Klamath Basin News, Monday, 6/27 – Investigation Continues Into Head-On Fatal Collision on Highway 97 That Killed Two on Friday

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Monday, June 27, 2022

Klamath Basin Weather

Today Sunny, with a high near 95. South southwest wind 7 to 13 mph, with gusts as high as 21 mph. Overnight, clear with a low around 52. Light winds overnight to 10mph.

Tuesday Sunny, with a high near 83. Light west southwest wind becoming west 6 to 11 mph in the morning. Winds could gust as high as 20 mph. Low overnight of 48.
Wednesday Sunny, with a high near 84.
Thursday Sunny, with a high near 86.
Friday Sunny, with a high near 88.
Saturday Sunny, with a high near 84.
Sunday Mostly sunny, with a high near 79.

Today’s Headlines

Investigators are still searching for clues and information about a head on crash that killed two people Friday morning just north of Klamath Falls on Highway 97.

Oregon State Police said troopers responded to the Highway 97 accident near milepost 267 on June 24 at approximately 12:35 a.m. The Oregon highway was closed for five hours, according to police.

Nelson, who is from Bend, died in the crash, according to OSP. Martha Carriedo, 60 of Yuba City, (a passenger) also died in the crash.

Police said “both vehicles were destroyed by fire due to the crash” and investigators trying to reconstruct the incident.

Erika Delrio was transported to St. Charles Medical Center with critical injuries.

OSP said Magdalena  Delrio, 21 of Yuba City, CA and two young boys, ages 1 and 2, were transported to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. OSP was assisted by Klamath County Sheriff’s Office, Klamath County Fire District 1 and Oregon Department of Transportation.

Local non-profit Klamath Film received a $5,000 grant and a Martha Young Award from Cow Creek Umpqua Indian Foundation at Klamath Community College on Thursday.

The money will help to support Klamath Film’s annual Youth Film Fellowship, a five-day summer camp that will teach 20 local youth how to make films from script to screen.

“The grant funds that we are receiving from Cow Creek Umpqua Indian Foundation will be compiled with other grants and supporters to make our annual summer film camp for youth 100% free for the participants and their families,” said Kurt Liedtke, Klamath Film board chair who received the award on behalf of Klamath Film. Registration is still open on klamathfilm.org, with the camp taking place from July 11 to 15.

Registration will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis and is open to local area middle school and high school students who wish to attend the event at KCC.

After the camp, Liedtke said, students “will get about a month to go film their own film project. When we come back together at the end of August, we’ll do a public screening of all of the kids’ films at a local theater.” From there, he said, a panel of judges will choose a winning film which will win a cash prize and be screened at the Klamath Independent Film Festival.

A wildfire started late Saturday night above Lake Siskiyou, west of Mt. Shasta City and the fire has burned over 10 acres and is 20% contained, according to CAL FIRE Siskiyou Unit. The fire is roughly 90 miles from Klamath Falls.

There are no evacuations in place and forward rate of spread has been stopped, according to CAL FIRE. CAL FIRE is in Unified Command with the U.S. Forest Service and is referring to the fire as the “Ridge Incident.”

There are 11 fire engines, three hand crews, three water tenders and 10 overhead personnel on scene, according to Suzy Brady with CAL FIRE. Brady said there is a dozer line all the way around the fire. The fire is burning in heavy timber and access is challenging firefighters’ efforts to gain containment.

This is a developing story and Wynne Broadcasting will update as more information surfaces with the blaze.

Around the state of Oregon

The governors of Oregon, Washington and California on Friday issued a commitment to defend access to reproductive health care, including abortion and contraceptives, and committed to protecting patients and doctors against efforts by other states to enforce their abortion bans in our states.

The announcement comes in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s Friday decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, which has provided reproductive rights for nearly 50 years.

“The sweeping decision means that for patients in more than half the country, home to 33.6 million women, abortion care is illegal or inaccessible,” the governors said in a written statement.

“Let me be clear: You cannot ban abortion, you can only ban safe abortions — and this disgraceful Supreme Court decision will undoubtedly put many people’s lives at risk.” — Gov. Kate Brown.

“Abortion is health care, and no matter who you are or where you come from, Oregon doesn’t turn away anyone seeking health care. Period,” Oregon Gov. Kate Brown said. “Let me be clear: You cannot ban abortion, you can only ban safe abortions — and this disgraceful Supreme Court decision will undoubtedly put many people’s lives at risk, in addition to stripping away a constitutional right that disproportionately affects women and has been settled law for most of our lifetimes.”

Brown added, “For all the Americans today feeling scared, angry and disappointed — for everyone who needs an abortion and does not know where they can access safe reproductive health care —— please know you are not alone, and the fight is not over.”

Over the past several years, all three western states have taken action to expand access to reproductive health care in preparation for just such a decision, so little changes in Oregon, but the protesting is always on display in the state powered by liberal democrats.

Oregon led the nation by passing, at the time, the nation’s most comprehensive reproductive health legislation. Brown signed Oregon’s Reproductive Health Equity Act into law in 2017 — a first-of-its-kind bill that expanded access to reproductive health services for all Oregonians and codified the right to an abortion into state law.

Oregon also invested $15 million for community-based organizations to expand access to abortion across the state and to provide immediate support to patients, health care providers and community advocates, with a focus on rural communities, communities of color, and low-income communities to overcome barriers to access.

In a related story , on one of Portland’s hottest days of the year with 90-degree temperatures, almost 400 people marched on Southeast Portland roads Saturday protesting the Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and calling for action.

The abortion rights protesters initially gathered at Colonel Summers Park, where about 100 people stood under a tree to hear from speakers with the Portland branch of the Party for Socialism and Liberation, which organized the event.

The crowd included many young people, families, children and some who were alive when abortion became legal nationwide nearly 50 years ago. The march marks the second major abortion rights rally in Portland after Friday’s protest organized by Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon and the Democratic Socialists of America.

Organizers who spoke at the park called the moment a time for people to rise up and not allow longstanding institutions like the Supreme Court to determine their fate. Organizers emphasized the importance of continuing to fight for change, saying the true power is with the people not with those in power.

Pacific Power is preparing for summer’s heat 

PORTLAND– As temperatures approach triple digits across parts of the Pacific Northwest this upcoming weekend, Pacific Power is preparing to face higher demands on the grid from both record temperatures and increased customer need.  

“We’ve taken steps for grid hardening, in particular since last summer, to prevent overloading at the substation level,” said Erik Brookhouse, vice president of operations for Pacific Power. “We are confident about our network’s readiness for this summer.” 

Pacific Power takes steps each day to keep electric service reliable for its customers by monitoring which substations and circuits have the highest use, identifying any potential trouble spots and implementing solutions within a day.  

“Understanding the climate and customer needs help us provide reliable electricity during this season,” Brookhouse said. 

At the end of each summer, Pacific Power reviews how the electrical system performed, and last year identified 49 projects that were completed prior to the 2022 summer season. Examples of projects include: 

  • Increasing system and distribution capacity; 
  • Installing new equipment such as switches, voltage regulators and transformers; 
  • Balancing and reconfiguring the electrical pathways serving customers in specific areas. 

Engineers and power system operators keep a close eye on area weather forecasts as well. Electric systems are sensitive to temperature, so the conditions that impact the electric system the most come during consecutive days when 100-degree highs are coupled with nighttime temperatures that do not cool below 70 degrees. “Customers can also take steps to manage their energy use during the summer peak season,” said Brookhouse. “We have simple tips, programs and incentives for customers to increase their energy efficiency at home and in the workplace, particularly during the summer months.” 

Customers can also take steps to manage their energy use during the summer. To see a full list of energy-saving tips, visit the company’s website. Among the top energy-saving recommendations for summer are: 

  • Keep curtains and blinds closed during the day. 
  • Open windows during cooler evening hours. 
  • Operate the clothes dryer and dishwasher at night. 
  • If you have air conditioning, set it to maintain an interior temperature of 78 degrees, higher when you are away from home. 

More electric energy information is available on Pacific Power’s website at: www.pacificpower.net.  

About Pacific Power  

Pacific Power provides electric service to more than 770,000 customers in Oregon, Washington, and California. It is part of PacifiCorp, one of the lowest-cost electricity producers in the United States, providing 2 million customers with value for their energy dollar through safe, reliable electricity. For more information, visit www.pacificpower.net.  

Police say a Grants Pass man is dead from a shooting during an apparent domestic disturbance today.  They say a woman called police to say “she had shot someone.”

Grants Pass Police Department (GPPD) says 46-year-old Scott Allen Harris died from an apparent gunshot wound this morning.  GPPD says police found him around 6am today when responding to a report of a shot fired at the rear parking lot of a church along NE Savage Street.

GPPD says investigation by its detectives, “discovered the gunshot may have been the result of domestic violence. The involved female was questioned and released. The case has been referred to the Josephine County District Attorney for review.”

GPPD invites any information related to this investigation at 541-450-6260. 

On Saturday, June 25, 2022 at approximately 6:58 PM, Oregon State Police Troopers and emergency personnel responded to a single vehicle motorcycle crash on Hwy 20 near milepost 55, approximately 25 miles east of Sweet Home. 

Preliminary investigation revealed a westbound blue Harley Davidson Electra Glide, operated by Mark Nelson (57) of Lebanon, lost control and crashed into the westbound embankment. 

Nelson sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced deceased. OSP was assisted by Sweet Home Fire Department and ODOT. 

On Sunday, June 26, 2022 at approximately 9:23 PM, Oregon State Police Troopers and emergency personnel responded to a two-vehicle crash on Hwy 99E at SE Jennings Avenue in Milwaukie. 

Preliminary investigation revealed a northbound red Harley Davidson, operated by James Sheehan (57) of Portland, collided with a southbound silver Mazda MZ3, operated by David Norby (76) of Oregon City, that was turning left across traffic.  

Sheehan sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced deceased. Norby was uninjured.  OSP was assisted by Gladstone Police Department, Clackamas Fire Department, AMR and ODOT.

A federal civil rights lawsuit alleges two southern Oregon police officers used excessive force against a man who fled from a vehicle stop and was shot with a Taser while standing in a creek.

The lawsuit says two Eagle Point officers fired their stun guns at Jonathon J. Wolf on June 21, 2021, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported. The suit says that caused him to fall in the water and hit his head on a rock, knocking him unconscious.

Police initially had stopped a car in which Wolf was riding. Wolf ran as police tried to arrest him on a parole violation warrant. The suit alleges the officers should have known that Wolf’s position standing in a creek with a rocky bottom would lead to injury when a Taser was used.

Aaron Prunty, Eagle Point’s city administrator, said he hadn’t read the suit and couldn’t comment.

Attorney David J. Linthorst said that Wolf floated face down in the water for at least a minute before officers could get to him.

Wolf, 33, was hospitalized for a concussion and lung damage, Linthorst said.

The suit, filed this week in federal court in Medford, seeks unspecified damages for Wolf’s injuries, medical costs and his pain and suffering.

Oregon is offering deer and elk leftovers this week – in person and online.

Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) is offering more than 7,500 leftover deer and elk hunting tags effective this past Friday.  Leftover tags go on sale online July 1st at 10 a.m.

New this year, starting July 2nd at 10 a.m. leftover tags can be purchased through a license agent in addition to the online sale.  ODFW says hunters who drew a controlled hunt tag also must wait until July 2nd at 10 a.m. to try to exchange it for a leftover tag.

ODFW says leftover tags are no longer available as an additional hunting tag, so hunters who purchased a controlled or general season deer or elk tag cannot purchase a leftover tag in the same hunt series unless they exchange their existing tags.

It says hunters who want to try to get one of the leftover tags (4,599 for 100 buck deer series, 2,648 for 200 elk series) through ODFW’s online licensing system must set up online accounts with username and password before the sale date.  

MyODFW.com has information about how to purchase a leftover tag. 

Tags can be purchased via ODFW’s online licensing system at https://odfw.huntfishoregon.com/login.

This weekend’s hot weather is a welcomed shift for us humans, but our pets may not be as excited for summer.  

There are many hazards to consider, pavement can burn paws, especially later in the day, and a hot car can be deadly. A car can heat up really quickly. Even if it feels comfortable outside, even low to mid-70s, the inside of a car can quickly get over 100 degrees. That’s even with the window cracked a little bit. When in doubt, just leave your pet at home with a nice comfy bed and a chewy toy. Safest bet is to always just leave them home in the cool inside temperatures.

Signs your pet is struggling with the heat include excessive panting and lethargy.

Firefighters responded to two separate wildfires late Thursday afternoon in Douglas County, a day ahead of the official start of fire season.

At 4:51 p.m., units from the Douglas Forest Protective Association, Glendale Rural Fire Protection District and Azalea Rural Fire Protection District responded to a fire on Glendale Valley Road burning on about an acre.

Crews had stopped the forward spread of the fire by 5:48 p.m. Units remains on scene until 8 p.m. Minutes after the first fire, DFPA firefighters responded at 4:56 p.m. along with the Winston-Dillard Fire District, Douglas County Fire District No. 2 and Tenmile Rural Fire Protection District to an escaped debris fire on Hoover Hill Road in Winston.

The fire was contained by 6 p.m. and burned about a half acre.

Current public use restrictions are listed as Low. Industrial fire protection level is 1.

BEND, OR — For the first time since 2019, the High Desert Museum’s signature fundraiser, High Desert Rendezvous, will take place in person at the Museum on Saturday, August 27 from 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm.

This marks the 33rd year of the High Desert Rendezvous, making it one of the longest-running fundraisers in Central Oregon.

“Returning in person after two years makes this a very special High Desert Rendezvous,” said Museum Executive Director Dana Whitelaw, Ph.D. “We will gather together again, celebrate the Museum’s 40th anniversary and the accomplishments of the past year, and raise a glass to our generous community.”

In addition to dinner, a raffle and entertainment, Rendezvous is also a chance to bid on art by traditional and contemporary artists in the juried exhibition and silent auction Art in the West, which opens at the Museum on Saturday, July 23. A gallery guide of the artwork in the exhibition will be available on the Museum’s website on July 18 at highdesertmuseum.org/aiw.

An individual ticket for Rendezvous is $150 for members and $200 for nonmembers, and for a couple the event costs $300 for members and $350 for nonmembers. Sponsorship tables are available for parties of eight or 10. A list of sponsor benefits including VIP perks and community recognition can be viewed at highdesertmuseum.org/hdr

The 2022 Rendezvous Honoree is Cameron Kerr. The wife of Museum founder Don Kerr and a self-described “lifetime volunteer,” she has been an active and stalwart supporter since the institution opened in 1982. Today, she is a Museum Trustee and Collections 

Committee Chair, and she can be seen regularly in the Museum’s collections department helping volunteers and supporting staff. 

“Cameron is a treasured friend of the Museum and a meaningful Honoree for our 40th year,” Whitelaw said. “She has supported the staff, volunteers and visitors since the very beginning and through four decades of growth.”

This year’s High Desert Rendezvous silent auction will take place online. It’s packed with luxurious items and one-of-a-kind experiences, from wine tastings in California to stays at your favorite Central Oregon resorts. Online bidding opens Friday, August 19 and ends on Monday, August 29. 

We are grateful to all the generous businesses and organizations that donate items and experiences to our silent auction. Those interested in donating items to be featured in the High Desert Rendezvous silent auction may contact Senior Donor Relations Manager Megan Kantrim at mkantrim@highdesertmuseum.org or call 541-382-4754 ext. 332. 

The High Desert Rendezvous helps support the Museum’s educational programs, ensuring the Museum continues to be a place where people and the landscape thrive together.

The 33rd annual High Desert Rendezvous is presented by First Interstate Bank. 

Learn more about and register for the High Desert Rendezvous at highdesertmuseum.org/hdr

An Oregon man is suing his dentist for $6,600,000 in medical malpractice damages after he lost part of his tongue and suffered the effects of advanced cancer that was allegedly misidentified in 2013.

In his complaint to the court, Jude Torres said he was a regular patient of Dr. Charles Aoto at Southern Oregon Dental’s Central Point offices and pointed out some discoloration on his tongue at one of his regular appointments in 2013.

Aoto then reportedly biopsied the discolored part of the tongue at this appointment and sent it to the lab. Torres said Aoto told him the biopsy came back negative for cancer.

Between 2013 and 2020, the complaint alleges that Torres came back to Aoto for six-month checkups, but the discoloration on his tongue did not go away.

In August 2020, the discoloration erupted into an open sore, the complaint says, and Torres tried to make an appointment with Southern Oregon Dental, only to find that the Central Point location had closed. Torres then went to Open Door Family Dentistry in Medford, which immediately referred him to an oral surgeon that did a biopsy revealing Torres had an advanced squama cell carcinoma.

Torres was treated for his cancer at the Oregon Health and Sciences University, where he learned that in order to save his life, surgeons would need to remove the right half of his tongue and replace it with tissue harvested from his right forearm. 

PORTLAND, Ore.—A former Portland attorney pleaded guilty today to multiple felony charges after perpetrating a scheme to defraud her clients and use the proceeds to pay for personal expenses.

Lori E. Deveny, 56, pleaded guilty to mail, bank, and wire fraud; aggravated identity theft; money laundering; and filing a false tax return.

According to court documents, between April 2011 and May 2019, Deveny systematically stole funds she held in trust for her clients. The funds were derived from insurance proceeds due and payable to her clients. Deveny is accused of forging client signatures on settlement documents she sent to various insurance companies, making unauthorized transfers of funds to personal accounts and falsely telling clients that the insurance companies were to blame for delays in settling claims. Many of Deveny’s clients never received the insurance payout they were owed.

Deveny used the proceeds of her scheme to pay for personal credit card and loan payments, numerous big game hunting trips to Africa and the resulting taxidermy costs, other vacations, her husband’s photography business, home remodeling, expensive cigars and other expenses associated with a lavish lifestyle.

On May 7, 2019, a federal grand jury in Portland returned a 24-count indictment charging Deveny with mail, bank, and wire fraud; aggravated identity theft; money laundering; and filing a false tax return.

Deveny will be sentenced on November 23, 2022, before U.S. District Court Judge Michael W. Mosman. 

As part of her plea agreement, Deveny has also agreed to pay restitution in full to her victims as determined by the government and ordered by the court.

Mail and wire fraud are punishable by up to 20 years in prison and money laundering is punishable by up to 10 years. All three offenses carry maximum fines of $250,000 or twice the gross gains or losses resulting from the offense and three years’ supervised release. Bank fraud is punishable by up to 30 years in prison, a $1 million fine, and five years’ supervised release. Filing a false tax return is punishable by up to three years in prison, a $250,000 fine or twice the gross gains or losses resulting from the offense, and one year of supervised released. Aggravated identity theft is punishable by up to two years in prison running consecutive to any other carceral sentence imposed.

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