Klamath Basin News, Thursday, Feb. 6 – Blue Zones Project Receives National Safe Routes Partnership Training With Oregon Health Authority

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.

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 6, 2020

Klamath Basin Weather

Today  Partly sunny today partly sunny, with a high near 50.

Friday  Mostly sunny, with a high near 53.

Saturday A slight chance of rain and snow showers before 7am, then a chance of snow showers. Partly sunny, with a high near 42. Chance of precipitation is 30%. Little or no snow accumulation expected.

Sunday Mostly sunny, with a high near 42.

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

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

From a competitive pool of nationwide applicants the Safe Routes Partnership has selected Blue Zones Project – Healthy Klamath to join Safe Routes to Parks Activating Communities a technical assistance program focused on improving safe and equitable local park access.

As part of the program Klamath Falls will be among eight diverse communities across the country to receive training and coaching from the Safe Routes Partnership to develop an action plan for improving active travel to local parks and green spaces and implement early actions from the plan. The initiative in Klamath Falls is funded by the Oregon Health Authority.

Safe Routes to Parks initiatives work to improve safety and security for people walking, bicycling, and rolling to parks and green spaces. The goal of the Safe Routes to Parks project in Klamath Falls is to support equitable access to local parks and ultimately increase park utilization by all community members, especially underserved populations.

Future Business Leaders of America students attend Cascade Region Skills Conference

“Confidence” is probably not the first word most people associate with their high school years, but that was the characteristic most students at the Future Business Leaders of America Cascade Region Skills Conference said they’ve gained through participating in FBLA.

Over 200 students from nine schools in the Cascade region attended the conference Wednesday at Oregon Tech.

FBLA is the high school division of Future Business Leaders of America-Phi Beta Lambda, Inc. FBLA helps high school students prepare for careers in business through academic competitions, leadership development, and educational programs, according to the organization’s website.

Each student chose two categories to compete in from a list of approximately 70 skills and fields. There were some more traditional skills and career topics to choose from, like accounting, broadcast journalism and job interview, as well as things like creative money making, digital game theory and E-business.

Mazama High School student Dakota Powless competed in the job interview event and shared his thoughts on his performance with his business class teacher, Benji Henslee, as he waited in line for lunch at Oregon Tech Wednesday.

Powless was proud of how he had tied in his own life experiences when answering the judges’ questions. His FBLA Job Interview rating sheet outlined the criteria he’d need to meet in order to earn “exceeds expectations” marks — including “relates previous experiences/activities with position’s duties and skills necessary to succeed.”

Students who compete in the job interview category are also expected to bring a resume and cover letter with them. A separate rubric outlines the requirements for those materials. Judges score students on each criterion, and can mark “not demonstrated,” “below expectations,” “meets expectations,” or “exceeds expectations.”

“It’s a roleplay, in essence,” Henslee said of the judges acting as the students’ interviewers.

Students are often introduced to FBLA through their high school business class, but because FBLA is considered an extra-curricular activity, students must primarily prepare for the competition on their own time. It’s a big responsibility, Henslee acknowledged.

Judges Janet Buckalew and Karyn Lentz were two of eighteen judges rating the FBLA competitors’ performances Wednesday. The two women worked side by side to score ten students’ “job interviews.” Both have judged the competition multiple times. Buckalew is a financial advisor with Edward Jones and Lentz is a former Mazama teacher.

“I find it interesting to see how the kids are learning real world lessons,” Buckalew noted, adding that she sees confidence build in the students who are now seasoned FBLA competitors. Gaining those real-world skills “gives a lot of hope to the younger generation,” she described.

Lentz said she also appreciates the real-life experiences FBLA can provide for young people and likes to watch them “grow in confidence.”

“Even things as simple as a handshake … when they first compete, the handshake is usually pretty weak, but today there are a lot of strong ones,” Buckalew observed of returning FBLA students’ progress. “You notice the ones who have competed before,” she added.

Lentz and Buckalew had to break ties between students who had received the same number of points. In some cases it came down to which student had dressed more professionally, or which student seemed most comfortable answering the interview questions. Eventually the judges ranked the students from first to last. The top 10 students from Wednesday’s regional competition will advance to state.

Ridgeview High School senior José Rodriguez said he chose to speak about the importance of confidence during the public speaking event in which he chose to compete. This is Rodriguez’s second year competing in FBLA and he feels he’s grown “tremendously” in that time.

He was also competing in the broadcast journalism category. “I didn’t discover I was into journalism until FBLA,” he shared, noting that he now hopes to be a newscaster. Rodriguez made it to the state FBLA competition last year. After joining FBLA, he said, “I felt like this was my calling.”

That sentiment was echoed among other students who spoke about discovering skills and passions they weren’t aware they had until joining the club. Ridgeview student Marrin Nyman, who is in her third year with FBLA and advanced to nationals last year, expressed, “It’s made me grow in ways I never thought I would.”

Nyman hopes to attend Hult International Business School in San Francisco before starting her business career as a marketing director. She wants to eventually start her own business, she said.

Ridgeview junior Mackenzie Curtis is also in her third year with FBLA and has advanced to the state competition twice. Curtis’s friend as well as her former FBLA advisor talked her into joining the club and now she’s happy she did. She considers FBLA events a great way to “get yourself out there and build confidence,” she said.

Mazama student Sidalee Jasso shared that going into her freshman year of high school she was “super shy.” She decided to join FBLA because her sister was a member. On Wednesday she expressed her excitement to go in front of the judges in the “impromptu speaking” category. Since joining FBLA, Jasso said with a smile, “I’ve found my passion, which is coming in here and giving speeches!”

The February 1, 2020 streamflow forecasts for the Klamath Basin were released yesterday.

The forecast values for all points in the Klamath Basin remain below normal for all forecast periods. The basin precipitation was above to well above average for late January from the 16th to the 31st.  However the temperatures were also above average.  The snow water equivalent increased then melted at some sites particularly in/near the Gerber basin where precipitation was well above average but the Snow water values dropped significantly late in the month.

The current 1-month and 3-month long-term forecasts from the National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center call for the increased probability of above normal temperatures and below normal precipitation.

Students of the largest DECA program in the state were welcomed into Oregon Tech’s Diploma to Degree program yesterday providing a gateway to college for Oregon high school students interested in business.

South Salem High School DECA students are the latest to join the partnership which kicked off in December in Klamath Falls with Mazama and Henley High School. The partnership is the first of its kind in Oregon, also referred to as “Jump into Business,” which will provide increased access for high school students to business degree programs at Oregon Tech. The South Salem DECA program is the largest high school business program in the state, with a record 210 students participating. Presented at the event was a check for $2,000 to support the DECA program.

Students at participating high schools who are active participants in business clubs and take dual credit courses can apply for this accelerated pathway to a college degree.

High school graduates in the program who enroll in an Oregon Tech bachelor’s degree program in Business will receive tuition discounts on their first and last terms at Oregon Tech.

Break out your 1900’s period costumes for an event reflecting on the 1920 fight for women’s right to vote and the founding of a group dedicated to that cause the League of Women Voters, for a 100th anniversary event at the Ross Ragland Theater on Sunday.

February 9th being the 100th anniversary of the group’s founding followed by the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th amendment granting women the right to vote, the League of Women Voters of Klamath County invites people to the Ragland to reflect on “the Great Fight to Win the Vote for Women” that was just a short century ago.

Doors open to the theater at 1:15 p.m. with voter registration tables and cookbook and t-shirt sales in the lobby before the program begins at 2 p.m. with speakers from around the community, including Klamath Community College President Roberto Gutierrez, Klamath County Commissioner Kelley Minty Morris, Klamath Falls Mayor Carol Westfall and Klamath County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Heather Tramp.

Klamath Basin Blood Drives continues in the area with the Red Cross.

In response to a critical shortage of supplies, in particular Type O, the American Red Cross blood drive is on this month of February. Type O positive blood is the most transfused blood type and can be given to Rh-positive patients of any blood type.

All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license, or two other forms of identification, are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

Donors of all blood types – especially types O positive and O negative – are urged to make an appointment to give blood or platelets at www.RedCrossBlood.org, calling 800-RED CROSS (800-733-2767), or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device.

Klamath blood drives

Noon to 5 p.m. Monday, Feb. 10 at Cerulian Inn, 100 Main St.

8:30 am. to 2:30 p.m., Wednesday and Thursday, Feb. 12 and 13, Klamath Union High School, 1300 Monclaire St.

For more information visit www.redcross.org.

Around the state

School Exclusion Day is Wednesday February 19th and the Oregon Immunization Program is reminding parents that children will not be able to attend school or child care starting that day if their records on file show missing immunizations.

Under state law all children in public and private schools, preschools, Head Start and certified child care facilities must have up-to-date documentation on their immunizations or have an exemption. If a child’s school and child care vaccination records are not up to date on February 19th  the child will be sent home.

In 2019, local health departments sent 22,547 letters to parents and guardians informing them that their children needed immunizations to stay in school or child care. A total of 4,043 children were kept out of school or child care until the necessary immunization information was turned in to the schools or child care facilities. This year, letters to parents were mailed on or before yesterday.

Sales of Oregon’s new gray whale license plate have raised about $300,000 for Oregon State University’s Marine Mammal Institute which uses the funds to study the massive mammals that migrate from Mexico to feed off the U.S. West coast each summer.

The license plate shows the image of a gray whale mother and her calf and it went on sale February 1st. As of December 2019 nearly 10,000 Oregonians had purchased the plates which cost $40 to order or renew. About $35 of each sale goes to the Marine Mammal Institute at the Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport.. Marine ecologist Leigh Torres an assistant professor with the Marine Mammal Institut,was the first beneficiary of the plate funds.

Torres was awarded funds to continue research focused on Oregon’s “summer resident” gray whales during 2019. She will continue that work in 2020 off the coast of Port Orford.

Today the Oregon Secretary of State released an audit report of the Oregon Department of Human Services, Child Welfare Program information system, known as OR-KIDS.

The report concludes that OR-KIDS performs its primary functions as a case management tool and data hub, but that improvements in usability, data quality management, and training are needed.

“We appreciate the report and its acknowledgement of the work that is ongoing to improve the efficiency and usability of the OR-KIDS system,” said Rebecca Jones Gaston, director of the Oregon Child Welfare Program. “As we transform our Child Welfare system into one focused on prevention, safety and improving outcomes for children and families, data integrity and accessibility will continue to be a top priority.”

In addition to usability enhancements, DHS is in the beginning phases of a project to make significant changes to OR-KIDS to bring it into alignment with new federal standards for child welfare information systems. The report also recommends that DHS assign a qualified project manager to oversee this project.

Of the six recommendations made in the report, three of them are already in progress with plans to be implemented in 2020. The remaining three recommendations will be fully implemented in 2021.

OR-KIDS is the system of record for Oregon’s Child Welfare Program. It is the case management tool and central data hub that is used to document all case activities and points of contact with the child welfare system, including reports of child abuse or neglect.

On Dec. 31, 2019 there were 6,974 children in foster care.

In December 2019 there were 6,179 screened reports of abuse or neglect that were documented in OR-KIDS and either closed at screening or assigned for assessment.

Report child abuse to the Oregon Child Abuse Hotline by calling 1-855-503-SAFE (7233).

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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