Cottage Grove sentinel. (Cottage Grove, Or.) 1909-current, August 31, 2016, Image 1

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    DeFazio visits — 3A
Peach paradise — 6A
Jamborees! — 1B
Cottage Grove Sentinel
photo by Patti Hardy
Late-summer sunshine illuminates Cottage Grove Lake.
WEDNESDAY, AUG. 31 2016
SOUTH LANE AND NORTH DOUGLAS COUNTY'S MOST AWARD-WINNING NEWS SOURCE SINCE 1889
VOLUME 129 • NUMBER 10
Elementary school
plans detailed
F IRE WATCH , 2016
Fire on the
mountain
Rising construction costs, design,
timeline discussed
BY JON STINNETT
The Cottage Grove Sentinel
Blaze burns two acres on Mt. David
L
ast May, local voters approved a nearly $36 million
bond levy to replace the aging Harrison Elementary
School building in Cottage Grove and make technology,
security and other upgrades throughout South Lane School
District. On Thursday evening, district offi cials joined the ar-
chitect charged with designing the new school to detail their
plans and progress. The dimensions and layout of the school
were discussed, as was the impact that escalating construc-
tion costs may have on the project and the District’s early
efforts to make security and other upgrades.
District staffers comprised a large portion of the group
gathered at the Cottage Grove High School library, though
residents living near the Taylor Street property on which the
new school will be built were also invited. South Lane Su-
perintendent Krista Parent told the group that the District
had sold the bonds in July, faring quite well on the bond
market, and that the funds are already in the District’s bank
account.
Since then, Parent said, teams of teachers, kitchen and
maintenance staff and technology experts have met several
times to fi ne-tune various aspects of the school’s design.
Mike Gorman of BLRB Architects met with many of those
groups himself, and Gorman was on hand to showcase the
most recent design.
BY JON STINNETT
The Cottage Grove Sentinel
S
outh Lane County Fire and Rescue Chief John
Wooten did not mince words when assessing the
impact a helicopter had on efforts to suppress a fi re that
broke out on Mt. David in Cottage Grove last week.
“The helicopter saved our bacon,” Wooten said of a
Weyerhaeuser chopper and pilot that helped douse the
fl ames that sprung up behind an apartment complex in
Cottage Grove’s Northwest Neighborhood just after 4:30
p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 24. “There’s no question that
if the helicopter hadn’t been used, we would have had a
much larger, more intense fi re. They saved the day.”
The fi rst call regarding the blaze came into police dis-
patchers at 4:36 p.m., indicating that the fi re was burning
in a wooded area on the southern slope of Mt. David, a
landmark slope that rises above Cottage Grove immedi-
ately to its northwest.
Cottage Grove Interim Police Chief Scott Shepherd
said that he personally arrived early on at the area above
J Street to see a fi re burning about 20-30 yards up the
hill behind the complex and two young bystanders using
shovels in an attempt to put it out.
“The winds looked like they were already blowing it
up the hill,” Shepherd said. He added that he saw a burnt
rug in the woods and a charred area low on a tree trunk
that may have been where the fi re began. In a press re-
lease later that evening, Shepherd classifi ed the fi re as
an incident of “reckless burning” and asked that anyone
with information on who may have started the blaze to
contact CGPD at 541-942-9145. Police will cooperate
Please see HARRISON, Page 11A
photo by Bob Klavano
A helicopter pilot douses fl ames near the summit of Mt. David,
as witnessed from a nearby backyard, on Wednesday, Aug. 24.
Please see FIRE, Page 11A
Brewstation
burgled
Computers, sound equipment stolen
from downtown pub
Teens arrested, charged after park, trail fi res
BY JON STINNETT
The Cottage Grove Sentinel
T
hree teens are reportedly in custody
at the Serbu Youth Center after police
say they deliberately set fi res in a restroom
and along a popular trail in Cottage Grove
on Friday.
Cottage Grove Police Department Com-
mander Conrad Gagner said via a news re-
lease that his department and South Lane
County Fire and Rescue personnel respond-
ed to Bohemia Park along 10th Street in
Cottage Grove at about 12:30 p.m. Friday
regarding a report of a fi re in the park’s pub-
lic restroom. Police say the fi re was quickly
extinguished after doing minimal damage
and fi lling the restroom with smoke.
Offi cer Sean Branstetter told the Sentinel
Monday that two other offi cers, Josh Dumas
and Tami Miles, were able to track down
one of three suspects captured on video sur-
veillance footage shortly after the fi re due
to the description of their clothing. That one
suspect eventually gave police the names of
the other three teens captured on the video,
Branstetter said, though he added that the
suspect’s information wasn’t entirely truth-
ful.
Branstetter said he had planned to go to
Coiner Park to confront the other suspects,
who were due for a rendezvous with the fi rst
suspect, when he got word that a second
fi re had been set, allegedly by the other sus-
pects, near the Row River Trail between the
trail and the Cottage Grove Walmart store.
Calls regarding that blaze came in just be-
fore 2 p.m.
“The fi re was estimated to be approxi-
mately 800 square feet in size when, fortu-
nately, there happened to be an Oregon De-
partment of Forestry water tanker in the area
which was able to be deployed very quickly
Please see TEENS, Page 11A
Fires, conditions prompt emergency restrictions
W
hile taking a break from
fi ghting a fi re that broke
out on the southern slope of Mt.
David last Wednesday, Aug. 24,
South Lane Fire and Rescue
Chief John Wooten said that the
behavior of the fi re, coupled with
dry, hot and windy conditions,
might prompt him to issue an
emergency order for the District
placing a temporary ban on ac-
tivities that could contribute to
setting other fi res. The emergen-
cy order came soon after, though
by Sunday, South Lane had eased
the fi re restrictions somewhat.
An update to the emergency or-
der reads that, “in accordance
with ORS 478.960, within the
city limits of Cottage Grove,
Creswell, and any area within
SLCFR District boundaries not
protected by the Western Lane or
Eastern Lane Districts of ODF,
the following restrictions are in
place, until rescinded by the Fire
Chief of SLCFR:”
No open fl ames are allowed out
of doors, including no campfi res,
warming fi res, cooking fi res or
ceremonial fi res not within a fi re
pit. Gas and briquette barbeques
are allowed but are restricted to
use on hard, non-fl ammable sur-
faces such as patios, driveways,
gravel or green irrigated lawns.
No power equipment such
as mowers, chain saws, stump
grinders, etc. may be operated on
or near dry grass, brush or trees
at any time between the hours of
11 a.m. and 7 p.m., EXCEPT that
mowing of green, irrigated lawns
is allowed at any time.
No smoking outside of build-
ings or vehicles in any area with
dry grass, brush or trees.
No operation of welding or
metal cutting equipment out of
doors in any area with dry grass,
brush or trees.
All logging operations, in-
cluding power saws, cable yard-
ers, and tractor/skidder, feller-
buncher, forwarder, or shovel
logging operations are prohibit-
ed outside of the current IFPL for
Western and Eastern Lane ODF
Districts.
All construction operations
involving dozers or graders are
restricted to streets or roads, de-
veloped building sites, or other
areas of non-fl ammable surfaces
except those allowed within the
current IFPL for Western or East-
ern Lane ODF Districts. Those
construction operations in dry or
dead grass, brush, or trees must
have fi re protection capabilities
on site.
Any other spark-emitting
operation not specifi cally men-
tioned is prohibited out of doors
in areas containing dry grass,
brush or trees.
BY JON STINNETT
The Cottage Grove Sentinel
A
n overnight break-in at the Brewstation pub on Sixth
Street in downtown Cottage Grove led to the theft of
computers and much of the pub’s sound equipment.
Cottage Grove Police said that signs of forcible entry were
observed at the Brewstation after the break-in, which was
discovered Saturday and must have occurred after the pub
closed Friday evening. Offi cer Sean Branstetter said the
thieves made off with two speakers or monitors at fl oor level,
though they were not able to take the main monitors chained
high up on the wall of the Brewstation’s performance space.
Computers were also taken.
Branstetter said the assailants left a small pry bar behind
and that evidence indicated they had later used a much larger
pry bar to force open a sliding door and gain entry to the
building.
“There were some three-inch marks where a large pry bar
had been used,” he said. “It had to be somebody strong to
break the door that way, and there had to be someone small
to get into the building through the opening they had cre-
ated.”
Branstetter added that those facts lead him to believe that
more than one assailant participated in the burglary. He said
police recovered a few partial fi ngerprints from the scene,
including a print on the key to the cash register. Prints were
later taken of pub ownership and employees to eliminate
them as sources of the fi ngerprints. Branstetter also said that
the method employed by the burglars leads him to believe
they knew what they were after.
“I can’t imagine it would not have been somebody that
visited that restaurant before,” he said. Police reviewed
video from surrounding businesses, he said, including video
from Les Schwab that appeared to show fl ashlights at the
Brewstation, but police “couldn’t make out anything” from
the video. Surveillance cameras at other locations did not
offer a glimpse at the Brewstation, he said.
Owner Emily Rinck said that ownership, staff and sup-
porters felt violated by the incident, though she added that
they have been comforted by the support that they have been
shown since.
R AIN C OUNTRY R EALT Y I NC .
We wish you a safe and sober
Labor Day weekend from your
friends and neighbors at
Rain Country Realty Inc.
Principal Brokers
Teresa Abbott ..................221-1735
Frank Brazell....................953-2407
Broker
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(541) 942-3325
By telephone
(541) 942-3328
By fax
cgnews@cgsentinel.com
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P.O. Box 35, Cottage Grove, OR 97424
By mail
Corner of Sixth and Whiteaker, Cottage Grove
In person
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CONTENTS
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Calendar....................................... 11B
Channel Guide ............................... 4B
Classified ads................................. 6B
Obituaries....................................... 2A
Opinion .......................................... 4A
Public Safety .................................. 5A
Sports ............................................ 1B
1 Dollar