Rehab Center Expansion Planned; COVID-19; Poacher Sought; Gas Prices; Heat Wave

Rehab Center Expansion Planned

Peace Harbor hospital is in the middle of a 1.3 million dollar capital campaign led by the Peace Harbor foundation.  Gretchen Klein, the new executive director of the foundation says the money will go to upgrade and modernize the rehab center on highway 101.

“(we) continue to work through the process and get that off the ground in October/November of this year and try to get that a little more state of the art and more patients will be able to utilize it.”

Klein also said they will expand the space to include another 1400 feet that was previously unused as part of the old McKays grocery store.  The plan includes adding automated entry and exit.


Weekend numbers for COVID-19 came in yesterday with 4,313 new cases added.  That included 351 new cases for Lane County.  All-time Florence stands at 1709 cases.  A new update will come later this week.  Numbers continue to be high and breakthrough cases account for more than 52% of cases.  Hospitalizations continue to be steady, but ICU cases have increased.  there are now 52 patients occupying ICU beds in Oregon Hospitals.  Testing rates are also relatively high at a rate of 13.5%.  Lane County averages 7.8% positivity in the most recent report from the Oregon Health Authority.

Poacher Sought

Oregon State Wildlife Troopers and Reedsport Police are asking for public help in identifying a man who shot and killed a young deer in Old Town Reedsport early Friday morning.  Officials say the deer was shot near the Reedsport Public Boat launch around three AM as several people, in town for the chainsaw carving and gem show, were camped nearby.  Security cameras apparently did not capture images of the man shooting the yearling buck, but officials do have at least three images of the man wearing a hooded sweatshirt and carrying a hand gun.   Officers say anyone with information about the incident can call the Oregon State Police Tip Line on their cell phone at *677.

Gas Prices

A slight decrease in gas prices across the state is not a sign of things to come according to Marie Dodds with AAA Oregon.  Oregon has slipped a cent and a half according to recent numbers, but expected travel through the Independence weekend will likely increase demand and affect prices.  The Oregon average for a price of regular gas is $5.53.  Florence is averaging $5.38 a gallon.  Dodds says their numbers show that more than a half million Oregonians will be on the road for the holiday which is just below the pre-pandemic numbers of 2019.

Heat Wave

Florence has been listed in a special weather statement from the National Weather Service as the first heat wave of the summer will descend upon the state.  This weekend temperatures are only expected in the mid to upper 70’s along the coast, but other areas across the state could see 90 degree temperatures by Saturday.