• Last modified 745 days ago (Nov. 18, 2020)


Wind farm foe confronts zoning chief

Staff writer

An encounter last Thursday at a Florence convenience store has the county planning and zoning director deciding whether to seek criminal charges being pressed against a wind farm opponent or seek a different remedy.

Planning and zoning director Sharon Omstead said she was inside Flying Eagle No. 3 with her 6-year-old daughter when wind farm opponent Tom Britain confronted her.

She said Britain made harassing comments, then followed with threatening comments.

“He said he was going to ‘take care of me,’” Omstead said. “Then he said, ‘It’s not a threat. It’s going to happen. You’re going to get taken care of.’ I was in fear of my life.”

Omstead said Britain’s harassing comments blurred together in her head when they became threatening.

She said after the confrontation a cashier asked, “What was that all about?”

Omstead reported the incident to the sheriff’s office.

“Mr. Britain said some things that caused some concern from Miss Omstead,” sheriff Robert Craft said.

Craft said deputies talked to Omstead, and then talked to Britain.

“It’s not a criminal case at this time,” Craft said. “Miss Omstead stated what he said, and those things were not pleasant. She’s still deciding whether she wants any charges pressed. She’s considering that.”

Craft said Omstead could seek a protection from abuse or protection from stalking order, and there are other means available to prevent Britain from contacting her, so she needs to decide which avenue to take.

Omstead said county counsel Brad Jantz told her she should ask the court for a protection from stalking order.

She has gotten paperwork to petition the court for an order.

“I haven’t submitted it yet,” Omstead said.

Britain did not respond to a message asking him to call the Marion County Record.

Last modified Nov. 18, 2020