12 February 2014
Rhododendron Royalty Announced…
The 2014 Rhododendron royalty court will be twice the size it usually is this year… and for the first time will include something a little different.
Festival organizers this week announced the five young women… and five young men… who will compete for the titles of Queen Rhododendra and King of the Coast in a special Rhododendron Festival Showcase May 7th.
The princesses are: Jireh (JY-ruh) Teo, Katrina Greenlief, Sara Burns, Maygan Sturm and Sonya Lang. Lang is a Senior at Mapleton High School, the four others are seniors at Siuslaw.
The princes: Derek Kennedy, Jeremiah Tupua, Samuel Johnson, Trevor Denning and Jacob Kirby… all seniors at Siuslaw.
The two quintets will be making several different community visits over the coming weeks in preparation for the showcase.
The newly crowned queen and king will then reign over the festival itself set for May 16th, 17th and 18th.
The National Weather Service is advising residents to be alert to the possibility of flooding in areas around us.
Heavy rain last night… coupled with some residual snow in the coast range and more rain on the way… could push some rivers and streams near or above flood stage.
Sharp rises are expected in some of those streams today but flooding is unlikely. In a two hour period earlier this morning the river level just upstream from Mapleton jumped by three feet. Forecasters say rivers will remain fairly high through the week and with additional rainfall later this week could near bankful.
The river level had risen to just under 13 feet as of 8:30 this morning, one-and-a-half foot below “action” stage; four-and-a-half feet below the 18-foot flood stage.
Local Gas Prices Well Below Other Areas
After holding steady for several weeks, the average cash price for a gallon of regular gasoline kicked up three cents yesterday.
This week’s average price is $3.15.
In comparison, the average statewide price in Oregon increased by only a penny a gallon… but it’s still 14-cents higher than the local price.
For the first time in several weeks the national average, as measured by Triple-A, is higher than Oregon’s average price… but only a penny. That’s at $3.30 a gallon.
Fuel price analyst Avery Ash, with Triple A, says prices have remained relatively flat to being the year… that’s attributed to a combination of cold temperatures that have kept travel down; and good supply. Ash says a switch to more expensive summer blends of fuel will begin in a few weeks… hampering supply and driving up costs.
Chamber of Commerce Building Bridges Expo
For the fifth year in a row the Florence Area Chamber of Commerce will be “building bridges” with a one-day business expo at the Florence Events Center.
More than two dozen chamber members will be set up to talk about a wide variety of business and non-profit interests.
Chamber Director Cal Applebee says you can hear about anything from adventure attractions to in-home care.
The Building Bridges Business Expo is from three to seven tomorrow at the FEC.. .there’s no cost to attend.