Serving Springfield, Creswell, Cottage Grove and Pleasant Hill with hyper-local news and information.
South Lane Fire District September 18
South Lane Fire Board holds controversial session
In its first meeting in nearly three months, the board might have voted to illegally curtail awareness of public meetings, and Chief John Wooten said he’s been approved by doctors for a return to limited duty.
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FreeMcKenzie fires September 17
Weather brings mixed bag for areas hit by wildfires
Rain is coming, and it might bring floods and landslides; air quality remains "very unhealthy"
FreeOpinion September 17
Fires, potential quakes require preparation
At the time of this writing the City of Creswell is engulfed in a blanket of heavy smoke from forest fires to our north and east. There are many large forest fires all across Oregon. These fires have destroyed hundreds of homes and small businesses all across western Oregon leaving many families without homes or businesses to return to.
Public safety September 17
Creswell shooting suspect still at large
The Lane County Sheriff's Office said the suspect, Wesley Fredrick Roy Jr., is armed and dangerous.
Education Station September 17
Creswell approves memo of understanding for distance learning
The Creswell School District and the Creswell Education Association (CEA) reached a memorandum of understanding addressing the state of emergency due to COVID-19, which was presented and approved at the Sept. 9 Creswell school board meeting. Given the short timeline to prepare and implement a comprehensive distance learning model, this agreement will only relate to the distance-learning model and addresses teacher rights, work year, work day and teacher evaluation.
Education Station September 17
Springfield schools turn into rescue centers, Board reiterates commitment to supporting parents, students in need
At the Springfield Public Schools board meeting Sept. 14, Superintendent Todd Hamilton acknowledged the area’s wildfires and SPS’ volunteer efforts to help during the Holiday Farm Fire. He also spoke to the decision to push the start of school to Sept. 21. “Our world turned upside down nearly a week ago,” Hamilton said. “The impact on our community has been tremendous.”
Education Station September 17
Springfield Public Library is holding its introductory session for its new Tween Book Club on Wednesday, Sept. 23. This book club will meet once a month and is open to ages nine through 12. The event is virtual and will be held at GoToMeeting, and the link is on the website under calendar and events. Attendees will need a computer with a webcam and microphone enabled. The event will be around 20 to 30 minutes and an introduction for attendees to get to know each other and talk about what they like to read. It’s recommended to bring a recently read book that was enjoyed or an all time favorite book.
Community September 17
Springfield city council favors choosing one of its own for interim mayor
After an hour of deliberation at the Sept. 14 city council work session, the majority of councilors agreed the appointed mayor should come from council ranks, and the discussion will continue on Sept. 28 to give councilors more time to consider the best way to move forward as well as give Councilor Steve Moe — who was absent — an opportunity to voice his opinion. The Council is required to appoint an interim mayor by a majority vote. A successor is elected by the voters at the next general biennial election, which will be November 2022. The council president assumes the duties of mayor and presides over the council meetings until the council appoints an interim mayor.
Community September 17
Signs across the southern Willamette Valley convey residents’ appreciation for efforts to serve and protect life and property.
Community September 17
Hold on to your hat: Here’s to eating a hot dog in a hurricane
In August 1978, I lived in New York City for the summer. I was visiting with a friend on Long Island when Hurricane Belle bore down on New York. I sped home to the Bronx ahead of the hurricane, and prepared to watch the storm from inside. Then, honoring one of the more defiant creeds of my life to – “Never let good sense get in the way of a bad decision” – I thought, “Why not go against the grain? Why should I hunker down like everyone else from the safety of a brick tower, and instead, experience the storm full on, exposed, rain in the face, wind at my back?”
Community September 17
Painful September: Recent roadtrips brushed against disaster areas
It is sad to look at the news today. The beautiful little town of Detroit is no more. You may remember the storyline of Detroit Lake, and the picture of the lake and boats that accompanied it. So much of that story and the village of Detroit is in ashes. I also mentioned rolling hills and fields in the backcountry of Linn County, and the village of Mill City. It is also severely impacted by the fire. Several weeks ago Linda and I visited Sweet Cheeks Falls and trailhead. This story ran in The Chronicle last week. And a major fire broke out a few days ago in that area. Beautiful country.
Community September 16
Fire has been part of Grove’s history, growth since Kalapuya
Fire is nothing new. It was here before us and it will be here long after we are gone. Taming fire let our ancestors survive and eventually move out of their caves. Locally the original Oregon inhabitants, the Kalapuya, used fire to manage their lands. When the first white settlers entered the Willamette Valley, they marveled at the openness of the oak savannas and wet and dry prairies. It looked much different from what we know now.
Community September 16
Organizers cancel BLM rally in wake of fires, harassment
It appears a rally scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 27, at City Hall in support of Black Lives Matter has been at least postponed, if not canceled, according to social media posts and LCSO Sgt. Scott Denham. According to Denham, organizers said sensitivity regarding the effects of the wildfires on people and several acts of targeted harassment were behind the decision to call it off.
Creswell City Council September 16
City council tables equity resolution
After pushback from segments of the community, Creswell City Council on Tuesday nixed its discussion on an equity-and-inclusion resolution and committee in the Friendly City. With tensions high as a result of the ongoing pandemic, wildfires and an election season, councilors said people were too overwhelmed to tackle a social justice statement. “I believe it’s very poor timing of the city to try and push this resolution through at a time of heightened racial and equity division in the country right now,” said resident Michael Pierron, who wrote into this week’s meeting.
Community September 16
Fires are heartbreaking, but won’t consume our spirit
Oregon is on fire. My heart and my mind are so focused on the terrible fires that are taking so many homes, businesses – and, most probably, the lives of our neighbors in Lane County – that it’s difficult to know how to express my thoughts and anguish ... and fears.
News September 16
THE BATTLE CONTINUES, 3-way fight: Contain fire, search, assess
A week after its first spark in the evening of Sept. 7, the Holiday Farm fire has burned 166,573 acres, while a million acres burn around the state. By press time Tuesday, the Holiday Farm Fire was 6% contained. Creswell and Cottage Grove were not in evacuation zones, while parts of east Springfield were issued levels 1 and 2 evacuation notices. The Lane County Sheriff’s Office reported one person found dead in the Holiday Farm rubble, with other deaths expected. The Oregon State Fire Marshal’s Office and an 80-person Urban Search and Rescue team have been looking for anyone who is unaccounted for.
FreeObituaries September 16
Victor Ray Patton
Jan. 20, 1943 - Sept. 5, 2020
FreeObituaries September 16
Marjorie Joyce Johnson
July 20, 1950 - Aug. 27, 2020
FreeObituaries September 16
Sara Jo Smith Johnson
April 15, 1944 - Sept. 9, 2020
FreeObituaries September 16
Maxine Mercidese Warren
Dec. 12, 1921 - Aug. 26, 2020
FreeObituaries September 16
Dorothy Ziebert
Sept. 6, 1935 - Aug. 28, 2020
FreeObituaries September 16
David John Timm
Aug. 11, 1942 - Sept. 9, 2020
Opinion • Chinese Astrology September 16
The lunar patterns of a Rabbit’s luck in 2021
I received a question from a reader born under the lunar sign Rabbit who wanted to know about her luck next year. She read the article I wrote about luck for Roosters in 2021, and it inspired her to ask about her own sign. If you are a Rabbit, this column is for you.
Community September 16
Monarchs’ habitat, migration worth preserving
Imagine yourself on a cross-country trip and you had very strict dietary requirements. Maybe gluten-free, organic, vegan, low sodium. From the standard fare offered on freeway exits, you would have a tough time feeding yourself. As a vegetarian, the closest experience I can offer was taking a three-day coast-to-coast voyage on a Greyhound bus that seemed to prefer stopping at Burger Kings for the limited meal breaks. In the bleak towns in the Southwest, there were no other options, so I ended up eating a lot of fries and having a milkshake. At least I could adapt somewhat and survive. Many of our insect friends aren’t so lucky.
Community September 16
Lorane fire department still building on its legacy
Lorane Rural Fire Protection District (RFPD) officials recently announced the purchase of two new trucks that will be serving residents during emergencies. What’s even better is that both trucks were bought with reserves built by prudent management. Despite overseeing a small district, Fire Chief Tom Soward, assistant chief Jim Bailor, and the board of directors— president Berneda McDonald, Gary Lut man, Bob Drullinger, Jeri Porter, and Martin McClure — take pride in understanding their tax base and were able to buy and cover all costs of outfitting the trucks.
Community September 16
HEARTS AFIRE, Store provides welcoming atmosphere, help for grieving families
Hearts for Hospice continues to care for the Springfield community despite the challenges a pandemic can bring. The face of Hearts for Hospice is a thrift store located at 444 Main St. in Springfield, but there is much more depth to the nonprofit than shopping. Hearts for Hospice has had a mission to support the several hospice programs it partners with in Lane County since it began in October 2012, and has made the necessary adjustments to continue serving the community responsibly during this time.
Creswell council nixes equity resolution amid community pushback
After aggressive pushback from the community, Creswell City Council tonight nixed its discussion on an equity and inclusion resolution, in hopes that a future mayor and council may someday pick it back up. With tensions high from the coronavirus, the impacts of the wildfires, and onset of other polarizing topics, council agreed people's nerves are too raw to have this discussion at this time.
FreeMcKenzie River Fires September 11
McKenzie fires: No more donations to Silke Field; new location on Roosevelt Blvd
The new donations drop-off location at 2699 Roosevelt Boulevard in Eugene will open to receive donations on Saturday, Sept. 12, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and keep those hours each day. Donations should no longer be taken to Silke Field.
FreeMcKenzie River Fires September 11
Cottage Grove Bank Building offers free workspace for evacuees
The Bank Building in downtown Cottage Grove is offering free office workspace for those recently evacuated from their homes or have lost power as a result of Oregon’s unprecedented wildfires.
FreeMcKenzie River Fires September 11
Hazardous conditions close transfer sites
Lane County Waste Management has temporarily closed several of its waste transfer stations due to hazardous air conditions, including the Creswell, London Road and Dexter sites.
FreeMcKenzie fires September 11
Urgent: Volunteers needed at Silke Field
The emergency response center at Springfield High School needs volunteers to help evacuees and victims of the wildfires.
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