Capsizing leaves one dead; Gas prices down; Eco Development Catalyst for Florence; Returnables benefit Project Grad; Oregon Tree Farmers of the Year; and a Community Thanksgiving Dinner

Coast Radio News
Local News

Capsized boat leaves one dead near Swisshome

A Sutherlin area man died; another was able to scramble to safety when the drift boat they were fishing from capsized on Lake Creek near Swisshome Monday morning.

The Lane County Sheriff’s Department said the two jumped from the boat to avoid injury when it got caught on a rock and flipped.

The boat owner, who authorities did not identify, was able to scramble to safety.  But, 61-year old James Edward Bruggeman of Umpqua was swept downstream where he was spotted by a passing motorist.  That man said Bruggeman was able to communicate with him.  The driver and the other boater were able to pull Bruggeman from the water and began CPR.  They were assisted by Siuslaw Valley Fire and Rescue, but efforts to save the man’s life were unsuccessful.

Deputies said the pair had fished that stretch of Lake Creek numerous times previous to Monday’s accident.

Fast and high water prevented them from retrieving the bright yellow aluminum boat.  As of yesterday it was still lodged on rocks near milepost ten on Highway 36.

Fill up before leaving town

If you’re headed out on the highway for the Thanksgiving holiday, you’ll probably want to fill your tank before leaving town.  That’s because the local average cash price for a gallon of regular is at its lowest point since April… and well below the statewide average price.  The local price is $2.22 a gallon, the statewide average as measured by Triple-A is $2.44.

Marie Dodds says the national average price is at $2.16.

Dodds also says Triple-A is estimating about 48.7-million travelers will be on the move this week.  That’s about a million more than last year and the most Thanksgiving travelers since 2007.  She added only about 11-percent will travel by air or rail, leaving the rest to use the highway.

Returnables to benefit Project Graduation

If you don’t like taking your cans and bottles back to the store then seniors at Siuslaw High School will be happy to take them off your hands.

You can also use the occasion to express your preferences between the Ducks or the Beavers.

The class of 2017 Project Graduation is asking you to drop off your returnables at Siuslaw Middle School on Sunday between 11 and two.

Every donation will earn an entry in a special drawing at the end of the day.  All the proceeds benefit the drug and alcohol free graduation party for high school seniors at the end of the year.

Economic Development Catalyst named

Economic development efforts in Florence have grown to the point where a temporary full time position has been created to oversee them.  That’s according to City Manager Erin Reynolds.

Erin Reynolds  – “It’s a role that we’ve created to be able to fully dedicate efforts and be responsive to the needs of our growing business community.  Whether that’s expansion of current businesses, encouragement of entrepreneurs and startup businesses or attracting and marketing businesses outside of the area.”

For the past 18-months that role has been filled by Reynolds and other city staffers.  Earlier this fall the City Council agreed to funding of the temporary position through the end of this fiscal year.

Jesse Dolin, will serve as the city’s “economic development catalyst” until at least June 30th.

Florence couple named tree farmers of the year

Two former educators who bought a small woodlot south of the Siuslaw River 43-years ago have been recognized for their efforts in sustainably managing the 194-acre tract.

Dave and Diane Rankin were named the Oregon Tree Farm System Outstanding Tree Farmers of the Year for 2016.

The couple was honored this week at the organization’s annual awards ceremony held at the World Forestry Center in Portland.

The Rankins received the award based on their management of the mix of soft and hardwood for income and sustainability.

In addition to enhancing the riparian area along the South Slough, they also host area sixth graders each year for a day of education about forest ecology and hydrology.

Dave Rankin also mills a small amount of lumber from the property, some of which is donated to Habitat for Humanity.

Community Thanksgiving Dinner

A cadre of more than 100 community volunteers began preparations today for a free Thanksgiving Dinner tomorrow.

That dinner is hosted by the Florence Kiwanis Club and will be held at the Elks Lodge on 12th street from noon until two pm.

Volunteers roasted turkeys, peeled potatoes and mixed up batches and batches of stuffing today.

Dinner is free, but donations of cash will be accepted to help offset costs.  Non-perishable food donations are encouraged as well… those will go straight to Florence and Mapleton Food Shares.   Last year meals were served to more than 600 people… this year they expect to host more than 700.

River Cities Taxi will provide free transportation directly to and from the Elks Lodge during meal hours.