Local News – Oregon Counties in Jeopardy; Walter-Sedlacek First Citizen; Gas steady; Be Prepared

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Some Oregon counties could become insolvent…

Governor John Kitzhhaber says some local government work could be regionalized to help rural counties struggling with the expiration of federal timber payments.  He and legislative leaders spoke to Oregon newspaper editors yesterday in Salem.  Kitzhaber says some counties in southern Oregon might be able to save money by collaborating on jails and other services.

The federal government has paid millions of dollars to prop up local governments in counties hurt badly by the long decline in revenue from logging on federal land.  The stopgap funds expired last year, and efforts to revive them have so far been unsuccessful.

Democratic House Co-Speaker Arnie Roblan of Coos Bay said some counties, such as Curry on the south coast, could become insolvent, forcing the state to figure out how to help.

It’s likely to become one of the hot topics of the upcoming legislative session set to begin next week.

Florence First Citizen for 2011

Lisa Walter-Sedlacek will officially receive the award for being Florence’s First Citizen for 2011 Friday evening during the fifth annual Siuslaw Awards.  Chamber executive director Cal Applebee said the five judges struggled to make a decision and said all four nominees were within a few points of each other.

In addition to Walter-Sedlacek, the nominees were Steve Olienyk, Rachel Pearson, and Bob & Bonnie MacDuffie.  The Future First Citizen, Siuslaw High School senior John Johnson, was announced previously.  The Siuslaw Awards are set for Friday evening at the Florence Events Center.

Gas Steady, But Still at Record Level

Prices at the gas pump may have stabilized, but, says Triple-A’s Marie Dodds, they still remain at a record level for this time of year.  The national average price, as measured by Triple-A held steady at $3.38 a gallon; while the Oregon average price increased by a penny to $3.47.  In Florence the average also held steady, two cents below the national average at $3.36 a gallon.

Be Prepared in the Outdoors

It doesn’t matter what time of year it is, Oregonians like to head for the great outdoors for recreation.  Whether it’s in search of fish and game, wildlife watching, sand or snow, there’s ample opportunity in western Oregon.  But, says Siuslaw National Forest Supervisor Jerry Ingersoll, taking steps to prepare for the unexpected can mean the difference between inconvenience and an emergency.  Always tell someone where you’re going and when you expect to return; dress appropriately and be prepared for a change in the weather; drive according to the conditions; and carry a first aid kit, as well as an emergency kit that includes a blanket and drinking water, in your vehicle.

Prep Basketball Scores

It took an extra four minutes, but the Lady Vikings held on for a 51-46 overtime victory last night over the South Umpqua Lancers at home.  Nikki Parry had 19 points and 19 rebounds; Ashlee Cole had 12 points and Katie Thrall contributed seven as the Siuslaw Girls improved to 2-and-2 in Far West League Play.  In other Far West girls’ games, Douglas edged North Bend 49-47 and Sutherlin dominated Brookings-Harbor 49-27.  In Coquille the Red Devils beat the Reedsport Braves 52-36 and Triangle Lake downed the Mapleton Sailors 63-20.

On the Boys Court, South Umpqua remains undefeated in league play, they beat Siuslaw 50-42 in Florence.  North Bend is also undefeated, they thrashed Douglas 71-25; Sutherlin edged Brookings-Harbor 78-76.  Coquille beat Reedsport 70-32 and in Triangle Lake the Lakers came out on top over Mapleton 70-29.