Florence tax protester sentenced; Stabbing suspect released early; Saturday mail; The ice maching goeth

Coast Radio News
Local News

7 February 2013

Florence Tax Protestor gets 3 ½ years…

A former Florence resident who stopped filing tax returns and instead began sending protest materials to tax agencies was sentenced this week to more than three years in prison.  54-year old Randall Johnson, a former Florence real estate agent who later moved to Sisters, was also ordered to pay $260-thousand in restitution and a $50-thousand fine.

Prosecutors successfully argued that Johnson stopped filing tax returns in 2002, claiming tax laws didn’t apply to him.  He was convicted in June of tax evasion, failing to file returns and witness tampering.

The U.S. Attorney’s office said yesterday the 41-month sentence included time added by Judge Ann Aiken because Johnson had tried to influence grand jury testimony and because of the – quote – “sophisticated means” used to conceal income and assets.

Stabbing suspect released early; no-show for court date

At the time he was determined to be the “least dangerous person” being held awaiting trial at the Lane County Jail.  The un-named suspect was being held at the facility on Assault 1 charges for the stabbing of a 31-year old man when he was released last week.

Needless to say the defendant failed to appear for a court hearing several days after his release.  Sergeant Carrie Carver said 141 inmates were released from the jail between January 21st and February 3rd because of lack of space.  13 of those were prisoners serving felony sentences; 122 were pre-trial defendants.

Saturday Mail

The announced elimination of Saturday mail delivery by the U.S. Postal Service this week would be a “mistake” says Oregon’s junior Senator.  Jeff Merkley said stopping Saturday mail delivery would cost jobs, cut services to rural Oregonians and damage the state’s vote by mail system.

The proposal, that is scheduled to take effect in August, would have an impact locally.  The Siuslaw News is currently published on Wednesdays and Saturdays.  Publisher John Bartlett said he’s been in contact with advertisers who currently insert material into the Saturday paper.  He says the alternatives are either to move the publication date up one day to Friday… or stick with Saturdays and find some way other than the mail to deliver… and alternative that is not likely.

Merkley says he will continue to work through Congress to retain six day delivery.

The Ice Machine Goeth

Crews are inspecting the commercial ice machine on the Siuslaw Wharf this week in preparation for moving it.  The machine was the product of a nearly decade long effort to restore service to the commercial fishing community in Florence but a combination of factors ultimately made it unfeasible.

The Siuslaw Fisherman’s Association sold the apparatus last year.  It will be broken down into two parts and trucked off the dock sometime in the next two weeks.