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Teachers ready to ratify 3-year labor contract

Modified: Sunday, Feb 7th, 2016
NEWPORT -- Lincoln County School District and its teachers union will finally ratify a new three-year contract during its Board of Directors meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 9.
The board and the Lincoln County Education Association (LCEA) are expected to sign the collective bargaining agreement during the 7 p.m. meeting at Sam Case School.
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Two-year helo extension awaits Obama’s signature

Modified: Saturday, Feb 6th, 2016
NEWPORT -- Congress has finally approved inclusion of language in the U.S. Coast Guard Act of 2015 that ensures helicopter facilities in Newport and Charleston, S.C., will remain open through 2017.
The bill, which passed the Senate in December and the House earlier this year, will become law following the signature of President Barack Obama.
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Vandalism keeps crew busy

Posted: Thursday, Feb 4th, 2016
NEWPORT -- Thousands of dollars are being spent annually in Newport for public facility repairs, rather than building improvements, because of ongoing acts of vandalism in the seaside town.
Building Maintenance Supervisor John Johnston, and his small crew take care of over a dozen city facilities. Summer is the worst time of year for vandalism, Johnston said. But
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Sunnier skies on coastal horizon

Posted: Thursday, Feb 4th, 2016
NEWPORT -- A batch of cold and wet weather is forecast to give way to sunny skies and warmer temperatures in the second week of February as a ridge of high pressure moves over the area. But not before the central coast region gets hit with another round of rain and strong wind.
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Battered rescuers will be back

Posted: Thursday, Feb 4th, 2016
LINCOLN CITY -- Two lifesavers, who were injured after their Jet Ski was swamped by a rogue wave near Pacific City during the futile search for a missing girl on Feb. 1, can't wait to get back to their dangerous jobs on the state's only certified water rescue team.
North Lincoln Fire & Rescue volunteers Loren Nordyke and Eric Maestas
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Ambulance service plan debated by county

Posted: Thursday, Feb 4th, 2016
NEWPORT -- Lincoln County has an Ambulance Service Area Plan that seeks to ensure prompt emergency response in all areas of the county. The Lincoln County Board of Commissioners, at its meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 3, talked about proposed updates to this plan.
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Fluoridation decision headed to voters

Posted: Thursday, Feb 4th, 2016
NEWPORT -- The Newport City Council again adopted a fluoridation ordinance, along with a resolution on Monday, Feb. 1, that will send the measure to voters in May.
Because the ordinance wasn't read by title only before a roll call vote on Jan. 19, the council's decision had to be ratified.
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Public loans cloaked in secrecy

Posted: Thursday, Feb 4th, 2016
LINCOLN CITY -- A $7 million municipal agency that distributes taxpayer-funded loans to "eliminate blight" declined recently to reveal the names of businesses that have received interest-free financing from the city.
An assistant director of the Lincoln City Urban Renewal Agency (URA) rebuffed Mayor Don Williams when he asked about details of two loans during a Jan. 11 meeting of
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Yachats seeking first city administrator

Posted: Thursday, Feb 4th, 2016
YACHATS -- Yachats officials will soon be restructuring city operations as councilors and staffers seek the small coastal community's first city administrator.
City Councilor Max Glenn said they decided to search for an administrator because Yachats won't always have Mayor Ron Brean's skill set.
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Man gets 84 months prison in child porn case

Posted: Thursday, Feb 4th, 2016
NEWPORT -- A Depoe Bay man was sentenced to 84 months in state prison for using a computer to view sexually explicit conduct involving children.
John Lorentz Wiegardt was sentenced after pleading guilty to five counts of encouraging child sexual abuse in the first degree, and five counts of encouraging child sexual abuse in the second degree.
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Iowa outcome weeds out candidates

Posted: Thursday, Feb 4th, 2016
The fallout from the Iowa Caucuses was severe with a number of Republican presidential hopefuls suspending their campaigns, and more likely to follow in the coming weeks.
Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul was one of three GOP candidates to end his presidential bid when he declared Wednesday, Feb. 3, that he was out of the running.
"It's been an incredible honor
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‘Generous donation’ keeps Aquatic Center afloat

Modified: Thursday, Feb 4th, 2016
NEWPORT -- A $300,000 donation to the Newport Aquatic Center will bail the financially plagued project out of a $200,000 excavation overrun, and allow city staff to keep features they would've had to otherwise sacrifice.
Parks and Recreation Director Jim Protiva said a geologist's assessment determined the land in the construction zone was "not compactable," and that the facility would
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Teenager missing, rescuers injured at Cape Kiwanda

Modified: Wednesday, Feb 3rd, 2016
PACIFIC CITY -- A 17-year-old girl remains missing after she slipped off a rock and fell into the ocean Monday, Feb. 1, at Cape Kiwanda, sparking a desperate search that nearly took the lives of two rescuers.
Efforts to locate the teenager, Megan Owens of Marysville, Wash., were suspended by the U.S. Coast Guard on Tuesday, Feb. 2.
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Ringing up revenue

Modified: Wednesday, Feb 3rd, 2016
NEWPORT -- Hearty doses of good weather made Newport a prime destination for tourists in early fall, in turn producing solid reservation bookings for lodging establishments in the seaside town.
The combination also proved financially beneficial for the city, which collected $145,202.41 in room tax revenue in November, according to data compiled by the finance department. That was up about
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County commissioners debate room tax increase

Posted: Tuesday, Feb 2nd, 2016
NEWPORT -- The latest discussion about the future of the Lincoln County Fairgrounds was held Wednesday, Jan. 27, when the Lincoln County Board of Commissioners debated whether to increase the county's transient room tax (TRT).
Such a decision would ultimately be up to Lincoln County voters. "Unlike the cities' authority to impose a TRT increase without a public vote, we
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Dredging planned at Port of Alsea

Posted: Tuesday, Feb 2nd, 2016
WALDPORT -- A long overdue dredging of the Port of Alsea's boat basin and launch ramp may occur next winter if the project's permitting process is approved.
The proposal involves removing 30,500 cubic yards of sediment, which would be transported via a 3,000-foot-long pipeline to a beach area southwest of the port.
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Local gas prices fall below $2 per gallon

Posted: Tuesday, Feb 2nd, 2016
NEWPORT -- A steep drop in crude oil prices during the past few months is finally showing up at service stations in town with some retailers selling regular unleaded gasoline for less than $2 per gallon.
Two gas vendors in Newport dropped the price of regular unleaded to $1.999 per gallon during the past week.
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Building fees could tumble

Posted: Tuesday, Feb 2nd, 2016
LINCOLN CITY -- The costs of construction could drop if elected officials lower building fees known as systems development charges.
On Monday, Feb. 1, city councilors heard a recommendation by an expert to reduce water and sewer SDCs by as much as 30 and 40 percent, respectively.
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Man jailed after crashing van into light pole

Posted: Tuesday, Feb 2nd, 2016
NEWPORT -- A Newport man was arrested for allegedly driving under the influence of intoxicants after the vehicle he was piloting left the roadway, and plowed into a light pole and fire hydrant, authorities said.
The incident happened about 7:50 a.m. on Jan. 24 when local resident John Nason apparently lost control of a green 1998 Dodge Caravan while heading
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Citizen trumps city’s findings

Posted: Tuesday, Feb 2nd, 2016
LINCOLN CITY -- City officials learned recently that their town has topped the charts of pollsters, who track the best places to visit and the worst to live.
Jo Francis Calk, the newest member of the town's library board, revealed her own findings on travel trends even as town elders convened to hear the results of a long-awaited study on
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Graduation, dropout rates show improvement

Modified: Tuesday, Feb 2nd, 2016
NEWPORT -- Newport High School compares favorably to statewide high school graduate and dropout rates based on four- and five-year cohorts of students.
The Oregon Department of Education (ODE) released a report last week showing high school graduation dropout rates statewide for the 2014-15 school year.
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Yachats council OKs shoreland protection changes

Modified: Monday, Feb 1st, 2016
YACHATS -- Readying for any Land Use Board of Appeals battles that may come, the city of Yachats has gotten more specific with its shoreland protections.
On Jan. 14, the city council voted to approve an ordinance amending the shoreland setbacks section of the municipal code. The planning commission suggested new language that defines specific qualifications for protection.
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New Siletz law enforcement plan unveiled

Modified: Sunday, Jan 31st, 2016
NEWPORT -- A proposal for forming a Siletz Area Enhanced Law Enforcement Service District was presented to the Lincoln County Board of Commissioners at its weekly meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 27.
The commissioners were asked to initiate a process to form this district, which would ultimately be put to a vote in May.
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Rogue’s new warehouse near approval

Modified: Saturday, Jan 30th, 2016
NEWPORT -- After 18 months of negotiations, the proposed expansion plans of Rogue Ales at the Port of Newport are nearing completion.
Approval of a lease agreement between the two entities will be considered when the port's Board of Commissioners revisits the issue at its Feb. 16 meeting.
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Fulfilling a need for the homeless

Modified: Friday, Jan 29th, 2016
NEWPORT -- Project Homeless Connect is one of the most visible homeless aid efforts in Lincoln County each year, but the assistance offered isn't just a one-day deal.
The ninth annual event at the Newport Church of the Nazarene on Thursday, Jan. 28 provided services like health care and job assistance, and items such as tents and hygiene products to
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Graffiti drawing attention in Newport

Posted: Thursday, Jan 28th, 2016
NEWPORT -- To some, graffiti is a display of artistic expression. To many who live in, or visit Newport, it's a nuisance.
"It takes away from the aesthetic appeal of the beach," said Seth Jones, of Salt Lake City, Utah, who spotted graffiti at Nye Beach.
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Council rejects vacation rental moratorium

Posted: Thursday, Jan 28th, 2016
LINCOLN CITY -- Vexed by shifting policies that could reduce the number of nights they can do business and subject them to steep penalties for violating the vague limits, vacation rental homeowners turned out in force earlier this month to plead for relief from the city council.
On Jan. 25, they got their answer when the council blocked a moratorium
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Committee interviews barred to public

Posted: Thursday, Jan 28th, 2016
LINCOLN CITY -- Under a new policy approved by the city council, applicants for influential public committees will be interviewed behind closed doors.
Convening at undisclosed locations under the thin shelter of a disputed section of open meetings law, city councilors will select the city's next crop of leaders beyond earshot of the general public.
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Gun ‘buyback’ event returns to Newport

Posted: Thursday, Jan 28th, 2016
NEWPORT -- In an effort to reduce the number of guns in Lincoln County, Ceasefire Oregon will hold its second annual "buyback" event on Saturday, Feb. 6.
The "Voluntary Turn-In of Unwanted Guns" event will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Newport Police Department, which is a co-sponsor.
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Ashland man arrested after car chase across county

Posted: Thursday, Jan 28th, 2016
NEWPORT -- An Ashland man led multiple police agencies on a pursuit from north to south Lincoln County after allegedly kicking a dog on Tuesday, Jan. 26.
Steven Ronald Valencia Jr., 36, was arraigned on 14 charges, including misdemeanor counts of reckless driving, recklessly endangering another person, and animal abuse in the second degree. He appeared in Lincoln County Circuit
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Dems in tight Iowa contest

Posted: Thursday, Jan 28th, 2016
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is clinging to a narrow lead over Hillary Clinton in Iowa with a few days left before voters caucus in the Hawkeye State.
A Quinnipiac University Poll released Jan. 27 showed Sanders, a self-described socialist, with 49 percent support from likely Democratic caucus participants, compared with 45 percent for Clinton.
Former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley
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Port leaders pitch project to Lincoln City

Modified: Thursday, Jan 28th, 2016
LINCOLN CITY -- Top officials with the Port of Newport shared their vision of prosperity with the Lincoln City Council on Jan. 25, arguing that a new era of marine shipping will benefit residents throughout the county.
Port Manager Kevin Greenwood and Walter Chuck, chairman of the port's board of directors, described how nearly $400 million in public and private
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New boatyard emerges from a dream

Posted: Tuesday, Jan 26th, 2016
TOLEDO -- Located seven miles up the Yaquina River, the Port of Toledo has proven over the last five years that ambition can turn a trickle into a waterfall.
At the beginning of a five-year project to renovate a dilapidated boatyard the port had purchased, Port Manager Bud Shoemake and his handful of employees must have wondered if they'd ever
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Graffiti gets attention

Posted: Tuesday, Jan 26th, 2016
A man and woman take notice of graffiti recently painted on the walls of the Nye Beach Turnaround on Monday, Jan. 25, in Newport.
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Storm damage totals $2.9 million

Posted: Tuesday, Jan 26th, 2016
NEWPORT -- Lincoln County officials are seeking financial assistance with $2.9 million in public infrastructure damage after a series of storms pounded the area in December.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Oregon Emergency Management completed public Preliminary Damage Assessments (PDA) in 13 Oregon counties earlier this month. The agencies also completed individual assistance damage estimates in six counties,
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Initiative supporters spar with city

Posted: Tuesday, Jan 26th, 2016
LINCOLN CITY -- Organizers of an initiative petition to replace the city's contested vacation rental dwelling laws are engaged in a back and forth legal battle with the city attorney.
Citing technical flaws, City Recorder Cathy Steere, the city's chief election officer, repeatedly disallowed a trio of ballot titles that petition supporters hoped to place on a May special election
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Newport passes fluoridation ordinance for voter approval

Modified: Tuesday, Jan 26th, 2016
NEWPORT -- Due to a technicality, city councilors will have to readdress a recently approved fluoridation ordinance in order to send it to voters in May's special election.
On Jan. 19, the Newport City Council talked in length about language revisions, deciding upon a handful and casting a vote in favor of the ordinance, 4-1.
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Man arrested after alleged car break-in

Posted: Tuesday, Jan 26th, 2016
EDDYVILLE -- A man from Dallas, Ore., was arrested earlier this month after being scared off the property of two Eddyville residents with firearms.
Jeffrey A. Rodgers, 22, was indicted on charges of unlawful entry into a vehicle, criminal mischief in the second degree, and attempt to commit a Class C felony in Lincoln County Circuit Court on Jan.
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Banned bedroom leads to VRD appeal

Posted: Tuesday, Jan 26th, 2016
LINCOLN CITY -- The first test of Lincoln City's authority over vacation rental dwellings in Roads End, annexed to the city in 2013, is underway at the Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals.
An agreement to postpone the application of Lincoln City's vacation rental laws for five years after the takeover failed to prevent regulators from barring the use of
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City audit has PERS strings attached

Posted: Tuesday, Jan 26th, 2016
DEPOE BAY -- An otherwise rosy financial report turned bleak for city councilors when an auditor revealed earlier this month that nearly a half-million dollars of unfunded Public Employee Retirement System benefits would skew future municipal balance sheets.
A new federal rule of the Government Accounting Standards Board, known as GASBY 68, requires all public entities to list the full
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Highway devours asphalt

Posted: Tuesday, Jan 26th, 2016
BEVERLY BEACH -- Road workers on Friday, Jan. 22, plugged a fast-growing sinkhole on a notorious stretch of road that keeps repair crews busy year round.
"This is what we call job security," beamed Todd Perryman, a roller operator with Road and Driveway Co. of Newport, a subcontractor for the Oregon Department of Transportation. "We've already been out here a
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Trailer park ruckus ends in arrest

Posted: Tuesday, Jan 26th, 2016
DEPOE BAY -- A shotgun-wielding man put a round through the grill of his girlfriend's car in a last-ditch effort to keep her from leaving him, but the gambit backfired when he was arrested on weapons and drug charges after the Friday, Jan. 22, incident.
A small group of police officers, firefighters and ambulance personnel responded to a 10:44 a.m.
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Regional jobless rate falls to 6.3 percent

Posted: Tuesday, Jan 26th, 2016
NEWPORT -- Employment levels in Lincoln County ended the year on a strong note with the jobless rate sinking to its lowest level for any month since mid-2008.
The unemployment rate in the coastal region dropped to 6.3 percent in December 2015 from 7.4 percent in December 2014, the Oregon Employment Department said in a report on Jan. 26.
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