Klamath Basin News, Thursday, Aug. 29th – Gov. Brown Wants Legislature To Tackle Oregon’s Death Penalty Laws.

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

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Klamath Basin Weather

A few showers and thunderstorms this afternoon are possible, otherwise sunny with a high near 88.  Overnight, more showers expected, low of 56.

Sunny, with a high near 87.

Sunny, with a high near 87.

Sunny, with a high near 85.

Labor Day Monday
Sunny, with a high near 85.


A former Klamath Falls resident is suing the U.S. State Department for twice declining to issue her a U.S. passport even though her lawyer says she presented federal government officials with a certified birth certificate from a Los Angeles County hospital.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon filed the suit Tuesday in federal court in Medford on behalf of Maria Qarrillo Soto age 48 who has lived in Oregon for 30 years.

Soto, a married mother of two grown daughters who now lives in White City, was denied a U.S. passport in 2018 despite providing government officials with the original birth certificate and copies of her Social Security card, driver’s license and marriage certificate and medical records from her pregnancy according to her attorney.

Klamath County School District’s four rural high schools will continue to receive $2.2 million for needed programs thanks in part to the lobbying efforts of 10 students from Lost River, Gilchrist, Chiloquin, and Bonanza.

The school district was at risk of losing the money because growing enrollment in its suburban schools put the its overall weighted enrollment at the state’s cap for small high school funding. The students traveled to Salem to testify before lawmakers in February, pushing them to support a bill that increased the enrollment cap, guaranteeing funding for their schools.

The new law only impacts the Klamath County School District because of its wide array of school sizes. The district’s 23 schools range in enrollment from less than at 10 Gearhart School near Bly to around 750 at Mazama High School.

Good news if you’re planning on a driving trip Labor Day weekend. Pump prices continue to edge lower and drivers taking that last summer road trip will enjoy cheaper gas prices than last year’s Labor Day holiday.

For the week, the national average for regular falls two cents to $2.59 a gallon. The Oregon average loses three cents to $3.05.

“The national average is poised to be the cheapest for Labor Day in three years, while the Oregon average will be the cheapest in two years,” according to Marie Dodds, public affairs director for AAA Oregon. “Gas prices in the majority of states are 20 to 40 cents lower than a year ago.

MKS Instruments says it plans to maintain Oregon operations of roughly 300 employees it acquired when it paid $1 billion for Electro Scientific Industries last year including roughly 80 in Klamath Falls.

ESI made laser tools for Apple and other electronics manufacturers, who use them to drill holes in circuit boards and other computing hardware. The longtime Oregon tech company is now the equipment and solutions division of MKS. That division has 700 employees altogether, according to MKS, roughly the same number ESI employed before its sale. That includes 300 in Oregon, split between the former Portland headquarters and the local factory here in Klamath Falls that historically employed 80. MKS chief financial officer Seth Bagshaw said Monday that his company expects to maintain the operations at both Oregon sites at their current levels

Klamath County Sheriff Chris Kaber says his office is not involved in monitoring social media accounts of anti-Jordan Cove Energy Project activists.

Monitoring of activists who are speaking against the proposed 229-mile natural gas pipeline project  which would be constructed from a hub in the Malin area to an export terminal in Coos Bay has come under scrutiny following the publication of an article by the London-based newspaper The Guardian. The article revealed an effort by federal, state and local law enforcement agencies to monitor public social media posts by groups, individuals and Native American tribes who oppose the pipeline. Kaber said the sheriff’s office does not monitor individual activists or their social media accounts.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown says she wants to call a special session of the Legislature to address concerns about whether a new law narrowing the state’s use of the death penalty is retroactive.

The Oregon Department of Justice said in a recent opinion that former death row inmate Martin Allen Johnson cannot be sentenced to death upon retrial because of the new law.

Brown told reporters Wednesday she believes the new law needs clarity and wants lawmakers to make proposals. She hopes a special session would last less than one day. House Republican Leader Carl Wilson said repealing the bill might be the best course of action in a special session, allowing ample time before the 2020 regular session to analyze the issue.

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife reminds everyone that forest grouse, mourning dove and quail in western Oregon all open this Saturday.  

Remember to buy your Upland Game Bird Validation, which is valid from July 1 to June 30, and hunters are reminded to check for fire restrictions before hunting. ODFW does not close hunting seasons due to fire danger, however, hunters may face restrictions and reduced access to private lands during the season.

State economists say Oregon taxpayers will see the largest-ever state income tax refund next year thanks to state revenue coming in at more than 9% above projections.

They say the top 1% of taxpayers can expect refunds of $15,214, while the median refund will be $346. The average payout to all taxpayers is expected to be $739. A total of more than $1.57 billion is expected to flow back to personal income taxpayers after they file their 2019 returns.

Under state law, a “kicker” is triggered whenever actual personal income tax receipts come in at least 2% higher than initial projections. In such cases any money collected above initial forecasts flows back to taxpayers in the form of tax credits.

The Klamath County Museum is seeking volunteers interested in serving as docents on Amtrak’s Coast Starlight route.

Docents provide an interpretive program for passengers on the Coast Starlight route between Klamath Falls and Eugene. The route passes through the communities of Chiloquin, Chemult and Oakridge, crossing the Cascade Mountain range near Willamette Pass.  Volunteer docents board the train around 8:00 a.m. in Klamath Falls and make the four-hour trip to Eugene, providing narration about features such as lakes, forests, wildlife, historic sites and geology.

Docents usually have a four-hour layover in Eugene before boarding a southbound train for the return to Klamath Falls, arriving around 10:00 p.m.

Anglers planning to fish the second season for ocean coho salmon on the central Oregon coast are reminded that the fishery is closed to retention of all coho salmon through Friday Aug. 30.

The first open coho salmon retention date for the area between Cape Falcon and Humbug Mountain is Saturday, Aug. 31.

Coho salmon may be retained as part of the two salmon daily bag limit beginning this Saturday, Aug. 31 and Sunday, Sept. 1. Thereafter, the fishery is open each Friday through Sunday period through the end of September, or until the quota is met (whichever comes first).

The fishery is closed to the retention of coho salmon on Mondays through Thursdays in September, but remains open to the retention of Chinook salmon on those days.  Managers will review coho salmon catches weekly to determine if modifications to the fishery are needed.

Klamath County Developmental Disabilities Service announces a SPROUT Film Festival on October 8th.

These are all films written, directed, and/or acted in by individuals experiencing intellectual and developmental disabilities. They will be hosting two school matinees and one general admission showing in the evening at the Ross Ragland. This is this first time this has been done in our region. They are bringing in the director of the film festival, Anthony Di Salvo, out of NYC to host all three showings. Tickets are free and can be picked up at the Ross Ragland Theater box office.

Oregon’s health care agency said Tuesday it will no longer use federal dollars to fund family planning clinics because of new Trump administration rules that impose additional hurdles for women seeking abortion.

Patrick Allen, director of the Oregon Health Authority said in a statement that banning taxpayer-funded clinics from making abortion referrals as the newly implemented federal rules require would cause Oregon to violate its own laws on reproductive care. The new federal rules also prohibit clinics that receive federal funds from sharing office space with abortion providers.

Oregon has used the so-called Title X grants to fund clinics since 1970 and OHA says clinics funded by those grants served more than 44,000 women statewide in 2018. Title X has funneled $14.5 million into Oregon’s clinics in the past five years. The state says it has other funds it will use to cover those costs, Allen said.

…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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