Local News: Florence man dies following Occupy Eugene fight; Christmas Trees extreme hazard; Dry December; Police say no wrong done

Coast Radio News
Local News

Florence man dies following Occupy Eugene fight

About 30-people gathered over the weekend for a vigil to remember a Florence man who died last week after a fight at the Occupy Eugene encampment.   Occupy leader Kristen Carpenter said she was sorry they couldn’t stop “the violence in the system sooner” and said Friday night’s vigil was not just for 51-year old Rick Youngblood but for all victims of street violence.

Youngblood died late last week of injuries sustained in the fifth and most serious fight that occurred a week ago at the camp.  Police said alcohol figured in the fight which they described as “mutual combat” and said charges would likely not be filed.

Tuesday the Eugene City Council said the site had to be abandoned and police spent much of last week urging campers to leave.   By Sunday evening only one man remained at the camp.

No Wrong Done Say Police

Florence police say it doesn’t look as if there was any wrongdoing two weeks ago when students reported they had been approached by a man in what they described as a “rusty truck” while they were waiting at a bus stop.  Florence Police Lieutenant Ray Gutierrez said officers located the truck and identified the driver as being a man who lived in the neighborhood.

Gutierrez said the man, who’s identity was not released, was – quote – “very open and admitted talking to the children.  He did deny asking the kids to sit in his truck.  According to the investigating officer’s report the man pulled up to the stop sign near the children on a cold morning.  Because his truck had not yet warmed up, he stopped, got out and put on his coveralls.  The man said he commented to the waiting students that it was nippy outside and then went on his way.

Police say several details on both sides of the story matched up and saw no wrongdoing.  Officers said they would follow up with the students this week.

Dry December but Normal 2011

Heading into this past weekend Portland had been drier this month than Tucson, Arizona; Corvallis was as cold as Buffalo, New York; and central Oregon had experienced less precipitation than it had in July of this year.

Despite the presence of a second consecutive La Nina event, this has been anything but a normal end to the year according to analysts at the Oregon Climate Service at Oregon State University.  Deputy Director Kathie Dello, said when all is said and done, Oregon’s precipitation in 2011 may not be all that unusual.  “But how we got to where we’re at has been a little different”.

Oregon had the second wettest spring on record, but fall was very dry and warmer summer weather didn’t arrive until September.

Christmas Trees a Hazard

A dry Christmas tree can be as explosive as a gallon of gasoline and firefighters say when one catches fire it can engulf a room in flames in less than 30-seconds.  Siuslaw Valley Fire and Rescue volunteers will be out in force this Saturday to pick up trees.  For a five dollar donation they’ll collect your tree and dispose of it in an environmentally friendly manner.  Siuslaw Valley Fire Marshall Sean Barrett says you need to call the station at 997-3212 this week to schedule your pickup.  Another pickup is set for January 7th.

40th annual Dunes Country Classic

The Reedsport Braves downed the Yoncalla Eagles 37-25 in Friday’s Girls Championship game of the 40th annual Dunes Country  Classic prep basketball tournament.  Kayla Doane led the Lady Braves with 15 points and six rebounds as the Reedsport Girls won their own tournament for the first time since 2005.

The Waldport Irish claimed the championship in the boys’ tournament, 66-46 over the host Braves.  Montana Frame had ten points for Reedsport, Brady Strowbridge had nine.

Marshfield Holiday Tournament Set for Later This Week

16 prep basketball teams are preparing for the annual three-day Les Schwab Tires South Coast Holiday tournament at Marshfield High School later this week.  The Siuslaw Vikings will meet the Marshfield Pirates Wednesday night at 8:45.