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Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2023
Klamath Basin Weather
A 40% chance of showers before 11am. Mostly sunny, with a high near 63. West southwest wind 6 to 13 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph. Overnight, a 20% chance of showers, with a low of 41 degrees.
The Marsh Fire is burning 3,000 acres of the Klamath Marsh National Wildlife Refuge as well as national forest service lands at Silver Lake Road in Klamath County.
Fremont-Winema Forest Service Public Affairs Officer Benjamin Wilson said the fire was reported to the Lakeview Interagency Fire Center at 12:24 p.m. Saturday. The Marsh Fire is near the intersection of Silver Lake Road and Military Crossing Road in the Klamath Marsh area in Klamath County.
The blaze is located eight miles north of Chiloquin. No structures are currently threatened, Wilson said. A news release from U.S. Forest Service said there is no containment of the blaze. Although some light precipitation offered some aid to ongoing firefighting efforts Sunday, winds to the southwest were expected to reach 20 miles per hour Sunday evening with 30 mile an hour gusts predicted throughout the remainder of the day.
“Any new or ongoing fires will likely spread rapidly,” the alert said. “Outdoor burning is not recommended.” Gusts are predicted to reach up to 45 miles per hour.
Multiple resources are on the scene, the release said, with more to come. An update with additional details was sought and will be provided as soon as possible. (Herald&News)
Oregon Tech students return from research gathering in Northern Europe
Two Oregon Tech students, Jaime Kuchle and Tarrah Bickford, embarked on a journey this summer to Finland, Sweden, and Iceland to conduct international research. Their work with Associate Professor Sonja Bickford in the undergraduate business research lab, the Business Research (Rural and Arctic) Group, made this opportunity possible.
Jaime Kuchle, a senior majoring in Marketing, and Tarrah Bickford, a freshman with a double major in Environmental Science and Marketing, pursued diverse research projects in these Northern European countries. Both projects aim to develop strategies and solutions for increasing economic development and tourism in the community and the region.
Jaime’s research project assessed the world of destination branding, and sought to understand its definition and impact on consumer decision-making. By comparing Arctic and Pacific Northwest brands, Jaime explored regional branding strategies and their influence on consumer behavior.
Jaime shared, “This research adventure has been a life-changing experience. Stepping out of my comfort zone and conducting international research has given me unforgettable opportunities, from forming connections with industry leaders to receiving a doctoral thesis that aligns with my work. I now understand the immense value of thinking big and embracing every opportunity.”
Tarrah’s project focused on corporate tourism and corporate retreats, looking at best practices in marketing these experiences. During the trip, she met with tourism-focused retreat entrepreneurs and branding and marketing agencies.
Tarrah shared, “During our time in Stockholm we were interviewing people in an old town, and I had a wonderful professional come up to me and introduce herself. Turns out, she operates in the corporate travel industry, and she would love to mentor me. This was unexpected – but what an outcome!
“My recommendation for other students is to take advantage of opportunities. If the opportunity makes you a little nervous, but you have a great group to support you, like the students and faculty in the Business Research Group, do it!”
Professor Bickford, whose leadership and mentorship were instrumental in Jaime and Tarrah’s research efforts, emphasized the significance of exposing students to the international market. She believes that this exposure to research and presenting work at academic conferences equips students with essential skills in global communication and business strategy, preparing students for successful careers in the business world.
The work and data collection conducted by the Business Research (Rural and Arctic) Group was supported by private donations that were matched on Oregon Tech’s Give a Hoot Day fundraiser.
For more information about Oregon Institute of Technology and its research initiatives, please visit www.oit.edu.
The Bend Police Department is still actively working on a homicide investigation that occurred in July where the victim’s stolen Honda CR-V was abandoned in Klamath Falls.
During the course of their investigation, Detectives located video surveillance of the suspect abandoning the vehicle and walking away on South 6th Street. At about that same time, the male pictured in the attached image was also seen walking northwest on South 6th Street near Shasta Way. The suspect appears to cross the street in the direction this male was walking.
Detective TJ Knea of the Bend Police Department would like to speak to the male in the picture as a potential witness. The witness male is wearing shoes in this photo that are relatively distinct. A reward may be offered for information leading to the identification of the suspect who walked away from the vehicle.
If you are the male in this picture, or know the potential witness pictured, please contact Detective Knea at 541-948-0980.
People hoping for a clear view of the annular solar eclipse in Oregon will be in Klamath County on Oct. 14, with most going to Crater Lake National Park, the city of Klamath Falls and EclipseFest, a multi-day festival and watch party that received its needed final permit from county commissioners Wednesday.
Permitting for the festival and its overnight camping was decided after a public hearing Wednesday in which residents voiced concerns about traffic, noise and other consequences if the anticipated throng converges on Klamath County to briefly see the moon too far away to completely block out the sun, leaving a “ring of fire” in the sky.
Although the path of the eclipse will be visible across Oregon, especially within a 90-mile-wide band through the southwest corner of the state, the Klamath Basin is expected to have the best chance of clear skies when the eclipse begins, just after 8 a.m. Oct. 14. Crowd estimates throughout Klamath County range from 15,000 to 70,000.
For visitors wanting to stay overnight, local lodging is expected to be booked by the start of October and residents are worried people might trespass on private land, clog up rural areas and overwhelm emergency services in the county with a population of around 70,200.
There is no place left to stay overnight at Crater Lake National Park, which is directly in the path of the eclipse. Park campgrounds will already be closed for the season, as will many other amenities. Crater Lake Lodge, which will stay open through Oct. 15, has no vacancies. Spillover crowds wanting to stay overnight will need to camp at EclipseFest 2023 or find someplace nearby, said officials.
EclipseFest 2023 will be held Oct. 12-15 on a 175-acre parcel of private land at Fort Klamath. The event was granted final approval based on conditions EclipseFest producer Sara Irvine said were “reasonable” and her company would meet. (more at heraldandnews.com)
There are nearly 9,000 roundabouts in the U.S., according to the Federal Highway Administration. The Oregon Department of Transportation maintains 15 roundabouts on state roads, and some cities — Bend, Oregon in particular — have dozens.
Roundabouts are fairly simple: yield when entering, signal upon exiting. Multi-lane roundabouts require a little additional maneuvering into the proper lane. Despite the simplicity, they take some getting used to.
A study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety suggests that if 10% of the signalized intersections in the U.S. were converted to roundabouts, Americans would have reduced vehicle delays by more than 981 million hours and fuel consumption by more than 654 million gallons in 2018 alone.
But more than fuel economy or better commute times, safety is biggest driving factor for building roundabouts.
In the Klamath Falls area, two roundabouts have recently been installed- one on the southside expressway at the intersection of Homedale Road near the airport, and a new roundabout on campus drive near Sky Lakes Medical center and OIT. (local/regional sources)
CommSurf Pro LLC crews will be performing crack seal operations on the streets in the Harbor View industrial park area this week.
On street parking will not be available during construction. Traffic control will be in place during work hours. Please be cautious when travelling around construction zones. Work is expected to take place between September 26th and October 10th between the hours of 7:00 AM to 6:00 PM. For any questions or concerns please contact the city of Klamath FallsStreets Division at 541-883-5385. (City of KF press release)
The Klamath Falls Police Department is pleased to introduce their newest police officer, Gustavo Gutierrez.
Gustavo was born in Campeche, Mexico and lived most of his life in Durham, California. Gustavo moved to Klamath Falls in 2016. Gustavo volunteered as a Firefighter/EMT for Fire District 6 and had several job titles for Sky Lakes Medical Center from Health and Wellness Specialist, Emergency Room Technician and Medical Assistant.
Gustavo also serves in the Air National Guard as an Aerospace Medical Technician for the 173rd MDG and served as a KFPD Reserve Police Officer since 2021. Gustavo enjoys spending time outdoors with his wife and daughter, soon the family will welcome a baby boy.
Gustavo is excited and eager to start as a full-time officer and looking forward to continuing to serve the community of Klamath Falls. (KFPD press release)
The Morgan Fire in Lake County has nearly doubled in size from earlier in the week to 2,036 acres. Containment is listed at 20%.
Spokesmen said the fire is burning on steep, forested terrain about 21 miles northwest of Lakeview and eight miles north of Quartz Mountain on both private and Fremont-Winema National Forest lands. Cause of the blaze is under investigation.
Efforts to strengthen containment lines is being done because windy weather is predicted for this week. Fire officials said crews are looking for opportunities to contain the southwest perimeter in the fire’s steepest and inaccessible areas. Control efforts for the fire, which was initially reported a week ago Monday, is being overseen by a Type 2 Incident Management Team Northwest Team 7 that took command of the incident on Thursday. Resources included seven crews, 13 engines, five dozers, three water tenders and six helicopters. (Read more at HeraldandNews.com)
Oregon Health Authority (OHA) has issued a recreational use health advisory for Lake Ewauna due to the presence of a cyanobacteria bloom and cyanotoxins above recreational use values for human exposure.
People should avoid swimming and high-speed water activities, such as water skiing or power boating, in areas of the lake where blooms are, as the major route of exposure is ingestion of water. Toxins are not absorbed through the skin. However, those with skin sensitivities may develop a puffy, red rash.
OHA encourages people to visit Lake Ewauna and enjoy activities such as catch-and-release fishing, hiking, biking, picnicking, bird watching, canoeing and kayaking. Boating is safe as long as speeds do not create excessive water spray. Sprays could lead to the risk of inhaling cyanotoxins.
Drinking water directly from areas of the lake affected by a bloom is especially dangerous. Toxins cannot be removed by boiling, filtering or treating water with camping-style filters. Contact local health department with questions about water available at nearby day use areas. Not all private treatment systems are effective at removing cyanotoxins. OHA advises people to use an alternative water source if they do not use a well or public water system, and draw in-home water directly from an affected area.
Children and pets are at increased risk for exposure because of their size and level of activity. Dogs can get extremely ill and even die within minutes to hours of exposure to cyanotoxins by drinking the water, licking their fur, or eating the toxins from floating mats or dried crust along the shore. This is regardless of a recreational use health advisory in place.
Symptoms may be similar to food poisoning such as stomach cramping, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting. Symptoms may also be more serious, such as numbness, tingling, dizziness and shortness of breath. These symptoms may require medical attention. Dogs can experience weakness, difficulty walking, seizures, lethargy, loss of appetite and more. Pet owners should seek veterinary treatment as quickly as possible if their dog exhibits any of those symptoms. (Read more at HeraldandNews.com)
Henley High School in Klamath Falls ranks as 16th best public high school in Oregon, according to a recent report from U.S. News & World Report’s Best High Schools Rankings.
Other local area public high schools in Klamath and Lake counties in Oregon, and Modoc and Siskiyou counties in California received recognition, as well.
There are 471 Oregon high schools, of which 355 are public and 116 are private. California high schools number 3,892 total, with 3,162 public and 730 private. The rankings for each state are numbered using only a top percentage.
Five of six Klamath County School District high schools received rankings (Henley, 16th; Chiloquin, 95th; Lost River, 98th; Bonanza, 100th; and Mazama, 102nd), and one of two high schools in the Klamath Falls City Schools District (Klamath Union, 93rd) received a ranking. Lakeview (52nd) and North Lake (81st) in Lake County were honored in Oregon top 127, while Tulelake (1,102nd) and Modoc (1,255) made the California list of 1,268 schools. (see more at HeraldandNews.com)
The Ross Ragland Theater is offering opportunities for high schoolers and adults to get involved in theater! Arts education is a great way to build connections with other theater lovers and find your community.
Teen Theater Auditions
Rehearsals: Mondays, September 25- January 20th
Performances: January 18th, 2024 at 10AM & 12:30PM, January 19th, 2024 at 6PM, and January 20th, 2024 at 2PM
For students enrolled in High School
Ross Ragland Theater will begin their annual four month long Teen Theater Program calling all local high school thespians to the stage. These actors and actresses will be trained by a director in all of the aspects of theater including performances, backstage, costumes, and more.
The Play: Mirror of Most Value: A Ms. Marvel PlayKamala attempts to boost Ms. Marvel’s fledgling super hero profile by writing her own fan fiction. But when building a fandom becomes an obsession, Kamala’s schoolwork and relationships begin to suffer. To become the Jersey City hero of her dreams, Kamala must learn to accept herself just as she is – imperfections and all.
This is a great opportunity for High School teens to Audition and get experience in performing for a large audience, a stipend will be paid to each student, with no heavy time commitments until the last 2 weeks before the show. We will be looking for students for another great year of this program.
Contact the Ross Ragland Theater, 200 N. 7th St., Klamath Falls. 541-887-8637 or email Education@Ragland.org
Around the state of Oregon
As the latest COVID boosters dribble into Oregon, state health officials urged residents to get vaccinated to protect themselves against an expected rise in respiratory infections in the months ahead.
Dr. Paul Cieslak of the Oregon Health Authority and Dr. Katie Sharff of Kaiser Permanente Northwest urged residents to protect themselves in a news conference Thursday by getting shots against COVID, the flu and respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, which often causes cold-like symptoms?. Those who don’t get vaccinated could end up with a trifecta of respiratory infections — and even land in the hospital, they said.
The number of Oregonians infected with COVID has steadily increased since late spring, from about 4% of COVID tests being positive in late May to 15% by mid-September, Cieslak said. And hospitalizations for the disease have doubled since the end of June.
The number of people infected with the flu and RSV remains relatively low, though that’s expected to change, he said. The health authority no longer maintains its COVID data dashboard. Providers at Oregon Health & Science University, which posts a daily update, are treating 18 people with COVID, including four people in intensive care and three on a ventilator, according to Thursday’s post. The patients are a mix of those who’ve not been vaccinated and those who have, including people who have received booster shots. (more at HeraldandNews.com)
The Oregon Dept. of Forestry (ODF) and the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board (OWEB) are looking to fund collaborative groups engaged in forest restoration or stewardship on lands in Oregon managed by the U.S. Forest Service or Bureau of Land Management (BLM).
The Forest Collaboratives Grant Program has half a million dollars to give to support work that increases the number, acreage and complexity of restoration projects on federal lands in Oregon. About half the land in Oregon – around 32 million acres – is managed by the U.S. Forest Service or BLM..
Some $200,000 is targeted to strengthen Collaborative Governance for established forest collaborative organizations. Another $300,000 is focused on advancing collaborative Zones of Agreement for restoration that includes vegetation projects on lands managed by the US Forest Service or BLM. For definitions and eligible project activities, please refer to the guidance document.
Federal Forest Restoration Collaborative Project Development applications are available via OWEB’s online application website: https://apps.wrd.state.or.us/apps/oweb/oa/. (Oregon dept. of Forestry)
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), is a form of clinical depression that is linked to specific seasons. Dr. Paul Giger is the Medical Director of Behavioral Health for Providence Health Plan. He said SAD most commonly occurs in the winter months. It’s different from the typical “winter blues.”
SAD represents a more severe and persistent condition, meeting the criteria for major depressive disorder. Dr. Giger says research indicates that SAD is more prevalent in regions with higher northern latitudes, such as Alaska, where it can affect up to 10% of the population, compared to around 1% in sunnier places like Florida.
These symptoms should persist for at least two weeks to meet the criteria for major depressive disorder, and they typically last longer. While SAD most often occurs in the winter, some individuals experience seasonal depression during spring or summer.
Some symptoms people face while dealing with SAD include feeling persistently sad or down, losing interest in once-pleasurable activities, changes in appetite, sleep disturbances, negative self-perception and sometimes suicidal thoughts
Dr. Giger notes that not all winter blues or mood changes are considered clinically significant. In psychiatry, a condition becomes a problem when it significantly impacts a person’s ability to function in their daily life roles.
Treatment options for SAD vary. One notable approach is light therapy, using devices like lightboxes that mimic sunlight. This method has shown effectiveness, especially in cases of depression associated with winter. The key is consistency, with a specific intensity and duration of exposure recommended in the morning. (kdrv 12)
Oregon wages vary considerably by region, with wages in the Portland metro area 36% higher than in the eastern part of the state.
People working in Multnomah and Washington counties earn an average of $34.80 per hour, or a little more than $72,000 annually for a full-time worker. That’s according to an annual survey of employers by the Oregon Employment Department, tallied by state occupational economist Jason Payton in a report last month.
Grouped together, eight counties in eastern Oregon were the lowest-paid region in the state, with an hourly average of $25.63. That works out to $53,300 on an annual basis. Costs of living are much higher around Portland, of course. Nonetheless, the latest figures underscore the state’s persistent economic divide.
In some places, though, income gains are quite robust and were outpacing inflation. The growth in average income in Deschutes County was the fourth-fastest in the nation between 2019 and 2002. Grants Pass ranked No. 11. Both cities’ averages were skewed upward by gains at the top of the income ladder.
Medford incomes have also been growing faster than most parts of the country, with southern Oregon recovering from the pandemic must faster than it did from the Great Recession.
Medford’s relative income position compared to the statewide numbers hasn’t been this strong since the mid-2000s. (Oregon news)
As a new school year gets underway, professors at Oregon’s colleges and universities are racing to adapt their teaching to publicly available artificial intelligence, a technology with the potential to be as disruptive as calculators or the internet.
While advances in artificial intelligence open new avenues for students to skip steps or cheat on assignments that professors have already seen put to use, colleges and universities are also encouraging faculty to get familiar with the technology to incorporate it into their teaching.
As the 2023-24 school year kicks off at most Oregon’s public colleges and universities next week, it will largely be up to individual professors to decide how they will tackle artificial intelligence in the classroom.
In surveys of North American professors this year, academic publishing company Wiley found that most believe their students are already using AI in the classroom. Only 31% of the professors said they felt positive about the technology.
Some of Oregon’s largest institutions, including the University of Oregon, Oregon State and Portland Community College, have created faculty cohorts to help educators learn about artificial intelligence, pinpoint their concerns and guide them to think about whether and how the technology might be useful to their lessons or students.
During a back-to-school webinar in mid-September, members of Oregon State’s Higher Education AI Task Force urged faculty to play with AI tools if they hadn’t already, communicate clearly with their students about whether they were allowed to use AI in the course and feed their assignments through tools like ChatGPT to see what the bots can do.
At some institutions, professors are reporting more AI-related academic misconduct. Since February, AI misuse in coursework has made up 50% of all academic misconduct cases at the University of Oregon. (Oregon news)
A Gold Hill man was arrested on Monday in connection to a cold case murder that happened in Vallejo, CA in 1987.
According to a Friday news release from the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, the suspect — 69-year-old Fred Cain III — was arrested at 4:45 p.m. at his house in the 9500 block of Old Stage Road in Gold Hill.
“Cain was arrested in connection to a 1987 cold case involving the murder of a 6-year-old child who had been abducted near his home in the city of Vallejo,” the release said. “Cain waived extradition in Oregon and will be transferred to Solano County to face charges of murder, kidnap, and sodomy.”
Four days after the child went missing in 1987, the release said, the body was found on Sherman Island in California’s Sacramento County. An autopsy revealed that the child had been sexually assaulted.
Police initially charged the wrong man, the release said. (kdrv12)
Happy Camp Fire Update, Monday 9/25/2023
Gov. Tina Kotek has nominated Constance Wold as new chair of the Oregon Workers’ Compensation Board, two months after putting the former chair on administrative leave after it came to light that the state had paid for an investigation into her conduct.
Wold was placed on administrative leave in July, a day after The Oregonian/OregonLive revealed that the state paid a lawyer more than $42,000 to conduct a mysterious investigation into workplace complaints against Wold.
Former Gov. Kate Brown had appointed Wold as board chair of the 79-employee agency in 2017.
State officials have been tight-lipped about what the investigation by Stoel Rives attorney Brenda Baumgart found. They did not ask Baumgart to produce any written report on her findings from the investigation. Even though the investigation wrapped up last September, Wold remained in her position until Kotek, working through her Department of Administrative Services, placed her on leave in July.
Wold’s term as board chair was set to end this month. (oregonlive/Oregonian)
Police raided 14 illegal pot grow sites during July/August and recovered about 24,681 plants, 1,531 pounds of processed marijuana, 20 firearms and more than $20,000 in cash, according to a news release from the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office in the Rogue Valley.
“The search warrants led to six arrests so far with investigations open and ongoing and further charges pending from the Jackson County District Attorney’s Office,” the release said. “Jackson County Code Enforcement issued citations to the landowners totaling $784,620.”
On July 6, police searched a grow site in the 1000 block of Sardine Creek Road in Gold Hill, the release said, and found electrical issues that presented a fire risk. They also found “unpermitted dwellings,” illegal camping and solid waste.
Police also discovered a grow site on Aug. 3 in the 7100 block of Wagner Creek Road in Talent, the release said, which had been on the Watermasters’ radar for a couple of years due to concerns that the grow site was stealing water from Wagner Creek, which affected local irrigation. The suspects were given violations for unlawful appropriation of surface water and groundwater for irrigation and storage without a water right at an illegal commercial cannabis operation. (kdrv 12 tv)
Oregon Schools as a whole are still failing as Oregon students’ performance on reading, writing and math tests remains stuck at dismal post-pandemic lows, despite the billions of state and federal dollars aimed at helping them recover in the two years since the pandemic shuttered school buildings across the state.
The results, based on tests given last spring and released Thursday by the Oregon Department of Education, are virtually identical to 2022′s abysmal outcomes, with students across the board showing miniscule improvement in math and a slight backsliding in English.
The data show only about 40% of students scored as proficient on Smarter Balanced reading and writing tests, far below even the relatively anemic pre-pandemic levels of 51%. The picture is bleaker yet in math, where just 30% scored proficient, an enormous drop from the pre-pandemic low point of 40%. Proficiency in this context means that the student is on track to be ready for college or the workforce once they graduate from high school.
Middle schools emerged as a particular disaster zone. Seventh and eighth graders lost ground in English; seventh graders demonstrated only the barest hints of growth in math, and eighth graders’ performance was statistically stagnant in that subject, with only 25% of them hitting proficiency targets. (oregon news)
OSP and Oregon Fish & Wildlife Dept Asking For Help in Buck Shot on Hood River Property
Oregon Fish and Wildlife officials are asking the public for help in their search for the person responsible for illegally killing deer in Hood River County. The Oregon State Police Fish and Wildlife Division says someone shot and killed a buck and a doe near Odell on September 3rd and left them to waste. Police say no meat was salvaged from either deer. Anyone with information is urged to contact police (odfw press release)
Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the Oregon State Police Dispatch at 1-800-452-7888, *OSP (*677), or email at TIP@osp.oregon.gov. Reference case number SP23-281043.
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