Local News – Municipal Judge; Power Outage; State Wildfires; Horse Creek Logging

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Local News

Municipal Judge Evaluation Set for This Evening.

The Florence City Council will meet in private executive session this evening to discuss the job performance of the Municipal Court Judge.  Rick Brissendon’s contract for a similar position in Cottage Grove was recently terminated because officials there said he ran a slow and ineffective court.  Florence City Manager Jacque Betz said that’s not the case in Florence where she says she’s not heard any complaints.

Jacque Betz – “Not that I have heard of.  I think he’s doing a very good job for us and he’s very well liked in the community.”

Brissendon was interviewed by two city councilors earlier and will sit down with the entire council this evening in a private session beginning at 6:30.  After that, the council will meet in open session to announce the results of that evaluation and decide on several other agenda items, including funding for phase one of a multi-phase project along Rhododendron Drive.

Jacque Betz – “The big news of course we talked about before was the Transportation Enhancement Grant that the city is being awarded through the state to do the Multi-Use Path and so the council will be accepting that $1.13-million.”

The first segment of that will extend from Ninth Street to Wild Winds just north of Greentrees.  It is eventually planned to extend all the way to Heceta Beach Road.  The council meets this evening at City Hall.

Faulty Cable Charged in Power Outage

A failed cable got the blame for a two-plus hour power outage that affected much of the north Florence area yesterday at midday.  The blackout came about 11:15 and lasted until nearly 1:30 before crews from Central Lincoln PUD were able to repair the failure at a substation north of Florence.

Wildfires Contained

Two of the state’s three largest wildfires are nearing containment, but there’s no estimate of when the third may be contained.  Crews reached full containment on the 588-thousand acre Long Draw Fire 100-miles southeast of Burns overnight, capitalizing on lower temperatures and higher humidity.  At 900 square miles it’s the largest recorded wildfire in Oregon in more than a century.

Firefighting efforts resumed over the weekend on the 180-thousand acre Bonita Complex of fires west of Ontario after being pulled out due to weather concerns.  It is listed as being 85-percent contained.  The 163-thousand acre Miller Homestead Fire on the west slope of Steens Mountain near Frenchglen is approximately 70-percent contained, but officials don’t have an estimate for when it may be completely surrounded by fire lines.

Officials say all three blazes were started by lightning.

Horse Creek Logging

Travel on a local forest road that serves as the primary access to a popular camping area used by horseback riders will be congested for the next several weeks.  The Horse Creek Thin Timber Sale got underway on Horse Creek Road last week and is expected to continue through mid-September.  Michele Jones, the Central Coast District Ranger with the Siuslaw National Forest says log trucks will be using the lower three miles of Horse Creek Road that meets Highway 101 just south of Sea Lion Caves.  Jones said visitors to the Horse Creek Campground are encouraged to access that facility by using Herman Peak Road.