Lane Honors Local Math Instructor

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Surprise presentation of Faculty award disrupts class at Florence Center

Students and staff members at Lane Community College in Florence call him Dr. Bob. Last night everybody called him surprised.

Dr. Robert Estill (ESS-till), the popular math instructor at the Florence Center was presented with a “Faculty Recognition Award”; one of two presented at Lane this fall.

Executive Dean, and former Florence Director, Mary Jeanne Kuhar, along with Faculty Council Co-Chair Joseph Colton drove over from Eugene last night and surprised Estill and his students with an impromptu party to go with the presentation. Kuhar says the award is driven by student input.

M.J. Kuhar – “The faculty are nominated by their students and so this is really the students being able to say I have a great teacher and I want everybody to know that.”

Estill’s recognition was the first Florence-based instructor to be honored since 1985. Estill has also been recognized by the Oregon Youth Authority for his volunteer work at Camp Florence and is a regular volunteer at Siuslaw High School.

Three Plus Decade Tradition to Continue

For nearly 40 years members of the Florence Soroptimist Club have been providing financially challenged households the makings of a holiday meal at Christmas time.

The annual Community Christmas Basket Project also includes gifts for families with children aged 12 or under.

There are 23 community Christmas Trees at various locations around town, all with gift tags on them, specifying a particular gift need. Michelle Fraley, project co-chair, says residents are encouraged to pick up a tag… or two… then bring the corresponding unwrapped gift back to the same location and leave it.

The gifts will be collected, sorted and then distributed on December 19th , the same day that food boxes will be handed out.

Fund raising efforts are also under way for the cash needed to put together Christmas food boxes for as many as 425 area families. Donations are tax deductible and can be left at Hoberg’s Auto Repair or Holloway and Associates CPAs… or mailed to Soroptimist of Florence at Post Office Box 1209, Florence.

Cancer Relay for Life planning underway

The organizational meeting to plan the kickoff for the 2016 Florence Relay for Life is set for December 14th from six to 8 pm at Craig’s Barbecue on Highway 101.

Spokesperson Deb Pike says there are several committee positions available. They’ll also be planning a chili cookoff that will serve as the official kickoff.

The goal this year will be to raise $60-thousand for the American Cancer Society. A date has not yet been announced.

High Wind Watch in Effect

The National Weather Service is saying to watch out for the wind and the rain in coming days.

A High Wind Watch has been posted for beaches and headlands along the Central Oregon Coast for tomorrow. That means there is the potential for a hazardous high wind event. In this case forecasters are saying there could be sustained winds of 30 to 40 miles an hour with possible gusts to 55 or 60 miles an hour during the day Thursday.

In town, winds will likely be less, but there still could be gusts to 50 miles an hour.

Cost of filling your tank back on the downward direction

After a couple of consecutive weekly increases, the average cash price for a gallon of regular gas has begun the downward decline once again in Florence.

This week’s survey of six local stations shows the average price at $2.08 a gallon.

That’s just four cents higher than the national average price as measured by Triple-A… that fell by two cents in the past week.

The Oregon average price also fell by two cents this week… but it’s still considerably higher than the local price… it’s at $2.33 a gallon.

Marie Dodds with Triple-A says the national average price for regular gas is on track to drop below the two-dollar a gallon mark by Christmas for the first time since 2009.

Lane County to return to RV Manufacturing

Lane County won a major employer this week. Winnebago Industries will move into the former Country Coach recreational vehicle manufacturing plant in Junction City by mid 2016, initially hiring 200 employees.

A company spokesman told the Lane County Board of Commissioners yesterday that production workers will earn 16-to-20-dollars an hour, plus benefits. That’s a range of 33-thousand to 41-thousand a year.

The average annual wage in Lane County is $38-thousand.

Supervisors and managers will earn higher wages… ranging from 45 to 125-thousand dollars.

Winnebago will spend between $15-million and $20-million to purchase the property and make improvements. The company expects to increase the size of the work force over an 18-month period.