Klamath Basin News, Tuesday, Jan. 14 – Jack-knifed Truck Blocking Both Directions of Hiway 140, Which Remains Closed as of 5:44PM

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.


Klamath Basin Weather

Today Snow showers. High near 33. Gusty winds at times. Chance of precipitation is 80%. Total daytime snow accumulation of 1 to 3 inches possible.  Overnight, cloudy with a low around 16 degrees.

Wednesday A 20 percent chance of snow after 10am. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 35.  Overnight, snow showers, mainly after 10pm. Low around 28. New snow accumulation of 2 to 4 inches possible.

Thursday Snow showers, mainly before 10am. High near 35.   New snow accumulation of 1 to 3 inches possible.

Friday A slight chance of snow showers before 1pm, then a slight chance of snow between 1pm and 4pm. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 35. Chance of precipitation is 20%.

Road Conditions

Traveling? Click and check these cameras below for the latest road conditions.

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

ODOT: (milepost included) HIWAY 140 remains blocked in both directions by jack-knifed semi (tanker) at milepost 25. Estimated time to reopen is approximately 7PM according to our latest report.

Motorists urged to delay travel until highway is passable again.  Again, this spot is roughly west of Fish Lake and Big Elk Road. Travelers are asked to wait until the highway is passable again before attempting the drive. Currently chains are required on vehicles weighing or towing more than 10,000 pounds due to “white out” conditions along the route.

A jack-knifed semi truck tanker is still blocking Hiway 140 west of Lake of the Woods, west of Fish Lake. Authorities say don’t venture the trip until further notice. Chains are required, but traffic is blocked at about Big Elk Road and Fish Lake on Hiway 140.

Information as of 7AM Tuesday morning regarding local schools:

Klamath County Schools are officially closed today, Tuesday, Jan. 14th with the inclement weather and road conditions.

Klamath Falls City Schools are on a two hour late start for today.  Officials stress that everything is pushed back two hours….from bus times to start time for classes for city schools.

Oregon Institute of Technology- Klamath Falls: Closed

Several of the private schools have also altered their schedules.  Please refer to the individual schools web pages asap and social media feeds for up to the minute information.

Oregon 230 (West Diamond Lake Highway) remains closed this morning after an estimated 100 trees fell across the highway and another 200 are dangerously leaning inward toward the road.

ODOT crews are on scene this morning to begin digging out. But with another two feet of snow forecast in the High Cascades area, it may be several more days until the 24 mile highway reopens between Union Creek and the Diamond Lake junction with Oregon 138.

In addition, Highway Closure: Oregon 138E (Diamond Lake Highway) is closed now between Tokatee (MP 61) and U.S. 97 junction (MP 101) due to falling trees and heavy snow.

Southern Oregon and Northern California motorists are urged to be prepared for winter driving conditions and monitor Tripcheck and National Weather Service forecasts for latest changing conditions.

Joshua Holloway pleaded not guilty to murder charges Friday afternoon after a Highway 97 chase north of Gilchrist led to his arrest Friday morning just after midnight.

A fourth suspect in the murder case of Pedro Richard Padilla Jr., Julie Davis of Klamath Falls, is also wanted, it was announced Friday.  As of this morning, Davis is still at large.

Corey Agard, 31 of Klamath Falls, is charged with two counts of murder, conspiracy to commit murder, unlawful use of a weapon, felon in possession of a firearm, abuse of a corpse and three counts of tampering with physical evidence.

Tori Hill, 58 of Malin, is charged with murder, conspiracy to commit murder, abuse of a corpse and two counts of tampering with evidence.

Holloway, 31, is charged with murder and conspiracy to commit murder.

Hill is accused of paying Agard $10,000 to kill Padilla. Holloway allegedly also received money for Padilla’s murder.

Court documents state that Agard and others disposed of Padilla’s body, wrapped in plastic and weighed down, in a body of water after Agard shot and killed him at a Merrill home.

You won’t get to enjoy one of Klamath Basin’s most amazing natural wonders, Crystal Ice Cave at Lava Beds National Monument, this winter.

Park officials announced last week that tours of the, visually dazzling cave will not be offered this winter for public safety reasons. Lava Beds Superintendent Larry Whalon said the lack of extremely cold weather has prevented the ice formations from being created.

According to a park press release, “A lack of adequate staffing leaves the park unable to provide safe and effective tour oversight and rescue response in case of emergency. However, the park is working to resolve staffing vacancies and will consider other tour alternatives. We aim to use this season to reevaluate our tour operations and partnerships with emergency response teams.”

The caves are about an hours drive southeast of Klamath Falls.

Klamath Film, a nonprofit which promotes filmmaking in the Klamath Basin and beyond, has hired Kurt Liedtke as its new executive director.

Liedtke, a Eugene native with 12 years of experience working in the entertainment industry in Los Angeles through various roles in music, film, social media and video games, has worked for two newspaper publications in Southern Oregon — the Lake County Examiner and the Herald & News — since relocating to the Klamath Basin.

His tenure in the news industry has included work as a journalist, photographer, videographer, copy editor, managing editor, commercial drone pilot and social media manager. Alongside Liedtke’s new role as Klamath Film’s executive director, he is also still the online editor for the Herald & News.

Liedtke is tasked with guiding the organization’s mission to build, promote and support an industry of filmmaking in and around Klamath Falls, while connecting the community to film. Klamath Film’s connections and resources were a key driver in 2018 to bring crews to Klamath Falls for the feature film production of “Phoenix, Oregon.” 

Pediatricians across the United States are sounding the alarm about unusually high numbers of young children being admitted to emergency departments due to respiratory syncytial virus infection or RSV, a common virus that causes cold-like symptoms.

Most people recover in a week or two from the infection, but for infants, RSV can be serious.

In Ohio, the Cleveland Clinic has reported seeing an unusual uptick in pediatric emergency department visits due to RSV this cold and flu season.

In New York state, clinics and emergency departments also have seen more children for RSV this season compared to prior seasons and the season came earlier, Dr. Edith Bracho-Sanchez, a primary care pediatrician and assistant professor of pediatrics at Columbia University in New York, said in an email.

In the South, data from the Florida Department of Health shows that the percent of emergency department and urgent care center visits for RSV among children younger than 5 across the state has been much higher this season than in the previous three seasons.

Just last week, Sky Lakes Medical Center issued a no visitor mandate for patients under 18 in the ER or on the hospital’s medical floors to help stop the spread of the winter flu bugs circulating in this area.


As of 4PM today from ODOT: SW Oregon:
Oregon 138E: The highway is open from Roseburg up to MP 59 at the Tokatee Ranger Station and its employees.

All other highways in the High Cascades area remain closed to the public until conditions improve, trees removed and highways plowed.
Crews struggled today due to more snow last night and today.
Continued snow, wind and falling trees continue to be a hazard for the crews working in various highway segments.
Will update tomorrow. Continue to monitor Tripcheck. 

As of 7:45AM in Jackson County:
Central Point, Oregon- One lane is now open on Kirtland Rd. Delays should be expected. Please use caution in the area.

Deputies with the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office working with the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) have closed Kirtland Road outside of White City. The closure on Kirtland Road is from West Antelope Road on the eastside and extends to Interstate 5 in the west.

Multiple crashes which were likely weather related are the cause of the closure. Road conditions are improving however crews will be working in the area for an extended time to properly investigate and clear the road.

Motorists should be reminded how quickly road conditions can change from wet to icy this time of year. Plan more time for your commute and slow down. The Sheriff’s Office will update this information when the road is opened. 

As of 7:15AM:
Oregon 138E closure, 30 miles east of Glide: Due to slides and fallen trees, the closure has moved west to MP 47 at Dry Creek .
Crews are evaluating the corridor this morning. As conditions permit, their plan is to shorten the closures and re-establish the connection between Diamond Lake and U.S. 97. and from Prospect to Union Creek.

A Portland father and his two young children swept out to sea on the Oregon coast over the weekend were walking on an off-beach trail when they were hit by a “sneaker wave,” the family said Monday.

Lola Stiles, 7, died Saturday afternoon and her brother, William, 4, is still missing. Their father, Jeremy Stiles, 47, was recovering from hypothermia at Seaside Hospital, the family said in a statement.

The wave hit the three near Cape Falcon, between Manzanita and Cannon Beach. Rescuers pulled Jeremy Stiles and Lola from the water, a spokesman for the U.S. Coast Guard said. They were taken to the hospital in Seaside, where Lola was pronounced dead.

Coast Guard crews scoured the ocean for nearly five hours Saturday, but were unable to locate William.

The three were walking on an “off-beach” trail when a “sneaker wave creeped up onto the beach trail they were walking on and pulled them out to sea,” the family statement said. The Oregon coast was hammered with massive waves over the weekend, coupled with unusually high tides, and a high surf warning was in effect.

A 21-year-old man is facing charges after allegedly killing a 1-year-old child.  

The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office says police arrested Aaron Toole Friday for the death of Ember Alice McBride the previous day at a home in Idleyld Park.  Police say the girl died from blunt force trauma, and her death has been ruled a homicide.  An investigation is ongoing.

The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office has identified the deceased man found near the roadside on Cobleigh Road about two miles west of Butte Falls Highway.

He has been identified as 28-year-old Cody Joseph Baize of Grants Pass. Deputies said he previously lived in Kentucky.

Mike Moran with JCSO said that the agency was investigating this as a suspicious death and said that the Major Assault and Death Investigation Unit (MADIU) had been activated.

MADIU consists of elements from the Sheriff’s Office, District Attorney’s Office, Ashland Police, Central Point Police, Medford Police, ad Oregon State Police. Moran said that the Jackson County Search and Rescue team and Roads Department also assisted at the scene.

The Jackson County Major Assault Death Investigation Unit (MADIU) is still investigating.

A Multnomah County jury has awarded $3 million to a 21-year-old woman who said the principal of her public elementary school sexually abused her in his office when she was in second, third and fourth grade.

Jurors found 11-1 that the young woman was molested more than a decade ago by Jeff Hays, who was principal of Deep Creek Elementary School in Damascus from 2005-2009. The school is a part of the Gresham-Barlow School District, which is responsible for paying the verdict.

Hays has not been charged in the case, although the statute of limitations hasn’t run out. Prosecutors couldn’t be reached for comment Friday.

Jurors determined by a preponderance of evidence that Hays had molested the young woman when she was a child. That’s a lower threshold than the standard required in a criminal case — guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Time is running out to nominate teachers for the 2021 Oregon Teacher of the Year, as those nominations close Friday, Jan. 31.

Each year, exceptional teachers are honored in up to 19 regions across the state, with Oregon’s Teacher of the Year selected from among those regional finalists.

The Teacher of the Year program was created to recognize exemplary public-school educators — Oregon teachers who inspire students and make a positive impact in the communities in which they live. The award celebrates knowledge, dedication, innovation and leadership.

Thanks to the Oregon Department of Education’s partnership with the Oregon Lottery, the Oregon Teacher of the Year receives a gift award of $5,000 as well as a special fund to cover all travel costs for the year.

In addition, a matching gift of $5,000 goes to the Teacher of the Year’s school. The winner also receives gifts and recognition from the Council of Chief State School Officers, founder of the National Teacher of the Year Program. Finalists and their school both receive a $2,000 cash award, and regional winners each receive $500 as a part of the Oregon Department of Education’s partnership with the Oregon Lottery.

Know a great teacher? Fill out the nomination form at oregonteacheroftheyear.org to share what makes them exceptional!

You will also find more information about the Oregon Teacher of the Year program and learn about 2020 Teacher of the Year Mercedes Munoz from Portland’s Franklin High School at that site.

There are more than 2,100 Oregon rules governing hospital operations, and some of these compliance requirements siphon off dollars that could go to patient care.

These rules create a significant financial burden for Oregon’s 62 community hospitals, who collectively spent $126 million in 2017 on the labor required to comply with state regulations.

Those are two of the findings from a new study on the cost of compliance for acute care inpatient hospitals in the state. The study was commissioned by the Oregon Association of Hospitals & Health Systems (OAHHS) and conducted in partnership with the Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA) program at Pacific University. The group studied data from 2017.

The title of the report is “Cost Burden: Evaluating the Financial Impact of Oregon State Regulatory Compliance on Oregon Hospitals and Health Systems.”

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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