NW High, Saturday nightBrian Narrance, $500,000 bail

Newport Police responded to a report of shotgun blasts fire on Northwest High Street Saturday night shortly after 10pm. Officers arrived to find a man in the back yard, very intoxicated.

Police told NewsLincolnCounty.com that it appears that Brian Narrance, of Olympia, WA, and his female companion had been quarreling earlier in the evening. At one point Narrance grabbed a shotgun and may have tried to shoot himself. Police say the blast was fired “near him” but apparently did not hit him, nor anyone else. However, they believe four shotgun blasts were fired, three into the air, and one through a neighbor’s fence. There are high rise apartments on a hill directly overhead from the man’s residence.

Police said they arrested Narrance and took him to jail. He was booked on multiple charges of reckless endangerment, pointing a firearm, unlawful use of a firearm, menacing and disorderly conduct. His bail was set at $500,000.

Lincoln County School District closes special Latino preschool

Lincoln County Schools Superintendent Tom Rinearson announced this week that a six year long preschool program for ‘English language learners’ will no longer be provided. Rinearson said in a news release that the program, “A Step Forward” at Sam Case Elementary, was deemed ineligible for federal funding. He said without those funds, the district can not afford to keep it going.

The program was started in 2004 and averaged 33 preschoolers age 3 to 4 years old. The children were given specialized instruction to enhance their English language skills to help them be better students when they enter kindergarten or first grade. (more…)

Debate over consolidating 9-1-1 services off to a bumpy but congenial start.

City and County officials meeting in Newport Friday

Should Lincoln County shrink their three 9-1-1 emergency dispatch centers down to one central operation? Some say it could save the county and cities a lot of money and actually improve 9-1-1 services. Others aren’t quite so sure.

Waldport Mayor Herman Welch presided over a meeting of city and county officials today to launch what is hoped to be a continuing discussion about the issue with an eye to achieving goals of saving money while improving 9-1-1 services. The current 9-1-1 dispatch centers are based in Lincoln City, Newport and Toledo.

Toledo officials told the gathering that Toledo has just upgraded their dispatch center to a high level of technology and that they are well tied into other centers in the Wilamette Valley. City Manager Michelle Amberg and Mayor Rod Cross said Toledo is, at best, lukewarm to the idea of consolidation because Toledo loves what they have. The dispatchers don’t have a big dispatch work load which allows them to perform other duties in the Toledo Police Department. (more…)

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