29 May 2014
No Top Cop Until Later This Year
The search for a new Florence Police Chief has been put on hold. Outgoing City Manager Jacque Betz delivered that news to the Florence City Council yesterday in an email following a meeting with Mayor Nola Xavier.
City Managers and Police Chiefs are both expected to be strong leaders according to Betz, but that strength can also lead to conflict unless the two have a good working relationship.
That’s why Betz, whose last day on the job will be next Wednesday, has opted to let her successor choose the next chief.
Temporary Police Chief Lynn Lamm will continue in that assignment until a new manager, expected to be hired sometime in the fall, is on the job.
Betz declined further comment on the process despite previous assurances from her that a new Police Chief would be under contract before her departure.
The City Council is meeting this evening to discuss a contract for a temporary City Manager.
Challenger Says Recount Request an Option
85 votes separate the two candidates for the West Lane seat on the Board of County Commissioners. There are still some ballots that haven’t been counted because signatures on the privacy envelope were either missing, or don’t match the original voters’ registration card.
Voters who submitted ballots with the signature issues have been notified by mail by the Lane County Elections office with instructions on how to rectify the situation so their votes may be counted.
Robert Phillips, the campaign manager for West Lane County Commission hopeful Dawn Lesley, says they are watching the process closely. He admits they probably won’t be able to make up the entire 85-vote difference between Lesley and the incumbent, Jay Bozievich. But, he added, his candidate simply needs to pick up about two dozen votes in order to force a runoff election in November.
Phillips also said a recount, paid for by the Dawn Lesley campaign, is – quote – “not out of the question”.
Results are required to be certified by June 9th.
Minor Injuries Reported in School Bus Crash
Two students suffered minor injuries Tuesday afternoon when the school bus they were riding crashed into a guard rail on Highway 38 east of Reedsport.
The bus from the Elkton Charter School, was driven by 68-year old David Wiley. He and seven students were driving west about 13 miles east of Reedsport. Wiley told Oregon State Police he was briefly distracted. The bus apparently drifted to the right, striking a guardrail, traveling for some distance before striking a sign and coming to rest.
Wiley was not injured and all of the students were transported from the scene by private parties. The two students were later taken to Lower Umpqua Hospital for treatment.
Youngsters on the Beach
Reports of young seal pups alone on Oregon beaches has prompted wildlife officials to repeat earlier warnings to leave them alone.
Jim Rice, an Oregon State University biologist, says most of the solo pups are simply waiting for mom to return from foraging for food and are not abandoned.
Rice, who coordinates the marine mammal stranding network at the OSU Hatfield Center in Newport, says newborn pups typically spend several hours each day alone on the beach.