Local Surfer Found Dead; Elementary School Students Sing; Graduation Exercises Set

Local Surfer Found Dead

At approximately 10:30pm Wednesday night the Lane County Sheriff’s Office received a call about an overdue surfer near Heceta Beach north of Florence. Lane County Sheriff Search and Rescue and United States Coast Guard personnel responded with a search of the area.

Around noon yesterday, Coast Guard personnel found a deceased male subject in the water not far from where the overdue surfer was believed to have been surfing. Lane County officials are investigating the death. This is routine procedure, according to Sgt. Tom Speldrich with the Sheriff’s office

” Anytime there is death is not under the supervision of a doctor local authorities at least in Oregon will investigate that death…”

Speldrich says they expect to be able to release the identity of the deceased sometime today.  The local surf community is already identifying him on social media.  He also said that while circumstances may seem obvious, the Lane County Sheriff’s department will await medical reports before releasing official cause of death.

Elementary School Students Sing

Last night parents, students, teachers, administrators and school board members joined the elementary school 4th and 5th grade choir and band students for a live, in-person concert in the gym—the first since the beginning of COVID. Elementary Music Teacher Amanda Sarles thanked musicians and audience members for helping music return to the school experience. In her introduction, Sarles reminded the audience that, “even though this 15-minute concert might not feel like a lot, for our students, this is a meaningful moment of return to regular school event”. Students, not having had the opportunity to perform in front of a live audience in over two years, struggled with some fear, Sarles said.

“There’s something about being in person and just knowing that as they are singing their heartbeats are aligning, their words are aligning, their thoughts are aligning and they forget about that fear that they walked into the room with and they leave feeling great about who they are.”

Sarles says “When we sing, both parts of the brain are engaged because remembering words and rhythms is an analytical skill,” and that  “being in the band and choir have provided a sense of friendship, courage and confidence,”

The students gave the performance in front of an almost full house in the Siuslaw elementary gym.

Graduation Exercises Set

Area Graduation exercises are set.  Seniors at three area high schools will receive their diplomas this weekend.  The first up will be Siuslaw High School at 7 PM this evening as 78 grads wear their caps and gowns.  KCST will present live coverage of the commencement beginning at 6:45.  Tomorrow seven graduating Mapleton Sailors will be honored at the high school at two pm.   In Reedsport 38 grads will receive their honors Sunday afternoon, also at two pm.  That ceremony is slated for the auditorium at Reedsport High School.   Siuslaw’s graduation broadcast, with video, can be viewed online at the Coast Radio Facebook Page.