Behavioral health center proposed; Reward offered for info on stolen dump truck; Hang it all; Christmas baskets; Ride the Rhody

Coast Radio News
Local News

Behavioral and Mental Health Center pursued

PeaceHealth officials presented an update to the Siuslaw School Board last week about their progress towards securing funding for a community center aimed at mental and behavioral health.   Peace Harbor Chief Mission Officer Rick Yecny said they’ve been working with several other groups in recent months, trying to identify not only what services are needed; but which services are currently being provided.

Rick Yecny – “A lot of us had not even met each other.  It wasn’t coordinated at all.  You know, the people in Western Lane County get bits and pieces and we wanted to create a central place that you could come to and find out where all the services were.”

That center would ideally house a Clinical Social Worker and possibly a behavioral health practitioner.  There are several goals in pursuing funding for the center.

Rick Yecny – “One being creating a sustainable behavioral health network.  And then secondly to create a child development behavioral health system and then number three was a resource center.”

PeaceHealth has applied for a grant that would fund startup costs and payroll costs for the first three years.  After that, he said, it would likely be able to create its own revenue through insurance billings, allowing it to remain a part of the community.

Community Christmas Baskets benefit hundreds

325 households representing more than 1800 people received food boxes Saturday morning during the annual Soroptimist Community Christmas Basket Distribution.  Carol Bennett said that was about 100 fewer households than they planned for, but the number of people in each household was up from previous years.  Bennett said they put together the boxes to order, based on the family size.  This year there were more families of six and eight than in previous years.  The largest family unit was 14.

Family members of 428 children aged 12 and under picked up gifts and toys for their kids during the gift distribution.  Michelle Fraley said that represented about 163 families.  The effort received a big last-minute boost from the Marine Corps’ Toys for Tots.  Marines travelled to Florence late last week and delivered extra gifts.

Bennett and Fraley were both thankful for the community effort that brought both projects together.  Bennett said a last minute push for cash donations allowed them to reach their fundraising goal.  She added that leftover food was picked up Saturday by Florence Food Share… and most of the remaining toys and gifts will be distributed this week.

Ride the Rhody Express for Free

The Rhody Express will be offering free rides later this week.  The community transit system will go “fare free” on Thursday and Friday in an effort to help area residents get that “last minute” shopping done.

Glenn Southerland with the City of Florence says Greentrees Village is funding the free rides, but anyone can ride.

The Rhody Express runs an hourly service over two routes in Florence.  Stops include Old Town, Fred Meyer, Safeway, Three Rivers Casino, Peace Harbor and more.  Southerland says it’s a good way to beat bad weather and let someone else drive you around town.

Hang it All

An artistic newcomer and a painter who took a 17-year break from her hobby won the two top prizes in last month’s “Hang It All” art show at Siuslaw Public Library.

Marsha Horner was named the “People’s Choice” for her depiction of “JoJo”.  Horner’s name may be familiar to some, she designed and painted one of the 20 Sea Lions that were part of the Dancing with Sea Lions promotion earlier this year.  Her entry into that, called “Wish You Were Here” was her first work since 1999.  Library patrons decided “JoJo” was their favorite and it will remain on display through the end of December.

Karen Skulley had been taking art classes this fall and decided to paint three chickadees November 1st.  That was the submission deadline for the November show at the Library and Skulley’s entry, entitled “Chickadees” was honored with the Bob Kutsch Award for Best in Show.duman-horton-pond

Stolen truck recovered, heavily damaged

A stolen dump truck, heavily damaged by fire, was recovered yesterday afternoon in the Triangle Lake Area near Horton.

A partially burned dump truck was recovered from Horton Pond north of Highway 36 Monday. (Lane County Sheriff's Office photo)
A partially burned dump truck was recovered from Horton Pond north of Highway 36 Monday. (Lane County Sheriff’s Office photo)

The truck had been stolen from a worksite in that area and was discovered by an employee of Duman Incorporated, the company that owns the truck.

It had been driven down an embankment and was partially submerged in the Horton Pond.  The truck had been left in gear and was running, causing it to overheat and catch fire.

Lane County Sheriff’s Deputies are investigating.  Duman Incorporated has offered a $500 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible.