Phone Lines Still Down; Voter Registration; Drop in Medicare Assistance Requests; COVID-19 Updates; Prices Still High Despite Oil Prices

Phone Lines Still Down

Last week Century Link customers in the area around Kingwood and Rhododendron lost phone and internet services after several lines were severed during an installation of preliminary fiber optic tubing.  In a post responding to public comment on the mishap, Robbie Wright, with HYAK, the company installing the new networks, says they followed procedure and called 811 prior to digging the underground tunnels for their conduit, but that the contractor handling the work for Century Link failed to locate the lines.  Work has been ongoing over the weekend to repair the problem.  Goodman’s flooring on Kingwood were affected by the issue, and they said communication has been difficult especially during this time when they are doing work by appointment only and the phones are their lifeline.

Voter Registration

If you have not registered to vote and want to participate in the May 19th primary, you have until tomorrow to do so.  You can go to if you have a valid Oregon Driver’s license, a DMV issued identification card or a learners permit.  If you are 17 and will turn 18 prior to the primary date you are also eligible to register and vote.

Drop in Medicare Assistance Requests

The Senior Health Insurance Benefit Assistance or SHIBA of Lane County has experienced a severe drop in requests for assistance with Medicare.  Brian Price with SHIBA says normally they are scheduling dozens of clients a month for counseling sessions, but since the coronavirus outbreak most of those sessions have ceased.  Price says he is concerned that people are not getting the help they need believing that help is not available.  Price says that they are still available to help those with Medicare questions or issues by phone.  They are currently coordinating phone sessions through a 1-800 number at 800-722-4134, or by contacting your Medicare insurance agent.

COVID-19 Updates

As of yesterday morning the number of COVID-19 cases is still growing in Oregon.  2,311 cases have been reported and the death toll in the state has risen to 91.  The first was a 51 year old Wasco County man, the second a 70 year old Multnomah county man, the third a 75 year old woman from Multnomah County and the fourth was a 93 year old woman from Marion County.  Lane County is currently reporting 50 cases which is unchanged from Friday’s numbers.  Total number of tests conducted is nearing the 50 thousand mark statewide.

Prices Still High Despite Oil Prices

The US has recorded the highest levels of gasoline stocks in the history of the nation.  Gas prices are falling across the nation with some states offering gas as low as .75 cents a gallon, but not in Oregon.  The Oregon price is averaging $2.47 a gallon and Florence’s price is averaging around $2.29 a gallon.  Traditionally Florence has been a few cents below the Eugene Metro Area, but now is slightly above.  There has been some social media backlash due to the difference in price, but one of the reasons for the difference is that historically Florence has had a much higher volume of sales during the spring, and due to travel restrictions put on by the state, local gas volume has dropped drastically and supplies are not being replenished at their normal levels.  Even so, Florence should begin to see additional decreases according to Marie Dodds with AAA Oregon.