Klamath Basin News, Tuesday, Aug. 20th – Jason Hardrath of Bonanza Elementary Climbs Tallest Peaks in Northern Cascades

The latest News around the Klamath Basin from Wynne Broadcasting’s KFLS 1450AM/102.5FM, BasinLife.com and The Herald & News.


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Latest Headlines…

Young man drowns at rock cliff at Cleetwood Cove at Crater Lake.

At approximately 4 pm Sunday the Crater Lake National Park received a call that a 27-year-old man had jumped off a small rock cliff at Cleetwood Cove but had not resurfaced.

People on scene immediately threw out a life ring and staff from the Crater Lake Hospitality park boat tour operation went to the area in a small boat to help with the search. Park staff mobilized quickly and responded to the location, over 1 mile down the Cleetwood Trail. The search continued by boat, but the water was choppy and visibility was obscured in the area. Divers were called, but due to the remote location there was not time for them to do any searching before darkness fell. After more than three hours from the time of the incident with no sign of the victim, the search was called off for the night.

Early yesterday, the divers mobilized and dove in the last know location of the individual. They located the victim approximately 90 feet straight down below the surface on a rock ledge. Beyond that point, the lake depth drops off dramatically to a depth greater than 1,200 feet. The victim was transported to Klamath Falls. The incident occurred at the end of the Cleetwood Trail at a location on the lake’s shore where every summer thousands of park visitors jump into the cold lake and then quickly swim to shore.

Locals refer to the spot as the “Jumping Rock.” Park staff are unaware of any previous drownings in that area. The average temperature of the lake is around 38 degrees, but during the day in the summer months, the surface of the lake warms up to around 60 degrees. Swimming is only permitted in the area around Cleetwood Cove and along the shore of Wizard Island.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is beginning a preliminary investigation into the Kingsley Firing Range Annex on Old Fort Road just outside of Klamath Falls.

There is a possibility of live military munitions buried on the site, including ammunition, rockets and bombs, posing possible contamination and explosive hazards.

Efforts to clean up the area have been ongoing since 2003. The Corps, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality have all been involved in the effort. The Corps will be investigating the site for hazards beginning late this month, and is expected to be on the site for about six weeks. According to Corps public relations liaison David Kolerik, there are no residences on the actual site of the firing range. The area being investigated extends much farther than the original location of the firing range, however.

“There are a few residences located adjacent to where munitions response investigation work will be conducted. At this time, no impact is expected to their immediate living area. He went on to say that owners of properties in the investigation site have been informed about the investigation.

Expect extra patrols by law enforcement now through Labor Day weekend.

Beginning this week, Law Enforcement Agencies will be on Special Patrols in Southern Oregon

The Oregon State Sheriff’s Association and the Oregon Department of Transportation, awarded the Klamath County Sheriff’s Office grant funds for traffic safety during 2018-19 totaling $17,500. 

The grants are being used to increase traffic enforcement with focused patrols for Distracted Driving, Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants (DUII), Occupant Protection (Safety Belts) and Speed Enforcement during specified events.

As summer comes to an end, many people will try to squeeze in one more vacation. To help us all get to-and-from safely. The Klamath County Sheriff’s Office will be conducting random High Visibility Enforcement for Distracted Driving, Driving Under the Influence, Safety Belts and Speed.

Beginning Monday, August 19th and extending through Sunday, September 1st, law enforcement agencies throughout Oregon will use federally funded overtime to educate the public about safety belt and child seat laws including a law passed in 2017 increasing safety for children under age two.

Starting Friday, August 30th and extending through Monday, September 2nd, the Klamath County Sheriff’s Office will also be conducting High Visibility Enforcement for Driving Under the Influence.

Colton Tony Dick, 22, of Oakridge, Oregon, pleaded guilty yesterday to a single count of unlawfully taking an endangered species.

According to court documents, on October 5, 2016, using a rifle and scope, Dick shot at an endangered gray wolf without legal justification as the animal was walking away from him in the Fremont-Winema National Forest.

An investigation began on October 6, 2016 when an adult female GPS-collared gray wolf known as “OR 28” was found dead in the Fremont-Winema National Forest. The US Fish and Wildlife Service Forensic Lab determined OR 28 died as a result of injuries sustained from a single gunshot wound. Under a deferred sentencing agreement with the government, Dick has agreed to submit to one-year of supervised release, pay restitution of $2,500 to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, not hunt any wildlife for a period of one year and perform 100 hours of community service.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today announced a proposal to list Franklin’s bumble bee as endangered under the Endangered Species Act.

The proposal comes with a 60-day public comment period.  The hills of southwest Oregon and northern California are where this elusive bee calls home. Although it has always been hard to spot, the bee has not been observed in its native habitat since 2006. Historically, Franklin’s bumble bees have been found at elevations between 540 feet to more than 7,800 feet, located in a roughly 13,000-square-mile area in southwest Oregon and northern California.

This year’s Klamath Independent Film Festival which is the only Oregon based film fesitival kicks off with an opening night street party September 13th outside the Ross Ragland Theater, joined by filmmakers, sponsors and other VIPs along with live music, food, and the opening feature “Phoenix, Oregon” which was filmed on location in Klamath Falls in 2018. Phoenix was filmed mostly at Hanscam’s Bowling Center on South 6th St.

The fest continues Saturday September 14 with the rest of its features at Pelican Cinema and returns to the Ragland Sunday September 15 for short films and KIFF2019 awards. This year’s festival will screen a total of 6 features and 38 shorts, with filmmakers on hand throughout for Q&A with audience.

Sky Lakes Medical Center announced it has successfully recruited five new physicians to the Klamath Falls medical community.

Dermatologist Nathan Miller will be at Sky Lakes Dermatology Clinic. Jennifer Wise, MD, a board-certified internal medicine physician will join Sky Lakes Adult Medicine Clinic.  John Seidner, MD, a board-certified emergency medicine physician and Dr. Paul Girardi will be joining the Sky Lakes Emergency Department, and Sarah Woodman, MD will be at Sky Lakes Women’s Health Clinic.

Jason Hardrath, Bonanza school teacher and mountain climber!

Jason Hardrath, an elementary school physical education teacher at Bonanza Elementary school recently broke a mountaineering record.

Hardrath climbed the three tallest peaks of the Northern Cascades in 19 hours and 28 minutes beating the previous record of 22 hours and 53 minutes. Appropriately named the Cascades Trifecta, these towering peaks boast summit elevations of 14,411 feet, 12,280 feet, and 11,250 feet above sea level, respectively. They are tall enough that many mountaineers dedicate multiple days to climb just one. Combining all three means covering more than 35 miles on foot with over 20,000 feet of vertical gain

Search and Rescue (SAR) volunteers from Southern Oregon have responded to seven  separate missions over the last 48 hours.

Jail Commander and SAR Coordinator Brian Bryson said this many lost or disabled hiker missions is not unusual; on average, Klamath County SAR responds to anywhere from 25 to over 100 calls for assistance per year. This many in a short period of time, however, puts a strain on the volunteers who perform the work. Klamath County’s dive rescue volunteers alone have performed tens of hours of work the past several weeks assisting Jackson, Jefferson, Deschutes, and Wasco Counties with searches related to drownings. Klamath County’s team has a specialized site scan sonar boat that allows them to perform this type of work.

Whether a city slicker or buckaroo, you’re in for a fun-filled evening of country Western comedy, dinner, and auctions at the Klamath Community College “Hay Klamath! KCC Scholarship Round-up.”  This year’s event is 4 to 7 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 24, on the lawn next to Founders Hall.

Amazing local talents Dan Neubauer, Jeff Gardner, Aletta Mannix, Rebekah Beger, and Kayla McPherson will serve up a rollicking good time, chock-full of classic country Western comedy that will keep you in stitches. This three-hour evening event is the college’s annual scholarship fundraiser.

Proceeds are disbursed each fall to students in an array of academic and workforce programs. A tri-tip dinner will be provided by Melissa’s Country Kitchen and Mia & Pia’s Brewery will provide a no-host bar. The event will include a wine raffle and a fun dessert dash. You can purchase tickets or sponsor a table in-person at KCC in Founders Hall.

Recent headlines and social media posts declared that the Trump Administration weakened the Endangered Species Act (ESA) last Monday. Accompanying articles adhered to the talking points of groups insisting that the ESA had been “gutted.”

The reality?

The ESA has not changed. Only Congress can change a federal statute. All 2,200+ species listed as threatened or endangered under the ESA are still listed. Environmental groups can still file lawsuits alleging ESA violations, and recover their attorneys’ fees as they go. The amended rule affords increased transparency and allows the disclosure of negative economic impacts of listing decisions, without changing the rules that dictate whether and how these impacts are considered in the regulatory process.

There is no reason, at least no good reason, to fear candid disclosure of facts about the ESA’s negative impact.

Last Wednesday evening an inmate being held in the Klamath County Jail attempted suicide while alone in a booking cell.

The 53 year old man was being held on local misdemeanor charges related to Disorderly Conduct, Harassment, and Criminal Trespass.

Corrections deputies began CPR and were able to re-establish a pulse. Medical transport was dispatched and transported the man by ambulance to the Sky Lakes Medical Center where he is currently being cared for in the Intensive Care Unit. A joint investigation into the incident is being conducted by the Klamath Falls Police Department and the Klamath County Sheriff’s Office

Coach Alex Stork and his Henley Hornets football team were busy at the 5 acre Richmond Little League Park in Mills Addition last week.

Thanks to the combined efforts of Dawn Albright with the Mills Neighborhood Association, Brittany Johansen with Klamath Works, and City Parks Manager John Bellon, this year’s Service Project is underway. The project consists of mowing the overgrown soccer/softball field and the 10 foot walking trail, pushing in and repairing the fencing and painting over the graffiti.

Coach Stork plans the Service Project as annual give-back to the community because according to him “being a Hornet isn’t just about playing a football game, it’s about being part of something bigger than us and we are committed to serving others.”

Henley Senior John Tacchinni is excited about the leadership on the Hornet football team and their involvement. He said, “it’s good to get out in the community because – BETTER HUMANS MAKE BETTER HORNETS.” He plans on applying for the Coast Guard Academy and has played for the Hornets all through high school.

Medford Anti-Drug detectives stopped a white 2008 Dodge Sprinter van on I-5 near milepost 16 and seized cocaine, scales and packaging. 

The van was seized for a search warrant.  When the search warrant was served detectives found 60,000-80,000 fentanyl pills located in a hidden trap and packaged in such a way as to attempt to mask any odor.  The pills are similar in shape, color and markings to Oxycodone 30 pills; round, blue with a M on one side and 30 on the other side. The street value a single fentanyl pills is approximately $50 to $80.  

Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid that is similar to morphine but can be 50 to 100 times more potent.  There is a high risk of overdose associated with fentanyl.  Synthetic opioids are

Oregon officials say a juvenile humpback whale was unfortunately euthanized after washing ashore southwest of Portland near Waldport.

A team with the Oregon State University-based Oregon Marine Mammal Stranding Network was working Wednesday to relieve the 20-foot whale’s stress by keeping it wet and digging out around it, but the whale did not return to the ocean during two high tides. Contractors with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration arrived Thursday to evaluate the whale’s health and assess whether to wait for additional high tides, help it back to the ocean or euthanize the animal.

The director of the Marine Mammal Institute at OSU’s Hatfield Marine Science Center, Bruce Mate, says the animal was too young to live on its own. The Oregon Department of Parks and Recreation confirmed that the animal was euthanized.

Road closure Tuesday through Thursday will restrict access to campground

CHEMULT, Ore. – Forest Service Road 9774 on the Chemult Ranger District of the Fremont-Winema National Forest will be closed starting tomorrow morning by Union Pacific Railroad for equipment repairs on the railroad tracks in the area.

The road is expected to close late tomorrow morning and reopen when the work is completed, which is expected to be done no later than Thursday.

Forest road managers were notified by Union Pacific personnel in Klamath Falls this afternoon of the need to close the road for public and employee safety.

The road accesses Corral Spring Campground off U.S. Highway 97 approximately 2 miles north of Chemult. 

The road will be closed between Highway 97 and Forest Road 9774-110.

The campground will still be accessible but will require longer travel on Forest Service roads.  Either from the north off State Highway 58 near the Little Deschutes Campground or from Chemult and the Walt Haring SnoPark and then taking the 110 road north.

For more information on the Fremont-Winema National Forest, visit www.fs.usda.gov/fremont-winema, follow the Forest on Twitter @FremontWinemaNF or on Facebook atwww.facebook.com/R6FWNF.

Roadwork continues on Fishhole Creek Road

BLY, Ore. – Work is continuing this week to repair Forest Service Road 3790, also known as Fishhole Creek Road, on the Bly Ranger District of the Fremont-Winema National Forest.

During the week of August 5, Forest Service roadcrews successfully completed milling 3 miles of Fishhole Creek Road, grinding up the existing chipseal and mixing it with the cinder base below.  This base was shaped, compacted and rolled.

Last week work continued on the base, as well as applying rock to approximately 1 mile of road.  This included the first half mile of road off Oregon State Highway 140, as well as the last half mile of road at the end of the construction project.

The first half mile received rock last week to improve the surface for traffic entering the road from the highway.

Roadcrews are putting in a 4-inch lift of aggregate that will be the foundation for the coming chipseal project.  This surface is being shaped, compacted, rolled and watered.

Road construction is happening Monday through Thursday between the hours of 6 a.m. and 6 p.m.  It is expected the project will continue for the next two weeks.

Road closures due to culvert and bridge work on Bly and Paisley Ranger Districts

LAKEVIEW, Ore. – As conditions continue to dry out late this summer, the Fremont-Winema National Forest is working on three culvert replacements and a bridge replacement starting this week.

On the Bly Ranger District, work is beginning on the Deer Creek Culvert Replacement Project.  This project is located on Forest Road 3428 and Forest Road 3428014, which runs between Forest Roads 34 and 28. 

Forest Road 3428 will be closed for this project from the junction with Forest Road 34 to the junction with Forest Road 2800047, as well as Forest Road 2428014 south of Road 3428 to the junction with Forest Road 3428040. 

The closure is located just west of Clear Springs Campground.  This closure is formally referenced as Order Number 06-02-01-19-02.

Additionally, the North Fork Sprague River Culvert Replacement Project is occurring on Forest Road 3372 between the junctions with Forest Roads 3372015 and 3372100. 

This .8-mile road closure on the Bly Ranger District is approximately 7 miles north of Forest Road 34 and is around .75 miles northeast of the eastern boundary of the Gearhart Wilderness Area.  The closure is formally referenced as Order Number 06-02-01-19-03.

On the Paisley Ranger District, the Watson Creek Culvert Replacement Project is taking place on 1.7 miles of Forest Road 3372 between the junctions with Forest Roads 3372022 and 3372021. 

The road is also known as the Trunk Road and the closure is approximately 4 miles due north of the Gearhart Wilderness Area.  This closure is formally referenced as Order Number 06-02-03-19-01.

Approximately 3.3 miles of Forest Road 28 on the Paisley Ranger District is closed for the Boulder Creek Bridge Replacement.  The road is closed between the junctions of Forest Roads 2800332 and 2800450. 

This closure is between Slide Mountain Road and the north access to Bald Butte Lookout.  The closure is formally referenced as Order Number 06-02-03-19-01.

Culvert replacements are important for watershed health and passage for fish and aquatic animals, as well as continued improvement to the road infrastructure.

The bridge replacement was scheduled for last summer but was postponed due to the Watson Creek Fire.

“We know these areas are extremely popular locally, especially during hunting season,” said Forest Recreation, Engineering, Archaeology, Lands and Minerals Staff Officer Catherine Callaghan.  “The public’s cooperation while we complete this important work is greatly appreciated.”

Forest visitors with questions regarding the closures can contact the Fremont-Winema National Forest at 541-947-2151, the Bly Ranger District at 541-353-2427 or the Paisley Ranger District at 541-943-3114.

All four closure orders are in place until work is completed or November 30, 2019, whichever occurs first.  There will be public notification as the closure orders are lifted.

…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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