Klamath Basin News, Wednesday, 4/24 – KCSD’s Adam Randall Named Oregon’s CTE Administrator of Year; KCC’s Matthew Ebner Receives State And National Honors; Double homicide and kidnapping Suspect in Multi-state Amber alert Ends Tragically For Him on Interstate 5 near Eugene; U.S. Supreme Court Judges Hearing City of Grants Pass Homeless Public Sleeping Ban Case

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.

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Klamath Basin Weather

Today
Mostly sunny, with a high near 66. Light northwest winds 5 to 10 mph. Overnight, partly cloudy, with a low around 36. Northwest wind 9 to 14 mph.
Thursday
A 50% chance of showers after noon. Snow level 6100 feet rising to 6700 feet in the afternoon. Partly sunny, with a high near 54.
Friday
Showers likely with a high near 52. Chance of precipitation is 70%. 
Saturday
A slight chance of rain and snow showers before 9am, then a slight chance of rain showers, then partly sunny, with a high near 56.
Sunday
A slight chance of showers.  Partly sunny, with a high near 58.

Today’s Headlines

Klamath County School District’s Adam Randall has been named Oregon ACTE Administrator of the Year for his work expanding Career and Technical Education programs of study and securing industry and community partnerships so students can experience career connected learning.

Randall, a full-time CTE coordinator for Henley High School who also helps coordinate expansion of programs at other KCSD high schools, received the award earlier this month during the Oregon Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE)’s annual conference. Nominees were evaluated on their contributions to the overall success of educators and students, innovations in CTE programming, and their leadership in CTE community.

Over the past few years, Randall has been instrumental in the expansion of CTE programs not only at Henley, but across the district, helping bring in industry partnerships and grants for new initiatives and pathways.

Randall is credited with implementing YouScience, an aptitude testing platform, at Henley middle and high schools that led to “an explosion of student engagement” and is now leading to the creation of new CTE programs of study across the district. After Henley eighth-graders took the aptitude test, there was a 200% increase in CTE enrollment for the following school year, prompting the addition of three new CTE programs of study at Henley – digital media, pre-teaching, and construction.

Randall has degrees in engineering and worked as a manufacturing engineer for Gerber Legendary Blades before entering education. He started as an advanced math teacher at Henley High School while also serving as a CTE coordinator at the building level.

 

Congratulations from BasinLife.com and Wynne Broadcasting to Matthew Ebner, a Klamath Community College (KCC) student, who received state and national honors as Oregon’s 2024 New Century Transfer Pathway Scholar by the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society.

Ebner, the son of Ben and Jenny Ebner, was recognized April 8 in Louisville, Ky., at Phi Theta Kappa’s Presidents Breakfast during the annual American Association of Community Colleges convention.

Ebner, 20, was chosen based on his score in the All-USA Academic Team competition, for which more than 2,200 applications from more than 1,300 colleges were received. Nominations were evaluated on academic achievement, leadership, service and significant endeavors.

This is a first for KCC.  Ebner, as a member of the All-Oregon Academic Team, was also recognized with a medallion and certificate during a ceremony and luncheon honoring the team April 19 in Salem. State legislators and higher education leaders attended that event to celebrate the students and their achievements.

Ebner, who was born and raised in Oregon and graduated from Abeka Academy High School as a homeschool student in Klamath Falls, will be awarded an Associate of Science degree from KCC in June. He plans to transfer to Oregon Tech to complete his bachelor’s degree as a biology, health and science major, with a chemistry minor, before continuing to dental school. His ultimate goal is to specialize in oral and maxillofacial surgery.

He had inspiration and encouragement along the way in maintaining a 4.0 GPA and retaining his place on the KCC President’s Honor Roll each term.

Ebner said KCC’s science and health care courses, cost of attendance, and programs assisting students with tuition – such as 15-To-Finish and Badger-to-Owl – were major factors in his decision to attend KCC.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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 search for a suspect in a double homicide and kidnapping that resulted in a multi-state Amber alert ended with more tragedy yesterday on Interstate 5 in Eugene.

The freeway was closed to all traffic just before 3pm Monday afternoon, after OSP officers had engaged the wanted man in a high speed chase that began just outside of Albany. Speeds were reported at over 100 miles per hour.

It is believed the suspect, Elias Huiza, a former Yakima, Washington police officer, killed himself with a self-inflicted gunshot when the vehicle pursuit ended right there on I-5. 

Oregon State Police rescued a 1-year old boy from the vehicle.

An AMBER Alert was issued after a man allegedly killed two women – his ex-wife and girlfriend – then kidnapped a boy late Sunday night near Richland, Washington.

Huizar allegedly killed his ex-wife outside William Wiley Elementary School in West Richland on Monday before fleeing the scene, according to authorities.

Early on Tuesday morning around 1 a.m., Elias was possibly spotted in North Portland outside a Plaid Pantry. But by the time police arrived he was gone. Police said the clerk at the store recognized Elias from the AMBER Alert and social media and called 911.

The AMBER Alert extended into Oregon as authorities believe Huizar may have tried flee to Mexico with the child.

When police searched Elias’ home after the deadly shooting outside the elementary school on Monday they found another woman, his girlfriend, dead in the home.

According to court documents, Huizar had entered a not guilty plea on charges of child rape in February. Elias was dating a 17-year-old whom was the mother of 1-year-old Roman. His 17-year-old girlfriend’s 16-year-old friend accused Elias of raping her.

According to the documents, Elias met his girlfriend when he was working as a school resource officer at her middle school. They later reconnected when she was 15 and began a sexual relationship. He got her pregnant and she had his child when she was 16. She was not named due to being a minor.

Elias was a Yakima police officer from June 2013 to February 2022.

The following statement was provided was provided by Captain Kyle Kennedy, Oregon State Police:

I want to start by sending our heartfelt support to the community in West Richland, Washington, a community dealing with senseless tragedy. My prayer is their community will come together to provide support and strength during this grievous time.

The conclusion of this search has been the culmination of the hard work and dedication of our law enforcement partners in Washington and Oregon, as well as federal contributors. Since the start, our goal has been simple—to bring Roman Santos home safely. We did it. Roman is in the care of Oregon officials.

Last evening, the Oregon State Police issued an AMBER Alert at approximately 11:35 p.m. at the request of the Washington State Patrol. This AMBER alert was in response to the murder of two women in West Richland, Washington, and the kidnapping of a 1-year-old infant – Roman Santos.  The suspect in these murders and kidnapping was identified as Elias Huizar. The suspect was reportedly driving a 2009 Toyota Corolla with Washington plates.

Today, at approximately 2:40 p.m., Oregon State Police troopers were observing Interstate 5 for the suspect when he located the vehicle southbound near milepost 221. OSP initiated a traffic stop and the suspect vehicle fled southbound. Two troopers engaged in a pursuit with the suspect vehicle at high speeds heading southbound.

Near milepost 209, there was a minor collision and the suspect vehicle lost control. An exchange of gunfire occurred prior to the vehicle fleeing again southbound. No known injuries occurred as a result of the gunfire.

Near milepost 197, the suspect crashed into a stopped CMV and stopped in the median. As troopers contacted the suspect vehicle, he was deceased of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. The infant was located uninjured and removed from the vehicle.

Involved in the exchange of gunfire, was Superintendent Casey Codding and Sergeant Orly Johnson of the Oregon State Police.

The Lane County Sheriff’s Office has been asked to lead the investigation.

We are very proud of the efforts of the troopers involved in this pursuit today. Their dedication and courage are a hallmark of the character of an Oregon State Trooper. Their efforts today were paramount in bringing Roman home safely.

I want to thank our partners:

WASHINGTON: Kennewick PD, Paso PD, Richland PD, Prosser PD, Benton County Sheriff’s Office, Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, Washington State Patrol, Benton Fire Districts 1 and 4, FBI, US Marshal’s, Fish and Wildlife

OREGON: PPB, OSP, Hillsboro, and Portland FBI.                     

PURSUIT: OSP, Linn County Sheriff’s Office

ON SCENE: Lane County Sheriff’s Office, Eugene Police Department, Coburg Police Department

 

A majority of U.S Supreme Court justices Monday seemed inclined to side with an Oregon town’s law that bans homeless people from sleeping outdoors, in a case that could have broad implications for local ordinances related to homelessness across the country.

During oral arguments in City of Grants Pass v. Johnson case, conservative justices said that policies and ordinances around homelessness are complex, and indicated it’s a policy question that should be left up to local elected representatives rather than the courts.

Taking a much different tack, the three liberal justices said that Grants Pass officials went too far and targeted homeless people with fines for the basic human need to sleep when they camped outside.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor grilled the lawyer for Grants Pass on how the city law essentially criminalized homelessness.

The case originated in Grants Pass, which argues its ordinance is a solution to the city’s homelessness crisis.

An attorney representing a group of homeless people argued that they are involuntarily without housing because there are limited shelter beds for the number of homeless people in the area. The lawyer also said the ordinances criminalize homelessness through fines and potential jail time for camping or sleeping in outdoor spaces.

The town of nearly 40,000 has about 600 people who are homeless and the only nonprofit that can provide shelter can house only up to 100 beds, according to a brief submitted by the nonprofit, Grants Pass Gospel Rescue Mission.

The justices are being asked to decide whether the enforcement of that local ordinance on regulating camping on public property violated the “cruel and unusual punishment” clause of the Eighth Amendment.

 

Oregon is receiving over $80-million dollars in federal funding for solar energy projects.

The Environmental Protection Agency announced yesterday Oregon will receive more than 86-point-six-million dollars of the total seven-billion dollars going out nationwide. The grants are part of the EPA’s Solar for All grant competition. The funding will go towards launching programs to provide rooftop solar energy to lower-income households.

 

The Oregon Health Authority reports the number of people accessing addiction treatment through Ballot Measure 110 continues to grow as more facilities increase staffing.

Since the start of the program in 2022, screening services are up 346 percent and staffing is up 422 percent. Ballot Measure 110 required OHA to organize creation of addiction treatment centers across the state. Despite record growth in service access, nearly one-third of providers report challenges finding enough staff.

 

The Oregon Spring Cleanup, in partnership with Portland General Electric, concluded on Earth Day yesterday with resounding success.

Between April 13 and April 22, more than 4,000 volunteers across Oregon and SW Washington gathered for a celebration of Earth Day, where they collectively picked up 21,981 pounds of litter and marine debris and removed 21,900 square feet of invasive plant species such as English Ivy and Himalayan Blackberry. Families, community members, neighborhood associations, youth groups, and environmental enthusiasts once again made the Oregon Spring Cleanup the highlight of SOLVE’s annual calendar. 

SOLVE is a statewide non-profit organization that brings people together to improve our environment and build a legacy of stewardship. Since 1969, the organization has grown from a small, grassroots group to a national model for volunteer action. Today, SOLVE mobilizes and trains tens of thousands of volunteers of all ages across Oregon and Southwest Washington to clean and restore our neighborhoods and natural areas and to build a legacy of stewardship for our state. Visit solveoregon.org for more information.

 

 

A Happy Valley woman is accused of leading a money laundering cell that hid nearly $100 million in drug proceeds for a drug trafficking organization.

Enhua Fang, 37, is the first of five defendants named in a six-count indictment out of federal court in North Carolina, charged with conspiracy to launder money, conceal money laundering, engage in transactions involving derived property and aiding and abetting in those crimes.

Fang was arrested in Oregon on April 18. She’s being held at the Multnomah County Detention Center in Portland and was due back Tuesday in federal court in Portland to ask a judge for her release.

Prosecutors are urging her continued detention pending trial.

 

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 Oregon Cheese Festival is coming to the Expo in Jackson County. 

The event will allow residents to sample artisan cheese from across the region. There will also be speciality food, beer, wine and cider available. 

The Cheese Festival starts Saturday from noon to 5 p.m. for anyone 21 and older. It will also be open on Sunday for all ages from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. 

Tickets are $25 and $35 at the door. 

 

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.

 

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.

 

The new board will guide management of the nation’s largest research forest, shaping research, conservation, and economic outcomes

SALEM, Ore. – The Oregon Department of State Lands is accepting letters of interest for the Elliott State Research Forest Board of Directors. 

Ensuring accountability, transparency, and meaningful engagement is critical to establishing and operating the Elliott as a public research forest. In April 2024, the State Land Board approved a research forest oversight structure that includes appointment of an ESRF Board of Directors.

The ESRF Board will guide management of the research forest, with authority to shape management, research, conservation, economic and social outcomes of relevance at the local, statewide, national, and international level.

The ESRF Board will consist of seven or nine voting and one nonvoting member designated by the ESRF’s lead research entity. Voting members are appointed by the State Land Board. The DSL Director will review letters of interest and develop a list of candidates for State Land Board consideration at its June 11, 2024, meeting.

Individuals interested in being considered for the ESRF Board should review the recruitment flyer and submit the required interest materials no later than Sunday, May 12, 2024.

 

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.

 

FALLEN OFFICERS’ NAMES ADDED TO OREGON FALLEN LAW ENFORCEMENT MEMORIAL

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.

 

Thanks for reading the the news on BasinLife.com from Wynne Broadcasting.

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You can receive Daily Radio Mentions across our 6 stations, Articles, direct link Banner Ads, floating Banner Ads on hundreds of article pages daily, Social Media Posts, geo-fencing and geo-targeting services, and also available are monthly Email Blasts to thousands of local residents. We keep you updated with the latest smart digital marketing strategies for 2024 for your business. BasinLife.com is still the best value in the Klamath Basin for advertising, as we celebrate our 8th year promoting businesses!

For information or prices on plans, simply call us today at 541-363-7503 or email us at Info@BasinLife.com.  Let us keep your business top-of -mind!

 

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