Events Center Director Announces Retirement; Florence COVID-19 Count Rises; No New Information on Waldport Homicide; Crabbing Opens December 16; Gas Prices

Events Center Director Announces Retirement

The longtime director of the Florence Events Center has announced that he will be retiring at the end of this month.  Kevin Rhodes who has been the director since 2002 said he was planning on making the move around the time of his 25th anniversary with the Florence Events Center, which would have been in the summer of 2021, but felt with the current circumstances the timing now was better.  Rhodes says he is proud of what the center has accomplished over the years.

“Being able to sustain the amount of events that we do on an annual basis, building up a clientele to where we can do up to 400 events per year, to manage that, coordinate that, staff if with volunteers and do that consistently I think is one of the better accomplishments.”

Rhodes first came on board with the Florence Events Center in 1996.  He says now he is going to enjoy a little down time.

“Just spend more time with family and friends, get on a little better exercise program which may include some golf.”

Rhodes says he is very appreciative of the support he has received not only by the community, but by the city staff and city council.  Whom he thanked along with all of the volunteers over the past 25 years.

Florence COVID-19 Count Rises

The coronavirus pandemic numbers for the Florence area continue upward.  Yesterday the report from Lane County Public Health added yet another case to the coastal area making the total 54.  Many of the recent numbers added to the list are coming from tests administered at Peace Harbor hospital.  Dr. Willie Foster, director of the Emergency Department at the hospital said recently they have been getting positive tests that include local residents and those that may be traveling.  Those numbers have been coming in at a rate of 3-5 per week according to Foster.  The numbers continue to grow county wide with an additional 105 cases yesterday.  Hospital numbers are alarming too with 46 people currently hospitalized, none of those hospitalizations are here at Peace Harbor.  Statewide there were 1,341 new cases reported and 36 deaths including 4 in Lane County.  The state’s death toll is now at 1,080 and there have been 87,082 cases since the beginning of the pandemic.

No New Information on Waldport Homicide

The Lincoln County Sheriff’s office says that there is no new information regarding the homicide investigation involving Waldport businessman Mark Campbell.  According to information released yesterday the Oregon State Police has finished processing the crime scene and evidence has been collected and sent to the State Police Crime Lab.  Sheriff Curtis Landers issued a statement saying they are “deeply saddened by the tragic death of Mr. Campbell.”  He says they are working diligently to ensure that justice is served and the person or persons responsible will be located.

Crabbing Opens December 16

Commercial crabbing along the Oregon Coast will move forward beginning December 16th according to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.  The opening of commercial crabbing was delayed in order to give the crab more time to fill out in ocean waters and officials at ODFW say that is progressing nicely.  The entire coastal area with the exception portions north of Cape Falcon near Cannon Beach up to the Washington border will be open.  Recreational crabbing continues along the coast and the Siuslaw.

Gas Prices

Crude oil prices continue to climb as do prices across the nation, but in Oregon drivers are seeing little change, in fact, according to Marie Dodds with AAA Oregon the average price for a gallon of regular in Oregon has dropped a penny.  In Florence the price remains unchanged with an average price for regular around $2.30 a gallon.  Dodds says the trend for cheaper prices during the holiday will likely continue even with higher crude prices and a decrease in production from producing nations.