Tillamook County Top 10 stories of 2021 as clicked on tillamookheadlightherald.com | News


We took a look back at our top 10 most read and shared stories of 2021.

Gov. Brown announces deployment of Oregon National Guard members

Gov. Kate Brown announced Friday, Aug. 13, she will be deploying up to 1,500 Oregon National Guard members to support frontline health care workers as Oregon hospitals face a surge of hospitalizations due to the rapid spread of the Delta variant.

Beginning Aug. 20, an initial 500 Guard members will be deployed to hospitals around the state to provide logistical support as materials handlers and equipment runners, as well as assisting with COVID-19 testing and other necessary services to support hospital operations. The Oregon National Guard is prepared to provide logistical support for more than 20 hospitals across the state.

“This morning I received the grim news that there are 733 Oregonians hospitalized with severe cases of COVID-19, including 185 in intensive care units,” said Brown. “I cannot emphasize enough the seriousness of this crisis for all Oregonians, especially those needing emergency and intensive care. When our hospitals are full with COVID-19 patients, there may not be room for someone needing care after a car crash, a heart attack, or other emergency situation.”

“I know this is not the summer many of us envisioned, with over 2.5 million Oregonians vaccinated against COVID-19. The harsh, and frustrating reality is that the Delta variant has changed everything. Delta is highly contagious, and we must take action now.”

Fatal crash on Hwy 22 Tillamook County

On Thursday, Feb. 18, at approximately 10:55 a.m., Oregon State Police Troopers and emergency personnel responded to a two-vehicle crash on Hwy 22 near milepost 1 – east of Hebo.

Preliminary investigation revealed a Ford Ranger, operated by Jonathan Moreland of Tillamook, was eastbound when it crossed into the westbound lane and collided with a Dodge Ram 3500, towing a trailer, operated by Joshua Brown of Newberg.

Moreland and a passenger in the Ford Ranger, Jimmie Toll of Bay City, sustained fatal injuries and were pronounced deceased.

Two other passengers in the Ford Ranger, Dominic Reeves of Tillamook and Alexis Bacon of Amity, were transported to the hospital with injuries.

Federal changes increase emergency SNAP benefits for many households

Most Oregonians who receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits will receive emergency allotments in May. The federal government has approved emergency allotments every month since March 2020, to give SNAP recipients additional support during the COVID-19 pandemic.

There are two important federal changes to the SNAP Emergency Allotments in May 2021. Households that are already receiving the maximum SNAP benefits for their household size will now receive an additional $95 in emergency allotments in May. This increase will impact approximately 284,000 households (67 percent of Oregon SNAP households) and will have an impact of $28 million in additional benefits for households in Oregon. Households who are eligible for $0 in regular SNAP benefits will not receive the May emergency allotments.

This change is because the federal government clarified households must receive regular SNAP to be eligible for emergency allotments. This change does not impact other SNAP benefits and services these households may receive, such as employment and training services. This change will impact approximately 4,300 households. Those impacted by this change are encouraged to report any changes that may impact their regular SNAP amount, such as loss of income or increase in shelter expenses.

“We are grateful to have the opportunity to increase emergency benefits available to some SNAP households in Oregon,” said Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS) Director Fariborz Pakseresht. “We also know that for those 4,300 households who will no longer receive the emergency allotments, that this change can be significant and difficult. We encourage them, and all Oregonians who are struggling to meet their basic needs to contact our partners at 211 and the Oregon Food Bank.”

Traffic stop leads to drug bust

Tillamook County Sheriff’s Office Detective Andrew Christopherson conducted a traffic stop Monday, March 8, with a Honda Civic for speeding near the area of Hwy 101 / Old Mill Road. During the stop, Christopherson determined the vehicle had switched plates from another vehicle.

According to the sheriff’s office, the driver was identified as Rachel Makus, formerly of Tillamook. Makus had an outstanding Oregon State Parole Board felony warrant.

During a consent search of the vehicle, deputies found suspected heroin, suspected methamphetamine, drug packaging material, drug paraphernalia and several thousand dollars in cash.

Makus was transported and lodged at the Tillamook County Jail and booked on charges of Unlawful Possession and Delivery of Heroin and the Parole Board warrant.

Man dies in hit and run crash at Fred Meyers  

Tillamook Police Department responded at 10:59 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 1, to the area of Hwy 101 in front of Fred Meyers to a report of a pedestrian who had been hit by a vehicle that had fled the scene. Upon arrival at 11 p.m., police found a 75-year-old man dead in the roadway.

According to the police department, the crime scene was processed with the assistance of the Oregon State Police Reconstruction Team, Tillamook County Sheriff’s Office, Tillamook Fire Department, ODOT, Adventist Health Ambulance, Tillamook County District Attorney, and the Tillamook County Medical Examiner. Law enforcement was able to locate the male 26-year-old driver of the suspect vehicle who had a friend drive him back down to the crime scene to turn himself in after hearing reports of the incident on his scanner. He has been lodged at the Tillamook County Jail on recommended charges of manslaughter and felony hit and Run. The name of the deceased is being withheld pending notification of the next of kin.

Oregon State Police (OSP) troopers responded to the report of a two-vehicle head-on collision at 4:16 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 31, which occurred on Hwy 6 near milepost 8.

According to OSP, preliminary investigation revealed a silver 2018 Ford F150 pickup, operated by Bradley Burton Harris of Tillamook, was westbound when, for an unknown reason, the vehicle crossed over into the eastbound lane and struck an oncoming Mazda MZ3.The black Mazda was operated by Humberto Maciel of Tillamook. Both vehicles sustained heavy damage and came to an uncontrolled rest blocking the entire highway.

Maciel sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced deceased. His passenger, Breanna Maciel, was transported to Legacy Emmanuel Hospital by Life Flight helicopter with life threatening injuries.

Harris fled the scene immediately after the crash but was located by police near the crash scene approximately four hours later, OSP stated. Harris was transported initially to Tillamook Regional Medical Center for injuries then later transferred to Legacy Emmanuel hospital as a trauma patient. Harris is the subject of an ongoing criminal investigation.

OSP responds to rollover crash on Hwy 101

Oregon State Police (OSP) responded to a rollover crash around 2 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 9, on Hwy 101 and Kenton Drive.

According to OSP, a silver Toyota XB, driven by Diana Willner of Seaside, was southbound negotiating a left curve. The vehicle strick and bounced off the southbound guardrail, went across both lanes, struck and drove up a dirt embankment. The vehicle rolled on its side, where it came to an uncontrolled rest facing south in the northbound lane.

“[Willner] was not wearing a seatbelt and had significant injuries,” the OSP reported. “[Willner] was transported by ambulance to Tillamook Hospital.”

Willner was cited for driving while suspended and no insurance, OSP stated.

Homicide investigation underway as two found dead in Hebo

The Tillamook County Major Crimes Team is currently working a homicide investigation on Mt. Hebo Road, in Hebo, where two adult males were found deceased on the scene.

“This investigation is currently underway and family notifications are ongoing, therefore we are unable to release more information at this time. I can say that there are no suspects at large and there is no danger to the community,” said TCSO Undersheriff Matt Kelly. “We will provide more information when it is possible to do so.”

Superintendent receives resignations over vaccine mandate, expects more

The Tillamook School Board hosted a work session on Aug. 25 to hear from Tillamook School District staff regarding the vaccine mandate recently issued by Oregon Gov. Kate Brown.

Gov. Brown’s new vaccination mandate requires that all teachers, educators, support staff, and volunteers in K-12 schools be vaccinated against COVID-19.

The mandate requires those listed above to be fully vaccinated by Oct. 18 or six weeks after full FDA approval, whichever is later.

“Our kids need to be in the classroom full-time, five days a week, and we have to do everything we can to make that happen,” said Brown. “While we are still learning about the Delta variant, we know from previous experience that when schools open with safety measures in place, the risk of transmission is low. That’s why I’ve directed the Oregon Health Authority to issue a rule requiring all teachers, educators, support staff, and volunteers in K-12 schools to be fully vaccinated.”

Man dies after getting sucked into current

Tillamook County Sheriff’s Office (TCSO) Deputy Chris Barnett and Detective Andy Christopherson responded to a reported water rescue at 3 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 3, on the Wilson River. Witnesses reported that a person was floating down the river.

“A 41 year old man from Hillsboro was fishing with two friends along the Wilson River, just below Mills Bridge,” said Barnett. “He decided to cross the river to fish from the other side. As he made his way across, he stumbled and fell but was able to recover and make it to the other side to fish.”

According to the sheriff’s office, the man fished from the other side for a while and then made his way back across the river toward his friends.

“He was crossing the river when he reached a deep point, fell over and got sucked down the river,” said Barnett. “His friends witnessed the incident and said that he was trying to get back to shore. In that part of the river, the current is actually pushing you away from shore.”


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