Klamath Basin News, Friday, Feb. 23 – Winter Fest On Ice is Saturday at Bill Collier Ice Arena; Red Tie Masquerade Ball Scholarship Fundraiser is Saturday Night at Ross Ragland Theater; Oregonians Strongly In Favor of Tougher Penalties For Drug Possession With Fentanyl Overdoses Soaring In State

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.

Friday, February 23, 2024

Klamath Basin Weather

Sunny, with a high near 56. Calm winds becoming west 5 to 7 mph. in the morning.  Overnight, mostly cloudy with a low around 31. North wind 3 to 5 mph.
Sunny, with a high near 58. Calm wind becoming south around 6 mph in the afternoon, overnight, clear with a low around 30 degrees.
Sunny, with a high near 57. Light and variable wind becoming west southwest 12 to 17 mph in the morning. Winds could gust as high as 25 mph.
Rain and snow likely, becoming all snow after 10am. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 40. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.
Partly sunny, with a high near 41.

Today’s Headlines

Klamath Ice Sports presents its 21st annual figure skating spectacular at 7 p.m. on Saturday at the Bill Collier Ice Arena at the Running Y.

National champions and other medalists will headline the ice show, which will be directed and choreographed by Autumn Morin.

Keegan Messing

Two-time Canadian men’s champion, Keegan Messing, and U.S. men’s champion, Max Aaron, who have both appeared here in previous ice shows and who are crowd favorites, lead off the cast of skaters.

Other featured performers include , U.S. women’s silver medalist, and Christina Carreira and Anthony Ponomarenko, the 2024 U.S. ice dance silver medalists. They will be joined by a diverse cast of high-level competitive figure skaters.

Also in the cast are Samuel Mindra, from the Portland area, and Liam Kapekis, from Washington. Both are senior level competitive figure skaters who recently competed in the U.S. national championships.

Polina Edmunds

Two-time U.S. collegiate champion Paige Rydberg, from Colorado, and senior level competitor Alena Budko, from the Portland area, are featured in the cast, along with the pairs team of Clara Finkelstein and Mark Williams, also from the Portland area.

Also appearing are Jisele Manning, Rose City Synchronicity and the Klamath Kids, a group of young local skaters who train at the Bill Collier Ice Arena.

Tickets for Klamath Ice Sports’ Winterfest on Ice are currently available online at www.klamathicesports.org. Ticket prices range from $11-$55, depending on where seats are located.


Following two weeks of meeting and work session cancellations, the Klamath County Board of Commissioners were back in business at their regular meeting on Tuesday. Commissioners provided the public with their whereabouts and goings-on during that time.

Commissioner Derrick DeGroot said the majority of his time was spent in Washington, D.C., working on natural resource issues involving the Endangered Species Act concerning the Oregon and California Railroad and Coos Bay Wagon Road Grant Lands Act of 1937 (O&C Act).

Degroot said he was busy, too, with the Oregon Timber Country Coalition of which he is president, and also testified virtually last Friday in a hearing that took place in Salem in support of juvenile projects.

Vice-Chairwoman Kelley Minty was in San Antonio, Texas, most notably at Lackland Air Force Base, fulfilling her duties on the Air Force Civic Leader Council. There, she was spoken to about the challenges the Air Force is facing with the recruitment of airmen and pilots.

Most vocal about his pursuits to advocate on behalf of Klamath County, Chairman Dave Henslee said he was in Washington, D.C., discussing the Farm Bill in service to the Agriculture and Rural Affairs Task Force of the National Association of Counties.

Henslee also spent time with the Association of Oregon Counties acting as co-chair of the Veterans and Public Safety Steering Committee, and also co-chair of the Joint Public Safety and Health and Human Services Steering Committee where debates and discussions took place about “several” pieces of legislation.

Henslee said the AOC chose to support the following bills: SB 1587, which protects children’s advocacy centers from legal action; HB 4140, which funds various programs that help victims of crime; HB 4074, civil commitments for mental health treatmen; HB 4001, taskforce for specialty courts; and HB 4081, emergency medical services modernization.

As part of the commission’s new Staff Success Stories, the board recognized Heidi Gaither, director of Klamath County Developmental Disabilities Services, for being chosen as the Inspiring Leader of the Year at the 2024 Chamber of Commerce Gala, and also recognized Klamath County Solid Waste staff for processing 14,000 tons of concrete.

The board also made a contribution of $6,750 to the Oregon Living With Fire fund.

During the meeting, Klamath County Public Health was awarded $36,139 grant dollars from the National Association of County and City Health Officials for use towards the Suicide, Overdose and Adverse Childhood Experiences Prevention Planning project.

Working closely with Klamath Basin Behavioral Health’s You Matter to Klamath suicide prevention coalition and with Klamath Promise and the local Alcohol and Drug Planning Committee, the awarded grant funds will be used to provide technical support, facilitation and framework to create a collaborative strategic plan to align and integrate SOAPP.


As economic momentum continues to move forward, the Klamath County Economic Development Association is poised to tackle a major barrier to growth in the region — attainable housing.

Able to lay claim to Oregon’s Economic Development Association’s Award of Excellence in Economic Development for Outstanding Collaborative Partnership for 2023, KCEDA and People’s Bank of Commerce a longside a group of private capital investors have accelerated housing construction by the creation and use of the Klamath Revitalization Fund.

A five-year commitment, KRF was founded with a vision to create attainable housing for the workforce and to encourage and promote the development of the trades industry in Klamath County. An evergreen fund, KRF provides capital to local contractors for the construction of houses, and once the house sells and the contractor repays the loan, the funds return to KRF in a sustainable model that can fund projects into perpetuity. Since its inauguration in 2021, KRF has built 14 houses with another close to completion.

Birthed after a 2019 housing needs analysis on the city of Klamath Falls forecasted that 609 new dwellings would be necessary by 2039 to meet the growing population, KRF’s creation was crucial.

Fearful that housing needs were already behind by 400 dwellings, KCEDA found that in 2020 a total of 125 new building permits were issued and another 102 for 2021.

Since 1975, KCEDA has been Klamath County’s leading economic development agency. KCEDA and its supporting members have been at the center of making many new developments a reality working continuously to build a healthy Klamath and taking on the responsibility of planning, designing and implementing strategies that can help improve the community while acting as a central partner to both private and public sector entities.


U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden is urging the National Park Service to keep Crater Lake operations running as the federal agency weighs whether to dissolve a contract with the company that manages lodging, dining, retail and boat tours in the park.

Wyden’s letter comes one week after news that the National Park Service has threatened to terminate a contract with Philadelphia-based Aramark, which has operated in the Oregon park since 2018. Aramark, under its subsidiary Crater Lake Hospitality, is currently under contract through 2030.

The National Park Service did not immediately respond to request for comment.

Federal officials have accused Aramark’s subsidiary of a litany of management issues at the park, including shabby living conditions for park employees, park buildings in a state of disrepair and serious environmental hazards. The National Park Service plans to terminate the contract unless the company “shows cause as to why NPS should not do so,” David Szymanski, Pacific West regional director for the agency, said last week.

That decision came two months after Wyden sent out his first public letter on the issue, laying bare a number of “serious concerns” about operations by Aramark’s subsidiary.

Federal officials have not said how long they’re giving Aramark to respond, or what might happen to park services should the termination go through. The National Park Service’s concession guidelines note that contract termination can be “time consuming,” but offer no specific timeline, as the circumstances can vary.


Police have released bodycam footage of an officer-involved shooting that killed a man on an Amtrak train in Siskiyou County.

The shooting happened last Christmas and the Mt. Shasta Police Department released the video on their Facebook page today. It happened at about 12:30 a.m. at the intersection of West Lake Street and Pine Street in Mount Shasta on Amtrak’s Coast Starlight Train. 

“(In compliance with California law), video recordings depicting the discharge of a firearm at a person by peace officer shall be made public within 45 days,” MSPD wrote at the beginning of the video. 

At the beginning of the video, police explain what led up to a confrontation between officer Jeremiah Capurro and the man, 32-year-old Nicholas Detweiler from Klamath County. 

“On December 25th at approximately midnight, Mt. Shasta Police Department received a call from Amtrak personnel advising that they had a passenger onboard threatening staff and passengers with brass knuckles, exhibiting aggressive behavior and potentially under the influence,” police wrote at the beginning of the video. “Amtrak advised they would be stopping the train on the railroad tracks at Lake St. and requesting an officer respond to assist in removing the passenger.” 

In the video, Capurro walked onto the train and shined a flashlight on Detweiler, who appeared to be sleeping in a seat on the train.

Detweiler jumped up suddenly, then said, “Oh excuse me, sir, is this the stop?” 

Capurro said “Yeah, this is the stop,” then ordered Detweiler repeatedly to put his hands up. Detweiler put one hand up, looking dazed and confused. Capurro then ordered him to turn around, but instead, Detweiler reached for a plastic bag. 

The officer then repeatedly told Detweiler not to touch anything, and Detweiler started slowly backing away with the plastic bag. Capurro then tased him repeatedly. Detweiler remained standing, and a crew member came out to restrain him. At one point, the video shows Detweiler reaching into his back right pocket where he later removes a set of metal knuckles. 

Capurro continued to walk towards him and pulled out his taser, and Detweiler punched him on the right side of his face. Capurro ordered Detweiler to get on the ground, but he continued to stand and asked the officer if he could help him get his things. Capurro responded by pulling his gun and continuing to order him to get on the ground. 

Detweiler then removed his glove from his right hand and started to put metal knuckles on his hand. While Capurro continued shouting at him to get on the ground, Detweiler interrupted by saying, “I need to leave the train with you.” He then asked if a crew member could pick up his bags so that he could leave. 

The crew member behind Detweiler started talking. Detweiler, with metal knuckles, then swung his right hand at the crew member’s head. Capurro then shot him several times and Detweiler fell to the ground along with a crew member. In one frame of the video, Detweiler is seen behind the crew member, choking him. Capurro shot him a couple more times and then the footage went black. 

The Coast Starlight train services a route from Seattle to Los Angeles, with stops at Klamath Falls, OR, and Dunsmuir and Redding, CA, among 30 trains stations on its route.


It had only been open a few hours, but the new Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuge Complex Administrative and Visitor Center was humming with people of all ages, many gawking at the amazing taxidermy in the lobby or participating in classroom activities.

Obviously delighted at the turnout was a beaming John Fitzroy, the complex’s visitor services manager. Located along Hill Road near Tulelake, the spacious new building opened Saturday. Along with providing offices for the refuge complex’s staff, the multi-purpose facility includes a 1,600-square-foot front desk/exhibit space and 48-square-foot classroom. An adjacent building houses work offices along with a conference room, library, storage area, break room and multi-work stations. All refuge complex functions are now under one roof, except for the fire crew facilities.

While Fitzroy was happily providing information to visitors about the overall facility, he was especially enthusiastic about the goings-on in the classroom, where youth were using crayons for coloring books with wildlife-related themes or, more amazingly, diligently using tweezers to dissect owl pellets.

The refuge complex includes three refuges in the far Northern California — Tule Lake, Lower Klamath and Clear Lake — and another three in Southern Oregon — Upper Klamath, Klamath Marsh and Bear Valley.

The Lower Klamath refuge was established by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1908, the nation’s first waterfowl refuge. Three years later, 1911, the Clear Lake refuge was created. The Tule Lake and Upper Klamath refuges were added in 1928. Klamath Marsh was established in 1958 while Bear Valley is the youngest, established in 1978.


A federal government effort to “confront the wildfire crisis” in the Western United States is making the Klamath River Basin the largest of 11 new landscape designations for extra support.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack says the Biden Administration is investing nearly $500,000,000 to expand work on the USDA Forest Service’s Wildfire Crisis Strategy.

Vilsack says funds from the Administration’s Investing in America agenda will support work to reduce risk to communities, critical infrastructure and natural resources from the nation’s ongoing wildfire crisis.

The list of projects include the newly designated “landscapes” such as the Klamath River Basin and existing landscapes getting federal government support in western states.  The new landscapes range in size from 285,000 to the Klamath River Basin’s 10,000,000 acres.

USDA says that acreage spans across the Oregon-California state line where the U.S. Forest Service manages about 55% of that landscape which “generate 80 percent of the mean annual surface water supply to the Klamath River.”  It also includes parts of Modoc, Klamath, Six Rivers, Shasta-Trinity, and Fremont-Winema National Forests.

Regarding the Klamath River Basin landscape project, USDA says it will invest in projects in collaboration with Tribes and other partners.


A new federal indictment accuses Negasi Zuberi of Klamath Falls of an attempted escape from the Jackson County Jail and a second kidnapping in addition to the alleged abduction of a woman from Washington to Oregon last summer.

A three-week trial is now set to start in federal court in Medford on Oct. 7. Prosecutor Jeffrey S. Sweet estimated at least 50 witnesses will be called at trial, with roughly half based in Klamath Falls or Medford.

The superseding indictment now accuses Zuberi, 30, of also kidnapping a second woman in Klamath County on May 6, of an attempted escape from his cell in the Jackson County Jail in August and of unlawfully possessing a handgun, a shotgun, two rifles and numerous rounds of ammunition as a convicted felon.

He initially faced a two-count indictment charging him with kidnapping and transportation with intent to engage in sexual activity.

The new eight-count indictment charges him with two counts of kidnapping, two counts of being a felon in possession of firearms and ammunition, two counts of being a felon with ammunition, and one count each of transportation for criminal sexual activity and attempted escape.

Federal prosecutors say Zuberi in July kidnapped a woman from Seattle after posing as an undercover police officer, drove her 450 miles to Klamath Falls, sexually assaulted her on the trip and then locked her in a cell in the garage of his rental home in Klamath Falls.

The new indictment doesn’t give any details on the second kidnapping charge.

It picks up the alleged jail escape case that was initially filed against Zuberi in state court. According to court records, a Jackson County maintenance worker noticed an unusual noise coming from one of the cells while he was outside the county jail about 12:45 p.m. on Aug. 22 and alerted sheriff’s deputies. Deputies found Zuberi on his bunk bed, near a window that appeared to be chipped, according to the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office.

He’s accused of using an improvised, screw-like device to strike and shatter glass in the cell, according to a probable cause affidavit filed in Jackson County Circuit Court. He then covered the shattered glass with books and paper in an apparent attempt to hide it, the affidavit said. The device was found attached to his sandal, the affidavit said.

Nonetheless, Zuberi was transferred back to the Jackson County Jail last week from the federal prison at Sheridan.


Leadership for the Klamath Basin extension of Friends of the Children advocated for local youth on Capitol Hill last week, along with leaders from 35 other communities.

A news release from the local extension said advocates had one message to impart on members of Congress — “Put Children First.”

Klamath Basin Friends of the Children executive director Amanda Squibb represented the local chapter in which the nonprofit organization pairs professional mentors with local youth facing difficult circumstances, such as foster care, housing insecurity and familial mental health challenges.

With leaders from 650 schools and all 36 chapters of Friends nationwide, advocates spent two days meeting with their respective state’s members of Congress in support of a drafted bill the organization hopes to see make it to the congressional floor.

Squibb said the possible future bill proposes federal funding amounting to $25 million dispersed over a five-year period to all chapters.

Squibb and Klamath Basin Friends co-chairs Traci Freid and Tessa Koch met with U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley of Oregon at the Capitol. Wyden and Merkley continued to express their support for the program, Squibb said.

Learn more about the Klamath Falls Chapter of Friends of the Children here


The schools in Klamath County were able to show off their healthcare-related programs recently, during the “Meet Your Future Employees Tour”.

Chaperoned by the Southern Oregon Education Service District (SOESD), the Meet Your Future Employees Tour is coined as a reverse industry tour in which instead of bringing students to industry, industry comes to the schools providing professionals with an opportunity to see first-hand how the next generation is preparing for the workforce.

Representatives from Sky Lakes Medical Center, Cascades East, Klamath Open Door, Oregon Tech, Leaps and Bounds, the Klamath County Economic Development Association (KCEDA) and Klamath County Fire District 1 spent an entire day with SOESD touring Klamath Community College’s and Mazama and Henley high School’s health sciences programs, specifically their Career and Technical Education (CTE) curriculums.

Through the implementation of CTE, students of Henley and Mazama are able to have a competitive kick-start to their future employability through a dynamic blend of theory and hands-on experience with a multitude of careers, including those in the medical field.

Students can obtain professional certifications for First Aid, CPR and even an Oregon State Board of Nursing Certified Nursing Assistant credential all before graduation. Students also can earn up to 15 college credits accepted at KCC and Oregon Tech.

Schools in Klamath County are embracing the passion and curiosity that students have by offering an opportunity to explore and acquire technical skills and professional practices alongside the mandated robust academic knowledge.

In the Health Sciences CTE, studies focus on five career pathways: biotechnology research and development, diagnostic services, health informatics, support services and therapeutic services. A student can take sports medicine one year and earn their CPR/AED certifications, and then the following year take advanced sports medicine to become a certified personal trainer.


The city of Klamath Falls wants to hear from residents about the safety of their streets.

A news release from the city asks the public to participate in an online open house as part of a Transportation Safety Action Plan.

“Klamath Falls is crafting a TSAP to help eliminate fatal and serious crashes from its streets,” the release said.

The deadline for public participation is Feb. 28.

A statement on the virtual open house site said, “This virtual open house presents transportation safety projects that have been recommended based on crash data and the input [the public] provided this past December.”

The goal is to reduce transportation accidents within the city. According to the city, there were 113 fatal or serious injury accidents between 2017 and 2021. There are two portions to the TSAP: capital projects in priority areas and systemic treatments for the overall community,

“Whether you walk, roll, bike or drive, we want you to reach your destination safely,” the release said.


What three words describe the future of Klamath County?

That is what the multi-sector partnership Healthy Klamath is asking as part of the Community Health Assessment vision survey of the public. Since 2013, Healthy Klamath has sought public input while creating three-year vision plans with the goal of assessing the health needs in the community.

The previous vision plan was “to be a balanced, beautiful and accessible community.”

The vision statement defined the term balanced as a community with “mental, spiritual, physical, social and emotional aspects working in unison.”

In pursuit of an equitable and upstanding county to live in, Healthy Klamath is asking residents to fill out an online survey which can be found by visiting surveymonkey.com/r/24vision.

To review the 2021 assessment synopsis, visit the link above.


Klamath Union High School can be can remembered for many things, but one thing is certain, it will forever be known as one of the top Distributive Education Clubs of America schools in Oregon.

For the fifth consecutive year, Klamath Union DECA was named the state’s Career Development Conference Chapter of the Year.

In total, 29 KU DECA members traveled to Portland to participate in the state competition on Feb. 12-13.

As of now, seven students have qualified for the DECA International Career Development Conference in April, and there is potential for more Klamath Union students to qualify.

Countless Pelicans came away with first-place honors, or a noteworthy recognition. Lina Stanfield and Cassidy Bogatay earned first place in their sales project category, while Brooke Nelson and Alyse Perez were selected with the top honor in marketing management team decision-making.


In a recent announcement from Densho, a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of history from the incarceration of Japanese Americans during WWII, digitization of nearly 2,000 items from the Tule Lake Japanese Language Library has become available online through a digitization project at UCLA. 

According to the collection’s webpage at UCLA, the library was created during World War II by incarcerated Japanese-Americans and immigrants at the Tule Lake Relocation Center in Newell, Calif., between Nov. 26, 1943 and Nov. 30, 1945. It housed roughly 7,000 volumes and at its peak had a circulation of more than 17,000 volumes loaned per month that “fostered intellectual activity, social engagement, and a quiet space for reflection.”

Photos of the books show notes scribbled inside the volumes, censorship and other stamps, and glimpses of what was once the Tule Lake camp library, such as checkout cards with signatures and barracks numbers, care labels, etc. These elements reveal much about pre-war Japanese language communities in California, as well as the wartime incarceration experience.

Visitors to the website can browse featured items on the collection page, as well as see everything that has already been digitized and processed by clicking on “browse collection’’ to access UCLA Library Digital Collections.

There are more items in the process of being added to the digital collection, and there are plans to digitize the material cultural traces of all of the volumes.

Under “additional news & resources” on the collection page, viewers can find an online exhibit curated by Kim McNelly, project manager at the Richard C. Rudolph East Asian Library at UCLA, that explains images from the first 50 digitized volumes.


The Klamath County Fair Board has announced that Billy Currington as its Saturday, August 3rd Fair Concert Performer this summer!

Saturday, August 3, 2024, John Hancock Event Center
Doors Open at 6:30 PM
Show Begins at 7:30 PM
Party Zone = $57.00
General Seating = $47.00

Tickets will be available for the concerts ONLINE and in the Klamath County Fairground’s Office, 3531 S. 6th Street beginning February 23 @ www.kcfairgrounds.org starting at 8:00 AM. Listen for other ticket outlets.

Billy Currington’s latest album bears the breezy title Summer Forever, but the talented Georgia native has spent more than a decade in the spotlight proving he’s truly a man for all seasons.

Possessing one of the smoothest and most distinct voices in any genre of music, Currington is equally skilled at delivering upbeat summertime anthems as well as exploring the complexities of life and love with a poignant ballad. On Summer Forever, Currington’s sixth studio album, he brings both with a collection of songs that will take the listener on a riveting musical journey and leave them breathless at the end of the ride.

Since his self-titled debut album bowed on Mercury Records in 2003, Currington has scored eleven career No. 1 singles, most recently, “Don’t Hurt Like It Used To.” His other hits that reached the No. 1 spot include such memorable songs as “Good Directions,” “Let Me Down Easy,” “Must Be Doin’ Somethin’ Right,” “People Are Crazy,” “That’s How Country Boys Roll,” “Hey Girl,” and “We Are Tonight.”


The Klamath Falls Police Department’s Citizen’s Academy is a great opportunity for citizens and community leaders to gain insight into our department and operations.

This year, we made the decision to have select course weeks available to the general public as a “drop in” night. This allows citizens the chance to learn more about our agency, how we police our community, and address any concerns specific to the City of Klamath Falls Police Department without the commitment of attending the full 10-week program.

Those interested in attending the full 10-week program, can pick up an application today from the police department (2501 Shasta Way) during the business hours of 8am-5pm.

Application Deadline is Friday March 22, 2024.

The academy is limited to the first 20 approved applicants, with classes beginning Thursday April 4, 2024, every Thursday from 6pm – 8pm.

Questions? Contact Program Coordinators: Detective Kiley Bergstrom, kbergstrom@klamathfalls.city or Officer Joseph Reed, jreed@klamathfalls.city


                  Coming to Ross Ragland Theater!
The Missoula Children’s Theatre Spring Break Theater Camp Presents
Jack and the Beanstalk

Dates: Monday-Friday, March 25-29; 8:30am – 1:00pm
Performances: Saturday, March 30 at 3pm & 5:30pm

The Missoula Children’s Theatre presents JACK AND THE BEANSTALK, an original adaptation of the classic children’s story. What happens when a young boy plants Wonder Beans in his own backyard? For Jack, it is the beginning of a great adventure. With a little help from P.T. Wonder and a Giant, Jack learns a valuable lesson about true happiness. This musical production also features a host of other characters, including the Elegant Harp, Jill, Mother, Milky White, the Farmers, the Merchants, the Circus Performers and the Wonder Beans.

There are three age groups for the Spring Break Camp with opportunities for students from Kindergarten to age 18!

Cost: $175, multi-student discount available; scholarships available

Group 1: Kinder – age 7 have the opportunity to be part of the production on stage! They will audition on Monday and begin rehearsals that day! (16 spots available)

Group 2: Ages 8 – 8th grade have the opportunity to be part of the production on stage! They will audition on Monday and begin rehearsals that day! (44 spots available)

Group 3: Ages 12-18 have the opportunity to be an assitant director for the show! Have the experience of helping backstage and to learn from MCT’s director team! (4 spots available)



SATURDAY NIGHT!  The annual Red Tie Masquerade Ball Scholarship Fundraiser is back again at the Ross Ragland Theater at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 24th!

Attendees are encouraged to wear cocktail attire and masquerade masks. Performances and events are scheduled throughout the evening.

The Masquerade Ball is a premier fundraising gala and social event that raises awareness for the need and benefit of keeping access to the arts and arts education for K-12 students across the Klamath Basin and southeastern Oregon.

According to the Ragland, this must-attend event is full of elegance, delicious food and live entertainment, all dedicated to supporting the Ragland’s seven education programs.

These programs offer more than 20,000 individual opportunities for arts education to all K-12 Klamath Basin students each year.

The Ross Ragland Theater said the Masquerade Ball promises to be an unforgettable night filled with surprises, enchantment and a silent auction that the Klamath Falls community won’t want to miss.

Tickets are $75 for singles and $120 for couples. Tickets can be purchased at the Ragland Box Office Monday-Friday, noon to 5 p.m., by calling (541) 884-LIVE, or by visiting their website at www.ragland.org.


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


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

Two minors were found dead near the Shasta dam at 9 a.m. Thursday morning, the Shasta County Sheriff’s Office said in a Facebook post.

Police responded to a campground area north of Shasta Dam and found the two minors, who had somehow fallen from the camping area to the river.  The minors were dead at the scene, the post said. Police have not said if the two minors were children or teenagers. 

“Recovery efforts are ongoing and include numerous agencies, Shasta County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue Teams and dive team,” the post said. “At this time, all nonessential vehicle traffic is not being allowed to cross the dam. At the request of the Sheriff’s Office, water flows from the dam have been reduced to aid in the effort.”


Oregon, and Portland, are ramping up efforts to prevent child sextortion, after seeing  a massive increase in sextortion in recent years.

“From out to Prineville, to Bend, to Medford to Eugene and here in Portland, to the coast. It is happening everywhere,” Supervisory Special Agent Travis Ostrem told parents during a Wednesday webinar.  The crime involving explicit images of children boils down to blackmail and there are two forms: Financial and Traditional.


“Financial sextortion, where the predators are looking for monetary gain from the children, to stop them from sending images. We’ve also sextortion, which is the typical child exploitation of sexual images, where they’re asking for additional images.”

He urges parents to start talking with kids early about the dangers of sending any photos online. Predators target victims as young as 11. He also suggested parents monitor the apps children are using, set parental controls and know who kids are talking to online, “Technology is growing faster than we can control it. But you all can get ahead of it. Look out for your children.” 



Yearly fentanyl overdose deaths in Oregon grew by an estimated 1,500% since before the pandemic, by far the largest increase in the United States, federal data show.

There were 77 known fentanyl overdose deaths in the state during the 12 months ending September 2019. Oregon deaths from the cheap, super-powerful opioid, mostly produced in China and Mexico and smuggled into the United States, ballooned to an estimated 1,268 during the 12 months ending September 2023, according to a federal analysis of the most recent available overdose-death data.

While the dramatic increase is at least in part due to Oregon recording so few deaths in 2019, the trend has been consistent: Oregon also recorded the highest percentage increase in fentanyl deaths from 2022 to 2023.

The precipitous rise means Oregon has shifted from a state with one of the lowest fentanyl death rates in America to one that’s now near the middle of the pack nationally — with no indication deaths will subside anytime soon. Oregon had the nation’s 17th-highest death rate last year, with 30 fentanyl overdose fatalities for every 100,000 people, up from ranking 36th out of the 39 states, including Washington, D.C., that reported fentanyl overdose deaths in 2019.


Oregonians remain strongly in favor of rolling back drug decriminalization and support tougher penalties for drug possession, echoing the results of a poll taken six months ago, according to a new survey commissioned by proponents of repealing Measure 110.

The new polling released by the group lobbying for cracking down on drug possession shows little change in public opinion since last August.

The results come as leading Democrats in the Legislature attempt to broker an agreement that would repeal Oregon’s first-in-the-nation drug decriminalization policy, which drew strong voter support in 2020.


We’re learning that in Oregon, it’s illegal to torture animals, but it isn’t illegal to make and sell videos of the torture.

In one of the most despicable and disgusting things we’ve seen in the news lately, earlier this year, a Prineville man pleaded guilty to federal charges that he made so-called animal crush videos.

The Oregon House has passed a bill that would make creating and sell the videos illegal. An amendment to the bill covers freedom of speech issues. The bill now moves to the Senate.


Gas prices are starting their seasonal increase. Triple-A reports refinery problems in the Midwest are causing prices to rise and refineries are starting to produce more expensive summer blends of fuel that reduce pollution.

The national average price for a gallon of gas increased five cents over the last week to 3-28. Oregon’s average increased a penny to 3-60. Portland has the highest average at 3-73 while Pendleton has the lowest average at 3-42. The price of diesel in Oregon increased two cents to 4-14 a gallon.


The Oregon Legislature is sending two voting measures to voters in November.

They’ll decide whether to approve ranked choice voting, where the candidate receiving the majority of the votes wins.

A second referendum would amend Oregon’s Constitution to allow impeachment of elected state officials with a two-thirds vote in both the Oregon House and Senate. The measure was proposed after former secretary of state Shemia Fagan resigned following a scandal. Lawmakers were critical that the state didn’t have a formal impeachment process.


The so-called “ditch the switch” bill in the Oregon Legislature is headed back to committee.

The bill would eliminate Daylight Saving Time and leave Oregon on Standard Time all year. The bill got a vote in the state Senate, but enough Senators were concerned California and Washington wouldn’t go along, so they sent it back to the Rules Committee. An amendment could be added that would trigger the change in Oregon, if California and Washington do the same thing.


Oregon has the second highest renewal rate for Medicaid benefits following the pandemic.

During the pandemic, people on Medicaid were allowed to keep their benefits. With the Health Emergency over they needed to apply for the Oregon Health Plan and five out of six Oregonians are keeping health coverage. Around 200-thousand people will lose coverage or have reduced benefits.

Oregon continues to send renewal letters to people whose benefits will expire to determine whether they qualify for continued coverage.


Remains of Sandra Young Identified after 54 years

Forensic approximation side viewThrough dedicated inter-agency cooperation, the remains of a previously unidentified young woman have been identified as Sandra Young, a Portland teenager who went missing from the Portland metro area more than five decades ago. The young woman was a Grant High School student and had not been seen since 1968 or 1969. 

“Sandra Young has now regained her identity after 54 years,” said Dr. Nici Vance, the state’s Human Identification Program Coordinator at the Oregon State Medical Examiner’s Office.

“Her story represents a remarkable amount of diligence and collaboration between family members, detectives, Oregon State Medical Examiner staff, and our contract laboratory Parabon Nanolabs. This is yet another example of the innovative ways the ME’s Office and investigative genetic genealogy can help Oregonians find closure. This technology gives investigators the powerful ability to assist all Oregon agencies with the resolution of their cold case mysteries,” Dr. Vance continued. 

On Feb. 23, 1970, the remains of a fully skeletonized young female were discovered buried in a shallow grave at the far north end of Sauvie Island in Columbia County. The discovery was made by a Boy Scout troop leader, who first saw what he thought were items of clothing and then discovered human remains within the grave. Investigators recovered the remains and the remnants of a black curly wig. Investigators believed the remains were that of an African American and trauma to the body indicated foul play.

The young decedent, still unidentified, was moved to the state medical examiner facility in Clackamas County in 2004 along with more than 100 additional sets of unidentified remains. An anthropology report was completed, a bone sample was submitted to the University of North Texas Center for Human Identification, and a NamUs profile was created.

The case was the subject of consistent attention by the state medical examiner’s office. DNA results had been uploaded into CODIS, but no genetic associations were discovered. The DNA results indicated the remains were, in fact, that of a female. The NamUs system was checked for new cases of missing teenagers and young adult women on the West Coast, but none appeared to match the decedent. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) picked up the case and provided media attention and a more thorough review of additional missing person websites. DNA results only indicated that the remains were female in origin.

In 2018, the Oregon State Police Medical Examiner’s Office was awarded a National Institute of Justice grant to perform innovative DNA techniques on unsolved unidentified skeletal remains cases. This case was recognized as one that could potentially be resolved by DNA Phenotyping and Investigative Genetic Genealogy provided by OSP’s contract lab, Parabon NanoLabs.

An additional bone sample was submitted for DNA extraction, and a single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) DNA profile was successfully analyzed.

The first Parabon Nanolabs report to be completed was a DNA Snapshot© Report, where genetic material is used to determine eye color, hair color, skin color, and the ancestry of the deceased. The report predicted this individual was of West African, South African, and Northern European descent, with brown to dark brown skin, brown eyes, and black hair.

The subsequent investigative genetic genealogy report, unfortunately, showed the lack of promising leads in the now 50-year-old cold case. Recommendations and contacts were made, but additional follow-up was slow.

Further analysis was performed by Parabon NanoLabs, with encouraging results. In February 2021, a deeper genetic dive was taken into the young woman’s ancestry, and a prediction of her facial characteristics was created. “To see her face come to life through DNA phenotyping was striking,” said Dr. Vance. 

In January 2023, an individual uploaded their DNA into the open-source genetic genealogy database GEDMatch and immediately was recognized as a potential distant family member of the decedent. Through research and interviews, the genetic genealogist encouraged other members of the family to upload their DNA data into GEDMatch, and a more complete picture of heritage emerged.

In July 2023 an additional Parabon report was completed. Descendants and countless family trees were developed; more matches came to light and communication with family members indicated that a teenage girl named Sandra Young went missing from Portland around the time the decedent was discovered. Sandra was a Grant High School student and appeared to be the sister of one of the genetic matches who, when contacted by the genealogist, agreed to assist in uploading their DNA data into GEDMatch.

Because Sandra was last seen in Portland, the Portland Police Bureau was contacted for assistance. PPB Detective Heidi Helwig took information from the Investigative Genetic Genealogy (IGG) report and contacted the DNA donor. Through a series of informative, poignant, and difficult interviews, Detective Helwig learned that this individual not only lost a teenage sister when Sandra went missing in 1968 or 1969, they also lost a sister to gun violence in the 1970s. The family member was cooperative, supportive, and motivated to determine if the remains could be their sister, Sandra Young.

In October 2023, the Kinship Inference Report was definitive in its conclusions. Genetic evidence confirmed the hypothesis that the young decedent was Sandra “Sandy” Young, born June 25, 1951, and unaccounted for since 1968 or 1969.

Based on the totality of the evidence (both genetic and circumstantial) Oregon Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Sean Hurst positively identified the individual as Sandra Young and the next-of-kin has been notified. The PPB detective division is now aware of the case and has been encouraged to conduct further investigation to determine, if possible, the circumstances of Sandy Young’s death.

Significant resources are needed to continue this type of advanced testing at the State Medical Examiner’s Office. Genetic genealogy casework and confirmation testing have shown incredibly successful results but can cost between $6,000-$10,000 per case. The State Medical Examiner’s Office is eager to continue the good work of identifying unknown decedents once again if funding is secured for future testing.


The Mount Shasta Avalanche Center discovered Wednesday a very large natural avalanche that is estimated to have happened earlier in the week on Monday during one of the recent, strong winter storms.

The avalanche was rated a D4 , which on the D-scale that assesses the destructive power of an avalanche, this avalanche on President’s Day would’ve been capable of destroying a railway car, large truck, several buildings or substantial amount of forest. The Mount Shasta Avalanche Center said nobody was caught in the slide and no roads or infrastructure were compromised on the mountain.

The President’s Day avalanche on Mount Shasta is estimated to have started around 12,000 feet in Avalanche Gulch, ran for over three miles and went down 5,000 vertical feet down Avalanche Gulch. Below is a map showing the path the very large avalanche took down the mountain. The Mount Shasta Avalanche Center says the avalanche was 300 feet in width and had walls up to 60 feet deep with debris piles that were even deeper. The avalanche ended near an elevation of around 7,200 feet.

The Mount Shasta Avalanche Center said in their report this event was nearly identical to the Valentine’s Day avalanche in 2019. “The sheer volume of snow that is deposited in the runout zone is mind-boggling. This is a wonderful, fantastic, shivers-down-your-spin natural event….and naturally, we are glad nobody was caught in this whopper,” says Nick Meyers with the the Mount Shasta Avalanche Center. The avalanche comes after constant precipitation on the mountain for four straight days. The Old Ski Bowl weather station recorded 6.57 inches of liquid-equivalent precipitation, that’s about 2.5 to 3 feet of snow near the treeline with likely more higher up the mountain. After these series of winter storms, the Everitt Memorial Highway and Castle Lake roads remain closed. An opening of these roads are to be determined.


A bill that resulted from a student coming within seconds of being struck by an aggressive driver is one step closer to becoming law in Oregon. 

A high school student, Sean Sype, saw and reported the incident, prompting Rep. Courtney Neron, D-Wilsonville, to introduce House Bill 4147, which would allow school districts to add cameras to school buses to catch and ticket drivers who break state law by blowing past the stop signs and flashing red lights on buses, endangering students’ lives. The measure passed the House on a bipartisan 49-5 vote on Monday and is headed to the Senate. 

At least 24 states, including Idaho and Washington, have laws allowing such cameras, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The National Transportation Safety Board recommended every state allow the cameras after a pickup truck driver struck four children, killing three of them, in Indiana in 2018. 

Representative Neron cited a 2023 report from the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services, a school bus driver organization, that surveys drivers throughout the country each year. Oregon bus drivers documented 1,427 incidents of drivers illegally passing them on just one day, and throughout the country bus drivers reported more than 62,000 violations in a single day. 

Failing to stop for a stopped bus with flashing red lights is already the highest level of traffic violation, punishable by a fine up to $2,000.

The bill would allow districts to partner with local law enforcement to send tickets to drivers caught on camera breaking the law. 


Police are still looking for a man wanted on several charges including first and second-degree child neglect.

Friday, the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office rescued an infant and toddler that were abandoned by 24-year-old Justin Trompeter. Trompeter was hiding with the two children in Jacksonville when he fled the scene before deputies arrived.

“To protect victims, we don’t put a lot of information out about them. I wanted to put their ages just because it was so egregious… 6 month and 18 months… that’s very, very young,” Jackson County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer Aaron Lewis says.

If Trompeter has crossed states lines, Lewis says retrieving him will depend on whether his warrants are extraditable.


The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission has approved listing the Southern Resident orcas as an endangered species.

They spend much of their time in the Salish Sea, but travel along the coasts of British Columbia, Washington, and Oregon feeding on salmon. The decline in salmon, pollution, and disruptions from boats and ships are causing the population of orcas to decline.

In the mid-1990s there were nearly 100 whales and now there are about 74.


Three Roseburg men are in a Douglas County jail facing a multitude of charges including burglary and kidnapping.

Deputies responded to a call of reports of a man in zip-ties on the 200 block of Maple Street in Riddle yesterday.

According to officials, law enforcement discovered the three suspects 25-year-old Justin Devlaeminck, 53-year-old Daniel Devlaeminck, and 26-year-old Austin Lee Lyman trying to evict the victim out of a property.

The victim would be transported to the hospital,  and the three men are facing several charges including burglary, kidnapping, and assault.


The Oregon Unemployment Department is switching to a new online system. Benefits for unemployment insurance customers go live through their new system ‘Frances Online’ on March 4.

Department representatives say claimants should create an account online once it launches. The department says that most things will stay the same, including contact information and unemployment eligibility rules, but employers will now be able to view documents and respond to information about former workers.

mportant due dates to file a claim and avoid a delay in payments are at 5pm on Tuesday, February 27, for new initial claims and 5pm on Wednesday, February 28, for weekly benefit claims for the week of February 18-24. Otherwise, claimants will need to wait until after 8 a.m. on Monday, March 4.

-Director Lindsi Leahy says ‘Frances Online’ will be more user-friendly for claimants and employers.


Expect more job losses as more than two dozen Oregon lobbyists are advocating policies on behalf of industries that contribute to climate change while also representing those that fight and respond to climate challenges.

Researchers at the group, Pennsylvania-based F Minus, launched last summer, compiled a database that shows that more than 1,500 lobbyists across the country are working at the state level for the fossil fuels industry as well as for conservation groups, public health entities, social justice organizations and local governments trying to respond to environmental and health issues caused by the burning of those fuels.

Researchers identified at least 28 Oregon lobbyists, among the more than 1,000 registered in the state, who are working for more than 500 organizations and companies with conflicting values around climate change. They completed the analysis of Oregon lobbyists in January.

Among the 28 lobbyists is one who is working for both the state’s largest natural gas utility, NW Natural, a heavy greenhouse gas emitter, while also lobbying for the Portland-based Wild Salmon Center, a conservation group that works to protect fish species suffering from climate change. Lobbyists at Portland-based Oxley & Associates, represent a petroleum association and advocate policies for the American Red Cross, which aids people affected by large wildfires and floods that are increasingly exacerbated by climate change.


The Oregon Health Authority is offering new grants for home upgrades to qualifying groups that help low income residents.

The money can be used for structural improvements including wheelchair ramps. Heating, ventilation and air conditioning upgrades. Mold and mildew abatement along with radon mitigation also qualifies. Groups can apply to the Healthy Homes Grant Program.

COVID-19 transmission in Oregon remains moderate; isolation guidelines reminder

If you test positive for COVID-19, symptom-based isolation guidelines in Oregon are as follows:
  • Stay home until fever-free for 24 hours without using fever-reducing medication, and other COVID-19 symptoms are improving.
  • Avoid contact with people at high risk of severe illness (including older adults and those with underlying medical conditions) for 10 days after testing positive or developing symptoms, whichever happens first.
  • Consider masking for 10 days.
  • A five-day isolation period is no longer recommended for the general population, including those in K-12 education settings.
  • For health care workers, Oregon remains aligned with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The symptom-based isolation recommendations have been in place since May 2023, when the federal COVID-19 public health emergency ended, and there is no plan to change them at this time.

“Because COVID-19 is exceptionally transmissible and a large proportion of cases do not develop symptoms or develop only mild symptoms, the previous five-day isolation policy was not slowing transmission,” said Melissa Sutton, M.D., M.P.H., medical director, respiratory viral pathogens at OHA. “Families and communities are used to following symptom-based recommendations for other respiratory viruses, and doing so for COVID-19 will allow otherwise well individuals to attend school and work while asking that they mask and avoid individuals at increased risk for disease. Oregon has not experienced any notable increase in COVID-19 transmission, hospitalizations or deaths following our shift in isolation policy last spring.”

This week we reported an 8.9% test positivity rate for COVID-19, which indicates ongoing moderate community transmission in Oregon, based on data reported to health officials during the week ending Feb. 17.

“COVID-19 continues to circulate freely in our communities,” Sutton said. “To protect themselves and their loved ones, we encourage all people in Oregon to get vaccinated with the 2023-2024 COVID-19 vaccine.”

Over time, test percent positivity has proven to be an extremely accurate measure of COVID-19 community transmission, correlating with wastewater surveillance data that Oregon collects and reports weekly. Both tools can be found on our Respiratory Virus Data homepage.


The right to buy a gun in Oregon remains stalled.  Oregon’s attorney general, Ellen Rosenblum, has filed a motion requesting gun regulation law Measure 114, stay in effect while it goes through a lengthy court process. 

According to a news release from Rosenblum’s office, this would be temporary. 

“This January, the same court issued its final decision saying that Measure 114 violates the Oregon Constitution. The state promptly appealed to the Oregon Court of Appeals,” the release said. “That appeal is pending, but the appeals court processes could reasonably take up to a few more years.”

Voters narrowly approved Measure 114 in Nov. 2022. However, it has been in court since then and has not had a chance to take effect. 

Opponents of the measure claim that it violates the Second Amendment and restricts the right of Oregonians to bear arms and defend themselves. They also claim that it would not stop shootings or fatalities. 


Another increase from Pacific Power. The company filed a general rate case and a Transition Adjustment Mechanism update with the Oregon Public Utility Commission.

The combined rate actions would result in a 16.9% rate adjustment, or roughly $304 million, and would support continued investments in wildfire risk management strategies, transmission infrastructure and renewable generation projects. 

The average residential customer with typical energy usage would see an increase of about $29.47 per month.  

Key factors driving the rate request include: 

  • Transmission infrastructure investments, which enable the integration of new renewable resources to serve growing customer needs.  
  • Continued investments in low-cost renewable energy resources. 
  • Cost of capital to finance utility operations and reflect current market conditions and risk. 
  • Wildfire risk management, including rapidly growing wildfire insurance premiums, wildfire mitigation and vegetation management and the creation of a catastrophic fire fund, which would create a mechanism to manage the risks associated with increased wildfire activity.  

Pacific Power remains committed to actively managing its system in the face of rising costs to limit price exposure and reduce cost volatility for our customers. This includes actively working with a diverse set of stakeholders across the region to develop and implement tools to address the growing risk of wildfires.  

In 2014, Pacific Power helped pioneer the Western Energy Imbalance Market in partnership with the California Independent System Operator, which provides access to the lowest-cost energy available. Through the participation of PacifiCorp, Pacific Power’s parent company, in the market, the company has saved customers throughout its six-state service area over $745 million through the end 2023. PacifiCorp has also announced that it will join the new Extended Day-Ahead Market, which will result in tremendous savings to customers through optimal power purchases a day ahead of time, when critical resource decisions are made.    


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.


Orchestra fans will find out soon the Britt Orchestra concerts schedele for the upcoming season.  

The Britt Festival Orchestra will be holding a season reveal party on the 22nd. We already know this season we will see a couple of guest conductors following longtime conductor Teddy Abrams leaving.

But as for what pieces the orchestra will play and what shows are in the works, we are still in the dark.

The reveal party will be at Bigham Knoll in Jacksonville. If you’d like to attend and help fundraise, tickets run at $50. You can find out more at http://brittfest.org.

As for the summer concert series, Britt says we’ll know that full schedule come April.


The Warner Canyon Ski area announced Wednesday evening that they have decided to not open for the 2023-2024 ski/snowboard season.

The ski area says they are sad and disappointed they didn’t get enough snow to open this season.

“We are very grateful for our community and their continuous support. Even though we won’t open this year, we are looking forward to what the next season will bring!” the ski area in a post on Facebook.


U.S. News & World Report recently released their 2024 hotel rankings and a Willamette Valley wine country resort tops the list for Oregon: The Allison Inn & Spa.

The luxury resort in Newberg has been known for its spacious suites with sweeping vineyard views since it opened in 2009. It’s been showered with accolades from Travel + Leisure magazine, Forbes Travel, AAA and more.

U.S. News says its hotel ratings are “based on an analysis of industry awards, hotel star ratings and user ratings.”

Other amenities at the 85-room hotel include an indoor swimming pool under a large skylight and a whirlpool with picturesque views.

If you want to stay in a bigger city, U.S. News’s pick for the No. 2 hotel in the state is The Nines in downtown Portland. Rounding out the top 5 are Stephanie Inn in Cannon Beach, Oxford Hotel Bend and The Heathman Hotel in Portland.


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