Local News: Rhody Bike Path Funding; Deadwood Shooting, 4th of July & Our Town

Coast Radio News
Local News

Florence receives funding for major bike and pedestrian improvement.

The third time is the charm.  After two previous unsuccessful attempts to secure grant funding for a major pedestrian and bicycle route along the Siuslaw River, the City of Florence struck paydirt last week.

          205 – “We were awarded the amount of $1.13-million to complete the Rhododendron Drive multi-use path which will be from 9th street to Wildwinds.”

Florence City Manager Jacque Betz says the project, funded by a special Oregon Department of Transportation grant, has been a major goal.

          206 – “As we’ve been going through our Transportation System Plan update this has been one of the biggest priorities that the committee has identified is finding a safer route down Rhododendron.”

The $1.13-million project will be the first of several phases that will eventually provide an alternative for bicyclists and pedestrians from 9th street to the Heceta Beach area.  Betz says it will connect initially with the 9th Street bike path, as well as the recently completed 12th street pedestrian way.  The City Council is already set to take action on the Transportation Plan next month… they’ll also be asked to formally accept the money and take the next step in the project.

A 28-year old State Trooper with three years experience has been identified as the police officer who fired his weapon at a Deadwood area man over the weekend.  Michael Pelkey was one of two troopers who responded to a remote residence on Highway 36 at approximately ten pm Friday.  They were looking to locate a known felon who was believed to be armed and had allegedly threatened to kill a relative earlier in the day.  As the Troopers approached the home, they met Michael Dean Wasson, armed with an assault rifle.  They identified themselves, but the armed man reportedly turned towards the officers.  Pelkey fired once, missing the 53-year old Wasson who immediately dropped his weapon and was taken into custody.

Final preparations are underway for the Fourth of July observances in the Florence area tomorrow.  Merchants in Old Town Florence will be presenting a pie-eating and watermelon contest at the Old Town Gazebo on Bay Street at one pm.  Prior to that the Kiwanis will launch more than 17-hundred rubber ducks in the Siuslaw River at noon.  There are 21 prizes on the line for lucky duck ticket holders.  Then, at ten pm will be the annual fireworks display over the Siuslaw River.


In between will be a special holiday edition of KCST’s Our Town.  Host Bob Sneddon will speak with historian Clay Jenkinson, an writer and a Thomas Jefferson Scholar.  For the first hour of the program he will be ‘in character’ as the third president.

          201 – “I try to take on characters who, who really raise the questions of what it is to be an American, what we value, how we’re different from other people, why the American experiment is so important.”

Jenkinson says Jefferson was extremely influential in the forming of the early republic.

          200 – “We need to remember that this country is the most extraordinary experiment in the history of the planet in liberty and the pursuit of happiness and that has more to do with Thomas Jefferson than any other single individual.”

The two hour program will feature Jenkinson as himself in the second hour… it airs from four to six pm tomorrow on 106.9 KCST.