Klamath Basin News, Tuesday, June 21 – State Approves Covid Vaccine for Children Ages 6 Months To 5 Years of Age

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Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Klamath Basin Weather

Today Sunny, with a high near 85. North northeast wind 3 to 6 mph. Overnight clear with a low around 49.


Wednesday Sunny, with a high near 89.
Thursday Sunny, with a high near 88.
Friday Sunny, with a high near 89.
Saturday Sunny, with a high near 91.
Sunday Sunny, with a high near 92.

Today’s Headlines

Ready for this? COVID-19 vaccines will be available starting today for children between six months and five years of age.

The Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup approved the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines for use in Oregon, Washington, California, and Nevada. The CDC approved the vaccines on Saturday.

The Workgroup says the benefits of the vaccines substantially outweigh any known or likely risks.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown said this is a “long-awaited moment” for Oregon parents, who “can be confident in the safety and effectiveness” of these vaccines.

“It is completely normal for parents and kids to have questions about vaccines —— I urge you to reach out to your family doctor, health care provider, or pharmacist and get your questions answered today,” Brown said in a statement.

The workgroup agreed that the Moderna two-dose vaccine series and the Pfizer 3-dose vaccine series are safe for infants as young as 6 months.

The Covid study workgroup said completing either vaccine series produced antibody levels similar to people between 16-25. “Observed vaccine reactions among infants aged 6-12 months and children aged 1 through 5 years were consistent with reactions to other vaccines routinely recommended for these age groups.”

Their conclusion is that The Oregon Health Authority will let health care providers know that COVID-19 vaccinations for kids as young as 6 months could begin in Oregon as quickly as today.

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

Gas prices are at record high levels and Oregon Senator Ron Wyden is sponsoring a bill to limit excess profits, stock buybacks and big bonuses for executives.

Wyden says oil companies would be allowed to reinvest profits to make their operations more efficient. If they use profits to reward stockholders or executives they would face a surtax. Stock buybacks would be taxed 25-percent and profits over 10-percent would be taxed 21-percent.

Wyden says oil companies would also be prohibited from reducing their profits through accounting methods. But Wyden has no relief for Oregonians for the price of gas at the pump, as of today.

Student teams from KCC and Oregon Tech head to statewide invention competition

One student team from Klamath Community College (KCC) and two Oregon Tech teams will compete in the statewide invention competition Invent Oregon (InventOR) on June 24 at Rogue Community College.

Tayas Yawks from KCC and the National Early Response Firefighting System (NERFS) and Klamath Angel Mobile Health from Oregon Tech will present their exciting inventions and concepts for the chance to take home cash prizes.

The InventOR Collegiate Challenge is a day-long exhibition and pitch competition where college and university students present ideas for inventions to address today’s most pressing problems. At the InventOR finals, students present their invention and compete for $30,000 in cash prizes to fund their innovative ideas. Projects showcase solutions to important social and economic challenges across the state, including pressing community needs experienced in Oregon’s urban and rural regions.

Team Tayas Yawks of KCC is comprised of two welding students, Paul Monteith and Anthoney Rasdal. Monteith operates a 501c3 nonprofit titled Tayas Yawks (translated to “medicine bag” in the Klamath language), which serves as peer support for individuals in recovery or recently freed from incarceration. Tayas Yawks is seeking to expand its services by adding a welding and fabrication shop to its business specifically catering to individuals that qualify under its services, thereby providing quality jobs and close support for those seeking a second chance in life.

Monteith, a recent KCC graduate serves as a teaching assistant for KCC’s welding program, which currently operates at Oregon Tech’s Klamath Falls campus through a partnership between the two schools.

An additional KCC team — Diesel Weasels, consisting of diesel-auto students Charisse Wells and Austin Nunn — was also selected for the statewide competition –– but is unable to compete at the state finals due to scheduling conflicts.

The Oregon Tech NERFS team has developed an early fire deterrent system to reduce the time between a fire being spotted to a fire being fought. The concept utilizes specially made mortar rounds that can deliver a biodegradable fire retardant via an automatically aiming and firing mortar system. After presenting their concept at Oregon Tech’s Catalyze Klamath Falls challenge, the team was awarded $2,500 to further develop their prototype and compete at InventOR. NERFS is now split into three sub-teams:

Admin: Graeme Wiltrout, 2025, business management, and Dylon Yoshinaga, 2023, healthcare management and administration.

Hardware: Fletcher Stults, 2023, mechanical engineering; Marcus Delamarter, 2023, mechanical engineering; Toby Ruston, 2025, mechanical engineering; and Sydney Beers, 2025, mechanical engineering.

Software: Logan Rivera, 2025, software engineering; Jemisha Vargas, 2025, software engineering; Gabriel Bafia, 2025, software engineering; and Brandon Moehlmann, 2025, embedded systems engineering.

In addition, an Oregon Tech team from the University’s Portland-Metro campus will join them at InventOR to present their concept for a mobile health unit in Klamath Falls.

Klamath Angel Mobile Health was developed by Chrys Chan and Le Quynh Dao Nguyen, who graduated this year from information technology. The team will focus on developing a plan for a transportable health facility that can provide wellness checkups; addiction services and resources; and educational, housing, and Oregon Health Plan resources.

The finals are scheduled to take place June 24 at 9 a.m. More information and a registration link are available at https://www.inventoregon.org/event-details/invent-oregon-state-finals-2.

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A trolley-ride tour of historic theater sites in downtown Klamath Falls will be offered on various dates through the summer.

The tour program is co-sponsored by the Klamath County Museum and the Ross Ragland Theater. The cost is $15 per person for the two-hour tour, which will be offered on the Saturday mornings of June 25, July 2, and July 9.

Space is limited to 10 people per tour. To reserve space, contact the Museum at (541) 882-1000.

Movie houses still standing include the old Pine Tree and Liberty theaters, now serving as an office or retail space.

The event will conclude with a backstage tour of the Ross Ragland Theater led by Executive Director Samantha Burris, with a discussion of the building’s earlier existence as the Esquire Theater.

Refreshments will be served during the tour.

Around the state of Oregon

Two Inmates Overdose at Jackson County Jail

Two Jackson County Jail Adults-In-Custody (AIC) are in a local hospital today after an apparent overdose.

A Jackson County Sheriff’s Office (JCSO) Corrections deputy was nearby when an AIC began suffering from an apparent medical emergency. The deputy responded with Jail medical to begin treatment and a second AIC also began exhibiting signs of an apparent overdose.

Multiple agencies responded to assist including Medford Police Department (MPD), Medford Fire, JCSO Corrections and Patrol deputies, and Mercy Flights ambulances. In total, five doses of Narcan were administered between the two patients and they were both responsive as they were transported to a local hospital. At this time, the patient’s condition is unknown.

JCSO and MPD are conducting a joint-agency investigation to determine the source of the contraband. No further information is available at this time. Jackson Co. Sheriff’s Office

A climber is recovering after a lengthy rescue on South Sister over the weekend, the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office said.

Shortly before 7 p.m. Saturday, the 23-year-old from New York called 911 and said he’d fallen and was hurt.

He said he’d triggered a small avalanche, causing him to tumble down the mountain.

Crews were unable to fly him out until late Sunday morning because of the weather. A rescue team set out at about 1 a.m. Sunday from the Pole Creek Trailhead, going about nine miles to reach his location at about 9,100 feet of elevation on the mountain.

The injured climber waited it out with his tent and sleeping bag until the team could reach him.

Law enforcement did not disclose the extent of his injuries.

 

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WANTED: A patient facing criminal charges in Oregon and California escaped from the psychiatric unit at St. Charles Medical Center Monday morning.

Jeremy Allbritton, 41, was last seen around 8:45 a.m. on NE Courtney Drive in Bend.

Police said Allbritton faces arrest warrants – and is wanted for new crimes.

Authorities described Allbritton as 6-feet tall and 220 pounds with very short or shaved brown hair and numerous tattoos.

Bend Police ask the public to report any sightings or interactions with Allbritton.

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Outdoor gatherings offer an extra layer of protection against COVID-19. If you or any of your guests are at high risk for serious COVID-19 illness, consider moving your gathering outdoors. If you are indoors, wearing the highest quality mask you can find offers additional protection. Open windows and turn on fans for extra airflow to improve ventilation.

With summer arriving and many of us enjoying the warmer weather, people together.

In Oregon, COVID-19 cases appear to be leveling. However these numbers are likely an undercount because many people are using at-home tests and not reporting the results. We also know many others are not getting tested. If you’re out and about, you’ll likely be exposed to COVID-19.

If you are gathering this weekend, consider moving the gathering outdoors. It’s also a good idea to consider the risk level of people you live or spend time with. If you are indoors, wearing the highest quality mask you can find offers additional protection.

Oregon’s Minimum Wage Set To Increase July 1st

Minimum wage workers in Oregon will see an increase in pay starting July 1st.

In 2016, Oregon lawmakers created a three-tiered minimum wage. That means while many of Oregon’s minimum wage workers will see a new rate of $13.50 an hour, employees in the Portland area will get an increase to $14.75. Those are both increases of 75 cents per hour. Meanwhile, the minimum wage in rural parts of the state will jump by 50 cents to $12.50 an hour.

The Oregon Employment Department says roughly five percent of Oregon’s hourly workers earn the minimum wage.

This is the seventh and final increase that was written into the 2016 law. Next year, minimum wage increases will once again be indexed to inflation, though urban and rural areas will still have different rates.

“It’s not going to be a fixed (increase) like it has been for the last several years,” said Bob Uhlenkott, a researcher with the Oregon Employment Department. “Now it will float, based on the Consumer Price Index.”

Oregon’s rate remains among the highest minimum wages in the nation.

Effort Continues to Move Idaho/Oregon Border

The most recent leader of Oregon’s “State of Jefferson” movement, Bob Chard, has endorsed the “Greater Idaho” movement.

According to organizers with the Greater Idaho movement, which seeks to move the border and make a number of Oregon counties part of Idaho, Chard said that the effort might have a better chance of success than movements that attempt to create an entirely new state out of a part of Oregon.

Both plans would require the approval of the Oregon Legislature, but creating a new state would add two Republicans to the US Senate. Chard agreed the Democrat controlled Oregon Legislature is more likely to approve the Greater Idaho plan because it would not affect the US Senate.

Chard had been the main volunteer for the State of Jefferson movement in Oregon since he revived the movement in 2015. He gathered thousands of signatures at county fairs around southern and eastern Oregon. However, he decided to cease his efforts when he understood that California state legislators and judges had completely ignored California’s state of Jefferson movement, where more progress had been made. He said that without a path to success, the movement in Oregon is now at an impasse. No one has taken his place at the helm of the movement.

The most recent leader of Oregon’s State of Jefferson movement, Bob Chard, endorsed the Greater Idaho movement yesterday.

He said that it might have a better chance of success than movements that attempt to create a new state out of Oregon.  Both plans would require the approval of the Oregon Legislature, but only creating a new state would add two Republicans to the US Senate.  Chard agreed the Legislature is more likely to approve the Greater Idaho plan because it would not affect the US Senate.

Chard had been the main volunteer for the State of Jefferson movement in Oregon since he revived the movement in 2015. He gathered thousands of signatures at county fairs around southern and eastern Oregon. However, he decided to cease his efforts when he understood that California state legislators and judges had completely ignored California’s state of Jefferson movement, where more progress had been made.  He said that without a path to success, the movement in Oregon is now at an impasse.  No one has taken his place at the helm of the movement.

The State of Jefferson movements seek to create a new state out of the territory of California and/or Oregon.  The two primary leaders in California’s State of Jefferson movement (SOJ51) are Mark Baird and Terry Rapoza. 

The National Weather Service is confirming three funnel clouds in Western Oregon over the weekend. Officials say two of the funnel clouds were see over Hillsboro and one over Harrisburg on Saturday. Funnel clouds don’t touch the ground and don’t cause damage.

The National Weather Service says that if you do see a funnel cloud, take shelter in the event it touches the ground.

A 42-foot commercial fishing boat is destroyed following a fire Saturday morning off the Oregon Coast. The boat was about two miles west of Manzanita when it caught fire.

The one person on board was rescued from the water by another boater. The person wasn’t injured. The boat burned to the water line and the Coast Guard was maintaining a one-thousand foot perimeter around the remains of the boat.

The Oregon Humane Society has taken in more than 30 dogs from a suspected puppy mill in California.

In all, more than 150 dogs were living in cramped crates, filled with waste. Many of the dogs need medical attention. They are French bulldogs and other bulldog mix breeds. The Oregon Humane Society says it’ll be several months before the dogs are ready for adoption. They’ll go to foster homes to recover and learn how to be a pet. The dogs will be put up for adoption as they become ready.

An Albany man was sentenced Thursday to over 17 years in prison on charges related to a crime spree he committed on April 21, 2022, the Linn County Sheriff’s Office announced.

32-year-old Justin Allen Barr was convicted by a jury on 14 charges and sentenced to 206 months in prison.

The crime spree started at the Point S Tire and Auto in Millersburg where Barr broke the front glass door of the business and stole keys to vehicles that were waiting for service. Barr stole a 2008 Chrysler 300 and drove to the Tangent Inn Bar and Grill where he attempted to break the glass out of a door and window to gain entry. Barr was unable to enter the business and drove to the 7 Star Convenience Store in Halsey. Barr used a shopping cart to shatter the glass front door of the business and stole thousands of dollars’ worth of merchandise.

Barr then drove to the Eugene area where the Eugene Police Department attempted to conduct a traffic stop on him. Barr eluded the Eugene Police Department who terminated their pursuit.

A short time later, the Springfield Police Department located the vehicle and conducted a traffic stop in which Barr yielded. Barr was arrested by the Eugene Police Department for Attempt to Elude a police officer.

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