Siuslaw River Bridge

New Rules Amid Spike in Coronavirus Cases; Rumors Not Accurate; Late Fees Reinstated; Phone Book Cover Contest; Cougar Sighting in Lane County

New Rules Amid Spike in Coronavirus Cases

Coronavirus cases around the state continue to climb prompting Governor Kate Brown to begin requiring some communities with a dense populace to wear masks.  Beginning on Wednesday masks will be required indoors in places like grocery stores and shops in 7 counties including Lincoln County directly north of Florence.  Lane County missed the list as it has been relatively unaffected by the phase two reopening.  Lane’s COVID-19 count is currently at 90 and has been for several days.  Yesterday the Oregon Health Authority reported a fourth day of triple digit numbers with 148 new cases bringing the state’s total to 6,366.  There were also 4 new deaths associated with the coronavirus: Two Marion County residents and two Clackamas County residents.  Three of the four were in their 80’s and one in their late 70’s all reporting underlying health conditions.  On requiring masks, Governor Brown said yesterday that as more is learned about the virus the more critical role masks play in reducing transmission.

Rumors Not Accurate

Rumors that Lane Community College will have to cut back on some of its popular programs due to budget concers are not accurate according to a spokesperson for LCC.  Faculty and programs are safe over the next school year according to Brett Rowlett.  The college will have to make some adjustments as state revenue will be down 4.4 billion dollars and will have an effect on education, but Rowlett says they are preparing for that reduction.

Late Fees Reinstated

Beginning in August the City of Florence will re-establish it late fees for utilities that are not paid on time.  The $5.00 late fee had been waived in light of the Covid pandemic, but now that businesses are beginning to open up and people are going back to work the fee will be reinstated.  If you have a past due balance as of August 15th the $5 late fee will appear on your September bill.

Phone Book Cover Contest

Local phone publication, the Central Coast Connection is celebrating its 30 year and will once again be offering a cover contest.  The business directory and phone book will be awarding a $300.00 prize and their photo published in the book.  Submissions will be accepted through July 15th and can be made through the FRAA website at  the winner will be determined by July 22nd.

Cougar Sighting in Lane County

The Lane County Sheriff’s office has reported a cougar sighting.  It happened in the Veneta area of Lane County, but it is important to remind residents of the suggested procedures from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife as summer usually means an increase of wild animal sightings across the county and the state.  Never try to trap or contain the animal.  They will generally retreat if they have a way to escape.  Maintain direct eye contact.  If you have children with you, pick them up but do so without bending or turning your back on the animal, back away slowly and do not run.  Use a loud, stern voice and if the animal seems aggressive raise your arms to look bigger and even clap your hands.  More safety tips are available the department of fish and wildlife’s website.