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Elections
Goodwin announces run for state Legislature — in District 4

State Rep. Christine Goodwin will run for the state Legislature this year, but not in the district she currently serves.

Goodwin owns a home in Canyonville, which will be in District 4 after the 2022 election.

Goodwin is currently the interim representative for District 2, which covers much of Douglas County. She was appointed to the post after former Rep. Gary Leif died in July.

Goodwin has received the endorsement of Rep. Duane Stark, R-Grants Pass, who is retiring from the District 4 position.

“More than ever, Southern Oregon needs a strong, experienced voice in Salem advocating for our communities and defending our way of life,” Stark said in a press release. “Rep. Goodwin has the skills and passion to keep up that fight for House District 4.”

Goodwin said she hopes to carry on Stark’s legacy, and said the retiring legislator has been a kind and gracious mentor to her and it would be a privilege to follow him into the district.

Goodwin told The News-Review that when she took the interim District 2 post that she didn’t intend to run for election to it. She hadn’t expected to like the work, but she found she really wanted to continue in the Legislature.

She said running in District 4 resolves her dilemma.

“I really wanted to keep working at this. I think it takes so much to get up to speed and there’s going to be such a big turnover this year that the (Republican) caucus of course very much wanted me to stay in the game if I could,” she said.

District 2 falls entirely within Douglas County. So if Goodwin were to win District 4, at least two representatives in the state House would be Douglas County residents. The communities that fall within District 4 are very similar to those of District 2, she said.

“It would be nice to stay with our Southern Oregon coalition. These are reps that I’ve gotten to know very well. We have very similar issues and are in there fighting the battles together,” she said.

Goodwin predicted serious fights ahead, saying she would fight for Second Amendment rights and oppose cap and trade carbon legislation.

Cap and trade, she said, is the wrong approach to climate change. It would drive up energy costs and be devastating for low-income people.

“I’m all for having the climate change conversation, but I think the alarmism is not helpful,” she said.

She said that approach isn’t creating thoughtful planning and innovation.

Goodwin is also a former interim Douglas County commissioner, planning commissioner and a former chair of the South Umpqua School Board.

Goodwin was named Myrtle Creek’s Woman of the Year in 2008.

Goodwin created a fitness club and a coffee house, and with her husband owns a private optometry practice she has administered for 20 years.


Education
Roseburg school board discusses polling for proposed bond, district will stay in-person

Roseburg school board members discussed the next round of polling for a proposed bond on Wednesday while concerns surrounding the possibility of remote learning were addressed.

The next round of polling will focus on narrowing down specific projects, costs and looking at community values. During the first round of polling conducted in the fall — where 400 community members were randomly selected — the top-rated priorities for improvements included health and safety, accessibility and energy efficiency. At December’s board meeting, the bond committee made recommendations based on polling results and concluded that a bond amount of $154 million should be selected for investments.

To set the stage for discussions on the bond proposal, Superintendent Jared Cordon presented a slideshow with examples of schools across the state that were able to update facilities while maintaining integral elements of historical buildings. While the bond proposal remains in the polling and discussion stage, Cordon said he wanted to show examples to illustrate how classroom environments can support students. His examples included updated facilities for career technical education classrooms and libraries.

“With that in mind it’s a good frame as we talk a little bit about the opportunity that lies ahead of us,” Cordon said.

Before moving forward, Rebecca Larson, the board chair, brought up the topic of helping increase awareness about the district’s bond status while educating the community about bonds in nearby or similarly sized districts. Board member Rodney Cotton added to the discussion by emphasizing the need of highlighting how other districts in Douglas County are currently using bonds.

“Roseburg needs to know that,” Cotton said.

Jeremy Wright, who has assisted in the polling conducted by Patinkin Research, said the next round of polling will include information that reflects the board’s input.

Polling results will be discussed during a board work session on Jan. 26. at 6 p.m. on Zoom.

Another topic at the forefront of Wednesday’s discussion addressed whether or not the district will jump back into online learning. Even as more schools across the state and nation continue to switch to remote learning with coronavirus cases surging, Cordon reassured board members and attendees that the district has every intention to remain in-person.

“We have awesome kids who want to be there and by golly, we’re going to do everything we can to make sure we can stay open for kids,” Cordon said.

Switching to remote learning will come as a last resort option, he said. While there have been a few instances of classes needing to quarantine and some sporting events being canceled, the district continues to monitor the situation while providing assistance to those who test positive.

“If it does come (remote learning) and I hope it doesn’t come,” Cordon said. “But if it does come, it will simply be because we don’t have enough staff to run the building.”


Coronavirus
Douglas County sees highest number of daily coronavirus cases since August

The Douglas County COVID-19 Response Team is reporting 517 new positive cases and 25 presumptive cases of the coronavirus this week, with the total number of cases to date now surpassing 15,000, according to Wednesday’s report.

This week saw a spike in the number of new daily reported cases, with 205 new positive cases reported on Wednesday. This marks the fourth time since the start of the pandemic that daily case numbers exceeded 200. The last time the county saw numbers creep this high was on Aug. 24, 2021, when 251 cases were reported on a single day during the height of the delta variant surge.

“We are definitely in our next surge of COVID,” the county’s response team said in its weekly report. “As we mentioned before, if there is any good news, it is that the peak of the omicron cases in other parts of the world were short-lived.”

Last week the county predicted an unprecedented surge in the number of daily cases — spanning from 200 to 500 daily cases. With Wednesday’s report indicating the possible beginning of this trend, the county could witness a record-breaking high for the number of reported daily cases.

Hospitalization rates slightly rose from last week with 24 people currently receiving medical care due to complications from coronavirus. Out of the 24, 19 of those people are unvaccinated.

Health officials reported two more deaths over the last week, a 68-year-old man and a 76-year-old woman. While the woman passed away in early December, her long-term care facility notified the Douglas Public Health Network this week. Both individuals were vaccinated.

As case numbers continue to surge due to the omicron variant, Aviva Health is opening a temporary emergency call center in downtown Roseburg. While this space will offer medical assistance to the community in the future, it will first function as an emergency call center to help alleviate demands being placed on local hospitals.

“Like the delta surge, one of our priorities is to protect hospital emergency department and inpatient capacity, so establishing case-management services to effectively link COVID-19 patients to appropriate sources of outpatient care is a priority of ours,” said KC Bolton, the CEO of Aviva Health.


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