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, February 5, 2021
Klamath Basin Weather
Friday Sunny, with a high near 46.
Saturday Sunny, with a high near 47.
Sunday Mostly sunny, with a high near 48.
Monday Partly sunny, with a high near 43.
Tuesday Partly sunny, with a high near 43.
Wednesday Mostly sunny, with a high near 44.
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There are seven new COVID-19 related deaths in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll to 1,998, the Oregon Health Authority reported yesterday. Oregon Health Authority reported 730 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19, bringing the state total to 145,320.
The new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases reported today are in the following counties: Baker (3), Benton (32), Clackamas (48), Columbia (6), Coos (16), Curry (1), Deschutes (17), Douglas (23), Harney (4), Hood River (2), Jackson (47), Jefferson (13), Josephine (19), Klamath (4), Lake (7), Lane (67), Lincoln (6), Linn (14), Malheur (1), Marion (75), Multnomah (141), Polk (7), Tillamook (2), Umatilla (55), Union (6), Wallowa (5), Wasco (4), Washington (85) and Yamhill (17).
Klamath County Public Health officials reported four new cases of COVID-19. The local case count is 2,670. The case count also reflects the transfer of a case to Jackson County.
This week’s total is 32. OHA reported that 15,173 new doses of COVID-19 vaccinations were added to the state immunization registry yesterday. Oregon has now administered a cumulative total of 486,861 first and second doses of COVID-19 vaccines.
Of this total, 12,173 doses were administered on Feb. 2 and 5,547 were administered on previous days but were entered into the vaccine registry on Feb. 2. Oregon has now administered a cumulative total of 471,966 first and second doses of COVID-19 vaccines. To date, 706,575 doses of vaccine have been delivered to sites across Oregon.
Sky Lakes Medical Center will hold a vaccine clinic tomorrow, on Saturday, Feb. 6th for Klamath County residents 80 and older. The clinic will be open from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on the first floor of the Collaborative Health Center, located at 2821 Daggett Ave. on the Sky Lakes Campus, across from the hospital.
Vaccine will be available by appointment only (there will be no walk in slots available). If you are in this age group and wish to schedule an appointment, please call our COVID-19 Vaccine Call Center at 1-833-606-4370.
The Call Center will be open Wednesday, February 3rd, from 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. the rest of the week.
They continue to schedule appointments for those in phases 1a and 1b for other dates and times, and will have additional dates available for seniors as vaccine is available.
All Safeway and Albertsons stores in southern Oregon will be receiving and administering doses of COVID-19 vaccine in the coming weeks.
The Biden administration announced on Tuesday that it would begin sending shipments of vaccine directly to retail pharmacies beginning next week. The CDC said that Walgreens, CVS, Walmart, Rite Aid, Fred Meyer, Costco, and Albertsons will be participating in the initial program.
Jill McGinnis, spokesperson for Safeway and Albertsons said their pharmacy teams have been preparing to handle the unprecedented demand and administer the COVID-19 vaccine safely and efficiently as members of the public become eligible. McGinnis said that Safeway and Albertsons pharmacies would receive their first direct shipments of vaccine through the program starting next week. Those doses will be administered based on Oregon’s eligibility guidelines. She said as noted by the CDC, supply will be limited in the initial phase of the partnership. As vaccine supply increases, more of their pharmacies will participate in this federal program.
Both Albertsons and Safeway have online portals for scheduling vaccination appointments, with more added to the online scheduler as doses arrive. Until the shipments have are on-hand, appointments will not be available.
Dangerous Driver Apprehended by Klamath Falls Police
On Thursday, February 4, 2021, at approximately 12:42 pm, Officers from the Klamath Falls Police Department were dispatched to assist the Oregon State Police in stopping a blue, Kia sedan which was driving recklessly, southbound on Highway 97 toward the Klamath Falls City Center.
KFPD Officers intercepted the described vehicle in the vicinity of Spring and S 6th Street and also attempted to stop the vehicle via emergency lighting and sirens, but then discontinued the effort due to excessive speeds and traffic conditions.
The vehicle proceeded to the area of S 6th Street near Adams Street where it then struck a bystander’s vehicle, then almost stuck a pedestrian at the lighted pedestrian crossing. At this time, officers reengaged the effort to pursue the vehicle, as it was clear the suspect driving factors were likely to contribute to substantial injury or death to another person.
The vehicle slowed at one point near 6th Street and Shasta Way, driving around a patrol vehicle and almost striking an officer. The driver of the sedan then proceeded southbound on Washburn from 6th Street, and later turned into the Walmart shopping area.
During this time, and with regard to the threat posed to pedestrians and motorists within the shopping area, a pursuit intervention technique (an intentional striking of the suspect vehicle to suspend any further driving) was used and the vehicle was blocked in a manner not to proceed.
The driver, identified as 29 year old, Trevor M. Wiley of Medford, OR, then attempted to flee the area on foot, and resisted efforts to be taken into police custody. An officer effectively deployed their Taser, striking Mr. Wiley and bringing this incident to a safe resolution and arrest, with no further incident.
Mr. Wiley was treated for minor injuries at Sky Lakes Medical Center and released prior to being lodged at the Klamath County Jail on the following charges: Attempted Assault 1, Felony Elude, Misdemeanor Elude, Reckless Driving, Reckless, Endangering, Hit and Run, and Resisting Arrest.
The Klamath Falls Police Department extends its appreciation to our partner law enforcement agencies, as well as to Klamath County Fire District 1 for assisting with this incident.
Arrested: Trevor M. Wiley, DOB 2/21/1991– photo unavailable as of time of this release.
If you have information regarding this case, please contact the Klamath Falls Police Department at 541-883-5336. Prepared by Ryan G. Brosterhous, Captain.
The Healthy Klamath coalition is seeking community feedback. Have you ever wished that someone would ask you what you think?
Well, Healthy Klamath is doing just that in creating a vision for the future of health in Klamath County. There are several ways to participate. The questions are available as an online survey at surveymonkey.com/r/HKvision.
Answering all of the questions might feel like a lot of work. Providing just one answer gives the members of the Healthy Klamath Coalition a better idea of what local people are thinking. Answering most or all of them shows a deeper meaning and a connection between your thoughts.
If computer surveys are not your thing, you are welcome to send your answers to the co-chairs of Healthy Klamath – Merritt Driscoll and Cord Van Riper at 2701 Foothills Blvd, Klamath Falls, OR 97603.
After more than a year of contract negotiations, Oregon Tech’s administration and Oregon Tech’s faculty union have yet to agree on health benefits, workload and salary, or policies for evaluation, promotion and tenure.
If either party officially declares impasse, it could result in a faculty strike. Oregon Tech faculty unionized in 2018, forming the Oregon Tech branch of the American Association of University Professors (OT-AAUP) which is now the exclusive bargaining representative of faculty, instructors and librarians at Oregon Tech. OT-AAUP and Oregon Tech’s administration have been bargaining since December 2019 over what will be faculty’s first contract since unionizing. OT-AAUP also wants to secure multi-year contracts for non-tenure-track faculty, whose contracts currently last one year.
Meanwhile Oregon Institute of Technology 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.
Around the state of Oregon
A federal judge ruled that Oregon must offer Covid-19 vaccinations to all prison inmates immediately — putting them ahead of the state’s senior citizens in line for the limited supply of vaccines. In an order issued Tuesday, US Magistrate Judge Stacie F. Beckerman wrote that inmates are particularly vulnerable to the spread of coronavirus because they live and work in close quarters and have limited ability to social distance.
There have been more than 368,000 cases among prison inmates, according to the Covid Prison Project, which tracks Covid-19 in US correctional facilities, and more than 2,250 deaths. It said almost 3,400 Oregon inmates have tested positive and more than 40 have died of Covid-19. Oregon has a tiered system for deciding when people will be eligible to get the vaccine.
The court ruled that prisoners should be treated as members of Phase 1A, Group 2, which includes people who live or work at residential care facilities, adult foster care, group homes for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and similar congregate care sites, as well as hospice programs and mobile crisis care and related services. People who work at correctional facilities are also in that group, but inmates were farther down the list, in Phase 1B. The judge said that violated the inmates’ rights.
Oregon’s two Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley on Wednesday announced the River Democracy Act of 2021. It would add nearly 4,700 miles of Oregon rivers and streams to the National Wild and Scenic Rivers system including some here in our area.
The bill would almost triple the number of river miles with Wild and Scenic protections in Oregon and includes waterways in most of the state. It would also expand the amount of land protected in Wild and Scenic River corridors from a quarter-mile on both sides of the river to a half-mile. It amounts to one of the biggest public lands conservation proposals in state history.
The Senators were proud of the fact that 2,500 Oregonians contributed their opinion to this process claiming widespread support. It should be noted that Oregon has over 4 million residents.
An Ashland-based organization will receive a $4.2 million grant from the state in order to buy and convert a local motel into a shelter facility, part of Oregon’s newly-funded Project Turnkey” The Oregon Community Foundation announced on Thursday that Options for Helping Residents of Ashland (OHRA) had been selected to be the first recipient of a Project Turnkey grant.
The funds are meant to be used to create a resource center and shelter facility for people in the community negatively impacted by wildfires and the COVID-19 pandemic. OHRA plans to convert the Super 8 motel building at 2350 Ashland Street into a shelter, with hopes of having the center open at a limited capacity in March for the most vulnerable members of the community.
Eventually, the new building will offer separated living areas for 20-30 people. The current OHRA shelter accomodates a maximum of 44 people, all in a common room. With COVID-19 still a major concern, proponents of the project consider separated living quarters a much safer alternative.
An anonymous donor has made a historic $50 million lead gift to transform Oregon State University’s Reser Stadium into a national best-in-class football facility with year-round programs and facilities for all OSU students, faculty and staff.
The $153 million project, which will fully renovate the stadium’s west side, received approval by the OSU Board of Trustees Finance and Administration Committee on Jan. 28 to enter into the design phase.
Plans call for final approval of the project to be considered by the board of trustees at its May meeting.The $50 million gift to the OSU Foundation is dedicated to the Reser Stadium project and equals the largest donation ever to Oregon State University.
When approved, construction would begin immediately following the 2021 football season to enable the project to be completed for the start of OSU’s 2023 football season. OSU will continue to play at Reser Stadium during construction. An anonymous donor has made a historic $50 million lead gift to transform Oregon State University’s Reser Stadium into a national best-in-class football facility with year-round programs and facilities for all OSU students, faculty and staff. The project involves the complete demolition and rebuilding of the west side of Reser Stadium and the construction of year-round university facilities, including a new state-of-the art interactive welcome center for new students considering attending OSU; new health center facilities for Corvallis campus students; health care facilities for OSU faculty and staff; and additional meeting space for university students, faculty and staff.
150 ARTS ORGANIZATIONS RECEIVE $910,568 IN OPERATING SUPPORT GRANTS FROM THE OREGON ARTS COMMISSION
Salem, Oregon – Awards totaling $910,568 have been distributed to 150 Oregon arts organizations through the Oregon Arts Commission’s fiscal year 2021 Operating Support Program. There are 12 more recipients than in fiscal year 2020 due to a growing number of eligible organizations.
Ranging from $2,828 to $ 22,888, the grant awards are available to nonprofit organizations with arts at the core of their mission and budgets over $150,000*.
“We often hear that operating support is the most important type of award,” said Arts Commission Chair Anne Taylor. “Especially now, as arts organizations continue to suffer great losses due to the pandemic, these awards can help relieve a bit of the economic pressure.”
In 2019 organizations receiving Operating Support from the Arts Commission expended $213 million, employed 11,681 FTE and produced events and activities that were attended by close to 3.7 million people.
*Organizations with budgets under $150,000 are eligible to apply to the Small Operating Program. This program funds an additional 97 arts organizations.
Fiscal year 2021 Operating Support Grants, sorted alphabetically by geographic region (see end of list for region and county key), were awarded to:
BendFilm, Bend: $3,898
Sisters Folk Festival, Inc., Sisters: $5,368
Sunriver Music Festival, Sunriver: $3,335
The High Desert Museum, Bend: $14,180
Tower Theatre Foundation, Inc., Bend: $4,751
Greater Eastern – North
Arts Council of Pendleton, Pendleton: $8,858
Crow’s Shadow Institute of the Arts, Pendleton: $4,398
Oregon East Symphony, Pendleton: $3,000
Greater Eastern – South
Four Rivers Cultural Center, Ontario: $5,335
45th Parallel, Portland: $3,024
Alberta Abbey Foundation, Portland: $3,504
All Classical Portland, Portland: $8,500
Artichoke Community Music, Portland: $3,930
Art In The Pearl, Portland: $3,024
Artists Repertory Theatre, Portland: $6,768
A-WOL Dance Collective, Inc., Clackamas: $3,503
Bag & Baggage Productions, Inc., Hillsboro: $4,430
BodyVox Inc. , Portland: $10,953
Bosco-Milligan Foundation, Portland: $3,728
Broadway Rose Theatre Company, Tigard: $7,510
Caldera, Portland: $9,697
Camp45 Contemporary, Portland: $4,460
Cappella Romana Inc., Portland: $6,478
Chamber Music Northwest , Portland: $10,581
Children’s Healing Art Project, Portland: $3,000
Clackamas County Arts Alliance, Oregon City: $6,772
Clackamas Repertory Theatre, Oregon City: $3,000
CoHo Productions Ltd., Portland: $3,023
Corrib Theatre, Portland: $3,057
Curious Comedy Theater, Portland: $5,393
Disjecta Contemporary Art Center, Inc., Portland: $8,919
Echo Theater Company, Portland: $3,898
Ethos Inc., Portland: $4,841
Film Action Oregon dba Hollywood Theatre, Portland: $5,496
Friends of Chamber Music, Portland: $6,322
Hand2Mouth, Portland: $3,024
Imago the Theatre Mask Ensemble, Portland: $3,410
In a Landscape, Portland: $3,780
Independent Publishing Resource Center Inc., Portland: $5,938
Lakewood Theatre Company, Lake Oswego: $8,239
Literary Arts Inc., Portland: $11,203
Live Wire Radio, Portland: $7,052
MetroEast Community Media, Gresham: $9,072
Metropolitan Youth Symphony, Portland: $6,618
Miracle Theatre Group, Portland: $16,894
Music Workshop, Portland: $3,024
My Voice Music, Portland: $3,617
Northwest Children’s Theater & School Inc., Portland: $7,441
Northwest Professional Dance Project, Portland: $7,255
Old Church Society, Inc., Portland: $4,488
Open Signal, Portland: $12,772
Oregon Ballet Theatre, Portland: $7,409
Oregon BRAVO Youth Orchestras, Portland: $6,044
Oregon Center for the Photographic Arts, Portland: $3,398
Oregon Children’s Theatre Company, Portland: $11,980
Oregon Repertory Singers, Portland: $3,000
Oregon Symphony, Portland: $22,101
Outside the Frame, Portland: $3,780
Pacific Northwest College of Art, Portland: $6,672
Pacific Youth Choir, Portland: $5,363
Phame Academy, Portland: $5,824
Polaris Dance Company, Portland: $5,524
Portland Actors Conservatory, Portland: $3,728
Portland Art Museum, Portland: $22,371
Portland Baroque Orchestra, Portland: $7,758
Portland Center Stage at The Armory, Portland: $15,214
Portland Children’s Museum, Portland: $10,044
Portland Columbia Symphony, Portland: $2,828
Portland Experimental Theatre Ensemble, Portland: $3,355
Portland Gay Men’s Chorus Inc., Portland: $5,488
Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, Portland: $10,791
Portland Jazz Festival, Inc. dba PDX Jazz, Portland: $5,670
Portland Opera Association, Portland: $17,847
Portland Piano International, Portland: $4,293
Portland Playhouse, Portland: $7,375
Portland Symphonic Choir, Portland: $3,520
Portland Youth Philharmonic Association, Portland: $4,495
Profile Theatre Project, Portland: $4,398
Red Door Project, Portland: $4,670
Regional Arts & Culture Council, Portland: $22,099
Rock ‘n’ Roll Camp for Girls, Portland: $3,402
Stumptown Stages, Lake Oswego: $3,844
The Circus Project, Portland: $5,604
The Portland Ballet, Portland: $5,417
Third Angle New Music Ensemble, Inc., Portland: $3,607
Third Rail Repertory Theatre, Portland: $6,976
triangle productions, Portland: $5,005
Vibe of Portland: Portland: $3,057
Western Alliance of Arts Administrators Foundation, Portland: $4,101
White Bird, Portland: $7,416
Write Around Portland, Portland: $7,957
Young Audiences of Oregon Inc., Portland: $5,120
Young Musicians & Artists, Portland: $3,193
Youth Music Project, West Linn: $3,550
Chehalem Center Association, Newberg: $5,335
Children’s Educational Theatre, Salem: $3,057
Hallie Ford Museum of Art, Salem : $5,656
Historic Elsinore Theatre Inc., Salem: $4,072
Oregon Symphony Association in Salem, Salem: $3,728
Pentacle Theatre Inc., Salem: $4,121
Salem Art Association, Salem: $9,539
Salem Multicultural Institute, Salem: $5,278
Willamette Art Center, Salem: $3,414
Columbia Arts, Hood River: $5,632
Liberty Restoration Inc., Astoria: $3,719
Crossroads Creative and Performing Arts Center Inc., Baker City: $3,020
Eastern Oregon Regional Arts Council, La Grande: $3,000
Fishtrap Inc., Enterprise: $5,631
Josephy Center for Arts and Culture, Joseph: $3,000
PLAYA, Summer Lake: $4,913
Ross Ragland Theater, Klamath Falls: $9,749
Artula Institute for Art and Environmental Education/Washed Ashore, Bandon: $3,000
Coos Art Museum, Coos Bay: $4,454
Umpqua Valley Arts Association, Roseburg: $5,183
South Valley/ Mid Coast
Ballet Fantastique, Eugene: $3,011
Chamber Music Amici, Eugene: $3,024
Corvallis Arts Center Inc., Corvallis: $5,467
Corvallis Youth Symphony Association, Corvallis: $3,211
Cottage Theatre, Cottage Grove: $3,000
Eugene Ballet, Eugene: $8,334
Eugene Concert Choir Inc., Eugene: $5,135
Eugene Opera, Eugene: $4,235
Eugene-Springfield Youth Orchestras, Eugene: $3,800
Eugene Symphony Association, Inc., Eugene: $14,409
Joint Forces Dance Company, Eugene: $4,289
Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, Eugene: $8,618
Lane Arts Council, Eugene: $10,767
Lincoln City Cultural Center, Inc, Lincoln City: $3,174
Maude I Kerns Art Center, Eugene: $3,728
Newport Symphony Orchestra, Newport: $3,000
Oregon Bach Festival, Eugene: $13,027
Oregon Coast Council for the Arts, Newport: $9,628
Oregon Contemporary Theatre, Eugene: $3,769
Oregon Folklife Network, Eugene: $3,697
Oregon Mozart Players, Eugene: $3,280
Pacific International Choral Festivals, Eugene: $3,024
Shedd Institute for the Arts, The John G., Eugene: $9,868
Sitka Center for Art and Ecology, Otis: $5,292
The Very Little Theatre, Eugene: $2,904
Chamber Music Concerts, Ashland: $3,817
Collaborative Theatre Project Inc, Medford: $3,057
Grants Pass Museum of Art, Grants Pass: $2,824
Oregon Shakespeare Festival Association, Ashland: $22,888
Rogue Valley Art Association, Medford: $5,111
Rogue Valley Chorale Association, Medford: $3,000
Rogue World Music, Ashland: $3,024
Schneider Museum of Art, Ashland: $3,578
Southern Oregon Film Society, Ashland: $3,417
Southern Oregon Repertory Singers, Ashland: $3,000
Youth Symphony of Southern Oregon, Medford: $3,611
Region and county key:
Central (Jefferson, Deschutes and Crook Counties)
Greater Eastern North (Gilliam, Morrow, Umatilla, Wheeler and Grant Counties)
Greater Eastern South (Harney and Malheur)
Portland Metro (Multnomah, Washington and Clackamas Counties)
Mid-Valley (Yamhill, Polk and Marion Counties)
North Central (Hood River, Wasco and Sherman Counties)
North Coast (Clatsop, Columbia and Tillamook Counties)
Northeast (Wallowa, Union and Baker Counties)
South Central (Klamath and Lake Counties)
South Coast (Douglas, Coos and Curry Counties)
South Valley/Mid-Coast (Lincoln, Benton, Linn and Lane Counties)
Southern (Josephine and Jackson Counties)
* * * * * * * * * * *
The Oregon Arts Commission provides leadership, funding and arts programs through its grants, special initiatives and services. Nine commissioners, appointed by the Governor, determine arts needs and establish policies for public support of the arts. The Arts Commission became part of Business Oregon (formerly Oregon Economic and Community Development Department) in 1993, in recognition of the expanding role the arts play in the broader social, economic and educational arenas of Oregon communities. In 2003, the Oregon legislature moved the operations of the Oregon Cultural Trust to the Arts Commission, streamlining operations and making use of the Commission’s expertise in grantmaking, arts and cultural information and community cultural development.
The Arts Commission is supported with general funds appropriated by the Oregon legislature and with federal funds from the National Endowment for the Arts as well as funds from the Oregon Cultural Trust. More information about the Oregon Arts Commission is available online at: www.oregonartscommission.org.
The Army National Guard has awarded the Environmental Security Award for Cultural Resources Management (CRM) to the Oregon National Guard for fiscal year 2020. The award highlights the on-going efforts of Mr. Jim Arnold and the Environmental Branch team for their work in Cultural Resources Management at Camp Umatilla, Oregon.
The CRM program integrated a process to preserve the historic value of the training site in accordance with state law, allowing the continued training mission and new construction projects to proceed at Camp Umatilla.
The Umatilla Chemical Depot originally opened in 1941 as part of the preparations leading up to World War II. The depot took on its chemical weapons storage mission in 1962. Beginning in 1990 preparations for the eventual closure of the installation began, as conventional ammunition and supplies were sent to other U.S. Military installations.
Following decommissioning in 2015, the land was transferred to the Oregon Military Department in 2018 who planned to use part of the base for a training facility, while the rest becomes industrial land and a wildlife refuge.
EUGENE, Ore.—On February 4, 2021, a White City, Oregon man was sentenced for violating the Lacey Act by illegally poaching a trophy bull elk in Crater Lake National Park, announced U.S. Attorney Billy J. Williams.
Adrian Duane Wood, 44, was sentenced to five years’ federal probation to include a six-month stay at a residential reentry center. The court also ordered that Wood be banned for life from Crater Lake National Park, be restricted from hunting for the duration of his probation, and pay $42,500 in restitution to the National Park Service.
“Our nation’s environmental laws are in place to protect vulnerable wildlife populations and ensure that future generations will have the opportunity to enjoy these animals as we do today. Mr. Wood preyed on elk and deer who were unaccustomed to being hunted and thus uniquely vulnerable to poaching,” said U.S. Attorney Williams. “Beyond the depravity of his crimes, Mr. Wood further engaged his minor son in his illegal acts and bragged about his criminal behavior to others. Thanks to the hard work of federal and state investigators, justice has been served and Mr. Wood has been permanently banned from Crater Lake.”
“Our public lands are special places for both people and wildlife,” said James Ashburner, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. “The defendant’s blatant disregard for the law caused great harm to the elk herd in the park. This joint case demonstrates the resolve of National Park Service, Oregon State Police, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in protecting our nation’s natural resources. A special thank you goes out to the Service’s National Wildlife Forensics Lab for their incredible work on this case, as well as to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Oregon for placing an emphasis on environmental crimes that impact the natural world we all enjoy.”
According to court documents, in July 2014, the National Park Service (NPS), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), and Oregon State Police (OSP) began a multi-year investigation into Wood’s illegal hunting activities based on reports that he was poaching wildlife in Crater Lake National Park. At least two sources stated that Wood had killed several deer and elk on the west side of the park after baiting them into meadow with rock salt. OSP received further reports that Wood was illegally poaching wildlife at night.
On August 31, 2014, an OSP trooper observed Wood and his son leaving the national park after dark. When the trooper approached him, Wood hurried toward his vehicle and acted as if he were trying to hide something. After speaking with Wood, the trooper located a loaded AR-15 semi-automatic rifle outfitted with night optics beneath his truck. Wood initially claimed the rifle was for bear hunting, but after the trooper pointed out that the rifle was not lawfully equipped to hunt any wildlife, Wood then claimed it was for personal protection. The trooper cited Wood for being a felon in possession of a firearm and seized the rifle. Wood was convicted in state court of the charge and placed on probation.
Throughout 2015, NPS and OSP continued receiving reports of Wood’s illegal poaching. NPS rangers found carcasses and piles of rock salt in an area of the park frequented by Wood. In October 2015, an NPS ranger found an elk skull, jaw, and vertebrae in the national park. The remains were determined to be near a custom track log found on Wood’s GPS unit. Investigators later learned Wood entered and won second or third place in a Sportsman’s Warehouse Big Bull elk hunting contest.
In August and September 2016, Wood engaged in several incriminating text conversations. On August 28, 2016, Wood texted his wife about his attempt to locate a bleeding elk he had shot. A photo later discovered on Wood’s phone, taken on August 28, appeared to depict a trail of blood. Investigators also found a custom waypoint named “Hit” on Wood’s GPS device created the same morning as the date-stamped photo. The “Hit” location was within the boundaries of the national park.
On September 7, 2016, Wood texted another individual, bragging about his hunting activities: “I’ve been in the elk since opening season and passed up 5 last Sunday because I have a problem shooting a small 5 point when there is a monster 50 yards away screaming at me…I’m pretty good at finding elk around here, I’ve killed 24 and get one every year.”
On September 22, 2016, OSP contacted Wood in his vehicle as he was pulling a horse trailer near the boundary of the national park. Although Wood stated he had not been hunting in 2016, the trooper observed blood on Wood’s hands and clothing. Wood then gave the trooper a partially validated Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) archery elk tag, which also had blood on it. The next day, an OSP trooper returned to the area where they had contacted Wood, walked a short distance into the national park, and discovered a freshly killed and partially butchered elk. The carcass was in the same meadow wherein Wood was previously reported to have hunted elk. The trooper noted that the elk’s head was sawed off and some meat was removed. Shortly thereafter, Wood texted photos of himself posing with the elk. OSP obtained the photos and matched them to the carcass.
On October 4, 2016, FWS agents executed a federal search warrant on Wood’s residence. They located multiple firearms, assorted ammunition, and several wildlife specimens. FWS special agents later searched Wood’s GPS units and confirmed he was in the national park when he killed the bull elk on September 22 and had marked the location of the kill. They further confirmed that the majority of his GPS hunting waypoints and track logs between 2011 and 2016 were within the boundaries of the national park.
Forensic scientists at the FWS National Fish and Wildlife Forensics Lab, conducted forensic examinations and genetic analyses of the wildlife specimens taken from Wood’s residence and compared them to animal remains recovered in the national park. DNA analyses revealed that Wood possessed parts of at least 13 elk, 12 deer, and one black bear, and the blood found on Wood’s ODFW archery tag matched the DNA of the elk poached on September 22. A forensic pathologist further determined the elk killed on September 22 had been killed by a gunshot. In total, investigators definitively linked six seized specimens to elk or deer poached by Wood in the national park in 2015 and 2016.
On May 1, 2019, Wood was indicted by a federal grand jury in Medford, Oregon for violating the Lacey Act by unlawfully taking and transporting a trophy bull elk from Crater Lake National Park and illegally possessing ammunition as a convicted felon. On August 17, 2020, Wood pleaded guilty to the Lacey Act charge and agreed to pay restitution to NPS for the wildlife illegally taken from the national park.
This case was investigated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Office of Law Enforcement, National Park Service, and the Oregon State Police Fish and Wildlife Division. It was prosecuted by Adam E. Delph, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is responsible for protecting America’s wildlife from poaching, illegal commercialization, and other kinds of wildlife crime. If you have information related to a wildlife crime, please call 1-844-FWS-TIPS (1-844-397-8477) or email email@example.com.
FORMER NIKE MARKETING MANAGER CHARGED IN SCHEME TO DEFRAUD COMPANY
U.S. Attorney Billy J. Williams announced today that Errol Amorin Andam, 49, of Beaverton, Oregon, a former marketing manager at Nike, Inc., has been charged by criminal information with wire fraud, money laundering, and making false statements on a loan application as part of a scheme to defraud his former employer.
According to the information, from 2001 until his termination in 2018, Andam was employed by Nike at its headquarters in Beaverton. Most recently, Andam worked as a manager in the company’s North American Retail Brand Marketing division wherein he managed the design, build-out, and operation of “pop-up” retail venues, temporary Nike shops situated near and tailored to sports competitions and other special events around the U.S.
In the summer of 2016, Andam recruited a childhood friend to establish a company to design and build the pop-up venues as an independent contractor for Nike. Andam used his authority as a manager at Nike to ensure that his friend’s company was consistently awarded the contracts for these jobs. Though he had no formal role in his friend’s company, Andam assumed control of much of the company’s financial operations, managing financial accounts and issuing invoices to Nike.
To conceal his role in the scheme, Andam used an alter ego, “Frank Little,” to invoice Nike and manage the contract company’s account with Square, Inc., a California-based provider of mobile credit-card-processing services. In 2016, Andam also renewed the lapsed registration of an Oregon-based limited liability corporation (LLC) he owned so that he could use the defunct entity as a shell company to funnel the proceeds diverted from Nike and his friend’s company to accounts under his personal control.
Beginning in September 2016, Andam caused credit-card sales at various pop-up venues around the U.S. to be run through card readers associated with a Square account owned by his friend’s company. These proceeds were transferred to Square in California and then to Andam’s LLC bank account in Oregon. Andam represented to both Nike and his friend that the proceeds of these sales were credited against the total amount Nike owed to his friend’s company. In truth, Andam simply pocketed the proceeds and, as “Frank Little,” invoiced Nike for the full cost of the contracted services.
From September 2016 through December 2018, Andam diverted and embezzled nearly $1.5 million in Nike proceeds for his own use. In July 2018, Andam submitted a fake financial statement from his LLC in support of a residential mortgage loan application. The financial statement falsely reflected as revenue checks for $194,000 drawn on a bank account owned by his friend’s business. Andam forged his friend’s signature on the check and withdrew much of that money without his friend’s knowledge.
Andam faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison, fines of up to $4.5 million, and 5 years’ supervised release. He will be arraigned on March 5, 2021, before a U.S. Magistrate Judge.
This case is being investigated by the FBI and IRS Criminal Investigation. It is being prosecuted by Ryan W. Bounds, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon.