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Update: Freezing rain, hail, snow cover the South Coast

COOS BAY — Strong winds over the weekend carried snow, hail, rain and freezing temperatures into the Pacific Northwest and Coos County causing slick roads and multiple crashes.

Ed Glazar, The World 

A clerk pushes a train of shopping carts Sunday past a pile of hail stones outside Fred Meyer in Coos Bay. The mix of rain, hail and even light snow came in waves throughout the day,

So why now, after a spring-like January, is the Bay Area getting a late blast of winter? Blame the Arctic polar vortex, the large, low-pressure area that typically churns over the northern pole.

The polar vortex has temporarily split in two, and one of them dropped into western Canada, giving the Pacific Northwest a frigid jolt.

Oregon has a 70-90 percent chance of below-normal temperatures for the rest of February, according to the NOAA Climate Prediction Center. The Northeastern U.S., on the other hand, is expected to have above-normal temperatures. (The other northern vortex is pushing down temperatures across Europe.)

Tim Epperson, The World 

The Coos Bay Boardwalk was covered in white Monday morning.

Temperatures Sunday into Monday morning on the South Coast ranged from 27 to 32 degrees. Snowfall wreaked havoc on many commuters. with many vehicles sliding off the roadway, some causing minor accidents all over Coos County.

The National Weather Service in Medford had issued a freeze warning, which was in effect from 1 a.m. to 9 a.m Monday. A Freeze Watch has also been issued. This Freeze Watch is in effect from today and tonight through Tuesday morning. 

Many coastal areas including the cities of North Bend, Coos Bay and Reedsport fall under this advisory.

Locations in the watch include all of the Southern Oregon Coast. Plants sensitive to freezing conditions can be damaged or killed.

A freeze watch means sub-freezing temperatures are imminent or highly likely. These conditions will kill crops and other sensitive vegetation.

A Freeze Watch means sub-freezing temperatures are possible. These conditions could kill crops and other sensitive vegetation. 

The snow will be followed by an afternoon of icy rain, gusty wind and even a loud clap of thunder.

Light to moderate snow showers are occurring. Additional snow accumulations of up to a half an inch are expected. Some roads could remain icy as temperatures dip into the evening on the Coos and Curry County coasts and coastal valleys, including Coquille and Myrtle Point.

Tim Epperson, Tha World 

Snow covered cars have a slippery commute along U.S. Highway 101 Monday morning in downtown Coos Bay.

Plan on slippery road conditions. Be prepared for reduced visibilities at times. If driving in thee snowy weather:

Slow down and allow extra time to reach your destination.

for latest road conditions.

  • A Winter Weather Advisory for snow means that periods of snow

will cause travel difficulties.

Check back with for further updates to this story and, for a full report, pick up Monday's edition of The World.

Reedsport's Confluence 2018 Beer, Wine and Music Festival sees a strong turnout

REEDSPORT — This weekend’s wind and rain couldn’t stop Reedsport’s 10th annual Confluence 2018 Wine, Beer, and Music Festival from drawing in folks from all over the state.

Ed Glazar, The World 

A woman samples wine Saturday in downtown Reedsport during the Confluence Festival.

According to event coordinator Amy Stauffer, the two-day festival brings around 750 to 800 people to Reedsport and Winchester Bay each year.

The festival is organized and hosted by the Reedsport and Winchester Bay Chamber of Commerce. Sponsors for the event include Winchester Bay RV Resort, Bigfoot Beverages and the Lower Umpqua Hospital District.

Preparations for the Confluence festival usually begin in September, but this year they didn’t start till sometime in December. Luckily the Chamber of Commerce was able to pull the event together even though they had less time than usual.

Ed Glazar, The World 

Marilyn Summerfield with Needful Things by Marilyn sews as she sits in her vendor booth Saturday in downtown Reedsport during the Confluence Festival.

“I’m actually really impressed with how everything came together. I thought for sure there would be things we would forget, but it all worked out,” Stauffer said.

Tickets were $10 for Friday night and $12 on Saturday. Participants could buy a two day pass for $18. Entrance fees included five drink tokens and extra drink tokens were available for purchase.

Event sponsor Bigfoot Beverages provided most of the beer. There was one local brewery and two wineries that showed up as an independent vendors.

The brewery was Reedsport’s very own Defeat River Brewery. Defeat River had two beers on tap, including their Bravest Pale Ale and the Firry Sweater Stout. The Firry Sweater is a truly unique beer because it’s brewed with the tips of Fir trees instead of hops.

Ed Glazar, The World 

Kevin Berg sings a song with his band Stillwater inside the Reedsport Community Center during the Confluence Festival on Saturday.

“This year has been much better than last year for whatever reason. Beer traffic last year was probably about half of what it’s been this year for us, I’d say. This event is great because it’s a winter event, and you don’t see a lot of winter events around here,” Levi Allen of Defeat River said.

Rivers Edge winery out of Elkton was at Confluence showcasing its different wines.

“We specialize in pinot noir. I’d say the most different thing about us from other wineries would be that the two estate vineyards that we have were planted in the early 1970s. That puts them among the older producing vineyards in the state and we’re really happy with the fruit they produce,” Rivers Edge representative Colin Duddy said.

Confluence 2018 couldn’t have functioned without its 40-plus volunteers. Most volunteers are just individuals from Reedsport and Winchester Bay that wanted to lend a hand, but some local businesses like Umpqua Bank provided the event with a group of volunteers.

Volunteer Gina Stallard said “It’s been a really good turnout. Last night was busy, there was a lot of people and a really good band.”

The band Stallard referred to was Candy Apple Bleu, who played Friday night. Eleven other bands took the stage at the Reedsport community center, including the featured band Gold Dust, a Fleetwood Mac Tribute Band.

10th annual Reedsport Confluence 2018

There were 24 assorted vendors at the festival selling things like handmade jewelry, homemade fudge and even used books.

One interesting vendor was Jacquie Wilson’s Oregon Coast Shell Art. Wilson uses oyster shells to create hand painted statuettes of fish. The statuettes can be turned around to reveal a small mural of some sort painted inside of the shell.

Ed Glazar, The World 

Marilyn Crandall, right, and Cat Becker plate food Saturday for patrons of the Confluence Festival in downtown Reedsport.

Director brings two new movie projects to Coos County
Barri Chase's The Watchman's Canoe is also now available to buy or rent

COOS BAY — After years of work, Barri Chase’s The Watchman’s Canoe is available to the public.

The movie, which was filmed throughout Coos County, has made the circuit through movie festivals and recently won an award for sound from Seattle’s Composer’s Alliance.

“We are excited to finally get this movie out for anyone to watch at home,” Chase told The World.

It can be purchased or rented on Amazon Video or iTunes.

However, The Watchman’s Canoe is just the beginning for the projects Chase has planned with actors Adam Beach, Roger Willie and the Southern Oregon Coast.

“Everything I do is based on identity and how we handle or not handle it,” she said in a previous interview about her upcoming movie, "Coyote Howls." “This new film is loosely based on true life stories, about a man who has run from his past ever since he left the reservation.”

As a Native American herself, the majority of her projects have centered around issues she or others have encountered often told within the Native American culture. Coyote Howls follows a professor who spent the majority of his life telling everyone he knew that he was Latino, but is now forced to face the truth about who he is and where he comes from.

“The idea came to me when I was visiting with a friend,” Chase said. “We went out with the cast and crew, and as we were walking across the street something strange happened to him.”

Chase believes she saw, in the reflection of a nearby window, her friend be lifted and thrown down the street. For Native Americans and other first nation cultures, there is an explanation.

“My friend told me, finally after all these years, that he was Native American, not Latino,” she said. “I was shocked because he had never told me or anybody. I spoke with different tribes about what I thought I saw and I got so many stories from people about why something like this may have happened.”

Of course, Chase is waiting to explain it in the new movie, which she described as a mystery thriller.

“It's an intense journey about how to face who you are and to accept it,” she said.

Now that The Watchman’s Canoe is finally complete, she is focused on her new project and looking for equity share investors.

As she coordinates with new contributors, she is also going to begin filming a series called Marshfield this summer.

“It is about a town that is sinking and the supernatural events that occur because of the sinking,” she said.

This film will feature mostly local actors and be similar to the German series “Dark” as well as Netflix’s popular “Stranger Things.”

“We’re pulling out urban legends from the local area and follow a group of teens who are in a girl band and their friends as they start to witness the paranormal activity and try to solve it,” Chase said.

She hopes to start filming in June. Though she hasn’t coordinated with the Coos Bay School District to seek permission to film on the Marshfield High School campus, she plans on doing so soon.

Chase also hopes to contact, and be contacted by, local businesses or homeowners willing to let her film on location.

“We are interested in product placement, putting their business name in the show,” she said. “It’s a great way to highlight our area and have a fun, solid story to tell.”

To become a contributor for Coyote Howls or to talk with Chase about film locations for Marshfield, email her at