23 March 2015
Disagreement over school funding formula continues
The superintendents of Mapleton and Siuslaw schools are not letting up in their assertion that lawmakers are considering an insufficient amount of money for education over the next two years. Mapleton superintendent Jodi O’Mara says the legislature is not taking into account all of the factors. Yes, she says, they are talking about allocating more money than they did two years ago. But, there has also been an increase in the number of students.
And, she adds, the legislature has mandated increased services, like full-day kindergarten.
Lawmakers and administrators agree the main sticking point is in how property tax collections are being calculated. School administrators say they’re budgeting conservatively, while the Legislative Revenue Office is basing figures on a much more liberal estimate. Local school leaders are continuing to lobby Salem to consider a Jodi O’Mara – The conversation, I think, then switches from a legislative perspective to a local perspective. What are we going to do in our districts.”
In some districts, that could mean reviving conversations about how to make cuts.
Boys and Girls Club reaching financial stability
The Boys and Girls Club has turned the corner financially. Leaders say they no longer question whether or not they’ll be able to keep the club from closing. But, questions do remain about just what services will be provided.
Board member Bob Forsythe said last week they were able to work out a financial arrangement with Oregon Pacific Bank to restructure some of the club’s financial commitments. He didn’t talk about specifics of the deal, but said it included some severe cost cutting.
He said two of the club’s ancillary functions… the ABC Preschool and Quality Child Care of Florence continue to operate and are self-supporting at this point. Forsythe said neither ABC nor QCCF fit the club’s primary mission and they would like to find someone else to take them over.
Reedsport man sentenced in manslaughter
A Reedsport man who fatally stabbed a man during a brawl 18 months ago was sentenced Friday to six years in prison.
The Roseburg News-Review reports that Michael Lee Corrie was found not guilty of murder at his January trial, but was convicted of second-degree manslaughter.
Corrie killed his ex-girlfriend’s boyfriend on Oct. 19, 2013. Corrie says he acted in self-defense; prosecutors say Corrie chose to fight instead of walking away or calling for help.
The 35-year-old will get credit for the almost 1 ½ years he’s already spent behind bars.
Deputy District Attorney Kathleen Johnson says the victim’s father believes Corrie should have been convicted on a more serious charge.
Spring Break Safety on the Highway
Spring break in most of Oregon’s schools began Friday.
That means more travelers on area highways and increased dangers. That’s why Oregon State Police and the Oregon Department of Transportation have teamed up. They’re emphasizing travel safety this week… urging motorists to take responsibility for their own behaviors while watching out for one another.
OSP Lieutenant Josh Brooks says it’s important to follow three basic guidelines: Observing the rules of the road; seeing and being seen; and focusing on the task at hand.
Florence man cited for attempting to take bear parts to Taiwan
A Florence man was issued a citation after trying to board an airplane in Eugene earlier this month with bear paws in his luggage.
Hong-Shiou “Tony” Chiou was boarding a flight in Eugene on his way to Taiwan when a TSA agent found the paws wrapped in plastic grocery sacks.
Chiou’s property on Highway 126 and his eighth street home in Florence were subsequently searched. Police found several bear heads an hides. But, Chiou was unable to produce any completed bear tags required by the state for hunting bears.
He told police he was taking the paws to Taiwan to be made into a necklace for his housekeeper. A bottle of whiskey containing bile from a bear’s gall bladder was also seized.
Chiou was cited and allowed to continue his journey.