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.
Friday, October 2, 2020
Klamath Basin Weather
Today 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.
COVID-19 has claimed one more life in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll to 560 Oregon Health Authority reported 363 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19 as of yesterday, bringing the state total to 33,862.
Klamath County reported four new cases. The local Klamath case count is 295. This week’s count is 15. The third death from the virus happened earlier this week as well.
Jackson County reported 27 new cases, the highest single-day count since the pandemic began. Josephine County has four new cases overnight. Thursday’s cases brought the Jackson County total to 1,217, at least 176 of which are considered “active infectious.” Jackson County reported its sixth death attributed to the virus on Wednesday, a 61-year-old man.
88 people have been hospitalized with the virus since the pandemic began, up from 10 at the beginning of July. Since wildfires have displaced many people in Jackson County, causing some family units to shelter with others, Jackson County is recommending that those co-habitating wear a mask inside, observe proper cleaning and disinfecting, and seek testing for even mild COVID-19 symptoms.
Klamath County Public Health (KCPH) officials reported that the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality is expecting smoke intrusion through Saturday. The air quality in the Klamath Basin continues to be affected by fires in Oregon and California.
To easily monitor the changes in air quality, search for OregonAir in your app store, and install it on your smart phone. Currently, masks and respirators known to protect against wildfire smoke particles, the N95, are in short supply and are being reserved as personal protective equipment for health professionals. The best way to reduce smoke exposure is to stay indoors. During periods of impact from wildfire smoke, community members will notice discussion of the air quality index number. This number is most helpful when residents know its meaning. KCPH wants to help the community “know the numbers”. High temperatures can make the smoky conditions more uncomfortable. Knowing the range of air quality numbers can help people make good choices about outdoor activities.
Klamath Community College (KCC) congratulates the college’s 2020 registered nursing graduates for earning a 100 percent pass rate on their national board exams. This is the third consecutive year KCC registered nursing graduates earned a 100 percent pass rate on their first attempt for the National Council Licensure Examination-Registered Nurse, which is an exam that must be passed to become a licensed registered nurse in the United States and Canada. The nine students in the Class of 2020 were: Abigail Yates, Aubrey Westfall, Debra Esparza, Holdyn Polley, Karina Lagunas-Zarate, Leslie Starr, Rachael Sasser, Talythah Pena, and Tatiana Tanner. The students started KCC’s seven-term nursing program in 2018 and completed the program in August 2020. The program provides more than 1,000 hours of hands-on training in the on-campus skills lab and simulation lab, and in clinical settings, which includes 270 hours of on-the-job training at Sky Lakes Medical Center or Lake District Hospital.
Show off your gardening trivia skills and win prizes at The Klamath County Library!
Fridays at 7pm through October 16th
Downtown Klamath County Library
Outdoor gardening season might be winding down as we head into fall, but the Klamath County Library knows: a gardener’s passion is year-round. Show off your gardening knowledge in our first-ever Gardening Trivia Tournament, co-hosted by the Oregon State University Klamath Basin Research and Extension Center!
Nicole Sanchez – an assistant professor in horticulture at the extension center and a favorite recurring guest speaker at the library – will test your trivia skills in a variety of topics on Fridays at 7pm through October 16th! Passionate trivia buffs can accumulate points over all six weeks of the event, and we’ll be giving away prizes for both each week’s top scorers and the competitors who finish the tournament with the three highest cumulative scores.
To register, head to https://www.eventbrite.com/e/klamath-gardening-trivia-tournament-tickets-118500687747 or email Denae Nemanic at email@example.com. This will be an individual competition held via the TriviaMaker app, which you can use on a home computer, tablet, or smart phone. (Don’t worry if you’re unfamiliar with the app – Denae can walk you through it.)
We’ll even give you the upcoming themes so you can brush up in advance:
- October 2nd: Enhancing Pollinators in the Landscape
- October 9th: Drought-Tolerant Landscape Plants
- October 16th: Gardening Remix – the finale will feature a mix of the most challenging questions from all the previous categories!
A great place to start studying is Nicole Sanchez’s weekly gardening column in the Herald & News! You can find an online archive at the OSU Klamath Basin Research and Extension Center’s website: https://extension.oregonstate.edu/newsletter/130026/archive.
For more information, call the Klamath County Library at 541-882-8894.
New Hours at Downtown Klamath County Library
The downtown Klamath County Library will expand their open hours starting Thursday, October 1st: they will be open from 10 am until 8 pm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. (The library is open from 10 am to 5 pm on Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays; the library remains closed on Sundays until further notice.)
The Bookie Joint bookstore, located inside the downtown Klamath County Library at 126 S. Third St., will add an extra day of open hours; they will be open on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays from 10 am to 2 pm.
For more information, please call the Klamath County Library at 541-882-8894.
KLAMATH COUNTY CLERK PRESS RELEASE
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 firstname.lastname@example.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 (email@example.com) 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 Friday and Saturday
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 U.S. Attorney is rejecting Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler’s request to cancel the federal deputation of nearly five-dozen Portland Police officers. The U.S. Attorney’s Office released a statement yesterday saying the officers will hold onto their designation for the rest of the year.
Officials deputized 56 members of the Portland Police Bureau’s Rapid Response Team as Federal Marshals late last week in preparation for Saturday’s dueling demonstrations between alt-right protesters and counterprotesters. The U.S. Attorney’s statement says Portlanders are “sick of boarded-up and dangerous conditions prevalent in downtown Portland.”
Governor Kate Brown is condemning President Trump for declining to commit to a peaceful transfer of power should he lose the election in November. Brown joined eleven other Democratic governors yesterday in releasing a joint statement saying throwing out ballots and resisting a peaceful transfer of power is an “assault on American democracy.”
The statement went on to promise to count all votes cast in the upcoming election. Washington Governor Jay Inslee, California Governor Gavin Newsom and Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker are among the governors who signed the statement.
Teachers at Douglas High School are imploring the school board to delay the start of in-person education until Douglas County meets the state standards for reopening.
State guidelines set by the Oregon Health Authority and Oregon Department of Education say schools can only open for in-person instruction in grades four through 12 if there are 10 or fewer new cases of coronavirus per 100,000 people in the county for three weeks running.
While Douglas County for many weeks had one of the state’s lowest coronavirus case rates, it reported 17 new cases per 100,000 the week of Sept. 13 and 22 the week of Sept. 20. Teachers in the Winston-Dillard school district, home to Douglas High, report that the two state agencies so far have not indicated they will honor teachers’ requests that they force the district to end its plans to teach all students in person at least part of the time. The district serves about 1,400 students in and around the Douglas County communities of Winston and Dillard, about 10 miles south of Roseburg.
Parents of students are very frustrated in Clackamas County and want the area to return to in-person schooling. In an effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus, many school districts across Oregon have opted to start their school years with at-home distance learning.
But many say distance learning simply isn’t working. So parents, grandparents and kids joined a rally near the Clackamas Town Center to get a message to state leaders. They want state leaders to re-evaluate the metrics and give local school districts more autonomy.
Organizers of rallies like the one held Thursday are asking Gov. Kate Brown and the Oregon Department of Education to allow students and teachers the option of returning to classrooms if they feel safe to do so.
“This morning we cried over math, it’s just not working. They are front of screens for four hours a day and it’s too much,” said parent Lisa Decker. “I don’t understand why we prioritize bars and other establishment and we can’t prioritize our schools and our kids and I am tired of it but that’s why I am here.”
Shalyse Olson has four kids in the Salem-Keizer School District and is a former teacher for the district. She’s helping to organize a rally for Oct. 5 on the steps of the State Capitol.
“It’s been really sad, it’s been frustrating and sad,” she said. “I think we are just failing. We are failing our teachers, we are failing our students. We are failing everywhere. We are doing them a disservice by not stepping up and asking for an option,” said Olson. “If the in-person learning works best for them, then we want that option.”
Olson and the parents, teachers and students who share her views are asking state leaders for more options. But Olson says despite sending letters and emails to state leaders, she has yet to receive a response.
“We are not saying that this in-person should be the only choice by any means nor should it be full-time, every student, 5 days a week. We are just merely asking that for those teachers who are ready who are waiting, ready and prepared and want to be in the classroom and those parents and students who feel the exact same be given that choice as well,” Olson said.
Olson said she supports the option to remain home and continue distance learning for those who feel safest doing so.
The Oregon Department of Education responded yesterday this way:
“ODE and OHA are partnering closely on a daily basis trying to resolve challenges, review best practices, and support education and health leaders across the state.The kinds of disruption and impacts families and kids are experiencing are a real impact of responding to COVID-19. We will be the first ones cheering to see the metrics come back down in counties across Oregon.
Families have a right to voice their opinion and ODE knows this is a challenging time for students and families. ODE believes being as consistent as possible statewide and holding the metrics to their intent and following them closely as conditions from COVID-19 change is the best way to balance the array of needs between the desire to offer instruction in person and ensure educator and student safety while attending to the needs of the healthcare system and total system capacity to respond to any new cases.”
On 09/30/2020 at approximately 9:54pm, Officers from the Grants Pass Department of Public Safety responded to an audible burglary alarm at 1380 Pansy Lane (River City BMX track). Officers arrived on scene within 2 minutes of the time of call. Officers determined forced entry had been made into the concession stand and items from within were taken. As officers searched the general area for suspect(s), Robert Stone was located walking away from the location.
When officers made contact with Stone, they were able to determine he was involved in the burglary at the concession stand. During the investigation, it was noted Stone was wearing body armor while committing the burglary. Stone was also determined to have been previously convicted of a felony crime. As officers continued to investigate the incident, they were suspicious of Stone being involved in other crimes in the southwest area of town.
Due to the recent high levels of burglary, theft and unlawful entry into motor vehicle cases in the Redwood District, DPS detectives responded to assist. Through additional investigation, it was determined Stone was responsible for at least one other burglary of a residence where numerous firearms had been taken. In addition to the suspected crimes, Stone was also found to be in possession of a controlled substance. Stone was later transported and lodged at the Josephine County Jail for the listed charges, which include damage to property and theft while committing the crimes of burglary and unlawful entry into motor vehicles.
Further investigation is still being conducted on this case to determine if Stone is associated with other cases in the Redwood District. It is believed there may be additional charges to follow after more follow up is completed. The Grants Pass Department of Public Safety would also like to remind everyone to be aware of items left inside of vehicles. Items of value and firearms should always be secured in a safe location and not in a vehicle.
Stone, Robert A. 18 years of age
No permanent address listed (Last known address in Searcy, Arkansas)
Burglary in the first degree
Burglary in the second degree
Felon in possession of a firearm (4 counts)
Possession of a controlled substance (2 counts)
Unlawful Possession of Body Armor
Felon in Possession of Body Armor
Unlawful entry into motor vehicle (8 counts)
Criminal Mischief in the second degree (2 counts)
Theft in the third degree (2 counts)
A case claiming the city of Tulelake, Federal Aviation Administration and Modoc Tribe of Oklahoma/Modoc Nation acted improperly in selling the land under the Tulelake Airport to the Modoc Tribe has been dismissed.
The Tule Lake Committee, a group of Japanese Americans who were incarcerated at the Tule Lake Segregation Center during World War II and their descendants, contested the legality of the sale of the airport. After hearing arguments, U.S. District Judge William B. Shubb of the Eastern District of California issued an order September 25, dismissing the Tule Lake Committee’s case. In the case filed earlier this year, the Tule Lake Committee disputed the legality of Tulelake airfield sale, which they asserted was “given away” for $17,500 to the Oklahoma-based tribe by Tulelake city council during a special meeting in 2018. The committee also alleged the FAA failed to address National Historic Preservation Act obligations for the historically significant incarceration camp site. The airport is located on land that was a large portion of the World War II incarceration camp.
Three Pacific Northwest law firms have filed a class action lawsuit against the Pacific Power utility and its parent company, claiming they failed to shut down its power lines despite historically high winds and extremely dangerous wildfire conditions.
The lawsuit, filed in Multnomah County Circuit Court, names Jeanyne James and Robin Colbert as lead plaintiffs. The couple lost their home, garage and cars in the small community of Lyons, Oregon, to a wildfire that raced through a canyon last month, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported Thursday. The blaze was one of multiple fires that burned across the state starting on that date. The wildfires destroyed several thousand homes and killed nine people in Oregon and two in northern California. The lawsuit alleged the high winds also toppled energized power lines that sparked some of the blazes.
A self-described member of the Proud Boys, a far-right group, pleaded not guilty to a dozen charges Thursday related to clashes in the streets of Portland, Oregon, between right- and left-wing demonstrators in the run-up to November’s presidential election.
Alan Swinney, 50, was secretly indicted on Sept. 11 on charges that include assault and unlawful use of a weapon after authorities said he pointed a revolver at a protester and fired a paintball gun and mace at people on two occasions in August. He was not arrested until Wednesday and made his first court appearance Thursday. He remained in custody.
Swinney’s defense attorney, Eric Wolfe, did not immediately return a call seeking comment. Swinney is also facing a one-point-two-million-dollar civil suit in connection to the incidents.
OHA provides tips for a safe (but still spooky and fun) Halloween
Portland, Ore.– The COVID-19 pandemic is reshaping how Oregonians celebrate holidays, and that includes Halloween. But it doesn’t mean Halloween this year can’t still be spooky and fun!
People in Oregon are creative, they care about their community and they know it’s important to celebrate safely. This year, it’s more important than ever to put safety first because COVID-19 cases have risen recently and holiday gatherings on Memorial Day, July 4th and Labor Day led to increased case counts. So, this Halloween, be extra mindful of your choices. Choosing low risk Halloween plans can help to prevent the spread of COVID-19 illness, decrease the impact on Oregon’s health care system and save lives.
This Halloween, the Oregon Health Authority is recommending that Oregonians avoid traditional door-to-door trick or treating and “Trunk or Treat” events because these are high risk activities for crowding among people outside your household. This recommendation aligns with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), which also recommends families avoid traditional trick or treating.
Some ideas for safer, low-risk activities include holding an online costume contest, watching a scary movie online, carving pumpkins with people in your household, decorating your house or apartment, or touring the neighborhood to look at decorated houses with members of your household.
“If you dress up in a costume, be careful to plan a costume that allows you to wear a face covering,” said State Health Officer Dr. Dean Sidelinger. “Halloween masks will not protect you or others from coronavirus. Wearing a cloth or disposable face mask that fits snugly and covers your mouth and nose is still required while wearing a costume, no matter how scary or silly your costume is.”
For more tips to stay safe this holiday, check out these infographics about Halloween activities and how to safely visit a pumpkin patch or farm, and then share them with your friends and family on your Facebook and Instagram accounts.
As Oregon experiences cooler weather and many community members begin to spend more time at home, the Office of State Fire Marshal will be engaging in support of the national campaign of Fire Prevention Week and will be running cooking fire safety messaging for the month of October. Oregon’s theme mirrors the 2020 national theme: “Serve up fire safety in the kitchen!™”
“Nationally, cooking is the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries, with unattended cooking being the leading cause of fires in the kitchen,” said Assistant Chief Deputy Claire McGrew. “In Oregon, cooking was the leading known cause of residential structure fires over the past five years, through 2019.”
According to data collected from the Oregon fire service for the National Fire Reporting System, home fires caused 29 deaths in Oregon in 2019, and fire agencies in Oregon responded to 2,790 home fires; and cooking was the leading known cause of residential structure fires over the past five years (2015-19), causing an average of 19 percent of Oregon’s total residential structure fires and six deaths.
To help keep you safe in the kitchen, cooking fire safety tips include:
- Keep an eye on what you’re cooking — don’t leave cooking unattended.
- Keep your cooking areas clean and clear of combustibles (potholders, food packaging, towels, etc.), and wipe up surface spills.
- Create a three-foot kid- and pet-free zone around the stove.
- Older children should only cook with permission and under the supervision of an adult.
- Have a lid or cookie sheet within reach while cooking (to smother flames) in case of a fire.
If a cooking fire does start:
- Put a lid on it! Slide a lid over the pan (from the side) and then turn off the burner.
- Don’t move the pan until the fire is completely extinguished and cooled, and don’t try to transfer the pan to the sink.
If you cannot quickly extinguish the fire:
- Get you and your family safely out of the house.
- If you can, close doors as you are escaping, to help contain the fire.
- Call 911 from a safe place (outside).
“This year has been a challenging one for Oregonians,” says State Fire Marshal Mariana Ruiz-Temple. “As we continue to face the challenges of COVID-19 and now the impacts of the Oregon fire season, it demonstrates the resilient spirit of Oregonians. Fire Prevention Month is a good reminder as we continue to be in our homes and closed settings to bring fire safe practices into the home, which will continue to keep you and your families safe from the dangers of fire.”
The FBI is offering a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to the identification, arrest, and conviction of the person or people responsible for the death of Gunner Bailey last year. A passerby found his body about 50 feet off Tenino Road on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation on March 17, 2019. Bailey, age 31 at the time, was shot to death.
The FBI and Warm Springs Police Department are jointly investigating this case.
As part of this publicity effort, the FBI has created a “Seeking Information” poster which is attached and can be found at https://www.fbi.gov/wanted/seeking-info/gunner-johnson-bailey and a Facebook ad (attached).
Anyone with information concerning this homicide is asked to contact the FBI in Bend at (541) 389-1202 during normal business hours, the FBI in Portland at (503) 224-4181 24 hours a day, or the Warm Springs Police Department at (541) 553-3272. Information may also be submitted online at https://tips.fbi.gov.
The Oregon Department of Revenue (DOR) will host a pair of live training sessions on the Zoom video conferencing platform in October to provide information to business taxpayers and tax professionals about the administrative rules for Oregon’s new Corporate Activity Tax (CAT).
The first meeting is planned for noon to 2 p.m. PDT October 19.
• Meeting link: https://www.zoomgov.com/j/1608045185.
• Passcode: 920761
The second meeting is planned for 9 to 11 a.m. PDT October 20.
• Meeting link: https://www.zoomgov.com/j/1619858903.
• Passcode: 013983
In addition to a basic overview of the CAT, definitions of key elements of the law, and an update on the ongoing rules process, the training sessions will specifically address:
• The 35% subtraction.
• Unitary groups.
• Sourcing of commercial activity and apportionment.
• Quarterly underpayment penalty.
• COVID-19 pandemic-related relief options.
• Sales certificates.
• Motor vehicle dealer trades.
• Grocery exclusion.
• Cost inputs for farmers.
The training will also provide a review of the resources available on the CAT page of the Revenue website for business taxpayers and tax professionals.
Department representatives used input collected from stakeholders during a 12-stop tour in fall 2019 in prioritizing and writing the initial rules. A second tour provided training for business taxpayers and tax professionals in March before it was cut short by restrictions on public gatherings in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Use of the online Zoom meeting platform will allow the CAT policy team to present live in October. Participants will be able to follow along with a PowerPoint presentation. They will be able to submit questions via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The policy team will seek to answer the questions at the end of each section of the training presentation.
Stakeholders can direct questions or comments about the CAT anytime via email to email@example.com or by calling 503-945-8005. Interested persons can also sign up for email updates on the CAT and other Revenue programs on the agency website.
To get tax forms, check the status of your refund, or make tax payments, visit www.oregon.gov/dor/ or email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also call 800-356-4222 toll free from an Oregon prefix (English or Spanish) or 503-378-4988 in Salem and outside Oregon. For TTY (hearing- or speech-impaired), we accept all relay calls.
…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.