Local News – Armed Standoff in Reedsport; Handy won’t face criminal charges; Fewer flags?

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Local News

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Armed Standoff Ends in Death

After an all-day standoff that forced the Reedsport Community Charter School into a lockdown and prompted authorities to ultimate close Highway 101 in the area, a Coos County man was found dead in a motel room.  Oregon State Troopers, joined by Reedsport Police, surrounded the Fir Grove Motel at 22nd Street on Highway 101, just after eight yesterday morning.

They were seeking Benny Shawn Lee Pishione in connection with an incident earlier that morning; a confrontation between Pishione and a former girlfriend in the parking lot of a tavern in Coos Bay where she had just got off work.  Troopers wanted to question the man, but when they attempted to gain access to the motel room around 11 AM they were repelled by at least one gunshot.  As they retreated, another shot was heard from within the room.

When police broke out a back window to the room about 5:30 PM officers found the man dead on the bathroom floor.  Officers says Pishione talked by phone with the woman during the standoff who pleaded with him to surrender.

No Criminal Charges in fund solicitation

Lane County Commissioner Rob Handy won’t be facing criminal charges for asking potential donors to pay off his legal bills, but he could still face ethics and campaign finance charges.  Investigators with the Oregon Department of Justice determined there was insufficient evidence to support accusations that the North Eugene Commissioner broke any laws when he solicited money to pay Handy’s share of legal bills incurred by Lane County following a lawsuit two years ago.

Senior Assistant Attorney General Andrew Campbell said the facts did not show that Handy acted in his official capacity; nor did he promise to do anything as an official   The allegations came shortly before the May Primary election where Handy was seeking reelection.  He lost by a substantial margin to former Eugene City Councilor Pat Farr.

Fewer Flags?

The number of American flags lining area streets and roads on major holidays could be down by a third in the coming year.  That’s because about a third of the businesses and residents supporting the program by paying $30 a year for each flag have not paid their renewals.

The Florence Kiwanis Foundation puts the flags up in front of businesses or other locations.  In the year that ended in August they put out nearly 500 flags and raised more than $14-thousand for local grants to qualifying programs.  Foundation spokesman Gary Vawter said as of this week only 334 renewals had been paid; potentially leaving several gaps in the display.

Vawter added that all 500 flags were put out on Labor Day and 9-11, but the next holiday coming up… Veteran’s Day… could see a smaller display.  There’s still time for businesses to pay their renewals if they have not yet done so.  Vawter says the foundation will also accept new subscriptions.