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.
Monday, October 4, 2021
Klamath Basin Weather
Today Mostly sunny, with a high near 81. Light and variable wind becoming southwest 10 to 15 mph in the afternoon. Overnight partly cloudy, with a low around 43.
Tuesday Patchy smoke before 11am. Partly sunny, with a high near 73. Overnight a 20% chance of rain. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 40.
Wednesday A 20% chance of showers. Snow level 7200 feet lowering to 6600 feet. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 57. Overnight a 20% chance of showers.
Thursday A 20 percent chance of showers. Snow level 6200 feet rising to 7300 feet in the afternoon. Partly sunny, with a high near 59.
Friday A slight chance of rain after 11am.
Saturday Sunny, with a high near 62.
Ten people in three different states have been charged in relation to a bust of what federal investigators allege was a local drug trafficking ring that transported in “large quantities” of methamphetamines and fentanyl for sale in and around Klamath Falls.
A coordinated law enforcement operation led to the arrest of Juan Jessie Martinez-Gil, 57, and nine of his alleged associates on September 2, a Thursday news release from the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Oregon stated.
Five of the accused associates were listed as Klamath County residents. Martinez-Gil, a Mexican national who was living in Reno, Nevada, is accused of leading the drug operation and was charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine and fentanyl, possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and fentanyl, distribution of methamphetamine and fentanyl, and attempted distribution of methamphetamine.
Martinez-Gil pleaded not guilty to the charges in his federal arraignment in Portland on Thursday. He was detained and is scheduled to appear on Dec. 14 for an eight-day jury trial. A federal indictment stated that between August 2019 and September 2021, Martinez-Gil and his associates worked to possess and distribute “large quantities of methamphetamine and fentanyl in the form of counterfeit Oxycodone pills,” the release stated.
COUGAR PEAK FIRE UPDATE
NORTHWEST INCIDENT MANAGEMENT TEAM 12
Incident Commanders: Jeff Dimke and Bobby Shindelar
October 4, 2021
The Cougar Peak Fire is currently burning approximately 15 miles northwest of Lakeview, Oregon. The Incident Command Post at the Lakeview Fairgrounds is closed to all but essential personnel to help ensure the health and safety of community members and firefighters.
Today is the NW Team 12’s last day on the Cougar Peak Fire. On October 5, the fire will transition back to the local unit. Temperatures today will be in the 70s and 80s. Warm temperatures and low humidity led to visible smoke from the interiors of the Cougar Peak and Patton Meadow Fires yesterday, but containment lines on both fires continue to remain secure. On the southern end of the Cougar Peak Fire, crews cleaned up slash piles
and completed log processing operations. Crews also worked on dozer line repair south of Cougar Peak. On the northern end of the fire, suppression repair continued, as heavy equipment installed water bars and repaired dozer lines. Crews completed falling hazard trees on the eastern side of the fire, and heavy equipment continued to process logs.
Firefighters will continue to focus on suppression repair today. Patrolling and monitoring is ongoing around the fire perimeter. Crews are also prepared to assist with new fire starts in the area. The Cougar Peak Fire Closure Order on the Fremont-Winema National Forest remains in place. The closure order can be found at
Klamath County Fire District 1 will be hosting three different open houses next week to reach out to the community about fire safety during Fire Prevention Week.
All open houses are from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Monday, October 4 at Fire Station 1, 2342 Gettle St.
Wednesday, October 6 Fire Station 2, 7110 Hilyard Ave.
Friday, October 8 Fire Station 3, 1661 Mitchell Street The public is invited to all events.
The fire danger level within Crater Lake National Park has dropped from extreme to high due to recent moisture and predicted cooler temperatures.
Effective October 1, Crater Lake National Park rescinded the fire restrictions implemented on June 30 and the fire ban implemented on July 17. To ensure public safety and to provide the highest degree of protection to park resources, the following regulatory provisions apply to fires within Crater Lake National Park.
The lighting or maintaining of fires is generally prohibited, except as provided for in the following designated areas or receptacles, and under the conditions noted: Mazama Campground in grills or grates provided in designated campsites.
Please note: Mazama campground is closed for the year Within National Park Service or concession residential areas, by residents and their guests, within grills and/or fire grates that fully contain the fire. Fires must be fully contained within established fire grills, grates or rings. No bonfires (large fires that spill outside of the fire receptacle, use stacks of flammable material such as cardboard boxes or wood pallets or have excessive flame heights that could easily become uncontrolled) are allowed.
Fires will be constantly monitored while burning and will be completely extinguished after use.
Around the state of Oregon
Oregon’s attorney general filed lawsuits Friday against two counties that had adopted ordinances that sought to nullify new statewide gun safety laws and declaring themselves “Second Amendment Sanctuaries.”
In her lawsuits against Yamhill and Harney counties, Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum asked the circuit courts in those jurisdictions to declare the ordinances “invalid and void” because they conflict “with paramount state law.” The ordinances, passed by county commissioners in the two counties earlier this year, did not apply to local, federal or state firearms regulations that were in effect as of last February.
But they did encompass a bill passed by the Legislature and signed by the governor on June 1 that mandates the safe storage of guns and bans them from the Oregon State Capitol and Portland International Airport. The new law, that went into effect on Sept. 24, also allows public school districts, community colleges and universities to set their own policy banning guns.
Local Fred Meyer pharmacy locations across Oregon are now offering COVID-19 vaccine boosters and flu vaccines to eligible populations to help meet the healthcare needs of the community.
To support the company’s focus, the company has established a vaccine power hour during the first hour of business, Monday through Friday, solely dedicated to providing COVID-19, flu, and other vaccines at most locations.
The vaccine power hour program will begins October 24. All vaccine appointments should be made online at fredmeyer.com/vaccine. According to Federal Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), eligible populations can receive a booster dose at least 6 months after completing the 2-dose primary series of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.
The COVID-19 booster vaccine is also available for those eligible populations and according to CDC eligible individuals can receive the COVID-19 vaccine or booster and flu shot at the same time; there is no waiting period.
There are currently no authorized booster doses for the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccines or an authorized booster dose for the ages 12-to-17 of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID vaccine.
While COVID-19 hospitalizations are declining from their peak levels reached about a month ago, Oregon hospitals across the state are likely to remain full of COVID-19 patients well into December, according to an updated forecast from Oregon Health & Science University released Sept. 30.
A total of 792 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 in Oregon as of Friday, according to the Oregon Health Authority. While hospitalizations have declined from their peak of 1,178 reached Sept. 1, there are still many more people hospitalized with COVID-19 in the state now than there were during the previous peak last winter when 584 people were hospitalized.
While hospitalizations reman elevated, Peter Graven, an OHSU researcher who has been modeling expected coronavirus hospitalization numbers since the pandemic started, said he has seen a decline in Oregonians taking some precautions to protect against COVID-19. Oregon hospitals are still seeing high numbers of COVID-19 cases, and patients in intensive care units, putting intense demand on medical resources, which has caused other types of care to be postponed, including non-urgent surgeries.
Intel has taken to running TV ads during the Portland telecast of Sunday Night Football, one of the most popular programs on the air — but not to hawk its microprocessors.
Electronics companies large and small say they’re struggling to find workers, so they’re putting up billboards, buying TV and radio ads and bringing in new hires still in school to plug the holes. Oregon exported $15 billion in electronics last year, 60% of all the state’s exports.
The state’s electronics output climbed another 26% through the first half of 2021, reflecting huge demand for the chips that run computers, smartphones, cars, trucks and home appliances.
Oregon congressional candidate and hero soldier Alek Skarlatos formed a nonprofit to advocate for veterans after he lost his 2020 race.
The group has done little to advance that cause since then. But it has helped get the Republican’s bid for a 2022 rematch with longtime Democratic Rep. Peter DeFazio off the ground. The nonprofit was started in early 2021 with $93,000 in leftover campaign funds from Skarlatos’ last run. Several months later, the group gave $65,000 of that back to the campaign. But it hasn’t said what happened to the rest of the money. Skarlatos’ campaign says he did nothing wrong
Officials say an inspection of hemp farms in Oregon over the summer found 58-percent were growing plants that had too much THC.
There were 212 samples taken and some had as much as 33-percent THC. Inspectors also found illegal use of irrigation water, unfit working conditions, and animal abuse. Those instances were reported to other agencies for investigation. The Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission is recommending to the Governor and the Legislature that no new hemp licenses be issued until 2024.
The University of Oregon reports the number of freshman students starting this fall is up 17-percent over last year and 53-percent over the last 20-years.
There are 46-hundred first-year students this year. That includes 16-hundred minority students, which is the most the university has ever seen. The overall high school GPA of the freshman class also set a record at three-point-73.