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.
Thursday, November 16, 2023
Klamath Basin Weather
Sunny, with a high near 58. Light southeast winds 5 to 7 mph. Overnight, patchy fog stays thru the morning hours into Friday, clear, low around 52.
More information coming from the Klamath Falls Police Department on that attempted robbery occurred at the Rogue Credit Union at 2420 Dahlia St., off Campus Drive, on Tuesday morning.
The suspect, identified as Shawn D. Boggs, 50, a resident of Klamath Falls, was taken into police custody without incident and was lodged at the Klamath County Jail on charges of Robbery I and Theft I.
At approximately 9:52 a.m. Tuesday, Klamath Falls Police patrol officers responded to the credit union regarding a panic-hold up alarm, according to a news release from the KFPD.
While officers were responding, 9-1-1 received an additional report from another bank employee located in Medford who was monitoring their surveillance cameras after the alarm was activated, and it was reported a man was inside the bank and saying he had guns and a bomb.
Officers arrived on scene, with the assistance of the Oregon State Police, Klamath County Sheriff’s Office and the Bureau of Land Management Law Enforcement, and they were able to secure the perimeter of the bank while the suspect was still inside.
The suspect attempted to flee the bank via the rear exit with one of the bank employees with him, and he was confronted by law enforcement. The suspect gave the stolen money back to the employee and was taken into custody without further incident. Once the scene was checked and determined to be safe, Klamath Falls Police Department detectives arrived on scene to assist in the investigation.
It was reported Boggs entered the bank and presented a note demanding $6,000. Boggs purported he had a firearm and a bomb, and he had made furtive movements with his hand in his sweater as though he had something in his pocket. No firearm or explosive device was found on Boggs’ person or his vehicle that was located nearby.
A media specialist with Rogue Credit Union, Krista Jantzer, said no staff or patrons were harmed during the event. (Herald and News)
The Klamath County clerk’s office released another update Tuesday afternoon for Measure 18-131, which would increase contributions to a five-year levy to support the Klamath County Museums.
The results continue to get tighter, with just 56 votes separating the passage or failure of the measure with 13,992 ballots counted.
There were 7,024 yes votes in support of the levy (50.2%) and 6,968 no votes (49.8%).
The next update from the clerk’s office is scheduled for Nov. 29. The results must be certified no later than Monday, Dec. 4.
The ballot measure presents a five-year tax levy of 10 cents per $1,000 assessed property value to fund the three local museums: the Klamath County Museum, the Baldwin Hotel Museum and the Fort Klamath Museum. (Herald and News)
A strategy for improving lower proficiency scores was up for discussion at Monday’s Klamath Falls City Schools regular board meeting.
Conger Elementary Principal Sara Johnson and key staff members gave a presentation on the outcomes of their 2022-2023 academic year report card, published by Oregon Department of Education. While students did better with small increases in science and math scores, scores in English decreased.
Conger’s report card indicated increases of two percent in science and one percent in math proficiencies for students over the previous year. However, fluency in English language arts decreased by seven percent, a big disappointment for teachers and staff at the school, Johnson said.
KFCS board member Andrew Biggs questioned principal Johnson on reasons for low test scores and pressed her for an answer to what goals Conger has to remedy the situation. Biggs also asked that Johnson submit that plan to the board when she completes it.
Board chair Trina Perez told the board that she had attended the Oregon School Board Association’s annual convention last week from Nov. 9-11 in Portland, and that the strategy principal Johnson described was exactly what the sessions in the conference recommended.
Also during Monday’s meeting, the board received updates o Klamath Union High School, and approved a new social studies curriculum for the 2023-2024 school year. (Herald and News)
In honor of Native American Heritage Month, Chiloquin Junior/Senior High School, with the support of many tribal partners, is hosting a day of educational activities as well as a traditional salmon bake and feed for its students on Friday, Nov. 17.
This is the second year of the salmon bake. The day will start with a quick assembly at 8:20 a.m. in the gym that includes drumming and dancing. Activities continue at lunch and through the afternoon. Klamath Tribal members will be cooking the salmon in the traditional way outside the school as students arrive around 8.
- The event is being planned by Chiloquin Junior/Senior High School administrators Ruben Paschal and Valli Lonner, and is being supported by the Klamath Tribes Culture and Heritage Department, On Track OHSU!, Klamath Tribes Language Department, Klamath Tribes Prevention Program, Klamath County School District Food Services/Chiloquin cafeteria staff, and the KCSD Title VI Program.
- The salmon was donated by Klamath Tribal elder Romaine “Smokey” Miller and Warm Springs Tribal elder Ron Suppah. Klamath Tribal member and OSHU On Track educator Will Hess and Brad Parrish, a tribal member from the Klamath Tribes Umbodat Department, will be cooking the salmon in the traditional way outside the school. They will be cooking salmon as students arrive for school around 8.
- The afternoon includes the following special guests:
- This year, the celebration has expanded to include presentations on Klamath Tribal history and language to highlight the ancient cultures of our local Klamath, Modoc, and Paiute people that still exist today. Presenters include Klamath Tribal member Kathleen Hill, J.D., LL.M. and her husband Dr. Joseph Dupris, Ph.D, J.D.
- Kathleen is a tribal elder who holds a special master of law degree with a focus on Federal Indian Law. She will be hosting a presentation about the traditional homelands of the Klamath Tribes. She will be assisted by her husband Dr. Joseph Dupris, who is Lakota.
- Dr. Gerald Hill Jr., M.D. (Kathleen’s brother) is also a Klamath Tribal member and is a retired medical doctor. He graduated from the University of Washington Medical School with an M.D. in internal medicine, and has served as the President of the National Association of American Indian Physicians (AAIP) multiple times. Dr. Hill was also instrumental in the establishment of Tribal Health Services for the Klamath Tribes after Restoration in 1986. He will be presenting about his lived experience and sharing an inspirational message with students.
- Presentations will also be delivered by Klamath Tribal members Georgene Wright-Nelson and Steve Weiser from the Klamath Tribes Language Department. They will be delivering introductory lessons in the Klamath, Modoc and Northern Paiute Languages.
- Garin Kols Riddle, a Klamath Tribal member who serves as the Klamath Tribes Culture & Heritage Department NAGPRA (Native American Graves Protection & Repatriation Act) Specialist, will also be doing a presentation about his job and also sharing his knowledge about traditional foods of the Klamath Tribes.
- This year, the celebration has expanded to include presentations on Klamath Tribal history and language to highlight the ancient cultures of our local Klamath, Modoc, and Paiute people that still exist today. Presenters include Klamath Tribal member Kathleen Hill, J.D., LL.M. and her husband Dr. Joseph Dupris, Ph.D, J.D.
Grants intended to help expand coho salmon habitat and plan restoration efforts on sections of the Lower Klamath River Basin are among 74 awarded through the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s 2023 America the Beautiful Challenge to restore lands and waters.
The 74 new grants will “support landscape-scale conservation projects across 46 states, three U.S. Territories and 21 Tribal Nations, and will generate at least $12 million in matching contributions for a total conservation impact of more than $153 million,” according to a news release. “Approximately 40 percent of 2023 grants and funding will support projects implemented by Indigenous communities, representing an unprecedented level of funding dedicated to Tribally led projects for a single grant program at NFWF.
The Modoc Nation will receive $608,300 for restoration work in partnership with the Modoc National Forest while the Resighini Rancheria, located near Klamath, California, will receive $1 million to improve wetland habitat and reduce flooding impacts. Both projects are in the Lower Klamath River Basin.
The two grants are among 74 totaling $141.2 million awarded through the ATBC.
(Herald and News)
Speculation flies in community circles that the Shilo Inn may soon close their doors for good.
It is known that the Shilo Inn in Seaside sold last week and the real estate firm of Marcus and Millschap has put the Klamath Falls property up for sale. The bids close on November 22nd for the Klamath property.
Shilo owner operator Mark Hemstreet has sold many of his properties in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho to help pay off massive debt. Hemstreet reportedly owes several thousand dollars in taxes to the city of Klamath Falls.
The chain once had 47 locations, with the first being opened in Portland in 1974.
The Klamath Falls Shilo Inn was built in 1996, and once featured two lounges, a full service restaurant and a complete banquet and conference center. The Shilo restaurant closed years ago and several other independent owners have come and gone in the space the restaurant was in.
It is not immediately known what the plans are after the bids close on November 22nd. The Shilo is convenient to those visiting Oregon Tech and Sky Lakes Medical Center from outside the area. (local news)
Friends of the Children – Klamath Basin will host its Ugly Sweater Fun Run Saturday, December 2, starting at 9 a.m. from Harbor Links Golf Course.
The 10th annual fundraising event will feature a 5K fun run, a free Santa Dash with prizes for kids, festive beanies for all registrants and extra swag for the first 125, free drinks and snacks, and prizes for first finishers and best-dressed people and pets.
Register through the QR code, at http:tiny.cc/uglysweater23, or by calling 541-273-2022.
Friends of the Children is a national nonprofit that creates generational change by empowering youth through relationships with professional mentors (“Friends”) for 12+ years. The Klamath Basin chapter was established in 2000 and will support 70 youth this year. Learn more at friendsklamath.org. (submitted press release)
It took 27 years for Klamath Community College to launch an athletics program, but in front of supporters and students on Sunday morning KCC Badgers soccer officially began, ending in a thrilling 1-1 tie hosting the Central Oregon Community College Bobcats.
Launched as a club sport, roughly 20 students expressed interest in starting a KCC soccer club at the start of the fall term in September. With some participants as old as 30 and a decade removed from competitive soccer experience, and lacking a proper on-campus soccer facility, a community scrimmage was held at Henley High School to gauge original interest. Once organized and with Henley Soccer Coach Lupe Gonzales signed on to run the squad, practices have been ongoing, held three times a week in the evenings at Klamath Union High School’s Modoc Field.
Previous efforts to launch athletics at KCC had fallen through for a variety of reasons, but with extensive growth of KCC facilities and programs in recent years, the question of whether or not to reconsider sports was brought forth by staff members and students alike. Soccer received the initial go-ahead, with other possible club sports programs now under consideration.
The KCC Badgers team played its first road game at COCC several weeks ago, losing 3-0, but were competitive enough that the COCC team agreed to travel to Klamath Falls for a rematch. That game was Sunday – the final game of COCC’s season, and the first home game of any kind in KCC athletics history. The game at KU was preceded by a tailgate party hosted by KCC Director of Retention and Student Success Oscar Herrera – who also serves as KCC Soccer Club Advisor.
While initially a club sport, administrators hope the KCC soccer team eventually develops into a program capable of joining a collegiate league soon.
(KCC press release)
Permits are available this month for Christmas tree cutting in U.S. national forests where allowed, starting today in Klamath National Forest.
The Klamath National Forest (KNF) and Six Rivers National Forest (SRNF) in Northern California issue permits that allow Christmas tree cutting.
SRNF knows cutting a holiday tree is a special tradition for family and friends “while helping to maintain a healthy forest. For every tree that is found, cut and carried home as a holiday fixture, you’re also contributing to the overall forest health. Christmas tree permits are a unique opportunity for citizens to help thin densely populated stands of small-diameter trees – the perfect size for a Christmas tree.”
It reminds people they must purchase a Christmas tree permit before their visit to Six Rivers National Forest, and permits can be purchased in-person at a local ranger district office or online through December 23, 2023, using this online site to purchase a permit online, following tips and guidelines for the cutting area to ensure a safe and fun forest adventure.
SNRF also notes that fourth graders who participate in the Every Kid Outdoors program are eligible for a free Christmas tree permit.
Permits cost $10 each with a limit of two permits per household, and maps of cutting areas are provided by SRNF, which says people must be at least 18 years old to buy permits. The Forest Service accepts cash, check, or credit/debit cards as payment. All sales are final with no refunds.
(kdrv12/Klamath national forest)
In a related story, Thanksgiving is still more than a week away, but this is the busiest time of the year for Oregon Christmas tree growers. Most local tree lots won’t open until after Thanksgiving, but shipments of trees are already heading out.
Oregon is the top Christmas tree producer in the nation, growing around five million Christmas trees every year. But the last few years’ crops were mired by summer heat and fall drought.
A strong harvest has kept the prices stable.
Oregon Christmas trees are a $200 million a year business. (Oregon news)
Lake County’s non-profit ski hill has a couple of supporters who are trying to get it a lift, of sorts.
Warner Canyon Ski Area is a non-profit ski hill about four miles northeast of Lakeview, where Eric Wolf and Scott Hill are raising money for a rope-tow lift for skiers and snowboarders. They’re online gofundme effort has more than $2,500 just one day into its $35,000 goal.
Their fundraiser states, “we don’t charge a lot for a lift ticket and we try hard to keep our costs low for our customers. All our proceeds go back into improving the ski area. We know that getting on a ski lift and going up the mountain can be intimidating for new skiers and snowboarders. There is a company called Towpro-lifts that makes rope tows. We are raising this money to buy and install a Towpro-lift at Warner Canyon.
Check them out at towpro-lifts.com. This is the start of our fundraising effort for a rope tow. Please help if you can. We hope to see you on the slopes. Thanks from the WC staff.”
Warner Canyon Ski Area has a ski lift with seats, with some hint a rope tow could encourage beginners to use the ski area. (kdrv12)
The Oregon Department of Human Services is holding a community diaper drive in Klamath County.
A news release from ODHS said, “Donate new diapers to help those in need … Let’s make a difference in the community.”
The drive runs through Nov. 30. Families in need of diapers for infant children will receive all donations through ODHS. New packages of diapers can be dropped off at the Klamath County branch of ODHS, located at 355 Timbermill Drive. Monetary donations are also accepted via Venmo payments to @Wendy-Brown-171.
For more information, contact Wendy Strohkirch at (541) 850-3603. (Herald and News)
This week’s Klamath Animal Shelter Pet of the Week ready for adoption is a dog named ” Kurious “.
Around the state of Oregon
18-MONTH INVESTIGATION LEADS TO ARRESTS, SEIZURES, AND DISMANTLING OF DRUG TRAFFICKING ORGANIZATION IN GRANTS PASS AREA
Grants Pass, Ore. – Yesterday, November 14th, the Grants Pass Police Department, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Oregon State Police, and multiple local narcotics investigative teams served nine search warrants in Southern Oregon to shut down a major drug trafficking organization.
During the service of the search warrants, there were 24 individuals arrested, 37 firearms were seized, and large quantities of fentanyl, methamphetamine, heroin, and cocaine were recovered.
This was the culmination of an 18-month investigation that tracked the movement of fentanyl and methamphetamine from Mexico to Grants Pass. During the 18 months before Tuesday’s warrant services, the investigation had already seized 40 pounds of methamphetamine, more than 9 pounds of fentanyl, 3 pounds of cocaine, and one-half pound of heroin.
Just 2 milligrams of fentanyl can be deadly. The fentanyl seized in this case had the potential to yield more than 144,000 deadly doses.
All but one of the nine search warrants were served in the Grants Pass/ Josephine County area. Individuals arrested during the operation were lodged at the Josephine County Jail and will be prosecuted by the Josephine County District Attorney’s Office.
The Grants Pass Police Department would like to thank all our law enforcement partners who assisted with the takedown of a dangerous drug trafficking organization, including the DEA, Oregon State Police, Central Point Police Department, Rogue Area Drug Enforcement (RADE), Central Oregon Drug Enforcement (CODE), Douglas County Interagency Narcotics Team (DINT), Basin Interagency Narcotics Enforcement Team (BINET), the Interagency Marijuana Enforcement Team (IMET), the Josephine County Sheriff’s Office, and the Josephine County District Attorney’s Office.
Though these arrests and seizures are a significant accomplishment, the investigative work of these detectives continues as they seek to identify the entire supply chain that is delivering deadly narcotics to Southern Oregon. Further inquiries on this case should be forwarded to the Josephine County District Attorney.
On Monday, November 13th, 2023, the Medford Police Officer assigned to South Medford High school was contacted by school officials and made aware that they had received a report that a student was in possession of a handgun in their backpack on the school campus.
This information was brought to school officials’ attention by other students. The School Resource Officer quickly acted to locate the student and learned that they had left campus. The SRO and School Officials responded to the student’s home and in cooperation with the parents, recovered the handgun at the residence. Investigation into the source of the firearm and the circumstances surrounding its possession are under investigation.
The Medford School District notified parents of SMHS students about the incident via email, outlining the cooperation with Medford Police and the importance of students speaking up when they see something suspicious. Medford School District officials said, “We commend the students who came forward with their concerns. Please, always encourage your students to say something if they see something suspicious.”
Cases such as these highlight how important and vital a School Resource Program is. The Medford Police Department and the Medford School District have an amazing relationship and currently MPD provides 5 full-time officers as SRO’s. One to each high school and each middle school. We also have a blossoming School Marshal program in which MPD hires retired officers, in cooperation with the Medford School District, to work in the elementary schools.
FBI in Portland Offers Reward of up to $25,000 For Information Leading to the Arrest and Conviction of Individuals Responsible for Shooting Deaths
PORTLAND, OREGON – The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Portland Field Office and the Portland Police Bureau are asking for the public’s help in identifying the individual(s) responsible for the shooting deaths of 17-year-old Eskender Tamra, 19-year-old Babu Daudi, and 20-year-old Patrick Johnson.
On Saturday, March 25, 2023, Tamra, Daudi, and Johnson were shot and killed while traveling in a car on Foss Avenue near University Park in North Portland around 12:30pm. Based on the investigation to date, it appears that three individuals fired numerous gunshots at the victims’ vehicle, killing all three people inside.
The FBI is offering a reward of up to $25,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the individual(s) responsible for the murders of Tamra, Daudi and Johnson.
“Even as the victims tried to drive away, the suspects chased them and continued shooting in broad daylight. From inside their homes, neighbors heard dozens of gunshots ring out and found shell casings in their yards,” said Kieran L. Ramsey, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Portland Field Office. “We know there are people out there who know who did this. The shooters brought terror to this neighborhood and ripped apart three families. For this community and these families, we are asking for the public to come forward with any information.”
If you have any information concerning this case, please contact the FBI Portland Field Office at (503) 224-4181, your local FBI office, the nearest American Embassy or Consulate, or you can submit a tip online at tips.fbi.gov.
Pacific Power Warning Customers About Billing Scams
PORTLAND, OR (Nov. 15, 2023) – Heading into the holiday season, Pacific Power is reminding customers to be vigilant about fraudulent communications from scammers posing as utility representatives. This activity tends to increase during this time of year.
Customers can protect themselves from these types of schemes by being aware of the following facts:
- Scammers will often tell you that your service is scheduled to be interrupted in the next 30-60 minutes.
Fact: Pacific Power will not contact any customer demanding immediate payment to avoid disconnection of service the same day.
- Fraudsters may ask you to purchase a prepaid card and tell them the card information over the phone.
Fact: Pacific Power does not ask customers to make payments by purchasing a prepaid card. You and other customers can always choose how you would like to make your payments.
- Be suspicious of anyone who approaches you by phone, email, text or in person and demanding on-the-spot payment.
Fact: Pacific Power will not demand immediate payment for damaged or broken electrical equipment or any other service.
- If you receive one of these calls, ask the caller to state your account number and compare it with the number listed on your bill.
Fact: Pacific Power customer service employees will always have your correct account number.
- Scammers increasingly have used text messages as a means of targeting victims.
Fact: Pacific Power will not demand payment via text message. Pacific Power encourages customers to set up their online billing profile at Pay My Bill (pacificpower.net) where they can pay bills and review statements.
Scammers may also use a sophisticated deceptive tactic that makes it appear to caller ID systems that the call is coming from Pacific Power when it is not. If you receive a call that uses one of the scamming methods mentioned above, or that seems suspicious in any way, hang up and call Pacific Power’s customer service team directly.
Remember, if you still have concerns about the legitimacy of a call, you can always call our published customer service number, 1-888-221-7070. Pacific Power is asking customers to report information about any scam calls received, including the phone number the person is calling from and any information that may help to track down the fraudsters.
Salem – The 2023 holiday shopping season is here and the Oregon Division of Financial Regulation (DFR) is reminding people to watch out for financial scams that can target their pocketbook, particularly gift card scams.
Gift card scams often start with a call, text, email, or social media message. Scammers will say anything to get you to buy gift cards – such as Google Play, Apple, or Amazon cards – and hand over the card number and personal identification number (PIN) codes.
According to the Federal Trade Commission, here are some common tactics scammers use:
- Scammers will say it is urgent. They will say to pay them right away or something terrible will happen. They don’t want you to have time to think about what they are saying or talk to someone you trust. Slow down. Don’t pay. It is a scam.
- Scammers will tell you which gift card to buy (and where). They might say to put money on an eBay, Google Play, Target, or Apple gift card. They might send you to a specific store – often Walmart, Target, CVS, or Walgreens. Sometimes, they will tell you to buy cards at several stores, so cashiers will not get suspicious. The scammer also might stay on the phone with you while you go to the store and load money onto the card. If this happens to you, hang up. It is a scam.
- Scammers will ask you for the gift card number and PIN. The card number and PIN on the back of the card lets scammers get the money you loaded onto the card — even if you still have the card itself. Slow down. Don’t give them those numbers or send them a photo of the card. It is a scam.
Scammers tell different stories to get you to buy gift cards so they can steal your money.
- Scammers say they are from the government. They say they are from the IRS, the Social Security Administration, or even the Federal Trade Commission. They say you have to pay taxes or a fine. However, government agencies will not contact you to demand immediate payment, and they never demand payment by gift card. It is a scam.
- Scammers say they are from tech support. They say they are from Microsoft or Apple and there is something wrong with your computer. They ask for remote access and say to pay them to get it fixed. Don’t give them access to your computer. It is a scam.
- Scammers say they are a friend or family member with an emergency. If the scammer uses voice cloning, they may even sound just like your loved one. They ask you to send money right away – but not to tell anyone. It is a scam. If you are worried, contact the friend or relative to check that everything is all right.
- Scammers say you have won a prize. But first, they tell you to pay fees or other charges with a gift card. It is a scam. No honest business or agency will ever make you buy a gift card to pay them for a prize. And did you even enter to win that prize?
- Scammers say they are from your utility company. They threaten to cut off your service if you don’t pay immediately. Utility companies don’t work that way. It is a scam.
- Scammers ask for money after they chat you up on a dating website. Romance scammers will make up any story to trick you into buying a gift card to send them money. Slow down. Never send money or gifts to anyone you have not met in person – even if they send you money first.
- Scammers send a check for way more than you expected. They tell you to deposit the check and give them the difference on a gift card. Don’t do it. It is a scam. That check will be fake and you will be out that money.
To help prevent yourself from getting scammed, DFR offers these reminders:
- Don’t answer unknown numbers – block unwanted calls and text messages.
- Don’t give personal identifying information to unsolicited calls, texts, or emails. Hang up, look up their number, and call them to verify.
- Be skeptical. Ask questions and be wary of offers “too good to be true.”
- Resist the pressure to act immediately. Scammers use urgency as a tool.
- Stop and talk to someone you trust. Talking about it can help you spot the scam.
- Never pay someone who insists you pay with a gift card, money transfer, or cryptocurrency.
Remember, if it is too good to be true, it probably is.
If you feel you may have been scammed, the division’s consumer advocates may be able to help. They can be reached at 1-888-877-4894 (toll-free) or dfr.financialserviceshelp@
With the end of the COVID-19 federal public health emergency, the state is required to review eligibility for all 1.5 million Oregonians who have Oregon Health Plan (OHP) and other Medicaid benefits.
These medical renewals combined with the unprecedented levels of people applying for and receiving medical, food, cash, and child care benefits, have led to a historically high number of callers to the ONE Customer Service Center and is impacting call wait times.
The Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS) is encouraging people in Oregon to use new alternate contact options given high call wait times at the ONE Customer Service Center. The ONE Customer Service Center provides phone support to people in Oregon calling to apply for or get help with their medical, food, cash, and child care benefits.
ODHS anticipates that wait times will remain high during open enrollment season for Medicare and the Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace. While people can apply for OHP any time of year, both open enrollment events increase awareness of and interest in applying for OHP.
OHP members are encouraged to respond as quickly as possible after they receive a request for information to avoid any possible delays. The fastest way members can provide an update is by going to benefits.oregon.gov and creating or logging into their ONE Online account. People can also create an ONE Online account and upload documents through the Oregon ONE Mobile app.
The ONE Customer Service Center can be reached by phone at 1-800-699-9075, Monday to Friday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Call wait times are lowest in the morning between 7 and 8 a.m., especially on Tuesday mornings.
People are welcome to visit or call their local ODHS office with questions. (odhs)
A man and woman accused of stabbing a woman to death in a robbery in Medford last year are now facing more charges.
According to MPD, Brittany Lovrovich, a 31-year-old mother of two, was stabbed and robbed in March 2022 in the parking area of Rumors Lounge on Riverside.
The suspects, Hannah “Mel” Marie Martin and Zachary Carl Helwagen, were already charged with murder in the second degree and robbery.
November 13th, an additional murder in the second degree charge was added.
Martin and Helwagen are scheduled to be tried separately next year. (Medford PD)
Oregon, California and Washington are three of at least five states reporting suspicious letters, including some containing fentanyl or other substances, sent to local election offices.
Authorities are looking for whoever sent the suspicious letters to elections offices in at least five states this week, delaying the counting of ballots in some local races in the latest instance of threats faced by election workers around the country.
One piece of mail had been postmarked in Portland and read in part, “End elections now.”
The letters were sent to elections offices in the presidential battlegrounds of Georgia and Nevada, as well as California, Oregon and Washington, with some being intercepted before they arrived. Four of the letters contained fentanyl, the FBI and U.S. Postal Inspection Service reported in a statement to elections officials Thursday.
“Law enforcement is working diligently to intercept any additional letters before they are delivered,” the statement said.
The Portland-postmarked letter warning, “End elections now,” went to the Pierce County auditor’s office in Tacoma, Washington, which released images of the letter showing it had been postmarked in Portland.” (kdrv12)
An investigation is ongoing into the discovery of a body on the side of a road in Douglas County.
The Sheriff’s Office says the body was found Thursday night along Wilbur Road near Highway 99. Police have identified the victim as 49-year-old Billy Wayne Whitehead, who had been reported as missing earlier this month.
PORTLAND – The Portland Division of the FBI is joining the FBI’s nationwide efforts to increase awareness about hate crimes and encourage reporting of hate incidents with advertising campaign across Oregon.
The campaign, which began on November 6, includes billboards in Medford, Eugene, Corvallis, as well as static and digital displays reaching thousands of passengers daily at Portland International Airport.
Hate crimes are the highest priority of the FBI’s civil rights program because of the devastating impact they have on families and communities. The FBI defines a hate crime as a criminal offense against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an offender’s bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender, or gender identity.
The FBI is the lead investigative agency for criminal violations of federal civil rights statutes and works closely with local, state, tribal, and other federal law enforcement partners in many of these cases, even when federal charges are not pursued.
“Violent acts motivated by hate are unacceptable in our communities. Sadly though, the amount of hate crimes reported here in Oregon has doubled from what it was just five years ago. Even still, the vast majority of these crimes are going underreported and that needs to change. That’s why we are spreading the word with this campaign,” said Kieran L. Ramsey, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Portland Field Office. “The FBI serves to safeguard against hate and violence, but we can only do so if we know about any such threats or violent actions. Every person has the right to live without fear of violence or intimidation. The FBI and our law enforcement partners will continue to hold those accountable whose hate-filled aggression violates the civil rights of others.”
This Oregon effort ties with a national FBI awareness campaign that hopes to drive education efforts and increase reporting: “Protecting Our Communities Together: Report Hate Crimes”.
2022 Hate Crime Statistics
The FBI recently released the 2022 Hate Crime Report as part of its Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program. In Oregon, 212 of 236 agencies voluntarily submitted data for this current 2022 report. The UCR program specifically defines a hate crime as a criminal offense motivated, in whole or in part, by the offender’s bias or biases against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender, or gender identity. In Oregon, there were 290 single bias incidents reported in 2022, and 287 single bias incidents reported in 2021. In Oregon, there were 428 reported victims in 2022, and 377 reported victims in 2021. (Note: These victim numbers include both single bias and multiple bias incidents.) Nationally, there were over 11,000 single-bias hate crime incidents involving 13,278 victims and 346 multiple-bias hate crime incidents that involved 433 victims. In 2022, the top three bias categories in single-bias incidents were race/ethnicity/ancestry, religion, and sexual-orientation. The top bias types within those bias categories by volume of reported hate crime incidents is Anti-Black or African American for race/ethnicity/ancestry bias, Anti-Jewish for religious bias, and Anti-Gay (male) for sexual-orientation bias.
Key Takeaways from 2022 Hate Crimes Report
The bias motivator in about 60% of Oregon incidents were race/ethnicity/ancestry. Victims perceived as Black were the racial group targeted most frequently. Religion was the motivator in about 10% of cases. Victims perceived as Jewish were the religious group targeted most frequently. Sexual orientation was the motivator in about 18% of reported Oregon incidents. Raw UCR reporting is available on FBI.gov and through the FBI’s Crime Data Explorer.
FBI Role in Investigating Hate Crimes
There are a number of federal laws that give the FBI the ability to investigate hate crimes. Those laws generally require some kind of criminal act AND a finding that the person committing the act did so because he/she was motivated by bias. The criminal act can include offenses such as murder, assault, arson, and it generally requires the use or threat of force or violence. For an incident to qualify as a federal hate crime, the subject(s) must have acted wholly or in part based on the victim’s actual or perceived status. This is generally consistent with state law. Under federal law, bias motivators include:
- National origin
- Gender identity
- Sexual orientation
Anyone who has information about or believes they are a victim of a federal hate crime should contact the FBI by phone at 1-800-CALL-FBI or online at tips.fbi.gov.
Oregon Health Authority is asking adults to help protect infants from respiratory syncytial virus during an immunization shortage.
Oregon Health Authority (OHA) is asking adults to mask indoors around infants and take other preventive steps to keep babies safe as a new respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) immunization supply nirsevimab remains limited amid a national shortage.
OHA says nirsevimab is one of three new RSV immunizations released at the start of the 2023–2024 respiratory virus season. It’s commercially known as Beyfortus, made by Sanofi, as a monoclonal antibody injection that has been in limited supply since it became available this fall.
OHA State Epidemiologist Dr. Dean Sidelinger said, “There has been greater-than-expected demand for this new immunization against RSV. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has told us the supply shortage is not due to any manufacturing issues, but instead due to an underestimation of the demand for nirsevimab following its release. While we know this shortage may be disappointing for parents who are taking steps to protect their babies from RSV, we do have other tools available to help protect infants through the fall and winter.”
OHA advises that until national supplies for nirsevimab increase, Oregonians should take steps “to reduce risk of RSV transmission to infants, who are most at risk for severe illness, including hospitalization and death. (OHA)
With Oregon’s wildfire season officially over, the Department of Forestry has deployed nearly 80 firefighters to Kentucky and North Carolina. ODF expects more to leave soon.
North Carolina declared a state of emergency a week ago, due to a large fire that’s burned some buildings and threatens dozens of homes. Kentucky is also under an emergency declaration, with more than a hundred fires burning in that state. Oregon crews now out of state range from incident management team members to single resources, and work under mutual assistance agreements.
This past fire season, ODF says Oregon received more than 80 firefighters from other states. (Oregon News)
The Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS), Child Welfare Division, is thankful for the community support to find Jayva “Ava” Highley.
Jayva “Ava” Highley, age 15, is a child who went missing from McMinnville on Oct. 18. She was found Nov. 11.
Sometimes when a child is missing they may be in significant danger and ODHS may need to locate them to assess and support their safety. As ODHS works to do everything it can to find these missing children and assess their safety, media alerts will be issued in some circumstances when it is determined necessary. Sometimes, in these situations, a child may go missing repeatedly, resulting in more than one media alert for the same child.
Report child abuse to the Oregon Child Abuse Hotline by calling 1-855-503-SAFE (7233). This toll-free number allows you to report abuse of any child or adult to the Oregon Department of Human Services, 24 hours a day, seven days a week and 365 days a year. (ODHS)
Sparrow Clubs, a local nonprofit that works to help children in medical need, announced in a Facebook post that the $15,100 loss to Sparrow Clubs has been fully covered by donations from community members.
NewsWatch 12 previously reported that Sparrow Clubs was working with ticket company, Brown Paper Tickets. They are still missing $15,000 in proceeds from their 2023 Dancing With The Rogue Valley Stars fundraiser.
Two businesses had donated $5,000 each.
KDRV has sponsored the event in the Rogue Valley for many years. It turns out that Sparrow Clubs isn’t the only organization to have issues regarding payments from Brown Paper Tickets. The ticketing company was sued by Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson in 2020. Hundreds of businesses had complained that they never received payments from Brown Paper Tickets. In 2021, Ferguson and Brown Paper Tickets reached a settlement agreement. Brown Paper Tickets was ordered to pay $9 million to approximately 45,000 event organizers. (kdrv12)
Oregon Community Foundation Awards $4.7 Million Investment in 203 Oregon Nonprofits
$4.7 million in grants will build much needed capacity for nonprofits, bringing the Community Grants program total to more than $25 million since 2020
Portland, Ore. – November 15, 2023 – Oregon Community Foundation (OCF) is awarding $4.7 million in new community grants to 203 nonprofit organizations throughout the state. Communities in 33 Oregon counties will benefit from these grants, with nonprofit organizations providing arts, cultural, educational, equity, health, housing and human services support to Oregonians.
OCF’s Community Grants program is the longest running grantmaking initiative at the Foundation. Thousands of nonprofit organizations share their goals and good work in requests for individual grants of up to $40,000 of flexible funding. During this fall cycle, each grant ranges from $15,000-$30,000. Since 2020, this one grantmaking program at OCF has distributed more than $26 million to communities throughout Oregon.
“We’ve heard from nonprofits that access to flexible funding is increasingly useful as they take on so many great needs in their community, and we wanted to honor that need in this grant cycle,” said Marcy Bradley, Chief Community Engagement and Equity Officer, Oregon Community Foundation. “Every community is different, whether they need help broadening health and wellbeing support for mothers and children, fighting hunger and food scarcity or strengthening the arts as the connective tissue for their communities. We support communities and nonprofits with issues they care most about.”
Community Grants Program Reflects Diverse Community Needs in Oregon
This grantmaking cycle prioritized support for organizations that provide essential supports for underserved communities. Additionally, 25% of the community grants were awarded to smaller nonprofits, for whom a small grant can make a significant difference in their work.
The full list of 2023 community grants recipients can be found on the OCF website. Highlights for the fall cycle of 2023 community grants include:
Adrian 2040: $30,000 Community Grant
Adrian 2040 is a volunteer-led organization that supports Adrian, Oregon in Malheur County. Located in a food desert, the community does not have a grocery store or restaurant, and this grant will allow Adrian to purchase a modular food pantry.
“The generous grant funding will support a new food pantry in rural Adrian. This is crucial as it will bridge gaps, offering essential food resources and supporting vulnerable populations with reliable access. This initiative will significantly impact the community by ensuring access to nutritious food and increased food security, fostering community connections and collaborations, and ultimately improving healthy outcomes and long-term resilience,” said Nickie Shira, Board President of Adrian 2040.
Comunidades: $30,000 Community Grant
This statewide program helps amplify Latino voices for environmental and social justice. With this grant, Comunidades will expand leadership training to include a youth-oriented leadership curriculum and increase civic engagement in Latino communities in the Columbia River Gorge.
“This grant from OCF is going to allow us to continue to build the base of our community leadership development program while integrating an intergenerational lens and gearing our program to youth as much as to adults. In cultivating a strong Latino leadership base in the Columbia River Gorge, we hope to change the realities of social and environmental injustice in our communities through advocacy and education,” said Ubaldo Hernandez, Director and Founder of Comunidades.
Curry Child Abuse Intervention Center: $20,000 Community Grant
The Curry Child Abuse Intervention Center, based in Gold Beach, is renovating an existing building into the new Wally’s House Children’s Wellness Center, which will provide mental and behavioral health support for Curry County families and children. This grant will go to support the new center.
“OCF’s Community Grant support for Wally’s House will help build a new Children’s Wellness Center in Gold Beach. The Wellness Center will be a place of healing where child victims of abuse in Curry County will access the help they need to recover from the trauma they have experienced,” said Jackalene J. Antunes, Executive Director of Wally’s House.
Daisy C.H.A.I.N. (DC): $30,000 Community Grant
DC works throughout Lane County to support reproductive and parenting experiences of marginalized communities. This grant will provide more bilingual health workers, improve postpartum mental health and lactation services, and invest in paid on-the-job training for bilingual doulas.
“This grant will help Daisy CHAIN expand bilingual doula outreach and programming to support pregnant, birthing, and postpartum native Spanish speakers in Lane County. This outreach will address significant gaps in services and barriers to health care that exist for our Latinx community. We couldn’t be more proud of this work and the relationships we’re building,” said Stephanie Amargi, Grants Manager, DC.
Every Child Central Oregon (ECCO): $25,000 Community Grant
Every Child Central Oregon works in partnership with the Department of Human Services. This grant will establish a diaper bank. Last year, ECCO distributed more than 50,000 diapers, but with a diaper bank, ECCO will be able to double the amount of diapers they provide to the community.
“This grant is pivotal for our organization, enabling us to supply essential diapers to thousands of children in foster care and their supporting families, addressing a critical need in Deschutes, Jefferson, and Crook Counties. Moreover, it kickstarts our registration with the National Diaper Bank, a significant step that will amplify our reach and collaboration with numerous local non-profits, ensuring that all at-risk and underserved children have access to free diapers. This will not only improve child health but also bolster the economic resilience of families in our community,” said Melissa Williams, Executive Director Every Child Central Oregon
Many Hats Collaboration (MHC): $20,000 Community Grant
MHC creates theater performances in the Portland area which reimagine music and movement onstage. Specifically, this grant will allow MHC to work with commissioned Deaf playwright Monique Holt, actors, artists and a team of ASL interpreters to explore how to make music, movement and text captivating for the deaf and hard of hearing and hearing audiences.
“This grant will allow us to foster the creation of a new play written by a Deaf playwright in collaboration with a team of d/Deaf/Hard of Hearing and hearing theatermakers. This live multimedia performance will be created through an innovative design and performance development process to invent new ways of looking at accessibility and aesthetics in service to a deaf-centric theater piece. The work will speak directly to d/Deaf/HoH people through ASL and captioning, rather than as an ASL translation of a play in English about hearing characters. Hearing audience members will gain an increased exposure to d/Deaf/Hoh community members and increased awareness of how everyone’s audience experience is different, depending on their access,” said Many Hat’s Artistic Director, Jessica Wallenfels.
Nehalem Bay Health District: $30,000 Community Grant
The Nehalem Bay Health District is the smallest health district in Oregon. In May of 2023, voters approved a $10.25 million bond measure to fund a new community-based Nehalem Bay Health Center, pharmacy and a new rehabilitation facility (Nehalem Valley Care Center). With this $30,000 grant, the Health District can carry out a comprehensive community engagement strategy, including hiring a consultant to conduct outreach within the community, which will help inform the design of the new facilities.
“The generous support of the Oregon Community Foundation will help ensure the new health center we are constructing and the skilled nursing facility we are renovating will meet the health and senior care needs of the entire community. The Nehalem Bay Health District – the smallest in Oregon – will utilize its OCF community grant to build capacity and improve engagement with Latinx, senior and low-income communities in order to improve and expand community-based health and senior care. On behalf of our board and the entire community that has generously supported these health care improvement efforts we say – thank you, Oregon Community Foundation,” said Marc C. Johnson, President of Nehalem Bay Health District.
Outgrowing Hunger: $30,000 Community Grant
This grant will support the East County Food Hub in the Portland-metro area, and provide immigrant, refugee, and BIPOC farmers access to broader markets. The grant will be used to hire a consultant to conduct a community needs assessment and formally begin the process of designing a new food hub facility to serve 40 BIPOC immigrant and refugee farmers.
“This support will create an outsized impact by providing our coalition with the missing critical piece of a much larger project. We have been discussing a formal food hub in east Multnomah County since 2012, and have been building partnerships and streams of support to that end for a decade. At this point, we have commitments to support occupancy, equipment, emergency food purchases, transportation, cold storage, and facility improvements. This grant will provide the staff time and support we need to thoughtfully assemble these resources into a project which truly meets the needs experienced in the community,” said Adam Kohl, Executive Director of Outgrowing Hunger.
Soaring Heights Recovery Homes: $20,000 Community Grant
Inspired by a previous OCF Community 101 grant with the students at Stayton High School, Soaring Heights Recovery Homes is now the recipient of their first Community Grant. This award will support building improvements to The Oriole House for women transitioning to a substance free, self-supporting life.
“The Oriole House for Women is central to our mission of providing safe, secure and structured housing for individuals transitioning to a substance free, self-supporting life. The $20,000 award from Oregon Community Foundation is more than just building repairs to The Oriole House; it is about providing a welcoming place for women to rebuild their lives and family,” said Eric Rasor, Executive Director of Soaring Heights Recovery Homes.
About OCF’s Community Grants Program
For more than 25 years, and with strong support from donors, the Community Grants program has invested in community livability and vitality by listening and responding to people closest to innovating opportunities they want to advance.
As the state has evolved and grown, so too has the complexity of issues facing so many Oregonians. Compounding these challenges is a history of systems that have not benefited everyone equitably. OCF recognizes this reality, and as such, the Community Grants program will continue to provide flexible funding for nonprofits addressing the pressing needs of communities across Oregon, informed by the voices of people who know their communities the best.
About Oregon Community Foundation
Oregon Community Foundation (OCF) was founded in 1973 with a big mission: to improve the lives of all Oregonians through the power of philanthropy. In partnership with donors and volunteers, OCF works to strengthen communities in every county in Oregon through research, grantmaking and scholarships. In 2022, OCF distributed more than $180 million, supporting 3,500 grantees and awarding more than 3,000 scholarships. With OCF, individuals, families, businesses, and organizations create charitable funds that meet the needs of diverse communities statewide. 2023 marks OCF’s 50th anniversary. Since its founding, OCF has distributed more than $2.2 billion in community investments, including grants to 10,850 nonprofits and 53,375 scholarships to students. Individuals, families, businesses and organizations can work with OCF to create charitable funds to support causes important to them. To learn more, please visit: oregoncf.org.
More than two-dozen Republican state lawmakers claim a new effort to curb election misinformation by the Secretary of State’s office would stifle the free speech of Oregonians.
A group of 20 State Representatives and seven Senators signed a letter to Secretary of State LaVonne Griffin-Valade this week. Rep. Ed Diehl shared the letter on social media Wednesday. The Republicans claim a UK-based company was awarded a contract last month to monitor social media posts for threats. They say the program would also allow artificial intelligence to determine what to label as “misinformation.”
Republicans say the technology would lead to social media companies suppressing users. But Kerns says, “The Secretary of State’s office has no authority, ability or desire to censor speech. We do have a very real need to protect the people and infrastructure that make our democracy work, and provide accurate information through official channels.”
Upper Table Rock trailhead and trail re-opens November 10
Medford, Ore. — The Bureau of Land Management Butte Falls Field Office will re-open the Upper Table Rock trailhead and trail on November 10, 2023. The re-routes have been completed and the new route will provide a more enjoyable experience for hikers.
Upper Table Rock is now 1.5 miles one-way to the top, an increase of approximately 0.25 miles to avoid the steepest sections. The rerouted sections also lead to new vistas from the trail and pass by other unique trail features. Approximately 250 yards of gravel were placed along the trail to help reduce erosion and mud.
“Upper Table Rock is an important area for many people around the valley,” said Jared Nichol, Butte Falls Field Manager. “We are excited to be able to provide a safer, more enjoyable experience–with some new views!”
This project was funded with Secure Rural Schools Title II funding. Under the Act, Title II funds are designed to make investments in public lands through projects that improve the maintenance of existing infrastructure, implement stewardship objectives that enhance forest ecosystems, and restore and improve land health and water quality. Projects are authorized by the Western Oregon Resource Advisory Committee.
For more information about the Upper Table Rock, please visit:
Salem, OR — At a virtual event co-hosted by the National Governors Association, Results for America recognized Oregon as a national leader in using data and evidence to guide decision-making and invest taxpayer dollars in programs that work.
Results for America named Oregon among five leading states using evidence and data to improve lives.
Salem, OR — At a virtual event co-hosted by the National Governors Association, Results for America recognized Oregon as a national leader in using data and evidence to guide decision-making and invest taxpayer dollars in programs that work.
Results for America is a national nonprofit that promotes evidence-based policymaking. Its newly released 2023 Invest in What Works State Standard of Excellence highlights advances in evidence-based grantmaking, budgeting and direct services, and identifies 194 efforts across 46 states to build and use evidence and data to achieve better, more equitable results for residents. Since 2018, the State Standard of Excellence has offered states a “North Star” to benchmark their existing data and evidence capacity, as well as a roadmap for how they can accelerate their progress.
Oregon was one of this year’s five leading states. Highlights of its data-driven work include:
- Investment of funds in evidence-based direct services for young people.
- The use of evidence-based budget targets.
- A focus on budgeting towards creating equitable outcomes, including the addition of racial impact assessments in agency budget requests.
- Strong data leadership, including having a state data strategy, a data strategy website, and undertaking efforts to support open data and transparency among state agencies.
“Oregon being one of the five leading states speaks volumes about how dedicated our state agencies are to using data meaningfully to improve Oregonians’ lives,” said Oregon’s Chief Data Officer Kathryn Darnall Helms. “I look forward to seeing Oregon continue to mature while working in partnership with our Governor and state agencies.”
“In red states and blue states, state governments are harnessing the power of evidence and data to deliver better results,” said Michele Jolin, CEO and Co-Founder of Results for America. “Governors, state legislators and state agency leaders are using the key levers of power — grantmaking, budgeting and direct services — to expand evidence-based solutions and accelerate economic mobility. By building more efficient and effective governments, they are helping restore the public’s faith in government’s ability to tackle our most urgent challenges.”
The other leading states are Colorado, Minnesota, North Carolina and Tennessee. Honorable
mention states are California, Connecticut, New Mexico, Pennsylvania and Utah. Oregon was also an honorable mention in the 2022 Invest in What Works State Standard of Excellence.
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)
Springtime beachgoers in 2024 will have two fewer options on the Oregon coast, as a pair of popular state parks are set to close for major repairs.
Beverly Beach and Bullards Beach state parks will both see significant closures in 2024 as park officials work to repair sewer, water and power lines in the parks, the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department announced Thursday.
Beverly Beach State Park near Newport, which closed Sept. 5, will now remain closed through July 1, 2024, after the construction schedule was extended, the parks department said. The closure includes the campground, day-use area and group meeting yurt, as crews work to install underground power lines and replace waterlines – part of a $50 million upgrade across the state park system, utilizing funds from a 2021 bond approved by the state legislature.
The Bullards Beach State Park campground in Bandon will be closed from Jan. 2 to May 22, 2024, as crews upgrade the park’s main sewer line. The day-use area, including beach access points and the Coquille River Lighthouse , will remain open through the campground closure, though park officials warned there may be some limited disruptions.
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