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Education
Douglas County voters pick their representatives for numerous boards

Incumbents Mark Hendershott and Kat Stone succeeded in their quest to win another term on the Douglas County Transportation District.

The Douglas County Clerk’s Office sent out unofficial final results at 10:40 p.m. Tuesday.

Stone had more than 5,200 votes in her favor for District 1, while her opponent, Jay Mitchell, had 4,700 votes to his name. In District 2, Hendershott had 52% of the vote, compared to Alyssa McConnel’s 47%.

Stone and Hendershott were incumbents on the independent government body tasked with determining how state and federal funding will be spent in Douglas County to provide public transit services.

The Douglas County Transportation District was started less than a year ago, but because of staggered terms, Stone, Hendershott and Jennifer Newell-Bragg were running for reelection. Newell-Bragg ran unopposed.

Statewide voter turnout was around 19%, and preliminary numbers showed Douglas County was around 18% in voter turnout.

Schools

Twila McDonald and Doris Lathrop were on their way to winning seats on the Umpqua Community College board of directors. McDonald gathered 56% of the vote in the three-person race for Zone 1. Lathrop earned more than 54% of the vote in Zone 2.

Current board member David Littlejohn recently moved, but ran unopposed for director of Zone 3. Erica Mills will take over the final two years of Littlejohn’s term in Zone 4 and Randy Richardson ran unopposed in Zone 6 to join the UCC board.

Roseburg Public Schools will likely see Charles Lee and Rebecca Larson return to the board. Joe Garcia, Micki Hall and Rodney Cotton ran unopposed and will continue to serve on the school board.

Lee held on to 50.4% of the vote in his race against John Parker, who had 48.9% of the vote. As of 10:40 p.m. Tuesday, Lee clung to a 62-vote margin.

Larson had more than 69% of the vote to lead her opponent, Bob Cormier.

Other contested races for school board throughout the area were won by Janice Austin in Glendale, Dan Forbess in Oakland, and Brian West in Winston-Dillard.

In Sutherlin’s school board election, results showed Nikki York with a small lead over Jacob Masterfield. York had 51% of the votes, Masterfield 48%, a difference of 27 votes.

Douglas Education Service District’s Meredith Bliss, Hank Perry and Chris Rusch all ran unopposed. Rusch and Perry are incumbents, while Bliss will take over for Ferne Healy.

Fire

Douglas County Fire District No. 2 had two contested positions. One of which went to Bob Sconce, who had a nearly 400-vote lead over his opponent, Paul Haddock.

The other position showed a small margin in favor of Ed Pratt over Bill Schmidt.

Todd Koens won his seat as director for Position 4.

David Cowan defeated Susanna Noordhoff in the contested Gardiner rural Fire District election. Duane Stewart and Ronald Gabel were elected to the other two open positions on the board.

Voters elected Joe Pospisil to serve on the board for Tri City Rural Fire District. Brian Kelly and Gerry Heilman ran unopposed and will serve on the board as well.

emergency

Janice Austin held a small lead for the director for Position 2 for Glendale Ambulance. She had 13 more votes than her opponent, John Wright, according to unofficial final results. Misty Morningstar and Charles Foster ran unopposed for other director positions for the ambulance company.

Cemetery

Larry Linton defeated Dennis Thoms by nearly 125 votes in the race for the director for Position 2 for Riddle Cemetery Maintenance. Patricia Zuleger ran unopposed for director for Position 3.

Health

Tamara Szalewski will serve on the Lower Umpqua Hospital District board after defeating Jody Morrow with 66% of the vote.

Lee Bridge and Ronald Kreskey will also serve on the LUHD board after running unopposed.

Library

The Lower Umpqua Library District will see Lee Bridge, Pina Summons and Deborah Yates on the board. Yates defeated Wyatt Cataneda in the special election Tuesday.

Sanitary Districts

Diana Phillips seemed to narrowly defeat Matthew Deister for the position on the Tri City Joint Water and Sanitary Authority. Phillips had 53% of the vote, compared to Deister’s 46%.

Carl White and Christopher Dewald will also serve on the board.


Education
breaking
School bond measures in Douglas County get approval from voters

Douglas County voters approved three school bond measures, according to preliminary election results released Tuesday evening by the Douglas County Clerk’s Office.

According to the unofficial final results sent out by the clerk’s office at 10:40 p.m. Tuesday, the Winston-Dillard School District measure won with more than 68% of the vote.

Winston-Dillard School District asked for $16 million for safety, security and facility improvements from taxpayers. The school district will receive a $4 million grant from the state to help with improvements at Douglas High School.

“We couldn’t be happier,” said Jeremy Mitchell, treasurer of the Yes for Douglas High Political Action Committee. Mitchell pointed out the work students had been doing, knocking on doors, making calls, to get voters informed about the measure.

“The organization and the community spirit behind it, just people seeing the need and responding with a yes vote based on that need,” Mitchell said. “Now we build the school and students get to enjoy a safe school built in the 21st century.”

The bond measure for the Winston-Dillard School District replaces an expiring bond and lowers the bond tax rate by approximately 11 cents per $1,000 of assessed value, to $1.39 per $1,000. The bond will mature within 21 years.

Elkton School District’s $3 million bond measure finished with nearly 62% of the vote in the unofficial final tally. The additional money will help to construct instructional spaces and a gymnasium, while renovating other buildings and improving overall security throughout the district.

“The biggest thing for us is to represent the money well,” Elkton Superintendent Andy Boe said. “I think people recognized we were genuine and saw the need and they said yes.”

Boe, as well as Elkton school board chair Seth Williamson and board member and Elkton mayor Dan Burke, were at the clerk’s office Tuesday night to get election results.

The bond measure will mature in 20 years and the estimated tax rate was 94 cents per $1,000 in assessed property value.

The Reedsport School District asked voters to reduce the number of board members from seven to five. The measure garnered more than 56% in support.

The City of Reedsport also had a measure on the ballot asking voters to amend a section of the city charter, establishing a cap on the amount the city’s utility rate can be adjusted by. That measure was denied by voters, with 56% of the vote going against it.

This would restrict the authority of the city council to only increasing the utility rate equal to or below the annual inflation rate. Any other rate increases would have to be ratified by the city’s electors.

Ballots were due at 8 p.m. Tuesday and brought to the clerk’s office from the various drop sites throughout the county.


Education
Roseburg Police Department investigates potential violence over LGBTQ poster at Fremont Middle School

Student-made posters on the topic of LGBTQ issues resulted in a police investigation at Fremont Middle School in Roseburg last week.

Roseburg Public School interim Superintendent Lee Paterson said some students put up posters that were supportive of LGBTQ students which caused “quite a squabble” with other students that culminated in rumors of online threats of violence.

Roseburg Police Department investigated those rumors, but could not substantiate a threat. Police officers, as well as School Resource Officer Tyler Vancil, interviewed students over a two-day period.

“It was determined by Roseburg police after reading the posts and interviewing multiple students and staff, that the rumors, though concerning, do not represent a credible threat to our school or our students,” Fremont Principal Ben Bentea wrote in an email to parents.

The incident was deemed disruptive to the learning environment and all student-made posters, including those on other topics, were taken down in the school’s hallways.

“When students were being harassed and it looked like even violence could break out, the school took the posters down to avoid any kind of confrontation,” Paterson said. “Free expression takes a backseat to protecting the safety of our children.”