Klamath Basin News, Tuesday, 4/23 – Natural Gas Pipeline Construction Running Through Klamath County Approved by Feds; Road Construction Reducing Traffic on Washburn Way Today; U.S. Supreme Court To Hear Arguments Based On Grants Pass Case Whether Homeless Can Be Criminally Punished For Sleeping Outside Public Spaces

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 23, 2024

Klamath Basin Weather

A 20% chance of showers and thunderstorms after 3pm. Mostly sunny, with a high near 74. Light west wind becoming northwest 5 to 10 mph. A 20% chance of showers in the evening, cloudy overnight with a low of 40 degrees.
Mostly sunny, with a high near 69. Light and variable wind becoming west 6 to 11 mph in the afternoon.
A 50 percent chance of showers after noon. Snow level 6100 feet rising to 6700 feet in the afternoon. Partly sunny, with a high near 55.
Showers likely with a high near 52. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch possible.
A slight chance of rain and snow showers before 9am, then a slight chance of rain showers.  Partly sunny, with a high near 56.
A slight chance of showers.  Partly sunny, with a high near 58.

Today’s Headlines

Federal regulators are allowing construction to begin on expanding a controversial gas pipeline running from Washington, across a part of Idaho and through Oregon to northern California.  The pipeline, if built, would run through much of Klamath County.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued an order Wednesday giving the greenlight to the pipeline’s owner, the Canadian company TC Energy, to begin construction following its denial Tuesday of appeals from conservationists and attorneys general in Oregon and Washington to reassess its approval of the Northwest XPress expansion project.

The 1,400-mile pipeline already sends billions of cubic feet of gas everyday from Canada to utilities supplying natural gas customers in the Northwest and California. In 2021, TC Energy asked the federal energy commission to allow it to increase the pipeline’s capacity, adding millions of cubic feet of gas extracted by fracking to the pipeline each day. Company representatives told the commission and the Capital Chronicle that they need to increase capacity to meet demand.

Those opposed to the pipeline say the company has not proved a need for an expansion in an increasingly electrifying world and one where renewable energy sources are becoming cheaper and more abundant.

Natural gas is a major contributor to climate change, and environmentalists also oppose fracking which involves injecting toxic chemicals into the earth.

Natural gas is almost entirely methane, a potent greenhouse gas and a main contributor to global warming. The expansion of the GTN Xpress would result in an additional 3.47 million metric tons of carbon dioxide being released for at least the next 30 years, according to a joint filing opposing the pipeline that was submitted to the federal commission in August 2022 by Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum, Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson and California Attorney General Rob Bonta.

Under Oregon’s Climate Protection Program, greenhouse gas emissions need to decrease 90% by 2050. At least 26% of that reduction will have to come from natural gas. A 2020 Washington law mandates a 95% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.


Rocky Mountain Construction continues work on Washburn Way from South 6th Street to Crater Lake Parkway, today, April 23rd, from 7 am to 7 pm vehicular travel on Washburn Way will be restricted to one lane of travel in each direction.

Please use caution while traveling in work zones. If you would like more information, please call City Public Works at (541) 883-5363.


Six teams of Klamath Community College students and alumni will be facing off at the annual KCC Badger Venture competition from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 25, in building 7 on the KCC campus.

The community is invited to watch the teams present their innovative business concepts or prototypes to a team of three judges. The judges will evaluate the team’s pitch based on criteria such as originality, feasibility and market potential.

Contestants will be vying for a total prize purse of $5,750.

This year’s competitors are:

  • Posy Wall, Gabrielle Martin
  • Project Paradigm, Diego Diaz and Asia Scott
  • Noble Thunder, Zane Hancock and Seth Wright
  • Dragons Roost, Rheanna Atkinson
  • Overland Adventures, Kevvin Tiefenback and Jeffry Vinson
  • Blue Rose Sweets & Treats, Tana Moore

The event is coordinated by the Small Business Development Center of KCC in collaboration with Klamath IDEA and Business Oregon. KCC president Dr. Roberto Gutierrez will give opening remarks and Klamath Chamber of Commerce President Amanda Blodgett will detail the judges’ instructions.


Klamath County is one of the largest recipients of over $19 million in federal payments is coming to counties in Southern Oregon as part of the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act (SRS).

The announcement came from U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley Friday. The $19 million is part of a $47.7 million package going to 30 counties across the state of Oregon.

The funds will be used for schools and road maintenance as well as youth job training, wildfire prevention, watershed restoration and habitat conservation.

Klamath County will receive a substantial amount:  $6,372,487.62.

The federal payments have been allocated from the U.S. Forest Service and more is expected to come from the Bureau of Land Management.


The future of Klamath County is surging with energy as designs and all final permitting are complete for Oregon’s first hydroelectric storage system.

Set to be located 11 miles northeast of Klamath Falls, the Swan Lake Energy (SLE) storage project will use two artificial lakes at different elevations to create a closed-loop hydropower pumped storage facility that generates and stores renewable energy at scale.

Three years ago, the Oregon Legislature passed House Bill 2021 which requires electric utilities to provide clean energy by 2040 in an effort to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

A crucial piece to create that infrastructure, the SLE storage project will be able to store energy for up to 9.5 hours and release that energy to generate 400 megawatts of on-demand carbon-free electricity – enough output to power roughly 125,00 homes in the Pacific Northwest.

Erik Steimle, executive vice president of Rye Development, said that pump storage is a tried and true method for energy storage. It can store energy for longer periods of time and has other grid benefits such as being the least expensive form of energy storage compared to compressed air or thermal energy.

Pumped storage works by moving water between an upper and lower reservoir. When energy is in high demand, water is released and flows downhill through an underground pipe that is connected to a powerhouse, where it goes through turbines that generate electricity. Water from the upper reservoir is then stored in the lower reservoir and is pumped back uphill when energy demand is low for re-use when more energy is needed. The cycle repeats, continually generating carbon-free renewable electricity like a giant water battery.

The renewable electricity stored at the facility will be transmitted along a 32.8-mile-long, 230-kilovolt transmission line to interconnect with the Malin Substation southeast of Klamath Falls which connects the electrical grids of Oregon, California and Washington.

KCEDA assisted the Rye Development Corporation in advancing the project through the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s application process and helped to secure approval; the first time for a hydroelectric storage system in more than three decades.

KCEDA later aided in facilitating a strategic investment plan between Rye Development and the Board of Klamath County Commissioners.


Oregon’s U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden released the following statement last week following the Bureau of Reclamation’s recently announced 30% less water allocation for the Klamath Project.

On slate is $8.5 million in immediate drought relief aid for Klamath Basin communities and $5 million in technical assistance for Klamath Basin Tribes impacted by prolonged drought:

The statement reads, in part, that they “remain committed as ever to working together to ensure Klamath Basin communities have the resources they need to be successful. While the initial water allocation announced this year was less than expected, this immediate funding we secured and pushed the Biden administration to make available will go toward helping the region meet the challenges ahead.

“We are encouraged by the progress that Tribes and farmers in the basin have made in recent months, including the historic agreement between the Klamath Tribes, Yurok Tribe, Karuk Tribe, and Klamath Water Users Association, as well as the infusion of $72 million in new federal funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for the basin’s recovery.

“Driven by the momentum of the cooperation paired with the robust investments that we secured, we are encouraged by the new ways folks are coming together to modernize agricultural operations, restore ecosystems and productive farms, and save the C’waam and Koptu fish from extinction. All these collective efforts are certainly building toward more comprehensive solutions where everyone in the Klamath Basin moves forward together toward a more resilient future.”

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s decision to curtail water to farmers was met with frustration and dismay by ag leaders and Klamath County Commissioners this week.

Commissioner Derrick DeGroot labeled it an “absolute miss”.

Local irrigators will receive 35% less than the estimated need and the allocation is the fifth-worst in the Klamath Project’s 120-year history.

The allocation was determined based on management criteria outlined in the Bureau of Reclamation’s 2020 interim operations plan and on an analysis of existing hydrologic conditions and inflow forecasts conducted by the Natural Resource Conservation Service.


Rita Hepper, principal of Chiloquin Elementary School, has been named 2024 Oregon Elementary School Principal of the Year by the Coalition of Oregon School Administrators.

She was chosen for the award by her colleagues from more than 1,200 elementary schools across the state.

Klamath County School District Superintendent Glen Szymoniak announced the award today (April 17) during an all-school assembly, surprising Hepper, her staff, and her students. Craig Hawkins, executive director of COSA, KCSD administrators Dr. Doris Ellison and Jeff Bullock, and school board member John Rademacher were in attendance. All three of Hepper’s children – sixth-grader Dylan, seventh-grader Allie, and eighth-grader Adam – also attended the assembly.

Pictured with Chiloquin Elementary Principal Rita Hepper, center, are from left: COSA Executive Director Craig Hawkins, KCSD Elementary Curriculum Director Dr. Doris Ellison, Chiloquin Elementary Vice Principal Janelle Emard and KCSD Superintendent Glen Szymoniak.

Hepper grew up in Chiloquin, graduating in 2003 from Chiloquin Jr/Sr High School. She earned a degree in education from Western Oregon University and then returned to work as a high school math teacher, an instructional coach and interventionist. Seven years ago, she took the reins as principal of Chiloquin Elementary School, creating an environment where families feel safe and student achievement scores are steadily increasing.

Hepper will receive her award in front of fellow administrators at the COSA annual conference in June. In July, she will be honored at the national conference in Nashville, Tenn.


The Ross Ragland Theater once again hosts the highly anticipated “Dancing With Your Klamath Stars,” at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, May 10.

Voting is already open digitally through the event’s fundraising page. Vote for your favorite contestant, or just donate to help the cause, by visiting givebutter.com/dwyks2024.

Modeled after the beloved television series, the event pairs prominent community figures with professional dancers from the Utah Ballroom Dance Company. Together, they’ll grace the stage in a friendly competition to raise funds for deserving causes in Klamath County.

This year’s lineup features six dynamic duos, each representing a different charity close to their hearts:

  • Lyle Ahrens, former reporter at KOBI-TV NBC5/KOTI-TV NBC2, dancing on behalf of United Way of Klamath County;
  • Nic Phair, branch principal at Highstreet Insurance & Financial Services, dancing on behalf of the David R. Kingsley Foundation;
  • Heidi Gaither, director at Klamath County Developmental Disability Services, dancing on behalf of SMART Reading of Klamath County;
  • Cora Christ, agency owner at Country Financial, dancing on behalf of the Assistance League;
  • Tessa Gutierrez, HEP director at Klamath Community College, dancing on behalf of the KCC Foundation;
  • Chris Benjamin, director of choirs at Henley High School, dancing on behalf of Youth Rising.

The real stars of the night are the audience members, who play a crucial role in determining the winner.

Through a voting system, attendees can support their favorite contestant by making a minimum $1 donation per vote. Whether through phone, in-person, or text-to-vote, every contribution counts toward the overall audience score.

Leading up to the main event, contestants will undergo rigorous rehearsals with the Utah Ballroom Dance Company to perfect their routines.

While votes are tallied, the audience will be treated to an exclusive performance by the talented dance troupe. The winner will walk away with a trophy and $500 towards the charity of their choosing.

The Ross Ragland Theater donates part of the proceeds to the charities from around the Klamath Basin that help this event be a success.


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

Taking place this 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, visithealthyklamath.com/givebackday

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 U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments on a case from Grants Pass, OR today.  The case, Grants Pass vs. Johnson, calls into question whether homeless people can be criminally punished for sleeping outside in public spaces if they do not have another place to go.

The court will ultimately decide if ticketing homeless people for camping or sleeping outside violates the 8th Amendment’s ban of “cruel and unusual punishment.”

While crowds gathered outside the court in Washington D.C. this morning in support of homeless people’s rights, the community of Ashland, where a rally was held yesterday evening.


Supermarket chains Kroger and Albertsons said Monday they will sell more of their stores in an effort to quell the federal government’s concerns about their proposed merger.

The companies now plan to sell 579 Kroger and Albertsons stores in markets where they overlap to C&S Wholesale Grocers, a New Hampshire grocery supplier and operator, for $2.9 billion. Under the initial divestiture plan, announced in September, C&S had planned to purchase 413 stores for $1.9 billion.

The updated plan would include selling off 13 additional stores in Oregon and 20 more in Washington. That brings the total number of Kroger and Albertsons stores to be divested in Oregon to 62, and in Washington to 124.

It’s unclear if the new plan will satisfy regulators. In February, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission sued to block the $24.6 billion merger between the grocery giants, saying the lack of competition would lead to higher grocery prices and lower wages for workers.


In Blue River, Oregon a man believed to have been armed with a sword was spotted by people in the community and arrested by Lane County deputies Monday morning after turning up at a gas station.

According to the Lane County Sheriff’s Office, deputies and Oregon State Police troopers responded to reports of a man swinging a sword around and inhaling nitrous oxide in the area of Terwilliger Hot Springs in the morning of April 20. Responding deputies said they were able to stop the man’s car, but he got out and ran into the woods, eluding law enforcement pursuit.

Law enforcement spent the weekend on high alert, looking for any sign of the suspect, who was identified as 33-year-old Andrew Dimmick. At about 6:30 a.m. on Monday, a cashier at the Blue Sky Market in Blue River said she saw Dimmick walk into her store. She said Dimmick appeared completely calm and normal as he bought some tobacco, asked about bus routes, and left.

Lane County Sheriff arrived to arrest him. Dimmick was found hiding in a port-a-potty near the store and is now in custody.


Oregon’s minimum wage will increase 50-cents on July first. Bureau of Labor and Industries Commissioner Christina Stephenson announced the annual adjustment this week, based on inflation.

The Standard rate goes up to $14.70. For workers in 18 rural counties, the non-urban rate will increase to 13-70 an hour, and the Portland Metro Minimum wage will be 15-95 an hour. Oregon switched to a tiered minimum wage in 2017 adjustments based on inflation began in 2023.


The body of a missing elementary school teacher was found in the North Umpqua River on Friday.

According to the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, 27-year-old Rachel Merchant-Ly of Idleyld Park had been missing since February 29.

Merchant-Ly, who was a kindergarten teacher at Glide Elementary School, was reported missing after she didn’t show up to work that day.

The morning of her disappearance, a Douglas County Sheriff’s deputy found signs of a car crash near milepost 41 on Highway 138E. Then on March 1, Merchant-Ly’s vehicle was found in the North Umpqua River, but she was not in it. Since then, there have been numerous searches by land, water, and air without any further leads.

On Friday morning a search and rescue group, including police, SAR teams, community members, and volunteer rafting groups, was organized and began searching the river. Just after 9 a.m., a volunteer found a body in the river almost 8 miles away from the crash site.

The body was identified as Rachel Merchant-Ly by the Douglas County Medical Examiner.


Huge Drug Bust in Grants Pass Nets Fentanyl, Firearms, $35,000 Cash and Other Controlled Substances

On Thursday, April 18, members of the Rogue Area Drug Enforcement (RADE) team and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Medford Office executed a search warrant in the 1800 block of NW Burns Ave. in Grants Pass, Oregon.

The search warrant revealed approximately 4 pounds of fentanyl, approximately $35,000.00 U.S. currency in suspected illegal drug proceeds, 13 firearms (three were found to be stolen), over 12-ounces of methamphetamine, an ounce of cocaine, an ounce of Psilocybin mushrooms, and other controlled substances.  

Brandon Ruppel (47 years old) and Laura Berry (52 years old) were transported and lodged in the Josephine County Jail for PCS Schedule II, MCS/DCS Controlled Substance within 1000’ of a School, and Felon in Possession of a Weapon.  An additional occupant of the residence, Jason Ruppel (50 years old) was cited and released on multiple drug crimes and firearms charges.  

The RADE team is a multi-jurisdictional narcotics task force that identifies, disrupts, and dismantles local, multi-state, and international drug trafficking organizations using an intelligence-driven, multi-agency, prosecutor-supported approach. RADE is supported by the Oregon-Idaho High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA), composed of members from the Oregon State Police, Grants Pass Police Department, Josephine County Community Corrections, and the Josephine County District Attorney’s Office.


The Oregon Schools Activities Association won’t change its policy concerning transgender athletes competing in girls high school sports.  

A group of Republican women from the Oregon legislature sent a letter last week to the OSAA demanding transgender athletes be banned from competing in girls’ sports.  

In a response letter to the lawmakers, Oregon School Athletic Association Executive Director Peter Weber says OSAA policies were developed through coordination with member schools and comply with state and federal laws intended to keep students safe and free from discrimination. 

Some Oregon Republicans said the Oregon School Activities Association should only allow biological women to compete in women’s sports. 12 Republican women signed a letter that was sent to the executive director of the OSAA, Peter Weber. The legislators who signed the letter include Jamie Cate from Lebanon and Shelly Boshart Davis from Albany.

The legislators want the OSAA board to take immediate action to protect equal rights of women after what they call an “unfortunate situation” where a 10th-grade biological male student at McDaniel High School competed in the Sherwood Need for Speed Classic in the girl’s division. The athlete came in second place in the 200- and 400-meter races and 7th in the 100-meter relay.

Republican legislators said “Policy 38” in the OSAA handbook, a passage which deals with gender identity participation, claims the gender identity rule “promotes harmony and fair competition among member schools.” However, the letter said that instead of promoting harmony, the policy has sparked outrage and allowed a biological male to find a place in female sports record books.

Republican lawmakers said the OSAA’s policy leads them to believe the OSAA doesn’t deem girls’ sports worthy of protecting, and it creates opportunities for boys who can’t compete at the highest levels against their male peers to compete instead in female sports.

The Republican lawmakers said they want the OSAA to provide a solution for families who want answers. They said they will seek a statutory change in the 2025 session to remove all records set by biological male students allowed to compete in girls’ sports, and award those achievements to the biological female students they believe should have won.

Legislators also said they’re going to encourage parents and girls to take a stand by withdrawing from competitions where biological male athletes are allowed to participate.


Oregon’s young people attending college has dipped 10% in the past decade, a decline turbo-charged by the pandemic.

About 65% of Oregonians in the class of 2011 enrolled in community college, university or trade school within a year and a half of high school graduation. For the class of 2021, the most recent data available, that slipped to just 56%.

Disparities have magnified along geographic and racial lines. Rural students are less likely to attend college than their urban counterparts, with just 35% of rural young men who finished high school in 2019 enrolling right away.

And gaps in college-going have widened between most minority student groups and their white and Asian American peers. Ten years ago, the majority of Oregon’s graduates in every racial group went to college. By 2021, that fell to 41% of Indigenous students, 49% of Latinos and just 37% of Pacific Islanders.

Oregon’s public universities charge resident students the highest tuition and fees among 15 westernmost states. Its community college costs are the second most expensive, cheaper only than South Dakota’s.


Katie Lineburg with Oregon runner-up Brooklyn Carr Heuer and First Lady Aimee Kotek Wilson, who attended the Poetry Out Loud State Contest on March 9 at Salem Public Library.Salem, Oregon – Next week, 18-year-old Katie Lineburg of Hillsboro will embark on the greatest adventure of her lifetime. As Oregon’s 2024 champion, Lineburg will travel to Washington D.C. to compete in the Poetry Out Loud National Competition on Wednesday, May 1.

Her D.C. itinerary also includes meetings with Oregon Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici and Sen. Jeff Merkley.

“I am so filled with thankfulness, anticipation and awe as I prepare for my trip to Washington D.C.,” said Lineburg. “This experience has been such a whirlwind of blessing, growth and new opportunities, and I will forever be grateful for the chance to represent my home state of Oregon as well as my school and everyone who has made this adventure of a lifetime possible as I compete at Poetry Out Loud nationals.”

A senior from St. Stephen’s Academy, Lineburg will compete in the national semifinals from 2 to 5 p.m. (PDT) on Wednesday, May 1. The competition will be live-streamed on the National Endowment for the Arts website. The top nine students will advance to the national finals at 4 p.m. (PDT) on Thursday, May 2, also to be live-streamed.

Lineburg is the oldest of five siblings who loves music and spending time with friends and family. She is a member of the St. Stephen’s Academy Festival Choir and loves poetry because “it allows her to connect with people and express emotions in a deeper way.” She has also loved public speaking since a very young age.

“The reading of poetry can transform the written word into a deeply felt shared experience,” said First Lady Aimee Kotek Wilson, who attended the Poetry Out Loud State Contest on March 9 at Salem Public Library.

“Poetry Out Loud is a wonderful program that allows young people to connect with the human experience through the power of words,” First Lady Kotek Wilson added. “Congratulations to Katie Lineburg for representing Oregon in the national competition. We are all rooting for you!”

The poems Lineburg will perform for the national competition are “The Pulley” by George Herbert, “Beginning” by James Wright and “A Noiseless Spiker” by Walt Whitman.

Poetry Out Loud is a national recitation contest for high school students, organized in Oregon by the Oregon Arts Commission in collaboration with the NEA and the Poetry Foundation. Participants memorize and present poems, practicing public speaking skills while exploring the complexity of poetry.

Measure 110 Behavioral Health Resource Network providers reported increases in client engagement over all service areas, according to recently released quarterly reporting data.

As providers continue to establish and expand services, the most recent data revealed a 346 percent client gain in screening services since the program’s start – indicating that more providers are seeing new clients for the first time. Supported employment showed the highest overall percentage gain at 422 percent.

Client screening is an important first step for people seeking substance use treatment and recovery. As a result, network providers have reported increased numbers of people are accessing low-barrier treatment services and supports.

The latest data also show a 258 percent increase in people accessing peer services, in addition to other supports.  Many peer service providers reported meeting people in their homes or in community settings and using other measures to lower service barriers such as providing childcare and securing transportation to treatment.

Measure 110 network providers report the number of clients they serve and the number of encounters they have with their clients as a measure of overall engagement. Some clients may receive multiple services within a network or within multiple service networks.

The latest report covers network activities from July 1 through Sept. 30, 2023. Collectively, Measure 110 providers have now reported five quarters of data and expenditures from July 1, 2022, when the first network was established, through Sept. 30, 2023.

Overall, Measure 110 providers reported 267,000 encounters for people seeking peer support services and more than 220,000 encounters for substance use treatment over the 15 months of operations from July 1, 2022 – September 30, 2023.

OHA continually updates a comprehensive Measure 110 data reporting dashboard that includes quarterly data, expenditures, key demographic information, and aggregated narrative summaries for the 42 statewide service networks.

The dashboard also contains a section that shows how providers are conducting community outreach to directly connect individuals to services in their communities.

Despite the reported growth in service access, nearly one-third of providers continue to report challenges around building their workforce.

The deadline for the next round of reporting for expenditure and program data is in April and will cover the time from October 1 – December 30, 2023. OHA expects to publish that data in Summer 2024.


Oregon will use $5 million from the state’s CHIPS Act for a new childcare fund created by the 2024 legislature.  

The goal is to fund childcare for workers in the semiconductor supply chain, including members of the building and construction trades.  

Business Oregon will work with the Bureau of Labor and Industries to dole out money and build on BOLI’s existing apprentice-ship-related child care program. A work group will also create recommendations for requiring certain businesses to contribute to the CHIPS Child Care Fund. 


Nike Inc. on Friday said in a notice to government officials that it expects to layoff 740 Oregon workers, all at its Washington County headquarters.

The filing came as the second wave of a mass layoff started.

The first wave of the layoff took place in February, shortly after Nike CEO John Donahoe told employees the company would part with 2% of its workforce, but he did not provide information about the number of Oregon jobs that would be impacted.

On Friday, Nike filed that information with the state’s Higher Education Coordinating Commission, as required when mass layoffs occur.

Nike didn’t provide the state with information about the job titles of impacted workers, but the filing suggests that information will be made available.

Nike employs 83,700, according to its last annual report filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, including 11,400 at its 400-acre headquarters campus near Beaverton.

A group of Portland Public Schools parents have filed a lawsuit seeking $100 million against the Portland Association of Teachers (PAT) and the Oregon Education Association (OEA), alleging their 2023 teachers strike caused negative emotional and educational impacts on students as well as financial losses and work disruptions for parents.

From the attorneys it states “The Nov. 1 to Nov. 26, 2023, strike resulted in nearly a month of closed classrooms and missed extracurricular activities. Shutting down schools causes learning loss, cuts students off from activities such as sports and music, distances them from friends and peers, and induces anxiety and emotional distress. Parents are forced to pay for childcare out of pocket, take leave or skip shifts at work, and deal with abrupt changes and confusion. This lawsuit seeks compensation for the families who endured that disruption because of this illegal strike.”

“Study after study demonstrates the harmful and long-lasting negative effects teacher strikes have on students,” attorney Daniel Suhr claimed in the same release. “The PAT’s illegal strike especially hurt already vulnerable families from low-income households and children with learning disabilities. These families have a right to an uninterrupted education focused on student achievement and development, not union politics.”

The lawsuit claims that the strike was illegal, and that PAT violated Oregon law by “making bargaining demands on a number of topics specifically excluded by law from the mandatory bargaining process.”

Attorneys claim that the strike would have been much shorter if the bargaining only included mandatory subjects, lessening the impact on students and parents. The filing also alleges that much of what the strike sought, a ‘paradigm shift,’ is meant to be resolved by elected officials and not “closed-door union bargaining.”

The attorneys say that the lawsuit is seeking damages for families impacted by education, time, and financial loss, as well as anxiety and confusion. The complaint also seeks to cancel the new contract passed by the unions and school district, saying it was “only entered unto under duress.”

The four involved plaintiff families are asking to remain anonymous out of fear of retaliation, their attorneys say.  Stay tuned.


The Oregon Caves National Monument and Preserve is back open after the winter season closure.

Tours will be offered five days a week, Thursday through Monday, on a limited basis. They will run on a first come, first served basis between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Entry to the monument is free, however tickets for tours can be purchased on site or at the Illinois Valley Visitor Center.

Meanwhile, Crater Lake National Park visitors can enjoy a free visit this weekend. Saturday is the first day of National Park Week which means the National Park Service is offering free admission to over 400 parks nationwide.

That includes Crater Lake National Park, and it’s only on Saturday.

The next fee free day after that is June 19.



SALEM, Ore. — The names of two fallen law enforcement officers were added to the Oregon Fallen Law Enforcement Memorial during an engraving ceremony on Tuesday, April 16. An honor guard stood watch as the names of Jared J. Miller of the Marion County Sheriff’s Office and Joseph W. Johnson of the Nyssa Police Department were added to the memorial at the Oregon Public Safety Academy in Salem.

The additions of Sergeant Miller, end of watch Dec. 9, 2021, and Reserve Corporal Johnson, EOW April 15, 2023, were approved for addition to the state memorial by the Board on Public Safety Standards and Training. The memorial honors Oregon officers who have died in the line of duty since the 1860s. This includes law enforcement, corrections, and parole and probation officers from city, county, state, tribal and federal law enforcement agencies.

Sergeant Miller, Reserve Corporal Johnson and 194 previously fallen officers will be honored during the annual Oregon Law Enforcement Memorial Ceremony on Tuesday, May 7 at 1 p.m. at the academy, located at 4190 Aumsville Highway SE in Salem.

The Department of Public Safety Standards and Training is proud to host the ceremony in partnership with the Oregon Law Enforcement Memorial Fund, Oregon Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.), Oregon Fallen Badge Foundation, and various statewide law enforcement associations.


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.


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.


Visitors to the Winston Wildlife Safari are getting to see a new Wallaroo, Joey. The baby was born last July. At birth, they’re typically less than an inch long and spend up to 270 days in their mother’s pouch. At nine months, they’re permanently out of the pouch. The new joey can be seen regularly in the Australia walkabout section. It’ll be a while longer before keepers can determine its gender.


Oregon’s historic Timberline Lodge, which featured in Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 film “The Shining,” will reopen to guests Sunday after a fire that prompted evacuations but caused only minimal damage.

The lodge said Saturday in a Facebook post that it will support guests while repairs are being done, as well as work to ensure water quality. Historic preservation efforts are also underway.

“There are challenges ahead but we are through the worst of it,” the hotel said. “First responder and Timberline staff efforts have been nothing short of remarkable during a very difficult time. This successful recovery is because of their dedication.”

Embers from the lodge’s large stone fireplace apparently ignited the roof Thursday night, the lodge said. Guests and staff were evacuated as firefighters doused the flames, and no injuries were reported.

Damage from the fire and the water used to extinguish it is “benign” and contained to certain areas, the lodge said.

Its ski area reopened Saturday.

Timberline Lodge was built in 1937, some 6,000 feet (1,828 meters) up the 11,249-foot (3,429-meter) Mount Hood, by the Works Progress Administration, a U.S. government program created to provide jobs during the Great Depression.

It is about 60 miles (100 kilometers) east of Portland.

Kubrick used the exterior of the lodge as a stand-in for the Overlook Hotel in “The Shining,” a psychological horror movie based on the 1977 Stephen King novel of the same name.


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