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Education
Registered nurse case manager comes to Coos Bay School District
$30,000 grant brings life to innovative new pilot program, the brainchild of Special Program Director Lisa DeSalvio

COOS BAY — The Coos Bay School District is making academic history.

Jillian Ward / JILLIAN WARD The World 

Natalie Youst, third grader at Blossom Gulch Elementary visited the school nurse, Emily Parkhurst on Monday. RN Case Manager Barb Youst made phone calls in the background.

For the first time, the district has brought in a registered nurse case manager to keep track of chronically sick students. Not only will this nurse follow up with kids who miss more than 10 days of school, but will bridge the communication gap between parents, medical providers and the child’s school.

“Case management is not new, they do that in the clinics, but case management directly tied to the school is brand new,” said Lisa DeSalvio, special program director for the district. “This is an innovative practices grant funding a one-year pilot program. The hope is for it to grow in all schools and all districts. It’s not meant to start and stop here.”

DeSalvio called herself the “catalyst” behind the pilot program, which is being done in partnership with Bay Clinic. The $30,000 grant funding the project was awarded to the district in January from Advanced Health, covering kindergarten through 3rd grade.

Of course, DeSalvio envisions the program one day encompassing the entire district.

Though the program didn’t kick off until last month, it has already made an impact.

“On that first day we had the chance to save a kiddo who had lost been lost on follow-up and fallen through the cracks,” said Barb Yost, the district’s new RN case manager hired by Bay Clinic. “This kiddo had labs to be followed up on but instead fallen off from school and the pediatrician who had no address, no number to contact the family.”

It was only when the family tried to re-enroll and couldn’t until they provided a health statement that they popped back on everyone’s radar. On Yost’s first day she visited the family to go over health issues that may or may not get in the way of their child’s academic success.

“Now there is communication between this position and the pediatrician about abnormal labs,” Yost said. “That was just the first day. This is basically boots on the ground to bridge the communication gap. That’s what I’m doing.”

Since starting, she has also encountered a pediatrician who didn’t even realize one of their patients hadn’t been to school in four months.

Jillian Ward / JILLIAN WARD The World 

Emily Parkhurst, school nurse, examines Natalie Youst, third grader at Blossom Gulch.

When Yost began her first day, it was the district’s attendance advocate Brea Landrum who already identified students who needed her attention.

“The attendance advocate reaches out to families because there are a lot of unexcused absences, but I call parents because their kiddos have a lot of excused absences which means the parent is doing their job,” Yost said. “But the average kid doesn’t miss more than 10 days and I call even if they missed 11.”

Since stepping into this new role as RN case manager, Yost has found that sometimes these students are missing schools for things as simple as chronic ear infections that were resolved with ear tubes and she can cross them off her list.

“But the tag line of this project is not only to improve optimal health to keep kids in school, but to make sure they aren’t lost on that follow-up,” he said. “I’m dealing with what keeps kids out of school not just this year but next year too.”

According to DeSalvio, Yost does not have the duties of a school nurse but can go into schools to do wellness checks and keep staff educated on proper care as needed.

“We can actually help parents with barriers because we have the tribal attendance advocate, nurses, and school psychologists all here,” DeSalvio said. “As we define things, we can help families get other resources. This medical piece is the missing piece and now we have it.”

DeSalvio has been pursuing this idea over the past several years after identifying it as a need during her day-to-day work. She explained that her perspective in the district is unique because she oversees so many programs and is involved with Community Connections, which takes children with complicated health needs and brings their families to the table to form a plan. Parents leave that meeting with a point of contact. After seeing that, DeSalvio wanted to incorporate something similar in the school district.

“Because if they are homeless, (Yost) can call our homeless liaison and so on,” she said. “It is about getting everyone to speak the same language.”

As for Yost, she encountered one parent who wanted to know where she was four years ago.

“She wasn’t angry, but this could have been helpful sooner,” Yost said. “Everything is coming together now.”


Local
Shored up berm opened to the public

COOS BAY — Citizens looking to enjoy the sunshine after a weekend of wild weather will be happy to hear that the city reopened around 80 feet of levee walkway along the Coos Bay Boardwalk between Hall Avenue and Elrod Avenue.

It was recognized back in 2014 that this section of the walkway was starting to erode and needed to be shored up. In late 2017, the berm actually began falling off into the bay, forcing the city to close off the walkway and take action.

“There was evidence that it was starting to fail several years ago and city staff communicated with port staff. Unfortunately, over time, many of those port staff people that the city originally talked about with this are gone,” Coos Bay City Manager Rodger Craddock said.  

The International Port of Coos Bay and the city have joint ownership of the portion of the levee near the city docks. The joint ownership caused some confusion as to who was responsible for paying to replace the failing levee.

Aside from a nice place to walk, the berm is a functioning levee that keeps high tides from spilling into downtown during severe rain storms.

“Things were becoming critical late last year when the berm was failing at a high rate. It encroached and actually compromised the city’s walking path. It ate out from underneath it and started falling in. It was of concern to both the port and the city if the berm was to go away. One, its rail yard would get flooded from time to time when we have high tides. We would see more aggressive flooding in downtown,” Craddock said.

The city ultimately determined in December of 2017 that the property had reached a point of considerable risk and possible loss if the levee was repaired.

“The port is now the owner of the berm. The city still has an easement over the top. We’re responsible for our own infrastructure on top of that berm,” Craddock said.

When the levee began showing serious damage, the port told the city that it could not afford to make any upgrades at that time. To get the work done before the in-water work window closed, the city decided to use urban renewal funds to fix the berm.

According to the city, an understanding was reached stating that the port owns the levee and is obligated to fully reimburse the city for the repairs.

“There is a disagreement at this point in time as to who really has to maintain the berm. Is it the city that has to maintain the berm? I think that’s the contention of the port. There is something that we have to maintain, and that is the easement area. They’re interoperating that meaning the whole berm,” Craddock said.

The project cost to the city was $90,000 in urban renewal funds to shore up the levee. Although the walkway on top of the berm is open, it is not yet finished. There is still paving work that needs to be done along the top. Another $20,000 will be needed to complete the project.

Work consisted of filling in washed out parts of the berm with riprap, which essentially means the created a stone pilling where the land used to. In a certain section willows were planted in the hopes that their roots will hold the berm together. A large amount of oyster shells were also laid on top of the roots of the freshly planted willows.

“The idea is that the roots will take hold and that those root systems will help protect and fortify the berm. There were also oyster shells that were put in to buffet the water,” Craddock said.

The city currently has received a bid to do the remaining work on the project, and Craddock has given the approval for it. They are not sure exactly when that finishing touch work will take place, but likely it will be soon.  


Oregon governor signs net neutrality bill

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown signed a bill Monday withholding state business from internet providers who throttle traffic, making the state the second to finalize a proposal aimed at thwarting moves by federal regulators to relax net neutrality requirements.

The bill stops short of actually putting new requirements on internet service providers in the state, but blocks the state from doing business with providers that offer preferential treatment to some internet content or apps, starting in 2019. The move follows a December vote by the Federal Communications Commission repealing Obama-era rules that prohibited such preferential treatment, referred to generally as throttling, by providers like AT&T, Comcast, and Verizon.

"When the federal government repealed net neutrality it took a giant step backward," Brown said before signing the measure at a Portland-area school.

Brown's signature makes the state the second to enact such legislation, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. It also stakes out the state's claim to a moderate approach, compared to others: Five weeks to the day before Brown, Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee signed a bill in his state to directly regulate providers there.

Critics of the federal change say it could lead to the division of the internet into tiers, with high-quality information reaching only those willing to pay extra and controversial views or outlets relegated to slower channels.

But states looking to create their own standards face potential federal opposition. In February, the FCC said it would use its power to pre-empt the laws of any states that try to directly regulate providers, and set an April 23 deadline for the new, more relaxed rules to take effect.

At the Oregon signing, state House Majority Leader Jennifer Williamson echoed statements from Democratic legislators there that using the power of the state's checkbook would influence providers while stopping short of actually imposing regulations on providers themselves.

The prohibition, which restricts with whom the state may contract for internet services, applies to cities and counties, but exempts areas with only a single provider.

Democratic legislators had also cited the deadline in support of taking immediate action. Republican lawmakers said they were worried that even the hands-off approach could draw scrutiny from the federal government.

Legislators in more than half the states have introduced net neutrality legislation, including both outright bans and purchasing prohibitions like Oregon's, but most have yet to pass, according to a report from the NCSL. Governors in five - Hawaii, New Jersey, New York, Montana, Vermont—have signed executive orders on the subject.

Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum also joined a coalition of 22 states and the District of Columbia in filing legal challenges in February to block the federal rules from taking effect.


Lee-wire
AP
Trump furious after FBI seizes documents from his lawyer (copy)

WASHINGTON — Federal agents on Monday raided the office of President Donald Trump's personal attorney Michael Cohen, seizing records on topics including a $130,000 payment made to porn actress Stormy Daniels.

A furious Trump, who in the last month has escalated his attacks on special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation, said from the White House that it was a "disgrace" that the FBI "broke into" his lawyer's office. He called Mueller's investigation "an attack on our country," prompting new speculation that he might seek the removal of the Justice Department's special counsel.

The raid was done by the U.S. Attorney's office in Manhattan and was based at least partly on a referral from Mueller, according to Cohen's lawyer, Stephen Ryan.

"The decision by the U.S. Attorney's Office in New York to conduct their investigation using search warrants is completely inappropriate and unnecessary," Ryan said in a statement. "It resulted in the unnecessary seizure of protected attorney client communications between a lawyer and his clients."

The raid creates a new legal headache for Trump even as he and his attorneys weigh whether to agree to an interview with Mueller's team, which in addition to investigating potential ties between Russia and the Trump campaign is also examining whether the president's actions constitute obstruction of justice.

The law enforcement action will almost certainly amplify the public scrutiny on the payment to Daniels, who says she had sex with Trump in 2006. The payment was made just days before the 2016 presidential election, and Trump told reporters last week that he did not know about it.

Search warrants are a fairly standard, though aggressive, law enforcement tool and are often sought in cases where authorities are concerned someone may hide or withhold evidence. To obtain one, agents must convince a judge they have probable cause of criminal activity and they believe they'll find evidence of wrongdoing in a search. A warrant requires high-level approval within the Justice Department, and agency guidelines impose additional hurdles when the search target is an attorney.

Authorities working with Mueller chose a similar tactic last summer when they raided the home of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who was subsequently indicted.

In this case, though, Mueller opted to refer the matter to federal prosecutors in Manhattan. Besides Cohen's office, agents also searched a hotel room where he's been staying while his home is under renovation.

Under Justice Department regulations, Mueller is required to consult with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein when his investigators uncover new evidence that may fall outside his original mandate. Rosenstein then will determine whether to allow Mueller to proceed or to assign the matter to another U.S. attorney or another part of the Justice Department.

A spokesman for Mueller's office did not immediately return a call seeking comment. White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders and the U.S. attorney's office also had no comment. The New York Times first reported on Monday's raid.

Ryan did not elaborate on the documents that were taken from Cohen's office but said he has cooperated with investigators, including meeting last fall with lawmakers looking into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Cohen has more recently attracted attention for his acknowledgment that he paid Daniels $130,000 out of his own pocket just days before the 2016 presidential election. Cohen has said neither the Trump Organization nor the Trump campaign was a party to the transaction with Daniels and he was not reimbursed for the payment.

Several former officials at the Federal Election Commission have said the payment appears to be a violation of campaign finance laws, and multiple Washington-based groups have filed complaints with the FEC, urging it to investigate.

There have been few signs that Mueller was interested in investigating the payment, though. One Mueller witness, former Trump aide Sam Nunberg, recently connected the special counsel with the payment, saying in an interview on MSNBC last month that prosecutors had asked him about payments to women.

Trump answered questions about Daniels for the first time last week, saying he had no knowledge of the payment made by Cohen and he didn't know where Cohen had gotten the money. The White House has consistently said Trump denies the affair.

Daniels has said she had sex with the president in 2006. She has been suing to invalidate the nondisclosure agreement she signed before the election and has offered to return the $130,000 she was paid in order to "set the record straight."

Daniels argues the agreement is legally invalid because it was signed by only Daniels and Cohen, and was not signed by Trump.

Last month, Daniels' attorney, Michael Avenatti, sent letters to the Trump Organization demanding the business preserve all of its records relating to the $130,000 transaction.

The letter demanded they preserve all emails by Cohen that mention Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, as well as any emails and text messages related to the alleged relationship. He sent similar demand letters to two banks — City National and First Republic — asking they preserve documents connected to the transaction.