Klamath Basin News, Wednesday, March 4 – School Districts Working on Coronavirus Prevention and Awareness

Broadcasting’s KFLS News/Talk 1450AM/102.5FM, BasinLife.com and The Herald & News.

TUESDAY, MARCH 3, 2020

Klamath Basin Weather

Today
Sunny, with a high near 62.  Overnight clear and a low near 30.

Thursday
Mostly sunny, with a high near 64.

Friday
A 30 percent chance of rain after 5pm. Snow level 5300 feet rising to 6000 feet in the afternoon. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 57.  Overnight, a chance of rain before 11pm, then rain and snow likely. Snow level 5200 feet lowering to 4200 feet after midnight . Mostly cloudy, with a low around 29.  Chance of precipitation is 60%. New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.

Saturday
A 50 percent chance of snow. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 43. New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.

Sunday
Partly sunny, with a high near 46.

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.

Administrators at Klamath Falls City and County School Districts are working with Klamath County Public Health on prevention and awareness efforts amid the announcement over the weekend regarding three cases of Covid-19 (also known as Coronavirus) in the state of Oregon.

CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE CORONAVIRUS

There are currently no known cases of the virus in Klamath County as of Tuesday afternoon, though two cases have been reported in the Portland area and one in Umatilla County.

Valeree Lane, public information officer for Klamath County Public Health, is part of a team of four at Klamath County Public Health working on awareness and prevention efforts. Lane said local residents are encouraged to practice good hygiene, including washing their hands, and disinfecting surfaces.

Klamath Falls City Schools Superintendent Paul Hillyer said city schools are following the lead of public health on the matter. That includes tasking custodial staff at city schools with increasing cleaning efforts after school hours. But mostly, city schools will at this time continue to encourage proper hygiene.

“It is an evolving situation,” Hillyer said. “Naturally, we’ll be keeping our ears to the ground on it but we won’t be moving forward with anything without the guidance of the Klamath County (Public) Health Department.”

KCSD Superintendent Glen Szymoniak

Klamath County School District’s Superintendent Glen Szymoniak issued a page of resources on the school district’s website linking parents to resources regarding the virus.

“…Klamath County School District has a plan in case the novel coronavirus (respiratory illness) called COVID-19 spreads to the Klamath Basin,” Szymoniak said in a statement on the website. “Our district Emergency Response Team is working closely with school nurses and Klamath County Public Health to prevent the virus within our school communities.

“District sanitation protocols are in place for all school buildings and on our school buses,” Szymoniak added.

Both school districts encourage parents to monitor their children’s symptoms of a cough, headache, shortness of breath, and a fever. Parents are encouraged to keep a child home from school if they exhibit all four of the latter symptoms.

“They should contact their physician or the Klamath County Health Department,” Hillyer said.

Lane said she could neither confirm nor deny that there are individuals being monitored for symptoms of the virus in Klamath County.

“It’s in the best interest of people who may or may not be monitored not to share that information,” Lane said.

“I think a lot of people are looking at the fatalities in Washington, and thinking about what do they need to do,” she added.

While Lane said it’s always good to be prepared by storing extra food and water for emergencies, she emphasized the public should continue to make informed decisions based on facts, not on fear.

“Taking children out of an opportunity to learn because you’re afraid they might be exposed to Coronavirus – that seems a little extreme at this point,” she said.

“We’re trying to really make sure that people have the best information possible and unfortunately, because this is a brand new virus, we’re learning something new practically everyday.”

Lane emphasized that due to the evolving nature of the virus that checking Oregon Health Authority’s website for updates is one of the most beneficial things local residents can do to stay informed on updates about the virus.

“Have that conversation with your children that right now, there is an illness going around and that we are in flu season,” Lane said.

While Lane said it’s important to monitor symptoms, she also cautions individuals about stigmatizing those with a cough or allergies.

“Having a cough is not indicating that a person is really sick,” she said.

Lane said those who have a fever and respiratory issues should contact a primary care provider prior to coming in to be seen as a precaution not to expose more individuals.

Lane emphasized checking the Klamath County Public Health website as well for updates to changes.

“What you see there is going to be really well vetted information that’s going to be true,” Lane said. “You’re going to find links that are going to take you to true information so we don’t have to worry about hearsay and rumors.”

To follow updates from Klamath County Public Health, go online at http://publichealth.klamathcounty.org/1041/7219/2019-Coronavirus.School

Shooting Incident
At approximately 5PM on Monday Klamath County Sheriff’s Office deputies were dispatched to the 4300 block of Carlon Way in Klamath Falls for reports of a male with a gun shot wound to the leg. 

Upon arrival deputies observed one victim with a non-life threatening gun shot wound to the lower leg.  The victim was transported to SkyLakes by Klamath County Fire District 1 ambulance. Deputies learned the incident involved a struggle over a rifle and the suspect fled the scene on foot with the rifle and a handgun. 

A Sheriff’s office Air unit and Klamath Falls Police Department K9 unit attempted to locate the suspect but were unsuccessful. Additional details, including subject description will be released as soon as they are available.

The owner of a funeral home business took money from family members to cremate their loved ones and then stacked up the bodies without actually performing the service according to court documents filed by the Klamath Falls Police Department.

The owner of Affordable Cremation Care, Maximilian Bodzin, currently resides in the Klamath County Jail charged with five counts of Theft in the First Degree, seven counts of Abuse of a Corpse in the Second Degree, and two counts of Theft in the Second Degree — in addition to a single possession of methamphetamine charge that is being tried separately.

A Klamath Falls Police investigation found multiple people who had paid Bodzin more than $1,000 have their loved ones cremated, then return the remains and death certificates. Some of them had been waiting for days, weeks, or even several months with no indication of when it would be done, and with Bodzin frequently dodging their questions.

Bodzin pleaded not guilty to the seven counts of theft and seven counts of abuse of a corpse on Monday and is being held in the Klamath County Jail in lieu of $100,000 bail.

The March stream flow forecasts for the Klamath Basin have been released.  All forecast values have decreased significantly since February 1st as a result of much below average precipitation and limited snowpack accumulation during February

All forecasts are well below normal.   The current 1-month long-term forecast from the National Weather Service, Climate Prediction Center calls for the increased probability of below normal temperatures and equal chances for normal precipitation.

A Henley High School sophomore has been named as Oregon DECA’s 2020-21 state vice president of leadership.

Alex Lumbreras, president of Henley’s DECA chapter, was elected to the position last month at the organization’s State Career Development Conference in Portland. More than 800 high school DECA members from around the state attended the conference to compete and elect officers for the following year.

The deadline for nominations for the 26th Annual Klamath Country Volunteer of the Year is April 2nd.  

Individuals, education and church programs, service clubs and all non-profit organizations are eligible, and every nominee receives an award. To receive a nomination form or for more information contact the United Way at 541-882-5558.

Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS) is excited to announce funding awards of $15,989,698 to build 435 affordable rental homes in communities across the state.

These awards come at a critical time as Oregonians continue be impacted by housing instability as a result of tight rental markets and rising housing costs. Released in February 2019, OHCS’ Statewide Housing Plan set a five-year goal to triple the number of affordable rental homes in its development to 25,000 homes. With this announcement the current number of new rental homes in production has exceeded 11,700.  

“Many of our friends and neighbors are struggling to pay rent and take care of their families,” said OHCS Director Margaret Salazar. “These developments will provide relief to hundreds of families in communities large and small. We appreciate the hard work and dedication of our local partners in bringing forward these innovative housing solutions.”

“The Veteran’s Village project is a shining example of a community coming together to meet the housing needs of our veterans,” says Veteran Village Project Lead Gust Tsiatsos. “The Veteran’s Village will provide safe and permanent housing for those who have sacrificed for our freedom. And that is something we can all be proud of.”

The developments that received awards are listed with this link,  online.  Included is Bridgway Apartments in Klamath Falls, 8 homes.

Wild horses from the Devil’s Garden Plateau Wild Horse Territory 2019 gather will soon be available for adoption and sale with limitations during a satellite placement event at the Backcountry Horsemen Rendezvous.

The Backcountry Horsemen of California invited the Modoc National Forest to bring Devil’s Garden Horses to their 2020 Rendezvous at Tehama Fairgrounds in Red Bluff March 27-29. An assortment of mares and geldings of various ages will be available.

People interested in having a Devil’s Garden Horse of their own can see the remaining available horses at the Double Devil Wild Horse Corrals in Alturas

U.S. Attorney Billy J. Williams joined Attorney General William P. Barr, FBI Director Christopher A. Wray, and Chief Postal Inspector Gary R. Barksdale today in announcing the largest coordinated sweep of Elder Fraud cases in history.

This year, prosecutors charged more than 400 defendants, far surpassing the 260 defendants charged in cases as part of last year’s sweep. In each case, offenders allegedly engaged in financial schemes that targeted or largely affected seniors. In total, the charged elder fraud schemes caused alleged losses of over a billion dollars.

Elder abuse is a serious crime against some of our nation’s most vulnerable citizens, affecting nearly 10% of older Americans every year. Together with our federal, state, local, and tribal partners, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Oregon is steadfastly committed to combatting all forms of elder abuse and financial exploitation through enforcement actions, training and resources, victim services, and public awareness.

“Americans are fed up with the constant barrage of scams that maliciously target the elderly and other vulnerable citizens,” said Attorney General William P. Barr. “This year, the Department of Justice prosecuted more than 400 defendants, whose schemes totaled more than a billion dollars. I want to thank the men and women of the Department’s Consumer Protection Branch, which coordinated this effort, and all those in the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and Criminal Division who worked tirelessly to bring these cases. The Department is committed to stopping the full range of criminal activities that exploit America’s seniors.”

“Victims of all ages lose billions of dollars annually to fraud schemes and the elderly fall victim to these schemes at far greater rates than the rest of the population. We all need to be vigilant in protecting our own finances, but we also need to watch out for our elderly friends and love ones. Intercede when you learn that a friend or family member is contemplating sending money to someone who has contacted them by telephone or online. Your vigilance will make a difference,” said U.S. Attorney Williams. “Federal law enforcement will continue to do everything we can to stop these bad actors before they can victimize more Americans.”

Attorney General Barr also announced the launch of a National Elder Fraud Hotline, which will provide services to seniors who may be victims of financial fraud.

The Hotline will be staffed by experienced case managers who can provide personalized support to callers. Case managers will assist callers with reporting the suspected fraud to relevant agencies and by providing resources and referrals to other appropriate services as needed. When applicable, case managers will complete a complaint form with the Federal Bureau of Investigation Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) for Internet-facilitated crimes and submit a consumer complaint to the Federal Trade Commission on behalf of the caller.

The Hotline’s toll free number is 833-FRAUD-11 (833-372-8311).

The 2020 Girl Scout Cookie season will end on March 8 when cookie booths close up for the last time until 2021.

This year, Girl Scouts introduced Lemon-ups™—a crispy lemon cookie baked with messages inspired by Girl Scout entrepreneurs—and brought back such iconic favorites as Thin Mints®, Samoas®, and Trefoils®.

Find Girl Scout Cookies

This is the final week to purchase Girl Scout Cookies in 2020. Customers can locate a nearby Girl Scout Cookie booth daily through March 8 with the Cookie Finder at girlscoutsosw.org/cookies.

Gift of Caring

All throughout the Girl Scout Cookie season (through March 8, 2020), customers can opt to donate their purchased cookies through the Girl Scout Gift of Caring program. Purchases of cookies donated through this program are tax deductible. Over 20,000 boxes of cookies donated from the Digital Cookie platform are distributed to seniors and people in need throughout the region via several partnerships with social service agencies, including the Meals on Wheels People, Marion-Polk Food Share and Clark County Food Bank.

Girl Scout troops can elect to choose their own Gift of Caring recipient, making the philanthropic effort of the program even more personal for their troop. Girls have chosen fire stations, military personnel, shelters, veterans and many other groups and organizations in their communities to donate over 13,000 boxes.

Local Impact

100 percent of the net revenue earned from cookie sales remains within the local region. Every purchase provides for new and unique opportunities for local Girl Scouts including outdoor adventures as well as valuable educational experiences that have lifelong impact.

About the Girl Scout Cookie Program

The Girl Scout Cookie Program is the largest entrepreneurial training program for girls in the world. Girl Scouts learn five essential skills: goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills and business ethics. Learn more about the Girl Scout Cookie Program by visiting girlscoutcookies.org.

About Girl Scouts of Oregon and Southwest Washington (GSOSW)

In partnership with more than 8,000 adult members, Girl Scouts of Oregon and Southwest Washington prepares 14,500 girls in grades K-12 for a lifetime of leadership, adventure and success. GSOSW’s programs in civic engagement, financial literacy, the outdoors and STEM serve girls in 35 counties in Oregon, and Clark, Klickitat and Skamania counties in Southwest Washington. The Girl Scout mission is to build girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place. For more information, please visit girlscoutsosw.org.

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.

More Klamath Local News Here.

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