Klamath Basin News, Tuesday, 4/16 – Pro-Palestinian Protesters Arrested After Blocking I-5 Freeway; Fed Energy Regulatory Commission Slowing Removal of IronGate Dam; April 30th is Deadline To Register To Vote Or Change Party Affiliations

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.


Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Klamath Basin Weather

Mostly sunny, with a high near 63. Light west northwest wind becoming northwest 5-10 mph. mph. Overnight, mostly clear, with a low around 32.
Sunny, with a high near 61. North northeast wind 6 to 8 mph.
Sunny, with a high near 66.
Sunny, with a high near 70.
Mostly sunny, with a high near 70.

Today’s Headlines

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is asking for more information before giving final approval for the removal of Iron Gate Dam along the Klamath River.

Douglas Johnson, a Regional Engineer with FERC says the letter is in response to documents related to the decommissioning of the dams within the Lower Klamath Project submitted by Mark Bransom, CEO of the Klamath River Renewal Corp.

Following a review of said documents, Johnson indicates six issues that need to be addressed prior to FERC’s authorization of the Iron Gate Dam removal.

Those include submitting an updated schedule after removal methods and/timelines changed, a proposed design for the headwall/wingwall with a detailed description of how they will be installed, as well as a detailing the penstock intake tower removal procedure. FERC is also requesting a review of the early breach contingency plan, that includes how the breach plug will be removed without excavation equipment being submerged if need be and a response to the Kiewit Corporation’s notification to abort the Iron Gate Development drilling program, a section of the proposed project that was deemed unnecessary for the dam removal.

Representatives with the California Department of Water Resources say FERC has not refused anything to date, and it is normal for it to request additional information in order to make an informed decision on projects like the final dam removal. DWR says the dam removal work so far has been progressing safely and on schedule.

Representatives have been given 60 days from the date of the letter, April 9, to provide responses or a plan and schedule to address the issues listed.

Klamath River Renewal Corporation CEO Mark Bransom says  this letter is part of an ongoing review and is routine for this type of project. He says they will make a filing with FERC in the next week to address the removal process and request final approval.

According to Bransom, the Iron Gate Dam is still on track to start being removed mid-May by the contracting company Kiewit.


Congressman Cliff Bentz (OR-02) introduced legislation aimed at protecting agricultural producers in the Klamath Basin because of the dam removal.

Bentz said in a statement that “This bill builds upon the promises made by parties to the agreement entered into regarding dam removal and species restoration, all intended to shield farmers from the adverse effects of dam removal. The legislation also ensures that the Department of the Interior remains accountable, preventing the transfer of river infrastructure unrelated to irrigation costs onto hardworking farmers. The legislation tackles regulatory challenges posed by species habitat expansion while bolstering efforts to transport water to the Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge, thus reaffirming commitments made to farmers and ranchers”.

Paul Simmons, executive director of the Klamath Water Users Association, said in a statement that we could not be more grateful to Representative Bentz for introducing this legislation to protect farmers and ranchers in the Klamath Basin.  It’s proof positive of his leadership and that things can in fact happen in Washington. We look forward to working with Congressman Bentz’s office and our representatives in the Senate who have supported similar legislation in recent years.


Healthy Klamath needs as many able hands as possible to help improve the community with Give Back Day 2024.

Taking place on Saturday, April 27, help make a difference and join Healthy Klamath as they tackle community enrichment projects across Klamath County.

With several projects to volunteer for from brushing around Moore Park with the Klamath Trails Alliance to creating and gifting hand-made caring cards at the Alpine Estates Clubhouses with other projects like gardening, trail maintenance and clearing litter from downtown — there is a project for every interest.

Start times and locations of projects vary. For a complete listing, visit healthyklamath.com/givebackday


The Bureau of Land Management’s Klamath Falls Field Office announced the availability of firewood permits for purchase starting today, Monday.  A news release said firewood cutting permits will be available for personal use only and cost $5 per cord with a two cord minimum.

“It’s the woodcutter’s responsibility to obtain, understand and follow the rules in effect at the time and place where they are cutting firewood,” BLM acting field manager Mike Limb said in the release.

Commercial firewood permits are required for individuals who want more than eight cords and who intend to cut wood for resale or commercial use.

To purchase a permit online, visit forestproducts.blm.gov and select Oregon Field Office, followed by “Fuelwood.” Users will need to complete and submit the online application in order to receive their permits.

An email will be provided which lists all maps, stipulations, load tags and documents needed to cut and remove BLM products from the land in a safe manner.

For more information, contact the Klamath Falls Field Office at (541) 883-6916.


The monthly Board meeting for EagleRidge High School will take place this coming Thursday on the 18th of April at 4:00 PM. 

The meeting will be held at EagleRidge High School, located at 677 South 7th Street, Klamath Falls, Oregon 97601.  

The meeting will begin at 4:00 PM.


The 173rd Fighter Wing hosted a civic leader flight offering a group of local leaders an opportunity to view an aerial refueling mission over Eastern Oregon, April 7th.

The leaders boarded a KC-135 from the 141st Air Refueling Wing out of Spokane, Washington and were able to watch as visiting F-35 Lightning II aircraft from Luke Air Force Base refueled.

The members aboard had the unique opportunity of flying on a military aircraft, saw the pilot’s cockpit during flight, and witnessed up close the refueling fighter aircraft. 

Originally, the flight was scheduled to take place on Friday, April 5, but a maintenance issue forced the flight to cancel just before take-off.  Unfortunately, only five of the original 12 civic leaders were able to return on Sunday to complete the flight.

The 173rd Fighter Wing based at Kingsley Field in Klamath Falls is home to the sole F-15C training schoolhouse for the United States Air Force. 


If you are an outdoor enthusiast looking for some adventure this summer, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) might have just what you are looking for. The BLM Klamath Falls Field Office is looking for volunteer campground hosts for the Gerber Recreation Area.

The BLM is seeking volunteers to live on-site from mid-May through mid-October. The BLM will provide the selected hosts an RV camping spot, electrical, propane, and sewer. The camp host chosen will also receive a small stipend to help cover incidental expenses.

Gerber is set on a vast plateau in the high desert about one hour’s drive east of Klamath Falls, Oregon. Mountain ridges and scattered Ponderosa Pine forests add variety and texture to the area. Gerber offers opportunities for camping, fishing, hiking, horseback riding, and mountain biking, along with access to 100,000 acres of backcountry suitable for exploring, hunting, wildlife viewing, and scenic OHV driving. Developed campsites are available at Gerber North and South Campgrounds. The area also offers primitive campsites, a horse camp, and a day-use area as well as two boat ramps.

For additional information about this site and to apply, contact Steven Jensen at (541) 885-4129. A federal background check is required for all new BLM campground hosts.


Klamath County announced the following roadwork projects for the week of April 15:

  • Dust-off areas: Work will take place in Midland, Dodds Hollow, Mann Road, Webber Road and Yonna Woods areas.
  • Road and utility work: Work taking place in the vicinity of Stearns Elementary School along Laverne Avenue. Expect daily lane closures.
  • Drainage canal maintenance: Watch for trucks entering the roadway along Summers Lane near the intersections of Sturdivant Avenue and Ezell Avenue.
  • City watermain replacement work: The city of Klamath Falls will be conducting water main replacement work between the months of March through July along Eberlein Avenue, between Patterson Street and Hilton Drive.


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


Around the State of Oregon

The Israeli-Palestine conflict got closer to home yesterday.

In Eugene, the I-5 freeway was being described as chaotic after a large group of people, representing Free Palestine Eugene, walked onto the highway and completely blocked traffic, according to law enforcement.
Both Oregon State Police and the Lane County Sheriff’s Office were on scene, officials say protestors walked onto I-5 from Harlow Road, at milepost 194 in Eugene, around 10:00 a.m. Monday, April 15. 2024. Law enforcement believes that similar occurrences such as this is happening globally, and likely by paid protesters.
At least 52 people have been charged with disorderly conduct after a pro-Palestinian protest shut down the southbound lane of Interstate 5 freeway on Monday morning. Two people were additionally charged with conspiracy and theft and one charged with a possession of a firearm.
According to Oregon State Police, demonstrators were given continuous warnings to disperse before arresting dozens of people for disorderly conduct.
Traffic was stopped for approximately 45 minutes.
Law enforcement remained on scene while observers continued to gather along the highway.  The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) reported that all lanes of Interstate 5 southbound were closed at the intersection with Eugene – Springfield Highway I-105, due to pedestrians protesting on the highway.
Oregon Governor Tina Kotek announced Sunday that President Joe Biden approved a federal major disaster declaration for January’s winter weather emergency.

This declaration provides supplemental grants through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)’s Public Assistance Program. This funding will go to state, local and tribal governments to assist in their storm recovery and response.

The declaration includes Benton, Clackamas, Coos, Hood River, Lane, Lincoln, Linn, Multnomah, Sherman, Tillamook and Wasco counties and the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians.


This week is National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week, an annual event that honors the essential role emergency response coordination professionals play in keeping the nation’s communities safe and secure.

Oregon Governor Kotek has proclaimed April 14-20 as Public Safety Telecommunicators Week in the state and encouraged all Oregonians to join in the observance.

Oregon has 43 standalone 911 centers known as Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) that serve as the first and single point of contact for people seeking immediate relief during an emergency. Nearly 800 dedicated telecommunicators across the state answer at least 2 million emergency calls annually for law enforcement, fire and emergency medical services. These 911 professionals respond to emergency calls, dispatch emergency professionals and equipment, and render life-saving assistance during intense personal crises and community-wide disasters.

Many 911 professionals are certified as Emergency Medical Dispatchers (EMD) and receive training on how to process requests for medical assistance and how to dispatch medical providers. Some go on to receive specialty training in crisis intervention, law enforcement support and tactical dispatching, while others receive intermediate and advanced certifications and become leaders in the field. All 911 professionals work diligently behind the scenes to help people during emergencies ranging from mental health crises, car accidents, missing person reports, burglaries and domestic violence disturbances.

Since early 2020, Oregon’s public safety telecommunicators have had the added responsibility of serving throughout a pandemic, historic wildfires, heatwaves, winter storms, floods and severe staffing shortages.

The critical work of Oregon’s public safety telecommunicators directly supports the operations of federal, state and local government agencies, including emergency management, highway safety, and search and rescue. Oregon’s 911 program was established by the 1981 Oregon Legislature and is managed by the Oregon Department of Emergency Management.

U.S. officials are closely monitoring mounting tensions in the Middle East after hundreds of Iranian missiles filled the sky over Israel Saturday night.

Israel’s war cabinet met Monday morning to discuss its response to this weekend’s unprecedented attack from Iran.

More than 300 drones and missiles launched into Israel on Saturday night, most thwarted by Israel’s Air Defense Systems and support from the U.S. and other allies.

Monday, President Biden began began to backtrack on his support for one of our biggest allies, urging Benjamin Netanyahu not to retaliate, amid fears it could spark a wider war.

Locally, Oregon Senator Ron Wyden shares similar sentiments saying, in a statement that he strongly condemns Iran’s attacks against Israel. “Tehran’s brazen actions not only threaten innocent Israeli lives, but also U.S. personnel and our partners in the region”.  Wyden says he supports President Biden’s steadfast commitment to Israel’s security, and his administration’s efforts to minimize casualties and prevent further escalation of hostilities in the region.

Around 2AM Sunday morning, more than 300 Iranian missiles and drones headed for Israel, triggering its Air Defense System to light up the sky over Jerusalem.

A striking juxtaposition, modern weapons of an ancient city with air raid sirens filling the background. Many sites holy to billions of Jews, Christians, and Muslims could easily have been damaged or destroyed. Also threatened by the attack, the nearby Christian town of Bethlehem where visiting American Cardinal Dolan was forced to take shelter.

In the end, there was almost no damage, as Israel, the U.S. and other allies shot down 99% of Iran’s missiles and drones, most of them before they even entered Israeli airspace.


A sheriff’s dispatcher is facing embezzlement charges after reportedly stealing $20,000 some of which was meant to purchase Christmas gifts for local children in need.

According to the Plumas County DA, 39-year-old Cassandra Beth Lavley, of Quincy, was arrested Friday.

Lavley is accused of using her position as Treasurer/Secretary of the Plumas County Sheriff’s Employee’s Association to embezzle funds during 2022 and 2023.

The investigation into Lavley alleges she embezzled over $20,000 from the association’s “General Account” and the “Needy Kids Account”. It also indicates she reportedly spent the money on concerts, designer clothing, furniture, televisions, a mattress, alcohol, and food.

Plumas County DA David Hollister thanked the Sheriff’s Association, who reported Lavley.

Lavley faces three felony charges; two counts of embezzlement and one count of fraudulent alteration of books.


April 30th is the deadline for people registering to vote in Oregon for the first time or for those who wish to change party affiliation.

The upcoming May 21st election is a closed-party primary election for registered Democrats and Republicans.

That means that Democrats will be voting for Democrat and nonpartisan candidates and measures and Republicans will be voting for Republican and nonpartisan candidates and measures.

Non-affiliated and all other voters will be voting on nonpartisan candidates and measures.

You can register to vote at oregonvotes.gov.


Britt Music & Arts Festival is excited to announce the next slate of 12 Britt Presents shows for the 2024 summer season.

With more announcements to come, this group of shows features a wide array of musical artists, including country legend Willie Nelson. Britt-newcomers will include Shaggy, Dirty Heads, Walker Hayes, Paul Cauthen, Classic Albums Live: Fleetwood Mac “Rumors”, and Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Evening.

Britt favorites returning to the stage include reggae rock bands Iration & Pepper with special guests DENM and Artikal Sound System, American jam band Umphrey’s McGee, world famous Cuban ensemble Buena Vista Social Orchestra, pop icons Colbie Caillat & Gavin DeGraw, jazz and funk fusion artist Trombone Shorty, and reggae band SOJA.

The community is also invited to the hill for a night of laughter with Colin Mochrie & Brad Sherwood: Asking for Trouble. But it doesn’t end there; throughout the next month, Britt will continue to announce more shows for the 2024 Britt Presents season!

With this announcement, there will be a Member pre-sale before tickets go on sale to the general public at 10:00 AM on Friday, April 26.



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.

Oregon River Trip Planning Made Easier

Oregon river information is now more accessible than ever on the National Rivers Project’s recreational river map. In collaboration with the Bureau of Land Management, the River Management Society recently added or updated over 1,000 miles of Oregon rivers to the NRP website. This includes nearly 700 miles of Wild and Scenic Rivers, iconic whitewater reaches, and beginner-friendly sections.

“Whether you want to paddle through Oregon’s high deserts and canyons or explore the rainforests and coastal waterways, the National Rivers Project is a really convenient first stop in the planning process,” says David Ballenger, BLM Oregon/Washington Recreation Lead.

The NRP website offers intuitive search features for both beginners and experienced paddlers. Users can sort sections by difficulty and recreational amenities such as fishing, camping and boat ramps. Each listing provides river access and permit details, with links to more information.

“Recreating on Oregon rivers gives people a stronger sense of stewardship,” says Lauren Pidot, BLM Oregon/Washington National Conservation Lands Program Lead. “Visitors are interested in protecting these public resources. We’re excited to help people more easily find these opportunities.”

Some of the recently added sections are very accessible with developed launches, while others are more wild and remote. BLM rangers remind boaters to check local weather conditions, water levels and permit requirements before departing on a river trip.

“All of our river and access information is sourced and reviewed by managing agencies, so boaters can feel confident when they begin their trip planning on our website,” says James Major, NRP Coordinator. “We want to give special thanks to BLM Oregon for their invaluable assistance on this project.”


SOLVE invites volunteers to register for their annual Earth Day celebration: The Oregon Spring Cleanup!

SOLVE Oregon Spring Cleanup at Cannon Beach 2023

Through April 22, families, community members, neighborhood associations, and environmental enthusiasts are invited to engage in a signature event in SOLVE’s annual calendar: The Oregon Spring Cleanup, presented by Portland General ElectricRegistration for this environmentally conscious event series is now open.

Participants are invited to join SOLVE, event leaders, and partners from across the Pacific Northwest in a collective celebration of Earth Day. The SOLVE calendar showcases a variety of events throughout Oregon and SW Washington between April 13 and April 22, with the majority of events culminating on April 20. Diverse initiatives address specific environmental needs with opportunities ranging from beach cleanups to neighborhood and city litter pickups. Further activities include restoring natural habitats through native tree and shrub plantings, weed pulls, and mulching projects. Each project contributes to the enhancement of our shared surroundings.

With a variety of projects already online, the Oregon Spring Cleanup invites enthusiastic volunteers to contribute to a cleaner, greener, and brighter planet. Interested individuals can browse the map of projects to find events near them, learn about each opportunityand sign up for a meaningful contribution to the environment. Participating in the Oregon Spring Cleanup provides an excellent opportunity to bond with family members, coworkers, and neighbors, while collectively contributing to preserving some of Oregon’s most stunning locations.

As SOLVE anticipates another successful event, valued partner Portland General Electric, shares their commitment to the cause: ” PGE proudly supports SOLVE’s efforts to make our communities cleaner and greener. In 2023, our employees and their families volunteered with SOLVE for more than 220 hours. We’re excited to join community members again this Earth Day to help improve our beautiful state.” said Kristen Sheeran, Senior Director of Policy Planning and Sustainability, Portland General Electric.

For those inspired to host an event, SOLVE is still accepting new volunteer-led projects. The sooner projects are submitted, the faster SOLVE can care for the rest. Event leaders receive full support, including free supplies, access to project funding, disposal assistance, and help with volunteer recruitment.

For more information, please visit solveoregon.org/oregon-spring and be part of the collective effort to create a cleaner, greener planet.

Along with Portland General Electric, other event sponsors include Clean Water Services, AAA Oregon/Idaho, Fred Meyer, Metro, Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, KOIN, The Standard, Swire Coca-Cola, Holman, Demarini-Wilson, Trimet, and PepsiCo.



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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