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>> 5/27/15 Commissioners & Sheriff Clash Over Proposed Budget Cuts

The Klamath County Sheriff says with a $382,000 deficit he will have to close two jail pods and/or reduce patrols significantly. Commissioner Tom Mallams says the cuts are excessive in view of the size of the deficit which is less than 3.2% of the overall sheriff's budget of about $10-million. Sheriff Skrah and his management team strongly objected to Mallams remarks noting the levy that was defeated was for the jail and not public safety. Mallams says constituents have told him the patrols should be cut and the jail left whole. Mallams also contends the citizens by their "No" vote on the levy were saying they are willing to accept a lower level of service from the Sheriff's Department. Skrah challenged the statement saying that if crisis calls for service are ignored because of a lack of staff "that's immoral." No final action was taken on Skrah's request for $382,000 from road funds. the two sides meet again Thursday morning.

 

>> 5/27/15 State Lawmakers Closing Voyeurism Photo Law Loophole

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — A proposal advancing in the Oregon Legislature would close a loophole in state law that allowed a man to go unpunished after taking photos up a teenager's skirt. Under the bill, surreptitiously taking pictures up women's dresses without their consent would be classified as a misdemeanor. The state Senate unanimously passed the measure Tuesday, three months after an Oregon judge ruled a 61-year-old man did nothing illegal when he snapped photos up a teen's skirt in a Target store. The judge found the act didn't violate the state's existing voyeurism laws because the girl was clothed and in a public place. Several other states — including Kentucky, Florida, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania — have passed measures outlawing so-called upskirt photos, while a similar bill in Wisconsin stalled in the Senate. The Oregon proposal heads back to the House for consensus.

 

>> 5/27/15 Nike Cooperating With FIFA Investigators

NEW YORK (AP) — Nike says it is cooperating with authorities in the U.S. probe into corruption of FIFA, the governing body of soccer worldwide. On Wednesday U.S. officials charged seven FIFA members with racketeering and corruption charges and announcing a sweeping investigation into corruption. Swiss officials also invaded FIFA headquarters, seizing records and computers to investigate whether the decisions to award World Cups to Russia and Qatar were rigged. Nike is not an official FIFA sponsor. But it pays to have the Brazilian and other countries' national teams wear its shirts and other gear. This is the first time it has acknowledged it has been contacted in the investigation. Nike did not address anything specific in the investigation. It said it is "strongly opposed to any form of manipulation or bribery."


>> 5/26/125 BOCC Holds First Hearing On Medial Marijuana Moratorium

The Klamath County Board of Commissioners held its first hearing today regarding a one year moratorium on Medical Marijuana Dispensaries. No one spoke in favor or against the moratorium at today's hearing. A second and final hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, June 9th at 9:15 a.m., in the commissioners hearing room. If the board approves the moratorium it will take effect immediately and continue through May 1, 2016.

 

>> 5/26/15 Gilchrist Man Killed On Highway 97

GILCHRIST, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon State Police are investigating a weekend accident near Gilchrist in which a pedestrian standing in the middle of Highway 97 was struck by two vehicles. Sgt. David MacKenzie says the accident before 5 a.m. Sunday left 60-year-old Miles Douglas Mattox of Gilchrist dead. A passenger in one vehicle, 56-year-old Robert Saunders, was taken to a local hospital, where he was treated for minor injuries and released. MacKenzie says the road was shrouded in heavy fog at the time of the accident. Highway 97 was closed for about three hours for the investigation.

 

>> 5/27/15 Judge Sides With Cylvia Hayes Over Release Of E-Mails

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — An Oregon judge has ruled that Cylvia Hayes, the state's former first lady, can use her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination to block the release of some of her personal emails. The Oregonian newspaper reported Sunday that Marion County Circuit Judge Tracy Prall issued the ruling last week in a case that concerns a public records request for an estimated 114,000 of Hayes' emails — 94,000 of which have already been released publicly. Hayes is the fiancee of former Gov. John Kitzhaber, who resigned earlier this year over allegations that the former first lady used her relationship with him to land contracts for her business. She went to court to block an order from the state attorney general's office demanding that she turn over the emails, dating to the start of Kitzhaber's administration in 2011. The Oregonian said it is only seeking her emails that relate to the conduct of government business.

 

>> 5/22/15 Suspicious Device Found At Library And Defused

The Oregon State Police Bomb Squad responded on Thursday to a report from the Klamath County Library of a suspicious device. The object, which police say turned out to be an incendiary device, was found about 10:00 a.m. The library was evacuated and section of Third Street and Klamath Avenue were blocked off. Police declared the device safe as of about 3:00 p.m. Police say the device was meant to start a fire. Anyone with information is asked to call Klamath Falls Police at 541-883-5336 or the anonymous Tip Line at 541-883-5334. The library reopened late Thursday afternoon.

 

>> 5/22/15 Victim In Fatal Head On Still Not Identified.

Oregon State Police have been unable to identify the victim of a head on collision  that occurred Wednesday night about 7:00 p.m.on Highway 140 near Running Y Resort. The victim was driving a black Chevy pickup eastbound when it went into the westbound lane and collided with a motor home. The mpickup was fully engulfed in flames when police arrived. OSP Information Officer Bill Fugate told KFLS News police are unsure if the victim was a man or woman. Fugate says the fire destroyed much of the vehicle registration information although the truck was registered locally. The occupants of the motor home suffered minor injuries.

 

>> 5/22/15 Five Forest Service Bridges Have Weight Limits

From the Fremont Winema National Forest

For public safety, the Fremont-Winema National Forest reduced the maximum load limit on five Forest Service bridges to five tons per vehicle. The reduction was necessary, because the 2014 Critical Findings Bridge Inspection Report found that until structural work can be completed, they are rated at safe weight load limit. "The safety of the Forest's visitors and employees are first and foremost," said Amanda Warner-Thorpe, Transportation Program Manager for the Fremont-Winema National Forest. "Until the Forest can meet the expense of major reconstruction costs, we are reducing the load limit to make these bridges safe to travel at this time."

Chiloquin Ranger District

·       The Lower Williamson Bridge, located on Forest Service Road 9730, is about seven miles northeast of Chiloquin, Oregon.

·       The Sycan River Bridge is located on Forest Service Road 4685, approximately 43 miles northeast of Chiloquin, Oregon.

Lakeview Ranger District

·       The South Fork Bridge, located on Forest Service Road 4015, is about 27 miles southeast of Lakeview, Oregon.

Paisley Ranger District

·       The Deadhorse Bridge is located on Forest Service Road 2800, approximately 25 miles southwest of Paisley, Oregon.

·        The Sycan River Bridge, located on Forest Service Road 3380, is about 20 miles west of Paisley, Oregon.

If Forest visitors require the use of the above bridges, and exceed the five ton load limit, they are encouraged to utilize their Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM) for alternate routes.

 

 

>> 5/21/15 Fatal Wreck On Highway 140 Near Running Y Resort

A fatal wreck occurred Wednesday night on Highway 140 near the Running Y Resort. Oregon State Police say a pickup and a motor home collided head on. The pickup was engulfed in flames when police first arrived. Two people were trapped for a time in the motor home but managed to get out. Names of the victim and those injured.

 

>> 5/21/15 Jail Levy Defeat May Result In Patrol & Jail Staff Cuts

Sheriff Frank Skrah is facing a $300,000 budget shortfall due to the defeat of the 5-uyear jail levy this week. Skrah says he may have to reduce jail staff and patrol staff to deal with the budget crunch. But Skrah also says, "We're going to do our job to protect the county. I don't care how much money is on the table. We're going to do o0ur job . We're going to do it welll. We're going to get it done."

 

>> 5/21/15 GMO Crop Ruling May Come Next Week

MEDFORD, Ore. (AP) — A federal judge who listened to two hours of arguments in a lawsuit that challenges a southern Oregon county's ban on genetically modified crops says he might rule as early as next week. The Medford Mail Tribune reports that U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark Clarke is being asked to decide whether Jackson County's ordinance can take effect June 6. County voters approved it overwhelmingly last May. The county agreed not to enforce the ban until a lawsuit filed by GMO alfalfa farmers is resolved. In Wednesday's arguments, a lawyer for the alfalfa farmers argued that the GMO ban is prohibited by Oregon's "right to farm" law. Tom Buchele represents supporters of the GMO ban. He said the judge seemed to understand that it is designed to protect local farmers from contamination from genetically modified crops.

 

>> 5/20/15 Jail Levy Clobbered; KBREC Gets Taxing District

Voters in Klamath county rejected a five year levy for the Klamath County Jail in the May election on Tuesday. There is concern that Sheriff Frank Skrah may have to send out layoff notices by the end of the month following defeat of the measure.  It is unknown how many layoff notices will be sent or if the county commissioners can find a way to fund the department.

 

18-100 Jail Operations Levy
          Vote for  1
           Yes  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .     6,307   41.52
           No.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .     8,883   58.48
                   Total .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .    15,190
              Over Votes .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .         1
             Under Votes .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .       247
 

Klamath county voters decided to create a Taxing District for KBREC, the Klamath Basin Research & Extension Center. The vote means KBREC will now have a long term, stable source of funding. In recent years KBREC's support from the Klamath county general fund has been reduced, leading supporters of KBREC to ask voters to create the taxing district.  
          18-101 Extension District Formation
          Vote for  1
           Yes  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .     8,223   54.62
           No.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .     6,832   45.38
                   Total .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .    15,055
              Over Votes .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .         0
             Under Votes .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .       383

>> 5/20/15 OR-7 And Mate Have More Pups

MEDFORD, Ore. (AP) — State biologists say Oregon's famous wandering wolf, OR-7, appears to be denned up for a second set of pups in the southern Cascades. The Medford Mail Tribune reported Wednesday that OR-7's satellite tracking collar has finally died, but Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife biologists are still getting a faint signal from the radio portion of the collar. They can track that with hand-held antennas, and the signal indicates OR-7's pack has stopped moving around. Biologist Mark Vargas says biologists won't disturb the wolves to check for pups until the denning season ends. OR-7 became famous as his GPS collar, put on in 2011, showed him trekking across Oregon and into Northern California in search of a mate, which he found. Their first pups arrived last year.

 

>> 5/20/15 Lawmakers In Salem Changing Contraception Prescription Requirements

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — A bill allowing women to access birth control without a doctor's prescription is once again moving through the Legislature after stalling in committee. Bend Republican Rep. Knute Buehler proposed a measure in April allowing pharmacists to prescribe and dispense contraception to women. But instead of moving the bill forward, lawmakers decided to convene a study group on the issue. Now, the bill has been brought back as an amendment to another measure. The House Rules Committee is scheduled to take up the proposal on Wednesday. If the bill passes, Oregon could become the second state, after California, that's approved legislation allowing women to get birth control without a prescription.

 

 

 

 

>> 5/19/15 Today Is Election Day, Ballots Due By 8:00 P.M.

Today is election day and your ballot must be turned in b y 8:00 p.m., or it won't count. Official drop boxes are located at the County Clerk's office....the back parking lot of the County Government Center and at the Klamath Basin Senior Center on Arthur Street. As of Monday, voter turnout was at 39%. Voters are being asked to support a 5-year levy for the county jail. The measure calls for a tax of $1.14 per $1000 assessed valuation. The voters also being asked to approve a $0.15 per $1000 assessed valuation to support the Klamath Basin Research & Extension Center (KBREC).

 

>> 5/19/15 Detour And Delays On Highway 58 Until About 2:00 P.M.

TRAVEL ADVISORY FROM ODOT: HEADING NORTH TO EUGENE FROM KLAMATH FALLS..........

ODOT: Valley, No. Coast: OR 58 (Willamette Hwy.) is now closed two miles west of Oakridge (MP 32), as crews begin the process of removing an overturned semi from the shoulder. The process could take between 3 to 5 hours. During the closure, all traffic will be detoured around the site using Westfir Road. Minor delays should be expected.

 

>> 5/19/15 Unemployment Hits 5.2% In Oregon

Oregon's unemployment rate declined to 5.2 percent in April from 5.4 percent in March, reaching Oregon's lowest rate since July 2007 when the rate was also 5.2 percent. The rate is now back to where it was during 2006 through early 2008 when Oregon's rate held steady between 5.0 and 5.5 percent. Oregon's payroll employment grew rapidly, adding 7,600 in April, following revised gains of 2,600 in February and 2,700 in March. April's gain was on track with the rapid growth seen during September 2014 through January 2015 when growth averaged 6,200 jobs per month. The recent, rapid job growth is consistent with Oregon's performance prior to the recession. Jobs expanded by 3.2 percent between April 2014 and April 2015, a similar pace as seen during mid 2004 through 2006 when Oregon's annual gains averaged 3.0 percent. In April, four major industries grew rapidly over the month and over the year, with each adding between 1,000 and 2,900 jobs in April, and each growing by close to 5 percent since April 2014. 
* Health care and social assistance (+11,200 over the year) was boosted by all four of its component industries, but its social assistance component grew at the fastest rate by adding 3,000. 
* Manufacturing (+9,800 jobs over the year) was led by semiconductor and electronic component manufacturing, transportation equipment manufacturing, and food manufacturing, which each added close to 1,500.
* Professional and business services (+9,700 over the year) was led by computer systems design, management of companies, and administrative and waste services, which each added about 1,600. 
* Leisure and hospitality (+9,100 over the year) was boosted by rising demand at restaurants, which led to food service and drinking places adding 6,900 jobs.

 

>> 5/15/15 B-B-Q Fundraiser Today At O-I-T Danny Miles Court

REMINDER!!!!!
The public is invited to attend a Bar-B-Q fund raising event today, Friday, May 15th from 5-to-7 p.m. at Danny Miles Court at O-I-T. Money raised at the Bar-B-Q will be used to help pay transportation costs for the Hustlin' Owls women's softball team who are headed to the NAIA Softball World Series In Sioux City, Iowa May 22nd to the 28th. The cost for adults is $15 and students (with ID) pay $10.

 

>> 5/15/15 OWRC Adopts Temporary Rules In Klamath County

The Oregon Water Resources Commission has adopted temporary emergency rules granting a preference for livestock water and human consumption uses for water rights holders that meet certain requirements. Specifically the rules allow holders of water rights for stock water and human consumption uses in Klamath County...that would otherwise be shutoff during a call by a senior water right holder to continue use of that water for those purposes. The Commission is authorized to grant a preference for these uses when the Governor declares a drought emergency. Governor Kate Brown declared a drought emergency in Klamath County on April 6, 2015. The preference request was made by the Upper Klamath Landowner Improvement District and Crater Lake National Park.

 

>> 5/15/15 Schools To Get More Money From State

State lawmakers in Salem say they will increase K-12  funding by $100 million following the latest revenue forecast. Klamath County School Superintendent Greg Thede says he expects an additional $1-million for the 2015-17 biennium. The budget committee for county schools begins working on the 2015-16 budget next Thursday, May 21st. Klamath Falls City School Superintendent Dr. Paul Hillyer says he expects about a half million in extra funding from the state. Hillyer thinks the extra money will need to be set aside to cover the district's 5.5% per employee increase for the Public Employee Retirement System (PERS) beginning in the 2017-19 biennium. Last month the Oregon Supreme Court6 struck down the legislature's 2013 vote to cut PERS benefits.

 

>> 5/15/15 Oregon Attorney General Warns Of Starbucks App Scam

From Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum
Do you use a Starbucks application ("app") to pay for your coffee, pastries, or daily newspaper? If you do, you may be allowing criminals to siphon money from your bank account. The Oregon Department of Justice has learned scammers are changing the account passwords of some Starbucks customers and repeatedly transferring balances to themselves using an auto reload function available on the app. The number of transfers and the amount of money scammers could take is theoretically unlimited, as long as the customer has the auto reload feature turned on. If you have the Starbucks app on your mobile device, Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum urges you to immediately turn off the auto reload function. "It is important to remember that allowing apps access to your personal and financial information opens you up to significant risks, like theft. If you do choose to use mobile pay services, I suggest using strong, unique passwords and making sure any auto-pay or reload functions are turned off. Protect these mobile pay accounts like you would your bank account," said Attorney General Rosenblum.
You should also remember to: 
• Not share your password with others. 
• Have a different password for each account.
• Write down your password and store it in a safe place away from your phone or computer.
• Change your passwords several times a year.
If you think you have lost money to this scam, contact the Oregon Department of Justice online at www.OregonConsumer.gov or call 1-877-877-9392.

 

>> 5/14/15 Klamath Project To Get 30% Less Water

The Klamath Basin Irrigation Project will receive 175,000 acre feet of water this year, down from the 254,500 acre feet allocated earlier this year. The Executive Director of the Klamath Water Users Association, Greg Addington, says losing 80,000 acre feet (or 30%) is "devastating" to planning and management. Addington says the water reduction will have a significant impact on the local economy and coupled with Upper Klamath Basin water shutoffs, the impact will be "staggering."

 

>> 5/14/15 Rebate Tax Credits Higher Than First Predicted

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — State economists are raising their estimates for the "kicker" rebates Oregon taxpayers are expected to get. The quarterly revenue forecast released Thursday projects more than $473 million will be refunded to taxpayers. That's $123 million more in rebates than was predicted in February. The exact amount of kickers won't be fixed until after the two-year budget cycle ends in July. Gov. Kate Brown said in a statement that strong economic growth means an additional $100 million for schools. Oregon's "kicker" law is triggered when tax collections exceed projections by at least 2 percent. What that occurs, the unanticipated revenue gets returned to taxpayers as income tax credits.

 

>> 5/14/15 Hustlin' Owls Headed To NIA Softball World Serries

KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. – No. 12 Oregon Tech battled back from a three-run deficit, Karlie LeVeque tripled in the go-ahead run and the Owls held on to edge No. 5 Saint Xavier, 5-4, in the Opening Round Championship of the Oregon Tech Bracket. Second-seed Oregon Tech (44-14) will advance to the 2015 NAIA Softball World Series presented by Security National Bank and Morningside College for the 10-team double-elimination championship played in Sioux City, Iowa from May 22-28. Saint Xavier, Ill. ends their season at 45-7-2.

The public is invited to attend a Bar-B-Q fund raising event tomorrow, Friday, May 15th from 5-to-7 p.m. at Danny Miles Court at O-I-T. Money raised at the Bar-B-Q will be used to help pay transportation costs for the Hustlin' Owls women's softball team who are headed to the NAIA Softball World Series In Sioux City, Iowa May 22nd to the 28th. The cost for adults is $15 and students (with ID) pay $10.

 

>> 5/14/15 Museum To Dedicate Research Library In Honor Of The Howes

From the Klamath County Museum
The Klamath County Museum on Friday, May 15, will dedicate its research library in memory of Carrol and Marjorie Howe, who devoted much of their lives to education and history in the community. The library dedication will also recognize financial support provided to the museum by a trust fund the Howes established before their deaths. A dedication ceremony is set for 4 p.m. Friday at the museum, 1451 Main St. The library, located on the museum’s second floor, will be open to the public from 4 to 5 p.m. Friday. “Carrol and Marjorie were dedicated public servants, and even though they’ve been gone for 15 years, we continue to benefit from their foresight,” said Bill Nicholson, chairman of the Klamath County Museum Advisory Board. “Carrol played an active role in the design of many of our museum exhibits, and his legacy is helping us maintain those exhibits.” The Howes’ son and daughter-in-law, George and Kim Howe of Gig Harbor, Wash., will attend the ceremony on Friday. Carrol Howe moved to Klamath Falls in the 1930s, working as a teacher and coach at Henley High School. He served as superintendent of schools for Klamath County from 1948 to 1960. He served as state representative from Klamath County from 1960 to 1972. He died in 1998. Marjorie Howe also worked as a teacher in Klamath County, and served as Carrol Howe’s legislative assistant. She died in 2000. Carrol Howe was active in several local organizations, including the Shaw Historical Library, the Lava Beds Natural History Association and the Oregon Archaeological Society. He researched and wrote several books, including “Sagebrush to Shakespeare,” “Frontier Stories of the Klamath Country,” and “Ancient Modocs of California and Oregon.” The Howes established a trust fund that makes annual distributions to the Klamath County Museum and to Southern Oregon University. “Distributions from the Howe Trust to the museum have totaled nearly $400,000 over the past decade,” said museum manager Todd Kepple. “That has certainly helped us fulfill the core mission of the museum, which is to preserve and interpret local history.” The Klamath County Museum’s research library contains hundreds of books on local and state history. It is open by appointment for anyone wishing to conduct research.
For more information contact the Klamath County Museum at (541) 882-1000.

 

>> 5/13/15 Consultants Challenge State On Well Shutoff

A hydro geology consulting firm hired by the city of Klamath Falls is disputing the shutoff last year by the Oregon Water Resources Department of the Fremont well and the reduction of the Wocus well. The report from Portland-based GeoSyntec challenges OWRD's claims that the wells were interfering with water levels in Upper Klamath Lake. The city hired GeoSyntec last year to analyze how the state came to the conclusions it reached on the wells. Consultants told the city council the state's method was flawed and assumed the only source of water from the wells was coming from nearby Upper Klamath Lake. GeoSyntec also said the state assumed the Fremont and Wocus wells are pumped at a certain rate other than the actual pumping rate. GeoSyntec consultants used the same model (or equations) the state used and their results show "almost no impact" between the wells and Upper Klamath Lake. A spokesman for Oregon Water Resources Department has not commented saying he needs to study the consultants report.

 

>> 5/13/15 Commissioners Put Trapper District On May 2016 Ballot

The Klamath County Board of Commissioners will put a measure to create a Trapper Taxing District on the May 20-16 ballot. The Klamath County Budget Committee had asked supporters of the county trapper to withdraw from funding by the county general fund a few years ago. The budget committee reduced funding for the trapper position since 2013 and since that time ASAP, Advocates For Sustainable Animal Populations, has been raising money via banquets and other activities to support the traspper. ASAP asked the board to put their measure on the ballot without the group needing to gather signatures on petition. The commissioners usually demand that groups gather signatures if they want to put measures before the public. However, ASAP has relatively few members and most are very busy farming or ranching. Commissioners noted the "unique situation" where the budget committee asked trapper supporters to withdraw from county general fund support. The commissioners decided that since ASAP had done the best they could the past two years, decided to put the issue before voters next year. If approved it would cost about $0.06 per thousand dollars assessed valuation. The city of Klamath Falls and the suburbs are not (not) inside the trapper district and neither is most of the north end of Klamath county.

 

>> 5/13/15 Drug Court Okayed To Seek Renewal Grant From State

The Klamath County District Attorney has received approval of county commissioners to apply for a renewal of a grant from the Oregon Criminal Justice Commission. Drug Court Administrator Steve Tillson told commissioners the grant request for the 2015-17 biennium will be $467,000. The money will fund the court as well as three full time employees...a Substance Abuse Counselor...a Case Manager and a Mental Health Professional.  Klamath County Drug Court contracts with Lutheran Family Services for treatment services.

 

 

>> 5/8/15 Police Taser & Arrest Man After High Speed Chase

A man was tasered and arrested following a high speed chase that began south of Collier Park and ended at the Lava Beds National Monument on Thursday afternoon. Police received a tip that a man identified as Cort Lea was allegedly going to kill someone. When police tried to stop Lea's truck he sped away. City, county and state police agencies pursued the vehicle south on Highway 97 and at one point put out spike strips near the Pilot Truck Center. Oregon State Police Sergeant Cliff Barden was laying out the strips when he had to dodge being hit by Lea';s truck. Barden was not injured. When Lea finally stooped the truck he got onto the roof of the vehicle and tried to engage police in a fight. Police used a taser and Lea was taken into custody. Inside the truck were two children and an adult woman. Sheriff Frank Skrah thinks Lea may have been under the influence.

 

>> 8/15 Letter Carrier Food drive Tomorrow (Saturday)

The Klamath Lake Counties Food Bank i is reminding everyone to please fill a bag with canned or microwavable non perishable food items and leave it by your mailbox by 9am tomorrow, Saturday, May 9th Food Bank Director Nikki Sampson says this is a critical food drive for them as they need to help make sure food boxes for parents with school kids who don't have access to school lunches have food over the summer. Last year the letter carriers food drive netted 32,000 pounds of food and Sampson is hoping they can reach that level again this year.

 

>> 5/8/15 Hunt On For California Man With His Two Daughters

SANTA ROSA, Calif. (AP) — Police are looking for a Rohnert Park man who they say might have taken off with his two daughters in apparent violation of a court order. The Press Democrat reports  that authorities say 45-year-old Everett Dean Reep picked up his daughters from an after-school program on Tuesday after a Mendocino County judge gave him temporary custody. The judge rescinded the custody order Wednesday after Reep had already vanished with the girls. Reep is an unemployed electrician with a criminal history. The girls' mother has a restraining order against him. Rohnert Park Police Sgt. Jeff Justice says Reep was pulled over in Oregon Wednesday evening, but the trooper let him continue after he said he was on his way to Washington state to visit his father.

 

>> 5/7/15 PacifiCorp To Buy Solar Power From Bly Facility

From PacifiCorp

PacifiCorp will buy the electricity produced by what will be the state's largest solar facility being built on the site of a long-closed lumber mill in this picturesque town 50 miles east of Klamath Falls. "By the end of 2015, our customers will be using the power being produced here," said Stefan Bird, CEO and president of Pacific Power. "Between now and then, communities in Klamath County will benefit from the jobs that come from this kind of long term investment in renewable projects." Obsidian Renewables of Lake Oswego will start construction on the project over the summer. Peak construction employment is expected to be 40 with plans to use local contractors and subcontractors as well as International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers members for electrical work. The Old Mill Project is on the site of a former Weyerhaeuser sawmill that dominated the town before closing and being dismantled in 1984. In 2012, Obsidian also built PacifiCorp's Black Cap solar project in Lakeview, Oregon. "We are proud to be working again with PacifiCorp to deliver a modern and efficient solar project to its customers," said David Brown, senior principal of Obsidian. "Solar development costs continue to decline and we are confident Oregon will see more solar projects in the near future." "The community of Bly is excited to have this project ready to begin construction," said Leda Hunter of the Bly Community Action Team. "The Old Mill site is right in town and has been an eyesore for years. Having something productive there again will be great for Bly and the construction crews in town will be a boon to our lagging economy. A trail that occupies the old right of way for the timber railroad ends at the site and the facility will be a unique place to conclude a hike through the high timber country." The Old Mill facility will take up 40 acres and feature more than 20,000 solar panels, supplying enough power annually to meet the needs of approximately 1,000 average residential customers. The power purchase agreement is for 25 years. This project, and the Black Cap Solar project located about 50 miles east of Bly in Lakeview, will make a combined 7 megawatts of solar capacity available to customers. Both Old Mill and Black Cap projects came about through request for proposals where PacifiCorp sought projects to help it meet Oregon's Solar Capacity Standards law. The company is continuing its process to meet the final 1.7 megawatt portion of an 8.7 megawatt solar requirement by the deadline of 2020.

 

>> 5/7/15 County To Ask State To De-List Gray Wolf

Klamath county commissioners are going to ask the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission to remove the gray wolf from the state Endangered Species Act. Commissioner Tom Mallams says if de-listed there would be more options available to protect livestock and game animals. Mallams will carry the request to Salem on Monday and present it to state lawmakers.

 

>> 5/7/15 ASAP Asks Commissioners To Put Ballot Measure Out

group that supports the county trapper, Advocates for Sustainable Animal Populations (ASAP) asked Klamath commissioners to place a taxing district on the May 2016 ballot. If the measure is on the ballot next year and voters approve the measure it would cost $0.06 cents per thousand dollars assessed valuation. Money raised would pay for the county trapper. Commissioner Tom Mallams prefers that groups go out and gather signatures but members of ASAP say the farmers and ranchers who support the trapper taxing district are too busy to gather signatures. The taxing district does not (not) include the city of Klamath Falls, the suburbs or most of the north end of Klamath county.

 

 

>> 5/6/15 BREAKING NEWS..Air Service To Return To Klamath Falls

KFLS News has learned that Alaska-based Peninsula Air (known as Pen Air) will announce this week that it will launch air service in Klamath Falls in September. Pen Air has already announced it will launch air service between Crescent City, California and Portland in September. KFLS News made calls to Klamath Falls city officials and Pen Air's Vice President of Sales & Marketing seeking comment were not returned. The city has been looking for an airline to serve Klamath Falls since Sky West ended air service last June. More details as they become available.

 

>>5/5/15 Today Is The 70th Anniversary Of Bly Balloon Bombing

Today is the 70th anniversary of the deaths of five children and the pregnant wife of a minister who were all killed by a Japanese balloon bomb. Minister Archie Mitchell and his 26 year old wife Elsie, took five children from their Sunday school on a picnic near Leonard Creek northeast of Bly on May 5th, 1945. One of the children yelled that he had seen what looked like a balloon. Minister Mitchell was getting lunch out of the car and before he could yell to the child not to touch the balloon, it exploded. In addition to Mitchell's pregnant wife, 13 year old Jay Gifford, 13 year old Edward Engen, 14 year old Dick Patze, 13 year old Joan Patzke and 11 year old Sherman Shoemaker were also killed by the bomb. The site of the tragedy is now known as the Mitchell Monument and honors the only Americans to die in the United States as a result of enemy action during World War 2.

 

>> 5/5/15 Local Resident Almost Scammed Out Of $60,000

A Klamath Falls resident who asked not to be identified, told KFLS News she was almost scammed out of $60,000. The woman received a phone call telling her that her grandson was in a jail in a foreign country and needed money for a lawyer. Luckily the woman didn't fall for the scam. However she says she wrote to the FBI and the Federal Trade Commission to advise them as to what happened.

 

>> 5/5/15 Gun Background Check Bill On The Way To Governor Brown

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon Democrats have muscled through legislation expanding background checks to cover nearly every private firearm sale in the state. House lawmakers passed a bill Monday making it illegal to transfer a gun to someone who isn't a close relative. Private sales would have to take place in front of a licensed gun dealer who can run a background check. The bill would make Oregon the eighth state with universal background checks. It goes to Democratic Gov. Kate Brown, who has indicated support. Advocates say no other states have passed such legislation this year. Republicans have opposed the measure since it was introduced and hundreds of opponents flooded legislators with emails and calls urging them to vote against it. But last year's election helped Democrats increase their majorities in both chambers, paving the way for the bill's passage.

 

>> 5/4/15 Avista Seeks Rate Hike

Avista Utilities has filed a rate increase request with the Oregon Public Utility Commission. Avista wants an 8% rate hike which would generate $8.6 million. If approved by the PUC, the average monthly natural gas bill would increase $5.68 per month.

 

>> 5/4/15 City Council Meeting Tonight

The Klamath Falls City Council meets tonight at 7:00 p.m. and will receive a briefing from the Klamath Water Users Association. Also on tonight's agenda is final action on assessing fees for the Downtown Maintenance Economic Improvement District.

 
>> >> 5/4/15 Well Fargo Offers Free Business Plan Development Online

n In an effort to provide business owners with a simple, convenient way to create or revise business plans, Wells Fargo has launched the Business Plan Center, a free, online resource now available atWellsFargoWorks.com. The site features the Business Plan Tool, a step-by-step guide to developing a business plan. It also offers a Competitive Intelligence Tool, which provides business owners with key insight on competitors and the market for their bbusinesses that can be used as part of the planning process. Other interactive learning resources at the new center i ninclude videos, articles and infographics covering essential elements of a business plan. " Every business - big or small - needs a plan. We know from research and our direct experience working with business oo wners that a formal, written business plan is the foundation for long-term financial success," said Lisa   SStevens, Wells Fargo's national head of Small Business. 

 

 

>> 4/24/15 Tribes Call Water

The Klamath Tribes have made a call for water. This could lead to water shutoffs next week, according to Water Master Scott White. Tribal Chairman Don gentry says the calls were made to elevate water levels to instream flows agreed upon by stakeholders in last year's Upper Basin Comprehensive Agreement. The calls were made on Crooked, Deep, Irving, Jackson, Larkin, Sand and Scott Creeks. Calls were also made on the Upper and Lower Sprague River, the Sycan River and Wood River. If irrigators are shutoff from water they will receive notice by mail.

>> 4/24/15 Judge Suggests Big Fine For Bakery

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — An administrative law judge proposes that the owners of an Oregon bakery pay $135,000 to a lesbian couple refused service more than two years ago. The judge, Alan McCullough, ruled in January that Sweet Cakes by Melissa discriminated against Laurel and Rachel Bowman-Cryer by refusing to bake them a wedding cake. The bakers cited their religious beliefs. The case is one that has been cited in the national debate over religious freedom and discrimination against gays. Friday's proposed order dealt with the award for emotional suffering. The sides will review the proposal and have the chance to file exceptions before Oregon Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian issues a final order. Bakery owners Aaron and Melissa Klein closed their Gresham store in 2013 and operate the business from home.

 

>> 4/24/15 Armed Protestors Cause Shutdown Of Medford BLM Office

MEDFORD, Ore. (AP) — A call for help from a rural gold miner led more than 100 protesters, many of them armed, to gather outside Medford's Bureau of Land Management office. The Medford Mail Tribune reports (http://bit.ly/1HA7lwh ) that BLM closed the office Thursday, citing safety concerns. Many supporters of the Sugar Pine Mine openly displayed firearms. Protesters say BLM officials can't legally require the mine's owners to file a plan of operations for previously unknown mining activity. Authorities told the miners to file or remove their equipment. An owner originally asked for help defending his land from U.S. authorities but asked his armed supporters to back off last week. BLM spokesman Tom Gorey said the miners "have a particular interpretation of the constitution that has not been recognized by U.S. Courts."

 

>> 4/23/15 Fire Destroys Building At Superior Fence

Klamath County Fire District No. 1, along with Kingsley Field Fire Department, Keno RFPD, and Oregon State Police, responded to a reported structure fire this afternoon at Superior Fence, located 6930 Airway Drive. The fire was dispatched at 1:26pm. Upon arrival, crews reported the structure to be 80% engulfed in fire. In all, five fire engines, two water tenders, the Kingsley Field crash truck, a Battalion Chief, the Fire Marshal, and two Chief Officers responded to the scene. In addition, PPL and Avista also responded to the scene. As of 4:45pm, fire crews have the situation under control and will be on scene for a couple of more hours working on hot spots. The 4,480 sq ft building is used for a powder coating operation. It is believed that the fire started in the powder coating booth located in the back end of the shop. The building has been fully destroyed, and early estimates are $500,000 in loss. The cause of the fire is currently under investigation. There were no civilian or firefighter injuries associated with this incident.

 

>> 4/23/15 Small Grocers, Farmers Markets May Stop Allowing SNAP Cards

BEND, Ore. (AP) — Some small Oregon grocers may stop accepting payment in the form of government benefits for low-income people. The Bend Bulletin reports that a provision in the 2014 Farm Bill is making it difficult for some small grocery stores to afford accepting customers using the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps. The state used to pick up the cost of processing charges to SNAP, but last year's bill requires retailers to either purchase the state's machines or pay a monthly rental fee of $25 to use them. Larger stores use one machine to process credit cards and food benefits, but that is harder for smaller shops to afford. More than 30 natural foods stores, produce stands, farmers markets and meat shops in Central Oregon currently accept SNAP.

 

>> 4/23/15 House Committee Holds Marathon Session On Gun Background Checks

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon House legislators have conducted a rare marathon public hearing on a bill expanding background checks to encompass nearly all private gun transfers. The House Committee on Rules heard several hours of testimony Wednesday on a bill requiring all gun sales between people who aren't close relatives to take place in front of a licensed gun dealer. The dealer would, for a fee, have to conduct a background check before a gun transfer could be completed. Opponents argued the measures would do little to protect Oregonians, saying the background check system is fraught with errors. They say the only people affected by the legislation would be law-abiding citizens. Bill supporters say it's needed to stop people from buying firearms online without a background check.

 

>> 4/20/15 Supreme Court Won't Hear Oregon Gay Marriage Ruling Appeal

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to hear an attempt to reverse a federal judge's decision that allowed gays and lesbians to begin marrying in Oregon. Judge Michael McShane's ruling came down last May. In June, the high court refused to block it. On Monday, The Oregonian reports, the court included the Oregon case on a long list of petitions it refused to hear. The National Organization for Marriage has been battling against state actions to allow same-sex marriage. Thirty-six states and the District of Columbia now allow gay marriage. The court is hearing arguments April 28 on gay marriage cases from four states: Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee.

>> 4/20/15 County Commissioners Holding Medical Marijuana Town Hall Tuesday

Klamath County Commissioners will hold a Town Hall-style meeting on the issue of medical marijuana tomorrow. The meeting will be in Room 219 of the Government Center (305 Main Street) and starts at 6:00 p.m. Commissioner Jim Bellet says "We are nearing the time when we need to set policy on this issue and we'd like as much public input as possible before crafting it." Speakers at tomorrow's Town Hall meeting will each have three minutes.

>> 4/20/15 KCC To Offer RN Program Beginning In June

On April 16th, the Oregon State Board of Nursing approved the Associates of Applied Science Nursing degree and program at Klamath Community College.  The KCC Associate of Applied Science degree in Nursing (AAS-N) will provide students with the academic and clinical preparation necessary to take the national licensure examination leading to practice as a registered nurse. The KCC’s AAS-N program priority is that graduates will serve our local medical community by providing highly skilled Registered Nurses (RN) at a time when RN nurses are in short supply and in high demand.  The need for increased RN recruitment is everywhere, but especially so in rural areas. Because demand is so high, Klamath and Lake County rural hospitals have a difficult time attracting and retaining qualified nursing personnel.  They frequently rely on traveling nurses to fill positions. So the KCC AAS-N provides the opportunity to grow our own RNs from our local kids. For our local students the AAS-N offers the opportunity to become an RN within two years.  In the AAS-N students receive many hours of clinical study and hands on practice time.  Since KCC already offers a highly successful LPN program, we have the updated, modern SIM labs where all students can practice patient care until they reach proficiency.  This approach to teaching has proved successful in the LPN program where 3 out 4 of the last classes of graduates had 100% pass rates.  Students in the AAS-N program will also develop skills particular to the needs of rural communities. The benefits to students and the community is this program puts highly skilled RN’s into rural hospitals and clinics after two years.  Another distinct benefit is that with the high demand for rural RNs there is also a high wage that comes with these jobs for local kids. As Dr. Gutierrez emphasized, “This program would not have happened without a strong partnership with the Lake Health District and the hard work of its CEO Charlie Tveit.  These kinds of partnerships between KCC and businesses helps us to afford these programs that provide access for local students so we can fill rural nursing positions.”   Charlie Tveit, CEO of Lake Health District, expressed that the Health District has experienced very positive retention of homegrown nurses. “We have found that these types of programs being available for our region are a good investment, providing opportunities for employing and retaining quality staff for the hospital, long-term care unit, home health and hospice,” he said.  Overall, The KCC RN program will increase KCC’s ability to enhance the growth and development of individuals, businesses, and our greater community. This program also addresses KCC’s strategic plan goal to increase the number of academic disciplines in (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics/ STEM) by 25%.  KCC is continuing to develop local STEM opportunities which will result in students securing high demand and high wage jobs by offering a new AAS Computer Engineering Technology and AAS Digital Media and Design degrees which will start next fall. KCC will be accepting applications to the AAS-N program ASAP.  Please call our Nursing Director:  Lori James 541-880-2223 or visit our website www.klamathcc.edu for more information.  The KCC RN program begins this summer on June 22nd.

 

>> 4/16/15  Air Quality Advisory GREEN Until Noon Friday

 

>> 4/16/15 Klamath - Lake Counties Receive Stove Replacement Money

From Governor Brown
(Salem, OR) — Governor Kate Brown announced today a $1.5 million plan to replace wood stoves and fireplaces in an effort to encourage economic development and improve air quality in Lake and Klamath counties. The Regional Solutions program will be used to fund the installation of certified and non-wood burning devices, such as ductless heat pumps, and home weatherization. "This program demonstrates that, by working together, we can achieve both economic a
nd environmental goals," said Governor Brown. "We are ensuring working families can continue to heat their homes while creating less air pollution and ultimately allowing greater business expansion in the region. Collaborative solutions such as this are key to a healthy future for the entire state."  Open fireplaces and residential uncertified wood stoves significantly contribute to air pollution. Their use is one reason why the communities of Lakeview and Klamath Falls currently exceed the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for fine particulates. This makes it difficult for local businesses to get permits from the Department of Environmental Quality and creates a barrier to economic development. The funds will also assist with preservation of existing housing stock in both Lake and Klamath counties within designated air quality limited regions. The program will begin in May 2015. Funds will be available until they are depleted. “This is vital to the health and economic well-being of Oregonians in Klamath and Lake counties," said Jane O'Keefe, of South Central Regional Solutions. "Without an intense effort to reduce airborne particulate matter in these counties, local businesses will be unable to expand and new businesses will face high hurdles to locate and recruit in the area.” The program is a joint partnership of the South Central Regional Solutions program and the South Central Economic Development District. Partners include the Oregon Department of Energy, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, the Town of Lakeview, Lake County Board of Commissioners, Lake County Public Health, City of Klamath Falls, Klamath County Board of Commissioners, Klamath County Public Health, the Energy Trust of Oregon, and Avista.
Visit the South Central Economic Development District for more information.

 

>> 4/16/15 Oregon House Votes To Extend Statute Of Limitations In Some Cases

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon House has voted to give prosecutors more time to bring criminal charges in some sex crimes cases. The House unanimously backed an extension of the statute of limitations from six to 12 years for the most extreme cases of rape and sexual abuse. The House move Wednesday sends the measure to the Senate. Researchers say sex crimes are under reported, and it sometimes takes victims many years before they feel comfortable going to police. Democratic Rep. Jennifer Williamson says rape victims shouldn't be denied justice simply because they waited too long to report the crime. The statute of limitations is designed to ensure prosecutors and defendants have a chance to collect evidence before witnesses forget or documents are lost.

 

>> 4/16/15 Feds Want Long Sentence For Metheny

MEDFORD, Ore. (AP) — Prosecutors have asked a federal judge to sentence the vice president of a defunct Oregon helicopter company to more than 15 years in prison for his role in a crash that killed nine people in 2008. Prosecutors say that when the U.S. Forest Service solicited bids for helicopters to be used in firefighting operations, Steven Metheny submitted proposals with altered performance charts and falsified weight and balance records. The crash near Weaverville, California, killed the pilot, a Forest Service safety inspector and seven firefighters. Assistant U.S. Attorney Byron Chatfield says in a sentencing memorandum that Metheny was motivated by "pure greed." The Mail Tribune reports that Metheny's attorneys have yet to respond to the memorandum, but said last fall that Metheny's plea to filing a false statement and conspiracy to defraud the Forest Service does not constitute an admission that his crimes contributed to the crash. Sentencing is set for June 15.

 

>> 4/10/15 OIT Tuition Hike Up To Board Of Higher Education

KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon Tech Board of Trustrees supports a 5 percent tuition increase. If the proposal is approved by the Oregon State Board of Higher Education, the base tuition rate would increase from $155 per credit to $162.75 per credit. The tuition rate for higher cost degrees, such as engineering and technology, would be $187.16 per credit. Oregon Tech President Chris Maples said he understands the financial burden, but says the tuition increase would likely help buy needed equipment for the university, including in the computer science department. On a separate matter, Maples said Oregon Tech is not planning to lay off staff or faculty despite a projected $2 million budget shortfall.

 

>> 4/10/15 Reynolds Leaving Lava Beds For Death Valley National Park

SAN FRANCISCO – Mike Reynolds has been named as the new superintendent of Death Valley National Park, located in eastern California and western Nevada. He replaces Kathy Billings who recently retired. Reynolds will begin his new assignment on May 31, 2015, managing a staff of 125 full-time employees and an annual budget of approximately $9 million. “Mike is an experienced leader with the National Park Service, and we know his skills, experience, and passion for Death Valley m...ake him a great fit for Death Valley National Park,” said Pacific West Regional Director Chris Lehnertz. “I am delighted to keep him in our region and know that park staff, partners, and community members will enjoy working with him.” Reynolds most recently served as superintendent of Lava Beds National Monument and the Tule Lake Unit of World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument, both located in northeastern California. He has worked with both the local and Japanese American communities to develop the future of the new Tule Lake Unit. A general management plan is nearing its final stages. Reynolds will indirectly continue his affiliation with the story of Japanese American incarceration through Death Valley’s close connection to Manzanar National Historic Site. “I am excited by the chance to further the NPS mission at Death Valley and humbled by the opportunity to serve the visitors, resources, and staff at the park,” said Mike Reynolds. “Death Valley is a world class resource and I look forward to the opportunity to live and work there again.” Reynolds has worked for the National Park Service for more than 18 years and has served at Big Bend, Great Smoky Mountains, Death Valley, and Yellowstone National Parks. He also spent three and a half years as superintendent at the National Park of American Samoa. Reynolds has a BS in Math and Business Operations from Indiana University and an MS in Outdoor Recreation from Arizona State University. Reynolds will relocate to Death Valley along with his partner, Sarah Bone, and his Samoan cat named Tele. As avid outdoor enthusiasts, they look forward to running, hiking, and backpacking throughout the beautiful and wild park.
The largest national park in the lower 48 states, Death Valley National Park encompasses 3.4 million acres. Death Valley National Park contains a below-sea-level basin, steady drought, and record summer heat making it a land of extremes. Yet, each extreme has a striking contrast. Towering peaks are frosted with winter snow. Rare rainstorms bring vast fields of wildflowers. Lush oases harbor tiny fish and refuge for wildlife and humans. Despite its name, a great diversity of life survives in Death Valley. For more information about Death Valley and to plan your trip to the park, see www.nps.gov/deva or see www.facebook.com/DeathValleyNP for current updates.

 

>> 4/10/15 Attempted Escape From Juvenile Detention Leads To Lockdown

The Klamath County Juvenile Detention Center went into lockdown about midnight after a male teenage inmate tried to escape. Juvenile Department Director Dan Golden says the boy called for help on an intercom and when a staff member arrived the boy attacked and grabbed the staff member's key ring and ran away. Security measures were implemented preventing the boy from escaping from the building. Police arrived and located the inmate who was returned to his cell.

 

 

>> 4/9/15 Release Of 94,000 Kitzhaber - Hayes Emails

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The 94,000 emails between former first lady Cylvia Hayes and staff in the governor's office show Hayes regularly inserted herself in policy discussions with the blessing of her fiancee, then-Gov. John Kitzhaber. The emails also show that few staffers pushed back, and Hayes regularly adopted a supervisory tone when addressing employees in the governor's office. Those are among the findings of The Oregonian's review of many of the emails, which were releas...ed last week by Gov. Kate Brown, who succeeded Kitzhaber after his decision to step down in February. The Portland newspaper says more than 20 reporters and editors pitched in to review the massive trove of documents. Federal authorities are investigating conflict-of-interest allegations surrounding Hayes' consulting business. She and Kitzhaber have denied wrongdoing.

 

>> 4/9/15 Not Much Progress For Improving VA Appointments

GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — Wait times for Oregon veterans seeking medical care have been slow to improve as the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs struggles to hire new doctors and nurses. VA spokesman Daniel E. Herrigstad says frustrations competing with the private sector to fill 174 new positions in the Portland area have been compounded by Portland being one of the fastest-growing VA medical service areas in the nation. The Associated Press examined waiting times for appointments at 15 VA medical facilities in Oregon as part of a nationwide look at how the agency is doing since a scandal over delays and attempts to cover them up. Government data from September 2014 through February 2015 shows wait times at four medical facilities in the Portland area have not improved, and some have gotten worse.

>> 4/9/15 Search Underway For "Military Mistress"

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon authorities are searching for the woman they've dubbed the "Military Mistress," saying she and her husband have been writing fraudulent checks in three states. Bobbi Ann Finley of Dallas, Oregon, got her nickname in 2010, when national news outlets spotlighted allegations she went from one military base to the next, marrying service members to gain access to their bank accounts. In all, she married 14 U.S. service members. ABC News reports that she went to prison after pleading guilty to theft by deception. Marion County deputies said in a news release this week that the 39-year-old Finley and her new husband, 27-year-old Zackerie House, have written bad checks in Oregon, Colorado and Oklahoma. Investigators say they appear to be buying items to be used for camping in remote areas.

 

>> 4/8/15 Another Year Of Reduced Water For The Klamath Project

KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. (AP) — Farmers on a federal irrigation project straddling the Oregon-California border are slated to get 65 percent of full deliveries this growing season, due to the lack of mountain snowpack that feeds reservoirs. The allocation announced Tuesday by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation is a little more than last year, but represents the fourth straight year of drought for parts of the West. Greg Addington of the Klamath Water Users Association says the cutbacks will hurt some farmers. The allocation means no water at all for local wildlife refuges. Dry years have spelled tough times for Klamath farmers since 2001, when the Endangered Species Act forced major irrigation cutbacks to leave water for protected sucker fish and salmon. The Oregon Water Resources Department says this is the 15th year of drought in the Klamath Basin over the last 23 years.

 

>> 4/8/15 Feds To Consider Changes To Owl Listing

GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — Federal biologists have agreed to consider changing protections for the northern spotted owl from threatened to endangered. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced Wednesday there is enough new scientific information in a conservation group's petition to warrant a hard look, which will take about two years. After the northern spotted owl was listed as a threatened species in 1990, it became a symbol for Endangered Species Act protections that harm local economies. Logging cutbacks to protect owl habitat put many Northwest timber towns into an economic tailspin. Paul Henson, Fish and Wildlife supervisor for Oregon, says a lot has changed since the original listing. Back in 1990, the biggest threat to the owl was logging. Now it is the barred owl, an aggressive cousin that invaded spotted owl territory.

 

>> 4/8/15 Right To Try Bill Clears Oregon House

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The House has voted to make Oregon the latest state to give dying patients a right to try experimental medical treatments that haven't been approved by government regulators. The House unanimously backed the bill on Tuesday, sending it to the Senate. The "right to try" bill would allow patients to ask drug makers for access to experimental treatments that have completed the first phase of clinical trials and haven't been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Insurance companies would not be required to cover the drug or complications that arise from using it. Right to try bills are advocated by the Goldwater Institute, a Phoenix-based libertarian think tank. Five states adopted the Legislation last year, and it's under consideration in many others.

 

 

>> 4/7/15 Governor Declares Drought Emergency In Klamath County

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon Gov. Kate Brown has declared drought emergencies in three more counties — Crook, Harney, and Klamath — due to low water levels and record low snowpack. Brown declared a drought emergency in Malheur and Lake counties last month. She added the latest three on Monday. The counties asked the state to take action, and the Oregon Drought Council considered the requests in light of water conditions, future climatic forecasts and agricultural impacts. The drought continues to have significant impacts on agriculture, livestock and natural resources in each of the counties. In the governor's words, "Oregon's unusually warm and dry winter has potentially dire consequences." The declaration allows increased flexibility in how water is managed to ensure that limited supplies are used as efficiently as possible.

 

>> 4/7/15 K-12 Funding Bill Clears Legislature

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — A two-year budget for Oregon schools is on its way to Gov. Kate Brown. Democrats in the state Senate approved the $7.3 billion budget in a party-line vote Monday. After complaining for weeks that the Democratic budget was inadequate, Republicans offered suggestions to increase it by $200 million. They want to sell off state forestland, freeze state employee pay and eliminate a program that pays counties that offer tax incentives to businesses. Democrats say the proposal is unworkable. The Democratic budget is a 9 percent increase over the current two-year budget. Democrats say it's not an ideal budget but it's the best they can do right now.

 

>> 4/7/15 Old Cabin May Predate Lewis & Clark Expedition

MOLALLA, Ore. (AP) — Two researchers believe a log cabin in Clackamas County may have been built a decade before the Lewis and Clark expedition. They say it might have been put up by Russians sent by Catherine the Great to grow wheat and gather pelts to help support the Alaskan fur trade. The Oregonian reports that the cabin is being restored by Gregg Olson of Historic Building Repair, who has saved several of Oregon's oldest log buildings. He's using antique hand tools to recreate fragile pieces. Olson and architectural historian Pam Hayden have written a 200-page paper about their research. Restore Oregon, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Clackamas County Cultural Coalition and Molalla Area Historical Society have supported the restoration efforts. Kinsman Foundation grants funded much of the work.

 

>> 4/6/15 Henley Teacher Charged In Alleged Bullying Incident

A Henley High School Physical Education teacher is on paid administratve leave after being charged with one count of harassment and two counts of criminal misconduct in connection with an alleged bullying incident during a class. 57 year old Peter Paul Lucas was booked into nthe county jail and posted bail last Wednesday. Court documents show during a class a male student was unable to finish running laps and Lucas allegedly encouraged other students to pile on top of the... student. While the student was pinned Lucas allegedly put his shgow near the victim's face asking him if he could smell the dog waste on his shoe. Lucas told police he lifted his shoe for one second and did not place it near the students head. Lucas claims he and the students were joking around and did not realize the victim was upset until ran away ands into the Henley High office. Lucas will appear in court Wednesday April 15th at 1:30p.m. County School Superintendent Greg Thede says they are taking the situation very seriously.

 

>> 4/6/15 Two Arrested For Cockfighting

Two Klamath Falls men were arrested Saturday after Klamath Falls Police and Klamath County Animal Control served a search warrant in the 5700 block of Summers Lane. Police had received information the home was being used for illegal animal fighting. 41 year old Fernando Morales Senior and 19 year old Fernando Morales Junior were each charged with 28 counts of participating in cockfighting and involvement in animal fighting. Police seized 28 roosters, cockfighting supplies including fighting gaffs, boxing gloves, medications, steroids, vitamins and cockfighting literature. The men are jailed with bail for each set at $145,000

 

>> 4/6/15 Oregon Senate Committee Okays Background Check Bill

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — An Oregon Senate committee has approved a bill requiring background checks on most private gun sales. The Senate Judiciary committee also approved an amendment Monday. It allows sellers who live more than 40 miles from the buyer to ship the gun to a local dealer. The purchaser would have to visit the dealer for the background check before picking up the firearm. Opponents of the measure say background checks can be unreliable and inaccurate. They say the bill infringes on their 2nd Amendment rights. The two Republican lawmakers on the committee opposed the measure. Supporters say it makes it harder for those who shouldn't have a gun to get their hands on one. The proposal now heads to the Senate floor.

 

>> 4/3/15 Spring 2015 Open Burn Window Begins Tomorrow

SPRING 2015 OPEN BURN WINDOW
As allowed by the Klamath County Air Quality Ordinance, the 2015 Spring Open Burn Window within the Klamath County Air Quality Zone will start on Saturday, April 4, 2015 at 8:00 a.m. and will end Sunday, April 19, 2015 at 7:00 pm.

Public Health requirements for clean air are:
1. The Air Quality Advisory must be “GREEN”. Find out the daily advisory by calling 541-882-BURN (2876)....
2. Only residential yard waste, such as tree limbs, brush, and leaves may be burned.
3. All burning must occur between 8:00 am and 5:00 pm and be fully extinguished by 5:00 pm.
4. No trash, plastic, rubber, tar, petroleum products, treated or painted wood may be burned.
5. The use of Burn Barrels is prohibited.
6. The burning of commercial, construction, demolition or industrial waste is not included in this burn window. Burning for these purposes requires a special permit from the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality; contact Bonnie Hough at the DEQ office in Bend at (541) 633-2016.
7. Agricultural burning inside the Air Quality Zone is prohibited without a certificate of variance.

Fire District requirements for public safety are:
1. The wind must be between 4 to 10 mph. For wind speed call 883-8127.
2. There must be a pressurized water hose at the fire site at all times.
3. A responsible adult must be present at the fire from the first flame until the fire is extinguished.
4. The burn pile shall be no larger than 6 feet in diameter and 4 feet high.
5. There must be a six-foot clear area surrounding the base of the pile and the pile must be at least 20 feet from combustible fences and buildings.
6. The person conducting any burning is responsible for damage and the cost of an out of control burn as well as traffic problems and other hazards caused by the smoke.
The Open Burn Window may be cancelled at any time due to Air Quality or Fire Hazard conditions. Check with your local Fire District or the City of Klamath Falls (inside the city limits) for additional restrictions. Klamath County Fire District #1 885-2056 Klamath County Fire District 4 884-1670
Klamath County Environmental Health 883-1122 City of Klamath Falls Code Enforcement 883-5358

 

>> 4/3/15 Scott Autopsy Inconclusive

An autopsy on the body of a missing Klamath Falls area transient has proven inconclusive. 35 year old Christine Scott's body was located near Lake Ewauna. Police say she had been in the water for some time and any evidence as to her cause of death had deteriorated. The investigation into Scott's death continues and anyone with information asked to call Klamath Falls Police.

 

>> 4/3/15 AG Says Statre Won't Cover Hayes Legal Bills

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon Department of Justice has rejected former first lady Cylvia Hayes' request for the state to cover her legal bills in her fight to keep emails out of the public eye. The Oregonian reports that a senior Justice Department official notified Hayes' lawyer of the decision on Thursday. Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum's office has ruled that Hayes was a public official and ordered the former first lady to give her emails pertaining to state business to The Oregonian, which requested them under the public records law. Hayes is suing the newspaper in an effort to block the release. Since Rosenblum had declared Hayes to be a public official, her lawyer said the state is obligated to pay her legal bills.

 

>> 4/1/15 Public Safety Committee To Hold Jail Levy Meetings

KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. – A series of informational meetings about Ballot Measure 18-100 will be held this month at various locations around the county.
The meetings are all being held by the Klamath Public Safety political action committee, which is promoting passage of the levy. Members of the committee will present information and field questions about the measure.
Following is a list of meetings planned:
Chiloquin Community Center, April 8, 7 p.m.
Crescent Community Center, A...
pril 8, 6 p.m.
Malin Community Hall, April 9, 7 p.m.
Bonanza Community Hall, April 10, 7 p.m.
Bly Community Hall, April 10, 7 p.m.
Merrill City Hall, April 13, 7 p.m.
Klamath Falls City Council Chambers, 500 Klamath Ave., April 15, 7 p.m.
Hope Community Center, 2408 Homedale Road, April 21, 7 p.m.
The levy will also be the subject of a forum at the Klamath Basin Senior Center, 2045 Arthur St., at noon April 21.
Organizations that have endorsed the levy include the Klamath Falls City Council, the Merrill City Council, the Klamath Tribes, the Klamath County Association of Realtors, the Klamath Rental Association, Klamath County Republican Women and the Klamath County Democratic Central Committee. The PAC’s web site is www.klamathpublicsafety.org. Donations to the committee can be made online, or mailed to KPS PAC, 20990 Highway 140 East, Dairy, OR 97625.
To contact the committee, send an email to klamathpublicsafety@gmail.com.

 

>> 4/1/15 Gun Background Check Hearing Gets Heated

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — A proposal that would require background checks on private firearms sales drew two hours of heated testimony from gun-rights advocates and gun control proponents. The bill would require gun buyers and sellers who aren't related to visit a licensed gun dealer who can run a background check through the Oregon State Police. Opponents said Wednesday background checks are ineffective, difficult to enforce and disproportionally burden law abiding citizens. Several testified they would refuse to comply if the bill passes. Supporters of the measure acknowledged it wouldn't prevent all people prohibited from owning a firearm from getting one. They say the bill will make it harder for them to access one. The Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to vote on the measure at 8 a.m. on Thursday.

 

>> 4/1/15 Teenager Convicted Of Rape Now Charged With Aggravated Murder

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The teenager who raped a woman outside Autzen Stadium last football season has been charged with killing a woman at a Beaverton apartment complex.
Sgt. Bob Ray of the Washington County sheriff's office says 17-year-old Jaime Tinoco (HI'-may tin-OH'-coh) was arrested Wednesday on aggravated murder and weapons charges. Nicole Laube (LOW'-bee) was stabbed Aug. 19 while hanging lease-renewal fliers at an apartment complex. Ray says Tinoco lived with his pare...
nts across the road from the apartments. Tinoco was recently sentenced to more than 14 years in prison for the rape that occurred Sept. 13 during a supervised group outing to a Ducks football game. He was on supervised probation for burglary and drug convictions. Ray says a Eugene detective then questioned Tinoco about the Laube killing and got "significant information."

 

>> 3/31/15 K-12 Funding Bill Passes Oregon House

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon House has approved funding for Oregon schools for the next two years. The House voted along party lines Tuesday to send the $7.3 billion budget to the Senate. The budget was pushed by Democratic legislative leaders, who say the 9 percent increase would allow most districts to offer full-day kindergarten to all students without cutting budgets beyond current levels. Education interest groups have criticized the proposal as inadequate. They say it won't allow school districts to make improvements and will require some to increase class sizes. Money from the state general fund and lottery makes up the bulk of the budget for Oregon school districts.

 

>> 3/31/15 States Sue Magazine Publishers

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota's attorney general is suing four Oregon companies for magazine sales tactics she says are misleading and hurt seniors. Lori Swanson says the companies offered magazine and newspaper subscription renewals to Minnesotans at inflated rates. Some customers didn't realize they had been scammed until publishers sent them a real renewal offer for much less. Better Business Bureau records appear to show some of the companies are alternate names for one another. A man taking calls for the companies said he couldn't provide contact information for officials to comment. Swanson's office says magazine scams usually target senior citizens. Some companies in the Minnesota lawsuit charged more than twice the going rate for publications like TV Guide. Swanson wants the companies to stop the practice, pay restitution and face civil penalties.

 

>> 3/31/15 Packy's Son Euthanized

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon Zoo officials in Portland say they have euthanized a 31-year-old elephant known for his enthusiasm for painting. They decided Rama was in too much pain from an old leg injury. The Oregonian reports that Rama was euthanized Monday. Zoo officials say physical therapy techniques and anti-inflammatory medications were no longer working and new modifications did not improve his quality of life. The elephant suffered a leg injury in 1990 when older female elephants pushed the young bull out of the Portland zoo's herd, a practice naturally seen in the wild. Rama fell into a moat, which has since been filled in. Rama was a son of the zoo's patriarch elephant, Packy, who survives him. Zoo officials say Rama had an unusually sweet temperament and loved to paint, creating artwork that was displayed in a Portland gallery.

 

>> 3/30/15 David Henslee Is New Klamath Falls Police Chief

David Henslee is the new Klamath Falls Police Chief. Henslee was previously a Corvallis Police Department Captain. About 100 people attended the swearing-in ceremony at police headquarters this morning. Henslee's parents, his grandfather, his wife and two of his three children also attended. Henslee described himself as a "progressive, motivational and participatory leader. I recognize that everybody has value and I find strength in our differences." Henslee succeeds Chief Jim Hunter who retired earlier this year after more than two decades of service with the department. After being sworn in Henslee made it clear where his loyalties lie as a college football fan, telling the crowd, "Go Beavers."

 

>> 3/30/15 Highway 97 Sees Jump In Big Rig truck Traffic

KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. (AP) — Southern Oregon has a sign of economic recovery: Lots more big rigs at the weigh scales on Highway 97 near the border with California. A 25 percent year-over-year increase in traffic at the stations in 2014, jumping to more than 238,000 trucks. State transportation workers say trucking tracks the economy, dropping quickly in downturns. U. S. 97 is an alternative to Interstate 5 for some truckers headed north into Oregon because it can save fuel. Man...y of those truckers then take Oregon 58 over the Willamette Pass to I-5. The scales are just north of the Oregon Institute of Technology. Right now, scale workers say, they're busy with bees being trucked north to pollinate fruit crops in Oregon and Washington

 

>> 3/30/15 Bly Terrorist Camp Suspect Pleads Guilty

NEW YORK (AP) — A British man has pleaded guilty to federal charges in New York that he plotted to set up a terrorist training camp in Bly, Oregon. Haroon Aswat pleaded guilty Monday to supporting terrorism and conspiracy. He could be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison. Prosecutors say Aswat conspired with a radical cleric to set up a terrorist training camp in Bly, Oregon, 15 years ago. He was arrested in 2005 in Zambia and later brought to Great Britain. He fought extradition for several years before being sent to the United States in 2014 to face the terror charges. His lawyers say he's been treated for mental illness. He is to be sentenced July 31.

 

>> 3/27/15 Body Found In Lake Ewauna

A body was found in Lake Ewauna Wednesday afternoon by a kayaker. Klamath Falls Police Lt. Rob Dentinger says they don't know how long the body was in the water. The cause of death is pending an autopsy. Dentinger says police are trying to locate next of kin.

 

>> 3/27/15 Peninsula Air Authorized To Serve Crescent City, CA

Alaska-based Peninsula Airlines received authorization Thursday to provide air service to and from Crescent city, California. a Vice President of Penn Air, Murphy Forner, told a meeting of city and county officials Monday, authorization to serve Crescent City was critical to air service being offered in Klamath Falls. The tentative schedule calls for an early morning flight to Portland and either a late morning or early afternoon flight to Portland and return service to Klamath Falls in the early evening.

 

>> 3/27/15 BOR Seeking New Area Manager

The Bureau of Reclamation is looking for a new manager. Sheryl Franklin took a personal leave in December and according to acting manager Brian Person, Franklin will not return. Person says they hope to have a new manager in place sometime in May.

 

>> 3/26/15 Secure Rural Schools Act Included In Medicare Bill, Passes U-S House

GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — The U.S. House has passed a Medicare bill that includes renewal of a program that pays subsidies to timber counties, especially in Oregon. The House voted 392-37 on Thursday to pass the bill that permanently blocks physician Medicare cuts. It now goes to the Senate. Attached to the bill is a two-year renewal of the Secure Rural Schools Program, which expired last year amid partisan disagreements. That program paid subsidies to rural timber companies around the country to make up for declining federal timber revenues from logging. Timber harvests have been reduced to protect fish, wildlife and clean water. Last year Oregon got about $100 million of the $500 million paid nationwide. Loss of the subsidies has forced some Oregon counties to consider tax increases or cuts to law enforcement.

 

>> 3/26/15 Walden Holding Town Hall Meeting Saturday

U.S. Rep. Greg Walden (R-Hood River) will hold a town hall meeting in Klamath county on Saturday. Walden will give an update on securing a two year extension of Secure Rural Schools payments for schools, roads, and law enforcement in Oregon’s rural communities. He will also discuss efforts in the House to balance the federal budget and grow jobs by reducing burdens on American workers and small businesses. "I am looking forward to answering questions from the public and giving an update on local and national issues, including reforming federal forest policy to grow jobs and revenue, increasing access to quality health care, and standing up for our nation’s veterans. These town hall meetings help me develop my ‘to do’ list to take back to Washington, D.C. each week. They are a great way to keep in close touch with Oregonians, along with mail, email, Facebook, Twitter, and regular telephone town halls,” Walden said. 
Saturday, March 28, 2015
What: Klamath County Town Hall Meeting
When: 4:00 pm
Where: Mazama Room, Oregon Institute of Technology, 3201 Campus Drive, Klamath Falls

 

>> 3/26/15 IFA Nursery Fire "Accidental"

Investigators with Klamath County Fire District No. 1, the Oregon State Fire Marshal’s Office, and the Oregon Department of Forestry have determined that a fire which occurred Tuesday was accidental. The cause was determined to be from an overheated extension cord, which fed power to a small 110 volt water heater located on the mezzanine at IFA Nurseries. The 15,000 sq ft building located at 1205 South Spring Street experienced structural damage estimated at $750,000 and contents loss estimated at $100,000. There were no civilian or firefighter injuries associated with this incident. Fire District No. 1 reminds everyone that appliances should always be plugged directly into a wall outlet. Extension cords should be for temporary use only, and should always be unplugged when not in use.

 

>> 3/25/15 Firefighters Battle Blaze At IFA Nurseries; Cause Unknown

Klamath County Fire District No. 1, along with Kingsley Field Fire Department, responded to a reported structure fire this afternoon at the IFA Nurseries, located at 1205 South Spring Street. The fire was dispatched at 1:02pm. Upon arrival, crews reported heavy smoke with flames coming from the roof of the building. In all, three fire engines, one ladder truck, a Battalion Chief, and the Fire Marshal responded to the scene, for a total of 15 personnel. Fire crews had the situation under controlled within an hour.
The 15,000 sq ft building is used as a process facility for tree seedlings, as well as administrative offices. It sustained moderate fire damage and heavy smoke damage. The cause of the fire is currently under investigation. There were no civilian or firefighter injuries associated with this incident.

 

>> 3/25/15 State K-12 Funding Budget Headed To Ways & Means Committee

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — An Oregon legislative panel has advanced a $7.255 billion spending plan for primary and secondary schools. Democrats on the budget subcommittee that oversees education funding approved the schools budget in a party-line vote Tuesday. The full Ways and Means Committee is scheduled to take up the measure on Thursday, setting up votes in the full House and Senate as soon as next week. Democrats praised the budget as a stable funding plan that will allow most schools to continue with their current level of service. They say they'll try to bolster the funding if lawmakers later raise additional revenue or the economy leads to stronger revenue projections. Education interests have criticized the budget, saying it won't allow the state to improve lackluster graduation rates.

 

>> 3/25/15 Crater Lake Parks Gets A Lot Of Snow...But Not THAT Much

KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. (AP) — After a warm, mild winter, Crater Lake National Park has recorded nearly 2 feet of snow in recent days, but the seasonal total is still a third of normal. The park usually has 119 inches of snow on the ground as of March 24. But the total recorded Tuesday was 40 inches. The snow that fell beginning Friday was heavy and wet. Rangers said cross country skiing was tough.

 

>> 3/24/15 Walden Gets Two Year Extension Of Secure Rural Schools Act

GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — Rep. Greg Walden says House Speaker John Boehner has agreed to include a two-year extension of subsidies to Oregon timber counties in a bipartisan agreement to reform the way doctors are paid by Medicare.  The Oregon Republican said Tuesday the House will vote on the bill on Thursday. In the Senate, Oregon Democrat Sen. Ron Wyden says a three-year extension of the program is making progress, as well. He added he was happy the House was not linking the payments to legislation to increase logging that would never pass the Senate. The longstanding subsidies make up for declines in federal timber revenues shared with counties since logging on national forests was cut back to protect the northern spotted owl and salmon. Last year they provided $100 million to Oregon.

 

>> 3/24/15 Missing Cat Returned To Owners After 7 Years

BEND, Ore. (AP) — Seven years after he disappeared, a cat named Brave has made it back to spend his last days with his family, thanks to a microchip. KTVZ-TV reports (http://is.gd/4Y4hhY ) the 10-year-old cat was brought to the Humane Society of Central Oregon last Friday — and soon reunited with his owners since his microchip was linked to a cellphone number they still have. Mark Reinecke soon claimed his cat at the Bend shelter but it was a bittersweet reunion. An exam and ...ultrasound showed a large abdominal mass that is most likely a cancerous tumor. Now the family plans to give their pet comfort care to keep him happy during his final days. Reinecke and his wife, Melissa Lande, say they lived in their old home for several years after Brave vanished but have moved twice since. The cat was found across town from the home where he last lived. Reinecke says Brave is "really happy to be held" and even the new family dog is keeping an eye on him.

 

>> 3/24/15 Education Leaders Say K-12 Funding Bill "Inadequate"

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon legislative leaders say they'll move forward this week with a schools budget that education interests call inadequate. House Speaker Tina Kotek and Senate President Peter Courtney, both Democrats, said Monday that it's important to provide school districts with certainty as they develop their budgets. If future projections show the state will have more money, Kotek and Courtney say 40 percent of the additional revenue will be dedicated to K-12 schools. The Democratic leaders say their $7.24 billion budget provides enough money for most school districts to avoid cutting services. It's scheduled for a committee vote on Tuesday, potentially reaching the House and Senate next week. Interest groups representing teachers, school administrators and others say many districts would be forced to reduce school days or lay off teachers. They're requesting an additional $260 million.

 

>> 3/23/15 Drought Assistance Available In 13 Counties

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon's worsening drought has triggered a federal disaster loan program in 13 Oregon counties. The Oregonian reports low-interest loans meant to offset economic losses associated with the drought are now available in Grant, Jackson, Baker, Crook, Douglas, Harney, Josephine, Klamath, Malheur, Morrow, Umatilla, Union and Wheeler counties. The announcement was made Friday by the U.S. Small Business Administration. Farmers in those counties are also eligible for emergency aid through the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Last week, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that most of Oregon is in drought disaster mode.

 

>> 3/23/15 ODOT Wants Studded Tires Off March 31st

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon Department of Transportation is reminding Oregonians they should remove studded tires by March 31. Given current weather forecasts, transportation officials say they do not plan to extend the Oregon studded tire season. The Washington State Department of Transportation announced the same deadline last week. A study completed in 2014 concluded studded tires cause about $8.5 million in damage each year on state highways.

 

>> 3/23/15 Education Leaders Upset About K-12 Funding Levels

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Education interests have mounted an unusually vocal challenge to the schools budget proposed by Democratic legislative leaders. School officials say the $7.24 billion plan would lead to larger classes and shorter school years. They're asking for an additional $265 million. Legislative leaders are defending their plan. They say most school districts will do neither better nor worse than their current funding situation. They say their proposal is the best they can do without devastating other areas of the budget, including higher education. The school budget is likely to come up in the House and Senate in the coming weeks.

 

>> 3/16/15 Body Of Missing Klamath County Man Found In Lake County

From Oregon State Police
Oregon State Police (OSP) and the Lake County Sheriff's Office are continuing to investigate a report of a man found deceased south of Highway 140 near Lofton Reservoir in rural Lake County this (Sunday) afternoon. According to OSP Sergeant Robert Fenner, at approximately 12:30 p.m., deputies and troopers were dispatched to an area approximately 2.4 miles south of the location where missing Klamath County Man SPENCER KLING GIESEA, 44, is believed to ...have left his motorhome after he was last seen on Friday, February 13. Investigators contacted a couple driving in the area who spotted GIESEA's dog, Angel, as they passed by. When the couple returned a few hours later the dog was still in the area and as they stopped to investigate they discovered GIESEA deceased.
While the investigation is still on going, investigators do not believe the death to be suspicious at this time, however, further review by the medical examiner's office is pending.

>> 3/16/15 BOCC To Vote Tuesday Onb Drought Declaration

Tomorrow (Tuesday) the Klamath County Commissioners will be asked to declare a Drought Emergency and also request that Governor Kate brown also declare a Drought Emergency in Klamath county. Tomorrow's meeting begins at 9:00 a.m. at the Government Center on Main Street.

>> 3/16/15 KCSO Warns Of IRS, U-S Treasury Scam

SCAM ALERT! From the Klamath County Sheriff
Klamath County Sheriff’s Office would like to remind the public that the IRS nor the Treasury Department do not call people and threaten them with arrest warrants or litigation for monies owed. Nor do they demand payment to avoid arrest or litigation. Communication with these branches of Government will be via U.S. Mail.
Klamath County Sheriff’s personnel have fielded a growing number of calls from victim’s or would be victim’s tha...t are telling us that they have received calls demanding payment for taxes owed. The caller in many of these calls identifies himself as “Steve Martin”. The caller tells the recipient in the call that they will be taken before a magistrate or arrested if they do not make payment immediately.
These calls like many “phone scams” originate in foreign countries. Many times routed through phone trees and systems making it difficult if not impossible to back track. In the event it can be tracked back it usually goes to a foreign country or bad address ….. Thus making solving these crimes nearly impossible.
- If you receive a call like this do not give the caller any information.
- Do not make payment
- Remember the IRS and US Treasury do not call you they correspond via mail
- Do not give your Social Security number or Date of Birth
If you wish to contact the Internal Revenue Service their telephone number for the Klamath Falls area is (800)829-1040.

 

>> 3/13/15 Three Groups Endorse Five Year Jail Levy

The Klamath Falls City Council, the Klamath tribes and the Klamath County Association of Realtors have endorsed the local option five year levy for the county jail, coming up on the May ballot. The measure was placed on the ballot by county commissioners at the request of the Public safety Advisory Committee. A member of the committee, Chuck wells, says a series of town Hall meetings will be held in coming weeks to give everyone a chance to learn about the measure. The levy, if approved, would cost 1-dollar-14-cents per 1-thousan dollars assessed valuation. However, county commissioners have promised to look for ways to cut the dollar-14-rate.

>> 3/13/15 KCC President Says Advanced Diploma Program "Will Continue"

Klamath Community College President Doctor Roberto Gutierrez says if state lawmakers eliminate funding for ADP, the Advanced Diploma Program, KCC will fund it for the 2015-16 school year. High school students forego receiving a degree and attend KCC for their 5th year of high school. The state uses K-12 funding money to pay for tuition and books. However, State Senator Mark Hass, a Beaverton democrat, says he sees "an ethical problem" because of the use of K-12 money for colleges. Gutierrez says KCC will use scholarships, grants and other sources to continue support for the ADP next year if state lawmakers eliminate funding.

>> 3/13/15 Another U-of-O Student Stricken With Potentially Deadly Infection

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — The University of Oregon says a fifth student has been diagnosed with the same contagious bacterial infection that killed one student and sickened three others this year. The Register-Guard newspaper reports that university spokeswoman Jen McCulley said Thursday night the latest case involves a 19-year-old male sophomore who is hospitalized and "doing very well." The school recently completed a four-day mass vaccination clinic aimed at protecting students ...from the infection. Citing privacy laws, the university wouldn't say whether the latest student received a dose of the vaccine. The 19-year-old lived in an off-campus student apartment complex with three roommates. He belongs to a fraternity. The roommates will receive antibiotics. Public health officials are trying to reach others who may have had close contact. This is the first confirmed case of the potentially fatal blood infection meningococcemia since 18-year-old Lauren Jones died of the disease Feb. 17. The other three students sickened since mid-January have recovered.

 

 

>> 3/12/15 KCEDA Asks For $250,00 From County

Klamath County Commissioners on Wednesday morning were asked to support a big increase in funding support for KCEDA, Klamath County Economic Development Association. The county has provided $136,000 support for KCEDA per year over the past few years. But on Wednesday KCEDA board members including Mark Wendt, Sam Porter and Lauren Jesperson urged the commissioners to raise that funding to $250,000 to support their new budget of just over $600,000. KCEDA alos receives $25,000 in funding from the City of Klamath Falls and will ask the City Council to increase mfunding to $50,000. Jesperson told the commissioners for every $1 invested by the county for KCEDA, there is a return of $7.50 to the county. KCEDA members told the commissioners they adopted a new "pay for play" plan for membership in the organization as of last November. For a pledge of $5,000 a year for three years, businesses can attain "Platinum Status" in KCEDA. That new platinum membership category has raised at least $140,000 so far and with the three year commitment, a total of $420,000 has been pledged. KCEDA members also told the commissioners they have decided to put much more emphasis on retention of local businesses coupled with a greater effort to helpincrease employment at those businesses. KCEDA says the effort to attract outside companies to the area also means Klamath county is competing with hundreds even thousands of other local entities across the nation. Commissioners said the request will go through the budget committee process but seemed warm to the idea of boosting support for KCEDA.

 

>> 3/12/15 Governor Brown Axes Kitzhaber Forest Advisor

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Gov. Kate Brown has ended a state contract with former Gov. John Kitzhaber's forest adviser, who collected nearly $400,000 in fees and expenses while also running a consulting business. The Oregonian reported Wednesday that Brown took the action the day she took office, Feb. 18. Environmentalists and a timber industry leader said they questioned the roles of Tom Tuchmann, but they say they didn't raise objections publicly for fear of alienating Kitzhaber. When he was an adviser to Kitzhaber, Tuchman also owned a company called U.S. Forest Capital that had expertise in financing for buyers such as conservation groups to purchase timberlands

 

 

>> 3/12/15 Oracle Loses Another Round In Court Fight With State

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The state of Oregon has notched another victory in its high-stakes legal battle with Oracle Inc., over the failure of the Cover Oregon health insurance website. U.S. District Judge Anna Brown this week rejected Oracle's attempt to try the case in federal court. The decision means dueling lawsuits filed by the state and the company will proceed separately in state and federal court. The state's lawsuit accuses Oracle and its executives of corruption. State attorneys prefer to try their case in state court in Salem, where legal experts say jurors may be more sympathetic. Oracle accuses OregonS of copyright infringement and breach of contract. A spokeswoman declined to comment on the judge's decision. Last month, a state judge also sided with Oregon in ordering Oracle to continue hosting computer systems for Medicaid.