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 Local News with Paul Hanson

>> 4/232/14 County Commissioners Approve Marijuana Dispensary Moratorium

The Klamath County Board of Commissioners heard more than 90-minutes of public comment this morning on a moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries. Commissioners voted 3-to-0 to impose the moratorium which will be in place until May 2015. This brings to 14 the number of counties in Oregon that have imposed moratoriums on the dispensaries. The moratorium applies only to the unincorporated areas of Klamath county. Cities are free to allow the dispensaries or impose a moratorium. The Klamath Falls City Council approved dispensaries recently on a 3-to-2 vote.

>> 4/22/14 Chiloquin Man Faces Manslaughter Charges

Sunday, April 20, 2014, at approximately 7:15 p.m. the Klamath County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to a 911 call on Rosewood Lane in Sprague River on the report that a woman had been run over by a vehicle.  Sheriff’s Deputies, Chiloquin Ambulance and Emergency Airlift arrived on the scene; however, prior to being airlift transported Barbara Lynn Malo(DOB 6-18-51) was pronounced dead.  Deputies took Joseph Martin Schuster(DOB 12-28-90)into custody and he has been charged with 2nd Degree Manslaughter and DUII. The Klamath County Major Crime Team has been activated to investigate.  The investigation is currently active. The Klamath County Major Crime Team is comprised of the Klamath County Sheriff's Office, Klamath Falls Police Department, Oregon State Police, Klamath County Community Corrections, and Klamath County District Attorney's Office.

>> 4/22/14 Gold Miners Don't Like New Water Quality Rules

MEDFORD, Ore. (AP) — Gold miners are not happy with proposed water quality rules related to elevated mercury levels in the Rogue River. The Mail Tribune (http://bit.ly/PqVqcw) reports miners at a hearing Monday in Medford said they are being blamed for a problem that is not their fault. Miners added that the suction dredges they use to filter gold from gravel on river bottoms also pick up mercury and remove it. A toxin, mercury is found in nearly all fish, but tests on resident northern pike minnow in the Rogue found levels 10 times higher than state standards. The source is not certain, but could be the soils or old mines. The state is on track to list 216 miles of the Rogue as mercury-impaired, leading to more stringent and expensive permitting for miners.

 

>> 4/18/14 Historic Agreement Signed At Collier State Park

Cattle ranchers and Indian tribes who long fought over scarce water in Oregon's Upper Klamath Basin have signed an agreement to share access to rivers and cooperate on restoring habitat for endangered fish the tribes hold sacred. The signing ceremony was held Friday along the Williams River outside Chiloquin, Ore. Joining representatives of the Klamath Tribes and the ranchers were Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, Gov. John Kitzhaber, and Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley. Speakers talked emotionally about the agreement healing longstanding divisions within the basin over water. Last summer, ranchers in the upper basin saw irrigation shut off as the tribes invoked newly won senior water rights to protect fish. Wyden says he will introduce legislation in the Senate next month based on the agreement.

>> 4/18/19 O-I-T First Energy Independent College In America

A ribbon cutting ceremony at Oregon Institute of Technology this (Friday) afternoon highlighted a celebration making the university the first energy independent college in north America. The university has geothermal facilities and now a large solar array generating 8,315,000 kilowatt hours per year of renewable power.  It is estimated that O-I-T will save nearly half a million dollars a year in reduced energy costs.

>> 4/18/14 Mussel Harvesting Stopped At Coast

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — State regulators have closed part of the Oregon coast to mussel harvesting because of elevated levels of marine toxins that can cause severe, even fatal, reactions in humans. The closure area stretches from Tillamook Head in Clatsop County to the north jetty of Yaquina (yuh-KWIN'-uh) Bay at Newport. The departments of agriculture and fish and wildlife said in a statement that the paralytic shellfish toxins usually are produced by algae in the ocean, and cooking doesn't kill them. The closure applies to mussels found on the beaches, rocks, jetties, and bay entrances. The departments said crab is safe to eat. They say coastal scallops are not covered by the closure when only the adductor muscle is eaten, but eating recreationally caught whole scallops is not recommended.

 

>>4/17/14  Water Agreement To Be Signed Friday At Collier state Park

Governor John Kitzhaber, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, Undersecretary of the Department of Commerce Kathryn Sullivan, California Resources Secretary John Laird, Klamath Tribal Chair Don Gentry, and members of the Klamath Basin Task Force will gather on Friday, April 18, for the official signing of the historic Upper Klamath Basin Comprehensive Agreement. Members of the Klamath Tribes and Upper Basin water users have come together and developed solutions to water issues affecting the region. The Upper Basin Agreement represents an historic milestone for one of the most complex and contentious natural water wars in the West. Friday’s event will celebrate the leadership, good faith, and hard work that made the Agreement possible while highlighting the economic and environmental benefits for the Klamath region.
 

EVENT DETAILS
 

When:

Friday, April 18

 

9:00 - 9:20 AM Check In / 9:20 - 11:00 AM Ceremony

 

 

Where:

Collier State Park, 46000 US Highway 97

 

Approximately 4 miles north of Chiloquin, Oregon, and 30 miles north of Klamath Falls

 

 

RSVP:

Please RSVP by 3:00 PM Pacific time, Thursday, April 17

 

For assistance or questions, please email interior_press@ios.doi.gov

 

 

Parking:

Parking at Collier State Park is limited. Press is encouraged to

 

arrive early. A shuttle service from the Kla-Mo-Ya Casino parking lot will be available. The shuttle will run between 8:15 am and 9:15 am, with return service following the event. Kla-Mo-Ya Casino is located at 34333 U.S. 97, Chiloquin, OR. 

>> 4/17/14 Medford Jury Convicts Former Marine Of Murder

MEDFORD, Ore. (AP) — A retired Marine has been convicted of killing his wife after a Medford, Ore., jury rejected his testimony that she shot herself. Jurors deliberated throughout the day Wednesday before reaching a verdict in the case of 45-year-old Bourne Huddleston. He was convicted of murder and related counts in the March 23, 2012, death of 34-year-old Kristy Huddleston. The former gunnery sergeant was also convicted of murder solicitation. Prosecutors said he tried to hire two other men to kill his wife before doing it himself. The prosecution said Huddleston was under pressure over his relationship with a nursing student and both women had confronted him. Sentencing is set for Thursday.

>> 4/17/14 Oracle Corporation Speaks Out About Cover Oregon Problems

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — After six months of near silence about the problems at Cover Oregon, the project's main technology contractor is fighting back. In a letter to Cover Oregon obtained by The Associated Press, Oracle Corp. President Safra Catz writes that her company provided "clear and repeated warnings" to Cover Oregon that the exchange would not launch last October. Oregon officials have said Oracle regularly reassured them work on the portal was on track.More than six months later, Oregon's exchange is the only one in the nation that still doesn't let the public enroll in coverage in one sitting. Instead, Oregonians must use a hybrid paper-online application process. In a response letter, acting executive director Clyde Hamstreet writes he can't yet respond to Oracle's arguments, because he was appointed four days ago.

>> 4/15/14 Former Deputy Charged With Sex Abuse

A 42-year-old former Lake County sheriff's deputy has been accused of sexually abusing a 17-year-old Lakeview girl reported missing late last week. The Oregon State Police say the girl got in touch with authorities Sunday afternoon and was returned to her family. Earlier this month, as an investigation began, Kenneth Turkle resigned from the sheriff's department.On Friday, the girl was reported missing. She was last seen staying with a friend in Grants Pass and leaving with a man believed to be Turkle. He surrendered Sunday morning in Lake County on charges of sexual abuse and contributing to the sexual delinquency of a minor. The police said he made bail, and that evening he was re-arrested and jailed on new charges of custodial interference and tampering with a witness.

>> 4/15/14 County Budget Committee Meetings Start Today

The Klamath County Budget Committee meets today at 1:00 p.m. and Chief Financial Officer Jason Link says revenues are down about $1-million.  The sheriff's department is facing cuts near $2-point-4-million which could result in closure of all but one jail pod and reduction of patrols from 20 hours a day, seven days a week to 8-hours a day, five days a week. The budget meeting scheduled for Thursday at 1:00 p.m. will focus only on the sheriff's budget.  

>> 4/15/14 Packy Celebrates Birthday At Oregon Zoo

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — More than a half century has passed since Packy the elephant's newsmaking birth at the Oregon Zoo. He's now a six-ton senior citizen and considered geriatric at age 52. He approached his birthday cake at a leisurely pace Monday, but zoo officials say he wasted no time demolishing the 40-pound whole wheat offering that included carrots, bananas, apples and sweet potatoes. Zoo executive chef Paul Bosch says the cake was "pretty healthful" except for the five pounds of butter in the buttercream frosting. (The chef says that's not really THAT much butter for a 12,000-pound elephant.) Zoo spokesman Hova Najarian says zoo vets are working with U.S. Agriculture Department experts to plan a new course of treatment for Packy's tuberculosis, discovered last July. He's shown no signs of illness yet but is sensitive to one of the typically used drugs. Zoo vet Tim Storms says a new treatment regimen starts this week. In 1962, the zoo says Packy became the first elephant to be born in the Western Hemisphere in 44 years.

 

>> 4/1/1/14 State Forestry Department Urges Caution During Spring Burning

With recent and forecasted warm weather, landowners are in the mode of spring cleaning their properties by removing dead material to reduce flammable vegetation build-up.  Those choosing to remove vegetation and litter through burning need to be careful and take the precautions to prevent the spread of fire.  "Although the soil may still be wet from recent (above average) rains in the month of March, dead vegetation such as last year’s grass and brush can dry out fast from the sun. When afternoon winds develop, that’s enough to carry a fire out of control.  Dead grass and brush can burn even though there is moisture in areas on the ground,” stated Randall Baley, Fire Planner with the Oregon Department of Forestry.   “Overall, we are way behind in precipitation averages such as snow pack and rainfall over the duration of winter. We need to get into good habits of being careful.  Fires have occurred in the past couple of weeks from various types of debris burning and some have escaped the control of the landowner”. 

The following are considerations when debris burning during your SPRING CLEAN UP.  These practices may not prevent a fire from spreading, but they do decrease the risks to the landowner:

1.     Be sure you are fully prepared before burning.  Extra people and tools may be necessary to control your fire.

2.     Clear around your burn area to mineral soil to eliminate the fire spreading to dead and down material or green vegetation.

3.     Check the weather -- don’t burn on dry, windy days.

4.     Be sure to stay with your fire until it is “out”; “from first flame to the last spark”.

5.     Check your burn regularly and frequently.   Check your piles for hidden hot spots by digging into the piles, after the fire appears to be “dead out” and after the wind has blown in the area.

>> 4/11/14 Body Found In Pickup Identified As Klamath Falls Man 

Oregon State Police (OSP) Criminal Investigations Division detectives are continuing the investigation into the death of a 66-year old man whose body was found Wednesday morning in the back of a burning pickup on a dirt road south of Highway 140W west of Klamath Falls. An autopsy conducted Thursday, April 10, by the Oregon State Medical Examiner's Office confirmed the man died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. On April 9, 2014 at approximately 8:00 a.m., Rocky Point Fire & EMS responded to a reported vehicle fire on a dirt road about a mile south of Highway 140W near milepost 51. OSP troopers responded, and after the fire was extinguished they found the body of a deceased male in the bed of a charred pickup. Initial investigation identified the deceased male as JOSEPH E. HUNTSTIGER, age 66, from Klamath Falls. A handgun was found with the victim.

>> 4/11/14 District Attorney Unable To Interview Injured Man

Klamath County District Attorney Rob Patridge says his office has still been unable to interview a man hospitalized with a gunshot wound stemming from an incident on Oregon Avenue early Tuesday. Patridge would only say that the investigation is continuing and the man shot is 19 years old. The shooter described only as a man about age 50 who is cooperating with police and Patridge says, "no charges are pending."

 

>> 4/10/14 Tribes Approve Basin water Agreement

CHILOQUIN, Ore. (AP) — Members of the Klamath Tribes have approved an agreement to share water with cattle ranchers on rivers running through former reservation lands in return for work to improve fish habitat. The tribes announced Wednesday the vote was 564 in favor and 419 against. Tribal Chairman Don Gentry said in a statement that the Upper Klamath Basin Comprehensive Agreement is "a monumental step" in restoring tribal fisheries and treaty rights. The agreement was prompted by irrigation shutoffs to ranchers during a drought last summer after the tribes were awarded senior water rights on the Sprague, Wood and Williamson rivers. It becomes part of legislation Sen. Ron Wyden is preparing to settle longstanding water issues in the Klamath Basin and remove dams on the Klamath River to help salmon.

>> 4/10/14 Irrigation Season Expected To Be Difficult Again This Year

KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. (AP) — Farmers on the Klamath Reclamation Project straddling the Oregon-California border are facing irrigation cutbacks for the third year in a row due to an ongoing drought. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation operations plan released Wednesday shows only 61 percent of the water needed for full irrigation is available to the 1,200 farms on the project. Greg Addington of the Klamath Water Users Association says even with contracts paying farmers to leave their land idle and groundwater pumping, they will have a tough time meeting all the demand for water this year. The Klamath Basin has long struggled to meet all the demands for water. Conflicts hit their peak in 2001, when irrigation was shut off to the bulk of the project to conserve water for endangered fish.

>> 4/10/14 City Budget  Will Be Tight

Klamath Falls city officials say the budget process is going to be difficult because tax revenues are expected to be down 7% from last year. Mayor Todd Kellstrom says funding for Ella Redkey Pool and the operation of Kiger Stadium could present real challenges due to lower tax revenues. City Manager Nathan Cherpeski told KFLS News, property values have simply not recovered from the devastating effects of the Great Recession.  Cherpeski says it will also be challenging to fully fund the police department.

>> 4/9/14 Major Crimes Team Investigates Oregon Avenue Shooting Incident

The Klamath County Major Crimes Team continues to investigate a shooting incident that occurred late Monday or early Tuesday in the 1700 block of Oregon Avenue. One man was taken to Sky Lakes with undetermined injuries and the shooter reportedly was cooperating with police at the scene.  District Attorney Rob Patridge would not release names or any details of the investigation.

>> 4/9/14 Opponents, Supporters Of Pot Dispensaries Speak Out On Moratorium

Citizens who oppose medical marijuana dispensaries urged the Klamath County Board of Commissioners Tuesday to move ahead with a moratorium that would block the facilities until May 2015. Opponents described marijuana as a dangerous drug and said the medical benefits of the drug are either unproven or marginal. Supporters, including people who have used marijuana for various medical problems urged the board to license the facilities so those who are suffering can get their medicine.  Commissioners will hold a second public hearing on the proposed moratorium Tuesday, April 22nd at 9:15 a.m.

>> 4/9/14 Floyd A. Boyd Company Selling To Pape Machinery

The Floyd A. Boyd Company is selling to Pape Machinery and the deal is expected to close April 25th.  The family owned Boyd Company has done business in the area for 70 years. The sale will include retail outlets in Merrill, Madras, Bend, Central Point and Falls River Mills, California. Most of the Merrill employees will stay on when the ownership transfers to Pape.

>> 4/9/14 Two Members Of Rocky Point Fire District Board Recalled

Two directors of the Rocky Point Fire District have been recalled. County Clerk Linda Smith confirmed the recall of Anthony Bixler by a 80-to-59 vote margin and Rita Donato by a 72-to-67 vote count. The recall was launched after citizens learned the Fire Chief's stipend had been increased and an Assistant Fire Chief had been hired.

 

4/7/14 County To Hold Public Hearing On Dispensary Moratorium

The Klamath County Board of Commissioners will hold a public hearing at 9:15 a.m. Tuesday regarding a proposed moratorium on Medical Marijuana  dispensaries in the county.  The city of Klamath Falls recently approved rules and regulations for dispensaries within the city limits. Under state law, a moratorium can only last until May 2015 in cities or counties that choose to block them. The issue is expected to end up in court as many cities and counties in Oregon are adamant in their opposition to dispensaries.

>> 4/7/14 South Suburban Branch Library Closed For Move

The South Suburban Branch Library is closed starting today (Monday) in order to move books and other materials to the new library location at 4243 Winter Avenue off Summers Lane.  The projected opening of the new South Suburban branch is expected April 21st.

>> 4/7/14 Quake rattles Portland AREA

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A magnitude 3.3 earthquake was felt throughout the Portland area at 8:30 p.m. Sunday, but there are no reports of injury or damage. The Pacific Northwest Seismic Network says the quake was about 12 miles deep and centered near Sherwood in Washington County, about 17 miles southwest of Portland. People who reported it on a U. S. Geological Survey website indicates the quake was lightly felt in the Portland metro area and from Battle Ground, Wash., to Salem. A Washington County dispatcher told The Oregonian there were no reports of injury or damage.

>> 44/14 Sky West Ending Air Service In Klamath Falls In June

Airport officials were notified by SkyWest Airlines, who provides United Express service at the Crater Lake - Klamath Regional Airport, that they will stop service on June 5th. SkyWest has provided air service to the community since July 2008 and currently provides daily service to and from Portland and San Francisco. Small communities like Klamath Falls have faced increasing challenges to maintain air service as a result of the economic recession and more stringent Federal rules governing crew scheduling that has made it difficult for airlines to maintain profitability in small markets. John Longley, Airport Director, expressed his appreciation to the Air Service Partnership for the concerted effort to maintain Klamath Falls United Express service. "Along with other small communities, we learned of the cancellations today. Our intention is to seek other service for Klamath Falls." Customers with reservations for flights to or from the Crater Lake - Klamath Regional Airport after June 5th will be contacted by United/United Express to be rescheduled.

>> 4/4/14 Snowpack Report Not Good

GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — Early spring storms helped improve snowpacks and reservoir levels across Oregon, but not enough to lift drought concerns in the parched southern part of the state. The latest report from the U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service on Friday shows snowpacks, the natural water storage system across the West, were at 36 percent for the Rogue and Umpqua Basins, 33 percent for the Klamath Basin and 46 percent in Lake County. U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service hydrologist Julie Koeberle (KOE-ber-lee) says streamflows in the Klamath Basin are forecast to be similar to 2001, when water was cut back on a federal irrigation project to protect threatened and endangered fish. Meanwhile, the 13 U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Willamette Basin reservoirs are averaging 89 percent full, and are on track to fill.

>> 4/4/14 OSP Releases Name Of Dead Man

Oregon State Police Criminal Investigations Division, with the assistance of the State Medical Examiner's Office, is continuing the investigation into the cause of death of a man whose body was found Wednesday morning in the brush off OC&E Woods Line State Trail near Olene in Klamath County. There was no obvious sign of foul play.  The deceased man is identified as CODY HAROLD PEMBERTON, age 60, from Klamath Falls. The State Medical Examiner's Office conducted an examination Thursday afternoon and told detectives the cause of death is pending toxicology test results. According to Sergeant Robert Fenner, on April 2, 2014 at approximately 12 noon, OSP Klamath Falls troopers and detectives responded and confirmed the body of a fully clothed deceased adult male was found a quarter mile from Olene Store in the brush about 30 yards off the trail. A hiker reported finding the deceased male, identified as PEMBERTON, while traveling along the trail. Detectives learned PEMBERTON was dropped off at the trail on Monday and failed to contact a family member as originally planned.

>> 4/14/14 Spring Open Burning Window Starts Today

The 2014 Spring Open Burning Window within the Klamath County Air Quality Zone will start on Friday, April 4, 2014 at 8:00 a.m. and will end at 5:00 pm Saturday April 19, 2014.

The Klamath County Environmental Health conditions of the Spring 2014 Open Burning Window are:

1.                Only residential yard waste, such as tree limbs, brush, and leaves may be burned.

2.                Burning of commercial, construction, demolition or industrial waste or debris requires a special permit from the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality. Contact Bonnie Hough at the DEQ office in Bend at (541) 633-2016 for the permit.

3.                For Agricultural burning inside the Air Quality Zone a Variance must be obtained in person from the Klamath County Environmental Health Department at 403 Pine St before the burn permit is needed.

4.                The Air Quality Advisory must be “GREEN”. The advisory is available by calling (541)882-BURN (2876).

5.                No plastic, rubber, tar, petroleum products, treated or painted wood may be burned.

6.                The use of Burn Barrels is prohibited. Only burn piles may be used

7.                All burning must occur after 8:00 am and be fully extinguished by 5:00 pm.

8.                A responsible adult must be present at the fire from the first flame until the fire is extinguished

The Klamath County Fire District # 1 conditions of the Open Burn Window are:

1.                The burn pile shall be no larger than 6 feet in diameter and 4 feet high.

2.                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.

3.                There must be a pressurized water hose at the fire site at all times.

4.                The wind must be between 4 and 10 miles per hour (a light breeze).  Wind speed information may be obtained at (541)883-8127.

5.                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 Burning Window may be cancelled at any time due to Air Quality or Fire Hazard conditions; if so, this will be announced.

>> 4/4/14 Medford Denies License For Pot Club

MEDFORD, Ore. (AP) — The Medford City Council has rejected an appeal from a medical marijuana club that wants a business license. Medford police says a business known as The Lounge charged $10 at the door, and patrons with valid medical marijuana cards were given a gram of pot to consume on the premises. The Mail Tribune newspaper reports (http://is.gd/t2gHAr ) that the city's policy is to not give a license to businesses engaged in activities illegal under federal, state or local laws. Medical marijuana is legal under state law, but illegal under federal law. An attorney for The Lounge says the matter will be resolved in court.

>> 4/3/14 Body Found Near OC&E Trail

(AP) — Authorities are investigating the death of a 60-year-old man whose body was found off a trail near the community of Olene in Klamath County. Oregon State Police Lt. Gregg Hastings says the man was dropped off Monday at the OC&E Woods Line State Trail. A hiker discovered the body shortly before noon Wednesday in some brush about 30 yards from the path. There were no signs of foul play and an autopsy will be performed. Hastings says the man was from Klamath Falls, but his name won't be released until Thursday. The OC&E Woods Line State Trail is a 100-mile, rail-to-trail conversion built on the old railbed of the Oregon, California, and Eastern Railroad.

>> 4/3/14 Fort Klamath Man Arrested On Sex Abuse Charges

On April 1, 2014 at approximately 8:20 p.m., OSP troopers contacted EFREN M. VALENCIA, age 58, at his residence in the 52000 block of Highway 62 and took him into custody. A Klamath County Circuit Court judge issued a felony warrant for Sex Abuse in the First Degree after a grand jury indicted VALENCIA following an investigation by OSP Criminal Investigations Division. VALENCIA was lodged in the Klamath County Jail. The investigation centered on alleged criminal conduct toward a known female victim when she was less than 12 years of age. In October 2013, OSP arrested VALENCIA related to another sex abuse investigation into allegations involving a second known female victim who at the time was also under 12 years of age.

>> 4/3/14 Fire Truck Stuck, Home Destroyed In Blaze

MEDFORD, Ore. (AP) — Firefighters could only watch as flames destroyed a home in the Applegate community west of Medford after their truck became stuck on an old bridge on the homeowner's property. Applegate Fire Chief Brett Fillis says a tire broke through the wood decking on the private bridge Tuesday night within sight of the fire. Mail Tribune reports (http://bit.ly/1eeltu6 ) the home was a total loss, estimated at $400,000. The owner escaped and no one was injured. Firefighters dumped water out of the truck to reduce its weight, and it was pulled off the bridge by two tow trucks with no damage to the vehicle.

>> 4/2/14 Klamath Irrigation District Meets Tomorrow

The Klamath Irrigation District Planning Committee meeting is at 9:00 o'clock tomorrow morning, Thursday April 3rd at the KID office at 6640 KID Lane.  The agenda includes 2014 operation scenarios.

>> 04/2/14 Board Issues Proclamations Regarding Child Abuse, Sexual Assault

The  Klamath County Board of Commissioners issued several proclamations at its meeting Tuesday morning. Commissioners proclaimed April as Child Abuse Prevention Month and today, April 2nd as a National Day of Hope. The board also proclaimed April as Sexual Assault Awareness month in the county. The co-director of Marta's House, Caroline, told the meeting her organization helped 2500 individuals in 2013 including 1000 children.  At the meeting commissioners urged citizens to attend the Day of Hope and Celebration on the lawn of the county courthouse today, April 2nd at 3:30 p.m.

>> 4/2/14 Another Resignation At Cover Oregon

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Cover Oregon's chief information officer, who worked to fix Oregon's botched health insurance exchange since May, has resigned — the fourth exchange official to leave. The exchange's spokeswoman, Ariane Holm, said Aaron Karjala (KAR'-juh-luh) resigned on Monday. That came two weeks after Gov. John Kitzhaber told the exchange's board to replace Karjala and chief operating officer Triz delaRosa. An independent investigation found state managers failed to heed reports about technical problems that prevented the exchange from launching. It still doesn't work.Officials said the state's chief information officer, Alex Pettit, will replace Karjala temporarily, and delaRosa remains at the exchange. Karjala's resignation, first reported by The Oregonian, follows those of Cover Oregon's executive director and two officials in charge of the early development of the exchange.

>> 4/01/14 Oregonians Get More Time To Get Health Insurance

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Though Monday marks the national deadline to apply for health insurance for this year under the Affordable Care Act, uninsured Oregonians have an extra month to sign up because of the state exchange's technology problems. The 30-day extension, announced last week, means residents can apply for coverage until April 30. Cover Oregon still doesn't allow the general public to enroll from start to finish in one sitting. To boost enrollments, especially among young people, Oregon is rolling out a last minute $1 million ad campaign on television, online, and via social media. Thus far, a total of 178,000 Oregonians have enrolled in coverage through Cover Oregon. About 55,000 of those enrolled in private health plans, while nearly 123,000 enrolled in the Oregon Health Plan, the state's version of Medicaid.

>> 4/01/14 Campaign Asks Judge For Quick Ruling On Gay Marriage

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Sponsors of a ballot measure to legalize gay marriage in Oregon have asked a federal judge to make a speedy ruling in a case that challenges the state's ban. The campaign said in a filing Tuesday it won't go ahead with its initiative if Judge Michael McShane overturns the ban quickly. Otherwise, the sponsors said, they would press ahead with the campaign — at great time and expense. McShane has scheduled oral arguments for April 23 on two consolidated lawsuits challenging the prohibition. Also Tuesday, a coalition of 36 Oregon employers — including Nike and Intel — filed a "friend of the court" legal brief in support of overturning the ban. The employers say Oregon's marriage exclusion makes it more difficult to recruit talent.

>> 4/01/14 Transient Accused Of Kidnapping

GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — Grants Pass police say a 31-year-old man listed as a transient is accused of kidnapping a woman at knifepoint at a convenience store and forcing her to drive less than a mile to a spot near a house where he was staying. The Daily Courier reports (http://bit.ly/1hfbwfO) an investigation led to the arrest of four other people on methamphetamine, weapons and other charges. Police said a man got into a car Saturday at a 7-Eleven and held the 20-year-old driver at knifepoint. After a short trip, he got out and fled. Police said they traced Daniel Wilford Dawson to a nearby house and arrested him along with others on the property, including the homeowner. One was hiding in shed.

 

>> 3/31/14 Klamath Falls Man Arrested, Charged With Forgery

KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. (AP) — Oregon State Police arrested a Klamath Falls man accused of making counterfeit money. Lt. Gregg Hastings says 36-year-old Vernon Schaeffer was forging fake currency when investigators arrested him in a motel room Friday. Hastings says police seized phony $20, $50 and $100 bills as well as paper, a color copier, methamphetamine and other evidence. Schaeffer was booked into jail on charges of forgery, meth possession and criminal possession of a forged instrument. The investigation started earlier this month after the arrest of a woman who had counterfeit cash.

>> 3/31/14 Man Gets Prison Term For Fatal Wreck

LAKEVIEW, Ore. (AP) — The driver in a 2012 crash that killed his passenger in south-central Oregon has been sentenced to more than six years in prison. The Lake County district attorney says 23-year-old Sean Berglund of Gresham pleaded guilty earlier this month to manslaughter. Berglund initially said an unidentified third person was driving the pickup on Highway 31 about four miles south of the unincorporated community of Silver Lake. State police said the pickup went into a ditch and rolled numerous times before landing on its top. The crash killed 22-year-old Robert Busch of Gresham.

>> 3/31/14 Studded Tires Must Be Off Tomorrow (Tuesday)

ASHLAND, Ore. (AP) — It's a sure sign of spring. The Ashland Daily Tidings reports studded snow tires must be off vehicles by 11:59 p.m. Monday. State law allows motorists to use studded tires from Nov. 1 through March 31. The Oregon Department of Transportation says driving with studded tires after Monday could result in a $190 fine. Transportation officials say the states spend more than $11 million a year fixing damages caused by studded tires on road and bridges.

>>3/28/14 Couple Trapped In Car Almost Five Days, Rescued

A Sprague River couple trying to take a shortcut home after buying groceries ended up trapped in their van for days.  71-year old Ben Richardson and his 66-year old wife Laverne took a Forest Service Road east of Hagelstein Park last Tuesday, March 18th but became stuck in snow.  The couple did not have a cellphone with them.   Ben Richardson has a prosthesis and can not walk on rugged terrain.  He and his wife were able to eat the groceries they bought but by Friday they were running low and Laverne Richardson...who recently had foot surgery...decided to walk out. She found an abandoned blanket which likely helped her survive the cold overnight temperatures. By Saturday she reached Highway 97 and Klamath County Sheriffs and other agencies helped the couple to safety.

>> 3/28/14 Quadriplegic Woman Helped To Safety After Fire Breaks Out At Mobile Home

A mobile home fire in West Villa Mobile Estates on Greensprings Drive Thursday evening resulted in one person being hospitalized Thursday night.  The fire broke out just before 6:00 p.m. and fire crews from Fire Districts 1 and 4 responded along with Kingsley Field Fire. The blaze was out shortly after 7:00p.m.  The owner, John Gower says his wife Sherry was helped out of the burning home by  neighbors. Sherry Gower, who is quadriplegic, was taken to Sky Lakes. One neighbor suffered a cut to the hand when she broke a window to get inside. The home was heavily damaged and the Red Cross Klamath Falls Chapter responded to the scene to help the family.

>> 3/28/14 Cover Oregon Bars Reporters From Legislative Meeting

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon legislators and officials with the state's troubled health exchange are considering whether to open the meetings of a legislative oversight committee to the public after journalists were told they could not attend. Reporters discovered the committee was meeting in private after a Cover Oregon spokeswoman banned members of the media from the meeting room at the agency's Durham headquarters. An attorney who specializes in public records matters says state law requires the meetings be open to the public. But Cover Oregon contends the committee didn't meet the public meeting standards, because it consisted of briefings only. The private meetings were first reported by the Salem Statesman Journal. They have brought to light a committee that has done virtually nothing and had exercised no real oversight over the exchange fiasco.

>> 3/27/14 Energy Advisory Council Votes To Continue PUD Work

The Klamath County Energy Advisory Council voted Wednesday afternoon to continue the work of exploring the feasibility of creating a People's Utility District.  Chairman Steve Souder wanted to end the meetings because of what he believed would be a huge and very expensive legal fight against Pacific Power which has stated repeatedly its business is not for sale. But most of the council members said they have made a great deal of progress and voiced support for continuing to meet on an as-needed basis.  Souder resigned as chairman after the final vote

>> 3/27/14 OR-7's GPS Collar Won't Be Replaced

MEDFORD, Ore. (AP) — A wandering wolf whose trek across Oregon and Northern California attracted worldwide attention could soon fade from the public spotlight. The Global Positioning System collar that has sent regular electronic pulses to reveal his travels for the past three years has eclipsed its normal life span, and state and federal biologists don't plan to replace it. The wolf dubbed OR-7 became a celebrity after leaving a pack in northeastern Oregon in September 2011, just days after the state issued a kill order for his father and a sibling for preying on livestock. Wildlife enthusiasts on six continents have followed OR-7's travels, and will probably never learn how his story ends.

>> 3/27/14 Analyst Says Full Jobs Recovery One Year Out

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — A state economist says Oregon is still a year away from recovering the jobs lost in the Great Recession. Josh Lehner with the Oregon Office of Economic Analysis says the state lost more than 8 percent of its job in the recession that began in 2007. In the recovery, Oregon has regained about 70 percent of the lost jobs. The Oregonian reports (http://bit.ly/QjoSma ) Oregon lost a larger percent of its jobs than the U.S. average and that the rest of the country has nearly made up the lost employment. Lehner said Tuesday that Oregon is now outperforming some other states, but it has a lot of ground to make up.

>> 3/26/14 Deadline To Enroll For Health Insurance Extended

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Gov. John Kitzhaber says Oregonians will have an extra month to sign up for subsidized health insurance. Kitzhaber said Wednesday the deadline to apply for coverage is now April 30. His announcement comes a day after the Obama administration said it would allow people additional time to sign up in certain circumstances, including technology problems. Oregon's exchange, Cover Oregon, has been plagued by software glitches. The new federal health care law requires nearly all Americans to have health coverage. The extension will give some people more time to avoid a penalty, although the governor's office says some people may still face a partial fine depending on how they enroll.

>> 3/26/14 Atchley Trial Set For Late April

KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. (AP) — An April 23 trial date has been set for a Chiloquin man accused of going on a burglary spree before a lengthy standoff with police.  22-year-old Cylise Atchley was arrested Feb. 28 after spending about 10 hours hiding out inside and beneath an unoccupied single-wide trailer. Police say Atchley broke into at least four homes Feb. 27. He allegedly shot at one of his victims after being confronted. The alleged victim returned fire. No one was injured. Atchley has pleaded not guilty to charges of burglary, vehicle theft, aggravated theft and attempting to elude law enforcement.

>> 3/26/14 Big Settlement Reached In Bend D.A Lawsuit

BEND, Ore. (AP) — The state has released the amount paid to settle a lawsuit filed against Deschutes County District Attorney Patrick Flaherty by a former employee who alleged she was wrongfully fired. The Oregon Department of Administrative Services said Monday that Sharon Sweet got $310,000. Flaherty fired Sweet in October 2011, saying the investigator's work was not "consistently above expectations" and she violated personnel rules by not disclosing her involvement in a romantic relationship with another investigator. Sweet said the DA created a hostile work environment for employees who exercised their right to protected speech. The Bend Bulletin reports (http://is.gd/tCIjpE) that since 2005 the department has paid about $1.7 million in claims on employment-related lawsuits filed against all Oregon district attorneys. Of that, 80 percent has been for cases involving Flaherty.

>> 3/21/14 Judge Won't Release Surveillance Information

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A federal judge in Oregon is denying defense lawyers' efforts to reveal all surveillance information about their client obtained under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. U.S. District Judge Garr King said late Wednesday that he doesn't believe he can or should force the government to provide that surveillance in the case of Mohamed Mohamud.The Somali-American was accused in an FBI sting of plotting to detonate a bomb at Portland's downtown Christmas tree lighting in 2010. Undercover agents supplied a fake bomb. Government lawyers disclosed in November that prosecutors conducted warrantless overseas surveillance directed at Mohamud. The disclosure came months after Mohamud was convicted of attempting to detonate a weapon of mass destruction. Mohamud argued that the late notice means he may not have received a fair trial.

>> 3/21/14 Cover Oregon Report Released

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — An independent review of Oregon's troubled health insurance exchange has found that a breakdown of management, an overly ambitious scope, and low quality of work by technology contractor Oracle Corp. are some of the reasons for Cover Oregon's failed launch. Details of the investigation were announced by Gov. John Kitzhaber at a press conference on Thursday. Kitzhaber lashed out at Oracle, saying the review found the company had missed deadlines and performed incomplete work. Kitzhaber said Bruce Goldberg has resigned as director of the Oregon Health Authority. Goldberg has been interim director of Cover Oregon and will remain in that position until the new executive director is hired. Oregon is the only state where the public still can't sign up for health insurance online in one sitting.

>> 3/21/14 State Releases Rules For Pot Dispensaries

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Hash brownies, space cakes and other pot-laced munchies won't be among the items allowed at Oregon medical marijuana dispensaries, state officials say, and that's drawn criticism from pot shop advocates. The Oregon Health Authority released draft rules late Wednesday for medical pot dispensaries to follow when they open as early as next week under a new law. Although medical marijuana will be available at the dispensaries, the agency wants to ban sweets containing the drug because they could be attractive to young people. But dispensary advocates say patients who take the drug orally need the sweetened pot products. They say a little sugar helps the bitter medicine go down. The rules could still change, but the agency wanted to have something in place when dispensaries begin getting their licenses.

>> 3/20/14 Jackson County Declares Drought Disaster

MEDFORD, Ore. (AP) — Jackson County commissioners declared a local drought disaster Wednesday and will ask the state to help industries feeling the effects of a dry winter. Recent U.S. Department of Agriculture reports show the snowpack in the Rogue Basin is 31 percent of average. The Mail Tribune reports the Mt. Ashland Ski Area failed to open for the winter because of a lack of snow. County officials expect agricultural businesses to suffer as well. Irrigation districts could be forced to curtail water use later this summer. If Gov. John Kitzhaber declared a drought disaster in Jackson County, the State Water Resources Department could prioritize water rights for human consumption and livestock. Dry conditions also could lead to an early start to the summer wildfire season.

>> 3/20/14 Bone Cancer Study released

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — A state analysis shows Oregon has a high rate of a childhood bone cancer that has caused worry in a West Salem neighborhood where five children were diagnosed with the disease and three died. The analysis done by the Oregon Health Authority shows Oregon and Utah second in the nation, behind Idaho, in the rate of childhood osteosarcoma over a five-year span. The state epidemiologist, Dr. Katrina Hedberg, tells the Statesman Journal that it's hard to draw conclusions from such sometimes-random rankings. A federal environmental investigation of West Salem soils found nothing that could be linked to the diseases. The state analysis covers a period that includes some, but not all, of the West Salem cases.

 

>> 3/19/14 Ashland Drafting Gun Control Law

ASHLAND, Ore. (AP) — The Ashland City Council has voted 4-2 to order up a draft of an ordinance that would ban carrying loaded guns openly in public. The Daily Tidings (http://bit.ly/1lOJLiO) reports the vote Tuesday doesn't mean the measure will eventually be approved. One council member said his yes vote was to gain time to think about the question. The ban wouldn't apply inside vehicles. Several audience members were armed. Many nodded their heads when council members said they feared the measure would draw gun rights advocates to Ashland to display their weapons in public. Under Oregon law, a person may openly carry a loaded gun in public. Local jurisdictions may require the weapons be unloaded.  The council voted against asking for a draft to regulate gun storage.

>> 3/19/114 Ranch Victims Had Been Shot

MEDFORD, Ore. (AP) — Prosecutors say the owner of a ranch in Southern Oregon where the remains of two people were found had shot both victims in the head. The revelation came Wednesday in Jackson County Circuit Court in Medford, where 65-year-old Susan Monica was asking a judge to grant bail. Judge Tim Barnack denied the request. Monica is facing two counts each of murder and abuse of a corpse and one count of identity theft in the 2013 death of a handyman living on her property, and in the 2012 death of another person whom authorities have yet to identify. Investigators found the remains when they went to her property in Rogue River in January to investigate the improper use of handyman Robert Haney's food stamp card.

>> 3/19/14 Cat Whisperer Coming To Oregon

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The black-and-white cat that clawed at a baby who pulled its tail and cornered an Oregon family in a bedroom has touched off an Internet divide that worries cat behaviorist Jackson Galaxy. The star of Animal Planet's "My Cat from Hell" is headed to Portland to help the cat named Lux and the family, who had to be rescued from the room by police. Galaxy says cats don't turn on their families for no reason. He says it could be a chemical imbalance, environmental stress, or because the animal was kicked. He says he's seen cats act out like Lux because of an abscess tooth, a brain tumor, hyperthyroidism or diabetes. Lux's story will be featured on Galaxy's show this season.

 

>> 3/13/14 VA Clinic In White City Open

WHITE CITY, Ore. (AP) — A viral outbreak that sickened more than 200 people at a White City Veterans Affairs facility has subsided. The Southern Oregon Rehabilitation Center and Clinics east of Medford is reopening Thursday after restricting access since last week. A highly contagious norovirus caused diarrhea, nausea and stomach cramps for 156 patients and 64 staff members. The Daily Courier reports (http://bit.ly/1hfhZJC ) 17 people were treated at hospitals for dehydration. The facility formerly known as the VA?Domiciliary is stressing hand washing to help control the norovirus.

>> 3/13/14 Gun Rights Group Endorses Linthicum

Republican Congressional Candidate Dennis Linthicum has been endorsed by the Oregon Firearms Federation (OFF). Dennis is running for Congress in Oregon’s 2nd District, and is a proud supporter of 2nd Amendment rights. "I think at this particular time in our history, we need somebody who's going to be aggressive about the things we support. Representative Walden’s tenure as been marked more by an apparent desire to get along rather than lead,” said Kevin Starrett, executive director of OFF. “Frankly we can’t find much of a difference between his voting record and super liberal Kurt Schrader on 2nd Amendment issues. Whatever you say about Congressman Walden’s seniority, he hasn't been consistent on this issue. The people who are getting things done are the people who are making waves, like Ted Cruz and Rand Paul, and when we are losing freedoms every day, we can’t have someone in office who's main interest is getting along with Washington.”

>> 3/13/14 Several Marijuana Measures May Be On November Ballot

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Paul Stanford, one of the nation's leading marijuana legalization advocates, doesn't only want Oregonians to have the right to smoke pot. He wants it written into the state constitution. Stanford's proposed constitutional amendment is one of several pot questions that may go to Oregon voters in November. Others are offering competing proposals for how the state would regulate and tax marijuana sales. Legalization advocates are gearing up their campaigns after the Legislature declined to put a measure of its own on the ballot. They'll have to gather tens of thousands of signatures by early July. The groups behind the measures have received sizeable contributions from their backers and say they're confident they'll succeed.

>> 03/12/14 Air Quality Advisory GREEN Until Noon Thursday

>> 3/12/14 Race For County Commissioner Goes Negative

Klamath County Commissioner candidate Jeff Houston has attacked candidate Kelley Minty Morris saying on KTCI-FM Radio in Crescent-Gilchrist, "The only thing fresh about my primary opponent might be the feminine hygiene product she uses." Houston refused to apologize when asked by KFLS News if his remarks were inappropriate. In fact Houston laughed and said he was only trying to be humorous. Houston then continued to attack Minty Morris saying her service as an (unpaid) member of the county budget committee is part of the failure of county government. Later Houston sent an email to KFLS News stating that if Minty Morris supports vets " why didn't she serve in the military?" later adding, "The only way she supports vets is sleeping with one." Kelley Minty Morris sent an email to KFLS News Tuesday which states, "I am disappointed by this remark. Voters tell me they want to hear real conversation on moving our community forward, not sexist and ignorant commentary on hygiene."  Houston also attended a candidate's forum February 11th hosted by the Tea Party and moderated by Betty Lucht and stated he helped start the Tea Party when he lived in Chicago. Lucht confirmed to KFLS News Tuesday Houston did make that remark. However last Friday morning, March 7th, Houston told KFLS News Director Paul Hanson before an appearance on the Klamath Talks Public Affairs Program (8:35am to 9am Mon-Fri) that he worked on the U-S Senate and presidential campaigns of (now-President) Barrack Obama while living in Illinois. Records also show Houston attended a Democratic Party Central Committee meeting in Klamath Falls, November 5th, 2013.

>> 3/12/14 VA Facility In White City Reopens Tomorrow

The VA SORCC will resume business and reopen its doors on Thursday, March 13.  The facility will continue to take extra precautions such as stressing the importance of hand hygiene to anyone entering the campus to help minimize a resurgence of the norovirus.  VA SORCC Director, Don Burman, wishes to thank our Veterans and the Southern Oregon community for their understanding and support through this crisis. 

>> 3/12/14 Serious Wrecks On Injures One, Highway 97 Closes For Three-Plus Hours

Oregon State Police (OSP) is continuing the investigation into Tuesday morning's serious injury traffic crash involving a pickup and commercial truck on Highway 97 about eight miles north of LaPine. The highway was closed for approximately 3.5 hours. On March 11, 2014 at approximately 8:53 a.m., a Dodge pickup driven by, WILLIAM GOOD, age 31, from Bend was northbound on Highway 97 near milepost 160 when it crossed the centerline and collided nearly head-on with a southbound commercial truck. The commercial truck, driven by JUAN RAZO-NORIEGA, age 34, from Bend, came to rest off the highway in the trees and the Dodge pickup was positioned on the highway.
GOOD was extricated by firefighters and transported to St. Charles Medical Center in Bend with serious injuries. RAZO-NORIEGA was reported not injured. Both GOOD and RAZO-NORIEGA were wearing safety belts.

 

>> 3/12/14 Cat Story Update

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon owners of a 22-pound housecat who trapped them in their bedroom after attacking their baby say they're not giving up on their pet and are getting it medical attention and therapy. Two days after police arrived to subdue the 4-year-old part-Himalayan cat, owner Lee Palmer of Portland says he's taking the feline to a veterinarian. A pet psychologist also is due at the house to see the cat, named Lux. Palmer says the animal attacked after the 7-month-old child pulled its tail. The baby wasn't injured. On the 911 call, the cat can be heard screeching in the background as Palmer says in a panicked voice: "He's charging us. He's at our bedroom door." Palmer also tells the dispatcher the cat has a "history of violence."Officers used a dog snare to capture the cat, and placed it in a crate.

>> 3/11/14 Air Quality Advisory GREEN Until Noon Wednesday

>> 3/11/14 Unemployment Down In Klamath County In January

South Central Oregon’s economy ushered in 2014 with continued improvement to the unemployment rate and seasonally adjusted employment growth. Klamath County’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in January was 9.6 percent, the lowest level since August 2008. Lake County dropped to 9.7 percent in January.The national unemployment rate was 6.6 percent in January, while the state rate was at 7 percent. Klamath County’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate continued to decline in January, down to 9.6 percent from 10 percent in December. Over-the-year, unemployment fell from 11.3 percent in January 2013.

>> 3/11/14 Big Quake Triggers Aftershocks

EUREKA, Calif. (AP) — An earthquake that struck offshore and rattled the Northern California coast has been downgraded to a magnitude-6.8. The quake about 50 miles west of Eureka on Sunday night was initially reported as a magnitude-6.9. It was felt widely across the region and across the Oregon border, but there were no reports of injuries or damage. The quake had produced 20 aftershocks of magnitude-3.5 or larger by late Monday morning, and more were expected over the coming days.

>> 33/11/14 Alley Won't Run For Governor

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Former Oregon Republican Party Chairman Allen Alley says he won't be running for governor or any other elected office this year. Alley announced his decision on Twitter on Monday and confirmed in a telephone call. He says he's "not going away," but it's not the right time for him to run for office. He says a run would make it impossible for him to the follow through on promises to help the management teams of companies he's invested in. Alley ran for governor in 2010 but lost the GOP primary to Chris Dudley. He had publicly mulled another run this year to challenge Democrat John Kitzhaber. His decision not to run leaves state Rep. Dennis Richardson of Central Point as the front-runner for the Republican nomination.

>> 3//11/14 Cat Traps Family In Bedroom

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Portland police had to be called in to subdue a 22-pound house cat that trapped its owners inside their bedroom after attacking their baby. The baby was not injured in the Sunday incident. Sgt. Pete Simpson, a Portland Police Bureau spokesman, said officers responded to a 911 call that evening from a couple who had locked themselves in their bedroom with the baby and their dog after the cat attacked the child. Simpson said the 911 operator could hear the cat screeching in the background as the couple awaited help. Officers used a dog snare to capture the cat and placed it in a crate. Simpson said the owners told the dispatcher the cat has a history of violence. He said the cat remained with its owners.

>> 3/10/14 Air Quality Advisory GREEN Until Noon Tuesday

>> 3/10/14 Strong Quake Off Northern California Coast

EUREKA, Calif. (AP) — Officials say a powerful magnitude 6.9 earthquake struck Sunday night off the coast of Northern California, but there was no danger of a tsunami.  The U.S. Geological Survey says the temblor struck at 9:18 p.m. PDT about four miles beneath the Pacific seabed and about 50 miles west of Eureka. Sheriff's and fire officials in Humboldt County, which includes most of the populated areas near the quake, say there have been no calls about damages or injuries. USGS seismologist Susan Hoover says more than 300 people have reported feeling the temblor on their website. The National Tsunami Warning Center says there is no tsunami danger for the region.

>> 3/10/14 Mt Ashland Considering Refunds

ASHLAND, Ore. (AP) — Daffodils and fruit trees are blooming in the valley below the ski area at Mount Ashland, where there's been no skiing this season. The Daily Tidings (http://bit.ly/1fQgm8s) reports the ski association is considering requests for refunds, in whole or part, for season passes. The area isn't obligated to make refunds. Earlier this winter, the general manager, Kim Clark, said that going a year without income could "potentially close the area." New federal figures have confirmed this winter produced the least amount of snow on the mountain since the surveys began in 1963. A storm system dropped 10 inches of snow last week, but it didn't accumulate. Northern California's Mount Shasta Ski Park also didn't open. It will allow skiers to use their passes next winter, for a small fee.

>> 3/10/14 Gas Prices In Oregon On The Rise

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The AAA auto club reports the average price of a gallon of gasoline in Oregon is $3.51. That's up 9 cents in a week and 23 cents in a month. It's 2 cents higher than the national average. Some metro prices from the AAA's Monday survey: Portland $3.49, Salem $3.51, Eugene-Springfield $3.55, and Medford-Ashland $3.55.

>> 3/7/14 Air Quality Advisory YELLOW Until Noon Saturday

>> 3/7/14 Todd Kepple Appointed To Oregon Heritage Commission

Todd Kepple of Klamath Falls and Sarah LeCompte of Baker City will participate in their first meeting Friday as members of the Oregon Heritage Commission. Governor John Kitzhaber recently appointed them to fill vacancies on the Commission.  Kepple has been manager of the Klamath County Museum for the past eight years, and involved with a range of community organizations since 1993.  LeCompte has worked at the Bureau of Land Management's National Historic Oregon Trail Interpretive Center in Baker City since 1993, including the past 10 years as manager.  The Heritage Commission is comprised of nine appointees representing Oregon's heritage and geographical diversity. There are also nine advisory representatives from state agencies and statewide organizations. The mission of the Oregon Heritage Commission is to secure, sustain, and enhance Oregon's heritage by ensuring coordination of heritage initiatives by public and private organizations; advocacy on its behalf; education of the public about its extent and value; and promotion and celebration of its diversity.

>> 3/7/14 Special Loan To Help Reopen Rough And Ready Lumber

Governor Kitzhaber today announced a $1 million dollar loan package to help Rough and Ready Lumber reopen for business in Cave Junction. Along with other measures, the financial support from the Governor’s Strategic Reserve Fund will allow the third-generation, family-owned mill to serve its customers and support local, well-paying jobs. “It is a great day for Southern Oregon, and for the whole state, when we can celebrate the reopening of a family-owned business that provides family-wage jobs for its employees,” said Governor Kitzhaber. “We must continue to find a balance between ensuring a healthy timber industry and protecting our forests for the many benefits they provide. The people of Cave Junction and Southern Oregon are willing to meet this challenge head-on. I am here to support them in any way I can.”  Rough & Ready’s owners, Jennifer and Link Phillippi, announced in April 2013 that they would close the mill, ending its 92-year run. The mill needed costly improvements. The lack of an adequate supply of federal timber to ensure a sustained and profitable operation prevented the business from receiving the financing needed to retool. The closure of the mill resulted in the loss of 88 jobs. The Governor directed his advisors, including his Southern Oregon Regional Solutions team, to work with the Phillippis on pathways to reopen the mill. Over the past year, the Governor’s Office, Business Oregon, the Oregon Department of Forestry, Ecotrust, and the Southern Oregon Forest Restoration Collaborative joined with the Phillippis to identify an adequate source of timber and secure financing so the mill could reopen its doors and get Cave Junction back to work.  The $1 million loan announced today will provide operating capital while Rough and Ready modernizes its mill to improve efficiencies. The package includes a $250,000 loan with a 5-year term. The remainder is a forgivable loan dependent on the company creating at least 60 new full-time jobs. 
The Phillippis, who have already started the hiring process, look forward to putting people back to work. “We are overjoyed at the prospect of opening a revitalized sawmill and hiring 67 employees from our community,” said Jennifer Phillippi. “We thank Governor Kitzhaber and his team for their creative work and support, which gave us the confidence and ability to move forward and take advantage of the New Market Tax Credit program.” The state of Oregon agreed to make state New Market Tax Credits available to Ecotrust, which will combine the state allocation with a federal allocation of tax credits to assist in financing the mill’s improvements. “Maintaining mill infrastructure is critical to the health of forests and communities of rural Oregon,” says Bettina von Hagen, Managing Director of Investments and Community Engagement at Ecotrust CDE. “This new financing will allow Rough and Ready to reopen and upgrade their small diameter mill, providing infrastructure for forest management and much needed jobs, now and in the future.” 
The project also identified opportunities for increasing federal timber supply not only for Rough and Ready but for other regional companies as well. The forest restoration program was developed by the Southern Oregon Forest Restoration Collaborative (SOFRC). The program balances restoration, habitat conservation, old tree protection, and the use of existing roads to identify a long-term supply of timber. George McKinley, Executive Director of the SOFRC, praised the news. “Not only does this create jobs in the community, it also enhances our capacity to restore federal forests, which in turn reduces the risk of fire to communities and improves forest health.”   
 

>> 3/7/14 Big Exercise Planned For Wednesday, March 12th At O-I-T

On Wednesday March 12 at 10 am, Oregon Institute of Technology, Sky Lake Medical Center, Fire District No. 1 and the Oregon State Hazmat Team will be conducting a full scale exercise.  This drill will exercise the response to a hazardous material release that creates a mass casualty event.  The OHSU nursing students will be playing the role of victims and distressed family members, and will be transported from the Stadium at OIT to the Sky Lakes ER. Students from the S-300 Incident Commander Class that is being taught in the area will visit the exercises to observe.  This offers a great opportunity for new commanders to see the all hazard aspect that they may face. "This will give us a chance to really work out some of the kinks in our plan” says Monte Keady, a Division Chief with Klamath County Fire District No. 1.  “As an agency, we each have a plan for what we are going to do, but this setting allows the plans to work at the same time and we can find areas to adjust and refine.”  The drill is set to start at 1000 hours at OIT Track Stadium involve Sky Lakes Medical Center.  The exercise is expected to last up to 3 three hours. Funding for the drill is provided by the Region 7 Healthcare Preparedness Program and the individual agencies.

 
 
>> 3/6/14 Air Quality Advisory GREEN Until Noon Friday

>> 3/6/14 GAO To Investigate Cover Oregon

UNDATED (AP) __ The investigative arm of Congress has agreed to look into problems with state health exchange websites around the country, including Oregon's. The U.S. Government Accountability Office on Wednesday agreed to a request from a group of House Republicans to audit how $304 million in federal grants were spent on the Cover Oregon website, which has yet to enroll a single person online without special assistance.  The agency said due to similar requests from several members of Congress and congressional committees related to the rollout of online health care exchanges, it would broaden the investigation.GAO spokesman Charles Young says just which states will be included with Oregon will be determined as the investigation goes forward. Republicans have been stepping up their attacks on troubled health exchanges during this election year.

>> 3/6/14 Cows Show PTSD Symptoms In Wolf Study

CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) — Cows that survive a wolf encounter reportedly suffer symptoms similar to post-traumatic stress disorder.  A study by Oregon State University found the stress decreases pregnancy rates and increases the number of lighter calves and the likelihood of getting sick. Weight loss translates into a financial loss for ranchers.  KPTV reports (http://bit.ly/1faKEwM ) researchers induced wolf stress by putting cows in a pen scented with wolf urine while playing recorded wolf howls on a stereo. The study was conducted by Oregon State University animal scientists Reinaldo Cooke and David Bohnert. The study was funded by the Oregon Beef Council and published in the Journal of Animal Science.

>> Study Says Crater Lake Park Creates $36-Million In Local Economic Benefit

A peer reviewed study by economists from the U-S Geological Survey concludes Crater Lake National Park creates  more than $36-miollion to the local economy.  The study for the year 2012 shows 447,251 visitors to Crater Lake spent more than $36-million in communities within a 60 mile radius of the park and that spending supported 551 local jobs. Most visitor spending supports jobs in restaurants, grocery and convenience stores (39%) hotels, motels & B&B's (27%) and other amusement and recreation (20%).

>> 3/6/14 House Allows Cities, Counties To Temporarily Ban Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon cities and counties would be allowed to ban medical marijuana stores, but only temporarily, under a bill approved in the Oregon House.  Lawmakers voted Wednesday to allow local bans until May 2015.  The cities and counties had requested the power to ban the medical marijuana outlets permanently, but House Democrats said that would have faced strong opposition in the Senate. They negotiated Tuesday to make the bans temporary. The cities, counties and law enforcement lobbies say they'll continue to push for permanent bans. Legislators say they will review the issue over the next year and may revisit it in 2015.

>> 3/5/14 Air Quality Advisory GREEN Until Noon Thursday

>> 3/5/14 Deal Reached On Klamath Basin Water Issues

GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — A deal to share scarce water between ranchers and the Klamath Tribes has cleared another hurdle on its way toward becoming part of a bill in Congress to overcome a century of fighting over water in the Klamath Basin.  Parties announced Wednesday they have finished negotiations to overcome last summer's irrigation shut-off to cattle ranches in the upper Klamath Basin after the Klamath Tribes exercised newly awarded senior water rights to protect fish.The deal still must be voted on by the tribes and ranchers. If approved, it becomes part of Oregon Democrat Sen. Ron Wyden's effort to pass legislation authorizing removal of four hydroelectric dams on the Klamath River to help struggling salmon, and another that gives farmers on a federal irrigation project greater assurances of water during drought. The agreement includes three key elements.

1. A Water Use Program that will increase stream flows in tributaries above Upper Klamath Lake - adding at least 30,000 acre feet annually to inflows to the lake, while creating a stable, predictable setting for agriculture in the Upper Klamath Basin.

2.A Riparian Program that will improve and protect riparian conditions to help restore fisheries.

3. An Economic Development Program for the Klamath Tribes.

>> 3/5/14 Bonanza Woman Missing Since Late February

The Klamath County Sheriff has received a missing person report for 48 year old Debra Morgan-Sparks who has not been seen since February 22nd.  Samantha Berry is Morgan-Sparks daughter and told KFLS News her mother and stepfather argued and her mother left the couple's cabin on Bly Mountain with her dog, Buddy.  Later the dog's collar and a headband Morgan Sparks was wearing were found between the home and a forested area. Morgan-Sparks is 5-foot-5, 130 pounds, brown hair with blonde highlights, hazel eyes and a large tattoo of a wizard on her back. Anyone with information is asked to call police.

>> 3/5/14 House Committee Approves Rules For Pot Dispensaries 

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — A state House committee has approved a compromise measure that would allow Oregon communities to ban medical marijuana facilities, but only temporarily.  The bill cleared the Rules Committee on Tuesday. It would allow cities and counties to control things like the hours and locations of the medical pot outlets. Local governments that don't want the facilities would be able to ban them until May 2015.  The cities and counties originally wanted permanent authority to ban pot stores. House Democrats said the changes were a compromise designed to help the measure pass the Senate.  A lobbyist for the Oregon Association of Chiefs of Police said they wanted the original bill but recognized the need to compromise.  Legislators have committed to reviewing the issue of local control over medical marijuana facilities and may revisit it again in 2015.

>> 3/4/14 Air Quality Advisory GREEN Until Noon Wednesday

>> 3/4/14 OIT Women Headed To National Championships In Sioux City, Iowa

Kassi Conditt’s career-high 26 points led second-seeded Oregon Tech to their first-ever Cascade Collegiate Conference women’s tournament championship with an 88-72 victory over arch-rival, and four-seed, Southern Oregon University in the CCC title game Monday night at Danny Miles Court.  Oregon Tech will take a 28-5 record back to the NAIA Division II national tournament in Sioux City, Iowa beginning March 12-18.  The Owls will find out their pairing on Wednesday evening.  Conditt added to her career-high in points, eight rebounds, seven blocks, a pair of assists and a steal in the win.  Karly LeVeque chipped in 16 points to go with three assists and a steal, while Karissa Dixon added 13 points, seven assists four rebounds, three steals and a block.  Maria Ramirez was the last Owl in double figures with 10 points, eight rebounds and six assists with Rebecca Matteri following with eight points and four rebounds.  Oregon Tech connected on 48.8% of their tries on 28-of-60 from the floor, while knocking down 29-of-38 from the charity stripe.  The Owls recorded 23 assists on their 28 makes, while SOU held a decisive 50-38 advantage in rebounds. Kristen Shoenherr led the Raiders with 14 points to go with six rebounds, followed by Carly Meister with 13 points and six boards.  Autumn Durand chipped in 11 points and six rebounds.  Allison Gida grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds to go with seven points in the loss for SOU.  Southern Oregon finished 25-of-67 shooting (37.3%) and were just 18-of-36 from the free throw line.  SOU finished with 21 assists on their 25 field goals.

>> 3/4/14 Big R Stores Sold, Will Be Called Coastal Big R

KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. (AP) — Albany-based Coastal Farm and Ranch has bought three Big R stores in Oregon, those at Klamath Falls, White City and Redmond.  The three stors were owned by Rock Tyrholm. The purchase price was not disclosed.Rob Miller, manager of the Klamath Falls store, said the purchase would mean the store will be called Coastal Big R and expand its product lines. Coastal Farm and Ranch was founded in 1963 and now has 15 locations in Oregon and Washington state.

>> 3/4/14 Governor Pessimistic About Cover Oregon Website

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Gov. John Kitzhaber is expressing pessimism about the ability for Cover Oregon to get its website fully functioning before the March 31 deadline for people to sign up for insurance under the federal health care law.  In a statement Monday, Kitzhaber says "it has become increasingly clear that we may not be able to have the public portion of the website operational for the current enrollment period." He says the state must do everything possible to ensure people can sign up through backup enrollment procedures. Kitzhaber's statement followed an announcement by Cover Oregon that it will pay its main technology contractor $44 million of the nearly $70 million it was withholding in payments. In return, Oracle Corp. has agreed to continue working with the state during a transition period.

>> 3/3/14 Air Quality Advisory GREEN Until Noon Tuesday

>> 3/3/14 Basin Task Force To Brief Upper Basin Ranchers Tomorrow On Water Deal

Upper Klamath Basin cattle ranchers have been invited to a briefing by the Klamath Basin Task Force at O-I-T on Tuesday, March 4th from 4-to-6:00 p.m.  A cattle rancher received a post card today informing him of the meeting but told KFLS News the card did not (not) include a return address. A member of the Task Force told KFLS News this (Monday) afternoon the final agreement could be reached and announced sometime this week.  The Klamath Tribes will have to vote on any deal that is reached and that vote is expected in April. The task force was created by Congressman Greg Walden, U-S Senator Ron Wyden and Governor John Kitzhaber last spring to try to resolve power and water issues in the Klamath Basin. The task force reached "Agreement In Principle" in early December.

>> 3/3/14 Pacific Power Removing Two Link River Dams

Pacific Power will decommission two Link River hydroelectric dams beginning March 21st. Pacificorp spokesman Bob Gravley says the change won't have much of an impact on the company's ability to meet power demand because the dams contribute only 2% to the entire Klamath Hydroelectric Project. The decommissioning however is expected to benefit Lost River and Short Nose Sucker fish which are on the Endangered Species list. The U-S Fish and Wildlife Service estimates the incidental "take" of the two fish will drop 90%.  

 >> 3/3/14 Are E-Cigarettes Dangerous?

MEDFORD, Ore. (AP) — Medford authorities say the lithium batteries that power the vaporizers in electronic cigarettes have caused two fires recently in Medford when they overheated during charging. Fire Marshal Greg Kleinberg says one caused a mattress to catch fire, while the other exploded and sent bits of burning battery into the ceiling and walls. Kleinberg tells the Mail Tribune (http://bit.ly/NnD7Ve ) that nobody got hurt, but either fire could have gotten out of hand, with serious consequences. He says the devices aren't strictly regulated, and not all have been tested by nationally recognized laboratories.  Kleinberg says people who use the battery-powered devices should unplug them before going to bed be sure to have a working smoke alarm.__

 

>> 2/28/14 Air Quality Advisory YELLOW Until Noon Saturday

>> 2/28/14 Sprague River Man Arrested After Long Standoff

A Sprague River man was arrested near Olene late Thursday after a near 12 hour standoff.  Klamath County sheriff Frank Skrah described 22 year old Silas Atchley as "a career criminal" who was arrested after a deputy with a K-9 partner located Atchley hiding underneath tarps below the under skirting of a mobile home.  Skrah says Atchley "didn't want to get dog bit."  The incident began when three men at a Lake Swan home allegedly found Atchley trying to steal weapons. A chase and a gunfight ensued although no one was hurt. Atchley was able to steal a vehicle and he later drove off Highway 140 near Milepost 15 and ran away. Later a second homeowner found Atchley in his house and after running from the home Atchley stole the man's ATV. Later Atchley was believed to be near a  mobile home at Olene.  Swat teams from the sheriff's department were joined by Oregon State Police teams.  Skrah says every available deputy was involved.  Skrah says at this time there have been five reports of burglaries and three stolen vehicle reports in connection with the case.  Atchley already has multiple charges pending in Klamath County Circuit Court and now more charges will be added.

>> 2/28/14 Egyptian Preacher To Testify At Terrorism Trial

NEW YORK (AP) — An Egyptian Islamic preacher awaiting trial in New York after his extradition from Great Britain says he will testify at his April trial.  A judge included a letter from Mustafa Kamel Mustafa in a court filing Thursday. Mustafa faces charges he conspired to support al-Qaida. The government says he conspired with Seattle men in October 1999 to set up a terrorist training camp in Bly, Ore., and helped abduct two American tourists and 14 others in Yemen in 1998. He has pleaded not guilty. Mustafa said in a letter to Judge Katherine Forrest dated Feb. 21 that he will testify. He says he plans to discuss all the people, organizations and places in his indictment. His lawyer did not immediately respond to a message for comment.

>> 2/28/14 Officials Welcome Health Care Decision

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Gov. John Kitzhaber and the Sen. Jeff Merkley are hailing the Obama administration's decision to let people get tax credits if they bought health coverage directly from an insurance company because of technical problems with Cover Oregon. Kitzhaber says the news means more Oregonians will be able to access affordable health coverage. Markley says "Oregonians should not have to foot the bill for Cover Oregon's failures."  Cover Oregon's online enrollment system did not launch on schedule in October and exchange officials struggled to devise a backup plan to enroll people. They brought in 400 workers to process applications by hand, a time-consuming process that created a backlog of thousands of applications. Later last year, Cover Oregon officials advised people to enroll directly with insurance carriers if they needed coverage immediately.

>> 2/27/14 Air Quality advisory GREEN Until Noon Friday

>> 2/27/14 Klamath 911 Emergency Communications District Meets Saturday

The public is encouraged and invited to attend a work session meeting of the Klamath 911 Emergency Communications District on Saturday morning.  The meeting will discuss a proposed property tax levy of 8-cents for 911 operations that is expected to appear on the May 20th ballot.  The goal is to form an operating fund for the district of $1-point-67-millikon dollars over the next five years. If approved by voters, the tax would cost the owner of a $150,000 home $12 a year.

>> 2/27/14 Some Conservatives Say They'll Avoid Dorchester Conference This Year

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Some prominent Oregon conservatives will skip the annual Republican gathering known as the Dorchester Conference. They're angry about a planned debate on same-sex marriage and promotional material that includes a favorable reference to a time when attendees opposed a ban on abortion.  Former U.S. Sen. Bob Packwood founded the March conference 50 years ago. A newsletter about this year's event contains his recollection of his "favorite moment," the abortion decision.  Gayle Atteberry of Oregon Right to Life tells the Oregonian the conservatives feel "punched in the nose and poked in the eye." She says they plan an alternative "freedom rally" in Clackamas.  Conference organizer Jonathan Thompson says Dorchester generally has a debate on a divisive topic, and he's expecting attendance this year to be about average.

>> 2/27/14 Sheriffs Complain About Medical Costs For Jail Inmates

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregonians who get arrested and go to jail lose their health insurance benefits, and counties start picking up the cost of their medical care.  The Salem Statesman Journal reports that sheriffs are now asking the Legislature to require health insurers to cover inmates until they stand trial. The sheriffs say that just one inmate with serious health problems can raise health care expenditures by hundreds of thousands of dollars, cutting the money available for deputies and patrols. One legislator says excluding inmates from benefits before they go to trial amounts to discriminating against them because they can't make bail. The insurance industry argues the constitution requires government to provide care for inmates. A House committee passed the measure, and it's now in the joint budget committee.

>> 2/26/14 Air Quality advisory GREEN Until Noon Thursday

>> 2/26/14 Quake Off Oregon Coast

A magnitude 3.2 earthquake struck off the Oregon coast shortly after 3:00 o'clock Tuesday afternoon. The epicenter of the quake was 92 miles west-northwest of Coos Bay. No damage or Injuries reported.

>> 2/26/14 Cops Bust Three Teens & One Adult For Dozens Of Commercial Robberies

Three juveniles and one adult have been arrested and charged in connection with 26 commercial burglaries in the past two weeks.  At a Tuesday afternoon news conference at the Sheriff's office some of the recovered stolen items were displayed and they included many knives, swords, a rifle, a stun gun, gold coins and a movie camera.  One of the teenagers was identified on surveillance video by a School Resource Officer and that led to the arrests of the two other juveniles and the adult. Detective Alan Nealy led the investigation and told reporters, police are concerned because during a search of one suspect's home they found a photo of 8-high powered rifles and some swords that have yet to be recovered. Anyone with information is asked to call the Klamath County Sheriff. 

 

>> 2/25/14 Air Quality Advisory GREEN Until Noon Wednesday

>> 2/25/14 Couple Indicted For Manslaughter, Child Neglect & Child Mistreatment

A Klamath County Grand Jury on Monday indicted 26 year olds Thomas and Danielle Hevener on charges of Manslaughter and five counts Child Mistreatment and five counts Child Neglect.  The Hevener's 18-month old son, Jeffrey, was in a locked bedroom with four other siblings last week. An autopsy copncluded the infant died of strangulation by accident. During the investigation police learned the Hevener's locked their five children in a bedroom everyday from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. The Hevener's posted $10,000 bond each and were released. Their other four Hevener children are in state custody and their parents are not allowed contact with them. The couple is to be arraigned at 1:30 p.m. Friday.

>> 2/25/14  Sharon Forster To Run For Judge

Assistant Klamath County District Attorney Sharon Forster has filed to run for Circuit Court Judge in the May election. Forster, a veteran prosecutor, says she will re-evaluate her position in the event incumbent Judge Roger Isaacson decided to file for another six year term. Forster says she has the utmost respect for Isaacson said she spoke to Isaacson and "it did not appear to me that he planned to run again."

>> 2/25/14 Fair Board Appoints Todd Hoggarth Interim Manager

The Klamath County Fair Board of Directors on Monday named Todd Hoggarth interim Fair Manager. The move follows last week's resignation of Jerry Golden who stepped down without explanation.  The board also voted to reinstate staff work hours to 40 hours per week. Staff hours had been cut to 36 hours a week in 2012.

>> 2/25/14 Third Candidate Enters Race For County Commissioner Position #2

The race for Klamath County Commissioners became a bit more crowded Monday when Bob Moore of Keno announced he will seek position #2.  Moore, director of the Keno Rural Fire Protection  District has served on several county commissions and boards., He joins Kelley Minty Morris and Jeff Houston in the May primary election .  The three are vying to replace Commissioner Dennis LinthiCum who is challenging incumbent Republican Congressman Greg Walden in the May primary.

 

>> 2/24/14  Air Quality Advisory RED Until Noon Tuesday

>> 2/24/14 Community Meeting At Klamath Union High Tonight

The public is invited to attend a Community Meeting at Klamath Union High School tonight at 7:00 o'clock in the cafeteria of the school. The meeting will focus on the need to renovate and rebuild Klamath Union High. Tours of the 85 year old high school will be given. Initial plans are to shrink the size of the school from 206,740 square feet down toi 150,000 square feet and will accommodate up to 950 students. School board members say safety is the big reason for the work at Klamath Union High.  The school board is considering a $30-to-$35 million dollar bond to finance the renovation and rebuild after last year's decision to back away from building a new high school which carried an estimated price tag o0f $70-to-$80 million.

>> 2/24/14 Two Henley Schools Closed Today; Middle School Open

Henley Elementary and Henley High School CLOSED today, Monday February 24th, due to broken water pipes. However, Henley Middle School is NOT closed and open as usual. Superintendent Greg Thede says he expects repairs to be completed later today and Henley Elementary and Henley High will re-open tomorrow.

>> 2/24/14 Rain In Forecast Later This Week

The National Weather Service is forecasting rain in the Klamath Falls area this week.  The forecast calls for a 20% chance of rain Wednesday, 50% chance of rain Thursday and cloudy skies with a chance of rain through the weekend.

>> 2/24/14 Fair Board Meets Today; Agenda Includes Executive Session

The board of the Klamath County Fair is holding a meeting this afternoon at 2:00 p.m. at the fairgrounds. Last week Fair Manager Jerry Golden resigned without explanation. Today's agenda includes an Executive Session where hiring and personnel issues can be discussed.

>> 2/21/14 Air Quality Advisory RED Until Noon Saturday

>> 2/21/14 Parents Charged With Manslaughter Following Death Of Infant Son

KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. (AP) — A Klamath County couple have been charged with manslaughter in the death of one of their 18-month-old twins.  KFLS Radio reported Friday the two are also charged with criminal mistreatment and child neglect. Authorities say their five children were locked in their rooms 14 hours a day, from 5 p.m. to 7 a.m. Sheriff Frank Skrah says the body of Jeffrey Hevener was found Sunday. The medical examiner ruled the cause of death was accidental strangulation. The parents are 28-year-old Danielle Hevener and 26-year-old Thomas Hevener. They were arrested Thursday.The surviving twin and children ages 7, 5 and 2 are in the custody of the Department of Human Services. A Klamath County Grand Jury will take up the case Monday.

>> 2/21/14 Woman Kills Four, Injures Two In Alturas Rampage

ALTURAS, Calif. (AP) — Police say a woman who opened fire at the headquarters of a Northern California Indian tribe shot and killed her brother, nephew and niece.  Modoc County Sheriff Mike Poindexter on Friday identified the four people who died in the shooting.  He said they included the suspect's brother, 50-year-old Rurik Davis, her niece, 19-year-old Angel Penn and her nephew, 30-year-old Glenn Calonicco.  Police say Cherie Lash Rhoades, former chairwoman of the Cedarville Rancheria tribe, shot and killed the four people on Thursday during a meeting at tribal headquarters about evicting her and her son from tribal land. Two other people were wounded. Police said one of them was alert and talking. The other remained in critical condition. Rhoades was taken into custody after the attack.

>> 2/21/14 Klamath County 9-1-1- Seeks 8-Cent Levy In May

The Board of 911 Emergency Communications voted this week to ask voters to approve an 8-cent levy in the May election.  Executive Director Keith Endicott says the money is needed to replace aging equipment and increase staff to handle higher call volumes.  As of now 9-1-1- dispatch can only handle two calls at a time.

 

>> 2/20/14 Air Quality Advisory RED Until Noon Friday

>> 2/20/14 K-Mart Closing In June; 64 Workers Will Lose Jobs

The Klamath Falls K-Mart store will close in June throwing 64 people out of work.   Sears Holding Corporation spokesman Howard Reifs says the store will begin a liquidation sale beginning April 3rd.  Reifs says the closure is due to the lease not being renewed. Reifs says the workers will be given the opportunity to apply for open positions at Sears or K-Mart stores elsewhere.

>> 2/20/14 County Charter Proposal Going To The May Ballot For County Wide Vote

 Supporters of a County Charter have turned in enough valid signatures on petition to put the issue to a vote of the people in the May election.  Citizen activist Kate Marquez and a group called Citizens For Positive Change gathered 1,443 valid signatures and turned them in to the Klamath County Clerk on Wednesday.  They needed 1,390 to make the ballot.  The charter, if approved by voters, calls for hiring a County Administrator who would handle day-to-day operations of the county much the same as a City Manager does for the city.  It also calls for reducing the pay of the three commissioners to $20,000 annually plus expenses, reimbursement for travel and health care.  Commissioners Jim Bellet and Tom Mallams have argued against the charter and contend the county will not save any money but instead will spend $186,000 more than is being spent now for only three commissioners.

>> 2/20/14 Fair Manager Quits; No Reason Given

The Klamath County Fair Manager Jerry Golden, has resigned and Fair Manager Mike Romtvedt would not disclose why calling it, "a personnel matter."  The fair has been struggling financially for the past several years and in 2012 laid off some staff and cut remaining workers hours to 32 per week. Also in 2012 the fair got a $300,000 loan from Klamath County promising to repay the money over five years. At the end of the last fiscal year the fair still owed $230,000.

 

>> 2/19/14 Air Quality Advisory GREEN Until Noon Thursday

>> 2/19/14 Woman Sentenced To 90 Months For Shooting Husband

Circuit Court Judge Dan Bunch on Tuesday sentenced 67-year old Elizabeth Bray to 90 months in prison for shooting her now former husband, Donald at the couple's on Bristol Avenue.  A jury convicted Bray of Assault One on February 7th 2014. Investigators determined Bray was intoxicated on November 2, 2010 when she went to a bedroom and got an automatic pistol which she fired twice at her husband but the weapon misfired both times. Bray cleared the weapon and fired a third shot which hit her husband in the shoulder.  He was hospitalized at Sky Lakes where he remained for some time.  

>> 2/19/14 Progress Reported In Medford Teachers Strike

MEDFORD, Ore. (AP) — There may be some progress toward ending the teachers strike at Medford. The Medford School District and Medford Education Association held an unexpected bargaining session Tuesday after checking in with a state mediator. The Mail Tribune reports (http://bit.ly/1fyI4RN ) both sides swapped proposals for Wednesday's scheduled negotiations. Superintendent Phil Long says he hopes to finish work on a contract and feels the union is interested in doing that too. Medford has Oregon's eighth-largest district with 13,500 students and 600 union teachers. In the second week of the teachers strike, schools are operating with substitutes.

>> 2/19/14 City County Officials Discuss Regulating Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

Klamath County Commissioners, City Councilors, Public Health and Law Enforcement officials discussed proposed rules for medical marijuana dispensaries.  The city is expected to take up the issue at its meeting March 3rd.  County commissioners indicated they will take up the matter as soon as state lawmakers finalize rules and they also said they wan t their rules to closely mirror those adopted by the city.  At the meeting was Ed Medina who plans to open a dispensary under the name, "A Better Way...Medicinal Alternatives" at 3255 Washburn Way.  Medina complained to city and county officials that the city has not acted on his business application and without it he can not move forward and start an application with the state.  Medina also told the meeting there are 32 pages of rules and regulations that are available from the Oregon Health Authority which he says tightly regulate what dispensaries can and can not do and also at the same time tightly regulate where the medical marijuana can come from.

>> 2/18/14 Air Quality Advisory GREEN Until Noon Wednesday

>> 2/18/14  Patridge Running For Klamath County District Attorney

Klamath County District Attorney Rob Patridge today announced that he has filed with the Oregon Secretary of State to run for Klamath County District Attorney in the upcoming May 2014 Election.
About his announcement Patridge said, “I’m honored to serve the people of Klamath County as the District Attorney. The community has been welcoming and supportive. Despite financial constraints, Klamath County has come together to make the criminal justice system a priority and embrace change.”
“I truly believe that justice delayed is justice denied. Over the last ten months I have worked collaboratively with the Court, Sheriff, Klamath Falls Police Department, Oregon State Police, Community Corrections, and defense lawyers to make sure that justice is served. Together we have substantially changed the criminal justice system. “Super Tuesday” or “Settlement Day” is resulting in criminals being held accountable much more quickly, which over the long-run should lower our crime rate.”
“We are resolving one hundred and thirty five percent (135%) more cases or 100 more cases a month since we started Settlement Day. In addition, the District Attorney’s Office on average is now trying eleven (11) cases per month as opposed to four (4) per month. 2013 was the first year in five years that the number of criminal cases filed did not exceed the number of cases
resolved. The criminals are no longer winning by delay. Over the past five months we have reduced the total case backload by eight and a half percent (8.5%), over 420 cases.”
 

>> 2/18/14 Medford Teachers Strike Enters Second Week

MEDFORD, Ore. (AP) — The Medford School District hired 24 more substitute teachers over the holiday weekend and shifted support staff as a teachers strike enters its second week.  Superintendent Phil Long says the district has about 165 substitutes this week and hopes to stabilize enrollment. Enrollment dropped to 44 percent on Friday with students reporting large class sizes.About 20 of the 600 unionized teachers crossed picket lines last week to return to work. Medford has Oregon's eighth-largest district with 13,500 students. Negotiations between the district and the Medford Education Association resume Wednesday.

>> 2/18/14 Gas Prices Inch Up

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The AAA auto club reports the average price of a gallon of gasoline in Oregon is $3.32.  That's up 4 cents in a week but only a penny higher than a month ago. It's a nickel lower than the national average and 31 cents lower than a year ago in the state.  Some metro prices from Tuesday's AAA survey: Portland $3.30, Salem $3.27, Eugene-Springfield $3.37, and Medford-Ashland $3.37.

>> 2/13/14 Air Quality Advisory GREEN Until Noon Friday

>> 2/13/14 Congressman Walden Wants GAO Probe Of Cover Oregon

MEDFORD, Ore. (AP) — U.S. Rep. Greg Walden and three congressional colleagues — all fellow Republicans— are requesting a federal investigation of Oregon's troubled health insurance exchange.  Walden made the announcement at a press conference in Medford on Thursday. Also in attendance was state Rep. Dennis Richardson, a Republican running for governor.  Walden is asking the General Accounting Office to look into how the state spent $304 million in federal funds on the startup of Cover Oregon, which hasn't enrolled a single person through its online portal.  Republicans have been stepping up their attacks on troubled health exchanges during this election year.

>> 2/14/14 Marijuana Legalization Measure Clears Senate Committee In Salem

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — A bill to put the issue of pot legalization on Oregon's November ballot has moved a step closer to a vote in the state Senate.  The measure would ask voters to decide whether to legalize marijuana while allowing the Legislature to work out the details of regulating production and sales. Supporters say that will give the Legislature more control than would the initiated measures that legalization advocates propose for November. The Senate Judiciary Committee advanced the bill on a 3-2 vote Thursday. The committee's two Republicans opposed it. The bill will have to clear the Senate Rules Committee before reaching the full Senate.

>> 2/13/14 Gun Background Check Bill Hits Snag

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — An Oregon bill that would require background checks for private gun sales appears to be in trouble.  Senate President Peter Courtney has promised to allow a vote in the full Senate if the measure can get out of the Judiciary Committee. But there wasn't enough support in Judiciary, so on Thursday that committee sent the bill instead to the Senate Rules Committee. Last year, a nearly identical bill withered without a vote in the Rules Committee.  Democratic Sen. Arnie Roblan of Coos Bay says he couldn't support sending such a contentious bill to the full Senate knowing it doesn't have enough votes to pass. Republicans think Democrats want to force a full Senate vote on gun control to force GOP lawmakers in swing districts to take a tough vote.

>> 2/12/14 Air Quality Advisory GREEN Until Noon Thursday

>> 2/14/14 Commissioners Reject Request For Jail Funding Fee On May Ballot

Klamath County Commissioners have rejected a request to put a proposed $95 annual jail operations fee on the May 20th ballot.  A citizens group called COPS had started collecting signatures for a $144 annual fee to fund the jail but dropped the effort after few signatures were gathered and the initiative was withdrawn.  Commissioners have a policy or requiring individuals or organizations to gather signatures rather than put measures before voters by request. Commissioners cited a variety of reasons for rejecting the request including not enough time to study and do diligence of the idea...no clear understanding of how the money (if approved by voters) would be collected and a lack of citizen involvement in the process thus far.  Supporters then asked if the measure could be put on the May ballot as an advisory vote to gauge public sentiment but that idea was also rejected. Supporters indicated they may try to gather signatures for a November advisory vote.

>> 2/12/14 USF&WS Delists Modoc Sucker Fish After 30 Years

GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — Federal biologists say a small fish in desert creeks of Southern Oregon and Northern California has recovered enough to get off the endangered species list.  The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Wednesday the Modoc sucker is no longer in danger of extinction, after nearly 30 years of recovery efforts.  The Modoc sucker is the second fish in two weeks proposed for delisting. It was listed in 1985 due to loss of habitat. Recovery efforts have focused on fencing livestock out of its streams.  The proposal goes through a 60-day public comment period before a final decision.  The action comes as Republicans in Congress are trying to change the Endangered Species Act to limit lawsuits and give states more power.___

>> 2/12/14 Commissioners Put Museum Levy On May Ballot

Klamath County Commissioners decided not to follow their own policy Tuesday when they voted 2-1 to put a 5-cent levy for the county museum on the May ballot.  The levy is a proposed 5-year extension of the museum levy voters approved in 2011. Commissioner Dennis Linthicum voted "no" on grounds the levy this time is for five years and the original levy was only for three years.

>> 2/14/14 Insurance Agents May Be Granted Access To Cover Oregon

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon's troubled health exchange says insurance agents and community partners might soon be able to enroll Oregonians in coverage in one sitting.  Cover Oregon spokesman Michael Cox said yesterday that the application and enrollment part of the website is currently being tested. If testing is successful, agents and others would have access to it sometime later this week.  The planned improvements would allow agents to enter client applications, receive eligibility determinations, and assist clients with shopping and enrollment in a specific plan. Other parts of the online exchange would still not be operational, such as communicating with carriers and making payments for insurance plans.  Cox did not have an estimate for when the website would open to the public.

>> 2/11/14 Air Quality Advisory GREEN Until Noon Wednesday

>> 2/11/14 Whitsett's Well Shutoff Bill Dead At legislature

Legislation to block the Oregon Water Resources Department from shutting off more than 125 wells in the Upper Klamath Basin in  April is dead at the legislature.  A bill written by State Senator Doug Whitsett and State Representative Gail Whitsett would have blocked the well shutoffs until Oregon Water Resources could prove the wells were interfering with surface water rights.  The department is basing its decision to shutoff wells in April on computer models. Farmers, ranchers and others from the Klamath Basin testified in support of the Whitsett's bill but it was announced last (Monday) night the bill is dead and no more hearings will be held on the subject. Senator Whitsett says he has not yet found out who killed the bill.

>> 2/11/14 Commissioners Asked To Put COPS Jail Funding Measure On Ballot   

A citizens group called COPS (Citizens Organized For Public Safety) has withdrawn an initiative petition they had launched to fund the county jail. The signature gathering effort was going nowhere and the decision was made to instead ask county commissioners to put a five year, $95 Public Safety Fee on the May ballot. The revised proposal would still be paid by every home and business in the county.  County commissioners have made it a policy to reject requests by an individual or organized groups to put measures on ballots. Commissioners have instead taken the position the individual or group should go out and collect signatures. If commissioners reject the COPS request at their Wednesday work session the issue will be dead.

>> 2/11/14 Commissioners Vote To Close Some Transfer Sites, Raise Per Cubic Yard Fees

Klamath County Commissioners have voted to close four waste transfer stations and increase per cubic yard dumping fees by 120%.  Ten citizens testified in opposition to the closures and higher fees, many warning it will lead to increased garbage dumping on private, state and federal lands in rural areas. Commissioners decided to move ahead noting the Klamath County Solid Waste Division lost $1-million dollars between 2010 and the end of 2013.  Commissioners did indicate they may not totally close a few of the transfer stations, keeping them open only once or twice a month.

>> 2/10/14 Air Quality Advisory YELLOW Until Noon Tuesday

>> 2/10/14 Rain, Winds In Klamath Basin Through The Weekend; Snow Level To Rise

A SERIES OF WINDY, WET STORMS ARE EXPECTED FROM TUESDAY NIGHT
THROUGH THE WEEKEND...
A FAST JET STREAM ACROSS THE NORTH-CENTRAL PACIFIC WILL TAKE AIM ON THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST BEGINNING TUESDAY NIGHT AND CONTINUING INTO THIS WEEKEND. THIS WILL RESULT IN A SERIES OF WINDY, WET STORMS ACROSS THE AREA. GUSTY SOUTH WINDS WILL INCREASE THROUGH THE SHASTA VALLEY AHEAD OF THE FIRST STORM TUESDAY EVENING...THEN SPREAD ACROSS THE REMAINDER OF NORTHERN CALIFORNIA AND THE EAST SIDE IN OREGON TUESDAY NIGHT INTO WEDNESDAY. WIND GUSTS IN THE SHASTA VALLEY WILL LIKELY BE 45-50 MPH, BUT MAY EXCEED 60 MPH OVER THE EAST SIDE NEAR SUMMER LAKE AND THE HIGHER TERRAIN. A PERIOD OF MODERATE PRECIPITATION IS EXPECTED WITH WIDESPREAD RAIN AMOUNTS OF ONE HALF TO ONE INCH WITH LIGHTER AMOUNTS IN EASTERN LAKE AND SOUTHEASTERN MODOC COUNTIES.  SNOW LEVELS WILL START OUT NEAR 5000 FEET, BUT WILL RISE QUICKLY ABOVE 7000 FEET, SO NO SIGNIFICANT SNOWFALL IS EXPECTED.  THERE MAY BE A LULL IN THE PRECIPITATION THURSDAY BEFORE ANOTHER STRONG SYSTEM ARRIVES THURSDAY NIGHT INTO FRIDAY. ADDITIONAL DISTURBANCES OVER THE WEEKEND PROMISE TO DELIVER MORE RAIN AND GUSTY WINDS.

>> 2/10/14 Law Enforcement Agencies Participate In Safety Campaign Starting Today

The Klamath Falls Police Department, along with other regional law enforcement agencies will be participating in the Oregon Department of Transportation Safety Belt Overtime Campaign. The safety campaign will start Monday, February 10, 2014, and will continue through Sunday February 23, 2014. The Klamath Falls Police Department will have extra officers on duty to focus on seatbelt use, child safety restraints, cell phone use, speed and other unsafe driving habits.    

>> 2/10/14 County Public Health To Help People Get health Insurance

There is still time for individuals and families to apply for health insurance through Cover Oregon. Everyone most enroll in a health plan by March 15th. Those seeking health insurance should apply as soon as possible to ensure their application is processed prior to the March 15th enrollment deadline.  Klamath County Public Health and Klamath Open Door Family Practice have staff available to help residents apply for health insurance and find coverage that fits their unique needs and budget. Individuals and families seeking health insurance can make an appointment with certified application assistors at Klamath County Public Health by calling 541-882-8846 or at Klamath Open Door Family Practice by calling 541-851-8110.To ensure available help to all Klamath County residents, on February 11th Klamath County Public Health and Klamath Open Door Family Practice will be providing assistance on a walk-in basis at their locations:

Tuesday, February 11th, 9:00am-12:00pm and 1:00pm-4:00pm

403 Pine Street and 2074 S 6th Street, Klamath Falls Oregon 97601

Those attending the walk-in fair should bring: social security number,(s) estimated 2014 household income, and, if currently insured, current health insurance information.

>>2/6/14 Air Quality Advisory GREEN Until Noon Friday

>> 2/6/14 Snow Expected Through Saturday, Rain In Forecast Through Next Wednesday

...WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 10 AM THIS MORNING TO
4 AM PST FRIDAY...
...WINTER STORM WATCH NOW IN EFFECT FROM LATE TONIGHT THROUGH
FRIDAY EVENING...

WINTER WEATHER MAKES A LONG OVERDUE RETURN TO THE REGION....A SERIES OF WINTER STORMS WILL MOVE INTO THE REGION LATE THIS MORNING THROUGH THE WEEKEND THEN ANOTHER SERIES OF STORMS MAY BEGIN LATE TUESDAY. COLD AIR IS IN PLACE...BUT SNOW LEVELS WILL RISE TO AROUND 2500 TO 3000 FEET AS THE FIRST STORM WITH LIGHT SNOW ARRIVES LATE THIS MORNING. SNOW WILL BECOME LOCALLY MODERATE LATE THIS AFTERNOON AND CONTINUE INTO EARLY FRIDAY MORNING. A STRONGER STORM WILL FOLLOW CLOSELY BEHIND. IT WILL ARRIVE FRIDAY MORNING
AND AFFECT SOUTHERN OREGON AND NORTHERN CALIFORNIA THROUGH FRIDAY
EVENING. A THIRD STORM WILL ARRIVE DURING THE WEEKEND WITH HIGHER
SNOW LEVELS AND MAY BE FOCUSED UPON NORTHERN CALIFORNIA.

>> 2/6/14 State May Shut Off Hundreds Of Upper Basin Water Wells This Spring

The Oregon Water Resources department may shut off water wells on more than 125 farms and ranches in the Upper Basin this spring.   The state is basing the decision on computer models which allegedly show wells take water from nearby lakes, rivers and streams.  Republican State Senator Doug Whitsett told KFLS News he wants the state to prove those models are accurate.  The issue is before a legislative committee in Salem today and Whitsett says he expects several irrigators from the Klamath Basin to attend and speak.

>> 2/6/14 Teachers On Strike In Medford; Schools Closed Until Tuesday

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A teacher strike began Thursday morning in Medford after all-night bargaining.  KDRV-TV (http://bit.ly/1iuTTMD ) showed picketers in front of the school district offices after a 6 a.m. deadline set by the teachers union passed.  Superintendent Phil Long told the station the two sides "ran out of time."  The president of the Medford Education Association, Cheryl Lashley, said talks would resume Saturday.  The school district has cancelled classes through Monday in the event of a strike and plans to reopen Tuesday with substitute teachers and security guards.  School days will be shortened to four hours, students from smaller schools will be moved to larger buildings, and extracurricular activities except for high school sports are to be canceled. The two sides said they disagreed on pay, health insurance, workloads and early retirement incentives.

>> 2/5/14 Air Quality Advisory GREEN Until Noon Thursday

>> 2/5/14 Is Drought Coming To An End?

From the National Weather Service

COLD WITH LIGHT SNOW POSSIBLE TONIGHT THROUGH THURSDAY...WET AND LOCALLY WINDY LATER FRIDAY THROUGH THE WEEKEND...

COLD AIR WILL CONTINUE TO MOVE OVER SOUTHWEST OREGON AND NORTHERN
CALIFORNIA FROM THE NORTH TODAY. TODAY WILL BE DRY, BUT MOISTURE
WILL INCREASE TONIGHT RESULTING IN THE POSSIBILITY OF LIGHT SNOW
OVER MUCH OF THE AREA TONIGHT THROUGH THURSDAY. ACCUMULATING SNOW
IS MOST LIKELY IN THE MOUNTAINS AND EAST SIDE, BUT A DUSTING IS
POSSIBLE OVER THE WEST SIDE VALLEYS AS WELL TONIGHT THROUGH
THURSDAY MORNING WHICH MAY IMPACT TRAVEL.  SNOW LEVELS WILL RISE TO 2500 FEET OR HIGHER LATER THURSDAY AND  FRIDAY WITH ADDITIONAL SNOW ACCUMULATIONS LIMITED TO THE MOUNTAINS AND EAST SIDE.  A STRONG WARM FRONT WILL MOVE THROUGH SATURDAY PUSHING SNOW LEVELS ABOVE PASS LEVEL FOR THE REMAINDER OF THE WEEKEND. THE FRONT WILL BRING WIDESPREAD MODERATE TO HEAVY RAIN TO MUCH OF THE AREA THIS WEEKEND ALONG WITH BREEZY TO WINDY CONDITIONS TO THE COAST, MOUNTAINS, AND PORTIONS OF THE EAST SIDE.  PERIODS OF WET, UNSETTLED WEATHER ARE EXPECTED NEXT WEEK AS WELL.


>> 2/5/14 Oregon Health Plan Reports Fewer ER Visits

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — People on the Oregon Health Plan are making fewer visits to the emergency room and more visits to primary care clinics.  Those are the findings from a report released yesterday on Oregon's year-old coordinated care organizations. The Oregon Health Authority says the data show Gov. John Kitzhaber's overhaul of the state Medicaid program is achieving its goals in reducing unnecessary use of the emergency room. Oregon Health Plan members made 13 percent fewer ER visits in the first nine months of 2013 when compared with 2011. The number of primary care visits jumped 16 percent in the year after CCOs launched. The data don't allow for a definitive conclusion about whether CCOs are responsible for the shifts.

>> 2/5/14 Lawmakers Will Study Free Tuition At Community College Classes

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Gov. John Kitzhaber and several state lawmakers want the state to look at allowing graduates of Oregon high schools to attend community colleges for free. The idea was presented yesterday to a state Senate committee, which voted to order a study of the concept. Oregon got national attention last year when lawmakers voted for a different model that would allow students to attend universities for free in exchange for repaying the state with a portion of their future earnings. Kitzhaber told lawmakers that the promise of a community college education could motivate young people to perform well in high school. Democratic Sen. Mark Hass estimates it would cost the state about $100 million a year if every Oregon high school graduate took advantage.

>> 2/4/14 Air Quality Advisory GREEN Until Noon Wednesday

>> 2/4/14 County Declares Drought State Of Emergency

The Klamath County Board of Commissioners have declared a state of emergency due to drought conditions. Commissioners will ask Governor John Kitzhaber to declare a drought emergency.  The Natural Resources Conservation Service reports snow pack in the county was 19% of normal on January 1st and the recorded snow pack at Crater Lake National Park is the 3rd lowest on record since 1945. County Emergency Manager George Buckingham told the board the state's Water Availability Committee and the Oregon Drought Council were planning to meet next week but the meeting was moved up to this Thursday due to the drought problem spreading across Oregon.

>> 2/4/14 Dog Sled Races At Chemult Cancelled

The 2014 Dog Sled Races scheduled for February 15th and 16th in Chemult have been cancelled due to lack of snow. The races were originally scheduled for January but were rescheduled in hopes snow would begin to fall ijn the area.  As of yesterday only a few remnants of ice were visible at the site of the races and little snow, if any, is in the weather forecast for the next several days.
 

>> 2/4/14 Klamath Falls Man Arrested On Rape, Sodomy Charges Involving Child

Police have arrested 48 year old Brian Gene Russell of Klamath Falls charging him with six felony counts including 1st Degree Sodomy and 1st Degree Sex Abuse.  Police say the victim was five or six years old when the abuse began in 2004 and continued again in 2010 and 2013.  Police say the girl revealed the incidents to a sheriff's deputy.  Bail for Russell has been set at $250,000

>> 2/3/14 Air Quality Advisory GREEN Until Noon Tuesday

>> 2/3/14 City Council To Discuss Regulations For Marijuana Dispensaries Tonight

The Klamath Falls City Council is holding a 6:15 p.m. work session this (Monday) evening to discuss proposed regulations for medical marijuana dispensaries.  The state has approved dispensaries to begin operating March 1st. At this time, two people have expressed an interest in opening dispensaries in the Klamath Falls area. The regular meeting of the council follows the work session.  On the agenda for the council meeting is a proposal to allow local businesses to offer discounts to military veterans through an issued ID card. The idea for veterans discounts was developed by County Clerk Linda Smith and Veterans Service Officer Kathy Pierce.

>> 2/3/14 Senator Wyden's Logging Bill Before D.C. Committee Thursday Morning

A bill to increase logging on federal O-and-lands sponsored by Oregon Senator Ron Wyden will be the focus of a hearing before the U-S Senate's Energy and Natural Resources Committee this Thursday morning in Washington, D.C. Wyden's bill would double timber harvests and also create 87,000 new acres of wilderness from the 2.1 million acres of O-and-C lands in western Oregon.  The committee will meet beginning at 6:30 a.m. (Pacific Time) Thursday morning and can be viewed on the internet at energy.senate.gov

>> 2/3/14 State Legislature Starts Five Week Session Today

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon lawmakers have officially started the 2014 legislative session.  The House and Senate convened Monday morning to begin five weeks of work that's likely to be dominated by debates over the legalization of marijuana, gun control and the proposed Columbia River bridge.  The state budget will need to be revised, and lawmakers are likely to look at the fiasco with Cover Oregon, the state's health insurance exchange.  But the agenda for Monday is relatively light. Legislative committees are scheduled to discuss pay inequality, apprenticeship programs and a proposal to allow health care providers to electronically transmit prescriptions for painkillers, stimulants and other so-called Schedule II drugs.

>> 1/31/14 Air Quality Advisory GREEN Until Noon Saturday

>> 1/31/14 Environmental Groups Attack Wyden's Logging Bill

GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — Environmental groups are lining up against Sen. Ron Wyden's bill to promote logging on federal forests in Western Oregon to help struggling timber counties. Leaders from 10 national environmental groups, including the Sierra Club and Natural Resources Defense Council, signed a letter urging members of the Senate to oppose the bill. They say its measures to streamline environmental reviews threaten the foundations of laws like the Endangered Species Act. Leaders of 21 Oregon conservation groups sent a similar letter to Wyden's fellow Oregon Democrat, Sen. Jeff Merkley. Wyden spokesman Keith Chu says the bill has drawn opposition from interest groups on both sides of the issue, and the letters are not surprising in view of a committee hearing being held on the bill next week in Washington, D.C.

>> 1/31/14 Police End Search Of Rogue River Farm

MEDFORD, Ore. (AP) — Jackson County sheriff's officers have wrapped up a three-week search of a rural Rogue River, Ore., farm where they say two people were killed and dismembered. They say they found no additional bodies. The Medford Mail Tribune reports the search concluded yesterday. Investigators dug more than 50 holes and drained a pond in their search for any other possible victims. Susan Monica is accused of killing a handyman and another unidentified victim. She has pleaded not guilty. The sheriff's office says Monica's pigs have been euthanized and removed from the property. One former tenant at the ranch told the newspaper that Monica not only fed dead sheep to her pigs, but also shot three of his pets and fed them to the swine. Sheriff's officers have said they found human body parts on the farm. They have not offered details.  Monica is held without bail in the Jackson County Jail.

>> 1/31/14 Governor Says He Was Misled About Cover Oregon Problems

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Gov. John Kitzhaber says he was led to believe in the run-up to the troubled rollout of Oregon's health insurance exchange that problems developing the website would not prevent it from launching on time. Kitzhaber says he won't know who misled him about the website's progress until he hears back from a technology firm he's hired to investigate. Kitzhaber spoke Thursday at a legislative forum organized by The Associated Press. The Cover Oregon website was supposed to launch in October but still can't enroll anyone from start to finish. There are no estimates for when it will be working. Kitzhaber says a backup system that requires workers to process applications by hand has successfully enrolled nearly 90,000 people in private insurance and the publicly funded Oregon Health Plan.

>> 1/30/14 Air Quality Advisory GREEN Until Noon Friday

>> 1/30/14 Lawsuit Filed Against Klamath County School District

KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. (AP) — A former Mazama High School student who was sexually abused by her volleyball coach seeks at least $1 million in a lawsuit filed against the coach, the Klamath County School District and several district employees. The lawsuit was filed Tuesday at the U.S. District Court in Medford. The victim is identified as Jane Doe.  The coach, 54-year-old Robert Thompson, was arrested in July 2012. He pleaded guilty to sexual abuse and was sentenced to two years in prison. The lawsuit accuses the district of negligence because it allowed Thompson unsupervised access to Jane Doe and other underage female students. District Superintendent Greg Thede declined to comment on the suit because he has not seen it.  Thede says he was notified last week that the suit was going to be filed.

>> 1/30/14 County Energy Policy Committee Sending Letter To Pacific Power

The Klamath County Energy Policy Committee has voted to send a letter to Pacific Power asking four questions: 1. Are Pacificorp assets in Klamath County for sale? 2. Would Pacificorp negotiate a lower power rate for Klamath county? 3. Would Pacificorp sell John Boyle Dam to Klamath County?  4. Does Pacificorp have any ideas or suggestions for reducing power rates? Committee member and hay farmer Lauren Jespersen said his electric power bills have jumped dramatically in the past several years from $30,000 a year to $250,000 a year.  The committee is trying to determine whether a Public Utility District should be formed as a way to save money on electric power rates.  The committee has asked Pacificorp to respond to the letter in 30 days.  The committee will then consider whether to move forward with a PUD or drop the matter.

>> 1/30/14 Bend, OSU Sign Agreement

BEND, Ore. (AP) — The city of Bend has signed an agreement to help guide the development of Oregon State University-Cascades as it expands into a four-year institution.  The Bulletin newspaper reports (http://is.gd/rCagKI) the memorandum of understanding states the city will hold OSU-Cascades to the same land use standards and application process as other developers.  Bend City Manager Eric King and OSU Vice President Becky Johnson signed the deal that covers the first, 10-acre phase of the new college campus in southwest Bend.  They will negotiate a separate agreement to cover planning for the rest of the 56-acre campus.  Left unanswered is whether OSU-Cascades will pay the city for law enforcement and other services.  Property taxes cover most of those expenses. But the university, as a government entity, won't pay property taxes.

>>  1/29/14  Air Quality Advisory GREEN Until Noon Thursday

>> 1/29/14  U-S House Passes Farm Bill

The U.S. House of Representatives today passed a five year farm bill that provides support for Oregon’s farmers, ranchers, and rural communities while reforming programs to save taxpayer dollars. Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.) supported the plan, and released a message explaining his support.  “With House passage of a five year farm bill, we finally have some certainty out on the farm. I spent my early years on a cherry orchard in The Dalles, so I know how important it is to provide our farmers and ranchers with that certainty.   “This reform-minded legislation ensures an adequate safety net for producers, while also reducing spending by $16 billion dollars. We reduce fraud in the food stamp program and we increase assistance for food banks.  “This legislation contains strong support for vital agriculture research that fights disease and pests in everything from onions to pears to potatoes. “And it permanently reauthorizes and provides retroactive disaster funding for livestock producers, like those who lost grazing land and livestock to fires across eastern and southern Oregon.  “And it provides some regulatory relief, both for our foresters and our farmers. I look forward to the Senate passing the farm bill and the President signing it into law.”  The legislation is part of a compromise between the House and the Senate. It is expected to be passed by the Senate in the coming days and be signed into law by the President.

>> 1/24/14 PILT Included In House Passed Farm Bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — The farm bill that has cleared the House includes a one-year extension of a federal program that compensates rural counties for federal lands they can't tax. About 1,900 local governments — mostly in the West — received a total of $400 million last year under the program, known as Payment in Lieu of Taxes or PILT.  More than three-quarters of the money went to 12 Western states, including Oregon, with the largest shares going to California, Utah, New Mexico and Arizona.  Lawmakers in the West had howled after the program was omitted from a budget deal approved this month. Rural communities rely on it for basic services such as police and fire protection and road maintenance.  The House approved the farm bill on a 251-166 vote. The Senate is next.

>> 1/29/14 United Way Campaign Hits 89% Of Goal

The 69th Annual United Way Annual Board Meeting was held Tuesday.  Campaign Chair Lt. Colonel Marin Balakas announced the fund raising effort collected $623,000.  This year's goal was $700,000 and Balakas noted the money collected represents 89% of the goal.

>>1/27/14 Air Quality Advisory RED Until Noon Tuesday

>> 1/27/14 Rain, Snow In Klamath Basin Forecast

The National Weather Service is forecasting rain for the Klamath Basin area later this evening and continuing through Wednesday night when rain is expected to turn to a mix of rain and snow.  Forecasters say the chance of snow will continue in the area through Sunday.

>> 1/24/14 Autopsy Released On Lakeview Man Who Died In Police Custody

Lake County Sheriff Phil McDonald has released autopsy results on the body of 44-year old David Leroy Turnbull who died last week while in police custody. The cause of death was listed as probable acute methamphetamine poisoning, pending toxicology results.  Turnbull, a convicted felon, was arrested last week in a Lakeview grocery store parking lot and police say he was in possession of a pipe and methamphetamine. Turnbull reportedly collapsed while being escorted to jail and was pronounced dead later at Lake District Hospital.

>> 1/24/14 Klamath Falls Woman Arrested After Wrong Way Drive On I-5

Oregon State Police (OSP) cited a Klamath Falls woman following an investigation into an early Saturday wrong-way driver incident in which she was taken to an area hospital for a medical and mental evaluation. Subsequent to the initial hospital evaluation, CHRISTINE L. KOEHN, age 53, from Klamath Falls, was cited to appear in Jackson County Circuit Court for Reckless Driving and Recklessly Endangering Another Person. On January 25, 2014 at approximately 2:52 a.m., OSP Southern Command Center dispatch was notified of a wrong way vehicle southbound in the northbound lanes of Interstate 5 near milepost 54 south of Grants Pass. OSP troopers from Grants Pass and Central Point spanned out onto the freeway to try and find the vehicle as additional calls from other motorists came in.   A trooper traveling southbound spotted the 2009 Nissan Rogue sport utility vehicle near Rogue River but couldn't keep it in sight. The trooper came across another vehicle that was involved in a collision with the wrong way driver. That vehicle's driver had possible minor injury and their vehicle was damaged.   OSP troopers continued looking for the vehicle now reported driving at a high rate of speed as officers from Jackson County Sheriff's Office and Medford Police Department established locations in the Central Point area near milepost 35 and milepost 31 to set up spike strips. A trooper also stopped northbound traffic near milepost 31 to prevent drivers from encountering the wrong way vehicle.   At approximately 3:08 a.m., an OSP trooper reported the vehicle stopped near milepost 36 where OSP detained KOEHN. She was taken to a Medford-area hospital where she was initially examined by doctors. 
Troopers found at least one other motorist who took evasive action and was run off the freeway. That person had not reported injury.

>> 1/24/14  Air Quality Advisory GREEN Until Noon Saturday

>> 1/24/14 City To Discuss Pot Dispensaries Next Month

The Klamath Falls City Council will discuss medical marijuana dispensaries at a Feruary 3rd meeting and City Manager Nathan Cherpeski says the council will also discuss zoning regulations for dispensaries February 17th.  No time has been set for the discussions at this time. Medical marijuana dispensaries become legal in Oregon in March.  County Commissioner Tom Mallams wants to work with the city to come up with rules he says would be "mutually consistent."

>> 1/24/14 Congressman Walden In Klamath Falls Saturday Afternoon

Congressman Greg Walden will be in Klamath Falls on Saturday where he will hold a forestry roundtable discussion focusing on law enforcement, education, healthy forests, and jobs for rural communities. Last September, the House passed legislation co-authored by Walden to put people back to work in the woods, create healthy forests and communities, and provide essential local services like schools and law enforcement. The participants will urge the Senate to act on this bipartisan legislation. The meeting will be hosted by Klamath County Sheriff Frank Skrah. Representatives from industry, education, the county, and communities will also participate.  The meeting is at the Klamath County Sheriff's Office, 3300 Vanderberg Road starting at 3:00 p.m.

>> 1/24/14 Earthquake Reported This Morning In Southern Oregon

GOLD BEACH, Ore. (AP) — A magnitude 3.8 earthquake was reported Friday morning in Southern Oregon.  A U.S. Geological Survey report placed the quake 26 miles northeast of Gold Beach, 34 miles northwest of Grants Pass in a mountainous area of the Rogue Valley.  The agency report said it happened at 5:53 a.m.  Law enforcement personnel in the two cities said there had been no noticeable shaking or reports of damage.

>> 1/23/14  Air Quality Advisory GREEN Until Noon Friday

>> 1/23/14 Air Stagnation Advisory Lifted...For Now

>> 1/23/14 Lakeview Man Dies In Police Custody

LAKEVIEW, Ore. (AP) — Authorities are investigating the death of a Lakeview man who died while in police custody.  State police Lt. Gregg Hastings says two troopers arrested the convicted felon in a grocery store parking lot after finding him with a knife and a pipe containing methamphetamine.  Hastings says the handcuffed man collapsed shortly after midnight Thursday as the troopers walked him toward the Lake County Jail.  He died 30 minutes later at Lake District Hospital.  The man's name has yet to be released, but Hastings says he was 44 years old. An autopsy has been scheduled for Saturday.

>> 1/23/14/ Oregon Unemployment Rate Lowest Since August 2008

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon's unemployment rate has fallen to 7 percent, and state economists say it's a sign of an economy accelerating out of what has been a sluggish recovery from the Great Recession.The state Employment Department said Wednesday the jobless rate for December was the lowest in Oregon since August 2008, when it was 6.7 percent.  In November, the state unemployment rate was 7.3 percent. In December 2012, it was 8.3 percent. The figures are seasonally adjusted.  The agency said the state showed stronger job growth in 2013 than in the previous two years, adding more than 37,000. The year before job growth was at 22,000.

>> 1/23/14 Jeff Houston Running For County Commission

A Klamath Falls man has announced he will run for Position #2 on the Klamath County Board of Commissioners and will refuse campaign donations in his bid for office.  Jeff Houston told KFLS News, two of three county residents live at or below the poverty level and thousands are unemployed or underemployed.  Houston says the county's alcoholism, drug addiction, teen pregnancy and high school graduation rates are among the worst in the state.  Houston, an internet marketing consultant says if elected, every day he will use the internet to find companies looking to relocate.  Houston says he will call one of those companies everyday and invite them to relocate to Klamath county.  Houston says he has already invited two companies (that he would not identify) to come to the county for a private tour and they plan to do so next month.  Houston also told KFLS  News he is a recovering alcoholic, clean and sober for two years.  

>> 1//22/14 Air Quality advisory GREEN Until Noon Thursday

>> 1/22/14 Air Stagnation Advisory Until 10 A.M. Thursday

>> 1/22/14 City Council Tables Utility District Proposal

The Klamath Falls City Council heard from five dozen people Tuesday night during their meeting at the Ross Ragland Theatre and decided to table a plan to create a Municipal Electric Utility.  Many speakers blasted the idea of government taking over a private business, Pacific Power, that has repeatedly stated it is not for sale. Others challenged why the city thinks it has the expertise to takeover electricity service and praised the work of Pacific Power over the last several decades. Others urged the council to focus on bringing good jobs to the city. But some speakers who support the concept of public power urged the council to form a study group for a more in-depth look at the benefits of public power, such as lower rates. Several speakers urged the city not to "go it alone" but instead team with the county which is studying the creation of a Public Utility District.  The council voted 3-2 to table the measured with councilors Bud Hart and Dan Toefell voting no.

>> 1/22/14 Community Forum At Henley High School Tonight

Architects from the Portland based company, Dull, Olson, Weeks will attend a Community Forum from 6:30-to-8 p.m. tonight at Henley High School.  The forum will focus on the floor plans and the design of the new Henley Elementary School. In May of last year voters approved a $31 million dollar county school bond measure with $19.4 allocated to the new Henley school.  The architects will be available to explain the design concept and answer question. County School Superintendent Greg Thede says ground breaking should begin in April and the new school should be finished in time for the opening of school in September 2015.

>> 1/22/14 Man Dies From Burns After Warming Fire Incident In Sisters

BEND, Ore. (AP) — A central Oregon sheriff's officer says one of four people burned when gasoline was poured on a weekend warming fire has died of his injuries.  KTVZ-TV reports (http://is.gd/FR8sTT ) Deschutes County sheriff's Sgt. Mark Eggert said Tuesday that 56-year-old Donald Pierce of Sisters died at a Portland hospital burn unit.  Eggert did not identify the other victims, two of whom also were flown to the Portland hospital with serious burns. He did say the sheriff's office has determined the Saturday night injuries resulted from an accident.  KTVZ reports that one of the injured was a 52-year-old woman. She was in critical condition Tuesday with severe burns.  Authorities say the fire blazed and a gas can exploded when gasoline was poured on a warming fire in a backyard fire pit. Sheriff's Sgt. Ty Rupert said the homeowner who built the fire was having trouble keeping it burning.

>> 1/20/14 Air Quality Advisory RED Until Noon Tuesday

>> 1/20/14 Air Stagnation Advisory Extended Until 4 a.m. Saturday

>> 1/20/14 City Council Considers Utility Tuesday Night At Ross Ragland Theatre

The Klamath Falls City Council meets from 6-to-10 p.m. Tuesday night at the Ross Ragland Theatre to take public testimony and consider creating a Municipal Electric Utility.  Mayor Todd Kellstrom wants to takeover electric service from Pacific Power on grounds city ratepayers will save millions over the next decade.  Pacific Power says it will fight any takeover attempt in court and has stated repeatedly the business is not for sale.

>> 1/20/14 Geothermal Repairs Will Close Alley Tomorrow And Wednesday

City crews will be repairing the geothermal heating system for the next two days.  The alleyway behind Klamath Avenue will be closed between 5th and 6th streets all day tomorrow and Wednedsday.

>> 1/17/14 Air Quality Advisory RED Until Noon Saturday

>> 1/17/14 Four Flu Deaths Reported In Siskiyou County

The Siskiyou County Health and Human Services Agency reports four people have died of the flu within the last two weeks.  The agency reports two men, ages 55 and 65 died this week and two other men, ages 38 and 60 died within the past two weeks. The H1N1 strain of the flu is reported throughout Siskiyou county.  Health officials in California and Oregon are urging everyone to get a flu shot.

>> 1/17/14 City Council Has Six Options On Municipal Electric Utility

City Hall staff has presented the Klamath Falls City Council with six options for dealing with the issue of creating a Municipal Electric Utility.  Those options will be considered Tuesday, January 21st when the council meets at the Ross Ragland Theatre from 6-to-10 p.m. Options include making an offer to buy Pacific power assets, or, submit the issue to an advisory vote, or, make an offer to Pacific Power and begin eminent domain proceedings, or, form a citizens panel to study the issue or, don't move forward at this time. Doors open at the Ragland at 5:30 p.m. and testimony will be taken from city residents first followed by owners of property or business in the Klamath Falls followed by non-city residents.

>> 1/17/14 RNC Wants Cover Oregon Documents

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The Republican National Committee says it's filed a public records request seeking information about Oregon's troubled health insurance exchange.  The request dated Tuesday requests information about compensation and vacation time for two senior officials: Cover Oregon director Rocky King and former Oregon Health Authority Chief Information Officer Carolyn Lawson. King is on leave and does not plan to return. Lawson has stepped down.  Republicans nationally are working hard to turn problems with the health insurance exchange into a 2014 campaign issue. RNC spokesman Michael Short says any Democrat associated with the problems at Cover Oregon is potentially vulnerable, including Gov. John Kitzhaber, U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley and Rep. Kurt Schrader.  The director of the Democratic Party of Oregon calls the Republican move a "press stunt."

>> 1/1/14 Air Quality Index RED Until Noon Friday

>> 1/16/14 Air Stagnation Advisory Until 10AM Tuesday

>> 1/16/14 Commissioners Agree To Put Museum Levy On May Ballot

Klamath County Commissioners have agreed to put a levy for the Klamath County Museum on the May ballot.  The 5-year levy request would continue a levy approved by voters in May of 2011.  The rate is 05-cents per $1,000 assessed valuation.  If approved by voters the levy would cost the owner of a $150,000 home $7.50 per year.  Money raised from the levy would support museum programs.

 >> 1/16/14 Fatal Wreck On Highway 97

Oregon State Police are on the scene of a fatal wreck on Highway 97 near the Highway 62 Junction north of Klamath Falls. Emergency personnel on scene. No other details available at this time.

>> 1/16/14 State Lawmakers Question Liquor "Hybrid Bill"

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — A bill to maintain Oregon's state liquor monopoly but allow sales in large grocery stores has some legislators worried.  The measure comes from the Oregon Liquor Control Commission. It's billed as a hybrid that doesn't go as far the privatization that grocery chains want. The grocers are working on a November ballot measure.  The Oregonian (http://bit.ly/1dgkP0l) reports that legislators at a hearing Wednesday had several concerns, among them a size requirement: Stores smaller than 10,000 square feet couldn't sell liquor, which could put small towns at a disadvantage. Liquor board Chairman Rob Patridge says the bill avoids what he calls "the California model" that allows convenience store and gas station sales.  Sen. Lee Beyer of Springfield says the goal is to "hit the middle ground" in liquor sales and regulation.

>> 1/14/14 Air Quality Advisory RED Until Noon Wednesday

>> 1/14/14 Air Stagnation Advisory Continues Until 4PM Friday

>> 1/14/14 Senior Center Hosts County Charter Forum Tomorrow

Klamath County Commissioner Jim Bellet and local activist Kate Marquez will speak at a Community Forum at noon tomorrow (Wednesday) at the Klamath Basin Senior Center.  The public is invited to attend the forum and lunch will be available for $5 until about 12:30 p.m.  The issue to be discussed is the proposed county charter. Marquez is circulating petitions and has until February 19th to gather 1,390 signatures to qualify for the May 2014 ballot.  If the voters approve the charter the county would hire an administrator, cut the salaries of commissioners and reduce their hours to part time.  At the forum tomorrow Bellet and Marquez will make opening remarks and then take questions from the audience.

>> 1/14/14 City School Board Votes To Give Fairview Elementary To The YMCA

The Klamath Falls City School Board has voted to give the now-closed Fairview Elementary School to the YMCA.  The Y will use the old school for daycare services and athletic programs.  The city school board voted last year to close Fairview at the end of the 2012-2013 school year.  The building is 84 years old and is 39,448 square feet of space.

>> 1/14/14 Police Accuse Rogue River Woman Of Murder, Corpse Abuse

MEDFORD, Ore. (AP) — Jackson County sheriff's detectives who were investigating a 65-year-old rural Rogue River woman in an identity theft case now suspect she has killed two people in the last year-and-a-half.   Susan Monica was arraigned Monday in Medford on two counts of murder and corpse abuse as well as one count of identity theft. She was ordered held without bail. Detective Julie Denney told the Mail Tribune (http://bit.ly/1iNOxfh) officers were searching Monica's 20-acre ranch Friday when they found evidence of homicide.  Victims were not identified in court documents, but they say one was killed in August 2012 and one last September.  Chief Deputy District Attorney Allan Smith says the case is expected to be brought before a grand jury later this week.

>> 01/13/14 Air Quality Advisory RED Until Noon Tuesday

>> 1/13/14 Air Stagnation Advisory Until Friday Afternoon

AIR STAGNATION ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 10 AM THIS MORNING TO 4 PM PST FRIDAY.  STRONG HIGH PRESSURE WILL PERSIST FROM MONDAY THROUGH AT LEAST FRIDAY...RESULTING IN A STRONG INVERSION AND LIGHT WINDS.
LOCATIONS INCLUDE: BEATTY...BLY...CHEMULT...CRESCENT...  GILCHRIST...SPRAGUE RIVER...LAKEVIEW...ALTAMONT...KLAMATH FALLS.
THE STRONG INVERSION WILL LIMIT MIXING OF THE AIR.  AIRBORNE PARTICULATES AND POLLUTANTS WILL REMAIN TRAPPED UNDER THIS INVERSION WITH DETERIORATING AIR QUALITY EXPECTED. THOSE SENSITIVE TO DIMINISHED AIR QUALITY SHOULD TAKE PRECAUTIONS TO LIMIT EXPOSURE.
 

>> 1/13/14 Pregnant Women Urged To Get Flu Shot

As influenza cases sweep across the state, the Oregon Perinatal Collaborative (OPC ) is urging every pregnant woman to get a flu shot. Health complications resulting from influenza infection, such as pneumonia, can be serious and even deadly. "Pregnant women and their newborn infants are at increased risk for serious complications from the flu, particularly from the strain that is currently out there," said Mark Tomlinson, M.D., member of the OPC and Regional Medical Director for Obstetrics, Oregon Region, for Providence Health and Services. Dr. Tomlinson suggested if there continues to be an increase in the number of cases reported in the community, limiting visitors in hospital to further protect mothers and their babies may become necessary.  "The flu vaccine is safe and recommended during pregnancy, and can protect both mother and baby from the flu and its possible consequences, including preterm birth" said Aaron Caughey, M.D., member of the OPC and Chair of OB/GYN Department at Oregon Health and Sciences University.

>> 1/13/14 Medford May Ban Pit Bulls

MEDFORD, Ore. (AP) — Medford residents are divided over a proposal to ban pit bulls or require that the dogs be sterilized.  Police say they've recorded 89 dog attacks over three years, just over half of them by pit bulls. Supporters tell the Mail-Tribune that pit bulls are dangerous. One woman said her Anatolian shepherd was attacked at a park in September, prompting $4,000 in veterinary bills and requiring the dog to be confined to a crate for two months.  Critics of a ban say any dog can be dangerous in the hands of the wrong owner and pit bulls shouldn't be singled out.

>> 1/10/14 Air Quality Advisory GREEN Until Noon Saturday

>> 1/10/14 County Closing Pine Street Building; Non-Profits Scrambling

Klamath County Chief Financial Officer Jason Link says the Fire Marshal says the building at 403 Pine Street no longer meets code. The building will close in March and Public Health will move to the former Mental Health Department building on Vandenberg Road.  The closure announcement has Citizens For Safe Schools and CASA, Court Appointed Special Advocates scrambling to find new office space.  Both organizations are asking the public to help them find new space as a donation or as a partner.

>> 1/10/14 Community Meeting At Henley High School January 22nd  

The public is invited to a community meeting at Henley High School from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. on January 22nd to check out the design for the new Henley Elementary School.  The Portland firm designing the school is Dull, Olson Weekes and will have representatives attend the meeting to answer questions and get public input.  Superintendent Greg Thede says ground breaking for the new school is scheduled for April and construction is to finish in time for the start of the new school year in September 2015.

>> 1/10/14 Governor Says Independent Review Of Cover Oregon Coming

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Gov. John Kitzhaber says the state has commissioned an independent review of what went wrong with Oregon's troubled health insurance exchange.  Kitzhaber says that a firm has been hired to conduct the review, but details were not immediately available.  Cover Oregon's online enrollment system still doesn't work more than three months after it was supposed to launch, and the state is manually processing applications.  Speaking at a news conference in Portland, Kitzhaber highlighted the 170,000 people who gained health coverage this month, noting that it will reduce Oregon's uninsured population by 20 percent.  But Kitzhaber says he's unsure when Cover Oregon's automated enrollment system will work. Only a third of the applicants enrolled through Cover Oregon. The rest were enrolled directly using a process that bypassed the exchange.

 

>> 1/8/14 Air Quality Advisory Green Until Noon Thursday

>> 1/8/14 Flu Cases Confirmed In Klamath Basin

There were 154 laboratory tests for flu in December and according to Sky Lakes Medical Center spokesman Tom Hottman, results showed 17 tested positive and four of the 17 were admitted to the hospital.  The positive tests showed the 17 had Type A flu.  Hospitalizations for the flu have spiked across Oregon in the past two weeks and as of today 7 fatalities, including a 5 year old boy, have been reported. Hottman strongly urges everyone to get a flu shot. 

>> 1/8/14 City Council Discusses Regulating Pot Dispensaries

The Klamath Falls City Council held a work session Monday evening to discuss regulating medical marijuana dispensaries. A Klamath Falls man, Edward Medina Jr, filed a business license application for a medical marijuana dispensary on Washburn Way on December 4th but the city has not acted on it as of this time. City Manager Nathan Cherpeski says the council will likely regulate dispensaries similar to how other adult businesses are regulated.  Another work session by the city council is  scheduled for February 3rd.,  Medina is a medical marijuana card holder who says he suffers from a serious medical condition and can not take prescription drugs and is not a recreational user of marijuana.

>> 1/8/14 Storm May Bring Rain, Snow To Klamath County

The National Weather Service says a storm system this weekend will bring rain, gusty winds and snow to Cascade mountain passes.  The front is expected to move over the area beginning Saturday and snow in the area would be welcome.  As of yesterday the Klamath Basin snow pack was reported at 16% of normal, the lowest in the state.   

>> 1/7/14  Air Quality Advisory GREEN Until Noon Wednesday

>> 1/7/14  Basin Snow Pack Way Below Normal

The Klamath Basin snow pack stands at 16% of average, the lowest in the state.  Federal Department of Agriculture Hydrologist Julie Kaeberle says a very dry fall and a very dry winter (so far) means the basin will need precipitation soon to reach normal snow pack levels. Kaeberle says the rest of the state also has very low snow pack levels. 

>> 1/7/14  Klamath Falls City Council To Sell Land To Fed Ex

The Klamath Falls City Council voted 4-1 Monday night to sell four acres of land at the Airport Industrial Park to Fed Ex for $160,000.  The company plans to build a distribution center that will initially employ 15 people and eventually double that number.  The city will reimburse Fed Ex $40,000 for electricity service that needs to be added to the site.

>> 1/7/14  City Council MUD Meeting January 21st At Ross Ragland Theatre

 The Klamath Falls City Council will meet at the Ross Ragland Theatre, January 21st at 6:00 p.m.  The council is expected to decide whether to form a Municipal Utility District, put the issue to a vote of the people or drop the idea altogether.  The city has paid for two feasibility studies which show ratepayers would save $64 million by the year 2028. Pacific Power has analyzed the study and says the actual cost of taking over the company's assets is more than $84 million, not $31 million as the city study suggests. Pacific Power has warned of an expensive court fight if the city tries to takeover electricity service stating repeatedly "the company is not for sale."

>> 1/6/14 Air Quality Advisory YELLOW Until Noon Tuesday

>> 1/6/14 City Council To Vote On Land Sale Tonight

The Klamath Falls City Council meets tonight and will decide whether to make infrastructure improvements to land at the Airport Industrial Park in order to sell the property for use as a new Fed Ex Distribution Center.  Klamath County Economic Development Director Trey Senn says the infrastructure would include water and sewer service and other amenities.  Senn told KFLS News, the distribution center would initially employ 15 people and eventually would likely employ double that number.  The council meeting starts at 7:00 p.m. tonight at City Hall.

>> 1/6/14 Mountain Biker Killed In Jackson County

CENTRAL POINT, Ore. (AP) — Authorities say an Oregon man has died after crashing his mountain bike.  The Jackson County Sheriff's Office says 54-year-old Craig Steven Lyle of Central Point was found lying near his bike in the middle of a dirt road. A couple who was in the area told authorities they say Lyle pass them at a high rate of speed and later found him on the road nearby.  Investigators believe Lyle may have lost control of his bike or swerved to avoid an obstacle. Lyle was wearing a helmet and riding gear.  Lyle's crash occurred on Old Military Road, which leads to the Johns Peak area that's popular with mountain bikers.

>> 1`/6/14 Former Cafe Owner Accused Of Sex Crimes With Minors

ASHLAND, Ore. (AP) — Authorities are accusing a former Ashland cafe owner of providing drugs to minors in exchange for sexual activity.  The Ashland Daily Tidings reports that 45-year-old Christopher Ian Iverson was arrested Friday on charges of third-degree rape, sodomy and sexual abuse, and other charges. He faces 28 total counts.  Iverson was owner of the Culture Works Cafe, which has since closed. Police said multiple people came forward to say that Iverson was involved in a sexual relationship with one or more minor females who worked at the cafe or frequented the establishment. Investigators also believe that Iverson would provide drugs to minors in exchange for sexual activity.  Police suspect there may be more victims in the case and are asking anyone with information to contact the authorities.

>> 1/3/14 Air Quality Advisory RED Until Noon Saturday

>> 1/3/14 Air Stagnation Advisory Extended Until Noon Monday, January 6th

>> 1/3/14 Cover Oregon Director Officially Resigns

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The man who led Oregon's problem-plagued health insurance exchange has submitted his resignation.  Rocky King has been on medical leave since Dec. 2. His resignation is effective at the end of his leave, March 5. The news came in a letter sent by King to the board of Cover Oregon on Wednesday. The board said yesterday it would begin looking for a permanent director.  King came under fire when the online enrollment system failed to go live in October. The state's online exchange still hasn't launched and Oregon has had to rely exclusively on paper applications.  King is the second official connected to the exchange to resign. Carolyn Lawson, chief information officer for the Oregon Health Authority who oversaw most of the exchange's development, resigned in mid-December.  Oregon Health Authority Director Bruce Goldberg remains Cover Oregon's interim director.

>> 1/3/14 Oregon Court Of Appeals Tosses Prostitution Arrest

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon Court of Appeals says a police officer's suspicion about a woman's attire and the way she looked over her shoulder as she walked along a Portland street known for prostitution wasn't enough to arrest her. The court ruled yesterday against the arrest of Sharita Martin on 82nd Avenue, an east side thoroughfare with a reputation for prostitution and sex businesses.  In 2010, an officer saw Martin and said she showed signs of being a prostitute, including attracting the attention of somebody driving a pickup truck who stopped but then drove off.  Based only on his suspicion, the officer arrested Martin. A trial court judge ruled that the arrest was legal.  The appeals court threw out that ruling and sent the case back to the trial court.

>> 1/2/14 Air Stagnation Advisory Extended Until Noon Monday, January 6th

>> 1/2/14 Southern Oregon Men Help In Search For Missing Plane

Individuals from Southern Oregon are involved in theongoing search effort for a Beech Bonanza single engine airplane which went missing December 1st with five passengers aboard. Burl J. Brim, Jr., president of Brim Aviation and Air Rescue Systems of Ashland, Oregon, responded to the search area in Idaho along with Emergency Airlift president, Edward A. Langerveld, of Klamath Falls.  Brim and Langerveld piloted Air Rescue System’s helicopter to McCall, Idaho Sunday.   The search area is approximately 30 miles west of McCall in mountainous terrain.  The all-volunteer crew and the donated aircraft were able to search areas of interest Monday before having to return to Oregon due to snow forecasted for the search area Monday evening.  The search crew aboard the helicopter also consisted of Tim Evinger, former sheriff and founding member of the Missing Aircraft Search Team (MAST)https://www.facebook.com/pages/Missing-Aircraft-Search-Team-MAST/152542881450967.    Evinger was contacted by the missing pilot’s family Friday asking for assistance in the search.  MAST worked through the weekend to provide the helicopter crew with the highest probable areas to search.   The search is hampered by snowfall that has occurred since the disappearance which is providing a white backdrop against a white airplane.  Brim and Langerveld were able to take the helicopter into some difficult to reach areas and help the overall effort by eliminating these areas.  Additionally, the team was able to land at an exploration outpost and interview an “ear witness” who potentially heard the plane on the day it went missing.  The searchers know that being able to do a face-to-face interview with a witness and have them point at the direction they perceived the airplane to be traveling is paramount to the search effort.

>> 1/2/14  Man, Dog Survive Plunge Into Upper Klamath Lake

KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. (AP) — A 73-year-old Southern Oregon trucker and his dog have survived a crash into ice-covered Upper Klamath Lake.  The State Police said Carl Hansen of Medford was driving along the lake about six miles west of Klamath Falls yesterday morning when his semi-trailer truck went across the road, over the shoulder and into the lake. Troopers said they hadn't confirmed a cause for the accident.  Hansen escaped through the passenger window and crawled across the ice to the shore. His injuries weren't regarded as life-threatening.  Firefighters found the dog running along the ice away from the crash. The trailer wasn't loaded.

>> 1/2/14 Salvage Logging From Douglas Complex Fires Begins On Private Lands

GLENDALE, Ore. (AP) — Salvage logging on lands burned by last summer's Douglas Complex wildfire in southwestern Oregon is in full swing on privately owned forests, but not on public lands.  The News-Review reports Roseburg Forest Products has cut 8 million board feet from its lands outside Glendale, while the U.S. Bureau of Land Management is still in the planning process.  The difference points out the contrast between logging under the Oregon Forest Practices Act and logging on public lands. Private landowners can start logging 15 days after filing a plan with the state. On BLM lands, federal environmental laws require a lengthy planning process that includes the public.  The Douglas Complex fires burned through 76 square miles on a patchwork of public and private lands.

>> 1/2/14 Horman Divorce Now Final

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — An Oregon judge has finalized the divorce of the father and stepmother of a Portland boy missing since 2010.  Multnomah County Circuit Judge Henry Kantor signed off on the divorce of Kaine Horman and Terri Moulton Horman yesterday, just days before the two were set to go to trial.  Kaine Horman filed for divorce shortly after his 7-year-old son Kyron was last seen at Skyline Elementary School in rural northwest Portland.  The Oregonian reports that Terri Horman's lawyer Stephen Houze says the two have settled financial issues. They still need to work out legal custody issues and parenting time for their daughter Kiara, who is now 5.  Kyron Horman vanished from his school on June 4, 2010, after Terri Horman brought him there early that day to attend a science fair. The boy never made it to his regular class but wasn't reported missing until later that afternoon when he didn't return home by school bus.  A massive search operation turned up no signs of the boy. A criminal investigation continues with no arrests made.

>> 12/31/13 Air Quality Advisory Red Until Noon Thursday

>> 12/30/13  Air Quality Advisory RED Until Noon Tuesday

>> 12/30/13 Air Stagnation Advisory In Effect Until 10:00 A.M. Wednesday

>> 12/30/13 Chamber Backs Klamath Promise

The Klamath County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors voted to issue a resolution supporting the community education initiative; The Klamath Promise. "High School graduation, and education in general, is an important part of community success, job creation, and business development" said Bridgitte Griffin, incoming Chamber President, she added "The Chamber Board felt strongly the business community should be involved in promoting and supporting efforts to get all students a good education and opportunity to seek higher education."   Klamath County ranks near the bottom of State statistics in high school graduation, employment, and income rates. Over the course of the recent recession those rankings have gotten worse and recovery has been very slow.  
"This is an economic and business issue" said Charles Massie, Chamber Executive Director, "these young people are the workforce of the future, it is imperative to get them thinking about graduation and continuing their education after high school. It is the only way we can compete as a community in the growing technology and knowledge based jobs of the future."

>> 12/30/13 Signature Drive Launched For State E-R-A

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Supporters are gathering signatures to put a state Equal Rights Amendment against gender discrimination on the November ballot in Oregon.  Advocate Leanne Littrell DiLorenzo tells The Oregonian (http://bit.ly/1aiXFCM) that paid signature gatherers are going to work Monday.  Some opposed earlier versions of a state Equal Rights Amendment on the grounds that a state Supreme Court decision already contains strong equal rights provisions.  They say a state ERA could lead a judge to conclude voters want protections against gender discrimination to be stronger than protections based on other factors, such as race, religion or sexual orientation.  ACLU Executive Director David Fidanque says the version being circulated now is written in a way that won't do any harm, so the group will re-examine it.

 
>> 12/27/13 Air Quality Advisory RED Until Noon Saturday

>> 12/27/13 Air Stagnation Advisory Until 10:00 A.M. On Wednesday

>> 12/27/13 Minimum Wage, Cigarette Tax Go Up Wednesday

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — The state Bureau of Labor and Industries says about 98,000 workers in Oregon will get a pay raise when the minimum wage goes up on Jan. 1.  It's a 15-cent an hour hike, from $8.95 to $9.10.  The Register-Guard reports (http://bit.ly/1ctFgaD) Oregon will have the nation's second-highest minimum wage behind Washington. Washington's minimum wage is going up 13 cents with the new year to $9.32 an hour.
SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Smokers will note the tax on cigarettes in Oregon goes up 13 cents on Jan. 1. In a special session last fall, state lawmakers decided to raise the cigarette tax to $1.31 a pack.  The state Revenue Department says tobacco taxes bring in about $250 million a year. The money supports the Oregon Health Plan and general fund. Portions are dedicated to cities, counties, transit and programs for mental health and to reduce tobacco use. The tax is typically part of the price of cigarettes, but the Revenue Department reminds consumers they should pay the tax on cigarettes purchased online or out-of-state.

 

>> 12/27/13 Cover Oregon Pulls Ads

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — With its troubled health insurance exchange portal still not working, Cover Oregon says it has suspended its optimistic, feel-good advertising campaign after spending more than $8 million on it this year.  Cover Oregon spokesman Michael Cox said Thursday that television, radio and newspaper ads should no longer be running, while the "Long Live Oregonians" billboards will come down as payment expires.  The exchange has had to rely exclusively on paper applications and had to hire more than 400 workers to process them.  An estimated 36,000 Oregonians have thus far enrolled through Cover Oregon, including about 12,000 in private health insurance and about 24,000 in the Oregon Health Plan.  Cox said Cover Oregon will revise its ad strategy next year "to meet our needs through the open enrollment period"

 

>> 12/26/13 Air Quality Advisory RED Until Noon Friday

>> 12/26/13 Earthquake Recorded In Central Oregon

A magnitude 3.0 earthquake was recorded shortly after 6:00 p.m. on Christmas Eve.  The quake was at a depth of about 3 miles and had an epicenter 28 miles East-Northeast of Silver Lake.  No damage or injuries have been reported.

>> 12/26/13 No Traffic Fatalities In Oregon Over Christmas

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The State Police say preliminary information shows no traffic fatalities in Oregon over the Christmas holiday period.  The police said Thursday that would make it the second holiday period since 1970 free of fatalities. The other was in 1996.  As many as 10 people have died in Christmas holiday crashes. That happened in 1983.  This year's 30-hour period began at 6 p.m. Christmas Eve, a few hours after a fatality in Multnomah County. The period ended at midnight Wednesday.

>> 12/16/13 Lawsuit Filed Over 2012 Fatal Bus Wreck Near Pendleton

PENDLETON, Ore. (AP) — A British Columbia lawyer representing 12 victims from the 2012 charter bus crash on Interstate 84 near Pendleton filed a lawsuit Monday at the Umatilla County Courthouse seeking $700 million.  The East Oregonian reports (http://bit.ly/19j0NhV ) the group is seeking a jury trial on accusations that tour operators were negligent. The lawsuit also accused Oregon and the state Transportation Department or failing to make an icy stretch of the interstate safe and failing to erect barriers to keep the bus from going over a cliff.  Nine people were killed and 38 injured when the charter bus from Vancouver, British Columbia, crashed down a ravine.

>> 12/24/13 Air Quality Advisory RED Until Noon Thursday

>> 12/24/13 County Unemployment Rate Drops Again

The unemployment rate in Klamath county in November was 10.3% compared to 10.6% in October. Economist Damon Runberg at the Oregon Employment Department says the unemployment rate in Klamath county a year ago was 11.4%  Job gains were recorded in retail, education and health services.

>> 12/24/13 FDA To Change Proposed Water Rules

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Onion growers in the Northwest are pleased that federal regulators have announced they'll rework proposed water quality rules.  The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is working on the food safety rules to prevent contamination from the likes of salmonella and E. coli bacteria.  Onion growers have protested against the rules, especially one calling for weekly testing of irrigation water. They say few farmers using ditch irrigation would meet the standards, and the standards wouldn't add much to food safety. Farmers fear losing crops if irrigation is shut down during the growing season.  The agricultural publication Capital Press reports an FDA deputy commissioner, Michael Taylor, announced last week that the next draft of the rules will have significant changes. That's expected in the summer.

>> 12/24/13 Timber Counties Money Won't Be Cut Back

GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — The mandatory 5-percent budget cuts known as sequestration will not apply to next month's federal subsidy checks to timber counties.  Sen. Ron Wyden and Rep. Peter DeFazio announced yesterday that determination came from the White House Office of Management and Budget.  Oregon timber counties are to share $100 million from Wyden's Secure Rural Schools Act subsidies. The checks go out in January to cover the period ending last Sept. 30. Earlier payments were cut by sequestration. It was not immediately clear what led to the change.  The program makes up for cuts in federal timber revenues paid to counties since logging was cut back on federal lands in the 1990s to protect fish and wildlife. Since then, automation has further reduced Oregon timber jobs, and counties have struggled.

>> 12/20/13 Air Quality Advisory Is YELLOW Until Noon Saturday

>> 12/20/13 Walden Co-Sponsors COLA Bill For Veterans

KLAMATH FALLS — U.S. Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.) announced today that he has added his name as an original co-sponsor of a bill to protect military retirees from changes to their pension benefits that were included in the Ryan-Murray budget agreement passed by Congress within the past week. The bill would replace the pension cuts with a reform to ensure that billions of dollars in tax credits aren’t improperly paid to illegal immigrants each year.  “I supported the budget agreement because it reduces the deficit and keeps the government open without raising taxes. But the agreement contained pension changes for certain military retirees that I would not have supported as a stand-alone plan. Although the pension changes don’t take effect for two years, the time to fix this is now. Our common-sense bill replaces those pension changes with a plan to stop illegal immigrants from improperly receiving federal tax credits. This proposal protects military retirees, reduces the deficit, and further targets waste, fraud, and abuse in the federal government,” Walden said.  The bill would replace the changes to cost of living adjustments for military retirees with a reform that would stop illegal immigrants from receiving the refundable portion of the child tax credit by requiring tax filers to include their Social Security Number on tax return forms. The Joint Committee on Taxation has estimated that this reform saves $7 billion over 10 years. A 2011 report from the Department of Treasury indicates that $4.2 billion in these tax credits were paid out fraudulently in 2010 alone. For the full text of the plan, please click here.  

>>< 12/20/13 State May Hire Software Company It Rejected Last year

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon's struggling health insurance exchange is back in touch with a technology vendor the state considered but spurned last year.  A Cover Oregon spokesman confirmed officials have recently heard from Exeter Group Inc., a software company that has designed part of the exchanges in Vermont and Hawaii. Oregon officials declined to say what role Exeter or other vendors might play.  Cover Oregon has had to rely exclusively on paper applications and had to hire more than 400 workers to process them manually.  Emails obtained by The Associated Press show the state flirted with bringing Exeter on board at least three times last year. And legislators concerned about the costs and slow progress of the technology project were incensed to find out they hadn't been told sooner about the company's offering.

>> 12/20/13 Wyden's Logging Bill Clears Committee

GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — Sen. Ron Wyden's bill to boost timber production on six national forests in Eastern Oregon while also mandating restoration and thinning projects has moved out of his Senate Natural Resources Committee.  The bill was approved Thursday on a unanimous voice vote.  The bill sets benchmarks for producing timber as well as thinning to improve forest health and reduce wildfire danger over the next 15 years. It creates a panel of experts to suggest projects.Wyden said it preserves the core principles of agreements between the timber industry and conservation groups worked out in 2009.  But representatives of the two sides are not happy with it.  A conservation group objects to provisions for cutting old-growth to pay for restoration projects.  A timber industry group says the bill doesn't produce enough logs.

>> 12/16/13 Air Quality Advisory RED Until Noon Tuesday

>> 12/16/13 Air Stagnation Advisory Until 4:00 P.m. Wednesday

>> 12/16/13 Klamath Falls City Council To Vote On M-U-D Tonight

The Klamath Falls City Council meets at City Hall at 7:00 p.m. tonight and is expected to decide whether to move forward with creation of a Municipal Utility District (M-U-D) to takeover electric power service from Pacific Power.  The utility has repeatedly stated its business is not for sale and will fight any takeover attempt, warning the city could face steep legal bills.  The city conducted two feasibility studies which show the takeover would cost $31 million and would lower City electric rates 23% between 2016 and 2028. Pacific Power says the takeover will cost at least $81 million and will increase power rates 10%.

>> 12/16/13 Cover Oregon Updates Health Care Sign-Up Situation

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The director of Cover Oregon says the state's insurance exchange has enrolled an estimated 7,500 people in private health plans.  The number released Monday is a significant increase over the 730 people who'd been enrolled a week ago.  Cover Oregon's acting director, Dr. Bruce Goldberg, says many more people will be enrolled before the end of the month.  Oregon significantly lags other states because its online enrollment system still doesn't work. The state is using paper applications, and more than 400 workers are processing them manually.  Goldberg says Cover Oregon will hire two experts to review software code written by Oracle, the primary contractor developing the exchange technology.

>> 12/16/13 Former Oregon Republican Party Gubernatorial Candidate Headed To Prison

NEW YORK (AP) — A Florida investment adviser and onetime Oregon gubernatorial candidate faces prison time for a $13 million securities fraud scheme that prosecutors say capitalized on enthusiasm for shares of Facebook and other Internet companies about to go public.  Craig L. Berkman of Odessa, Fla., is to be sentenced Monday in federal court in Manhattan. He pleaded guilty in June to securities fraud and wire fraud and agreed to serve between eight and 10 years in prison.  Berkman admitted he falsely claimed to investors that he owned shares of Facebook Inc., Groupon Inc., LinkedIn Inc., among other companies. He told investors their money would be used to buy shares of companies before their initial public offerings while over-representing the number of shares he owned.  Berkman also was once Oregon's Republican party chairman.

>> 12/13/13 Air Quality Advisory RED Until Noon Saturday

>> 12/13/13 First Ever Education Summit Held At KCC

The boards of Klamath Community College joined the boards of Klamath Falls City and County Schools at the first ever "Education Summit" at KCC on Thursday evening.  The Chief Education Officer in Oregon, Doctor Nancy Golden attended the summit via video - internet link.  KCC President Dr. Roberto Guitterez called on Golden and the state to partner with the effort to improve education in Klamath county, encourage innovation, support pilot projects and waive some requirements.  He also said the state needs to make sure that all high school and community college courses are transferable to the state's four year colleges and universities.  Guitterez says the Klamath county education goals are to improve student outcomes, increase the graduation rate to 100% and work to make sure high school graduates are "college ready."

>> 12/13/13 Cover Oregon Director Wants Deadline Extended

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon's health insurance exchange and insurance carriers are looking at extending deadlines to allow more people to get health coverage starting Jan. 1.  Cover Oregon Acting Director Bruce Goldberg said Thursday that he's working with carriers and state regulators to push back the Dec. 15 deadline for people to select a plan after the state has informed them of their options.  Goldberg says he's not sure what the new deadline might be.  Cover Oregon's online enrollment system still doesn't work, so the agency is using a paper-based backup system.  The state told people to apply by Dec. 4 if they want insurance coverage to begin on Jan. 1, but officials acknowledged this week that thousands of applications submitted by the deadline would not be processed in time.

>> 12/13/13 Congressman DeFazio Opposed To Cell Phone Talk On Airline Flights

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Cell phone conversations on board jetliners after takeoff? No way, says Oregon U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio, who has long resisted cell chatter in cabins.  The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission said Thursday there's no technical reason to keep the ban.  DeFazio says texting and Internet browsing would be OK. But in a statement he worried about flight attendants distracted in emergencies by "a hot-headed passenger who refuses to end an inappropriate conversation."  And DeFazio added: "Imagine being stuck between two passengers who are carrying on personal phone conversations. There is absolutely no escape. How long will it be before a fight breaks out mid-flight?" The Oregonian reports DeFazio has one of the most difficult congressional commutes — coast to coast without a direct flight to his southwest Oregon district

>> 12/12/13  Air Quality Advisory RED Until Noon Friday

>> 12/12/13 Congressman Walden Supports Budget Deal

Oregon Republican Congressman Greg Walden supports a budget deal hammered out by a House-Senate Conference Committee.  Walden says the budget plan cuts the nation's debt by $23-billion, does not raise taxes and cuts waste, fraud and abuse.  Walden says "there's so much more work to be done," adding "this is a solid step forward."
 

>> 12/12/13 Education Summit Tonight At K-C-C, Public Encouraged To Attend

The boards of the Klamath Falls city and county school districts will join the board of Klamath Community College for an Education Summit tonight.  The event is from 5:30-to-7:30 p.m. in Building 6, Room H-138.  The discussion is expected to focus on strategies for improving K-12 education and also improving the graduation rate in both city and county schools to 100%  The boards will hear about the strategies used by schools in McClellan, Texas where graduation rates in 2006 were 62% but are now at 88%.

>> 12/12/13 Amtrak's Empire Builder Trains Facing Lengthy Delays

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — Heavy freight traffic is hampering Amtrak passenger trains between Chicago and the Pacific Northwest.  Spokesman Marc Magliari says Amtrak is canceling or altering many of the Empire Builder trips between Chicago and Portland, Ore., through Sunday as a result of the congestion on the tracks that Amtrak shares with BNSF Railway.  He says hundreds of travelers are affected. Amtrak is offering to rebook trips.  Much of the congestion is due to heavy freight train traffic in the western North Dakota oil fields. BNSF spokeswoman Amy McBeth says the recent cold snap also has been a factor because it has slowed everything down.

>> 12/11/13 Air Stagnation Advisory Until Noon Thursday, Could Extend Into Weekend

>> 12/21/13 Two Killed, One Injured In Train - SUV Collision

KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. (AP) — State police say an SUV hit by a train south of Klamath Falls was driving on a gravel road and crossed the tracks at a marked railroad crossing when it was struck on the passenger side.  The collision Tuesday in Midland left the driver and his wife dead, and another passenger seriously hurt. All are from Klamath Falls.  Troopers say the Union Pacific Railroad train pushed the vehicle off the tracks, and then needed a mile to stop. The crossing was marked but did not have crossing guards.  State police say the driver, 33-year-old MacKenzie Conway, died at the scene. His wife, 25-year-old Kalla Conway, was ejected and also killed. Twenty-seven-year-old Nicholas Conway was ejected from the back seat and walked across the road before being taken to the hospital.

>> 12/11/13 Sheriff Skrah Set To Graduate Friday From Police Training Program

Nine Oregon State Police (OSP) recruit troopers along with 29 recruit officers from other law enforcement agencies, including the oldest student to attend and graduate from the course, are graduating Friday, December 13, 2013, from the Department of Public Safety Standards and Training (DPSST) Basic Police training program. The graduation ceremony for the Basic Police Class 339 will take place at 11:00 a.m. at the Oregon Public Safety Academy located at 4190 Aumsville Highway in Salem.   The thirty-eight (38) recruit graduating officers include 9 OSP recruit troopers, 15 city police recruit officers, 11 county sheriffs recruit deputies, 2 tribal law enforcement recruit officers, and the elected Klamath County Sheriff. According to Eriks Gabliks, DPSST director, at age 71, Sheriff Frank Skrah is the oldest student to attend and graduate from the Basic Police Course. Sheriff Skrah was selected by his classmates to speak on behalf of the class at the graduation ceremony that marks the successful completion of the 16-week training program for Basic Police Class 339.

>> 12/21/13 Wandering Wolf OR-7 Wanders Into Siskiyou County, Returns To Oregon

GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — Oregon's wandering wolf, OR-7, took a day-trip into Northern California over the weekend, but came right back to the southern Cascades territory he has favored of late.  Karen Kovacs of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife says OR-7's GPS tracking collar showed he made a trip into northern Siskiyou County on Saturday, but went right back to Oregon.  His border-crossing travels are similar to those he made the last two winters. Kovacs says it appears OR-7 is following migrating deer and elk.  This spring, OR-7 will be 4 years old. He lit out from northeast Oregon in September 2011 on a quest for a mate that has taken him more than 3,000 miles, with no sign of success. He is the first known wolf in Northern California since 1924.

>> 12/10/13 Air Quality Advisory RED Until Noon Wednesday

>> 12/10/13 Air Stagnation Advisory Extended Until Noon Thursday

>> 12/10/13 Record Low Temperature Recorded Early Sunday

A record low temperature of minus-20 degrees was recorded early Sunday (December 8th) at the Klamath Falls Airport, beating the old record low of minus-19 degrees set back in 1972.  Temperatures will gradually warm up over the next several days with highs hitting the low 40's by this weekend.

>> 12/10/13 Lots of Weather Problems In Oregon

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Overnight snow and freezing drizzle are causing problems for drivers this morning in the Portland-Vancouver area, but forecasters say the cold temperatures should moderate this week. Forecasters say tomorrow should be dry but the next system arriving Thursday could start with more wintry weather before turning to rain in western Oregon. Temperatures will likely stay near freezing in eastern Oregon. 

MEDFORD, Ore. (AP) — Cold temperatures are blamed for causing a pump to fail at a Rogue Valley Sewer Services pump station in Eagle Point. About 20,000 gallons of raw sewage spilled yesterday into Little Butte Creek before it was stopped. The Mail Tribune reports warning signs were posted to keep people away from creek water until tests come back clean.

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — The city of Eugene had $60,000 budgeted for snow removal before 8 inches fell Friday on the city. By yesterday the city had spent about $75,000, and expenditures continue for overtime, equipment and materials. KVAL reports most roads remain covered with snow and ice.

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — Warming shelters in Eugene have seen more than 300 people a night during the recent cold snap.

The Register-Guard reports (http://bit.ly/1hKIWs7) the Egan Warming Centers are expected to remain open Tuesday for an eighth night. They open when lows drop below 30.

The project manager, Doug Bates, says a homeless man in his 30s who had used shelters twice died last week, and officials presume the cold was a contributing factor.

At an unauthorized tent camp called Whoville, about 50 people have created a warming center out of wooden pallets, tarps and insulation sheets. A donated propane burner provides heat.

The city says it won't disrupt the illegal encampment, but the City Council took no action Monday night at a meeting where activists called for expanding options for homeless camping.

MILWAUKIE, Ore. (AP) — Authorities in the Portland suburb of Milwaukie say three teens who fell through the ice at a pond were able to climb out of the water before rescue crews arrived.

Milwaukie police Officer Ulli Neitch says a caller reported hearing something like ice breaking Monday and someone screaming for help near the Minthorn North Natural Area.

Rescuers from Clackamas Fire District No. 1 responded. They say a half dozen teens who had been in the area are safe. Fire officials are warning everyone to stay off any ice that has formed in the current cold snap.

 

>> 12/09/13 Air Quality Advisory RED Until Noon Tuesday

>> 12/09/13 Walden's Medford Office Closed, Water Main Break

U.S. Rep Greg Walden’s (R-Ore.) Medford office was temporarily closed today after a water main broke due to cold temperatures in southern Oregon. The burst pipe partially flooded the office, and water and heat have been turned off for the entire building. Staff from the office will be working at alternate locations until emergency maintenance is completed. Oregonians needing immediate assistance are encouraged to call Walden’s office in Washington, D.C. at 202-225-6730. Walden’s offices in Bend and La Grande remain open as well.

>> 12/09/13 Kitzhaber Wants 4th Term As Governor

Democrat John Kitzhaber was once known as Dr. No for vetoing Republican legislation but now says he's running for governor a fourth time on a record as a centrist.  He said Monday he'll seek a fourth term. Two years ago, he set a record among Oregon governors by winning a third term.  Two Republicans are vying to run against him.  Kitzhaber said restoring civility and rebuilding the political center have been at the heart of his administration's third-term accomplishments.  He also said he will take what he called "a few slings and arrows about the rocky rollout" of the website for the Cover Oregon health insurance exchange.  Kitzhaber is a former emergency room doctor elected governor twice in the 1990s. He was nicknamed Dr. No in partisan fights then.

>> 12/09/13 Air Stagnation Advisory Until early Thursday


AN AIR STAGNATION ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 4 AM PST
THURSDAY.

SYNOPSIS...COLD AIR IN THE VALLEYS AND WARMING TEMPERATURES ALOFT WILL LEAD TO STRENGTHENING INVERSIONS OVER THE NEXT FEW DAYS. INVERSIONS WILL BE VERY STRONG AT NIGHT MONDAY THROUGH WEDNESDAY NIGHT AND ARE UNLIKELY TO BREAK DURING THE DAY. SUCH  STRONG INVERSIONS WILL TRAP POLLUTANTS AND LEAD TO AIR QUALITY   PROBLEMS. A FRONTAL SYSTEM IS EXPECTED TO MIX OUT THE INVERSIONS AND CLEAR THE AIR ON THURSDAY.

LOCATIONS INCLUDE: ALL SOUTHERN OREGON VALLEYS INLAND FROM THE COAST INCLUDING THE CITIES OF GRANTS PASS...CAVE JUNCTION...MEDFORD...ASHLAND AND KLAMATH FALLS AND LAKEVIEW.
IMPACTS...INCREASING POLLUTION WILL CAUSE AIR QUALITY TO DETERIORATE. THESE CONDITIONS MAY MAKE BREATHING MORE DIFFICULT FOR THOSE WITH HEALTH CONDITIONS. PEOPLE SENSITIVE TO AIR QUALITY MAY WISH TO REMAIN INDOORS.

>> 12/06/13 Air Quality Advisory YELLOW Until Noon Saturday

>> 12/06/13 AMBER ALERT

KENNEWICK, Wash. (AP) — Police in Kennewick, Wash., are trying to find a 14-year-old girl last seen leaving her school and getting into her boyfriend's green Ford Escape SUV.  The Tri-City Herald reports that police believe Elizabeth Romero could be in danger. She is believed to be with 19-year-old Edwardo Flores Rosales.  Police say the girl's mother contacted them Wednesday afternoon after her daughter did not return from school. Sgt. Ken Lattin says the girl was last seen getting into her boyfriend's vehicle about 11 a.m. Wednesday at Phoenix High School.  Officers say the girl's mother received a text message Thursday from an unknown phone number from someone claiming to be Elizabeth and saying she was headed to Mexico with her boyfriend.  An Amber Alert was issued Thursday afternoon.

>> 12/06/13 Walden Honors Two Klamath County Veterans Advocates

Rep. Greg Walden honored two veterans advocates from Klamath County for their work on behalf of Veterans Treatment Courts. Kathy Pierce is the Klamath County Veterans Service Officer, who works very closely with Walden’s office on veterans issues. Steve Tillson is the Klamath County Veterans Treatment Court Coordinator. Kathy and Steve are in Washington, D.C. with other veterans advocates from Oregon for the first ever Veterans Treatment Court Conference. Walden honored them at the U.S. Capitol with an official statement he entered into the Congressional Record in their honor.

>> 12/06/13 K-C-C Hires First Foundation Director

Klamath Community College announces that Dr. Steven Meneses has joined the staff as the first-ever Executive Director of the Klamath Community College Foundation. Dr. Meneses will work with the Foundation’s Board of Directors to increase charitable giving for the foundation and build an alumni network.  “This is a very exciting time to join the KCC Foundation,” Dr. Meneses said. “This is a young foundation, having formed a little more than a decade ago, but I think we are poised to make some great leaps right now. The work that the Board of Directors has done to get us to this point has been outstanding, and I know we can build on that and really grow the Foundation and its impact on not only the college, but the community.”   The KCC Foundation supports the mission of Klamath Community College by raising funds for student scholarships, capital construction and program development. The foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization.

>> 12/05/13 Snowflake Parade Tonight

A crowd of 5,000 to 7,000 people expected to line the streets of downtown Klamath Falls tonight for the 16th Annual Snowflake Parade, presented by the Klamath County Chamber of Commerce.  The parade will form at the Klamath County Museum at 7:00 p.m.  Drivers are reminded not to park on Main Street after 6:00 p.m. or face a possible expensive tow.  This year's parade will have about 100 entries with Santa Claus as the parade leader. Everyone advised to dress for very cold temperatures.

>> 12/05/13 Governor Signs Basin Agreement In Principle On Water Deal  

GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — Gov. John Kitzhaber and representatives of the Obama administration have signed a breakthrough agreement for sharing scarce water in the Upper Klamath Basin, where irrigation was shut off to ranchers last summer after the Klamath Tribes exercised newly awarded water rights to protect fish.  The governor and U.S. Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Michael L. Conner signed the agreement in principal Wednesday in Klamath Falls. They joined ranchers and the Klamath Tribes in endorsing key elements of future legislation to reduce the likelihood of shutting off irrigation to protect fish.  The deal was put together by a task force named last June by Sen. Ron Wyden and others. Wyden issued a statement praising task force members for giving up their individual interests in the name of a greater good.

>> 12/05/13 Cold Temperatures Force Closure Of Ella Redkey Pool

The Klamath Falls Parks and Recreation Department has closed Ella Redkey pool until further notice due to very cold temperatures.  The closure prevented high school swimming teams from practicing.  The temperature in the pool dropped to 75 degrees from its optimal 77 degree temperature.

>> 12/05/13  Crater Lake Park Records Record Low Temperature

The mercury dropped to 2-degrees at Crater lake National Park early Wednesday, December 4th,  beating the old record low for that date of 6-degrees.  Continued low temperature's at the park with the wind chill factored in could bring temperatures to 10 below zero this week. Despite the very cold weather Crater Lake National Park has received only 26 inches of snow since October 1st well below the 95 inch average for December 4th.

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

>> 12/03/13 Water Agreement Reached "In Principle"

GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — Ranchers and the Klamath Tribes have reached a tentative deal for sharing water in the drought-stricken Upper Klamath Basin.  Members of a special task force signed an agreement in principle Monday in Klamath Falls. Their goal is to reach a final agreement early in 2014 that will guide legislation to be offered by U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden.  The task force was brought together by Wyden, Gov. John Kitzhaber and others after water was shut off to hundreds of ranchers to meet water rights newly awarded to the Klamath Tribes.  Cattle rancher Roger Nicholson says if this brings peace to water battles in the upper basin, it will be welcome.  Klamath Tribes Chairman Don Gentry says it is a critical step, but there is a lot of negotiating left to do. The Klamath Basin Task Force meets today (Tuesday) from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. in the Mt Mazama Room at O-I-T.  Public comment scheduled at about 1:40 p.m. although comments may be limited in order to stay on schedule.

>> 12/03/13 Bombing Suspect To Be Tried In Federal Court

MEDFORD, Ore. (AP) — The man accused of bombing the Jackson County District Attorney's Office will be tried in federal court.  The office announced Monday that the state indictment against Alan Leroy McVay has been dismissed.  The Mail Tribune reports (http://bit.ly/1g2NKIO ) dropping the state case resolves the potential conflict of interest, since the DA's office was the target.  Federal prosecutors have charged McVay in U.S. District Court with malicious destruction of property by explosion.  The 46-year-old is accused of taping a small pipe bomb to a propane tank and throwing it in the window of the DA's office in Medford before dawn Nov. 13. The bomb broke windows but the propane tank did not explode. Investigators say McVay set off the blast to postpone his sentencing the next day on burglary conviction.

>> 12/03/13 Very Cold Weather Settling In By Tonight

The National Weather Service says arctic air mass will settle in over the Klamath Basin and northern California tonight and will remain in place until at least Friday.  Low temperatures in the single digits are expected the rest of the week with lows below zero possible.  Forecasters say record low temperatures recorded back in 1972 may be broken this week in the Klamath Basin.   High temperatures may not go much higher than 20 degrees this week.  A low pressure system may bring snow to the area by Friday but it is too early for forecasters to say where most of the snow will fall. 

>> 12/02/13  Air Quality Advisory GREEN Until Noon Tuesday

>> 12/02/13 BREAKING NEWS...Basin Task Force Meets At O-I-T Tomorrow (Tuesday)

The Klamath Basin Water & Power Issues Task Force appointed by the governor and the state's congressional delegation meets from 1:00-to-5:00 p.m. tomorrow (Tuesday) in the Mount Mazama Room at the O-I-T College Union. According to documents released this afternoon by the governor's office, the task force has reached  Agreement In Principle and agree to continue good faith negotiations with a goal of reaching Final Agreement by January 17, 2014 or as soon thereafter in order to allow Congressional action to implement the Final Agreement.

>> 12/02/13  Winter Weather Headed To SE Oregon - Northern California

LIGHT SNOW POSSIBLE MONDAY NIGHT FOLLOWED BY BITTERLY COLD
WEATHER THE REST OF THE WEEK...A STRONG COLD FRONT WILL MOVE THROUGH THE REGION LATER MONDAY.  BREEZY SOUTHWEST WINDS AND RAIN ARE EXPECTED THROUGH MONDAY AFTERNOON, BUT WINDS WILL SHIFT TO NORTHWEST AND RAIN WILL CHANGE TO SNOW AS THE COLD FRONT MOVES THROUGH MONDAY EVENING. LIGHT SNOW ACCUMULATIONS ARE POSSIBLE BEHIND THE FRONT MONDAY NIGHT INTO TUESDAY.  THE AIRMASS WILL THEN DRY OUT AND BECOME BITTERLY COLD TUESDAY NIGHT THROUGH THE REST OF THE WEEK. LOW TEMPERATURES IN THE SINGLE
DIGITS WILL BE COMMON WITH SOME BELOW ZERO READINGS LIKELY. IN
ADDITION, WIND CHILLS WILL BE WELL BELOW ZERO AT TIMES OVER
EXPOSED AREAS. TEMPERATURES WILL BE COLDEST IN AREAS WHERE SNOW
ACCUMULATES.  VERY COLD WEATHER IS CERTAIN THIS WEEK. RESIDENTS AND TRAVELERS SHOULD BE PREPARED FOR DANGEROUSLY COLD WEATHER ACROSS THE EAST SIDE.

>> 12/02/13 Two Moderate Quakes Off Coast

A magnitude 4.5 earthquake was recorded Saturday evening off the Oregon coast at 7:19 p.m. followed a few seconds later by a magnitude 5.4 earthquake.  The epicenter of the 4.5 quake was 159 miles west-southwest of Gold Beach.  The epicenter of the second quake was 132 miles west-southwest of Gold Beach.  No reports of damage or injuries from either earthquake.

>> 12/02/13 Buehler Running For Oregon House

Bend Republican Dr. Knute Buehler who ran a spirited statewide campaign for Oregon Secretary of State in 2012 has announced his candidacy for the Oregon House.  Buehler is holding a kickoff event tomorrow (Tuesday) December 3rd at6 6:00 p.m.; at the Deschutes Brewery in Bend. Buehler is running for Oregon House District 54 Buehler says his campaign will focus on improving education, health care transformation and election reform.    

 

>> 11/27/13 Air Stagnation Advisory For Klamath Basin Through Friday Morning

>> 11/27/13 Klamath Falls Man Jailed On Assault Charges That Injured A Baby

Oregon State Police have arrested 19 year old Kyle Christopher Johnson of Klamath Falls charging him with Assault 1 with bail set at $100,000.  Police say Johnson was baby sitting an infant last week when the infant was injured. The child had to be flown to Doernbecher Children's Hospital where doctors performed surgery to release pressure on the child's brain.  Police would not reveal the child's identity but did say the child is not (not) related to Johnson.  No other details available at this time.

>> 11/27/13 Fire Heavily Damages Historic Moore House

A fast moving fire heavily damaged the historic Moore House in the 100 block of Riverside drive Tuesday afternoon as huge black clouds of smoke drifted over the city.  An employee at the Klamath Crisis Center ran next door to help rescue an elderly woman from the burning home.  The rescuer does not (not) want to be identified.  The cause of the fire and the damage estimate has not yet been released.  Museum manager Todd Kepple says the Moore House was owned by Rufus Moore who owned a sawmill across the street from the house.  Rufus Moore is one of two brothers for whom Moore Park is named.

 >> 11/27/13 Wyden Unveils O&C Logging Bill

GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden says he can't get legislation increasing logging on the so-called O&C lands in Western Oregon enacted without keeping them under federal environmental laws.  The Oregon Democrat announced his O&C bill Tuesday in the Capitol in Salem, saying it would double the timber harvest, while protecting old growth forests, wilderness, and fish and wildlife habitat.  Wyden's bill was endorsed by representatives of the timber industry, timber counties and conservation groups that joined him at the announcement.  But doubters remain, such as Doug Robertson, president of the Association of O&C Counties. He says the only way he has seen to protect timber harvests from legal challenges is to turn the lands over to a trust that manages them under state logging rules.

>> 11/26/13 Air Quality Advisory YELLOW Until Noon Then RED Until Noon Wednesday

>> 11/26/13 Sen. Ron Wyden Releases O & C Logging Bill

GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — Sen. Ron Wyden has come out with his bill to boost logging on federal lands in Western Oregon to help struggling timber counties.  The bill would double timber production from the so-called O&C lands to more than 300 million board feet.  But that is less than half the logging needed to fill the funding gap for timber counties left by the expiration of a longstanding federal safety net.  The safety net made up for a decline in federal logging revenues shared with counties after logging was cut by 90 percent on national forests to protect salmon and the northern spotted owl.  Counties that relied on timber revenues have struggled to pay for public safety as voters resisted tax increases.  Wyden was to announce the bill Tuesday with Gov. John Kitzhaber.

>> 11/26/13 Kyron Horman's Mother Protests In Roseburg

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The mother of Kyron Horman tried to confront his stepmother with a weekend demonstration outside her home in Roseburg.  Desiree Young and friends wrote "Where's Kyron?" in chalk Saturday outside the home where Terri Horman lives with her mother. The mother called police and complained about trespassing and vandalism. Young told KGW (http://bit.ly/IkDspA) she was making a statement that her son is a priority and she's not giving up trying to find out what happened to him.  The second-grader was last seen at school in Portland in June 2010. Terri Horman has been investigated but not charge in connection with the disappearance. ___

>> 11/26/13 Moderate Earthquake Recorded Off Oregon Coast

A magnitude 4.3 earthquake was recorded off the Oregon coast shortly before midnight.  The quake had an epicenter 303 miles west-northwest of Coos Bay.  No damage or injuries reported at this time.

>> 11-25-13 Air Quality Advisory YELLOW Until Noon Tuesday

>>  11-25-13 Klamath Falls Man Faces Attempted Murder Charge

On Sunday morning police arrested 41 year old Darrell Lee Unive of Klamath Falls and charged himk with Attempted Murder and Assault 2.  Unive is jailed with bail set at $100,000. No other details available at this time.

>> 11/25/13 State Faces High Security Costs For ID Cards

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon faces millions of dollars in costs to improve the security of driver's licenses, or the federal government eventually could refuse to recognize Oregon IDs for things such as boarding a plane.  The Salem Statesman Journal reports officials put the cost at more than $16 million over the next six years.  The REAL ID Act Congress passed in 2005 requires each state to add 39 elements to its procedures for issuing IDs, such as saving images of birth certificates and verifying a person's Social Security number at license renewal time.  But Oregon meets only 28 of the standards, and the compliance deadline is past. A state spokesman, David House, says a new deadline may be coming this winter with a grace period for people from states that don't comply.

>> 11/25/13 Problem Gamblers Bring Big Revenues To State Lottery

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon Lottery is beginning an aggressive campaign to upgrade video lottery machines and bring in more players, even as research suggests that a relatively small group of problem gamblers supply a huge portion of lottery revenue.  The Oregonian reports that consultants found the biggest chunk of video lottery players park in front of a machine and gamble alone until all their money is gone.  The lottery raises revenue for schools, parks, business development and other programs. Critics say the government is fostering gambling addiction in order to pay its bills. Lottery Director Larry Niswender defended the lottery's practices and denied that the agency targets problem gamblers. He also disputed data showing that an outsize share of lottery revenue comes from a small group of players.

>> 11/22/13 Air Quality Advisory GREEN Until Noon Saturday

>> 11/22/13 Governor Orders Flags At Half-staff Today

Governor John Kitzhaber has ordered all flags at public buildings to be flown at half staff in remembrance of President John F. Kennedy who was assassinated 50-years ago on November 22, 1963 in Dallas, Texas.

>> 11/21/13 Police Looking For White Van In Connection With Attempted Kidnapping

The Klamath County Sheriff is asking  the public for help in locating a 1990's white van with a ladder rack on the roof in connection with an attempted kidnapping last Friday morning.   Police say a woman was walking home from Albertson's near 6th and Homedale when a man in a white van grabbed her arm and tried to pull her into the vehicle. The woman fought back, freed herself and ran away and called 9-1-11.   The suspect is described as a white man in his mid-30's with dark hair and a full goatee, 5-feet-10 to 6-feet tall with a medium build. The suspect was wearing a black baseball cap and a black shirt or jacket.  Anyone with information is asked to call the sheriff's office, 541-883-5130.

>> 11/22/13 Governor Unveils New Health Insurance Exchange Changes 

(Portland, OR) — Governor Kitzhaber today outlined new resources, support, and accountability for Cover Oregon to help boost enrollment in health insurance. The Governor announced that Greg Van Pelt, former CEO of Providence Health System Oregon and current president of Oregon Health Leadership Council, would lend his expertise and provide an independent, outsider's view of Cover Oregon, with a focus on making sure that Cover Oregon is dedicating appropriate resources, and in the right way, to improve the system and secure coverage for Oregonians signing up for plans beginning in January.  “We made a commitment to Oregon and we're going to keep it,” said Governor Kitzhaber. “Greg will bring an outsider’s eye to a challenging situation and a wealth of management experience to ensure that we are doing everything we can to get the system up and running – from start to finish for every Oregonian."  Mr. Van Pelt retired earlier this year after 38 years with the Providence System, where he led the organization through major changes related to health care reform. “It's important that we get this right for Oregon," he said. “Everyone has worked too hard, and come too far, to not meet our goals together. Projects of this scope are not without their challenges, but I have every confidence that if we all step up, we can and will make sure that everyone who wants and needs coverage is enrolled in the right plan.”  The Governor also announced that he’s asked Dr. Bruce Goldberg, Director of the Oregon Health Authority, to oversee the application, eligibility and enrollment process itself. Dr. Goldberg will be focused on ensuring that applications are processed quickly, efficiently, and accurately, and that everyone who has applied for coverage is enrolled in a plan.   The Governor's changes will allow Rocky King and his team at Cover Oregon to focus on getting the website fully functional and assure Oracle meets its milestones and deadlines. At a Friday morning press conference, the Governor also urged Oregonians to submit their applications by December 4 to begin the enrollment process. “The plans are competitive and affordable, and staff and community assisters are ready to help answer questions and determine eligibility for financial assistance,” the Governor said. “And it’s all hands on deck to help Oregonians get signed up for the coverage they want and need.”

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

>> 11/21/13 BREAKING NEWS Arrest Made In Medford Bombing

MEDFORD, Ore. (AP) — Authorities have arrested a 46-year-old Southern Oregon man and accused him of trying to blow up the county prosecutor's office.  They said the man had been facing criminal charges before the blast last week that caused only minor damage when a propane tank failed to explode.  Medford Police Chief Tim George said Alan Leroy McVay of Jackson County was arrested Wednesday evening without incident in nearby White City.  McVay was held on $1 million bail for arraignment Thursday on charges including arson and building a destructive device.  The Medford Mail Tribune reported (http://bit.ly/1ekvbg2 ) that McVay has a record in Jackson County for drug, burglary and theft convictions and was indicted in 2012 on a burglary charge resulting from the theft of 30 firearms and ammunition from a Medford home.

 

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

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

>> 11/21/13 Gospel Mission Staying Put

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

11/12/13 Bill Collier Dies

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

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

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

11/12/13 Woman Wins False Imprisonment Lawsuit

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

>> 11/06/13 Open Burning Window Extended

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

>> 10/31/13 Argument Over Ambulance Service

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

>> 10/31/13 Studded Tires Legal Friday

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


 

 

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

October 22, 2013 IS GREEN. WITHIN THE AQ ZONE, ALL WOODSTOVES, PELLET STOVES AND FIREPLACES MAY BE USED.  OUTDOOR OR OPEN BURNING IS ALLOWED COUNTYWIDE.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Senator Ron Wyden (voted "yes")

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

Senator Jeff Merkley (voted "yes")

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The YELLOW advisory call means:

WITHIN THE AQ ZONE, ONLY CERTIFIED WOODSTOVES, PELLET STOVES AND CERTIFIED FIREPLACE INSERTS MAY BE USED.  WITHIN THE AQ ZONE THE USE OF NON-CERTIFIED WOODSTOVEs OR FIREPLACES IS  PROHIBITED.   OUTSIDE THE AQ ZONE, ALL WOODSTOVES, PELLET STOVES AND FIREPLACES MAY BE USED.  OUTDOOR OR OPEN BURNING IS PROHIBITED COUNTY WIDE.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

ANOTHER EARLY SEASON FRONT TO BRING SNOW LEVELS DOWN WITH SLIGHT CHANCE OF THUNDERSTORMS THIS AFTERNOON INTO EARLY EVENING. A STRONG UPPER LEVEL SYSTEM WILL MOVE DOWN THE WEST COAST OVER THE NEXT SEVERAL DAYS. AN UNSEASONABLY COLD AIR MASS WILL MOVE IN WITH THIS SYSTEM...BRINGING SNOW LEVELS DOWN TO THE CASCADE PASSES BY THIS EVENING. WITH THE COLD AIR MASS ABOVE AND A VERY STRONG JET OVER THE REGION FOR THIS TIME OF YEAR THERE WILL BE SLIGHT CHANCE OF THUNDERSTORMS THIS AFTERNOON INTO THE EVENING THAT MAY BRING SNOW LEVELS EVEN LOWER BRIEFLY WITH SMALL HAIL POSSIBLE. UP TO 2 INCHES OF SNOW IS POSSIBLE ABOVE 4500 FEET AND EAST OF THE CASCADES BY WEDNESDAY MORNING...WITH 1 TO 3 INCHES POSSIBLE IN THE CRATER LAKE AREA. HOWEVER...WITH SUNNY SKIES AND WARM TEMPERATURES OVER THE PAST STRETCH OF DAYS...SNOW SHOULD MELT VERY QUICKLY ON MOST ROAD SURFACES EXCEPT FOR THE CRATER LAKE AREA.
>> 10/08/13 Oregon Man Killed In Afghanistan

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

>> 10/04013 Lawsuit Filed Against Cuts To PERS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

>> 09/24/13 Dead Trucker Identified

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

>> 09/06/13 Patridge To Chair OLCC

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

>> 08/30/13 Feds Update Marijuana Rules

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

...THUNDERSTORMS WITH HEAVY RAIN EXPECTED TODAY...
THUNDERSTORMS WILL DEVELOP TODAY OVER INLAND AREAS OF SOUTHERN
OREGON AND NORTHERN CALIFORNIA AND CONTINUE THROUGH THIS EVENING.
THUNDERSTORM COVERAGE WILL PEAK DURING THE LATE AFTERNOON AND
EARLY EVENING. THE ATMOSPHERE OVER THE AREA WILL BE MUCH MOISTER
THAN NORMAL FOR THIS TIME OF YEAR. THAT MOISTURE...COMBINED WITH
THE FORECAST SLOW MOVEMENT OF THE THUNDERSTORMS WEST OF THE
CASCADES...WILL MAKE FOR LOCALLY VERY HEAVY RAIN OVER THE AREA.
FLASH FLOODING MAY OCCUR WITH SOME OF THESE STORMS. THE GREATEST
RUNOFF THREAT WILL BE NEAR RECENTLY BURNED AREAS...WHERE DEBRIS
AND MUD FLOWS MAY ALSO OCCUR.
DO NOT DRIVE YOUR VEHICLE INTO AREAS WHERE THE WATER COVERS THE
ROADWAY. THE WATER DEPTH MAY BE TOO GREAT TO ALLOW YOUR CAR TO CROSS SAFELY. MONITOR NOAA WEATHER RADIO FOR THE LATEST INFORMATION...FORECASTS...AND WARNINGS.

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

URGENT - FIRE WEATHER MESSAGE...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MEDFORD
531 AM PDT TUE AUG 20 2013

KLAMATH BASIN AND THE FREMONT-WINEMA NATIONAL FOREST-
SOUTH CENTRAL OREGON DESERT INCLUDING THE BLM LAND IN EASTERN
LAKE AND WESTERN HARNEY COUNTIES-
531 AM PDT TUE AUG 20 2013

...RED FLAG WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 1 PM THIS AFTERNOON TO
8 PM PDT THURSDAY FOR ABUNDANT LIGHTNING WITH DRY FUELS.

THUNDERSTORMS...SCATTERED THUNDERSTORMS ARE POSSIBLE ACROSS
PORTIONS OF THE AREA TUESDAY AFTERNOON AND EVENING...MAINLY
ACROSS SOUTHEAST KLAMATH AND SOUTHERN LAKE COUNTIES. THEN
THUNDERSTORMS ARE LIKELY ACROSS THE AREA WEDNESDAY THROUGH
THURSDAY.  RAINFALL...STORMS ARE INITIALLY EXPECTED TO BE A MIX OF WET   AND DRY. THEN AS THE ATMOSPHERE MOISTENS...EXPECT INCREASING
CHANCES FOR WETTING RAINS BY WEDNESDAY.  OUTFLOW WINDS...GUSTS OF 30 TO 40 MPH WILL BE POSSIBLE.
 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

URGENT - FIRE WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MEDFORD OR
421 AM PDT MON AUG 12 2013

RED FLAG WARNING IN EFFECT FROM 1 PM THIS AFTERNOON TO 11 PM
PDT THIS EVENING FOR ABUNDANT LIGHTNING WITH DRY FUELS FOR FIRE
WEATHER.  THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN MEDFORD HAS ISSUED A RED FLAG WARNING...WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 1 PM THIS AFTERNOON TO 11 PM PDT THIS EVENING. THE FIRE WEATHER WATCH IS NO LONGER IN EFFECT.
THUNDERSTORMS...ISOLATED TO SCATTERED PARTIALLY DRY
THUNDERSTORMS ARE EXPECTED THIS AFTERNOON AND EVENING. THE PROBABILITY WILL BE HIGHEST NORTH OF A LINE FROM CHILOQUIN TO  LAKEVIEW.
>> 08/12/13 FBI Sending Team To Investigate Shooting Death Of DiMaggio

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

URGENT - FIRE WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MEDFORD OR
415 AM PDT THU AUG 8 2013

.AN UPPER LOW WILL GRADUALLY MOVE ACROSS OUR AREA THROUGH THE
REST OF THE WEEK. ASSOCIATED MOISTURE AND INSTABILITY WILL PRODUCE
SCATTERED TO NUMEROUS THUNDERSTORMS EACH AFTERNOON AND EVENING THROUGH AT LEAST FRIDAY. MOISTURE WILL CONTINUE INCREASING AND STORMS ARE EXPECTED TO BE WET. DESPITE THE RAIN...UNTIL FUELS RESPOND TO THE INCREASED MOISTURE...RED FLAG CONDITIONS WILL PERSIST.
 

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

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

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

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

 

>> 08/08/13 Linthicumn Recall Effort Fails

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

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

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

 08/07/13 Red Flag Warning Through Thursday Night

URGENT - FIRE WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MEDFORD OR
417 AM PDT WED AUG 7 2013

.AN UPPER LOW OFF NORTHERN CALIFORNIA WILL MOVE INLAND OVER THE
NEXT FEW DAYS. ISOLATED DRY THUNDERSTORMS ARE EXPECTED THIS
MORNING...THEN EXPECT SCATTERED THUNDERSTORMS THIS AFTERNOON AND
EVENING AND AGAIN ON THURSDAY. AS MOISTURE INCREASES LATE TODAY
INTO THURSDAY, STORMS WILL BECOME WETTER. THE SYSTEM WILL REMAIN
OVER THE AREA THROUGH SATURDAY AND CONTINUE TO PRODUCE SHOWERS AND
THUNDERSTORMS ESPECIALLY IN THE AFTERNOONS. WETTING RAINS ARE
POSSIBLE OVER MOST AREAS BY SATURDAY. INCREASING RAINFALL MAY
LESSEN THE IMPACTS WITH EACH DAY.
>> 08/07/13  City Releases Utility Takeover Study

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

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

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

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

URGENT - FIRE WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MEDFORD OR
414 AM PDT TUE AUG 6 2013

.AN UPPER LOW CURRENTLY OFF THE CALIFORNIA COAST WILL MOVE INLAND
THIS WEEK. THERE IS A SLIGHT CHANCE OF DRY THUNDERSTORMS TONIGHT
INTO WEDNESDAY MORNING. THEN SCATTERED THUNDERSTORM ARE EXPECTED TO DEVELOP WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON AND EVENING, AND AGAIN ON THURSDAY.  SCATTERED LIGHTNING OVER CONTINUED DRY TO VERY DRY FUELS MAY RESULT IN NEW FIRE STARTS. THUNDERSTORMS AND SHOWERS ARE EXPECTED TO CONTINUE FRIDAY AND SATURDAY...BUT CONDITIONS MAY BECOME INCREASINGLY WET.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

>> 07/25/13 Stagecoach Fire Near Containment

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

> 07/19/13 Another Trojan Horse Suspect Arrested

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

06/25/13 County To End Mental Health Services

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

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

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

06/25/13 Klamath  Unemployment Steady In May

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

>> 06/13/13 - Water Shutoffs Begin

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

>> 06/11/13 State Senate Limits Drones

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

>> 05/03/13 Stabbing Victims Identified

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

>> 03/20/13  Whistleblower Scientist Loses Case

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

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

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

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

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

 

03/19/13 Roosevelt Elementary Locked Down Monday

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

  

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

 

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

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