Local News – More Winter Weather; Port Gains Design Approval; State Offices Closed Friday; School Board to Evaluate Superintendent

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Local News

Spring Snow Wreaks Havoc Again…

Another early spring storm dropped heavy snow on portions of Western Oregon yesterday, causing power outages, cancelling schools and snarling transportation.  Three to five inches of snow were reported in Mapleton yesterday, prompting cancellation of school.  They were on a two hour delay today.

Snow depths of between six and ten inches were recorded in several areas of the southern Willamette Valley, forcing several closures and cancellations, including the regular board meetings of the Lane County Commission.  The Board had been scheduled to conduct their third and likely final hearing yesterday afternoon on Florence’s Comprehensive Plan.  That has now been rescheduled to April 4th.

An overnight slide on Highway 36 east of Blachly has that highway blocked completely.  The Oregon Department of Transportation says that is the only road closure today in the state.  The unseasonal snow moved northward overnight, causing snowfalls in the mid-valley and into the Portland Area.  Forecasters say a drying trend is moving into the region today, prompting concerns of icy driving conditions in some areas.

Planning Commission Approves Port Office Design

After a lengthy discussion Tuesday night, Florence Planning Commissioners approved the design review request for a new office building to house the Port of Siuslaw operations.  Port Manager Bob Forsythe said even though the approval was delayed a week because of the weather, they’re still on schedule to have the modular structure completed by mid-may.  The Port will be combining all operations, including the commission, manager and campground office into one facility at the Port of Siuslaw Marina and Campground.

Douglas County Sheriff’s Deputies Search for Seattle Man

Douglas County authorities fear a Seattle man may have taken his own life near Winchester Bay.  So far they’ve been unable to locate 48-year old Robert Breed.  His abandoned vehicle was tagged near the Umpqua Lighthouse in Winchester Bay March 9th.  A week later, following their protocol, sheriff’s deputies had it towed and searched the interior of the vehicle where they found what appeared to be a suicide note.  The area was searched using ATVs, but Breed was not located.  He’s described as being 5’11”, 195 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes.  Anyone with information about his whereabouts should call the Douglas County Sheriff’s office.

State Furlough Day Friday

Most Oregon state offices will be closed tomorrow because of budget cutbacks.  The furlough day is the third of 10 scheduled during the state’s two-year budget cycle running through June of 2013.  The closure applies to nearly all state functions except public safety agencies such as the State Police and prison system.  The Department of Motor Vehicles says the days before and after furlough days tend to be busy.  They’re urging residents to try to do business online, or wait until after the first of next week if they can.  The next furlough day is scheduled May 25th.

Superintendent Evaluation

The Siuslaw School Board will hold a special meeting this evening to conduct the annual evaluation for Superintendent Jeff Davis.  The action had been on the agenda for last week’s regular meeting, but a heavy agenda prompted the delay.  The special meeting begins at 6:30.  Most of it will be spent in a closed executive session.