Local Digest – Energy Assistance; Port Mgr; Bats; Trick or Treat

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There’s one-time help for electricity bills…

Applications will begin being accepted tomorrow for a program that will provide one-time payments to help with utility bills for low income families.  Bob Teter is the Housing Assistance Manager with Siuslaw Outreach Services.  He says the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program relies on federal funds administered through Lane County.

Bob Teter – “It is based on income levels and number of household members.  The funding is designed to offset the increase in utility costs during the winter months.”

S.O.S. handles the local applications.  If a household qualifies, the payments will be sent directly to Central Lincoln P.U.D.

Bob Teter – “It varies anywhere from 250 to 350 dollars, depending again on the income level and the number of household members.”

Last year, says Teter, SOS received nearly 900 requests for assistance… but only about one-third were approved.

Port Commission seeking Number Two:

It’s not all the way back to square one, but the Port of Siuslaw Commission has taken a step back in their quest to find a new manager.  Last week they announced they had reached an agreement with a New Jersey man to take the helm of the district next month.  Bob Minkewicz however changed his mind and will not be accepting the post.  The Port Commission is in discussions with another finalist candidate to fill the position.  They’re holding a special meeting this afternoon at 1:30, at the District Office, to discuss and possibly approve an employment offer.

Bats in Oregon

Black bats may be taking center stage today in Halloween decorations, but Oregon’s real bats aren’t doing so well; disease and habitat loss are threatening their survival according to Andrea Hanson with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.  Eight of the state’s 15 bat species have been identified as being in need of help.  Hanson says the most important thing you can do this time of year is to avoid disturbing bats.  They’re especially vulnerable in the winter when hibernating.  She says bats aren’t as scary as their reputation may indicate… they eat only insects, they’re warm blooded and hang upside down because it gives them an ideal position for take-off.

Trick or Treat!

If you’re going to take the young ones trick or treating tonight, dress warmly, but you shouldn’t have to worry about the rain.  This evening’s forecast is calling for mostly clear skies with some fog and lows in the lower 40s.