Klamath Basin News, Thursday, May 28 – Friends of the Children Live Friendraiser Fundraiser is Tonite; Watch Online

The latest news stories in the Klamath Basin and around the state of Oregon from Wynne Broadcasting’s KFLS News/Talk 1450AM/102.5FM, BasinLife.com and The Herald & News.

THURSDAY, MAY 28 2020

Klamath Basin Weather

Today   Partly sunny with possible late afternoon showers, high today near 90. Overnight, possible showers and thunderstorms, low near 57.

Friday   Mostly sunny, with a high near 92. Calm wind becoming south 5 to 8 mph in the afternoon.  Overnight, mostly cloudy, with a low around 58.

Saturday   Showers and possibly a thunderstorm. High near 66.. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New rainfall amounts between a quarter and half of an inch possible.

Sunday   A 20 percent chance of showers before 11am. Partly sunny, with a high near 70.

Today’s Headlines

Tonight is the local FRIENDS OF THE CHILDREN FriendRaiser fundraising event, live via YouTube. 

You can be a part of it from your own home this year.   Friends of the Children celebrates 20 years of helping and mentoring children in the Klamath Basin.  

Join the party starting at 6:30PM.  Watch from the comfort of your living room, BID on Live Auction Items and Silent Auction Items.

RSVP now here
https://mailchi.mp/friendsklamath.org/friendraiser


or click here and look for the link on their Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/friendsklamath/

FriendRaiser is LIVE tonight at 6:30pm!

The state’s death toll from COVID-19 is unchanged from yesterday and remains at 148, the Oregon Health Authority reported Wednesday.

They also reported 71 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19, bringing the state total to 4,038.

Lake County officials announced on Tuesday that they have seen their first positive case of the new coronavirus since Oregon’s outbreak began.

For weeks, Lake County has been alone among the southern Oregon counties for not having any confirmed cases of the coronavirus. Even the neighboring rural southeastern Oregon counties of Harney and Malheur have had cases — albeit only one case in Harney. As of Tuesday, Lake County had conducted 190 tests for coronavirus. Results from 183 were negative, six remain pending, and only one has returned positive.

Klamath County saw an early spike in COVID-19 cases, but the rate of new positives has declined dramatically over the past several weeks in spite of expanded testing. Jackson County reported five new Covid cases yesterday.

The new confirmed and presumptive cases reported are in the following counties: Clackamas (4), Hood River (1), Jackson (5), Lake (2), Lincoln (2), Marion (6), Multnomah (41), Polk (2), Wasco (2), Washington (5), Yamhill (1).

A man is missing after sheriff’s office personnel were dispatched to Klamath Lake Monday on a report of a flipped over kayak.

KCSO deputies working by air, ground, and on the water have been assisted by volunteers from Klamath County Dive Rescue along with US Forest Service Law Enforcement personnel and troopers from Oregon State Police. Search efforts have continued through the night and into Tuesday with no success.

52-year-old Roger Combs had recently relocated to the Chiloquin area near Modoc Point.  He’s now officially listed as missing. 

The kayak has been located and flotation devices are missing and we are hopeful that Combs made it back to shore. Combs was last seen wearing camo life jacket, white t-shirt, dark blue jeans.   Sheriff’s investigators say they will continue their search.

Another popular summer event has been tabled for the year in Klamath Falls. Klamath Falls Downtown Association announced today that this summer’s Third Thursday street fair series has been canceled due to restrictions on public gatherings that are expected to remain in place throughout the summer.

The organization is, however, proceeding with plans for other activities and events that could be appropriately produced given the restrictions. In light of restrictions on the size of public gatherings, the organization is working on plans for smaller events throughout the summer, including a revamped version of its popular live music series at Sugarman’s Corner. KFDA will also expand its collaboration with community partners to produce summer events as a way to share resources and highlight other community organizations who have been extremely limited in their ability to operate the past couple months. Announcements and information are shared through KFDA’s website at www.downtownklamathfalls.org, and through its Facebook page.

Two southern Oregon churches have filed a new lawsuit, this time in federal court, against Governor Kate Brown — alleging that her coronavirus restrictions unfairly target faith-based organizations.

A previous lawsuit from a coalition of Oregon churches and individuals recently resulted in a County judge rendering Brown’s orders “null and void” before a stay from the Oregon Supreme Court temporarily kept them in place. That case remains pending at the state Supreme Court. In this new case, two churches in Josephine and Douglas counties are represented by attorneys from Alliance Defending Freedom, a Christian nonprofit advocacy group based in Arizona.

A statement from ADF took aim at Brown’s ban on gatherings of 25 or more people, claiming that the order “allows pastors to be jailed up to 30 days and fined $1,250 for going to church with 25 other people on a Sunday morning, when they can join those same people and more at a dine-in restaurant for Sunday lunch with no penalty.” The churches that filed suit are in Josephine and Douglas counties. 

It’s that time of year, fire season. Fire Season restrictions officially begin in Klamath and Lake counties on June 1, the Oregon Department of Forestry announced on Wednesday. 

Fire Season began on May 1 in Jackson and Josephine counties, an earlier start than the region has seen in decades, due to ongoing drought conditions.

Klamath County was the first in southern Oregon to enter a state of drought emergency this year.

The fire season declaration means a start for regulations on debris burning and timber harvesting. Wildland and structural fire protection agencies in Klamath County have agreed to prohibit all outdoor debris burning.

Forest operations that require a Permit to Operate Power Driven Machinery now are required to have fire tools, on-site water supply, and watchman service on privately owned forestland. Fire season also prohibits the release of sky lanterns, the discharge of exploding targets or the discharge of tracer ammunition during this period.

Klamath Union media design students took first place in the 2020 48/48 Film Festival this month — their fourth consecutive year beating out competitors from 4A, 5A and 6A schools in Jackson, Josephine and Klamath counties.

In fact, KU’s team swept the 2020 awards, winning first, second and third place honors for the five short films they created while in quarantine due to COVID-19.

The 48/48 competition is sponsored by the Southern Oregon Education Service District and judged by a panel of experts from around the United States. Films are evaluated for acting, cinematography, editing, screenplay and best overall. 

A walking history tour of the lower Link River Canyon will be offered Saturday, May 30, by the Klamath County Museum.

Link River was the site of the first flour mill and lumber mill in Klamath Falls. A set of low falls on the river is the namesake for the city. The walk will cover up to two miles along the Link River Trail. The walk is free, but space is limited and registration is required. For information on time and location, contact the museum at 541-882-1000.

Klamath Falls Gospel Mission is proud to announce Ammond Crawford has been selected as our new Executive Director.

Ammond and his wife Amanda fell in love with the Klamath Basin on their honeymoon 18 years ago. Since then, they have vacationed here every year. After the tragic fires in Butte County, California in 2019, they and their two children moved to Klamath for good. Ammond has seen mission’s work from both sides, first as a client and later as director of the men’s New Life Recovery Program at Redding’s Good News Rescue Mission. As well as running his own business, he also has extensive experience in serving the community, as a staff member, at his former church home in Sebastopol, California. Now he is active in New Horizon Christian Fellowship.

He looks forward to meeting personally with local churches, community leaders, service providers, and an open invitation to meet him personally is offered every Monday through Friday at 11:30am at the mission for lunch.

Around the state of Oregon

In Jackson County, there’s one less criminal on the loose thanks to Facebook.

Jackson County Sheriff’s Office Deputy met with a subject who called dispatch and wanted to turn himself in. He saw himself on Facebook as the suspect in the theft of a wallet and use of credit cards. The suspect was cooperative with the investigation. The suspect found the wallet in a grocery cart at Winco earlier in May. He kept it and then used stolen cards at Food4Less, Dutch Bros and the Towne Pump. The suspect was identified as 38 year old TREVOR LEE ETTINGER, of,Medford.

Ettinger was cited and released for Fraudulent use of a credit card, 3 counts of identity theft, and other charges. The case has been forwarded to the Jackson County District Attorney’s Office. JCSO wants to thank the many individuals who sent us tips about the suspect after seeing our post on Facebook about the
case.

Baker County Judge Matthew Shirtcliff announced Tuesday that he will not vacate his injunction that made Oregon Gov. Kate Brown’s stay-at-home orders temporarily “null and void.”

The Oregon Supreme County issued an alternative writ of mandamus Saturday, which said that Shirtcliff had until 5 p.m. Tuesday to either vacate the injunction or explain why it should remain in place

Since Shirtcliff chose to stand by his original ruling, the state must file a brief with the Oregon Supreme Court by Thursday, May 28 and the plaintiffs must file briefs by Tuesday, June 2.

Shirtcliff’s decision tossed out Brown’s restrictions on Monday, May 18. He said she didn’t seek the Legislature’s approval to extend the stay-at-home orders past a 28-day limit. 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, workers for online platforms who shop for groceries and deliver food have become essential for people stuck at home.

But they face an uphill battle for recognition as well as remuneration. Heidi Carrico is a Portland-based grocery shopper for the app Instacart and founding member of the Gig Workers Collective. She says she stopped shopping for Instacart and officially went on strike in March because the risk of contracting the virus wasn’t worth the pay.

The Gig Workers Collective is a collection of 11 labor activists, all women, across the country and has been organizing strikes against companies like Instacart, GrubHub and Postmates. They’re calling for protective equipment, hazard pay and access to paid time off. After a protest organized by the collective on March 30th, Instacart responded by rushing out 10-thousand kits of protective equipment. A spokesperson for Instcart says the company has invested 20 million dollars in the last few months to support the health and safety of shoppers.

What should be one of the most important issues for Governor Brown besides handing the health and safety of the Covid-19 health crisis in the state, is the thousands left unemployment and still waiting for unemployment checks.  Nearly 40,000 claims haven’t even been processed yet over the last ten weeks.

The head of Oregon’s Employment Department unveiled a plan on Tuesday to process the roughly 38,000 backlogged unemployment claims that have piled up since the state’s coronavirus countermeasures caused a massive lay-off boom beginning in March.

Despite strides made in additional staffing and claims processing over the past two months, many Oregonians have continued to report a lack of movement on their unemployment claims and difficulty contacting OED for help.

Over the past two weeks, leading lawmakers from both the Democratic and Republican parties have indicted the agency for the backlog, urging action.

Yesterday’s announcement heralded ‘Project Focus 100,’ an effort to process 100 percent of the backlogged claims through a four-point strategy.

A spike in reported coronavirus cases in Redmond, Oregon, last week has been tied to family and social gatherings in the area.

Last week’s breakdown of coronavirus cases by ZIP code in Oregon reported eight new cases of COVID-19 in the central Oregon town. That brought Redmond up to only 18 reported cases to date, but amounted to an 80% change over the previous week – the highest in the state.

Public health officials in Deschutes County told reporters on Friday that most of the county’s new cases can be traced to social gatherings with extended family, like barbecues and celebrations.

Morgan Emerson, preparedness coordinator with Deschutes County Health Services, told a local TV station that 18 of the county’s 25 new cases could be traced back to family or social gatherings, including some of the coronavirus cases in Redmond.

Work gets under way next week on conversion of more than 8,000 high-pressure sodium streetlights in the Portland area to light-emitting diode (LED) fixtures in a project that will save money, save energy and reduce carbon emissions.

The change should reduce ODOT’s energy bill for street lighting in the Portland area by half, saving taxpayers $700,000 to $800,000 a year.

In addition, ODOT expects lower carbon emissions because of the reduced energy use.  And with ODOT maintenance crews spending less time replacing high-pressure sodium lights, they will be able to spend more time on other projects.

Work begins the week of May 26 and will continue intermittently through the summer of 2021. Most work will take place at night to minimize traffic impacts and will involve shoulder or single lane closures. There will also be some multiple-lane night closures in tunnels and night closures of single lane on-ramps and off-ramps.

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 Local Klamath Basin News Here.

The latest State of Oregon Covid-19 News & Preparedness Information Here.

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