67.06 F
Klamath Falls
July 24, 2024

Klamath Basin News, Monday, 7/1/24 – Double Homicide In KF Over Weekend; Darlene 3 Fire Near La Pine Under 4,000 Acres; Extreme Heat Expected in Southern Oregon For 4th of July Weekend

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.


Monday, July 1, 2024

Klamath Basin Weather

Excessive Heat Watch in effect from July 4th until July 6th.

Sunny, with a high near 84. Northwest winds 5 to 13 mph. Overnight, mostly clear, with a low around 49. North winds to 15 mph, with higher gusts at times..

Sunny, with a high near 88. Light northwest wind increasing to 5 to 10 mph in the afternoon.
Sunny, with a high near 91. Calm wind becoming north northwest 5 to 7 mph in the afternoon.
Thursday, Independence Day
Sunny, with a high near 95.
Sunny and hot, with a high near 98.
Sunny and hot, with a high near 101.

Today’s Headlines

A double homicide happened early Saturday morning here in Klamath Falls.

At approximately 7:59 a.m., patrol officers from the Klamath Falls Police Department (KFPD) responded to a report of a menacing at 5513 North Hills Drive in Klamath Falls, Oregon. The initial report was a man hiding inside the residence, and the man had pointed a firearm at the victim of the menacing when confronted.

The officers also learned there were two additional people inside the residence with the suspect. Shortly after officers arrived on scene, gunshots were heard coming from inside the residence. The officers had also received additional information that one of the two additional people inside the residence was critically injured, and the decision was made to make entry to the residence to conduct a rescue.

Upon entering the residence, the officers immediately confronted the suspect, who was taken into custody without further incident. Additionally, two victims were found with life-threatening gunshot wounds. Medical personnel responded to the scene, and one of the two victims was deceased, and the other was transported to Sky Lakes Medical Center. That victim later succumbed to their wounds at the hospital.

The Klamath County Major Crime Team was activated, and the investigation is ongoing. The suspect was identified as Elijah Albert Qinkade Croy, twenty (20) years of age.

Croy was transported to the Klamath County Jail and lodged for the crimes of two counts of Murder in the First Degree, Attempted Murder in the First Degree, and three counts of Unlawful Use of a Weapon.

The Klamath County Major Crime Team consists of detectives from the Klamath Falls Police Department, Oregon State Police, the Klamath County Sheriff’s Office, and the Klamath County District Attorney’s Office. If any members of the community have additional information regarding this investigation, you are encouraged to call the Klamath Falls Police Department at (541) 883-5336 or our anonymous Tip Line at (541) 883-5334.


Beginning today (Monday) road work will be performed as follows:

Asphalt repair at 6th and Jefferson. 6th Street will be closed from Jefferson to Lincoln. Detours will be in place. Tuesday, July 2, 2024 – Asphalt repair at the intersection of Upham and Worden. The intersection will be closed. Detours will be in place.

Paint crew will be painting crosswalks and legends on 11th Street, around Klamath Union High School and Esplanade.

Wednesday, July 3, 2024 – Asphalt utility cut repairs at the following locations: Summers Lane and Shasta Way, 129 Logan, 1127 and 1005 Kane Street, 6700 block of Eberlein and 5718 and 6120 South 6th Street. Continued painting of crosswalks and legends on 11th Street, around Klamath Union High School and Esplanade Avenue.

Thursday, July 4, 2024 – All non-emergency City offices will be closed for the Holiday. Friday, July 5, 2024 – Painting of crosswalks and legends on Eldorado and around Roosevelt School. All work is weather dependent. Please use caution while traveling in work zones. Contact the city of Klamath Falls for more information.


Fire crews were able to increase containment on the Darlene 3 Fire near La Pine during both day and night operations.

A Central Oregon Type 3 team and the Oregon State Fire Marshal (OSFM) Red Team remain in unified command, and all incident personnel continue to focus on full suppression and containment.

The fire is currently 3,889 acres and 42% contained. Cooler temperatures and calmer winds during the day on Thursday allowed crews to increase containment lines with the help of dozers and retardant drops.

Some spotting occurred yesterday to the east, but crews continue to aggressively seek and suppress any spot fires beyond the current containment lines. Crews have established patrols around the entire perimeter of the fire and will take advantage of the cooler, calmer weather over the next two days to harden containment lines and reduce the risk of flare ups within the burn footprint. Teams have been successful in protecting key community assets, including the La Pine Community Cemetery off Reed Road, power lines, a cell tower and the city’s water supply. Due to decreased fire threat to the community, fire managers were able to release some of the OSFM structural protection task forces to their home agencies.

The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office has reduced the evacuation level for Newberry Estates from Level 3 (Go Now) to a Level 2 (Be Set).

Additionally, the area west of Hwy 97 and north of Burgess Road has been reduced to no evacuation status. As residents return to their homes, fire personnel ask that community members remain vigilant for emergency response vehicles traveling to and from the fire, and to give fire apparatus plenty of room especially as smoke in low-lying areas may affect visibility. A Level 3 evacuation order remains in effect for parts of the Deschutes National Forest, and fire personnel are asking residents and visitors to adhere to area closures that are still in effect.

For the most up-to-date official evacuation information please visit Deschutes County evacuation information: www.deschutes.org/emergency.

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


Fire danger level is “high”, as we enter the 4th of July Weekend. 

“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 happening Veterans Memorial Park on Thursday, 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.


Around the State of Oregon

Firefighters working on the Upper Applegate Fire made tremendous progress over the weekend, completing strategic firing operations on the north portion of the fire.

This strategy connected the fire’s edge with the hand line dug by firefighters, creating a solid barrier between the interior of the fire and homes further downhill.

With this work finished, the fire is now 100% directly lined, meaning there are no unburned interior pockets along the perimeter that could easily allow the fire to burn over a line. It also gives firefighters a better defense, should those lines be tested by weather, which is expected today.

As firefighters begin mopping up the north side of the fire today, they will be aware of this potential and ready to defend the lines. Wind may also increase smoke on the fire, which is expected. With this work overnight, the fire is now slightly expanded to 966 acres, however mop up has increased to 20%.

ODF said the cause was someone mowing between 1 p.m. and 8 p.m., which are the hours blocked on regulations. 

The BLM has issued a closure order for BLM-managed lands in the fire area, including Grouse Creek Road.

“The BLM has issued a closure order for BLM-managed lands in the fire area, including Grouse Creek Road… Little Applegate road and Applegate Lake remain open, however firefighters are working near and on the side of the road 24 hours a day. Please be aware and follow all reduced speed road signs in the area. Additionally, fire-related traffic may be impacting the Provolt area; please be aware when driving this stretch of Highway 238.”


Grants Pass Police officers were dispatched to the Holiday Inn on NE Agness Avenue Friday morning for a reported theft.

It appears that thieves in the area have hit an all-time low by stealing firefighting equipment from US Forestry trucks parked overnight while firefighters finally got rest after fighting the Upper Applegate Fire.

The thieves took thousands of dollars of Hotshot backpacks, emergency fire shelters, headlamps, compasses, firing sticks, signal mirrors, first aid kits, water bottles, and two Stihl chainsaws. This equipment was used to protect the lives of firefighters and residents of our community.

Anyone having information regarding the whereabouts of this stolen equipment or the identity of the thieves is asked to call the Grants Pass Police Department at 541-450-6260 and reference case #24-23189.


On Friday, June 28, 2024, at 7:24 a.m., Oregon State Police responded to a two-vehicle crash on Hwy-126, near milepost 6, in Crook County.

The preliminary investigation indicated a westbound Honda Civic, operated by Humberto Ruiz Vargas (24) of Prineville, drifted off the side of the roadway with the passenger side tires entering the gravel shoulder as it negotiated a left hand curve.

The Honda overcorrected and crossed the centerline into the eastbound lane and was struck on the passenger side by a Nissan Rogue, operated by Summer Ann Zimmerman (39) of Redmond. The vehicles came to rest on the eastbound shoulder with the Nissan rolling to its passenger side.

The operator of the Honda (Ruiz Vargas) was life flighted to an area hospital where he was declared deceased.

The operator of the Nissan (Zimmerman) and passenger, Harley Rose Isaacson (22) of Redmond, were both seriously injured and transported to an area hospital.

The highway was impacted for approximately four hours during the on-scene investigation. 

OSP was assisted by Crook County Fire, Redmond Fire, Crooks County Sheriffs’ Office, Redmond Police Department, and ODOT.


At 7,000 feet, along the Mt. Hood Magic Mile chair lift, there’s still plenty of snow for almost late June, but there’s a group interested in not just the freshly carved slopes but something much higher up — and a four-legged robot that’s currently exploring the surface of Mount Hood may be the key.

“This research is motivated by NASA’s Moon to Mars objective, and its future works putting humans and robot on the moon — and eventually, Mars — together,” said Cristina Wilson with Oregon State University, who works in the collaborative robotics and intelligence systems institute.

Wilson has been working on this project for the last two years with other universities from around the country, including University of Southern California and Georgia Tech, and NASA, who’s backing the project.

As you guessed it, the research name comes with a very big acronym.

“The LASSIE Project stands for ‘Legged Autonomous Surface Science in Analog Environments,’ and the legs from that come from the Spirit robot,” said Wilson.

Spirit, the four-legged robot in question, resembles a dog, and it’s helping this team get back to the moon. The reason researchers chose Mount Hood for this project is the terrain, the rocky conditions, as well as the snow and ice.

Kenton Fisher, a space scientist with NASA, said that the data they receive from Spirit tells them about the composition of the surface that the robot is walking over.

“At NASA, we’re often looking at ways to adapt the engineering developments that are going on things, like rovers or robotic dogs, and use them for science applications,” said Fisher.

He’s hoping the information they get down on Earth will lead to more discoveries in outer space, even though he knows there will be a few missteps before that can happen.


The Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office conducted a speed racing mission in the Columbia River Gorge on Saturday.  

This follows several reports of speeding and racing drivers.  Earlier this month, a speeding driver crashed down a 150-foot ravine.  On Saturday, a motorcyclist tried to elude deputies and crashed.  The rider ran into the woods, but eventually surrendered.  He was treated for injuries and charged with felony and misdemeanor elude.  Other drivers were cited for speeding and deputies cleared the Crown Point parking lot where illegal street takeovers have happened in the past.


Oregon needs 3,700 adult mental health and substance use treatment beds to meet the demand.  

That’s according to a report from the Public Consulting Group.  The company was hired by the Oregon Health Authority to study mental health and substance use needs in the state.  The firm has done similar projects in Washington and other states.  

The report shows the state will need to invest 170-million dollars a year over the next five years to create 650 new beds a year.  Over the last four years, the Legislature has invested more than one-and-a-half billion dollars to expand behavioral health treatment capacity.


It’s been two years this week since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe versus Wade and several states, including Idaho, have banned abortions.  

Oregon clinics are seeing an increase in patients seeking abortions, with Idaho patients leading the increase.  Planned Parenthood of Southwest Oregon says the number of out of state patients has doubled, and most of them are from Idaho. 


A semitruck smashed into the Hood River-White Salmon Interstate Bridge on Thursday, causing severe damage and closing the nearly century-old span indefinitely.

The Port of Hood River, which operates the bridge, said the collision occurred just before noon. No injuries were reported.

The truck traveling south on the bridge, was carrying an excavator that crashed into an overhead support on the bridge’s lift span.

The bridge connects the cities of Hood River and White Salmon in Washington state, and it links Interstate 84 and Oregon 30 with Washington State Route 14.

The nearest crossings are now The Dalles Bridge and the Bridge of the Gods by Cascade Locks. The nearer of the two, in The Dalles, means a detour of more than 40 miles.

The port said in an update Friday the consulting firm HDR Engineering would evaluate whether the bridge can reopen. 


Nike shares on Friday tumbled nearly 20% after the company said it expected sales to decline in its new fiscal year, the latest sign of severe turbulence at Oregon’s biggest company.

It was the biggest one-day drop in Nike history, wiping out roughly $28 billion in shareholder wealth.

Even before Friday’s tumble, Nike’s stock had been heading steadily downward after climbing above $170 in November 2021. Shares closed Friday at $75.36.

Under CEO John Donahoe, who started work in 2020, the sportswear giant bet heavily on direct sales and the popularity of Nike classics, like Air Jordans, Dunks and Air Force 1s. The move away from wholesale opened shelf space for competitors, including Hoka and On, who have gained momentum.

Thursday night, the company said demand for “lifestyle” sneakers, like Dunks, is slowing more than previously expected.

Before Friday, a one-day 19.5% price drop on Feb. 27, 2001, was the worst day for Nike’s shares. That day, the company said a new ordering system “wrecked its shoemaking schedule,” leaving Nike with “double the needed amount.”


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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