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 Insurance, your local health and Medicare agents.
Tuesday, December 7, 2021
Klamath Basin Weather
Today Mostly sunny, with a high near 50. Overnight, cloudy with a low around 32.
Wednesday A 30% chance of rain after 4pm. Snow level 4900 feet. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 45. Rain mixed with snow overnight, low around 25. Chance of precipitation is 40%. New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.
Thursday A 20% chance of snow. Mostly sunny, with a high near 37. Low overnight of 21.
Friday Mostly sunny, with a high near 37.
Saturday A chance of snow. Partly sunny, with a high near 41.
The Klamath Falls Lions Club will sell See’s Candy for the Christmas holidays as a fundraiser for their sight and hearing projects.
See’s candy will be available at Turn Thom, Point S tires next to Bi-Mart beginning Dec. 6, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday through Friday, and from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.
The Lions conduct vision screening for most students in Klamath County through the school districts, as well as providing glasses for students and others in need. Lions clubs also conduct community hearing screenings and help provide hearing aids. Additionally, the Lions collect used eye glasses to be recycled and provide a college scholarship to a graduating high school senior from a local school.
For more information about the Lions Club and how to donate to Lions projects, call 541-591-6483.
After a summer spent drying up, Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge finally began receiving a measurable flow of water, thanks to the start of the winter irrigation season on December 1.
The refuge can receive up to 11,000 acre-feet of water between December and February depending on how Upper Klamath Lake is filling.
Water began flowing into the refuge’s Unit 2 wetland through the Ady Canal on Wednesday and was flowing at around 60 cubic feet per second at 5 p.m. on Friday.
It was the only significant inflow to the refuge since last winter other than roughly 750 acre-feet transferred from the Wood River Valley by the California Waterfowl Association in September.
However, 2021’s disaster of a water year continues to wreak havoc on Water Year 2022.
In August, the Bureau of Reclamation had to ‘borrow’ 9,300 acre-feet from the flow of the Klamath River to stabilize the only remaining wetland unit on Tule Lake National Wildlife Refuge. The agency must now pay that water back to Iron Gate and Copco Reservoirs, which were drawn down to facilitate the transfer while keeping lake levels and Klamath River flows in line with Endangered Species Act requirements.
Reclamation says that means water must once again stop flowing to Lower Klamath (and to the adjacent Klamath Drainage District, where farmers flood irrigate their fields during the winter) — at least temporarily. The agency has directed all diversions from the Klamath and Lost rivers to cease by December 6, according to a statement posted on the Klamath Basin Area Office’s website Friday.
Dave Henslee, former chief of Klamath Falls Police Department, filed Friday to fill the seat of outgoing Klamath County Commissioner Donnie Boyd in a 2022 election.
Henslee retired from KFPD in May 2020 after a 27-year career in law enforcement. He has since started 5H Cattle Company outside of Merrill, which he said has not received a drop of irrigation water the last two years.
Henslee said having a home and business dependent on water, while also being a supporter of the wildlife refuges downstream and the basin ecosystem that requires it own share, has given him “a broader perspective on the water issue.”
He said his top priority as a county commissioner will be to find a way to solve the basin’s worsening water problems.
In a news release, Henslee said his other priorities, were he to be elected, include ensuring exceptional public safety in Klamath County and advancing county needs at both the state and federal level. Henslee also said he would be interested in being appointed to the position temporarily, if county commissioners choose fill Boyd’s vacant seat until a new, elected commissioner can join them in 2023.
Boyd has until Jan. 10 to put his resignation in writing, according to Rochelle Long, Klamath County Clerk.
Sergeant Dennis Davenport. retired Tuesday, November 30, 2021 after 25 years in law enforcement from the Klamath Falls Police Department.
Prior to his career in law enforcement Sergeant Davenport volunteered with the Klamath Falls Police Department as a Reserve Officer and a Police Explorer. Sergeant Davenport has dedicated a total of 32 years to the City of Klamath Falls.
This winter, nearly 400 Klamath County School District students will receive a “warm hug” in the form of a handmade blanket thanks to Project Linus.
Suzy Field and Susan Oates of Project Linus delivered bags filled with colorful blankets to the KCSD Central Office this week.
Over the past decade, the local chapter has provided more than 12,000 blankets to community organizations who help youth.
They refer to the blankets as “warm hugs.” Stacey Ramirez, the school district’s social emotional learning administrator, said the blankets made by Project Linus volunteers will provide a needed boost to students during the winter months.
The Klamath County School District’s Bonanza Junior/Senior High School unveiled a new, updated weight room this week featuring five complete power rack stations, as well as new equipment and a fresh coat of paint.
The $25,000 renovation came courtesy of a $10,000 grant from the Oregon School Activities Association and $15,000 in private donations.
The weight room opened to students on Nov. 29. During a weight class at the end of the day, students were joined by a few staff members and even the school’s resource officer, Deputy Justin Horton.
Bonanza’s athletic director Sergio Cisneros challenged students to try the pull-up bar, and Horton was among those who took a turn. The power rack stations allow groups of students to do four core workouts – clean, bench, squat and dead lifts. There also is space for circuit training and calisthenics.
As part of the GrangeGives initiative, Grange Co-op has awarded more than $132,000 to local high school seniors over the last nine years.
Grange Co-op will continue investing in hard-working students in local communities by announcing the opening of the 2022-2023 Grange Co-op scholarship application window.
This year, Grange Co-op is offering nine scholarships to high school seniors, including eight $1,500 scholarships and one $2,000 scholarship, totaling $14,000 in available aid.
To qualify for these scholarships, students must have a cumulative GPA of 3.50 or higher and have participated in FFA, 4-H, Young Farmers, Horticulture, DECA, FBLA, student body leadership, sports, or non-related activities such as work experience.
In addition, students must reside in Jackson, Josephine, Klamath, Lake, Curry, Douglas, Siskiyou, Shasta, Tehama, Del Norte, Modoc, Yuba, Sutter, Colusa, Glenn, or Butte counties. The application window opened November 1 and will close January 31, 2022.
Students can apply by visiting https://www.grangecoop.com/scholarship-program. Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org for additional questions.
The Ross Ragland will continue to celebrate the holiday season with a showing of National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation on Wednesday, Dec. 8th.
As part of the Ragland Film Series, you can catch this holiday classic at 7 p.m.
The 1989 box office hit stars Chevy Chase in his comedic prime and veteran actress Beverly D’Angelo with Randy Quaid and The Big Bang Theory’s Johnny Galecki. Come grab a beer or wine at our lobby bar and enjoy the movie. And don’t forget the 2021 Annual Gingerbread Building Competition is being held at the Ross Ragland this year.
The Ragland’s lobby will be open for ticket holders to view the entries before and after the movie showing. Call 884-LIVE today to reserve your ticket.
On Thursday, December 9th from 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm, Main Street and Spring Street will be closed to accommodate the Snowflake parade, parade traffic and parade entries staging.
The parade will disband on Timbermill Drive. There will be barricades, detour signage and Police directing traffic. Please plan your routes accordingly and use caution as there will be many people downtown with a high level of foot traffic.
For more information contact Kathryn Meadows at (541) 892-5562.
Around the state of Oregon
Governor Kate Brown on Monday ordered that all flags at Oregon public institutions be flown at half-staff to honor veteran and former US Senator Bob Dole, who died Sunday at the age of 98.
The order to fly flags at half-staff is effective immediately until sunset on December 9. After fighting and receiving serious wounds during WWII, Dole received the Purple Heart twice and two Bronze Stars with an oak leaf cluster for his service.
Dole served for 27 years as a US senator from Kansas, including two stints as the Senate majority leader, and made an unsuccessful run as the Republican presidential nominee against Bill Clinton in 1996 — his third attempt at the White House.
Oregon reports 2,041 new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases, 25 new deaths
There are 25 new COVID-19 related deaths in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll to 5,268. Oregon Health Authority (OHA) reported 2,041 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19 bringing the state total to 396,501.
The 25 new deaths and 2,041 new cases reported today include data recorded by counties for the three-day period between Dec. 3 and Dec. 5.
The new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases reported today are in the following counties: Baker (7), Benton (69), Clackamas (214), Clatsop (18), Columbia (32), Coos (41), Crook (9), Curry (3), Deschutes (190), Douglas (84), Harney (4), Hood River (8), Jackson (111), Jefferson (17), Josephine (77), Klamath (11), Lake (7), Lane (132), Lincoln (20), Linn (115), Malheur (3), Marion (127), Morrow (6), Multnomah (351), Polk (22), Tillamook (18), Umatilla (11), Union (7), Wasco (11), Washington (276), Wheeler (2) and Yamhill (38).
Armed Suspect Shot And Killed On I-5 near Portland After Spree of Crimes and Carjackings
Authorities say an armed suspect was shot and killed on Interstate 5 Monday by Portland police after a spree of crimes, including robbery and carjackings.
Portland police first responded to what they believed was a home invasion robbery Monday morning, authorities said. During the robbery, the suspect stole the victim’s vehicle and fled, according to police.
Within the next 30 to 40 minutes, the suspect appeared to commit several other carjackings, police said.
Officers located the suspect, who drove onto Interstate 5 southbound — the wrong way.
According to authorities, the suspect got out of the vehicle and attempted another carjacking, shooting one of the car’s occupants in the process. Police said the victim is recovering in the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
One woman who lives in an encampment near the highway, told the media that she heard three or four gunshots and saw what appeared to be a family — a man, woman, a young child, and an infant in a car seat — running from the freeway.
Police then shot and killed the suspect, authorities said. “This is a complex investigation involving the use of deadly force,” Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell said on Twitter .
Portland, like many cities across the United States, has seen a staggering increase in crime this year. The city broke a 34-year record for homicide numbers earlier in 2021, surpassing the most violent year in Portland’s modern history. Interstate 5 was closed in both directions and police said there was no further danger to the public.
Oregon State Police has launched an investigation after a man driving along Highway 38 in Douglas County was struck by a bullet and later died in the hospital.
State troopers and deputies from the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office responded around 1:30 p.m. on November 30 to a call for assistance on I-5 near Yoncalla.
Officers arrived to find that a driver had been struck by a bullet while driving along Highway 38 west of Drain.
The driver, identified as 72-year-old Larry Eugene Mell of Cottage Grove, was taken to Mercy Hospital in Roseburg before being airlifted to Riverbend Hospital in Springfield.
In the early morning hours of December 1, investigators learned that Mell had passed away as a result of his injury. After Mell’s death, the Douglas County Major Crimes Team was activated to assist in the investigation. The team is comprised of members from the Douglas County District Attorney’s Office, OSP, DCSO, and the Roseburg Police Department.
Investigators are asking anyone who was in the area on Tuesday, November 30, 2021 or has specific information that might be helpful to call OSP at 1-800-442-2068 or *OSP (*677). Please reference OSP Case #SP21-335049.
Over 300 McKenzie-Willamette Medical Center workers are gearing up for their second unfair labor practice strike.
This includes including certified nursing assistants, MRI technicians, respiratory therapists, pharmacy technicians and more. The five-day strike will begin on Monday at 7 a.m. when those participating will walk out.
The union workers will strike Monday until 1 p.m. and Tuesday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Organizers say this comes after they took a strong stand in October with a two-day Unfair Labor Practice strike alleging unfair labor practices by the hospital, saying that management is interfering with their rights as union members.
They say that despite several bargaining sessions with a federal mediator following the strike, workers allege management has not addressed their safety concerns for patients and workers and also allege that management has engaged in more unfair labor practices.
Oregon State Police are asking for tips to help identify the suspects who are poisoning wolves in Northeast Oregon.
Eight dead wolves were found in Union County earlier this year. The same poison was used to kill six wolves with a different poison used to kill the other two. Investigators believe the cases are related. Anyone with information should contact Oregon State Police.
Intel’s new chief executive told an audience of Oregon business leaders Monday that the state’s economic fortunes are tied to the future of his industry, pitching a $52 billion federal aid package that would fund new computer chip factories and research.
Intel is Oregon’s largest corporate employer, with 21,000 workers at its factories and campuses in Washington County.
It’s the company’s largest site anywhere, but no Intel CEO had made a public appearance in Oregon in more than a decade before CEO Phil Gelsinger’s address Monday. Intel is trying to dig out of a decade of manufacturing failures under Gelsinger’s predecessors, a miserable stretch that cost the company its technological leadership.
Two Asian companies, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. and Samsung, now make the most advanced chips. Gelsinger, hired in June, has committed tens of billions of dollars to new factories and research in hopes Intel can claw its way back into the technological race. He’s counting on several billion dollars from the CHIPS Act to offset the company’s costs.