Klamath Basin News, Thursday, 10/1 – A Third Death in the County from Covid-19

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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.

Thursday, October 1, 2020

Klamath Basin Weather

Today  Sunny, with a high near 88.

Friday  Sunny, with a high near 87.

Saturday  Sunny, with a high near 87.

Sunday Sunny, with a high near 84.

Monday Sunny, with a high near 83.

Tuesday Sunny, with a high near 84.

Today’s Headlines

Oregon reports 220 new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases, four new deaths

COVID-19 has claimed four more lives in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll to 559, the Oregon Health Authority reported this morning.   OHA also reported 220 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19 as of 12:01 a.m. today, bringing the state total to 33,509.

The new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases reported today are in the following counties: Baker (3), Benton (4), Clackamas (17), Clatsop (3), Columbia (2), Coos (2), Deschutes (14), Douglas (4), Jackson (19), Josephine (1), Klamath (1), Lake (1), Lane (29), Linn (7), Malheur (8), Marion (35), Morrow (4), Multnomah (20), Umatilla (6), Wallowa (1), Washington (35), and Yamhill (5).

Klamath County Public Health (KCPH) officials reported the third COVID-19-related death in the county on Wednesday, along with a new case of COVID-19 in the community. The local case count is 291. This week’s count is 11.

The deceased was a 44-year-old man who had underlying health conditions. He died at Sky Lakes Medical Center. Day and time of death are pending release and were not immediately available.

Meanwhile, Jackson county reported it’s sixth COVID-19 related death, Wednesday morning. Jackson County Public Health says the patient was a 61-year-old man who tested positive September 21st, and died at Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center. The patient had underlying medical conditions. Jackson County also reported 19 new cases Wednesday, which brought the total number of cases to 1,190. Statewide,

The Oregon Health Authority updated its harmful algal bloom advisory for Upper Klamath Lake on Tuesday, changing the impacted area from Moore Park to Howard Bay. The original recreational use advisory went into effect on September 16.

Cyanobacteria are a family of tiny aquatic plants that form algae-like blooms in slow-moving, warm, nutrient-rich bodies of water. The bacteria can produce toxins that are harmful to mammals and fish if ingested. OHA detected microcystin concentrations at 100 parts per billion in water samples taken near Moore Park earlier this month.

Samples taken from Howard Bay on September 28 showed 99 parts per billion. Microcystin’s recreational use value — the threshold for issuing a cyanotoxin advisory — is just 8 parts per billion.

When inhaled or swallowed, water containing high concentrations of microcystin can cause food poisoning-like symptoms, numbness, tingling, dizziness or shortness of breath in humans. The OHA release said the toxin cannot be boiled, filtered or treated by household equipment. Because the toxin can accumulate in fish, the release recommended removing the skin, fat and organs from caught fish before cooking or freezing them.

Hosanna Christian and Triad Schools have merged.  Currently, K-3 students are attending in person and distance learning is in place for grades 4-12. Hamlin is the principal for both campuses, which this year will continue at the buildings that housed Triad and Hosanna.

Plans are in the works to have one unified campus at the former Hosanna Christian school for the 2021-2022 school year. For now, Hosanna will be known as the Gatewood campus and Triad called the Altamont campus. School board members from each former school have come together to form the Hosanna-Triad School board while committees look into rebranding as a new, unified school. That includes coming up with a new name, new mascot and new school colors.

Things to know regarding the November 3, 2020 – General Election

1. The last day to register as a new voter is October 13. Postmarks DO count. You can register online at: oregonvotes.gov or come to the County Clerk’s office, 305 Main St.

Once registered, you can update your information anytime.

2. Voters’ Pamphlets will be delivered to every household between October 5th-9th.

3. Klamath County Elections has received nothing that validates concerns that you will not receive your ballot via the USPS mail service. Ballots will be mailed October 14. Remember that postmarks DO NOT count on ballots, and that voted ballots must be received in the Elections Office or in any official drop site by 8pm on Election Day. All ballots now have a pre-paid postage return envelope (we recommend to mail no later than Wednesday, October 28). All ballots come from your local county; you will not receive a separate ballot from Washington DC or Salem.

4. If you have not received your ballot by Tuesday, October 20 (5th business day after mailed), please contact our office to request a replacement ballot over the phone (541) 883-5134, through email elections@klamathcounty.org, or come in and fill out a ballot replacement form and we will hand it to you at the counter.

5. Official Drop Sites are listed on the backside of the ballot and on the Klamath County Website. http://www.klamathcounty.org/685/Drop-Sites

6. You can still observe the election, but no more than two at a time, to adhere to best practices for the prevention of COVID-19 virus. Please call (541.883.5134) or email (elections@klamathcounty.org) to schedule a time to observe.

7. The sheriff race will be on the ballot, this is not a mistake. The sheriff has to be elected in a general election, per the Oregon Constitution. The current candidate received the majority of the votes in the Primary, therefore, he moves on to the General Election on his own.

8. Those turning 18 on or before November 3 will be mailed a ballot October 14, if they are registered to vote. They do not have to wait until the day of their birthday to return the ballot.

9. Everything on your ballot you can vote; it is designed for your residence address. You must reside within the city to have city candidates on your ballot. No Voter Party affiliations are printed on the ballot or envelope. Contact the Klamath County Clerk’s Office with any questions (541) 883-5134.

Kenny Rogers Tribute Show at the Ross Ragland Theater this weekend

Robin Schwartz puts the “R” in Rogers on Oct. 1st, 2nd and 3rd @ 7:30pm at the Ross Ragland Theater!

Robin will swoon you with Kenny Rogers greatest hits as a solo country star and as a 60’s protest rocker with his band “Kenny Rogers and the First Edition.” From “Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love to Town”, and “I Just Dropped In”; to his iconic country hits “The Gambler” and “Lucille.

The band includes local legends Marv Strom on guitar, Paul Walborn on bass, Devin Walden on drums, David Huckins on keys, and Schwartz’s long-time performance partner Greg Dunton on guitar, with a surprise or two up his sleeve! A special guest appearance will be made by renowned local folk singer Bonnie Hay. Bonnie will be performing a couple of duets with Schwartz as well as a song of her own. This show was originally scheduled for May but was canceled due to Covid-19.

In the interim, Mr. Rogers passed away, making this tribute show even more poignant. Schwartz other shows have included tributes to Tony Bennett and Neil Diamond, and, with Dunton, The Smothers Brothers, Simon and Garfunkle, and numerous other musical/comedy revues. They adhere to a formula that always includes quality music, humor, and audience participation.

Tickets are $20.00 with Student, Senior and Military discounts available and can be purchased at rrtheater.org, by calling 541-884-LIVE or stopping by our Box Office M-F from 12-5.

Around the state of Oregon

The closure order for the Brattain Fire on the Paisley Ranger District of the Fremont-Winema National Forest was updated yesterday, reducing the overall size of the closure area.

While some recreation sites are now open and accessible, many popular recreation sites remain closed as a result of the Brattain Fire.

Marster Spring, Chewaucan Crossing and Jones Crossing Campgrounds, Withers Lake and the Fremont National Recreation Trail in the area remain closed.

“We understand with hunting season people want to get back to the areas they have traditionally used.  Unfortunately, this season, the burned areas are dangerous and unstable and we need people to not drive, ride or hike in the blackened forest and rangelands,” Imler said.

The Forest is still under Public Use Restrictions and in the extreme fire danger category.  There is no estimate of when they may be lifted.  Conditions are unusually dry and there are continued hot temperatures, low humidity and no precipitation.  Those recreating in the forest are asked to comply with current fire restrictions, which includes limiting campfires to fire-rings in approved sites.

The public is urged to use caution with anything that can throw a spark and to strongly consider whether a campfire is necessary, including in the approved sites.  If there is a campfire, please don’t leave it unattended and make sure it is drowned, dead-out and cold to the touch before leaving. Anyone driving on open roads near the Brattain Fire area should watch for increased traffic and vehicles associated with wildland firefighting.  Smoke will be visible within the fire perimeter until season-ending snows.

All closure orders can be found on the Fremont-Winema National Forest website at www.fs.usda.gov/fremont-winema under “Alerts and Notices”.

For more information on the Fremont-Winema National Forest, visit www.fs.usda.gov/fremont-winema, follow the Forest on Twitter @FremontWinemaNF or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/R6FWNF.

Oregon’s largest hunting season (any legal weapon deer) begins Saturday, with general season hunting in Western Oregon and controlled deer hunting in Eastern Oregon. Last year, 105,481 hunters participated in these seasons. Hunters, remember to pick up your deer tag no later than Friday Oct. 2, which is also the deadline to purchase cougar tags and your first fall bear tag. If you got a Sports Pac, you still need to pick up your tag by the deadline at a license agent or “purchase” it (at no additional cost) on the licensing system. Many public lands are still closed due to Oregon’s unprecedented wildfires and fire danger, including parts of Willamette, Mt Hood and Umpqua National Forests. Santiam State Forest is also closed. Some BLM lands are closed including all public lands east of I-5 in Multnomah, Clackamas and Marion counties. Hunters need to check with the land manager where they intend to hunt for the latest on access and fire restrictions before they go hunting. Access can change quickly so check back often.

ODFW offices remain closed to visitors due to Covid-19 precautions, but anyone who needs help with their account or tag can reach out to Licensing via email or phone (odfw.websales@state.or.us, 503-947-6101) or ODFW on social media (@MyODFW on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram).

Oregon paid out $225 million in unemployment bonuses to 148,000 people on Wednesday, the first day the state began issuing the $300 weekly bonuses. The money comes from an executive order President Donald Trump issued last month; it pays $300 a week for Oregonians who claimed jobless benefits between July 26 and Sept. 5. Oregon is paying the money retroactively to cover the weeks when laid-off or furloughed workers were eligible. Another 87,000 Oregonians may be eligible for the payments, according to the Oregon Employment Department. Most workers must certify their eligibility. Others who have already certified their eligibility may be getting their payments within the next few days. The $300 weekly bonus was a temporary replacement to a $600 weekly bonus that Congress approved in March as part of a coronavirus relief package. That bonus expired in July and Congress has been unable to agree on a replacement.

Missing Children
Kysa Sanders, age 12, and Stella Hines, age 14, are foster children who went missing together from the Lake Oswego area on Sept 26, 2020. They are believed to be in danger.

Admir Mrsic, age 13, who went missing with Kysa Sanders and Stella Hines, was located on Sept. 30.

Kysa Sanders and Stella Hines are suspected to be together and in the Portland Metro area. They are believed to have been seen around the Clackamas Town Center Mall in Clackamas, areas of downtown Portland and the Pearl District.

The Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS), Child Welfare Program, asks the public to help in the effort to find these children and to contact 911, local law enforcement or the Oregon Child Abuse Hotline at 1-855-503-SAFE (7233) if they have seen them or have information about them.  

Kysa Sanders

Name: Kysa Sanders
Date of birth: Dec. 12, 2007
Height: 5’9
Weight: 145
Eye color: Blue
Hair: Dark/strawberry Blonde/ light brown worn straight and long
Lake Oswego Police Department Case: #20-6757

Stella Hines

Name: Stella Hines
Date of birth: July 17, 2006
Height: 5’5
Weight: 155
Eye color: Hazel
Hair color: Black worn shoulder length hair with bangs
Other identifying information: Stella wears braces and she has a nose piercing. Stella is a member of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation.
Lake Oswego Police Department Case: #20-6757

Anyone who suspects they have information about any of these children’s location should call 911, local law enforcement or the Oregon Child Abuse Hotline at 1-855-503-SAFE (7233).

A small number of children in foster care may be in significant danger when they run away or have gone missing. As ODHS works to do everything it can to find these missing children and ensure their safety, media alerts will be issued in some circumstances when it is determined necessary. Sometimes, in these situations, a child may go missing repeatedly, resulting in more than one media alert for the same child.

Report child abuse to the Oregon Child Abuse Hotline by calling 1-855-503-SAFE (7233).  This toll-free number allows you to report abuse of any child or adult to the Oregon Department of Human Services, 24 hours a day, seven days a week and 365 days a year.

The mayor of Portland has asked U.S. officials to end the federal deputation of dozens of police officers in Oregon’s largest city as part of the response to ongoing protests in the city.

Mayor Ted Wheeler said late Tuesday that he had “asked the U.S. attorney’s office to withdraw the designation” that deputized the officers. Deputizing the Portland officers gives federal prosecutors the option to charge anyone arrested by those officers with federal crimes, which often come with more severe penalties than the state crimes for which local police usually make arrests.

It also could allow law enforcement a way around Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt’s decision not to file state charges against hundreds of protesters who were arrested for lower-level and non-violent offenses, a policy that has angered some in the law enforcement community. Portland has seen protests almost every night for more than four months since George Floyd was killed by police in Minneapolis. Many of them end in vandalism of police and government buildings and violence against police officers.

Each October, Open Enrollment begins for Medicare Advantage and Part D prescription drug plans. Medicare plans and drug formularies change each year, so it is important for Oregonians who are enrolled in Medicare to evaluate their plan options and make changes during open enrollment, which is from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7.

In a pandemic, this year is no different. The Oregon Senior Health Insurance Benefits Assistance (SHIBA) program is still available to help, but only remotely at this time.

“In normal times, Medicare is a complex program,” said Chiqui Flowers, Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace and SHIBA administrator. “During the COVID-19 pandemic, open enrollment will be harder to navigate, but we are available to serve beneficiaries and we’ll get through this hard time together.”

To help stop the spread of the virus and to keep counselors and vulnerable Medicare beneficiaries safe, SHIBA will be providing only phone, email, and web meeting counseling sessions until further notice. All Medicare open enrollment information sessions will be held virtually through live and recorded webinars available on SHIBA’s website, SHIBA.Oregon.gov.

SHIBA counselors can help Oregonians navigate the Medicare.gov Plan Finder Tool (Medicare.gov/plan-compare) to enter prescriptions and compare the cost and benefits of individual drug plans, provide enrollment guidance, and answer any other questions related to Medicare benefits..

The Oregon Health Authority on Tuesday announced Rachael Banks as its new public health director. She’s held the same position in Oregon’s most populous county since 2017, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported. Banks will be tasked with leading the state’s public health division amid the coronavirus pandemic, while improving racial and ethnic inequalities. She starts Oct. 27 and is replacing Lillian Shirley, who had said she’s retiring. Banks is “a leader with professional acumen combined with lived and worked experience around promoting equity,” Patrick Allen, director of the Oregon Health Authority, said in a statement.

Officials at Oregon-based Les Schwab Tires confirmed Tuesday they have agreed to sell the company to Meritage Group, a family-owned investment firm. Managing Director Aubrey Barth with Meritage said Les Schwab is an ideal investment for them.

They also own Columbia Distributing, which is based in Portland. The sale is expected to be completed by the end of 2020. Last December, news of the sale was first reported by Bloomberg who said the company could be sold for as much as $3 billion. The last time Les Schwab considered a sale was in 2006, to suitors including KKR & Co. and French tire magnate Francois Michelin, the Oregonian reported in 2006. Les Schwab opened its first location in 1952 and has since expanded to multiple states and hundreds of locations.

Oregon’s total employment will grow by 181,800 jobs between 2019 and 2029, according to new projections from the Oregon Employment Department. The projections point to modest job growth between 2019 and 2029, although many job openings are expected due to the need to replace workers who leave their occupations.

In 2019, there were 2,120,000 jobs in Oregon. The 9 percent increase in employment between 2019 and 2029 includes private-sector gains of 156,400 jobs, growth of 16,500 jobs in government, and an additional 8,900 self-employed Oregonians.

Beyond gains from economic growth, another 255,300 job openings will be created on average each year through 2029 to replace workers who retire, leave the labor force for other reasons, or make a major occupational change. Together, the number of job openings due to economic growth and replacements will total an annual average of 273,500.

All private sectors in Oregon are expected to add jobs by 2029. Private health care and social assistance will lead all industries in new job growth. The gain of 46,300 new jobs (15% growth) in health care can be attributed to continued growth and aging of the state’s population. Health care will account for one out of every five new jobs created in Oregon by 2029.

Health care also tops the list of Oregon’s fastest-growing occupations over the 10-year period. Healthcare occupations and those associated with healthcare, including mental health, account for 13 of the 20 fastest-growing occupations from 2019 to 2029 among occupations with at least 1,000 jobs in Oregon. They include physician and medical assistants, nurse practitioners, substance abuse and mental health counselors, massage and respiratory therapists, and home health aides.

Oregon’s second fastest-growing industry will be professional and business services.

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

…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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