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>> 11/21/13  Air Quality Advisory GREEN Until Noon Friday

>> 11/21/13 P-P-&-L Attacks Takeover Study, Insist "We're Not For Sale"

Pacific Power officials attacked a feasibility study conducted for the city of Klamath Falls regarding creation of a Municipal Utility District and a takeover of their company at a Wednesday news conference.  A former Pacific employee Doug Larson is a CPA who analyzed the city study and said the cost to takeover the company would not be $31-million but $84-point-6 million.  Larson said the city study also does not include $25 million in "separation costs" required if the city creates an electric utility.  Larson says the city can not takeover substations outside the city limits and will need three new substations. The city study contends the substations will be taken under condemnation as part of an overall takeover with no increase in price. The Vice President of Government Affairs for Pacificorp, Scott Bolton said repeatedly at the news conference the utility is not (not) for sale and the company will fight in court to avoid the hostile takeover.  Bolton said he and other P-P-&-L officials plan to have one-on-one, face-to-face meetings with each Klamath Falls City Council member to discuss their response to the city study.  Bolton says the takeover effort will prove to be much more expensive than estimated once it lands in court.  Mayor Todd Kellstrom says the city stands by the study numbers.    

>> 11/21/13 Gospel Mission Staying Put

The Executive Director of the Klamath Falls Gospel Mission,, Kent Berry, says the plan to buy a former church at 707 High Street is being dropped following concerns raised by business leaders and neighborhood residents. Berry said the church would have met the needs of the mission for 30 years but added, "We want to be good partners." The head of the Downtown Business Association, Mike Angeli and the Executive Director of Discover Klamath, Jim Chadderdon, both expressed appreciation for the decision and both men say they will remain committed to work to help the mission.

>> 11/21/13 State Revenue Forecast Hints At 2015 Kicker Rebate

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon legislators raised taxes in September by nicking the wealthy and corporations, but they learned Thursday that new money may be offset by kicker tax rebates in 2015 that would go to all individual taxpayers.  State economists told a legislative committee on Thursday the latest revenue estimates are halfway to the threshold that would trigger the kicker rebates.  Those rebates are paid when tax collections exceed projections by at least 2 percent.  Democratic State Sen. Ginny Burdick called it worrisome that the state faces the prospect of a kicker "just as we're getting some level of stability in our education system." But she says there's time for the Legislature to make adjustments.  State Economist Mark McMullen told lawmakers Oregon's economic recovery is starting to reach rural areas and more industries.

>> 11/21/13 Wallace Property Tax Payment Bounces

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Former NBA star Rasheed Wallace attempted to make a $35,000 payment on a property tax bill on a house he owns in Portland, Ore., but when the county tried to collect the money it was told the account is not valid. His wife submitted the electronic payment last week that bounced.  Dave Austin with Multnomah County told KGW (http://bit.ly/18SPYTm ) as a result, a $25 returned check fee will be added to the $150,000 bill.  Wallace is a former Portland Trail Blazer who is now an assistant coach with the Detroit Pistons.___

>> 11/20/13 Air Quality Advisory GREEN Until Noon Thursday

>> 11/20/13 Large Crowd Fills Ragland Theatre For Klamath Promise Kickoff

The Klamath Promise Initiative was formally launched Tuesday night and the event drew a large crowd of parents, students, teachers, business and community leaders that filled the Ross Ragland Theatre to near capacity.  The initiative has a goal of increasing the high school graduation rate to 100%.  The current rate is under 60% at city schools and under 74% at county schools.  High school dropouts who lack basic skills are more likely to be unemployed or under employed, on government assistance (food stamps, welfare) or involved in crime.  City and county school superintendents Dr Paul Hillyer and Greg Thede encouraged the crowd to get involved and help the community improve the graduation rate by volunteering, sponsoring or advoicating for nthe cause. The theme of the Klamath Promise is, "Inspire...Mentor...Tutor."

>> 11/20/13 Pacific Power Holds News Conference Today To Respond To Possible Takeover

Officials from Pacific Power are holding a 1:00 p.m. news conference today (Wednesday) at their facility at 1950 Mallard Lane to respond to a feasibility study that says ratepayers would save $68 million by 2028 if the city takes over electric service.  Utility officials have consistently stated their business is not for sale and the company will fight any effort at a hostile takeover.  Company officials have also stated they believe the issue should be put to a vote of the people in Klamath Falls. 

>> 11/20/13 Christmas Tree Growers Say Slump Over...Finally

SILVERTON, Ore. (AP) — Christmas tree growers in the Northwest say business is looking better this year after a long slump.  They tell the agricultural publication Capital Press (http://bit.ly/19H6l4P) prices are up 2 percent to 3 percent after a seven-year slide that saw them drop by 35 percent.  Now, the growers say, some buyers are scrambling to find high-quality trees.  The growers say the tailspin began when investors, many of them new, began pouring money into the business after 2000.  When the trees reached maturity after seven years, the market was swamped, and prices fell. One grower says more than half the growers who had more than 100 acres of trees are now out of the business.  Oregon leads the nation in Christmas tree production. Washington is the sixth.

>> 11/19/13 State Unemployment Rate Hits 5-Year Low

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon's unemployment rate fell to 7.7 percent in October, a five-year low.  The state Employment Department released the numbers Tuesday after a one-month hiatus caused by the federal government's partial shutdown.  State economists said the number was a sign of an economic expansion gradually accelerating in Oregon.  A significant factor is additional construction jobs — up 9. 3 percent year over year. The sector has rebounded sharply after the Great Recession and a slow recovery.  Also contributing to the lower rate is the shrinkage of the state's labor force — down in October by nearly 49,000 from the same month in 2012.  The department says its measure of labor force participation has dropped to 61.2 percent, the lowest since the department started tracking it in 1976.

>> 11/19/13 City Council Receives P-P-&-L Takeover Feasibility Study

The E-E-S Consulting firm of Kirkland, Washington released the Phase 2 Study of a Municipal Utility District to the Klamath Falls City Council on Monday night.  E-E-S President Gary Saleba says the study took a conservative approach and it shows ratepayers in the city would save $64 million by 2028.  Pacific Power has repeatedly stated its business is not (not) for sale and will fight any7 takeover attempt. Mayor Todd Kellstrom has promoted the idea of taking over electric power service from Pacific.  Kellstrom says no taxpayer dollars were used for either study because the city used money from the sale of a cogeneration plant to pay for them.  Kellstrom believes the savings will help spur job growth in the community while at the same time saving the average ratepayer 23% on their electric power bills. The Klamath Falls City Council is expected to take a final vote on formation of a Municipal Utility District and move to take0over P-P-&-L's service in the city at its meeting Monday, December 16th.

>> 11/19/13 Promise Initiative Kickoff Tonight At Ross Ragland

The public is invited to attend a kickoff of the Klamath Promise Initiative tonight.  The effort to improve high school graduation rates in city and county schools kicks off at Ross Ragland Theatre at 7:00 p.m.  The city school graduation rate is under 60% and the county school graduation rate is less than 74%. The Klamath Promise Initiative has set a goal of increasing the graduation rates to 100% and are encouraging the public to get involved to help make the effort a reality.  Following the program at the Ross Ragland there will be reception in the Cultural Center Annex.  

>> 11/18/13 Air Quality Advisory RED Until Noon Tuesday

>> 11/18/13  Public Invited To Community Forum Today At O-I-T

The public is encouraged to attend a Community Forum today at Oregon Institute of Technology for a discussion about fundamental changes for the state's universities and colleges.  State lawmakers have already passed legislation allowing U-of-O, PSU and OSU to be organized and managed by individual Governing Boards that will report to a new Higher Education Coordinating Commission.  OIT President Dr. Chris Maples is hosting the discussion today to get public input as to whether the college should have its own governing board or some other model.  The meeting will be held from 5:00 to 6:30 p.m. at the Mt. Mazama Room at the College Union.  Citizens who can't make it to the forum can attend a second forum Maples is holding with OIT students in the same room starting at 6:30 p.m.

>> 11/18/13 City Council To Receive Feasibility Study Regarding Possible P-P-&-L Takeover

The Klamath Falls City Council meets at 6:00 p.m. today at City Hall and is scheduled to receive a final feasibility study from a consultant regarding creation of a Municipal Utility District (M-U-D) that would takeover electricity service to city customers from Pacific Power.  The idea was developed by Mayor Todd Kellstrom who believes ratepayers will save millions over the next decade if the city provides electricity service. Pacific Power has been adamant in stating it will fight any attempted hostile takeover.

>> 11/18/13 Court Tosses Ouit Right To Farm Lawsuit But Questions Remain 

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon Court of Appeals has rejected a constitutional challenge to Oregon's Right to Farm law, but parties to the case say the question isn't resolved.  The Capital Press agricultural publication reports the Right to Farm law protects farmers from lawsuits over common industry practices.  The case arose from Lane County, where some residents said their neighbor's pesticides and chemicals drifted onto their properties.  They brought a case against the state, saying the Right to Farm provision violates a state constitutional guarantee that someone who is done harm can seek a remedy under the law.  The Court of Appeals ruled on narrower grounds. It said the connection between a ruling the law is unconstitutional and relief for the plaintiffs was too speculative for it to decide the constitutional question.

>>11/15/13 Air Quality Advisory YELLOW Until Noon Saturday

REMINDER! Property Taxes Due By 4:00 p.m. Today

>> 11/15/13 Health Insurance Exchange Board Demands Action

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The board of Oregon's health insurance exchange has put its executive director on notice, demanding to know when the website will work and how Cover Oregon will get people enrolled by Jan. 1.  The Oregonian reports (http://bit.ly/1j9A381 ) board members held an executive session Thursday to discuss Rocky King's performance and then passed resolutions calling for new target dates by next Friday.  The board meets again Dec. 2.  King says the staff is making progress and is optimistic about solving the problems.  Cover Oregon has resorted to hand-processing paper and electronic applications.  Members also expressed mistrust of its technology contractor, asking Oracle Vice President Tom Budnar when they should stop believing it, given a record of missed deadlines.  Budnar says a "swat team" has been brought in to fix the site.

>> 11/15/13 OIT Enrollment Up 10%

Klamath Falls, ORE. – As Oregon Institute of Technology’s Fall 2013 term is underway, school officials announced a student enrollment of 4,414, which is the highest in the university’s history. The total represents an increase of 413 students from Fall 2012.  This year’s growth includes the new Wilsonville campus that began admitting students in the fall of 2012. The increase also reflects demand for specialized polytechnic degrees from Oregon Tech, which boasts the highest return on investment ranking among Northwest universities.  “We are very pleased to see an increase in our Fall enrollment,” said Dr. Chris Maples, Oregon Tech President. “Students and parents alike recognize the tremendous value, national reputation, and exceptional return on investment (ROI) that are the hallmarks of an Oregon Tech degree. Our small classes, hands-on teaching, and undergraduate focus have been the keys to our success and reputation to date.”  Along with the success of the Wilsonville campus, Oregon Tech faculty and staff work with students to ensure that they are able to complete all of their courses on campus by providing state-of-the-art equipment and preparing students for real-life situations. For this reason, Oregon Tech boasts a 95% success rate of students in careers after graduation, or continuing their education in advanced graduate or professional schools.  “Students know that our faculty and staff care a great deal about their success, and this year’s enrollment increase also reflects that recognition,” Maples said. “Additionally, Oregon Tech has received increasingly impressive accolades from US News & World Report, Forbes, PayScale, and numerous military publications,” he added.

>> 11/15/13 Walden Encouraged By Onion Talks

ONTARIO, Ore. (AP) — U.S. Rep. Greg Walden of Oregon says he's encouraged by talks with federal officials over a proposed water quality standard that farmers growing onions under irrigation say they can't meet.  The Ontario Argus Observer reports that rules proposed by the Food and Drug Administration are aimed at E. coli contamination and result from the Food Safety Modernization Act approved by Congress.  More than a billion pounds of onions are shipped from Malheur County and southwestern Idaho annually — 25 percent of the onions consumed in the country.  Walden and three other House members, including Rep. Doc Hastings of Washington, met Wednesday with an FDA deputy commissioner. Walden says it won't be known whether the FDA will relent on onions until the proposed rules are revised in a few months.

11/14/13 Air Quality advisory GREEN Until Noon Friday

11/14/13 United Way Hits 42% Of Campaign Goal

At a luncheon for volunteers on Wednesday the United Way Chairman, Lt. Colonel Martin Balakas announced donations have reached $294,000 which is 42% of this year's goal of $700,000.  The campaign supports 19 local non profit agencies that serve the community.  Balakas said, "Things are going well, so far, but we have a long road ahead of us." He encouraged the public to make their donations to United Way before the end of the year.

>> 11/14/13 More Federal Agents Headed To Medford

MEDFORD, Ore. (AP) — Medford, Ore.'s police chief says more federal agents are arriving to help investigate the detonation of an explosive device that damaged the Jackson County prosecutor's office.  Police Chief Tim George also said Wednesday he considers the early-morning explosion an act of domestic terrorism, but the FBI said it was too early to call it that. No one was hurt in the blast that shattered windows and damaged the exterior of the brick building.  Police said the device included a propane tank that was found burning in front of the building after the explosion was reported about 4:30 a.m.  Officials said the tank didn't fully detonate, but if it had, it could have brought the building down.  George said about 25 more federal agents were en route to help investigate. 
MEDFORD, Ore. (AP) — Police investigating an explosion outside a prosecutor's office in Southern Oregon are looking for a sports car seen speeding from the area just after the blast. It's described as a dark, two-door convertible.  Medford Police Chief Tim George said Thursday a person who lives near the Jackson County district attorney's office was outside about 4:30 a.m. Wednesday, heard the blast and then saw the car go by.  George says investigators don't know whether the car is connected to the improvised explosive device, but they want to talk to the driver.  Investigators say they are still looking for two people seen running from the area. One was reported carrying a flashlight. The explosive partially detonated early Wednesday, blowing out windows, but doing no serious damage.

>> 11/14/13 Property Taxes Due Tomorrow (Friday)

Klamath County Tax Collector Rafael Hernandez is reminding the public that property taxes are due tomorrow, Friday, November 15th.  Hernandez says the counter at the office is open from 9:00 am to 4:00 p.m. and taxes can be dropped off there or at the drop box in the hallway at the Government center on Main Street.

>> 11/13/13 Air Quality Advisory YELLOW Until Noon Thursday

>> 11/13/13 Another Operation Trojan Horse Arrest

On Sunday police located and arrested another suspect ion the Operation Trojan Horse drug raids that occurred last May.  Chief Deputy Sheriff Marty Rowley says Daniel Gonzalez Herrera was located in Merrill and arrested and is now jailed.  Gonzalez-Herrera faces charges of Racketeering and Distribution of Methamphetamine with bail set at $5-million.

>> 11/13/13  Medford Chief Calls Explosion "Act Of Domestic Terrorism"

Medford, Ore.'s police chief says more federal agents are arriving to help investigate the detonation of an explosive device that damaged the Jackson County prosecutor's office.  Police Chief Tim George also said Wednesday he considers the early-morning explosion an act of domestic terrorism, but the FBI said it was too early to call it that.  No one was hurt in the blast that shattered windows and damaged the exterior of the brick building.  Police said the device included a propane tank that was found burning in front of the building after the explosion was reported about 4:30 a.m.  Officials said the tank didn't fully detonate, but if it had, it could have brought the building down.  George said about 25 more federal agents were en route to help investigate.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

An explosive device that went off before dawn Wednesday and damaged the Jackson County prosecutor's office in Medford, Ore., appeared to be a failed attempt to level the building, a police spokesman said.  The device shattered windows and damaged mainly the exterior of the building, said Lt. Mike Budreau of the Medford police. Nobody was hurt.  "I think that it's safe to assume that had this bomb went off as it was intended to, it would have most likely destroyed most of the building, and we believe that was the intent of the suspect," Budreau told the Medford Mail Tribune (http://bit.ly/1aTtdUX ).Budreau said the device included what appeared to be a propane tank that was found burning in front of the district attorney's office after the explosion was reported about 4:30 a.m.  The device didn't fully detonate, he said, leaving the tank as a valuable clue for investigators. "But it did catch fire and emitted a large flame until it eventually burned out," he said.Budreau says police are searching for a man who ran from an officer several blocks away.  "We're not sure if that is going to be related to this case or if it's going to be unrelated," he said.  The resulting fire from the blast did not spread to nearby buildings. The office is part of a cluster of government offices in downtown Medford.  Police cleared a large area around the office out of fears there might be other explosive devices, but tightened the closed area after none was found. The district attorney's office was closed for the morning.

>> 11/13/13 Mayor Challenges Pacific Power Telephone Poll

 Klamath Falls Mayor Todd Kellstrom is questioning a new poll of voters conducted for Pacific Power. The poll conducted by Moore Information of Portland learned 43% of voters they called in Klamath Falls did not (not) know the city is considering creating a Municipal Utility District (M-U-D) and taking over Pacific Power's electricity service. The poll showed 73% of voters are opposed to an M-U-D. Kellstrom says the questions asked by the pollsters were used to persuade people. A consultant's feasibility study of the proposed takeover of Pacific Power's service is scheduled to be released at the Klamath Falls City Council meeting Monday, November 18th. The council is expected to make a final decision on whether to move forward is expected by mid-December.

11/12/13 Bill Collier Dies

85 year old Bill Collier died last Friday. Collier, a long time resident known for his efforts to develop ice skating and hockey in the Klamath Basin, inspired creation of the ice rink at The Running Y that bears his name.  A celebration of Collier's life is scheduled for 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 16th at Saint Paul's Episcopal Church followed by a gathering at the 9th Street Venue.  The family requests that in lieu of flowers people donate to the Collier Ice Arena or to St. Paul's Episcopal Church.

11/12/13 Large Crowd Turns Out For Veterans Day Parade

Large crowds of people lined the streets of downtown Klamath Falls Monday morning for the annual Veterans day Parade followed by a ceremony at veterans Park.  The events brought recognition to the bravery and sacrifices of millions of Americans who have fought in wars to protect the nation.  Veterans day was originally known as Armistice Day which ended the first world war at 11-a.m. on the 11th day of the 11th month of the year in 1918.   Congress changed the name to Veterans Day in the mid 1950's.

11/12/13 Woman Wins False Imprisonment Lawsuit

Jurors awarded more than $101,000 to a Happy Valley woman who was a victim of identity theft and wrongly arrested by Clackamas County sheriff's deputies.  The Oregonian reports (http://bit.ly/HPeVIu ) jurors deliberated less than two hours before reaching a verdict upholding Kimberly Fossen's claims of negligence and false imprisonment against Clackamas County.  Fossen was arrested in 2009 and spent a night in jail and was arraigned in shackles before she was released.  An arrest warrant had been issued in New York accusing her of theft. The woman police were looking for had assumed Fossen's identity. Fossen told deputies about the identity theft when they arrested her and asked them to check her fingerprints.

11/12/13 State Timber Sale Loses Most Of Its Value

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The discovery of a threatened bird in the Elliott Sate Forest in Coos County has drastically lowered the value of three tracts where logging is now in doubt.  The Oregonian reports (http://bit.ly/182dTD1) state appraisals dropped from $22 million to less than $4 million after a marbled murrelet was spotted last summer by state surveyors and volunteers with the Coast Range Forest Watch, a conservation group that opposes the timber sale.  The murrelet is a threatened seabird species that nests in large trees.  The state uses timber revenue from the Elliott State Forest to fund public education.___

>> 11/08/13 Air Quality Advisory YELLOW Until Noon Saturday

>> 11/08/13 State May Shutoff Irrigation Wells Next Year

Sources have told KFLS News the Oregon Water Resources Department may shutoff upper basin irrigation wells next spring.  State Senator Doug Whitsett was to have a telephone conference with the department this (Friday) morning.  Whitsett says he will ask about the department's legal authority to shutoff wells saying "there is  no precedent to shut off irrigation wells" calling the move, "new ground."

>> 11/0p8/13 Large Crowd Turns Out For Public Forum On Mission Move

More than 140 people including business owners and residents who live near 7th and High Street turned out for a community forum, at the First Presbyterian Church on Thursday evening. Most of the speakers expressed opposition to proposed plans by the Klamath Falls Gospel Mission to move to 707 High Street.  Concerns about public safety and negative impacts to downtown businesses including the Ross Ragland Theatre were voiced by several speakers.  Mission director Kent Berry said his board would meet5 next week to decide how to move forward. 

>> 11/08/13 Memorial Service Next Week For Slain Police Officer

A memorial service will be held Thursday in Portland for Oregon City reserve Officer Robert Libke.  He was fatally shot Sunday while responding to a disturbance at a home that was set on fire. The 88-year-old gunman then took his own life. Libke's life will be celebrated at 1 p.m. Thursday at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Portland.  Gov. John Kitzhaber has ordered that flags at all public institutions in Oregon be flown at half-staff Thursday in honor of Officer Libke.

>> 11/07/13 Tulkelake High Agricultural Mechanics Win National Championship

A four man team of agricultural mechanics from Tulelake High School has won the national championship in Louisville, Kentucky at the national Future Farmers of America convention.   The team of Luke Plass, Wayne will, Dakota Massey and Julio Villasenor beat out teams from 44 states.  Last spring the Tulelake team won the California State Championship. The team was required to build a stand of metal and wood to hold a water pump engine in two hours.

>>  11/07/13 Merkley Among 16 Senate Democrats That Met With Obama

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon's Sen. Jeff Merkley was among the Democrats who met with President Obama over problems with the rollout of the Affordable Care Act.  Afterwards, Merkley issued a statement Wednesday saying the "dysfunction and delays are unacceptable.'" He said for every day the website does not allow people to sign up easily, the enrollment period should be extended by a day and that anyone unable to sign up until after Jan.1 should be able to get retroactive coverage.  Merkley was among 16 Senate Democrats facing re-election who met with the president.  White House press secretary Jay Carney rejected the idea of extending the March 31 deadline for Americans to get insurance or face a fine. He said the administration believes there is time to make the enrollment process work.

>> 11/07/13 Legislative Council Says Cities Can Not "Just say No" to Marijuana Dispensaries

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The Legislature's legal advisers say local governments cannot "just say no" to medical marijuana dispensaries.  The Oregonian reports Wednesday that the opinion was sought after the city of Medford adopted a local ordinance saying business licenses will not be given to anyone who violates local, state and federal laws.  And despite a new state law that permits dispensaries to sell medical marijuana to cardholders, the federal government still considers marijuana illegal.  The non-binding legal opinion from the Office of Legislative Counsel says that while a city can require a medical marijuana dispensary to have a business license, the city cannot enforce an ordinance in such a way that would prevent the dispensary from operating.  The opinion is at odds with federal court rulings that permit cities to ban dispensaries.

>> 11/06/13 Open Burning Window Extended

Klamath County Public Health has extended the 2013 Fall Open Burning Window to Sunday, November 17th at 5:00 p.m.  The extension was made due to the low number of GREEN days for residents to burn yard debris and clippings.

>> 11/06/13 Voters Reject KCC Bond Measure

Voters have rejected a 9-point-85-million dollar bond measure for Klamath Community College by a 55-to-44-per cent margin.  The money would have been used for a 19-point-2-million dollar KCC Vocational Technical Expansion Program.   The bond measure would have raised property taxes about 21-dollars a year for the owner of a 150-thousand dollar home.  If the bond had been approved the college would have received 7-point-85 million from the state of Oregon and would have funded the construction of new buildings and programs. KCC President Doctor Roberto Guitierrez said we are disappointed but we will continue the work we started a year ago.

>> 11/06/13 Moderate Quake Off Oregon Coast

A magnitude 4.0 earthquake struck off the Oregon coast early this (Wednesday) morning.  The quake was at a depth of about 10 miles and its epicenter was 281 miles west-northwest of Coos Bay.  The quake occurred at about 12:30 a.m.  On Tuesday morning at about 5:15, a magnitude 3.2 earthquake was recorded at a depth of about 10 miles with an epicenter 170 miles west of Coos Bay. No damage or injuries reported from either quake.

>> 11/06/13 Fired Football Coach Still Taking Team To Hooters

A Portland, Ore.-area middle school football coach who was fired for planning an awards party at a Hooters restaurant says he's going ahead with the event without school backing.  And Hooters says it will pick up the bill Saturday and make a donation to the Corbett Middle School boosters club.  The district's athletic director fired Randall Burbach this week and withdrew its support for an event at Hooters, where waitresses wear shorts and tight shirts.  The first-year volunteer coach refused to move the after-season party to another location because Hooters is where the boys wanted to go and he believes it's a family restaurant.  KGW reports (http://bit.ly/HtYeBU ) the Jantzen Beach Hooters is picking up the tab and donating $1,000 plus 20 percent of Saturday sales to the school's boosters club.

>> 11/05/13 Oregon City Policeman Dies Of Gunshot Wound

Police in Oregon City say a volunteer reserve officer has died after he was shot by an 88-year-old man they believe set fire to a house.  Authorities identified the officer as 41-year-old Robert Libke (LIHB'-kee) of the Oregon City police department.Libke was part of a two-man team that was first to respond to reports that a man with a gun was outside a burning home on Sunday.  A SWAT team from the Clackamas County sheriff's office killed the alleged gunman, identified Monday as Lawrence Cambra.  Investigators are still trying to determine a motive but don't believe the fire was set to lure police into an ambush.
The 88-year-old man who fatally shot an Oregon police officer Sunday and then was shot to death by a SWAT team had a reputation for quarrels with neighbors and a record of domestic disputes.  Residents of an Oregon City trailer park where Lawrence Cambra once lived told The Oregonian (http://bit.ly/1a44SJc) he picked fights and killed his own homing pigeons after someone complained about them. Cambra's girlfriend got a restraining order against him a year ago after reporting he threatened to get a gun and get rid of people. He was jailed at one point, but she declined to prosecute and the order was dropped.  Authorities say the girlfriend fled after a confrontation Sunday, and then Cambra set fire to their house and shot reserve Officer Robert Libke

>> 11/05/13 Police Arrest Man After Standoff North Of La Pine

The Deschutes County sheriff's office says a six-hour standoff ended Monday night with the arrest of a man at a residence north of La Pine.  The man had fled from Oregon State Police Fish and Wildlife troopers investigating several dead deer in the area.  State police and deputies surrounded the home, and the 28-year-old man was taken into custody about 10 p.m. He was wanted on a felony arrest warrant.

11/05/13  Middle School Football Coach Fired Over Restaurant Decision

A Portland, Ore.-area middle school football coach who said he was willing to lose his job rather than back down from plans for a team party at Hooters has lost his job. The athletic director for the Corbett School District, Jean-Paul Soulagnet, sent a letter to parents Monday night telling them the end-of-season awards party at Hooters was no longer a Corbett Middle School event.  KGW reports (http://bit.ly/HtYeBU ) the athletic director also fired coach Randy Burbach for refusing to choose a more appropriate location.  Burbach said he would not bow to pressure to move the party, because he always told his boys to stand up for what they believe in.  He believes Hooters is appropriate for families. The restaurant bills itself as "delightfully tacky," and its waitresses wear skimpy outfits

>> 11/04/13 County Public Health Takes Action On Pertussis Problem

(Klamath Falls, Ore.) - To help stop the spread of pertussis in the community, the Klamath County
Department of Public Health, in partnership with both school districts, has determined that a special
school Exclusion Day on Wednesday, November 13th for all seventh graders is necessary. On October 25th, letters were mailed to the parents of 266 seventh graders who are missing school-
required vaccines. The vast majority of these students have not received the booster which protects
against pertussis. Immunity from pertussis wanes over time, so it is important to get a booster as soon
as you are eligible. To ensure that our community is protected from pertussis, Klamath County Public Health is partnering with Klamath Falls City School District, Klamath County School District, OHSU School of Nursing, and KCC  Practical Nursing Certificate Program to host FREE Tdap immunization clinics for seventh graders who  need a booster.
- November 4th, Henley Middle School, 9:00am – 1:00pm
- November 6th, Ponderosa Junior High, 1:00pm – 7:00pm
- November 7th, Ponderosa Junior High, 1:00pm – 7:00pm
- November 8th, Brixner Junior High, 9:00am – 1:00pm

The Tdap vaccine offered at these clinics will be provided at no cost, regardless of whether the child is insured or uninsured. The Tdap vaccine is only available to 7th graders whop have received an exclusion letter.

>> 11/04/13 Malin Driver Cited For Wreck That Damaged Power Pole

Oregon State Police (OSP) cited a driver following Saturday's night non-injury single vehicle traffic crash into a power pole along Highway 39 south of Klamath Falls. The highway was closed about six hours as Pacific Power personnel were still on scene this morning repairing the power pole and down power lines.  According to Trooper Craig Rice, on November 2, 2013, at approximately 11:08 p.m., a single vehicle crash was reported on Highway 39 near Chin Road in the victinity of milepost 10. Investigation indicates that an Acura MDX sport utility vehicle driven by DEVON M. KIRKPATRICK, age 25, from Malin, was southbound and drifted off the southbound shoulder and strurck a power pole.  The power pole was damaged and power lines fell across Highway 39, Chin Road and the Union Pacific Railroad line that parallels the highway.  KIRKPATRICK was using safety restraints and she was not injured. Airbags in her vehicle deployed.  She was cited by OSP for Fail to Maintain Lane. No other occupants or vehicles were involved.

>> 11/04/13 REMINDER: Ballots For KCC Bond Measure Due Tuesday Night By 8:00 P.m.

>> 11/1/13 Stearns Elementary Locked Down Thursday Morning

Stearns elementary School was locked down early Thursday morning for about an hour.  County School Superintendent Greg Thede says students were kept in classrooms and visitors were not allowed as police searched for a suspect in an assault.  A deputy sheriff School Resource Officer remained at the school until the end of the day.  The suspect was not located.

>> 11/d 1/13 Cover Oregon Website Still Plagued With problems

Oregon's health insurance exchange will not meet its goal of allowing online enrollment by the end of October.  Officials at Cover Oregon announced Thursday that they'll begin processing applications by hand. They say they've received more than 7,000 applications so far.  Cover Oregon was supposed to allow people to sign up for insurance coverage beginning Oct. 1. But officials say their software hasn't been able to accurately determine people's eligibility for tax credits, the Oregon Health Plan and Healthy Kids.  Officials did not set a new goal for getting the website fully functional. In the meantime, people can fill out a form online and submit it electronically or print and mail it. A staff member will determine whether they're eligible for a tax credit or public assistance and notify them in writing.

>> 11/1/13 Today (Friday) Is Last Day To Mail Ballots

Klamath county elections officials suggest that voters mail their ballots no later than today to make sure they arrive by the deadline of 8:00 p.m. Tuesday, November 5th.  Voters who don't mail ballots today should drop off ballots at drop box locations.  Voters are being asked to approve a $9-point-8-million dollar bond measure for Klamath Community College.

>> 10/31/13 Argument Over Ambulance Service

Representatives from Emergency Airlift clashed outside of a county commissioner's meeting room Wednesday morning with representatives of the Klamath County Ambulance Advisory Council.  Airlift owner Ed Langeveld accused council chair Tom Ongman and Battalion Chief Monty Keady of Fire District #1 of blocking his company from being a backup resource for ambulance service. Ongman and Keady vigorously denied the claim and demanded proof.  Langeveld told them he had "several examples" of incidents where his service was either not called or where his helicopter was "waved off."  Langeveld has indicated he will file a civil lawsuit if his company continues to be blocked.  The council meets in early December in Chiloquin and Emergency Airlift representatives will be at the meeting. Ongman said there will be dozens of questions about the service but stated he could see no reason why Emergency Airlift would not be listed as an ambulance backup for the county.

>> 10/31/13 Studded Tires Legal Friday

Drivers in Oregon can put studded tires on their cars starting Friday.  Studded tires are legal November through March, but the Oregon Department of Transportation says they damage highways. ODOT encourages drivers to consider chains or traction tires without studs.  The department says studded tires are more effective than all-weather tires on icy roads, but less effective in most other conditions because they may reduce traction.

>> 10/31/13 State Rep. Mike McLane Files For Re-Election


Salem, OR - Rep. Mike McLane (R - Powell Butte) filed for re-election today and pledged to work to make Oregon's government an ally for the state's small businesses and to control cost drivers for state programs.  "I have two main goals I believe the Oregon Legislature needs to achieve. First, it needs to be an ally for Oregon's small businesses. Too often, state government can be antagonistic to those who grow our economy. Second, Oregon needs to control cost drivers in our budget in a mature and thoughtful way so we aren't just asking Oregon taxpayers to pay more for state programs," Rep. McLane said. "I am running for re-election to House District 55 to fight for our farms, families and small businesses."   Rep. McLane was first elected to House District 55 in 2010. After being re-elected in 2012, he was chosen by his House Republican colleagues to serve as the House Republican Leader.

>> 10/29/13 Reser's Expands Food Recall

BEAVERTON, Ore. (AP) — Reser's Fine Foods, Inc., has voluntarily expanded a recall of packaged salads from its factory in Topeka, Kan.  The company based in Beaverton, Ore., said it took the step Saturday because the products distributed nationwide and in Canada may be contaminated with Listeria, which can cause serious illness. Symptoms include fever, headache, abdominal pain and diarrhea.  The company said in a statement on its website that there have been no confirmed illnesses linked to the products.  The products include potato, pasta, tuna and egg salads sold under the Reser's name, as well as a variety of others.  Reser's said the packages are marked with a plant identifier code of 20 next to the best-by-date. About 450 products are listed on the Resers.com website.

>> 10/29/13 Studded Tires Allowed Beginning Friday

Drivers in Oregon can put studded tires on their cars starting Friday.  Studded tires are legal November through March, but the Oregon Department of Transportation says they damage highways. ODOT encourages drivers to consider chains or traction tires without studs.  The department says studded tires are more effective than all-weather tires on icy roads, but less effective in most other conditions because they may reduce traction.

>> 10/29/13 Natural Gas Rates Dropping In November & January

Meeting today the Oregon Public Utility Commission approved rate adjustments for all three of the state’s natural gas companies--Northwest Natural, Avista Utilities and Cascade Natural Gas. The new rates take effect on customer’s bills beginning Nov. 1, 2013.  “We are in an environment of low but slowly rising gas prices,” Commission Chairman Susan Ackerman.  “Each of the utilities we regulate is unique when it comes to buying and transporting natural gas. Whether your rate falls or rises this coming year depends on which utility you get your natural gas from.”  With these changes, the monthly bill of a typical Avista Utilities residential customer using 48 therms per month will decrease by $3.65, or -6.3 percent, from $58.00 to $54.35. In January, a typical residential customer’s consumption of 100 therms will result in a billing decrease of $7.61, or 6.7 percent, from $113.25 to $105.64.

>> 10/24/13 Walden Responds To Linthicum Announcement

“I work hard every day to get results for Oregonians, and I look forward to earning their trust again next year. I remain focused on reducing the size and cost of government and growing Oregon’s economy to create jobs in the woods, on our farms, and in the high tech sector.”- Greg Walden

>> 10/25/13 Reser's Recalling Products Due To Listeria Concerns

WASHINGTON (AP) — Oregon-based Reser's Fine Foods is recalling pre-packaged products that may be contaminated with Listeria.  The items were made at a Topeka, Kan., plant. They vary widely and include such items as cole slaw, pimento spread and potato salad. The U.S. Department of Agriculture says the items also include 22,800 pounds of products containing chicken, ham and beef.  The company and federal officials announced Tuesday that the refrigerated ready-to-eat products may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. The products were distributed across the U.S. and Canada. There have been no reports of illness.  The company and federal officials listed various "sell by" dates for the recalled products.  Listeria monocytogenes can cause listeriosis, an uncommon and potentially fatal disease. Symptoms can include high fever and severe headache.

>> 10/24/13 Former U-ofO Football Player Arrested

Former Oregon tight end Colt Lyerla has been arrested on drug-related charges in Lane County.  Lyerla, who left the No. 2 Ducks earlier this month and plans to enter the NFL draft in April, was held in the Lane County Jail following his arrest on Wednesday.  The sheriff's office says in a statement that Lyerla was observed by a drug investigation unit snorting a white powdery substance while sitting in a parked car. He was arrested on suspicion of unlawful possession of cocaine and interfering with a police officer.  When he decided to leave the Ducks, Lyerla said it was to pursue and NFL career. He had been suspended for Oregon's Oct. 5 game at Colorado by coach Mark Helfrich for an unspecified violation of team rules.



>> 10-23-13 Linthicum Running For Walden's Congressional Seat

- Today, Klamath County Commissioner Chair Dennis Linthicum announced that he is running against incumbent Republican Congressman Greg Walden for the U.S. Representative position in Oregon’s 2nd District. “Like many in the 2nd District, I think the Federal government is unwieldy and harmful in its current state,” Linthicum said. “As we saw with the recent shutdown debate - ordinary individuals and businesses are punished for Washington’s inability to manage our money. I want to stand up for everyday Oregonians, the farmers, ranchers, parents, students, entrepreneurs and individuals who make our country great with their ingenuity, work ethic and community spirit.”  “I’ve been so humbled by the outpouring of support during the exploratory phase of this run,” Linthicum continued. “I’m excited to continue to hear from people in the 2nd District as we work together for common-sense policies and individual liberty. Folks here care about economic growth and Constitutional conservatism, but their voice is largely going unheard. We need to allow enterprise to create jobs, build infrastructure and grant opportunity to everyone equally, not creating carve-outs for specific industries or kick-backs for those with connections.”   Linthicum said that his experience as a County Commissioner, a role in which he is very popular, led him to recognize that more reforms are needed at the Federal level. From the county office, he often feels unable to help his community, because of Federal regulations and intrusion on local life. He said this is unfair to Klamath, as well as other counties across Oregon, and he wants to help solve those issues and restore control to citizens and local governments.  Linthicum also said that he is committed to Oregon’s interests first. “I’m not trying to climb a political ladder or gain power,” he said. “I have deep knowledge of the economic forces and environmental issues that Oregonians face, and an inspiring view of America that sees possibility and not liability, hope and not fear. I believe that ‘We the People’ can take on the Washington elites and that every person can make a difference. As part of that, I think I can bring a fresh Constitutional perspective and common-sense solutions to our concerns, that the voters of Oregon’s 2nd District will whole-heartedly support.



10/23/13 Air Quality Advisory GREEN Until Noon Thursday

>> 10/23/13 Text A Tip Program Launched

Citizens for Safe Schools, the Klamath Falls Police Department, the Klamath County Sheriff’s Department and both City and County School Districts announced today the launching of a Text a Tip Line, a service for students and/or their parents to anonymously submit tips through the Web, a text message, or from any Android or iPhone mobile device with the TipSubmit mobile app. The use of the tip line, operated by TipSoft, is a proactive effort to prevent crimes in our schools.  TipSoft is successful because it uses familiar technology, allowing the public to carry on an anonymous two-way conversation with the agency without requiring them to speak directly to an officer. TipSoft is proven to help stop and solve crimes. To date, the TipSoft system, used in dozens of schools across the country.  "We believe in the power of information and know that students are often the very best source to what is happening in schools. Students deserve a safe, anonymous way to report bullying, threats of violence, drug use and other issues” said Citizens for Safe Schools Executive Director Debbie Vought.

>> 10/23/13 Astronomy Outing Saturday Night At Liskey Farms 

KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. – Deep-space objects such as the Andromeda galaxy will be the focus of a star party planned Saturday, Oct. 26, by the Klamath County Museum. The free astronomy event will be held at Liskey Farms on Lower Klamath Lake Road. Participants may arrive as early as 6:00, though best viewing conditions will not occur until around 8 p.m. “We’ll look at some of our neighboring galaxies, as well as some dazzling star clusters within our own Milky Way galaxy,” said Greg Christensen, a museum volunteer in charge of the event. “We’ll have a couple of good-sized telescopes for people to look through, but I’d really encourage everyone to bring their own binoculars as well.”  Saturday’s star party is open to anyone interested. Participants should bring extra layers of clothing, as temperatures drop rapidly after sunset. Motorists are asked to turn off headlights as they enter the parking area, and continue cautiously with parking lights.  to reach the site, turn from Cross Road near Midland on to Lower Klamath Lake Road. Liskey Farms is about 5.5 miles southeast of the intersection with Cross Road.

>> 10/22//13 Air Quality Advisory YELLOW At Noon Till Noon Wednesday

>> 10/22/13 KCC, Lake Hospital District Partner To Form Program

A two-year degree in Registered Nursing (RN) may soon be available to students in Klamath and Lake Counties, following a recent agreement between Klamath Community College and Lake Health District. Once completed, program curriculum would specialize in rural nursing. A signing ceremony marking the finalization of the agreement was held in the KCC boardroom today. “This is training that is needed in order to have qualified people to fill these positions right here in our own communities,” said KCC President Dr. Roberto Gutierrez. “It would be extremely difficult for either KCC or Lake District Hospital to make this happen on its own, but by identifying ways to work together and partner, we are able to better serve the communities of both Klamath and Lake Counties.”  Lake Health District will provide budgetary resources of up to $225,000 for three years, make available a clinical site, and provide classroom space, including up to two beds at Lake District Hospital or at the Innovation and Learning Center in Lakeview. Lake Health District will also assist in coordinating housing for students who may need to relocate

>> 10/22/13 173rd Fighter Wings Conducts Night Flying Training This Week

KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. - The 173rd Fighter Wing will conduct night flying operations Monday October 21 through Thursday, October 24, between approximately 8 p.m. and 11:30 p.m.   Night flying is one part of the course curriculum for F-15C student pilots at Kingsley Field.  "Night flying is a critical skill which our students need to learn to be effective war fighters," said Col. Jeremy Baenen, 173rd Fighter Wing commander.  "We understand the disruption to the community during night flying weeks, but we try our best to minimize the noise impact."   Most of the training will occur in the military operating airspace to the east of Lakeview, where the pilots can fly without any lights.  However the community will most likely hear the jets during take-offs and approaches to and from Kingsley Field.  Takes-off will occur after sundown and the jets will return approximately one-and-one-half hours later.

>> 10-21-13  Air Quality Advisory GREEN Until Noon Tuesday

THE AQ ADVISORY FROM NOON Monday October 21, 2013 TO NOON, Tuesday


>> 10/21/13 Arrest Made In Ashland Murder Case 

A suspect in the slaying of a 62-year-old Ashland man has been arrested at a Vancouver grocery store.  KGW-TV reports U.S. Marshals swarmed an IGA grocery store and arrested Othon Robert Campos, Jr., of Medford, on Saturday morning. Campos has been indicted on murder, robbery and burglary charges in connection with the death of Frank Ronald Damiano, also known as Tony Della Pena.  Police say Campos and Merlin Elmo Bound III broke into Damiano's home at a mobile home park to rob him.  Bound was arrested Tuesday.  Campos is accused of aggravated murder. That charge could carry the death penalty.

10/21/13 Bank of the Cascades Opens Today In Klamath Falls

On Monday, October 21, Bank of the Cascades officially opens its doors to become part of the Klamath Falls community as the area’s local, Oregon-based bank. This news marks the completion of the purchase by Bank of the Cascades of the Klamath Falls branch of AmericanWest Bank. In the same transaction, the Bank assumed the customer relationships, including deposits and selected loans, of AmericanWest Bank’s Bend and Redmond, Oregon branch offices.  We are proud and honored to become the local, community bank for our new Klamath Falls neighbors,” said Julie Miller, executive vice president and Oregon regional president for Bank of the Cascades. “Because we are based here in Oregon, we are able to deliver local expertise and responsiveness, while working to serve the business, mortgage and personal banking needs of our customers.”  With the local bank team remaining on board to serve customers, Miller expects a smooth and seamless transition.

>> 109/18/13 Air Quality Advisory YELLOW Until Noon Saturday

>> 10-18-13 Governor Orders Flags At Half-staff On Sunday

Governor Kitzhaber today ordered all flags at public institutions to be flown at half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Sunday, October 20, 2013, in honor of Private First Class Cody Patterson.  “PFC Patterson was a proud Army Ranger dedicated to serving his country,” said Governor Kitzhaber. “His commitment to his fellow soldiers and personal courage is inspiring, and his death is a tragic loss. I ask all Oregonians to pause this Sunday and recognize his legacy of service and sacrifice.”  PFC Patterson, 24, of Philomath, died October 6, in Afghanistan of injuries sustained when enemy forces attacked his unit with an improvised devise. He was assigned to Company B, 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, Fort Benning, Georgia.

>> 10/18/13 Crater Lakes, Parks & Refuges Reopen

Crater Lake, Oregon – Crater Lake National Park reopens to visitors today.  Visitors can access public areas and roads immediately while facilities and other public services are brought back online.  Crater Lake National Park has been closed since October 1st due to the lapse in Congressional appropriations. “We are excited and happy to be back at work and welcome visitors to Crater Lake National Park,” said Superintendent Craig Ackerman. “Autumn is a particularly special season to visit Crater Lake.”  Currently, Highway 62 through the park and the road to Rim Village are open.  Park staff members are assessing conditions on the West Rim Drive and North Entrance Road in hopes of opening them sometime on Friday, October 18th.  Since it is near the end of the season, the East Rim Drive and the Pinnacles Road will remain closed until next year.  It is a perfect opportunity to hike and bike on that section of the park road while the weather remains favorable.  Park roads can be icy at higher elevations this time of year, so please use caution when driving, hiking or biking.  The Steel Information Center is open daily from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM.  Stop in to see the park film and get information for your visit.  The Rim Café & Gifts is open daily from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.   Food, beverages and snacks are available.  All other concession facilities have closed for the season, including Crater Lake Lodge and Mazama Campground.  No gasoline is available in the park this time of year.  Please plan accordingly. Also reopened are area refuges and the Lava Beds National Monument.

>> 10/18/13 Sky Lakes Donates $50,000 To City Of Klamath Falls For Ella Redkey Pool

Chief Executive Officer Paul Stewart today fulfilled Sky Lakes Medical Center’s pledge to aid the Ella Redkey Pool by presenting a check for $50,000 to city of Klamath Falls officials.  The donation is part of the medical center’s continuing community health outreach. “All of us at Sky Lakes Medical Center are proud of our community and appreciate the opportunity to partner with others seeking to make the community healthier,” Stewart said. “Childhood obesity has more than doubled in the past 30 years.  We need to ensure that our children have access to opportunities to be physically active.  With this donation, we will help area third-graders learn to swim, which will in turn make them more active.  “And we will help preserve a wonderful asset in our community for all of us to enjoy.”

>> 10-17-13  Air Quality Advisory Is YELLOW Until Noon Friday

>> 10/17/13 Walden, Wyden, Merkley React To Vote To End Shutdown, Raise Debt Limit

U.S. Rep. Greg Walden (voted "no")

“This temporary plan does nothing to address the epic problem: spending borrowed money we don’t have and cannot sustain.  It kicks the can down the road yet again for only three months, and we’ll be right back where we ended up this week. Enough is enough. Every day, families throughout Oregon and the country sit down around their kitchen tables to balance their budgets and discuss crises and practical ways to resolve them.  It’s long overdue that Washington, D.C. do the same.”

Senator Ron Wyden (voted "yes")

“With this disruptive and counterproductive government shutdown finally over and the threat of default delayed, it’s time for people to work together regardless of party on the issues most important to Oregonians and our nation - tax reform, job creation and improving affordable health care. I will continue to seek consensus on Oregon priorities including the future of our eastside forests, the Klamath Basin, and bringing some commonsense to the management of our O&C lands. Hopefully, this marks an end to legislating from crisis to crisis.”

Senator Jeff Merkley (voted "yes")

“After two and a half long weeks, common sense has finally prevailed in Washington. Although it is a good thing for our economy that Congress has reached an agreement to reopen the government and prevent a default on our debt, Congress fulfilling its most basic duties is not cause for celebration.  While this bill addresses the immediate situation, it does not begin to resolve the dysfunction and paralysis that have caused our government to careen from crisis to crisis. This cycle of brinksmanship must end.  These manufactured crises have caused great harm to our families and businesses across Oregon and across our nation. It is time to fix our broken system to end these self-inflicted wounds. We need to focus on what really matters: rebuilding an economy in which middle class families can find good jobs, pay for college, and plan for a secure retirement.”

>> 10/17/13 South Suburban Library Under Construction

Ground was broken Wednesday morning for the new South Suburban Branch Library and it is hoped the facility will open in the Spring of 2014.  The voters approved creation of a Klamath County Library District in 2000 and that ballot measure included a promise to build a library for the South Suburban Area.  The new facility will replace a small (2000 square foot) branch at the Town and Country Shopping Center that has operated since 2001.  All of the construction work (with the exception of asbestos removal) is being performed by local contractors and local workers.

>> 10/17/13 U-S Forest Service Lifts Logging Ban

The U.S. Forest Service is lifting a logging ban on national forests imposed as part of the government shutdown.  The agency filed documents in U.S. District Court in Medford on Thursday saying that contract officers will start notifying timber purchasers that they can resume work. The documents were part of a motion filed by the Forest Service to dismiss a lawsuit from the timber industry over the logging shutdown.  The U.S. Bureau of Land Management, which sells timber in Western Oregon, lifted its logging ban, too.  A hearing on the lawsuit was scheduled Thursday.

>> 10/17/13 Oregon Senate President Doesn't Want Another Special Session

The president of the Oregon Senate has put the brakes on a special session to revive a Columbia River bridge project. The Oregonian reports (http://bit.ly/1bZlLZt) the legislative leader, Peter Courtney of Salem, says public hearings should come next.  And Courtney said Wednesday that if Oregon is going to consider building the bridge without help from the state of Washington, the bill should wait until February and the start of a regular session.  Gov. John Kitzhaber had said he was willing to call the Legislature into a special session if support is lined up. An aide said Wednesday that Kitzhaber agrees that public hearings are the next step. Earlier, Washington's Legislature balked at an agreement between the two states to put up $450 million each to replace the Interstate 5 bridge.___

>> 10/16/13 Air Quality Advisory Is YELLOW

The AQ Advisory from noon Wednesday October 16, 2013 until Noon on Thursday October 17, 2013 is YELLOW.   No outdoor burning is allowed county wide.  The YELLOW advisory call means:  wITHIN THE AQ ZONE, ONLY CERTIFIED WOODSTOVEs, PELLET STOVES AND CERTIFIED FIREPLACE INSERTS MAY BE USED.

>> 10/16/13 Crescent Man Faces Rape and Kidnapping

Police have arrested 18 year old Kesson R. Ishida-Poncil of Crescent, charging him with Rape 1, Rape 3 and Kidnapping 1.  He is jailed with bail set at $210,000.

>> 10/16/13 Union Pacific Settles With Local Rancher

A Sprague River cattle rancher is now, "just waiting for the check" after the Union Pacific Railroad settled a lawsuit out of court in connection with the deaths of 24 head of cattle two years ago.  71 year old Bruce Topham, owner of Flying-T Beef sued UP after 24 of his Laser cows were hit and killed by an Amtrak train more than 2-yuears ago. Topham learned a fence had toppled over allowing the  cows to escape.  Topham learned however a state law requires railroads to maintain fences along the right-of-way and in addition the area where the incident occurred is open range which further required the railroad to fence the land.  Topham raises the highly prized Salares breed of cattle which are native to France.  The UP Railroad challenged Topham to prove the pedigree of his cattle dating back 30-years...which he did.  In late September depositions were taken and shortly thereafter UP offered a settlement. Topham told The Oregonian, "Damned if I was going to walk away...they didn't know who they were dealing with."  Topham won't say the amount of the settlement but did say the cattle that were killed were worth several hundred thousand dollars.  Flying-T beef products are sold at the Klamath Falls Saturday market.

>> 10/16/13 Timber Industry Files Lawsuit over Government Shutdown Layoffs

GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — Western timber companies have gone to court to lift the logging ban on national forests due to the government shutdown, arguing the government has no authority under timber sale contracts to force loggers to stop working.  The lawsuit was filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Medford against the U.S. Forest Service and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.  It argues that direction from the Office of Management and Budget does not require suspension of operations on a federal contract so long as direct supervision is not critical to the contractor's work. Tom Partin of the American Forest Resource Council says the shutdown is hurting working families and eventually will lead to some mills shutting down for lack of logs.  The Forest Service had no immediate comment on the lawsuit.

The AQ Advisory from noon Tuesday October 15, 2013 until Noon on Wednesday

October 16, 2013 is YELLOW.   No outdoor burning is allowed county wide.  

The YELLOW advisory call means:


>> 10/15/13 Christy Davis Is New County Library Director

The Klamath County Board of Commissioners have promoted Christy Davis to the position of Klamath County Library Director. Davis replaces Andy Swanson who retired in  February after 19 years in that job.  Davis has been the supervision librarian for the past three years.  All public are invited to a groundbreaking ceremony in celebration of the new South Suburban Branch Library project. The celebration will take place Wednesday, October 16th at 11:30 a.m. at the new library location on the corner of Summers Lane and Winter Avenue. Parking is available in the Mia & Pia's Pizzeria & Brew House parking lot at 3545 Summers Lane, Klamath Falls.

>> 10/15/13 Uneven Enforcement At Closed Government Recreation Sites

TRAIL, Ore. (AP) — Getting access to shutdown federal recreation sites in Southern Oregon depends on which agency is in charge.  The Mail Tribune reports that while Crater Lake National Park is strictly enforcing its closure, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is not paying much attention to kayakers who duck under a locked gate to gain access to the Rogue River below Lost Creek Dam.  Jim Buck, the corps' Rogue Basin operations manager, says facilities around Lost Creek Dam are officially closed, but the agency is not telling people who walk in to fish or boat to leave.  At Crater Lake, chief Ranger Curt Dimmick says about a half dozen people a day are found trespassing in the park, and rangers are escorting them out.

>> 10/15/13 Kesey Papers Will Remain At U-of-O

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — The collected papers of novelist Ken Kesey, including drafts of "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" and "Sometimes a Great Notion," will remain at the University of Oregon.  The Register-Guard reports (http://bit.ly/19LcSPK ) librarians persuaded UO President Michael Gottfredson to add $1 million to about $400,000 in donations put up by Kesey fans so the collection can stay at the UO's Knight Library.  Libraries Dean Deb Carver says the works are part of the cultural heritage of the state.  Kesey graduated from the University of Oregon in 1957. His most famous books, "Cuckoo's Nest" and "Great Notion," were published in 1962 and 1964. He died in 2001.  The papers will be available to students and scholars, but the Kesey family retains copyright rights.  ___

>> 10/14/13 Police Say Ashland Man's Death  A Homicide

ASHLAND, Ore. (AP) — Authorities in Jackson County say an Ashland man whose body was found inside a mobile home last week died of a homicide.  An autopsy performed Saturday found that 62-year-old Frank Damiano died of a homicide, but sheriff's officials did not release further details.  Sheriff's deputies were conducting a welfare check on Damiano's home Thursday when they found his body inside.  Damiano also went by the name Tony DellaPenna.

>> 10/14/13 Timber Subsidy Money May Cause Problems

GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — A surprise extension of a federal subsidy to timber counties will prevent jail shutdowns and keep deputies on the road, but local Oregon officials say the money is a fraction of what they need, and in one cash-strapped county the infusion has sparked fears that it could do more harm than good.  The federal payout will bring about $100 million to the state. Some has been earmarked for schools and roads, and for parts of western Oregon some is available for law enforcement.  But by comparison, the state got about $250 million in timber funds in 2008.  Curry County Sheriff John Bishop, meanwhile, says he's afraid voters may think the county's funding problems are solved and turn down a levy to fund law enforcement this November.

>> 10/14/13  Eagle Ridge High School Board Meets Today

The Board of Directors of Eagle Ridge High School will hold a special meeting at 4:00 p.m. today (Monday) at the school, 677 South 7th Street.  The agenda includes discussion about the school's financial position and current budget in light of higher enrollment.

>> 10/11/13 Rep. Greg Walden Comments On White House Meeting

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Tonight, U.S. Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.) and other House leaders met with President Obama at the White House to discuss a solution to America’s short-term and long-term deficit problems. Below is a readout from House Republicans summarizing tonight’s meeting:  "This evening in the Roosevelt Room, the leaders laid out the House proposal to temporarily extend the debt limit, formally appoint budget negotiators, and begin immediate discussions over how to re-open the government. No final decisions were made; however, it was a useful and productive conversation. The President and leaders agreed that communication should continue throughout the night. House Republicans remain committed to good faith negotiations with the president, and we are pleased there was an opportunity to sit down and begin a constructive dialogue tonight."

>> 10/11/13 Ecoterroist Suspect Pleads Guilty To Federal Arson, Conspiracy Charges

A woman accused of taking part in ecoterrorism firebombings pleaded guilty to arson and conspiracy charges on Thursday in an Oregon federal court.  Rebecca Rubin spent seven years fleeing from investigators until last year, when she surrendered to the FBI for her role with the Earth Liberation Front and the Animal Liberation Front.  She faces five to seven years in prison.  Defense attorney Richard Troberman says Rubin first tried to surrender in 2009, but California authorities at first pushed a sentence she found too long.  Investigators blame the groups for 20 fires across the West from 1996 to 2001 that did $40 million in damage. They burned a ski resort in Colorado, wild horse corrals in Oregon and Northern California, and lumber mills and Forest Service offices in Oregon.

>> 10/11/13 Salt Creek Tunnel Project Work Ends For This Year

The Monday through Thursday, nighttime complete closures of the OR 58: Salt Creek Tunnel will end on Friday morning, October 11, 2013.  When the tunnel on OR 58 (Willamette Hwy., milepost 56) reopens at 6 a.m. Friday morning, it will remain open 24 hours per day, seven days per week. Also beginning Friday, traffic will be allowed in both directions of travel.  There will be intermittent, daytime single lane restrictions for paving next week. During the lane restrictions, motorists can expect 10-20 minute delays with traffic controlled by pilot cars.  Once paving is complete, two way travel will be allowed until construction resumes in spring of 2014.

>> 10/10/13 Congressman Walden Attends Meeting At White House

U.S. Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.) today issued the following statement before attending a meeting at the White House tomorrow with President Obama:  “Americans expect us to sit down, work together, and find a way forward. I’m hopeful that tomorrow’s discussion will lead to a solution to America’s short-term and long-term spending and deficit problem.”

>> 10/10/13 Suspected Ecoterrorist To Enter Pleas Today

A woman accused of taking part in ecoterrorism firebombings is scheduled to enter a plea Thursday in federal court in Portland, Ore.  The Oregonian reports (http://is.gd/K7CkRt ) 40-year-old Rebecca Rubin is expected to plead guilty to conspiracy and arson charges.  She was a fugitive from December 2005 to last November, when her mother drove her from Vancouver, British Columbia, to the U.S. border at Blaine, Wash. She surrendered to the FBI for her role with the Earth Liberation Front and the Animal Liberation Front.  Investigators blame the groups for 20 fires across the West from 1996 to 2001 that did $40 million in damage. They burned a ski resort in Colorado, wild horse corrals in Oregon and Northern California, and lumber mills and Forest Service offices in Oregon.___

10/10/13 Bend Businessman To Seek Merkley's U-S Senate Spot

Sam   Carpenter,   a   Bend   businessman   and   philanthropist,   has   entered   the   Republican primary to unseat Democrat Jeff Merkely in the U.S. Senate.  Carpenter has filed for office, set up a bank account   with   an   initial   $100,000   deposit,   and   is   engaged   in   other   intensive   pre­launch   activities. Carpenter's campaign will formally launch in the coming weeks.  Carpenter is president and CEO of Bend ­based Centratel, a forty employee national telephone answering service that he founded in 1984.  He is author of the book, Work the System: The Simple Mechanics of Making More and Working Less,  a best­ selling guideline for business and life management, now in its third edition. Carpenter also consults for distressed businesses, leading them back to profitability. Other business activities include software development and educational products.


>> 10/09/13 Fatal Wreck Kills California Woman

An adult female died Tuesday afternoon in a single vehicle fatal traffic crash along Highway 50 between Merrill and Malin in Klamath County. Oregon State Police (OSP) is continuing the investigation into the cause, but preliminary information indicates the victim may have had a medical emergency while driving. On October 8, 2013 at approximately 3:15 p.m., a 2004 Pontiac Vibe driven by DELOISE TERESA ROBLES, age 66, from Concord, California, was traveling east on Highway 50 near Harpold Road when it drifted off the highway and rolled at least once, coming to rest on its top. The driver was the lone occupant and she was pronounced deceased at the scene by emergency responders. She was wearing a safety restraint.

>> 10/09/13 Recalls Effort Fails, No Signatures Turned In

The effort to recall Klamath County Commissioners Jim Bellet and Tom Mallams has failed.  Shannon Roberts did not (not) turn in any signatures by the Monday deadline.  She needed 3,474 valid signatures to put the recall question before voters.
>> 10/09/13 Dennis Richardson In Klamath Falls Launching Gubernatorial Campaign

Republican State Senator Dennis Richardson of Central Point met with about 40 people at Rick's Bistro on Tuesday to introduce people to who he is and why he is running for governor. Richardson described himself as a fiscal conservative and a staunch supporter of 2nd Amendment gun rights. Richardson encouraged people to get involved in his campaign by donating money, offering their expertise regarding social media such as Facebook and Twitter and to encourage everyone they know to vote.  Richardson noted Chris Dudley spent $10-million in his bid to become governor and lost by 22,000 votes.  Richardson drew groans from the crowd when he pointed out that 100,000 Republicans did not vote in the election that was won by now-Governor John Kitzhaber.  Richardson also said he plans to move to the Portland area (Multnomah county) next year if he wins the GOP primary and will work to attract voters to his candidacy in the state's most populous region.  Richardson also described his campaign to become governor as, "a movement, not a campaign."


>> 10/08/13 UPDATE No Task Force Meeting Due To Government Shutdown

The federal government shutdown has led to the postponement of this Thursday's scheduled meeting at O-I-T.  The meeting was to have been the last one with the task force making final recommendations about how to resolve water and power issues as well as reducing the cost of implementing the KBRA.  The chairman of the task force, Richard Whitman said, "Unfortunately we need certain federal participants in order to be able to complete work on this effort."  No date for the final meeting has been set although Whitman believes it will likely occur two weeks after the end of the federal government shutdown.

>> 10/08/13 Fort Klamath Man Jailed On Sex abuse, Assault Charges

Police arrested a Fort Klamath man Monday afternoon charging him with multiple crimes. 57-year old Efren Mandoza Valencia is charged with two counts of Sex Abuse 1 and two counts Assault 3.  Bail for Valencia set at $230,000.

>> 10/08/13  Cold Front Could Bring Snow, Thunder To Basin

>> 10/08/13 Oregon Man Killed In Afghanistan

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The Pentagon says an Oregon soldier was among four who died Sunday when their unit was attacked with an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan.  The victim was identified Tuesday as 24-year-old Pfc. Cody J. Patterson of Philomath.  A Department of Defense statement says Patterson was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, at Fort Benning, Ga.  It said the attack happened in the Zhari district.  Assistant principal Jon Bartlow told KGW-TV (http://bit.ly/19xbemB ) that Patterson "was a wonderful kid . . . a genuine leader" and captain of the football team.  According to a count kept by the Oregon governor's office, Patterson would be the 141st member of the military from Oregon or with strong ties to Oregon to die in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.


>> 10/07/13 Red Cross Needs Double Red-Cell Donations

The Klamath Falls Chapter of the Red Cross says you can double your difference by making a double-red cell blood donation this week in Klamath Falls!  This type of donation can help six people or more.  Eligible Types are Type O Positive, O Negative, A Negative and B Negative, and there are height and weight requirements for men and women.  Appointments are available at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints on Alva Street.  Please call 1-800-RED CROSS (733-2767) for more information or an appointment.

>> 10/07/13 Basin Task Force Meets Thursday At O-I-T

The Klamath Basin Task Force, appointed by Congressman Greg Walden, Governor John Kitzhaber and U-S Senator Ron Wyden to try to resolve water and power issues will meet Thursday, October 10th.  The meeting will be held at O-I-T and is tentatively scheduled for 1-to-5 p.m. The task force was supposed to finalize recommendations by September 9th but that date was moved up as members continued negotiations over the best way (or ways) to resolve long standing water issues, reducing electric power costs for on and off-project irrigators and reducing the cost of implementing the KBRA.

>> 10/07/13 Former Pacificorp Executive Found Murdered

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Authorities are investigating as a homicide the death of a 71-year-old woman who was found in her Northwest Portland home Saturday.  Washington County sheriff's Sgt. Bob Ray said Sunday morning that more than one person was in custody but declined to release more details. No charges have been filed. ay says Jacqueline Bell was murdered in the early morning hours at her home in unincorporated Washington County. Authorities believe she knew the person who killed her.  He declined to say how she was killed. The Oregonian reports that Bell retired as corporate controller of the Portland-based power company PacifiCorp.  Ray says deputies found Bell while making a welfare check on her home after receiving a concerned call from a citizen.

>> 10/04/13  Klamath Falls Woman Dies After Car Wreck

Oregon State Police (OSP) is continuing the investigation to confirm the cause of a Thursday afternoon single vehicle fatal traffic crash the resulted in the death of a 76-year old Klamath Falls woman along Highway 97 near Klamath Falls. Preliminary investigation indicates a pre-existing medical condition may have been a contributing factor.  According to Sergeant Patrick Trippett, on October 3, 2013 at approximately 2:01 p.m., a 2000 Ford Ranger pickup driven by PAULINE KOWER, age 76, from Klamath Falls, was traveling northbound on Highway 97 near milepost 271 when it slowly drifted to the right, went off the shoulder and struck a culvert next to a driveway access. The impact caused major damage to the pickup.  The driver was extricated from the pickup by Klamath County Fire District #1 firefighters and transported by ambulance to Sky Lakes Medical Center where she died about two hours after the crash. She was using safety restraints.

>> 10/04/13 Senator Merkley Near Scene Of D.C. Shooting 

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley was walking out of a lunch meeting when he heard shots fired near the U.S. Capitol on Thursday, and he dove to the ground to protect himself.  Merkley says he was walking back to his office when he saw a swarm of police cars and heard "pow-pow-pow-pow." At first he thought the sound was made by cars driving over steel plates, but then realized it was gunfire.  He and two other senators, Bob Casey of Pennsylvania and Sherrod Brown of Ohio, lay on the ground as ordered by police.  Police then told them to run back into the Capitol, where Merkley says television screens displayed warnings to stay away from windows.  Merkley says he spoke to his wife and mother and then returned to his office.

>> 10/04013 Lawsuit Filed Against Cuts To PERS

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Now that state lawmakers have voted to cut Oregon public pensions, the battle moves from the Capitol to the courthouse.  A coalition of pensioners and public-employee unions has already filed a lawsuit against pension cuts enacted earlier this year. It plans to challenge the steeper cuts the Legislature approved Wednesday.  The stakes are high for the state and local governments that fought for pension cuts to avoid steep increases in their contributions to the Public Employees Retirement System.  If the cuts are struck down, they could face pension costs that are even higher than they would have been had no cuts been enacted.  The litigation is likely to focus on whether the state is contractually obligated to provide a cost-of-living increase at a rate of up to 2 percent.

>> 10/03/13 Technical Glitches Continue At Cover Oregon

GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — Oregonians shopping for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act still can't sign up online, but private insurance agents are taking calls and running people through their options for plans and likely premiums.  Cover Oregon spokeswoman Amy Fauver said Wednesday that problems with a computer program that determines a person's eligibility for Medicaid and tax credits still has too high an error rate, but it's expected to be working correctly by the end of October. There's a Dec. 15 deadline for enrolling to qualify for coverage starting Jan. 1.  Hart Insurance co-owner Erinn Fralich (FRA-lick) in Grants Pass says they are getting lots of calls referred from the Cover Oregon website and making appointments for November, when they expect the website to be fully functional.

>> 10/03/13 Lawmakers End Special Session On Third Day

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon Legislature approved a series of bills on pensions and taxes, then adjourned its special session after three days of work.  The approval of five bills on Wednesday caps a year-long effort by Gov. John Kitzhaber to stem the growing costs of public-employee pensions.  Lawmakers voted to lower the annual inflation increases to pension checks for retired government workers. They also voted to raise taxes on some individuals and businesses while lowering them for others, to increase tobacco taxes and to prohibit cities and counties from banning genetically modified crops. Proponents say the changes will free up money for schools to reduce class sizes or lengthen school years. Critics say there were better ways the Legislature to achieve that goal.

>> 10/03/13 Worried Veterans Call County Vets Office

The Klamath County Veterans Service Office (VSO) has been receiving phone calls from veterans since Monday, who are worried about their disability and compensation checks being delayed because of the government shutdown.  County VSO Director Kathy Pierce told KFLS News, "Yes, some checks for veterans may be delayed next month."  Pierce says checks will not (not) be delayed if Congress reopens the federal government by October 21st.  Pierce says many veterans rely on the checks because they are not eligible for Social Security or other benefits.  She says the loss of the income to the county's economy would be "significant."

>> 10/02/13 Cover Oregon Has Technical Glitches

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon's health insurance marketplace is up and running, but technical problems are preventing people from enrolling in coverage.  Tens of thousands of Oregonians went to coveroregon.com Tuesday to scroll through insurance plans and prices, and find certified insurance agents to help them start the process of buying coverage as mandated by the federal government.  They can't enroll, however, because the online system is not correctly determining eligibility for Medicaid and tax credits. Cover Oregon Executive Director Rocky King says it's more important to get the system right than have it fully operational on day one. He doesn't want the state to tell someone they're eligible for Medicaid and then go back on its word.  He stressed that coverage doesn't begin until Jan. 1, and the problems should be fixed soon.

10/02/13 Federal Government Shutdown Hits Agencies In Klamath County

GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — Nearly 300 people are being laid off at Crater Lake National Park — employees of the park and the concessionaire — as a result of the federal government shutdown.  Park Superintendent Craig Ackerman said Tuesday that two snowplow drivers, and law enforcement and emergency medical personnel will continue working. But otherwise the entrances to the park are barricaded, and guests at Crater Lake Lodge and campgrounds have 48 hours to leave.  Other National Park Service properties — such as Oregon Caves and John Day Fossil Beds — are also shut down as are the Lava Beds National Monument and the Tule Lake Unit.  Hunters looking forward to the opening of waterfowl season in Eastern Oregon this weekend will not be able to hunt on national wildlife refuges. They are closed to all visitors, whether hunters, bird-watchers or hikers. The shutdown will also result in 28 civilian workers at Kingsley Field being furloughed without pay.

10/02/13 Voting Starts On Package Of Bills At Legislature

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon House has approved the first piece of a five-bill package aimed at lowering public-employee pension costs and raising new revenue for education, mental health and services for seniors.  The approval on Wednesday came after the bill initially appeared to fail. After a long delay, three Democrats changed their votes and gave the measure the three-fifths supermajority it needed to pass.  The measure would raise taxes on some businesses and individuals while lowering them for others. It also would increase taxes on tobacco products.  Critics take issue with a tax break for certain types of businesses, saying it would be a giveaway for rich people. Proponents say it would spur business hiring.  The measure now goes to the Senate, which is expected to take it up promptly.

>> 10/02/13 State A "Haven" For Sex Offenders

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — An Oregonian investigation published Wednesday finds that the state has one of the worst records in the country for following federal standards intended to keep registered sex offenders under supervision.  And, The Oregonian reports (http://bit.ly/1fJ06qb ), the state has become a haven for offenders dodging stricter rules in other states. Among the paper's findings is that the state is two years behind entering names into its electronic database of registered sex offenders.  It says a federal study shows Oregon among four states that have done the least to comply with registration and community notification guidelines in federal law.  The paper says only Delaware has a higher per-capita population of registered sex offenders.

>> 09/25/13 Eight-Plus Inches Of Snow At Crater Lake Park

KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. (AP) — Fall has barely arrived in Oregon, and already it's snowing big-time at Crater Lake.  Marsha McCabe, a spokeswoman for the only national park in Oregon, tells KFLS in Klamath Falls (http://bit.ly/14I1p1v) there was an unusually early snowfall Tuesday night, amounting to about 8 inches.  It's expected to keep snowing through Wednesday, adding an inch to three inches.  McCabe says September snowfall at Crater Lake is rare — usually a dusting of an inch or two.  But when things get going in the winter, the snowfall at Crater Lake is prodigious: averaging more than 500 inches a year.  McCabe says the North Entrance to the park and West Rim Drive are temporarily closed but should be reopened by the weekend as the forecast calls for nice weather.

>> 09/25/13 County Commissioners To Meet In Dorris, CA On Monday

The Klamath County Board of Commissioners will hold a joint meeting with the Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors on Monday, September 30th at 1:00 p.m. at the Butte Valley Community Center in Dorris, California.  The Klamath Basin Restoration Agreements are expected to be a primary focus of discussion.  Both county governing bodies have taken formal positions opposing the KBRA.

>> 09/25/13 Autopsy Concludes Body Of Man Is Missing Bend Man

On Sunday, September 22, 2013 the Klamath County Major Crime Team was activated to investigate the report of a body discovered northeast of Chemult by a hunter.  On Tuesday, September 24, 2013 Deputy State Medical Examiner Dr. James Olson completed an autopsy on the body and signed a death certificate identifying the deceased as Mr. Jonathan Sullivan-Shipley (8-4-1971). The death was ruled to be suicide and the cause of death as severe thermal trauma. Jonathan Sullivan-Shipley is from Bend, Oregon. Mr. Sullivan-Shipley's family reported him missing to the Bend Police Department on September 6, 2013. The investigation is now being completed as a death investigation.

>> 09/24/13 Dead Trucker Identified

Oregon State Police (OSP) is investigating the death of a commercial truck driver after he was found deceased Monday morning in his truck at a Chemult-area truck stop. The driver's name is released in this update.  On September 2013 at approximately 10:46 a.m., an OSP trooper arrived at the Pilot Travel Center truck stop in Chemult regarding a welfare check for a commercial truck driver whose company called after the driver failed to check in. The trooper found the commercial truck and gained entry inside where an adult male identified as WALLEY GENE NEAL, age 49, from Macks Creek, Missouri, was deceased in the sleeper berth.  NEAL was driving for Crete Carrier Corporation.  OSP Criminal Investigations Division Detective Stephanie Gourley is lead investigator. Initial investigation found no evidence that NEAL's death was the result of a crime. An autopsy will be scheduled to confirm the cause of death.

>> 09/24/13 Klamath Falls Woman Faces Criminally Negligent Charges

On Saturday police arrested 63 year old Barbara Sue Lissone of Klamath Falls and charged her with Criminally Negligent Homicide in connection with a fatal wreck in April.  Police say Lissone was westbound on Anderson Avenue on April 15th and allegedly ran a stop sign at Altamont Drive. Lissone's car hit a vehicle driven by 69 year old Linda Wright of Klamath Falls who died later at Sky Lakes Medical Center.  The charge against Lissone is a Class B Felony.

>> 09/24/13 Governor Calls Special Session For Next Monday

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Gov. John Kitzhaber has formally called lawmakers into special session next week.  Kitzhaber issued a proclamation Monday calling legislators to Salem to work on legislation that would lower costs in the public-employee pension system and raise new revenue.  The governor announced last week that he intended to call the special session after reaching an agreement with legislative leaders.  The special session will begin at 8 a.m. on Sept. 30. Kitzhaber has said he hopes it will last just one day, but it could last longer if lawmakers struggle to work out details or gain enough support.

>> 09/23/13 Body Found Near Chemult May Be Missing Bend Man

On Sunday, September 22, 2013 the Klamath County Major Crime Team was activated to investigate the report of a body discovered northeast of Chemult by a hunter.  The body was discovered as well as a 1989 Toyota Corolla Wagon.  The vehicle's owner is Jonathan Sullivan-Shipley (8-4-1971) of Bend, Oregon, who's family reported him missing to the Bend Police Department on September 6, 2013. The investigation is active.  Detectives are collaborating with the Bend Police Department and the Oregon State Police Crime Lab is on scene.  An autopsy is scheduled on Tuesday, September 24, 2013.  The Klamath County Major Crime Team is comprised of the Klamath County Sheriff's Office, Klamath Falls Police Department, Oregon State Police, Klamath County Community Corrections, and Klamath County District Attorney's Office.

>> 09/23/13 Abandoned Home Destroyed By Fire 

A fire destroyed an abandoned home in the  2300 block of Unity street Friday night and required five engines.  The roof collapsed into the basement making it unsafe for fire crews from Kingsley Field and Fire District #1 to ventilate the collapsed roof, resulting in a total loss of the structure.  Fire Marshal Scott Rice says in the past year there have been four human caused fires at the home ranging from burning tires, mattresses, couches and fireworks.  Anyone with information is asked to call Rice at 541-885-2056.

>> 09/23/13 County Commissioners Meet Tomorrow (Tuesday) Morning

The Klamath County Board of Commissioners will hold a public hearing at 9:30am Tuesday about changes to the county dog control ordinance.  The commissioners will be asked to approve a change allowing "duly sworn dog control officers to issue citations to violators as opposed to having the dog control officer call for a Klamath County Deputy Sheriff to issue the citation.  The meeting of the board begins at 9:00 a.m.

>> 09/16/13 Water Issues Task Force Here Thursday Afternoon

The next meeting of the Klamath Basin Water Issues Task force is this Thursday, September 19th in the Mt. Mazama Room at the Student Union at Oregon Institute of Technology from 1:00-to-5:00 p.m. The agenda for the public meeting has not yet been released.  The task force was named by the governor and the congressional delegation to come up with recommendations to resolve water and electric power issues and to find ways to reduce the cost of implementing the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreements. The group originally had a deadline of September 10th for making final recommendations but that was moved back due to the complexity of the issues and the work that has been going on behind the scenes.

>> 09/16/13 Alfalfa In Washington Is GMO

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — The state Department of Agriculture says alfalfa seed and plant samples taken from an Eastern Washington farm have turned up a low level of genetic modification.  The agency said Friday that the samples showed a low-level presence of a genetic trait called Round-Up Ready, meaning they are able to tolerate the well-known herbicide.  The testing was ordered after a hay farmer who intended to grow alfalfa that was not genetically modified had his crop rejected by a broker that said it found evidence of genetically modified pesticide resistance.  The state says Round-Up Ready alfalfa is approved for use by the federal government.  The state says it is in discussions with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to determine if any further action is warranted.

>> 09/16/113 County Commissioners Meet Tomorrow Morning

 The Klamath County Board of Commissioners meet at 9:00 a.m. tomorrow (Tuesday) at the Government Center.  On the agenda, approval for the Oregon Criminal Justice Commission to fund Juvenile Drug Court.

>> 09/13/13 Stewart Lennox Fire Caused By Illegal Burn

Investigators say an illegal burn in an illegal burn barrel caused the wildfire in a Stewart Lennox neighborhood Wednesday night.  The fire caused $400,000 damage and destroyed two homes, multiple travel trailers, outbuildings and cars.  Fire Marshal Scott Rice with Fire District #1 says people were burning plastic off of metal wires in a burn barrel, which is illegal at any time of the year.  The burn barrel was rusted out an it is believed an ember fell to the ground igniting other nearby combustible materials.  The case has been turned over to the Klamath Falls Police Department.

>> 09/13/13 No Resentencing Hearing For Kip Kinkel

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — An Oregon judge has ruled that a 112-year sentence is not cruel and unusual punishment for a man who killed four people and wounded 25 others as a 15-year-old high school student in 1998.  The Oregonian reports Judge Thomas Hart turned down Kip Kinkel's request Thursday for a new sentencing hearing.  The judge in Salem rejected an argument from Kinkel's lawyer based on federal court decisions that mandatory life sentences with no possibility of parole are unconstitutional for juveniles.  Lawyers for the state argued that Kinkel received a long sentence, not a mandatory life sentence, and the judge exercised discretion and considered Kinkel's age.  Kinkel killed his parents and then two students at Thurston High School, in Springfield. He abandoned an insanity defense and accepted a plea deal.  Kinkel is now 31.

>> 09/13/13 GMO Alfalfa Found In Washington State

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — An Eastern Washington farmer's alfalfa has been rejected by a broker that says it found evidence of genetically modified pesticide resistance.  The seeds have been turned over to the Washington State Department of Agriculture. Spokesman Mike Louisell says testing for genetic modification will be completed by Friday at its Yakima, Wash., seed lab.  Genetically modified alfalfa is legal to grow and sell in the U.S., contrasting May's discovery of genetically modified wheat in an Oregon field. Modified wheat is illegal in the U.S. outside of licensed test fields.  But this farmer was trying to grow nonmodified alfalfa. The farmer contacted the Agriculture Department in late August, and tests began after Labor Day. The department has not identified the farmer.  Pesticide-resistant alfalfa was developed by Monsanto Co. and has been licensed to several companies

>> 09/11/13 Ethics Commission Drops Mallams Case

The Oregon Government Ethics Commission will not (not) investigate complaints against Klamath County Commissioner Tom Mallams.  Complaints were filed in August by the Klamath Irrigation District (KID) charging Mallams used his office for personal gain and had signed a Proclamation urging a judge to stay water shutoffs claiming the Proclamation was not properly noticed under the Oregon Open Meetings Law. The commission determined the Proclamation was on the July 2nd commissioners meeting agenda and further explained the Proclamation was not (not) an action, and therefore ethics laws do not come into play.  Mallams told KFLS News the charges were false and without merit.

>> 09/11/13  United Way Goals Is $700,000

The United Way Campaign has set a fund raising goal of $700,000 which is 3% higher than last year's goal.   The campaign held a kick-off luncheon at  Reames Country Club on Tuesday and it was announced advance donations have already raised $56,200, or 8% of the goal.  The campaign supports 19 local, non-profit social service agencies.

>> 09/11/13 Flags At Half-staff Today In Remembrance of 9/11 Terrorist Attacks

Governor John Kitzhaber has ordered all flags at public buildings to be flown at half-staff today (Wednesday) in remembrance of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 20901 that claimed the lives of thousands of people in New York City, aboard an airliner that crashed and at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.


>> 09/10/13 Mallams Informed Ethics Commission Won't Pursue Complaint

Klamath County Commissioner Tom Mallams says he has been advised by the State Government Ethics Commission that they will not (not) pursue a complaint filed against him by the Klamath Irrigation District.  Mallams says he was told that in effect the commission decided the "complaint(s) were without merit."  The district accused Mallams of using his office for personal gain and further charged the Board of County Commissioners without giving proper notice to a proclamation that was voted on July 2, 2013 in which commissioners asked a judge to "stay" water shutoffs.  The issue was, in fact, listed on the agenda for the commissioners meeting.

>> 09/10/13 Walden Says He Will Vote "No" On Syria 

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — U.S. Rep. Greg Walden says he'll vote against authorizing the use of military force in Syria.  Walden says in a news release that he made the decision Monday after attending a classified intelligence briefing. He says President Barack Obama and his administration have not persuaded him that the United States has a clear objective in Syria.  Walden represents Eastern Oregon and is the only Republican in the state's congressional delegation. He joins Democrats Earl Blumenauer, Peter DeFazio and Kurt Schrader in opposing or leaning against backing a military strike.  Democratic Rep. Suzanne Bonamici and Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley are undecided.

>> 09/10/13 Kitzhaber Orders Flags At Half-staff Wednesday

Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber has ordered all flags at public buildings to be flown at Half-staff Wednesday, September 11, 2013 in remembrance of the events of September 11, 2001. Kitzhaber says, "We pay tribute to those who lost their lives in the attacks of September 11, 2001 and honor the men and women who serve and protect our nation today. September 11th is now known as Patriot Day and National Day of Service and Remembrance.

>> 09/06/13 KIID Files Ethics Complaint Against Mallams

The Klamath Irrigation District has filed complaints against County Commissioner Tom Mallams with the Government Ethics Commission in Salem.  The Ethics Commission has responded saying the complaint contains "insufficient information for the commission to take action at this time."  The commission wants KID to present more information or it will not investigate the complaints.  KID has accused Mallams of using his office for personal gain by joining 29 other farmers and ranchers who asked Judge Cameron Wogan to stay the water shutoffs in the upper basin in early July.  Mallams denies the charge and says his water has not (not) been shutoff.  In addition KID complains that Mallams signed a "Proclamation" by the Board of County Commissioners that was delivered to Judge Wogan urging a stay of the order.  KID says it can find no public notice of the meeting at which the proclamation was considered. However KLFLS News checked the July 2, 2013 agenda for the commissioners meeting and found the agenda did, in fact, include the proclamation issue. Mallams says KID is trying to falsely accuse and intimidate him as a public official and says the complaints are "without merit."

>> 09/06/13 Grand Jury Indicts Mogelburg For Murder, Arson

A Klamath County Grand Jury on Thursday indicted 33-year old David Guy Mogelburg on charges of Murder, 2nd degree Arson and Tampering with Physical Evidence. Mogelburg is being held without bail and is charged with the murder of Chen Saechao on August 26th in Chiloquin.

>> 09/06/13 Patridge To Chair OLCC

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Klamath County District Attorney Rob Patridge has been appointed chairman of the Oregon Liquor Control Commission.  Gov. John Kitzhaber made the announcement Friday, saying Patridge has the skill to bring different parties together to find solutions.  This is the third time Kitzhaber has appointed the former Republican legislator to a position in less than a year.  He put Patridge on the board in October and then chose him for the district attorney job in April.  The OLCC has been without a permanent director since the governor forced Steve Pharo into retirement last year. Merle Lindsey is running the agency on an interim basis.


>> 09/05/13 Governor Wants September 30th Special Session

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Gov. John Kitzhaber says Sept. 30 will be the date for a special session of the Legislature if he can round up enough votes for a combination of pension cuts, tax increase and small-business tax cuts.  Kitzhaber said in a statement Wednesday that "it's time to call the question." He's been trying for months to reach a deal that would raise new tax revenue to boost funding for schools and mental health treatment while lowering costs of public-employee pensions.  The governor says "a solution is within reach," but it only makes sense to call the Legislature into session if lawmakers are willing to act.  Senate President Peter Courtney, a Salem Democrat, says he'll work as hard as he can to find a compromise that can win passage.  State Senator Doug Whitsett told KFLS News if the two parties can agree to substantive PERS reforms that could reduce the unfunded liability by $5-billlion and provide tax breaks for small to medium businesses the session could be a productive one.  But Whitsett also noted September 30th is the last day for the state to authorize spending for the Columbia River Crossing (CRC) bridge project between Portland and Vancouver, Washington and he suggests the timing of the session may have to do with that issue.  But State Representative Gail Whitsett told KFLS News, she will vote for reform of PERS but will not vote to raise taxes and will not vote for the Columbia River Crossing bridge project.  When lawmakers in Salem passed the $450 million for the CRC this year it stipulated the money could not (not) be spent unless Washington's lawmakers also approved a similar expenditure.  The Washington legislature killed a bill seeking $450 million for the CRC in large part because the project included light rail to Vancouver, Washington.  Voters in Clark county have rejected light rail  three times in the past 12 years.

>> 09/04/13 Medford Police Get A Tip, Nab Murder Suspect

MEDFORD, Ore. (AP) — Medford police say they have captured a suspect they believe hid in bushes and then fatally stabbed a Medford woman.  Police say they acted quickly after receiving an anonymous tip.  A police statement said 45-year-old Jose Valencia-Gaona of Medford was arrested shortly before noon Wednesday.  He is accused of murder in the death of 38-year-old Maria Guadelupe Rodriguez. She died outside her apartment Sunday.  Police say they believe the two knew each other, possibly from a previous relationship.  Valencia-Gaona is also expected to be charged with menacing eye  witnesses at the scene who tried to help Rodriguez after she was stabbed.

>> 09/05/13 Tulelake Butte Valley Fair Opens Today, Runs Through Sunday

The 62nd annual Tulelake Butte Valley Fair opens today and continues through Sunday. The theme of the fair is "God Made A Farmer."  Admission to the fair is free but everyone is encouraged to "pay what you can." County fairs in California have lost all state funding in recent years.  This year's fair includes a daily showing of "A World Of Music" from 10:00 am to 10:00 p.m. as well as Alaskan Racing Pigs, and strolling acts including Sadie the Balloon Lady and Wild west Cowboys.  Saturday will feature the popular  Battle of the Basin Destruction Derby at 7:00 p-.m. and Extreme Mud Shootout Races at 4:00 p.m./ Sunday. For a full listing of fair events and activities log onto tbvfair.com. 

>> 09/04/13 Commissioners Appoint Energy Advisory Panel Members

Klamath County Commissioners appointed seven people to a 9-member Energy Advisory Council on Tuesday with plans to name two more members soon.  The council will be asked to determine if creation of a People's Utility District would save electric ratepayers in the county money on power bills.  The city of Klamath Falls is currently conducting a study about the feasibility of a takeover of electric power service from Pacific Corp.  The utility has said it will fight any effort to take them over and it is assumed the company would launch a campaign to block any takeover effort in the county. Commissioner Tom Mallams said he wants widespread public involvement in the energy council's study of a takeover.

>> 09/04/13 Judge Delays Mohammud Sentencing Again 

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A federal judge has delayed the sentencing of Mohamed Mohamud until a week before Christmas.  The young Somali-American was convicted in January of plotting to bomb a 2010 Christmas tree-lighting ceremony in Portland's town square.  He was originally scheduled to be sentenced in June, but federal prosecutors asked for a delay because they needed more time to prepare sentencing recommendations.  The sentencing was reset for Sept. 6, but prosecutors asked for and received another delay.  The reason for the latest postponement has not been made public. Prosecutors asked a judge to seal the motion seeking the delay, and the defense team did not object.

>> 09/0p4/13 More Pertussis Cases Reported In Klamath County

The Klamath County Public Health Department says 25 new cases of Pertussis (whooping cough)have been reported since early July when an outbreak was declared. Pregnant women are encouraged to get a Tdap immunization during every pregnancy and especially in the last 3 months of pregnancy.  Adults are also urged to make sure their children are immunized against Pertussis. 

>> 08/30/13 City County Talk Some Consolidation

The effort to consolidate some city and county departments took a step forward when city and county council held a joint meeting Thursday.  Issues included creation of a single Community Development Ordinance, consolidating city and county road departments and consolidation of law enforcement.  The law enforcement consolidation issue did not result in any solid plan for moving forward.  However the city and county planning staffs will meet to compare similarities and differences with codes in the city and codes for the Urban Growth Boundary and will report back to the next joint meeting.  The meeting also decided to have city and county road departments explore issues related to consolidation.

>> 08/30/13 Federal Judge Rejects Government Arguments On No-Fly List 

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A federal judge has ruled that people placed on the U.S. government's no-fly list have a constitutionally protected interest in traveling by air, and the right to due process when it's denied.  U.S. District Judge Anna J. Brown of Portland rejected the government's assertion that people on the no-fly list can travel by other means, and that being on the list does not deprive them of their liberty.  The American Civil Liberties Union filed the lawsuit on behalf of 13 people on the no-fly list. The plaintiffs want to be removed from the list or told why they are on it.  Brown's late Wednesday decision is only a partial one. She asked the government for more information about its redress procedure to help her determine whether it satisfies due process.

>> 08/30/13 Feds Update Marijuana Rules

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The top federal prosecutor in Oregon says new U.S. Justice Department guidance on marijuana won't require any changes in Oregon.  U.S. Attorney Amanda Marshall said Thursday that her staff reviewed marijuana prosecutions over the last two years and said all of them would have gone forward under the new federal rules.  The Justice Department outlined eight top priority areas for its enforcement of marijuana laws.  They include preventing the distribution of marijuana to minors and preventing sales revenue from going to criminal enterprises, gangs and cartels. Federal prosecutors are also told to put a priority on preventing the diversion of marijuana outside of states where it is legal under state law.  Oregon allows marijuana use with a doctor's recommendation, and advocates are pushing for full legalization.

08/29/13 Person Of Interest Identified In Chiloquin Murder Case

Klamath County District Attorney Rob Patridge says a "person of interest" in the Chiloquin murder of 28-year old Cheng Saechao has been identified by the County Major Crime Team.  Police are looking for 32 year old James Collins, known by the nickname, "Cowboy."  Collins is 6-foot-4-inches, brown hair, brown eyes, 200 pounds with tattoos on his neck and flames tattoos on his left arm.  Police say do NOT contact Collins if you see him but instead contact police.

>> 08/29/13 City Council, Board Of County Commissioners Meet Today At Airport

The Klamath Falls City Council will hold a joint meeting with Klamath County Commissioners  this (Thursday) afternoon at the Airport Conference Room from 1:30-to-3:30 p.m.  The agenda includes discussion of the Urban Growth Boundary, road repairs in the city and the use of county road funds, possible consolidation or co-location of transportation, roads and streets, consolidation of law enforcement and the latest update on the city's effort to create a Municipal Utility District. 

>> 08/29/13 KCC Board To Ask Voters For $9.85 Million Bond In November

The Klamath Community College Board of Education voted this week to ask voters to approve a $9.85 million bond on November 5th. The bond money would be combined with $7.85 million from the state of Oregon and would be used for completion of the design and construction of KCC's Phase Two project which includes three new buildings and expanded Career Technical Education classes.  If voters approve the levy it would raise property taxes on a $150,000 home by $21 a year.

>> 08/29/13 Meeting In Dorris Friday Evening To Focus On Forest Road Closures

A public meeting is being held at 7:00 p.m. Friday, August 31st at the City Hall in Dorris, California.  Organizer Sean Smith told KFLS News the meeting will focus on road closures throughout the Klamath National Forest.  Smith says many people were caught by surprise when the closures occurred and want answers as to why this is happening.  Officials from the US Forest Service have been invited to the public meeting.

>> 08/26/13 Rains Help SW Oregon Firefighters

Unusual late-summer rains are helping crews battle wildfires in southwestern Oregon and the Columbia Gorge — and even driving some from soaked tents to bed down inside.  The Oregon Department of Forestry said Monday some firefighters at the Government Flats complex southwest of The Dalles reported leaky tents and wet bedding on Sunday.  They were given dry sleeping bags and moved indoors to sleep in the gym at Wahtonka High School.  The fire has destroyed four homes. It's burning on about 19 square miles, or 12,000 acres.  The state agency says the cool, wet weather has helped the crews in the gorge, and the fires are considered 45 percent contained.

>> 08/26/13 Library Foundation Receives $100,000 Grant

The Klamath County Library Foundation has received a $100,000 grant from the Ford Family Foundation Fund of the Oregon Community Foundation. The Treasurer of the foundation, Bob Davies says he received a confirmation letter from the o0rganizatioin and the money will be used for the South Suburban Branch Library Project and will help keep the construction schedule on target.

>> 08/26/13 Schott Quits Forest Management Group

MEDFORD, Ore. (AP) — The sole timber representative on a Southern Oregon forest-management group has resigned.  Dave Schott says the Southern Oregon Forest Restoration Collaborative didn't do enough in his eight years on the board to merit participation. Schott says the group is overly focused on the priorities of environmentalists and fails to take into account the needs of the timber logging industry.  Schott is a vice president of the Southern Oregon Timber Industries Association.  The Medford Mail Tribune reports the collaborative's director, George McKinley, says Schott's resignation is "short sighted."McKinley acknowledges pilot timber projects didn't yield as much timber as the collaborative would have liked.  But McKinley says the collaborative was making progress to reach common ground on ecological issues and reforestation.

>> 08/23/13 Basin Water Issues Task Force Needs More Time

ASHLAND, Ore. (AP) — A task force looking for solutions to the water woes in the Klamath Basin says it needs an additional two weeks to come up with a list of suggestions for lawmakers.  The group had been scheduled to produce recommendations by Sept. 5.  But during a meeting Thursday in Ashland, the group decided it needs more time.  Richard Whitman, natural resources adviser to the governor, cited slow progress on addressing upper Basin water issues and federal costs.  Drought and newly recognized water rights for the Klamath Tribes has cut off irrigation for cattle ranches in the upper Basin.  The task force is being asked to consider ways to assure water for irrigation, restore fish and wildlife habitat, and negotiate a settlement over water rights.

>> 08/23/13 Judge Orders Resumption Of Trinity River Releases

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — A U.S. District judge says water can be released from a Northern California reservoir to prevent a salmon kill in the lower Klamath River.  The ruling late Thursday on the Trinity Reservoir from Judge Lawrence J. O'Neill comes after San Joaquin Valley farmers sued the federal government over the releases of water, saying they would be illegal and further decrease the little available to them for irrigation.  O'Neill had ordered the releases temporarily stopped last week while he made a long-term decision.  He said that in the week since, a change in environmental conditions has meant that two-thirds less water than expected was required for the salmon.  Officials expect a large fall run of salmon, but fear low water will lead to mass salmon deaths as happened in 2002.

>> 08/23/13 Armed Robbery Suspects Enter Not Guilty Pleas

Two people accused of a violent armed robbery at the "Frames And More" retail outlet in downtown Klamath Falls have entered not guilty pleas to charges against them.  19-year old Dylan Christopher Bolte and 18 year old Megan Nichole Stewart are charged with First Degree Robbery, First Degree Assault, Unlawful Use Of A Weapon and Attempted Murder.  The two are scheduled back in court October 15th at 8:30 a.m. in the court room od Judge Marci Adkisson.



>> 08/20/13 UPDATED AT 12:25 P.M. Officer Involved Shooting In Klamath Falls

A Klamath Falls police officer was involved in a shooting incident this (Tuesday) morning.  Details are sketchy but District Attorney Rob Patridge told KFLS News, the incident occurred in the 1600 block of Portland Street at about 8:45 a.m.  Patridge said the officer was not injured. Patridge in a news release issued late this morning said police had a report of a stolen vehicle and to contact 52 year old Matthew David Borner.  The release states, "Officers responded to a residence and shots were fired by the Klamath Falls Police Department."  The release does not state Borner's condition, whether he is alive, dead or in custody.  The D.A. did confirm three pit bull dogs were seen inside the home where the person was shot and Animal Control was on scene to assist. The Oregon State Police will lead the investigation and coordinate with the Klamath County Major Crimes Team.  More details as they become available.

>> 08/20/13 KCFD #1 Board Chooses Not To Renew Fire Chief Jim Wenzel's Contract

John Spradley has been named Interim Fire Chief for Klamath County Fire District #1 following a decision Monday night by the Board of Directors not to renew Chief Jim Wenzel's contract, which expires at the end of December.  Spradley says the decision is "a personnel matter" and was unable to release any information about the decision.

>> 08/20/13 City Council Moves Ahead With P-P-&-L Takeover Study

Klamath Falls Mayor Todd Kellstrom broke a 2-2- tie vote Monday night as the City Council decided to move ahead with a Phase Two study of a takeover of Pacific Power and creation of a Municipal Utility District. A Phase One study by E-E-S Consulting of Kirkland, Washington estimated electricity bills would drop 22% but the council was told at last night's meeting the estimated savings is 25%.  Pacific Power has challenged the conclusions of the first study claiming it contained "significant verifiable  errors" and warned of the risks and expense of a hostile takeover.  Voting "yes" for the Phase Two Feasibility Study were councilors Trish Seiler and Matt Dodson and casting "no" votes were councilors Bud Hart and Bill Adams. Councilor Dan Tofelle was not present but indicated in a letter he would have voted no. 

>> 08/20/13 RED FLAG Warning For Klamath Basin, Fremont-Winema National Forest

531 AM PDT TUE AUG 20 2013

531 AM PDT TUE AUG 20 2013



>> 08/19/13  Teenager Dies In Highway 97 Rollover Wreck

Police say a teenager from Washington state died Saturday in a rollover crash that injured six others near Chiloquin, Ore.Oregon State Police Lt. Steve Mitchell says a Jeep Cherokee driven by 44-year-old Olga Rivera-Chavez of Sunnyside, Wash., was southbound on Highway 97 when it drifted to the shoulder. The vehicle returned to the highway, but rolled multiple times.  A 15-year-old girl from Prosser, Wash., was ejected from the front-passenger seat and pronounced dead at the scene.  She has been identified as Yasmin Esmeralda Rivera and police say she was not wearing a seatbelt. The other six people in the vehicle — three adults, a 3-year-old boy, and two babies — suffered minor injuries. Some were treated at the scene and the rest were taken to a Klamath Falls hospital. Police have not finished the investigation, but Mitchell says driver fatigue is suspected. The crash occurred shortly before 6 a.m.

>> 08/19/93 Mountain Pine Beetle Attacks Trees At Crater Lake National Park

GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — The latest mountain pine beetle infestation appears to be slowing down in Eastern Oregon, but not before becoming the leading killer of the signature tree of Crater Lake National Park — the whitebark pine.  Park botanist Jennifer Beck says the beetle now kills more of the gnarled trees that grace the highest elevations of the park than an invasive fungus that also attacks them. Park Superintendent Craig Ackerman says timber fallers are cutting dead lodgepole pines around campgrounds, where they pose a safety hazard, but elsewhere in the park the infestation is considered part of the natural process.  The park is trying to protect whitebark pines by stapling them with a packet that emits an odor telling beetles to find another tree.

>> 08/19/13 Soldier From Klamath Falls To Be Buried Sunday

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — An Oregon soldier who died after being wounded in Afghanistan will be buried Sunday at Willamette National Cemetery in Portland.  Spc. Nick Welch who was born in Klamath Falls was critically injured when a suicide bomber detonated an improvised explosive device July 23. The Defense Department says three members of his unit died immediately.  The 26-year-old Welch was taken to a hospital in Germany, where his family met him before he was flown to a Bethesda, Md., hospital. He died Aug. 6.  The Statesman Journal reports visitation was set for Saturday afternoon at Weddle Funeral Chapel in Stayton. The full service with military honors is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. Sunday.

>> 08/16/13 Two More Trojan Horse Cases Closed

A 33 year old man. Matthew Ray Hargrove has entered a guilty plea to charges of Possession of Methamphetamine.  Hargrove was sentenced to 30 days in jail, one year probation and suspension of his driver's license for six months.  However, 43 year old Viola Delfina Savage had her case of Possession of Methamphetamine dismissed by Circuit Court Judge Roxanne Osborne.

>> 08/16/13 Ecoterrorism Suspect To Enter Guilty Pleas In October

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A woman who turned herself in after a decade as a fugitive in the nation's largest ecoterrorism investigation is scheduled to enter guilty pleas on Oct. 10.  Court records show 39-year-old Rebecca Rubin will change her not-guilty pleas to charges of conspiracy and arson in U.S. District in Portland.  A federal indictment accuses Rubin of being a member of cells of the Earth Liberation Front and Animal Liberation Front known as The Family. Investigators blame the group based in Eugene for 20 fires across the West from 1996 to 2001 that did $40 million in damage.  She has been in custody since surrendering to the FBI last November at the Canadian border with Washington state. At the time, her lawyer said she wanted to get the case behind her.

>> 08/16/13 Former POW Ernie Brace Being Honored Today

The longest held civilian Prisoner of War during the Vietnam War, Ernie Brace, will be awarded the Prisoner of War Medal and two Purple Hearts today (Friday) at 2:00 p.m. at Kingsley Field.  Brace is a Klamath county resident who captured in Laos in 1965 while flying as a civilian contract pilot.  Brace spent seven years, ten months and seven days as a POW in Hanoi, Vietnam, in the same prison as now U-S Senator John McCain.

08/15/13 Robbery Suspects May Have Committed Other Crimes

Police say a seizure and search of a car used by two people arrested for an attempted armed robbery in Klamath Falls on Tuesday morning may have committed other crimes in the county. Police arrested 19 year old Dylan Bolte and 18 year old Megan Stewart in front of Frames And More store after they allegedly used a knife and scissors to attack the woman shopkeeper and a man who intervened to help.  Anyone with information s asked to call the Klamath Falls Police Department or, call the anonymous tip-line at 541-883-5334.

>> 08/15/13 Judge Halts Release Of Trinity River Water

A federal judge has temporarily blocked further releases of water from the Trinity River after deciding farmers in California's Central Valley have a likelihood of winning a lawsuit against the U-S Bureau of Reclamation.  The hold continues until the end of next week with another hearing set for Wednesday, August 21st to determine if the judge's order will become permanent.  The farm groups argued the bureau should have done a full Environmental Impact Statement, not just an Environmental Assessment.  The assessment said releases from the Trinity River would have no significant environmental impacts.

>> 08/15/13 Basin Water Task Force Meets Next Thursday At S-O-U In Ashland 

The Klamath Basin Water Issues Task Force will hold its third meeting in Ashland on Thursday, August 22nd from 1:00-to-5:00 p.m.  The meeting will be held in the Rogue Room on the 2nmd floor of the Stevenson Union Building.  The task force was appointed by the Oregon Congressional Delegation and Governor John Kitzhaber to come up with recommendations to resolve basin water conflicts. The group has been asked to finalize recommendation by September 10th.

>> 08/14/13 Two Injured During Armed Robbery Attempt

A woman was injured late Tuesday morning after being attacked by two people during an armed robbery attempt at Frames And More, a retail store at 3rd and Main Street in downtown Klamath Falls.Police say 18 year old Megan Stewart of Clarksburg, Virginia and a 19 year old transient, Dylan Botle attacked the shopkeeper with a knife and scissors. A man entered the store and attempted to help the woman and was struck in the head. The two victims were able to get out of the store and they ended up being cared for by an off-duty paramedic from the Bonanza Volunteer Fire Department, Ed Frietag.  Police arrived on scene and quickly arrested Stewart and Botle.  The two are jailed on numerous charges including First Degree Robbery, Conspiracy To Commit Murder, First Degree Assault and Unlawful Use Of A Weapon.  Stewart's bail is $400,000 and Botle's bail is $300,000.  Klamath Falls Police Lieutenant Rob Dentinger told KFLS News the woman shopkeeper did not require hospitalization  but the man who tried to help her was transported to Sky Lakes Medical Center.  The names of the victims have not been released.

>> 08/14/13 Ernie Brace To Be Honored Friday At Kingsley Field

The longest held civilian Prisoner of War during the Vietnam War, Ernie Brace, will be awarded the Prisoner of War Medal and two Purple Hearts on Friday at 2:00 p.m. at Kingsley Field.  Brace is a Klamath county resident who captured in Laos in 1965 while flying as a civilian contract pilot.  Brace spent seven years, ten months and seven days as a POW in Hanoi, Vietnam, in the same prison as now U-S Senator John McCain.

>> 08/14/13 State Audit Says Drug Treatment Programs Could Save Millions 

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Secretary of State auditors estimate if all high-risk criminal offenders in Oregon received drug treatment, state programs and crime victims would have saved nearly $22 million between 2008 and 2011.  The audit released Tuesday tracked about 4,500 offenders who were the most likely to re-offend and who had a serious drug problem. It found only half received treatment after they left prison. According to the audit, 70 percent of inmates in 2012 had a substance abuse problem.  The Oregonian reports (http://is.gd/SVO0x0 ) auditors say Medicaid could cover the cost of drug treatment through the Affordable Care Act.  The director of the secretary of state's audits division, Gary Blackmer, says by leveraging federal funding for drug treatment, the state could save on the cost of treating ex-offenders.

 >> 08/12/13  Another RED FLAG Warning For Basin

421 AM PDT MON AUG 12 2013

>> 08/12/13 FBI Sending Team To Investigate Shooting Death Of DiMaggio

CASCADE, Idaho (AP) — The FBI says it's sending a team to Idaho to investigate the shooting that led to the death of a man suspected of killing a California woman and her young son and abducting her 16-year-old daughter.  Forty-year-old James Lee DiMaggio was killed Saturday after his campsite was spotted in Idaho's rugged Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness.  The teen, Hannah Anderson, was found safe. Ada County sheriff's spokeswoman Andrea Dearden says she has no apparent injuries and there are no reports of injuries among law enforcement.  At a news conference Saturday evening, Dearden said the teen and DiMaggio were spotted not far from where a horseback rider reported seeing the pair Wednesday.  Dearden said she didn't know if DiMaggio fired at officers.  Authorities offered few other details as the team from Washington, D.C., prepares to investigate.

>> 08/12/13 State GOP Has New Chairman

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon's Republican Party has a new leader.  The Oregonian reports that the party selected former congressional candidate Art Robinson as chairman Saturday in a 55-52 vote over party vice chairman Bill Currier.Robinson replaces Suzanne Gallagher, who resigned Friday just ahead of a recall vote brought by party officials accusing her of mismanagement. Gallagher had led the state GOP since February.  Robinson, a chemist and outspoken skeptic of human-caused global warming, ran unsuccessfully against U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., in 2010 and 2012.Republicans face challenges in organizing voters and electing candidates statewide in Oregon, where there are 181,000 more registered Democrats.



>> 08/09/13 Lots Of Tips Following Amber Alert

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon State Police say more than 130 tips have been received from the public after an alert was issued in the hunt for a man wanted in a California killing and kidnapping, but so far there have been no confirmed sightings.  Police issued Amber Alerts Wednesday in Oregon and reported possible sightings that day of James Lee DiMaggio's blue Nissan Versa in northeast California and then near Lakeview in south-central Oregon.  Senior Trooper Daniel Swift, a police spokesman, said that as of 5 p.m. Thursday a total of 134 tips had been received, but no possible sightings have been confirmed.  Swift said "a few" cars have been stopped and checked.  DiMaggio is suspected of abducting a 16-year-old California girl and killing the girl's mother and possibly the girl's brother.

>> 08/09/13 Salt Creek Tunnel Project Behind Schedule, Will Continue Next Year

The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) says work on the Salt Creek Tunnel Project is behind schedule and will continue next year.  ODOT officials say Capital Concrete informed them last month the work would continue beyond October.  ODOT and company officials disagree as to the cause of the delay.

>> 08/09/13 California Farmers Sue Bureau Of Reclamation Over Trinity River Releases

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — Farmers in California's San Joaquin Valley are suing the federal government over the planned release of water from a Northern California reservoir to prevent a salmon kill in the lower Klamath River.  The suit alleges the release from the Trinity Reservoir would be unlawful and would further decrease the little water available to farmers for irrigation. It was filed by the Westlands Water District and the San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority against the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation on Wednesday.  The bureau has said it plans to release Trinity water from August 13 until the end of September. The proposal comes after tens of thousands of fall chinook salmon died in the Klamath in 2002 because there was not enough water for them to swim upstream.


>> 08/08/13 RED FLAG WARNING For Basin, Northern California

415 AM PDT THU AUG 8 2013


>> 08/08/13 AMBER ALERT In Oregon & Washington & Nevada

RENO, Nev. (AP) — An Amber Alert has been expanded to Nevada for two California children and a man believed to have abducted them last weekend in the San Diego area.  The alert posted Thursday by the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children says 16-year-old Hannah Anderson and her 8-year-old brother, Ethan Anderson, are believed to be with James Lee DiMaggio in a blue Nissan Versa with California license plates.  Amber Alerts were previously issued in California, Oregon and Washington.  DiMaggio is sought in the death of the girl's mother, Christina Anderson. Her body was found Sunday in the charred remains of DiMaggio's home in a suburb 65 miles east of San Diego.  Authorities reported possible sightings of DiMaggio's car on Wednesday near Alturas, Calif., and Lakeview, Ore., and Thursday near Bremerton, Wash.

Oregon State Police say they haven't been able to confirm a reported sighting in Oregon of a car believed to have been driven by a man wanted in a California killing and kidnap case — and haven't gotten any further reports.  The police issued Amber Alerts Wednesday and reported possible sightings of James Lee DiMaggio's blue Nissan Versa in northeast California and then near Lakeview in south-central Oregon.  DiMaggio is suspected of abducting a 16-year-old California girl and killing the girl's mother and possibly the girl's brother.  Senior Trooper Daniel Swift, a police spokesman, said Thursday the police haven't concluded the report was erroneous. He says they didn't get tips that would lead them to search any specific place for the car, and they're still on the lookout for it.

SEATTLE (AP) — There's been an unconfirmed sighting in Washington of a car wanted in connection with two deaths and child abduction in Southern California.  Washington State Patrol Trooper Russ Winger told KOMO Radio that a driver near Bremerton reported seeing a blue Nissan hatchback with a man driving and a woman passenger. The caller said the car was westbound at 7:45 a.m. Thursday on Highway 101 near the Jefferson-Clallam county line, which is about 40 miles northwest of Seattle.  Winger says a trooper checked the area and was unable to locate the car. A California Amber Alert was expanded to Oregon and Washington as authorities search for James Lee DiMaggio who is believed to be driving a blue Nissan Versa with 16-year-old Hannah Anderson.


>> 08/08/13 Linthicumn Recall Effort Fails

The effort to recall County Commissioner Dennis Linthicum has failed. The County Clerk's office remained open until 5:00 p.m. Wednesday but the leader of the recall failed to show up and hand in signatures. Sherri Biggs of Malin filed a recall petition against Linthicum May 9ith representing Voters For Fiscal Responsibility. The recall effort needed 3,474 valid signatures to force a recall election.

>> 08/08/13 Bureau Of Reclamation Won't Release Tribal Drought Money This Year

Last week the Bureau opf Reclamation announced Klamath Tribal members holding allottee claims could seek reimbursement at $250 per acre for lands they could not irrigate due to state water adjudication.  Now the bureau says the money will not (not) be paid out this year due to the severity of the drought and the continued regulation of water in the entire Upper Klamath Basin.

 08/07/13 Red Flag Warning Through Thursday Night

417 AM PDT WED AUG 7 2013

>> 08/07/13  City Releases Utility Takeover Study

Klamath Falls Mayor Todd Kellstrom released a Phase One study of a potential city takeover of Pacific Power service on Tuesday morning. Kellstrom told reporters the takeover would cost about $32 million but woluld save city ratepayers $58 million by 2018.  The Mayor said E-E-S Consulting Company of Kirkland, Washington was asked to "be conservative" when making savings estimates.   Kellstrom says at the August 19th meeting the Klamath Falls City Council will consider whether to have the company conduct a Phase Two study which would determine the value of Pacific Power assets and how best to proceed to purchase those assets.  Pacific Power spokesman Bob Graveley told KFLS News, Pacific Power will not sell assets and said the city will spend hundreds of millions to buy its assets followed by expensive legal fees.  Graveley also challenged the study as "long on assumptions and short on details."

>> 08/07/13 Truck Driver Dies At Big Windy Fire

A southwest Oregon sheriff's office has identified the man killed Tuesday while working on one of five major forest fires in the region.  Josephine County Sheriff Gil Gilbertson says 19-year-old Jesse Trader was returning a truck that was used all of Monday night and into Tuesday morning at the Big Windy complex of fires.  The truck hit a rural road embankment and rolled over. Trader was taken from the scene by an air ambulance, but emergency responders were unable to revive him. The southwestern fires were ignited by lightning late last month. They are burning in some of the state's most difficult mountain terrain, fed by vegetation parched by a widespread drought.

>> 08/06/13 Fire Weather Watch For Basin This Week

414 AM PDT TUE AUG 6 2013


>> 08/06/13 Crews Try To Protect Rogue River Lodges & Zane Grey's Cabin

Crews in southwest Oregon are contending with hotter, drier weather Monday as they try to contain clusters of forest fires ignited by lightning in late July.  Among them are the Big Windy fires in the Rogue River Canyon, which grew steadily over the weekend.  Firefighters are trying to keep the flames south of the river.  On the north side are lodges and a cabin once owned by western novelist Zane Grey. Crews put out a few small fires on the north side Sunday.  There's a chance of new fires this week. Lightning is expected to begin Tuesday evening in the southern part of the state and strike farther north as the week wears on. The fire forecasts say the storms could bring some moisture later in the week.

>> 08/06/13 Fires May Grow Five Fold

The terrain at one of the forest fires in southwestern Oregon is so forbidding and the vegetation so dry that veteran firefighters expect it to grow fivefold and burn until autumn.  The area of the Big Windy fire centered 25 miles northwest of Grants Pass was reported Tuesday at more than 9,000 acres — about 14 square miles.  The fire officials tell the Medford Mail Tribune (http://bit.ly/1eq2tbu ) their best-guess scenario is it will expand to nearly 50,000 acres by the fall — if firefighters can keep it from jumping the lines they're trying to establish.  The Big Windy is a complex of three fires. Dan Thorpe is a state forester in charge of the southwest district who predicts: "We're going to live with these fires until October 15th or later." 

>> 08/06/13 State Relaunches Foreclosure Help Program

Oregon's first attempt at mediation in home foreclosure cases fizzled, and a second attempt is now underway.  In the meantime, The Oregonian (http://bit.ly/1511JDS ) reports, lenders completed more than 4,000 foreclosures in the state in the 12 months ending in June.  Last July, the state launched a program to require lenders to meet with homeowners to discuss alternatives before foreclosing on a mortgage. But the law left a loophole for foreclosures filed in court.  At the same time, a decision in a separate case cast uncertainty on out-of-court foreclosures, which had been common. So, lenders started filing foreclosure cases in court.  This year, the Legislature revised the program to require what's called a resolution conference no matter how the foreclosure proceeds. The rules were effective Sunday.

>> 07/31/13 Air Quality Advisory Is RED Until Monday

>> 08/01/13 Air Quality In Basin Is UNHEALTHY

The Klamath County Public Health Department says the air quality in the basin is rated UNHEALTHY with an index of 168.  This means everyone may begin to experience negative health effects.  Young children, older adults and those with respiratory, lung or heart problems is urged to stay indoors. People are advised to limit outdoor physical activity due to smoke from wildfires ikn Josephine and Douglas counties.

 >> 08/01/13 House Committee Passes Walden Logging Bill

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A U.S. House committee has advanced legislation aimed at increasing timber harvests on former Oregon & California Railroad lands in Western Oregon.  The provision was included in a sweeping federal forests bill that passed the Natural Resources Committee in a voice vote Wednesday. The Oregonian reports that the legislation advances to the full House with an eye toward setting up negotiations with the Senate.  The legislation was drafted by Democratic Reps. Peter DeFazio and Kurt Schrader along with Republican Rep. Greg Walden.  Western Oregon counties struggling economically with the two-decade decline in logging have eagerly sought looser restrictions on timber harvests. Environmental groups oppose the plan.  Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon is working on his own legislation that would increase harvests to a smaller degree.

>> 08/01 /13 KYDC Takes Over Phoenix Place

The Klamath Youth development Center is now the official mental health services provider in Klamath county. County  commissioners signed a lease agreement with K-Y-D-C to have them take over the 16 bed residential treatment center, Phoenix Place.  The county told the Oregon Health Authority in June it would no longer provide mental health services due to a new, fee-for-service model.

>> 07/31/13 BREAKING NEWS House Panel Okays Logging Bill

A U.S. House committee has advanced legislation aimed at increasing timber harvests on former Oregon & California Railroad lands in Western Oregon.  The provision was included in a sweeping federal forests bill that passed the Natural Resources Committee in a voice vote Wednesday. The Oregonian reports (http://bit.ly/16EOfjO) that the legislation advances to the full House with an eye toward setting up negotiations with the Senate.  The legislation was drafted by Democratic Reps. Peter DeFazio and Kurt Schrader along with Republican Rep. Greg Walden.  Western Oregon counties struggling economically with the two-decade decline in logging have eagerly sought looser restrictions on timber harvests. Environmental groups oppose the plan.  Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon is working on his own legislation that would increase harvests to a smaller degree. 

>> 07/31/13 Governor Declares Emergency In Josephine & Douglas Counties

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Gov. John Kitzhaber has declared a state of emergency for Josephine and Douglas counties as firefighters tackle the Douglas Complex wildfires.  State officials say the declaration authorizes the National Guard to assist firefighting efforts. On Saturday, Kitzhaber invoked the Conflagration Act, meaning fire agencies can be dispatched to protect buildings.  No structures have been destroyed by the lightning-sparked blazes, but about 400 homes are threatened. More than 100 have received evacuation notices.  Air quality remains a concern and the forecast calls for the possibility of lightning today.  More than 1,200 firefighters and support staff are battling the fires that have burned almost 21,400 acres and are 5 percent contained.  Other major fires in southwest Oregon are burning east of Tiller and near the Illinois River community of Oak Flat. 
Federal authorities have closed the wild section of the Rogue River in Southern Oregon because of smoke from wildfires and the risk that whitewater rafters who got into trouble couldn't be rescued.  A spokesman for the U.S. Bureau of Land Management says visibility is so poor that helicopters couldn't fly in to evacuate an injured rafter.  The 34-mile section of the Rogue from near Galice (guhl-EESE') to near Agness is renowned for canyon scenery and difficult rapids.  The Medford Mail Tribune reports (http://bit.ly/1cobXFP) that outfitters and lodges along the river are losing business to cancellations.

>> 07/31/13 Japan Will Resume Northwest Wheat Imports Tomorrow

Japan has agreed to resume importing Northwest soft white wheat two months after a genetically modified rogue strain of the crop appeared in an Oregon farmer's field.  The news was met with cheers by regional and national wheat growers.  The Oregon Wheat Commission has maintained since the rogue strain was discovered that it was limited to one field. Federal investigators said they've found no other cases.  According to translated remarks the commission provided from Japan's minister of agriculture, Japan will begin to accept U.S. Western wheat again on Aug. 1 and soft white on Aug. 7. Japan will test U.S. imports for genetically modified wheat for an undisclosed period of time.

>> 07/30/13 Air Quality Not Good In Klamath Basin Due To Wildfire Smoke

Klamath County Air Quality is recommending people reduce the amount of time they spend outdoors and reduce outdoor physical activity due to smoke from wildfires. Jim Carey tells KFLS News people with respiratory illnesses should follow their health care provider's advice and limit exposure to the smoke.  The smoke is believed to be coming from the Whiskey Fire, burning near Tiller in Douglas county.  The National Weather Service has issued a Fire Weather Watch for the Klamath Basin Wednesday afternoon until Thursday evening due to the probability of dry lightning.

>>07/30/13  Rafael Hernandez Named County Tax Collector, Property Manager

Klamath County Commissioners have named Rafael Hernandez to be the new Tax Collector and County Property Manager.  Hernandez has worked in the Assessor's Office since 2001.  He is a native of Malin and a graduate of O-I-T. part of his job as County Property Manager the commissioners want Hernandez to catalog all county property and develop management procedures for those properties.

>> 07/30/13 Foreclosure Prevention Program Starts Tomorrow (Wednesday)  

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — A new program to prevent foreclosures will give struggling homeowners up to $30,000.  The Home Rescue Program aims to provide assistance to about 2,500 homeowners across Oregon.  Oregon Housing and Community Services begins accepting applications online at noon Wednesday.  The Register-Guard reports (http://bit.ly/1e8hcHU ) the program will provide a year's worth of mortgage payments — up to a total of $20,000 — plus up to $10,000 in back payments to bring mortgages current.  Spokesman Benjamin Pray says the program is intended to give struggling homeowners some breathing space and allow them to stabilize their finances.  As of March 31, there were 30,323 Oregon homeowners more than 90 days late on their payments.  The Home Rescue Program is funded by the federal Hardest Hit Fund. For more information call Klamath-Lake Community Action Services and to file an application_

>> 07/26/13 Two Brothers Die In Car Wreck On Sprague River Road

Oregon State Police continue to investigate a wreck on Sprague River Road at Milepost 8 on Wednesday night that claimed the lives of two brothers. The dead identifed as 15 year old Adam Phillips and 18 year old Thomas Phillips. Police say three other unnamed people were in the car but have released no further details as investigators are reconstructing the crash.

>> 07/26/13 KYDC Begins Helping Outpatients From County 

The Klamath Youth Development Center (KYDC) is now helping outpatients who had been cared for by the county Behavioral Health and Wellness and KYDC is also preparing to take over operation of the 16 bed residential treatment facility, Phoenix Place.  KYDC has signed a contract with the Oregon Health Authority band is now the provider of adult mental health services in Klamath county.

>> 07/26/13 Containment Of Stagecoach Fire Expected Tonight;

Firefighters have the Stagecoach Fire north of Gilchrist 70% contained as of this (Friday) morning and expect full containment this evening.  The human caused fire has burned more than 300 acres and earlier this week a La Pine man was arrested and jailed on charges of Arson 1 and Reckless Burning. 

>> 07/25/13 KYDC Takes Over Adult Mental Health Services

The Oregon Health Authority signed a contract with Klamath Youth Development Center on Wednesday afternoon making K-Y-D-C the provider of adult mental health services and programs in Klamath county.  County commissioners had asked the state to name a non-profit to take over mental health services in June but this week commissioners asked the state to immediately get a new provider in place.  The county says after giving 30-day layoff notices to all 81 employees in Behavioral Health and Wellness (formerly the county Mental health Department) in June, less than 30 people remain on the job with most of the others finding other jobs. Clients at the 16 bed residential mental health treatment center, Phoenix Place, will remain where they are.  Outpatients from Behavioral Health and wellness will move their care to K-Y-D-C.

>> 07/25/13 Industrial and Personal Use Restrictions In Place On Federal Lands

As of now the Fremont Winema National forest and the Lakeview District of the Bureau of Land Management have implemented Industrial Fire Precaution Level 3 on their lands.  This means NO personal or commercial woodcutting using power saws.  In addition, Public Use Restrictions have also been implemented on federal lands.  This includes restrictions on campfires, stoves, cigarette smoking, driving on roads, parking off roads and no use of welding equipment.

>> 07/25/13 Stagecoach Fire Near Containment

The Stagecoach Fire has blackened 330-acres, 8 miles northeast of Gilchrist in north Klamath county and is 40% contained. Full containment is expected Friday.  The fire was human caused and broke out Monday afternoon. A La Pine man, 30 year old Kelly Jera Parker is facing charges of Reckless Burning and Arson 1.  Police say Parker and another individual were illegally living on BLM land and left a fire unattended.

>> 07/24/13 State Representative Dennis Richardson Running For Oregon Governor

Republican State Representative Dennis Richardson of Central Point is running for Governor of Oregon. Richardson made the announcement Wednesday. Eastern Oregon rancher Jon Justesen is the only other Republican in the race.  Richardson is a native of Los Angeles who served as a helicopter pilot in Vietnam.  He has served in the legislature since 2003.  Richardson had told reporters a few weeks back he would not run for governor because of the expense of running a campaign.  Richardson says he changed his mind when approached by fellow Republicans who have promised to help with raising campaign money.  

>> 07/23/13 Firefighters Make Progress At Stagecoach Fire Northeast Of Gilchrist

A new central Oregon wildfire that quickly grew to cover half a square mile has prompted the evacuation of about 120 homes in several subdivisions.  Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center spokeswoman Lisa Clark said the Stagecoach Fire started Monday afternoon northeast of Gilchrist. About 35 firefighters were battling that fire, which was about 30 percent contained by Tuesday morning.  Five air tankers dropped retardant before dark.  The cause is under investigation. However District Attorney Rob Patridge confirmed to KFLS News Tuesday morning a La Pine resident, 30-year old Kelly Jera Parker was arrested last night on charges of Arson 1.  Parker is jailed with bail set at $100,000.

>> 07/23/13 Some Progress At Warm Springs Fire

Federal authorities battling a Central Oregon wildfire have closed a 40-mile segment of the lower Deschutes River to rafters. Spokeswoman Lisa Clark of the Central Oregon fire center says flames on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation have burned from the west to the river's edge, causing concern for the safety of rafters pulling in at campsites for the evening.  She says raft trips on the Warm Springs-Nena stretch include one night in camp, sometimes two. She says fires have a history of jumping the river.  The closure comes at high season for rafters on the popular whitewater river.  The closure immediately affects about 100 rafters with permits to run the segment of the river on Tuesday. But Clark says they'll be allowed to run stretches downstream instead.

>> 07/23/13 County Wants Immediate Takeover Of Mental Health By State Of Oregon

Klamath County Commissioners have asked the Oregon Health Authority to immediately take over county mental health programs.  The request was made in a letter sent last Friday. Commissioners noted the dramatic drop in the number of county employees in the Behavioral Health and Wellness Department following a 30-day layoff notice issued to all 81 employees in June.  Commissioner Dennis Linthicum says he believes there are fewer than 30 employees now and that includes most or all of the administrative staff. 

>> 07/22/13 Klamath Falls Man Arrested On Sex Abuse Charges

A 61 year old Klamath Falls man, identified as Augustine Lozano Cobos has been charged with Sex Abuse 1 and is jailed with bail set at $100,000.  Cobos was arrested Saturday afternoon.

>> 07/22/13 Wildfire Spreads At Warm Springs Indian Reservation

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A fire that spread rapidly in windy weather on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation of Central Oregon has led to more evacuations.  More firefighters and a federal management team are being brought in.  The fire started Saturday. Firefighters say it was human caused, but the means haven't been identified.  About 200 people were evacuated and allowed to go home Sunday.  But Sunday afternoon, about 120 people in 40 homes in two subdivisions were told to leave.  Firefighters reported one uninhabited homestead dwelling burned.  Monday morning, the fire size was estimated at up to 39 square miles — 25,000 acres.  Fire crews were stationed at the Kah-Nee-Ta resort. The main lodge was already closed by an unrelated fire. It started Thursday in the kitchen and caused extensive damage.

>> 07/22/13 Moderate Quake Recorded Off Oregon Coast

A magnitude 4.2 earthquake was recorded off the Oregon Coast Saturday at 9:20 a.m. The U-S Geological Survey says the epicenter of the quake was 101 miles west of Bandon. No damage or inuries reported.

> 07/19/13 Another Trojan Horse Suspect Arrested

Police have arrested another suspect in connection with the Operation Trojan Horse drug raids that occurred in mid-May.  29-year old Margarito Vasquez Floes is jailed on charges of Racketeering with bail set at $5-million.  Flores also faces a federal deportation order.

>> 07/19/93 Blossom Bar On Rogue River Claims Second Life In a Week

GOLD BEACH, Ore. (AP) — The second whitewater rafter in a week has died after falling into the Rogue River at a treacherous rapid known as Blossom Bar.  The Curry County sheriff's office says 66-year-old Steven Boyd of Walla Walla, Wash., died Wednesday.  Sheriff John Bishop says the raft was going through a section of the rapid known as the Picket Fence when it hit boulders and flipped.  Bishop says Boyd hit his head on a rock, which may have been a factor in his apparent drowning. Others in the raft made it through with minor injuries.  Blossom Bar is about 50 miles upriver from Gold Beach. It's the most difficult rapid on the wild section of the popular whitewater river.  A rafter from South Carolina fell in the rapid Friday and died.

>> 07/19/13 Fire & Water Damage Closes Lodge at Ka-Nee-Ta Resort

WARM SPRINGS, Ore. (AP) — A fire official says a blaze that started in a kitchen area at a north-central Oregon resort has caused extensive fire and water damage and forced Kah-Nee-Ta Resort & Spa to close its main lodge for at least four days.  Warm Springs Fire Chief Dan Martinez tells KTVZ-TV that the only reported injury was a cook who suffered arm burns Thursday.  However, more than 350 people were evacuated and moved to other hotels. Martinez says guests were never in danger but firefighters had to turn off the power grid because water got into that.  The resort on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation announced Thursday night that the lodge would be closed for four days. Martinez said it might take longer to clean up and restore services.  On its Facebook page, the resort said several other areas remain open, including its RV park, village pool, golf course and spa.

>> 07/18/13 - County Road Crews Get Water From Hydrants, Not Sprague River

KFLS News has learned that county road crews doing chip seal work between Chiloquin and Sprague River have had to fill their water tanker from Chiloquin hydrants, not the Sprague River.  The tanker water is used to keep dust down during road work. A worker at the county road department also told KFLS News road crews are also not able to get water from the Williamson River. County Commissioner Jim Bellet confirmed that he was told this week road crews were using Chiloquin hydrants. More details as they become available.

>> 07/18/13 - Wildfire Closes Highway 97 For Two Hours Wednesday Afternoon

A wildfire near Highway 97 about 45 miles north of Klamath Falls resulted in a near three hour closure Wednesday afternoon. The fire was burning on private land and thick smoke with high winds made visibility very difficult on Highway 97.  The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) was able to move a single lane of traffic with a pilot car about 4:30 p.m. and by 6:00 p.m. ODOT had a second pilot car on hand and traffic in both directions began moving.  The 10 acre fire was contained about 6:00 p.m. and the cause remains under investigation.  The highway was fully re-opened shortly after 10:00 p.m.

>> 07/18/13 - Rudy Crew Billed State For Personal Travel, Won't Have To Repay State

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A newspaper investigation shows that in his year as Oregon's chief education officer, Rudy Crew billed the state for personal travel expenses, took six weeks of paid vacation and tried to get the state to pay for perks such as first-class plane tickets.  The Oregonian reported Wednesday on Crew's spending after he was hired to work on Gov. John Kitzhaber's goal of making education seamless from preschool through college.  He resigned in June to be a college president in New York.  Among the travel expenses: A daylong visit to Santa Fe to honor a former colleague, at a cost of $1,118, and a visit to Los Angeles to teach a four-hour college course, for $552.  In a separation agreement the state agreed not to seek repayment of travel money.

>> 07/17/13 - KWUA Executive Director Addington Says Judge "Got It Right" On Water Stay

The Executive Director of the Klamath Water Users Association, Greg Addington told KFLS News Judge Cameron Wogan, "got it right" when he refused requests by some ranchers and farmers to issue a stay of state imposed water shutoffs in the Upper Klamath Basin.  Addington agreed with Cameron's ruling which said two requests for a stay of shutoffs were denied because\, " Contrary to law, they would elevate petitioners over everyone so they would be the only ones to get extra water if downstream rights are curtailed as they request."  Addington said he hopes a basin wide settlement of water issues can be achieved to end the controversy once and for all.

>> 07/17/13 City AFSCME Union Reach New 2-Year Contract

The Klamath Falls City Council approved a new, two-year contract with the AFSCME union on Monday night.  Under terms of the new contract city employees will begin paying 6% of the cost of their Public Employees Retirement System (PERS) costs and the city will also contrib ute 6%. In the past the city has paid the entire 12% cost of PERS.  The new contract also says city workers will have to pay 10% of their health insurance costs.  City workers will receive a 0.9% COLA increase in the new contract.

>> 07/17/13 Wheat Growers Cautiously Optimistic About Renewed Sales To Japan

PENDLETON, Ore. (AP) — With the harvest underway, representatives of Northwest wheat growers say they're optimistic, though cautious, about prospects for Japan to resume buying their grain.  Sales were suspended after an Eastern Oregon farmer found unapproved genetically modified wheat in a field.  South Korea and Taiwan also halted purchases of western white wheat, but they have resumed buying.  A spokesman for the trade group U.S. Wheat Associates tells the East Oregonian a Japanese agency has tested 1.2 million metric tons of U.S. wheat for GMO material without finding any.Wheat groups were also cheered when Japan purchased more than 24,000 metric tons of club wheat last week. That's a subclass of western white wheat also grown primarily in Washington and Oregon.

 >> 07/16/13 Judge Won't Stop Water Shutoffs

Klamath County Circuit Court Judge Cameron Wogan has denied a request for a stay of water shutoffs in the Upper Klamath Basin that had been requested by about 40 farmers, ranchers and businesses. Wogan noted many disagree with the request including 15 downstream irrigation districts that serve hundreds of farmers and ranchers in the Klamath Basin. Wogan ruled in two cases that, "The request for a stay is denied because if granted it would elevate petitioners over everyone so they would be the only ones to get extra water if downstream rights are curtailed as they request." Wogan did not rule on a request by an upstream ranch to stay the part of the order that denied his own claim to water.  Instead, Judge Wogan offered that rancher's lawyer a chance to submit more briefs and arguments that would be presented at a court conference July 24th at 1:30 p.m.

>> 07/16/13 Klamath Falls Man Wins $250,000 In Video Game Competition In New York City

A Klamath Falls University of Oregon student has won $250,000 in a national video-game competition and will be a guest of Major League Baseball at tonight's All-Star Game in New York. 21 year old Justin Chavarria won the MLB 2-K-13's Perfect Game Challenge, beating out three other finalists this (Tuesday) morning. Chavarria was a good athlete during his days playing baseball at Klamath Union High School, but his video-baseball skills landed him the big payday. Chavarria says he practiced the game six hours a day, all while attending college and serving as a practice player for the Oregon women's basketball team. Two of the four finalists were Oregonians. Tyson Sanders of Oregon City also got the trip to New York.

>> 07/16/13 Commissioners Give City, County Schools $450,000 from Road Fund

The Klamath County Board of Commissioners voted Tuesday to transfer $300,000 to county schools and $150,000 to city schools from the road fund.  The two districts had requested a total of $3.9 million for a wide range of maintenance and capital improvement projects.  The county road fund money comes from the federal Secure Rural Schools Act and has an estimated balance of more than $100-million.  Of that amount $40-million is dedicated to bridges. 

>> 07/15/13 Major Sidewalk Project Begins On Washburn Way Today

City work crews begin work on the first phase of sidewalk construction today on the west side of Washburn Way, north of Eberlein Avenue.  After that work is done sidewalk work will begin on Eberlein Avenue where the sidewalk will be built on the south side between Washburn Way and the A Canal bike path.  The work is expected to be completed around the end of August.

>> 07/15/13 Ruling On Request For Stay Of Water Shutoffs Expected This Week

Klamath County Circuit Court Judge Cameron Wogan is expected to issue a ruling this week on a request by some Upper Klamath Basin ranchers for a stay of their water shutoffs.  A severe drought coupled with adjudication of senior and junior water rights in the basin, has led to more than 300 ranches and farms being shutoff from their irrigation water.  Adjudication determined the Klamath Tribes have senior water rights to time immemorial followed by the U-S Bureau of Reclamation / Klamath Reclamation Project.  The judge's office says lawyers for both sides will be contacted first followed by other interested parties. 

07/12/13 Man Arrested In Connection With June 24th Murder
Police arrested 36 year old Joshua Gilbert Brown of Chiloquin early this (Friday) morning and have charged him with Murder and being a Felon In Possession of a Weapon. Brown, who is being held without bail, is accused of the June 24th shooting death of 32 year old David Costa of Chiloquin.  Costa was found with a fatal gunshot wound to the head at a home east of Agency Lake.  

>> 07/12/13 Water Issues Task Force Holds 1st Meeting; Next Meeting In Klamath Falls

A Klamath Basin Water Issues Task Force appointed by the Oregon Congressional Delegation and the governor held its first meeting in Medford Monday afternoon. The meeting chairman, Richard Whitman, who is Governor John Kitzhaber's Natural Resources Advisor, said the task force will focus its work on three issues.  Those issues are resolving water management issues, reducing the cost of electricity for on and off project irrigators and finding ways to reduce the cost of implementing the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement by one fourth to one-third.  At the start of the meeting Whitman said, "This task force is not a referendum on the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement.  We're not going to get into arguing whether particular parts of the KBRA are good things or bad things. The work of this task force is more limited."  The task force is made up of ranchers, irrigation districts, Tribal Nations from Oregon and California, salmon fishermen, power producers, representatives of various California and Oregon state agencies and environmental groups.  The next meeting is scheduled to be held in Klamath Falls on Thursday,  August 1st from 1-to-5pm, the location to be announced.

>> 07/12/13 No Decision Yet In Request For Stay Of Water Shutoffs

Klamath County Circuit Court Judge Cameron Wogan has not yet issued a ruling about a request for a stay of water shutoffs in the Upper Klamath Basin.  Several farms and ranches, some with 1864 water rights, requested the stay after their water was shutoff last month.  They are appealing the adjudication decisions that named the Klamath Tribes and the U-S Bureau of Reclamation / Klamath Reclamation Project as having senior water rights and have asked for the stay until the court hears their cases.  Judge Wogan indicated last week he would make a decision as soon as possible. 

06/25/13 County To End Mental Health Services

Klamath County is trying to become the first county in Oregon to stop providing mental health services and programs. The commissioners have asked the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) to name a non-profit to step in and offer some or all of the services now provided by Klamath County Behavioral Health and Wellness (formerly Mental Health Department) for 1200 county residents.  The commissioners say the county can not afford to provide mental health services because the state's fee-for-services rates are not financially tenable for the county. However the county wants to  continue providing mental health services for about 90-days to give the OHA time to name a new provider and to make a comfortable transition for people using mental health services.  However commissioners learned Monday that the option of providing services during a transition to a new provider could be very expensive.  First because all 81 employees in Behavioral Health and Wellness Department have been given layoff notices and people are quitting everyday.  During the 90 day transition there may not be enough employees to offer all services costing the county the loss of fee-for-services payments from the state.   Complicating matters further is the projection that the department is already losing almost $30,000 a month and reserves may have to be used to balance that budget between Monday, July 1st and 90 days later when a new provider takes over.  But an even bigger expense is a new building that houses Behavioral Health and Wellness that replaced the old building destroyed in an arson fire more than 2 years ago.  The new building was financed by a Community Development Block Grant.  Chief Financial Officer Jason Link told the commissioners terms and conditions of the block grant mean that if the county drops out of being a mental health service provider the grant is due and payable immediately.  Link said even if the county county contracts with a different mental health services provider and the provider uses the county building, the block grant still requires immediate full payment. Commissioners have signed an Intergovernmental Agreement with the OHA after receiving assurances the contract will be amended by the state to eventually have a different provider offer mental health services in the county.

>> 06/25/13 Farmers, Ranchers Plan Big Parade, Rally Monday Morning 

Farmers and ranchers from the Upper Klamath Basin plan to stage the largest parade and rally in Klamath County history Monday morning at 10 o'clock (July 1st) in front of the County Government Center due to the loss of their irrigation water.  Sprague River rancher Bruce Topham told KFLS News the parade will include a lot of farm and ranch equipment and will include companies that do business with ranches and farms.  Upper Basin farms and ranches are seeing water shutoffs due to a drought and the recent adjudication process that gave senior water rights to the Klamath Tribes and the US Bureau of Reclamation for the Klamath Project.  Many ranchers and farmers who have been designated as junior water rights holders are fighting the adjudication decisions in Klamath County Circuit Court.  Judge Cameron Wogan will hear more appeals on Tuesday, July 2nd in his courtroom in Klamath Falls.

06/25/13 Klamath  Unemployment Steady In May

The unemployment rate in Klamath county in  May stayed the same as it was in April, 10.8%  The Oregon Employment Division says 440 jobs were added in May, short of the 510 jobs that would normally be added this time of year.  The county unemployment rate was 11.4% in May of 2012.

>> 06/24/13 La Pine Man Charged With Criminally Negligent Homicide

BEND, Ore. (AP) — A Central Oregon man has been accused of criminally negligent homicide and driving under the influence of intoxicants after a crash that killed a motorcyclist in northern Klamath County.  The Bend Bulletin reports (http://bit.ly/12kYBBA ) that 57-year-old Stephen Anthony Williams of Silver Lake died after the crash Saturday evening.The Oregon State Police say his motorcycle collided with the passenger side of a van driven by 43-year-old Glen Leland Harvey Jr. of La Pine as the van turned into a driveway from Oregon Highway 31.  Williams died in a Bend hospital. Harvey was booked in Klamath County.

>> 06/24/13  OSP Trooper Finds 11 Pounds Of Meth In Car During Traffic Stop

A California man is jailed in Klamath county after an Oregon State Police trooper found 11 pounds of methamphetamine concealed in his car during a Sunday morning traffic stop.  The trooper pulled the 1991 Land Rover over on Highway 97 at milepost 274 for a moving traffic violation and during the investigation found 11 pounds of methamphetamine.  25 year old James E. Gonzalez of Norwalk, California is jailed on methamphetamine possession, delivery and manufacture charges with bail set at $75,000.

>> 06/24/13 Ralph "Baldy" Foster Dies At Age 88

A former standout athlete at Klamath Union High School who later became a popular coach died Friday.  Ralph "Baldy" Foster was 88 year old.  He still holds the K-U record for a 99 yard punt return during a game against Medford.  Foster was a member of the K-U 1942 state champion football team and was also a player on K-U's 1943 state champion basketball team.  After serving in  the U-S Navy in World War 2, Foster returned to Oregon and attended Southern Oregon University.  Foster played on two undefeated football teams while attending Southern Oregon University.  Funeral services for Foster are pending.   

>> 06/20/13 - Wyden Holds Hearing On Basin Water Issues

Oregon Senator Ron Wyden opened a hearing by the U-S Senate's Energy and Natural Resources Committee Thursday morning and stated, "The KBRA (Klamath Basin Restoration Agreements) is unaffordable at this point." Wyden chairs the committee and urged all partiers to work together and seek solutions "at a lower cost."  The committee heard from irrigators, county commissioners and tribal representatives from throughout the Klamath Basin in Oregon and California.  While speakers differed over the issue of KBRA and dam removal all speakers also indicated a willingness to work together to try to resolve contentious water issues that have divided the region for decades. 

>> 06/20/13 - Oregon Supreme Court Backs Governor Kitzhaber On Executions

The Oregon Supreme Court says Gov. John Kitzhaber can delay the lethal injection of a death-row inmate who wants to waive his appeals and speed his execution.  The state's highest court ruled Thursday that Kitzhaber did not overstep his power when he granted a reprieve delaying the death sentence of Gary Haugen, who was convicted of two murders.  Kitzhaber opposes the death penalty and intervened weeks before Haugen was scheduled to be executed in 2011. The governor said he refused to allow an execution under a state death-penalty system he views as broken. He hoped to spark a statewide vote on capital punishment, but the Legislature has not referred the question to voters.  Haugen challenged Kitzhaber's clemency, saying the reprieve was invalid because Haugen refused to accept it.

>> 06/20/13 County Commissioners Want Out Of Mental Health

The Klamath County Board of Commissioners sent a letter to the Oregon Health Authority late last week asking the state to appoint a non-profit organization to provide mental health services for people who receive medical care through the Oregon Health Plan.  The commissioners say in their letter that a fee-for-service approach to mental health services will not provide enough money for the county's mental health department now known as Behavioral Health and Wellness.  If the state agrees, the county would layoff all 81 employees in the department.  Those employees received 30-day layoff notices on June 4th as required by the union contract.  Commissioner Tom Mallams told KFLS News he believes the county employees will quickly find work with whichever organization takes over providing mental health services.  The decision to send the letter has generated questions as to whether the commissioners violated the Oregon Open Meetings Law by not discussing and voting on the letter in a regular board meeting which would have included time for public comment.  Instead commissioners discussed the issue in a sparsely attended meeting with Human Resources last Thursday, June 13th.  The letter was signed and sent Friday, June 14th.  No response yet from the Oregon Health authority.  

>> 06/18/12 - Watermaster Continues Stream Inspections, Irrigation Shutoffs

State officials say they continue to regulate and inspect diversions along the Sprague River and will follow up with diversions visited last week.  This week officials will check the main stem of the Sprague River from the Williamson River up to the town of Beatty.

>> 06/18/13 Gallagher Murder Investigation Continues; Details Few

The Klamath County Major Crime Team continues to investigate the Friday night shooting death of 43 year old Randall Ray Gallagher.  District attorney Rob Patridge has refused to release much information because the case is an on-going, open investigation and is being treated as a homicide.  Gallagher was shot near Crest Street and Boardman Avenue.  Police say they have a suspect but will not disclose the person's name.

>> 06/18/13 - Vote On K-12 Schools Budget Fails In Salem

All 14 Oregon Senate Republicans were joined by one Democrat in voting down the proposed $6.55 billion budget for K-12 schools in Oregon on a 15-15 vote Monday.  Democratic State Senator Chris Edwards of Eugene voted no on grounds his district will continue to take budget cuts despite the fact the proposed budget is $800 million higher for K-12 schools than was approved by the last legislature.  Edwards also supports deeper cuts to retired state workers pensions coupled with increased taxes.  Republicans say they voted no because they continue to insist that deeper cuts be made to public employee pensions, which they argue would mean more money for schools.  Republicans say even though the proposed budget for K-12 schools is higher, much of the increase would be diverted to PERS, the Public Employee Retirement System.  If any of the state senators who voted no ask for reconsideration, the K-12 schools budget bill could be back before lawmakers for another vote.  

06/17/13 - Major Crime Teams Investigating Friday Night Murder

Details remain sketchy after a Friday night shooting left 43 year old Randy Ray Gallagher dead of a gunshot wound.  Neighbors from an apartment complex on Crest Street near Boardman Avenue reported a loud noise about nine o'clock.  District Attorney Rob Patridge isn't releasing more details because the Major Crime Team is still working on their homicide investigation into the shooting.

>> 06/17/13 - SORO May Fight Iberdrola CoGen Plant

The group Save Our Rural Oregon (SORO) is prepared to fight a biomass plant that may be developed in Klamath county by Iberdrola Resources, a renewable energy company based in Spain with an office in Portland.  One of the founders of SORO, Paul Fouch told  KFLS News last week's decision by Klamath Falls Bioenergy to pull out of the plans it had for a biomass plant on Highway 66 near Keno was a victory for his organization.  Fouch says SORO will fight the Iberdrola cogeneration plant if it doesn't have adequate design and pollution control systems.  Fouch says the Iberdrola plant could increase 2-point-5 Particulate Matter levels in the area by 7% with much of the pollution hitting the South Suburbs.

>> 06/17/13 - Oregon Cattlemen's Association Mid Year Meeting In Baker City This Week 

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Oregon Cattlemen's Association (OCA) which formed in Baker City in 1913. This week the OCA will hold its mid year meeting in Baker City for a centennial celebration.  The meeting begins Thursday afternoon with golf scramble and later a social and BBQ at Qual Ridge Golf Course.  Events Friday include a Trade Show, Rock-Jack Building Competition, a Retrospective History of the OCA and a parade down Main Street at 5:30 p.m. followed by a social and Western Dinner-Music/Dance at the Baker County Fairgrounds. Saturday's events include a stage performance about the history of the OCA, local ranches bus tours, a ranch rodeo and trips on the Sumpter Valley Railroad.  The highlight of this year's President's Banquet will be an appearance by humorist and syndicated newspaper columnist Baxter Black.  The dinner at 6:00 p.m. at the Baker County Fairgrounds Event Center. For more information call 503-361-8941

>> 06/14/13 - Some Irrigators Fight Water Shutoff In Court

Some of the ranchers facing irrigation shutoffs in the upper Klamath Basin are asking a judge to stop state officials from enforcing newly recognized water rights held by the Klamath Tribes.  Klamath County Circuit Judge Cameron Wogan has scheduled hearings Friday in Klamath Falls.  State watermasters started telling ranchers Wednesday that they had to stop irrigating in order to be sure enough water remains in the Sprague, Williamson and Wood rivers to meet senior water rights held by the tribes, which are using them to protect endangered fish.  The group of ranchers has been appealing the legal process that earlier this year recognized the tribes have water rights dating to time immemorial on rivers running through their former reservation.

>> 06/14/13 - Klamath Falls Bioenergy Ends Effort To Build Biomass Plant Near Keno

A developer has withdrawn an application to build a wood-fired electrical generating plant near Klamath Falls.  Klamath Falls Bioenergy said delays in getting a state siting permit meant it couldn't meet a year-end construction deadline set by federal economic stimulus legislation, which was expected to provide 30 percent of the project's cost.  Neighbors had organized to oppose the biomass project. It would have burned wood chips to provide enough power for about 35,000 homes.A local economic development leader, Trey Senn, says that California recently required more of its renewable energy to be generated in-state. He says that eliminated a large market for any Klamath County plant.  Senn says the withdrawal clears the way for a biomass project proposed by Portland-based Iberdrola Renewables.___

>> 06/14/13 Armed Teachers In Eagle Point Schools?

A school district in southern Oregon is considering arming some of its staff members to protect students from school violence.  The Mail Tribune reports (http://bit.ly/10i1vgf) the motion to train and arm teachers came up at Wednesday's school board meeting in the town of Eagle Point, just north of Medford. The motion was brought up by board president Scott Grissom.  Grissom says school shootings in California, Colorado and Connecticut create a new reality. He says the first minutes of an armed attack require an armed response.  Under Grissom's plan, employees approved by the board would be trained in firearm safety. Those staffers would be allowed to carry firearms on school property during school hours, at school-sponsored events and board meetings.  They would also receive extra compensation for their additional "position expectations," as well as liability insurance.  Grissom says his plan would have a deterrent effect on those who might be plotting violence.

>> 06/13/13 - Klamath County To Receive $735,376 In PILT Money From Feds

Senator Ron Wyden's office has announced that Interior Secretary Sally Jewel is releasing $399.8 million to 1,900 local governments across America under the 2013 Payments in Lieu Of Taxes Program.  The program compensates counties and local governments for non-taxable land within their jurisdictions.  Klamath county will receive $737.376 in PILT monies.  The county had thought the PILT program would not release money this year and so the m oney can be added to the overall budget.  

>> 06/13/13 - Water Shutoffs Begin

Watermasters are starting to tell ranchers in the drought-stricken upper Klamath Basin they have to shut off their irrigation to satisfy the needs of the Klamath Tribes and a federal irrigation project.  Douglas Woodcock of the Oregon Water Resources Department said Wednesday that watermasters have completed verification of the need to start shutting off some irrigators, and were beginning to notify ranchers along the Sprague River and its tributaries.  He says it is not yet clear whether all the irrigators drawing from the Sprague have to be shut off. It will take the next week and a half to make all the notifications.  The tribes and the federal government called for enforcement of newly recognized water rights to protect fish, other irrigators and wildlife refuges.

>> 06/13/13 - Discover Klamath Seeks Contract Extension

The Klamath county tourism agency, Discover Klamath, met with county commissioners Wednesday asking for an extension of their contract. Executive Director Jim Chadderdon and Discover Klamath board member Mark Clark briefed the board on their efforts to bring more tourists to the county.  Among the latest efforts is a marketing campaign to attract visitors from British Columbia and work with a consultant to bring bus tour companies to the area.  The commissioners took no final action on the request for a contract extension.

>> 06/13/13 - State Lawmakers Approve Veterans Tuition Bill

The state Legislature has voted to allow veterans nationwide to pay in-state tuition at Oregon's public universities.  The House unanimously backed the measure on Wednesday, sending it to Gov. John Kitzhaber, who's expected to sign it.  Lawmakers say the measure is a token of gratitude for people who have served the country.  Oregon already gives a discount on nonresident tuition for veterans, but the Post 9/11 GI Bill only covers the cost of in-state tuition. As a result, many veterans who move to Oregon after leaving the military end up paying thousands of dollars out of pocket.  The Department of Defense says 19 other states have similar policies.

>> 06/12/13 - Water Shutoffs Expected Later This Week

Oregon state officials say they won't start shutting off irrigation water in the Upper Klamath Basin until later in the week. Doug Woodcock at Oregon Water Resources Department said they must first measure stream and river flows where Klamath Tribes and the U-S Bureau of Reclamation have exercised senior water rights on tens of thousands of acres.  The tribes are protecting river flows for salmon and suckers while reclamation is securing water for the Klamath Irrigation project and downstream wildlife refuges.

06/12/13 Schools Ask For $3.9 Million In County Road Funds

City and county school superintendents Dr. Paul Hillyer and Greg Thede met with county commissioners today and asked for a total of $3.9 million from the county road fund for capital improvement projects.  The city schools requested $1.6 million and county schools asked for $2.3 million.  Commissioners made no final decision and indicated they would not give the full amount requested. Commissioner Dennis Linthicum said of the $100-million in the road fund $40 million must be reserved for bridges.  He said the board may grant only 30% to 50% of the money requested by the schools.

>> 06/12/13 - Commissioners Briefed On Fire Season

County commissioners received a briefing Tuesday morning by representatives of the Fremont-Winema National Forest, the U-S Bureau of Land Management, Oregon Department of Forestry and the National Park Service about fire season. The commissioners were told this summer is expected to be well above normal for wildfires and could be a particularly difficult year due to the drought.  All agencies will cooperate and coordinate with each other as wildfires occur. 

>> 06/11/13 Klamath Tribes, Feds, Make Call For Water

GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — Tens of thousands of acres in Oregon's drought-stricken Klamath Basin will have to go without irrigation water this summer after the Klamath Tribes and the federal government exercised for the first time newly confirmed powers that put the American Indian tribes in the driver's seat over the use of water.  Klamath Tribes Chairman Don Gentry and U.S. Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Mike Connor said Monday they were making what is known as a "call" on their water rights for rivers flowing into Upper Klamath Lake in Southern Oregon.  The new powers were made possible by a March ruling of an administrative law judge confirming the tribes have the oldest water rights in the upper basin, and therefore first say over controlling it. The bureau's rights date to 1905.

>> 06/11/13 State Senate Limits Drones

The Oregon Senate has passed a bill barring law enforcement officers from using drones to acquire information except with a warrant or in emergency circumstances.  The vote Monday was 23 to 5. The bill goes back to the House, which passed the original version and now must consider changes the Senate made.  Supporters said the bill was an important first step in regulating the new technology and protecting citizens' privacy. Some opponents said there are still privacy and legal issues the bill fails to address.  Among other provisions, the bill prohibits weapons on drones and pre-empts local government regulation of drones.  The bill establishes criminal penalties for violating personal property or trespassing with a drone.

>> 06/11/13 Sex Offender Jailed For Failure To Report

Police on Monday arrested 55 year old Patrick Christopher Guzman, a transient, for Failure To Appear On Bench Warrants.  Guzman faces two counts of Failure To Report As A Sex Offender and one count of Criminal Trespass 2.  Guzman's bail set at $55,000.



>> 06/10/13 - Two Injured In Crash At Chiloquin State Airport

A California couple suffered minor injuries after their small plane left the runway at Chiloquin State Airport Sunday morning during a landing attempt. Oregon State Police say 77 year old Carl R. Faith of Montague, California landed his Cessna about 10:13 A.M. on Sunday and then lost control of the aircraft which veered off the runway, hit a culvert and flipped over on its top. Faith and his 57 year old wife Debra were taken to Sky Lakes Medical Center with minor injuries.  The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board have been notified. The cause remains under investigation.

>> 06/10/13 - Another Operation Trojan Horse Arrest

A 41 year old transient was arrested Saturday afternoon in connection with the Operation Trojan Horse drug bust that occurred last month in Klamath Falls and several rural communities. Jerry Montez Carrasco is charged with several crimes including Racketeering, Unlawful Possession of Methamphetamine and Unlawful Delivery of Methamphetamine.  Carrasco's bail was set at $525,000. The undercover operation led to the arrests of more than three dozen people and police say a major crime ring that sold methamphetamine and weapons was broken up as a result of the crackdown.

>> 06/10/13 - Tulelake Irrigation District Meets Tonight

The regular board meeting of the Tulelake Irrigation District (TID) is being held at 8:00 p.m. Monday and the agenda includes an update on Adjudication and authorization for the TID Manager approving a call on upstream water users.  The meeting will be held at the TID District Office.   According to the agenda a "Closed Session" will be held for discussion of a matter, "for which a significant exposure to litigation exists."

>> 06/06/13 - Layoff Notices Sent To 81 County Employees

Layoff notices have been sent to all 81 employees in the Klamath County Mental Health Department.  The workers may or may not be able to keep their jobs once a final contract is signed between the county and Cascade Health Care, the Coordinated Care Organization (CCO) for Klamath county.  Because of uncertainty over how many county employees will provide mental health services to the CCO, and uncertainty over the budget, layoff notices are required 30 days in advance under union contracts.  The layoffs could be rescinded once it become clear which services the county will provide and how many workers will be needed. 

>> 06/06/13- Bly Man Faces Assault, Strangulation Charges

A 33 year bold Bly man, Tristan Stephen Struts has been charged with Assault 4/Domestic Abuse, Strangulation and Menacing 1.  Struts is lodged in the county jail with bail set at $35,000.

>> 06/06/13 Lawmakers Okay Changes To Sex Offender Law

The Oregon Legislature has narrowly approved a bill that would allow some young offenders convicted of having sex with underage partners to request the crime be removed from their records.  In a 16-14 vote on Wednesday, the Senate sent the bill to Gov. John Kitzhaber. A spokeswoman says he intends to sign it.  The bill would apply to some teens and young adults convicted of sex crimes that did not involve coercion or force. The offender would have to complete all required court-ordered programs and treatments, among other conditions.  Proponents say the punishment for such offenses does not fit the crime. Opponents say people convicted of sex crimes often reoffend and should not be able to have their records expunged.

>> 06/04/13 - Feds Release Biological Opinion For Klamath Project

Federal scientists have decided that a new plan for balancing scarce water in the Klamath Basin between fish and farms won't harm salmon and other fish protected by the Endangered Species Act.  The NOAA Fisheries Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issued what is called a biological opinion on Monday for operations on the Klamath Project, a federal irrigation project straddling the Oregon-California border.  The Bureau of Reclamation says this new plan gives them far more flexibility than they had in 2001, when they had to shut off irrigation to farms to maintain water for fish.  The Hoopa Valley Tribe is not satisfied. Spokeswoman Regina Chichizola says the agencies failed to use the best available science, and the plan gives more water to farmers at the expense of salmon.

>> 06/04/13 - State Budget Talks Continue In Salem

Oregon's governor and legislative leaders met for three hours but have not reached a compromise on the state budget.  In a joint statement, Gov. John Kitzhaber and top legislators from both parties said the discussion Monday was "productive and ongoing. They agreed to meet again Tuesday morning.  Democrats have majorities in the House and Senate, but they'll need Republican votes to get the new tax revenue they're seeking. In exchange, Republicans want steeper cuts to public-employee pensions, which Democrats have resisted.  Kitzhaber said last week that both sides are still far apart.  Lawmakers have until the end of the month to adopt a new spending plan for the next two years.

>> 06/04/13 - Bly Man Faces Arson Charges

AQ 21 year old Bly man has been arrested and jailed on charges of Arson 1 and Reckless Burning.  Ty James Amberg was arrested Monday morning and is jailed with bail set at $50,000.

>> 06/03/13 - Man Accused Of Criminally Negligent Homicide

A KIamath Falls man is jailed on one count of Criminally Negligent Homicide and one count of DUI in connection with a fatal rollover wreck Friday night that killed his passenger.  54-year old Donald Marron Schachter was driving on Lower Klamath Lake Road about 7:30 Friday evening when his car left the highway and rolled several times.  Police say a passenger in Schachter's car, 54-year old Larry Tyree Standrige of Merrill was not wearing a safety belt and was ejected from the vehicle and died at the scene. Police say Schacter, who was charged on Saturday, was wearing a safety belt and sustained non life threatening injuries.  Scachter's bail set at $17,500.

>> 06/03/13 - Portland Woman Arrested After High Speed Chase 

A high speed chase on Highway 97 Saturday morning led to the arrest of a 28 year old Portland woman.  Police spotted a 1995 Buick shortly after 8:00 Saturday morning that had been reported stolen from the Eugene area.  When police tried to pull the vehicle over the driver sped off reaching speeds over 100 miles an hour.  City and county police deployed spike strips and Jennifer B Jones was arrested at gunpoint after pulling over near milepost 271.  Jones is jailed on charges of Unlawful Use Of A Motor Vehicle, Felony Attempt To Elude, Theft 1, Reckless Driving and giving False Information To A Police Officer with bail set at $41,000.

>> 06/03/13 - No County Commission Meeting Tuesday

The Klamath County Board of Commissioners will not (not) meet on Tuesday, June 4th.  The meeting was cancelled because commissioners will attend an all-day meeting in John Day of the Eastern Oregon Regional Counties Organization.  The next regular meeting of the board will be Tuesday, June 11th at 9:00 a.m.

>> 05/31/13 - Europe, Japan Worry About Genetically Modified Wheat

BERLIN (AP) — The European Union is urging its 27 member states to test certain wheat shipments from the United States after unauthorized genetically modified grains were found on a U.S. farm, officials said Friday.  The move came after Japan halted imports Thursday of some types of wheat from the U.S. following the discovery of an experimental strain that was tested by Monsanto but was never approved.  "The Commission is following carefully the presence of this non-authorized GM wheat in Oregon in order to ensure that European consumers are protected from any unauthorized GM presence and make sure that the EU zero tolerance for such GM events is implemented," EU's consumer protection office said.  The agency said it was seeking "further information and reassurance" from U.S. authorities and had asked Monsanto for help in developing a reliable test for GM grains in soft white wheat.  Shipments that test positive should not be sold, but current information from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration indicated the wheat posed no threat to human health, it said.  The European Union imports more than 1 million metric tons (1.1 million tons) of U.S. wheat each year. Eighty percent of that was soft white wheat, the majority of which is exported to Spain, officials said.  European consumers have generally objected more strongly to genetically modified foodstuffs than Americans.

>> 05/31/13- Oregon Farm Bureau Sues U-S Department Of Labor

The Oregon Farm Bureau is suing the U.S. Department of Labor.  The federal lawsuit filed Wednesday in Portland accuses the department of failing to respond to a public records request about actions last summer in Oregon. Spokesman Jesse Lawder said the department had no comment on the lawsuit.  The Oregonian reports (http://is.gd/oDQiQe ) the bureau accuses the department of heavy handed tactics against blueberry farmers. Federal inspectors said they found serious record-keeping and minimum wage violations at three farms. The federal agency prevented the farms from shipping berries unless they admitted wrongdoing, and paid fines and back wages. Farmers called the tactic extortion and said they should not be prevented from shipping perishable fruit.

>> 05/31/13- GOP Lawmakers Push For More PERS Cuts

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Republican lawmakers are keeping alive their demands for tougher cuts in pensions for retired government workers.  GOP leaders released their latest pension proposal on Thursday. It scales back their earlier demands but still goes farther than majority Democrats have said they're willing to go.  The Republican plan would save state and local governments about $1.4 billion over the next two years through steeper cuts to inflation adjustments and a variety of other changes. Some Republicans had initially fought for as much as $2 billion in cuts.  Democratic Gov. John Kitzhaber says the two sides are still far apart but still talking. Kitzhaber earlier this month proposed pension cuts that would save up to $900 million.

>> 05/31/13 - Teenager Says He Provided Tip In Bomb Case

ALBANY, Ore. (AP) — An Oregon high school student says he provided the tip that alerted authorities to the possibility another student was making bombs.  KATU-TV reports 17-year-old Truman Templeton says he was wary of going to an assembly at West Albany High School. When his mother questioned him, he told her of his concern about a classmate, 17-year-old Grant Acord.  Templeton's mother alerted a friend in law enforcement. KATU-TV reports the tip led to the search that turned up pipe bombs and explosive devices beneath the floorboards of Acord's room.  Templeton says schools should be safe, and "I should not have to worry about this kind of stuff."  Acord was arrested last week on charges of attempted aggravated murder and possession and manufacture of explosive devices. He is to be tried as an adult.  A message left for the prosecutor Thursday wasn't immediately returned.

>> 05/30/13 - Budget Committee Gives Sheriff Frank Skrah Full Budget

After months of argument, the Klamath County Budget Committee voted Wednesday to fully fund the Klamath County Sheriff's Department. Budget committee member Del Fox made the motion to fully fund the department saying, "there are things we can't do without."  The committee was considering a $435,000 reduction in the sheriff's budget citing dwindling resources and growing expenses.  Sheriff Frank Skrah, who repeatedly clashed with committee members over the past four months asking for the same budget provided to former Sheriff Tim Evinger, warned that the recent drug bust known as Operation Trojan Horse and a late April stand-off, shooting and fatal stabbing incident in Sprague River, were proof that cuts to his budget would threaten public safety.  Skrah said the proposed $435,000 reduction would force him to eliminate deputies leaving only four deputies to patrol the 6,100 square mile county.  The budget committee decided to take 1-point-7-million dollars from the County Road Fund and also voted to increase the general fund allocation $700,000 for a total general fund contribution of 5-point-6-million dollars.  The toptal budget was approved at 7-point-3-million dollars.   Skrah said he was very happy with the decision but promised to study and then promote the idea of a county wide special taxing district so as to eliminate his department from the county general fund entirely. 

>> 05/30/13 - Senior Center Request For County Funds For Meals Program Rejected

The Klamath County Budget Committee rejected a request from the Klamath Basin Senior Center for a general fund allocation of $35,000 to help pay for the meals program, including Meals On Wheels.  Senior Center Executive Director Mark Kane said despite recent contributions totaling $50,000 from three health care providers, the meals program is facing a loss of $66,000 in federal funds.  County Commissioner Jim Bellet offered a motion to give the center $15,000 but that motion failed 3-3 with Commissioners Dennis Linthicum and Tom Mallams joining Del Fox in voting no.  

>> 05/30/13 - National Guard Employees Face 11 Unpaid Furlough Days

Nearly 1,000 Oregon National Guard employees...military and civilian...will be getting some unpaid time off this summer.  Captain Stephen Bomar at the Oregon Military Department says the furlough will affect everyone from mechanics to administrative personnel.  The employees will have to take 11 days off between July 8th and September 30th.



>> 05/28/13 - County, Cascade Health Alliance Sign M-O-U

Klamath County Commissioner Dennis Linthicum cast a symbolic "no" vote today (Tuesday) as the commissioners voted 2-1 in favor of a new Memorandum of Understanding with Cascade Health Alliance.  Linthicum said he would vote against the M-O-U because the state and federal governments are increasingly taking over the nation's health care system. The Oregon Health Authority named Cascade as the Coordinated Care Organization for Klamath county last year but tense and at times hostile negotiations between the county and Cascade delayed the M-O-U for months.  The next step is for the county and Cascade to hammer out a final contract. Coordinated Care Organizations have been created throughout Oregon with a goal of providing medical, dental and mental health treatment services for low-income Oregonians under the state's Medicaid program known as The Oregon Health Plan with a goal of improving care and cutting costs.  A local resident Fabrice Dolce last month presented county commissioners with petitions he said had been signed by 15,000 people demanding that Cascade not be the Coordinated Care Organization for Klamath county.  County commissioners say they have no control over the naming of the C-C-O for the county because that  responsibility rests only with the Oregon Health Authority.  The M-O-U could lead to layoff notices for some, perhaps all, employees in the Klamath County Mental Health Department although it is assumed at least some mental health services will be provided by the county along with other private mental health providers.

>> 05/28/13 -   Klamath Falls Main Arrested, Jailed On Criminal Sex Charges

A 52 year old Klamath Falls man, identified as William Russell Dorazio was arrested late Friday morning and charged with Rape 1, Sodomy 1 and Display of a Child In Sexual Conduct.  Dorazio is jailed with bail set at $250,000

>> 05/28/13 - Benton County D.A. Says Tip May Have Prevented Mass Murder

Benton County District Attorney John Haroldson says a citizen's tip that a student planned to set off bombs at a high school may have prevented mass murder.  Haroldson says 17 year old Grant Alan Acord was arrested late last week and a search of his home turned up six homemade bombs. Police also found checklists, a diagram of West Albany High School (where Acord is a student) and a detailed plan modeled after the 1999 shooting at Columbine High School in Colorado. Acord's mother Marianne Fox says her son suffers from an obsessive compulsive disorder associated with strep infections.

05/24/13 - Voters Approve County School Bond Measure

The Klamath County School District's $31-million bond measure narrowly won voter approval in Tuesday's election, winning by only 168 votes. The school district will use the money to build a new Henley Elementary School and also make improvements and upgrades at Stearns, Peterson and Ferguson schools as well as Chiloquin Junior/Senior High.  While the vote was close it was not close enough to trigger an automatic recount.

>> 05/24/13 - League Of Women Voters Initiative Wins By Large Margin

Voters have approved a League of Women Voters initiative to have the office of Klamath County Commissioner to be non-partisan.  The "yes" votes totaled more than 67% of the vote to the less than 33% number of "no" votes.  All three current county commissioners had voiced opposition to the measure and had refused a request from the league to put the issue before voters. Candidates will still be able to list their party affiliation in campaign materials  and the Voters Pamphlet.

>> 05/24/13 Businessman Brain Smith Leaving Klamath Basin; Cites Dispute With County

Klamath Falls businessman Brian Smith has sold his share of the Epicenter and Microtel to his partners and is leaving the community and moving to Elgin, Illinois.  Smith says he also decided not (not) to open a Network Center and a Distribution Center in Klamath Falls.  Smith says the Network Center would have employed 45 white collar workers and would have paid family wages while the Distribution Center would have started with 5 jobs paying what Smith called "warehouse worker wages" between $15-and-$20 an hour.  Smith says the Network Center will locate in Austin, Texas and the Distribution Center will locate in Phoenix, in Jackson county outside of Medford. Smith said a dispute with the county over a $4600 penalty for paying the Transient Room Tax late caused his decision. Smith admits he usually pays the TRT late due to the cyclical nature of the motel/hotel business, but said the payments were always paid in full with penalty by the summer.  Smith said the county offered to abate the $4600 penalty and then withdrew the offer.  County Commissioner Dennis Linthicum said Smith lost the abatement after not paying as promised by a certain date and the commissioners followed county tax code.

REMINDER!!!!!!!!!!!! >> 05/21/13 - Ballots Due By 8:00 P.M. Tonight

Klamath County Clerk Linda Smith says voter turnout for this month's election is about 32% ands this is close to the turnout in May 2011.  Smith reminds everyone that it is too late to mail the ballot and so they should be turned in at the County Government Center Drop-Box in the parking lot, or inside the center at the clerk's office or at the Senior Center on Arthur Street.  Voters in the county are being asked to approve a $31-million bond for county schools which if approved would cost the average homeowner about $5 a month. Voters will also decide whether the Klamath County Board of Commissioners should be elected on a non-partisan basis, a measure that made it to the ballot via initiative that was launched by the League of Women Voters.  

>> 05/21/13 Another Meth Ring Drug Bust Arrest

A 33-year old woman identified as a transient has been arrested in connection with last week's multi-agency drug raid in Klamath County that has so far led to 40 arrests. Robin Yvonne Stewart was arrested late Monday night and charged with two counts of Racketeering and two counts of Unlawful Delivery of Methamphetamine.  Stewart is jailed with bail set at one-half million dollars.  Police say the raids broke up a major drug and gun racketeering ring with ties to Mexican drug gangs.

>> 05/21/13 - City Schools Budget Meeting Tomorrow Night

The public is invited to a meeting of the Klamath Falls City Schools Budget Committee tomorrow (Wednesday) evening.  The meeting is at the  O'Neill Education Center at 1336 Avalon and begins at 6:30 p.m.

>> 05/20/13 - Stalemate Over State Budget Leads To Taxes & Pension Cuts Not Considered

The budget writer's at the Oregon legislature have decided not to move forward with tax increases or additional cuts to pensions of retired state workers.  The decision followed the refusal of Senate Republicans to support higher taxes unless deeper cuts were made to pension benefits.  With time running out for this legislative session, Democrats decided to drop both the tax increase and pension cutting ideas and move ahead with finalizing the state budget.

>> 05/20/13 - Unemployment Down Again In Klamath County

The April 2013 unemployment rate in Klamath County dropped to 10.8%, down from the March rate of 11.1%.  The rate in April 2012 was 11.4%.  Economist Damon Runberg told KFLS News the unemployment rate in April was the lowest in the county since the fall of 2008 when the American economy began to collapse. The gains in employment were in leisure & hospitality, manufacturig and construction.

REMINDER!!!!!!!!!!>> 05/17/13 - Forestland Classification Committee Meets Monday

The Oregon Department of Forestry will hold a meeting of the Forestland Classification Committee on Monday, May 20th at 10:00 a.m., at its offices, 3200 Delap Road.  The purpose of the meeting is to consider changes in land classifications pertaining to forest fire protection.  Some area resi9dents who live on or near Hogback Mountain have complained about their land being reclassified and have demanded the decision be reversed.

>> 05/17/13 - Wyden Will Chair Basin Water Issues Hearing In June

Oregon Senator Ron Wyden will chair a U-S Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee hearing June 20th in Washington, D.C. that will focus on Klamath Basin water resources issues.  The hearing at 10:00 a.m. that day can be viewed on the committee website, energy.senate.gov.  If you want to send comments to the committee send an email to Klamath@energy.senate.gov.  Wyden announced last Saturday at a Town Hall meeting at O-I-T he would hold a hearing on basin water issues and the senator's office announced the date of the hearing yesterday.

>> 05/17/13 - Stalemate Over State Budget In Salem

Despite Thursday's good news that state income tax collections are projected to be $270 million higher than predicted in February, Democrats and Republicans remain deadlocked over how to handle the state budget.  Democrats want to raise taxes while Republicans are demanding deeper cuts to the public employee pensions.  Governor John Kitzhaber is now suggesting that the  legislature finalize a budget with no tax increases and no more cuts to the pension system.


>> 05/16/13 Economic Development Efforts In High Gear

The Executive Director of Klamath County Economic Development briefed county commissioners Wednesday telling them he is working 11 "major projects" and if only half succeed, unemployment will drop dramatically in this county.  Trey Senn told commissioners two of the 11 projects would require.the participation of the Oregon Institute of Technology.   Senn asked commissioners for a new five-year contract to provide stability to economic development efforts and while the board seemed favorable made no final decision.

>> 05/16/13 - Economists Forecast Greater Income Tax Payments To State

State economists issued a revenue forecast today (Thursday) and said they project income tax payments to be about $270-million higher than the last forecast suggested in February. The announcement could help lawmakers at the legislature finalize and balance the next two year state budget.  The forecast suggests tax collections may be high enough for corporations to receive money back under the state's "Kicker Program" but the economists doubt there would be any money for individual taxpayers to receive kicker money this year. 

>> 05/15/13 Major Drug Bust Breaks Up Methamphetamine Ring In Klamath County

Late night and early morning raids by more than 300 law enforcement agents have resulted in the arrests of 38 people, the seizure of fifty guns as well as four pounds of methamphetamine.  State, federal and local law enforcement agencies participated in the raids which stemmed from an investigation launched last year after two California men were found shot to death near Bonanza.  Raids were conducted in Klamath Falls, Bonanza, Chiloquin and elsewhere in southern Oregon. No injuries were reported during the raids.  Eight children were taken into protective custody.  Police say the drug trafficking was conducted by a large and violent organization with the suspects now facing racketeering and drug charges.  The Klamath County Sheriff's office had to open an unused wing of the county jail to house the suspects.

>> 05/15/13 - Unemployment Drops In April 

Oregon's unemployment rate dropped again last month.  State economists say 3700 jobs were added in April helping to cut the unemployment rate from 8.2% in March to 8% in April.  Most of the jobs added were in the leisure and hospitality businesses.  

>> 05/14/13 - $50,000 Donated To Senior Meals Program

Three Klamath county health care providers teamed up today (Tuesday) and donated $50,000 to the Klamath Basin Senior Center Meals Program.  Sky Lakes Medical Center and ATRIO Health Plans each donated $20,000 and Cascade Comprehensive Care added an additional $10,000.  The meals program includes Meals On Wheels which serves the elderly and disabled who are unable to prepare their own food.  The Klamath County Budget Committee refused to appropriate $35,000 to the meals program this year as requested by Senior Center Executive Director Mark Kane.

>> 05/14/13 - Interagency Fire Centers To Merge Next Year

The Klamath Falls Interagency Fire center is consolidating with the Lakeview Interagency fire Center in 2014.  The Fremont-Winema Forest Supervisor Fred Way says the single dispatch center will be better able to provide faster, more efficient response to wildfire and improve safety and efficiency of fire fighters ands fire operations. There are nine employees in Klamath Falls during fire season, 11 in Lakeview. No decisions have been made at this time regarding how large the staff will be when the Lakeview consolidated agency opens next year.

>> 05/14/13 Weed Abatement Begins In Klamath Falls Tomorrow

The city of Klamath Falls is reminding property owners that the annual weed abatement begins tomorrow (Wednesday) and continues through the end of October.  The ordinance requires owners or the person in charge of property inside the city limits to keep weeds and grasses below 8-inches in height.  City Code allows the city to abate violations at the owner's expense, issue court citations or assess enforcement fees, or any combination of the three.   

05/13/13 - Malin Woman Files Recall Petition Against Linthicum; Says More To Follow

A Malin woman, Sharon L. Biggs is the Chief petitioner on a petition to recall Klamath County Commissioner Dennis Linthicum.  Biggs says another group will file also file petition to recall the two newest Klamath County Commissioners Jim Bellet and Tom Mallams, in July because recall efforts can not be launched against a county commissioner until they have been in office at least six months.  Biggs told klamathonline.com's Joe Spendolini she and a "large group" of people are upset  with the lack of budget support for Sheriff Frank Skrah, the Klamath County Trapper and the Klamath Senior Center's meals program.  Biggs said the commissioners made "crazy remarks" about having seniors eat at fast food restaurants, calling the statements, "just outrageous." Biggs says, "We are all very angry about the cruel remarks  and the disrespectful way the commissioners have treated the people who employ them."    Commissioner Dennis Linthicum told Spendolini "A recall petition is part of the process. As an elected official you have to be willing to stand on your principles and if people get upset about your principles they have the right to recall you. "  Biggs must collect almost 3500 signatures on petition within 90 days to move the recall forward.

>> 05/13/13 Major Announcement At Senior Center Tuesday Morning

What is described as "a major announcement" is to be made at 11:00 a.m. tomorrow (Tuesday) at the Klamath Basin Senior Center on Arthur Street.  Senior Center Executive Director Mark Kane told KFLS News he and others have been "sworn to secrecy" until tomorrow's announcement.  In recent weeks Kane and supporters have been urging the Klamath County Budget Committee to appropriate $35,000 from the general fund for the meals program which includes the Meals-On-Wheels program for the disabled and others who are unable to prepare their own food. The committee has so far refused to approve the money however budget committee member Kelley Minty Morris has been the lone "yes" vote for the meals program.  Committee members have recommended that the senior center look to other options including giving vouchers for seniors to eat at fast food outlets, or to buy M-R-E's ("Meals Ready To Eat") used by the American military in Iraq and Afghanistan.  County Commissioner Jim Bellet also suggested the center purchase frozen dinners such as Hungry Man, Marie Callender's and other products for Meals-On-Wheels recipients.  That idea drew sharp criticism because those frozen meals do not (not) meet nutritional standards under The Older Americans Act.   

>> 05/13/13 - Night Flying By 173rd This Week

The 173rd Fighter Wing at Kingsley Field will conduct night flying training operations this week with most take-offs and landings occurring at about 9:00 p.m. and 11:30 p.m.  The training itself will occur over military airspace east of Lakeview.

>> 05/10/13 Man Faces Dozens Of Sex Abuse Charges

A 40 year old Klamath Falls man, Ronny Alan Rykbost has been charged with a dozen counts of Sex abuse 1, a dozen counts of Encouraging Child Sex Abuse, a dozen counts of Sodomy 1 and 10 counts of Sexual Penetration With An Object.  Rykbost is lodged in the county jail with bail set at more than three-and-a-half million dollars.

>> 05/10/13 Governor Orders All Flags At Half-staff Today In Honor Of Dead Soldier

Governor John Kitzhaber has ordered all flags in Oregon flown at half-staff today (Friday) in honor of 24 year old Army Specialist Brandon Prescott of Bend. Prescott was one of five Fort Bliss, Texas soldiers killed by a roadside bomb last weekend in southern Afghanistan.  Prescott was to return home soon but had re-enlisted ion the Army for an additional three years to be able to remain with his unit.

>> 05/10/13 Klamath Still The Only County Without A Coordinated Care Organization

Klamath remains the only county in Oregon without a signed contract with a Coordinated Care Organization.  Under a Medicaid reform plan approved by the Oregon Legislature two years ago, C-C-O's are to coordinate medical, dental and mental health care for low income Oregonians under the Oregon Health Plan, in an effort to drive down health care costs.  The Oregon Health Authority chose Cascade Comprehensive Care to be the Klamath county C-C-O but Cascade and the county have been unable to reach a signed contract agreement.  In fact, the county and Cascade still don't have a signed Memorandum of Understanding, the first step in reaching a signed contract.  If a contract is not signed by July the county stands to lose more than a million dollars from the state for health care services.

>> 05/07/13 - Two Klamath Falls Men Jailed

Two Klamath Falls men were arrested and jailed Monday.  37 year old John Carlos Frescas is jailed on charges of Attempted Robbery 1, Assault 2 and Burglary 1 with bail set at $225,000. Also arrested Monday was 33 year old Dennis Franklin Pucket who iks charged with Possession of Methamphetamine, Robbery 1, Unlawful Use of a Weapon and Assault 2 with bail set at $235,000.

>> 05/07/13 - Army Soldier From Bend Killed In Afghanistan  

One of five American soldiers who was killed in southern Afghanistan last Saturday has been identified as Spc. Brandon Joseph Prescott of Bend.  Prescott grew up in Dana Point, California but moved with his family to Bend in 2006 where he attended Central Oregon Community College.  Prescott's twin brother Aaron says his 24-year old brother was due to return home in September but had already signed up for another three years in the Army to continue working with his unit.  Prescott's mother Tracey says she's "a broken woman right now...sad and angry but also very, very proud of her son."

>> 05/07/13 No Support For Gun Control Bills In Salem

Oregon Senate President Peter Courtney says gun control measures will not (not) go to the floor for a vote because the measures do not have support.,  The measures would have expanded background checks, allowed school districts to ban guns and required live-fire training to receive a concealed handgun license.  Courtney says he is still hoping a bipartisan compromise on expanded background checks can be worked out by a committee he plans to appoint although he did not name any members of the legislature he plans to appoint to the committee.  

>> 05/06/13 - Fire District #1 Bans Outdoor Burning Effective Now

Klamath County Fire District #1 is banning all outdoor burning within its district effective immediately.  This includes burning yard debris, using a torch to burn weeds and the burning of ditch banks.  The move comes as warmer than average temperatures and high winds have impacted much of the state.  Currently there are six wildfires burning in Oregon ranging in size from 10-to-100 acres.

>> 05/06/13 - Wyden Holds Town Hall In Klamath Falls On Saturday   

Oregon Senator Ron Wyden will be in Klamath Falls this Saturday for a Town Hall meeting.  The senator will be at O-I-T in the College Union Auditorium at 10:30 a.m. and will answer questions from constituents during the meeting.  Wyden will also hold a Town Hall meeting at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday at the Lake County Senior Center on G Street  in Lakeview.

>> 05/06/13 - County Budget Committee Meets Tuesday Afternoon

The Klamath County Budget Committee meets again tomorrow (Tuesday) afternoon beginning at 1:00 p.m. in the Commissioners Meeting Room at the Government center on Main Street.  The agenda includes discussion of a supplemental budget for the District Attorney and the Klamath County Sheriff. Public comment will be taken and is scheduled to start at about 3:00 p.m.

>> 05/03/13 Stabbing Victims Identified

Two men who were stabbed in Sprague River last week have been identified as 24 year old Stephen Sorenson and 34 year old Bruce Achtley.  Achtley received minor cuts however Sorenson suffered a four and a half inch laceration to his left side.  Sorenson was airlifted to Sky Lakes, treated and later released.   25 year old Teel Blue Gentry faces two counts of attempted Aggravated Murderf and remains jailed in Klamath Falls.

>> 05/03/13 Frozen Foods For Seniors Sparks  Criticism  Of Budget Committee

The Klamath County Budget Committee has been criticized for an idea to serve Meals On Wheels recipients frozen dinners. The suggestion by Klamath County Commissioner Jim Bellet came at the ends of a Tuesday budget committee meeting when the room  was nearly empty.  Bellet displayed a Hungry Man dinner and two Marie Callender's products, including  Chicken Pot Pie. Mark Kane the Executive Director of the Senior Center said the pot pie meals would not meet government standards for elderly Americans related to calories and a senior would have to eat two of the pot pies.  Kane noted however that the pot pies sodium content would be triple the maximum for seniors. 

>> 05/03/13 US Forest Service Wants Millions Back From States

Republicans and Democrats in Congress and in governor's offices are sharply critical of the US Forest Service which is demanding states repay a federal subsidy that totals nearly $18-million.  Oregon Senator Ron Wyden says reaction is, "off the charts." The Forest Service says the money is subject to automatic spending cuts under sequestration.  Members of Congress and governor's say the money was given before the cuts took effect March 1st and they won't return the money.  The matter could end up in court.

>> 04/30/13 Gentry Arraigned But Does Not Enter Plea

25 year old Teel Blue Gentry was arraigned on two counts of Attempted Aggravated Murder on Monday afternoon but did not enter a plea to the charges against him.  Gentry is charged in connection with incidents that left a man dead of gunshot wounds and another injured with stab wounds last Thursday night in Sprague River. During the incident shots were fired and bullets hit three Klamath County Sheriff's cars, including one driven by Sheriff Frank Skrah.  None of the deputies or Skrah was injured.  

>> 04/30/13 Public Blasts Budget Committee Over Cuts To Sheriff & Medals On Wheels

Citizens crowded the Klamath County Commissioners hearing room Monday afternoon to sharply criticize proposed cuts to the sheriff's budget and the Meals Program operated by the Klamath Basin Senior Center which includes Meals On Wheels for invalids and others unable to prepare their own food.   Speakers warned the committee that incidents such as occurred last week in Sprague River are proof that Sheriff Frank Skrah needs the same amount of funding as was received last year by former Sheriff Tim Evinger or public safety would be threatened.  The committee is considering cutting Skrah's budget by more than $433,000 from what Evinger received last year.  At the same meeting more than a dozen people sharply criticized a.5-to-1 vote last week to eliminate $35,000 for the meals program operated b y the Klamath Basin Senior Center.  What angered many speakers was a statement by budget committee member Del Fox who said cutting the $35,000 was like his decision to wean his calves.  Fox was also sharply criticized for suggesting seniors be given military MRE's (Meals Ready To Eat) which are used by troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Several speakers also questioned the $70,000 annual salaries of county commissioners noting the commissioners  have taken no pay cuts while Deputy District  Attorneys have already voluntarily agreed to take pay cuts of 5-to-14%.  The budget committee will meet again next week.

>> 04/30/13 Commissioners Vote To Send Property Tax Bill To Federal Government

Klamath County Commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday morning to send the federal government a property tax bill for $3.9 million dollars based upon an assessed value of federal land in the county.  The federal government owns 59% of the land in Klamath county which has an estimated value of $397-million. The county will forward the resolution to Congressman Greg Walden and Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley along with the property tax bill.

 4/29/13 Man Faces Two Aggravated Attempted Murder that Charges

A 25 year old man, Teel Blue Gentry is jailed on two charges of Attempted Aggravated Murder in connection with a shooting incident Thursday night in Sprague River.  Gentry is being held on one million dollars bail on each count.  The incident in Sprague River led to the discovery of a dead man identified as 36 year old Derrick William Forste who police say was killed by gunshot wounds.  Gentry held off police before surrendering early Friday. Details remain sketchy although police confirm one person was also taken to Sky Lakes with  stab wounds.  During the incident the windshield of a deputy was shot out and another deputy's car took a bullet in a side window.  Sheriff Frank Skrah described the scene as "like a war zone" and said his patrol car was also hit as he showed up in Sprague River.  No police were injured during the gun battle.  More details as they become available.

>> 04/29/13 County Budget Committee Meets This Afternoon

The Klamath County Budget Committee meets at 1:30 p.m. today in Room 219 of the Government Center on Main Street.  The committee will hold an Executive Session before continuing work on the budget.  At this point the committee has supported cutting the sheriff's budget more than $413,000  and eliminating a $35,000 contribution to the meals program at the Klamath County Senior Center.

>> 04/29/13 Few Children In Prekindergarten Programs In Oregon

Relatively few children are attending in-state funded prekindergarten classes in Oregon although the state spends more money per student than other states.  The National Institute for Early Education Research ranks Oregon 30oth of 40 state with prekindergarten classes with 7,200 low income children attending.  The per student cost is $8,500, second highest in America, but down from the per student cost of more than $10,000 reported in 2004. The report says Oregon met 8-of-10 quality standards, a total reached  by only half ofg the 40 states with prekindergarten programs.

>> 04/24/13 Carol Usher Klamath Country Volunteer Of 2013

A capacity crowd filled the Klamath Basin Senior Center Tuesday for the Klamath Country Volunteer of the Year Awards hosted by the United Way.   Carol Usher was named 2013 Klamath Country Volunteer of the Year.  Usher is a mother of three who works part time as a nurse at Sky Lakes Medical Center. Usher is active with the Roosevelt P-T-A...volunteers at Fairview & Roosevelt Elementary Schools as a science and math teacher...is a volunteer worker for Habitat For Humanity and volunteers for programs at First United Methodist Church where she is the financial secretary 

>> 04/24/13 County To Meet With EPA & DEQ Representatives Today

The Klamath County Board of Commissioners will meet with representatives from EPA and DEQ this afternoon at two o'clock in Room 219 of the Government Center.  The meeting will focus on efforts by Commissioner Dennis Linthicum to convince the federal and state regulators that a December 2011 hay fire and record breaking low temperatures and an air inversion were incidents that put the county out of compliance with clean air standards and therefore an exemption should be granted and the county not be listed as out of compliance.  Being out of compliance with those standards could force restrictions on business and industry.

>> 04/24/13 Legislature To Vote Today On PERS Reform Bill  

Democrats in the Oregon Legislature hope to win approval today of a plan to limit cost-of-living increases for retired state workers who make more than $20,000 annually.  Democrats say the savings from reform of the Public Employee Retirement System (PERS) is needed to increase K-12 school funding.  Republicans have blasted the reform measure arguing it does far too little to prevent more steep increases in PERS contributions from cities, counties, K-12 schools, colleges and universities. 

>> 04/23/13 Klamath Avenue Legend Striping This Week

The City of Klamath Falls Street Division will have work crews performing legend striping on Klamath Avenue all week from 6:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. There will be some intersection and lane blocking during the work.

>> 04/23/13 City Schools Budget Board Meets Tuesday Evening

The Klamath Falls City School Board of Directors will hold an Executive Session at 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday (April 23rd) followed at 6:30 p.m. by a Budget Board meeting.  The meeting is at Lucille O'Neill Education Center at 1336 Avalon Street.

>> 04/23/13 Sheriff Gets reports Of Missing Teen Sightings

Harney County Sheriff Dave Glerup says his office has received sighting reports of missing Oklahoma teenager Dustin Self in Lakeview, Grants Pass, Coos Bay and Yakima, Washington but the young man is still missing.  Self left home more than a month ago to test himself in the wilderness.  His pickup truck was found April 15th by a rancher on a road on Steens Mountain.  Glerup believes Self is either dead or walked off the mountain and hitched a ride somewhere.  High winds and deep snow on Steens Mountain have hampered search efforts. 

>> 04/22/13 Sales Tax, Genetic Food Labels Going Nowhere In Salem...For Now

Last Thursday was the deadline for bills at the legislature to get a committee vote in the legislative chamber where it was introduced and dozens of bills failed to hit that mark.  A proposed sales tax bill and another requiring labels on genetically modified foods are among tho0se that didn't make the cut.  But many other measures including gun control bills and a bill to allow marijuana dispensaries are still alive.  Lawmakers could try to amend other bills to save measures that failed to meet the deadline but as the end of the session gets closer to the July 13th deadline to adjourn it will be more difficult to do that. 

>> 04/19/13 Nicholson Wants To Defend Himself

The man accused of murdering Terry Entriken on Easter Sunday wants to defend himself when he goes on trial.  27 year old Leland Nicholson Jr., told Judge Roxanne Osborne he would defend himself.  The judge said she didn't think he was capable of doing so and named Robert Foltyn as his lawyer. Nicholson told the court, "No thank you, he dump trucked me when I was 14 years old." Nicholson's next court appearance is Monday before Judge Rodger Isaacson.

>> 04/19/13 District Attorney Says Gunshot Victim Accidentally Killed Himself

Klamath County District Attorney Rob Patridge says a Klamath Falls man who died last weekend accidentally killed himself with a handgun.  The death of 47 year old Lee Roy Myers was initially investigated as a homicide.

>> 04/19/13 Mother Nature Gives In; Salt Creek Tunnel Work Resumes

The weather has improved on Highway 58 near the Salt creek Tunnel and work has now resumed.  ODOT's Rick Little says work was delayed for more than 2-weeks due to snow and ice in the area.  Resumption of the work means that during daylight hours the highway will again be down to one lane with a pilot car. In addition the highway will be completely closed Monday through Thursday nights from 8:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m., however once Highway 58 opens at 6:00 a.m. on Friday mornings it will remain open until 8:00 p.m. on Mondays.

>> 04/18/13 BREAKING NEWS...Governor Declares Drought Emergency

Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber has declared a Drought Emergency in Klamath County due to drought and low water conditions. The county commissioners had declared a drought emergency on Tuesday morning.  The declaration by Kitzhaber orders state agencies provide assistance to the county and to help farmers and ranchers.  More on the Friday Morning KFLS News at 7:05 a.m. and 8:05 a.m.

>> 04/18/13 Murder Suspect Jailed Without Bail

The man accused of killing a man and seriously injuring a woman is jailed in Klamath county without bail.  27 year old Leland Thomas Nicholson Jr., is facing a Murder charge for the Easter Sunday shooting death of 28 year old Terry Entriken of Klamath Falls. Nicholson also faces an Attempted Aggravated Murder charge for allegedly shooting 36 year old Vanessa Renee Alexander in the face, also on Easter Sunday night. Nicholson was arrested on April 8th in Merced County, California.

>> 04/18/13 Bureau Of Reclamation Memo Rescinded With Apology  

The Regional Director of the Bureau of Reclamation, David Murillo has rescinded a memo written by the Klamath Basin Area Manager Jason Phillips with an apology to fisheries biologists at the agency.  Phillips wrote a memo late last year reassigning the biologists and transferring some scientific work to other agencies.  A union representing the biologists filed grievances and a complaint accusing Phillips of scientific and scholarly misconduct.  The union said Philips claims were not substantiated.  At the time Phillips said he did nothing wrong and his decisions were based on budgets and responsible management practices.  Murillo's letter to the union says the fisheries division in Klamath Falls will remain intact.

>> 04/18/13 County Budget Committee Provides $30,000 To County Trapper

The Klamath County Budget Committee voted 5-1 this week to provide $30,000 from the general fund to the county trapper.  The initial request was for $66,000.  On Monday dozens of livestock producers showed up at a budget committee meeting to urge funding for the trapper.  Commissioner Dennis Linthicum voted no, arguing the livestock industry should pay the county trapper as a "fee for service."  The Klamath County Cattleman's Association argued the trapper is a benefit for the entire county.  They also said they would work to create a Taxing District but needed the money as "bridge funds" until the district can be created and taxes start being collected. Linthicum argued that the livestock industry has been warned for the past three years that funding would end but said they did not move ahead with any plan to raise money for the trapper.

>> 04/16/13 DA Proposes $68,000 Budget Cut For His Office

Klamath County District Attorney Rob Patridge asked the county budget committee to consider reducing his budget $68,000 instead of $235,000 warning the caseloads for deputies would :"increase dramatically" if he has to absorb a 22% cut.  Patridge told committee members several deputies have agreed to reclassification which would lead to salary cuts of 5-to-14% for each one.  But Patridge said if his budget takes a $235,000 hit, he would be forced to prioritize which crimes his office would prosecute and which crimes he would not pursue.

>> 04/16/13 Crowd Packs Hearing For County Trapper Budget

A crowd of about 40 people packed the budget committee meeting Monday afternoon to ask them to fund the county trapper at $66,000 for a year, possibly two.  Klamath County Cattlemen's Association leader Nathan Jackson said the livestock industry is not asking for welfare and needs funding for the trapper until a taxing district can be formed.  Commissioner Dennis Linthicum said if cattle ranchers were to chip in $44 for every 100 head of cattle the trapper could be fully funded.  A visibly upset Jackson noted that would mean the county as a whole would not have a trapper, which he argued, is needed and important. The county budget committee meets this (Tuesday) afternoon beginning at 1:00 p.m. at the Government Center to consider finalizing the budget for 2013-14.

>> 04/16/13 Sheriff Says First Reports Of Traffic Fatality Were Wrong

Klamath County Sheriff Frank Skrah says information his office released about a Klamath Falls woman killed in a car wreck last Friday was wrong.  Sheriff Skrah says Oregon State Police investigators have now determined that 69 year old Linda Wright of Klamath Falls did not (NOT) run a stop sign at Altamont Drive and Anderson Avenue.  Police and eyewitnesses have confirmed the driver of the other vehicle, identified as Barbara Sue Lisson was the driver who ran the stop sign causing the collision with Wright's vehicle.  Wright died after the wreck at Sky Lakes.  Lisson was treated for injuries and released. Oregon State Police are continuing their investigation.

>> 04/12/13 173rd To Conduct Night Flying Operations Next Week

The 173rd Fighter Wing will conduct night flying operations next week (April 15-19) from 9:00 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.  Night flying is part of the course curriculum for F-15 student pilots at Kingsley Field.  Most of the training will occur in military airspace to the east of Lakeview where pilots can fly without any lights.

>> 04/12/13 Budget Committee Okays County Library Budget

The Klamath County Budget Committee gave the green light to the 2013-14 budget for the library at its meeting Thursday afternoon.  County library supporters attended the meeting and during public comment urged the Board of County Commissioners to move quickly to name a new Library Director to replace Andy Swanson who retired at the end of February.

>> 04/12/13 KWAPA Taking Applications For Programs 

The Klamath Water and Power Agency is taking additional applications for volunteer participation in the Groundwater Pumping and Land Idling Programs to help align surface water supply with demand.  Land must be located within the Klamath Reclamation Project boundaries and normally irrigated with Upper Klamath Lake or Klamath River surface water.  For more information call KWAPA at 541-850-2503.  Application deadline is Noon, Wednesday, May 1, 2013.

>> 04/11/13 Century Old Child's Skull To Be Handed Over To Tribes

A child's skull found in a box in side a mobile home in Altamont was turned into the Klamath County Sheriff on Monday and police thought it was a homicide case. However forensic tests showed the skull to be the remains of a 6-to-8 year old child of Native American descent and further tests showed the skull to be about 100-years old.  Sheriff Frank Skrah says because of the cultural and religious significance of the remains, the skull will be returned to the Klamath Tribes.

>> 04/11/13 Irrigation Season Begins In Klamath Basin

The 2013 Irrigation Season has started in the Klamath Basin, ten days later than the April 1st target start date due to low snow pack and a lack of adequate rain and the Bureau of Reclamation says some irrigators may face shortages later this year.   One "unknown" factor this year is the state's adjudication process which has been completed but challenges are expected in Klamath County Circuit Court.   An Operations Manager for the bureau, Jason Cameron says it is unclear at this time how adjudication and any court challenges will impact the irrigation season.

>> 04/11/13 KCC To Offer Culinary Arts Program This Fall

Klamath Community College will begin offering a degree program in culinary arts this fall,  Ryan Brown at KCC told KFLS News the specifics of the curriculum are still being worked out.  Brown says research conducted b y the Oregon Employment Department shows Klamath and Lake counties have a 10-year employment projection that shows an 8.3% increase in demand for chefs, 13.2% increase for food service managers and a 17.5% increase in demand for cooks.

>> 04/11/13 Spring Open Burning Window Starts Saturday

The Klamath County Public Health Department says the 2013 Spring Open Burning Window in the County Air Quality Zone will begin this Saturday (April 13th) at 8:00 a.m. and conclude on Sunday, April 28th at 7:00 p.m.  Only residential yard waste may be burned. To burn yard waste the Air Quality Advisory must be GREEN and is available by calling 541-882-2876.  NO plastic, rubber, tar, petroleum products, treated or painted would may be burned.  Burn barrels are pro0hbibited and on ly burn piles may be used.

>> 04/10/13 Skrah Asks For Same Budget As Evinger

A frustrated Klamath County Sheriff Frank Skrah pleaded with the county budget committee to give him the same budget former Sheriff Tim Evinger had last year.  Skrah said while it is true that his department will get $1-million in county road funds, the board of commissioners has also recommended cutting the sheriff's general fund  budget $2.4 million for a loss of $1.4 million.   Skrah says at no time before or after his election campaign did he ask for more money, only the same amount as Evinger had.  Skrah says if his budget has to absorb a $1.4 million cut he would be forced to reduce patrols from 10 to 7 deputies who would have to cover the 6,000 square mile county and close Jail Pod B and layoff jail staff.  The other option Skrah said would be to layoff 9-deputies, 3 detectives and two sergeants reducing patrol to only one deputy to cover the county.  More than a dozen citizens spoke during public comment with all urging the committee to hold the line on the sheriff's budget.

>> 04/10/13 Salt Creek Tunnel Work Set To Resume Monday

If Mother Nature cooperates work will resume on the Salt Creek Tunnel Project on Highway 58, Monday, April 15th.  Oregon Department of Transportation spokesman Rick Little says winter weather, snow and ice, has prevented the contractor from starting work as planned on April 1st.  Once work resumes daytime traffic will be down to one lane with a pilot car and Highway 58 will close Monday through Thursday nights 8:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m.  Little says no closures of Highway 58 will occur from 6:00 a.m. Friday to 8:00 p.m. Mondays.

>> 04/10/13  Former Oregon House Speaker Lundquist Dies

Former Oregon House Speaker, Republican Lynn Lundquist died suddenly Tuesday at age 78.  Lundquist served one term as speaker in 1997 and was ousted by fellow Republican Lynn Snodgrass of Gresham in 1999.  Congressman Greg Walden said in a statement, "Lynn worked harder than anyone I know.  He cared deeply about kids, Oregon and his country. n He stood tall for what he believed was right even if it wasn't always popular."  

>> 04/08/13 Merced County SWAT Team Arrests Land Nicholson (UPDATED 4/9/13)

A SWAT Team with the Merced county California Sheriff's Department arrested 27 year old Leland Thomas Nicholson Jr. at about noon today in Dos Palos, California.  Details are sketchy but police learned Nicholson was inside a home in Dos Palos.  A nearby elementary school went into lockdown as police converged on the home.  Nicholson was arrested about noon today (Monday).  Nicholson is wanted for the shooting death of 28 year old Terry Dwight Entriken of Klamath Falls on Sunday March 31st.  Nicholson is also wanted in connection with the shooting of 36 year old Vanessa Renee Alexander who was shot in the face the same night Entriken was shot in the head.   Alexander was released last week from a hospital in Bend.  Klamath County District Attorney Rob Patridge says Nicholson is facing charges of Murder, Attempted Aggravated Murder, Assault 1 and Unlawful Use Of A Weapon in connection with the Easter Sunday shootings.

>> 04/09/13 Missing Skier Found On Mt. Ashland

Searchers have found a Klamath County skier who disappeared Sunday on Mount Ashland.  The Medford Mail Tribune reports that 52-year-old Carol Koon Of Chiloquin spent the night in a horse corral and was able to get service on her cellphone Monday morning.  A helicopter crew then saw her on a Forest Service road. Rescuers on a snow machine brought her back to the lodge, where she hugged family members.  She vanished after telling them she was going skiing in the steep, ungroomed area known as "the bowl" in the Mt. Ashland Ski Area.  She didn't make a 4 p.m. rendezvous with the family, and a search began. By Monday morning, it included aircraft, snow machines and about 45 people.

>> 04/09/13 Democrats Wants $275 Million In Tax Hikes

Democrats in the Oregon House are releasing more information about their plan to raise tax revenue from wealthy individuals and businesses.House leaders on Monday said their plan would target individuals earning more than $125,000 and households earning at least $250,000. They'd also eliminate a cap on the corporate minimum tax.  The House Revenue Committee is scheduled to discuss the proposal Tuesday.  Democratic leaders have proposed raising $275 million in additional revenue over the next two years to help balance the state budget. They'll need at least two Republican votes in the House and Senate to reach the three-fifths majority required to raise taxes.  GOP leaders say they'll support a tax increase only if Democrats back steeper pension cuts for public employees.  A Democrat-backed pension-cutting plan is scheduled for a vote in the Senate on Thursday.

>> 04/08/13 Searchers Looking For Lost Skier On Mt. Ashland

Jackson County authorities say about 45 searchers are on Mount Ashland looking for a skier missing since Sunday afternoon.  She's identified as 52-year-old Carol Koon of Chiloquin.  Sheriff's office spokeswoman Andrea Carlson said Monday that Koon told family members she was going to ski the bowl at Mt. Ashland Ski Area. That's a steep area without groomed runs.  Carlson says Koon was supposed to meet up with family members at 4 p.m., and they called authorities about 45 minute later.  The search includes snow vehicles and aircraft.

>> 04/08/13 Neglected Animals Seized At Farm

Klamath County authorities say they have seized 43 animals that were poorly treated at a farm.  The animals are 20 goats, 12 dogs, four horses, three llamas, two miniature donkeys, a cat and a rat.  The two donkeys had curled hooves and have been taken to a farm that rehabilitates animals. The rest of the animals are at the Klamath Animal Shelter, where workers report problems such as lice on the goats and a lack of nourishment.  A forfeiture hearing is expected within the next two weeks. Shelter workers say they had been working with the owners for eight years. The owners were not named.

>> 04/08/13 Governor Names Rob Patridge Klamath County D.A.

Gov. John Kitzhaber has chosen former state Rep. Rob Patridge to be the new district attorney in Klamath County.  Patridge worked as a deputy district attorney for three years in the 1990s. He fills the vacancy created by Ed Caleb's midterm retirement.  The Mail Tribune reports (http://is.gd/kHblrc ) that Patridge ran for Jackson County district attorney last year, but lost by a wide margin.  Kitzhaber then appointed him to the Oregon Liquor Control Commission.  Patridge, who lives in Medford, says he plans to continue serving on the OLCC, but will no longer pursue the business consulting work he's involved with now.

>> 04/08/13 Snowpack On Oregon Mountains Not Good

Oregon's tallest peak has raked enough moisture out of passing storms to claim the only normal snowpack in the state.  But the farther a river basin is from Mount Hood, the worse summertime flows look.  The latest snowpack maps posted on the Natural Resources Conservation Service show the rangelands of the John Day, Malheur and Owyhee basins in Eastern Oregon particularly parched, with the Klamath, Goose Lake and Harney basins to the south not much better off.  The Rogue and Umpqua basins in southwestern Oregon, and Upper Deschutes and Crooked River basins in Central Oregon are mediocre. The Willamette Basin is near normal.  NRCS hydrologist Julie Koeberle says the water year started off wet, but a dry spell in February and March has left many locations far behind schedule.

>> 04/05/13 Irrigators Worry About Lack Of Water

The Executive Director of the Klamath Water Users Association, Greg Addington, says despite the federal government's support for Klamath River dam removal, local farmers and ranchers are more concerned about the lack of adequate snow pack and rainfall this year.  Addington says the Bureau of Reclamation has already announced a two week delay in water deliveries and there may not be adequate water for irrigators this season.

>> 04/05/13 Two Environmental Groups To Sue Bureau Of Reclamation

A 60 day notice of intent to sue the federal Bureau of Reclamation has been filed by Oregon Wild and WaterWatch of Oregon.  The environmental groups want more water in the Klamath Basin devoted to protecting salmon.  The groups say the Bureau of Reclamation implemented a new plan governing how much water goes to farms and how much to fish before NOAA Fisheries Service finished reviewing the plan for plan for potential harm to threatened salmon and this prevented the public from participating in the decision process.

>> 04/05/13 Lawmakers Debate Gun Control Measures

The chair of the Oregon Senate Judiciary Committee expects "spirited debate" today (Friday) as lawmakers take testimony about gun control measures. The bills under consideration would require background checks on private gun sales and transfers, require a shooting test to obtain a concealed weapons permit and restrictions on carrying guns inside elementary and secondary schools and public buildings like the Oregon State Capitol.  Lawmakers last month gave up on the idea of banning assault rifles and large capacity ammunition magazines due to a lack of support for either measure.

>> 04/04/13 Police Name Suspect In Murder Of Entriken

Klamath Falls Police are looking for 27 year old Leland Thomas Nicholson Junior who is the primary suspect in the shooting death of 28 year old Terry Dwight Entriken.  Nicholson is considered armed and dangerous.  He is 6-feet-2-inches tall, 240 pounds, short reddish-brown hair and green eyes and has a tattoo of the name  "Nikki" on his neck. Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Ed foreman at Klamath Falls Police Department 541-883-5336.

>> 04/04/13 Feds Support Klamath Dam Removal

The federal government is recommending that all four aging hydroelectric dams should be removed from the Klamath River in southern Oregon and Northern California to help struggling wild salmon runs, and nearly $1 billion should be spent on environmental restoration.  The final environmental impact statement making those recommendations was posted Thursday on a U.S. Department of Interior website.  Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said in a statement that removing the dams and implementing the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement are important components of finding a solution to the Klamath Basin's water problems. However, whether that will ever happen remains in doubt. Authorization for the secretary of Interior to approve dam removal and funding for restoration work has not gained any traction in Congress. On the Web: Klamath Restoration: http://klamathrestoration.gov/

>>04/04/13 Pinwheels Planted On Lawn At County Courthouse

A National Day of Hope was observed in Klamath Falls yesterday as dozens of people helped plant 500 blue pinwheels into the lawn of the county court house.  The pin, representing more than 968 cases of child abuse/neglect that were investigated last year. April is Child Abuse Prevention Month in America.  April is also Prevent Animal Abuse month and Michael Keibel of Hands And Words Are Not For Hurting told the crowd there is a direct link between people who abuse animals and also abuse children, adding that more cases of animal abuse are reported every year nationally than child abuse cases.

>> 04/04/13 Home & Garden Show This Weekend

The 38th Annual Home and Garden Show is this weekend at the Klamath County Fairgrounds, sponsored by the Klamath Basin Homebuilders Association.  The event runs from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday and 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Sunday.  Admission is $3 for people over age 17 but $2 for those who bring a canned food item for the Klamath Lake Counties Food Bank.

>> 04/03/13 Justice Department Reports Death Of Shooting Victim

Oregon Department of Justice spokesman Jeff Manning told KFLS News late this morning that 28 year old Terry Dwight Entriken, who was shot in the head outside an apartment on Washburn Way Sunday night, died this (Wednesday) morning at Sky Lakes Medical Center.  The other victim 36 year old Vanessa Renee Alexander, also shot in the head Sunday night, is in fair condition at a Bend hospital.  Police are looking for 27-year old Leland Thomas Nicholson Jr., as a "person of interest" in the case.  Manning says the investigation is now a murder case. 

>> 04/03/13 Sen. Merkley Rails Against "Too Big To Jail" Banks At KCC Town Hall

Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley held a 90-minute Town Hall at Klamath Community College on Tuesday and was harshly critical of the federal justice department for not pressing criminal charges against HSBC, an international bank.  Merkley said HSBC laundered more then one trillion dollars over a decade for drug cartels and terrorist groups but criminal charges were not filed against the bank.  Merkley says Attorney General Eric Holder felt it would create ripples in the international monetary markets if HSBS were prosecuted.  The state's junior senator attacked that concept and said no organization is...or should be...above the law.

>> 04/03/13 Pinwheels For Prevention Event Today At 3:30 P.M., County Courthouse    

The Stop The Hurt Coalition is inviting the public to bring their families to the county courthouse at 3:30 this afternoon to help plant the Pinwheel Garden on the lawn.  Each pinwheel represents a child abuse case that was opened last year in Klamath county.   For several years Klamath County has been among the top counties in Oregon for child abuse and neglect.  April is Child Abuse Prevention Month in America and today is a national Day of Hope.


>> 04/02/13 Not Much Updated Information About Shooting

The Oregon Department of Justice is refusing to release much information about the Sunday night shooting on Washburn Way that left two people with bullet wounds to the head. Spokesman Jeff Manning would only confirm the incident occurred but refused to identify either of the victims  and further refused to comment on the medical condition of the victims.  Manning did say the male victim...found outside of an apartment...is 28 years old.  He also says the female victim...found inside an apartment...is 36 years old.  Manning would not reveal any other details and would not comment when asked about any possible suspects.

>> 04/02/13 Merkley Holding Town Hall At KCC Today

Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley is holding a Town Hall at Klamath Community College today from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m.  The state's junior senator will discuss federal issues and will take questions from the public during the meeting.

>> 04/02/13 New Study Says Incomes In Rural Areas Of Oregon Lagging

A state study of personal income reflects the long-term decline in logging and milling in Oregon. The Oregonian reports it shows rural Oregonians earn, on average, about 25 percent less than their city counterparts.  It also shows that rural incomes in Oregon have slid markedly in recent decades when compared to rural areas nationwide.  In 1969, per capita personal income in Oregon's non-metro areas was 113 percent of the national average for non-metro areas.In the study of 2011 data, rural income in Oregon stood at 94 percent of that national average.  The study shows that income in the 11 counties considered metro areas has slipped relative to the national urban average, but by only 3 percentage points.  It's now 91 percent of the national urban average.

>> 04/01/13 Activist Kirk Oakes Dies Of Heart Attack

59 year old political activist Kirk Oakes died at his Chiloquin home last Friday of an apparent heart attack. Klamathnline.com reports Oakes was found by his wife, Marjie in the couple's home. Oakes ran as a Democrat for the Klamath County Commission in 2010 and as an Independent in 2012, losing both races.  Oakes was born April 4, 1953 and relocated with his wife to Klamath county in 1992.

>> 04/01/13 Shooting Reported On Washburn Way Sunday Night

The Klamath Falls Police Department Major Crimes Team is investigating a shooting that occurred Sunday night in the 800 block of Washburn Way.  No one will comment at this time as to the identity or the medical health of the victim or the victims taken to Sky Lakes Medical Center.  There are unconfirmed reports the victims are a man and a woman but again no information is being released by the Major Crime Team or the Oregon Department of Justice at this time.

>> 04/01/13 Salt Creek Tunnel Work Resumes Today

Work on the Salt creek tunnel on Highway 58 resumes today and will continue until late summer.  During the hours of 6am to u8pm Highway 58 will be down to a single lane with a pilot car.  The highway will close at 8pm on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursdays and re-open at 6am the next day.  There will be NO nighttime closures of Highway 58 on Fridays, Saturdays or Sundays.

>> 03/29/13 Congress Members Demand Feds Rescind Sequester Of Timber Subsidies

House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings and another 30 members of Congress, including Oregon Congressmen Greg Walden and Peter DeFazio,  have sent a letter to the Obama Administration, asking why it is demanding timber counties send back roughly $18 million in federal subsidies.  The Agriculture Department distributed $323 million to 41 states in January as part of the Secure Rural Schools program, which helps timber counties make up for revenue lost when national forests cut back logging to protect wildlife.  But the administration recently said the payments are subject to the sequester, and states must return a portion of the money.  In his letter to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, Hastings, a Washington Republican, says the move is an "obvious attempt" to make the sequester as painful as possible and asks for the repayments to be halted.

>> 03/29/13 Fire District 1 Fights Morning House Fire; No Injuries

Klamath County Fire District 1 responded to an early morning fire in a modular home in the 3200 block of Crest avenue this (Friday) morning. A working smoke alarm awakened homeowner Kevin Homer and he was trying to put out the blaze when a neighbor called 9-1-1.  Firefighters arrived and contained the fire in about a half hour.  Damage to the double wide modular home estimated at $70,000.  No injuries reported. The cause is undetermined but investigators do not suspect foul play    

>> 03/29/13 Salt Creek Tunnel Work To Resume Monday, April 1st

The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) has given the green light to the contractor to resume work on the Salt Creek Tunnel on Highway 58 this Monday, April 1st.  The project is in its second year and will result in night time closures./  ODOT's Rick Little says Highway 58 will close from 8:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. Monday through Thursday.  From 6:00 a.m. Fridays until 8:00 p.m. on Mondays Highway 58 will be open with no night time closures but only to a single lane of traffic with a pilot car on scene.  Highway 58 will only be open to a single lane of traffic from 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday.  The work on the tunnel expected to be finished by mid October.


>> 03/28/13 Two Arrested For Negotiating Bad Checks

Klamath Falls Police say two women, Danielle Mull and Kiara Johnson have been charged with Theft 1, Criminal Conspiracy and Negotiating A Bad Check.  Police say over the past few months checks were deposited into accounts with non-sufficient funds and cash was illegally withdrawn.  The total of checks cashed or attempted to be cashed is in excess of $10,000.  Anyone with more information is asked to call Detective Ed Foreman at Klamath Falls Police, 541-883-5336

>> 03/28/13 Firewood Permits Available On Monday

The Fremont-Winema National forest will sell firewood permits beginning Monday, April 1st at all of their offices.  The permits cost a minimum of $20 for any quantity less than four cords of wood. The maximum amount that may be purchased for personal-use firewood is eight cords, per household per year. Forest Service officials say the best time to cut firewood is late spring and early fall as summer heat and dry conditions often lead to restrictions on wood cutting. 

>> 03/28/13 Citizens For Safe Schools Named High-Quality Program 

Oregon Mentors has accredited Citizens For Safe Schools (CFSS) of Klamath Falls as a High-Quality Program, the first organization to be granted the honor in southern Oregon.  The CFSS voluntarily participated in a rigorous accreditation process, including intensive training and technical assistance from staff at Oregon Mentors to insure the organization is using the most up-to-dater research driven practices in its mentoring program.  CFSS is one of only nine organizations in Oregon now enrolled in the Quality Based Mentoring program. 

>> 03/27/13 Commissioners Don't Like ODOF Fee

Klamath County Commissioners agreed with citizens who showed up to complain about their land being assessed a fire protection fee by the Oregon Department of Forestry, calling it "a double tax." Citizens whose land has been reclassified as forest or grazing land are charged a fee for fire protection despite the fact many already pay city or rural fire district taxes.  Commissioner Jim Bellet said the state is using a "what if" scenario to justify the fees and said people are being charged for what might or might not happen in the event of a wildfire.

>> 03/27/13 Federal Agencies To Start Spring Prescribed Burning

The U-S Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management and two wildlife refuges (Klamath Basin and Sheldon/Hart) are going to start spring prescribed burning in the south-central Oregon area.  The burns are designed to improve forest health and reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire and reduce the risk of insect and disease outbreaks. Eric Hupp with the Fremont-Winema National forest says people should not call 9-1-1 to report smoke but instead call the Klamath Interagency Fire Center for information whenever burns are being conducted.  Call 541-883-6831 for information.

>> 03/27/13 No Studded Tire Extension This Year; Studs Off Sunday

The Oregon Department of Transportation will not extend studded tire season and need to be removed from vehicles by midnight, Sunday March 31st.  Failure to remove studded tires carries a citation with a $190 fine for studded tires on vehicles beginning Monday, April 1st.

>> 03/26/13 FD #1 To Hold Special Meeting Today

The Board of Directors of Fire District #1 will hold a special meeting at 5:30 this (Tuesday) afternoon at 143 Broad Street. The meeting includes an Executive Session to consider the dismissal or disciplining of a public officer, staff member, employee or individual agent. 

>> 03/26/13 Democrats Unveil PERS Reform Proposal

Democrats at the Oregon Legislature want to limit cost-of-living increases for retired state workers in a move they say would save government agencies in the state $400 million over the next two-year budget cycle. Retiree3s earning less than $20,000 annually would continue to receive 2% cost-of-living increases but that salary adjustment would be reduced as a retirees annual pay goes up.

>> 03/26/13 Small Quake Recorded East Of Shady Cove

The U-S Geological Survey recorded a magnitude 2.7 earthquake Monday afternoon about two o'clock, 21 miles east of Shady Cove in Jackson county, north of Mt McLoughlin.   The quake was 2.l7 miles below the surface and caused no damage or injuries. 

>> 03/26/13 Drainage Ditch Work Tomorrow On Old Fort Road

Klamath Falls City Street crews will be doing maintenance work from 7:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. tomorrow, Wednesday, on Old Fort Road. Minimal traffic delays are expected.




>> 03/20/13  Whistleblower Scientist Loses Case

A special panel has rejected a whistleblower's allegation that a federal agency press release was too positive in describing the benefits of removing dams from the Klamath River in Oregon and Northern California. The panel report released Tuesday dealt with Paul Houser, who alleged that he was fired as scientific integrity officer for the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation after complaining about the Interior Department press release.  The panel of scientists reported that the press release didn't deviate from standard scientific practice at the department, and there was no scientific misconduct.  In December, the bureau and a group representing Houser said they had agreed to resolve the personnel issues in his complaint through mediation.  The department is considering whether to remove the four dams to help Klamath River wild salmon. Authorization for the Interior secretary to make the decision has stalled in Congress.

 >> 03/20/13 Former Merrill City Recorder Charged With Theft

The former City Recorder of the town of Merrill has been arraigned on charges of stealing $75,000 from the city.  48 year old Deborah Sue Fuller is charged with four counts Aggravated Theft, eight counts First Degree Theft and one count, Official Misconduct.  A news release from Merrill Mayor Tim Saunders says City Marshall Brian Bicknell discovered evidence of possible mishandling of city funds and requested the Oregon State Police take over the probe.  The OSP investigation was conducted by Detective Dennis Yaws. Mayor Saunders says the Merrill City Council, has, "instituted several new policies and procedures to assure this type of incident won't happen again.  We've hired a well trained, experienced City recorder to develop more secure checks and balances in our system." The case has been turned over to the Klamath County District Attorney.

>> 03/20/13 On-Campus Farm To Open At KCC

The administration at Klamath Community College has moved ahead with plans for a 25 acre farm on the campus.  Chief Information Officer Ryan brown told KFLS News the farm will include about 22 acres of land to raise alfalfa with additional acreage devoted to an orchard.  Brown says students at KCC will have the opportunity for hands-on  instruction and experience in a number of classes including forage production, beef and livestock management. horticulture and even courses not directly related to agriculture.        


03/19/13 Roosevelt Elementary Locked Down Monday

Roosevelt Elementary School was locked down Monday morning after a man brandished a weapon at the Lithia Auto Dealership on Washburn Way.  Police were looking for 44 year old Jason W. Johnston after receiving a report of menacing and learned Johnston lives in the 1500 block of Eldorado Avenue.  The police asked the school to bring children who were on the playground inside the building.  A short time later Johnston was located in his car parked on Lawrence Street and was arrested without incident.  Police say there were multiple weapons in the vehicle and a Concealed Weapons Permit was found but police later learned the permit had been revoked by the Klamath County Sheriff's Department. Johnston is jailed and facing charges of Menacing, disorderly conduct and Unlawful Use of a Firearm.


>> 03/19/13 Jason Criado Due In Medford Court Today

A Medford man accused of murdering his wife and four young children and then setting their home on fire in 2011 is due in court today. Jason Adam Criado is facing 24 counts of Aggravated Murder and could be sentenced to death if found guilty on any one of the charges.  Criado has plead not guilty but may change the pleas when  he appears in court this (Tuesday) afternoon.


>> 03/19/13 Dry Spring & Summer Forecast For West

The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service hydrologists predict dry conditions to continue throughout much of the west this spring and into summer. Hydrologist Tom Perkins says March 1 snowmelt runoff forecasts trends indicate worsening conditions as compared to the February report.  Forecasts decreased 5-to-10% for Oregon and Washington.  Perkins says the snow pack in south-central and southeast Oregon area are at 55 to 75% of normal, depending upon location and he says weather models do not suggest any significant snowfall to the area before the summer. 


>> 03/18/13 Air Quality Advisories End Until October 15th

As of March 16th, the county has stopped issuing Air Quality Advisories until October 15th.  Until that time the use of all stoves and fireplaces is allowed, countywide.  Outdoor burning is prohibited inside the Air Quality Zone until the Open Burning Window dates are announced.


>> 03/18/12 OSP Continues Investigation Of Pedestrian Fatal

A 49 year old Klamath Falls man, Bert Ichtertz died Friday after being hit by a car.  State Police Sgt. Robert Fenner says Ichtertz was not in a crosswalk at the time of the incident and the investigation continues.  The driver was a 73 year old woman who was not hurt.


>> 03/18/13 Anti-Bullying Event Friday At The Epicenter

Citizens For Safe Schools (CFSS) is holding a special fundraiser called, Strike Out Bullying, this Friday, March 22nd at the Epicenter Bowling Center from 6-to-8 p.m.   CFSS says bullying is not a one-time act but is intentional, hurtful and repeated.  Bullying can be physical, verbal or psychological and statistics show 15-to-25% of youth are bullied frequently.  Tickets for the bowling event are $10 for 2-hours of bowling and can be purchased by calling 541-882-3198 or at the door. 


>> 03/12/13 Air Quality Advisory YELLOW Until Noon Wednesday


>> 03/12/13 County Withdraws From KBRA & KHSA

Klamath County Commissioners voted 3-0 Tuesday morning to withdraw from the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement (KBRA) and the Klamath Hydroelectric Settlement Agreement, (KHSA).  The move did not come as a surprise because two newly elected commissioners, Jim Bellet and Tom Mallams had campaigned on their opposition to both agreements.  The board had voted 3-0 a few weeks back to withdraw, pending approval of legal wording from the county counsel.  Representatives of the Klamath Tribes and the Klamath Water Users Association have both stated they believe the county commissioners can not legally withdraw from either agreement.  The decision comes about a month after a public hearing on the issue resulted in about 70 people...almost evenly divided in their opinions about the KBRA and the KHSA...spoke to the board.


>> 03/12/13  State Senate Approves Bill To Help Convicted Veterans

The Oregon Senate has given unanimous approval to a bill requiring courts to consider a veteran's military background during criminal sentencing hearings.  The judge could order the veteran into a treatment program rather than prison. Supporters emphasized the bill does not mean veterans will get a "free pass" especially for violent crimes.  The bill is designed to identify veteran's who may be suffering from combat-related mental problems such as Post traumatic Stress Disorder.


>> 03/12/13 Wal-Mart Evacuated After Threat

The Klamath Falls Wal-Mart store was closed for about two hours Monday following a telephone threat.  City, county and state police responded but found nothing and there were no injuries or damage reported.  Anyone with information is asked to call the Klamath Falls Police Tip Line at 541-883-5334.


>> 03/11/13 Air Quality Advisory RED Until Noon Tuesday


>> 03/13/13 Arrests For Arson, Kidnapping Over The Weekend

Police arrested a 22 year old Chiloquin man on Friday charging him with Arson 1 and other crimes. Mason Thomas Westmoreland was also charged with Criminal Mischief 1 and Reckless Burning. Westmoreland is jailed with bail set at $115,000.  Also on Friday police arrested 25 year old Brian Russell Lockwood of Klamath Falls charging him with Kidnapping 2, Strangulation and Assault 4/Domestic Abuse.  Lockwood is jailed with bail set at $130,000.


>> 03/11/13 Oregon Supreme Court To Hear Haugen Death Penalty Appeal

The Oregon Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on Thursday regarding the effort by convicted murderer Gary Haugen who wants to be put to death.  In 2011, Governor John Kitzhaber issued an unconditional reprieve for Haugen, blocking the execution that was to have taken place two weeks later.  Haugen has won a Marion County Circuit Court ruling in his bid to be put to death and the Oregon Supreme Court accepted Governor Kitzhaber's appeal directly.


>> 03/11/13 KID Board To Meet Thursday

The Klamath Irrigation Board of Directors will hold a regular meeting this Thursday at 10:00 a.m. at 6640 KID Lane.  The agenda includes the latest update on the KBRA, Adjudication-Final Order and 2013 Water Supplies.


>> 03/08/13 Air Quality Advisory GREEN Until Noon Saturday


>> 03/08/13 State Backs Tribes Water Rights

The state of Oregon has backed the Klamath Tribes' claim to have the oldest water rights in the upper Klamath Basin.  If the findings filed Thursday are affirmed by a judge in Klamath County Circuit Court, it would give the tribes a new dominant position. The oldest water rights have the first claim to water, and Oregon Water Resources found that the tribes' claim on Upper Klamath Lake and its tributaries dates back further than records are kept.  The lake is the primary reservoir for a federal irrigation project serving 1,400 farms covering 200,000 acres.

>> 03/08/13 Sequestration May Impact Klamath Falls Airport

Five small airports in Oregon are on the Federal Aviation Administration list for potential control tower closings under the automatic budget cuts known as sequestration.  The FAA says they are among 238 small airports under consideration nationwide with low traffic volumes and control towers operated by contractors.  The FAA is to make a decision by March 18 on closing about 170 of them.  The Oregon airports are in Klamath Falls, North Bend, Pendleton, Salem and Troutdale.  If the towers close, the FAA says the airports will remain open. But pilots would be responsible for their own safety by talking to each other, instead of the tower.  The FAA has to cut $600 million under sequestration. Other savings will come from furloughing FAA employees and other actions.

>> 03/08/13 Rock, Gem And Mineral Show This Weekend

The 27th Annual Rock, Gem and Mineral Show is this weekend at the Klamath County Fairgrounds.  The event is organized by the Rock and Arrowhead Club of Klamath Falls.  The doors are open 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday and 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Sunday.  Admission is a $1 donation for adults, kids under age 12 are free.  The theme of this year's show is Obsidian.



>> 03/07/13 Air Quality Advisory YELLOW Until Noon Friday


>> 03/07/13 Traffic Stops Leads To Marijuana Seizure, Three Arrests

Two Boise, Idaho women were arrested and 44 pounds of marijuana was seized last Friday after Oregon State Police stopped their rental vehicle for a traffic violation on Highway 140 near Swan Lake Road.  54-year old Susan Jackson and 53 year old Cheryl Jackson were arrested and charged with distribution and possession of marijuana. Later Oregon State Police investigators located 39 marijuana plants in the Gold Hill home of 61 year old Timothy Wyatt and cited him for manufacture and distribution  of marijuana.


>> 03/07/13 Senator Merkley Cosponsors Minimum Wage Hike Legislation 

Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley is cosponsoring a bill to raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25/hour to $10.10/hour.  Merkley says the minimum wage is now 25% lower than it was 45 years ago.  The legislation calls for the minimum wage to be raised in 95-cent per year increments over three years and then raised annually based upon the increase i8n the cost of living.


>> 03/07/13 Telemarketers, Debt Collectors Top Consumer Complaints

The Oregon Department of Justice has released the annual top-10 list of co0nsumer complaints and this year telemarketers and debt collectors were the top two industries on the list.  The department says it received 1828 written complaints about telkemarketers with most saying they were on a federal Do Not Call list.  It was the second year in a row telemarketers were at the top of the list of consumer complaints.  This year debt collectors came in second with a 42% jump in complaints from consumers. Many complaints were related to calls from debt collectors claiming people owed money to the now defunct video rental chain Hollywood Video.


>> 03/07/13 Sunny And Warmer Through The Weekend

The National Weather Service says sunny skies are in the forecast for the Klamath Basin through the weekend with daytime highs reaching the mid to upper 50's by Sunday.

>> 03/06/13 Air Quality Advisory GREEN Until Noon Thursday


>> 03/06/13 Ireland Lane Talks About Fire That Burned Her

The 12-year-old Klamath Falls girl who was burned in her hospital room in Portland hospital, Ireland Lane, said Tuesday the last thing she remembers before the fire was rubbing her hands on her bed sheets to create static electricity to "spark" her napping father.  The prank apparently ignited hand sanitizer and olive oil that Ireland Lane had wiped on her shirt. The olive oil was used to remove electrodes from her head.  The Feb. 2 fire at Doernbecher Children's Hospital resulted in severe burns. Lane has had two skin grafts. She is recovering at the Ronald McDonald House.

>> 03/06/13  Prosperity Summit Today At Ross Ragland

The Klamath Lake Community Action Services is inviting the public to a free event at the Ross Ragland Theatre from 1-to-5pm on Wednesday, March 6th titled "The Prosperity Summit."  The guest speaker will be Donna Beegle who will talk about reducing poverty, poverty myths and building prosperity for the community.  To register call 541-883-3500.

>>l 03/06/13 State Senator Cancels Town Hall After Threats

State Sen. Ginny Burdick says she canceled a town hall meeting on gun control at Portland State University because her office has received thousands of hostile or threatening emails about anti-gun legislation.   She told KATU –TV she didn’t want to have the town hall crashed by disruptive and rude extremists.  Burdick had initially said there was a scheduling conflict. She said the real reason for the cancellation was threats, after a video posted on YouTube showed she was at home at the time. She called police after seeing the video.

03/06/13 Ashland To Charge For Bike Rescues

Mountain bikers now have an extra incentive to be careful in the Ashland watershed.  The Ashland Daily Tidings reports that Ashland Fire & Rescue has been allowed to recover costs from people who need medical help in remote areas.  Fire Chief John Karns says those requiring a rescue will be charged for the overtime pay of firefighters who are called in to cover for on-duty personnel diverted to the rescue. If two off-duty employees work for three hours, the rescued person would face a bill of about $300. And that's separate from the ambulance charge.  The extra fees won't apply to Ashland residents because they already financially support the department.  Last summer, Ashland Fire & Rescue responded to about a half-dozen mountain biking crashes in the watershed.


>> 03/05/13 Air Quality Advisory GREEN Until Noon Wednesday


>> 03/-05/13 State Budget Chairs Want 15% Increase For K-12 Schools

The co-chairs of the Oregon Legislature's Ways & Means Committee are proposing $6.55 billion for K-12 schools in the next two years. Democratic Representative Peter Buckley of Ashland and Senator Richard Devlin of Tualatin say if they can pass legislation to limit annual cost of living pay raises for retired state employees they would add an additional $200-million for K-12 schools.  Superintendent Greg Thede says this is better news than the governor's proposed $6.1 billion for schools but Thede notes contributions to PERS, the Public Employee Retirement System, will eat up much of the increase in funding.  City School Superintendent Dr. Paul Hillyer also noted the PERS funding increase will eliminate much of the 15% increase.  But Hillyer says if the PERS reform bill passes the extra money will give city schools a chance to reduce class sizes and possibly add back some programs that have been cut in recent years.  


>> 03/05/13 Prosperity Summit Tomorrow At Ross Ragland Theatre

The Klamath Lake Community Action Services is inviting the public to a free event at the Ross Ragland Theatre from 1-to-5pm on Wednesday, March 6th titled The Prosperity Summit.  The guest speaker will be Donna Beegle who will talk about reducing poverty, poverty myths and building prosperity for the community.  To register call 541-883-3500.


>> 03/05/13 Lane Family Fundraiser Big Success

A benefit spaghetti dinner at the Klamath Falls VFW on Saturday raised $4200 for the Stephen Lane family.  Lane's 12 year old daughter Ireland...a kidney cancer survivor...suffered third degree burns in a freak fire accident while in her room at Portland's Doernbecher Children's Hospital in early February.  Organizer says several people have called to ask how to donate because they were unable to attend the benefit dinner.  Mail checks payable to Stephen Lane to the VFW, 515 Klamath Avenue, 97601.  

>> 03/04/13 Air Quality Advisory GREEN Until Noon Tuesday


>> 03/04/13 State Police Find 13 Pounds Of Pot During Traffic Stop

Oregon State Police say they found 13 pounds of marijuana in the trunk of a car driven by a Washington state man near Klamath Falls. The driver, Samuel Alcalan of Yakima, Wash., was cited and released. One of his passengers, Mario Serrano-Lopez, of Wapato, Wash., was booked in the Klamath County Jail. Each faces one charge of unlawful possession and distribution of a controlled substance.  State police say a female passenger was released without being arrested or cited.The three were stopped on Highway 97 near the north side of Klamath Falls on a traffic violation.


>> 03/04/13 Gas prices Continue To Climb

The AAA Auto Club of Oregon says the average price of a gallon of gasoline is $3.78...up 7-cents in a week and 31-cents in a month.  The price is 3-cents higher than the national average.


>> 03/04/13 Jackson County Takes Over Howards Prairie Resort
Jackson County has taken over a Cascade Range resort from what an official describes as a struggling concessionaire.The county's director of roads and parks, John Vial, tells the Ashland Daily Tidings (http://bit.ly/ZWqd11 ) the county itself will operate the Howard Prairie Resort when it reopens this spring.He says the current lease holder is behind $60,000 in payments and $10,000 in taxes. The resort about 25 miles east of Ashland is closed during the winter.The resort is scheduled to open April 15 in time for the first day of fishing on April 26.


03/01/13 Air Quality Advisory RED Until Noon Saturday


>> 03/01/13 Skeen Arraigned On Murder Charges

34 year old Zane Sterling Skeen was arraigned Thursday on murder charges in connection with the beating death of 65 year old Larry Wayne Clark on February 7th.  Police say Clark was killed in his home on Lindley Way and suffered a crushed skull.   Clark's body was discovered February 12th.  Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Nick Kennedy at the Klamath County sheriff's Office.


>> 03/01/13 State Lawmakers Trying To Help Timber Counties

The Oregon Legislature is working on bills to help rural timber counties that will go broke if taxpayers reject levies to make up for the loss of timber revenues.  Republican State Representative Bruce Hanna of Roseburg says counties like Douglas, Curry and Josephine may end up going bankrupt but the idea is to help them merge with other counties and possibly receive state funding help or have the state take over come services such as elections.


>> 03/01/13 Open Enrollment For City, County Schools Starts Today

Parents and their children who want to take advantage of Open Enrollment must files their applications no later than March 31st.  City schools will not have Open Enrollment for elementary schools but will take transfers on a case-by-case basis.  Applications are available at city and county school district offices. 


>> 02/28/13  City County Officials Hear Safety Recommendations

The Public Safety Advisory Committee made a half dozen major and 10 secondary recommendations to a joint meeting of the Klamath County Board of Commissioners and the Klamath Falls City Council Wednesday afternoon.  The committee stopped short of suggesting how much money needs to be raised although there is general agreement that public safety needs more financial support.  Safety Committee Vice Chair Monty Keady outlined the primary recommendations beginning with a countywide taxing district for the jail. A second recommendation calls for a taxing district for patrols inside the Urban Growth Boundary outside the city of Klamath Falls  Keady then said the committee recommends another taxing district for rural patrols outside cities and the Urban Growth Boundary. Other primary recommendations included not operating the District Attorney’s Office below current funding levels…recommending Fire and Emergency Management Agencies in the northern and eastern portions of the county look to consolidation.  The committee’s final major recommendation calls for budget policies to make sure public safety agencies have enough funding for equipment and facilities to ensure delivery of public safety services. The two councils took no final action yesterday but will weigh the ideas and are expected to take further action later this year.

>> 02/28/13 Community Watch Meeting Tonight At Klamath Falls Police Department

The city police are hosting a Community Watch meeting at 6:30 p.m. at their headquarters on Shasta Way and will feature Assistant Community Corrections Director Aaron Hartman.  He will discuss predatory sex offender laws and to what extent community notification is required.  A question and answer session will follow Hartman's presentation.

>> 02/28/13 Two Arrested, Jailed For Animal Neglect

Police arrested two Klamath Falls residents on Wednesday morning charging each with six counts of Animal Neglect 2.  Jailed on the neglect charges are 20 year old James William Howard Fuentes and 21 year old Arilyn Rose McKoen.




>> 02/27/13 County Votes To Pull Out Of KBRA

The Klamath County Board of Commissioners Voted 3-0 Tuesday to pull out of the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement. However the Karuk Tribe and the Klamath Water Users Association say the county can't do that because the KBRA is a binding contract.  Earlier this month county commissioners heard from about 70 people who were nearly evenly divided in their opinions about the agreement.


>> 02/27/13 League Qualifies Petition For May Ballot

The Klamath County Chapter of the League of Women Voters has turned in enough valid signatures on petition for a ballot measure to be voted on in May. The league's measure will ask voters if county commissioners should be elected on a non-partisan basis.  The petition needed 1390 signatures and the Klamath County Clerk Linda Smith says 1404 valid signatures were counted. 


>> 02/27/13 Benefit Dinner At VFW For Lane Family

The Klamath Falls chapter of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, 515 Klamath Avenue is hosting a benefit spaghetti dinner on Saturday, March 2nd from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. to help the Stephen Lane family with medical bills following a fire.  12 year old Ireland Lane, who is a kidney cancer survivor, was seriously burned in a fire in her room at Doernbecher Children's Hospital in Portland earlier this month when hand sanitizer and static electricity combined to ignite the child's shirt.  Ireland's father, Stephen was able to smother the flames, but not before she suffered 3rd degree burns which led to skin grafting surgery.  The menu at the VFW  benefit includes spaghetti, meatballs, garlic bread and  green salad.  People who are unable to attend the event can make donations by cash or checks made out to Stephen Lane via the VFW.


>> 02/25/13 Public Safety Committee To Make Recommendations Wednesday

The Public Safety Advisory Committee will make its recommendations to a joint meeting of the Klamath County Board of Commissioners and the Klamath Falls City Council on Wednesday afternoon at 3:00 p.m.  The meeting will be at the Commissioners Meeting Room at the County Government Center, 305 Main Street.  The committee made up of elected officials, public employees and volunteer private citizens has been meeting since the summer of 2011 to try to determine how best to provide funding for public safety in Klamath County.


>> 02/25/13 Governor Wants Vote On Death Penalty Ban

Governor John Kitzhaber has asked state lawmakers to approve a ballot measure for the 2014 election that would ask Oregon voters to amend the Oregon Constitution and repeal the death penalty.  California voters rejected a similar measure last year.  Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek says she would like to see some evidence that the measure would win if placed on the ballot.


>> 02/25/13 Cuts For Cancer Event Raises Thousands For Sky Lakes Cancer Center

The 16th Annual Cuts For Cancer event on Sunday raised more than $1900 for the Sky Lakes Cancer Treatment Center. The event is an annual fundraiser sponsored by the Klamath Falls College of Cosmetology.  In the 16 years since the event was launched more than $36,200 has been raised.


>> 02/22/13  Infant In Klamath County Has Pertussis

An infant who attends the Klamath County School District Daycare program has been diagnosed with pertussis, also known as whooping cough.   The bacterial infection is highly contagious and can be serious, in some cases fatal, for infants.  Public Health Director Marilyn Sutherland encourages parents to have infants immunized at two, four and six months.


02/22/13 League Of Women Voters Submits Petitions Signatures To County Clerk

The Klamath County chapter of the League of Women Voters submitted 1800 signatures to the county clerk this week.  To qualify for the ballot, 1398 valid signatures are needed. The league wants to put a measure on the May ballot asking voters if county commissioners should be elected on a non partisan basis.  Some petition forms were not filled out correctly and 90 signatures were ruled invalid immediately.  Klamath County Clerk Linda Smith says she wants to finish the certification process before the 15 day deadline.  The Klamath County Board of Commissioners are opposed to the measure.


>> 02/22/13 State Clears Evinger Of Election Law Violations

The Elections Division of the Secretary of State's Office has cleared former Klamath County Sheriff Tim Evinger of any wrongdoing during his 2012 reelection campaign.  Evinger was accused of offering then-candidates Mike Angeli and Frank Skrah jobs as deputies iuf they would withdraw from the race.  Evinger was also accused of giving a special deputy status to his campaign manager after revoking that status for another person.  The Oregon Elections Division investigated and found both accusations lacking sufficient evidence and the case is now closed.


>> 02/21/13 Sheriff Asks For County Road Funds For His Budget

Klamath County Sheriff Frank Skrah says over the past five weeks he has pored over the budget and is trying to save money but needs more fujndinmg for old, outdated equipment.  Skrah asked county commissioners Tuesday for $2-million from the road fund but at this time the request has been denied.  The sheriff says radio's need to be replaced as do vehicles used by deputies

because of rust holes and torn seats.  Skrah says he and his Chief Deputy Martin Rowley are responding to calls and he is trying to "pinch every damn nickel we can pinch."


>> 02/21/13 Accused Adult Tagger Identified

Klamath Falls Police have identified an 18 year old man as one of two people arrested this week for 17 vandalism acts of graffiti

to more than a dozen businesses in the city in recent weeks.  Tristan Javier-Joe has been charged with first and second degree criminal mischief and was booked and released from the county jail;. Anyone with more information is asked to call Klamath Falls Police.


>> 02/21/13 Iron Owl Challenge Attracts Military Academies

The Oregon Institute of Technology Veterans Association says the Naval and Air Force Academies will participates in this year's Iron Owl Challenge the weekend of May 17th.  A.J. DaVilla says he hopes the community will help with donations and in-kind contributions to enhance the annual event which includes a broad range of physical activities and events.  Anyone wishing to help can contact the OIT Veterans Association at www.oit.edu/IOC  


>>2/20/13 Malin Standoff Ends With Arrests After Six Hours

It took police about six hours to bring an end to a standoff at a Malin home Saturday night.  Sheriff Frank Skrah says Siskiyou County police were looking for 29 year old Pedro Richard Padilla, Jr., for stolen firearms.  Skrah says police had in formation Padilla was in a Malin home with others, none of whom would come out when ordered by police.  Skrah says nine canisters of tear gas were fired into the home an d eventually several people came out.  The homeowner, 51 year old Tori Devon Hill was charged with hindering prosecution. Later deputies entered the home and arrested 28 year old James Willard Johnson of Klamath Falls, wanted for failure to appear on a methamphetamine charge.  Skrah says police knew Padilla was in the attic and eventually two deputies were able to get into the area and arrest Padilla. He is jailed on weapons charges  and assault and menacing charges.


>> 02/20/13  KBRA Decision Delayed By County Commissioners

Klamath County Commissioners have put off a decision on whether to continue to participate in the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreements process or walk away.  Last week the commissioners heard testimony from about 70 people that was almost equally divided between support for the KBRA and opposition to it.  In the past week commissioners have also received about 600 emails regarding the KBRA.  Board Chairman Dennis Linthicum says a decision will be made soon about whether to holding another hearing on the KBRA and whether to stay with the process or walk away.


>> 02/20/13 Exclusion Day Is Today   

School children who do not have immunization records up to date can and will be sent home from school today. State law requires parents to immunize their children although exemptions are granted for religious reasons.


>> 02/19/13 Police Arrest One Adult, One Juvenile For Graffiti Vandalism

The Klamath Falls Police Department says it has arrested one adult and one juvenile, charging both with criminal mischief and trespass.  In an email to the news media, police say they found spray paint and other evidence linked to 20 criminal mischief cases of graffiti in the city.  Buildings that have been spray painted include the old Herald and News Building on Esplanade Avenue, Ross, Safeway, Grover's, Rite-Aid, Novak's, Dollar Tree, Carlson's Furniture and Two Doors Down. 


>> 02/19/13 League Of Women Voters Says They Have Enough Signatures For Ballot Measure

The Klamath County Chapter of the League of Women Voters says they have collected 1690 signatures to place a measure on the May ballot.  The league needs 1390 valid signatures to qualify for the ballot.   If the measure is certified the league's ballot measure will ask voters if the Klamath County Commissioners should be elected on a non-partisan basis.   All three members of the current board oppose the measure.


>> 02/19/13 Wednesday Is Deadline For Immunizations For School Kids

Wednesday is the deadline for Oregon parents to make sure their children's immunizations are up to date or they could be excluded from school.  The shots are required by law for community health.  A Public Health Division coordinator, Stacy de Assis Matthews, says if school vaccination records are not up to date, the child will be sent home.  Parents may seek an exemption for religious reasons.  a bill under consideration in the state Legislature would require parents who opt out to submit a signed from from a health care provider or complete an online educational video. Backers with the Oregon Pediatric Society say parents who opt out should know the risks.


>> 02/18/13 Man Charged With Murder Of Larry Wayne Clark

Police have charged 34 year old Zane Sterling Skeen for the murder of 65 year old Larry Wayne Clark.  Skeen is being held on murder charges at the Clark County Jail in Las Vegas.  Skeen was arrested earlier this month in Nevada after leading authorities on a high speed chase in through Arizona and into Utah.  Police say Clark...whose body was found at his home on Lindley Way last week... died of homicidal violence but have not released the cause of death.  Records show Skeen was Clark's next door neighbor.  Anyone with information is asked to call Sheriff's Detective Nick Kennedy at 541-883-5130, Ext 8146  


>> 02/18/13 Governor Wants More Funding For Child Welfare Program

Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber wants state lawmakers to approve higher funding for the Child Welfare Program.  Caseworkers will testify and lobby in support of the governor's proposal at the legislature today.  Caseworkers say there are more state requirements but fewer people to carry them out due to a hiring freeze for the past two years. The state employs almost 1300 caseworkers who supervise about 13,000 children in foster care.  The caseworkers also respond to 75,000 reports of child abuse and neglect each year. The governor's proposal would bring Child Welfare Services to 80% of staffing needs compared to 67% currently.


>> 02/18/13 Forecast Calls For Snow In Klamath Basin This Week

The National Weather Service predicts more snow in the Klamath Basin starting later today.  The forecast calls for sunny skies and a break from snow on Wednesday, however more snow is forecast Wednesday night through Sunday.   


>> 02/15/13 Body Of Man Identified...Case Investigated As Homicide

A Klamath Falls man whose body was found Tuesday at his home on Lindley Way was a victim  of homicidal violence.  The Oregon Attorney General's office says there are no suspects in the death of Larry Wayne Clark.  The Klamath County Sheriff's department is leading the investigation with Oregon State Police and Klamath Falls Police.


>> 02/15/13 Doctors, Lawyers Agree On Medical Malpractice Reform Bill

The Oregon Medical Association and the Trial Lawyers Association are both supporting a bill to reform medical malpractice laws.  The two groups have voiced support for a bill in the Oregon Legislature to create a voluntary process to resolve disputes following serious medical errors.  Injured patients would be able to discuss the error and possible settlement options with the hospital or clinic where it occurred, however the discussions would not be admissible in court if the patient ultimately files a lawsuit.


>> 02/15/13 Air Stagnation Advisory In Effect Until Early Saturday 

An Air Stagnation Advisory remains in effect for the Klamath Basin until 4:00 a.m. tomorrow, Saturday. The Air Quality Index

IS yellow until Noon Saturday.  The forecast calls for sunny skies over the weekend but cooler temperatures and snow is forecast for the Klamath Basin by Tuesday.


>> 02/14/13 No Identity Of Body Found Tuesday

Authorities are continuing to investigate the discovery of a body found on Lindley Way on Tuesday evening.  No updated information has been released.


>> 02/14/13 Klamath Falls To Portland Flight Moves To 8:30 a.m.

Klamath Falls area residents headed to Portland get to sleep in a bit because United Express has changed the departure time to 8:30 a.m.  The flight had been leaving the Klamath Falls Airport at 6:00 a.m.  There is no change for the United Express flight to San Francisco, which leaves at 5:15 a.m.  Passengers going to Portland or San Francisco can catch returning flights that arrive back in Klamath Falls about 11:00 p.m.


>> 02/14/13 OSP Says Speed May Have caused Fatal Motorcycle Wreck

The Oregon State Police say a Central Point man, 54 year old Scott David Nuckles, was killed Tuesday evening on Highway 238 between Central point and Jacksonville. Investigators say Nuckles failed to negotiate a left curve....possibly because of excessive speed...and his motorcycle left the highway and hit a power pole. Nuckles was wearing a helmet but died at the scene.


>> 02/13/13 Large Crowd Speaks To County Commissioners About KBRA; Opinions Mixed

A large crowd filled the meeting room of the Klamath County Board of Commissioners Tuesday morning to voice opinions about the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreements. Opinions were almost equally divided between among the dozens of speakers who made comments.  Supporters urged the commissioners to "stay at the table" and work to move the KBRA forward.  Opponents criticized the KBRA for being developed in secret meetings and for the proposal to take out four dams on the Klamath River.  Commissioners decided to extend the comment period until 5:00 p.m., on Friday and will accept email comments at bocc@klamathcounty.org.  The issue may come back to the board later this month.


>> 02/13/13 Body Found On Lindley Way; Sheriff Asks OSP For Help

Klamath County Sheriff Frank Skrah has asked the Oregon State Police to help with an investigation after a body was reported in the 5400 block of Lindley Way Tuesday evening.  Skrah said more details would be released later today.


>> 02/13/13 Triple-A Auto Club Says Gas Prices Up Again

Speculators are betting on rising oil prices and at the same time refinery shutdowns for the switch to more expensive summer gasoline are among the factors forcing gas prices higher, according to the Triple-A Auto Club of Oregon.  The average price for a gallon of regular unleaded in Oregon is $3.57, up six cents in the past week however Triple-A says that price is three cents below the national average.


>> 02/12/13 Protests In Crescent Force DEQ To Suspend Action On Compost Operation

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality has suspended action on a proposed compost operation at a mill site near the community of Crescent in Klamath county.  Public comments at a meeting last week focused on the potential for groundwater pollution and strong odors from the proposed operation being promoted by Klamath Soil Amendments. The company says it would process 36,000 tons of Portland table waste per year. The DEQ says it will issue a permit but only if the compost operation can meet environmental standards.


>> 02/12/13 Klamath Falls Man Jailed After being Charged With Incest, Sodomy

A 38 year old Klamath Falls man, Thomas Dwayne Rose. was arrested Monday afternoon and was charged with Incest, Sex Abuse 1 and Sodomy 1.  Police say the alleged victim was a young child.  Rose is jailed with bail set at $210,000.;


>> 02/12/13 Governor Invited To Sit With First Lady During State of the Union Address

Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber will sit with Michelle Obama during tonight's State of the Union address.  The White House extended the invitation on Monday, presumably to highlight Kitzhaber's health care and education reform initiatives.


>> 02/11/13 Klamath Falls Man Jailed On Assault, Weapons Charges

Police arrested 38 year old Elvin Lee Miller Sunday afternoon and charged him with Assault, Menacing, Theft and Unlawful Use of a Weapon and Witness Tampering. Miller is from Klamath Falls and his bail is set at $235,000.


>> 02/11/13 Public Safety Advisory Committee Recommends County-Wide Taxing District For Jail

The chair of the Public Safety Advisory Committee (PSAC) Greg Williams says his group is going to recommend a county-wide taxing district be created to support the jail. Williams says federal money that was used to keep the jail open is running out and the committee believes the issue of a taxing district should go to the voters. The PSAC will report recommendations to a joint meeting of the Klamath Falls City Council and the Klamath County Board of Commissioners later this month.


>> 02/11/13  Oregon Supreme Court Censures Medford Judge For Comments At Sentencing Of Child Molester

Circuit Court Judge Tim Barnack has been censured by the Oregon Supreme Court for telling a convicted child molester he will, "rot in prison."  Barnack made his comments on January 21st as he sentenced Richard Taylor to m21 life terms after Taylor was convicted of 21 counts of child sex abuse  Barnack also told Taylor that community members wondered why he (Taylor) wasn't hanging from a tree.  Barnack says he regrets his comments and accepts the censure.


>> 02/08/13 Transient Faces Hundreds of Graffiti, Vandalism Charges

A transient who  was cited in 2006 for graffiti vandalism is now jailed and facing 111 misdemeanor charges for his activities in the Midland area.  Oregon State Police used surveillance cameras and determined  Christopher Jon Keading had been causing graffiti in  the Midland area on 79 separate occasions.  His bail has been set at $199,000.


>> 02/-08/13 Public Safety Advisory Committee Okays Recommendations

The Public Safety Advisory Committee has approved recommendations regarding support fort public safety in the county and will give those recommendations to a joint meeting of the Klamath Falls City Council and the Klamath County Board of Commissioners before the end of the month.   One recommendation calls for creation of a county-wide taxing district to pay for the operation of the county jail.  Another recommendation is to have a special taxing district created to fund law enforcement patrols in the south suburbs.


>> 02/08/12 Bend Woman Charged After Accidentally Shooting Husband

Police in Bend have charged 48 year old Barbara Annette Masters with assault and reckless endangering after her husband was accidentally shot in the stomach at a fast food restaurant.  Police says Masters and husband 47 year old Richard Lee Cooper were in the dining area when Masters Derringer fell out of her pocket, hit the floor and discharged.  Cooper was hit in the stomach by the .22 caliber bullet and is hospitalized in serious condition.


>> 02/07/13 Body Of Missing Klamath Falls Man Believed Found

A former Klamath county search-and-rescue volunteer is believed to have found the body of 39 year old Robert Lear of Klamath Falls who has been, missing since December.  Oregon State Police say Lear's body was found in an area near where his abandoned car was found on December 23rd.  The search for Lear was suspended shortly after his car was discovered due to heavy snow in the area.


>> 02/07/13 Public Safety Committee May Vote Today On Final Recommendations

The Klamath County Public Safety Advisory Committee meets from 3-to-5pm today, Thursday, and is expected to vote on its final recommendations for long term funding for public safety.  The committee was appointed during the summer of 2011. The meeting today will be held at the Commissioners Meeting Room at the Government Center, 305 Main Street.  The recommendations are expected to be presented to a joint meeting of the Klamath Falls City Council and the Klamath County Board of Commissioners later this month.


>> 02/07/13 Oregon Congressional Delegation, County Officials Outraged Over Withheld Timber Funds

The federal Bureau of Land Management is being sharply criticized by the Oregon Congressional delegation and many county officials for its decision to withhold 10-per cent of a special payment to 18 timber dependent counties in Oregon.  The BLM decision was made without advance public notice and was made in the event federal budget cuts known as sequestration take effect.  The $38 million was supposed to be distributed to 18 counties in Oregon to make up for the loss of tax revenues due to cutbacks in logging on federal lands. Officials at the Association of Oregon Counties say the BLM decision to withhold $4-million could lead to layoffs in those 18 counties.  


>> 02/04/12  Police Arrest Man With Gun, Body Armor At Dutch Brothers Coffee Stand

Two Klamath Falls police officers were injured Sunday afternoon during a fight with a man who was armed with a gun and wearing body armor.  Police say 30 year old Kale Donovan Miller was threatening people at the Dutch Brothers coffee stand on South 6th Street and refused police orders and a fight ensued.  Police say Miller tried to grab his handgun during the fight but police were able to wrestle the weapon away from Miller. After his arrest police say Miller threatened two officers and said he would kill them and their families when he is released from jail.  Miller is jailed on numerous charges including Resisting Arrest, Unlawful Possession of a Firearm and Unlawful Possession of Body Armor and Menacing.  The two officers were not seriously injured during the fight with Miller.


02/14/13 Medford Woman To Face Trial For Alleged Murder Of Husband

A Medford woman whose husband's body was found at the base of a cliff in northern California late last year will stand trial for his murder.  A judge in Siskiyou county, Calikfornia ruled there is enough evidence to try 26 year old Patricia MacCallum of Medford for the death of her 34 year old husband Michael, who police say died of a gunshot wound.  If convicted Patricia MacCallum faces 25 years to life in prison.  Last week MacCallum's stepsister Amber Lubbers, pleaded guilty to being an accessory after the fact.   No trial date has been set for  MacCallum.

>> 02/04/13   State GOP Has New Party Chair

A 65 year old Tigard woman, Suzanne Gallagher, has been named the new chair of the Oregon Republican Party. Gallagher was picked by party activists over the weekend, defeating  John Lee Jr. Two-time congressional candidate Art Robinson of Cave Junction was removed from the race after the first round of ballot counting because he finished third.   


>> 02/01/13 More Than 200 People Attend Walden Town Hall

Congressman Greg Walden fielded questions for more than an hour at a Town Hall meeting Thursday morning that attracted more than 200 people to the event at Oregon Institute of Technology.  Walden is a member of the Republican House Leadership and told the crowd the U-S House and Senate must address America's staggering $14-trillion debt and curb runaway federal spending. 


>> 02/01/13 Teenager Hit Walking Across Eldorado Avenue At Wall Street

A 15 year old boy who police say attends Mazama High School was hit by a car Thursday afternoon while crossing the street at Eldorado Avenue and Wall Street.  Police say the teenager was conscious when an ambulance arrived and took him to Sky Lakes Medical Center.  The d\river was identified as Kelly Caleb.  Klamath Falls Police have issued no citations at this time but are continuing to investigate and to interview witnesses.  The identity of the boy has not been released and his condition is unknown.


>> 02/01/13 Klamath County Law Enforcement Agencies Looking For DUII Drivers This Super Bowl Weekend

Police agencies in Klamath county and across the nation say Super Bowl Sunday has become one of the most dangerous days to drive because of high levels of intoxicated drivers. Police are urging people to have a designated driver or take a taxicab home if they have been drinking during the popular national football championship game.  Oregon recorded three traffic fatalities on Super Bowl Sunday in 2012 and police arrested 38 people for DUII that weekend.


>> 1/31/13  Hosanna Christian Closed Until Monday

Hosanna Christian School is closed until Monday.  The school had planned to re-0open today, Thursday, but according to a Facebook post from Principal Jeff Mudrow more than 50% of the staff and faculty is sick.  The school plans to open again on Monday.


>> 1/31/12 Klamath Falls Man Arrested On Drug, Weapons Charges

Police 23 year old Tylor Shawn Rowe of Klamath Falls on Wednesday evening and charged him with Possession of Methamphetamine, Being A Felon In Possession Of A Weapon, Resisting Arrest and Attempted Assault of a Public Safety Officer.  Rowe is jailed with bail set at $83,000


>> 1/31/13 State Wants Records Of Veterans Association From Kevin Mannix

The Oregon Atto0rney General is asking a judge to order Kevin Mannix to release records related to his involvement with the charity, The Oregon War Veterans Association.   The Attorney General's office says the records were requested in July but Mannix has not delivered.  An attorney for Mannix says he was negotiating with the state for release of the records and believed an agreement was near before the state filed the motion.  The state sued the Oregon War Veterans Association in 2011 accusing the charity of diverting contributions intended for veterans for personal use or to benefit Mannix's political campaigns.


1/30/13 Jury Rules Unanimously Hollenbeak Not Guilty

A Klamath County jury voted unanimously Tuesday evening to acquit former Chiloquin school teacher Rick Lynn Hollenbeak of two counts of First Degree Sex Abuse.  The not guilty verdict was announced less than four hours after the jury started its deliberations.  The defense argued that the alleged victim...a relative of Hollenbeak's...had made up the story and has given more than one account of what happened.


>> Oregon State Police Announce Two Arrests In Check Forging Operation In Klamath County

The Oregon State Police say 46 year old Anna M. Rodriguez and 35 year old Frederick Lee Vierria have been arrested on multiple criminal counts related to a check forging operation in Klamath County.  The OSP has been investigating the case since late last year.  Rodriguez and Vierria are lodged in the Klamath County Jail and each faces dozens of charges including Forgery 1, Theft 1, Identity Theft and Computer Crime.  Bail for each set at more than $300,000


>> 1/30/13 Moderate Earthquake Off Oregon Coast Tuesday Night

A magnitude 5.3 earthquake was recorded off the Oregon coast at about 7:15pm on Tuesday.  The quake...at a depth of just over 6 miles...was reported by several people who felt some shaking.  There were no reports of damage or inujries.  The epicenter of the quake was 163 miles west-northwest of Bandon on the south Oregon coast.


>> 1/30/13 Hosanna Christian School Closes Due To Many Illnesses...Will Open Again Tomorrow

Hosanna Christian School closed Monday afternoon because more than 28% of the student body was home sick with the flu or a respiratory virus that includes cold symptoms.  Principal Jeff Mudrow made the decision to close the school for a few days.  Hosanna Christian will re-open tomorrow, Thursday.  Staff at the school have been busy cleaning everything from door handles to toys to try to prevent the spread of the flu and the virus.


>> 1/29/13 La Pine Man Arrested On Murder Charge

An 86 year old La Pine man, Lawrence Loeffler, has been jailed for investigation of the murder of his 83 year old wife, Betty.   Deschutes County Sheriff's office says Loeffler is suspected of killing his wife during a domestic dispute at the couple's home on Monday.  Police say the woman's body was found on the back porch of the couple's home.


>> 1/29/13 Terrorism Suspect's Father Says FBI "Brainwashed" His Son

The father of teorrism bomb plot suspect Molhammed Mohammud testified in federal court Monday his son was "brainwashed" by the FBI.  Osman Barre says he contacted the FBI in 2009 because he was concerned for his son's safety after learning the then-teenager planned to travel to Yemen  to learn Arabic.  Barre says he was concerned his son was being brainwashed by al-Qaida recruiters.  However Barre testified he now believes his son was brainwashed by the FBI's elaborate sting.


>> 1/29/13 Repairs, Updates To State Capitol Would Cost Hundreds Of Millions

The Capitol Master Plan Advisory Committee has recommended the state spend $250-million to make the 75-year old Oregon State Capitol be able to withstand earthquakes while updating electrical, plumbing and ventilation systems.  The State Capitol was damaged in a 1993 earthquake that forced the closure of the rotunda for more than two years.  If state lawmakers approve the plan the work would have to be funded by bond issues and would take three to four years to complete.


>> 1/28/13 Jeld-Wen Sells 22 AmeriTitle Buildings

Klamath Falls-based Jeld-Wen, Inc., has sold 22 AmeriTitle office buildings in Oregon, Washington and Idaho in a $25-million sale-leaseback.  The Portland Business Journal reports a Midwest private investment company, NLD Tittle, LLC, purchased the portfolio and AmeriTitle will continue to occupy the buildings under long-term leases. The Journal says the impact...if any...from the sale is unknown as to the future of Jeld-Wen in Oregon, the state where the company was founded.


>> 1/28/13 Klamath Falls Man Arrested On Explosives, Drug Charges

An 18 year old Klamath Falls man was arrested Friday for possession of a destructive device and failure to have an explosives permit.  Tyler Hurst Burke also faces charges of unlawful possession, manufacture and delivery of marijuana.  Bail was set at $68,000.


>> 1/28/13 Red Cross Helps Local Man Displaced By Fire

The Klamath Falls Chapter of the Red Cross helped a man whose mobile home was declared unlivable following a fire on Avalon Street last week.  The man was not injured but needed help with lodging, food and support services.  The fire was believed to be caused by an overloaded electrical circuit.


>> 1/25/13 Citizens Concerned, Angry Over Sex Offender In Neighborhood

About 40 people showed up at a meeting last night to voice concern and anger because a convicted sexual predator has been released from prison and is living in the same neighborhood where some of his victims live. 40 year old Johnny Ray Thomas was convicted in 2008 for unlawful contact with a minor and has been convicted in other counties for attempted rape, stalking and public indecency. Klamath County corrections officials notified residents who live between 2nd and 11th streets and California and Klamath Avenue about Thomas being released. The Herald and News reports the director of community corrections Kiki Parker-Rose told the crowd under state law Thomas must spend his first six months in the community where he committed his crimes. Parker-Rose explained Thomas will be required to wear a GPS monitor and he is required to stay away from schools and parks.


>> 1/25/13 Ella Redkey Pool Has Black Algae Problem

The Ella Redkey pool has a problem that may cause it to close. Black algae has developed in the pool and early estimates are it could take a half million dollars to solve the problem. Pool manager Valerie Franklin told the Herald and News black algae is considered the worst problem a pool can get outside of a crack from an earthquake. She says the black algae doesn't pose a health risk but in order to get rid of it you have to gut the system and start over. The black algae has continued to grow for the past decade despite work to eliminate the problem. Franklin says the have tried scrubbing the pool with metal brushes and tried to kill the algae with bleach and acid but those efforts failed as did the use of pneumatic tools to remove the black algae. Klamath falls city councilor Dan Tofell says his fear is that if the problem gets worse the pool may have to be abandoned and a new pool built to replace the existing pool.


>> 1/25/13 Three Moderate Quakes Off Oregon Coast

A small cluster of modest earthquakes has been recorded off the central Oregon coast with the largest a magnitude 3.4. A handful of people reported feeling the 3.4 quake that hit shortly before 8:00 last night. Geophysicist Randy Baldwin of the U.S. Geological Survey's National Earthquake Information Center in Golden, Colo., says small quakes in that area would not be expected to cause any damage on land. The quakes were centered about 30 miles west of Waldport.


>> 1/24/13 Former Public Safety Chair Still Waiting For Apology

The former chair of the Klamath County Public Safety Advisory Committee, Brian Smith, says he hasn't heard a word from county officials regarding the incident that led to his resignation before Christmas.  Smith told KFLS News in late December  he resigned after he learned a county employee called his bank and said Smith was a criminal and was going to be arrested.  Smith says the comments were totally false and inappropriate and he asked that he be given a public apology.  On Wednesday Smith told KFLS News he hasn't heard anything from anyone in county government about his complaint.  County Commissioner Tom Mallams says he is still trying to determine exactly what did or did not happen and said there "are other issues that go hand in hand with this."  Smith told KFLS News the situation makes him wonder "if it is worth running a business in this community." Smith operates the Microtel Inn and Suites and The Epicenter.


>> 1/24/13 Walden To Hold Town Hall Next Week At O-I-T  

Congressman Greg Walden is inviting the public to attend a Town Hall meeting on Thursday, January 31st at Oregon Institute of Technology.  The event will be held from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. in the Mount Mazama Room in the College Union Building.  Walden will outline his efforts to reduce the national debt, get local people back to work in federal forests and take care of  Americans serving in the military.  Walden will take questions at the Town Hall meeting.


>> 1/24/13 Teenager Cited For Killing Protected Red-Tailed Hawk

The Oregon State Police say they cited a 16 year old teenager last Sunday after a Klamath Falls property owner reported two teenaged boys had been involved in shooting a hawk and then tried to run away.  A wildlife trooper located the boys and cited a 16 year old for unlawful taking of a protected species...a Red-Tailed Hawk.


>> 1/245/13 Unemployment In Klamath County Inches Down In December

A regional state economist says there was little change in the Klamath county unemployment rate in December.  Damon Runnberg told KFLS News the county's unemployment rate was 11.2% n December compared to 11.3% in November. However Runnberg noted the December 2011 unemployment rate in Klamath county was 11.7% so the year-to-year change was one-half op0f one percent.  Runnberg said the strongest sector of the economy was manufacturing with the wood products industry posting employment gains of near 13% in the last year.


>> 1/21/13 Air Stagnation Advisory Until Tuesday Morning

The National Weather Service says an Air Stagnation Advisory for the Klamath Basin will continue until 10:00 a.m. Tuesday. The air is described as "unhealthy" for at-risk groups. Light winds are expected to increase later this week and should ease the pollution levels somewhat.


>> 1/21/13 MLK Birthday Holiday Today

Banks, post offices, schools and government offices are closed today in honor of the birthday of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.


>> 01/21/13 Klamath Falls Man Jailed On Conspiracy, Robbery Charges

Police arrested 24-year old Dusty L. Harmon of Klamath Falls late Friday morning and charged him with three counts of Conspiracy related to charges of Robbery 1.  Harmon is jailed with bail set at $300,000.


>> 01/21/13 Fiscal Cliff Talks Delay Oregon Tax Processing

The Oregon Department of Revenue says tax filing season will begin on January 30, 2013.  The original date was set at January 22nd by the federal Internal Revenue Service but was pushed back due to late tax law changes made by Congress to resolve the fiscal cliff crisis.  




>> 03/26/13