Court Could Clear Way For Oregon Gay Marriage

Coast Radio News
Local News

Oregon Ready To Implement Gay Marriage If Ban Fails In Court

Oregon’s attorney general has told a federal court why she believes the state’s voter-approved ban on same-sex marriages violates the federal rights of homosexual couples.  And, Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum adds, Oregon is – quote – “prepared to implement” gay marriages if a federal judge strikes down that ban.

Rosenblum announced last month that she would not defend the state’s same-sex marriage ban in court.

Two lawsuits alleging Oregon’s ten-year old voter approved ban violates the U.S. Constitution have been consolidated.  U.S. District Judge Michael McShane has scheduled April 23rd oral arguments in the case.

The Oregonian is reporting that, in a 35-page brief filed Tuesday, Rosenblum says there is “no rational justification” for maintaining the gay marriage ban.  She also says federal constitutional protections for same-sex couples have become clear since Oregon voters approved the ban.

Florence Man Facing Assault Charges

A Eugene television meteorologist is facing assault and harassment charges following a report of domestic violence.

56-year old Jeffrey Richard Wiencek, also known as Jeff Kelly, was arrested Friday morning at his home in Florence.

Florence police took the action based on statements made by the victim, whom they did not name.  Kelly, the meteorologist for KMTR – 16 in Eugene was housed in the Florence Justice Center overnight Friday and is charged with Assault-4 and Physical Harassment.

Gas Prices On The Rise

It’s getting more expensive to drive again.  The national average price for a gallon of regular gasoline climbed four cents this past week to the highest level in six months.

$3.53 a gallon is seven cents below today’s average price in Oregon.  That’s up a nickel to $3.60.

Drivers in Florence continue to pay the lowest cash price per gallon in the region, but local prices jumped seven cents this week to $3.38.

Avery Ash with Triple-A says he expects the national average to peak later this month or in early April around $3.65 a gallon.  That’s still well below last spring’s average.

Ash pointed to seasonal refinery maintenance and the approaching switchover to summer-blend gasoline as the primary reason for the increases.

Great Spring Beach Cleanup

Visitors to Oregon beaches will be taking plenty of things away from the sand this weekend: tires, trash, bits of plastic and even hand-made glass floats in some areas.

It’s the annual Spring Beach Cleanup organized by SOLVE and Oregon State Parks.

Those that make the long trek to a remote Douglas County beach are among those that could come away with the glass floats.

The Reedsport Rotary Club organizes the cleanup each year at Sparrow Park, near the north spit of the Umpqua River.  It’s accessible by a winding 2 ½ mile drive on a gravel road.

To add a little excitement, for every bag of trash turned in from that location, volunteers will get one free chance in a drawing for several floats at the end of the day.

Because of the remote nature of the site, organizers have set up carpooling opportunities at the Oregon Dunes Visitor Center, at the intersection of Highways 101 and 38 in Reedsport.  They’ll be leaving there at 9:30 Saturday morning…  The cleanup is set to run from ten to one.