This Week in Coos County History

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100 YEARS — 1921

Osprey has narrow escape

Loses wheel when off Cape Blanco

Capt. Olson finds it necessary to sail in over bar against ebb tide

Daring seamanship on the part of the skipper, Capt. Peter Olson, was all that saved the gasoline schooner Osprey form wrecking Sunday. The boat came from Rogue river without a cargo and off Cape Blanco lost the wheel. Capt. Olson hoisted a small sail and managed to make his way to Coos Bay. It was twelve o’clock at night and he anchored off the bar. The anchor however dragged and the boat was in immediate danger of being carried on the rocks.

At daylight there was no assistance in sight so Capt. Olson decided that his only chance was to sail in over the bar. This was a hazardous undertaking in view of the fact that there was a heavy ebb tide.

Capt. Olson however tackled the bar and sailed in. It was necessary to keep close to the jetty as the tide in the main channel was very strong. The boat was brought in safely and sailed into South slough and the tow boat Hercules later towed the Osprey to Marshfield. It was said by those who saw the Osprey brought in that it was as good a piece of seamanship as was ever accomplished on the bar.

Asleep on track; stops passenger

August Johnson gets sleepy jag of moonshine

Fred Neime picked up today but only had an “empty” — Powers man also in

August Johnson, a logger, was found asleep on the railroad track near the Yoakum place, near Beaver Hill, yesterday. His discovery was none too quick as the engineer saw a man on the track and was able to bring the train to a stop only a few feet from him.

Johnson was “soused,” so much so that members of the crew had to pick him up and bodily carry him to the baggage car. When the train reached Marshfield, he was turned over to Constable Goodman and placed in jail until arraigned before Justice Joehnke this morning and fined.

Where he got the moonshine, the court did not find out.

Neime has empty

Fred Neime was picked up this morning by Constable Goodman on Front street. It seems that the officers had kept a watch on Neime and when he came on the street with a package wrapped in an old paper Goodman thought he had a live one. However, the gallon jug was empty. Consequently Neime was released with admonitions from the officers.

Rain followed by cold snap

Snowfall in the hill districts this morning

Rainfall during the past forty-eight hours was 2.66 inches — total over sixty

The heavy rain of Sunday was followed by a marked change in weather this morning. There was a drop in temperatures the mercury going down to 33 degrees above zero during the night. This morning there could be seen snow in the hills across the bay and there was snow reported in the uplands on Coos river. The train from the Coquille valley this morning showed snow on the tops of the cars.

The total rainfall Saturday and Sunday was 2.66 inches. The rain was coming down hard Sunday morning early and kept it up all day.

Rainfall is very heavy this year

Total so far is 60.19 since September first

This is eight inches more than fell all of last year and wet weather yet to come

The total rainfall to date since Sept. 1, the beginning of the fiscal year for counting the rainfall, has been 60.19 inches. Last year the total for the entire year was only 52.29 inches. After this date last year about 20 inches of rain fell so if the same thing happens this year there will be close to 80 inches of rain.

But even now the rainfall this year exceeds that of all of last year so it will go down as a particularly wet winter. In addition to the heavy rains, there have been several cold snaps. Last night the temperature was down to freezing and several times this winter the nights have been exceptionally cold for this locality. There was one very cold spell last year when Coos Bay did not suffer as much as other parts of the coast and so far this year there has not been as bad a cold snap as the one last year.

The following figures show the rainfall by months for the two years and as a matter of comparison the figures are of interest:

    1919    1920

September    2.76    5.79

October    2.78    10.14

November    9.20    9.40

December    10.21    15.65

    1920    1921

January    5.79    11.61

February.57    7.60

March    8.77

April    7.54

May    .60

June    2.96

July    .50

August    .59

Total    52.29    60,19

Cost is too great for the city now

Not possible to make quarters for the firemen

Matter is considered at meeting of council last night — talks about new fire truck

The proposed improvement of the second floor of the city hall for the use of the firemen and the question of buying a fire truck were subjects discussed at length at the meeting of the city council last night. Chief J.W. Davis was at the meeting. He said that the city engineer and Councilman Wilson had gone over the matter and made an estimate of the cost of fitting up bed rooms and a club room. Mr. Davis said that it was useless to go into the details of the plans until it was learned whether or not the council could consider making the improvement. Exclusive of plumping, the cost would be about $680 and Mr. Davis said it would take $1000 to do all of the work.

He wanted to know whether the city could find a way to make the improvement which the firemen desired.

Had no money

Mayor Ferguson said that the councilmen wanted to do everything they could for the firemen but that the city simply did not have the money to make the improvement and did not know where it could come from. Mr. Davis said that he would rather the matter be laid over until it could be done right than to have it only half way done.

Finish part of road to Coquille

Another section of highway completed today

Work will now start at Millington — hope to have all done in thirty days

Engineer Chandler and his crew today finished pouring concrete on the section of the Coquille-Coos Bay highway between Davis Slough and Hayden.

This leaves but two sections to be completed, one from Millington to Davis Slough, and the other at the Coquille end. The stretch at the Coquille end is not so important as there is a fair plank road way that can be used.

The crew will now be moved to Millington and start work at that end. There is a gap of about 5,000 feet and under normal conditions it will be completed within thirty days.

The Scandia Co. will not resume operations on the Coquille end until the weather is settled as that has been laid on very soft ground.

Boxing contest promises sport

Matchmaker Smith says good contenders arranged

Johnny Carlson to meet McHale of Marshfield — Johnny Duffy being brought from Portland

The boxing contest to be held at the Orpheum theatre under the directions of the Marshfield Boxing Commission by the new matchmaker, Frank Smith, will be a real championship bout, as Jimmy Duffy the steady little white feather weight champion of the Pacific Coast vs. Baby Blue the black champion of the Pacific Coast in a 10 round main event.

Matchmaker Smith says that Battling Johnny Carlson, the little Swede from Spokane, vs. Johnny McHale of Marshfield realizing McHale is a tough customer Carlson will leave no stones unturned in his training.

Red Campbell, a welterweight battler, and the pride of Oregon, will be seen in a 6-round semi wind up with Kansas City Johnny McCarthy a well known welterweight, who ranks next to Briton and the welterweight champion of the world.

The four round curtain raiser will be two well known local lads, Earnest Bullard vs. Al. Cartwright.

50 YEARS — 1971

Prefontaine winner in Athens 2-mile; 8:34.4

OAKLAND (UPI) — Middle distance runner Steve Prefontaine and sprinter Eddie Hart admitted they weren’t psyched up for the Athens Invitational until they glimpsed a bit of a red-shirted Russian.

Spurred by a cheering, near-capacity crowd of 9,506, Prefontaine ran a record pace for more than half the race before slackening off to win the two-mile in 8:34.4 Saturday night in the banked 160-yard Fastrac at the Oakland Coliseum-arena.

The University of Oreg flash lapped the entire field, including Russian nemesis Rashid Sharafetdinov who beat him at Leningrad last year, to emerge as track athlete of the meet, Prefontaine, who ran an 8:31.9 two weeks ago, had exceeded the record at the one-mile mark with 4:10.5 clocking before slowing down. Sharafetdinov finished third behind Stanford’s Don Kardong.

“Yes, my strategy was to try to run the Russian into the ground,” said Prefontaine. “It felt good to have him behind me but I guess I let up a bit.”

Delegate proposal in Coos

COQUILLE — Coos County Democratic Central Committee members will adopt a formula March 8 to give a greater voice to non-urban counties at state pre-primary and post-primary conventions.

Discussion on the Coos proposal was heard Monday night in Coquille where Demos gathered at a regular central committee meeting.

Essentially, Coos proposes to pick a certain number of pre-selected candidates from each county, as opposed to selecting all candidates to state conventions solely on the basis of voter registration.

Central Committee Chairman William Grannell said the Coos proposal will assure the party of being responsive to the majority will of its members. He noted that selection of state convention delegates on the basis of voter registration alone puts too much power into the hands of urban areas.

MP youth night is approved

MYRTLE POINT — Les Crawford, owner and operator of the Pastime Tavern and Café, asked the Myrtle Point City Council Monday night if a “youth night’ could be held one night a week in the tavern. The council approved the action after Crawford assured that no alcoholic beverage would be sold that night and that the youths would be chaperoned.

Young people could play shuffleboard and pool, and could also dance to the juke box, said Crawford. He indicated that he had operated a similar youth night in Klamath, Calif., with great success.

Crawford said the activity would be for school age children with student body cards. State approval must be gained before Crawford can start, it was noted.

20 YEARS — 2001

Methamphetamine: Group rallied to stop drug abuse in Coos County

Appearances can be deceiving. What appears to be a “normal,” middle-class neighborhood can be something very different.

For instance, on a single Bay Area block, live a flight instructor, a professional handyman, a retired FBI agent — and a suspected meth dealer who’s still recovering after burning two-thirds of his face when a lab in the back bedroom of his mobile home exploded last year, according to Sgt. Dan Looney of the South Coast Interagency Narcotics Team.

“Most people associate meth labs with ghettos or areas that already have a high degree of crime. Most people are wrong,” Looney said. “This stuff is everywhere and it destroys people’s lives.”

Meth use and production are rampant in Coos County. It has a decent street value of $100 per gram, so business is booming. Unfortunately, so are the labs that produce it.

Just this week, a 48-year-old man was arrested when police found a small amount of meth, various drug paraphernalia, chemicals, glass tubes, a firearm and two quarts of methamphetamine with a street value of $100,000 in a camping trailer at his Coos Bay residence.

The rural communities of the South Coast are considered prime real estate by drug dealers and meth-lab operators because the neighborhoods are quiet, unassuming and chock-full of neighbors who generally don’t pay much attention to what’s going on around them, said Looney.

“It’s that very ‘hide in plain site’ protection that draws meth cookers to the area,” Looney explained. “The aftermath of meth production and use creates a lot of havoc in Coos County.”

Now a group of concerned citizens and civic leaders has stepped forward in the war against meth, rallying with the battle cry of “Not here! Not Now! Not anymore!”

“We’re just looking for some way to convert our action into something meaningful that will help find solutions to the multiple problems that are related to meth use in our community,” said Bill Grile, president of the Coos Bay-North Bend Rotary. The service organization is one of the co-sponsors of the meeting. “I’m willing to spend some of my extracurricular time on this to see if we can collectively find the wisdom that has thus far eluded us.”

Coquille youth takes top SWOHA honor

Katilyn Altenbach of Coquille took the sportsmanship award, the top individual honor, as the Southwestern Oregon Horseman’s Association held its annual awards banquet in Coquille.

Altenbach was voted by judges and numerous SWOHA members as exhibiting the highest amount of good sportsmanship throughout the 2000 show season.

The awards banquet followed a year of riders competing in age groups in a number of different contests, including Western and English pleasure riding, jumping, showmanship, trail and games.

Master of ceremonies Butch Bryson, SWOHA’s president, was assisted in the awards presentation by Queen Darcy Bonham and Pricness Tamara Arrotta of the Coos County Fair and Rodeo Court.

Five A-game blankets were awarded to horses and riders who obtained A times in five events: barrels, poles, figure 8, keyhole and NSCA flags. Blanket winners and their horses included Darcy Bonham on Tucker, Melissa Gangewer on Mryra, Stacy Schmitt on Red, Kendall Gisholt on Jack, Candace Arrant on Blue, Darcy Casey on Cash, Robyn Gulseth on Jag and Stacy Schmitt on Tuff.

Overall awards and plaques in games were presented to Austin Arrant (pee-wee division), Hannah Bailey (ages 9-11), Brittney Gulseth (12-14), Roby Gulseth (15-18), Desiree Watson (19-38) and Butch Bryson (39+).

In performance, the plaques went to Kaitlyn Altenbach (pee-wee), Athena Morrow (9-11), Kaley Sweet (12-14), Lindsey Lemos (15-18), Rachel Altenbach (19-38) and Elaine Bryson (39+).

Parents ask district for charter school

The North Bend School District has received a formal application from a group of local parents who want to create a public charter school for primary students.

The Lighthouse School would be funded by public education, it would be open to everyone and free of charge.

After listening to a presentation made by the charter school’s organizers at this week’s School Board meeting, North Bend School Superintendent Jim Howard said the one thing that could possibly prevent the Lighthouse School from being granted a charter was if the school had an adverse effect on the district’s funding.

District policy allows the board to decide if the value of a public charter school is outweighed by “any directly identifiable, significant and adverse impact on the quality of the public education of students residing in the district.”

North Bend’s board now has 60 days to hold a public hearing about the issue.

Tobacco for sale, just out of reach

Locking it up: Retailers work to cut sales to teen-agers and prevent theft

It’s not the law. Yet.

But many Coos County grocers and convenience stores have been working with the county Health Department to cut off consumers’ easy access to tobacco.

Retailers are voluntarily making sales of cigarettes and other tobacco products a clerk-assisted transaction. This means that buyers have to ask sales clerks for tobacco, which is behind counters or locked up, according to Molly Ford, a public health educator at the Coos County Health Department.

“Although adults are equally at risk for tobacco-related health problems, we’re especially concerned about kids,” Ford said. “One pack of cigarettes and a kid can be addicted, and we want to keep that from happening.”

Although in most states, including Oregon, it’s illegal to use tobacco products until age 18, the average age kids start using has declined in recent years. The Centers for Disease Control now list it as 12. Their 1994 report to the Surgeon General, “Preventing Tobacco Use Among Young People,” says that youth who experiment with tobacco can become addicted after only three cigarettes.

These stories were found in the Marshfield Sun Printing Museum newspaper repository stored in Marshfield High School courtesy of Coos Bay Schools.

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