Mapleton Superintendent Search; Feral Cats; Three Rivers Foundation; Second Booster Approved; COVID-19 Update

Mapleton Superintendent Search

The search for a new superintendent of schools in Mapleton is making progress and officials there hope to have somebody on board to replace retiring Jodi O’Mara before the end of this school year. School Board Chair Mary Ellen Mansfield says they have completed preliminary interviews of a handful of candidates and are currently scheduling follow-ups.  There is a chance they could make an offer to a replacement candidate in the next few weeks.  However, it has been a challenge scheduling the second round of interviews.  O’Mara is stepping down June 30 after 10 years at the helm of the Mapleton  school district.  During her decade, O’Mara has worked hard to keep the district in good financial and physical shape, as well has having forged strong ties with the community.  While Mansfield does not envy anyone who follows O’Mara: whomever gets the job, she says, will benefit in having done so.  The Mapleton School Board will meet again April 20th and Mansfield says she hopes to have an employment offer made and accepted by then.

Feral Cats

The Oregon Coast Humane Society is working to keep feral cats in check.  It can take just five years for a single pair of feral cats to produce up to 12-thousand offspring.  That’s what Elizabeth Thompson, the executive Director of the Oregon Coast Humane Society says.  That’s one reason why the local shelter has undertaken a program of trapping and sterilizing local populations of feral cats.  Some of the younger cats can be placed in permanent or foster homes, those that have health problems will likely spend the rest of their days in the shelter.  But, she says:

“The best case scenario is that they go back where they came from.  They’re good for preventing pests.  They actually are strong contributors in the eco-system where they come from, so we do try to return them if we can.”

Anyone with a nearby population of feral cats can call the shelter and a team of specially trained volunteers will respond.

Three Rivers Foundation

50 organizations in Lane County are the recipient of funds provided through grants by the Three Rivers Foundation.  100 organizations overall were part of 1.4 million dollars that were given out by the confederated tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua, and Siuslaw Indians.  Food Backpack for kids in Florence received $10,000 dollars as did KXCR Community Radio.  Florence food share received $8,611.  Project Graduation at Siuslaw Schools received $21,000.  The Oregon Coast Military Museum received $10,000.  Doug Barret is a confederated tribes member:

“due to the success of the Three Rivers Casino we were able to give away the most money we ever had in the history of the Casino”

Barret says most of their charitable funds goes to the 5 counties the tribe serves, but also includes contributions to other tribes in Oregon.

Second Booster Approved

The Oregon Health Authority has officially announced that some adults and minors will now be able to receive a second booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.  People over the age of 50 can now receive a booster from Pfizer or Moderna.  The CDC approved the vaccines earlier in the week.  Immunocompromised youth 12-17 can receive a Pfizer dose.  The same individuals 18 and older can choose between Pfizer and Moderna.  Eligibility includes at least a 4 month period since your last booster dose.

COVID-19 Update

There was one new COVID-19 case reported for the 97439 zip code in yesterday’s Lane County update (1506).  Lane County reported 38 new cases and the Oregon Health Authority reported 320 new cases.  Hospitalizations rose slightly to 108, four more than the previous day’s number.  There were also 5 new deaths reported.