Beloved Chief of Florence Police Passes; Glowacki Named Future First Citizen; COVID-19 Cases; Parks Open Up For Input; SOS Postpones Golf Tournament;

Beloved Chief of Florence Police Passes

The Florence community suffered a great loss this week.  The City of Florence released the news of the passing of Florence Police Chief Tom Turner.  Turner was surrounded by family on Wednesday.  Turner had been the Chief of Police for 7 years.  He had been diagnosed with cancer and had been undergoing treatment.  City Manager Erin Reynolds said that several weeks ago the city staff had been hopeful for a recovery but then on Friday May 6 moved sooner than they had hoped to place commander pitcher into the role of interim Chief.

“It’s incredibly shocking to turn around at the end of this week and have to announce this incredibly sad and heartbreaking news on behalf of the city of Florence and the Florence police department and in conjunction with the Turner family that there has been a sudden passing of Chief Turner

Earlier in the week Reynolds said it was wonderful to see the outpouring of support for Chief Turner after the announcement of his retirement.  She added that the city was incredibly lucky to have had him in our lives for the past 7 years.  Reynolds says that the Lane County Sheriff’s office will take the lead on ceremonial arrangements to recognize Chief Turner’s career and commitment to public service.

Glowacki Named Future First Citizen

Siuslaw High School Student Ava Glowacki has been announced as this year’s recipient of the Future First Citizens award and scholarship.  Glowacki was chosen among her peers for her outstanding class work and her community volunteerism leading the Power of Florence for the past 6 years.  She plans to attend UC Santa Cruz and Oregon State University while she pursues a degree in the field of Restoration Ecology.  She has maintained a 3.9 gpa.

COVID-19 Cases

Reports of cases of COVID-19 in the Florence community continue to circulate as fewer and fewer masks can be seen and more individuals begin to congregate together.  It has been a week since Lane County Public Health announced that it would only be doing weekly updates on its coronavirus website and no firm data from them on the impact that the latest surge is having on the community is available.  However, statewide the effect can be seen in the daily numbers.  Yesterday there were 1,735 new cases reported and while Lane County’s page is not being updated the numbers are still being listed by the Oregon Health Authority.  The OHA lists 169 cases in Lane County with a daily average at 109 cases.  And according to the OHA site there have been 16 new cases for Florence (1575).  This does not take into account many who are testing from home.  We are a week away from the Rhododendron Festival and public health officials are asking that individuals use great care when attending large crowd events, even outdoors.

Parks Open Up For Input

Users of the North Jetty and Harbor Vista parks in Florence will have a chance to express their desires for those locations.  The Lane County Parks Department has scheduled four public meetings later this month to discuss the future of parks.  In-person meetings will be held in Cottage Grove, Leaburg, Eugene and Florence.  Each separate location will focus on parks in that area.  In Florence, the meeting is set for 5:30 PM Thursday, May 19th at Siuslaw Valley Fire and Rescue on Highway 101.  Parks Manager Brett Henry said the focus that evening will be on Camp Lane, Harbor Vista and North Jetty.  He would like to hear what enhancements and features are desired by residents and other park users.  Henry says Lane County Parks receive no property tax funding but relies on user fees and the lodging taxes paid by visitors.   The other three gatherings will be held May 17th at Lane County Public Works in Eugene, May 23rd at the Leaburg Fire Station and May 25th at the Cottage Grove Armory.

SOS Postpones Golf Tournament

It comes amidst a rainy and blustery weather front that continues to move through the area but the Siuslaw Outreach Services annual fundraising golf tournament for tomorrow has been postponed.  SOS director Bob Teter announced late yesterday that they will be moving the popular event to September 10th.  Teter says after many discussions with event organizers they felt that the experience would not be a good one for all participants and for volunteers involved.  Tomorrows forecast includes rain and 20 mph wind gusts. A break in the rainy weather is not expected until Monday.