City Council Meeting; Pumpkin Giveaway To Adjust to Pandemic; Weekend Coronavirus Cases; Flags at Half Mast

City Council Meeting

Florence City Council Meets this evening at 5:30 via virtual meeting software.  The city council will consider a new Ford Explorer Police Interceptor for the Florence Police Department.  The vehicle being proposed is a Hybrid model and comes at a cost of $63,220.00.  the Florence Police Department had previously purchased to 2019 models in 2018.  The new hybrid model will allow police, while in their vehicle, to shut off the engine and use battery power to operate the critical electrical equipment.  The vehicle is priced above the budget allowed for the vehicle, but according to the city’s meeting information, the city of Florence Police department under spent their budget by $150,000 allowing for the additional $5,220.00 to be covered.  The original cost of the vehicle, which will be purchased from Johnston Motor Company is approximately $36,500 and the up-fitting to a police interceptor model is an additional $26,771.  This evening’s meeting will also consider upgrading the airport’s weather station and a proposed approval of a Block Grant to provide scholarships for Florence’s workforce.

Pumpkin Giveaway To Adjust to Pandemic

Considering the pandemic and the recommendations from the OHA and CDC regarding Trick or Treating and Candy distribution in general Coast Radio Owner and General Manager Jon Thompson announced that the Annual Great Pumpkin Giveaway will have a different look this year.  The giveaway will still be filled with free pumpkins and bags of candy for children and teens under the age of 18, but it will be done in parade style.  In conjunction with partners True Value, the Saw Shop and Old School Furniture, pumpkins and candy will be given out as cars proceed from Quince Street down 6th street and into the old school parking lot where members of Siuslaw Valley Fire and Rescue will be handing out pumpkins and candy to families in their cars.  All participants in the distribution process will be following current CDC guidelines for social distancing and pumpkins and Candy can be loaded directly into the trunk of your car.  Thompson said the station and True Value decided that cancellation of the event would even further disappoint the estimated 500 kids who typically receive a free pumpkin and goodies.  This year there will not be any hotdogs, soda or games, but Thompson hopes that providing a free pumpkin and  a bag of candy will give the kids something to look forward to.

Weekend Coronavirus Cases

It was a particularly heavy weekend in Lane County for new coronavirus cases, over the 3 day period 139 new cases were reported including 81 on Saturday, bringing the total number of cases to 1,490.  But even more important according to Lane County Public Health’s own records is the 237 infectious individuals that are currently known in the county.  The Florence area is also inching up in cases, albeit slowly, a 25th case was reported for the 97439 zip code.  Statewide the total number of cases for the weekend were 934 and 12 new deaths including an 85 year old Lane County man.  The death toll related to COVID-19 is now 572.

Flags at Half Mast

You may have noticed flags flying at half mast yesterday, it was in observance of National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Day.  Oregon and states across the nation recognized the service that fallen firefighters gave in the line of duty.  Brown said in a press release that “We honor the legacy of those who made the ultimate sacrifice, and pause for loved ones of those lost. In accordance with White House Flag orders the first Sunday of October is designated to honor the national Fallen Firefighters.