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November 30, 2023

Klamath Basin News, Tuesday, Nov. 7 – Election Day Today in Klamath County and across Oregon

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.

Tuesday, November 7, 2023

Klamath Basin Weather

A 20% chance of rain after 10am. Areas of fog before 10am. Snow level 4500 feet rising to 5000 feet. Otherwise, mostly sunny, with a high near 47. Overnight, fog with a low around 25 degrees.
Patchy fog between 7am and 10am. Otherwise, partly sunny, then gradually becoming sunny, with a high near 50. 
A 30 percent chance of rain after 4pm. Mostly sunny, with a high near 49.
A chance of rain and snow showers before 10am, then a slight chance of rain showers. Snow level 4900 feet. Mostly sunny, with a high near 50.
Saturday, Veterans Day
Mostly sunny, with a high near 53.

Today’s Headlines

Election Day is today in Klamath County and Oregon

Polls close at 8PM. Unofficial Election Results will be posted on the Oregon Secretary of State Website & the Klamath County Website:
Election Results | Klamath County, OR
Tuesday, Nov 07: after 8pm (final report will say final in top right-hand corner).

Klamath County residents have received ballots that contain one measure — a proposed five-year levy on behalf of funding the Klamath County museums.

Measure 18-131 asks voters whether they are willing to increase the current tax rate of 5 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value to 10 cents to fund the Baldwin Hotel, Fort Klamath Museum and Klamath County Museum. The levy comes in response to the growing needs of the buildings themselves as well as the ever-changing community needs and expectations of local museums. 

In terms of repairs, the Klamath County Museum is in need of an updated geothermal heating system as well as a new roof.  A new roof for the historic building is expected to cost more than $100,000. But the current roof won’t hold and already often leaks during rainy and snowy seasons.  With much of the archives housed on the upper floor of the museum, including newspapers dating back to the 1800s, the leaks in the roof are a serious concern.   (Herald and News)


Beginning this morning and lasting until Monday evening, November 13, 2023, North Alameda Avenue will be closed north of the North Alameda Avenue/Monclaire Street intersection.

This closure is to accommodate street improvements within North Alameda Avenue. Any questions can be directed to Keith at Bogatay Construction, (541) 882-5370.  (City of Klamath Falls)


Three Southern Oregon drug traffickers, including the head of a Klamath Falls drug trafficking organization, have pleaded guilty in federal court, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Oregon in Medford.

Earlier this week, Juan Jessie Martinez-Gil, 59, a former resident of Reno, Nevada, pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute and possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine and fentanyl. Candice Nadine Mckee, 31, a distributor in Martinez-Gil’s network and resident of Lakeview, pleaded guilty to possessing with intent to distribute fentanyl.

In a separate criminal case, Jessie Cole Merkel, 31, of Redding, California, pleaded guilty to one count of distributing fentanyl.

According to court documents, between August 2019 and September 2021, Martinez-Gil, the head of a Klamath Falls area drug trafficking organization, conspired with various associates, including McKee, to possess and distribute large quantities of methamphetamine and fentanyl, in the form of counterfeit Oxycodone pills, in and around Klamath Falls. A coordinated law enforcement operation conducted in September 2021 led to the arrests of Martinez-Gil and several of his co-conspirators.

Federal search warrants were executed on five locations and two vehicles. 

Martinez-Gil will be sentenced on February 22, 2024, by U.S. District Court Judge Michael J. McShane. He faces a maximum sentence of life in prison with a 10-year mandatory minimum sentence. Mckee will be sentenced the same day and faces a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison.  (Herald and News)


Klamath County libraries to close for Veterans Day

All Klamath County libraries will be closed on Saturday, November 11th for Veterans Day. No materials will be due on a day that the libraries are closed.

Libraries with Friday hours will be open as usual on Friday, November 10th, but full-time staff will have the day off and some regular programming may be cancelled. For more information, call us at 541-882-8894, or see our events calendar at klamathlibrary.org/library-events-calendar<https://klamathlibrary.org/librar


PJ drive for Klamath County Foster Kids

The Klamath Quota club are collecting new PJ’s for foster kids.  You can drop off new pajamas at Oregon Department of Human Services, Caldwell Banker real estate office on So 6th, the Elks club and the following churches .

First Presbyterian church

Shasta Way Christian Church

Hope Lutheran Church

New Horizons Church

Foothills Christian Fellowship

55 and Alive group at Klamath Christian Center

Thank you very much from The Klamath Quota Club and BasinLife.com


This week’s pet ready for adoption at Klamath Animal Shelter is a kitty named ” Squirrel “
Meet Squirrel!  She is a nice female Short-haired Siamese mix and 9 years old.  Squirrel is a lilac point which means her body is cream colored, her face, ears, legs and tail are grey, she has blue eyes.
Squirrel’s family decided they had too many animals, they said that she is litter box trained, has been around children as young as 9 years old, lived with other cats and there were large dogs in the home.
Squirrel is a very sweet and talkative kitty who loves attention and gets so excited that she drools from happiness. 
If you are interested in adopting Squirrel you can reach the Klamath Animal Shelter at 541-884-PETS (541-884-7387) located at 4240 Washburn Way, Monday through Friday from 12:00 – 4:00, walk throughs are available, pet meet and greets are by appointment.
View all adoptable pets anytime online at www.klamathanimalshelter.org

Around the state of Oregon

Police arrested a 33-year-old Grants Pass man after he showed up with a can of gasoline and a stick, threatening to burn the school down and prompting a lockdown. The school was VanNoy elementary in Grants Pass.

According to a news release from the Josephine County Sheriff’s Office, the man — later identified as George Muse — ran from police when they showed up. Police caught him. 

“After (Muse) was taken into custody, the deputies located the can of gasoline and stick near the fence line of the school,” the release said. “Deputies and school staff also checked the area for any other threats before the lockdown was lifted.” 

Muse is now lodged at Josephine County Jail on charges of first-degree disorderly conduct and third-degree attempted escape, the release said.



Two young people are suing the Oregon Youth Authority, alleging that when they were in custody they faced verbal and physical abuse tied to their sexual orientation.

Makiah Mackey and Trevor Potter filed separate $1 million lawsuits in June against the Oregon Youth Authority in Marion County Circuit Court. The lawsuits allege a pattern of abuse by state officials and youth in different facilities run by the authority, which manages corrections services for Oregon youth who are convicted of crimes before they turn 18.

The Oregon Youth Authority’s five correctional facilities and four transition programs can oversee about 400 young people from 12 to 24 years old. The agency has 374 youth in custody and about 500 more in community probation and parole programs, according to its July report.

These appear to be among the first lawsuits of this type against the youth authority, but Lemieux said that only means that her clients are among the first willing to file a lawsuit — not the first LGBTQ young people to experience discrimination in the facilities.

In court filings, Oregon Department of Justice attorneys argue the lawsuits fail to state a valid legal claim and indicate they will respond with more details in court. A hearing is scheduled for Nov. 17.

Jenny Smith, a spokesperson for the Oregon Youth Authority, said the agency cannot comment on the lawsuits, but takes the safety and wellbeing of youth seriously.

Potter’s lawsuit alleges he faced numerous instances of sexual harassment and physical abuse because he is a bisexual man. The alleged abuse started in 2019 and spanned three Oregon Youth Authority facilities in Grants Pass, Tillamook and Woodburn, along with St. Mary’s Home for Boys in Beaverton, a nonprofit residential program that contracts with the Oregon Youth Authority.

(Herald and News/Capitol Chronicle)


The new, $75 million Patricia Valian Reser Center for the Creative Arts on the Oregon State University campus is a few months away from opening its doors to the public.

Crews are hard at work trying to make the center, also referred to as “PRAx,” a reality. Peter Betjemann is the executive director of the project and could not be more excited about it.

OSU has never had a purpose built, professional venue for the performing arts and the visual arts.

At 49,000 square feet, the new arts center will have a host of new features and facilities for students to enjoy and learn about. Including a new concert hall, theater, art gallery, plaza, and garden. The project will open in April of 2024.

With so much money invested, officials believe the benefits it will bring are worth every penny. PRAx will allow students to have a truly “professional” arts venue in which to perform, officials said.



A Friday night football game has turned into a major news story in the state of Oregon, after a game between Jefferson of Portland and South Medford was halted in the third quarter due to fighting.

The Oregon School Activities Association and the Medford School District have shared statements   about the ongoing investigations. These investigations come as the Jefferson (Portland) and South Medford game was cancelled on Friday night after a fight broke out in the third quarter. At the time, South Medford had a 34-0 lead.

Peter Weber, executive director of the OSAA says they have been communicating with both schools and the officials association since Friday night. We are still gathering information and working through this situation with all involved.

The Medford School district added, the incident that took place at Friday night’s football game between Jefferson and South Medford is currently being investigated by OSAA per OSAA protocol. The Medford School District doesn’t condone any behavior that’s unsportsmanlike and not representative of our district’s shared values. South Medford, with the support of the district, is also conducting its own investigation to see if any further disciplinary action will be taken. No further information is being released at this time.

It was the first time in OSAA history that a playoff football game had been halted due to unsportsmanlike behavior on the field.  More information is expected to be released early this week. (OSAA)


Oregon Congresswoman Lori Chavez DeRemer has signed on to bipartisan legislation she says will help migrant children at the southern border.

DeRemer says the newly introduced “Immigration Court Efficiency and Children’s Court Act” will help those unaccompanied and unrepresented minors, address the current immigration court backlog. Among other things, the bill would establish a special court for migrant children, with personnel trained on child trafficking and trauma-informed practices.

(Oregon news)


Three passengers are now suing Alaska Airlines, saying they suffered emotional distress from an incident last month in which an off-duty pilot is accused of trying to shut down the engines of a plane while catching a ride in the cockpit from Washington state to San Francisco.

In the complaint filed Thursday in King County Superior Court in Washington state, San Francisco residents Matthew Doland and Theresa Stelter and Paul Stephen of Kenmore, Washington, alleged that the pilot should never have been allowed in the cockpit because he was suffering from depression and a lack of sleep.

Alaska Airlines said in an emailed statement that it is reviewing the complaint. “The pilots and flight attendants operating Flight 2059 responded without hesitation to ensure the safety of all onboard,” it added. “We are incredibly proud and grateful for their skilled actions.”

Alaska pilot Joseph David Emerson, 44, was riding in the jump seat — an extra seat in the cockpit — when he suddenly said “I’m not OK” and tried to pull two handles that would engage a fire-suppression system and cut fuel to the engines, authorities said in charging documents.

Flight 2059, operated by Alaska affiliate Horizon Air, diverted safely to Portland, Oregon, after the pilots quickly subdued Emerson and he was voluntarily handcuffed in the back of the plane, police said.

The lawsuit said the plane experienced “what felt like a nose-dive,” though some passengers quoted in news accounts have not described any such thing. Passenger Aubrey Gavello told ABC News: “We didn’t know anything was happening until the flight attendant got on the loudspeaker and made an announcement that there was an emergency situation and the plane needed to land immediately.”  (Herald and News)


The tens of thousands of Oregonians who buy their own health insurance can now start shopping for the best plan for next year.

Open enrollment on the federal online marketplace, which Oregon will continue to use for the next few years, runs this year from Nov. 1 through Jan. 16. Those who enroll by Dec. 15 will be covered starting Jan. 1, and those who sign up after that will be covered starting Feb. 1.

Premiums will increase 6% next year on average but individuals can obtain subsidies through the marketplace to reduce costs. The subsidies come in the form of tax credits that can be used throughout the year or at tax time. In the past, around 70% of those who applied obtained financial help. That jumped to 80% last year, according to Amy Coven at the Oregon Health Authority, which oversees health insurance enrollment.

The average tax credit last year was around $500 per person a month, Coven said. That translated to an out-of-pocket premium cost per person of about $225.

Subsidies are based on the marketplace’s silver, or mid-range plans, and there’s no upper income limit to qualify for financial help. Individuals can also sign up for a bronze plan, which has the least expensive premium but costs more out-of-pocket for services, or gold plans, which have the highest premiums but lowest out-of-pocket costs.

(Herald and News)


The Mt. Shasta Police Department is asking for the public’s help in locating an at-risk missing woman.

24-year-old Jessica MacKenzie Applegate was last known to be in the southern Oregon area, including Ashland, Medford and Central Point. Applegate has blonde hair and blue eyes, and is about 5 feet 1 inches tall and 105 pounds. Her date of birth is 11/28/1998.

If anyone has any information on this case, call the Mt. Shasta Police Department at (530) 926-7540 and reference case 2310M-0702.

(mt. Shasta PD)


The Oregon State Police Fish and Wildlife Division is investigating the taking of a cow elk, left to waste, near the Benton and Lincoln County border last week.

Last week, troopers responded to the report of a cow elk that was found shot and partially left to waste on private property adjacent to Lobster Valley Road. Approximately half of the meat was left to waste. Troopers determined the elk had been shot earlier the same day. It is likely a vehicle (no description available) would have been stopped at the location on Lobster Valley Road. 

The Oregon State Police is requesting the public’s assistance in identifying the person(s) responsible for shooting and wasting the cow elk. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact Oregon State Police Dispatch at 1-800-452-7888, *OSP (*677), or email TIP@osp.oregon.gov..


The Oregon State Marine Board will be mailing motorboat registration renewal notices to boaters whose motorboat registration expires on December 31, 2023, and electronically to boat owners with emails on file.

Each renewal notice is unique to the owner and their boat. Boat owners are encouraged to take advantage of the online renewal option.

Renewing online using the Marine Board’s Boat Oregon Store is the fastest method, offering a printable temporary permit to go boating right away. Owners can renew multiple boats or purchase Waterway Access Permits in one transaction with a $1.50 portal provider fee. The registration decals are mailed within 2-5 days from online sales and within 7-10 business days from the date of receipt by US mail with payment and the remittance coupon. Owners can then expect an additional 2-4 weeks for their decals to arrive by US Mail. The timelines may vary since printing and mailing are handled outside the agency.

Any watercraft with a motor or sailboats 12 feet or longer are required to title and register with the Marine Board. Motorboat registration fees are $5 plus $5.95 per foot and are issued on a 2-year calendar basis.

Renewing in the fall and winter is recommended to avoid long delays during the peak summer season. The renewal cycle begins on November 1st of the expiration year. (Ore. Marine board)


Taylor Swift add concert dates

Are you ready for it*? (*By “it” I mean to get your heart broken again?)

Taylor Swift is adding international dates to The Eras Tour that are accessible by train from Portland. That’s right, she’s going to Canada.

Swift will bring her juggernaut of a tour to our neighbor to the north on Friday, Dec. 6, Saturday, Dec. 7, and Sunday, Dec. 8, in 2024. Tickets will, theoretically, be available via Ticketmaster. And yes, you will need to register like last time. And yes, you might want to prepare now for either desperate sadness or destitution.

Ticket sales for verified users who manage to get an access code begin Thursday, Nov. 9.

Tickets will also be available through Vivid SeatsStubHubSeatGeek and Ticket Squeeze.

Train tickets from Portland to Vancouver, B.C., are available via Amtrak.

(Oregon news)


Oregon residents can begin cutting down their own Christmas trees beginning this week.

The Bureau of Land Management’s Roseburg District Office will start handing out Christmas tree permits on November 10th. The permits allow residents to cut down their own tree of up to 12 feet tall at either the Swiftwater or South River Resource Areas for a fee of five dollars. Each household is limited to three trees per permit.  (Oregon news)


Helping your neighbors and their families stay warm just got easier. Pacific Power will match every dollar you donate to the Oregon Energy Fund with $2 more.

Pacific Power customers who receive their bills by mail will find they include an Oregon Energy Fund contribution envelope in November. Customers who pay their bills electronically can send a check or enroll in the fixed donation program. To enroll in the fixed donation program, customers can call Pacific Power toll-free at 1-888-221-7070 or Donate to Energy Assistance (pacificpower.net).

This program allows customers to donate any dollar amount, starting at $1 per month, which is then incorporated into their monthly bill. Fixed donations will also be matched 2-for-1 by Pacific Power.

Donations may be tax-deductible and are forwarded directly to the Oregon Energy Fund, which verifies eligibility and allocates funds to those in need. All funds donated are used to assist families in need within the same county in which the donor resides.

Last year, donations from Pacific Power’s customers, employees and the company helped 1,591 individuals in need throughout Oregon, including 793 adults, 196 seniors, 174 people with disabilities and 602 children. This year, Pacific Power will match up to $144,000 in donations.

Customers who need bill assistance themselves can speak with Pacific Power representatives at 1-888-221-7070 who can help with payment plans that work for their individual needs, while directing them to agencies that may be able to help.

(pp and l press)


From Thanksgiving Day through New Year’s Eve, visitors near and far will travel to Shore Acres State Park in Coos Bay for the annual Holiday Lights.

With the help of more than 1,500 volunteers, hundreds of thousands of lights will be strung throughout the botanical gardens at the park to mark the winter tradition, which brings thousands of guests and dollars to the south coast each year.

Janice Langlinais, executive director of the Coos Bay-North Bend-Charleston Visitor and Convention Bureau, says there are a few steps to keep in mind when coming to see the holiday lights, including the timed entry system.

“It is not a timed entry per person. It is per parking space. So when people are booking their space, they are booking a time-specific parking spot no matter how many people are in the car,” said Langlinais. “If people have a state park pass, a coastal passport or another special pass from the state parks, the five dollars is waived. They still need to book the spot and the time that they’re going to go.”

There’s also a shuttle from the Charleston Marina to Shore Acres that will run every Thursday – Saturday evening as well as on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve.

Langlinais says Holiday Lights started in 1987 with 6,000 lights. It was the first time visitors could enter the garden house where holiday treats are served.

“Now, all these years later, there are 325,000 lights, animated sculptures. It is a total winter wonderland. From an economic impact standpoint, it is extremely important for our communities to have visitors here in the winter. This is the slower time for tourism. It brings people here to help our restaurants stay open during the holidays, our attractions,” said Langlinais.

The $5 parking passes are available for hour long time slots between 4:30 p.m. – 9 p.m. daily.


High Desert Museum’s new Endangered In the High Desert Exhibition Opens Nov 11th
BEND, OR — What do a 100-pound chinook salmon, ten-inch-tall pygmy rabbit and vibrant San Rafael cactus all have in common?

Under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) — a half-century-old law that aims to protect vulnerable species from extinction — all three of these species are currently classified as endangered in some regions of the High Desert. Defined by the ESA, an endangered species is one that is “in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range.”

Opening on November 11, the High Desert Museum’s Endangered in the High Desert exhibition will call attention to species in the region that are either facing or recovering from the threat of extinction. This intriguing and informative exhibition is a component of the Museum’s yearlong exploration of the Endangered Species Act, 50 years after it passed unanimously in the Senate and by a vote of 355-4 in the House of Representatives. President Richard Nixon signed it into law.

“Fifty years later, the Endangered Species Act continues to be an influential law that has generated a significant amount of dialogue in its time,” says Executive Director Dana Whitelaw, Ph.D. “We look forward to exploring this significant legislation and its many complexities in the High Desert region.”

Visitors will first encounter a floor-to-ceiling map introducing many of the exhibition’s ambassador species — 24 of the 29 featured species that represent the many listed, de-listed and at-risk but not yet listed species in the High Desert — and their locations in the region. A playful mural of the High Desert landscape details each of the ambassador species. This massive mural splits into four distinct sections, first differentiating between endangered, threatened and delisted species at the state and federal levels. The fourth section asks guests to consider the future of several species in the area, including the monarch butterfly, western bumble bee and Pacific lamprey.

With vibrant colors and engaging photography, this exhibition is meant to ignite conversations about these plants and animals – including lesser-known species like the whitebark pine and the Oregon spotted frog – while also calling attention to the ecological connectivity within the greater ecosystem.

“Species depend on access to healthy habitat to survive” says Donald M. Kerr Curator of Natural History Hayley Brazier, Ph.D. “In designing the exhibit, we wanted to depict plants and animals in the context of landscapes and waterscapes. The exhibit’s images and murals convey that endangered species conversation does not happen in a vacuum; the broader ecosystems matter.”

After Museum visitors experience the brand-new Endangered in the High Desert exhibition, they can encounter a handful of the ambassador species in-person. Just a short walk from the exhibition, a bald eagle — a delisted species — lives in the Museum’s care. Six threatened and delisted species currently live in the Museum’s care: the bull trout, Foskett speckled dace, steelhead trout, peregrine falcon, bald eagle and desert tortoise. Small signs placed throughout the Museum will distinguish between these species and others living on Museum grounds.

Endangered in the High Desert is part of a yearlong series of exhibitions and public programs at the Museum to explore and reflect on the ESA’s impact in the High Desert and beyond. This includes the current exhibition Wolves: Photography by Ronan Donovan, open through February 11, 2024, as well as Andy Warhol’s Endangered Species: From the Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and his Family Foundationwhich opens Saturday, December 9.

Endangered in the High Desert will be on display through July 7, 2024. This exhibition is made possible by the Visit Central Oregon Future Fund and the James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation, with support from DoubleTree Hilton and Waypoint Hotel. Learn more at highdesertmuseum.org/endangered-high-desert.


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