Klamath Basin News, Tuesday, 6/2 – Sheriff Kaber Praises Community Regarding Sunday Night Protests; Meanwhile Portland Remains Out of Control

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.

TUESDAY, JUNE 2, 2020

Klamath Basin Weather

Today  Sunny with today’s high around 81 and a light breeze in the afternoon.

Wednesday  Sunny, with a high near 83.

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

Sheriff Chris Kaber (file photo)

Klamath County Sheriff Chris Kaber made a public statement yesterday regarding the large protest that drew over 3000 people to downtown Klamath Falls Sunday night.

KCSO was one of many law enforcement agencies, led by the Klamath Falls City police, given the task of keeping not only protesters safe but more importantly, protecting the area businesses. In his statement, Kaber said: 

“Many of our friends and neighbors, as well as out of town “guests”, came out to express various points of view and exercise the freedoms that make our country the greatest in the world. While there were times last night when words got heated and tensions rose there was largely peaceful expression in Klamath Falls. I could not be more proud of our citizens and our brave law enforcement officers who helped keep the peace last night.” While it’s unclear whether protesters planned to return anytime soon to congregate as they did Sunday, law enforcement says to remain vigilant  as national protests continue into this week.  Several major cities remain under strict curfew laws”.

Elsewhere, the biggest problems with protests in the state are as one might expect, in Portland, Oregon.

Finally after three nights of demonstrations and destruction in Portland, Mayor Ted Wheeler held a news conference Monday morning to address the city’s response, adding that he has asked Gov. Kate Brown to activate the Oregon National Guard in the city. But Brown says “no”.

Wheeler said he had asked Brown to deploy the guard Sunday, but the governor suggested other alternatives, including additional resources from the Oregon State Police. 

Portland police said early Monday that 12 adults had been arrested and two youths had been detained after Sunday night’s protest.

The figure isn’t final, and no information about the people arrested was immediately available.

Billy Williams, the U.S. District Attorney for the district of Oregon, said law enforcement agencies in the city needed outside assistance.

Down the freeway, police in Eugene and Salem deployed tear gas to disperse protesters Sunday, the second evening of marches and demonstrations sparked by the death of George Floyd.

Eight people were arrested late Sunday in Salem. Five people were arrested in Eugene.

They marched, at one point blocking traffic, and later continued around downtown and eventually returned to the Capitol building, with the crowd by then swelling to at least 400.

It was their eventual return to the base of Marion Street Bridge that sparked direct confrontation with the police.

Salem police spokesman Lt. Treven Upkes said police formed a line in front of the bridge as the protesters went that direction, and during the stand-off some threw glass bottles, rocks and fireworks at officers.

Officers returned fire with an assortment of tear gas, pepper balls, rubber projectiles, acoustic devices and spotlights.

COVID-19 has claimed one more life in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll to 154, the Oregon Health Authority reported last night. There are currently reported 59 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19 as of 7PM yesterday, bringing the state total to 4,302.

The new confirmed and presumptive cases reported today are in the following counties: Clackamas (5), Deschutes (2), Jackson (1), Jefferson (11), Josephine (1), Lane (4), Lincoln (3), Linn (2), Marion (13), Morrow (1), Multnomah (6), Polk (2), Umatilla (4), Washington (4).

Oregon’s 154th COVID-19 death is a 59-year-old man in Marion County, who tested positive on May 29 and died the same day at Salem Hospital. He had underlying medical conditions.

Last week, 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 for public disclosure.

AROUND THE STATE

With the lifting of public health and safety restrictions enacted by Oregon health officials, the Bureau of Land Management today announced that the Medford District is increasing recreational access.

The BLM is working agency-wide with federal, state, and local public health authorities to closely monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and using a phased approach to increase access on a case-by-case basis. BLM Medford District will reopen access to:  Table Rocks Trails, Cathedral Hills Trails, Eight Dollar Mountain Boardwalk and Dollar Mountain Trails. The following sites remain closed at this time: Provolt Recreation Site and Hyatt Lake Developed Campground. When recreating, the public should follow local area health orders, pack out their trash, practice Leave No Trace principles, practice social distancing and avoid high-risk outdoor activities.

Wildland firefighters responded to the Doe Fire on Friday on the Fremont-Winema National Forest’s Chemult Ranger District. The fire was discovered around mid-morning and was sparked by lightning from recent storms. It is burning on the south side of Silver Lake Highway near milepost 26. Firefighters made excellent progress Friday.

The fire is approximately 150 acres and is expected to be fully lined and contained later tonight. The fire is burning in the recently completed Yota Timber Sale on the Red Knight Project. Fire behavior today was moderate spread with isolated group torching and wind-driven spot fires up to a quarter mile. The recent restoration work in the area may have helped reduce fire intensity.

The latest report from the National Interagency Fire Center  shows “significant large fire potential” for southern Oregon and northern California through the end of summer.

According to the BLM, almost 80 percent of Oregon is currently experiencing some level of drought conditions. Much of western Oregon is classified in “severe or extreme” drought. The NIFC report found that most areas on the West Coast got less than 25 percent of average precipitation in May, although areas of northern California did see significant rainfall by the end of the month.

Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) has released a list of state park campgrounds that are scheduled to open with limited services within the coming days. 

OPRD Director Lisa Sumption said, “I am cautiously delighted. We are working hard to welcome campers wherever we can safely do so, as soon as we can.”

Sumption said that campgrounds will open only when the following conditions are met:

  • Public health guidelines (OHA established) for the county are fulfilled.
  • The local community agrees.
  • The park has enough staff, supplies and equipment to safely open and operate at a basic level.

Sumption also noted that revenue loss, COVID-19 precautions and staff reductions will curtail services at most if not all campgrounds. Cabin and yurt camping, except in rare cases, will not be offered. Group camping remains closed across the state, due to distancing concerns.

RV and tent campers with existing reservations for a campground that opens will be honored beginning June 9. Not all sites or loops may be available at open campgrounds. For parks in the coastal region, there will be no walk-in or first come, first-served camping until further notice.

The online reservation system has been suspended since April 28. It will reopen for new reservations sometime next week, and will accept new reservations one day to two weeks in advance. OPRD will announce the reservation reopening date early next week through its website, stateparks.oregon.gov.

First come, first-served campgrounds in eastern Oregon lead the way. The following campgrounds open Friday, May 29. Others may be added to this list without a formal announcement. For updates, please check the website:

  1. Goose Lake, south of Lakeview
  2. Jackson Kimball, northwest of Chiloquin
  3. Minam, north of La Grande
  4. Hilgard Junction, near La Grande
  5. Catherine Creek, near Union
  6. Clyde Holliday, near John Day
  7. Cottonwood Canyon, southeast of The Dalles

 Campgrounds scheduled to open June 9, 2020:

Coast
Note: All group camping, cabins and yurts closed. No walk-in or first come, first-served camping until further notice. Additional services or changes will be on park page. Please visit the link. 

Willamette Valley and Columbia River Gorge
Note: All group camping, cabins and yurts closed. Additional services or changes will be on park page. Please visit the link. 

Southern, Central and Eastern Oregon
Note: All group camping, cabins and yurts closed unless otherwise noted. Additional services or changes will be on park page. Please visit the link. 

The Office of State Fire Marshal, Oregon fire service, natural resource agencies, Oregon licensed fireworks wholesalers, and health and safety experts want to encourage Oregonians to “keep it legal and keep it safe” when using legal fireworks, according to a news release.

The 2020 Oregon fireworks retail sales season opens June 23 and runs through July 6. The OSFM is providing downloadable items that help Oregonians understand the fireworks that are legal to use in Oregon without a permit, where they are permitted to be used, and the important safety steps to take when using fireworks. The OSFM is asking Oregonians to share this information with their friends, families, and neighbors.

Edible food is wasted on a massive scale in the United States, but there are signs that it could be coming back to Americans’ plates. The Upcycled Food Association has officially defined “upcycled food,” paving the way for a certification program akin to organic labeling later this year.

One member company, Caskai, makes beverages from the byproducts of coffee fruits. Joel Jelderks is the company’s co-founder and an Oregon native.

The association defines upcycled foods as using “ingredients that otherwise would not have gone to human consumption, are procured and produced using verifiable supply chains, and have a positive impact on the environment.” As much as 40-percent of food is wasted, according to the U-S Department of Agriculture.

Klamath Falls News from partnership with the Herald and News, empowering the community.

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