Florence PD Arrest Man Wanted in Florida; Museum Seeks Funding for Fire Protection System; Clothing Drive for Homeless Students; COVID-19 Numbers

Florence PD Arrest Man Wanted in Florida

Florence Police report they arrested a Florida man who had been living in Florence over the past several months.  After a traffic stop on Friday night in the 200 block of Nopal Street the driver of the vehicle identified himself as Avery McMullen.  The officer checked for warrants and for the status of the individuals drivers license and discovered that McMullen was wanted for 2 counts of Attempted First Degree Murder in Florida.  The charges stem from an apparent incident in January of this year.  McMullen was arrested and lodged in the Florence City Jail and transported to Lane County Jail.  In addition to the attempted murder charges the 21 year old McMullen was shooting into an unoccupied building, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and simple domestic battery.

Museum Seeks Funding for Fire Protection System

Fundraising efforts for a fire suppression system to protect the Siuslaw Pioneer Museum in Old Town Florence is getting a boost.  The Oregon Heritage Commission announced Monday of approval of a 20-thousand dollar grant.  The museum’s board of directors were prompted to explore a sprinkler system after a fire destroyed Dairy Queen this past summer.  The Class 3 Dry Type Fire Sprinkler System will cost up to 80-thousand dollars.  Other grants are being actively pursued, including a 20-thousand dollar matching grant from the Mehlum Family Foundation and the Siuslaw Bank Charitable Trust.  That would also be for 20-thousand dollars, but would require an additional 20-thousand from community members.  And an additional 10-thousand dollars is required to activate that grant.  The museum has other grant applications pending that would meet the target goal.  Individual donations can also be made directly on the Siuslaw Pioneer Museum website, Siuslaw Pioneer Museum-dot-com.

Clothing Drive for Homeless Students

The Siuslaw Special Programs will be the recipient of a clothing collection event on Thursday, December 9th.   Collection organizer Gary Cargill says homeless students will benefit from your donations, 

 “There are approximately 40 students currently within the Siuslaw School District that are legally considered as homeless.  They’re maybe bouncing from different families, couches, living in cars.” 

 Between the hours of 4pm to 6pm new clothing donations will be collected in the parking lot in front of Habitat for Humanity Restore.  

“We’re collecting socks, underwear, sweatshirts, sweatpants, even new jackets and fleece blankets.” 

 Other new clothing items need are pajamas, and new black leggings for elementary age girl’s sizes 5 to 12.  Cash donations will be collected at the same time.  The Rhody Cruisers will be on hand along with Siuslaw Fire & Rescue and Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus.  Collection bins to support the Siuslaw Special Programs Homeless Student Closet are also located at Florence In Bloom, Habitat for Humanity and Siuslaw News through December 15th.   

COVID-19 Numbers

Weekend numbers from the Oregon Health Authority put the COVID-19 numbers for Florence at 809 since the beginning of the pandemic.  There were also 2,041 cases reported state wide while Lane County reported 132 for the three days.  There were also 25 deaths reported.  Currently there has not been a case of the new Omicron Variant of the virus detected in Oregon, but officials with OHA say it is only a matter of time before we see them.