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Local
Local businesses support 3A basketball tournament

COOS COUNTY — Businesses around town have partnered with the Coos Bay-North Bend Visitor Convention Bureau in an effort to welcome visitors to the area for the Class 3A State Basketball Tournament.

Each participating business will put out a welcome sign in their windows and store fronts to welcome individual teams who have traveled to the Bay Area for the tournament. Signs will be decorated in the school colors of visiting teams.

“This tournament is a big boost to our economy at a time we consider ‘off-season,' bringing in around $350,000-$400,000 in economic impact through hotel stays, dining out, gas, shopping and visiting some of our attractions,” Janice Langlinais with the VCB said.

Participating businesses and their teams include:

Oregon Pacific Bank: Burns girls

Books by the Bay: Salem Academy girls

North Point Realty: Blanchet Catholic girls

Petal to the Metal Flowers: Clatskanie girls

Painted Zebra: Warrenton girls

Juul Insurance Co. OR NB VIC: Brookings-Harbor girls

Visitor's Information Center: Vale girls

Vintage  101: Oregon Episcopal girls

Engles Furniture: De La Salle North Catholic boys

Ken Ware Chevrolet; Santiam Christian boys

America's Mattress: Dayton boys

Bay Appliances: Pleasant Hill boys

Vinny’s: Nyssa boys

Electric Hospital: Clatskanie boys

Pony Village Mall: Sutherlin boys

H & R Block: Amity boys

In addition to the several businesses supporting individual teams, a number of local businesses will be offering discounts and gift certificates. Local businesses will also provide snacks and gifts items to include in the coaches bags presented to each team. Some of those businesses include the Best Western Holiday Hotel, The Mill Casino-Hotel, Pancake Mill, Dave’s Pizza, Outdoor-In, Dungeness Crab Commission, Cardinal Services, Vend West, Remax, Umpqua Bank, the Coos Bay Visitor Information Center and North Bend Lanes/Back Alley Pub.


Local
breaking
Coos County Commissioners declare local state of emergency due to weather

COOS COUNTY — The Coos County Board of Commissioners met Tuesday afternoon and declared a local state of emergency following this weekend’s winter storm and its impact on the county’s roadways.

In a unanimous vote, the board approved two orders, the first being an order declaring the entire county in a state of emergency and the second calling on Oregon Gov. Kate Brown to follow suit.

Ed Glazar, The World 

A Coquille Police officer talks to motorists at roadblock along Highway 42S where flood water breached the road near Coquille.

Doing so would allow the county to receive state and federal assistance to help pay for the additional costs now needed to repair its roads. According to a preliminary assessment by Coos County Roadmaster John Rowe, the storm caused an estimated $740,000 worth of damages.

“You’re never fully sure when they forecast an atmospheric river what that can mean,” said Coos County Emergency Manager Mike Murphy. “We got a lot of rain.”

According to the National Weather Service in Medford, the atmospheric river produced rainfall that varied throughout the county with some cities receiving four inches of rain while others had up to 15 inches over the last five days.

An atmospheric river, which releases water vapor in the form of snow or rain, is a weather condition that brings moisture from the Hawaiian tropics over to the West Coast. 

The storm caused a number of landslides, flooding, fallen trees and other weather related damages to the county. Most of the road damage appears to be culverts that were blown out from landslide activity, said Murphy.  

With the county now being placed in a state of emergency, the order, 19-02-014L, allows for the Coos County Office of Emergency Management in partnership with the Coos County Sheriff’s Office to take certain precautions to ensure the safety of its residents and their property.

Ed Glazar, The World 

Flood waters recede Tuesday along Old Broadbent Road after days of rain sent the Coquille River over its banks in Myrtle Point.

According to the order that includes, prohibiting or limiting the number of people who may gather at a location designated as an emergency area. It also includes barricading streets and roads which have also been designated as an emergency area and restricting or prohibiting its vehicular or pedestrian traffic.

Currently, the Coos County Road Department oversees the maintenance of approximately 188 miles of gravel roads and 341 miles of paved roads. The declaration of emergency is set to expire March 19.


Local
Litter patrol: Group strives to control cat population

You can run out of gas. You can run out of money, time or patience.

Nobody ever seems to run out of cats.

“Cat overpopulation in this area is a terrible problem,” said Sheila Ward, a volunteer with Friends of Coos County Animals. “I think it’s a problem everywhere.”

Specifically, it’s a math problem. Cats aren’t far behind rabbits in the multiplication department. A female cat may get pregnant when she’s just 4 months old, and she can deliver as many as three litters a year.

So FOCCAS fights a perpetual campaign to reduce uncontrolled cat breeding. One of its allies is the Coquille Tribal Community, which this week awarded the group a $5,000 grant to help cover vet fees.

FOCCAS was founded in 2006 to promote animal welfare and ease the strain on the county shelter. Its 35 volunteer foster homes have cared for thousands of animals awaiting adoption.

Cats in the group’s care consistently outnumber dogs, but the felines’ rapid reproduction is only one reason. Owner attitudes are another.

“They just don’t think of spaying and neutering their cats as much as they do with dogs,” Ward said.

When kittens arrive, people commonly advertise them on Facebook, give them away outside Walmart, or dump them along some rural road. Sometimes people move out of an apartment, leaving behind a cat and half a dozen kittens.

“Hundreds of cats just get thrown away,” Ward said. “Certain times of the year, we have dozens and dozens.”

Tribal fund Administrator Jackie Chambers said she’s glad for the chance to help.

“I feel like this is an issue that we can all relate to,” she said. “In receiving this grant, FOCCAS is giving people in our community the means to keep their pets healthy and safe.”

The Coquille Tribe’s grant will help cat owners who can’t afford the cost of spaying (for female cats) or neutering (for males). FOCCAS provides vouchers for the S/Nipped clinic in Empire.

Along with financial help, FOCCAS aims to change cat owners’ attitudes. Ward said some people who receive vouchers neglect to use them. She recalled a woman who forgot to fix her tomcat, only to face a big vet bill after a feline rendezvous led to a bloody fight.

“You reach some of them, and you don’t reach others,” Ward said. “The ones who really care about this, and they’re invested in their cat, they’ll take care of it right away -- and they’ll tell their friends.”

 


Education
Flooding from Coquille River now receded
The flooding shut down the Myrtle Point School District for two days

MYRTLE POINT — Flooding from the Coquille River shut down the Myrtle Point School District for two days this week, though water levels should be stable Wednesday morning.

Myrtle Point School District Superintendent Nanette Hagen told The World that the flooding never reached any of the school buildings but rather blocked off bus routes outside of town where the Coquille River and creeks run through.

“There were also numerous routes where there were mudslides blocking the roads and places where the roads had either washed out or culverts were lost,” Hagen wrote in an email.

Being the largest district geographically in Coos County, Hagen explained the majority of its students come from outside of town proper. This being the case meant many students simply couldn’t navigate the roads to get to class.

“The other issue is that at just our elementary school on Monday alone, at least (seven) staff members would have been unable to come to work due to these same conditions as their travel paths were unpassable,” she said. “This creates a difficulty in finding substitutes for that many staff members.”

When she responded to questions from The World on Tuesday morning, she checked NOAA’s evaluation of the flooding. At 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, the water level on the Coquille River was 24 feet.

The flood stage is 21 feet.

“Moderate flooding is still occurring,” Hagen wrote. “The river will gradually fall today.”

Initially, NOAA’s predictions for the flooding showed it to level out by Wednesday morning. However, just before noon NOAA downgraded the flooding to “minor” and was expected to drop below the flood stage by the afternoon, Hagen pointed out in a separate email.

“We will be checking routes again late in the day today to determine if roads are passable now and to discern how many students and staff are impacted by any non-passable roads,” she said. “This will help us determine if school will be place in place (Wednesday).”

The Oregon Department of Transportation issued an update this morning warning drivers to continue expecting winter driving conditions today on southwest Oregon highways.

“I-5 is open and clear after a night of various chain restrictions on the summits,” the release said. “City and county roads may have sloppy and slippery conditions from snow last night and this morning so budget more time for your travels. Slow down and drive to the conditions.”

Otherwise, the release warned drivers that there has been no change in the highway closures in Douglas and Coos counties since last night.

“We'll update as we learn more and continue to monitor Tripcheck,” the release said.