Water Line Break; Sick Sea Lions; Cougar Population Grows; Pumpkin Giveaway Success

Water Out At Mercer Lake Homes

Water problems continue to affect Mercer Lake properties.  Many homes around the lake have been without water now for two days as major repairs to a main line have been slow.  Water had returned to homes briefly before going dry again yesterday.  Some residents have sought out friends and relatives for accommodations such as showers and potable water.

Sick Sea Lions

An outbreak of leptospirosis has been causing sickness and sometimes death for Oregon Coast sea lions.  Jim Rice with the OSU Marine Mammal Institute says the outbreak of the bacteria can also affect humans and other animals and says that you should not come in contact with any sea lion that you might encounter.  Emilio Debess is the state public health veterinarian of the Oregon Health Authority and says there is a vaccine for dogs and horses and that if your animal becomes sick after an encounter with a sea lion you should contact your vet immediately.  Authorities say if you come in contact with a sick sea lion stay at least 50 feet away and contact the Oregon State Police at 800-452-7888.

Cougar Population Growing on the Coast

Oregon has been studying the presence of cougars in the state of Oregon mainly along the Cascades and in Eastern Oregon.  Officials say that it was only a few decades ago that the cougar was even present along the coast and now a new study will collar 10 adult cougars in the Alsea wildlife management unit north of Florence.  There have been increased sightings along the coast and particularly near Florence.  Several residents have contacted Coast Radio with sightings of multiple cats together.  The study will include the use of scat detecting dogs to attempt to refine the cougar population numbers, their eating habits and their prey.  Once collared the gps unit on the collar will help ODFW officials track them and provide data on travel patterns.  ODFW says that while it is legal to shoot a cougar they prefer that hunters not shoot a collared cougar but if they do they need to contact them so that the collar and information therein can be retrieved and reused.

Pumpkin Giveaway Excitement

There were hundreds of happy pumpkin recipients for yesterday’s Great Pumpkin Giveaway.  The food, games, and weather all worked together to make for a great celebration.  Angela Hufford with Florence True Value helps each year to coordinate the location, games, and helpers.

“We’re so excited. The turnout was great; the games went over awesome; we had a million ringed pumpkins; so that was awesome.”

Hufford says they love doing it at the Florence saw shop location.  The kids loved it too.  When asked they had different reasons for loving it

“The people that are here…the pumpkins are free…the food.”

Hotdogs, A&W root beer and pumpkins ran out as the last of the crowd left.  Everyone that wanted a pumpkin, got a pumpkin.  Now it’s time to focus on the 29th annual celebration.