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Hospital rezone moving forward

Modified: Thursday, Jan 19th, 2017
NEWPORT -- One barrier to building a new hospital in Newport has been removed.
The Newport Planning Commission approved rezoning the property at 11th Street and Bay Street to public structure (p-1) from high density residential (R-4) for the hospital at its meeting on Jan. 9.
The $57 million hospital project includes removing the original 1953 hospital, building a new
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Exploratory drilling at Big Creek dams

Posted: Tuesday, Jan 17th, 2017
NEWPORT -- Machinery hums and screams as drills take borings of soil and rock on Big Creek Road near the upper reservoir this month.
The geotechnical drilling explorations are the first step in a process to improve or replace the aging dams at Big Creek.
"We are collecting soil and rock samples," Jayson Buchholz, Newport senior project manager, said.
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Waldport outshines county in STAR testing

Posted: Tuesday, Jan 17th, 2017
LINCOLN COUNTY -- The latest test results for the Lincoln County School District show elementary students excelling in Waldport, while classrooms in other areas still struggle to make progress.
Students between second and sixth grade take the Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) assessment at several points throughout an academic year. The process focuses on growth alongside achievement, with less of
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South county investigating source of housing shortage

Posted: Tuesday, Jan 17th, 2017
WALDPORT -- As the need for affordable housing becomes apparent throughout Lincoln County, Waldport is trying to discover the root of the issue.
The city council directed staff to form a focus group of local bankers, landowners and construction companies at its meeting on Thursday, Jan. 12.
"(Lenders and construction companies) seem to be the two bottlenecks," City Councilor Dann
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New state laws take effect in 2017

Posted: Tuesday, Jan 17th, 2017
SALEM -- Scores of new laws that went into effect Jan. 1, 2017, will have sweeping effects on almost every aspect of life in Oregon.
From increasing minimum wages to banning gun-toting drones, the outpouring of edicts from the state lawmakers is the result of last year's 32-day regular session, where Democrats held majorities in the House and Senate.
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Hall leading Association of Oregon Counties in 2017

Posted: Tuesday, Jan 17th, 2017
NEWPORT -- Lincoln County Commissioner Bill Hall is the new president of the Association of Oregon Counties (AOC), a statewide group uniting Oregon's counties since 1906, which, according to its website, has a mission "to advocate, communicate and educate through information sharing and consensus development."
Hall is just the third Lincoln County commissioner in the county's history to serve in
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Man claims $1 million lottery ticket days before expiration

Posted: Tuesday, Jan 17th, 2017
NEWPORT -- The saga of an unclaimed $1 million lottery ticket ended in triumph Jan. 9, when Joemel Panisa, of Logsden, stumbled across the lucky winner while cleaning out his office.
The banquet manager at Salishan Spa & Golf Resort claimed his year-old ticket just eight days before it would have expired, making Panisa the fourth Mega Millions $1 million
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OCCC term begins with more full-time students

Posted: Tuesday, Jan 17th, 2017
LINCOLN COUNTY -- Another term at Oregon Coast Community College is underway, kicking off winter classes at a school that continues to grow in enrollment and offerings.
Students returned to campus on Monday, Jan. 9 for degree and certificate programs that will run through March. 24.
OCCC added two additional full-time faculty members to its roster this year, bringing its
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Housing incentive program in the works

Posted: Tuesday, Jan 17th, 2017
NEWPORT -- In an effort to increase housing development, the city planning commission has begun drafting three property tax exemption programs.
The first program, Vertical Housing, attempts to incentivize creating residential units above commercial development in downtown and South Beach.
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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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