Klamath Basin News, Monday, 11/22 – Kailyn Bloom Heading to Texas A&M on an Equestrian Team Scholarship Next Fall

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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 Insuranceyour local health and Medicare agents.

Monday, November 22, 2021

Klamath Basin Weather

Today Sunny, with a high near 54. Overnight, a slight chance of rain and snow after 2am. Snow level 5400 feet lowering to 4200 feet, with a low around 29. Chance of precipitation is 20%.


Tuesday Mostly cloudy, then gradually becoming sunny, with a high near 44. Overnight low around 20 degrees.
Wednesday Mostly sunny, with a high near 46. Calm winds Overnight low of 27.
Thursday, Thanksgiving Day Mostly sunny, high near 53. Cloudy overnight with a low around 30.
Friday Mostly sunny, with a high near 54. Low overnight around 31.
Saturday Mostly sunny, with a high near 56. Clear overnight with a low around 33.
SundaySunny, with a high near 56.

Today’s Headlines

A Klamath Falls man died Saturday morning after he was struck on south 6th street.

Dennis Reeder, 70, was standing or walking in the roadway about 6:20 a.m. near Hope Street when he was struck by a vehicle driven by Hector Miranda Cruz, 35, of Klamath Falls.

Reeder died at the scene, according to Oregon State Police. OSP was assisted by Klamath County Fire District 1 and the Oregon Department of Transportation.

A downtown Klamath Falls staple that has been serving up local beer on Main Street for nearly two decades closed up shop earlier than announced, ending business this weekend. 

The “last day of operations” for the Klamath Basin Brewing Company’s restaurant and bar was to be Sunday, Nov. 28, the brewpub said in a well-shared Facebook post on Thursday.

The bar and restaurant’s closure is attributable to many of the same pandemic-related economic headwinds that have sunk many a business nationwide.  Kitchen supply issues have made it hard to keep the menu consistent, and ultimately the restaurant decided it was time for a change. 

In 2001, Lonnie Clement and Del Azevedo — friends who worked for Pacific Power — began distributing the beer they brewed in Clement’s garage to local restaurants and bars.

Not long later they moved into and renovated the old Crater Lake Creamery building, which was built in 1935 but had been vacant since the mid-1990s. They transformed the space into a 7,500-square-foot restaurant and brewery where the company has crafted beers unique to the region, like the Klamath Basin Blonde and the Crater Lake Amber.

Water was temporarily been shut off to the areas East of Keller Drive Saturday afternoon, which includes Sunset East and Southeast of Valinda due to an urgent situation according to the Klamath Falls Police Department.

City work crews were on site working to resolve the issue and restore water service .  The shutoff for those customers lasted about 4 hours, and water service was restored later that afternoon. City water officials said a water main break had to be repaired.

E. Werner Reschke announced Friday he plans to file for state representative for House District 55.

Rep. Reschke (R-Klamath Falls) is currently serving his third term in House District 56, which currently includes southern Klamath and Lake counties.

Due to redistricting, the new House District 55 now includes parts of Klamath and Deschutes counties. Reshke currently resides in the new District 55.

Reschke says “It has been an honor to serve the hardworking people of Klamath and Lake counties,” adding. “I am grateful to to represent our rural communities and look forward to new opportunities to serving the people of Oregon.”

Kaitlyn Bloom, second from left, with her family. The Bonanza High senior is heading to Texas A&M on an equestrian scholarship.

A Bonanza senior is heading to Texas next fall with a scholarship and a spot on the Texas A&M Equestrian Team.

Kaitlyn Bloom, 17, will study pre-veterinarian medicine while competing in Western Horsemanship at the Division 1 NCAA level. She signed her letter of intent last week in front of friends and family at Bonanza Junior/Senior High School.

Bloom, who has been homeschooled the last five years while traveling and competing at national and world equestrian shows, takes specialty classes at the school when she is able and is considered part of the Bonanza school community. She has taken numerous college classes at Klamath Community College and holds a 3.78 GPA.

Bloom, with the support of her parents Josh and Amanda Bloom, shows her quarter horse, Cowboy, at major shows around the country. She placed second in the All American Quarter Horse Congress in October. Her success garnered the attention of college coaches and ultimately earned her the Texas A&M tuition scholarship as part of the Equestrian Team.

The Klamath County District Attorney’s office has released more details about a shooting near Chiloquin last weekend that took the lives of two people and left two more seriously injured.

Officers from the Klamath County Sheriff’s Office, Klamath Falls Police, and Oregon State Police responded to reports of a shooting in the 900-block of Bronco Lane north of Chiloquin on the evening of November 14.

After securing the area, the DA’s office said that officers entered the home on the property to find two people dead and two more suffering from gunshot wounds. The two dead were 18-year-old Tianna Reynolds and 35-year-old Brian Reynolds, while 37-year-old Tina Smith and 25-year-old Andrew Reynolds comprised the wounded. Tina Smith was rushed to St. Charles in Bend for her severe injuries, while Andrew Reynolds was being treated at Sky Lakes Medical Center.

Officers arrested 35-year-old Andrew Noe a short distance from the scene of the shooting. He’s since been charged with two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of attempted murder, unlawful use of a weapon, and recklessly endangering another.

Noe made his first appearance in Klamath County court on Monday. His next court appearance is scheduled for November 22. Court documents show that the DA’s office moved for Noe to be shackled with ankle and wrist restraints while in the courtroom, supported in a declaration by the Klamath County Sheriff’s Office, because of his criminal history and “apparent mental or cognitive problems” suggesting that he could hurt someone or pose a flight risk.

Around the state of Oregon

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Police in Oregon say they have seized 250 tons of illegal marijuana from several industrial warehouses in White City.

The Oregon State Police announced in a news release Saturday that its Southwest Region Drug Enforcement team served a search warrant at a site that included five warehouses on Thursday.

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They found more than 100 people there — including several migrant workers living in poor conditions without running water — as well as what the police called an “epic amount of illegal, processed marijuana.”

The drug enforcement team estimated that during the two-day search approximately 500,000 pounds of cannabis was found, as well as a firearm.

The Oregon State Police said the marijuana had an estimated street value of around $500 million.

Jackson County Sheriff Nathan Sickler earlier this week told lawmakers the crime rate associated with the thousands of illegal marijuana farms that have sprung up this year in southern Oregon has gone through the roof.

Oregon reports 1,090 new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases, 28 new deaths

There are 28 new COVID-19-related deaths in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll to 4,914. The Oregon Health Authority reported 1,090 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19 bringing the state total to 384,062.  

The new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases reported today are in the following counties: Baker (13), Benton (17), Clackamas (79), Clatsop (2), Columbia (17), Coos (21), Crook (21), Curry (1), Deschutes (97), Douglas (60), Grant (6), Harney (2), Hood River (11), Jackson (49), Jefferson (21), Josephine (30), Klamath (33), Lake (1), Lane (83), Lincoln (16), Linn (64), Malheur (6), Marion (97), Morrow (6), Multnomah (140), Polk (22), Tillamook (5), Umatilla (23), Union (6), Wasco (3), Washington (111), Wheeler (1), and Yamhill (26).

COVID-19 booster doses authorized for people 18 and older in Oregon

If you have not yet chosen to get vaccinated against COVID-19, now is the time.

Everyone age 18 and older is now eligible for a COVID-19 booster dose. COVID-19 vaccines are safe, effective and free. Today, the Oregon Health Authority authorized pharmacies, health clinics and other vaccine providers in the state to begin administering boosters. The state’s orders follow actions by the federal government and the Western States Scientific Safety Review Panel to authorize expanded booster eligibility.

“Every adult who wants a booster can now get one and that is quite simply the extra layer of protection that we need,” said Rachael Banks, Public Health Director, Oregon Health Authority.

Booster doses help people maintain strong immunity to disease longer. The first vaccine series builds up the immune system to make the antibodies needed to fight the disease. Over time, the immune response weakens. A booster dose stimulates the initial response and tends to result in higher antibody levels that help people maintain their immunity longer.

While booster doses are available to everyone age 18 and older, they are strongly recommended for people older than 50, people age 18 and older who live in long-term care facilities and anyone who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Vaccinated people are eligible for a booster 6 months after they completed their initial series if they received a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or 2 months after they received their Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

“The more people that choose to get vaccinated, the safer our communities will be for all of us,” said Banks. “This review and subsequent approval of booster doses helps to loosen COVID-19’s grip on our communities and it will ultimately save more lives.”

Portland, Oregon protesters took to the streets over the weekend, over the acquittal of Kyle Rittenhouse in Wisconsin. As usual, violence and damage to local Portland businesses was reported.

Portland police Friday night declared as a riot a demonstration downtown against the acquittal of a teen who killed two people and injured another during a protest in Wisconsin.

The protest of about 200 people was declared a riot after protesters started breaking windows, throwing objects at police and talked about burning down the Justice Center, KOIN TV reported.

The protesters gathered following the acquittal of Kyle Rittenhouse, 18, in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Portland Police Bureau Chief Chuck Lovell said shortly after the verdict that officers were working on plans for Friday night and the weekend, KOIN reported.

Oregon Launches Hotel-To-Housing Program to Provide Temporary Shelter

Since 2020, with the outbreak of COVID-19 and a deadly wildfire season that claimed over 4,000 homes in Oregon alone, the homelessness crisis on the West Coast has deepened.

According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s annual homeless report, Oregon ranked third in the nation among states with the highest percentage of unsheltered people last year. 

In response to the housing crisis, Oregon has launched a statewide program that uses motels as shelters to meet the immediate needs of people who are unhoused for a variety of reasons, from those who are chronically in need of shelter to those who lost their homes due to wildfires or the pandemic.

Maria Hernandez Lopez lives in a one-bedroom motel unit in Forest Grove, Oregon, with her mother and three grandchildren. The motel has been functioning as a COVID respite shelter for displaced Latinx people since May of this year.

“It was kind of hard losing your job, and then I had COVID, and one of my grandkids had COVID,” Lopez said. “So it made it even harder to get back to the work.”

Lopez said she lost her job in construction and, once she couldn’t afford the rent, lost her house. Due to COVID-19 restrictions and social distancing mandates, traditional shelters weren’t an option for Lopez and her family.

We have not been able to house people in a congregate setting as we used to before,” said Maria Caballero Rubio, executive director of Centro Cultural, which serves the Latinx community in Washington County. “We had to find a way.”

Rubio’s group purchased the Forest Grove motel for $2.2 million using money from Project Turnkey, a statewide initiative that helps local organizations purchase motels for the unhoused.

“Hotels and motels were empty because of the pandemic and not receiving any revenue,” said Nan Roman, CEO of the National Alliance to End Homelessness, which has published case studies on the hotels-to-housing model.

Oregon granted Project Turnkey nearly $75 million to acquire 19 under-used motels across 13 counties. It joins California and Vermont, which have similar statewide programs that launched in 2020. 

“It really is a significant opportunity because we can add a lot of units to the stock, affordably and quickly,” Roman said.

In seven months, Project Turnkey says it increased Oregon’s shelter capacity by 20%. The cost of buying a motel works out to around $87,000 per room, including small renovations. That’s less than half of what it costs to build a new affordable housing apartment.

“We’re meeting the immediate need, but we’re also helping communities be better prepared for future disasters,” said Megan Loeb, program officer of Project Turnkey.

Most of the Project Turnkey properties will be converted into transitional or permanent housing, including services for different types of residents, from veterans to those recovering from substance abuse.

OSP responds to crash on Highway 6 near Banks involving a school bus in Washington County

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On Friday, at approximately 9:29 A.M., Oregon State Police responded to the report of a collision between a trailer being pulled by a Ford F550 and a school bus on Highway 6 near milepost 35, west of Banks.

Preliminary investigation revealed that a red 1999 Ford F550 truck pulling an unloaded flatbed trailer, operated by Frank Rich (64) of OTIS, was traveling westbound on Hwy 6 near milepost 35 when the trailer began to fishtail uncontrollably and detached from the coupling.

After separating from the truck, the trailer collided with the driver-side rear axle of the school bus.

The school bus was from the Nestucca School District and was eastbound on Hwy 6 on a school field trip to Portland. The school bus was operated by Steven Parks (51) of  Cloverdale. The school bus began to rotate and went into the eastbound ditch and came to rest against the embankment wall blocking both lanes of Highway 6.  

There was a total of 6 adults, including the driver and 31 students on the bus.  Seven people were transported by medics to various hospitals with minor injures and as a precaution.

The driver of the Ford F550 was issued a citation for the operation of an unsafe vehicle. He did not have the correct coupling system for the trailer.

The Oregon State Police was assisted by the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, Forest Grove Fire, and the Oregon Department of Transportation.  Oregon State Police 

The Oregon Environmental Quality Commission is approving two new rules that will reduce vehicle pollution.

The new “Clean Trucks Rule” requires manufacturers of medium and heavy-duty vehicles, like large pickups, buses, and tractor-trailer rigs to sell a certain percentage of zero emissions electric vehicles starting in 2025.

California has a similar rule. Another rule tightens emission standards from large trucks and also takes effect in 2025. Transportation accounts for approximately 40-percent of statewide greenhouse gas emissions.

Structure Fire in the Illinois Valley

Illinois Valley Fire District, Grants Pass Fire & Rescue, and AMR responded to a reported structure fire behind the Holiday Inn Motel on Redwood Hwy early Sunday morning.

Arriving unit confirmed the 40×60 building was fully involved with fire.  Fire was contained to the building and brush area surrounding the structure.

 Command was taken from the first arriving officer.  Safety officer and water operations were established and the fire was mitigated with extensive mop up. 

No civilian or fire personnel injuries were reported.  Fire scene was flagged and units were clear. Fire is currently under investigation. — Illinois Valley Fire District

Reported Armed Robbery in Medford

Thursday at 9:15 pm, JCSO and Medford Police Department responded to a reported armed robbery on the 2400 block of Finley lane in Medford. It was reported one female and two male suspects came to the property to collect personal items belonging to a former tenant.

The suspects threatened the homeowner and took unknown property before fleeing the scene. Further information will be released later with possible suspect information.

Oregon State Parks To Spend $50 Million On Park Improvements

New campsites at Silver Falls, riverside cabins at Champoeg and a visitor center at Kam Wah Chung are all on tap, as the Oregon’s state parks are set for a $50 million upgrade over the next two years.

The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department on Thursday released a list of upcoming projects that are slated to begin in May 2022 and March 2023, utilizing money from a bond that was approved by the state Legislature earlier this year.

The list includes additional camping at some of Oregon’s busiest state parks, as well as new visitor centers, restrooms, parking lots and general maintenance upgrades that have been a long time coming.

Cape Lookout Campground

Campers walk through the campground at Cape Lookout State Park on the Oregon coast.

The apothecary at Kam Wah Chung State Heritage Site is filled with things left just as they were when the historic Chinese medical clinic, general store and community center were closed.

The project at Silver Falls State Park is expected to be one of the most expensive, estimated to cost $8 million to $10 million. Park officials have proposed a new North Falls Complex on the north side of the park that would include a new campground, visitor center, trailhead and parking lot.

A proposed project at Cape Lookout State Park is the other big-ticket item, also projected to cost $8 million to $10 million, which would relocate the A and B camping loops to higher ground, where they would be safe from the eroding coastline. Crews would also need to build new roads and facilities for the relocated campsites, and remove existing buildings that are currently being lost to erosion.

Additional camping is also being proposed at Champoeg State Heritage Area, which will get a new camping loop and riverside cabins; Milo McIver State park, where a new loop will be added to the campground; and Nehalem Bay State Park, which will see a new cabin loop and additional tent sites.

In addition to Silver Falls, two parks will get new visitors centers, with work slated to begin in 2022: Kam Wah Chung State Heritage Site, home of a historic Chinese medical clinic and community center in eastern Oregon, and Smith Rock State Park, a popular rock climbing and hiking destination north of Bend.

“The Legislature’s incredibly generous act allows us to make significant and much needed upgrades to facilities and infrastructure, as well as modernize and expand some campgrounds,” Lisa Sumption, director of the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, said in a news release. “This support for the park system’s future is especially meaningful as we commemorate our centennial in 2022 and our commitment to provide world-class park experiences.”

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