Local News: CCO Meetings Rescheduled; Trans Plan Hearing; Cape Perpetua Talks Whales; Athlete of the Week; and Viking Softball Results

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Local News

Lane County Health Care Transformation Meetings Rescheduled

Changes to the way Oregon provides health care for low income residents will mean the creation of community based “Coordinated Care Organizations”.   The result of that, say lawmakers, will be better access to care, a greater emphasis on prevention, and the integration of medical, mental health and substance abuse care.

Those CCOs, as they’re called, will be set up and administered by county public health departments, and funded by a combination of state and federal resources.  But the final ‘look’ of those still isn’t known and will be shaped largely by public input says Karen Gaffney, assistant director of Lane County Public Health.  Coordinated Care Organizations will be formed with three specific goals in mind.

Karen Gaffney – “How do we get better health in the community; how do we provide better health care to individuals; and then how do we lower or contain expenses surrounded with that.  Whatever we design will be targeted at meeting that triple aim.”

A pair of public meetings to gather input from community members were originally set for last week, but were delayed due to snow.  The one in Florence will be at the Florence Events Center Monday from one to three pm.

Transportation Plan Update

The Florence Planning Commission will conduct a hearing this evening on a proposed amendment to the Comprehensive Plan relating to transportation.  Because the plan is so broad and far reaching, updates and revisions are conducted on various components of the overall plan on a nearly continual basis.  For the past several months the commission, city staff and community members have been talking with a consultant about what transportation requirements will be over the next 20 years.  They’ve come up with a new plan that not only identifies those needs, but ranks them by order of importance.  A public workshop at six pm will provide many of the details.  The hearing itself begins at seven at City Hall.

Spring Break Programs at Cape Perpetua

Spring officially arrived last week, followed shortly a few days later by Spring Break.  The rain is making it a bit difficult to get out and explore so the Cape Perpetua Visitor Center, 16 miles north of Florence is offering an indoor activity that takes in the great outdoors.  Michael Noack is an ‘interpretive naturalist’ who has been educating the public about the natural world for several years.  His presentation on Gray Whales will be offered at the visitor center theater from 11:30 to 1:30 Thursday.  There’s no cost for the show but since it’s located in a U.S. Forest Service facility a Day Use Pass is required.

Your Place For Local Sports

Taking a look at Coast Radio Sports…

Viking Baseball standout Jake Thompson is Coast Radio Sports’ Athlete of the week.  The right-hander faced 25 batters, throwing one-hit baseball over six innings.  He struck out 13 and contributed four more put-outs to account for 17 of the game’s 18 outs in a 15-2 non-league win over the Cottage Grove Lions.  The junior also accounted for two RBI in the game, then was 2-for-4 at the plate with two more RBI in the nightcap of the double-header.

Honorable mention goes to Ryan Smith who was 5-for-12 at the plate with four RBI and three doubles in three games last week for Siuslaw.  Smith also picked up one win on the mound, throwing four innings in an 11-nothing shutout over Cottage Grove.

On the diamond last night, Viking Softball improved to 2-and-1 on the season with a pair of wins over Philomath.  A comeback rally in the top of the seventh inning in game one led to an 11-7 win.  That was followed with what coach Sean O’Mara called a “solid” 9-4 win in the nightcap.  Kylie Brandt was 5-for-8 at the plate on the day; April Ruf went 4-for-4 with a triple and three singles in game one