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ASHLAND — Boy Scout Troop 112 will conduct a flag retirement ceremony in Lithia Park at 7 p.m. Sunday, July 3, at the lower fire ring just above the Parks and Recreation Department office.

According to the United States Flag Code, flags that are no longer suitable for display should be destroyed, preferably by burning. Boy Scouts are among the few groups allowed to conduct the ceremony. Four donated flags from Ashland will be retired at the ceremony, two from the National Guard Armory and two from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Forensics Laboratory.

Signs will be placed in the park to direct visitors to the fire ring. For more information about the ceremony call 541-488-0178.

Jackson County is lowering its parks system development charges and keeping roads system development charges level in fiscal year 2011-12, which will save money for residents who are building new construction in unincorporated areas.

For the Jackson County Parks Department, SDCs will decrease by 24 percent, from $909.43 in 2010-11 to $692.21 in 2011-12, a difference of more than $217 per single-family dwelling. SDCs for the Roads Department will remain level at $343.09 per single-family dwelling.

It's the third straight year that parks SDCs have decreased; in 2009-10 the charges were $1,001.21 for a single-family detached residence. SDCs are charges assessed to new construction projects in Jackson County's unincorporated areas to help pay for county services in those areas. SDCs enable Jackson County to provide quality recreational facilities and roads for a typically growing population. Unincorporated areas in Jackson County include White City, Applegate, Ruch, Sams Valley and Trail, as well as several other smaller communities.

The Jackson Soil and Water Conservation District recently was honored by Oregon State University for educating the public about natural resource issues.

David Sugar of OSU Extension presented the award at the JSWCD board room to board members Charlie Boyer, Barbara Niedermeyer and Marilyn Rice. JSWCD was one of a number of award recipients around the state of Oregon to receive the award.

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