SOUTH COAST — When we look back on news stories of 2017, without doubt, crime, heartbreak and tragedy were the unifying themes for the most-read stories in The World.
1. Protesters choked out
Coos Bay police cited a Lakeside man in January who admitted to intentionally driving by protesters at the women's march on Saturday and choking them with thick, black diesel smoke, a practice referred to as "rolling coal."
Steven A. Bishop was cited Monday for unlawful visible emissions, after he admitted his actions to police, Coos Bay Police Captain Chris Chapanar said.
Bishop wrote on his Facebook page the night before Saturday's planned women's march in Coos Bay that, "There's supposed to be a riot in downtown Coos Bay tomorrow I hope all you diesel guys are ready to go blow black smoke."
The story garnered 134,919 page views read by 56,384 users.
2. SCINT seizes more than 10 pounds of meth
A South Coast Interagency Narcotics Team (SCINT) led task force confiscated more than 10 pounds of crystal methamphetamine in May 2017. Law enforcement officials say it is the largest such seizure in Coos County history.
“It’s the largest to my knowledge,” SCINT Director Capt. Cal Mitts said, adding that fifteen firearms, $46,000 in cash and a power generator had also been recovered during the search.
He said one of the firearms was stolen.
In total, five people were arrested: four men and one woman.
The story earned 31,898 page views and was read by 12,874 users.
3. Man killed after jumping off bridge
In September, a Bandon man committed suicide Tuesday night by jumping off the McCullough Bridge in North Bend, according to North Bend Police.
The man was identified as 55-year-old James Wise. According to police, at 7:30 p.m. officers received a report of an adult male that was observed walking on the bridge when he suddenly stepped up and over the bridge railing.
Officers from the NBPD, North Bend Water Rescue and U.S. Coast Guard personnel were alerted to this and responded immediately. Police discovered footwear and a bag of belongings and later discovered a submerged body in the water below.
Wise's body was recovered by boat rescue personnel and he was transported to Bay Area Hospital where he was declared dead.
4. Deputy charged with assault
In August, a Coos County Sheriff’s Office deputy was arrested on suspicion of assault after allegedly beating his wife.
39-year-old Klayton Charles Wilson is charged with menacing, harassment and assault in the fourth degree, a felony charge.
On Aug. 6 at 4:33 a.m. an officer with the Bandon Police Department was dispatched to the defendant’s Bandon residence because of a report of a disturbance.
The victim was standing in the front yard, shaking, with her hands and face covered in blood.
Earlier, Wilson had been drinking, according to the victim. She said she had to go into the bedroom several times to put Wilson back to bed after he had fallen out.
The victim said she went into the room again because Wilson “started tearing up the bedroom.”
According to the victim, Wilson started swinging at her and grabbing her by her hair.
5. Tucker Sherman
January brought the death of Tucker Kobe-Joseph "Tucker Joe" Sherman was the dearly-loved son of Joe Sherman of Prineville and Kristi and Brison Stocker of Coos Bay, born July 31, 1996, in Coos Bay. He died Jan. 28, 2017, in North Bend.
6. Bandon Dunes golf pro killed in accident
Family, friends and co-workers are mourning the death of Robert McVicker, 28, an assistant golf pro at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort, who was killed in an accident on U.S. Highway 101 between Bandon and Coos Bay the morning of Saturday, Feb. 25.
Oregon State Police said the crash occurred about 8:30 a.m. at milepost 249, about 12 miles south of Coos Bay and was likely caused by icy roads.
According to police, McVicker was driving a 2004 Nissan Xterra south on the highway when it began fishtailing. The Nissan crossed into the northbound lane, directly in the path of a 2010 Ford Taurus.
The Taurus smashed into the right side of the Nissan, pushing it off the highway into the road bank. The Nissan then burst into flames that killed McVicker and destroyed his vehicle.
The driver and a passenger in the Taurus suffered non-life threatening injuries.
According to a Bandon Dunes Golf Resort blog, McVicker was an integral Bandon Dunes family member since 2010 and was soon to become the next Head Golf Professional at Old Macdonald.
7. 'Leaven No Trace' founder arrested for squatting
Also in January, Coos County Sheriff's deputies arrested Raymond Furr, who also goes as Raymond Block, on charges that he was illegally squatting on private property.
Furr is the founder of the group Leaven No Trace, which has a mission of picking up garbage on Coos County's back roads, but which has frequently run afoul of county officials for illegal roadside dumping.
On the afternoon of Jan. 13, the owners of a West Fork Millicoma Road home said they found an unwelcome surprise — 36-year-old Raymond Furr and 52-year-old Christy Furr, occupying the house which had sat empty for the last two years. When the owners confronted the Furrs, they later told police that the Furrs "claimed squatters rights and refused to leave when asked," according to the sheriff's office.
Oregon does not have or recognize any rights for squatters," the office added. The story garnered 13,180 page views and 7,502 users.
8. Athletic club slapped with OSHA fine
COOS BAY — Bay Area Athletic Club has been fined nearly $200,000 by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), according to documents obtained by The World.
The $195,300 failure-to-abate penalty brings the total violations for the Coos Bay-based gym to $574,110.
The most recent fine stemmed from a failure to provide proper emergency eyewash and shower facilities, with the original violation dating back to Sept. 14 of 2015.
9. Mexican cartel operation thwarted
“This is an operation. It just doesn’t have a name.”
Capt. Kelley Andrews with the Coos County Sheriff’s Office said that in the early, dark hours of a November morning as a convoy of white vehicles snaked through Myrtle Point and Powers.
The Emergency Response Team, also known as the county’s SWAT team, headed through worsening rains to clean out an illegal marijuana grow operated by one of the Mexican cartels. The article was one of the most read with 17,683 page views and 6,992 users.
10. Man charged with 14 counts of sex abuse
A 34-year-old Coos Bay man was charged last September with 14 counts of sex abuse charges spanning six years.
Raylee Benjamin Lincoln was charged with unlawful sexual penetration in the first degree and second degree, sexual abuse in the first degree and second degree and sodomy in the third degree.
The first 12 counts stem from one victim and the last two counts are in regards to a separate victim who was under the age of 14.
The first victim was under the age of 12 when the abuse allegedly started happening in 2011.
This article rounds out the Top 10 News Stories of 2017 with 13,375 page views and 6,781 users.