Klamath Basin News, Friday, 9/24 – Another Drought Relief Program For Farmers in The Basin Now Accepting Applications from Klamath Project Drought Response Agency

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Friday, September 24, 2021

Klamath Basin Weather

Today Sunny, with a high near 87.


Saturday Sunny, with a high near 87. Calm wind becoming southwest 5 to 7 mph in the afternoon. Overnight low around 46.
Sunday Sunny, with a high near 78.
Monday A 40 percent chance of rain after 11am. Partly sunny, with a high near 72.
Tuesday A chance of showers in the morning otherwise sunny, with a high near 59.

Today’s Headlines

The Klamath Project Drought Response Agency is announcing a second Drought Relief Program that Klamath Project Irrigators are encouraged to apply for.

The new program is the 2021 CARES Act Assistance Program funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The application deadline is October 15.

The first program was the 2021 No-Irrigation Program, funded by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, which is now closed. The 2021 Cares Act Program is a separate program from all other KPDRA programs and requires a separate application.

The funds to be distributed through this program will be distributed on a per acre basis. Irrigated and unirrigated lands within the Klamath Project are eligible, including land irrigated with groundwater.

Payments to eligible applicants are currently scheduled to be made by December 31. The 2021 CARES Act Program Application period is currently open and extends until October 15. Applicants are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

A Klamath Falls business is stepping up to help return one of the 13 service members killed in Afghanistan to her final resting place.

Monday, a local air ambulance service is partnering with an organization called, “Honoring Our Fallen” to transport the remains of a 23-year-old female Marine Killed by the suicide bomber at the Kabul Airport, one of the 13 killed in that incident on August 26th, widely covered by national and international news media outlets.

The company, Emergency Airlift,  is owned by Klamath Falls resident Ed Langerveld.  He is a retired Marine and heard about the difficulties the family was experiencing in transporting her remains and offered to fly her to DC for burial in Arlington National Cemetery.

Langerveld, a former Marine, is not charging for transporting her remains. He has placed the name of the fallen marine below the United States Marine Corps decal on the jet that will transport her remains in honor of her service and sacrifice. Langerveld will personally fly the jet to Washington D.C. Monday morning at about 9:00 AM.

Many cultures and religions practice fasting. Fasting is when a person goes without food or water for a period of time while appealing to a higher being for a blessing.

The local leaders of Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints are designating Sunday, September 26, as a day of fasting in regards to the current multi-year drought which is having a devastating impact on the Klamath Basin and nearby communities.

This Sunday, as a community and people of faith, the church said in a release “ let us all unite in and fast for the heavens to open for moisture in the coming months. Together we can petition God to bring an abundance of moisture to our mountains, streams, rivers, reservoirs, and lakes. There are many in our communities whose livelihoods depend on and will benefit directly from precious water resources which are now in such short supply.”

Fasting has been a practice of the prophets of God and members of the Church since ancient times.

A local man allegedly shot himself in the testicles early Wednesday morning. The incident is still being investigated by the Klamath Falls Police Department.

The victim is believed to have shot himself by accident in a home on the 2400 block of Biehn Street in Klamath Falls. He is now under investigation for possessing a firearm as a felon. The initial report came in at around 6:38 a.m. Wednesday as an assault after an “uninvolved party” called police to report the incident, KFPD Lieutenant Jack Daniel said.

The victim has a criminal history and “is being investigated for being a felon with a firearm,” said Daniel. The man was transported to Sky Lakes Medical Center for non-life threatening injuries, Daniel added.

There are 12 new COVID-19 related deaths in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll to 3,668. Oregon Health Authority reported 1,836 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19 as of yesterday, bringing the state total to 318,914.

The new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases reported today are in the following counties: Baker (9), Benton (22), Clackamas (133), Clatsop (18), Columbia (18), Coos (66), Crook (20), Curry (2), Deschutes (185), Douglas (67), Gilliam (2), Grant (4), Harney (11), Hood River (10), Jackson (90), Jefferson (39), Josephine (34), Klamath (49), Lake (11), Lane (141), Lincoln (8), Linn (65), Malheur (26), Marion (166), Morrow (7), Multnomah (231), Polk (48), Sherman (4), Tillamook (4), Umatilla (105), Union (13), Wallowa (11), Wasco (15), Washington (148) and Yamhill (54).

OHA’s most recent update on COVID-19 breakthrough cases, released yesterday, found that 76.8% of the 11,994 reported COVID-19 cases between Sept. 12 through Sept. 18 occurred in people who were unvaccinated. The number of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 across Oregon is 885, which is 54 fewer than yesterday. There are 263 COVID-19 patients in intensive care unit (ICU) beds, which is seven fewer than yesterday.

Regionally, Klamath County reported 49 new cases.  Jackson County had 90 to the west, and Lake County 11 to the east.

Around the state of Oregon

A school board in Redmond has rejected a district recommendation to fire a teacher for refusing to wear a mask during the coronavirus pandemic.

Redmond board members were told this was the first time an Oregon school board faced a decision to fire a teacher based on a COVID-19 mandate from Gov. Kate Brown.

On Wednesday the board voted 3-2 to reject the recommendation to terminate Terrabonne Community School teacher Tori Caudell.

Now that the board has rejected the termination, district officials will have to work with Caudell to figure out how to move forward and make a decision about her employment. Caudell said wearing a mask made her lightheaded and foggy, and that it was child abuse to force children to wear them.

Redmond School District Superintendent Charan Cline said the district’s human resources office offered alternatives to Caudell and explained how to apply for a medical exemption. Cline said the mask mandate is one of the many federal, state and local rules schools have to follow.

A man was shot and killed outside a bar by a white man in central Oregon, and prosecutors are working to determine whether race played a role in the incident, authorities said. Barry Washington Jr., 22, was shot early Sunday in downtown Bend. 

Bend police officers arrested Ian Cranston, 27, at the scene. Cranston, of Bend, was booked into jail on suspicion of second-degree manslaughter and had bail set at $100,000.

He has since posted bail and was released. Investigators believe the two men did not know each other, and the shooting happened after the victim spoke with Cranston’s girlfriend, according to Hummel.

Graphic describes when a booster is recommended. Click on the graphic to open the FAQ.

Oregon is prepared to provide COVID-19 booster shots to eligible people, but state health officials ask Oregonians to be patient as health care providers battle ongoing COVID-19 surge

Oregon is ready to make booster shots available to people who are eligible to receive one, if the Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup approves a federal recommendation to make booster shots of the Pfizer vaccine available to seniors and people in high-risk categories.

While Oregon currently has an adequate supply of Pfizer vaccines, state health officials cautioned that provider capacity could mean that booster shots may not be available on-demand in some communities.

Health officials continued to emphasize that medical evidence shows that all three COVID-19 vaccines are safe and highly effective at preventing severe COVID-19 illness and death. The recommended Pfizer booster maintains the Pfizer vaccine’s long-term effectiveness, especially for older adults.

Public health officials also urged all unvaccinated Oregonians to talk to their health provider about getting immunized against COVID-19. Dr. Tom Jeanne, Deputy State Epidemiologist said: “The Delta variant continues to spread, putting more people at risk, including younger people. A vaccination is the best way to keep yourself and the people you care about safe from COVID-19.”

Earlier today, a panel of medical and public health experts convened by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended a booster dose of the Pfizer vaccine for people aged 65 and older, as well as residents of long-term care facilities and people 18 and older who have certain underlying conditions – all of whom had received their second dose of the vaccine at least 6 months ago.

The Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup convenes later today to consider the federal recommendations.

People vaccinated with the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines are not currently eligible to receive a booster, though federal health officials expect to consider a booster recommendation in coming weeks, based on more data. Dr. Melissa Sutton, Medical Director of Respiratory Viral Pathogens at OHA said, “Current evidence tells us that the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines continue to offer strong protection against the most serious COVID-19 outcomes.”

People who are immunocompromised, and were vaccinated at least one month ago, currently qualify for a third dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, based on previous recommendations approved by federal and Western States medical experts.

According to the CDC’s panel, people who are recommended to receive a Pfizer booster are:

  • People 65 or older who received their second dose of Pfizer vaccine at least 6 months ago.
  • Residents of long-term care facilities who received their second dose of Pfizer vaccine at least 6 months ago.
  • People 50-64 who have medical conditions that put them at-risk of developing severe COVID-19 disease and received their second dose of Pfizer vaccine at least 6 months ago.
  • People 18 to 49 years old who have underlying health conditions that make them vulnerable to COVID-19, and who received their second dose of Pfizer vaccine at least 6 months ago, would also be eligible based on their individual benefits and risks. (State public health doctors emphasized that findings from current data show that vaccine effectiveness against hospitalization and death remains high in people under the age of 65.)

State health officials estimate the population of Oregonians who are potentially eligible for a Pfizer booster immediately could exceed 230,000 people, with more becoming eligible as they reach the 6-month threshold since they completed their vaccination series. Across Oregon, vaccination sites currently have approximately 460,000 Pfizer doses in stock.

Eligible Oregonians in these categories could seek booster shots through their health care provider or local pharmacy, once approved by the Western States Safety Review panel.

Eligible residents in long-term care facilities, including seniors, should receive their boosters through vaccination plans developed between their homes and pharmacies. State officials are also planning ways to reach home-bound seniors, people with disabilities and other vulnerable populations.

In some regions of the state, providers and local public health officials again may set up large mass vaccination sites. However, state officials urged eligible Oregonians to be patient as public health and health care providers administer vaccines and fight the most recent wave of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths, brought on by the highly transmissible Delta variant.

OHA Director Patrick Allen said, “Our ability to deliver Pfizer boosters isn’t limited by the availability of doses, but by capacity of health care providers to administer them at the same time they’re treating hundreds of new cases each day, driven by the Delta variant which is running rampant largely among unvaccinated Oregonians. I’m grateful for the dedication and resilience of Oregon’s health care community. I ask Oregonians to recognize that you may not have a booster appointment waiting for you the day you become eligible, but you will get one. In the meantime, your vaccine continues to protect you from COVID-19, no matter what vaccination you’ve received.”

A man and his daughter are bringing donated motorhomes to people who have lost everything in wildfires in the American West.

Woody Faircloth and 9-year-old Luna mainly have been driving the recreational vehicles from Colorado to California to give a quick place to live to people whose homes and businesses have burned. The pair recently delivered their 95th RV. Faircloth says his nonprofit fills a gap for wildfire victims who often wait months for emergency housing. He has a long list of people who need help. It started from a father-daughter conversation in 2018 and spread on social media.

The Oregon DMV is urging Oregonians to renew their expired licenses and tags before the end of the year, when the grace period put in place at the start of the pandemic is set to run out

The DMV shut down for 3 months at the start of the pandemic in March 2020, which led to a massive backlog of transactions. Since then, the state has had a rolling three-month grace period on issuing citations for expired licenses and tags. The DMV said that backlog has nearly been eliminated, so they’re urging drivers to take care of business.

Many appointments can be completed online or in-person, even without an appointment. David House with the DMV says the odds that they can get you in and out without an appointment are increasing day by day  He added that you should be prepared for your next visit, and maybe on your next errand drop by the local DMV and see if we can work you in for standby service right then and there.

The Josephine County Sheriff’s Office has requested help from the public to find a man who disappeared sometime within the last month.

The Sheriff’s Office said that 38-year-old Brian Moore last had contact with his family on August 24. Around the time of the missing report, Moore’s phone pinged somewhere in the area of Glendale or Wolf Creek. There has not been any bank or phone activity since the date of the report.

Moore is described as a white man, standing 5-foot 9-inches tall, weighing 165 pounds, with brown hair and hazel eyes. A missing person flier for Moore says that he drives a silver 2003 Mazda Tribute with a temporary tag in the back window. Anyone with information about Moore’s location or recent activity is asked to call contact the Josephine County Sheriff’s Office.

DEPT. of FORESTRY MEETING RULES CHANGES

SALEM, Ore.—The meeting schedules for two of the rules advisory committees convened by the Oregon Department of Forestry will change starting September 30. 

The rules advisory committees on the wildland-urban interface boundary criteria and statewide wildfire risk mapping previously met in separate sessions. The committees will be meeting jointly so members of both groups better understand how and where their input fits into the rulemaking process.

All meetings are scheduled on Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and will be conducted via Zoom unless announced otherwise. The first is set for September 30. Additional meetings are scheduled for October 14, October 28, November 18, December 9, December 16, January 13, January 27, and February 10. 

All meetings are open to the public and have opportunities for public comment. To access the meeting, visit https://www.oregon.gov/odf/board/pages/rac.aspx for the Zoom links. You can also sign up to receive meeting reminders and agendas. Written comment or questions about any aspect of the implementation of Senate Bill 762 may be submitted by email at any time to sb762.rulemaking@oregon.gov.

A post-meeting recording will be posted on the ODF YouTube channel. For special accommodations, please contact ODF Public Affairs at least 72 hours prior to the meeting at 503-945-7200 or by email at forestryinformation@oregon.gov.

Background: Senate Bill 762 is comprehensive legislation passed with bipartisan support that will provide more than $220 million to help Oregon modernize and improve wildfire preparedness through three key strategies: creating fire-adapted communities, developing safe and effective response, and increasing the resiliency of Oregon’s landscapes. The bill is the product of years of hard work by the Governor’s Wildfire Council, the Legislature, and state agencies.

The legislation provides direction and investment to many state agencies. For the Board of Forestry and the Department of Forestry the bill, among other things, provides legislative direction regarding the wildland-urban interface; statewide fire risk mapping; prescribed fire; directed the Department to review and clarify the enforcement of rules pertaining to forestland; baseline standards for unprotected and under-protected lands in Oregon; and establishes grant programs to improve forest restoration and resiliency.

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