Part-Time Jobs For Twilight Program; Tax Volunteers Needed; Florence Man Sentenced; Coast Guard to Present Designation

Twilight Program Funding Cut

The after school Twilight program at Siuslaw schools is having to undergo some changes for the new school year.  The grant that the Federal Government provides for much of the program’s funding was cut by 50% for this school year and the head of the program, Lisa Utz says it has been quite an adjustment. And has taken some creative maneuvering.

“Looking at numbers and staffing and everything, we decided that if we simply held all of our programs under one roof it would save us some costs and still allow us to provide programming for all grade levels of students.”

One of the costs that they were able to cut without adversely affecting students was bussing.  Utz says parents valued the program more than the inconvenience of not having a bus.

“Most people said no, I have no problem picking up my kid.  What is a deal breaker is no program at all.”

Utz is firm in her stance that the one thing that has not been compromised is the safety of the students.  They will continue to monitor students and adults that are picking up kids.  She adds that one area that is challenging right now is that they have money for part time staff, but have not filled the positions.

“I do have positions that are open, they are not full time and they are smaller amounts of hours.”

Utz says information about the program and applications for part-time positions are available on the website: Siuslaw dot k12 dot or dot us

Tax Help For Everyone

The A-A-R-P Tax Aide Foundation has announced another successful year of returning people’s money in Oregon and is getting ready for next year. Nearly 12-hundred volunteers helped return more than 52-million dollars, helping nearly 73-thousand Oregonians file their state and federal tax returns. Bob Bruce, A-A-R-P Foundation Tax Aide state coordinator for Oregon, says one tricky credit volunteers helped people find is the Earned Income Tax Credit.

“People oftentimes, if they’re doing their taxes by themselves online or on paper, don’t know where to look and how to make those calculations and so they do frequently miss Earned Income Tax Credit eligibility.”

Altogether, more than 13-and-a-half million dollars was returned in the form of this tax credit. The Tax-Aide program enters its 50th year of operation next year. The program is free for anyone looking for tax-preparation help.  Bruce notes that the program is not just for people age 50 and older.

“We look to help low-income families as well as seniors in our state, and our focus is really on trying to help low-income people prepare their taxes.”

The program is recruiting volunteers for next year’s tax season. All volunteers, returning or new, have to complete online training. Bruce says that’s due to the changes in tax laws every year. A-A-R-P is looking for volunteers with any level of experience and hopes to find volunteers who can speak multiple languages. Interested Oregonians can go to ‘’ to sign up.

Yoakum Get More Than 10 Years

37 year old Brian Lee Yoakum from Florence received 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to 10 counts of first degree encouraging child sexual abuse.  The Register Guard reports that Lane county Circuit Court Judge, Suzanne Chanti, handed down the 123 month sentence yesterday.  Yoakum had previously admitted guilt in 2010 for similar charges after a computer technician found child pornography on a computer that he was repairing.  Yoakum received probation in that case.

Designation Celebration

The celebration for the city’s coast guard designation is set for next Wednesday, August 16th at the Florence Event Center.  The celebration will recognize the City as well as the members of the community that worked to make it possible for Florence to be recognized.  Doors for the event will open at 10:30 and the official program will begin at 11:00.  The Coast Guard will provide the city with the official proclamation and guest speakers will outline the efforts put forth in getting the designation and what it means to the community.  Refreshments will be offered.  The program is scheduled to last about an hour.