Governor Explains Mask Order; Gas Prices Hold Steady in Oregon; Accident Closes 101; Florence Man Sentenced to Life; State Sees Largest Spike Yet

Governor Explains Mask Order

11 am yesterday morning Governor Kate Brown outlined the new face mask requirements for the entire state of Oregon.  Brown said that the Oregon Health Authority and OSHA are working on specific guidelines that will be shared with the public upon completion.  The Governor also asked that businesses step up to help regulate the mask ordinance since it is not her wish to have local law enforcement issuing tickets.  She reiterated that it is up to the public to ensure that this disease does not continue to spread.  With cases above 8900 and the expectation that Oregon could exceed 10 thousand within a week unless changes in behavior occur.  Brown was asked why she did not call for a complete moratorium on 4th of July Celebrations, but was reluctant to do so but rather strongly encourage citizens to keep celebrations small.

“I want to encourage you and say to you that we need to keep people safe and I want to say Please, please, please keep your backyard BBQ, your picnics, down to your family household members.”

Brown also said that it was unfortunate that the weather forecast for this holiday weekend is good, which will undoubtedly bring people out, but if good practices are followed, may be able to limit the number of new infections.

Gas Prices Hold Steady in Oregon

The state of Oregon showed little increase in weekly gasoline prices, in fact Oregon showed the smallest increase of any of the 50 states.  This is good news for Oregonians that plan to do any traveling over the 4th of July weekend.  Even though there are new regulations regarding mask wearing, the parks and camping will remain open giving travelers a chance to get away to areas that can allow social distancing naturally.  The Oregon average for a price of regular gas is at $2.59 a gallon and the Florence price is currently unchanged from last week at $2.39 a gallon.  Marie Dodds with AAA Oregon says some states saw a 10 % increase in preparation for the holiday.  This weekend it is estimated that 97% of travelers will make their destination by car.

Accident Closes 101

A four mile stretch of Highway 101 had to be closed yesterday morning after a police chase ended in a crash near Winchester Bay.  Douglas County Deputies attempted a traffic stop on a vehicle that fled and later crashed near milepost 217 killing the driver.  The Oregon State Police bomb unit was called in after deputies noticed what they thought were explosives in the vehicle.  Highway 101 was closed in both directions while the investigation took place.  The roadway was reopened just before 4pm

Florence Man Sentenced to Life

Kevin Lee Cooper of Florence was sentenced to life in prison  yesterday after pleading guilty on June 19th for the killing of his mother in March of 2019.  Cooper bludgeoned his mother in her home on Munsel Creek Drive and dragged her body into the garage before calling police.  He initially reported that he found his mother dead but Cooper’s then girlfriend changed her initial story and told police that she had helped Cooper get rid of his bloodied clothes in the woods.  Cooper will be eligible for parole in 25 years at the age of 87.

State Sees Largest Spike Yet

Lane County is reporting that the total number of coronavirus cases is now at 167 with 2 hospitalizations  that is 12 new cases in Lane County.  In all the state reported its highest daily count on record with 281 new confirmed cases.  There has also been one new death to report from Marion County.  A 91 year old woman with underlying health conditions died on June 29th.  Marion, Multnomah, and Washington Counties have the most reported cases in the state.