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Klamath Falls
July 24, 2024

Klamath Basin News, Thursday, 6/27 – One Burglary Suspect Arrested, Another On The Loose; City of KF To Dedicate F-15 Jet on July 4th; City of Chiloquin Water Issues Resolved; Oregon Schools Facing Major Budget Cuts Due to Inflation

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 27, 2024

Klamath Basin Weather

Sunny, with a high near 78. Northwest winds to 8 mph. Overnight, mostly clear, with a low around 46. Northwest wind 8 to 13 mph becoming light north northwest after midnight. Winds could gust as high as 22 mph.

Sunny, with a high near 84. West northwest wind 3 to 6 mph.
Sunny, with a high near 83. Light northwest wind
Sunny, with a high near 81.


Today’s Headlines

Police arrested one burglar in Klamath County and are searching for the second after a resident stopped them from driving away. 

According to a news release from the Klamath County Sheriff’s Office, they got a call from a resident on Steelhead Lane in East Klamath County on Sunday. The victim told police that her Nissan pickup truck had been stolen — but shortly after, they found not only her truck, but a second burglary. 

“While deputies were responding to the scene the victim reported her stolen pickup had been spotted on a neighboring property,” the release said. “When deputies approached the scene of a second burglary on foot, they interrupted the crime in progress.” 

Two men drove away from the second house they were robbing in the stolen pickup truck, the release said. A friend of the first victim called police shortly after, saying they had stopped the burglars from driving off even further by pointing a gun at them. 

“A caller contacted 911 Emergency Dispatch and advised they had one suspect detained at gunpoint at the intersection of Canadian Honker Lane and Sprague River Drive,” the release said. “Deputies arrived to find a friend of the victim had attempted to stop the stolen truck.” 

One of the burglars — the driver — fled on foot, but the second burglar — the passenger — surrendered, the release said. The passenger is William Owen Shelton II, who is facing charges of first-degree aggravated theft, criminal mischief, felon in possession of a weapon, first-degree burglary, second-degree burglary, unlawful entry into a motor vehicle and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. 

Police are still looking for the other burglar, the one who had been driving the stolen pickup. They said in the release they are trying to “locate him as quickly as possible.” 

“The Sheriff’s Office wishes to thank the individual who assisted in the apprehension of the burglary suspect,” the release said. “Often it is the eyes, ears, and actions of neighbors that make the difference, especially in rural areas. While the Sheriff’s office would never request someone put themselves in harm’s way, in this case the citizen’s efforts are greatly appreciated.”


Chiloquin residents have their water back after being told yesterday the reservoir was so low they asked residents to drastically curtail use.

The water reservoir is now at a safe level and water isn’t just for basic human consumption anymore. 

“We are NO LONGER restricted to human consumption. The water reservoir is now at a safe level,” the city wrote on their website. “PLEASE continue to follow the odd/even watering days schedule. Those living on the EAST side of the Williamson River, water on EVEN numbered days (i.e. 2, 4, 6, 8, etc.) Those living on the WEST side of the Williamson River, water on ODD numbered days (i.e. 1, 3, 5, 7, etc.)”



After a lengthy discussion over Waste Management’s ask to cease allowing customers to put out three additional garbage bags of yard debris during trash collection days, the final decision was moved to a later date.

Following the request by Waste Management (WM) to end the service, the Klamath County Board of Commissioners held a public hearing on the matter during a meeting Tuesday.

Citing the reason for the change as improving driver safety and as a preventive measure against litter from spillage, Tyler Mackay, Waste Management’s Public Sector Solutions Manager, said WM considers itself a proud member of the community and said the service of allowing three additional bags (performed for free and voluntarily by WM) limits the number of people hireable since drivers are required to lift the bags into the truck. During the summer months, Mackay said the number of bags collected is in the thousands per day.

Instead of the three bags, WM would provide an additional, 96-gallon cart (trash can) at a 50 percent discount (roughly $14 for those in the Urban Growth Boundary).

Four people spoke against the proposed change, with many sharing concerns over those on a fixed or low income being able to afford the additional cart, and that some homeowners will stop performing yard maintenance or simply burn their yard debris to avoid having to pay for the extra cart.

In his address to the board, Mackay said there is no rate increase once the service ends, and customers don’t have to purchase an additional cart. An additional cart can be started and stopped at any time. He also said current customers who already have more than one cart (excluding recycling) would see their monthly bill decrease as the extra cart(s) would be at a 50 percent discount.


Fire danger level will increase from “moderate” to “high” starting today, Thursday. 

According to a news release from the South-Central Oregon Fire Management Partnership, the change will go into effect at 12:01 a.m. on Thursday, June 27 and will bring additional restrictions. 

“This increase will bring additional fire restrictions which include all private, county and state wildlands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) Klamath-Lake District and Walker Range Forest Patrol Association,” the release said. “It also applies to the Fremont-Winema National Forest, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Lakeview District, Crater Lake National Park, and the Sheldon-Hart Mountain and Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuge Complexes.”

  • Smoking is prohibited while traveling, except in vehicles on improved roads.
  • Open fires are prohibited, including campfires, charcoal fires, cooking fires and warming fires, except at designated locations. Portable cooking stoves using liquefied or bottled fuels are allowed.
  • Chainsaw use is prohibited between the hours of 1:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. Chainsaw use is allowed at all other hours if the following firefighting equipment is present with each operating saw: one axe, one shovel and one 8 ounce or larger fire extinguisher. A fire watch also is required at least one hour following the use of each saw.
  • Use of motor vehicles, including motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles, is prohibited, except on improved roads and except for vehicle use by a landowner and employees of the landowner conducting activities associated with their livelihood. Landowners and their employees conducting activities associated with their livelihood shall carry a shovel and 2 ½ pound fire extinguisher when operating ATVs off improved roads.
  • Possession of the following firefighting equipment is required while traveling in a motorized vehicle, except on state highways, county roads and driveways: one shovel and one gallon of water or one 2 ½ pound or larger fire extinguisher, except for all-terrain vehicles and motorcycles, which must be equipped with an approved spark arrestor in good working condition.
  • Use of all fireworks is prohibited.
  • Cutting, grinding, and welding of metal is prohibited. For landowners and employees of the landowner on their own land while conducting activities associated with their livelihood, cutting, grinding, and welding of metal is prohibited between the hours of 1:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. At all other times, the area is to be cleared of flammable vegetation, and the following firefighting equipment is required: one axe, one shovel and one 2 ½ pound or larger fire extinguisher in good working order.


Artist rendering of the F-15 Jet at Veterans Memorial Park

The City of Klamath Falls is proud to announce a special dedication ceremony at Veterans Memorial Park on Independence Day, July 4th, 2024.

This event will mark the official dedication of the new static F-15 Jet display, a tribute to our brave veterans and a symbol of our City’s unwavering patriotism. The F-15 display, generously donated by the United States Air Force, will serve as a permanent reminder of the sacrifices made by our military. It will also serve as a source of inspiration for future generations to honor and remember those who have served our country.

The dedication ceremony will be attended by City, County, and Oregon Air National Guard Officials, local Veterans, and members of the community. The event will begin at 12:30 PM at Veterans Memorial Park directly following the Independence Day Parade.

The City of Klamath Falls encourages everyone to attend this special ceremony and show their support for our military heroes. Let us all come together on this special day to remember, honor, and celebrate those who have served and continue to serve for our country’s freedom.


Vintage garments from the collection of the Baldwin Hotel Museum will be featured in a fashion show at 1 p.m. Sunday, June 30.

Hundreds of dresses, suits, coats, hats and accessories are preserved at the Baldwin. Those deemed suitable for light use will be modeled by museum staff and volunteers.

“Some of our garments are too delicate or historically significant to ever be worn again, but many can be shown off in the way they were meant to seen, on a live person,” said Todd Kepple, museum director for Klamath County.

The Baldwin collection includes clothing dating from the early 1900s into the mid-20th century. Designer names to be featured in the June 30 show include Justin McCarty, Max Kopp, Miss Serbin, Dolinsk, Berma Fashion, Jr. Miss, and Shantung.

tems to be displayed came to the museum from the estates of Jessie Gheller (formerly Miss Jessie Stevens), Roy Whitlach, Sally Kent, Alfred Collier, Janice Firestone and others.

Admission to the fashion show is free, with donations welcome. The Baldwin Hotel Museum is located at 31 Main St. in Klamath Falls.

For more information, contact the Klamath County Museum at (541) 882-1000.


The Klamath County School District is offering free sack lunches for the summer.

According to the school district, free sack lunches with milk will be available for kids one to 18 at Peterson, Shasta, Ferguson, and Stearns Elementary School.

Meals must be eaten on site at all schools except Shasta Elementary, where meals can be picked up by parents or younger sibling to be taken home.

These lunches are available Monday through Thursday 11:30 a.m. to noon starting June 24th and lasting until August 8th.


Klamath County wants to honor those who served in the controversial war in Vietnam the way they deserve — by welcoming them home.

“Nobody ever said welcome home to the Vietnam vets,” County Commissioner Derrick DeGroot said.

Hosted by Klamath County Veterans Services and the National Council on Aging, the event will honor the sacrifice and service of local Vietnam vets with a luncheon, followed by an awards ceremony.

Every Vietnam vet registered and in attendance will be named and honored with a ceremonial medal to commemorate their bravery for serving their country during the controversial war.

The goal prior to the event is to register as many veterans of the Vietnam War in Klamath County as possible.

To register, visit the Klamath County online registration site at klamathcounty.org/FormCenter/Veterans-37/Vietnam-Veterans-Welcome-Home-Luncheon-R-122.

A link to the registration form can also be found in the online Klamath County civic alert for the “Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans” event provided at klamathcountyor.gov/CivicAlerts.aspx.

Registration ends June 30.

For more information, contact Klamath County Veterans Services at 541-883-4274.


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 Ross Ragland Theater is planning two summer camps for students of all ages.

“Little Sprouts: Folk tails — monkeys and turtles and coyotes — oh my!”

Little ones will be delighted by tales from around the world with this collection of six different animal stories. There’s something for everyone in these stories, told by six storytellers who narrate each tale while other actors don simple animal costumes onstage to act out the short scenes.

Little Sprouts camps will run from Monday, July 15, through Friday, July 19, 2024, with morning and afternoon camps that are suitable for children grades K-4 (ages 6-10). The camp offers two one-week camps allowing the tiniest of thespians to explore the basics of acting, music, and movement as a team in a fun environment and to perform a mini-show for the community.

Performances are scheduled for Saturday, July 20. The tuition is $150, with multi-student discounts and scholarships available.

“Finding Nemo Jr.” — A three-week, all-day camp for ages 10-18 that covers different aspects of theater life. This camp goes into a full theater production on the Ragland stage. Not only will students learn about theater etiquette, staging, singing music, and dancing, they will dive into improv, making sets/props, costumes, tech for sound and video, and backstage crew. From 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. July 22 through Aug. 9, with performances on Saturday, Aug 10. Tuition is $435 with multi-student discounts and scholarships are also available.

Find out more about scholarships and register at ragland.org/theater-camps/


Around the State of Oregon

ODF Southwest Oregon District has confirmed that the Upper Applegate Fire was human caused. 

They did not go into specifics about what caused it, just that it was caused by a person and not from a natural cause. 

ODF Southwest Oregon District says crews are still working on mop up on the southern portion of the fire, which in total is still 890 acres. Overnight, crews conducted burning operations on the eastern edge of the fire. 

“Crews continue to prep the north side of the indirect lines for additional back burns to help bring the fire closer to containment lines,” ODF said. “These burns will occur over the next 48 hours, during night operations when burn intensity is low. Expect to see additional fire activity at night and more smoke in the mornings.” 

Meanwhile, near LaPine, The Darlene 3 Fire is now estimated to be at 2,415 acres and still 0% containment. 

The Darlene 3 Fire southeast of La Pine is now estimated at 2,415 acres, with 0% containment. Air and ground resources are actively suppressing the fire.

Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office has issued evacuation orders for multiple zones in Southeast La Pine.

More than 1,100 homes are inside the Level 2 “Be Ready” or Level 3 “Go Now” evacuation warning areas according to Captain William Bailey, Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office.

The Red Cross is staffing a temporary evacuation point at La Pine High School for evacuees needing support.

Central Oregon Fire Info reports a Type 3 Incident Management Team will assume command of the fire beginning Wednesday morning.

Several locations in the La Pine area have space available for RVs, Pets, and Livestock. For more information visit the DCSO Facebook page.

For the latest on evacuations please check the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office map or follow the agency on social media.


A man is dead after being shot during what police say was a neighborhood dispute Tuesday night in Douglas County.

According to the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, dispatch received the call around 10:30 p.m. to which the caller said a man, later identified as 53-year-old Stephen Lynn Foster, had been shot.

Upon arrival to the 400 block of Goodreau Lane, officers detained the shooter.

Bystanders had attempted life saving efforts on Foster, but EMS declared him deceased at the scene.

Police say the suspect, whose name is being withheld, is cooperating. There is no further information at this time.


The FBI’s Portland field office is involved in a nationwide search for a man seen on a video involved in a child sexual exploitation investigation. Assistant Special Agent in Charge Matt Schlegel says “John Doe 48” is under investigation by the Endangered Child Alert Program (ECAP).

“John Doe 48 is described as a white male, between the ages of 45 and 65 years old, with dark hair and a grey beard. And he has a tattoo on each of his forearms; he was last seen in the back of a 2018-2019 Nissan cargo van, wearing a blue t-shirt and a dark colored hat.” He’s heard speaking English. Data embedded in the explicit video indicates it was produced in October of 2023.

The search is nationwide and Schlegel says a specific location won’t be released.

The agency says “If anybody does see this person or it reminds them of somebody and it’s something we can look into – a possible tip – we can take those at Tips.FBI.GOV. Or you can call 1-800-CALL-FBI.”


The head football coach for Westview High School in Beaverton is under investigation for his actions at a football camp in McMinnville.

Police responded to the Linfield University campus for a welfare check at a football camp. The head coach allegedly woke players early Tuesday morning by shaking them or slapping them.

The head coach is also a full-time Police Officer in the Hillsboro Police Department. He’s been placed on leave by Hillsboro Police and the Beaverton School District until the investigation by McMinnville Police is complete. None of the students were physically injured during the incident.


Three transportation projects in Oregon will receive 43-million dollars in federal funds.

The money is coming from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s RAISE grant program. TriMet will get 25-million dollars for the Columbia Operations Facility where the hydrogen fuel cell electric bus fleet will be based. The Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs gets 15-million dollars for Highway 26 improvements through Warm Springs. And Salem will receive two-point-seven million dollars for the Front Street Redevelopment Transportation Corridor Plan.


With the official arrival of summer last Friday, the Oregon Health Authority has tips to keep you safe.

Don’t swim alone or swim in bad weather and supervise children in or near water. During extreme heat, stay in air-conditioned places and limit exposure to the sun, especially between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Eliminate standing water around your home to reduce mosquitoes. Wear long sleeved shirts and pants along with repellent to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes that can carry diseases like West Nile virus.

Oregon school finances have not been in greater jeopardy for decades.

Large Oregon school districts are cutting millions of dollars from their budgets, which translates into significant cuts in personnel and larger class sizes, as state funding has failed to keep pace with inflation and expanding expectations.

The problem isn’t limited to large school districts. Medium and small districts face the same financial stress. More school districts will face the dual threat of teacher strikes and deep personnel cuts as they enter collective bargaining this year.

What is Gov. Tina Kotek doing about it? Good question.

The challenge faced by public education runs deeper than budgets. Schools have inherited a new generation of students and, along with them, a new paradigm for education.

Students in K-12 school classrooms today are demonstrably different than their counterparts just 20 years ago (Facebook was founded in 2004). Educating these students requires different teaching methods, updated classrooms and a wider array of support. It also requires a different approach to school funding that recognizes new demands on students, teachers and support staff.

Today’s students are internet natives, have experience with online learning, depend on school-prepared meals and fear college student debt. Classrooms are impacted by aging infrastructure, overflowing classrooms, lack of connectivity, increasing student diversity, chronic absenteeism and the threat of school shootings.

More students face mental health issues, increasing demand for school nurses, counselors and social-emotional teaching techniques.

Teachers, many of whom are parents of school-age children, share the trauma. They are on the front lines of teaching students who need individual instruction. They manage in classrooms that lack adequate heating and cooling. They struggle to keep up to date on digital trends and educational innovation. Burnout is an occupational hazard. Good teachers leave because they earn more in other occupations.


The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is issuing this announcement to inform the public of an emerging criminal tactic used to further defraud cryptocurrency scam victims. 

Using social media or other messaging platforms, fraudsters posing as lawyers representing fictitious law firms may contact scam victims and offer their services, claiming to have the authorization to investigate fund recovery cases.

To validate the contact, the “lawyers” claim they are working with, or have received information on, the scam victim’s case from the FBI, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), or other government agency. In some instances, scam victims have contacted fraudsters on fake websites, which appear legitimate, hoping to recover their funds.

To further the recovery scam, the “lawyers” may:

  • Request victims verify their identities by providing personal identifying information or banking information to get their money back;
  • Request victims provide a judgment amount they are seeking from the initial fraudster;
  • Request victims pay a portion of initial fees up front with balance due when funds are recovered;
  • Direct victims to make payments for back taxes and other fees to recover their funds; or
  • Reference actual financial institutions and money exchanges, to build credibility and further their schemes.

Tips to Protect Yourself

  • Be wary of advertisements for cryptocurrency recovery services. Research the advertised company and beware if the company uses vague language, has a minimal online presence, and makes promises regarding an ability to recover funds.
  • If an unknown individual contacts you and claims to be able to recover stolen cryptocurrency, do not release any financial or personal identifying information and do not send money.
  • Law enforcement does not charge victims a fee for investigating crimes. If someone claims an affiliation with the FBI, contact your local FBI field office to confirm.

If you believe you have been a victim of a cryptocurrency scheme or other fraudulent scheme, please file a report with the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center.


Oregon is the No. 10 best state in the country for hikers, according to a new ranking.

Kuru Footwear ranked the best states in the United States for hiking, looking at “five key metrics—total hiking trail reviews, number of trails, percentage of trails ranked as easy, trails rated 4.5 stars or higher, and yearly precipitation.”

Oregon is famous for beautiful waterfall hikes across the state, particularly in the Columbia River gorge and on the Oregon coast.

The Wallowa Mountains in eastern Oregon offer an array of hiking destinations, such as Eagle Cap WildernessZumwalt PrairieHells Canyon and Wallowa Lake.

A hike to No Name Lake in Oregon’s Central Cascades is considered a bucket list-worthy adventure.

Colorado, a state with about half the yearly precipitation of Oregon, was ranked. No. 1.


With fireworks On Sale as Oregon State Fire Marshal reminds to “Keep it legal, keep it safe” 

The 2024 fireworks retail sales season begins on June 23 and runs through July 6 in Oregon. The state fire marshal would like everyone to know which fireworks are legal to use, where fireworks can be used, and how to use them safely. 

“We ask Oregonians to be responsible if they plan to use fireworks as part of their celebrations,” Oregon State Fire Marshal Assistant Chief Deputy Mark Johnston said. “Every year, we see fires and injuries because of improper use of fireworks or illegal fireworks. Our message is simple: keep it legal and keep it safe.”  
To reduce the risk of starting a fire, some local governments in Oregon have firework sales or use restrictions in place. Oregonians are asked to check local regulations and follow them where they live or where they may be traveling to celebrate the Fourth of July. 

Consumer-legal fireworks can only be purchased from permitted fireworks retailers and stands. State regulations limit where those fireworks may be used, including public lands and parks. The possession and use of fireworks are prohibited in national parks and forests, on Bureau of Land Management lands, on U.S. Fish and Wildlife properties, on state beaches, in state parks, and in state campgrounds. Fireworks are also prohibited on many private lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry. 

For those who purchase legal fireworks, fire officials encourage everyone to practice the four Bs of safe fireworks use: 

  • Be prepared before lighting fireworks: keep water available by using a garden hose or bucket. 
  • Be safe when lighting fireworks: keep children and pets away from fireworks. Never use fireworks near or on dry grass or vegetation. 
  • Be responsible after lighting fireworks: never relight a dud. Please wait 15 to 20 minutes, then soak spent fireworks in a bucket of water before disposal. 
  • Be aware: use only legal fireworks in legal places. 

Oregon law prohibits the possession, use, or sale of any firework that flies into the air, explodes, or travels more than 12 feet horizontally on the ground without a permit issued by the state fire marshal. Fireworks commonly called bottle rockets, Roman candles, and firecrackers are illegal in Oregon without a permit. Officials may seize illegal fireworks and charge offenders with a class B misdemeanor which could result in a fine of up to $2,500. Those who misuse fireworks or allow fireworks to cause damage are liable and may be required to pay fire suppression costs or other damages. Parents are also liable for fireworks damage caused by their children. 

The Oregon State Fire Marshal has resources about the sale and legal use of consumer fireworks, retail sale permits, and state rules for firework use and enforcement activities to its website


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