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It’s a birthday weekend for the Yaquina Bay Bridge!

Winning picture in Yaquina Bay Bridge Photo Contest
Courtesy LIncoln County Historical Society

This is the weekend Lincoln County history buffs have been waiting for. The Grand Dame of Oregon Coast bridges, the Yaquina Bay Bridge, turns 75 today, commemorating the moment three-quarters of a century ago, when the first cars took their inaugural crossing of Yaquina Bay without having to pay a toll for the ferry or drive around.

Today, Saturday, there will be a very interesting panel discussion between historians and those who were there when the bridge was built. They will be recalling how its construction forever changed the mood and pace of life along the Oregon Coast, as have the other four bridges that were built in the 1930’s. The panel discussion will be held at Newport City Hall, at Avery and Coast Highway, 2pm, in the city council chambers.

Here’s more info on the two day celebration that kicks of today: Click here.

Most Oregon employers to see workers-comp premiums rise 2%

Courtesy photo

Just when we thought we’d heard the last of higher taxes in the middle of the worst recession in 80 years, Oregon employers are in line to get hit with just that…higher taxes…for workmans compensation insurance to pay medical and rehabilitation costs after a job-related injury.

As the Register Guard reports, workmans-comp rates are based on average worker pay and medical costs. However, as we all know, wages and salaries have been stagnant when their buying power hasn’t actually gone down. Meanwhile, medical costs have risen like a rocket over the same period. Basically, it’s a national story brought home to fester. Here’s the details from the Register Guard. Click here.

Help save a threatened coastal butterfly Come to Yachats and plant their food: Violets!

Silverspot Butterfly
Photo: Courtesy USFWS, Dave Imper

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife, the Oregon Coast Aquarium, the Oregon Zoo and many other good hearted folks around Yachats are banding together this weekend to plant violets because that’s what Silverspot butterflies like to dine on; along with other nectar rich flowers and plants. The Silverspot butterfly has a lot of friends and some of them are gathering in Yachats this weekend to help provide a better home for them, especially in view of the fact that their populations have declined dramatically. But with recent help, they’re making another come back. Lori Tobias tells us their valiant story in the Oregonian. Click here.

Drug Task Force LINT launches SWAT actions at three Lincoln City area locations.

The Lincoln Interagency Narcotics Task Force raided three locations in the Lincoln City area this morning and have begun arresting those suspected of running illegal drug processing and sales operations. The actions were well noticed by neighbors as SWAT Team members used what are called “flash-bang” devices to startle the occupants with a minor explosion and tear gas, and to order them outside. A flash-bang approach usually signifies that SWAT has reason to believe there are weapons inside. One house “taken down” was at the corner of Spyglass Ridge Road and SW Fleet, according to the neighbors.

Three locations were hit; one in Lincoln City near Taft High School, one in the Holmes Road area, and one in Otis.

5:39pm
LINT officials say a news release is in the process of being drawn up.

Hometown Hero at 80 and still going strong – that’s Pat Neal!


(L toR) Michelle Thomas, OHSU ORPRN, Julia Young-Lorion (Lincoln County CHIP Coordinator,) Pat Neal (Rural Health Hero of the Year Award Winner,) Karen Bondley, AHEC, and Don Skinner, Pacific AHEC (Area Health Education Center–Lincoln City)
Click to enlarge photo

Video Profile of Pat Neal. Click here.

Rural Health Hero of the Year Award Winner Announced

PORTLAND, Ore. — Pat Neal of Depoe Bay, has been awarded the 2011 Hero of the Year Award by the Oregon Office of Rural Health at Oregon Health & Science University.

The Hero of the Year award is given annually to an individual who has had a major impact on rural health in Oregon.

“Pat Neal is a wonderful Hero,” says Scott Ekblad, director of the Oregon Office of Rural Health. “She is currently involved in 10 different health care committees in her community. She is working as hard today as she did before she retired.”

In addition to her committee work, Pat, age 80, also volunteers as an instructor for the AARP Driver Safety program for seniors, class leader for the local Living Well with Chronic Conditions program, and member of the Community Emergency Response Team. She has been a leader in the Community Health Improvement Program (CHIP), a strong advocate for expanded School Based Health Centers around reproductive health, as well as a planner for the Let’s Go Lincoln County, a summertime campaign to encourage physical activity and good nutrition.

“Because of Pat’s involvement in community health over the years, lives have improved in Lincoln County,” says Julia Young-Lorion, Lincoln County CHIP Coordinator. “Her public service and dedication to her community has continued strong for over 20 years and there is no indication that she intends to stop. She is compassionate, dedicated, professional and a motivating person to be around. She is truly a Rural Health Hero.”

Pat will receive the 2011 Hero Award at the 27th Annual Rural Health Conference Sept. 21 – 23, 2011, at the Riverhouse Convention Center in Bend, Ore.

Newport Food Pantry gets some financial UMPH! from UMPQUA!


Umpqua Bank pitches in to help the new Newport Food Pantry

Umpqua Bank’s local Ambassador-at-large (and Newport Manager) Doug Hunt showed up with a $500 check which was generously awarded to the Newport Food Pantry by Newport Chamber of Commerce member Jean Rowley (purple). Rowley is seen giving the check that she won during a recent Chamber “after-hours” drawing for a favorite charity. Her pick was the Newport Food Pantry which made Pantry Manager Kathy Myers all smiles as she accepted the gift. On the far left is Umpqua Bank Assistant Vice President Amy Peterson who “supervised” the exchange because Doug was much too busy concentrating on looking his best for the camera.

The Newport Food Pantry is getting ready to open and to distribute food to the needy of the Newport area. Myers says the pantry will always need donations as well as good-hearted volunteers to help with the pantry. The Newport Food Pantry is affiliated with Food Share, the overall supply center for emergency food for all of Lincoln County.

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