Klamath Basin News Update, Dec. 24 – Christmas Eve, VFW Free Traditional Dinner, Traffic Safety Patrols In Force

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.

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 24, 2019 CHRISTMAS EVE

Klamath Basin Weather

Today   Partly sunny, with a high near 35.   Overnight for Santa’s journey, expect a 30% chance of snow flurries after 11PM, low around 29 degrees.   New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.

Wednesday, Christmas Day   A 20 percent chance of snow showers. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 36. Overnight low of 22.

Thursday   Sunny, with a high near 35.   Low of near 20 degrees.

Friday   Sunny, with a high near 38.

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 Oregon Department of Transportation in association with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration awarded the Klamath County Sheriff’s Office grant funds for Traffic Safety during 2019-2020 totaling $21,500.

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

All patrols are currently underway with additional scheduled patrols on Super Bowl Sunday, Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends.

VFW Post 1383, the Klamath Falls Chapter of the Disabled American Veterans and the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association are hosting a Free Traditional Christmas Dinner at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post at 515 Klamath Avenue tonight from 4:00pm to 6:00pm.  This event is open to all Veterans, families and Friends. Santa Claus will also be there for the Children.

Around the region

In October Jackson County Sheriffs detectives aided by the special weapons and tactics team served warrants at residences in the first block and the 1800-block of Upper Applegate Road.

At the time of that incident, detectives arrested Joaquin Amadeus Cowart, 41, of the 1800-block of Upper Applegate Road.  Cowart had felony warrants for absconding from parole and for charges related to a domestic violence incident.  He was lodged in the Jackson County jail without bail due to the State Parole Board warrant. Also, Cowart is a registered sex offender who had not updated his registration as required.  The investigation has been continuing since then.

Yesterday detectives added additional charges on Cowart, who has been in custody since October. Cowart has been charged with one count of Encouraging Child Sexual Abuse in the First Degree and five counts of Encouraging Child Sexual Abuse in the Second Degree. Total bail $1,000,000.

Also yesterday detectives arrested another suspect in conjunction with this investigation. 56 year old Mark Daniel Root was arrested at his home in Jacksonville. He was lodged at Jackson County Jail on three counts of Encouraging Child Sexual Abuse in the First Degree and eight counts of Encouraging Child Sexual Abuse in the Second Degree. His bail is $1,000,000

Around the state of Oregon

Oregonians will have to pay $18 to $110 more per year to register their vehicles come January 1st as the state implements a new tiered fee structure with higher rates for vehicles with better gas mileage.

The change will add the most front-end cost to owners of fuel-efficient hybrids and electric cars, which contribute less money to Oregon’s fuel tax revenues than gas-guzzler vehicles such as sports cars or pickup trucks. The state said the new fees are necessary to comply with Oregon’s constitution that requires everyone who uses the roads to pay their fair share, and electric car owners can avoid costs by allowing the state to track their mileage.

But while some owners support the change, others say the increases contradict the state’s efforts to reduce emissions and have at least 50,000 electric cars registered by the end of 2020.

31 year old Richard Steven Alberts an Oregon Department of Corrections Officer and resident of Sherwood made an initial appearance today in federal court before a U.S. Magistrate yesterday.

The court unsealed a 3-count indictment charging Alberts and co-conspirator 27 year old Joseph Lucio Jimenez of Gresham with conspiracy to distribute controlled substances and distribution of heroin. Alberts and Jimenez are alleged to have conspired with one another and others to distribute methamphetamine and heroin into the Coffee Creek Correctional Facility in Wilsonville where Alberts is employed. The Oregon Department of Corrections previously placed Alberts on administrative leave pending this investigation. Jimenez was in pre-trial custody on an unrelated felon in possession of a firearm charge when he was indicted in this case.

He will remain in custody and make his first appearance on these new charges at a later date.

Fishery managers in Oregon and Washington are extending the Columbia River steelhead fishing closure upstream of McNary Dam to the Oregon-Washington state line through March 31st.

The 2019 summer steelhead return is the fifth lowest return to McNary Dam on record since 1954. The continued closure is needed to maximize survival of these fish and ensure sufficient numbers of steelhead will be available to meet hatchery brood stock production needs.

Conservation measures have been in place since July to protect hatchery and wild B-Index steelhead within the Columbia and Snake River basins.  This area of the Columbia River also remains closed to all salmon fishing.

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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