City & Government

News briefs: week of March 23

Volunteer drivers needed for rural medical escort rides

 The Senior Connections Rural Medical Escort Program, a program offered by Senior & Disability Services, a division of the Lane Council of Governments (LCOG), needs volunteers to provide rides for local homebound seniors to their medical appointments. This program helps promote independent living for older members of our community. Drivers are needed in Cottage Grove, Junction City, Veneta, Oakridge, Florence, and surrounding areas.

• Mileage reimbursement offered.

• Flexible daytime schedule.

• Prefer volunteers to be available five (5) or more hours a week.

• There are no rides on weekends, holidays, or evenings scheduled.

• All rides are scheduled through the Senior Connections office.

• Volunteer drivers must have a valid driver’s license and vehicle insurance, and they must pass a criminal background check.

 Interested community members can contact Melisa Andrion, Community Outreach & Volunteer Coordinator, [email protected] or 541-682-1366.

Funding available for organizations to support youth in homelessness

The Oregon Department of Human Services Youth Experiencing Homelessness Program is inviting community partners to apply for a portion of $4.1 million in grant funding that is available to provide services and housing supports to youth experiencing homelessness.

The deadline to apply is April 7 and the application can be found online.

Community-based organizations who provide, or desire to provide, services to youth experiencing homelessness are eligible to apply for the grant funding.

Organizations may express interest in supporting more than one of the following service areas that funding is available to support:

• Prevention Services including youth outreach and drop-in services.

• Early and crisis intervention housing such as shelter and host home programming .

• Medium-term housing such as transitional living and host home programming.

• Other Services such as culturally-specific programming, mental health and substance use supports.

Time: Willamette Valley one of ‘World’s Greatest Places’

Oregon’s Willamette Valley was recently named one of Time magazine’s “World’s Greatest Places” to explore in 2023.

The honor highlighted the wine and seasonal cuisine offered in the region and called the Willamette Valley America’s “next Napa,” referring to the storied California wine region. Time’s list includes 50 places the magazine recommended to its readers as places to travel to in 2023.

“In the past two decades, the number of wineries in the state’s first American Viticultural Area has grown from 135 to more than 700 today,” said Time writer Nicholas Derenzo, growth that has led to new wine labels, lodging and tasting rooms. The new tasting rooms include sparkling winery Domaine Willamette in the Dundee Hills, a sister company to Willamette Valley Vineyards.

The Willamette Valley’s appeal is partly due to collaborative efforts by Oregon winegrowers, chefs and hospitality leaders, said Jim Bernau, Founder and CEO of Willamette Valley Vineyards.

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