Local News Digest – Siuslaw PRIDE; Coos Rail; Crab Bounty; Gas Prices; EAS Test; and Siuslaw Cross Country

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Siuslaw Pride hopes to draw school and community closer

Participation, Respect, Inspiration, Dedication and Excellence… the acronym spells out PRIDE and that’s what students at Siuslaw High School are encouraged to exhibit in the classroom.  But it doesn’t stop there.  The goal of teachers and staff members at the high school is to convince students to embrace the philosophy of PRIDE in the community as a whole.

Everyone is encouraged to wear blue and gold to display Siuslaw PRIDE this Friday.

Art Teacher Kim Pickell (pih-KELL) says students are part of the community, many of them working for local businesses.  Those businesses are being encouraged to display special PRIDE posters available at the school, and, they’re also being encouraged to take it a step further and decorate their place of business and wear the school colors… especially on Friday.  Members of the committee will be out tomorrow (Thursday) to select a business they feel best displays Siuslaw PRIDE.  The winning organization will get four free tickets to Friday night’s playoff football game between the Siuslaw Vikings and the Molalla Indians.

Pickell says she’d like to see every residents wear blue and gold to show their PRIDE every Friday throughout the school year.

Coos Rail Line Dedicated

Four years ago the then owner of the Central Oregon and Pacific Railway suddenly halted operations on the rail line between the Willamette Valley and Coos County.  That move stranded rail shipments and forced several manufacturers on the coast to either curtail operations and lay off employees or switch to more expensive forms of transport.  Many did both.  Since that time the Oregon International Port of Coos Bay was successful in a fight to take ownership in the line and refurbished several tunnels as well as miles of right-of-way.

The line restoration was dedicated yesterday afternoon at American Bridge in Reedsport… one of the manufacturers that has been negatively impacted by the closure.  Port officials say the freight will move regularly from the North Spit of Coos Bay to connections in Eugene.  They’re next move will be to begin renovation of the swing-bridge over Coos Bay.

Dungeness Commission funds crab pot bounty

Oregon crab fishermen recently completed an off-season harvest.  No, they weren’t going after Dungeness crab.  Instead they recovered 481 lost crab pots from the ocean floor and returned them to their owners.  Nick Furman with the Oregon Crab Commission said it was the third year of the program, but the first time it was run by the fishermen themselves.

Officials estimate that crabbers lose about ten percent of the 150-thousand pots placed each year… many of those can become fouled in whales or salmon trollers’ gear or otherwise litter the bottom.  A $50 per pot bounty, funded initially by a federal stimulus grant, was enough to get some enterprising crabbers to go hunting.  Crabbers that get the pots back reimburse the finders fee.

Local Gas Prices steady

Crude prices are climbing, while the national average price for regular unleaded has actually gone down slightly.  According to Triple-A the national average is $3.41 this week… the Oregon Statewide average fell four cents to $3.73.  Locally the average price held steady at $3.71.

EAS Test

A nation wide test of the Emergency Alert System is set for this morning at approximately 11 AM.  The test will be transmitted on TV and Radio at that time, but will come across as an actual emergency… officials want to make it clear that it is only a test.

Viking Cross Country at Nike Cross Northwest Regionals

Seven of the eight members of the OSAA 4A State Champion Siuslaw Cross Country team will be competing in Boise, Idaho. (Contributed photo)

When the top prep cross country teams in the northwest converge on Boise, Idaho this weekend, the Siuslaw Viking State Championship Boys’ team will be there.  It’s the Nike Cross Northwest Saturday at Eagle Island Cross Country Course.

Viking Coach Chris Johnson says his team consisting of Matthew Campbell, Mitchell Butler, Mack Marbas, Hayden Schaffner, Seth Campbell, Jesse Wells and Brian Schofield will be competing in the “Championship” class… the highest level.