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.
Thursday, February 3rd, 2022
Klamath Basin Weather
Today Sunny, with a high near 46. Calm wind. Overnight mostly clear, with a low around 24.
Friday Mostly sunny, with a high near 51. Light and variable wind. Cloudy overnight with a low around 24.
Saturday Sunny, with a high near 53. Light north northeast wind. Overnight low of 23.
Sunday Sunny, with a high near 54. Overnight low near 22.
Monday Sunny, with a high near 56.
After a pared down version last year, the Klamath Bull Sale returns to the Klamath County Fairgrounds this week with a full slate of ranching-related events.
The event schedule — which features everything from stock dog trials to barrel racing — kicks off Thursday and will continue through the weekend. Saturday will of course feature the 62nd Annual Bull and Replacement Heifer Sale and a ticketed Ranch Rodeo that night. The rodeo returns Sunday morning to round out this year’s festivities.
As always, the sale will continue to be a fundraiser for the Klamath County Cattlemen and Cattlewomen’s Scholarship Program — which provides scholarship funds to local youth working toward their degrees.
Plus, along with all the events, a Western Trade Show kicks off every day at 9 a.m. Thousands typically attend the event which attracts buyers from throughout the Klamath Basin, Oregon and surrounding states.
Last year’s pandemic edition, which lacked many of the events like the ranch rodeo and stock dog trials, brought in about 4-500 people but still accumulated $452,000 in gross sales.
There were another 78 new Covid cases were reported here in Klamath County yesterday, and there are 24 new COVID-19-related deaths in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll to 6,124. OHA reported 5,179 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19 as of yesterday bringing the state total to 638,823.
The number of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 across Oregon is 1,113, which is 14 more than yesterday. There are 178 COVID-19 patients in intensive care unit (ICU) beds, which is nine fewer than yesterday.
Locally, 78 new cases were reported here in Klamath County. 277 new cases were reported in adjacent Jackson County. Elsewhere in the immediate region, Deschutes County had 304 new cases, Douglas 201, Lane 479, and Lake County reported 19 new cases.
The new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases reported today are in the following counties: Baker (30), Benton (197), Clackamas (332), Clatsop (37), Columbia (52), Coos (93), Crook (64), Curry (19), Deschutes (305), Douglas (143), Gilliam (4), Grant (6), Harney (22), Hood River (24), Jackson (389), Jefferson (29), Josephine (125), Klamath (78), Lake (16), Lane (449), Lincoln (98), Linn (289), Malheur (15), Marion (561), Morrow (11), Multnomah (628), Polk (144), Sherman (2), Tillamook (28), Umatilla (114), Union (43), Wallowa (12), Wasco (30), Washington (511) and Yamhill (238).
Most people quickly abandoned their attempts at “dry January” this year, but not the atmosphere over the northeastern Pacific Ocean.
A stubborn region of high pressure hundreds of miles wide has parked itself over the U.S. West Coast, deflecting the winter storms the region so desperately needs to improve its drought situation.
Since January 9, the Klamath Basin has seen mostly sunny skies, abnormally high daytime temperatures and abnormally low nighttime temperatures.
With just 0.34 inches of precipitation falling at the Klamath Falls Ag Weather Station, last month was the station’s sixth-driest January since 1948. Short-range weather forecasts expect this pattern to continue until at least the middle of February with no signs of precipitation.
The constant cerulean skies that block life-giving storms bring a whole new meaning to “the winter blues.” High-pressure systems, also known as anticyclones, cause these calm, dry conditions by pushing air away from themselves in an effort to achieve equilibrium in the atmosphere. Low pressure systems, called cyclones, draw air in by comparison and dump its moisture on the landscape in the form of rain or snow. As the atmosphere shifts, the interplay between low and high pressure helps create our weather. Regardless of what’s causing this weather, it’s hampering the basin’s chances of getting out of exceptional drought, which still has a chokehold on the region. Precipitation and snowpack measurements are now below normal, having flatlined when they should be well on their way to peaking.
In fact, to have any chance of improving the local drought, the basin needs almost double its normal yearly precipitation this water year.
Emily McIntire of Eagle Point has announced Tuesday her bid to represent the newly formed House District 56, which includes half of Klamath Falls and much of southern Klamath County.
The school board chair and community leader is passionate about restoring local control of education, beating back government overreach, and securing real solutions for the wildfire crisis in Southern Oregon. Emily and her husband, Ryan, have lived in Jackson County and Eagle Point for over 20 years.
She was elected to the Eagle Point School Board in 2018 and again in 2021.
Klamath Ice Sports has announced changes in the cast of featured skaters who are scheduled to appear in GOTTA SKATE, its annual figure skating spectacular, set for Saturday, March 5, at the Bill Collier Ice Arena.
Jessica Calalang and Brian Johnson, three-time U.S. pair silver medalists, will replace Alexa Knierim and Brandon Frazier, U.S. pair champions, who will represent the U.S. at the 2022 Worlds competition in Montpellier, France, later in the month.
Anderson also notes that all competitive amateur figure skaters who agree to appear in an ice show must obtain approval from U.S. Figure Skating, the national governing body for the sport of figure skating.
The appearance of the Knierim/Frazier pair was initially approved and then denied by USFS.
Reserved seating for the ice show, which includes special on-ice and hockey box seating as well as heated bleacher seating, may be obtained in advance online at www.KlamathIceSports.org. Reserved tickets range in price from $22 to $55.
Around the state of Oregon
The Transportation Security Administration says officers found a loaded handgun in a man’s carry-on luggage during security screening at the Rogue Valley International-Medford Airport on Tuesday morning — the first of the year, but unlikely to be the last.
According to the TSA, the man was going through the security checkpoint, bound for San Francisco. Officers found a .38 caliber Smith & Wesson revolver loaded with five rounds in his carry-on luggage during routine X-ray screening.
TSA called airport law enforcement, who came and collected the gun. The traveler was allowed to continue on to his flight after an interview with officers. There have been two “firearm finds” since Sunday at the Portland International Airport, the TSA said. While this was the first of the year for the Medford airport, the agency said that officers found 14 guns during routine screening in 2021.
Nationwide, the TSA says it found 5,972 guns in carry-on luggage in 2021 — an all-time record.
Oregon state officials announced Tuesday that quarantine and isolation requirements for child care centers can be reduced from 10 to five days as long as other COVID-19 precautions are observed.
The shortened quarantine period is only authorized if the entire class or group in child care wears masks. The Oregon Dept. of Education’s Early Learning Division “highly recommends” that everyone in child care settings age two or older wear masks.
Those kindergarten age or older are required to wear masks under state rules. The change comes as a result of new CDC guidance for child care settings released January 28, Oregon officials said. There are differences between this guidance and the kind applied for K-12 schools.
In child care settings, people who are vaccinated or have had COVID-19 in the last 90 days do not need to quarantine under Oregon rules, but should monitor for symptoms.
Suspect Arrested for Rape, Sex Abuse, Assault of Elderly Central Point Woman
Jackson County Sheriff’s Office (JCSO) deputies took a report of a rape and assault of a woman in her 70s that occurred late Saturday night at her home on Blackwell Road. Her son, who lives nearby, confronted the suspect and he fled the scene. JCSO deputies arrived to investigate and the victim went to an area hospital for a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) exam.
The suspect was known to the victim and was contacted and taken into custody. Based on the evidence, Michael Dean Gates, 62, of Central Point, was lodged at the Jackson County Jail for first-degree rape, first-degree sexual abuse, and fourth-degree assault. His bail is set at $400,000. Investigations are ongoing. Further information will come from the Jackson County District Attorney’s office. Jackson Co. Sheriff’s Office
Grants Pass Police K9 Match Finds Heroin and Methamphetamine for RADE Detectives
During this last week, Grants Pass Police K9 Match helped the Rogue Area Drug Enforcement (RADE) detectives seize nearly ½ pound of heroin in two separate investigations. RADE detectives were able to intercept two separate vehicles that contained the deadly opiate.
Both of the heroin seizures tested positive for not only heroin but also fentanyl, which has become common over the past year. RADE has seen an increase in both fentanyl use and distribution.
One of the traffic stops also resulted in the seizure of over ½ pound of methamphetamine. Anyone with information or narcotics-related tips is encouraged to call 541-450-6373 or email ADE@grantspassoregon.gov“>RADE@grantspassoregon.gov.
On Jan. 31, the Douglas Education Service District Board of Directors appointed Analicia Nicholson as Douglas ESD’s succeeding superintendent.
Governor Brown To Deliver State Of The State Address Today at Noon
Oregon Governor Kate Brown will deliver the State of the State Address at noon on Thursday. The speech is expected to outline her legislative agenda and priorities for the year. You can watch here:
Oregon Child Welfare Division continues to put its focus on prevention, ends 2021 with the lowest number of children in foster care in 16 years
(Salem) – Despite the challenges of the global COVID-19 pandemic, the Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS), Child Welfare Division continues to reduce the use of foster care by connecting families with resources and services that support children and young adults safely staying at home with their families.
On Jan. 1, 2022, there were 5,393 children in foster care, the lowest number of children in care in 16 years.
The Child Welfare Division is committed to supporting the individual needs of children and families to best serve Oregon’s children and young people. The Child Welfare Division Vision for Transformation is the roadmap and compass for the Oregon Child Welfare Division to transform itself and the greater child and family well-being system.
“We all know that infants, children, adolescents and young adults do best growing up in a family that can provide love, support, lifelong learning, shared values and important memories,” said Child Welfare Director Rebecca Jones Gaston. “That is why we are committed to doing everything we can to provide the necessary supports to help families safely stay together and decrease the use of unnecessary foster care.”
Key Child Welfare Division data for 2021:
- The number of children who experienced foster care decreased by approximately 11% compared to 2020.
- The Oregon Child Abuse Hotline (ORCAH) received approximately 175,000 contacts, an 11% increase compared to 2020.
- Of the contacts received at ORCAH, about 46%, or 80,000, were reports of suspected abuse and neglect. This is an 8% increase compared to 2020.
- In 2021, 55% of the reports of child abuse resulted in a CPS assessment being assigned. In 2020 the assignment rate was 53%.
- Family reunifications in 2021: 1,699
- Adoptions finalized in 2021: 538
- Guardianships finalized in 2021: 365
- Oregon continues to serve all children in state. No children were placed in out-of-state residential treatment facilities in 2021.
Key accomplishments in 2021
In 2021, the Child Welfare Division committed itself to integrating the Child Welfare Division Vision for Transformation into actionable policies and practices to create a strong child and family wellbeing system. Some accomplishments include:
- Gaining federal approval of the Oregon Family First Prevention Services Plan, with a phased demonstration in three diverse areas beginning in 2022. This will strengthen and support families to decrease the number of children entering foster care and is the first major federal modernization of the child welfare system in 30 years.
- Implementing the Oregon Indian Child Welfare Act (ORICWA), which codifies provisions from the federal Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), into Oregon law to ensure Oregon’s child welfare practices better serve Tribal families. In addition, ORICWA recognizes customary adoptions, which are adoptions that align with traditional Tribal child-rearing practices.
- Being one of the first states to distribute federal pandemic aid to support qualifying children and young adults who have experienced foster care. This pandemic aid included $1.3 million to more than 300 young people to help them pay for higher education, housing, bills, access to technology and equipment, access to self-care and mental health support, and other important resources.
- Amplifying strategies to prevent child fatalities, such as developing a collaborative safe sleep guide for families used by providers and coordinating with community partners to end the sale of crib bumpers in Oregon.
- Joining the National Partnership for Safety collaborative, ensuring data sharing and a focus on safety science.
- Expanding a mobile crisis unit to address the critical needs of children in foster care with 24-hour support.
- Building specific resource family recruitment and retention plans based on the unique needs of each ODHS district.
- Expanding the evidence-based KEEP program, to include affinity groups such as Spanish-speaking, LGBTQIA2S+ affirming, Native American, and transracial families to support resource families and relatives caring for children.
- Providing alternative childcare reimbursement during the pandemic to help families access care when childcare centers or schools were closed.
- Launching a public data dashboard on Oregon’s performance of federal child welfare outcomes to increase transparency.
- Integrating All About Me books for children experiencing foster care into procedure, the first child welfare jurisdiction in the country to do so. These books are a way to help every child who enters care understand that their story, perspective, culture and identity matter.
- Taking steps to reduce structural racism within the Child Welfare Division by making rule and practice changes to reduce the oversurveillance of families of color, give power to communities, and address structural bias in decision making. These steps include:
- Reviewing 27 policies using a racial equity impact assessment tool to assess the unintended consequences of policies that contribute to the marginalization of communities of color.
- No longer requiring medical providers to report new mothers who test positive for substance use after childbirth to the Oregon Child Abuse Hotline. Medical providers are encouraged to instead use their training and expertise to determine and report when there is a safety concern.
- Reducing requirements for parents to be eligible for gas vouchers.
- Incorporating biological families and Tribal Nations into the decision- making process when making decisions about immunization of children in foster care.
- Expanded training centered on equity and service delivery:
- About 2,600, or 78% of Child Welfare staff, attended an equity focused training.
- About 2,800, or 84% of Child Welfare staff, attended training on the American Disabilities Act and incorporating its protections into Child Welfare practice.
How to support children and families in Oregon
Support children and families in Oregon by becoming a resource (foster) parent for children in foster care.
The MyNeighbOR program helps meet the essential needs of children, families, and young adults impacted by foster care. Learn how to provide support.
There are many different resources and supports available in our communities to help children and families meet their needs. Sometimes, the best way to support child and family wellbeing is to help them get plugged-in to the resources they need:
Local community supports
- Dial 2-1-1, or text your zip code to 898-211 to get connected to local food, housing, child care and other supports in your community.
- Find a food pantry: foodfinder.oregonfoodbank.org
Mental and behavioral health supports in Oregon
- Youthline: Call 1-877-968-8491, text teen2teen to 839863, chat at www.oregonyouthline.org
- Lines for Life Suicide Lifeline: Call 1-800-273-8255 (24/7) or text 273TALK to 839863 (Monday through Friday, 2-6 p.m.)
- Oregon Behavioral Health Support Line: Call 1-800-923-4357 (24/7)
- Military Helpline: Call 1-888-457-4838 (24/7) or text MIL1 to 839863 (Monday through Friday, 2-6 p.m.)
- Resources to help educators provide mental health and social for support children and families are available at https://www.oregon.gov/ode/educator-resources/standards/Pages/Mental_Health_Students_Families.aspx.
Oregon Department of Human Services programs and support
- Learn about government programs and community resources for older adults and people with disabilities by contacting the Aging and Disability Resource Connection of Oregon at 1-855-673-2372 or www.adrcoforegon.org.
- Apply for government food, cash, child care assistance and the Oregon Health Plan online at ONE.Oregon.gov or by calling 1-800-699-9075.
- Oregon Department of Human Services COVID-19 help center
About the ODHS Child Welfare Division
The Oregon Department of Human Services, Child Welfare Division is committed to transforming itself to better support the individual needs of families and to best serve Oregon’s children and young people. Read the Child Welfare Division Vision for Transformation to learn more.
Report child abuse to the Oregon Child Abuse Hotline by calling 1-855-503-SAFE (7233). This toll-free number allows you to report abuse of any child or adult to the Oregon Department of Human Services, 24 hours a day, seven days a week and 365 days a year.
Campaign For Tobacco Free Kids Reports Oregon Ranks No. 1 In Funding Prevention
A recent Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids report has ranked Oregon No. 1 in the nation in funding tobacco prevention at levels recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
CTFK’s Jan. 13 report, “Broken Promises: A State-by-State Look at the 1998 Tobacco Settlement 23 Years Later,” found that Oregon, at 93.9%, and Alaska, at 89.6%, are the only states to provide at least three-quarters of the CDC-recommended funding for tobacco prevention and cessation programs. They also are among only 10 states – along with Utah, California, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Delaware, Wyoming, Hawaii and Maine – to provide more than half of the CDC-recommended funding.
Oregon voters passed Ballot Measure 108 in November 2020. The ballot initiative increased tobacco taxes to expand funding for the Oregon Health Plan and tobacco prevention activities that prevent commercial tobacco addiction and death, particularly for communities of color and young people.
“Oregon Health Authority (OHA) is excited and proud of this recognition of the state’s leadership in funding tobacco prevention at the level recommended by the CDC,” said OHA Public Health Director Rachael Banks. “We are deeply appreciative of Oregon’s collective dedication to improving the health of our communities. We have been a national leader in tobacco prevention, yet we have much more work to do to ensure health equity.”
To achieve OHA’s goal of eliminating health inequities by 2030, Banks explained, the new funding will support community-led solutions to the suffering caused by systemic discrimination and the tobacco industry’s targeting of communities of color and Tribal communities.
“We are boldly stepping into a new era, partnering with those most impacted by tobacco harms to address the root causes of commercial tobacco addiction,” she said.
While Oregon has made great strides toward improving health and reducing tobacco use, certain communities continue to experience unjust health problems related to tobacco use and systemic discrimination, Banks said. The tobacco industry continues to introduce flavored tobacco products such as vaping and smokeless nicotine products that hook youth.
In addition, the tobacco industry continues its decades-long practice of targeting African American and Black communities with menthol products by placing menthol marketing and discounts in Black communities and appropriating African American culture in advertising. Menthol cigarettes are easier to start smoking, and harder to quit, than non-flavored cigarettes. In Oregon, 25% of African Americans smoke compared with 18% of whites.
Matthew L. Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, said that as tobacco companies remain as relentless as ever in marketing their addictive and harmful products – including menthol cigarettes, flavored e-cigarettes and flavored cigars – it is critical that the states step up their efforts to protect kids and help tobacco users quit.
“Oregon is a rare beacon of hope among the states in really boosting their funding of the proven tobacco prevention and cassation programs,” Myers said. “Voters increased the state’s tobacco tax at the polls in 2020, and now we’re seeing the state use some of the new revenue to increase program funding that will help us end the grip Big Tobacco has had on this country for far too long. The key next step is ending the sale of all flavored tobacco products – and we hope Oregon will set a great example there, as well, for other states to follow.”
The majority of the new tobacco and nicotine prevention funding will be distributed to communities through grants to federally recognized Tribes and Native-serving organizations, as well as an open funding opportunity for community-based organizations who can work with local public health authorities’ tobacco prevention programs. Visit the request-for-grant-applications website, https://ohapublichealthfunding.org/en/ , to view program activities eligible for funding. Grant applications can be submitted now through Jan. 31.
Everyone deserves a fair and just opportunity to be as healthy as possible – and that includes a life free from addiction to commercial tobacco. OHA is committed to providing free help to anyone in Oregon. It’s no secret that times are hard, but you don’t have to quit alone. For free help, call 1-800-QUIT-NOW or visit https://smokefreeoregon.com/im-ready-to-quit/. — https://www.tobaccofreekids.org
Nicholson will replace Michael Lasher upon his retirement on June 30. Lasher has served as Douglas ESD’s superintendent since 2013. Under Nicholson’s guidance, Douglas ESD will work to provide collaborative, high-quality, equitable, and locally responsive educational services to our regional community and thirteen component school districts.
The agency provides leadership and increased capacity in early learning, behavioral intervention, information technology and special education.
Many of the early learning, intervention and support services extend to Jackson, Josephine, Klamath and Lake counties.
Nicholson has worked for Douglas ESD since 2008. Most recently, she has served as the agency’s deputy superintendent. During her early career, she taught for one year at Camas Valley before transitioning to the ESD as an instructional coach, followed by successive promotions within educational services. She holds a BS in public health education and promotion from Oregon State University and an MA in secondary education and teaching from Willamette University.
Former Portland Mayor Bud Clark has died. Clark was 90-years-old.
He served as mayor from 1985 to 1992. Clark ran the Goose Hollow Inn tavern before he ran for mayor. He defeated Mayor Frank Ivancie by running a grassroots campaign. Clark was also the raincoat-wearing model for the 1978 “Expose Yourself to Art” campaign.
The cost of renting continues to go up everywhere, including in Portland. Redfin reports the average cost of a new lease is up 14-percent nationwide compared to last year.
In Portland, the average cost of a new lease jumped 29-percent. Oregon now has a statewide rent control law that limits annual rent increases on occupied units to the consumer price index, plus seven-percent.