Klamath Basin News, Tuesday, 5/24 – Greater Idaho Movement Rethinks Klamath Basin and Southwestern Oregon

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Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Klamath Basin Weather

Today Sunny, with a high near 75. Calm wind becoming west northwest 5 to 8 mph.

Wednesday Sunny, with a high near 81.
Thursday Partly sunny, with a high near 78.
Friday A chance of showers, mainly after 11am. Partly sunny, with a high near 66.
Saturday Mostly sunny, with a high near 65.

Today’s Headlines

Greater Idaho doesn’t want all of Southwestern Oregon anymore.

The group advocating to make rural Oregon counties part of neighboring Idaho “announced that it will propose a less ambitious map to state legislatures as ‘phase 1’ of the project.

The map only adds eastern Oregon to Idaho. The map does not give Idaho any coastline – Oregon would keep all of southern Oregon west of, and including, the Cascade (mountain) Range.”

The group anticipates putting a question on the Morrow County ballot this November and a Wallowa County ballot next year. The proposal would put fourteen eastern Oregon counties and three partial eastern Oregon counties under the governance of Idaho.

The area has a population of 386,000. This is 9% of the population of Oregon and 63% of the land area of Oregon. Under phase 1, Idaho would almost tie Montana in land area but have twice the population of Montana.

The movement is asking Oregon state legislators for hearings and for cosponsors for a resolution that would invite Idaho to begin talks with Oregon on moving the border.

Crater Lake National Park celebrated its 120th birthday on Sunday. Formed by the volcanic eruption of Mount Mazama nearly 7,700 years ago, Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the United States and the ninth deepest in the world at 1,949-feet deep.

Crater Lake National Park was founded on May 22, 1902. The park is one of the snowiest inhabited places in America, getting an average of nearly 43 feet of snow per year. Crater Lake is filled entirely by rainfall and snowmelt, making for some of the purest, clearest water on the planet.

The park is open year-round, 24-hours a day, however, some entrances and parts of the Rim Drive could be closed by snow in the winter months. The park’s snowplow operators work hard to clear snow from roads so that visitors can safely experience the incredible winter vistas and recreational opportunities the park has to offer.

A special concert performance by world-renowned pianist Sarah Hagen will be held at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow, Wednesday, May 25, at the Ross Ragland Theater.

Described as classical piano “with a twist,” Hagen’s musical arrangements portray her core belief that music has the power to be a window into our souls, regardless of our age or musical knowledge.

A visionary and an idealist, she presents conceptually innovative performances, involving photography, dance, and spoken word. The Canadian has performed in concert halls and been heard on broadcasts throughout North America and Europe.

As a first-prize winner in the 2013 Bradshaw & Buono International Piano Competition, Hagen was awarded the opportunity to perform solo at New York City’s Carnegie Hall in May 2013. She has completed five residencies at the Banff Centre for the Arts and enjoyed two terms there as a collaborative pianist.

Call the theater at 541-884-LIVE or log on to their website at ragland dot org for more information.

Oregon DMV: Due to staffing, the Ashland and Lakeview DMV offices will be closed Tuesday, May 24. More Info Here UPDATE

Around the state of Oregon

A favorite and often challenging shortcut between the Rogue Valley and Gold Beach is scheduled to open on May 27.

Earlier today, the US Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management issued the following information regarding the opening of Bear Camp Road:

Bear Camp Road will be open for public travel starting on May 27th for the recreation season. The Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest will have completed removing what remains of the winter’s snowdrifts. Not all BLM and National Forest roads have been maintained or checked after the winter season. Motorists are advised to drive with caution and avoid using less-traveled roads, particularly earlier in the season before all road surfaces are thoroughly dry. Good preparation and driving habits are important when traveling on backcountry roads, as weather and road conditions may change rapidly. Be prepared with extra blankets, food and water, clothing, and emergency equipment. When driving, keep lights on, drive slowly and be prepared to stop for oncoming traffic, particularly on blind corners. U.S. Route 199 and U.S. Highway 101 are recommended for trailers, motor homes, and oversized vehicles year-round.


A fatal two-vehicle crash closed US 199 (Redwood Highway) in both directions one mile north of Selma, Oregon, near mileposts 18-19 yesterday.

ODOT said that this was a lengthy closure for crash reconstruction and cleanup. A detour was in place onto Draper Valley Road. Units from several agencies responded, with OSP taking lead on the investigation: IVFD, AMR, Sheriff’s Department, OSP, ODOT, and Oregon Towing. 

FATAL CRASH ON HWY 199-JOSEPHINE COUNTY

On Monday, May 23, 2022 at about 10:29 AM, Oregon State Police Troopers were dispatched to a motor vehicle crash at milepost 19 on Hwy 199 near Selma. 

Preliminary investigation revealed a northbound white Volkswagen Bug, operated by Jesse Kozechen (29) of Brazil, swerved to avoid traffic that had slowed for a turning vehicle. The operator over-corrected and lost control, sliding into the southbound lane where it collided with a Ford Escape, operated by Eileen Huss (62) of Selma. 

Kozechen sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced deceased. Huss was transported with injuries. Huss’s two-year-old passenger was uninjured. 

Hwy 199 was closed for two hours while the Oregon State Police Collision Reconstruction Unit investigated the scene. 

OSP was assisted by AMR, Josephine County Sheriff’s Office, Illinois Valley Fire Department and ODOT. 

New data from the Oregon Health Authority shows cases of COVID-19 on the rise once again. But some public health professors at Portland State said hospitalizations and deaths are not spiking.

With the number of people vaccinated growing, Carlos Crespo of the OHSU-PSU School of Public Health said more people are getting mild cases.

Sky Lakes Medical Center in Klamath Falls reported four inpatients yesterday with Covid-19. Crespo said pharmaceutical companies are also working to develop a more targeted vaccine to the changing virus. During this time, the experts encourage keeping a mask on hand for indoor settings, and continuing to test after exposure if symptoms develop.

The Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission is pulling the liquor license of a Springfield restaurant for not following COVID-19 regulations.

The business, Along Came Trudy, allowed indoor dining when it was prohibited due to the pandemic. They were fined over 50-thousand dollars, but didn’t change their operation. The OLCC acknowledged the challenges that restaurants faced and that the issue would ultimately be decided by the courts.

Police agencies across Oregon will be taking part in the Click It or Ticket campaign. It’s an effort to increase seat belt use.

Nationwide, 90-percent of drivers and passengers use seat belts. Of people age 18 to 34 who were killed in crashes, 60-percent weren’t wearing seat belts. Police agencies use federal grant money to increase patrols. Click It or Ticket continues through Sunday June 5th.

Officials are reminding residents that this is the time of year when snapping turtles build nests and they might be more visible.

Residents who see one should call the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife. Snapping turtles aren’t native to Oregon and can harm native turtle populations along with other mammals, birds, and fish.

Snapping turtles have a long neck and a powerful bite. They can be contained with large plastic containers.

Oregon State Parks is celebrating its centennial on State Parks Day, Saturday, June 4. Parking and camping are free on State Parks Day, a tradition since 1998.

Several special events and service projects are planned June 4 to celebrate State Parks Day and the Oregon State Parks centennial. Nearby, at Valley of the Rogue State Park, visitors are invited to watch two professional wood carvers create new sculptures they will donate to the park. They will be working 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. June 4 and 5 at the Valley of the Rogue rest area.

Oregon consumers can get a first look at requested rates for 2023 individual and small group health insurance plans, the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services announced today.

In the individual market, six companies submitted rate change requests ranging from an average 2.3 percent to 12.6 percent increase, for a weighted average increase of 6.7 percent. In the small group market, nine companies submitted rate change requests ranging from an average 0 percent to 11.6 percent increase, for a weighted average increase of 6.9 percent. Our initial review has found that insurers have identified inflation, medical trend, and enrollment changes as factors in the proposed increases.

See the attached chart for the full list of rate change requests. Oregonians will also see an uptick in premiums due to the expiration of temporary enhanced subsidies for on exchange individual market plans. The additional premium support has helped to lower monthly premiums by an average of 46 percent since enactment in 2021. Under the enhanced subsidy structure, people between 151 percent and 200 percent of the federal poverty level can get a bronze plan for as low $1 per month, with other plans varying in costs.

The loss of subsidies will equate to an approximate $11.9 million increase every month for Oregonians. Virtual public hearings about the 2023 health insurance rates will be held July 27-28. A web address to watch the public hearings will be posted at oregonhealthrates.org.

At the hearings, each insurance company will provide a brief presentation about its rate requests, answer questions from the division, and hear public comment from Oregonians.

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