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
Monday, January 11, 2021
Willamette Valley Weather
Today- Rain likely, mainly after 4pm. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 53. South southeast wind around 7 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%.
Tuesday- Rain. High near 55. Breezy, with a south southwest wind 13 to 16 mph, with gusts as high as 23 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New precipitation amounts between a half and three quarters of an inch possible.
Wednesday- Rain before 10am, then a chance of showers after 10am. High near 52. Southwest wind 8 to 13 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New precipitation amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch possible.
Thursday- A 10 percent chance of rain after 4pm. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 54.
Friday- Rain likely, mainly before 10am. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 52.
Oregon Health Authority reported 1,225 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19 as of 12:01 a.m. today bringing the state total to 125,683. The new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases reported today are in the following counties: Baker (5), Benton (15), Clackamas (86), Clatsop (6), Columbia (17), Coos (11), Curry (1), Deschutes (51), Douglas (13), Hood River (10), Jackson (39), Jefferson (11), Josephine (18), Klamath (43), Lane (89), Lincoln (4), Linn (27), Malheur (1), Marion (233), Morrow (4), Multnomah (229), Polk (45), Tillamook (1), Umatilla (34), Union (6), Wallowa (4), Wasco (10), Washington (180), Yamhill (32).
State vaccination total passes 97,000 doses administered
PORTLAND, Ore. — COVID-19 has claimed 2 more lives in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll to 1,605 the Oregon Health Authority reported at 12:01 a.m. today.
The state’s vaccination total also neared 100,000 as vaccine clinics around the stated added nearly more than 8,648 doses, bringing the state total to more than 97,000 doses.
Vaccinations in Oregon
Yesterday, 8,648 new doses of COVID-19 vaccinations were added to the state immunization registry. Of this total, 6,505 vaccine doses were administered on January 9th and 2,143 were administered on previous days (but entered into the state registry by providers on January 9th). As of yesterday, vaccination sites had vaccinated 2.2 percent of Oregonians and have administered 37 percent of Oregon’s current allocation of vaccine doses.
Oregon has now administered a cumulative total of 97,010 first and second doses of COVID-19 vaccines. All vaccinations occurred at Oregon hospitals, long-term care facilities, emergency medical service (EMS) agencies, urgent care facilities and Local Public Health Authorities (LPHAs).
These data are preliminary and subject to change. OHA’s dashboards provide regularly updated vaccination data and Oregon’s dashboard has been updated today.
Oregon Now Using Drive-Through Vaccine Clinics and National Guard To Speed Distribution
Oregon health systems and county public health departments are working to ramp up the number of COVID-19 vaccine doses they administer. The focus: Getting the vaccine to first responders and health care workers who’ve been passed over or don’t work for a hospital system.
In Portland, Oregon Health & Science University hosted a drive-through clinic over the weekend for more than 2,000 community-health workers, first responders and home care-workers. In Salem, the Marion County Public Health department, Salem Health and the Oregon National Guard are distributing vaccines at the Oregon State Fairgrounds and Expo Center to eligible health workers.
OHSU staff administered the vaccine through people’s rolled down car windows. Vaccine recipients were then asked to wait in their cars for 15 to 30 minutes, with people checking in on them periodically and paramedics onsite in case of any allergic reactions.
There are 32,000 home-care workers in Oregon, according to SEIU. The executive director of SEIU 503, Melissa Unger, said home-care workers are one example of a group that’s especially vulnerable to COVID-19 but easily left out of a vaccination campaign. They lack a central employer, speak a variety of languages and may not have their own transportation.
“They will get lost in this process,” Unger said. “We need to make sure there is a track that is completely focused on high risk, vulnerable, difficult to reach populations.”
OHSU, meanwhile, said that if the drive-through vaccination clinic model works, it could be scaled up to help distribute the COVID-19 vaccine more rapidly to all Oregonians as the region’s vaccine supply increases.
Last week, Gov. Kate Brown demanded improvements to the rollout process amid complaints Oregon is lagging behind other states and its own expectations. Some hospitals, including OHSU, have been vaccinating employees who do not qualify yet.
The state had been vaccinating around 7,000 people a day; Brown wants that number closer to 12,000.
“We’ve all got to step up as health systems and help find the different ways to reach the communities that need to be vaccinated,” said Joe Ness, chief operating officer for OHSU Health. “I think it’s really comes down to local communities and partnerships within the state, is really how we’re going to get it done now.
Pro-Trump Rally Turns Violent in Eugene on Saturday
There was a large police presence at the Wayne Morse Courthouse in Eugene on Saturday as a pro-Trump rally was taking place. The Eugene Police told protesters that it was an unlawful assembly, and ordered them to leave now.
There was a skirmish in the middle of the street at 8th and Mill street, which led to one person being detained and put into a jail van afternoon on Saturday.
Arrest Made in Homicide at Springfield Home
A West Springfield home was the scene of a murder early in the morning of January 9th.
It was just after 1 a.m. Saturday that two calls were made to 911 about shots fired at this Springfield home. When police arrived they encountered one of those callers, a resident, right out front and detained him. It was inside where they found that deceased individual and another person hiding in the closet.
A neighbor who declined to appear on camera said she heard a loud noise overnight, but didn’t think anything of it until police knocked on her door at 2 a.m.
Springfield Police have identified the victim as Stephen Satterwhite. Around 5 p.m. Saturday, police arrested Robert Evans, the victim’s roommate for murder. Officers recovered several weapons from the scene. Police say everyone involved has been accounted for so there is no danger to the public.
AROUND the STATE of OREGON
Oregon Zoo Mourns Loss of Inji -The World’s Oldest Orangutan
The Oregon Zoo announced Saturday it is had to say goodbye to its oldest resident, Sumatran orangutan Inji, who at 61-years-old was thought to be the oldest orangutan in the world.
“We knew she couldn’t live forever, but this really hurts, and I know many visitors are grieving along with us,” said Bob Lee, who oversees the zoo’s animal areas. “Inji’s ability to connect with people was incredible. She inspired generations.”
“Some volunteers, staff and guests would make a point to carry wind-up toys or brightly colored items in their bags just to show Inji,” Lee said.
At 61, Inji was much older than most orangutans, who seldom live past the age of 40. Though she remained healthy for the better part of the last decade, Lee said Inji’s health began deteriorating over the past few weeks. She moved stiffly, rarely left her nest box and was no longer interested in her favorite foods. After it became apparent Saturday her pain medications were not helping, veterinary and care staff made the difficult decision to humanely euthanize her.
The animal’s actual birth date is unknown. Inji was born in the wild around 1960. She came to the U.S. through the then-legal wild animal trade and was brought to the zoo by her owner in 1961. It was estimated she was about a year old when she arrived on Jan. 30, 1961.
With threats from the now-illegal wild animal trade and humans’ encroachment and habitat loss from palm oil plantations, orangutans are at the brink of extinction–especially in Sumatra, where Inji came from, said Asaba Mukobi, the zoo’s senior primate keeper. All three orangutan species are considered critically endangered, with fewer than 800 Tapanuli, 15,000 Sumatran and 55,000 Bornean orangutans believed to remain.
Zoo staff plan to honor Inji in the opening of the Primate Forest, scheduled to be open this spring.
Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument Artist-In-Residence Program
Selected artists are provided with a beautiful environment in which to generate artistic works and share their works with the public. Artistic expertise, professionalism, and creative uses of artistic media are encouraged. Selected artists receive a one to two-week residency at CSNM facilities during the summer.
All artists are encouraged to apply for a chance to participate in the program, and there is no preference given to any one particular style or medium; artists from previous years have produced works ranging from panoramic watercolors to musical compositions. During their stay, artists share their vision in one public presentation. Following their residency, artists donate at least one digital image of their completed artwork to CSNM. CSNM holds a publishing copyright to donated digital imagery for promotional use to advance the residency program.
The artist retains a non-exclusive use copyright. One artist and one alternate will be selected to participate in July 2021. Selections are made on the basis of the following criteria: entry materials, residency proposal, professionalism, and creative vision.
Interested artists may obtain more information and download an application and guidelines by accessing the Artist-in-Residence website, by e-mail (email@example.com) or by calling (541) 618-2256. Detailed instructions are on the entry form. Applications must be postmarked by April 5, 2021. Those wishing to learn more about the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument information can do so on the CSNM’s website.
The Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument Artist in Residence Program is committed to supporting artistic efforts that support the public lands. Artistic expertise, professionalism, and creative uses of artistic media are encouraged. Selected artists receive a one- to two-week residency at CSNM facilities during the summer.
Participating artists are asked to donate to the BLM the use of an original piece of artwork from their residency in the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument. The artist will retain both the original and the copyright. CSNM is especially interested in artwork relevant to its mission. Artwork may be used in exhibits and for educational purposes. In addition artwork may be used by non-profit partners for items such as postcards, posters, and similar items. During their stay, artists share their vision in one 45-minute public presentation. Come join us for this fantastic opportunity! FOR MORE DETAILS: https://www.blm.gov/get-involved/artist-in-residence/air-sites/cascade-siskiyou Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument website Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument Flickr Album
OSP Seizes $200,000 in Southern Oregon Traffic Stop
MEDFORD, Ore. — Federal prosecutors are seeking to take possession of more than $200,000 found inside a rented van during a traffic stop even though no criminal charges have been filed against anyone in the case.
Oregon State Police troopers say they found $200,470 in cash during a July 29 traffic stop on westbound Highway 140 near Bly, according to an affidavit filed by a U.S. Department of Homeland Security Investigations field officer in U.S. District Court in Medford late last month.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office claims the money was going to be used to buy marijuana in the Medford area to be sold on the black market in the driver’s home state of New Jersey. The Newark, New Jersey, driver petitioned federal prosecutors for his money back, stating that the money was “profits of legal business transactions,” according to the affidavit.
Federal prosecutors say the New Jersey driver flew to Boise, Idaho, and rented a minivan for a 2,700-mile trip starting in Idaho and slated to end the following week in New Jersey. Inside the vehicle was a cardboard box that contained 14 vacuum-sealed bags of cash.
Financial records and a UPS tracking number showed that the driver paid $406 to send the box from Kearny, New Jersey. The driver picked up the box two days later at a UPS Store in Boise, police say. Police also seized two iPhones from the vehicle and one iPhone in the motorist’s pocket. Police said the phone contained photos of marijuana, as well as photos of ledgers listing different marijuana strains, vaping cartridges and edibles.
Eagle Point Woman Dies In Fatal Collision With Truck
An Eagle Point woman died Saturday morning after losing control on an icy portion of Cascade Highway 213 and colliding with a box truck. Oregon State Police troopers and emergency personnel responded to the crash near South Union Hall Road, between Carus and Mulino, at approximately 8:15 a.m.
According to the preliminary investigation, 66-year-old Elina Inget, of Eagle Point, was driving a Toyota Tacoma northbound when she lost control on the icy road and collided with a southbound Freightliner truck operated by 33-year-old Colby Ransier, of Silverton. Inget sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene, troopers reported. Ransier was transported to a local hospital for injuries.
A witness who was reportedly following the box truck at the time of the accident described the horrific scene on Facebook. “I saw the little gray truck suddenly come from the oncoming direction and make a severe turn in our direction,” they said. “I had to swerve out of the way of the crash, and debris, including a tire, came at me. I am praying for both families.”
Highway 213 southbound was closed for approximately four hours. OSP was assisted by the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office, Molalla Fire District and the Oregon Department of Transportation.
Two Southern Oregon Republican lawmakers back a new group, Citizens Against Tyranny, that formed last month to defy Gov. Kate Brown’s COVID-19 regulations, try to recall elected officials who decline to sign onto their “declaration of basic rights” and publicly name private citizens who file complaints against businesses that don’t comply with Brown’s executive orders.
Sen. Dallas Heard, a Republican from Roseburg, is one of the group’s main supporters. On Friday night, Heard announced he would raffle off his sports car, a 2000 Dodge Viper, to raise money to support the group’s future endeavors.
Sen. Herman Baertschiger Jr., R-Grants Pass, also spoke at a Friday event at a Roseburg church. The event appeared to be well attended, according to an hour-long video posted to Facebook showing with multiple camera angles. No one in view on the video appeared to be wearing a mask. Heard said he didn’t endorse violence or aggressive action toward those who filed complaints, but he also referred to them as rats and “extremists” who should “no longer be immune to the consequences of their actions.”
Senator Ron Wyden is in support of congress acting on the 25th Amendment following riots at the capitol this Wednesday.
Wyden called the events that unfolded a domestic terrorist attack. He says the president ought to be held to account. He also calls him “a clear and present danger.” Wyden says he views what happened as “the culmination of the president spending 4 years fanning the flames of fanaticism.”
Wyden says this was a classic definition of domestic terrorism as people tried to use intimidation to advance a political goal. He added that every day the current president is in office, it is a threat to the values that are sacred to this county and to the values of Oregon.
An Oregon State Representative is accused of letting demonstrators into the Oregon State Capitol during last month’s Special Session.
The demonstration was in protest of new COVID-19 restrictions. House Speaker Tina Kotek says Oregon State Police identified Representative Mike Nearman as the person who let demonstrators into the building. Officers were injured and Kotek says legislators felt terrorized while the demonstrators were in the building. Legislative staff is considering options for how to address Nearman’s actions.
A Beavercreek, Oregon man has been arrested and charged for discharging a firearm into the Hatfield Federal Courthouse on January 8, 2021, announced U.S. Attorney Billy J. Williams.
Cody Melby, 39, has been charged by criminal complaint with destruction of government property.
According to the complaint, at approximately 7:35pm on January 8, Melby allegedly jumped over a security fence at the Hatfield Courthouse and, using a 9mm handgun, fired several rounds into the building’s exterior. Two courthouse security officers exited the building and approached Melby after observing him on a closed-circuit security camera. Melby told the officers he had a gun and the officers placed him in handcuffs without further incident.
Federal Protective Service officers dispatched to the scene located five spent 9mm bullet casings, three spent bullets, three bullet holes in plywood affixed to the building’s stone columns, and damage to the metal soffit above the building’s main entrance.
Melby will make his first appearance in federal court today before a U.S. Magistrate Judge in Portland.
This case is being investigated by the Federal Protective Service and FBI. It is being prosecuted by Paul Maloney, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon.
Criminal complaints are only accusations of a crime, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.