Click It or Ticket; New Chief Hits the Ground Running; Mary B II Captain Impaired; Rhododendron Coronation

Click It or Ticket

The Florence Police Department will be participating in a statewide Click it or Ticket enforcement push beginning next Monday and going through the Memorial Day Weekend.  In partnership with other county and state agencies the Florence Police want to ensure the message of driver safety through using seatbelts is one of the simplest way to save lives during a crash.  In addition to the Click it or Ticket campaign, law enforcement will also have increased enforcement patrols for DUII.  That campaign will be conducted from Saturday, May 25th through Monday, May 27th.  During last month’s increased enforcement, Florence Police issued several citations for speed and traffic violations as well as arresting 5 drivers for driving while impaired.

New Chief Hits the Ground Running

Siuslaw Valley Fire and Rescue Chief Michael Schick was properly introduced to Florence this past week with late night emergencies.  Chief Schick was on scene for the fire that destroyed a home on Collard Lake Way in the early morning hours last Friday.  While the fire was tragic, Chief Schick said he learned a lot about the experience of the SVFR and WLAD teams.  He comes to Florence from his previous post at Camino Island Washington and is looking forward to settling in here.  Schick said that with the proposed growth over the next several years volunteers are, and continue to be, the focus on growth in the department.

“I started out as a volunteer fire fighter and it is near and dear to my heart and it is just getting so difficult to recruit volunteers and retain them.”

Chief Schick says he believes that one of the reasons for his hiring was his experience in strategic planning, which he says will come in handy dealing with the growth that is coming to our area.  Chief Schick will be a guest on the June edition of Our Town.

Mary B II Captain Impaired

A hearing on a  high profile boating accident that took the lives of its captain and crew in Newport in January revealed toxicology reports that show the captain, Stephen Biernacki had methamphetamine and alcohol in his system at the time of the accident.  The Associated Press reported that interviews revealed that even before the boat went out crabbing witnesses reported that Biernacki seemed impaired.  The Mary B II faced waves that crested at 20 feet while trying to return to Newport.  Crewmembers James Lacey and Joshua Porter were also killed in the accident.

Rhododendron Coronation

The Florence Event Center tomorrow evening will be hosting the annual coronation of the Queen Rhododendra and King of the Coast.  The ceremony highlights the beginning of the 112th Rhododendron Festival in Florence and showcases the talents of local students.  The annual tradition began in 1908.  Tickets are 13 dollars for adults and 9 dollars for students.  It begins at 6:30 pm.