Local News: More Jail Releases; Call 211 for Tsunami Debris; Wings and Wheels; ACA Reactions

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Lane County completes final jail releases to reduce population…

Another two-and-a-half dozen prisoners and pre-trial detainees were released yesterday from the Lane County Jail in Eugene.  Among them; three men accused of Measure 11 crimes.  31-year old Jason Manske has been in jail since June 8th waiting for trial on Criminally Negligent Homicide and Hit and Run; 33-year old Aaron Curry has been held since May 2nd on charges of Manslaughter and Contempt; and 33-year old Jeremy Henry is accused of Driving Under the Influence and Manslaughter.

A total of 32 inmates were released from the facility yesterday to bring the jail population down to 152.  That’s all that Lane County can afford to supervise after $10.3-million in spending cuts for the coming fiscal year will be implemented tomorrow.

The three men accused of Manslaughter or Homicide will be part of the Electronic Surveillance Program while awaiting trial.  They’ll wear GPS equipped ankle bracelets that will be monitored 24-hours a day and must check in with authorities on a regular basis.

Call 211 to Report Tsunami Debris

There will be two ways to keep officials posted on just how much debris from the March 2011 Japanese tsunami washes up on Oregon Beaches.  Those two methods will also aid in the cleanup.  Governor Kitzhaber announced yesterday dumpsters will be placed at several beach access points along the coast.  That will allow authorities to keep an informal tally on what is being picked up, and how much it costs to haul it away.  The second method is for debris that may be too large or difficult to pick up.  Access to social services information has been available by calling 2-1-1 for some time.  Beginning today, 2-1-1 operators will be equipped to take information from callers about tsunami debris.  It will then be forwarded to Oregon Parks and Recreation for action.

Will Weather Warp Wings and Wheels?

For the fourth straight year aircraft will be sharing the tie-down apron at Florence Municipal Airport with classic cars for the day tomorrow.  The Wings and Wheels Aircraft Fly-In and Car Show is set for tomorrow beginning at ten AM.  The Florence-Siuslaw Lions Club is organizing the event, they’ll be on hand along with 20-other area organizations.  More than a hundred hot rods, custom cars and classics are expected.  Weather may put a damper on aircraft expected to fly in but one of the groups that organizers hope will be able to make is the Northwest Ravens.  Eight to ten members from the Portland area have said they’ll be on hand… weather permitting.  There is a two-dollar per car parking and entry fee.  All proceeds go to support the Siuslaw Wrestling team.

Affordable Care Act Reaction

Some in the state see it as a lifeline for people without health insurance, others say the Affordable Care Act has overstepped boundaries around state and personal rights.  No matter how you look at it though, Oregon is well ahead of most other states in implementing health care reform.  One of the groups that has been working on it is CareOregon, a non-profit health plan that serves Medicaid and Medicare recipients.  Emily Katz is the federal policy manager with the group.  She’s pleased with yesterday’s Supreme Court decision but acknowledges that it’s likely not the last word.

Emily Katz – “Congress always has the right to make changes, you know, and that will never go away.  I mean, there’s no way we won’t be working the ACA for years to come.  This does happen to be a very political year.  The political rhetoric is not going to go away; it’s going to get ramped up.”

Still, Katz predicts the law will survive future challenges.  Jan Meekcoms, the Oregon director of the National Federation of Independent Businesses call the decision a “$500-billion tax increase” to individuals and small businesses.

(story assistance and audio provided by Oregon News Service)