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About Illinois Valley news. (Cave City, Oregon) 1937-current | View Entire Issue (April 30, 2003)
Illinois Valley News, Cave Junction, OR Wednesday, April 30, 2003
Estimated $720K worth of
cocaine seized by OSP
Each spring, I look forward to the marvelous display of wild-
flowers that seems to be choreographed to appear at the right
point in the show. Buttercups and shooting stars are usually at the
introduction, and now dogwood and poppies are beginning to
show on stage. Coming soon, after a brief intermission, will be, in
my opinion, the stars of the show.
Rhododendrons and azaleas are large and colorful, and even
have a noticeable aroma to brighten the woods and streambanks.
Along with madrone, they are classified in the Health Family or
Ericaceae, from “eric”, the Greek word for a heath. This family
also includes: huckleberries, cranberries, salal, manzanita, as well
as some small woodland plants with no green leaves.
The wild rhododendron in our area has the name Rhododen-
dron macrophyllum. This plant is also the Washington state
flower and grows abundantly there also. The name rhododendron
was originally used by the Greeks as the name for Oleander, the
large colorful shrub common along some California freeways.
“Rhodo” is Greek for rose and “dendro” is Greek for tree, there-
fore the name means rose tree. “Macro” is Greek for large and
“phyllo” is the Greek word for leaf. Therefore the name means
large leaf rose tree.
Rhododendrons are not native to England, but are found in
many other parts of the world, from near-arctic to tropical rain
forests. English horticultural societies sent many expeditions to
collect species from around the globe. Today the commercial rho-
dodendron is a hybrid combined from many varied native species.
When Carl Linnaeus began the plant classification system, he
placed azaleas in a separate genus and species. Later, botanists
placed azaleas in the same genus as rhododendron. The name
azalea comes from the Greek word for dry because some grow in
dry areas in Europe. The Western Azalea, found in our area, is
usually found in very moist soil. It has such a pleasant aroma and
has the scientific name Rhododendron occidentale. This is based
on the Latin word “occidental,” which means western.
Azaleas have many structures similar to rhododendrons, and
horticulturalists have created hybrids between the two plants.
However, azaleas are deciduous, shedding their leaves in the fall,
while rhododendrons remain green all year and shed leaves as
they produce new ones.
Both plants prefer acidic soil and wild azaleas grow best in
moist serpentine soil as well. Both plants contain a toxin, andro-
medotoxin, which reduces blood pressure and causes vomiting.
Most sheep and cattle growers keep their animals away from
these plants as much as possible.
In Illinois Valley, wild rhododendrons are abundant along the
road to Oregon Caves National Monument above Grayback
Campground. They usually don’t begin blooming until late May
or early June. A good area to see wild azaleas is along Eight Dol-
lar Road, where they also bloom in late May. Driving to the coast,
both plants can be seen blooming along the highway near
Jedediah Smith State Park.
And for azalea fans, Azalea Park in Brookings, near Memo-
rial Day, is a treat not to miss. During this spring flower show,
take lots of pictures, but leave the plants for others to enjoy. Com-
mercial growers in the valley have wild plants which can be pur-
Because of the great variety of habitats and soil types, Illinois
Valley is rich in plant species, including some found nowhere
Oregon State Police found
nearly 80 pounds of cocaine
with an estimated street value
of at least $720,000 during a
traffic stop on Interstate 5 in
"I’ve been doing this for
eight years, and quite hon-
estly, I don’t think we’ve ever
seized this large a quantity of
cocaine here," said Trooper
Joey Pollard, who stopped the
drug-laden vehicle on Satur-
day, April 19.
Pollard stopped a Ford
pickup truck for speeding and
having an obscured Oregon
license plate at 7:18 a.m. on I-
5 northbound between the
Central Point and Blackwell
Road interchanges. A man and
woman in the truck gave writ-
ten permission to search the
truck, he said.
OSP Detective Dave Beck
and his drug-detection dog,
“Beepers,” searched the truck.
“Beepers” sniffed out the
possibility of drugs hidden in
the pickup’s bed. Police re-
moved a bedliner; noticed
fresh cuts and welding in the
bed; and found several hidden
compartments, Pollard said.
They found 36 kilos of co-
caine packed into the compart-
ments, he said.
The driver, Rene Aguilar-
Cabello, 25, and his passen-
ger, Florencia Alfaro-
Rodriguez, 18, both of Orland,
Calif., were arrested on
charges of possession, deliv-
ery and manufacture of co-
They were lodged in the
Jackson County Jail, where
they initially were held on
$65,000 bail. -- Medford
I.V. Senior Center
Biscuits & Gravy
Coffee, Milk, Juice
$4.00 - Adults
$2.50 - Kids Under 12
Saturday, May 3 - 8 to 11 a.m.