Klamath Basin News Update, Wednesday, May 29th

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

Wednesday, May 29, 2019


A 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly sunny, with a high near 74. Overnight, showers likely, low of 46 degrees.

A 40 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms after 11am. Mostly sunny, with a high near 73.

A 40 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms after 11am. Mostly sunny, with a high near 76

A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms after 11am. Mostly sunny, with a high near 80.

Sunny, with a high near 82.

Sunny, with a high near 82.


Graduation Sensation Parade on Thursday

Thursday, May 30, Klamath Basin high school seniors will don their caps and gowns and stroll down Main Street to the cheers of onlookers, families and friends.

It marks the fourth annual Graduation Sensation, initiated by the Klamath Promise group, which aims at growing graduation rates and improving school attendance.

About 450 seniors will begin the parade about noon. Three high school marching bands — Mazama, Henley and Klamath Union — will accompany them.

Then it’s on to Veterans Memorial Park where Klamath Promise will hand out $38,950 in scholarships. That’s up from $20,000 the first year of the event.

Powerline dispute: Affected ranchers want 230-kv line buried

A small grove of mature pine trees — one of which holds an eagle’s nest and two bald eagles — will have to come down if the Swan Lake Energy Storage powerline is stretched across Leonard Jespersen’s ranch.

That’s not all. Jespersen says he’ll have to take down two hay barns, remove 14 irrigation pivots and a 300-foot swath of trees, essentially cutting his hay field production.

Further, the lines will clearly be in view from his front door, replacing the pine trees and lush green hayfields that are there now.

The Swan Lake Energy Storage project recently won a 50-year license from the Federal Regulatory Energy Commission (FERC), which includes a 32.8-mile route for a 230-kilovolt powerline that will carry electricity from the site south to Malin.

Plans are to begin construction of the plant by 2021 by a Boston-based company called Rye Development. Rye is also planning the Gladstone, Ore., pumped-storage plant just off the Columbia River.

About 200 landowners are affected by the route, which the project owners say cannot be altered at this point.

“It’s done,” said Erik Steimle, spokesman for Rye.

Lack of communication

“We have never been contacted by Rye Development, none of the landowners,” an exasperated Jespersen told the Herald and News late last week. “They have contacted the Tribes, the Fish and Wildlife and all of the federal agencies, but not the taxpaying landowners.”

However, top Rye Development officials intend to meet privately with the landowners starting as early as next month, said Steimle, to negotiate equitable compensation for taking the 600-foot-wide right-of-way across their land.

Klamath Tribes Youth Council: ‘Keep Tobacco Sacred’

CHILOQUIN — The Klamath Tribes Youth Council hosted a luncheon at the “goos oLgi gawa” community center in Chiloquin on Tuesday with members of the community and the media to launch their campaign, titled “Keep Tobacco Sacred.”

The luncheon was supported by Klamath County Public Health. The speakers were Klamath Tribes Youth Council Chair Hannah Schroeder, Klamath County Commissioner Kelley Minty Morris and Regional Health Equity Coordinator at Klamath County Public Health, Valeree Lane.

The Klamath Tribes Youth Council comprises 16 members from schools in the area. In collaboration with Klamath County Public Health, the council created the “Keep Tobacco Sacred” campaign to encourage teens not to abuse nicotine and tobacco products.

“In Native communities especially, commercial tobacco is accepted as a social norm,” said 16-year-old Schroeder in her speech.

The CDC reports that Native Americans have the highest prevalence of cigarette smoking compared to all other racial/ethnic groups in the United States, noting this is due to the fact that tobacco is used culturally for ceremonial, religious, or medicinal purposes.

Groundbreaking for Marriott hotel Wednesday

With Lake Ewauna as a natural backdrop, Klamath Falls Mayor Carol Westfall on Wednesday will be joining principals of Ferguson Hotel Development, Choose Klamath (KCEDA), the Klamath County Chamber of Commerce, and Klamath Falls City and County officials to officially break ground on a new, 92-room Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott at TimberMill Shores.

Groundbreaking will be 3 p.m. Wednesday.

Slated to open in late Spring 2020, the new Fairfield Inn & Suites is the first Marriott property to open in Klamath Falls. It represents public-private ownership between the City of Klamath Falls, Klamath County and Ferguson Hotel Development.

True North Hotel Group of Overland Park, Kansas, will manage the hotel, and Prosser-Wilbert Construction of Kansas City is the general contractor.

…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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