Klamath Basin News, Wednesday, Feb. 7 – Sheriff Chris Kaber Says He Won’t Run for Re-Election; Research Showing Vast Portions of Northern Hemisphere Water Supply at Risk Due To Human-Caused Climate Change

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Wednesday, February 7, 2024

Klamath Basin Weather

Today
Snow likely, mainly before 10am. Cloudy, then gradually becoming mostly sunny, with a high near 39. Light and variable wind becoming south around 6 mph in the morning. Chance of precipitation is 60%. Total daytime snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible. Overnight, cloudy with a low near 24 degrees, with light northwest winds to 9 mph.
 
Thursday
Partly sunny, with a high near 38. Northwest wind 5 to 10 mph. Cloudy overnight with a low around 22..
Friday
Mostly cloudy, with a high near 40. Calm wind becoming west 5 to 8 mph in the morning.
Saturday
Partly sunny, with a high near 44.
Sunday
Partly sunny, with a high near 46.

Today’s Headlines

Klamath County Sheriff Chris Kaber posted on social media yesterday that he indeed is NOT running for re-election when his term is up.


Kaber has been connected to possible violations regarding nepotism by the state government ethics commission.  In the post, Kaber says he is not running for re-election but endorses his son, Ryan Kaber, one of four announced candidates to enter the race so far.

Mike Shepherd, Bryan Bryson, and Darren Krag have also announced their intentions to run for the sheriff top job as well.

While addressing the investigation, and its aftermath, Kaber says he hopes this soon will be behind him.  More importantly, Kaber addressed those that have supported him through the years.

Kaber said,” I want to thank those who have supported me and the Office of Sheriff with signs, public appearances, and social media. I am humbled by the community rallying to my support and appreciate the faith you have instilled in me. Because of your encouragement, I refused to resign when Commissioners tried to force either myself or my sons to do so. I believe it was your voice that convinced Commissioners to reconsider. I intend to complete the term you elected me to which ends in January 2025. I do not plan to file for re-election. I will have served my state and county in law enforcement for 37 years when my term ends and am looking forward to the next role God has for me.”

He then added, “Another Kaber has entered the Sheriff race. I can highly endorse and recommend Sergeant Ryan Kaber to you for the next Klamath County Sheriff. He’s grown up in law enforcement, watching and learning, and following me into the field. He took time and pains to educate himself and master the job. I believe Ryan will be a better Sheriff for Klamath County than I have been or could be in the future, he will proudly represent Klamath and the employees of the office better than any other candidate in the running.”

 

On another note for this weekend, the Klamath County Sheriff’s office has received a grant to help keep roads safe during this Super Bowl Sunday weekend.

It’s all part of “Fans don’t let fans drive drunk” project from the US Department of Transportation. The grant, partially from ODOT, is in the amount of 13 thousand dollars.

KCSO says it’s simple…..”if you’re going to party on Super Bowl Sunday, arrange for a ride, or use a designated driver.”

More than 13,000 are killed annually by drunk drivers.

Along with DUI enforcement, the grants also cover specific violations like seat belt use, distracted driving, pedestrian safety, and speed enforcement.

 

The U.S. Forest Service says today the Klamath National Forest’s snowpack is starting this year at a level below historic averages.

The Forest Service (USFS) says the Klamath National Forest KNF) has completed its February 1 snow survey to helps California forecast water available for agriculture, power generation, recreation and stream flow releases during the year.

KNF says January began with “a nice accumulation of snow,” but warmer weather mid-month, including rain at higher elevations, brought depleting snow conditions similar to March or April.

It says a late-January atmospheric river added snow to mountains around the Scott River Valley, with most significant additions at higher elevations.

KNF says measurements taken for the February survey show snowpack is at 73% of the historic average snow height (snow depth) and at 60% of the historic average Snow Water Equivalent (SWE, a measure of water content) across all survey points.  It says snowpack historically reaches its annual maximum at late-March/early-April.

These measurements are a part of the statewide California Cooperative Snow Survey program, and KNF says survey crews were able only to complete part of the Middle Boulder 1 course (five of 10 planned holes) because of very difficult sampling conditions including ice layers, voids and highly compressible snow.

Snow surveys are conducted monthly during the winter and spring months through May as USFS staff go to established sites in the headwaters of the Scott River watershed to take measurements. KNF says the newest measuring site at Scott Mountain has been monitored for more than 35 years and the oldest site at Middle Boulder has been monitored for more than 70 years.  It says, “Some sites are located close to Forest roads with good access, while others require hours of travel by snowshoe and/or snowmobile.”

 

US Air Force F-35A Lightning II

Excitement is building for the first F-35A Lightning II aircraft that is expected to arrive at Kingsley Field Air Base in Klamath Falls in 2026.

The 173FW was selected to be the latest training squadron for the U.S. Air Force’s fleet of F-35A Lightning II in 2023.

“The F-35A is a whole new generation of offensive and defensive capability. What it brings to the fight is significant,” 173FW Cmdr. Col. Lee Bouma said.

The final F-15 Eagle training will conclude in September 2025, Bouma announced during a meeting Wednesday at the base.

As the United States Air Force’s preferred location for the Lightning II, Kingsley Field leadership and local stakeholders met together Wednesday to get ready for the next mission: Hometown KF-35.

Facilitated by county Commissioner Kelley Minty, Hometown KF-35 (a play on the local abbreviation of Klamath Falls and F-35 A Lightning) saw a turnout from communal organizations and agencies from the business, healthcare, educational and government sectors, and included a representative from the Oregon Governor’s Office.

Minty said the new aircraft’s pending arrival to the 173FW is “one of the most exciting opportunities for Klamath County in the last couple decades.”

The first pilot from the 173rd FW will be leaving for training on the F-35 in March, with a second set to follow in the summer.

KCC’s Director of Resource Development Peter Lawson said he thinks that timelines between Kingsley Field and the completion of the child development center will be synergistic.

 

Dena Haudenshild, Named KFCS Director of Special Services at Klamath Falls City Schools
Dena Haudenshild sat comfortably in her new office at the Klamath Falls City Schools district office on a Zoom call Friday morning with big grin as she finished her second week as KFCS director of special services.

Haudenshild knows a thing or two about working in a school district’s special services department.

For anyone familiar in preschool education in the Klamath Basin, Haudenshild has led a robust program for the past 10 years at Klamath Early Childhood Development Center.

Haudenshild is one of KFCS longest-standing employees as she is in the midst of her 25th year with the school district. Coincidentally, she began her first position at KFCS as a special education teacher, in which she was at for 10 years, along with being a resource room teacher at Mazama High School before a boundary realignment.

She had a brief stint as a district office coordinator for special services before she became the Ponderosa Middle School assistant principal in 2010. She then became principal of special programs in 2014 at Early Intervention, Early Childhood Special Education.

Haudenshild then became the director at KECDC in 2020. To her surprise and joy, she helped the school move to a new location, a building off Summers Lane, formally occupied by Triad School until the year 2020, when retired KFCS Superintendent Dr. Paul Hillyer brought the idea to have it be the school’s new home.

 

Oregon Housing and Community Services announced $20 million for affordable housing production in Oregon.

According to a press release from the Oregon State Legislature, this money is part of the Housing Bill 2001 passed by the legislature in 2023. The intention of this bill is to take immediate action in response to the housing crisis and to plan for future housing productions.

Representative Pam Marsh says this grant funding is huge for Oregon. “Well, I think it’s a big win. We understand that we have to do something completely different in order to spur housing on the ground. And it’s been clear that modular housing, that is factory-built housing elements, could be part of the story.”

OHCS awarded the funds in the forms of four $5 million grants, two of which have been designated for Southern Oregon. Pacific Wall Systems in Phoenix and InteliFab LLC in Klamath Falls were selected out of 17 candidates.

Alex Knecht, owner and vice president of Pacific Wall Systems says his company can do a lot to help the housing crisis. “

A statement from Klamath Falls based IntelFab says, “InteliFab has developed an automated factory to construct prefabricated and modular building components and buildings, to both help address the declining availability of site-built tradespeople with pre-built solutions, and to bring factory level speed, efficiency and quality to the construction industry.

 

During the months of April and May, over 800 third graders throughout Klamath County, Dorris, and Tulelake will receive FREE, LIFE-SAVING swim lessons through the Everyone Swims program at Ella Redkey Pool.

The Everyone Swims program is made possible this Spring through the partnership of Sky Lakes Medical Center and the City of Klamath Falls. Students receive individualized instruction, develop skills, build confidence, and learn life-saving skills, all while having fun with their peers in the water.

Ella Redkey Pool is looking for Volunteer Swim Lesson Instructor Aids. You have an opportunity to make a difference in a child’s life! Everyone Swims 3rd Grade Program has been a huge success in the past years and we are so excited to keep it going. We need your help to make this program possible.

No experience? No problem. As a pool volunteer you will receive intensive swim instruction training prior to the start of swim lessons. During the Everyone Swims program you will be paired with a Certified Lifeguard/Swim Lesson Instructor to guide you through the process, so you won’t be left alone to teach.

Everyone Swims Volunteer Schedule: • 6 weeks of lessons: Monday, April 15 – Thursday, May 23 • Lessons are held 4 days per week: Monday through Thursday • Morning & Afternoon session options: 9:00am – 11:00am and/or 12:15pm – 2:45pm Volunteer as much or as little as you’d like. All help is appreciated. All volunteers are required to pass a background check with the City of Klamath Falls.

 

The Hornbrook Fire Protection District confirms at least 8 more deer have died after getting stuck in the mud at Copco Lake.

Hornbrook Fire announced they’ve secured rescue equipment designed for mud, ice and water rescues on Facebook on February 1st. This is after two deer had to be euthanized over the weekend once it was determined they couldn’t be saved.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife say it’s working on plans to implement wildlife deterrents to hopefully avoid any more trapped animals.

While CDFW says the stranding of wildlife on muddy reservoir bottoms is an unforeseen situation, William E. Simpson II of the Wild Horse Fire Brigade says everybody should have seen this coming.

In a Facebook group called “Klamath River and Dam Removals”, many locals are expressing major concerns for animal welfare. They post how devastated they are to see these animals struggling and how much they will miss the lake.

Siskiyou County will be holding a special meeting to discuss the people’s concerns about the Lower Klamath Dam Project on February 13th at 10:00 am in the Copco Lake Community Center.

 

Thirty-plus residents in a neighborhood near Mills Addition in Klamath Falls continue to struggle with unexplained flooding under their properties.

After three years of this plight, local government is taking action to remedy the damages affecting residents along Merryman Drive, Wantland Avenue, Reclamation Avenue and Applewood Street.

The Klamath County Board of Commissioners declared the hydrological event a local emergency during a work session last Wednesday.

“If we have a disaster declaration, it’s going to enable state partners and nonprofits to come to the aid of the people being impacted,” Klamath County Emergency Manager Ian Thigpen said during a recent hydrologic event task force meeting with residents and community partners.

Thigpen began organizing meetings to address the flooding issue shortly after he was hired by the county for the position in November 2023.

Affected residents explained their struggles to find anyone to assist with the mysterious flooding to the Herald and News last summer.

Jon Martin and his brother, Tim, were the first residents in the area to notice the flooding under their home.

As the neighborhood runs parallel to Klamath Irrigation District’s A-Canal, the residents feared the earthen canal was leaking under their homes.

The canal ran dry for a long period during some of the worst years of drought since the 2001 water crisis in Klamath County. The return of the flows, residents said, coincides with the unexplainable flooding.

But KID’s multiple efforts to protect the residences from possible canal leaks proved ineffective with water flows returning every summer.

 

The search for a new district attorney is over. After a 15 month-long search, David Schutt began his appointed term as Klamath County District Attorney Thursday afternoon.

In a courtroom overflowing with community leaders, law enforcement and appreciative members of the public, Janney swore Schutt into office with his vow to uphold the law and serve the community well.

Schutt was hired as a deputy district attorney by a former DA, Ed Caleb, which marked a defining moment in his career, he said.

The district attorney’s office has undergone a lot of changes since the start of Schutt’s career.

The most noteworthy change in recent years, however, is the lack of attorneys working for the DA’s office.

Since 2022, the Klamath County District Attorney’s Office has been operating on a skeleton crew.

That same year, the county lost its former district attorney, Eve Costello, with an unexpected resignation.

Today, the office is down to just two DDAs, Peter Bostwick and Dan Higgins, to fulfill the duties of a 10-person caseload.

During and since his 11 years of service as a prosecutor in Klamath County, Schutt said he’s seen immense progress in the court systems.

He says he has seen  the advent of treatment courts and witnessed the miracles that they can work. And as the district attorney my goal is to guarantee public safety for everybody who lives here and to ensure that every single person regardless of background, ethnicity or lifestyle, knows that they’re going to receive fair and even-handed treatment.

 

Rude awakenings from the blaring horns of trains traveling through town may soon come to an end.

Klamath Falls residents neighboring Crater Lake Parkway have complained to city officials for more than 3 decades about the disturbance.

Due to safety regulations, however, the city has yet to make the neighborhood a designated quiet zone … until now.

According to the agenda for the city council meeting set for Monday evening, council will vote whether to enter a “public highway at-grade crossing agreement” with Union Pacific Railroad.

“Once the city and railroad’s work is completed, the city can file a notice of execution which, after 30 days of the filing, should establish the quiet zone,” the agenda item reads.

The dollar amount budgeted for the project, which will be at the Portland Street intersection, is $575,000 for the duration of the current biennium.

 

The Klamath Falls Lions Club will be selling See’s candy for Valentine’s Day as a fundraiser for their sight and hearing projects.

Purchases can be made at Turn Thom-Point S Tires, 2052 Washburn Way, next to Bi-Mart, beginning Wednesday.

The Lions Club conducts vision screening for most students in Klamath County, as well as provides glasses for students and others in need.

Lions Clubs collect used eyeglasses for recycling, and provide a college scholarship to a graduating high school senior from a local school.

For more information about the Lions Club and how to donate to Lion’s projects, call (541) 591-6483.

 

Klamath County libraries to close for Presidents’ Day

All Klamath County libraries will be closed on Monday, February 19th in
observance of Presidents’ Day. No materials will be due on a day that the
libraries are closed.

For more information, call us at 541-882-8894.

 

Each week, BasinLife.com and KFLS News 1450AM & 102.5FM feature a pet of the Week ready for adoption from the Klamath Animal Shelter.

This week’s pet of the week this week is a dog named ” Melon ” Melon is an 8 month old male Labrador Border Collie mix, he is black with white markings, he weighs around 50 pounds 

Melon’s family had to move and the new landlord wouldn’t allow him. His family said that he is started on house training, lived with children 6 months and older, he knows sit, lays down, loves belly rubs, playing with toys and playing with dogs at the dog park

If you are interested in adopting Melon the shelter is located at 4240 Washburn Way, Monday through Friday from 12:00 – 4:00, walk throughs are available, pet meet and greets are by appointment, you can reach the shelter at 541-884-PETS (541-884-7387)

View all adoptable pets anytime online at www.klamathanimalshelter.org

 

Lake of the Woods is holding it’s Winter Snow Festival this weekend, Feb. 10th and 11th.

The Lake of the Woods Winter Snow Festival is open to the public this month with many fun events and activities planned.

Folks can join in on a snow sculpture/snowman building contest, enjoy an outdoor bonfire with music, play cornhole, snowshoe the Ancient Trees walking loop and more. For an additional 10 bucks a person, you can even get in on a horse-drawn sleigh ride.

The Lake of the Woods Kite Fest, which is held on the second weekend of every February, was canceled. George Gregory of Lake of the Woods Mountain Lodge said  the cancellation was because the ice isn’t strong enough to support people.

 

Just for reading our news, click to enter to win Free Movie Tickets from BasinLife.com and Wynne Broadcasting. 
  Click here!

 

 

Around the state of Oregon

In Josephine County Tuesday morning, a male called 911 to report he had shot another male. 

Grants Pass Police officers responded to the 1000 block of SE Park Plaza to secure the scene.  Upon arrival, 25-year-old Kiernan Fucci exited the residence and surrendered to officers.  Inside the apartment, police discovered a male deceased from a gunshot.  At this time, the name of the victim is being withheld until next of kin can be notified.

All other occupants of the apartment were confirmed to be uninjured.  There was no risk to the public, and the incident was limited to the apartment.  

Grants Pass Police detectives were aided in the investigation by the Oregon State Police Major Crimes Unit, Oregon State Police Crime Lab, Josephine County District Attorney’s Office, and Grants Pass Fire/Rescue.  The Grants Pass Police Department appreciates the assistance of these agencies as they are frequently involved in our community’s major cases.

Kiernan Fucci was lodged at the Josephine County Jail on the charges of Murder in the Second Degree and Unlawful Use of a Weapon.

Anyone with information regarding this case is asked to call the Grants Pass Police Department at 541-450-6260.


Also in Josephine County a man was arrested in Merlin, Oregon yesterday, after police searched his house and found drugs, guns and explosives in the 300 block of Colonial Drive.

According to a news release from the Grants Pass Police Department, police went to Michael Dills’ house on a search warrant. They found “multiple ounces” of methamphetamine, eight firearms, money and illegal explosives such as blasting caps.

Of the eight firearms they found, three were stolen, the release said. 

“Dills was transported and lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Felon in Possession of a Firearm and Unlawful Possession of Methamphetamine,” the release said. “Additional drug and gun-related charges will be referred to the Josephine County District Attorney’s Office.”

 

New scientific research shows that human-caused climate change is putting the most densely populated areas of the Northern Hemisphere, including the American West, at risk of losing vast portions of their water supply because of decreasing snowpack.

The worst polluters of the earth, are China and India, not the United States.

Published in the journal Nature, the report led by two Dartmouth College researchers found climate change-driven snowpack trends in half of the 169 river basins in the Northern Hemisphere, 31 of which they said they could “confidently attribute to human influence.”

The researchers built a model that analyzed observations and models of snowpack, temperature, precipitation, and runoff data from 1981 through 2020, then used the uncertainties from the models and observations to try to cut through temperature and precipitation variations and account for regional differences to see how a warmer planet would affect snowpack and runoff in the future.

Those models, they wrote, allowed them to produce more than 12,000 estimates of the effects of human-caused climate change on March snowpack across the Northern Hemisphere.

The researchers said that better understanding the unknowns in analyzing snowpack, and how human-cause climate change is affecting the snowpack in general, can lead to better climate models and also better policymaking for governments and water managers who will have to deal with the effects of the reduced runoff in the future.

One of the keys in being able to account for uncertainties and still make predictions, according to the paper, was identifying 17.6 degrees Fahrenheit as the average winter temperature where snowpack can start to decrease rapidly with minimal air temperature increases.

 

A Hillsboro woman and her three children are safe, after they were found stranded in the wilderness on the Southern Oregon Coast.  

Coos County Sheriff’s officials say Alice Schwartz and her kids were Geocaching near Burnt Mountain Road outside Coquille [[ coe-KEEL’ ]], when she turned the car down an unpaved road and it high centered on a log.  The family walked a mile in the cold rain to get a cell signal to call for help.  A sheriff’s deputy and a sergeant were able to clear the log and the family drove out on their own.  Geocaching is where participants use GPS to find containers with prizes hidden by other participants.

 

The Coquille Tribe awards over $500k in grants for southwestern Oregon community projects.

The tribe held an awards reception at The Mill Casino-Hotel to fund five county projects in health, arts and culture, education, environmental, public safety and historic preservation.

The Coquille Indian Tribe Community Funds were created to share the proceeds of The Mill Casino-Hotel in hopes of strengthening the community by improving opportunities and lives throughout the region. This year’s grant brings the total amount the fund has distributed since it began in 2001 to $8.7 million with over 1000 grant projects being impacted.

The tribal fund accepts grant applications in the fall of each year. Find out more through the Tribe’s website.

 

Four Bolts vital to keeping in place an Alaska Airlines airplane’s door plug were missing during manufacturing, federal officials said in a preliminary report on the Jan. 5 incident when a chunk of fuselage flew off a plane above Portland and forced an emergency landing.

“Photo documentation obtained from Boeing shows evidence of the left-hand (door plug) closed with no retention hardware,” the National Transportation Safety Board wrote in its 19-page report, released Tuesday.

The findings have been highly anticipated since the door replacement came off minutes after Alaska Airlines flight 1282 departed from Portland International Airport at 5:07 p.m. for Ontario, California. A passenger’s video showed a harrowing scene as the plane returned to PDX with a gaping hole in its side.

The sudden decompression tore a shirt off a passenger but did not cause any serious injuries. The captain circled back to the airport and landed.

The airplane investigation could take several more months to fully complete.

 

Daylight saving time begins this year at 2 a.m. on March 10, 2024.

Most devices these days will adjust automatically to the time change, but don’t forget to set any traditional clocks forward by one hour.

Twice a year — when we spring forward and then again when we fall back — we get questions about this: Didn’t Oregon decide not to participate in the time change any longer? So why are we still doing it?

In 2019, Oregon and Washington agreed to partner to abolish seasonal time changes, remaining on daylight saving time year-round. California also joined the agreement, seemingly paving the way for the West Coast states to get rid of standard time permanently.

However, any such change is dependent on approval by the federal government, which hasn’t happened.

In 2023, members of Congress reintroduced the long-stalled Sunshine Protection Act, which would allow states to remain on daylight saving time all year.

That bill has yet to make it out of committee.

 

Oregon Legislators Return to Salem to Tackle Very Big  State Issues This Week

The main issues for lawmakers in Salem are expected to be addressing homelessness, affordable housing and a fix to Ballot Measure 110 that legalized drug possession.

Republicans want tougher restrictions on drug possession than Democrats. Republican senators say they are not planning to walk out, but it is an option if Democrats don’t include them in negotiations.

As the Oregon legislative session opens, lawmakers could make changes to a voter-passed measure that decriminalized small amounts of drugs and opened up more access to treatment. Backers of the measure say it’s a move in the wrong direction. Oregon voters passed Measure 110 in 2020. Since then, lawmakers have become worried about the increasing number of drug overdoses. However, Sammi Teo with Oregon Food Bank says re-criminalizing drug possession won’t fix this problem, especially with people lining up for detox services.

While lawmakers have pointed to overdoses as a reason to re-criminalize certain drugs, a study from 2023 concluded fatal drug overdoses did not increase in the year after Measure 110 was introduced. Teo says addiction should be treated like a public health issue rather than a criminal one.

Teo says this issue is tied to hunger as well. She notes that people with criminal records have a harder time finding employment, educational opportunities and housing. She says to address hunger, the state needs to create conditions that allow for stability and community connections.

 

Oregon Army National Guard troops deployed in the Middle East for the past nine months, returned home over the weekend.

Eastern Oregon-based Adder Company was overseas, in support of Operation Spartan Shield. They spent most of their time in Kuwait. Sixteen soldiers were welcomed home at Saturday’s demobilization ceremony in Ontario.

 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has announced it will develop what it calls a long-term and durable approach to the conservation of gray wolves.

Some in Oregon had hoped the federal agency would again try to remove the wolf from the Endangered Species list. Instead, a first-of-its-kind National Recovery Plan under the Endangered Species Act will be in place by the end of 2025.

Click HERE to read more about the plan.

In Oregon, wolves west of Highway 395 are federally protected; east of 395, they are not.

 

Acting on a tip, police busted a group of men hauling drugs into Oregon and seized over a ton of liquid heroin.

Officers learned a transnational organization was moving a large load of narcotics into Oregon. They spotted the suspects’ rented moving truck and a pickup on I-84 and followed it to Tigard. They executed search warrants on the suspects’ hotel room and the vehicles. They found eight 55-gallon barrels in the moving van containing 370 gallons of liquid heroin.

The four suspected drug traffickers were arrested without incident.

 

Oregon travelers on Highway 126 between the coast and Eugene are continuing to see delays as crews continue clearing debris created by January’s ice storm, and one business owner along the road is growing frustrated with a lasting outage from the aftermath.

Crews of Oregon Department of Transportation staff and contractors have been working to remove downed trees and other storm debris from the roadway and surrounding area. While a lot has been done to clean up the highway and make it safer, an ODOT spokesperson said, with plenty more to be done in the new few weeks.

ODOT says they have a lot of debris and damage near the Knowles Creek Tunnel, which is the starting point for two teams performing the clearing work. One smaller crew is performing work from the tunnel west toward the coast. The other, larger crew is working in increments eastbound on the highway, clearing sections of the road toward Veneta.

The highway itself is clear of limbs, but ODOT’s focus is on cleaning up tree stumps and logs on the edge of the highway to the tree line.

“They’re also having to assess and evaluate all of the trees along that highway for any potential damage or danger,” ODOT said. “So cracked trunks, dangling limbs, trees leaning over toward the direction of the highway that could potentially fall if we got more wind.”

Once the crews are finished, they will do the same work on Highway 36.  However, it may take a while before that work gets started.

The work has several more weeks to finish cleaning up the Highway 126 roadway.

 

Changes are coming to the way Oregonians apply for unemployment benefits.

Starting on March 4, those seeking unemployment insurance will submit claims on a new website called Frances Online. It’s part of the state’s $106 million, multi-year effort to upgrade the Oregon Employment Department’s technology to make it more secure and user-friendly.

The state has been gradually migrating to the new system, and the unemployment insurance claims portal is the last major step in the transition, according to Unemployment Insurance Director Lindsi Leahy.

The old system dates back to the 1990s. Multiple state audits have found that it was unable to handle complicated claims and had trouble incorporating rule changes. Officials acknowledged it lacked streamlined ways for people to communicate with the state about their claims.

Before the new system goes live for users, both the old and new online portals will be down for a few days in preparation for the launch on March 4. Starting at 5 p.m. on Feb. 28, users will not be able to access the sites, including for Paid Leave Oregon. Also, customer service phone lines and online support will be closed starting on Feb. 28 and won’t reopen until Frances goes live.

Officials say to avoid an interruption in benefits, claims must be submitted in the old system by 5 p.m. on Feb. 28. Unemployment insurance claimants will then need to create a new account in Frances after 8 a.m. on March 4, officials say.

 

Lakeview Town Manager Michele Parry was placed on paid administrative leave Jan. 24 for undisclosed reasons.

Lakeview’s interim Public Works director, Sean Petitmermet, provided a statement that “Ms. Parry will remain on leave until further notice.”

The statement said Petitmermet will provide necessary administrative support during Parry’s leave.”

Petitmermet said the town had “no further comments at this time” when asked who made the decision and recommendation to place Parry on leave.

 

More than $7,000,000 is going to Oregon fisheries as part of $42,000,000 in federal fishery disaster funding.

Last week, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced allocation of those funds for recovery from fishery disasters in Oregon, Alaska, California, Louisiana, Mississippi, and the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe and Yurok Tribe fisheries from 2017 to 2022.  The federal funding will help ocean commercial fishermen in Oregon recover from significant economic losses in 2018, 2019, and 2020 from declining salmon populations.

For California, U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo announced allocation of $20.6-million to address a fishery resource disaster that occurred in the 2023 Sacramento River Fall Chinook and Klamath River Fall Chinook ocean and inland salmon fisheries. NOAA Fisheries used revenue loss information from the commercial, processor and charter sectors to allocate funding for the disaster.

Oregon’s U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley, with U.S. Senator Ron Wyden and U.S. Representatives Earl Blumenauer (OR-03), Suzanne Bonamici (OR-01), Val Hoyle (OR-04), Andrea Salinas (OR-06), and Lori Chavez-DeRemer (OR-05), announced today the commerce department’s plan to send Oregon $7,050,722 for declared fishery disaster for 2018, 2019 and 2020 for Chinook salmon ocean commercial fisheries.

The funding makes local fishermen eligible to apply for reimbursement from the disaster assistance funding available from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to help Oregon’s coastal economies recover from years of drought, changing ocean conditions and critical habitat loss that have severely harmed salmon populations in the Pacific Northwest.

 

The Oregon Supreme Court’s Thursday ruling barring 10 state senators who boycotted the Legislature last spring from seeking reelection will ensure significant turnover within the 30-seat Oregon Senate over the next two election cycles and could permanently curtail the already limited power of the state’s minority party.

Political experts predict the ruling will decrease the number of walkouts in future legislative sessions. Walkouts have been one of the few tactics that Republicans, as the minority party in the Legislature, have been able to use in recent years to stall bills pushed by Democrats.

Republican strategists, however, said Thursday’s ruling might not serve as the deterrent many expect. Bryan Iverson, legislative director for the Oregon Senate Republicans, said some lawmakers might be willing to forgo reelection to kill Democratic bills they fervently oppose and that participating in a walkout could help boost the public image of lawmakers preparing to run for higher office. During his run for Congress, U.S. Rep. Cliff Bentz emphasized the role he played in a Republican walkout at the statehouse that successfully killed a climate cap-and-trade bill.

 

Even if it weren’t opening on Valentine’s Day, what’s not to love about the biggest outdoor camp in the West?

The annual Pacific Northwest Sportsmen’s Show opens on Wednesday, Feb. 14, for a five-day run at the Portland Expo Center.

“Sportsmen’s and Sportswomen’s Show” might not fit within the advertising sideboards, and sportsperson’s might seem stiff, but there are plenty of attractions for both men and women — and kids and grandparents and friends of all ages.

Ages are a change. For the first time in the show’s nearly 50-year history, youngsters 17 and under (not 10) will be admitted free. It’s a clear intention from show sponsors to up the ante to include every kid in the outdoors.

Attractions for all are there from day one, with show booths, free kids trout pond (still 12 and under) and all the other traditional offerings.

Women can find their mark on Friday the 16th.

A special “Ladies Day Out” offers a women-only seminar from 2-4 p.m. for the first 500 to register (then free admission for leftover seats).

 

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For information or prices on plans, simply call us today at 541-363-7503 or email us at Info@BasinLife.com.  Let us keep your business top-of -mind!

 

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