Klamath Basin News, Tuesday, 5/3 – DEQ Awards Southern Oregon with $1.3 Grant To Organizations for WildFire Smoke Management

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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.

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Klamath Basin Weather

Today Sunny, with a high near 66. Overnight mostly clear, with a low around 36.

Wednesday Sunny, with a high near 79.
Thursday A 20% chance of showers after noon. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 67.
Friday A chance of showers. Partly sunny, with a high near 64.
Saturday A chance of rain and snow showers.

Today’s Headlines

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Oregon smoke management efforts are getting some financial support, including areas of Southern Oregon.  State grants announced today include Jackson, Josephine, Klamath & Lake Counties, among others, to address smoke mitigation.

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) says today it has awarded $1.3-million in grant funding to 20 organizations and county and tribal governments across the state to work on projects related to smoke management. 

The state grants support projects that create alternatives to outdoor burning of yard debris or slash, enhance tribes’ smoke preparedness, develop Community Response Plans (CRP) and implement previously finalized plans.

Ashland, Lakeview and Klamath County are getting funds to develop and/or implement community response plans, while Jackson County’s funds will apply to its smoke management plan. The Cow Creek Bank of Umpqua Tribe of Indians its getting its grant for tribal smoke preparedness and smoke management, one of eight tribal grants in the Oregon program.

The Oregon Tech board of trustees held a special executive committee meeting on Sunday morning, to discuss the list of people that will be contacted by an outside consultant as part of a performance review of the university’s president, Dr. Nagi Naganathan, who has been at the helm of the polytechnic university since 2016.

The special executive session was held virtually on Sunday morning due to the “very condensed schedule” set by the outside consultant, according to Board Chair Jessica Gomez. Members present at the meeting included Gomez, Vince Jones, Fred Ziari, and Paul Stewart. There were also some community observers as well as the university’s general council, David Groff.

In the meeting, the attending board members discussed the groups that would be contacted for a full interview by the outside consultant regarding their interactions and feelings on Naganathan.

These groups included: members of the Board of Trustees; university vice presidents and those that report directly to President Naganathan; university faculty and members of the faculty senate; unclassified staff; student representatives, including the current Associated Students of Oregon Institute of Technology (ASOIT) presidents; community and government leaders; and finally members of the Alumni Advisory and Oregon Tech Foundation boards as well as stakeholders and donors.

The Klamath County Board of Commissioners will consider awarding a $2.37 million contract to replace sidewalks on Homedale Road. The work generally consists of removing and replacing 12,000 linear feet of curb, gutter, and sidewalks, along with asphalt patching, drainage improvements, and traffic control.

The work is primarily located on Homedale Road between Delaware Avenue and Oregon Highway 140 in Klamath County. County originally estimated the cost of the project at between $1.8 million to $2.1 million. Rocky Mountain Construction LLC was the only bidder and submitted a $2.37 million bid.

While the excitement builds for three nationally known music acts to headline the Klamath County Fair this year, issues are sprouting up about third-party ticket sales.

In a press release last week, the fair board reminds residents and fairgoers that fair concert tickets are available for purchase at the fairgrounds office or at www.klamathcountyfair.com.

Any tickets purchased from a third party ticket site or venue are not valid for entry at the door, and can not be refunded.  If you’re interested in buying a ticket for Rodney Atkins, Daughtry, or Martina McBride, please visit klamathcountyfair.com. 

The city of Klamath Falls is looking to secure state money to help replace the popular but aging waterslide at Ella Redkey Pool.

The slide replacement is part of a package of improvements at the city complex on Main Street. The waterslide at the pool is 19 years old and needs replaced, according to city staff.

“The current slide is beyond the normal life expectancy, due to the cumulative corrosive effects of multiple winters exposed to the harsh climate of the Klamath Basin and the wear and tear of years of use,” according to city documents that part of state grant application to help fund the new slide.

The new slide is part of larger improvement program and capital campaign for the Redkey Pool complex. The city is also raising funds to renovate the pool’s locker rooms, install new and improved Americans with Disabilities Act walkways and create a new plaza area.

The cost to replace the slide is $141,840, according to Brielle George, community activities supervisor for Klamath Falls. George said the cost includes “removal of the existing slide, new equipment, installation, and permitting.”

On Saturday, April 30, K9 Artie and his handler positively identified fentanyl pills during a traffic stop in the area near Highway 97 and Hotlum, a one hour’s drive from Klamath Falls.

According to the Mount Shasta Police Department, K9 Artie and his handler were called in by a member of the Siskiyou County DHE team. Once on scene officials say K9 Artie sniffed the stopped vehicle and provided a positive alert to the presence of narcotics.

 Officers recovered approximately 10 pounds of Fentanyl pills in the trunk of the vehicle and the driver was arrested on felony drug charges including transportation and possession for sales.


The Board of Directors of EagleRidge High School, an Oregon Nonprofit Corporation, will hold a Board Meeting on Tuesday, May 10, 2022, at 4:00 pm at EagleRidge High School, 677 South Seventh Street, Klamath Falls, Oregon. 

A Zoom link is available for any people who are unable to attend in person. 

The meeting agenda includes discussion of accreditation report, updated policies, staff bonuses and school activities.  The Board may also consider other business brought before the board.   

EagleRidge High School was established to create and implement an autonomous, high achieving and equitable small high school in collaboration with the Klamath Falls City School District pursuant to the Oregon Charter School law.  The meeting will be conducted in accordance with the Oregon Public Meetings law. 

Around the state of Oregon

New coronavirus cases leaped in Oregon in the week ending Sunday, rising 46.3% as 6,965 cases were reported. The previous week had 4,760 new cases of the virus that causes COVID-19.

Oregon ranked 13th among the states where coronavirus was spreading the fastest on a per-person basis, a USA TODAY Network analysis of Johns Hopkins University data shows. In the latest week, coronavirus cases in the United States increased 8.9% from the week before, with 381,004 cases reported. With 1.27% of the country’s population, Oregon had 1.83% of the country’s cases in the last week. Across the country, 41 states had more cases in the latest week than they did in the week before.

Lane County reported 522 cases and one death in the latest week. A week earlier, it had reported 324 cases and one death. Throughout the pandemic, it has reported 58,401 cases and 533 deaths.

Within Oregon, the worst weekly outbreaks on a per-person basis were in Multnomah County with 287 cases per 100,000 per week; Benton County with 285; and Washington County with 206. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says high levels of community transmission begin at 100 cases per 100,000 per week.

Adding the most new cases overall were Multnomah County, with 2,331 cases; Washington County, with 1,239 cases; and Clackamas County, with 753. Weekly case counts rose in 26 counties from the previous week. The worst increases from the prior week’s pace were in Multnomah, Washington and Clackamas counties.

Oregon ranked 20th among states in share of people receiving at least one shot, with 77.9% of its residents at least partially vaccinated. The national rate is 77.6%, a USA TODAY analysis of CDC data shows. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, which are the most used in the United States, require two doses administered a few weeks apart.

In the week ending Sunday, Oregon reported administering another 54,536 vaccine doses, including 4,387 first doses. In the previous week, the state administered 64,541 vaccine doses, including 4,707 first doses. In all, Oregon reported it has administered 7,788,988 total doses.

Across Oregon, cases fell in eight counties, with the best declines in Umatilla County, with 28 cases from 36 a week earlier; in Lake County, with two cases from eight; and in Baker County, with one case from four.

In Oregon, 25 people were reported dead of COVID-19 in the week ending Sunday. In the week before that, 34 people were reported dead.

Shooting in Shady Cove Area, Victim in Stable Condition, Suspect in Custody

JCSO Case 22-2380 —- Jackson County Sheriff’s Office (JCSO) detectives are investigating a shooting that occurred last night in the Shady Cove area.

At approximately 5:15 p.m. a woman with a gunshot wound flagged down a Jackson County Fire District Four (JCFD4) fire truck.

JCFD4 began rendering first aid and a Mercy Flights ambulance took her to a local hospital. The woman reported being shot at the 1500 block of Highway 227 in Trail, Ore. JCSO deputies responded to the property and contacted the uninvolved owner. The shooting suspect was identified and taken into custody.

The suspect, Robert Carl Baker, 34, of Trail, was lodged at the Jackson County Jail. He is charged with first-degree assault, two counts of menacing, two counts of unlawful use of a weapon, and two counts of reckless endangering. His bail is set at $135,000. The case is under investigation. Jackson Co. Sheriff’s Office

Southern Oregon Horse Racing Association Working To Save Horse Racing In Grants Pass

The Southern Oregon Horse Racing Association is working towards keeping horse racing alive in Southern Oregon, after the Grants Pass Downs announced it would be canceling 2022 commercial race meets a few weeks ago. 

Rod Lowe, the President of the Southern Oregon Horse Racing Association, says night that they are in the works of getting written approval from the Oregon Racing Commission to host seven days of fair horse racing meets at the Downs.

The Oregon Racing Commission has called for a special public meeting this Tuesday at 12 p.m. to discuss whether or not they want to approve the Southern Oregon Horse Racing Association’s racing license, which would allow them to have fair horse racing meets at the Downs this summer.

If approved, and if the organization can get all the other necessary items to host the races, Lowe says the Grants Pass Downs would host races on June 19, 20, 21, 27, 28th and July 3 and 4th. 

Since February, keeping horse racing going in Southern Oregon has become increasingly difficult, especially when the Oregon Racing Commission voted to deny The Flying Lark’s applications for gaming machines.

State publishes draft Action Plan for $422 million in federal disaster recovery funding

Five public hearings to be held in local communities

SALEM, Ore. – Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS) published a draft Action Plan for a $422 million disaster recovery grant, funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

The effort, known as “ReOregon,” will support individuals, households, and communities that continue to recover from the 2020 Labor Day Fires. The assistance will primarily come in the form of new permanent housing in the areas most impacted by the disaster. 

Through June 1, OHCS is seeking public comment on the draft Action Plan for spending the funds, known as Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR). Members of the public are invited to provide their input on the draft Action Plan in person at the following public hearings.

Oregon Coast CC-North CampusMonday, May 16, 2022Open House: 5 p.m.Public hearing: 6 p.m.Community Room (#108)3788 SE High School Drive, Lincoln CityGates Community Christ Church Tuesday, May 17, 2022Open House: 5 p.m.Public hearing: 6 p.m.40070 Gates School Road, GatesMcKenzie River Community SchoolWednesday, May 18, 2022Open House: 5 p.m.Public hearing: 6 p.m.“New” Gym51187 Blue River Drive, Vida 
Talent Community CenterThursday, May 19, 2022Open House: 5 p.m.Public hearing: 6 p.m.(Behind City Hall)104 E. Main St., TalentTalent Community Center Presentation in SpanishTuesday, May 24, 2022Open House: 5 p.m.Public hearing: 6 p.m.(Behind City Hall)104 E. Main St., Talent 

Spanish and ASL translation services will be available at all of the public hearings. To request additional accommodations, please contact OHCS via e-mail at eOregon@hcs.oregon.gov“>ReOregon@hcs.oregon.gov or by phone at 833-604-0878.

In addition to providing comment in person, the public may also do so by:

All comments must be submitted to OHCS no later than 11:59 p.m. June 1, 2022. After the 30-day public comment period, feedback will be incorporated into the plan before OHCS submits it to HUD for review and approval before the June 8 deadline. 

Printed copies of the plan are available by request. To request a copy of the plan, contact OHCS via e-mail at eOregon@hcs.oregon.gov“>ReOregon@hcs.oregon.gov, by phone at 833-604-0878, or visit https://re.oregon.gov/.

One man is now in custody after police say he drove along Interstate-5 at a high rate of speed, going in the wrong direction, in the early parts of Sunday morning.

According to the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, around 12:45 a.m., 41-year-old Richard James McCarthy was heading northbound in the southbound lanes of I-5, driving more than 100 mph. JSCO says that McCarthy exited near exit 43 and then proceed to crash into a gate on frontage road before attempting to flee the scene.

However, police were able to arrest McCarthy shortly later, after he was spotted on the side of the road with his car stuck in the dirt. Police also discovered a large bag inside his vehicle with less than ounce of meth inside.   

McCarthy was cited  for Reckless Endangering, Hit and Run, a DUII and PCS meth. A female passenger inside of McCarthy’s vehicle was also arrested due to an outstanding warrant.

A 64-year-old woman was arrested after police in Josephine County raided an alleged illegal outdoor marijuana farm on April 28 in Grants Pass.

Officers said they seized approximately 7,600 marijuana plants as well as growing equipment and “multiple firearms”, according to the Josephine Marijuana Enforcement Team (JMET).

The regional task force investigates illegal cannabis grows. Southern Oregon and northern California have seen a proliferation of illegal marijuana farms and cultivation facilities. Local police said it is rare to make very many arrests at the illegal grows which are often manned by undocumented and sometimes trafficked labor.

The call areas have been identified by the Biden administration, now plans for the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) to lease parts of the ocean for offshore wind farming on Oregon’s coast take another step forward.

Call areas are large swaths of ocean BOEM has identified as being ideal to place wind turbines. In Coos Bay and Brookings, those areas begin 13.8 miles offshore extending for 65 miles in Coos Bay and for 46 miles in Brookings.

Oregon Coast Anglers is hosting a series of meetings to inform the community about the areas identified but to also share how those impacted may make comments to BOEM. Their president, Steve Godin says there’s a 60 day comment period, and he wants to ensure everyone who has concerns is heard. The first of those meetings is planned for Thursday, May 5th at the Marina Activity Center in Winchester Bay, starting at 6:30 PM.

Portland broke its record for the rainiest April in city history, getting drenched with at least 5.60 inches of rainfall by 5 p.m. Saturday, according to the National Weather Service.

The total was expected to climb a bit higher before the end of the day, said Clinton Rockey, a National Weather Service meteorologist. This year’s April was a far cry from last year’s, when Portland got just 0.39 inches of rain, breaking the city’s record for the driest April in history, Rockey said.

According to National Weather Service rainfall records, which have been taken at Portland International Airport since 1939, the city’s old record for rain came in 1993, when the city got 5.26 inches. The average rainfall in April for Portland is about 2.89 inches, Rockey said.

A three-day exercise this week intends to evaluate the federal government’s coordinated response with state and local response plans for a large-scale Pacific Northwest earthquake and tsunami.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is conducting the comprehensive exercise for a (CSZ) Earthquake and Tsunami Response Plan. 

It says more than 1,800 federal, tribal, state, local, private sector, non-governmental organizations and scientific community partners were involved in the CSZ planning effort so, “The lessons learned from this ROC Exercise will be incorporated into both an updated CSZ Response Plan and into FEMA’s response operational procedures.”

The exercise occurs Wednesday through Friday, May 3-5, when FEMA Region 10 will host Cascadia Rising 2022: Rehearsal of Concept as a three-day discussion-based exercise at the Pierce County Readiness Center in Camp Murray, Washington.  Participants include emergency management representatives from Oregon Alaska, Idaho and Washington, tribal partners, U.S. Department of Defense, American Red Cross, Emergency Management British Columbia and FEMA.

Oregon to Honor Fallen Law Enforcement Officers — May 3, 2022 AT 1 PM

The 2022 Fallen Law Enforcement Memorial Ceremony will take place at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, May 3rd, 2022.

Three fallen Oregon law enforcement officers will be honored at this year’s ceremony; S. Allen Burdic of the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, EOW 3/11/21; John R. Burright of the Oregon State Police, EOW 5/4/21; and Carl L. Frazier of the Lane County Sheriff’s Office, EOW 10/9/1979.

Department of Public Safety Standards & Training : Oregon Fallen Law  Enforcement Memorial : Law Enforcement Memorial : State of Oregon

The State’s memorial honors 192 fallen Oregon law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty since the 1860s. This includes officers from city, county, state, tribal and federal law enforcement agencies who have served as law enforcement officers, corrections officers, and parole and probation officers.

 The Oregon Fallen Law Enforcement Officers’ Memorial Ceremony is a significant event that the Department of Public Safety Standards and Training (DPSST) is proud to host each year in partnership with the Oregon Law Enforcement Memorial Fund, Oregon Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.), Oregon Fallen Badge Foundation, and Oregon’s various statewide law enforcement associations.

 DPSST plans to live stream the event through the DPSST Facebook page as well as video record the ceremony.  A link to the video will be posted as soon as the video is ready to be shared. Ore. Dept. of Public Safety Standards and Training

To Celebrate Small Business Week, Umpqua Bank is Matching Microloan Contributions 10x for BIPOC, Women Entrepreneurs

Crowdfunding partnership with Kiva provides accelerated access to capital for entrepreneurs across Oregon, Washington, California, and Idaho           

Individuals or organizations interested in helping minority and women entrepreneurs secure a microloan to launch or grow a business can do so this Small Business Week (May 2-6) through the Umpqua Bank Loan Fund, a crowdfunding program with the nonprofit Kiva that will multiply every dollar contributed 10 times for eligible entrepreneurs in Oregon, Washington, California, and Idaho.

Donations vary in size starting at $25, and anyone interested in contributing can visit www.kiva.org/team/umpquabank to learn more and donate.

Umpqua established its $1 million loan fund with Kiva earlier this year to accelerate the ability of underserved entrepreneurs to access no-cost microloans. Any entrepreneur with “social capital”—the support of family, friends or community—can qualify to set a funding goal and raise contributions on Kiva’s platform. Kiva then combines total contributions into a 0% interest loan up to $15,000 that’s paid back to funders over time.

According to Umpqua’s Chief Marketing Communications Officer Eve Callahan, who oversees the bank’s partnership with Kiva, Umpqua is leveraging Kiva’s innovative crowdfunding platform and focus on storytelling to create deeper connections between aspiring entrepreneurs and ordinary people that ultimately lead to diversified community investment and prosperity. 

“Umpqua recognized a unique opportunity to partner with Kiva to combine community and capital. Through the Umpqua Bank Loan Fund, we’re creating a platform for entrepreneurs to share their stories and connect directly with people looking for opportunities to contribute to economic opportunity and justice,” said Callahan. “Recognizing the incredible importance of small businesses to our local communities and economies, we’re increasing our match to celebrate Small Business Week. We hope others will join us in helping entrepreneurs across the West Coast continue to grow by contributing any amount, small or large, that we’ll match 10 times.” 

Since launching earlier this year, the Umpqua Bank Loan Fund has matched community members’ contributions 3:1, resulting in more than $400,000 in microloans that have fully financed the needs of more than 80 BIPOC or women entrepreneurs. 

Umpqua Loan Fund Open to Entrepreneurs

Eligible entrepreneurs in Oregon, Washington, California, and Idaho can apply for Umpqua’s matching program by visiting the Umpqua-Kiva partnership page. The initial application process typically takes between 20 and 30 minutes.

The Fund in Action

Umpqua’s loan fund has already provided microloan funding to entrepreneurs across the West Coast, including:

  • In Oregon, it equipped an immigrant family business that buys and sells artisanal goods from Mexico to diversify and expand its inventory. 
  • In California, it helped a women owned clothing business gain access to the quality inventory needed to sustain and relaunch the brand, as well financed a non-profit helping youth avoid gun violence through positive alternatives and programs. 
  • In Washington, it provided a creative wedding photographer with the funding needed to purchase equipment and space to expand his business. 

Entrepreneurs across Umpqua’s footprint continue actively seeking funding through the bank’s loan fund for accelerated access to crowdfunded microloans of varying amounts. Their stories and how they will use the capital to launch a business or add new products, equipment, and jobs in local communities can be found at www.kiva.org/team/umpquabank/loans

About Umpqua Bank
Umpqua Bank, headquartered in Roseburg, Ore., is a subsidiary of Umpqua Holdings Corporation, and has locations across Idaho, Washington, Oregon, California, Arizona, and Nevada. Umpqua Bank has been recognized for its innovative customer experience and banking strategy by national publications including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, BusinessWeek, Fast Company and CNBC. The company has been recognized for eight years in a row on FORTUNE magazine’s list of the country’s “100 Best Companies to Work For,” and was recently named by The Portland Business Journal the Most Admired Financial Services Company in Oregon for the 17th consecutive year. In addition to its retail banking presence, Umpqua Bank also owns Financial Pacific Leasing, Inc., a nationally recognized commercial finance company that provides equipment leases to businesses.

About Kiva
Kiva is a global nonprofit that brings people together to invest in lasting impact. Kiva connects individuals, institutional investors, and corporations with global opportunities to invest in humanity—when and where it will make the greatest collective impact. With as little as $25, you can help women, refugees and small businesses across the globe build a better future for individuals, their families and communities. Join two million people who have invested $1.7 billion in real dreams and real opportunity around the world. 

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