Park rehab set to begin
A groundbreaking Tuesday morning at 11 will mark the beginning of work that will allow Lane County to reopen and operate the Archie Knowles Campground and Day Use Area on Highway 126 just east of Mapleton.
West Lane County Commissioner Jay Bozievich will make “brief remarks” and will be joined by representatives from the owner of the park, the U.S. Forest Service; as well as the agency that is providing the grant funding to renovate the park; the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department.
Also on hand will be members of the Siuslaw Watershed Council, the Mapleton School District and the ad hoc group “Save Archie”.
The Forest Service closed the park in 2010, citing its condition and a lack of funds to keep it up. Lane County came forward shortly after that and was eventually successful in landing $143-thousand from Oregon Parks to rehab and reopen the 4 ½ acre site.
Work will begin immediately following tomorrow’s ceremonial ground breaking with the goal of having it open by Memorial Day weekend.
Saturday evening crash leads to power outage
A lot of people in Florence wound up in the dark Saturday night after a vehicle struck a power pole on Highway 101, sending it into the corner of a pet supply store.
The southeast corner of Mary Ann’s Natural Pet, on 101 between 15th and 16th Street was heavily damaged because of the crash that occurred at 5:15 Saturday evening.
Police have not said if there were any injuries, nor who was involved.
But, Central Lincoln PUD had to replace the pole, which carried high voltage lines, as well as direct distribution lines.
City Lights Cinemas and several area restaurants had to close early; Regency skilled nursing facility was operating on emergency generators and hundreds of residents on both sides of Highway 101 between 13th and 23rd were in the dark from about 8:30 PM Saturday until two AM Sunday.
No trial… yet… in murder of Florence area man
The man accused of killing his 80-year old stepfather two weeks ago has been found unfit to stand trial.
41-year old Jeffrey Holmes has been committed to the Oregon State Hospital for mental health treatment. According to an order issued this week by a Lane County Circuit Judge, psychologists determined Holmes is dangerous as a result of a mental disorder.
Holmes will remain in the state hospital until he is competent to stand trial.
He is accused of killing Jack Youngblood December 29th and the elder man’s home north of Florence. Holmes had been temporarily staying with his mother and stepfather at the time.
Geography Bee results
Students at Siuslaw Elementary and Middle Schools know where they are and where they’re going. 20 finalists… ten from each school, competed in the local round of the National Geographic Society Geography Bee Thursday.
The top three at the middle school included winner Margot Fleming, followed by Graci Immel and Brea Blankenship in 2nd and 3rd. Ava Glowacki (glo-WOK-ee) was the winner in the elementary school, followed by Jacob Blankenship and Sophia Sherman.
Fleming and Glowacki will now take the state qualifying test to see if they can compete at the state finals in Salem later this year.
Community Meetings seeking input on Pathways Program
After a year of exploration and conversation throughout the community, the Siuslaw Pathways Program wants to hear from more people about a proposed 10-year “vision” for the area.
Members of the Pathways program convened ten focus groups in Florence and Mapleton… each consisting of between ten and 20 individuals… to talk about things like business, education, and health care.
The “Vision Action Team” will host two general community meetings… the first will be Thursday, the 21st at Mapleton High School; the second a week later, on the 28th, at the Florence Events Center. Both will begin with an open house from five to six with a formal presentation and conversation beginning at six.
Siuslaw Pathways is a cooperative community effort supported by Florence Rotary, the Siuslaw Public Library, the City of Florence and the Ford Family Foundation.
Revitalizing Downtown, topic of Wednesday talk
Downtown revitalization will be the theme Tuesday afternoon during a special presentation by the coordinator of “Oregon Main Street”. Sheri Stewart will talk about the “main street approach” to downtown revitalization. She has 25 years experience in working with main street communities and helping communities to revitalize and preserve historic downtown areas… while at the same time creating a business district that becomes a gathering place for the community.
Steward will present her message at the Florence Events Center Wednesday afternoon from 2:30 to 4:00 PM.