Klamath Basin News, Monday, 11/15 – Multiple Victims in Chiloquin Shooting Over the Weekend, Suspect in Custody

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Monday, November 15, 2021

Klamath Basin Weather

Today Rain after 4pm. High near 58. South southwest wind 5 to 10 mph increasing to 16 mph in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation is 80%. Rain ovenight as well, low around 30. Snow level 7200 feet lowering to 4700 feet after midnight. New precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch possible.

Tuesday Sunny, with a high near 44. Clear overnight with a low around 24.
Wednesday Partly sunny, with a high near 49. East southeast wind 5 to 7 mph.
Thursday A 20% chance of rain after 10am. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 53.
Friday A chance of rain, mainly before 10am. Snow level 5300 feet.
Saturday Widespread frost. Otherwise, mostly sunny, with a high near 49.

Today’s Headlines

Multiple Victims in Shooting in Chiloquin

According to the Klamath County Sheriff’s Office, multiple people were shot in Chiloquin Sunday evening. Few details have been released at this time.

There is an ongoing investigation into an incident in the 900 block of Bronco Lane north of Chiloquin.  There are multiple shooting victims and the suspect is in custody. The Klamath County Major Crime Team has been activated and the investigation is underway.

A Klamath Falls man was found dead Nov. 7 at a hotel in rural Eastern Oregon. Lewis Milton Brightman, 59, of Klamath Falls died at the scene.

According to the Umatilla County Sheriff’s Office, a 911 call was made around 11:45 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 7 asking for an ambulance to respond to the Antlers Hotel in Ukiah, Oregon, for an unresponsive male.

According to the sheriff’s office, CPR was being performed at the time of the 911 call. Pendleton Fire Department medics arrived at the scene and declared the man dead. Umatilla County Sheriff’s Office deputies also arrived on scene and requested the presence of a detective.

The sheriff’s office requested an autopsy because the cause of death could not be determined. The autopsy was scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 9 and results are pending. The investigation remains ongoing. The sheriff’s office said further information will be released when appropriate.

Brightman, who was employed by the Klamath County Sheriff’s Office for decades, retired from his post as the senior corrections deputy in May of 2020, KCSO confirmed.

According to KCSO records, Brightman was hired in October of 1989, and Kaber said ever since he returned to Klamath Falls in 1990 he always remembered Brightman working at the jail.

Oregon reports 1,811 new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases, 20 new deaths

There are 20 new COVID-19 related deaths in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll to 4,750. Oregon Health Authority reported 1,811 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19 on Friday bringing the state total to 378,174.

The 1,811 new cases reported today include data recorded by counties for the two-day period between Wednesday, Nov. 10 and Thursday, Nov. 11.

The new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases reported today are in the following counties: Baker (8), Benton (37), Clackamas (203), Clatsop (9), Columbia (26), Coos (11), Crook (9), Curry (3), Deschutes (156), Douglas (85), Gilliam (10), Grant (4), Hood River (5), Jackson (95),  Jefferson (22), Josephine (37), Klamath (71), Lake (11), Lane (155), Lincoln (25), Linn (133), Malheur (2), Marion (101), Morrow (7), Multnomah (274), Polk (31), Sherman (2), Tillamook (12), Umatilla (22), Union (4), Wasco (8), Washington (165) and Yamhill (68).

A “Plan and Prepare Fair” to help Klamath County residents with wildland fire preparedness is being held Monday, the 15th, from 5-9 p.m. at the Klamath County Fairgrounds in the John Hancock Event Center.

The event will start with an open house format from 5 to 6 p.m., followed by a panel discussion from 6 to 7 p.m. and resuming the open house from 7 to 9 p.m. There will be wildland firefighting equipment and information booths staffed by area federal, state and local firefighters and emergency managers.

Smokey Bear will be at the event as well. Information will include how to prepare for wildland fire, including steps that can be taken to protect homes, property and wildlands from wildfire.

Klamath County Commissioner Donnie Boyd said he was inspired to have the event following recent large wildfires in Klamath County during the 2020 and 2021 fire seasons.

If you own forested or brush-covered property in the Chiloquin area and are concerned about wildfire risk or forest health, a program offered through the USDA, Natural Resources Conservation Service could help.

The objective is to provide resources to private landowners to help them manage their woodland acres for wildfire resilient landscapes and productive forests.

The program addresses: Properties that lie within the CIS project boundary, Excessive brush and Over-stocked trees/unhealthy forest stands. What it offers is Fuels reduction/defensible space, Increased forest health and Technical and/or financial assistance.

The application deadline is Nov. 19. If your property could benefit from this program, contact the Klamath NRCS field office for details at 541-883-6924.

Stephen Murray, a trustee with the Klamath Falls Elks Lodge #1247, established a scholarship fund for Klamath-area veterans. The Elks Valerie Murphy Memorial scholarship is named in honor of Stephen’s late wife, Valerie.

Stephen seeded the scholarship with a $500,000 donation.

The Elks Lodge will administer the scholarships and the Sky Lakes Foundation will manage fund investments and scholarship applications. Since only a portion of the fund’s income will be used for scholarships, it will grow and exist in perpetuity.  

Around the state of Oregon

Illegal Marijuana Processing Facility Burns Down Near Eagle Point

Authorities Discover Butane Honey Oil Lab Nearby, Seize Marijuana and Oil

A fire at a local unlicensed marijuana processing facility alerted authorities to an illegal butane honey oil (BHO) laboratory Saturday night.

Jackson County Sheriff’s Office (JCSO) deputies and Fire District Three (JCFD3) firefighters responded for multiple calls about a building on fire at a marijuana grow at 7:40 p.m. Saturday on the 6400 block of Butte Falls Highway near Eagle Point. Responding units found a detached garage on fire near other structures. The garage housed an illegal marijuana processing building and was fully engulfed in flames.

Authorities discovered the illegal BHO lab in a building next to the burning garage. Jackson County’s Illegal Marijuana Enforcement Team (IMET) was called in to investigate and seized 300 pounds of processed marijuana, and 100 mason jars full of butane honey oil.

George Michael Chipman Jr., was cited and released for manufacturing and possession of a controlled substance. The property had no license to grow or process marijuana.

IMET is a multi-agency task force funded by a grant from the Oregon Criminal Justice Commission. The task force includes personnel from JCSO, Medford Police Department, and the Jackson County District Attorney’s Office.

Investigations are ongoing by IMET detectives and JCFD3 fire investigators. — JCSO Case # 21-6009 Jackson Co. Sheriff’s Office

Police in Linn County are reporting a major marijuana bust that happened after an officer picked up the scent of it from the back of a U-Haul truck while driving on I-5.

The Linn County Sheriff’s Office says a narcotics officer was driving on I-5 on November 3rd when he picked up the scent. Police pulled the truck over.

The driver initially said they were hauling furniture and the smell was from his t-shirt that needed to be washed. When officers opened the trunk they found 173 large garbage bags filled with 28-hundred pounds of pot worth over two-million dollars.

The driver and passenger were arrested on drug charges.

An Oregon school district has been fined $11,000 for failing to uphold the state indoor mask mandate and other violations.

The current state mandate requires students to wear masks indoors to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

The Adrian School District, near the Idaho border, is a small district that includes an elementary and high school with about 300 students total. Aaron Corvin with OSHA told the media an inspection was done in response to three complaints about a lack of mask usage. OSHA inspectors said they found two COVID-19 violations and two unrelated violations.

An Oregon State Police Trooper who was critically injured on U.S. Route 30 near St. Helens Thursday has been identified.

Officials released a statement Friday morning identifying the trooper as John Jeffries. Jeffries retired from the FBI after 20 years and started working with Oregon State Police in March. Troopers were pursuing a driver fleeing from Longview, Washington when police said the driver rammed a state patrol car and struck Jeffries around 3:30 p.m.

Jeffries was taken to Legacy Emanuel Hospital in Portland and was reported to be critically injured. The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the incident.

Oregon’s next decade of job growth will likely mirror the last, state forecasters expect, with hiring concentrated in urban areas that increasingly dominate the regional economy.

To a large degree that reflects the urbanization of Oregon’s economy, and of America’s. But it also reflects some lingering effects from COVID-19. Overall, the Oregon Employment Department expects the state will add 300,000 jobs by 2030. 

That’s roughly 17% growth – a strong pace but down from the robust 21% growth in the last decade. That growth won’t be distributed equally, though. Oregon’s fastest-growing counties in the Bend and Portland areas will grow by 18%, economists expect.

The tri-county Portland area will add more than half of all new Oregon jobs in the coming decade, according to the forecast.

Butte Creek Mill in Eagle Point Gets Approval to Begin Producing Flour

The historic Butte Creek Mill in Eagle Point now has a new lease on life after getting approval to begin producing flour this week. The original Butte Creek Mill was built in 1872. It burned down in a fire on Christmas Day of 2015. Ever since there’s been a concerted effort in the local community to rebuild the venerable structure and restore it operationally.

While construction on the mill is still not entirely complete, the Butte Creek Mill Foundation announced Thursday that they now have the go-ahead to begin using
the mill itself to grind wheat into flour.

This week, the project received a city code permit for conditional occupancy and certification from the Oregon Department of Agriculture for food production, the Foundation said.

The mill will be grinding wheat starting this weekend, then mixing and packaging 11 classic products throughout next week. There will be a soft opening on the front porch of the structure, and O’Neil said that there will be a sale event on Saturday, November 20.

Fatal Crash Involving Vehicle and Bicycle in Central Point


Saturday evening Jackson County Sheriff’s Office (JCSO) deputies responded to a fatal crash involving a vehicle and bicycle on the 6000 block of Crater Lake Avenue in Central Point.

At 5:10 p.m. ECSO dispatch received a call for a motor vehicle collision involving a bicycle. EMS arrived and attempted lifesaving measures but were unsuccessful.

All involved parties have been identified and are on scene. The Serious Traffic Accident Reconstruction (STAR) team is investigating. Next of kin has been notified. The victim was Ronald Shane Lowe, 60, of Medford. Investigations are ongoing by STAR team and Jackson County District Attorney’s office.

Crater Lake Ave. remained closed between the 5700 to 6100 block while investigations were ongoing. STAR team is made up of investigators from JCSO, Medford Police Department, and Ashland Police Department. Jackson Co. Sheriff’s Office 

State to pause accepting new applications for the Oregon Emergency Rental Assistance Program on December 1

Federal funds for OERAP nearly fully allocated to applicantsState pursuing additional federal, state resources to continue rental assistance

Oregon Housing and Community Services estimates that nearly all the $289 million in federal emergency rental assistance allocated by the U.S. Department of Treasury to the state of Oregon has been requested, and the program will be fully subscribed in the coming weeks. As a result, the state announced today a pause in accepting new applications for the Oregon Emergency Rental Assistance Program (OERAP) for six weeks, starting on Dec. 1, at 11:59 p.m. The pause will ensure the state can keep its commitment to every Oregon renter that applies for assistance until that time. In the intervening weeks, OHCS will work with the Governor’s Office and legislative leaders to pursue solutions at the federal, state, and local levels to continue to help Oregon renters.

The state allocated the federal funding more quickly than many other counties and states. Oregon is currently ranked 7th nationwide in percent of federal emergency rental assistance (ERA1) funds paid or obligated. The U.S. Department of Treasury allocated a total of nearly $360 million to Oregon, in two waves, ERA1 and ERA2. Of that total, $289 was available for rental assistance payments. OHCS estimates that nearly all of the funds for rental assistance have been requested based on applications received to date.

“It is clear the need for emergency rental assistance is far greater than the amount of federal funding available for the program at this time. This pause will allow the agency to advocate for additional federal funding or other resources at the state level, focus on quickly processing applications and assess whether we have adequate funding available to accept new applications,” said OHCS Director Margaret Salazar. 

The OERAP program has provided more than $130 million in emergency rental assistance to more than 19,600 Oregon renters impacted by the pandemic. In addition to the eviction moratorium and the more than $319 million in rental assistance distributed in 2021, the OERAP program has been critical to staving off evictions for nonpayment statewide. The agency acknowledges that despite these measures, renters are still at risk. 

“We continue to be concerned about the many renters who are at risk for experiencing the trauma of eviction. OHCS is working around the clock to continue accelerating payments and we are fighting for more resources for Oregon,” said Salazar.

OHCS will shift the focus to advocating for more federal funding and processing applications currently in the queue. The agency is in the process of formally requesting additional federal funding after the state met a critical benchmark of paying or obligating at least 65% of ERA1 funding by Sept. 30. At the beginning of October, OHCS submitted a letter requesting U.S. Department of Treasury funding and will submit a formal request next week. In addition, Governor Brown and legislative leaders continue to explore potential solutions using alternative state resources while requests for federal funding are pending.

Information for Renters

Anyone who has fallen behind on rent or may get behind on December rent is encouraged to apply for emergency rental assistance right away, but before Dec. 1 at 11:59 p.m. at oregonrentalassistance.org.

After Dec. 1, the agency encourages people to apply for other emergency rental assistance programs across the state to receive the 60-day safe harbor period (90 days in Multnomah County and unincorporated areas of Washington County). Some cities and counties received ERA funding directly from the U.S. Department of Treasury: 

People can also contact 211 or Community Action Agencies in their area.

During the pause, OHCS and local program administrators will continue processing all remaining completed applications quickly, prioritizing those outside the 60-/90-day windows of protection. The agency expects that all completed applications in the queue will be processed and paid as soon as possible.

OHCS will be notifying anyone with an incomplete application to complete their application before that deadline through a series of correspondences.

If a renter has received an eviction notice, they should call 211. If a renter has received a court summons for eviction, they should call the Oregon Law Center’s Eviction Defense Project line (888-585-9638) or send an email to evictiondefense@oregonlawcenter.org to seek legal help. 

Injured OSP Trooper Update, Nov. 15

The Oregon State Police Trooper, who was injured in the police incident on highway 30, has been identified as Trooper John Jeffries.

Trooper John Jeffries started with the Oregon State Police in March of 2021, after retiring from the FBI after 20 years of service. Trooper Jeffries is currently duty stationed at the St. Helens worksite.

Trooper Jeffries and his wife have spent the last 25 years in Portland, Oregon where they raised their two sons. Trooper Jeffries has spent his life in service to the public. The Oregon State Police asks that you respect the family’s privacy at this time. We also ask for your prayers for Trooper Jeffries, his family, his friends as well as the entire OSP family.

Two people were hit by vehicles and killed in two separate accidents in Linn and Marion Counties over the weekend

The first crash happened on Friday, November 12, according to Oregon State Police (OSP). At around 9:19 p.m., OSP troopers responded to a crash on I-5 near milepost 254 in Salem involving a car and a woman. According to OSP, the victim, identified as Christina Klug, 26, got out of her boyfriend’s car, which was parked in the median, and walked into a lane of traffic and was hit. Klug was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver remained at the scene and is cooperating with law enforcement.

Then, in Linn County on Nov. 13, troopers responded to an accident involving a man and a semi at around 7:09 p.m.

According to OSP, the accident occurred on I-5 near milepost 234, outside of Albany. The victim, identified as Daniel Montoya, 39, was seen laying down on the northbound side of I-5 before he began running across both the northbound and southbound lanes.
A car not involved in the accident swerved to miss hitting Montoya, but the semi-truck behind that car could not stop in time. It struck Montoya and he was pronounced dead at the scene. 

Forecasters Expect Oregon’s Fastest Job Growth in Bend and Portland Areas

Oregon’s next decade of job growth will likely mirror the last, state forecasters expect, with hiring concentrated in urban areas that increasingly dominate the regional economy.

To a large degree that reflects the urbanization of Oregon’s economy, and of America’s. But it also reflects some lingering effects from COVID-19. Overall, the Oregon Employment Department expects the state will add 300,000 jobs by 2030. That’s roughly 17% growth – a strong pace but down from the robust 21% growth in the last decade.

That growth won’t be distributed equally, though. Oregon’s fastest-growing counties in the Bend and Portland areas will grow by 18%, economists expect. The tri-county Portland area will add more than half of all new Oregon jobs in the coming decade, according to the forecast.

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