Local News – Suspicous Device Draws Bomb Squad; Dialysis Clinic Delayed; Local Gas Breaks $4; Our Town Talks Clear Cutting

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Local News

Suspected Pipe Bomb Closes Highway… turns out to be non-explosive

Initially described as being a pipe bomb, a suspicious object kept Highway 126 just east of Florence closed for more than three hours last night.  Police and transportation officials closed the highway around eight pm after finding a – quote – “suspicious object” on the North Fork Siuslaw Bridge.  The Oregon State Police bomb unit was dispatched from Salem to deal with the object.  Upon their arrival they determined that it was not explosive and the highway was reopened.

As of Wednesday morning no further details of the incident were available.

Dialysis Clinic Facing Delays

A long awaited… and some say much needed… dialysis clinic for Florence could be delayed a while longer.  Constructions bids for the six-thousand square foot facility on Kingwood Street have exceeded estimates by a great deal.  Florence City Manager Jacque Betz has been working closely with the developers for the past two years.

Jacque Betz – “They had to go back out and reengineer their designs for the building and they still came up $150,000 over budget.  It was $300,000 over budget a couple months ago.”

That prompted a request.

Jacque Betz – “They’re very concerned that they’re not going to be able to move forward with the project and wanted to know if the City Council would consider waiving the Systems Development Charges.”

Those charges total around $47-thousand.  That’s money the city collects from new projects to pay for future expansion of infrastructure needs.

Since the fees are set by city council action, Betz took the question direct to them.  Instead of waiving the fees, something the council has consistently rejected, Florence Dialysis was offered a ten year payment program.

Representatives of the clinic were not readily available for comment.

Gas Breaks $4 Barrier Locally

The average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline in Florence broke the $4 barrier two weeks behind the statewide average.  This week’s average in Florence is $4.02, up three cents from last week.  Oregon’s average price, according to Triple-A, is also up three cents this week.  It’s at $4.10.  The national average price is still below the four dollar threshold at $3.92, but according to Marie Dodds with Triple-A, it could peak at $4.25 later this month or in May.

Our Town Talks Rhodies, Roundabouts, Bikes, Education and Clear Cutting

Clear cut logging is not a dirty word says Bob King.  He’s a fourth generation Oregon logger and runs a pair of family owned logging operations in Oregon and Alaska.  Over the years his company, R&R King Logging, has perfected the science of “Long Span Skyline Logging”.

King says despite characterizations to the contrary it is environmentally sensitive, and also provides plenty of well paying jobs.  King, along with his wife Kay, will talk about their experiences in the industry this afternoon on KCST’s Our Town.

The program, from four to six pm this afternoon will also feature traffic roundabouts, bike to work month, rhododendrons and Adventist Education.