Thursday, October 21, 2021

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K9s assist in capture of fleeing suspect


Todd Wesley Ramsey

A Siletz man, wanted on multiple warrants, fled from Lincoln City police Tuesday, first in his vehicle and then on foot, ultimately leading to two K9s finding him hiding behind a hotel.

According to police, Todd Wesley Ramsey, 46, was pulled over in a Toyota Previa van for a traffic violation at 7:57 p.m. The officer recognized Ramsey from previous contacts and went back to his patrol vehicle to wait for backup. Ramsey sped away, leading police on a chase down NW 13th Street. Ramsey lost control at NW 15th and Harbor, hitting the sidewalk and blowing both passenger-side tires. He continued to drive for another block but then slowed to a stop and took off on foot, headed behind the Coho Inn.

Three passengers in the van were detained by police, but later released after being checked for minor injuries.

Lincoln County Sheriff deputies arrived to assist in finding Ramsey, with Molly Sears and K9 Nato and Derick Smith and K9 Nix being called in by LCPD. The pair of K9 units were able to locate Ramsey based on tips from citizens. Ramsey gave up once bitten by K9 Nix and was taken into custody.

Ramsey was taken to the hospital for injuries sustained from falling down an embankment as well as the K9 bite. Upon his release from the hospital, Ramsey was taken to the Lincoln County Jail and is charged with felony attempt to elude in a vehicle, attempt to elude on foot, reckless driving, reckless endangering, third-degree assault and felony failure to perform the duties of a driver. These new charges are in addition to the outstanding warrants for failure to appear on burglary and drug charges out of Yamhill County, failure to appear on unauthorized use of a motor vehicle out of Lincoln County and a DUII from Benton County.

Ramsey’s bail is set at $350,000.

Health advisory lifted for D River Beach


D River beach Lincoln City

Oregon Health Authority follow-up water tests at D River Beach showed lower levels of fecal bacteria Friday, prompting the agency to lift the health advisory issued three days ago.

OHA released a statement about the situation Friday morning:

Results from follow-up tests taken by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality showed lower bacteria levels. Contact with the ocean water no longer poses a higher-than-normal risk. Officials recommend staying out of large pools on the beach that are frequented by birds, and runoff from those pools, because the water may contain increased bacteria from fecal matter.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency grants have been used to monitor popular Oregon beaches since 2003 and timely reports are provided to the public as a result.

For more information, visit the Oregon Beach Monitoring Program website at or call 971-673-0440, or call OHA information line at 877-290-6767.

Jazz giant Tom Grant at Gracie’s Sea Hag Fri.-Sat.

Renowned jazz fusion pianist Tom Grant will appear Friday and Saturday, Sept. 17-18, at Gracie’s Sea Hag Restaurant, accompanied by bass maestro Dave Captein.
Renowned jazz fusion pianist Tom Grant will appear Friday and Saturday, Sept. 17-18, at Gracie’s Sea Hag Restaurant, accompanied by bass maestro Dave Captein.

DEPOE BAY — Renowned jazz fusion pianist Tom Grant will appear Friday and Saturday, Sept. 17-18, at Gracie’s Sea Hag Restaurant, accompanied by bass maestro Dave Captein.

Grant’s two-night appearance in Depoe Bay is a rare gig at the Oregon coast by one of the Pacific Northwest’s master musicians. A Portland native who cut his first solo commercial studio album in 1976, Grant has toured and recorded with jazz greats such as Woody Shaw, Charles Loyd and Tony Williams.

Grant is legendary for his propulsive R&B grooves, infectious melodic hooks and stylish ballads, all delivered with a deep sense of swing that comes from more than 40 years on the bandstand. Captein is a celebrated Portland bassist and backup man known for his genius at the upright and electric basses.

Jazz aficionados were delighted when Grant was elected to the Jazz Hall of Fame in 2004, and they will rejoice again Friday and Saturday at Gracie’s Sea Hag, where Grant will play 6-8:30 p.m. both nights. The cover is $20 in the lounge. Gracie’s Sea Hag is located downtown at 58 U.S. Hwy. 101, Depoe Bay, a half-block north of the only stoplight in town. For more information, call 541-765-2734 or visit

Police arrest man trying to flee with missing kids


two girls Lincoln City

Two girls who were listed as missing and endangered are safe after Lincoln City Police took their father into custody after a brief chase Monday, Sept. 13.

Police responded to Lincoln City Plaza 10 p.m. Monday to investigate suspicious activity in the parking lot. Witnesses said a man was walking around a vehicle and hitting it with a baseball bat. Officers arrived and tried to speak to the man, but he locked himself in his car. Police identified the man as 36-year-old Samuel Levi Jemmett, of Oregon City.

Samuel Levi Jemmett
Samuel Levi Jemmett

According to police, Jemmett was argumentative and remained in his locked vehicle. The responding officers also noticed two young girls in the car, who were determined to be nine and seven. The girls were listed as missing and endangered. Further investigation revealed the girls were possibly taken unlawfully a month prior.

Officers attempted to negotiate with Jemmett, trying to get him to release the girls. Refusing to cooperate, Jemmett started the car and fled the scene. The car hit spike strips police had placed in the event Jemmett tried to run with the juveniles. Jemmett made it to Highway 101 heading north with units in hot pursuit. Having lost both rear tires to the spike strip, Jemmett continued to try eluding police. A Lincoln County Sheriff’s deputy pulled in front of the car and Jemmett rammed into the cruiser twice before coming to a stop just north of NE West Devils Lake Road.

Jemmett refused to exit the vehicle so officers Tasered him and pulled him from the vehicle. The two children were taken into protective custody and then on to Samaritan North Lincoln Hospital for medical evaluation. The pair was later turned over to the Department of Human Services.

Upon searching Jemmett’s vehicle, multiple syringes and a loaded handgun were found.

Jemmett was transported to Samaritan North Lincoln Hospital for medical evaluation and treatment of minor injuries. He was then transported to the Lincoln County Jail where he faces custodial interference, endangering the welfare of a minor, reckless endangering, attempt to elude police, felon in possession of a firearm, resisting arrest, attempted assault of a police officer and interfering with police.

Police say the investigation is ongoing and additional charges might be filed.

From the LCPD news release:

The Lincoln City Police Department with like to express our thanks and appreciation to the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, North Lincoln Fire & Rescue and Pacific West Ambulance for their assistance with this incident. We are grateful no serious injuries occurred during the incident.

Fecal bacteria health advisory issued for D River Beach

Health Advisory D River
A public health advisory was issued for D River Beach Sept. 14 (Photos by Justin Werner)

A health advisory for unsafe levels of fecal bacteria at D River Beach was issued Tuesday by the Oregon Health Authority.

Fecal bacteria can cause rashes, diarrhea, upper respiratory infections and other illnesses. Children, elderly and those with compromised immune systems should stay clear of water flowing into the ocean.

D River fecal

From OHA:

Visitors should avoid wading in nearby creeks, pools of water on the beach, or in discolored water, and stay clear of water runoff flowing into the ocean. Levels of fecal bacteria tend to be higher in these types of water sources.

Unsafe levels of fecal bacteria in ocean waters can come from both shore and inland sources including:

  • Stormwater runoff.
  • Sewer overflows.
  • Failing septic systems.
  • Animal waste from livestock, pets and wildlife.

Even if there is no advisory in effect, avoid swimming in the ocean within 48 hours after a rainstorm.

Ocean waters will be re-tested after an advisory is issued. Once bacteria levels are at a safe level, OHA will notify the public that the advisory is lifted.

While this advisory is in effect at D River Beach, state officials continue to encourage other recreational activities (flying kites, picnicking, playing on the beach, walking, etc.) on this beach because they pose no health risk even during an advisory.

For the most recent information on advisories, visit the Oregon Beach Monitoring Program website or call 971-673-0482, or 877-290-6767.

Coast Guard rescues crew of 3, dog after fishing vessel sinks


The Coast Guard rescued 2 men, a woman and a dog found adrift in a life raft after their vessel sank Sunday afternoon approximately 45 miles off Lincoln City.

Video by Petty Officer 3rd Class Michael Clark

At 2 p.m., watchstanders at Sector North Bend received a distress signal from an electronic position indicating radio beacon [EPIRB]. The beacon was registered to the 44-foot gray and blue commercial fishing vessel ‘Royal.’

Coast Guard watchstanders issued an urgent marine information broadcast and dispatched a rescue crew from Air Facility Newport aboard an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter.

At approximately 4 p.m., the aircrew located a debris field and life raft approximately 6 miles from the beacon’s last transmitted location.

A rescue swimmer was deployed by free-fall and began recovering the survivors. The rescue swimmer assisted the individuals and dog with their safe hoist into the cabin of the helicopter. The last survivor was hoisted at 4:30 p.m.

The survivors were transported to awaiting friends and family at Air Facility Newport. They were in stable condition upon arrival and did not require medical attention.

“They acted quickly and had the necessary equipment to survive an emergency like this,” said Lt. Robert Pfaff, pilot and flight commander during the rescue. “Their preparation and readiness for a worst case scenario saved their lives.”

The Coast Guard encourages all mariners to have the proper safety equipment and training experience to operate it. Always ensure a reliable means of communication to call for help when needed, such as a fixed or portable VHF-radio.

Series of cold fronts bringing rain Friday


Rain Forecast Lincoln County

National Weather Service Portland (NWS) issued a Special Weather Statement Monday calling for “wet fall-like weather” to bring an end to the long, dry and hot summer.

According to NWS, a potential deluge is coming to Oregon, including the Central Oregon Coast, which will bring a series of strong, wet cold fronts. The first widespread rain is scheduled to hit Friday and NWS believes a half-inch is possible for the interior lowlands and 1-2 inches for the Coast Range.

The weather pattern is supposed to change later this week, bringing overnight temps into the 40s Wednesday night in Lincoln City and wind gusts up to 23 mph. NWS predicts a 40 percent chance of rain on Thursday night, mainly after 11 p.m. NWS models predict a wet weekend into Monday.

Clogged drains or gutters could easily overfill with the precipitation and people are reminded to check any areas with poor drainage to make sure dead leaves and debris are removed.

Areas around past burned areas could see localized debris flows.


Newport wins rivalry match at Taft


Mario Cortes

A close game decided by a last-minute goal put a win in 4A Newport’s column as they defeated the Tigers 2-1 at Voris Field Tuesday.

Junior Mario Cortes scored Taft’s lone goal to tie the game in the second half, but Newport scored again in bonus time to seal the victory.

Mario Cortes scores a goal against Newport
Mario Cortes scores a goal against Newport

“We played the second half better than the first,” Head Coach Ryan Ulicni said. “If you can improve in the second half that’s what you really want.”

Taft attacked Newport’s goal in the second half, making Senior Alberto Rodriguez work overtime. Rodriguez fended off all but Cortes’ goal from 10 yards out.

“It’s always tough playing Newport our cross-town rival,” Ulicni said. “Of course we’re upset with the loss, but it’s what happens. We beat them, they beat us…it was a good match.”

The Tigers had one last chance to tie the game at the very end, but the kick from Cortes was saved by Rodriguez as time expired.

Newport Taft Oregon Soccer

Newport plays next at 6 p.m. Sept. 9, at home against Tillamook. Taft was scheduled to face Catlin Gabel Sept. 10, however, the game has been canceled. The Tigers will continue their OSAA schedule in Seaside at 7:15 p.m. Sept. 16 for a non-league game.

Candidates for Ward 1 City Councilor

Two Lincoln City citizens have stepped forward to fill a vacant Ward 1 City Councilor position created by the resignation of Diana Hinton.

Fernando Garza, who ran for mayor, will be on the ballot along with Elaine Starmer, who serves on Lincoln City’s Budget Committee. The Sept. 21 Special Election will determine who becomes the new councilor.

We asked the candidates the same two questions:

Elaine Starmer

Elaine Starmer Lincoln City

What do you think is a big issue facing Lincoln City?

Most people would immediately say housing. No doubt, housing is a problem for multiple reasons, but there isn’t enough space in this article to do it justice.

Another big issue is our aging infrastructure (roads, water and sewer systems, city buildings, parks, etc.) Our infrastructure was not designed to support 9,000 residents and 30,000+ visitors.

Our police department and fire and rescue services are not funded to handle the growing needs of our tourism industry (NLFR will be asking property owners for more money on this November’s ballot). Clearly, our city needs new revenue sources to fund these requirements, but it is imperative that we balance that financial burden fairly and equitably among our tourism industry and our residents. That balance is missing today. The good news is that other “destination cities” are doing this successfully. We don’t have to recreate the wheel, but we also want to consider the nuances of our town.

Do you have any ideas you want to share?

I have lots of ideas, many of which I’ve already laid out in my campaign materials and other newspapers. Three of those ideas are under consideration by City Council.

Someone once told me I like to “float lots of balloons.” I think that comes from working 26 years in an environment that requires troubleshooting and problem solving as a big part of your job. Working in project management has given me a lot of experience in how to not knock down ideas before they are fully vetted. It drives me nuts when someone floats an idea and someone says, “we can’t do that” or “that would never work”. It completely shuts down the problem-solving process. You don’t get to explore the options, or tweaks that might make the idea workable. It’s better to say, “yes, we could do that, but here are some things to consider.” In the end, it may not be a viable option, but you don’t know that until you work through it. Starting with “yes” is a much more productive way to solve problems.

Fernando Garza

Fernando Garza for Lincoln City Mayor

What do you think is a big issue facing Lincoln City?

I have spent the last two and a half years campaigning, fighting against poorly written ordinances and talking about the issues in this city that I love and have wept for. They haven’t changed, not with the current council and not with previous councils.

What has changed and unfortunately, in the wrong direction, is the continuing and ongoing lack of openness, inclusiveness, and communications. Follow through with some council members even in Ward 1 is apathetic at best.

I have openly expressed my concerns for lack of critical thinking when it comes to safety and housing to city council. Alas to fall on death ears and bring up other topics. Such as the current revenue shortfall they/we are facing. This was made public back in April prior to Ron Chandler leaving. You could have heard a pin drop as sitting council and other members of committees were being schooled on how their projections were not going to be met. That the revenue shortfall would continue to happen if they didn’t move to plan against this.

City Council openly continues to boast about their participation in the budget committee. Who then takes responsibility for the revenue shortfall? Candidate Starmer has been on the budget committee only a short time. Will she take responsibility for the shortfalls. Not according to her, and I quote: “All industries create costs to the cities they reside in, including tourism. The key is knowing what these costs are. My goal as city councilor is to help our City make revenue growth decisions in an equitable and balance budget manner.” I read that as more of the same.

I’ve been called on our city streets “the guy that wants to make Lincoln City user friendly.” I’ll take it because it’s from the people. A vote for Fernando Garza for Lincoln City Ward 1 Council is a true visionary change, allow me to demonstrate and share with you my level of communications, openness and inclusiveness. From someone who lives it on a daily basis, I repeat myself “I’ll be your Huckleberry.”

Do you have any ideas you want to share?

A rising tide lifts all boats, but we need to remember that not everyone in our beautiful Lincoln City in in the boat yet. In fact we’ve all been moored for so long that we’ve forgotten what it feels to be free to change with the waves. That’s why so many of our sons and daughters will continue leave to make ends meet where they must.

I still believe that safety can be the catalyst for a new direction. One where we hire and train from our own citizens creating a safety workforce that can be used to implement other safety measures during the 4th of July and any other time of the year. Year round work with good paying opportunities and good leaders for the working class is not just a dream. It’s a direction where we’ve managed to pull ourselves out of the sand bar and journey together as a true example of Lincoln City, one where all our cultures are included. I know how to do that; I do that on a daily basis. I know enough about critical thinking to know 2021 and the future that I see can be scary for some. What is scarier is not wanting to leave the shore where there is nothing left. I won’t forget anyone.

Sheriff: Back to school


Back to school

It’s time for many of our children to start back to school. Motorists need to get back in the habit of slowing down near neighborhood schools. There are more than 15 public and private schools located around Lincoln County.

Each morning and afternoon when school is in session, children are walking to and from school and when there’s a chance they may be present, a school speed zone is in effect. The speed limit is 20 mph in a posted school zone between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. on a day when school is in session. If the school zone is equipped with a flashing yellow light(s), then the speed limit is in effect when flashing.

It’s vital that we obey these speed limits as our children’s safety is at stake. These schools include kindergarten through twelfth grade. Some of these children are five years old and very small. A parked car can obscure their view of you and your view of them. These young people often fail to realize the importance of looking before they walk or run out into the roadway. Driving at 20 mph will give you more time to react and avoid striking them.

The following chart reveals the distance required to stop at specific speeds.

64 feet @ 20 mph 86 feet @ 25 mph 112 feet @ 30 mph 138 feet @ 35 mph 170 feet @ 40 mph

5 mph can make the difference between whether or not you hit a pedestrian.

As citizens we must protect our children. Traffic crashes are one of the deadliest hazards our children face. Let’s do our part when we pass these schools by slowing down, watching, and expecting the unexpected.

Everyone needs to do their part to ensure the safety of our children.

For more information and tips, visit our web site at and Like us on Facebook at Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office – Oregon.