Leaburg: The Oregon State Police have identified the drivers of two vehicles involved in an early morning head-on accident early Sunday morning.  Killed in the wreck were Kenndra J. Haney, 21, and a Brett V. Wildgen, 46, both of Springfield.
A passenger in Haney’s vehicle,Chase T. Holden, 19, sustained life-threatening injuries.
Investigators say Wildgen may have consumed alcohol prior to the accident.

On May 29, 2016 at about 12:40AM, OSP Troopers and emergency personnel responded to the report of a two vehicle head-on crash on Highway 26 near milepost 26 (near Leaburg).

Preliminary investigation revealed a 1990 Mazda pickup was traveling eastbound on Highway 126 when it crossed the centerline and struck a westbound 2004 Honda Civic head-on. Both drivers were declared deceased on scene by emergency personnel. A male passenger in the Honda was taken to Sacred Heart Riverbend for treatment of life threatening injuries.

Cafe porchVIDA: Work to repair the fire damaged Vida Cafe was expected to begin this week, after long awaited building permits have been finalized. A big part of the delay, according to cafe owner Sue Nelson, was Lane County’s concerns with prior violations dating back more than 30 years - things Nelson says she and more than one previous owners never knew existed.
Starting with removal of asbestos flooring, McKenzie Taylor Construction will be doing more than a simple rebuild. Part of the approval process called for a reconfiguration of the building. “I’m going to lose the whole back half of the cafe,” Nelson said. The new addition will extend another 8 feet by 8 feet, sitting on a portion of the driveway and extending toward her adjacent house.

DumpMCKENZIE BRIDGE: A $1.5 million shortage between operating costs and revenue generated is facing Lane County’s Waste Management Division. County dumps receive no property tax funding to operate.
The Board of County Commissioners is tentatively scheduled to receive a presentation regarding a consultant’s report in August and begin public discussion of the options. “We chose August in order to allow ample time for public feedback in July,” according to Devon Ashbridge, Lane County’s Public Information Officer. “The timeline also allows for in-depth board discussion outside of the larger budget process, which will conclude by the end of June. Commissioners will make the ultimate decision on which, if any, of the identified options to pursue.”
The report  includes the option of closing some of the smaller, rural transfer stations and has identified McKenzie Bridge as a possible site. Other possible changers could mean an end to discounts for senior citizens and for people who recycle their offcasts.

BLM mapBy Eric Tegethoff
Oregon News Service

Conservation groups filed a protest yesterday against the Bureau of Land Management’s latest proposal to change forest management in western Oregon.

April 28: 6:24 am: Subject Down – 35000 block, Camp Creek Rd. Report of a subject covered with multi colored blanket lying down in the parking lot. Caller does not feel comfortable approaching subject, honked her horn & no movement. 06:25: Fire Dept. advised. 06:39: Subject was just sleeping & has moved on.

Charter school busFINN ROCK: A “horrendous $459,000 budget deficit” and the loss of 6.91 positions is the harsh image officials see when they look toward the future, people learned at the April meeting of the McKenzie School Board. An alternate opportunity, based on the possible creation of a public charter school, was also up for review.
A sixteen member charter school steering committee is currently exploring what impacts the changeover might bring about. Some of their talking points range from maintaining current offerings to reviving dormant programming lost during budget and enrollment declines. Some of the latter include classes in Home Economics, shop or health occupations.
Offering insights on legalities as well as tips from programs developed at other schools was Kate Pattison from the Oregon Dept. of Education. “In your case you would have a K-12 charter school that would be governed by a separate board potentially responsible for the curriculum and what programs look like,” she noted.

The Sheriff’s Office has learned that community members are again receiving calls saying they have warrants out for their arrest for missing a court date.  The callers are demanding to have money sent to clear the warrant.
These calls are a scam, and community members should hang up immediately and not engage with the caller.

Jason JohannesenLEABURG: “The first work we’re doing with the Connect America program is in this area,” were welcome words heard by a packed audience last Thursday night. They came from Karen Stewart, CenturyLink’s director of local government affairs, who was talking about a federally backed program to upgrade McKenzie area broadband service that is already underway. Asked for a completion date she said, “September, unless we run into construction problems.”
Under the wing of the Federal Communications Commission, the Connect America project is designed to accelerate infrastructure construction to reach some of the 23 million people who currently can’t connect at speeds of at least 10 Mbps (megabits per second of data transfer) downloading and 1 Mbps to upload. CenturyLink accepted those funds for Oregon, committing to complete the project in the state within six years.



McKenzie River Reflections is the weekly newspaper serving Oregon's McKenzie River Valley. Available by mail for $23/yr in Lane County, $29/yr outside Lane. Digital subscriptions are $23/yr. Subscribe at: Purchase copies online at: Read about area communities including Cedar Flat, Walterville, Camp Creek, Leaburg, Vida, Nimrod, Finn Rock, Blue River, Rainbow and McKenzie Bridge.