Local News – Fiscal Cliff averted; Gas prices up; DUII arrests up too; Our Town to say farewell to mayor

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Fiscal Cliff Averted… for now…

After their self-imposed deadline Congress sent President Obama legislation late yesterday to avoid a national “fiscal cliff” of middle class tax increases and spending cuts.  The House gave approval in a bi-partisan 257-167 vote and within minutes Obama walked into the White House briefing room and declared his thanks to congress and announced he would sign the bill that raises taxes on the wealthiest two-percent of Americans.

Fourth District Congressman Peter DeFazio was opposed to the House deal for several reasons.  He voted “No” because it failed to address extensions in federal unemployment insurance; it did not fix Medicare payments; and it pushed ‘across the board’ spending cuts back two months, thereby just extending the ‘fiscal cliff”.

Oregon Senator Ron Wyden had mild praise for House and Senate members, but said the manner in which the deal was reached “felt more like Thelma and Louise than rational policy making”.

Our Town

The initial Our Town on KCST this afternoon will preview the upcoming Oregon legislative session with newly elected Representative Caddy McKuen.  Host Bob Sneddon will also visit with Winter Folk Festival organizer Hal Weiner about this year’s lineup and also includes a visit with Register Guard columnist Bob Welch.  Wrapping things up… outgoing mayor Phil Brubaker, who will preside over his final city council meeting this evening; will talk about his past dozen years at City Hall.  The show airs from four to six this afternoon on 106.9 FM KCST.  The council meets this evening for two meetings, the first at seven.

Gas Prices up

After a pre-Christmas drop to the lowest average price of the year, regular gasoline in Florence increased slightly over the past two weeks.  It’s up 13-cents a gallon over a two-week period to $3.34 in Florence… just three cents below the Oregon average price as measured by Triple-A.

More DUII Arrests over NY

Oregon State Troopers stepped up enforcement efforts this New Year’s Eve with 39 arrests for driving under the influence between December 31st and early New Year’s Day.  26 of those arrests came in the midnight to 6 AM time period.  Troopers say since the New Year’s holiday enforcement effort began at six pm Friday, there have been 73 DUI arrests in all… up from 53 in the same time period last year.