STEP Program Seeks Volunteers; Coronavirus Cases Decline; Governor to Announce Million Dollar Winner; First Citizen Nominees Announced

STEP Program Seeks Volunteers

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is seeking applications for two volunteer positions for their Salmon and Trout Enhancement Program Advisory Committee (STEP). Applicants should have experience working with volunteers, community service organizations, or involvement in natural resources or angling education. Additional experience or knowledge of STEP activities in your area is also helpful. The Mid-Coast representative will reside within the territory of western Lane County, including Mapleton, Alsea and coastal communities from Lincoln City to Florence. STEP was created by the Oregon Legislature in 1981 to include community participation in the restoration of native salmon, steelhead and trout stocks. Locally there are many qualified candidates Ron Caputo, past president of the Florence STEP club says.

“We actually have a very good club here in Florence one of the best on the coast. We have over 100 members and we’re very active in the programs and we support ODF and W any way they need help we’re here for them.”

Volunteers would represent the southern Willamette Valley and central Oregon Coast. Interested individuals should apply by August 15. For application materials visit the “How to Apply” website by going to, clicking on apply for appointment, and then How to Apply under Boards and Commissions.

Coronavirus Cases Decline

Cases of the Coronavirus continue their downward trend across the state.  the Oregon Health Authority’s weekly report shows a 13% decline in cases over the previous week and hospitalizations have decreased by 40%.  One of the categories that did not decline was the number of deaths associated with the virus.  7 more people died last week than the previous week and there are still as many as 22 active outbreaks among senior living communities and congregate living settings.  Lane County still has 13 individuals in the hospital with 4 in ICU and 2 on a ventilator.  There are no numbers on Florence area residents hospitalized in Eugene hospitals and there are now new COVID-19 cases listed for the 97439 zip code.

Governor to Announce Million Dollar Winner

Governor Kate Brown will announce today the winner of the 1 million dollar prize for those who have been vaccinated.  The Take Your Shot campaign winner will be identified this afternoon on a live youtube broadcast at 1:30.  If you think it might be you, don’t.  the winner will be on hand for the announcement, and has likely already been notified based on information released by the governor’s office.

First Citizen Nominees Announced

The List of nominees for the First Citizen award have been released.  The 4 individuals include a wide swath of individuals instrumental in the lives of many in the community.  Lori Gates, Jodi O’mara Steve Olienyk and Bob Teeter are the selectees for the award.  The winner will be announced at the annual award ceremony and dinner later this month at Three Rivers Casino.  The 94 year old Olienyk is an active member of the Florence Kiwanis and is known for his work with the Kiwanis Flag Program and still participates in the placing and retrieving of the flags on holidays.  Gates has been working with local community organizations for years in Florence including Siuslaw Outreach Services, Rotary and Interact.  O’mara has been an active member of several boards over the past several years and has worked with the Rotary Club literacy projects and currently serves as the superintendent of Mapleton Schools.  Teter is a co founder of the local Mobile Crisis Response team and is the director of Siuslaw Outreach Services as well as offering his time and talent to the Siuslaw Football team.  He is also a high school teacher and a current member of the West Lane Emergency Operations Group.