Klamath Basin News, Friday, 7/29 – Temperatures Soaring In The Klamath Basin to 104+ Today

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Friday, July 29, 2022

Klamath Basin Weather

Excessive heating warning thru Saturday, July 30th, 9PM.

Today Widespread haze and patchy smoke until noon. Sunny and hot, with a high near 105. Calm wind becoming west northwest around 6 mph in the afternoon. Partly cloudy, with a low around 67.
Saturday Sunny and hot, with a high near 106. Calm wind becoming south around 5 mph in the afternoon. Overnight a 20% chance of showers and thunderstorms before midnight. Partly cloudy, with a low around 66.
Sunday A 20% chance of showers and thunderstorms after noon. Mostly sunny and hot, with a high near 102. Overnight a chance of showers and a low around 61.
Monday A slight chance of showers after noon. Mostly sunny, with a high near 91. Mostly clear overnight with a low of 56.
Tuesday Sunny, with a high near 88.

Today’s Headlines

While the temperatures hit well over 102 in the Basin in some locations yesterday, and it was even worse in nearby Medford as temperatures there yesterday were near 110 degrees.

The National Weather Service office in Medford issued a statement yesterday, stating that there is a VERY HIGH RISK of heat related illnesses for EVERYONE the next two days, including healthy people.

The heat wave continues through Saturday, with Friday being the hottest day of the heatwave. Little to no relief is expected overnight as very warm overnight temperatures continue. Temperatures on Sunday will still be hot, but the risk of heat related illnesses will be less because of cooler overnight temperatures. More relief is in store next week as temperatures return to more seasonable values.

The scorching heat spell that’s hit Klamath County and the Pacific Northwest is now expected to last longer than forecasters had initially predicted, setting parts of the normally temperate region on course to break heat waves duration records.

The mercury hit 100 degrees Fahrenheit on Tuesday in Klamath Falls, just shy of the record: 102 set in 1928, according to the National Weather Service (NWS). Wednesday’s record was 103, set in 1939 and the temperature peaked at 100, again falling short of the record.

As temperatures hit a daily record 102 in Portland on Tuesday, the NWS extended the excessive heat warning for the region from Thursday through Saturday evening.

Klamath Falls broke an all time high record of 101 degrees set in 1928 yesterday and is expected to break more as the heatwave lingers. The duration of the heat wave puts Portland “in the running” for tying its longest streak of six consecutive days of 95 degrees or higher.

Some believe climate change is fueling longer heat waves in the Pacific Northwest, a region where weeklong heat spells were historically rare, according to climate experts, while others feel it is simply cyclical.

OSFM to pre-position firefighting resources in Klamath County ahead of elevated fire risk

SALEM, Ore. – The combination of hot weather and lightning in the forecast in Southern Oregon has prompted the Oregon Office of State Fire Marshal (OSFM) to pre-position a structural taskforce of firefighters and equipment in Klamath County over the coming weekend.

Bootleg Fire 2021

The taskforce from Lane County, made up of 14 firefighters, four engines, and a water tender, will arrive in Klamath County on Friday, July 29 and will be pre-positioned for 72 hours. The team may stay longer if needed. The taskforce will be on the ground to add additional firefighting capacity if a brush or wildfire breaks out.

“Pre-positioning resources provides additional capacity through the Oregon Fire Mutual Aid System (OFMAS) to areas of Oregon where fire activity could challenge local resources.” Oregon State Fire Marshal Mariana Ruiz-Temple said. “Rising to the challenge of wildfires is a statewide effort through our response system, truly Oregonians helping Oregonians when they need it.”

Pre-positioning resources is just one of the tools the OSFM has as part of its Response Ready Oregon initiative. Pre-positioning resources is a proactive way to strategically place firefighting resources to keep fires small and away from communities. These resources will bolster any initial fire attack or respond quickly to other emerging incidents in the state. These firefighters and equipment are not being assigned to a specific incident but will be an added resource to increase the state’s readiness if there is a fire.  

“This taskforce will give us much-needed capacity and give us the opportunity to keep any fire small. We appreciate the availability of resources through OSFM,” Keno Fire Chief John Ketchum said.

Currently, the OSFM is not mobilizing any of its Incident Management Teams (IMTs). The teams are ready to go if they are needed.

As this hot weather continues, the OSFM encourages all Oregonians to be aware of the dry conditions and take the necessary precautions to avoid sparking a human-caused fire.


The OSFM’s Response Ready Oregon initiative was created to help bolster capacity and modernize wildfire response within the Oregon Fire Mutual Aid System (OFMAS). The goal of Response Ready Oregon is to attack fires while they are small and keep them out of communities.

U.S. Air Force F-15C pilots from the 173rd Fighter Wing, Oregon Air National Guard, based here in Klamath Falls at Kingsley Field,  and the 144th Fighter Wing, California Air National Guard, spent a day preparing for an emergency ejection over water during water survival skills training at Cultus Lake in Central Oregon, July 16, 2022.

In the day-use campground overlooking the crystal-clear lake pilots donned dry suits, referred to as “poopy” suits, and prepared to practice releasing from a parachute while being dragged through the water, extracting themselves from under a water-logged chute, and entering and exiting a life raft.

The list of equipment is long: flight suits, helmets, life preservers, inflatable rafts, harnesses, survival kits, recovery devices, a parachute and anchor system, and the gear to simulate a parachute drag. Last but not least, someone had to coordinate a Jet Ski rental for said parachute drag.

This amount of preparation limits the number of events available for pilots to attend so the AFE shop extends the invitation to other F-15C units who may want to participate. This year two pilots from the 144th Fighter Wing in Fresno, Calif., joined them for the three-year certification.

This training will ensure all of the pilots in attendance are certified to fly and train over water for the next three years when AFE will plan another training at one of the lakes surrounding the Klamath Basin.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown declared a state of emergency earlier this week in 25 counties in the state, including Klamath,  due to the heat, ensuring additional resources are available to deal with the excessive temperatures.

Highs are expected near 104 degrees today in Klamath Falls, with overnight lows still around 70 or above through the weekend.

All branches of the Klamath County Library– the main branch downtown, South Suburban,  Bly, Merrill,Sprague River, Keno, Chiloquin, Gilchrist and Chemult. Hours vary, but they are open at 10am daily.

Also offering comfort from the heat are the Klamath Falls Gospel Mission, the Klamath Basin Senior center, and the Road to Wellness on East main.

The heat wave that the  southern Oregon region is experiencing has caused an increase in local emergency medical services. Attending to more people that don’t have access to cool spaces.

Ground Manager of Mercy Flights in Medford, Darren Healy, says a majority of patients they attend to are individuals who do not have access to a cooled area. As well as people who are choosing not to utilize city-provided facilities such as cooling shelters.

He says to protect yourself from the heat it’s smart to do things in the morning and the evening, really plan your day to try and stay out of the heat says Healy.

There are different levels of heat-related illness, such as heat rash, heat exhaustion, or heat stroke. With these illnesses, you should get the individual to a cooler environment, put them in loose or cool clothing, and have water available. He says when people don’t listen to their bodies that is when these types of illnesses kick in.

Medical experts stress to pay attention to your body and the people around you as the coming days are expected to be hotter.

Public museums operated by Klamath County are adjusting their hours this week due to unseasonably warm temperatures.

Hours at the Klamath County Museum will be 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. through Saturday, July 30.

The Baldwin Hotel Museum will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. through Saturday.
The Fort Klamath Museum will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. Fort Klamath is closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

All three county museums are listed on the National Register of Historic Places, but none of the museums are fully air conditioned.

For more information, contact the Klamath County Museum at 541-882-1000.

Klamath Community College will revive its Licensed Practical Nursing (LPN) program, starting in the fall term.

The program will effectively double the number of nursing program graduates produced each year by KCC, addressing staffing shortages and a community need for nursing candidates.

Previously offered as a fast-track licensure to begin seeking employment as a nurse, the LPN program was deactivated in 2015 per Board of Nursing mandate when KCC petitioned to launch a Registered Nurse (RN) program. Following an extensive process for approval involving the Board of Nursing and other regional nursing programs, KCC will train both an LPN and RN cohort each year. An additional cohort of students will be trained through the program in Lake County.

A Licensed Practical Nurse operates a supervised practice under an RN in a team effort, with the trend being that LPNs take care of stable patients, while RNs treat more severe or unstable patients.

While both cohorts go through a rigorous pre-requisite course load and scoring system prior to entry into the program, the LPN program is an accelerated health education needing only three terms (nine months) before being eligible for state licensure testing. In KCC’s RN program, the course load is two years. The salary difference between an LPN and RN is around $20,000 to $30,000.

Grant Niskanen, M.D., a long-time Family Practice physician in Klamath Falls, has been named the new Sky Lakes Chief Medical Officer, David Cauble, Sky Lakes President and Chief Executive Officer, announced yesterday.

Niskanen has served as the Sky Lakes Vice President of Medical Affairs since 2013 while also caring for patients at Sky Lakes Primary Care Clinic. As the organization’s Chief Medical Officer, he will have additional oversight responsibilities including Sky Lakes Cancer Treatment Center, Cascades East Family Practice, and other Sky Lakes departments, Cauble said. “His clinic practice will be transferred to other providers while he transitions to the newly created position.”

The role of Chief Medical Officer is new for Sky Lakes that builds on the successes of the Vice President of Medical Affairs and brings increased focus and attention to our quality and patient safety journey, care innovation, community health initiatives, and the support and development of our valued medical staff, Cauble said.

He earned his medical degree in 1992 from George Washington School of Medicine, Washington, D.C., completed an internal medicine internship at University of Washington, Seattle, in 1993, and returned to George Washington for his internal medicine residency, which he completed in 1994.

The downtown Klamath County Library’s annual Outdoor Street fair returns Wednesday, August 3rd at 10:30am! We’re blocking off South Third Street in front of the library for a spectacular festival.

Check out a demonstration from the Klamath Beekeepers Association, play in a bouncy house, get your face painted, get your picture taken with a Klamath Fire District fire truck, and much more! (Would your business or organization like to take part in the fun? Contact Katie Hart at khart@klamathlibrary.org or 541-882-8894 ext. 34 for more information on getting a Street Fair booth!)

After the fair winds down, join us for an outdoor picnic lunch on the grass outside the Klamath County Courthouse, provided by Integral Youth Services.

This event is for all ages, but those under 10 years old need to be accompanied by a parent or guardian, please. For more information, call the main library at 541-882-8894.

It’s been 34 years since the C’waam and Koptu were classified as endangered species by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Even with that designation, the culturally significant fish face extinction in the coming years due to the unsustainable conditions at Klamath Lake.

Last Saturday, citizens of the Klamath Tribes hosted the second day of Rally for the C’waam and Koptu, highlighting the importance of these endemic fish, also known as the Lost River suckerfish and shortnose suckerfish. The two-day festivities kicked off Friday with a community art build in Chiloquin and will resume at the Klamath Tribes Community Center at 11 a.m. in Chiloquin with a caravan rally to Klamath Falls. The caravan led to the Klamath headgates, where visitors will be treated to a guest speaker. The event concluded back at the community center, where an information session and community feed was held.

Event speakers included Aquatics Center Senior Biologist Alex Gonyaw, event co-organizer Charlie Wright and Tribal Chairman Clayton Dumont Jr.

CRATER LAKE, OREGON – With the continued fire danger in southern Oregon, Crater Lake National Park will go into a full fire ban.

The outlook is for above normal significant wildland fire potential for the next several months. To ensure public safety and to provide the highest degree of protection to park resources, the following fire ban will be implemented effective at 12:01 AM on Thursday July 28, 2022. 


  • Wood fires and charcoal fires are NOT allowed in Crater Lake National Park at this time.
  • Liquid fuel, propane camp stoves, and gas grills are permitted in campgrounds, picnic areas, backcountry areas and residential areas.


Smoking is permitted only in the following areas:

  • In vehicles, provided that an ashtray is used for ashes and butts.
  • While stopped in an area at least three (3) feet in diameter that is barren or free of all flammable materials. Ashes and butts must be disposed of safely and may not be discarded on the ground.


  • Fireworks are prohibited in the park at all times.

The purpose of these restrictions is to ensure the safety of Crater Lake park visitors and employees, and for the protection of the park’s natural and cultural resources. These restrictions are dependent upon fire activity and weather conditions and will remain in effect until conditions improve. These restrictions are implemented pursuant to the authority described in 36 Code of Federal Regulations 2.13(c), 2.21(a) and 2.38 (b). Our goal is voluntary compliance; however, persons who fail to comply with these restrictions may be cited or arrested. Thank you for your cooperation. -National Park System

The Lava Beds National Monument has issued fire restrictions.

Park officials said the restrictions were issued because Lava Beds is “enduring extreme drought conditions while experiencing high temperatures, low humidity and critically dry fuels. To reduce the possibility of accidental human-caused fire that could threaten visitors and employees” the restrictions have been implemented.

Until further notice, wood, charcoal fires, and smoking outdoors are prohibited. Gas, propane, alcohol, and tablet/cube stoves are permitted.

With the ongoing heat, Marc Blackburn, Lava Beds manager of visitor services, said people wanting to cool off should visit Skull Cave, the only publicly accessible cave that has ice on its bottom floor, making it “a nice place to be when it is hot outside.”

He said another lava tube only open during the summer months is Sentinel, an easy access, walk-through cave. He also noted almost all caves provide heat relief because, on average, temperatures inside the caves average 55 degrees.

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The wonderful Lava Bed Caves…

Beginning today,  the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Lakeview District, Fremont-Winema National Forest, Sheldon-Hart Mountain National Wildlife Refuge Complex, Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuge Complex, and all private, county, and state wildlands protected by the Klamath-Lake District, Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) will be raising the Fire Danger Level to EXTREME.   

With the progression of summer conditions and continuous drying of forest fuels, local fire danger levels have reached “EXTREME.” Fires starting in these conditions have the potential for rapid fire spread and significant damage.  

Additional fire prevention requirements have been placed on industrial forest operations. High-speed rotary saws and tracked felling/skidding equipment are required to shut down between 1 p.m. and 8 p.m. High-speed rotary saws are also REQUIRED to have an “operation area observer” visually inspecting the area worked in and additional fire equipment. These are in addition to the normal requirements listed in “A Guide to Legal Requirements for Prevention and Controlling Fires in Operations On and Near Forest Land in Oregon.”   

The “Fire season in effect” declaration on June 6 put regulations restricting debris burning and timber harvest operations. Wildland and structural fire protection agencies in Klamath and Lake counties have agreed to prohibit all outdoor debris burning. Forest operations that require a permit to operate power-driven machinery are required to have fire tools, on-site water supply, and watchman service on privately owned forest land. The release of sky lanterns is prohibited at any time of the year. The discharge of exploding targets and the discharge of tracer ammunition are not permitted during the duration of the fire season. 

Meantime, the Modoc National Forest will impose fire restrictions beginning at 12 a.m. on July 25th and continuing until November 30th. It is imperative that these precautions be taken in light of the increase in wildfires throughout the western United States. In accordance with this order, campfires will no longer be permitted in forest areas except in Designated Recreation Sites.

These  activities are prohibited:

Building, maintaining, attending, or using a fire, or campfire, anywhere other than in the  designated recreation sites….. Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or a building, within the Designated Recreation Sites, or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable material…… Welding or operating an acetylene or other torch with open flame…..and, operating an internal combustion engine, except on National Forest System roads or trails, or within the Designated Recreation Sites

As conditions continue to dry out and temperatures continue to be record-setting, the risk of wildfire continues to increase across southwestern Oregon. Any fires that may start have the potential to become serious in size and complexity in our state.

The Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest office is imposing a Stage 1 public use restriction on forestland until further notice.

Restrictions reduce the risk of human-caused fires by limiting where open flames may occur, and areas where smoking, welding, or operating internal combustion engines is permissible.

Additionally, the Industrial Fire Precaution Level (IFPL) will increase to Level 2 across the entirety of the RRSNF.

Visitors to the Forest are encouraged to continue to be hyper-vigilant with fire while in the woods. Forest officials remind recreationists to never abandon a campfire, always ensuring that an extinguished campfire is cool to the touch.

So far, in 2022, the RRSNF has responded to and extinguished 14 small human-caused fires, mostly attributed to abandoned campfires, with the total acreage 1.91 acres. Our partner agencies also respond to abandoned campfires regularly. Recognizing that there is a strong tradition of having a campfire while outdoors in the summer, the RRSNF would encourage people to consider alternative, safe ways of celebrating those traditions. For example, to roast marshmallows over a fire, consider instead using charcoal briquettes in approved, designated fire rings to reduce the risk of flying embers and making extinguishing your fire easier.

Ross Ragland Film Series presents Rigoletto on the Lake showing on Saturday, July 30th at 7:00 PM. This is a special showing of the Giuseppe Verdi worldwide spectacular Opera.   

Giuseppe Verdi’s masterwork – compelling, blood-curdling, and beautiful – is being performed for the first time on the breathtaking water stage of Lake Constance, Bregenz. One of Verdi’s most popular works, Rigoletto is an unforgettable tale of a sacrifice and revenge, of a father’s rage and a daughter’s shame. It features several of opera’s best-known arias-including Rigoletto’s passionate denouncement “Cortigiani, vil razza dannata,” Gilda’s dreamy “Caro Nome” and the duke’s instantly recognizable “La donna è mobile.” Rigoletto was first performed in 1851 and is the first of the extraordinary “middle-period” trio of Verdi masterpieces that also includes La Traviata and Il Trovatore.

General admission tickets are $5.

Visit the theater’s website at www.ragland.org to purchase tickets or learn more. The box office is open 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday or two hours before show time the day of any show.

Two more cattle kills by the Rogue Wolf Pack in the Fort Klamath area last week have been confirmed by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

According to a report issued Tuesday, July 26, the most recent incident occurred Saturday, July 23. That morning a livestock producer found a dead, approximately 825-pound yearling steer in a large private-land grass pasture. Portions of the hindquarters and intestines had been consumed with the remaining tissues intact. It is estimated the steer died approximately 36 to 48 hours before the investigation.

Investigators reported they found multiple pre-mortem tooth scrapes measuring up to three inches long and a quarter-inch wide on both hindquarters. Areas of pre-mortem hemorrhage and soft tissue trauma up to 1.5 inches deep were found on the neck/brisket and both hindquarters above the hock.

According to ODFW the injuries are “consistent with injuries on other cattle attacked by wolves” and the depredation is attributed to wolves of the Rogue Pack.

A day earlier, on July 22, a Fort Klamath ranch manager found a dead, 850-pound yearling steer in a large private-land grass pasture. An investigation indicated most of the rear half had been consumed although the front quarters and neck remained intact. It’s estimated the steer died about 36 hours before the investigation.

Around the state of Oregon

Gas prices are falling slightly with the national average is down 17 cents to $4.33 a gallon, Oregon’s average dropped 12 cents to $5.15 and Bend’s local average declined 13 cents to $5.22.

Crude oil prices remain volatile, due to the war in Ukraine, but if they hold steady, Marie Dodds, with AAA Oregon, says prices could fall back under $5 a gallon before the end of summer,

A big factor in those lower prices is demand. Dodds says a new survey shows recent high prices pushed many people to drive less, Demand edged up slightly last week, but she says it’s still well below typical summer numbers. 

The Oregon Health Authority is increasing distributing of air conditioning units as the heat wave continues this week.  The Oregon Legislature approved a program to allocate five-million dollars to buy air conditioners for high-risk Oregonians who are eligible to receive medical assistance from the state or federal government.  

Over the weekend, organizations working with the OHA distributed 500 air conditioners.  Another two-thousand units are on order.  OHA is partnering with more community organizations to increase distribution of the units.

Illegal Marijuana Task Force Raids Two Separate Properties, Seizes & Destroys 11k Plants, 1.3k lbs. Processed Black-Market Cannabis; Code Enforcement Fines Total $79k; Watermasters Issue Violations

Illegal Marijuana Enforcement Team (IMET) detectives and Jackson County Sheriff’s Office (JCSO) Patrol deputies served multiple search warrants this week on properties near Eagle Point, Ore. The warrants resulted in the seizure and destruction of 11,182 plants, and more than 1,300 lbs. of processed black-market cannabis. At this time there is no evidence suggesting the cases are connected. (IMET Cases 22-12207 & 22-12132)

IMET detectives served a search warrant this morning on the 2300 block of Brownsboro Highway in Eagle Point. Detectives seized and destroyed 6482 plants and approximately 1,300 lbs. of processed marijuana at the property. Detectives also seized 73.4 lbs. of processed cannabis for evidence. On site 11 subjects were contacted, interviewed, and released.

The primary suspects were identified, and charges are being filed with the Jackson County District Attorney’s office. Jackson County Code Enforcement fined the property owner a total of $36,000 for failing to obtain marijuana production approval, unapproved greenhouse structures, unpermitted outbuildings, unpermitted electrical, mechanical and plumbing installations, and solid waste. Oregon Water Resources Department District 13 Watermasters will issue a Notice of Violation (NOV) to the responsible parties for pumping water from a pond without a surface water right. Water violations of this kind are subject to both civil and criminal penalties.

IMET detectives served a search warrant July 22 at the 10500 block of East Antelope Road in Eagle Point. On site four subjects were contacted, interviewed, and released. Detectives seized and destroyed 4700 plants and found $2000 in cash related to illegal marijuana production. The primary suspects have been identified and charges are pending review by the DA’s office. Code Enforcement issued citations totaling $43,000 on the property for violations of a previous marijuana production approval, unapproved greenhouse structures, unpermitted outbuildings, unpermitted electrical, mechanical and plumbing installations, and solid waste. Watermasters issued an NOV for using a domestic well for a commercial crop without a ground water right.

While regulatory agencies investigate permitted cannabis operations, IMET is focusing on the black-market marijuana trade in the Rogue Valley. IMET is a multi-agency task force funded by a grant from the Oregon Criminal Justice Commission. The task force includes personnel from JCSO, Medford Police Department, Code Enforcement, and the DA’s office. 

Investigations are open and ongoing with detectives working additional leads. No further information is currently available for release.

OSP Southwest Region Drug Enforcement Team Makes Illegal Marijuana Bust-Josephine County

On Wednesday, July 27, 2022, the Oregon State Police’s Southwest Region Drug Enforcement Section team served an illegal marijuana search warrant in the 1600 block of Southside Rd. Grants Pass, Josephine County.  

As a result, 3,114 illegal marijuana plants contained in five large greenhouses were located, seized, and ultimately destroyed.  Three individuals were detained at the scene; one adult male and two juveniles, all of whom have permanent addresses in New York.  Also seized during the investigation was one semi-automatic firearm with no serial number.

Additionally, the property is subject to multiple code violations through Josephine County Code Enforcement for human waste, unpermitted structures (greenhouses), and dangerous excavation.  Josephine County will move forward with enforcement action against the property owner which could result in the property’s closure for one calendar year (illegal drug cultivation) and possible civil forfeiture.

The investigation is ongoing and no further information is available at this time. 

Meth/Heroin Arrest in Canyonville


On Tuesday, July 27th, at approximately 9:00 PM, detectives with the Douglas Interagency Narcotics Team (DINT), with assistance from the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, initiated a traffic stop on a vehicle in the 500 block of Stagecoach Road, in Canyonville, as part of an ongoing investigation.

Drug detection K-9 “Trapper” sniffed the exterior of the vehicle and gave an alert indicating the presence of narcotics inside.  Detectives searched the vehicle and found approximately 404 grams of suspected methamphetamine, and approximately 23 grams of suspected heroin.  

The driver of the vehicle, 51 year old Randall Slay, of Myrtle Creek, was arrested and lodged at the Douglas County Jail. Slay was charged with unlawful possession, delivery, and manufacture of methamphetamine, as well as unlawful possession and delivery of heroin.  Being a parolee, Slay was also charged with a Parole Violation.  

Endorsements Begin to Show Shape of Oregon Governor’s Race

Although election season is now in the political doldrums where campaigns go mostly dark until Labor Day, each of the three major candidates for Oregon governor made news this week.

Former state Sen. Betsy Johnson (D-Scappoose), who is now unaffiliated with any party, reported a $100,000 contribution from Sid DeBoer, founder and chairman of Lithia Motors.

GOP nominee Christine Drazan reported a $250,000 contribution from the Republican Governors Association, a further sign that national money thinks a Republican could win the governor’s race for the first time in 40 years. The RGA has now given Drazan a total of $569,000.

Former House Speaker Tina Kotek, the Democratic nominee, racked up endorsements from Everytown for Gun Safety, a Michael Bloomberg-funded group, and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.

The top candidates for governor continue to pile up stacks of cash in the race to the top of Oregon’s political pyramid. The trio has raised over $17.1 million since January 2021, on pace to blow past the 2018 record of $40 million when Democratic Gov. Kate Brown beat former Republican Rep. Knute Buehler of Bend.

The primaries are two months past and the general election more than three months away. The latest reports filed with the Oregon Secretary of State show a fluid financial situation. Kotek and Drazan are coming off a May primary that saw the pair emerge from a combined roster of 34 candidates lured by the first open governor’s race since 2010.

Measure 110 Oversight and Accountability Council has now approved BHRNs in 31 counties for drug treatment and recovery services

The Measure 110 Oversight and Accountability Council (OAC) approved two additional Behavioral Health Resource Networks (BHRNs) in Clatsop and Linn counties yesterday.

The OAC has now approved BHRNs in 31 out of 36 counties. The new approvals represent an investment of more than $13.4 million, bringing the total BHRN funding to approximately $151.2 million. To date, nearly $193.4 million has been allocated in support of Measure 110, including Access to Care (ATC) grant funding.

OHA has developed a statewide map visualization that shows the BHRNs that have been approved for funding (in orange), along with those that have been selected by the OAC (in blue) and are in negotiations for funding approval.

See OHA’s robust new dashboard showing the BHRN approval and funding progress to date. OHA will continue to provide frequent updates on the funding process.

Other M110 funds to be disbursed — A three-month extension was offered to ATC grantees through Sept. 30, 2022.

Twenty-eight of the original 66 recipients received first-round extensions for a total of $5,725,054.93. Fifty-four of the original 66 recipients requested second-round extensions; of those, 41 were found eligible for additional funds totaling $4,356,343.

The additional funds are in the process of being disbursed, bringing the total ATC funds to be disbursed to approximately $41.6million.  These funds will prevent a lapse of funding or interruption of service for grantees while the OAC continues to review and approve applications. 

ATC grantees comprise 70 substance use treatment programs that provide treatment, housing, vocational training and other life-changing support services. 

Read more about Measure 110

Background: In November 2020, Oregon voters passed Measure 110, the Drug Addiction Treatment and Recovery Act of 2020, which became effective Dec. 4, 2020, to better serve people actively using substances or diagnosed with a substance use disorder. In July 2021, the legislature passed SB 755, which amended the act and made it more feasible to implement.

People who provide drug treatment and recovery services and advocates for criminal justice reform wrote Measure 110 in response to the high rate of drug addiction and overdoses in Oregon, and the disproportionate impact of those outcomes on Oregon’s communities of color.

Their goal was to establish a more equitable and effective approach to substance use disorder. OHA is working with the OAC to develop a first-in-the-nation health-based approach to substance use and overdose prevention system, which is more helpful, caring and cost-effective than punishing and criminalizing people who need help.

Portland TV Camera Man Assualted While Filming Story

A TV cameraman for Portland’s NBC affiliate, KGW-TV, has been assaulted while filming a local news story on a cooling station set during this week’s Pacific Northwest heat wave, the station and police said.

KGW said in a story posted Tuesday that the photojournalist, who was not named, was wrapping up a Monday video shoot at Lents Park, where a non-profit was offering water and cooling supplies, and had his camera beside him. The man jumped over a picnic table, punched the cameraman and chased him to his news van.

The assailant then reached the van before the reporter could lock his door and opened the door, punching him again.

The incident was captured on camera by a second photojournalist from the station who called 911.

Suspect Joshua David Sears, 31, was found near the scene and arrested on charges of misdemeanor assault and harassment, according to court records. He was being held without bail due to similar assault arrests in March and May, according to court records and police.

The journalist suffered several cuts and a bruised eye. He was bandaged by paramedics on the scene but didn’t need to go to the hospital.

Chance to Win Gas For A Year + More When YOU Donate Blood to American Red Cross

American Red Cross sees Concerning Drop in Blood and Platelet Donations this SummerChance at gas for a year for those who come to give in August, plus $10 e-gift card

refuel promotion

Just as most cars need to be refueled constantly, so does the nation’s blood supply. The American Red Cross has faced a concerning drop in blood and platelet donations this summer. Donors are needed to make an appointment to give in August to help prevent a blood shortage.

The decline in donations has caused the Red Cross blood supply to shrink nearly 20% in recent weeks. The availability of blood products will continue to decline if donations do not increase. People should not wait until they hear there is a blood shortage to give. Type O negative blood donors and platelet donors are especially needed now. 

“This is a concerning trend that may soon make it tougher to keep blood products stocked on hospital shelves,” said Paul Sullivan, Red Cross senior vice president of donor services. “By choosing a time to give now, donors can help pump up the blood supply for those in immediate need of lifesaving care and those who rely on transfusions for treatment.”

Donors can schedule an appointment to donate using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, by visiting RedCrossBlood.org or by calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). 

Fuel up on us — As blood and platelet donations drop, gas prices have reached all-time highs in the U.S. As a thank-you, all who come to give Aug. 1-31 will be automatically entered for a chance to win gas for a year, a $6,000 value. There will be three lucky winners. Everyone who comes to give blood or platelets in August will also receive a $10 e-gift card to a merchant of choice.

Visit RedCrossBlood.org and put in your zip code to find a donation site near you. 

Click here for b-roll of people giving blood.

Blood drive safety – The Red Cross follows a high standard of safety and infection control. The Red Cross will continue to socially distance wherever possible at blood drives, donation centers and facilities. While donors are no longer required to wear a face mask, individuals may choose to continue to wear a mask for any reason. The Red Cross will also adhere to more stringent face mask requirements per state and/or local guidance, or at the request of blood drive sponsors. Donors are asked to schedule an appointment prior to arriving at a drive.  

Oregon and Washington still require face masks be worn at all blood drives and donation sites.

How to donate blood – Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enable the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device to make an appointment or for more information.

All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

Extreme drought and inflationary pressures are forcing US farmers in Western states to sell off their cattle herds in greater numbers, at levels not seen in over a decade.

Nearly 80% of the western region of the US is experiencing extreme drought conditions — and has been for nearly a year, according to the America Farm Bureau Federation. But the most recent week-long heatwave, impacting nearly 80 million people across the country, has brought things to a boiling point for farmers and ranchers.

Temperatures in Texas have remained around 100 degrees for weeks, depleting water and burning grass — both critical to feeding and maintaining cow herds. Some ranchers’ say their only option is to sell.

Last year, severe drought in the West forced 40% of farmers to sell off part of their herds, according to an AFBF survey. Now, inflationary costs for things like feed, fertilizer, and fuel are only making the situation worse. Many cows are headed to auction.

As a heat wave continues here in the northwestern United States, temperatures will push toward levels not experienced since all-time record highs were set in June 2021, and the heat will bring a slew of impacts to the region ranging from health concerns to wildfire potential, AccuWeather meteorologists warn.

A number of record highs were established Tuesday in western Washington. Seattle-Tacoma International Airport hit 94 degrees Fahrenheit, breaking the previous daily record of 92 that was set in 1972 and 2018. Farther south along Puget Sound in Washington, Olympia hit 97 F on Tuesday, which eclipsed the record of 96 from 1998

In central Washington, temperatures soared well past 100 degrees. A high of 111 F was recorded in Dallesport, a town near the Oregon border, which tied the previous record of 111 from 1998. In the city of Ellensburg, located about 90 miles east of Seattle, a high of 103 broke the previous daily record of 99 from 2018.

Earlier this month, some Oregon voters began receiving glossy mailers blaming Gov. Kate Brown and the “Democrat-controlled state Legislature” for “soaring gas prices” and the “out-of-control cost of living.”

A website with two short videos claiming policies passed by legislative Democrats led to increases in crime and inflation went live around the same time.

The mailers, the website and the ads were all paid for by the Coalition for Safe, Healthy and Prosperous Communities – but that coalition doesn’t exist in state campaign finance or business records.

The mysterious mail and online ads come after a national Republican group named the Oregon Legislature one of its top targets. Oregon remains a Democratic stronghold, but Republicans view this year as their best chance in more than a decade of taking control of a legislative chamber.

The organization is all but untraceable, though it shares a name with a newly-formed national nonprofit started by three prominent Republicans with ties to the oil and gas industry. Its failure to disclose its funding and spending could mean it’s violating the spirit, if not the letter, of state campaign finance laws.

Oregon State Police is part of the Columbia Gorge Safe Kids Coalition, which is part of the greater Safe Kids Oregon organization. They have developed a universal sign which aims to prevent drowning in natural water.

The sign, which is available for use throughout Oregon, warns visitors of places they should keep clear of when looking to cool off. The message reads, in both English and Spanish, “Dangerous Area – Do Not Swim”, and depicts a red circle backlash symbol over the icon of a swimmer. Betsy Hartner, the State Coordinator of Safe Kids Oregon, conducted research to ensure the sign adheres to national and international standards. 

The first of these signs was placed in cooperation with Oregon State Parks near the Deschutes River & White River Falls along the White River. The signs were posted within days of yet another near drowning near the falls, where thankfully a man was rescued and revived using CPR. “Although another tragedy was avoided, we are hoping these signs will make a difference and keep people from getting into these situations in the first place”, said Senior Trooper Holloran of the Oregon State Police. 

There are plenty of places to swim safely in Oregon, and there are life jacket loaner stations available throughout the state which can be found online on the Oregon State Marine Board’s Life Jacket Loaner Station Map: https://www.oregon.gov/osmb/boater-info/Pages/Life-Jacket-Loaner-Stations.aspx.

Life jackets are always recommended for children, teens, and adults while swimming in natural water and for all persons when boating. 

The summer heat is upon us, so please be mindful of designated swimming areas and never leave children unattended. Here’s to a safe summer on Oregon waterways!

The template for the sign is available for any organization or group that would like to warn the public of unsafe areas in natural water. To receive the template free of cost, email your request to safekidscg@gmail.com.

The Columbia Gorge Safe Kids Coalition is made up of multiple partners such as the Oregon State Police, the Washington State Police, the Oregon Department of Human Service, Next Door Inc., Wasco/Sherman Public Health Department, Providence Hood River, Good Shepard Hermiston, and Mid-Columbia Medical Center, to name a few. To find out more about Safe Kids Oregon, visit http://www.safekidsoregon.org/

Roseburg Daycare Owner Pleads Guilty to Stealing Government Funds

The owner of a Roseburg, Oregon in-home daycare facility pleaded guilty today in federal court for stealing federal childcare funds. Katie Jo Thompson, 31, pleaded guilty to one count of theft of government funds.

According to court documents, Thompson cared for her disabled child while also operating a licensed childcare business out of her Roseburg residence. Thompson applied for various federal benefit programs administered by the Special Security Administration (SSA) on her child’s behalf. In these applications, Thompson misrepresented her household income, prompting an SSA investigation.

The investigation revealed that Thompson had applied for and received federal Employment Related Day Care (ERDC) program funds administered by the Oregon Department of Human Services (Oregon DHS) to support her business. The ERDC program requires that childcare program operators maintain attendance logs for one year. When SSA investigators obtained these logs from Thompson, they showed that Thompson had misrepresented the number of children in her daycare facility resulting in ERDC payments for childcare not provided. Thompson further claimed children were present in the facility who had never attended.

Thompson also used individuals hired to care for daughter who were funded by Medicaid’s Personal Support Worker program to work in her daycare facility thereby allowing Thompson to forgo paying daycare employees herself.

Between January 2018 and December 2019, Thompson fraudulently received and converted to personal use more than $329,000 in federal assistance funds provided by SSA and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

On April 20, 2022, Thompson was charged by criminal information with one count of theft of government funds.

Thompson faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years’ supervised release. She will be sentenced on November 14, 2022, by U.S. District Court Judge Ann L. Aiken.

As part of her plea agreement, Thompson will pay restitution to the agencies she defrauded.

Crash on Interstate 5 that ended as a fatality — Douglas County

On July 26, 2022, at approximately 3:26 PM, Oregon State Police Troopers and emergency personnel responded to a single-vehicle crash on Interstate 5 near milepost 155. 

Preliminary investigation revealed a southbound silver Toyota 4-Runner, operated by Loyd Price (78) of Roseburg, left the roadway, struck a guardrail, traveled down an embankment, and rolled. The 4-Runner came to rest on the railroad tracks. 

Loyd Price was initially alert when medics arrived but suffered a medical event shortly after the crash and was pronounced deceased. His passenger, Deborah Price (73) of Roseburg suffered injuries and was transported to an area hospital. 

OSP was assisted by North Douglas Fire, Oregon Department of Transportation, Douglas County Medical Examiner’s Office, and South Lane County Fire.

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/aIWw50K5TgB

Screen shot of linked dashboard shows that cases, test positivity, hospitalizations and vaccinations have plateaued. Please visit healthoregon.org/coronavirus for more.

Extreme Heat | PublicAlerts.org

OHA releases biweekly COVID-19 reports

The COVID-19 Biweekly Data Report shows an increase in COVID-19-related hospitalizations and a slight decrease in deaths.

Oregon Health Authority (OHA) reported 18,598 new cases of COVID-19 from July 10 to July 23, a 13.3% decline from the previous biweekly total of 21,452. 

During the two-week period of July 10 to July 23, test positivity was 13.8%, down from 15.1% in the previous two-week period.

Today’s COVID-19 Biweekly Outbreak Report shows 223 active outbreaks in care facilities, senior living communities and congregate care living settings with three or more confirmed COVID-19 cases or one or more COVID-19-related deaths.

Changes coming to outbreak reporting

Starting Aug. 10, OHA will stop reporting recent cases, active outbreaks and resolved outbreaks in workplaces, childcare settings and K-12 schools (tables 3-9) in the COVID-19 Biweekly Outbreak Report. OHA will continue to report active and resolved outbreaks in long-term care facilities, senior living communities and congregate living settings (tables 1-2).

These changes do not affect case and outbreak reporting to OHA. Monitoring outbreaks, especially in high-consequence settings, remains a priority for OHA. We will continue to work with local public health authorities to provide resources and support during outbreak responses, as appropriate.

We are making the changes for several reasons. One reason is to align resources and staffing with the current stage of the pandemic and other public health needs. The biweekly outbreak reporting process is not fully automated and requires many hours of careful review to ensure accurate reporting. In addition, universal case investigation and contract tracing ended earlier this year, and OHA advised local public health authorities to focus data collection and response on outbreaks in high-consequence settings, rather than in all settings.

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Oregon Employment Department Audit Finds Problems

On July 27, Secretary of State Shemia Fagan released a blistering audit of the Oregon Employment Department.

Auditors examined the agency’s much-criticized performance during the initial stage of the pandemic, when unemployment soared from record lows of 3.4% to 13.3% in less than two months.

Previous audits in 2012 and 2015 had identified serious problems at the agency, notably a failure to use $85 million in federal money appropriated in 2009 to modernize OED’s ancient computer system. As claims soared 600% from 2019 to 2020, countless Oregonians received benefits late. When the agency did pay claims during the pandemic, auditors found, it paid them more slowly to people of color and those with lower incomes. (One bright spot: The agency deserves a gold star, the audit found, for paying out a vastly lower percentage of bogus claims than neighboring states and the national average.)

The agency largely agreed with auditors’ findings. “The goal of a safety net is for it to be there when you need it,” Fagan said. “This audit helps explain why Oregon’s unemployment insurance program failed when it was needed most.”

Increased emergency SNAP benefits continue in August

  • Most Oregonians who receive SNAP benefits will continue to receive temporarily increased emergency food benefits in August
  • Approximately 430,000 SNAP households will receive approximately $69 million in extra food benefits in addition to their regular SNAP benefits
  • These emergency benefits are a temporary support that Oregon can provide because of the federal COVID-19 public health emergency
  • Find resources to meet your basic needs: Dial 2-1-1, or text your zip code to 898-211, www.211info.org 
  • Oregon Department of Human Services COVID-19 help center 

Most Oregonians who receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits will receive emergency allotments in August.

The federal government has approved emergency allotments every month since March 2020. This gives SNAP recipients additional support during the COVID-19 pandemic. These emergency benefits are a temporary support that Oregon can provide because of the federal COVID-19 public health emergency.

Because the federal government approved these emergency benefits for August, Oregon will also be able to issue them in September. However, the emergency benefits are expected to end when the federal public health emergency ends.

In August, approximately 430,000 SNAP households will receive approximately $69 million in extra food benefits in addition to their regular SNAP benefits.

“We know that many rely on these additional emergency food benefits to get enough healthy food for themselves and their families,” said Claire Seguin, deputy director of the Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS), Self-Sufficiency Programs. “We also know that many Oregonians are still struggling to meet their basic needs and we encourage them to contact our partners at 211, the Oregon Food Bank and their local Community Action Agency for support during this difficult time.”

Current SNAP households will receive emergency allotments on Aug. 11. Emergency allotments will be issued Aug. 31 or Sept. 2 for households who did not receive benefits in the first monthly issuance.

SNAP recipients do not have to take any action to receive these supplemental benefits as they will be issued directly on their EBT cards. 

More information about emergency allotments is available at https://www.oregon.gov/dhs/ASSISTANCE/FOOD-BENEFITS/Pages/Emergency-Allotments.aspx.

Questions about your SNAP benefits should be directed to the ONE Customer Service Center at 1-800-699-9075.

If your household receives SNAP and your income or the number of people in your household has changed, it could impact your benefits. It is important to make sure ODHS has the most up-to-date information. 

You can report any changes to your income or household in many ways: 

  • Online at: ONE.Oregon.gov
  • By mail at: ONE Customer Service Center, PO Box 14015, Salem, OR 97309
  • By fax at: 503-378-5628
  • By phone at: 1-800-699-9075 or TTY 711

Resources to help meet basic needs

Administered by ODHS, SNAP is a federal program that provides food assistance to approximately 1 million eligible, low-income families and individuals in Oregon, including many older adults and people with disabilities. Oregonians in need can apply for benefits, including SNAP, child care, cash assistance and Medicaid. Learn more at https://www.oregon.gov/dhs/benefits/Pages/index.aspx . For local resources in your area, such as food or shelter, please call 2-1-1 or reach out to the state’s Aging and Disability Resource Connection (ADRC) at 1-855-ORE-ADRC or 1-855-673-2372.

Federal Law Enforcement Partners Encourage Community Reporting of All Hate Crimes

The U.S. Attorney’s Office and the FBI are asking victims of hate crimes to report them.  Calls to the Oregon Department of Justice Bias Response Hotline increased 53-percent from 2020 to 2021.

Kieran Ramsey, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Portland Field Office says violent acts motivated by hate have no place in the community.  They believe incidents of hate crimes are underreported and they need victims and witnesses of hate crimes to come forward.

Combatting hate crimes is a top priority of the U.S. Department of Justice and FBI. These crimes have a devastating impact on families and communities.

If you are concerned about your safety, please call 911 immediately.

If you or someone you know was the victim of or witnessed a hate-related crime or incident, please contact Oregon’s Bias Crime Hotline by calling 1-844-924-BIAS. Trauma-informed operators are available from 9am to 5pm Pacific time, Monday through Friday.

These crimes and incidents can also be reported to the FBI directly by calling 1-800-CALL-FBI or submitting a tip online at tips.fbi.gov.

Drivers in 25 Oregon counties will be allowed to pump their own gas — at least for a few days due to the heat. 

The Oregon Fire Marshal made the announcement Wednesday as a result of Gov. Kate Brown’s emergency declaration due to the heat wave hitting the state.

The authorization means drivers in 25 counties, including Central Oregon, can self-serve their gas until 11:59 p.m. Sunday, when the emergency order expires.

The main reason is so that gas station workers don’t have to spend all day in excessive temperatures.

The emergency declaration covers Columbia, Clackamas, Crook, Curry, Deschutes, Douglas, Gilliam, Grant, Hood River, Jackson, Jefferson, Josephine, Klamath, Marion, Morrow, Multnomah, Polk, Sherman, Umatilla, Union, Wallowa, Wasco, Washington, Wheeler and Yamhill counties. 

By law, Oregon drivers are prohibited from pumping their own gas except in rural areas and at nighttime on the coast. Motorcyclists and drivers of diesel vehicles are allowed to pump their own fuel anywhere in the state.

A similar suspension of the no self-serve rule happened during the COVID-19 pandemic and during the 2021 heat wave.

Meanwhile —– Gas prices fell for the sixth week in a row. The national average is down 17 cents to $4.33 a gallon, Oregon’s average dropped 12 cents to $5.15 and Bend’s local average declined 13 cents to $5.22.

Crude oil prices remain volatile, due to the war in Ukraine, but if they hold steady, Marie Dodds, with AAA Oregon, says prices could fall back under $5 a gallon before the end of summer.

A big factor in those lower prices is demand. Dodds says a new survey shows recent high prices pushed many people to drive less, Demand edged up slightly last week, but she says it’s still well below typical summer numbers.

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Women Missing Since May 1st 2022 between Medford, Grants Pass and Roseburg per Oregon State Police

MAKENNA KENDALL                                   5/3/2022
ERICA LEE  HUTCHINSON                          5/26/2022                          
MARIAH DANIELLE SHARP                          6/12/2022          
KAITLYN RAE NELSON                                  6/14/2022                 
BROOKLYN JOHNS                                     6/14/2022
DONNA LEPP                                               6/27/2022  
BARBARA  DELEPINE                                    7/4/2022                     
****KENDRA MARIE HANKS                              7/7/2022 FOUND MURDERED 7/21/2022
CORI BOSHANE MCCANN                             7/8/2022
RAVEN RILEY                                                7/13/2022
TAHUANA RILEY                                        7/13/2022

Women Missing Since May 1st 2022 in Lane County per Oregon State Police

BREISA RAQUEAL SIKEL                            5/3/2022
HANNAH MARIE RHOTEN                             5/17/2022
MARISSA ALEESA DAMBROSIO                  5/18/2022
LOUISA DAY AVA                                           5/28/2022             
AMY CHRISTINA SULLIVAN                          6/1/2022
NIKKI ELIZABETH  ZEREBNY                              6/6/2022
SHADOW STAR SEVIGNY                               6/17/2022
SHAUNA LEAH HOGAN                             6/17/2022
AIRIONNA CHEALSEY RHODES                    6/27/2022           
KARISSA RENEE ADAMS                                7/6/2000
VERONICA ESSYNCE DELERIO                    7/6/2022
AUBRIE HANNA STEPHENS                           7/10/2022     
LARA IVEY STEINMETZ                                 7/11/2022
SARA LINDSAY SCHAEFER                            7/12/2022

As of today, 7/6/2022, there are now 37 women missing between Medford and Eugene. Sadly Kendra Hanks has been found murdered, though that takes her off the list. We send thoughts and prayers to her family as well as the families of all missing people in our area.

37 women missing in less than 3 months. That averages out to a little more than 12 missing per month. Something needs to be done.

This is just a small compilation of missing women’s pictures in the area. There are of course women missing all over Oregon and men and children missing. Sadly most of them never get any attention. Family and friends must keep any information going and lead investigations so that they aren’t just forgotten. https://www.oregon.gov/osp/missing/pages/missingpersons.aspx

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