Klamath Basin News, Wednesday, 5/4 – Change of Command for 173rd Fighter Wing at Kingsley Field as Colonel Lee Bouma Begins Leadership at the Base

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Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Klamath Basin Weather

Today Sunny, with a high near 79 with light winds. Overnight, clouds, with a low around 45.

Thursday Rain likely, mainly after 11am. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 58. Breezy, with a light south wind becoming southwest 19 to 24 mph in the morning. Overnight a chance of rain, mainly before 11pm. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 43.
Friday A chance of rain before 11am, then showers likely after 11am. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 61. Overnight a good chance of rain showers and some thunder is also possible, with a low around 36.
Saturday A chance of rain and snow showers before 8am, then a chance of rain showers. Partly sunny, with a high near 52. Chance of precipitation is 40%. Little or no snow accumulation expected. Overnight, mostly cloudy, with a low around 29.
Sunday Snow showers likely. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 46.

Today’s Headlines

KINGSLEY FIELD, Ore. –   A change of command will take place May 15, 1 p.m. at Kingsley Field in Klamath Falls, Ore.  Colonel Lee Bouma, who has nearly 25 years of military experience, will take command of the 173rd Fighter Wing during an official change of command ceremony.

Colonel Lee Bouma begins as the new Commander of Klamath Falls 173rd Fighter Wing at Kingsley Field.

Bouma has a wide range of experience to include four years as an enlisted F-16 crew chief until he commissioned into the Montana National Guard in 2002.  He has been a member or the Oregon Air National Guard since 2015. 

Bouma is currently serving as the 173rd Maintenance Group Commander, and has previously held numerous positions in the 173rd Fighter Wing, including Maintenance Squadron Commander, Mission Support Group Deputy Commander, and 114th Fighter Squadron Chief of Standards and Evaluation. 

“Col Bouma’s leadership, capabilities and diverse experiences…make him the absolute right choice to lead the ‘Land of No Slack’ at this critical time,” said Brig. Gen. Donna Prigmore, Oregon Air National Guard commander. 

“In addition to his history with the 173rd Fighter Wing, Col. Bouma gained invaluable conversion experiences—one related to a transition from F-16s to F-15s, and the other from F-15s to C-130Hs—during his time with the Montana ANG. Clearly his conversion experience and leadership acumen is what we need at this time as we prepare the wing for the F-15EX.”

Bouma will replace Col. Jeff Edwards, who has commanded the wing since 2019.

Klamath County Fire District personnel answered a call that will for sure go down in history as one of their most memorable.

At 07:30 am Tuesday morning, units, 3112 and 3171 were dispatched to a 9-month pregnant female in labor.

The 3112 crew made first contact with the patient and assisted the mother who gave birth to a healthy newborn baby boy at 7:38 am…. in the front seat of her car.

Unit 3171 arrived on-scene and transported mom and baby safely to Sky Lakes Medical Center for further care.

Later in the day, in a photo published on Facebook, 3112 crew took a moment to celebrate the rare opportunity to be a part of something so special by posing with an “It’s a boy” balloon brought in by a crew member’s wife.

It was a mere total of 8 minutes between the time of the initial call and the birth of the newborn baby, who is reportedly doing well with mother at Sky Lakes Medical Center.

While yesterday’s Klamath Basin weather was very nice and today we could see highs in the mid 70’s with abundant sunshine, yet another unusually cold weather system is brewing off of the coast of Oregon to bring much cooler and wet weather toward the end of the week.

Today should be in the upper 70s in Klamath Falls but will drop dramatically tomorrow, on Thursday.

Model data that came in overnight provided additional confidence that, after a warm few days, we’ll return to several days of cooler and wetter conditions across the forecast area, starting Thursday.

What’s uncertain is how long that active pattern lasts.  The forecast shows more rain and potentially high mountain snowfall, though some sunshine in between is nice as well.

Temperatures into the weekend will be in the upper 40’s to low 50’s for the Klamath Basin and 50’s to low 60’s in the Rogue Valley. Snow is expected to fall in that time frame at times as low as 3000 feet.

Around the state of Oregon

Reports indicate that gas pump prices are at their highest level on record for this period of the year, but consumers might see a break in the near future — if all goes wel

Oregonians are paying more at the pump again. Average gas prices rose 2 cents per gallon this week in Portland and around the state.

Nationally, prices are climbing even faster, with prices jumping 7 cents this week to $4.20 per gallon. Oregonians are now paying an average of $4.69 for a gallon of regular, and Portlanders an average of $4.77.

Portland remains near its all-time high of $4.79, which it reached on March 27, and Oregon lingers a few cents below its March 11 crest of $4.74. The national average also reached its peak on March 11, at $4.33. But AAA spokesperson Marie Dodds said consumers shouldn’t expect much relief for gas prices this summer, as crude oil prices remain around $100 a barrel.

Crude oil prices have risen as the U.S. and other countries placed strict sanctions on Russia, one of the world’s largest oil producers, in response to its invasion of Ukraine. The effects of that price increase have outweighed the potential for decreased demand prompted by a COVID-19-related economic downturn in China.

Officials at the Oregon Health Authority are reporting nearly 7,000 new coronavirus cases during the week that ended on Sunday, the fifth consecutive week of increasing cases since the fall of the omicron wave.

But the case growth showed a modest decline, with only 30% more cases than the previous week, after two consecutive weeks with about 50% case growth. In other words, cases are still climbing, but not quite as fast as they had been — with a possible plateau seen the past few days.

Hospitalizations, which lag behind cases, appear to have started to catch up. Just under 170 people in Oregon are now hospitalized with COVID-19, double the post-omicron trough of 84 occupied beds. About half are considered incidental cases, or hospitalizations where the person came for treatment for a different condition and happened to test positive for COVID-19.

Hospitalizations during the current coronavirus bump, driven by maskless socializing and a highly contagious subvariant of omicron, could peak around 315 occupied beds in June, according to Oregon Health & Science University modeling.

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A man is in custody for allegedly shooting a woman in the Shady Cove area of Jackson County Sunday night.

Police say the woman flagged down a fire truck at approximately 5:15 p.m. She was suffering from a gunshot wound and was transported to a local hospital. The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office said the woman told them the shooting occurred on Highway 227 in Trail. Oregon officers identified and arrested Robert Carl Baker, 34 of Trail, for the alleged shooting.

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 was set at $135,000. Detectives are investigating the Oregon shooting.

A 16-year-old male was arrested Thursday, Apr. 28 for threatening violence against the Shady Cove Elementary School in a Snapchat video.

The teenager took a video of himself walking along Highway 62 just off school property and made verbal threats, the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office said. By the time Shady Cove Elementary School officials became aware of the video, around 4:30 pm that day, no children were present at the building, so the school did not initiate a lockdown procedure.

“Upon receiving the threat, school staff were sent home and after-school functions were canceled,” JCSO said.

The deputies identified the suspect in the video and arrested him at his home around 6 pm that day.

The suspect was lodged at the Jackson County Juvenile Detention Center and charged with first-degree disorderly conduct.

Trial Set For Suspect In Second Fire Set In Phoenix 2020

The man accused of starting a second fire on September 8, 2020, will stand trial next week.

Michael Jarrod Bakela was arrested in Phoenix while the Almeda Fire was underway. He is not charged with starting the initial fire, but rather a second fire he is accused of starting in Phoenix.

Bakkela is chared with two counts of Arson in the First Degree, 15 counts of Criminal Mischief in the First Degree, 14 counts of Recklessly Endangering Another Person, one count of Unlawful Possession of Methamphetamine, and seven counts of Animal Abuse in the First Degree.

Late last month, Bakkela’s attorney requested a change of venue for the trial. On April 27, 2022, Melissa E. LeRitz, Deputy District Attorney for Jackson County, filed a response to Bakkela’s request for a change of venue. Indicating that Bakkela’s attorney cited social media posts as the reason a change of venue was warranted.

Defendant relies heavily on the “Jackson County Scanner Page” profile on Facebook, which is known in the community as a forum for crime reporting and gossip. The “Scanner Group” is a private Facebook group consisting of 73,900 members, as of the writing of this response. A member does not have to be a resident of Jackson County in order to join, and is therefore not necessarily representative of the county. Additionally, the members make up less than a third of the U.S. Census Bureau’s estimated 223,734 residents of Jackson County.

Today, Judge Laura Cromwell denied the request for the change of venue. The trial is scheduled to begin Monday, May 9, 2021.

Oregon Honors 192 Fallen Law Enforcement Officers – Three Names Added to Memorial Wall  

The State of Oregon remembered and honored 192 fallen law enforcement officers, and the families they left behind, during a memorial ceremony on Tuesday, May 3, 2022 at 1 PM attended by Governor Kate Brown. The event took place outdoors, at the state memorial which is located at the Oregon Public Safety Academy in Salem.  

The names of three fallen Oregon law enforcement officers were approved for addition to the state memorial and 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.

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.

The 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 memorial is held the week ahead of National Police Week events in Washington, D.C. so that family members and co-workers can attend both memorial ceremonies.  More than 21,000 officers who have died in the line of duty are honored on the national memorial

Background on the names being added to the Oregon Fallen Law Enforcement Officer Memorial in 2022:

On March 11, 2021 Deputy Sheriff S. Allen Burdic died as the result of complications of gunshot wound. In the early morning hours of August 12th, 1980, Deputy Burdic responded to a shooting at a tavern in Myrtle Creek. As Deputy Burdic checked the area he located the suspect parked in a gravel turn-out near I-5. The subject opened fire on Deputy Burdic, shooting him twice. The man then stole Deputy Burdic’s Patrol vehicle and ran over his legs as he fled. One of the shots injured Deputy Burdic’s spine, causing him to suffer partial paralysis. He medically retired in 1982 as a result of the incident and continued to receive medical care until passing away as a result of complications of the wounds. The subject who shot him was sentenced to 40 years in prison for attempted murder, first-degree assault, felon in possession of a firearm, and unauthorized use of a vehicle. Deputy Burdic had served the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office for one year at the time of the incident and had previously served with the Canyonville Police Department for three years. He is survived by his wife and son.

On May 4,2021 Sergeant John Burright succumbed to injuries sustained on September 4th, 2001, when he struck by a vehicle near mile marker 243 on I-5 near Albany. Senior Trooper Maria Mignano and Police Officer Jason Hoerauf, of the Albany Police Department, were killed in the same incident while all three were assisting a family whose van had broken down. Officer Hoerauf was on a ride-along with his mentor, Sergeant Burright, when the two stopped to assist the van. Trooper Mignano responded to the scene to back them up. While the three officers were standing on the right side of the van, which was parked on the right shoulder, a pickup truck suddenly swerved across a lane of traffic. The pickup struck the right rear of Trooper Mignano’s patrol car, traveled along the other two vehicles, and struck all three officers. The driver of the vehicle was driving on a suspended license at the time and had fallen asleep while driving. Trooper Mignano and Officer Hoerauf succumbed to their injuries at the scene. Sergeant Burright was flown to a local hospital in extremely critical condition. He suffered critical injuries that caused him to medically retire in early 2002. He remained under continuous medical care until succumbing to complications of his injuries on May 4th, 2021. In December 2001, the man plead guilty to criminally negligent homicide and was sentenced to two days in jail and three years of probation as part of a plea bargain. Sergeant Burright had served with the Oregon State Police for 14 years. He is survived by his wife and three sons.

On October 9, 1979 Sergeant Carl L. Frazier suffered a fatal heart attack while removing a large crop of marijuana from the bottom of a canyon that had been discovered and reported by hunters. The steep canyon hampered rescue efforts and Sergeant Frazier had to be winched up to the roadway so that he could be transported to the hospital. Sergeant Frazier succumbed to the heart attack 8 days later. Sergeant Frazier was with the Lane County Sheriff’s Office at the time of his death and previously served 15 years as a police officer with the Riverside, California police department.  He is survived by his wife, two sons and two daughters.  

# # # The Oregon Law Enforcement Memorial Fund raised funds to build the state memorial more than 20 years ago and hosts the annual ceremony.  For more information on the Oregon Law Enforcement Memorial Fund and the statewide license plate that is available to honor fallen law enforcement officers and firefighters please visit: https://www.oregon.gov/dpsst/BD/MFB/Pages/Oregon-Law-Enforcement-Memorial-Trust-Fund.aspx

For more information on the Oregon Fallen Law Enforcement Officer Memorial please visit: https://www.oregon.gov/dpsst/Memorials/LawEnforcement/Pages/default.aspx

For more information about National Police Week, please visit www.LawMemorial.org/policeweek.

The endangered California condor has returned to the skies over the state’s far northern coast redwood forests for the first time in more than a century.

Two captive-bred birds were released Tuesday in Redwood National Park, an hour’s drive south of the Oregon state line.

It’s part of a project aimed at restoring the giant vultures to their historic habitat in the Pacific Northwest. Condor once soared over large areas but their numbers were depleted because of hunting, pollution and habitat destruction.

A captive-breeding program started in the 1980s has raised the number of condors to about 500. Some are now found in California, Arizona, Utah and Mexico. 

The Central Oregon Fire Management Service is holding an immersive scenario-based wildland firefighting program for area structural firefighters.

The program improves coordination between local fire departments and federal and state partners and improves interagency response in the event of an emerging wildfire incident. The three-day course begins in the classroom and includes wildland firefighting suppression tactics with live-fire response exercises. The program has attracted more than one hundred participants from fire departments throughout Central Oregon. 

The FBI is renewing efforts to educate parents and kids about the dangers of what the agency calls “sextortion.” 

Kieran Ramsey, Special Agent in Charge of the Portland Field Office, says adults pose as kids to connect with young people through various social media or gaming platforms.

He says predators have typically targetted girls and use those explicit images to extort more pictures or video. But now, Ramsey says, they’re increasingly targeting boys, “And not, this time, asking for more photos. But once they get that inappropriate photo or video they’re demanding money, saying, ‘if you don’t send me money, I’m going to release these photos or videos to your friends, your family.

The FBI took 18,000 reports of sextortion last year, nationwide. In Oregon, in the past six months, there have already been six cases. Ramsey says, “If you think your child is a victim of this, we ask that you don’t delete anything until Law Enforcement has gotten involved and been able to review the situation with you and make sure that your child isn’t victimized any further.”

He says prevention is key – by monitoring your kids’ online activity.  

Oregon State University’s Department of Public Safety is investigating a 911 call made on Monday, May 2 that threatened to detonate explosives in a car on or near the OSU campus.

“Out of an abundance of caution, the university issued a public safety alert at 8:32 p.m. Monday and again Tuesday at 8:40 a.m. to inform community members about the call to 911 and threat,” said university spokesperson Steve Clark. “Overnight, police and public officers from the Benton County Sheriff’s Office, Corvallis Police Department and OSU Public Safety systematically searched the OSU Corvallis campus and remained vigilant.”

OSU and community members are asked to keep an eye out for a red Dodge Charger or a beige 1960’s Chevy Malibu in connection with the threat. Call 911 if you see either of these vehicles.

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