Klamath Basin News, Monday, June 5 – Klamath County, City and Utility Company Crews Working All Over The Basin This Summer

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Monday, June 5, 2023

Klamath Basin Weather

A slight chance of showers between 1pm and 2pm, otherwise mostly sunny, with a high near 87.  Light winds to 15 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 20%. Overnight, cloudy with a low of 54.
A 30% chance of showers and thunderstorms after 11am. Mostly sunny, with a high near 87. North wind 6 to 13 mph becoming east in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 20 mph.
Tuesday Night
A 40%  chance of showers and thunderstorms before 11pm. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 54. 
Showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm after 11am. Partly sunny, with a high near 82.
A slight chance of showers, then a chance of showers and thunderstorms after 11am. Partly sunny, with a high near 78. Chance of precipitation is 50%.
A slight chance of showers, then a chance of showers and thunderstorms after 11am. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 72.
A chance of showers. Partly sunny, with a high near 73.

Today’s Headlines

Funeral services are today for a Henley High school senior who died in an apparent drowning last week at Lake of the Woods. Services will be held at Klamath Christian Center on Church Hill Drive.

The memorial is slated to begin at 2:30 with viewing until 3:30, and services at 4pm.

Klamath County emergency services reported they received calls via 911 about a possible drowning May 30th around 11am at Lake of the Woods.  Dotson’s body was recovered from the water late that afternoon.

Just two weeks shy of graduating high school, Dotson was heavily involved in many athletic and extra curricular activities at the high school.

Teacher and pastor Christopher Benjamin will officiate the memorial for Dotson.  Benjamin is the choir director at Henley, where Dotson was elected choir president this past school year.


Fatal Crash on Highway 126E takes life of former Klamath Falls man

On Friday, June 2, 2023, at approximately 8:53 P.M., the Oregon State Police responded to a two-vehicle crash on Hwy 126, near milepost 13, in Linn County.

The preliminary investigation indicated a white Toyota pickup, operated by Frederick Albert Dawson (40) of Eugene, was traveling eastbound on 126E, near milepost 13, when the operator attempted to make a left turn into a campground.

A black Harley Davidson motorcycle, operated by Sean Michael Lenninger (46) of Coquille, was traveling eastbound behind the white Toyota and attempted to pass the pickup on the left. The motorcycle clipped the front driver side of the pickup and left the roadway.  

The motorcycle operator was declared deceased at the scene by medical personnel.  

The operator of the Toyota was transported by medics to the University District Hospital in Eugene with minor injuries. 

The highway was impacted for approximately 1 hour during the on-scene investigation. OSP was assisted by McKenzie Fire and ODOT.

The City of Klamath Falls needs volunteers to fill vacancies on city boards, committees and health authorities.

Committee and board members are selected from a pool of applicants and appointed by the mayor and city council. Applications will be accepted until vacancies are filled. To apply, complete the application form available at klamathfalls.city/316/Committee-Openings. Completed forms must be returned to the office of the City Manager, 500 Klamath Ave.

City staff said the purpose of the marijuana advisory committee is to advise the city council on matters of policy and regulations as it applies to the community.

The committee makeup includes one member from the city planning commission, five city residents and two possible county residents.

The committee has four vacancies in need of filling: two by city residents and two by Klamath County residents.

City Ordinance 18-12 requires the majority of committee members to hold Oregon marijuana licenses, be license applicants or have knowledge or experience of the marijuana industry.

Committee members serve four-year terms unless appointed to fill an unexpired term.

Three appointees will serve full terms, and one appointment will fulfill a two-year, unexpired term.

The marijuana advisory committee holds public meetings every quarter with additional meetings scheduled as needed.

The city’s intercommunity hospital authority (IHA) is comprised of five citizens and one member of the city council.

There is one vacancy on the board after one member stepped down earlier this month.

Appointed by the mayor and city council, the selected board member will serve an unexpired term of two years ending June 30, 2025.

IHA members inform and provide recommendations to the city council on medical services and facilities offered and needed within the city of Klamath Falls.

The intended purpose of the IHA is to establish and maintain effective, sufficient medical support for the community and for hospital administration and staff.

According to the city website, members must file with the State of Oregon Ethics Commission to qualify.

The Klamath Falls Parks Advisory Board is a seven-member board which currently has one vacancy.

The usual term length is four years, city staff said, but the current vacancy is for an unexpired term which ends in June 2024.

The Parks Advisory Board is responsible for advising the city council on all matters related to city-owned parks.

Board members meet monthly from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. the second Thursday at 500 Klamath Ave.

The six-person Parking District Committee is in need of two volunteers to fill vacancies.

The composition of the committee requires four city residents or four people who own or operate businesses within the district’s boundaries. The maximum number of committee members who do not live within city limits is two.

One vacancy is for a full, four-year term, while the other will serve until June 30, 2025.

Committee meetings are held publicly at 8 a.m. the third Tuesday of each month at 500 Klamath Ave. in the downstairs conference room.


One of the great Summer events is back in downtown Klamath Falls for the Summer.

The highly anticipated Third Thursdays organized by the Klamath Falls Downtown Association, now in its 10th year, will offer residents and visitors those third Thursday memorable evenings of entertainment, art, food, music and local culture, showcasing the city’s unique spirit and fostering a sense of togetherness.

Downtown Klamath Falls will come alive on the third Thursday of June, July and August. The first one is scheduled for June 15th.  Watch for them on the BasinLife.com Events Calendar on our homepage.  Add your event to our homepage by clicking on the banner ad, on the right, that says Add Your Event Here”!




Klamath County or Utility Companies will have work crews at the following locations. Please
use caution when in these areas and watch for flaggers. If you are able to avoid the work
zones, please use an alternate route for your safety and the safety of Klamath County
employees and our contractors.

Vicinity of Stearns Elementary School
Crest Street: Clinton to Denver
Laverne Avenue: Crest to Altamont
Bobs Excavating – storm sewer work

Miscellaneous County Roads

Traffic control measures will be in place for guidance. Motorist should use alternative routes if

In general, flagging stations will be set up at the end of the work zone and delays will be 0 to 20
minutes for the motoring public. Our goal is to minimize the delay to the motoring public.
Other minor work is occurring through the County but we are only listing the major items in this
announcement. There may be adjustments of work schedules due to weather or other items
outside of the County’s control (breakdown of equipment, material/resource availability, etc.)
Please do not contact the County if you do not see work occurring, it could be finished already
or will be rescheduled.

Klamath County Public Works and the Board of County Commissioners appreciate the motoring
publics’ patience during the repair season for our local roads and bridges. If you have any
questions regarding work, please contact the Public Works Department at (541) 883-4696.


Because of increased rain and snow over the winter, drought conditions improved in Southern Oregon according to the National Weather Service.

It said there are still some areas in moderate or severe drought. The NWS said the worst areas are mainly east of the Cascades.  It said there is still above average snow pack in places like Crater Lake, which will continue to help drought conditions.

Ryan Sandler from the NWS said, “we are expecting the odds to tilt towards a warmer than normal summer and a warmer than normal fall, and the odds are tilted towards a drier than normal fall.”

Sandler said a drier summer could worsen drought conditions.  But he said conditions have improved greatly since last year and reservoirs are doing much better.


Wildcat Campground at Hyatt Lake will open June 9 after being closed for hazard tree mitigation.

According to a news release from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), reservations for 12 camp sites in Wildcat Loop will be available starting June 5. 

The A, B and C loops of the main campground will remain closed so that BLM can replace old water, sewer and electrical lines, the release said. There is also a chance that the campground will need to close again later this summer for construction. 

“The Hyatt Lake Campground is located in the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument and was originally built in 1969,” the release said. “Hyatt Lake is fed by snowmelt, and its water level depends on both snowfall and irrigation. This year, abundant snowfall has filled the lake to 59% capacity as of June 1. Water levels and anticipated additional runoff also allowed Oregon Department of Fish and Game to stock Hyatt Lake with sportfish this year.”

Hyatt Lake is near the Klamath-Jackson County line, accessible easiest from Klamath Falls using Clover Creek Road near Keno off of highway 66 and then connecting with Dead Indian Memorial Road.


With the start of fire season, fire weather is a hot topic.

This year, climatologists say much of the West Coast has seen unusual weather.

California right now is seeing a below normal fire threat because of its abnormally wet weather.  Meanwhile, much of the Northwest has been warm and dry… Leading to predictions of a more active fire season than normal.

John Abatzoglou, a climatologist at UC Merced, says Southern Oregon is right in the middle of the two extremes.  According to the National Interagency Fire Center’s wildland fire forecast, Jackson and Josephine Counties are expected to remain under normal fire potential for the months of June and July.  Abatzoglou said residents can take proactive measures by ensuring you have a go-bag ready in case you need to evacuate quick.

He also mentioned to stay informed about the latest weather forecast for your area and keep an eye out for any red flag warnings.

Around the state of Oregon


Employment Department Announces Weekly Benefit Amounts for Unemployment Insurance and Paid Leave Oregon 
Salem, Ore. — The Oregon Employment Department announced the 2023-24 minimum and maximum weekly benefit amounts for Unemployment Insurance (UI) and Paid Leave Oregon. Paid Leave Oregon is new and will begin paying benefits in September.

By law, the department calculates the minimum and maximum benefit amounts once a year. These calculations are based on Oregon’s State Average Weekly Wage and are effective from July 1 through June 30 of the following year. The State Average Weekly Wage increased from $1,224.82 to $1,269.69.

The minimum weekly benefit amount is the lowest amount the program will pay a claimant for each week they claim benefits, and the maximum benefit amount is the most the program will pay, regardless of income.

2023-24 Unemployment Insurance and Paid Leave Oregon weekly benefit amounts

Program Minimum weekly benefit amount Maximum weekly benefit amount
Unemployment Insurance$190$813
Paid Leave Oregon$63.48$1,523.63

Unemployment Insurance
Starting July 2, 2023, the minimum weekly benefit amount for new unemployment insurance claims will go from $183 to $190 per week, and the maximum weekly benefit amount will go from $783 to $813 per week. This increase only affects claims filed July 2, 2023, or later. People who file new unemployment insurance claims before July 2 will continue to receive the same benefit amount.

This is an increase of approximately 3.8%. The minimum weekly benefit amount is 15% of the State Average Weekly Wage, and the maximum is 64%. During the most recent quarter, 11.5% of recipients received the minimum weekly benefit amount, and 24.5% received the maximum.

For Unemployment Insurance, the weekly benefit amount is usually 1.25% of what a claimant earned during their “base period,” which is roughly the first 12 of the 15 months before the date they filed their claim.

Visit unemployment.oregon.gov to use OED’s UI benefits calculator.

Paid Leave Oregon

For Paid Leave Oregon, the minimum weekly benefit amount is 5% of the State Average Weekly Wage, and the maximum is 120%. When benefits start in September, the minimum weekly benefit amount will be $63.48, and the maximum will be $1,523.63.

Paid Leave Oregon calculates weekly benefit amounts based on how much the employee earns on average in a week and how much leave they take in a week, so the amount is different for every employee. Lower wage earners will generally receive more of their usual wages than higher wage earners.

Paidleave.oregon.gov has fact sheets and guidebooks on its resources page.

Need help?  The Oregon Employment Department (OED) is an equal opportunity agency. OED provides free help so you can use our services. Some examples are sign language and spoken-language interpreters, written materials in other languages, large print, audio, and other formats. To get help, please call 503- 947-1444. TTY users call 711. You can also send an email to communications@employ.oregon.gov

¿Necesita ayuda? El Departamento de Empleo de Oregon (OED) es una agencia de igualdad de oportunidades. El OED proporciona ayuda gratuita para que usted pueda utilizar nuestros servicios. Algunos ejemplos son intérpretes de lengua de señas e idiomas hablados, materiales escritos en otros idiomas, letra grande, audio y otros formatos. Para obtener ayuda, por favor llame al 503-947-1444. Usuarios de TTY pueden llamar al 711. También puede enviar un correo electrónico a communications@employ.oregon.gov


Hyatt Lake Boat Ramp and Wildcat Campground Opening in June 

Medford, Ore. — Bureau of Land Management officials are excited to announce that the Wildcat Campground at Hyatt Lake will open June 9th. Reservations for the 12 campsites in Wildcat Loop will be available on Recreation.gov starting on Monday, June 5 for $7 per night. The Mountain View Boat Ramp will open June 16. Currently these areas are closed for hazard tree mitigation.   

The Hyatt Lake Campground is located in the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument and was originally built in 1969. The BLM will not be opening the A, B, and C loops of the main campground for the 2023 season in order to replace aging water, sewer and electrical lines throughout the recreation area. The BLM may need to close Wildcat Campground later in the summer to accommodate construction. Funding for the repair work comes from both the Great American Outdoors Act and the BLM’s deferred maintenance fund.  

Hyatt Lake is fed by snowmelt, and its water level depends on both snowfall and irrigation. This year, abundant snowfall has filled the lake to 59% capacity as of June 1. Water levels and anticipated additional runoff also allowed Oregon Department of Fish and Game to stock Hyatt Lake with sportfish this year.  

Visit the National Touring Exhibition: The Legend of Bob Hope, at the Oregon Historical Society now through August 18th, 2023
Entertainer Bob Hope elicited laughs across all media: through radio waves, on the stage, and on the screen, in both television and film.

But none of them mattered more than the humor he injected into American camps across the globe during World War II as the Allies struggled to save the world for democracy. 

Using multimedia elements and captivating storytelling — including objects, films, rare photographs, and an interactive display — So Ready for Laughter: The Legacy of Bob Hopehighlights how Hope helped lift the human spirit during one of the darkest times in American history. This national touring exhibition is on loan from The National WWII Museum and is on display at the Oregon Historical Society in Portland, Oregon, now through August 18, 2023.

Bob Hope came to the United States as an immigrant with his family in the early 1920s, initially working as a newsboy, butcher’s assistant, shoe salesman, and amateur boxer. Hope went on to eventually shape his art on the vaudeville stage, and by the start of World War II, he was just emerging as one of America’s most popular radio and film stars. When the nation went to war in 1941, Hollywood recognized the need for contributions and responded by entertaining troops, raising funds, and boosting morale. Hope’s work quickly took on new meaning when he took his wartime programs on the road to military camps and bases across the country, inspiring other entertainers to join him.

Exploring Hope’s major tours and travels during World War II, So Ready for Laughter features nearly fifty objects and also includes an original 11-minute documentary produced by award-winning filmmaker John Scheinfeld. Highlights include rare and unpublished photographs of Hope, wartime correspondence between Hope and servicemembers, WWII-era objects engraved to Hope, videos of his traveling wartime troupe, and Hollywood Victory Caravan programs and scrapbooks. Supported by national tour exhibit sponsor the Bob & Dolores Hope Foundation, So Ready for Laughter: The Legacy of Bob Hope tells the story of the entertainer’s unique place in World War II history and beyond.

The Oregon Historical Society’s museum is open seven days a week, Monday–Saturday 10am–5pm and Sunday 12pm–5pm. Admission is $10, with discounts for students, seniors, teachers, and youth. Admission is free every day for OHS members and Multnomah County residents. Learn more and plan your visit at ohs.org/visit.

About the Oregon Historical Society

For more than a century, the Oregon Historical Society has served as the state’s collective memory, preserving a vast collection of objects, photographs, maps, manuscript materials, books, films, and oral histories. 


Six tips to keep campfires safe and enjoyable this season

Gathering around the campfire is a highlight for many visitors at Oregon State Parks. If you follow some basic guidelines, you can enjoy this tradition safely and reduce the risk of injury and wildfires.

Wildfire is a real danger in Oregon despite the wet and snowy spring. That’s why the No. 1 precaution you can take is to follow posted fire restrictions. At times, campfires and other open flames may be banned in campgrounds or on the beach.

Campfire at Minam State Recreation Area

Restrictions can happen at any time and with little warning, depending on conditions. Be sure to research conditions for the area near where you’re camping just before you head out. Fire restrictions may be in place at the park, county or state level. The Oregon State Parks websitewill post the latest information about campfires in state parks.

Restrictions may be in place even though the park is far from any wildfires. When wildfires rage, emergency responders and firefighters need to be on the front lines. We ask campers to do their part to make sure an emergency at the campground doesn’t pull resources from the statewide firefighting effort.

“If you’re camping with children or others who are new to outdoor recreation, it’s particularly important to review campfire safety practices,” said Chris Havel, Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) associate director. “If you have a question or a concern, talk with a park ranger or camp host.”

OPRD offers these six tips for a safe and enjoyable campfire:

  1. Maintain campfire flames at knee height (no more than 2 feet high). A smaller flame helps prevent embers from rising into the trees or dry vegetation. If you see the wind stirring up embers, play it safe and put the fire out.
  2. In a state park campground, only build campfires in the existing fire ring in your campsite. Fire rings are placed in areas with buffer zones and away from vegetation.
  3. Always keep plenty of water on hand to safely put out the campfire. Douse the flames with water and stir the embers to make sure everything is wet. The stirring step is important: ash and wood debris often maintain heat. Repeat these steps until the fire no longer emits heat.
  4. Beach campfires should be on open sand and away from driftwood or vegetation and use only natural wood, rather than pallets or anything else that might have hidden nails or screws. Slowly pour water on your beach fire to put it out. Pouring water too quickly can cause hot sand to fly up. Don’t use sand to put out a beach fire. Covering the fire with sand will insulate the coals, keeping them hot enough to burn someone hours or days later.
  5. For propane fire rings, follow the same safety precautions you would with a log-based campfire. The use of propane fire rings may be restricted depending on local conditions.
  6. Make sure everyone in your campsite is familiar with campfire safety, including children. Always keep an eye on your campfire; many accidental fires are started because campers left their fire unattended for “just a minute.”

In addition to keeping your campfire safe, it’s also important to make sure your wood is free from invasive insects to keep our forests safe from the deadly emerald ash borer and other pests. Please do not bring firewood from outside the local area. Buy local firewood within 10 miles of your destination or buy certified heat-treated firewood.

During May, the Oregon Department of Forestry, the Oregon Office of State Fire Marshal, the Office of Emergency Management, Keep Oregon Green, the U.S. Forest Service, OPRD and other federal, state and local emergency and response agencies are encouraging the public to work together in their local communities to prevent the risk of wildfire.

Information about recreation and wildfire safety is at keeporegongreen.org. Visit stateparks.oregon.gov for information about Oregon State Parks including fire restrictions and safety guidelines.


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