29 July 2015
24 County Sheriffs receive “rambling, incoherent messages”
A Eugene area man was detained for questioning yesterday in connection with suspicious letters sent to 24 county sheriff’s offices in Oregon.
Oregon State Police Lieutenant Bill Fugate (FEW-gayt) confirmed this morning the man was questioned; determined not to be a threat to the public; and then released yesterday.
Fugate said the man, whose identity has not yet been released, is facing misdemeanor charges at this point. He added, District Attorneys in each county will likely investigate and the man could face additional charges.
Fugate also said none of the letters were found to have contained hazardous materials; something that had initially been feared.
One of the 24 letters was received by Lane County Sheriff Byron Trapp. It was reported to be a “rambling, incoherent message”.
Local donations drive Habitat for Humanity
For 16 years Habitat for Humanity in Florence has been actively working on promoting home ownership. They’ve built more than two-dozen homes in that time according to Executive Director Kate McBroom-Redwine.
Kate McBroom-Redwine – “They built the first house in 2000. And, 15 years later we’re working on house number 27.”
Most of the labor for building homes is volunteer; but they still must pay for materials and building permits. McBroom-Redwine says they rely on local generosity to meet much of that need, and they pair it up with outside grants.
Kate McBroom-Redwine – “Right now we’re looking at about an $80-thousand packet to put the entire house together. That does not include the land.”
Much of the local funding comes from the group’s annual Beach Walk coming up September 12th.
Dune Fest drawing DUII focus
Additional police patrols in Western Douglas County are under way today as thousands of visitors are expected to converge on the sand beneath the Umpqua Lighthouse.
It’s Dune Fest 2015 and it will feature sand racing, equipment displays, trick riding demonstrations; even live music.
Law enforcement officials will be keeping an especially close eye on possible intoxicated drivers. Douglas County Sheriff’s Sergeant Dwes Hutson says extra officers will be on duty between now and Sunday.
Siuslaw Bridge to be restricted Thursday night
The Siuslaw River Bridge will be restricted to just one lane overnight Thursday and into Friday morning while crews inspect the structure.
Oregon Department of Transportation spokesman Rick Little says it’s a routine inspection. One that is done every “one to two years”. He added the inspections provide important records about the structure, plus maintain public safety and confidence.
ODOT crews will be using a large “snooper” crane allowing them to reach beneath the bridge deck, getting “close visual access” to structural components.
Flaggers will be in place at eight PM Thursday and remain there until six AM Friday. Drivers should be sure to allow an extra 20 minutes or so to cross the bridge.
Summer traffic driving gas prices
The price for a gallon of regular gas in Florence remains at the highest point it has been all year; but drivers are paying on average 92-cents a gallon less than they did last year at this time.
Locally, the average cash price per gallon is $2.96. That’s 15-cents below the Oregon average price of $3.13 as measured by Triple-A.
But, it’s also 27-cents higher than the national average price.
Triple-A reports this week that prices across the country have been edging downward all month. They held steady in the Florence area since late June.
Local prices typically begin easing by Labor Day when local demand begins falling off as fewer visitors come to the area.
While local prices have remained near the three-dollar a gallon mark, it’s much better than last year at this time when the average price in Florence was just under four dollars.
No bail in murder-for-hire trial
A federal judge in Eugene has ruled a Westlake woman accused of hiring a felon to kill her ex-husband in Utah is too dangerous to be released from jail while awaiting trial in the case.
The Register Guard reports the attorney for 57-year old Pamela Jean Gygi (GEE-gee) asked the judge yesterday to place the woman on house arrest. But the judge said the allegations against Gygi were enough to keep her detained, because she poses a potential danger to her ex-husband.
The woman’s ex-husband had reported to police in June that he had been visited by a man who said he had been hired by Gygi to kill him. The alleged hit man then cooperated with police during their investigation.
Gygi was arrested July 10th; she remains in the Lane County Jail.