Monday afternoon Clatsop County 911 received a call that a child had been struck by a pickup after running across Highway 30 in the Knappa area. State Troopers from the Astoria Area Command, along with other emergency service providers, responded to the scene.
The preliminary investigation, based upon witness and driver statements, indicate that an 11 year old girl and her 9 year old brother were walking eastbound on the north side of HWY 30. They both attempted to cross Highway 30 to the south side. The 11 year old sister started to run across the highway and her younger brother followed shortly behind her. According to witnesses, they both ran between two westbound pick-up trucks. The sister made it safely to the south side of the roadway but her brother, identified as Austin Hennessee of Knappa, was struck by a Ford F250 pick-up driven by Kenneth Adams, 24, of Astoria.
Adams immediately stopped and rendered first aid and CPR to Austin. Knappa Fire and Rescue arrived and Austin was transported to Columbia Memorial Hospital in Astoria where he was subsequently pronounced deceased.
Adams remained at the scene of the collision and cooperated fully with the investigation. No citations have been issued and the investigation is continuing. Road conditions were damp at the time but it was not raining.
The Lincoln County Major Crime Team continues its investigation into the death of Rick Aguero, 47, whose body was found inside his residence in South Beach at 1385 SE 35th Street which Google determines to be at the R/V campground at the tip of Idaho Point. Aguero’s body was discovered November 1st by an undisclosed person who called authorities. Arriving investigators termed the death suspicious but to date have released no details of the circumstances of the death scene or if they’re seeking the public’s assistance in helping law enforcement develop leads.
Top two pictures “before gravel”
Bottom two pictures after gravel
Brad Taylor photos
The Hatfield Marine Sciences Center has embarked on an experiment of sorts – to slow down the erosion of sandy beach near HMSC’s estuary trail. The trail has been repeatedly eroded or encroached upon by receding beach lines. Scientists say the reason is that so much of the urban area of Yaquina Bay have been armored with steel, rock and concrete so that waves bounce off them and end up lashing the sandy shores, causing erosion. And it’s is bad news for the estuary trail.
To stop this erosive trend, HMSC scientists are putting down gravel along sandy sections of the shoreline near the trail. Earlier experiments with graveling have proven wave erosion is substantially reduced as gravel absorbs wave energy more ably than mere sand. HMSC scientists report that they’ll be “armoring” more sandy areas near the estuary trail over the next week and will be keeping score on the gravel’s protective effects over time.
Top – Pump House, lower dam
#2 – Lower lake, shallow from silt
#3 – Outflow from upper lake
#4 – Upper lake
#5 – Fishing on upper lake
Newport Public Works Director Tim Gross had some troubling news for his city councilors today – news that could very dramatically change Newport’s overall method to provide water to the town. In preparation for putting the finishing touches on the new water treatment plant it was learned that its water intake system, as originally planned, won’t work. That’s because the pump house (in the top photo) is built on pilings that are basically sunk in mud, not in bedrock or concrete and therefore cannot support the much larger, heavier pumps required by the new plant.
But it doesn’t stop there.
Gross told the council that the dam was constructed over 50 years ago in a way that would not pass muster today, that is, with much higher dam construction standards. Gross said that the dam is probably in the same condition it was decades ago, but it can’t support the system that the new water treatment plant intake system demands. Gross said he’s not predicting the dam is going to fail anytime soon, but that based on their core drillings, the dam is rather “mushy.” A federal dam inspection team just recently said as much. Gross said he can’t guarantee that the dam wouldn’t fail in a sizeable earthquake.
What to do?
Gross said the engineering company that’s building the water treatment plant is also an internationally renown authority on certain kinds of dams. Gross said HDR will be doing a more detailed analysis on Newport’s lower and upper dams to help him and others present an understandable range of options to the city council; options like fortifying the dam, replacing the dam, removing the dam altogether, among others. Gross said one option could be to remove the dam, drain the lake and rely just on the upper reservoir for the city’s drinking water. Gross said although it would seem that the community couldn’t stand to lose the water from the lower lake, he says the lower lake is so silted-up that there’s nowhere near the water it had back when it was created. He said it’s never been dredged, as far as he knows, because the lake is a “fishing lake.” To dredge a fishing lake runs afoul of Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife rules and regulations because dredging harms fish habitat.
Fish or drinking water?
Big Creek Reservoirs are rather odd ducks as water sources go because ODFW stocks it with fish and people fish for them. But as drinking water reservoirs go, 99% of them are usually fenced off and protected from contamination, mainly from humans. So there’s some bureaucratic turf issues looming on the horizon, not to mention the wrath of the fishing community.
The long and the short of it, according to Gross, is that he wants to ensure that despite an earthquake, he wants to have the best possible chance to continue to supply water to Newport. He said he can’t do that if the lower dam fails. So he says one option that may rise to the top is to simply drain the bottom lake and lay a pipe the half-mile between the upper lake and the water treatment plant. Gross said the upper dam appears to be a better built structure than the lower one, or at least a better bet during a strong earthquake. But he says, “only after HDR takes a detailed look at both dams will we know enough to consider our options. From there, it’s up to the city council.”
By the way, Gross said that they can erect a temporary feed system from the lower lake (for the time being) into the new water treatment plant quickly enough to bring the new plant on line as scheduled…likely in late January or early February. But the permanent solution is still drifting around out there in the option ether.
The council was hearing much of what you just read here, during the council meeting Monday night.
Voters up and down the coast of Lincoln County will be voting on requests for funding from three fire districts and two water districts. North Lincoln Fire and Rescue is asking for a 19-cent per thousand of assessed valuation increase in property taxes to provide a five year operating fund to buy and operate four new tsunami sirens, stipends for five on-call volunteer firefighters for weeknights and weekends, more firefighter protective gear and for hiring a public education and safety compliance officer. Updates to and maintenance for district fire stations are also included.
Further south on Highway 101, the Kernville, Gleneden and Lincoln Beach water company is seeking a 68-cent per thousand assessed valuation increase for five years to replace aging water pipes and to expand system capacity for anticipated new service demands. If this levy fails, water district officials predict they’ll have to either raise water rates or again seek voter approval for a bond election to make the improvements.
Further down 101 in the Seal Rock Water District they’re seeking voter approval for a $15,000,000 property tax backed bond to replace old water lines, and to pay Seal Rock’s portion of the total cost of expensive Toledo water system upgrades. Seal Rock buys their water from Toledo which runs a pipe all the way from Toledo to Seal Rock. The bond issue would also enable the water district to refinance old bonds that can be refinanced at today’s much lower interest rate.
Down the road and over the Alsea Bay Bridge, the Central Coast Fire Protection District is seeking a 25-cent per thousand of assessed valuation override renwal to replace two aging fire engines, two life support units (very advanced ambulances), a three thousand gallon water tanker and other equipment replacements over the next ten years.
And finally, south to Yachats, the fire district there is seeking voter approval to renew a five year local tax override option of 59-cents per thousand of assessed valuation to replace some older vehicles, expand fire/rescue training, buy new fire hose and some small equipment purchases.
Ballots must be in an official voter drop box in a number of sites around Lincoln County, including at the county courthouse in Newport at the southeast corner of the courthouse, at Lincoln City City Hall at their drive up drop box, also in drop boxes at Waldport City Hall, Newport City Hall, Depoe Bay City Hall, and Yachats City Hall. All ballot drop boxes are clearly marked and as long as you get your ballot in the box by 8pm, your vote will be counted!
1,100 pounds of food and nearly $300 in six hours!
The Newport Food Pantry and the Newport Fire Volunteer Fire Department would like to thank Newport area residents who turned out in the rain to donate canned and other non-perishable foods and cash to the cause of feeding Newport’s growing hunger problem. Newport firefighters and Food Pantry workers were very pleased at the generosity of those bringing in a total of 1,100 pounds of food and for donating nearly $300 in just a six hour donation period at the Safeway Center parking lot.
Food Pantry officials have been laboring under the crushing news that the USDA Department of Agriculture surplus food program is being cut back 40% and that costs for pantries to buy food is going up. Couple that with the fact that many more Americans on unemployment insurance may lose their benefits at the end of the current run of 99 weeks. A crisis for many is looming.
For those who missed the opportunity to donate to the pantry today, you can still donate directly to the Newport Food Pantry by stopping by their facility behind the Presbyterian Church on NE 12th just east of Coast Highway, or by calling 541-270-0842.