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 28, 2023
Klamath Basin Weather
Air Stagnation Advisory Through Nov. 30, 10PM.
Sunny, with a high near 48. Light winds to 5 mph in the afternoon.
A fatal shooting and suspected homicide in Crescent, Oregon, resulted in the death of one local man and the arrest of the victim’s brother for alleged second-degree murder.
Robert William Frates, 59, was arrested at the scene of the incident in Crescent RV Park, according to online arrest records.
Klamath County Sheriff Chris Kaber confirmed there was a crime scene investigation in progress as of Sunday evening.
“We’ve activated a major crime team,” Kaber said. “All local agencies are involved.”
The KCSO-led major crimes team includes the Klamath Falls Police Department, Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office and both the Bend and Klamath Falls offices of the Oregon State Police.
A 9-1-1 call came into Klamath County Dispatch at 6:05 p.m. Sunday with reports of shots heard.
The victim of the shooting, John Eric Frates, 56, is the younger brother of the suspect in custody.
The arraignment of Robert Frates, held Monday afternoon before Judge Marci Adkisson, denied bail for the suspect until his preliminary hearing next week.
Frates is charged with second-degree murder and unlawful use of a weapon.
The 173rd Fighter Wing night flying operations continue each evening and run through Thursday, Nov. 30th. The operations will take place between approximately 6 and 11 p.m.
Night flying is one part of the course curriculum for F-15C student pilots at Kingsley Field, the premiere F-15C schoolhouse for the United States Air Force.
Much of the training will occur in the military operating airspace to the east of Lakeview, where the pilots can fly without lights. However, the local community will most likely hear the jets during take-offs and approaches to and from Kingsley Field. Take-offs will occur after sundown and the jets will return approximately an hour-and-a-half later.
Community members may contact the wing’s public affairs office at (541) 885-6677 to express any concerns they have during this time. (HeraldandNews.com/173rd FW press)
Two young calves, both nine months old, were killed by members of the Gearhart Mountain wolf pack in Klamath County recently.
According to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife Depredation Investigations report, both deaths happened on private land at the Hyde Reservoir, which is located north of Bly. One kill was confirmed Nov. 18, while the second kill was confirmed Nov. 20. Both kills are attributed to the Gearhart Mountain Pack.
In April 2022, ODFW biologists reported that two wolves, LAS13 and OR115, were documented in an area that includes portions of Lake, Klamath and Deschutes counties. LAS13M was described as a male wolf traveling alone after leaving the Lassen Pack in California in late 2020 when an Area of Known Wolf Activity was designated.
Earlier this year, on April 18, the pair was designated a breeding pair after they produced three pups, which were being designated as the Gearhart Mountain Pack.
The AKWA includes a region just north of Bly, includes a portion of the OC&E-Woods Line Trail, stays just east of Summer Lake and north near Silver Lake in Lake County. Within the AKWA is a smaller Area of Depredating Wolves that extended north and west of Silver Lake to the west side of Summer Lake.
Confirming an ADW is done by ODFW “for the purpose of focusing non-lethal deterrent measure. In some cases the ADW may encompass the entire home range of a pack but in others it may only encompass a portion. Within an ADW certain criteria must be met for an incident of depredation to qualify toward lethal control.” (HeraldandNews.com)
The holiday season is a time for giving. In the spirit of spreading warmth and joy, Citizens for Safe Schools is proud to present ‘Citizens Santa,’ a heartwarming annual community initiative.
‘Citizens Santa’ aims to brighten the holiday season for ‘At-Promise’ mentored youth by connecting caring members of our community with the opportunity to fulfill a special holiday wish and foster a little good cheer in the hearts of our young people.
How Citizens Santa Works:
- Sponsor a Child: Anyone can participate by selecting a child from our curated list of wishes! This list can be found at partnering business Everybody’s Vintage located at 733 Main Street, or you can visit the Citizens For Safe Schools Facebook page at facebook.com/citizensforsafeschools to select a child in need.
- Gift Collection and Drop-Off: Once you’ve chosen a child to sponsor, we encourage you to purchase and wrap your gift, then drop-off under the tree at Everybody’s Vintage before December 18th.
Citizens Santa is not just a gift-giving campaign; it’s an opportunity to bring our community together and make a positive impact in the lives of local children.
By sharing the joy of the season, we can ensure that every child in our community feels the love and warmth that this time of year represents.
To learn more about ‘Citizens Santa’, or Citizens for Safe Schools and youth mentoring, visit our website at citizensforsafeschools.org, or contact Sarah Miller at 541-238-4839 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Klamath Basin Sports is scheduled to hold its annual Ski and Snowboard Swap this weekend.
The event is from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.
Outdoor enthusiasts are encouraged to bring in old/used ski and snowboard gear, winter apparel, gloves, goggles, etc., for a chance to turn it in to cash or store credit. For more information, stop by Klamath Basin Sports at 316 S. 6th St. or call (541) 273-9527. (HeraldandNews.com)
The Jefferson State Shooting Association’s Fall Gun Show is scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 2 and 3, at the Klamath County Fair/Expo Center in Klamath Falls.
The show will run 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.
There will be 200 show tables to look over and many different types of collectibles, including antique and modern firearms, knives, ammunition, optics, targets, holsters and other leather gear.
There will be a special display by the Cascade Civil War Society showing a typical encampment from the Civil War time and displaying weapons, uniforms, cooking implements, medical supplies and a cannon.
The Jefferson State Shooting Association is a nonprofit organization devoted to shooting sports in Klamath County. It builds and maintains the ranges at Sportsman’s Park east of Keno.
Membership is available at the show. (HeraldandNews.com)
Toys For Tots Annual Drive Is On
With the holidays upon us, the season brings a time of giving for children in need in both Klamath and Lake counties.
The annual Toys for Tots toy drive is already underway this year, and the longstanding organization is asking community members to give what they can.
Online monetary donations for Klamath County children can be made by visiting klamath-falls-or.toysfortots.org.
To donate online to children in Lake County, visit lake-county.toysfortots.org.
For those who want to donate a new, unwrapped toy in Klamath County, you can drop off your donation at one of four locations:
- Leatherneck Club, 1019 Main St.
- My Mechanic, 3000 Pershing Way
- Fred Meyer, 2655 Shasta Way
- Bi-Mart, 1920 Washburn Way
In-person monetary donations can also be made at the Leatherneck Club. (HeraldandNews.com)
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)
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)
Around the state of Oregon
Oregon’s unemployment rate remains near a record low at 3.6%, but many laid-off workers are having to wait much longer for assistance. The share of jobless claims processed within three weeks fell sharply beginning in August, from more than 90% to around 75%.
The delays are reminiscent of the agency’s pandemic breakdown, when Oregon was among the slowest in the nation at paying jobless benefits. But the reasons for the new delays appear very different.
Three years ago, Oregon was coping with an unprecedented number of jobless claims and a dysfunctional agency that had endured a succession of leadership failures and had repeatedly postponed structural reforms. The state notoriously delayed replacing the employment department’s obsolete computer system despite receiving more than $80 million in federal funds to pay for an upgrade in 2009.
The department says bigger factors in the slowdown are a decline in federal funding and a deluge of fraudulent claims. (Oregon news)
Avian Flu Kills One Million Birds in Oregon
Close to one-million birds have been euthanized in Oregon after avian flu was detected in two commercial poultry operations and two backyard flocks earlier this month.
The Oregon Department of Agriculture says a total of 790-thousand birds were put down. The Department reports the commercial operations are in Linn and Marion counties. The backyard flocks are in Deschutes and Marion counties.
Quarantines were placed around the commercial operations to make sure no additional cases are detected. (Oregon news)
Students in the Portland Public Schools district are returning to the classroom following a three-week-long teachers’ strike.
Officials say classes are scheduled to resume this morning but will start two hours late. The school district and the teachers union reached agreement on a tentative contract yesterday. The Portland Association of Teachers says it gives teachers pay raises, more time to prepare and additional mental health supports for students. The school district released a statement saying they’re relieved students will return to school.
The missed school days will be made up by reducing winter break, adding days in January, February, and April and extending the school year by three days.
Grants Pass Police say they are still searching for armed and dangerous suspects.
November 21st, Grants Pass PD said officers were searching for suspects who had fled the scene of a shooting. They said they closed off the road and used K-9s to search the 1400 block of the Rogue River Highway.
One neighbor says they were told by police not to talk to the media. Another told us they were in the dark about the investigation.
GPPD later updated their Facebook post saying that Rogue River Highway has since reopened to the public and there was no known direct threat to the community.
At this time, GPPD says the investigation is ongoing, but declined to provide further details.
State attorneys general in Oregon, Washington and California and two Oregon-based environmental groups are asking federal energy regulators to reconsider their approval of a natural gas pipeline project that would increase the flow of gas through the Northwest.
Federal regulators voted unanimously Oct. 19 to allow Calgary-based TC Energy to expand the capacity of its 1,400-mile-long GTN Xpress gas pipeline through Oregon, Idaho, Washington and northern California. The expansion would allow 150 million more cubic feet of gas to be delivered to the region each day. It currently transports about 2 billion cubic feet of gas from western Canada to West Coast consumers each day — enough to power 5 million U.S. homes each day, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum, Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson and California Attorney General Rob Bonta and lawyers for Rogue Climate in southern Oregon and Hood River-based Columbia Riverkeeper, filed petitions with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Environmentalists on Tuesday asked for a rehearing from the commission, and accused commissioners of violating two federal laws meant to mitigate environmental harm and ensure gas projects are in the public interest. The state attorneys general filed their petition Wednesday.
Natural gas is almost entirely made up of methane, a potent greenhouse gas and a main contributor to global warming. It’s primarily used to heat homes and businesses, including at least a quarter of all homes in Oregon, according to the state’s Department of Energy.
The state attorneys general claim that TC Energy has not demonstrated the long-term demand for the increase in gas, and that the project is counter to the region’s climate laws, which require greenhouse gas emissions to decrease at least 90% in Oregon by 2050 and 95% in Washington by the same year. In Oregon, at least 26% of that reduction will have to come from natural gas.
Democrats afraid of Donald Trump are trying to block the former president from appearing on the ballot in all 50 states ramped up pressure on Oregon Secretary of State LaVonne Griffin-Valade this week as Trump derangement syndrome continues by some.
Free Speech for People first contacted Griffin-Valade in July, less than two weeks into her term. Its latest letter asks Griffin-Valade to respond and indicate whether she’ll issue a temporary rule declaring Trump ineligible to appear on ballots in Oregon by Dec. 1.
A spokesperson for Griffin-Valade said she received the request and is reviewing it, and has nothing more to share at this time.
The advocacy group’s campaign rests on a rarely-used section of the Fourteenth Amendment intended to prevent former Confederates from holding federal office after the Civil War. The amendment prohibits anyone who previously took an oath to support the U.S. Constitution and then “engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof” from holding any federal office.
Fire Ignites at Medford Power Sub Station
Lynn Street power sub station popped loudly then ignited. Possible malfunction, under investigation currently
Medford Fire, Medford Police, and Pacific Power responded to the scene just off of Hwy 99 on Lynn Street. Medford Fire Department says the fire started after a transformer exploded. No reports of power outages.
Pacific Power is giving assistance with the transformer, with Medford Fire Department giving assistance as well as blocking traffic on Lynn Street.
Attempted Murder Suspect Arrested in Cave Junction Shooting
INCIDENT DATE: November 21, 2023
ARRESTED: Jessy J Forrest, 21-year-old male
CHARGES: 1- Attempted Murder, 2- Assault I, 3- Unlawful Use of a Weapon
On November 21, 2023, at 12:28 PM, Deputies from the Josephine County Sheriff’s Office located a vehicle of interest regarding a shooting incident that occurred on November 19, 2023, on S Kerby Avenue in Cave Junction. The driver of the vehicle was identified as Jessy J Forrest, a 21-year-old Cave Junction resident. As a result of the investigative efforts of Sheriff’s Office Deputies, Forrest was arrested and lodged at the Josephine County Jail on the charges listed above.
At the time of this press release the investigation is ongoing and no further details are being released. Further inquiries are directed to the Josephine County District Attorney’s Office.
Gun Measure 114, Oregon’s gun control law narrowly-passed by voters in November 2022, is on permanent hold after a Harney County judge ruled it infringes on the constitutional right to bear arms last week.
Harney County Circuit Judge Robert S. Raschio handed down the ruling last week saying the measure’s requirement of a permit to buy a gun and its ban of the sale, transfer and creation of magazines that can hold more than 10 rounds violate the Oregon constitution.
The state is expected to appeal the ruling, which may eventually send the case to the Oregon Supreme Court.
In Raschio’s judgement, the judge found several elements of Measure 114 were blatantly unconstitutional. Raschio said the 30-day waiting period to purchase a firearm severely restricts Oregonians’ right to defend themselves if facing an imminent threat. He also said the ban on large capacity magazines wouldn’t be an issue for shooters who could reload 10-round magazines quickly, and that many magazines designed to hold only 10 rounds can be easily modified to hold more. Raschio also dismissed the argument made by state lawyers that the regulations were intended to reduce mass shootings, suicides and murders, saying the provisions of the measure did not promote public safety.
Judge Raschio admitted in his judgement that mass shootings are tragic and “have a significant impact on the psyche of America,” he also said such events are both overly sensationalized and relatively infrequent.
“Mass shooting events are tragic and often involved the most vulnerable sections of the population. However, the court finds that number of people killed and injured is statically insignificant compared to the number of lawful gun owners,” Raschio said in his judgement.
Raschio’s judgement permanently blocking Measure 114 will be entered on December 8, 2023, one year after the measure was temporarily blocked for review.
Portland Teacher Strike Ends and Students Head Back To Class
Roughly 45,000 students will be back in class today, Monday, after Portland Public Schools and the teachers union came to a tentative agreement on Sunday, ending a nearly month-long strike. Schools will start on a two-hour delay.
Both PPS and the union said this contract will end long-standing disputes over wage increases, planning time and class sizes.While the agreement is still considered tentative, both union members and the PPS School Board are expected to ratify the contract on Tuesday. Angela Bonilla, the president of the teachers union, expressed her confidence in an approval Sunday night.
Justice Department Sides With Episcopal Church In Suit Against Brookings Over Providing Free Meals
Just in time for Thanksgiving, a southern Oregon church got a boost in its long-running dispute with the city of Brookings over its free soup kitchen that has drawn steady complaints from neighbors and faces restrictions imposed under a city ordinance.
St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church in the South Coast community of Brookings has been serving food to those in need for decades, sometimes as often as six days a week. (https://www.sttimothyepiscopal.org/our-ministries.html)
But a conflict started in 2021, when city officials received a complaint from neighbors called the Petition to Remove Homeless from St. Timothy Church. It asked the city to “prevent the congregation of vagrants or undesirables.”
The city says it then determined that the church’s kitchen was classified as a restaurant, which is not allowed in residential areas.
“The St. Timothy’s soup kitchen and others like it were already violating long-standing city land use ordinances,” according to the city’s motion for summary judgement, filed in October that year.
As a result, the Brookings City Council created an ordinance in October 2021 that required a permit for such meal services in residential zones. The ordinance also says meals can only be served two days a week.
St. Timothy’s sued the city in January 2022.
“The City suddenly claimed that St. Timothy’s long-established use of its property—which is, by the City’s own Land Development Code, a lawful nonconforming use— did not comply with the City’s zoning laws. And when Plaintiffs did not accept the City’s suggestion that they stop engaging in Christian acts of service for the Brookings community, the City decided to rewrite the laws in an effort to force them to do so,” the church’s complaint reads.
Father Bernie Lindley said the city is prohibiting the church from exercising its religious duty to serve the poor.
“When the city of Brookings said that we were going to be restricted to two days a week, we said, ‘We can’t do that.’ We can’t apply for a permit to only feed people two days a week when they may or may not need to be fed by us much more often than that,” he said.
Alli Gannett, director of communications the Episcopal Church in Western Oregon, said this ordinance adds restrictions to the church’s work.
“Our ultimate goal is to not have any restrictions on feeding those in need. As Jesus calls us to serve the hungry and to care for those who are sick, any sort of restrictions put on that ministry prohibits us from fulfilling our call as Christians,” she said.
Heather Van Meter, one of the attorneys representing the city, said in an emailed statement Wednesday, “The City of Brookings adopted an ordinance to allow benevolent meal services to continue in the City, including those currently served by St. Timothy’s.”
The city says St. Timothy’s could continue its meal services elsewhere in the city in a commercial zone.
“What this case is really about, is St. Timothy’s belief that they are beyond the reach of any regulation that may impact when, where, or how they engage in their activities. Their position that none of their actions in a residential zone can be regulated is legally incorrect,” the city wrote in its response to the church’s complaint.
In an emailed statement on Wednesday, Rt. Rev. Diana D. Akiyam, bishop in the Episcopal Church in Western Oregon, wrote, “We welcome the DOJ’s interest in our lawsuit and join numerous other religious organizations who are fighting the suppression of religious expression in order to continue serving those in need.”
In its Tuesday statement, the DOJ says the city’s ordinance does not further the city’s interest in promoting public welfare and safety.
“The issues with noise, aesthetics, and crime that prompted the ordinance are byproducts of homelessness and poverty that would persist in Brookings regardless of St. Timothy’s meal service — and indeed may even be made worse if St. Timothy’s were forced to curtail its meal service,” the statement of interest reads.
Briefing on this case is expected to finish next month. After that, the court could decide to make a judgment or the case could continue.
Since the lawsuit has been filed, St. Timothy’s has continued to provide meal services four days a week. (SOURCE)
Governor Kotek Orders Flags Lowered to Half-Staff in Remembrance of Rosalynn Carter
Governor Tina Kotek ordered flags at Oregon public institutions to be flown at half-staff, pursuant to a Presidential Proclamation as a mark of respect for the memory of former First Lady of the United States Rosalynn Carter. The flag should be flown at half-staff from November 25, 2023, until sunset, on the day of her interment on November 29, 2023.
“Rosalynn Carter was a compassionate public servant,” Governor Kotek said. “She has left the world a better place, particularly for her efforts to advance women’s rights and support for people facing mental health challenges. Oregon sends love to President Carter and their family.” (SOURCE)
Mushroom Hunter Found Near Philomath Airlifted to Safety
CORVALLIS, Ore. – In a heartwarming turn of events on Thanksgiving Day, Benton County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO) search and rescue teams successfully located a missing male looking for mushrooms off Botkin Road, west of Philomath.
The individual, a 77-year-old male from Corvallis, had been reported missing by a family member at approximately 9:30 pm on Wednesday, November 22.
The search operation, which involved the Benton County Sheriff’s Office Marys Peak Search and Rescue – MPSAR, Corvallis Mountain Rescue Unit – CMRU , and Region 3 K9 Search & Rescue were called out to search for the hiker Wednesday night.
Search efforts continued on Thanksgiving Day with additional assistance from Linn County Sheriff’s Office, Lane County Sheriff’s Office, Polk County Sheriff’s Office and the U.S. Coast Guard.
Searchers located the missing man on Thursday, November 23 at approximately 3:30 pm, down a steep drainage near a creek. The male was in a weakened state after a recent back surgery and unable to hear the rescuers due to the absence of his hearing aids. Since temperatures dropped, the man said he tried to stay moving throughout the night to stay warm. Unfortunately, he did not have a whistle or other essential gear with him and was wearing wool socks with crocs.
The male was rescued approximately a mile and a half from his vehicle and immediately airlifted to Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center in Corvallis for further medical assessment and care.
“Thank you to all who helped on this mission,” stated Sheriff Van Arsdall. “Many volunteers sacrificed time away from family and friends on Thanksgiving Day to ensure this search had a positive outcome. We know you don’t do it for recognition but want the community to know what amazing resources our Office has, to keep the community safe.”
In light of this incident, BCSO would like to emphasize the importance of being prepared. To assist hikers in ensuring their safety, they would like to highlight ten essential items recommended by the American Hiking Society. To learn more about these essential items, please visit https://americanhiking.org/resources/10essentials/.
Oregon State Beavers Head Football Coach Jonathan Smith has resigned and has accepted the position of Head Football Coach at Michigan State
Michigan State has hired Jonathan Smith as their new head coach. Smith has been at Oregon State since 2018 and has a record of 34-35.
He led Oregon State to their first 10-win season since 2006 last year. Smith has a proven track record of success and has been part of championship staffs.
He is replacing Mel Tucker, who was fired earlier this season amid a sexual misconduct scandal.
Rite Aid Closing Oregon Stores Amidst Financial Crisis
The financial woes of the once-prominent Rite Aid pharmacy chain have reached a critical point, leading to a series of store closures that are set to significantly impact Oregon communities.
Founded in 1965, Rite Aid was once a cornerstone of American pharmacy retail. However, recent years have seen the company falter under a staggering debt of $3.3 billion, culminating in a bankruptcy filing last month.
This financial downfall has led to a drastic reduction in Rite Aid’s nationwide presence. Originally operating over 2,330 stores across 17 states, the chain now faces a decline that will see its store count drop below 2,000.
In October, as part of its bankruptcy proceedings, Rite Aid announced the closure of 154 locations. However, this number has been continuously updated, with over 200 stores now earmarked for closure, including several in Oregon.
The closure wave in Oregon is particularly significant, affecting both urban and rural areas. The following Rite Aid stores are set to close soon:
- Canby: 891 S.E. First Ave. Closing December 4
- Portland: 1814 N.E. 41st Ave. Closing December
- Warrenton: 145 S. Highway 101. Closing November 28
- Florence: 3451 Highway 101. Closing November 29
- Hines: 629 N. Highway 20. Closing November 27
- Milton-Freewater: 105 S.W. Second Ave. Closing November 28
Additionally, three stores in Portland and Medford have already shut their doors. The company’s decision to close its Wilsonville warehouse in April will result in 136 layoffs, starting in January and continuing until April 5, 2024.
A Rite Aid spokesperson explained the decision as a strategic move to consolidate operations and improve efficiency, transitioning the distribution network to their Washington center.
Oregon residents face the looming threat of ‘pharmacy deserts’. These areas lack convenient access to pharmacy services, a problem exacerbated by the simultaneous closures of other major chains like CVS and Walgreens. According to Dima Qato, an associate professor at the University of Southern California School of Pharmacy, pharmacy deserts pose a severe health risk, especially in vulnerable communities. When local pharmacies close, many people, particularly those living in underserved areas, may cease taking essential medications or face significant challenges in obtaining them.
The closure of Rite Aid stores in Oregon is more than a business headline; it’s a public health concern. As the state braces for the fallout of these closures, the healthcare landscape faces a significant shift. The situation underscores the need for a reevaluation of pharmacy accessibility and highlights the growing importance of addressing the challenges posed by pharmacy deserts in ensuring the health and well-being of communities. (SOURCE)
FDA Issues Recall Alert for Dog and Cat Foods Sold in Oregon Due to Possible Salmonella Contamination
The Food and Drug Administration is alerting pet owners to a recall of certain pet foods that could be contaminated with Salmonella. TFP Nutrition and the FDA said all dry dog food and all dry cat food manufactured in one of TFP’s Texas facilities is contaminated and should be disposed of.
Brands affected by the recall include Exclusive Signature Dog and Cat Food and Feline Medley Formula Cat Food. The recalled food was sold at several pet and animal supply stores in Oregon.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said babies and young children can get sick from contaminated pet food if they have access to pet food bowls on the floor, put pet food in their mouths, or if caregivers don’t wash their hands after feeding pets.
Pet owners are urged to throw away recalled pet food and clean any surfaces that might have come in contact with the pet food.
Suppliers who may have sold the recalled pet food include:
- Wilco stores all over Oregon
- H and E Feed in Eugene
- Junction City Farm and Garden
- Old Mill Farm Store in Cottage Grove
- Country Farms and Ranch Supplies in Creswell
- The Farm Store and J and S Supply in Veneta
- Sweet Home Feed and Supply
- Out West Farm and Ranch in Philomath
- Scio Farm Store
- Central Feed and Supply in Sutherlin
- Douglas County Farmers Co-op in Roseburg
- Tractor Supply Co. in Junction City and Creswell
Unusual Respiratory Illness Effecting Oregon Dogs
Veterinary laboratories in several states are investigating an unusual respiratory illness in dogs and encouraging people to take basic precautions to keep their pets healthy as veterinarians try to pin down what’s making the animals sick.
Oregon, Colorado and New Hampshire are among the states that have seen cases of the illness, which has caused lasting respiratory disease and pneumonia and does not respond to antibiotics.
Symptoms of respiratory illness in dogs include coughing, sneezing, nasal or eye discharge and lethargy. Some cases of the pneunomia progress quickly, making dogs very sick within 24 to 36 hours.
The Oregon Department of Agriculture has documented more than 200 cases of the disease since mid-August. It has encouraged pet owners to contact their vet if their dog is sick and told state veterinarians to report cases as soon as possible. The agency is working with state researchers and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Veterinary Services Laboratory to find out what is causing the illnesses.
Dogs have died, said Kurt Williams, director of the Oregon Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory at Oregon State University. But without a clear way to define the disease or test for it, he said it’s hard to put a number on how many died from a severe form of the infection.
Williams had a simple message for dog owners: “Don’t panic.” He also said dog owners should make sure that their pets are up to date on vaccines, including those that protect against various respiratory illnesses.
Labs across the country have been sharing their findings as they try to pinpoint the culprit.
David Needle, senior veterinary pathologist at the University of New Hampshire’s New Hampshire Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, has been investigating the mysterious disease for almost a year.
His lab and colleagues at the university’s Hubbard Center for Genome Research have looked at samples from dogs in Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Massachusetts and more will be coming from Oregon, Colorado and possibly other states.
He said his team has not seen a large increase in dogs dying from the illness but still encouraged pet owners to “decrease contact with other dogs.” (SOURCE)
Red Cross of Oregon Asking for Blood Donations During The Holidays
Help on Giving Tuesday and during the holidays by visiting redcross.org to make a financial donation or an appointment to give blood or platelets. Individuals can also register for volunteer opportunities in their area.
INCREASING SUPPORT AMID EXTREME DISASTERS With the growing frequency and intensity of climate-driven disasters, the Red Cross is racing to adapt its services and grow its disaster response capacity across the country. As part of this national work in 2023, the Red Cross distributed $108 million in financial assistance directly to people after disasters of all sizes, including for wildfire recovery in the Cascades Region.
Across the country, the Red Cross is delivering this vital financial assistance on top of its immediate relief efforts — including safe shelter, nutritious meals and emotional support — which have been provided on a near-constant basis for this year’s relentless extreme disasters. In fact, this year’s onslaught of large disasters drove an increase in emergency lodging provided by the Red Cross with partners — with overnight stays up more than 50% compared to the annual average for the previous five years.
In the Cascades Region we opened four times as many evacuation shelters in June than previous years because of a wildfire season that burned more than 250,000 acres across Oregon and SW Washington. Altogether, nearly 200 of our local volunteers responded to disasters in 2023, including more than 770 in the Cascades Region.
RESPONDING TO ADDITIONAL EMERGING NEEDS Beyond extreme disasters, people stepped up through the Red Cross to address other emerging needs for communities, including:
- BLOOD DONATIONS: As the nation’s largest blood supplier, the Red Cross is grateful for the millions of donors who rolled up a sleeve throughout the year and helped us meet the needs of patients in the Cascades Region in 2023. To further improve people’s health outcomes, the Red Cross has been working with community partners to introduce blood donation to a new and more diverse generation of blood donors — which is critical to ensuring that a reliable blood supply is available to the 1 in 7 hospital patients who need a lifesaving blood transfusion.
- The holidays can be a challenging time to collect enough blood for those in need. To book a time to give, visit RedCrossBlood.org, download the Red Cross Blood Donor App or call 1-800-RED CROSS. As a thank-you, all who come to give blood, platelets or plasma Dec. 1-17 will receive a $10 Amazon.com Gift Card by email. Terms apply. See rcblood.org/Amazon.
- LIFESAVING TRAINING: This year, the Cascades Region has trained more than 57,000 people in lifesaving-skills while, nationally, the Red Cross expanded its training to empower people to act during current-day crises — which is vital considering that nearly half of U.S. adults report being unprepared to respond to a medical emergency. This included launching the new “Until Help Arrives” online training course last spring for opioid overdoses, severe bleeding, cardiac arrest and choking emergencies, and partnering with professional sports leagues through the Smart Heart Sports Coalition to help prevent tragedies among student athletes by offering CPR training and increasing access to AEDs.
- MILITARY FAMILIES: Red Cross workers helped service members on U.S. military installations and deployment sites worldwide — including in Europe, the Middle East and Southeast Asia. As part of our support this year, Red Cross volunteers delivered emergency communications messages connecting more than 87,000 service members with their loved ones during times of family need, while also engaging members in morale and wellness activities during deployments.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides comfort to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation’s blood and is the primary blood supplier to 65 hospitals throughout Washington and Oregon; teaches skills that save lives; distributes international humanitarian aid; and supports veterans, military members and their families. The Red Cross is a nonprofit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to deliver its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or CruzRojaAmericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.
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.
SILVER FALLS STATE PARK HOSTS WINTER FESTIVAL DEC. 9 AND 10
Enjoy guided nature hikes, seasonal crafts and educational activities at the Silver Falls State Park Winter Festival 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 9 and 10.
Visitors will have a chance to learn about the park in winter including the changing landscapes and habitats for resident and migratory birds and animals.
Activities include guided walks and talks; building bird nest boxes; making bird feeders and paper bird crafts; creating wreaths and decorating gingerbread and sugar cookies.
Schedule of Activities:
- Make a wreath at the Evergreen Picnic Shelter (South Falls day-use area)
- Build a bird nest box at the Creekside Shelter (South Falls day-use are)
- Make a bird feeder or paper bird craft in the Stone Kitchen Shelter (South Falls day-use area)
- Attend a short educational talk or guided walk at the South Falls Theater (South Falls day-use area unless otherwise noted)
- 11 a.m.*: Winter Hibernators Walk (45-minute walk *at Smith Creek Village)
- 12 p.m.: Mushroom ID hike (1-hour hike)
- 1 p.m.: Winter Tree ID hike (1-hour hike)
- 2 p.m.: Learn to Love a Lichen (20-minute talk)
- 3 p.m.: Winter birds of Silver Falls (20-minute talk)
- Visit a discovery table near South Falls to learn about the waterfalls in winter or learn about the winter solstice (South Falls day-use area)
- Decorate a cookie, make a paper bird craft or learn about winter animal tracks (Smith Creek Village, 1.5 miles from the South Falls day-use area)
- Earn a commemorative Silver Falls ornament from taking part in at least five of the above activities
All activities are free, but a day-use parking permit is required. Permits cost $5 per day; annual permits, normally $30, are on sale for $25 in the month of December and are available at the park. For more information, visit the event page on our calendar at stateparks.oregon.gov or call 503-874-0201.
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