Suspicious Fires Get Second Look

21 February 2014

Coast Radio News
Local News

Suspicious Blaze Has Investigators Taking a Second Look

A fire in a cardboard recycling container Monday night is prompting investigators to take a second look at two other previous blazes that happened nearby.  Siuslaw Valley Fire Marshall Sean Barrett said Monday’s blaze at Subway on 42nd Street was suspicious.

Sean Barrett – “It had to have been lit.  Nothing else could do it other than somebody lighting it.  The other two, they had cigarette butts around and things like that over at Pacific Pines.  This one, even though I don’t know the brand of match that may have started it, it definitely, somebody had to start it.”

When firefighters arrived, there was heavy smoke and flames coming from the container and it was threatening the building.

Sean Barrett – “The bin was right next to an H-VAC unit outside, and it was within ten feet of the building.  It could have got things going and very possibly got the building on fire.”

Two other similar fires in the past three months have occurred just down the street at Pacific Pines RV Park.  Investigations into the causes were inconclusive.  Barrett says fire and police investigators are now taking a second look at those.

Oregon Senate Wants to Explore Online Voting

Despite the spectre of Oregon’s botched rollout of CoverOregon; the online health insurance exchange; lawmakers in Salem say they want to begin exploring internet voting.

The Oregon Senate approved a bill yesterday that would order the Secretary of State to name a work group to examine the idea of statewide voting online and report findings to the legislature in time for next year’s session.

Backers of the idea say the study is necessary to understand the possible advantages of online voting… things like increased participation and turnout.  They also say it’s important to identify the shortcomings… such as security vulnerabilities.

Critics, meanwhile, just need to point out the struggles encountered with getting CoverOregon up and running as their argument against tackling another large and complex internet technology project.

Many States allow voters to return scanned ballots electronically… none as yet allow online voting.

Area Students Benefit

17 area high school seniors last year shared in more than $45-thousand in college scholarships from the Rotary Club of Florence.  Todd Denning was the top recipient… He is currently pursuing studies at Willamette University in Salem with the help of a Rotary Founder’s Scholarship of $10-thousand.

Other students that benefited… Jade Herbert received the Coit scholarship; Alexandra Thielen the President’s scholarship; and Alyssa Holden the Blair and Geralean Sneddon scholarship.

11 other students received Community Service scholarships, including Alex Snow who picked up the “Most Improved” award.

Last year, for the first time, Florence Rotary also handed out a pair of arts awards… Karylyn Keppol received one for fine arts; Brian Scholfield for culinary arts.

A major source of funding for the local club’s charitable giving is the annual auction and dinner… this year the theme is the “Swashbuckler’s Ball”.  There is still space, albeit limited, for the March 8th event in two weeks.