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Klamath Falls
May 30, 2023

Klamath Basin News, Wednesday, 5/25 – Klamath County Has Highest Unemployment Rate in Oregon; Memorial Day Weekend Weather Cools, Some Showers Possible

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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.

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Klamath Basin Weather

Today Sunny, with a high near 84. Calm wind becoming west northwest around 5 mph in the afternoon. Overnight, partly cloudy with a low around 49 degrees.

Thursday Mostly cloudy, with a high near 79. Light and variable wind becoming west 15 to 20 mph in the afternoon. Overnight a 20% chance of showers and thunderstorms before 11pm. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 46.
Friday Partly sunny, with a high near 72. Showers overnight into Saturday morning.
Saturday A 50% chance of showers. Partly sunny, with a high near 59.
Sunday Showers likely, mainly after 11am. High of 54. A chance of evening showers, low overnight of 36.
Monday, Memorial Day Mostly sunny, with a high near 61.
Tuesday Mostly sunny, with a high near 70.

Today’s Headlines

Klamath County once again has the highest unemployment rate in Oregon. In April, unemployment rates declined in 28 of Oregon’s 36 counties.

Unemployment rates in seven counties did not decline but held steady over the month. The unemployment rate in Gilliam County increased over the month. Twelve counties had unemployment rates at or below the statewide rate of 3.7% in April. Eleven counties had unemployment rates below the national rate of 3.6%.

Klamath County had Oregon’s highest seasonally adjusted unemployment rate (5.4%) in April. Other counties with relatively high unemployment rates were Grant (5.3%), Curry (5.1%), Crook (5.0%), and Lincoln (5.0%). Benton County registered the lowest unemployment rate in April, at 2.9%. Other counties with some of the lowest unemployment rates in April included Wheeler (3.0%), Washington (3.1%), and Hood River (3.1%).

Between April 2021 and April 2022, total nonfarm employment rose in each of the six broad regions across Oregon. The five Portland metro counties and Willamette Valley region experienced the fastest job growth over the year at 3.8% each.

Employment also grew at a relatively fast pace in the Central Oregon region (2.8%). Growth occurred at a slower pace in Southern Oregon (0.8%), Eastern Oregon (0.7%), and along the Coast (0.7%).

Oregon Health Authority (OHA) is warning the people of Oregon to be on the lookout for Jif brand peanut butter that may be contaminated with Salmonella bacteria.

J.M. Smucker Co., the parent company for the peanut butter brand, issued a voluntary recall on Friday. 

The Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local partners are investigating this outbreak. The recalled peanut butter was distributed in retail stores and other outlets throughout the country. It includes creamy, crunchy and natural varieties.

Jif peanut butter was included in food boxes distributed through OHA’s food box program. OHA has investigated further and determined that the recall lot does include the Jif peanut butter that was distributed in the food boxes. This only impacts the peanut butter product inside the food box which can be exchanged for a replacement or refunded. 

Starting today, staff with the Oregon Health Authority is visiting all OHA food hubs and inspecting respective food boxes in order to substitute any recall product for new.  This work will require the remainder of this week to accomplish and all food hubs are being notified this evening.

All warehoused Jif products that are waiting to be distributed have been thoroughly inspected and replaced.

To see if your jar of Jif peanut butter is being recalled, check the lot number that is printed below the “Best if Used by” date on the label.


Products with lot codes 1274425 – 2140425, with the digits 425 in the 5th-7th position, are being recalled. This information is printed on the back label of the jar.


August 4 through 7, 2022

That phrase says it all. Every year many Klamath Basin residents come together to share in a time honored tradition of showcasing their talents in many areas. From over 1500 categories of entry opportunities, the Klamath County Fair is a place to show off your creative talents.

The Fair is also a place to reconnect with family and friends and to enjoy entertainment such as headliner concerts, free music entertainment on the big stage, 4-H and FFA animal exhibits and competitions and, the Demolition Derby to be held on Saturday afternoon.

We are so very excited to see the crowds, hear the sounds, and taste the tastes – of fair food that is, and visit with friends and neighbors.

For more than 100 years, the Klamath County Fair has been showcasing the best of the best, and because of that, we encourage individuals, young and old, to show off their talents in a variety of competitive exhibits opportunities ~ from the Mommy/Daddy & Me Class to the Professional Classes.

We look forward to hosting the Klamath County Fair and providing a venue for you and your family to enter your art, photography, quilting, needlework, floral design, or baking items. Who knows, you might win Best of Show and bragging rights with your family, friends and neighbors.

How do I enter one might ask? While Exhibitor Handbooks won’t be mailed out this year, we have made every attempt to make entering simple.


You can either enter online at https://www.klamathcountyfair.com/showcase-entry OR you can stop by our business office at 3531 S. 6th Street for personalized service between now and July 29th at 5:00 PM. 

David and Sharron Hudson returned home Saturday, in a roundabout way. In between, they traversed the West Coast, and then the world, to share the mission and programs of the Salvation Army.

The couple began their career in Klamath Falls, where they served the Klamath Falls area from 1976-1980.

They were back in Klamath Falls on Saturday to help the local organization celebrate more than 100 years in the Basin. And, while there no longer is a church, the local Salvation Army Service Center has plenty of programs to help those in need throughout the area.

Among those at the gala was Don Boyd, who was on the local board when the Hudsons arrived. Boyd remains on the local board.

The local service center has a food pantry (open 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. Tuesdays and 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Thursdays), produce connection (open 9:30 a.m. Fridays beginning June 3), donations and two Christmas programs (gifts for children in need and food boxes for families in need).

The Klamath Falls Crater Lake Regional airport is listed as one of many recipients of some Southern Oregon projects among $46-million in Oregon transportation projects approved by the Oregon Transportation Commission.

The Commission (OTC) approved 21 projects this month, including five in Southern Oregon announced today, including:

  • $2,500,000 for Jackson County toward $12,050,000 for Medford Airport’s east side heavy duty aircraft apron expansion
  • $1,693,200 for the Oregon Department of Aviation toward its $2,490,000 project at the Prospect State Airport for runway reconstruction and electrical improvements
  • $1,619,559 for the City of Port Orford toward its $2,313,656 Port of Port Orford crane replacement
  • $892,860 for Lake County toward $1,294,000 for the County’s rail replacement
  • $550,000 for the City of Klamath Falls toward $10,826,000 for its Klamath Falls Regional Airport plan to reconstruct Runway 7-25.

Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) says the funding is part of Connect Oregon, an initiative established by the 2005 state legislature to invest in non-highway modes of transportation.

Siskiyou County Sheriff Jeremiah LaRue wants the state of California to declare a state of emergency related to the proliferation of illegal marijuana farms and grow houses in the region.

The northern California county and several of its southern Oregon counterparts have declared local state of emergencies in response to the thousands of illegal grows spread across the expansive region.

LaRue has taken to a social media with Facebook video showing the impacts of the illegal cannabis grows. “The problem is the quantity of grows that we’re faced with is astronomical,” LaRue said in the post. Some of the grows have links to drug cartels and organized crime syndicates also involved in other illegal drugs such as fentanyl and methamphetamine, according to local police. LaRue said the illicit growers steal and use significant amount of water pointing to images of full swimming linked to nursery tents full of cannabis plants.

Klamath County Sheriff Chris Kaber and staff have mounted a public awareness campaign visible on social media locally to warn people of human trafficking, poor working conditions, and water theft from agricultural entities from illegal marijuana grows in this area.

In a related story, Police are looking for a primary suspect for an illegal marijuana grow where a search warrant brought destruction of illicit plants.

The Josephine County Sheriff’s Office says that suspect is one of two main suspects related to illegal marijuana grow sites revealed by search warrants served last week. It says on May 19, 2022, the Josephine Marijuana Enforcement Team (JMET), Oregon State Police, Bureau of Land Management, and Illegal Marijuana Enforcement Team executed a search warrant in the 3000 block of Southside Road regarding an illegal marijuana grow operation.

The Sheriff’s Office says 23-year-old Vincent R. Lopez was taken into custody and lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Unlawful Manufacturing of Marijuana. It says when JMET executed a second search warrant the same day in the 200 block of Forest Glen Road regarding an illegal marijuana grow site, approximately 1,200 marijuana plants were found in greenhouses on the property, and those plants also were seized and destroyed. 

Around the state of Oregon

U.S. Jeff Merkley, D-Oregon, said Monday he has tested positive for COVID-19. In recent weeks, U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, U.S. Reps. Earl Blumenauer and Peter DeFazio, all Oregon Democrats, along with Vice President Kamala Harris have tested positive for the coronavirus.

Merkley, 65, also encouraged COVID vaccinations and boosters in his statement. In a prepared statement, Merkley says “I strongly encourage all Oregonians and Americans to take advantage of available vaccines and boosters to stay safe. This is yet another reminder that COVID is still among us. As Americans make plans before the holiday weekend, I encourage everyone to take steps to make sure the virus is not an uninvited guest.”

The audit by the Secretary of State’s office looked at the 2019 Student Success Act and risks to its implementation. Auditors noted that this is the fourth major K-12 effort since the 1990s, with the state showing a history of abandoning past efforts. The report, released Tuesday at 9 a.m., identifies 5 risks to the program’s success.

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Police are looking for a bank robber in a robbery yesterday in Grants Pass.

The Grants Pass Police Department (GPPD) says yesterday morning just before 11:00am the First Interstate Bank on Union Avenue in Grants Pass was robbed and, “After demanding money, the male suspect fled from the bank on foot to the parking lot of the nearby Walgreens where a vehicle was waiting for him.

The suspect left in an unknown direction. Nobody was physically injured during the robbery, but many were in fear for their safety.”

GPPD describes the suspect as a white man approximately 6’4” in his 30s to 40s, weighing 220 to 240 pounds and having some facial hair.  It says he wore a black stocking cap, black glasses, and a bright orange shirt over a dark long-sleeved shirt.  It says the vehicle the robber used to escape was as a white Kia Optima with tinted windows.  

GPPD says the suspect presented no weapons.

Sunday night around 10:30 PM, Officers responded to the area of the 9th Street Foot Bridge in Medford to investigate a stabbing incident.  

Upon arrival, Officers located one male victim, age 44, who had been stabbed in the upper thigh.  The suspect fled the scene prior to the responding Officer’s arrival at the scene.  Officers rendered aid to the victim until paramedics arrived on scene and transported him to the hospital.  The victim’s injuries were not life threatening and he was treated and released. 

A Detective was called out to assist with the investigation and determined the victim and the suspect were acquaintances and the stabbing occurred during an altercation between the two.  The suspect was identified as Andrew Charles Davis, but he was not located immediately.  The suspect’s identity was disseminated to the oncoming patrol shifts as there was probable cause to arrest Davis.

Yesterday morning, a Medford Patrol Officer located Andrew Davis walking in the 1100 block of West Main Street and he arrested Davis.  Davis was lodged at the Jackson County Jail by the investigating Detective.  Anyone with any further information is asked to call the Medford PD.

Oregon-Washington BLM to impose fire restrictions, fireworks ban starting Friday

Fire restrictions will be in place across Pacific Northwest starting May 27 to help protect local communities.

The Bureau of Land Management announced that the use of fireworks, exploding or metallic targets, steel component ammunition, tracer or incendiary devices and sky lanterns will be prohibited on public areas across Oregon and Washington.

Those who violate those prohibitions could see a $1,000 fine and/or a prison sentence of up to a year. People who are found responsible for creating wildfires on federal lands may be held responsible to pay off fire suppression costs.

“Fire restrictions help protect our first responders, local communities, and public lands from accidental wildfires,” Barry Bushue, BLM Oregon/Washington state director. said. “We are continuing to see drought conditions across Oregon and Washington. By following fire restrictions, the public can help us focus our fire resources on naturally caused fires.”

May is Wildfire Awareness Month. CLICK HERE✎ EditSign to read more about the fire restrictions.

Health insurance rates for plans under the Affordable Care Act in Oregon will be going up next year.

The Oregon Department of Consumer & Business Services says the requests from insurance companies would cause individual plans to increase an average of six-point-seven percent, while small businesses would see an increase of six-point-nine percent. Reasons for the increases include inflation, medical trends, and enrollment changes.

Public hearings on the rates will be held in July. Final rates will be decided in August.

A new permit system launches Tuesday in the Columbia River Gorge, which coud bring spontaneous visits to Multnomah Falls and the Waterfall Corridor to an end. 

Summer daytime visitors in personal vehicles now need a permit to drive the Historic Columbia River Highway, between Bridal Veil and Ainsworth State Park (see map below). Karen Davis, with the US Forest Service, says it’s necessary to alleviate overcrowding during peak times.

During the pilot period, up to 60 personal vehicles and motorcycles will be allowed each hour, between 9 am and 6 pm, May 24 through September 5.

The timing aligns with a similar permit system already in place at the Multnomah Falls parking lot.  Each permit is for entry during a one-hour window, but you can stay as long as you like.

Permits are available online and can be reserved up to two weeks in advance. There is a $2 transaction fee. Davis says visitors can avoid the permit requirement by arriving before 9 am or after 6 pm, taking public transit or a tour bus, ride a bike, or wait to visit until after Labor Day. 

Auditors looked at past and present efforts to improve public school student success in Oregon – and identified 5 challenges ahead for state government.

The audit by the Secretary of State’s office looked at the 2019 Student Success Act and risks to its implementation. Auditors noted that this is the fourth major K-12 effort since the 1990s, with the state showing a history of abandoning past efforts.

The report, released Tuesday at 9 a.m., identifies 5 risks to the program’s success.

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We want to keep you informed about COVID-19 in Oregon. Data are provisional and change frequently. For more information, including COVID-19 data by county, visit our dashboard: http://ow.ly/spWb50Jh09b

Screen shot of linked dashboard shows an increase trend in cases, test positivity and hospitalizations. Vaccinations have plateaued. Please visit healthoregon.org/coronavirus for more.

If you’ve tested positive for COVID-19, find resources, get support and take the COVID-19 Case Survey to report your positive at-home test:🔗 Visit govstatus.egov.com/or-oha-covid-19-positive-test, or📞 Call the COVID-19 Support Hotline at 866-917-8881, or💬 Text “OHACOVID” to 61222.

The Hotline is open Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Language interpretation is available. While you’re not required to report your positive at-home COVID-19 test results we highly recommend you do so. Your honesty helps us understand how the virus is affecting you and your community.

We also recommend letting close contacts know about potential exposure.Hospitals, health care providers, laboratories and local public health authorities are required to report test results.

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