Klamath Basin News, Tuesday, 11/2 – OSHA Fines Wilsonville company After Klamath Falls Worker is Killed; $14,375 In Fines For Violating Job Safety Standards

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Tuesday, November 2, 2021

Klamath Basin Weather

Today Partly sunny, with a high near 59. Overnight, cloudy and 38 degrees.


Wednesday Patchy fog before 11am. Otherwise, partly sunny, with a high near 63. Showers overnight with a low around 42. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch possible.
Thursday Rain likely, mainly before 11am. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 55. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch possible.
Friday A slight chance of rain before 11am. Partly sunny, with a high near 53.
Saturday A slight chance of rain. Patchy fog. Snow level 5500 feet rising to 7000 feet in the afternoon. Otherwise, mostly cloudy, with a high near 54.

Today’s Headlines

There are five new COVID-19 related deaths in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll to 4,377. Oregon Health Authority reported 2,569 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19 as of 12:01 a.m. today, bringing the state total to 367,610.

The new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases reported today are in the following counties: Baker (8), Benton (48), Clackamas (235), Clatsop (8), Columbia (29), Coos (33), Crook (25), Curry (1), Deschutes (262), Douglas (68), Grant (6), Harney (2), Hood River (12), Jackson (146), Jefferson (36), Josephine (74), Klamath (51), Lake (2), Lane (195), Lincoln (23), Linn (151), Malheur (8), Marion (290), Morrow (9), Multnomah (420), Polk (40), Sherman (1), Tillamook (10), Umatilla (23), Union (22), Wallowa (4), Wasco (10), Washington (270) and Yamhill (47).

The number of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 across Oregon is 540, which is 11 more than yesterday. There are 114 COVID-19 patients in intensive care unit (ICU) beds, which is four more than yesterday.

Regarding an accidental death in Klamath, Oregon OSHA has fined a Wilsonville company $14,375 for violating job safety standards designed to protect workers from the potential hazards of tree work, including climbing, cutting, and removal.

The division cited Haulout Landscape Inc. following an investigation into an April 1 accident that resulted in the death of a worker in Klamath Falls.

The worker had been hired to work on this particular job. Oregon OSHA’s investigation centered on events surrounding Haulout Landscape’s hiring of two workers who responded to the company’s advertisement on Craigslist.

The workers were tasked with cutting down and removing an approximately 60-foot-tall oak tree at a job site in Klamath Falls. At one point during the project, one of the workers – positioned under a large, partially attached tree branch – was using a gas-powered chainsaw to cut branches on the ground for firewood, according to Oregon OSHA’s investigation.

At the same time, the other employee worked at the opposite end of the large branch. That employee was using a gas-powered chainsaw to cut the large branch into pieces. As he did this, the tree branch toppled and struck the other worker – who was underneath it – in the head, trapping and killing him.

Altogether, Oregon OSHA cited Haulout Landscape for three serious job safety violations: Did not train employees on equipment such as chainsaws, and tree removal rigging or climbing equipment. The company also did not ensure employees followed safe work practices for climbing, cutting, or removing large trees.

Penalty: $3,125. Did not ensure an employee was tied in with any approved climbing rope or safety saddle. The employee was exposed to a potential fall of about 15 feet from a tree limb. Penalty: $5,625. Did not ensure that employees using gas-powered chainsaws to cut down and remove a tree were provided with – and used – personal protective equipment such as hearing, eye, head, leg, or fall protection. Penalty: $5,625.

The Oregon Health Authority lifted the recreational use health advisory issued for all of Upper Klamath Lake in Klamath County.

OHA issued the first advisory for Shoalwater Bay on July 30, expanded the advisory to include Howard’s Bay on August 30 and expanded the advisory to cover all of Upper Klamath Lake on Sept 10.

Water monitoring has confirmed that the level of cyanotoxins in recreational areas sampled on Upper Klamath Lake are below recreational guideline values for people. However, OHA recommends people keep a close eye on their pets when frequenting the lake and keep them out of areas that look suspicious.

The Crescent Ranger District plans to conduct 3,000 acres of pile burning across the district throughout fall and into winter, if conditions are favorable.

The majority of units slated for burning are located in the southern and eastern portions of the district near the Highway 58 and Highway 97 junction. The district also plans to ignite piles near or adjacent to the town of Crescent and Odell Pasture, Odell Butte, Hamner Butte, Royce Mountain, Ringo Butte, Cryer Butte and Bunny Butte.

No road or trail closures are anticipated. Piles may smolder, burn, and produce smoke for several days after ignition. Piles are monitored by fuels specialists until declared out. When smoke is present, motorists should reduce speed and turn on headlights.

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

The park was heavily damaged by the Two Four Two Fire, which burned 14,473 acres in Sept. 2020. The trees — mostly saplings but some larger — 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. Lisa Sumption, Oregon Parks and Recreation director said it’s been difficult getting their hands on more than 2,000 saplings.

So far, the group has planted 260 trees including Douglas fir, western larch, quaking aspen, red osier dogwood, Great Basin wild rye, golden currant, chokecherry and elderberry.

Veterans Day is Thursday, Nov. 11 and the local events kick off with breakfast at American Legion Post 8, located at 8th and Pine streets, from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Breakfast is free for all veterans, as well as their families and guests. A parade begins at 10 a.m. at the intersection of Main and Spring streets and ends at Veterans Memorial Park.

To register for the parade, contact Doug Brown or obtain an application from VFW Post 1383. The grand marshal of the parade is Michael Reynolds, who served in Vietnam as a member of the U.S. Air Force.

Following the parade, an observance will begin at 11 a.m. at Veterans Park. Karen Johnson, a retired U.S. Army colonel who served in Desert Storm, will serve as master of ceremonies. The observance will be hosted by U.S. Army veteran Duane Whitehead with guest speaker Col. Jeff Edwards of the Oregon Air National Guard at Kingsley Field. The event will include a presentation of wreaths at the veterans memorial.

Anyone who would like to present a wreath, call 541-891-5749. Afterward, lunch is available at VFW Post 1383 at 515 Klamath Ave., American Legion Post 8 and at the Leatherneck Club, 1019 Main.

Around the state of Oregon

Phoenix, Oregon Residential Community Destroyed in Almeda Fire Set To Reopen on Monday

It’s been more than a year since the Almeda Fire ravaged the cities of Phoenix and Talent, leaving destruction in its wake. Since then, the community has been showing signs of life and slowly rebuilding.

Shelly Rodgers is the property manager for the newly rebuilt residential 8-plex located at 206 and 208 Cheryl Lane. This will be the first of several buildings being built to replace those lost during the Almeda Fire. The building is one of four buildings in the Cheryl Lane Townhomes development that was completely destroyed by the fire.

“Considering the lack of material that’s been out there, for this builder just to get this going as quickly as possible and certificate of occupancies this week has been amazing and super excited to fill this up,” Rodgers said.

On Monday, November 8, residents will move into the townhomes.

Olson is president of Olaf & Company, the company building the new residential homes. “It’s been an ordeal working with the owners, working with the insurance companies and the municipalities to get our permits in place and then dealing with a different supplier and dealing with different supply chain issues and labor issues — overall it’s been a pretty good process,” Shaun Olson said.

Olaf and Company has been around since 2014. Olson said he and his company have other properties in the works in Talent and Phoenix.

In all, Phoenix lost seven multi-family buildings — containing 149 units — in the Almeda Fire. Four of those developments are under construction to bring back 84 units, and two other developments have applied for building permits, which would add 54 more units.

Death Investigation in Josephine County After Body of Fugitive Suspect Found in River

On Sunday, October 10th  at approximately 7:15 PM, The Grants Pass Police Department responded to the 100 Block of Gold River Lane for a report of a suspicious male trespassing on private property.

Upon arrival, a male subject was contacted and he provided a false name.  During this contact, the subject fled from officers on foot and into the Rogue River.  The subject was subsequently identified as 61-year-old Ricky Allen McCord.  McCord had an active felony warrant for his arrest.  After an extensive search of the area, officers were unable to locate McCord.

On Friday, October 29th, 2021 at approximately 11:15 AM, Deputies from the Josephine County Sheriff’s Office, personnel from Rural Metro Fire Department and American Medical Response were dispatched to a report of a deceased male floating in the Rogue River near the 5200 Block of Leonard Road. 

Upon arrival, emergency personnel located the deceased subject, removed him from the water and positively identified him as Ricky Allen McCord.  This case has been referred to the Oregon State Medical Examiners Office.  Josephine Co. Sheriff’s Office   

The Federal Register will publish within days the Labor Department’s rule requiring private businesses with 100 or more employees to vaccinate them or test them weekly.

The Office of Management and Budget completed its required review of the emergency rule on Monday.

According to the report, covered employers must develop, implement, and enforce a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy, unless they adopt a policy requiring employees to choose either to get vaccinated or to undergo regular COVID-19 testing and wear a face covering at work. The ETS also requires employers to provide paid time to workers to get vaccinated and paid sick leave to recover from any side effects.

The new requirements could apply to as many as 100 million Americans, which is close to two-thirds of the American workforce. The new emergency temporary standard will require large employers to give their workers paid time off to get vaccinated. If businesses don’t comply, the government will “take enforcement actions,” which could include “substantial fines” of up to nearly $14,000 per violation.

Employment Department and WorkSource Oregon Participate in Pilot Program to Spur Higher Wage Jobs

The Oregon Employment Department and Work Source Oregon are excited to participate in a pilot program to increase opportunities for people to learn skills needed for higher-paying jobs. Oregon is one of five states participating in this pilot, which launches today, Nov. 1, 2021.  

The “Grow with Google” program helps ensure that the opportunities created by technology are available to everyone. The goal is to help people get the right skills for the jobs they want so they may advance their careers. The training is designed for individuals with no relevant experience looking to enter the technology field. 

This program is open to employed and unemployed Oregon residents. To participate, individuals need to complete an iMatchSkills® profile and visit their local WorkSource center (in person or virtually) to access the scholarships available for training. The training is self-paced and can take three to six months to complete.  

“All industries need workers with these four information technology certifications. Any of these certificates could help people obtain an in-demand career and connect them with top employers currently hiring, starting at an average of $63,600 annual salary for entry-level roles across certificate fields.” said Adalberto Rubio, a business analyst in Workforce Operations. 

“We are excited to join Arizona, Connecticut, Nevada, and Washington in this unique partnership.”    Oregon Employment Department

Employment Department and WorkSource Oregon Launch 541VETS Digital Resource

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The Oregon Employment Department and WorkSource Oregon are proud to unveil the 541VETS, a digital library offering training and employment resources for Veterans, their Spouses, and other Covered Persons.

The library will include short videos, podcasts, and other digital resources in order to provide Veterans with the maximum level of employment and training support.

Named for the 541 area code, 541VETS is resource for Veterans throughout Oregon, especially those in rural Oregon where some services are not as readily available. 541VETS focuses on improving equal access to high quality, supportive employment resources, regardless of physical location.

Everyone using 541VETS has the opportunity to select the best resources for them. Then, for even more individualized assistance, they can contact their local WorkSource center and ask to speak with a Veterans representative. 

“The launch of 541VETS comes after over a year of dedication from our Veterans services staff, who worked tirelessly to supply workforce resources safely to Veterans during the pandemic. It was this need that sparked the idea to create this digital resource for those who may have barriers to physically visiting a WorkSource center, even in non-pandemic times,” said Jim Munger, the Jobs for Veterans’ State Grant (JVSG) Program Coordinator. “The beauty of this resource is that, though it’s targeted toward Veterans and other Covered Persons, civilians can also find value and help within it. 

The goals of 541VETS are to expand customer engagement, especially with those eligible for Disabled Veterans Outreach Program (DVOP) services, and to improve efficiency in follow-up meetings with Veteran customers working on their individual development plans. 

“Veterans are an invaluable source of skill and talent in our statewide workforce,” said Jim Pfarrer, director of Workforce Operations. “We are excited to be able to offer this new resource to Oregon Veterans and Covered Persons, and expand our services beyond the physical WorkSource centers.” Oregon Employment Department 

Fatal Crash on Highway 6 near Tillamook turns into Criminal Investigation

Oregon State Police is reporting that: On Sunday, October 31, 2021 at approximately 4:16 AM, OSP Troopers responded to the report of a two-vehicle head-on collision which occurred on Highway 6 near milepost 8.

Preliminary investigation revealed a silver 2018 Ford F150 pickup, operated by Bradley Burton Harris (29) of Tillamook, was westbound when, for an unknown reason, the vehicle crossed over into the eastbound lane and struck an oncoming Mazda MZ3.The black Mazda was operated by Humberto Maciel (47) of Tillamook.

Both vehicles sustained heavy damage and came to an uncontrolled rest blocking the entire highway. Maciel was sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced deceased. His passenger, Breanna Maciel (19) was transported to Legacy Emmanuel Hospital by Life Flight helicopter with life threatening injuries.

Bradley Harris fled the scene immediately after the crash but was located by police near the crash scene approximately four hours later. Harris was transported initially to Tillamook Regional Medical Center for injuries then later transferred to Legacy Emmanuel hospital as a trauma patient.

Bradley Burton Harris is the subject of an ongoing criminal investigation.

Highway 6 was closed for 6 hours. 

OSP was assisted by: Tillamook Police Department, Tillamook County Sheriff’s Department Tillamook Fire and Rescue and ODOT

Five Fatal Crashes Over the Weekend in Oregon

A deadly weekend on Oregon roads as at least five fatal crashes between Saturday and Sunday took the lives of six people and injured several others.

A man crashed his motorcycle into a car in Woodburn while speeding away from police on Highway 214 near Laurel Avenue just after 2:00am on Saturday.  The person inside the vehicle was taken to the hospital.  Witnesses say 39-year-old Oscar Martinez of Woodburn was revving the engine and riding in circles outside the End Zone Bar and Grill after reportedly damaging his ex-girlfriend’s car.

A man and woman on a motorcycle were hit by two cars on Highway 219 near Champoeg Road NE in Marion County around 4:40pm on Saturday.  78 year-old H. Steven Sorensen and Joanne De May, 77, both from Salem, collided with the first vehicle, knocking the bike out of control where it was hit by another vehicle.  Three people in the second vehicle were treated at the hospital.

A pedestrian was hit by a car at Southeast 29th and Powell in Portland just before 10:00pm on Saturday.  The man died at the hospital.  He has not yet been identified.

Curtis Smith, 30, of Monmouth, died after flipping his car on Highway 51 in Polk County around 2:15am on Sunday.  Authorities say he was speeding.  Witnesses reported his erratic driving prior to the wreck.

A crash on Highway 6 in Tillamook County around 4:15am on Sunday took the life of 47-year-old Humberto Maciel of Tillamook.  A 19-year-old passenger was flown by helicopter to the hospital with life-threatening injuries.  Investigators say Bradley Harris, 29 of Tillamook, crossed the dividing line, hitting the victim’s vehicle head-on.  Harris took off, but was caught near the scene.  He was hospitalized as a trauma patient and is the subject of a criminal investigation.

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