Sheriff Asking For Help in Missing Man’s Wherabouts; Website Maintenance Causes State and County Fall Behind on COVID-19 Updates; Coastal Fitness Reopens Doors; City Council Meeting; Holiday Decor Winner Announced

Sheriff Asking For Help in Missing Man’s Wherabouts

The Lane County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the Florence community’s assistance locating 65 year old Hammond West who was reported missing by a caregiver on January 31, 2021 after he failed to return to his home on Dilley Lane in Eugene from a walk to the market on Highway 58.  He was given a ride by a member of the Florence Community and was dropped off in the parking lot at the Three Rivers Casino in Florence around 7:30 p.m. last night. It is unknown where he went from the casino and he has not returned home.  Hammond is new to the area, is not believed to know anyone in Florence, and does not have a cell phone. Additionally, he has medical needs and likely does not have his medications with him.  Deputies conducted a search of the area including video surveillance but have found no indication of Mr. West’s presence.  He is described as a 65 year old white male 5’9″ tall and weighing 240 pounds with short, gray hair and a mustache.  He was last seen wearing blue sweatpants, a camouflage jacket and camouflage hat. A screenshot from video taken at the Eugene market on January 31, 2021 and is posted on the Coast Radio Website.  If you see Mr. West call 541-682-4150 press and reference case #21-0649

Website Maintenance Causes State and County Fall Behind on COVID-19 Updates

Over the Weekend the Oregon Health Authority was performing maintenance on their COVID-19 websites which in turn affected the Lane County Public Health Website for distributing information.  Information was distributed on the latest numbers as of Saturday via email to media outlets, but the website OHA was still listing Friday’s numbers.  The Lane County site is up and operational today providing the latest updates.  And this morning Lane County Public Health released the weekend numbers with 9,208 cases in total for the county and the Florence number is still at 145.  There are only 16 people in hospitals as of this morning with 4 currently in ICU and 1 on a ventilator.  The state numbers are still not posted as of 9 am.  The state generally updates its number in the evening.

Coastal Fitness Reopens Doors

One of the local businesses shuttered by the restrictions in Lane County has been Coastal Fitness.  Under the most current guidelines restrictions have been eased enough to allow them to open.  Coastal Fitness announced on Social media that they would be able to allow for walk-ins with no reservations.  They plan on continuing indoor and outdoor classes too.

City Council Meeting

The City Council meets this evening at 5:30 to discuss the possible annexation of a 48.82 acre property that is adjacent to the Idlewyld neighborhood.  There has been a push from a group to quash the annexation fearing that it could lead to the city forcing other neighborhoods into the city proper.  City Manager Erin Reynolds says that it is not the city’s policy to annex neighborhoods without a request for annexation.  In the past individual properties have requested annexation allowing for areas like Driftwood Shores to be included in the city services.  If the annexation is approved there would be the need to run city water and sewer services along a stretch of Oceana drive off of Rhododendron to the property.

Holiday Decor Winner Announced

The Florence Area Chamber of Commerce has announced the winner of the Holiday Décor Contest.  Kitchen Klutter on Bay Street rose to the top of almost 20 businesses to claim the prize.  Store Manager, Jan McKnight said it was a group effort of the staff and even a former Siuslaw High grad who came down from Portland to decorate the flower pots.  Bettina Hannigan, president and CEO of the Florence Chamber says the businesses and the city had to come up with new ways to celebrate the holiday without the traditional tree lighting, hay rides and other festivities they needed to find ways to draw people into Old Town.