Klamath Basin News, Monday, 6/10/24 – Fire on Sprint Street Injures One as Investigation Continues; City of KF Announces New Pilot Concession Program; Mt. Shasta Man Arrested For Driving And Firing Rounds Near a School;

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Monday, June 10, 2024

Klamath Basin Weather

Today
Sunny, with a high near 86. Calm wind becoming west northwest 5 to 7 mph in the afternoon. Overnight, clear, with a low around 53. North northwest wind 6 to 9 mph.

Tuesday
Sunny, with a high near 86. West wind 5 to 13 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph. Clear overnight, low of 49.
Wednesday
Sunny, with a high near 86. West northwest wind 3 to 8 mph.
Thursday
Sunny, with a high near 88.
Friday
Sunny, with a high near 77.
Saturday
Sunny, with a high near 71.
Sunday
Sunny, with a high near 71.

Today’s Headlines

A fire late Saturday night destroyed a warehouse on Spring Street in Klamath Falls.

Klamath County Fire District 1 is investigating the cause of a commercial fire Saturday night that left one person in the area injured.

Crews responded at 9:55 p.m. Saturday after receiving reports of smoke on the 1600 block of Oak St. According to a press release from KCFD1, the incident then changed upon seeing multiple cars and a building burning at 515 Spring St. 

Firefighters with KCFD1 and Kingsley Field Fire weren’t able to safely enter the building, so they proceeded with water attack from the outside. KCFD1 took an occupant living in an RV on the property to Sky Lakes Medical Center with minor injuries. The occupant’s dog died in the fire.

Crews believe the fire started within an RV next to the building. The fire destroyed an approximate 10,000 square foot warehouse and some cars, with an estimated $250,000 in damages. Crews were still on scene Sunday, working to extinguish the fire.

 

Get ready for a little thunder in the skies as The 173rd Fighter Wing will conduct night flying operations this week, Monday, June 10 through Thursday, June 13. Operations will take place between approximately 5:00 p.m. through 11:00 p.m. 

Night flying is one part of the course curriculum for F-15C student pilots at Kingsley Field, the premiere F-15C schoolhouse for the United States Air Force.

Much of the training will occur in the military operating airspace to the east of Lakeview where the pilots can fly without lights.  However, the local community will most likely hear the jets during take-offs and approaches to and from Kingsley Field. Take-offs will occur after sundown and the jets will return approximately an hour-and-a-half later.

Community members may contact the wing’s public affairs office at 541-885-6677 to express any concerns they have during this time. 

A Southern Oregon lawmaker’s comments on a podcast suggesting non-Christians aren’t qualified to hold elected office didn’t violate legislative rules around a safe and respectful workplace, a House panel has determined.

 

The House Committee on Conduct voted 3-1 that Rep. E. Werner Reschke, R-Malin, didn’t violate House rules when he told a conservative Christian podcast host that people want Christians, not atheists, Muslims or “materialists,” in government.

Rep. Jason Kropf, D-Bend, joined Republican Reps. Kevin Mannix of Salem and Ed Diehl of Stayton in voting to clear Reschke, while Rep. Thuy Tran, D-Portland, voted against.

Reschke did not respond Monday to a request for comment.

The investigation into Reschke stemmed from comments he made on a conservative Christian talk show in January that were reported by OPB. During a conversation with former Arkansas lawmaker Jason Rapert, Reschke said he was inspired to run for office because of men including George Washington, James Madison, Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan.

Democratic leaders condemned his comments and anti-LGBTQ+ sentiments that newly appointed state Rep. Dwayne Yunker, R-Grants Pass, had expressed on his campaign website. On the final day of the legislative session, members of civil rights groups and state Rep. Tom Andersen, D-Salem, gathered outside the Capitol to protest Reschke’s and Yunker’s comments.

Meanwhile, an attorney with Jackson Lewis, a Portland law firm, was quietly investigating whether Reschke’s comments violated legislative rules meant to ensure the Capitol is a safe and respectful workplace. Two people who attorney Sarah Ryan described as mandatory reporters said they had been approached by others with concerns about Reschke’s comments, including that at least one person who didn’t want to be identified felt that Reschke’s comments adversely impacted their work at the Capitol.

 

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. 

 

The City of Klamath Falls is thrilled to announce the launch of a new Parks Concession pilot program for 2024.

This exciting initiative will bring a variety of food and beverage options to select city parks, enhancing the overall experience for park patrons and boosting parks use. Starting in summer 2024, food and beverage vendors will have the opportunity to request a space at one of our beautiful city parks.

This program aims to provide convenient and delicious options for visitors while also supporting local businesses. Spaces at the parks will be limited, so interested vendors are encouraged to apply early. The city will review all applications and select a diverse group of vendors that offer a range of food and beverage options. Vendors will be required to follow established concessionaire standards and adhere to all health and safety regulations.

The Parks Concession pilot program is just one of many initiatives that the city is implementing to enhance the quality of life for its residents. We can’t wait for park visitors to enjoy their favorite snacks while swimming at the Ella Redkey Pool, cooling off at the Klamath Commons splash pad, or exploring the new Moore Park play structure and surrounding nature areas.

For more information on how to apply as a vendor or any other inquiries about this program, please contact City Public Works by phone at 541-883-5363, by email at concessions@klamathfalls.city.

 


Summer is officially a few days away and Lava Beds and Tule Lake National Monuments are open and ready for summer operations.

Many of the developed caves at Lava Beds National Monument are open but people are asked to not enter a cave without receiving a cave permit, which are available either at the entrance station or the visitor center. There are several seasonal cave closures on Cave Loop Road to protect bat colonies and they are clearly marked.

Mushpot Cave, recommended as an introductory cave because it is partially lighted and has interpretative signs, reopened earlier this year after being closed for repairs.

For first-time visitors or people not used to caving, other “less challenging” caves include Valentine, Skull, Merrill, Symbol Bridge/Big Painted Cave. Among caves listed as moderately challenging are Golden Dome, Sunshine, Indian Well, while more challenging are Labyrinth, Lava Brook, Hercules Leg, Catacombs and Hopkins Chocolate.

Always check at park headquarters to learn the current status of those and other caves.

Lights can be borrowed at park headquarters but visitors are strongly urged to have their own light sources — not cell phones, however — and be prepared to dress warmly and wear hardhats. Stooping and crawling is often necessary.

The Indian Well Campground is open with sites available on a first-come, first-served basis. The cost is $10 per night, per site. The group campsite is available by reservation only and can accommodate 15 to 40 people. People are reminded the park has no concession food service so overnighters must come prepared.

The park entrance fee for Lava Beds is $25 per car unless visitors have a National Park passes. The fee can be paid either at the fee station or the visitor center.

 

The Oregon Beverage Recycling Cooperative (OBRC), parent organization to BottleDrop, announced yesterday that it has donated a total of $12,000 through its Containers for Change program to help provide food assistance to those in need across the state.

Twelve food banks and pantries throughout Oregon received a donation of $1,000 each, including the Klamath-Lake Counties Food Bank.

“As the school year comes to a close, we recognize that many students rely on meals provided at school and food assistance programs may see an increase in demand over the next few months,” said Devon Morales, vice president of external affairs for OBRC. “We are excited to do our part in supporting families who may need extra assistance during the summer break.”

BottleDrop’s Containers for Change program provides Oregonians with an easy way to donate their OR 10-cent container refunds to nonprofits operating in communities around the state. BottleDrop customers can participate by simply leaving their bag tag stickers off their Green Bags and dropping them off at any BottleDrop facility. OBRC uses 100% of the funds from containers in those bags to support nonprofits, advocacy organizations and foundations.

Supporters can either connect with the nonprofit directly to get Blue Bags to fill with their bottles and cans, or Green Bag customers can donate online directly to the nonprofit’s account. Customers can search for participating nonprofits on BottleDrop’s website.

 

Klamath County Public Works announced upcoming roadwork projects for the week.

Klamath County will have work crews at the following locations. Please use caution when in these areas and watch for flaggers. If you are able to avoid the work zones, please use an alternate route for your safety and the safety of Klamath County employees and our contractors.

Chip Seal Crew
June 10th – June 11th – Spring Lake Road
June 11th– June 12th – Old Midland Road
June 12th –June 13th – Cross Roads
June 13th – Harpold Road 4:00 AM –

Early Morning Broom Crew
June 11 th – June 12th – Spring Lake Road
June 12th – June 13th – Old Midland Road
June 13th – June 14 th – Cross Roads
June 14th – Harpold Road

Vicinity of Stearns Elementary School – Road and Utility Work on Laverne Avenue – Expect daily lane closures.

Westside Road – Milepost 6
Construction of Tripcheck Camera – Shoulder closed, please use caution

See the following link for a map of roads to be chip sealed for the 2024 season, or log onto the Klamath County Public Works website at http://www.klamathcounty.org/734/Maps. In general, flagging stations will be set up at the end of the work zone and delays will be 0 to 20 minutes for the motoring public. Our goal is to minimize the delay to the motoring public. Other minor work is occurring through the County but we are only listing the major items in this announcement.

There may be adjustments of work schedules due to weather or other items outside of the County’s control (breakdown of equipment, material/resource availability, etc.) Please do not contact the County if you do not see work occurring, it could be finished already or will be rescheduled.

Please drive slow through Chip Seal and Paint Stripe areas. This will reduce damage to the Chip Sealed and Painted areas. It will also reduce the probability of oil or paint getting on your vehicle. Klamath County Public Works and the Board of County Commissioners appreciate the motoring publics’ patience during the repair season for our local roads and bridges. If you have any questions regarding work, please contact the Public Works Department at (541) 883-4696.

 

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.

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

A 33-year-old man was arrested Thursday for firing eight rounds in Mount Shasta, prompting schools in the area to enter a lockdown.

According to a news release from the Mt. Shasta Police Department, police first got the reports at about 10:51 a.m. A man — later identified as Samuel Richard Bal from Yreka — was allegedly driving a white Jeep and firing rounds “in the vicinity of Berry Street and Mill Street.”

“Local schools were notified and placed on lockdown as a precautionary measure,” the release said.

Police found Bal at about 11:05 a.m., the release said, and arrested him.

“Approximately eight rounds had been fired, and a loaded 9mm Smith & Wesson firearm, lawfully registered to Bal, was recovered from the vehicle,” the release said. “Once the scene was secured, schools were advised to lift the lockdown.”

According to the release, Bal is facing several charges.

 

The Portland Air National Guard base took delivery of its first new fighter jet in decades Wednesday.

Before now, the newest of Portland’s 17 fighter jets dated back to the 1980s. Meaning they’re still flown using buttons and dials, with only 1970s computer technology. They cannot jam enemy radar and have limited firepower.

But over the next few years, the fleet will be replaced by new F-15ex fighters from Boeing at a cost of about $95 million each.

These new planes are part of a massive overhaul of the Oregon Air National Guard facilities, located next to Portland International Airport. Hundreds of millions of dollars will be spent on new training facilities and a state-of-the-art hangar over the next few years.

National Guard troops flocked to the tarmac on Wednesday to welcome the new plane.

The Portland Guard’s current planes are designed to fight other jets in the air. Kosderka said the new planes could change that.

 

Oregon State Hospital is in immediate jeopardy status after being cited for several issues related to hourly checks on patient wellness and location.

According to Oregon Law ‘immediate jeopardy’ is defined as “a situation in which the failure of a residential care facility or a long term care facility to comply with a rule of the Department of Human Services has caused or is likely to cause serious injury, serious harm, serious impairment or death to a resident.”

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued the status for the hospital after a surveyor cited the issues. This could mean the hospital may lose eligibility to receive Medicare or Medicaid reimbursement.

According to Oregon Health Authority, as of Thursday staff is updating procedures for completing and documenting these wellness checks.

The hospital is expected to submit an immediate jeopardy removal plan next week which will then be processed for preliminary approval. If approved, a surveyor will review implementation of that plan during an unannounced visit.

If that review is successful, CMS will remove the immediate jeopardy status.

 

California Governor Gavin Newsom was in Siskiyou County recently visiting the Iron Gate dam as crews work to take it down as part of the Klamath River Restoration project.

Klamath River Renewal Corporation (KRRC) got the final stamp of approval to begin removing the second of four dams in the project. The first was removed last September.

During his visit, Governor Newsom said crews are making remarkable progress on the demolition as well as being under budget and ahead on the timeline.

He says he is hopeful to see historic salmon runs return to the Klamath River once the project is completed.

KRRC says its goal is to have all four dams removed by the end of August or beginning of September.

 

A Reynolds High School teacher who tried to meet up with a 15-year-old girl in Bend for sex was sentenced Friday to 10 years in federal prison.

Edward Hernandez-Corchado, 27, pleaded guilty in January to attempted coercion and enticement of a minor. U.S. District Judge Michael J. McShane issued the sentence in Medford.

Hernandez-Corchado drove from Gresham to Bend in November 2022 after connecting via Snapchat with an undercover Bend police officer posing as the teenage girl, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Judith Harper.

Hernandez-Corchado began communicating with the undercover officer from central Oregon on the website Omegle, according to Harper.

He identified himself as a 26-year-old Portland man named Ed and the undercover officer told him she was a high school sophomore who had her driver’s permit and lived with her parents, according to court records.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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