Port property sales could benefit infrastructure; Bogus bills; Coast Guard City support sought; Swisshome man dies in Friday motorcycle crash; Minimum wage increase this week

Coast Radio News
Local News

Proceeds from possible sales could pay port improvements

Two properties owned by the Port of Siuslaw could be sold and turned into cash for that agency.  Port Manager Steven Leskin said the former District Office at 1499 Bay Street was the subject of an inquiry earlier this month.  As was a 40-acre piece of land off Kingwood Street north of the airport.

Leskin said no formal purchase offers have yet to be received, but if they were, he already has a recommendation for the Port Commission on what to do with the proceeds.

Steven Leskin – “I would suspect and hope that all of the money that we receive from either of these sales goes into just getting the port in the position it needs to be in for the next couple of decades and the money from those sales would go a long way to keeping the plant in its best physical position that it can be in.”

Leskin did not speculate on how much money either property would generate.  A commercial appraisal is currently under way for the 40-acre site, he said, in order to set a viable price.

Commissioners are set to meet in July and will discuss whether or not to list the Bay Street parcel as being surplus in order to formally begin the sale process.

Letters sought to support Coast Guard City

A letter writing campaign is being encouraged to help Florence gain the official designation as a “Coast Guard City”.

Only a few cities are granted that title each year.  It goes to communities that make a special effort to acknowledge the professional work of the men and women who serve in the U.S. Coast Guard.

The City of Florence began the designation application process earlier this spring, and part of the effort includes letters of support for local Coast Guard members from the community.

Mayor Joe Henry said he has already received a couple of letters, but is asking residents for more.  Preferably the letters will include specific examples of how residents or businesses have interacted with the Coast Guard.  Henry also said letters should refer to anything that has been done to support the Coast Guard.

He said letters should be addressed either to him, as Mayor, or “to whom it may concern” and can be sent to him at City Hall.

Swisshome man dies in motorcycle crash

A 56-year old Swisshome motorcyclist died Friday evening when the failed to negotiate a corner on Highway 36 and struck an oncoming compact pickup head on.

Michael Lucier was eastbound near “Red Hill”, just west of Swisshome at about 5:15.  He struck an oncoming Ford Ranger driven by 23-year old Rodney Pruett of Florence.  Pruitt was not injured.

Highway 36 was closed several hours following the crash because of the investigation.  It reopened shortly after nine pm Friday.

Bogus bills circulated in area

Florence police have received several reports of counterfeit 20 and 50-dollar bills in the area recently.

Commander John Pitcher said they appear to have been made on a high quality copier… the pictures are “fairly good”, but there are no magnetic strips or watermarks, and they are not trimmed well.  Pitcher said if you are offered multiple bills, the best way to check them is by looking at the serial numbers.  So far all of them have had the same numbers.

Minimum wage increase set Friday

Small business owners in Oregon say they are worried about how the first of a series of minimum wage increases will affect both their profits and their employees.

Oregon’s minimum wage is set to jump Friday from $9.25 and hour to $9.75 in Oregon counties with a mix of urban and rural areas.

It’s the first of seven annual increases that will raise the minimum wage to $13.50 counties along the I-5 Corridor and the central and north coasts.  The minimum would go to $14.75 in the Portland area and $12.50 in southwest and eastern Oregon.

Many businesses say the increased labor costs will likely be passed on to consumers… or jobs could be cut.