Klamath Basin News, Friday, 5/24 – Memorial Weekend Events Are Set; Oregon State Parks Offering Free Parking, RV & Tent Camping on June 1st; Gerber Campground Opens; KCSD Offers Full-Day Summer School

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.

Friday, May 24, 2024

Klamath Basin Weather

Today
Mostly sunny, with a high near 67. West wind 5 to 13 mph, with gusts as high as 24 mph.  Overnight, mostly clear, with a low around 38. Northwest wind 10 to 15 mph.

Saturday
Sunny, with a high near 64. Light and variable wind becoming northwest 6 to 11 mph in the morning. Winds could gust as high as 23 mph. Overnight, clear with a low near 36.
Sunday
Sunny, with a high near 74. 
Memorial Day Monday
Sunny, with a high near 80.
Tuesday
Mostly sunny, with a high near 75.
Wednesday
Sunny, with a high near 73.
Thursday
Sunny, with a high near 75.

Today’s Headlines

 

Memorial Day Celebrations Scheduled.

With help from The Disabled American Veterans Chapter 12, Commander Ray Ramirez is spearheading weekend events in Klamath Falls.

Fellow veterans from DAV, CVMA (Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association), Oregon Tech and various other organizations teamed up with Ramirez and the group has managed to find a number of volunteers to help make this weekend’s events happen.  More assistance is needed however.

Registration for parade floats is still available online through the Klamath Freedom Foundation website. To register to be in the parade, visit klamathfc.org/event-registration and submit the online form.

Registrants will gather at the same location as in previous years, along Spring Street on the morning of Memorial Day at 8:30AM

The Parade will proceed down Main Street at 10AM on Memorial Day Monday, arriving at Veterans Memorial Park at 11 a.m.

The annual celebration at Veterans Park will begin then, shortly after the annual Kingsley Airfield F-15 flyover. For more information, submit emails to klamathfallsparades@gmail.com.

KINGSLEY FIELD, Ore. – The 173rd Fighter Wing out of Kingsley Field in Klamath Falls, Oregon will conduct Memorial Day flyovers for ceremonies at locations throughout Oregon.

F-15 Eagle fighter jets are scheduled to conduct flyovers at the following community locations at, or around, the designated times on Monday, May 27, 2024. 

10:00 a.m. Veterans Memorial Plaza, Springfield, Ore.

10:10 a.m. Reedsport Masonic Cemetery, Reedsport, Ore.                                                  

10:20 a.m. Gold Beach Veteran’s Memorial, Gold Beach, Ore.

10:25 a.m. Port of Brookings-Harbor, Brookings, Ore.

10:50 a.m. Veterans Memorial Park, Klamath Falls, Ore.

11:00 a.m. Eagle Point National Cemetery, Eagle Point, Ore.

11:05 a.m. Hillcrest Memorial Park, Medford, Ore.

11:15 a.m. Roseburg National Cemetery, Roseburg, Ore.

11:20 a.m. Roseburg Memorial Gardens, Roseburg, Ore.

11:45 a.m. Riverside Park, Grants Pass, Ore.

All passes will be approximately 1,000 feet above ground level and about 400 mph airspeed. Flights could be cancelled or times changed due to inclement weather or operational contingencies.

The Oregon Air National Guard has been an integral part of the nation’s air defense since 1941.  The 173rd FW is home to the sole F-15C pilot training facility for the United States Air Force.

 

Oregon Election Results

The final tallies are here for local Klamath County and statewide election results.  CLICK HERE

 

 

Drug Bust And Arrests Near Mills School

On Tuesday, officers of (BINET), the Basin Interagency Narcotics Enforcement Team concluded an investigation after serving a search warrant at a residence in the 2100 block of Garden Avenue, Klamath Falls. This address is located less than 1,000 feet from Mills Elementary School.

BINET received information from several sources, including members of the community, regarding the residence being associated with suspected illegal drug distribution. BINET initiated an investigation and ultimately obtained a search warrant for the property, during with many drugs being seized, nearly one (1) pound of methamphetamine, as well U.S. Currency (believed to be the proceeds of sales of Methamphetamine).  In addition, evidence of distribution of controlled substances, and three firearms, (one of which had an obliterated/altered serial number).

BINET arrested the 71 year old John Kahler on multiple charges and lodged him in the Klamath County Jail.

Kahler’a charges include, Unlawful Possession of a Controlled Substance – Methamphetamine, Unlawful Delivery of a Controlled Substance Methamphetamine Within 1000’ of a School, Unlawful Manufacture of a Controlled Substance – Methamphetamine, Felon in Possession of a Firearm (3 Counts), Obliteration or Change of Identification Number on a Firearm.

An additional adult male was arrested, cited and released on additional drug possession and distribution charges.

BINET was assisted by the Klamath Falls Police Department, Oregon State Police, the Oregon National Guard-Counter Drug Program (Criminal Analyst), and members of Klamath County Community Corrections. The investigation is ongoing. No further details are available at this time.

 

Klamath County commissioner Derrick DeGroot will remain in office as a county commissioner following the primary election Tuesday.

DeGroot needed 51% of the vote to avoid a run-off in November.  He received 54%.

The commissioner position one race will be decided in November between Rejeana Jackson and Andrew Nichols.  Nichols received the most votes, with Jackson second in a close race.

Current Klamath County Commissioner David Henslee was seeking a bid for state senator, but Diane Linthicum received the republican nomination for the seat winning by a comfortable margin.  The seat is currently occupied by Diane’s husband, Dennis, who was not eligible for re-election. However, Dennis Linthicum looks to be one of two candidates to make the general ballot in November for Oregon Secretary of State, where he will represent the Republican party against Democrat Tobias Read.  Read is the current state treasurer.

Shane Mitchell was the clear front runner of the 8 Klamath County sheriff’s candidates.  He received about 37% of the total votes. Closest to him was Bryan Bryson, with Ryan Kaber a few dozen votes behind him.  It is not known if or when there will be a recount as only two will move on to the general election in November. The latest tabs show there are only 73 votes difference between Bryson and Kaber.

The Klamath County 911 levy barely passed, by less than 1 percent.  It is a 5-year operating levy.

 

Klamath County School District is offering a full-day summer school for elementary students (K-6) from June 24 to July 19. Space is limited and registration is on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Students will receive literacy, math, and STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) lessons by KCSD certified teachers. Small group instruction strategies will be a part of the day as well. Field trips will be available along with family engagement opportunities.

The locations will be:

Ferguson Elementary School: For students who attend Stearns, Shasta, Peterson, Henley, Keno, and Ferguson.

The other location is  Merrill Elementary School: For students who attend Malin and Merrill.

More information is available on the KCSD website.

 

A missing California girl found in the Klamath Basin.

On Mother’s Day, a 12-year-old female was last seen by her family in Chico, California and reported missing to the Chico Police Department. Law enforcement in the western states were notified via bulletin.

On Thursday 05/16/24, the girl was reported to have been sighted in Klamath Falls in the company of her brother, who was a suspect in her disappearance.

On Monday the family informed the Klamath County Sheriff’s Office that they received information from a person, who picked up the two hitchhiking, that they were currently at a location east of Klamath Falls known as Bly Mountain. Detectives spoke with the Chico PD for additional information.

The Klamath County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to the remote location and located the girl who was taken into custody without incident. She was released to her family.

Taken into custody was Christopher Tilton (age 23). He was lodged at the Klamath County Jail and is pending extradition to California.

Local Charge:      Fugitive Warrant (Bail $60,000)

California Charges:       “Child Stealing” and “Annoy or Molest Victim under 18”

Crimes of this magnitude involving children are of the most serious nature and are handled as urgently as possible. This is the second such case in Klamath County within a week. The Klamath County Sheriff’s Office recognizes the effort of the Chico PD and the perseverance of the girl’s mother in using social media to bring attention to the case.

 

Two months before Negasi Zuberi allegedly abducted a woman from Seattle, drove her to Oregon and locked her in a cinderblock cell in his Klamath Falls garage, he is accused of kidnapping another woman outside a local bar here, holding her in a car in his garage for 12 hours and sexually assaulting her, according to new court records.

Documents filed Monday by federal prosecutors reveal for the first time details of the alleged May 2023 kidnapping in Klamath Falls, including that an initial local police report described the assault as “consensual sex.”

Prosecutors want to try Zuberi, 30, for both cases at the same time and allege that the two show a pattern of predatory behavior and premeditation.

They cited seizure of security footage and store receipts that showed Zuberi made multiple purchases at a local Home Depot to buy pallets of cinder blocks and insulation panels that they say he used to construct a makeshift cell in his garage.

The store footage and receipts showed him stocking up on other supplies, including sound guard fiber, a security door and deadbolts, according to the prosecution’s pretrial motions.

They allege he stalked girls and women — “waiting in shopping malls and high school parking lots to identify and record them ” — as he tracked them to their cars, jotted down their license plates and sometimes followed them home to “catalog where they lived,” according to the filings.

 

A portion of U.S. Highway 97 in Klamath Falls will be fully closed for six weeks beginning Monday, July 8, with detours for a bridge replacement project.

U.S. 97 over Lakeport Boulevard will be fully closed while crews replace the Pelican Bridge as part of the U.S. 97: OR 58-California Border Bridge Retrofits project

The purpose of this project is to improve the seismic resiliency of bridges on U.S. 97 so the highway can continue its role as a primary north-south lifeline route in the aftermath of a major earthquake.

Detours have been established and drivers should expect delays when traveling through the area until late August.  All work is dependent on weather conditions, and schedules are subject to change.

The U.S. 97 northbound detour route will begin at Cross Road, turn left onto OR 39 following OR 39 as it becomes South 6th Street in Klamath Falls, turn right onto Crater Lake Parkway (OR 39) and return to U.S. 97.

 

A woman is speaking out after her ex-husband was found dead in Klamath County.

Ted Foltz-Tipton, 53, was found dead with a gunshot wound in a rural area about 11 miles North of Bonanza this past Wednesday afternoon. According to Lucas, both of his dogs were also shot, one did not survive.

His ex-wife, Melissa Lucas of Salem spoke with the media yesterday.

Born and raised in Salem and Keizer, Foltz-Tipton was living on two acres in the Bly Mountain area purchased by his oldest daughter when he was facing homelessness. He leaves behind three children and five grandchildren. She says he was an old cowboy who loved his animals.

He lived off the grid so he didn’t work like a regular job. He enjoyed building things. Like for the nearby grocery store, he built them tables and would trade for food. He just lived day to day and he loved his animals so much and that was his life was his three horses and his dogs.

The Klamath County Sheriff’s Office says this is an active homicide investigation and asks anyone with information to call investigators at 541-850-5380. No arrests have been made yet.

 

Ross Ragland Theater and Cultural Center are on a mission, announcing a campaign to raise one million dollars to keep the theater running.

Following an in-depth financial and strategic planning review and restructuring of the organization, the beautiful Ross Ragland Theater launched the million-dollar campaign to ensure the theater’s preservation and that it remains open for the Klamath Community.

Donations can be made by cash, check, or credit card in person, or online by following this GiveButter link: https://givebutter.com/HiwyWw

Donating to the Ross Ragland Theater is easy. You can find the donation link pinned to the top of our Facebook page or on our website www.ragland.org. Just click on the “Giving Campaign” tab and follow the simple instructions. Your support is greatly appreciated.

The staff is eager to share more about their mission and the importance of this fundraising campaign. If you would like more information, please contact Krystal Perkins at (541) 887-8641, or email Fundraising@ragland.org

 

In Tulelake, dedication ceremonies for the new Veterans Monument will be held as part of the Memorial Day celebration at 1 p.m., on Monday, May 27, at Tulelake’s Veterans Park.

The new monument features a wall of bricks inscribed with the names of men and women who served in any branch of the U.S. military. The “Bricks for a Veteran” has resulted in the purchase of bricks by veterans and family members of veterans both regionally and from as far away as Washington.

Each of the 8-inch bricks is engraved with the name of the veteran, branch of military, rank and years served on active duty. Dave Porter Misso, who has long been active in Tulelake Basin projects, said the bricks remember a variety of people, from Army privates to a Tulelake veteran who was a general.

During the Memorial Day celebration in Tulelake, members of Malin American Legion Post 84 will hold a post-everlasting ceremony that “reaffirms their commitment to never forget those who served our country.” The ceremony will be followed by an Honor Guard Salute and the playing of taps.

Tulelake Veterans Park is located on property that was donated to the city of Tulelake. The first phase of development began in 2003. Ongoing efforts to expand the park and “make it more representative of Tulelake’s heritage, especially its veterans” have continued over several years.

The park’s expansion work began in 2020, when the existing park was extended to the corner of Main Street. The park archway is one of the first things people see as they turn off Highway 139 into town. A gazebo, sundial, interpretative panels and an archway featuring the seals of each branch of the military were added. That expansion was largely funded through a $425,000 grant through California Proposition 68 grants.

 

The Klamath County Community Corrections Department’s Project Homefront recently received the Mending Fences Award from Project Turnkey.

The recognition is for overcoming community opposition, building incredibly creative community partnerships, modeling pathways to success, mending fences literally and figuratively, and being trailblazers for good in Oregon. The Board of County Commissioners sends a big THANK YOU to our Community Corrections Director and staff for all their hard work making Project Homefront a success!

 

Klamath County Library Offers Many Summer Prorgams

As schools start to wind down parents might be planning activities for their kids to keep them busy this summer.

Klamath County Library is offering a great option with a reading program that offers some fun prizes and cool performances.

That includes a magic show, a close encounter with some reptiles, and even a border collie show.

You can learn more about the fun activities they have planned at theKlamath County Library website.

If kids complete the challenge of the reading program they get a t-shirt as well as many other prizes.

 

Things are happening at the Butte Valley Museum in Dorris.

The museum, which is being developed in a former bank building in downtown Dorris by the Butte Valley Museum & Historical Society is still a work in progress, but various phases of its development are moving ahead.

Members of the display committee have been gathering information on the cost, measurements and other ways to prepare a grant to finance to purchase the needed materials “We are going to start small — with just one subject to start with the keep us focused and gain experience,” noted Sylvia Copeland and Flo Eddy in a recent “Museum Musings” newsletter. “The plan is to prepare displays for a ‘soft’ opening in late September.”

They also reported that a new flagpole has been installed on the 1.75-mile-long walking path that is part of museum. A solar light shines on the flag at night, allowing it to be flown 24 hours a day. “We are so appreciative to all of you who donated to get this new metal flagpole purchased and the volunteers who installed it,” Eddy and Copeland said.

In addition, the newsletter credits Eddy and John Wright, who recently installed a new hanging system in the Flag Room of the museum’s upstairs apartment and hung a flag headboard built and designed by Leslie Kelley. “This was the trial for a larger scale system we plan to put in the downstairs museum for displays.”

The newsletter also notes that soil testing by GeoCon has been done to determine contaminated areas on the old mill site. Testing was done through a grant to Siskiyou County to test sites around the county. “The goal is to get these contaminated spots cleaned up throughout the county. After the final report is received it is anticipated that cleanup of any ‘hot spots’ will commence” through the county grant.

 

The 11th annual Art of Survival Century Bicycle Ride and Gravel Grinder event, scheduled for this weekend, Saturday, May 25, and Sunday May 26, 2024, isn’t just about pedaling a road or mountain bike through beautiful stretches of the countryside.

It’s also an opportunity to learn about a region that includes Southern Oregon’s Klamath Basin and Northern California’s Tulelake Basin and Butte Valley area. What is unique about this event — which is a ride, not a race — is that each rest stop offers an educational component highlighting the geology of the area, cultural history, geography, and environmental issues; along with providing fluids and nutritious snacks.

This year, the event highlights the Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway, an awe-inspiring All-American Road winding through the captivating landscapes of Southern Oregon and Northern California. This extraordinary route, distinguished as one of only 42 in the United States for its unique qualities, offers a 500-mile expedition through the remarkable aftermath of geologic forces along the Pacific Rim of Fire.

Traverse this scenic masterpiece, where towering volcanic peaks, expansive lava flows, enchanting caves, bubbling mud pots, and steaming fumaroles paint a vivid picture of the Earth’s dynamic history. Immerse yourself in the natural wonders of Crater Lake National Park, Lava Beds National Monument, the alpine charm of Mount Shasta against a snow-capped backdrop, and the captivating beauty of Lassen Volcanic National Park.

Saturday: Choose from four routes that begin and end at the Malin Community Park — 100-mile Century, 62-mile Metric Century, 38-mile, and family friendly 14-mile road routes plus a 22-mile mountain gravel grinder route in the Medicine Lake Highlands.

Day 2, Sunday: A Gravel Grinder Mix covering distances of 74 and 54 miles and a family friendly 13-mile route. All gravel routes begin and end at the Butte Valley Community Center in Dorris. Participants will ride along the flatlands of Butte Valley, including the Butte Valley Wildlife Area, farms, ranches and up to beautiful Juanita Lake for breakfast.

 

Improved accessibility and access to areas of Crater Lake National Park, such as lake viewpoints along Rim Drive, are goals of the park’s recently released “Accessibility Self-Evaluation and Transition Plan.”

Public comment on the plan is being sought through June 14, according Sean Denniston, Crater Lake’s deputy superintendent.

Among areas of the park evaluated by the park’s interdisciplinary team were the Crater Lake Lodge, Castle Crest Wildflower Trail, Mazama Village, Phantom Ship Overlook (Kerr Notch), Videa Falls pullout, Wizard Island, Godfrey Glen Trailhead and the Mount Scott Trailhead.

The study also includes the Cleetwood Cove Trail, the only trail that legally accesses the lake and the concession-offered lake boat tours. Denniston said the park is currently in the final phases of a design plan for the trail that will reduce hazards from rock fall and other concerns. The trail is scheduled to be open for public use this summer — its opening date depends on when access to the parking area/trailhead is cleared of snow and when hazards are removed from the trail. The trail will be closed, as usual, this fall. Reconstruction is expected to take two years.

As part of reconstructing the trail, which is currently 1.1-miles long with an elevation loss/gain of 700 feet, Denniston said better signage with information about trail conditions, additional benches for rest stops and other upgrades, including accessible vehicle parking signage, are changes intended to benefit people with accessibility issues.

Because it goes to the lake, the Cleetwood Trail is among the park’s most heavily used — “It’s where everybody wants to go,” Denniston said.

 

Meanwhile, the weather is warming up at Crater Lake National Park. With the new management of Concessioner, ExplorUS, they are aiming for high-class customer service and making each guest stay memorable.

The new partnership between Crater Lake National Park and Concessioner ExplorUS came in April, as the management group had to quickly get ready for the season’s opening.

With the snow still in place, staff say that it will be until mid-to-late July before the snow melts for RVs and lodges can reopen for the summer.

“Crater Lake Lodge and Dining Room re-open for the season today under the new management of concessioner ExplorUS,” the park said in a news release. “…Visitors should expect typical May conditions, which means the weather may be beautiful but there is still a lot of snow.”

With Crater Lake National Park opening, it is also Crater Lake’s 122nd Birthday — making it the 5th oldest national park.

 

Breakfast, lunch, dinner and beyond is back in full swing at Sky Lakes Medical Center is their remodeled cafeteria area.

Furthering its vision to be a catalyst for positive change and create a vibrant and thriving community through transforming the health and well-being of current and future generations, Sky Lakes Medical Center’s remodeled cafeteria is cooking up good health and spirits for employees, patients and visitors.

Having undergone a massive renovation to modernize the dining facility, Sky Lakes Medical Center’s update was described as “night and day” by Sky Lakes Senior Business Intelligence Developer Lori Spiesschaert.

The kitchen facilities also received major updates including new equipment and more accessibility such as two pass throughs, one for hot food and one for cold food, that allows for more efficient delivery of food products to the line.

As part of the renovations, the menu has been revamped and will see a six-week rotation with diverse seasonal offerings.

Open 24/7 and to the public, the cafeteria functions as a grocery too, for simple items such as fresh fruits, beverages and snacks.

 

The Bureau of Land Management’s Klamath Falls Field Office is announcing the opening of the Gerber Campground in time for the Memorial Day weekend.

The Gerber Recreation Area is set in the high desert about one hour’s drive east of Klamath Falls, Ore. Mountain ridges and scattered Ponderosa Pine forests add variety and texture to the area.

Gerber offers opportunities for camping, fishing, 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.

Fees will start on Thursday, May 23. Amenities include drinking water, vault restrooms, dump station, camp hosts, two boat ramps, fishing cleaning station at North Gerber, trash cans and day-use parking. Additionally, there are nine miles of hiking trails connecting the campgrounds.

The Gerber Campground is first-come, first-serve. Camping fees are $7 a night or $4 for senior/military/access card holders. $2 for day-use parking. There is a 14-day stay limit. Dogs are permitted with a six-foot leash. Camp hosts are on site at these locations.

For more information contact the Klamath Falls Field Office at 541-883-6916 or blm_or_kf_mail@blm.gov

 

Friends of the Children – Klamath Basin invites the community to its annual fundraising dinner auction, Friend Raiser, presented by Lithia Ford of Klamath Falls, on 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. 

 

Around the State of Oregon

OSU Administration takes action against pro-Palestinian protestors

In Corvallis, Oregon State University administrators issued a formal statement on Wednesday regarding the ongoing pro-Palestinian encampment on the campus near Memorial Union.

That online statement informed students and employees the camp violates university policy, and the university will begin holding participants accountable:
The overnight encampment on Oregon State University’s Corvallis campus is violating university policy, draining limited public safety resources, creating safety risks for protestors and others, and forcing the cancelation of student-sponsored events, impacting thousands of other community members.
The university has begun a process of holding participants accountable under the Code of Student Conduct, other applicable university policies, and criminal statutes. Today, the OSU Department of Public Safety submitted reports referring employees to University Human Resources for potential disciplinary action and students to the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards for violations of the Code of Student Conduct.

Protestors at OSU began setting up the encampment on May 15. Members of the administration had previous issued at least three deadlines for the encampment to be cleared out, the first being announced in a statement from President Jayathi Murthy on Monday May 20. Administration officials haven’t gone into further detail about how the violated criminal statutes by protestors would be handled.

 

Several police agencies around the state are focusing on seat belt use during the Click It, Or Ticket enforcement that’s going on through Sunday June 2nd.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration helps fund overtime for the officers who watch for drivers wearing seat belts. About half of the drivers who are killed in crashes weren’t wearing seat belts. In Oregon, children are required to be in rear-facing safety seats until they are at least two years old. Children older than two need to ride in a car seat with a harness or booster seat until they’re four-feet nine-inches in height.

 

As some 600,000 Oregonians head out of town for the Memorial Day holiday weekend, as projected by Triple A, safety is a top priority for the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT).

ODOT says most drivers will hit the road Thursday en route to their holiday destinations and return on Monday night guaranteeing congestion on local roadways.

Central Oregon is expected to be a hot spot for travelers, says Kacey Davey with ODOT.

ODOT says drivers, including those heading to local airports, will want to prepare more than just extra patience for the increased traffic.

Davey says different tools that folks can use to see what the roads are going to look like where they’re heading.  Use TripCheck.com. You can use the live cameras to see not only what the weather conditions are but to see how heavy traffic is. And also carry a kit in your car in case you’re delayed, so extra food and water, have a phone charger in case you’re stuck in traffic or stuck behind a crash on the highway.

 

Many forest visitors look forward to spending time at Forest Service campgrounds in the summer to enjoy a relaxing, peaceful time with their families and the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest has scores of campgrounds to choose from.

Whether it’s spending time along the upper Rogue River corridor, in the Applegate Valley, near the Illinois River, or the Coquille or Chetco Rivers.

A favorite campground for many on the High Cascades Ranger District is known as “Farewell Bend”, located along the upper Rogue River corridor. This summer season, campers at Farewell Bend will notice large amounts of limbs, brush and other slash in and adjacent to the campground. The debris is the result of a recent timber sale that was necessary to remove diseased and dying trees that threatened the health of the forest and were a safety concern for the public. Although the timber sale is complete within the confines of the campground, treatment of logging slash and fuels reduction will continue through the Fall of 2024. A notification has been sent to all campers who have reservations at Farewell Bend on Recreation.gov.

Currently the water system at the Farewell Bend campground is down and will require professional repair. Water pressure is low, and the water is currently not safe for drinking. This issue could also potentially impact several local businesses in the recreation corridor. To address this issue, the campground is being temporarily closed and all reservations through Rec.gov will be cancelled; all who made reservations are being notified. Those who are looking for an alternative location to camp are encouraged to take advantage of the plentiful dispersed camping opportunities in the area.

The Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest is committed to providing a safe environment for visitors to recreate. Due to changing climates and an increase in diseases and pests, we have witnessed increased damage and mortality to trees within our campgrounds. Trees within the Farewell Bend Campground began exhibiting symptoms of forest pests and diseases resulting in tree mortality, creating an unsafe environment for visitors of the campground.

 

Celebrate State Parks Day with free parking and free RV and tent site camping at all Oregon State Parks June 1 as well as special events at selected parks.

Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) will waive day-use parking fees at the 25 locations that charge them and camping fees for all tent, RV and horse campsites June 1.

OPRD will also waive day-use parking fees June 2, to support Free Fishing Days offered by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

State Parks Day has been a tradition since 1998 to thank Oregonians for their support of the state park system over many decades.

Visit the stateparks.oregon.gov event calendar for a list of additional events this summer.

For camping availability, please check oregonstateparks.reserveamerica.com

 

Sections of the Rogue River will be closed to the public during specified times during the Boatnik Races this weekend at Grants Pass.

Races in the huge weekend event run at various times and locations from May 24 through May 27. Members of the community must be off the river in those areas at least one hour before the start of a race.

According to the Josephine County Sheriff’s Office Marine Patrol all spectators must remain at least 50 feet away from the water.

Only authorized race officials, law enforcement, and rescue personnel will be allowed on the water during the closures. The sheriff’s office emphasized, “private boats are not allowed to assist with crash or rescue operations for safety purposes.”

Police will be patrolling the waterways during the races and any unauthorized boats may be cited and are subject to a $440 fine.

The Josephine County Sheriff’s Office is looking for a person who may have gone missing while hiking along the Rogue River Trail.

According to the sheriff’s office, on Friday deputies received a citizen report of a backpack and dog leash found on the trail with no sign of a person or dog in the area.

On Saturday, a deputy hiked the trail and found the backpack approximately 1 mile south of the Grave Creek Boat Ramp.

When searching the backpack, its contents suggested the owner was preparing for a multi-day camping trip, but the items were unused.

There was no identifying information inside and police say they believe the backpack may have been there since Wednesday.

Officers searched the area, both on foot and with the use of drones, but were unable to locate the person or the dog.

The sheriff’s office says its concerned the owner may have been injured or is lost. However police say there are no missing persons reports that match the situation.

SETTLEMENT REACHED IN OREGON FOSTER CARE CLASS-ACTION LAWSUIT: PARTIES AGREE TO TRANSFORM SYSTEM FOR THOUSANDS OF CHILDREN IN ITS CARE

Today, Governor Tina Kotek, the Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS), Agency Director Fariborz Pakseresht, and Child Welfare Director Aprille Flint-Gerner entered into a settlement agreement with Disability Rights Oregon, A Better Childhood, Rizzo Bosworth Eraut PC, and Davis Wright Tremaine LLP, attorneys representing thousands of children and young adults experiencing foster care in Oregon. This settlement agreement stemmed from a class-action lawsuit, Wyatt B. et al. v. Kotek et al., that sought to improve Oregon’s foster care system.

The settlement agreement stipulates, in part:

  • The State will contract with a mutually agreed upon Neutral Expert to address important foster care system outcome areas including maltreatment of children; quality of appropriate placements; re-entry rates; timeliness of case planning and age-appropriate mental, physical and dental health care assessments and referrals; notification and delivery of required reports of child maltreatment; and up to two (2) additional findings by the Neutral Expert within two (2) years that are actionable under the U.S. Constitution or Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
  • The Neutral Expert’s Initial Review shall occur by April 20, 2025 (extendable up to 90 days at request of Neutral Expert) and be followed by annual reviews assessing improvements.
  • The Governor shall provide support to ODHS toward its efforts to achieve outcomes by assisting ODHS’s collaboration with other state agencies and by reviewing the Initial Review and annual reviews.
  • The Settlement Agreement ends when the Neutral Expert determines ODHS is in substantial compliance with terms or within 10 years (whichever is sooner). If, after 10 years, the Neutral Expert determines additional time is needed, the Neutral Expert may recommend an extension of no more than two (2) years.

“This case has always been about providing children in the foster care system what they need to recover from trauma and thrive—stability, safety, and nurturing from the adults in their life,” said Jake Cornett, Executive Director and CEO of Disability Rights Oregon. “After more than five years, we’re grateful Governor Kotek and the Department of Human Services see the promise of working collectively to improve Oregon’s foster care system.”

“We are grateful for the willingness of all involved in this litigation to come together to find ways to achieve our mutual goal of improving outcomes for Oregon children and families,” said ODHS Director Fariborz Pakseresht“This agreement is a testament to the progress we have made in child welfare over the past several years and allows us to focus on the important work ahead.”

“We are very pleased that this case has settled,” said Marcia Lowry, Executive Director of A Better Childhood. “We have seen that a collaborative approach to reform in other lawsuits has produced excellent results in other child welfare systems, and we hope the same will happen in Oregon. It takes both sides being committed to actual progress, measurable outcomes, and real results, which we are committed to seeing happen in Oregon.” 

“This settlement gives us the opportunity to continue our efforts to transform the child welfare system by supporting and preserving families – while focusing on continuous improvements that will yield better outcomes for families we serve,” said ODHS Child Welfare Director Aprille Flint-Gerner. “We appreciate the hard work by both parties in reaching an agreement that is positive for Oregon children and families.”

Oregon Department of Human Services(ODHS) is Oregon’s principal agency for helping Oregonians achieve well-being and independence. It provides direct services to more than 1 million Oregonians each year. These services are a key safety net for people in diverse communities across Oregon.

 

 

The Oregon State Fire Marshal will be awarding three-million dollars in grants to reduce wildfire risk.

Applications for the grants are being accepted now. The grants range from 50-thousand to 75-thousand dollars each. They’re prioritized based on fire risk, social vulnerability and project clarity. Seventy percent of the money will help protect the first 100 feet around buildings. The remaining money will go to communities to help reduce general fire risk, which includes building fire breaks.

 

 

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