Local News: GOP opens primary; School finance director remembered; Bridge work to slow traffic; Levi Scott’s 215th; Thrall Athlete of the Week

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Local News

Oregon GOP to Open Primary to Unaffiliated Voters…

You won’t have to be a registered republican to vote in this spring’s Republican primary.  But if you want to cast your vote for Newt, Mitt, Rick or Ron you’ll be out of luck.  Activists on the Oregon Republican Central Committee approved changes in their primary voting over the weekend that will allow non-affiliated voters participate in primaries for statewide offices.

The move will apply only to primaries for Secretary of State, Attorney General and Treasurer but not to presidential primaries, nor legislative races.  GOP officials hope the change will help them claw their way back into statewide offices they haven’t controlled since 1993.

State election officials say they’re working on a plan to implement the Republican move.  Republicans last allowed unaffiliated voters to cast primary ballots in 1992.  Democrats allowed it last in 2000.

Democratic Party of Oregon Executive Director Trent Lutz says there are no plans to open the Democratic primaries.

Moment of Silence to Honor Derek Smith

Administrators, elected officials and others will take a few moments to honor and remember the life of Derek Smith tomorrow night.  A moment of silence will precede the school board meeting for the 41 year old Finance Director who passed away January 29th of cystic fibrosis.  The school board meets at 6:30 tomorrow at District Offices on Oak Street.

Bridge work to slow traffic

Routine bridge deck maintenance will restrict travel over the Siuslaw River Bridge in Florence tomorrow.  Traffic will be restricted to a single lane between 9 AM and 2 PM as crews work on sealing expansion joints.  Oregon Department of Transportation spokesman Rick Little says flaggers will control traffic and there will be no complete closures of the bridge.  Little says emergency vehicles will be allowed to cross as necessary.

Celebrating namesake’s 215th birthday.

There will be a party tomorrow in Scottsburg.  The tiny community 16 miles east of Reedsport on Highway 38 will be celebrating the 215th anniversary of the birth of the town’s namesake, Levi Scott.  There will be a display of historical photos and literature, and of course cake and ice cream.  Several long time members of the Scottsburg community will be on hand to share their recollections of growing up there.  The party will be from two to four at the Scottsburg Community Center.

Thrall honored as Athlete of the Week

Siuslaw basketball standout Katie Thrall is Coast Radio Sports’ Athlete of the week.  The senior guard played a key defensive role in last week’s Viking victory over Brookings-Harbor, neutralizing the Bruins’ leading scorer and essentially taking her out of the game.

Honorable mention is given to Mapleton shooting forward Zac Holloway who scored 15 points against the Eddyville Eagles in a game that clinched a Mountain West League playoff spot for the Sailors.