Klamath Basin News, Wednesday, 1/4/22 – Kingsley Field’s 173rd Fighter Wing Releases Statement Regarding Death of Steven Mainwaring

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The latest and most comprehensive coverage of local News, Sports, Business, and Community News stories in the Klamath Basin, Southern Oregon and around the state of Oregon from Wynne Broadcasting’s KFLS News/Talk 1450AM / 102.5FM and BasinLife.com, and powered by Mick Insuranceyour local health and Medicare agents.

Tuesday, January 3, 2023

Klamath Basin Weather

Today Snow likely throughout the day. Cloudy, with a steady temperature around 36. Very windy at times with a southeast wind 26 to 29 mph, with gusts as high as 44 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%. Total daytime snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible. Overnight rain is likely before 4am, then rain likely, possibly mixed with snow. Snow level 4800 feet. Cloudy, with a low around 35. Windy, with a south southeast wind 30 to 33 mph, with gusts as high as 50 mph. 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

Lake of the Woods   
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Hiway 97 at Chemult   
Hiway 140 at  Bly       
Hiway 97 at GreenSprings Dr.            
Hiway 97 at LaPine

Today’s Headlines

The 173rd Fighter Wing at Kingsley Field released a statement yesterday regarding the death of 22 year old Steven Mainwaring.

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The statement reads: “Our hearts are saddened at the tragic loss of one of our team members, Senior Airman Steven Mainwaring. Steven was a Klamath Falls native, 22 years old, that joined Team Kingsley in September of 2019 as an Intelligence Analyst in Operations as a DSG. As we mourn our loss, we remind our team that there are many resources available if you need to talk. A great starting point for resources is your Chief, Squadron Commander, or a visit to the Resiliency Operations Center where you have access to the Chaplain, Director of Psychological Health, Military and Family Readiness coordinator as well as many other support resources. DPH and MFLC are available by phone today and tomorrow, and on-base Thursday through Sunday.”

Mainwaring was missing for nearly two weeks and was the subject of a large scale search.  The search began in the Alsea area, but Mainwaring eventually was found with his vehicle a short distance away on Mary’s Peak, roughly 18 mies from Alsea.  He was an avid hiker and outdoorsman.

Oregon Tech’s Klamath Falls campus was closed yesterday, as school officials said all offices, events, and activities on campus were canceled after a major water supply line failed.

The university said repairs are being made and the supply line should be fully repaired by late Wedbesday. The campus should be back open with running water by January 4th.

The Director of Housing and Residence Life released a statement to students saying, water to the on-campus apartments was also cut off, and students living there can use the residence hall for their restroom and cooking needs.

Yesterday, Klamath Health Partnership (KHP) announced the appointment of Amanda Blodgett, MBA as their Chief Executive Officer.

After an extensive, nationwide search that began in September, Board Chair Edward Horvath, made the announcement to the staff and stakeholders of the organization.

Amanda steps into the role of CEO, which Signe Porter recently retired from. Amanda has been with the organization since 2018, beginning as the Quality Officer and most recently as the Chief Operations Officer for the organization.

Her portfolio of work with the organization includes not only quality improvement, wellness, and prevention, but has also supported the growth of KHP and the expansion of services.

Klamath Health Partnership operates six clinic locations throughout Klamath County in addition to a mobile clinic that serves remote areas of the county and provides on-site services to a variety of patients. Among the six clinic locations, Klamath Health Partnership recently completed a renovation of a historic building on Pine Street, creating the Pine Street Open Door Clinic.

The newest clinic operates in the same location as the former Klamath Valley Hospital and Klamath County Public Health. Accessibility, affordability, cultural sensitivity, quality, and responsive services are at the forefront of the Klamath Health Partnership’s mission.

The Klamath Outdoor Science School (KOSS) Board of Directors recently announced the hiring of a new executive director to run the school.

Natalie DiNenno, of Ashland, recently took over the reins at KOSS from longtime Director Bill Hunt, who, at 65, is moving on to other somewhat more relaxing pursuits.

DiNenno recently received her master of science degree in Environmental Education from Southern Oregon University. She also holds a bachelors degree in Environmental Studies and Sociology from Williams College in Massachusetts. Having worked as a naturalist, camp counselor and administrator, DiNenno brings a wealth of knowledge, experience and energy to her new role at KOSS, according to a news release.

After growing up and attending college on the East Coast, DiNenno made her way to the Northwest to pursue graduate studies.

Because she is so passionate about providing immersive, place-based, experiential education for all students of all ages and backgrounds, the KOSS Board said in the press release that they are very happy to have DiNenno at the helm at Klamath Outdoor Science School.

DiNenno is already busy scheduling fifth- and sixth-grade classes for spring and fall outdoor school, all grades for day camps and is planning a wide range of summer programs, according to the press release.

SCAM CALLS – Be Careful says Verizon

Local authorities are reporting a sharp increase in scammer calls to Verizon customers.

The calls state your service is being suspended due to “changes in your account” and to find out more, you can speak to a representative by pressing 1. This connects you to an apparent call center where personal information is “phished” for.

From there, the caller states that you must pay a reconnection fee and additional charges to continue phone service. Customers Of Verizon are urged to contact the company if you are receiving calls claiming to be from them that do not accurately display the company name on the telephone and urge anyone to never give out personal information unless you’re certain it is Verizon.

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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


High winds are forecasted through Thursday evening along the coast and into southern Oregon, which could cause scattered power outages.

A forecasted weather system could produce strong winds from northern California into southern Oregon today through Thursday evening. High winds and already saturated soil could increase the potential for power outages over the next 24 hours.

Pacific Power’s meteorology team is closely monitoring the forecasted storm and field personnel are prepping to respond to wind-related service interruptions. Forecasts indicate the storm will exit the area by Thursday evening.

To ensure that you are prepared for outages, we ask that every home maintain an emergency outage kit that includes the following:

  • Flashlight
  • Battery-operated radio and clock
  • Extra batteries
  • Non-perishable foods 
  • Manual can opener
  • Bottled water
  • Blankets

If a power outage occurs, Pacific Power encourages customers to first check their fuses and circuit breakers. If the power failure is not caused inside the home or business, customers should report the outage to Pacific Power at 1-877-508-5088 or by texting OUT to 722797.

Get the app. The Pacific Power app for mobile devices can become invaluable during an outage. You can report and track an outage affecting you from your mobile device. The app is free and can be downloaded on the App Store or Google Play.

Pacific Power suggests these safety precautions once a storm has hit:

  • Stay away from all downed power lines and utility lines. Even if the lines are not sparking, they could be energized and extremely dangerous. Call 911 immediately, then report it to Pacific Power at 1-877-508-5088. 
  • Extensive rain may cause flooding or landslides. Be especially careful of any standing water or even soggy ground. A live, downed wire may seem to be a safe distance away, but it is still extremely dangerous due to wet conditions.
  • Don’t drive over downed power lines. 

Fatal Traffic Accident After Police Pursuit in Jacksonville

On Sunday at approximately 3:34 p.m. Emergency Communications of Southern Oregon received information regarding a reckless vehicle in the 4600 block of Highway 238. A Jacksonville Police Officer in the area located the involved vehicle and initiated a traffic stop. 

The vehicle failed to yield and continued onto S. Stage Rd. towards Medford. As the vehicle eluded, it was reported to be driving all over the roadway with excessive speed.

A short time later the driver failed to negotiate a turn on Sunset Dr. The vehicle left the roadway and struck multiple trees. The driver had to be extricated by emergency personnel and was pronounced deceased at the scene. 

The Serious Traffic Accident Reconstruction (STAR) Team responded to the scene to assume the investigation. The Medford Police Department is now the lead investigating agency. It is possible alcohol was a contributing factor based on officers’ initial observations; however, the toxicology report is pending. 

The driver was identified as 26-year-old Jared Nathanial Combs. Next of kin have been notified. The investigation is ongoing and once complete, will be forwarded to the Jackson County District Attorney’s Office for review.  

Oregon Rent Bill To Have Biggest Impact Yet In 2023 Due To Inflation

An Oregon Senate bill that passed in 2019 focusing on rent increases could have an impact in 2023. For people on fixed incomes, it could be particularly difficult.

Oregon Senate Bill 608, also known as the “No Cause Eviction Protection and Rent Cap” bill, states landlords can increase rent by 7% plus inflation. Because of how bad inflation has been, it could add up to a possible 14.6% increase.

The cap only applies to apartment complexes 15 years and older. Landlords of complexes newer than that can raise rent as much as they want.

“This is the year, 2023, that we’re seeing the higher rent cap because of the inflation,” Molly Heiss with NeighborImpact said. “Senate Bill 608 enacted a 7% plus the west coast consumer price index as the maximum cap rent increases across the state.”

In simpler terms, if you’re paying $1,000 a month for rent, you multiply that by 0.146, you could see a $146 increase to your monthly bill. 

Heiss says her biggest concern is for people on fixed income. “They make about $733, $788, maybe $812. Their ideal rent to not be overburdened is $252 per month,” Heiss said.

Heiss says if something doesn’t feel right when it comes your rent, reach out to Legal Aid Services of Oregon.

Experts Say Enjoy The Cheaper Gas While It Lasts

Oregonians are currently enjoying relatively cheap gas following several lengthy stretches of painfully high costs earlier this year. Prices will probably stay low for at least a few more weeks, but people hoping to see the trend continue through the rest of the new year are likely to be disappointed.


The pricing slowdown is mostly driven by reduced demand, according to AAA spokesman Matthew Conde, in keeping with a seasonal trend that typically makes January the cheapest time at the pump.

“We’ve seen the cold weather, we’ve seen inflation, we’ve seen some things that have kind of stymied day-to-day stuff,” he said. “Yes, the big travel still happened over the holiday. But the day-to-day stuff, people are sort of cinching their belts on.”

Unfortunately, that means the relief is temporary — the same seasonal trends also show that gas prices will likely rebound in the spring as drivers hit the road and fill up more often. At that point, relief would need to come from the supply side, and there’s no indication that it’s forthcoming.

“We haven’t really solved a lot of the supply side issues right now,” Conde said. “OPEC, of course, is still in the middle of large production cuts. Obviously Russian fuel not available anywhere, that’s affected the global market as well.”

Those same supply issues were behind a lot of the price spikes in 2022, starting with a large jump following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in the spring. There was some relief when the price of crude oil fell in the summer, but then another spike in gas prices arrived in the fall.

The price of crude oil is still nearly $80 per barrel, Conde said, and crude oil costs determine about 50-60% of the price of finished gasoline. There’s still a lot of uncertainty in the crude oil market, he added.

“Certainly in this situation where the spigot is largely turned off on Russian oil, everybody knows it, and so there is a degree of understanding,” he said. “But I wouldn’t say that that necessarily leads to stability.”

Oregon prices lower — For the moment, at least, Oregon gas prices are still trending downward. The state’s average price per gallon of regular gas was $3.75 as of Thursday, according to AAA’s price map, down from $4.42 per gallon a month ago.

Portland’s average is slightly higher at $3.87 per gallon, but that’s down from $4.52 per gallon a month ago. The national average is $3.16, down from $3.52 a month ago.

Those prices are likely to hold for the next thee or four weeks, and Conde said he thinks it’s possible that the national average could even dip below $3 per gallon and Oregon’s average could dip below $3.50 during that time period.

“But with that comes the potential right back during the heart of driving season to be looking at $4.50, maybe even $5,” he said, although he added that it’s too soon to know for sure what will happen.

One thing that’s unlikely to change no matter which way the prices trend this year: gas in Oregon is inevitably going to be more expensive than the national average. That’s mostly down to geography — the west coast’s gas has to be trucked farther — but there’s also a lingering pandemic impact.

“A lot of those tanker trucks sat idle, those workers weren’t needed. A lot of them went into e-commerce and other parts of the industry. And so there’s been a little bit of a hiring shortage,” Conde said. “Some of that has been remedied, but you’re still looking at a very strained market as far as the tanker trucks just getting places and making all these deliveries.”

Don’t miss your chance for health insurance with financial help for 2023

Jan. 15 is the last day of open enrollment for private health insurance in Oregon’s health insurance marketplace. Open enrollment is the only time when anyone who are not offered insurance from a job or a public program like the Oregon Health Plan or Medicare can enroll in health coverage through OregonHealthCare.gov, often with financial help.

Since open enrollment began on Nov. 1, 2022, more than 138,000 people have enrolled in health insurance for 2023. More than 80 percent of Oregonians who have applied for financial help have been found eligible. These savings reduce the monthly premium to have health insurance. Additional financial help, called cost-sharing reductions, are available for thousands of Oregonians on out-of-pocket costs on Silver-level plans.

“As the cost-of-living soars, health insurance remains consistently attainable for many thanks to the financial help through the Marketplace,” says Chiqui Flowers, director of the Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace. “Health insurance is essential to protect both your health and your financial future, making it one of the most valuable purchases you will make.”

Sorting through health insurance options can be confusing, but there are tools to make the process easier:

  • gov offers a quick and easy-to-use window-shopping tool (https://orhim.info/shop) where users can preview which plans and savings are available to them. The tool also allows users to see which plans cover their prescription drugs and are networked with their preferred primary care doctor or preferred hospitals.
  • new tool (https://orhim.info/ESItool) can help you figure out if job-based coverage is considered affordable.
  • Free local help can be found from health insurance experts around the state at gov/GetHelp.

Bottom line: we encourage all Oregonians who do not currently have health insurance available to start at OregonHealthCare.gov. There they can see if health insurance offered from a job is considered affordable, preview plans and savings, and find an expert to guide them through the process.

### The Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace, a part of state government, helps people get health insurance when they do not have job-based coverage, and do not qualify for the Oregon Health Plan or another program. The Marketplace is the state-level partner to HealthCare.gov. For more information, go to OregonHealthCare.gov.

Oregon Psilocybin Services begins accepting applications for licenses, worker permits

PORTLAND, Ore. – Oregon Psilocybin Services (OPS) has begun accepting applications for licenses for manufacturers, laboratories, service centers and facilitators.

OPS, located at the Oregon Health Authority’s Public Health Division, has posted information on how to apply for the license types on its website, Oregon.gov/psilocybin. OPS began accepting applications Jan. 2.

Under the Oregon Psilocybin Services Act, or ORS 475A, a client 21 and older may access psilocybin services and will be required to complete a preparation session with a licensed facilitator before participating in an administration session. The client will only access psilocybin at a licensed service center during an administration session. Integration sessions will be made available after administration sessions to further support clients.

Psilocybin products must be cultivated or processed by licensed manufacturers and tested by licensed, accredited testing laboratories before being sold to licensed service centers. Service centers are the only licensee authorized to sell psilocybin products to clients and only for consumption at the licensed service center during administration sessions.

It will take some time for these four license types to become licensed and set up operations. Licensees will determine the cost of their services and the scheduling of clients once they are licensed and open for business.

For the latest updates, subscribe to the Oregon psilocybin Services distribution list at: oregon.gov/psilocybin 

Ashland Hills Hotel & Suites to Host Brine, Brew & Barrel

Oregon fermentation festival to celebrate everything from pickles and krauts to cider, cheese and beer on January 13-15, 2023

Neuman Hotel Group has announced it will host the Brine, Brew & Barrel fermentation festival at the Ashland Hills Hotel & Suites from January 13-15, 2023.

The festival celebrates the multi-cultural culinary tradition of fermented products including pickles, krauts, kombucha, beer, wine, cider, mead, chocolate, cheese, coffee, sourdough, and everything in between. The event marks the return of this popular festival, which hasn’t taken place in-person since January 2020, due to the global pandemic. 

Brine, Brew & Barrel offers an epic culinary journey around different fermentation styles and techniques, with plenty of opportunity to explore new and familiar flavors. Visitors will enjoy an all-day vendors exposition, workshops and demonstrations, activities for the whole family, and other fermentation focused events. 

“We are thrilled to be hosting Brine, Brew & Barrel in-person in 2023, which will bring festival goers, foodies and families together to explore all of the culinary delights that fermentation has to offer,” said Karolina Lavagnino, spokesperson for Neuman Hotel Group and festival coordinator. “We’re looking forward to hosting the beer and kombucha breweries, cideries, cheesemakers, hot sauce producers, bakers, chefs and other artisans to Ashland for a fun weekend of demos, workshops, tastings and other festivities.”

Brine, Brew & Barrel festivities will kick off Friday night, January 13, at the historic Ashland Springs Hotel with BrewBash, a 3-course dinner showcasing Rogue Ales beautifully paired with a special menu crafted by Larks Home Kitchen Executive Chef, Franco Console. 

On Saturday, the main festival held at Ashland Hills Hotel & Suites will offer a vendor tasting event as well as hands-on workshops, demos and talks with fermentation experts including Alex Lewin and Kirsten Shockey. Fermentation festivities will end with a Hot Sauce and Bloody Mary Brunch on Sunday, January 15. 

Expo passes are available for $20 for Saturday, January 14. Children 12 and under attend for free. For tickets and more information, visit http://www.oregonfermentationfest.com/tickets/ 

Visitors have the option of booking two different accommodation packages available at Ashland Hills Hotel & Suites (festival venue): the Overnight Festival Package or the Ultimate Brine, Brew & Barrel Package. Starting rate for hotel packages varies on the reservation date and room type availability. Additional details can be found online at: http://www.oregonfermentationfest.com/package/ 

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