Klamath Basin News – Tuesday, 8/11 – Oregon Reports One New COVID-19 Death

The latest and most comprehensive coverage of local News, Sports, Business, and Community News stories in the Klamath Basin, Southern Oregon and around the state of Oregon from Wynne Broadcasting’s KFLS News/Talk 1450AM / 102.5FM, The Herald & News, and BasinLife.com, and powered by Mick Insurance.

TUESDAY 08/11/20

Klamath Basin Weather

Today: Sunny, with a high near 90. Light west northwest wind becoming west 8 to 13 mph in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 21 mph.

Wednesday: Sunny, with a high near 83. Light and variable wind becoming west 5 to 10 mph in the afternoon.

Thursday: Sunny, with a high near 88. Light and variable wind becoming west around 5 mph in the afternoon.

Friday: Sunny, with a high near 93.

Today’s Headlines

COVID-19 has claimed one more life in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll to 357.

Oregon Health Authority reported 227 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19 as of yesterday, bringing the state total to 21,488. Klamath County Public Health (KCPH) officials reported three new cases of COVID-19 in the community on Monday. Yesterday’s new cases brings the local count to 204. As of Monday morning, 8,211 tests have been processed for Klamath County. Please note that cases are only counted once. If a person who is positive for COVID-19 is tested more than once, the individual’s positive status is only counted one time. Oregon’s 357th COVID-19 death is an 88-year-old man in Multnomah County who tested positive on July 29 and died on August 5 in his residence. He had underlying conditions.

Troopers with Oregon State Police seized roughly three pounds of methamphetamine and a loaded handgun during a traffic stop near Klamath Falls on July 31, according to the agency.

Just after 11:30 p.m., a trooper from the Klamath Falls Area Command stopped the driver of a 2007 Chevy Tahoe for “following too closely” on Highway 97 northbound near Wocus Road, Oregon State Police said. After a drug detection K-9 from Klamath Falls Police alerted on the vehicle, the OSP trooper conducted a probable cause search. OSP said that the trooper found about three pounds of meth and a loaded .45 caliber Glock handgun during the search. Police arrested the driver, identified as 28-year-old Humberto Jacob McKissack, and passenger 28-year-old Jessica Ortiz — both from Spokane, Washington. McKissack was charged with Unlawful Possession and Delivery of Methamphetamine, Unlawful Possession of a Controlled Substance-Schedule IV and Unlawful Possession of a Firearm. Ortiz was charged with Unlawful Possession and Delivery of Methamphetamine.

Early Monday morning Klamath County Fire District One crews responded to a structure fire at the corner of Summers Lane and Clinton Avenue. The Fire was knocked down and the origin and cause is under investigation. Extensive damage was reported to the structure and at least one vehicle was destroyed in the blaze.

Traffic was brought to a standstill Monday just before noon when a five car pileup occurred at the intersection of Crater Lake Parkway and Biehn street. It was not immediately known if there were any injuries but moderate to heavy damage was reported to multiple vehicles.

Following suit with the county school district, the city schools of Klamath Falls have announced they will open fully online.

School super intendent Paul Hillyer said in a prepared statement,  “. the state has established recent stringent guidelines for school in-person opening for the new school year. These requirements require low numbers of new infections in Klamath County (seven or less) for seven consecutive days for three weeks in a row and a low positive testing rate (less than five percent) both in the county and the state for seven consecutive days for three straight weeks. Klamath County has been over the set limits of new positive cases for three out of the last four weeks.

Due to these numbers of local cases and to help parents and staff adequately prepare for the next school year, KFCS is announcing we will start the school in comprehensive distance learning for the first six weeks of the school year – through October 16 and will re-evaluate in early October for the second six-week period.” The good news, says Hillyer, is that in anticipation of this possibility, the district purchased a robust distance learning platform called Canvas last month. They also trained teacher leaders, called Canvas Coaches, in each school to help implement the new system effectively. All teachers will have training and time to implement the Canvas platform before the first student day, September 8. The KFCS board of education has prioritized having students back in school buildings as soon as possible.

The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) has lifted the recreational use health advisory issued for Odell Lake in Klamath County.

See the source image

The health authority issued the advisory July 22. Water monitoring has confirmed that the level of cyanotoxins (harmful algae toxins) in Odell Lake are below recreational guideline values for human exposure. However, officials advise recreational visitors to be alert to signs of cyanobacterial (harmful algae) blooms, because blooms can develop and disappear on any lake through the season. Only a fraction of Oregon’s lakes and streams are monitored for cyanobacterial blooms. People and especially small children and pets should avoid recreating in areas where the water is foamy, scummy, thick like paint, pea-green, blue-green or brownish red in color, if a thick mat of blue-green algae is visible in the water, or bright green cells are suspended in the water.

If you see these signs avoid activities that cause you to swallow water or inhale droplets, such as swimming or high-speed water activities. It’s possible cyanotoxins can still exist in clear water. Sometimes, cyanobacteria can move into another area, making water that once looked foamy, scummy or discolored now look clear. However, when a bloom dies elsewhere in the water body, it can release toxins that may reach into the clear water. There also are species of cyanobacteria that anchor themselves at the bottom of a water body, live in the sediment, or can grow on aquatic plants and release toxins into clear water near the surface.

The Oregon Legislature is meeting for its second special session of 2020, to try to fix a $1.2 billion revenue hole due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

While some lawmakers predict the session could be completed within a day or two, that time frame could be lengthened depending if the Legislature decides to focus on the budget or to also include bills altering policy, such as ones surrounding police reform following more than two months of sometimes violent protests in Portland after George Floyd’s killing Lawmakers must decide how to cut hundreds of millions of dollars from state agencies, whether to close prisons and how much reserve money it can tap to balance the books. Gov. Kate Brown and House Speaker Tina Kotek, D-Portland, are open to seeing legislation focused on police reform measures during the session. In addition the governor said she supports addressing business liability related to COVID-19 and coronavirus-related worker’s compensation policies.

The Pac-12 and Big Ten conferences have decided to cancel or postpone the 2020 college football season due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to reports Monday morning. TMZsports.com reported “multiple sources” have told the website the Pac-12 plans to postpone its football season with the hope of playing in the spring of 2021. The report said “some coaches and staffs have already been informed.” Jon Wilner of The Mercury News reported that the Pac-12 Conference presidents had not made the decision as of Monday morning. A domino effect will happen at many universities, as the revenue from football is essential to fund lesser revenue generating athletics. On the local level, Oregon Tech has postponed all athletic events through November.

Police declared a riot Sunday after protesters returned to the Portland Police Association for the second night in a row.

At 8 p.m., a crowd gathered at Kenton Park, located at 2351 North Kilpatrick Street. By 9:30 p.m., the group of about 200 people began marching to the PPA office in the 1800 block of North Lombard Street. When the crowd reached the office, police gave verbal warning to the crowd to not engage in criminal activities. Police said within three minutes, people in the crowd began barricading streets with dumpsters and fencing. A fire was lit on the sidewalk outside the PPA office. Just after 10 p.m., police declared unlawful assembly and told the crowd to disperse west or be subject to an arrest or citation. During the dispersal, police said commercial grade fireworks were thrown at officers. One officers was burned on her neck and her face mask partially melted. A sergeant standing about 10 feet away was injured in the leg by a piece of firework. The injured officers were treated at the scene by paramedics. Police said a riot was declared due to the direct attacks on officers. The crowd was dispersed with the majority of the group went north to Kenton Park. Police gave more warnings and hose that did not leave were moved out of the park.

Mayor Ted Wheeler is pleading with protesters to put an end to destructive demonstrations in the city.  Wheeler spoke at a news conference yesterday with Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell and other officials.  Demonstrations at police buildings this week have ended with some protesters lighting fires and vandalizing precincts.  Wheeler is urging peaceful protesters to intervene when others engage in destructive behavior or to avoid areas where destruction is likely to occur.  Wheeler adds that protesters engaging in destructive behavior risk being used as a “prop” in President Trump’s re-election campaign advertisements.

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