Murder Suspects Arrested; Military Jet Training; Ruby Bridges Walk Turnout; Gas Prices; High Rank for Lung Cancer Detection; School Board Meetings

Murder Suspects Arrested

Three people were taken into custody in relation to service of a search warrant in the Noti area Monday.  Lt. Ryan Wells with the Lane County Sheriff’s office said the arrests came after a year-long investigation of the death of 37-year old Sean Lee Wilkins of Swisshome a year ago.  Hunters in a remote area north of Highway 126, just west of Noti found Wilkins’ remains November 20th last year.  Timothy Bryce Shafer is charged with Murder-2.  Timothy Leon Shafer and Anna Mariateras Glica are both charged with evidence tampering, hindering prosecution and abuse of a corpse.   Citing the on-going investigation, Lt. Wells did not offer any further information on the case, but he did credit community tips and the hard work of detectives for developing the “probable cause.

Military Jet Training

If you hear jets overhead the next two nights, it’s because Oregon’s Air National Guard 142nd wing will be conducting routine night training.  According to information released Tuesday, the F-15 night training missions allow “Citizen-Airmen” pilots based at the Portland Air National Guard Base to stay current.  The maneuvers will be completed each evening before 10:45.

Ruby Bridges Walk Turnout

It was a good turnout of all ages as students in Florence walked yesterday morning to celebrate Ruby Bridges Day.  Siuslaw Elementary Vice-Principal Leonard Ulrich said all grades were represented from primary students through the high school.

“We had about a 150 people participate.”

This was Siuslaw Schools first such walk to honor Bridges.  The school was previously invited to take part in a walk initiated by Mapleton Schools last year.  Bridges was only 6-years old when she broke the color barrier at a school in Louisiana.

“The first black child to be integrated into William Frantz Elementary School on November 14th, 1960 in New Orleans.  That student walked through mobs of people that didn’t want her to go to that school.  She would do that every day.”

Ulrich said once she got to school there was a teacher waiting for her.  Tuesday’s walk, he said, was a way to show students that schools are welcoming and safe.

Gas Prices

Marie Dodds with AAA Oregon says lower crude prices are putting a downward pressure on gas prices. AAA is reporting that the price is at its lowest since February of this year.  Oregon prices have dropped another 7 cents this past week to $4.19 a gallon but are still way above the national average of $3.35 a gallon.  Here in Florence the average price for a gallon of regular is at $3.76.

High Rank for Lung Cancer Detection

According to a recent report released by the American Lung Association oregon rank 7th in the nation for early detection of Lung Cancer.  The 6th annual report released yesterday also showed that Oregon was 12th in the nation for new lung cancer cases and 6th for 5 year survival rates. Carrie Nyssen, the senior director of advocacy for the ALA in Oregon says even though great progress has been made in the state it is still the leading cause of death statewide.  She says survival rates have improved due to efforts to increase awareness and improved access to healthcare, and new treatments for the disease.

School Board Meetings

Directors for both school districts in Western Lane County will hold their monthly meetings tonight.  The Siuslaw board will be at the District Office on Oak Street for a work session at six.  From there, they are scheduled to go to a “closed door” executive session.   No specific reason is given, but the agenda refers to “consulting with counsel concerning the legal right and duties of a public body with regard to current litigation or litigation likely to be filed”.   The opening of the public meeting is scheduled for 6:30 and will include a presentation from Lane County Public Health about a planned Fentanyl Awareness Campaign as well as several policy updates.  In Mapleton, the directors of that district will meet at six pm at the high school to discuss personnel matters and several different policy updates.  Other than the Siuslaw Executive Session, both meetings are open to the public and can be see live on YouTube.