Klamath Basin News, Monday, 4/8 – Total Solar Eclipse Today; Malin Family Fun Day is Saturday; $1.3 Billion Powerball Ticket Sold in Oregon

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. Call 541-882-6476.

 

Monday, April 8, 2024

Klamath Basin Weather

Today
Sunny, with a high near 59. Calm wind becoming west northwest 5 to 7 mph in the afternoon. Overnight, mostly clear, with a low around 33.
Tuesday
Sunny, with a high near 65. Calm wind becoming west 5 to 9 mph in the afternoon.
Wednesday
Sunny, with a high near 70. Light and variable wind.
Thursday
Sunny, with a high near 70..
Friday
A chance of rain, mainly after 11am. Snow level 5800 feet. Partly sunny, with a high near 58.
Saturday
A slight chance of rain and snow. Snow level 4300 feet rising to 5500 feet during the day. Partly sunny, with a high near 56.

See Road Camera Views around the Klamath Basin:

Lake of the Woods
Doak Mtn.

Hiway 97 at Chemult
Hiway 140 at  Bly
Hiway 97 at GreenSprings Dr.
Hiway 97 at LaPine

 

Today’s Headlines

The eclipse begins in Mexico, and then crosses over into the U.S. through Texas. While Oregon is not in the path of totality, the eclipse will be partially visible beginning about 11AM, and darkness will set in for many states.  Remember to wear protective glasses to view the event.

What time the 2024 solar eclipse starts ...From there, the path of totality, which is approximately 115 miles wide, extends northeast, crossing through 13 states.
The total solar eclipse will begin in Mexico at 11:07 AM PT, with the best views of it in the midwest, and will leave continental North America about 5:15PM along the east coast.

 

A record-breaking Powerball winning ticket was sold in Portland, according to Oregon State Lottery officials, although no one has claimed winning the prize yet.

The winning numbers from the Saturday, April 6 drawing are 22, 27, 44, 52 and 69.  The Powerball was 9.  The Power Play multiplier was 3.

The winner of the $1.326 billion ticket was purchased on Saturday, April 6th. Under the rules, the winner has a year to come forward and claim their prize. Players in Oregon, with few exceptions, cannot remain anonymous.

After taxes, the immediate cash value is a whopping $608.9 million.  [Take the cash! -Editor]

The next Powerball drawing is tonight, Monday, April 8 for a measly $20 million.  Drawings are held every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday.

 

Elected officials remain at odds this week in Klamath County after a meeting to discuss payment for legal counsel for the sheriff’s office ended without resolution.

Sheriff Chris Kaber met with the Board of County Commissioners at the Tuesday administrative meeting requesting approval to allocate funds from the Klamath County Sheriff’s Office budget to pay the bill.

The sheriff said he hired attorney C. Akin Blitz to represent the office of the sheriff last December, following county allegations against the sheriff over possible nepotism.

In May 2023, Sheriff Kaber assigned his son, Sgt. Ryan Kaber, to return to his previous role in the detectives department (while maintaining his duties within the K-9 unit). The position had remained vacant since the sergeant’s transfer.

Commissioners were concerned that the sheriff’s decision constituted nepotism and could be deemed a violation of state government ethics and county policy.

Commissioner DeGroot filed a complaint with the Oregon Government Ethics Commission in August 2023. The investigation has yet to be determined one way or another.

A month later, the commissioners also voted to revoke county Resolution 2018-016 which granted an exception to the county employment of family policy so that the elected sheriff and his two sons employed at KCSO could all remain in their positions.

With the exception no longer in place, the Kabers were given 90 days to decide whether the sheriff or both of his sons would resign from their positions in county law enforcement.

Before hiring an outside attorney, Kaber said he tried to address the issues directly with commissioners and county counsel, Mark Henderson.

Commissioner Henslee said he was concerned that the sheriff had not made a request of the board to hire an attorney on behalf of the sheriff’s office.

The sheriff said that he and Henderson had exchanged multiple emails discussing the circumstances of the ultimatum.

Kaber said he asked county counsel Henderson about the possibility of seeking a second opinion, and was “rebuffed again,” but assumed the message was relayed to the board.

The sheriff implored the board to consider allowing him to pay the legal invoice from available funds in the sheriff’s office budget and put the issue to rest.

 

As the weather gets hotter in the Klamath Basin, let the crew of Integral Youth Services help protect your property and make it more fire-safe.

At no cost to the homeowner, Integral Youth Services (IYS) is offering fire fuels mitigation services, and will create a 100-foot buffer around the exterior of the property.

In partnership with the Oregon Department of Forestry, the Oregon State Fire Marshal and Klamath County Fire District 1, using grants made available from the fire marshal and the Higher Education Coordinating Commission, IYS’ fire fuels mitigation program is completely free and a part of the organization’s Work2Learn program.

The Work2Learn program at IYSA is a youth and young adult work experience program that focuses on building skills to obtain permanent employment. With an emphasis on exploring careers and postsecondary education, the programs are two-year paid positions within the organization open to youth ages 14 to 26.

In the fire mitigation program, positions are available for young adults 18-26. By participating, not only are the workers being paid, but through a partnership with Klamath Community College are also able to become certified in wildland firefighting. They can earn credentials like their incident qualification card (known as a red card), S-190 (Wildland Fire Behavior), S-212 (Wildland Fire Chainsaws), CPR and even earn college credits.

 

The Klamath Tribes opened its new transitional emergency shelter at 310 South Fifth St. in Klamath Falls.

It has been three years in the making, and plenty of tears of joy were shed at the ribbon-cutting ceremony as the facility was formally dedicated on April 2. Many tribal leaders and city officials attended the celebration.

The facility’s programs assist struggling tribal members by providing housing and direct access to mental health, substance use, medical, dental and pharmacy services, thus enabling participants to regain their dignity and become self-sufficient.

Klamath Tribes Chairman Clayton Dumont conveyed the significance of the shelter’s opening as he spoke to attendees prior to the ribbon cutting.

The facility will initially shelter eight people and add two more people every two days until it reaches its capacity of 20 participants in 14 pallet shelters.

The facility will initially shelter eight people and add two more people every two days until it reaches its capacity of 20 participants in 14 pallet shelters.

Community involvement with the shelter is possible through donations, which will be accepted at the Klamath Tribes Health and Family Service Engagement Center at 633 Main Street. Items such as travel-size toiletry items, clothing, shoes, gloves, hats, and socks are welcome. Citizens can also donate food through a meal train that will be activated. The public can sign up on different days of the month to provide a meal for up to 20 people at the shelter.

 

2024 Friend Raiser Will Support Local Youth   

Klamath Falls, Oregon — Friends of the Children – Klamath Basin invites the community to its annual fundraising dinner auction, Friend Raiser, presented by Lithia Ford of Klamath Falls, Thursday, May 30th. Doors open at Mike’s fieldhouse at Steen Sports Park at 5 p.m.  
“This year’s event theme is ‘You Belong!” because we help children feel the belonging and value they need to develop hope and skills for bright futures,” said Executive Director Amanda Squibb. “Our community health depends on our kids’ well-being, and I’m excited to see everyone come out to support professional mentoring in the Klamath Basin.”  
Friend Raiser begins with dinner and cocktail stations, a silent auction, wine and bourbon games, and raffle sales. A seated program and live auction follow at 7 p.m.  
 
To reserve seats, visifriendsklamath.org or https://fckb.ejoinme.org/FR2024. Silent and live auction items will be added May 23rd for preview. 
 
Friends – Klamath Basin was established in 2000 to impact generational change by empowering youth facing the greatest obstacles. It pairs youth with professional mentors for 12+ years, no matter what, and will serve 72 youth this year. 

Oregon DMV: Due to staffing, the Lakeview DMV office will be closed Monday, April 8. More Info Here UPDATE

 

The May 21st Oregon Primary Election is coming.

1) Ballots will be mailed May 1st . The last day to register as a new voter or to change party affiliation is April 30th. If a voter changes parties or address after the original ballots are processed, they may receive two ballots. The first ballot is inactivated and cannot be voted when the second ballot is issued. Please call if you are unclear which ballot to vote. If you have not received your ballot by May 7th, please contact our office.

2) Official Drop Sites are on the Klamath County Website. Your ballot must be in a box by 8pm on Election Day to be counted. Please check the website or call for hours and availability of the non24 hour drop sites. https://www.klamathcounty.org/685/Drop-Sites

3) If you are mailing in your ballot, Postmarks CAN count, if: a. Signed, AND b. Postmarked on or before Election Day, AND c. Received by the County Clerk’s Office within seven days after Election Day d. WE RECOMMEND TO MAIL BALLOT 7 DAYS BEFORE ELECTION DAY.

4) Nobody in Oregon will receive all of the candidates on their ballot. Oregon has a closed primary; this is a nominating election for the major parties. Registered Democrats receive Democratic candidates; registered Republicans receive Republican candidates; nonaffiliated voters receive only those races that are nonpartisan.

5) Voters’ Pamphlet will be delivered to every household around May 1st. Candidates are not required to be in the Voters’ Pamphlet. The candidate’s name will still appear on your ballot.

Republican Presidential Candidate, Donald Trump, declined to provide a statement for the Voters’ Pamphlet.

Contact the Klamath County Clerk’s Office, (541) 883-5134 or elections@klamathcounty.org, with any questions.

Each week, BasinLife.com features a Pet of the Week ready for adoption from the Klamath Animal Shelter.

This week’s pet is a dog named ” Sebastian “.  Sebastian is a 4 1/2 month old male Border Collie/Labrador mix.  He is black with white markings, he weighs about 35 pounds and still has growing to do.
Unfortunately, one of the other dogs in the family home was not liking having a new addition, they felt that Sebastian would be safer in a new home. They said that he is started on his crate training, has been around visiting children of all ages, he lived with 2 other dogs and a cat. Sebastian is very active, loves his Groot toy and can be vocal.
If you are interested in adopting Sebastian 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

 

 

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Before the pandemic, Oregon, as well as the rest of the nation began struggling with high rates of absenteeism among K-12 students. Things haven’t changed.

In Oregon Public Broadcasting’s (OPB) reporting on the Time’s article, the trend of high percentages of chronic absenteeism is seen in almost every school district in Oregon.

Recent reporting from the New York Times and Oregon Public Broadcasting indicate that not only is chronic absenteeism still a major concern for school districts, but data show that some school districts have more than doubled the number of students who are habitually absent from school since COVID restrictions were lifted.

New York Times reporting cited families who opt for vacations with their children learning online, administrators looking for options such as pajama day to boost attendance, and students suffering anxiety that have opted to stay home rather than face learning in the classroom as the new ‘norm’ in K-12 classrooms today.

The data that the Times examined found that these increases have happened in districts of all sizes, and across all social and economic groups.

Additionally, chronic absenteeism rates in districts in wealthier areas have about doubled to 19 percent from 10 percent in the pre-pandemic year of 2019.

Understandably, poor communities which were challenged with student absenteeism before COVID are even deeper in crisis, and those schools who opened quickly once restrictions were lifted are seeing increases of empty seats in classrooms — both face to face, and online.

 

A federal grand jury in Medford has indicted a man for allegedly selling explosives and fentanyl.

In March, Medford Police notified ATF agents that 56-year-old Wesley Armstrong was trying to sell explosives.  They say he was arrested after selling eight cast explosives, other explosive material and a small amount of fentanyl.  A search of his vehicle found a loaded gun and more fentanyl.

He was charged for selling explosives, drug possession with intent to distribute, and felon in possession of a firearm.

 

A coalition of more than 20 organizations wants to send President Biden a message during Oregon’s May Primary.

They’re asking members of the Democrat party to write in “uncommitted” on their ballots.  The group wants Biden to demand that Israel stop its attack on Hamas and agree to a permanent ceasefire.  Oregon is one of 22 states where the group is protesting.

 

Ray Rau, Tillamook police chief and former chief in Nyssa, was convicted of official misconduct Wednesday for tampering with evidence.

He was sentenced to 10 days in jail and must give up his certification as a law enforcement officer that he has held since 1995. As a result, he can no longer work as a police officer in Oregon.

Rau turned himself in after court proceedings on Wednesday to begin his sentence.

He was chief of the Nyssa Police Department from 2012 until resigning in 2021 to take the Tillamook job. He had been elected to the Nyssa School Board just two months before resigning the city post.

He was convicted of taking the meth and the money from the evidence locker sometime between October 2021 and April 2023 “with intent to obtain a benefit.”

Rau was convicted of taking money held in evidence that was taken from a Tillamook woman who had been arrested by city police. Court records didn’t specify how much money was taken.

 

Salem emergency dispatch managers will undergo training on victims’ rights as part of a $325,000 settlement with a former dispatcher who alleged her bosses failed to reschedule a job promotion exam that fell on the day she was to attend a criminal trial of a man accused of raping her.

The city also must provide a “neutral” job reference for the former employee under the settlement.

It will go before the Salem City Council for approval Monday night. The city manager has recommended the council approve the payout and the terms of the agreement, noting that the case was resolved with court-supervised mediation, according to city records.

The former dispatcher, a 30-year-old Polk County woman, was hired in October 2018 at the 911 center and had applied for a promotion to be a communications specialist 3 last August, which would have allowed her to dispatch medical calls as well as police and fire calls.

 

The Bureau of Land Management is seeking public comment on the draft of a new management plan for the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument.

Established by a Presidential Proclamation in 2000, the monument is the first in the United States to be proclaimed primarily for preserving biodiversity. The monument expanded in 2017, nearly doubling in size and adding land in Lakeview and Northern California.

Currently, the management of the monument consists of three separate plans. The Medford, Lakeview and Northern California Districts of BLM started the revision process to create one, all-encompassing plan to protect the region’s biodiversity and to help respond to wildfire risk.

BLM is seeking public comment on the draft of a new plan through July 5, 2024.

 

C&D Lumber Co. said this week it will shut down its operation in Riddle, the fourth Oregon mill to announce closure plans in recent months.

The family-owned business said 93 workers will lose their jobs. The sawmill will stop operating May 2, according to Nick Johnson, whose family owns C&D. Some operations will continue for at least a few months longer while inventory is dried and run through the mill’s planer.

C&D Lumber was founded in 1890 and has been at its current site, about 20 miles south of Roseburg, since the 1950s. The Johnson family said C&D’s sister company, Silver Butte Timber Co., will continue operating.

C&D blamed the pending closure in Riddle on “the unprecedented challenges facing the industry today,” including fluctuating market prices, rising operating costs and timber shortages. Johnson said some of C&D’s lumber is fetching the same price it did 20 years ago even as all other costs have soared.

 

The Oregon Chinese Diaspora Project received $499,743 of federal funding this week.

This collaborative project from the Southern Oregon University Laboratory of Anthropology works to showcase the history of Chinese Oregonians in the state. They do this through archeological exploration of artifacts that give a look into the lives of Chinese Oregonians through history.

The funding will allow for the project to not be limited to partnering with archeological dig sites like they were before — but they now can expand out into different reaches of Oregon in studying to find the history of Chinese Oregonians without needing a catalyzing dig site.

In the time since the project has been on the ground, they have found more about Chinese Oregonians than they first imagined. Starting with looking at their impact on the mining and railroad industries, to finding their impact in every facet of Oregon’s history, to even before it was recognized as a state.

 

EARTH DAY VOLUNTEERS NEEDED

COOS BAY, Oregon— Celebrate Earth Day this year at a volunteer event dedicated to removing invasive English ivy at Yoakum Point 10 a.m. to noon April 22. 

Invasive species of ivy are prevalent throughout the pacific northwest and tend outcompete native plants. Assist park rangers in identifying and eradicating the weed from the park property. Afterward, Ranger Jake will present an interpretation program.

Participants should be prepared to travel on uneven ground at service site. Service will take place outdoors and volunteers should be comfortable wearing work gloves and using hand tools. Snacks will be provided.

  • Dress for the weather.
  • Closed-toed shoes are recommended.
  • Wear something you don’t mind getting dirty.
  • Remember to bring a water bottle, sack lunch and work gloves if you have them (some will be provided if not).

Yoakum Point is a roadside pull off for a trailhead that takes visitors to the beach. The address is 90064 Cape Arago Hwy, Coos Bay. 

Register for the volunteer event at https://form.jotform.com/230546054450045

If you need to contact staff on the day of the event, please call Park Ranger Jake, 541-294-0644, Park Ranger Jess, 541-888-3732 or Park Specialist Janet at 541-888-3778.

 

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