Law Enforcement establishes “containment” perimeter
The leaders of the armed group that has occupied the headquarters of the Malhuer National Wildlife Refuge for the past 3 ½ weeks are under arrest.
Militant leader Ammon Bundy and his followers were headed to a community meeting Tuesday afternoon in John Day when they were stopped by FBI agents.
One person was shot and killed during the arrest; one other suffered a minor gunshot wound.
Authorities declined to name the person who died, but several media sources identified the dead man as Robert Lavoy Finicum.
Unidentified sources told the Oregonian that Finicum and Ryan Bundy disobeyed orders to surrender and resisted arrest. Ryan Bundy was reportedly injured.
Bundy andthe others arrested will face felony charges of conspiracy to impede the duties of federal officials through the use of “force, intimidation, or threats”.
Law enforcement officers initiated a “containment” of the refuge overnight; establishing a series of checkpoints along key routes in and out of the headquarters. Beth Ann Steele with the FBI said anyone attempting to travel into the refuge will be stopped, identified and asked to leave. Anyone coming out of the refuge will be stopped and identified and their vehicles will be searched.
Steele said Harney County residents with proper ID will be allowed to access their properties inside the containment.
Second boat capsizes on Coos Bay bar
Coast Guard crews rescued three men from the water after their 49-foot fishing vessel became disabled and capsized while crossing the Coos Bay bar yesterday.
The Sara Jo was crossing at about 4:30 yesterday afternoon. A 47-foot motor lifeboat crew was able to rescue the boat’s owner and master, 52-year old Lonie Baldridge and one crewmembers… 43-year old David Shellong of Cottonwood, California.
The third crewmember, 46-year old Raymundo Cardoso of Winchester Bay was pulled from the water by a helicopter.
Lieutenant Wes Jones said all three men were out of the water within 28 minutes of rescuers receiving a distress call.
It is the second capsizing on the Coos Bay Bar in the past week.
Urban Renewal and ODOT teaming up for downtown makeover
The Oregon Department of Transportation will be doing some major work on Highway 101 through the core downtown area next year. In planning for that, the agency has been working closely with Florence officials about how that stretch may ultimately look.
A list of five possible design options presented in late 2015 has been reduced to three. One of those would eliminate all on-street parking between the Siuslaw River and Highway 126. Another would retain all on-street parking, while the third would combine a mix of the two options.
Those options will be reviewed by the Florence Urban Renewal Agency Board of Directors at six pm this evening at City Hall.
Immediately prior to that meeting, at 5:30, the Florence City Council will meet with the Urban Renewal Board in Executive Session to discuss “potential land acquisition opportunities”.
Are you ready?
Scientists compared detailed Japanese records to the oral histories of Native Americans living along the Pacific Northwest Coast more than 300 years ago and determined the last “big one” occurred late in the evening on January 26th, 1700.
316 years ago Tuesday the estimated 9.0 earthquake, aftershocks and a resulting tsunami caused death and destruction all along the coasts of what is now Oregon and Washington.
It also struck Japan and the records from that “orphan tsunami”, as it was called, helped corroborate the existence of the 1700 quake.
Scientists say there is a one-in-three chance of another devastating earthquake along the 900 mile long Cascadia fault line in the next 50 years. They estimate as many as 13-thousand people may die; tens of thousands more could be left homeless and it could take years to recover.
Red Cross official doesn’t think we are
Oregonians are more prepared for disaster today than they have been in the past, but high ranking Red Cross official says “we are far from ready for the effects” that are sure to happen in the event of a Cascadia subduction zone earthquake.
Dr. Scott Burns is a Portland State University geology professor and also serves on the board of directors for the Red Cross Cascades Region. Yesterday’s anniversary of the huge quake and tsunami that happened in 1700 can serve as a reminder for today’s residents to get ready for the next one. Experts say there is a one-in-three chance that a quake similar to that one 316 years ago could happen within the next 50 years.
The Red Cross urges people to practice earthquake drills and create and maintain an emergency supply kit.
Average gas prices at record lows
Don’t forget to fill up before you leave town. The average cash price for regular gas in Florence is $1.86 with the lowest posted price $1.76-point-9.
That compares with the national average as measured by Triple-A… it’s $1.83. The Oregon average price is at its lowest for six years at $2.09.
The local prices mirror those of just one year ago when the average was at $1.86. It remained that way for two weeks before rapidly rising nearly 60-cents a gallon by mid February.