Local News – Xavier announces run; Offer made to potential Port Manager; ODOT drops tank in highway; Two police agencies lose trucks on the beach

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Local News

Mayoral Candidate Announces Intentions

Even though the election is still nine months away, Florence City Council President Nola Xavier says she wants to be the next mayor of Florence.

Xavier – “I might as well get out there and say it’s my intention to run and see if that won’t get people to think about, you know, do I want to challenge someone for mayor, or do I want to go for one of those council seats that isn’t going to have an incumbent in it.”

She can’t even officially file for the race until June, but, she says she’s had several people asking what her intentions were.  Plus, she adds, by announcing now, it might make someone else think about running for either mayor or one of the two council seats that will be up for election.

Xavier – “I know it took me a while to make up my mind and come to that decision.  I think it’ll take somebody else a while to do that, you know, to think about that.”

Current mayor Phil Brubaker is prevented by term limits from running again.  That’s created the opportunity, she says, for others to get involved in the process.

Port Commission Makes Job Offer

A retired Florence resident with an extensive management background… plus a history of being involved in city government will be offered the post of Port of Siuslaw Manager.  Robert Forsythe was identified as the top candidate following weekend interviews by the Port of Siuslaw Commission.  Forsythe spent several years with the University of California and before retiring was the Director of Procurement at UC Santa Cruz.  For the past two years he’s served on Florence’s Environmental Management Advisory Committee.

He and two other finalists were interviewed Saturday morning by Commissioners.  In a special meeting yesterday afternoon, the group directed interim manager Suzy Lacer to begin negotiations with Forsythe.  If talks are successful Forsythe would replace former manager Mark Freeman who resigned in August.

The decision to offer him the position was not unanimous.  Joshua Greene voted against the selection saying Forsythe’s credentials were very good, but he preferred a second candidate.

Chances are if you drove through the intersection of Highways 101 and 126 yesterday you noticed all the sand scattered about.  Just after four yesterday morning an Oregon Department of Transportation Truck accidentally dumped a thousand gallon tank loaded with de-icer in the southbound left turn lane.  The entire tank fell from the truck, spilling some of the chemical.  The lane was blocked for about two hours until crews could remove it.

Two Police Agencies Lose Trucks on Beach

It’s been a rough week for publicly owned vehicles.  Last Thursday two law enforcement agencies lost four-wheel drive pickups to the surf on the same day.

A Lane County Sheriff’s Deputy was patrolling the Baker Beach area north of Florence.  But, when Ed Lagrone tried crossing Berry Creek… as he has dozens of times… he discovered the creek bed had changed and he got stuck.  Lagrone called for assistance and a U.S. Forest Service officer responded.

A US Forest Service Law Enforcement Officer coming to the aid of a Sheriff's Deputy wound up being stuck near the surf also.

However, as Oliver Grover crossed Sutton Creek, he got stuck as well.  Joe Fletcher with the Willamette National Forest said the forest service truck wound up in deeper water than anticipated.

Sergeant Spence Slater with the Sheriff’s Department said Lagrone’s truck isn’t a total loss.  The engine is ok, but the electronics were likely damaged.  Slater said the truck had well over 100-thousand miles and was due for replacement anyway.

Viking Wrestler tabbed as Athlete of the Week

Siuslaw wrestling standout Sonny Tupua is Coast Radio Sports’ Athlete of the week.  Wrestling at 220 pounds, Tupua brought home the 2nd place trophy  from last week’s OSAA State Finals making him the first Viking Wrestler to bring home a trophy three years in a row.

Honorable mention is given to Viking Basketball standout Nikki Parry who posted 20 points and 8 rebounds against the Douglas Trojans in a league playoff game.