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Coos County saw 1-2 inches of snow yesterday
Icy roads expected this morning

COOS COUNTY — Most local school districts shut down on Tuesday as bad weather hit the South Coast for a second time, dropping one to two inches of snow according to Coos County Emergency Manager Michael Murphy.

“I did not get any amounts (of snowfall), except that they varied depending upon location,” Murphy wrote to The World. “I have heard up to a couple of inches or so, but I would bet higher elevations are getting more.”

Ed Glazar, The World 

James Carl and Rizzy Hall walk Tuesday morning at Mingus Park in Coos Bay after an overnight snowfall cancelled their classes at South Western Oregon Community College.

As for today, Murphy said there may be areas of ice on the roads, but the temperature is not supposed to be as cold in the morning as it has the past two days.

The county’s non-essential employees were given a two-hour delay both Monday and Tuesday, just as the Coquille School District delayed its start time for students and teachers on those days as well.

The districts that canceled classes Tuesday included Southwestern Oregon Community College’s Coos campus, and the Bandon, Reedsport, Coos Bay and North Bend school districts.

In addition to giving people time to navigate the snowy roads or stay home to avoid it completely, the Nancy Devereux’s warming center opened last night for the third time this week as cold temperatures persisted, serving “hot meal, warm beverages and offering a safe, warm and dry place for individuals to spend the night.”

On Monday after the first snow storm, Director Tara Johnson said she saw one man, suffering from diabetes, who came in with purple hands.

“We put his hands in lukewarm water, set him up with a towel and hand warmers,” she said in a previous interview. “We were able to help him. He wasn’t hypothermic, but his extremities don’t have great circulation.”

Ed Glazar, The World 

Mallory Edd, 10, and her brother Sheldon, 5, sled down patchy snow on a hill Tuesday at Mingus Park after an overnight storm in Coos Bay.

The warming center is currently accepting cash donations to help keep it running, as well as hot coco, hot apple cider, tea and canned food.

However, the center is in most need of socks and gloves.

Donations can be brought to the center between 7:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. at 1200 Newmark Ave. in Coos Bay. Donations can also be mailed to PO Box 3519, Coos Bay, or through its Facebook page and website.

Spencer Cole / SPENCER COLE The World  

North Bend Police Chief Robert Kappelman, second from left, looks on at three individuals arrested in a SCINT-led drug seizure in 2017.

Trump calls for end of resistance politics in State of Union

WASHINGTON — Face to face with emboldened Democrats, President Donald Trump on Tuesday called on Washington to cast aside "revenge, resistance and retribution" and end "ridiculous partisan investigations" in a State of the Union address delivered at a vulnerable moment for his presidency.

Trump appealed for bipartisanship but refused to yield on the hard-line immigration policies that have infuriated Democrats and forced the recent government shutdown. He renewed his call for a border wall and cast illegal immigration as a threat to Americans' safety and economic security.

Trump accepted no blame for his role in cultivating the rancorous atmosphere in the nation's capital, and he didn't outline a clear path for collaborating with Democrats who are eager to block his agenda. Their opposition was on vivid display as Democratic congresswomen in the audience formed a sea of white in a nod to early 20th-century suffragettes.

Trump is staring down a two-year stretch that will determine whether he is re-elected or leaves office in defeat. His speech sought to shore up Republican support that had eroded slightly during the recent government shutdown and previewed a fresh defense against Democrats as they ready a round of investigations into every aspect of his administration.

"If there is going to be peace and legislation, there cannot be war and investigation," he declared. Lawmakers in the cavernous House chamber sat largely silent.

Looming over the president's address was a fast-approaching Feb. 15 deadline to fund the government and avoid another shutdown. Democrats have refused to acquiesce to his demands for a border wall, and Republicans are increasingly unwilling to shut down the government to help him fulfill his signature campaign pledge. Nor does the GOP support the president's plan to declare a national emergency if Congress won't fund the wall.

Wary of publicly highlighting those intraparty divisions, Trump made no mention of an emergency declaration in his remarks. He did offer a lengthy defense of his call for a border wall, declaring: "I will build it." But he delivered no ultimatums about what it would take for him to sign legislation to keep the government open.

"I am asking you to defend our very dangerous southern border out of love and devotion to our fellow citizens and to our country," he said, painting a dark and foreboding picture of the risks posed to Americans by illegal immigration.

The 72-year-old Trump harkened back to moments of American greatness, celebrating the moon landing as astronaut Buzz Aldrin looked on from the audience and heralding the liberation of Europe from the Nazis. 

"Together, we represent the most extraordinary nation in all of history. What will we do with this moment? How will we be remembered?" Trump said.

The president ticked through a litany of issues with crossover appeal, including boosting infrastructure, lowering prescription drug costs and combating childhood cancer. But he also appealed to his political base, both with his harsh rhetoric on immigration and a call for Congress to pass legislation to prohibit the "late-term abortion of children."

Trump devoted much of his speech to foreign policy, another area where Republicans have increasingly distanced themselves from the White House. He announced details of a second meeting with North Korea's Kim Jong Un, outlining a Feb. 27-28 summit in Vietnam.

As he condemned political turmoil in Venezuela, Trump declared that "America will never be a socialist country" — a remark that may also have been targeted at high-profile Democrats who identify as socialists.  

The president was surrounded by symbols of his emboldened political opposition. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who was praised by Democrats for her hard-line negotiating during the shutdown, sat behind Trump as he spoke. 

Stacey Abrams delivered the Democratic response to Trump. Abrams narrowly lost her bid in November to become America's first black female governor, and party leaders are aggressively recruiting her to run for U.S. Senate from Georgia.

Speaking from Atlanta, Abrams calls the shutdown a political stunt that "defied every tenet of fairness and abandoned not just our people, but our values."

Trump's address amounted to an opening argument for his re-election campaign. Polls show he has work to do, with his approval rating falling to just 34 percent after the shutdown, according to a recent survey conducted by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

One bright spot for the president has been the economy, which has added jobs for 100 straight months.

"The only thing that can stop it," he said, "are foolish wars, politics or ridiculous partisan investigations" — an apparent swipe at the special counsel investigation into ties between Russia and Trump's 2016 campaign, as well as the upcoming congressional investigations.

The diverse Democratic caucus, which includes a bevy of women, sat silently for much of Trump's speech. But they leapt to their feet when he noted there are "more women in the workforce than ever before."

The increase is due to population growth — and not something Trump can credit to any of his policies.

DeFazio stands with U.S. Coast Guard at State of the Union
The U.S. Congressman continues to seek a solution so the Coast Guard never goes unpaid again

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Each lawmaker is given one ticket to invite a guest to join them for the State of the Union. For U.S. Congressman Peter DeFazio, he invited Master Chief Petty Officer Jason Vanderhaden from the U.S. Coast Guard to highlight that the Coast Guard never stopped protecting the nation’s borders during the government shutdown, and all while going unpaid.

“Master Chief is the senior-most enlisted member of the Coast Guard,” DeFazio told The World prior to President Donald Trump’s State of the Union. “Obviously, the junior ranks of enlisted were hit hardest in the shutdown, people just starting their careers in the Coast Guard who don’t have a lot of savings, have families and aren’t getting paychecks.”

While the longest partial shutdown in the nation’s history drug on, which has ended for now, DeFazio spoke with Coast Guardsmen in Coos Bay and places like Seattle, Wash. In an effort to help get them paychecks, he introduced a bipartisan bill and got close to 180 cosponsors. But that isn’t enough to push it through.

“They were the only uniformed military service not paid during the shutdown because their budget comes from a different agency,” DeFazio said. “I wanted to highlight the fact that the Coast Guard was still out there 24/7 protecting our borders, doing maritime interdiction on drugs, doing rescues, and weren’t getting paid. I thought (Vanderhaden) was the best representative I could have.”

For Vanderhaden, he said he was there in D.C. in his dress uniform, proud to be representing the Coast Guard and raise visibility for his fellow service members.

“We couldn’t have a better advocate to the men and women of the Coast Guard than Peter DeFazio,” he said. “He has championed us for many years, but especially during the shutdown. The more visibility the Coast Guard has, the better off it is for us.”

As Vanderhaden explained it, the Coast Guard is the home game in terms of armed forces. When people join its ranks, they feel like they join the military.

“It was disheartening when we had a lapse of appropriation and weren’t being paid while fellow armed services were,” he said.

Not only that, but DeFazio pointed out that during the shutdown the Coast Guard provided security for other armed services. This included security for the submarine base and operations in Washington state and running patrol for the U.S. Navy.

To ensure that something like this doesn’t happen again, DeFazio has sponsored legislation in the House to prevent future shutdowns by having automatic continued resolutions 90 days at a time when there are disagreements in the budget.

“There’ve been too many of these things, they cost money, they are disruptive, we lose talented federal employees and members of the Coast Guard when these things happen, and it causes recruitment problems when people look for steady work and pay,” DeFazio summed up.

If approved, this legislation would mean every 90 days during budget disagreements, appropriations would be continued without additions or reductions until a permanent appropriation is made.

However, DeFazio said the legislation has been met with resistance from committees that feel it stomps on their jurisdiction.

Vanderhaden explained that during the shutdown, no Coast Guard members were allowed to leave even though they weren’t being paid. Otherwise they would be considered AWOL. But because of what members endured during the shutdown, it may impact whether or not members reenlist once their contracts are up.

In addition, Vanderhaden spoke with the Coast Guard’s recruitment offices and found there had been impacts with people wanting to join.

“If someone is on the fence joining the Navy or the Coast Guard and they see the Navy is getting paid, it changes their decision,” he said.

Not only that, but the Coast Guard recruits from other services for its pilots, lawyers and engineers through a direct commission service. The shutdown impacted decisions from those coming in through that program, as some held off choosing whether or not to come over until they saw what would happen with its appropriation.

DeFazio also pointed to Trump’s border wall, which has been advertised as being a barrier to illegal immigrants, but said “nothing could be further from the truth.”

“We found through the trial of El Chapo that drugs are brought in through the legal ports of entry because the odds are so good they will get through because we don’t have the people or technology to screen the trucks,” DeFazio said. “The Coast Guard intercepted $5.6 billion on the high seas last year and the former commandant said in testimony that they are only going after 20 percent of what has been identified as drug shipments because they don’t have enough air assets, personnel and boats.”

DeFazio wants to see a deal made through Homeland Security that these Coast Guard needs are met. Doing so would allow the Coast Guard to better protect the border, but only if Congress made more of an investment in personnel and equipment.

“Unfortunately, President Trump continues his relentless pursuit of funding for a wall along the southern border,” DeFazio said in a press release after the State of the Union. “We cannot address 21st century challenges with medieval technology. I believe that we need strategic, evidence-based investments in our ports of entry and our maritime border that will allow us to prevent drug, human, and weapons smuggling, deter people who attempt to illegally enter the United States, deport those that commit crimes, and regain control of our borders.”


U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio