Local News – Shake out; Gas prices; Project Grad; State furlough day

Coast Radio News
Local News

October 17, 2012

Great Oregon Shakeout…

Oregonians are being asked to participate in an earthquake preparedness exercise tomorrow morning… it’s 10/18 on the calendar… and at 10:18 in the morning is when the Great Oregon Shakeout is set to take place.  Students and staff at the Florence campus of Lane Community College will be participating says Florence Dean Mary Jean Kuhar.

Mary Jean Kuhar – “We’re asking them to get under their desks or in a safe location in the room… drop, cover and hold!”

In addition to participating in the earthquake drill tomorrow, Kuhar says she and the college have been involved with other readiness planning in the community.  The campus location on Oak Street is well inland…

Mary Jean Kuhar – “We are also 52 feet above sea level, so that puts us in a safe zone, and because of that we have also agreed to be an assembly point for folks that may need to evacuate.”

Oregonians are asked to stop what they’re doing tomorrow morning at 10:18 and go through the drill.  Officials say knowing what to do ahead of time and practicing could be a lifesaver.

Gas Prices

There’s no debating it… gas prices are twice what they were four years ago; about 35-percent higher than they were two years ago.  World wide demand and the overall economy are getting the blame.  The recent trend… in the past week… has been a slight easing of prices, especially along the west coast.  Locally, the average price dipped by three cents but remains at a record high for this time of year at $3.98.  That’s still 21-cents higher than the national average as measured by Triple-A… but it’s also nine cents less than Oregon’s average price at $4.07.  Marie Dodds with Triple-A says they expect pump prices to continue setting daily records through the end of the year.

Project Grad

Fund raising for the Siuslaw class of 2013 Project Graduation began when this year’s seniors were still in middle school.  Pam Hickson says she and other parents, along with their prospective grads have been grateful for the support they’ve received to help put the drug and alcohol free party together.  Recognizing some of the challenges they’re facing, parents have met several times to plan the event and, she says, they feel they’ve done a good job of keeping costs down.  But, she adds, they’re still short of their goal and even though graduation is still seven or eight months away they’re actively working to meet their goal.  Hickson says donations to the party are tax-deductible.  Anyone wishing to contribute can contact her, or mail them directly to PO Box 3077 in Florence.

State furlough day

If you were thinking of starting your weekend off with a visit to the DMV or another state agency Friday, you’ll have to either start earlier… or wait.  That’s because Friday is the sixth of ten “furlough” days required by the Oregon Legislature as part of cost cutting moves made nearly two years ago.  Lawmakers, at the time, were working to balance the proposed 2011-through-13 budget and won agreement from state employees in non-essential departments to take two unpaid weeks off over the time period.  The overall savings in payroll costs amounts to about $2-million for each furlough day.