Retail marijuana conversion approved; former Lane County Commissioner passes; Sheriff accepts grant to help others; Florence couple facing dozens of additional sex abuse charges; Back to school; and Festival of books

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Conversion to retail approved for medical marijuana dispensary

Florence Planning Commissioners approved two separate proposals this week.  The first was a request to convert the Buds 4 You medical marijuana dispensary to retail sales.  The dispensary has been offering both medical and retail marijuana under temporary statewide rules since late last year.  The local approval completes the conversion to retail sales approved by voters in 2014.

In a separate action, commissioners approved the design of a new home for Options Counseling on 8th Street.  The previous home for the mental health facility… a former single family residence… was demolished earlier this year in preparation for construction of what will eventually be a 41-hundred square foot building.  Planning Commission Vice-Chair John Murphey said the building will be the first in the Highway District under new development guidelines.

Additional sex abuse charges filed

A Florence couple is facing several additional charges of sex abuse.  Doreen Cater, age 45; and 44-year old Gregory Cater had been facing 18 felony sex abuse charges each following their arrest in Florence, December 7th.  All of those charges were related to the alleged sexual abuse of two girls, one younger than 14 years old.

Now, according to the Bend Bulletin, Doreen Cater faces 94 additional charges; Gregory Cater faces 78.  They stem from an investigation of the couple during the time they lived in Deschutes County.  They moved to Florence from La Pine in 2014.

Trial had originally been set for June in Lane County, but that was rescheduled to October.

Both are being held at the Lane County Jail.

Back to school!

Registration for all students at Siuslaw schools gets underway next week.  Parents of students entering kindergarten through fifth grade can check in at Siuslaw Elementary School between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.  Registration at Siuslaw High School will be Wednesday and Thursday between 8:30 and 3:30.  Siuslaw Middle School registration will be Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of next week between nine and three.

Anyone who misses any of the dates at any Siuslaw school next week can check in at the Middle School the following week, August 22nd through the 26th.  The first day of classes will be September 7th.

Sixth edition of book festival planned

Organizers of the annual Florence Festival of Books are preparing for this year’s edition.  It’s set for Saturday, September 24th and will feature more than 20 local authors.  They’ll be joined by another couple of dozen writers from outside the immediate area and at least a half dozen publishers.

Local writers who are seeking a chance to be published are also encouraged to bring their manuscripts for a variety of genres including poetry, children’s books, non-fiction and a host of fiction categories.

This year’s featured keynote speaker will be author Phillip Margolin.  He’s written 19 novels, many of them New York Times best sellers.

Registration for additional authors or publishers are taken online at Florence festival of books-dot-org.

Former Lane County Commissioner passes

A former middle school teacher and sheep rancher who represented Western Lane County on the Board of Commissioners for 12 years passed away August 4th.  Ellie Dumdi was 84 years old.

Current West Lane Commissioner Jay Bozievich, who called it an honor to be serving in the same post formerly held by Dumdi, said she suffered a stroke following back surgery in July.

Dumdi sought election to the commission in 1986.  She the incumbent, fellow Junction City resident Chuck Ivey.  She was reelected twice and did not seek a fourth term.

Lane County Sheriff Byron Trapp (l.) accepts a $5,000 check from Pastor Brett Gilchrist of the University Fellowship Church August 7th. (photo provided by Lane County Sheriff's Office)
Lane County Sheriff Byron Trapp (l.) accepts a $5,000 check from Pastor Brett Gilchrist of the University Fellowship Church August 7th. (photo provided by Lane County Sheriff’s Office)

Florence resident Anna Morrison succeeded her in 1998.

Dumdi was preceded in death by her husband of 52 years, Cleve Dumdi, who passed away in 2011.  The couple had two grown sons.

In 2013 Dumdi married Eugene businessman Gerry Moshofsky.  They maintained homes in Eugene and in the Florence area. A memorial service will be held later this month, but details have not yet been finalized.

Helping officers help others

A Eugene congregation has extended a helping hand to Lane County Sheriff’s Deputies.  A $5-thousand grant from the University Fellowship Church will be used to help people in need of food, clothing or temporary shelter that deputies encounter.

Sheriff Byron Trapp accepted the money last week from Pastor Bret Gilchrist.  Trapp said the heart of the program is community members helping each other.  He said he is excited to be a part of it.