Sheriff’s office reports phone scam; FEC burns mortgage; Injured fisherman rescued by Coast Guard; Always ready toRhody; Storm Prep; Pile burning

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Phone scam reported

Several Lane County residents have reported receiving what sound like computer generated phone calls stating they were going to be taken – quote – “under custody by local cops because of four serious allegations”.  The residents were then directed to call a number for more information.

That number, says Lane County Sheriff’s Sergeant Carrie Carver, is then answered by a male with a strong accent identifying himself as an IRS investigator.

Carver said the man uses abusive language and “name-calling” when questioned… a direct indicator, she added… that it the call is a scam.

Carver says anyone who receives a call such as this should not call the number back.

If you are uncertain as to whether or not it’s a scam, she suggests contacting the agency in questions at a publicly listed phone number… and not the one left on the recording.

She said this type of call contains several indicators of a scam, including the threats of criminal action if you don’t pay immediately; pressure to make s decision quickly; a request for payment using a non-trackable source such as cash or gift cards; and hostility from the caller.

FEC burns mortgage

Florence Mayor Joe Henry steps back after lighting fire tot he paid-up mortgage for the Florence Events Center October 8th.
Florence Mayor Joe Henry steps back after lighting fire tot he paid-up mortgage for the Florence Events Center October 8th.

It’s been several months since the final payment was made on a $400-thousand bond that helped pay for construction of the Florence Events Center 20-years ago.  But a symbolic paid-up mortgage was turned to ashes Saturday night by Florence Mayor Joe Henry during the official observance of the center’s 20th anniversary.

The Florence Events Center officially opened August 31st, 1996.  Former Mayor Rodger McCorkle spoke prior to the ceremony Saturday, saying he was proud of the fact that his name is on the plaque just inside the entrance.

The festivities also capped the “Dancing with the Sea Lions” promotion organized by the center’s marketing director Jennifer Connor.

20-different 7 ½ foot tall fiberglass sea lions were decorated by artists and displayed in several different locations in and out of the community since last spring.

12 of them were sold prior to Saturday’s evening, the final eight were auctioned off, bringing the total amount raised for improvements at the center to just over $70-thousand.

Coast Guard rescues injured fisherman

An injured fisherman, bleeding profusely from an arm injury, was removed from his pleasure boat just outside the Umpqua River entrance by U.S Coast Guard personnel yesterday.

Petty Officer Jonathan Klingenburg said the Umpqua River Station received the request for assistance from the man Sunday.  He was operating his 29-foot pleasure boat when he was hit by a wave, injuring his arm.

A 47-foot motor lifeboat responded and removed the man from his vessel.

A crew from a second boat took the man’s boat in tow and returned it back to Winchester Bay.

Neither the name of the man, nor the extent of his injuries, were released.

Always ready to Rhody

The theme for the 110th annual Rhododendron Festival will be “Always Ready to Rhody”.  The theme is an homage to the festival Grand Marshals: members of the U.S. Coast Guard Siuslaw River Station.

Florence Area Chamber of Commerce President Jenna Bartlett announced a contest to select the logo for the 2017 festival, set for May 19th, 20th and 21st.   The winning design will be printed on festival shirts, commemorative pins, banners, advertisements and print guides.

The grand prize winner will receive $250 cash and a framed festival poster featuring their entry.

Bartlett said they’re looking for “fun, original designs that capture the energy of the festival”

Logos must incorporate a Rhododendron flower, a graphic element representing Florence and other items.  Details on how to submit entries can be found at the Chamber’s website… www-dot-florencechamber-dot-com or by inquiring at the Visitor Center.

Matthew highlights need for preparedness

Last week’s arrival of Hurricane Matthew along the southeast Atlantic Coast is an example of why local residents should be prepared to sustain themselves for up to two weeks in case of a natural disaster.

The Oregon Office of Emergency Management says everyone should have enough food, water, and other supplies to keep you and your family self-sufficient for two weeks.

Geologic Hazards Program Coordinator Althea Rizzo says that reduces the strain on emergency responders who will have limited resources to assist the injured and other “vulnerable populations” in the event of an earthquake, tsunami or large storm.

Rizzo said the previous standard was 72-hours… she said the more devastating disasters… like a Cascadia Subduction earthquake… would leave many transportation routes in ruins.  That’s means Oregonians will have to keep themselves safe until relief can arrive.

Switch from fire fighting to fire lighting

The change in the weather is allowing firefighters on the Siuslaw National Forest to switch from suppressing fires to lighting them.

Piles of debris and limbs have been accumulating on national forest land throughout the year from timber sales and land management activities according to Nanci Curtis.  She is the zone fire management officer for the Siuslaw National Forest.

She said piles can be ignited during wet conditions, making burning them one of the most effective ways to remove what she called “non-merchantable” wood debris before it can become a hazardous fuel in the dry summer months.

She said residents and visitors to forest land may encounter smoke associated with the burns…