Boats on the Port of Siuslaw

Shooter Ends In Milaukee, Wisconsin; New Cases of COVID-19; State Not Yet at Goal; Bill to Change Policing Policies

Shooter Ends In Milaukee, Wisconsin

Friday’s shooter of two people in North Bend and a hit and run that left one person dead and a woman seriously injured managed to make his was to Milwaukee Wisconsin.  Oen Evan Nicholson managed to make it to the Poodle Creek area on highway 126 before crashing the Dodge Ram pickup that he had taken from the parking lot of the Mills Casino.  The truck belonged to Nicholson’s 87 year old father who was one of the shooting victims.  The hit and run victims were 74 year old Anthony Oyster who is deceased and his wife 73 year old Linda Oyster.  Nicholson also shot and killed 47 year old Jennifer Davidson before fleeing North Bend and driving towards Eugene.  He crashed the pickup near milepost 39 on highway 126 before escaping into the woods.  Authorities have not said how Nicholson got from the woods near Noti to Springfield, more than 30 miles, where he apparently abducted 34 year old Laura Johnson.   Johnson was reported missing around the same time as Nicholson crashed his vehicle.   Johnson told authorities that Nicholson approached her with a gun in a parking lot in Springfield and forced her into her car and made her drive to Wisconsin, where she talked him in to surrender to authorities yesterday.  Johnson was unharmed.

New Cases of COVID-19

Over the weekend the Oregon Health authority reported 804 new cases of COVID-19.  Cases continue to be lower than the previous 3 month averages, but authorities say variants of the virus are cause for concern.  It is unclear how effective the vaccines are for combating resistant strains of the virus.  Lane County reported 51 new cases over the three day period and there were  no new cases for the 97439 zip code.

State Not Yet at Goal

Today is the date set by Governor Kate Brown as her goal for reaching the 70% number of vaccines across the state, but the numbers are just not there yet according to the Oregon Health Authority’s information page.  This morning the numbers were at 68.5 percent, but had not been updated since midnight Friday Morning.  it is unclear if enough vaccines were administered over the weekend to move over the mark.  It is expected that updates will occur today.  Average daily vaccinations rates have fallen from 15,000+ per day to 12,500 per day since last week.

Bill to Change Policing Policies

A bill that would bring sweeping changes to criminal justice is in front of Oregon lawmakers. Supporters hope it gets past the finish line before the session ends. House Bill 2002 covers a range of issues, such as ending supervision fees for people who have finished their prison sentences. Danita Harris with Oregon Food Bank says it also makes changes to policing so that law-enforcement officers don’t pull people over for low-level offenses, such as broken taillights.

“What that does is serve to lessen the encounters that folks are having with the police and the fewer encounters, the fewer negative encounters. It also gives the police the opportunity to focus on policing as opposed to traffic violations.”

 Harris adds that the bill makes major investments, such as an eight-million-dollar increase in victim services with dedicating funding for culturally specific organizations. They say this measure is the culmination of decades of activism, and the racial-justice reckoning over the past year has catapulted the issue onto the desks of decision makers.