Bridge railing to reappear in Old Town

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Repurposing the Railing:

The ongoing restoration of the Siuslaw River Bridge includes removing the old railings and replacing them with new reinforced concrete replicas that meet modern safety standards.

So far, just under half of the railing has been removed and the rest is expected to be replaced over the next 18 months.

But… where is it going?  The City of Florence is taking almost 800 lineal feet of the railing according to spokesperson Megan Messmer (MEZZ-murr).

Megan Messmer – “We have a couple plans in the works for where we want to utilize that railing.  One of them is in Old Town Park, or Gazebo Park as most people call it, to replace some of the rotten timbers that are in there, dress up some of the planter beds, replace some old fencing.”

The rest will be salvaged by BRING Recycling, the Eugene based non-profit organization.

Each piece is 24-feet long and weighs between eight-and-ten-thousand pounds.  That means you’ll need more than just a pickup and a couple of buddies to haul them.  Messmer says if you’re interested in any of it, you can check directly with BRING Recycling.

September resisting arrest results in conviction

A 40-year old man will be sentenced next week in Douglas County following his conviction Wednesday on nearly a dozen charges stemming from his resisting arrest last fall.

Two law enforcement officers were attempting to take Robert Lee Stoddard into custody at Tahkenitch Trailhead North of Gardiner September 12th.  Stoddard had been sleeping in a 2003 Jeep that had been reported stolen out of Oklahoma.

As he was being handcuffed and assisted out of the vehicle, he struck a Reedsport Police Officer in the throat.  He then swung his arm, with the cuffs attached at one end, and struck Douglas County Sheriff’s Deputy Sam Lillie in the mouth, breaking two teeth.

Stoddard then attempted to flee on foot, but was quickly subdued with a Taser.

He was convicted on six assault charges, resisting arrest, possession and use of a stolen vehicle, escape and unlawful possession of a firearm.   He will be sentenced in Douglas County next week.

Another Coos Bay tragedy

A 62-foot fishing trawler, laden with an estimated 20-thousand pounds of dover sole rolled, capsized and tossed three people into the waters of the Coos Bay entrance near Charleston yesterday morning just after eight a.m.

A search through the day and into the evening for the captain of the Patty A.J. was suspended at seven last night.

Coast Guard rescuers were able to pull two crew-members, along with a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration observer from the water shortly after the vessel made a sharp turn as it crossed the bar, listed to the port and then capsized.

Divers made two attempts to survey the sunken boat, but were unable to approach it safely.  Crews marked it with a buoy to mark the location.

This was the fourth such incident crossing the Coos Bay bar since January.

Town hall meeting to address firefighting assessments

State Senator Arnie Roblan will join state and county officials Monday night at a town hall meeting to address the Oregon Department of Forestry’s decision to add as many as 700 additional area properties to the Forest Patrol Assessment rolls.

The department provides wildland fire protection of forested areas in the state.  To fund those efforts, property owners are assessed a fee.  As more and more people move into the fringe or “interface” areas, they increase risks and firefighting costs.

Over the years those properties have been assessed the firefighting charge on their property tax statements.

Senator Roblan’s office said they called for the Town Hall meeting to help answer property owners’ questions.

It will be at Siuslaw Valley Fire and Rescue from six to 7:30 Monday evening.

Springtime rise in gas

The average cash price for a gallon of regular gas increased by two cents this week in Florence… it’s $1.95.

Regionally, the statewide average added six cents a gallon and is at $2.15… the national average price went up four cents and is the highest it’s been since January at $1.98 a gallon.

Marie Dodds with Triple-A said prices are climbing “largely due to seasonal increases in fuel demand and reduced production at some refineries” because of scheduled maintenance.

Don’t be late for Community Egg Hunt

The annual Florence Community Easter Egg Hunt is set for Saturday morning at Miller Park.  This year there will be more than 4-thousand plastic eggs filled with candy… and some with special prizes inside.

The hunt is open to all children between the ages of one and ten years old.  The Siuslaw High School Interact Club, with the help of the Rotary Club, hide the eggs and marshal the hunt.

Organizers stress that the hunt begins at ten o’clock sharp… and it’s over in just a few minutes so don’t be late.