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, Mick Insurance and The Herald & News.
TUESDAY, JUNE 30, 2020
Klamath Basin Weather
Today Sunny, with a high near 76. Light west winds in the afternoon.
Wednesday Sunny, with a high near 78.
Thursday Sunny, with a high near 83.
Friday Sunny, with a high near 84.
Saturday, Independence Day Sunny, with a high near 85.
Governor Kate Brown announced Monday that Oregonians statewide will be required to wear face coverings in indoor public spaces starting Wednesday (tomorrow).
Face mask requirements are already in place in 8 of Oregon’s 36 counties. The move is driven by an increase in COVID-19 cases in Oregon.
Brown stated yesterday: “Over the last month, we have seen the disease spread at an alarming rate in both urban and rural counties. The upcoming July 4 holiday weekend is a critical point for Oregon in this pandemic, and we can all make a difference.”
OSHA,The Oregon Occupational Safety and Health will take the lead in enforcing face covering requirements for all covered Oregon businesses. Masks must be worn in restaurants, grocery stores, gyms and shopping malls.pharmacies, public transit, salons and barber shops, all retail stores and shopping malls, and in ride shares.
The announcement said that face coverings help reduce the spread of COVID-19, and may help prevent the state from having to roll back reopening phases as some other states have done. Oregon is on track for a major COVID-19 outbreak.
The latest model shows that, within a month, there could be 900 new cases a day with an increase in hospitalizations from 8 to 27. State health officer Dr. Dean Sidelinger says if the new cases are due more to transmission than an increase in testing, the number of new cases rises to 48-hundred a day with 82 hospitalizations, and that could overwhelm hospitals. Sidelinger says if enough people wear masks, maintain distancing, and stay out of large groups it is possible to avoid the worst-case scenario.
COVID-19 has claimed two more lives in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll to 204, the Oregon Health Authority reported. Oregon Health Authority reported 146 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19 as of yesterday, bringing the state total to 8,485.
The new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases reported today are in the following counties: Clackamas (18), Deschutes (2), Douglas (2), Jackson (3), Jefferson (3), Josephine (1), Klamath (5), Lake (2), Lane (6), Malheur (5), Marion (14), Multnomah (29), Tillamook (2), Umatilla (15), Union (5), Wasco (6), Washington (27), and Yamhill (1).
Oregon’s 203rd COVID-19 death is an 84-year-old woman in Marion County who tested positive on June 18 and died on June 27. Her place of death is being confirmed. She had underlying medical conditions.
Oregon’s 204th COVID-19 death is a 72-year-old man in Marion County who tested positive on June 17 and died on June 27. His place of death is being confirmed. He had underlying medical conditions.
The Oregon Government Ethics Commission on Friday announced that after reviewing two ethics complaints filed against Klamath County Commissioner Derrick DeGroot, the Commission will enter into an investigation into the claims alleging conflict of interest and taking a gift of more than $50 from an individual with an administrative or legislative interest.
Commission officials emphasized that the decision to investigate doesn’t insinuate violations of state statutes, but is just the next step in a process to determine whether state statutes were violated. The investigation will last 180 days, according to Commission investigator Susan Myers, who reviewed and compiled reports on both ethics complaints.
The first ethics complaint, filed April 29, alleges that DeGroot attended a free hunting trip in northern Mexico with the owner of Rocky Mountain Construction, Jamie Jackson, thereby allegedly accepting a gift of more than $50 from a source with legislative or administrative interest who could financially benefit. Also listed in the complaint is a March 24 vote by DeGroot approving a roughly $2 million contract to Rocky Mountain Construction for paving work on Homedale Road.
Members of the Klamath County School District maintenance crew are giving Chiloquin Elementary School a much-needed facelift.
Projects include an update to the school’s plumbing, replacing old PVC heat lines with new steel pipes to make the system more reliable and energy efficient. Crews also are installing new LED lighting in the hallways, and two of four student bathrooms slated for remodeling are finished. A crew, which includes building custodians from around the district, is busy repainting the outside of the building.
The Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife is in the third year of a review of its big game regulations, meant to improve regulations and align them with current biological objectives for wildlife and preferences among hunters.
The department is looking for feedback on the latest concepts for changes, which would take effect in the 2021 hunting seasons. Those concepts are to change general season deer and elk archery seasons in Eastern Oregon to controlled seasons, move general Cascade elk season to early November OR allow deer hunting to continue during general Cascade elk season.
The general season archery structure for deer and elk in Eastern Oregon began in 1979 (when archery hunting was less popular, technology was limited and success rates were lower) and the current 30-day general season beginning in late August/early September has been in place since 1983. The season was originally intended to draw some hunters away from crowded rifle seasons.
Over the last 40 years, archery hunting has certainly become increasingly popular, with participation and harvest now exceeding limited entry rifle bull hunts in some units — even while ODFW surveys show the majority of hunters would prefer to rifle hunt.
Around the state of Oregon
Fatal accident near Welches, Oregon
On Monday morning, Oregon State Police Troopers and emergency personnel responded to a vehicle collision on Hwy 26 near milepost 85.
Preliminary investigation showed that a white Mercedes Benz SUV, operated by Kathy Rayborn (73) of Welches, OR. was traveling eastbound when it crossed into the westbound lanes and collided with a motor home operated by Richard Rydman (76) of Vancouver, WA.
Rydman and his passenger, Janice Rydman (73) of Vancouver, WA. were transported to St. Charles Hospital in Madras.
Rayborn sustained fatal injuries as was pronounced deceased
Three men are doing OK after their boat capsized outside the mouth of the Chetco River. The U.S. Coast Guard says the men were just outside the bar at the river’s mouth Saturday morning when their boat became swamped by the wake of a passing vessel.
The Coast Guard says good Samaritans responded and were able to pull one of the men from the water before a Coast Guard crew arrived and rescued the other two. No injuries were reported.
Snap Program increases Aid
The Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS) has received approval by the Food and Nutrition Service to provide an additional $30 million to eligible Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients in July 2020.
“Oregonians continue to face economic instability and food insecurity,” said Self-Sufficiency Programs Director Dan Haun. “Providing another month of emergency assistance will help address ongoing food needs.”
With the additional funds, all eligible Oregon SNAP households will receive the maximum benefit amount in July. They will receive the extra allotment in the same way they receive their current benefits. For most customers this is an EBT card. The additional benefit amount will be disbursed on the schedule below to all eligible SNAP households. Households that already receive the maximum allotment will not receive an emergency allotment.
This allotment will not permanently change a household’s monthly benefit amount. It is a temporary supplement to help during the current health crisis. DHS will not be sending individual notices to households about the emergency allotments.
In addition to continuing the emergency allotment, Oregon DHS will continue to do telephone interviews for new SNAP applications and recertifications. The health and safety of the community is a priority and getting people the benefits they need without them having to visit a local branch office maintains physical distancing efforts.
All new SNAP applicants and current SNAP recipients who need to recertify July 1 or after must complete an application and interview. Current SNAP recipients were mailed a notice and application to their address on file.
Learn how to apply for SNAP and other benefits online or by phone at https://www.oregon.gov/DHS/COVID-19/Pages/Home.aspx.
Celebrating Independence Day may look a little different this year. Although annual festivals and summer activities have been canceled or restricted due to COVID-19, there are still ways to enjoy summertime celebrations while managing your risks and keeping Oregonians safe.
As we are all aware, COVID-19 is present and on the rise in our communities. Simple actions such as keeping a 6 ft. distance from others, regular hand washing and wearing a face covering are all ways to manage the risk of spreading COVID to others.
Consider other ways to celebrate – with family and in small groups. If fireworks are a tradition you must maintain, keep a bucket of water or hose nearby, and maintain a safe distance from people, pets and buildings. Always purchase legal fireworks and use them only in areas where they are allowed. Remember, all fireworks are prohibited on Oregon State beaches, parks, campgrounds, and state and federal forest lands; check your local jurisdiction for restrictions.
Multiple areas in Oregon are abnormally dry with much of the state experiencing severe drought. This makes for elevated wildfire conditions and increased risk. Help manage the risk of human-caused wildfire by practicing basic wildfire safety at home, at work, and when you are out and about – hiking, camping and enjoying Oregon scenic areas. If you do travel for the holiday weekend, plan to stay close to home.
“Show your independence this 4th of July and make choices to keep you, your family and your community safe,” says Andrew Phelps, director of Oregon’s Office of Emergency Management. “Stay informed about fireworks safety to mitigate fire danger; maintain physical distancing and wear face coverings when socializing during holiday celebrations. It’s up to each of us to make the small changes that make a big difference.”
Becky Hultberg, President and CEO of the Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems, released the following statement in support of Governor Kate Brown’s statewide public face covering requirement.
“The Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems stands in support of Governor Kate Brown’s statewide public face covering requirement. We know that when we all make the choice to wear a face covering in public, we are doing our part to prevent the spread of COVID-19. With cases on the rise rapidly across the state, it is now more important than ever to take this step to protect our loved ones, our neighbors, and our communities. Further, if we are to coexist alongside the disease, wide adoption of public face coverings is an essential factor in keeping our businesses and public spaces open. OAHHS urges all Oregonians to wear a face covering in public, and to help reinforce this critical message by talking to your friends and family about the importance of wearing a face covering in public.”
A group that has championed an initiative to legalize and regulate the therapeutic use of psilocybin, the active chemical in hallucinogenic mushrooms, announced on Monday that it expects to “comfortably qualify” for Oregon ballots in November. Organizers said that the campaign gathered 164,782 signatures. Just over 112,000 valid signatures are required to make the ballot. The Oregon Psilocybin Services Act would create a regulatory program to manufacture, deliver, and administer psilocybin at supervised, licensed facilities only. Supporters of the petition say that psilocybin can help in addressing treatment-resistant depression and anxThe intiative’s backers said that they turned in final signatures on Monday, expecting to have more than enough of them verified to qualify for the November ballot.
Oregon Farm Bureau offers video, brochure on sharing the road safely with slow-moving farm equipment
For many Oregon farmers who are #StillFarming, July 4 signifies the busiest time of year. Harvest of major crops like grass seed, berries, tree fruits, clover, and wheat is in full swing, and it’s not unusual for a farmer to spend 15-hour days working in the field.
Summer harvest also means that sometimes farmers must drive their large equipment, such as tractors, swathers, combines, and trucks, out onto public roads to move between fields. Farmers do their best to avoid moving equipment during high-traffic times, but during peak harvest, when the fruit is ripe or the hay is at the optimum level of dryness, they often have no choice.
“While driving a slow-moving tractor on a highway is legal and often a necessary part of harvest, it can pose a safety risk without caution, courtesy, and patience,” said Kristie Glaser, vice chair of the OFB Health & Safety Committee. “We’re reminding drivers to slow down, be patient, and use caution when encountering a tractor on the road.”
To help drivers share the road safely with farm equipment, the Oregon Farm Bureau (OFB) Health & Safety Committee offers a one-minute video and a free brochure with important tips for both motorists and farmers.
- Watch the video on OFB’s website
- Watch the video on OFB’s Facebook
- Watch the video on OFB’s YouTube channel
- Watch the video on OFB’s Instagram
- Watch the video and download a brochure with information for both motorists and farmers about rural road safety at https://OregonFB.org/safety
According to the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT), in 2017 there were a total of 42 crashes statewide involving farm equipment, resulting in one fatality and 32 non-fatal injuries. This is a significant increase from 2013 when there was a total of 26 crashes involving farm equipment, with no fatalities and 11 non-fatal injuries.
The Bonneville Power Administration issued today a decision to suspend its financial reserves surcharge through September 2021.“This decision is the result of a strong collaborative partnership with our customers,” said BPA Administrator and CEO Elliot Mainzer. “The steps we have taken in recent years to sustain BPA’s financial health make it possible for us to provide some measure of relief to our power customers as they work to address the economic consequences of the pandemic.”
The suspension of the surcharge, once approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, is expected to provide relief to BPA’s power customers totaling about $3 million per month for the remainder of FY 2020, and $30 million over FY 2021. The relief could come as early as July 1 if FERC issues an immediate interim rate approval.BPA uses financial reserves as a tool to maintain financial health and mitigate financial risk, as it allows BPA to continue to meet all payment obligations when its sales revenues fall short of forecast. Financial reserves, which are defined as cash on hand, short-term investments and deferred borrowing, also plays a role in how agencies determine BPA’s credit rating.
…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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