Klamath Basin News, Thursday, 4/11 – Basin Interagency Narcotics Team Makes Huge Drug Bust; Lawsuits Against Asante Health Care Operations Now in District Court; Oregon State Fire Marshal Awards $6 million to 191 Local Fire Agencies; U of O, OSU Raising Tuition Rates

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.

 

Thursday, April 11, 2024

Klamath Basin Weather

Today
Increasing clouds, with a high near 73. Light and variable wind becoming southwest 6 to 11 mph.  Overnight, mostly cloudy with a low around 37.
Friday
A 30% chance of showers and thunderstorms after 11am. Partly sunny, with a high near 65. Gusty southwest winds 16 to 21 mph.
Saturday
A chance of showers, with thunderstorms also possible after 11am. Snow level 6100 feet rising to 7100 feet in the afternoon. Partly sunny, with a high near 62. Chance of precipitation is 50%.
Sunday
A slight chance of showers before 11am. Snow level 6400 feet. Partly sunny, with a high near 65.

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 Basin Interagency Narcotics Enforcement Team (BINET) made a signficant drug bust this week.

Four Klamath Falls residents were booked on several felony drug related charges after it was discovered a significant amount of fentanyl and methanmphetamine was being dealt from a house in the 1500 block of Washburn Way.

Brandon Gardner, Dwight Lee Henry, Merica Kimbal, and Joseph Johnson were arrested by police n Tuesday.  Three of the arrests occurred at the Washburn location.  Johnson was arrested at the corner of Oregon and Upham.

Cocaine, murshrooms, LSD and US currency believed to be from drug sales and other materials were also seized in the raid.

Police entered with search warrants at the Washburn address.
All four suspects are currently lodged in the Klamath County jail.

 

A 69-year-old man is dead after the agricultural plane he was piloting crashed near County Road 60 just northwest of Likely.

According to the Modoc County Sheriff’s Office, Peter J. Spyres of Arbuckle was the only occupant of the plane. Police also say the single propeller aircraft used for dusting or spraying pesticides and hydro seeding was not carrying any pesticides at the time of the crash.

The cause of the crash is unknown, meanwhile the FAA and NTSB will begin their investigation at the crash site on Wednesday.

The plane is owned by Biggs based company, Jones Flying Service.

 

Klamath, Modoc, and Siskiyou County leaders are asking for an “adequate water supply” on behalf of local irrigation.

A news release from Klamath Water Users Association this week said a letter has been sent to the Bureau of Reclamation requesting the full water allocations on behalf of Klamath Project irrigators.

The letter, sent to Reclamation Commissioner Camille Calimlim Touton, bases the request for increase water flows in congruence with “favorably hydrology” this year in the Klamath Basin.

Allocations were originally expected to be revealed April 1, the day before the annual Klamath Water Users Association meeting.

Representatives from Reclamation attended the event and promised Reclamation’s decision would be provided April 15.

Officials from all three counties signed the request, including Klamath County Commissioner Derrick DeGroot.

The request was also sent to Congressmen Doug LaMalfa (R-Calif.) and Cliff Bentz (R-Ore.).

In addition to the letter, Klamath Project irrigators are taking concerns over recent federal rulings to Washington, D.C., this week.

In the release, Family Farm Alliance Executive Director Dan Keppen said that the new rule is just an updated version of a policy issued during the final weeks of the Clinton Administration.

 

The cities of Chiloquin and Grants Pass are two of 12 Oregon cities set to receive funding from Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS).

The money is part of over $40 million in grants and tax credits reserved to build and preserve 417 homes and comes from the federal 9% Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC), HOME, General Housing Account Program (GHAP), and the Oregon Affordable Housing Tax Credits (OAHTC).

“This progress is about what really matters—putting resources towards investments that make life better for more Oregonians,” said OHCS Director Andrea Bell. “Over 400 families and individuals will have a safe and stable place to call home because of these investments and the leadership of our local partners who made this possible. This progress can invigorate neighborhoods, communities, and our economies.

These investments in housing today will serve Oregonians for generations to come especially in our rural and Tribal communities.”

Grants Pass’s Allen Creek Crossing will be awarded $4.5 million for 68 units and Chilquin is set to receive $46. million for 30 units at Klamath LIHTC #1.

Other Oregon cities to receive funding include Gresham, Portland, Albany, Redmond, Veneta, Harrisburg, Junction City, Bend, Salem, and La Pine.

 

A beloved philanthropist passed away last week surrounded by family in Klamath Falls.  Nancy Jane Wendt passed away Thursday with family and friends at her side. She was 91-years-old.

Nancy and her husband Richard Wendt were well known for their contributions across the Pacific Northwest. She worked alongside her husband who founded the manufacturing company JELD-WEN in 1960.  Richard “Dick” Wendt passed a few years ago.

At Oregon Tech, the couple helped fund a new health professionals center at the school.

Oregon Tech president Dr. Nagi Naganathan says Nancy’s passing is a massive loss to the whole community.

She leaves behind two sons, Rod and Mark Wendt and their families, among many others.

Services will be held at a later date. 

 

The Board of Klamath County Commissioners has reached a collective bargaining agreement with the Klamath County Peace Officers’ Association.

Setting forth matters such as rates of pay, hours of work, fringe benefits and other conditions of employment, the agreement pertains to all regular full-time and part-time employees of the Klamath County Sheriff’s Office unless they are of confidential or supervisory status or covered by another collective bargaining unit recognized by the county.

The agreement is honored through June 30, 2026, and carries a fiscal impact for fiscal year 2023-24 of an additional 2% cost of living increase plus incentive pay for eligible employees. The fiscal impact for years 2024-25 and 2025-2026 will be a 4.5% increase in pay for cost of living plus incentives for eligible employees.

The County Commissioners board also approved a contract with Diversified Contractors Inc. for remedial work on the exterior of the Baldwin Hotel Museum, making improvements and repairs such as applying exterior stucco where a set of stairs had been removed, filling in and sealing off two unused openings in the foundation, realigning a storm-water drain pipe and installing a double-hung, wood-frame window to replace a second-floor door that is no longer in use with specifications that it closely resemble existing and original windows on the building.

“We’ve been talking about sprucing up the outside of the Baldwin (Hotel Museum) for a very long time, so I’m very excited to see some of those projects starting; the Baldwin is a gem we have in Klamath County,” Commissioner Kelley Minty said.

The cost of construction will be $24,150 and will be paid using ARPA funds.

The board also agreed to enter a contract with Pacific Power to provide and install electrical service for roadside weather condition cameras that Klamath County Public Works will be constructing on Westside Road.

• During the meeting, the county received an Oregon Department of Agriculture grant award of $90,575 for wolf depredation to assist Klamath County in implementing nonlethal wolf management techniques and strategies. The grant will also provide compensation for injury or death to livestock due to wolves.

 

Pacific Power is undertaking a routing study as part of the Blueprint South 500 kilovolt transmission line project which will run through Deschutes, Crook and Klamath counties.

Demands for power are predicted to nearly double in the next decade, according to reports from Pacific Power.

The project plans were presented to Deschutes County Board of Commissioners on April 1.

According to published plans, the new transmission power lines would run 180 miles, starting in Deschutes County and ending in Klamath County.

Towers will be between 160- and 180-feet high and sit between 800- and 1,400-feet apart.

There will be a 250-foot right-of-way along the lines, requiring that no structure stands within the defined space.

Pacific Power spokesperson Paul Gutierrez told The Bulletin newspaper in Bend that running underground lines isn’t practical due to the cost and environmental impact.

Pacific Power project manager John Aniello presented plans to the Deschutes County board and said that the cost of the project will be covered by rate increases for the utility’s customers.

 

Malin Family Fun Day is this Saturday, Apr. 13th! Join the free family fun day from 12PM-4PM at Malin Community Hall & Park

Enjoy Free Food, Raffle Items, Bounce House (weather permitting). Call for information 541-883-2947

Brought to you in part by Cascade Health Alliance.

Integral Youth Services (IYS) of Klamath Falls will launch their inaugural major giving campaign in alignment with the national holiday Love Our Children Day.

The campaign kicks off with the “Day of Play” event scheduled from 1-5 p.m. Saturday, April 13, at Mike’s Fieldhouse at Steen Sports Park.

Event goers will experience an afternoon of fun with activities, raffles, bingo, bounce houses, and more. Entry is $5 for adults and $2 for youth, and each person will receive a free event T-shirt for coming.

The campaign goal is $60,000 and there are numerous ways for the community to get involved including giving, volunteering, or supporting the organization’s at-risk youth programming. All funds raised directly benefit Klamath County’s youth who access IYS programs.

Wynne Broadcasting will be there live on Saturday as well.

 

Join Oregon Tech on Thursday, May 9, at 5 p.m. for a ribbon cutting ceremony, unveiling of a donor recognition wall, and an opportunity to take a lap around the new track with Olympic Gold Medalist and world-record holder Ashton Eaton.

The event will celebrate the achievements of track and field and cross-country programs, and the accomplishments of the Bringing Home the Gold Campaign which provided funding to renovate the track, field, and stadium.

The Bringing Home the Gold Campaign launched in 2021 to renovate the track, field, and stadium. The project cost of just under $3.5 million was funded through charitable gifts and grants, Oregon Sports Lottery, State of Oregon bond for athletic purposes, and Athletic department funds.

 

The Mr. Pelican Pageant has become a tradition in Klamath Falls, and this year’s production will be held at 7 p.m. on Friday, April 12, at the Ross Ragland Theater.

The pageant will showcase the talents of nine Klamath Union High School students, and is a show suitable for all ages.

In addition to providing a night of entertainment, the Mr. Pelican Pageant raises money for worthy charities and families in the Klamath Falls community.

This year, funds raised will be donated to Klamath Hospice and Palliative Care’s grief camps, Camp Sapling and Camp Evergreen.

These camps provide much-needed support and comfort to individuals and families coping with loss in the Klamath Basin and Northern California.

 The success of the Mr. Pelican Pageant is only possible with the generous support of its sponsors, and the pageant extends its thanks to Ross Ragland Theater, Sons of Norway Roald Lodge 2-39, and Shaffer Electric for their continued generosity and commitment to the community.

This year’s pageant contestants are: Dominic Armijo, Miles McCalister, Gus Hendricks, Greysen Johnson, Mathyis Horton, Carter Harmon and Andrew Segura-Mendez.

Ticket prices for the event are $15 for adults, $10 for students, and free for seniors, active duty military and children under 10. Tickets can be purchased at the Ross Ragland Theater box office, or on their website atwww.ragland.org.

 

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, visit friendsklamath.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. 

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 ” Vador “.   Vador is an 8 month old male Pit Bull and Border Collie mix, is black and white, and weighs about 40 pounds.
Vador’s family said that he had more energy than they were prepared for. They said that Vador is house-trained and lived with children as young as 3 years old, there were no other dogs in the home but at the Shelter he has had a doggy room mate. He is an energetic, happy dog that could be a great addition to an active family.
If you are interested in adopting Vador 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 awww.klamathanimalshelter.org

 

 

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

 

A group of lawsuits against Asante’s health care operations are sharing a day in federal court.

Thirteen federal court cases have a shared proceeding this afternoon with the U.S. District Court in Medford.

A sampling of the cases shows claims of religious discrimination against Asante by health care workers who invoked religion as their rationale for refusing to get COVID-19 vaccinations, claiming their employment with Asante subsequently was suspended, causing wrongful employment termination for exercising their religious beliefs.

Their federal lawsuit seeks “damages for religious discrimintation in violation of Title VII … and aiding and abetting religious discrimination.”

Salem-based attorney Ray Hacke is legal counsel for plaintiffs in three cases.

Hacke said Asante claims it accommodated employees who’d cited religion to decline COVID-19 vaccination by putting them on unpaid leave from work. 

 

The Talent Police Department arrested a Medford contractor on Sunday morning for theft. 

According to a news release from TPD, 52-year-old Curtis Buckelew was arrested for first-degree aggravated theft and theft by deception. 

“Last year Talent PD started investigating Curtis Buckelew and “98 Restoration” after we received reports from victims that had hired Buckelew. Victims reported they had paid Buckelew for materials and labor, but the work was not completed,” the release said. 

A grand jury indicted Buckelew last year on first-degree theft, falsifying business record and first-degree aggravated theft, the release said. 

“If you or someone you know has been affected by Buckelew’s actions or have information about these cases, please contact Officer Ridenour at the Talent Police Department by calling 541-535-1253,” the release said. “Please use caution and due diligence when hiring a contractor. The Oregon Construction Contractors Board website offers resources and confirmation of a professional’s license status.” 

 

Former Portland Trail Blazer Ben McLemore was booked into Clackamas County Jail Wednesday on charges of first-degree rape and other sex crimes allegations.

McLemore, who played one season with the Blazers in 2021-22 and is no longer with the NBA, is scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday in Clackamas County Circuit Court on the charges that also include first-degree unlawful sexual penetration and two counts of second-degree sexual abuse.

The 31-year-old traveled to Portland to turn himself in to the Multnomah County jail system on Tuesday. He was transferred to Clackamas County Jail on Wednesday morning.

He is currently listed on the team roster of Río Breogán, a basketball team in Spain.

McLemore has not played in the NBA since his lone season in Portland. He has played overseas for teams in China, Greece and Spain.

 

Monday, April 8, 2024, at 6:05 p.m., Oregon State Police responded to a single-vehicle crash on Hwy 260, near milepost 20, in Josephine County.

The preliminary investigation indicated an eastbound Dodge Ram 2500, operated by David Scott Anderson (39) of Wilderville, left the roadway for unknown reasons, struck trees, and overturned.

The operator of the Dodge (Anderson) and passenger, Shelby Mckenzie Spliethof (28) of Wilderville, were both declared deceased at the scene.

The highway was impacted for approximately three hours during the on-scene investigation.

 

To boost the number of firefighters across Oregon before wildfire season, the Oregon State Fire Marshal (OSFM) announced it has awarded $6 million in grants to 191 local fire agencies across the state. 

The 2024 Wildfire Season Staffing Grant program is in its third year. Local agencies in the Oregon structural fire service were eligible to apply for up to $35,000. The funding will allow agencies to bring on additional firefighters or increase on-duty hours during the 2024 fire season. A list of agencies awarded funding can be found here.

The 2023 Wildfire Season Staffing Grant program was integral to the success in protecting communities, adding more than 1,500 paid firefighters to the Oregon fire service. These added resources allowed agencies to attack fires and keep them small and away from communities and added capacity to respond to other calls, ultimately saving lives.

This 2024 Wildfire Season Staffing Grant program is part of a multi-pronged approach to combat wildfire in Oregon. Over the last three years, the OSFM has made strategic investments to modernize the Oregon Fire Mutual Aid System and help communities become more wildfire adapted. 

This grant is part of the OSFM’s Response Ready Oregon initiative. The OSFM is looking for sustained funding for this program and is exploring all options to continue this highly successful grant in 2025 and beyond.

 

It never ends. Some of Oregon’s largest universities are raising tuition rates, saying the costs of operating a university are becoming more and more overwhelming.

Portland State University, the University of Oregon, and Oregon State University are all raising tuition for the 2024-2025 school year.

The University of Oregon’s Board of Trustees voted in March to raise tuition by 3% for new undergraduates, locked for five years. Trustees at Portland State met Friday and approved a 4.8% increase in tuition for resident undergraduate students. Oregon State trustees also met Friday and voted to raise tuition costs for resident undergraduate students at its Corvallis Campus by 4.91%, which adds up to a $11 to $12 increase per credit hour, or roughly $500 a year for a student taking 15 credits.

This also comes after all three schools raised tuition rates the previous year.

According to OSU’s tuition and fee process, the university considers several factors in developing tuition and fee recommendations, including providing access to degree programs for students from all circumstances, supporting world-class research, maintaining the human and physical infrastructure necessary to support Oregon’s educational outcome goals, projected cost and revenue changes, impact of tuition increases on enrollment for undergraduate students, and more.

Under OSU’s cohort model, the amount a student pays for tuition depends on when they enrolled, and it typically changes every year. Trustees have a fee process that states tuition rate increases will be between 2-5% every year, but in Friday’s meeting, officials said increasing expenses are making it harder each year to stay in that range.

 

Tuesday, Oregon Governor Tina Kotek issued a notice of potential vetoes of budget items in a pair of Senate bills. Three of seven listed items impact Southern Oregon communities. 

One of the vetoes would reject $1.5 million for the wastewater treatment plant in Butte Falls and lifting station upgrades, Kotek’s office said in a news release. One of the vetoes would reject $1.5 million to develop Shady Cove’s city drinking water system. The third one that would impact Southern Oregon would reject $1.5 million for replacing a water distribution main line in Gold Hill, as well as improvements and upgrades to water treatment facilities. 

The governor will announce her final decision on these vetoes by April 17. 

 

Near Roseburg on I-5, a 21-year-old Arizona man was arrested on Monday after a search of his vehicle during a traffic stop led to a massive seizure of methamphetamine and fentanyl, according to the Oregon State Police.

OSP officials said a trooper stopped a black Chevrolet sedan just after 9 a.m. on April 1 near milepost 149 on northbound Interstate 5 for a traffic violation.

The driver of the vehicle consented to a search of his vehicle after the trooper suspected criminal activity, authorities said. OSP said that the trooper found 62 pounds of meth and 22,000 suspected fentanyl-laced pills inside the vehicle and the driver, identified as Oliver Raul Alvarez Beltran, of Phoenix, Ariz., confirmed to the trooper that he was transporting the drugs to Portland.

Beltran was arrested and federally charged with attempted delivery of a controlled substance, according to OSP officials. State police officials said that the case is under continued investigation.

 

A 25-year old Albany woman who was found with a 13-year-old boy who had gone missing has pleaded guilty to charges of rape and sodomy.

Back on April 5, 2023, Albany Police Department heard a report that a 13-year-old boy had gone missing from a friend’s house, and was probably with Alyssa Kathleen Thomas, then 24. Police began an investigation which led them to the Portland area, where Thomas and the boy were located on April 10 a year ago. The boy was returned home safely and Thomas was arrested and charged with crimes including rape and sodomy

According to court documents, Thomas pleaded guilty to charges of third-degree rape and third-degree sodomy earlier this month as part of a plea deal. Court records show Thomas will serve a total of 4 years and 9 months in prison, and will have to register as a sex offender. She will also not be eligible for early release or a reduction in her sentence.

 

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.

Jackson County Sheriff’s Office (JCSO) was awarded the Oregon 2023 DUII Enforcement Agency of the Year in a ceremony last Thursday, April 4. The award came from the Oregon DUII Multi-Disciplinary Training Task Force in recognition for outstanding professional achievement in the deterrence and prevention of DUIIs in the State of Oregon. For the 2023 state-wide awards there were 15 awards categories with a total of 105 nominations.

This award highlights JCSO’s comprehensive approach to ensuring road safety and reducing DUII incidents within the community. In 2023, the JCSO’s Patrol Division, which was comprised of approximately 40-sworn personnel, were responsible for the following:

•            1,032 Crash Investigations

•            367 DUII Arrests

•            13,526 Traffic Stops

 

Beyond DUII enforcement, JCSO has adopted a strategy to prevent DUIIs, emphasizing strong community ties and proactive education. Our efforts include the launch of a Citizen Recognition Program to honor and encourage public involvement in identifying impaired drivers, enhancing collaborations with emergency response teams, and the delivery of extensive educational programs targeting various community segments.

 

Spring into action: Give blood or platelets with the Red Cross 

Make an appointment now to help save lives during National Volunteer Month

During National Volunteer Month in April, the American Red Cross asks donors to help protect the blood supply by making and keeping blood or platelet donation appointments in the weeks ahead. Donors of all blood types – especially type O blood donors and those giving platelets – are needed now to keep the blood supply strong enough to support critical patient care this spring.

The Red Cross depends on thousands of volunteer blood donors to collect about 12,000 blood donations every single day. With no substitute for blood and no way to manufacture it, volunteer donors are essential in transfusion care. Blood drives and donation centers also depend on the generosity and valuable time of those who make it possible for the Red Cross to help people in need. 

Spring into action – book a time to give lifesaving blood or platelets now by visiting RedCrossBlood.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App. Those who come to give April 8-28, 2024, will receive a $10 e-gift card to a merchant of choice, plus be automatically entered to win a $7,000 gift card. There will be two lucky winners. See RedCrossBlood.org/Spring for details.

Visit RedCrossBlood.org and enter your zip code to find additional blood donation opportunities near you.

 

The Travel Information Council and its volunteer Oregon Heritage Tree Committee are pleased to announce the 2024 Oregon Heritage Tree Award winners. 

“The award recipients have done an exceptional job engaging communities about the importance of trees and raising awareness about Oregon’s history told through trees and forests,” said Oregon Heritage Tree Committee Chair Craig Leech. “The recipients range from volunteers to professionals who use their time and talents to better our communities.”

Maynard Drawson Memorial Award

The Maynard Drawson Memorial Award was created to honor a native of Oregon and a veteran of World War II who was best known as a tree advocate. Drawson led a campaign in the 1970s to preserve the Valley of the Giants, and in 1995 helped launch the Oregon Heritage Tree Program, the first state-sponsored heritage tree program in the country. This award recognizes exceptional, meritorious, and extraordinary work promoting the appreciation of trees over an extended period.

2024 Winner

  1. Phyllis Reynolds of Portland for being a founding member of the Portland Heritage Tree Program, a published author, including two editions of Trees of Greater Portland and Hoyt Arboretum, It’s Story, a long-time urban Forestry Commissioner for the City of Portland, and close friend of Hoyt Arboretum. Phyllis has inspired generations of tree advocates through her books and volunteerism.

Heritage Tree Heroes of the Year Award

The Heritage Tree Heros of the Year Award recognizes individuals and groups who are engaging communities through education about the importance of trees and raising awareness about Oregon’s history told through trees and forests.

2024 Winners:

  1. Giana Bernardini of Philomath for being the driving force behind the creation of the City of Philomath’s Heritage Tree Program.
  2. Nancy Broshot of Oregon City for leading the revision of municipal code to remove the arborist report requirement for Heritage Tree status and making the program more accessible to community members.
  3. Mike Oxendine of Talent for his tireless commitment to assisting heritage tree projects including Hiroshima Peace Tree plantings and assessing heritage tree health.

Award winners will be honored at local events in April during Arbor Month.

The Oregon Heritage Tree Program is the first state-sponsored heritage tree program in the country. It was established in 1995 to increase public awareness of the important contribution of trees to Oregon’s history and the significant role they play in the quality of our daily life. The program is administered by the Oregon Travel Information Council and a committee of dedicated volunteers from across the state. For more information regarding the Heritage Tree program visit www.oregontic.com/oregon-heritage-trees.

The Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office is upgrading the county’s emergency alerting software.

According to a Facebook post from the Sheriff’s Office, it and the Office of Emergency Services (OES) decided to upgrade to a new alert notification system called ReadySiskiyou- Alerts. It says ReadySiskiyou- Alerts will provide folks with a more reliable emergency alert system, improve response times and increase accuracy and specificity in alert notifications.

For over 11 years, the Sheriff’s Office and other agencies had relied on CodeRED as its main alert notification provider, but the Sheriff’s Office and OES felt it was time for an upgrade. 

 

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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