88.25 F
Klamath Falls
July 21, 2024

Klamath Basin News, Thursday, 6/20 – Klamath Community College Enjoys 28th Annual Commencement Ceremonies; Multiple human-caused fires Reported in Klamath-Lake District; Cow Creek Umpqua Indian Foundation Awards 82 Charities with $850,000 of Giving

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.


Thursday, June 20, 2024

Klamath Basin Weather

Mostly sunny, with a high near 86. Northwest wind around 5 mph becoming calm in the afternoon. Overnight, mostly clear, with a low around 53. North northwest wind 9 to 14 mph, with gusts as high as 21 mph.

Sunny, with a high near 90. North northwest wind 5 to 9 mph becoming calm. Clear overnight, with a low around 55. Northwest wind 5 to 9 mph.
Sunny, with a high near 93. Light and variable wind becoming west southwest 5 to 10 mph in the afternoon.
Sunny, with a high near 89.
Sunny, with a high near 89.
Sunny, with a high near 88.

Today’s Headlines

Nearly 200 students walked across the stage to receive their diplomas and certificates Friday night at Klamath Community College’s 28th annual commencement ceremonies, with about 800 friends and family looking on.

Several students were recognized for their hard work, and ability to overcome roadblocks to success. Two professors also were honored by the college; one who is retiring and the other who was chosen by her students as an outstanding instructor.

State Rep. Emily McIntire, whose district includes Klamath County, was the keynote speaker. McIntire focused on the challenges of the education in Oregon, such as student debt and incoming freshmen unprepared for the rigors of college.

Gutierrez recognized longtime math instructor, MaryLou Wogan, who retires after 27 years on the campus.

Just last week, Wogan was named to the Deanna Conner Community College award, a statewide honor for contributions to the Oregon Education Association, given to one who advocates for Oregon community colleges.

The students honored instructor Linda Williamson, program lead in business administration.

A pair of students were also honored by Vice President of Student Affairs Gail Schull — Jamie Goree and Louie Wahl.

The college offers nearly 90 certificates and two-year degrees across 24 disciplines, ranging from accounting to nursing to the construction trades. It serves about 6,000 students; the equivalent of 2,000 fulltime students enrolled annually.


Multiple human-caused fires prompt the Oregon Department of Forestry’s (ODF) Klamath-Lake District to remind the community of fire season.

According to the ODF district, people are still burning and causing fires.

Fire season in the Klamath-Lake District began June 7.

All outdoor burning is prohibited and fireworks on forest service property are not allowed year-round.

Campfires in the Klamath River Canyon are prohibited, which is a change from last season.

You can stay up to date on the latest fire regulations in Klamath and Lake counties by visiting the official Lakeview Interagency Fire Center website.

All other rules can be found on Oregon Department of Forestry’s official website.


Sheriff Chris Kaber announced this week that the average daily Adult-In-Custody (AIC) population in the Klamath County Detention Center is being reduced due to severe staffing shortages.

It is unknown if this will be a short-term modification or if further reductions may need to take place in the future.

The Klamath County Sheriff’s Office informed community public safety partners in early June 2024 that the staffing level of Corrections deputies in the jail reached critical numbers. This has been slowly occurring over the past year and only a tremendous staff effort has delayed the current situation and the needed response. The average daily population has been around “120” AICs per day.

Through a combination of rehousing, citing to court and releasing those eligible, and at times matrixing AIC’s, the jail has reduced the average daily population by approximately 20%. Matrixing involves using several assessment tools to determine those with the lowest probability of re-offending prior to appearing in court. It is not ideal, but it is an effective tool used throughout the state and the country. Though we have not been routinely matrixing for several years it is once again part of our current plan for sustainability.

The Klamath County Detention Center is a 150-bed facility and is comprised of “48” employee positions. These positions include medical staff, food services, maintenance, clerks and supervisors. Thirty (30) of those positions are directly involved in the hourly supervision of AIC’s (24/7.) Currently there are six (6) unfilled positions, for a 20% shortage of available staff.

Corrections deputies have been asked to increase their average overtime by 300% and this is having a negative effect on the ability to hire, train, and retain employees. Recruitment and training efforts have never slowed down and “33” Corrections deputies have been hired in the past year alone; unfortunately, just as many have retired or sought other employment opportunities.

The average daily population will likely remain higher than when the jail was dealing with Covid-19 protocols, however, it is not ideal for the community.  

Kaber said in a statement: “As the Klamath County Sheriff, I hope that the citizens of our county recognize the hard and demanding work performed by the professionals in the Corrections Division. I also hope that it is understood that these decisions are not what we want to do, but in the short-term, it is necessary in order to relieve the institutional stresses on our indispensable employees.”


The Klamath County Board of Commissioners adopted its yearly budget Tuesday of $237,043,701 for fiscal year 2024-2025.

According to Klamath County documents, the budget is created from expectations the county has to receive revenue from federal and state funding, property taxes, fines, grant funding, and user charges such as utility fees, transit operations, and parks and recreation fees as well as from fines.

Expenditures — appropriated funds — from the budget are expected to be $138,352,585, with $70,830,268 in the reserve fund. The budget holds $27,860,848 worth of eliminated transfer funds (residual balance of discontinued funds).

Vikki Noel, Klamath County Finance Director, further broke down the budget by saying that, of the $138,352,585 in expenditures, $108,949,390 are designated for special purposes such as funding for Klamath County Public Health, Public Works, Community Corrections, Developmental Disabilities Services, etc. The remaining $29,403,195 of the total appropriations is available for general-purpose spending that covers over 12 Klamath County Departments like the Sheriff’s Office, Water Master, District Attorney’s Office and Emergency Management.

Klamath County’s budget also contains ad valorem tax, which is proportional to the value of an asset, such as real estate or personal property. For the general fund, the rate is $1.69 per $1,000 of assessed value, a rate of $0.05 for the Veterans Service Fund and $0.10 per $1,000 assessed value to the Museum fund.

Via the ad valorem property tax, estimated revenues are $11,350,000 to the general fund, $336,209 for the Veterans Service Fund and $580,000 to the Museum.

The Klamath County Library Service District will be operating with a budget of $6,044,060 for fiscal year 2024-25 with an additional $3,020,000 estimated ad valorem property tax revenue — rated at $0.49 per $1,000 assessed value — as approved by the commission; whereas the Klamath County Drainage Service District will receive $2,950,000 for its budget and contains an assessment rate revenue of $24 per tax lot upon tax lots within district boundaries that carries an estimated $190,000 in assessment revenue. The Klamath County Road District Budget is set to be allocated $28,850,000 and does not hold an ad valorem.


With temperatures getting warmer, families are heading to local lakes, streams, and pools—and every Coastal store will give away 300 life jackets for kids up to 12 years of age on Saturday, June 22, 2024. Life jackets are absolutely free to all families, while supplies last.

This special event will take place in every Coastal parking lot starting Saturday, June 22, 2024, at 11 a.m. This is a first come, first served event. While children aren’t required to be in attendance, life jackets are best when fitted to each child.

Living in the Pacific Northwest with our many lakes, rivers, and beaches—everyone is all too familiar with the possibility of water tragedies. When the weather warms up the water in the lakes, rivers, and other recreational areas can still be very cold. Currents and other water dangers can be unpredictable, and everyone must stay informed on current conditions and take precautions to keep a day in the water both fun and safe. Coastal encourages all kids and parents alike to wear life jackets.

“We want our communities to live and love the outdoor lifestyle and be safe while doing it,” according to Country Supplier COO Mandi Dyer. “We have had employees with personal experiences of loved ones drowning in lakes and rivers, which is something we don’t want anyone else to experience. We believe that making sure that anyone that needs a life jacket has
one is key in preventing future tragedies,” continued Dyer.

Coastal is giving away 6,000 life jackets to kids in the communities we serve. We aim to make a difference when it comes to families coming home safe after a day of playing in the water.

The life jacket giveaway will take place at all 21 of Coastal’s stores in Oregon and Washington.  The local Coastal store is on Avalon street.


Traffic signals at the intersection of Main and Spring Streets in downtown Klamath Falls have been turned off for a period of time.

The city of Klamath Falls issued a news release Thursday announcing the temporary change.

“The intersection improvements at Main and East Main (Streets) have necessitated the shut down of the traffic signal,” the release reads.

Traffic signals will be replaced with stop signs during a portion of the construction project. The estimated restoration date is July 19. The city asks motorists to travel with caution in construction zones.


Changes to garbage services may be coming to Klamath County residents.

Waste Management has requested of the Klamath County Board of Commissioners to end the option of allowing customers to place three bags of yard debris at the curbside on garbage collection days. If approved, in lieu of the bags Waste Management would offer a second trash can at a reduced rate and require that all yard debris be placed inside the second cart instead of in bags on the curb. Waste Management looks to start the additional cart option on July 1.

A driver with Waste Management, wishing to remain anonymous, said the three bags, designated only for yard debris, are continually abused by customers.

The employee also said that as drivers there is a weight limit that they can’t exceed when passing over the scales at the garbage transfer station. Each truck has a maximum weight of 57,000 pounds and if gone over, Waste Management is fined.

Using the cart system, each cart has a weight limit located on the lid and if a customer is using the service appropriately —filling the trash can while still being able to close the lid — weight is easier to track for the drivers.

Furthermore, from the perspective of a trash collector, they said stopping the truck at each house to collect a bag of yard debris becomes time-consuming.

They said that there is no set schedule given to Waste Management drivers, only “expectations” and that they go until every house they are servicing that day is complete.

Any change of service made by Waste Management must be approved by the Klamath County Commission who contract Waste Management for garbage collection.


An intersection in downtown Klamath Falls will be under construction from next week until the end of October.

According to the city’s Capital Improvement Projects 2024-2029, the Main and East Main underpass and intersection improvement project will improve aesthetics, accessibility and safety of pedestrians and improve turning traffic movements.

A news release from the public works department said the project will begin Monday, June 17, and conclude around Oct. 31.

“For the duration of the project, the intersection at Main and East Main will be closed,” the release said.

Also included in the closure, the release said, will be Michigan Avenue and North Eldorado Avenue. Detours will be in place.


Crater Lake boat tours are back for the summer.

Reservations are open for tours between July 15 and September 15. First come, first serve tickets are also available on location at the park.

There are a few options to choose from including the standard lake cruise, Wizard Island tour, or just simply use the boat as a shuttle to and from Wizard Island for swimming and fishing.

Prices for the standard tour are $33 for kids and $48 for adults.

The trail to get to the boat dock is about 2 miles long round-trip, with a 700 foot change in elevation.

To get more information or to make reservations, head to the Crater Lake National Park website.


The Opioid Settlement Prevention, Treatment & Recovery Board, also known as the Opioid Settlement Board, directs $5 million to recovery centers in Josephine and Klamath counties.

The funding to the two counties is part of a larger $13 million statewide boost in substance use disorder recovery infrastructure.

Funding to individual recovery centers will be identified by the Alcohol and Drug Policy Commission (ADPC) Recovery Subcommittee in collaboration with the Oregon Health Authority.

Settlement Board Co-Chair, Annaliese Dolph, says this investment prioritizes high-need communities lacking access to supports for people in recovery.

A proposed timeline and implementation plan is scheduled to be brought to the Settlement Board for approval by September 1st.



Summer is here 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.


Traffic-free views of Crater Lake will again be available during Crater Lake National Park’s annual Ride the Rim events on Sept. 7 and 14.

On both days no motorized vehicles will be allowed on East Rim Drive from North Junction Road to the park headquarters area. So far more than 1,200 people have registered for the event — a tradition that draws visitors from around the U.S. and, over the years, several countries.

he route is about 25 miles long and will be closed to motorized vehicle from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Park officials noted people bicycling the distance typically take about four hours. Riders are urged to stop at lake overlooks to enjoy views of the United States’ deepest lake. For those who complete the entire Rim Drive the distance is 33 miles, with about eight of those miles open to motorized vehicles. The section also has some significant inclines and narrow switchbacks

All participants are reminded that the 25-mile section has steep inclines and declines. With a total elevation gain of 3,500-feet the ride is recommended for intermediate to advanced riders. Caution is urged on downhills where some cyclists reach speeds up to 40 mph. The park is located at an elevation of 5,000-plus feet above sea level, which can especially impact riders from lower elevations.

What can riders expect the weather to be like? According to organizers, “Anything and everything! In the past we’ve had sunny, windless days and snow, sleet and hail on others. The point is, come ready for anything and check the weather before you come.


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.



Tuesday June 25th from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM, you are invited to Come and See how Klamath Falls Gospel Mission is working

~Come and meet the amazing staff

~Come meet the residents who are being transformed

~Come and See the House that Klamath built

~fully guided tours at the top of each hour

~Free lunch 11:30-12:30 / RSVP to Candyor Gloria @ 541-882-4895


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

Providence Hospital Nurses in Medford On Strike

More than 3,000 nurses at six Providence hospitals across Oregon went on strike on Tuesday Including Medford’s Providence Hospital

The strike is set to last three days, impacting: Providence St. Vincent, Newberg, Willamette Falls, Medford, Hood River and Milwaukie.

Along with issues around wages, the union said the implementation of Oregon’s hospital staffing law is a key sticking point. The Oregon Nurses Association sent a cease-and-desist letter to Providence on June 14, saying the health system was violating the safe-staffing law, requiring a certain patient-to-nurse ratio. Providence said it is working to build out those plans and follow the law.

Other sticking points include paid time off and health care benefits.

Providence St. Vincent in Northwest Portland, Providence Newberg, Providence Willamette Falls in Oregon City, Providence Medford, Providence Hood River and Providence Milwaukie are all impacted by the strike

Gentry said that while Providence had to divert ambulances for a couple of hours Tuesday morning while they brought in replacement workers, the transition overall went smoothly at all six campuses.

“Providence nurses ensured that the handover went well and that our replacement nurses had all of the information they needed to ensure that we were able to continue providing excellent care,” she said.

Providence officials said they had to guarantee five days of work in order to recruit replacement workers, and that they’ll invite striking nurses back as needed after the walkout concludes.

Both the union and Providence are encouraging patients to continue to seek emergency services at any of these hospitals, as needed, regardless of the strike action. Providence said all sites are open and serving patients.

Read More at ONA: https://www.oregonrn.org/page/provstrike


JMET Search Warrant Bust at Rockydale Rd in Cave Junction 

Josephine Co. Sheriff’s Office 

On June 18, 2024, the Josephine Marijuana Enforcement Team (JMET) with the assistance of Josephine County Public Health & Building Safety, executed a search warrant in the 3000 Block of Rockydale Road, Cave Junction, regarding an illegal marijuana grow site.

During the execution of the warrant, over 600 marijuana plants and 30 processed pounds of marijuana were seized and destroyed. Additionally, 75.4 grams of cocaine, 20.6 grams of methamphetamine, two pounds of psilocybin mushrooms, and two firearms were seized on scene.

The property also had multiple electrical, water, and solid waste code violations. These violations could result in the criminal forfeiture of the property.

Dian Mark Reynolds was taken into custody and lodged in the Josephine County Jail for Unlawful Possession of Marijuana, Unlawful Manufacturing of Marijuana, and Unlawful Appropriation of Water.

Charges of Unlawful Possession of Methamphetamine, Unlawful Possession of Cocaine, and Felon in Possession x2, are being referred to the District Attorney’s office for other individuals involved with the property.

At the time of this press release the investigation is ongoing and no further details are being released.


The price of gas continues to decline in Oregon. Over the last week, Triple-A reports prices fell six cents to four-09 a gallon.

Strong supplies and weaker than usual demand are causing prices in several states to go down. Oregon’s average is 30 cents lower than a month ago and 44 cents less than a year ago. The national average increased a penny to three-44, because of price increases in several Great Lakes states.  In Bend, the local average dropped four cents to 3.92.


A suspect was killed in an officer involved shooting early Tuesday morning in The Dalles.

The Wasco County Sheriff’s Office says the suspect was being pursued by deputies. A police car was heavily damaged in a crash and the incident ended with the suspect being shot in a car. The suspect was transported to Adventist Health Hospital where the person died. The investigation into the officer involved shooting continues.


Oregon to honor fallen fire fighters during June 20 memorial ceremony

The names of fallen firefighters MoStadelli, Brandon W. Norbury and Brian Edwards Flowers are engraved on the Oregon Fallen Fire Fighters Memorial at the Oregon Public Safety Academy in Salem on Jun3 12, 2020.

SALEM, Ore. – The Department of Public Safety Standards and Training (DPSST) and the Oregon Fire Service Honor Guard will host the annual Oregon Fallen Fire Fighters Memorial to honor members of the fire service who have died in the line of duty. The event takes place at 1 p.m. on Thursday, June 20 at the Oregon Public Safety Academy, located at 4190 Aumsville Highway SE in Salem.

The memorial commemorates Oregon’s fire service members who have made the ultimate sacrifice since 1881, including career, volunteer, wildland and structural fire fighters. The names of three fallen firefighters were added to the wall during an engraving ceremony held Wednesday, June 12. An honor guard stood watch as the names of Mo Stadelli of the Salem Fire Department and Brandon W. Norbury and Brian Edward Flowers of the Gresham Fire Department were added to the memorial, joining those of 176 previously fallen fire service members.

Mo Stadeli served as a professional firefighter with the Salem Fire Department for more than twenty-five years. In 2018, he was diagnosed with tonsillar cancer and he passed away on February 24, 2019.

On February 3, 2023, after participating in routine hose evolution training, Brandon W. Norbury of Gresham Fire & Emergency Services suffered a cardiac arrest and collapsed on the training ground. Despite life-saving efforts of other fire department members, Norbury was pronounced dead after being rushed to the hospital.

After a fifteen-year career, Gresham Fire & Emergency Services Firefighter Brian Edward Flowers passed away on November 19, 2023 after a monthslong battle with Occupational Acute Myeloid Leukemia.

For more information on the Oregon Fallen Fire Fighters Memorial, including the names of the fallen, history of the memorial, and the Oregon Fire Service Honor Guard’s involvement, please visit DPSST’s Oregon Fallen Fire Fighters Memorial website.

For questions about the Oregon Fallen Fire Fighters Memorial, please contact Brooke Bell-Uribe at 503-569-8260.


U.S. Olympic Track And Field Team Trials Start Friday at Hayward Field

Thousands of athletes, their families, and fans will descend on Hayward Field in Eugene this week for the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials.

The trials begin June 21 and conclude June 30 at Hayward Field in Eugene. At least one final race will be held during each evening session.

The eight-day competition starts on Friday and ends June 30 and will determine who will qualify to be inside the State de France in northern Paris when the track and field portion of the Summer Games begins Aug. 2.

With an increase in tourism and traffic expected to hit the Eugene and Springfield area, here’s all you need to know about the street closures, transportation services, and parking plans available for attendees.


Hayward Field is located at the University of Oregon at 1530 Agate Street in Eugene. To accommodate the event, parking lots and streets around the stadium will be closed.

VIEW SCHEDULE HERE: https://www.usatf.org/events/2024/2024-u-s-olympic-team-trials-%E2%80%94-track-field/schedule

While the track and field trials are a long event, held over eight days, there’s no better place to see Olympic athletes compete than Hayward Field.

Here’s how to get tickets for the competitionhttps://am.ticketmaster.com/haywardtrackandfield/buy — MORE INFO: https://www.usatf.org/events/2024/2024-u-s-olympic-team-trials-%E2%80%94-track-field


An international drug kingpin responsible for saturating Oregon with drugs is headed to federal prison for 11 years.

Prosecutors say 33-year-old Victor Diaz-Ramirez was responsible for trafficking huge quantities of methamphetamine, heroin, and cocaine from Mexico into Southern California and on into Oregon between 2018 and 2020. Diaz-Ramirez pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine. In total, 35 people in Mexico and the U.S. have been convicted for their roles in the organization.


There are several wildfires in California, which are producing plenty of smoke. This smoke could drift from the south to the north this evening and into the day on Thursday.

Although the smoke is not expected to be thick, the best chance of seeing thicker smoke would be into Siskiyou County and further toward the south.  Mount Shasta City could see the most smoke and would have the best chance of seeing the smoke linger.


The Cow Creek Umpqua Indian Foundation is awarding 82 charities more than $850,000 for its spring round of giving.

The foundation presentation took place this afternoon in Canyonville at Seven Feathers Convention Center.

The nonprofits receiving awards are located in Coos, Deschutes, Douglas, Jackson, Josephine, Klamath, and Lane Counties.

Since its inception in 1997, the foundation says it’s given out just under $25 million. It focuses on education, strengthening youth and families, positive youth development, and quality of life for people in southern Oregon.


New research is giving seismologists a better view of the Cascadia Fault off Oregon and Washington.

In the past it’s produced magnitude nine earthquakes. They can last five minutes and cause 80-foot tsunamis. Researchers used a cable several miles long to travel along the fault creating detailed images. It can show what areas might experience a more severe earthquake. The study was published in the journal Science Advances.

The nursery and greenhouse industry leads agricultural commodities in Oregon.

The state Department of Agriculture released the top 20 commodities for 2022. The nursery industry leads the list at one-point-two billion dollars, followed by cattle and calves at 791-million dollars, then hay and milk. Grass seed is ranked fifth bringing in 639-million-dollars. Nationally, Oregon ranks first in hazelnuts, Christmas trees, rhubarb, and crimson clover seed. Oregon farmers produce more than 225 commodities across the state.


Former Medford ICU Nurse Pleads Not Guilty To 44 Counts Of Second Degree Assault In Case Involving Suspicion Of Replacing Fentanyl With Tap Water At Asante In Medford

Medford nurse Dani Marie Schofield on Friday pleaded not guilty to an
indictment charging her with 44 counts of second-degree assault on
suspicion of harming nearly four dozen patients in Asante Rogue
Regional Medical Center’s intensive care unit by stealing fentanyl
prescribed to them to ease their pain.

Jackson County Circuit Judge Laura Cromwell told Schofield that she
didn’t qualify financially for a court-appointed lawyer and no defense
lawyer was present as the judge kept Schofield’s bail at $4 million despite
a pretrial officer’s recommendation to lower it to $1 million.

Schofield complained to the court that she’s been locked down in
isolation in jail, hasn’t received her medication, has had no contact with
anyone and barely has running water.

She said she believes her family has contacted a lawyer to represent her
and asked the judge how they should inform the court.

The judge instructed Schofield to file a grievance with the jail about the
conditions and that a retained lawyer should contact the court. A pretrial
conference was scheduled for June 24.

Police and prosecutors say Schofield took patients’ fentanyl for her own
personal use and replaced the liquid drug with non-sterile tap water,
causing them to develop life-threatening infections.

Of the 44 patients identified, 16 died — most in the hospital but others
after they were discharged, Medford Police Chief Justin Ivens said during
a news conference Thursday afternoon.

Schofield, 36, was lodged by Medford police in the Jackson County Jail
after she was arrested about 12:30 p.m. Thursday in the 5000 block of
Rogue River Drive outside Eagle Point.

Jackson County Circuit Court clerk Emily Kaplan denied Schofield a
court-appointed attorney, citing her equity in a 2019 Acura MDX, $348,780 equity in residential property in Medford and $20,000 in a bank account, according to court records.

The arrest comes nearly seven months after officials at Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center, a 378-bed hospital in Medford, contacted police with concerns about a growing number of central line infections among patients. Central lines are tubes put into large veins to administer medication.

Records from the Oregon State Board of Nursing show that Schofield voluntarily agreed in November 2023 to a nursing license suspension, “pending completion of an investigation.”

In an internal memo sent Thursday to Asante employees after police announced Schofield’s arrest, President and CEO Tom Gessel thanked law enforcement for its “tireless work since our team brought concerns forward to them.” (SOURCE)


The Oregon Court of Appeals has denied a motion by Harney County gun owners to dismiss the state’s appeal of a judge’s ruling that found the voter-approved gun control Measure 114 violates the state Constitution.

The appellate court also accepted the state’s opening brief in the appeal even though it came a week after a deadline set in an expedited schedule instituted by the court. State lawyers said they had to wait for corrections to be made in the original trial transcript.

The gun owners who challenged Measure 114 in Harney County now have until July 26 to file their response.

Lawyers for the state argue that Harney County Circuit Judge Robert S. Raschio turned “legal standards on their head” and should have found the measure’s regulations constitutional as written under existing case law.

The trial court “weighed the policy merits of the measure for itself and, at the same time, refused to consider published studies and reports on the public safety benefits of each of the law’s three components,” the state’s opening brief said.


More than 8,700 Oregon homes lost utility service in April because they hadn’t been paying their bills, the highest tally since the state began collecting this data six years ago.

The majority of cutoffs were brief. Utilities reported nearly 7,000 service reconnections in April, apparently because customers paid their bills or agreed to do so, perhaps with help from a payment assistance program. Portland General Electric, Oregon’s largest utility, said three-quarters of customers it disconnected for nonpayment were reconnected within a week.

Ratepayer advocates nonetheless see the spike in shutoffs as a warning sign, an indication that more Oregonians are struggling to cope with the rapidly rising cost of electricity and natural gas.
Oregon’s biggest utilities have raised rates between 35% and 44% since October 2021, according to Jenks. He said utility shutoffs often spike about three months after a cold-weather event because customers typically have 60 days to pay bills after they arrive in the mail.

The Oregon Public Utility Commission said it’s studying the spike in service cutoffs but isn’t convinced that higher rates or last winter’s severe weather explain them


Missing California Woman Rescued And 9 Men Arrested In Human Trafficking Mission In Portland

A missing California woman was rescued, a Gresham man was arrested on a theft warrant, a Portland man was arrested on gun charges, and seven other men were arrested on prostitution-related charges during a human trafficking mission in East Portland on Tuesday, June 11.

According the Portland Police Bureau, the woman was reunited with her family in California. Six other providers were contacted by advocates and offered services.

Daniel J. Harding, 24, of Gresham, was taken into custody for a Clackamas County warrant for second-degree theft. He was caught up in a wave of arrests from the Portland Police Bureau’s Human Trafficking Unit, as it conducted a targeted patrol along Southeast 82nd Avenue.

Shauntae D. Kindred, 46, of Portland, was arrested for felon in possession of a firearm, unlawful possession of a loaded firearm in public, first-degree theft, unlawful possession of a firearm, and parole violations.

Seven men were arrested or cited for commercial sexual solicitation:

Ismael Gonzaga-Pedroza, 22, of Forest GroveRobert Casper, 45, of Onalaska, WashingtonBraulio L. Lazaro, 50, of VancouverGuerner Ramirez Fuentes, 44, of PortlandAlejando Ibarra, 41, of VancouverFiraol Gecho, 22, of Portland,Habtamu Egata, 51, of Milwaukie

During the mission officers also towed four vehicles.

If you or someone you know is being sex trafficked, call 911 or the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888 or report tips to humantrafficking@police.portlandoregon.gov. (SOURCE)


Getting Ready for U.S. Olympics Track And Field Team Trials at Hayward Field

The U.S. Olympic team trials are just around the corner.

At the end of June, hundreds of top athletes will compete for a spot in Paris, but only so many will qualify and it all comes down to what happens at Hayward Field.

The trials begin June 21 and conclude June 30 at Hayward Field in Eugene. At least one final race will be held during each evening session.

VIEW SCHEDULE HEREhttps://www.usatf.org/events/2024/2024-u-s-olympic-team-trials-%E2%80%94-track-field/schedule

While the track and field trials are a long event, held over eight days, there’s no better place to see Olympic athletes compete than Hayward Field.

Here’s how to get tickets for the competitionhttps://am.ticketmaster.com/haywardtrackandfield/buy — MORE INFO: https://www.usatf.org/events/2024/2024-u-s-olympic-team-trials-%E2%80%94-track-field


The Oregon Health Athority is rasising awareness for one of the most common forms of financial fraud: Medicare fraud. 

OHA says Medicare loses $60 billion a year to fraud, errors and abuse.

Raising awareness on 6/5 and the week after signifies the 65-yr-old and older population since most people become eligable for Medicare at 65-yrs-old.  To learn more, read the OHA blog here: https://ow.ly/VIRu50Sc7pS


Oregonians Targeted By Text Tolling Scam

A new nationwide texting scam is targeting Oregon drivers now. Ellen Klem, with the Oregon Attorney General’s Office says the phishing scheme started in the midwest earlier in the spring. “I’m honestly not surprised it’s happening now, because now is the time where everyone is gearing up to drive.”

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, “But, we live next to all these other states that have tolls.” And she worries some will fall for it.

“They are not interested in the $11,” says Klem, “They are interested in much, much more.” She believes the scammers want your personal information, and clicking on the link could allow them to access other data on your phone.

The text has all the markers of a scam, like contact out of the blue from an unknown agency. “There’s a lot of really cheap or free technology out there that allows the scammers to pretend to be somebody they’re not. So, in this case, they’re pretending to be associated with an agency that administers tolls in the state of Oregon. But that doesn’t exist,” says Klem, “Second sign: There’s some sort of emergency. In this case, you have an unpaid bill; that’s frightening to a lot of people.”

She suggests not being in such a rush to respond to every text or email, “These phones, they’re everywhere and we have this sort of automatic response to click on a link or to pick up every phone call. And, I want to remind people just to slow down and think before you click on anything.” Klem adds, “Really, at the end of the day, this is a text message that you can and you should ignore.”

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.


Community members are invited to enjoy Mount Ashland’s summer season starting on Friday.

No photo description available.

According to the ski area, the restaurant and retail shop inside the lodge will be open every Friday through Sunday from now until Labor Day. Events including movie nights, tie-dye events, and a disc golf tournament will be offered throughout the summer. Mount Ashland is also kicking off a summer program for kids.

Opening this Friday!
Lodge summer hours:
Fridays | 11AM – 5PM
Saturdays – Sundays | 11AM – 7PM
Disc golf, hiking, events, the list goes on. There are tons of things to do at your local mountain playground this summer.☀️ Plus, it’s pretty much always 10-30 degrees cooler up here. 😉


To find out more, visit the Mount Ashland Summer webpage: https://www.mtashland.com/operating-schedule/


The Grants Pass Downs held their opening weekend for summer horse racing season, bringing large crowds to the races.

The opening day brought around 3,000 fans to the site, bringing more people than the previous years opening day.

Wotherspoon said Fathers Day is one of the most popular days for the Downs, as well as the Fourth of July.

The business the races bring into the community also has an impact on the community, bringing customers to local stores, restaurants and hotels.


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