Klamath Basin News, Friday, Sept.15 – Klamath Water Users Rights Dwindling; Chiloquin Man Shoots Brother; El Grito Celebration Is Saturday at KCC

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, The Herald and News, and BasinLife.com, and powered by Mick Insurance, your Local Health and Medicare agents. Call 541-882-6476.

Friday, Sept. 15, 2023

Klamath Basin Weather

Today
Sunny, with a high near 89. Calm winds southwest 5 to 7 mph in the afternoon. Overnight, clear with a low around 49 degrees.
Saturday
Sunny, with a high near 89. Light winds to 7 mph in the afternoon. Low overnight of 52.
Sunday
A 20 percent chance of showers after 2pm. Sunny, with a high near 88. 
Monday
Mostly sunny, with a high near 84.
Tuesday
Sunny, with a high near 77.
Wednesday
Sunny, with a high near 67.

Today’s Headlines

A Chiloquin man is in jail accused of the deadly overnight shooting of his brother.
47-year-old Jason Robert Brown faces manslaughter and criminal weapon charges for the shooting death of 46-year-old Joshua Brown. 

The suspect had his first court appearance in the case yesterday. Jason Brown allegedly called Klamath County 911 saying his brother was trying to assault him.  Dispatch reported an argument was heard followed by two loud bangs.  Jason told Dispatch he shot Joshua. 

Joshua was pronounced deceased on scene. The probable cause statement for filing criminal charges against Jason Brown shows police arrested him at 3:25 a.m. yesterday after an investigation discovered the men had an argument by phone before Joshua Brown went to his brother’s Chiloquin home where the shooting occurred.

Klamath County Jail information says Oregon State Police made the arrest.  Jason Brown has two hearings set for this case: one next week and the other hearing next month before a November 1, 2023 trial date. (KDRV)

 

Magistrate Judge Marke Clarke released findings and recommendations Monday in two lawsuits by the Klamath Tribes against the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s Klamath Project operations.

The Klamath Water Users Association, siding with Reclamation, argued the 2021 and 2022 operations complied with the Endangered Species Act. The Magistrate Judge’s report found Reclamation adhered to the ESA in 2021 but breached the statute in 2022. District Court Judge Michael O’Shea will review the findings and any party objections before issuing a final decision. Both cases centered on Reclamation’s use of an Interim Operations Plan, which both KWUA and the Klamath Tribes have criticized.

During 2021 and 2022 droughts, Reclamation adjusted IOP operations after consulting federal fisheries agencies. The Klamath Tribes alleged these changes violated the ESA concerning two endangered sucker species in Upper Klamath Lake. In 2021, Klamath Project irrigators couldn’t divert water, leading Reclamation to allocate water between Upper Klamath Lake suckers and California’s Klamath River coho salmon. In 2022, irrigators received about 20% of their irrigation water needs, a move that the Magistrate Judge deemed an ESA violation.

The impact of a district court agreement with the Magistrate Judge’s findings remains unclear, as any ruling would only state that there was a past violation in 2021.

 

Further in local water news Magistrate Judge Mark Clarke issued a final ruling in a lawsuit brought by the federal government against the Klamath Drainage District. The ruling holds that KDD may not divert water from a canal that it owns, using water rights that are in KDD’s name, unless the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation authorizes it to do so.

“This is an extraordinary expansion of federal power,” said KDD President and family farmer, Bill Walker.  

For over a century, KDD has diverted water from the Klamath River to serve approximately 27,000 acres of irrigated farmland in Klamath County, Oregon. KDD has contracts with Reclamation that allow KDD to use water released from Upper Klamath Lake, subject to required payments to the United States.

In the 1970s, KDD pursued a back-up to its contract with Reclamation. It obtained water rights in its own name and can divert the water either through a federally-owned facility or through a canal built and owned by KDD.  

In 2022, Reclamation ordered KDD not to divert water, contending that KDD could only divert water left over after Reclamation furnished water for various fish species under Reclamation’s Endangered Species Act (ESA) obligations and water had been delivered to Project contractors with higher priority contracts.

In most recent years, this amount of water is zero.  KDD contended that for water diverted under its water rights through its facilities, KDD is no different than the many other parties who divert water in the Klamath Basin without the need for federal permission. The Magistrate Judge’s ruling agrees with the United States and enjoins KDD from diverting any water from any location without federal authorization.

 

In about a month almost 60,000 people will be flocking to Klamath County to witness the Solar Eclipse.

Klamath County makes a great destination to see it because it’s very rural and has very little light pollution. Because it’s such a good destination and so many people are expected to show up, a state of emergency has already been announced. Having that many people in the county with limited resources means it will take longer to get necessary things, if they’re available at all.

Kelley Minty, a commissioner for Klamath County, is encouraging residents to be prepared by stocking up on necessities like gas and food before everyone arrives. She said she is excited for the county to welcome all these visitors. There is also a reminder for residents asking for patience from them as it will be one of the busiest weekends in the county’s history.

The Solar Eclipse is set to hit Klamath County, Oregon from about 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. on October 14th.

 

THIS WEEKEND! You and your family are invited to the Healthy Klamath Hispanic Health Committee’s El Grito de Klamath Basin Celebration at Klamath Community College on Saturday, Sept. 16th from 11AM-4PM.

Come Enjoy music, vendors selling merchandise, prizes and local food trucks selling tasty authentic Mexican food!  Brought to you by the Healthy Klamath Hispanic Health Committee, Wynne Broadcasting, BasinLife.com and many organizations within our Klamath Basin Community. El Grito is Saturday!

Be sure and listen to La Patrona 106.5FM or 1240AM on the radio for more information and see the Hispanic community website, LaVozdeKlamath.com! Call for more information about the event at 541-882-8846 ext 3465 or email kduarte@klamathcounty.org.  Hope to see you and your family there!

 

During this week’s City School Board meeting, Superintendent Keith Brown reported that Klamath Falls City Schools gained 140 students this fall, to a total of 2,881 students.

At the board’s first meeting of the new school year, two Klamath Union High students, senior Isabella Coffman and junior Paetin Eckert gave a back-to-school report on their school’s first days, and updated the board on activities, sports and other happenings at KU.

Karla Andrade, college and career program coordinator at Klamath Union, presented information to the board on the school’s progress with dual credit and early college credits for students there. Andrade underscored the program’s growth starting from nine students enrolled in the 2017-2018 school year, to 117 enrolled in the 2022-2023 school year. Andrade’s presentation also highlights the savings achieved by students and their families by choosing dual credit options.

Students pay $25 for each three-credit college course through the program, whereas the same class cost as a college student is $304 at Oregon Tech.

These savings have amounted to nearly $500,000 between classes taken at Klamath Community College, Oregon Tech and Southern Oregon University, and are monumental for poverty-level families and students. (Herald & News)

 

Congratulations to the Favell Museum, celebrating its 51st Annual Art Show and Sale starting starting today, and runs all day Saturday and Sunday.

The Favell Museum art show and sale includes works from more than 30 artists from throughout the West, according to a recent news release.

The art show will present a range of different mediums, including oils, pastels, watercolors, acrylics, mixed media, bronze and wooden sculptures. According to a news release the exhibition features landscapes, plein-air, Western, figure, still life, wildlife, historical art and more.

A few choice local artists will be among those featured in this year’s show and sale, including Stefan Savides.

Judy Phearson, local award-winning oil painter known for her depictions of birds and waterfowl, will also be featured in the show.

An opening reception for museum members and sponsors will be tomorrow during business hours, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Opening weekend for the general public, including artist demonstrations and other events, will be held from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Saturday. And on Sunday, from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m., the museum will host a Sunday Brunch, catered by Clarabell’s Catering, with appetizers, mimosas and other refreshments.

Admission to the brunch is $15, and space is limited. To reserve tickets, call 541-882-9996.

 

An ongoing interactive mural project in Klamath Falls is bringing new color to the downtown area.

Klamath Falls Downtown Association, Discover Klamath and the City of Klamath Falls commissioned two Central Oregon artists to create a mural on the side of Thai Orchid on the 900 block of Main Street.

KFDA board member Laty Xayavong said community support for the project provided a portion of the funding with donations made through GoFundMe.

According to Katie Daisy the mural idea was created after the famous Welcome To post cards. Daisy and her co-painter Karen Eland are known for their menagerie of similar murals in communities throughout central Oregon. Commissioned by Visit Central Oregon in 2021, the duo has murals in Madras, Bend, Sisters, Redmond and Sunriver, to name a few. (Herald & News)

 

Klamath & Lake Community Action Services, Integral Youth Services, Lake of the Woods, and the Klamath Falls branch of the Oregon Department of Forestry are teaming up to help keep families warm this winter.

With an abundance of logs also at Fourmile Campground, Klamath Falls District Ranger Melanie Fullman reached out to Klamath County Commissioner Kelley Minty, inquiring about how to donate the wood to local low-income families.

With a cooperative program already in place between Klamath & Lake Community Action Services (KLCAS) and Integral Youth Services (IYS) sees KLCAS provide IYS a listing of households in need of resources that IYS then collects and delivers. Part of IYS’ Fire Fuels Mitigation Work 2 Learn program, youth ages 14-21 have been split into three crews and perform every aspect of fire mitigation from creating defensible spaces around homes to assisting the Klamath Falls Branch of Oregon Department of Forestry with hazard tree identification and removals.

Lake of the Woods (LOW) resort manager and Fourmile campground concessionaire George Gregory said many trees have started to die off around the two areas due to drought stress or from Pine Engraver Beetles infestation.

“When a tree begins to die, it becomes hazardous for visitors of the campsites and also to the forests themselves as the dead trees ignite and burn quickly,” Gregory said. “Around the Lake of the Woods, we are planning to cut around 150 trees, mostly white firs. It’s a great opportunity to get firewood to people who will really benefit from it.”

Currently, the crews have been tasked with the cutting, splitting, collecting and storing of wood located at Fourmile Campground and Lake of the Woods. So far, Zamora said that 144 homes have been identified that could use assistance and that it is planned to begin making deliveries to them by the third week of September. Zamora also said KLCAS’ Energy Assistance Program will start accepting applications for senior and disabled people on Oct. 2 and on Nov. 1 for the general public. (Herald & News)

 

The American Red Cross is asking for everyone’s help as it faces a nationwide blood shortage including in Oregon.

During the summer months is usually when they see a decline in people donating — that’s because people tend to forget to donate during the busy summer season — but the other time of the year they see a drop is around the holidays. Now the Red Cross is urging people to donate so this shortage doesn’t get worse.

The next scheduled opportunity to donate blood in the Klamath Basin isn’t until October 25th at Klamath Union High School. However, you can get more information and make appointments to donate blood at redcrossblood.org.

In order to keep the country’s blood supply stocked, it will take 13,000 donations from across the country. The need has been dropping over the last couple of months, according to Dawn Johnson, communications manager for Red Cross Cascades Region.

Johnson said that there are a few reasons blood is in short supply nationwide, including Hurricane Idalia, which slammed parts of the Florida just a couple of weeks ago.

 

Klamath County graduate earns NewSun Energy scholarship ...

Katherine Grayson, a recent Henley High School graduate, was awarded a $500 scholarship through NewSun Energy’s annual Climate + Ag Essay Contest.

Grayson centered her essay on the effects of extreme weather events on agriculture and the need to focus the conversation of climate change around farming operations. “

Grayson has committed to attending the University of Nevada-Reno. The NewSun Energy Climate + Ag Scholarship is available to graduating seniors in Harney, Crook, Lanke, and Klamath counties who are attending college in fall 2023.

Other scholarship winners for 2023 were Karelee Vickerman from Lakeview, Tayleur Baker, Shaylee Root, and Alexia Ballard from Burns, Steven “Emery” Hammond from Diamond, and Ana Laura Jacuinde Caballero from Prineville.

Essays were reviewed by a nine-person committee, consisting of four NewSun Energy employees and five community members, inducing Oregon State Representatives Mark Owens (R-Crane) and Bobby Levy (R-Echo).

NewSun Energy is a renewable energy development group with a primary focus on solar projects that bring sustainability, economic development and jobs to rural Oregon.  (KCSD/Herald and News)

 

150 Volunteers Join Forces to Build the New ADA-Accessible Playground in Moore Park

Recently Healthy Klamath, Sky Lakes Medical Center, and the City of Klamath Falls joined forces to rally 150 volunteers to help construct the new 18,000 square foot, accessible playground in Moore Park.

This initiative aims to enhance the recreational opportunities for children and families in Klamath Falls while promoting a healthy and active lifestyle.

The new playground, once completed, is set to provide a safe and inclusive environment for children to exercise their imagination and engage in active play. Equipped with a range of inclusive play structures and local features such as a lava cave labyrinth, a Klamath Tule Hut, and a Mt. McLoughlin climbing wall, this custom designed playground will undoubtedly become a popular destination for families throughout the Klamath Basin.

Healthy Klamath, Sky Lakes, and the City of Klamath Falls came together with a shared vision to provide an inclusive and dynamic space for children in the community to play, regardless of their physical abilities. Recognizing the need for such a facility, they have worked together since 2019 gaining community support, writing grants, hosting fundraisers, and successfully raised 1.4 million dollars together to help make this dream a reality.

On August 25 and August 26, over 150 volunteers came together to help build the playground alongside Modoc Construction and Leather and Associates, the playground company. Under the guidance of experienced professionals, the volunteers tackled various tasks, from laying foundations to building ramps, all with the goal of creating a safe and stimulating environment for children of all abilities.

This project continues to represent a display of unity and dedication to making the Klamath Falls community an even better place for all its residents. From the funding donated to the physical energy volunteers contributed, this playground has been a true community effort.

“We are grateful for the overwhelming generosity and involvement of the Klamath Falls community. From fundraising to volunteering, the community has truly stepped up to support this incredible playground,” said Merritt Driscoll, Director of Community Relations at Sky Lakes Medical Center. “This project represents a testament to the power of collaboration and community spirit. We hope that it will serve as a catalyst for future initiatives and inspire others to contribute to the betterment of Klamath Falls.”

“We cannot stress enough the importance of fostering a vibrant and engaging environment for our children. Playgrounds not only provide opportunities for physical activity but also contribute to the development of social skills and creativity,” added Mark Willrett from the City of Klamath Falls.

This inclusive ADA accessible playground will not only provide an exciting and inclusive space for children to play, but it will also stand as a testament to the power of community collaboration and the realization of shared dreams.

Stay tuned for further updates as Modoc Construction continues to work with the goal of completing the playground in October of 2023. To learn more or get involved in our next volunteer build day, go to www.healthyklamath.org/playground.

Let’s celebrate this significant step towards building a stronger and more inclusive community for all!

About Healthy Klamath 

The Healthy Klamath Coalition is a multi-sector partnership established to guide community health improvement efforts in Klamath County, Oregon. Passionate community leaders and community members are working together to find innovative solutions to address the health issues where we live, learn, work, and play. This momentum is helping build a culture of health in Klamath County.

Around the state of Oregon

Oregon State Police – Officer-Involved Shooting – Lane County

On Thursday, September 14, at approximately 9:10 A.M., Oregon State Police was notified of an attempt to locate on a stolen vehicle.  Troopers located the vehicle in the city of Coburg and attempted to stop the vehicle, and the vehicle fled.  A short time later, the vehicle was located at an apartment complex, located at 599 Coburg Rd., by Coburg Police, Lane County Sheriff’s Deputies and Troopers. 

During the course of the incident, at least one law enforcement officer discharged their duty weapon.  The operator of the stolen vehicle was transported from the scene by ambulance, but later confirmed to be deceased.

At least one officer on scene received non-life-threatening injuries during the incident.  All involved officers have been placed on traumatic event leave as is standard protocol in deadly force incidents.

The Lane County Interagency Deadly Force Investigation Team responded and is investigating the incident.  This team is comprised of investigators from numerous agencies and overseen by the Lane County District Attorney’s Office.  

Per the standard protocols, all future media releases related to this incident will come from the Lane County District Attorney’s Office. 

 

More people left Oregon than moved into the state in 2022, a reversal of growth trends that had endured since the 1980s.

The new U.S. Census Bureau numbers mark the first time Oregon saw more people leaving than arriving since a housing crash in the early ‘80s caused a sharp recession in the state.

Oregon’s timber-dependent economy of the time meant it was among the hardest-hit states. That recession was the state’s deepest until the COVID-19 pandemic, and it took the better part of a decade for the state to regain the jobs lost. At that time, the state saw five years of net negative migration, according to the Oregon Office of Economic Analysis.

Today’s population decline comes in the wake of the COVID-19 recession, which upended the workforce as remote work introduced people to the possibility of working from anywhere. Portland was among the urban centers that saw unusually large numbers of residents leave during that time.

Nearly 158,000 people packed up and left Oregon in 2022, which is roughly 33,000 more people leaving than the year before, census data shows. Meanwhile, Oregon saw about 128,000 newcomers from other states. (OregonLive)

 

A group of volunteer advisors to the Oregon Health Authority voted Tuesday to make the state the third in the nation to seek federal approval for a basic health program.

It’s an option, established in the Affordable Care Act, that allows states to provide insurance directly to some people who make a little too much money to qualify for Medicaid.

The Oregon Health Policy Board voted unanimously to approve Oregon’s blueprint application. It was the last step in a lengthy policy-making process needed for state approval of the plan after a task force last year recommended moving forward with it. It’s the latest in a series of incremental steps policymakers have taken that move the state in the direction of universal health coverage, including allowing all children in Oregon who qualify for Medicaid to stay enrolled without annual re-evaluations until their 6th birthday, allowing adults to stay enrolled for two years at a time, and extending coverage to undocumented youths and adults.

The basic health program, set to launch July 2024, will cover people who earn 138% to 200% of the federal poverty level. In Oregon, about 100,000 people will qualify, the state health authority estimates. (Herald and News)

 

Even Nike’s Flagship Store in Portland Has Had Enough, Now Closed Because of Crime

Nike has permanently closed its flagship community store on Northeast Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

Nike confirmed the closure of their main store in downtown Portland, Oregon.  It comes months after Nike requested a security partnership with the City of Portland because of crime in the area, including shoplifting.

In February, Mayor Ted Wheeler announced he would increase patrols in the area as Nike re–opened the story. But the store at 2650 N.E. MLK Jr. Blvd. remained closed for months.

Wheeler said the city had attempted to work with Nike to ease its “safety challenges” but said the city would not provide off-duty officers from the Portland Police Bureau because of a staffing shortage in the police force.

“My team and city staff have worked tirelessly and in good faith with Nike for almost a year to offer creative solutions to their safety challenges,” Wheeler said in a statement on Sept. 8. “Ultimately, the City cannot offer Nike, or any other private business, with dedicated off-duty PPB officers due to PPB’s staffing shortage. I remain committed to supporting Nike’s future success in Portland and look forward to their future investments in our community.”

The closure followed REI’s Outdoor Store decision to move out of the Pearl District and was confirmed just days before Reverend Nat’s Hard Cider announced it was closing its Southeast Portland location because of a loss of tourism-related business.

A recent analysis of IRS data shows that Portland lost $1 billion in taxable income between 2020 and 2021 as residents left the city because of crime, homelessness, property damage and tax increases. The numbers will look far worse for 2022 and 2023.

Nike officials said they are re-imagining its retail spaces and considering some future locations as part of a revitalization plan.  The press release noted the store had been an anchor for the community for nearly 40 years. (Nike and media sources)

Pension funds in Oregon are suing Fox News. With the Dominion Voting Systems lawsuit resolved and put behind them, the Fox Corporation has a new legal battle in their crosshairs.

The suit claims the Fox neglected its fiduciary duties to shareholders by continuing to push “conspiracy thoeries that made Fox the target of several defamation lawsuits.” Oregon’s Department of Justice cited segments about U.S. Dominion, Inc. and Smartmatic USA Corp. rigging the 2020 election and the murder of DNC staffer Seth Rich as examples of putting shareholders’ money at risk.

Oregon State Treasuer Tobias Read is quoted as saying he will hold Fox’s board of directors, including Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch, “accountable for their decisions.”

 

Coos Bay, Oregon – As a result of the Anvil Fire, the BLM is closing the Edson and Sixes campgrounds and recreation sites until further notice. This order is for the safety of the public and firefighter personnel. 

Members of the public may not enter closed areas. All uses—including hiking, hunting and camping—are prohibited.  

“This closure order is to keep the public and firefighters safe,” said Steve Lydick, Coos Bay District Manager. “The BLM continues to work closely with the fire team and county emergency managers on public safety measures resulting from the Anvil Fire.”  

Maps of the closure areas are available on the Bureau of Land Management’s website at  https://www.blm.gov/programs/public-safety-and-fire/fire-and-aviation/regional-info/oregon-washington/fire-restrictions.  

For additional information about the Anvil Fire, please visit https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident-information/orrsf-anvil-fire. Information for the Flat and Anvil Fires can also be found on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/flatfireoregon2023/ 

For the latest road and weather condition updates, visit https://www.tripcheck.com/. 

Please call 911 to report any signs of new fires. 

A list of fire restrictions and closure orders for BLM Oregon-Washington public lands are available at https://www.blm.gov/programs/public-safety-and-fire/fire-and-aviation/regional-info/oregon-washington/fire-restrictions. You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter @BLMOregon. 

 

Oregon’s unemployment rate stayed at 3.4% in August, the same as July. This tied Oregon’s record low of 3.4%, which also was reached in November and December 2019.

Since May, Oregon’s unemployment rate has been below 4%. The U.S. unemployment rate rose from 3.5% in July to 3.8% in August. In August, Oregon’s seasonally adjusted nonfarm payroll employment declined by 1,200 jobs, following a revised gain of 3,400 jobs in July.

August’s over-the-month job losses were largest in retail trade (-1,600 jobs); construction (-1,000); and professional and business services (-800). Job gains were largest in leisure and hospitality (+2,100 jobs).

Several major industries grew rapidly over the past 12 months. Since August 2022, leisure and hospitality (+10,500 jobs, or 5.3%) continued to add jobs at a rapid clip, but is still 6,100 jobs below its prior peak reached in February 2020.

Health care and social assistance (+14,000 jobs, or 5.2%) also added jobs rapidly over the past 12 months, with social assistance gaining 6,300 jobs in that time. Each of health care’s component industries added close to 2,500 jobs in that time.

Government (9,400 jobs, or 3.1%) grew rapidly in that time as well, as local government recently rose above its pre-pandemic level.

 

One of Oregon’s Republican congressional representatives supports an impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden and sits on one of the committees investigating him, while the other is keeping her distance.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-California, announced Tuesday that he directed three House committees to open a formal impeachment inquiry into Biden and allegations that he benefited from his son’s business dealings.

Oregon Republican Rep. Cliff Bentz serves on the Judiciary Committee, one of the three committees involved in the inquiry. Bentz told the Capital Chronicle he doesn’t yet know much about the inquiry and what his role will be, but that he expects it could take several months based on his experience with the first impeachment inquiry into former President Donald Trump. He expects to learn more after meetings with other Republicans over the next few days, and he said he expects the investigation to happen in the background while Congress focuses on passing a short-term spending bill. It has until Sept. 30 to approve a continuing resolution or the government shuts down. (Capitol Chronicle)

 

Eugene Mayor Lucy Vinis Says No to a third term
In Oregon’s second largest city of Eugene, Mayor Lucy Vinis will not be seeking a third term as Eugene’s mayor, according to sources.  The city has growing problems with homelessness, drug use, less safety because of crime and housing.

Vinis is set to formally announce her decision not to run for reelection. Vinis will also endorse Kaarin Knudson in her run for the mayoral position.

“It has been an honor to serve as Eugene’s mayor,” said Vinis in a written statement. “And it is time to make space for new leaders. I know that Kaarin has the vision, experience, and temperament to lead our city through the work ahead.”  Mayor Vinis was elected mayor of Eugene in 2016, and began her first term in 2017. She was re-elected to a second term in 2020. The primary election for the mayoral position will be on May 21, 2024, and the general election will be on November 5, 2024.

Kaarin Knudson is a local architect and educator who has practiced architecture and design in Oregon since 2007. She has deep roots with the University of Oregon, according to her campaign.

 

OSP Will Be Out In Force in Mt. Angel During This Weekend’s Oktoberfest

The Oregon State Police will be enhancing our patrol efforts in Mt. Angel and surrounding highways starting on Thursday, September 14, through Sunday, September 17.  Oktoberfest will draw a significant number of motorists to the area and the increased traffic volume comes with an increased risk of traffic collisions.  The Oregon State Police will be seeking the public’s assistance in ensuring safe highways for those who are traveling to and from this event, as well as those traveling through the area on other adventures.  

Oregon State Police presence will be focused on reducing violations of the Fatal Five categories- Speed, Occupant Safety, Lane Usage, Impaired Driving, and Distracted Driving (SOLID).  These violations are statistically proven to contribute to serious injury and fatal crashes.  We encourage motorists to plan ahead, in order to avoid the need to rely on excessive speed, use their mobile devices, or operate their vehicles while impaired, in order to get to and from their destinations.

 

PORTLAND, Ore.—A Portland man pleaded guilty and was sentenced to federal prison today for assaulting a U.S. Probation Officer during a supervised release home visit.

Andre Eugene Shaw, 39, was sentenced to 63 months in federal prison and three years’ supervised release.

According to court documents, on April 14, 2021, two U.S. Probation Officers conducted a home visit with Shaw at his Portland residence. At the time, Shaw was on supervised release for multiple federal crimes, including extorting individuals engaged in the production of child pornography, money laundering, and possessing an unregistered short-barreled rifle, and restricted from possessing certain electronic devices, including cellphones. 

During the home visit, the probation officers observed an unauthorized cellphone in Shaw’s hallway closet. When one of the officers attempted to seize the cellphone, Shaw struck the officer in the face. He then grabbed the officer by her shirt and pushed her to the ground before fleeing his residence. The officer sustained cuts to her lip and nose.

The second probation officer pursued Shaw on foot outside the residence, ordering to him stop. Shaw ran away from the home and temporarily out of the officer’s view. Soon after, Shaw reappeared, began walking back toward the probation officers with his hands behind his head, and was placed under arrest. The cell phone Shaw prevented the probation officers from seizing was never recovered.

On April 16, 2021, Shaw was charged by criminal complaint with assaulting a federal officer. Later, on May 19, 2021, a federal grand jury in Portland returned a two-count indictment charging Shaw with assaulting a federal officer and assaulting or resisting a person authorized to make searches and seizures.

In August 2019, Shaw was involved in a similar confrontation with staff at a community reentry center for recently incarcerated individuals. When staff at the facility attempted to seize Shaw’s cellphone, he ripped it out of a staff member’s hand and swallowed the SIM card. Shaw was sentenced to 14 months in prison following the incident.

This case was investigated by the FBI and prosecuted by Marco A. Boccato and Gavin W. Bruce, Assistant U.S. Attorneys for the District of Oregon.

 

Oregon launched a new crisis line for members of the agricultural community this month, with the help of Oregon State University’s Extension Service. It’s the seventh state to offer the Agristress Helpline, and the first to be managed by a university. 

Allison Myers, Associate Dean for Extension and Engagement at OSU says some of that has to do with the geographic isolation and lack of access to healthcare. The agricultural community also faces stressors that many other folks don’t face. For example, the hours are very, very long, so you’re coupling geographic isolation with sort of a social isolation.

Myers believes the helpline will open the door to discuss an important topic, “The conversation about suicide and about risk and about stressors is one that needs to be had. It’s too common for folks to suffer in silence and to not ask for help.”

Partial funding for Oregon’s participation came from the 2023 legislature, and training for call-takers is provided by the Oregon Department of Agriculture.

The Agristress Helpline is available in multiple languages 24/7 by call or text at 833-897-2474.  (OSU extension service)

 

Something many lumber companies and Oregonians already know is once again confirmed in a new study out of Oregon State University, showing that forest thinning helps older trees and makes forests stronger.

Researchers studied a forest in Oregon’s Blue Mountains. It found thinning trees made older trees more robust. It also strengthened the forest against disease and devastating wildfires. The benefits of thinning take three to four years to happen. It also allows grasses and shrubs to grow that are less likely to cause a major fire. (oregon news)

 

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Play our $5K U-PICK-EM Contest all season long!  Click the pic!

  THIS WEEKEND! Celebrate the Spanish Holiday at KCC with us at EL GRITO, Saturday, Sept. 16, 2023!

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Brian Casey

Klamath Basin News, Thursday, March 5 – Governor Brown Issues Official Drought Declaration for Klamath County

Brian Casey

Klamath Basin News, Wednesday, 5/15 – Klamath and Lake Community Action Services Celebrating 20 Years;  Wildfire Risks Reduction Program Includes Klamath Falls; Oregon Now Ranked in Top Ten Most Dangerous States To Live; Oregon International Airshow This Weekend

Brian Casey