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Local church adapting

NEWPORT — “Our church is adapting to these challenging times,” First Presbyterian Church of Newport Pastor Kelsey Ingalls told the News-Times recently. She said her congregation is meeting online to worship, rather than in person. “We are also taking the time to check in with each other and make sure each person in our community is being cared for and stays healthy,” Ingalls said. “One thing that we have been encouraging our congregation to do is to be in close communication with their neighbors.

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Behavioral health and sheriff's office team up

LINCOLN COUNTY — An outreach team that pairs a mental health counselor with a sheriff’s deputy hit the streets of Lincoln County in March to bring help and healing to those with mental health disorders. Connecting people on the verge of crisis with much-needed resources before they land in jail or a hospital emergency room is the mission of the Community Outreach and Mental Health Enhancement Team (COMET). Jointly formed by the behavioral health department of the Lincoln Community Health Center (LCHC) and the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, this mobile response team will meet with clients in the field to make referrals and connect vulnerable people with services.

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Unemployment claims climbing

Unemployment claims in Lincoln County more than doubled this week, from 301 to 695. The economic impact of Gov. Kate Brown’s executive orders aimed at slowing the spread of the novel coronavirus — one, effective March 17, limiting restaurants to takeout and delivery service only and a “stay-at-home” order issued March 23 that included provisions shuttering a wide range of retail businesses — was quick to reach the county’s workforce.

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Siuslaw National Forest closures

SIUSLAW NATIONAL FOREST — In what the U.S. Forest Service described as a “rapidly evolving situation,” the Siuslaw National Forest closed the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area and Sand Lake Recreation Area, according to March 31 news release. While forest service campgrounds were closed in accordance with the governor’s order on March 23, the most recent announcement is more restrictive.

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Bike shop in Newport stays open

NEWPORT — The door was open on Tuesday afternoon, March 30, at Bike Newport, located at 150 NW Sixth St. in Newport. The sun was out and it was a little windy — a beautiful day for a bike ride. No one has been in to rent a fat tire bike since to COVID-19 pandemic started, according to Bike Newport owner Elliott Crowder. “That’s what I’ve been doing, social distancing with rides on a bike with my wife,” he said.

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Until further notice: this is the end of the world as we know it

WALDPORT — Lock-down and trying to live on the road isn’t just hyperbole now. Today, I hit all the Waldport stores, community buildings and even the churches. On my bicycle, with camera in hand, I notice a lot of people out on the streets. The common sign taped on businesses goes as follows: “As the COVID-19 (coronavirus) continues to emerge throughout Oregon, we are doing what we can to help prevent the spread of the virus. This means we will not be staffing our stores during normal business hours. We will be checking our voicemails at the stores as often as possible to continue to serve our community.”

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Rogue producing hand sanitizer for first responders

Rogue Spirits is producing and packaging hand sanitizer at its distillery in Newport to donate to local emergency response and public safety officials.

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Schools may be closed remainder of term

There’s a “strong possibility” students won’t be going back to class this school year, according to the Director of the Oregon Department of Education.

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State Parks opts to not appeal county decision

SEAL ROCK — In January, the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) was denied a zone change for Brian Booth State Park by the Lincoln County Board of Commissioners. OPRD sought a change from the current agricultural conservation and timber conservation land use zoning to public parks master plan. This change would have allowed for development of 10 campgrounds with a total of 164 campsites and a maximum overnight capacity of 485. “In summary,” read the order issued by the county commissioners on Jan. 15, “the board finds that there is not substantial evidence that there has been a substantial change in the character of the area since zoning was adopted and which warrants the change, and that there is not substantial evidence that there is a public need for the change being sought.” Chris Havel, OPRD associate director, said, “Obviously we didn’t appeal the decision from the commission. And, indeed, regrouping and figuring out how best to serve both the statewide need … and to make sure that it integrates well with the local community, that’s obviously going to take some time. And we’re willing to put the time into it.”

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Port of Alsea is remaining open

WALDPORT — The Port of Alsea will remain open, Port Manager Roxie Cuellar said on Monday, March 25. “I think it’s important that local people have an activity that they can do outside but not be around other people,” Cuellar said.

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Fire district volunteers cite confusion, question safety

SEAL ROCK — Identifying himself as a concerned taxpayer, Seal Rock resident Paul Rimola contacted the News-Times in response to the Seal Rock Rural Fire Protection District (SRRFPD) board meeting held March 12, where three longtime volunteers with the district quit, leaving their gear and walking out while the meeting was in progress. The resignation letter signed by Assistant Chief Paul Highfill, Captain Lyle Beard and Mike Burt read, “Although we desire to remain active as volunteers for SRRFPD, the current environment creates a confusing and potentially unsafe situation. The emergency response side of the district operations has serious communication deficiencies. This has been a problem for years and continues to get worse.”

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Hatfield gearing up to bring science into homes

While Oregon State University’s Hatfield Marine Science Visitor Center is closed due to the threat of coronavirus, the life inside is still tended to by faithful caretakers, and its associated educators are working hard to extend online resources to out-of-school kids.

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Family of murdered teen seeks closure

Shortly after the anniversary of her disappearance, the family of a murdered Lincoln County woman is appealing for help to solve the mystery of her death. Kelly Lynn Disney has been missing just more than 36 years. She was last seen walking along Highway 20 east of Newport at about 1 a.m. on March 9, 1984, when she was 17 years old, and no trace of her was found until mid-summer a decade later. On July 23, 1994, Disney’s skull was discovered in an abandoned vehicle near Big Creek Reservoir in Newport.

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Additional Articles

  • Lincoln City restricts Logan Road

    In an effort to comply with Gov. Kate Brown’s order to minimize exposure to the COVID-19 virus, the city of Lincoln City has closed Logan Road in Roads End to all but local traffic.

  • County boat ramps closed

    On Monday, March 30, Lincoln County sheriff’s deputies dealt with a fisherman boating on the Siletz River who had launched his boat at the closed county boat ramp at Moonshine Park in Logsden.

  • Toledo principal resigns

    The principal at Toledo Elementary School resigned this week and was replaced by the school’s vice principal. Lincoln County School District Superintendent Karen Gray announced Wednesday that Liz Postlewait, who has served as the vice principal at Toledo Elementary for the past three years, would take over as interim principal after the resignation of Principal Paul Tucker.

  • Armed robbery leads to arrests

    The Lincoln County Sheriff's Office received a report of a fight in progress near the 1400 block of North Bank Road in Otis at around 7:40 p.m. on Monday, March 30. The caller, who was not involved in the altercation, reported that as many as a half dozen people were fighting on the side of the road. The caller also reported that there appeared to be two silver colored vehicles associated with the fight and heard someone yelling, “Call the cops.”

  • Depoe Bay to test warning sirens

    The city of Depoe Bay announced recently that it will be conducting regular, monthly tests of its emergency warning system.

  • Newport keeping an eye on recovery, but recognizes possibility of dark days ahead

    NEWPORT — The Newport City Council met by teleconference at noon on Monday, March 23, and City Manager Spencer Nebel noted that, in the midst of reacting to the crisis, it is important to keep an eye on recovering from the impact of COVID-19 on the local economy.

  • Boating fatality on Devils Lake

    A Washington man died in a boating incident in Lincoln City on Saturday, March 21. At about 1 p.m. Saturday, witnesses on the shores of Devils Lake in Lincoln City called 911 to report a person in the water and a boat attempting to retrieve them. Witnesses described the subject as being in distress prior to seeing him go under the water.

  • Newport woman jailed on arson charges

    A Newport woman was arrested Sunday, March 22, on charges of arson and assaulting a police officer. According to a release from the Newport Police Department, at about 11:30 p.m. on Sunday, police and the Newport Fire Department were dispatched to 226 NE Third St. on a report of a possible arson fire. Responding personnel learned a fire was started in a garbage storage area attached to a four-plex apartment.

  • Funds sought for furry officer

    The Lincoln City Police Department has announced the establishment of its new K9 program, which will be run under Lt. David Broderick once a handler has been selected and a dog has been obtained. And police are asking the public to chip in.

  • Citizens seated on city committees

    The ranks of Newport’s city committees just got a bit fuller. Click here to see the citizens who stepped up to serve or, in many cases, to continue their service.

  • County faces foster care shortage

    Roughly twenty-five percent of foster homes in the county have closed their doors to new fosters in the last two months, adding to a shortage of homes needed to nurture children.

  • False alarms addressed at Sam Case

    Sam Case Elementary School has evacuated the school twice in the last week, due to failing parts in their fire alarm system.

  • Newport High School evacuated

    Newport High School received a bomb threat early Tuesday afternoon. The building has been cleared and all students are safe.

Photos of the year: 2019

Here are a few of our favorite photos taken by staff in 2019.

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