Weekday Wrap: A former Bend mayor died homeless, leaving his family searching for answers

By OPB staff (OPB)
Feb. 22, 2023 9 p.m.

Stories you may have missed from news briefs and our partners across the region.

What happened to Craig Coyner III?

Craig Coyner III once helped govern the city of Bend, ascending to its highest office. He served as a Bend city councilor from 1981 through 1992. He was mayor for a year in 1984, following in the footsteps of his great-grandfather. But in the twilight of his life, Coyner disappeared from the lives of those who knew and loved him. He experienced homelessness, mental illness and substance abuse. Coyner’s death last week has his family and friends searching for answers in the way he lived. How could a man, once revered in his community, have fallen so far? (Bryce Dole/The Bend Bulletin)

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Washington County votes to switch ambulance providers

Washington County commissioners voted Tuesday to stop using Metro West Ambulance for emergency medical transport, and to begin using American Medical Response. A panel that included local emergency responders and dispatchers recommended making the switch. AMR already provides emergency transport services for Clackamas, Multnomah and Clark counties. Metro West representatives said the company has served Washington County for 70 years and intends to appeal the decision. County board chair Kathryn Harrington said the current contract has been in place for 25 years, and it’s outdated. The AMR agreement will include a new dispatch system, performance metrics and a data-sharing system. (Alex Hasenstab/OPB)

Bill proposes ‘panic button’ technology for Oregon schools

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House Bill 3101 would require a “panic button” system at schools that would send out a mass notification to law enforcement and other emergency response agencies that supporters say would speed response times in life-or-death situations. Cellphones at a school could be used to send the message. The bill is named “Alyssa’s Law” after a girl among the 17 students and staff killed in the massacre at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida in 2018. Florida, New York and New Jersey have passed similar laws, and the Hermiston and Umatilla school districts in Oregon already use the alarm systems. (Gary A. Warner/Oregon Capital Bureau)

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Emergency drought permits unlikely for Klamath Basin farmers

The Oregon Water Resources Department is unlikely to issue emergency drought permits for Klamath Basin irrigators in 2023 due to declining groundwater levels that have caused hundreds of domestic wells to run dry. Emergency permits are one tool the agency may use to mitigate drought effects for farmers and ranchers, allowing them to temporarily replace water not available under an existing water right from another source. The most common drought permit allows water users to pump groundwater as an alternative to surface water when streams and rivers are running low. But extreme drought combined with an overallocation of water rights have led OWRD to issue fewer and fewer emergency permits. (Mateusz Perkowski/Capital Press)

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Opposition hardens against concrete plant proposed for Clark County

Although the Knife River Corporation has yet to file its permit application with Clark County, residents living near a planned concrete batch plant aren’t wasting any time organizing their opposition. The recently formed Friends of Central Vancouver has been working to create a nonprofit organization, accepting donations and contacting attorneys in readiness for an upcoming fight. Its members have been attending council and school board meetings, most recently in Battle Ground, to tell residents about problems like noise and pollution associated with concrete plants. (Shari Phiel/The Columbian)

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