Mapleton Ready For Distance Learning; OSP Releases Preliminary Information on Recovered Body; Gas Prices Steady; Covid Numbers; One Suspect Still At Large

Mapleton Ready For Distance Learning

Mapleton School District is preparing for Comprehensive Distance Learning as is the Siuslaw School District.  Superintendent for Mapleton Schools, Jodi O’mara, says teachers are meeting this week to prepare for orientation.  She says one of the things that will be different this fall from last spring is all teachers will be centrally located.  Which has a two-fold purpose.

“Staff morale is important, but also for communication for our families, if our families want to get hold of a teacher they call the office and they need to still be able to do that.”

O’mara says they hope that they can start bringing back students before the end of the year, but that will depend on the state metrics for the coronavirus.  She says size will play a role in being able to return, but the percentages of cases still needs to be low.

“After 3 weeks of less than 5% test positivity rate then we will be able to move to hybrid.”

Their hybrid model consists of groups of ten or less, which O’mara says is quite possible due to the amount of space available and the total number of students that attend Mapleton Schools.

OSP Releases Preliminary Information on Recovered Body

The Oregon State Police have released some preliminary information about the body that was discovered in the surf near Bob’s Creek.  The body was discovered by Brayden Brookeshire near milepost 170 at Bob’s Creek State Park on highway 101 at approximately 10:44 am on Friday, August 21, 2020.  Yachats Fire and Rescue responded as did Oregon State Police.  Trooper Justin Lindquist documented the scene and the body was removed to the parking lot due to tidal concerns.  The identity of the deceased male has not yet been determined and the case has been declared inactive until a positive identity can be determined.  OSP says there is no evidence of foul play.

Gas Prices Steady

Hurricane Laura has yet to impact local gas prices along the Oregon Coast.  According to Marie Dodds with AAA Oregon, southeastern storms generally effect the entire country when it comes to production and distribution, even though the west coast has its share of refineries.  Gas prices in Oregon did inch up a half cent according to Dodds.  Locally gas prices are holding steady with an average price of $2.46 a gallon for regular gas.  Dodds says she expects a bump after the fallout of Laura, but how much or how widespread that will be has yet to be determined.  Gas prices continue to be at their lowest level since 2016.

Covid Numbers

The Oregon Health Authority is reporting 212 new COVID-19 cases.  Yesterday evenings tally raises the total number of known cases in the state to 25,761.  The death toll is now at 438 with 5 new deaths associated with COVID-19 also announced.  All 5 of the cases were elderly with underlying health conditions.  Cases for Lane County are at 690 which adds 18 more (updated 10:02 a.m.) to yesterday’s total.  There is still about a 12 hour lag time between Lane County’s reporting and the OHA report which accounts for the differing numbers on the reporting websites.  Case count for Florence and the surrounding area is still at 18.

One Suspect Still At Large

As of this morning there is still one suspect at large in last weekend’s kidnapping and assault.  Jonathan Dakota Appelt is wanted for Kidnapping and assault charges resulting from an incident last Saturday night near Walton.  Two other suspects are currently in the Lane County Jail.  OSP is asking for information about the location of Appelt, warning that he is armed and dangerous and should not be approached.