Klamath Basin News, Wednesday, Dec. 18 – Winter Storm Expected Tonight

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

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 18, 2019

Klamath Basin Weather

Today A 30% of snow, mainly after 4pm. Partly sunny, with a high near 37. Total daytime snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.  Tonight, snow flurries mainly after 10pm. Low around 29. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 2 inches possible.

Thursday  Rain and snow, becoming all rain after 10am. Snow level rising to 5600 feet in the afternoon. High near 40. New snow accumulation of less than one inch possible. Overnight, light rain mixed with snow flurries, low of 34.   Chance of precipitation is 30%.

Friday  A 20% of rain before 10am. Snow level 5100 feet rising to 5700 feet in the afternoon. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 42.

Saturday Rain likely before 4pm, then rain and snow likely. Snow level 5000 feet. Cloudy, with a high near 41. Chance of precipitation is 60%. Little or no snow accumulation expected.

Sunday A chance of rain and snow showers. Snow level 4300 feet. Cloudy, with a high near 39.

Road Conditions

Traveling? Check our cameras below for the latest road conditions from BasinLife.com.

Lake of the Woods Hiway 140
Greensprings Drive at Hiway 97
Doak Mountain looking east
Chemult, Oregon
LaPine, Oregon
Bly, Oregon
Medford at I-5 -Biddle Road & Crater Lake Parkway

Today’s Headlines

The Klamath County Public Health Air Advisory is Green until noon today.

The City of Klamath Falls reminds motorists that City work crews will be shutting off the water through end of business today due to the need to make repairs to the line.

Lane closures will occur on Pine Street between 1st and Ewauna to make the necessary line repairs. In addition on Thursday Trees Inc. will be pruning and removing hazardous trees near power lines. This is a moving construction site from 8am until 12 noon. South 5th Street between Elm Avenue. and Willow Avenue will have the northern lane will closed to traffic and there will be flaggers and signs. Motorists are advised to exercise caution when travelling in the area.

A winter weather advisory is in effect from 10 p.m. tonight to 1 p.m. tomorrow mainly for Northern and Eastern Klamath County along with Western Lake County.

The National Weather Service warns of 3 to 6 inches of snow expected along Highway 97 from Spring Creek north to Crescent. They also expect wind gusts up to 25 miles per hour in exposed areas. Klamath Falls could get about an inch of snow, but the weather service doesn’t expect it to accumulate much in the city.

The Oregon Department of Forestry released a report to state forest trust land counties highlighting economic, environmental and social accomplishments in fiscal year 2019, including distribution of nearly $1.6 million in revenue to Klamath County and local service providers.

The county is home to the Gilchrist and Sun Pass state forests, with a combined size of about 98,000 acres. Revenues are distributed based on timber sales within a particular jurisdiction.

Statewide, counties and local governments received record revenues of $86.9 million in fiscal year 2019, collected from timber sales on state-owned forests. Other highlights include replanting more than 3.1 million trees and hosting almost 40,000 campers at ODF campgrounds.

Klamath County School District added six new school buses to its fleet this month.The Bluebird propane buses have tinted windows and top-of-the-line safety features including child safety alarms on the rear doors, two front mirrors so the driver can see students crossing the street, higher seat backs and better video surveillance.

The district is gradually replacing its regular route diesel buses with propane buses according to Shawn Snoozy, transportation supervisor for the Klamath County School District. He says the propane buses get better fuel economy, have top-of-the-line emission standards, and save money and time on maintenance. The school district has 90 buses in its fleet, which log 1.4 million miles annually. Currently, the district has 22 propane, six gasoline, and 62 diesel buses.

Effective for the entering class of Fall 2021, Oregon Institute of Technology will admit first-year applicants based upon an unweighted college-preparatory grade-point average and institute a fully test-optional admissions process.  Oregon Tech will be the first public university in Oregon to no longer require ACT or SAT test scores from first-year applicants joining a growing list of universities nationally who are revising standardized testing policies.

The new criteria were developed from internal data on high school course patterns that correlate strongly with enhanced GPAs, retention, and graduation rates among students who attend Oregon Tech straight out of high school. Though score submissions will no longer be required for admission review for first-year applicants, scores may be used at the time of enrollment for placement purposes into introductory courses such as writing, math or science.  

According to Erik Johnson, director of Admissions this new process will enhance access for a greater number of seniors who could be a good fit for Oregon Tech. Data demonstrates that course progression and grade patterns were stronger indicators of success at the time of admission than cumulative GPA or scores.

Oregon’s unemployment rate dropped to 3.9 percent in November, the lowest on comparable records dating back to 1976.

The October unemployment rate was 4.0 percent as revised from the originally reported figure of 4.1 percent.In November, Oregon’s unemployment rate dropped below 4 percent for the first time since comparable records dating back to 1976. This puts the rate slightly above the November U.S. rate of 3.5 percent. Oregon’s unemployment rate has been hovering near historical lows of near 4 percent for the past 37 months.

Meanwhile, total nonfarm payroll employment shot up by 6,300 jobs in November, following an upwardly revised gain of 6,500 jobs in October. October was revised upward by 2,100 jobs.So far in 2019, monthly employment gains have averaged 2,600 jobs, which is slightly slower than in 2018 when monthly growth averaged 3,000 jobs.

Oregon Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley announced that a two-year authorization of the Secure Rural Schools program is included in the end-of-year funding package that will be considered by Congress this week.

This significant win for rural communities like Klamath County in the Northwest and nationwide follows calls from the senators to reauthorize the lapsed program and provide financial certainty for counties containing federally-owned lands.

Critical services at the county level have historically been funded in part with a 25 percent share of timber receipts from federal U.S. Forest Service lands and a 50 percent share of timber receipts from federal Oregon and California Grant Lands managed by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. As those revenues have fallen or fluctuated due to reduced timber harvest and market forces, SRS payments helped bridge the gap to keep rural schools open, provide road maintenance, support search and rescue efforts and other essential county services.

For the ninth year in a row the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department is partnering with America’s State Parksto offer free guided First Day Hikes in state parks across Oregon on New Year’s Day.

This year’s hike at the Collier Logging Museum is limited to 100 participants. Registration will help park staff plan for the hike and give park staff contact information should the hike be canceled because of weather or conditions. The hike will begin at 9 am and hikers should meet at the Collier Logging Museum. The hike is through a Pine forest along Spring Creek and the Williamson River. You can watch for Bald Eagles, ducks, and river otters. Enjoy a warming fire before and after the hike to ward off the winter chill.

Dogs must be on a six-foot leash. Hike recommended for children at least six years old. Participants should dress in layers, wear sturdy shoes, and bring water as well as a camera or binoculars for wildlife viewing. For more information call 541-783-2471.

Applications are now being accepted for the 2020 award year for the Oregon Century Farm & Ranch Program.  The application deadline is May 1, 2020. 

Families throughout Oregon including the Klamath Basin who have continuously farmed portions of their family acreage for the past 100 or 150 years are invited to apply. The Oregon Century Farm & Ranch Program began in 1958 to honor farm and ranch families with century-long connections to the land.  To qualify for a century or sesquicentennial award, interested families must follow a formal application process. Program guidelines are available by contacting Andréa Kuenzi at 503-400-7884 or cfr@oregonfb.org.

Around the region 

Sunday at about 6:37 a.m., officers and medical personnel responded to the Rogue Valley Country Club for a male who  was unresponsive.

The male was found outside on the property and was determined to be deceased.  The decedent was identified as Bernard Michael O’Grady, 67 years old, who lived on Black Oak Drive near the scene. The investigation revealed that O’Grady was walking home the previous evening when he apparently fell down injuring himself near where he was found the next morning. The death has been ruled accidental with the cause remaining under investigation. The fall as well as other factors, such as cold temperatures are contributing factors. The investigation continues.

Klamath Falls News from partnership with the Herald and News, empowering the community.

…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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