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Fremont Middle School students arrested in theft, gun threat

Roseburg Police Department arrested two male students at Fremont Middle School on Wednesday in connection with a vehicle theft and threat with a firearm.

A report of a stolen vehicle was made around 7 p.m. Tuesday in the 900 block of SE Pine Street in Roseburg. The owner of the vehicle also reported a .357 revolver was inside the vehicle.

According to a press release by Roseburg Public Schools, “one of the students threatened another student at a bus stop with the weapon.” Roseburg police said no injuries or property damage were believed to have occurred during this incident.

Police received reports of a 14-year-old male brandishing a firearm around 9 a.m. Wednesday. The teen was identified and taken into custody without incident while he was at school.

According to a press release by Roseburg police, “The firearm was located, in the same area near the school bus stop, where it is suspected the male had hidden it. There is no evidence to believe the firearm was ever taken to a school.”

The firearm found by police was confirmed to be the .357 revolver that was in the stolen vehicle.

The vehicle was recovered in the 1700 block of SE Mill Street in Roseburg. A second 14-year-old male suspected of stealing the vehicle, was also taken into custody while at school.

“There is no evidence to suggest he was involved in the incident from the bus stop,” according to police.

Both teens are lodged at the Douglas County Juvenile Detention Center and parents of all involved juveniles have been notified.

Roseburg Public Schools is cooperating with the ongoing police investigation. Due to student privacy laws, the district cannot release additional student details.

“Our policy is consistent that whenever a student brings a weapon to school, he is subject to discipline up to and including expulsion. If it was a firearm the student is by law expelled for at least one calendar year,” RPS interim Superintendent Lee Paterson said. “There are no specific rules that apply to the bus stops, but the bus stop is kind of a shared space. Kids are at the bus stop by invitation of the school district, so our rules are enforced at the bus stop.”

This story will be updated as information becomes available.

War of 1812 veteran will finally receive headstone acknowledging his service

A War of 1812 veteran who was one of the Umpqua Valley’s first non-Native settlers will soon have his memory restored.

Daniel Carland was one of eight charter members of the first local Masonic Lodge, now Laurel Lodge No. 13. As such, he would have rubbed elbows with Roseburg’s founding fathers, and he may even have been one of those founding fathers himself. Among those early Masons were Aaron Rose, who gave his name to the town of Roseburg, and Joseph Lane, whose name is memorialized on one of the middle schools here.

Carland was born in 1795 and served as a private in the 6th Regiment of the Virginia Militia during the War of 1812. In 1852, he and his wife Rebecca traveled with their grown daughter and their grandchildren to Oregon via wagon train and settled a donation land claim in Benton County. A year later, they moved to Green and purchased land in the Kelly’s Corner area of Green.

Carland took the original charter petition for Laurel Lodge from Roseburg up to the Grand Lodge in Salem in 1857. The lodge was originally at the downtown Roseburg site where the old Safeway building was recently torn down.

He died a pauper in 1865 and is believed to have been buried in the original Masonic Cemetery on Eastwood Street in Roseburg. The graves were later moved to Northwest Hicks Street, in the older part of the cemetery now owned by Roseburg Memorial Gardens. It’s likely Carland’s remains are there, and that the Masons footed the bill for his funeral. While he appeared in the cemetery records, it was unknown exactly where he was buried and he had no headstone.

Vicki Cooper said Carland was her grandmother’s great-grandfather, but she didn’t know much about him except that he was a founding member of the local Masons. She went looking for his grave and found no marker for him. She reached out to the Masons to learn more about him, but thought she’d be unable to obtain a grave marker for him at first because the cost would be around $900.

David Hopkins, who is the director of Umpqua Valley Funeral Directors and the historian for Laurel Lodge, stepped in recently to help Cooper obtain a military issue white marble headstone for Carland. They were able to find records of Carland’s service on, and that combined with the cemetery records was sufficient to persuade the Department of Veterans Affairs that he was eligible for a free headstone.

The headstone is sitting in Hopkins’ office now, awaiting a memorial service. Cooper was thrilled to see it.

“It was really exciting to see his name carved into that marble, that tall marble piece, just like an ancestor should have,” she said.

Hopkins has been involved with providing headstones and memorial services for several Civil War veterans in recent years, but said this is his first 1812 veteran.

“It’s kind of uncharted territory for me,” Hopkins said.

He said he plans to have a plaque installed on the back acknowledging Carland’s part in local Masonic history, and his status as an Oregon pioneer. A Masonic service will be held later this summer, and he hopes the Grand Master of Masons or a deputy will attend and preside over the service.

The service would be similar to the traditional Masonic ceremony held for the laying of a cornerstone. The last such service known to have occurred in Roseburg was held when the cornerstone was laid for the old U.S. Post Office building on the corner of Cass and Stephens streets, dedicated in 1910.

Hopkins said everyone needs a marker signifying when they were born and when they died.

“It gives the family a place to go, and it also acknowledges they lived, and they made an impact on someone’s life. The time someone truly dies is when their memory no longer is spoken of, is no longer there. And being that he was a veteran, it was even more important to acknowledge that he served our country,” Hopkins said.

Hopkins said there’s been a member of his own family in every war since the Revolutionary War.

“So it means something to me to have veterans honored and remembered,” he said.

Segment of South Umpqua River might be included in State Scenic Waterways program

The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department announced plans Wednesday to study the South Umpqua River for possible inclusion in the State Scenic Waterways program.

The study that will assess a 27-mile stretch of the river between Camp Comfort campground and Tiller.

State law requires the agency to periodically study rivers for potential inclusion in the program.

“The goal of the State Scenic Waterways Program is to celebrate the natural, scenic and recreational values of designated waterways in the context of current and future land and resource uses,” read a press release from the Parks Department.

Scenic waterway designations do not affect existing water rights, but designation requires landowners to notify the agency of certain activities such as logging, mining, and construction actions.

“The proposed uses or activities may not be started until the written notification is approved, or until one year after the notice is accepted,” according to the program website.

The study will evaluate the river by collecting data, consulting with local communities and other stakeholders, and drafting a report for public comment.

The river must “be relatively free-flowing” and “have outstanding recreational value” to be included in the program, according to the press release. Additionally, “the waterway must be able to sustain substantial recreation” and “the view from the waterway must be pleasant.”

If approved, the river would be the second waterway in Douglas County included in the program. Two reaches of the North Umpqua River are already part of the program, including a 7-mile segment between the Mt. Thielsen Wilderness boundary and Lemolo Reservoir and a 34-mile segment between Soda Springs Dam powerhouse to Rock Creek. The latter segment is also part of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System.

“River segments under study are not guaranteed inclusion in the program,” according to the press release. If a segment is suitable for designation, “staff will develop a recommendation and plan that will go before the Oregon State Parks and Recreation Commission and the Oregon Water Resources Commission, who could ultimately send a recommendation to the governor.”