Klamath Basin News, Wednesday, Sept. 1 – OHA Reports 42 New Covid-Related Deathes Overnight, 2414 New Cases in Oregon; Klamath County with 87 New Cases

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Wednesday, September 1st, 2021

Klamath Basin Weather

Today Widespread haze before 2pm. Patchy smoke after 2pm. Sunny, with a high near 83. Overnight mostly clear with a low around 46.


Thursday Patchy smoke. Sunny, with a high near 83.
Friday Areas of smoke. Sunny, with a high near 86. Light and variable wind.
Saturday Areas of smoke. Sunny, with a high near 89.
Sunday Areas of smoke. Sunny, with a high near 91.
Monday, Labor DayAreas of smoke. Mostly sunny, with a high near 91

Today’s Headlines

There are 43 new COVID-19 related deaths in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll to 3,198. Oregon Health Authority reported 2,414 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19 as of yesterday, bringing the state total to 276,286.

The number of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 across Oregon is 1,162, which is 42 more than yesterday.

There are 322 COVID-19 patients in intensive care unit (ICU) beds, which is six more than yesterday. There are 43 available adult ICU beds out of 674 total (6% availability) and 298 available adult non-ICU beds out of 4,288 (7% availability).

Jackson County reported 118 new cases, while here in Klamath County, OHA reports 87 new cases.

The new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases reported today are in the following counties: Baker (12), Benton (47), Clackamas (149), Clatsop (8), Columbia (22), Coos (87), Crook (45), Curry (14), Deschutes (137), Douglas (178), Gilliam (1), Grant (7), Harney (21), Hood River (3), Jackson (118), Jefferson (27), Josephine (112), Klamath (87), Lake (18), Lane (170), Lincoln (8), Linn (169), Malheur (73), Marion (188), Morrow (6), Multnomah (210), Polk (94), Tillamook (22), Umatilla (86), Union (12), Wallowa (7), Wasco (30), Washington (148) and Yamhill (98).

Over the last two weeks since Gov. Brown announced a vaccine mandate, Freedom Foundation director Josh Dudash has received thousands of calls.

According to the governor’s mandate, there are few exceptions, those being health and religious. While this mandate has been called strict, Dudash says we won’t know just how strict until decisions start getting made. But according to the Oregon Department of Education, that’s not a number they are tracking. And when it comes to the Oct. 18 deadline he says the governor should think carefully about firing anyone who hasn’t been fully vaccinated.

The Klamath County District Attorney’s Office will charge the man who allegedly threatened to stone a former city official.

On Aug. 2, Jeahova Abdullah Christeo Kahn, formerly known as Steven Phillip Swager, threatened Eric Osterberg, the former assistant to the city manager, with a rock. Both charges are misdemeanors.

Leading up to the meeting, Kahn sat next to Osterberg and started making concerning comments. Eventually, Klamath Falls Chief of Police Robert Dentinger asked Kahn to leave the building. Costello said Osterberg was able to provide more information on the matter, which led her office to take criminal action against Kahn.

She said that Dentinger was was unaware of that information when he asked Kahn to leave.

Upper Klamath Lake is once again turning toxic for the summer. On July 30, the Oregon Health Authority issued a recreational use advisory for Eagle Ridge County Park and Shoalwater Bay due to a cyanobacteria bloom present on the lake’s western shore.

OHA expanded the advisory to Howard’s Bay, south of Spence Mountain, on August 30. The bloom creates the liver toxin microcystin, which can cause skin rashes, stomach issues, diarrhea and vomiting if ingested. Dogs who come into contact with the toxin can experience even more severe symptoms and even death. In a news release, OHA recommended that people and their pets not swim or boat in the affected area on the northeast shore of Shoalwater Bay.

Microcystin mainly causes harm through drinking or inhaling affected water, so land-based activities at Eagle Ridge County Park are still safe. Those who choose to boat in the area should minimize wake to avoid dispersing the toxin through water spray, the release read. OHA has issued toxic algae advisories for Upper Klamath Lake regularly for the past six years, though the blooms have been occurring in the lake for decades. Last year proved a relatively late start to the advisory, beginning on September 26.

Oregon Tech is honoring its incredible 73-year athletics’ legacy, and recognizing an amazing career of service as Howard Morris will be the Hustlin’ Owls first-ever inductee. 

The Oregon Tech athletic department announced today the introduction of the Howard Morris Hall of Fame with the inaugural ceremony and dinner on Saturday, October 30.

Throughout his coaching career at Oregon Tech, Morris led the football, wrestling, and baseball programs, in addition to teaching Health and Physical Education at the university. Howard became the Athletic Director in 1974, a position he held for 18 years before retiring in 1992.

Shortly after, he was lured out of retirement, serving as the Cascade Collegiate Conference Commissioner from 1994 to 2003.

Around the state of Oregon

A former South Medford High School gym teacher who pleaded guilty to sex abuse charges may not spend time in prison after he was handed a suspended sentence on Tuesday.

Police arrested Noah Berman in May of 2020 after receiving an anonymous report from the organization SafeOregon indicating that the physical education teacher had an inappropriate relationship with a student.

In July, Berman pleaded guilty to two counts of Sex Abuse in the Second Degree and one count of Tampering with a Witness. On Tuesday, Berman was sentenced to a total of 90 days in jail with a two-year suspended prison sentence. He’ll be on supervised probation for five years. When Berman was placed on administrative leave, he told the victim to lie about their relationship to law enforcement, the DA’s office said.

Oregon U.S. Senator Ron Wyden says he’s joined a bipartisan group of 35 senators calling on the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to swiftly develop and conduct outreach to veterans of the Global War on Terrorism – especially those who served in Afghanistan – to provide them with mental health resources.

Their call for action comes as reports find calls to veterans’ suicide hotlines have increased since the fall of Kabul earlier this month. In their letter, the senators note that veterans between the ages of 18 to 34 have the highest suicide rate among former service members and that many veterans do not use the Veterans Health Administration services, which provides many mental health resources geared at preventing suicide among service members. 

The USDA Forest Service will waive fees at day‐use recreation sites in Washington and Oregon on National Public Lands Day, Sat., Sept. 25. Fees will also be waved in honor of Veterans Day, Thurs., Nov. 11.

The Forest Service offers several fee‐free days annually to encourage Americans to explore the outdoors and visit their public lands. The fee waiver includes many Forest Service picnic areas, boat launches, trailheads, and visitor centers. Fees for camping, cabin rentals, or other permits still apply.

Fees will continue to be charged at recreation sites operated by concessionaires unless the individual manager chooses to participate.

Kevin Purnell was fired Monday as superintendent of the Adrian School District just one week after students returned to school.

The Adrian School Board, convening in an emotionally charged special meeting, voted 4-1 Monday evening to terminate Purnell after meeting in an executive, or closed door, session for less than half an hour to consider the matter.

The board provided no public explanation for its surprise decision to oust a superintendent who has been on the job for three years and in the district for 14 years. But critics and supporters of Purnell’s stance on mask mandates made clear it was a pivotal issue in his fissure with the board.

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