SOS to host open house; dispute leads to stabbing and arrest; FEC to expand parking; Business Park sale to benefit Eco Development; Whale researchers “scoop poop; and Backyard burn ban continues

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Awareness of Domestic Violence promoted

Well over a hundred marchers were on hand in Old Town Florence this past Sunday for the annual walk to promote awareness of Domestic Violence.  Siuslaw Outreach Services Executive Director David Wiegan said he was pleased with the “mix” of people participating.

David Wiegan – “We had a really good cross section.  Band members from Siuslaw High School, cheerleaders, we had football players, Mayor Henry and you know, just had lots of people.  We had some domestic violence survivors.”

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and the march was one way to help get the message out.  Even though it’s still the first week of October, this evening will mark the final “official” observance by SOS.  They’ll host a Chamber of Commerce “After Hours” reception at their building, 1576 12th Street.

David Wiegan – “For those who may not know, and just get acquainted, and you know, some people haven’t seen our remodeled building that we did last year and it just, it should be a nice, fun event.”

SOS provided services to 2,902 individuals last year… Wiegan said 197 of those were victims of either domestic or sexual abuse.

Dispute leads to stabbing and arrest

A disagreement between the driver of a car and his passenger ended with the driver suffering a stab wound to his head… and his companion under arrest for assault.

Oregon State Police Trooper Alan Gilbert said the man and woman were travelling on Highway 101 just south of Florence early Tuesday afternoon.  The pair were apparently arguing and the driver, 24-year old Nickolus McKane Ough (OW) of Florence,  told police the woman grabbed the steering wheel.

He bit her in an attempt to get her to let go, so she stabbed him on the top of his head with a small folding knife.

Ough was transported to Peace Harbor Medical Center for treatment.  The passenger, 20-year old Chelsie Marie Kelley said she grabbed the wheel because she wanted to get out of the car.  Kelley told police she didn’t intend to stab Ough, she was just holding the knife when she hit him.

Events Center to expand parking and storage

The Florence City Council approved the purchase this week of an acre of land abutting the northern end of the Florence Events Center.

The property has been used for overflow parking by the FEC for the past five years.  Improvements will now be made to the parcel to make it align better with the existing parking.  City Manager Erin Reynolds said they will also pursue the possibility of erecting some sort of storage.

Reynolds said they approached the owner, Larry Glickman of Portland, last year about purchasing the property, but he declined.

Then, last month, Glickman called City Hall and said he would go ahead with the transaction.

Collecting whale waste “not the worst job”…

For the past several months a team of Oregon State University scientists have been following gray whales around the ocean off the Oregon Coast.  Led by Marine Ecologist Leigh Torres, they’ve been scooping whale poop.

Torres says they are studying the impacts of ocean noise on the giant mammals and whether or not it causes physiological stress in the animals. They do it by collecting and studying the fecal matter.

Torres said they have to act quickly… they only have about 20 to 30 seconds to “swoop in” with a fine mesh net and collect some of the “prized” material before it sinks to the bottom.

Torres, the principal investigator with OSU’s Marine Mammal Institute, says it isn’t really all that bad.  It doesn’t smell at all.  She says the worst job is collecting DNA from a whale’s blow-hole… because – quote – “Their breath is horrendous.”

Sale in business park to benefit economic development

A manufacturer of custom hydraulic systems for luxury automobiles will build an assembly and shipping facility in the Pacific View Industrial Park.

The Florence City Council approved terms of sale for the lot, just off Kingwood Street, this week.  Top Hydraulics, owned by Klaus Witte (WITT), will purchase property for $110-thousand.   Witt will be eligible for three rebates, totaling $40-thousand if he meets three performance goals related to economic development.

If he obtains a building permit within one year of purchase, he’ll get $20-thousand back from the sale price; another ten-thousand will come if he completes the building and takes occupation within 18 months.

The third target:  the establishment of no fewer than five full time jobs at that location with 18-months, carries another $10-thousand refund.

Top Hydraulics manufactures after-market hydraulic systems for high-line convertibles.  It already operates in a facility north of Florence and employs five people there.  The new location would be in addition.

Backyard burning remains closed

Backyard burning for areas outside Florence will be allowed beginning October 15th, but fire officials are reminding residents they still need to get a permit before lighting up.

Siuslaw Valley Fire and Rescue Fire Marshall Sean Barrett said the permits are free and can be obtained both online… at the fire district’s website… SVFR-dot-org… or at the main station on Highway 101 at 26th Street.

The permits are a way, he says, of making sure people who burn back yard debris are informed about the regulations, and about the need to check the Lane Regional Air Protection Agency website before burning.