Saturday April 17, 2021
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Pictures from ‘high risk’ Lincoln City

Pictures from ‘high risk’ Lincoln City
Lincoln City, Oregon Sunset by Justin Werner
Sunset on the Oregon Coast taken at D River in Lincoln City (Photos by Justin Werner)

Lincoln City on the Oregon Coast is home to many things, with beautiful sunsets and visually striking imagery on the list.

D River in Lincoln City, Oregon
D River in Lincoln City, Oregon – zoom in and see a person walking on the rocks

People come to the small coastal town to enjoy its beaches and all that entails. From hunting for rocks and shells to kayaking the “World’s Shortest River,” this vacation destination can be a wonderful place to take pictures.

Kayaker in Lincoln City's D River
Kayaker in Lincoln City’s D River

As a reporter riding an electric bike back and forth in Lincoln City, I see many things worthy of snapping and putting on the Internet for all time. It’s a great job when the weather cooperates and I’m kind of getting exercise (it’s an electric bike).

Beachgoers near the dock in Siletz Bay
Beachgoers near the dock in Siletz Bay

As we get into warmer weather, I’ve noticed Lincoln City filling up. Hotels are full and lines are everywhere. The traffic is also back. With all the extra people in town, there’s a lot to see and cover. These lean-tos everyone is building seems like a story, but I just can’t seem to find the angle.

Proud builder sits watching Siletz Bay
Proud builder sits watching Siletz Bay

Huts on the beach in Lincoln City

Talking to visitors is a great way to put my finger on the pulse of Lincoln City because it’s a tourist town. These vacationers come here for myriad reasons but one thing they all come for is the beach. People do all sorts of things when by the ocean.

Man with log at D River
Man with log at D River

Lincoln City Beach

Playing

Lincoln County is in the “high risk” category, which puts certain restrictions in place, such as indoor dining reduced and non-essential travel discouraged. What I’m seeing, however, is full hotels and good amounts of people on the beach. Some restaurants are “doing great,” according to their owners, and adapting to online ordering and takeout has been key.

Finders Keepers —the hunting for glass floats on the beach— has been temporarily suspended and I don’t know when the next kite festival will be (Summer Kite Festival canceled). City government is dealing with a bunch of stuff, including looking for a new city manager. When will Lincoln City officially reopen? That’s a great question. Please let me know if you find out.

Mo's in Taft

For a rural tourism-driven community, Lincoln City has a lot to offer. Just make sure you bring your camera and be mindful of the locals.

Siletz Bay

Oregon House passes natural disaster legislation

Oregon House passes natural disaster legislation
Wildfire recovery Oregon
Oregon House Democrats Pam Marsh (Southern Jackson County) and David Gomberg (Central Oregon Coast)

Salem — Oregon House Democrats David Gomberg and Pam Marsh, who saw first-hand the impact wildfires had last year, have introduced legislation to help victims rebuild and address future tax implications.

Lincoln City Fire
The evacuation of Gomberg’s neighborhood and surrounding area Sept. 9, 2020 (Photo by Justin Werner)

“My own neighborhood was burned over and a third of our neighbors are among the affected survivors. We’re doing all we can to help them get back on their feet,” Gomberg said. “This is critical work on a problem we never contemplated: the tax consequences of losing your home to a wildfire. The solutions here are a combination of compassion and common sense. People are anxious to rebuild, and we must provide them with the tools they need to get back on their feet.”

HB 2607, a bill exempting homeowners from construction taxes during rebuilding after wildfires or other natural disasters was passed by the House along with HB 2341, a bill bringing tax relief for Oregonians whose property was destroyed by wildfire.

In 2020, wildfires devastated over 3,000 families in Oregon. House Democrats say the recently passed bills aim to provide a safety net for past and future natural disasters.

“As a coastal legislator, I worry about the day we face a major earthquake and we lose tens of thousands of homes. These bills are written to help in any declared emergency,” Gomberg said.

Rep. Marsh will be introducing HB 3272 next week, which will require insurers to allow enough time and resources for property owners to rebuild.

“Families who lost their homes are trying to literally rebuild their lives,” said Marsh. “They need to know that their insurer is going to come through and support them during this difficult time.”

Out-of-state teens packing fake heat meet LCPD

Out-of-state teens packing fake heat meet LCPD
Teens with Airsoft Gun Lincoln City
A teenager is told to walk backwards with his hands up as Lincoln City Police sort out a situation that occurred Friday night at Space Age gas station (Photos by Justin Werner)

Lincoln City Police placed seven visiting male juveniles in handcuffs Friday night at Space Age gas station, due to them brandishing a “machine gun.”

The weapon in question turned out to be a replica MP5 airsoft gun, which shoots spherical plastic projectiles, that the teens said they were playing with.

“The gun lights up but the batteries stopped working,” one of the young men said. “It would have been better if the gun had lit up.”

Minivan Lincoln City teens
A local watching from the sidewalk said: “it looked like a clown car with all the boys coming out.”

All seven of the boys, aged 16-17 and visiting from Vancouver, Wash., were told to exit a white minivan at gunpoint. One by one they were commanded to walk backwards toward awaiting officers, where they were placed in handcuffs, seated on a curb and interviewed.

Teens gun Lincoln City
Seven visiting teenagers from Vancouver, Wash. were cuffed and interviewed for playing with a replica airsoft machinegun

The 17-year-old driver of the minivan received a citation, but police could not comment what the charge was due to him being a minor. No other citations were issued.

According to the teenagers, they were on a grocery store run for their parents when multiple police cruisers pulled them over and boxed them in at the gas station.

Washington State Teens gun Lincoln City

One teen described the event: “Our driver was shaking and was like ‘man what do I do? Where do I pull over?’ At least we got the olive oil.”

Lincoln City Police guns drawn
A Lincoln City Police officer covers suspects and shows good gun handling safety

Another young man said he told his parents what was happening and the father said “please be joking.” The boys said their parents were waiting for them to return at a beach house rented nearby.

Airsoft gun Lincoln City
Officers do a sweep to make sure all suspects are accounted for

The teenagers said they were playing with the gun and realized after the fact that “it was stupid.” An eyewitness who saw the gun said it looked like the boys painted over the orange tip designed for safety and “only a bit of orange was showing.”

A local fisherman stopped to see what was happening and realized he knew the young gentlemen because they were on his boat earlier that day on a chartered fishing trip. The fisherman talked to the boys and was glad the entire bunch didn’t get cited and said he did worse when he was their age.

“It was a different time then,” he said.

Space Age Gas station

The good, the bad and the uncertain

The good, the bad and the uncertain

Gomberg news

Hello Friends,

Slowly but surely is the message from Salem. This week I’m detailing the good, the bad and the uncertain.

The Good: In a late evening legislative floor session, Oregon’s House voted Thursday to approve a bill that will invest hundreds of millions of dollars in kids and communities impacted by the multiple crises of the last year. The bill includes $250 million in funding for Summer Learning and Child Care programs to aid students and families across the state.

Our part of Oregon has been hit particularly hard by COVID closures, unemployment, and wildfires. One critical result is that our children are falling behind in school and families are struggling to take care of them. Summer learning programs, childcare, and planned recreational activities will be a lifeline for both students and parents.

House Bill 5042 also includes $18 million in funds for emergency housing shelters (known as navigation centers) in impacted communities, and millions more in funding to communities harmed by last year’s wildfires. Lincoln County, site of the Echo Mountain Complex fires, will receive $725,000.

The measure, which passed unanimously after weeks of delay, will now be considered by the Oregon Senate. Meanwhile, there are other critically important bills we need to move to support our small businesses and farms, working families, and retirees.

The Bad: House floor sessions remain frustratingly long. This week we are scheduled to be in session Monday through Saturday, through the lunch hour, and until 9 pm each night with the demand that bills be read in their entirety before voting. Nearly 50 bills are ready for a vote but backed-up in the pipeline. None of them is controversial and all enjoy bi-partisan sponsorship or support. In past years, this reading requirement has been waived but we now remain bogged down in partisan disagreement over priorities and procedures.

Most bills are one or two pages, but there are exceptions. A good example was HB 2111 which renamed the Oregon Liquor Control Commission the Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission. Because OLCC is mentioned often in our statutes, the bill ran 170 pages. There were four motions to avoid reading and all failed on partisan lines. To give our human reading clerk a break, the measure was actually recited by a computer (at normal speaking pace). The process took 15 hours before passing 54-1.

Our Oregon Constitution allows committees to meet remotely, but requires a quorum of members to be present in the Chamber for reading, debate, and votes. That necessarily brings us into close COVID proximity.

The last few weeks have brought reason to be hopeful with more of our neighbors getting vaccinated as our supply of shots has increased. However, with restrictions relaxing and dangerous variants circulating, it’s not yet time to let down our guard – and two positive COVID tests in the state Capitol are a stark reminder of that fact.

My colleagues and I did the responsible thing by getting tested and canceling in-person floor sessions. Legislative leaders have taken a very careful approach, limiting the number of people in the building, moving committee meetings to phone and videoconference, and maintaining strict rules about masking and distancing when we are on the House floor. For the most part, those precautions have worked and the Oregon legislature has avoided serious outbreaks like we have seen in state Capitols like Boise. Late last week, it was announced that all legislators would qualify for vaccinations. I have decided to not take advantage of this special opportunity and instead rely on the same access available to all of you based on my age and other considerations.

It’s disappointing that this legislative slow-down has increased the risk of an outbreak in the Capitol has delayed the passage of critical bills. I want to work with my colleagues to pass legislation that helps Oregonians in this time of great need, and I hope we are soon able to do so.

The Uncertain: As I detailed last week, billions of dollars are coming to Oregon as part of the America Rescue Plan. Much of that support is being sent directly to cities, counties, and schools. About $2.6 billion is available to the legislature which is needed to help balance our state budget. And this week, we learned that $700 million could be used on local infrastructure, economic relief, and development projects.

Each Representative and Senator was invited to submit proposals important to our districts. After conferring quickly with city managers, elected officials, and local community leaders, I narrowed our “wish list” to twelve projects. Each, I believe, will make a critical difference to our health, safety, and economic stability.

Here is an overview of those twelve projects:

  • Newport Big Creek Dams – helping pay for an $80 million project to replace failing earthen dams that threaten homes and highways and provide water to Newport residents, businesses, and visitors – $4m for planning/permits; $10m for construction; Total $14m
  • Port of Toledo Sewer Project – complete industrial sewer and toilet facilities at the Port and boatyard – $2.3m
  • Waldport Water Tank – re-seal, re-surface, and seismically retrofit a failing city water tank as part of the Waldport Water Master Plan. – $2.175m
  • Depoe Bay Harbor – replacement of 1950’s era pilings, wooden moorage docks and a fuel dock at the “World’s Smallest Harbor” – $2.1m
  • Falls City Wastewater Treatment Facility – reduce sewer rates by offsetting loan expenses on a needed $4.1 million project to relocate and reconstruct the current wastewater treatment works – $800k
  • South Tillamook County – Expansion of Broadband Service (Fiber to the Home – FTTH) to 650 properties in southern Tillamook County. Currently more than half the students in Nestucca schools do not have adequate internet. – $2.6m
  • D-River Welcome Center – renovate dank and dirty restrooms, improve traffic flow, and create a state-of-the-art welcome center at Oregon’s most popular beach wayside park – $2.5m
  • Sheridan School District – help the district acquire property and buildings to create a Career Technical Education Center and facilitate multiple career pathways that are strongly connected to local industry – $1.9m
  • Lincoln City Cultural Center – re-imagining the old school playground and parking lot into a cultural and education plaza, market grounds, performance space, and improved parking – $1.8m
  • Toledo Aquatic and Community Center – replace the aging facility with a new swimming pool, exercise facility, and community room – $4m
  • Oregon Coast Aquarium – welcome center renovations and expansion of the Coast’s only wildlife rehabilitation center – $5m
  • Pacific City Visitor & Livability Enhancements – create a multi-modal pathway the length of Pacific City and renovating public restrooms at Cape Kiwanda, Cloverdale, and central Pacific City – $3.1m

All of these projects are needed. Many are seeking grants and contributions. None can be paid for entirely by local residents. I will continue to work to reduce local costs and expand local opportunities and livability.

While it is clear that there is no assurance any of these projects will ultimately be funded, any coastal resident can tell you that the odds of catching a fish increase if you actually put a line in the water!

Thank you as always for reading my weekly updates. Listen for more news on my morning radio reports Tuesdays on KBCH and Fridays on KTIL.

Warm Regards,

Representative David Gomberg
House District 10

Cheery Blossoms Capitol Mall

A bright spot on the Capitol Mall: Despite some damage from February’s ice storm, the Cherry tree grove is in full bloom.

email: [email protected]
phone: 503-986-1410
address: 900 Court St NE, H- 480, Salem, OR, 97301
website: http://www.oregonlegislature.gov/gomberg

Young skipper’s ashes scattered at sea

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Young skipper’s ashes scattered at sea
Dustin Couch Depoe Bay
Dustin Couch was a longtime resident who grew up in the Depoe Bay charter business as a deckhand for his stepfather before earning the wheel of his own boat, the Morning Star. Dustin was killed Monday, March 22, in a one-car crash on Drift Creek Road, southeast of Lincoln City. (Photos by Rick Beasley)

DEPOE BAY — A tragedy that hung like a cloud over the small harbor here was put to rest Saturday during a seagoing memorial service for Dustin Couch, a popular and respected skipper who died at 37 in a car wreck.

Family and friends reported that Dustin was killed Monday, March 22, in a one-car crash on Drift Creek Road, southeast of Lincoln City. They said he is survived by a son, Colby, who he loved deeply. The accident occurred about 1:30 p.m.

Couch was a longtime resident who grew up in the Depoe Bay charter business as a deckhand for his stepfather before earning the wheel of his own boat, the Morning Star. He once served on the town’s harbor commission, went to a school for his captain’s license and later earned a diploma in diesel repair that burnished his status as a rising star in the fishing industry.

Dustin Couch Morning Star
Dustin Couch is atop the Morning Star on the flybridge, preparing to leave Depoe Bay Harbor. “He was an excellent captain who had the Morning Star in his blood,” said a close friend.

Born in Idaho, he arrived in Depoe Bay as a boy of 10 and quickly fell under the spell of boats and big fish, readily embracing the adventuresome lifestyle as a calling.

“He had great things going for him,” recalled Capt. Roman Smolcic, a former roommate and best friend who shared a charter boat on their way up the ranks, switching roles as captain and deckhand every other day. “He had a huge passion for fishing and loved boats. When he got his mechanic’s diploma he rebuilt an engine from scratch that had seized up. That’s still pushing the (charter boat) Sea Son.”

Friends recalled his broad smile, “lady-killer good looks” and a generous demeanor.

“He’d give you the shirt off his back if you needed help,” said Tim Harmon, a former charter company owner who opened his home to Dustin when his parents divorced and moved from Depoe Bay. “He was an excellent captain who had the Morning Star in his blood.”

On Saturday, March 27, Dustin Couch’s ashes were scattered at sea. Two vessels, the Mr. Max and the Sunrise, bore close friends and family following a brief-but-healing service by Pastor Luke Frechette of South Beach Church. A celebration of life will be held at a later date.

“I’m going to miss him terribly,” said Smolcic, once his inseparable buddy. “It gave me a sense of peace, knowing that he’s not suffering anymore and he’s in a better place.

Paid Mayor?

Paid Mayor?

Lincoln City Homepage Letters to the editor

A writer has said he and others have not been satisfied with the last two Mayors and if we, perhaps, would pay a Mayor we might have a better result.

Here’s what wrong with that:

First, the Mayor is one of seven votes on the Council. He or she have no greater vote than any other Councilor. Councilors are elected to serve their Ward’s constituents and all members of the City. The Mayor is elected at large to serve all constituencies of the City.

Second, Section 3.7 of the Municipal Code for Lincoln City states that no councilor may be paid. By all, that includes the Mayor. To change this would require a vote of the electorate of Lincoln City.

Thirdly, Section 4.5 of the Code describes the function of the Mayor at Council meetings and confers no greater voting right as any other Councilor.

Lincoln City operates under the Council-Manager form of government and is not a strong mayor form of government.

I have over 33 years as an appointed official in two different cities and eight years as an elected official including one term as Lincoln City Mayor and at no time did I believe I had any other power other than the Code gave the office of Mayor.

If the writer is dissatisfied with the Mayor, the writer should also be dissatisfied with the rest of the Council. They are not responsible for the day to day operation of the City, that rests with the City Manager, whose role is also defined in the Code.

Michael Holden

Tigers in eight-man score-fest with Waldport

Tigers in eight-man score-fest with Waldport

Tigers vs. Waldport 2021Taft Tigers and Waldport Irish scored a combined 122 points at Voris Field in Lincoln City Saturday night, playing eight-man varsity football under the lights with no crowd.

Both schools had difficulty fielding players and chose to go ahead with eight-man in order to have a contest.

Parents and media were not allowed inside the fence although the game could be viewed via a streaming service that was filming from the press box. Vehicles honked, signaling their approval of the spectacular plays and touchdowns.

Taft wide receiver and defensive back Fco Ramos was honored as the lone senior on the team for Senior Night. The Tigers signed a football and hid it from Ramos until the entire team was able to sign it. He was presented with the ball and Head Coach Jake Tolan gave a rousing speech about the team “giving it all” as a show of respect for Ramos before he goes on to college to become a nurse.

Ramos contributed early on in the first quarter, stripping the ball on defense and giving the Tigers possession, which led to a march down the field, culminating in a rushing touchdown by sophomore running back Deven Erjen.

Ramos had an excellent Senior Night, pulling in three passes for touchdowns from sophomore quarterback Gavin Koceja and throwing a 70-yard bomb to Junior Kaden Hindman on a trick play with 42 seconds left in the game.

Fco Ramos Throws Touchdown pass
Taft’s only senior, Fco Ramos, a wide receiver, connects with junior Kaden Hindman for a 70-yard TD Saturday night against Waldport

When asked what he would like to say to kids playing the sport, Ramos replied:

“Keep grinding and never give up.”

Koceja connected with Tiger receivers for six touchdown passes and displayed good pass decision making under constant heavy pressure from the Irish defensive line.

Gavin Koceja
Taft sophomore quarterback Gavin Koceja threw for six touchdowns Saturday night

Hindman scored four touchdowns and had an interception in the third quarter, but it wasn’t enough as the onslaught of offense from Waldport junior quarterback Zak Holsey –and his five rushing touchdowns– led his team to victory 68-54.

Zak Holsey Waldport
Waldport junior quarterback Zak Holsey runs for a touchdown Saturday

The Tigers are 0-1 overall in a season decimated by the pandemic and Walport moves to 2-1-1. The Irish play Neah-Kah-Nie April 2, at home and Taft will face Newport on the road. Both games will be at 7 p.m.

This article will be updated with video taken from outside the fence due to restricted access.

Lincoln City Homepage is in the process of adding content to our streaming service and intends to approach the Lincoln County School District with a bid to provide Taft sports streaming at a lower cost to subscribers and increased revenue for the school.

Spring break comes to the coast

Spring break comes to the coast

Senator Dick Anderson

Friends,

It has been over a year since we started down this COVID world. It amazes me how long this year feels and how fast it has gone by – at the same time. Many lessons have been learned in this past year, one of those in particular, Oregonians head to the coast to get away!

We had them in droves last year and it appears it will be the case again this year starting with spring break. Vacations at the coast are a special time for families and we are excited to have them celebrate in our restaurants, shops, hotels and vacation rentals. It is a good opportunity to show all Oregonians how special the coast is.

I am a member of the Coastal Caucus in the Legislature. This bipartisan group of Senators and Representatives are solely focused on our issues here on the coast. We listen to each other’s bills, discuss the merits and then try to advocate for those bills to become law. This has been very effective group, regardless of the partisanship that exists in around the state, the Coastal Caucus is focused on our interests.

As the Legislature moves into the next phase of policy making and budgeting, things will pick up tremendously in Salem. I will continue to advocate to open the building for public input as well as allow for video testimony from those that want to speak to a specific bill either in person or via video. Please use olis.oregonlegislature.gov site to keep up to date on hearings, and follow bills.

Kind regards,

Dick Anderson

Oregon Office of Rural Health update

The Office of Rural Health (ORH) is pleased to announce the Oregon Behavioral Health Loan Repayment Program (OBHLRP) is now taking applications. The OBHLRP is part of the Oregon Provider Incentive Program, a partnership between the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) and the ORH. The Oregon Provider Incentive Program includes Health Care Provider Loan Repayment, Primary Care Loan Forgiveness Program and Scholars for a Healthy Oregon.

The OBHLRP supports rural and underserved communities in the recruitment and retention of high quality mental and behavioral health providers. These providers work in inpatient, outpatient, and community care settings serving patients regardless of their source of coverage (Medicaid, Medicare, private insurance, etc.). OBHLRP accepts applications from Qualified Mental Health Associates (QMHAs), Qualified Mental Health Professionals (QMHPs), pre-licensed and licensed mental and behavioral health care providers. In exchange for service at a qualifying practice site, participants receive tax free funds to repay qualifying educational loan debt.

Read my Op-ed on Stimulus Checks in Lincoln City Homepage

Wildfire relief funding coming soon – hopefully

Last summers fires were devastating to our community. The Ways and Means Committee (which I am a member) passed a bill that would provide much needed funding to the counties affected by the wildfires this past year. We were able to get a large amount of funding for Lincoln County on the Coast. It sits on President Courtney’s desk for a full vote of the chamber. This money will provide critical resources in our recovery efforts. From rebuilding housing to restoring infrastructure, this money will go a long way toward helping our area bounce back and help people who were devastated by fires.

I will continue to work hard and find ways to help our communities recover.

Listen to my latest Podcast online

Federal COVID Relief Funds Update

Last week, Congress passed the American Rescue Plan and President Biden signed it into law. The $1.9 trillion bill has substantial new funding for COVID-19 response, personal relief measures, small business assistance, and state and local funding. Some of you have already received your checks in your bank account. $5.8 billion is headed to Oregon in some capacity with most going to cities and counties or grants to families and businesses.

I would urge each of you to get into contact with the cities and counties to discuss their plans for allocation of the money received. Here is the list. Dollars are approximate until final numbers are released.

City allotment:

Tillamook: ​$1,091,530
Sheridan: $1,266,828
Lincoln City: $1,869,157
Depoe Bay: $305,547
Siletz: $266,003
Newport: $2,212,209
Toledo: $742,771
Waldport: $454,550
Yachats: $159,806
Florence: $1,865,284
Dunes City: $286,590
Reedsport: $838,165
Lakeside: $366,493
North Bend: $1,991,049
Coos Bay: $3,334,926

County allotment:

Tillamook: $5.24 million
Yamhill: $20.77 million
Polk: $16.696 million
Lincoln: $9.690 million
Lane: $74.100 million
Douglas: $21.524 million
Coos: $12.507 million

Latest COVID-19 information

As vaccinations continue to roll out across Oregon and the coast, here is some information on some potential side effects and what you should look for. Stay safe out there everyone.

State Senator Dick Anderson – Office S-303.

503-986-1705

[email protected]

Why not offer our next Mayor a salary?

Why not offer our next Mayor a salary?

Lincoln City Homepage Letters to the editor

Many Lincoln City residents, including me, feel that we haven’t had much luck with our past two Mayors. Maybe if we offered some sort of salary, we could do better?

Larger Oregon cities pay their Mayors a standard competitive salary, because they can afford to do so. But, maybe we could pay ours a “proportional” salary? The job, if performed well, certainly consumes an inordinately large amount of time and concentration (especially under our current ZOOM meeting requirements)!

So, why not offer our next Mayor some kind of cash incentive? ZipRecruiter says that Springfield (population over 60,000) pays its Mayor an annual salary of $164,051 (that’s about the average for our state, which embarrassingly ranks 41 out of 50 states nationwide for Mayoral salaries according to ZipRecruiter). On a proportional scale, that would mean that Lincoln City (population of about 9,000) might offer an annual incentive payment for Mayoral services of, say, $25,000?

Jay Roelof
Lincoln City

UPDATED: Shooting investigated in Depoe Bay

UPDATED: Shooting investigated in Depoe Bay
Depoe Bay Shooting
Lincoln Co.Sheriff’s Office Deputy Zach Landry collects evidence at the scene of an apparent shooting that left the driver’s door window of at least one vehicle shattered on Friday morning, March 26. Eyewitnesses who had gathered at a construction shop reported that a man emerged from a nearby business with a BB pistol and assaulted them, driving two workers to barricade themselves inside the shop while others escaped in their vehicles to call 9-1-1. Early social media reports of an armed man at city hall were incorrect, a deputy at the scene advised. (Photo by Rick Beasley)

DEPOE BAY — Deputies and state police officers swarmed a Hwy. 101 business and handcuffed some occupants after eyewitnesses said a gun-wielding man fired a BB-style handgun at them Friday morning.

Triggering the 8:15 a.m. incident was an apparent dispute over noise from new car speakers being demonstrated by a construction worker to his fellow employees at a shop located 50 feet north of City Hall on Southeast Shell Avenue. They reported the assailant fired his weapon at employees of ATB Construction and their vehicles, shattering several car windows and peppering the building with shot. Two workers barricaded themselves in the shop while others scattered in their vehicles. No one was injured.

A deputy takes photos at the scene of an alleged BB-gun shooting in Depoe Bay. The site, next door to a building that held suspects, is a nearby storage rental facility. (Photo by Rick Beasley)
A deputy takes photos at the scene of an alleged BB-gun shooting in Depoe Bay. The site, next door to a building that held suspects, is a nearby storage rental facility. (Photo by Rick Beasley)

One worker who sped in his truck to a nearby gas station to call police said he heard gunfire as he left the scene.

“That was more than BBs,” he remarked. “That had gunpowder behind it.”

At least eight officers arrived about 20 to 30 minutes later. “I told them they needed to get here faster,” remarked one of the 9-1-1 callers.

Depoe Bay Shooting
LCSO Deputies Derek Etheridge and Zach Landry were among at least eight officers who surrounded at gunpoint a nearby Depoe Bay commercial building holding suspects. (Photo by Rick Beasley)

Witnesses said police parked at the Shell station and approached by foot before surrounding a business known as the ‘Burlwood Factory’ on Hwy. 101. Witnesses said at least three people were removed in handcuffs, including two males and a female.

Deputies and a state trooper were still on the scene collecting evidence at noon. Shell Ave. remained blocked to vehicles and foot traffic. LCSO Deputy Derek Etheridge said the busy street that leads to the park and public boat ramp would soon be reopened, however.

Shooting Depoe Bay
Southeast Shell was blockaded during the investigation of an alleged shooting Friday morning in Depoe Bay. No one was injured. (Photo by Rick Beasley)

“We just want to make it clear that City Hall was not involved,” he stated, saying early social media speculation was inaccurate. “There is no threat to public safety.”

A news release was issued at 8:03 p.m. March 26, from LCSO:

Upon further investigation the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office learned the shooting incident involved two residents at 482 SE Hwy 101 in Depoe Bay. Aiden Isaac Dempsey, age 24, and Andrew Keith Hodge, age 28, became upset at a neighboring business who was reportedly playing loud music. The investigation determined Aiden Dempsey fired over a dozen rounds from a CO2 powered BB-Gun and Andrew Hodge fired a single round from a large-caliber handgun in apparent attempts to get the music to stop. At least three citizens at the neighboring business were placed in danger by the projectiles fired. No citizens were injured, however two windows were damaged on two separate vehicles. Additional property damage was documented in excess of $3000. Two BB-guns and one handgun was seized during this investigation.

Dempsey and Hodge were taken into custody and transported the Lincoln County Jail. They were lodged on various charges, to include, Unlawful Use of Weapon, Menacing, Reckless Endangering and Disorderly Conduct.

Aiden Dempsey’s bail was placed at $155,000.00

Andrew Hodge’s bail was placed at $300,000.00