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.
Monday, April 17, 2023
Klamath Basin Weather
Winter Weather Advisory in effect today from 11:00AM until 11PM.
Today Snow before 2pm, then rain showers between 2pm and 5pm, then rain, possibly mixed with snow showers after 5pm. Some thunder is also possible. Snow level rising to 4600 feet. High near 50. Breezy, with a southwest wind 18 to 22 mph, with gusts as high as 33 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. Total daytime snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible. Tonight, snow showers likely before 8pm, then snow likely at times overnight with a low around 26. West southwest winds 16 to 21 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New snow accumulation of less than one inch possible.
See Road Camera Views around the Basin:
Lake of the Woods
Hiway 97 at Chemult
Hiway 140 at Bly
Hiway 97 at GreenSprings Dr.
Hiway 97 at LaPine
The deadline to file state and federal personal income tax returns is tomorrow, Tuesday, April 18th, with more than 1 million Oregon taxpayers still expected to file.
More than 1.1 million Oregonians have already filed their state personal income tax returns. The department is expecting over 2.2 million total returns this year. Of those 1.1 million taxpayers, more than 820,000 have received refunds, with other refunds still pending.
A Where’s My Refund? tool is available on Revenue’s website for personal income tax filers now.
The department offers the following information for taxpayers who still need to file their state return.
E-filing is the fastest way for taxpayers to get their tax refund. On average, taxpayers who e-file their returns and request their refund via direct deposit receive their refund sooner than those who file paper returns and request paper refund checks. Taxpayers should file just once. Sending a paper return through the mail after e-filing will a delay a refund.
Oregon personal income tax return filers with an adjusted gross income of $73,000 or less may qualify to file both their state and federal taxes electronically for free. There are four approved tax preparation software products that partner with Oregon to offer free electronic filing.
Each vendor has different free filing criteria, so filers should do their research and choose the best vendor to fit their needs. Read about the free options listed to see if you are eligible.
Taxpayers that don’t meet the income requirements for guided preparation can file for free using Oregon Free Fillable Forms. Free Fillable Forms performs basic calculations and are ideal for taxpayers who don’t need help preparing their returns and want the convenience of filing electronically. A detailed series of steps for using free fillable forms are available on the agency’s electronic filing page. The IRS offers a similar option for filing federal taxes electronically.
The Oregon Department of Revenue reports that about half of Oregonians have filed their state income taxes. They expect around two-point-two million people to file returns this year. Of the one-point-one million people who have filed so far, over 820-thousand have received refunds. The Oregon Department of Revenue website has a “Where’s My Refund” tool. Both federal and state income tax returns need to be filed by April 18th, because in Washington D.C. April 17th is the Emancipation Day holiday.
The Bureau of Reclamation recently announced the Klamath Project water allocations will total 285,000 acre-feet this season, nearly four times the amount allocated the past three years.
Reclamation Deputy Regional Director Jeff Payne made the announcement during the annual Klamath Water Users Association (KWUA) meeting Thursday, April 13.
“Reclamation announces $13 million for drought resilience ecosystem enhancement and groundwater monitoring in the Basin,” Payne said. “The project allocation includes 215,000 acre-feet from Upper Klamath Lake, 35,000 acre-feet from Gerber and 35,000 acre-feet from Clear Lake Reservoirs.”
The Drought Response Agency will received $9.85 million of those funds “for contractors who received a reduced water allocation.”
Payne acknowledged many of those in attendance had approached him with a number of questions and concerns. These outcomes led to the ongoing litigation against Reclamation that was filed by the Yurok Tribe, which has the potential to further limit water resources.
Members of the agricultural community have suffered greatly the past three years due to ongoing drought conditions. U.S. Rep. Doug LaMalfa (R-Calif.), who represents the first and largest congressional district of Northern California, was the featured guest speaker at the event. LaMalfa serves on numerous, relative committees from his seat in Congress, fulfilling the role as chairman of General Farm Commodities and Credit and as a committee member on the Water Resources and Environment subcommittee.
Those waters, the congressman said, is what is used for the annual flushing of Klamath River, a process that increases survival rates of endangered species of fish.
Klamath Project Drought Response Agency (DRA) Chair Marc Staunton spoke briefly during the meeting. Staunton expressed his surprise that the DRA was necessary at the meeting, given the “190% snowpack we have this year.” The chair also announced the DRA has submitted an application to the Bureau of Reclamation in pursuit of $9.8 million in grant funding for drought relief for irrigators.
In the closing statement, KWUA Vice President Jeff Boyd shared his gratitude for the work done by all the organizations working to improve water provisions in the Basin.
A local nurse charged with sex crimes involving a minor and other charges is scheduled to go before the court for two settlement hearings next week.
Tiffany Fregoso, 36, is a registered nurse in Klamath Falls who was initially arrested Oct. 8, 2022, for having an alleged sexual relationship with a 14-year-old. Fregoso was released on bail two days later but was placed back in custody after accruing new charges in February.
Court documents revealed that Fregoso was charged with two counts of furnishing alcohol to persons younger than 21 years of age as well as reckless endangerment. According to the arrest report, Fregoso had provided alcohol to teens at her home while hosting a party Feb. 17. Witnesses reported up to 50 minors in attendance.
One of the minors at Fregoso’s was in a drunk driving accident shortly after leaving the residence, and another minor was transported to the emergency room at Sky Lakes Medical Center for alcohol poisoning.
Fregoso was arrested for these charges Feb. 22. She was released on bail shortly after. On March 6, the state filed a motion to revoke Fregoso’s release agreement and forfeit her security deposit.
The court granted the motion to revoke release, and Fregoso was taken back into custody.
Also on March 6, Assistant Attorney General Jayme Kimberly, on behalf of the state, filed a new indictment against Fregoso, amending the nurse’s original sex crime charges. Fregoso’s initial charges in this case included two counts contributing to sexual delinquency of a minor; three counts sexual misconduct; two counts third-degree rape; and one count sodomy. Because the new charges filed stem from the same crimes as the initial charges, all charges had to be filed under a new case number.
Fregoso is still facing all charges received since last October; however, since all charges are now filed under a new case number, the revocation of her release agreement is no longer valid. For this reason, Fregoso was granted the opportunity to post bail and return to conditional release.
The busy Washburn Way is about to get a makeover. According to a press release, City work crews will begin work on the Washburn Way Asphalt Preservation Project beginning this evening, on Monday, April 17th.
Crews will be performing night and early morning work to repair and replace the asphalt in Washburn Way between the hours of 7 p.m. and noon of the following day, the press release states. The project will be active over the next several months on Washburn Way between South 6th Street and Laverne Avenue. For more information, call the City Development Services Department at 541-883-4950.
Members of the community are invited to an educational day at Oregon Tech to learn about native plant communities in the Klamath Basin and help beautify the Oregon Tech garden with trail clearing and planting of young oak trees April 22 at 10 a.m. at 3201 Campus Drive.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will also provide information about monarch butterfly stations on the Oregon Tech campus.
This event provides an opportunity to learn about native gardens, xeriscapes, the dangers of alien plants, and the benefits of native plants and pollinators. Activities will include clearing the trail system of weeds in the Native Garden. Snacks and tools will be provided.
Turkey hunting in the Klamath Basin is now open as of April 15th and runs for six weeks. Turkeys are not native to Oregon. They were introduced in 1961, and the first turkey hunting season was in 1987. A fall turkey hunting season begins mid-October for ten weeks.
Turkey hunting opportunities have expanded significantly in the last 20 years. Hunters can now find good turkey hunting beyond just southwest Oregon and into the northwest and northeast parts of the state as well.
Last year’s estimated spring harvest of 5,881 wild turkeys was the third highest on record, down 6 percent from the 2021 harvest of 6,277 birds. The decline was likely due to poor hatching conditions during the spring of 2022, as well as decreased effort due to snowy conditions during the 2022 spring opener. The winter and spring of 2022-23 brought deep snow to Oregon’s turkey country, and possibly some overwinter mortality.
The cold, wet conditions may delay breeding activity, particularly in higher elevations. The extra moisture will benefit habitat conditions and water storage in the long term. Hunters can still expect abundant wild turkey populations in 2023, but they may need to wait until their favorite higher elevation hunting spots are accessible.
In Klamath County, turkeys are mostly restricted to the Keno Unit. Winter conditions have caused limited access throughout much of the high elevation areas within the county. Many 2-track roads and trails will be too muddy to travel without causing extensive damage to the road. As a result, cooperators involved in the Pokegema Winter Range Road Closure have elected to delay opening those gates until April 7. Hunters should be reminded that travel is restricted to surfaced roads within Green Diamond property.
Turkeys were released last winter in the area south of Highway 66 as well as Johnson Prairie.
This area is predominantly either open-to-hunt private timberland (Green Diamond Resource Company), or Bureau of Land Management land. Areas to check for turkey activity are south of Highway 66 and west of the Klamath River Canyon to Copco Road. Turkeys can also be found north of Highway 66 around Johnson Prairie. Hunters who take a banded turkey are asked to please contact the local ODFW district office in Klamath Falls (541-883-5732).
Klamath Union High School’s Music Department is headed back on the road after a long COVID-19 hiatus.
Before the pandemic, Klamath Union students participating in either orchestra, band or choir would make yearly trips to locations such as Seattle and San Francisco to offer the students an opportunity to play in concert halls and perform with students from other schools. Alternating each year, KU’s orchestra would travel one year then the following year KU’s band would make a trip, followed by the choir.
This year marks not only the return of such trips, but is also the first time in more than 45 years that all of KU’s music groups will be traveling together.
Klamath Union’s Music Tour 2023 will go from Saturday, April 15 through Tuesday, April 18.
The students are slated to leave early Saturday morning to head for their first tour stop, Western Oregon University. While there, students will be performing in front of university students and faculty. The students will also receive instruction from university professors and take a tour of the campus to gain insight into available degrees and career opportunities that are pursuable after high school if they wish to continue in music.
Another venue the students are scheduled to perform at is Newport High School.
While many improvements have been made to The Ross Ragland Theater since its renovation in 1989, this year sets an entirely novel precedent.
There’s been a lot of buzz in the community lately about the increased level of security at The Ross Ragland Theater. It hasn’t gone unnoticed – patrons have been seeing some new things crop up at shows recently, such as more uniformed security staff, security cameras, and even metal detectors. It’s had patrons wondering what prompted this seemingly sudden and noticeable increase in security.
The Ross Ragland Theater and Cultural Center is constantly striving to improve the image the theater presents to the public. Facility upgrades, fresh coats of paint, fresh carpets, and landscaping – it all paints a picture of how the staff would like the theater to be perceived. The Ragland strives to be a portrait of professionalism, reception, and hospitality. Above all – the safety and security of the theater’s patrons, contributors, youth programs, and community is paramount.
The Ragland recently implemented new security measures that will help the theater ensure that they can continue to provide the community with the safest venue possible moving forward into an ever-changing future
The theater has installed a 24/7 facility-wide state-of-the-art video surveillance system (36 cameras inside and out in total) complete with color night vision and real-time alerts, new security gates, added uniformed security staff, new informed signage, and will even begin using walk through metal detectors very soon.
Around the state of Oregon
Malheur County, Oregon Officer Shot and Killed
On Saturday, April 15, 2023, at approximately 8:20pm, Nyssa Police Department Reserve Officer Joseph Johnson (43) was dispatched to a call of concern regarding a violent individual damaging property and threatening others near a residence in Nyssa.
In the process of responding, Officer Johnson learned the suspect (Rene Castro) had fled in a vehicle and began a pursuit through the city. When it appeared, the vehicle was stopping at the residence at the corner of Locust and 3rd Street N., Officer Johnson pulled off the road as well.
Immediately upon making the stop, an armed subject (believed to be Castro) began shooting at Officer Johnson. There was no time to return fire before Officer Johnson was fatally hit.
Castro fled the scene immediately. EMTs were on scene in record time, with the Malheur County Sheriff’s department right behind, but Officer Johnson was already deceased.
An Oregon State Trooper arrived soon after and assisted the Sheriff’s Deputy in setting up a perimeter and questioning possible witnesses. The Oregon State Police are heading the investigation, with help from the Malheur County Sheriff, Ontario Police, and pretty much every police agency from various departments in Idaho all the way to La Grande, including Federal authorities.
All available authorities continue to search for Rene Castro (36) of Nyssa. If anyone has any information about his possible location, please call Malheur County Dispatch at 541-473-5125.
UPDATE. RENE CASTRO LOCATED, CAPTURED AND IS IN CUSTODY AT OF THIS MONDAY MORNING
Press Release on behalf of Malheur County District Attorney: On-Duty Officer Killed- Malheur County
UPDATE: Investigators, with the use of law enforcement resources, located Rene Castro (36) at a residence in Ontario, Malheur County, Oregon. The Oregon State Police SWAT team, along with members of the FBI, Ontario Police Department, Malheur County Sheriff’s Office, and other agencies, surrounded a residence in Ontario at approximately 6:40 A.M. and began calling occupants from the home. At approximately 7:40 A.M., Rene Castro exited a structure and was taken into custody by OSP SWAT personnel. No one was injured during his arrest.
We want to thank the team of investigators who have been working tirelessly for the past 36 hours to locate and arrest Castro. While the arrest has been made, the investigators are still processing evidence and continuing their work. The next press release is anticipated to be at 6:30 P.M. (Mountain). At that time, we may be able to provide more information regarding the ongoing investigation.
A letter was released regarding the fatal shooting of Officer Joseph Johnson, by David Goldthorpe, Malheur County District Attorney
Our sincerest condolences go to the family, friends and co-workers of Nyssa Police Department Reserve Officer Joseph Johnson. Officer Johnson was shot and killed by a fleeing suspect last night. Our thoughts are with Nyssa Police Department and our entire law enforcement community as we have tragically lost another Officer who was selflessly volunteering his time serving his community.
Governor Kotek Orders Flags At Half-Staff After Officer Line Of Duty Fatality
Governor Kotek ordered flags at Oregon government buildings to be flown at half-staff in honor of Nyssa Police Officer Joseph Johnson who was killed while on duty on Saturday, April 15.
Johnson was shot to death while responding to a reported domestic call in Nyssa. He was a reserve police officer for the agency since 2018 and worked for the Snake River Correctional Institution.
“This is an absolute tragedy,” Kotek said in a statement Sunday, April 16. “I extend my sincere condolences to Officer Johnson’s family, friends and the public safety community who knew him well.” She said his “service and dedication to his community and our state will not be forgotten.”
Flags will remain at half-staff until sunset on Monday, April 17. The nonprofit Oregon Fallen Badge Foundation is accepting donations for Johnson’s wife and two children. Donations can be made by check or online with all funds going to the family, according to a foundation official.
Albany Man (45) Arrested for Murder of his Mother (67)
On Saturday, April 15, 2023, at about 9:23pm Albany Police Department received a 911 call from the 1500 block of Del Rio Ave SE, Albany, Linn County, OR. The 911 call was an open line and sounds of disturbance were heard. Officers responded to the area and located Michael Flitcroft (45) in the street near the residence. Flitcroft was detained by police without incident. Officers were alerted to the inside of the residence where they found Flitcroft’s mother, Suzanne Smith (67) deceased from apparent homicidal violence. Suzanne Smith and her husband, Stewart Smith, are long-time residents of Albany and lived at the residence alone with their pets.
Michael Flitcroft has been arrested on multiple charges related to this incident including Murder in the Second Degree. Michael Flitcroft was also arrested for assault in the fourth degree for injuring Stewart Smith. Albany Police are continuing their investigation with the assistance of the Linn County Sheriff Office, Linn County Medical Examiner Office, and Oregon State Police Forensic Services Division.
Albany Police Detectives are asking the public for information on Michael Flitcroft’s whereabouts from 4/13/23 to the date and time of this incident. Please contact the detective line at 541-917-7686.
The investigation is ongoing and no additional information will be released at this time.
Oregon Shakespeare Festival Facing Financial Crisis
Oregon Shakespeare Festival says if the festival doesn’t get $2.5 million by this summer, it says it may not finish the 2023 season.
In its announcement, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival asked its annual donors to move up their donations, underscoring a sense of urgency. It said it needed to raise $1.5 million by June for the 2023 season to continue. And it said it was canceling this year’s production of “It’s Christmas, Carol!” which it’s run for two years during the holiday season.
Details shared at an internal staff meeting Tuesday suggest the festival is also sorting out accounting issues that date back several years.
The plea comes amid a tumultuous period for the festival, which has contended with natural disasters, a global pandemic, leadership changes and a shifting theater audience.
The festival had just begun an 11-show season when the pandemic struck in March 2020. It had already spent half its $44 million budget preparing the stage production when it was forced to shut down. More than 800 performances were canceled, and it temporarily laid off 500 people. Seven months later, wildfire roared into the Rogue Valley, burning 2,500 homes and hundreds of businesses.
According to an Oregon Shakespeare Festival employee who attended, and who asked not to be named because they are not authorized to speak for the festival, the organization’s leaders said they need to correct more than 15,000 incorrect entries in its financial ledger, the result of antiquated systems that were not properly maintained. The leaders told employees they’re still trying to precisely determine cash flow numbers, bills owed and overall expenses of the organization. According to the employee, leaders also said the festival is leaving some bills unpaid to cover expenses.
The Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s financial problems could have big public relations and economic ramifications in southern Oregon, where it has been a major tourist draw. Of the 350,000 visitors who arrive in Ashland each year, more than a third had theater tickets, according to the city’s tourism bureau.
One prominent member of the business community speculated that more than half of Ashland small businesses wouldn’t survive without OSF. This coming Tuesday, Ashland Mayor Tonya Graham plans to sign a proclamation expressing support for OSF.
City Councilor Paula Hyatt said the city continues to hear from those who worry about OSF‘s future. “I have heard concerns especially those in the tourism industry whether it be restaurants or hotels, bed and breakfast,” she said. “That said, the city is working to and has been working to diverse its tourism base.”
Hyatt says the city does not currently have funds allocated for OSF in the upcoming budget, but that could change. Multiple businesses in the Ashland Plaza said they are very concerned about how OSF‘s future will affect them.
Festival officials hope an arts aid package now pending in the Oregon Legislature could provide a much-needed shot in the arm. OSF could get help from Oregon House Bill 2459 that’s being discussed in the legislature. If passed, it would receive $5 million in grant money.
House Bill 2459 would send some $51 million to arts organizations all over the state. The Oregon Shakespeare Festival would receive $5.1 million, the single largest slice. The bill was approved by the House Economic Development and Small Business Committee and is being considered by the Joint Ways and Means Committee. If the legislation is passed, it likely wouldn’t be distributed until late summer.
Oregon To Receive $4M To Tackle Climate Pollution
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has announced $3 million in grant funding to develop innovative strategies to cut climate pollution and build clean energy economies across Oregon. The Portland metro area was allotted $1 million.
Strategies – Section 60114 of the Inflation Reduction Act provides an investment of $5 billion to support efforts by states, municipalities, air pollution control agencies, and tribes to develop and implement strong, local greenhouse gas reduction strategies. This two-staged grant program provides funding of $250 million for noncompetitive planning grants, and $4.6 billion for competitive implementation grants.
The CPRG planning grants will support states, territories, Tribes, and air agencies, in the creation of comprehensive, innovative strategies for reducing pollution and ensuring that investments maximize benefits, especially for low-income and disadvantaged communities.
Clear message – “This funding sends a clear message that everyone deserves a seat at the table as we tackle the climate crisis,” EPA Region 10 Administrator Casey Sixkiller said. “This effort builds on an aggressive climate strategy already underway in Oregon, providing additional resources to the state to engage urban and rural communities, and develop climate solutions.”
The EPA announced the availability of the funds through the Climate Pollution Reduction Grants (CPRG) program earlier this month. Oregon submitted the state’s intent to participate in the new program on March 14. The state will use the funds to update its existing climate action plan .
“Prioritizing climate action is essential to conserving the natural beauty of our state,” Gov.Tina Kotek said. “Oregon’s environmental priorities require continued and urgent action – especially in the face of a worsening climate crisis, which disproportionately impacts communities of color and rural communities. Oregon thanks our federal partners for recognizing the growing need for resources to states to combat climate change and build climate resilience.”
“Climate chaos is wreaking havoc on our forests, our fishing, and our farming. We have to do all we can to combat it,” Oregon U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley said. “These funds will help communities in Oregon, both rural and urban, reduce the global warming gases driving that chaos.”
“These federal resources for Oregon represent the latest solid example of how the Inflation Reduction Act is supporting our state’s transition to a green economy – generating jobs and cleaner air,” Oregon U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden said. “I’m proud to have worked to pass this landmark legislation and will keep battling to ensure Oregonians get our full share of its transformational and generational investments.”
“I am pleased that funding provided by the Inflation Reduction Act is being rapidly deployed to fight climate change,” Oregon U.S. Congressman Earl Blumenauer said. “The Climate Pollution Reduction Grant program will help Oregon’s communities and Tribes develop strategies and tools to reduce climate pollution and accelerate our clean energy transition.”
“This funding to reduce climate pollution is great news for Oregonians,” Oregon U.S. Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici said. “The Inflation Reduction Act will help our state cut emissions and other harmful air pollution while growing the clean energy economy.”
“This grant will help bring Oregonians together to strengthen the state’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” Oregon Department of Energy Director Janine Benner said. “As recent analysis by the Oregon Global Warming Commission shows, the programs and policies we have in place put us on a path to achieving our emission reduction goals and transitioning to an equitable clean energy future. This funding will support bringing all voices to the table as we build upon existing plans and ensure that the programs deliver on their goals. The Oregon Department of Energy looks forward to partnering with the EPA and our fellow state agencies to support this important work.”
“Oregon already is a leader on climate protection and these grants will help further Oregon’s progress in reducing greenhouse gas emissions in all Oregon communities,” Oregon Department of Environmental Quality Director Leah Feldon said. “At DEQ we are tackling climate change through our Clean Fuels Program, which lowers the amount of carbon emitted by cars and trucks, and our Climate Protection Program, which puts a cap on emissions from burning fossil fuels and lowers that cap each year. These are proven methods for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and they already are having an impact in Oregon.”
EPA Region 10 expects to award and administer the state funding agreements in summer 2023. More information on the Climate Pollution Reduction Grants (SOURCE)
U.S. Treasury Grants $22 Million To Oregon Financial Institutions To Help Low-Income Communities
The federal government has awarded seven financial institutions in Oregon a total of $22.3 million in grants to help underserved communities recover from the pandemic.
The money, announced Monday, is part of $1.7 billion awarded to more than 600 institutions nationwide through a U.S. Treasury program to boost recovery among low-income and moderate-income communities that were the hardest hit during the last three years.
The grants are designed to provide capital and financing for small businesses that lack access to capital, promote affordable housing and give families wider access to home loans, all of which were compromised during the pandemic and are crucial for economic prosperity, officials said.
“When we invest in community lenders, we help build a future where all people – no matter who they are or where they start – have the resources they need not only to succeed but to thrive,” Vice President Kamala Harris said in a Treasury statement.
She said it was the largest nationwide investment in the history of the program, the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund, which was created in 1994.
The grants will help the financial institutions add staff, purchase technology and gain other tools needed to help the community. They had to apply for the money and be approved by the U.S. Treasury.
“These mission-driven financial institutions specialize in delivering responsible capital, credit and financial services to underserved communities,” the Treasury statement said.
Besides helping small businesses, nonprofits and homeowners, the money can be used for community facilities, commercial real estate, financial services and development services for borrowers.
The Treasury approved money for these institutions:
- Craft3, a loan fund in Astoria: $5 million
- Northwest Community Credit Union in Eugene: $3.7 million
- Point West Credit Union in Portland: $3.7 million
- SELCO Community Credit Union in Springfield: $3.7 million
- Mid-Oregon Federal Credit Union in Bend: $2.5 million
- Central Willamette Credit Union in Albany: $2.5 million
- Ironworkers USA Federal Credit Union in Portland: $1.2 million
Six of the seven entities in Oregon that were awarded money are credit unions. The other institution is a loan fund, which got the most money. (SOURCE)
Oregonians are maximizing health care savings as shown in new report
(Salem) – Oregonians are enrolling in qualifying health coverage with financial help as part of the Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace. An annual report (http://orhim.info/2022report) released today, discusses the work the Marketplace did in 2022 to reduce the barriers to access or ensure everyone can access equally.
Nearly 142,000 Oregonians enrolled for the 2023 plan year with more than 79 percent of enrollees apply for and receive financial assistance.
- Oregonians receiving financial assistance are getting an average of $503 in premium tax credits per month to help pay the monthly cost for health coverage, also called the monthly premium.
- The average bottom-line monthly premium for Oregonians is $224 after premium tax credits are applied.
- Over 14 percent of Oregonians enrolled through the Marketplace have a monthly premium of less than $10 per month after premium tax credits are applied.
“The Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace has taken great strides in helping people enroll in affordable, quality health coverage,” said Oregon Health Authority (OHA) Interim Director Dave Baden. “With the end of the continuous coverage requirement due of the COVID-19 public health emergency, Marketplace coverage is a strong option for many Oregonians. OHA is ready to help people no longer eligible for Oregon Health Plan (OHP) benefits to find the private insurance plan that meets their needs and their budget.”
People leaving OHP or who have experienced other life changes like job changes, moving, marriage or other family changes may qualify to shop for coverage in a special enrollment period. Oregonians leaving OHP should take action before their OHP benefits end to avoid a gap in coverage, but have until July 31, 2023 to enroll.
To get started, go to OregonHealthCare.gov and answer a few Oregon-specific questions to get to the right application. You can also search the “Get Help” directory on OregonHealthCare.gov to find health coverage expert to help you complete the application and enroll. Insurance agents and community partners provide free and local one-on-one assistance to the client. Help is available online, over the phone, and in person.
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.
Tiny House, Big Seizure — Benton Co. Sheriff’s Office
The Benton County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO) recovered a stolen “tiny house” from a residence in Monroe on Thursday morning.
On Tuesday, March 21, 2023, BCSO deputies were investigating an unrelated incident in the 25000 block of Foxview Lane, Monroe, when they arrested and lodged Bo Dale Monroe, 21, on five criminal charges, including theft. During the arrest, they noticed a tiny house similar to one that had been recently stolen from the area of Junction City, Lane County.
Deputies contacted Junction City Police Department who confirmed a 1979 Corsair Trailer Coach travel trailer, converted into a two-story tiny house had been stolen in January 2023 and provided deputies with photos of the house from the owner. Detectives later learned the tiny home was a match.
BCSO Deputies returned to Foxview Lane on the morning of April 13, 2023, with a search warrant to seize the tiny house and again, arrest Bo Monroe. Bo Monroe was charged with two Fail to Appear Warrants, Aggravated Theft 1, Violation of a Restraining Order, Unlawful Use of a Vehicle, and Theft 1 – Receive/Buy/Sell. Bo Monroe was transported and lodged at the Benton County Jail.
Two firearms were seized from Bo Monroe during the search warrant. It is unlawful to be in possession of a firearm with an active restraining order against you.
Additionally, Hull Oaks Lumber Company in Monroe reported to BSCO they had surveillance of Mr. Monroe siphoning a total of $1,432.00 worth of diesel fuel from their mill equipment, over three separate occasions.
“The Benton County Sheriff’s Office will continue to investigate Mr. Monroe and the crimes he has been committing,” stated Sheriff Van Arsdall. “If anyone has additional information regarding Mr. Monroe or any of his associates, contact our tipline at 541-753-8477. Mr. Monroe and his associates will be held accountable by this Office.”
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