A1 A1
'Butch' the newest elephant in the room at Wildlife Safari

WINSTON — Wildlife Safari has a new elephant in the room.

In late August, the wildlife park welcomed “Butch,” a 43-year-old African Elephant who came to the park from the Monterey Zoo in California after the last of his companions passed away.

When trying to decide what the California elephant sanctuary was going to do with the more than 10-foot-tall pachyderm, it came across Wildlife Safari and its herd of African elephants and decided it would be the perfect fit.

“Butch joined the herd on the morning of Tuesday, Aug. 31, and is settling in nicely,” said Dan Brands, the park’s general curator who oversees the elephant herd.

As a dedicated pack animal, Butch has reportedly blended well with Wildlife Safari’s existing herd of elephants, in part due to his patient demeanor.

“He’s a big, lovable and pensive guy and a bit of a goof,” Brands said. “He loves to play in the water and make his own mud wallows.”

Due to an unknown injury to one of his tusks, both tusks have been removed, according to a 2016 report from The Salinas Californian. Wildlife Safari is limiting Butch’s interactions for now, but he is visible in the drive-thru portion of the park.

“We’re always excited to welcome a new animal to the park,” executive director Dan Van Slyke said. “It’s not just an addition to the park and the animal collection, but a larger than life addition to our community.”

Second Republican forms House District 2 campaign committee

Roseburg Republican Steve Loosley has formed a campaign committee for the House District 2 seat formerly held by Rep. Gary Leif.

However, Loosley told The News-Review Thursday he’s still not sure whether he’s going to run.

Loosley is chairperson of the board of Umpqua Community College and serves on the boards of the Community Cancer Center, Southern Oregon Goodwill and Aviva Health. He is also treasurer of a nonprofit board that hopes to build a medical college in Roseburg.

He was one of three people nominated by Republican precinct committee members in August to temporarily fill the post until a replacement could be elected.

However, on Aug. 12, Christine Goodwin of Myrtle Creek was selected as interim representative by the county commissioners of the three counties that have land within the district.

At the time, Loosley asked the commissioners to remove his name from consideration, saying his campaign was adding fuel to the “deep and bitter” political divisions in the community.

However, he also did not rule out a run for the permanent post in the 2022 election, and formed the campaign committee two weeks later. Loosley has contributed $30,000 of his own money into the campaign, including a $20,000 loan, but so far hasn’t listed any other campaign donors.

No candidate has yet formally filed for the position, though Virgle Osborne also formed a campaign committee and has announced his intention to run.

Osborne is the sales manager for FCC Commercial Furniture in Roseburg and owns Twin Peaks Off-Road in Lookingglass, which sells parts for off-road vehicles.

Osborne does not currently live in the district but has said he will move if the 2021 redistricting process does not bring his home inside the district’s boundary.

Woman sues contractor after stepping through subfloor

A woman has filed a complaint against a Sutherlin contractor, claiming she stepped through a subfloor he had installed, causing her to be injured.

Amy Findlay filed the complaint in Douglas County Circuit Court on Aug. 16 against Pierce Restoration & Remodel, an assumed business name of Clark Contracting LLC, and Don Peoples, an employee of the company. Findlay is seeking $49,999 in damages.

According to the complaint, Findlay was visiting her cousin in August 2020 at his residence in the first block of Danita Lane in Roseburg when the incident occurred. Findlay was helping her cousin move a vanity into a bathroom that just had a new subfloor installed by Peoples. Prior to moving the vanity, Findlay asked Peoples if it was safe to walk on and People said it was, the complaint said.

When Findlay stepped onto the subfloor in the bathroom her right foot reportedly went through it, causing her a myriad of injuries. Those injuries include damage to the muscles, ligaments, tendons and nerves in her toes; the fracture of two toes; and pain to her left knee, mid-back, lower back and right hip.

Peoples was an employee of Pierce Restoration & Remodel, the complaint said. He and by extension Pierce Restoration & Remodel were negligent in one or more of the following ways, according to the complaint:

  • Removing and replacing the sub-floor in the bathroom with substandard materials and improper construction which they knew, or should have known, would not be safe for people to walk on.
  • Using improper screws and improper screw fastening, which would result in broken subfloor sections.
  • Using scrap metal instead of whole sheets of subflooring material.
  • Failing to use proper backing techniques.
  • Failing to use properly construct support framing for the bathroom subfloor.
  • Failing to inspect the bathroom subfloor for proper construction.
  • Failing to warn Findlay of the “unreasonably dangerous conditions” due to the improperly constructed bathroom subfloor.

The incident also caused general pain and suffering and inconvenience and interference with normal and usual activities, apart from gainful employment, according to the complaint. Findlay is seeking to be reimbursed for medical treatment and lost future earnings. She is asking for $15,697.30 in economic damages and $34,302.69 in noneconomic damages, as well as her court costs.

Findlay is being represented by attorney Derek Snelling of the Eugene law firm Shlesinger & deVilleneuve.

Neither Peoples nor Pierce Restoration & Remodel had responded to the complaint as of Tuesday. A phone message left for Pierce Restoration & Remodel was not returned.