The latest and most comprehensive coverage of local News, Sports, Business, and Community News stories in the Klamath Basin, Southern Oregon and around the state of Oregon from Wynne Broadcasting’s KFLS News/Talk 1450AM / 102.5FM, The Herald & News, and BasinLife.com, and powered by Mick Insurance, your local health and Medicare agents.
Friday, June 10, 2022
Klamath Basin Weather
Today Mostly sunny, with a high near 78. West southwest wind 6 to 11 mph. Overnight partly cloudy, with a low around 53.
Saturday A slight chance of rain between 8am and 1pm, otherwise partly sunny, with a high near 73. Chance of precipitation is 30%. Overnight, slight chance of showers with a low around 49. Chance of precipitation is 20%.
Sunday Showers, with thunderstorms also possible after 11am. High near 60. Light and variable wind becoming west southwest 9 to 14 mph in the morning. Winds could gust as high as 21 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New rainfall amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms. A slight chance of thunderstorms before 11pm with a low around 38.
Monday Sunny, with a high near 61.
Tuesday Sunny, with a high near 71.
Wednesday Sunny, with a high near 81.
The Klamath County Sheriff’s Office Animal Control Division in partnership with Klamath Basin veterinarians and veterinarian technicians are pleased to offer a pet vaccination and dog license clinic on June 21st.
It will be held Tuesday,June 21st, from 10:00am to 3:00pm at the Klamath County Fairgrounds Exhibit Hall #2.
The cost varies for services. : Dog & Cat Rabies Vaccine – FREE! (While supplies last). Dog Da2, Lepto and Bordetella – $5 each (While supplies last). Cat fvrcp and Leukemia – $5 each (While supplies last). Microchips: $15.
Klamath County Sheriff’s Office Animal Control is waiving dog licensing late fees for this event! If you have not already received a citation for No Dog License, there are NO dog license late fees applied on the day of the event.
All pets must be on leashes or in crates. Please maintain distance between other animals. Questions: Contact Klamath County Animal Control (541) 882-1279.
The Siskiyou Sheriff’s Office has advised climbers to avoid Mt. Shasta due to a high number of injury incidents that occurred there Monday and Tuesday.
The first such incident happened when three climbers who were tethered together slipped 1,000 feet to 2,500 feet, resulting in the death of climbing guide Jillian Webster of Redmond, Oregon. The boyfriend and girlfriend couple with her each suffered injuries and are currently recovering in the hospital.
Two other injury-incidents occurred Monday, one involving a male who has been released from the hospital, and the other involving a female who is out of the ICU, but still hospitalized.
The most recent incident happened Tuesday, and involved a male climber who is still recovering in the hospital.
The City of Klamath Falls Streets Division crews will be performing work in the coming week of June 13th through June 17th, during the hours of 2:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the following locations:
The Asphalt Crew on June 13th Repairing potholes on Shasta Way, Washburn Way.
So. 6th St. Paint Crew beginning June 14 through the 17th will be painting legends, crosswalks, and curbs on Pine St. between N 3rd St. to Esplanade Ave. and Main St. from 12th St. to Conger Ave.
Sign Maintenance and Sweeping will be performed June 13th through the 17th throughout the City as needed.
Detours and signage will be in place where needed. Streets Staff thanks our citizens in advance for proceeding with caution in areas where crews are working.
Work may be delayed or canceled due to weather, equipment breakdown or unexpected emergencies. If you would like more information about this topic, please call Klamath Falls City Public Works Department at (541) 883-5385.
Last Saturday, members of the Klamath County Sheriff’s Office responded to the area of Bluebill Lane and Wigeon Drive for the report of a possible Arson.
Upon their arrival in the area, a female was contacted who advised her camper trailer and pickup had been set on fire while she and her two dogs were sleeping inside.
Initial arriving Fire crews from Klamath County Fire District #5 and the Oregon Department of Forestry contained the fire to the pickup and travel trailer, stopping it from spreading to the Wildland.
Through further investigation, deputies learned 32-year-old Porsha Weaver had intentionally set the trailer on fire, stole a nearby vehicle, and fled the scene.
The stolen vehicle has been recovered, however, Porsha Weaver has not yet been located.
If you know who she is and wish to report Porsha Weaver’s whereabouts anonymously, call us at 541-850-5380.
Seven months ago, Onyx Leah Bartlett and Stephanie Castaneda had never written computer code and didn’t know what a high tunnel was. Today, they have designed an award-winning miniature prototype that enables one person to move the heavy-hooped tunnels used to extend a farmer’s growing season.
The two Brixner Junior High School eighth-graders took first place last month in the Oregon MESA junior high engineering and design competition, beating teams from Portland-area schools. They are representing the state of Oregon at MESA’s National Engineering and Design Competition in late June. MESA stands for Mathematics Engineering Science Achievement.
Onyx and Stephanie will spend the next few weeks fine-tuning their project and writing the reports required for the national contest. They will present their design and conduct interviews virtually.
All Oregon teams, including teams from Mazama High, Brixner, and Chiloquin Junior/Senior High, competed under the theme “From Harvest to Table”.
They were tasked with interviewing a client within the food industry and developing an innovation to empower their client using the principles of human centered design and invention education. The project had to use microbits (which need to be coded to perform tasks) that solve a real-life problem.
A Mazama High School team placed third overall in the high school category.
Brixner had seven MESA teams that partnered with Katie Swanson of Sweet Union Farm to work on a way to modify high tunnels so they can be moved from place to place by one person. High tunnels are temporary structures that extend the growing season by protecting plants from weather.
The Klamath County Sheriff’s Office announced two new deputies have been assigned to patrol duty by sheriff Chris Kaber.
Deputies Cooper Roberts and Jazmani Melgoza recently began service with the KCSO. Both were sworn in today by Sheriff Kaber and have been assigned to our Patrol Division
The Klamath Irrigation District has advised the A-Canal bike path from Eberline Road upstream to Washburn Way will be closed for maintenance.
The closure will start Tuesday, June 7, and continue until the maintenance is complete, which is expected to be within 14 days.
Please contact the Klamath Irrigation District with any questions at (541) 882-6661.
Around the state of Oregon
The Rose Festival is on in Portland and the Rose Festival Fleet is now arriving.
Drivers will face delays on the Broadway, Steel and Burnside bridges that will have to open for the ships. TriMet says all MAX lines will experience delays and buses that use those bridges will also be delayed. The Rose Festival Junior parade will be held this afternoon in Portland’s Hollywood District. The Grand Marshall is The Unipiper who will lead the Woodmere Unicycle Club.
Oregon Rep. Kurt Schrader Was One of Just Two Democrats Who Voted Against Gun Control Bill Passed By The U.S. House
Oregon Rep. Kurt Schrader was one of just two Democrats who voted against a wide-ranging gun control bill passed by the U.S. House on Wednesday in response to the recent mass shootings in Buffalo, New York and Uvalde, Texas.
Schrader and Rep. Jarden Golden of Maine joined most Republicans in voting against the full package, which passed on a mostly party-line vote of 223-204.
Lawmakers not only voted on the entire package, but separately on the seven individual provisions in the bill. Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., said in a letter last week that the House would vote on the provisions separately “to place Republicans on record on each of these issues relating to gun safety.”
Schrader voted against provisions seeking to raise the minimum age for purchasing a semi-automatic weapon and banning the use of high-capacity magazines. He did not vote on a provision that would create new safe-storage requirements for gun owners who have minors in their homes.
A spokesperson for Schrader did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday.
The legislation included provisions that would raise the age limit for purchasing a semi-automatic rifle and prohibit the sale of ammunition magazines with a capacity of more than 15 rounds, among other provisions.
The bill has almost no chance of becoming law as the Senate pursues negotiations focused on improving mental health programs, bolstering school security and enhancing background checks. But the House bill does allow Democratic lawmakers a chance to frame for voters in November where they stand on policies that polls show are widely supported.
The push came after a House committee heard wrenching testimony from recent shooting victims and family members, including from 11-year-old girl Miah Cerrillo, who covered herself with a dead classmate’s blood to avoid being shot at the Uvalde elementary school.
Schrader, a seven-term Congressman, lost his reelection bid in the Democratic primary for the 5th Congressional District last month to Jamie McLeod-Skinner, a progressive Democrat from central Oregon. Whether she’ll end up replacing Schrader in Washington, D.C., will be decided in the general election in November.
Oregonians getting unemployment compensation will get a raise next month.
The Oregon Employment Department (OED) says today its new annual minimum and maximum weekly benefit amounts (WBA) for regular unemployment insurance (UI) filed on or after July 3, 2022, will increase by approximately 7%.
It says the 7% increase is the result of growth in Oregon’s average weekly wage during 2021. Starting July 3, 2022, the minimum WBA for new regular UI claims will increase by $12, from $171 to $183 per week. The maximum WBA for new regular UI claims will increase by $50, from $733 to $783 per week.
People who file new regular UI claims prior to July 3, 2022, will continue receiving the same WBA they had been receiving.
Oregon law requires OED to recalculate minimum and maximum WBA annually for regular UI benefits.
A Jackson County grand jury indicted a local school bus monitor yesterday on charges of sexual abuse of a preteen child.
The suspect, Jimmy Dean Gairson, 46, of Shady Cove, is charged with first-degree sexual abuse and second-degree sexual penetration, and is lodged at the Jackson County Jail. The charges are unrelated to his position as a school bus monitor. The abuse occurred while the victim lived in Gairson’s home in Shady Cove.
At the time of his arrest, Gairson was employed by the bus contracting company First Student as a school bus monitor for the Central Point School District. Gairson was not employed directly by the school district, and at this time there is no information to suggest he victimized children as a result of his employment with First Student.
Based on information gathered in the investigations, detectives believe Gairson had access to numerous other unidentified children in his home. If anyone has additional information on the suspect, please call the JCSO Tip Line at (541) 774-8333 and reference case number 22-2263.
Oregon State Police Drug Enforcement Team Shut Down Another Illegal Marijuana Grow Operation In Jackson County
On June 8, 2022, the Oregon State Police Southwest Region Drug Enforcement Section team served an illegal marijuana search warrant in the 13000 block of Hwy 62, Eagle Point, Jackson County.
As a result, 5,038 illegal marijuana plants contained in eighteen greenhouses were seized. Five individuals were detained, identified, interviewed, and released.
The property had been leased for the sole purpose of illegal marijuana cultivation. Jackson County Code Enforcement also responded to the property for multiple code violations. A total of $58,000.00 dollars in fines were levied related to unapproved greenhouse structures, solid waste, and unpermitted electrical installations. The investigation is ongoing.
The OSP SWR DES team was assisted by the Illegal Marijuana Enforcement Team (IMET) of the Medford Police Department and Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, as well as Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). Oregon State Police
OHA releases COVID-19 vaccine Breakthrough Report
Oregon Health Authority’s most recent update on COVID-19 breakthrough cases, released today, reported 44,363 cases of infection during the month of May.
Of those cases, 21,100, or 47.6%, were unvaccinated people, and 23,246, or 52.4%, were vaccine breakthrough cases. Among the breakthrough cases, 14,506, or 62.4%, were fully vaccinated and boosted.
To date, there have been 233,873 COVID-19 vaccine breakthrough cases in Oregon. Of those cases, 69,105, or 29.5%, were fully vaccinated and boosted at the time of infection.
To date, 2.6% of all vaccine breakthrough cases have been hospitalized, and 0.6% have died. The median age of vaccinated people who died is 80.
COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective at protecting people from getting seriously ill, being hospitalized and dying. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends everyone age 5 years and older stay up to date with their vaccines, including getting boosters when they are eligible. The latest breakthrough report can be found here.
President Joe Biden nominated Assistant U.S. Attorney Natalie Wight to become Oregon’s top federal prosecutor.
Wight was one of seven applicants and three finalists for the position, which requires confirmation by the U.S. Senate. If confirmed, she will direct 107 employees who prosecute federal criminal cases, defend the U.S. government in civil cases and collect debts owed to the federal government.
She has been an assistant U.S. attorney in Oregon since 2012 and did the same job in the Northern District of California from 2008 to 2012, according to the White House. Wight previously worked as an attorney for the Federal Bureau of Prisons from 2003 to 2008.
She received her law degree from the University of Notre Dame in 2003 and also holds a master’s degree from California State University and a bachelor’s degree from the College of Idaho. U.S. Sens. Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden said they strongly supported her nomination.
A resident of The Dalles, Oregon was sentenced to federal prison today for transporting and possessing thousands of images depicting child sexual abuse.
Nickolas K. Parsons, 27, was sentenced to 90 months in federal prison and 10 years’ supervised release.
According to court documents, in late 2019, as part of an ongoing investigation, officers identified a Twitter user who sent two MEGA links to child pornography. MEGA is an encrypted online file sharing service. Investigators traced the user’s Twitter account to Parsons’ residence in The Dalles where, in March 2020, they executed a federal search warrant.
After seizing his mobile phone, Parsons admitted to viewing child pornography online and provided investigators with his MEGA account information. The account was later found to contain thousands of files containing child pornography.
On June 9, 2020, a federal grand jury in Portland returned a two-count indictment charging Parsons with transporting and possessing child pornography. On February 22, 2022, he pleaded guilty to both charges.
On Monday, June 13, Representative Pam Marsh will be hosting an online forum with various state fire agencies to help people plan and prepare to protect themselves and their property. Both Spanish and ASL interpretation will be available.
The “Ready for Fire in 2022” will begin at 6 PM, Monday, June 13. Panelists will discuss emergency notifications, evacuation preparations, firefighting personnel and equipment, and coordination among fire departments, municipalities, and agencies that are working to reduce risk.
Fire management leaders presenting include
- Holly Powers, Jackson County Emergency Manager
- Chief Mariana Ruiz-Temple, Oregon State Fire Marshal
- Chief Mike Shaw, ODF Fire Protection; Tyler McCarty, ODF Southwest Oregon District Forester
- Chief Bob Horton, Jackson County Fire Defense District
- Merv George, Forest Supervisor, Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest
Cannabis products only provide short-term reduction in chronic pain, according to a review by Oregon Health & Science University.
Researchers evaluated more than three-thousand studies and found only 25 with scientifically valid evidence concerning cannabis.
The short-term benefit can help with pain experienced by diabetics and similar neuropathic pain. Side effects include sedation and dizziness. Anyone considering using cannabis products for pain relief should consult with their doctor first.
A court-ordered expert is issuing her recommendations for capacity challenges at the Oregon State Hospital.
Dr. Debra Pinals has issued her second report on the facility. It calls for evaluations of people when they’re in jail to determine whether they’ve become fit for trial and don’t need admission to the state hospital. Counties should increase treatment beds for people who don’t need hospital level care. And, she says there needs to be better sharing of data to determine how many patients are waiting for admission and discharge.
High Desert Museum Welcomes New Baby Otter
An approximately 8-week-old North American river otter pup is now in the care of the High Desert Museum. Learn more below about this new addition.
Museum Curator of Wildlife Jon Nelson will be available to speak to reporters today from 2:30—3:30 pm. Please let Heidi Hagemeier know if that’s of interest. We will not at this time make the otter pup available for media viewing.
Photos may be credited to Jon Nelson/High Desert Museum.
The North American river otter, estimated to be approximately 8 weeks old, is now in the care of the High Desert Museum. While the male pup is not presently in public view with the other two otters at the Museum, the intent is to eventually introduce him into the Autzen Otter Exhibit.
The pup was found the week before Memorial Day weekend on a golf course near Sunriver. The otter, which was emaciated and severely dehydrated, was brought to the Museum temporarily for care while multiple wildlife professionals attempted to locate his mother. That search failed.
This week, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife determined that the otter should remain with the Museum.
“We don’t know exactly what happened to this otter, although we do know that without his parents he wouldn’t have survived in the wild,” said Museum Curator of Wildlife Jon Nelson.
“This was a unique situation where this otter pup does appear to have been legitimately orphaned,” Nelson continued. “This is the time of year when people will sometimes find young animals seemingly alone in nature. Often, though, the parent has only temporarily left the young in a secluded spot to feed or rest and plans to return. The best thing to do is leave the animal there and contact the local ODFW office to report it.”
The pup, which weighed 2.4 pounds on arrival, is gaining weight rapidly and getting healthier by the day. He presently weighs about 4.6 pounds.
Young otters like this can be very challenging to keep healthy. Museum staff are experienced and well-equipped to offer the specialized care this animal needed while attempts were made to locate his wild family. Successful long-term rehabilitation would require he be raised with other otter pups of the same age over eight to nine months. Unfortunately, that type of care is not currently available in Oregon. With the family having not been found over the course of more than a week of looking, long-term human care is now the pup’s best option.
Otters live approximately eight to nine years in the wild, and often longer in human care.
A quarantine in Lane County to help limit the spread of bird flu has been lifted.
The quarantine was put into effect on May 17th after bird flu was detected in a backyard flock. The quarantine prevented birds in a six mile radius from being transported. The infected birds were euthanized. No new cases have been found in the area. The U.S. Department of Agriculture approved the state’s request to lift the quarantine.
Agriculture officials urge people with backyards flocks to take steps that will keep them separated from wild birds.