67.06 F
Klamath Falls
July 24, 2024

Klamath Basin News, Friday, 6/21 – U.S. Sen. Wyden Pushes For Rural Hospitals Maternal Care Financial Incentures For Oregon; Epic Queen Tribute Band Plays Ragland on Saturday; 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.

 

Friday, June 21, 2024

Klamath Basin Weather

Today
Sunny, with a high near 91. West northwest wind around 6 mph. Overnight, widespread haze with a low around 55. North wind 6 to 11 mph.

Saturday
Sunny, with a high near 93. Light and variable wind becoming west southwest 6 to 11 mph in the afternoon. Clear overnight with a low near 55.  West northwest wind 9 to 14 mph becoming light northwest after midnight. Winds could gust as high as 21 mph.
Sunday
Sunny, with a high near 89. Light and variable wind becoming west 9 to 14 mph in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 21 mph.
Monday
Sunny, with a high near 89.
Tuesday
Sunny, with a high near 91.
Wednesday
Sunny, with a high near 86.
Thursday
Sunny, with a high near 80.

Today’s Headlines

The Cow Creek Umpqua Indian Foundation (CCUIF) awarded 82 charities a total of $857,975 for its Spring round of giving.

Friends of the Children-Klamath Basin (FOTC) and the Ross Ragland Theater and Cultural Center received $10,000 awards at the CCUIF Awards presentation on Tuesday, June 18, 2024, at Seven Feathers Convention Center in Canyonville, Oregon.

FOTC and the Ross Ragland Theater were joined by other nonprofits located in Coos, Deschutes, Douglas, Jackson, Josephine and Lane Counties.

The FOTC grant will support the ongoing work of the nine friends mentoring 72 program youth in the community, schools, venues and at the Clubhouses in both Klamath Falls and Chiloquin.

The Ross Ragland Theater grant will support the theater’s youth education programs, including spring break camps, summer camps, after school classes, young audience matinees and outreach in the school systems.

Friends of the Children is a national nonprofit whose mission is to provide the most vulnerable children a nurturing and sustained relationship with a salaried, professional mentor, called a Friend, who teaches positive values and has attainable expectations for each child to become healthy, productive members of the community. We select children ages 4-6 from high-poverty schools and the foster care system, and pair them with a salaried, professional mentor who stays with them from kindergarten through graduation – 12 ½ years, no matter what.

 

One of the most popular tribute bands in the country emulating the rock group Queen is playing the Ragland tomorrow night, (Saturday night).

There are cover bands, tribute bands, and then Seattle, Washington’s EPIC QUEEN!

Come see what sets this band far apart, both sonically and visually, from the average tribute show. With an incredible portrayal of one of the greatest singers/frontmen in rock n roll history (Freddie Mercury), the sonic accuracy of the studio recordings, and the energy of a real Queen concert, you will be treated to all the best Queen hits and occasional deep cuts!

Songs like “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “Another One Bites the Dust,” “Under Pressure,” “We Are the Champions,” “We Will Rock You,” etc. will be played and presented with incredible visuals that will make every moment highly entertaining. Whether you prefer the heavier 70s era of Queen or their later hits (like “Radio Gaga”) of the 80s and beyond, Epic Queen knows you “want it all!” and they deliver! They really will “Rock You!”

Get your tickets by calling 541-884-LIVE or log into the Ragland website at ragland.org.

 

Nearly 200 students walked across the stage to receive their diplomas and certificates last 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.

 

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 very warm, families are heading to local lakes, streams, and pools—and every Coastal store including Klamath Falls, 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 in Klamath Falls is on Avalon street.

 

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.

 

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 FALLS GOSPEL MISSION COME AND SEE!

On 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

Keep the kids busy and learning 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

The Providence Hospital Nurses Strike of over 3,000 nurses has concluded for now. The strike this week impacted Providence St. Vincent, Newberg, Willamette Falls, Medford, Hood River and Milwaukie.

On what could be the largest nursing strike in Oregon, Providence nurses continued calls for better contracts with support from local and national leaders.

Picketers stood in the hot sun for 3 days across from Providence St. Vincent Hospital on Southwest Barnes Road and in other cities across the state including Medford.

Since Tuesday, more than 3,000 nurses at six Providence hospitals across the state have been on strike following stagnating negotiations between the hospital system and the Oregon Nurses Association — a union that represents 20,000 nurses and other health care workers across the state.

Along with issues around wages, the union said the implementation of Oregon’s hospital staffing law remains 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.

 

Nearly one month after the pro-Palestinian encampment at the University of Oregon wrapped up, there is still work to be done for the university’s clean up crews. And so far, it’s been costly.

According to Tad Lueck from the University of Oregon’s Campus Planning and Facilities Management (CPFM), the costs of removing graffiti and other clean-up efforts around the campus have exceeded $20,000.

Lueck said he would not be surprised if the costs reach $30,000 eventually. He said it’s been a long and costly processes because the staff at the CPFM had to “redirect labor” towards commencement preparation for the past several weeks — which prolonged the protest clean-up. 

He said as of June 19, $4,000 of clean-up costs are attributed to clean-up efforts at Johnson Hall alone, where protestors set up camp during the last part of their protest. 

CPFM crews have since spent this week breaking commencement sets down around campus while still cleaning up protest detritus.

Lueck said there is still interior and exterior graffiti in and around other buildings other than Johnson Hall that needs attending to, though those buildings were not identified. 

He said CPFM has so far paid for the labor and materials during the clean-up and is unsure if there is a special revenue source for this type of situation. But so far, it’s all been coming out of the CPFM’s pocket. [Allowing protestor violence or destruction of property, vandalism or graffiti is unacceptable. Arrests and jailtime is what is needed! Get some backbone UofO!  -Editor]

 

A 22-year-old man from Long Beach was arrested in Siskiyou County after police found over 2,000 pounds of marijuana. 

According to a Facebook post from the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office, police pulled over the man — Oscar Gilbert Segura — for speeding in a U-Haul. When the officer walked up to the vehicle, he smelled a “strong odor” of weed coming from the U-Haul. 

“Segura was subsequently arrested for the transportation and possession of illegal marijuana for sale,” the post said. “In total, the Deputy uncovered 92 bags of marijuana, weighing 2,013 pounds.” 

 

An Oregon summer-league baseball team is now the first sports team in the U.S. to sell cannabis-based refreshments at games.

The seltzer drinks will be available in passion fruit and lemon flavors. They’ll be available for fans 21 and over.  The Pickles say the Portland Parks and Recreation department gave them the thumbs up.

 

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.

 

Oregon voters will likely decide in November whether to establish a historic universal basic income program that would give every state resident roughly $750 annually from increased corporate taxes.

Proponents of the concept say they likely have enough signatures to place it on the ballot this fall, and opponents are taking them seriously.

State business advocacy groups are preparing to launch a campaign against the proposed measure, arguing that it would harm Oregon’s business landscape and economy.

The proposal, Initiative Petition 17, would establish a 3% tax on corporations’ sales in Oregon above $25 million and distribute that money equally among Oregonians of all ages. As of Friday, its backers had turned in more than 135,000 signatures, which is higher than the 117,173 required to land on the ballot. The validity of those signatures must still be certified by the Secretary of State’s Office.

 

U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden is pushing for a pathway for rural hospitals to continue to provide maternal care in small communities.

Wyden, D-Oregon, on Monday released a draft bill that outlines a series of financial incentives to encourage hospitals to continue to offer birth services. The bill includes higher Medicaid rates and additional payments to cover the cost of on-call staff for expectant mothers in small communities with low numbers of births.

Wyden’s bill is backed by 15 other Senate Democrats — one-third of the Democrats in the chamber. It comes in response to last year’s closure of the birthing center at Saint Alphonsus Medical Center in Baker City. The only maternity ward in the rural eastern Oregon county with nearly 17,000 people had served the area for a century. The move has forced expectant mothers to travel to Grande Ronde Hospital in La Grande.

“In Baker County, you have to drive at least 45 miles further to the next hospital to give birth on roads that can sometimes be impassable because of winter weather or summer wildfires,” Wyden said in a Monday press call. “We believe that Oregonians and Americans deserve better.”

The fallout in Baker City is part of a trend that’s unfolding across rural America as hospitals decide what services to offer based on cost, demand and profitability. That’s translated into reduced birth services in rural communities, especially those with dwindling birthrates and aging populations.

Between 2011 and 2021, one out of every four rural hospitals nationwide stopped providing obstetrics services, or more than 260 hospitals, according to a national report. Today, only about 45% of rural hospitals deliver babies, and in some communities, only 33% do, according to the Center for Healthcare Quality and Payment Reform. In Oregon, one-quarter of its 32 rural hospitals offer obstetrics care.

The bill would provide more funding for hospitals with a low number of births — called low-volume payment adjustments — so they continue to stay in their communities. It also would require each state to study and report the costs of providing labor and delivery services in rural areas to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

 

After a month-long investigation, Jackson County Sheriff’s Office (JCSO) Special Victims Unit (SVU) detectives arrested a 20-year-old Medford man onThursday for multiple counts of sex abuse of an underage victim.

Detectives believe there are additional local victims who have yet to come forward.

Detectives arrested the suspect, Brayden Cyrus Edelman, 20, Thursday at 11:30 a.m. in Medford. He is charged with one count of first-degree sex abuse, and two counts of second-degree sex abuse. Detectives booked and lodged him in the Jackson County Jail.

The JCSO investigation into Edelman started mid-May of this year. Although Edelman lives in Medford, the crimes occurred in White City. JCSO SVU detectives believe Edelman may have other victims. Anyone with information about the pictured suspect is asked to call SVU Detective Jill Wenzel at (541) 770-8928.

This case is under investigation with SVU detectives working additional leads. Further information will come from the Jackson County District Attorney’s office.

 

Memorial Ceremony Honors Oregon’s Fallen Firefighters

A ceremony held Thursday, June 20 in Salem commemorated Oregon fire service members who have died in the line of duty. Hundreds gathered for the Oregon Fallen Fire Fighters Memorial Ceremony to honor the brave individuals who gave their lives to protect communities and natural resources around the state.

The annual event is held at the Oregon Public Safety Academy, site of the Oregon Fire Fighters Memorial. The memorial commemorates 179 fire service members who have made the ultimate sacrifice since 1881, including career, volunteer, wildland and structural fire fighters.

Thursday’s ceremony remembered three fallen fire service members whose names were recently added to the memorial: Mo Stadeli of Salem Fire Department, and Brandon W. Norbury and Brian Edward Flowers of Gresham Fire and Emergency Services.

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 and 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 and Emergency Services Firefighter Brian Edward Flowers passed away on November 19, 2023, after a monthslong battle with Occupational Acute Myeloid Leukemia.

In his keynote speech, Clackamas Fire District #1 Chief Nick Browne praised the fallen firefighters’ commitment to public service and the sacrifices they made to leave the world a better place.

“In the course of their duties, these men saved countless lives, they protected property, and they provided a sense of security and hope to countless individuals,” Chief Browne said.

He continued, “Every name on that wall, every person on that wall reflected those same traits. When we reflect on their sacrifice, we see that bright beacon of light that shines from their examples through the darkness of grief, illuminating the path of service, courage and compassion that they walked every single day.”

The ceremony is a significant event that the Department of Public Safety Standards and Training (DPSST) hosts annually in partnership with the Oregon Fire Service Honor Guard. 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 at https://www.oregon.gov/dpsst/Memorials/Firefighters/Pages/default.aspx.

 

Care Facility Employee Arrested in Grants Pass for Sexual Abuse of Elderly Patients

Grants Pass, Oregon – On June 16, 2024, the Grants Pass Police Department received a report of sex abuse involving a patient and employee at a local nursing home.

A subsequent investigation by Grants Pass Police Major Crimes Unit detectives, conducted with the assistance of the nursing home management, determined the suspect to be Michael Anthony Lee, a 28-year-old male resident of Medford, Oregon. Lee is 6’0” tall and weighs approximately 220 pounds, with red hair and green eyes. Detectives determined that Lee had worked as a care home Certified Nursing Assistant in Grants Pass and Medford over the past three years. Lee allegedly targeted both female and male elderly victims for sexual assault, and it is anticipated additional victims have not yet been identified.

On June 20, 2024, Grants Pass Police detectives arrested Michael Lee at his recent place of employment in Grants Pass and lodged him at the Josephine County Jail for Sex Abuse in the 1st Degree (x2) and Attempted Sex Abuse in the 1st Degree (x2).

The Grants Pass Police Department is requesting assistance in identifying additional victims. Anyone with information on the criminal acts or identity of additional victims is asked to call the Grants Pass Police Department at 541-450-6260 and reference case #24-22321.  The Grants Pass Police Department is committed to investigating all reports of sexual abuse.

 

State Fire Marshal mobilizes two task forces to the Upper Applegate fire in Jackson County

SALEM, Ore. – This morning, the Oregon State Fire Marshal mobilized two structural task forces to the Upper Applegate Fire in Jackson County.

The task forces are from Lane and Polk counties and were mobilized through Immediate Response, a tool the state fire marshal uses to send firefighting resources outside of a conflagration. The structural task forces will support the Applegate Valley Fire District.

Report Image
Image from Watch Duty – https://app.watchduty.org/#/i/22540

ODF Morning Update:

Despite numerous hazards, firefighters are making good progress on the fire, one of two reported within 15 minutes on Thursday afternoon. The fire is burning on extremely steep terrain affecting private, BLM, and U.S. Forest Servie land on the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest.

This morning resources will continue to build and strengthen the lines that were dug on both blanks of the Upper Applegate Fire. Wind and terrain pushed the flames up a steep gill creating a long and skinny fire footprint. The majority of each side is currently line, however the most easter portion still remains uncontrolled. Firefighter are working to gain access and put line in that area. Today 108 personnel are assigned to the incident, including four 20-person crews, two engines, two water tenders and two bulldozers. Three helicopters are also assigned to work exclusively on this fire, including a Type 1, 2, and 3. Additional aircraft will be ordered as needed. Approximately a dozen homes were protected from this fire yesterday and overnight; structure protection will continue to be a priority as resources work today.

According to the Oregon Department of Forestry, as of Friday morning, the Upper Applegate Fire was estimated to be 500 acres in size. The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office has Level 1 Be Ready evacuation notices in place for homes near the fire. You can find the latest evacuation map here and information about evacuations here.

“Our priority is to proactively protect our communities from the threat of wildfires. We’re sending resources to boost capacity and support the Applegate Valley Fire District until the fire is contained,” said Oregon State Fire Marshal Mariana Ruiz-Temple. “With warm, dry weather in the forecast, the risk of wildfires is heightened across Oregon. We urge everyone to help our firefighters by taking preventive measures to avoid sparking a wildfire this summer and follow all burning restrictions.”

For information about the fire, please follow the Oregon Department of Forestry – Southwest District. Learn how to be #WildfireAware this summer by following these wildfire prevention tips.

About Immediate Response — Immediate Response is made possible through the OSFM’s Response Ready Oregon initiative, created through Oregon’s wildfire omnibus bill, Senate Bill 762, signed into law in 2021.

LEARN MORE: Response Ready Oregon

 

Hwy 62 Fire -17700 block Crater Lake Highway, Shady Cove

Jackson County, OR

ODF Morning Update:
Night crews have made good progress during the night. The fire is now 100% lined and 60% plumb lined with water access. It is affecting both private and BLM land.

Day resources will continue to strengthen the lines today with a goal of connecting hose across the entire fire, allowing water access on every portion of the incident for mop up operations. More than 100 personnel are assigned to this fire today, includging four 20 person cres, four engines and two water tenders. Aircraft will likely not be needed, but will be available.

Hot temperatures, winds and low relative humidity will help to naturally fuel fire hahavior today. Both this and the Applegate fire have hazard trees, and a few have already fallen. Safety will remain a top priority for both fires.

The Level 1 “Be Ready” evacuation notices have been cancelled this morning.

 

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.

 

SALEM, Ore. — The Committee for Family Forestlands will meet virtually on Wednesday, June 26 from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. To join virtually, please use the Zoom video conference information found on the agenda

The committee’s agenda includes:

  • Forest Resources Division update
  • Small Forestland Investment in Stream Habitat Program (SFISH) tax guidance
  • Stream crossing presentation
  • Oregon Forest Resources Institute (OFRI) guide overview
  • Board of Forestry update
  • CFF annual report

The meeting is open to the public to attend online via Zoom. Requests for an interpreter for the hearing impaired or other accommodations for persons with disabilities should be made at least 24 hours before the meeting by emailing committee.of.family.forestlands@odf.oregon.gov.

The 13-member committee researches policies that affect family forests, natural resources and forestry benefits. Based on its findings, the committee recommends actions to the Oregon Board of Forestry and the State Forester. View more information on the CFF webpage.

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.

 

JUNE IS SEARCH AND RESCUE MONTH IN OREGON: PREPARE, BE AWARE AND STAY SAFE WHILE EXPLORING THE GREAT OUTDOORS THIS SUMMER

Hot weather has arrived in the state, and Oregonians are eager to hike, camp, boat, climb and explore. In recognition of Search and Rescue Month, several state agencies are sharing best practices on how to keep outdoor adventures safe for people and Oregon’s scenic landscape.

“Oregon is one of the best places in the world for outdoor adventure, and we want everyone to get outside and discover all our state has to offer,” Governor Tina Kotek said. “We encourage everyone to prepare for their adventures to stay safe and minimize their impact on the communities they visit. Please stay safe and have fun exploring!”

On average, more than 1,000 Search and Rescue (SAR) missions are conducted each year in Oregon, and during the last decade, 99% of people needing SAR assistance lived outside the county where they were rescued. Lack of preparedness was often the common denominator.

“Our SAR teams rescue many folks who are often inexperienced, overconfident and unprepared for the reality of the situation,” said State SAR Coordinator Scott Lucas. “We find people who set out for a hike wearing flip-flops and shorts and carrying no water. They might take an unmarked trail, get disoriented or take a fall, and they could be lost for days.”

Whether traveling for a few hours or a week, people should know their physical limits and plan for activities that won’t exceed their experience. Before heading out, the Oregon Department of Emergency Management recommends the following best practices:

  • Know the trail and conditions – research the trail thoroughly and get accurate directions to the trailhead.
  • Make a plan and tell someone – make sure they know your route, the exact trail name, possible side destinations and when you plan to leave and return. This information is vital for search and rescue if they need to come looking for you.
  • Practice situational awareness – stay vigilant and aware of your surroundings. Keep an eye on trail markers and landmarks so you can provide those details in an emergency. (This includes Oregon Beach Access Numbers on the coast).
  • Listen to your body – know your limits when selecting hikes and when you’re on the trail.
  • Watch for hazards – if you see signs of bad weather, wildfires, dangerous wildlife activity or other potential hazards, adjust your plans. Never feel bad about turning around early. Have a plan B.
  • Stay on marked trails – straying off the path or following social trails increases the risk of getting lost or injured. It also increases the risk of fatal falls.
  • Respect trail closures – safety signs and barriers. They are placed there for your safety. Disregarding them can have deadly consequences.
    • Exercise caution when crossing streams or navigating steep terrain – never climb on logs or turn your back on the ocean.
  • Pack the Day Hike 10 Essentials – include proper equipment, extra food, water and supplies.
  • Follow the seven principles of Leave No Trace – minimize your impact.
  • Stay in touch – There might not be cell coverage and reception on the trail.
    • Enable Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) on cell phones.
    • If you are using your cell phone, keep the battery fully charged and switch to airplane mode to conserve battery until you need it.
    • Consider a personal locator beacon (PLB) like InReach or SPOTS, if you need to call for help.
  • Prepare for the weather – layer up, wear appropriate footwear for the terrain and carry an emergency blanket.
  • Practice water safety – before you go out, plan ahead and check water levels, obstructions, tide information, local regulations and boating access before heading out. The Oregon State Marine Board’s (OSMB) website has a lot of planning resources
    • map of life jacket loaner stations to borrow if you don’t have your own.
    • Dress for the water temperature, not the air temperature.
    • OSMB recommends people recreate with others so they can provide aid more quickly if the unexpected happens.
    • In 2023, there were 13 recreational boating fatalities where 11 victims were not wearing life jackets; seven were paddlers, one in a sailboat, and six were in motorized boats.

The Oregon State Park system is one of the most popular in the U.S. with more than 52 million day-use visits per year, so it’s no surprise it sees an uptick in visitors throughout the summer months. Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) recommends that visitors stay on designated trails to stay safe. Following social trails or forging your own increases the risk of getting lost, getting injured or experiencing a fatal fall.

“Even the most beautiful landscapes can be hazardous. We encourage visitors to stay on designated, marked trails to avoid injuries and potentially deadly falls. It’s also important to respect safety signs, trail closures and barriers to enjoy parks safely and responsibly,” said OPRD spokesperson Stefanie Knowlton.”

Oregon State Parks post notices online for park and trail closures as well as tips on how to hike safely.

Oregon’s SAR program supports the broad spectrum of search and rescue operations throughout the state, including coordinating state and federal agencies involved in search and rescue activities and providing on-scene search and rescue efforts when requested. There is no charge for SAR calls, but if community members would like to help support SAR teams, they can purchase a 1-year or 5-year Oregon SAR card. Purchases help fund search and rescue training, equipment and missions across Oregon by contributing to the Search and Rescue Fund. The fund is managed by the Oregon State Sheriffs’ Association.

As always, in case of emergencies, dial 9-1-1; most Oregon counties also accept texts to 9-1-1.

 

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.

 

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

 

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/

 

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