Klamath Basin News, Tuesday, April 30th – Catalyze Challenge Winners Announced

Contributions from Paul Hanson at Wynne Broadcasting’s KFLS 1450AM / 102.5FM and The Herald & News



Sunny, with a high near 57.   Gusty winds at times, low of 30 degrees.

Sunny, with a high near 62.

Sunny, with a high near 65. Light west wind.

Sunny, with a high near 72.

Sunny, with a high near 74.

See Road Camera Views
Lake of the Woods   
Doak Mtn.   
Hiwy 97 at Chemult   
Hiwy 140 at  Bly       
Hiwy 97 at GreenSprings Dr. 
Hiway 97 at LaPine

Today’s Basin News Headlines

New Legislation to Address Eternal Hills Crisis

“This frustrating circumstance with Eternal Hills Memorial Gardens was caused by an owner who failed in their responsibilities to the families they served with a blatant disregard to the state regulatory agencies,” said Rep. E. Werner Reschke, R-Klamath Falls.

Reschke is referring to the financial collapse of the mortuary and graveyard operations in Klamath Falls. Families of loved ones buried at the Eternal Hills Memorial Gardens are outraged at the lack of maintenance of the family plots. And, there’s been reported vandalism at the site.

Basin Monarch Butterfly Found in California

Three-hundred and fifty miles. That’s how far Valentine the monarch butterfly traveled after being one of 31 butterflies tagged with a light-weight tracking tag and released in Tulelake in late September last year.

She was found on Feb. 13 at a volunteer fire department in Davenport, California, and her journey there has since continued to educate personnel at Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuge Complex, and local students, about the migration patterns of monarchs that start out in Tulelake.

Henley High Students Use Hands-on Learning to Teach Concepts

Henley High School advanced science students spent a day teaching Henley Elementary students science, math and technology through hands-on activities.

It was the third year Henley High and Henley Elementary schools have teamed up to provide Science Day for kindergartners, first-, second- and third-graders.

The elementary students rotated through the science stations throughout the day, experimenting with chemistry and math concepts — building rockets, spacesuits for marshmallows and little vehicles.

Oregon Tech Student Entrepreneurs & Inventors Present Solutions to Real-World Problems, Win Over $20k in Seed Money

Innovative, highly technical and eager student entrepreneurs at the Oregon Institute of Technology “Oregon Tech” came together Thursday, May 25, to compete for seed money to turn their product ideas and prototypes into real businesses. The competition is open to recent alumni and all students pursuing bachelor’s or master’s degrees in a number of different engineering, technology, health care or business programs at the public polytechnic university. The winning team, called The Reclaimers, is a concept by students Annika Andersen (Renewable Energy Engineering & Electrical Engineering), Ashlei Morgan (Mechanical Engineering) and Jessica Arrington (Mechanical Engineering). The team plans to turn recycled plastics into crude oil and use their $9,000 winnings to advance their usability testing. Judges noted that the concept responded to a very real need.

This is the fifth annual Catalyze Klamath Falls Challenge, which began with the concept of keeping Oregon Tech graduates in Klamath Falls to start entrepreneurial efforts after graduation, and help spur economic growth and stability in the region. Started in 2015 with the first awards totaling $9,000 to the innovator’s concepts, this year the competition had a total prize pool of $22,500. This included cash and donated space at the Gaucho Collective, a community maker space that brings together Klamath Falls entrepreneurs and creatives. With the theme of ‘Innovation Close to Home,’ eight strong teams competed in the final round of judging. Five volunteer judges, all from Oregon Tech’s business, community and university connections, watched the presentations, asked many probing questions, and selected the winners. This is the first year that an all-female team took first place.

The distinguished judges awarded the first place team $8,000 to invest in startup costs and ignite project development. The second- and third-place winners received $5,000 and $3,000, respectively, based on their plans and presentations. Individual prizes were also awarded for Audience Choice at $500; Entrepreneur in Action presented by Kat Rutledge on behalf of Klamath IDEA; Impressions Design and Marketing; and Gaucho Collective at $250 (plus $500 for design assistance and $2,400 for office space). Additionally, two teams were awarded $500 each to further develop their business plans and compete against other colleges and universities in the statewide InventOR semi-finals in May.

The 2018-19 Catalyze Klamath Falls Challenge was sponsored by investments from our community sponsors: Avista Corporation, City of Klamath Falls, Cypress Creek Renewables, Gaucho Collective, Impressions Design and Marketing, InventOR, Klamath County, Klamath County Economic Development Association (KCEDA), Klamath IDEA, Klamath Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and Wendt Family Foundation.

The three winning projects were:

  1. The Reclaimers, First Place: $8,000 prize to further usability testing of their industrial business, turning recycled plastic into crude oil. Inventors include Annika Andersen, a Renewable Energy Engineering and Electrical Engineering student; and Ashlei Morgan and Jessica Arrington who both study Mechanical Engineering. The team was also awarded the Audience Choice award presented by the Oregon Tech Foundation for $500, and an InventOR award of $500 to advance to the InventOR semi-finals.

2.       Keepsake Keychain, Second Place: $5,000 prize to create a product that securely stores jewelry in a convenient clip-on case. Senior inventor Jacey Conklin is a Business Marketing major.

3.       Imagine Mapz, Third Place: $3,000 prize to design an app that allows community members to interface with government leaders regarding community concerns. Developer William Natividad is a senior in Environmental Sciences.

Throughout the event, finalists presented and defended their business plans to the panel of judges which included: Jason Aarstad, Gathering Grounds and Gaucho Collective; Stephanie Hirche, Craft3; John Lamy, Lamy Consulting; Chad Olney, Pacific Federal Credit Union; andMatt Wendt, vice president of Spruce Street Ventures. Kelley Minty Morris, Klamath County Commissioner and Oregon Tech Board of Trustees member, was the Master of Ceremonies and effectively led the teams and judges through the fast-paced, timed presentations.

The eight project teams who presented at the Challenge included:

·         The Reclaimers: Annika Andersen, Jessica Arrington, Ashlei Morgan

·         Wet Jet Boards: Kris Canete, Duncan Lees

·         Lifestyle Pack: Tim Hasty, Christian Meyers, Madi Sattler

·         Imagine Mapz: Will Natividad

·         Nuclear Medicine & PET/CT Clinic: Kevin Pierce, Shad Thorton

·         Direct Air Carbon Capture (DACC): Justin Villers, Thomas Tappert, Robert Dandrea, Cody Taylor

·         Keepsake Keychain: Jacey Conklin

·         Basin Digital Solutions: Samuel Bishop, Tucker Meyers, Andy Halfacre, Matt Volpe

For more information regarding the Catalyze Klamath Falls Challenge, visit www.oit.edu/catalyze; or contact Oregon Tech’s public affairs office at 541-885-1162.

The Klamath-Lake Counties Food Bank will be accepting food donations at the Cinco de Mayo Festival this year.

The Food Bank is restocking the shelves for summer after a very busy winter. Summer should be a fun time for kids throughout Klamath and Lake Counties, but for 3,200 kids whose parents struggle to put food on the table, summer months can be the roughest. Accepting donations at events helps the Food Bank to provide more food and kid friendly foods like peanut butter and jelly during the summer.

Please join the “PB & J Project” this year by bringing a food item with you to put in the food donation barrels at the Cinco de Mayo Festival. Kid friendly items include peanut butter, jelly, hot and cold cereals, fruit cups, granola bars, macaroni and cheese, and canned meats.

The Cinco de Mayo Festival will take place on Saturday, May 4 from 11am to 5pm at Veterans Park.

KCEDA Gets $20K Grant Approval for Oktoberfest Event Klamath Falls, OR  

Last week the Klamath County Commissioners unanimously approved a tourism grant application submitted by the Klamath County Economic Development Association (KCEDA) in the amount of $20,000.

These grant funds would contribute to fulfilling budgetary needs for a “Klamath Oktoberfest” event that KCEDA is creating and managing, helping the organization ensure effective marketing and operational success for what is being described as a large, family-friendly event that brings together regional vendors, brewers, entertainment, and outdoor recreation activities.

Ultimately, with continued success, KCEDA aspires for the event to grow into a destination type gathering, that draws people from markets that go beyond Southern Oregon and Northern California to attend. KCEDA Project Manager and event lead, Rick Abel, spoke to the inspiration behind the event and why he believes the County approved grant support to the project, saying, “I think the Commissioners really appreciated the idea that this event was an opportunity to showcase Klamath, and were excited to support this special event because they believe it will encourage more tourism traffic, but also offer a great time for area residents to enjoy.”

Abel’s comments resonate with KCEDA’s recent efforts to endorse “placemaking” as part of their economic development strategy, as the organization sees this event has an opportunity to enhance sense of community, simultaneously creating an environment that invites outside entities and visitors to learn more about Klamath’s unique. In addition, to their desire to highlight area assets, KCEDA also sees the event as an opportunity to take better advantage of the brewing industry’s high demand across the state, something the organization believes Klamath has not sufficiently utilized. Andrew Stork of KCEDA commented on this, “Good beer brings people together and the economics of Oregon’s brewing industry validate this.

There is an economic impact of nearly 5 billion dollars that comes from the brewing industry, accounting for over 19,000,000 tourism visitors annually. As the brewing sector in Klamath continues to gradually find momentum, we feel events like this can help us further tap into local growth of that industry.” KCEDA has already begun preparations for the event, working with Running Y and Skyline Brewing Company, both of whom had representatives in attendance to Wednesday’s public meeting to advocate for the project.

Speaking on behalf of Running Y was General Manager, George Rogers, who spoke further about the tourism opportunities of the project, saying, “We are having the event on the same weekend as the ‘Ride the Rim’ event at Crater Lake, which will really allow for us to transition tourists coming from all these other Oregon regions from that event towards Klamath for this Oktoberfest.”

Klamath Oktoberfest is scheduled to take place on September 21st at the Klamath Ice Sports arena near the entrance edge of Running Y Ranch and Resort.

The September date is intentionally aligned with Germany’s Oktoberfest, which over several decades has historically made it a point to start their event in September so that they may take advantage of more favorable weather conditions; ironically, the Oktoberfest in Germany will begin on September 21st also. More specific details and information about “Klamath Oktoberfest” will be released in upcoming months.

Klamath County Library District

All branches of the Klamath County Library District will be closed on Friday, May 10th for a staff training and on Monday, May 27th in observance of Memorial Day. No library materials will be due on either day. Libraries will return to normal hours on Saturday, May 11th and on Tuesday, May 28th.

For more information, please call 541-882-8894, or see the calendar on our website: klamathlibrary.org.

…For complete details on these and other stories see today’s Herald & News.  Wynne Broadcasting and the Herald and News…stronger together to keep you informed.

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