Local News Digest – Oregon Health Plan; Missing Oregon Man; County Redistricting; Chowder Blues and Brews

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Oregon Health Plan changes could ease budget stress

Members of the Oregon Health Policy Advisory Board were in Florence last night for one of about a dozen town hall meetings being held around the state to talk about changes being made to the Oregon Health Plan.  Dr. Bruce Goldberg is the Medical Director for the Oregon Health Authority.


Dr. Bruce Goldberg – “We think that it’s a better way to deal with some of the budget issues that are facing the state is by making health care more efficient for the Oregon Health Plan population.”

Those changes include looking at the entire health care delivery system and taking steps to better coordinate care.  By doing that, the Authority estimates that they can reduce costs by as much as 40-percent.

Dr. Bruce Goldberg – “Health care has become increasingly unaffordable, not just for the state, but for businesses as well as for individuals and by better coordinating care, better communication, focusing on prevention, treating problems early on, we believe we can get at the goals of our health care system which is making people healthy.”

And that, says Goldberg, is the real aim.  Changes to the plan that covers nearly one-in-six Oregonians will be implemented beginning in 2012.


Sad results in case of missing man

The body of a 19-year old Willamette Valley man was found near Mary’s Peak in western Benton County late Tuesday, and the Washington couple suspected of killing him were taken into custody early Wednesday in Yuba County, California.  They were driving a car owned by Cody Myers who had left his home in LaFayette, northwest of Salem, headed to Newport Sunday.  At the same time, authorities had already been seeking 31-year old David Pederson and his girlfriend, Holly Grigsby.  They were wanted in connection with a slaying in Washington state.


Lane County redistricting choices narrowed

Lane County Commissioners have narrowed the options for redrawing district boundary lines to three.  Following a hearing yesterday in Eugene where they heard the merits of eight different options, they opted to narrow the list.

Option number one would make no changes to boundary lines… number three would redraw boundary lines in the Eugene-Springfield area and make minor changes to all five districts.  Option 8 was proposed by West Lane Commissioner Jay Bozievich and would make more changes in the same area.

South Eugene Commissioner Peter Sorenson criticized the plan as a “complete gerrymander”.  The commission will have further deliberation on the proposals next week.


Chowder Blues and Brews

The annual Florence Chowder Blues and Brews Festival will add one feature to the lineup this year.  It still includes some of the top names in Northwest Blues on stage Friday and Saturday, as well as local and regional breweries and wineries.  You can still get great seafood selections and vote for the best tasting chowder in the Oregon Coast Professional Chowder Cookoff.  Added to the festival for the first time will be an invitation to “travel the chowder trail” on Sunday afternoon from noon til four in Old Town Florence.  There will be live music at the Gazebo Park all afternoon and visitors will be encouraged to visit shops and restaurants in the area.