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.
Wednesday, February 3, 2021
Klamath Basin Weather
This Afternoon A 30% chance of snow showers. Mostly sunny, with a high near 37. West northwest wind around 11 mph. Total daytime snow accumulation of 1 to 2 inches possible. Overnight low around 17 degrees.
Thursday Sunny, with a high near 41. Partly cloudy overnight with a low around 21.
Friday Sunny, with a high near 46.
Saturday Sunny, with a high near 47.
Sunday Mostly sunny, with a high near 48.
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There is one new COVID-19 related death in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll to 1,958. Oregon Health Authority reported 964 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19 as of this morning, bringing the state total to 143,373.
The new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases reported today are in the following counties: Baker (2), Benton (16), Clackamas (59), Clatsop (8), Columbia (2), Coos (10), Crook (3), Curry (2), Deschutes (18), Douglas (15), Harney (3), Hood River (7), Jackson (54), Jefferson (5), Josephine (23), Klamath (18), Lake (3), Lane (32), Lincoln (5), Linn (10), Malheur (5), Marion (42), Morrow (1), Multnomah (135), Polk (21), Sherman (3), Tillamook (2), Umatilla (25), Union (9), Wallowa (3), Wasco (4), Washington (64) and Yamhill (10).
Today, OHA reported that 14,693 new doses of COVID-19 vaccinations were added to the state immunization registry.
Oregon has now administered a cumulative total of 438,299 first and second doses of COVID-19 vaccines. To date, 665,325 doses of vaccine have been delivered to sites across Oregon.The number of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 across Oregon is 271, which is five fewer than yesterday.
There are 64 COVID-19 patients in intensive care unit (ICU) beds, which is one fewer than yesterday.
Henley Elementary School kindergarten students are receiving 30 new bikes as part of the All Kids Bike physical education program thanks to a substantial donation from Country Financial.
The All Kids Bike project is an effort started by the Strider Education Foundation to equip elementary schools nationwide with bicycles along with curriculum to teach young students how to ride them. Both Henley and Shasta elementary schools applied for the program about a month ago, and as a result of a $4,000 donation by Country Financial representatives Cora Christ, Gary Cheyne, and Tom Keller, Henley has now successfully raised the needed $5,700.
Shasta Elementary still needs around $1,200. Country Financial made the donation as part of their Operation Helping Heroes initiative, which provides funding for first responders, nurses, and teachers. In this case, they decided to help the All Kids Bike project at Henley.
The Klamath River Renewal Corporation has officially signed a contract with Resource Environmental Solutions to complete the restoration work associated with removing four dams on the Klamath River, according to a news release.
Following contracts signed with Kiewit Infrastructure Inc., which will perform the demolition of the dams, KRRC has now locked in its subcontractors to carry out the Klamath Hydroelectric Settlement Agreement. Established in 2007, RES is one of the only fully-scaled ecosystem restoration companies in the U.S.
They’ve carried out projects in 11 states, including a wetland conservation bank intended to offset disruptions to vernal pools in Jackson County’s Agate Desert.
A Klamath Falls man died Saturday night after being hit by a car while he was crossing Crater Lake Parkway at Main Street.
Ruben Sanders, who the Klamath Falls Police Department said was in his early 30s, was crossing the parkway about 6 p.m. on Saturday against the light when he was hit by a car. Sanders was pronounced deceased when KFPD arrived at the scene. No one was cited as KFPD Capt. Rob Dentinger said the driver had a green light.
A Klamath County Sheriff’s Office deputy will graduate basic police class in a private ceremony Thursday in Salem.
Andrew Nichols is one of 37 gradates in the 403rd Basic Police Class of the Oregon Public Safety Academy.
Basic Police Class is 16 weeks of training in things like survival skills, ethics, community policing, cultural diversity, drug recognition and many others. The graduation ceremony will be closed to the public due to COVID-19 precautions. The ceremony will take place at the Oregon Public Safety Academy in Salem on Thursday at 1:30 p.m.
Around the state of Oregon
Vaccines spread thin as Oregon readies for senior groups
People 80 and up will become eligible for the vaccine starting February 8
Oregon is days away from starting to vaccinate seniors but many who are eligible likely won’t get their first shot right away due to supply shortages.
People 80 and older will become eligible starting Monday. This group includes about 168,000 Oregonians and would take an estimated three weeks to complete.
But the state expects to receive only about 66,000 first doses of the vaccine next week and tens of thousands of doses still need to be given to healthcare workers and educators, especially in the Portland metro area. The Oregon Health Authority recently pulled vaccine shipments headed to some counties that had already finished with Phase 1A and educators and redirected them to the metro area.
More than 100,000 educators became eligible for their shot on Jan. 25 — roughly half of those doses are ready, according to OHA. A little more than 60,000 doses have been allocated and will be administered by the end of the week. OHA said the current pace is on track to have a critical mass of educators vaccinated by mid-Febuary.
People 65 and up — roughly 750,000 Oregonians — will be eligible to get the shot by the end of February.
The Oregon Health Authority said it is aiming to vaccinate 70% of each group before moving on to the next population of lower ages.
Along Came Trudy Restaurant is facing a large fine for COVID-19 violations.
Oregon Occupational Safety and Health issued a fine of $9,215, following many weeks of the business remaining open against statewide rules.
Multiple complaints about Along Came Trudy were reportedly made to the agency.
State officials say the fine was issued following an inspection that opened on Dec. 21, finding two violations. By allowing indoor dining, OSHA said the restaurant willfully disregarded the ban on indoor dining in extreme risk areas like Lane County. The second violation regards a failure to make sure customers inside the restaurant wear a face covering.
OSHA said armed people outside the business threatened regulatory agencies and their staff members.
“It is our expectation that employers comply with public health measures that we know are effective at decreasing the risks to workers and reducing the spread of this disease. And we have been able to resolve most concerns about COVID-19 and the workplace constructively and without formal enforcement visits,” said Michael Wood, administrator for Oregon OSHA. “However, as this case demonstrates, we will continue to carry out enforcement actions where appropriate and particularly where employers knowingly disregard standards.”
Employers have 30 days to appeal citations.
Farther north in Beaverton, changes at Nike. Nike announced today is it leaving its 280,000-square-foot office space in Sunset Corridor at the Tektronix campus.
According to a report the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has led to a rapid decline in demand for office space not seen in past recessions. Much of their staff is working from home.
Nike — the largest private company based in Oregon — moved out of two offices, an 84,000-square-foot space and a 195,000-square-foot space.
About 15% of Portland-area office space are currently vacant according to real estate agents in the Portland area.
Reports say the vacancies are expected to continue to rise with the current pandemic situation.
A Trump administration decision to roll back habitat protections for the northern spotted owl on federal forestlands in the Pacific Northwest is now drawing increased scrutiny from a group of Democratic lawmakers.
U.S. Senator Ron Wyden led the group, which includes Senator Jeff Merkley and Representative Earl Blumenauer, in asking federal investigators to determine if former Interior Secretary Davd Bernhardt “overruled guidance by career officials” to remove federal protections for the threatened owl species.
In January, the US. Fish & Wildlife Service published a revised critical habitat designation for the northern spotted owl, excluding nearly 3.5 million acres of forestland from federal protections — much of that land in Oregon — and opening it for potential timber harvesting. The change reduced protected habitat for the owl species, as of 2012, by more than a third.
A trio of Democratic senators are pushing to make ending the federal ban on marijuana a major priority of the caucus this year.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sens. Cory Booker, D-N.J., and Ron Wyden, D-OR, want to pass legislation that would end the federal prohibition on marijuana, which is legal in some states.
They wrote in statement Monday that the “War on Drugs has been a war on people — particularly people of color.” In addition, they intend on providing so-called restorative justice for people who have been convicted of crimes related to marijuana use, according to their joint statement. In theory, restorative justice entails organizing a meeting between the victim of a crime and the offender so both participants can share their experiences of what happened. The end goal is to create a consensus for how an offender can atone.
Search & Rescue teams from the Curry County Sheriff’s Office found and rescued a group of four men who became stranded out in the snow-covered woods roughly between Gold Beach and Agness last week.
In the early morning hours of Wednesday, January 27, the Sheriff’s Office said it received a report from a Brookings couple that their two sons and two other men had gone up to the woods in the Wildhorse area and hadn’t returned. They were reportedly driving a red pickup truck. 30-year-old Sean Farris, 28-year-old Aaron Farris, 29-year-old Shawn Miller, and 21-year-old Bjorn Schaller had planned to go make a camp fire and cook together.
When they did not return by midnight, and with increasingly bad weather, the parents became concerned. The father went up to find them himself, but got stuck in the snow before he could reach the area. By 4 a.m. on Wednesday, deputies and SAR members had responded, only to find that the winter storm had dumped heavy snow on the hills, making travel difficult. The team used an ATV side-by-side with snow tracks to keep going higher into the hills. At roughly 2 p.m., deputies and SAR members found Schaller and Miller walking in deep snow, a few miles from where they had left the pickup truck that morning.
SAR members cut several trees out of the roadway so that vehicles could reach them — finally taking the pair about ten miles down from the snowy hills to the intersection of the Agness and Wildhorse roads.
Oregon State University announced plans to build a $70 million arts and education complex on Friday by the board of trustees.
The 49,000-square-foot building will be constructed at the corner of Southwest Washington Way and Southwest 15th Street next to the administration building. The university said half of the money came from an anonymous donor and philanthropic gifts. The other half came from state bonds.
The building will have classrooms, study spaces, offices, a 500-seat orchestra hall, and a 200-seat black box theater. Larry Rodgers, the dean for the College of Liberal Arts, said this is the first time students at Oregon State will have a designated building for the arts.
“I’m most looking forward to walking into the building, not when there’s about to be a performance, but in the middle of the day when we have students studying there,” Rodgers said. “We might have other OSU students working on a set for a play, we might have yellow school buses outside with a group of sixth graders who arrived on the OSU campus to spend the day interacting with one of our terrific music faculty members.”
The building’s construction is set to begin this summer with a plan to have it completed by the 2022-2023 academic year.