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Klamath Falls
April 24, 2024

Klamath Basin News, Friday 3/8 – Home & Outdoor Expo on 3/8 and 3/9, Oscar Nominated Short Films at Pelican Cinemas 3/9 presented by Klamath Film & Other Local and Statewide News…

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, March 8, 2024

Klamath Basin Weather

May be an image of map and text that says 'TODAY FRI 03/08 HIGH4 °F 2%Precip/0.00in Plenty sunshine. High 49F. Winds SE at 10 mph. TONIGHT FRI 03/08 LOW °F 9%eip./0 few passing clouds. 20 mph. TOMORROW SAT03/09 33 °F 31F Winds SE Fri3/8 Sat 3/9 33°F Sun 3/10 40° 27°F Mon 3/11 42° 34°F 72% Cloudy with mix rain and in the morning. few breaks clouds the afternoon. High 43F. Winds SSW 20 mph. Chance rain 70%. Tue 3/12 29°F Wed 3/13 27'F Mostly Sunny 0in Rain/Snow Thu 3/14 |29°F Showers Fri3/15 32°F Snow Snow 3/16 34°F Sun 3/17 36'F Rain Partly Cloudy 0in Sunny Sunny Sunny Sunny'

See Road Camera Views around the Klamath Basin:

Today’s Headlines

Home & Outdoor Expo on March 8th and 9th

No photo description available.

The only event in Klamath County focused on buying, building, maintaining your home! Adding recreation opportunities will round out LIVING in the Basin!
1414 E. Main st , Klamath Falls, OR, United States, Oregon
 
The future workforce of tomorrow, Klamath Basin high school students, recently completed the building of two tiny homes in 48 hours.

One of those homes will be given away in a raffle next week.

Put on by the Klamath Basin Home Builders Association — the idea was first presented by Jennifer Fairfield, principal broker of Fairfield Realty, in 2021 — the 48-Hour Tiny Build has grown to be a mainstay component of the Build My Future event that provides an experience for local high schoolers to engage and learn about various jobs in the construction and trades field.

A group effort, students alongside over 30 local contractors, attacked the construction of two 170-square-foot tiny homes. Working together with licensed professionals to hang drywall, install plumbing, wire electrical — everything it takes to build a home — the students accomplished all of it within 48 hours on Nov. 2 to 3.

Lead contractor Alex Salazar said typically building a home of this size would take months to complete.

Now, one of the tiny homes is available to be won via a raffle.

Raffle tickets can be purchased from the Klamath Home Builders Association and any member affiliate, or from Fairfield Realty and during the Home & Outdoor Expo on March 8 and 9. The drawing will take place on March 9. Tickets are being sold for $100 and only 800 are available.

The other is going to be donated to Project Homefront to add additional transitional housing.

Oscar Nominated Short Films at Pelican Cinemas March 9th presented by Klamath Film 

2024 Oscar nominated Short Films at Pelican Cinemas

Continuing an annual tradition, the arrival of the 96th Academy Awards, better known as “The Oscars,” on Sunday, March 10 brings with it peak Hollywood glitz and glamour celebrating the best films of the previous year. While blockbuster and indie darlings may get the spotlight, additional categories fly under the radar – specifically short films.
 
Designated as 40-minutes in length or less, short films often go unseen by the movie-going public, unless they are acquired by streaming services like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon. Yet short films are just as extraordinary in their compelling storytelling and film structure as the feature-length movies drawing global audiences. There are three Academy Awards short film categories: animation, live-action, and documentary.
 
This Saturday, March 9 Klamath Film will once again present a showcase of the animated and live-action films nominated for the Academy Awards this year – 13 films in all – starting at 6 p.m. Admission is just $10, or $5 with an active Klamath Film membership (if you don’t remember your membership discount code let us know and we will be happy to provide it).
 
Films nominated this year are truly a global affair encompassing film crews in Iran, France, Israel, the United Kingdom, Denmark, Canada, and the United States. Films run the gamut of emotions, with the film package considered a R rating equivalent containing adult themes, violence, sexual content, murder, suicide, child abuse, abortion and coarse language. The program is not considered suitable for children under 17.

MORE INFO:  https://klamathfilm.org/2024/02/19/oscar-nominated-short-films-at-pelican-cinemas-march-9/

 

Crater Lake Concessions Contract Being Transferred to New Company

Hospitality company ExplorUS intends to take over the concessions contract at Crater Lake National Park, the National Park Service said in a news release today. This comes after controversy with the current concessionaire, Crater Lake Hospitality LLC — a subsidiary of Aramark. 

“ExplorUS says they are optimistic they will be able to transition all current Crater Lake Hospitality employees to their company and provide a full suite of visitor services at Crater Lake National Park this summer,” NPS said in a news release. “ExplorUS says they intend to honor all reservations and deposits for future stays and services.”

The transfer is not official yet, the release said, since NPS has not officially approved it.

“NPS prior written approval is required before Crater Lake Hospitality may assign or otherwise transfer its concession contract to ExplorUS. This process will take a few weeks, so we do not have any details to share at this time,” the release said. “Director Chuck Sams has been committed to ensuring no lapse in visitor services, and appreciates the efforts of all involved in working toward this.”

—– Crater Lake Is One of The Most Instagram Tagged Lakes In The Country

Oregon’s Crater Lake is one of the most photogenic lakes in the United States. Crater Lake was ranked No. 9 in the country on the list on the most-Instragrammed U.S. lakes, put out by a website called FishinAquarium.com.

FishinAquarium.com is at least water-related, unlike the many unrelated rankings we’ve seen recently from lawn care companies and online casinos. Crater Lake has been tagged on Instagram more than 425k times, according to the ranking.

Here’s what the list had to say about Crater Lake:

“Crater Lake is formed from a collapsed volcano. It sits inside Crater Lake National Park and is known for its clear, blue water. No rivers flow into or out of the lake, which is the deepest in the U.S. and one of the most pristine in the world. Famous the world over for its beauty, a visit to the former peak of the volcano that now forms Wizard Island in the center of the lake is something on many people’s bucket lists.”

The No. 1 most Instagrammed lake? Lake Tahoe in California, which was tagged more than 3 million times.

Minnie B. Miller, the “professional aquarist” who runs the website than compiled the ranking said in a news release that “all twenty of these popular lakes are worth visiting.”

Crater Lake National Park, it should be noted, has been in the news recently for other — less light-hearted — reasons as well. The National Park Service is in a serious dispute with hospitality vendor Aramark. The federal government has threatened to end Aramark’s contract over “serious concerns” and systemic issues with that company’s oversight of park concessions and amenities.

Klamath Falls Woman Arraigned For Criminal Mistreatment Charges

— A 74-year-old Klamath Falls woman now faces three felony counts of criminal mistreatment of elderly patients.

Klamath County Circuit Court records show Phyllis Adele Dodds was arraigned Tuesday for a January 25, 2024, indictment for first degree criminal mistreatment of three different people, dating to 2022.

The first charge says in January 2022, Dodds assumed care duty for James Miller, yet “violating that assumed and/or legal duty to provide care, did unlawfully and knowingly withhold physical care and/or medical attention from James Miller.”

A Klamath County grand jury indicted Dodds for the charges, saying all three criminal counts involve vulnerable victims. It noted in the first two counts of the indictment that Miller and another patient in the case were 65 years of age or older.

The grand jury’s second count of criminal mistreatment against Dodds says she withheld physical care and/or medical attention from Carol Creswell between April 26, 2023, and August 5, 2023, for whom Dodds had a duty to provide care.

The grand jury’s third count of criminal mistreatment says Dodds from about May 1, 2023, to June 9, 2023, had a legal duty to provide care for Cathy Graham as a dependant person, “and violating that assumed and/or legal duty to Brovide care, did unlawfully and knowingly withhold physical care and/or medical attention from Cathy Graham.”

Oregon State Board of Nursing records show an active Registered Nurse (RN) license issued for Phyllis Adele Dodds.  Originally issued August 20, 1991, it was last issued/renewed April 27, 2023, set for expiration April 27, 2025.

Klamath County and the city of Klamath Falls are accepting grant applications from residents for projects aimed at economic and tourism development in the respective communities.

County tourism grants     

Klamath County’s 2024 tourism grant application cycle is now open and will accept proposals for “tourism-focused businesses” until 5 p.m., March 29.

A county news release said that the Board of County Commissioners are looking for projects that offer unique or special opportunities and are aimed at increasing tourism in the region.

“Projects should identify a target market and offer a specific strategy for reaching this market,” the release said.

Klamath County has established a tourism grant program to provide funding opportunities to eligible applicants for projects that contribute to the development and improvement of communities throughout the county by means of the enhancement, expansion and promotion of the visitor industry.  The grant funding is made possible by the local transient room tax.   

Review Panel – Grant applications are reviewed, and recommendations made, by a seven-member review panel appointed by the Board of Commissioners. The review panel recommends applications and funding levels to the Board of Commissioners who will then make the final decision for awarding funds.

Grant Application: /FormCenter/Finance-20/Klamath-County-Tourism-Grant-Application-91

For more information on the tourism grant program, visit klamathcounty.org/1252/Tourism-Grant-Program.

City economic development grants

Nonprofits in Klamath Falls may apply for the city’s economic development grant program from now until April 1.

These city grants are for local nonprofits with projects that drive business expansion, retention and recruitment.

According to a city news release, grants are also awarded to support small businesses, improve downtown vibrancy and increase housing availability.

The city economic development grants are available in two categories: economic development funding program (requests of $2,500 or more) and community initiative or event sponsorship (requests of less than $2,500).

The maximum grant award is $50,000, but additional funds may be awarded if available for emphasis on special projects.

The finalist applicants will give a 10-minute presentation before city council during a work session held in March.

Funding will be available starting July 1.

For more information, visit klamathfalls.city/486/Grants.

The Klamath National Forest has completed the March 1st snow surveys.

Charnna Gilmore left Scott River Watershed Council volunteer and Kip Van de Water right Forest Service survey snow depth at the Swampy John site below Etna Summit

These measurements are a part of the statewide California Cooperative Snow Survey program, which helps the state forecast the quantity of water available for agriculture, power generation, recreation, and stream flow releases later in the year.

The weather for February was variable. The occasional precipitation observed periods of rain, including snow at higher elevations. However, there were also many nice days, with temperatures on the valley floor mild and spring-like. The storm at the end of February undoubtedly added to the local snowpack. Unfortunately, the storm also created safety and access issues for surveyors; and, in addition to scheduling conflicts and other reasons, three sites – Dynamite Meadow, Middle Boulder 1, Middle Boulder 3 – were unable to be visited. Preparations for surveying were made but were not able to be acted upon. Measurements at the two sites which were visited suggest the snow received prior to the storm at the end of the February was variably distributed around the valley. Historically, snowpack reaches its annual maximum by late-March/early-April.

Snow surveys are conducted monthly during the winter and spring months (February through May). Forest Service employees travel to established sites in the headwaters of the Scott River watershed to take measurements. The newest measuring site at Scott Mountain has been monitored for over 35 years; the oldest site at Middle Boulder has been monitored for over 70 years. Some sites are located close to forest roads with good access, while others require hours of travel by snowshoe and/or snowmobile.

The height of snow and Snow Water Equivalent (“SWE”, measure of water content) are measured by a snow sampling tube with a cutter end that is driven through the snowpack, measuring depth. The snow core is then weighed to determine the water content (SWE). The information is forwarded to the State of California, where the data is compiled with other snow depth reports and becomes part of the California Cooperative Snow Surveys program. The data is managed by the California Department of Water Resources; more information is available on their website at http://cdec.water.ca.gov/snow/current/snow/index.html.

Do you have a project idea for Give Back Day?May be an image of 3 people and text that says 'Saturday April 27 Do you have a project idea for Give Back Day? We are hosting a community Give Back day on Saturday April 27th. We would like to identify 10 community projects and are hoping to to get hundreds of community members to volunteer in service projects to improve our community.If you have a community project idea, let us know! OLUITEER FOOD AID CHARIT cUA Medicine SEND US A DM OR COMMENT BELOW'

 
We are hosting a community Give Back day on Saturday April 27th. We would like to identify 10 community projects and are hoping to to get hundreds of community members to volunteer in service projects to improve our community. If you have a community project idea, let us know!
Send us an email (bluezonesproject@healthyklamath.org), direct message or comment below.
 

 

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Getting a head start on our Annual “Keno Community Classic Car Show”. Start getting your cars ready! No excuses this time.  June 8th from 8AM – 2PM. Any questions email Nan Pitzer nan@kenotractors.com
 

 

It’s almost time to spring into the wondrous world of science with Klamath Outdoor Science School.

KOSS summer camps are held in the scenic Sun Pass State Forest near Fort Klamath, offering youth and families “jam-packed weekend adventures,” a news release from the program said.

Registration for the annual summer camp excursions is now open, and registration fees are offered at a discounted rate for those who sign up before May 1.

June 17-20: ages 8 through 13 are the dates for the Artists and Scientists camp takes a dualistic perspective look at the world around us. Campers will explore local ecosystems, create works of art inspired by their findings and learn from local professionals in both the artistic and scientific fields.

June 28-30: ages 7 through 9,  this discovery-filled weekend offers young campers all basics of a good old fashioned summer camp. Kids will stay in yurts on site and learn about local plants and animals as they make new friends and explore the wilderness in Kimball Park.

Early registration fee: $295 per camper.

Finally, May 25-27 and July 5-7: children ages 3-6 with accompanying adult(s) will enjoy a holiday weekend introductory camp with the KOSS Family Camp experience. This camp is designed specifically for the littler tikes and the adults who care for them.

Campers will cook and sing around campfires and learn about the woods and wildlife.

Each child can bring between one and three adults along for the fun.


The 2024 Subaru Klamath County Fair is thrilled to unveil the latest addition to its star-studded lineup with the announcement of Pecos & The Rooftops as the Friday headlining act for this year’s Subaru Klamath County Fair.

The concert, set to take place at the John Hancock Event Center on Friday, August 2nd, offers fans a chance to experience the band’s dynamic blend of country and rock.

Doors will open at 6:30 p.m., with the show slated to begin at 7:30 p.m., setting the stage for a night filled with soulful Americana, gripping guitar solos, and the heartfelt lyrics that have become a hallmark of Pecos & The Rooftops’ sound. Since their formation in 2019 in Lubbock, Texas, the band has swiftly risen to prominence, captivating audiences with their debut Warner Records single “5AM” and a sound that seamlessly marries the grit of classic rock with the storytelling traditions of country music.

Pecos Hurley, the band’s lead vocalist and a former Marine, alongside his bandmates, has earned widespread acclaim for their deep dives into themes of heartbreak, resilience, and the journey to find redemption through music. With over 350 million global streams and a growing legion of fans, Pecos & The Rooftops are not just on a tour but on a mission to connect, inspire, and uplift.

Tickets for this must-see event will be available online at Klamathcofair.com and in person beginning March 1st at the Klamath County Fairgrounds Office, located at 3531 S. 6th Street. General Seating tickets are priced at $20, with Party Zone tickets available for $25.00 for those seeking to be closest to the action on stage. All concert tickets purchased before midnight March 22nd will include admission to the fair at no additional cost.

                  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)

 LEARN MORE ABOUT THE ROSS RAGLAND SPRING CAMPS HERE!

 

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

No photo description available.

If you are interested in adopting, 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!

 

 

Oregon Launches New Online System for 
Unemployment Insurance Benefits

Frances Online will provide better online customer service for people filing 
unemployment insurance claims

MARCH 6, 2024 (SALEM, ORE.) – The Oregon Employment Department (OED) launched a brand new, easy-to-use online system for Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits this week. UI benefits went live through Frances Online on Mon., March 4. 

“Frances Online is modernizing customer service for Oregonians filing for Unemployment Insurance benefits,” Governor Kotek said. “This is a step in the right direction for the State of Oregon. While there may be bumps in the road as we adjust to the new system, the Employment Department is ready to respond to issues quickly and make necessary adjustments.”  

Preliminary data for Monday and Tuesday shows that:

  • More than 23,000 weekly claims have been received from existing customers
  • More than $8.1 million dollars in claims have been paid through Frances Online
  • The average time for customers filing weekly claims was just under 11 minutes on desktop computers and under 9 minutes on mobile devices.

“The new system is mobile-friendly and will help streamline our work on UI claims so customers can get their benefits paid more efficiently,” said David Gerstenfeld, director of OED. “We are proud to be delivering on our promise to modernize our technology systems. We believe it will address a lot of the pain points customers and OED employees have previously experienced.” 

What Current Claimants Need to Know

Current claimants need to take two important actions to use the new system:

  1. Create a Frances Online account at frances.oregon.gov. If they have an active claim or applied for benefits in our old legacy systems but their claim is still being reviewed, information about their claim will appear in their new Frances Online account. If they have an account in Frances Online because they claimed benefits from Paid Leave Oregon, they do not need to set up a new account.  
  2. File their weekly claim at frances.oregon.gov/claimant. Claimants can now file for the week of February 25-March 2. If they did not file a weekly claim for the week of February 18-24 and they are seeking benefits for that week, they can still claim that week using Frances Online. They will be able to file all future weekly claims using Frances Online going forward. 

Customer Service Tips 

The agency anticipates high call volumes at the UI Contact Center. Current claimants are encouraged to use self-serve features available through Frances Online. Other tips:

  • Check U.S. mail and email daily and respond quickly to requests for information. Also check email spam filters. Some information will still have to come by U.S. mail, even if claimants select to get email alerts. Letters and emails may have due dates for responding. If claimants miss due dates, their benefits could be delayed or denied. Uploading documents is easier in the new system. 
  • Check online before calling the UI Contact Center. Many questions can now be resolved quickly through the new self-serve features in Frances Online. 
  • Review and continue to follow UI eligibility rules. This will help avoid a disruption in receiving benefits. 
  • Check out tutorials and how-to guides on navigating Frances Online at unemployment.oregon.gov/frances.
  • Know where you can get help. Customer service is available at Frances Online () via secure messaging, live chat, chatbot and the Contact Us form. 

The agency says there will be a learning curve for employees and claimants for the next few months. OED has hired 40 additional staff with one-time funding to support the transition.

“Frances Online is more agile and efficient,” said Lindsi Leahy, director of the UI Division at OED. “We expect that the system will work well for most and that a small number of claimants will experience issues. We will continue providing a more staff-intensive level of customer service for those who need it.” 

Like other states that have launched new UI systems, the state may see an uptick in fraudulent claims. Leahy stressed that the new system is more resilient and has enhanced fraud protection features that will better protect UI benefits. Leahy also reminded consumers that Frances Online is free to use, and OED will never call a customer to ask for customers to pay to use any of OED’s services. If customers get a suspicious piece of mail, call or text, or see a questionable website or link, they should visit OED’s webpage on fraud for more information and a link to reporting fraud. 

The addition of UI benefits to Frances Online is the final stage of the state’s approximately $106 million effort to modernize its online customer service systems. Paid Leave Oregon launched in Frances Online in 2023 and employer contributions for UI and Paid Leave launched in 2022.

The name Frances was chosen in honor of Frances Perkins, who was born in 1880 and was a lifetime advocate for working Americans. She was the first female presidential Cabinet member and the longest-serving Secretary of Labor in U.S. history. Perkins was instrumental in forming the Social Security Act and the Unemployment Insurance program. 

Go to unemployment.oregon.gov/frances for more information and resources about Frances Online for UI benefits

Which of Oregon’s free tax filing options fits you best?

Salem, OR—Filing electronically is the fastest way for taxpayers to get their refund. On average, taxpayers who e-file their returns and request their refund via direct deposit receive their refund two weeks sooner than those who file paper returns and request paper refund checks.

With Oregon returning a $5.61 billion kicker to taxpayers in 2024 everyone wants to get their refund as soon as they can this year, but not everyone can afford commercially available software. Fortunately, all Oregon resident taxpayers preparing their own returns in 2024 can file electronically at no cost using one of the free file options that can be found on the Department of Revenue website.

A variety of choices are available, and taxpayers can use the information below to help them pick the one that best fits their needs.

Free electronic filing options
Free guided tax preparation is available from four companies that participate in the Free File Alliance for taxpayers that meet income requirements. Using links from the department’s Get free help filing your taxes page ensures that both taxpayers’ federal and state return will be filed for free.

These free services work much like the popular pay to file programs.

This option is best for taxpayers that have income less than $79,000 and need to file both their federal and Oregon returns. Each company has different requirements for who qualifies for free filing and offers must be accessed from the department’s Get free help filing your taxes page.

Direct File Oregon
New this year, the department is also offering Direct File Oregon, which allows taxpayers to file their Form OR-40 through Revenue Online. Direct File Oregon is not currently linked with the IRS Direct File. Taxpayers will need to file a separate federal return with the IRS before filing an Oregon return with Direct File Oregon through Revenue Online.

Direct File Oregon is suited for taxpayers who don’t meet the income requirements of other free file options and want a more guided experience for filing their Oregon tax return electronically. Creating a Revenue Online account and logging in to file provides the best experience.

A how to use Direct File Oregon video is available to help taxpayers understand the process.

Free fillable forms
Oregon Free Fillable Forms performs basic calculations and is ideal for taxpayers who don’t need help preparing their returns and want the convenience of filing electronically. The IRS offers a similar option for filing federal taxes electronically.

Free Fillable forms is suited for taxpayers who don’t meet the income requirements of other free options, already have their forms filled out, are sure of their calculations, and just want to e-file for free!

The department offers special computer kiosks in three of its regional offices where taxpayers who don’t have access to computers can file their return using the free fillable forms and Direct File Oregon e-file options. The kiosks are available in the DOR regional offices in:
• Bend, 951 SW Simpson Ave, Suite 100.
• Eugene, 1600 Valley River Drive, Suite 310.
• Medford, 3613 Aviation Way, Suite 102.
Free help filing Oregon tax returns
Taxpayers that don’t have a computer or need one-on-one help also have options for electronic filing. AARP Tax-Aide, the IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) programs, MFS-CASH Oregon, and the United Way’s MyFreeTaxes offer in person and drop off services for tax preparation by trained volunteers.

Many of these programs require an appointment and slots fill up quickly. Information about these services and an interactive map to find a location near you are available on the agency’s website.

In 2024 Oregon is returning $5.61 billion in surplus revenue to taxpayers in the form of a “kicker” tax credit. Taxpayers will receive their kicker as part of their refund, or the kicker can reduce the tax they owe. Each taxpayer’s kicker credit is based on their tax liability for the 2022 tax year. To determine the amount of their kicker, taxpayers are encouraged to use the What’s my kicker? calculator on Revenue Online.

Most refunds are issued within two weeks, but returns that need more review may take up to 16 weeks before a refund is issued. Taxpayers can check the status of their refund by using the department’s Where’s My Refund? tool on Revenue Online. A video outlining the refund process and timelines is also available to help taxpayers understand the process.

You can also call 800-356-4222 toll-free from an Oregon prefix (English or Spanish) or 503-378-4988 in Salem and outside Oregon. For TTY (hearing or speech impaired), we accept all relay calls.

Police still searching for three youth who escaped MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility

WOODBURN, Ore. — Law enforcement are still searching for three youth escaped from MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility in Woodburn at about 9:12 p.m. on Feb. 18. Warrants have been issued for their arrest, and law enforcement are actively searching for the youth.

The youth are:

  • Angel Diaz-Barrera, age 19, adjudicated for robbery 1 and carry/use of a dangerous weapon in Marion County. Height 5’5”. Weight 142 pounds. Angel has black hair, brown eyes, and small tattoos on his left hand and under his left and right eyes.
  • Julian Diaz-Navarro, age 19, adjudicated for attempted assault 1, carry/use dangerous weapon in Marion County. Height 5’6”. Weight 140 pounds. Julian has black hair, brown eyes, and small tattoos under his left eye, above his left brow, on his left hand, and on his right middle finger.
  • Xavier Swimm, age 21, adjudicated for attempted assault 2, aggravated harassment in Multnomah County. Height 5’8”. Weight 115 pounds. Xavier has brown hair, blue eyes, and multiple tattoos on his hands and chest. 

Diaz-Barrera and Diaz-Navarro are from Salem; Swimm is from Portland. If anyone sees these youth, please call 911. If someone has information about the youths’ whereabouts, they should call Oregon State Police at 503-375-3555 (reference case # SP 24-054230).

Governor Kotek to Sign Bill Criminalizing Possession Of Small Amounts Of Illicit Drugs

Oregon Gov. Tina Kotek will sign a bill that will make it a crime to be caught with small amounts of illicit drugs again, according to a statement released by the governor’s office Thursday. House Bill 4002 will reverse Measure 110 , which has received mixed feedback since it was approved by voters in 2020.

In a statement, Kotek gave a round-up of all the bills she would be signing as the legislative session closes, including on measures focused on housing and homelessness, education, campaign finance reform and HB 4002. She said she intends to ensure “reforms to Measure 110 will start to take shape” by signing the bill.

“I intend to sign House Bill 4002 and the related prevention and treatment investments within the next 30 days. As Governor, my focus is on implementation. My office will work closely with each implementing authority to set expectations, specifically in response to the Criminal Justice Center’s Racial Equity Impact Statement, which projected disproportionate impacts to communities of color and the accompanying concerns raised by advocates. House Bill 4002 will require persistent action and commitment from state and local government to uphold the intent that the legislature put forward: to balance treatment for individuals struggling with addiction and accountability.” (SOURCE)

Brookings City Manager Accused Of Stealing From Fred Meyer Loses Her Job And Faces Censure

A group representing city and county managers in Oregon announced Monday that it had censured and expelled Janell Howard after determining her “egregious” conduct while the city manager of Brookings had violated the organization’s code of ethics.

The move was the latest blow for Howard, who was cited in 2022 for third-degree theft after security cameras at the Fred Meyer next to city hall captured Howard, who earned $151,320 a year, stealing two items: toilet paper and a veggie tray, together worth $15.98.

The move from the Oregon City/County Managers Association also came after months of political turmoil in tiny Brookings, the southern coast city of 6,800 with a $63 million annual budget.

Brookings’ elected leaders put Howard, 53, on paid leave from her job following the July 4, 2022 accusation of theft and the revelation that Fred Meyer alleged she had shoplifted at the store 15 other times. But they reinstated her in January 2023 after she pleaded no contest to the single charge.

The ensuing backlash prompted successful recalls in last November’s special election of the mayor and two former city councilors, who had all voted in favor of reinstating Howard. The newly constituted city council voted Jan. 16 to fire Howard.

Among Howard’s most vocal critics was former Brookings police officer Bryan Holmes, who resigned from the city’s police force in February 2022 to protest her reinstatement.

The city council’s decision to fire Howard came as a long-anticipated relief, he said.

“It took a year and a half to finally get the result that was necessary and I think that the city’s actually going to start heading in a better direction,” said Holmes, 36, who now works at a gym he co-owns with his brother and father in Brookings. “If everyone would have just stayed quiet, it wouldn’t have gotten brought to light and nothing would have ever been done about it, and that sort of behavior would have still been tolerated and continued for a long time.”

During its Jan. 16 session, the city council appointed Police Chief Kelby McCrae as acting city manager.

Howard and representatives for the Oregon City/County Managers Association did not immediately respond to inquiries Tuesday from The Oregonian/OregonLive. (SOURCE)

Oregon Lottery Highlights March as Problem Gambling Awareness Month

March is National Problem Gambling Awareness Month.
March is National Problem Gambling Awareness Month

Oregon Lottery is putting a focus on increasing awareness of problem gambling during March – also known as National Problem Gambling Awareness Month

Nationwide, Problem Gambling Awareness Month is a grassroots effort that brings together public health organizations, advocacy groups, and gambling operators, who work collaboratively to let people know options are available to quit or cut down on gambling. All Oregonians have access to free counseling and resources, which can be found on the Oregon Problem Gambling Resource (OPGR) website. In addition, people thinking about taking a break or moderating can find options for changing their relationship with gambling in way that works for them.  

Historically, the number of people seeking assistance increases during March due to focused marketing and outreach efforts around gambling.

“Across Oregon, during Problem Gambling Awareness Month, and throughout the year, the Oregon Council on Problem Gambling (OCPG) is committed to raising public awareness about safer gambling practices and providing resources to get help when someone has a problem,” said Executive Director of OCPG Gina Parziale. 

Over the past few years, stress, isolation, and financial uncertainty may have caused some to turn to gambling. In 2023, 2,765 calls were made to the help line and 200 chats and texts came in for assistance.

“We want Oregonians to know there are a variety of tools and resources available for players who want to make any type of change to their gambling,” said Oregon Lottery’s Senior Manager of Product Marketing Stacy Shaw, who also serves on the OCPG board. “It’s important to support people at all points in their journey – whether they are seeking safer play strategies, looking to cut down, or seeking counselling to stop gambling.”  

Since 1992, one percent of Oregon Lottery profits have funded problem gambling treatment and prevention efforts throughout Oregon. Since that time, over $137 million in Lottery funds has supported those services.

To explore online tools and other resources or to chat with a counselor, go to Oregon Problem Gambling Resource at opgr.org  or call 1-877-MYLIMIT. Professional help is free, confidential, and effective.

About the Oregon Council on Problem Gambling — The Oregon Council on Problem Gambling is the state affiliate to the National Council on Problem Gambling. Its purpose is to promote the health of Oregonians by supporting efforts to minimize gambling related harm. Board members include individuals from the gaming industry, the treatment and prevention field, the recovery community and state and county administrators. 

Triple your impact: Pacific Power will match your contribution to Oregon Energy Fund 2-for-1

PORTLAND, Ore. (Mar 7, 2024)  Helping your neighbors and their families stay warm just got easier. Pacific Power will match every dollar you donate to the Oregon Energy Fund with $2 more.

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

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

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

“Pacific Power’s commitment to supporting household stability is bolstered by compassion, collaboration and innovation,” said Brian Allbritton, executive director of the Oregon Energy Fund. 

“Studies have shown that more than a quarter of Oregonians struggle to pay their bills each year,” said Albritton. “From Oregon Energy Fund’s start in 1989, Pacific Power has been an important partner in bringing emergency bill payment assistance to thousands of vulnerable Oregonians, helping them keep healthy and safe and keeping their lights on.”

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

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

About Oregon Energy Fund – Oregon Energy Fund is Oregon’s leading energy assistance nonprofit. Since 1989, OEF has helped more than 300,000 people pay their monthly energy bills in times of financial crisis. By connecting those in need with energy assistance services, OEF’s programs provide a basic need that helps prevent hunger, debt, illness and homelessness, and gives our neighbors the support they need to lead healthy and productive lives. 

About Pacific Power – Pacific Power provides safe and reliable electric service to more than 800,000 customers in Oregon, Washington and California. The company supplies customers with electricity from a diverse portfolio of generating plants including hydroelectric, natural gas, coal, wind, geothermal and solar resources. Pacific Power is part of PacifiCorp, one of the lowest-cost electricity producers in the United States, with 2 million customers in six western states. For more information, visit www.pacificpower.net.  

Oregon State Parks recruiting about 250 seasonal park rangers and assistants for 2024

Ranger at Sitka Sedge State Natural Area
Ranger at Sitka Sedge State Natural Area

SALEM, Oregon— Oregon State Parks is not just a beautiful place to visit – it’s also a spectacular place to work. 

Oregon Parks and Recreation Department is recruiting 250 seasonal park rangers and assistants for positions across the state that range anywhere from four to nine months. The peak season is from April to September, but some of the positions start as early as March and run as late as December. 

Seasonal staff help visitors access world-class experiences and ensure clean and safe park areas for everyone to enjoy. Duties include janitorial work, landscape maintenance, visitor education and visitor services.

Salaries start at $17.34 per hour for seasonal assistants and $20.06 for seasonal rangers. Both positions include comprehensive medical, vision and dental plans for employees and qualified family members. The positions also include paid sick leave, vacation, personal leave and 11 paid holidays per year. Student workers, ages 16 and older, start at $17.32 or more per hour depending on experience (no benefits). 

OPRD promotes from within and several of our top leaders started as seasonal employees. 

“We love what we do at Oregon Parks and Recreation Department,” said Director Lisa Sumption. “We get to preserve and share some of Oregon’s most treasured landscapes and resources. Whether you’re here for a season or your entire career, you’re part of that OPRD family.”

For more information about current openings, visit stateparks.oregon.gov. If you have any questions or need additional assistance in accessibility or alternative formats, please email Oregon Parks and Recreation Department Recruiting D.Recruiting@oprd.oregon.gov“>OPRD.Recruiting@oprd.oregon.gov.

Oregon Parks and Recreation Department is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer, committed to diversity and pay equity.

 

Oregon Blue Book Cover Photo Contest Underway

The front cover of the 2023-2024 Oregon Blue Book showcases a hillside covered in beautiful balsam root and lupine flowers at Rowena Crest, captured by Oregon photographer Micah Lundsted of Eugene. The book’s back cover shows an image of three rockfish made at the Oregon Coast Aquarium by Dale George of Grants Pass.

A hillside covered in flowers of purple and yellow. In the sky is a scattering of clouds reflecting sunlight in blue and purple.

Which images will cover the 2025-2026 Oregon Blue Book? The Oregon Blue Book cover photo contest kicks off today, giving amateur photographers the chance to submit their photos to answer that question. Photo contest winners will be selected in October 2024 by Secretary of State LaVonne Griffin-Valade.

“Choosing the cover photos for the Oregon Blue Book is an honor,” said Secretary Griffin-Valade. “The images are a chance to see our beautiful state through the lens of the many talented amateur photographers who live in Oregon.”

The contest is open to Oregon residents of any age who earn less than half their income from photography. Images must be Oregon related and should be submitted in the portrait, rather than landscape, orientation. Two images will be selected for the cover: one for the front and one for the back. Visit the Oregon Blue Book Photo Contest guidelines for more information: https://sos.oregon.gov/blue-book/Pages/about-conte…

Images can be submitted through the Oregon Blue Book website portal or via U.S. mail. The deadline to submit photos for consideration is October 27, 2024. Contact the Oregon Blue Book Managing Editor at Oregon.Bluebook@sos.oregon.gov with questions or for additional information.

DETAILS

What: 2025-2026 Oregon Blue Book Cover Photo Contest
Who: Amateur photographers who live in Oregon
When: February 7, 2024-October 27, 2024
Where: Submit online or through U.S. Mail
Why: Photo on the cover of the 2025-2026 Oregon Blue Book

ODFW Announces Stamp Art Competitions

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is making a call to area artists to compete in one, or all three, of ODFW’s 2025 stamp art competitions.

The winning artist in each contest receives a $2,000 award and their winning artwork is used to produce collector’s stamps and other promotional items, sales of which benefit Oregon’s fish, wildlife, and their habitats.

For more information on contest rules and to order stamps and art prints, visit: https://www.dfw.state.or.us/stamp_contest/index.asp.

Entries will be accepted beginning Aug. 30 through Sept. 27 by 5 p.m., at the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife headquarters, 4034 Fairview Industrial Dr., SE, Salem, OR 97302.

Entries can be mailed or hand delivered. If you hand-deliver your entry, call ahead to make arrangements at 503-947-6314.

Here’s a look at the three categories:

Habitat Conservation Stamp

Art entries must feature a “Strategy Species” identified in the Oregon Conservation Strategy in its appropriate habitat. Not all species in the strategy are eligible, so use the qualifying list of species.

See contest rules and entry form for more information and a list of eligible species at

https://www.dfw.state.or.us/conservationstrategy/habitat_conservation_stamp.asp.

Waterfowl Stamp Contest

Art entries must feature one of the following species in its natural habitat setting: Ring-necked Duck, White-winged Scoter, or Barrow’s Goldeneye.

See contest rules and entry form for more information at

https://www.dfw.state.or.us/resources/hunting/waterfowl/contest/index.asp.

Upland Game Bird Stamp Contest

Art entries must feature California Quail in its natural habitat setting.

See contest rules and entry form for more information at https://www.dfw.state.or.us/resources/hunting/upland_bird/contest/index.asp

Artists should not the highlighted new for 2025 information in the contest rules and the final page for packaging tips.

A panel will judge artwork based on artistic composition, anatomical accuracy of the species and general appeal.

Collector’s stamps, art prints and other promotional materials are produced from first-place artwork. Proceeds from product sales are used for habitat improvement, research surveys and conservation projects.

Interested artists are encouraged to visit ODFW’s stamp art competition website for more information on the contests and to view entries from previous years. https://www.dfw.state.or.us/stamp_contest/index.asp

 

 

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