Oregon Coast News - January 26, 2010
Daily news and sports coverage for the Oregon coast plus a variety of guides and directories useful to Oregon residents and visitors.
The investigation into the homicide of a 15-year old Coquille girl nearly a decade ago has been revitalized by the Coquille Police Dept. and the Coos Co. District Attorney’s Office. Police Chief Mark Dannels says they have assembled a cold case team made up of investigators who had originally been involved with the investigation into Leah Freeman’s murder, or possess an expertise that would assist in the reorganizing of the investigation. Freeman went missing on June 28, 2000. Her body was found east of Coquille in the Fairview area August 6, 2000. According to Chief Dannels, “A great deal of work has been done over the past 15 months with this investigation which focused on the application of new technology, re-examination of the case in its entirety, interviews, exploring new and old leads, consulting experts in all aspects, updating files and evidence, and most important, the dedicated cooperation of law enforcement agencies throughout Coos County with a common goal of solving this crime. Over the last 15 months, hundreds of man-hours have been logged into the revitalization of this case.” A 20+ member investigative team, composed of investigators from the Coquille, Coos Bay, Bandon, North Bend Police Departments, Coos Co. Sheriff’s Office, Oregon State Police and the Department of Justice has been brought together to investigate the case. The Freeman family is also offering a reward of $10,000 for the successful arrest and prosecution of the person(s) responsible for the teen’s death. Anyone with information is asked to call the Coquille Police at (541) 396-2114.
The jobless rate in the month of December in Coos Co. was nearly the same as November, but still higher than it was a year ago. According to figures released by the Oregon Employment Dept., Coos Co. had an unemployment rate of 12.4% in December, compared to 12.3% in November, and 10.3% in December 2008. Curry Co. experienced a drop from 11.7% to 10.8% last month, and just three-tenths a percentage higher than a year ago. Two of three other complete counties on the Oregon Coast also showed improvements. Lincoln County’s rate dropped to 9.9%, down from 10.2% in November, but higher than the 8.6% in December ’09. Tillamook Co. had an 8.6% jobless rate last month, down from 8.9%, but also higher than the 6.9% a year ago. Clatsop Co. on the far North Coast had an unemployment rate of 8.7% in December, up from 8.5% in November and higher than the 6.7% recorded in December ’08.
Coos Co. Timber
With a chance that timber prices will improve by this summer, the Coos Co. Board of Commissioner has opted to hold off on auctioning off Douglas Fir trees on county land this year. It’s the second straight year the county has let the trees grow. Sales in the past have brought in between $3 million to $4 million in revenue to the county, however, officials say if they were to sell the same amount of board feet this year, the county would net about $1 million less. The timber revenue helps fund public services, the Sheriff’s Department and Road Department. A national decline in housing sales has led to a two-year slump in timber demand.
They are radio beacons used to help locate aircraft of vessels in distress. According to an entry on the Coos Co. Sheriff’s log for Sunday, 6:24 a.m., “received info from Air Force Rescue Coordination Center that a personal locater beacon “EPIRB” was coming from the Beaver Hill area and AFRCC confirmed that USCG made contact with Robert Newsom and confirmed Robert had thrown the EPIRB in the dump.” A second satellite pass was requested, and “it was picked up again at the same location.”
The Issac Lee Patterson Bridge on Hwy. 101 at the north end of Gold Beach was blocked Monday morning, 8:30 a.m., after a semi-truck flipped over on its side. Curry Co. Sheriff John Bishop reported the non-injury accident was a “really big mess.” A crane company from Coos Bay was summoned to help right the vehicle. Local traffic was re-routed to the Lobster Creek Bridge several miles east, also over the Rogue River until the bridge was reopened in the afternoon.
The Seafood School in Astoria could open again under a new partnership with Clatsop Community College on the North Oregon Coast. The school closed under a financial hardship last November. However, college officials are interested in developing a shared use of the school’s kitchen and cooking class space. The Duncan Law Seafood Consumer Center in the past experimented with different seafood products caught in the Pacific Northwest and packaged them for sale to consumer markets.
Fast food robbery
An Astoria woman was arrested Saturday night on the North Oregon Coast after she allegedly attempted to rob the McDonald’s restaurant in Astoria. Police took 25-year old Alexandria Lukoszyk into custody on charges of two-counts of Second-Degree Robbery, Reckless Endangering and Criminal Mischief. She was lodged in the Clatsop Co. Jail at Astoria.
The competency of a 47-year old Roseburg man, accused of murdering a 45-year old former girlfriend last September in Southwest Washington, is being questioned by his defense attorney. Brian Brush, who was a former police officer in Medford and who now owns a fishing boat manufacturing business in the Umpqua Valley, is being held in the Pacific County Jail in South Bend, WA. At issue is whether he can properly communicate with his lawyer during court proceedings. Brush has not been arraigned yet for killing Lisa Bonney in Long Beach, WA during the opening day of the annual Rod Run Car Show. A competency hearing has been scheduled for Feb. 5, 2010.
The City of Coos Bay Council will meet in a work session, Tuesday, January 26, 2010 – 6:00 p.m., Coos Bay Public Library’s Myrtle Room – 525 Anderson Avenue – Coos Bay, Oregon. Agenda: 1) Flag Salute; 2) Review and Update of the Capital Improvement Plan; 3) Discussion on Possible Locations of a Dog Park; 4) Adjourn.
The Coos County Commission on Children and Families will meet on Tuesday, January 26, 2010 at 5:30 p.m. at ESD, 1350 Teakwood, Coos Bay. AGENDA: I. Call to Order: 5:30 p.m.; II Additions to the Agenda; III. Public Input; IV. Consent Agenda; A. Financial Report; B. Commission Minutes of October 2009; C. Directors Activity Report; V. Reports; A. Drug Free Communities Grant; B. Prevention Projects: Teen Dance, Youth Summit; VI. Old Business; A. Comp Plan Progress; B. Coalition Business; C. Budget Issues; VII. New Business; A. Juvenile Crime Prevention Plan; B. The Maslow Project; VIII. Adjournment.
Tsunami presentation to kick off 2010
The geology lecture series at Southwestern Oregon Community College kicks off 2010 with a lecture by Dr. George Priest of the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries (DOGAMI). Dr. Priest’s presentation, "Assessing Tsunami Threats to the Oregon Coast: A New Approach", will begin at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, January 26 in the Hales Center for the Performing Arts on the Coos Campus. Dr. Priest received his MS from the Mackay School of Mines at the University of Nevada, Reno and BS and PhD degrees from Oregon State University. George has been with DOGAMI since 1979. The Newport DOGAMI office is well suited to his interest in coastal processes, including landslides, erosion and Cascadia events. The lecture occurs on the anniversary of the last great Cascadia event of 1700 and addresses recent developments in the generation of tsunami hazard maps. The free lecture is open to all members of the community. Sponsorship support for the series comes from Oregon Resources Corporation, the Southwestern Foundation and a Dorothy Stout Professional Development Grant from the National Association of Geoscience Teachers. Additional speakers in the lecture series this year include: Dr. Kathy Cashman (University of Oregon) on March 12 and Dr. Jacob Lowenstern (Scientist-in-Charge at the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory) on April 24. For additional information contact Ron Metzger, Southwestern Professor of Geology, at 541-888-7216.
A major increase in maximum ocean wave heights off the Pacific Northwest in recent decades has forced scientists to re-evaluate how high a “100-year event” might be, and the new findings raise special concerns for flooding, coastal erosion and structural damage. The new assessment concludes that the highest waves may be as much as 46 feet, up from estimates of only 33 feet that were made as recently as 1996, and a 40 percent increase. December and January are the months such waves are most likely to occur, although summer waves are also significantly higher. In a study just published online in the journal Coastal Engineering, scientists from Oregon State University and the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries report that the cause of these dramatically higher waves is not completely certain, but “likely due to Earth’s changing climate.” Using more sophisticated techniques that account for the “non-stationarity” in the wave height record, researchers say the 100-year wave height could actually exceed 55 feet, with impacts that would dwarf those expected from sea level rise in coming decades. Increased coastal erosion, flooding, damage to ocean or coastal structures and changing shorelines are all possible, scientists say. “The rates of erosion and frequency of coastal flooding have increased over the last couple of decades and will almost certainly increase in the future,” said Peter Ruggiero, an assistant professor in the OSU Department of Geosciences. “The Pacific Northwest has one of the strongest wave climates in the world, and the data clearly show that it’s getting even bigger. “Possible causes might be changes in storm tracks, higher winds, more intense winter storms, or other factors,” Ruggiero said. “These probably are related to global warming, but could also be involved with periodic climate fluctuations such as the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, and our wave records are sufficiently short that we can’t be certain yet. But what is clear is the waves are getting larger.” In the early 1990s, Ruggiero said, a fairly typical winter might have an offshore wave maximum of a little more than 25 feet. It was believed then – based primarily on data from two offshore buoys – that 10 meters, or 33 feet, would be about as large as waves would ever get, even in a massive “100-year” storm. But then a major El Nino – which tends to bring larger waves, higher water levels and increased erosion – happened in 1997-98 and led to a string of “100-year” wave events of around and above 33 feet. Researchers went back to the drawing board, continued to study data and storm events, and now believe that the maximum waves the region may face could approach or even exceed 50 feet. Increasing wave heights, they said, have had double or triple the impact in terms of erosion, flooding and damage as sea level rise over the last few decades. If wave heights continue to increase, they may continue to dominate over the acceleration in sea level that’s anticipated over the next couple of decades. The prior concern about what sea level rise could do, in other words, is already a reality. If sea levels do increase significantly in future decades and centuries, that will only add to the damage already being done by higher waves. Exactly what impacts this will have in terms of beach erosion and shifting shorelines is difficult to predict, scientists say, because currents and sand move in complex ways, creating both “winners and losers” in terms of beach stability. But some effects are already visible, Ruggiero said. “Neskowin is already having problems with high water levels and coastal erosion,” Ruggiero said. “Some commercial structures there occasionally lose the use of their lower levels. “Going to the future, communities are going to have to plan for heavier wave impacts and erosion, and decide what amounts of risk they are willing to take, how coastal growth should be managed and what criteria to use for structures,” he said. Hampering the research effort is the fact that two of the major buoys used for these studies, which are some distance off the Pacific Northwest coast and measure waves in deep water, were only installed in the 1970s. Even at that they provide two of the longest high-quality wave height records in the world. OSU researchers are studying historical records through climate data, old newspaper records and other information to try to recreate what wave heights and storm events were like going further back in time. The largest wave height increases, scientists say, have occurred off the Washington coast and northern Oregon, with less increase in southern Oregon and nothing of significance south of central California. The study also noted that similar increases in wave heights have occurred in the North Atlantic Ocean, as well as the seasonal total power generated by hurricanes. These issues do not consider the potential drop in land level that is expected to occur in this region with a subduction zone earthquake at some point in the future. Ruggiero noted that he did some research in Sumatra following the huge 2004 earthquake there – an area with geology very similar to that of the Pacific Northwest – and some of the shoreline had dropped from 1.5 to five feet. If and when that occurs, the impacts on shorelines could be enormous. This research was supported by the Sectoral Application Research Program, a part of the Climate Program Office at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
A student in the North Bend High School Culinary Program, Donny Noah, took first place Sunday, Jan. 24th, at the Culinary Quick Fire Challenge at the Mill Casino-Hotel in North Bend.
Seeking Wild Women of Charleston
Seeking the Wild Women of Charleston to make a guest appearance as dance hostesses for the Clambake Jazz Festival March 12 or 13th. For further inspiration call WWOC at 541 888-4875, 541 297-2095, 541 808-1654.
Application Period opens for 2010 State Parks & Recreation Grants
The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) opened a 2010 Local Government Grant cycle today (Jan. 25) with $1.5 million in lottery funds available to help acquire, develop and rehabilitate community parks and outdoor recreation facilities. Cities, counties, metropolitan service districts, port districts and park and recreation districts are eligible to apply for the grants, which have provided more than $45 million in local parks support during the past 10 years. Completed applications are due April 5. OPRD is offering two workshops on how to submit effective project proposals in February. The workshops will be in Hood River from 1-5 p.m. Feb. 3 and in Salem from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Feb. 10. More information about the state Local Government Grant program, including a grant manual and application materials, are online at www.oregon.gov/OPRD/GRANTS/local_apply.shtml.
A Coos Bay Police officer, Ken Labrousse, worked traffic on 10th Street early Monday morning and pulled over former Police Chief Rodger Craddock, Police Sgt. Robert Lounsbury and a morning radio personality all within 25-minutes between 5:30 and 5:55 a.m.
A 53-year old male reported an Unlawful Entry into a Motor Vehicle early Monday morning in Coos Bay. According to an entry on the police log, the UEMV took place on the 3400 bock of Ocean Blvd. at Dominos Pizza. A UEMV was reported at 11:19 a.m., 900 block of Augustine Ave. by a 54-year old male. A UEMV was reported at 10:08 a.m., 900 block No. Central Ave. by a 35-year old. A UEMV was reported at 8:57 a.m., 400 block E. 5th St., by a 53-year old female.
A burglary was reported on the 1000 block of Noble Ave. in Coos Bay Sunday night. According to an entry on the police log at 8:21 p.m., the victim was a 79-year old female. A burglary was also reported earlier at 11:54 a.m., on the 100 block of 1st. Ct. by a 56-year old female.
According to an entry on the Coos Co. Sheriff’s log for Sunday, 7:53 p.m., Hwy. 101 and Marine Dr., north of North Bend, “vehicle off the road.” Non-injury accident, driver cited for Failure to Maintain Lane and warned for Careless Driving. “Vehicle left at scene, father to respond for tow.”
According to an entry on the Coos Co. Sheriff’s log for Monday, 2:29 a.m., Flanagan Road, 25-year old female reported “ex-boyfriend and father of RP’s 3 children threatended to kill/shoot her, threw her down and punched her.” A report was taken and referred to DHS.
A report of a Domestic Disturbance on the Central Oregon Coast Saturday night at Waldport led to the arrest of a 60-year old female. According to a news release from the Lincoln Co. Sheriff’s Office, a female reportedly involved in the Domestic Disturbance lef the residence at 8:25 p.m. on SW Greenwood Way in a vehicle while allegedly intoxicated. The vehicle was later found back at the residence. An investigation led to a charge of DUII against Sally Jane Carter. She was transported to the county jail at Newport where a breath test revealed a blood-alcohol concentration at .11%. She was lodged in the jail.
She admitted she was going to try and pass off rock salt as methamphetamine. According to a news release from the Lincoln Interagency Narcotics Team (LINT) on the Central Oregon Coast, detectives were tipped off about an alleged attempt to sell illegal drugs in Newport on Thursday, Jan. 21st. A suspect vehicle was stopped at 11:15 a.m., and a quantity of meth packaged for sale was discovered, along with what turned out to be rock salt also packaged for sale. Forty-three year old Dayna Diann Dethlefs, Banks, and 48-year old Randal Allen Hursh, Toledo, were arrested on Unlawful Possession and Delivery of a Controlled Substance charges. Dethlefs was additionally charged with Unlawful Possession of an Imitation Controlled Substance. The investigation led to a Toledo residence where additional meth was discovered and 34-year old Rebecca Rosella Reisch was arrested on Possession, Delivery and Manufacture of a Controlled Substance. All were lodged in the Lincoln Co. Jail at Newport.
A 43-year old Newport man was arrested Wednesday, Jan. 20th, after Lincoln County Parole and Probation officers located suspected drugs at his residence. Ronald James Wendt was allegedly selling methamphetamine from his residence to others in the Newport area. During a search, officers located meth, packaging material, digital scales, U.S. currency and other evidence of drug sales and use. He was charged with Unlawful Delivery, Manufacturing and Possession of a Controlled Substance, Meth. He was additionally charged with Maintaining a Place where Controlled Substances are Kept/Used. Wendt was lodged in the county jail at Newport.
Mostly cloudy with a chance of rain showers today along the Oregon Coast. Highs in the lower to mid 50s and south winds around 5 mph, but shifting to the northwest by afternoon. Mostly cloudy tonight with lows in the lower 30s to lower 40s and northeast winds 5-10 mph. Partly to mostly cloudy on Wednesday.
The New Orleans Hornets (24-20) rallied Monday night for a 98-97 NBA win against Portland at the Rose Garden. New Orleans outscored Portland 10-1 over the games final three-minutes. Juwan Howard and LaMarcus Aldridge each scored 16-points to lead the Blazers. Portland (27-19) host the Utah Jazz on Wednesday.
Marshfield placed sixth out of 20 teams at the one-day Eagle Point Wrestling Tournament on Saturday, Jan. 23rd in Southern Oregon. Seven Pirates placed with senior Cody Shipp taking first at 189, Tyler Nixon (119) and Jesse Moore (152) were each second, Kody Campbell (171) third, Skyler Harvey (103) fifth, Jacob Browning (215) fifth, and Steven Mayer (160) sixth.
North Bend’s bowling teams both finished second to Willamette Sunday, Jan. 24th, at Firs Bowling in Eugene. Boy’s coach Larry Hoffman says it was a good tune-up for district, which takes place at Firs Sunday, Jan. 31st. The top three teams will advance to state. The Bulldogs both led the other nine-varsity teams through the first 16 games and into the quarterfinals in gaining the top-seed. The girls beat Thurston in the QF, while the Bulldog boys bettered North Eugene. Hoffman says the boys bowled their best tourney of the season. But, in the finals, North Bend was ahead in the first game, only to see Willamette bowl their best game of the tournament to take first place in the finals.
Rack up another win for the North Bend Cheer Team. The Bulldogs took first place in their division for the second weekend in a row in winning the Sheldon Cheer Invitational on Saturday, Jan. 23rd.
North Bend’s boy’s and girl’s basketball teams travel to Brookings-Harbor tonight to play the Bruins in 4A Far West League basketball.
Oregon Athletic Director Mike Bellotti says he is not going to rush to judgment regarding the future of men’s basketball coach Ernie Kent. Bellotti, in his first year as AD in Eugene, says he will wait until the season is over to conduct a full evaluation of the 13th year coach. However, he admits there has been dissatisfaction raised over Kent’s coach by fans and boosters. The Ducks are 10-9 on the season and have lost five Pac-10 games in-a-row, including three at home to sit at 2-5. Oregon was 8-23 last year. This weekend Oregon hosts UCLA and USC.
Oregon football kicker Rob Beard is expected to make a full recovery following a fight Sunday where he was kicked unconscious in Eugene. The 19-year old underwent minor surgery at Springfield’s RiverBend Hospital.