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North Bend community meets first superintendent candidate

NORTH BEND — Parents, teachers, and other interested citizens made their way to the North Bend Hall of Champions on Monday evening to meet and speak with the first of four candidates for the North Bend superintendent position, Josh Middleton.

Coincidentally Middleton is the current superintendent of the Middleton School District in in Middleton, Idaho. Middleton said his wife has family ties to the area, and that’s why he is seeking the position.

“There’s lots of family connections here,” Middleton said. “We are looking at positions throughout western Oregon, but this is our top choice because of the family connections that are here. That’s the personal side, the professional side is this is a great size district, because you can affect change so well as opposed to a larger district.”

Folks in the crowd asked Middleton questions regarding what he would do in his first 90 days as superintendent. Middleton said from the time he is offered a contract to the time he would actually begin the position he would review rules and regulation specific to North Bend and the State of Oregon that he may not be familiar with.

“Once I begin here in July, what I want to do is make an offer to the entire community members, parents, for them to come in and sit down. I just want to ask them three questions that would be: What’s going really well in North Bend? What’s a weakness or challenge that we’re facing in North Bend?  And third, what advice would you give me as superintendent? From that if you get enough people there are going to be themes that emerge,” Middleton said.

According to record of professional experience given out at the meeting Middleton has worked as a superintendent since 2003, when he was working in Laurel, Montana.

“What I do bring on is that I wake up every day and think how we can make things better for students and student learning, and making that relationship. It really is a matter of how can I support you in your classroom,” Middleton said.

Middleton School District in Idaho made national headlines last Halloween when a number of teachers dressed up as stereotypical Mexicans, and others dressed up as a Border Wall.

As superintendent, Middleton addressed the community in Idaho with a Facebook Live post where he apologized for what he said was poor judgment on the part of the teachers, and that the district would investigate.

UPDATE 7:19 a.m.: North Bend School District announces two-hour delay today

SOUTH COAST —The North Bend School District is on a two-hour delay this morning, joining the Coos Bay and Coquille School Districts as roads recover from yesterday's storm.

This means all offices and school buses will be on the same delay, the North Bend School District wrote The World this morning.

In a press release from the CBSD, the reason for its delay is due to "continued wet roads conditions in the outlying areas and overnight freezing temperatures. School will begin at 10:00 a.m. Please take your time and drive safely."

Contributed photo by Danielle Smith 

U.S. Highway 101 was closed Monday at milepost 282 north of Langlois at Four Mile Creek due to flooding over the highway. Flooding and landslides on local roads caused closures and delays along the South Coast.

In the Coquille School District, it is preparing for icy roads after snow fell Monday morning, which led to standing water according to the district's superintendent, Tim Sweeney. The delay for Tuesday was decided after the forecast showed temperatures dropping into the mid-20s Monday night.

Meanwhile, the Myrtle Point School District is closed again today due to continued flooding conditions.

As for the roads, the Oregon Department of Transportation reported this morning that several highway closures remain in effect in Coos and Douglas counties as winter driving conditions continue in southwest Oregon.

"I-5 drivers in north Douglas County (MP 154) should expect delays due to tree limbs and other debris near the roadway," the release said. "Currently, there's a chain requirement for large trucks (10,000 gross vehicle weight) but that will come off as the morning progresses."

The closures that remain in effect this morning include U.S. 101 at mile post 344 north of Brookings due to a two-foot sunken grade, there is still no detour though crews are working to get it open under gravel later today, the release said.

Other closures reported by ODOT are Oregon 42S between Coquille and Bandon due to high water, Oregon 138 West between Sutherlin and Elkton from mile post 11 to 24 due to fallen trees and power lines, Oregon 38 west of Elkton between from mile post 29 to 37 also due to fallen trees and power lines, Oregon 138 East between mile post 17 and 60 east of Glide to West Toketee.

ODOT also urged the public to look at Tripcheck for updates on road conditions.

As the storm raged through Sunday night, as many as 35,000 residents on Douglas Electric Cooperative lost power according to its website Monday morning. However, in a recent press release that number had dropped to 9,750 homes.

"We have brought in reinforcements to assist in restoration," the release said. "Some areas will be out for hours and some for days."

As of Tuesday morning, DEC still wasn't sure when the power would be back on for many of its customers. In fact, on its webpage it was reported that "a good number of our linemen who worked 25+ hours in some of the worst conditions in our memory will be returning to cold and dark houses themselves."

For outage information, call 1-888-420-8826 or visit

The little church that could: Tiny congregation opens its doors to the homeless

LAKESIDE – On any given Sunday, fielding a softball team might be a stretch for Lakeside’s Community Presbyterian Church. Yet the tiny congregation (membership 12) is hitting home runs in mercy and charity.

Feed the hungry? Check.

Clothe the naked? You bet.

Shelter the homeless? They’re on it.

CLARK WALWORTH, Special to The World 

On Super Bowl Sunday, volunteers at Lakeside Community Presbyterian Church assembled 100 meal packs for homeless people. Food, clothing and warm beds are all part of the church’s ministry to those in need.

Lakeside Presbyterian is one of 50 community groups and agencies receiving grants this year from the Coquille Tribal Community Fund. The church’s warming center for the homeless was awarded this year’s smallest grant. It asked for and received just $1,110 to stay open for another year.

CLARK WALWORTH, Special to The World 

On Super Bowl Sunday, volunteers at Lakeside Community Presbyterian Church assembled 100 meal packs for homeless people. Food, clothing and warm beds are all part of the church’s ministry to those in need.

“We don’t need any more money than that,” explained church Elder James Ives, who leads the project.

The warming center runs on a cheerful shoestring. When the local forecast calls for a freeze, Ives alerts a crew of church members and community volunteers. Word also goes out to nearby homeless camps.

In the evening, guests stash their personal belongings in a locked closet. Dinner is served at 8 p.m., courtesy of volunteers from another Lakeside church.

The accommodations are sparse but serviceable: eight narrow mattresses on the church floor, with blankets and clean linens. Kennel crates are available for dogs. A volunteer security detail keeps watch all night, and more volunteers serve breakfast at 7 a.m.

“The community made it happen,” Ives said. “All the church did was open our doors.”

The warming center serves a genuine need. The recent Point-In-Time Homeless Count found 35 people living rough in the Lakeside area.

“There are quite a few, but they’re hidden,” Ives said. “They’re in the woods.”

Along with cold-weather shelter, the church offers coats, clothing, backpacks, blankets and flashlights to those in need. Meal packets are another ministry of Lakeside Presbyterian.

On Super Bowl Sunday, a dozen volunteers gathered after church to load plastic zipper bags with non-perishable, ready-to-eat foods. Working in an assembly line, they stuffed 100 bags in 20 minutes, leaving plenty of time to catch the game. Ives reminded each volunteer to take a couple of packets to share with homeless people they meet on the street.

“The partnership between this church and the community is impressive,” said Jackie Chambers, who administers the Coquille Tribal fund. “They’re making a huge difference in people’s lives, and our tribe is proud to help.”

Trump tamps down expectations as he heads to Kim summit

WASHINGTON — Redefining success, President Donald Trump headed to his second meeting with North Korea's Kim Jong Un on Monday, determined to tamp down expectations that he'll achieve big strides toward denuclearization. Yet he was still eager to claim an attention-grabbing victory to offset the political turmoil he faces at home.

Trump was to land in Vietnam late today and will have meetings with the host country's president and prime minister the next day before the president and Kim greet one another and sit down Wednesday for a private dinner.

Trump will be joined at the dinner by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, the White House said Monday. Kim also will have two aides with him, and there will be translators for both sides. Trump will have a series of official meetings Thursday with Kim, who arrived in Hanoi today.

Officials in Hanoi said they had about 10 days to prepare for the summit — much less than the nearly two months they said Singapore was given for the first Trump-Kim meeting last year— but still vowed to provide airtight security for the two leaders.

"Security will be at the maximum level," Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Le Hoai Trung told reporters at a briefing meant to showcase the nation's efforts to welcome Kim and Trump.

Trump laid out ultimate goals for both the U.S. and Kim in an appearance in front of the nation's governors Monday before boarding Air Force One to fly to Vietnam: "We want denuclearization, and I think he'll have a country that will set a lot of records for speed in terms of an economy."

Worries abound across world capitals about what Trump might be willing to give up in the name of a win, but there seems less mystery about his North Korean counterpart. Survival of the Kim regime is always the primary concern.

Trump was the driving force behind this week's summit, aiming to re-create the global spectacle of his first meeting with Kim last year. But that initial summit in Singapore yielded few concrete results, and the months that followed have produced little optimism about what will be achieved in the sequel.

Trump is publicly unconcerned.

He once warned that North Korea's arsenal posed such a threat to humanity that he might have no choice but to rain "fire and fury" on the nation. However, in the leadup to the new summit, he's proclaimed himself in no hurry for Pyongyang to prove it is abandoning its weapons.

"I'm not in a rush. I don't want to rush anybody, I just don't want testing. As long as there's no testing, we're happy," Trump told the governors on Sunday.

In fact, he is ready to write himself into the history books before he and Kim even shake hands in Hanoi.

"If I were not elected president, you would have been in a war with North Korea," Trump said last week. "We now have a situation where the relationships are good — where there has been no nuclear testing, no missiles, no rockets."

While Trump was airborne, Kim's armored train arrived in Vietnam today ahead of the summit. Kim, dressed in his trademark dark Mao suit, shook hands with officials as Vietnamese troops in crisp, white uniforms and black boots stood at attention on a red carpet beneath large North Korean and Vietnamese flags at the Dong Dang railway station on the China-Vietnam border. A limousine took him from the border city to the capital.

Kim inherited a nascent nuclear program from his father, and after years of accelerated effort and fighting through crippling sanctions, he built an arsenal that demonstrated the potential to rocket a thermonuclear weapon to the mainland United States. That is the fundamental reason Washington now sits at the negotiating table.

Kim, his world standing elevated after receiving an audience with a U.S. president, has yet to show a convincing sign that he is willing to deal away an arsenal that might provide a stronger guarantee of survival than whatever security assurance the United States could provide.

The easing of tension between the two nations, Trump and his allies contend, stems from the U.S. president's own unorthodox and unpredictable style of diplomacy. Often prizing personal rapport over long-held strategic interests, Trump has pointed to his budding relationship with the young and reclusive leader, frequently showing visitors to the Oval Office his flattering letters from Kim.

Trump, who long declared that North Korea represented the gravest foreign threat of his presidency, told reporters recently that his efforts to defang Pyongyang moved Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to nominate him for a Nobel Peace Prize, something Abe would not confirm or deny.

Four main goals emerged from the first Trump-Kim summit: establishing new relations between the nations, building a new peace on the entire Korean Peninsula, completing denuclearization of the peninsula and recovering U.S. POW/MIA remains from the Korean War.

U.S. intelligence officials testified before Congress last month that it remains unlikely Kim will fully dismantle his arsenal. Many voices in the Trump administration, including National Security Adviser John Bolton,  expressed skepticism that North Korea would ever live up to a deal.