Klamath Basin News, Friday, Jan. 10 – Winter Storm Advisory Friday Night Through Sunday in the Basin

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.

FRIDAY, JANUARY 10, 2020

Klamath Basin Weather

Winter Weather Advisory for the Weekend. Friday night brings rain and snow, becoming all snow after 1am. Low around 33. Gusty winds as high as 24 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. Total nighttime snow accumulation of 1 to 2 inches possible.

Saturday Snow before 10am, then a chance of snow showers after 10am. High near 33.  New snow accumulation of around an inch possible.   Overnight, a chance of snow after 10pm. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 28. Chance of precipitation is 50%. New snow accumulation of less than one inch possible.

Sunday Snow likely. Cloudy, with a high near 34. South southwest wind 10 to 13 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph. New snow accumulation of 1 to 3 inches possible. Overnight snow flurries with new snow accumulation of around an inch possible.

Monday Snow flurries all day. High near 30. New snow accumulation of 1 to 3 inches possible. Overnight, more snow with accumulation of 2 to 4 inches possible.

Tuesday Snow showers likely, mainly before 10am. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 33.

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 News Headlines

Yesterday morning Oregon State Police Troopers and emergency personnel responded to a two vehicle crash on Hwy 50 near milepost 21.

Preliminary investigation revealed that a white Volvo operated by 56 year old Vincente Tapia-Ochoa of Malin, was traveling westbound on Highway 50 when he lost control of the vehicle and slid into the eastbound lanes.  The Volvo collided with an eastbound Chevrolet Pickup operated by 42 year old Jorge Alvarez Hernandez of Klamath Falls. Alvarez-Hernandez was not seriously injured.

Tapia-Ochoa sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced deceased. OSP was assisted by ODOT, Malin Police Department, Merrill Police Department, and Merrill Fire Department. 

A winter storm watch is in effect this weekend, through Saturday afternoon for northern and eastern Klamath County, and western Lake County, according to a notice issued by the National Weather Service.

Heavy snow is possible with total snow accumulations of 2 to 9 inches possible in northern Klamath Basin and Northern Klamath County. Winds could gust as high as 45 mph.

Areas along Highway 97 north of Chiloquin, including the cities of Chemult and Crescent are expected to be affected, making travel very difficult.  Crater Lake National Park could receive several feet of snow. Be prepared with supplies in your vehicle and ready for winter driving.

Sky Lakes Medical Center announced the safety measure of restricting visitors to parts of the medical center in an effort to help prevent the spread of flu. 

This measure is commonly taken by hospitals during flu seasons and goes into effect today. The “flu-season visitor restrictions” mean anyone who is ill or younger than 18 will not be allowed to visit patients in the Emergency Department or in the inpatient care areas of the medical center. A sharp increase in the number of flu test requests as well as suspected and confirmed flu cases prompted the restrictions according to Annette Cole, RN, Chief Nursing Officer and Vice President for Patient Care Services .

Further, individuals with flu-like symptoms – coughing, sneezing, sniffles, fever and the like – are strongly discouraged from visiting patients, Cole said. “To avoid the spread of germs to those who are hospitalized, people who are ill should refrain from visiting.” To help protect patients and visitors from the spread of germs, Sky Lakes has placed “cough kiosks” throughout the organization. The stations have hand sanitizer dispensers, tissues, and protective masks.

Motorists are reminded that Monday and Tuesday Hunter Communications will be installing aerial fiber along North 3rd Street between Jefferson and Main Street.

This process will require the closing of the downhill lane of 3rd street from 9am until 4pm each day. Motorists are advised to use an alternate route.

Fabrice Dolce was arrested Tuesday for a Marion County warrant for charges of identity theft and forgery stemming from incidents dating back to October 2018 and lasting through November of 2019.

Dolce is facing 10 charges accusing him of committing identity theft against two women and forging medical documents, including a Medical Supervision Contract and Medical Protocols. He was arrested at Full Circle Healing in downtown Klamath Falls, where he is the director. Dolce also works at Area 51 in Klamath Falls. He was booked into the Klamath County Jail but was released after posting $5,500 bail.

He is scheduled to be arraigned at the Marion County Courthouse on January 21st.

Smoke from 12 piles that were ignited Monday on the Chiloquin Ranger District stagnated due to a bit of high pressure on Thursday, creating smoky conditions which impacted the nearby area, including the Sage School.

The piles were part of the Fort Planning Area, an older forest fuels reduction project located east of the Fort Klamath Valley.  At one point there were over 150 piles that needed to be burned.  At the beginning of this week there were only 40 remaining.

Firefighters have been strategic in burning these piles for the past several years out of concern for the school and local community – burning the piles furthest away from sensitive areas and only when conditions were ideal.

“The unsettled weather forecasted for this week presented what appeared to be ideal conditions to take care of 12 more piles this week,” said Chiloquin Ranger District Fire Management Officer Evan Wright. 

“Unfortunately, there was an unexpected blip of high pressure Thursday that resulted in air stagnation until the next front approached late this morning and the winds resumed in a favorable direction away from the community.”

By 11 a.m. today, smoke conditions in the area had improved dramatically.  With the weather coming in this weekend, all 12 piles are anticipated to be snowed out.  There are no further prescribed pile burns planned in that area of the Chiloquin Ranger District this winter.

Fire managers are looking at alternatives to burning for removal of the remaining piles which are close to the school.

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 at www.facebook.com/R6FWNF.

Around the state

Friday morning, Jackson County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of a deceased person near the roadside on Cobleigh Road about two miles west of Butte Falls Highway.

The deceased is a male adult. The circumstances of the death are being treated as suspicious.

JCSO initiated a Major Assault Death Investigation Unit call out.  MADIU members investigating this case are from JCSO, the Jackson County District Attorney’s Office, Ashland PD, Central Point PD, Medford PD and Oregon State Police. Jackson County Search and Rescue and Jackson County Roads Department also assisted  at the scene.

Further information is pending identification of the deceased and notification of next of kin

Also on Friday, emergency units from Grants Pass Fire Rescue and Rural Metro Fire Department were dispatched for a large vehicle fire at 1883 Allen Creek Rd.

The units arrived on scene to find a small RV trailer fully involved and fire spreading to the near by trees. Crew quickly determined that the occupants of the RV had safely exited and no one was inside. Crews quickly extinguished the fire in the RV and the tress. The RV was a total loss and the cause of the fire is under investigation.

The city of Portland has approved a $4.5 million contract with Rapid Response Bio Clean a hazardous waste removal company to clean up homeless encampments around the city.

The City Commission unanimously voted to give the contract to the company after the agenda item was pulled late last month over concerns from homeless people and homeless advocates. Under a modified deal, Rapid Response workers will get training in non-violent conflict resolution and to carry naloxone, an injection that can reverse drug overdoses. The workers generally disposed of the needles, shopping carts, trash and human waste that are left behind after a homeless camp is cleared.

Notices about a clean-up must be posted at least two days before the work begins.

The Oregon Health Authority has lifted the recreational use health advisories for Tenmile Lake in Coos County.

Water monitoring has confirmed that the level of cyanotoxins (harmful algae toxins) in Tenmile Lake are below recreational guideline values for human exposure. However, officials advise recreational visitors to be alert to signs of cyanobacterial (harmful algae) blooms, because blooms can develop and disappear on any lake through the season. Only a fraction of Oregon’s lakes and streams are monitored for cyanobacterial blooms.

Homeowners who pull water directly from the lake through private intakes should be aware that the levels of cyanotoxins in the water where sampling occurred are still above the drinking water values for children 5 and younger. Levels continue to be above OHA’s informational guideline values for dogs.

No additional sampling is planned or expected by the county or the Tenmile Lakes Basin Partnership.   For health information or to report an illness, contact the Oregon Health Authority at 971-673-0482.

The Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation kicked off construction of the Walla Walla River Fish Hatchery with a groundbreaking ceremony at the hatchery site Jan. 10.

As part of its Fish and Wildlife Program, the Bonneville Power Administration is funding the project, located 10 miles east of Milton-Freewater, Oregon. Once complete, the hatchery is expected to return thousands of adult spring chinook salmon to tributaries throughout the Walla Walla River Basin each year.

The new facility is also expected to double the amount of young fish released into the South Fork Walla Walla and Touchet rivers from the current 250,000 to about a half-million annually. The majority of the smolts will be released into the South Fork Walla Walla, with approximately 20% going to the nearby Touchet.

“We are really pleased that this project is moving forward,” said Kat Brigham, Chairwoman of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation. “We expect the facility to produce more fish for the environment, our people and the region.”  

The new hatchery will have egg incubation and full juvenile rearing facilities. Right now eggs are incubated and fish are raised offsite before they are released into the South Fork Walla Walla River. With the new hatchery, the Tribes can use river water to incubate and rear young salmon before releasing them, helping the fish to imprint on their natal streams. The goal is to return approximately 5,000 adult salmon annually to the Walla Walla Basin.

“This Tribal hatchery is included in the Columbia Basin Fish Accords agreement with the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation and illustrates the progress we can make for fish when we all work together,” says Scott Armentrout, vice president of BPA’s Environment, Fish and Wildlife Program. “The partnerships derived from the Accords also ensures BPA gets the highest value for the fish and wildlife investments it makes throughout the Northwest.”

Over the last three decades in the Walla Walla Basin, BPA and its local partners have invested approximately $40 million in fish habitat projects, including passage improvements, increasing instream water, flood plain restoration and initial artificial propagation actions.

Hatchery construction is expected to be complete by the spring of 2021 with the first adult salmon returns to the basin by 2026.

Grant makers offering more than $5 million in funding for FY2021 will participate in the Cultural Trust’s 2020 “Conversations with Funders and Partners” from Feb. 19 through March 12.

The eight-stop series of informal information sessions will enable grant seekers to learn about funding programs available and give them the opportunity to discuss their projects and programming. Grant application writing workshops, presented by Travel Oregon, will be held in conjunction with three of the events.

Participating with the Cultural Trust will be representatives from four of its Statewide Partners – the Oregon Arts Commission, Oregon Heritage, Oregon Humanities and the Oregon State Historic Preservation Office – as well as counterparts from The Oregon Community Foundation, the James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation, Travel Oregon, Oregon Parks and Recreation (three locations), the State Library of Oregon, the Marion Soil and Water Conservation District (Salem only) and Portland’s Regional Arts and Culture Council (Portland only); among others.

Representatives from the Cultural Trust’s County Cultural Coalitions, who receive Trust funding for local grant programs, also will participate.

As a special bonus for potential applicants, the events in Coos Bay, Pendleton and Bend will be preceded by free application writing workshops presented by grant writer and grant coach Meredith Howell.

Organizations encouraged to attend “Conversations with Funders and Partners” include community development organizations, libraries, arts organizations, museums, cultural centers, parks and trails groups, historical societies, arts alliances, literary groups and heritage organizations. All cultural nonprofit organizations are welcome.

“There are more than 1,450 cultural nonprofits serving Oregonians,” said Aili Schreiner, Cultural Trust manager. “We want to make sure they know about the significant funding and programming resources that are here to support them.”

“Conversations with Funders and Partners” begin Wednesday, Feb. 19, in Portland and conclude in Bend on Thursday, March 12. Registration is not required for the Conversations events but is requested for the free 9 a.m. to Noon grant application writing workshops in Coos Bay, Pendleton and Bend (see schedule below for registration links).

The full schedule is:

  • Portland: 4-7 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 19, Portland Community College (Southeast Campus Community Hall) 2305 SE 82nd Ave.
  • Tillamook: 3-6 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 20, Tillamook Library (Hatfield Room), 1716 3rd St.
  • Eugene: 11:45 a.m.-2:30 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 26, Eugene Public Library (Bascom-Tykeson Room) 100 W 10th Ave.
  • Coos Bay: 1-4 p.m., Friday, Feb. 28, Coos History Museum, 1210 N. Front St. (Note: Preceded by free 9 a.m.-Noon grant application writing workshop, same location. Register for Coos Bay workshop here.)
  • Medford: 2:30-5:30 p.m., Tuesday, March 3, Medford Public Library (Adams Room and Large Conference Room), 205 S. Central Ave.
  • Salem: 3-6:30 p.m., Wednesday, March 4, United Way Mid-Willamette Valley (Public Meeting Room), 455 Biller Ave. NE.
  • Pendleton: 1-4 p.m., Tuesday, March 10, Pendleton Center for the Arts, 214 N. Main St. (Note: Preceded by free 9 a.m.-Noon grant application writing workshop, same location. Register for Pendleton workshop here.)
  • Bend: 1-4 p.m., Thursday, March 12, At Liberty Arts Collaborative, 849 NW Wall St. (Note: Preceded by free 9 a.m.-Noon grant application writing workshop, same location. Register for Bend workshop here.)

Oregon Cultural Trust Cultural Development Program

Among the funding opportunities discussed at the Conversations events will be the Cultural Trust’s FY2021 Cultural Development Program (funds to be awarded summer of 2020).

The Cultural Development Program recognizes and supports significant projects through four program funded categories: Access; Preservation; Creativity; and Capacity.

In 2019 the Cultural Trust awarded more than $2.7 million in statewide grants. Cultural Development Program grants represent one third of the annual funding the Cultural Trust provides to Oregon’s cultural nonprofits. Other funding includes grants to the Trust’s five statewide partners – to support their mission goals and respective funding programs – and to 45 county and tribal cultural coalitions that fund local initiatives, projects and programs.

FY2021 Cultural Development Program grants are for projects and activities that will occur between Sept. 1, 2020, and Aug. 31, 2021.

Grant guidelines are now posted  for a Friday, April 17, application deadline.

For more information contact Schreiner at aili.schreiner@oregon.gov or 503-986-0089.

TALENT, Ore. – Have you ever wondered what it’s like to drive an electric vehicle? Now is your chance to find out. Join Talent Maker City – a nonprofit community makerspace, Rogue Valley Clean Cities Coalition and Pacific Power for a free electric vehicle ride and drive event on Jan. 18 at the Talent Maker City building located at 304 E Main St.

 Attendees will have the opportunity to test drive a variety of electric vehicles and learn how Pacific Power is connecting Oregon electric vehicles throughout the state with new fast chargers.

“We’re excited to partner with Talent Maker City and Rogue Valley Clean Cities Coalition for this event so people can experience electric vehicles first-hand and learn about our state-wide electric vehicle charging station initiative,” said Christina Kruger, regional business manager for Pacific Power. “More electric chargers make it more convenient for drivers to go electric, and that’s the on-ramp to lower carbon emissions. At Pacific Power, we’re increasing our investments in renewable energy and vehicle electrification to ensure we’re meeting the clean energy and transportation needs of our customers.”

In November, Pacific Power awarded a $100,000 grant to the City of Talent to help build new Level 2 charging stations and Level 3 fast chargers. The chargers will be located in downtown Talent on Seiber St.

Kids can get in on all the buzz around electric vehicles too, according to Ryan Wilcoxson, executive director for Talent Maker City. “People learn best through hands-on activities and that’s one reason we’re looking forward to helping kids build solar vehicle models at the ride and drive event. This activity incorporates each element of STEAM and is a lot of fun to do. Building the solar cars then racing them on the track we’ll have available is a great way to learn the science behind sunlight converting to electricity.”

The Grotto Pizzeria will have complimentary light refreshments available for attendees.

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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