WEATHER IN LINCOLN COUNTY

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SeaPort stiffs Newport on rent payment

SeaPort Air

SeaPort Air, which ended scheduled airline service to Newport on July 15th, has refused a request for payment of around $600 for rental fees the city claims it owes. SeaPort Air CEO Rob McKinney said the airline fulfilled all of its contractural obligations with Newport, including giving the city more than thirty days notice that they would be ending service.

McKinney points to a newspaper article that quotes McKinney telling Mayor Mark McConnel that Seaport “may” cease providing service to and from Newport in July. McKinney said that was back in June which was well within the 30 day contractually binding notice period. City Councilors have already addressed that part of the issue by agreeing that a statement that Seaport “may” cease operations does not constitute formal notice of the end of service. Therefore they believe the airline owes the money.

Again, McKinney says it’s clear that SeaPort doesn’t owe the money and told City manager Jim Voetberg in a letter “The invoice associated with your August 16 letter is not valid, and we consider this matter closed.”

The ball, such as it is, appears to be in the city council’s court.

SeaPort Air recently launched new airline service between cities in Idaho, Oregon and Washington.

Newport City Council to review proposal to study promoting joint collaboration of Lincoln County fire services

Newport Fire Department

There has been a lot of behind the scenes talking going on among fire departments all around Lincoln County about how fire services might be more efficiently run and give better service to the taxpayers. As anyone who drives up and down Highway 101 knows, there are about as many fire district signs as there are city limit signs. And for every fire district they have to have fire fighters, lots of equipment, and paid staff, especially administration.

The talk between departments is that by combining their purchasing power for equipment, vehicles and supplies and with eventual savings on cost of personnel, the departments owe it to themselves and to their respective taxpayers to investigate how to more constructively blur the lines between fire departments up and down the central coast. The city council will consider financially contributing to a proposed county-wide study of how collaboration between departments might get a better deal for the taxpayers of Lincoln County. Just about all fire departments in the county, except for Toledo, are included in the study. Earlier discussions indicated that Toledo is not interested at this time in joining in the study.

The firm proposing to do the collaboration study is Emergency Services Consulting which does a lot of these collaboration/consolidation studies. Their proposal before the council runs the gamut of variables from the purchase of fire trucks to turn-out gear for fire fighters. The council will be reviewing the consulting firm’s proposed work plan on Tuesday.

Tightening down on herbicide use on city parks and play areas

Newport City Hall

Under direction by the Newport City Council, city Parks and Recreation Department Director Jim Protiva is proposing new policies for herbicide use on city property, parks and playgrounds. And the new policy is basically, “NO HERBICIDES,” unless specifically authorized by the city manager. A recent discussion among city councilors and citizens opposed to herbicides because of their reported health hazards to pregnant women and children especially, drove the policy change. In the past, herbicides were used occasionally “as a last resort,” according to Protiva. But no more, at least without the expressed authorization by the city manager.

Protiva said the prohibition will be especially strict on city owned and maintained property where children play. If and when any further herbicide use is employed, the new policy requires that signs will be posted 24 hours ahead of spraying and that the sign shall reveal the date and time of the spraying, when it’s safe to re-enter the sprayed area, the type of herbicide used and contact information. The city council is expected to review the new policies Tuesday during their noon workshop.

To our readers! Yes, YOU!!!

If you’re one of those wonderful people who found us early when we signed on in March of last year as LincolnCountyToday.com, it’s time for us to remind you that that is NOT the name of the website you’re looking at right now. The name was changed in July of last year. We learned that there was another website that was named something very similar to ours and we didn’t want to step on each others toes. BUT they were here first, so were obliged to change our website name and we did to NewsLincolnCounty.com, and it’s been NewsLincolnCounty.com since July of last year.

The reason LincolnCountyToday.com still works is that we own the URL and there is an instant pointer on it that sends you to NewsLincolnCounty.com. But sometime in the future that pointer may not be there so WE’RE ASKING ALL OF YOU to make sure your “Favorite” or “Bookmark” is connected to NewsLincolnCounty.com not to the other one. Okay?

Thank you very much. We now return you to our regularly scheduled website…..

Dave and the crew

Vehicle hits power pole, power lines down near Eddyville

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Toledo firefighters dousing the last of the vehicle fire, photos by Steve and Elizabeth Thomas, Eddyville! Click to enlarge.

An SUV headed up Nashville Road, a quarter mile north of Eddyville, caught an edge of the pavement, went through a power pole, careened down a 15-foot embankment and came to rest in a field. The driver got out just as the vehicle caught fire. The driver tried to unload the vehicle as the flames built but ran out of time as the flames grew hotter and higher. A neighbor across the street, who heard the accident and watched his lights go out, ran outside and grabbed a fire extinguisher. But it was no match for what was, by then, a blazing out of control SUV.

Toledo Fire Department crews pulled up but all that was left to do was mop up. The vehicle was totalled. Again the driver was not injured. He was given a field sobriety test and he passed it.

Power was supposed to be back on in that stretch of Nashville Road by around 10pm.

Those who drive the Nashville Road know that there is absolutely no shoulder on the road for long stretches; the side of the road is more like a straight off mini-cliff. Motorists have to drive like they are on a catwalk instead of a normal road. If you get a wheel off the pavement you’re in big trouble as this fellow found out. In addition to knocking out a power pole and losing his car, he got a ticket from an Oregon State Trooper for failure to maintain a lane of travel. A narrow lane it is, indeed.

Pick-up driver killed in horrific accident near Grass Valley, southwest of The Dalles

Oregon State Police (OSP) troopers, with the assistance of Sherman County Sheriff’s Office, is continuing the investigation into a single vehicle fatal traffic crash found Monday morning over 400 feet down a steep rocky hillside off Highway 216 west of Grass Valley. Oregon State Police identified the driver Sunday as Andrew Middleton, 53, of Grass Valley.

Early Monday morning, a citizen notified Sherman County Sheriff’s Office of a vehicle spotted down a hillside along Highway 216 near milepost 10. After police and fire personnel arrived on scene they confirmed there was a single fatality.

Preliminary investigation indicates at an unknown time on Sunday or early Monday morning, a 1972 Ford pickup driven by the victim was eastbound on Highway 216 when it failed to negotiate a curve, traveled onto the gravel shoulder and crashed into a guardrail. The pickup continued over the guardrail and rolled several times down a steep rocky hillside before coming to rest on its wheels about 424 feet down from the highway.

Sherman County Sheriff’s Office were coordinating resources to retrieve Middleton’s body from the vehicle.

Washington man charged with stealing travel trailer. Caught with it on Alsea 34.

Dustin Petty, 40

Lincoln County authorities were called late Sunday night on a report that someone had stolen a 27-foot travel trailer from a repair shop in Seal Rock. A short time later a member of the victim family called 9-1-1 to report the trailer was seen traveling eastbound on Alsea Highway, apparently headed for the valley. Pursuing sheriff’s deputies caught up with the alleged thief and his female passenger near Little Switzerland Road who were pulling the trailer with a silver Toyota pick-up.

Deputies pulled them over and began talking with the driver, Dustin Petty, 40, of Zillah, Washington. After learning that Petty didn’t own the trailer he was immediately arrested on charges of aggravated theft and unauthorized use of a vehicle. Petty was lodged in the Lincoln County Jail on a bail of $150,000. His female passenger was not charged and the trailer was returned to its owner who lives on Huckleberry Lane in Seal Rock.

Drummers Update from Chandler Davis

Next Regular Newport Drum Circle
TODAY: TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 6, 6:00 – 8:00 PM…
In the gazebo at Don Davis Park, foot of Olive Street, in Newport.
(Regular “summer” schedule -every first and third Tuesday, 6 to 8:00 p.m. – through September!)

Winter schedule starts next month… We return to our regular winter schedule next month, meeting monthly every second Saturday beginning on October 8, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Meeting in the afternoon assures that it will be light out, and the gazebo has proved to be warm enough, during the past two winters, even on the coldest days. Although we will only have one scheduled drum circle each month, during the winter, watch for special events and performances that you can be part of. (more…)

Toledo Art Walk runs through Monday, 5pm

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The 18th Annual Toledo Art Walk is down to its last day, Monday, through 5pm. It’s an opportunity for people to slow down their lives to a deliberate walk while appreciating the seemingly bottomless artistic talent that is routinely celebrated inside the city. A number of artists’ galleries were open and we’re very grateful that shoppers took the time to show up, peruse at their leisure and to buy works of art.

How to triage our faltering jobs situation

While the U.S. tries to figure out how to make its labor force more competitive in the emerging new world economy, something immediately needs to happen to not lose a major portion of the labor force we currently have. And, according to some experts, there is grave danger that might happen. On this labor day some are calling for M*A*S*H type tactics to stop the demise of a significant portion of the country’s current work force.

Some pointers on how to do that is in a guest column in the Oregonian. Click here.

Is the U.S. Post Office going to crash this Winter?

The U.S. Postal Service says that if the U.S. Congress doesn’t offer an infusion of money soon, the United States Post Office will cease to exist. Mail volumes continue to plummet while costs continue unabated for the self-supporting service. The story is in the New York Times. Click here.

Second DUII, among other things, gets the county a forfeited Mercedes

A Siletz woman, spotted driving recklessly on Highway 101 just north of Yachats this weekend, was arrested for DUII among other charges, and not only did she go to jail, her Mercedes Benz was confiscated, lock, stock and engine block by the county. She forfeited her car.

Sheriff’s deputies got a report that a woman driving a silver Mercedes was driving recklessly just north of Yachats on 101. Although a deputy couldn’t catch up to the woman in time, 9-1-1 dispatch got a call from a resident in Seal Rock saying that a woman driving a silver Mercedes had just pulled into her driveway and that the resident had no idea who the woman was.

Within a few minutes, the deputy was parked behind the Mercedes at the home on NW Howard Drive and quickly determined that Irene Marie Somes was definitely impaired. Not only was she DUII, the deputy learned that there was a warrant for her arrest out of Polk County for failing to appear on another DUII charge.

Somes was taken to the Lincoln County Jail where she was booked for DUII, Reckless Driving, Reckless Endangering, Providing False Information to a Police Officer, Failure to Carry a Driver’s License, Driving While Suspended, and for the Failure to Appear in Polk County. Somes’ bail was set at $100,000.

Not only was Somes taken into custody, so was her car. But there is no bail on the car because it is now the property of Lincoln County taxpayers who now own it due to her continued illegal operation of it; under the influence of intoxicants. It’s yet another car taken away by Lincoln County under its DUII Forefeiture Program.

Zumba Gold now playing at the Newport Senior Activity Center

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Zumba Gold is now playing at the Newport Senior Activity Center and is taught by center staffer Trish Morningstar. Zumba Gold is a musically fun way to get in shape and then stay there. Zumba Gold is offered free every Thursday and Saturday at 11:30am and runs through 12:30 pm. It’s free, but donations are gratefully accepted to help defray costs.

Weather Service: NW Oregon is gonna stay HOT, HOT, HOT…

Temps at some beaches topped 90 degrees Saturday

Here’s the scoop from the Weather Service.

A prolonged period of hot weather will continue through much of the coming week over northwest Oregon and southwest Washington. A strong and very warm upper ridge of high pressure that built over the Pacific Northwest Saturday will continue Sunday. It will weaken slightly Monday and Tuesday, then rebound even stronger by Wednesday and Thursday. This will produce temperatures well above normal with a good chance some records will be shattered later in the week.

Offshore winds Saturday combined with the warm air mass pushed temperatures up into the lower 90’s inland with even some 90’s in select areas of the coast. Seaside registered a high of 93 on Saturday; Cannon Beach with a 92.

Meanwhile, a weak sea breeze will begin cooling off the coast after Sunday, and especially Monday. But inland temperatures will rise back into the 90’s in most areas lasting through the end of the week. Hottest days for the inland valleys appear to be Sunday, Wednesday and Thursday with steamy temperatures lasting through Saturday.

Those sensitive to the heat should give themselves a break during the upcoming week by seeking out air conditioned areas or by heading to the beach.

County Sheriff’s Deputies and OSP trying to track down reported rollover accident on 101, north of Lincoln City

Emergency responders are running up and down Highway 101 immediately north of Lincoln City on a report of a crash that may involve serious injuries. The person reporting the accident doesn’t know the area well and would say only that they’re north of Lincoln City. Emergency personnel are looking for the accident.

9:47pm
They may have found it. Ambulance on scene.

Matt Love discusses his latest book celebrating the Yaquina Bay Bridge

Matt Love, Author

Yaquina Bay Bridge

Driftwood Public Library is pleased to welcome Matt Love to Lincoln City’s Driftwood Library September 24th to discuss his newest book Love & the Green Lady: Meditations on the Yaquina Bay Bridge, Oregon’s Crown Jewel of Socialism. The event begins at 3pm.

Oregon opened the Yaquina Bay Bridge in Newport on Labor Day 1936. Built during the New Deal, the Yaquina Bay Bridge was the aesthetic and engineering brainchild of Conde McCullough, Oregon’s State Bridge Engineer from 1919 to 1937. For 75 years the Yaquina Bay Bridge has stood magnificently as a monument to excellence in architecture and how a partnership between state and federal government in the throes of an economic calamity can produce something practical, beautiful, and lasting. It is nothing less than an Oregon landmark and a powerful reminder how to build a great bridge.

“Since I moved to the Newport area four years ago, I’ve driven across the bridge thousands of times and basically had my entire aesthetic redefined,” said Love. “My obsession for this magnificent piece of engineering and McCullough’s genuius inspired this book and its highly eccentric construction. I like to think that no one’s ever written a book about a piece of Oregon engineering quite like this. ”

Blending an eclectic variety of literary genres, including memoir, essay, vignette, autobiography, letter, homework, meditation, ode, commentary, oral history, polemic, curriculum, and confession, the book also contains over 100 photographs of the bridge taken by Love and some of his students.

“One sunny afternoon, I looked at the bridge’s soaring sinuous green lines and saw a woman. Call it personification or call it a writer’s pretentiousness, or call Dr. Freud, but the Yaquina Bay Bridge suddenly appeared to me as a very attractive woman. Right then, I dubbed her the Green Lady and I was in love,” writes Love in the book’s introduction.

Rescue operation at Yaquina Head Saturday evolved into an assumed suicide

Correction: Yaquina Head Natural Area

The Coast Guard sent a helo to Yaquina Head Natural Area Saturday on what was thought to be a rescue, but wound up being an assumed suicide. An individual apparently went over a cliff near the lighthouse.

NewsLincolnCounty.com, as most other news media, doesn’t reveal the names of suicide victims unless there are extenuating circumstances. However, we thought the community should know what all the commotion was at Yaquina Lighthouse today and to again show the public the ends to which our valiant Coast Guard personnel will go to save lives.

Photos by Charles Burke
Click on photos to enlarge

Lady bicyclist hurt on Yaquina Bay Bridge

A lady bicyclist was head south on the Yaquina Bay Bridge when she lost control of her cycle and hit the concrete and fell into the southbound lane. Vehicles stopped and comforted her while she held her shoulder. She was in a great deal of pain. A PacWest Ambulance crew came on scene, scooped her up and whisked her to PCH where she was being treated for a possible broken shoulder. She was apparently riding with her husband at the time.

No name or hometown was given. The width of the pedestrian walkway is very narrow over the bridge, making riding a bicycle on the pedestrian part of the bridge very unforgiving. One false move and there’s no margin for correction. Police recommend that cyclists walk their bike over the bridge, otherwise brave sharing the lane with traffic which can be awfully tight as well.

Rollover Accident Southwest 9th @ Abby


SW 9th @ Abbey, Saturday evening
Click on photos to enlarge

An SUV that police say ran a stop sign at SW 9th and Abbey was broadsided by another car headed west on Abbey. The errant SUV rolled over on its top, but luckily its driver and her dogs were not injured. She was expected to be cited for failing to stop at the stop sign as she drove northbound at SW 9th and Abbey. The solo driver in the other car was not injured either.

Damage to both vehicles was considerable.

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