Klamath Basin News, Monday – Classified Workers Reach Agreement at Oregon Tech; Strike Averted

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

Monday, September 30, 2019

Klamath Basin Weather

A slight chance of sprinkles or showers in the morning hours then partly sunny today with a high of 49.  Cloudy overnight, low of 28.

Sunny, with a high near 54.

Sunny, with a high near 62.

Mostly sunny, with a high near 61.

Sunny, with a high near 59.

Today’s Headlines…

Early Friday morning Klamath Falls Police responded to reports of an unresponsive male at the trail at West Ridge Drive and Orange Blossom Drive and found the man was dead.

While details are sketchy the police department is still investigating the incident but said there is no evidence of foul play at this time.

Oregon public universities and classified workers reached a contract agreement Saturday morning avoiding a strike two days before some universities, like Oregon Institute of Technology, were scheduled to start classes.

The settlement came early Saturday morning after over 22 hours of negotiating, according to the classified workers’ union, the SEIU, and months of back and forth between the parties.

The latest offer achieves a 3% cost of living adjustment the first year and a 2.1% increase the second year. The offer also provides classified staff with 48 hours of paid time over the course of the two-year contract period to use in cases of campus closures, such as in the instance of inclement weather.

The proposed contract also includes a 2.5% increase per year of the contract for those who have capped out at the top wage step. SEIU members will vote to ratify the contract in October and, if approved, it will be implemented in November.

The Klamath Ranger District of the Fremont-Winema National Forest has opened a section of Forest Road 3651, commonly known as Cold Springs Road, as a Special Firewood Cutting Area.

The area is located on Forest Road 3651 at approximately mile marker 7 and continues north to the end of the road. The Special Firewood Cutting Area is marked with signs. Personal Use Firewood permits are required to cut and gather firewood in this area. 

Permits are available for $5 per cord with a minimum purchase of four cords for $20.  Each household may purchase up to eight cords per year.  Permits are available at Fremont-Winema National Forest offices and expire December 31.

The Cold Springs Road Special Firewood Cutting Area will be open until snow prevents access and snowmobile trail grooming starts. The firewood area is primarily dead lodgepole pine.  The cutting of standing dead and down trees is allowed except for Ponderosa Pine.

Work is currently under way on the City’s Geothermal Mainline Replacement Project.

This week crews will be working in the block between 5th Street and 6th Street. That alley and the City parking lot adjacent to the alley on the corner of 5th Street will be closed to traffic during construction activities. Motorists can expect 6th Street between Walnut Avenue and Klamath Avenue to be restricted to 1 lane of traffic today through Wednesday.

Around the region Jackson County Sheriff’s Office deputies are investigating a shooting at a hemp farm just before noon on Friday

One man is in custody and another is recovering from a single gunshot wound to the arm. The suspect in the shooting is identified as 34 year old Jeremy Odell O’Patchen who initially fled on foot from the scene but later arrived at the Jackson County Sherrifs main office in Central Point by private vehicle.  He was taken into custody without incident. 

 Deputies say O’Patchen had been involved in an ongoing property easement dispute with people at the Pine Grove Road property.  O’Patchen will be lodged in jail Friday for attempted murder.  Additional charges may be added; the investigation is ongoing. 

Billy J. Williams, U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon, announced today that a second Hoover Criminal Gang member has been indicted for the 2015 murder of Portland resident Kyle Polk.

Ronald Clayton Rhodes, 34, is charged with murder in aid of racketeering, using and carrying a firearm during a crime of violence, and causing the death of Polk through the use of a firearm. The indictment alleges that on December 16, 2015, Rhodes, along with co-defendant Javier Fernando Hernandez, 23, also of Portland, murdered Polk for the purpose of maintaining and increasing his position in the Hoover Criminal Gang, a criminal enterprise engaged in racketeering in California, Oregon, Washington and elsewhere.

Rhodes made his initial appearance in federal court today and was detained pending a four-week jury trial on November 12, 2019 before U.S. Chief District Court Judge Michael W. Mosman. Hernandez and Rhodes face the same charges and will stand trial together.

h non-life threatening injuries. 

…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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