Local News – County Reductions; Gas Prices Fall; Got Talent; Fun on the Fourth

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Local News

Fun on the Fourth just a week away…

It’s just a week away, the annual Fourth of July celebration in Florence.  Despite the mid-week holiday, Florence Area Chamber of Commerce Director Cal Applebee says there’ll be a full slate of events.

Cal Applebee – “Kiwanis Duck Race that day down in Old Town and then merchants in Old Town will be holding their traditional pie eating contest, watermelon eating contest, there at Gazebo Park.”

At dusk the traditional fireworks display will be fired from the barge in the middle of the Siuslaw River.  Despite faltering fundraising efforts, Applebee says it will be a good one.

Cal Applebee – “Well the fund raising pancake feed that we did did not generate the amount that we expected but the board obviously has realized that the fireworks are important to the community so we are funding them out of reserves.”

The chamber had initially committed half of the estimated $8-thousand price tag with the balance expected to come from last week’s fund raiser.  That only netted $12-hundred of the other four thousand.

Jail Cutbacks

32 inmates walked away from the Lane County Jail yesterday and another 32 will be sprung today… add to that the 32 that will walk tomorrow and that brings this week’s total releases to 96 because of severe budget constraints.  But those aren’t the only releases that have been going on.

Sheriff Tom Turner began letting go anywhere between two and five dozen prisoners each week as early as May in anticipation of the sharp cutbacks that will be implemented as of this coming Saturday.  Lane County is facing a nearly 20-percent drop in revenue in the coming year.  That means dramatic cutbacks in sheriff patrols, prison beds, road maintenance, prosecution and other county services.

Gas Prices Continue Fall

If your typical fill up at the gas station is about 15 gallons… you’re paying eight dollars less per tankful this week than you did just five weeks ago in Florence.  The average price for a gallon of regular unleaded took another double-digit tumble in the past week… in Florence it’s $3.65 a gallon… statewide, Triple-A says it’s $3.74.  Northwest drivers still pay well above the national average price though… That fell by ten cents in the past week to $3.40 a gallon.  Oregon remains the state with the fifth highest average price in the country behind Hawaii, Alaska, California and Washington.

Got Talent?

The search is on for the greatest talent in the Florence area according to organizers of this year’s Florence Relay for Life.  Auditions for the first-ever “Florence Got Talent” will take place July 1st and the 8th on stage at Three Rivers Casino.  From two to five on the next two Sundays participants will be given four minutes each to perform whatever talent they have.  Finalists will compete at this year’s relay event set for August 10th and 11th at Miller Park.  It’s open to all ages, but contestants under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.