Klamath Basin News, Monday, 3/28 – County’s Open Burn Period Is On, Runs Through April 10th; OHA Says Covid Cases Down Significantly, Reports Just 189 Cases on Friday

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Mick-insurance-2020-new-728x90-1-1024x127.jpg
Mick Insurance, call 541-882-6476

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, March 28, 2022

Klamath Basin Weather

Today A 20 percent chance of showers after 11am. Snow level 6200 feet rising to 7000 feet. Partly sunny, with a high near 60. Calm wind to 9 mph in the afternoon. Tonight a 20% chance of showers, low of 36.

Tuesday Sunny, with a high near 65.
Wednesday Partly sunny, with a high near 57. Light northwest wind increasing to 10 mph in the morning.
Thursday Mostly sunny, with a high near 58.
Friday Sunny, with a high near 65.
Saturday Sunny, with a high near 68.

Today’s Headlines

COVID-19 cases are trending down in Oregon.  Oregon Health Authority (OHA) says case counts keep the state in a pandemic — for now. The term “endemic” has been invoked by California Governor Gavin Newsom when referring to the status of COVID-19. 

An endemic disease, such as influenza, is always present but doesn’t cause widespread disruption and death.  Also, seasonal influenza is endemic globally because public health experts generally can predict its behavior.

OHA’s reported 189 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19 Friday raised the state total to 702,750. 

Those new cases include single-digit counts for the following Southern Oregon counties: Curry (1), Jackson (9), Josephine (1), Klamath (2), Lake (2), and Malheur (1). It also reported about a tenth of reported COVID-19 tests in Oregon had positive results.

Klamath County is opening a burn period that started Saturday and runs 5:00 PM on Sunday, April 10, 2022. 

During the open burn period, use caution, check weather conditions, and always stay with your burn. With recent and forecasted warm weather, landowners are in the mode of spring cleaning their properties by removing dead material to reduce flammable vegetation build-up. 

Those choosing to remove vegetation and litter through burning need to be careful and take the precautions to prevent the spread of fire.  Helpful hints to remember include Be sure you are fully prepared before burning.  Extra people and tools may be necessary to control your fire.  Clear around your burn area to mineral soil to eliminate the fire spreading to dead and down material or green vegetation.  Check the weather — don’t burn on dry, windy days.  Be sure to stay with your fire until it is “out”; “from first flame to the last spark”.  Finally, Check your burn regularly and frequently.   Check your piles for hidden hot spots by digging into the piles, after the fire appears to be “dead out” and after the wind has blown in the area.

The Oregon Department of Forestry does not require a burn permit currently, bUT other fire protection agencies/departments do require permits.  Please contact your local fire department for current requirements, as well as the 882-BURN number.  

Move Oregon’s Border for a Greater Idaho, the effort to flip most of rural Oregon into the Gem State, has received a lot of attention the past couple of years.

But a truer — and much older — Oregon secession movement is now elbowing its way back into the conversation.

The dream of creating an entirely new state, called Jefferson, out of large swaths of northern California and southern Oregon has been around for decades. Secession talk — and some action — has been around ever since in Oregon. That said, most of the State of Jefferson activity of late has come out of California, which is no surprise.

Siskiyou County, in particular, has a long history of secessionist longings.  Drive along the rural byways of southern Oregon and northern California today, and here and there you’ll see signs proclaiming Jefferson the “51st State” — a designation author Norman Mailer more famously gave to New York City 50 years ago during a quixotic campaign for mayor.

Love Easter egg hunting and want to add an exciting spin on the tradition?  You’re invited to the Ella Redkey Pool for a fun filled afternoon of hunting for eggs in the water.

On Saturday, April 9th from 1pm – 3pm, Ella Redkey Pool brings the Aqua Egg Hunt back to the Klamath Basin.

Admission is $5.00 per person for all participants and spectators.  There are four times available for age groups to get in the water and hunt for the most eggs! • Ages 1 – 3 years old hunt from 1:00pm – 1:20pm • Ages 4 – 6 years old hunt from 1:30pm – 1:50pm • Ages 7 – 9 years old hunt from 2:00pm – 2:20pm • Ages 10+ hunt from 2:30pm – 2:50pm.  

Space is limited, register online at ellaredkeypool.com or in person at the Ella Redkey Pool, 1805 Main Street in Klamath Falls. For more information email: ellaredkeypool@klamathfalls.city

The Klamath Falls City Council has approved two contracts totaling $52,396 annually for landscaping and maintenance services at Crater Lake – Klamath Falls Regional Airport.

Both contracts renew airport work for two existing vendors. Those vendors were the only bidders in the procurement process.

The city council approved a $25,000 contract with Klamath Falls-based Troy’s Janitorial to provide custodial and maintenance service at the airport. Troy’s has handled maintenance at the local airport since July 1985, according to city documents. The city issued a request for proposals (RFP) in February for custodial contract. Two firms showed interest but only Troy’s submitted a quote, according to city documents.

Modoc National Forest will reopen four designated areas for collection of obsidian rocks in the Warner Mountains this summer to personal users with a valid permit.

The four collection areas can be found at https://go.usa.gov/x6NKB.

Obsidian collection season will run from July 1 through Labor Day weekend. Adults 18 years or older will be issued one-day permits authorizing collection of two five-gallon buckets of obsidian using hand tools only. A maximum of three permits per person per year can be issued up to three days in advance.

Permits are only available at the Modoc National Forest Headquarters at 225 W. 8th St. in Alturas, California, from 8 a.m.-noon and 1-4 p.m. weekdays. Picture identification is required for each individual seeking permits. Permits for weekends and holidays must be obtained on days the forest headquarters is open.

Around the state of Oregon

Four people were killed early Sunday morning when a car crashed into a homeless encampment in Salem.

Police said the fatal crash occurred at approximately 2 a.m. at a homeless camp at Front and Division Streets NE in the Oregon capital.

The Salem Police Department reported two people died at the camp while two others died later at a local hospital. Two others were also transported to Salem Health with life-threatening injuries.

The driver was also transported to the hospital for treatment. Streets near the homeless camp were closed for several hours Sunday for investigators to survey the scene.

Police continue to investigate the incident and have not yet released the name of the driver or identified those hurt or killed.

A New York man faces exploitation and child porn charges after driving to Oregon to allegedly have sex with a teenage girl he met on multiplayer video game.

Brent Johnson Jr., of Port Jefferson, New York, was arrested after police raided a Long Island home Wednesday.

According to police, Johnson drove 6,000 miles roundtrip from New York to Rogue River in December to have sex with the underage girl. Police said Johnson met the teen on a video game called “Among Us”.

Johnson faces federal charges including sexual exploitation of children, travel with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct, and possession, receipt and distribution of child pornography.

Police seized digital devices during the raid of Johnson’s residence. They will be transported for forensic examination in Oregon where the case will be prosecuted in federal court. Cops are looking at additional to potential leads in the case.

The Southern Oregon police task force was established in 2020 to focus on human trafficking and the exploitation of children. It includes local, state and federal law enforcement agencies.

The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office said Misty Dawn Hall, 36, of Central Point, died in the early morning accident near Table Rock Road and Hamrick Road.

Her name had not previously been released while police notified her next of kin. Police are investigating the cause of the fatal accident.

Yreka Police Department (YPD) is warning people about a shooting suspect it considers armed and dangerous while it looks for the man.

Yreka Police say they have identified Trevor Wayne Patton as the suspect in a Friday shooting that sent another man to a hospital.

YPD says Patton was last seen driving a blue Toyota Rav4 with Oregon license plates and a roof box, and “Patton is considered armed and dangerous, and we ask that you not approach or contact him. Patton is still outstanding and anyone with information as to his whereabouts is asked to call Yreka Police Dept at (530) 841-2300.

YPD says the shooting case started with a March 25th crash, when a YPD officer came upon a vehicle that appeared to have crashed into a tree.  It says when contacted, the driver said he had been shot and the officer provided first aid until medical personnel arrived on scene.  YPD says the driver of the car was transported to Fairchild Medical Center where the 34-year-old victim remains in stable condition.

The U.S. Coast Guard says today it has suspended search efforts for the master of a boat that sank approximately 35 miles offshore Florence late Friday night as it also confirmed it recovered an unresponsive female victim Saturday, discovered to be a crew member of the boat, who was pronounced deceased by local emergency crews.

The Coast Guard says it suspended its search at 12:30am today for 68-year-old Mike Morgan and his 32-foot fishing vessel, White Swan III.

It says its Motor Lifeboat crew from Coast Guard Station Siuslaw River was first to respond on scene, followed by multiple Coast Guard aircraft, Motor Lifeboat stations, including the 110-foot Coast Guard Cutter Orcas and crew, and “Rescue crews saturated approximately 232 square-miles of search area over a 24-hour period but were unable to locate Morgan.”

The Coast Guard says watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector North Bend received a mayday call around midnight on Friday from Morgan as the master of fishing vessel White Swan III, reporting his boat was sinking in the northern section of Heceta Banks fishing grounds. 

The Coast Guard yesterday reported that Morgan had said he had a female passenger on board.

Following the recent overdose deaths of two high school students in Portland, Central Oregon law enforcement say the battle against Fentanyl is here in Oregon, as well.  

In Deschutes County Sheriff’s officials indicate the amount of fentanyl equal to four grains of sand is enough to kill someone. And, there’s no way for users to know how much they’re taking. 

With illegal manufacturers there’s no state or federal oversight with regard to how much of a drug can go into a pill.  It’s especially dangerous for young people who may not realize Fentanyl is in a pill they’ve been given from a friend.

According to the C-D-C, deaths from Fentanyl among teens have tripled in the past two years.

An environmental group found that Oregon has the most miles of rivers and streams that do not meet water quality standards Oregon has more than 120,000 miles of polluted or “impaired” rivers and streams — the most nationwide, according to a new analysis.

The report, released last week by the Environmental Integrity Project, a nonprofit headquartered in Washington D.C, said that 80% of those waterways threaten aquatic life, making Oregon the worst nationwide in that category. California and Utah ranked second and third in that order.

Oregon has more than 310,000 miles of rivers and streams according to the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, nearly two-thirds of which are intermittent, forming only seasonally.

The Oregon Employment Department released the latest state unemployment rate and jobs numbers

Oregon’s unemployment rate was 4.0% in February, down from 4.2% in January. Oregon’s unemployment rate was similar to the U.S. rate (3.8%) for the month. Oregon’s labor force continued to grow in February to a record high of 2.175 million people, and more Oregonians found jobs. 

Overall, Oregon employers added 12,300 jobs last month, and no broad sector of Oregon’s economy experienced large job losses. Oregon’s leisure and hospitality employers added 3,500 jobs, the most of any sector. Construction gained 2,300 jobs, private health care and social assistance gained 1,600 jobs, and professional and business services employment gained 1,200 jobs. 

Oregon has regained 86% of the jobs it lost in spring 2020, compared with 90% jobs regained for the U.S. as a whole. 

A Multnomah County grand jury is indicting a member of the Proud Boys in connection with a rally that turned violent last year in northeast Portland.

Prosecutors say 25-year-old Tusitala “Tiny” Toese faces eleven charges that include assault, unlawful use of a weapon and riot.

Toese was already in custody on unrelated charges in Washington and was transferred to Oregon. Toese’s co-defendant 41-year-old Miles Furrow was previously indicted on eight charges from the same event in the parking lot of a former K-Mart. Prosecutors are asking the court to hold Toese in custody without bail until trial.

JACKSON COUNTY, Ore. – The Pacific Northwest Violent Offender Task Force (PNVOTF) is on the lookout for one of Texas’ 10 most wanted fugitives after he was recently spotted in the Southern Oregon area.

James Mark Bishop, a noncompliant registered sex offender, is currently wanted out of Texas for continuous sexual assault of a child, and in Oklahoma for probation violations for an original charge of knowingly downloading child pornography.  

Bishop is a former law enforcement officer with prior military experience and extensive martial arts training. He is considered armed and dangerous and has made previous statements that he will not go back to prison. Bishop is likely using an alias. He is a 50-year-old white male 6’1” and 245 lbs. with a bald head and blue eyes. 

Bishop has no known ties to Oregon, but PNVOTF investigators believe he may be working security or other jobs for a marijuana grow or processing facility in Southern Oregon or Northern California.

He was last known to be driving a red 1999 Chevrolet Suburban with Texas plate HLW6688. The vehicle has been fortified with a grill guard and other accessories to assist in eluding law enforcement and living off the grid. It is possible that he has switched license plates and or painted the vehicle. 

If you know of Bishop’s whereabouts, do not approach. Call the JCSO tip line at (541) 774-8333. If your tip leads to an arrest a reward is being offered of up to $8500.

PNVOTF includes personnel from the United States Marshals Service, Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, and the Central Point Police Department. The task force specializes in locating and arresting fugitives wanted for offenses including, but not limited to, murder, assault, sex crimes, failure to register as a sex offender, firearm violations, and probation violations.

From Grants Pass, early this Monday mornning at 1245 AM, several calls were received by 911 dispatchers reporting gunshots being heard at Riverside Park.  

Callers reported hearing screams coming from the park near the 6th and 7th street bridges.  Within three minutes of receiving the  911 call, police officers arrived and contacted several witnesses who were resting inside their vehicles.  Responding officers confirmed shots had been fired during the disturbance.

Grants Pass Police Detectives responded to the scene and initiated a criminal investigation. Detectives determined nobody had been injured during the shooting.  The incident is an open and active investigation.  

Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to contact Detective Heather Yerrick at 541-450-6260. 

Back to the Wynne Broadcasting BasinLife.com Homepage

Must Read

Klamath Basin News, Tuesday, Jan. 21 – Timbermill Shores Under the Spotlight at Tonight’s KF City Council Meeting

Brian Casey

Klamath Basin News, Monday, Dec. 30 – Oregon’s Plastic Bag Ban Starts New Year’s Day

Brian Casey

Klamath Basin News, Thursday, 3/4 – Klamath Residents 65 & Over Can Book a Covid-19 Vaccination This Week at Sky Lakes Medical Center

Brian Casey