Rhody Weekend; Low Call Volume; Florence Woman Dies in Single Vehicle Accident; Lane County Seeks Fugitive

Rhody Weekend

It was a weekend full of hundreds of motorcycles, classic cars, and thousands of visitors to Florence.  Old Town was filled from end to end for the 116th annual Rhododendron Festival that culminated in the Grand Floral Parade on Sunday.  The procession lasted just over 2 hours with 86 registered entries and according to organizers some last minute additions.  Several awards were given to the floats including the Queen’s award which went to the Florence Food Share float, the King’s award went to HYAK internet service provider and the Mayor’s award which went to the Oregon Coast Humane Society.

Complete List:

Mayor’s Award 

Oregon Coast Humane Society

Queen’s Award 

Food Share

King’s Award 


Grand Marshall Award

Florence Elks

Parade Judges Awards

Best Float 

Rhododendron Festival Senior Court

Best Non-commercial Entry

Florence Habitat for Humanity

Best Equestrian Unit

Comunidad Latina – Springfield

Best Novelty 

Jeeps  R Us

Low Call Volume

WLFEA announced that it was a slower than normal weekend for calls.  According to Deputy Chief Matt House they experienced fewer calls and that it was a pretty uneventful weekend for their emergency responders.

Florence Woman Dies in Single Vehicle Accident

A Florence woman was killed in a single vehicle crash Wednesday afternoon on Highway 38 east of Reedsport.  Oregon State Police say 79-year old Betty Ann Hodges was traveling westbound eight miles outside of Reedsport when her vehicle left the roadway for an unknown reason.  Hodges’ PT Cruiser struck a tree and came to an uncontrolled rest. She was declared deceased at the scene.

Lane County Seeks Fugitive

The Lane County Sheriff’s Office is looking for tips concerning the whereabouts of 57-year-old Darren Lee Woods.  Woods is currently pending trial on an assault case that occurred in the Spring of 2021.  Woods, whose bail was posted in August of 2022, has failed to comply with his release agreement with the Lane County Circuit Court.  Woods failed to keep his ankle monitor charged on or about 05/15/23 and is believed to have since removed it. Woods is described as a white male adult standing approximately 5’11 and weighing approximately 150lbs.  He has gray/brown hair and green eyes. Anyone with information regarding his whereabouts is asked to contact the Lane County Sheriff’s Office at 541-682-4150 opt. 1.