OCHS Names New Director; Churches Weather Pandemic; COVID-19 Update; Superintendent Evaluation

OCHS Names New Director

The Oregon Coast Humane Society has announced a new executive Director 14 months after hiring their previous director.  Elizabeth Thompson had previously managed Goodwill stores in the Eugene/Springfield area for the past 8 years and has extensive experience working with Lane County Animal Services in Eugene where she helped manage operations, organized volunteers and helped to raise thousands of dollars for the shelter.  Thompson says she is aware of the Oregon Coast Humane Society’s past and is willing to leave it in the past and move forward.  Thompson believes that the future is bright and promising.  President of the OCHS board, Shauna Robbers, says they are very excited to have Thompson on Board and that Thompson and the OCHS are a great match.  Thompson says she looks forward to meeting supporters and community leaders to build stronger bridges and to work with the community in discovering how the two can work together.

Churches Weather Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed a lot of the landscape for retail businesses, but it has also effected the way people approach worship.  Over the past year there were a lot of unknowns and a lot of concern as to how churches would be able to provide services.  Dale Edwards with Cross Road Assembly said when the word came down from the state it was hard to process.

“it was probably the hardest decision that I ever had to make in ministry was to know that we weren’t just going to dismiss a service, but we were shutting down and not knowing when we would come back.”

Edwards said the year has been able to show him the true heart in people as the ministry was able to help others with the outpouring of support from the congregation.

“we’ve just been able to go outside, as well as helping with what we called COVID relief just those families that have needs as we’ve had the ability to plug back in.”

Under the new restrictions the attendance allowance has increased, but Edwards says that they are looking at perhaps doing a third service for Easter in order to accommodate the congregation.

COVID-19 Update

With the weekend numbers the total for Florence is at 179 total cases of COVID-19, but another low count day for Lane County has the area trending toward more easing of restrictions.  There were only 10 new cases for the county added Monday and the state is following suit with smaller numbers.  OHA reported a low of 178 cases for Monday.  However total numbers for the previous week were up 39% due to an extremely low week ending on march 7th.  Vaccination numbers continue to rise as case numbers decline out of the 1.7 million available doses almost 1.4 million have been administered.  There were a few more hospitalizations reported with an additional 18 added yesterday and 2 new deaths, statewide have been added.

Superintendent Evaluation

On Monday the Siuslaw School board release the outline of the Superintendent evaluation on school superintendent Andy Grzeskowiak.  Along with several positive responses including strong communication skills and leadership skills the board also found that Grzeskowiak was also a strong, effective manager especially during the ongoing pandemic.  One area of improvement was to find ways to improve communication between the district and the community.