Klamath Basin News, Friday, June 23 – Kruise of Klamath Weekend Arrives; Local Man Arrested on Drug Charges, Gun Charges and Outstanding Warrants

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Friday, June 23, 2023

Klamath Basin Weather

Today    A 40% chance of showers and thunderstorms, mainly after 2pm. Increasing clouds, with a high near 78. West winds to 15 mph, and higher gusts possible. Overnight, a 30% of showers and thundershowers with a low near 48.
Increasing clouds, with a high near 80. Calm wind becoming west 5 to 9 mph in the morning. Overnight, cloudy with a low of 51.
A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms after 11am. Sunny, with a high near 82. North wind 5 to 10 mph..
A 20% chance of showers and thunderstorms after 11am. Mostly sunny, with a high near 82.
Sunny, with a high near 82.
Sunny, with a high near 84.
Sunny, with a high near 89.

…Tune in to Sunny 107 (106.FM) from Wynne Broadcasting on Saturday evening for nonstop Classic Oldies Music while you watch the Classic Cars, Trucks and Hot Rods cruise Main Street and Klamath Avenue! See you there!

Today’s Headlines

Drug and Gun Charges Arrest

On Tuesday June 20th, 2023, at approximately 11:13 p.m., members of the Klamath Falls Police Department conducted a traffic stop on Crater Lake Parkway near Herbert Street, in Klamath Falls. The driver of the vehicle was identified as 62-year-old Theodore Wallace Denton.

Denton was found to have an outstanding felony warrants as a result of an investigation conducted by Basin Interagency Narcotics Team-BINET. Denton was arrested without incident and his vehicle was towed from the scene.

BINET executed a search warrant on Denton’s vehicle which uncovered 1,512 grams of methamphetamines, along with narcotics packaging and scales. Also discovered inside was a .22 caliber handgun with an attached silencer and body armor.

Denton was lodged at the Klamath County Jail on his warrants and additionally charged with Felon in Possession of a Firearm, Felon in Possession of Body Armor, Unlawful Possession of a Silencer, Possession of a Controlled Substance and Attempted Delivery of a Controlled Substance.  (KFPD media release)


Klamath Falls City Police have confirmed  assault charges have been officially filed against a Klamath County commissioner.

The charges have been filed by a Klamath County resident after physical contact was made by Klamath County Commissioner Dave Henslee during this week’s county commissioner’s meeting.           

There has been no comment made from the commissioner’s office or Henslee since the Tuesday incident. 

In a video of the weekly commissioner’s meeting, it shows tensions rising and commissioner Dave Henslee getting up to speak with a man angrily addressing commissioners. Off camera, Henslee is heard to make physical contact with resident Don Rickard, who spoke briefly in the public comment portion of the meeting regarding grants for agriculture and why they were not accepted.

Ricard’s tone became angry, and at that point Henslee told him “he was done” and wasn’t going to put up with threats from Ricard. Ricard, however said nothing in the public meeting that threatened Henslee, nor anyone else in the room.

Henslee then told Rickard to get out, and Rickard is heard telling the commissioner “don’t touch me” several times.  Henslee left his chair and approached Ricard and made physical contact with him.

In 2021, Henslee retired as chief of police at KFPD, after 27 years in law enforcement.  Henslee and other Klamath Falls city employees are also the target of a multi-million dollar discrimination suit filed by a local restaurant and lounge during the time Henslee served as city police chief.

Henslee was just elected commissioner last year. Because of Henslee’s connections with KFPD, outside agencies, including the Oregon Department of Justice and Oregon State Police,  was given the case.OSP has a conflict as well, so they are now handing the case solely over to ODJ.

Ricard told the Herald and News earlier this week that “no elected official should ever physically attack a citizen”.   (Source: Herald and News)


From our news partner The Herald and News, they are reporting that in an effort to quell public upset over changes in downtown traffic signals as well as some flooded homes on Merryman Drive.

Klamath Falls City Council allotted staff time to read prepared statements on the issues prior to public comments at Tuesday night’s meeting.

Public Works Director Mark Willrett reread a statement provided during previous meetings. The director also said the city had expressed an interest in whether traffic signals were necessary in the downtown area.

In an interview with Herald & News, Willrett noted the positive response received from Klamath Falls Downtown Association over the potential increased traffic for businesses along Main Street and Klamath Avenue.

Resident Larry Redd shared his concerns, including the environmental impact of shifting from traffic signals to stop signs. Redd also told council he now avoids driving routes which require passage through downtown.

Robbie West, the city’s water distribution manager, offered a statement on behalf of the city as well, addressing an issue of flooded homes on Merryman Drive, Applewood Street and Wantland Avenue. Residents, West said, filed complaints shortly after the inspections concluded. The city responded by surveying city water supplies and again found no sign of a leak.

With a few modifications — two resolutions to transfer funds between accounts and a third resolution to extend workers’ compensation to some public safety volunteers — adoption of the city’s 2023-25 biennial budget received unanimous approval.

Acting in the role of Urban Renewal Agency (URA), council also adopted the 2023-25 biennial budget for the URA.

Two new businesses can also expect to see some new funds rolling in after receiving unanimous approval for on-site liquor license recommendations.

Jalapeños Taco Shop intends to open a third location off Campus Drive. The new shop would take the space previously occupied by Taco Time, 2560 Campus Drive. This third location received approval for a limited on-premises liquor license to sell beer, cider and wine.

Another business will also soon occupy a now-vacant restaurant space. The location of the former Creamery Brewpub & Grill, 1320 Main St., will be the new home of Common Block Brewing Company.
(Source: Herald and News)


This summer, children can enjoy lunches at no charge through the Summer Food Service Program, a federally funded nutrition program open to all youth ages 1-18 years.

A sack lunch with a hot entrée, a fruit, a vegetable, and a milk will be offered June 20 through Aug. 10, Monday through Thursday. There will be no lunch program on July 4.

Times are from 11:30 a.m. to noon at the following locations:

  • Bonanza Elementary-front lawn
  • Ferguson Elementary- under the awning by the playground
  • Merrill Elementary-front steps by the play ground
  • Peterson Elementary- under the awning on the playground
  • Shasta Elementary-lawn in front of school
  • Mazama High School-front entrance

Times are from 12:30- 1 p.m. at:

  • Gearhart School in Bly

The Oregon Department of Education requires that lunches are consumed on site and are not to be taken home. Additional lunches for children who are not present will not be provided.  (Klamath County School District press release)


The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Administration of Children and Families (ACF) held their Triannual ACF Tribal Advisory Committee Meeting in Chiloquin Tuesday and Wednesday. The meeting was hosted by The Klamath Tribes.

A session was held Tuesday morning for the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) Tribal Advisory Committee (TAC) Caucus, followed by a Tribal Opening and Welcome ceremony. During the session acknowledgements were made for the Tribal lands, culture, and lifeways of the Klamath People, and TAC members and visitors joining to listen to the meeting were welcomed. Attendees then addressed the responsibilities of the ACF and TAC, and the address ACF’s commitment to working in partnership with sovereign Tribal nations. Tribal and Federal officials to the State of Oregon also attended and were introduced.

The Klamath Tribes and Oregon State held a session on the successful collaboration effort between the Tribes and Oregon Department of Health Services to reduce child welfare caseloads involving Klamath Tribal families. 

The MMIP sessions were followed by a listening session on Environmental Justice and Climate Change with presenter Natalie Grant of the Office of Human services Emergency Preparedness and Response.
(Herald and News)


The downtown Klamath County Library has lots fun activies and events all summer for children, teens and families.

(And don’t forget to stop by any Klamath County library branch to sign up for the Summer Reading Challenge. Earn free books, library swag, award badges and much more.)

Here’s what the library has scheduled in June for kids younger than 12:
  • Family Storytime —10:30 a.m. Mondays and 1 p.m. Fridays. Enjoy stories, songs and games with your little ones. This event is aimed kids 5 years old and younger, but all ages are welcome.
  • Bilingual Storytime —10:30 a.m. Monday, June 26. Once a month, Family Storytime goes bilingual. Enjoy stories and songs in English and Spanish with Patricia Ortega, Migrant Preschool Specialist for Southern Oregon Education Service District. This event is aimed at kids 5 years old and younger, but all ages are welcome.
  • Fit Kids: Shine with Yoga —1 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. for ages zero to 5 and 1:45 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. for ages 5-10 Monday, June 19. Join instructor Jen Singer for a session of stretching and movement for kids. Singer is a Registered Yoga Teacher at a Klamath Falls yoga studio. She fell in love with yoga because she found it so healing, and she loves to share the transformative power of physical movement and guided breath with students of all ages and experience levels.
  • Storytime In the Park —10 a.m. Tuesdays at Conger Park; 10 a.m. Fridays at Keller Park; and 3 p.m. Fridays at Eulalona Park. Let’s take the stories outside. If you need directions to any of these Klamath Falls parks, call the library at 541-882-8894.
  • Summer Chess Club —10 a.m. Tuesdays. Learn to play chess. This weekly event is for ages 5-18.
  • Cubs Club —3:30 p.m. Tuesdays. Enjoy some laid-back crafts, games, movies, and more. For ages 5-8.
  • Don’t Miss This! Summer Performance Series —10:30 a.m. Wednesdays. We’ve got a squad of musicians, magicians and more, on deck to entertain you. Stick around after the performance for a picnic lunch on the Klamath County Courthouse lawn. (Like last year, performances will be outside — bring folding chairs or blankets to sit on.) For all ages.

There are many more events planned through the end of June and the rest of the summer.

For more information on any of these events, call 541-882-8894 or stop by the downtown library’s Youth Services desk.


Around the state of Oregon

Oregon DOJ Consumer Protection Office Urges Oregonians To Be Proactive In Wake Of DMV Data Breach

The Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles confirmed Thursday that cybercriminals copied information on an estimated 3.5 million Oregon driver’s licenses and identification card holders , as part of the global MOVEit Transfer attack.

That’s bad news because your driver’s license contains plenty of information about you, including your birthdate, home address and even your height, weight, and eye color. Scammers can use some of this information to steal your identity and apply for credit cards, loans, and unemployment benefits in your name.

“Learning that personal information most Oregonians gave to their government has been exposed in a data breach is highly distressing,” said Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum.  “While the state works to identify who was impacted and what data was exposed, please follow these recommendations to stay safe.”

If you have an Oregon driver’s license or ID card, here’s what you should do:

  • Order copies of your free credit reports and review them for inaccuracies.

You are entitled to a free copy of each of your three credit reports, one each maintained by the national credit bureaus of Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion, each year. You can get these reports from www.AnnualCreditReport.com.

These reports list your personal information, any recent bankruptcy declarations or foreclosures, and your open credit card and loan accounts, including how much you owe on each of these accounts.

If you notice loans or credit accounts on your reports that you know you never opened on your own, you know someone is using your personal information to steal your identity.

Fortunately, even if thieves have already opened accounts in your name, you can take action to stop future damage.

You should notify the banks or financial institutions behind the credit card or loan accounts opened fraudulently in your name. Explain to these institutions that you did not apply for these accounts or loans and that you are a victim of identity theft. The financial institutions will close these accounts. If you act quickly, you likely will not be responsible for charges made on fraudulent credit cards you didn’t apply for, and you may not have to pay back loans that thieves took out in your name.

  • Consider freezing your credit.

A credit freeze prevents creditors — such as banks or lenders — from accessing your credit reports. This will stop identity thieves from taking out new loans or credit cards in your name because creditors won’t approve their loan or credit requests if they can’t first access your credit reports.

When you freeze your credit with each bureau, it will send you a personal identification number. You can then use that PIN to unfreeze your credit if you want to apply for a loan or credit card. You can also use the PIN to freeze your credit again after you’ve applied for loans or a new credit card.

You will have to freeze your credit with each bureau: ExperianEquifax and TransUnion.

  • If you have been a victim of identity theft, place a one-year fraud alert on your credit reports.

This alert tells creditors that they must take reasonable steps to verify that it is actually you who is applying for credit or loans in your name.

To do this, you only need to contact one of the three national credit bureaus. That bureau must then inform the other bureaus of your fraud alert.

  • If you receive notices from the Oregon Employment Department about benefits you’ve never applied for, contact them as soon as possible. 

Go online to unemployment.oregon.gov and click on “ID Theft” to fill out an ID Theft Reporting Form.

  • Set up a profile change alert if you use mobile or online banking tools.

If your personal information on your bank’s website or app changes without your authorization, that is typically a sign of identity theft.

To stay safe, set up a profile change alert through your bank’s website or app. The alert can warn you when there’s been a change to your login information.

  • If you have been a victim of identity theft, report it immediately.

If you suspect that a criminal has used your driver’s license information to steal your identity, make a report online at IdentityTheft.gov.

For more information about identify theft, visit the Oregon Department of Justice online at https://www.doj.state.or.us/consumer-protection/id-theft-data-breaches/identity-theft/ or call the Attorney General’s Consumer Hotline at 1-877-877-9392.


Fire Mashal Reminds You To Create Defensible Space To Prevent Property Fires

SALEM, Ore. – To better prepare Oregonians for wildfire and give them resources to help create defensible space, the Oregon State Fire Marshal (OSFM) has launched a new defensible space educational tool. The Oregon Defensible Space Program offers Oregon-specific wildfire preparedness best practices, resources for download, and an in-person defensible space property assessment request portal.

Creating defensible space is something everyone can do to reduce the wildfire risk to their home or business from wildfire. This website provides a one-stop shop for Oregonians with information and other resources they need to protect their homes and neighborhoods.

Whether people want to connect with local programs, gain insight into maintaining defensible space, or begin a defensible space plan,  Oregonians can find resources on Oregon Defensible Space (https://oregondefensiblespace.org/).

Defensible space can prevent ember ignition of your home and stop wildfire flames from reaching your home. Defensible space also creates a safer space for firefighters to work while battling a wildfire and protecting your home. Remember to keep your defensible space well-maintained, dry grass cut low, and your roof clear of leaves or needles.

To support Oregonians with tailored recommendations, visit this new website to request a defensible space assessment of your home. These free one-on-one property walkthroughs will provide homeowners/renters with voluntary recommendations to create improvements and follow best practices for their homes. When you request an assessment, a member of your local fire agency or a deputy state fire marshal from the OSFM will schedule a time to assess your property and recommend defensible space action items.

“We invite each person in Oregon to help reduce their risk from wildfire by creating defensible space,” Assistant Chief Deputy State Fire Marshal Chad Hawkins said. “You are the state’s greatest resource in protecting homes, neighborhoods, and firefighters.”

The OSFM’s defensible space program was created in 2021 through Senate Bill 762, Oregon’s wildfire omnibus bill. The law instituted wildfire prevention, community risk reduction, and proactive emergency response tools for the OSFM. Preparing homes and communities for wildfire impact creates resiliency and fire adapted communities. A fire adapted community acknowledges its wildfire risk and takes action to improve safety for homes, neighborhoods, businesses and infrastructure, forests, parks, and open spaces.

To explore the Oregon Defensible Space Program and learn how to prepare your home and property, visit https://oregondefensiblespace.org.


In a show of strong bipartisan support, the Oregon Senate late Thursday evening passed by a 19 to 5 vote House Bill 2697, a groundbreaking piece of legislation that will make significant advances in hospital staffing and patient care. 

The bill is now headed to the desk of Gov. Tina Kotek.

The Senate is also expected to consider two other bills as part of this historic package, House Bill 3396 and House Bill 2045, which will help build a pipeline of much needed health care workers, begin to address hospitals’ capacity and discharge challenges, and remove barriers to investments in frontline health care workers. 

“These bills will mean more sustainable careers for nurses and health workers, better care for our communities and a brighter future for Oregon,” said Tamie Cline, a registered nurse and president of the Oregon Nurses Association (ONA). “Nurses in every corner of the state demanded change with one voice, and together we have made real progress. As we move forward to implement these bills, we will make sure that nurses and health professionals have a real voice and role in the process.”

The collective package represents months of negotiations between the ONA, the Oregon Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals (OFNHP), Service Employees International Union Local 49 (SEIU) and the Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems (OAHHS). At the urging of Rep. Rob Nosse (D-Portland), chair of the House Committee on Behavioral Health and Health Care, the groups worked together to solidify support for the package, forging a coalition of supporters that remains in place today and moving forward. 

“We are excited to see that Oregon is taking steps towards addressing the biggest crisis facing health care professionals today: short staffing,” said Jonathon Baker, president of OFNHP – AFT 5017. “The success of this legislation shows that we can change our health care system for the better when we come together and act in solidarity.”

The package includes:

  • House Bill 2697, which establishes first-in-the-nation nurse-to-patient and certified nursing assistant nurse-to-patient ratios in state statute for a wide range of hospital settings including emergency departments, intensive care units, labor and delivery units, operating rooms, and others. The bill also establishes committees for other hospital care providers like respiratory therapists, psychologists, pharmacists, environmental services workers, and many others to create clear standards to improve staffing for the entire hospital care team. 
  • House Bill 3396, a $25 million workforce package that leverages federal dollars to increase clinical education capacity at Oregon’s hospitals and health care facilities and supports the recruitment and retention of nurse faculty. This bill also creates a task force aimed at finding solutions for hospitals’ capacity and discharge challenges.
  • House Bill 2045, which improves the health care cost growth target program to support investments in the health care workforce. HB 2045 makes changes to the state’s cost growth target program to report health care workforce costs for frontline caregivers, allowing hospitals and other health care providers to invest in their frontline staff without being penalized.

“We are proud of the collaborative efforts that led to this package of legislation, which will support our hospital staff who work so hard on behalf of patients,” said Becky Hultberg, OAHHS president and CEO. “The legislation also reduces many of the administrative burdens hospitals currently struggle with and builds partnerships that we hope will help ensure access to care for patients well into the future.”

The hospital staffing bill, House Bill 2697, becomes effective Sept. 1, but will be implemented in phases through July 1, 2026. 


MEDFORD, Ore. – Jackson County Sheriff’s Office (JCSO) and Phoenix Police Department responded to an alarm at the La Clinica Mobile Health Center trailer early this morning. 

Deputies said the motion alarm inside the trailer located in the 3600 block of South Pacific Highway between Phoenix and Medford thought they heard someone moving inside the trailer.

There was evidence of forced entry and the doors were locked from the inside. JCSO deputies gave commands for the subject to exit but he was uncooperative. During announcements, deputies noticed smoke billowing from inside the trailer. The team breached the door, entered the trailer, and saw smoke and flames spreading rapidly. Deputies gave commands and the suspect exited the trailer and was taken into custody. A minute or so later, the entire trailer was fully engulfed by flames. Medford Fire personnel responded and put the fire out.

The suspect was identified as Daniel Timothy Garay, 31, of Medford. JCSO deputies booked and lodged Garay in the Jackson County Jail on charges of second-degree arson, second-degree burglary, and first-degree criminal mischief. This case is under further investigation.


Wildfire Prevention and Other Bills Passed By Oregon Senate Now Headed To The House

State officials announced on Tuesday the passage of a bill designed to help Oregon’s wildfire preparedness efforts.

The Oregon Senate passed Senate Bill 80 on June 20, which would develop an advanced Wildfire Hazard Map to identifies areas at risk of wildfires based on such factors as climate, weather, topography, and vegetation, state legislators said. State officials also said SB 80 calls for an active community input process for its implementation.

“We can protect Oregon in wildfire seasons to come only through partnership with the people on the frontlines preventing and fighting wildfires,” said Senator Jeff Golden (D – Ashland), who championed the legislation. “Strong collaboration needs to guide investments that will protect our communities and the immensely dedicated firefighters who put their lives on the line to protect us.”

The bill also establishes the necessary funding through a Landscape Resiliency Fund, state legislators said. State officials said this bill supplements the state’s comprehensive wildfire preparedness bill passed in 2019, SB 762.

The Oregon Senate also passed three other bills on Tuesday, state officials said. Legislators said Senate Bill 3, which adds one-half credit of personal finance education and one-half credit of higher education and career path skills to Oregon high school graduation requirements.

Senate Bill 192 establishes prescription drug price transparency and increasing affordability by requiring pharmacy benefit managers to report the money they receive from drug manufacturers, state officials said.

State legislators said Senate Bill 1 allows taxpayers to voluntarily self-report their race and ethnicity for data collection that will be later examined for developing equitable revenue policies.

All of these bills now move on to the Oregon House for consideration, and were among hundreds of bills threatened by the recent Senate Republican walkout, state officials said.


SALEM, Ore. – “Keep it legal, keep it safe” is the message from the Oregon State Fire Marshal (OSFM). The 2023 fireworks retail sales season begins June 23 and runs through July 6 in Oregon. The OSFM would like everyone to know which fireworks are legal to use, where fireworks can be used, and how to use them safely. 

“We ask Oregonians to be responsible if they plan to use fireworks as part of their celebrations,” OSFM Assistant Chief Deputy Mark Johnston said. “Every year, we see fires and injuries because of improper use of fireworks or illegal fireworks. Our message is simple: keep it legal and keep it safe.”  
To reduce the risk of starting a fire, some local governments in Oregon have firework sales or use restrictions in place. Check your local regulations and follow them where you live or where you may be traveling to celebrate the Fourth of July. 

Consumer-legal fireworks can only be purchased from permitted fireworks retailers and stands. State regulations limit where those fireworks may be used. People who plan to visit public lands and parks are asked to leave all fireworks at home. The possession and use of fireworks are prohibited in national parks and forests, on Bureau of Land Management lands, on U.S. Fish and Wildlife properties, on state beaches, in state parks, and in state campgrounds. Fireworks are also prohibited on many private lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry. 

For those who purchase legal fireworks, fire officials encourage everyone to practice the four Bs of safe fireworks use: 

  • Be prepared before lighting fireworks: keep water available by using a garden hose or bucket. 
  • Be safe when lighting fireworks: keep children and pets away from fireworks. Never use fireworks near or on dry grass or vegetation. 
  • Be responsible after lighting fireworks: never relight a dud. Please wait 15 to 20 minutes, then soak it in a bucket of water before disposal. 
  • Be aware: Use only legal fireworks in legal places. 

Oregon law prohibits the possession, use, or sale of any firework that flies into the air, explodes, or travels more than 12 feet horizontally on the ground without a permit issued by the OSFM. Fireworks commonly called bottle rockets, Roman candles, and firecrackers are illegal in Oregon without a permit. Officials may seize illegal fireworks and charge offenders with a class B misdemeanor which could result in a fine of up to $2,500. Those who misuse fireworks or allow fireworks to cause damage are liable and may be required to pay fire suppression costs or other damages. Parents are also liable for fireworks damage caused by their children. 

The OSFM has published resources on its website regarding the sale and legal use of consumer fireworks, retail sale permits, and state rules for firework use and enforcement activities. Safety messaging and activities for kids can also be found on the OSFM’s fireworks page. 

Oregon Appeals Court Ruling Says Voters Outlawed Civil Forfeiture

State officials are now taking the fight to the Oregon Supreme Court.

The Oregon Department of Justice is scrambling to save the state’s civil forfeiture laws after the state Court of Appeals all but ruled them unconstitutional earlier this year.

The state is looking to the Oregon Supreme Court to save the legal tool, which is most commonly used by law enforcement in busting drug rings. It allows police to seize not only cash and contraband but also the property where the drugs were grown or sold, resulting in long-standing criticism that it represents an abuse of police power. A few states, including North Carolina and Nebraska, have banned civil forfeiture outright, limiting asset seizures to criminal proceedings.

Oregon voters sharply limited the practice with a 2000 ballot measure that required law enforcement to first win a conviction before seizing property and then prove that the value of the seizure was proportional to the crime.

More than two decades later, the Oregon Court of Appeals ruled in March that voters did more than just limit civil forfeiture in 2000—they rendered it unconstitutional.

The Oregon Supreme Court is expected to decide next month whether to review the ruling.

A lot of public officials hope it will. Attorneys for the Oregon DOJ, Yamhill County, the cities of Salem, Kaiser, Medford and Springfield, and the Oregon Narcotics Enforcement Association have filed briefs arguing the Court of Appeals overstepped, noting that the ruling “opens the door to a wave of post-conviction claims for violation of the Fifth Amendment” and could have a “potentially substantial fiscal impact” on law enforcement agencies that rely on it for revenue.

In other words, a lot is riding on whether the March ruling, first reported by The Oregonian, is the last word on the matter. “If this case holds,” says Zach Stern, the lawyer who argued the case before the Court of Appeals and won, “civil forfeiture is dead in Oregon.”

THE CRIME – There are, thanks to the legal oddity that is civil forfeiture, two guilty parties in this case.

One is Sheryl Lynn Sublet, a 66-year-old military veteran who, suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, became addicted to hard drugs. She subsequently got clean with the help of Central City Concern in Portland, working there for more than a decade as a case manager before moving to Yamhill County.

Then, she relapsed. Police walked into a Lake Oswego storefront of Federal Express and intercepted a package of methamphetamine and heroin bound for her home. Sublet admitted to police the package was hers and that she planned to resell the drugs to 10 customers, according to a probable cause affidavit.

The other party is a piece of real estate: Sublet’s two-bedroom house, which prosecutors argued was instrumental to the crime. The Yamhill County Interagency Narcotics Team searched it twice, the second time in a 2018 raid with 30 police officers armed with flash-bang grenades. There, they seized $50,000 in cashier checks from the sale of her Portland home, digital scales, and “trace amounts” of drugs, according to legal filings.

Sublet pleaded guilty to delivery of methamphetamine, forfeited her checks, and was sentenced to 72 months in prison. And, thanks to a jury ruling in a subsequent civil forfeiture lawsuit, lost her lone remaining asset: her house.

THE ARGUMENTS – Sublet appealed, arguing the seizure was both disproportionate and unconstitutional. The Court of Appeals ignored the question of proportionality and focused on whether Oregon’s civil forfeiture laws were constitutional to begin with.

Sublet’s attorney, Stern, argued that voters had acknowledged the punitive nature of forfeiture by tying it to a criminal conviction. The court agreed, ruling that the case should be dismissed on the basis of double jeopardy. The Supreme Court must now decide whether to review it.

Meanwhile, the cities of Salem, Springfield, Medford and Keizer have signed on as “friends of the court” to fight it. So has the Oregon Department of Justice, which noted there have been 1,200 civil forfeitures since 2009 and that the ruling would “have significant ramifications for criminal prosecutions.” (Disclosure: Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum is married to the co-owner of WW’s parent company.) If the Supreme Court does decide to take the case, a ruling isn’t expected until next year.

Kevin Jacoby, a lawyer who works on civil forfeiture cases, says the state’s going to have a tough battle. “I think they’re going to be hard pressed to convince the Supreme Court that the Court of Appeals got it wrong,” he tells WW.

In the meantime, Sublet’s sentence was commuted by Gov. Kate Brown. She’s currently living in her house—at least for now, until the courts decide its fate. (SOURCE)

Proposal On Capping Health Care Costs Would Impact Oregonians

When you get a medical bill, even if it’s itemized, it’s not always easy to tell what you’re paying for. While some things, such as anesthesia, an overnight hospital stay or medications are pretty clear, a lot of overhead costs go into your final bill. If hospitals and other providers could keep their costs down, conceivably, our costs as patients could be lower.

Here in Oregon, our elected officials have a history of trying to make things easier financially on patients. In 2019, the state passed a health care cost growth target program, the goal of which is to help “identify waste and inefficiency, address underlying costs in the health system, and provide new, better cost driver information that can help inform policy that will help reduce costs.”

This is accomplished primarily by asking health care entities to meet a target limit on spending increases – 3.4% annually.  At this point, however, the 3.4% threshold is a soft target, without any enforcement until 2025 and without any financial penalties for failing to meet the target until 2027 — that is, if the program still exists in its current form.

House Bill 2045 , a bill that Oregon lawmakers are currently considering, could radically change the rules. The legislation would create a blanket exemption to the target in the form of certain labor expenses from providers. Health care entities would not have to count their payroll outlays for a significant number of workers when determining whether they meet the state-mandated targets. This raises major concerns about the scope of the program and the ability of the target to effectively contain costs.

Labor costs are often the biggest expense for a health care system, according to the Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems, which represents all of the state’s hospitals. Allowing providers to charge whatever they want to cover their labor costs – and not requiring justification for those expenses – hamstrings the efficacy of a program intended to contain costs.

The program already provides flexibility for entities to exceed the target as long as there’s a “reasonable basis” for it. But hospitals and other providers are asking for exceptions beyond a “reasonable basis” and ultimately, patients will cover those costs through higher premiums and/or medical bills. As recently published in a report from the state program, health care costs are increasing in Oregon, causing people to delay or not seek care, which can be detrimental or even deadly.

Proponents of HB 2045 stated on the House floor that the bill was not a “blanket” exemption, but that misrepresents the effect of the legislation. The bill itself states that “a provider shall not be accountable for cost growth resulting from the provider’s total compensation.” There is no time limit or other justification required for the exemption to be granted. What else is that, if not a blanket exemption?

This bill would set a dangerous precedent while we await the implementation of the cost growth target – one that allows providers to wriggle out of accountability measures. The target isn’t meant to punish hospitals for buying equipment or hiring the staff they need to operate and care for patients. It’s a tool designed to make providers think about how they can cut wasteful – not prudent – spending. Any argument to the contrary is disingenuous.

Oregonians need qualified and competent professionals to be on staff at their doctor’s office and hospitals. But saying labor costs are indemnified from any possibility of wasteful spending and removing any requirement to justify those costs is unrealistic.

Oregon’s legislators got it right the first time with the cost target program. It makes no sense to  gut the program with HB 2045 before it even gets off the ground. (SOURCE)

New vaccines for COVID-19 and RSV on the horizon

Federal health officials are asking Pfizer, Moderna and Novavax to create a new COVID-19 vaccine in time for the fall. Instead of another bivalent shot (which Moderna and Pfizer introduced last year), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) advisory committee wants all three companies to produce a monovalent vaccine that targets only the XBB.1.5 Omicron subvariant.

The FDA’s advisory committee (VRBPAC) last week voted unanimously for the monovalent update, citing data showing the current bivalent vaccine (targeting the original strain plus Omicron BA.4/BA.5) is much less effective against the XBB subvariants currently circulating. The XBB sublineage includes XBB.1.5, XBB.1.16 and XBB.2.3 strains, which are similar enough that a vaccine with a single target (XBB.1.5) could provide good protection against all XBB subvariants. Additionally, the original COVID-19 strain is, by all accounts, no longer circulating.

Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines will continue to use mRNA technology, and the Novavax vaccine will continue to be a non-mRNA vaccine. Learn about the differences here.

Notably, although the bivalent vaccine’s effectiveness against infection from current variants wanes fast, we have not seen a notable increase in severe illness or hospitalizations related to COVID-19.

“The bivalent booster still provides significant protection against hospitalization from COVID-19,” said Dr. Paul Cieslak, OHA senior health advisor and medical director, Communicable Diseases and Immunizations program. “Nevertheless, COVID-19 is still out there, and Oregonians are still being hospitalized by XBB variants. People at high risk could benefit from an updated booster.”

Details and a video of VRBPAC’s meeting can be found here.

After a new updated COVID-19 vaccine is developed and then authorized by the FDA, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will weigh in and recommend who should get it. This could happen around September, and eligible people should be able to receive the vaccine sometime this fall.

This fall may mark the start of an annual COVID-19 vaccine regimen, like we have long had with the flu vaccine, but it’s too early say for sure.

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) vaccines

Oregonians age 60+ may be able to receive an RSV vaccine this fall. The FDA approved two RSV vaccines for older adults last month, one from Pfizer and one from GlaxoSmithKline, and the CDC’s advisory committee voted yesterday that people age 60+ may receive a single dose of RSV vaccine, after discussing it with their health care provider. Evidence presented to the CDC shows the vaccines to be 80% effective at preventing RSV infection in the adults studied. It is not yet known how long that protection will last, and whether people will need a booster year after year.

“RSV hospitalizes 60,000 to 80,000 adults a year in the United States. Older adults, and particularly those with underlying medical conditions, are at high risk,” Cieslak said.

It will take some time to manufacture and distribute the vaccines. According to statements by the two companies, we expect the vaccines to be available later this year, likely in the fall before the start of RSV season.

RSV vaccines are also being studied to see whether they can be given to pregnant people to protect their newborns. RSV is the most common reason that infants get hospitalized; 2% to 3% of all infants in the U.S. are hospitalized because of it. The FDA has reviewed it and is expected to decide toward the end of the summer whether to approve it.

RSV is a mild, cold-like infection for most people, but it can be especially dangerous for babies and older adults.

Josephine Marijuana Enforcement Team Serves Another Marijuana Search Warrant 06/20/23

On June 20, 2023, the Josephine Marijuana Enforcement Team (JMET) with the assistance of Rogue Area Drug Enforcement (RADE) and Josephine County Public Health & Building Safety, executed a search warrant in the 2000 block of Crow Road, Merlin, regarding an illegal marijuana grow site.No photo description available.

During the execution of the warrant, more than 900 marijuana plants were seized and destroyed.

The property also had multiple water and solid waste code violations. These violations could result in the criminal forfeiture of the property.

No suspects were at the location during the time of the search. If the primary suspect is located, they will be charged with Unlawful Manufacturing of Marijuana and Unlawful Appropriation of Water.

At the time of this press release the investigation is ongoing and no further details are being released.


PORTLAND, Ore.—A known Hoover Criminal Gang member arrested today at his home in Gresham, Oregon is facing federal charges for illegally possessing a firearm as a convicted felon.

Shakor Shovontae Ray Holiday, 29, has been charged by criminal complaint with one count of illegally possessing a firearm as a convicted felon.

According to court documents, with five prior felony convictions, including a 2020 federal conviction for illegally possessing a firearm as a convicted felon, Holiday is prohibited from possessing firearms. Despite this restriction, in May 2023, law enforcement obtained several images and videos of Holiday in possession of at least one firearm. Two videos obtained by investigators appeared to show Holiday driving a vehicle while holding an AR-style assault rifle and threatening rivals. Holiday was also observed in the photos and videos displaying various gang signs, including “H” and “107” hand signs associated with the Hoover Criminal Gang.

Today, investigators executed a federal search warrant on Holiday’s Gresham residence. They located and seized a 9mm handgun and an AR-style assault rifle resembling the firearm depicted in the photos and videos reviewed by law enforcement.

Holiday made his first appearance in federal court today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeffrey Armistead. He was ordered detained pending further court proceedings.

Illegally possessing a firearm as a convicted felon is punishable by up to 15 years in federal prison, three years’ supervised release, and a $250,000 fine.

This case was investigated by the FBI with assistance from the Portland Police Bureau, Gresham Police Department, Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). It is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Oregon.

A criminal complaint is only an accusation of a crime, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.


OSP Reminds Drivers to Slow Down This Summer


Oregon Construction Contractors Board warning of Home Improvement Scams and Unlicensed Contractors 

Home improvement scams are most prevalent in summertime, and consumers should be on the lookout for the warning signs of a scam.

Many home improvement scams start with a door-to-door solicitor who offers to sell home improvement services and requests access to your house. “They may want to see your roof or crawl space. Or, they may show you leftover paving materials and ask to re-pave your driveway at a discounted rate. That’s a red flag,” says Vena Swanson, Enforcement Manager at Construction Contractors Board (CCB). Ms. Swanson also recommends not to let strangers into your house or take pictures of your home without your permission. 

Many home improvement scams follow a formula, and can be identified by tell-tale signs:

  • Door-to-door solicitors often ask for access to the house (roof, attic, crawl space, etc), then offer to make immediate repairs
  • They may show the homeowner pictures of damage after gaining access to the house
  • They may say they have leftover materials from a previous job, allowing them to do the work for a very low cost
  • Solicitors (door-to-door or phone) often offer limited time deals and/or in-house financing 

Do Your Homework Before Hiring a Contractor

“As always, it’s important to check the license,” says Ms. Swanson. The CCB’s license search feature allows homeowners to verify a contractor’s license is active. They can also look up 10 years of history on any contractor’s license, including complaints and disciplinary actions. Once the homeowner has reviewed the contractor’s license history, they can make an informed decision about that contractor. 

The CCB also recommends:

  • Get a contract. Contracts are required for jobs over $2,000, but CCB recommends getting a contract for jobs of all prices.
  • Check references. “Ask lots of questions,” recommends Ms. Swanson. “When you put it into the context of inviting someone to do work in your home – you’re inviting strangers into your safe space. By checking references, you come to know other people’s firsthand experience.”
  • Vet multiple contractors. Research at least three contractors for large home improvement projects. Meeting with multiple contractors puts the job into perspective by allowing you to compare prices, timelines and more. 

Consumers Agree, Checking the License Is Important

A recent survey showed that 95% of Oregon homeowners agree it’s important to hire a licensed contractor. Hiring a licensed contractor gives consumers access to protections, such as CCB’s mediation services. Licensed contractors also carry a bond and insurance that provide additional protection when home improvement projects go wrong.

Hiring an unlicensed contractor leaves homeowners with few options when problems arise. Disputes between homeowners and unlicensed contractors can be settled in court, but many homeowners simply give up and accept the cost of repairing the damage themselves. 

How to Check the License

To verify the contractor has an active license: 

  1. Visit www.oregon.gov/ccb
  2. Click on the link at the top of the page that says “contractor search,” or click on the orange “search here” button in the middle of the page
  3. Enter the license number or name, then click the “search” button
  4. Verify that the license is active. Click into the record to see that the contractor carries the endorsement for residential work, and that the name and other information on the license matches the contractor you are considering. 

Want help searching or understanding the results? Call CCB at 503-378-4621.

“If you didn’t take the time to plan a project properly, don’t do it,” reminds Ms. Swanson. “No matter how convincing or how tempting a home improvement may sound, if you don’t have the planning done and the money set aside, don’t do it. Your home is likely the biggest investment of your life, don’t hesitate to protect it.”



About the CCB

The CCB is the state agency licensing over 42,000 contractors. Virtually anyone who is paid to repair, improve or build a home must be licensed. Learn more about how to have a successful project at www.oregon.gov/ccb.


Young girl getting ready to catch a goalball.Northwest Association for Blind Athletes (NWABA) is excited to announce the start of its seventh-year hosting Camp Spark for children, youth and young adults who are blind and visually impaired, through the summer and winter seasons.

Camp Spark is a comprehensive overnight sports camp for individuals ages 8 to 21, who are blind and visually impaired. This unique model uses sports, physical activity, and orientation and mobility as a catalyst to encourage leadership, independence, advocacy, and daily living skills that contribute to overall greater quality of life. 

NWABA will host a total of seven week-long sessions throughout the year. Two summer sessions will be held at the Linfield University Campus in McMinnville, OR and will provide sports instruction to a total of 82 campers ranging in age from 8-21, living in Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Montana. Campers will participate in a variety of sports and recreational activities including goalball (a sport specifically developed for individuals with visual impairments), fitness, beep baseball, tandem cycling, yoga, judo, track & field, and numerous others. One additional summer session is tailored specifically to children, youth and young adults with multiple disabilities, in addition to being blind or visually impaired. And one session, to be held in April 2024, targets elite athletes, ages 10-21, and focuses on high-performance blind soccer and goalball skills. All campers vary in socioeconomic status, ethnic background, and level of skills and abilities and NWABA offers camp free of charge to youth and their families. 

Other sessions will be held at various locations throughout Oregon and Washington. For a complete schedule of Camp Spark session descriptions, dates and locations, visit our website.

“Our Board of Directors is extremely excited to offer these truly transformational programs to children and youth with visual impairments. Camp reaches far beyond participating in sports, and acts as a catalyst to help campers gain the confidence, self-esteem, friendships, and independence they need to achieve success in all areas of life.” said Founder, President & CEO, Billy Henry.

Camp Spark is partially funded by the generosity of our individual donors, foundations, state grants and corporate partners; however, additional support is critically needed to deliver a successful camp. Donations to support Camp Spark can be made online at www.nwaba.org/donate or by mailing a check to PO BOX 61489, Vancouver, WA, 98666. For more information on Northwest Association for Blind Athletes, please contact Anne Coleman, Marketing & Communications Manager at 360-768-5647 or media@nwaba.org

About NWABA: 
The mission of Northwest Association for Blind Athletes (NWABA) is to provide life-changing opportunities through sports and physical activity to individuals who are blind and visually impaired. A group of students who were visually impaired formed the association in 2007 to ensure that people who are blind were participating in sports and physical activity. Today, NWABA is a rapidly expanding 501(c)(3) charitable organization that provides more than 1,900 children, youth, adults and military veterans with visual impairments tailored programming which improves self-confidence and self-esteem, promotes independence, creates an inclusive community of supporters, and builds the skills necessary to succeed in all areas of life including school and employment.


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