Klamath Basin News, Wednesday, 7/15 – Klamath Reports Two New Covid-19 Cases, Oregon With 380 New Cases

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Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Klamath Basin Weather

Today   Sunny, with a high near 94. Overnight will be clear with a low of 58.

Thursday  Sunny, with a high near 94.

Friday  Sunny, with a high near 91.

Saturday  Sunny, with a high near 92.

Sunday  Sunny, with a high near 95.

Monday   Sunny, with a high near 95.

Today’s Headlines

COVID-19 has claimed seven more lives in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll to 244, according to this morning’s report from the Oregon Health Authority. The last time Oregon saw seven deaths in a single day was on April 28.

Overnight there were 380 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19, bringing the state total to 12,805.

Klamath County reported 2 new cases

Jackson County reported 7 new cases. The average age of the seven people that died reported by OHA in the last 24 hours was 82, and all had underlying medical conditions. 

Ten new cases of COVID-19 have been identified in Josephine County, bringing the county’s total number of cases to 67.  Josephine County Public Health is investigating all cases to identify contacts and exposures and to isolate and monitor all individuals relevant to the cases. Public Health will reach out to anyone suspected of exposure to COVID-19.  Of the 67 total cases, 14 are currently presumptive and 53 are confirmed.

Tuesday at approximately 11:00AM Klamath County Sheriff’s Office deputies along with fire and EMS personnel from Chiloquin Fire & Rescue responded to a motor vehicle crash on Sprague River Rd near milepost 12 east of Chiloquin.

The vehicle went over an embankment and the driver was pronounced dead at the scene. The cause of the crash is under investigation and the drivers identity is being withheld pending notification of next of kin.

A man has been charged with homicide after a Klamath Falls woman was found badly beaten outside her burning home Friday. James Marshall Johnson, 39, is charged with homicide, tampering with evidence, assault, strangulation and menacing, according to Klamath Falls Police Department Capt. Rob Dentinger.

Johnson is the son-in-law of Joan Pittennger, 69, who lived in the 100 block of Wendling Street. When officers arrived to the scene Friday night, they found Pittennger badly beaten, with a weak pulse and her home on fire. Johnson had fled the scene by the time police arrived. He was arrested Saturday night by Klamath Falls police. Officers determined the fire at the residence had been intentionally set and suspected Johnson in the arson as well as the beating.

Dentinger said the house was not destroyed. Pittennger was transported from the scene to Sky Lakes Medical Center and was flown to another area hospital where she died. Johnson is also accused of assaulting his wife, Pittennger’s daughter. Dentinger said Johnson and his wife were planning to divorce.

Around the State of Oregon

The Oregon State Police is requesting the public’s assistance in identifying the person(s) responsible for shooting at several vehicles on Interstate 5 between Roseburg and Grants Pass. 

In the last several weeks OSP has investigated 5 vehicles that have been struck by bullets on Interstate 5 between milepost 67 and 100. No injuries have been reported.If you are traveling in the area and believe your vehicle has been struck with a bullet please call 911, note the time, location and if possible continue out of the area.  If you have information regarding the shootings or if you believe your vehicle has been struck please contact the Oregon State Police Southern Command Center at 1-800-442-2068 or *OSP – Reference OSP Case #SP20-173444.

In Medford on July, 13th, 2020, an autopsy was conducted of the decendent, who has been identified as Ronald Leroy Satterfield, 48 years old. Next of kin have been notified.

The manner of death was determined to be homicide and the cause of death was sharp force trauma. The weapon, believed to be a knife, used in the homicide has not been located.  Detectives and Jackson County Search and Rescue have checked the area and surrounding neighbhoods with negative results.The case will be presented to a Grand Jury today. On Saturday, July 11th, Medford Police Department responded to a report of an assault with a weapon which occurred in a field behind the Albertson’s shopping center, 113 N Ross Lane.

Upon officers arrival they located a 48 year old homeless male that was suffering from several stab wounds.  The Medford Fire Department and Mercy Flights paramedics attempted life saving measures, but utimitely the victim died at the scene.  A perimeter was quickly established and after searching for approximately two hours the suspect was located and arrested without incident.  The suspect has been identified as 18 year old, Ethan Gabriel Guitierrez DOB: 02-02-2002 – No known address. 

Oregon Recovers Nearly one-Third of Covid-19 Job Losses in June Statistics Release

Oregon’s total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 56,600 jobs in June, following a gain of 26,100 jobs in May.

Over the past two months, employers added back nearly one-third of the jobs that were cut in March and April.Over-the-month job gains in June were largest in leisure and hospitality (+31,400 jobs); retail trade (+6,800); health care and social assistance (+6,200); and other services (+5,700). None of the major industries cut a substantial number of jobs in June.Several major industries have regained around half the jobs they lost in March and April. 

In June, Oregon’s unemployment rate was very close to the U.S. unemployment rate; the U.S. rate dropped to 11.1 percent in June from 13.3 percent in May.

The Oregon Legislative Emergency Board approved more than $200 million from the Coronavirus Relief Fund for Oregonians and small businesses in need on Tuesday.

The money will be divided up the following ways: $25.6 million in emergency assistance for small businesses facing financial shortfalls. This supports businesses with no more than 25 employees that have not received support under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) or other provisions of the federal CARES Act. $50 million to support music, culture, and community venues and organizations that have been closed, canceled or postponed. $62 million to the Oregon Cares Fund for Black Relief and Resiliency to provide economic relief to Black individuals and businesses.

National and state data show that the Black community is one of the communities experiencing a disproportionate share of negative economic and health effects due to COVID-19. $30 million to the COVID-19 Leave Fund for workers who contract or have been exposed to the virus but do not qualify for traditional sick leave. $35 million to fund $500 Emergency Relief Checks to Oregonians who are still waiting for unemployment benefits. The Emergency Board also allocated $3.58 million in general funds for emergency water infrastructure to the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs as the tribe faces an ongoing water crisis.

Josephine County Emergency Management is distributing a free mask to any resident in need. The masks will be made available in four different locations and times on July 16 across Josephine County.

 Emergency Management received many non-medical grade face masks for public distribution from the Oregon Office of Emergency Management. One reusable (but not washable) mask is available for each adult per household.

 “This will be helpful for those immediately in need of a mask to help slow the spread of COVID-19 in our community,” said Sara Rubrecht, Josephine County emergency manager. “However, citizens should also make sure to have access to a few reusable and washable face coverings or face shields for everyday use.”

 A percentage of masks were set aside specifically for small businesses (those with fewer than 50 employees); these can be requested directly through the Grants Pass & Josephine County Chamber of Commerce and the Illinois Valley Chamber of Commerce. A flier explaining the use and care of the mask will be included as part of the distribution.

 Masks will be distributed July 16 at the following locations:

  • In Grants Pass
    • Josephine County Fairgrounds (1451 Fairgrounds Road)
    • 10 a.m. to noon and 4-6 p.m.
  • In the Illinois Valley
    • Illinois Valley Family Coalition (535 E. River St., Cave Junction)
    • 10 a.m. to noon
  • In Williams
    • Williams Fire Station (211 E. Fork Road)
    • 4-6 p.m.
  • In Wolf Creek
    • Wolf Creek Community Center (100 Railroad Ave.)
    • 10 a.m. to noon

Those receiving masks are asked to observe the following procedures:

  • When you reach the front of the line, put your car in park, stay in your car
  • Hold up fingers to show number of face masks you need
  • Roll down your window to receive your flier and face coverings
  • Maintain respectful distancing to keep everything running smoothly

A group pushing to have eastern and southern Oregon join the state of Idaho has filed a federal lawsuit to lower the number of signatures needed to appear on the ballot in Oregon counties.

Chief petitioners for Move Oregon’s Border for a Greater Idaho said that they filed the complaint in U.S. District Court on June 30, immediately filing a motion for a temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction. The group said that it filed the lawsuit “in light of the COVID-19 situation” to reduce the number of signatures needed in rural Oregon counties.

A hearing is scheduled for July 20 before Judge Michael McShane in Eugene. According to the group, Judge McShane granted relief in a “similar case” for a statewide ballot initiative, People Not Politicians, which would create a bipartisan redistricting commission in Oregon in an effort to prevent gerrymandering.

The Portland Police Department took to Twitter early Tuesday to declare a riot amid protests outside the city’s police union headquarters and urged protesters to leave the area or be subjected to tear gas or other munitions.

The protest involved more than 200 people who faced off with over two dozen police officers in riot gear in front of the one-story building. The paper reported that police formed a line and the crowd chanted, “George Floyd” and “quit your job.” Police posted an image of a police officer who appeared to be doused with white paint and showed a ball bearing and glass bottles that were allegedly tossed at cops. The paper reported that despite calls from police to leave, many protesters remained.

On Monday, July 13, 2020 at approximately 3:40 P.M., Oregon State Police Troopers and emergency personnel responded to a single vehicle crash on Interstate 5 near milepost 39.

Preliminary investigation revealed a 2002 Ford F250, operated by Harry Sprangel (79) of Medford, pulling a Arctic Fox travel trailer was northbound when it left the roadway and overturned.  The vehicle caught fire with the two occupants still inside.  An OSP Trooper and witnesses extinguished the fire and extricated Harry Sprangel from the vehicle. He was transported to the hospital for injuries.

The passenger, Jilleen Sprangel (82) of Medford, sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced deceased.    OSP was assisted by Jackson County Fire District 3 and ODOT.

A 26-year-old man was killed when struck by a rolling log in Josephine County. Josephine County Sheriff’s Office responded just before 11 a.m. Sunday to a remote area West of Picket Creek, where they found Cody Anderson dead.

Anderson had been hit “by a rolling log which he was cutting with a chainsaw,” officers said. based on information at the scene. No further details were provided. The logging crew, Rural Metro Fire, AMR and the Sheriff’s Office recovered Anderson’s body, which was released to a funeral home.

lawsuit filed last week on behalf of 13 jobless Oregonians seeks a series of reforms at the Oregon Employment Department to address months of unpaid benefits and assist claimants who don’t speak English.

Separately, the union representing the department’s claims processors said Monday the state will now allow at least 20 workers to do their jobs from home – a step the employment department had resisted for months. The pilot program follows a coronavirus outbreak last week that infected five workers at the department’s Gresham office, prompting its closure.

And state lawmakers are scheduled to vote Tuesday on a proposal to set aside $35 million in federal relief funds to make $500 payments to Oregonians who have not received unemployment benefits during pandemic. Some have been waiting for months.

The developments are the latest efforts to address a succession of failures at the employment department that have left tens of thousands of out-of-work Oregonians waiting for months for their benefits.

Today the Oregon Health Leadership Council and Oregon Health Authority released Better Health for Oregonians: Opportunities to Reduce Low-Value Care, a new report that seeks to lower the cost of health care by partnering with the medical community to identify low-value services.

The report defines low value care as medical treatments, tests and procedures that have been shown by the medical community, through evidence and research, to provide little benefit in specific clinical scenarios. Examples include opioids prescribed for lower back pain in the first four weeks, or imaging for uncomplicated headaches. It uses the Milliman MedInsight Health Waste Calculator, a software tool designed to analyze insurance claims data to identify and quantify low value health care services.

The report examined 47 measures over a three-year period (2016, 2017, 2018) for all lines of business (commercial, Medicaid and Medicare). Each measure evaluates a common treatment, test or procedure that is regularly used within the medical community. Findings showed widespread delivery of low value services across all measured populations.

Oregonians now have the choice to get a Real ID the next time they renew their driver license or ID card.

On July 6, the Oregon DMV began issuing Real ID-compliant licenses and ID cards to Oregonians who meet the federal requirements and bring the required documentation to their DMV appointment. Although a standard license or ID card is still available, some are choosing to get a Real ID-compliant card so that they are prepared for changes to TSA travel requirements next year.

In October 2021, the Transportation Security Administration will begin requiring identification that complies with federal Real ID standards to pass through airport security when boarding a domestic flight. The new ID requirements also apply to identification you use when entering a secure federal site, such as a military base.

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