Car jack attempt foiled; Man killed after walking into traffic; Acupuncture clinic expanding offerings; Gas prices fall; Wyden continues Town Hall Tour; Lane Voters will decide jail levy extension

Coast Radio News
Local News

Mapleton woman evades potential car-jacker

A Veneta man had a busy day Tuesday.  Police say 25-year old Trennon Roy Smith was arrested in Florence after a “one man crime wave” in which he stole one car, threatened a woman in Mapleton and several more people in Florence and tried to steal several more vehicles.

Florence Police Commander John Pitcher said it all came to a head Tuesday evening when they received a 911 call from the 7-11 about a man acting erratically and threatening to kill people if they didn’t surrender their car to him.  Police responded and arrested Smith who is also facing charges related to a car stolen earlier in the day from Eugene and left abandoned… and heavily damaged… in Mapleton.  The Lane County Sheriff’s Office said Smith then allegedly waited inside a woman’s car when she came out of a market in Mapleton and demanded her keys.  Rose Nicol said she refused to surrender them, so the man got out of her car and climbed into a nearby red jeep.  The driver of that vehicle then apparently took Smith to Florence.   Police say they would like to talk to that person as well to make sure he or she was not coerced into giving the man a ride.

Police say a man appears to have intentionally ended his life by walking in path of oncoming vehicle

Police have still not released the name of a man who they say apparently walked into oncoming traffic on Highway 126 Tuesday afternoon.  The man was struck by an oncoming vehicle and likely died instantly.

Oregon State Troopers got the call of a man jumping in and out of traffic, three miles west of Mapleton, at about 1:25 pm that day.  Before police could arrive they got the call the man had been struck and killed.

A 34-year old Independence, Oregon woman was driving the eastbound commercial van that struck the man.  Police said she was not injured and was cooperating with police.

It was reported the man had previously jumped in front of a dump truck.  The driver of that vehicle told a trooper he missed him by inches.

Police were still attempting to notify relatives and have not yet released the man’s name.

Wyden continues town hall hour

U.S. Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon will be in his home state this weekend for a series of five town hall meetings.  Two of them will be on the coast.

Wyden will start off Friday for a pair of meetings… one in Gresham, the other in Clackamas.

Saturday morning he will be at Linn-Benton Community College in Albany at 11.  At six Saturday evening he will be on the coast at Newport High School.  Sunday at noon the Senator will be at Tillamook High School before heading back to D.C.

Gas prices fall; well above last February prices

The average cash price for a gallon of regular gas in Florence slipped by three cents this past week and is currently at $2.34.  That’s just seven cents higher than the national average as measured by Triple-A and 18-cents lower than Oregon’s statewide average.

Marie Dodds with Triple-A of Oregon says retail prices are reversing the upward trend and have dropped in the past two weeks because of severe winter weather.  That’s reduced demand in many parts of the country.  She said supplies are also slightly higher than usual for this time of year.

Despite recent declines, Dodds said retail prices are running 40-to-50 cents a gallon higher than last year at this time.  In fact the average local cash price on February 1st, 2016 in Florence was $1.66 a gallon.  That’s 68-cents a gallon lower than this week’s local average.

Voters will have final say in jail levy

Lane County Commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday evening to refer renewal of a five-year public safety levy to voters.

The proposal mirrors one passed by voters four years ago that authorized a tax of up to 55-cents-per-thousand-dollars-of-assessed value on real property throughout the county.  This year the county is only using 38-cents of that authorization because of efficiencies they’ve been able to accomplish.

The ballot description of the measure says the levy will “maintain a minimum of 255 local jail beds” over a five year period and will also continue to “provide additional counseling, secure treatment and detention services for Lane County youth offenders.”

As was the case for the original levy, all of the money generated from the tax would be placed into a restricted special revenue fund that would be used specifically for those purposes.  That fund would then be audited annually with the results given to the public via the Board of County Commissioners.

If approved by voters it would not take effect until 2018 when the current measure is set to expire.

Points of Grace to expand

What has been a twice-monthly free pain relief clinic in Florence is being expanded to offer weekly treatments and more assurances that it will continue as the result of a partnership between PeaceHealth and an alternative health provider.

Patricia Immel was offered no-cost acupuncture treatments on a regular basis at the Wellspring Clinic.  PeaceHealth officials say they recognize acupuncture can be a beneficial component of a patient’s full spectrum of healthcare.  Immel said with limited offerings last year they were able to help nearly 700 people.

Patricia Immel – “Last year between mid February and mid June we administered 693 treatments.”

Acupuncture can help people suffering with chronic pain without relying on highly addictive narcotics.  Immel says it’s not completely pain-free.

Patricia Immel – “Every now and then you just might feel a little twinge, but the relief that you got far outweighs any slight discomfort.”

Points of Grace is the name of the program.  It will be offered each Wednesday from 11 to one on a ‘drop-in’ basis at Wellspring… it’s at 1845 Highway 126 just behind Central Lincoln PUD.  Immel says there is no cost, but they do welcome donations to help offset the costs.