Klamath Basin News, Friday, 5/6 – New Oregon Department of Human Services Klamath Falls Building To Hold Opening Ceremony Thursday, May 12th at 10AM

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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.

Friday, May 6, 2022

Klamath Basin Weather

Today Showers likely after 11am. Cloudy, with a high near 62. Overnight a chance of showers, with a low around 36. Gusty winds at times overnight.

Saturday A chance of rain and snow showers before 11am, then a chance of rain showers. Snow level 4800 feet. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 50. Overnight a slight chance of rain and snow showers before 11pm, then a slight chance of snow showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 28. Chance of precipitation is 20%.
Sunday Snow showers. Some thunder is also possible. High near 45. Sunday overnight into Monday, a chance of snow showers with a low around 26. New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.
Monday Snow showers likely, mainly after 11am. Some thunder is also possible. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 46. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible. Cloudy overnight with a low around 27.
Tuesday A chance of snow showers between 11am and 2pm, then a chance of rain showers after 2pm. Partly sunny, with a high near 51.Tuesday NightPartly cloudy, with a low around 27.
Wednesday Mostly sunny, with a high near 55.

Today’s Headlines

ODHS Klamath Falls, opens Thursday May 12, 2022

The new Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS) Klamath Falls trauma-informed building is holding an opening ceremony Thursday, May 12 from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at the new building.

Speakers include: Tribal Chairman, Klamath Tribal Council Don C. Gentry; Klamath County Commissioner Kelley Minty Morris and Klamath Falls Mayor Carol Westfall. Speakers from ODHS include Director Fariborz Pakseresht and Chief Administrative Officer Don Erickson. Also attending is Chief of Staff Randy Blackburn. 

This new building at 355 Timbermill Drive in TimberMill Shores, near Lake Ewauna houses the Aging and People with Disabilities, Child Welfare, Self-Sufficiency and Vocational Rehabilitation programs, as well as several community partners such as the Klamath Tribes, Klamath County Developmental Disability Services, Lutheran Community Services, Transformation Wellness and Klamath Basin Behavioral Health.

The building allows for the consolidation of all these programs making it easier for people needing services to get them all in one place. This also means people needing medical, food, cash, long-term care services and supports and child care assistance are helped all in one place.

More than 10,000 people in Klamath County receive benefits from ODHS.  

Oregon’s DMV has been hard hit by a lack of workers, leading to long lines in urban offices and closures in some smaller towns, including Lakeview.

Madras and Prineville have also had closures during business days.

ODOT’s David House says the DMV is recovered from pandemic slow-downs but now faces another setback in its effort to return to normal operations House says 20% of the positions at DMV field offices remain unfilled, statewide.  

Lakeview reported their DMW offices closed three days last week. Prineville’s DMV was closed Tuesday and Madras shut down for the day on Wednesday. Coquille’s DMV, on the southern Oregon coast, has been closed the last two days, and House says the situation is most dire in Medford – a larger office that has less than 50% of its needed staffing. 

House says many transactions can be completed on the DMV2U website. He suggests checking there to see if your request can be completed without waiting in long lines at an office. 

Grange Co-op Awards Local Students with $14,000 in Scholarships

Grange Co-op has awarded nine scholarships, totaling $14,000 to high school seniors in Southern Oregon and Northern California for the 2022-2023 academic year.

Eight recipients have each received $1,500 to be used towards higher level education. One top recipient received a $2,000 scholarship. Since 2012, Grange Co-op has awarded
scholarships totaling over $132,000!

“Grange Co-op is excited to announce our 2022-2023 top scholarship recipient, Lillian Young, as well as our other eight recipients,” states Jason Wall, Grange Co-op Marketing Manager. “It was very difficult to narrow down to the top nine. It was clear that the students chosen were the top of their class and have bright futures ahead of them. We
are proud to help support their future with our GrangeGives scholarship.”

Grange Co-op is proud to announce eight individuals as recipients of $1,500 scholarships: Sydney Moore of Grants Pass, OR., Hailey Cox of Grants Pass, OR., Kinsey Hullman of Klamath Falls, OR., TJ Rohwer of Chico, CA., Jack Mornarich of Roseburg, OR., Hannah Taylor of Live Oak, CA., Masie Skelton of Red Bluff, CA., and Marissa Magaña of Sutherlin, OR.

Grange Co-op is pleased to announce the top scholarship award recipient, Lillian Young of Central Point, OR, a $2,000 scholarship. A link to Student Bios can be found here.


Grange Co-op scholarships are merit-based. Recipients must meet a minimum requirement of a 3.50 GPA, have actively participated in school or non-school related activities including but not limited to 4-H, FFA, DECA, FBLA, or Work Experience, and live in Jackson, Josephine, Klamath, Lake, Curry, Douglas, Siskiyou, Shasta, Tehama, Del Norte,
Modoc, Yuba, Sutter, Colusa, Glenn, or Butte counties. Grange Co-op seeks to recognize and invest in young individuals who are actively pursuing their education and taking the next step into post-secondary education.

About Grand Co-op: Our story began in 1934, when 99 farmers gathered to form the local cooperative known as Grange Co-op. Forged by a mission to benefit the community, Grange Co-op adapted to the needs of consumers to serve them best. Grange Coop is committed to continuing this legacy, fulfilling our purpose of helping communities, customers, and employees achieve more together. With tremendous vision, Grange Co-op looks to future opportunities, further impacting and assisting our communities.

Around the state of Oregon

Yesterday, detectives arrested two suspects for their involvement in the shooting from April 23rdat the Rogue Valley Mall.

Isael Telles-Cortes, 18, and Braulio Chavarin-Regalado, 20, have been charged with Attempted Murder, Assault in the 1st Degree, and Riot.

Both are in custody at the Jackson County Jail, bail $207,500. 

Approximately 14 hours after the shooting, Isael Telles-Cortes arrived at a local hospital with a gunshot wound to his hand. The wound was treated and he was released to detectives, who lodged him on an unrelated juvenile warrant. He remained in custody until yesterday, when he was transported from the Jackson County Juvenile Detention Center to the Jackson County Jail.  

The victim remains in the hospital in good condition. Due to the amount of individuals involved in the altercation, the investigation remains ongoing.  Anyone with information is asked to contact, 541-774-2230. 

Christine Drazen is considered the frontrunner for the Republican nomination in the race for governor.  

The new poll from Nelson Research shows the former Oregon House Minority Leader is holding steady in a crowded field with close to 19-percent support.  

Former state party chair Bob Tiernan came in second place.  

More than 27-percent of Republican primary voters remain undecided ahead of the election on May 17th.

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Rural Metro Fire & Grants Pass Police have confirmed that a body has been found floating along the Rogue River Thursday morning in Grants Pass.

Around 9:16 a.m., Rural Metro Fire and Grants Pass Fire & Rescue were called to the pedestrian bridge near Tussing & Reinhart Park where first responders discovered a body floating just upstream.

According to Grants Pass Police, the body was that of a white male in his 60’s. Police are working to notify next of kin before a name is released. GPPS is investigating the cause of death, but at this time no foul play is suspected.  

The Josephine County Sheriff’s Office (JCSO) says today it’s investigating the murder of a man found on a Merlin driveway.

JCSO says its deputies found a male victim on a driveway last Tuesday in the 100 block of Ward Road in Merlin. It says the victim sustained an apparent gunshot wound and was pronounced dead at the scene from his injuries after receiving CPR from deputies and medics.

JSCO says around 10:27pm April 26, 2022 its deputies, Oregon State Police troopers, AMR and Rural Metro Fire Department personnel responded to the report of a shooting.  Since then, Sheriff’s Office detectives have been helped by detectives from the Oregon State Police, Grants Pass Police Department and personnel from the Oregon State Police Crime Lab. JSCO say, “Investigators believe this is an isolated incident and at no time was there a perceived threat to the community in relation to this incident. 

This case is still under investigation and further details are not currently available.”

One person is dead according to the Josephine County Sheriff’s Office after two vehicles collided head on Laurel Road.

The Sheriff’s Office says 52-year-old Michael Gilles St-Onge died after his vehicle crossed into an oncoming traffic lane, leading to a head-on collision.  It says he was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash on Laurel Road, which runs along the east side of Cave Junction. JCSO says at 8:39AM yesterday its deputies, Illinois Valley Fire staff, Oregon State Police and AMR were dispatched to Laurel Road and Walters Drive for a two-vehicle head on collision crash. 

It says 67-year-old Terry Lawson of Grants Pass was driving north on Laurel Road when the vehicle driven by Gilles St-Onge crossed into Lawson’s lane. It says Lawson was not seriously injured in the crash.

Children with ADHD can have their symptoms improved by taking vitamins and minerals.  

A study by the Oregon Health & Science University confirmed results in a previous study in New Zealand.  54-percent of children who were given supplemental vitamins and minerals showed improvement in their symptoms compared to 18-percent in a placebo group.  

The study involved 135 children in Portland, Columbus, Ohio; and Alberta, Canada.  The results were published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

The Point-in-Time Homeless Count for the Portland area found more than 66-hundred people were homeless on one night in January.  

That included 36-hundred unsheltered people, more than two-thousand people in shelters and 800 people in transitional housing.  It’s always considered an undercount because it’s done by interviewing people.  

Portland City Commissioner Dan Ryan says Multnomah County adds interviews to the process, which makes it more complex and less accurate.  He wants a real time list of homeless people by name.  He’s calling on the Joint Office of Homeless Services to change the process.

Oregon is seeing dangerous increases in fentanyl use as counterfeit pills containing the dangerous opioid proliferate the region.

A new analysis medical testing and laboratory firm Millennium Health shows a 58% increase in fentanyl positivity in Oregon drug tests during the first quarter of 2022 compared to last year.

Fentanyl can be 100 times stronger than morphine and 50 times more potent than heroin. It is frequently used in counterfeit oxycodone pills or is mixed with other hard drugs. Fentanyl is linked is the vast majority of deadly drug overdoses in Oregon and nationally.

The report also found fentanyl’s positivity rates in Oregon drug tests has increased 163% since 2020. The dangerous opioid is showing up more in with users of methamphetamine and other illegal drugs.

The San Diego-based company said positivity rates for fentanyl were up 197% in Jackson County, 88% in Umatilla County and nearly 60% in Lane and Multinomah counties from March 2021 to March 2022. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control projects a 36.2 % increase in fatal drug overdoses in Oregon between November 2020 and November 2021 (791 versus 1,077).

Road Work Continues On Hwy 138e

Crews with the Oregon Department of Transportation will continue safety and maintenance work on Highway 138E through September, in the wake of the 2020 Archie Creek Fire.

Matt Noble of ODOT said travelers on the road between Glide and Steamboat should expect daytime single lane closures, flagging and delays of up to twenty minutes, on weekdays. Noble said work will pause overnight and on weekends.

Rock scaling, where crews remove rocks, dirt and vegetation before it tumbles on the road, is at the top of the to-do list. Scaling work began last week and will continue through July at over a dozen locations.

Other work will include:

*Remove hazard trees near the road

*Remove wood, rock and dirt debris from the side of the road

*Repave some road sections and repair potholes

*Replace faded lane and shoulder stripes

*Repair guardrails

ODOT interim district manager Glen Pederson says the goal is to restore Highway 138E to the way it was before the Archie Creek Fire.

Drivers are asked to slow down in work zones, and give workers and equipment the space needed to work safely. To learn more about ODOT’s continued wildfire recovery work, go to: https://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/Pages/Wildfire.aspx


Two National Register nominations recommended by Oregon’s State Advisory Committee on Historic Preservation (SACHP) at their December 1, 2021 meeting have been accepted by the National Park Service and listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

The Oregon New Deal Resources from the Public Works Administration (PWA) or Works Progress Administration (WPA) is a Multiple Property Document (MPD) that has been accepted for its impact on social and cultural development as well as art, architecture and landscape architecture through federal relief during the significant period of 1933 – 1943. 

The New Deal, President Franklin Roosevelt’s response to the Great Depression, spurred legislation to provide direct relief to the unemployed and stabilize the economy through public works projects and infrastructure programs. PWA and WPA projects in Oregon included parks, lodges and public docks; roads, scenic drives and trails; city swimming pools, park bathhouses, and golf course features; post offices, courthouses, schools and libraries; water treatment plants, pumping stations and transmission lines; airports, armories and auditoriums; and the Bonneville Dam. All of these New Deal resources significantly shaped Oregon economic opportunities, improved transportation routes and enriched communities.

The State Library of Oregon is accepted into the National Register of Historic Places and is the first entry accepted under the Oregon New Deal Resources from the PWA or WPA, 1933-1943, MPD. Oregon’s State Advisory Committee on Historic Preservation (SACHP) recommended the nomination at their December 1, 2021 meeting. The National Park Service accepted this nomination in May 2022.

The Oregon State Library is located within the City of Salem, Marion County, Oregon.  It has applicable historic significance in the categories of architecture, education, politics and government in the period from 1939, the year construction was completed, to 1943, the year that funding for the New Deal work relief programs ended.  The library was designed by Architects Whitehouse & Church in the Modernist style with some art deco features. Artist Gabriel Lavare provided much of the carvings and interior and exterior artwork. The Library is associated with events that have made a significant contribution to the broad patterns of our history and continues to reflect its purposeful design and historical significance.

The National Register is maintained by the National Park Service under the authority of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966. More information about the National Register and recent Oregon listings are online at oregonheritage.org (listed under “Designate”).

Properties listed in the National Register are:

  • Recognized as significant to the nation, state, or community;
  • Considered in the planning of federal or federally-assisted projects;
  • Eligible for federal and state tax benefits;
  • Qualify for historic preservation grants when funds are available;
  • Eligible for leniency in meeting certain building code requirements;
  • Subject to local laws pertaining to the conservation and protection of historic resources.

National Register listing does not place any restrictions on a property at the state or federal level, unless property owners choose to participate in tax benefit or grant programs.

BEND, OR — The High Desert Museum will welcome the community on the evening of Friday, May 27 to celebrate four decades of serving the region. 

The 40th Anniversary Community Celebration kicks off at 6:30 pm, offering the first glimpse of a new exhibitionand featuring beverages from Central Oregon’s favorite brewers, food and more.

This year, the Museum celebrates 40 years since opening as a small natural history museum in a town of approximately 17,000. Evolving through four decades, it is now a nationally recognized, interdisciplinary institution offering original exhibitions, educational programs and endless moments of wonder.

“We’re excited to look back at 40 years of curiosity, inspiration, wonder and connection,” says Museum Executive Director Dana Whitelaw, Ph.D. “Our staff, volunteers, curators and partners have nourished this unique place and the exhibitions and programs that we share, and we’re grateful to our dedicated and generous community.”

“Anniversaries provide the opportunity to look back at all that’s been accomplished and to celebrate together,” says Museum Board Chair Nelson Mathews. “And there is so much to celebrate! The High Desert Museum has grown into an arts and culture anchor, as well as an educational resource, for the entire region. I’m excited thinking about what the next 40 years will bring.”

The Museum was the vision of a young, Portland naturalist named Donald Kerr, who in the 1970s began rambling over the Cascades at every opportunity to take in the expansive vistas, rich cultural heritage and dynamic ecosystems of the High Desert. A teacher to the core, he envisioned a place to, as he said, “wildly excite and responsibly teach” visitors about the High Desert.

Kerr shared his idea about a museum that would explore the natural history and culture of the High Desert with anyone that would listen. Due to funding, he was told time and time again that his dream would not come true. Yet Kerr remained determined and passionate, and supporters were won over. Brooks Resources donated 135 acres of ponderosa pine forest on which to build Kerr’s vision. The institution opened its doors to the public on May 29, 1982.

Dignitaries came to Central Oregon from near and far to celebrate the opening of the Oregon High Desert Museum, including then-Oregon Governor Vic Atiyeh. A Girl Scout troupe of fourth-grade students from Bear Creek and Buckingham Elementary schools had the honor of acting as event greeters that day. For their efforts, Governor Atiyeh sat down and put his signature in each and every Girl Scout Badge Book.

Set on the 135-acre campus, the main museum building features walls constructed of lava rock gathered directly from the site and incorporates ponderosa pine columns harvested from the grounds. Paved trails lead through a forest to outdoor features such as the Miller Family RanchThe Changing ForestDonald M. Kerr Birds of Prey Center and the beloved Autzen Otter Exhibit

The original Museum indoor space included the Desertarium gallery displaying the reptiles and amphibians that thrive in desert landscapes. The Earle A. Chiles Center on the Spirit of the West was built in 1988, which includes the celebrated, permanent exhibition Spirit of the West, followed by the exhibit dedicated to the Native peoples of the Plateau, By Hand Through Memory, in 1999. The changing gallery spaces inside the Museum feature up to nine temporary exhibitions each year. 

For 40 years, the High Desert Museum has enabled a deeper understanding of the region’s art, culture, history and natural sciences through the presentation and interpretation of visual art exhibits, historical artifacts, living history performances and wildlife encounters. In May 2021, the Museum accepted the nation’s highest honor for museums, the Institute of Museum and Library Services National Medal. The Museum now welcomes almost 200,000 visitors each year from all over the world.

Visitors will have the opportunity starting at the May 27 event to share their favorite Museum moments at the 40th Anniversary Reflection Station. Visitors will be invited to write down a special moment that sparked curiosity, opened a new world or connected them to something new. The station will be in the Schnitzer Entrance Hall and stories will be kept in perpetuity to be shared with future generations.

The Community Celebration will also feature the opening of a new exhibit, Lair: Light and the Art of Stephen Hendee. Walking into the enclosed gallery, visitors will be immersed in a futuristic world of light and sound with elements hinting at current environmental issues. The glowing, high-tech world of the Maryland-based artist explores the spaces in which we live, both physically and virtually. Lair draws inspiration from the High Desert landscape and uses lights, color and space.  

Hendee serves as a professor at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, and his art has been on display everywhere from the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York to Meow Wolf Las Vegas. Hendee’s recent awards include a 2019 National Endowment for the Arts ArtWorks Grant. 

Tickets for the Community Celebration are free and can be reserved online at highdesertmuseum.org/40th-celebration. Space is limited.

The High Desert Museum is grateful to the food and beverage vendors joining us for the Community Celebration, including Acme Hot Dogs, IndoDaddy and Kona Shaved Ice and Bend Cider Company, Boneyard Beer, Caboost Kombucha, Cascade Lakes Brewing Co., Funky Fauna Artisan Ales, Lava Terrace Cellars, Legend Cider Company, Silver Moon Brewing, Sunriver Brewing, Two Towns Ciderhouse and Worthy Brewing. 


THE HIGH DESERT MUSEUM opened in Bend, Oregon in 1982. It brings together wildlife, cultures, art, history and the natural world to convey the wonder of North America’s High Desert. The Museum is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, is a Smithsonian Affiliate, was the 2019 recipient of the Western Museums Association’s Charles Redd Award for Exhibition Excellence and was a 2021 recipient of the National Medal for Museum and Library Service. To learn more, visit highdesertmuseum.org and follow us on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.

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