Welfare Check Leads to Chase; Watch That Campfire; Youngsters In the Woods

Coast Radio News
Local News

10 June 2013

Welfare Check Leads to Pursuit… Crash

Police had an on-again-off-again pursuit Thursday evening that ultimately ended when the driver of the car being pursued ran off the road 12-miles north of Florence

Authorities initially responded to a home in Greentrees on a welfare check for a suicidal subject.  When they arrived just after five PM Thursday, the woman left in her vehicle.  Police pursued and attempted to stop her, but she refused and drove to the North Jetty Parking Lot… where she briefly paused to show she had a knife.

From there, the woman led officers north bound on Highway 101.  At one point she called 9-1-1 and told the dispatcher if officers didn’t back off she would – quote – “drive off a cliff”.

Police Lieutenant John Pitcher said at one point officers considered abandoning the pursuit, but when the driver began swerving across the center line they opted to stay with her in an effort to warn other drivers.

56-year old Janet Thies was transported to Peace Harbor Hospital with minor injuries.  After an evaluation she was charged with attempted eluding, reckless driving and reckless endangering.

Fire Danger on the Rise

A mild winter, dry spring and several days of high winds are leading to an early fire season.

Dan Eddy, the Fire Management Officer for the Siuslaw National Forest, says they’re seeing fires earlier than usual.

There are no fire restrictions in place as of now, but Eddy is urging caution.  Campers and recreationists should keep camp fires small he says, and burn only items that fit within the campfire ring.  He adds you should make sure all campfires are extinguished before leaving… even if you’ll only be aware for a short time.

U.S. Forest Service crews have responded to three small, human caused fires in the past week… amounting to less than a half acre.

Youngsters in the Woods

It’s fairly common for mothers to leave their youngsters alone in the forest while gathering food.  When well-meaning humans get involved though, it can cause problems.

Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife biologist Stuart Love said an incident in Coos County last week highlights the need to be aware of the natural world.  A well meaning man in Charleston found what he thought was an abandoned fawn.  He took it home and called Love asking what to do.

The biologist was adamant… take it back to where you found it and leave it.

Love said deer do not abandon their young.  Instead, does will hide the young one and go feed.  If a human comes between them, the doe will likely not return in fear of leading what she sees as a threat to her offspring.

In this case things turned out well… the man returned the fawn and when mama felt it was safe enough, she returned and led her baby to a more appropriate… and safer… location.