Klamath Basin News, Monday, 6/1 – Protesters Demonstrating Downtown Are Controlled by Police and Armed Local Residents

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.

Pictured above, a crowd of about 50 protesters at 8PM in downtown Klamath Falls grew to about 150 while hundreds of local residents immediately outnumbered them.

MONDAY, JUNE 1, 2020

Klamath Basin Weather

Today Possible morning showers otherwise mostly sunny, with a high near 72.  Chance of precipitation is 20%.  Clear overnight with a low near 44.

Tuesday Sunny, with a high near 81. Calm wind becoming west around 6 mph in the afternoon.

Wednesday Sunny, with a high near 83. Calm wind becoming west northwest around 6 mph in the afternoon.

Thursday Sunny, with a high near 83.

Friday Mostly sunny, with a high near 79.

Saturday A chance of showers. Partly sunny, with a high near 63.

Today’s Headlines

8PM….downtown begins to fill up with locals and police protecting Klamath Falls

A small group of protesters that grew larger hour by hour gathered at Sugarman’s Corner Sunday night at 5th and Main Streets in downtown Klamath Falls beginning around 8PM, apparently to protest the tragic death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Demonstraters grow and get louder on Sugarman’s Corner at 5th & Main at the evening progressed. The crowd of protesters doubled in size by 10:30PM.

Authorities were tipped off that protesters, some local and many who might possibly be bussed in from out of the area were coming to downtown Klamath Falls. A threat of possible members of radical groups also put authorities and residents on alert.

Local residents ready to protect businesses downtown.

They were met with a heavy presence of Klamath Falls City Police, Klamath County Sheriff deputies, Oregon State Police and federal officers, and an even heavier presence of armed residents of the community. 

The protesters chanted “Black Lives Matter” and “I Can’t Breathe” for hours directly across from hundreds of local residents who clearly weren’t going to stand for any violence.

Locals parked their vehicles taking up every parking space and flooding the streets with bumper to bumper trucks and traffic all along Main Street from 11th to nearly City Hall and the Klamath County Courthouse. 

The crowd, protecting businesses and their city, lined the streets and the protesters were quickly outnumbered by local residents ready to help handle any negative issues.

The protesters became louder as the evening went on and police held back crowds on all three corner at 5th and Main across from them, as the mood stayed very tense all evening.

Residents from the local Klamath area had complete control of the environment, visibly armed with pistols to rifles to assault weapons. 

As our news crew left the scene at 11PM, the standoff between the protesters and locals remained.  At this time, we do not know of any arrests. The demonstrators quickly learned Klamath Falls stands ready to protect local businesses and the city.

Meanwhile, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler said Sunday morning he had decided to extend his curfew order, first imposed Saturday, after a second night of protests, many apparently from violent groups like Antifa and others.

The curfew will stay in place until further notice, Wheeler said. Storefront windows were shattered and businesses looted, and the Multnomah County Justice Center was ransacked and set ablaze as workers, inmates and others remained inside. One person was shot in the middle of a crowd amid that night’s unrest.

Over 100 people gathered outside of the Klamath County Government Center downtown Saturday morning, many waving flags and decked out in red, white and blue, for a rally to lift restrictions meant to slow the spread of COVID-19 and reopen churches.

The rally kicked off with worship music, the pledge of allegiance, the national anthem and a prayer before speakers, including Representative E. Werner Reschke, Senator Dennis Linthicum, Ray Hacke — the attorney in the lawsuit brought by about a dozen Oregon churches against Governor Kate Brown — and several area pastors, spoke to the crowd about fighting for religious freedom during the time of COVID-19 in the United States.

A short downpour of rain drove some who attended the rally to their cars about halfway into the event, but many stuck out the wind, rain and cold that swept in Saturday morning to protest restrictions that have limited church gatherings, despite most of the state being in phase one of reopening.

It was an impressive sight to see Friday in Klamath County for the “Shut Down, Fed Up” rally of local farmers in their tractors, trucks and farm equipment, rallying for the right for more water for crops already planted. 

Estimates vary, but some say there were more than 1,000 vehicles in the caravan that made the 17-mile jaunt from Merrill to Klamath Falls, ending up in Midland.

At the finish point, organizers heard from a number of dignitaries, including county commissioners, nominee for Congress, Cliff Bentz, and U.S. Congressman Greg Walden himself.  Walden says after 20 years of little to no progress and taking one step forward and two steps back, it’s time for a complete reset for all sides of this issue.

Congressman Greg Walden appeared at the Shut Down & Fed Up farmers rally for water right on Friday, saying he hopes for a reset on the issue by all agencies, involved parties and the government.

Farmers are hoping Friday’s convoy will catch national attention and spark change.

The convoy came just a week after a federal judge in San Francisco ruled against an emergency motion filed by the Yurok Tribe, asking for more water to be released into the Klamath Project.

59 year old Edy Lipanovich 59 Klamath Falls has been charged with attempted murder after stabbing her boyfriend in the chest multiple times.

Police were called to a home on the 2000 block of Radcliffe Ave in Klamath Falls on reports of a domestic disturbance late Thursday night. The statement notes that upon arrival officers could hear Lipanovich saying “go ahead and die.”

When she opened the door, the report notes that she had blood on her hands and clothes and admitted to stabbing her boyfriend multiple times in the chest. She is lodged in the Klamath County jail.

The state’s death toll from COVID-19 is unchanged from yesterday and remains at 153, the Oregon Health Authority reported yesterday.

Oregon Health Authority reported 58 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19, bringing the state total to 4,243. 

Saturday, two new cases were reported in Klamath County. No new cases were reported here Sunday.

The new confirmed and presumptive cases reported today are in the following counties: Clackamas (6), Deschutes (1), Hood River (2), Jackson (1), Jefferson (3), Lane (4), Marion (11), Multnomah (23), Wasco (1), Washington (5), Yamhill (1). Oregon’s 152nd COVID-19 death is a 62-year-old man in Lane County, who tested positive on May 4 and died on May 4; the location of death is awaiting confirmation. He had underlying medical conditions.

Oregon’s 153rd COVID-19 death is a 93-year-old woman in Polk County, who tested positive on May 2 and died on May 28 at her residence. She had underlying medical conditions. OHA previously announced that it will begin reporting large COVID-19 outbreaks in workplaces. This will include all past and future outbreaks that involve five or more COVID-19 cases in a workplace setting. OHA is in the process of compiling information on past outbreaks.

Friday just after 4:30PM The Klamath County Sheriff’s Office Patrol Deputies and Troopers from Oregon State Police were dispatched to a motor vehicle crash on Del Fatti Lane, just east of Highway 97.

The crash occurred when the driver of a full-size Dodge pickup truck traveling west, attempted to pass another vehicle. The driver of the Dodge pickup did not see the Polaris side-by-side ATV in front of the vehicle he was attempting to pass, traveling in the same direction. When the ATV attempted to make a left hand turn into a driveway, the Dodge pickup truck struck the ATV causing the two occupants of the ATV to sustain substantial injuries.

Both occupants of the ATV were transported to Sky Lakes Medical Center by Klamath County Fire District 1 ambulance.

The passenger of the ATV, Cheryl Dean Riggs, age 73 of Palmer, Alaska and Klamath Falls, Oregon, was later pronounced deceased. The crash remains under investigation.

Also on Friday, The Klamath County Sheriff’s Office Dive Rescue Division located the body of 52 year old Roger Combs in Klamath Lake.

Combs had been reported missing on the evening of May 25, 2020 after he is believed to have overturned in kayak launched from the Modoc Point area near Chiloquin. KCSO utilized a variety of air, land, and water resources over the last four days to locate Combs. Ultimately volunteers from Dive Rescue and KCSO Small Boat Rescue used side scan sonar and were able to locate Combs’ body. KCSO Patrol and Marine deputies assisted in the recovery.

 Meanwhile, in Josephine County over the weekend, Last week, the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report that a man had fallen into the Rogue River at East Evans Creek near the City of Rogue River, Oregon.

Since that time a search was conducted for 66 year old Daryl Gene Johnson of Rogue River Friday, the Josephine County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of a deceased person floating in the Rogue River near Schroeder Park. Deputies found a deceased male subject in the river and recovered him from the water. Over the weekend,the subject was positively identified as Daryl Gene Johnson.

The case remains under investigation and will be referred to the Oregon State Deputy Medical Examiner.

Governor Kate Brown’s office announced that the Director of Oregon Employment Department has been replaced by David Gerstenfeld in the interim.

Brown’s office said they asked for and received Kay Erickson’s resignation, effective immediately. Gerstenfeld currently serves as Paid Family and Medical Lave Insurance Division Director. The announcement comes after months of controversy regarding delays in unemployment payments for many Oregonians.

Brown said in a statement that the continued delays from the Oregon Employment Department in delivering unemployment insurance benefits to thousands of out-of-work Oregonians are unacceptable, Gov. Brown also said that OED will be tasked with addressing the backlog in unpaid unemployment claims in the state and to be more transparent in the status of claims.

Police are actively searching for a suspect who robbed a Medford bank early Saturday Morning. 

Medford Police says that the suspect robbed US Bank inside of Albertsons off of Ross Lane, just before 11 a.m.

The man has been described as a white male in his fifties, and weighs about 230 lbs. He was seen wearing a black hat with a Ford emblem, blue jeans, and a gray sweater. 

The suspect left the area in a maroon 2004 Dodge Dakota single cab. 

Medford Police are asking the public to call 541-770-4783 with information, or 911 if seen in person. 

Congress has granted federal student loan borrowers a reprieve during the pandemic, but the market has been less forgiving for people with private loans.

Stephanie O’Donnell-Peters is a massage therapist in Portland, out of work since mid-March. Combined, she and her husband have student-loan payments of one-thousand dollars a month. When their loan manager, Firstmark Services, offered to pause payments for three months, they agreed – not realizing that interest would accrue at 7-and-a-half percent each month.

O’Donnell-Peters, who is a self-employed small business owner, has struggled to get unemployment from Oregon’s overburdened system. The forbearance on the couple’s loans ends this month. Firstmark Services did not respond by deadline to a request for comment.

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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