Local News Digest – Veteran’s Day; Manslaughter Charges; County Union Concessions; 35th Street Detour

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Veteran’s Day Observances Tomorrow…

Families of two area soldiers who died in the line of duty will be the Grand Marshals of tomorrow’ one o’clock Veteran’s Day Parade in Florence.

Raymond Hill was killed while on a humanitarian mission to deliver school supplies in Iraq in 2005.  Bryce Scott was shot and killed earlier this year during a sniper attack on his unit in Afghanistan.  Their memories and the sacrifice made by their families will be top of mind tomorrow when our nation remembers all veterans.

Observances will officially begin at 11 AM tomorrow at the Florence Elks Lodge on 12th Street with a brief ceremony.  Then, at noon, entries in the Veteran’s Parade will begin forming on Quince Street in front of the Florence Events Center.  At one o’clock sharp, the procession will head down the hill, through Old Town and end just past the Veteran’s Memorial Park on Bay Street.

There are several other ways that veterans will be honored tomorrow and this weekend.  Three Rivers Casino will buy their lunch tomorrow… and fees will be waived all weekend at federal recreation areas.

Florence Man Killed in Eugene, Manslaughter Charges Pending

A Florence man; a husband and father of three, was killed Tuesday evening when the car he was driving in Eugene was struck by a wrong-way driver on Interstate 105.  Police said 53-year old Gerald Taylor Brooks likely died instantly when his sub-compact car was struck by a three-quarter ton pickup driven by 75-year old Eldridge Maready.  The Eugene man is facing drunken driving and manslaughter charges, and while police say they don’t release blood alcohol levels in ongoing investigations, they admitted Maready was – quote – “significantly impaired by alcohol”.  He was treated for minor injuries and jailed.

Lane AFSCME Ratify Contract Concessions

Members of the largest of six Lane County employee unions ratified a new three year contract this week that includes concessions aimed at preventing more job losses.  Members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 2831will pay higher health insurance costs, take no cost of living increases in the first year of the contract, only a one percent cost of living increase in the second, and will also take one unpaid day off before July 1, 2012 under the agreement expected to save hundreds of thousands of dollars for Lane County government.  Members of three other unions, as well as supervisors and managers have already agreed to the health insurance changes that will become effective January 1st.

35th Street Detour

If you use 35th street on a regular basis you will likely want to take another route for the next couple days.  Work on extending and expanding the waste water treatment line on Oak Street has moved to the 35th street crossing.  Ron Miller with Florence Public Works says Oak and 35th will be closed entirely until at least tomorrow afternoon…. Drivers are advised to use 27th street and Kingwood to detour around the closure.