Newport

Corinne Boyer

In December 2014, a tropical sea turtle was discovered by a couple on a Washington Beach. The olive ridley turtle drifted over a thousand miles north from her native waters off the Mexican coast. Hypothermic, emaciated and near death, the reptile was transported to the Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport for rehabilitation. In February, the U.S. Coast Guard flew Solstice to SeaWorld San Diego. KLCC’s Corinne Boyer traveled to San Diego to see how Solstice was doing.

Oregon Coast Aquarium

The Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport adopted three harbor seals from California this winter. The aquarium wanted the younger mammals to join their older seal population.

Miller, Tater and Elvis are 19, 20 and 21 years old, which isn't very young for harbor seals, but the Newport Aquarium's oldest harbor seal is turning 40 this year. Spokeswoman Erin Paxton says the aquarium uses positive reinforcement to train their marine mammals which allows them to communicate with their trainers.

Corinne Boyer

An olive ridley turtle now in Newport recovering from hypothermia will be moved to San Diego tomorrow (Tuesday).

The turtle was named “Solstice” because she was found on a northwest beach on December 21st. Erin Paxton is with the Oregon Coast Aquarium. She says the endangered animal was scheduled to recuperate there a little longer, but the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has ruled her healthy enough to travel. Paxton says this is good news:

Heavy rains pounded the Oregon coast Monday Several schools and businesses lost power including the Adobe Inn in Yachats.

General Manager Anthony Muirhead says the lasting damage is to the front door. The strong winds blew it completely off its hinges.

“It was about seven o’clock this morning and certainly got our attention quickly. I think for our guests, it was just an impressive scene for what nature can do here on the coast.”

www.newslincolncounty.com

Federal District Court Judge Michael McShane will hold a hearing Thursday in the Newport Fisherman’s Wives’ suit against the U.S. Coast Guard. As theCoast Guard air facility in Newport is scheduled to close Monday, the timing is tight.

Dungeness crab season has started in Oregon and more boats are heading into the Pacific from Newport’s Yaquina Bay. Kevin Greenwood is the Manager of the Port of Newport. He says many people are concerned about the increased response time if troubled vessels can’t get help from Newport’s rescue helicopter:

www.newslincolncounty.com

Newport's search and rescue Coast Guard air facility is scheduled to cease operations December 15th. Tuesday morning, four groups filed a lawsuit in Federal Court in Eugene to try to stop the closure.

In the lawsuit, the Newport Fishermen's Wives, along with the City of Newport, Lincoln County, and the Port of Newport allege the Coast Guard failed to follow the legal process required to decommission a facility. They claim the Coast Guard has not adequately assessed impacts to public and environmental safety. Ginny Goblirsch is with the Newport Fishermen's Wives.

Newport News Times

Newport citizens will choose between two candidates for this years' mayoral race. Incumbent Sandra Roumagoux has been at the job for two years. She's being challenged by Dean Sawyer, who is currently the Emergency Management Planner for the Siletz Tribe.

Sawyer previously worked for more than 30 years as a Sergeant in the Newport Police Department. He is a current city councilor. Saywer wants to increase citizen participation in government by holding more open town hall meetings where people can ask questions.

www.newslincolncounty.com

The Port of Newport plans to expand, yet an important safety service is scheduled to be eliminated. Newport's Coast Guard air facility, including its rescue helicopter station, is slated to close at the end of November.

Once the Newport facility closes, the closest rescue helicopters will be in North Bend, 60 minutes away by air. Captain Todd Trimpert is Commander at the North Bend station. He says the government is under pressure to allocate their resources more effectively:

www.nnmrec.oregonstate.edu

Oregon State University's Marine Renewable Energy program has been awarded new federal funding. The additional cash will help them get closer to connecting wave power to the grid.

Oregon State and the University of Washington were selected in 2008 to form one of three centers to research wave and tidal energy.

Belinda Batten is a Director for the program. She says for two years, they've had an offshore test site north of Yaquina Head, where they've been studying the size and force of waves. The new funding will help them move forward:

City of Newport

For years, residents of Newport have raised concerns about effluent from a Georgia Pacific Mill in Toledo.  Since 1957, the company has pumped it’s wastewater through a pipe that discharges into the ocean, about .75 miles off Nye Beach.  A new study from Oregon State University is adding to a growing body of evidence showing the effluent is not causing significant impact on the surrounding environment.  

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