Klamath Basin News, Friday, 10/29 – 62 New Covid-Related Cases in Klamath County, 1,116 in Oregon and 24 Reported Deaths Overnight

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Friday, October 29, 2021

Klamath Basin Weather

Today Mostly cloudy, with a high near 62. Calm wind becoming southwest around 5 mph in the afternoon. Overnight a 30% chance of showers with a low around 39.


Saturday A chance of showers, then showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm after noon. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 59. Saturday Night brings a chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 37.


Sunday, Halloween Partly sunny, with a high near 57. Overnight, cloudy with a low around 36.

Monday Rain likely, mainly after noon. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 53. Chance of precipitation is 70%.
Tuesday Patchy fog before noon. Otherwise, mostly cloudy, with a high near 56.

Today’s Headlines

Oregon reports 1,116 new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases, 24 new deaths

The new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases reported today are in the following counties: Baker (2), Benton (24), Clackamas (88), Clatsop (7), Columbia (13), Coos (22), Crook (24), Curry (4), Deschutes (117), Douglas (53), Gilliam (1), Hood River (4), Jackson (54), Jefferson (21), Josephine (24), Klamath (62), Lake (4), Lane (80), Lincoln (15), Linn (76), Malheur (24), Marion (70), Morrow (7), Multnomah (119), Polk (30), Tillamook (2), Umatilla (32), Union (10), Wallowa (4), Wasco (22), Washington (73) and Yamhill (28).

The number of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 across Oregon is 518, which is 36 fewer than yesterday. There are 123 COVID-19 patients in intensive care unit (ICU) beds, which is three fewer than yesterday.  There are 52 available adult ICU beds out of 697 total (7% availability) and 272 available adult non-ICU beds out of 4,139 (7% availability). 

Oregon reaches 80% vaccination rate, but work continues to address inequities in vaccine access

Oregon has made significant progress with 2,681,267 people in the state being more protected against COVID-19, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Oregon Health Authority (OHA) reports that 80% of Oregonians 18 and older have received at least one dose in their vaccination series.  

  • Overall, Oregon has delivered at least on dose of a COVID-19 vaccine to 68 percent of all residents (children younger than age 12 remain ineligible for a vaccine).  
  • The state ranks 20th in the nation for the percentage of residents who have received at least one dose. 
  • Oregon has fully vaccinated 63 percent of all residents. 
80 percent of Oregonians 18 and older have now received at least one dose of the Covid vaccine

There are 62 new Covid Cases in Klamath County. Sky Lakes Medical Center reports they are at strain status with 23 Covid-related hospitializations.

Kyle Hood is another Conquer Covid In Klamath drawing winner of a $2500 outdoor fun gift certificate!

The Conquer Covid in Klamath campaign announces its winner for the week.

Kyle Hood of Klamath Falls won a $2,500 gift certificate for outdoor fun. Hood was selected in a random drawing of all Klamath County residents that have entered at ConquerCovidInKlamath.com.

Each week the prize changes and this week it is a $2,500 gasoline card. The drawing for this week’s prize will take place on Monday morning.

Other Weekly winners to date include: Elizabeth Gaxiola of Bonanza, who won a big-screen TV, home theater System and pizza gift certificates; Gillian Bradford of Klamath Falls won $6,000 in groceries from Grocery Outlet; Nolan Napier of Chiloquin who won a Traeger Grill and 12 bags of premium pellets; Patricia Merrill of Klamath Falls won $4,800 in gasoline; Terri Torres of Klamath Falls won $5,000 worth of furniture; and Nicola Cherry of Klamath Falls won a $2,400 pellet stove.

Get vaccinated and enter to win, and if you have already been vaccinated, be sure to enter to win as well.

From Nov. 1 through January 31, 2022, the Bureau of Land Management’s, Klamath Falls Field Office will begin fall prescribed burning.

Prescribed fire activities will focus on burning 400 acres of hand and machine piles in the Bryant Mountain area, about three miles east of Malin.

About 40 acres of hand piles will be burned in the Stukel area, about five miles southeast of Klamath Falls.

About 50 acres will be burned in the West Side Landings area about 10 miles soutwest of Keno. Seeing flames and smoke, even after dark, is part of normal operations. Prescribed fire is one way to reduce the buildup of fuel on the landscape under the safest conditions.

Conditions are evaluated each day to determine if ignition will take place. Precipitation, wind, temperature, fuel moisture, and staffing all play a part in when and whether ignition occurs. Firefighters monitor the area after burning is complete. Fire spread from pile footprints occurs and can often be anticipated within the treatment area.

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A group of volunteers and state parks staff planted hundreds of trees at Collier Memorial State Park on Wednesday as part of a fire rehabilitation effort. 

Collier was heavily damaged by the Two Four Two Fire, which burned 14,473 acres in Sept. 2020.

Now, the park, which offers access to crystal-clear Spring Creek, is getting a little boost as it continues to recover from the blaze. A variety of native trees planted along the creek will help revitalize the ecosystem by providing shade and temperature variation for the variety of species that call the area home. 

The saplings were hard to come by, but were acquired and donated by STIHL, a German company that manufactures chainsaws and other outdoor equipment. STIHL Northwest donated 2,021 saplings to be planted in both Oregon and California as part of forest restorations effort following massive wildfires throughout the region. 

Time is limited to get all of the trees planted before winter settles in, but Roger Phelps, STIHL corporate communications manager, is confident the group will get them in the ground in time. 

On Saturday, October 30th, Main Street will be closed between 11th Street and 4th Street, as will 9th Street between Klamath Avenue and Main Streetdown, downtown.

The closure will be from 8:00 AM until 2:00 PM and will accommodate the Scarecrow Row event, which includes a children’s costume parade and trick-or-treating. For more information contact Darin with the Downtown Association at (541) 891-9693

For other local Halloween events, click here.

Around the state of Oregon

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With snow in the Oregon Cascades upon us, maintenance managers with the Oregon Department of Transportation have made the decision to close the entire Old McKenzie Pass Highway, OR 242, for the winter/snow season effective Monday, November 1. 

The west side of McKenzie Pass Highway was closed on October 19. 

ODOT’s records indicate that the earliest closure of the Old McKenzie Pass Highway occurred on October 18, 1996. The latest closure happened on January 10, 1939.

For more information, visit the McKenzie Highway website. For current road conditions, visit tripcheck.com.

UPDATE: Hospitalized Applegate Valley Man Formally Charged In Wife’s Alleged Murder

An Applegate Valley man suspected of killing his wife before turning the gun on himself last week has now been formally charged with second-degree murder, the Jackson County District Attorney’s Office announced on Thursday. 54-year-old David Allen Karnes remains in the hospital, recovering from his self-inflicted wound.

Deputies and troopers from Oregon State Police responded to a home along Little Applegate Road southeast of Cantrall Buckley park in the early morning hours of October 20 for a report of a gunshot victim. When they arrived at the home, Karnes reportedly refused commands to come out, leading police to bring in the Jackson County SWAT and crisis negotiation teams.

Shortly before 3 a.m., officers reported hearing a single gunshot as the SWAT team entered the home. They found Karnes suffering from an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound. Karnes’ wife, 54-year-old Constance Maria Murphy, was found dead from visible gunshot wounds.

First responders performed life-saving measures on Karnes and he was taken in a Mercy Flights ambulance to a local hospital, where he has remained since.

Last week, a Jackson County judge approved temporary intensive release from jail for Karnes due to his condition. An Asante physician reported that Karnes “presents no threat” and remained heavily sedated while medical staff waited for swelling to decrease pending follow-up procedures. That process was expected to last at least a week.

Judge Lorenzo Mejia ordered that Karnes have an electronic ankle monitor placed on him until he is conscious and can be discharged from Asante Rogue Regional, then immediately transported to the Jackson County Jail.

A Jackson County grand jury met on October 26 and approved an indictment of Karnes for Murder in the Second Degree. The court will set a future date for Karnes’ arraignment pending his release from the hospital.

Douglas County Sheriff Hanlin Announces Off-Duty Death of Active Duty Deputy

Sheriff John Hanlin is saddened to announce the sudden and unexpected passing of Deputy Matthew Harmon. Deputy Harmon passed away at home on Tuesday, October 26, 2021, following a sudden cardiac medical event while off-duty.

Deputy Matthew Harmon
Deputy Matthew Harmon

Deputy Harmon began serving with the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office on March 14, 2003 as a Reserve Deputy. In April of 2010, he accepted a full-time job offer in the Corrections Division where he worked until his passing. During his tenure as a Corrections Deputy, Harmon served as the Work Crew Supervisor from 2017-2019.

“Matt was a valued and dedicated deputy who served with honor and distinction. He was a genuine person and will be sorely missed by everyone here at the Sheriff’s Office.” Sheriff Hanlin remarked. “Our sincere thoughts and prayers are with Deputy Harmon’s family during this difficult time of loss.”

The Sheriff’s Office is coordinating with Deputy Harmon’s wife and family in regard to memorial services, which will be announced at a later time.  Douglas Co. Sheriff’s Office

Time To Renew Expired Oregon Licenses, IDs, And Vehicle Registration Ends December 31st

Time is running out to renew expired vehicle registration, driver licenses, and ID cards in Oregon before a year-end rush and the looming possibility of citation, the Oregon Department of Transportation reminded on Thursday.

Oregon has had a moratorium in place, started during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic shutdowns, that kept law enforcement from citing for expired documentation. That moratorium ends December 31, and ODOT warns that it’s best to take care of any issues as soon as possible, before the rush sets in.

Starting in November, the DMV will mail about 300,000 Oregon residents who have expired vehicle registrations, urging them to renew before the end of the year. This mailing is in addition to the usual reminder that the DMV sends a few weeks before your vehicle’s tags expire.

There will not be a second reminder for expired licenses, permits and ID cards.

“You might receive a reminder in the mail even if it doesn’t seem to apply to you,” DMV Administrator Amy Joyce said. “Did you sell your car? If you didn’t notify DMV, we might still show you as the owner. Protect yourself from parking tickets and towing charges: go on-line and notify us of the sale.”

The current moratorium was passed by the legislature this year, but it is the last in a series of grace periods granted to give Oregonians more time to renew at the DMV while COVID-19 restrictions impact availability.

Oregon has added more online feature through the DMV to cut down on the in-person visits required. Before you go to a DMV office, visit DMV2U to see if you can get your service online – or make sure you have what you need to bring to an office.

“To help Oregonians get DMV services during the pandemic, we’ve added many new online options,” Joyce said. “We have caught up with the COVID-19 backlog enough that about half our visits to field offices are by appointment, and the other half are standby.”

“Going forward, customers will continue to have the option of making an appointment online through DMV2U or dropping by, as well as more choices online,” Joyce continued. “Anytime you need a DMV service, check DMV2U first and see if you can save yourself time and a trip.”

Also, starting in May of 2023, you will need a federally recognized form of identification to fly. This includes passports, but will otherwise require a Real ID-compliant identification card. This needs to be done in-person at a DMV location.

Many Oregon Restaurants Left Empty Handed as Federal Funding Runs Out

 Many Oregon restaurant owners who applied for federal relief during the pandemic say they’re still waiting.

The Oregon Restaurant and Lodging Association (ORLA) is pleading with the federal government to get this money to them.

Chief Executive Officer Jason Brandt said a $28.6 billion fund was created to help local restaurants across the country stay afloat during the pandemic. He said more than 2,600 restaurants that applied for relief from the federal government did not receive any funding from the Restaurant Revitalization Fund.

But on the other hand, about 2,300 restaurants did get that check in the mail, Brandt said. Those who did are now reportedly in a much better situation and can head into this winter season strong.

Brandt said the money ran out and added that the reasons are simple: politics and disagreements.

“Gosh, I think it’s an American staple to make sure you equitably take care of the industries that were most impacted across the board as opposed to leaving local restaurants hanging as a part of any bailout fund,” Brandt said.

He said they don’t have a timeline or any idea right now when they’ll hear back from the federal government. But he hopes to get an answer soon.

“If you have made it this far, you must be really connecting with your local residents who care about your restaurant, care about you personally and your teams,” Brandt said. “Just hang in there a little bit longer.”

He estimates they’ll need another 50 to 60 billion dollars to cover the 177,000 applicants nationally who have not received a cent.

City of Talent will Officially Open the Gateway Project to Families Displaced by the Almeda Fire in Ribbon Cutting Ceremony on Saturday

The Gateway Project Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony is this Saturday, October 30, 2021

The City of Talent is poised to welcome fire survivors back to the community following the official opening of The Gateway Project this Saturday, October 30, 2021.

Talent Annotated Map_Walker Macy_180221.

Talent’s leadership is excited to welcome its families back home to Talent. We look forward to seeing you at the event. 

WHO: Agency representatives, invited guests, public officials, including Oregon State Representative Pam Marsh and Oregon State Senator Jeff Golden, and local media

WHAT: Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony for The Gateway Project

WHEN: Saturday, October 30, 2021, 10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m. 

WHERE: 102 S Pacific Hwy, Talent, OR 97540

“A recently approved $75K from the Community Rebuilding Fund to the Talent Urban Renewal Agency will support The Gateway Project and the critical needs for over 600 children in survivor families who still need access to basic services and short-term transitional housing until permanent affordable housing becomes available,” said Melissa Freeman, Director of Strategic Projects, Oregon Community Foundation.

About The Gateway Project –To learn more about The Gateway Project, please visit: https://www.talenturbanrenewal.com/gateway-project

Talent’s Gateway project to provide transitional homes for families displaced by the Sept. 8, 2020, Almeda fire will begin housing families around mid-November, just a little over 14 months since the conflagration. A ribbon-cutting will be held at the site Saturday, Oct. 30, starting at 11 a.m.

Talent Urban Renewal Agency has collaborated with a number of partners, including the Phoenix-Talent School District, to take 4.3 acres it owns at the corner of Highway 99 and West Valley View Road to create a site with utilities ready to house 53 trailers. The housing was created for residents who did not qualify for Federal Emergency Management Agency assistance.

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The parent company for Rogue Valley mainstay Harry & David reported increased revenue for the first fiscal quarter of 2022, including in the Gourmet Foods and Gift Baskets division where Harry & David resides.

Of their companies, 1-800-FLOWERS.COM, Inc. issued its Fiscal 2022 First Quarter results on Thursday morning, reporting a total revenue increase of 9% for the quarter, to $309.4 million.

Revenues in the Gourmet Foods and Gift Baskets segment increased 8.4% to $97.5 million, which the company said was largely driven by increased demands across the company’s brands “for everyday occasions.” The company’s Consumer Floral and Gifts division increased revenue 12.2%, to $181.2 million.

The company has set a goal for the full-year of 10-12% revenue growth.

Between its various brands, including Harry & David, the company plans to hire more than 10,000 seasonal associates heading into the holidays — the majority of these positions in Illinois, Ohio, and Oregon.

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