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Airport committee ponders benefits of private operation

Modified: Saturday, Feb 13th, 2016
NEWPORT -- Despite a nearly yearlong process, the Newport Airport Advisory Committee has run into obstacles finding what it really wants in a private contractor for operating the facility.
City Manager Spencer Nebel said Newport started to get a feel for the privatizing process about a year ago because there was some thought airport operations "might be run better through
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ODOT proposes lengthy Highway 20 closures

Modified: Friday, Feb 12th, 2016
NEWPORT -- For five months beginning in June, the state will periodically close U.S. Highway 20 six days a week at the west end of its 5.5-mile construction project.
Phase 4 of the $365 million project includes blasting and removing 350,000 cubic yards of dirt from the side of a steep mountain in order to straighten one-tenth of a mile
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County considering 1 percent room tax increase

Posted: Thursday, Feb 11th, 2016
NEWPORT -- A proposal for a 1 percent increase in the transient room tax (TRT) for the unincorporated areas of Lincoln County could be presented to the voters on the May ballot.
The county commissioners continued an earlier discussion on this issue when they met Wednesday evening, Feb. 10, at Newport City Hall, following a joint work session with the
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Newport Farmers Market needs a new home

Posted: Thursday, Feb 11th, 2016
NEWPORT -- Time is ticking for the Newport Farmers Market as it searches for a permanent summer location after being displaced by Aquatic Center construction in 2015.
During a Newport City Council and Lincoln County Board of Commissioners joint session on Wednesday evening, Feb. 10, Market Manager Katie McNeil added they're open to suggestions after multiple business owners complained about
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Forse fights for surfing legacy

Posted: Thursday, Feb 11th, 2016
LINCOLN CITY -- John Forse admits the shark attack off Gleneden Beach could have killed him 18 years ago, making things a lot easier for everybody.
Instead, the vicious mugging by an 18-foot Great White was a watershed moment for the lifelong surfer who struggled to find the meaning to his life as he was dragged beneath the waves.
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Former mayor Anderson to run for state senate

Posted: Thursday, Feb 11th, 2016
LINCOLN CITY -- Claiming that "Salem is out of touch" with constituents at the Oregon coast, a former Lincoln City mayor has thrown his hat into the ring in a bid for the state senate.
Republican Dick Anderson, 65, said he would challenge incumbent Democrat Arnie Roblan of Coos Bay for the District 5 seat, a sweeping jurisdiction that encompasses
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Agencies honor fallen Seaside police officer

Posted: Thursday, Feb 11th, 2016
SEASIDE -- Thousands of law enforcement agents from across the state and country are expected to attend Seaside Police Department Sgt. Jason Goodding's memorial service Friday, Feb. 12.
Goodding, 39, was killed in the line of duty on Feb. 5 while attempting to arrest Phillip Ferry, 55, of Seaside, who had a felony warrant.
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Boynton to get new contract

Posted: Thursday, Feb 11th, 2016
NEWPORT -- After a positive evaluation, the Lincoln County School District is prepared to give Superintendent Steve Boynton a new three-year contract through June 30, 2018.
The district's board of directors addressed the issue at a Monday, Feb. 8, meeting at Sam Case Elementary School, but decided to wait to finalize the agreement at their March 8 meeting in Waldport.
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State finances in good shape

Posted: Thursday, Feb 11th, 2016
Revenue growth in Oregon has been strong in the 2015-17 biennium, but state coffers could face considerable downward pressure in the years ahead if certain assumptions pan out.
The Oregon Economic and Revenue Forecast found the state's economy continues to be running on "full-throttle rates of growth" with job gains and wages outpacing the typical state. The quarterly forecast was
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Port parking tickets tough to collect

Modified: Thursday, Feb 11th, 2016
NEWPORT -- In an effort to increase compliance, the Port of Newport is negotiating with TCB Security Services to become its official billing agent for parking violations.
The port currently acts as its own collection agent on parking tickets issued by TCB, an Oregon company that's contracted to provide security for the port.
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Residents give up guns for groceries

Modified: Tuesday, Feb 9th, 2016
NEWPORT -- The number of firearms turned in during the Saturday, Feb. 6, gun buy-back event in Newport was much fewer than last year, but organizers consider it a success.
Last year, 138 guns were exchanged for grocery store gift cards during the first-time event sponsored by Central Coast Ceasefire Oregon, compared to 52 on Feb. 6.
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Home sales surpass $21 million in January

Modified: Tuesday, Feb 9th, 2016
NEWPORT -- A red-hot housing market showed no signs of cooling in the dead of winter with home sales in January dwarfing figures from the same period a year ago.
Sales of residential site-built, condominiums and townhouses surged to $21.02 million in January from $11.91 million in January 2015. That marked a gain of about 76.5 percent in the period.
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Hospital transfer complete

Posted: Tuesday, Feb 9th, 2016
LINCOLN CITY -- The deal is done: Samaritan North Lincoln Hospital has a new owner.
Hospital officials turned over the keys to corporate health care provider Samaritan Health Services on Feb. 3. The transfer of assets, estimated in separate appraisals at $9 million to $21 million, included the hospital and properties of the North Lincoln Health District.
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OCCC one step closer to independence

Posted: Tuesday, Feb 9th, 2016
NEWPORT -- After "countless hours of work" and nearly 1,000 pages of documentation, Oregon Coast Community College has reached the first milestone in its trek toward independence.
The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities has recognized the college as an applicant for candidacy for independent accreditation.
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Audit has PERS-strings attached

Posted: Tuesday, Feb 9th, 2016
LINCOLN CITY -- Municipal coffers could take a multimillion-dollar hit under new financial reporting rules that, for the first time, reveal the actual cost of employee pensions.
The sobering news was delivered to city councilors Monday, Feb. 8, during the annual audit report by Tim Gillette of the Lake Oswego accounting firm Talbot, Korvola and Warwick, or TKW.
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City will clean up harbor eyesore

Posted: Tuesday, Feb 9th, 2016
DEPOE BAY -- The city council on Tuesday, Feb. 2, moved to eradicate an unsightly blemish in its otherwise picturesque harbor.
An isolated slab of cement at the northeast edge of the 9-acre port, known as "Trollers Island," has long been an eyesore and a thorn in the side of city officials. A recent determination that the city owns the
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New Lincoln City cop is no rookie

Posted: Tuesday, Feb 9th, 2016
LINCOLN CITY -- It's never been harder to hire good police officers, but Lincoln City Police Department Chief Keith Kilian had the edge when he offered a job to veteran Nebraska lawman, Tom Morrison.
"I knew his family, and had them on board," said Kilian, recalling how Morrison's parents recently moved into his neighborhood. "I bumped into his father one
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Neighbors express safety, view concerns

Posted: Tuesday, Feb 9th, 2016
WALDPORT -- Neighbors of a new residential development around Crestview Golf Course have sent planning commissioners a letter asking they reconsider their approval.
The planning commission granted that approval to developer Kevin Kass on Dec. 14. The planned development consists of 38 single-family homes, starting at 1,300 square feet on 3,345-square-foot lots, on Green Street and Green Lane.
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Ambulance service plan debated by commissioners

Modified: Monday, Feb 8th, 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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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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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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