Lights go out for cruise ship off Oregon coast

Herald staff

ASTORIA, Ore. — Electrical power was restored Tuesday morning on a cruise ship with 1,700 people aboard eight miles off the Oregon coast after a problem with an electrical generator disrupted heating, cooling, lighting, ventilation, running water and other ship systems.

The generator aboard the Veendam was brought back to operation at 6:10 a.m., about three hours after power went out, said Coast Guard Petty Officer Jonathan Reardon.

The Veendam was bound for San Diego and was under way, he said.

The 720-foot Holland America Line ship was never in danger and no Coast Guard aid was requested, Reardon said.

An auxilliary power system provided electricity when the main power failed, so the crew never lost the ability to navigate or communicate with the shore. But the crew temporarily stopped the engines to repair the generator.

  • County declares emergency: Wallowa County in northeast Oregon has declared a state of emergency so that farmers, ranchers and businesses can receive assistance after losses from wildfires and a second summer of drought. The Wallowa County Board of Commissioners declared the emergency Monday. Severe dry and hot weather between June 10 and Aug. 24 and wildfires between Aug. 24 and Sept. 4 that burned nearly 100,000 acres led to the emergency conditions. The resolution asks that the governor request that a U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Disaster Declaration be declared for Wallowa County, including emergency haying and grazing assistance. If approved, harvesting of hay and livestock grazing would be allowed on cropland that has been removed from production of annual program crops, such as wheat and feed grains.

  • Fair deep in the hole: The group that operates the Deschutes County Fair and expo center is more than $400,000 in the red, county officials have learned. A financial report for The Deschutes County Fair Association, released Monday, says the group is $462,285 in debt, having bounced $59,661 worth of checks. Employment service agency Express Personnel Services was hit the hardest, with $54,082 of the bad checks. Fair association officials had previously thought $145,000 worth of bad checks could have been written. Dick Donaca, one of the accountants who prepared the report, said he didn’t know where the $145,000 figure came from.

  • Mission Ridge expansion gets OK: The Forest Service has given preliminary approval to a long-range plan that could bring new chairlifts, a new lodge and expanded parking to Mission Ridge Ski Area. But the Forest Service has rejected a proposal by Mission Ridge’s owners to expand skiing outside the existing permit area through a land exchange involving 1,125 acres of state wildlife land. Half of the land used by the ski area 13 miles southwest of Wenatchee is in the Wenatchee National Forest. Forest Service officials began analyzing the ski area’s plans four years ago after concerns were raised about piecemeal development on Mission Ridge, said Bob Stoehr, a Wenatchee National Forest planner.

  • More WTO lawsuits: The city has been hit by another lawsuit over arrests during the World Trade Organization protests last fall, this time by a public interest law firm from Washington, D.C. The case filed Monday on behalf of four individuals in U.S. District Court accuses Mayor Paul Schell and police officials of violating the Constitution by declaring a 25-block downtown area a "no-protest zone" Dec. 1 and 2. Trial Lawyers for Public Justice asked that the case, which seeks unspecified damages, be certified as a class action on behalf of about 600 people who were arrested.

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