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Coos County Search and Rescue members aid in Camp Fire recovery

COOS COUNTY – Coos County commissioners approved an agreement Tuesday morning between itself and the Oregon Office of Emergency Management to be able to send volunteers to California’s Camp Fire recovery site.

According to Capt. Gabriel Fabrizio, two Coos County Search and Rescue team members and a K-9 tracking and cadaver dog were deployed Sunday to Paradise, Calif. to assist in their search for hundreds of missing residents.  

“Once we got the call, we sent out a request for volunteers to see who would be able to go,” Fabrizio said. “As more people become available we will try to send them over to offer as much help as we can.”

The call was sent out earlier this week through a federal request, the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC), which allows for states to share resources and personnel with one another during a major emergency or disaster.

While waiting for commissioners to sign the EMAC agreement, the two Coos County team members were able to join the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue team Sunday through an another agreement, the California Oregon Regional Search and Rescue Task Force (COSAR).

COSAR allows for counties, who have joined, the opportunity to send trained search and rescue personnel and search management assistance to one another. The two members, Jeanette Sinclair and Dave Haueter along with K-9 Auggie, are set to return Wednesday.

The Douglas County team also left Sunday with 11 volunteers, a deputy and four vehicles, which included three K-9 recovery teams as well as ground search and management personnel.  

The Camp Fire has destroyed over 12,000 single family homes, burned over 150,000 acres and caused 79 fatalities to date. The Butte County Sheriff’s Office released a partial list Monday of missing or unaccounted for people, which contains 699 names.

Coos County now joins other search and rescue teams from Douglas, Lake, Jackson, Klamath and Josephine counties.

Local organizations offer free Thanksgiving meals throughout Coos County

COOS COUNTY – A number of local organizations throughout Coos County will be offering free Thanksgiving meals to community members in need.

The Nancy Devereux Center in Coos Bay will be hosting its annual Thanksgiving lunch today from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Director Tara Johnson said this year the center has prepared enough meals to feed about 200 people.

“We’re inviting everyone to join along and to bring their families,” Johnson said. “We won’t turn anyone away and will serve food until we run out.”

The dinner, which was prepared by the center’s volunteers, was made possible by food and cash donations collected throughout the year. The Forty and Eight American Legion club, an Oregon fraternal organization, donated a large quantity of food items including turkey breasts, stuffing and mash potatoes.

Earlier this month, Johnson said the center made one final request via its Facebook page for community members to donate items needed to finalize its Thanksgiving menu.

“Overall we’ve gotten about 450 pounds of food,” Johnson said. “Teresa Zamora is another notable person who helped us out this year by donating most of the pies we’re serving.”

The center will also be hosting a free flu shot clinic administered by Coos Health and Wellness today from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. An Oregon Health Plan representative will also be in house to talk about health care enrollment.

“We really want the community to come out and make friends with the people who are here regular,” Johnson said. “It’s phenomenal and heartbreaking to hear their stories. It’s also pretty amazing to see how people have overcome things in their life.”

The following organizations will also be offering free Thanksgiving dinners, Nov. 22.

  • The Coos Bay Salvation Army will hold its Thanksgiving Meal at its Empire location on 1155 Flanagan Ave. from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. For more information, call 541-888-5202.
  • The Coos Food Cupboard, local churches, businesses and organizations will hold its 33rd annual Thanksgiving Meal at the Harmony United Methodist Church on 123 Ocean Blvd., in Coos Bay from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. For more information call, 541-267-4410.
  • The South Coast Gospel Mission will hold its Thanksgiving Dinner from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. at its Coos Bay location at 1999 North Seventh St. For more information, call 541-269-5017.
  • The Lakeside Senior Center, located on 915 North Lake Rd., will be holding its Thanksgiving Dinner from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Lakeside. For more information, call 541-217-0715.

Operation Rebuild Hope helps Korean War veteran
Purple Heart recipient gets a new ramp for easier access to his home

NORTH BEND – Operation Rebuild Hope helped a 91-year-old Korean War veteran this week.

On Monday, Operation Rebuild Hope brought together Habitat for Humanity and the U.S. Coast Guard to build a wheelchair ramp for former U.S. Marine James Perkins.

“Operation Rebuild Hope has had this house on their books for a while,” said Dale Stewart, critical home program manager with Habitat for Humanity.

Stewart initially did the design and cost estimate for Operation Rebuild Hope, which is a nonprofit that works to help veterans, but when he found out there were no volunteers to help build it he stepped up to do that too.

“This veteran and his family have waited six to eight months for this,” said Patrick Wright, founder of Operation Rebuild Hope. “When we do provide something for a veteran, it is the best possible quality. I’ve tried to find volunteers and finally worked with Dale, he did the plans and the Coast Guard agreed to do the labor.”

Coos Head Builders’ Supply also donated half of the materials.

“It’s great that Operation Rebuild Hope can do things like this, but we like when groups help like this because it shows the community that we are doing this together,” Wright said.

As for Perkins, he is a Purple Heart recipient who served a total of two and a half years. He first signed up for two years, but at the time “Congress just about got rid of the Marine Corps,” he remembered. “They put a 60,000 man limit on the Marine Corps.”

When this happened, he was in radar school to become a radar technician. After leaving the Marine Corps once the limit was put in place, a retired lieutenant colonial talked him into joining the inactive reserves.

“I did and forgot all about it,” he said. “I got home one evening and there was a big envelop. I cooked up supper, opened it and read ‘Upon receipt of this order, you have 72 hours to report.’ Of course, four days had gone by.”

When he returned to the Marine Corps, it was for one year.

“It was quite the experience for me,” he said of his service. “I got to do several things I would have never got to do, the first being able to ride a boat across the ocean.”

During his year fighting the Korean War, he was injured. One night, he noticed “little red streaks” on the hillside and at first didn’t know what they were.

“They were just over the hill, had seen or heard us in the dark, set up and were using tracer bullets,” he said. “All at once, something hit my hand. It felt like being hit with a stick. I put it up and found that a round went through the space between my thumb and hand.”

Perkins ended up in a hospital in Japan.

As for the work Operation Rebuild Hope was doing at his house, his family was grateful.

“It’s going to be nice for us going out of the house,” said his wife, Donna Perkins. “We have a rail put up and have to hang on with both hands going down. We take one step at a time and usually one of us walk in front of him so he doesn’t fall.”

Their daughter, Leslie Perkins, was especially thankful for the work being done for her parents.

“I can’t thank them enough for what they’re doing for my mom and dad,” she said. “I don’t want to worry about them falling down stairs.”

Wright said this is the first ramp being put in for a veteran, with possibly two more to be done in the area.

To donate to Operation Rebuild Hope, visit or donate through Operation Rebuild Hope’s Facebook page where a donate button has been set up. To mail a donation, checks or cash can be sent to 2001 Union Ave., Suite 109 in North Bend. Donations can also be dropped off at Operation Rebuild Hope’s office at 2005 Union Ave. in North Bend.

Jordan Cove files for removal-fill permit

SALEM – The Oregon Department of State Lands (DSL) has received a revised removal-fill permit application for the Jordan Cove Energy Project.

The application covers the three main elements of the project: the liquefied natural gas (LNG) slip and access channel, the LNG terminal, and the natural gas pipeline. The application is available on the DSL website.

DSL has until Dec. 6, to review the application for completeness. The completeness review determines whether the applicant has provided the information required for DSL to evaluate the application.

If the application is determined to be complete, a 60-day public review and comment period will begin. DSL will hold five public hearings to hear comment on the application:

• Monday, Jan. 7 from 5:30-8 p.m. at Klamath Falls Community College, 7390 S 6th St., Klamath Falls.

• Tuesday, Jan. 8 in Jackson County, time and location to be announced

• Wednesday, Jan. 9 from 5:30-8 p.m. at Seven Feathers Casino, 146 Chief Miwaleta Ln., Canyonville.

• Thursday, Jan. 10 from 5:30-8 p.m. at the Mill Casino, 3201 Tremont Ave., North Bend.

• Tuesday, Jan. 15 from 5:30-8 p.m. at the Department of State Lands, Land Board Room, 775 Summer St NE, Salem.

If the application is determined to be incomplete, the hearings will be canceled.