During the month of February 2015, the Newport Police Department noticed a severe spike in reported burglaries and car break-ins. On February 20, 2015, Newport Police Officers arrested Stephanie Wheeler-Davey, age 30 of no known address, when she was found in possession of a reported stolen Toyota Tundra. When Wheeler-Davey was arrested, she was in possession of several articles of stolen property. The investigation led Officers to discover that Wheeler-Davey was responsible for other car thefts, burglaries, and car break-ins.
On February 23, 2015 the Newport Police Department assembled a task force comprised of officers from the Newport Police Department, Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, Lincoln City Police Department, Toledo Police Department, Oregon State Police, and Lincoln County Parole
and Probation. Task force investigators began following leads, and uncovered several suspects involved in burglaries, thefts, and drug-related crimes.
A search warrant was executed at a residence in Newport, where methamphetamine, drug paraphernalia, and a significant amount of stolen property was found. As a result of the search warrant, Jason Owens, age 38 of Newport, was arrested on multiple drug-related charges. Task force investigators then served a search warrant at another residence in Newport, and recovered property that was reported stolen from a residential burglary in Newport. As a result of the search warrant, Shane Walls, age 31 of Newport, was arrested on burglary and theft-related charges. Investigators also found that Walls attempted to destroy evidence that linked him to the burglary. Investigators found additional stolen property that Walls had attempted to conceal from investigators. Continue reading
Lincoln County Commissioner Bill Hall has returned from Washington, D.C., where he was one of thirty-three elected county officials from the state to attend the annual Legislative Conference of the National Association of Counties (NACo). Hall is second vice president of the Oregon Association of Counties (AOC). “It was a great opportunity to learn, network, and meet with members of the Oregon Congressional delegation and their staffs,” said Hall. “I had one perfectly timed opportunity on Wednesday (Feb. 25), when I was part of a group that spoke with Rep. Peter DeFazio right before he went into a hearing on the Coast Guard budget.”
DeFazio is the ranking member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, putting him in a key position to influence the Coast Guard’s spending priorities. Hall said he was able to alert DeFazio and a member of his staff of the data about the Newport Coast Guard Helicopter’s record of lifesaving effectiveness recently compiled by the Surfrider Foundation. DeFazio asked for a copy of the information to take into the hearing. “He promised our group that he would work to get specific language in the bill protecting the Newport helicopter, or, failing that, a provision directing that the Coast Guard’s lifesaving mission not be compromised by budgetary issues.”
Hall and other commissioners spent three days in committee meetings and workshops, as well as hearing from speakers, including U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, who began his public career at the county level, told the group that counties are “the most important and least appreciated form of government” in the country. Hall has applied for membership on NACo’s committee on Military and Veterans Affairs. Currently, Multnomah County Commissioner Diane McKeel is the only Oregon representative on that panel. “Commissioner McKeel will leave office at the end of next year, and I think it’s important Oregon continue to have a voice on that group.”
On February 28th at about 9:41 AM, deputies with the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office responded to a criminal mischief complaint located near the 1300 block of SW Seawoods Terrace in Waldport. The victim reported that somebody had damaged her vehicle, damaged the porch light, and stolen property from her vehicle. A report was filed pending further suspect information. Damage to the vehicle was estimated at over $1,000.
On March 1, 2015 deputies followed a lead with possible suspects near the 1300 block of SW Corona Ct. in Waldport. An investigation revealed Joseph A. Montes, 19 years of age, of Waldport. Jacob Gasik, 19 years of age, of Newport and Thomas Lanier, 19 years of age, of Newport damaged the victim’s vehicle and stole her property during the early morning hours of February 28th.
Lanier was arrested and lodged at the Lincoln County Jail on one count of Criminal Mischief I, one count of Unlawful entry into a motor vehicle, and one count of Theft III. Lanier’s bail was set at $75,500.
Gasik was arrested and lodged at the Lincoln County Jail. Gasik was charged with one count of Criminal Mischief I. Gasik’s bail was set at $50,000.
Montes was charged with one count of Criminal Mischief I, one count of Unlwaful entry into a motro vehicle, and one count of Theft III. Montes was cited and realesed on March 2, 2015.
The Lincoln County 4-H program announced they are changing the date for the New Lincoln County Fair. Instead of the third week in July now the fair will be taking place August 14-16. In addition, to help with reviving the spirit behind the county fair the organizers have announced that admission will be free. 4-H Program Coordinator Todd Williver expressed his gratitude to the Town and Country Fair Association for their hard work putting on the previous fair events.
He said with their notification to the County Fair Board in December that they would not be conducting the 2015 Fair, it was natural for his organization to step up. 4-H has represented a significant portion of the Fair for many years. Lincoln County 4-H is excited to usher in a new era for the Lincoln County Fair – one that will Celebrate Lincoln County, and not just agriculture, as has been the tradition for county fairs in the past. Just as the 4-H Program of today encompasses much more than animals and agriculture it also includes everything from science and technology to arts and crafts to citizenship and healthy living, so too shall the Lincoln County Fair.
To support this celebration, the 2015 Fair has drastically lowered vendor/entertainer fees to allow access for local vendors, entertainers and exhibitors to participate. Williver also noted that it goes without saying that Lincoln County Extension 4-H Youth Development needs your help to pull it off and volunteers for the event in several different areas are needed. Those interested in being part of the Lincoln County Fair in any way can contact Todd Williver at the Lincoln County Extension Service/4-H Youth Development Office: 541-574-6534.
By Kiera Morgan
Now that the Port of Newport’s international terminal project is completed and the Port is looking for new business. The dredging is done, the rip rap is in place and the mitigation work has also been completed. All the in water work is also finished and the Port is now open for business. The port of Newport commission has charged general manager Kevin Greenwood with finding some business to help bring in the money for the port to pay off the loans incurred during the construction of the project. Greenwood told the port commission last week he is starting the marketing process.
“Hanjin announced they are pulling out of the Port of Portland. We are looking at the markets in Central and Southern Oregon that are basically going to have to truck to either Sea Tac in Seattle or down to San Francisco. There is an opportunity for onions, alfalfa and products like that, that could be shipped out.” The port is now looking elsewhere for use of the terminal since Teevin Bros has not been able to come in as was originally planned. The Port stood to earn up to $100,000 in moorage and other fees from every log freighter that tied up at the terminal.
Teevin has said they still plan on coming in just not on the scale that was originally planned. It is also unknown when they would be able to get set up. The port took out about $10 million in loans above the $15 million dollar bond levy approved by voters to complete the terminal. Greenwood has also approached several small businesses who export to Japan and Korea, but said they are much smaller operations than what Teevin envisioned. Another potential client is Mary’s River Lumber near Philomath.
By Larry Coonrod
Volunteers placed 175 discarded Christmas trees in the Yaquina River on Feb. 22 to provide young salmonids cover from cormorants and other predators. (Photo by Larry Coonrod)
TOLEDO—Volunteers brought Christmas to juvenile salmon in the Yaquina River last weekend, and hopefully better fishing for everyone in a few years. Seventeen volunteers with U DA MAN Fishing Tournament and the Longview Hills Fishing Club, Central Coast Fly Fishers and students from Newport High School strategically placed 175 recycled Christmas trees back into the river, Mill Creek and several feeder streams.
“The purpose of this is to provide habitat cover for chinook, coho and steelhead smolt as they make their way downriver,” said Tom Simpson with U DA MAN. “We are particularly concerned about the predation by cormorants and other predators on the tiny smolt. We’re trying to give them a spot where they can hide and feed for a few more days and gain some more energy and continue on down toward the Pacific.”