Dunes City write-ins counted; Big Creek slide cleared; Light displays urged to be efficient; Loon Lake fire leaves one homeless; Gas prices continue to slide; and empty bowls will feed you and others

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Dunes City Council Races finalized…

Three weeks after the polls closed, the final count for three open spots on the city council in Dunes City has been released.   Robert Orr earned 22 write-in votes, Alan Montgomery had 17.  They are expected to join Tom Mallen when he is sworn in early next year.  Mallen was the only openly declared candidate for the three open positions… he received 510 votes.

Formal notifications to Orr and Montgomery were mailed out yesterday, according to Dunes City Administrative Assistant Renee Green.  Before the election can become final, both must agree to serve.

Orr had previously announced he was running a write-in campaign.  He was not available yesterday for comment.  Montgomery also actively sought the post.  He said he was pleased to hear he had won.

There were several other candidates on the list of write ins… including former Port of Siuslaw Manager Robert Forsythe who narrowly missed election with 16 votes.  Blake Christian had ten.

Green said there were numerous candidates with just one vote each.

Big Creed Road slide cleared

Big Creek Road, connecting Highway 101 north of Heceta Head to Upper North Fork Siuslaw Road, was reopened yesterday after a slide came down Sunday evening.  Lane County Road maintenance supervisor Richard Perkins said the slide was about 80 to 100 cubic yards of material on the roadway at milepost 1.3.

Perkins said heavy rains over a several day period caused the slide.  It contained several large “root wads” and “lots of debris”.

Crews spent the day Monday and then again most of yesterday working to haul off the muck and making sure the roadway was safe and secure.

Perkins said there are four homes above the slide that used Big Creek road from 101 as access.  They weren’t completely cut off  during the closure, but they did face an extended commute via the North Fork.

Lighting contest stresses energy efficiency

The Florence Area Chamber of Commerce and Central Lincoln PUD are teaming up again to promote energy efficient Christmas light displays.

Entries for the lighting contest will be accepted at the Chamber Visitor Center through December 13th.  Executive Director Bettina Hannigan says there are two categories again… commercial and residential.

She says entries must utilize L-E-D lighting.

Judging will take place the evening of Thursday, December 15th.  Central Lincoln is funding the cash prizes of $250 for first place, $150 for second and $100 for third in both categories.

Results will be announced Friday, December 16th.

Ash Valley fire leaves one homeless

The American Red Cross provided emergency assistance to the victim of a home fire east of Reedsport.

The fire occurred sometime Monday afternoon at the home on Carlson Road near Loon Lake.  That area is not served by a fire department.  One person and pets were left homeless.

The cause of the Monday blaze was not released.

The Red Cross provided immediate resources… food, clothing, and a comfort kit… as well as temporary housing assistance.

Red Cross Communications team member Franca Hernandez said the Red Cross Cascades Region… covering Oregon and Southwest Washington… responds to an average of two home fires each day, offering what she calls “hope and comfort”.

Gas prices continue low stretch

The average cash price for a gallon of regular gas in Florence is only a penny higher this week than it was last year at this time… but it’s four cents less than last week, and 95-cents lower than three years ago.

A survey of six local stations Tuesday evening showed the average price was $2.18.  That’s compared with last year in the final week of November when it was $2.17 a gallon.

Drivers three years ago faced much higher prices… the average for the last week in November 2013 was $3.11.

Marie Dodds with Triple-A says the national average price held steady this week at $2.14… and Oregon’s average price slipped two cents a gallon to $2.41.

Buy a bowl, feed yourself and others

For the past 20 years Florence Food Share has used empty bowls to help fill their pantry shelves in December.

The bowls are created by local artists and pottery students, then sold at a public event.  That event is scheduled for weekend at the Florence Events Center.

Food Share Director Norma Barton says most of the bowls will be offered for sale at five or ten dollars each.  Some of the “gorgeous larger” bowls will be priced a bit more she added.

There will be others, along with artwork of various media, offered on a silent auction.

All bowls are accompanied by a coupon good for a bowl of soup or chowder at a participating restaurant.

Friday’s sale is from five to 7:30 at the FEC, then Saturday it runs from ten to four.  The bowls will also be offered Sunday afternoon beginning at 12:30.