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Bethany Baker, The World 

Veterans and their families eat dinner at the Eagles Lodge in Coos Bay in honor of Veterans Day on Saturday.

Bethany Baker, The World 

Veterans and their families eat dinner at the Eagles Lodge in Coos Bay in honor of Veterans Day on Saturday.

Photo courtesy of Coos County Sheriff's Office 

A woman works at the Coos County Sheriff's Office Dispatch Center in Coquille

Coos Bay welcomes north-bound drivers with new sign

COOS BAY — Puzzled motorists passing the construction just south of the Shell gasoline station in Coos Bay will soon see a new welcome sign and landscaping.

The changes are part of a streetscape project that Coos Bay’s Urban Renewal Agency has had its eye on for a couple years to improve the city’s highway appeal.

The city’s existing welcome signs are the first focus of the improvements.

Coos Bay City Manager Rodger Craddock said the projects are built off the theme present across from the boardwalk.

Like the area near the boardwalk, the city’s two entrances will also have pieces of the Oregon Department of Transportation’s nearly 70-year-old bridge railing.

Craddock said there are concept plans for the entire corridor and the entrance signs are the first phase.

The URA awarded a $250,000 bid to Clean Rivers Erosion Control, plus a 10-percent contingency of $25,000. That price does not include the cost of the monument signs.

According to city documents, there’s a $75,000 shortfall in the budget for the bid price, which will be covered through the Urban Renewal Downtown Capital Projects Fund.

The agency also paid $27,000 for Portland-based firm Greenworks to create renderings of the streetscapes and proposed improvements along the corridor.

The south entrance is expected to be completed by Dec. 30, according to the city’s website.

The city’s northern streetscape improvement will be north of Ace Hardware. 

His Asia trip winding down, Trump meets with allies

MANILA, Philippines — President Donald Trump is winding down his lengthy Asia trip with an international summit and a trio of meetings with Pacific Rim allies, including his host in the Philippines who is overseeing a bloody drug war.

Trump, in Manila, attended the opening ceremonies of the Association for Southeast Asian Nations conference, which began with pageantry, including a group photo of the leaders and the summit's traditional handshake. That cross-body shake, during which each leader shakes the opposite hands of those next to him, briefly baffled Trump, who then laughed as he figured out where to place his arms.

One of the leaders on his flank: with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, who has overseen a bloody drug war that has featured extrajudicial killings. The two men also are slated to hold longer, formal talks later today and White House aides signaled that Trump is not expected to publicly bring up human rights in their discussions.

Trump also will meet with Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India, which plays a key role in the U.S. vision of an Indo-Pacific region that attempts to de-emphasize China's influence. And he will meet with Australian Prime Minister Malcom Turnbull, with whom he had a contentious phone call this spring.

Trump's discussions will largely center on trade and North Korea but he remains dogged by things he has said, and not said, about Russia.

He tried to have it both ways on the issue of Russian interference in last year's presidential race, saying he believes both the U.S. intelligence agencies when they say Russia meddled and Putin's sincerity in claiming that his country did not.

"I believe that he feels that he and Russia did not meddle in the election," Trump said Sunday in Hanoi, Vietnam.

"As to whether I believe it, I'm with our agencies," Trump said. "As currently led by fine people, I believe very much in our intelligence agencies."

But just a day earlier, he had lashed out at the former heads of the U.S. intelligence agencies, dismissing them as "political hacks" and claiming there were plenty of reasons to be suspicious of their findings that Russia meddled to help Trump defeat Democrat Hillary Clinton.

Former CIA director John Brennan, appearing Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union" with former national intelligence director James Clapper, said Trump was deriding them in an attempt to "delegitimize" the intelligence community's assessment.

"I think Mr. Putin is very clever in terms of playing to Mr. Trump's interest in being flattered. And also I think Mr. Trump is, for whatever reason, either intimidated by Mr. Putin, afraid of what he could do or what might come out as a result of these investigations," Brennan said.

Clapper called the threat from Russia "manifest and obvious."

"To try to paint it in any other way is, I think, astounding and, in fact, poses a peril to this country," he said on CNN.

Brennan said Trump's ambiguity on Russia's involvement was "very, very worrisome from a national security standpoint."

"I think he's giving Putin a pass and I think it demonstrates to Putin that Donald Trump can be played by foreign leaders who are going to appeal to his ego and play upon his insecurities," Brennan said.

Questions about whether Trump believes the assessment about Russian election-meddling have trailed him since January, when he said for the first time, shortly before taking office, that he accepted that Russia was behind the election-year hacking of Democrats that roiled the White House race.

A special counsel's examination of potential collusion between Moscow and Trump campaign aides so far has led to indictments against Trump's former campaign chairman and another top aide for crimes unrelated to the campaign, and a guilty plea from a Trump foreign policy adviser for lying to the FBI.

Multiple congressional committees also are investigating.

Trump told reporters traveling with him to Hanoi on Saturday that Putin had again vehemently denied the allegations. The two spoke during an economic conference in Danang, Vietnam. Trump danced around questions about whether he believed Putin but stressed Putin's denials.

"Every time he sees me, he says: 'I didn't do that.' And I believe — I really believe — that when he tells me that, he means it," Trump said, arguing that it makes no sense for him to belabor the issue when Russia could help the U.S. on North Korea, Syria and other issues.

Trump originally was slated to depart Manila for Washington today. He added a day to the schedule amid criticism that he would have missed the final summit.