Klamath Basin News, Friday, Nov 12 – KCC Kicks Off Apprenticeship Center Construction at Groundbreaking Ceremony

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Friday, November 12, 2021

Klamath Basin Weather

Today Heavy fog before 11am. Otherwise, mostly cloudy, with a high near 60. Overnight, mostly cloudy, with a low around 38. Calm wind.


Saturday Partly sunny, with a high near 60.
Sunday Patchy fog before 8am. Otherwise, partly sunny, with a high near 61.
Monday A chance of rain, mainly after 4pm. Otherwise, mostly cloudy, with a high near 58.
Tuesday A slight chance of rain and snow. Snow level 4900 feet. Partly sunny, with a high near 48.

Today’s Headlines

Klamath Community College celebrated the construction kickoff of the school’s Apprenticeship Center with a groundbreaking ceremony Wednesday.

The 32,000-square-foot building is slated to open in fall 2022. The Apprenticeship Center will span four acres and will provide space for hands-on training and programs for transitioning high schoolers, increase the college’s career-technical program offerings and offer specialized structural and wildland fire science training.

Apprenticeships will include: electrical, millwright, plumbing, pipefitter, machinist, carpentry, cement mason, drywall, interior and exterior painter specialist, and sheet metal fabrication, including HVAC.

Students enrolled in fire sciences and emergency medical operations programs through an Apprenticeship Center fire academy will gain real-world experience training in an exterior fire yard and fire tower.

Steve Tippin, chair of the KCC Foundation, said in 2022 the KCC Foundation will launch a capital campaign to raise funds to fill the center with equipment and technology that will allow instructors and partners to provide state-of-the-art programming for students enrolled in Apprenticeship Center courses.

For a first-generation student who decides to pursue higher education, it can feel like trying to navigate without a map. In support of those students who are the first in their families to attend college, Oregon Tech participated Nov. 8 in the nationwide First-Generation College Celebration.

First-generation college students are those whose parents or legal guardians did not complete a bachelor’s degree. Nearly 37 percent of Oregon Tech students are first-generation students.

Oregon Tech president Nagi Naganathan said such students “comprise a population that is truly diverse and deserving of acknowledgment … they now have the chance for opportunities that they may have never had before.” The events culminated in a First-Generation Dinner Nov. 9. The celebration was sponsored by the Tech Opportunities Program and Student Involvement and Belonging.

The Bend man accused of driving drunk when he fatally struck a pedestrian employed as a senior manager for Jeld-Wen in Klamath Falls last summer is now charged with first-degree manslaughter and other crimes.

Flynn David Lovejoy, 19, was arraigned on a new indictment last week in Deschutes County Circuit Court, this one alleging he showed “extreme indifference” to the life of local cyclist Richard Wolf, 61.

Lovejoy was originally charged with second-degree manslaughter following the crash Aug. 10 on Cascade Lakes Highway near Seventh Mountain Resort. Lovejoy also faces the charges of hit-and-run, driving under the influence of intoxicants, reckless driving and reckless endangering. Lovejoy’s indictment claims he drove with a blood alcohol level of .15 or above. At a hearing in August, a prosecutor said that when responding officers contacted Lovejoy, he admitted to drinking “all day” while fishing. 

Wolf had a wife and was a senior manager for Jeld-Wen who kept a home in Klamath Falls and one in Bend. 

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The Modoc Nation, a federally-recognized Native American tribe based in Oklahoma and descended from Klamath Basin native people, has hired Ken Sandusky to represent the tribe in their traditional homelands.

Sandusky previously spent 14 years as a public affairs specialist with the U.S. Forest Service, much of that on the Modoc National Forest.

He serves on the Modoc County Fire Safe Council and Modoc Fish, Game and Recreation commission. Born and raised in Klamath Falls, Sandusky attended Riverside Elementary and graduated from Klamath Union and Oregon Tech.

He is a member of the Choctaw Nation. Sandusky is now managing all aspects of the Modoc Nation’s efforts in Siskiyou and Modoc counties. The tribes’ top priority is to revive the overgrazed ranchlands recently purchased by the tribe near Tulelake, with the goal of establishing a new branch of the Modoc Nation’s bison herd.

The Modoc Nation descends from Modocs who were removed to Oklahoma after the Modoc War at Captain Jack’s Stronghold in what is now the Lava Beds National Monument. It is based in Miami, Okla., and is now expanding interests into Northern California, according to the tribe.

Around the state of Oregon

Oregon reports 1,033 new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases, 75 new deaths

There are 75 new COVID-19 related deaths in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll to 4,730, Oregon Health Authority reported at 12:01 a.m. today. Oregon Health Authority (OHA) reported 1,033 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19 as of 12:01 a.m. today, bringing the state total to 376,372.

The new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases reported today are in the following counties: Baker (7), Benton (16), Clackamas (91), Clatsop (7), Columbia (15), Coos (23), Crook (2), Curry (8), Deschutes (111), Douglas (49), Gilliam (1), Grant (1), Harney (5), Hood River (3), Jackson (54), Jefferson (12), Josephine (28), Klamath (16), Lake (13), Lane (62), Lincoln (17), Linn (45), Malheur (12), Marion (79), Morrow (3), Multnomah (136), Polk (27), Sherman (1), Tillamook (8), Umatilla (27), Union (1), Wallowa (2), Wasco (7), Washington (100) and Yamhill (44).

OHA reported 6,643 new cases of COVID-19 during the week of Monday, Nov. 1, through Sunday, Nov. 7. That represents a 16% decrease from the previous week and the fewest since the last week of July.

The overall incidence of reported COVID-19 cases in Oregon varied by county vaccination rate, but continues to be lower in counties with higher vaccination rates and the lowest in the five counties where the vaccination rates were more than 70%.

There were 378 new COVID-19 hospitalizations, up from 313 last week.

There were 243 reported COVID-19-related deaths, up from 82 reported the previous week. This increase is a result of ongoing data reconciliation of COVID-19-related deaths that primarily occurred from May to August 2021, as reported last month.

There were 135,539 tests for COVID-19 for the week of Oct. 31 through Nov. 6. The percentage of positive tests was 6.4%, down from 7.4% the previous week.

Today’s COVID-19 Weekly Outbreak Report shows 76 active COVID-19 outbreaks in senior living communities and congregate living settings, with three or more confirmed cases and one or more COVID-19 related deaths.

COVID-19 hospitalizations

The number of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 across Oregon is 509, which is one fewer than yesterday. There are 125 COVID-19 patients in intensive care unit (ICU) beds, which is two fewer than yesterday.

There are 56 available adult ICU beds out of 675 total (8% availability) and 281 available adult non-ICU beds out of 4,096 (7% availability). 

Oregon State Police Trooper critically injured in a police incident on Highway 30 — Columbia County 

Thursday, November 11, 2021, at around 3:31 P.M., OSP Troopers were involved in a police incident involving a fleeing suspect on Highway 30 milepost 31 west of St. Helens, when the suspect vehicle rammed an OSP Patrol car and struck an OSP Trooper. 

The Trooper was taken by ground ambulance to Emanuel Hospital in critical condition.  The investigation is being handled by the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office. 

The Oregon State Police will not be releasing any information about the incident.  The identity of the OSP Trooper is not being released at this time.  Oregon State Police

Two horse jockeys were hurt after the lights suddenly went out during a race at Grants Pass Downs in southwestern Oregon.

According to racetrack officials, the incident happened during the final race Tuesday, KDRV-TV reported.

The gates opened, and the horses came charging out when the track was plunged into darkness. When the horses reappeared under the light of a scoreboard, two of them were missing Jockeys.

Patrick Henry Jr. and Alex Anaya were taken to a hospital with undisclosed injuries and were released Wednesday, officials said.

None of the six horses in the race were injured, according to Grants Pass Downs.

Grants Pass Downs officials say workers are investigating what happened to the lights, but they did not think the issue stemmed from a power outage because other lights and electrical systems remained on when the floodlights went out.

Two people from Oregon were arrested in Siskiyou County on Monday after being stopped for speeding when a California Highway Patrol officer realized that they were smuggling large quantities of drugs, according to the agency.

A little after 11 a.m. on Monday, a CHP officer from the Yreka command pulled over the driver of a 2011 Honda Odyssey for speeding. During the stop, CHP said that the officer realized that the driver, 24-year-old Sixtos Ruiz of Hillboro, did not have a license.

The passenger, 30-year-old Mariela Delgado of Hillsboro, was also unlicensed. Because they were driving illegally, CHP said that they impounded the vehicle.

While conducting an inventory of the contents of the vehicle, the officer found several “individual plastic bags of white crystal-like and white powdery substance” wedged between the rear seat and rear storage area of the Honda, immediately recognizing it as methamphetamine.

A further search of the vehicle found two bundles believed to contain heroin, and five plastic bags containing a large amount of blue pills — the last also believed to be a narcotic.

The state of Oregon has a backlog of 20-thousand emergency rental assistance applications it’s working to process.

So far, they’ve paid out 130-million dollars to more than 19-thousand applicants. Tenants are protected for two months after they file for emergency assistance, but many of the applications are taking longer than that to get processed.

Multnomah, Washington, and Clackamas counties have the most applications that are past the window for protection.

Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum filed a lawsuit on Wednesday against pharmaceutical company Endo, alleging that the company deceptively marketed the opioid Opana for more than a decade.

The state’s complaint alleges that Endo misrepresented the risks and benefits of Opana, which Rosenblum’s office said was an extended-release opioid similar to Purdue Pharma’s OxyContin. It was pulled from the market in 2017 at the request of the FDA.

The Oregon Department of Justice began investigating Endo in March of 2016. The next year, Oregon began to lead a multi-state investigation into the company.

Rosenblum ultimately decided to move ahead with a complaint on behalf of Oregon alone, issuing a notice of intent to sue on October 4.

Oregon’s suit draws parallels between Endo and the cases against Purdue Pharma, alleging that Endo followed in Purdue’s footsteps after the success of OxyContin through aggressive marketing. In 2007, Oregon and 25 other states settled a multi-state lawsuit against Purdue Pharma.

The state sued Purdue again in 2018 for alleged violations of the 2007 agreement, and sued the Sackler family — the owners of Purdue — in 2019.

On October 28, 2021, the Oregon State Police Southwest Region Drug Enforcement Section team served a search warrant in the 12000 block of Modoc Rd. Central Point, Oregon, for illegal marijuana manufacturing. 

Law enforcement encountered 62 large, outdoor grow-houses which contained both illegal marijuana plants (1,193) and previously harvested, drying marijuana. In total, 18,360 gross pounds of illicit marijuana, including the marijuana plants and processed marijuana located on the property, were seized and destroyed.

Also seized in the operation were over $80,000.00 US Currency and four firearms. 

Multiple occupants on the property were detained, identified, and interviewed during the investigation. The OSP SWR DES team was assisted by law enforcement officers from the Josephine Marijuana Enforcement Team (JMET) and the Rogue Area Drug Enforcement (RADE) team in Josephine County.  Additional resources were provided in support of the investigation by the Illegal Marijuana Enforcement Team (IMET) of the Medford Police Department-Jackson County Sheriff’s Office.

Fatal vehicle vs. pedestrian crash on I-5- Marion County

On November 10, 2021, at approximately 7:38 P.M., Oregon State Police and emergency personnel responded to a motor vehicle collision involving a bicyclist on Interstate-5 northbound at exit 260 near Salem.

A preliminary investigation revealed that a bicyclist identified as Anthony Lee Garza (61) was riding his bicycle across the northbound lanes of Interstate-5 when he was struck by a pickup truck operated by Benjamin J Miller (35) of Gervais. Miller remained at the scene and is cooperating with law enforcement.

Garza was pronounced deceased at the scene. OSP was assisted by Salem Fire and Medics, the Keizer Police Department, and the Oregon Department of Transportation. The investigation is ongoing.

Serious injury crash involving I-205- Clackamas County

On November 10, 2021, at 9:37 A.M., Oregon State Police responded to a multi-vehicle crash on Interstate-205 SB at milepost 12. The investigation revealed that a black Volkswagen GTI operated by Tyler Nicholas Pacheco (28), was southbound when it struck multiple vehicles and an Oregon Department of Transportation worker, who was working outside of his vehicle. 

The victim, Grant RIEDEL (38), was transported to Oregon Health Science University with serious injuries. PACHECO stayed on the scene and cooperated with the investigation. OSP was assisted on scene by Day-N-Nite towing, Clackamas Fire, and the Oregon Department of Transportation. 

This is an ongoing investigation and no further information will be released at this time. 

The Oregon State Police is asking anyone who witnessed this incident to please call OSP Dispatch 800-442-2068 or OSP from your mobile phone.  Reference case number SP21316723. Oregon State Police

Fatal multi-vehicle crash Highway 97- Deschutes County

On November 10, 2021, at 4:51 P.M., OSP responded to a multi-vehicle crash on Highway 97 milepost 114 near Terrebonne.  A silver Hyundai Elantra, driven by Karl Thompson (58) of Metolius, was southbound on Highway 97 when it attempted to pass a southbound black Dodge Ram on the shoulder. 

The Dodge Ram was driven by Kyle Jensen (32) of Redmond.   When the Elantra reentered the southbound lane, it struck the front of the Dodge Ram, sending the Elantra into the northbound lane.  The Elantra then struck a Nissan Pathfinder, driven by Jessica Shaw (33) of Metolius.  The Pathfinder was pushed into the southbound lane when it was struck by a Dodge Tow Truck, driven by Austin Ontjes (26) of Terrebonne. 

The driver of the Pathfinder, Jessica Shaw, was pronounced deceased at the scene. The passenger in the Elantra, Emmanuel Pina-Lopez (29) of Madras, was transported to an area hospital with serious injuries.  The Driver of the Tow Truck, Austin Ontjes reported minor injuries.  Karl Thompson, Kyle Jensen, his passengers along with the passenger of the Tow Truck did not report any injuries. 

The highway was closed for 6 hours.  OSP was assisted at the scene by Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office, Redmond Fire, Redmond Police Department, and the Oregon Department of Transportation.  The investigation is ongoing. Oregon State Police 

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