School Employee Test Positive; Facility Not Likely To Benefit Florence; COVID-19 Update; WLCF Announced Scholarships

School Employee Test Positive

A positive COVID-19 test for the Florence area has been identified as an employee at the Siuslaw Middle School.  the Siuslaw School District released the information late yesterday afternoon.  Members of the 6th grade on-campus class should be in isolation until the 15th of June and will be allowed to return to campus on the 16th.  According to the information released the 7th and 8th grade students are not affected and may continue their routines on campus.  The school and Lane County Public Health are working closely together to respond to the potential impact this could have on the community.  School superintendent Andy Grzeskowiak sent a letter to families notifying them of the case.  The site is undergoing a deep cleaning and parents are encouraged to seek care if their student shows signs of a covid-19 infection.

Facility Not Likely To Benefit Florence

A wave testing facility being built seven miles off the coast near Waldport will have little or no effect on coastal power prices says Chris Chandler, Community and Economic Development Manager at Central Lincoln PUD. Oregon State University begins construction this week on the first commercial, utility-grid-connected wave energy test site in the United States. The approximately 80-million-dollar facility will offer wave energy developers the opportunity to try different technologies for harnessing the power of ocean waves and transmitting that energy to the electrical grid. Central Lincoln PUD will operate the facility that will connect the energy to the grid. But, Chandler says, while PUD is happy to support the project, it is unlikely that the utility will buy much or any of that power because of what is currently bought from Bonneville Power is both low cost and 97% carbon free. Oregon State has pursued development of a wave energy testing facility for more than a decade to accelerate the development of this industry. There is currently no US facility for developers to measure the electrical and environmental performance of their devices at this scale.

COVID-19 Update

As Lane County begins its move to Moderate Risk level tomorrow the county has reported 26 new cases of the coronavirus.  The state report from the Oregon Health Authority is showing a total of 356 new cases.  Statewide vaccinations is still at its lowest daily average in months as the state slowly moves toward its goal of having 70 percent of the population vaccinated.  Lane County officially has reached the 63 percentile and still needs several thousand residents to be vaccinated to reach the 65% goal which will move the county to the lowest level or risk.  Governor Kate Brown says she hope the state will still reach its goal by month’s end.  Percentage numbers for the goal only apply to residents 18 and over.  There are still only 6 counties that have reached the 65% goal with only 4 other counties in the 60 percentile with Lane County being the closest to their goal.

WLCF Announced Scholarships

The Western Lane Community foundation has announced its continuing education scholarship program for 2021.    The Arlis Ulman Health Careers Scholarship is a $3000 scholarship to students enrolled in a nursing program at either the Florence or Eugene campus of Lane Community College.  The grant is for students that have graduated in 2020 or earlier and have permanent residence in the Florence and Mapleton School Districts.  The $1200 Don Tiegen Scholarship will go to a student that is re-entering upper education after a significant interruption such as military service, injury or a career change.  In addition there are 11 $1,000 scholarships.  Information is available at