The latest and most comprehensive coverage of local News, Sports, Business, and Community News stories in the Klamath Basin, Southern Oregon and around the state of Oregon from Wynne Broadcasting’s KFLS News/Talk 1450AM / 102.5FM and BasinLife.com, and powered by Mick Insurance, your local health and Medicare agents.
Tuesday, January 3, 2023
Klamath Basin Weather
This Afternoon A 20% chance of snow. Mostly cloudy, with a steady temperature around 33. South wind around 5 mph. Tonight a slight chance of snow before 10pm, then a slight chance of snow after 4am. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 27. East southeast wind 6 to 8 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%.
Wednesday Snow likely before 4pm, then rain and snow likely. Cloudy, with a high near 39. Breezy, with a southeast wind 20 to 28 mph, with gusts as high as 41 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible. Tonight, rain mixed with snow likely before 10pm, then rain likely between 10pm and 4am, then a chance of rain and snow after 4am. Snow level 4800 feet. Chance of precipitation is 70%. Little or no snow accumulation expected.
Thursday A chance of rain and snow before 7am, then rain likely. Snow level 4400 feet rising to 5300 feet in the afternoon. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 43. Chance of precipitation is 60%. Little or no snow accumulation expected.. Overnight a chance of rain and snow, snow level at 4900 ft, low around 31. Little or no snow accumulation expected.
Friday A slight chance of snow before 10am, then a slight chance of rain. Snow level 4600 feet. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 42. Chance of precipitation is 20%. Overnight low of 32.
Saturday A chance of snow before 10am, then a chance of rain. Snow level 4800 feet. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 42. Rain mixed with snow before 10pm, then a chance of snow between 10pm and 4am, then a chance of rain and snow after 4am. Snow level 4700 feet, low around 30.
Sunday A chance of rain and snow. Snow level 4200 feet rising to 4900 feet in the afternoon. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 42.
See Road Camera Views:
We’re very sad to report that Benton County Sheriff’s Office confirms that Klamath Falls native and Oregon State University student, Steven Mainwaring, was found dead Sunday afternoon near Mary’s Peak, in the coastal range near Corvallis.
After two weeks of searching, deputies responded at 4:54 p.m. to a remote area of Mary’s Peak where volunteers searching reported to find Mainwaring’s Ford Bronco. When deputies arrived, they found Mainwaring’s body near the vehicle.
According to BCSO, there is no evidence of criminal activity or foul play.
Mainwaring last spoke to his family Friday, Dec. 16. He was reported missing Sunday, Dec. 18 and his last cellphone activity was pinged off a tower in the Alsea area. Mainwaring was an engineering student at Oregon State University while also serving as a senior airman first class in the Oregon Air National Guard 173rd Fighter Wing. He attended high school here in Klamath County.
His father, Gabe Mainwaring, posted a short message late Sunday, Jan. 1st:
“Thank you to everyone who searched for my son,” Gabe Mainwaring wrote. “Nothing can be put into words the grief that we feel as family.”
Locally it was a busy weekend for area law enforcement. Saturday, December 31st, at approximately 2:00PM Klamath County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to the 10400 block of Old Fort Rd north of Klamath Falls, on a reported assault with a victim of a gunshot wound having left the scene.
The first deputy arriving into the area tended to wounded victim and secured scene for Klamath County Fire District 1 ambulance to respond in and transport the victim to SkyLakes Medical Center. The victim sustained two gun shot wounds that were not life threatening and was later released from the hospital
Additional deputies responded to the residence on Old Fort Road where the incident took place. The responsible person, Loren Carrell Sr, age 38 of Klamath Falls, was contacted and taken into custody without further incident. Carrell Sr was known to be in possession of several firearms and had no prior convictions though there was an outstanding felony warrant on an unrelated case. I
In addition to Carrell Sr there were five children living in the house, ages 9, 6, 4, 2, and infant. DHS took custody of the children due to the deplorable conditions in the house. This case is being investigated by the Major Crime Team which includes representatives from Klamath Falls Police Department, Oregon State Police and the Klamath County District Attorney’s Office.
Carrell Sr is lodged at the Klamath County Jail on the felony warrant as well following initial charges related to this incident: Attempted-Murder II Assault I Unlawful Use of a Weapon Criminal Mistreatment I (x5) Child Neglect II (x5).
Also on Saturday, December 31, 2022 at approximately 10:00AM Klamath County Sheriff’s Office Special Response Team (SRT) attempted to serve a warrant on Joshua Eli Epps, age 39 of Klamath Falls.
Deputies responded to the 1800 block of Carlson Dr to take Epps into custody. Epps fled the scene in a motorhome while deputies pursued.
During the pursuit Epps struck four private vehicles as well as damaging a patrol vehicle. During the pursuit Epps discharged a firearm resulting in no injuries. One of the vehicle crashes caused by Epps resulted in injuries to the driver who was extricated and transported to SkyLakes Medical Center by Klamath County Fire District 1 ambulance.
Deputies successfully deployed spike strips to disable the motorhome and Epps came to a stop in the parking lot of the Best Western at South 6th Street and Washburn Way in Klamath Falls. Epps had several outstanding felony warrants in multiple jurisdictions.
Epps is lodged at the Klamath County Jail on the following initial charges: Felony Elude Escape I Escape II Reckless Driving Reckless Endangering x5 Felon in Possession of Firearm Menacing x2 Criminal Mischief I x5 Attempted Murder x5 Attempted Assault on Public Safety Officer x3
Beginning Sunday, Jan. 1, Crater Lake National Park transitioned to a fully cashless fee system and only accept mobile or electronic payments for entrance and permit fees.
Park officials said acceptable payment forms will include credit and debit cards as well payment apps on mobile devices. Passes for Crater Lake National Park can be purchased in advance at Recreation.gov. The America the Beautiful Pass, which is good at all national park sites and other federal land areas, is also available at the USGS Store.
Entrance fees collected at Crater Lake, Lava Beds National Monument, Oregon Caves National Monument and other National Park Service areas are, according to a statement from NPS regional officials, “an important source of revenue used to improve the visitor experience in national parks, including road and facility repairs and maintenance, trail improvements, installation of accessible exhibits, visitor and resource protection services, and more.”
According to a news release, “Moving to a cashless system allows parks to be better stewards of visitor dollars by reducing the amount of time park staff spend managing cash, increasing the amount of fee revenue available to support critical projects and visitor services, and improving accountability and reducing risk.”
All Klamath County libraries will be closed on Monday, January 16th in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
No materials will be due on a date that the libraries are closed. For more information, call us at 541-882-8894, or see our events calendar at klamathlibrary.org/library-events-calendar.
...More news from the Klamath County Library… After a couple years’ hiatus, the Creative Writers Group for adults is back. The revamped group will meet from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. the first and third Wednesdays of the month. The group is open to anyone who wants to improve their writing skills in a positive environment. No previous writing experience necessary.
The Klamath County Economic Development Association (KCEDA), will be hosting an economic summit at the Ross Ragland Theater on January 9th, going from 8:30AM to 11:30AM.
This event will have industry experts and state officials come together to present on various topics impacting the county economy. At the event, community members will get the chance to introduce questions and participate in discussion on area priorities. Admission to the event is $10, and gives attendees access to the program, Gathering Grounds coffee and other refreshments. For more information contact KCEDA at 541-882-9600.
Around the state of Oregon
Starting today new electricity rates are in effect for Oregon customers of PacifiCorp, commonly known as Pacific Power.
NewsWatch 12 in Medford reported Thursday the Oregon Public Utility Commission (PUC) said it had recently finalized rate increases for Pacific Power (PP) customers effective January 1, 2023. The PUC says the rate increase stems from an annual adjustment for power costs “which are markedly higher due to market volatility,” and a general rate case filing for non-energy related costs which include costs to mitigate wildfire risk.
The PUC says its decisions cause an average overall rate increase of 14.8% for PP customers so, “A typical residential customer using 900 kilowatt hours per month can expect monthly bills to increase from $91.89 to $111.34. The impact varies depending on actual energy usage for residential, commercial, and industrial customer types.”
Pacific Power files an annual transition adjustment mechanism (TAM) to update customer rates to reflect the company’s actual costs to produce and purchase electricity. Due to volatility in the energy markets and increased costs to produce and purchase energy, customer rates will increase by a larger amount than earlier estimated starting January 1, 2023. In October 2022, the PUC adopted a settlement between Pacific Power, customer advocate groups, and the PUC Staff for a power cost increase of approximately $66.43 million after taking advantage of tax credits that provide shared benefits with Oregon customers. That expected increase was based on Pacific Power’s preliminary power costs estimates. Pacific Power’s final November 15, 2022 power cost forecast, however, showed a 20.3 percent increase in power cost rates over the preliminary forecast.
74 Year Old Woman Charged In New Year’s Eve Shooting In Ruch
The female suspect in Saturday’s shooting was lodged in the Jackson County Jail Sunday night. The suspect, Cassie Lyn Ryker, 74, of Ruch, has been charged with attempted murder, first-degree assault, and unlawful use of a weapon.
This case is active and ongoing with detectives following additional leads. Further information will come from the Jackson County District Attorney’s office.
11 New Laws on the books begin Oregon for 2023
When the clock strikes midnight every New Year immediately there are brand new laws and revisions that go into effect. Below are 11 new Oregon laws that could affect your life.
1) Mandatory Overtime — Senate Bill 1513 won’t allow employers to penalize their tortilla plant workers or bakers if they refuse to work on short notice when overtime is required.
2) Paid Leave — Senate Bill 1515 modified the definition of, “benefit year” for paid family and medical leave insurance programs to begin providing coverage in September of 2023 with full 52-week consecutive weeks of coverage
3) Dental Care — Senate Bill 1538 was created for Oregon’s Health Plan Program which will provide dental care to low-income citizens of the island nations in the Compact of Free Association (Micronesia (FSM) and the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI)) who are residing in Oregon
4) Newborns — Senate Bill 1555 requires that a health benefits plan is available that will reimburse the full cost to providers that deliver in-home nurse visits, which are fully available to all families with an infant in Oregon
5) Noncitizens — Senate Bill 1560 requires the term “alien” no longer be used in official documents as of January 1st and should be replaced by “noncitizen” the wording will be updated by state agencies and the verbiage completely replaced in their rules by July 1st, 2023
6) Sexual Assault Kit — Senate Bill 1574 will now allow the state to include specific injury documentation, evidence collection, and forensic exam history in a sexual assault forensic evidence kit if requested by the victim
7) Settlements — Senate Bill 1586 dives deeper into Oregon’s Workplace Fairness Act so it is now unlawful for an employer to require former employees to enter into an agreement where they would not disclose information about discrimination or harassment
8) Fishing Licenses — House Bill 4072 lowers the cost of a one-day angling and shellfish license and requires certain steelhead anglers to get new validation and harvest cards
9) Restitution — House Bill 4075 will make it easier for crime victims, which will include small businesses that are burglarized and damaged in part by making sure the victims are paid in full before convicted criminals pay court fine fees
10) Traffic Citations — House Bill 4105 appoints “duly authorized traffic enforcement agencies” who aren’t police officers to review photograph evidence at red light cameras including speeding and issue citations
11) Voter Registration — House Bill 4133 makes registering and voting online in Oregon easier by using only the last four digits of their social security number including an image of their signature
Officer Involved Shooting- Linn County
On Monday, January 2, 2023, at approximately 11:45 A.M., Oregon State Troopers responded to assist the Linn County Sheriffs’ Department, who was in pursuit of a vehicle. The pursuit terminated within the City of Albany and Oregon State Troopers were involved in an Officer Involved Shooting.
The suspect was transported via ambulance to a local hospital. No law enforcement personnel were physically injured during the incident. The Albany Police Department will be conducting the investigation of the incident. Future releases of information will be made by the Albany Police Department and the Linn County District Attorney’s Office.
OHA launches Hospital Community Benefit Program, and patient protections
New report shows the collaboration with hospitals creates greater opportunity for financial assistance, consumer rights for people in Oregon
PORTLAND, Ore. – A new Oregon Health Authority (OHA) report highlights the implementation of House Bill 3076, a law the Oregon Legislature enacted in 2019 that requires a percentage of nonprofit hospital funds to be reinvested in communities.
Under HB 3076, OHA established minimum spending requirements for nonprofit hospitals and worked with them to develop policies that offer financial assistance to more patients, including those with income up to 400% of the federal poverty level. The new guidelines also give people in Oregon medical debt protections; under the law, hospitals are prohibited from referring patients to collections prior to screening them for financial assistance eligibility.
“We know medical debt is a major issue for many Oregonians,” said David Baden, chief financial officer at OHA. “New financial assistance policies are now in place that can really make a difference. OHA will continue to work on awareness and compliance to further the goal of greater health equity in our communities.”
To establish the new Hospital Community Benefit Program, OHA began a formal rulemaking process in September 2020. The agency did outreach in all Oregon counties to solicit member applications for the Rules Advisory Committee (RAC), which then established a method for assigning minimum community benefit spending. Throughout the process, OHA partnered with Oregon’s nonprofit hospitals, patient advocates and health care economists. In July 2022, OHA convened a community benefit summit to provide guidance to hospitals during the transition.
The report includes the following key findings:
- Hospital financial assistance policies are largely in alignment with new legal requirements. Hospitals have updated their policies with requirements for minimum levels of financial assistance. Most hospital policies pertaining to medical debt have also been updated to incorporate the added protections against referrals to collection and interest charges.
- Patients continue to experience challenges with accessing financial assistance. While trends related to medical debt and consumer impacts are improving, inequities remain and must be addressed. OHA will continue working to ensure patients are aware of their rights, with a focus on monitoring the compliance of medical debt requirements, ensuring eligible patients are screened for financial assistance, and recommending that applications and processes are simplified.
- All Oregon nonprofit hospitals have accepted their assigned minimum spending requirements for current fiscal years. As of December 2022, all participating hospitals have accepted their spending floors. Despite the program’s start during the COVID-19 pandemic, strong engagement with partners has allowed for a successful launch.
OHA will continue to work closely with hospitals to provide guidance about requirements under HB 3076. Data for the first year of implementation will be released after September 2023. Read the full report here.
Oregon Zoo Gets $2M In Federal Funding To Help Save California Condors
The Oregon Zoo has received $2 million from the federal government to further support the conservation of the California condor, a critically endangered species.
Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden helped secure the funds for the zoo’s Condor Restoration Resiliency Project, and other statewide community programs, through the $1.7 trillion bipartisan year-end spending package passed by the U.S. Senate in December.
“The funding, included in the year-end omnibus bill signed into federal that will ensure the zoo’s condor recovery efforts can continue uninterrupted,” the Oregon Zoo said.
Part of the funding will reportedly be put toward modernizing the zoo’s offsite Jonsson Center for Wildlife Conservation in rural Clackamas County. Oregon Zoo director Heidi Rahn said that the center, which is the second-largest condor breeding facility in the U.S., has been forced to evacuate its employees numerous times in recent years due to wildfires and power outages caused by winter storms.
“Thanks to Senator Merkley and Wyden’s support for this project, our center will be better equipped to withstand weather-related events, protecting condors and staff so that recovery efforts can continue,” Rahn said. “Each chick hatched at the center is a lifeline for the species.”
The California condor was included in the initial Endangered Species Act in 1973. By 1982, it was estimated that 22 of these birds still existed in the wild. In 1987, the last-remaining condors were captured and cared for by scientists in order to preserve the species.
In 2003, the Oregon Zoo partnered with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s condor recovery effort with the goal of “hatching and releasing as many condors as possible,” the zoo said. Since that time, the species’ population has rebounded to 500, with more than 300 condors existing in the wild.
In 2022, the zoo hatched a record 12 condor chicks . The zoo also released eight condors into the wild, including the three birds used for the Yurok Tribe’s historic reintroduction in Humboldt County, Calif.
The Oregon Zoo’s lead condor keeper Kelli Walker said in August of 2022, that the hatchlings spend at least eight months with their parents and another year in outdoor “pre-release pens” before they are released into the wilds of California and Arizona.
“Some of the chicks are still big fluffy balls of fury,” Walker said. “But they’ll be full-fledged condors before long. Once they’re flying on their own, they’ll practice in larger enclosures until they’re finally ready to soar into the wild.”