Klamath Basin News, Wednesday, 7/1 – Face Masks Required for Oregonians in All Indoor Spaces Beginning Today

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.

WEDNESDAY, JULY 1, 2020

Klamath Basin Weather

Today   Sunny, with a high near 74. Overnight, clear with a low around 43.

Thursday   Sunny, with a high near 81.

Friday   Sunny, with a high near 83.

Saturday, Independence Day   Sunny, with a high near 83.

Sunday   Sunny, with a high near 82.

Monday   Sunny, with a high near 82.

Tuesday   Sunny, with a high near 81.

Today’s Headlines

COVID-19 has claimed three more lives in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll to 207, the Oregon Health Authority reported this morning.

The OHA reported 181 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19 as of late yesterday, bringing the state total to 8,656.

Jackson County had five new cases, here in Klamath County three new cases were reported overnight.  Two more in Lake County and 2 in Josephine County wrap up the soutbern region numbers for the past 24 hours.

Throughout the state of Oregon, new cases reported are in the following counties: Clackamas (19), Coos (1), Deschutes (10), Jackson (5), Jefferson (12), Josephine (2), Klamath (3), Lake (2), Lane (7), Lincoln (3), Linn (4), Malheur (7), Marion (25), Multnomah (38), Polk (2), Umatilla (9), Union (10), Wasco (1), Washington (18), and Yamhill (3).

A reminder today, that Oregonians statewide will be required to wear face coverings in indoor public spaces starting today, ordered by Governor Kate Brown.

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.

Beginning today, July 1st, Oregonians must wear masks in indoor public spaces.

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.

Governor Kate Brown said on Tuesday that she has extended the “coronavirus state of emergency declaration” for an additional 60 days, until the beginning of September — delivering a message to Oregonians that they “have a choice” to help save lives in the coming days.

An emergency declaration serves as the legal underpinning for all of the coronavirus-related executive orders issued by Governor Brown since Oregon’s outbreak began in earnest during the month of March. Extending the emergency declaration allows for those orders to stay in effect. Brown’s office said that she would “review and reevaluate” each of her emergency orders every 60 days to see if they need to be continued, changed, or removed

The body of a deceased woman was reported at 10:55 p.m. Friday, June 26 in Klamath Falls, according to the Klamath Falls Police Department.

The investigation into her death continues. She leaves behind six children. KFPD noted that the body was that of a 37 year old local woman. Her identity has not yet been released. The body was found near Planet Fitness on S 6th Street in Klamath Falls after it was reported by a private citizen. KFPD said it looked like the woman’s death had been fairly recent. Preliminary investigation has not revealed anything suspicious about the circumstances surrounding the woman’s death, but investigation into the incident is ongoing.

At 6,200 feet, Hogback Mountain is one of the tallest peaks in close proximity to downtown Klamath Falls. A moderate 3.5-mile hike to the summit affords sweeping views of the city, suburbs, farmland and surrounding mountain landscapes. But Foothills Christian Fellowship, which sits at the trailhead, is struggling to balance allowing hikers to access their parking lot while maintaining their facility.

The problem, said Foothills Pastor Denny Roberts, involves both the parking lot and the trail. FCF’s parking lot sits next to a gated gas line road that feeds into a trail going along the ridge of the mountain, making it the closest publicly accessible parking area to the trailhead even though it’s on private land.

Hikers have parked here to summit Hogback for years, and Roberts said the church has been happy to accommodate them. But the parking lot’s accessibility has been a double-edged sword: FCF staff said they’ve found trash and skid marks left by teenagers loitering in the parking lot at night. Roberts said a solution would be to develop a smaller gravel area south of the parking lot and adjacent to the gas line road.

Hikers could leave their cars there instead of at the church’s parking lot, which could then be gated off at night without worrying about trapping cars. But while the church owns that land, it can’t afford to develop and maintain it. Roberts said he’s open to a partnership with the city or another local organization to construct a trailhead-specific parking lot, but so far nothing has materialized.

Tips for a safe Fourth of July

The safest choice this holiday is to celebrate at home. If you choose to celebrate in other ways, activities that take place outdoors, allow for enough room to maintain physical distancing and involve fewer people are lower risk than activities that take place indoors, don’t allow for physical distancing and involve more people. Below are some extra tips for enjoying the holiday safely:

  • Stay home if you’re sick or if you have an underlying medical condition that puts you at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19.
  • If you host a gathering, provide hand sanitizer or give people easy access to places where they can frequently wash their hands.
  • Adjust your food offerings to avoid sharing utensils and offer individual servings. Don’t share drinks.
  • During and afterward thoroughly clean all frequently touched areas your guests have access to.
  • Wear a mask if you cannot maintain 6 feet of physical distance.

By knowing and understanding the risk of our actions and activities, we can make informed decisions that not only impact our own health but also protect the health of everyone around us.

Sanford Children’s Clinic Nurse Teams Up with Healthy Klamath to Feed Hungry Families

In February, Katie Walker, a nurse with Sanford Children’s Clinic, reached out to community partners in hopes of helping her patients that are food insecure. Since her initial efforts in February, she has teamed up with the Healthy Klamath Coalition. In the past four months, the duo has been awarded grant funding in the amount of $12,500.

The funds from organizations such as Costco, Cigna, Sanford Foundation, and the Northwest Farm Credit Bureau will be used to create a food pantry at Sanford Children’s Clinic.  With this program, patients that screen as food insecure are referred by clinic nurses and providers with a “prescription” to the pantry and offered a bag of healthy nonperishable food items and an invitation to return twice a month over the subsequent two months to help promote physical health, prevent future illness and facilitate recovery.  

In addition to the food and resources received from the pantry, Sanford Children’s Clinic has become a Produce Connection site.   Each week, families are invited to come to the clinic to receive fresh produce for their household and increase access to nutritious food.  They estimate that around 1500 families will benefit from their efforts.  

“There have been many times we have had patients in our clinic who complained of being hungry and our staff took the time to pick something out of our own lunch or our snack drawer to feed those patients,” says Walker.   “As a result, we have started a clinic-based food pantry where we can feed the minds, hearts and bellies of those kids and their families. This program will not be a fix all by any means, but it could be the bridge that family needs to get through a rough patch, and maybe we can help them get aligned with other community food programs that they may or may not already be part of.”

The project addresses nutrition related illness and under-nutrition for low-income patients and their families who are food insecure.  Food insecurity is a condition in which people cannot reliably access adequate affordable and nutritious food.  The complications of food insecurity are far reaching and include reductions in health outcomes and quality of life.  Food insecurity has multiple dimensions, and does not necessarily mean people are suffering from hunger.  It can occur from hunger or limitation of food, lack of nutritious and safe foods, abnormal eating patterns, and consumption of foods with higher counts of calories and carbs, contributing to the adverse risk of acquiring chronic health conditions.

“Nutrition and food are essential to the development of our children. As a community, we feel that we cannot ignore this basic need, and we are excited to help Katie realize her vision,” says Merritt Driscoll, Executive Director of Blue Zones Project and Co-Chair of the Healthy Klamath Coalition.  “Giving people access to resources to take care of their family is one way we can help reduce hunger in Klamath County.”

Those interested in getting involved in the Healthy Klamath Coalition or learning more about the ongoing health and wellness initiatives in our community are encouraged to reach out via email to info@healthyklamath.org or visit www.healthyklamath.org.

Country Financial is pleased to name Basin Ambulance Service District as a 2020 recipient of a COUNTRY Financial Operation Helping Heroes donation, according to a news release.

Country Financial representative Gary Cheyne recently presented a $2,500 donation to the organization. Basin Ambulance Service District is a volunteer-run ambulance service based in Malin, Oregon. The donation will go toward the purchase of a new stair chair, a device to evacuate or transport wheelchair users, injured or disabled people up or down stairways. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact communities across the U.S. and add pressure to the nation’s hospitals, healthcare workers and first responders, COUNTRY Financial is stepping in to provide funds for much-needed equipment and supplies. Through its Operation Helping Heroes program, the company will donate $3 million to first responders, medical workers and military service members in the communities it does business in.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon has filed a class-action lawsuit against Portland Police and the city on behalf of journalists and legal observers who they say were targeted and attacked by the police while documenting protests.

The suit in Federal District Court in Portland says police have used tear gas, pepper spray, shot rubber bullets and thrown flash bangs directly at both journalists and legal observers. The filings also say police have arrested journalists and legal observers. The complaint lists six primary plaintiffs—two ACLU observers and four journalists—and includes others similarly situated. Matt Borden, an attorney and partner at Braunhagey & Borden serving as co-counsel with the ACLU, said the lawsuit is intended to try to stop the police from attacking and assaulting legal observers and reporters in the future.

The ban on evictions in Oregon is extended through the end of September. During the special legislative session, Oregon lawmakers passed House Bill 4213, which extended the moratorium on both commercial and residential properties in Oregon. The moratorium allows Oregonians to remain in their businesses and homes without the risk of eviction until after least September 30. The bill also allows for six-month grace period to pay back any rent that has not been paid during the moratorium.

The Bookie Joint bookstore at the downtown Klamath County Library will reopen to shoppers on Tuesday, July 7th at 10am.

There are some temporary restrictions in place to combat the spread of COVID-19. Here’s what you need to know: The Bookie Joint will have reduced open hours.

The store will be open from 10 am to 2 pm on Tuesdays and from noon to 4 pm on Saturdays. Masks are required for entry. Only four shoppers will be allowed in the store at a time. You can only enter and exit the shop through the outdoor entrance on South Third Street. (Yes, this does mean that folks who want to visit both the bookstore and the downtown Klamath County Library will have to go around the block to enter the library through the Klamath Avenue entrance. The JO2GO coffee stand inside The Bookie Joint will remain closed until further notice. For more information, please call 541-882-8894.

For 38 years, Rocky Point Fire & EMS Rocky Point Fire & EMS has hosted the annual Rocky Point Summer Festival that grew from a couple dozen people crowded around a hot dog covered gas grill, bingo, and a few auction items to a more than 600-person event with parade, vendors, BBQ lunch, beer wagon, live music, auction, flea market, bake sale, and more.  

As guests visited, shopped, and bid, the fire department annually generated $15,000 – 20,000 for the general operating budget of this small rural volunteer department. Then came COVID-19. On Saturday, July 18, 2020, they will still welcome guests to the online auction. They invite you to bid often and check the listings for new items, added along until the auction ends July 19. Thank you to the generous individuals and businesses who donated toward this important fundraiser. When you bid, you are contributing to the health and safety of Southern Oregon.

AROUND THE STATE

Fireworks Safety Reminder

What do you get when you mix fireworks with tinder dry vegetation?  A disaster that’s just waiting to happen.  After a two year reprieve, we have returned to a hot and dry summer. These conditions help set the stage for the possibility of a small fire to get out of hand.

The use of fireworks inside of the Grants Pass City Limits is prohibited.  However, on July 4th if allowed by the City Fire Marshal, between the hours of 6:00pm and 11:00pm, residents may use fireworks, except in all City parks, schools and the Urban/Wildland Interface areas.  The Urban/Wildland Interface areas are: (also see maps attached)

1.            The area west of Highland Ave. and Dimmick St., North of the railroad tracks

2.            The area north of Interstate 5

3.            Panoramic Loop Area

4.            Overland Drive Area

5.            Haviland Drive Area between Cloverlawn and Linden

6.            All City parks

7.            Any area posted: “NO FIREWORKS ALLOWED”

BE PREPARED before lighting fireworks!

–              Use only Oregon legal fireworks

–              Make sure fireworks are allowed in your neighborhood.

–              Store fireworks out of children’s reach.

–              Always read and follow label directions.

–              Place pets indoors; they are easily frightened by fireworks.

–              Always have water handy (a garden hose or bucket of water).

BE SAFE when lighting fireworks.

–              An adult should always light fireworks.

–              Keep matches and lighters away from children.

–              Use fireworks outdoors only.

–              Light one firework at a time.

–              Keep children and pets away from fireworks.

–              Do not throw fireworks or hold in your hand.

BE RESPONSIBLE after lighting fireworks.

–              Soak used fireworks thoroughly in a bucket of water.

–              Dispose of used fireworks and debris properly.

–              Never re-light a “dud” firework (wait 15 to 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water).

The Oregon Department of Human Services and the Oregon Health Authority are upgrading the eligibility system Oregonians use to apply for health coverage.

The upgrade is the first milestone in a larger project to make it easier for Oregonians to apply for health and human services benefits. As we transition from the old system to the new one, there are two important considerations to be aware of:

  1. The online application will be unavailable from July 2-5 while the upgrade is in progress.
  2. Online applications that are not submitted by 4:00 p.m. PDT on July 2, 2020, cannot be transferred to the new system during the upgrade and will have to be restarted.

For Oregonians applying for Oregon Health Plan benefits online, it is important to complete those applications by July 2 or wait to start the application after July 6. Paper applications and applications completed over the phone are not impacted.

The Oregon Department of Public Safety Standards and Training (DPSST) serves two important roles in our state’s criminal justice system.

The first, establishing minimum state standards for training and certification of more than 41,000 public and private safety professionals.  The second, providing a comprehensive basic training program for all newly hired law enforcement professionals, and supporting professional development by offering advanced and leadership training opportunities.  DPSST accomplishes its work in partnership with the 24-member Board on Public Safety Standards and Training (BPSST or Board) which is made-up of various public safety stakeholders including a citizen member.

The tragic death of George Floyd due to the actions of Minneapolis police officers has led to lots of discussions, both in Oregon and around the nation, regarding police training and accountability.  The actions of the Minneapolis police officers are inexcusable.  While DPSST has always actively engaged with stakeholders, it was of the utmost importance for us to pause our work as we mourned the death of Mr. Floyd and listened to the questions and concerns being raised about policing in our state and nation.  Many of the questions within our state have been regarding the training and accountability of Oregon law enforcement officers.

To address these questions, to share information, and to answer questions, over the past two weeks DPSST held a number of virtual sessions specifically for local community leaders, elected officials, state legislators, and media.  One session addressed Oregon’s criminal justice professional standards system.  Another focused specifically on police use of force training in Oregon offered by DPSST.  And the last covered the basic police training program offered at DPSST to all newly hired city, county, state, tribal, and university law enforcement professionals.  Participants had the ability to ask questions of DPSST staff during each of these sessions.

Each of the sessions were recorded and have been posted for viewing on the DPSST webpage at https://www.oregon.gov/dpsst/CJ/Pages/InformationalFiles.aspx   While each of the presentations covered the same information, each generated different questions based on the background and specific interests of those participating.  We have also posted the responses to the questions that were asked and are in the process of completing this document as we gather the information for those questions that need an answer.

DPSST’s new and improved webpage now includes the content of the 16-week DPSST Basic Police Course. This link https://www.oregon.gov/dpsst/CPE/Pages/curriculum-facilitator-development.aspx#curriculum_overviews will take you to the accordion where the information can be found.

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

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