Klamath Basin News, Wednesday, 6/5/24 – OSU Study Finds Klamath Basin Crops and Lifestock Worth Over $368 Mil Annually; Pacific Power Agrees Settlement With Oregon Plaintiffs For Deadly Wildfires; Texting Scam Targeting Oregon Drivers; Basin Temps Hitting 90s This Week

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, June 5, 2024

Klamath Basin Weather

Today
Sunny, with a high near 86. Light and variable winds to 7 mph. Overnight, mostly cloudy, then gradually becoming mostly clear, with a low around 55. Northwest winds 6 to 9 mph.

Thursday
Sunny, with a high near 91. West northwest wind 3 to 7 mph. Overnight a low of 57.
Friday
Sunny, with a high near 92. Calm winds southwest around 6 mph in the afternoon.
Saturday
Mostly sunny, with a high near 87.
Sunday
Mostly sunny, with a high near 84.
Monday
Sunny, with a high near 86.

Today’s Headlines

With Summer in the Klamath Basin and Rogue Valley now, some high heats are rolling in. Temperatures will be upwards of 100 degrees in the Rogue Valley – and 90 plus in Klamath Falls this week.  With that comes dangers for both people and pets. 

Temperatures in the triple digits put people into the National Weather Services extreme caution category against heat illness and heat stroke — but with humidity, can put people into levels of extreme danger depending on the percent of humidity.

As the temperatures creep upwards, local physicians and the Oregon Health Authority want people to be mindful of the symptoms of and preparation needed to guard against heat illnesses.

 

Pacific Power, part of PacifiCorp, said Monday it has agreed to a $178 settlement with over 400 Oregon plaintiffs in the latest multimillion-dollar payout related to the deadly 2020 wildfires that ravaged the state.

In other cases that have gone to trial over the past year, Oregon juries in multiple verdicts have ordered PacifiCorp to pay hundreds of millions of dollars to victims. Ongoing litigation could leave it on the hook for billions.

The majority of the 403 plaintiffs in the settlement Monday were affected by the Echo Mountain Complex Fire that devastated Oregon’s central coast, said George McCoy, one of the plaintiffs’ attorneys, while others were impacted by the Santiam Fire that raged east of the state capital Salem in northwestern Oregon.

In a statement, the utility said it has settled nearly 1,500 claims stemming from the Labor Day 2020 wildfires. The blazes were among the worst natural disasters in Oregon’s history, killing nine people, burning more than 1,875 square miles (4,856 square kilometers) and destroying thousands of homes and other structures.

 

A 33 year old Klamath Falls man is in the Klamath County jail on multiple felony charges after a high speed chase and crash that ended near the weigh station on Highway 97 just north of Klamath Falls.

Jesse Jones was booked on charges of recklessly endangering, reckless driving, criminal driving while suspended or revoked, attempting to elude an officer in a vehicle and on foot, and a pair of bench warrants, one of which was listed as a felony,

Oregon State Police, Klamath County Sheriff’s officers, and the Klamath Falls city police all were part of the chase, though no official press release was available this weekend. It is known that one OSP vehicle was totaled in the incident. The chase included Lakeshore Drive and other outlyling areas before it came to a conclusion at milepost 277 on Highway 97 when a collision occurred.

The OSP vehicle came to a rest upside down. It is not immediately known about injuries to officers

 

The 9th annual Klamath Promise Graduation Sensation took place in downtown Klamath Falls last Thursday, May 30th. Hundreds of spectators cheered on the nearly 1500 graduating students. 

The parade included bands, mascots, almost 700 Class of 2024 graduating high school seniors in caps and gowns and nearly 800 Kindergartners from across all of Klamath County. Kindergarteners donned Class of 2036 t-shirts in their school colors donated by Klamath Community College.

Immediately following the parade, the high school graduates joined together with family, friends and supporters in Veterans Park for a Party in the Park celebration and awards distribution. Cyrus Hamilton, a graduating senior from Mazama sang the National Anthem. Jessie Hecocta provided keynote remarks.

The Graduation Sensation Party in the Park includes the awarding of gift cards for those going on to college, into the military, into the workforce, or who are undecided on their next step, as well as scholarships for those going to college. A total of 130 scholarships and gift cards worth $45,500 were announced to the crowd of graduates, families, and supporters.

     

A forest management company awarded college scholarships to seven students from the Klamath Basin.

Green Diamond Resource Companyawards $3,000 to students from its operating communities as part of the Mark E. Reed scholarship program.

According to the company site, the scholarship programis named for one of Green Diamond’s earliest leaders and has been funding education for students since 1947.

Recipients of the scholarship funds are selected based on their qualities of leadership and citizenship, scholastic achievements and seriousness of purpose.

Since 1947, our Mark E. Reed Scholarship has supported many deserving students. The program was established to honor one of our company’s earliest leaders who influenced the education of many young people in Washington State. Through the program, we award scholarships of $3,000 each to students attending high schools and colleges in our operating communities. The funds may be used for tuition, books or living expenses incurred while pursuing education beyond high school.

 

An Oregon State University study is showing the economic impact that water shortages have had on farms and ranches in the upper Klamath Basin. The study was partially funded by Klamath County. 

It found that crops and livestock grown and raised in the area are worth about $368 million annually. It also generates more than $176 million in income for more than 3,000 employees. 

The study found that about $12 million in labor income and 210 jobs have been lost with the decline in livestock production because of water restrictions. It also found that more than $12 million in labor income and 120 jobs are presently at risk because of the maximum amount of water the Bureau of Reclamation allows farmers to use. 

 

Klamath Basin Behavioral Health (KBBH) hosted a groundbreaking ceremony at 705 Washburn Way for their new 16-bed Mental Health Residential Treatment Facility and 5-chair Crisis Stabilization Center.

The event marked a significant milestone in expanding mental health services within the community.

The ceremony was attended by KBBH leadership and Board members, representatives from the architecture and construction companies, and local officials.

KBBH Board Chair Randy Cox says the new facility represents a major step forward in behavioral healthcare in our region. We look forward to the increased service capacity this expansion will bring.

Scheduled to open in the summer of 2025, this project exemplifies KBBH’s commitment to enhancing the quality and accessibility of mental health care in Klamath County.

 

California Highway Patrol is asking for the public’s help locating a man who was last seen in Lakeview.

According to CHP out of Susanville, William Knight was last heard from on the afternoon of May 30. He was expected to show up in Graeagle, California but has not yet arrived.

Knight was driving an Adventure-style BMW white motorcycle with cargo boxes on either side. California license plate #25R2261.

Police say Knight may have been traveling on dirt roads from Lakeview to Graeagle.

Anyone who has seen him, or know where he might be is asked to contact CHP Susanville at 530-252-1900.

 

Mastec Network Solutions is going to use a crane to install radio/antennae equipment on the rooftop of 905 Main Street.

For the safety of pedestrians and motorists, the contractor will be closing 9th Street, the parking lanes, the bike lanes and the sidewalk next to the building between Pine Street and Main Street. The closure will take place on June 6, 2024 and Jun 7, 2024 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Any questions can be directed to Dan Wertz at (503) 869-4219.

 

The city’s geothermal heating system is scheduled to be shut down for the summer as of next week.

Klamath Falls city staff announced on Friday that geothermal division crews will turn off the downtown infrastructure system on Tuesday to allow for inspections and preventive maintenance.

The goal, staff said, is to complete all maintenance and restore the system to full operation by October 1.

While the system is off, staff said residents who use geothermal will have to rely on secondary heating sources.

For more information, call the Water/Geothermal Division at 541-883-5388 or the Public Works Department at 541-883-5363

 

Klamath County Public Works announced upcoming roadwork projects for the week of June 3. Motorists are asked to use caution when traveling through work zones. For more information, contact the Public Works Department by calling 541-883-4696.

Laverne Avenue — Daily lane closures near Stearns Elementary School until Aug. 16.

Eberlein Avenue — Klamath Falls city water main replacement work from Patterson Street to Hilton Drive.

Dead Indian Memorial Drive — Asphalt patching.

Round Lake Road — Asphalt patching.

 

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 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.

 

Ross Ragland Theater staff are prepared to welcome audiences back for an incredible season of live events at the Ragland in June and beyond.

The 35th Anniversary Season Launch Party will kick off the season with a fun, celebratory event that is free for all on Tuesday, June 25th at 5:30 PM.  https://ragland.org/

The 35th Anniversary Season Launch Party, which will take place on Tuesday, June 25th, invites the community to come together in celebration and solidarity. Doors open at 5:30 PM for this free event, featuring an exciting preview of the upcoming season. Attendees will have the opportunity to catch a glimpse of the magic in store as Executive Director Curtis Peoples shares a preview of the upcoming season’s lineup and talks about his vision for the future of Ross Ragland Theater.

In addition to the preview, the launch party will be catered, allowing attendees to mingle, connect, and celebrate the arts. Season tickets for the 2024-2025 season will also be available, allowing patrons to secure seats for upcoming performances.

Join them on Tuesday, June 25th at 5:30 PM at the Ross Ragland Theater as we come together to celebrate 35 years of community, creativity, and culture. Together, we can ensure that the magic of live performance continues to thrive in Klamath Falls and Southeastern Oregon.

 

Klamath County Library Offers Many Summer Programs

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 the Klamath County Library website.

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

 

Around the State of Oregon

Oregon Health Authority (OHA) has published a new online, interactive data dashboard for tracking incidence of traumatic brain injuries, or TBI, so it can better understand the magnitude, demographics and costs of the injuries and deaths they cause.

The Injury and Violence Prevention Section at OHA’s Public Health Division developed the Oregon Traumatic Brain Injury Safety Dashboard and launched it May 28. The data on the dashboard include deaths, emergency department discharges and hospital discharges for TBI across all ages, including youth younger than 25. Data are aggregated for annual, statewide trends and a three-year average for county-level and demographic trends.

Discharge data for hospitals and emergency departments come from OHA’s Health Policy and Analytics Division and the Hospital Association of Oregon; fatality data come from OHA’s Center for Health Statistics; and population data come from the National Center for Health Statistics and Portland State University.

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data, TBI is an injury that affects how the brain works. It may be caused by a bump, blow, or jolt, or penetrating injury to the head (e.g., from a fall, motor vehicle crash, bicycle crash, assault, or sports injury).

 

A new nationwide texting scam is targeting Oregon drivers. 

Ellen Klem, with the Oregon Attorney General’s Office says the phishing scheme started in the midwest earlier in the spring, and the text claims to be from “Oregon Toll Service” and says the recipient owes an $11.69 outstanding balance; they face a $50 late fee if they don’t click on a link and pay up.

Klem says some people may identify the fraud right away, because Oregon doesn’t have tolling.

The text has all the markers of a scam, like contact out of the blue from an unknown agency. 

If you get a text, email or phone call you’re not sure is legit, call the Oregon Department of Justice Consumer hotline at 877-877-9392. Volunteer experts are available weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

 

The investigation continues into what’s causing balls of tar to wash up on Oregon and Washington beaches.

The U.S. Coast Guard, Oregon Department of Environmental Quality and the Washington Department of Ecology are working under a Joint Operations Center. They know the tar balls are petroleum based, but they don’t know the source. There have been no reports of spills from ships. Several birds are being treated for exposure to the oil. Three Common Murres were cleaned and released on the northern Washington Coast.

 

Man dead after response to domestic dispute leads to Linn County Sheriff officer-involved shooting

A man died in an officer-involved shooting in rural Linn County Thursday night after deputies responded to a reported domestic incident, according to Linn County Sheriff’s Office.

According to the Oregon State Police, at about 8:16 p.m. on May 30, Linn County Sheriff’s Office deputies heard a report of a domestic disturbance on Speasl Road, north of Sweet Home.

OSP said that as deputies were on the way, a firearm was discharged at the home. Deputies eventually arrived and found the suspect, Gino Anthony Marcoccia, 49, of Lebanon, outside the home with a rifle.

OSP said Marcoccia advanced aggressively towards one of the responding deputies, and refused commands to drop his rifle. According to OSP, as he closed with the deputy, that deputy fired his gun and Marcoccia fell to the ground, dropping the rifle. OSP said LCSO deputies removed the rifle and tried to provide emergency medical aid to Marcoccia, but he was declared deceased at the scene.

The LCSO said the sheriff requested an outside agency investigate the incident according to standard procedure for incidents with deadly force, and Oregon State Police are investigating.

 

Cal Fire Law enforcement arrested one man for arson early in the morning on Friday, May 31st.

Weed City Police initially responded to the call then requested Cal Fire Law Enforcement around 6 a.m.

Victor Blanchard was arrested and sent to the Siskiyou County Jail for two felony charges. Blanchard is also being charged with California Penal Code 451.1(a), which is a felony enhancement.

This means that Blanchard has either committed a felony before, the fire seriously injured emergency personnel, the fire seriously injured another person, the fire caused multiple structures to burn or he used special equipment to speed up the fire or delay ignition. Cal Fire1 says  they were unable to say which Felony enhancement Blanchard is facing.

Cal Fire told media reporters that Weed City Police were already at the scene before they requested Cal Fire Law Enforcement around 6 a.m. Cal Fire also said that the address has not been released yet due to the ongoing investigation.

 

The Josephine County Sheriff’s Office is reporting that one man is dead after drowning in the Illinois River at Forks State Park.

On Saturday, June 1 at 11:53 a.m., a report was made to 911 of a drowning in the river. The Sheriff’s Office, Oregon State Police, Illinois Valley Fire and American Medical Response came onto the scene to find 39-year-old Zeke Grant of Cave Junction had drowned while swimming in a swimming hole at the park.

Witnesses had seen Grant swimming in the water earlier, and then found him submerged about 15 minutes later. There were no witnesses to the drowning.

Next of kin have been notified. The Sheriff’s Office says no further information will be released.

 

Sharp rise in Oregon Pertussis Cases Prompts Public Health Warning

Vaccine-preventable disease known as whooping cough can be deadly for infants

Oregon health officials are concerned about a sharp increase in cases of pertussis – known as whooping cough – across nine counties and are encouraging people to get vaccinated against the disease.

As of May 29, 178 pertussis cases have been reported to Oregon Health Authority’s Public Health Division. That’s a 770% increase from the 20 cases reported by that date in 2023. However, the 2024 numbers are roughly in line with those seen during similar time frames in the immediate pre-pandemic years, including 2019, when there were 93 cases, and 2018, which saw 248 cases.

Pertussis is cyclical, and before the COVID-19 pandemic – when restrictions that included masking requirements and school closures were in effect – pertussis peaked every three to five years. In 2012, 910 cases were reported, the highest annual count since 1953.

“Our concern is with how quickly we jumped to such a high number of pertussis cases, which tell us that the disease is doing what it does best: spreading fast and taking a greater toll on undervaccinated persons,” said Paul Cieslak, M.D., medical director for communicable diseases and immunizations at the Public Health Division.

Among the nine counties with reported pertussis to date in 2024, Lane County leads with 64 cases, followed by Multnomah (41), Clackamas (33), Deschutes (15), Washington (13), and Jefferson (8). Three other counties have also seen cases. School-aged children and adolescents account for 92 (52%) of cases. Among them, only 51 (55%) are up to date with recommended pertussis vaccinations.

Infants are at highest risk of pertussis-related complications and death, and they have the highest reported incidence rate. Between 2003 and 2023, infants accounted for 12% of cases and 76% of pertussis hospitalizations. And Oregon pertussis deaths have been limited to infants – five have occurred since 2003.

Babies too young to have been fully vaccinated are most likely to be hospitalized with pertussis. Cieslak said that pregnant people can protect their young babies by getting Tdap vaccine – which protects a person against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis – at 27–36 weeks’ gestation. The mothers will make antibodies and pass them to their babies across the placenta, protecting them from birth. Among 16 infant cases reported in Oregon to date in 2024, only one mother had a documented dose of Tdap during the pregnancy.

When an infant or pregnant person is in the household of someone with pertussis, all household members should receive a course of antibiotics effective against Bordetella pertussis – typically, a five-day course of azithromycin.

Vaccination against pertussis is routinely recommended for infants, children, adolescents and adults. Children should receive the DTaP vaccine against diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis at 2, 4, 6 and 15 to 18 months, and again at age 4 to kindergarten age.

All persons ages 10 and older should receive a single dose of Tdap.

 

An organization formally known as “Parents Demanding School Shooting Safety” has sent a notice to the Ashland School District of their intention for legal action.

A coalition of concerned parents is set to hold a press conference outside the Ashland School District offices, where they will publicly address multiple legal actions against the Ashland School District and the Oregon Department of Education on Wednesday.

The coalition is focusing on three key issues: neglecting recommended safety assessments, preventing school shooting exercises and blocking qualified school shooting safety plans.

“We allege the school board and/or school authorities was reported by multiple anecdotal accounts that the Ashland School District hindered the Ashland Police Department’s ability to carry out shooting exercises on school premises outside of regular school hours,” the coalition wrote. “By denying permission for the Ashland Police Department to practice their response to a school tragedy, the school district has put our students in even greater danger. (The Ashland School District) has failed to comply with the guidelines and recommendations set by the Oregon Department of Education.”

Officials from the Ashland School District did not immediately comment.

 

Campbell Soup Company has announced it will close their Tualatin plant and lay off all 330 workers over the next year.

The company says the facility will close by July 26, 2026, and will happen in three phases.

According to a press release from Campbell, the closure is part of a plan to invest in and transform its supply chain to fuel business growth, improve return on invested capital, and enhance the overall effectiveness and efficiency of its manufacturing and distribution network.

Officials say the aging facility and inefficient nature of the site’s configuration can no longer support the increased consumer demand and continued business growth.

The first phase is set to happen by August 2nd of this year. The company says 120 employees will be laid off on that day.

 

A bipartisan group of state lawmakers is looking at how to reduce distractions caused by cell phones in classrooms. 

State Rep. Emerson Levy (D-Central OR) says technology became a necessity to keep kids connected to learning during the pandemic, “But, just as a life preserver is never meant to do what a boat can, distance learning tools were only intended as a temporary emergency measure to keep students’ heads above water.” She believes phones and other personal devices are now over-used in schools, dragging down test scores.

Levy told the House Education Committee Thursday about a study in Norway, “When they took the cell phones out of the classroom, their scores returned back to normal; back to baseline. And we’re seeing more and more studies that show us that.”

Psychologist Dr. Doreen Dodgen-Magee has studied the cost of tech over-use for kids. She told a House committee adults are almost always multi-tasking with technology. using either multiple devices or multiple apps at once. Kids picked up the same habit while distance learning, during the pandemic,.

Amy Formica, with the Bend-based group Well-Wired, says her team has talked about the issue with educators, “As one middle school teacher explains, most of of the major social conflicts, including threats to safety, sexual misconduct, repeated vandalism and intense bullying is from kids’ online social media use on their phones.”

 

It was a messy Memorial Day weekend at Shasta Lake, and some University of Oregon students are partially to blame, according to officials.

The U.S. Forest Service says they always expect large crowds in May, and say every Mother’s Day and Memorial Day Weekend bring lots of college students to Shasta Lake.

Over Memorial Weekend they had about 3,000 young people show up.  And they left behind a mess.

The University of Oregon issued a statement about the students who visited the lake over the weekend. The university thanked the U.S. Forest Service for contacting them, and apologized for the garbage in and around the lake.

“The garbage left behind does not represent the values of our institution. We are sorry for the impact to the island and extra work for the Forest Service,” the statement said, in part.

“We are investigating this event and working with the U.S. Forest Service and our students to remediate the damage and hopefully prevent similar actions in the future. This is not a university sanctioned or sponsored event but is attended by university students, many of whom are members of university-recognized fraternities and sororities.”

 

Oregon has the highest rate of vehicle collisions on the West Coast.

The Oregon Zoo and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife have developed a project to identify the deadliest roads. The iNaturalist Roadkills of Oregon project asks you to take photos of animals killed by cars. The picture will be uploaded into an app, so biologists will be able to track areas where the most collisions occur.

Currently, only large animals like deer and elk are tracked. This project will monitor all animals that are killed.

 

SALEM, Ore. – The Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) seeks to fund projects that improve urban and community forests in areas of Oregon that need it the most.

ODF’s Urban and Community Forestry (UCF) Program received $26.6 million from the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) through the United States Forest Service (USFS). Out of this, $10 million will be awarded to the nine Federally Recognized Tribes of Oregon, and $12.5 million will be available for all eligible entities in Oregon. This opportunity promotes equal access to the benefits of trees and aims to get more people involved in tree planting and comprehensive urban forest management.

“This is going to be a game changer for Oregon,” said Scott Altenhoff, ODF’s UCF Program Manager. “This is the largest and most significant urban and community forestry investment in Oregon’s history.”

ODF’s UCF Program officially issued the call for proposals for all eligible entities on May 31. The application portal and resources related to this funding opportunity can be found on the UCF subaward program webpage.

Proposals can be submitted starting, July 1, through Sept. 30 at 11:59 p.m. Project funding will range from $10,000 to $750,000 and can be spent over the next four years. The ODF UCF Program can provide support to organizations with project development, grant writing, and performance reporting. 

Altenhoff said that he hopes these subaward programs will support groups who have been historically less likely to apply for grants. “We are excited to empower communities who typically lack access to federal resources. We want to meet communities and organizations where they are at and provide support for their good ideas and projects.”

Hilary Olivos-Rood, ODF UCF Grant Program Administrator, suggests contacting the ODF UCF Program staff if you are unsure whether your program or project proposal meets the eligibility requirements, would like support with proposal development, or need help navigating SAM.gov registration. “The UCF Program will support communities that receive awards in many ways, and UCF program staff are ready to provide assistance and guidance from start to finish.”

Olivos-Rood encourages all interested entities, grant networks, and community-centric organizations to share this unique funding opportunity. Engaged communication and outreach will be essential for this new program’s success.

 

SALEM, Oregon — Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) has formed a committee to begin the process of amending the Oregon Administrative Rules guiding general park rules within state parks. 

A Rule Advisory Committee (RAC) will meet virtually three times this summer to review and discuss proposed changes to administrative rules. The RAC will review rules to consider any barriers to park use for historically underrepresented groups and make administrative changes to make rules clearer, easier to enforce and more flexible when possible.

These meetings are scheduled for the following dates and times:

Meeting 1 – Monday, July 8, 9 a.m.-11 a.m. 

Meeting 2 – Thursday, Aug. 8, 9 a.m.-11 a.m.

Meeting 3 – Thursday, Aug 29, 10 a.m.-noon

The meeting can be viewed online at  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkqL6iVPBrfCTO27cNmCTwg 

After the committee review, the rule will open for public comment. Details will be posted on the Proposed OPRD Rules web page.

Division 10, the Park Area Rules are intended to guide public use of park properties. This division includes rules around use of motor vehicles, bicycles, boats and animals in parks, as well as, day use and overnight campground use. Proposed changes will address management issues staff face as visitation grows, make rules and penalties clearer and provide more flexibility for managers to provide public services, when possible

OPRD appointed members to the advisory committee. Members include mental health practitioners, representatives from the disability’s community, equestrian community, and diversity and environmental conservationists.

Individuals who require special accommodations to view the meetings should contact Helena Kesch at least three days in advance of the meeting at helena.kesch@oprd.oregon.gov or 503-881-4637.

 

Oregon State University supporters will be able to get a new license plate from the DMV.

It features OSU’s orange beaver logo in the foreground, over a black and white graphic showing the rings of a cut tree. The words “The Beaver State” are at the bottom.

They need to sell 3,000 $40 vouchers to get the plate into production. Of that fee, $35 will go toward athletics and strategic marketing. Once that plate goes into production, DMV will stop making the current OSU plate which is the standard tree license plate with the orange beaver logo.

 

Dozens of Oregon wineries and vineyards have sued PacifiCorp over the deadly 2020 wildfires that ravaged the state, alleging that the utility’s decision to not turn off power during the Labor Day windstorm contributed to blazes whose smoke and soot damaged their grapes and reduced their harvest and sales.

In the latest lawsuit to hit the utility over the fires, some 30 wineries and vineyards in the Willamette Valley accused PacifiCorp of negligence and requested over $100 million in damages. The suit was filed in Multnomah County Circuit Court last week.

In an emailed statement, PacifiCorp said it is “committed to settling all reasonable claims for damages as provided under Oregon law.”

“The safety of our customers and communities remains our top priority,” the statement said.

The wine producers named as plaintiffs in the suit are located in the Willamette Valley, home to two-thirds of Oregon wineries and vineyards and the oldest wine region in the state, according to the Oregon Wine Board.

In their complaint, the wine producers say the fires “produced harmful smoke particles that landed on and infused themselves into the grapes.”

Vineyards couldn’t sell their grapes to winemakers, and wineries have been unable to sell their wines, resulting in lost revenue and damaged reputations, the complaint says.

 

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