Triple State Winners to Hall of Fame; Coos Bay Memorial Bombed; Florence Man Facing Charges

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Local News

27 August 2013

Triple-Crown Champions Head for Hall of Fame

They went back-to-back-to-back in 1984, 85 and 86.  The Siuslaw Viking Girls Track Team won three consecutive OSAA State Titles… under two different head coaches.

Members of the boys and girls teams from those three years, along with their coaches will be inducted into the Siuslaw High School Hall of Fame Saturday afternoon at the Florence Events Center.

Mark Dean guided the ’84 and ’85 teams to consecutive crowns.  The 1985 team, by the way, is still ranked as the second-best girls track team in 2A history and holds the record for the 4-by-100 relay at 48.45 seconds.

In 1986, Gary Giddens took over the team, guiding the girls to their fifth straight district title.  That year 13 girls qualified for the state meet and became the first team to ever win three straight crowns.

The track teams, along with the 1981 State co-champion football team and seven individuals will be inducted into the hall Saturday afternoon at 3:30 on stage at the FEC.  It’s $10 at the door to attend.  Immediately following will be the Siuslaw Athletic Booster Club fundraising dinner and auction… tickets for that are $40 and are available at the High School.

Six individual student athetes will be inducted into the Hall Saturday, Garvin Pitney from the class of 1969; 1970’s Larry Martin, a two-time state wrestling champion; Dave Lorenz from 1979; Track and Field standout Patty Smith from 1983; Tristan Hartzell from the class of 1996; and Haley Hunt from 2002.

The final inductee will be long time math teacher, scoreboard operator and stat keeper John Reisner.  He began his teaching career at Siuslaw in 1968 and only recently retired.

Coos Bay Cross Vandalized

The controversial Vietnam Memorial at the downtown Mingus Park in Coos Bay was damaged late last week by what appeared to be an improvised explosive device.  The memorial, which consists of a concrete cross, has been in place since 1972 when it was installed by the Coos Bay JayCees.  The Freedom from Religion Foundation requested earlier this year that the memorial be removed.  Members of the group, including a Coos County resident, say they believe the cross is an unconstitutional endorsement of religion.

A hearing in April failed to resolve the issue and city leaders agreed to meet again today to discuss the matter further.  Since then the American Civil Liberties Union has joined in requesting removal of the cross.

The City of Coos Bay has retained attorneys with the Liberty Institute to advise them on their options.

Today’s meeting has been postponed…

Short Chase Ends in Crash

A Florence man is facing several charges after leading police in a brief car chase early Sunday morning.  It was a chase that ended when the car he was driving crashed into the garage of a house at the corner of 9th and Kingwood Streets.

Nobody was injured, but 27-year old Tucker Reed Lewis was charged with driving under the influence, hit and run, reckless driving, reckless endangering and attempting to elude.

Police say the chase began when an officer tried to stop Lewis near the library.  It ended minutes later.