WEATHER IN LINCOLN COUNTY

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Light airplane crashes along I-5 between Myrtle Creek and Riddle

Oregon Highway Patrol Report:

Injury Plane Crash – East of Interstate 5 in trees near milepost 106 between Myrtle Creek and Riddle – Single occupant pilot out of plane being treated – Fire, medical and police on scene – Douglas County Sheriff’s Office will be lead agency – Traffic delays possible with emergency responders on scene.

Lincoln County Fair monies restored by the state – appeal succeeds.

STATE DECISION RESTORES FUNDING TO LINCOLN COUNTY FAIR

The Oregon Department of Agriculture has upheld an appeal by the Lincoln County Fair Board and restored state funding for the county’s fair. The decision released today was signed by Katy Coba, director of the department.

“We appreciate this decision, which we consider to be a complete vindication of the county’s approach in trying to help the fair survive and grow,” said Commissioner Bill Hall, who is also vice chair of the Fair Board.

In November, the Oregon Fair Commission voted to deny Lincoln County its $36,030.72 allocation of lottery dollars for the fair, claiming the county hadn’t met reporting requirements for use of the funds in a complete and timely manner and had failed to live up to commitments it had made previously regarding the fair.

State law requires the lottery dollars go into the county Fair Fund, which may be used to stage the Fair and other events at the Fairgrounds, as well as maintaining the Fairgrounds.

The final order signed by Coba concluded that the fair had in fact met all reporting requirements and the Fair Commission had no justification for withholding the funds.

“Although this is the outcome we expected all along, this was an unfortunate incident for a number of reasons,” Hall said. “Chief among them was the fact that this unjustified action cast a shadow over planning for this year’s fair and made it much more difficult for the Town and Country Fair Committee to secure sponsorships and vendors. I am glad that shadow has been removed.”

In a letter accompanying the order restoring the funding, Lauren Henderson, assistant director of the agriculture department, wrote: “The Lincoln County Fair has certainly been working through some challenges that have threatened the viability of the fair. There has been a large effort by the county and community to re-invent the fair and stabilize its funding mechanisms. It looks as though the effort is paying off as there is momentum building to keep the fair a part of the community and the 2011 fair looks to be bigger and better than 2010.”

Overview of the LC Animal Shelter

Click to enlarge photo

Community Support Continues for the Lincoln County Animal Shelter
Provided by Lincoln County Animal Shelter and Sheriff Dennis Dotson

Due to the outpouring of support for the Lincoln County Animal Shelter, the doors are still open for adoptions and there are continued programs for dogs and cats by a full-staff of dedicated employees. The operating expenses for the shelter are funded through 2015 thanks to the passage of a five-year tax levy last fall. Over the last year, the Sheriff’s Office led an extensive review and modernization of services to better meet the community’s desires for programs and enhanced treatment for animals in the Animal Shelter’s care.

The quality programs and care of the animals is why so many individuals and businesses continue to support the Lincoln County Animal Shelter. This month, Maurice’s in Lincoln City hosted a successful Rescues & Runways, raising over $1,000. The Herb Store hosted a fun, ghoulish event including a Zombie Walk, a wonderful dinner provided by Green Gables, and screening of classic horror films to benefit both My Sisters Place and the Animal Shelter raising funds and canned food. The Oregon Coast Aquarium is raising funds for the Animal Shelter with their annual bake sale on October 30. In addition, all this month, Jerilyn & Company is donating 5% of their retail profits to the Animal Shelter, and Rogue Brewery is helping celebrate National Adopt a Dog Month. (more…)

Sen. Merkley joins others in asking President Obama to help bring down gas prices.

Senators Ask Obama for Swift Action to Lower Gas Prices

Washington, DC – With gas prices skyrocketing across the nation, a group of six senators, including Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley, called on President Obama to sell off a small portion of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) to help bring down the price at the pump. The senators called for investing the profits from the sale of the oil in advancing electric vehicle technology and deficit reduction.

The senators wrote, “With gas prices around the nation at near-historic highs, we write to urge you to exercise your emergency authority to release oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR). This action would immediately lower gasoline prices, generating significant revenue to invest in your call for one million electric vehicles on the road by 2015. This would be a win-win for American consumers: short-term help at the pump, and long-term help in accessing cost-saving, oil-free electric cars.”

The text of the letter is below:

March 4, 2011

Dear Mr. President:

With gas prices around the nation at near-historic highs, we write to urge you to exercise your emergency authority to release oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR). This action would immediately lower gasoline prices, generating significant revenue to invest in your call for one million electric vehicles on the road by 2015. This would be a win-win for American consumers: short-term help at the pump, and long-term help in accessing cost-saving, oil-free electric cars.

(more…)

Newport Restaurant line-up reveals quite a work-out for your taste buds.

Provided by the Newport Chamber of Commerce

NEWPORT, Oregon – Following a busy weekend at the Seafood & Wine Festival, local area restaurants are gearing up for the 3rd Annual Restaurant Week. Participating businesses have the opportunity to showcase their establishment, while allowing lucky patrons the opportunity to sample a wide array of culinary delights. Whether diners fancy a hot, juicy burger or yearn for catch-of-the-day seafood, participating eateries aim to please.

To make this week even more appealing, the Newport Chamber of Commerce will provide patrons with a “Bingo” card at their office, starting March 16th. Once diners have eaten at a participating restaurant, and had their card marked accordingly, drawings will be held at the Chamber office for cards with completed up, down, or diagonal markings.

Restaurants are still encouraged to call Mike at the Chamber Office, 541-265-8801or visit www.newportchamber.org/restaurant/ to download an application. A (growing) list of participating restaurants may be viewed on the Chamber website. They include:

Newport Café
Mo’s Restaurant
Saffron Salmon
Shilo Inn Restaurant
Arctic Circle
Green Gables Italian Café
Newport Steak & Seafood
Agate Beach Golf Course
La Maison
PANACHE
Chalet Restaurant & Bakery
Savory Café & Pizzeria

Huge changes continue on Lincoln City City Council. Councilor Rick Brissette abruptly resigns.

Lincoln City

Lincoln City City Councilor Rick Brissette, only half way through his term, has unexpectedly resigned his council seat citing family issues as the reason for his departure. His resignation is effective immediately. With the death of Councilor Ed Kuntz, and the fact that the council had two new members recently elected to it, councilors Gary Ellingson, Chester Noreikis and Mayor Dick Anderson are hold overs from the November election; four out of the seven seats now with new faces occupying them either in the near future or by the end of the year. It is also quite possible it will create a conservative shift on the council in contrast with political temperaments of those serving at this time last year.

How the council gets back to full staff will be an interesting journey. With the untimely demise of Councilor Ed Kuntz, a special election was set up for May, with local retiree Kent Seida declaring his candidacy for the Ward 3 seat. The deadline for filing is March 11th.

How to fill Brissette’s seat is quite another matter. There simply isn’t enough time to get Brissette’s seat on the May ballot, according to Lincoln City City Recorder Cathy Steere. She said the council will discuss the issue at their next meeting. Steere says the council could appoint a replacement for Brissette’s unexpired term or wait until November in order to let other candidates emerge for the general election.

Helping Newport put on a pretty face…

CHAMBER OF COMMERCE RESUMES HIGHWAY CLEANUP PROGRAM

NEWPORT, Oregon – The Newport Chamber of Commerce announced that they will resume their annual Highway Cleanup program. This seasonal project which runs from April through September ensures that Newport is appealing both to residents and visitors alike.

Throughout the year, the Chamber’s Beautification Committee recognizes individuals and businesses who take steps to add charm and curb appeal to their neighborhood. In addition, during the summer months the Highway Cleanup program kicks into action. This is the Chamber’s way of saying “…thank you, Newport…let us join you in your efforts to make our city a great place to live and visit.”

Every third Saturday, April through September, Chamber staff and volunteers meet at the office at 8:00 a.m. and choose an area of highway to focus their efforts on. The community is invited to participate. If you have questions, you may contact Bobbi at 541-265-8801.

Newport man arrested for “threatening and pressuring” woman to become prostitute

A Newport man has been jailed on charges that he threatened a woman and her family in an effort to press her into prostitution.

Newport Police report that Gustav Trinidad-Torres, 33, repeatedly sent text messages to a woman asking for sex and threatening harm to her family if she didn’t comply. She didn’t and so he offered her money. Not only did she not comply with his threat she called the police.

Newport Police had the victim call Trinidad-Torres and pretend like she was going to meet him at a local motel. So when he walked into the motel room, the police were there with formal charges and handcuffs. Police say Trinidad-Torres admitted to everything the woman accused him of. He was booked into the Lincoln County Jail on charges of Compelling Prostitution, Prostitution, Telephone Harrassment and Coercion. In addition, it was learned that Trinidad-Torres is an illegal alien and slapped an immigration hold on him as well.

The Newport Police Department would like to remind the community that personal contact information such as phone numbers, email accounts, and social networks should be protected against third party access. People trusted with your information should also understand who they can and cannot give it too.

Anyone with information regarding these events is encouraged to contact Officer Mitch France at 541-574-3348.

Seafood giant target of class-action “too big to sail” lawsuit. Then the suit takes a hit in court, judge cites benefits of Pacific Seafood in the market.

Frank Dulcich, Pacific Seafoods

Attorneys who sued Weyerhaeuser for violating federal antitrust laws and won, have filed a class action lawsuit against Pacific Seafood, and its owner Frank Dulcich, claiming more than 3,000 potential plaintiffs, seeking half billion dollars in damages and an order forcing Dulcich to sell off much of his resources in four fisheries, from boats to processing plants.

The story is in the Eugene Register Guard: Click here

Shortly after this story appeared, another one emerged in the Coos Bay World, showing that the suit is far from being a slam-dunk. Click Here

Oregon’s Poet Laureate enroute to Lincoln City’s Driftwood Library March 17

Paulann Petersen, Oregon Poet Laureate

Driftwood Public Library is very pleased to announce a visit from
Oregon’s current Poet Laureate, Paulann Petersen, on Thursday, March
17th at 4:00 p.m.

The position of Oregon Poet Laureate was established by the governor of Oregon
on April 23, 1923 and adopted by the Oregon Legislature in 1989. The
first laureate was Edwin Markham. The position began as a lifetime
appointment, then was changed to a four-year term. In 2006, Lawson Inada
was named to a two-year appointment by Governor Ted Kulongoski.
Subsequent appointments are for a term of two years (renewable after the
first year). Mr. Inada served in the office from 2006 – 2010. Paulann
Petersen was named Oregon’s sixth Poet Laureate April 26, 2010. (more…)

Lincoln City’s Library has gone (*GASP!*) E-Book!

Provided by Driftwood Library

e-Book Readers Now Available at Driftwood

E-books (Electronic Books) have been around since 1971, when Project
Gutenberg first began scanning books into digital format for the
purposes of preservation and easier distribution. In recent years,
especially since the advent of the Amazon Kindle in 2007, eBooks have
captured the imaginations of readers worldwide.

Driftwood Public Library is pleased to announce that it has added 3
types of e-Readers to its collection that will be available to
cardholders for use within the library. Patrons may check out an
e-Reader using their library card and by leaving their ID (Driver’s
License, etc) and library card at the circulation desk as collateral.
The purpose of the library offering the readers is to allow patrons to
compare readers by actually getting to use them and to allow readers
access to e-Books while they’re in the library. (more…)

Search for missing woman continues near Sea Lion Caves

Lincoln County authorities have just released this picture of a woman who went missing in mid-February from her Waldport home on a little drive to walk her dog. A missing persons report went out February 20th and Lincoln County Sheriff’s deputies did a search of the Waldport area for Margaret Kohler and her car, a maroon Toyota Sienna van with Florida plates. Nothing found.

Then today, a U.S. Forest Service Ranger discovered her car parked way up the Cummins Ridge Trail area, just over the Lincoln County line in Lane County. No sign of Kohler or her dog. The dog is named “Rosco” and is described as a light brown male Lab/Collie mix. Kohler is described as 5-7, 300 pounds with collar length brown hair and blue eyes.

Anyone who may have information as to the whereabouts of Margaret Kohler should call 541-265-4231.

Prison sentence for investment scheme that looked like a bull market…

AG John Kroger

Matthew Opperman was convicted of Racketeering, Forgery and Securities Fraud
Provided by AG John Kroger

Attorney General John Kroger today announced that a cattleman received a 5-year prison sentence for defrauding more than $555,000 from Oregon investors in a scheme involving interests in high-end bucking bulls.

Matthew Opperman, 39, was sentenced today in Clackamas County Circuit Court 60 months in prison after pleading guilty on February 3 to one count of Racketeering, four counts of First-Degree Forgery and one count of Securities Fraud. He was also ordered to pay more than $400,000 in restitution.

In a scheme that lasted nearly four years, Opperman sold securities to Oregon investors that represented interests in high-end bucking bulls and their progeny. The securities were not registered, Opperman was not registered to sell securities and he had already sold the same interests in the same animals to other investors. To complete the fraud, Opperman altered registration paperwork connected to the animals so investors were unaware that they were investing in something that was already heavily encumbered to other investors. Opperman took more than $555,000 from his investors, nearly all of which was lost.

Attorney General John Kroger leads the Oregon Department of Justice. The Department’s mission is to fight crime and fraud, protect the environment, improve child welfare, promote a positive business climate, and defend the rights of all Oregonians.

Senator Jeff Merkley’s push to protect homeowners from “bank mistreatment.”

Sen. Jeff Merkley

Bipartisan Group of Senators Says Ending Foreclosure Abuses Will Boost Economy and Strengthen Communities Provided by Sen. Merkley

Washington, D.C. – A group of 18 U.S. Senators, led by Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Olympia Snowe (R-ME), urged government agencies to take action to prevent foreclosures and help families keep their homes.

The senators made their request in a letter sent to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development Shaun Donovan, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Sheila Bair, Acting Comptroller of the Currency John Walsh, Acting Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency Edward DeMarco, Attorney General Eric Holder, and Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller. 18 other senators advocated for national regulatory standards that would decrease foreclosures, stabilize the housing market, and help spur job creation.

“As long as the housing market continues to falter, economic growth and job creation will falter too. By creating alternatives to needless foreclosures, we can assist Oregonians who have been hurt by the recession, reduce the downward spiral empty houses have on local communities, and strengthen a major sector of the economy.”

Read more about Senator Merkley’s housing proposal on the web: http://merkley.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/Paving the Way to a Healthy Housing Market1.pdf

Keeping up with artist Michael Gibbons

Oregon Coast artist Michael Gibbons is always up to something. When he’s not producing his magic on canvas, he’s promoting the arts in general and planning special events. Here’s an update from him.

Click Here

Depoe Bay student arrested at Yaquina View School for sex abuse

Dylan Donovan, 18

Newport Police were called to Yaquina View School Wednesday on a report that Dylan Donovan, 18, had exposed himself to three young girls during a classroom assignment. One of the girls left the room and summoned adults. The adults returned to the room, led the girls away and called police. Donovan was arrested and charged with sexual abuse, harassment and menacing. Donovan’s bail was set at $40,000.

State lawmakers seek to put caps on campaign spending.

A number of Oregon state lawmakers say they’re fed up with watching and reading political campaigns that devour more and more money every election cycle. So they’re proposing to no longer one of three states in the country to allow unlimited campaign donations. The store is in the Oregonian. Click Here

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