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Oregon News Weekly Update, April 26, 2019

Oregon News Update, Friday, April 26, 2019 by Jonathon Kirby and Amy Finn


The State of Oregon will honor and remember 187 fallen law enforcement officers, and the families they left behind, during an hour-long memorial ceremony on Tuesday, May 7, 2019 at 1 PM.  The event will take place outdoors, rain or shine, at the state memorial which is located at the Oregon Public Safety Academy, 4190 Aumsville Highway SE, in Salem.

The names of four fallen Oregon law enforcement officers have been approved for addition to the state memorial during this year’s ceremony by the Board on Public Safety Standards and Training.  Ashland Police Officer Malcus Williams, Bend Police Sgt. John Lawrence, and two Multnomah County Sheriff’s Deputies who were seriously injured in the line of duty and retired as a result of their injuries. Both of these Deputies are being added under the historic recognition program which allows fallen officers from previous years to be honored on the memorial after careful review and approval. 

The Oregon Fallen Law Enforcement Officers’ Memorial Ceremony is a significant event that the Department of Public Safety Standards and Training (DPSST) is proud to host each year in partnership with the Oregon Law Enforcement Memorial Fund, Oregon Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.), Oregon Fallen Badge Foundation, and Oregon’s various statewide law enforcement associations.

The memorial honors 187 fallen Oregon law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty since the 1880s. This includes officers from city, county, state, tribal and federal law enforcement agencies who have served as law enforcement officers, corrections officers, and parole and probation officers.

The Oregon memorial is held the week ahead of National Police Week events in Washington, D.C. so that family members and co-workers can attend both memorial ceremonies.  During the national ceremony, the names of 371 fallen law enforcement officers will be added —158 of which are the names of officers we lost in the line of duty last year. Two hundred and thirteen are the names of officers who fell in years prior who are now being recognized..  This will bring the number of officers honored on the national memorial to more than 21,00 law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty.


Michael Bradsteen, 38, male from California. Lodged on Burglary 1, Theft 1, Elude,  Warrant out of California and PCS Heroin (with additional charges to follow.)

Burglar Arrested in Grants Pass

Over the last couple of weeks, the same individuals burglarized several Grants Pass businesses. Grants Pass Detectives were actively investigating the rash of burglaries and attempting to develop suspect information. On 4/24/2019, Detectives from Visalia California called the Grants Pass Department of Public Safety with information about Michael and Christopher Bradsteen. Detectives from Visalia were also investigating a rash of business burglaries in their area and they had identifed Michael and Christopher Bradsteen as suspects. The two were believed to have traveled to the Grants Pass area, where they were conducting the same type of burglaries. 

Grants Pass Detectives with the help of Visalia Detectives were able to locate Michael and Christopher Bradsteen at a motel in Grants Pass. With the coordinated efforts of Grants Pass DPS Officers, RADE and Grants Pass Detectives, Michael and Christopher were seen leaving the Red Lion in Grants Pass. Detectives followed the vehicle that Michael was driving to the Winco parking lot, where Patrol attempted to stop the vehicle. Michael eluded a short distance before stopping behind the Elmer’s Restaurant and fleeing the vehicle on foot. Christopher remained in the vehicle and was taken into custody without incident. Michael was taken into custody after a short foot-pursuit.  Michael and Christopher were lodged at the Josephine County Jail on the above listed charges with additional to follow.

The Jackson County Medical Examiner’s Office has completed autopies in the deaths of Shirley Kay Gann and Judy Mae Gann.  For both women, the manner of death was determined to be homicide.  Both women suffered multiple gunshot wounds. 

Kit Warren Wilkins remains lodged without bail in the Jackson County jail.  He is charged with murder (two counts) and aggravated murder (two counts) in connection with the deaths of Shirley and Judy Gann. 

The women were found dead at a residence in the 500-block of Sarma Drive on the morning of Sunday, April 21, 2019.  One man was taken into custody

The Jackson County Medical Examiner’s Office will conduct autopsies to complete the identification process and to determine the official cause and manner of death.

Responding deputies arrested Kit Warren Wilkins, 59, at the scene.  Wilkins is currently lodged in the Jackson County jail, charged with two counts of aggravated murder.  Detectives served a search warrant at the residence on Sunday. 

Investigators say Wilkins and Shirley Gann were reportedly involved in a long-term relationship and living together at the residence.  Judy Gann, the daughter of Shirley Gann, was temporarily staying at the home at the time of the incident. 

The investigation by the Major Assault and Death Investigation Unit (MADIU) is ongoing.  JCSO detectives are leading the investigation, assisted by personnel from Oregon State Police, Medford Police Department, and the Ashland Police Department.  Further details are not yet available for release. 

Detectives would like to speak with anyone who had contact with the victims or Wilkins on Saturday, April 20, as well as anyone who has information that may be relevant to the case.  Call Detective David Seese at (541) 774-6800.  Refer to case #19-7804.

Angi Bailey, a second-generation nursery tree farmer and member of Multnomah County Farm Bureau, graduated from the American Farm Bureau Federation’s (AFBF) prestigious Partners in Ag Leadership (PAL) program at a ceremony in Milwaukee, Wisc., on March 17.

Only 10 farmers and ranchers are chosen nationally for this elite two-year program. Bailey was the first Farm Bureau member from Oregon selected to participate, graduating from the ninth class of PAL.

PAL provides advanced training to Farm Bureau grassroots leaders, with the goal of developing powerful spokespeople for agriculture who can help farm and ranch families through advocacy in the public and political arenas.

“We hear in Farm Bureau that most people are about four generations removed from the farm or ranch today. I learned through PAL that it’s important to think about what that really means, how so many people have absolutely no idea what we do on the farm and why we do it. The best thing farmers and ranchers can do to build greater trust and understanding is to be willing to have those conversations,” said Bailey.

The two years in PAL took Bailey from New York to Washington, D.C., London to St. Louis with lots of real-world homework along the way.

Her assignments included giving media interviews, meeting with lawmakers, creating videos (see two of Angi’s videos at www.OregonFB.org/pal), talking with urban consumers about agriculture, and public speaking, such as presenting a workshop about effective grassroots engagement at the 2019 AFBF National Convention in New Orleans.

“Looking back over the past two years, I’ve learned so much. My confidence has grown significantly and so has my willingness to step out and engage in different ways for Oregonians who work in agriculture, forestry, and natural resources,” said Bailey. 

There were four class modules over the two-year PAL program. The class first took place in New York City, where curriculum focused on farmer/consumer relations. The second module was based in Washington, D.C., and gave participants a deep look at U.S. farm policy and how to advocate on issues with lawmakers. The trip to the United Kingdom was the third module; it gave PAL participants a global perspective on agriculture issues, like trade and immigration, particularly in the context of Brexit. The last module took place in St. Louis last summer and focused on stakeholder engagement and how to develop collaborative solutions to complex problems facing farmers and ranchers. 

“It was very inspiring to see the work and commitment Angi put into PAL over the past two years,” said Oregon Farm Bureau President Sharon Waterman. “We’re very proud of her and look forward to her ongoing leadership within Farm Bureau and her effective advocacy for Oregon’s agricultural community.”

Watch videos Angi produced, including one about how her farm grows Japanese maples, along with more photos from her experience at www.OregonFB.org/pal.

PacifiCorp has released an updated economic study of its coal fleet that will inform how the company meets the long-term customer energy needs of its customers.

The study was conducted as part of the company’s 2019 Integrated Resource Plan, which is still under development and anticipated to be completed in August. The IRP, which is updated every two years, identifies actions the company anticipates taking over the next 20 years to provide reliable and least-cost electricity to customers.

 The study reviewed coal units that are part of PacifiCorp’s broader resource mix to determine if customers would benefit from closing a unit or combination of units earlier than currently planned. Most of the company’s coal units will reach the end of their depreciable lives at different points over the next 20 years.  While no resource decision will be made ahead of completion of the 2019 IRP, the study identified potential benefits for customers through early retirement of some coal units.

“We continuously examine the costs and benefits of how the company generates electricity to ensure we are making the best decisions for customers,” said Rick Link, PacifiCorp vice president of resource planning and acquisitions. “The study reflects the ongoing changing economics for coal driven by market forces.”

For purposes of the study, the company examined whether customers would benefit if units are retired as early as 2022 and replaced with other resources. The timing and sequencing of any actual coal unit closures will ultimately be determined by a range of factors that also include workforce and community transition considerations.

The company anticipates issuing a preferred portfolio for input from regulators and stakeholders before submitting a final plan to state regulators in August.  The company will also work to ensure communities and employees that would be affected by the potential early plant closures are informed and involved in the process.

“We understand the impact of these resource decisions on customers, employees and communities and are committed to ensuring these impacts are known and planned for,” said Link.

Late Tuesday, April 23, U.S. District Judge Michael J. McShane said he would grant a preliminary injunction against the new Title X regulations which would require separation between abortion providers and Title X family planning clinics. 

“The new Title X regulation reflects the original intent of the program: helping people plan their families,” says Lois Anderson, ORTL executive director. “It would ensure that family-planning funds go towards actual family-planning, not killing members of families.” 

“Abortion is not healthcare nor is it family-planning,” says Anderson. “However, abortion is big business. Planned Parenthood performs almost 40 percent of abortions in the country. They have a financial interest in keeping Title X funding coming their way.”

The Supreme Court upheld these regulations in 1991 in Rust v. Sullivan, reflecting the laws prohibiting the use of federal dollars on abortion services.

“Not a dollar would be cut from family planning under these rules,” continues Anderson. “If Planned Parenthood refuses to comply, the money would go to the more than 13,500 federally-qualified healthcare clinics (FQHCs) around the nation. In Oregon alone, there are 24 FQHCs for every single Planned Parenthood clinic. The idea that there would be a dearth of providers should this rule take affect is an outright lie.”

For media inquiries or interviews, please contact Liberty Pike, ORTL communications director at 971-645-6585 or by replying to this email.

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