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>> 9/19/14 Major Player In Food Stamp Fraud Operation Sent To Prison

Judge Roger Isaackson sentenced Servero Toro-Castellon to 7-and-1/2 years in prison for his role in a food stamp fraud operation that operated out of a meat market on East Main Street. Toro-Castellon's operation offered food stamp recipients $0.50 for every $1 of food stamps. The recipient would run their debit card for $200 which would be credited to the meat market and in return the food stamp recipient was handed $100 cash. In many cases police say the cash was used to buy alcohol and illegal drugs.

 

>> 9/19/14 Study Says 95% of Oregonians Now Have Health Insurance

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A new study shows 95 percent of Oregonians now have health insurance coverage, largely thanks to the state's expansion of Medicaid to many previously ineligible low-income adults. The study, released Thursday, was conducted by Oregon Health & Science University in partnership with the Oregon Health Authority. It shows the number of uninsured Oregonians fell from about 550,000... in June 2013 to roughly 202,000 in June 2014. Most of the newly insured gained coverage through the Oregon Health Plan, the state's version of Medicaid, which expanded by 360,000 people. Tens of thousands also gained private, non-employer coverage via the Cover Oregon exchange. But private insurance coverage overall decreased in the state, by less than 1 percent, due to a drop in the number of people covered by employer-sponsored group plans.

 

>> 9/19/14 Major Project Completed On Sprague River

BLY, Ore. (AP) — A major restoration project on a river in the upper Klamath Basin has been completed. The work on a stretch of the Sprague River running through the Black Drake Ranch in Bly will provide deep pools of cool water for fish, and restore the river and nearby forest to a more natural condition. The project was collaboration between ranch owner Greg Bulkley and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Bulkley says the Klamath Country Fly Casters and others supported the work. The Sprague is a spawning area for endangered sucker fish and a major tributary of Upper Klamath Lake.

 

 

>> 9/18/14 Donations Pouring In To Help Weed Fire Victims

A Cal Fire spokesman told KFLS News the area has been "bombarded" with clothes, furniture and blankets and at this time those items are not needed.
There is a need for dog and cat food. Take pet food and any other donations to Aaron's on Washburn Way across from Wal Mart.
Consider donating money because it can be "leveraged" and help more people....
The Shasta Regional Community Foundation can take donations at shastarcf.org...or you can call, 530-244-1219. If you want to mail a check send it to Shasta Regional Community Foundation, 1335 Arboretum Drive, Suite B, Yuba City, CA 96003
The Red Cross is coordinating their relief efforts with the Salvation Army and the Southern Baptist Convention's Emergency Response Fund. The shelter is expected to be open for the next several days at least and likely much longer. The Red Cross shelter is at the Armory in Mt. Shasta City. Donations to the Red Cross can be sent to 2125 Onstott Drive, Redding, CA 95991 Please write "Boles Fire" on the memo line of your check. On line donations can be made at redcross.org/nec.

 

>> 9/18/14 The Boles Fire Now 65% Contained; Overnight Rain Helps Firefighters

Overnight rain helped firefighters in their battle against The Boles Fire in Weed, California and the blaze is reported 65% contained. More than 110 homes were destroyed and another 90 were damaged. Evacuation orders remain in effect for Angel Valley and Hoy Road. Highway 97 reopened Wednesday afternoon. A community meeting is being held tonight at College of the Siskiyous at 7:00 p.m. in the Theatre Building. The Red Cross has a shelter at the armory in Mt Shasta.

 

>> 9/18/14 No Cars On Crater Lake Rim Drive This Saturday And Next Saturday

KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. (AP) — Sections of Rim Drive at Crater Lake National Park will be free of cars the next two Saturdays. Rim Drive from the North Entrance Junction to park headquarters will be closed to cars from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. the next two Saturdays. Motorists will be able to travel from park headquarters to Rim Village and along West Rim Drive. Access also will be available to west-side trails during the closures, including Annie Creek, The Watchman, Lightning Springs and the North Entrance overlook. Superintendent Craig Ackerman says the park intends to make car-free Saturdays an annual, late September event. It started last year and park officials got positive feedback.

 

 

>> 9/16//14 Missing Teenager Found, Safe

Klamath Falls Police say 13 year old Gianna Renee Tenio was found safe about 12:30 p.m. Monday afternoon. No other details were released.

 

>> 9/16/14 Weed Fire Damages Or Destroys 100 Homes

WEED, Calif. (AP) — Firefighters are gaining ground on a wildfire that raced through a far Northern California town, damaging or destroying 100 homes and a church. State fire spokeswoman Suzi Brady said Tuesday morning that the fire in the town of Weed near the Oregon border was 20 percent contained. There were no flames or smoke visible. The fire has burned through 375 acres since it began Monday afternoon and showed almost no growth overnight. Officials have said it moved quickly, catching residents off guard in the scenic town of nearly 3,000 near the base of Mount Shasta in the Cascade Mountains. At least 1,500 people were forced to flee. Highway 97 remains closed 42 miles south of the Oregon border.

From Roseburg Forest Products
Roseburg, Ore. - Roseburg Forest Products’ veneer facility in Weed, Calif., was hit by the Boles Fire on Monday, Sept. 15, shortly after 1 p.m. All Roseburg employees were evacuated and are safe. There were no injuries. Although the main processing area and facility were not destroyed, a number of buildings on the complex were damaged. The company is assessing the dam...age; however, spot fires are persisting on site as of Tuesday morning. “Our primary concern at this point is our people,” said Roseburg CEO and President Allyn Ford. “Some of our employees, along with their neighbors, have lost their homes, so we want to help those displaced by this fire. Our concern extends to the entire community of Weed as well.
“As far as the mill, we need to assess the damage, which is premature since there are still spot fires burning on site. Our objective is to establish stability, both for our people and the facility. “We are currently marshalling all of our resources with one goal: to get the plant back up and running as soon as possible. “I want to thank the community of Weed and first responders for working together to help us save as much of the plant as possible.”

 

>> 9/16/14 State Adds 2,900 Jobs; Unemployment Moves Up

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon's jobless rate has risen as workers join the labor force in greater numbers than employers create jobs. The state Employment Department reported Tuesday that as a result, the state employment rate rose last month to 7.2 percent. It was 6.9 percent in July. The numbers are seasonally adjusted. The department reported that labor force rose about 8,350. That reflects peop...le moving to Oregon as well as Oregonians joining, or rejoining, the search for work. But a survey of employers shows that fewer jobs were added in August — about 2,900. Even so, the department says that represents steady growth, job increases in 12 of the last 14 months. The agency says Oregon is 127,000 jobs above the low in the recession and 20,000 jobs short of the pre-recession peak.

 

>> 9/15/14 Klamath Falls Teenager Missing

Gianna Renee Tenio went missing from1607 Crescent Avenue
Klamath Falls, Oregon on Sunday, September 14th, 2014. Gianna is a 13 year old, white, female, juvenile, 5 feet 5 inches tall, medium to large build. She has long brown (mid back length) hair with blonde streaks. She was last seen wearing a gray and white tank top and black pants. Her pants possibly have blue paint streaks on the rear pockets. She was also possibly wearing black ankle high combat style boots.
Please contact Sgt. Dennis Davenport at the Klamath Falls Police Department 541-883-5336, or the Klamath Falls Police Tip-line at 541-883-5334.

 

>> 9/15/14 790 Fire Update

The Pacific Crest Trail from the southern boundary of Crater Lake National Park to Highway 140 is now open for pass-through use.
A transfer of command from the Oregon Interagency Incident Management Team 3 back to the local unit will occur Wednesday morning and be managed from the High Cascades Ranger District.
Location: 10 miles southeast of Prospect, Oregon and 10 miles northwest of Rocky Po...
int, Oregon burning primarily in the Sky Lakes Wilderness.
Current situation: 3,036 acres, 75% contained, 433 firefighters assigned.
Yesterday’s Operations – Firefighters continued mop up on the western portion of the fire by extinguishing burning debris along the fire’s edge 100-150 feet within the fire perimeter. More than 20 tons of excess supplies and equipment were removed from the fire by using a pack string to haul equipment to trailheads and helicopters to fly supplies in cargo nets to helibase. The north, south and east flanks of the fire were patrolled by aircraft and field personnel.
Today’s Operations – The fire management strategy is to continue to strengthen fire lines by mopping up burning material and hotspots from the fire’s edge to a distance necessary to provide safe containment. With helicopter support, firefighters will continue to backhaul excess equipment from the fire. Crews will continue firefighting repair measures on secured sections of the fire to minimize erosion and offset the impact resulting from fire suppression efforts. These repair measures include; masking chain saw cuts, covering exposed soil and constructing water bars. As fire activity decreases and containment lines are solidified, a reduction of firefighting personnel and resources will continue.
Weather and Fire Behavior – A Red Flag Warning has been issued for 3 p.m. Monday afternoon through 10 p.m. Monday night, as isolated thunderstorms with little or no precipitation are possible. Daytime temperatures are expected to reach 75-85 degrees, and minimum relative humidity is forecasted to be in the mid-teens to the mid-twenties. Gusty winds from thunderstorms coupled with dry fuels could potentially increase fire activity.
Closures:
The closure area has been redefined and is now entirely within the Sky Lakes Wilderness. All trails within the wilderness, including the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT), on both the Rogue River-Siskiyou and Fremont-Winema National Forests are now open. The fire area west of the PCT remains closed due to public safety concerns, which include fire-weakened trees, helicopter operations, and burning debris within the fire perimeter. Roads immediately west of the fire outside of the wilderness also remain closed to reduce conflicts between fire operations and the public. The revised area closure and details can be found at www.fs.usda.gov/rogue-siskiyou or
http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4095. Pacific Crest Trail information is available at http://www.pcta.org/.
Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFR): A TFR is in place over the fire. Please check the NOTAM for current information.
Fremont-Winema National Forest
http://www.fs.usda.gov/fremont-winema/
Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest
http://www.fs.usda.gov/rogue-Siskiyou

 

>> 9/15/14 More Wildfires In Western Oregon

GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — Two wildfires started over the weekend in western Oregon, where forests are critically dry and the weather is hot. A fire on the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest 15 miles west of Grants Pass grew to nearly 2,000 acres as of Monday. Residents of 10 homes along the Rogue River have been told to be ready to evacuate. A fire 10 miles east of Estacada on the Mount Hood National Forest is nearly 2,500 acres. Spokeswoman Carol Connolly says 20 residents of an RV park were evacuated, and six homes have been warned to start getting ready to leave. She says initial reports indicate someone target shooting caused the fire. There's no word yet on what caused the fire near Grants Pass.

 

 

>> 9/12/14 Medford Police Cleared In August Shooting Of Armed Man

MEDFORD, Ore. (AP) — A southern Oregon grand jury says Medford police were justified in last month's fatal shooting of an armed 52-year-old U.S. Marine Corps veteran. Jackson County District Attorney Beth Heckert said Thursday that despite previous reports that Stephen McMilon fired at least one round from his shotgun before police shot him on Aug. 24, physical evidence from the scene shows he never fired. The Medford Mail Tribune reports that Medford Police Chief Tim George says two police officers shot at McMilon a total of six times. The man was hit once. The officers say they believed he was about to open fire on another nearby officer. The district attorney says McMilon had a shotgun, two handguns and was carrying more than 200 rounds of ammunition when he was killed in a church parking lot. Friends say he served in the Gulf War. One friend, Linda Amble, said earlier that McMilon suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder.

 

>> 9/12/14 Lawsuits Over Monsanto Genetically Engineered Wheat Continue

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A potential settlement appears to be in the works on some claims in lawsuits over the May 2013 discovery of genetically engineered Monsanto wheat in an Oregon field. U.S. District Judge Kathryn Vratil in Kansas has given the parties until Sept. 29 to file stipulations of dismissal of claims brought by growers of soft white wheat. She has also stayed proceedings to give the remaining parties a chance to explore a possible settlement. An order filed Wednesday in federal court in Kansas gives the parties until Oct. 27 to file a joint report on efforts to resolve the case. At least 13 lawsuits against St. Louis-based Monsanto over have been consolidated in Kansas. The lawsuits were initially filed in Kansas, Oklahoma, Illinois, Missouri, Louisiana, Oregon, Texas, Mississippi, Washington, Arkansas and Idaho.

>> 9/12/14 790 Fire Update

Oregon Interagency Incident Management Team 3 (OR-IIMT-3), Incident Commander Tim Keith, assumed command of the 790 Fire this morning.  OR-IIMT-3 would like to thank the Oregon Interagency Incident Management Team 2 and firefighters for all the hard work completed on the 790 Fire. Location: 10 miles southeast of Prospect, Oregon and 10 miles northwest of Rocky Point, Oregon burning primarily in the Sky Lakes Wilderness. Current situation:  3,036 acres, 70% contained. Yesterday’s Operations – All fire lines held around the entire perimeter with warm, dry east winds gusting to 24 mph potentially pushing the fire. Crews worked to mop- up the western flank of the fire, extinguishing all smokes that could threaten the integrity of the fire line.  On the southwestern flank, mop-up has progressed approximately 70-100 feet in to the interior of the fire, while on the northwest flank hoses and sprinkler systems were utilized to create a wet containment line where it crosses Big Bend Creek drainage.  The north, east and southeast flanks were monitored by air for visible smokes. The contingency line west and outside of the Sky Lakes Wilderness has been completed. Equipment and supplies located on the eastern portion of the fire began to be gathered and prepared for removal. Today’s Operations – Crews will continue to hold and mop-up the western side of the fire.  Rapellers will be flown by helicopter to the east flank to suppress a 1-acre heat source and fall burning snags.  The helitack crews will continue preparing loads of equipment and supplies for removal from the spike camps and helispots on the eastern side on the fire in the Sky Lakes Wilderness by mule pack string and by air.  The south and north flank will be patrolled by air. A contingency group consisting of engines, a dozer, and water tender remain prepositioned to assist should the fire cross the current containment lines. Weather and Fire Behavior – A red flag warning has been issued for critical weather conditions of strong east winds and low relative humidity this morning. The warning will continue into the evening with unstable atmosphere and dry conditions forecasted. Gusty winds up to 15 mph this morning will turn southwest, then west, and eventually northwest this afternoon and evening.  This triple combination of low humidity, gusty winds, and unstable atmosphere is a heads up to firefighters to be aware of the potential for increased fire behavior and embers blowing across the fire line and starting spot fires. Closures: Area and trail closures remain in effect for the 790 Fire.  Details of the closures can be found at www.fs.usda.gov/rogue-siskiyou or http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4095.  The Pacific Crest Trail remains closed from the south boundary of Crater Lake National Park south to Highway 140. Pacific Crest Trail information is available at http://www.pcta.org/ . Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFR): A TFR is in place over the fire. Please check the NOTAM for current information.

~~~~

 

 

>> 9/11/14 Two Active Fires At Crater Lake National Park

From Crater Lake National Park

CRATER LAKE, OR - September is an excellent time to visit Crater Lake National Park with fewer crowds, pleasant temperatures and cool, crisp air.  While visiting the park, you may notice two actively burning fires. 

The Caldera Fire was ignited by lightning on August 13, 2014 and is burning on the steep walls of the caldera west of Rim Village.  The fire is in an inaccessible location and is confined by natural barriers limiting fire spread.  Fire management officials are monitoring the incident and will take suppression action on any fire that extends beyond the confinement of the caldera.  The Caldera Fire is producing intermittent smoke and is visible from most locations along the Crater Lake Rim Drive. The Founders Day Fire was discovered on August 25, 2014, the 98th anniversary of the founding of the National Park Service.  The fire was ignited by lightning and is located in the northeast quarter of the park on the east flank of Timber Crater.  The fire is currently 16 acres and growth is anticipated due to warm, dry, and windy conditions forecast through September 15, 2014.  The fire is being managed with multiple objectives including the restoration of the natural role of fire within the wilderness.  The Founders Day Fire is being monitored for fire behavior, growth, and ecological effects.  It is being actively managed, and strategies are in place to take suppression action if conditions warrant.  The fire is visible from Highway 138 and locations along the northeast section of Crater Lake Rim Drive including Mt. Scott. The 2014 fire season has been very active in southern Oregon and within Crater Lake National Park.  National Park Service fire managers have suppressed 40 lightning ignited fires within the park this summer.  These fires were suppressed due to dry conditions, potential impacts from smoke, and extended fire duration and resource commitments associated with early season fires.  The decision to manage the Founders Day fire for multiple objectives was based upon the fire’s remote location within the interior of the park, availability of local and national resources, summer rain received over the fire area, and shorter and cooler days associated with autumn.  Fall will soon bring wetting rains and intermittent snow storms signaling the end of Crater Lake’s wildland fire season. There are no road or trail closures associated with the fires burning within the park.  Smoke from the Caldera and Founders Day Fires is minimal and is not impacting park operations. Come visit Crater Lake National Park and embrace this opportunity to observe the natural role of wildland fire in the Cascade ecosystem!

>> 9/11/14 Street Closures In Klamath Falls Due To Movie, "Brother In Laws" Being Filmed Here 

Klamath Falls Street Closures due to "Brother In Laws" filming
September 11th - Donald St between Sargent St and Worden Ave
N/S of Fulton St 200' East of Sargent St
Main St between 5th and 6th (6:00 pm to 10:00 pm)
5th Street between Pine St and Main St (6:00 pm to 10:00 pm

September 12th - 4th St between Pine St and Klamath Ave

September 13th - 9th St between Main St and Pine St...
W/S of Main St for 200' South of 9th St
4th St between Pine St and Main St
Pine St between 4th and 5th

September 14th - Pacific Terrace between Melrose St and Earle St

 

>> 9/11/14 Kitzhaber, Richardson Agree To More Debates

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon's gubernatorial candidates have finalized plans for a debate in Portland. Both campaigns said Tuesday that Democratic Gov. John Kitzhaber and Republican state Rep. Dennis Richardson will square off Oct. 14. The debate is sponsored by KGW-TV and The Oregonian. The campaigns had previously to debates Sept. 26 in Bend and the next day in Eugene. In addition to the debates already scheduled, Kitzhaber originally proposed debates sponsored by the Portland City Club and KOBI-TV in Medford. Dates for those forums have not been set.

 

>> 9/10/14 Names To Be Added To Veterans Memorial Tomorrow, (Thursday) At 1:00 P.M.

The Klamath County Veterans Services and the Veterans of Foreign Wars will add 28 names of those from Klamath county who died in one of the nation's past wars to the Veterans Memorial Shaft in front of the county courthouse at 1:00 p.m. Thursday, September 11th. Veterans Service Office Director Kathy Pierce says the event will include remembrance of the 9/11/01 attacks. The names being added to the memorial include 8 from World War 2, 7 from the Korean War, 8 from Vietnam and 5 who died in Iraq or Afghanistan.  Pierce says former Klamath County Commissioner Al Sweitzer, with help from the county museum volunteers, did the research into those Klamath county people who died in war but their names had not been added to the memorial.

 

>> 9/10/14 Happy Camp Fire Destroys Four Homes

HAPPY CAMP, Calif. (AP) — Authorities surveying damage from a fire that has been raging for weeks in a far Northern California forest say it has destroyed four homes. Kerry Greene, a spokeswoman for the fire in the Klamath National Forest, says two homes were destroyed this week when winds fueled the blaze. Another two homes were destroyed earlier. The fire has also damaged or destroyed four other... buildings. U.S. Forest Service spokesman Rudy Evenson says 274 residents are under mandatory evacuation orders, and at least that many people have been told to be ready to leave home if the fire worsens. The blaze has consumed 164 square miles of timber since it began last month and continues to challenge firefighters trying to get a handle on it. It is 30 percent contained.

 

>> 9/10/14

SEATTLE (AP) — Regional power planners say indoor marijuana grow operations in Washington state could need as much electricity over the next two decades equal to what a small Northwest city consumes. Tom Eckman with the Northwest Power and Conservation Council says demand also could grow if Oregon voters pass a ballot initiative in November to legalize recreational pot use. The council has been studying the impacts of electricity needs for indoor pot producing operations since Washington voters legalized recreational pot use in 2012. The council's analysis says new energy demand among marijuana growers is estimated to grow to as much as 163 megawatts by 2035. That's about 10 percent of what the city of Seattle uses on average each year.

 

 

>> 9/8/14 Deputy Weber Back Home

Deputy Jason Weber who was shot during a traffic stop on Bisbee Street in Klamath Falls on August 27th is out of the hospital and back home. Weber was shot in the face and the side. He is breathing on his own. Two people are jailed in the Klamath County Jail on Attempted Aggravated Murder charges. 30 year old William Jack Parkerson and 33 year old Karey Leigh Pascoe are being held in lieu of $10-million bail each.

 

>> 9/8/14 Brawl At Medford Cage Fight Event

MEDFORD, Ore. (AP) — A brawl involving more than 50 people broke out after a cage fighting event in Medford. Police Sgt. Tom Ianieri says the fight started after 15 to 20 fans began "mouthing off" toward the end of the mixed martial arts event Saturday hosted by Rogue Fights Inc. The Mail Tribune reports (http://bit.ly/1tlWiO4 ) police at the event called for backup, and it took more than 20 officers from several agencies about 20 minutes to control the situation. They arrested seven people on riot and other charges. Despite all the kicking and punching there were no serious injuries. Rogue Fights said on its Facebook page it does not support fighting outside the cage.

>> 9/8/14 DNA Tests Confirm OR-7 Mate Is Wolf

GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — Genetic tests indicate that the mate Oregon's famous wandering wolf, OR-7, found in the Cascade Mountains of southwestern Oregon could have been the girl next door when he was growing up hundreds of miles away in northeastern Oregon. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife announced Friday that scat samples picked up by biologists last May and July were analyzed by a laboratory at the University of Idaho. The report says DNA extracted from the scat show the mate is indeed a wolf, and two of the pups belong to OR-7 and his mate. The report does not specifically say where the mate comes from, but she is related to the Minam and Snake River packs in northeastern Oregon. They each occupy territories neighboring OR-7's Imnaha pack.

 

 

>> 9/5/14 Deputy Weber Out Of Intensive Care At OHSU

Sheriff Frank Skrah says deputy Jason Weber is out of the Intensive Care Unit at OHSU. Skrah says Weber is now able to talk. Weber was shot during a traffic stop last week on Bisbee Street. He was hit by a bullet to the face and a second bullet to his side. Skrah says a breathing tube has been removed from Weber who is now in an "interim room" where his condition is being monitored. There is a benefit pancake breakfast tomorrow, Saturday, September 6th, at Applebee's in Klamath Falls for the after-care costs for Deputy Weber. The event is from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. and the cost is a donation.

 

>> 9/5/14 State Admits Substantial Negligence In Case Of Death Of Inmate

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The state of Oregon has acknowledged that negligence played a substantial role in the death of an inmate who was killed after he asked to be protected from the Aryan Brotherhood and was instead transferred to a cell with a member. The Department of Corrections made the statement in court documents filed Aug. 22 in response to a lawsuit by the widow of 28-year-old Michael Hagen. The lawsuit says Hagen told prison administrators he feared for his life after he refused to join the gang. It adds that gang members claimed Hagen was an informant. No prison employees have been disciplined in connection with the death. Inmate Terry Lapich has been accused of beating Hagen to death. He told prison guards that Hagen fell off his bed.

>> 9/5/14 30 States Ask U-S Supreme Court To Issue Gay Marriage Ruling

BOSTON (AP) — More than 30 states have filed briefs asking the U.S. Supreme Court to rule on same-sex marriage. Massachusetts and 14 other states where same-sex marriage is legal filed a brief Thursday asking the justices to overturn other states' bans on gay marriage. Colorado and 16 other states that have banned same-sex marriage filed a separate brief asking the court to rule one way or the oth...er to clear up a "morass" of lawsuits. Their brief doesn't specifically ask the court to uphold their bans. Massachusetts was joined by California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and Washington. Colorado was joined by Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

 

>> 9/3/14 Deputy "In Good Spirits" As He Recovers From Surgery

Klamath County Sheriff Frank Skrah says Deputy Jason Weber is "in good spirits" as he recovers from surgery that was performed Friday at Oregon Health Science University. Doctors inserted four titanium plates in Weber's face because one of the bullets bounced in his skull badly damaging his jaw.  Weber's wife, parents and brother are at his bedside at OHSU. Skrah expects Weber to leave the Intensive Care Unit in a few days and move to a regular hospital room.

 

>> 9/3/14 Thousands Of Dead Kokanee Salmon In Lewiston Lake and Trinity Lake

KFLS News has learned that thousands of Kokanee Salmon have died in Lewiston Lake in northern California. In late August the Bureau of Reclamation began releasing water from Trinity Dam in an attempt to help migrating Chinook Salmon move up the lower Klamath River. Brian Person at the northern California Bureau of Reclamation office says the fish were killed by the rapid change in pressure which occurred when they were sucked into Trinity Dam's intake shafts when water was released downstream. Kokanee need cold water to survived and the fish are forced deeper into Trinity Lake as water is released. The lake dropped 5-point-84 feet during the week mending August 25th.

 

>> 9/3/14 Memorial Held For Former Governor Vic Atiyeh

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Friends, colleagues and a who's who of Oregon politicians packed the House chamber in Salem to remember former Gov. Vic Atiyeh (uh-TEE-uh), the nation's first Arab-American governor and the last Republican to hold the job in Oregon. Atiyeh died in July at age 91. His family held a private burial, and Wednesday's service gave the public a chance to say goodbye. Atiyeh was governor from 1979 until 1987. He established trading ties with Asia while shepherding the state through a severe recession and dealing with the Rajneesh cult in Central Oregon. Republican Rep. Greg Walden and Democratic former Gov. Barbara Roberts were among those who spoke. Roberts praised Atiyeh's bipartisanship during the recession and noted his popularity after leaving office, saying: "Oregon never forgot him because he never forgot Oregonians."

 

>> 8/29/14 Surgery Delayed For Deputy Weber

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Doctors have decided to wait a day before operating on the Klamath County sheriff's deputy who was shot in the face during a traffic stop involving a Jeep Cherokee. Sheriff Frank Skrah says the surgery is now expected to happen Friday afternoon. Deputy Jason Weber remains in serious, but stable condition at OHSU Hospital in Portland. His wife is there along with Weber's brother, Eric, a Portland police officer. William Jack Parkerson has been charged with attempted aggravated murder in Wednesday's shooting. Also arrested were Parkerson's girlfriend and a man who police believe was in the Jeep Cherokee at the time of the shooting.

 

>> 8/29/14 KCPOA Launches Fundraising For Deputy Weber & Family

From Klamath County Sheriff's Department
On behalf of Deputy Jason Weber and his family, the Klamath County Peace Officers’ Association (KCPOA) would like to thank the Klamath County Sheriff’s Office, Oregon State Police, Klamath Falls Police Department, Klamath County District Attorney’s Office, Klamath 911 Dispatch, Klamath Community Corrections, Malin Police Department, Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office, Modoc County Sheriff’s Office, Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office, Washington County Sheriff’s Office, US Marshals, FBI, ATF, Emergency Airlift, all other agencies, and members of the community of Klamath Falls who offered assistance in apprehending the suspects in the shooting of Deputy Weber. Without the extraordinary effort of all agencies involved, there is no way this incident could have been concluded in such a timely and successful way. No single agency could have pulled off such a tremendous feat without the assistance of others.
No matter what the color of our uniforms or the shape of our badges, the profession of law enforcement is a family. In a tragedy such as what occurred to Deputy Weber, we are thankful for our law enforcement brothers and sisters.
KCPOA has opened an account at Klamath Public Employees Credit Union, 3737 Shasta Way, Klamath Falls, OR 97603. For those who would like to contribute to Deputy Weber’s care, they can make a donation. Please make checks payable to KCPOA/The Weber Family. All funds can be taken to the Klamath Public Employees Credit Union or dropped off at the Klamath County Sheriff’s Office, 3300 Vandenberg Road, Klamath Falls, OR 97603.

 

>> 8/29/14 Moose Lodge Holds Weber Fund Raiser On Saturday

The Klamath Falls Moose Lodge, (1577 Oak Avenue across from the Amtrak Station) will open at 7:00 a.m. on Saturday to accept donations for after-care costs for Deputy Jason Weber. The deputy was seriously injured during a traffic stop late Wednesday morning on Bisbee Street. Moose Lodge event organizer Jason White says there's no set "end time" for the fund raising event. White says the lodge will be open until they run out of people coming in to donate.

 

>> 8/28/14 Two Suspects Arrested For Shooting Deputy; Deputy Identified

The following is an updated news release from Klamath County District Attorney Rob Patridge:
The Major Crime team has located the 1989 Jeep Cherokee, Oregon license ZFQ 270, associated with the shooting of Klamath County Sheriff Deputy Jason Weber, between North Klamath and Rocky Point. The victim in the shooting is Deputy Jason Weber, age 40.
The public is encouraged to relay any information t...hey may have regarding this investigation to the Klamath Falls Police Department tip line at (541) 883-5334.
On Thursday, August 28, 2014, the Klamath County Major Crime arrested William Jack Parkerson (DOB 5/21/84) on charges of Attempted Aggravated Murder with a Firearm and Assault in the First Degree with a Firearm. The Crime Team has also arrested Karey Leigh Pascoe (11/20/80) in connection with the shooting and charged her with conspiracy to commit Attempted Aggravated Murder with a Firearm, Aggravated Murder, and Assault in the First Degree with a Firearm.
Klamath County Sheriff Frank Skrah said, "We appreciate the efforts of all of the law enforcement who have assisted us in the apprehension of these suspects. We are fortunate to have such a strong brotherhood under the badge. Now that the suspects are in custody I want to announce that Deputy Jason Weber, a dedicated Deputy Sherriff for seven years was the Deputy who is the victim of this brutal shooting. Deputy Weber is with his family at Oregon Health Sciences University currently undergoing surgery under the care of seven physicians and is in serious but stable condition. The family knows that the thoughts and prayers of the community go out to them at this difficult time. It is the request of Deputy Weber's family that all contact related to Deputy Weber's condition be directed to the Klamath County Sheriff's Office."

 

>> 8/28/14 Fires In Sky Lakes Wilderness Causing Smoke Problems

Klamath Falls, Or. – Public Health officials urge Klamath County residents in Klamath Basin, particularly in Chiloquin and Rocky Point to take precautions as the air quality may reach potentially unhealthy levels. The Wildland Fire 790 is currently not contained and hourly smoke concentrations are varying from good to unhealthy. With the arrival of winds from the west, we believe the smoke levels may rise to unhealthy levels tomorrow and continue into Saturday, specifically in Chiloquin and Rocky Point.

Klamath County Public Health is advising residents to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations and take the following precautions to avoid breathing problems or other symptoms from smoke:

Check local Air Quality Index for information about conditions at https://airsis.com/usfs/fleet.aspx   click on USFS 103 Chiloquin for the hourly Air Quality information.  Otherwise, if you are unable to see familiar landmarks 5 miles or less away, the air quality may be in the unhealthy category. 

 

If unhealthy conditions are present:

        Reduce the amount of time spent outdoors. This can usually provide some protection, especially in a tightly closed, air-conditioned house in which the air conditioner can be set to re-circulate air instead of bringing in outdoor air. Staying inside with the doors and windows closed can usually reduce exposure.

·        Avoid strenuous outdoor activity.

·        Reduce other sources of indoor air pollution. Some indoor sources of air pollution can emit large amounts of the same pollutants present in wildfire smoke. Indoor sources such as burning cigarettes, gas, propa

      Do not rely on dust masks for protection. Paper “comfort” or “dust” masks commonly found at hardware stores will not offer protection from smoke. An “N95” mask worn properly may offer some protection, however breathing through a mask may be difficult.

 Individuals with lung conditions such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease should follow their health care provider’s advice about prevention and treatment of symptoms. When smoke levels are high enough, even healthy people may experience symptoms. emember, local smoke levels can rise and fall rapidly. People can conduct a visual assessment of smoke levels to quickly get a sense of air quality levels and take precautions. If people have additional concerns, they should contact the nearest local public health agency for the latest in threats to health conditions from smoke.

>> 8/28/14 Ella Redkey Pool To Close For Maintenance

Klamath Falls, OR - To prepare for the fall and winter swim seasons, the Ella Redkey Pool located at 1805 Main Street will be temporarily closed for routine annual maintenance beginning Monday, September 1, 2014 and will reopen September 8, 2014 offering a full schedule of lap swimming, aqua aerobic classes, swim lessons, open swim and family swim. The fall schedule and pricing is available on the City website at: http://ci.klamath-falls.or.us/visitors/ella-redkey-pool. The pool is open year round; swimmers can now purchase an annual pass to access all of the great amenities the pool has to offer for each season of the year.
Throughout the maintenance week check the Ella Redkey Pool Facebook page for updates on the progress of the following projects:
•Resurfacing the bathroom and shower floors in both locker rooms
•Deep cleaning the locker rooms and outdoor facilities
•Updating signs
•Draining the pool to allow cleaning of tiles and polishing stainless steel
•Refilling pool to ensure a perfect chemical balance for the kick-off of the fall season
City maintenance, park and pool staff will be working diligently to complete these projects. As always volunteers are welcome to participate. Please contact the pool at 541-273-1477 to coordinate volunteer times and projects.
The City was recently awarded a Local Government Grant which will allow the City to resurface the pool, make upgrades to the geothermal system, and purchase pool blankets to help conserve heat and decrease evaporation during the cold winter months. These projects will not take place during this maintenance period but are anticipated to occur prior to next summer.
The summer schedule is still in effect until August 31. Thank you for a successful summer season.
 

 

>> 8/27/14 Sheriffs Deputy Shot Twice, Hospitalized

The following is a news release prepared by Klamath County District Attorney Rob Patridge:
On Tuesday, August 27, 2014, a Klamath County Sherriff's Office Deputy while conducting a traffic stop on Bisbee Street in Klamath Falls was shot in the face and side. The deputy has been transported to Sky Lakes Medical Center and at this time is stable. The Klamath County Major Crime has been activated and the investigation is on going.
The suspect is still at large and considered armed and dangerous. The public is warned not to approach the vehicle and to please call 911.
The vehicle containing the suspect is believed to be driving a black 1989 Jeep Cherokee Oregon license plate ZFQ 270.
Any information or tips regarding this investigation should be routed to the Klamath Falls Police Department tip line at 541-883-5334.
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.
No other information for release at this time. Updates will be provided when approved for release.


> 8/27/14 State Tax Revenues May Hit Kicker Tax Rebate Threshold

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A swelling state treasury is on the verge of triggering "kicker" rebates for Oregon taxpayers. For the third time this year, economists on Wednesday revised their revenue forecast upward, leaving it just $27 million shy of the kicker threshold. That means even a small improvement over expected employment and wages could send at least $290 million in rebates to individual taxp...ayers. Under a tax law unique to Oregon, if personal income tax collections exceed expectations during a two-year budget cycle by at least 2 percent, the extra money is kicked back to taxpayers. Corporate income tax collections are expected to hit the 2 percent threshold, but excess corporate revenue is earmarked for schools.

 

>> 8/27/14 Huge Tax Break Approved For Intel

HILLSBORO, Ore. (AP) — Local officials have approved a tax break for Intel that could be worth about $2 billion during its expansion in Washington County west of Portland. The Oregonian (http://bit.ly/1opdeiq) reports that Intel is the state's largest private employer, with 17,500 employees. In recent years, the chip-making giant has been building manufacturing capacity at an accelerated rate. A 1993 state law is designed to attract high-tech manufacturers, whose tools and equipment depreciate rapidly. Intel has previously negotiated four agreements with local officials under the law and said it's now bumping up against the limits in the current one. Some residents and tax watchdogs objected to the tax breaks, but they had support from local officials. The Hillsboro City Council and the county commissioners met Tuesday night to approve the deal.

 

>> 8/27/14 State GOP Says "No" On Most Ballot Measures

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon Republican Party is not recommending a "yes" vote on any of the seven measures on the ballot in November. The GOP's State Central Committee voted Saturday to oppose five of the measures. The committee took no position on two others. Republicans say voters should reject marijuana legalization and labeling requirements for foods with genetically modified ingredients. Th...e GOP also isn't keen on granting driving privileges to people who can't prove they're legally in the United States or authorizing the state to sell bonds to provide college financial assistance. Republicans had previously come out against a measure that would replace the party primary elections with a top-two primary, in which the top two vote-getters in the May election advance to November.

 

>> 8/26/14 California Irrigators Want Water For Salmon Shut Off

Water providers in California's Central Valley are asking a federal judge to stop releases of extra water intended to help salmon in the Klamath Basin survive the drought. The petition was filed late Monday in U.S. District Court in Fresno, California, by Westlands Water District and the San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority, which supply farmers. At issue is water held in a reservoir on the Trinity River. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation started increasing flows into the Trinity River on Saturday to prevent the spread of disease and get adult salmon in the lower Klamath River to start moving upstream. The Bureau did not reduce the amount of water going to irrigators, but if the drought continues, there will be less water in the reservoir next year.

 

>> 8/26/14 Family Drowns In Reservoir

GASTON, Ore. (AP) — Divers have recovered the bodies of a 40-year-old mother and her two children a day after another family member — a 3-year-old grandchild — was found drowned. Authorities said the three bodies found Tuesday were in about 8 feet of water at Henry Hagg (HAG) Lake. They say there's no evidence of foul play, and a sheriff's spokesman says the deaths are considered accidental. Sheriff's deputies identified the three bodies found Tuesday as those of 40-year-old Jova Ixtacua-Castano and her two children, 25-year-old Gabriela Garcia-Ixtacua and 13-year-old Michael Garcia-Ixtacua. The sheriff's office said Gabriela was the mother of the 3-year-old found Monday night. He was identified as Jeremy Scholl. They lived together in nearby Hillsboro.

 

>> 8/26/14 Biologists Say It Won't Be Easy To Collar Wolf OR-7

GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — Biologists trying to put a new GPS tracking collar on Oregon's famous wandering wolf, OR-7, could be camping out in the southern Oregon Cascades for weeks before they are successful. U.S. Fish and Wildlife biologist John Stephenson says the upcoming operation involves setting out leg-hold traps with padded jaws in likely locations, then checking every morning to see if a wolf has stepped into one — a process that could take weeks. OR-7 became famous as his GPS collar showed him trekking across Oregon and Northern California before finding a mate last winter in the southern Oregon Cascades and having pups. Now his battery is running out. Biologists want to learn more about his family's movements, so they plan to fit OR-7 with a new GPS collar.

 

 

>> 8/19/14 Unemployment Same In July In Klamath County

From Oregon Employment Department

Unemployment levels in the Klamath Basin were nearly unchanged from June, mirroring statewide and national trends. Payroll employment levels in Klamath County have declined over the year across a variety of industries, though solid hiring continues in private educational and health services. Klamath County: Seasonally-adjusted unemployment levels remained stagnan...t in Klamath County, as July’s rate of 9.7 percent was unchanged from June. Unemployment levels are still down from a year ago when the rate was 10.7 percent. The county lost 520 jobs in July, more than the expected loss of 470 jobs this time of year. Monthly job losses were concentrated in state government (-200) and local education (-490), which is expected this time of year. Moderate losses in were also seen in private educational and health services (-60); trade, transportation, and utilities (-60); and retail trade (-50). Gains in the private sector offset some of these declines, led by strong growth in professional and business services.

 

>> 8/19/14 Klamath Falls City Council Hires Hydro Geologist Company

The Klamath Falls City Council gave the green light on Monday for the hiring of GeoSyntec Consultants. The $76,100 contract calls for the company to review and possibly challenge the Oregon Water Resources Department's efforts to regulate ground and surface water including the Wocus and Fremont wells which the state claims are impacting Upper Klamath Lake. The city also is asking Geosyntec to study the city's geothermal wells.

 

>>8/19/14 Sentencing In Medford D.A. Office Bombing

MEDFORD, Ore. (AP) — A Southern Oregon man who hoped to delay a three-year burglary sentence by destroying the records of his case has been sent to prison for 15 years for trying to blow up the prosecutor's office. The Medford Mail Tribune reports 47-year-old Alan Leroy McVay apologized in federal court Monday for hurling a bomb at the offices of the Jackson County district attorney before dawn on... Nov. 13. He was due in court the next day for sentencing on a plea bargain over burglary and theft charges. His plot to put off sentencing fizzled. A pipe bomb failed to detonate the 7-gallon propane tank it was taped to. McVay pleaded guilty in May to a charge of malicious destruction of property by explosion.

 

 

>> 8/18/14 Klamath Falls City Council To Consider Hiring Hydro Geologist

The Klamath Falls City Council is expected to consider hiring a hydro geologist at its Monday night meeting tonight.  A company called Geosyntec Consultants has offered to work for the city for $76,100. If hired the city wants the company to review and possibly challenge the Oregon Water Resources Department's (OWRD) move to regulate city wells. The city will also ask the company to determine if the Conger well is connected to surface water and to also review the impact of the city's geothermal well. The OWRD claims the Wocus and Fremont wells are impacting Upper Klamath Lake because both wells are inside of a mile from the lake.

 

>> 8/18/14 Oregon Senate President Wants To Help Schools With Seismic Upgrades

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon state Senate President Peter Courtney of Salem says he'll make a funding proposal Tuesday to help schools upgrade to withstand a major earthquake. It would increase bond funding for school district grants.The Statesman Journal reports a 2007 study found more than 1,000 Oregon school buildings were found to have a high risk of collapse during a major earthquake.  Klamath Union High School was on the list.But the state has granted money to only 25 locations for seismic upgrades. The 2007 Statewide Seismic Need Assessment estimated that making all the school buildings in Oregon seismically sound would cost nearly $10 billion.

 

>> 8/18/14 Feds May Reconsider Water Releases For Salmon

The federal agency that oversees water in Northern California's Klamath Basin is taking another look at releasing some water to prevent the spread of disease among salmon returning to spawn in drought conditions. A U.S. Bureau of Reclamation spokeswoman said Friday a decision is likely next week. The bureau had earlier denied a request from the Hoopa Valley Tribe to release some water from Lewiston Dam on the Trinity River to prevent the spread of a parasite that attacks salmon in stagnant waters, though it would release some once significant numbers of fish started dying. Tribal scientists said by then it would be too late. The tribe took their case to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell when she was in Redding, California, this week, and she agreed to review the situation.

 

>> 8/18/14 Suicide Hotline Calls Double After Williams Death

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A Portland nonprofit says the number of calls into its suicide hotline doubled after the death of actor Robin Williams. Lines for Life Chief Operating Officer David Westbrook tells KGW that most of the extra calls are coming from people who have been concerned about another person and were prompted to take action. Lines for Life says its Suicide Lifeline received 7,375 calls the day after Williams died, the highest number it's ever received in a single day. The day before the actor's death, the line received about 3,000 calls. The 24-hour hotline can be reached at 800-273-8255.

 

>> 8/15/14 Business Oregon Helps Move Airport Projects Forward

From Business Oregon
Klamath Falls - After hearing the concerns of elected officials, business leaders, and citizens, Business Oregon and the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) have teamed up to advance a native plant study as part of a larger effort to improve infrastructure at the Crater Lake-Klamath Falls Airport. Business Oregon identified this collaborative opportunity during the first of...
its 11 Regional Economic Forums being held across the state. At the request of the Governor's South Central Regional Solutions Team and local officials, including State Senator Doug Whitsett, Business Oregon will provide $18,000 to fund the environmental study, which is a key component of the overall airfield improvement project. The scheduled taxiway construction and related improvements are designed, in part, to better enable takeoffs and landing for air tankers fighting forest fires.
"The Crater Lake-Klamath Airport Regional Airport is a critical driver of the Klamath Basin economy," said Business Oregon Director Sean Robbins. "After our recent visit and the July 16 community forum in Klamath Falls, it was clear the best way we could help in the near-term was to meet the funding gap for this conservation study. I'm pleased we could respond so quickly with a signed agreement to move forward."
Crater Lake-Klamath Falls Regional Airport is home to the largest remaining population in the world of Applegate's milkvetch, a rare plant that is both state- and federally-listed as endangered. The consultation work, supervised by the ODA, will help craft a management solution that facilitates the essential infrastructure upgrades while preserving the integrity of the milkvetch population and its airport habitat. A mitigation plan that meets state and federal conservation guidelines is required before Federal Aviation Administration funding of as much as $7.7 million to support the new taxiway can be released.

"This is a great example of successful collaboration at the state level to address important local and regional issues," said ODA Director Katy Coba. "We were able to align funding from one agency with the subject matter expertise of another through coordination provided by the Regional Solutions Team. This is the type of teamwork Oregonians want to see as part of good government."
The Crater Lake-Klamath Regional Airport is home to the 173rd Fighter Wing of Oregon's Air National Guard, the second-largest employer in Klamath Falls, with approximately 900 workers at the adjacent Kingsley Field. The Guard provides an estimated annual economic impact of roughly $118 million and the proposed taxiway development will allow the Guard to safely continue operations.
According to the City of Klamath Falls, the airport provides 750 jobs either at the site, or within the community, in aviation-related businesses and industries located on or adjacent to the field. In addition, the airport produces an estimated $85 million more in positive economic impacts for the Klamath Basin region.

 

>> 8/15/14 Errors Hurt As Crater Lake Cardinal Fall In World Series Championship Game

The Crater Lake Cardinal had a 4-0 lead in Thursday's World Series after a grand slam home run by Jesse Hillyard in the third inning but errors proved costly. Alabama rallied because of Cardinal errors in three separate innings and went on to win, 9-to-4.

 

>> 8/15/14 Wyden Calls For Surveillance Policy Change

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon is calling for a shift in surveillance policy. In a speech to be delivered Friday at a tech conference in Portland, Oregon, Wyden says surveillance agencies are able to use outdated court decisions to justify intercepting information that is private. His remarks were obtained in advance by The Associated Press. The government has long been able to examine records that go through a third party, like a phone call or bank transfer, without the onerous process of obtaining a search warrant. That communication is labeled as a business record.
But Wyden, a Democrat, says the government needs to treat these communications more like private papers.

 

>> 8/14/14 Crater Lake Cardinal In World Series Championship Game Today

The Crater Lake Cardinal, the Klamath Falls Senior Babe Ruth baseball team, will play in the World Series Championship game today in Ephrata, Washington. The Cardinal will play the defending champion team from Mobile, Alabama. Catch all the play-by-play action with Randy Adams on our CBS Sports Radio Station, The Winner, 1240 on the AM Radio dial. The pre-game begins at 12:30 p.m. and the first pitch at 1:00 p.m. today.

 

>> 8/14/14 Lake Of The Woods Drowning Victim Identified

From the Klamath County Sheriff
Timothy Donnavan Coleman age 25 was at Lake of the Woods near the Sunset campground on August 6, 2014 with friends from Ashland. At 7:22 pm 911 was called as Coleman was seen strugling in the lake ane yelling for help. Coleman went under the water surface before anyone could come to his assistance. Klamath County Dive Rescue and medical personel from Rocky Point ...Fire and EMS along with Fire District 4 responded to the scene. Life saving efforts were not successful. Timothy Coleman is from Sioux Falls, South Dakota and was visiting friends in Ashland. Mr. Coleman did not have any ID or documents with his name on them with him or at the residence he was using in Ashland. Authorities were told at the time of the death investigation that “Tim” was using an alias to avoid law enforcement detection. Klamath County Detectives were able to track down his true identity and positively ID Mr. Coleman using finger print analysis.

 

>> 8/14/14 Supreme Court Sides With Deputy In Horse Rescue

ROSEBURG, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon Supreme Court ruled that a sheriff's deputy was justified in going on private land in 2010 to rescue a starving horse in Douglas County. The News-Review of Roseburg reports (http://is.gd/EhCnWb ) that last week's ruling affirmed decisions made by the circuit and appeals courts. The women who owned the horse named Grace argued that Deputy Lee Bartholomew violated the Oregon Constitution and Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution when he seized their property without a warrant and that he couldn't prove the horse was in imminent danger. The courts decided an officer has the authority to enter a property without a warrant to end suffering or prevent harm. The horse died the year after her rescue.

 

>> 8/14/14 Right To Farm Lawsuit Filed In Curry County

GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — A group of people whose families, homes and pets came under a cloud of herbicides meant for neighboring timberlands are challenging the constitutionality of the Oregon Right to Farm Act. The lawsuit filed Wednesday in Curry County Circuit Court in Gold Beach argues that the immunity the law grants to pesticide sprayers treating farms and forests violates the Oregon Constitution's guarantee of the right to seek a legal remedy to violations of property rights.It was brought by 17 residents of the Cedar Valley area north of Gold Beach, who were the victims last fall of herbicides meant for neighboring timberlands. The Oregon Department of Agriculture this week fined the helicopter company and pesticide applicator involved $10,000 each and suspended their pesticide licenses for a year for providing false information.

 

>> 8/11/14 Red Flag Warnings Until Tuesday Night

MEDFORD, Ore. (AP) — The National Weather Service has issued a red flag warning for Southern Oregon as thunderstorms are expected to strike bone-dry terrain. The warning remains in effect through Tuesday evening. The warning covers the eastern Rogue Valley western Rogue Basin, including the Illinois Valley, Siskiyou Mountains, the Southern Oregon Cascades, Klamath Basin and Fremont-Winema National Forest. The Weather Service says the thunderstorms are unlikely to produce much rainfall. Winds could gust up to 50 mph, setting the table for potentially explosive wildfire growth.

 

>> 8/11/14 West Nile Virus Found Near Midland

Some mosquitoes have tested positive for West Nile Virus in the Midland area south of Klamath Falls. The virus doesn't have a high human mortality rate but horses often either die from the virus or become so sick they have to be euthanized. There is a two-shot vaccine available for horses. Klamath County Vector Control is asking the public to report dead, intact birds to them at 541-882-2715.

 

>> 8/11/14 Drought, Fire Threat Lead To Restrictions At Crater Lake

From Crater lake National Park
Crater Lake, OR - Crater Lake National Park and the northwest geographic area have experienced extremely high levels of fire activity during July and early August. Prolonged drought conditions combined with abundant lightning has resulted in numerous large fires. These extreme conditions have resulted in an early onset of fire season and 4 to 6 additional weeks of ...
high fire potential are anticipated for the remainder of the 2014 season.
To ensure public safety and to provide the highest degree of protection to park resources, the following restrictions were implemented effective at midnight on Wednesday, August 7, 2013:
Campfires
• Wood fires and charcoal fires are permitted only within established grills or fire rings, or portable self-contained grills, in the following designated areas:
o Mazama Campground
o Rim Village Picnic Area (“Picnic Hill”)
o Park residential areas
• Backcountry campfires are permitted only within established fire rings in the following designated campsites: Lightning Springs, Grouse Hill, Red Cone Springs, Bybee Creek, and Dutton Creek
• Gasoline and propane camp stoves and gas grills are permitted in campgrounds, picnic areas, backcountry areas and residential areas.
Smoking
• Smoking is permitted only in the following areas:
• In vehicles, provided that an ashtray is used for ashes and butts.

While stopped in an area at least three (3) feet in diameter that is barren or free of all flammable materials. Ashes and butts must be disposed of safely and may not be discarded on the ground.
Fireworks
• Fireworks are prohibited in the park at all times.
These restrictions are implemented pursuant to the authority described in 36 Code of Federal Regulations 1.5(a)(2), 2.13(c) and 2.21(a). While our goal is voluntary compliance, persons who fail to comply with these restrictions may be cited or arrested if necessary. We appreciate your cooperation.

 

>> 8/7/14 Evacuation Order In Klamath County Lifted

From Klamath County Sheriff

Due to continued work by the fire teams and cooperating good weather, there is an adjustment in the current evacuation levels for areas affected by the Oregon Gulch Fire in the Beaver Creek Complex.
Klamath County
All Evacuation orders for Klamath County have been lifted, including the Klamath River canyon from John C. Boyle Dam to the California border. This includes Topsy Grade Road, Picard Ro...ad, and all other normally accessible roads south of Highway 66 east to the Klamath County line in Oregon. Current roadblocks remain at Rd. 106 (Camp 4) south from Highway 66.
Jackson County
Addresses from the 6,000 block on COPCO ROAD and south to the Oregon border will remain at a LEVEL 1 EVACUATION.
Residents living along Highway 66 in Oregon between the 11,000 and the 22,000 block of Highway 66 are still under a Level 1 Evacuation. (This does not impact people living in Keno.)
LEVEL 1 EVACUATION means “Be Ready” for a potential evacuation.
Residents should be aware of the danger that exists in their area, monitor emergency services websites and local media outlets for information.
Access to Copco Road is limited to residents and emergency services only.

 

>> 8/7/14 Wolves Living Near Oregon Gulch Fire

MEDFORD, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon Gulch wildfire is burning within several miles of where a pack of wolves lives in southern Oregon, but the state Department of Fish and Wildlife says they are not threatened. Wildlife biologist Mark Vargas in the Rogue District office says OR-7, his mate and three pups should have little trouble skirting the flames and smoke. He told Mail Tribune (http://bit.ly/1otNpxw ), "These animals are survivors." Vargas says the wolves are not living now in a den. They change "rendezvous zones" where they leave the pups while hunting. The pack has been tracked around southeast Jackson and western Klamath counties.

 

>> 8/7/14 Crater Lake Park Officials Still Trying To Locate Backpacker

GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — Officials at Crater Lake National Park are still wondering what happened to a backpacker who eluded a ranger after scrambling down the caldera wall of the ancient volcano. Spokeswoman Marsha McCabe said Wednesday they don't want to prosecute the man, they just want to be sure he is OK. She says a ranger talked to him Friday north of Discovery Point. The hiker gave a name t...hat proved to be false, and said he once lived in Bend. A short time later the ranger saw him scrambling down the caldera wall. The ranger went after him but lost him in the trees. Searchers later came up with only a pair of sunglasses. The hiker apparently continued along the Pacific Crest Trail. His description was posted to the trail Facebook page.

 

>> 8/5/14 Highway 97 Reopened

Transportation: ODOT: Central Ore.: US97 now open to 1 lane of traffic, controlled by pilot cars, through fire area between Klamath Falls, Oregon and Grass Lake Rest Area in California. Motorists are advised of a potential 1 hour delay in this area.  Future traffic operations dependent upon fire behavior. 

>> 8/5/14 Water Shut Off In Klamath Basin

From Klamath Water Users Associatiojn

One dozen irrigation and water districts as well as many individual water users, who farm nearly 50,000 acres in the Klamath Reclamation Project, have been notified that they have no remaining water available for use from Upper Klamath Lake. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) notified the districts and water users, referred to as Warren Act contractors, that their water supplies were being curt...ailed due to worse than predicted inflows to Upper Klamath Lake, ESA requirements for downstream releases, and an ESA end-of-season lake elevation requirement.
Van Brimmer Ditch Company, Klamath Irrigation District and Tulelake Irrigation District - which are deemed to have higher priority contracts in the Klamath Reclamation Project – have not been notified to shut down at this time.
Farmers expressed frustration about the uncertainty they face every year due to water management decisions being driven by ESA demands. Claude Hagerty, who farms in several different areas including Shasta View Irrigation District, said “We knew things were tight and that this was a possibility, but we were all doing our job and living within the allocation we were given. The biological opinion’s lake level requirement for the end of September is what is driving this shut down.”
Ed Stastny who produces hay, grain and potatoes in Malin Irrigation District is worried that the community isn’t aware of the complexity of problems related to water supply for irrigators. “We are experiencing a drought, which is tough enough, but when drought collides with the ESA, water rights, and other issues it is a disaster for agriculture in the region.”
Stastny says there may be groundwater available for some producers, but many people don’t have access to irrigation wells. “This is going to hurt a lot of families and will certainly hurt the community.”
Greg Addington, Executive Director for the Klamath Water Users (KWUA) noted that in addition to curtailment of supplies for Klamath Project water districts, most surface water irrigation has also been shut down in the Upper Basin outside the Project by water-rights regulations. But he thinks that these water problems are not just agriculture’s problems. City and industrial wells are being curtailed, there is no water for Lower Klamath Wildlife Refuge and he says that domestic well problems are occurring throughout the region. “People should pay attention to what is happening here”.
He said that many in the community are wondering why it is so quiet, “I get asked every day, where are our elected officials? What are they doing to help fix these problems”?
KWUA Board President and Project farmer Rob Unruh said that an agreement exists between farmers, ranchers, tribes, governments and others, that will address these issues, but it has been rejected by local elected officials. “Many parties in this community and up and down the Klamath River have proposed a comprehensive settlement that, if in place, would have prevented many of the problems we are seeing this year”, he said. Congress, however, must pass authorizing legislation in order for the agreement to be fully implemented.
“Our representatives in Washington, D.C. need to know that strong support exists for turning these water right settlements into law. Vocal opponents of the current plan have offered no alternatives that would have solved the problems we are facing right now, this summer. “
Addington said that Oregon’s Senators as well as the states of Oregon and California have made progress by working on settlements and introducing federal legislation. “But time is running out,” he said. “The status quo is a continual crisis, and the economy here can’t be sustained in crisis mode indefinitely. Our community needs to wake up fast. We need to settle these water issues once and for all.”

The following districts, along with more than a hundred individual BOR contractors have been notified to stop irrigating:
Ady District Improvement Company
Enterprise Irrigation District
Klamath Basin Improvement District
Klamath Drainage District
Malin Irrigation District
Midland District Improvement Company
Pine Grove Irrigation District
Pioneer District Improvement Company
Plevna District Improvement Company
Shasta View Irrigation District
Sunnyside Irrigation District
Westside Improvement District

 

>> 8/5/14 KIamath Falls Man Dies Of Injuries

Oregon State Police (OSP) is continuing the investigation following the reported death of a driver involved in a July 24, 2014 two-vehicle tr affic crash on Southside Bypass (Highway 140 East) at Homedale Road in Klamath County. OSP was notified that JOHN GILMAN, age 41, from Klamath Falls, died August 3 at the hospital. Previously released information indicated on July 24, 2014, at approximately 2:03 p.m., OSP troopers and local emergency responders were dispatched to a two car crash on Southside Bypass at Homedale Road. Emergency responders extricated both drivers and a passenger from the two vehicles, who were immediately transported to the Sky Lakes Medical Center by ambulance. GILMAN, was then transferred by air ambulance to St. Charles Medical Center in Bend with critical injuries. reliminary investigation indicates a GMC pickup driven by GILMAN was eastbound on South Side Bypass and made a left turn in front of a westbound Dodge pickup with two occupants. The Dodge pickup driven by RANDALL M. DUVAL, age 61, from Tulelake, California, struck the passenger side of the GMC pickup.
GILMAN was listed in critical condition at St. Charles Medical Center in Bend until his death. He was not using safety restraints.
DUVALL and 65-year old female passenger, LYNN TANNER, received non-life threatening injuries. The driver was not using safety restraints and the passenger was using safety restraints. Both are from Tulelake, California. A dog in their vehicle was taken to a local veterinarian and later was euthanized because of its injury.
SP Troopers from the Klamath Falls Area Command Office are continuing the investigation. Klamath County Fire District #2, ODOT and Klamath County Sheriff's Office assisted at the scene.
 

>> 8/5/14 Highway 97 Still Closed

ODOT: Central Ore.: US97 remains closed at this time between Klamath Falls on the Oregon side of the Oregon-California border and the Grass Lake Rest Area 20 miles northeast of Weed in California.  southbound motorists on US97 in Oregon are directed to take OR140 (W) or other cross-Cascades highway to continue southbound on Interstate Five.  Motorists in California are directed to remain on I-5 northbound.

>> 8/5/14 Air Quality Detertiorating In Basin

Today and Tomorrow August 5 and 6, 2014 are “RED” Air Quality Advisory Days. The information below contains the smoke dispersion forecast and an extended outlook from the Oregon Department of Forestry. It does look like we will be getting smoke levels like we have been getting since the 1st of August.
Air Quality Information from the Oregon Department of Forestry
AIR QUALITY:
DEQ smoke monitoring...
sensors are indicating generally “good” air quality west of the Cascades and “moderate” air quality east of the Cascades.
Statewide air quality index readings are available at
http://www.deq.state.or.us/aqi/index.aspx
SMOKE DISPERSION FORECAST:
Wildfire smoke dispersion depends on the stability of the atmosphere as well as wind direction and speed. A stable atmosphere holds smoke to the ground and an unstable atmosphere allows smoke to rise and dissipate. Smoke is typically mixed to higher altitudes during the afternoon, when daytime heating destabilizes the air mass. Conversely, smoke tends to settle near the ground and in drainages during the overnight and early morning hours.
TODAY:
Upper level ridge remains over the region and to the east leaving the state under light south to southwesterly flow aloft. This upper level flow has been transporting wildfire smoke from southwest Oregon and northern California over most of the state. However, most of the smoke is aloft with some particulate settling out and degrading surface air quality a little. This pattern will remain through today with continued hazy skies in most regions from the wildfire smoke. Air mass is destabilizing during the afternoon but with generally light NW to N wind flow at low levels, expect little change in air quality today or tonight.
TUESDAY:
Upper level ridge only weakens slightly, and air mass stability and wind flow change little, so expect little change in air quality over most of the central and eastern part of the state. Upper level flow should turn a little more SW’erly giving less hazy conditions over most of the western part of the state.
EXTENDED OUTLOOK:
Ridge flattens Wednesday through Friday bringing in slightly cooler and more onshore flow over the state. This should slowly clear much of the smoke aloft and near the surface through most of the state except the extreme south and those areas downwind of active burning east of the Cascades. Air mass will remain generally stable except for better mixing during the afternoon hours. Wind flow at low and higher levels with range from WSW to NNW.

 

>> 8/4/14 Highway 97 Closed Until Further Notice

ODOT: Central Ore.: US97 between Klamath Falls and Grass Lake Rest Area in N. California expected to be closed for another 24 hours. ODOT directing southbound US97 traffic in Oregon to detour via OR140(W) @ Klamath Falls (or other routes) to Interstate 5 for travel. Northbound motorists should remain on I-5 until further notice.

 

>> 8/4/14 Good Progress On Gulch Fire

A Red Flag Warning will be in effect from 11:00 a.m. this morning to 2 a.m. Tuesday morning for abundant lightning and dry fuels.
Current Situation:
Oregon Gulch Fire
Fire personnel made excellent progress on the fire. Firefighters have started line construction on the northeast side of the fire and are working their way from the Jackson/Klamath County line towards the Oregon-California border.... Contingency lines are being constructed to follow road systems that prevent fire spread to the north and east.
The Oregon State Fire Marshal's Office have assigned the Incident Management Blue Team and structural task forces to protect homes within the Green Springs Fire District area. Task forces arrived from Lane, Benton and Linn Counties.

>> 8/4/14 Arrest Made In Connection With Cannon Beach Murder
ASTORIA, Ore. (AP) — A woman accused of killing her 2-year-old daughter at an Oregon coastal inn goes to court Monday. Authorities arrested 40-year-old Jessica Smith of Goldendale, Washington, on Sunday in the woods east of Cannon Beach. She's accused of aggravated murder and attempted aggravated murder. On Friday, a housekeeper found Smith's 2-year-old daughter dead in a room at a Cannon Beach re...sort. Authorities said Smith's 13-year-old daughter was badly cut, but is expected to recover. Clatsop County District Attorney Josh Marquis (mahr-kee) says Smith's arraignment is scheduled for Monday afternoon. He says she'll appear by a video feed from jail and is not expected to enter a plea. He says a defense lawyer may be appointed, and the county grand jury is expected to hear the case this week.

>> 8/4/14 Couple May Have Spotted Missing Dundee Woman

FRIDAY HARBOR, Wash. (AP) — Investigators are checking surveillance video from the Washington state ferry system to see if they can confirm a report that a missing Dundee, Oregon, woman was spotted Friday on the ferry out of Anacortes to Friday Harbor in the San Juan Islands. A couple who notified deputies told KPTV (http://bit.ly/XxCGN8 ) they saw a woman matching Jennifer Huston's description dr...iving a car that matched Huston's car, including a cracked windshield. San Juan County Undersheriff Bruce Distler says the tip is worth checking out. The 38-year-old woman was last seen last July 24 running errands. A search was conducted in Yamhill County, Oregon, and along the Willamette River. Huston's family says she spent time in the San Juans in the past. She grew up in Tacoma and Gig Harbor.

 

>> 8/1/14/ Fire Sends People Fleeing From Their Homes

A state spokesman says there are no reports of injuries from a wildfire that spread rapidly along the Oregon-California border and led to evacuations of ranch families east of Ashland. Brian Ballou of the Oregon Department of Forestry said Friday morning that some structures have been destroyed, but it isn't clear whether they are homes, barns or other outbuildings. There was no estimate of how many people fled. The Oregon Gulch fire was reported in an area of 6,300 acres — nearly 10 square miles. It erupted from about 10 acres Thursday amid swirling winds and dry conditions. Ballou said Friday the wind calmed overnight, and firefighters made progress on containment lines. Those evacuated live along Copco Road, which leads south from Oregon 66, known as the Green Springs highway.
 

>> 8/1/14 More Fires At Crater Lake National Park

Crater Lake, Oregon – The Pumice Flat Fire is located near the Southern boundary of Crater Lake Park. It is 25 acres and is at 75% containment. Multiple fires are burning within the park Boundary as a result of lightning. New Fires are not contained.
• The lightning storms continued to add fires to the Pumice Complex. We currently have 18 fires within Crater Lake National Park. The new fires were... spotted on the South boundary.
• Of the 18 fires, five are lined, ten have crews working on suppression efforts and three have yet to have resources assigned. The fires that are not staffed will be addressed as soon as we can free up crews from the other incidents within the complex.
• Fire crews are addressing each fire individually, working to a 100% suppression. This is a unique year, the hot, dry conditions making the fuel bed more receptive to fire starts.
• The red flag warning has been lifted. This change in weather may give firefighters an opportunity to catch the existing fires and keep new starts at bay.
• We would like to caution the public not to stop on the roadways when they are traveling through the park. If they want to take photos, please use pull outs.

 

>> 8/1/14 No Sign Of Missing Dundee Woman

FRIDAY HARBOR, Wash. (AP) — A Dundee, Oregon, woman who has been missing more than a week may be in Washington's San Juan Islands. San Juan County Sheriff Rom Nou (noh) told KOMO (http://bit.ly/1qPv8lX ) detectives in Oregon told him Jennifer Huston may be in the San Juans or on her way there. A dispatcher said Friday morning she had not been found. Huston's family says she had spent time in the San Juans in the past. Deputies are watching for the 38-year-old woman and her car. Huston was last seen last July 24 and her husband reported her missing last Friday. Searchers have been looking for her in Yamhill County, Oregon, and along the Willamette River. Huston grew up in Tacoma and Gig Harbor and graduated from Gig Harbor High School.


 

>> 7/30/14 Fire Fighter Dies At Launch Fire At Four Mile Lake

A 21 year old fire fighter has died at the Launch Fire at Four Mile Lake. Sheriff Frank Skrah told KFLS News Matthew Goodnature of Phoenix, Oregon apparently went for a walk on Tuesday evening, slipped, fell and broke his back. Goodnature died at the scene. Skrah says there is no indication of foul play, calling the incident a "tragic accident."

 

>> 7/30/14 Traffic Stop Leads To Drug Bust, Arrests

A traffic stop on Tuesday morning at Independence Avenue and Lodi street resulted in the discovery of drugs and dozens of car and master keys. The vehicle was stopped because the vehicle license tabs on the front and back of the vehicle did not match. Two men were arrested after the stop. They are identified as 44 year old Frank Higuera and 32 year old Howard Brandon Hughes. Police describe the m...en as semi transient and both are jailed after crystal meth, liquid meth, tar heroin, vicodin pills and marijuana was found in the car. Police also found dozens of keys and think Higuera and Hughes were using them to prowl or steal cars and possibly to break into storage units. Higuera is jailed on drug and weapons charges with bail set at 180-thousand dollars. Hughes is also jailed on drug and parole violation charges with bail set at 25-thousand dollars.

 

>> 7/30/14 Fire Updates

A fire that broke out Monday morning at Four Mile Lake has grown to 100-acres. The Launch Fire is burning on the northeast side of the lake and is not accessible by road. Kevin Abel at the South Central Oregon Fire Management Partnership says fire crews are being transported by boat or helicopter across the lake. The lake is closed to the public and the cause is under investigation.
The Pumice Flat Fire at Crater Lake Park is now at 25 acres. The blaze is believed to have been caused by lightning strikes that hit the area last week. The park facilities and all operations remain open. No containment date for the Pumice Flat Fire has been set.

 

>> 7/29/14 Fire At South End Of Crater Lake National Park

On the afternoon of Tuesday July 22nd, Crater Lake National Park received numerous lightning strikes. On Monday July 28th at approxiamtely 11:15am a fire was discovered in the Pumice Flat area in the south end of the park. It was believed to have been ignited by lightning the previous week. The fire is burning in mixed conifer forests composed of hemlock, fir, and pine. Aggressive suppression action is being taken at this time. No expected containment date has been set. All park facilities and operations remain open. Hikers on the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail may be impacted in the upcoming week and may experience delays.

Pumice Flat Fire Fact Sheet
Managed by National Park Service - Crater Lake National Park
Fire Name: Pumice Flat
Geographic Location: Southern area of the park
Acres: 25 Acres
Start Date: 07/22/2014 Time: approximately 1700
% Contained: 0%
Current Threats: Northern Spotted Owl habitat and other Native vegetation, Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail
Evacuations: NONE ...
Evacuation Centers: NONE
Structures Destroyed: NONE
Structures Damaged: 0
Estimated cost of property damage: $0
Difficulties in Control: Not at this time
Fatalites: 0
Injuries: 0
Cooperating Agencies: NPS, USFS, USFWS
Resources assigned to the Fire:
Engines: 1 Fire Crews: 2 Water Tender: Dozers:
Air Attack: Tankers: Helicopter: 2 Helicopters Overhead: 14
Total Resources: 55 personnel
 

>> 7/29/14 Fire Damages Downtown Retail Store

On Sunday, July 27, 2014 at 10:02 A.M. crews responded to a reported structure fire in the 1000 block of Main Street. On arrival they found two civilians and a Klamath Falls Police Officer using fire extinguishers to control a fire burning in the “Scratch and Dent” store. The building is over 4000 square foot two story structure with a retail store on the first floor and an apartment on the seco...nd floor. After crews controlled the blaze in the retail section they gained entrance to the apartment upstairs and found some light smoke and no fire. The store and apartment is owned by Mercordita Bertlet. Witness stated that the owner and her boyfriend, Dave Mackenzie were not home nor in the store at the time of the fire. Damage is estimated at $20,000 for the structure and $20,000 for content. Crews were able to gain control in less than 20 minutes. One firefighter was injured. Investigators say the fire was caused by faulty light fixtures and blown fuses.

>> 7/29/14 Burglars Cut Power To Home, Shuts Off Oxygen Machine For 88 Year Old Woman

The Klamath County Sheriff is asking the public for in formation about a Saturday morning burglary on Climax avenue. A burglar or burglars cut power in the home, shutting down an oxygen machine used by an 88 year old woman. When the oxygen stopped it triggered an emergency medical alarm. Sheriff Frank Skrah says if the woman had died the suspects would be facing murder charges. Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact Deputy Ryan Kyber at 541-883-5130.

 

 

>> 7/28/14 Ferguson Fire At 75% Containment; Cause Undedr Investigation

The Ferguson Fire that broke out Friday afternoon is still at 200 acres but is now 75% contained. Rod Nichols at the Oregon Department of Forestry says crews are continuing to strengthen the fire lines and cutting down snags and other hazardous trees to protect firefighters. The cause of the wildfire remains under investigation. The fire is burning on private land about 30 miles east of Klamath Falls.

 

>> 7/28/14 Fire Damages Downtown Retail Store

On Sunday, July 27, 2014 at 10:02 A.M. crews responded to a reported structure fire in the 1000 block of Main Street. On arrival they found two civilians and a Klamath Falls Police Officer using fire extinguishers to control a fire burning in the “Scratch and Dent” store. The building is over 4000 square foot two story structure with a retail store on the first floor and an apartment on the second floor. After crews controlled the blaze in the retail section they gained entrance to the apartment upstairs and found some light smoke and no fire. The store and apartment is owned by Mercordita Bertlet. Witness stated that the owner and her boyfriend, Dave Mackenzie were not home nor in the store at the time of the fire. Damage is estimated at $20,000 for the structure and $20,000 for content. Crews were able to gain control in less than 20 minutes. One firefighter was injured. Greg Davis from the Oregon State Fire Marshal division assisted in the fire cause investigation.

 

>> 7/28/14 Library Raising Fine For Late DVD Returns

Beginning September 15th, 2014, the Klamath County Library Service District will raise fines for late DVD returns to $1 per day. One of the library’s goals is to circulate high demand materials to as many patrons as possible. With the new fee for overdue DVD’s, the library hopes patrons will be more careful to return items on time and make them available for other patrons more quickly. This will... allow for more efficient use of the library’s collection and can help reduce the number of DVD copies the library needs to purchase.
All fines for overdue adult materials; books, CDs, Magazines, will remain at 10 cents per day. The checkout period for all materials is 21 days per item. Library materials can be returned at any branch library or renewed online with an account
password and library card number or by calling the library during open hours at 541-882-8894.

 

>> 7/25/14 Camera Captures Photo's Of OR 7 Pups

GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — New photos show that Oregon's famous wandering wolf, OR-7, has at least three pups that he and a mate are raising in the Cascade Range of southern Oregon. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologist John Stephenson said Friday that the photos taken July 12 by an automatic camera in a remote section of the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest show two gray pups. Combined with one black pup Stephenson observed outside the pack's den back in June, that makes at least three. OR-7 set off in search of a mate in September 2011, covering thousands of miles from his birthplace in northeastern Oregon to Northern California before settling in southwest Oregon. The wolf gained worldwide fame as his GPS tracking collar showed his wanderings.

 

>> 7/25/14 Drought Blamed For Salmon Deaths

ORLEANS, Calif. (AP) — Low warm water conditions from the drought are starting to kill salmon in Northern California's Klamath Basin — the site of a massive fish kill in 2002. Sara Borok (BORH-rok) of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife said a survey of the Salmon River on Wednesday found 55 dead adult salmon and more dead juveniles than would be expected this time of year. The reason is low and warm water related to the drought. Fisheries officials do not want see a repeat of 2002, but there is little to do but pray for rain. Even in the Klamath River, which has dams to store water, there is little available for extra releases. The Salmon River is a tributary of the Klamath River.

 

>> 7/25/14 State Considering A Ban On Cigarette Smoking On Oregon Beaches

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The state of Oregon is taking steps to ban smoking on all 362 miles of beaches along the Pacific coast. The move by the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department follows a ban on smoking at most other state-park property, which was enacted earlier this year.  Agency spokesman Chris Havel says the move to include beaches is partly a response to concerns that the earlier ban would push more smokers onto the coastline. Havel says the smoking ban would also reduce litter on beaches. The agency is taking public comment on the proposal through Aug. 29 and will hold public meetings to discuss it in Seaside, Newport, Coos Bay and Salem. Under a 1967 Oregon law, the state controls the entire coast up to the line of vegetation, and the public has free access.

 

>> 7/23/14 Williams Man Arrested For Attempted Murder

Police in Klamath county have arrested a Williams, Oregon man, identified as 40 year old Michael Robert Horn, on charges of attempted Murder, Using A Dangerous Weapon, Reckless Burning and Criminal Mischief. Horn is jailed with bail set at $160,000.

 

>> 7/23/14 Storms Spark Wildfires

Lakeview, Ore. – After on Monday and Tuesday's thunderstorm activities, interagency fire crews have been responding to smoke reports on lands managed by the Fremont-Winema National Forests, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Lakeview District, Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF), National Park Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  As of 9 a.m., the Lakeview Interagency Fire Center confirmed 12 lightning fires in Klamath County, while in Lake County 11 lightning were found. “The last couple of days, firefighters have done great job containing fires and keeping the majority of them to an acre or less,” said Bob Crumrine, Deputy Interagency Fire Staff Officer for the BLM Lakeview District and Fremont-Winema National Forest. "However, the challenge today will be locating fires not yet detected.” Reconnaissance flights and fire lookouts will continue to search for sleeper fires throughout the week. Please remember, when leaving a campfire, make certain that all burned material (like wood) and ashes are doused with water, dirt and cold to the touch. Firefighters continue to find unattended campfires that have spread outside of where they originated. Fire danger throughout south central Oregon remains extreme. Fire officials ask the public to be familiar with the public use restrictions in place for the areas they plan to recreate. Information on current public use restrictions may be obtained by calling 541-947-6259 or visiting LIFC’s Web site at:  http://www.scofmp.org/lifc.shtml

Management Partnership (SCOFMP) fire information hotline at 541-947-6223. To report a fire, call 911 or contact the Lakeview Interagency Fire Center at 541-947-6315.

>> 7/23/14 Problems Developing For Medicaid Recipients

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Low-income Oregon residents were supposed to be big winners after the state expanded Medicaid under the federal health care overhaul and created a new system to improve the care they received. But an Associated Press review shows an unexpected rush of enrollees has exacerbated problems associated with a widespread physician shortage. It also has strained the capacity of the revamped network, which was endorsed as a potential national model. Some enrollees have been locked out of the coordinated care system. Others have seen reduced access to care as some doctors, clinics and health centers closed to new Medicaid patients. Across the state, many patients face long waits for appointments, prompting spikes in emergency room visits that the new system was meant to avoid. Overhaul supporters say they're implementing solutions to improve access to care.

 

 

>> 7/21/14 Former Governor Vic Atiyeh Dead At Age 91

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Vic Atiyeh, Oregon's Republican governor from 1979 to 1987 who shepherded the state through a deep recession in the early 1980s, died Sunday night, a family spokesman says. e 91-year-old former governor died at 8:15 p.m. PDT at Portland's Providence St. Vincent Medical Center of complications from renal failure, according to spokesman Denny Miles, who had also formerly served as Atiyeh's press secretary. He said that Atiyeh was at home but had returned to the hospital Saturday due to shortness of breath and possible internal bleeding. The son of a Syrian immigrant, he worked as a rug salesman before he entered politics in the Oregon Legislature. He won the gubernatorial race in 1979 on a platform of cutting taxes. In office, though, he ended up raising taxes because of the 1980s recession.

 

>> 7/21/14 Governor Mourns Atiyeh

Governor Kitzhaber today ordered all flags at public institutions statewide to be lowered and flown at half-staff until date of interment in honor of Victor Atiyeh, who served Oregon as governor from 1979 to 1987. Governor Atiyeh passed away on Sunday, July 20, at the age of 91.
Governor Kitzhaber today issued the following statement on the loss of Victor Atiyeh, who served Oregon as governor from 1979 to 1987:

"I am deeply saddened by the passing of Governor Vic Atiyeh — a great Oregonian, an historic governor, and a remarkable human being. He was the first governor under whom I served when I was first elected to the Legislature in 1978, and he was both a mentor and a friend. He led Oregon out of the recession of the early 1980s, with a strategy embraced by both parties, and went on to make international trade a cornerstone of Oregon’s economy. He will be greatly missed, yet his steady leadership, gentle spirit, and love for our state lives on in the many contributions he made to Oregon."

>> 7/21/14 House Republicans Mourns Loss Of Atiyeh

House Republican Leader Mike McLane (R-Powell Butte) issued the following statement tonight upon learning of the passing of former governor Vic Atiyeh:

 

"It is with deep sadness that House Republicans have learned of the passing of Vic Atiyeh. He was the epitome of a public servant and gave so much to so many in Oregon. Governor Atiyeh was quick to encourage this generation to work together to solve Oregon's problems. He was our example. He will be missed by all of us. Our thoughts and prayers are with Governor Atiyeh's family."

 

>> 7/18/14 Moccasin Hill Fire Update

Firefighters were engaged in a variety of tasks yesterday as they continued to wrap-up work on the Moccasin Hill Fire in preparation for a transfer to a local team this weekend. Crews extinguished hot spots along the fire line and around residential areas. Today will be the last big mop-up shift before additional crews demobilize to other incidents across the state. The Team will continue to prepare for tomorrow's transition to a local fire management organization. One minor firefighter injury was reported on Thursday. "Overall, the Team has had an excellent safety record on this incident," said IMT2 Safety Officer Scott West. "Their training and hard work has really paid off."  The level 1 evacuation status remains in effect for subdivisions near the fire. The Red Cross Recovery Center in Sprague River was active yesterday, processing affected families and referring them to partner agencies for possible assistance. The Red Cross Center is now closed.
Fire Size: 2535 acres
Containment: 75%
Expected Containment: 7-19-14
Resources assigned: 21 crews, 3 helicopters, 24 engines, 3 dozers, 9 water tenders
Total personnel: 594
Cause of the fire is under investigation.
Estimated Costs to Date: $2.7 M

 

>> 7/18/14 Other Fires Stretching Resources In  Oregon

MAUPIN, Ore. (AP) — A pair of wildfires in Central Oregon prompted fire officials to close a stretch of the lower Deschutes River to rafting and other activities. The Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center said Thursday that the Shaniko Butte fire grew to 18,000 acres overnight and made a run toward the community of Dant, on the west side of the river located about 10 miles south of Maupin. Meanwhile, the Ward Canyon fire east of Antelope was backing toward the east side of the river. As a result, fire officials closed the river to day and overnight use on the popular stretch between Trout Creek at river mile 88.5 and Long Bend at river mile 57. Other sections of the river remained open.

GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — More evacuations have been advised due to fast-growing Oregon wildfires, this time in Jefferson County outside Sisters. Authorities said Thursday the Bridge 99 Complex fire has tripled in size since Wednesday, and was threatening rural homes along the Metolius River from Allen Springs Campground to Lake Billy Chinook. A level III evacuation advisory — the highest level — u...rged residents to leave their homes. The Bridge 99 fire has burned 1,800 acres in timber 18 miles northwest of Sisters. The Bear Butte 2 fire has burned 1,600 acres about four miles southeast of Mount Jefferson. A section of the Pacific Crest Trail was closed, as were some Forest Service roads. Residents of the Three Rivers subdivision were told to be ready to leave on short notice, and several other subdivisions were told to be aware they could be advised to evacuate if things get worse.

 

>> 7/18/14 Alaska Sending Firefighters To Lower 48

FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — More than 100 firefighters and other personnel from Alaska are headed south to help battle wildfires in the western United States. Officials say rains have diminished the threat of wildfires in Alaska this summer, allowing resources to be sent to the Lower 48. The Gannett Glacier and the White Mountain type two initial attack crews will head to Washington state. Officials say crew members and support personnel from the state Division of Forestry and the Alaska Fire Service will head to Nevada, Idaho, Utah, Oregon and California to fight wildfires. A hotshot crew on assignment in Canada's Northwest Territories is expected to return to Alaska next week.

 

>> 7/17/14 Miles To Retire In 2016

KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. - After more than 1,000 wins spanning 43 years as the coach of the Oregon Tech Hustlin’ Owls men’s basketball program, legendary Coach Danny Miles announced today that he will retire effective July, 2016. A local, state and nationally recognized coach, Miles has led the Hustlin’ Owls to more wins than any men’s basketball coach in the nation, save one. His wins have not only earned him a lifetime of fans in Klamath Falls, they have also attracted national attention, with major coverage in The New York Times and Sports Illustrated in recent years. His hundreds of players over the decades, known as “Danny’s Boys,” admire their Coach as a fair and fatherly taskmaster who uses a sophisticated algorithm, called the Value Point System, to determine each game’s starters, based not just on points scored but on assists and other variables that add up to working as a team player. “I was planning on coaching at least five more seasons, but due to some life changes I have decided to retire at the end of the 2016 season,” said Miles. “Leap years have been real good to us here at Oregon Tech (winning national titles in 2004, 2008 and 2012) and I would like to give a fourth national championship another shot.  This time frame will also be much better for recruiting quality student-athletes to the program, along with the transition to a new head coach.” No matter how you examine Coach Miles’ record, it’s stellar by any gauge: 1,004 wins, 14 conference championships, 17 national tournament appearances, 5 Final Four appearances, 4 National Finals, and 3 National Championships. And untold miles racked up across the Pacific Northwest and the nation in buses mostly and often in the type of road conditions that would intimidate the toughest long-haul truck drivers. The Hustlin’ Owls basketball team play home games in Danny Miles Court on the Oregon Tech campus, named after the Coach in 1995. "I know I join all of the Klamath Falls fans, the Oregon Tech community, and the many current and former Danny’s Boys in feeling incredibly grateful to Coach Miles for his decades of commitment and sheer hard work,” said Oregon Tech president Chris Maples. “We will find many ways over the next two seasons to engage with everyone in Klamath Falls to find ways to honor the Coach’s legacy, and build a smooth pathway to continued success for the next coach and the many teams who will make us proud in future years.” Maples said that he has not named a successor and will work with Coach Miles and Oregon Tech athletic director Michael Schell over the coming year to determine the best approach to appointing the campus’ first new basketball head coach in 45 years. Miles began his collegiate coaching career in 1971 at Oregon Tech, believing he would coach the Owls for two seasons before moving on to a coaching career in college football.  Miles now has 43 years under his belt, all at Oregon Tech.  On February, 1st of 2014 Miles became just the second men’s coach at a four-year university to reach the 1,000 win plateau, and will have now have two more seasons to add to his overall mark of 1,004 career wins. In addition to being named NAIA National Basketball Coach of the Year in 2004 and 2008, Miles was awarded the National Association of Basketball Coaches Coach of the Year in 2012 and was named the national winner of NAIA’s Champion of Character award for all sports in 2009. Miles was also honored as A.T. Slats Gill All-Sports Coach of the Year (2004) and has been named Conference All-Sport Coach of the Year on four occasions. In 2013 Miles earned the DNA Award at the Oregon Sports Award show, while receiving the 2013 Guardians of the Game Pillar Award for Advocacy from the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC). Nominated in 2013, Miles is currently a Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame nominee. During his tenure at Tech the versatile Miles was an assistant coach in the Tech football program and head coach of the baseball and softball teams. On four occasions, his baseball teams finished in the top three in District II. In ten years with the Oregon Tech softball program Tech won six conference championships including one trip to the NAIA Softball World Series. 

>> 7/17/14 Moccasin Hill Fire 55% Contained


Firefighters on the Moccasin Hill Fire continued to make excellent progress with mop-up and line reinforcement on Wednesday. The Incident Management Team has received excellent cooperation and support from the local community, partner agencies, and the local fire service. "We have shifted from catching and holding the fire to securing the fire," said Operations Chief Joe Hessel. "With a good mop-up effort, we will be able to turn this fire over to a local team in a few days". Mop-up work will continue today, as crews use hand-held infrared devices that can show hot spots that may hold heat but not visible flame or smoke. Yesterday's mop-up activities revealed two additional small outbuildings had burned on Sunday, bringing the total number of structures lost to 35. As the fire threat decreases, the Incident Management Team will be issuing only one news release per day. With the reduction in fire activity and multiple additional large fires being managed elsewhere in Oregon, the process of demobilizing resources is underway. A new website providing updates on all active large files in the Pacific Northwest is available at: http://www.nwccinfo.blogspot.com/.
The level 1 evacuation status remains in effect for subdivisions near the fire. The Red Cross Evacuation Center in Sprague River is transitioning today to a Recovery Center, processing affected families and referring them to partner agencies for possible assistance. Thursday hours for the Red Cross Recovery Center will be 9 am to 8 pm.
 

>>  7/17/14 OSP Arrest Klamath County Man On Attempted Murder Charges

Oregon State Police (OSP) arrested a Klamath County man Tuesday evening in Josephine County who was wanted on an outstanding warrant for Attempted Murder. The warrant was issued in relation to a Klamath County Sheriff's Office investigation into a shots fired i ncident in Sprague River in May 2013. On July 15, 2014 at approximately 8:07 p.m., an OSP trooper responded to the Williams Country Store in Williams after OSP received a tip that a man wanted on a warrant was at the store. The trooper arrived and contacted two people identified as MICHAEL ROBERT HORN, age 41, and REBECCA JUNE TOMPKINS, age 36. Further investigation confirmed HORN was wanted out of Klamath County on a felony warrant for two counts of Attempted Murder. TOMPKINS was also wanted out of Klamath County on a misdemeanor warrant for Failure to Appear in the Second Degree. HORN was taken into custody without incident and lodged in Josephine County Jail pending transfer to Klamath County. TOMPKINS was issued a citation to appear in Klamath County Circuit Court and was not lodged in jail. According to Klamath County Sheriff's Office, HORN was wanted in relation to their investigation into a shooting that occurred in Sprague River on May 23, 2013. HORN is suspected of shooting several rounds at a vehicle occupied by two people during a disturbance. The vehicle was struck but no one was injured.

 

>> 7/17/14 Smokey Bear At Pelican Cinemas Tomorrow (Friday)

Smokey Bear will be at Pelican Cinemas in Klamath Falls, Oregon, greeting moviegoers attending the July 18 showing of Disney's movie "Planes: Fire and Rescue,” which starts at 11:50 a.m. “The South Central Oregon Fire Management Partnership (SCOFMP) thought the release of this movie was a unique opportunity to teach kids about the importance of wildland fire safety and the challenges that firefighters face, both in the air and on the ground,” said Kelli Kuska, Fire Prevention and Education Coordinator for the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Lakeview District. From 11 a.m. to noon, children will be able to have their pictures taken with Smokey Bear and participate in educational activities before heading into seeing the movie. Also, various SCOFMP fire trucks will be on display in the theatre parking lot unless needed for fire suppression activities. In addition, Tanker 61 Memorial volunteers will be staffing a booth that pays tribute to the Klamath Falls pilot and co-pilot, Chuck Sheridan and Leonard Martin, who died when the Douglas DC-7 Airtanker they flew crashed while fighting a wildfire. The tanker was stationed at the Klamath Falls Airtanker Base from 1987 through 1992.


 

>> 7/16/14 Fire More Destructive Than First Estimates

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A Klamath County wildfire was more destructive than authorities initially believed. After the fire ignited in the rural Moccasin Hill subdivision near Sprague River, officials reported six houses destroyed along with 14 outbuildings — barns, garages, shops and the like. But fire managers toured the burn area Tuesday because residents said more structures had burned when the fire broke out Sunday. Spokeswoman Ashley Lertora (luh-TOR'-ah) says they found 17 primary residences destroyed. Besides houses, that includes campers, trailers and fifth-wheelers people could live in. Sixteen "other" structures, generally called outbuildings, also burned. Lertora says a containment line is around the 4-square-mile burn area, and crews are working toward its center, putting out hot spots. Some of the 750 people working the fire are expected to be reassigned Wednesday.

 

>> 7/16/14 Moderate Quake Off Oregon Coast

BANDON, Ore. (AP) — A magnitude 4.5 earthquake was recorded Wednesday morning in the Pacific Ocean about 125 miles west of Bandon on the south Oregon Coast. The Bandon police department said there were no immediate reports of shaking or damage. The quake was at 8:30 a.m. The U.S. Geological Survey website said it was at a depth of more than 6 miles.

 

>> 7/16/14 Medford Police Fear Serial Arsonist Causing Recent Fires

MEDFORD, Ore. (AP) — Authorities in Medford, Oregon, say they're growing increasingly worried about a string of fires that may be the work of an arsonist. The Medford Mail Tribune reports that police say 13 suspicious fires over the past three weeks may have started with the June 25 blaze that leveled a former fruit-packing plant downtown. While that fire hasn't yet been ruled an arson, police say there are too many similarities between it and a dozen other fires to ignore. The fruit-packing plant fire has been determined to be human-caused. Lt. Mike Budreau says the fires are being set from the exterior of buildings right along alleys. Most have been set in the early morning. Police think the arsonist is traveling by foot. An owner says the building gutted in late June was worth an estimated $366,000.

 

>> 7/15/14 Some Progress On Moccasin Hills Fire Near Sprague River

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Firefighters usually dread winds, but crews trying to save rural dwellings in Oregon got a break when a spreading fire ran into breezes that pushed it the other way. The wildfire near the ranching town Sprague River has claimed six houses in the southern portion of the state. Fire spokeswoman Erica Hupp said Tuesday the flames began moving Monday, burning a swath half the length of a football field in an area where containment lines hadn't been dug. Hupp says the winds gained the upper hand, though, and pushed the fire back on itself. She says the flames were moving away from the Moccasin Hill subdivision where it broke out Sunday. Hupp says progress has been made and many evacuated residents have gone home. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.Firefighters have made some progress on a southern Oregon wildfire that destroyed six homes and 14 other buildings over the weekend. More accurate mapping early Monday evening found the blaze burning near the ranching town of Sprague River, about 25 miles northeast of Klamath Falls, covers approximately 4 square miles, fire spokeswoman Erica Hupp said. Officials said Tuesday containment was at 15 percent, and no additional structures have been damaged.

 

>> 7/5/14 Eastern Oregon Hard Hi9t By Drought

NYSSA, Ore. (AP) — In the third year of a drought, reservoirs in far Eastern Oregon are low, and farmers are running out of irrigation water. South of Ontario, Jay Chamberlin of the Owyhee (oh-WEYE'-hee) Irrigation District in Nyssa (NIS'-uh) says he's been telling farmers who still have some of their allotments that they should use the water wisely. He tells the Ontario Argus Observer (http://bit.ly/UaVX56) that later on the irrigation district will have trouble providing water. There was hope that the Owyhee Reservoir would be able to supply water into the first week of August. But Chamberlin said it hasn't made it through the middle of July.

 

>> 7/15/14 State Shed Jobs In June

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon's string of monthly jobs gains has come to an end after nearly a year. The state Employment Department said Tuesday that employers cut 4,300 jobs during June. The Oregonian reported (http://bit.ly/1meUZeL) the losses were widespread, spanning blue-collar and white-collar industries, as well as low- and high-paid jobs. Construction companies had been adding workers at a rapid clip, but cut back by about 3,600 jobs. The figures are seasonally adjusted. Cuts also came in the manufacturing, business services, leisure and hospitality, financial and retail sectors. The unemployment rate remained 6.8 percent for the third straight month. It's been at about that level for much of the year. Job growth and the unemployment rate are calculated in separate surveys.

 

>> 7/14/14 Homes Burned, Hundreds Evacuated At Moccasin Hill Fire

KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. (AP) — A wildfire in Southern Oregon has destroyed six homes and 14 other buildings and grew overnight. The fire began Sunday afternoon in a rural subdivision named Moccasin Hill. Spokeswoman Erica Hupp says there was no lightning, so an investigation into the cause is underway. More than 100 people were evacuated just before sundown. Hupp said Monday morning authorities are still trying to determine whether anybody was hurt. Many residents in the longstanding subdivision northeast of Klamath Falls keep horses and cattle, and neighbors have been stepping in to shelter both stock and pets. Hupp said a plane was up early Monday to estimate how widely it had spread.
The Fire is burning on private land in heavy timber and brush and currently under investigation. To report a fire, call 911 or contact the Lakeview Interagency Fire Center (LIFC) at 541-947-6315. Information on current public use restrictions may be obtained by calling 541-947-6259 or visiting LIFC’s Web site at: http://www.scofmp.org/lifc.shtml.
For breaking news during the South Central Oregon’s fire season, please visit: twitter.com/scofmpfireinfo or facebook.com/scofmpfireinfo.

>> 7/14/14 Red Cross Sets Up Shelter In Sprague River

The American Red Cross has opened a shelter to assist residents affected by the Moccasin HIlls Wildfire in Klamath County, after a fire broke out this afternoon north of Sprague River, Oregon. The shelter is at the Sprague River Community Center at 23536 Sprague River Road. Sleeping accommodations, food, water and other assistance is available.

>> 7/14/14 Military Veterans Have High Suicide Rate In Oregon

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Military veterans account for nearly a quarter of Oregon's suicides, even though veterans make up less than 10 percent of the state's population. That's according to a report by the Oregon Health Authority that analyzed data from the state's Violent Death Reporting System from 2008 to 2012. The Oregonian reports that the suicides covered all age groups, including veterans of ...long-ended wars. The largest segment of suicide victims was men over the age of 55. For veterans under 45, the report says suicide is the leading cause of death. The report says suicide victims often struggled with a variety of contributing issues, from mental health problems to alcohol abuse to relationship struggles. The highest rates of veteran suicide occurred outside the Portland area.

 

 

>> 7/11/14 Sky Lakes Physician Charged With Felonies, Misdemeanors For Alleged Hit & Run

KFLS News has learned a 43 year old Sky Lakes Physician, Nasser Ghaleb Abu-Erreish has been charged with three felonies and two misdemeanors in connection with a May 1, 2014 traffic wreck. District Attorney Rob Patridge told KFLS News, Abu-Erreish is charged with Failure to Perform Duties of a Driver, Assault 3, Assault 4, Assault 2 and Reckless Driving. The wreck injured motorcycle driver Justin Matthew Vincent. Patridge says the investigation was conducted by the Klamath County Sheriff's Department. Abu-Erreish was arraigned this week and has a Pre-Trial Conference scheduled July 29th. Patridge says Abu-Erreish posted bail, which had been set at $50,000, and was released.

 

>> 7/11/14 Red Flag Warning Through This Evening

KLAMATH BASIN AND THE FREMONT-WINEMA NATIONAL FOREST-SOUTH CENTRAL OREGON DESERT INCLUDING THE BLM LAND IN EASTERN LAKE AND WESTERN HARNEY COUNTIES-
240 AM PDT FRI JUL 11 2014
RED FLAG WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 6 PM PDT THIS EVENING FOR ABUNDANT LIGHTNING WITH DRY FUELS FOR FIRE WEATHER
* THUNDERSTORMS...EXPECTED TO DEVELOP THIS MORNING THEN CONTINUE INTO EARLY THIS EVENING. COVERAGE WILL INCREASE THROUGH THIS AFTERNOON.
* LIGHTNING ACTIVITY LEVEL...3.
* IMPACTS...LIGHTNING STRIKES ON VERY DRY FUELS HAVE THE POTENTIAL TO PRODUCE MULTIPLE NEW FIRE STARTS THAT COULD SPREAD QUICKLY DUE TO DRY FUEL CONDITIONS.

 

>> 7/11/14 Jury Finds Klamath Man Guilty Of Assault

On Thursday, July 10, 2014, Silas Jackson (10-28-82) after a two day jury trial was convicted by a Klamath County Jury of Felony Assault in the First Degree and Misdemeanor Assault in the Fourth Degree.  Deputy District Attorney Cole Chase was successful in obtaining the verdict.  Klamath County Circuit Court Judge Roxanne Osborne sentenced Jackson to 90 months in prison. On December 14, 2013, the Klamath County Sheriff’s Office responded to a call at Melita’s Restaurant near Chiloquin.  The evidence at trial was that Jackson was intoxicated and initiated a fight in the restaurant.  During the fight Jackson knocked-out one of his cousins and stabbed another with a knife.  Jackson has an extensive criminal history with convictions for:   Felon in Possession of a Firearm, Unlawful Possession of a Firearm related to Domestic Violence, Assault in the Second Degree, Robbery in the Second Degree, and Supplying Contraband.

>> 7/10/14 26 Arrested After Accidental Shooting Death Investigation

GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — Southern Oregon authorities say 26 people have been arrested on weapons, drug and other charges after an investigation that began with the accidental killing of a 5-year-old girl by a Grants Pass man using a military-style rifle as a crutch to get up from a couch. The Daily Courier reported Wednesday the investigation involved "straw" purchases of weapons — sales to someone who buys on behalf of another person to conceal that person's identity. Authorities said the man convicted in the girl's killing, 30-year-old Jon Meyer Jr., was involved in such a purchase, touching off the investigation revealed Wednesday. Five more people are being sought. In a bargain with prosecutors, Meyer pleaded guilty in 2013 to manslaughter and other charges and was sentenced to six years in prison. A Klamath Falls man, identified as Timothy Johnson, has been indicted on racketeering charges. During warrant searches Wednesday in the three counties police seized handguns, rifles, methamphetamine, heroin, ecstasy, Oxycodone and marijuana.

 

>> 7/10/14 Animal Control Seeks Help From Public On Animal Maiming Cases

Klamath County Animal Control is asking the public to help them as they investigate the maiming of animals. Animal Control says an unspecified number of dogs and one cat have been found dead in public places between June 2013 and February 2014. The animals were found in and around the city. Animal Control Officer Gale McMahon says they are following several leads, including a possible gang affiliation with the crimes. Anyone with information asked to call 541-882-1279

 

>> 7/10/14 Vancouver, Washington Marijuana Store Opens

VANCOUVER, Wash. (AP) — Legal pot means Portlandia is going to get to know "The Couv" a little better. Mayor Tim Leavitt cut a green ribbon outside Main Street Marijuana on Wednesday, opening the doors to the first recreational marijuana store in Vancouver, Washington. The southwest Washington city is just a 10-mile drive from downtown Portland, Oregon. Culturally, however, it is many miles apart, and Portlanders give little thought to crossing the Interstate 5 bridge to visit their suburban neighbors. Leavitt says he expects legal pot to boost tourism, and he welcomes an influx of Portlanders to downtown Vancouver. Main Street Marijuana general manager Ramsey Hamide says putting the business near Portland was a strategic decision to attract both Oregonians and tourists visiting Oregon.

 

 

>> 7/8/14 Red Flag Warning / Fire Weather Watch

 

RED FLAG WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 2 PM THIS AFTERNOON TO
11 PM PDT THIS EVENING FOR ABUNDANT LIGHTNING WITH DRY FUELS.


FIRE WEATHER WATCH IN EFFECT FROM WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON THROUGH
WEDNESDAY EVENING FOR ABUNDANT LIGHTNING WITH DRY FUELS.

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN MEDFORD HAS ISSUED A FIRE WEATHER
WATCH...WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON THROUGH
WEDNESDAY EVENING.

* THUNDERSTORMS: ISOLATED COVERAGE EARLY THIS AFTERNOON WILL
  INCREASE TO SCATTERED AS THE AFTERNOON PROGRESSES. STORMS SHOULD
  DISSIPATE OVERNIGHT, BUT ADDITIONAL THUNDERSTORMS ARE POSSIBLE
  WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON AND EVENING.

* LIGHTNING ACTIVITY LEVEL TODAY: STARTS OUT AS 2 EARLY THIS
  AFTERNOON BUT WILL INCREASE TO 3 BY LATE AFTERNOON.

* IMPACTS: SIGNIFICANT LIGHTNING COVERAGE IS EXPECTED TODAY. EVEN
  WITH THE POTENTIAL FOR WETTING RAIN IN SOME STORMS...NUMEROUS
  NEW FIRE IGNITIONS MAY OCCUR DUE TO CRITICALLY DRY FUELS. GUSTY
  OUTFLOW WINDS OF 40 TO 50 MPH MAY ALSO ENHANCE FIRE SPREAD.

 

>> 7/8/14 State Settles With India Drug Maker

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon officials have reached a $2.3 million settlement with a generic drug manufacturer from India over allegations that it sold improperly manufactured prescription drugs in Oregon. The Oregon Department of Justice says it filed the settlement Tuesday with Ranbaxy Laboratories and two affiliated U.S. companies. Officials say no Oregonians are known to have been harmed by the drugs, and all the products are now off the market. As part of the settlement, five state agencies that purchased the allegedly adulterated drugs will receive a full refund. Ranbaxy must also pay $1.4 million to the Department of Justice's consumer protection fund, and $540,000 to the Board of Pharmacy. Oregon's settlement follows a 2013 federal and state government settlement with Ranbaxy for $500 million. Oregon was the lead state in the settlement.


>> 7/8/14 Curry County Sheriff Calls IKt quits

GOLD BEACH, Ore. (AP) — A southern Oregon sheriff says he's leaving his job, citing the physical stress of budget cuts and dwindling department resources. KDRV-TV reported Monday (http://is.gd/rVy36D ) that Curry County Sheriff John Bishop says the stress is taking too great a toll on his health — and he doesn't see the situation improving. County voters last fall rejected a $3.2 million public safety tax increase that would have tripled local property taxes to maintain law enforcement services that faced cuts as the federal government ends timber subsidies. KDRV notes that several deputies have left the sheriff's office to take jobs in other departments. Bishop plans to retire in September to become executive director of the Oregon State Sheriffs Association. Curry County commissioners will appoint a new sheriff.

 

>> 7/7/14 Two Fires Now In Mop Up

The Algoma Fire that burned about 62 acres has been fully contained and is in mop up. Erica Hupp at the Fremont-Winema National Forest told KFLS News firefighters have also fully contained the five-acre Saddle Flat Fire northeast of Fort Rock.  Hupp says firefighters are still in the field looking for hot spots and possible small fires that may have been ignited during the July 1st and 2nd lightning storms. Hupp also says fire crews are preparing for the likelihood of more lightning strikes this week.
 

>> 7/7/14 Fire Weather Watch Issued For Tuesday Afternoon

* THUNDERSTORMS...EXPECTED TO DEVELOP TUESDAY AFTERNOON AND
  CONTINUING INTO TUESDAY EVENING. COVERAGE WILL INCREASE AS
  THE AFTERNOON PROGRESSES.

* LIGHTNING ACTIVITY LEVEL...STARTS OUT AS 2 BUT EXPECTED TO INCREASE TO 3 BY LATE AFTERNOON.
* IMPACTS...LIGHTNING STRIKES ON VERY DRY FUELS HAVE THE POTENTIAL TO PRODUCE MULTIPLE NEW FIRE STARTS THAT COULD SPREAD QUICKLY DUE TO DRY FUEL CONDITIONS.

 

>> 7/7/14 State To Honor "Forgotten Souls"

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — More than 5,300 people were cremated at Oregon's state mental hospital between 1913 and 1971. Two-thirds of them were never claimed, their remains abandoned inside copper canisters that were discovered a decade ago in a shed. They were dubbed the "forgotten souls." A research effort to unearth the stories of those who moved through the hospital's halls, and to reunite the remains with surviving relatives, takes center stage Monday as officials dedicate a memorial to those once-forgotten patients. Hospital officials have been working for years to reunite the remains of their former patients with surviving relatives. Since the urns were found by lawmakers on a tour of the hospital in 2005, 183 have been claimed. The 3,400 that remain are listed in a searchable online database.


 

>> 7/3/14 Caldwell Fire At 75% Containment

TULELAKE, California-The 11 acre Caldwell Fire is now 75% contained.  The crews have initiated cleanup efforts on the lightning caused fire that started about two miles from the campground in Lava Beds National Monument the evening of July 1. Fires in sage steppe and grassland, which make up much of Lava Beds National Monument, grow and travel quickly making them potentially dangerous.  These fires also, however, finish quickly as fuels burn up quicker than forest fires. s the Fourth of July holiday approaches, it is good to remember your safety and the safety of others.  The severe drought and heat could cause unexpected fires.  As a reminder, fireworks are prohibited in the monument. The campground has reopened.  Only a two mile section of the Three Sisters trail in the immediate vicinity of the fire remains closed today while fire fighters continue to remove the hose laid out for fire protection.  All other trails are now open.  The monument, visitor center, roads, caves, and trails remain open.

7/3/14 More Than 1900 Lightning Strikes Keep Fire Fighters Busy

Lakeview, Ore – Interagency fire crews will continue mop-up on lands managed by the Fremont-Winema National Forest, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Lakeview District, Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF), National Park Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for the past 36 hours. Firefighters have responded to 34 confirmed fires in the South Central Oregon Fire Management Partnership area (SCOFMP) since July 1, with three new fires being reported since 12 a.m. July 3. Additional resources have been ordered into the area to respond when needed for initial attack. These resources include hands crews and engines which may be staged in local communities and throughout the SCOFMP area. The National Weather Service has predicted a dry cold front moving in with higher winds and lower humidity than we have had in the last 48 hours. To report a wildland fire, call the Lakeview Interagency Fire Center at 541-947-6315 or by calling 911.

>> 7/3/14 Former Governor Atiyeh's Nephew Critically Injured

HARRISON, Ark. (AP) — The nephew of former Oregon Gov. Vic Atiyeh was injured in a plane crash at an Arkansas airport. The Boone County Sheriff's Office identified 66-year-old pilot George Atiyeh of Lyons, Oregon, as the injured man. He was airlifted to a hospital in Springfield, Missouri, where he is listed in serious condition. The former governor confirmed his nephew is the injured pilot. He sa...ys the family doesn't have much information, except it's very serious and his nephew is heavily sedated. The sheriff's office says the 1964 Piper Twin Comanche crashed shortly after takeoff Wednesday into a field at the Boone County Regional Airport. Atiyeh was the only person on board. Authorities say the National Transportation and Safety Board will investigate the crash.Vic Atiyeh was governor from 1979 until 1987.

 

>> 7/2/14 Fire At Lava Beds Monument Leads To Some Closures

TULELAKE, California- A 50 acre lightening caused fire started about two miles from the campground in Lava Beds National Monument the evening of July 1. The park’s engine crew responded and began procedures to halt the fire. Additional resources including five fire engines and four 20 person crews have been requested to assist with the fire. As a result of the fire’s proximity to the campground, h...ousing area, and headquarters, the campground was evacuated and about a dozen parties either chose to leave the monument or stay in the visitor center parking lot. The park’s 50 residents were put on alert for potential evacuation, should the fire spread in that direction on Wednesday. The park superintendent has issued a closure notice for the campground and trails in the immediate area of the fire; however the monument, visitor center, roads, and many of the other trails remain open.

>> 7/2/14 Red Flag Warning Until 1100 P.m. Tonight

RED FLAG WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 11 PM PDT THIS
EVENING FOR ABUNDANT LIGHTNING WITH DRY FUELS FOR FIRE WEATHER
THUNDERSTORMS.

SCATTERED THUNDERSTORMS WILL DEVELOP ACROSS THE AREA THIS AFTERNOON AND EVENING. COVERAGE IS EXPECTED TO BE ONLY  ISOLATED FROM MOUNT SHASTA SOUTHWARD...SOUTHEAST OF LAVA BEDS NATIONAL PARK...AND SOUTHEAST OF BLY...BUT STORMS IN THESE AREAS ARE LIKELY TO PRODUCE LITTLE...IF ANY...RAINFALL.
* OUTFLOW WINDS...GUSTY OUTFLOW WIND GUSTS OF 30 TO 50 MPH ARE
  POSSIBLE IN AND NEAR THE THUNDERSTORMS.
* IMPACTS...SIGNIFICANT LIGHTNING COVERAGE IS EXPECTED TODAY...
  ESPECIALLY OVER AND JUST TO THE NORTHEAST OF THE MOUNTAINS FROM

  THE MOUNT SHASTA AND MEDICINE LAKE HIGHLANDS NORTHWARD AND NORTH OF THE WARNER MOUNTAINS. WHILE WETTING RAIN MAY OCCUR IN SOME OF THE SIGNIFICANT LIGHTNING AREA TODAY THE ABUNDANT LIGHTNING IS LIKELY TO RESULT IN MULTIPLE NEW FIRE STARTS OUTSIDE OF THE RAIN CORES.

>> 7/2/14 Jeld Wen Shuts Off Subdivison Well

Under orders from the Oregon Water Resources Department, Jeld-Wen has shutoff irrigation water to its canals at Harbor Island Subdivision. The shutoff will allow downstream water users to have water. In a letter to homeowners, Jeld-Wen asked homeowners to remove boats from the canal as the drawdown continues. The company indicated it will also cut down on irrigation of the golf course as well.
 

>> 7/1/14 Red Flag Warning 5:00 P.M. Today Through 11:00 P.M. Wednesday

URGENT - FIRE WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MEDFORD OR
435 AM PDT TUE JUL 1 2014
 

ABUNDANT LIGHTNING EXPECTED LATE TODAY AND WEDNESDAY...HOT AND DRY CONDITIONS COUPLED WITH A LOW PRESSURE IMPULSE MOVING THROUGH LATE THIS AFTERNOON THROUGH WEDNESDAY IS EXPECTED TO RESULT IN A SIGNIFICANT AMOUNT OF LIGHTNING ACROSS THE AREA. THIS LIGHTNING IS EXPECTED TO OCCUR WITH LITTLE OR NO RAINFALL THROUGH THIS EVENING. ON WEDNESDAY STORMS ARE LIKELY TO BECOME INCREASINGLY WET.
435 AM PDT TUE JUL 1 2014
RED FLAG WARNING IN EFFECT FROM 5 PM THIS AFTERNOON TO 11 PM PDT WEDNESDAY FOR ABUNDANT LIGHTNING WITH DRY FUELS...THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN MEDFORD HAS ISSUED A RED FLAG WARNING...WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 5 PM THIS AFTERNOON TO 11 PM PDT WEDNESDAY.


>> 7/1/14 Eagle Point Woman Arrested On Animal Abuse, Failure To Appear Charges

Police have arrested an Eagle Point woman whose three dogs died after being left inside her vehicle for four hours last month. The incident occurred at Melita's Restaurant on Highway 97 in Chiloquin. 64 year old Alice Violet Walker was spotted and arrested for Failure To Appear On Bench Warrants for six counts of Animal Abuse 1. Animal Control Officer Gayle McMahon told KFLS News, Walker had three dogs with her when she was arrested Monday. The dogs were taken into protective custody. The abuse charges are Class A Misdemeanors. Walker's bail was set at $10,000.

 

>> 7/1/14 Wheat Fungus Reported In Willamette Valley

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon State University experts have alerted farmers to a fungal disease in Willamette Valley wheat fields. The Capital Press reports (http://bit.ly/1sUcOc5 ) the disease, called sharp eyespot, has appeared sparingly in the valley over the years but spread this year, infecting as much as 50 percent of individual fields. Oregon State University field crops extension agent Nicole Anderson and OSU cereal pathologist Chris Mundt identified the disease and warned farmers that yields could suffer. Anderson says researchers are speculating that abnormally dry conditions caused the fungus to move into plants this spring.

 

>> 6/30/14 Meyer Memorial Trust Awards Grant For Job Skills Development

At the June program meeting, Meyer Memorial Trust's board of trustees awarded six grants worth $184,740 to organizations in Southern Oregon. The awards include a $19,740 Grassroots Grant to help the Oakland Community Response Team renovate an antiquated playground in Oakland's main downtown park and another grant for $10,000 to help the Southern Music Festival in Jacksonville support children’s access to music. Meyer Memorial Trust is one of the largest private foundations in the Northwest, with assets over $790 million. June’s grants bring the total amount awarded in the Southern Oregon area since Meyer Memorial Trust began operating in 1982 to more than $41 million. Overall, MMT has awarded just over $634 million during the past 32 years. 

Meyer’s Board of Trustees—which includes Debbie Craig, John Emrick, Orcilia Zúñiga Forbes, George Puentes and Charles Wilhoite—meets monthly to make grants.

Klamath Lake Regional Housing Center, Klamath Falls

Awarded: $35,000

To support a job skills development program that will serve low- and moderate-income residents in south Central Oregon.

Contact:

Pamela Ruddock

Economic Development Associate

 

>> 6/30/14 Police Say Body In Suitcase Is Missing Oregon Woman

ELKHORN, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin authorities say they've identified the second of two women whose bodies were stuffed in suitcases found along a rural highway as a 19-year-old Oregon woman. Police identified the woman Monday as Jenny Gamez, of Cottage Grove, Oregon. Local investigators say she disappeared in 2012. The suitcases were found on June 5 in the Town of Geneva, Wisconsin. Police Chief Steven Hurley says Gamez had told her family she was moving, so they didn't realize she had disappeared. Walworth County Undersheriff Kurt Picknell says Gamez was identified with dental records. He declined to say how investigators made the link between the remains found in Wisconsin and her disappearance.Investigators have charged 52-year-old Steven Zelich with two counts of hiding a corpse in the case. Authorities say he met both women online.

 

>> 6/30/14 Medford Considers Three Strikes Bad Dog Law

MEDFORD, Ore. (AP) — The Medford City Council is considering a three strikes law targeting the owners of dangerous dogs. Under a proposed ordinance, dog owners convicted of three or more violations in a year could be fined up to $1,000 and time in jail. The violations include cases in which a dog inflicts injury on a person or animal. The Mail Tribune newspaper reports the proposed rules are an ...outgrowth of complaints that dogs and people have been attacked in Medford, particularly in city parks. The council earlier this year considered a breed-specific ordinance that would target pit bulls, but backed down after receiving complaints. Medford police Chief Tim George says the theme of the new proposal is to punish the deed, not the breed.

 

>> 6/27/14 Murder Suspect To Get New Attorney

The man accused of killing his supervisor at the Burlington Northern railroad office in April will get a new attorney. 58 year old James Harold Forshee is charged with one count of murder for allegedly shooting and killing Emery Connor on April 17th at the railroad office on Laverne Avenue. This week Forshee told a judge he does not believe his attorney, Peter Richards, will be able to best argue for his legal rights. Klamath Defender Services will substitute a new attorney for Richards.

 

>> 6/27/14 Food Stamp Fraud Ringleader Suspect Pleads Not Guilty

A suspected ringleader in the food stamp fraud case known as Operation Gold Card, has entered not guilty pleas to 40 criminal counts. Sevoro Toro-Castellon is accused of theft, fraud and delivery of methamphetamine. Toro-Castellon is accused of conspiracy to exchange food stamp benefits for 50-cents on the dollar and running the illicit operation out of the Carniceria Mi Pueblo Meat Market on East Main Street in Mills Addition. So far police have arrested more than 50 suspects in the case including dozens of people who are accused of allegedly taking the 50-cents on the dollar offer by using their food stamp debit cards.

 

>> 6/27/14 Lots Of Weekend Activities in Klamath Falls Area This Weekend

The annual Kruise of Klamath is this weekend. the Show N Shine is at Moore Park from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Saturday. Tomorrow night the cruise through downtown begins at 6:30 p.m.

 

Klamath Basin Beekeepers meet tomorrow, Saturday, June 28th, and will work with hives at the Klamath Basin Research and Extension Center. The meeting begins at 9:00 a.m. at KBRECC at 6923 Washburn Way. Attendees will meet at the parking lot at the learning center and then travel together to the hives. The agenda includes testing for mites, mite treatments and fire management awareness.

The 10th Annual Klamath Kinetic Challenge begins with registration tonight (Friday) at 6:30 p.m. at Mia & Pia's Pizzeria. The event resumes Saturday morning at Veterans Park, followed by a parade through the downtown area at 12:10 p.m. followed by events at Moore Park. More events are scheduled Sunday at Moore Park, Veterans Park and Lake Ewauna.

Klamath Basin Beekeepers meet tomorrow, Saturday, June 28th, and will work with hives at the Klamath Basin Research and Extension Center. The meeting begins at 9:00 a.m. at KBRECC at 6923 Washburn Way. Attendees will meet at the parking lot at the learning center and then travel together to the hives. The agenda includes testing for mites, mite treatments and fire management awareness.

 

>> 6/26/17 Bryant Fire Near Full Containment

The Bryant Fire burning near Bonanza since last Thursday is now at 95% containment. The fire has burned almost 1400 acres at a cost of more than $4-million. Full containment expected later today. A local Incident Management Team will takeover the mop-up operation.

 

>> 6/26/14 City Police Chief Jim Hunter Files Retirement Paperwork

Klamath Falls Police Chief Jim Hunter has filed the paperwork for his retirement and his last day on the job will be January 31, 2015. Hunter says he has been in law enforcement 43 years and he believes it is time to "Pass the torch on to someone else."  Hunter says in the past the new chief has been selected from within the department however City manager Nathan Cherpeski has indicated the search will be opened to include candidates from outside the department.

 

>> 6/26/14 City, County Talk Consolidation Of Departments

The Klamath Falls City Council and the Klamath County Board of Commissioners held a joint meeting Wednesday afternoon. No final decisions were made but discussions focused on efforts to bring new airline service to the airport...the state ordered shutoff of two city water wells...consolidation of law enforcement patrols and possible consolidation of the city-county planning departments. City Manag...er Nathan Cherpeski says the effort to get a new airline to serve the city may come down to whether the city and county can offer subsidies to the air carrier. Cherpeski noted airlines are abandoning small towns and their airports all over the country because they no longer use smaller aircraft with fewer seats. As for a state ordered shutoff of two city wells, Cherpeski says a "Request For Proposals" is being sent out because the city is looking to hire a water rights attorney and a hydro geologist. The city is coordinating efforts with Jeld-Wen which has now started buying processed city water in the wake of a well shutdown order from the state. Cherpeski will meet today with the Regional manager of the Oregon Water Resources Department Kyle Gorman. The state contends the city wells, Jeld-Wen wells and wells at Harbor Isle Golf Course and a well at a housing development at Agency Lake are impacting surface water in Upper Klamath Lake.

 

>> 6/25/14 Bryant Fire Nearing Full Containment

The Bryant Fire burning near Bonanza is 85% contained with full containment expected tomorrow. Spokesman Joe Touchstone at the Fire Information Center in Bonanza told KFLS News shortly before noon today (Wednesday) they expect to turn over management of the wildfire to a local team early tomorrow (Thursday) afternoon. The cost of fighting the Bryant Fire, burning on Jeld-Wen Timber Resources land, now estimated at 3-point-7-million dollars.

 

>> 6/25/14 Federal Judge In Portland Tosses No Fly List Appeals Rules

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A federal judge has ruled that the U.S. government violated the rights of 13 people on its no-fly list by depriving them of their constitutional right to travel, and gave them no adequate way to challenge their placement on the list. It's the nation's first ruling to label the no-fly list redress procedures unconstitutional. U.S. District Court Judge Anna Brown's decision han...ded down Tuesday says the procedure offered to people to remove themselves from the list fails to give travelers a meaningful mechanism to challenge their placement. Thirteen people challenged their placement on the list in 2010, including four military veterans. Initially, Brown said she couldn't rule on the case. In 2012, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed that decision and sent the case back to her.

 

>> 6/25/14 Federal Judge Okays Mouhamoud Conviction Despite Warrantless Searches

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A federal judge has affirmed the legality of the U.S. government's secret, warrantless bulk phone and email data collection in denying an Oregon man's motion to dismiss his terrorism conviction. U.S. District Court Judge Garr King on Tuesday upheld Mohamed Mohamud's conviction on terrorism charges. In doing so, he rejected the argument from Mohamud's attorneys that prosecutors failed to notify Mohamud of information derived under the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act until he was already convicted. That failure, they say, withheld important information from the defense team and violated Mohamud's constitutional rights. Mohamud was convicted last year of attempting to detonate a bomb at Portland's Christmas tree-lighting ceremony in 2010. The purported plot was actually an FBI sting, and the bomb was a fake.

 

 

>> 6/23/14 Good Progress On Mt. Bryant Fire

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Firefighters say they've got a line dug around a fire that began last week in a Southern Oregon logging operation. The Oregon Department of Forestry estimates the fire on holdings of Jeld-Wen Timber Resources is about 45 percent contained. It said Monday that operations have turned from bulldozing and hand-digging the line to extinguishing hot spots along the perimeter of the fire. The fire is burning in an area estimated at about 1,360 acres, or more than 2 square miles. Authorities haven't said what caused the fire. The Department of Forestry lists the cause as "under investigation."

 

>> 6/23/14 Community Meeting Tonight In Bonanza

Tonight the ODF IMT 1 would like to invite the community of Bonanza to attend an open house at the high school from 6:30PM to 7:30PM.  The team wants the community to feel they have access to the latest fire updates and ability to tour the fire camp to understand the role all fire fighters and support personnel play during the suppression efforts.

 

>> 6/23/14 Memorial Service Held For School Shooting Victim

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Friends and family say the 14-year-old shot and killed by a classmate at an Oregon high school earlier this month loved soccer, selfies and making people laugh. The Oregonian reports (http://bit.ly/1iyg6xc ) that a public service was held Sunday for Emilio Hoffman, the lone victim of the shooting June 10 at Reynolds High School east of Portland. His mother, Jennifer Hoffman, teachers and classmates spoke about the spunky boy who cracked jokes on the soccer field, took silly selfies and carried out pranks. Emilio Hoffman was killed in the boy's locker room by a fellow freshman, 15-year-old Jared Padgett, who later killed himself. Padgett's public funeral was held last week. A bullet also grazed a teacher. Authorities have yet to reveal a motive for the shooting.

 

>> 6/23/14 Man To Be Charged In Seattle Pacific Shooting

SEATTLE (AP) — The man charged with killing one person and wounding two others in a shooting at Seattle Pacific University is scheduled to be arraigned Monday on charges of murder, attempted murder and assault. King County prosecutors say they will seek a life sentence for 26-year-old Aaron Ybarra. His lawyer, Ramona Brandes, has said her client has a long history of mental issues.  The June 5 shooting killed student Paul Lee of Portland. Ybarra was subdued by a student security monitor, Jon Meis (mees).

 

>> 6/23/14 Monitors Going In On Mt. St. Helens To Study Magma

VANCOUVER, Wash. (AP) — Scientists have started installing super-sensitive seismic monitors around Mount St. Helens as part of a two-year study of the magma under the volcano. The study by the U. S. Geological Survey aims to study how molten underground rock connects to volcanoes. The information might help in forecasting eruptions. The Columbian reports (http://bit.ly/1m5G9Xo ) the study also will measure fluctuations in the earth's magnetic field and seismic signals created by setting of explosive charges. Cascades Volcano Observatory seismologist Seth Moran says in the future the study could expand to other volcanoes. He says he'd like to compare the magma systems of volcanoes in Washington and Oregon.

 

 

>> 6/20/14 Wildfire Burning Near Bonanza

A new southern Oregon wildfire is reported burning across an estimated 150 acres of private timber land east of Klamath Falls. Erica Hupp of the South Central Oregon Fire Management Partnership said the fire burning on Bryant Mountain was not threatening any structures. The wildfire is about 10 miles southeast of the small town of Bonanza. It was first reported Thursday afternoon. Fire crews from several agencies are fighting the blaze with the aid of a helicopter and several other aircraft. The cause is under investigation.

 

>> 6/20/14 Lawsuit Filed Over Bybee Timber Sale Near Wolf Den

GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — A conservation group is challenging a national forest timber sale because it may be too close to the den where Oregon's famous wandering wolf, OR-7, is raising pups. Oregon Wild filed the lawsuit Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Medford against the U.S. Forest Service over the Bybee timber sale on the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest in southwestern Oregon. It asks a judge to order a closer examination of the harm logging may do not only to potential wilderness and spotted owls, but to wolf habitat, as well. After years of wandering across Oregon and Northern California, OR-7 found a mate last winter in the southern Cascades, establishing the first known pack there since the 1940s. The Forest Service did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

 

>> 6/20/14 More Livestock Wolf Kills Confirmed

PENDLETON, Ore. (AP) — Oregon Fish and Wildlife officials say they've confirmed two recent incidents of wolves killing or injuring livestock in the northeast corner of the state. The Oregonian reports that four ewes and three lambs were found dead June 13 in a sheep pen near Pendleton. In that case, a lamb was missing and a number of other sheep were injured. Investigators found bite wounds consistent with wolves. The unidentified ranch owner saw a single, uncollared wolf feeding on a carcass that day. And GPS tracking collar data from a Umatilla River wolf pack member proved there was at least one other wolf nearby at the same time. Investigators say a cow was attacked and severely injured less than a mile away a few  days earlier. GPS data showed two Umatilla River pack wolves in the pasture around that time. Fish and Wildlife's Russ Morgan says the agency is working with local ranchers to reduce the risk of more attacks with additional deterrents like fencing, guard animals or alarm systems.

 

>> 6/20/14 Dan Golden To Serve On Oregon Government Ethics Commission

The House Republican Office announced today the recent appointment of Dan Golden, a Klamath Falls resident, to the Oregon Government Ethics Commission. Mr. Golden, who was recommended for gubernatorial appointment to the commission by House Republicans, was confirmed by the state Senate during last month's legislative days. Mr. Golden will be the only currently serving commissioner from east of the Cascades. "I'm honored to have been appointed by the House Republican Caucus to serve the citizens of our state as a member of the Oregon Government Ethics Commission," said Mr. Golden. "I thank House Republican Leader Mike McLane, Senator Doug Whitsett, Representative Gail Whitsett and Governor John Kitzhaber for forwarding my nomination to the state Senate for confirmation. I look forward to ensuring a high standard of ethical conduct from government officials on behalf of the people of Oregon." 

 

>> 6/19/15 Dog Control Officer Says Time To Raise License Fees

Klamath County Dog Control Officer Mike Horton urging county commissioners to approve a 25% increase in dog license fees, noting they have not (not) been raised for 10 years. Horton went to a Social Security website and added up Cost Of Loving Allowances given the past 10 years. Those COLA's totaled more than 27%. Horton say he thinks 25% is appropriate and noted Klamath county will still have among the lowest dog license fees in Oregon. Commissioners took no final action but indicated they will closely examine Horton's recommendation.

 

>> 6/19/14 Horton Will Retire Later This Year

Klamath County Dog Control Officer Mike Horton told county commissioners Wednesday he plans to retire in the fall. Horton says he would then like to be hired back at 29 hours a week (no benefits) and use any excess money from his old salary to hire part time staff to help with administration of the office. Horton is expected to retire in September and said he hopes to be re-hired in October.

 

>> 6/19/14 First 3rd Thursday Is Tonight

The 15th annual 3rd Thursday for 2014 kicks off tonight in downtown Klamath Falls. The event is sponsored by the Klamath Falls Downtown Association. The event features live music, special discounts at area businesses and a wine tasting at Rosterolla.  The theme of tonight's kickoff eventwill showcase the history and culture of the Klamath Basin.

 

>> 6/18/14 City Weighs Options For Dealing With Wells Shutoff Order

The City of Klamath Falls is looking at options for dealing with a state ordered shutdown of two water wells that allegedly are interfering with water in Upper Klamath Lake. Among the options are the hiring of a hydro-geologist to determine if the state's analysis is accurate. The city may also hire a water rights attorney., Other options include implementing water conservation measures such as limiting lawn and garden watering or restricting washing of cars. Sky Lakes Medical Center and Jeld-Wen are also considering hiring outside experts in the event they decide to challenge well shutdowns. The council was told by the Executive director of the Family Farm Alliance, Dan Keppen, none of the wells would have been shutoff if the KBRA was implemented. But County Commissioner Tom Mallams says he will not shutoff his well at his ranch if ordered to do so, stating "I will tell them to pound sand."

 

>> 6/18/14 Jackson County Creeks Contaminated

MEDFORD, Ore. (AP) — Routine water-quality tests show four Jackson County creeks exceed state bacteria standards and contamination has already climbed to levels not typically seen until August. The Mail Tribune reports (http://bit.ly/1nN71Qi) the E. coli could pose an elevated risk of illness and infection for swimmers or waders. The Rogue Valley Council of Governments' Natural Resource Department reported the high levels in Neil Creek, Bear Creek, Griffin Creek and Jackson Creek. Specialists say recent warm temperatures and drought conditions likely will mean the unfavorable levels continue all summer. Officials say waste from pets, livestock and wild animals, leaking septic systems and illegal dumping from portable toilets or recreational vehicles are all possible sources for the bacteria.

 

>> 6/18/14 Fire Burning South Of Hood River

HOOD RIVER, Ore. (AP) — A wildfire broke out before dawn Wednesday in the Columbia Gorge and spread quickly. The fire was in Hood River County forest land, on about 75 acres. Fires usually calm overnight with increasing humidity, but this one didn't. Rod Nichols of the state Department of Forestry tells The Oregonian (http://bit.ly/1iGUsl4) it's "pretty unusual to have a fire spread so rapidly in the early morning hours." Half a dozen 20-person crews, fire engines, a bulldozer and a helicopter were sent to the fire. Lightning accompanied a storm that moved through the Portland metro region on Tuesday afternoon, but the National Weather Service said there was not a lot of lightning in Central Oregon. Nichols said the cause of the Hood River County fire hasn't been determined.

 

>> 6/17/14 Local Troops Headed To Afghanistan

From the Oregon Army National Guard

The Oregon Army National Guard's 1st Squadron, 82nd Cavalry, of the 41st Infantry Brigade Combat Team, held a mobilization ceremony for approximately 190 Soldiers at the Bend Elks Baseball Field in Bend, Ore., June 16. The 1-82 Cavalry Squadron is one of three battalion-sized elements of the 41st Infantry Brigade Combat Team deploying to Afghanistan this summer as part of the regular rotational cycle of forces to provide security missions in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Lt. Col. Daniel D. Miner, Jr. will command the unit, and Command Sgt. Maj. Wayne W. Chastain will serve as the unit's command sergeant major. The unit, headquartered in Bend, with companies also in Klamath Falls, Lebanon, and Redmond, will complete mobilization processing and training at Fort Bliss, Texas prior to departure for Afghanistan. The units will provide security and support for military facilities in Kabul and southwestern Afghanistan. The history of the 41st Brigade can be traced back to 1917 when the 41st Infantry Division was created for service in World War I primarily from National Guard units from Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Montana. The 41st Infantry Division was the longest deployed division during WWII, serving in the Pacific. Elements of the 41st Infantry Brigade Combat Team have served in Saudia Arabia, Kuwait, Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan. The brigade deployed a large contingent known as Task Force Phoenix to Afghanistan in 2006 and again deployed the entire brigade to Iraq in 2009.

>> 6/16/14 School Shooter Laid To Rest

GRESHAM, Ore. (AP) — The 15-year-old boy who fatally shot a fellow freshman at an Oregon high school last week has been laid to rest. About 200 friends and relatives of Jared Padgett remembered him for many things Monday, but not the violent act that will forever define him. They recalled a smiling, curious boy who displayed leadership skills at a young age, suffered from motion sickness and had a firm handshake. Padgett came to Reynolds High School in Troutdale heavily armed June 10 and killed 14-year-old Emilio Hoffman in a locker room before committing suicide when officers confronted him.Padgett's brother-in-law, Andrew Cooper, acknowledged to a packed chapel in Gresham that everyone wants answers.But, he added, "we need to accept that in this life we may never receive those answers."

 

>> 6/17/14 City Council Holds Tuesday Work Session On Well Shutoffs Today

The Klamath Falls City Council is going to hold a Work Session at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 17th to talk about the state's order to shutdown two wells. The public is invited and the meeting will be held in the City Hall Annex Conference Room. Last week the Oregon Water Resources Department issued well shutdown notices after the Bureau of Reclamation's Klamath Project and the Klamath Tribes made "calls" for water. This led to well shutdown notices at Running Y, Jeld-Wen, Harbor Isle Golf Course, a housing development at Agency Lake and several wells in the Bly area.

 

>> 6/17/14 State Readies Lawsuit Against Oracle Corp.

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon has taken new steps toward a potential lawsuit against the developers of its failed health insurance website by hiring a phalanx of lawyers and issuing demands for evidence and other material that could be used in a civil case against Oracle Corp. The state Department of Justice says legal demands for potential evidence were issued Monday. Officials declined to say how many of the so-called civil investigative demands were issued or whom they target, but they're the first such demands issued in preparation for potential litigation against Oracle. Documents show that the state has more than quadrupled its contract with a law firm handling the case, raising it from $550,000 to more than $2.5 million.Oracle defends its work and blames the state for the website's shortcomings.

 

 

>> 6/17/14 Fremont Winema National Forest Has Emergency Numbers List

LIFC Open House Info Cards Single

 

 

>> 6/16/14 Governors Orders Flags At Half-staff In Honor Of Shooting Victims


(Salem, OR) — Governor Kitzhaber today ordered all flags at public institutions statewide to be lowered and flown at half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Tuesday, June 17, 2014. "In one week we lost two young Oregonians to shootings at Reynolds High School and Seattle Pacific University," Governor Kitzhaber said. "We’ve learned this week that Emilio Hoffman and Paul Lee both liked to make people smile, had kind hearts and were embarking on opportunities at new schools. I am devastated to know their potential and dreams were cut short by senseless acts of violence. To the family and friends of Emilio and Paul, their school communities, and emergency responders, we stand with you."

 

>> 6/16/14 Sex Assault Suspect Arrested After Standoff In Brookings

BROOKINGS, Ore. (AP) — The state police SWAT team was called in to arrest a suspect in a sexual assault case in Brookings after he barricaded himself in a back room of a house along U.S. Highway 101, claiming he had a gun and a hostage. Curry County Sheriff John Bishop says when officers stormed the house before dawn Sunday, they found 42-year-old Lorenzo Ignacio King had stabbed himself in the thighs in an attempt to bleed to death. Police found a handgun, but no hostage. A Coast Guard helicopter flew King to the hospital in Coos Bay. After treatment, he was taken to jail. Bishop says King is from Arroyo Grande, California, but had been working as a cook in Alaska. He was held on $2 million bail on assault and sodomy charges.

>> 6/16/14 Two Believed Dead In Plane Crash Near Florence

FLORENCE, Ore. (AP) — The Lane County sheriff's office says a small plane carrying two people has crashed off the Oregon coast near Florence, and at least one person has died. Sgt. Carrie Carver says the single-engine aircraft crashed just before 10 a.m. Sunday about 500 yards from the shore. She says the Coast Guard has recovered one body. Search crews were trying Sunday afternoon to locate a second person. Authorities did not release the identities of the people. A Federal Aviation Administration spokesman says the aircraft, a Grumman American AA5, crashed under unknown circumstances in the water about 2 miles north of Florence. The plane was destroyed. The FAA and the National Safety Transportation Board will investigate. KCST-FM says witnesses on the beach reported hearing a pop and then the engine quit before the plane crashed.

 

>> 6/13/13 Man Convicted Of Child Sex Abuse

On Thursday, June 12, 2014, Efren Mandoza Valencia (DOB 1-26-56) was convicted by a Klamath County Jury of six counts of Sex Abuse in the First Degree.  Deputy District Attorney Cole Chase was successful in obtaining the verdict after a three day trial in front of Klamath County Circuit Court Judge Rodger Isaacson.   Valencia is currently being held in the Klamath County Jail pending sentencing which has been set for Tuesday, June 17, 2014. In this case Valencia sexually abused his two minor children. One of the children was regularly abused over a six year time period between 1992 and 1998.   The jury heard evidence that the children, who are now adults, came forward because of safety concerns related to minors who Valencia had recently gained access.About the conviction Klamath County District Attorney Rob Patridge said, “Child abuse is an epidemic in our community.   We are glad these victims have come forward to see that justice was served and to protect the county’s most vulnerable citizens, our children.  Deputy District Attorney Cole Chase took this case to trial because of our Office’s strong belief in protecting victims of sexual abuse and the importance of holding offenders accountable.” This is the fourth case that the Klamath County District Attorney’s Office has taken to trial this week.   All four cases resulted in a guilty verdict.

>> 6/13/14 City Studying Options With Wells Shutoff 

As KFLS News first reported Thursday morning the Oregon Water Resources Department wants to shutdown two city of Klamath Falls wells, including one that serves the Sky Lakes Hospital and O-I-T areas. City Manager Nathan Cherpeski told KFLS News they may hire a hydrologist to check the state's claim that the wells are impacting Upper Klamath Lake. The well is 5100 feet from the lake and the state would not (not) have been able to order the shutoff if that well was located 180 feet further from the lake. In addition State Senator Doug Whitsett is planning to reintroduce a bill from earlier this year that would require Oregon Water Resources to prove wells throughout the Klamath Basin (and for that matter all over Oregon) are impacting nearby streams, lakes and rivers. The department is relying now on computer models to determine which wells need to be shutoff. When Whitsett first introduced the bill this year it was estimated it would cost the department $10,000 per well to prove their computer models are accurate.

>> 6/13/14 Emotional Graduation Commencement For Reynolds High

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The senior class of Oregon's Reynolds High School in Troutdale held a moment of silence during graduation for freshman Emilio Hoffman, who was shot and killed earlier this week on campus. Seniors had finished classes and weren't on campus when the shooting happened Tuesday. But they shared an emotional moment as Hoffman's older brother walked across the stage Thursday night. School spokeswoman Andrea Watson says he was wearing Emilio's soccer jersey. The Oregonian reports (http://bit.ly/SFOpX0 ) classmates stood and cheered and many made "I love you" signs with their hands. Reynolds is the second-largest high school in Oregon with about 2,700 students. The gunman in Tuesday's attack was found dead in a bathroom.

 

>> 6/12/14 City Water Wells On Shutoff List

KFLS News has learned two city of Klamath Falls wells are on a state shutoff list. The wells serve O-I-T and Sky lakes Hospital. Also on a shutoff list are three wells at Running Y, one well at Harbor Isles Golf Course and a well at Oregon Shores subdivision at Agency Lake and wells at Jeld-Wen. Klamath County Watermaster Scott White told KFLS News he has talked to Randy Travis at the city water department. White says the city believes it can boost production at other wells to serve the north end of the city which includes O-I-T and Sky Lakes. If city wells are shutoff it would not impact water for human consumption or for any livestock inside city limits because state law prioritizes water use for those two categories.  However it is possible, if not likely, city residents may be asked to curtail car washing and lawn and garden watering.

 

>> 6/12/14 Ward Leaves OWRD Job To Take Federal Position

Phil Ward is stepping down as Director of the Oregon water Resources Department. Klamath County Watermaster Scott White confirmed Ward's decision and says Ward is taking a job with the U-S Department of Agriculture. Ward, who has served as director of the Oregon Department of Agriculture 1999-2003 and as head of the Oregon Department of Water Resources (OWRD) since 2004 is leaving his state position to become Oregon Director of the US Department of Agriculture's Farm Service Agency. Ward starts his new position on June 23rd. The current Deputy Director of the OWRD, Tom Paul has been named Acting Director until a permanent replacement is named.

 

>> 6/12/14 Suspect Arrested In Drug Raid

From Oregon State Police

Oregon State Police (OSP), with the assistance of Klamath County Sheriff's Office and Klama th Falls Police Department, arrested a 31-year old suspect early Wednesday morning while executing a warrant related to a drug investigation. On June 11, 2014, at approximately 4:10 a.m., members of the OSP SWAT Team, OSP Drug Enforcement detectives, Klamath County Sheriff's Office, and Klamath Falls Police Department executed a search warrant at a single wide mobile home located at 1735 Gary Street in Klamath Falls. COLTON DESTRY RICH, age 31, barricaded himself inside the residence for more than an hour where he allegedly started a small fire to burn marijuana, and he also disposed of methamphetamine. RICH also reportedly dug a hole in the mobile home's floor and tried to escape when OSP SWAT deployed gas inside the residence. RICH ran from the residence and was taken into custody by OSP SWAT after a short foot chase. A search of the residence resulted in the seizure of 23 firearms, five of which have been confirmed stolen. Investigators also seized methamphetamine, marijuana, and other evidence associated with the distribution of controlled substances. A Kawasaki motorcycle stolen from the Klamath Falls area was recovered. RICH was lodged at the Klamath County Jail on the following charges:
* Unlawful Possession of a Controlled Substance - Methamphetamine
* Unlawful Delivery of a Controlled Substance - Methamphetamine
* Unlawful Possession of a Controlled Substance - Marijuana
* Unlawful Delivery of a Controlled Substance - Marijuana
* Unlawful Manufacture of a Controlled Substance - Marijuana
* Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle
* Theft in the First Degree
* Tampering with Evidence
* Obstructing Governmental or Judicial Administration
Bail set at $155,000.

 

>> 66/12/14 High School Shooting Update

TROUTDALE, Ore. (AP) — Police say a 15-year-old gunman at an Oregon high school had an assault rifle, handgun and several magazines of ammunition during attack. Police also said Wednesday that an autopsy determined that suspect Jared Michael Padgett died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in the Tuesday attack. They say no link has been found between the shooter and the student who was killed. No motive was released. Police say the shooting occurred in a gym detached from the main school building, with 14-year-old Emilio Hoffman killed in the boys' locker room. The weapons and ammunition was concealed in a guitar case and duffel bag when the shooter arrived at the campus.
The mother of a 14-year-old boy killed at an Oregon high school says he loved his friends and sports, especially soccer. Jennifer Hoffman released a statement Wednesday, a day after her son Emilio Hoffman was shot at Reynolds High School.His mother says Emilio Hoffman had a sister and three brothers, along with a number of foster siblings he had grown up with over the years. She says he enjoyed science and history, but his true love was sports. She said soccer was his whole life. She urged his friends to be happy like Emilio.
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Authorities say an armed man arrested near an Oregon school where a student was killed told officers he was there to protect his sister. Authorities said Wednesday that 21-year-old Joseff Powell was spotted going around a checkpoint on Tuesday as students at Reynolds High School in Troutdale were being searched. Powell is not suspected of being involved in the campus attack. An affidavit filed by Multnomah County Deputy District Attorney Adam Gibbs says an officer stopped Powell and discovered a loaded handgun sticking out of his waistband. Gibbs says Powell told a police detective that he had he heard about the shooting and wanted to protect his younger sister. Powell was charged with unlawful possession of a firearm. He could not be reached for comment.

 

 

>> 6/11/14 Update On School Shooting

TROUTDALE, Ore. (AP) — Police say a 15-year-old gunman at an Oregon high school had an assault rifle, handgun and several magazines of ammunition during attack. Police also said Wednesday that an autopsy determined that suspect Jared Michael Padgett died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in the Tuesday attack. They say no link has been found between the shooter and the student who was killed. No motive was released. Police say the shooting occurred in a gym detached from the main school building, with 14-year-old Emilio Hoffman killed in the boys' locker room. The weapons and ammunition was concealed in a guitar case and duffel bag when the shooter arrived at the campus.

 

>> 6/11/14 Update On Troutdale Shooting

TROUTDALE, Ore. (AP) — Authorities have identified the student killed by a teen gunman at a high school in a quiet Columbia River town in Oregon. The shooter also injured a teacher before he likely killed himself. Troutdale police Chief Scott Anderson said Tuesday in a news conference that the 14-year-old victim was a freshman at Reynolds High School who was killed in the boys' locker room. Anderson says the boy was "loved by all." He said earlier the name of the gunman is being withheld until his family is notified. Police spotted the suspected shooter slumped on a toilet in a bathroom. The teacher's injuries weren't life-threatening, and he was treated at the scene. He has been identified as Todd Rispler, a 50-year-old physical education instructor, and police say he initiated the school lockdown procedure.

 

>> 6/11/14 Vigil For Troutdale Victims

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Teens on skateboards and others accompanied by their parents joined Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber at a Tuesday evening prayer vigil after a fatal school shooting. Freshman Jose Medel told The Oregonian that he came for Emilio Hoffman, who was killed in the Tuesday morning shooting at Reynolds High School. The vigil at the Greater Portland Baptist Church took place just five miles from the shooting scene. Authorities say a teen gunman armed with a rifle shot and killed the 14-year-old student and injured a teacher before he likely killed himself at the high school east of Portland. Troutdale police Sgt. Carey Kaer says officers found the suspect dead in a school restroom and say he likely killed himself.

 

>> 6//11/14 Bend Wildfire 40% Contained

BEND, Ore. (AP) — Fire officials in central Oregon say an evacuation order has been lifted for about 50 scattered rural homes as crews mop up a wildfire near Bend that has burned nearly 11 square miles. By Tuesday night, officials said the Two Bulls Fire was 40 percent contained and fire lines were holding despite strong afternoon winds. No structures have been lost. Investigators say the fire that started at two locations Saturday was human-caused and a reward for information leading to a conviction has grown to $4,500. So far, the firefighting effort has cost $3 million.

 

>> 6/10/14 Updates On Reynolds High Shooting

UPDATE AT 2:01 P.M.

TROUTDALE, Ore. (AP) — Police say a teenage gunman who killed a student at an Oregon high school and wounded a teacher was found dead in a school bathroom and likely killed himself. Troutdale police said Tuesday they found the suspect slumped on a toilet in a bathroom but couldn't' see what was happening with him. Police spokesman Sgt. Carey Kaer said police used a robot with a camera to investigate and discovered the suspect was dead and that he likely killed himself at Reynolds High School in Troutsdale. Kaer also said the shooter is a male teen.

 

UPDATE AT 12:34 P.M.

TROUTDALE, Ore. (AP) — Officials say a lone gunman armed with a rifle killed one student and injured a teacher at an Oregon school before the shooter was found dead. Troutdale Police Chief Scott Anderson said Tuesday authorities have tentatively identified the gunman, but aren't ready at this point to release the name. They are in the process of notifying the family of the gunman and student who was killed. Anderson said the teacher suffered non-life threatening injures and was treated at the scene. During the evacuation, another unrelated gun was found and one person was taken into custody.

 

UPDATE AT 11:55A.M.

TROUTDALE, Ore. (AP) — A gunman who shot and killed a student at a high school in Troutdale, Oregon, was found dead as police arrived. The attack panicked students at Reynolds High School Tuesday morning after a lockdown was ordered and they were told to quietly go to their classrooms. One freshman student said she hunkered down in a locker room with another student and two teachers. Anoth...er student said he saw a physical education teacher at the school with a bloodied shirt. Troutdale police chief Scott Anderson said he was sorry for the family of the slain student, whose name was not immediately released. Police also did not identify the gunman or say how he died. The first reports of shots fired came at 8 a.m. on the next-to-last-day of classes. Parents and students were reunited in a supermarket parking lot.

 

>> 6/10/14 Student And Gunman Die At Reynolds High

TROUTDALE, Ore. (AP) — Police in Oregon say a gunman fatally shot a student at a high school near Portland. Authorities said Tuesday the suspect also was dead and the situation is stabilized. The Multnomah County sheriff's office said there were reports of shots fired about 8 a.m. at Reynolds High School in Troutdale. Authorities say they're now focusing on reuniting students with their parents. ...The Multnomah County sheriff's office said there were reports of shots fired about 8 a.m. at Reynolds High School in Troutdale. Students say they were told over the intercom there was a lockdown and to quietly go to their classrooms. Students were evacuated from the school, hands on their heads, to be reunited with their parents in a supermarket parking lot. Freshman Daniel DeLong, 15, said while waiting after the shooting that he saw a physical education teacher at the school with a bloodied shirt. "I'm a little shaken up," DeLong said. "I'm just worried." He said he was texting friends to make sure they were all OK. It just, like, happened so fast, you know?" he said. Freshman Morgan Rose, 15, said she was hunkered down in a locker room with another student and two teachers.  "It was scary in the moment now knowing everything's OK I'm better," she said. SWAT teams were going through the school room by room, KGW-TV reported. Police set up tape around the area and were not allowing people to pass through. Fire trucks were on the scene. The shooting follows a spate of recent attacks at or near school campuses. On June 5, a 19-year-old man was killed and two other people wounded when a gunman opened fire in a building at Seattle Pacific University. Troutdale is a small city of about 15,000 near the Columbia River, about 16 miles east of downtown Portland.

>> 6/10/14 California Teacher Tenure Laws Struck Down

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Los Angeles judge has ruled that California's tenure protections for public school teachers are unconstitutional. Judge Rolf Treu today ruled in favor of nine students who sued the state saying tenure and seniority policies have made it virtually impossible to fire bad teachers. The decision could have wide-ranging impact on the way California hires and fires teachers and could spur changes in other states with strong tenure laws.

>> 6/10/14 Mop Up Begins At Bend Wildfires

BEND, Ore. (AP) — Firefighters are mopping up that wildfire that threatened homes outside the Central Oregon city of Bend. Fire spokeswoman Lisa Clark said Tuesday that fire crews have a containment line all the way around the Two Bulls fire, and are working to strengthen it. It is 25 percent contained at 10 square miles of mostly private timberland on the eastern outskirts of Bend. An evacuation order remained in effect for about 50 scattered rural homes. Fire investigators say the fire was human-caused, starting from two locations on private timberland near Tumalo Reservoir. Cascade Timberlands has offered a $2,000 reward for information on how the fire started Saturday afternoon. Clark says the area where the fire started has no developed campgrounds, but is a popular place for parties.

 

>>6/9/14 Fire Burning Northwest Of Bend, Some Homes Evacuated

BEND, Ore. (AP) — Firefighters face a couple of days of gusty weather as they try to finish drawing lines around the first big wildfire of the season in Oregon. Authorities gave residents of 200 homes northwest of Bend the OK to go home Sunday. The residents of about 50 more homes remained under an evacuation notice. Spokeswoman Lisa Clark of the Central Oregon fire dispatch center said Monday morning that the weather will make the Two Bulls fire especially challenging until about Thursday. Cooler weather is expected then. Wind speeds Monday afternoon are expected to be 10-18 mph. The fire is burning in brush, juniper and Ponderosa pine territory, part federally owned, part private. No injuries or serious damage has been reported. Authorities say the cause is unknown.

 

>> 6/9/14 Klamath Falls Man Arrested Charged With Rape Of Juvenile

On Saturday, police arrested 41 year old Samuel Wade Ellis of Klamath Falls and charged him with Sex Abuse 1.  The police say the vi9ctim was under age 14. Ellis is jailed with bail set at $100,000.

 

>> 6/9/14 Oregonians Prefer Dying At Home

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregonians who would rather die at home than in a hospital can use the state's end-of-life planning program to put their wishes on record. A study of 58,000 people who died of natural causes in the state in 2010 and 2011 found that 18,000 had filled out a form called the Physican Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment. The Oregonian reports (http://bit.ly/1ig54qQ) 94 percent who limited care to "comfort measures only" died at home. Of those who selected limited medical interventions, 78 percent died at home. Of those who selected full medical treatment, 56 percent died at home. The study was conducted by Oregon Health & Science University Hospital Dr. Erik Fromme and was published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

 

 

>> 6/06/14 Man Arrested Charged With Rape Of Juvenile

From Oregon State Police

An investigation by Oregon State Police (OSP) Criminal Investigations Division, with the assistance of the Klamath County District Attorney's Office and Department of Human Services, led to the arrest Thursday of a 58-year old Klamath Falls man for multiple crimes related to a sex abuse investigation involving a juvenile female. On June 5, 2014, OSP detectives served a search warrant at 25820 Rocky Point Road in Klamath Falls related to an ongoing sex abuse investigation involving allegations of crimes against a juvenile female between 2007 and 2010. The alleged crimes involved multiple incidents of sex abuse, and the threat of harm if the abuse was disclosed to anyone. During execution of the search warrant, OSP arrested DAVID L. FOXEN, age 58, from Klamath Falls, and lodged him in the Klamath County Jail on the following charges:
* Rape in the First Degree (2 counts)
* Sexual Abuse in the First Degree (2 counts)
* Sodomy in the First Degree (2 counts)
* Unlawful Sexual Penetration in the First Degree (2 counts)
* Felon in Possession of a Firearm (2 counts)
Detective Donnie Miller is the lead investigator.
 

>> 6/06/14 Three Dogs Die In Truck In Chiloquin

CHILOQUIN, Ore. (AP) — Authorities say three dogs died after an Oregon woman left them in her truck for four hours.Gale McMahon, assistant animal control officer for Klamath County, told the Mail Tribune he responded Monday to a restaurant on Highway 97 in Chiloquin after receiving a call that three Rottweilers had died from the heat. McMahon said someone tried to get them out of the vehicle and cool them. According to McMahon, the woman claimed she made phone calls after driving to the restaurant at about 9:15 a.m. The dogs remained in the vehicle until after 1 p.m. McMahon cited the 65-year-old woman on three counts of animal abuse. The Klamath County District Attorney's Office says it's reviewing the case and will only release the woman's name if she's officially charged.

 

>> 6/06/14 Suspect Nabbed In Alleged Attempted Kidnapping

On Thursday morning the father of a juvenile who was the target of an alleged attempted kidnapping on Monday spotted the suspect near Altamont and Onyx. Sheriff's deputies arrested 72 year old Mark Gorman of Klamath Falls and he is now jailed with bail set at $100,000.  The mother told police that the man tried to give her son $5 for helping him with a household chore but the boy ran away and told his parents.
 

>> 6/05/14 Attempted Kidnapping Reported

From The Klamath County Sheriff

On June 4, 2014, a school resource officer assigned to the Klamath County Schools received information of an attempted kidnapping.  An unknown male attempted to entice a male juvenile into his vehicle at a bus stop in the south suburbs near the baseball fields on June 2, 2014.  The unknown male asked the male juvenile to enter his vehicle and would pay the juvenile male for work at the unknown male’s house.  The unknown male has been seen the area.  The unknown male was not known to the male juvenile. The unknown male is described as older in his 60’s, balding on top with grey hair from ear to ear on his head, and a gap in his upper teeth.  The vehicle is described at a 2000’s Pontiac Grand Prix silver in color.  The vehicle has no license plates.  The male has also been seen in a white with red striping Late 1990’s – Early 2000’s Ford Pickup truck. The Klamath County Sheriff’s Office is asking the public for any information in regards to this incident as this is still under investigation.  You can contact Deputy Manny Diaz at (541) 810-1750 or (541) 883-5130 x8100. The Klamath County Sheriff’s Office would also like to ask parents and guardians to speak to their youth about safety and reporting suspicious activities.

 

>> 6/05/14 U S Supreme Court Refuses To Block Same Sex Marriage Ruling

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court is refusing to halt a federal judge's order declaring Oregon's same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional. The court issued an order Wednesday declining to block any new same-sex unions in the state while a federal appeals court considers whether an anti-gay marriage group can intervene in the case. The order follows an emergency appeal by the National Organization for Marriage that seeks to overturn the May 19 ruling of U.S. District Judge Michael McShane. The group had unsuccessfully tried to intervene in the lower court proceeding after Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum declined to defend the same-sex ban. Hundreds of same-sex Oregon couples have obtained marriage licenses since McShane's order. The group filed its request with Justice Anthony Kennedy and he referred it to the full court.

 

>> 6/05/14 Kyron Harmon Missing Four Years, No Arrests Made

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The father of a Portland, Oregon, boy who vanished four years ago has settled a custody case with a former wife, the last person known to have seen the boy alive. Kyron Horman was 7 on June 4, 2010. His stepmother, Terri Horman, told authorities she last saw him walking toward his classroom. A massive search came up empty. No arrests have been made. In a settlement signed Tuesday, his father, Kaine Horman, got custody of 5-year-old Kiara Horman, the daughter he had with Terri Horman. The couple divorced after Kyron disappeared. The settlement allows Terri Horman eventual visits with the daughter. Desiree Young, Kyron's biological mother and Kaine Horman's first wife, said in a Facebook message Wednesday that a private search will be conducted June 20, 21 and 22.

 

>> 6/04/14 Bealls Department Store Headed To Klamath Falls

Bealls, a Florida-based department store is coming to Klamath Falls this fall and will employ 25 people. A formal announcement will be made tomorrow, Thursday, at 11:45 at Starvin' Marvin's Restaurant. The store will be located in the former Gottschalks site this fall at the Town Center Mall.

 

>> 6/04/14 Wolf OR 7 Has Pups With Mate

GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — Biologists say Oregon's famous wandering wolf has fathered pups with a mate in the southern Cascade Range — the first confirmed wolf pack in those mountains since the 1940s. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced Wednesday that biologists went to a site on the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest east of Medford on Monday where photos and a GPS tracking collar showed the wolf known as OR-7 has been living with a mate. They saw two pups and may have heard more. OR-7 set off in search of a mate in September 2011, covering thousands of miles from his birthplace in northeastern Oregon to Northern California and back into southwestern Oregon. He is a descendant of wolves that were reintroduced in Idaho then migrated into Oregon in the 1990s.

 

>> 6/04/14 Senate Subcommittee Holds Hearing On Wyden's Klamath Basin Bill

The U-S Senate's Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee held a hearing Tuesday on Senator Ron Wyden's bill called The Klamath Water Recovery and Economic Restoration Act. Wyden's bill was developed out of the Upper Klamath Basin Comprehensive Agreement that was signed in late April It is believed Wyden's bill has a good chance of passing the U-S Senate but its fate in the U-S House is less clear because it calls for removal of four dams on the Klamath River. Wyden called the hearing on the bill, "A victory for The Oregon Way - the coming together of Oregonians from a variety of diverse backgrounds to solve challenges that virtually everybody thinks cannot be solved."

 

>> 6/04/14 Last Flights Leave Sky West

The last Sky West flights left the Crater Lake - Klamath Regional Airport this morning. Efforts are underway to find a new carrier. However, airport officials believe the earliest a new carrier will start serving this area is January 2015. The City of Klamath Falls, the Chamber of Commerce and airport officials have had talks with Portland-based airline SeaPort. So far the talks have not led to a decision by SeaPort to serve Klamath Falls.

 

>> 6/02/14 City Council Seats Up For Grabs In Election

City Council positions will be open this year in Wards 3, 4 and 5 for the General Election on November 4, 2014. Matt Dodson has served as Council Representative in Ward 3 since 2013, Dan Tofell has been the Council Representative for Ward 4 since 2011 and Bill Adams has represented Ward 5 since 2002. Qualifications under the City Charter to run for City Council are: Must be a resident of the City of Klamath Falls or area annexed to City continuously during the four (4) years immediately preceding the election. Council members need to be a resident of the ward. The timeline for filing for the General Election is no sooner than June 4, 2014 and no later than August 26, 2014. Ward 3 covers a portion of Mills Addition, Washburn and North Hills; Ward 4 covers a portion of the Hot Springs area from Manzanita North, Pelican City area and Harbor Isles; Ward 5 covers a small portion of downtown area and from Highway 97 East to Highway 140 near Ridgewater, and Lynnewood area. The City Recorder's office has a more detailed map. Any person interested in applying for the positions should contact City Recorder Elisa Olson at 500 Klamath Avenue, to obtain the necessary election manual and filing forms after June 4th. Questions can be answered by calling the office of the City Recorder at 883-5316.

 

>> 6/02/14 Roadcheck 2014 This Week

From Tuesday June 3 through Thursday June 5, ODOT inspectors around the state will conduct safety checks on trucks, drivers and loads at all six Oregon ports of entry. The effort will be part of Roadcheck 2014, a national truck safety event sponsored by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance. ODOT employees, all nationally certified truck inspectors, will check compliance with safety regulations and hand out safety information.

The inspectors will check if trucks comply with safety requirements, check if drivers are properly licensed and complying with rest requirements and make sure loads are properly secured. The inspections are aimed at limiting the number of crashes caused by safety violations.  

The ODOT ports of entry are at Ashland, Cascade Locks, Huntington, Klamath Falls, Umatilla and Woodburn.

 

>> 6/02/14 EPA Says Oregon Needs To Cut Carbon Dioxide Emissions

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon would be have to slash its carbon dioxide emissions nearly in half by 2030 under federal requirements the Obama administration is proposing to curb pollutants blamed for global warming. The state Department of Environmental Quality will be in charge of drawing plans to meet the goal. A DEQ official said Monday plans to stop burning coal at Portland General Electric's Boardman plant could be a big help. The plant in north-central Oregon is the only coal-fired electricity plant in the state, and PGE has said it plans to stop using coal there by 2020. Nationwide, the country's carbon emissions from the power sector must be reduced by 30 percent below 2005 levels over the next 15 years. Each state has an individual goal. Oregon's is a 48 percent reduction.

 

>> 5/30/14 Klamath County Man Killed Trying To Cut A Tree

CRESCENT LAKE, Ore. (AP) — Oregon state troopers say a 72-year-old Klamath County man trying to cut down a tree died when it fell on him. The police say the man had tied one end of the rope to the tree, the other to an all-terrain vehicle, and he was using the vehicle to put tension on the line. The police said the man's wife found his body Thursday night pinned under the tree, which had struck him in the head. He was about 20 feet from the base of the tree. It was about a foot in diameter. He was identified as Eugene Frank Andrews of Crescent Lake, in northwest Klamath County.

 

>> 5/30/14 The 2014 Fire Season Begins Monday Morning

Continued warm, dry and windy weather conditions have prompted fire officials in Klamath and Lake Counties to declare fire season beginning Monday, June 2, 2014 at 12:01 A.M. on lands protected by the Klamath-Lake District, Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF). This affects all private, county, and state forest lands, as well as those Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands west of the Gerber Reservoir Area in Klamath County.  “Conditions have reached the stage where regulatory fire prevention measures are necessary to reduce the potential of human caused fire starts,” stated Randall Baley, Protection Fire Planner, Oregon Department of Forestry. “By implementing these fire restrictions and promoting public awareness about fire prevention and changing local conditions, we can keep the number of and damages resulting from human caused fires down.” The “Fire Season in effect” declaration puts into place regulations restricting debris burning and timber harvest operations.  Wildland and structural fire protection agencies in Klamath County have agreed to prohibit all outdoor debris burning.  Forest operations that require a Permit to Operate Power Driven Machinery now are required to have Fire tool, on-site water supply, and watchman service on privately owned forest land.   Declaring “Fire Season” also prohibits the release of sky lanterns, the discharge of exploding targets or the discharge of tracer ammunition during this period. Walker Range Forest Patrol, in Northern Klamath and Lake Counties went into Fire Season, May 22, 2014.  Southwest Oregon District, Oregon Department of Forestry  [Jackson and Josephine Counties] is anticipating going into “Fire Season” mid-June.

In addition to the “Declaration of Fire Season”, ODF and the Klamath Resource Area (BLM) will be placing the Klamath River Canyon area from Keno to the State Line in a “Regulated Closure”.  The Closure stipulates the following:

1)   Possession of the following fire-fighting equipment is required while traveling in the forest, except on state and county roads: an axe, a shovel, and one gallon of water or one 2½ pound or larger fire extinguisher.

·       “Axe” means a wood cutting tool having a handle of not less than 26 inches in length and a head weight of not less than 2 pounds.

·        “Shovel,” means a digging tool having a handle not less than 26 inches in length and a blade of not less than 8 inches in width.

2)   Smoking in wildland areas is permitted only in enclosed vehicles on roads.  Smoking is prohibited while working or traveling in an industrial operation area.

3)   Open fires, including campfires, charcoal fires, cooking fires and warming fires, are permitted only at posted and designated sites.

4)   Non-Industrial Chainsaw usage is prohibited between 1 P.M. and 8 P.M.

5)   Fireworks usage is prohibited within the Closure Area.

The Klamath River Canyon has been placed under this Regulated Closure due to its lower elevation, drier fuels, and steep terrain. The Klamath-Lake District website [http://www.oregon.gov/ODF/pages/field/kl/aboutklamathlake.aspx] is available to assist in keeping people informed of current and changing conditions for our area.

>> 5/30/14 Governor Wants Attorney General To Sue Oracle

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The main technology contractor responsible for building Oregon's failed online health insurance exchange says the governor is unjustly trying to blame it for the Cover Oregon fiasco. The statement Thursday from Oracle Corp. follows an announcement by Gov. John Kitzhaber that he's asked Oregon's attorney general to sue the Redwood City, California-based company. Oregon paid Oracle $134 million in federal funds to build what turned out to be a glitch-filled website. The state abandoned plans for fixing the site and is switching to the federal portal. Oracle says the state badly mismanaged the project by "consistently failing to deliver requirements in a timely manner and failing to staff the project with skilled personnel." The state is still withholding $25.6 million in payments from the company.

 

>> 5/30/14 State Sees Spike In STD's

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — State health officials say they're alarmed by increased numbers of syphilis and gonorrhea cases in Oregon. The Salem Statesman Journal (http://stjr.nl/1kcy0nT) reports that Oregon Health Authority figures show that early syphilis cases are at their highest levels since 1989. The agency says gonorrhea cases jumped 18 percent from 2012 to 2013.Dr. Sean Schafer, a medical epidemiologist with the authority, says the numbers are reminiscent of those from the late 1980s and early 1990s. Oregon's syphilis rate, at 10 per 100,000 people, is almost twice that of the national rate, 5.3 cases per 100,000.

 

>> 5/29/14 American Legion Taking Over Snowflake Festival

KFLS News has learned the American Legion, Post 8 in Klamath Falls is taking over the annual Snowflake Festival this year. A volunteer with the Legion, Jim Phillips told KFLS News the Chamber of Commerce wants to focus on their education programs and as a result wanted to end its connection to the event. Phillips says there may be more events added to the festival and at the same time he plans to reach out to the community to find more sponsors for the festival. The festival has been sponsored for several years by Wal-Mart and Klamath Falls City Parks.

 

>> 5/29/14 Klamath County Public Health Moving, Closed Next Week

The Klamath County Public Health Department will be moving to its new location at 3314 Vandenberg Road the week of June 2 through June 6, 2014.  The department will be closed during that week for all services.  We will be monitoring incoming calls for emergencies or urgent business.

·        Operation of the Clinic will be suspended for the week 

·        WIC will not be scheduling clients for the week and vouchers will not be available for pick up during the week. 

·        Registrar’s Office will be closed for birth and death certificates for the week. 

·        Environmental Health Food Handler tests (EHFHT) will not be conducted on June 3rd

·        Environmental Health Temporary restaurant licenses needed for the weekend of June 6th, 7th, or 8th can be obtained from 4pm to 5pm on 6/5th or 6/6th.

·        Individuals and families seeking health insurance information through Cover Oregon 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. Appointments will not be scheduled during move week. We apologize for any inconvenience our move week imposes on our clients and customers. We will be excited to host you at our new facility on Vandenberg Road beginning Monday June 9, 2014. The Public Health Department will reopen at 8 a.m. on Monday June 9, 2014 for normal business. The offices of Public Health Clinic, Environmental Health, and Women Infant & Children (WIC) will assume regular business hours on June 9th.

>> 5/29/14 Justice Kennedy Wants More Information About Gay Marriage Ruling

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A U.S. Supreme Court justice is asking for more information before any ruling on an effort by the National Organization for Marriage to halt same-sex marriages in Oregon. The Oregonian reports that Justice Anthony Kennedy on Wednesday asked that briefs be filed by Monday from the parties in the two lawsuits that led to U.S. District Judge Michael McShane's May 19 ruling that allowed gays and lesbians to marry in Oregon. Kennedy hears emergency appeals from the region that includes Oregon. The National Organization for Marriage opposes gay marriage. It filed its request for a stay on Tuesday. Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum declined to defend the state's same-sex marriage ban, saying she agreed with the plaintiffs that the ban violated the federal constitutional rights of gay and lesbian couples.

 

>> 5/28/14 Hoopa Tribes Oppose Wyden Bill

The Hoopa  Tribes have released a statement opposing the Upper Klamath Basin Agreement that led to the introduction of a bill in the U-S Senate by Oregon Senator Ron Wyden and others. The tribes say the bill directs the Interior Department to cut off the tribes rights to Klamath River water and fish in favor of water diversions for irrigation in Oregon. Wyden's spokesman Tom Towslee says, "We disagree with the characterization of what the bill does."  The Executive Director of the Klamath Water Users Association, Greg Addington, says the Wyden bill approves the KBRA exactly as it was designed and focuses on issues related to the Klamath River not the Trinity River.

 

>> 5/28/14 State Tax Revenues Expected To Go Up Slightly

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon economists say improving employment will lead to a slight uptick in their state revenue projections. The quarterly revenue forecast was delivered to state lawmakers on Wednesday. It projects that the state will collect $55 million more than was expected three months ago. Economists say the increase is driven primarily by strong job growth, especially in the housing industry. State economist Mark McMullen says the higher-than-expected revenue from the personal income tax is inching close to the threshold that would trigger "kicker" tax rebates for individuals. The rebates totaling at least $290 million would kick in if revenue exceeds expectations by at least 2 percent.

>> 5/28/14 School District May Allow Teachers To Give Out Condoms To Students

GERVAIS, Ore. (AP) — A school district in Marion County will allow some teachers to make condoms available to students as young as sixth-graders. Superintendent Rick Hensel of the Gervais (JER'-vuhs) School District tells the Salem Statesman Journal (http://stjr.nl/1oK7S4x ) the board is concerned about teen pregnancy. Nine girls got pregnant this year, about 5 percent of the girls in grades six through 12. A report from nursing interns at Oregon Health & Science University a year ago showed 7 percent of high school girls had gotten pregnant. Board minutes show it supported condom distribution, as long as it was done by trained professionals, but the minutes were not more specific. Hensel says he assumes the responsibility will fall on health teachers. Gervais is a town of about 2,500 people north of Salem.

 

>> 5/23/14 Man Jailed On Vandalism Charges

Police have arrested a man for causing an estimated $000 to $5000 damage to the Veterans Memorial.  30-year old Chad Anthony Potter is also accused of vandalizing City Hall, Amerititle, the Post Office, the Downtown Library, the Baldwin Hotel Museum and city and county vehicles.  Potter is jailed with bail set at $25,000.  Potter was arrested early Wednesday morning when police saw him, hitting a downtown window with a hammer.

 

>> 5/23/14 Crater Lake North Entrance Opens This (Friday) Afternoon

The North Entrance Road in Crater Lake National Park will open for travel Friday afternoon, May 23, 2014 – just in time for the holiday weekend.  Superintendent Craig Ackerman announced that visitors will now be able to drive to and from the park via this popular route and access spectacular views of the lake from West Rim Drive.   This is a very early opening for Crater Lake’s North Entrance.  Warm temperatures and a low snow pack have resulted in a greatly accelerated spring opening this year. Some snow still remains on the ground at park headquarters.  Snow depth is greater at many locations around the rim.  All trails, including the Cleetwood Trail, are still closed and snow covered.  However, it is possible to hike and bike on the parts of East Rim Drive that have been plowed, but are not yet open to traffic.  National Park Service snow removal crews are now focusing their efforts on opening other parts of the park.  More information will be issued when the entire Rim Drive is open for travel.

>> 5/23/14 Report Blames Inexperience Overweight Vehicle For Death Of Firefighter

GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — Investigators say a 19-year-old tanker truck driver who died last year at a Southern Oregon wildfire had limited driving experience, his rig was too heavy with water, and its brakes were inadequate. The Grants Pass Daily Courier reports the truck got out of control, hit an embankment and rolled, killing Jesse Trader. A report from state and federal agencies said he was on his first documented assignment driving the truck, about a week after getting a commercial driver's license allowing him to drive a tanker. Investigators found that the truck was more than 5,000 pounds overweight, it had brakes only on the rear axle, and inspections at the fire missed several deficiencies.

 

>> 5/23/14 Bellotti Elected To Hall Of Fame

IRVING, Texas (AP) — Former Oregon coach Mike Bellotti has been elected to the College Football Hall of Fame. Bellotti's election was announced Thursday by the National Football Foundation. He will be formally inducted along with the other members of this year's Hall of Fame Class on Dec. 9 in New York. Bellotti coached at Oregon for 14 seasons and was the school's all-time winningest coach. He stepped down in 2008 and briefly served as Oregon's athletic director before taking a job in broadcasting. He is the Ducks' eighth overall member of the Hall of Fame and first since Ahmad Rashad in 2007. He's the third coach, joining Hugo Bezdek and Len Casanova.

 

>> 5/21/14 Klamath County Election Results Now In

Klamath county voters have rejected the County Charter by a 65% to 35% margin. The charter called for hiring a County Administrator at a salary of near $200,000 while cutting commissioners salaries to $24,000 a year. Voters also elected Kelley Minty Morris giving her more than 62% of the vote. By winning with more than 50% of the vote Morris will not (not) have to run in the November election and will be sworn in in January 2015. Voters also approved a 5-year levy for the Klamath County Museum which will use the money for its programs and activities in the community. Voters also approved a five year levy for Klamath County Emergency Dispatch 9-1-1 which will use the money to hire more dispatchers.

 

>> 5/21/14 Voters Say "No" To GMO Crops In Jackson, Josephine Counties

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Voters in Jackson County, Oregon, have voted to ban genetically engineered crops. With most of the ballots counted Tuesday, voters in the southern Oregon county were passing the measure by a 2-to-1 margin. A similar measure enjoyed a strong lead in neighboring Josephine County. Though it's a local issue, the measure attracted national interest and money. A pair of competing campaigns raised $1.3 million to sway Jackson County's 120,000 registered voters. Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber signed a bill last fall that prohibits local governments from regulating genetically engineered crops. An exception was made for Jackson County because its measure had already qualified for the ballot. Josephine County opponents of GMOs went ahead with their own measure, saying they'll let the courts decide if the vote is valid.

 

>> 5/21/14 Incumbent Congressmen Survive Primary Challenges

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — All five of Oregon's representatives in the U.S. House won their primaries. Only two incumbents had challengers in Tuesday's election. Republican Rep. Greg Walden defeated Dennis Linthicum, who said Walden wasn't conservative enough and too close to the GOP leadership. In November, Walden will face Democrat Aelea Christofferson, who defeated two other Democrats to receive her party's nomination. Rep. Kurt Schrader defeated fellow Democrat Anita Brown. He'll face Clackamas County Commissioner Tootie Smith in the general election. She defeated political consultant Ben Pollock. In the GOP contest to take on Democratic Rep. Suzanne Bonamici, only a few hundred votes out of 24,000 separated Republicans Jason Yates and Delinda Morgan. Republican James Buchal and Art Robinson ran unopposed. They'll face Democratic Reps. Earl Blumenauer and Peter DeFazio, respectively.

 

>> 5/19/14 Mustafa Convicted

NEW YORK -- An Egyptian Islamic preacher whose fiery sermons before and after 9/11 attracted extremists to his London mosque was convicted Monday in a trial that a prosecutor said should provide justice for the victims of a kidnapping in Yemen more than a decade ago. The cleric, Mustafa Kamel Mustafa, 55, was found guilty in federal court in Manhattan just weeks after al-Qaida's spokesman after the Sept. 11 attacks was convicted. Attorney General Eric Holder championed that verdict as a triumph for civil courts. Mustafa was accused of providing material support to terrorist organizations by enabling hostage takers in the Yemen kidnapping to speak on a satellite phone, by sending men to establish an al-Qaida training camp in Bly, Oregon, and by sending at least one man to training camps in Afghanistan. He was extradited in 2012 from England, where he led London's Finsbury Park Mosque in the 1990s, reportedly attended by both Sept. 11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui and shoe bomber Richard Reid. Mustafa denied that he ever met them.

 

>>5/19/14 Gay Marriage Ban Struck Down

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A federal judge has struck down Oregon's same-sex marriage ban, saying it is unconstitutional.U.S. District Judge Michael McShane threw out the voter-approved ban Monday. State officials have said they'd be prepared to carry out same-sex marriages almost immediately, and couples lined up outside the county clerk's office in Portland in anticipation of the decision. Four gay and lesbian couples brought suit arguing Oregon's marriage laws unconstitutionally discriminate against same-sex couples and exclude them from a fundamental right. State officials refused to defend the ban, and McShane earlier denied a request by the National Organization for Marriage to intervene on behalf of its Oregon members. An appeals court Monday morning refused the group's request for an emergency stay of McShane's decision. Klamath County Clerk Linda Smith says she will begin issuing marriage licenses based upon the judge's ruling and the rulinmgt takes effect immediately. There is still a 3-day waiting period for marriages on the books in Oregon.

 

>> 5/19/14 9th Circuit Rejects Appeal From Defense Of Marriage

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A federal appeals court's ruling has cleared the way for same-sex marriages to begin immediately in Oregon if a judge's ruling allows it. A panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday denied a national group's request to block a federal judge's impending ruling that could strike down the state's same-sex marriage ban. U.S. District Judge Michael McShane is expected to invalidate the voter-approved ban at noon. The state attorney general had refused to defend the ban in lawsuits brought by four same-sex couples. The National Organization for Marriage earlier unsuccessfully sought to defend the ban on behalf of its Oregon members. On Monday morning, the 9th Circuit panel denied the group's request for an emergency stay.

 

 

>> 5/19/14 9th Circuit Says No

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Appeals court denies group's request for emergency stay blocking Oregon gay marriage ruling.

 

>> 5/19/14 Gay Marriage Ruling Expected At Noon Today

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A federal judge says he'll issue a decision today on a constitutional challenge to Oregon's same-sex marriage ban. U.S. District Judge Michael McShane has notified attorneys that he'll publish his decision at noon Monday. Four gay and lesbian couples brought suit arguing Oregon's marriage laws unconstitutionally discriminate against same-sex couples. Democratic Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum says the ban is legally indefensible and refused to offer arguments supporting it. State officials have said same-sex marriages could begin almost immediately after a decision

 

>> 5/19/14 Group Appeals Judge's Denial In Gay Marriage Case

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A national group that sought to defend Oregon's gay marriage ban is taking its case to a federal appeals court, just hours before a judge is expected to strike down the ban. U.S. District Judge Michael McShane says he'll rule on the voter-approved ban at noon. Both sides in the lawsuit over the ban have asked that it be found unconstitutional. And gay couples are poised to tie the knot immediately if allowed by McShane's decision. But on Monday morning, the National Organization for Marriage filed an emergency appeal with the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The group is asking for a stay of a ruling that prohibited it from defending the state's ban. Four gay and lesbian couples brought the lawsuit, arguing Oregon's marriage laws unconstitutionally discriminate against same-sex couples.

 

>> 5/19/14 State Pays Lots Of Agency Heads More Than The Governor

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — A review of Oregon's database of state employee salaries shows that sometimes, the directors of tiny departments get paid more than the governor. The Statesman Journal reports that the state's best paid agency head is Nancy Golden, who makes $225,000 leading the 12 employees at the Oregon Education Investment Board. The Department of Administrative Services says the salary includes a bump added to make the position more competitive. Gov. John Kitzhaber makes $98,600 — less than most of the state's agency directors, in spite of leading the state's entire executive branch. He makes less than the directors of the Commission for the Blind, the Psychiatric Security Review Board, the Board of Dentistry, the Oregon State Library and many more. Rob Saxton, director of the Department of Education, makes $189,996. He is the third-highest paid agency director, even though his agency is the state's 18th largest.

 

>> 5/16/14 Hope Street Fires Leave Ten Families Homeless

The suspected arson fires in the 1600 block of Hope Street on Wednesday have left ten families homeless. District attorney Rob Patridge says the fires killed at least three dogs. The Klamath Falls chapter of the Red Cross is helping the displaced families. Anyone wanting to help can donate by calling the Red Cross at 541-884-4125.

 

>> 5/16/14 Threats On Social Media Postpone Tribal Meeting

Threats made on social media about a meeting of the Klamath Tribes scheduled for tomorrow (Saturday) have resulted in a postponement of the meeting. The threats of physical violence, intimidation and harassment are the result of last month's vote by trial members for the Upper Klamath Basin Comprehensive Agreement reached with Upper Basin irrigators.  Members voted in favor by a 564-to-419 vote margin.  Klamath Tribal Chair Don Gentry says the threats are being taken seriously. Gentry says all of the rules were followed during the voting process. The meeting has been rescheduled for Saturday May 31st at 10:00 a.m. at the Klamath Tribes Administrative Office in Chiloquin.

 

>> 5/16/14 Free Dump Day Tomorrow At Regional Facility

A free dump day is being offered tomorrow (Saturday) only at the Klamath Regional Disposal Facility

at 4005 Tingley Lane. Household garbage and a maximum of 6 tires without rims can be dumped at no charge. The facility also accepts most electronics.

 

 5/15/14 Major Crime Team Investigating Hope Street Arson Fires

On Wednesday, May 14, 2014, the Klamath County Major Crime Team was activated to investigate a suspected arson of multiple occupied residences in the 1600 block of Hope Street, Klamath Falls, Oregon.  Fire personnel responded to the two alarm fire units included: Klamath County Fire District No. 1, Keno Fire District, Kingsley Field Fire Department, and Merrill Rural Fire District.  Multiple residences were damaged by fire. Many families have been displaced and the Red Cross has been engaged to assist them.  The crime scene is currently secured and the Major Crime Team is continuing its investigation. The Oregon State Police Arson Unit is leading the investigation. 

Any information the public may have related to this investigation may be relayed to the Klamath County Major Crime Team by calling 541-883-5334. 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.

 

>> 5/15/14 Bureau Of Reclamation Releases Drought Plan

The Bureau of Reclamation says due to the drought, Klamath Project "B" land irrigators will be limited to one acre foot of water per acre. The Deputy Regional Director Jason Phillips says there is a reasonable expectation that with the new limit the total project supply should not run out until the end of irrigation season.

 

>> 5/15/14 Jury Deciding Cleric's Fate

NEW YORK (AP) — A jury in New York has begun deliberations in the trial of an Egyptian imam accused of supporting terrorist organizations from his London mosque. Jury deliberations began Thursday morning in the case brought against Mustafa Kamel Mustafa (muh-STAH'-fuh kah-MEHL' muh-STAH'-fuh). U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest in Manhattan warned jurors not to be "swayed by sympathy, prejudice or fear." Prosecutors said the 55-year-old cleric provided a satellite phone to men who abducted 16 tourists in Yemen in December 1998. Four of the hostages died. They also said he supported al-Qaida by plotting to open a training camp near Bly, Oregon in late 1999 and by sending young men to Afghanistan training camps. Mustafa testified he never supported al-Qaida or any terrorist acts. He was brought to the United States in 2012.

 

>> 5/14/14 Prosecutor Says Cleric Lied In Court

NEW YORK (AP) — A prosecutor is warning jurors in closing arguments at a New York terrorism trial not to be fooled by the testimony of the defendant, a London imam charged with supporting al-Qaida. Then a defense lawyer urged them to put emotions aside and realize his client is not guilty. The contrasting accounts were offered Wednesday at the trial of Mustafa Kamel Mustafa (muh-STAH'-fuh kah-MEHL' muh-STAH'-fuh), who's accused of conspiring to support al-Qaida by setting up a terrorist training camp near Bly, Oregon, and aiding the kidnappers of 16 tourists in Yemen in 1998. Assistant U.S. Attorney Ian McGinley says the 55-year-old Mustafa lied when he testified that he did not support terrorism. McGinley says he was trying to deceive jurors. Defense attorney Jeremy Schneider says prosecutors took Mustafa's words out of context. He urged jurors to put aside emotions and acquit

 

>> 5/14/14 Judge Says No To National Organization For Marriage

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — A federal judge has ruled that a national group cannot defend Oregon's ban on same-sex marriage after the state attorney general refused to do so. U.S. District Judge Michael McShane on Wednesday denied the National Organization for Marriage's motion to intervene. The decision paves the way for a ruling on the constitutionality of Oregon's same-sex marriage ban, which could come at any time. The national group argued it should be allowed to intervene on behalf of its members in Oregon. They include a county clerk, the owner of a wedding business and a voter who cast a ballot in favor of the 2004 constitutional ban. Democratic Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum argues the ban is legally indefensible and should be thrown out.

 

>> 5/14/14 Governor Orders Flags At Hazlf-staff Tomorrow (Thursday)

(Salem, OR) — At the request of President Obama, Governor Kitzhaber today ordered all flags at public institutions statewide to be flown at half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Thursday, May 15, in observation of Peace Officers Memorial Day.

 

>> 5/14/14 Authorities Say Veterans Foundation Is A Fake

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Clackamas County authorities allege a 50-year-old Happy Valley man set up a fake foundation to solicit money to help veterans with post-traumatic stress after his son returned from National Guard service in Iraq and committed suicide. The sheriff's office says there's no evidence the nonprofit existed, and it asked victims to come forward. A statement from the sheriff's office says Michael Andrew Brennan was arrested Tuesday on theft by deception charges. He's also accused of food stamp fraud and of taking money from his father-in-law. A call to a number at Brennan's address was not returned, nor was an email to an address on the Saving America's Heroes webpage. Whether he had a lawyer could not be determined. His son, Matthew Michael Brennan, died in 2011.

 

>> 5/13/14 State Adds Thousands Of Jobs Since March

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — After a battering in the Great Recession and a slow recovery, Oregon's job market is showing springtime vigor. The state Employment Department said Tuesday Oregon added about 15,000 jobs in March and April, the largest two-month increase since 2005. The department says that, compared to national trends, Oregon lost a larger share of jobs during the recession and was slower at first to regain them. The department says Oregon is now adding jobs at a faster annual rate than the nation as a whole, 2.6 percent versus 1.7 percent. Despite that, Oregon's unemployment rate remains at 6.9 percent, because baby boomers are retiring and shrinking the workforce. The percentage of Oregonians employed or looking for work is at its lowest level since comparable statistics began to be compiled, in 1976.

 

>> 5/13/14 Fire Heavily Damages Wall Street Home

A fire that caused heavy damage to a home in the 1700 block of Wall Street just before noon on Monday is believed to have been caused by a kitchen fire.  Home owner Curtis Tron told KFLS News he put some eggs on the stove then went to the store.  The 53 year old Tron says the fire engines were at his home by the time he arrived back from the store. Battalion Fire Chief Tom Morehouse told KFLS News, firefighters were hampered during initial attack due to heavy smoke in the home and furniture that blocked their pathway. Damage to the home estimated at $48,000 and $24,000 to the contents. The home was declared unfit to occupy.

 

>> 5/13/14 Meetings This Week For Upper Basin Landowners

The Klamath Soil & Water Conservation District and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) will hold meetings this week on funding for conservation projects in the Sprague, Williamson and Wood River watersheds. The NRCS is investing $11-million over the next five years to help Upper Basin farmers and ranchers with $4.5-million available this year. The meetings are being held today (Tuesday) from Noon to 4:00 p.m. at the Chiloquin Community Center...tomorrow (Wednesday) from Noon to 4:00 p.m. at the Bly Fire Hall...and on Thursday from Noon to 4:00 p.m. at the OSU Research & Extension Service on Washburn Way.

 

>> 5/12/14 BREAKING NEWS...Missing Skier Found

BEND, Ore. (AP) — Searchers say a 21-year skier missing on Mount Bachelor has been found after spending the night in the snow. He was reported in good condition, though. The Bend Bulletin (http://bit.ly/1jzuAeK) reports that 21-year-old Ryan Melrose Deyoung was well beyond the boundary of the ski area when search and rescue teams found him late Monday morning. Lt. Scott Shelton, the county search coordinator, confirmed the rescue and said medics were evaluating Deyoung.The National Weather Service said the overnight temperature dropped to about freezing where Deyoung was found. Deyoung has autism. He was reported missing Sunday afternoon after the ski patrol found tracks crossing the boundary and couldn't find the skier.

 

 

>> 5/12/14 Major Crime Team Investigating Homicide

KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. (AP) — Klamath County authorities say they're investigating the death of a 61-year-old man east of Klamath Falls. District Attorney Rob Patridge said the body of Steven Edward Dann was found Saturday. He described the death as a homicide and says there's no danger to the community. Dann lived in a rural area along Oregon 140 about 30 miles east of Klamath Falls known as Bly Mountain.

 

>> 5/12/14 Super PAC's Contributing Big Money To GOP Candidates For U-S Senate

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Big donors are making their voices heard in Oregon's Republican primary for U.S. Senate. Campaign finance records show that three super PACs and a traditional political action committee have reported spending at least $956,000 supporting or opposing the two leading candidates, state Rep. Jason Conger and Portland physician Monica Wehby. A fourth super PAC has registered with the Federal Election Commission, but it has not yet reported raising or spending money. Enabled by Supreme Court opinions on campaign finance, super PACs can raise and spend unlimited sums on federal races. Two outside groups funded by social conservatives are backing Conger, and two are backing Wehby. The money has paid for advertisements on television, radio and the Internet, as well as mailers arriving along with ballots in Republicans' mailboxes. Ballots are due May 20.


>> 5/12/14 Searchers Looking For Missing Man At Mt. Bachelor

BEND, Ore. (AP) — The search is continuing Monday morning for a skier on Mount Bachelor. Deschutes County deputies and the Mount Bachelor Ski Patrol believe 21-year-old Ryan Melrose DeYoung of Bend went past a "catch line" Sunday on the ski resort boundary. KTVZ reports (http://bit.ly/1lbVpSJ) DeYoung is described as autistic. Search and rescue teams have been searching the slopes by ski and snowmobiles. Authorities also called in an Air Link helicopter and requested an Oregon National Guard helicopter. They were also investigating the possibility DeYoung had made it to a highway and caught a ride to Bend.

 

>> 5/9/14 Three Duck Basketball Players Booted

Three Oregon basketball players who were investigated but not charged in an alleged sexual assault have been dismissed from the team. The school announced at a press conference Friday that the players, 19-year-old Damyean Dotson, 19-year-old Dominic Artis, and 18-year-old Brandon Austin, were suspended because their conduct was not befitting student-athletes based on allegations made by a student who said she was assaulted by the players at a postgame party and at an apartment in early March. The Lane County district attorney's office that investigated the allegations determined that there was not enough evidence to prosecute the players on criminal charges. While Oregon was informed of the allegations, school and team officials were asked not to take action so as not to interfere with the police investigation. Two of the athletes subsequently played in NCAA tournament games for the Ducks.

 

>> 5/9/14 Dozens Arrested For Food Stamp Debit Card Fraud

An investigation into a massive food stamp debit card fraud operation that began with Operation Trojan Horse has led to the arrests of 30 people with dozens more expected to be arrested soon. The Klamath County Sheriff’s Department was joined by federal agents from the U-S Department of Agriculture late last year when they launched an undercover investigation called “Operation Gold Card.” Police say two businesses were at the heart of the fraud and had been operating the criminal operation for at least three years. The fraudulent businesses were a meat market, Carniceria Mi Pueblo at 333 East Main Street and a taco stand, Taqueria Mi Pueblo at 2110 Oregon Avenue. Both businesses were closed and seized by the U-S Attorney. The owners of the businesses were arrested during raids Thursday morning. They have been identified as 52 year old Severo Toro-Castellon and 45 year old Rafael Mortega-Vargas. A third primary suspect 33 year old Jose Morena Hernandez was also arrested. The three face numerous counts of charges including Theft, Criminal Conspiracy, Computer Crime and Unlawful Use Of Food Stamps.  Police say people with Oregon Trail debit cards would go to the meat market and the owners would ring up $200 in sales and then hand the person back $100. Frequently, police say, that cash money was used by the debit cardholders to buy alcohol and methamphetamine. Police estimated that the criminal operation netted the business owners 12-to-20-thousand dollars a month for at least three years. Some of the money was then laundered through the Oregon Avenue taco stand which operated as a “cash only” business. Police have arrested 27 debit card holders and are looking for 32 more people who have warrants out for their arrest. Police say all of the debit cardholders who have been or will be arrested had real debit cards, not counterfeits. If convicted of the crime of fraud the recipients will be eliminated from the food stamp program for life.   The initial break for police came during investigation into the murders of two California  men near Bonanza last year. Police interviewed a man they thought had been involved in the murders but as it turned out the man did not have any involvement. Instead police learned the man had stolen $67,000 worth of drugs from Mexican drug cartels and was paying the cartels back by sending cash payments from the wire transfer service at the meat market. Undercover agents using Oregon Trail food stamp debit cards were able to infiltrate the meat market operation and learned that the fraud was “common knowledge” among food stamp recipients in the area.  Sheriff Frank Skrah says police have learned the operation “has tenacles” and hinted that investigations in nearby counties and communities could follow the undercover operation. Skrah refused to say how many, if any, children have been taken into protective custody as the result of their parents being arrested for participation in the fraud.   

>> 5/9/14 Bad Weather Hampers Search At Crater Lake Park

The search for a snowshoe hiker who is believed to have fallen from the rim of Crater Lake has been hampered by storms and low visibility. The identity of the hiker has not been released at the request of family. Park officials will only confirm it is a man but he is not from Oregon. The weekend weather outlook at the park calls for more storms and low visibility.

>> 5/9/14 Cover Oregon Owes Huge Debt To Insurance Agents

DURHAM, Ore. (AP) — Cover Oregon says it owes about $900,000 to the health insurance agents who were trained and certified through the exchange and have enrolled thousands of Oregonians, but who have not been paid since enrollment began. The admission came after a board meeting Thursday during which an angry agent told officials he hasn't been paid over the past five months. Cover Oregon interim executive director Clyde Hamstreet said the corporation sent checks totaling more than $200,000 to the agents Wednesday and plans to send out more checks next week. About 1,000 agents accounted for 18 percent of Cover Oregon's enrollments in private plans. That means they enrolled about 14,000 of the 77,500 total enrollees in private plans via the exchange.

 

>> 5/8/14 No Sign Of Snowshoe Hiker At Crater Lake

A snowshoe hiker reported missing April 30th still has not been found. Park officials believe there is a chance the snowshoe hiker may have stepped on a snow cornice near the rim and fell into Crater Lake, a distance of about 1,000 feet. Park officials have not identified the missing person.

 

>> 5/8/14 Drought Declaration For Jackson County

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Gov. John Kitzhaber has added a sixth county to the list of drought emergency declarations — Jackson County in Southern Oregon. Drought emergency declarations allow the state to prioritize use of water for human consumption and livestock, and they enable residents hurt by drought to get federal aid. Earlier this year, Kitzhaber declared drought emergencies in Crook, Harney, Klamath, Lake and Malheur counties. Kitzhaber said Wednesday that in a separate drought action, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has designated six Oregon counties as natural disaster areas, making farmers in those and contiguous counties eligible for assistance including emergency loans. Those six counties are Harney, Jackson, Klamath, Lake, Lane and Malheur.

 

>> 5/8/124 Mt Ashland Reorganizes

ASHLAND, Ore. (AP) — The ski area at Mount Ashland has eliminated its general manager's job as part of a reorganization after a winter without snow strained its finances. The Daily Tidings reports (http://bit.ly/1uGIWOP ) the elimination of the job held by Kim Clark since 2007 is the first step in a yearlong reorganization. Development director Rick Saul will serve as interim executive director while a job search is conducted. The board hasn't decided whether that job will be seasonal or full time. The ski area association says it will continue to operate concessions at Howard Prairie Resort for Jackson County. The ski area was not able to open for the first time in its history. It has taken out a "lifeline loan" of $750,000 from the Small Business Administration to cover revenue shortfalls.

 

>> 5/7/14 Snowshoe Hiker Missing At Crater Lake National Park

CRATER LAKE, OREGON – Rangers at Crater Lake National Park are searching for a missing snowshoe hiker last seen on Monday, April 28. The park received a report of a missing visitor on Wednesday morning April 30. The report indicated that the visitor had arrived at the park two days earlier, rented snowshoes from the park concessioner, and set off to hike and take photos.  Park rangers immediately began a search of the Rim Village area and located the missing hiker’s vehicle.  Rangers contacted others who rented snowshoes during the time period between Monday and Wednesday.  Following a lead, search teams responded to an area near the crater rim, and observed snowshoe tracks leading from the trail onto a snow cornice that had collapsed.  Extensive search efforts in that area by ground and air have not located the individual.  The search has been scaled back, but is ongoing as weather and snow conditions permit.  Investigation of the lakeshore by boat will occur once access is possible. Snow cornices pose a serious hazard. Cornices are formed when snow is blown over sharp terrain like the rim of Crater Lake.  The snow forms an overhang with no solid ground beneath it for support.  Snow cornices are a regular occurrence in the park this time of year and can collapse without warning.  Visitors should use extreme caution and stay away from the edge of the rim at all times. 

>>5/7/14 State Water Resources Staff In Town Until Friday

Groundwater staff from the Oregon Water Resources Department are in the area through Friday May 9th and are available to answer questions from Upper Basin farmers and ranchers about groundwater use and potential regulation of wells. Call the Klamath Basin Watermaster's Office (541) 883-4182 for more information.

 

>> 5-7-14 OIT Geomatics Team Takes Second In Competition

A team of students from the Oregon Tech Geomatics Department took second place in the annual National Society of Professional Land Surveyors Student Competition this April. The National Society of Professional Surveyors (NSPS) held its 14th Annual Student Competition in conjunction with the California Land Surveyors Association (CLSA)/Nevada Association of Land Surveyors (NALS) joint conference in San Diego, California on April 12-16, 2014. 12 schools with baccalaureate degree programs in surveying, surveying engineering technology, and/or surveying engineering participated.

First Place: Southern Polytechnic State University

Second Place: Oregon Institute of Technology- Klamath Falls, Oregon

Third Place: Fresno State University

>> 5/7/14 DOJ Says No Special Session Needed To Deal With Cover Oregon

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Lawyers for the state Department of Justice say Cover Oregon doesn't need the Legislature's approval to ditch its technology and switch to the federally run enrollment website. The opinion is outlined in a memo released Tuesday by Gov. John Kitzhaber's office. It contradicts an analysis written last week by legislative-branch lawyers, who said only the Legislature can make such a change. The previous legal opinion had raised the specter of a special session, which Cover Oregon officials now say is unnecessary. Cover Oregon's interim managers on Tuesday presented their technology transition plans to a legislative committee. They say some software can be salvaged to enroll Oregonians in Medicaid.

 

>> 5/6/14/ AMBER ALERT Cancelled

SEATTLE (AP) — The 6-year-old boy taken at knifepoint from an Auburn, Washington, home was found safe and his mother was arrested Monday following a high speed chase that ended in the Stevens Pass area. An Amber alert had been issued Monday morning for Mason Joseph Bennatts-Miller, who is described as autistic. Authorities say his mother, 34-year-old mother Sandra Bennatts, who does not have custody, forced her way into his grandmother's home at knifepoint Sunday night, tied her up and took the boy. King County sheriff's Sgt. DB Gates says deputies tracked the mother through cell phone pings on Highway 2. When her car sped off at nearly 100 mph, they backed off. She stopped in the Stevens Pass area and was arrested without incident. The boy was in the car.

 

>> 5/6/14 Klamath Siskiyou County Commissioners To Oppose Klamath River Dam Removal

Klamath County Commissioners and Siskiyou County Supervisors held a joint meeting in Dorris, California Monday afternoon and voted to send a joint letter to Congressional members voicing their opposition to dam removal on the Klamath River.  The elected officials say the recent Upper Klamath Basin Agreement includes (as does the KBRA) dam removal which they oppose. Commissioner Tom Mallams says the agreement may win U-S Senate approval but he hopes dam removal can be eliminated when the bill goes to the U-S House.

 

>> 5/6/14 Governor Gives CPR To Unconscious Woman

PORTLAND, Oregon (AP) — A fire department spokesman says Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber performed CPR on an unconscious woman Monday evening in downtown Portland, assisting her until medics could arrive. Portland Fire and Rescue Lt. Rich Chatman says Kitzhaber was traveling by car through downtown Portland at about 5 p.m. when he saw a woman on the ground. Chatman says the governor told his driver to pull over and asked his security officers to call 911. The former emergency room doctor determined the woman had no pulse and he began CPR. A fire department medic on scene, Lt. Alan Ferschweiler, says when he arrived the woman had a pulse but was not breathing on her own so the governor was providing her with oxygen. Ferschweiler estimates the unidentified woman was in her 30s. By the time an ambulance arrived she was breathing again. She was taken to a hospital but her condition was not immediately known. The governor's chief spokeswoman, Nkenge (nuh-KIN-gay) Harmon Johnson, says the governor initially saw someone along the edge of the street who seemed to be trying to resuscitate a woman.

 

 

>> 5/5/14 AMBER ALERT

SEATTLE (AP) — The King County sheriff's office issued an Amber alert Monday morning for a 6-year-old boy taken by his mother at knifepoint from a home in Auburn. Deputies say the boy is autistic and his mother does not have custody. He was taken Sunday night from the home of his grandmother, who was assaulted and tied up as her home was ransacked. Deputies fear the mother may have also taken a handgun. The boy, Mason Joseph Bennatts-Miller, is described as blonde, 3 feet tall and weighing about 50 pounds. He was wearing a gray shirt and jeans. His mother, 34-year-old Sandra Bennatts, is white. They may be traveling south, possibly toward Mexico in a 2009 gray Acura RDX, with Washington license 787-YZO
 

>> 5/5/14 Klamath Falls Man Accused Of Injuring His 3-Month Old Daughter

Oregon State Police (OSP) Criminal Investigations Division detectives arrested a Klamath Falls man Friday following an investigation into an injury to his 3-month old daughter. On May 2, 2014, OSP detectives arrested LANDON JAMES SELF, age 29, from Klamath Falls, for causing serious physical injury to his daughter. OSP was asked to investigate after a doctor examined his daughter at a hospital and found she had a fractured leg. The investigation determined SELF was responsible for the serious injury and he was taken into custody and lodged in the Klamath County Jail for Assault in the Second Degree and Criminal Mistreatment in the First Degree. The child was placed in temporary custody of the Oregon Department of Human Services - Child Welfare.

 

>> 5/5/14 Klamath County Holds Joint Meeting With Siskiyou County Today In Dorris, CA

The Klamath County Board of Commissioners is holding a joint meeting with Siskiyou County Supervisors today at 1:00 p.m. at the Butte Valley Community Center in Dorris, California. The agenda includes discussion of the Upper Basin Comprehensive Agreement that was signed last month.  The meeting also includes more discussion about the opposition of commissioners and supervisors to Klamath River dam removal.

 

>> 5/5/14 Gas Prices Keep Climbing

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The AAA auto club reports the average price of a gallon of gasoline in Oregon is $3.88. That's up a penny in a week, 19 cents in a month, and it's 23 cents higher than a year ago. It's 21 cents higher than the national average. Some metro prices from AAA's Monday survey: Portland $3.88, Salem $3.87, Eugene-Springfield $3.93, and Medford-Ashland $3.89.


>> 5/2/14  Federal Agriculture Department Investing In Klamath Basin Water Programs

Oregon Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) will invest up to $11 million in the Upper Klamath Basin over the next five years for water conservation, water quality, and fish habitat restoration efforts. This funding is designed to help with current drought conditions and will also support ranchers and farmers in the Klamath Basin with implementing commitments they have made as part of the historic Upper Klamath Basin Comprehensive Agreement signed with the Klamath Tribes last month. The Agreement is designed to meet water conservation and ecosystem restoration goals developed collaboratively by Klamath tribal leadership and leaders in the ranching community. “This is spectacular news for the Upper Klamath Basin community,” said Senator Merkley. “From addressing the current drought to conserving water into the future, these funds will produce a stronger economy and healthier rivers, helping to meet the economic and environmental goals of both the agriculture community and the Klamath Tribes. This award recognizes the hard work of stakeholders to create a vibrant vision for the future of the entire Klamath Basin.”   "This is a great example of how the federal government can be a constructive partner to the people of the Klamath Basin,” said Senator Wyden. “This funding will provide a short-term safety net to farmers and ranchers who need it the most, while I work with my colleagues to pass a long-term solution for the basin into law.”  The USDA will make available up to $4.5 million this year to help farmers and ranchers plan and install water conserving practices on their operations.  The goals of this targeted project in the Klamath Basin are two-fold: to help ensure the long-term viability and success of agriculture and to improve the overall availability of water for all users and the environment. This funding is designed to be consistent with the water agreements ranchers have entered into with the Klamath Tribes, and will support work to implement the Tribes’ water conservation and habitat restoration priorities for the Williamson, Wood and Sprague River basins. This five-year investment is part of a larger partnership effort to help address water and natural resource issues in the Klamath Basin. This funding will both help keep more water in the river and restore river ecosystems, as well as help support a sustainable agriculture community.

>> 5/2/14 House Passes Bill To Reduce VA Backlog

The U.S. House has passed bipartisan legislation to fund important veterans and military construction programs and reduce the claims backlog at the Veterans Administration (VA). U.S. Rep Greg Walden (R-Hood River) supported this measure, and issued the following statement after passage: “We as a nation owe our freedom to the men and women who have served in uniform. This legislation will help ensure they receive the care and benefits they have earned through years of service. They deserve nothing less,” Walden said. “Hundreds of thousands of veterans nationwide are waiting for a claims decision from the VA. That’s unacceptable.  It’s time for greater accountability.  This bill will help reduce the disgraceful claims backlog by continuing efforts to upgrade the VA’s computer systems and provide the personnel needed to solve this problem.” Last week, Walden met with veterans in Bend, Ontario, and Grants Pass, and the backlog was a major topic of discussion. The latest numbers from the Portland office show that about 62% of veterans’ claims are older than 125 days.

>> 5/2/14 KCC Gets Preliminary Approval For RN Nursing Program

Klamath Community College has cleared a major hurdle in the development of a registered nursing program, after the Oregon State Board of Nursing (OSBN) granted the college and its partner, Lake Health District, approval to continue developing a registered nursing program with an emphasis on rural nursing. Officials from KCC and Lake Health District traveled to Portland recently where they presented details of the proposed program before representatives of OSBN. Due to the intricate nature of the curriculum involved in any RN program, the accreditation and approval process is particularly detailed and painstaking. The Board granted a letter of intent and preliminary approval following KCC’s presentation. The letter and preliminary approval grant KCC permission to continue developing curriculum for the program. “We are very pleased with the result of our presentation,” said KCC President Dr. Roberto Gutierrez. “Though we have a lot of work yet to complete before the program is ready to offer, this was a major step that had to be completed.” OSBN will perform a site visit at KCC in September as part of the accreditation process. The program must also be approved by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, as well as the Oregon Department of Community Colleges and Workforce Development. Key to the successful presentation was convincing OSBN of the need for an associate-level RN program in this region. “The students who graduate this program will be working as nurses right here in our own communities and across the state,” Dr. Gutierrez said. “Though the process for having the program approved is very thorough, that’s exactly how it should be. Any program that will be training healthcare workers needs to be carefully vetted.”

>> 5/1/14  Chase Suspects Plead Not Guilty

Two of the suspects involved in a high speed chase last week have entered not guilty pleas. 22 year olds Joshua Morris and Seth Hernandez have been indicted for Assault 1 and Theft 2. Morris is also charged with Attempted Aggravated Murder, five counts First Degree Assault, Reckless Driving, Attempting To Elude and possession of Methamphetamine.  The aggravated murder charge is the result of Morris allegedly trying to hit a police officer laying out spike strips during the chase.

 

>> 5/1/14 OSP Investigating Cause Of Fatal Wreck On Highway 97

Oregon State Police are investigating a fatal wreck on Tuesday on Highway 97 north of the Highway 58 Junction. 66-year old Norman Lee Horn of Bend was driving northbound on Highway 97 when his motor home left the road and rolled down an embankment. Horn died at the scene. At this time police don't know why the vehicle left the highway.

 

>> 5/1/14  Child Causes Fire; Parents Cited

Fire Marshal Scott Rice says a young boy pulled a burning magazine out of his parents burn barrel and began waving it around trying to make smoke rings. The boy ended up tossing the magazine near a wooden fence that caught fire and the blaze spread to the family's garage causing more than $10,000 damage.  The parents were cited for Burning Out Of Season and Failure To Control Fire.

 

>> 4/29/14 Chiloquin Man Pleads Not Guilty To Manslaughter, DUI Charges

23 year old Joseph Martin Schuster of Chiloquin entered not guilty pleas to charges of Manslaughter and DUI during a court appearance on Monday. Schuster was accused of hitting band killing 63 year old Barbara Lynn Malo on Rosewood Lane in Sprague River the evening of April 20th. Schuster remains jailed with bail set at $50,000.

 

>> 4/29/14 Today Is Last Day To Register To Vote

Today is the last day to register to vote for the May 20th election and also the last day to change political party affiliation.  Citizens can register at the Klamath County Clerk's Office at 305 Main street or log on to the Oregon Secretary of State's website, sos.oregon.gov. Klamath County Clerk Linda Smith will mail out ballots next Wednesday.

 

>> 4/29/14 Trailblazers Owner Paul Allen Comments On Sterling Scandal

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Portland Trail Blazers owner Paul Allen has issued a statement in response to racist comments attributed to Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling. Allen says, "The kind of statements attributed to Clippers owner Donald Sterling, if true, are abhorrent, and not acceptable for the owner of an NBA franchise or anyone in professional sports. We at the Trail Blazers reject any and all such sentiments, and believe NBA leadership should take swift and impactful action in this case."

 

 

>> 4/28/14 Old Fort Road Fire Suspicious

A 911 call was made Sunday morning reporting a brush fire on Old Fort Road.  When crews arrived they noted the fire had burned approximately 1/10 of an acre under trees and near a home, only 100 feet away.  The incident appears to be caused by someone intentionally.   Klamath County Fire District No. 1 is asking if anyone saw a vehicle parked along the road near 9009 Old Fort Road, or any other suspicious activity in the area, anytime Saturday afternoon through the early morning hours of Sunday, to please contact Fire Marshal, Scott Rice at  541-885-2056.

>> 4/28/14 Hall Of Fame NBA Coach Jack Ramsay Dead At Age 89

MIAMI (AP) — Hall of Fame basketball coach Jack Ramsay has died. He was 89. His death was announced Monday by ESPN. Ramsay worked as a broadcaster at the network until last season. No cause of death was immediately given, though Ramsay had battled cancer for many years and was placed in hospice care late last  week. Ramsay, known as "Dr. Jack" throughout the league, coached in the NBA for parts of 21 seasons, including leading Portland to the 1977 NBA title. He then began a long career as one of the league's most revered radio and television analysts.  Ramsay also was an accomplished college coach at Saint Joseph's in Philadelphia, taking the Hawks to the 1961 Final Four. Funeral arrangements were incomplete early Monday.

>> 4/28/14 Trailblazers Win Another Overtime Nail Biter, Lead Series 3-1

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — LaMarcus Aldridge had 29 points and 10 rebounds and the Portland Trail Blazers beat the Houston Rockets 123-120 in overtime Sunday to take a 3-1 advantage in their first-round playoff series. Nicolas Batum added 25 points in the first win for the home team in the series, which moves to Houston for Game 5 on Wednesday. It was the third overtime game of the series. The Blazers haven't advanced out of the first round since the postseason in 2000.James Harden had 28 points and Dwight Howard added 25 points and 14 rebounds for the Rockets.

>> 4/28/14 Unseasonably Warm Weather This Week In Oregon & Washington

SEATTLE (AP) — The National Weather Service is forecasting the warmest temperatures since last summer in the Northwest. Forecasters say temperatures will rise into the 70s under sunny skies in Washington and Oregon on Tuesday and Wednesday, peaking in the 80s Thursday. Highs in Klamath Falls expected to hit 72 on Tuesday and 77 Wednesday and 80 on Thursday. In Medford highs are expected to hit 83 Tuesday, 90 on Wednesday and 92 on Thursday. Clouds are expected to bring temperatures back to normal on Friday and next weekend. The Weather Service says 80-degree days in April are rare in Seattle. That last ones were in 2004. This marks a dramatic change from what has been a wet spring. More than 4 inches of rain this month at Sea-Tac Airport make it the ninth-wettest April on record. In Portland, highs in the mid-80s are forecast Wednesday and Thursday, with Thursday the warmest day. The warm weather is likely to last into Friday east of the Cascades.

 

>> 4/25/14 Methamphetamine Related Deaths Jump One-Third In Oregon

A state report shows methamphetamine-related deaths in Oregon up by almost a third. The 2013 statistics released Thursday show 222 drug-related deaths overall — one fewer than the year before. It said 123 of the deaths were meth-related, the highest number since 2000. Two meth-related deaths were recorded in Klamath county in 2013. State Medical Examiner Dr. Karen Gunson says... the majority of meth-related deaths were not from overdoses, but from other events such as traffic accidents and drowning. The state saw significant decreases in deaths related to heroin, down 25 percent, and cocaine, down 35 percent to its lowest number since 2000. Overall, drug-related deaths were down 7 percent from a recent high of 240 in 2011. Deaths from prescription drug overdoses were also down from previous years.

 

>> 4/25/14 Conservation Groups Sue Over Tardy Refuge Conservation Plans

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Conservation groups want a court to order a federal agency to submit overdue plans for wildlife refuges in the Klamath Basin. The high-desert refuges are the remnants of once-extensive wetlands and an important stop for migrating birds. Environmentalists are critical of leasing farmland on the refuges, saying irrigation water flows readily, but the wetlands are shorted, harming wildlife. The suit filed Thursday says most of the nation's refuges complied with a 1997 law that required each to develop a "comprehensive conservation plan" by October 2012, but the Klamath system has not. It says the aim of the law is to prevent commercial activities from harming fish and wildlife. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service spokesman Matt Baun said tight budgets delayed the plans, but a draft is being readied for release.

 

>> 4/25/14 BLM Wants Geocaches Out Of Wilderness Areas

BEND, Ore. (AP) — The U.S. Bureau of Land Management is trying to get geocaches removed from wilderness and environmentally sensitive areas in Central Oregon. Geocaches are the containers at the end of high-tech treasure hunts undertaken by hobbyists. They use GPS devices or smartphones to track down the caches, which can contain log books, toys or knick-knacks. Typically, geocachers take something and leave something in the caches. The Bend Bulletin reports the bureau has a policy nationwide to get man-made objects out of wilderness areas. That avoids paths getting beaten to popular caching sites. In Central Oregon, bureau officials are working with geocachers to remove 84 containers, some seasonally. Geocachers will be allowed to use virtual caches, which have coordinates leading to a particular rock, tree or vista.

 

 

>> 4/24/14 Chase Suspects Make First Court Appearance

The three men who were arrested after a five hour chase Tuesday made their court appearances yesterday by video monitor.  22-year old Seth Hernandez is charged with Robbery 1 and Assault 1. 22-year old Joshua Morris is charged with Attempted Aggravated Murder and five counts Attempted First Degree Assault, Felony Attempt To Elude and Interfering With Police. 29-year old Keith Lee Jackson was released after being charged with Interfering With Police.

 

>> 4/24/14 Wednesday Was Soft Opening Of South Suburban Branch Library

The Klamath County South Suburban Branch Library had a "soft" opening Wednesday morning. Library Director Christy Davis told KFLS News there were about a dozen people waiting in line when she arrived. The facility is about twice as big as the old branch at the Town & Country Mall. The branch is at 3625 Summers Lane and will be open 9:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. The branch will be open on Wednesday from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday. A community celebration with a formal dedication and opening of the branch is scheduled for late June.

 

>> 4/24/14 Lightning Strikes At Mt Bachelor

BEND, Ore. (AP) — It appears that lightning struck at least twice in nearly the same place, disabling two lifts on the west side of the Mount Bachelor ski area. Spokesman Andy Goggins says lightning strikes are what he calls "super rare" during the ski and snowboard season, The Bend Bulletin reports (http://bit.ly/1iRy9Mm) the apparent strikes happened after the close of operations Monday. Goggins says the lifts' electrical systems were disabled, but no other damage was observed. One lift, Pine Marten, began operating on auxiliary power, and the ski area planned to restore primary power. It was listed as open Thursday on the area's website, which also reported a storm in progress. The other lift, Red, is often run as a backup to Pine Marten and was listed as closed.

 

>> 4/24/14 Judge Hears Case Against Gay Marriage Ban

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — Lawyers for four gay and lesbian couples and the state of Oregon are urging a federal judge to strike down the state's voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage. Judge Michael McShane heard arguments on the case Wednesday but did not say which way he was leaning. His questioning focused heavily on how he should apply precedents from higher courts. The state attorney general has refused to defend the gay-marriage ban, so nobody supported it in court.McShane says he won't rule on the constitutionality of the same-sex marriage ban until he decides on a request by the National Organization for Marriage to defend it. The group's chairman, John Eastman, says the judge would benefit from hearing several arguments that weren't raised in court because nobody was able to defend the ban.

 

 

>> 4/23/14 Assault, Robbery Leads To 5-Hour Chase

 

On 04-22-14, at approximately 10:01 a.m., Officers from the Klamath Falls Police Department were dispatched to the 300 Block of North 5th Street on report of a male who had been stabbed.
Through the initial investigation, Seth Hernandez was identified as the suspect and probable cause for his arrest was developed for Robbery I, and Assault I. Hernandez was reported to be accompanied by two indivi...duals who were identified as Keith Jackson and another male, later determined to be Joshua Morris. They were reported to have left the area in an older white Chevy Camaro.
An Oregon State Police Trooper spotted the vehicle in the Malin area and a pursuit was initiated, after the suspect vehicle failed to stop. The pursuit was terminated a short time later due to safety concerns.
After a short time, the vehicle was spotted in the Bonanza area, and again failed to yield to police. A pursuit was initiated and spike strips were attempted to be deployed. A PIT (Patrol Intervention Tactic) maneuver was attempted with negative results.
The suspect vehicle continued to elude Oregon State Police Troopers, Klamath County Sheriff’s Office Deputies, Malin Police Department Officers, and Klamath Falls Police Department Officers. The suspect drove from the Bonanza area and into the Stewart Lennox area, driving at speeds of up to 100 miles per hour.
The pursuit was terminated two additional times; however due to the suspect’s continued erratic driving, it was determined that immediate police intervention would be necessary. Two helicopters were launched to try and observe the suspect vehicle from a safer distance to help mitigate public risk.
During the pursuit, the suspect forced drivers off of the roadway, and tried to ram oncoming police vehicles. In addition, the suspect vehicle swerved at several police officers who were attempting to deploy spike strips, nearly striking them. The suspects also threw objects from the moving vehicle at the following police vehicles.
The suspects were taken into custody in the Stewart Lennox area after fleeing on foot from their vehicle. They were lodged at the Klamath County Jail on charges of Attempted Aggravated Murder, Attempted Assault I, Reckless Driving, Elude, and several other crimes. Seth Hernandez was charged with the additional crimes of Robbery I, and Assault I.
The victim of the Robbery sustained injuries that were not life threatening. No additional citizen injuries or police injuries have been reported.
A cooperative investigation between the Oregon State Police, Klamath County Sheriff’s Office, and Klamath Falls Police Department was initiated and is ongoing. Additional charges are likely.
The involved agencies would like to thank all of the citizens who called 911 to report the suspect’s actions and locations during this incident. This allowed the suspects to be quickly apprehended.
Any person with information regarding the incident should call the Klamath Falls Police Department at 541-883-533

 

4/22/14 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