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, your local health and Medicare agents.
Friday, May 7, 2021
Klamath Basin Weather
Today Sunny, with a high near 58. Gusty northwest winds to 18 mph at times.
Saturday Widespread frost before 7am. Otherwise, sunny, with a high near 66. Areas of frost overnight with a low around 36.
Sunday Sunny, with a high near 66
Robert Dentinger, previously a Klamath Falls police captain, will now lead the department he has worked for since 1996.
City manager Nathan Cherpeski offered Dentinger the position of police chief Thursday, after he and two other finalists took part in public forums, citizens panels, police department employees and the city’s executive team.
Dentinger will replace former police chief David Henslee, who announced his plans to retire. Dentinger has worked in law enforcement since 1996, all with the city of Klamath Falls.
He holds a bachelor’s degree from Northwest Christian University in Management and is a graduate of the FBI National Academy.
Oregon reports 763 new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases, 5 new deaths
There are five new COVID-19 related deaths in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll to 2,514, the Oregon Health Authority reported today. Oregon Health Authority reported 763 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19 as of 12:01 a.m. today, bringing the state total to 189,162.
The new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases reported today are in the following counties: Baker (12), Benton (14), Clackamas (38), Clatsop (3), Columbia (9), Coos (3), Crook (14), Curry (4), Deschutes (95), Douglas (13), Grant (3), Harney (1), Hood River (2), Jackson (38), Jefferson (4), Josephine (9), KIamath (31), Lake (1), Lane (70), Lincoln (2), Linn (42), Malheur (5), Marion (72), Morrow (1), Multnomah (115), Polk (20), Tillamook (1), Umatilla (9), Union (1), Wallowa (2), Wasco (2), Washington (107) and Yamhill (20).
With over 4 million Oregon residents in the state, the Oregon Health Authority says it has now administered a total of 1,706,865 first and second doses of Pfizer, 1,349,096 first and second doses of Moderna and 101,923 single doses of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines. As of today, 1,353,250 people have completed a COVID-19 vaccine series. There are 1,902,244 who have had at least one dose.
Sky Lakes Medical Center is taking steps to make getting a COVID-19 vaccination as convenient as possible. Walk-ins so persons 16 and older can get COVID-19 vaccinations are welcome 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Just sign in at Sky Lakes registration near the medical center’s main entrance and staff will help with the rest. In addition, vaccinations to protect from COVID-19 are now available for patients at Sky Lakes primary care clinic and Cascades East family medicine clinic.
Both clinics are in the Sky Lakes collaborative health center on the medical center campus. Sky Lakes is hosting multiple COVID-19 vaccination clinics in the next two weeks.
Klamath County has a 6.1 percent positive test rate for Covid patients seen by a health care provider. Currently about 32% of Klamath County residents have been fully vaccinated.
Firefighters worked throughout Wednesday night to fully line the Meadow Fire, which is north of Chiloquin and started as a prescribed burn. According to fire officials, the Meadow Fire is 815 acres in size, all of it within the 4,000 acres that were planned for the initial treatment.
As of Thursday morning, the fire was 5 miles northeast of Chiloquin and continues to move away from the community. On Wednesday night, two heavy air tankers dropped retardant, checking the fire to allow crews to get around it. The Winema and the Rogue River Hotshots, 21 engines and 5 dozers were also mobilized to help and successfully got the fire lined.
On Thursday morning the Zigzag and La Grande hotshot teams arrived, along with three more engines, four water tenders and the Type 3 incident management team.
The weather is warming up, and fire season is approaching. The City of Klamath Falls is committed to reducing the risk of fire in the City of Klamath Falls and encourages the community to properly maintain their property.
Fire hazards exist when overgrown weeds, brush, or trimmings are adjacent to, or could potentially threaten structures such as dwellings, barns, storage buildings, or stored vehicles. All properties in the City of Klamath Falls are required to have weeds and grasses no taller than eight inches (8”) and, during the period of May 15 through October 30, the Code expands to includes all non-agricultural grasses and weeds. No owner or person in charge of the property within the City shall allow the property to have grasses or weeds in violation.
Proper abatement and property maintenance help reduce fire hazard, prevents the spread of unwanted weeds, and improves the image of our beautiful City.
Around the state of Oregon
Health officials say the fourth wave of the pandemic may have peaked in Oregon.
The Oregon Health Authority reports new cases declined three-percent over the last week. Hospitalizations dropped 18-percent, while the number of deaths declined 38-percent. Meanwhile, the percent of positive tests increased from six to six-point-eight-percent.
Coronavirus vaccine availability is rising across Oregon, but the rate of doses administered has been slowing since April despite eligibility being opened to everyone 16 and older.
With spread of COVID-19 still an issue, Jackson County Public Health is trying to dispel rumors and myths about the vaccines while encouraging people to get vaccinated. According to Oregon Health Authority data, the number of doses administered per day statewide peaked in early April and has declined since.
As of Thursday, nearly 2 million Oregonians had either finished their vaccine series or received a first dose. Though daily vaccinations are dropping, getting a shot has never been easier. Many vaccine providers in southern Oregon are no longer requiring appointments, allowing walk-ins during operating hours.
The issue of combatting COVID-19 is increasingly entering a period where the problem is no longer vaccine supply, but low demand in communities with a high degree of vaccine hesitancy. Public health officials continue to underline that the vaccines are both same and the quickest way of getting back to some degree of normalcy.
Oregon’s most populous county ranks fourth in the state for its share of residents partially or fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Nearly 50% of Multnomah County residents have received at least one dose of vaccine.
On the opposite end of the spectrum: Umatilla and Malheur counties, which rank last and second-to-last in the share of residents fully vaccinated and partially or fully vaccinated. Both counties, incidentally, have recorded the highest coronavirus case rates since the start of the pandemic.
Even as COVID-19 vaccines roll out across the country, many communities are still facing challenges from the pandemic and the organizations that support them are still seeing unprecedented demand.
For organizations that are also supporting the rebuilding efforts from last year’s Labor Day Storm, the demand is even greater. In spite of the odds, local programs that address critical issues such as food insecurity, homelessness, domestic violence, child abuse, elder issues, mental health and community safety have continued to find creative new ways to deliver help quickly and safely, even while facing additional budget constraints.
As part of the company’s commitment to supporting its communities, PacifiCorp Foundation, a nonprofit arm of Pacific Power, is donating more than $525,000 across the six states it serves. The funding goes to support a total of 209 safety and wellness grants as part of the most recent round of quarterly grants provided by the foundation each year.
The next grant cycle is now open through June 15; organizations may apply online.
Oregon says it won’t be ready to start providing paid family and medical leave benefits by a January 2023 deadline and has asked lawmakers to delay the rollout of the state’s long-anticipated program.
A bill introduced in the Oregon House on Tuesday on behalf of the Employment Department would give the state agency until September 2022 to adopt rules to establish the program and would defer the date when employers must begin paying into the program until January 2023 – delaying both deadlines by a full year.
If the bill is adopted, Oregon workers would not start seeing benefits through the new program until September 2023, eight months after the program is currently supposed to go into effect.
Both advocates of the legislation and the Employment Department said the coronavirus pandemic has laid bare the vital need for paid family and medical leave Oregon became the ninth state to commit to offering a paid family and medical leave program when lawmakers enacted the Oregon Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance program in 2019.
The Lake County Museum and Schminck Memorial Museum opened for the season on Thursday.
Open days are Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from noon to 4 p.m. Both museums will remain open through October 30. The $6 admission fee includes a tour of both museums. Children under age 12 are free. Curator Marie Lee said the Lake County Museum will display a wedding dress worn by Eliza Maria Jory Quimby on January 1, 1885.
Although she was not married in Lake County, she was great-grandmother to the late Alta Pernoll Roberts of Lakeview and Alta Lee Pernoll of Summer Lake. The dress was donated by Debi Roush Thornton. Lee terms it “a beautiful dress typical of that era.”