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Bus service seeks community feedback

Modified: Monday, Jan 16th, 2017
LINCOLN COUNTY -- In an effort to develop a 20-year improvement plan for bus service, Lincoln County Transit hosted outreach meetings in Siletz, Lincoln City, Newport and Yachats this week.
"We've done surveys with drivers and surveys with passengers," Lincoln County Transit Program Director Cynda Bruce said during a Yachats outreach on Jan. 11. "Now we're out to ask folks
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Dungeness crab season gets underway

Modified: Sunday, Jan 15th, 2017
NEWPORT -- After a monthlong delay for the second consecutive season, local fishermen finally began unloading their catches on Wednesday, Jan. 11, at the Port of Newport's Dock 7.
The wait was worth it, said Clint Funderberg, captain of the 42-foot long F/V Bess Chet, which was the second of a half-dozen vessels that unloaded thousand of pounds of crab
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Trial starts for Lincoln City murder suspect

Modified: Saturday, Jan 14th, 2017
NEWPORT -- The trial for an alleged murderer started Wednesday, Jan. 11, with opening statements from the defense and prosecution painting different versions of an October 2015 shooting that left a man dead on the steps of his own home.
The prosecution's case hinges on proving that the accused -- Antone Dean Bernal, of Lincoln City -- hadn't acted in
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Geology uncovered

Modified: Friday, Jan 13th, 2017
NEWPORT -- The largest construction effort in 50 years by state road builders revealed a beautiful, but tortured landscape that leaves many motorists awestruck in its breathtaking geography.
"From the road, it's spectacular," reflected Lorna Davis, executive director of the Greater Newport Chamber of Commerce, who has seen the $365.7 million Highway 20 project from the ground and air.
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Samaritan offers health grants

Posted: Friday, Jan 13th, 2017
LINCOLN COUNTY -- Grants are now available to local non-profits with health-related projects through Samaritan Health Services.
Samaritan Social Accountability distributed $132,831 last year to agencies, including Food Share of Lincoln County, Lincoln County School District, Retired Senior Volunteer Program, Seashore Family Literacy and Senior Meals on Wheels.
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Newport man suspected of multiple break-ins

Posted: Friday, Jan 13th, 2017
NEWPORT -- The alleged perpetrator in a spree of local break-ins is suspected of three additional burglaries.
Jesse Lee Lloyd Swanson, of Newport, was arraigned Monday, Jan. 9, on a Lincoln County Grand Jury indictment that alleges he unlawfully entered seven businesses around Newport, causing more than $3,000 in damage.
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New Lincoln City councilors sworn in at ceremony

Posted: Friday, Jan 13th, 2017
LINCOLN CITY -- Three freshly elected residents took their seats on the city council Monday, Jan. 9, relishing their new roles and the work ahead even as a veteran town elder recalled the strife that preceded the trio.
Sworn in by City Recorder Cathy Steere during opening ceremonies were Judy Casper, Ward 3, Diana Hinton, Ward 1 and Riley Hoagland,
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State to handle Newport's marijuana taxes

Posted: Friday, Jan 13th, 2017
NEWPORT -- The state will handle collection of all marijuana taxes in the city of Newport.
The city council approved at its Jan. 3 meeting to designate the Oregon Department of Revenue as collector of the local 3 percent tax on recreational marijuana sales in addition to collecting the 17 percent state tax.
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Helping out the fishing industry

Posted: Friday, Jan 13th, 2017
Federal legislation introduced this week aims to extend a long-standing fisheries management agreement on the West Coast.
Oregon Sens. Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden are co-sponsors of the proposal that would make permanent a tri-state management deal they say is vital and successful to the Dungeness crab fishing industry since 1998.
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Samaritan names new executives

Modified: Thursday, Jan 12th, 2017
NEWPORT -- New executives for Samaritan Pacific Communities Hospital in Newport have been named as part of a succession plan stemming from the pending retirement of CEO David Bigelow.
Lesley Ogden, CEO at Samaritan North Lincoln Hospital, is the interim chief executive officer at Samaritan Pacific Communities Hospital in addition to her role in Lincoln City.
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Pooling resources

Posted: Tuesday, Jan 10th, 2017
TOLEDO -- The Toledo Municipal Pool is one step closer to survival, as a recent decision by the city council will help the facility move forward with a proposal to pay for vital renovations and rising operational costs.
A plan created by the Keep Our Pool Open Community Committee (KOPOCC) -- a two-part strategy that aims to establish a recreational
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Local, statewide influenza outbreaks increase

Posted: Tuesday, Jan 10th, 2017
NEWPORT -- Lincoln County's number of acute influenza cases diagnosed over the last two months pales when compared to a pandemic outbreak occurring in the Portland area, but there has been a recent uptick in positive tests.
During the first week of January, there were four influenza-associated hospitalizations in Lincoln County -- two at each of the county's two Samaritan
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Room tax dollars up amid rain in the fall

Posted: Tuesday, Jan 10th, 2017
NEWPORT -- Transient room tax revenue in Newport moved past the $3.4 million mark at the end of November despite 16 inches of rain that put a damper on tourism late in the fall season.
Total tax revenue climbed to $3,442,611 in the 11 months ending Nov. 30, 2016 compared with $3,294,085 in the 11 months ending Nov. 30, 2015,
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Sheriff coverage doubles to 80 hours in Siletz district

Posted: Tuesday, Jan 10th, 2017
SILETZ -- The start of 2017 brought double the policing hours to the Siletz Area Enhanced Law Enforcement District, bringing the region up to the full coverage promised by the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office.
The district, which extends west to east from Siletz to the county border and north to Moonshine Park, is now exclusively covered by the equivalent of
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3 rescued from house fire

Modified: Tuesday, Jan 10th, 2017
LINCOLN CITY -- Three adults were rescued as their home burned around them on Thursday night, Jan. 5.
A Lincoln City Police Department officer and a member of North Lincoln Fire & Rescue were the first emergency personnel to arrive at 428 Southeast Inlet Ave.
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Martin lands permanent Toledo manager position

Posted: Tuesday, Jan 10th, 2017
TOLEDO -- The city of Toledo formally hired Craig Martin to serve permanently in the city manager position, upgrading him from his previous role as pro tempore.
The city council unanimously approved Martin's new contract at its Wednesday, Jan. 4, meeting.
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10-year-old angler conquers North Point

Posted: Tuesday, Jan 10th, 2017
DEPOE BAY -- While other children his age were spending a school "snow day" in front of an Xbox or a television set, 10-year-old Dakota Laford sized up a deep, watery fissure that stood between him and a fish-filled honey hole at North Point.
Carefully taking the measure of the crevasse, he sprang from a boulder and soared over the
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Crew installs an 800-foot sidewalk in Lincoln City

Posted: Tuesday, Jan 10th, 2017
LINCOLN CITY -- It may be no match for the Hoover Dam job, but city officials are taking pride in a public works project on Harbor Avenue that also involves tons of concrete, steel rebar and engineering savvy.
"This is going to make it safe to walk down here for thousands of tourists that visit our beaches every year," asserted
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Newport vacation rentals holding steady

Modified: Tuesday, Jan 10th, 2017
NEWPORT -- Though they create a broiling sea of contention in north and south Lincoln County, vacation rental dwellings make few waves in Newport.
"The city went through a very extensive process back in 2011-2012 on vacation rentals," Newport City Manager Spencer Nebel said. "They did an extensive code review and community outreach to develop the current codes regulating Vacation
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$1.65M deal reached between Bornstein and Newport

Modified: Monday, Jan 9th, 2017
NEWPORT -- Sale of the city-owned, two-story seafood processing facility and wharf on the Bayfront to lessee Bornstein Seafoods moved closer to completion on Tuesday, Jan. 3.
The city council voted 6-0 to draft a purchase and sale agreement for the property at 813 Southwest Bay Boulevard. The $1,657,500 deal should be finalized at the city council's meeting on
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Dungeness crab fishermen, processors come to terms

Modified: Friday, Jan 6th, 2017
NEWPORT -- After negotiating over two days, West Coast commercial Dungeness crab fishermen and fish processors ended their five-week standoff on Friday afternoon, Jan. 6.
With the Oregon Department of Agriculture involved as a supervisor, the two sides met for several hours Thursday, Jan. 5, and Friday before agreeing to split the difference in the price per pound.
The fishermen
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Highway 20 opens after mudslide

Modified: Friday, Jan 6th, 2017
TOLEDO -- Highway 20 is clear and open as of Friday morning, Jan. 6, said a representative from the Oregon Department of Transportation.
Crews worked through the night to clear the road of about 4,000 yards of debris and 60 trees, said ODOT spokeswoman Angela Beers Seydel.
A mudslide swept across the highway around 7 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 5, near
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Rare snow hits the coast

Posted: Thursday, Jan 5th, 2017
LINCOLN COUNTY -- Residents up and down the central Oregon coast woke to a blanket of snow covering the roads on the morning of Wednesday, Jan. 4.
The picturesque winter wonderland was a rare sight for coastal dwellers. But the unexpected flurry also caused cancellations and delays in schools and local offices.
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Landslide bottles up Highway 20

Posted: Thursday, Jan 5th, 2017
TOLEDO -- A mudslide swept across Highway 20 just outside Toledo, shutting down both lanes of the roadway near Milepost 5.5 early Thursday, Jan. 5.
A crew of about 25 people worked through the day to get the road cleared, said Angela Beers Seydel, media spokesperson for the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT).
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Fallen tree kills firefighter's daughter

Posted: Thursday, Jan 5th, 2017
OTIS -- The father of an 8-year-old girl who was killed when a massive tree crashed through her bedroom Tuesday night, Jan. 3, was among 18 North Lincoln Fire and Rescue volunteers, who rushed to the scene 5 miles northwest of Lincoln City at 11:14 p.m.
Responders used chain saws and hand tools to quickly free Zaylee Schlecht from the
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County will reallocate $120,000 in tourism funds

Posted: Thursday, Jan 5th, 2017
NEWPORT -- Each year, Lincoln County allocates a portion of the transient room tax revenue it receives for tourism promotion. And for a number of years, that allocation has gone to the Central Oregon Coast Association (COCA).
However, last fall, COCA's board of directors voted to dissolve the organization, and the Lincoln County Board of Commissioners, at its meeting on
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City council adjusts budget to reflect lower expenditures

Posted: Thursday, Jan 5th, 2017
NEWPORT -- So far, expenses in the city have come in less than expected.
The city council approved a supplemental budget at its Jan. 3 meeting, which made adjustments for the fiscal year 2016-2017.
Overall, the adjustments reflect a decrease of $228,555 from the original budget of $75,382,000 and a decrease of $1,605,664 from the current amended budget of
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Seal Rock locks up cheaper water rate

Posted: Thursday, Jan 5th, 2017
TOLEDO -- Water customers in Seal Rock now pay a modestly cheaper rate, with the decision from the city of Toledo to slash the price tag by 6 percent as of Jan. 1, 2017.
The Toledo city council unanimously voted to drop the rate of sale to $3.35 per thousand gallons of treated water, down from $3.57 per thousand gallons.
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Political File: Ethics issue surfaces in governor's office

Posted: Thursday, Jan 5th, 2017
The resignation this week of Gov. Kate Brown's chief of staff for an alleged ethical issue has a Republican questioning the integrity of the Democrat.
Oregon GOP Chairman Bill Currier said the "ethics scandal" was reminiscent of the problems that plagued, and eventually derailed the political career of former Gov. John Kitzhaber, who resigned in February 2015.
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Highway 20 closure extended to Friday

Modified: Thursday, Jan 5th, 2017
TOLEDO -- The Highway 20 closure near Milepost 5.5 is now expected to last until midday tomorrow (Friday, Jan. 6), the Oregon Department of Transportation announced Thursday afternoon.
A mudslide swept about 4,000 yards of debris and 60 trees across the highway around 7 a.m. Thursday morning. A 25-person ODOT crew responded, working to clear the affected stretch of road
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Highway 20 closed because of landslide near Toledo

Modified: Thursday, Jan 5th, 2017
TOLEDO -- A landslide on Thursday, Jan. 5, has closed Highway 20 about a mile west of Toledo, the Oregon Department of Transportation said.
The landslide is blocking both lanes of travel at Milepost 5.5. There is a local detour in place on Southeast Bay Boulevard and Southeast Moore Drive.
"The road will be closed at least into the evening,
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Otis girl dies after tree falls on home

Modified: Thursday, Jan 5th, 2017
OTIS -- An 8-year-old girl was killed Tuesday, Jan. 3, when a tree crashed through her bedroom, authorities said.
The incident happened about 11:14 p.m. in the 500 block of North Deer Lane Drive, said North Lincoln Fire & Rescue District No. 1 Capt. Jim Kusz in a report.
Zaylee Schlecht was sleeping in her bedroom, which she shared with
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Highway 34 closed because of icy conditions

Modified: Thursday, Jan 5th, 2017
ALSEA -- Icy conditions and vehicles off the roadway have led to closure of a Highway 34 about 9 miles east of Alsea, the Oregon Department of Transportation said Wednesday, Jan. 4.
The highway was closed this afternoon. Motorists are advised to use an alternative route.
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Snow causes school closures, travel woes

Modified: Thursday, Jan 5th, 2017
LINCOLN COUNTY -- A winter weather advisory for snow is in effect for the Central Oregon Coast through noon on Wednesday, Jan. 4, the National Weather Service Office in Portland said.
An accumulation of between 1-2 inches of snow is possible.
"A winter weather advisory for snow means that periods of snow will cause primarily travel difficulties," the National Weather
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Crabbing strike continues over price dispute

Modified: Thursday, Jan 5th, 2017
NEWPORT -- The delayed opening of Oregon's Dungeness crab season continues as fishermen and processors remain 25 cents apart on the season-opening price.
Oregon's season was scheduled to open coastwide at 9 a.m. on New Year's Day, but it was postponed after processors offered a $2.75 per pound opening price while fishermen want $3.
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Safety key at new $27.5M operation

Modified: Thursday, Jan 5th, 2017
NEWPORT -- One after another, a crane lifts steel tresses onto the roof of the 50,000-square-foot building on Northeast Avery Street and 73rd Street.
Central Lincoln Public Utility District's new $27.5 million operation center is on schedule to begin operation in August 2017.
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Strategy creation for 2040 requires community input

Modified: Thursday, Jan 5th, 2017
NEWPORT -- Members of the community may get the first chance to voice opinions for Vision 2040 in mid-February.
The Vision 2040 project seeks to gather public input in order to create a vision and strategic plan for the future of Newport.
"The initial concept was to do a community kickoff event in the latter part of January," said Derrick
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Whale of a plate surfaces

Modified: Thursday, Jan 5th, 2017
NEWPORT -- A new custom license plate for whale lovers has been approved by the Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) pending a show of support by interested motorists.
The proposed license plate, depicting a gray whale swimming against an ocean of blue waves, would be the first issued -- and possibly the last, for a while -- under challenging
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Pearson gets 81 years in prison for sex crimes

Modified: Thursday, Jan 5th, 2017
(An earlier version of this story included inaccurate information. It was updated Jan. 5)
NEWPORT -- A Siletz man was sentenced to 81 years and 3 months in prison after a jury convicted him of 11 felony sex charges.
David Pearson, 65, was convicted of seven counts of first-degree sexual abuse, three counts of first-degree unlawful sexual penetration, and one
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Toledo picks city manager amid transparency debate

Posted: Tuesday, Jan 3rd, 2017
TOLEDO -- The temporary manager of the city of Toledo may soon hold the position permanently, as the city council voted 5-0 at its Dec. 21, 2016 meeting to offer the job to current Pro Tempore Manager Craig Martin.
The decision to hire Martin -- previously the manager of Sweet Home, Ore., for nearly 20 years, and the manager of
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Gomberg appointed co-chair of transportation committee

Modified: Tuesday, Jan 3rd, 2017
SALEM -- Seniority has its privileges, as David Gomberg learned last week when the newly re-elected state representative from Lincoln City was appointed as co-chair of the influential House Transportation and Economic Development Committee.
The assignment places Gomberg, representative for House District 10, in a position to influence budgets for key state agencies, including the Oregon Department of Transportation, the
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