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July 16, 2024


Oregon’s Snowpack Near Normal

PORTLAND, Ore. – Despite drier than normal weather throughout the month of March, mountain snowpack across Oregon remains near normal, or in some cases above normal, according to the April Water Supply Outlook Report released today by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.

The first part of March experienced continued snowfall on the mountains with lingering cool temperatures. Mid-and late month brought more spring-like weather (sunny with unseasonably warm temperatures), initiating the season’s first rounds of snowmelt to the mid and lower elevations. While March brought below average amounts of precipitation to most of the state, the snow surplus gained in February made up for the lack of March storms.

Most of the state has received the near average amount of precipitation since the water year in October, with exceptions in northwest Oregon and parts of central Oregon. Once again, February’s copious precipitation made up for other months that were drier than usual during this snow season.

Many streams and rivers are expected to flow at normal to above normal levels for the spring and summer. The exceptions are rivers in northwest Oregon and the Upper Deschutes Basin.

“While the April forecast is showing near normal to above normal streamflow into the coming months, the timing of it remains uncertain,” said Scott Oviatt, NRCS snow survey supervisory hydrologist. “If warm and dry conditions or rapid snowmelt occur in the near term, streamflows could peak early and result in lower snowmelt-driven flows later in the summer.”

Due to unusual amounts of snow in many parts of the state, rapid snowmelt or heavy rainfall and snowmelt could lead to possible flooding.

Get specific data about basins in your community by viewing the full report online.

Fatal Crash in Sams Valley

WHITE CITY – Jackson County Sheriff’s Office deputies say a man died in a single-vehicle crash in the Sams Valley area over the weekend.  No one else was injured. 

On Sunday, April 8, 2019, at 6:41 a.m., dispatch received a report of a crash in the 12000-block of Antioch Road, approximately one mile southeast of Highway 234.  A passerby happened upon the crash and called 911.  The driver’s family members also arrived at the crash scene prior to deputies’ arrival; they had been searching the area after realizing he had not returned home by Sunday morning.

Deputies say the 1999 Ford F-350 pickup was headed northbound on Antioch Road when it left the roadway, struck a ditch, and overturned.  The driver, Bobby Dean Hardin, 81, of White City, died at the scene.  He was the only occupant of the vehicle.  The crash also caused damage to a fence on private property.

The Jackson County medical examiner’s office is working to determine the cause and manner of death.  Routine toxicology tests will be conducted to determine whether alcohol or other substances were involved.  The crash remains under investigation.

Abuses Charges in New Pine Creek, Oregon

Oregon State Police Detectives began an investigation two months ago into reported abuse of two young boys living in the town of New Pine Creek, Oregon, located in southern Lake County near the California border.

The boys were assessed at Klamath-Lake CARES (Child Abuse Response & Evaluation Services) where they disclosed extensive physical abuse and being forced to ingest marijuana.

The Lake County District Attorneys’s Office brought the charges before a Grand Jury and warrants for the arrest of Shawn Michael Fortune (26) and Jamie Baust (31) of Lake County were issued for Causing another person to ingest a controlled substance, Criminal Mistreatment First Degree,  Assault Third Degree,  Assault Fourth Degree, and Unlawful Use of an Electrical Stun Gun, Tear Gas or Mace.

Fortune and Baust fled Lake County and the state of Oregon prior to being apprehended on the listed charges.  

OSP Detectives enlisted the assistance of the U.S. Marshals Service – Pacific Northwest Violent Offender Task Force.  The U.S Marshals Service located Fortune and Baust in South Bend, Indiana.

On April 4, 2019, the South Bend Indiana U.S. Marshals Service Fugitive Task Force located Fortune and Baust and took them into custody without incident. They will be held in Indiana until they can be extradited to Oregon.

Oregon Cannabis Commission meets April 9 in Medford

What: The regular public meeting of the Oregon Cannabis Commission (OCC). A listening tour will follow the meeting. 

Agenda: OHA update: Public Health website; review standing subcommittees and vote; legislative session update; previous public comment review; review ORS 475B, OAR 333-008 and -007 (OMMP rules), and OAR 845-025 (OLCC rules); public comment period regarding OCC meeting discussions

When: April 9, 1-4 p.m. Listening tour: 4-5 p.m.

Where: Medford Public Library, 205 South Central Ave, Medford.

Background: The Oregon Cannabis Commission was established in the 2017 legislative session through HB 2198. The commission consists of the state health officer or designee and an eight-member panel appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate. The commission is tasked with determining a possible framework for future governance of the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program, steps to address research on cannabis in areas of public health policy and public safety policy, agronomic and horticultural best practices, and medical and pharmacopoeia best practices. Along with this, they advise the Oregon Health Authority and the Oregon Liquor Control Commission with respect to the statutes governing medical and retail cannabis. For more information, please visit the commission’s website.

New Police Officers for Oregon

The Oregon Department of Public Safety Standards and Training (DPSST) is pleased to announce the graduation of its 386th Basic Police Class.

The Basic Police Class is 16-weeks in length and includes dozens of training areas including survival skills, firearms, emergency vehicle operations, ethics, cultural diversity, problem solving, community policing, elder abuse, drug recognition, and dozens of other subjects.

Basic Police Class 386 will graduate at the Oregon Public Safety Academy at 4190 Aumsville Hwy SE in Salem, Oregon on Friday, April 12, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. with a reception immediately following the graduation.  Chief Jim Porter of Bend Police Department will be the speaker. 

The Department of Public Safety Standards and Training would like to invite you to join us in observing the ceremony and congratulating Basic Police #BP386 on their successful completion of basic training.

The graduating students appreciate the family, friends and guests who make graduation an appropriate conclusion to their basic training at the Oregon Public Safety Academy.

Graduating members of BP386 for Southern Oregon include:

Police Officer Michael Bates, Talent Police Department

 Police Officer Karin Porter, Bend Police Department

 Police Officer Taylor Ross, Sunriver Police Department

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