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Sex sting nets second conviction

Modified: Saturday, Feb 18th, 2017
NEWPORT -- A Siletz man, one of seven arrested in a December 2016 sex crime sweep, was sentenced to five years probation and $1,000 fine for having a relationship with a 15-year-old girl.
Jeffrey John Paul, 22, pled guilty to a felony count of third-degree rape and a misdemeanor count of contributing to the sexual delinquency of a minor
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Daring helicopter rescue saves two men from cave

Modified: Saturday, Feb 18th, 2017
WALDPORT -- In a daring night maneuver, the crew of a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter saved two college students who were swept into a sea cave at Cape Perpetua on Tuesday, Feb. 14.
Buffeted by gusts of wind and a mere rotor's distance from a rock cliff, four aviators led by Lt. Zachary Wiest, pilot in command, hatched a plan
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Drilling for disaster

Modified: Friday, Feb 17th, 2017
TOLEDO -- A column of black smoke twisted toward the sky as a three-story house, engulfed in flames, collapsed on itself Saturday, Feb. 11.
About 50 firefighting personnel -- from the Toledo Fire Department, Siletz Valley Fire Department, Newport Fire Department, Central Oregon Coast Fire and Rescue, and the Georgia-Pacific emergency response team -- stood by calmly, watching it
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Hospital rezoning moves forward

Posted: Thursday, Feb 16th, 2017
NEWPORT -- Two factors blocking the construction of the new $57 million Samaritan Pacific Communities Hospital have been removed.
The city council approved rezoning 2.3 acres of the hospital's property to public (P-1) from high density residential (R-4) at its meeting Monday, Feb. 6.
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Habitat for Humanity breaks ground on housing project

Posted: Thursday, Feb 16th, 2017
NEWPORT -- For two families, affordable housing in Newport is a reality.
Habitat for Humanity of Lincoln County celebrated a groundbreaking for its first build in Newport on Monday, Feb. 13.
The duplex, with two bedrooms and a half bath on each side, will be built on city-donated land at Southwest Pine and 10th streets in the coming months.
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Proposal seeks to address deadly sneaker waves

Posted: Thursday, Feb 16th, 2017
YACHATS -- With no end to reports of sneaker waves causing deaths and injuries along the Oregon Coast, one small town resident decided to do something about the situation.
Ken Gagne began working on a beach safety proposal for the coast near Yachats, especially Thor's Well, in October.
After gathering letters of support from more than 100 people, Gagne designed
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Rescuers race to reach man on cliff

Posted: Thursday, Feb 16th, 2017
LINCOLN CITY -- An amateur photographer who fell 130 feet down a cliff at Cascade Head on Saturday, Feb. 11, was stranded on a remote beach until a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter lifted the injured man to safety.
The incident brought into focus a popular attraction among hikers whose hazardous geography has been the scene of frequent rescues by air,
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Street updates pending in Newport

Posted: Thursday, Feb 16th, 2017
NEWPORT -- Long traffic lines over the Yaquina Bay Bridge may become less frequent down the road given some upcoming street improvements.
As part of the South Beach Urban Renewal Plan, the city and Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) plan to extend Southeast 35th Street through Highway 101 to Anchor Way. The signal at 32nd Street would be moved to
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Police adding new "stealth vehicle"

Posted: Thursday, Feb 16th, 2017
LINCOLN CITY -- Detectives hope to blend into the landscape with a new addition to the Lincoln City Police Department motor pool, a new Ford F-150 truck.
On Monday, Feb. 13, the city council approved the purchase of the vehicle and another, a 2017 Ford Explorer, to replace an exhausted Chevrolet Tahoe with 161,000 miles.
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Political File: Lawmakers demand Flynn investigation

Posted: Thursday, Feb 16th, 2017
The Trump administration is in the crosshairs of Oregon federal lawmakers amid the resignation this week of National Security Advisor Michael Flynn.
Sens. Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden each called for an investigation into the resignation, which stems from conversations Flynn had with a Russian ambassador. Flynn stepped down Monday, Feb. 13.
He reportedly misled Vice President Mike Pence
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Newport approves pay hikes for city workers

Modified: Thursday, Feb 16th, 2017
NEWPORT -- Public works employees for the city of Newport will receive a pay increase over the next three years as part of an effort to stem turnover.
The city council approved restructuring the salary structure for public works employees at its Monday, Feb. 6 meeting.
"One of the concerns we had is we were having a very high turnover,"
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Coast Guard rescues two men stranded inside cave

Modified: Wednesday, Feb 15th, 2017
YACHATS -- Two men were rescued by a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter crew from Air Facility Newport after being stranded on Tuesday evening, Feb. 14, inside a cave south of Yachats.
The unidentified beachgoers were located and hoisted by the helicopter crew, and then transferred to the air facility where they were met by emergency responders. The men were hypothermic,
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Pool opening again delayed

Modified: Wednesday, Feb 15th, 2017
NEWPORT -- Although the community celebrated the dedication of the new Aquatic Center on Saturday, Feb. 11, the pools are not quite ready for use.
"Our pools are certified, but we have some issues. We want to make sure it's perfect before we open it to the public. The tile that marks the depth is not clear enough to meet
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Dungeness landings rise despite setbacks

Modified: Wednesday, Feb 15th, 2017
NEWPORT -- The 2016-17 Oregon Dungeness crab season has been chaotic with various shellfish closures along the coast, but crab landings remain prolific.
An estimated 15.4 million pounds of Dungeness had been landed through Monday, Feb. 13, which exceeds the 2015-16 haul of 14.2 million pounds and could reach the highest landings total since the 2010-11 season.
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Siletz Valley Fire District living on financial edge

Modified: Wednesday, Feb 15th, 2017
SILETZ -- The Siletz Valley Fire District is hanging by a financial thread, and is only functioning now on the whims of federal grant programs and contributions from the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians.
The district raises about $194,000 annually via a tax levy that collects $1.33 per $1,000 of assessed property value. To continue operating at its current service
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Land Trust tries new housing approach

Posted: Tuesday, Feb 14th, 2017
LINCOLN COUNTY -- With ever-increasing demand for housing, the Lincoln Community Land Trust hopes to help address the issue with a new program.
The Lincoln Community Land Trust is a nonprofit that tries to create affordable homes by building homes on donated land and offering them for a reasonable purchase price (about $60,000 to $100,000 less than market-rate.) Income-eligible homeowners
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South section of Waldport unable to hook up to sewer

Posted: Tuesday, Feb 14th, 2017
WALDPORT -- Residents won't be hooking up to sewer anytime soon in a section of south Waldport.
In 2002, a Local Improvement District (LID) formed along Highway 101 from Southwest Corona Court to Southwest Ocean Hills Drive to fund infrastructure to connect to the city's sewer system.
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Capital projects aplenty in town with no taxes

Posted: Tuesday, Feb 14th, 2017
DEPOE BAY -- While some other governments wallow in seas of red ink, officials in this quaint fishing village with no taxes and an undersized budget are laying asphalt faster than a local plant can produce the material.
One project after another, fueled by infusions of other people's money and a culture of penny-pinching, have gradually brought the city's ancient
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Tribe re-elects three councilmembers

Posted: Tuesday, Feb 14th, 2017
SILETZ -- Three sitting members of the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians Tribal Council will continue to serve until 2020 following an election held on Saturday, Feb. 4.
Robert Kentta, of Logsden, has served on the council since 2005 and was re-elected with 397 votes. Loraine Butler, of Siletz, was reelected with 360 votes after serving 12 years. Gloria Ingle,
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Spotlight on Lincoln City Realty

Posted: Tuesday, Feb 14th, 2017
Real estate never sleeps for Mike and Linda Roy, who work with loyal clients and first-time buyers anytime of the day or night.
"Mike usually works until one a.m.," reflected Linda Roy, a former executive director of the Lincoln City Chamber of Commerce who left her plum position in 2013 to help run the steadily-growing company the couple founded nine
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Norovirus adds to flu outbreak

Modified: Monday, Feb 13th, 2017
LINCOLN COUNTY -- An outbreak of Norovirus has been identified in the Lincoln County School District, complicating treatment and prevention efforts in a region already inundated with cases of influenza A.
"We are seeing both flu and Norovirus here in Lincoln County," said District Nurse Julie Turner in a Monday, Feb. 6, media release about the outbreak. "Because these viruses
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Tourists to foot bill for $10 million police station

Modified: Sunday, Feb 12th, 2017
LINCOLN CITY -- Vacationers will pay for a new police station with the 9.5 percent tax they pay for staying in motels and vacation rentals.
Town elders made the decision to use transient room taxes to fund construction of a new, $10 million cop shop at a recent strategy session where they concluded the risk of voters turning it down
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Former Lincoln County teacher arrested

Modified: Saturday, Feb 11th, 2017
MARION COUNTY -- A former teacher in the Lincoln County School District was arrested Thursday, Feb. 2, after allegedly sexually assaulting a teenage girl at a summer camp last year.
Rohan Cordy, 28, faces four felony counts of second-degree sexual abuse and one felony charge of using a child in a display of sexually explicit conduct.
According to records filed
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Bernal gets 32 years to life in prison for murder, attempted murder

Modified: Saturday, Feb 11th, 2017
NEWPORT -- A Lincoln City man was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole for murder and attempted murder linked to two shootings.
Antone Dean Bernal will serve the mandatory minimum of 25 years for murdering 32-year-old Luke McCann on the steps of his home on Oct. 29, 2015. Lincoln County Circuit Court Judge Paulette Sanders ruled
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Pile-driving project at the Port of Alsea

Modified: Thursday, Feb 9th, 2017
WALDPORT -- The Port of Alsea is about a month removed from completing an ambitious $750,000 makeover of its public dock facilities.
"We've had a few delays because of weather and the breaking of some of the pipes used to remove dredged material," said port manager Roxie Cuellar. "But we should be done with the dredging by the end of
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Coast Guard families extended free recreation passes

Modified: Thursday, Feb 9th, 2017
NEWPORT -- The families of active Coast Guard personnel stationed at Yaquina Bay will have free access to the city's recreation center and pool.
For several years the center has been free to all active military regardless of branch, as well as city personnel and their families.
City Manager Spencer Nebel said at the Feb. 6 city council meeting that
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Beached gray whale calf dies at Beverly Beach

Posted: Thursday, Feb 9th, 2017
OTTER ROCK -- A beached gray whale calf was found alive on Monday, Feb. 6, at Beverly Beach, north of Johnson Creek.
Jim Keene and Bob Watkins found the calf while walking dogs in the afternoon and reported the beaching to the Hatfield Marine Science Center's Oregon Marine Mammal Stranding Network (OMMSN).
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Famous game show becomes wheel of misfortune

Posted: Thursday, Feb 9th, 2017
NEWPORT -- A talented singer who was handpicked to be on America's most popular TV game show raced a disabling snowstorm, burglars, and a rare case of nerves to appear on The Wheel of Fortune.
Newport resident Melissa McDonald, a lifelong fan of the "Wheel," appeared on the Jan. 24 show.
"I watched the Wheel since I was
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Siletz tribe donates $153,325 to regional organizations

Posted: Thursday, Feb 9th, 2017
SILETZ -- The Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians donated $153,325 to regional organizations on Feb. 3, as part of the Charitable Contribution Fund's quarterly endowments.
The funding was distributed to 38 nonprofits, with the largest donations going to the Siletz Valley Fire District ($25,000) and the Chetco Historical Memorial Committee for a new installation at the Chetco Indian village memorial
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Office fire still under scrutiny

Posted: Thursday, Feb 9th, 2017
TOLEDO --  The cause of an early-morning fire on Thursday, Jan. 26 at the old Port of Toledo office building on Yaquina Bay Road remains under investigation.
Port Manager Bud Shoemake said Toledo Fire Chief Will Ewing believes the cause may have been electrical in nature but the Oregon State Fire Marshal's office has not completed its investigation.
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Lobby expansion finished at Performing Arts Center

Modified: Thursday, Feb 9th, 2017
NEWPORT -- Members of the community honored The Women's Relief Fund Contributors and Lobbyists for the Arts on Friday, Feb. 3.
Such are the names of the lists of donors who contributed to a lobby expansion and restroom remodel at the Performing Arts Center (PAC).
The lobby was widened to allow for more tables and seating to facilitate meetings and
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Wyden takes a stand at town hall

Posted: Tuesday, Feb 7th, 2017
NEWPORT -- A standing ovation from more than 700 people from Lincoln County welcomed U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden on Saturday, Feb. 4, for an annual town hall.
Many of the people had never been to the senator's town hall before and packed half of the Newport High School gymnasium.
Over three days, Wyden (D-Ore.) visited Multnomah, Clackamas, Linn, Lincoln and
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Rainfall shatters February record

Posted: Tuesday, Feb 7th, 2017
LINCOLN COUNTY -- Super Bowl Sunday was Newport's wettest February day in documented history, according to data from the National Weather Service.
On Sunday, Feb. 5, Newport was pounded by 4.44 inches of rain, breaking the previous February high of 4.0 inches set on Feb. 8, 1899.
"It's actually the wettest day ever recorded in February since records began in
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Grants to grow tourism on the coast

Posted: Tuesday, Feb 7th, 2017
LINCOLN CITY -- City officials this week issued $178,800 in grants to 14 local organizations whose events are expected to boost tourism in 2017.
"This is what we wanted," said Ed Dreisdadt, director of the Lincoln City Visitors and Convention Bureau (VCB), an agency charged with growing tourism and room taxes. "We were looking for ambitious ideas, and we got
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District, state graduation rates rising slowly

Posted: Tuesday, Feb 7th, 2017
SALEM -- Graduation rates increased modestly in the 2015-16 academic year both statewide and within the Lincoln County School District, according to the latest report from the Oregon Department of Education.
The report, released Thursday, Jan. 26, indicates that Oregon's graduation rate increased to 74.8 percent last year, compared with 73.8 percent in 2015 and 72.0 percent in 2014.
The
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Fire department considers fireboat for maritime area

Posted: Tuesday, Feb 7th, 2017
NEWPORT -- The Newport Fire Department may be adding a fireboat to its fleet of vehicles.
"Our biggest vulnerability is the Bayfront area and the maritime area," fire chief Rob Murphy said at the city council meeting Monday, Feb. 6. "We started looking up how to address that. Those areas are a vital part of our community, and right now,
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Councilman calls for municipal court, cop reforms

Posted: Tuesday, Feb 7th, 2017
LINCOLN CITY -- A city councilman, who thinks the municipal court is too tough and that cops are outmoded, has called for reforms to both departments.
In remarks during a hardly noticed work session on budget priorities, Kip Ward startled some city officials with his ideas for installing surveillance cameras, abolishing traffic fines and redirecting the police department's $4.15 million
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Work continues on water project

Posted: Tuesday, Feb 7th, 2017
LINCOLN CITY -- The big guns have been called in to complete a $1.5 million pipeline project so daunting that the original contractor quit, mid-contract.
Workers with K&E Excavating, a Salem-based outfit that routinely handles oversized engineering tasks, are laying an underground pipeline nearly 1,000 feet long to complete the stalled project, known as the Schooner Creek Water Line Crossing.
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