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:

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.  

Oregon Coast STEM

The Oregon Department of Education wants to promote science, technology, engineering, and math, or "STEM" subjects. It has awarded $2.8 million to six 'learning hubs' around the state.

The Oregon Coast STEM Hub received the largest of the grants. Terry Crews is the project manager. She says Newport schools have had a partnership with marine science centers for about six years…

Crews: "With the intent of making Lincoln County School District students the most ocean-literate in the state, if not the country."

Newport City Councilors have voted to place a moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries.  Earlier this year, state lawmakers agreed to allow cities to regulate dispensaries and enact temporary moratorium in order to prepare.     

At a meeting Monday night, Councilors heard from local residents opposing any delay.  Carla Williams is trying to open a dispensary in Newport to help people like her son.

The Lincoln County Fairgrounds is suffering from years of neglect. Officials are starting to consider options to renovate or rebuild some of the facilities.

"Poor." That's the word Lincoln County Commissioner Bill Hall used to describe the state of the Fairgrounds. He says numerous buildings are worn down, and rising operating costs are prompting the county to look at options for the property.  

Due to a loss of water pressure in a section of Newport's distribution system, residents are being asked to boil their drinking water until tests can confirm it is safe to drink. A water main break at NE 5th and Eads St. Tuesday evening forced the City to de-pressurize the system in that area. Newport's Director of Public Works, Tim Gross, says the State requires a boil water notice to go out after they de-pressurize any water system.

Amelia Templeton

Over the last five years, shipping logs from the Northwest to China has grown into a 4 billion dollar business. Ports along the Oregon and Washington coast are looking to reopen log yards that shut down years ago and provide the raw material to feed China’s construction boom. But some residents in Newport Oregon say a proposal to export logs there isn’t good for the community, and will hurt Northwest mills.

Residents of Newport fighting the reopening of a log export terminal received a reprieve late last week.  The state land use board has upheld an objection by a local condo association.

Residents at The Landing at Newport condominiums are opposing the reopening of the log export terminal by the Teevin Brothers company – citing noise and log truck traffic concerns.   They appealed the company’s traffic impact analysis to the state land use board.  LUBA upheld one of the appeals and sent the study back to the city for revision. 

Oregon State Police volunteers are patrolling the neighborhoods around public schools in Lincoln County.

The OSP volunteers have been active in Lincoln County for more than 25 years. This is the first time they’ve specifically worked on school safety. They approached the school district after the Sandy Hook shooting in Connecticut. Sue Graves is the Safety Coordinator for Lincoln County Schools. She says the volunteers go through background checks and training with OSP. They are not police officers and are unarmed.