Klamath Basin News, Monday, April 25 – Political Signs and Where They Can Be Placed, According To ODOT

It’s political season. While you’ll begin to see neighborhood signs like this one, ODOT has more strict regulations near highways, onramps and offramps. Read more below.

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Monday, April 25, 2022

Klamath Basin Weather

Today Cloudy, with a high near 65. Light and variable wind becoming west southwest 8 to 13 mph in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 20 mph. Overnight, a 30% chance of showers. Cloudy, with a low around 38. Gusty winds at times.

Tuesday A 40% chance of showers before 11am. Snow level 5500 feet lowering to 4800 feet. Mostly cloudy, then gradually becoming sunny, with a high near 54.
Wednesday Mostly sunny, with a high near 61.
Thursday A 30% chance of showers after 11am. Snow level 4400 feet rising to 5000 feet in the afternoon. Partly sunny, with a high near 53.
Friday Mostly sunny, with a high near 59.
Saturday Mostly sunny, with a high near 64..
Sunday A slight chance of showers. Snow level 4800 feet rising to 6600 feet in the afternoon. Mostly sunny, with a high near 62.

Today’s Headlines

Here in the Klamath Basin and throughout Southern Oregon political comments abound almost everywhere in 2022, yet political campaign signs are not allowed on the state highway right-of-way in Oregon.

Oregon Department of Transportation reminds that with May 17 primary elections approaching, “campaigns and their friends should remember that ODOT will remove political signs posted on the state highway right-of-way.”  It says only official traffic control devices are allowed in Oregon’s highway right of way.

ODOT says because improperly placed signs can distract drivers and block road safety messages, “Improperly placed signs will be taken down and held at a nearby ODOT district maintenance office for 30 days.

To reclaim signs go to the nearest ODOT maintenance office which locally is at 2557 Altamont Drive.” ODOT advises that signs are prohibited on trees, utility poles, fence posts and natural features within highway right-of-ways.

They also are prohibited within view of a designated scenic area in Oregon.

Last week Judge Roxanne Osborne sentenced Elliot Parker to the Oregon Department of Corrections for 180-months. The sentence was based on Parker’s role in two separate cases, in which Parker and co-defendant Harlan Wright terrorized and tortured two different victims.

Senior Judge Osborne presided over a judicial settlement conference and heard evidence where the State presented details of how Parker, Wright and others lured the victims to a location where they robbed, assaulted and tortured them.

The details of the crimes were revealed during the trial, and they are shocking. In one case the facts were: On the evening of August 15, 2020, the victim arrived at 931 Lincoln Street with his puppy. The female resident convinced him to remain at the location.

After about an hour elapsed Parker arrived, talking on a mobile telephone with Wright. Through the telephone Wright directed Parker to keep the victim at the location until Wright could arrive. Parker produced a handgun and ordered the victim to sit in a chair. Parker then robbed the victim of his money and phone, and held the victim for approximately two hours, until Wright arrived. The two then forced the victim into Wright’s car and drove him to 2860 Frontage Road. The victim complied with their orders and was later released.

During a separate and later incident, occurring on September 1, 2020, Parker and Wright and believed a separate victim had made insulting statements about Wright, and was cooperating with law enforcement in drug investigations. The two decided to punish this victim and again conspired with others to lure the victim to the same house at 931 Lincoln Street. When the victim arrived at the house on Lincoln the two began beating him.

The two assailants then forced this victim to strip naked and they continued to beat him. The two kidnappers then forced the victim to get into a rigid black vehicle tote, or roof-box. They closed the victim in the tote and loaded him into a vehicle, driving the victim to the compound at 2860 Frontage Road. The victim was provided a large machete-like knife with which he then chopped off one of his fingers. Approximately six hours after being released by his captors, the victim checked himself in to the Sky Lakes Emergency Department where he was treated for a fractured foot, numerous lacerations to his face and head and the severed finger.

Klamath County District Attorney’s office wants to specifically recognize the role of the Klamath Falls Police Department, the Basin Interagency Narcotics Taskforce and Detective Kiley Bergstrom, without whom the State would not have been able to secure convictions.

The District Attorney’s office also recognizes the bravery of each of the victims who were willing to come forward and hold Parker and Wright accountable for their heinous acts, despite great personal risk to themselves and their families.

Around the state of Oregon

President Joe Biden visited Oregon last Thursday and on Friday was in Seattle. Biden arrived to highlight the historic growth and nearly 8 million jobs created as a result of his and Congressional Democrats’ actions, including the American Rescue Plan and bipartisan infrastructure law.

The Portland airport received significant improvement funds through the law. The President was  joined at the airport by Governor Kate Brown, Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden, and Congressman Kurt Schrader.

The president also talked about efforts to reduce inflation. He attended a fundraiser at Portland Yacht Club for the Democratic National Committee. On Friday – Earth Day – Biden headed to Seattle to discuss clean energy. This was his first visit as President to Oregon and Washington.

Immunity: key terms. Antibodies are proteins produced by the body to destroy or neutralize toxins or disease-carrying organisms when they enter your body. Memory B-cells are build during the month after vaccination or infection. Stand guard, ready to produce antibodies quickly. T-cells are white blood cells that attack other cells that have been infected by the virus.

The fact that people can still test positive for COVID-19 after being vaccinated may make some people question why they should get vaccinated or receive a booster dose.

It’s ideal when a vaccine prevents infection, but the primary purpose of vaccines is to prevent severe illness, hospitalization and death.

The current COVID-19 vaccines remain highly effective at preventing severe illness and death.The two mRNA COVID-19 vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna) accomplish this by introducing your immune system to the spike protein from the SARS-CoV-2 virus, allowing you to build up antibodies against it. When somebody has enough antibodies, they may be able to immediately fight off the virus and prevent infection. As immunity wanes the number of antibodies decline, and that’s when our memory B- and T-cells take action.

Those memory B- and T-cells immediately recognize the virus and quickly build more antibodies. This process may be too slow to prevent infection. But it helps explain why people who are vaccinated against COVID-19 experience not only lower rates of infection, but significantly lower rates of hospitalization and death compared to those who aren’t vaccinated.

Even as immunity wanes and new variants mutate to evade immunity (leading to more breakthrough cases), the vaccines remain impressively effective.

The latest data from the CDC show people age 12 and older who received no vaccinations were 20 times more likely to die from COVID-19 and 7 times more likely to be hospitalized compared to those who received primary series and booster vaccine doses.

Additionally, recent studies have found potential connections between COVID-19 and diabetes, heart disease and cognitive decline. Studies also suggest COVID-19 vaccines reduce the risk of long-term health complications.To learn more, visit our blog: http://ow.ly/rqZZ50IQmrx

This weekend South Medford’s recent fuel depot petroleum release cleanup is moving into a monitoring phase for some contamination effects

Meanwhile, some deep ground surface cleanup efforts are yet to start. A SOLVE stream clean-up event along Bear Creek proceeded today while cancelled in places at Hawthorne Park and McAndrews Road. 

Oregon’s Department of Environmental Quality advises cleanup volunteers to stay clear of a water surface boom on the creek.  It says a boom will stay on Bear Creek for at least the next few weeks as “crews have completed most of the cleanup of petroleum products released into the water from the April 12 fire at the Pacific Pride Commercial Fuel Station in Medford.” DEQ and NEXGEN Logistics LLC, which operates Pacific Pride, say they will monitor Bear Creek for fire-related petroleum runoff contamination and respond as needed. 

They reported this week that 20,000 gallons of petroleum products were in runoff from the fire scene.

Tuesday Is Voter Registration Deadline For May Primary In Oregon

Tuesday is the voter registration and party choice deadline for Oregon’s May 17 primary election.

New Oregon voters with a valid state driver license, driving permit, or ID can register online at oregonvotes.gov until 11:59 Tuesday night – marking three weeks until election day.

If you do not have a valid oregon driver’s license or ID, you will need to fill out a paper voter registration card.

The cards are available at the post office, county libraries, or county elections buildings. Those must be mailed with a USPS postmark of April 26.

A man was assaulted and stabbed outside a sports bar in Lower Lake early Friday morning, according to the Lake County Sheriff’s Office.

Police say deputies responded to Adventist Health Hospital in Clearlake to a call of man suffering from stab wounds. LCSO deputies said the man “was assaulted outside of Maynard’s Sports Bar in Lower Lake by multiple people and was stabbed sometime during the altercation,” according to a statement from the law enforcement agency.

The man is in stable condition, according to police. Sheriff’s Office detectives are investigating the alleged stabbing and assault.

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Rogue Valley Mall shooting scene…late Saturday evening.

It was a tough weekend to be in Medford. On Saturday night at approximately 10:21 Medford Police Officers were dispatched to the Rogue Valley Mall for a report of a disturbance in which shots had reportedly been fired.

Multiple vehicles were seen fleeing the scene as Officers arrived in the area. Multiple spent shell casings were located in the parking lot to the East of Bed, Bath and Beyond.

Officers conducted a safety check of the area ensuring there weren’t any potential victims needing medical attention and began taking statements from multiple witnesses who were still on scene.

A short time later a male subject was reportedly dropped off at one of Medford’s local hospitals with multiple gunshot wounds. At this time the subject is still being treated for his wounds. Detectives and other investigative assets have been called in as this case is still under investigation.

Meanwhile Officers responded to a domestic disturbance on Martin Drive in Medford at 4:35 a.m. on Saturday.

The caller reported a male, who was possibly armed and under the influence, was outside their residence with a vehicle.

According to the Medford Police Department, when officers arrived on scene, the suspect was gone. The suspect returned in his vehicle at 4:55 a.m. where he was stopped by officers on Archer Drive. The suspect got out of the vehicle with a gun to his head. Shortly thereafter, the suspect fired the gun and at least one officer fired in response.

MPD reports that no officers were hit, and the suspect sustained a non-life threatening gunshot wound. The suspect is in stable condition at a local hospital.

A former Oregon Health Authority employee is being indicted for allegedly embezzling nearly one-and-a-half million dollars in a COVID-19 relief money. The Oregon Attorney General’s Office says Marzieh Abedin was responsible for approving payments to vendors requesting money related to the COVID-19 vaccination process. She created a fake company and made payments to herself. OHA discovered the fraud and investigators were able to get almost all of the money back. Abedin faces 21 charges. The Department of Justice has requested a warrant for her arrest.

 A maintenance worker at the Dorchester House senior living apartments in Lincoln City has been arrested for theft and sex abuse. Lincoln City Police say an investigation started after residents reported burglaries and thefts. Police served a search warrant and arrested 61-year-old Alan Zimmerman. He’s charged with burglary, theft and sex abuse. Investigators say additional charges may be filed.

On April 24, 2022 at about 12:45 p.m., Oregon State Police Troopers and emergency personnel responded to the report of a single vehicle crash on Highway 199 at milepost 16.

Preliminary investigation revealed a southbound green Janus motorcycle, operated by Gregory Williams (48) of Grants Pass, left the roadway and collided with the highway guardrail. Williams was ejected from the motorcycle. 

Williams sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced deceased. 

Highway 199 was reduced from three-lanes to two-lanes for approximately 3 hours following the crash. OSP was assisted by the Illinois Valley Fire District, AMR and ODOT.


News Release from Oregon State Police

On April 23, 2022 at approximately 2:50 PM, Oregon State Police Troopers and emergency personnel responded to a single vehicle crash on Hwy 542 near milepost 12. 

Preliminary investigation revealed a westbound Ford F250, operated by Derek Ellis (41) of Powers, failed to negotiate a curve. The truck left the roadway and continued down a 40ft embankment with Ellis being ejected. Speed is being investigated as the leading factor in the crash. 

Ellis sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced deceased.   

Salem, Ore. – About 925 additional acres of the Santiam State Forest will re-open to public access after the 2020 Labor Day fires heavily impacted the forest.

These areas are within the Packsaddle block north of Highway 22, and much of the area burned in the 2020 fires. Keep in mind some destinations are at higher altitudes and roads may still be blocked by snow.

Maps, closure areas, and anticipated re-opening timelines for popular areas are posted to the Santiam State Forest recovery site at https://www.oregon.gov/odf/recreation/Pages/santiam-state-forest.aspx. Re-openings will also be announced on ODF’s Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Many of the Santiam’s popular recreation areas, like Shellburg Falls and the High Lakes Recreation Area, remain closed due to damage from 2020’s wildfires.

In closed areas, some of the recovery and restoration activities include re-establishing and repairing trails, replacing infrastructure like signs and bridges, removing hazard trees, and post-fire timber harvesting in some areas.

No matter where you go, outdoor activity comes with some level of risk. Here are some safety tips:

  • Do not enter closed areas.
  • Take extra caution when recreating in burned areas.
  • Be careful when driving on single-lane gravel roads in the forest. Active recovery and logging operations are underway. Keep to the right and anticipate oncoming traffic such as trucks, heavy equipment, and other vehicles.
  • Many forest roads cross multiple ownerships, and levels of road maintenance can vary accordingly.
  • Respect all land closures, public and private.

Oregon Civil Air Patrol Training in Grants Pass Focuses on Finding Missing Aircraft

More than 50 Civil Air Patrol members from the Oregon Wing gathered in Grants Pass this weekend to train and practice for missions to help Oregon pilots and communities.

Gathering at the facility near Grants Pass Airport, cadets and adult members of squadrons from many parts of Oregon trained to operate radios, work in the Command Post, serve as aircrew and to move and fuel aircraft.  Five CAP aircraft from around Oregon responded to assist.

 Saturday activities included four aircraft conducting Cadet Orientation Ride.  Many cadets also took part in Orientation Rides, which teach them the functions of the aircraft and its equipment and the duties and tasks of pilots.  The flights took off and landed at Grants Pass Airport, (designated as 3S8). Each cadet gets five flights in CAP powered aircraft during their time as a youth member.  Lt Col Vivi Wells, project officer, said facilities were shared by Pacific Aviation and Josephine County. 

Sunday activities included more Orientation Rides for cadets and two aircraft searching for a simulated missing airplane, which is a familiar mission for Civil Air Patrol, which serves as the Volunteer Auxiliary to the U.S. Air Force on searches for missing or significantly delayed aircraft.  In this instance, CAP used a test beacon to send out a signal similar to those transmitted by aircraft in trouble.  The aircrew, utilizing special equipment on the aircraft, were able to triangulate on the beacon, determining its location.  The second aircraft was given instructions to search for a simulated crashed aircraft by visual search techniques.   

Personnel traveled by vehicle and aircraft from the Medford Composite Squadron, Grants Pass Composite Squadron, High Desert Composite Squadron (Bend/Redmond), Washington County Composite Squadron (Hillsboro), McMinnville Composite Squadron, Mahlon Sweet Composite Squadron (Eugene) and Columbia Composite Squadron (Portland). Leaders and trainers from about the Oregon Wing lead the classes.   

 Many volunteers from the Grants Pass squadron made the event possible by being chaperones, preparing food, setting up radios and antennaes.  Several days of planning and preparation were needed. 


The Oregon Department of Energy has ten-million dollars available to help wildfire victims rebuild their homes in a way that’s more energy efficient.

Oregonians lost five-thousand homes in the 2020 wildfires. The incentives range from three-thousand to 18-thousand dollars. The more energy efficient items that are added to a home, the more money that can be received.

Low to moderate income residents can also receive more money. Details are available at the Oregon Department of Energy’s website.

The growth of Oregon’s wolf population slowed significantly last year because 21 animals were poisoned by poachers, hit by cars or were killed by wildlife officials after they attacked livestock, state wildlife authorities said Wednesday.

The 2021 census counted 175 wolves, up just two animals from the previous year, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife said. The number of documented packs decreased to 21 from 22 after eight wolves in Eastern Oregon were illegally poisoned, wiping out an entire pack.

The number of breeding pairs of wolves was down to 16, from 17 in 2020. It was the slowest rate of wolf growth since 2016, although agency officials did add that wolves expanded their range into four new areas of activity in rural areas in Jefferson, Klamath, Grant and Union counties. The count only captures wolves observed through visual observations, tracks and remote camera photographs and the actual number of wolves in Oregon is higher, officials stressed.

Just 13% of the wolves in Oregon are in the western part of the state. The number of wolf attacks on livestock was up in 2021, including 49 confirmed incidents last year versus 31 in 2020, the department said.

Wildlife officials said they killed eight members of the Lookout Mountain Pack because the animals chronically attacked nearby livestock.

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