Community Grants Available; Winter Music Festival; Gas Prices; Severe Weather Possible; Boil Water Notice

Community Grants Available

A program that funds ideas for improving communities is now open to applications. The A-A-R-P Community Challenge grant program is accepting applications until March 6th for projects that can be enacted quickly to make cities more livable for people of all ages. Stacy Larsen with A-A-R-P Oregon says the program has a track record for supporting communities of all sizes.

“They deliver really unique support to rural communities. Since the beginning of the program in 2017, 46% of the grants distributed in Oregon have been to rural communities.”

Since its start in 2017, the program has invested 16-point-four million dollars in more than 13-hundred projects nationwide, including 28 in Oregon. The program is open to local nonprofits and governments. A webinar for interested applicants will be held on the A-A-R-P website on January 31st at 11 a-m.

Winter Music Festival

This Friday and Saturday is the Winter Music Festival featuring Americana, Folk and Bluegrass music from around the country.  The popular festival continues to draw audiences from around the state.  Organizers say there are tickets still available for the different performances on Friday night, Saturday afternoon and Saturday evening.  There is also a special event on Thursday evening called take the stage where local talent can perform a couple of songs before an audience in the main stage area.  For information on tickets and performances go to

Gas Prices

The latest numbers are out from AAA Oregon and they show gas prices to be fairly flat.  The state has dropped three cents a gallon over the past week, but is still averaging more than .50 cents over the national average.  Marie Dodds says most storm torn states have seen an increase in prices and that Oregon is an exception.  Locally the Florence price of a gallon of regular gas is below the national average with all stations below the $3.00 mark but up slightly this week to $2.91 a gallon.  Gas prices are expected to stay steady for several more weeks.

Severe Weather Possible

Officials at Lane County have released information regarding the potential for severe weather on the horizon.  The National Weather Service is predicting the possibility of an atmospheric river that will bring high winds and a lot of rain into the area next week beginning on the 30th of January.  Lane County government says it is best to be prepared.  They suggest you stock up on food, medical supplies, batteries, water and keep cell phones charged and gas in you vehicle.  Jeff Kincaid is the interim Lane County Emergency Manager and says that residents should do what they can to prepare for the possibility of outages and localized flooding.  The storm is expected to last about 5 days.

Boil Water Notice

Another water leak in Mapleton has caused a boil water notice for a section of the population near the bank building and west.  This includes Rice Road. Officials say to boil water before using. Yesterday water was flowing into the street. Mapleton Water District expects to have the outage curtailed today and will leave the boil notice in place until water can be tested and results returned.