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.
Monday, January 18, 2021, Martin Luther King Jr. Day
Klamath Basin Weather
Monday, M.L.King Day Sunny, with a high near 48. Overnight low of 26.
Tuesday Sunny, with a high near 46.
Wednesday Mostly sunny, with a high near 47.
Thursday Mostly sunny, with a high near 47.
Friday Partly sunny, with a high near 40.
See Road Camera Views:
COVID-19 has claimed one more life in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll to 1,800. Oregon Health Authority reported 799 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19 as of yesterday, bringing the state total to 133,205.
The new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases reported today are in the following counties: Baker (15), Benton (27), Clackamas (75), Clatsop (8), Columbia (18), Coos (7), Crook (20), Curry (1), Deschutes (62), Douglas (16), Gilliam (1), Harney (5), Hood River (14), Jackson (56), Jefferson (12), Josephine (18), Klamath (56), Lake (1), Lane (95), Lincoln (12), Linn (37), Malheur (8), Marion (117), Morrow (6), Multnomah (216), Polk (23), Tillamook (5), Umatilla (70), Union (9), Wallowa (2), Wasco (12), Washington (125), Wheeler (1) and Yamhill (23).
The OHA totals report 6 new cases in Klamath County today.
Today, OHA reported that 15,784 new doses of COVID-19 vaccinations were added to the state immunization registry.
Of this total, 12,781 vaccine doses were administered on Jan. 16. Based on updated totals, OHA is meeting Gov. Kate Brown’s goal of ensuring 12,000 vaccinations a day.
The Governor required the benchmark to be met by the end of the two-week period that began Jan. 4. Today we surpassed 200,000 doses of COVID vaccine administered to Oregonians. Oregon has now administered a cumulative total of 204,974 first and second doses of COVID-19 vaccines.
All vaccinations were administered by Oregon hospitals, long-term care facilities, emergency medical service (EMS) agencies, urgent care facilities and Local Public Health Authorities (LPHAs). To date, 335,075 doses of vaccine have been delivered to sites across Oregon.
These data are preliminary and subject to change. OHA’s dashboards provide regularly updated vaccination data and Oregon’s dashboard has been updated today.
The number of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 across Oregon is 361, which is four fewer than yesterday. There are 95 COVID-19 patients in intensive care unit (ICU) beds, which is three more than yesterday.
Officials at the Oregon Health Authority learned on Friday of a positive case for the coronavirus variant originally detected in the United Kingdom — the first known case in Oregon.
The individual was identified as a resident of Multnomah County with no known travel history. The mutated COVID-19 strain, believed to be more contagious than the original, has been detected in several U.S. states now, including California.
Scientists have, at present, found two major variant COVID-19 strains — the U.K. variant, and another first detected in South Africa. Research on both of them is ongoing, with new information coming out by the day. Researchers are still working to discern more about how these variants spread, but the CDC says that there is no indication that the strains cause more severe illnesses or will cause the current vaccines to be ineffective.
OHA said that staff with Multnomah County Public Health were working Friday night and would be through the weekend to find out more about the individual and their isolation plan, close contacts, and any possible sources of exposure.
Highway 97 has reopened after it was closed for hours Saturday morning about four miles south of Chemult due to a significant crash involving at least two semi trucks.
Roads were hazardous and icy at the time of the crash. Dense fog was reported most of the weekend in the region as well, and some of that fog also was reporting as freezing. A secondary accident not too far from that location near the intersection of 97 and 58 also considerably slowed traffic down Saturday as travel remained hazardous.
While Oregon Institute of Technology (Oregon Tech) appears on many lists that rank the best colleges and universities in the nation, one of the most recognizable is U.S. News and World Report.
In the 2021 ”Best Colleges” report, Oregon Tech placed highly by U.S. News and World Report at No. 2 Top Public College in the West and No. 5 Best Western Regional Colleges- the top in Oregon on both lists. Oregon Tech is also featured as a Best Value School for being one of the western regional colleges with the least student debt.
These accolades highlight Oregon Tech’s commitment to delivering an outstanding return on investment by providing the very best education. This, in turn, translates to advanced career opportunities, financial well-being, and high quality of life for graduates and their families.
U.S. News groups colleges into categories, with Oregon Tech listed within regional colleges in the west, which is comprised of the best of the baccalaureate colleges in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.
In the category of Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs in the nation, Oregon Tech comes in at No. 46. The undergraduate engineering program rankings are based solely on peer assessment surveys. To appear on an undergraduate engineering survey, a school must have an undergraduate engineering program accredited by ABET.
Oregon Tech is the only college in Oregon to make the Best Colleges for Veterans list. Featured at No. 3, this listing provides military veterans and active-duty service members with rankings among schools that are certified for the GI Bill® and participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program.
In other nationwide accolades, Oregon Tech is No. 24 overall for 2020 Bachelor’s Colleges in the United States by Washington Monthly magazine, a ranking based on contribution to the public good in three broad categories: social mobility, research and promoting public service. In addition, Oregon Tech is No. 46 among Western schools in Washington Monthly’s “Best Bang For The Buck” category of how well a college helps non-wealthy students attain marketable degrees at affordable prices.
The news also coincides with a new report out from Business Insider, which looks at the return on investment at colleges and universities in the U.S. which also offer degrees online and places Oregon Tech alumni at #9 of the highest earning graduates in the nation. By finding median mid-career alumni salaries from Payscale and comparing those with the yearly tuition rates, the list is comprised of online colleges that offer the best median mid-career salaries for the lowest tuition fees.
As a polytechnic university, Oregon Tech engages students in hands-on activities in the classrooms and labs, have students experiment, innovate, take risks and learn their profession by applying their learnings at internships, externships and community experiences.
Founded in Klamath Falls in 1947, Oregon Tech is the premier polytechnic university in the Pacific Northwest. Offering bachelor’s, master’s and soon a doctoral degree, Oregon Tech has exceptional programs in engineering, health technologies, business, technology, communication, and applied sciences that prepare students to be effective participants in their professional, public, and international communities through applied, relevant learning and professional practice.
Oregon Tech has a central, residential campus in Klamath Falls; an urban, industry-focused campus in Portland-Metro (Wilsonville); an online campus; and offers degrees at Salem, Boeing Seattle, as well as at other sites. Visit www.oit.edu/about/glance to learn more about Oregon Tech and view the full list of Oregon Tech accolades.
Taylor Reed Jackson of Klamath Falls was sentenced to 70 months in the Oregon Department of Corrections with credit for time served after he fired several shots at his girlfriend’s car on East Main Street last August.
The victim was uninjured, but had numerous bullet holes in her car. The incident was captured on surveillance cameras outside of the East Main Market and witnessed by a market employee. Klamath County District Attorney Eve Costello said that a review of the evidence found that Jackson, 30, was heavily intoxicated when he fired the shots. Jackson pleaded no contest to attempted first-degree assault, unlawful use of a weapon and felon in possession of a weapon as a part of a plea agreement.
More than 20 charges of attempted murder, unlawful use of a weapon and tampering with evidence were dismissed.
Following California and Oregon’s worst wildfire season in decades, residents near four dams on the Klamath River slated for removal voiced concerns about wildland firefighting efforts in the rural, mountainous watershed when its reservoirs disappear.
Crews battling wildfires have been taking water from the reservoirs since the now-aging dams were built. The Klamath River Renewal Corporation, which is tasked with removing the dams, announced Friday that state fire agencies from Oregon and California have reviewed and expressed support for its plan to mitigate fire danger in the area, during and after its demolition and restoration project.
KRRC developed its draft fire management plan in concert with CAL FIRE’s Siskiyou Unit and the Oregon Department of Forestry’s Klamath-Lake and Southwest Oregon Districts. It plans to submit the FMP, along with letters from the agencies supporting it, in February. ODF representatives — Randall Baley, Klamath Protection Unit Forester, and Lee Winslow, Medford Protection Unit Forester — also called KRRC’s planned measures “adequate” in their letter.
After months of traveling to ice skating rinks around the northwest, Samuel Mindra returned to Bill Collier Ice Arena at the Running Y Resort to complete his final training for the U.S. Junior Figure Skating Championships.
The fate of the championships was up in the air as other major sports contests, like the 2020 summer Olympics, had been postponed. But Mindra, 17, of Happy Valley, kept training. He went wherever the ice was, in hopes of skating at the championships for the fourth time. Qualifiers for the national championship took on a last-minute virtual format in which skaters submitted videos of their routines, which were observed by a proctor. In-person qualifier competitions were canceled a week before they were scheduled to take place. Instead, Mindra filmed his submission at the Bill Collier Ice Arena, and received the third highest score in his division out of 33 skaters across the country.
He will be one of 144 competitors at nationals.
OSU Klamath County Extension recently recognized Katie Swanson for her outstanding contributions to local farm to school efforts during an event at her Sweet Union Farm.
Swanson has partnered with OSU Klamath Extension Service’s Farm to School and Nutrition Education Program for over four years. She has furthered the mission of farm to school by visiting local school cafeterias, hosting farm field trips, providing fresh produce for events and connecting schools to other growers in the region. The award was presented during the “Crunch at Once” event Oct. 28, a community wide event that included Klamath county school district, community members and Klamath County Extension staff.
Patty Case, professor at Oregon State University program manager for Farm to School program, said “Katie is passionate about feeding our community and demonstrates that every day by not only growing food but sharing her farm and expertise with youth, families and other growers.”
January is National Mentoring Month, and the staff at Friends of the Children, Klamath Falls, as the staff celebrates the privilege of mentoring some truly amazing humans.
One youth, who missed half of a year of elementary school after the death of her mother, is embracing honor’s-level math this year!
Another, whose trauma once caused him endless trouble at school, now is showing patience, focus, and self discipline as he works to build his own gaming computer!
Thank you for supporting the professional, long-term mentoring that leads to success stories like these. Through pandemic, political upheaval, and any other challenge 2021 brings, we’ll walk alongside our kids – no matter what. We look forward to seeing where they climb! See FriendsKlamath.org for more info.
Around the state of Oregon
Who can get a vaccine in Oregon? When? Despite the continued confusion over COVID-19 vaccine supplies and priorities from Gov. Kate Brown, vaccinations continued through the weekend with the Oregon Health Authority saying Brown’s goal of at least 12,000 vaccinations a day is trying to be met.
State health officials reported that 61% of vaccines delivered to vaccination sites had been administered by Sunday. According to the OHA, 335,075 doses of vaccine have been delivered to sites across the state and 204,974 first and second doses have been administered.
Some of those being vaccinated included shelter workers, who were vaccinated at a clinic hosted by the Multnomah County Health Department on Friday. So far, hundreds of shelter workers in the county have been vaccinated so they can keep providing services. That includes homeless shelter workers, who often must be in close contact with vulnerable members of the community.
The Oregon Health Authority reported an additional 15,784 new doses of COVID-19 vaccinations on Sunday, Jan. 17. That included 12,781 doses administered on Saturday, meaning that more than 200,000 doses of COVID vaccine have been administered to Oregonians.
Brown had previously announced that Oregonians 65 and older would be eligible to be vaccinated based on new supplies arriving from the federal government. That was scaled back after the federal government admitted it did not have a vaccine reserve. Her daily comments on the subject change like the weather.
The OHA also reported on Sunday that COVID-19 has claimed one more life, raising the state’s death toll to 1,800. An additional 799 cases were also reported, bringing the state total to 133,205.
A handful of armed demonstrators gathered outside the Oregon Capitol on Sunday morning, part of a nationally publicized day of statehouse protests that mostly failed to materialize.
Some of the roughly 15 demonstrators carried long guns and wore body armor and helmets. But even as some counter-protesters appeared, there was no confrontation, with some in both camps conversing. Several wore Hawaiian shirts, a symbol of the antigovernment “boogaloo” movement, whose adherents anticipate — or in some cases plan to incite — a second civil war.
One Hawaiian-shirted man, who called himself AJ and carried a gun, told a reporter he no longer claims association with that movement, adding, “I just stand with liberty for all.” Salem police patrol vehicles cruised past the scene occasionally, but there was no other visible police presence. The event wrapped up without incident early in the afternoon.
Hold on tight to your Powerball ticket. There were no top prize winners in Saturday’s drawing, and the jackpot has climbed to an estimated $730 million, a cash value of $546 million.
This is only the fourth time the jackpot has crossed the $700 million mark, according to Powerball. If anyone wins the upcoming drawing on Wednesday, January 20, it will be the fourth largest jackpot in the game’s history and the sixth largest in US lottery history, Powerball said.
Saturday’s drawing continued the longest streak of drawings without a jackpot winner in Powerball history, according to a press release. The last jackpot was won in New York on September 16, 2020. Saturday’s drawing generated several tickets with partial winnings, ranging from $4 to $2 million.
Fourteen tickets matched all five white balls, earning $1 million each, according to Powerball.
The USDA Forest Service Pacific Northwest Region has released a final environmental assessment and decision that amends forest plans on six national forests in eastern Oregon, revising a provision that prohibits harvesting trees larger than 21 inches in diameter.
The decision replaces the existing 21-inch standard with management policy focused on protecting old and large trees and increasing forest resistance to disturbance. The new policy reflects scientific and experiential learning over the past 25 years, innovative management approaches that collaborative groups have explored for decades, and 24 prior project-level amendments that addressed this issue and informed the analysis. The proposal also implements an adaptive management and monitoring program to track landscape outcomes and share information across forests and with interested people and organizations.
Many forests in eastern Oregon are uncharacteristically dense. Tree species that are less resistant to wildfire and other disturbances are increasing relative to historical conditions. This contributes to higher tree mortality risks from insects, fire, drought, and other disturbances. Meant to be an interim measure, the Eastside Screens were created in 1995 to protect riparian areas, encourage a healthy mix of young and old trees, and maintain wildlife habitat and connectivity.
Now 25 years later, the 21-inch standard is being reassessed in light of current forest conditions, the latest science, project-level amendments, and public feedback.
JOSEPHINE COUNTY, Ore. — Josephine County Public Health, with the support of several partner organizations from throughout the community, will host a COVID-19 vaccination clinic from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Jan. 24 and 25 at the Josephine County Fairgrounds in Grants Pass. A second clinic is planned for noon to 4 p.m. Jan. 26 at Illinois Valley High School, 625 E. River St. in Cave Junction.
The Oregon National Guard and Asante, as well as other community partners, are working together to provide at least 3,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines to Josephine County. The vaccine will be available to all individuals in Phase 1a, as well as teachers and school staff members serving students pre-kindergarten through 12th grade. The Oregon Health Authority includes the following four groups in Phase 1a:
- Group 1
- Urgent Care
- Skilled nursing and memory care facility healthcare personnel and residents
- Tribal health programs
- Emergency medical services providers and other first responders
- Health care interpreters
- Traditional heath workers
- Group 2
- Other long-term care facilities, including HCP and residents of:
- Residential care facilities
- Adult foster care
- Group homes for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities
- Other congregate care sites
- Hospice programs
- Mobile crisis care and related services
- Individuals working in correctional settings
- Other long-term care facilities, including HCP and residents of:
- Group 3
- HCPs in outpatient settings serving specific high-risk groups
- Day treatment services
- Non-emergency medical transport
- Caregivers of medically fragile children or adults who live at home
- Group 4
- All other outpatient HCPs
- Public health sites
Those who have had immediate allergic reactions of any severity to food, drug injections or insect stings should not attend these clinics and should contact their primary care provider.
Additional information on how to participate in the clinics and when to arrive will be posted to http://www.co.josephine.or.us/Page.asp?NavID=2288.
An Oregon Department of Corrections (DOC) adult in custody (AIC) died January 16, 2021. He was incarcerated at Two Rivers Correctional Institution and passed away at a local hospital.
He tested positive for COVID-19 and was between 75 and 85 years old. As with all in-custody deaths, the Oregon State Police have been notified, and the Medical Examiner will determine cause of death. Department-wide, this is the thirtieth AIC to die who tested positive for COVID-19.
For more information on COVID-19 cases inside Oregon’s prisons, please visit DOC’s COVID-19 website. The agency is responsible for the care and custody of 13,000 adults in custody who are incarcerated in 14 institutions across the state.
When most people stop on the way to work, they pick up coffee, tea or a soda. Diana C. of Salem decided to pick up something a little more substantial, a $50,000 Powerball prize. And she won!
“I normally don’t buy tickets,” Dianna said when she claimed her prize, “but I saw that the jackpots were so big, I decided to get $10 of Powerball.”
Thursday morning, back at work at the Marion County Juvenile Department, she noticed the ticket in her purse and decided to check the numbers.
“I saw I hit the Powerball, so I knew I won some money,” she said. “When I looked at the other numbers, I almost fainted. I’m not going to lie.”
She couldn’t contain her excitement and decided to share the news with some co-workers, and then called to make her appointment to claim that prize at the Oregon Lottery that same day. She had hit four out of five numbers and the Powerball on her quick pick ticket.
“I am going to play some more, the big prize is still out there,” she said. “I am going to use this to pay off some bills and it’s nice to have that peace of mind.”
Saturday’s Powerball drawing is an estimated $640 million, which would be a $478.7 million cash value. If won, it will be the fifth largest jackpot in Powerball game history and the ninth largest jackpot in U.S. lottery history. This is the highest the Powerball jackpot has been since March 2019, and it’s causing an increase in sales in lottery tickets all around Oregon.
Diana purchased her winning ticket at the US Market on Cherry Avenue in Keizer. Sam Singh, owner of the store, said that as the jackpots for both Powerball and Mega Millions have been growing, he has seen more and more customers add lottery tickets to their purchases.
“It’s always this way when the jackpots get this big,” he said. “Having a winner like this will help sales, because they think it could happen to them.”
Before Diana’s $50,000 win, Singh said the biggest winning ticket he had sold was in the $30,000 to $40,000 range.
“This is very exciting and I feel great,” he said. “We hope to sell more, and even the big one. My advice to players is to buy more tickets. As much as you play, it increases your chances to win.”
Since the Oregon Lottery began selling tickets on April 25, 1985, it has earned more than $12 billion for economic development, public education, Outdoor School, state parks, Veteran Services and watershed enhancements. For more information on the Oregon Lottery visit www.oregonlottery.org .