DeFazio Announces Retirement; Be Wary of Holiday Scams; COVID Milestone; Digital Vax Record; Reedsport Arrest

DeFazio Announces Retirement

Oregon’s longest serving member of Congress Peter DeFazio announced today that he will not be seeking re-election to congress after 36 years representing the 4th district.  DeFazio says that it is with humility and gratitude that he makes the announcement and it has been an honor to serve the 4th district.  DeFazio says he will focus the next few years on his health and well-being as he passes the baton to the next generation.  Defazio’s term will end with the new congress in January 2023.

Be Wary of Holiday Scams

The Holiday season brings out people seeking to take advantage of the good natured and trusting. Kieran Ramsey is a specialist with the FBI and says anyone offering a deal that is too good to be true probably isn’t.  but he does say there are a few simple steps to secure that you are not being scammed.

“Put in that company name or that vendor name into that online search query and add the word fraud or scam.”

Ramsey says it will likely tell you immediately if the company has been questioned about its integrity.  He also recommends that you use a specific credit card for all online purchases so that you can easily track what you are spending and will notice charges that you did not approve.  He says fraudulent merchants are not the only ones to be weary of, there are charitable scams this time of year too.

“We urge people to make sure you are giving to an established charity or group that you know and trust.”

There is also a website to visit to report on fraudulent companies and to get resources.

COVID Milestone

Florence broke through the 800 mark milestone for COVID-19 cases with 3 more reported for the area yesterday.  The total now stands at 802.  Lane County reported 67 new cases and the state 1,111 and 25 new deaths.  Despite the seemingly consistent numbers being reported the Oregon Health Authority is reporting another 25% decrease in cases from the previous week.  Hospitals also saw a 16% drop in new admissions.

Digital Vax Record

The OHA is developing a voluntary digital vaccine record to provide vaccinated individuals the ability to prove their vaccination status where it might be required.  Oregon does not currently require proof of vaccination, but some businesses may do so on their own and this tool will be offered free to individual through a download.  They hope to have it ready for use by the spring.

Reedsport Arrest

After a lengthy investigation into the activities of 54 year old Michael Shannon Golden, Reedsport Police arrested him on Monday for Fraudulent use of a Credit Card, Aggravated Identity Theft, computer Crime and felon in possession of a firearm and unlawful possession of a short Barrel Rifle.  Golden was approached on a jobsite where he claimed a restroom emergency and was allowed to use a portable restroom onsite.  While inside golden used an ink pen to cause self harm by cutting his neck and wrists.  He was transported to Lower Umpqua hospital where he was treated for his injuries, none of which were life threatening.  He was transported to Douglas County Jail pending arraignment.