Local News: Sheriff Seeking Direction; Two Weeks To Rhody; Ballots Mailed; Drive By Food Drive

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Lane County Sheriff Seeking Input…

Just under a hundred people crowded into the Mapleton Lion’s Club last night to have a conversation with Lane County Sheriff Tom Turner about the future of law enforcement.

Tom Turner – “I came into this knowing it wasn’t going to be good.  I didn’t expect that it would be as bad as is.  And, it’s exactly right.  The federal monies have run out and now it looks as if what’s going to happen is we’re actually going to reach the cliff.”

Federal subsidies to offset lost timber revenue have gone away, and while there is still a remote chance that there may be a small one year extension, Turner is not counting on that.  As of July 1st, an already reduced level of service is going to be slashed even further.

Tom Turner – “Not only is patrol going away.  72% of patrol’s going away at the proposed budget cuts; half of the jail’s going away.”

That’s a reduction from 22 deputies to only six and 240 jail bets will become 110.  By contrast… 35 years ago there were 99 deputies patrolling Lane County highways and just over 500 beds in the jail, plus a forest work camp.  What’s the future look like?

Tom Turner – “We’re asking for community involvement.  We want to hear from citizens as to what you want from the sheriff’s office.  Of the limited resources we can provide, what is it you want the most.  And, it’s also informational because we want people to know, you know, this is what’s going to happen.”

That’s why Turner was in Mapleton last night and will be on the road to various communities every Wednesday between now and the end of June.  He’ll be back in the area in two weeks, May 16th, when he holds a similar discussion at Siuslaw Valley Fire and Rescue.

Rhody Two Weeks Away

In just over two weeks the Queen’s Coronation Pageant will thrust the four Rhododendron Princesses into the spotlight.  The show, at the Florence Events Center, is set for Friday night, May 18th says pageant committee member Dee Osborne.

Dee Osborne — “We’re anticipating having a full house.  We’ve already run out of the pins and we’ve had to reorder.  We should have those any day.  The pins and the tickets will be for sale, and are on sale, at the Chamber, but we’ll have some events coming up too where you can purchase them.”

The events, pins and apparel are aimed at raising money to fund scholarships that will be awarded to the princesses Lindsay Free of Mapleton and Samantha Rodriguez, Angelina Perez, and Marisha Reavis of Siuslaw High School.  The first fund-raiser is this evening at Abbey’s Legendary Pizza, then more for this weekend.

Dee Osborne — “There’s a car wash and hot dog sale in front of Grocery Outlet and that is going to be from ten til two.  The girls will be there and there will be tickets, pins and apparel.”

Festival T-Shirts and hooded sweatshirts will also be on sale at the Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center.

Ballots Mailed

While they were all mailed last Friday and the bulk of Lane County Voters already received them, there may be some who have yet to receive a ballot for the May 15th primary election.  Lane County Clerk Cheryl Betschart says if you don’t have a ballot and you believe you’re registered there are a few simple steps you should take.  First, go to www.oregonvotes.org to confirm your registration.  If you live at a different address than what’s listed you’ll simply need to update your registration card and submit it to Lane County Elections.  You can do that online as well.

Drive By Food Drive

Members of the Siuslaw Ministerial Association will be standing by at the Florence Events Center Saturday morning from nine until 11 for the annual “Drive By Food Drive”.  Simply bring your food donation for Florence Food Share to the parking lot at the center and drive by.  Pastors and helpers will be on hand to collect your donation.  The Drive By Food Drive is also collecting books for Taylor Graham’s Read For the Need Book Sale.