Klamath Basin News, Friday, 2/11 – Sky Lakes at Covid Capacity; Superbowl Weekend, Valentine’s Weekend…

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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.

Friday, February 11, 2022

Klamath Basin Weather

Today Sunny, with a high near 62. Clear overnight with a low near 30.

Saturday Sunny, with a high near 61. Light and variable wind becoming southeast 5 to 7 mph in the afternoon.
Superbowl Sunday Mostly sunny, with a high near 62.
Monday A chance of rain between 10am and 1pm, then a chance of snow after 1pm. Snow level 5600 feet lowering to 4200 feet in the afternoon . Partly sunny, with a high near 47.
Tuesday Mostly sunny, with a high near 46.

Today’s Headlines

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Oregon reports 3,176 new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases, 22 new deaths

There are 22 new COVID-19-related deaths in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll to 6,344, Oregon Health Authority (OHA) reported at 12:01 a.m. today. OHA reported 3,176 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19 as of today, bringing the state total to 671,923.

The new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases reported today are in the following counties: Baker (16), Benton (92), Clackamas (213), Clatsop (27), Columbia (61), Coos (42), Crook (37), Curry (28), Deschutes (173), Douglas (106), Harney (6), Hood River (10), Jackson (205), Jefferson (33), Josephine (97), Klamath (49), Lake (4), Lane (270), Lincoln (44), Linn (193), Malheur (18), Marion (299), Morrow (4), Multnomah (432), Polk (82), Tillamook (21), Umatilla (63), Union (20), Wallowa (6), Wasco (29), Washington (419) and Yamhill (77).

OHA’s COVID-19 Weekly Report released today, showed a continued steep decline in weekly cases, but sharply higher hospitalizations. OHA reported 28,378 new cases of COVID-19 during the week of Monday, Jan. 31 through Sunday, Feb. 6 – a 35% decline from last week. 86 new cases were reported here in Klamath County.  216 new cases have been reported in Jackson County.

Sky Lakes Medical Center was at capacity again yesterday with 33 Covid inpatients.  

Transmission and positive test rates continue to decrease, this is a good sign. For the community members who are putting in the work to help slow the spread of COVID-19, Sky Lakes says “Thank You”. It’s incredibly important to patient care to lower COVID-19 hospitalizations.  

Support staff resources have been strained recently and they have many job openings in support departments due to retirements and illness. These positions are in clerical, service, and technician fields at Sky Lakes. 

If you aren’t sure what you’re qualified for or need a little extra support during the application process check out their free career counseling services by contacting the hospital Sky Lakes values employees and their growth opportunities. 

The agencies of the South Central Oregon Fire Management Partnership remind area residents and visitors to use caution with anything that can start a wildfire this weekend, as a cold front is expected to bring gusty winds in the area.

This includes burning piles and debris. Residents in Lake and Klamath counties should only burn on days when weather conditions allow. After several weeks of dry conditions and melting snow, there is an increasing risk of wildfire, especially at lower elevations.

This weekend’s forecast includes unseasonably warm temperatures and gusty, shifting winds as a cold front enters the area. While there is a chance for rain and snow in the area Monday, the extended forecast is predicting continued dry weather. Area landowners must work with local fire departments for burn permits and follow local regulations and requirements. Last year most of the early season fires were started from escaped burn piles and winds contributed towards fire spread.

The Assistance League of Klamath Basin received a grant of $15,000 from the Cow Creek Umpqua Indian Foundation.

The funds will be used to support the league’s Operation School Bell program, which serves children in need, including homeless children living in poverty. The program confronts basic issues of neglect, health and education here in the Klamath Basin. The mission of the Cow Creek Umpqua Indian Foundation is to offer assistance in youth education, strengthen youth and family, provide for positive youth development, and add to the quality of life for people in southwestern Oregon.

To learn more about The Assistance League of Klamath Basin visit www.klamathbasinassistanceleague.org.

Super Bowl LVI (56) will be played at 3:30 p.m. PST on Sunday, Feb. 13. It will take place at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, the home of the Rams and Chargers.

Here’s everything you need to know about the game.

The Los Angeles Rams will play the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl LVI. For the second consecutive season, a team will be hosting a Super Bowl matchup in their home stadium — the Tampa Bay Buccaneers won the Super Bowl last year on home turf.

The Bengals advanced to the Super Bowl following their 27-24 overtime victory over the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC championship game Sunday. It marks the Bengals’ first Super Bowl appearance since the 1988 season, when they lost to the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XXIII.

The Rams defeated the 49ers 20-17 in the NFC championship game at SoFi Stadium to reach their first Super Bowl since the 2018 season. The Rams’ victory ended their six-game losing streak to the rival 49ers. The Rams defeated the Arizona Cardinals and the Buccaneers before Sunday’s NFC title triumph.

Halftime Show

Recording artists Dr. Dre, Mary J. Blige, Snoop Dogg, Eminem and Kendrick Lamar are scheduled to perform in the Super Bowl Halftime Show. It marks the first time the five prolific artists have performed together and it will be the third Super Bowl halftime show produced in part by Jay-Z’s Roc Nation. The NFL has yet to announce who will sing the national anthem before the game.

A full-capacity crowd of 70,240 fans are expected to attend the Super Bowl at SoFi Stadium. Under Los Angeles County’s coronavirus health and safety guidelines, all fans in attendance must be vaccinated. Fans attending the game will be required to wear masks and will be given KN95 masks. Immediately after their 20-17 victory over the 49ers, the Rams emerged as consensus four-point favorites over the Bengals in Super Bowl LVI.

Our Wynne Broadcasting/BasinLife.com 75 inch Big Screen TV winner is Gayle Baldwin of Klamath Falls! She’ll be watching the game on her giant new tv, thanks to Southcoast Appliance in the Tower Shopping Center and all of our local sponsors. Thanks to everyone!

Around the state of Oregon

Trump administration ends protections for iconic gray wolf - Raw Story -  Celebrating 17 Years of Independent Journalism

A Trump-era decision to abandon Endangered Species Act protections for the reintroduced gray wolf populations in several areas of the US has been overturned by a federal judge after conservation groups filed suit.

Jeffrey S. White, judge for the US District Court in the Northern District of California, ordered the federal government on Thursday to vacate the 2020 delisting of gray wolves.

The US Fish and Wildlife Service and state wildlife agencies estimate there are 132 wolves in Washington state, 173 in Oregon, and less than 20 in California. Despite occasional wolf sightings, there are no wolf populations of note in the historical habitat range of Nevada, Utah, and Colorado.

Thursday’s decision does not apply to the Northern Rockies, where gray wolf protections were removed by Congress in 2011. Wolves in Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming can be hunted with relative impunity.

Oregon’s US Senators on Thursday announced that eight Oregon forestry companies have been awarded wildland firefighting contracts with the US Forest Service, including three local firms.

The Forest Service contracts are for a five-year period, and they identify a maximum amount that forestry companies can be paid during that time. Merlin-based Grayback Forestry received the largest contract in the state, with $180 million. Pacific Oasis in Ashland received a $60 million contract, and Lost River Fire Management Services in Merrill received a $40 million contract.

Other contracts went to forestry firms in Redmond, Salem, Philomath, Sutherlin, and Independence.

The Britt Festival Orchestra on Thursday unveiled its 60th “Diamond Anniversary” summer line-up, preparing for three weeks of outdoor performances from June 17 through July 3.

According to the Britt Music & Arts Festival, the program includes a diverse mix of composers and guest artists, with a special focus on Black composers during a Juneteenth concert. It includes a newly-commissioned piece composed and performed by pianist Sebastian Chang, who is one of four soloists set to perform throughout the season. The final concert features the 10-person ensemble “People of Earth” performing the West Coast premiere of a piece commissioned by Britt. Meanwhile, the season’s Family Show will be offered as a morning concert, presenting the return of popular narrator Bruce Campbell.

Tickets go on sale beginning at 10:00 a.m. Friday, February 11 on the Britt website: BrittFest.org. There will not be a Member pre-sale for the BFO concerts.

Home prices are up eleven-percent in the Portland area. RMLS reports that from January of 2021 to January 2022, the median price of a home increased 52-thousand dollars to 512-thousand dollars. New listings and pending sales both declined, compared to a year ago.

The number of homes for sale increased slightly and it’s taking around 38 days to sell a home.

Controversy As The First Release From Prison Of More Than 70 People Who Were Convicted Of Measure 11 Crimes As Youth Now Appearing Before Parole Board To Argue For Their Release

An Oregon man convicted in a 1991 murder he committed as a 16-year-old will be released from prison after a Clackamas County judge resentenced him on Tuesday.

Todd Davilla was resentenced to 25 years in prison after the Oregon Court of Appeals overturned Davilla’s previous 50-year sentence in 2020 because it did not take into account the “unique qualities of youth” and his capability for change, the court argued.

Davilla has already served 30 years in prison, so he will be released. He also received supervised probation for life. 

The Oregon Court of Appeals is reversing the murder convictions for the former Gladstone Police sergeant who was accused of killing his wife.

Lynn Benton was found guilty in 2016 of aggravated murder in the 2011 death of his wife Debbie Higbee. Prosecutors say Benton paid two people to kill Higbee. He was sentenced to life without parole. The Appeals Court upheld his convictions for Conspiracy to Commit Murder, but the murder convictions were reversed.

Prosecutors are considering whether to appeal that decision with the Oregon Supreme Court or retry the case.

OSP Troopers apprehend carjacking suspect after pursuit- Lane County


On February 10, 2022, at about 9:20 am, Oregon State Police Troopers at the Salem Area Command were sent information from Woodburn Police Department regarding an attempt to locate a stolen BMW SUV. 

The suspect had used physical force to steal the vehicle in the Woodburn area.  Probable cause existed for Robbery and Unlawful Use of a Motor Vehicle.  

The vehicle was located near milepost 256 southbound in Salem.  Troopers attempted to stop the involved vehicle and a pursuit ensued.  The pursuit traveled from I-5 southbound near milepost 244 to milepost 228 where exited and then went northbound on I-5. 

The vehicle again exited at milepost 233 and then went southbound on I-5 again.  Spike strips were deployed successfully at milepost 209.  

The vehicle continued southbound before the passenger side tires went flat.  The vehicle continued southbound on the passenger side wheels until a Springfield Area Command used his patrol vehicle to push the vehicle off the roadway near the Oak Grove Rest Area, milepost 202.  The vehicle stopped and the suspect, D’Andre Eyler, ran on foot.  He was subdued by an OSP Trooper and detained. 

Eyler was lodged at the Marion County Jail on charges of Robbery III, UUMV, Assault IV, Attempt to Elude (Felony/Misdemeanor), and Reckless Driving.  

Semiconductors once again have Oregon’s attention. Intel’s decision to site its multibillion-dollar factory expansion in Ohio rang alarm bells across Oregon last month.

In response, more than two dozen of the state’s top political and business leaders have joined a task force aiming at renewing Oregon’s chip industry. US Senator Ron Wyden will chair the group with Portland General Electric CEO Maria Pope and Oregon Gov. Kate Brown.

Intel and other chipmakers plan to spend more than $60 billion to build new U.S. factories, hoping to reduce the industry’s reliance on Asian manufacturing and capitalize on $52 billion in federal subsidies now pending before Congress. The new factories in Arizona, Texas and Ohio will collectively employ several thousand – and they will add thousands of temporary construction jobs and thousands more support workers to supply and maintain the massive facilities.

Oregon legislators are considering a bill that would require law enforcement officers to tell drivers they can refuse a search during a traffic stop and would prohibit officers from pulling someone over based solely on a minor infraction such as a broken taillight.

Senate Bill 1510 takes portions of House Bill 2002, which died in the 2021 legislative session, and makes reforms to how drivers interact with law enforcement, as well as to parole and probation conditions.

If it becomes law, the bill would no longer allow officers to pull drivers over because of one broken headlight, tail brake light or license plate light. Officers would still be able to ticket drivers for those equipment violations if the stop was initially made for another unsafe driving violation.

Additionally, officers would have to ask for consent to search a vehicle and get that consent in writing or audio or video recording.

Advocacy groups such as Transforming Justice Coalition and Next Up Action Fund say unnecessary interactions with police, such as stops for minor traffic violations, disproportionately affect persons of color.

Oregonians, who are set to receive a collective $1.9 billion in kicker tax credits this year, may get another $1 billion off their income taxes in 2024, state economists said Wednesday.

That early estimate, which is certain to change before it’s finalized in late 2023, is based on personal and corporate taxes pouring into the state’s coffers in significantly higher amounts than economists projected just months ago, state economist Mark McMullen told lawmakers. Oregon is the only state in the country that, when times are good, sends nearly every dime of personal income taxes that exceeds the official prediction back to taxpayers rather than stockpile the money for bad times or spend it on pressing one-time needs.

Lawmakers are able to spend much of the windfall in the current two-year budget but will then have to balance the 2023-25 budget without the predicted $1 billion the state will refund to taxpayers.

It means that for now, elected officials are happy to embrace the additional revenues flowing into the state’s coffers.

The Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS), Youth Experiencing Homelessness Program is inviting community partners to apply for grant funding to enhance host home programs that support youth experiencing homelessness in Oregon communities

The deadline to apply is Feb. 28, and ODHS will award approximately $1.5 million to support host home programs. A host home is a safe environment offered by local community members in private homes that provide temporary housing for youth experiencing homelessness.  Host home programs are community organizations that support young people and work within communities to connect youth experiencing homelessness with host homes in their community. 

ODHS is committed to supporting programs that provide culturally specific and responsive programming to Black, Oregon Tribal Nations, Youth of Color, and LGBTQIA2S+ youth. Host home programs with a focus on youth from these disproportionately affected populations will be prioritized. 

Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS) announced that as of Feb. 9, the emergency response program has paid out $278.3 in federal emergency rental assistance (ERA) to 39,303 households, up from $268.1 million and 38,078 applicants last week, through the Oregon Emergency Rental Assistance Program (OERAP). OHCS has paid out 96% of all federal ERA dollars available for rental assistance. 

OERAP continues to be one of the nation’s top-performing programs and is ranked fifth in the nation, in the percentage of federal ERA funds paid out and obligated, as tracked by the National Low Income Housing Coalition. OERAP is still accepting new applications for emergency rental assistance. Tenants who meet the minimum eligibility criteria should get their application completed or submitted as soon as possible. Please read more about the prioritization criteria here. Not all applicants will receive assistance. OERAP funds are available to renters who haven’t received assistance before.

Need help? Call 211 or go to oregonrentalassistance.org à Tenant Resources.

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