Local News – Disaster Declaration; Bear Plea Bargain; Manslaughter Conviction; Weapon near Middle School; Business of the Year; Prep Basketball scores

Coast Radio News
Local News

Lane County Makes Disaster Declaration

You can add Lane County to the list of Oregon counties that will be included in Governor Kitzhaber’s disaster declaration this week.  High winds, heavy rain and flooding pummeled the Siuslaw and Mohawk Valleys two weeks ago, causing more than $900-thousand damage to public infrastructure alone.  So far, reports collected by Lane County Emergency Management show more than 100 homes and several businesses sustained at least minor to moderate damage.

The declaration does not guarantee federal assistance for Lane County, but it opens the door for participation in the Joint Damage Assessment that includes local, state and federal representatives.  Linda Cook with the county’s Emergency Management Office said the response to the storm and flooding did not exceed resource levels, but recovery efforts could exceed the local ability to respond and participation in the disaster declaration process could make residents eligible for federal reimbursement.

Weapon near middle school

Florence police responded to a report of a person pointing a gun towards Siuslaw Middle School Friday morning.  Officers made contact with a 14-year old boy shortly after 11 AM and determined that the weapon was a BB gun.  The boy was charged with disorderly conduct and menacing; taken into custody and transported to the Serbu Juvenile Facility in Eugene.

Manslaughter Conviction in death of Florence man

A 75-year old Eugene man will face a minimum of six years in prison for the drunken driving death of a Florence man in November.  Eldridge Maready was convicted of manslaughter and driving under the influence by a Lane County jury Friday afternoon.  We was driving the wrong way when he smashed into a car November 8th, killing Gerald Brooks.

Plea deal reached in shooting of bear

Charges against a Florence man accused of shooting a 90-pound bear cub with a pellet gun in November will be dismissed if he doesn’t break the law for the next six months.  But, 29-year Blake Christensen will have to pay $500 in court fees.  He pleaded ‘no contest’ to animal abuse after shooting the bear as it was climbing a fence in a neighborhood near 35 street.  The bear fell to the ground and eventually died.

Christensen said he was protecting neighbors who felt threatened when the bear repeatedly rummaged through garbage and acted aggressive towards pets.  City prosecutor Floyd Prozanski disagreed, saying Christensen put the neighborhood at risk of an ‘enraged mother bear’.  He pushed for criminal charges despite the fact that state wildlife authorities did not pursue charges.

Ray Wells Inc. named Business of the Year

The fifth annual Siuslaw Awards were handed out Friday night.  The Florence Area Chamber of Commerce recognized several different businesses for their efforts in the past year.  Mon Amis Gourmet Deli was recognized for “Community Caring”; Dutch Bros for “Curb Appeal”; and Flowers By Bobbi for “Customer Service”.  Florence Mayor Phil Brubaker was pleased with the selection of Ray Wells Incorporated as the Stu Johnston Business of the Year.

Phil Brubaker – “Longevity and commitment and with dollars and in-kind, he’s helped build a lot of the public facilities in town, you know, donation.  And I was thrilled, Ray Wells was in the audience, and stood up and everybody could salute the guy who’s been around so long and done good things.”

Wells’ son, Norman, accepted the award on behalf of the company.

Taking a look at Coast Radio Sports…

Prep Basketball:

For the girls Friday night… The Siuslaw Vikings tied it at 30-all with 3:25 remaining, but the number two ranked Sutherlin Bulldogs hung on for a 36-30 Far West Girls win.  Katie Thrall led the Vikings with 13 points.

Elsewhere in the Far West, Brookings-Harbor downed Douglas 43-34; South Umpqua beat North Bend 45-23.  In The 2A ranks, Gold Beach edged Reedsport 32-30.

Saturday night in the Mountain West, Liz Harry was 13-of-16 at the free throw line and scored 23 points to lead the Lady Sailors past the Siletz Valley Warriors 58-26.

For the boys…  The Sutherlin Bulldogs cruised to a 67-48 Far West basketball win over the Vikings Friday night.  North Bend beat South Umpqua 72-49, and Brookings beat Douglas 74-51.  Gold Beach beat Reedsport 55-45.

In the Mountain West Saturday evening, the Mapleton Sailors trailed by six at the half, but went on a 17-5 run in the 3rd quarter to take the lead, cruising to a 50-37 win over the Siletz Valley Warriors.  Isaiah Holman-Gross was 11-of-11 at the line and had 20 points for the Sailors.

Civil War Split

The Oregon men led at the half, but Oregon State took the lead with 13 minutes left in the game and held on to it for a 76-71 Pac-12 Basketball victory yesterday at Matthew Knight Arena in Eugene.  The loss drops the Ducks to a tie for third in the Conference with Colorado… the Beavers are in eighth.