Homicide victim ID’d; Step son arrested

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Sheriff sheds more light on family dispute that led to murder

Updated 10:10 AM, 12/30/15

An 80-year old Florence area man was found dead at his home yesterday just after noon. Lane County Sheriff Byron Trapp said Jack Youngblood was found dead and his step son, 41-year old Jeffrey Holmes was identified as the suspect.

Byron Trapp – “We were dispatched to a report of dispute between family members and it was a family member that called. When deputies arrived, they found Mr. Youngblood deceased and were able to locate Mr. Holmes some distance from the property. Ultimately ended up taking him into custody on a charge of murder.”

Trapp said Holmes appeared to have been temporarily staying with Youngblood and Holmes’ mother at 5330 Knoll Way, three miles north of Florence.

Holmes was known to deputies and was spotted about a mile away from the scene by a responding deputy.

The manner of Youngblood’s death has not been released.

updated at 8:55 AM, 12/30/15

An 80-year old Florence man was found dead at his home north of Florence yesterday. Police were responding to what they called a “dispute or disturbance” call at 5330 Knoll Way at noon.

They found the occupant of the home, 80-year old Jack Youngblood, deceased.

After a brief initial investigation, they identified Youngblood’s step-son, 41-year old Jeffrey Holmes as the suspect. Witnesses said Holmes had been in a dispute with people at that location before police arrived.

A Lane County Sheriff’s Deputy responding to the call, spotted Holmes on Highway 101, about a mile away and detained him.

Detective Sergeant Carl Wilkerson said Youngblood “died as a result of being assaulted by Holmes”.

The younger man has been charged with murder.

Original story posted at 7:55 AM

Detectives with the Lane County Sheriff’s Office spent much of the day yesterday processing the scene of a homicide north of Florence.

An elderly man who lived on Knoll Way, near Twin Lakes Store was reportedly shot in what appears to have been a family dispute.

Police did not say if they had a suspect.

A Lane County Sheriff’s Dispatcher said detectives worked until about two this morning on the investigation and they would release information by mid morning.

Pursuit ends in three arrests, recovery of four stolen vehicles

A Veneta area man, his wife and another woman are in custody today after what one police officer called a “wild day” Tuesday.Gifford-Larry

It ended with the pursuit of a stolen vehicle in Reedsport. The driver led police north on Highway 101, through Florence and to milepost seven on Highway 126. That’s where police say 29-year old Larry Gifford ditched the white Honda Civic and ran into the brush. A canine unit from Eugene was called to assist and located Gifford about two hours later.

During the pursuit, Reedsport Police Chief Duane Wisehart spotted another stolen vehicle and stopped it on Smith River Road. He arrested Gifford’s wife, 28-year old Heather Gifford and 29-year old Gem Brown. Wisehart said they had stolen property from “several” other vehicles.

Police say the trio are linked to as many as five vehicle thefts in Florence, Reedsport and Eugene. Wisehart said four of those have been recovered.

Senior Center seeking help

The Florence Senior Center is entering a new phase in its operations. Five years ago, when it opened, use of the facility was strictly limited to those over the age of 60 because of a federal requirement that came with the funding.
That limitation expired this month and that opens up some additional volunteer positions according to center President Christine May.

Christine May – “Somebody that can actually fill some of the volunteer slots like, we need someone to be in charge of rentals and scheduling. We don’t have any specific requirements. They have to be at least 50 to be on the board. But we’re looking for somebody that wants to help contribute to the senior center.”

They also need volunteer receptionists for a few hours each week and help in the kitchen at times. May said anyone interested can stop by the center during the week, or call 541-997-8844.

Some Oregon Veterans private info breached

The personal information belonging to some Oregon veterans may have been recently compromised.

The Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs reported this week that an ongoing investigation found copies of Certificates of Release or Discharge from Active Duty… commonly called DD Form 214… for 967 Oregon vets may have been in the possession of a person “unauthorized” to handle the information. An ODVA spokesperson says there is no evidence to suggest there was any attempt to misuse the information, however personal information such as social security number, date of birth and more is typically on the document.

All veterans involved have been notified by mail and offered credit monitoring services for a full year.

It’ll cost less to fill you tank on new years… than it did last year

Drivers in Florence will start off 2016 paying about 30-cents a gallon on average less than they did in January 2015.

This morning’s average of posted cash prices at the six stations in Florence was $2.13. January 5th of this year, the average was $2.43.

This week’s local average compares very favorably with the Oregon average. Triple-A reports it went up four cents this week to $2.36.

The national average price remains steady at an even two-dollars per gallon.

Parking lot upgrade to close North Jetty again next week

Crews working around the North Jetty Access were able to clear brush along the access road and around the parking lot last week.

Paving of the parking lot wasn’t completed as planned, though, as the contractor was unable to get asphalt.

Ranger Ryan Warren with Oregon Parks and Recreation said they’ll make another attempt to repair the larger potholes and repave portions of the lot next week.

Visitors to the North Jetty area should expect temporary closures of the parking lot between eight AM and four PM beginning Tuesday of next week and extending through Friday January 8th.