The latest news stories and stories of interest in Eugene-Springfield area and around the state of Oregon from the online digital home of the valley, WillametteValleyMagazine.com.
Tuesday, October 13 2020
Willamette Valley Weather
Today Rain before 11am, then showers after 11am. High near 64. Breezy, with a south southwest wind 11 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%. Overnight a slight chance of rain, low of 48.
Wednesday A 20% chance of showers after 11am. Areas of fog before 9am. Otherwise, partly sunny, with a high near 65. Calm wind becoming north 5 to 9 mph in the afternoon.
Thursday Sunny, with a high near 65. North wind 5 to 11 mph, with gusts as high as 18 mph.
Friday Sunny, with a high near 68.
Saturday Patchy fog before 8am. Otherwise, mostly sunny, with a high near 66.
Oregon’s death toll from COVID-19 is unchanged from yesterday and remains at 599. Oregon Health Authority reported 222 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19 overnight, bringing the state total to 37,467.
The new cases reported today are in the following counties: Clackamas (13), Clatsop (1), Columbia (1), Curry (2), Deschutes (5), Hood River (1), Jackson (17), Jefferson (1), Josephine (3), Lane (31), Linn (7), Marion (21), Multnomah (44), Polk (1), Umatilla (12), Wasco (5), Washington (40), and Yamhill (19).
Lane County Health officials report 31 new cases overnight.
In Lebanon, Oregon, a 13-year-old boy was taken into custody Monday for allegedly stabbing a complete stranger in the back. Lebanon city police said it happened at Monday afternoon. at the Ixtapa Mexican Restaurant at 25 North Santiam Highway. Officials said the victim was conscious and alert when she was taken to a Corvallis hospital.
The youth was found after he returned to the scene and was taken into custody, police said. The boy was taken to the Linn-Benton Detention Facility on charges of attempted murder, first-degree attempted assault and second-degree assault.
It was later determined that the youth and the victim did not know one another. Police said the youth’s name is not being released at this time. There is no immediate threat to the public.
On the University of Oregon campus, they’ve introduced the GradGuard’s Tuition Protection Plan, giving students an optional insurance plan at what UO administrators say is a “cheaper” price.
GradGuard refunds students depending on how much they decide to cover. When requesting a full refund, a complete withdrawal from classes must occur with a covered reason, like mental health conditions, chronic illness or COVID-19.
Officials say it’s strictly an opportunity for students to have a way to re-group some of the money they might have lost by withdrawing. This partnership was voluntary and UO is the largest 4-year public university that GradGuard is working with at this time, Natalie Tarangioli, the Director of Marketing and Communications at GradGuard said. This option became available to help students who are already struggling with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and to provide a financial cushion for unexpected costs.
Students can sign up for winter tuition insurance from now until midnight on Dec. 3.
“University of Oregon students would pay 1% of the cost of tuition for a policy,” said one UofO official. GradGuard charges a 2% cost to students who are not enrolled at a partner university. There is a one-time payment option before the term begins and GradGuard can ensure students until the end of the term.
There is no set end date on the partnership between UO and GradGuard, therefore this partnership may continue even after the pandemic that makes the insurance necessary for some students is long gone.
Willamalane Park and Recreation District is hosting Halloween events, which offer family-friendly activities for a safer holiday later this month.
They are hosting a drive-thru haunted hayride and two mini golf events. All activities are low-contact in line with current safety guidelines and groups should be limited to household members only.
The haunted hayride is from Oct. 22-24 at Dorris Ranch and ghostly golf is a two-night, after-hours event at Camp Putt. It is on Oct. 17 and Oct. 31. Registration is open and full details can be found at their website.
Around the state of Oregon
On Friday, Jackson County was officially approved by FEMA to receive Temporary Housing Assistance. The approval was met after FEMA reviewed a document by Governor Brown’s office, that showcased all of the damages, lack of housing and impact that the horrific Almeda fire had on the survivors and communities in the area.
FEMA says that temporary assistance will address the shortage of available homes in the county and will provide people a stopping point as they look towards a long-term solution. Some of the units that could be coming to the county could include transportable temporary housing in which can be used for up to 18 months after the start of the Almeda Fire. According to FEMA, they are working with the state to create a plan to provide different forms of temporary housing that would help people displaced by the fire. FEMA says that solutions to each person displaced by the Almeda Fire will vary, depending on how quickly a survivor’s home can be repaired and the availability of housing options in their communities. The organization says that to be eligible for Direct Temporary Housing assistance, Oregon wildfire survivors must register with FEMA and also reside in a county that has been designated for Individual Assistance and approved for Direct Temporary Housing. Damage must be to the primary residence and must be a result of the wildfires.
People who were affected by the Oregon wildfires and straight-line winds and who live in Clackamas, Douglas, Jackson, Klamath, Lane, Lincoln, Linn, and Marion counties should apply for FEMA assistance even if they are covered by insurance or have registered with other agencies.
Under federal law, FEMA cannot duplicate insurance settlements or other benefits, but there are cases where insured survivors might still be eligible for FEMA help. For example:
- Your settlement was delayed longer than 30 days after you filed a claim.
- The settlement does not fully cover all your losses and needs.
- You exhausted the additional living expenses provided in your policy.
- You cannot locate suitable rental resources in your community.
Take the Following Steps to Make Sure You Get All Eligible Help
- File your insurance claims for the damage caused by the fires as soon as possible.
- Apply with FEMA for assistance. You don’t have to wait for your insurance settlement to apply. If you have registered with other organizations, you still need to apply with FEMA if you want to be considered for FEMA assistance. Here’s how:
- Call FEMA toll-free at 1-800-621-FEMA (1-800-621-3362) or (TTY: 800-462-7585). The toll-free telephone lines operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. PDT, seven days a week.
- Those who use a Relay service such as a videophone, InnoCaption or CapTel should update FEMA with their assigned number for that service. It is important that FEMA is able to make contact. Phone calls from FEMA may come from an unidentified number.
- Visit DisasterAssistance.gov.
- Check FEMA’s mobile app
After You Apply With FEMA
- Once you have applied, you have 12 months to let FEMA know if your insurance coverage was not enough and you want to be considered for help.
- To request FEMA assistance, fax or mail FEMA a letter explaining the circumstances to:
- FEMA Individuals and Households Program,
National Processing Center,
P.O. Box 10055
Hyattsville, MD 20702-8055
- Or Fax: 800-827-8112
- FEMA Individuals and Households Program,
Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency or economic status. If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-FEMA (3362) 711/VRS – Video Relay Service). Multilingual operators are available. (Press 2 for Spanish). TTY call 800-462-7585.
Approximately $5 million will be sent to current and former Oregonians this fall when the state Unclaimed Property Program initiates a historic distribution of unclaimed funds.
Beginning in mid October, people will begin to receive letters informing them of the forthcoming checks. The initial letter will be followed by a subsequent letter and check in early November. The checks are funds–referred to as unclaimed property–that have been reported to the state by companies and organizations that do business with Oregonians and have been unable to return the money to the correct owner.
Common examples of unclaimed property include uncashed checks, forgotten bank accounts, security deposits, tax refunds, credit balances, investment accounts, payroll checks, refunds, and more. Typically, people need to file a claim with the unclaimed property program to receive the funds they are owed. However, given the unprecedented financial uncertainties and difficulties many are facing, the state has determined, for the first time ever, the funds will be directly mailed to the correct owner. Checks distributed will vary in amount between $50 – $2,500, depending on the amount of unclaimed property each recipient is owed and based on criteria described at unclaimed.oregon.gov
On the eve of Indigenous Peoples Day, police declared a riot Sunday night as demonstrators toppled two statues and spray-painted several others. The protest had been named the Indigenous Peoples Day of Rage, and demonstrators called for the end of colonialism.
The crowd gathered at Southwest Park Avenue and Southwest Madison Street, where they took down statues of Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln. The crowd also broke windows at the Oregon Historical Society and several stores. No arrests have been reported. The vandalism that seemed to gather the most ire from city and state officials occurred at the Oregon Historical Society, a bastion of diverse artifacts and exhibits on the 1200 block of Southwest Park Avenue. Nearly a dozen windows in the institution’s pavilion were smashed, said Executive Director Kerry Tymchuk.
Flares were tossed into the lobby, and a priceless quilt was taken. Preliminary estimates to repair the damage were about $25,000, though costs could end up higher. The quilt taken from the society’s lobby was a bicentennial heritage quilt, stitched by 15 African American women in the mid-1970s. The artifact had traveled the nation before going on display in Portland.
The Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS) has received approval from Food and Nutrition Services to disburse increased food benefits in October.
This additional $30 million for eligible Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients will bring the total increased benefits to $180 million. SNAP households will automatically receive the additional allotment in the same way they receive their current benefits. For most customers, this is an Oregon EBT card. The additional benefit amount will be disbursed on the schedule below to all eligible SNAP households. Some recipients may not see it until the following day. Oregonians already enrolled in SNAP do not need to take any additional action. The increase brings all households to the maximum SNAP benefit. Households that already receive the maximum benefit will not receive any additional benefits.
This allotment will not permanently change a household’s monthly benefit amount. It is a temporary supplement to help during the current health crisis. ODHS will not be sending individual notices to households about the emergency allotments.
On Monday, October 12, 2020 at approximately 8:01 P.M., Oregon State Police Troopers and emergency personnel responded to a vehicle crash on I5 near milepost 290.
Preliminary investigation revealed that a Freightliner semi-truck, operated by Gurkirat Singh (35) of Fremont, CA. was northbound on I5 when it struck Eric Laursen (47) of Tualatin who was walking across the northbound lanes.
Laursen sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced deceased. OSP was assisted by Washington County Sheriff’s Office, Hillsboro Police Department , Tualatin Police Department, Metro West Ambulance, and ODOT.
Stay safe while working in the yard
Pacific Power offers safety tips for homeowners preparing for fall
As the leaves turn, fall weather arrives in the Pacific Northwest. For some homeowners, this means pruning trees and taming overgrown gardens, for others it means cleaning the gutters or painting the house. Many outdoor projects like these can be hazardous if you don’t put safety first.
“Now is a great time to prune any trees that could cause trouble once the storms start coming in,” said Joe Cissna, Pacific Power safety director. “Winter storms bringing down branches is a big cause of power outages. Check around your property if any trees or branches could harm power lines if they fell. Some preventive work now could save more headaches and power outages later.”
Use caution when pruning trees. Don’t use pruning tools or ladders near power lines. Always keep yourself and anything you’re handling at least 10 feet away from overhead power lines. Never try to remove a branch that is tangled or lying across a power line. Instead, call us at 1-888-221-7070. We’ll be happy to remove it for you.
- Treat all electric lines with caution.
- Use only wooden and fiberglass ladders. Metal ladders conduct electricity.
- Never use electrical equipment or tools near a pool or other wet areas. Additionally, make sure outlets are equipped with a ground fault circuit interrupter, designed to automatically disconnect if the tool comes into contact with water.
- Be aware and steer clear of overhead electrical wires when installing, removing, cleaning or repairing gutters.
- Have help when installing or adjusting a satellite dish or antenna. Make sure you’re working at least 10 feet away from overhead power lines.
- Plant trees and shrubs away from meters, switching cabinets and boxed transformers. Vegetation blocking electrical equipment makes meter reading, repairs and maintenance challenging and sometimes dangerous for utility workers.
- Underground power lines are just as dangerous as overhead ones. If your project involves digging, make sure the locations of underground power lines are marked. Call 811 to have underground utilities located and marked for free.
For more safety tips or to order free Pacific Power safety materials, call toll free at 800-375-7085 or visit pacificpower.net/safety.