Klamath Basin News, Tuesday, 2/22 – City is Asking For New Name Ideas for Kit Carson Park; Canadian man To Be Sentenced in Deadly Tulelake Crash That Killed Two

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Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Klamath Basin Weather

Today Mostly sunny, with a high near 34. Overnight mostly clear a low around 9 degrees.

Wednesday Sunny, with a high near 37. Wind chill values as low as zero. North wind around 6 mph.
Thursday Mostly sunny, with a high near 43.
Friday Sunny, with a high near 45.
Saturday Mostly sunny, with a high near 51.

Today’s Headlines

Most criminal charges have been dropped against a Canadian man who pleaded guilty to a drunken crash that left two people dead near Tulelake last summer.

Harjot Singh, 23, is scheduled to be sentenced on Wednesday, Feb. 23 in Siskiyou County, Calif., on one charge of DUI with injuries.

He had initially been charged with felony vehicular manslaughter, multiple counts of DUI with injury and heightened charges due to his post-accident BAC of more than .15 — more than four times the legal limit for commercial truck drivers.

The charges stem from a fatal crash on June 28, 2021 near Tulelake that killed Ernest Landwehr, 54, and his Nancy Robles, 46.

According to police, the couple drove from their home in Yuma, Ariz., to Klamath Falls to see family. Because of wildfires and closed roads, they diverted to Highway 139 and had made it north of Tulelake, in Siskiyou County near the Oregon state line. Singh was driving south on Highway 139 in a 2013 Volvo tractor/trailer owned by a British Columbia company and hauling 38,000 pounds of paint totes on his flatbed.

An hour after the crash, Singh’s blood alcohol content was measured at .19. The legal limit for commercial truck drivers is .04. In addition, it is unclear if Singh had the necessary documentation to work in the United States.

Vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated is a felony punishable by up to ten years in prison, in addition to court fines and restitution to the victim’s family.

For a defendant who has two or more prior DUI convictions, the prison sentence can be 15 years to life. The possible sentence for the lesser felony DUI causing injury, ranges from three years in county jail to just five years of probation.

The City of Klamath Falls is asking the public to come up with a new name for Kit Carson Park.

Last month, Klamath Falls City Council directed the city’s parks advisory board to rename Kit Carson. The council also tasked the advisory board with soliciting feedback from the community on potential new names.

According to the city, the survey is a tool intended to provide the public’s opinion on potential names. The parks advisory board will consider and select from those names, which will be forwarded to city council for a final decision.

Around the state of Oregon

Eastern Oregon Crash photo 4

A crash involving dozens of vehicles on Monday has a snow-covered stretch of Interstate 84 closed between Pendleton and La Grande in eastern Oregon.   

State transportation officials say the crash happened in the westbound lanes between mileposts 216 and 265, near Meacham and Deadman Pass. One driver in the area reported seeing several semi-trucks involved in the collision, with some vehicles overturned and off the roadway.

Transportation officials have not said whether anyone was seriously hurt in the crash. The westbound freeway is also closed to trucks in Ontario due to limited truck parking in Baker City and La Grande.

One woman is dead and five other people are injured following a shooting at a Portland rally for a Black man killed by police in Minneapolis.

The shooting happened during the “Justice for Amir Locke” solidarity rally at Normandale Park Saturday night. The Portland Police Department is saying two suspects are in custody.

Three other women and two men were hospitalized for gunshot wounds in addition to the death. Police say they’re having a difficult time putting together what happened because witnesses aren’t talking.

Locke was shot to death by a Minneapolis Police Department SWAT officer during the execution of a no-knock search warrant at an apartment on February 2nd.

Grants Pass Man Arrested After Assault With A Bat

On 02-21-22 at approximately 10:33 am, officers from the Grants Pass Police Department responded to the area of Rogue River Hwy and Parkdale for a report of an assault with a bat.  

As officers were responding, it was determined a male suspect, later identified to be William “Hank” Haywood, had assaulted two people while at the Lil’ Pantry Market on Rogue River Hwy.

It was reported that Haywood assaulted a customer, unprovoked, then proceeded to also assault an employee of the business who attempted to intervene.  Haywood fled the area in a vehicle prior to officers arriving on scene. 

Detectives responded and assisted with the investigation, also to begin attempting to locate Haywood.  After further information was obtained, it was learned Haywood was wearing a pistol on his person at the time of the assault.  Haywood did not display or threaten anyone at the time of the incident with the firearm.  It was further discovered that Haywood was possibly in possession of a rifle, which was reported to be in the vehicle.  Detectives and officers began checking several locations for Haywood due to the severity of the incident and concern for the safety of the public. 

At approximately 2:30pm, the vehicle Haywood was reported to have been driving at the time of the assault was located at Reinhart Memorial Park.  Detectives were able to see the vehicle and confirmed Haywood was the only occupant of the vehicle. Due to the concern over the firearms Haywood was reportedly in possession of, an armored rescue vehicle was utilized to ensure the safety of the public and the officers.  

Haywood was contacted and taken into custody without further incident. Haywood was later lodged at the Josephine County Jail on the above charges.  Neither of the victims of the assault required immediate medical treatment at the scene. The case is still under investigation and additional charges are pending.  If anyone has additional information on the case, please contact the Grants Pass Police at 541-450-6260.  Grants Pass Police Department

Oregon leaders are blasting a new Washington state proposal that would enact a tax on Oregon-bound gasoline.

The proposal introduced earlier this month would create a tax of up to six cents per gallon for some fuel being exported from Washington to states with lower gas taxes than Washington’s.

Oregon Governor Kate Brown posted a tweet late last week calling the proposal “unacceptable” and saying she’s discussed the matter with Washington Governor Jay Inslee. Oregon Republican state Representatives Shelly Boshart Davis and David Brock testified against the proposal in the Washington Legislature. Boshart Davis calls the tax proposal “offensive.”

Oregon corporate tax payments jumped an astonishing 46% last year, topping $1 billion for the first time as companies large and small reaped huge profits in the wake of the pandemic.

Oregon collected nearly $1.4 billion in corporate excise taxes, a tax on business income, during 2021. It’s the highest tally on record by a wide margin and another indicator that many businesses came out of the COVID-19 recession in far better shape than they went into it.

State economists disclosed the tax numbers earlier this month, reporting a rosy revenue picture for the state. While Oregon keeps individual businesses’ tax data confidential, state economist Mark McMullen said industries that performed especially well included warehouse and distribution, automakers and tech manufacturers.

Oregon’s business taxes have historically been among the lowest in the U.S., according to the Tax Foundation, a national organization that advocates for lower taxes. But Oregon has moved toward the middle of the pack over the past few years, by the Tax Foundation’s reckoning, owing to a new corporate activity tax for schools and changes in the state’s unemployment insurance taxes.

People behind bars in Oregon could gain their right to vote. If House Bill 4147 passes, it will allow convicted criminals to register to vote, update voter registration and vote in elections while they are behind bars.

This includes inmates in custody of a jail or local and youth correctional facilities. The inmates and prisoners would receive all election materials, including ballots and voters’ pamphlets. Plus, they would be allowed to vote in each election.

Oregon is currently one of many states where people in prison cannot vote. However, those released from incarceration and on parole can vote in the state. Currently there is no committee hearing scheduled to meet and discuss the bill, with less than two weeks left of the short session.

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