Superintendent search to begin within

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School board to discuss interview questions this week

School board members will wait to open up an external search for a new superintendent until after they are satisfied there are no qualified candidates already on the payroll.

Members of the board met last week to talk about the qualifications and qualities they would like to see in a replacement for Ethel Angal. She is retiring in June.

Board Chair Tammy Butler said they decided to post the job for internal candidates before looking outside. She added there are no specific candidates in mind.

The board will wait until March 9th to begin an outside search… if no internal candidate is identified.

They will also meet tomorrow night for their regular February board meeting. They will adjourn to executive session during the evening to discuss interview questions that might be posed to finalists.

State agrees to Moda restoration plan

Holders of individual health insurance policies issued by Moda Health Plans won’t have to worry about changing their policies after all. State regulators in Oregon, Washington and Alaska accepted a plan this week submitted by Moda executives. The plan would stabilize the company’s financial situation by requiring the sale of some company assets. Some of those assets include money owed to Moda by the federal government for tax credits applied to individual policy holders’ premiums.

The Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services said Moda will be allowed to renew and issue new policies through December 31st of this year.

Siltcoos boat ramp reopened

Repairs to the Westlake boat ramp on Siltcoos Lake have finally been completed. Work began November 6th to repair the dock abutment that had been damaged by storms in 2012. It was expected to reopen by mid-December, but Lane County spokesperson Devon Ashbridge said a series of storms and high water delayed work for several weeks.

It reopened last week. The majority of the $45-thousand price tag for repairs came from federal disaster relief funding.

Coho partnership wins planning grant

A partnership made up of two federal agencies and three local groups won an $86-thousand grant last month to help pay for planning of future restoration projects for endangered Coho salmon on the Siuslaw River and in surrounding lakes.

The local members of the Siuslaw Coho Partnership are the Siuslaw Watershed Council, the Siuslaw Soil and Water Conservation District and the Confederated Tribes of the Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indians. The Eugene District of the Bureau of Land Management and the Siuslaw National Forest are the two federal agencies involved.

The money, from the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board, will be used to plan restoration projects for Coho populations. The planning phase begins March 1st and will be completed by June 2017. Watershed council executive director Dan Carpenter says the will eventually lead to on-the-ground projects in the future.

Tsunami Safe seminars offered

A training course aimed at helping hospitality workers raise awareness of earthquake and tsunami preparedness in visitors to the Oregon Coast is coming to the region later this month.

The Oregon Office of Emergency Management is offering the three hour training in seven coastal communities, including Florence and Reedsport between February 22nd and March 17th.

Geologic Hazards Coordinator Karen Parmelee said facilities that participate in the program will be at the “forefront” of providing safety for guests. The Florence session will be February 24th from nine until noon at Siuslaw Valley Fire and Rescue. The next morning the class will be offered in Reedsport at the Port of Umpqua Annex.

Class and registration info can be found at the tsunami-safe website, or by calling Siuslaw Valley Fire in Florence.