Lighted boat parade expected to begin annual tradition

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Organizers say they won’t mind the rain

The first ever holiday lighted boat parade on Siltcoos Lake is set for this Saturday evening. Lori Olson with Darling’s Resort and Marina says they’re ready for anything.

Lori Olson – “Because it’s the first year we don’t really have any expectations. We’re just going to see how it goes; see how many people show up.”

All boats must be lighted… and arrive at Darlings’ by four PM Saturday to launch. There’s a $10 entry fee with proceeds going to the Salvation Army Home Front War Relief Program. The parade begins at five…

Lori Olson – “The route is going to be along the north shore of Siltcoos Lake and then we’re going to head on over to Dunes City.”

Olson said the Westlake Area will get a good view of the parade as it passes.

She’s keeping an eye on the weather, but she’s not too terribly concerned:

Lori Olson – “Being coasties we can handle a lot of rain, so rain shouldn’t hinder us at all. Wind will hinder us.”

Olson says she intends to make it an annual event.

Commercial crab harvest delayed

The opening of the commercial Dungeness Crab season off the Oregon Coast faces more delays due to concerns about toxins in the crab. Levels of domoic acid, a substance that can cause minor to serious illness, or even death, continue to rise in samples of crab taken off the southern coast. The toxins cannot be removed by cooking or cleaning.

Kelly Corbett, with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, says the industry and the department place a high priority on making sure consumers get a “safe, high-quality, and sustainable product” when they buy Oregon Dungeness.

Corbett added crab already in retail markets and restaurants is safe.

The season typically runs from December 1st through August 14th. Up to 75-percent of the annual harvest comes in the first 8-weeks

Officers shoot man in Newport confrontation

A Portland man was critically wounded after a confrontation with Police in Newport yesterday. Two Newport police officers and one Lincoln County Sheriff’s Deputy responded to the Agate Beach RV Park because of complaints about an “unwanted man”. They contacted 53-year old Nantharath Thilavans, who police say became combative. The confrontation moved to nearby Highway 101 and traffic was closed. Officers used pepper spray and a taser in an unsuccessful attempt to subdue him.

Oregon State Police Lieutenant Bill Fugate said Thilavans “raised a dangerous weapon and threatened officers” at one point. One officer fired several times, striking the man and critically injuring him.

At least one person caught the shooting on a cell phone video that was circulating on the internet yesterday afternoon. Traffic on Highway 101 north of Newport was closed for two hours.

Conversations about school facility options continues

A Siuslaw School District Facilities Committee meeting postponed from last week will be held this afternoon, beginning at four pm at the district office.

Superintendent Ethel Angal will recap what the group discussed November 19th. The committee will also hear from Lauren Johnson with LSW Architects and schedule a tour of district facilities.

The high school opened 45- years ago and a portion of the Siuslaw Elementary is more than 50 years old. Administrators are trying to determine whether to undergo what would be an extensive renovation or the possibility of building a new building.

Victorian Christmas at Heceta Lightkeeper’s house

Each year for the past 20 years volunteers and operators of the Heceta Light Station Bed and Breakfast have decorated the vintage keeper’s house with “festive Victorian Holiday” décor.

This year’s version of the open house will be open Saturday and Sunday evening, then again next weekend.

Michelle Korgan, who operates the bed and breakfast, says the event will feature live music and Santa Clause will be on hand. Korgan encourages people to bring a flash light… and a jacket… so they can take a night-time walk to the Heceta Head Lighthouse.

Parking is available at Heceta Head Lighthouse State Park and a shuttle bus will take visitors from the park, right to the front door. There is no admission charge for the open house, but Oregon State Parks access fees apply for the parking area.

The house will be open from four to seven PM Saturday and Sunday, then again on the 19th and 20th.

Fill up at home… it’s cheaper

The local average cash price for a gallon of regular held steady in Florence this week at $2.08… while the statewide average, as measured by Triple-A, slipped two cents to $2.31.

Marie Dodds with Triple-A said the national average price dipped a penny this week. At $2.03 a gallon it is expected to drop below two dollars by Christmas.

West coast prices are expected to follow, but not all the way.

Dodds said heavy refinery maintenance and unplanned shortages have combined to hold prices a little higher.